Archive | July, 2015

post loss

27 Jul

“I’m not sure we do a woman justice when she endures something brutal and we chalk it up to strength. Sometimes people with no strength at all emerge from a horrifying season. They used all the might they had just to hold on to Jesus. And He was enough. In their weakness, He was strong.” Beth Moore in Children of the Day.

This is how I feel when people tell me I am strong. I know it is meant as a compliment, but the truth is, I feel weak. I feel so weak.

When I was told I was going to miscarry, but before it had started, I called my mom one day and while sobbing I told her that it felt like God was playing a cruel joke on me. I was wondering if His whole purpose for my suffering was for me to be an inspiration to others. I told her through sobs, “I don’t want to be inspiring. I don’t want to be perceived as strong. I just want to be a mom, to have a baby!” 

I am feeling much better about this now, though. In fact, over the past couple of weeks I have been amazed and grateful for the people that have reached out to tell me how my blog and my transparency have spoken to them or someone they know. I know that God has called me to be open and honest about our journey in a way that can sometimes be uncomfortable to write and for people to read. I don’t always understand why He would have me write our story in such a real way and then I get an opportunity to connect with a mom going through something similar and I am beyond grateful.

While I was in the middle of the horrible pain my miscarriage was, I received an email from a mom who just lost a baby in June to sirenemolia. This is one of the conditions that our son Angel had. It is so rare and so hard to find other parents that have gone through a loss so similar. I have exchanged some emails with her and while I don’t know if anything I have said could bring her comfort or the answers she seeks, I am glad that if anything, she knows she is not alone. And as horrible as it is to welcome a mom to the club of infant loss, I am also grateful that she shared her story with me (if that makes sense).

It has been 15 days since my miscarriage started. I have had blood loss every day since Sunday the 12th, with the heaviest day being Monday the 13th. I had horrible, debilitating pain from Wednesday the 15th until Tuesday the 21st.

Currently, I feel human again. I am still bleeding and my abdomen feels very sore. I have been active during the day and very exhausted at night. I have been sleeping 9-11 hours a night. Normally, I am good with 6 hours. That is my main indicator that my body is still healing.

I am on short term disability through work and won’t be going back to work for several more weeks. It is very nice to have this time of healing, but it kind of feels like I am on maternity leave, without the baby.

My mom is here visiting and that has been so nice. She came in on Thursday the 28th and will be here until August 12th. My mom and I are so close and we always have a great time together. I got pretty lucky in the mom department.

Arturo and I have started talking about our next transfer, but haven’t made any definite decisions about when we will do this. I don’t want to be overwhelmed with fear going into it. I know there will be fear, but I don’t want that to be the ONLY thing I am able to feel. I need to feel hopeful before I can be ready to start over. I am praying to feel joy and peace in spite of life’s circumstances.

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bubble baths and grandmas and caretaking

21 Jul

I love bubble baths. But, they are an indulgence that I rarely take time for. Because I feel like to take a proper bubble bath, I have to spend at least an hour soaking in the tub, doing nothing except for relaxing. And, I rarely make time for that kind of relaxation. But over the past week, I have taken a bubble bath every single day.

The first couple of days, they were just a tool for pain control. But, now, I am actually in kind of a weird way looking forward to my time in the bathtub. I have been spending more than an hour, usually two hours doing nothing but soaking and relaxing. Yes, it is the only thing that helps my pain, but I am finding that I can enjoy this time too.

I just got out of the bath a little bit ago and while I was soaking today, my thought trail led me to thinking about my Grandma Sally. My Grandma loved to take bubble baths too. And, I guess maybe that is where I got my love of them. As I thought about my Grandma, who is in heaven now, I found myself feeling some more comfort that my babies are in heaven.

My Grandma Sally was as fun of a grandma as you can imagine. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include her. I can only hope that she is going to take my babies on the same amazing adventures that she took my brother and me when we were little.

She showed us how much fun it is to walk through mud puddles in our bare feet, to feel the mud between our toes. She taught my brother how to climb trees.   She taught us how to get truckers to honk their horns for us. She would take her partial out and show us her toothless smile just to make us laugh. When we went to her house on vacation, she would wake me up at 6:00 am to run through her neighbor’s automatic sprinklers in our nightgowns. We would go for long walks and gather lady bugs. She loved to joke that hay bales were loaves of bread and would always asked us if we brought the jam along for the bread when we were in the car. There are so many memories I could list, but these are the ones that popped into my head this morning.

I had a revelation about Arturo in the bathtub this morning too.

Arturo is not a natural caregiver by any means.  I am.  I love to take care of him and I hate when I can’t. I hate when I need him to help me and I hate when I have to ask him.  I want him to read my mind and know what I need without me asking (because I am also neurotic).  But, that is not who he is.  He will help me and he will do it without complaining, but I have to ask.

Yesterday afternoon, I told him that I am not going to push myself to go back to work sooner than I am ready.  This will put financial strain on us and that is what I have been wrestling with in making the decision to take some more time off of work.  His response was to tell me that he is going to work some overtime, which made me feel guilty.  He works so hard and he really enjoys his days off.  So, I feel bad that he would pick up overtime shifts so that I can lounge in the bathtub.

So, my revelation was this.

Arturo working some overtime shifts is the best way that he can take care of me.  And, I didn’t have to ask him to do it.  He saw what I needed, what we needed, without me asking, and he is going to fill the need.  I am so lucky to have him.

So, today, I want to say thank you miscarriage for bubble baths and thank you for reminding me of what a loving grandma my babies have in heaven with them. And thank you miscarriage for giving me a revelation about my husband loving me even more than I realized he did.

I am still not feeling the greatest, but I know that I am going to make it through this. I spoke to a nurse from my Dr office yesterday and she said that as long as I am not experiencing heavy blood loss, it sounds like a normal miscarriage and to check back in with them on Friday if my pain has not subsided.

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miscarriage still in progress

19 Jul

WARNING

This post is going to contain a lot of whining and graphic detail about this horrible thing they call a miscarriage.

It has been a week since this whole thing started. I can’t believe it is taking this long and I can’t believe it seems like there is no end in sight.

Last Sunday, I had some mild pain and bleeding, that was how I knew it was starting. I was extremely emotional knowing that I couldn’t hide from it anymore.

On Monday morning, I felt alright, still just mild cramping, but I knew it would get worse.

I needed to have my Dr office fill out some paperwork for my work, so I could take some time off without consequences. I had this feeling that if I didn’t take it to them on Monday, I might not get another chance.

I wasn’t sure if I could or should drive, so I had a dear friend take me. It was really nice to have the company and just visit about something other than the miscarriage.

When I got home, I let the dogs outside and called my mom to let her know I was home safely. I literally wasn’t even in the house for 5 minutes when I felt this very heavy gush of blood leave my body. I ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet for almost an hour as I lost an enormous amount of blood and clots. But, there really wasn’t very much pain. It was still just mild and bearable cramping. In fact, I stayed talking to my mom on the phone for most of the time I sat there.

When I thought the blood was easing up, I got up and went to go get some towels to put underneath me with plans of relaxing on the couch.

THIS IS THE REALLY BAD PART

I reached to the top shelf in closet to reach for some old towels and at the same time I coughed. Coughing released a whole new wave of blood and even though I was wearing underwear and a pad I didn’t have any pants on. The cough sent blood spraying everywhere. It was a huge mess. Even one of my dogs got covered.

I abandoned the wreckage and ran to the bathroom to sit on the toilet again. I realized I was a huge mess and decided to get in the shower. That was a mistake, though. I was so weak I couldn’t stand. I sat down in the bathtub and let the water run over me as the blood flowed out of me.

After awhile I had enough strength to finish cleaning myself up and get out of the tub. I went with my original plan and found my way to the couch to rest. I have never felt so weak. And I knew that I needed to clean up the mess before Arturo got home from work. I just had no idea how I would manage to do it.

After an hour or so, I had enough strength back to go clean up the mess. And I thought that the worst of it had to be over, that how could I possibly lose any more blood after what I had just gone through.

Tuesday was a very easy day, not much blood loss and again, very mild pain. This felt like reassurance that the miscarriage was over.

I was wrong. So wrong.

On Wednesday morning, I woke up with horrible pain that would not ease up no matter what I tried. I took some ibuprofen and tried to get some relief from the heating pad. Nothing helped. I have never been in labor, our son was born via c-section, but I guess this must be what contractions feel like. I would sit on the toilet because it really felt like I needed to push. And I had horrible pain for a minute or so, to where I felt like screaming. Then I would get relief for about 30 seconds before the pain would start again. I was passing large clots. I finally decided to call the Dr office and see if they had any advice on what I should do.

I had to leave a voicemail for the nurse and it took her 4 hours to call me back. The whole time I was waiting, I was in misery. I did finally fall asleep out of pure exhaustion and of course, that was when the nurse called back. She said they would write a script for me to get some pain meds and asked if Arturo would come to their office to pick it up. I asked her if this all seemed normal and how much longer I should expect this to last. She said it sounded like it was all normal and that this could last another few days.

I asked Arturo to go get the script and get it filled. He got very mad and I thought he was mad at me, which made me very emotional. He explained to me that he wasn’t mad at me at all. He was mad at the Dr office, mad that they had let me suffer so long, mad that they hadn’t given me pain medication already. He was right. It would have made sense for them to give me a script on one of the many appointments I had been to just in case I needed it. I guess I could have asked for it too, but I had no idea what to expect and didn’t dream it would be this bad.

By the time he got home with the medicine, the pain had gone away completely and I thought it was a waste to have him go get it.

Again. I was wrong, so wrong.

Thursday he had to work. I was home by myself and the pain was extreme again. For 7 hours, I suffered through the contractions and passing of clots with no relief. The pain medication wasn’t even cutting the pain a little bit. I finally fell asleep and when I woke up the pain had subsided.

Friday, the same. I decided to try and take a hot bath. Amazingly, when nothing else helped, this did. I stayed in the tub for a couple hours, changing the water whenever it got cold or too bloody.

Saturday morning, the pain started about the same time and I got in the bathtub right away. I was able to get the pain under control much faster and it wasn’t as extreme as it had been the past few days so again I thought I was on the downhill slide.

And again. Wrong.

This morning, the pain was the worst it has been yet. It was crying bad. I quickly took a pain pill and got in the bathtub. Then I got nauseous since I took the pill on an empty stomach. So, I had to hollar and wake Arturo to make me some toast. I felt so bad having to wake him, but I knew I didn’t have a choice.

As I write this I am on the couch with the heating pad, still in a lot of pain.

NOW STARTS THE WHINING

When is this going to be over? How much more do I have to suffer? I don’t feel like I can process my emotions until the physical pain is over.

I have been very surprised because I didn’t think anything could be worse than the loss of Angel, but somehow this feels worse.

Here’s why.

I got the privilege to carry Angel until 37 weeks. I got to feel him move and bond with him for months. I had ultrasounds every few weeks and got to spend that time hearing his heart beat and seeing him grow.

I got to meet him. I got to hold him and introduce him to all his grandparents. He changed my life and continues to impact me every day.

I would go through it all again, the pregnancy and the loss, just for the opportunity to spend another 3 hours and 19 minutes with Angel.

But this…I didn’t have any of the same privileges in mothering this child as I did with Angel.  My time spent with Baby consists of me sitting on the toilet, losing baby parts in the form of clots, trying not to look to see if I can distinguish anything that looks like a small baby. This is a nightmare. It is so unfair.

The only thing giving me any comfort is imagining Angel greeting Baby in heaven and the two of them being able to grow up together.

So sorry for all the graphic details, but this is it. This is my life right now, this is my truth.

I do thank God for the mercies He has given me. I thank Him that He allowed me to make it home on Monday before the very heavy blood loss started. I thank Him that I haven’t passed out at all, especially on the days I have been home by myself. I thank Him that I have still been in pretty good spirits overall. I thank Him that I haven’t had to work. I thank God for all the loving and supportive people He has placed in my life. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve any of these mercies, but somehow He gives them to me anyway. Praise God.

it’s over

13 Jul

Today has been about as bad a day as one could imagine having. And as a result, my head space is getting worse. I don’t want to keep waiting and I definitely don’t want to keep waiting patiently for a baby. I am feeling so hopeless.

Sunday afternoon, I started to feel very crampy. It was constant and I could tell it wasn’t going to go away. It was a bearable pain, but definitely noticeable. Shortly after Arturo got home from work, I started bleeding.

I immediately started sobbing. There is no denying it now. There is no more hope to cling to. It’s over. The baby is not going to make it and there is nothing I can do to change that.

Today was worse, physically. I will spare you all the gory details and just say that I became very weak at one point this afternoon and was a little afraid I might pass out. I am not feeling quite as tough now and I am hoping that the worst is over.

I am so grateful for a group of friends who got together and organized meals for us. There is no way that I could have cooked today.

I am hoping for a quick recovery physically and that I will feel God near to me during this horrible time.

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waiting and worrying

12 Jul

I’m still pregnant, 10 weeks pregnant. And this waiting for miscarriage is making me so anxious. Every day that I am still pregnant is making me worry more and more about what the miscarriage is going to be like. I am trying so hard to give it to God, but it is a real struggle.

My pregnancy symptoms have completely vanished and I have been crampy off and on for a couple weeks, but no miscarriage yet. I wonder why my body is hanging on to Baby.

I have moved from shock and denial into the bargaining stage of my grief. I have been telling Baby that I am sorry for the things I complained about. I am sorry that I complained about how painful the Progesterone shots were. Even though I haven’t done a shot for almost 2 weeks and I am still sore at the injection sites, I would gladly do the shots every single day without complaint if it means Baby will stay on earth with me. Also, I complained quite a bit about the terrible heartburn and reflux I was having. I am so sorry for complaining. I won’t any more. I will just celebrate every moment if Baby will stay!!

If you have been reading my blog since the beginning or if you know me personally, you know this is not my first miscarriage. So you would think I would know what to expect. But, I don’t. My last miscarriage was so long ago and I was a completely different person then. When I started to miscarry, with no warning, I turned to my two best friends for comfort, alcohol and weed. I stayed intoxicated for several days and so I don’t really remember what it was like.

I am a little afraid to leave the house for very long. I don’t want to be out in public when it starts. But I am trying to be balanced and not become a hermit. I have been forcing myself to get out of the house every few days as I normally would. But large groups are giving me some anxiety and so I try to stay in the background as much as possible.

I am also struggling with hope. I fully trust God and know that His plan is best, even though I can’t understand it right now. But, right now, it feels foolish to have hope. What good has hope done?

I remained hopeful my whole pregnancy with Angel. I clung to the hope that he would be healed and I never gave up. I was absolutely 100% hopeful that we would raise this  baby on earth and never let myself be afraid of miscarriage at all. So, my hope feels like a waste of energy. I know this is a dangerous space to be in and I can’t allow myself to linger here, but for now, I am stuck. Maybe I am a little angry.

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I remain grateful for the blessings God has given me. Most notably in the past few weeks, my husband. He is so loving and so understanding and I can’t imagine doing this without him. I think it is important for me to focus on  my blessings, especially now. I will post something more about this soon.

Keep us in your prayers as we are trying to navigate the unknown.

no good news

6 Jul

Arturo and I met with Dr Hayes today and had another ultrasound. Things are progressing, just not in the way we want them to. She said the baby is starting to deteriorate. She can’t predict when the miscarriage will happen. She said it could still be a week or two or it could happen in the next couple of days. So, we will keep waiting.

I haven’t felt very good these past couple days. I think most of it is stress. I am so exhausted and I have had a really bad headache. That feels like stress symptoms to me. And I have been pretty crampy off and on. That I am sure is the deterioration of Baby.

Emotionally, I am still pretty numb. I have moments where I break down and I have been especially irritable. But, it hasn’t really hit me yet that this pregnancy is all but over.

I am so grateful to be surrounded by the support of family and friends, both near and far. And I believe 100% that God has not forgotten me. He will keep His promises to me. It’s just hard to see the big picture right now.

deja vu

1 Jul

Today felt like deja vu. Not just to two weeks ago, but to three years ago.

Arturo and I went to the Dr today for another ultrasound. We were told a week ago that they would be able to confirm heartbeat at this appointment since I am 8 weeks along.

So, I got off work at 5:30 am and we headed out for our 7:00 am appointment. I was exhausted and it didn’t help that they made us wait in the room for over a half an hour. So, for a half an hour, I sat on the table with the stupid paper blanket, waiting for someone to come in.

Finally the PA came in and started the ultrasound. Right away, she says, “Tell me about your previous losses.” Not a question I want asked during an ultrasound.

She spent quite a bit of time looking around and couldn’t find anything. I was pretty relaxed, feeling like she just wasn’t seeing Baby. I told her Dr Hayes had trouble too and that Dr Magarelli was able to find Baby for her.

After a few more minutes she said she was going to go get him.

I still didn’t freak out. I was so confident that he would come in the room and solve everything.

I was wrong.

He said the baby had stopped growing and that he had been wrong to be hopeful last week. There was no heartbeat and that I will start to miscarry. He said it could be another week or two until that happens, but they want it to happen naturally. He told me to stop my Progesterone injections.

So, here is why it felt like deja vu.

I have sat in a room and had a Dr tell me something so similar. I compute it like this, “Your baby will die. There is nothing you can do. You just have to wait for it to happen.”

I didn’t cry until he left the room. And even then, it was just a few tears, not what you would expect. I am feeling pretty numb right now. I am raw.

Why does this have to be so hard?

Why is this so unfair?

When is it going to be our turn?

What is God doing?

I have had many well-meaning people ask me today when we will do another transfer, or if we will continue with our adoption plans. I appreciate all the thoughts, but seriously, don’t ask me that.

I haven’t even lost this baby yet and already I am expected to move onto the next one? No. I am not ready for that.

I’m still 100% positive that Arturo and I are going to have children in our home  someday. I know that will happen, but this is just so hard. And I don’t understand why God is allowing my heart to break over and over again in the process. I know He has a plan, and I will still love Him no matter what, but I am struggling right now.

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I am also doing that stupid thing where I blame myself, allow myself to feel guilty for not being able to carry this baby. Luckily, I have a husband who reminds me that there is nothing wrong with my body that I can’t carry a baby and this is not my fault. It just feels like my responsibility to protect our baby. And it feels like I failed, again.

I hope you will forgive my brokenness and my lack of faith in this moment. I just need some time to process this.

One thing I am overwhelmingly grateful for today and every day is my husband. He is a better man than I could ever deserve and I don’t know where I would be without him.

Thanks again for all the prayers and support. I need them desperately, especially now, when I can’t find the words to pray myself.

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