Thursday, October 29, 2015

Moving Forward

The week after I wrote that last post was a tough one. I was dealing with a lot of anxiety - the "I'm just sitting here working and I can't breathe and it lasts all day" kind. I started using some essential oils, which helped some, and then I went to my primary doctor who I love. She told me we could increase my current daily dose of what I've been taking for several months, and also gave me a low dose of Xanax. Just having that gave me some piece of mind. I actually ended up not increasing my daily meds, and I did take the Xanax a couple of times, but it made me pretty sleepy. So while I still carry it just in case, I haven't taken it again.

Fortunately that has all subsided for the most part. Maybe it was just the hormones, maybe it was just the immediate reaction. Either way, I am doing better. I went for my follow up appointment with my OB. She asked if we wanted to try again and I told her I wasn't sure yet. She suggested I come back in six weeks for my (late) annual, and we could discuss birth control if I wanted to, or we could talk babies. She also said if I do get pregnant again it is totally up to me how we handle it. I can be monitored like crazy, or we can back off if it makes me anxious. That was nice to hear. She told me the pathology came back ok, so this was just one of those things. Of course I can't help but think the crazy thoughts like, "It's because I didn't give up coffee." But really, there's no way of knowing what happened.

I can't say that I don't still get sad or upset (like when the woman at the front desk at my dentist's  office, who has known me my entire life, asked me, "No new babies?" this week. Ugh. Or when I saw the bill for the hospital.) but I'm moving on. Now I'm back to HOW do I want to move on.

We've not had any more major discussions about trying again, but I did ask a week or two ago how certain Chad was that he didn't want another. He said 50/50. I feel the same way. I feel this NEED to get pregnant again, but I'm trying to weigh whether it is just for the vindication or if I truly want a second child. I see Amelia play with her one year old cousin, and she's great. She loves babies. But man, we have a really good thing going here. She's an amazingly awesome kid right now. Do we really want the stress of starting all over? And if we decide to, do we start trying right away? I feel like yes, I would want to. But that also means - in a best case scenario - we would have kids with birthdays very close together. I like the idea of a spring/summer baby. And well, that ship has sailed. At this point there would already be five years between A and #2, and that seems like a lot. I'll be 35 in May, and I feel that clock ticking.

If my brain and the decision to TTC were on Facebook, right now we would be listed as "It's complicated." We'll see where this journey takes us next...

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Aftermath

It will be a week tomorrow since we got the news. I seem to have passed from the anger stage to the sadness stage. I told Chad I think I want to try again once we get the go ahead from the doctor, and he doesn't agree, which is only compounding what I'm feeling. I know this pregnancy was a surprise and there would be challenges. Starting over with an infant isn't easy. But while before I never felt there was something missing from our family like I've heard some people talk about, now I do. There is a hole left by the baby-that-was-going-to-be. The one I pictured wearing in a new baby carrier, sleeping in the spare room turned new nursery. And it hurts my heart.

I worry about the emotional recovery from this. I have been taking meds for anxiety/mood swings for several months, and I worry that they won't be enough to help me cope. I'm looking into essential oils to use as well. I know everyone says it takes time, but I need time to fast forward.

We got away to go to an amazing concert (tenth row for Garth Brooks!) with my best friend and her husband this past weekend and it was wonderful. But on the way home we drove through the town where my new OB is and where the D&C took place, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Anxiety in its rawest form. Somehow I have to drive back there in a week. Somehow I have to keep going. I feel a little crazy when I say this, but I feel like I have an emotional aversion to the foods I wanted while I was pregnant. I don't want the meals and snacks that are still sitting in the cabinet and refrigerator that I bought when I was craving them. And then at the same time, I went ahead and brought home maternity clothes from my BFF. Just in case. My whole life feels like a contradiction right now.

I am the type of person who likes to be in control, who needs a plan, who is the one who handles the tough stuff when others can't. This situation isn't allowing for that. I know I'm supposed to take it easy, give myself time, all of those cliché statements, but I don't WANT to. And well, then I cycle back to being angry again.

I teared up a couple of times at the Garth concert. "The Dance" and "Unanswered Prayers." And this one hit home.

"When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met 
There's no doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love.

The storms are raging on a rolling sea
Down the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
But you ain't seen nothing like me yet

There is nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
Make you happy, make your dreams come true
To make you feel my love."

Thursday, October 8, 2015


In late August/early September I started having dreams that I was pregnant. I haven't been on birth control for several years, and while I always knew it was a possibility, I didn't really THINK it was a possibility. If that makes sense. But I had some expired pregnancy tests in the bathroom drawer, so I took one every few days - negative. Until I got a faint line the day my period was due. WHAT?! I immediately started Googling "false positives on expired pregnancy tests" and that got me nowhere. So I headed to CVS for a new test. Chad had come home by that time and when the very obvious second line showed up, I rushed down to the kitchen, test in hand, and just stood there laughing and crying like a lunatic. Holy. Crap. I was pregnant.

We were definitely in shock, but started to get excited. We had still never decided if we were going to have another child, and it seemed like this was the answer! It was just meant to be. No decisions to make. I set up an initial appointment with a new OB (I had issues with my old office), which also meant I would deliver at a different hospital than I had with Amelia. We told our immediate family and some close friends because I just didn't feel like keeping the secret. They were all thrilled, of course.

I had my first appointment and ultrasound with the new practice at 7w3d. There was our little blob! A heart rate of 138 and measuring 6w5d but the doctor was ok with that. She did see a tiny pocket of non-active bleeding that she wanted to recheck in a few weeks but told me she wasn't concerned at all and it was probably from implantation. My due date - May 10. Three days before my own birthday, and always the week of Mother's Day.

And with that, we told a few more people. Including Amelia, whose reaction was a little underwhelming, but c'est la vie. She's four, after all. I allowed baby fever to officially take over. I signed up for all of the apps and emails, started ordering new maternity clothes because the seasons wouldn't line up for my old ones. I made lists of names. My belly got bloated almost immediately and it was hard to button my jeans. I was starving all the time, got lightheaded and nauseous a few times to the point of needing to buy Seabands. I planned our Facebook announcement since we already had family photos scheduled for October 25 - the end of my first trimester.

We were still freaking out over the logistics - rearranging rooms, my being in a new (work from home) job with no short term disability. Two kids in daycare to pay for. Yikes. But we would make it work.

Last Friday, I told my coworkers over our weekly Skype video chat. I was just shy of nine weeks, but with only four people in our group and the nature of telecommuting, I just felt like I needed to share since one other team member was already pregnant and we needed to plan.

The night of Monday, Oct. 5 - the same day I got Amelia's big sister shirt in the mail along with a home Doppler an online friend of mine was kind enough to loan me - I started spotting. The doctor had told me that pocket of blood she saw could lead to brown spotting so I tried not to be alarmed. It was brown. And then there was some red. But more brown. I tried to calm down and called the office first thing in the morning. They told me to come in at 11:50. Chad was working, and I just prayed everything was ok and went alone.

As soon as I saw the ultrasound come up on the screen, I knew. 

There was no heartbeat. 

The exact day I hit the nine week mark was the day I found out there would be no baby after all. Unbeknownst to me, it had stopped growing at least a week earlier.

I have never had a loss before. But I knew what would come next. The doctor told me my options. Since we were planning to go out of town this weekend to a concert with my friend three hours away, we agreed that a D&C was the best way to go. No fear of the unknown. I was scheduled for the next morning.

I went through the Starbucks drive thru on the way home, and was told the person in front of me paid for my PSL and wanted me to have a good day. I managed not to cry until I pulled away from the window.

I came home and immediately started getting rid of everything. I boxed up the maternity clothes I had hung up in the closet, bagged up what could be returned. Hauled what was left to the basement. Hid all of the Preggie Pop Drops in the back of a cabinet. Deleted the apps, the pictures, unsubscribed from the emails. I was ANGRY. I refused to look at myself in the mirror or look down because that little bloated bump that I'd been excited to accent no longer meant anything. I buttoned my jeans out of spite even though it was uncomfortable. Every time Chad hugged me that night I cried. We "untold" everyone we needed to. The calls and texts you never want to make. But I kept trying to be me - handling a crisis, compartmentalizing. Let's just take care of this and move forward.

I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight, but didn't have to be at the hospital until 10:15. Long morning. We arrived, checked in. I was taken to be prepped for surgery. I sat in a gown, alone, and started crying because THIS WAS NOT HOW MY FIRST TRIP TO THIS NEW HOSPITAL WAS SUPPOSED TO END. THIS WAS NOT OK. But I got it together again. Made small talk with the nurses. Then when they took my temperature they discovered I had a low grade fever - I knew it was from the sinus problems I'd been fighting. The anesthesiologist arrived and told me he was 99.9% against going forward because of the fever. Too risky. And the crying began anew. One of the nurses went to get Chad, and I lost it when he came in. Sobbing. They told me they were calling my doctor to see how to proceed and left us alone. I kept sobbing that I couldn't do this, I was not going home. The night before I had been so terrified that I was going to have a miscarriage at home before I ever even got to the hospital and there was no way I was going to be sent home that day. I just couldn't do it. Just when I thought this couldn't be any worse, somehow it was.

When the nurses came back with the anesthesiologist they told me the OB had said she could still do the D&C, they would just use other means than general anesthesia. That there could be a risk for infection, and I had to sign a consent acknowledging the risk. Did I want to proceed? YES. God, yes. I signed the form the anesthesiologist gave me, and while I tried to ignore what I saw in his doctor-y handwritten scribbles, I saw the word "abortion." And yes, I knew that technically that was true, but oh, what a terrible thing to see. This was not a choice. Absolutely not my choice. Finally I was on my way to surgery. Still making small talk, trying to be cheerful and cooperative, but the last thing I remember is being in that bright white operating room and seeing the white board across from me that read "D&C with suction." I will never, ever, ever forget that. THIS IS NOT OK. But it will be ok...

So. Here I am about 24 hours later. And the question has been asked 100 times. "How are you doing?" And how do I answer that? Physically I'm doing alright. A little pain but nothing unbearable. Emotionally? Well, 48 hours ago I was pregnant. Today I am not. And I am back to square one of "Do we do this again?". So I'm angry. No, actually I am FUCKING PISSED. When we got the "surprise" it just seemed meant to be. God's will and all that. So what does it mean that this has been taken away? Is this supposed to make us realize we did in fact want another baby? I don't know. I know there is no explanation, that these things happen. But this is like the ultimate cruel joke. I feel at the moment like this cannot be the end of our story. That that cannot be my last trip to that hospital. That I need redemption and a happy ending. But there is healing to do, and discussion to be had, and planning to consider.

I shared this on my Facebook wall last night: 
"Because about a month ago we got some amazing, surprising news.
Because today we got some heartbreaking news.
Because I was planning to make a very different Facebook post in a few weeks.
Because it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and I know that we are far from alone. Please know that you aren't either. <3"

I was touched by how many people reached out privately. To tell me they are currently or have recently gone through very similar things. I hate that this happens to anyone. But I am glad they felt comfortable sharing their stories with me. My heart goes out to everyone who has ever dealt with a loss, now more than ever.

And as for our story, I guess the next chapter is up in the air.