Saturday, October 11, 2008

Encouraging Words.

Okay. I have thought of this entry frontwards and backwards and inside out. There is no way really to sum up everything I want to say in a blogger entry. There just isn't enough space and I don't have the energy to type it all. I wish I did. Let's start from the top. The following is a guideline of MY emotions and feelings regarding our miscarriage and how I dealt with it. Please note, not everyone deals with it this way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but this is what helped me.When it happened to me, I wish I had had more of a frame of reference as to what to expect. You can find that in the following.

The loss of a child sucks. I said it. You can quote me. It SUCKS. I hated it and still do to this day. Nothing compares to it. It doesn't matter when your loss is. An early loss like a chemical pregnancy sucks just a bad as a late term loss-just in a different way.

When the tech says they can't find a heartbeat, your world stops. It literally feels like they reached into your chest, ripped your heart out, threw it and stomped on it on the ground right in front of you. You want to get out. You want to be anywhere but in that room at that moment. I know. I've been there. You want to scream. You want them to take it back. You want to punch the ultrasound tech. You literally see your entire world fall apart in your lap. You are sad. You cry. I sobbed. Snotty, red faced sobbed. I couldn't believe just a week ago I had been on the same table watching our babies heart beat away. You think maybe they made a mistake. Surely they were mistaken. This is not happening to you. You weigh out the reasons quickly why these things do not happen to people like you. You panic.

I've been there. I'm so, so sorry if you were ever there yourself. But I promise you. It gets better.

Then you meet with the Doctor. I am so, so lucky and have a doctor who is amazing and so helpful and caring and compassionate, traits that can be hard to find in a good doctor. They go over what has happened, statistics, causes, etc.They let you cry and get it out and empathize with you. Then, they drop the bombshell. You have to have surgery. Shit. (At least, that is what ran through my head.) You were NOT planning on this. I had heard of D&C's before but never in a million years thought I would have one. Shit shit shit. You do NOT need this right now. They will talk you through the procedure, start to finish the procedure takes about 20 minutes, but when you factor in blood work and paper work and 29498300 questions they will ask you before hand and what not and the time you will be in recovery, it quickly turns into a full half day festival of fun. You really do need to take a few days off though, more for the emotional aspect that the physical. My OB is amazing and wrote me a note for work and school which gave me about 10 days off, more if I needed it. This was such a blessing. The last thing I wanted to do was go deal with people and answer 30853 questions. I needed time before jumping feet first back into my life. I freaked when he said D&C. I don't do well under anesthesia. I don't like needles. I don't like the idea of surgery. I hate it, in fact. So, wanting to be a good, well informed patient, I asked what my other options were. He told me my body was not recognizing this as a failed pregnancy. It was not accepting that fact (neither was I, to be honest). The chances of miscarrying on my own between Monday and Thursday was NOT likely. Shit again. He could prescribe me some medications that would force my body to miscarry but he said it would be much harder on me physically and emotionally and if not all of the tissues and sac passed, they would still have to do a D&C anyway. Not being a gambling person and knowing luck doesn't tend to sway my way in medical situations, I went ahead and scheduled the D&C. They let us out through the back entrance so I wouldn't have to walk through the waiting room full of pregnant women, which was so kind. Having an awesome Dr. made all the difference in some situations. And you go home. With your dead baby. Doesn't that sound fantastic?

I promise, what is next is the darkest part. It gets better. You don't have to believe me yet but I swear it gets better.

"What's next?" you might ask. The really fun part. You cry. You have to call allllll of those people you just got to tell you were pregnant and tell them you were just kidding. I had my mom take care of this part because I knew I emotionally couldn't. Word spreads fast, especially in my family. Then the phone calls start. I, personally, did not take any of them. My mom or Ben did it for me. I didn't want to have to admit our baby was gone. I just told them to tell people to pray for us. Pray hard. I needed prayer (and a good stiff drink). I spent the days before my D&C being a real bitch. I shut down. I snapped at people who were trying to help. I shot dirty looks at undeserving people (sorry if I shot you one!), I yelled at the dogs for being dogs. I just hurt. I hurt in the very bottom of my soul and didn't know how to deal with that hurt. I spent a lot of time in our bed. Sulking. Being angry. Being sad. I spent a lot of time begging God to fix this. I begged Him to make this right. And if this wasn't in His plan for me, show me what His plan was. And fast. I was sinking. Ben would hold me and I would sob so hard it would make me sick. I didn't eat. I didn't really do anything to be honest (other than be a raging bitch). If you are like me, you already had baby stuff. What do you do with it? We had just bought a Peg Perego stroller and bedding the day before. What do we do with it? My mom put all of it away for me so I wouldn't have to see it. I didn't want to take any of it back. I love all of it and still have plans to use it eventually. And then I cried some more. I never,ever wanted to even think about getting pregnant again. I was not risking this pain again. And then some more. And a little more after that. Then sulked, kicked the dog (not really!), watched terrible daytime television (somehow everything I watched that day had a pregnant woman in it. AWESOME). I cursed my body for failing me. I cried. I prayed. Cried a little bit more. Prayed. Cried. Took a shower. Cried. Emptied the trash can. Cried. Prayed. (Are you seeing a pattern?) Then it started getting easier. I smiled. Then felt guilty for smiling when I had just lost our baby. Getting dressed and putting on make up, as silly as that sounds, really helped. Going out was theraputic. We went out to Chinese for lunch. We went to Target (for the first time in a long time I steered of the baby section). We went for ice cream (a little known cure-all for the blues). We hung out. I still cried but found myself laughing and smiling. The night time was the hardest. Everything gets still and you are left alone with your thoughts and the darkness. I didn't sleep all week-even with a Rx Ambien (I didn't sleep on Ambien because I was sure if I did, I would eat everything in the fridge and drive my car in my sleep. As I said, things in these situations don't tend to favor me).

Even still, I promise you, it gets better. You may want to call me a big fat liar at this point, but it gets easier.

And then surgery day comes. I have chronicled this part before (here and again in a little more detail here ) so I will skip for this entry. But it sucks. It starts as the hardest day, emotionally. You know it is over. Even though your baby is gone, a weird part of you wants to keep it with you and protect it. I have never been able to explain and probably won't ever be able to. Then you have surgery. That's the easy part. Then you go through recovery. My story is an exception to the rule (told ya, medical situations hate me). Most people feel good enough to return to work the next day. Then, by the end of the day, you feel your spirits lift just a little, like 1/2 an inch. You have been given closure and a touch of hope is restored to your life. It still sucks. I was still a touch bitter, but I started to feel like the first brick in the road to getting back to normal (whatever that was) had been laid. When you bleed, it is a stabbing reminder of what you lost. The clots you will pass will be disturbing. And I don't tell you that to freak you out, but it's the truth. I continued to beg people for prayer and prayed so hard for myself. I didn't pray for anyone else for a few days. I kept them all for myself. Call me greedy. I dare you. ;)

And I can still sit here and promise you, it gets better.

Now I am a little more than 2 weeks post D&C. I feel great. For the most part. My body feels like it has gone back to normal. I FINALLY got a negative home pregnancy test which means all of the pregnancy hormone is out of my system (yay!). Going back to school and work was great (except for that one minor speedbump). It helped keep my mind busy and occupied. I did e-mail all my professors and asked them to tell people I did not want to talk about any of this when I returned to school unless I brought it up. No one mentioned it. A few people told me they were praying for me and that was it. Knowing I still had people praying for me was a great feeling; I really, honestly do believe in the healing power of prayer. Ben bought me a necklace that helps me remember Buddha and keep him close to my heart. My mom got me a memory box that has all our paperwork and ultrasound pics and other things that remind me of Buddha. I don't look at it to be sad, I look at it to remind myself what a special thing I had with me for such a short time. I look at it and am proud of our Buddha. I look at it and think of how happy he must be in heaven with my grandma and Ben's dad. I look at it and am hopeful for what future siblings we will have for Buddha. I look at it and am so thankful our children will always have an angel looking over them.

I still cry. I still have my sad moments. But now they are few and farther between. I try to focus on moving forward and what God has in store for our future. I try to stay positive. I remember that I have a lot to be thankful for. I really do promise, though you may be at the bottom of the bottom of the pile right now, it gets easier. To someone who may read it who is going through it, I honestly want them to know that I know it sucks and it is hard but there will come a time when you don't think about it every second of every day. And you will be able to go to sleep without sobbing so hard you get sick at night. And you will laugh at something, even something small again. And it's ok to be pissed. I want you to know it's ok to be totally irrational and insane but it's also ok to be weak and vulnerable. And it's ok to hate every pregnant woman you see. And it's ok to sulk and be a grouch. But it all passes and you become a much stronger person with a much more open view of things.

This whole situation has been a learning and challenging experience, but it has taught us so much and brought me and Ben so much closer together than I ever thought we could be. A situation like this can turn your world upside down. It can ruin a perfect marriage. It can shake your faith right down to the roots. You have to know where you stand and be firm in your marriage and within yourself or this can totally break you and wear you down to the core. But it doesn't have to. It can make you stronger and more aware. It can make you look at everything in a different light. The new light isn't better or worse, it's just different.

I don't think I am better or smarter than anyone because we lost a child but I do think I have a perspective that many people will never have access to. I realize everyone isn't religous. I realize not everyone has faith. I am definetly not in church as much as I should be but I am solid in my relationship with God and I know where I stand with him. My faith helped me through this and if you don't have faith, that is fine by me. My husband, my family, kind thoughts, e-mails, cards, crappy daytime tv, ice cream and afternoon naps also got me through this. My faith just helped me along.

If you need more help, e-mail me ( I'm not a thearpist. I'm hold no degree in counseling or therapy of any sort. But I've been there. I have real life experience that you can't get from most professionals. I'll help you the best I can.

So all in all, it gets better. It gets easier. It takes time. Be honest with yourself. If you need help, get help. If you need to cry, then cry. It's amazing how cleansing it can be. If you want to scream at guess scream at someone. If you just happened to be in my way, you got screamed at, which was not fair to some people. So be careful who you scream at. I wish there was some other way I could make you believe me because if someone had told me this when I was going through it, I probably would have called them (re:screamed at) a liar.

Trust me. I wouldn't lie to you. :)


H*E*E said...

Thank you so much for that... It's great! I shed a few tears just knowing that I have you that understands what I am, what we are going through! <3HEE

Sweetpea said...

I have never experienced a loss but this blog really touched me. It's written from your healing heart and it's beautiful.

Kim said...

Thank you for your was great reading your experience and how similar mine is...lots of crying, being mad, and now starting to figure out how to move on. I will definitely keep in touch through your blog. I want you to know that my thoughts are with you and I appreciate you sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Great job Catie. I love you :)