Thursday, May 31, 2012

Halfway Point

It's the halfway mark between discovering our baby didn't make it and the day I'm trying to avoid: having the miscarriage induced. There had to be some significance to it, right? Well I had some blood work done in the AM, and in the afternoon I heard from my doctor's office stating that my hCG levels have gone down which is "what we expect for a miscarriage". I knew this, and I knew it was coming. But it basically was another nail in the coffin (so to speak). The thought rang through my head over and over, "This is actually happening to me." The nurse seemed surprised that I haven't had cramping or bleeding yet, but didn't say why, so I can only guess that maybe the hCG levels were low enough that my body should be recognizing it by now. Therefore I spent most of the night crying and in the fetal position just wishing this nightmare would be over.

Things that crossed my mind yesterday: What if there's something wrong? Should I be progressing already? Will they send me in for a D&C? If I have a D&C, will I end up scarring and unable to have kids again? Why haven't I had any symptoms? Is there an infection?

It was another emotional day and many things upset me - such as lack of communication and support from certain family members, the pregnant smoker outside my work, the motorcycle that felt the need to ride my butt for 6 miles down Hwy 8, and the unsettled feeling I got when trying to fall asleep.

B has been so great. She seems to sense when I need some lovey time, so she crawled into bed with me and snuggled my arm as we fell asleep. J and my girls are the sunlight in my life during all this, and I don't know what I would do without them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Tid Bits

1.       The first part of the weekend was rainy, rainy, rainy.
2.       Our backyard is now a swamp from all the rain.
3.       Sunday was extra hot, and hard to be outside, but we managed an hour or so in the sun with the girls, playing Frisbee, golf, badminton, catch, and watching them ride around on their Jeep/ATV.
4.       Memorial Day was b.e.a-utiful! There was about 10 minutes of heavy downpour around dinnertime, but it was so amazing out and we sat outside for most of the day.
5.       E turned 2 yesterday, and boy is she fun to watch! She has a tougher time communicating with words, but it’s interesting seeing how she makes up for that. She’s such a cutie! We bought her a Power Wheels Princess Jeep for her birthday, and she couldn’t quite figure out how to drive it! She would go in reverse until she hit J’s car, then one of us would run over to her and switch gears so she would go forward, which would lead her to scoot closer and closer to us, and we’d repeat the process until she got sick of it. She will catch on soon, but until then it’s pretty comical watching her.
6.       B was working on her listening this weekend and she did pretty well! There were a few “episodes” here and there, but much less than most weekends, and she was such a great helper! She cleaned the playroom solo twice, helped Mommy with the dishes, and also took care of a few little things I asked of her. She got new PJs as well as some “get me dirty” school clothes for the summer. Drop-off at school today was really tough, and instead of the typical “whiney” goodbyes we run into here and there, she was legitimately sad that I had to go to work so it was extra hard to leave.
7.       J got the shed in the backyard up and I know that was a huge item on his “to do” list, so it made us both happy to see it complete.
8.       I watched The Bachelorette again yesterday; I caught it last week and kind of liked it, first time I’ve ever enjoyed this series. I know it’s early, but I’m rooting for Sean. He seems legit.
9.       It took me all weekend, but I made potato salad – and B loved it! She had two whole helpings!
10.   There’s so much to do at work today…oof.

Weekend Bliss

Happy 2nd Birthday, E! Enjoy your jeep!
B worked on learning how to put ponytails in by using one of her Barbies as a model. She quite frequently referred to the hair as ''her mane".
E was watching J outside, yelled, "Daddy!", grabbed her shoes, and started pounding on the door, still screaming, "Daddy! Shoes! Outside! Daddy!"
Rocker sisters :)
Another shot of the birthday girl!
B hijacked my phone and hacked into InstaGram, taking a picture of herself after eating a popsicle. Stinker.
My mother's day present (the sunburst) got hung above our bed :) and I had two cuties hop in the picture as well!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Very Personal Post

I decided to take the plunge and write about something extremely personal, something that is definitely going to put myself out there. Most of my friends don't know about recent events, and not because I didn't love them enough to share, but I was worried about this happening. Now that it has, I find that there are many who have experienced the same thing, but it isn't talked about because of how much pain and sadness it can bring to a mother. So, I'm sharing. I don't know if I'm ready, but I am going to take that chance.

Last Tuesday, May 22nd, was by far one of the hardest days of my life.

But, let's backtrack for one sentence....On April 14th, B's 5th birthday, we discovered that we were pregnant! After celebrating 38 days of knowing about our pregnancy, J and I went to have our first trimester ultrasound at 9 weeks 3 days. I was so excited, and so was he. I even looked up what a baby looks like at 9 weeks on an ultrasound and watched a couple videos of the movements. I was ecstatic and even told J that I may cry.

We anxiously awaited at the hospital for them to call my name and take us back, and after what seemed like forever (but was likely only a few minutes) the tech intern came out for us. We followed her down the hallway, and I kept thinking it was such a long walk for something so exciting, couldn't the rooms be closer? I laid down immediately on the bed and with the warm gel on my stomach, she began showing us pictures of our little baby.

I had to hold the tears back. We watched as she took measurements and overall anatomy pictures but any glimpse of the baby made us both smile. There was our little gummy bear. She printed off a picture and handed it to us, and after finishing the internal ultrasound she left the room to show a registered tech (since she was an intern), and I asked before she left about the heartbeat. She told me she just took the pictures and my doctor would receive the results and either call or send me a letter. J and I were left with our picture and stared in awe at our little peanut. He took his phone out and immediately took a picture of the picture, a proud daddy at his finest.

When the intern returned, she had a registered tech with her who wanted to take a couple more measurements. I figured the intern hadn't been as thorough as she should have been so I didn't think twice. It was over, and we were free to leave. I proudly clutched the picture in my hand and couldn't wait to show everyone. J asked why they didn't mention the heartbeat, and I told him maybe it's because they were techs and my doctor would let us hear it at the next appointment in a few weeks.

We parted ways and exchanged "I love yous", and before leaving I took a picture of the ultrasound and sent it with "Our little gummy bear!" as the caption. I headed to work.

A short while into my drive, I glanced at my phone and saw I had missed a call from my doctor's office. I thought it was strange, but figured they had received the results and were calling to give me the details. I returned the call but waited on hold for 10 minutes before being connected to my doctor's care team. I had no idea what was about to happen next.

The words are jumbled prior to hearing, "They were unable to detect a heartbeat." I have no recollection of what was said and all I could do was cry. Hard. We had waited so long, and although my dreams were haunting of miscarriages I did not, in a million years, think that those nightmares would become reality. I asked what I do next, and was told to either wait it out for my body to recognize it in its own time, or have a pill inserted that would dissolve and release the tissue sooner, inducing the miscarriage. Miscarriage. What a dirty word. What a dirty, filthy, horrible and acidic word. It burns on my tongue. It's engraved in my brain. I have a dead baby in me. It's all I can think about.

My initial emotion was pure pain, sorrow, and loss. I called J and cried into the phone that there wasn't a heartbeat and we had lost the baby. I talked to my doctor once more, accepting her condolences but praying to God that she would take back what was said, say there was a mix up of some sort. J kept calling me. He told me to go home and he was going to get off work as well. Since I had no choice but to turn around on the exit where my work was, I decided to stop and tell my boss in person what was going on, but I had to settle for a phone call, which was probably just as well in the state I was in. Thankfully, she was more than understanding so I turned around and headed home. I made a few more phone calls. My mom. My friend. My sister. J's sister. Each time repeating those murderous words. Again and again. Each time accepting their apologies and condolences, but feeling worse by the second. Home couldn't come soon enough.

When I got home, I spent a minute collecting myself, unpacked my lunch and wandered aimlessly around the kitchen. J came up to me and held me tight...I held him back. I tried fighting tears but they kept coming. The range of emotions I felt over the next few hours are ones that I never hope to feel again.

Pain, sorrow, sadness, and heartbreak at the thought that this was happening. That the baby inside of me did not have a heartbeat. What we had wanted more badly than anything in the world was within reach, yet so far away. It was surreal. I couldn't believe this was happening to us.

Guilt, thinking I had done something wrong, something to cause or deserve this. I ran over what I had avoided: smoking, drinking, deli meats, soft cheese; I took my prenatals every day and was easy on the nausea medicine; I fought through headaches instead of taking something to soothe the throbbing. I was sure to get enough sleep each night, I didn't lift, didn't overexert myself, and watched what I ate. I was taking care of what went wrong?

Horror at the thought of what was to come... How much would I bleed? How long would it take to happen? Will I see the baby come out? Will it hurt? How long will it last? Will it happen at work? What if it happens at night like my dream? What if J isn't there?

For a minute I felt hope and denial. I went online and searched for stories about mothers who didn't hear the heartbeat at 9 weeks and who had received a second opinion that proved them wrong. I was convinced the machine was defective and I would go in next week and they would hear the heartbeat on the doppler. They would be wrong. However, the miracle stories were few and far between, and soon any hope dissolved.

I felt anger, angry at all those mothers who did not deserve children, who took their pregnancies for granted by smoking and drinking, who didn't want babies, who were careless in their decisions to abort babies when others couldn't have one, who killed their babies out of rage and threw them in rivers; I was angry knowing I would have to watch a family member, who was due three days after me, go through her pregnancy and know that's the stage I was supposed to be at**. I was angry at the woman at the Save the Children kiosk who dared to ask if she could talk to me about the program. Didn't she know I was suffering? Didn't she know that I couldn't save any children, not even my own? MY BABY IS DEAD! I wanted to scream. CAN YOUR STUPID CAUSE FIX THAT, YOU BITCH? (Of course, I calmly said no thank you and went on my way, fighting back those horrible thoughts and hot tears.)

I was hurt. I didn't understand why God decided to put me through this. Why after wanting a baby for so long so badly and having a healthy pregnancy before could my body not handle this one? Why me? Why us? Why? What is this lesson supposed to be about? I had never had nightmares about miscarrying when I was pregnant with B, was this God's way of warning me? Of trying to prepare me of what was to come?

Determination set in for a split second. I decided I would face this head on and get through it and move forward. I would accept that these things happened and there was nothing that could be done. That this would not break me.

Then like shattered glass I felt broken again, absolutely helpless. My lifeless child was in me and there's nothing I could do to save him or her. There isn't one worldly procedure that would fix whatever had gone wrong. I could not provide life to this child. Ever. I would never hold him or her, console their crying, feed their stomachs and expand their mind. I would never be able to hug them, or kiss their little nose and chubby cheeks; I would never count their fingers and toes and teach them to walk and talk and love them day in and day out.

I put my foot in my mouth for every time I had stated I would lose the baby weight by working out during maternity leave; for every moment I worried about stretchmarks and cellulite and spider veins I stabbed myself repeatedly (figuratively, of course). I slapped myself for being envious of people who regained pre-baby bodies back within weeks. I hated myself for not being able to do this.

I begged. I begged God to wake me up, to make this nightmare go away, to take my pain and sorrow and lift me up to a better place. I yearned for the weight gain, the swollen feet and hands, the discomfort and sacrifices just to be able to feel my baby move inside me.

It was a day that I will never, ever forget. It is just the beginning of this whole process; once my body recognizes what isn't happening inside, the miscarriage will begin. I can pick myself up and go to work, go on with my life, but the pain behind my eyes will not be easily hidden, and the dread of the day that the actual miscarriage happens will haunt me up until and well beyond that point.

I'm afraid. I'm worried that this will happen in future pregnancies. That if we try, I will spend week after week heartbroken over negative pregnancy tests. I know miscarriages are common, but I never thought it would hurt this badly. It's no wonder those who experience it do not speak much of it.

I am eternally grateful to have such a wonderful, supportive husband who will let me lean on him even though he is broken too. I am so thankful to have a loving family and circle of friends who are here for me. I am comforted by the few stories of the women in my life who have experienced this and who understand my thoughts, fears, and feelings. I am relieved that we chose to keep this much to ourselves and family, friends that would be supportive if something this disastrous happened. That we didn't tell our young daughters and have to explain to them why they wouldn't be big sisters.

Over the last week I have learned quite a few things in grieving the loss of our child. It hurts to hear, "You can have another one." or "You're going to try again, right?" or anything about "next time". This was our baby, and he or she is not replaced by another pregnancy. I have not miscarried yet, so to even try to think about being pregnant again or beyond each day for that matter is painful and disheartening.

I have learned how badly J and I wanted another baby.

I learned that people can surprise you, whether they are there for you more than you expected them to be; or if you anticipated condolences and support from someone, they can completely invalidate how you feel. I take the latter with a grain of salt, reminding myself that nobody is intentionally trying to make me feel worse. Some are just giving me space, others are trying to distract me, and there are even some that haven't said one word about it and I can only assume they don't know what to say.

I have learned that many women have experienced this type of loss, and yes, have moved on, but it's OK for me to feel this way right now. I can take as much time as I need to grieve and heal. Time will allow me to manage these emotions better, and I will only grow stronger from it.

I knew before, but I can now completely validate that I truly have a freakish sixth sense when it comes to pregnancies; every dream that I have had about a specific person has come true, or the coincidences between my dream and the person in reality have been so strong it's undeniable.

Over the next two weeks, all I can do is wait (that's in addition to this past week of torture already). I wait for my body to figure out what's going on. I will go in to the lab weekly for blood work to test my hCG levels. If no progress is made by June 8th, three weeks following the halted development, the miscarriage will be induced. From the stories I've read, the "norm" is pretty terrible. This whole process is horrible. I just pray that it won't get to that point and no pills or surgery will be needed.

I am broken, I am terrified. I am shattered and hopeless and weak. But I will turn to Our Lord and pray for brighter days and ask that He carries me through this difficult time in my life. I will accept this cross He has given me to bear, and take this day by day.

In loving memory of our baby, whose heart stopped beating at 8 weeks, 6 days.

**I am no longer upset about this particular situation, it was a mere moment of weakness, and I truly see it as an honor that I am able to be a part of her life through such an exciting event as a pregnancy. It's all part of the grieving process and does not reflect how I truly feel.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Songs That Get Me By

At this moment, this song represents the relationship between my husband and I, as well as God and I. My husband has been my rock, and without him I would be so lost at this point.

Fall Into Me

When the weight of the world bears down so strong
You leave footprints on the street
And there's too many miles to face
Without a few more hours sleep
The storm clouds overhead won't shed
Any rain to quench your thirst
I wanna be the one you reach for first

When your faith is stretched so thin
That you can see straight through your soul
And you can't find a nickel to buy a smile
'Cause your pockets all got holes
You wanna shut the door and hide before
The day can get much worse
I wanna be the one you reach for first

Fall into me
My arms are open wide and you don't have to say a word
'Cause I already see
That it's hard and you're scared and you're tired and it hurts
And I wanna be the one you reach for first

I wanna be the bottle
You've been drinking with your eyes
Or the road you run away on
You've been running all your life
The third row pew that you last knew
As a child in church
I wanna be the one you reach for first

Fall into me
My arms are open wide and you don't have to say a word
'Cause I already see
That it's hard and you're scared and you're tired and it hurts
And I wanna be the one you reach for first

Before you turn the key
Before you fall asleep
Before you drift away to fight those demons
Waiting for you in your dreams
Before your arms are stretched wide open
Before you're reaching to the sky
Before you're searching for directions
And all the answers to your whys
Fall into me
Well my arms are stretched wide open
You don't have to say a word because I already see
That it's hard and you're scared and you're tired and I know it hurts
Yes it's hard, and you're scared and you're tired and it hurts
And I want to be the one you reach for first

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday's Tid Bits

  1. You can find almost anything on the Internet...from medical advice to entertainment, the latest Hollywood news to divorce papers and issued bench warrants. Interesting...
  2. Mother's Day was beautiful! I woke up on my own (usually I get up with the kiddos), my hubby made me French Toast for breakfast, I got to get ready at my own pace...and it was beautiful out! However, I ended up with headache...I did get to nap in the afternoon and went to bed at 7:30PM, without having to worry about dishes or giving B a bath. Aside from the headache it was great to be home with my family all weekend.
  3. E's party went really well, but she didn't quite get the concept of opening presents! She got excited about the first thing then didn't care about the rest of it, she just wanted the toy opened! It was pretty cute.
  4. Saturday night I made my hubby start a fire just for the two of us, so after the girls went to bed we sat outside and chatted underneath the stars next to the fire. Honestly, it felt like the epitome of owning a home. That's definitely a routine worth repeating.
  5. I need my hair done again...and soon!
  6. Pierogies are the best, I love them! Authentic ones take the cake, but Mrs. T's in the frozen section are a good substitute. I had some last night and really would like some more right now...can't go wrong with potatoes!
  7. Today is an off day...I started out ambitious and got a lot done that I needed to, but my focus has completely disappeared and I'm hoping after a 15 minute break outside I will be able to regain that back.
  8. I haven't unpacked my scrapbook stuff from my weekend trip yet. It's tough when it's so beautiful outside! There are supposed to be showers on Thursday and all through the weekend though, so perhaps I will do it then.
  9. Speaking of being beautiful outside, it may be so, but inside the office it's FREEZING. I walk in and have to put on a sweater every morning! Can't win...but it's better than being too hot, that's for sure.
  10. I have no plans this weekend, which is nice.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Bliss

This cutie-patootie celebrated her 2nd birthday on Saturday.
My fortune from a cookie after eating Chinese...
One more of E just because she's too stinkin pretty!
A beautiful Mother's Day tradition carried on...
And a lovely Mother's Day gift from my own mother, who insisted that she can get me a gift if she wants. Can't wait to use it to make "the best scrapbooks ever!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Tidbits

  1. This weekend was a lot of fun scrapping, although I wasn't feeling too well on Friday so I putzed around and slept most of the day. Saturday I was on a roll though and got many pages done! My goal was 22, which I would have met had I felt better on Friday, but I think I was only 2 or 3 away so that's something I can live with. Being away really made me miss my B, hubby, and my bed!
  2. Sunday on the way back I wound up with a flat tire. Thank God for the good samaritan at the Holiday gas station who was volunteered by his girlfriend to change my tire for me. With the spare I made it to Sears Auto Center {pretty much the only place open on a Sunday!} and got it fixed for pretty cheap.
  3. Last night I took the first dose of a new medication and it put me out cold! Today I'm still feeling a little "derr derr", but hopefully it passes. I think that means an early bedtime for me now...
  4. Hubby finished so much this weekend...our deck is fixed {thanks to his friend!}, the HUGE tree that fell in our yard is about halfway chopped up, B is driving {the lawnmower, on his lap}, the mudroom, office, and master bathroom are painted, and the laundry and dishes were put away and not piled up!
  5. B has been a bit of a sassy pants lately...her favorite word is "NO!", which is common for a toddler finding their voice, but for a 5-year-old I feel it's definitely the wrong road. I better read up on some parenting tips to find some ideas on how to handle this, after all, she's our first so we haven't been through this before!
  6. I started an additional role at work with another department, on top of the accounting stuff. Yesterday was crazy, and today is looking to be that way, too. I hope it doesn't wind up stressing me out, I don't think I could handle that at this point!
  7. E's party is this weekend and I am not prepared at all. The good news is her actual birthday isn't for another two weeks, so I just need to get through this weekend.
  8. I have never felt so disorganized, lethargic, and just out of it...lately I can't seem to focus on anything. Maybe it's all the rain?
  9. Today I was too lazy to put my contacts in. Seriously, they take up about half my morning routine because they usually end up blurry after a few minutes so I have to take them out, rinse, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat...B told me this morning I should eat more carrots to make my eyes better. Or go under the laser. If they would let me...but they said my vision changed ever so slightly - not enough for a new prescription, but enough to deny me a referral for lasik. BOO.
  10. I hope this week goes by quickly.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday's Tid Bits

1.       Two days until I get to leave for my weekend scrapbooking getaway with my mom and BFF. This is something I look forward to so much, mainly to sleep! It’s nice not to have to worry about anybody else for one weekend and definitely helps rejuvenate my being. My goal is to get 22 {or more} wedding album pages done since last time I finished 21. Scrappy, scrappy!
2.       April went by really fast…I hope May does, too! In less than two weeks we will be celebrating E’s 2nd birthday {her actual birthday is the 28th, but that’s Memorial weekend so tough to get everyone together} which means after my retreat it’s back to cleaning and prepping. Once that is over with, June can’t come soon enough.
3.       Lipton Green Tea Citrus has become my new favorite drink. It’s so refreshing! Have you tried it?
4.       I have been having the most vivid dreams lately. Some just plain, outright weird and strange, others so horrible I wake up and it takes me what feels like forever to convince myself it was just a dream. I’m notorious for recalling dreams and details of them, but not as often as this. Odd.
5.       I’m itching for a pedicure and some acrylic nails. It feels so…summerish.
6.       Hubby and I couldn’t do our Date Night last night, so I went and got Applebee’s anyway and brought it home. It was so good…I love their Spinach & Artichoke Dip!
7.       There is so much to do in so little time, but yet time is going so slow. What kind of a warp am I in?
8.       Sleeping is my favorite. So is yellow.
9.       I FINALLY finished my wedding thank you cards! I know, it’s been nearly nine months, and there’s no ongoing excuse…we appreciated everything so much and were so happy to have our family and friends there to celebrate…afterwards we just got caught up with, well, life. I just need one more address then I can throw stamps on them and get them out! I did sent MOST of them out months ago, which maybe I should have waited until all were written now that I look back. Oh well. Besides, isn’t the time etiquette for sending wedding thank yous up to a year? If so, I’m still in the clear. Barely.
10.   Any ideas on some sweet outdoor toys for two little girls? This is the first time we’ve had a yard in YEARS, and the girls are lacking in outdoor play items. What do your kids enjoy doing outside?