Monday, September 26, 2016

Processing...

While I'd like to say that I'm handling this all pretty well, for the most part, I definitely have my moments.

It doesn't help that work is a complete nightmare right now. Or maybe it does. While it gives me something else to perseverate on, it piles on the stress. So, I guess it's a bit of a double-edged sword.

I had a baby shower to attend this weekend. This is nothing new. My friends are a wildly gestating bunch and a month doesn't go by that I'm not celebrating the arrival of another little cherub. Some of them, recently, have been a bit emotional as I realized that I was ready to add another to our family. But, not emotional in a bad way. Just in a, "I can't wait to do this all over again" kind of way.

I made it through the shopping no problem. John threw an epic tantrum in the store because we wouldn't let him play with a mobile forever and then Grammy was looking at him wrong. So I shipped him out to the car with Grammy to give him all the dirty looks she wanted (I kid, he was obviously just being a nut job) and rushed through buying everything. Between that and not being able to easily find anything on the registry, I was fairly distracted.

I was also convinced that last month was a fluke and we would find ourselves pregnant immediately and this would all be a distant nightmare.

Imagine my surprise when I find myself here, the weekend of the baby shower, coming off a terrible doctor's visit, not pregnant, and now having to spend my day celebrating someone else having a baby.

I'll be honest. I almost didn't go. I didn't know if I had it in me. I just wanted to sit at home and feel sorry for myself.

I tried to remind myself that the girl whose shower I was going to has had her struggles too. She didn't know when/if she would be able to get pregnant due to her health issues and it was a long road to get here. Not that she needed to struggle to deserve happiness, but I know where she has been and I know what it feels like to finally get to your baby shower that you wondered if you would ever have.

So I went.

And it was hard.

I think it surprised me how hard it was. Usually, I can prepare myself. But this kind of came out of nowhere and left me in tears quite a few times before I got there.

Thankfully, once I got there, there was enough to keep me pre-occupied. And there was booze. Booze always helps.

After that though, I was exhausted and unfortunately had to cancel on Family Dinner. I felt bad, but I'm trying to recognize my limits. I just needed to be home. Alex, John, and I had a nice dinner just the three of us, did bath time, and bed time and then Alex and I watched some TV and went to bed early. It was a nice, quiet.

 I needed quiet.

 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Follow-Ups

I had my follow-up doctor's appointment today.

I didn't know what to expect. Why would I? Despite my attempts to ask numerous questions, it seems that they are taking a break from making communication a priority.

I arrived late due to a shit storm at work. Although, that's pretty much my all day every day reality currently, so I should probably just say that I was late because of work and leave it at that. So that's how the day started.

There was a "traffic incident" on my route, so my handy-dandy GPS re-routed me. Cool. I got to the appointment and realized that I had time to spare. Except at 10:19 I realized that my appointment was at 10:15. So that was fun too.

Thankfully, the doctor was running late so I didn't feel so bad.

I didn't have to wait in the room long. I tried to drown out the sounds of my work phone going off repeatedly and catch up on my US Weekly. I was trying not to think of why I was there. I was trying not to think of that I had an appointment around this time when I was supposed to be there, obviously for better reasons. I tried not to think of the fact that I should be 9 weeks by now. Feeling like shit. My pants starting not to fit. Obsessing over whether the baby was a boy or a girl. Or how we should redo the room. Or, I don't know, anything other than the fact that I was in the doctor's office because I had a miscarriage. Again.

It worked for a little bit. Until the person in the room next to me go to hear their baby's heartbeat.

God I missed that sound. I would have done anything to be hearing that. Anything.

Not too long after that, the doctor walked in and asked how I was doing. I always find that to be a strange question. Especially when people are asking directly about it. I mean, I don't have anything better to suggest that you say. I just don't know how to answer it.

I told her that I was still waiting for a response on something, to which she blamed the nurses, again. They had a student in the room with us. No one asked me if it was OK. Apparently talking about my multiple miscarriages was a great way to break the ice with a new friend.

She went through the list of things that she was checking, looking for, advised me that I should take a break from trying and I told her I wasn't. I said that everything seemed to be doing what it should and that everything went back to normal. All in all, everything began and was over within a week and a half. My hcg levels were low to begin with and they went right back down to 0. I told her that it was detrimental to my mental and emotional health to wait without a valid medical reason.

I also them reminded her that that was precisely the question that I had asked her about over a month ago that the "nurses never answered".

I didn't really get a great vibe from her today, which is a shame because she has been my doctor for the better part of a decade and I've always really liked her. I felt more like she though that I was this crazy person who was still trying to have a baby despite everything that could still go wrong. Her bedside manner isn't always spot on. Like the time she saw my weight gain when I was pregnant and gasped... and then told me to lay off the carbs.

Replay that.

Saw my weight gain. Pregnant.

Gasped.

Told me to lay off the carbs.

OK.

Continue.

I guess I just thought there might be a little bit more tact in this situation. But, what do I know. I definitely have never been to medical school.

All in all the appointment was pretty disappointing. She did some blood work to see if there's something up with my chromosomes, or my thyroid, or if I have a blood clotting disorder or something. She suggested Alex get tested too, but I'm not even sure where to start with that. She didn't give me any instructions so I don't know if I'm supposed to send the information to her or not. She also told me that those are the three things that she starts to test for, but she doesn't really to expect to find anything.

So it is what it is.

I am where I was yesterday, except that I got to spend my morning unable to avoid what I spend most of my time attempting to avoid. Healthily of course.

I just want to know when we get our baby.

If we get our baby.

I just want our baby. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Keep on Keepin' On...

Alex started his new job last week. That was probably the quickest week ever. It was so nice to have him home. Of course, now we will get him home more anyway.


In a way it was almost nice to get back into a routine. I feel like we were stuck too much in this whole, free, do whatever we want mentality. It was nice to be able to grieve and process without the added stress of a lot of things, but at some point it is time to get back to reality.


John and I managed to get out the door without the first morning. In fact, I was at work earlier than I had been in awhile. The rest of the days weren't so great. It will be hard to get used to this new routine, Alex has done drop-off since I went back to work when John was 8 weeks old. But, we managed, although Little Man was looking for Daddy and wanting to tell him all about the big trucks we saw. Thankfully, he stopped crying during drop-off awhile ago, so it was a lot easier for my Mama heart. He LOVES his new classroom something fierce so that helps a lot. We were a little worried about him moving up to the next classroom, since he loves this one so much, but it turns out that his Toddler teacher that he was obsessed with just moved up to the next classroom so he will have her again. That makes me feel a lot better.


Things have been going alright. I mean, as well as to be expected. Well... I did just find out that the FOUR times that I had to do blood work were charged at a whopping $50 a pop, so that's fun. (And Alex wonders why we are switching to his health insurance...) I understand that insurance is a business and that there's no emotion involved, but there's just something about getting a bill for $200 and not having a baby to show for it. Kind of a kick in the face. But, whatever. It wasn't nearly has devastating as the bill for the hospital visit for the first time. See? Better!


I'm trying really hard to let myself feel without drowning. It's quite the slippery slope. I've been throwing myself into projects at home. Brainstorming ways to not be ridiculously broke. You know, fun stuff. Trying to find anything that takes my mind off the craziness of it all. I try not to think in terms of "this isn't fair", "we don't deserve this", "why us". That doesn't really seem to get us anywhere good. I tried to put on a brave face for awhile and talk about how if John is all we get then we are still so blessed. Unfortunately, Alex has been trying to remind me of this when I'm down and the more I hear it, the more I hate it. I know I said it first. I know he's just trying to help. But, I don't want that to be our life. John needs siblings. I want to be able to choose the number of children I have. I don't want to be limited by health, fertility, money, fear, etc. etc. etc. I want to be free to be the next Dugger family (minus the scandal) if I want. So I think I'm in the "tantrum" throwing part of the grieving process. Next I'll be stomping my feet and kicking rocks...


I've been waiting, not so patiently, for the "time for another one" conversations to start back up. The universe has seemed to have smiled upon be and put a break to them for the time being. Even people who don't know what is going on have stopped asking. I haven't really formulated my response yet. I can tell them we are done. I can tell them we aren't ready. I can tell them we are trying. I can tell them we are trying, but lost one. I could tell them to go fuck themselves because the last time that I checked, my reproductive plans were no one's business but Alex and I's. So, yeah, we are still working on that one. Maybe I'll be in a better place when I get asked.


I got a new tattoo on Thursday. I thought for awhile about what I wanted, but seemed to struggle with it. This tattoo seemed a little more personal and raw than tattoos of the past. I talked with my artist, who I'm obsessed with, and we came up with the idea of a single black/gray feather. It's on my side underneath the tattoo of John's name and birthday. All of my babies together. I originally wanted to do two feather to represent them, but I thought the symbolism of them was more important than the individual representation of them. I've grown to love it, but it definitely took me a couple of days to be anything but numb to it. It was just a glaring reminder of where I am. Maybe I should have waited awhile before getting it. I wouldn't have changed what I got, or where, I just think maybe it might have been a little easier to process emotionally.


I've been trying hard not to sensor my writing. I can't remember who can and can't see this. I don't know who still reads it or not. I'm sure my mom still does (Hi Mom!) and is just letting me process my thoughts without calling attention to them in the real world. She's good like that. It's hard though, when you wonder what people are going to read about you. That's why I had such a hard time when my blog was more advertised. People in "real life" knowing stuff about me that I didn't tell them directly. Some people used it as their way of knowing what was going on with me, without actually making the effort to be in my life. That was tough. But, I'm just trying to do things a million ways different than last time. Last time I hid this. Didn't talk about it. I drank too much. I got angry. I slipped deeper into depression. It wasn't good. So, I think I'll stay in the light this time. That includes talking about it every time I feel like I need to talk about it.


It's hard to plan life though. I keep looking to the future and wondering what we will be doing at certain times. My Sister in Law is getting married in November. We are trying to figure out a plan for John. He's in the wedding and invited to the festivities, but he's two and not always the most behaved party guest. So we are coming up with plans on plans on plans. Part of me just wants to know that I'll be pregnant and therefore all of these plans with be mute. No need to plan to attend an after party until all hours of the morning if you're all knocked up and unable to drink. Ya know. But, I don't know my future, so who knows where we will be.


Alex and I have been talking about planning a trip in May for our 10 year anniversary. I don't know where we will be then. Part of me wants to plan this fun getaway. Finally get Alex on a plane. Go somewhere warm. Enjoy ourselves freely, but what is the point if I don't know what our life is like. And how long do I plan my life around a "what if"? When do I actually start living it again? Although, "living" it more seems like "giving up", so I think I should probably process through that first. I think that will be pretty important to my timing choice.


Then again, what if this is all for nothing? What if we just had this absolutely shitty experience, again, and I get pregnant relatively quickly and all ends well. That brings up the whole discussion of a 3rd child and possibly facing this again, but I guess that's another monster that we could probably deal with later. I mean, let's work on this one first.


I hope that's our story.


I hope that we just look back on this as some terrible experience that had a profound effect (affect?) on our lives, but we do that while looking at our beautiful children running around. Remembering the darkness while staring at the light.


Oh how I hope that's our story.


I've been praying a lot. I don't consider myself to be overly religious. I started praying the night John was born though. I don't think anyone knows that. I don't think I've ever told anyone that. I prayed every single night for God to keep him safe. I was so petrified that he would be taken away from me. After everything we had been through. I had a really hard time when he was first born, I constantly checked him to make sure he was breathing. For months. So I prayed, hoping that there was a higher power somewhere that would watch over him when I couldn't.


I prayed when I got pregnant this time, but I already knew that the decision had been made before I started. I tried, half-heartedly for a miracle, but I knew in my heart that that story was already written.


So, now I pray. I don't like to talk about it. It's almost like when you're little and don't tell anyone your birthday wish because it won't come true. Although, I'm sure that prayers are a whole different set of rules. I think you can talk about them. But I pray. I pray for our family. I pray for the family that we want. I pray that this season is quick and that we are blessed with another sweet baby soon. I pray that we find a way to make it all OK. I pray.


But there are still those dark moments. Like when I lost my temper at John on Saturday. Frustrated of saying the same thing 12,000 times and him not listening. Frustrated that I can't find a way to get him to stop hitting when he is mad. So I lost my cool. I yelled. We both ended up in tears. And that's when the darkness came. For a second, the thought crossed my mind, "this is why God isn't giving you another baby, because you're a bad Mom. Because you can't handle it". Which brought more tears. That's a whole rabbit hole that I've been trying not to go down. The "whys". Maybe I can't handle another baby. Maybe I can't afford another baby. Who knows. Maybe wanting one isn't enough.


I try not to go down those roads though. They don't lead anywhere good. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

And We Keep Moving...

I haven't had much to say the past couple days. Or maybe I have too much to say. Not really sure which.
 
Originally, I thought this was all terrible timing. Alex was finishing up his last days at his job and getting ready for his week off. Which meant that his last days and his first days off were filled with a lot of not great things. But, we also got to spend a lot of time together, which I think was a blessing. We spent some of that time not being so nice to each other, but it's hard when everyone has so many thoughts and feelings going around. Everyone deals with things differently.
 
I figured that Alex understood what was going on, since we have been through this before, but this time was so much different that I don't think that he really got it. It all happened rather quickly, there was no hospital visit, it was a completely different story with the same outcome. It wasn't until I found him an article that was meant to help explain to men what was going on, that he really started to understand. He apologized and said that since he thought I was doing better that things were different. It's hard to explain to someone that when they think you are "OK" it is really just taking every single part of your being to be "OK". It's work. Lots of work.
 
I went to the doctor on Friday for more blood work. My levels went back to zero, which I guess is a good thing. If they didn't, then I think that would represent that there was something going on. It seems that my body did what it was supposed to and I am relieved that it wasn't necessary to go to the hospital. That was probably one of the most traumatizing parts of last time, so I'm glad that we got to avoid that.
 
It's still a bit weird though. Yesterday we had our cookout that we planned to tell everyone at, so that was pretty gut-wrenching. It was hard to see Alex smile and giggle at the little babies, not knowing if I'll be able to give that to him again. It's hard to try and remember if I'm supposed to eat something or not, and then remember that I can eat whatever I want. It's hard to feel sick, or start to feel hungry and attribute it to the baby, which I then remember that there is no baby, so it's obviously something else. It's just hard.
 
I'm not really sure how I am feeling about my doctor now. I really liked her before. When we got pregnant the first time, we decided that we would ask for recommendations for a new doctor because the hospital that she delivers at is really far away. But, they were so amazing to us during out first miscarriage that we stayed. I'm so glad we did. She was wonderful, she ended up delivering John even though she didn't need to since she was filling in for another practice. The hospital was amazing, even though the drive in was dreadful. We considered ourselves lucky that I went into labor early on a Saturday morning, rather than during rush hour during that week. But, she switched practices about a year and a half ago. I followed her even though the office is a lot less convenient for me. But, throughout this whole process, I've been very disappointed in how the office has handled it. It took me from Monday to Thursday, calling every single day about my test results and eventually falling apart on the phone to the woman to finally be able to talk to my doctor. The messages back and forth have been confusing and I emailed her last Monday to clear up my confusion on a couple of things and I still haven't heard from her. God forbid I was pregnant and something was seriously wrong with me (which... I guess you could say is what happened before) would it be like this? Would be lose valuable time because no one would get back to me? I don't know how I feel about it.

If we switch doctors, I wouldn't even know how to go about finding one. I've had her for as long as I have needed a doctor. I liked the hospital, but there are definitely ones closer that I we could choose from. So do we choose a doctor or a hospital first? Or both? So many questions.

The questions just keep coming, I guess.

So that's where we are. Things aren't completely devastating, which I guess is good. We are trucking along, which is good. We have been enjoying spending a lot of family time together, which is always good for the soul. We have one more day left before Alex starts his new job and John and I start our new morning routine. Alex has been responsible for bringing John to wherever he is going since day one pretty much. I've had to make sure everyone has what they need each morning, but I've only had to get myself out the door. It will be a change, but a welcome one for all of the time we will get with Alex now.