Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Two years ago today, Andrew took his first steps at 10 months old.  I can’t believe that was 2 years ago!  He was my little Devilled Egg that day, in his homemade (by Momma) costume.

Last year, he went as Bamm Bamm, (bought online) and while he wasn’t entirely cooperative for pictures, he wore his costume for hours and loved it.

He is at one of the cutest ages now for dressing up and being adorable.  BUT he’s also in his terrible twos.  So OF COURSE he is resistant to costume wearing this year!  We told him he could literally be ANYTHING…except a nudist – which is what he decided…’I’m going trick or treating NAKED’ he said…but yeah, that’s…inappropriate, and not happening!  His birthday suit is not a costume!

He had his pick of literally ANY costume out there, at various Halloween stores.  I was practically begging him to pick something, but all he would get was a cat mask that looks more like it should be for an adult, but whatevs, it was a start so we went with it.  From there, though, he refused to get so much as a TAIL to go with the theme of being a cat.  I don’t want to take him trick or treating with JUST a mask on, that’s not really a costume either!  But it’s a moot point now, since he decided he doesn’t want to be a cat at all now…

He MIGHT go as Bamm Bamm again – this morning I made enough progress that I got him in the costume for a couple of minutes.  The only way to convince him to dress up as Bamm Bamm, though, was that he liked the idea that he could hit me with his club.  Sigh!

It’s ridiculous because he LOVES the idea of Halloween, is obsessed with Halloween shows, loves pumpkins and skeletons and spiders and bats…But because he KNOWS he can only go trick or treating if he’s dressed up, he’s determined to go against the system!

We’ll see what happens tonight…It should be interesting…

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I will never know why


It’s not healthy.

It’s not healthy the way I keep going over and over and over and over and over in my mind –

How it happened, how it could have been different. 

I will never figure out the ‘why’;

I constantly think about the way my baby was taken away after only a glance.  Why did something so unfair have to happen?  As if the baby coming out of my body so prematurely wasn’t bad enough.  But to be robbed of the one moment in time I could have shared with my little child?  Why was I not given the opportunity to hold my baby?  To possibly find out if it was a boy or girl?  To possibly find out why it didn’t survive in the first place?

For people who believe that everything happens for a reason, then there was some reason behind WHY I was not supposed or allowed to see my little baby up close.  There has to be a REASON for why the only memory I will ever have is of my baby in its gestational sac, one moment lying so still in the toilet bowl, the next its little body being whisked away to the most horrible place I could imagine.  WHY WHY WHY did that have to be my fate and my baby’s?

I play it out in my mind. 

I know it’s not healthy.

I think, what if I wasn’t so concerned about making a mess in the stupid emergency room bathroom?  FOR FUCK SAKE’S, WHAT WAS I THINKING?? 

I imagine myself doing what I was going to do right after I got the paper towel in my hand.  I imagine grabbing that baby out of the toilet and having my moment to hold it.  To sob over its lifelessness, but nonetheless to hold it in my hands.  To touch it.  To count its teensy tiny little fingers and toes.  To most likely be horrified by how alien it might seem, yet feel comforted by its beauty.  Because it was MY BABY and even if it wasn’t ‘life size’ yet, it was mine.  I imagine having to call out the door for a nurse, to get them to find my husband, who I would then have to give options to:  Do you want to see the baby or not?

Not an easy scenario, BUT AT LEAST THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN OPTIONS.

At least I would not find myself saying NO, NO, NO, as if it were a nightmare, only it was actually REAL.  At least I would not have to walk back to the waiting room, my hand firmly covering my mouth, trying to keep my cool, eyes to the ground.  At least I wouldn’t have to then sob to my husband with people sitting around me listening, about how my baby came out and the toilet self-flushed and I lost my one and only chance.

I close my eyes and try to go back.  To before the bleeding started.  Or to the first ultrasound, and instead of the doctor saying it looked ‘concerning,’ he would show us an image of a baby dancing around in my uterus, and all would be well.  Writing this right now, the baby bump would be so big that I wouldn’t be able to have my computer resting on it while I lay down and type.

I know I shouldn’t go on about it the way that I do.  (DO I know that?)  I know I should stop thinking about all the ‘what if’ scenarios.  There are many of them, but none of them bring my baby back.  Apparently there is a reason for why it all had to work out this way, I just have no idea what that reason is.  I have a feeling even if I knew what that ‘reason’ was, it would not sit well with me.

Don't bother reading if you're sick of my blah posts


Whatever I am doing, it doesn’t matter – I just want to scream IT HURTS!  I HATE THIS!  I CAN’T STAND THE WAY I FEEL!  I’M SAAAAAD!  I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!  HELP ME!  AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

I don’t even think THAT would make me feel any better, but I just have this urge to scream about it.

Yes, I can focus on other things, and I do.  I’m pretty good at ‘keeping busy.’  But it kind of sucks busying yourself to shut your mind off what it gravitates towards, only to eventually be un-busy and find it jumping right back there anyway. 

When will this feeling go away?  When will I be happy-in-general again?  When will I feel like talking about more positive things because I actually see things as positive?

I hate the phantom pregnancy symptoms I still occasionally have.  It’s only once in a while but I’ll actually feel some sort of movement in my belly and for a moment I’ll think, whoa, it’s the baby, and then I am reminded.  Reminded I am hollow.

I have a fire going, I’m waiting for my boys to get home (they’re late).  We’re even having poutine tonight from my (and Andrew’s) favourite (well, one and only, really) poutine place.  I should just be enjoying all these little things – usually a cozy fire would be enough to make me feel content with whatever else.  But the ‘whatever else’ is ripping me to shreds.  I am soooooooooooo saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad and I’m also so sick of it!  I don’t understand any of this any better now than I did when it happened.  I don’t know how to feel better.  I just have this ‘glum’ thing going on that has completely taken over my life, or so it feels.  I don’t want to do much of anything, but if I do nothing I get into a right state.  So what am I supposed to do with myself??!!!!

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  I wish I could press the ‘resume regular life’ button and everything would fall back into place.

Keeping busy

Yesterday I swept and washed the floors, even steam mopped the tiles in the bathroom and hallway.  I’m glad I was able to get that out of the way with Andrew around, he was really good about not walking on them until they were dry. 

Today I still felt the strong need to keep really busy – after a pretty good sleep in till almost 11am, since the boy is with his nana today.  I took 1 ½ sleeping pills last night and then ended up taking one more half before I went to bed, so I’d sleep better – and I think it worked.  I plan on taking them for the next 2 nights and then it’s time to start clearing my system out.  I’m a little worried about how that’s going to go, but I have to do it.

Today I puttered about, did some tidying in our bedroom and ironed for close to 2 hours – and STILL there are 10 shirts left to do!  Ugh.  I kept telling myself to just plow through and get it ALL done but then I was so bored of it and didn’t want to feel like I’d wasted all my time on the chore I hate the most.

I’ve been watching the original Beverly Hills, 90210 on netflix and no, I am NOT ashamed to admit it!  I’m a little shocked that I actually watched the show when it was on in the early 90s because it’s terrible on so many levels, but BECAUSE I watched it back then, I get a kick out of seeing it again.  It’s so pathetic and annoying but I can’t stop watching it.

Yesterday I went through a few old things of mine, and Andrew was pretty pleased when I gave him my sticker book from when I was a kid.  He was saying how he wanted this sticker and that sticker and I said, ‘How about instead you just keep the whole book?’  He said, ‘It is MINE?!’  I said, ‘It is now!’  He said, ‘It used to be yours, but now it’s mine!’  When James got home from work, he wanted to show his Daddy his new sticker book =)  I find it heart-warming because I never could have imagined as a child myself, growing up and one day having my boy to hand my old things down to, and have him cherish them.  Not that he’ll cherish everything, and not to say he won’t destroy my prized sticker book that has over 600 stickers in it.  But I’m willing to risk it, even just for that one moment yesterday where he was so happy I gave it to him.

I am so, so grateful to have him.  My heart goes out to everyone who’s been through a miscarriage, but in particular people who so desperately want to be parents but lost a child and/or can’t conceive.  When I’m out and see a baby, or hear one crying, or even sometimes just seeing kids at this point in time – it can really make me feel like crying.  But Andrew helps me be strong because I know I have him, and I still get to enjoy all the kid-related things, even though my baby will be missing from the picture forever.  I am so lucky that I have one healthy child, and when I go on about how sad I am because I miss my baby, I want everyone to know that it doesn’t mean I’m forgetting about my big-boy baby!  I love him more than words could ever express.

Yesterday when I was cleaning out some drawers, I came across the pregnancy test from the doctor’s office.  I remember when the doctor handed me the positive test, he said, ‘Here, you can add this to the baby book!’  I also remember, at the time, thinking, ‘That’s kind of a weird thing to put in the baby book’ and I didn’t think I would keep it.  I figured I’d have ultrasound photos and all sorts of wonderful other things to keep for the baby book.  As it happens, there will be no baby book, but I decided to keep the pregnancy test.  It’s different than the at home ones, quite small and nondescript, other than the very clear mark there that I was pregnant.  I have a label maker, so I made a label for the spot that says ‘ID’ and wrote Baby (last name initials) 2 – 11 wks oct 11/11.  For the back I made another label that says, ‘never held, never forgotten. always loved.’  It comforts me in some small way to have that, just to know that there is that small tangible ‘proof’ that my baby was real.  It made me break down, though, because it devastates me that it’s all I have.

I let myself cry for a few minutes.  I could have probably just curled back up in bed and continued to cry for much longer, truthfully.  But it wouldn’t get me any farther ahead to do that.  So  I got some stuff done, and I feel good about that.  I don’t really know what more to say.  I feel like I have to just live moment by moment right now.  Maybe I’ll go put some music on and try not to think about things for a while.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This SUCKS


I was doing ‘okay’ today, not great but alright, and then all of a sudden around 3-4pm it started to feel as if the whole world was crumbling around me.  I can’t say ‘I don’t know what happened’ since obviously I KNOW what the pain is ABOUT…but it just comes out of nowhere sometimes.  I didn’t think I was consciously ‘thinking about it’ – I had just booked tickets to take Andrew to Toy Story 3 Disney on Ice next month and he was excited about it, so I should have been happy in that particular moment…But it seemed like I bought the tickets, shut the lid on my computer, and this tidal wave of depression smacked me in the face and just floored me.

Not to say I started crying or anything, I actually think I did a decent job of hiding how I was feeling from Andrew.  He was a really good boy for me in general today so it’s not like it took a ton of effort, but I made sure to stay really patient with him and did my best to focus on the games we were playing.  It’s just so hard when that feeling hits in full force.  It’s always there a little bit, but when it starts nagging at me I get so overwhelmed.  I texted James to give him the heads up – at that moment it felt almost as if I was having a panic attack, but I was at least able to internalize it since obviously I don’t want to scare Andrew with the way I’m feeling.

I hope the doctor calls soon with word of an appointment with a counsellor.  That’s one of the frustrating aspects of this – great that my doctor will look into finding someone for me, but I can’t count on it happening when I actually need it the most.  I would be surprised if I get in to see someone within the next several weeks – what I am supposed to do in the meantime, I’m not quite sure.

And so I continue to write, write, write about it!  I do have a few friends I’ve been talking to about it, and it helps but…the strong feelings I have don’t budge.  I know it’s not an option, but I’m telling you, there is VERY little that I would not do in order to have my baby back.

I feel as if almost everything is a trigger for me, it’s as if my brain is so tuned toward it that it can make anything remind me.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  Some days have been a bit better than others, but no day has been a truly ‘good’ day since it happened.  I’m so tired and while I don’t want to forget my baby, I just want this horrible feeling to go away.  I feel desperate and I hate that.  I hate being so negative like this, but it’s so hard not to be right now.  Time always seems to go by so fast to me, but right now it’s at a snail’s pace and I’m sick of it.   

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time...

I got my hair done today, and I decided to go for a ‘new look’.  My hair was ‘finally’ getting long, but all it did was make me feel like I was being strangled.  I think I like the idea of having long hair, but in reality I don’t enjoy the way it feels and once it reaches a certain point on me, I’m too tempted to just put it in a ponytail.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll take a picture of it for your viewing pleasure – ha! – we’ll see!  It’s just past my shoulders, much darker with lots of red and subtle plum coloured highlights.  Apparently the plum will become more noticeable as it washes out a little bit.  It feels so much better and even though it’ll take some getting used to because it’s quite a difference, it feels like a nice change.  I love how much lighter it is!

Since my hairdresser is downtown, I met up with James after work and we shared a meal at Earl’s.  We didn’t want to be spending too much given we just went on a somewhat more lavish date the other night.  It’s interesting how different I can feel from one day – or minute, even – from the next…I was feeling quite sad inside when we were out tonight.  I didn’t let on to James, not that I didn’t talk about it once we were home (after having a bit of a visit at my parents’ place since the boy spent the afternoon/early evening with them) but…I didn’t want to make our evening all about what’s going on in my head, even though I know it’s OK for me to just be honest about it.  It was nice to have a conversation about other things at the restaurant, I’m not saying I didn’t have even an OK time…I just really felt the presence of my sadness throughout it.

James mentioned when we met up that he was listening to some music at work today and he started feeling emotional listening to the lyrics of the song.  I asked what about and he said it was making him think about Andrew and all the things he’ll do as he grows up.  I think hearing him say that made ME feel emotional, because it made me think, why were you thinking about Andrew and not the baby?  I didn’t say that to him because what’s the point of starting something…I know that while James feels sad for me about what happened, he doesn’t really understand the sadness I feel for the actual baby because he doesn’t seem to consider it the same way I do.  So of course he wouldn’t be thinking about how truly sad it is that the baby will never have a chance to go through any life stages.  I know I feel sad about that!  OF COURSE I get being sentimental about Andrew and his life, I am VERY sentimental about him, and often!  But…right now I can’t focus on much else but that darn little baby, so what can I say.  I just find it strange, I guess, that it’s only on the forefront of MY brain…but again, that’s something that I’ve got to somehow learn to deal with.

I really am doing a bit better, I have been smiling again, and not just forced smiles.  And occasionally I have a bit of energy and have been doing a little bit more throughout the day than I was there for a while.  But I still get overcome with sadness more often than I would like, and when I get to thinking about what happened…I just cringe because I don’t know how to compartmentalize it.  Sometimes I think about it and force the thought to be more distant in my mind, so even though I’m thinking about it I don’t let it affect me through tears or whatever.  But I’m more tense because of it.  I had REALLY sore shoulders and my neck was all stiff yesterday, to the point I could barely move my head.  I finally figured out what it must have been – I am positive it’s because I was so tense before and during my doctor’s appointment the other day, that my body was paying for it yesterday.  I know I need to relax and take care of myself, but I also don’t really know what that means – how am I supposed to do that, really?  When I feel like a part of me is missing?

I know I will get through this because there is no other option.  But it’s so hard!

It did feel good to get out today, even if the sadness was heavy, and I had some good chats with my hairdresser, who I always enjoy catching up with.  It also feels really good to have my hair cut – and my bangs SHORT and actually straight since I always butcher them when I do them myself.  So all’s good in hair land…I just wish I could figure everything out INSIDE my head!

In the meantime, I just took 1 ½ sleeping pills in hopes of being knocked out in the not so distant future.  Even for all the times in my life where I have abused something like Gravol for the sleep-effect it can give, I have never felt so inclined to just medicate myself to try to numb myself.  I take back all the times in my life before this where I said I was ‘depressed’ because I so wasn’t, and now, unfortunately, I know it.

Woe is me, I know, this is getting soooooo old.  Trust me, I’m not enjoying it!  It will get better in time…so I guess right now I’m just waiting for it to go by…

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I can see you lurking at me!

I know people who big-time self-promote their blogs would scoff at the ‘low’ number of people who read my blog each day…But in the past week or so, I’m getting close to 50 hits per day, which for me is A LOT!  I’m used to a few a day, and generally the same people at that…So I’m feeling somewhat ‘exposed’ here, and wondering who is reading my blog.  Obviously there are my regular readers who also comment from time to time, and those who I know read my blog but tend not to comment.  But who are the rest of you?  I promise I won’t bite – I would love to hear from you and know something about you/what brings you to my blog.  Come on people, my ‘new’ blog template makes it pretty obvious when I’ve got ‘0’ comments on a post!  Let’s liven things up here a little!

Also, what do people with comment-success on their blogs write that seems to help generate comments?  Not that I’m totally comment hungry – I really just write my blog as my personal release because if I didn’t the thoughts in my head might explode right out of it.  I NEED to write things out.  I guess I’m in a reaching-out sort of mode right now with what’s been happening in my life, and I’m just curious who’s out there…

Relieved by how it went


 I wrote this last night but didn't get a chance to post it...

I had my doctor’s appointment today (Monday).  I was SO nervous leading up to it, the anticipation was getting to be too much.  BUT it went probably even better than I had hoped it would.  Right now (10pm) I have a raging headache, in part I think because of the build up of the day leading to the appointment, then having it…then having 2 glasses of wine, when normally I never drink at all…The combo of everything has given me a migraine, but interestingly I feel a little bit stronger emotionally and, dare I say it, an inkling of hope for the future!

I met up with James at his work place and we made our way to the doctor’s office together.  We were taken to the room to wait for the doctor, and while we were in there James was doing everything in his power to get me to laugh, hoping that would relax me a little bit since I was so wrought up.  Well, of course, JUST as he got me laughing, the doctor walked in.  He didn’t know why we were there yet, so he just smiled and said, ‘How’s life treating you?!’  When I said it felt like it couldn’t be worse, he was a bit confused!  But the laughter was soon gone, and we started talking about what happened.

I was so nervous that this appointment would ‘make me or break me’ – at least in terms of how I felt about the medical profession.  I was so worried he wouldn’t be good to me, but he totally was.  He showed compassion, and seemed to genuinely CARE that this had happened to me, and he completely validated my thoughts and feelings, which is something I really needed from a doctor, from MY doctor. 

One thing in particular stuck out to me, after I told things from my perspective.  I think in relation to me saying how to other people I ‘just had a miscarriage’ where as to me, that was my second child I had.  He said for me to remember that the word ‘miscarriage’ is just a term used to define a pregnancy loss in early pregnancy, but that it doesn’t in any way mean the loss isn’t severe.  He was reassuring me that me feeling the loss of my baby is perfectly natural, and not to let medical terms or anything else invalidate my feelings.  It’s hard to explain, but he did a really great job at making me feel like what I’m going through is normal.

That being said, based on my reactions and tears and obvious difficulty in getting through this, he suggested that I do see a counsellor, and he’s going to set up an appointment for me, which leads me to believe that POSSIBLY it will be covered, or at least maybe not as expensive as if I sought counselling on my own.  So hopefully that works out.  He’s also getting me an appointment with a gynaecologist to go over everything just to make sure there’s nothing wrong with ME, although he doubts that they will find anything wrong.  He assured me that as painful and difficult as this is, if I feel up to it I SHOULD try again for another baby, because there’s really no reason why it should happen to me again the way this one turned out.  Especially given I have Andrew who is absolutely perfect…The odds should NOT be stacked against me, even if it might feel like they are to me right now.

He actually gave me the go ahead that if I feel emotionally ready, I can try as early as possible.  Which is amazing, because most doctors, from everything I’ve read, say wait 1-3 months at least.  My doctor really wants us to have another baby, I remember him saying I should have another when I wasn’t sure if I wanted another at all!  So I know he fully supports us having another baby.  I want to try again soon, but I still want to give myself a little bit more time to heal, emotionally more than anything. 

One reason why I want to delay trying for the short term at least, is that the doctor prescribed me 10 days worth of sleeping pills.  I am hoping to only need them for a few days, but we’ll see how it goes.  James mentioned how I’ve been suffering from insomnia, and taking things like gravol to make me drowsy enough to fall asleep.  He said that if I do need a sleep aid, a proper sleeping pill is going to give me an actual restful sleep, as opposed to taking something that’s actually meant for something else.  I feel reluctant to try sleeping pills because I don’t want to get hooked, but he assured me I won’t if I’m only taking one a day for 10 days or less.  I want to do this to get a few nights of (hopefully) really good sleep, and then once that’s done, I won’t even take Tylenol or ANYTHING at all in preparation for hopefully getting pregnant again.

I also talked about the ultrasounds I had, and my doctor is requesting the results be sent to him (which they should have been anyway…)  Unfortunately the first ultrasound we had was done informally and I know no pictures were taken, so that’s a lost cause, but at least we’ll be able to go over my second ultrasound.  He said that sometimes they just don’t pick up what’s truly there, or maybe they DID see the baby in the pictures but not till after they’d talked to me and said they hadn’t – we’ll get a better idea once we see it for ourselves.  I feel a little nervous about going over the ultrasound results with him, because it will be weeks from now when that will happen, and it will just bring everything back…But on the other hand, I want to go over it because it might help me gain a little bit of closure, or at least might give me an answer I didn’t have…Or it might get me no further ahead, but at least I’ll know I tried.

I can’t say enough how much it meant to me that my doctor was so kind.  It also really made me realize how much it means to me that I have a regular doctor that I respect.  When we went into the office, the receptionist that’s usually there wasn’t, and I immediately thought, OH NO, THIS ISN’T GOOD.  I realized that even if the doctors were OK at the hospital, because they weren’t MY doctor and I wasn’t used to them, it would have been harder for me to appreciate what they were doing or saying at the time.  (Although I do still stand by the fact that I feel I could have been treated FAR better at the hospital…I mean, I wasn’t treated AT ALL while I was going through the actual miscarriage…)  It really goes a long way to have that rapport with someone, especially when dealing with some of the most sensitive aspects of our lives.  I am so grateful to have the doctor that I do.

I feel a bit of healing happening here.  I’m still very sad, and it was evident during my appointment.  I was very open and honest about what happened, and it cut deep like it had just happened to me.  I am usually very good at ‘hiding’ my true feelings, keeping my composure, and while I didn’t lose it entirely, I was crying and very visibly hurting.  The doctor also knows I’m sure that things don’t usually get to me, so he would realize the true impact this is having on me as well.  But feeling validated by him, knowing that he’s getting the ball rolling on me working through this, feeling like he genuinely WANTS me to feel better so I can get my life back on track – these were all healing experiences for me.  In some ways it would have been good to have had this appointment sooner so maybe things wouldn’t have been as painful for the past 2 weeks, but I think actually that it was a good thing it took almost 2 weeks because that way I had time to think a lot, and I was able to better hear what he was saying because I’d thought a lot, done some research, and was as ready as I could be to discuss it with him.

There’s still a long road ahead, and I don’t know when I’ll feel comfortable with not feeling the need to add something about my baby to everything I say…but I feel like I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to work through this in time, and it feels so good to have the support that I do.

After the appointment, James and I went out for dinner and had an amazing experience at a restaurant we were trying for the first time.  That’s incredible, if you know me and restaurants – especially when I’m in a mood or something serious is going on, a restaurant experience can fairly quickly go awry!  But this place ended up being perfect, and we had a great conversation with the waiter/possible owner, and that lightened things up a little for the rest of the evening.  I also had the two glasses of red wine which maybe I’m regretting slightly now that I have a headache, but it was worth it at the time.  I actually ENJOYED being out, and it felt like James and I were on a proper date.  Yes, I did talk about the baby, but we talked about other things too, and shared some laughs, and I loved feeling that connection with my husband.

Now we are home, the boy’s asleep, and we’re going to watch Dexter before bed.  I really love my family, my friends, and everything that I do have in my life.  And I still have my baby in my life too, just in a different way than I had thought I would.  I think this baby has given me a strength I didn’t know I had, and I’m going to honour them by focusing as much as I can on the good things, and what the future hopefully holds for us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things will be different next time...they have to be


After going through a miscarriage, I think I’ll take a different approach to pregnancy.  Obviously I’ll be very worried about anything going wrong, so I’ll be very conscious of absolutely EVERYTHING I am doing/eating/ETC.  How can you tell I’m in a stage of self-blame?  I know it couldn’t have been anything I did purposely, but still…I do feel like my body failed me, and I wish I could have done things differently to know if maybe then my baby would still be with me.

If I get pregnant again, I want to get an EARLY ultrasound.  Like, as in not long after I find out I’m pregnant.  Around 8 weeks maybe?  I also don’t want to obsess over finding out if I’m pregnant or not.  I will live life as if I AM pregnant – so no drinking, no pill taking, not even Tylenol.  No home pregnancy tests till I’m AT LEAST a week late with my period – which could be difficult anyway given I have no idea what my periods will be like or if they’ll be regular like they used to be, after going through this.

I not only want an early ultrasound, but I will be forceful about getting another one at 11-12 weeks, and then the 20ish weeks one.  I might even consider paying for a 3D ultrasound, which I never imagined myself doing.  I also plan on trying to find out if I can, if it’s a boy or a girl during pregnancy.  This makes me sad in a way, because I’m one of those people who loves the surprise element of giving birth and not yet knowing what the baby is.  After losing my baby and knowing I will NEVER know if I birthed a daughter or a son, I feel scarred and I want to know as soon as I can next time around.  Just in case, I guess.  I want to be able to identify my child in my mind even before they are born.  Never thought I’d take that stance, but life works in mysterious ways.

I don’t want to try using my at-home Doppler till after 12 weeks because I don’t want to hear nothing and be panicking that the baby has died.  I’m considering getting rid of it altogether because sometimes I think it’s more trouble than it’s worth.  On the other hand, I want to be able to hear my baby for reassurance once in a while.  I just foresee myself being a completely nervous wreck the entire pregnancy.

I wish I could know how ‘easy’ it will be for me to become pregnant again.  I wish I knew what the future holds.  It makes me so anxious wondering.  This is our lives, our family, that feels like it’s being toyed with.  I had so many plans for us, great ones at that, and I feel like so many of my hopes have been dashed.  I want to be working toward similar goals to what I had before this happened, but I can’t do that without the baby I imagined being a part of it all.  I am terrified I won’t be able to get pregnant, or that I will go through again what I’m dealing with now.  I don’t want either of those to even be options.  I just want life to seem normal again.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dealing with the grief...one day at a time


I’m having anxiety over my doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  In some ways I know it’s going to be a relief to talk to him, at least maybe get some information, such as when I might expect my next period, how long we should wait before trying to get pregnant, that sort of thing.  But I think I feel nervous because I’ll have to talk about ‘it’ – and even though most days it’s all I do anyway (to James, my mom, here on my blog, miscarriage forums…) I just feel anxious about having to start from the beginning with someone again.  Even if it IS my doctor.  Who, thankfully, I really like a lot and so far have a lot of respect for, and hope SO BADLY that he is kind to me tomorrow – because I don’t think I can handle it if I feel mistreated by another health professional at the moment.  In particular my own doctor! 

I find it difficult in some ways because I’m the type of person who generally doesn’t show it if I’m feeling emotional, I’m pretty good at remaining ‘level’, especially in public.  I don’t feel that strong right now though.  And I know it’s OK if I cry in front of my doctor, I just find it all so…uncomfortable.  Out of my usual realm.  I feel so vulnerable and I hate it.

A few days after my miscarriage, I started doing some research on the topic, and found myself looking up pictures of miscarried babies and abnormal ultrasound photographs.  Morbid, much?  I know it sounds truly awful to purposely look up such images, but try to see if from my point of view.  In an act of desperation, I wanted to see if I could find a baby that looked like mine.  Or to see that other babies had been miscarried in the same manner.  I have learned a lot in the past almost-2-weeks, and I now realize (however hard it is to accept) that miscarriages do indeed happen at ALL stages of pregnancy.  I kept thinking it’s too bizarre that my baby ‘looked’ perfect, it just didn’t make sense to me that there could have been something so wrong as to cause my baby to die, my body to reject it, when it ‘looked’ fine.  I know I only saw my baby for a matter of seconds, but I have a fairly clear image in my mind of what he or she looked like, and I am positive everything ‘appeared’ as it should in a healthy fetus.  Obviously mine was not healthy, since it was no longer living at that point.  But…I needed reassurance or something, I don’t know…I needed to try to find an image of my baby, though I still don’t know why.  My heart goes out to every baby that didn’t make it, but I became somewhat immune to the images I saw, because none of those babies were ‘mine.’  I have come to realize that even though I essentially was robbed of having any time with my baby, no other baby could ever replace him or her for me.  My Momma’s Instinct was very much present the whole time I went through my pregnancy, my miscarriage, and even now. 

I am not going to post any pictures that might scare anyone, but I am going to post a few computer generated images of an 11 week fetus, as well as one from a Life magazine – which is farther along in gestation, but shows the baby in a gestational sac (although I found my baby’s gestational sac was more red than clear, though it was transparent red.  I wonder if that’s because it was out of my body, whereas I believe the one from Life was still in the womb…

This first image shows the baby in close to the same positioning as I saw mine when it was out of my body, so I found this picture somehow 'comforting' for lack of a better term (I really don't think 'comforting' is the right term...)
This was about how developed my baby looked.  Which is interesting that it says '11 weeks' because any other image I found at 11 weeks looked far less developed than this.  I don't think it's possible that my baby was any less than 11 weeks, and I actually think he or she was further along than that by maybe a week or so.  No proof, just an inkling.
 The baby in the next image is further along, I think around 15-16 weeks, so my baby was smaller in relation to the gestational sac - the sac seemed slightly 'roomier'...and like I said, the sac was more of a transparent RED than clear...The part outside the sac is the placenta (weird since I saw my placenta when it came out after Andrew was born and it looked NOTHING like this...but maybe this is less developed?  I did have some visible pieces come out of me that looked like the edges of the placenta in this image.  Sorry for tmi, but it is what it is. Interestingly, this fetus is looking in the same direction as what my baby was when I saw it, although my baby was upside down in comparison to this picture.  But looking a bit toward the right.  Just an observation on my part, documenting the memory of how I saw my baby.
 I feel the need to put these images out there not to freak people out, but to humanize my baby more.  I feel like people think ‘miscarriage’ but they don’t REALLY consider what it actually means.  I actually don’t like the term miscarriage at all.  No, it obviously wasn’t properly-carried, or whatever the opposite term would be, but…I feel like ‘miscarriage’ doesn’t do justice to the fact that in the process of ‘miscarrying’ an actual baby was birthed.  I know you have to be much farther along than 11 weeks for a miscarriage to be called a stillbirth, and I do get why in the sense that obviously it would be MUCH more traumatizing (which freaks me out, given how traumatized I am) if the baby was further gestated.  But I honestly think people who I haven’t told outright my ‘story’ to don’t actually ‘get’ that I laboured and gave birth to my baby.  Just because something is small (I would say it was about 3 inches long, which actually makes me believe I was further along than 11 weeks, because I have not found a single ’11 week’ image that is as developed as my baby was, whereas 12-13 weeks seemed more accurate…But that’s just one more question I will never have answered, since we never did make it to our find-out-the-due-date ultrasound).  I just wish people in general could better understand what a woman goes through during a miscarriage, and why it can be so traumatizing.

But anyway…The negative aspect to all of this aside, I’ve been trying really hard to see something positive in it.  I will never understand WHY this baby could not survive, and I will never ‘get over’ this baby.  But I was thinking about my hope to get pregnant again and to have my next baby thrive just like Andrew did, and has (and WILL).  And I realized that if we do have another healthy baby, I will have to be ‘grateful’ (in whatever way possible) that this happened to me – because if this hadn’t happened to me, I would never go on to have the next baby.  And of course I will adore my next baby…So…Does this all make sense?  That ultimately in order to have my next baby, I unfortunately had to lose this one…So maybe somehow, somewhere, I’ll be able to come up with the ‘reason’ I seem to need for why this had to happen.  It’s too early yet for me to have that figured out, and I’m also doing my best to come to terms with the fact that there’s a very good chance I will never figure it out, even if we do end up having another healthy baby (please, please, let us have one more healthy baby – that is all I want in this world!)  But I’m working on trying to coming to terms with this, and that little realization seemed like a starting point for me, something to try to focus on.

I hope my doctor can help me in some way, although I also know that he can’t do or say anything that will change what happened, and I have to remind myself that while he’s there for me in a sense, and will (hopefully) do what he can to calm my fears, I just have to work through this – somehow – on my own.


Making an effort

While the boys are out on a bike ride, I have some quiet time to write.  I just lit a fire in the fireplace and I’m enjoying the cozyness of it.

We didn’t leave the house yesterday and I think James and I were both feeling a bit stir crazy as a result.  Not that I’m not used to staying in, since lately I haven’t felt up to doing much of anything and try to avoid people like the plague.  It’s so sunny out today, though, so it seemed a shame even to me to ‘waste’ the entire thing sitting indoors.

We finally convinced Andrew it was a good idea to get out there (he’s even more of a home body than me).  It took forever to get his squirmy little self dressed and ready, but then once he had his new outfit on (GG, his great grandma, bought him some new clothes when she was over last week) and checked himself out in the mirror, he was raring to go.  I told him he looked like a little model and that made him stop crying and laugh and smile at himself.  Priceless!  I even put gel in his hair, because I said models usually have their hair done, too.  He loved it!

We went out into our backyard, where Andrew spotted the 3 little pumpkins I got the other day.  I want to get two more so it can be like the ‘Five Little Pumpkins’, which Andrew knows by heart and loves to recite.

Five little pumpkins, sitting on a gate
First one says, Oh my it’s getting late
Second one says, There are witches in the air
Third one says, But we don’t care!
Fourth one says, Let’s run and run and run
Fifth one says, We’re ready for some fun
Oooh, went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins
Rolled out of sight

Anyway, James had wanted to go for a bike ride with Andrew (I didn’t feel up to riding my bike, while physically I’d say I’m doing quite well, I don’t want to over do it since I’m still healing, although I’m sure I COULD ride my bike, if I really wanted to).  Andy was all gung-ho about the bike ride till it came time to heading out, when he flat out refused and said he was walking with me.  So James went and got his bike anyway and we planned to just meet at the park.  But as soon as Andrew actually SAW the bike, he immediately wanted to get on it!  Luckily James figured as much and brought Andy’s little helmet out, so off they went biking to the park, and I walked there to meet up with them.





I took some pictures along the way, and tried to just enjoy the autumn weather and fallen leaves.  I still feel this sadness deep inside, and I find it difficult to enjoy the fall this year, even though it IS beautiful.  I love all the colours on the leaves and the crunch of them under my feet.  But this fall feels different for me, there is usually a spark from the familiarity of fall days, but this year it’s more flat somehow.  Like I wish I wasn’t seeing it at all.  As if I can’t quite comprehend how everything just keeps happening ‘as per usual’ when very little feels ‘usual’ to me these days.  It’s just my mood, and I know that.  I can’t bring myself to enjoy anything fully because of the sadness.  BUT I will say that I did make an effort today to try, and I think I did a pretty good job.

While dwelling on what I AM missing out on (the continuation of my baby growing inside me and all the hopes and dreams that come along with that), I don’t want to also end up missing out on happy moments with James and Andrew.  Watching Andrew at the park smile and laugh gleefully, running around playing games with his Daddy, and me going on the swings with him – those are all very important things, and help in getting me through the day without being quite so glum.  I’m glad I ventured out and got some fresh air with my boys.


















Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fire, Fire! said Mrs McGuire


I ran into the building manager yesterday and she gave the go ahead to use our fireplace.  So this morning James started our first fire of the season, and we’ve had it going all day.  We don’t want to rip through the wood too quickly, but it’s just so cozy, and tempting to put in log after log.  I like the crackling sound, the warmth, and just watching the flames lick the wood.  I’m so glad we have a fireplace here, and tons of fire wood in our storage to see us through the next few months.
 
I had another meltdown last night, though it was good for me to have gotten out for part of the day.  My mom and I even went out for lunch together.  I just find that my sad-state never fully goes away, not even close, no matter what I’m doing.  I was outright crying one minute in the car, talking about things with my mom, and then collected myself and went into Safeway for a few things.  I’m able to keep my cool when I have to, but if anyone had been shopping right by me they’d probably wonder what my problem was, because I found myself deep-sighing a lot and just not wanting to be there.  I got through it though, and I made yummy tacos for our supper.  I also got Andrew a Haunted House gingerbread kit so when we got back to my parents’ place he and my mom put it together while I got the tacos ready.
 
Andrew LOVES tacos, just like his mommy and daddy do.  Shortly after James and I got married, my bro and sil got us a dvd version of The Newlywed Game.  One of the questions was what we’d prepare for dinner if the leader of some foreign country was coming to our house.  James and I got full points for that one – we both said TACOS!!  It’s our favourite meal, and I love how it’s so easy to make yet also so healthy.  It was something Andrew took to from pretty early on, and now he’s a master at building his own taco.  It was really cute watching him put it together and eat it, and my parents couldn’t believe how much he ate and how quickly.  That’s our boy!!

I had a pretty rough night last night, there is a lot that I have to work at coming to terms with.  I’m not finding it the least bit easy.  I’ve done OK today so far, but I’m starting to get restless and I find when I get to this point of the day it’s not a good thing.  I just don’t know what to do with myself, and I start feeling a bit desperate.  I know it’ll just take time, but it’s so frustrating feeling this way all the time.  It’s really, really hard.
  
A card from my Nana, flowers from our landlord, and the angel figurine that I keep on the mantel now.
I’ve been trying to keep busy, but I’m also very tired.  I feel like I need to continue to talk about it and try to work through it, but I also feel like a broken record.  I see my family doctor (finally) on Monday, so maybe he’ll be able to shed some light on this process…but otherwise I’m pretty sure I’m going to find a counsellor to talk to.  I just don’t think this is something I can work through on my own.  Even when I start thinking about it more ‘practically’ or whatever, it still hurts, and there are certain aspects to it that I’m not clear how I can ever move away from.  In particular my aloneness in it all.  Sure, people care about me, don’t want me to be hurting, and will help in whatever way they can.  And I really do appreciate that and don’t want to minimize how much that means to me.  But ultimately, no one feels as strongly about this as I do.  No one else truly feels the loss, the loss of an actual baby.  Not even James, and that’s something that hurts a lot that I need help with.  I get that he didn’t carry it/birth it/watch it get flushed away.  I understand why all those things would make him feel less close to the baby than I did.  But it’s still hard, nonetheless, to watch him be able to just move on in life as if nothing is wrong.  I really do feel like I’m the only person who is ever going to remember than I’ve had 2 kids, not just one, and I’m not sure how to work through the pain of that without some serious help.  Who knows, maybe counselling is just the thing I need.  I just worry about the cost of it because, let’s face it, talking about one thing is going to lead into another…and another…I don’t see this taking just a session or two!  But I guess only time will tell.

Friday, October 21, 2011

One thing at a time


It’s pouring with rain today, a good day to stay cozy inside.  Although I plan on actually venturing out today!  Is it a good sign that I opened the blinds this morning and actually kept them open?!  Yesterday I had them open for all of 5 minutes, then just felt too vulnerable to the world and shut them.  I think it’s probably for the best that I’m not staying home all day today.

I can’t wait till we can get clearance to actually enjoy a fire in our fireplace!  We have all this wood and we’ve yet to be told we can start using it.  I think it will feel quite relaxing to sit in front of the fire and watch the sparks fly.  Hopefully this weekend.

I really kind of desperately need something to look forward to.  I feel like the only thing I want to look forward to is having a baby.  It’s freaking me out, but it’s what I so desperately want.  Not right away but…Look at it this way – if we wait several months, we’re liable to have another Christmas baby assuming the pregnancy goes to full term.  I don’t want another Christmas baby, seriously, that CANNOT happen!  I really, really want the baby to be born sooner than that.  I feel sad that things didn’t go as planned, because I had it in my mind that Andrew would still be home before starting Kindergarten for a full year and a half, so he’d have that extra bonding time with the baby.  I imagined the baby going with us to places like Playland next summer, me and the babe sitting out while Andrew and Daddy go on the rides.  Silly things like that – stuff that ultimately shouldn’t matter, but does to me.  I imagined the baby on a blanket outside on the grass in the summer time, while Andrew runs around and plays in the yard.  Now…I don’t know what will happen, but it certainly won’t be that, because there’s no chance now of having a spring/summer baby.  September is the earliest possibility, but even that seems unlikely at this point.

I hate not being able to KNOW things.  I like to have as much control of my life as possible.  I wish I could be one of those people who flies by the seat of their pants, doesn’t take things so personally, is carefree and just goes with whatever life throws them.  I am so NOT that person.

Last night when James and Andrew got home, Andrew asked me, ‘You missed me today?’  I said, ‘I sure did!  I always miss you when we’re apart!’  Andrew said, ‘I missed you today, Mommy.  I’m soooo happy to see you!’  Awww!  I have the bestest boy ever.  I love how much more he’s talking, and all the sweet things he says.  He knows how to cheer me up, and the past few days we’ve been together he has been a really good boy for me.


Pictures from before

 I just unloaded some pictures from my camera.  I haven't really used my camera at all since 'it' happened.  I found it a little difficult to look through my pictures from about a week before my miscarriage, because it made me think about how differently I feel about so many things now, things I had no idea about when these pictures were taken.  As well, I discovered I'd taken a few pictures of myself with my pregnant belly that I'd forgotten about.  It made me sad looking at them, but strangely comforted too.

First, some pictures from our outing to Hume Park in New West on the Saturday of Thanksgiving long weekend. 



And our Halloween cookie making project that was meant for closer to Halloween, but of course as soon as Andrew saw the kit he wanted to open it!
Holding up his first decorated pumpkin cookie...
And I thought I might as well include them...Pictures of me taken a few days before my miscarriage.  Little did I know what was about to happen...Here I am, so happy and excited about my babe.  I wish I could go back in time and be in this place again, only with a much different outcome from where I'm at now...

Look how big I was already!  My little baby was in there, no mistaking it...

So hard to believe that it's over, when it feels like it had just begun.  I miss that belly now.  But even though it's a weird thing to see these pictures after the fact, I'm comforted by the fact that this is proof - forever - of my sweet little baby's existence.  Unfortunately it's all I've got, but at least it's something.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wake up and Say Goodbye


I’ve had a bit of a tough time choosing music to listen to this past week.  Mainly, I didn’t want to end up associating an album I love with this particular time in my life and have it ruined for me. 

Today when I decided to do a major clean of the kitchen (including taking everything off the counters, wiping down, and rearranging a little bit), I chose David Usher’s Wake Up and Say Goodbye.  I wanted to listen to his music, but was a little hesitant at first.  That particular album was one I listened to A LOT while I was pregnant with Andrew.  We went to his concert at the Commodore and I swear that Andy was dancing to the music inside my belly!  He loved David Usher once he was born, too, so I’m pretty sure he heard the music and liked it since before day 1. 

In a way I found it comforting to listen to the cd, and have some happy memories from my first pregnancy at the forefront for a change.  I want to think about happier things, though my mind always seems to drift back to my little angel Baby#2.

I guess even though it was for a very short time – not the entire rest of my life like I was imagining – I can say positively that I’m glad I got to have my baby with me for the time that I did.  I do wish this had never happened, and that instead I was still pregnant and looking forward to my little son or daughter being born in about 6 months time.  But…I feel as though it would be wrong for me to say that I wish I’d never got pregnant with them at all.  Even for how dreadfully painful this process of loss is, I wouldn’t want the love I have for that little being to not exist at all.

I’m beginning to think I no longer believe in the idea that ‘everything happens for a reason.’  But I do believe that my baby would want me to have strength and to still have happy moments and find things to look forward to in my life.  If my baby was going to develop further to have some sort of horrendous mental or physical problem, then that would have not been a good life to enter into.  My little baby and my body decided that it wouldn’t be a good thing to carry on.  It doesn’t seem fair, it doesn’t seem right, I don’t like it one bit.  But it would have been much harder to birth a full term baby riddled with problems, or a baby who might not survive for long after full term birth.  This, what I am going through now, is undeniably painful and awful, but it could have been so much worse.  My heart goes out to those who have lost babies further along, or after birth.  I can only try to imagine the severity of that loss.

It’s hard to say I’m ‘thankful’ that this happened when it did, though I know it’s better of to have happened sooner than later, if it had to at all.  I still feel like I need to feel sad and grieve, feel sorry for myself and my little baby, to wonder why the world has to be so cruel.  But I also want to work on feeling better so I can be the best mom to Andrew as I possibly can, and so I can focus on the love I have for my baby who died, in a positive light somehow.  I don’t want my baby’s 11 week gestation to have been in vain!  I can’t even say their short little life, because ultimately it wasn’t much of a ‘life’ that they had – though I do very much feel that my baby WAS a person already, just a little itsy bitsy tiny (I’m positive he or she would have been adorable) one.

I want to say that my baby taught me something about compassion, and love.  I’ve always felt like I AM a loving and compassionate person, for example my love for animals extends to the point I became a vegetarian because I couldn’t stand the idea of them being slaughtered to be eaten or worn.  (No, I don’t wear leather, either!)  When I was little, around 6 or 7, I used to write little poems about my friends and it was all about how much I liked and loved them.  I’ve always felt an intense need, not just desire, to make sure the people I care about the most know how much they mean to me.  I think my love and compassion ran deep before this happened to me.  So it has been confusing me as to why this would be some sort of a life’s lesson I needed…although I don’t even know why I approach it that way, since I just finished saying I’m not sure that everything in this world happens for a reason…In fact, maybe nothing does.  I feel like I’m questioning everything these days.

But my baby DID teach me about love and compassion in ways that I maybe hadn’t been aware of it before, and while right now it’s all very painful, I do believe that I will carry this with me throughout my life, and it should make me a better person than I was before I went through this.  I feel more apt to reach out to others, especially if I know they are hurting, and I might have more wisdom when it comes to what to say, or how to help.  Maybe that’s something that my baby taught me?  Work with me here, I’m really trying hard to stay focused on the positives!  It’s not easy for me right now, but I think even attempting it is a good sign?!

I think that maybe my ultimate fear about this particular situation is that those around me are just going to forget that I had my second child already – I really will be the only one who will think about my little baby who no one else saw, and I will be the only one who, for example, will think of October 11th as their birthday forever now.  I think of myself as having birthed two children, whereas other people will look at it as I have a son, and I had a miscarriage.  I think it’s normal and natural for people to react that way, but it hurts me inside so much.  I don’t want life to just go on ‘as per usual’ because it’s not usual anymore.  It’s not the same.  And even though I do plan on working through this, getting myself out of this hole I feel I’m in right now, I don’t plan on pretending like I was never in it.  I don’t want my little baby to be invisible.  That’s what I probably have to work on the most, is coming to terms with the fact that when it comes right down to it, I’m the only one who’s going to see it the way I do.  I foresee myself on the inside being much more sensitive, but having to build a stronger wall up around me in order to face the future.


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