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Tag: healing

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 clean start

I’m so happy to put March behind me. The whole month was pretty awful. Sure, there was some really unusually warm and beautiful weather. (80+ in Chicago in March? What planet is this?) But I was too busy trying to resist the urge to dig a hole and crawl in it forever to really enjoy the weather.

About halfway through the month though, when I stopped being sure I’d never feel happiness again, I started a purge of the junk and clutter in our home.

I am a pack rat. I come by it naturally. My dad keeps everything. Old magazines with articles he wants to read, church bulletins, broken things that he could fix. He was even telling me he has old ration stamps back from WWII. No lie.

A combination of those tendencies of mine, a small one bedroom apartment with a serious lack of closet space and sheer laziness led to an embarrassing amount of clutter in our house and garage. And one day, for seemingly no reason at all, I had enough.

Joel and I spent all day on St. Patrick’s Day cleaning out our garage. We threw out a ton of stuff, donated a decent amount of other stuff and then made sure that what we were keeping was neatly in labeled boxes. Then, over the last couple of weeks, I tackled the apartment.

Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that our apartment or garage was Hoarders-worthy. I didn’t work hard on it all day every day the last couple of weeks. But little by little I sorted and organized and last night I realized our apartment is actually clean and organized for the first time in… ever?

There is still a lot of stuff. I will always hold strong emotional value to objects, it’s just in my DNA. I really think that’s okay. However now a bunch of my favorite photos are in frames and hung or displayed. The treasures I’ve picked up on my travels are out on shelves where I can be reminded of the trip on which I bought them. My books are in neat lines on the shelves instead of crammed on top of each other.

But I feel like it’s clean. I feel relaxed in my house instead of guilty that I’m not cleaning. I know where everything is if I need it.

Everything isn’t fixed with a clean house. But it sure is a great start and I hope that it’s an indication that this month will only get better.

Done

The sun shone in the bright blue sky as I made my way into the hospital and followed the signs to registration. I couldn’t help but notice the huge sign noting that floor number 4 was for Labor and Delivery. Instead I pressed the button for floor 2, same day surgery.

It was an unusually quiet day for surgery and I was the only one on the floor. The nurse handed me a gown and ushered me into a curtained off area. She laughed when I told Joel there was no reason for him to hang back while I changed since “he’s seen it all.” I was doted on by the three nurses on the floor with as many warm blankets, smiles and kinds words as I could handle. Joel and I actually laughed and made jokes as I took in the very new experience of being the one in the hospital bed instead of the support in the chair.

Part of the hospitals security procedures requires every new staff member to verify my name, birth date and why I was there before they performed any procedure.

D&C

The words always hung in the air for a few short seconds after they were said.

Joel held my hand as I took deep breaths through my blood draw and very first IV. I didn’t pass out or throw up and when you combine my hate of needles and my already uneasy hormonal stomach that is a serious win.

I was wheeled down the hall and onto another floor for the procedure. Joel had to leave me at that point and that’s when I got really nervous. I made sure to tell him that if something were to go wrong to give me a fighting chance before they unplug me. I was mostly joking.

I had no real idea of what to expect as my surgical experience is limited to what I’ve seen on TV. I was not lifted, sheets and all, onto the operating table. It makes sense since there was no trauma but still, I didn’t realize until I was sliding myself from the bed to the table that I’d half expected it. Everything goes dark shortly after that. No mask and counting back from 10. No idea how they knocked me out actually although I assume it was something slipped into my IV.  I do remember someone calling me petite and being half complimented, half worried about what that might mean for the anaesthesia.

I was obviously in very capable hands because next thing I knew I was in recovery asking a nurse if everything went okay. I was apparently there for an hour but I truly only remember the last 15-20 minutes of it. The secrets of that room and any post antithetic antics will forever be with that nurse and the 90-year-old man next to me since Joel was only allowed in the room once I was fully conscious. Phew.

I’m still amazed how quickly I’ve recovered. Before I knew it I was eating the most delicious toast I’ve ever had in my life (not being nauseous for the first time in weeks is truly a beautiful thing) and then getting dressed and being wheeled down to the car to come home. It was honestly easier than getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Physically anyway.

As far as mentally, I’m glad that it’s over. I’m glad to not have to sit around and wait and wonder anymore. As long as my body refused to take care of things by itself and kept me feeling so lousy I couldn’t help but hang onto that lingering what-if. Now there’s no question. It’s done. I’m ready to start truly dealing with my loss and to start rejoining society. I couldn’t do that when my half my focus was on what I could stand to put in my stomach and the other half was spent trying to keep what little food I managed to eat down.

I have one more day of rest and then Thursday I will dip my toe back into the world. My healing has begun.

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