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Tag: loss

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.

 

 

 

Why we waited

ultrasound 6w4dswI wrote this post awhile ago but couldn’t seem to find the right time to hit publish. I hope by publishing it now it might help someone else who is struggling after a loss.

The first time we got pregnant we shared with the world right away. The day I peed on a stick we excitedly drove literal hours to be able to tell our family in person and not long after that we started posting about it.

And then we lost the pregnancy.

The support and love I got from everyone in my life, including virtual strangers was overwhelming. I honestly am not sure how I would have gotten through it without the unbelievable outpouring of support. I have absolutely zero regrets about sharing as early as we did because otherwise we would have had to walk through that dark time alone.

I honestly didn’t expect to do anything different this time around.

Then I got that positive test. And instead of joy and excitement I felt complete terror. The only person in the world I told that day was Joel, and since he had left for an out-of-town business trip I told him via text. Over the next few days I told a few members of my immediate family but just over the phone, trying to sound happy but choking back tears the entire time. Their excitement almost startled me.

It was not the happy time I felt like it should have been. Instead I felt depressed and scared. I sobbed into my pillow at night. It was so confusing. There was a tiny part of my that was cautiously hopeful. I wanted to be excited. I just could. not. get there.*

My doctor was so understanding and ordered blood work immediately to check that all my levels were where they were supposed to be. I passed with flying colors. You’d think that would have encouraged me but since I didn’t get blood work done the last time I didn’t know if it was truly a good sign or not. For all I knew my hormones were perfect then too. Or not. Who knows.

Joel seemed less apprehensive than me, but still he always phrased his excitement in mights” and ifs.”

I’m so excited that I might be a dad…

If this baby is born…

I hated those mights and ifs. They stung. I can’t blame him though, I talked the same way.

The three weeks from the positive test to when I could finally get an ultrasound seemed like an eternity. Still, only my very immediate family knew. There was a part of me that wanted to share with others but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The pregnancy did not feel real to me. I could not let myself get attached. I couldn’t let myself feel any real excitement.

That was why I stayed so quiet, why I didn’t share with the world. I could not bear to hear excited congratulations when I couldn’t muster up any excitement myself. I felt enough guilt over not being over the moon about my (potential) future child. I couldn’t imagine faking giddiness for someone else.

I refused to let strangers be more excited about my pregnancy than I was.

That first ultrasound I nearly crawled out of my own skin sitting on that table. When the ultrasound finally began I strained to see anything in that round black blob on the screen. It wasn’t empty. Or at least it didn’t look empty to my inexpert eye. Of course my doctor took what felt like years to say anything and when he did he began with the exact same Well…. in the exact same tone that started the bad news last time. But this time that well ended in “…there’s the heartbeat.

I stared at that tiny, flickering blob through tear filled eyes and finally felt the first surge of attachment. Hope. Excitement even.

It would still take me awhile to feel excited enough to share with my extended family and even longer to share with you wonderful internet people. I’m eternally grateful this pregnancy has turned out to be healthy so far because I definitely would not have wanted to walk through another loss alone. But I needed to always feel that I was the most excited about this pregnancy, no matter how little that was. I couldn’t rush the excitement. I’m glad I didn’t rush it.

Because trust me, now? There is no one more ecstatic and in love with this baby than me. I’m glad that’s the way it always was.

*The post I linked to was something I wrote anonymously on Band Back Together just after I got the positive pregnancy test. It is an incredibly raw look at how I was feeling at the time. I’m so grateful that I had that resource to voice my feelings and receive some support, even though I couldn’t thank those people at the time since I wanted to remain anonymous. It really is an invaluable resource.

Today was my due date

Phoebe gets worried about me when I cry

I should have been in labor today.

Or I should have been big as a house and wishing I was in labor.

Or maybe I’d already be working on getting the hang of nursing and diaper changes and sleep deprivation.

Seventeen is a special number to me. It’s the date of Joel’s (November) and my (January) birthdays and it’s the date of our anniversary (April). When we found out the due date it just seemed meant to be.

It wasn’t.

I’m happy that I have been able to go on and have a healthy pregnancy so soon after my loss. I’m lucky, I know I’m so lucky. But today, just for today, I wish we would have waited. Because today all I am is sad that I’m not holding a full term baby.

This day has hung like a cloud over me ever since March when we found out there was nothing growing in my uterus anymore. Fittingly today it’s thunder storming. I’m allowing myself today to just be in the storm. I’m going to cry, and remember the baby I never had. Later tonight Joel and I will light a candle on a cupcake in honor of the birthday that will never be.

Dear almost baby,

I miss you. I wish I was meeting you today. I dreamed last night that I went to Alaska. I’d like to think that was your way of telling me you’re in heaven with your uncle. I hope you’re safe and happy. I hope you know how much I wish I was getting to know you right now. I hope you know how much your daddy and I love you. You’ll always be in our hearts even though you were never in our arms.

All my love, Mommy

 

Saying goodbye

There’s so much death surrounding me. Most notably I found out my uncle had cancer.

Four days later he was gone.

Yes, you read that right. Four days from diagnosis to death.

He was a really great guy and, even though we weren’t related by blood, when he married my aunt he definitely became family. Nothing can take that away. Not even death.

He lived in Alaska and I haven’t seen him in a long time. He loved Alaska. He always spoke of it beautifully and I meant to go visit him there one of these days. I put it off too long.

He frequently commented on my Facebook updates and I could always count on a couple cheesy email forwards from him on a regular basis. They never annoyed me though, I enjoyed the silliness or the ridiculousness even if I never forwarded them on to anyone else. He was the only one I knew who forwarded those kinds of things on still.

I’m going to miss those stupid emails.

I’m going to miss him a lot. Even if I didn’t see him much he was very much a part of my life. The internet is awesome like that.

In memory of him I’m posting an incredibly embarrassing picture of myself with him. Because this is how I’ll always remember him.

This was him, my baby sister, me and his beautiful wolf  Tawny.

Okay take a minute, we’ll acknowledge. Oh god, the shorts! the bangs! the awkward smile! So much going on here. It was 1996 y’all.

Moving on.

I feel completely blindsided by this. Like, knocked over, could puke, blown away, out of my mind that someone can get taken away this fast. It makes no sense.

I’m happy that he didn’t suffer for a long time though. According to his daughter he passed away peacefully and in no pain. Really that’s better than the long drawn out awfulness that cancer can be.

Still, I wish he didn’t have to go at all. I feel robbed. I’m mad at myself for not seizing the moment and taking a trip up to Alaska to visit him. I will go to Alaska one of these days but it would have been better to have someone that I love and who loves the state show me around.

Since I couldn’t be there to say goodbye this will have to do. He is already very, very missed.

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.

Holding onto the happiness

Tonight was a beautiful night.

I missed four dance classes while I was in hiding so I am taking a jazz class right before my company class for the next four weeks to make up for it. That means two hours of dance in a row. After two weeks of doing almost nothing but lie around my muscles were nervous.

It was positively blissful.

I worked hard and sweated like crazy and my body is pretty sore already. The thing is, I laughed so much I’m not sure if my sore abs are from the dancing or the giggling. It was just that much fun. I’ve been taking lessons there since October and this whole ordeal made me realize that in that time I made friends. Not just other students who take classes with me, but friends.

Tonight I received more hugs and words of sympathy but in a way more importantly I had fun. I laughed. A lot. It felt so good.

I’m not over it. I’m starting to realize that getting over it is probably an unrealistic goal. From what I’ve been told no one really “gets over” a miscarriage. It’s a part of me forever whether I like it or not. That was such a depressing, overwhelming thought before.

Tonight I realized that even if I’m never over it I can still find myself again. I will laugh and have happiness. My future doesn’t have to be dark.

I’m holding onto that feeling. Happiness is worth holding onto.

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