Thursday, October 3, 2013

Due Date: The Beginning of Our Journey

Today was supposed to be my due date.
 
I know that many of you are saying, "What?! It takes 9 months, not 16 weeks."
 
And I'm aware.
 
This was my first due date.

I didn't know how I would feel when this date finally got here. I've been dreading it for months. I just prayed and prayed that when it came I was pregnant and not still trying, or God forbid facing another loss. I knew it would just be too hard if that were the case.

Big A and I talked about it last night. Just a little. About where we would be if it had all worked out. But, I love our life where it is today. I loved the Summer we had in our new house. I love how close we became in the face of such a tragic event. I hate that we went through it, I wish we never had because it definitely takes a little of the magic away. But, I know that this is the life we are supposed to live. For whatever reason. This is where we should be.

Some of you may have already read this. It was on my other blog that I started when it was just too hard to write about things here.

This was written a few months ago. 
 
This is going to be a long one. And a hard one. Here's where the story really gets hard. And why we are where we are today.
From the beginning.
 
This is a post I'm not sure will ever see the light. One of those therapeutic posts that you write to free yourself of the weight that keeps you down. If you're reading this now, then it means we have had happy news. That we have a baby on the way. That we saw it with our own eyes. That it is real.

Or maybe you won't ever read this. Who knows. But, it is part of our story and it needs to be told. Even if it is just between me, myself, and I. I am writing this about a month after the fact. The end of March 2013. It is almost a month to the day that we found out how much our lives changed...again. I feel like SO much time has passed, but I'm still finding myself hurting from it. I feel like it is something that I should be over by now, but I know it isn't I know that it will take a long time to get through this. Even now, writing this, I'm finding it hard to get through this. But I think that it will help for me to get it all out. I talk about it in bits and pieces. Never really getting too far into the situation. Because honestly, who wants to talk about this shit? I know I don't.

Big A and I decided in December 2012 that we were ready to have a baby. It was a random moment that pulled at my heartstrings that I wanted nothing more than to become a mother. We decided to try and that was that.

We did all the things you were supposed to do when trying. Taking tests, finding the right time. Everything. We started talking about the possibilities. When it might happen. What we needed to do and before we knew it, 8,000 pregnancy tests at 4 in the morning, and boom, we were having a baby.

I waited all day to tell Big A. Found the perfect present. Wrapped it all up with the tests and waited patiently for him to come home. I held that secret for 16 hours. The longest 16 hours of my life.

The news was met with surprise and happiness. Some tears. Some worries. I don't think that Big A fully got it. He kept asking when it would be "real". If I only knew that that statement was the first omen that we should have noticed...

I had talked to the nurse at my doctor's office the day I found out and she was reluctant to schedule me for anything. She said that it was too early to make any plans and the risk for miscarriage or a chemical pregnancy were high and to call back in a week. While I understood her concerns, she completely smashed what should have been the happiest day, so much that I called back and complained. My most favorite nurse ever called back and apologized for the other nurse's behavior and explained in a more human way what she meant. I felt better that there was at least someone with a heart there.

Three days later, that Friday, I called my doctor needing some advice. I didn't feel good. I was miserable. I was uncomfortable. I was so sick that I was sweating profusely and drive heaving at my desk. Not exactly the behavior you want when you are trying to keep a secret. I ended up having to confess to a woman at work. However...in my phone call I got great advice on how to help my sickness and the opportunity to go in for blood work to confirm the pregnancy.

Later that afternoon, I got a phone call from my favorite nurse with congratulations. I had told her what Big A had said and she offered to send a letter with the lab results so he could see it. She was amazing.

I went home that night and told Big A the news and we fully celebrated for the first time. It was the single most exciting and scary moment...

I was able to schedule all of our appointments the day I went in for blood work. The count down was on, we had 3 weeks until our ultrasound.
 
Except for after this, I wasn't happy. It didn't feel right. It all felt wrong. I kept focusing on how everything would change. How we would never be alone again. And he wouldn't just do what we wanted. All I wanted was a glass of wine and to do what I want. I was all of a sudden feeling like a stranger in my own body. I hated every single minute of it. I didn't feel good. I couldn't drink coffee anymore. I was always exhausted. It was horrible.
 
I thought I was the world's most horrible person. Here I was, given the most beautiful gift, and I hated my life. I was so surprised at my reaction. I knew that it wasn't going to be my most favorite thing in the world, but I didn't expect to turn into such an ugly, selfish person. I kept thinking that the only reason that I was reacting this way was because it wasn't meant to be. I couldn't get attached because it wasn't mine. I talked to my mom, my friend, Big A, nothing settled my mind. Eventually, I just stopped talking about it. I didn't want anyone to mention it. I didn't want anyone to ask me how I was feeling. We were not to talk about it. Any time anyone asked I would tell them to shut up. Every day Big A came home and was the dutiful husband, asking how I was feeling. Most days I told him I felt like shit, but then I realized that I was sucking all of the joy out of it for him, so I just started lying. Telling him I was fine and I felt great.
 
I googled everything under the sun. What does this mean? What does that mean? When does this happen? Etc. It was Doom's Day in my head. I prepared myself for the worst. One day I found myself on some random website, I can't even remember what I was looking for, but for once I wasn't trying to find out what was wrong with me. I don't even think it was baby related. I clicked from site to site, link to link, as I often do when I'm bored and then I found something called a Blighted Ovum. Basically, what happens is that a woman becomes pregnant and for whatever reason, the embryo doesn't develop. However, the rest of the body doesn't realize it yet and still thinks that it is pregnant. So you have the Hcg, the symptoms, body changes, etc. And then, poof, one day it is all gone. I knew right then and there that I found this for a reason.
 
At 5 1/2 weeks I called the nurses again because I was in tears I was so uncomfortable. I just wanted them to tell me what to do, what to take, what to eat, to make it better. It felt like someone was kneading my insides. But because I didn't have any of the normal symptoms they weren't too worried. They had me come in anyway since they were quiet and at least they could give me peace of mind. Everything to them looked fine. They did blood work and it was fine. They did an ultrasound and it was fine. But I didn't feel fine. I sat in the doctor's office crying, just feeling so hopeless, telling them that it didn't feel right in my heart. They mentioned something about this being a scary time for a lot of people and how some people become depressed. That it was totally normal and I would snap out of it.
 
That weekend we got over two feet of snow. Big A was out plowing all weekend and I literally had nothing to do but sit on the couch by myself. I watched TV, texted with people, took naps, walked around, anything to keep myself busy. There was as driving ban for most of it, so it wasn't like I could have left the house even if I was stupid enough to want to. It was the longest, loneliest weekend ever. Saturday night I had a dream that I lost the baby. There weren't many specifics to the dream. Just that I knew I had lost it. Sunday morning I woke up feeling fine. No issues. No problems. I knew what it meant.
 
The week before our ultrasound, I decided to take the entire day off. I knew that if it was shitty news then I didn't want to go to work after. I also knew that if it was good news, I was going to be completely shocked and was going to need some processing time. I figured either way, having the freedom would be good. The time crawled by and eventually it was the night before the ultrasound. February 26th, 2013. I asked Big A if he was nervous and he said no. I explained to him the process, slightly hoping it would weird him out and he would say he would come another time, but no...he's an amazing man, of course he was coming. He was so excited to see his child.
 
It was along ominous ride to the doctor's office. That moment where you know that you are either going to find out that your worst fears are true or that you were an idiot for worrying. But you know that no matter what you are finding out and there's no going back. You don't get the chance to wonder anymore. It's done and you have to deal with it. There was no one there which was nice, and we got called into the room pretty quickly. I saw our amazing ultrasound tech again and I was so glad to see her face. She's seriously an amazing person and I knew she was the perfect person to be there. She started the ultrasound and I knew. I knew right away. I had done enough research, seen enough pictures, etc. I knew what I SHOULD have seen at 8 weeks. And I knew that this wasn't it.
 
It wasn't until I heard the ultrasound tech sigh "oh no" under her breath and looked over at me that I let the tears fall. I was surprised that they had come. I had known my fate. I knew that this was the outcome. I wasn't connected to this baby. I shouldn't be crying. I looked over at Big A and asked him, "Do you know what this means?" he said no without taking his eyes off the screen. I'm sure he was trying to make sense of why I was crying and the tech was apologizing. "There's no baby" I told him. And then I looked away. I couldn't bare the thought of seeing his face as it registered that he wasn't going to be a Dad. Maybe someday, but definitely not in October. The tech came over and hugged me, something I'm sure wasn't in their professional handbook, but she had been through it before and knew what I was feeling. She told me how she had been in this exact same position and then went on to have a healthy baby boy. And that her sons are almost 10 years apart because she had so many problems and two traumatic miscarriages between them, but she still got a beautiful baby boy out of it. She knew that nothing she was saying would make it feel any better, but she knew that it helped to have someone who had been through it. And someone to tell you that it sucks. And then someone to tell you that it gets better.
 
They put Big A and I in a room until they could find my doctor. I'd never been in her office before and I knew this wasn't a honor that I ever wanted again. I briefly explained to Big A the options. Let everything happen naturally. There was a pill to take that I heard caused terrible stomach pains. Or there was the procedure. It would involve a hospital and sedation, but it would make the nightmare end quicker. We went into the doctor's office and she explained the situation again. I'm not sure what she said, but there was another woman in the room who looked incredibly uncomfortable to be there. I'm not sure of her reason for being there, but I could tell it was the last place she wanted to be. I silently told her to go fuck herself in my head. I didn't want to be there either. It was my first taste of the blinding anger that comes along with people in this special club. I knew it wasn't fair, I knew she didn't do anything personally to me, and I knew she didn't deserve it. But I hated her in that moment. I tried to pay attention, but literally the only two sentences I remember are "Given what we have seen, and that you are 8 weeks today, this is not a sustainable pregnancy" and then she explained the options, and then she said, "do you know what you want to do?".
 
I had read enough information to know that I just wanted it over with. Everyone I had talked to before had discussed the agonizing torture that it was to wait. So, I told her to get it over with and we made an appointment for the next day.
 
I went through the rest of the day in a haze. I think we both did. We just puttered about as if it was a normal day, but didn't really talk much. Didn't really say much. I had plans with N that night. I knew that I either wanted to celebrate or commiserate. Big A had plans to work on something with his car so I had made the plans a few days before. I went back and forth about cancelling, but I knew that I was going to need a familiar face. I bought myself a bottle of wine and baked mac & cheese to make for dinner and I prepared myself. It's one thing for someone to tell you news. It's another to mull it over in your mind. However, every time you have to tell someone it becomes a little more real. I didn't want it to be real. I had wasted most of the past month in a horrible mindset and I was mourning our loss. Our loss of a baby and our loss of a month that should have been filled with happiness and hope, not fear and doubt.
 
I talked with N when she came over. We stood in my kitchen and cried about how it wasn't fair. On the one hand it helped to have someone hurting with me. I wasn't alone. Big A and I weren't alone. On the other hand it hurt to know that she was hurting and I was part of the cause. I felt the same way with my family. Like I had let everyone down. I know that it was a silly way to think, but I couldn't help the ugliness that continued to swim through my head. I was swirling into a dark place and I didn't even know it yet. I still thought that I was OK. I thought I was crying because N was crying. I thought I was sad for everyone else. I thought I was OK.
 
The next morning Big A kissed me goodbye. He couldn't get out of work and I wanted my mom with me anyway. I know that I was a grown woman. Married. 27 years old. But I just wanted my mom. In those situations, I'm always going to want my mom. He told me to keep him posted on how everything went and let him know if I needed him. I lay in bed trying to sleep away the rest of the hours. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything, so I figured my best bet would be to just stay in bed. The hospital called me at around 9:00 AM to ask if I could come in an hour earlier since they were running ahead of schedule. I was glad that there would be one less hour of waiting and called my mom to let her know of the change of plans.
 
I changed into clean, comfortable clothes and walked into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I don't know what it was about that moment, but it was when I started to lose it. It was when I really turned angry about what was going on. It wasn't fair. We had done everything right. I quit smoking. I quit drinking. I didn't do drugs. I ate relatively healthy foods. I took my prenatal vitamins. I tried to exercise regularly. It wasn't fucking fair that I was spending my day in the hospital rather than staring at the first picture of my baby. I wondered why bad things always seemed to happen to us when I thought we were relatively good people. Far from perfect, but genuinely good people and it seemed that we always seemed to get a kick in the face from life. I was sick of it.
 
My mom showed up a little bit later and we got ready to leave. I grabbed my stuff and we headed silently out to the car. No sooner had all four wheels left my driveway then I let it all out. I let it all go. We sat in silence the entire drive to the hospital. My mom held my hand while I sobbed. Apologizing for what I was going through. Knowing that none of it had anything to do with her, but that she was just so sorry that I had to deal with it and I know that she would have given anything to take it all away from me. Before I knew it, we were at the hospital. I hated walking in knowing how I looked. Knowing that everyone could see that I had been crying. Wondering if people could figure out why I was there. Luckily, I didn't have to wait long before they brought my upstairs to my bed. I was asked 8,000 of the same questions by 37 different people and it was exhausting having to go through it over and over again. One nurse asked why I was there and I told her, and then she asked why. I don't think I have ever wanted to punch someone so hard in the face before. I could not believe that she was making me go into detail about why I was there.
 
She left me to change and when she came back she apologized. She muttered something about how someone should have told her and I could tell that she felt bad. Luckily, I didn't have to do much more talking because they were putting in my IV and it was almost time to go. I just remember thinking that I just wanted them to give me something to go to sleep so that I didn't have to deal with this anymore. I didn't want to talk to anyone else. I didn't want to answer any more questions. I just didn't want to feel what I was feeling anymore, even if it was just for a little while. Soon enough they had me say bye to my mom and hooked up my IV. They kept asking me if I was tired and I kept thinking how stupid they were because they hadn't given me anything yet, of course I wasn't tired. I didn't know that they had already given me something before they started wheeling me down the hallway. We almost ran into someone else on a hospital bed who was going the wrong way and I cracked a joke about how we should play chicken. That probably should have been my indication that they had given me some drugs.
 
And that's the last thing I remember. Next thing I woke up and I felt fine. No pain. No discomfort. Nothing. They made me wait awhile longer and then finally let me go home once I proved that I could walk around. I made my mom stop for cheeseburgers at Five Guys on the way home. I hadn't eaten since the night before and when you spend your day in the hospital dealing with shitty things, you need a greasy cheeseburger, I'm pretty sure it is a rule.
 
I spent the rest of the afternoon napping until Big A came home. It was easier then dealing with what I was going through. Surprisingly I had no trouble sleeping that night, it probably had something to do with the pain meds, but at least I was sleeping. But I woke up the next morning forgetting what had happened, and having to relive it all over again in my mind.
 
Friday was hard. It was a really hard, long day. By the time Big A had come home I was done. He had just gotten bad news about the motor in his car and it honestly seemed like nothing could go right. Nothing at all. I couldn't help but break down and tell him that I couldn't do this. I couldn't deal with everything blowing up in our faces time after time. I knew that eventually things always worked out and that it could have been a lot worse, but I was just so tired of trying to fight through it all. I just, I couldn't do it. I told him that it was going to be a long, long time before we ever walked down this road again and it wasn't going to be easy to convince me to do it. I then did what every responsible adult does and got drunk on margaritas. We have this one Mexican restaurant that we always end up at when shitty things are happening. When things are bad, after a huge fight, when loved ones have died, we just always end up there. We got there for happy times too, but we are always there when things suck. I don't know if it is the proximity to our house or the gigantic stiff margaritas, but it always seems to help. At least temporarily.
 
The next day I had plans with Jackums. I had originally made them with her so that I could tell her the great news. I wanted her to hear it from me face to face. I still remember the phone call at 7:00 in the morning when she told me she was pregnant and I was feeling guilty that I had waited so long. I was just nervous, but I wanted her to know. It was going to be awhile before we told the general public, but I wanted her to know. Unfortunately, there was no news to share. No good news at least. But the saving grace was that she had been through this. She knew what it felt like. I needed to talk to her. I needed to tell her what had happened. I needed her to tell me that it sucked so much and she knew exactly what was going on in my heart.
 
My conversation with her was exactly what I needed. I needed to talk to someone who could really empathize with how I felt. It was one thing to have everyone else sympathize, but unless you have been through it then you can't fully get it. We ended up spending most of the day and well into the night together and honestly it was just what I needed at that point. I just needed my friend. Someone who belonged to the shitty club that I did. Because at least if I was going to have to be a part of this club, then I didn't have to be there alone.
 
After that, things got a bit easier. Most everyone who had known in the first place knew what had happened. Everyone had already asked if we were OK so the conversations were winding down.
 
But writing this now, almost 4 months later, it is still hard. The good days are a lot more common. Everything gets a bit easier, day by day, but in all honesty? It still fucking sucks. We are still trying and are hopeful each month. We are on our third month TTC since everything and it has definitely taken the wind out of our sails a little, but we try to stay positive.
 
But that's a whole other thousand posts. 

8 comments:

  1. Sending you hugs & am so proud you shared this post! So much support is heading your way and I'm glad to see that you're in a better place. Everything happens for a reason and I am so happy for the two of you.

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  2. I love you and I am so proud of you for sharing your story! You don't know it now but one day you'll know how much your honesty has meant to someone else! xoxo

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  3. Sending my thoughts your way today! I know it took a lot for you to share this, but I am beyond proud of you that you did. It shows how strong you are! And I agree with the two above comments. Everything happens for a reason and I am sure your honesty will mean a ton to someone else!

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  4. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, it sounds just awful. But I'm so happy you have a sweet little blessing growing inside you now. Just know you will get to see your little angel one day in heaven.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this because I am sure it was not easy at all. Your honestly I'm sure will help someone who is going through the same thing. Keeping you in my thoughts today :)

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  6. Wow, that must have been so incredibly hard for you, I had no idea all this happened! I have a friend who recently went through the exact same thing as you and I know how hard it was for her to go through. I'm so happy that things are turning around for you now and that all is looking good! I think it's so fascinating how in tune with your body you were from the very beginning to know right away that something was wrong, you have very good instincts. Thinking of you!

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  7. I am so proud of you.

    You are far stronger than you know. I'm reading this at work, understanding why yesterday was so unbearably horrible, tears running down my face (and you know how I love that).

    Even if I had been able to take this from you, there is no way I could have handled it, or dealt with it, or learned from it, as well as you did. And you and Big A have a different level of close than you had before.

    I will try to remember to listen to your wisdom.

    And what a gift - someone, dealing with a similar horrible situation, will come across this post and realize that you understand, it gets better, and there is hope.

    So proud of you.

    But mad at you for making me cry :-)

    The Pea is double loved.

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  8. Wow, I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to go through all of this!! Even writing this post had to have been so, so difficult. Thank you for sharing this with all of us - it just goes to show how strong and amazing a person you are!!!

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