Capture Your Grief 2016

I have been slacking on my writing. It feels like since we haven’t started treatment again (I’m going in for my screening US on the 12th),  I don’t know what to write about.  Today I stumbled upon JenJen06’s post about Carly Marie’s Capture Your Grief project for October and it was just what I needed. It is more of a photo project I think but I am going to write with it. The photo I will share on social media probably but as this is still largely anonymous,my other thoughts will go here.  I like the idea of “mindful healing”. Sometimes it is easy to just ‘move’ through our grief; the bad days are bad and the rest of the days we just make it. I want to continue to heal. I want to honor the memory of my sons; I need to be whole for my future children.

Check out the link below and join me if you are interested!!

Capture Your Grief 2016

Lucas’s Due Date

Today, my 2nd son was due to be born. 

I spent the day in the sun. In the ocean. By myself. It was exactly what I needed. I cried a few times but they were tears of….acceptance? I have two sons. My life has changed in the last year and a half in ways I would have never expected. I am stronger. I am strong. I will never forget my sons. I am their mother and the lessons that I have learned loving them have made me stronger. 

I miss you sweet boy. I’ll see you someday soon. 

Getting back

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.

Hello May

It’s May.

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.

To my first born

Dear Langston,

Oh little one, we miss you. That seems like a weird place to start but it is the emotion that sums it up the best. Although we never met, I feel like I know you. As soon as I saw those two lines telling me I was pregnant, I knew you. And I began to plan. I didn’t think you would be a boy. Daddy has always said that he would have all girls as payback for all the hearts that he broke in college so I just assumed that you would be a girl. I allowed myself to dream. You had so many nicknames. KitKat, Baby Bunny, Baby Spot, Baby Spider Monkey and we used them interchangeably. You made me so nauseous. I remember that I watched what I ate religiously because you made it clear early that if you didn’t’ like a certain food, you would make sure I knew it right away. Although I didn’t like constantly feeling like I was running to the bathroom, in my mind, I loved that you were opinionated and in that I recognized myself.

We started thinking about names for you and I had so many boy names and a few girl names. Langston stuck out to me. It was a strong name. I was already dreaming of the kind of man I wanted you to grow to be. I wanted you to be a thinker and a dreamer. I wanted you to be a strong independent man  of God who valued his family and friends and was a hard worker. I knew you would be a mama’s boy and I looked forward to spoiling you. I knew you would have your Daddy’s patience because you surely wouldn’t get it from me. I was so ready to see the way that he loved you because of how he loved me and good he is with kids.When you were born, I saw him in you even as little as you were and my heart broke again as I recognized that you were the perfect realization of our love for each other.  

I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that we didn’t’ get any of our dreams together. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t keep you with me longer. I’m sorry that I didn’t cherish every day more that we had together. I’m sorry that I won’t ever get to hear you cry or hear you call me Mommy. I tell myself that it is all for a purpose and that you won’t ever feel grief, or pain or have to be sad; that you won’t have to know the harsh realities of being a black man in America…..but the selfish part of me still wants you here. I do thank God for choosing us to be your parents and even though you could not stay, I want you to know that you were so wanted my sweet boy. We longed for you and we worked so hard for you.  I love you for making us Mommy and Daddy. You gave us those titles and we wouldn’t have them without you. Thank you for representing my happiness. You will always be my ‘happy’ pregnancy. You represent a time before I thought about babies being born at 13 weeks and being so little that they could not survive. I am going to see you one day. One day an angel will bring you to me and I know that I will instantly recognize you because that’s what happens when you are a mother, even if you haven’t seen your child for a period of time,  you recognize them as a part of you that has been missing. I am so happy that I got the chance to know you. I love you so much.

 

Love,

Mommy.

What’s next?

I’m ready to plan for the future. That doesn’t mean trying again right now. It means figuring what I can do so that I give us the greatest chance of this not happening again. I mentioned in a previous post that I had begun doing some research on the Trans-abdominal cerclage (TAC). If you aren’t familiar with the procedure, the easiest way to explain it is that they tie a suture around your cervix right at the top, closest to the uterus. This is different from the vaginal cerclage (TVC) that I had done twice with Lucas. In the TVC a stitch goes through the cervix to help hold it closed. The thing is going vaginally only allows you so much access as the bladder is ‘in the way’. Doing the procedure from the top down allows the suture to be placed closer to the top. The stuff they use to truss you (yes, truss because I keep picturing a turkey with its legs tied together when I think of this procedure) is strong enough to hold the weight of a full grown adult SO it should have no issue holding a baby. My problem has been that the weight of baby once I enter the 2nd trimester is too much for my do nothing lazy weak cervix. I have been doing extensive research and have PORED over the Abbyloopers website/blog for women who have had the procedure and/or are considering it. I refuse to ‘try’ with another TVC and I was worried that my MFM doctor would recommend this instead of being supportive for me moving ahead with the TAC.

I had my MFM consult/follow-up yesterday. Dr. J (who was the 2nd doctor on 2nd TVC surgery) is amazing. She is a straight shooter and that is what I love about her. We talked about my delivery and before I could even suggest it she said, “we need to talk about an abdominal cerclage”. This was confirmation for me; I have been praying about this procedure because it is major surgery and a big commitment both physically and emotionally. The TAC is permanent; once it is placed, it is there… what that means is you are committing to C-sections for all subsequent deliveries. That is scary for me; not in light of having a c-section to bring home my baby but in having my water break again or something else happen and still having to have a c-section and coming home empty handed. She did say that was a valid concern; if there are issues requiring a D&C prior to 10 weeks or, they can do one. If the loss happens after that, then we will be facing a c-section. Even in light of that scary news, I still want to proceed. If I am taking the risk to try to get pregnant again, I need to know that I did all that was in my power and gave my baby the highest chance possible to succeed. One major plus for me is that I can get the TAC prior to being pregnant; I was so worried last time having surgery while pregnant with Lucas…this way I just have to worry about me getting through the procedure, not the both of us. I did also ask, since we need help to conceive, if I would be making that harder by having the procedure. She said no harder than it was previously.

Dr. J did refer me to another physician for the procedure. She said she has done them in the past…but it has been about 2 years since she did one. She feels the same way I do; if we are going to take the chance on the surgery, let’s give ourself the best chances for a positive outcome. I appreciated that. You don’t find a lot of doctors who will say ‘I’m not the best one for this, here is someone who is’. There is a doctor who performs the procedure who is about 10 minutes from where I work. There will be insurance hoops to jump through and that has started already even with making an appointment to see him as he is ‘out of network’ but I will not be deterred. I am nothing if not stubborn and persistent. So I guess this is the start of new chapter in our journey.

One month later

Yesterday was one month since the birth of our son Lucas. I didn’t remember till later in the evening.. and then I felt guilty that I hadn’t remembered. It was weird. There is a part of me that thinks about my boys everyday. It is especially hard because I seem submerged in pregnancy related things. Social media is in pregnancy season and there are announcements and pictures and such. Hubbins cousin had a baby shower this past Sunday (which we weren’t invited to..I don’t know how I feel.. I probably wouldn’t have gone but it feels bad to be left out intentionally) and I think I have mentioned before one of my  best friends from elementary school is pregnant; we would have been due two weeks apart. The grief isn’t as close to the surface as it usually is. Not all the time. It still feels fresh and catches me off guard. For example, scrolling through IG and seeing the pictures of the cousin’s baby shower.. who of course is expecting a baby boy and bursting into tears. Or standing at the time clock with a coworker who knew I was pregnant but still haven’t explicitly told about the loss. She asked if everything was alright and I said no.. and she looked and me and I shook my head.. and she started tearing up.. and I had to run away because I have a strict no crying at work where people can see you policy. I know that on some level though I am healing. I can talk about our sons easier now; my voice may waver but it is a lot stronger than it was a few weeks ago. At my MFM appointment yesterday we were able to discuss details of my delivery without me breaking down; on some level I think that when I talk about it to people, I try to think of it as something that happened to someone else and I’m just reporting facts. The feelings are there but they don’t have to apparent to everyone. I can’t break down at every doctor’s appointment. There are still things that are hard and the feelings come that I feel guilty for having. I have some dear friends in the blogverse who are pregnant and I find myself both longing for news that they are ok and their babies are doing well and at the same time feeling envious when I read the good reports. It is a jumble of things. I am actively searching for a therapist because I know that I need to talk to someone. Not willingly…but I know that for my overall health and to be as healthy for my future babies I need to heal from this and I need some help. So that is where we are.

Crazy Faith

Sometimes having faith seems futile. No really! Sometimes saying that “I know God has a plan” and that “I’m trusting Him even in the middle of this” seems trite, like what I’m supposed to say. Sometimes I want the BIG testimonies of “I prayed after my water broke and God sustained our son for 15 more weeks and my faith was strengthened”. But God doesn’t always show up in the big ways and honestly, sometimes I say these things to myself because I’m trying to convince myself that it’s true. The beauty in it is, I do still have faith. I am optimistic. I just read a post from one of my blog sisters and it oozed positivity and hopefulness. THAT is what my faith gives me. There are bad days; yesterday was one. But today, I’m driving to work and I’m hopeful. The people going through this journery yeah, we are a little crazy sometimes, but that little bit of crazy, sometimes wavering, but still optimistic beyond all odds faith, that faith is what makes us strong and what gives us hope.

Back to work 

Tomorrow. 

I’m not ready…but putting it off won’t make me any more ready. It is kind of the last ‘thing’ that I have to do for everything to be back to ‘normal’. 

I’ve been doing a lot of house chores the last few days preparing for life back on our regular schedule. And it has sucked. I’m so tired of going through the motions to ‘return back to normal’ after losing my baby. Don’t need the belly support band; it can go in the drawer. My What to Expect guidebook; in the drawer too. The calendar with appointment dates that has this Friday circled for my anatomy sonogram; ripped up. My Google  calendar entitled “Baby Nugget”; hidden on my phone.  I’m so tired of starting over and rebuilding….but I’m not getting rid of these things. This drawer represents my blind unyielding grasping faith that one day I will bring home a baby. I started the baby blanket and  I’m going to finish it. Many tears will be shed over it but I know that one day I will wrap it around my little one and be able to tell them what they represent to me: the end of starting over and my new beginning. 

I believe God

You ever have a song that sums up exactly what you are feeling and seems to speak directly to your situation? This has been that song for me over the past few days.

People ask me
Isn’t it crazy
To believe in something you can’t see?
And people wonder
Why do I still ponder
Over an old dream
That appears will never be
You see my faith is strong and anchored
My faith cannot be wavered
My faith makes the unknown reality
And one day, if I pray
I know my dream will come to be

I believe God
He is incredible, invincible
He can crumble the impossible
Yes, I believe God
Although my faith sometimes is tested
On this shaky road I trod
I, oh I believe God

When life’s storm is harsh and bitter
And my ambition starts to wither
I wont be driven to crumble or complain
You see, doubting God is never
The option to consider
I’ve seen too many miracles
Hidden inside my pain
Oh, now faith is the substance of things hoped for
The evidence of things not seen
God works in mysterious ways
By faith my miracle and my breakthrough
Are going to spring forth from my pain Continue reading “I believe God”