The Doom

I saw my OB today and had another ultrasound.
Lucky me, I found out that, after all these ultrasounds, my insurance is no longer covering them in full. Awesome.

It seems there’s still some thickened lining in there. The doctor said that it seems like it’s just a clot that’s going to have to pass sometime.
She offered the D&C but did say that my body should be able to pass it on it’s own.
I told her I’d wait.
After I got home I had another gush of blood.
I go back next week, if it hasn’t ended by then, I may just do it. I’m so emotionally exhausted right now.

The appointment was rough.
When I got into the waiting room, I started having a panic attack. I was tearing up, but fighting it.
Literally every woman there was pregnant. It was horrible.
They took my blood pressure. My usual 112/55 was up to 145/82. Pretty remarkable, really.
As soon as Eric and I were alone in the exam room, I sobbed. Heavily. It was painful and ugly and I didn’t want to be there.
I think that once this is over I won’t be returning. It’s too hard for me.
Dr. Allen walked in as I was dabbing my eyes with her rough, exam room tissues. I apologized. She excused me and told me it was more than reasonable.
After discussing the physical aspects of it she asked how it was going emotionally. I admitted that it had been hit and miss. She assured me it’s normal but that, if in several months from now, I’m still consistently sad more than happy, then I need to evaluate what’s going on.

I’m afraid that, with my new influx of appointments, things are going to get rough again.
As soon as I step foot in that waiting room I remember everything.
Knowing that, this time, I wasn’t even a little bit pregnant was really hard. At least the last few times I still had something to hold onto. Now I just have the memories of the pain and the emptiness of knowing that, come April, I won’t be holding my new baby.
I’ll be mourning my unborn child.
And that’s a hard thing to realize.

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My Apologies

I’m a little surprised at myself.

If I’m not mistaken it’s been at least 2 weeks since my last post.
Very out of character.
Let me explain:

When I undertook the Capture Your Grief project, I wrote down, in my journal, all the topics for each day.
Sometimes, I would take a moment in my day to look at those topics and think about what each one meant to me and what I could do to portray that.
To be perfectly honest with you all, just thinking about these things was enough for me. Something in me told me that I did not need to share with the world because this was my personal world and I was happy in it.
For the first time, I was feel genuinely content, like Lily and I could move on, separately but together.

I’ve also endured some absurdities lately that made it hard for me to bring myself to write.
I began looking for a job, even though I knew it meant that I wouldn’t be able to start school right away as I would need time to adjust. I felt that I needed to pull my own weight. I knew that my mother would be content with me just going to school and finishing that out, she is in no rush to push Eric and I out of the house.
I also know that, months ago, Eric and I agreed that he would help me with school while he was working, but I felt he would resent me if I was not working as well.

I landed a job as a waitress.
It was the worst idea I’ve ever had.
After my first 4 hour shift (which was only training) I had a meltdown and could not go back.
I still have not explained this to Eric. My mother is the only one who knows the whole story.
She assured me that she expected me to finish school first because she knew that, with my mental state, I would not be able to do both at once and that she was okay with that and suspected Eric would be as well.
She said that it wasn’t worth making myself feel sick over a job that I didn’t need to have when I had a wonderful family at home supporting me in my decisions.
I’ve felt crazy the past week or so because of this. My mental health is really strained and I am exhausted.

On the plus side, I’ve taken to baking. I’ve learned that I am excellent at making cupcakes. I’m thrilled. 🙂
In my need to feel like I’m useful, I’m doing things that I enjoy that also bring happiness to others.

I suppose I’ll leave you with an update and a promise of tomorrows.
I have an appointment with my OB tomorrow. I’m still getting spotting off and on. Tonight I had a huge gush of blood and then nothing. I’m hoping my ultrasound and bloodwork tomorrow look promising. I don’t know what to expect. I’m anxious to go back there again. I haven’t been there in over a month. To me it is still the place that took my baby away.

I’ll give another update tomorrow when I get the chance and know more about what’s going on.

I apologize for the hiatus.

Thanks for listening.

#4: Lily’s Legacy

While looking through the list of topics for each of the days of the Capture Your Grief Challenge I realized that, while some of them I was having a hard time coming up with ways to photograph what they mean, I still wanted to capture it in some way.
I’ve decided that, with some of my entries, I will include photos, some of them will just be letters to my daughter. I’m really excited for what is to come, so here it goes:

Lily,

I miss you every day. You were only a part of my world for a very short while, but the imprint you’ve left on this world is remarkable.
When we found out you were coming, your father and I were thrilled and scared and excited. We knew you would be loved beyond measure by everyone in our lives, but we were fearful for whether or not we could provide for you. We were both young. We had no career and few aspirations. Life was slowly dragging by and we had nothing to motivate us. We were scared of life. We wanted to give you everything, and we knew you’d have everything you needed, but we wanted to do better.
Since you’ve left there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t thought about you. We’re devastated and if we could have you back we’d do it in a heartbeat. Pregnancy is rough, but I’d take all the pain and discomfort and worry in the world if it meant we could have you back safe and happy and healthy, here with your family.
But now, even though we’ve ended up with a child in heaven (or wherever it is that you may be right now, if only in my mind), we’ve learned so much about what we want for the future. The fear of not being able to provide for you has given us the drive to accomplish things. Your father and I are both going back to school. We’re working hard to buy a home. We’re planning on getting married soon.
I want to better myself for you. For all the times that I cried thinking that we would never find a way to support ourselves and be a real family. Your dad and I both want children so badly. We didn’t expect it anytime soon, even though the brief while you were with us was the best time of our lives. Now we have the opportunity to plan for the future. To provide the kind of life we wanted you to have for our future children.
The pain may fade some day but we will never forget about you. I promise you that all of my children will know, if not for their big sister, Lily, watching out for this family, we wouldn’t be where we are.
We will always love you, Lily.
You are always my little girl.

Love, Mama.

Jewels and Projects

I bought myself something nice yesterday.

If you recall, my mother had purchased me a gift card to buy maternity clothes with. When that failed, she told me to buy something nice for myself. I bought some new non-pregnant lady clothes.
Yesterday I felt lost. I wanted to commemorate Lily in a way that was personal to me.

I stumbled into the BonTon jewelry section. Not entirely sure what I was looking for, possibly something symbolic like a lily or a diamond (her birthstone), but really just looking for something that spoke to me.

After a bit of searching I found these beauties:

Image

Something about it just felt right. I don’t know what it is, but I’m wearing them religiously and they bring me so much peace.

After I left the store I immediately put them in.
Shortly thereafter, one of them fell. I was heartbroken.
That’s an omen if ever there was one.

Luckily, after looking at the seemingly broken earring, I discovered that the dangly, hummingbird portion was held onto the post by a loop that had gotten bent. I was able to bend it back into shape and now my earrings are flawless.
Handcrafted and one of a kind. Just like my Lily 🙂

In other news.
I’m starting this:
The Capture Your Grief Project

Head to the link to see the brilliance for yourself.

Every day I find myself getting further and further from my devastation. I’ll never leave Lily behind completely, but it’s good to feel closure.

I’m not going to follow this project too closely, but the ones that speak to me will be done. It seems meaningful and will provide me with an outlet and memories of my little girl.

Grief: 2.0

After my post yesterday, I was thinking some more about how lonely this all this.

How many times I’ve said to myself, to Eric, to other women that I network with that it’s unfair that, while anyone else who is grieving any other loss is allowed to share, we are supposed to suffer silently and mourn within ourselves while pretending to the outside world that nothing has happened.

Well, fuck that.

I finally got angry enough and decided that, especially with today being the start of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I might as well make the announcement. Acknowledge my child to the world, so that she no longer has to be hidden.
It’s what Lily deserves.

I posted this, on facebook:

I’m angry with the state of grief and I feel it’s time to let everyone know.

On July 31st, Eric and I found out that we were expecting a new addition to our lives. On August 29th we went for our first ultrasound and were told that the baby that we were dreaming of had stopped developing before we could even hear her tiny heart beat. We’re going through the physical and very much emotional process of miscarriage right now and, although we never formally announced our pregnancy to many people, it feels right to announce our loss in the way any person acknowledges the loss of a loved one.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
In experiencing this first hand, I’ve realized how many women suffer in silence, how much miscarriages are taboo in a culture that refuses to acknowledge our “failures,” even in terms of something as uncontrollable as early pregnancy loss.
1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage prior to 12 weeks gestation.
There’s no reason for women to feel ashamed and embarrassed.
We are experiencing a pain that no one else feels. A loss of someone that no one else bonded with.

I’m sharing this not for your pity or admiration, but because it’s infuriating to think that I have to grieve alone and that so many others are sentenced to the same fate.
We are all allowed to share our mourning with those who can support us.

A life, no matter how short, deserves to be celebrated, not hidden.”

The support that has followed is tremendous and humbling.
It really demonstrates what great people I have in my life.
So many comments from people thanking me for bringing this to light, for being honest about my experience and hopefully encouraging other women to do the same and not feel so alone.
I also received an influx of private messages from people sharing their condolences and telling me how much they respect my decision.

Several people also agreed and acknowledged that her life was precious and deserves to be recognized and that it is perfectly natural to mourn and, no matter how many children we go on to have, Lily will always be a part of us.

After the post, I left to go pick up Eric.
I let out the biggest, noisiest, ugliest cry I have ever allowed myself to have.
Thus far in the miscarriage I have only had silent cries.
This one was filled with the sounds of anguish that have been a part of me for far to long.
It startled me, honestly.

But, as the tears came, I felt better. I admitted to myself this sense of emptiness. The feeling that, no matter what I do, I will never quite be whole again. And then it stopped.

Some of the supportive and beautiful comments made me tear up, but since then, I have not cried. I have not felt miserable and unable to live.
I’ve felt some sort of peace again.

I can’t believe that after all this time I finally figured it out.
What I needed to do was act on my feelings. The feeling that Lily was very real and deserved to be recognized instead of a secret hidden deep in our hearts.
Having others know about and share our feelings of loss for Lily makes me feel less alone.
So many people out there who love and truly support myself and Eric in this have been left in the dark.
Yes, people are still mostly sad for us, but now they can be aware of what it is exactly that we lost and share in that emptiness.

I never dreamed of the support I could receive from the people in my life.

Never be afraid to be honest.