I have mixed feelings. On one hand: I love Christmas. I always have. I am that girl who wants to keep the tree up till February and I have been playing Christmas music since mid-November.
On the other hand: last Christmas, we sat next to our tree and talked about the baby I was carrying who would be due in June. We told close friends on Christmas. We told my mom in yet another cute reveal. And here we are again: no baby’s first Christmas ornaments. No cute family pajamas. No family photo shoot Christmas cards. Just us.
I have been MIA. Well not really, I’ve been lurking in the background, liking posts here and there but I haven’t really been in the mood to post. I do need to write my surgery post; maybe that will happen today. Recovery has been more mentally hard than physically but that is for another post.
I think I haven’t written because I don’t know what to say. Yes, surgery went well and I should be happy for another chance to carry a child successfully…but I’ve been optimistic in the past and it has gotten me nowhere and nothing more than another hole in my heart. Also, I don’t like the person I am sometimes when I read posts on here. Being totally honest, I am jealous. Jealous. Envious. Angry. Guilty. Why Not Me syndrome is dangerous and I am not proud of it. It is a vicious cycle of longing for what other people have and then feeling guilty for not being able to put aside my longing far away enough to just be genuinely happy for everyone. I don’t always like the version of me that losing my sons has made me into. But I am trying to be better..sometimes that just looks like being numb and knowing that I can’t react or interact. But I miss the outlet that writing is, so I’m slowly making my way back.
May has become a literal mind field of triggers for me. It’s funny how I now see everything in light of “before” and “after” babies. I’ll look at my wedding pictures or pictures with friends at various events and immediately I’ll know if it was ‘before’, or during one of my pregnancies or ‘since’. The ‘since’ pictures are the hardest because I can clearly see a difference in my smile…I’m not that person in the before pictures and I honestly don’t know when, if ever, I’ll get back to that.
And here comes May.
May is birthday (1st), MOTHER’S DAY( yes all CAPS because the world has been shouting it at me), the anniversary of Langston’s birth (14th) and what was supposed to be the baby shower for Lucas (30th). Even before this month started, I was ready for June. Last week building up to my birthday I felt the heaviness approaching. How is it possible that in a year I have lost two sons?? How is that my life? It seems so surreal.
I gave Hubbins a heads up that this month would be hard and in the special way he has, he took care of me. Friday we spent the day together, had breakfast at a little café (amazing French Toast)and he sent me for a manicure and pedicure. That night we had pizza on the couch and caught up on our tv shows (THE BEST PIZZA EVER after coming off a green smoothie cleanse lol) Saturday was church, lunch and then that night he organized for my close girlfriends and their spouses to join us to see The Jungle Book ( I am huge Disney fan). Sunday while he went to church, I slept. Really slept. Until 1pm. And then I took a nap from 5-6. That evening we tried a new Thai restaurant near us. The weekend was just what I needed. Time with Hubbins, close friends who always know what to say and food ( I like to eat friends.. tis what it is). I feel fortified for the upcoming two weekends. They are going to be hard. But I’ve survived 366 days of hard so I know I can do it.
It has been a while since I’ve posted and that is because I haven’t really known what to say. My HSG is scheduled for this Wednesday so I was planning to post after that. It has been tough y’all. Grieving this second time around has been so different. I hate that I even have to type that but tis what it is. I think when we lost Langston, it caught us off guard and it was easier to accept that this was just a fluke. With Lucas, we worked HARD and still got nothing. Thursday I think was the first day that I finally started feeling like myself since probably the end of last month. Hubbins and I went to a late dinner and we talked, really talked, about our feelings and how we are literally trying to dig our way out from under this. We spoke about finding happiness in the little things. We are talking about buying a house and have been trying to be frugal but we are going to do little splurges. That means a new phone for him and a professional hair appointment with color for me. It seems simple but we have to be intentional in finding things that make us happy.
Therapy has been good. I guess it is helping just because we are talking things through but it is also bringing up a lot of old issues and I was just feeling like I have no emotions left to give for anything. The first few weeks of this month have been hard and I am DETERMINED not to get back to that place. I am a little nervous about the HSG and my consult with the robotics half of the surgery team is scheduled for the end of this month. I have lost 6 of the 30 pounds that I am supposed to be losing but I’m not really stressing the weight loss. We are joining a new gym and I will be getting a trainer; not even so much for the weight loss but just because my body doesn’t feel like mine anymore. I have this tummy issue that kind of just has been hanging around (literally) and I just want to feel like me again; I know that losing weight will be a pleasant side effect. We have two weekend trips planned for this summer so I want to not be walrusy on the beach 🙂
One upside is that I have been reading my Bible a lot more and have been listening to more inspirational music as well as finding various devotionals to read. If you guys have the YouVersion Bible App there is a 7 day devotional on there about dealing with miscarriage that is soooo good. I do feel that if nothing else positive has come from this situation, I feel closer to God. It feels tangible. I talk to Him about being sad and angry and feeling disappointed and every time I get in the car I hear a song that reminds me that in-spite of what our circumstances look like, He is in control and I just need to cling to that hope and not try to make sense of what my life looks like right now. I won’t say it is easy but I am learning to lean on Him and for that, I am thankful.
I had my followup today. Sigh. I thought I was going to be mad and raging and have all the questions. Instead I just said why and then sat there trying not to cry. Hubbins told her everything that happened. She was adequately compassionate and emphasized that everything had looked good. All cultures came back negative so infection was not the culprit. Unfortunately, if the water breaks before viability at 24 weeks there isn’t much to be done. She strongly suggests the abdominal cerclage be placed when we are ready to begin trying again and I will need to consult with MFM for that as she does not perform them. I guess I feel slightly better knowing it wasn’t a missed infection but the fact that it “just happened” isn’t exactly helpful. She has me out of work till the 18th and even then on light duty for a month.
Today is a better day. I got up. Have eaten. Even smiled a bit at a text exchange with my supervisor. That’s where we are.
I want to say thank you. There are too many of you to mention…but I want to say thank you. I don’t have the words yet to respond to all your thoughts but I see them and they mean so much to me. There is something about having someone who has experienced this kind of loss saying “I hate that you are going through this” that means so much more than the “OMG. Let me know if you need anything 😘” from people who have never been in this place. I know that you guys, my blog sisters, understand this..and I feel your thoughts and prayers. I hate this experience and the fact that we are all here because of our loss but I am thankful that I am not here alone. Your virtual presence has been a matter of life or death. And I know that on the other side of this we will have our rainbows and we will smile again.
This post is really just rambling…a lot of thoughts in my head that I don’t know where to get out anywhere else so here they are. They may be dark and nonsensical.. I apologize in advance.
I’m tired. I’m not complaining because I know it is to be expected…but I am exhausted. I went to bed at 8:30 last night and slept till 5:30 and I am having a hard time functioning. I need to clean my house and start getting Christmas stuff done but all I want to do is curl up under the covers and sleep my life away. I know that this isn’t being helped by the change in temperature and weather. It is dark at 5pm and I have no issues with getting in pajamas at 5:30. I know exercise could help with this depleted feeling but even though my doctor has given me the ok to do light walking and stretching I’m scared. I’m in the waiting period where it has been 6 days since I was able to see a heartbeat and I don’t have appointment till next Wednesday so I’m wondering if all is ok.
I’m kind of lonely. Hubbins started a new job a few months ago and while he loves it the hours are sporadic and long. He gets in most nights between 8:30/9 and sometimes as late at 10. When I am either in bed or on my way to bed or cranky because I’m trying to stay up. So we see each other on the weekends. I think I just need to find more things to occupy my time in the evening.
I’m having the worst dreams. I’m ashamed to even write them here but they are all very vivid and most involve the baby. I wake up in the middle of the night crying and have a hard time falling back asleep (probably accounting for my tiredness).
I’m over my coworkers. Today I am working with two women who have spent the entire morning complaining about their young children: “I wish I remember when I could sleep through the night. I would give anything to be able to have a weekend off. You are so lucky you have all this free time.” You would give anything? Would you give your kid? Cuz if you didn’t have one then you wouldn’t have all these ‘problems’ . I know that’s harsh and I know that every stage of this journey comes with its trials and problems but I am not in the mood to hear it from people who got pregnant “accidentally”.
Christmas is getting to me. I can’t stop feeling that I should be getting ready to celebrate with my newborn who isn’t here. I miss my son. Yes I know I never really had ‘time’ with him but I miss the possibility of what he could have been. Hubbins mentioned that we would have a baby next Christmas but I can no longer even hold onto to that hope. Because it is not guaranteed. I acknowledge that today is just a down day and I’ll be back to being optimistic and hopeful tomorrow but today..this is where I am.
Hubbins and I had a great conversation last night over dinner about how I am feeling. It is weird…we really don’t talk about the baby. I update him on things that are happening with my appointments and he knows when I am nauseous or my chest is on fire from heartburn…but that’s mostly it. This point in our pregnancy last time, we were discussing names and spending every night looking baby clothes on Amazon. Losing a child makes you more jaded and cautious the second time around. So last night, we talked about how we were both feeling. Just as kind of check-in. And it was really good.
He told me he is excited but he is also very cautious. We have a set of couple friends who recently had a baby girl after having multiple miscarriages and he told me after we lost our son he spoke to the husband. The husband told him: “After the first one, I prepared myself to lose a few more. It sounds callous but I couldn’t fall apart every single time because I had to be there for her. Once we crossed the six month mark, then I let myself relax a little and it became more ‘real’ to me”. So he has said that in his mind, he is taking it each day at a time. Today, we are pregnant. He is happy in that.
I spoke about having mixed feeling still. I am still very cautious and at times I try to ‘not think’ about being pregnant. I have been trying to take a very intellectual approach to this pregnancy and see it in milestones. My next milestone will be my appointment on the 8th. After that, my appointment on the 28th, then my appointment on the 4th. As each of those dates pass. I can breathe a little easier. The reality, however, is we can go through all the milestones. We can make it out of our first trimester, we can make it past 24 weeks, past 37 weeks. We can deliver..and that is not a guarantee that we will bring home a healthy baby. I realized during our talk that from the moment you find out you are pregnant, the worry begins and it does not end until you take your last breath. 5 years from now, I will worry about my child. 18 years from now, I will worry. And those feelings, those are what negate the intellectual part of my thinking because try as hard as I want, I already fiercely love this little speck of a being that I am carrying.
The last few days I have been a jumble of emotions over an unexpected gift that I received. A friend of mine (let’s call her M) messaged me on Wednesday and said that she had a poem that she had written for our son that she wanted to give to Hubbins and I. Some history: M and I have spoken briefly about my loss. She has always been a very supportive friend however more emotive than I. I am a functioning introvert who also has anxiety issues; I don’t really spew feelings readily as no matter how close I think we are I always have a fear of ‘what people will think about me’. Hubbins always knows what I’m feeling but outside of him, I don’t divulge feelings easily. One of the reasons this blog has been so therapeutic is because I can ‘talk’ to all of you all and not worry about what you think because you don’t know me *smile* M is the opposite; emotions come easily to her and there is part of me that feels like I have to ‘overshare’ when we talk about the loss of my son because she wants so much to ‘ be there for me’. Additionally, M has two children both of whom conceived with the ease of changing socks; the feelings there are ones that I am not proud of.
Back to Wednesday, after I received her message and she asked if she could drop off the poem, I asked her if she could mail it as I knew with my son’s birthdate drawing closer I have mentally and emotionally been in a rough place. Thursday evening, I got a message asking if I was home and I said yes. A few minutes later there was a knock at my door and when I opened the door there was a gift bag with a frame. I immediately felt angry and sad at the same time. Angry because I felt like my wishes hadn’t been taken into consideration and now this gift was in my house where I would have to see it even if I didn’t open it. Sad because I felt ashamed of how I was feeling because knowing that she means well. I sent a text saying thank you and cautioned that I didn’t’ know when The bag remained unopened till the next day when I asked Hubbins to look at it first and I steeled myself for looking at it. He really loved it and said how thankful he was for the expression. I knew I couldn’t avoid it forever.
He brought the frame over and it was an acrostic with the letters of our son’s name in different parts of each line of the poem. The poem speaks to how we know that we will see him again someday and that he was sorry that he didn’t get to spend time with us here on Earth. The tears began immediately and I silently let them fall. Mixed feelings. Part of me felt angry; our son was OUR’s. Our pain is our’s alone and I feel like someone who has never experienced the loss of a child doesn’t get to have a part in our grieving process. Even as I type this I realize that those emotions are selfish and sound a little self righteous. I also expressed to Hubbins that I felt like I was once again being forced to deal with emotions (which I have honestly been trying to keep at bay) ‘on demand’ because someone needed so much to share something with me.
Today though, now that the initial feelings have had time to cool off, I am thankful. One of my biggest regrets with our son is that aside from the pictures that we took of him in the hospital and our hospital bands, we don’t have anything that represents him. As he was not born ‘alive’, we don’t have a birth certificate or hand-prints or footprints or any of the things that represent that I had a baby. It feels like he isn’t acknowledged as being born. I had a ‘miscarriage’. That is in quotes because, for me, it takes away the fact that I delivered our boy. I went through labor. It was a 2 day process of labor at the end of which my boy was born. I had nothing to take away. And now I have something with his name…and for that I am thankful.
It’s Sunday evening. We have had dinner and are relaxing contemplating the work week. Watching football. Just being quiet with each other. I absentmindedly placed my hand on my stomach…and I remember. I remembered that you should have been here. We should be busy making last minute preparations for your arrival. I miss you. This is the hardest feeling to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced this kind of loss. I never felt you move, didn’t get to know you but you were a part of me and I am absolutely aware of that part being gone. Most days, I’m ok. But sometimes, in the quiet times, I’m not.