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Tag: Baby loss

One year later

Last March was the worst month of my life.

The whole month of February was spent in blissful naiveté. Then March 1st it felt like my world fell apart.

I feel the sting in little reminders. Like yesterday, I went to get a prenatal massage and in filling out the form I had a tiny little punch to the gut.

2nd pregnancy 1st birth

Then I had to talk about it to the massage therapist. She was chatty.

I also keep thinking about that first ultrasound. There was nothing to see except my empty uterus and yet I cannot stop thinking about the picture that automatically printed. My mind replays my doctor ripping it off the machine, crumpling it up and throwing it in the trash over and over. I didn’t ask for it. I wish I had although I don’t know why exactly. There are many moments that replay from that day but that one stands out the most. Such a stupid little thing.

After that ultrasound we spent 12 days in torturous limbo and then I took what little control I could of the whole horrible situation and opted to have a D&C.

That was one year ago today.

For me personally it was the best decision I could have made. As weird as it feels to say it, the actual procedure was a very positive experience. A large part of that was the wonderful hospital staff and the other part was just the fact that I was taking control of a situation that I was completely out of control of otherwise. When it feels like your world is completely spinning out of control any grasp of control can make that spinning feel slightly less overwhelming.

While that day started the healing process, it was a long, hard road to feeling like myself again. Although saying “myself” doesn’t feel quite accurate. I’m not the same person I was before all this happened.

I think that’s a good thing.

It has taken a year’s worth of time to gain perspective because in the moment and aftermath I could not fathom how anything good could come out of losing my first pregnancy.

I know Joel and I are so much closer than we ever were. Tragedies can make or break a relationship. Thankfully it made us. We had several marriage struggles in the years before our first pregnancy. I blame the fact that we were practically babies when we got married. I was only 20 and Joel was just 24. Babies. Somehow we made it through those and then, instead of letting the blinding pain of losing a pregnancy rip us apart, we relied on each other in a much deeper way than we ever did before. I wish I could give more insight into how we did that but I either do not have enough distance from that time or there is no answer. Either way, I have never felt happier with our relationship or more in love with the man I call my husband.

Another good thing that came out of this was my ability to share my experience. I hate that anyone else in the world has to lose a pregnancy. But at least now I can offer my empathy instead of just my sympathy. Everyone’s journey is different but when I was in the middle of my worst pain other people rallied around me and it help me so much. Now I can be one who rallies around others. If sharing my experience helps even one other person that is a positive thing.

I also get my Wesley out of this. Sure, part of me has struggled with the mixed feeling of missing my other almost baby and being happy about this current one. Now that I’m thisclose to holding our Wesley in my arms though I have a hard time imagining I’d change anything. I love the little boy inside of me. My rainbow baby. My little lucky charm. My Wesley. I wouldn’t have him if it weren’t for my other loss.

I’m glad this year is over because it was freaking hard. I will never forget my loss, it has forever changed me. Change is not always bad though and I anticipate beautiful things in my future both in spite and because of my loss. And the change I look forward to the most is my son. You’re welcome any time, little guy.

Little reminders

pregnancytestI’ve been kind of quiet the last couple of days. Certain dates snuck up on me, almost without me realizing they were coming. It’s a bunch of stupid little things, but they throw me.

The Chicago Auto Show is this week. I have so much fun at it every year but last year felt extra special because I was in the extra giddy, we just found out we’re pregnant, phase. I’m still pregnant again, a year later. When I say I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever, I’m not kidding.

Girl Scout cookies are on sale again. Thin mints used to be my favorite thing ever. Even though my nausea and food aversions are not too bad most of the time now, the idea of eating them turns my stomach. I’m afraid the mental association may have ruined them for me forever.

I’m doing Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day on Instagram (By the way, are you following me over there? If not you’re missing a bunch of pictures that never make it on the blog.) I’ve started this January. The first time I tried her photo a day was last February and it was part of how I announced to the internet that we were expecting.  I didn’t finish the year because on March 1st it just didn’t seem that important anymore.

After my original due date passed it was like a giant weight was lifted off me and I really was completely absorbed in this current, healthy pregnancy. It’s not that I never thought about my loss but it didn’t weigh on me like it did before. Now that I’m back to the same time of year as when we first found out we were pregnant I’m feeling a bit more introspective and sometimes even downright sad again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still so much more happy and excited than sad lately. I’m getting so close to meeting my little guy and I am very much looking forward to that.

But amidst that excitement the dates that are now coming up again on the calendar throw me back. Back to a time when I was more innocent and naive. The thought of that pregnancy not working out was barely a blip on my radar, I just assumed it would. Last February I never thought I would still be pregnant this February. I know I got a couple month break but that doesn’t make it feel any less endless.

It’s nice that there aren’t too many bad dates coming up. There are definitely more good ones to look forward to. I’ll be happy to finally have my little guy in my arms. Next year I have a feeling February and March will seem much brighter.

 

 

 

A question of loyalty

Someone I follow on Twitter tweeted a link to this video they made as a tribute to their loss earlier in the year. It is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. They mentioned that they should have had a baby to cuddle this Christmas and all of the sudden it came rushing back that I too should have had a tiny little two month old this Christmas.

From a memorial we attended for our miscarriage. Our last name is hard to spell, clearly.

From a memorial we attended for our miscarriage. Our last name is hard to spell, clearly.

I felt overwhelmed with sadness. Then my little boy kicked me and my sadness mixed with guilt.

If I had never lost that first baby, this one wouldn’t exist. Wishing that baby was here means wishing this baby away. On the other hand being happy this baby is here means being happy the other is gone.

Or something.

I’m so mixed up about it all. I love this baby boy in me already. Fiercely. Feeling him move made him a real little person to me. It also made the one I lost seem so abstract and so much further away.

I didn’t realize it until now. Somehow saying goodbye to my loss baby on it’s due date seemed to free me from mourning it constantly. Is that what closure feels like?

That date loomed like this terrifying thing for months and when it passed I felt free to love the baby inside of me more completely. Then, with my belly growing and more doctor visits and things I feel like I’ve been swept away in this pregnancy.

I thought Halloween would be nearly impossible to get through because it was supposed to be our first holiday as parents. Somehow instead I was distracted by whether my belly would be big enough to do one of those silly zombie mom costumes (it wasn’t).

Thanksgiving I enjoyed the freedom of maternity pants and the fact that I could eat to my heart’s content instead of being sad there wasn’t a baby in my arms.

I did glance longingly at the Baby’s First Christmas onesies and ornaments this holiday season but mostly I was distracted by people oohing and aaahing over my bump and making sure I got the right pictures featuring it in front of the tree.

I have gone whole stretches of time without focusing on my loss at all. I haven’t forgotten, not for a minute, but it doesn’t sting as much already. I wonder if it’s too soon for the sting to be gone.

Loving this baby as much as I do feels disloyal to the one I lost. In a way it makes me wish we would have waited to start trying until after my due date. Then, even though improbable, them both existing wouldn’t have been impossible. As it is, there’s only the choice of one or the other. Obviously there wasn’t really a choice. I didn’t terminate my first pregnancy, it just wasn’t viable.

Why then does it feel like loving either one is disloyal to the other?

All clear

I visited my doctor for the follow up on my D&C. Everything is normal and we now have the all clear to resume, ahem, martial relations.

Side of TMI: Five weeks is hella long to not have sex, especially after enjoying a couple months of protection and worry free married fun.

Anyway, he showed me the results from the tissue they removed and it was confirmed there were genetic abnormalities. He made sure to emphasize that it means nothing I did or didn’t do caused it and that it’s very common to have have healthy pregnancies after this kind of loss.

And, even though it was only (my word, not his) my first loss, he told me to call the minute I think I’m pregnant again and that we’ll do extra blood work and a very early ultrasound to make sure things are going well.

I love my doctor.

From what I understand up to three miscarriages in a row are considered normal. Three. Apparently some doctors don’t start any extra tests or anything before a third loss. That just blows my mind. Thankfully I have good insurance and a doctor who is very compassionate and seems to want to put my mind at ease.

The next pregnancy will still be nervewracking but at least I’ll know that everything possible is being done to make sure there is a better outcome.

So that’s my happy news for the day. I don’t know if Joel and I will decide to start trying again right away or if we’ll wait a little while still. At least I know that I’ll have extra assurances once we get those two little lines again.

Thank you

It has been four weeks since we saw nothing on the ultrasound.

Three weeks since it was confirmed that the pregnancy was not viable.

Two weeks since my D&C.

In that time I have received a lifetime’s worth of love from each and every one of you. It has taken me so long to write this because I don’t know how to do justice to how much your words have meant to me over the last month. Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough.

Every tweet, every comment, every email, every phone call, every kind word was like a hug. Each word was like air when I was drowning in pain.

I cannot express how much it all meant to me. Still means to me. My words are not enough to express how incredibly grateful I am to each and every one of you. I wish I could personally hug each of you.

At a time when I felt so utterly lost and alone and honestly wondered if I would ever find any light or any happiness ever again you all sent me that love and light through your words. Without you all I have no idea where I would be. Probably still drowning in despair. Instead I am healing and each one of you deserves some credit for that.

Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.

I often find it easier to communicate through music. I listened to this song on repeat during this whole process. I first heard it on Weeds, and apparently that’s all Youtube knows it from also. Ignore the background, it’s about the words.

Fragile

It’s one week after the procedure and I’m doing well. Most of the time.

A lot of the time I feel wonderful. Physically I’ve felt fine since the procedure. I’ve been loving the gorgeous weather. Warmth and sunshine do wonders over the normal cold and gloom we have this time of year. Joel and I are closer than ever. He is so sweet and understanding and does nothing but offer hugs, kisses and back rubs whenever I have a melt down.

I’ve managed to get out of the house a few times. I basically holed up for two weeks, not leaving for anything but doctors appointments. Over the past few days I’ve finally had the courage to face other people. I went to small group last Thursday and ballet last night. It was harder than I expected.

I’m not the kind of person who has ever been emotionally fragile. I’m used to being the strong one, the one that does the comforting. That has always been my role. I’ve never been the kind of person who is fighting tears every five minutes. I don’t know what I expected but it’s not this.

At ballet last night one of the girls asked how I was doing. I said okay and then she asked if the morning sickness was still bad. I felt like I’d been punched. She’s not Facebook friends with me, there’s no way she could have known, she was only asking to be nice. I muttered something about it being gone now and she went along chatting with some of the other girls in the room. I didn’t tell her. I literally couldn’t speak.

I spent class in a tug of war of emotions. It felt great to dance again but there were moments I just wanted to scream or run away. I didn’t though of course and I’m so glad. After class the owner, who already knew about everything, gave me the most wonderful hug. Funny how sometimes you don’t realize how much you need a hug until you’re in the middle of it.

I don’t like being fragile like this. I don’t like feeling like the smallest breeze will shatter me into a million pieces. The sight of a baby, the mention of pregnancy, any twinge of my body that I mistake for a pregnancy symptom for a split second. Any of it can send me into a spiral that’s hard to pull out of. If I’m alone I don’t have to try at all, I can just cry or mope or curl up in a ball until it passes. If I’m around people I have to try and hold it together and that is exhausting.

My solution so far has been to keep hiding. I’m safe to be happy or sad here at home. It’s not a permanent solution but for now it works. I won’t always be this fragile… right?

No baby

Sitting in the dark of the examine room, listening through the thin walls to the happy sounds of chatter and some other baby’s heartbeat from the next room I again saw nothing more than a void where there should have been a baby on the ultrasound screen. And I cried. I had talked myself into knowing there wouldn’t be anything there. But as I looked at the screen and saw and heard nothing I realized I still had hoped it was all just a mistake. No mistake though, there’s no baby.

Now I have the choice of waiting for things to pass naturally or scheduling a D&C. There are slight risks of damage from a D&C but it is the way I’m leaning as waiting for a painful bloody end is not at all appealing. There are risks to waiting (infection and even cancer) too so I think I’d rather just get it over with.

I feel so cold saying get it over with but there’s no baby there, there never was so I’m really over feeling pregnant. Thankfully the last few days the nausea has slowly been easing up. I just want this whole awful thing behind me though.

I feel so robbed by all this. I know it happens to a lot of people but it’s still so fucking unfair. I was so happy and now I feel like I’ll never be happy again. I feel like something is pressing on my shoulders and chest and I’m thisclose to crying at any moment. My innocence is gone and that can’t be gotten back. If When I get pregnant again how am I going to be excited? How can I feel anything but terrified going into another ultrasound? What if it happens again? What if there’s something wrong with me? Too many questions and zero answers.

Don’t tell me everything will be fine because you don’t know that. There’s no way anyone can know that. Don’t tell me there will be something better. Don’t tell me it’s all part of some stupid plan. It’s all bullshit. This whole situation is complete bullshit and that’s all there is to it.

It’s weird how this pregnancy never felt real and now that I know it wasn’t real it doesn’t feel real that it’s gone. Did that sentence even make sense?  Nothing really makes sense to me anymore.

Can I just wake up when all this is over please?

In hiding

First of all I have received so much love and support from so many and for that I’m so grateful. It really does mean the world to me to know that so many care. Really and truly from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I say this because I have basically been M.I.A. since Thursday. It’s been so hard and right now I just… can’t… talk about it out loud yet. I’ve been ignoring calls and haven’t really responded to any messages. I haven’t even checked my email. I literally can’t talk about it out loud because my throat closes and my eyes fill and it’s physically impossible to get out more than a couple words.

Plus there’s still that unknown. That IF.

That IF is torturing me.

There’s a tiny part of me that can’t help but hope it’s all a big mistake and on Wednesday when I go in for another scan there my baby will be. Of course the minute I think that my mind flashes back to the nothing I saw. That horrible, ugly void. And when I see that in my mind I can’t see how anything could possibly have been hiding. There wasn’t a flicker of what should have been.

Of course I still feel nauseous and ridiculously tired all the time. My boobs are still sore. I haven’t seen even the slightest hint of spotting or felt a cramp. There’s nothing to indicate that I’m not completely normally pregnant.

Nothing of course except the nothing that I saw.

I’m feeling so guilty now for ever having doubts about wanting the baby. Irrational or not I feel like I wished it away in those moments. I also feel guilty for hurting so many people in my life that I love. So many people have said that they’re hurting and even crying for me and while that means the world to me it’s obviously not what I want. I didn’t want to cause people pain. I now really understand why people wait until 12 weeks to announce a pregnancy. Not that I regret announcing so soon. If I was alone in all this I don’t know how I’d make it through. I guess that makes me selfish.

I also feel so betrayed and angry at my body. Stupid body. If I’m not pregnant and haven’t been in so long that a fetus isn’t even visible why do I feel like this? Stop making me gag at the thought of food or get chills from trying so hard not to puke. It’s so freaking stupid. I don’t mind feeling like this if I’m making my child but what’s the point if there’s nothing there? Just to add that little bit of misery to things? Freaking nice.

So I’m not a happy person to be around right now, I can’t even fake it. That’s why I’m in hiding. I hope you all understand and will forgive me for this. I’ve been distracting myself as much as possible and just trying to fill the days until Wednesday rolls around and I can finally get out of limbo, one way or the other.

Nothing

I keep seeing the big black void where my baby should have been.

Nothing to see.

I remember thinking at the beginning that I thought I’d hear the heartbeat.

Nothing to hear.

My uterus is measuring about half a week behind where it should be. But even so there should have been something. Something beside the black void that there was.

Nothing.

Those moments of sitting on the table before the doctor came in I was so excited. I realized in those moments how much I really did want that baby and how I couldn’t wait to see it. Funny I would realize it then, right before it was gone.

Funny how losing something that was never really there hurts so much.

I still feel just as pregnant. I could barely make it out the door this morning because I felt so nauseous.

We have another scan next week to see if there could be a mistake with how far along I am. But there should have been something. Anything.

There was nothing.

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