Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ready for 2017!

After my last post the whole house got sick!  BOO! But we got everything done and the kids had an amazing Christmas. It was quiet and simple and great.  

Obviously 2016 was not all I'd hoped it would be. On the bright side, I'd like to think I'm stronger for it. And hopefully good things await in 2017!

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?  I made my first strides toward becoming a published author

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make resolutions really. We did finish working on the house and Kelly and I sent the book out. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No one super close to me.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I lost my unborn son, Gabriel in June.

5. What countries did you visit? I didn't get to travel at all this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016? I would like to be able to buy a bigger house that suits my growing family better! (same answer as the last three years). I'd also love it if the book was published

7. What dates from 2016 will be etched upon your memory, and why? May 7th (found out we were pregnant) and June 28 (found out he was gone)

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year? The house and the book.

9. What was your biggest failure?  Just didn't make the strides I'd hoped for.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Miscarriage and D&C

11. What was the best thing you bought? Didn't have the funds for much this year. I guess it was a good investment to work on the house. Hopefully, anyway.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I give us all major props on surviving this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Ugh, Donald Trump.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills and the house

15. What did you get really excited about? Actually getting to house hunt was fun.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016? Beam Me Up by Pink

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? This year was a downer, honestly. So sadder, fatter (I need to delete this question), and poorer. But hey, it can only go up, I hope.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Finding ways to be positive

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Stressing out

20. How did you spend Christmas? We hung out at home. Angie's b/f came over, we did gifts and breakfast and just relaxed all day watching the kids enjoy their gifts and letting Tyler ride his bike outside since it wasn't to cold.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? More and more every day with my husband and kids

22. What was your favorite TV program? Big Bang Theory, Dancing with the Stars, and The Little Couple

 23. What was the best book you read? The Martian

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? My loss playlist. It brought me great comfort.

25. What did you want and get? To finish the house and book

26. What did you want and not get? A promotion, publication, and a new house!

27. What was your favorite film of 2016? The Martian

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 34.  I actually had the day off. I don't remember doing anything much, but it was nice and low key and I DIDN'T HAVE TO WORK!

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If there hadn't been quite so much to overcome.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2016 ? I'm still loving leggings and boots, especially my Candian boots and the new brown ones my mom got me. And I got a pair of "jogger" sweats yesterday and I think they might be my new lounge go-to.

31. What kept you sane? My hubby, my kids, my mom, my sisters, my family, my friends, and my coworkers! Talking and writing and laughing and music!

32. What political issue stirred you the most? Donald Trump is really going to be president.

33. Who did you miss? My sister, my grandparents and my great aunt and my little Gabriel.

 34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

 35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "I hear your voice and I break in two and now there's one of me with you." Pink "Beam Me Up"

Monday, December 12, 2016

All about Christmas!

I'm so predictable. I nearly vanish in November and December every year. I suppose it's a busy time for everyone. My job is EXTREMELY busy around this time of year, and this year is, if anything, more so! I'll be covering for the maternity leave for a coworker (well, a coworker from Birmingham) who is the go-to for all things for my group. Side note: It's a little hard to swallow, as we were literally due the same week. Anyway, I'm fielding lots of questions on invoicing and year end stuff. It's interesting and different, but can make getting my normal work done a little challenging.

So yeah, busy. I need to finish my Christmas shopping too. This weekend we took the kids to see Santa. We went to the mall this year. The last two years we attended an event at Tyler's school, but they didn't have it this year. The kids did great and were super excited--a change from last year when AJ was afraid of Santa.

Waiting in line! Blurry because they couldn't stand still from excitement!

They've been (pretty) good this year! AJ looks so deceptively innocent here.
We continued the Christmas preparation weekend by putting up the Christmas Tree.  I remembered that I planned to do a blog post about a few special Christmas ornaments, so I snapped a few photos after we'd finished.
Oh Christmas Tree!

Turtles!  Tyler's friend made him these!

Can you see tiny little me? Circa 1989

This used to be a rocking horse, until our sheepdog Shasta knocked over the tree one year and gnawed off a leg and the rockers.

Last year's obligatory Christmas Craft!

Tyler's first ornament! He loved that toy!

AJ's first ornament, complete with his footprint!

The ornament I bought the first year Adam and I were together 2002.

My first ornament! 1982

Our nativity scene--we put it down low where the kids can play with it.

We usually hang the stockings on bookshelves (no fireplace), but we put the shelves away this year, so command hooks it is!
Busy weekend and now it's the week again!  Any guesses on if you'll get another blog post before my New Years Post???

Thursday, November 3, 2016

It's fall...right?

It sure doesn't feel like November!!  It's been in the 70's here lately!  The kids enjoyed trick or treating without the usual worries about layering under their costumes!  In fact, I wore a light jacket and wound up SWEATING!

Ready to go!

Check out their tails!


Bucket ready!

AJ was totally into it this year

Tyler's head got a little crooked here

AJ kept tripping, I think he fell 3 times!


Aren't they so cute??  AJ wore last year's rejected costume (last year he was terrified and refused to go out, this year he's been obsessed with it for weeks)--Marshall from Paw Patrol. Unfortunately, a year went buy and I couldn't find his hat, so several people confused him for a cow.  Tyler was Yoshi from Mario.

 What else is new? Work is getting ready to get super busy. We took the house off the market--did I mention we'd listed?  Well, we did, for a month or two. We didn't get too much activity. A few people didn't like that the interstate runs behind our house (even though there is a sound barrier wall and the yard is huge). One couple was very interested, but after dragging their feet for two weeks, ultimately decided to pass. Keeping a house filled with 4 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats show ready all the time is tough and a pain, so with that coupled with the fact that the weather is turning and the holidays are coming, we decided to call it quits until the spring. Hopefully we'll have better luck then.

Not much else going on.  Adam and I are frantically trying to do extra to come up with our Christmas fund. He's working Ebay and I'm doing some at home transcription work. We're keeping busy!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wave of Light

In June of 2011, I had a miscarriage. A tiny baby I think of as Butterfly flitted in and out of my life in a matter of days. And suddenly I was the one in four women that has lost a child.

This year I experienced that pain again. This time I carried my sweet little boy Gabriel Wyatt beneath my own heart for 11 weeks and 3 days before we found out his own tiny heart had stopped. This was a familiar pain, but in a far more profound way than I had experienced it before.

Today, participating in the Wave of Light, I remember both of the babies that I'll never hold in my arms. Tonight I said a prayer for them, and for all the sweet children gone far too soon. May comfort come to all those who light their candles tonight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Forcefully Four

October 12th is here again already! My not-so-little AJ-Bug is four years old today!  I can't believe it!

He is going to wake up from his nap any minute, so we're going with bullets here!  Here's what AJ is like at FOUR!

  • He's my rough-and-tumble boy!  He's constantly jumping, rolling, bouncing and taking risks. I see ER visits in our future. So far, no major injuries, but he did dislocate a bone or tendon in his elbow a few weeks ago--and it was just a minor fall! Luckily the immediate care doc figured it out quickly and within minutes he was saying it didn't hurt one bit!
  • He's talking a lot these days--and MOST of it makes sense! He still has some speech issues, namely he can't say "l" sounds and a few others.  It's cute to hear him talk, but I hope it works itself out eventually so he doesn't have issues in school.
  • He is an EATER!  Sometimes we have to MAKE him stop eating! I wish he'd eat some veggies, but he loves fruit and he eats way more meat than Tyler ever has! We have a lot more things to choose from with AJ.
  • He is definitely not a laid back child. He has quite a defiant streak that we are struggling with lately. He will completely ignore instructions, or do something again that you've just told him not to. We are doing our best to be consistent and stop these behaviors, but it's rough sometimes!
  • That said, when he's good, he's so good and sweet! 
  • His favorite thing in the whole wide world is to be TICKLED! Seriously, it's my part time job.
  • His favorite book is "The Book With No Pictures". It's hilarious and he knows it by heart and can recite it.
  • He likes to watch Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Loud House.
  • He loves to play board games. We've been playing a lot of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland, along with a few others. He is getting at least 4 new games for his birthday!
  • His best "buddy" is our old fat cat Tippy. He just adores her.
Tyler's on fall break, so I took a few days off work. Adam will be off tomorrow and Friday too. Mom and I took the kids to Conner Prairie (a living history museum) and had a good time. As predicted, he woke up and after some tickles is now playing with a birthday gift, so I'll leave you with some photos of his birthday cuteness!

In a covered wagon

Me and my boys!

Aw he looked down!

Paddling a canoe

Tyler taking a turn

My Tyler-man

Friday, October 7, 2016

Song Lyrics for Loss: I Will Carry You

This song is all kinds of heartbreaking. It reminds me to be grateful for the time I had with my baby. It's more religious/spiritual, but I just love the message.

"I Will Carry You (Audrey's Son)" Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness

But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The memorial

Sunday was the Memorial of Ashes.  The hospital where I had my D&C is one of several in our area that offers an option of communal burial of ashes of miscarried babies.  They have a service twice a year and invite the families that have had a loss to attend.  The nurses told me about it the day of my D&C and asked if we would like to have an invitation sent to us. I said yes immediately.

(Side note: I never got an invitation (story of my LIFE), so I called the hospital last week and the rushed to send me one).

We decided we would all go (Mom, Adam and I, the kids, and my sister Michelle).  It was very nice. It was held at the funeral home at a local cemetery. They had a large room set up with chairs. At the back of the room were several tables. We were immediately offered a program, and they gave each of the boys a brightly colored paper sack with a few little toys and a sucker, which I thought was both thoughtful AND smart. There were also strips of ribbon that you could write messages on, which would later bed tied to two wreaths they would take out to the memorial site. Each of us took a ribbon and wrote a little message to our baby boy. There were also tables with cookies and water at the back of the room. 

We took seats and waited for the service to begin. While we waited, a woman was playing the violin, which was lovely. The service was only 20-30 minutes at the most. They recited a poem and there were some readings. I don't remember much. I alternated between bring brought to tears when a particular phrase would resonate with me, and turning my attention to the kids. I didn't regret having them with me for a second, as it helped to be reminded I still have them. Tyler shed a few tears too, poor thing. But the boys were very well behaved, in fact all the children present were.

On particular thing they said that hit me hard had something to do with the fact that our relationships with our lost children haven't ended, they have just changed.  That made me cry in particular. I guess it's been awhile and I'd moved on, but this brought me back to the grief that will never really go away. And that's okay. I let myself feel it, but I don't feel that it's swallowed me back up.

At the end of the service, they invited the guests up to tie our ribbons on the wicker wreaths and they gave out carnations to put at the memorial site or take home.  Then we all filed outside and walked across the cemetery. I didn't feel comfortable taking pictures inside, but I did snap a few at the site.

At the site itself, there was a large headstone with a statue on top of a little girl and a lamb. Behind the headstone is a stone bird bath.  The funeral director took the top off of the bird bath and placed the wooden box that contained the ashes of all our little babies over the stand, which had a hole in the center.  The box had a latch on the bottom so they were able to pour the ashes into the base of the bird bath through the bottom of the box. It's sort of hard to explain, but that's the best I can do.

The read a few more statements and a lady sang a song I didn't recognize and then they said we were free to go, or stay and talk, they even had grief counselors available.  It was a very nice service and I think it's wonderful that the hospital offers something like that.  They will provide the babies remains to the family if requested, for a private service (which we all know just isn't a viable financial option for most people) but it's so wonderful to have a second option, particularly one where the families can be involved. And I'm glad I now will have a place to go when I'm thinking about my little boy.  I grew up going to the cemetery to my sister's grave, and I always was grateful we were close by, since I didn't know her and don't have memories of her in other places. It's the same with my son, if I want to be physically close to him, I can visit the memorial. I am glad for that.

Finally, I think it's time to share that we picked a name for our little boy. He is Gabriel Wyatt. My little Gabe. Mama love you.

Here are the pictures I took. I will try to go back sometime when there isn't so many people.
"What the heart has once known it shall never forget."

"My Precious Innocence. You are part of me and will lie in my heart forever. i will always remember you. This memorial is dedicated to all children regardless of their age."

One of the wreaths with the ribbons bearing messages from the grieving families.


The birdbath

Monday, September 12, 2016

Memory Box

Life has been crazy, so I'm finally getting around to posting about the memory box I put together after my miscarriage. I drafted it awhile ago, but kept forgetting to take pictures! 

So I mentioned that on the second day after my surgery, I went out and bought a memory box.  I'm not sure what drove me to want to do this so urgently.  At the time I wasn't sure I even had enough things to warrant a box. I guess I wanted something that belonged to the baby or something to take out and look at when I needed to. But that morning, less than 48 hours after my surgery, mom was getting ready to run errands with the kids and I asked if I could go with her and if we could stop at a craft store so I could pick up a few things.  She agreed. I think she was glad I wanted to get out of the house.

We went Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I found a photo box that I liked and picked up some things to decorate the inside lid and a photo sleeve for one of the ultrasound pictures.  We ran errands and ate lunch out, probably one of the first decent meals I had eaten in awhile.  Once we got home, I rested awhile (I'd probably overdone it a little) but later that afternoon I got out my supplies and decorated the inside lid with flowers, an ultrasound pictures and a little bit of sparkle.

The box:

Purple of course. In my defense, I didn't know the baby was a boy until after I bought this


Inside the lid:

Again, probably a little girly. Sweet angel boy.


It's contents:

And here's a full list of it's contents, with photos:
  • Pregnancy tests 
 
The expired strip was the first test I took, then confirmed with the $.88 test
  • Hospital Bracelet
  • These are paperweights I made from flowers from my bouquets. My mom did some like this after Nicky died. You can buy resin kits at the hobby stores. They were molded in the little bubbles you get toys in from the quarter machines at grocery stores. See how to do this here
It felt good to make things for baby. And for me.

  • Photo Album (contains photos of tests, the owls we gave mom to tell her, the facebook announcement photos, and the flowers sent by my friend and my coworkers)--I got this at Walmart for like a dollar or two and it says "I love you to the moon and back" which I say to Tyler every night before bed. PERFECT
  • The little purple hart was given to me at support group. There's a tiny purple heart and a bigger purple heart with a small heartshaped hole in it. They give these to every mom that miscarries. At their memorial, the mother's put the tiny heart with the ashes so that the baby has a piece of her heart and the mom keeps the larger heart.  The passage reads "Lovingly and tenderly handmade for you by those who care and share with you in this difficult time. We prayed today that 'the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, wil guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.' Phil 4:7"
  • Another item from support group--A card (with a butterfly on it) and inside, a ribbon holding a tiny gold ring. The passage reads "The ring is a perfect circle, the circle is never-ending just like your love for your baby. Everlasting love was present when you learned you were pregnant. As your baby is loved back to God, please accept this ring as a symbol of your pure love. Psalm 117:2 Great is His steadfast love toward us."
  • The pink ribbon is from a vase of flowers my dear buddy (my coworker and I call each other buddy) sent me.
Gifts and memories


  • A sweet card from Tyler's friend's family and my sweet cousin, plus a card from the surgery center staff (I realized there were addresses all over these, forgive the sloppy editing)
  • Cards from the flowers from work and Buddy (my friend and I call each other Buddy)
  • Notes from Buddy and A (another coworker) that they left on my desk when I was out



  • Ultrasound photos, taken at 8 weeks, 9 weeks, and 10 weeks.

I like the earliest u/s picture the most, even though baby looks like a peanut. You can't see the SCH in that shot (the largest print)
  • Print out of our facebook pregnancy announcement and comments
  • Print out of our facebook loss announcement, comments, and my posts from my TTC group
  • Print outs of texts and emails from friends and family  
I like to read these sometimes to remember that others knew about and cared about the baby.

  • A tin of dried flowers/petals from my bouquets. I bought these special beads that pour over fresh flower. You put them in a bowl and microwave them (or let them set a few days) and they dry out.
Now I can keep them forever.


I'm glad I did this. I can definitely see the box sitting on a shelf or in my closet.  For now it's on my nightstand. I can see myself getting it down and going through it from time to time, and eventually probably on my due date (1/14) or on 6/28. I can see myself showing the items to the boys when they are older.  I'm not sure how we'll handle things with the boys. Tyler knows, obviously, but talking about it right now upsets him, so we aren't pushing the issue, just trying to watch for any signs that it's bothering him. I want it to be like how Angie, Michelle and I just always knew about Nicky and that we weren't sad about it, it just was.  I'm not sure it can be that way for Tyler, I think he might always remember that day.  But I don't think AJ will. I hope someday they will want to sit down and look at the items.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's next?

I should be 18 weeks pregnant right now...we should have just found out, or be getting ready to find out, that we are expecting a baby boy.

I try not to think of that too much. I actually do have to stop and think of how far along I would be.

I've had my first few run ins with people who didn't know about the miscarriage. One was at the grocery store. We know a lot of the people who work there and one of them asked me when I was due. Surprisingly I didn't cry. I didn't really give myself time to. Then at work I offhandedly mention the work I'd missed at the end of June and she made a comment that told me she didn't know. So I had to explain. A few weeks ago a coworker came to me and said he was sorry, that he'd heard about the loss.  I did cry that time. But I also thanked him. It means a lot to me when people acknowledge it.  Of course it makes me sad, but sometimes I'm more sad that people don't bring it up. I know it's awkward, and I know people don't want to upset me. So I just remind myself of that.

My sweet coworker even drove by the cemetery where the memorial will be held. She lives nearby and she found the little area and sent me a picture. I was really touched by that. I think we should get the invitations next month, since it'll be in October.

I still want to name the baby, but mom and Adam haven't really seemed concerned about that. I don't really want to do it alone. I feel like at this point it's "too late" even. But I'd hate to have to write "Baby Boy last name" on the list for the memorial and I really would like a name to refer to. But would it mean something at this point? Or just be arbitrary? I don't know. If we conceive again I have got to come up with names or at least a nickname for the baby.

So that brings me to the future. We will be trying again. My hcg level was down to 3 last weekend and I had my first period just 4 weeks after the D&C. I also had a positive OPK last week, so I know I ovulated. My OB wanted me to wait until I had a normal period to ttc. I'm assuming my next one will be normal (the last one was maybe a little heavier and slightly longer). I'm not sure if we'll try then or not. Sometimes I am excited to try, yearning for it. And sometimes I'm overwhelmed and scared and anxious. For now I'm taking it a day at a time.

So what else has been going on? Tyler went back to school, big second grader!  He immediately caught those pesky germs (sinusitis, apparently). AJ is going pee on the potty just about every time, although he rarely says he needs to go, he just happens to be holding it until we take him. He's going to have some dental work done soon and I'm dreading it. My poor kiddos seem to have weak teeth!

We're still working our butts off on the house. We are sooooo close to done!  Just two more indoor projects and a few outdoors, if the rain will ever hold off! I'm spending time every evening scrubbing things, ugh. 

That's it for now...Here are a few pics of the First Day of 2nd Grade and a few bonus shots of the State Fair visit on a super rainy day.


Tyler is holding up 2 fingers and AJ is trying to copy him LOL

Mommy with the Boys!


With Daddy and Little Brother

Farmer Tyler

AJ didn't mind the rain--at first!



Deputy Tyler

Friday, August 12, 2016

Song Lyrics for Loss: Slipped Away

This one keeps the lyrics pretty simple, but the melody really make it for me. There's a frantic disbelief to it that I relate to and it really represents the fleetingness the whole experience had.

"Slipped Away" Avril Lavigne

Na na, na na na, na na
I miss you, miss you so bad
I don't forget you, oh it's so sad

I hope you can hear me
I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same
Oh

Na na na na na na na

I didn't get around to kiss you
Goodbye on the hand
I wish that I could see you again
I know that I can't

Oh
I hope you can hear me
'Cause I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same
Oh

I've had my wake up
Won't you wake up
I keep asking why
And I can't take it
It wasn't fake
It happened, you passed by

Now you're gone, now you're gone
There you go, there you go
Somewhere I can't bring you back
Now you are gone, now you are gone
There you go, there you go,
Somewhere you're not coming back

The day you slipped away
Was the day I found it won't be the same no..
The day you slipped away
Was the day that I found it won't be the same oh...

Na na, na na na, na na
I miss you

Monday, August 1, 2016

Song Lyrics for Loss: Beam Me Up

I'm still here.  Life is going on.  I still think about my loss every day. It's not taking over my life, and most of the time I think about it without getting terribly upset. Its in the quiet moments alone in the car or in bed at night that I think about it.  I'm still reminded any time I do something I couldn't do while I was pregnant.  I was so glad to turn the page on my calendar today at work, to a page that didn't have doctor's appointments scratched out on it. I'm taking it a day at a time, trying to find things that help when I need to think about it.

For example, I love music. I find it very healing.  So it should surprise no one that I went looking for songs to put into words some of what I've been feeling. I thought I'd do a little series of some of the song that brought me comfort. The title should link to the page I got the lyrics from, and you can play the song there I think, or they are on YouTube. If there are any I should check out, please leave them in the comments.

"Beam Me Up" Pink

 There's a whole 'nother conversation going on
In a parallel universe.
Where nothing breaks and nothing hurts.
There's a waltz playin' frozen in time
Blades of grass on tiny bare feet
I look at you and you're lookin' at me.

Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
I'd probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter,
I think a minute's enough,
Just beam me up.

Saw a blackbird soarin' in the sky,
Barely a breath I caught one last sight
Tell me that was you sayin' goodbye,
There are times I feel the shiver and cold,
It only happens when I'm on my own,
That's how you tell me I'm not alone

Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
I'd probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter,
I think a minute's enough,
Just beam me up.

In my head I see your baby blues
I hear your voice and I, I break in two and now there's
One of me, with you

So when I need you can I send you a sign
I'll burn a candle and turn off the lights
I'll pick a star and watch you shine

Just beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
I'd probably just stare, happy just to be there, holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter,
I think, a minute's enough,
Beam me up
Beam me up
Beam me up
Could you beam me up. 


I'm totally obsessed with this song.  For sure, what wouldn't I give to have a minute to see my baby? So pretty and sad. Although I have to disagree, I don't think a minute would be enough for me. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blue

My doctor's office called me last week with the chromosome testing results...No abnormalities.

And it was a little boy.  My son.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hate to Relate

Thank you for the sweet comments, ladies. I am so sorry for your losses as well. I certainly wish no woman had to feel pain like this. Your support means so much.

Life is going on, even thought I can't really understand how or why. I guess I feel like the whole world should have been effected by something like this, but of course it wasn't. I'm back to working and taking care of day to day responsibilities. I don't feel sad all the time. But I do think about it. I think about it a lot. It's not all horrible thoughts, sometimes it's more wistful. And resigned.

Tuesday I went to a support group that the surgery center told me about. It was at a different hospital, not the same as the surgery center. I was anxious about it, but I wasn't really sure why. I guess I worried I wouldn't fit it, or I would be a mess, I don't know. I guess I didn't know what to expect. But I felt like talking to people who know what I'm feeling right now would be helpful.

I got distracted and forgot to take the short cut to the hospital and then I couldn't figure out what entrance I was supposed to go in--I had a building number, but if it was on the building, I didn't see it.  Turns out, I needed to go into the main entrance. Anyway, all this meant I was a tiny bit late. The only consolation there was another woman arrived at the same time, so I was able to slip inside without too much awkwardness.  They handed me a sheet with some guidelines for the group, I grabbed a mini bottle of water (so smart, crying dehydrates me) and sat down next to a box of kleenex (thinking ahead, I was).

I started to describe the other's in attendance, but I feel weird about that. Suffice it to say, there were 5 other people there, plus a moderator (who works for the hospital). There were parents and grandparents and a mix of miscarriage stories and infant deaths.  Every story was heartbreaking. Most happened within the last year, but one grandmother had been attending the group for 17 years. She actually seemed to be helping the moderator some, as well.

When it was my turn, I barely got my name out before the tears came. I'd actually rehearsed what I'd say in the car. I had been rather stoic about it, which I found strange.  I eventually managed to get out the basics, that it had been two weeks since my miscarriage and D&C at 11 weeks. I can't remember what else I said, but I think it included mention of the boys.

The moderator then proceeded to call me brave.  I didn't feel brave.

Some talked a lot. Some talked a little. I think everyone cried at one point or another.  Their words resonated with me and I found them nodding in agreement to some of the things I said.  Other people really do get it. And I hate that they do, but at the same time, it's such a relief.

At one point, the moderator brought up a story about the woman who usually runs the group. She said that at her first meeting, when it was her time to introduce herself, she said she didn't belong here, that the others had experienced stillbirths or infant losses, and she had "only" had 2 miscarriages. She said that we should remember not to compare, that they are all losses. She said the others pointed out that they had had more time with their babies than she had, so in that way her loss was "worse".

That resonated with me, since I was feeling like my loss was smaller, less than some of theirs.  The group chimed in that they certainly did not feel that was true.

We talked about the hardest thing we'd had to do in the last month (or two weeks, in my case). Then toward the end of the meeting, we talked about the most helpful or best thing we'd done in the last month.  I said this group was the best moment for me. I meant it. It felt good, although good is not the right word.

The moderator knew I'd been at a different hospital, but she was able to give me some insight on the memorial we'll have in October and she very generously gave me some of the items they give out at her hospital to those who have had a miscarriage. She gave me a bear for Tyler (I appreciate it, but it went home and went into the closet, because I was afraid it would upset him right now), and a few little gifts that I'll describe in a post soon (they went into my memory box and I plan on doing a whole post about that).

At the end of the meeting, the woman who's about my age stopped me and asked if I was a member of a certain pregnancy forum. Turns out, I'd replied to a post there about local support in our city and she recognized me. She was very sweet and we're talked about getting together. Yesterday she actually offered to bring us dinner some evening, which completely blew me away. I told her we were covered there (Mom has that covered) but I hoped we could get together, nevertheless.

I definitely think that attending the group will be helpful for me.  And seeing how it helped, hearing how it helps the others made me feel good. I could see wanting to be involved in this. It reminds me of how I felt when we were doing fertility treatments. No one WANTS to be apart of that community, but now that I was I wanted to be involved, to help others.  And to help myself along the way.

Still no results from the doctor's office.  I just want to be done with limbo. I want to know or know I can't know.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A post I never thought I'd have to write

DISCLAIMER/TRIGGER WARNING

This is the story of my miscarriage.  It's not graphic, but it is raw and may be upsetting to some miscarriage survivors.  Please know this before reading. Thank you. 

It still doesn't seem real. I guess that makes sense, since I really don't feel much different than I did a week ago.  How cruel is that?  I'm sitting here in a body that still thinks it's pregnant.

But I'm not. As hard as it is to accept, I'm not.

I can't remember what my last update was, but I know I posted an 11 week update so I'm sure I included something about the fact that my 10 week ultrasound went ok. The SCH had grown to 7 cm but the baby looked good and had a good heartbeat, 173. The ultrasound tech wasn't happy that the hemorrhage had grown and she actually talked to the doctor before letting me leave, but ultimately I was just told to take it as easy as possible, even more easily than I had been, for the next week.

I took that seriously. I cancelled dinner plans with my dad and arranged for Adam and my mom to run errands I had planned to take care of. I worked during the day, but didn't walk around much and when I got home I spent nearly all my time resting on the couch.

Tuesday morning my ultrasound was scheduled for 8:45 am.  Adam went to work and I planned to go in after my appointment.  I'd been having so many ultrasounds, I just went by myself.  I felt anxious, but mostly just worried about the SCH.

Jennifer, the ultrasound tech, called me back. We were pretty familiar with one another at this point, and we both commented how we hoped the situation was improving today.  We got to the room and I lay down and exposed my tummy. I laughed a little when she put the gel on my stomach, because I'm numb there from AJ's C-Section.

The picture came up on the screen.  I commented how it still looked scrunched. The previous week, the baby was half-turned, sort of on it's side-not profile but not face on either. Then I said I thought the hemorrhage still looked huge.

And then I saw...or rather didn't see something.

"Can you see the heartbeat?" I asked.  Surely I was just missing it.

But she didn't answer. And I knew from the ER ultrasound tech that when they don't answer, that's bad.  I think I started hyperventilating, but I was trying to stay still because maybe I was wrong.

After a few minutes she just said she was so sorry.  I cried. I asked questions too, but mostly I just cried.  It's such a blur.  She stayed with me until I got somewhat under control, and then she went to call the doctor, who was in surgery for the day.

I wiped off my stomach and got up to get my phone. Then I made the hardest phone call ever. Adam didn't answer the first three times I called.  When he finally did, I think I just sobbed out that the baby was gone. Of course I had to repeat it. I told him what happened and all I can really remember him saying was that it wasn't my fault.  I told him I didn't know what was going to happen and that they were calling the doctor.  I asked him to come home and he said of course he was.

Someone, a nurse I think, came in and talked to me a little. She hugged me and let me cry. After awhile I knew mom was going to be getting worried that I hadn't called or texted about my appointment, so I had to call her and tell her the news. She had the kids, but she said she was coming right over. The nurse assured me that they could watch the kids so they wouldn't have to know what happened yet.

They spoke to Dr. A and she wanted me to go in for a D&C later that day.  She said she was worried about me bleeding too much if I miscarried at home, because of the large hemorrhage.  I could go home for a few hours and be at the hospital surgery center at 1:00 pm for a 3:00 surgery.

Mom arrived and the nurse distracted the kids while we finished up. I composed myself as much as I could and we left.  Tyler knew something was wrong, so once we got to the car I had to tell him. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My sweet sensitive baby boy, he started crying immediately.  He had so been looking forward to having a new little baby.  What a thing for him to have to know about.  To know that sometimes babies don't come home.  I told him that God needed his baby brother or sister to come and be our angel in heaven.  Then I just hugged him and told him I was so so sorry.  Agony.

On the way home I called Angie and Michelle. When I got home, I called my boss. They were all horrified and so very sad for us.

The hours passed so slowly. It felt horrible to sit there doing nothing, and yet I didn't want to let go of those last precious hours I would have to be close to my sweet baby. My little fighter...

If the hours at home were painful, the hours sitting in the hospital bed were unbearable. The kids came back and they were a good distraction.  I had a very lovely nurse who spoke very kindly. She told me she had suffered several miscarriages herself. I think she said four, but I can't remember now.  Finally she became pregnant with twins, but sadly she lost her little boy. She was able to carry her daughter to terms, thankfully, and when her daughter was 7, she went on a mission trip to the Ukraine and met a very special little 7 year old boy whom she later adopted. Kind of her second chance to have the twin boy she lost.

I was given a whole bunch of paperwork. Some were consent forms and the like. But there was also information about support groups, memorials, keepsakes, etc. They gently presented with the the options they offer in terms of burial. They told us that we could request our babies remains and arrange a private funeral. If we chose not to do that (because of course, that's very expensive), they offered a twice yearly group memorial service and communal burial of all miscarried babies. I was heartbroken and touched that there was an option like that.  The service will be in October and we will have an opportunity to attend and have our babies name read out and put on a ribbon wreath. I am glad that I will eventually have a place I can visit to be close to my baby. I'm very grateful that they offer this.

Later, I met the anesthesiologist. After that, Dr. A arrived. She held my hand and told me how sorry she was.  We asked a few questions and she answered as best as she can. We asked if there was any way to be sure what had caused this. She explained that there are really no guarantees, even with chromosomal testing, although we could choose to try that if we wished.  She said that her honest opinion was the my SCH may not have been the cause of the miscarriage, but perhaps was a side effect of some other problem, possibly a chromosomal problem with the baby. She said that would explain why the SCH was not improving. That sometimes there is something wrong with the baby and so an SCH forms and the baby can survive for awhile, but ultimately the problems are too severe. We chose to request additional chromosomal testing in the hopes that if nothing else, it might help us learn our babies gender. I felt stupidly guilty, because I know the testing can be expensive, but I just knew in that moment I would regret it if we didn't try. Dr. A did warn us that sometimes the tests come back inconclusive (if an insufficient amount of living tissue is collected), so we may not get any answers, but I wanted to at least try.

Eventually it was time. They had me give my glasses to Adam, which made me feel even more helpless, since my eyesight is very poor.  Adam gave me a kiss and they wheeled me away. The sweet nurse stopped and got me a warm blanket. Then we entered the OR.  It was smaller than I'd expected, but I guess that's because this was at a surgery center, not the main hospital. The sight of the operating table and all the equipment, the bright lights and the fancy padded stirrups--it was all too much. Entering that room, especially for this particular reason, is the most vulnerable, raw feeling.  I was quite literally preparing to put my life in the hands of strangers and allow them to do something unthinkable.

The very worst moment came next.  They had to ask me to confirm my name and tell them what procedure I was having done. Logically, I understand why they have to do this, but the sheer act of having to actually speak the words out loud was so cruel and so painful.  I started to cry, of course. At first, the nurse tried to calm me, telling me to take a few deep breaths. But I think she could see I was beyond that, so she just told me to let it out. I did, but there really wasn't much time for tears. I moved to the table and I remember hesitating, not wanting the lay back under that huge harsh light. But of course, there was no turning back. I lay down and allowed them to stretch out my arms and attach their monitors. There were two nurses and the anesthesiologist in the room, and they started chatting, trying to distract me, I'm sure. The second nurse was hooking me up to the heart monitor, and she was commenting on how so much technology is wireless now, but not this stuff.  She joked that she was going to come up with a wireless version and go on Shark Tank and sell it to Mark Cuban. I knew what she was doing, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

And that was it. They gave me some medication in the IV and then settled the mask over my face and asked me to breathe deeply.

When I woke up, I was back in the room we'd waited in. My nurse offered me water right away and told me everything had gone fine. After a few minutes, she brought Adam back. Dr. A had already talked to him. She said that by the looks of things, I would have started miscarrying naturally that evening. She found a large clot and quite a bit of new active bleeding on my cervix. Somehow that made me feel a tiny bit better, reassured me that it had indeed been over, beyond a shadow of a doubt (you play terrible mindgames with yourself, like should I demand another ultrasound just in case. This showed me that there really had been no hope). 

I guess in a way, even though how we found out the baby was gone was totally horrible, it was "good" that it was discovered that way. I could have bled too much, it could have been dangerous, and I most certainly wouldn't have had Dr. A taking care of me. Also, I think if I had started bleeding, I would have tried to convince myself that the baby could still be ok, that I knew I had a hemmorhage...And if I had ended up in the ER (assuming it happened after regular hours), I could have been surrounded my strangers and with a doctor I didn't know performing my surgery.

I was groggy, but alert.  I told the nurse I was feeling crampy, so she gave me some medication.  The very best thing was that she'd covered me in this blanket-thing that had warm air running through it.  Honestly it was so nice.  The operating rooms are freezing. I always wake up feeling cold and shaking. That blanket was amazing. The nurse talked kindly to me and helped me drink some water (so thirsty) and eat some saltines so I wouldn't feel nauseated.  Once I got that down we waited awhile for my pain medicine to kick in. Adam went to the hospital pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions and there was some confusion because the doctor had forgotten to submit the one for pain medication. Since the hospital pharmacy was getting ready to close, they ended up calling it into Kroger for us to pick up. Then the nurse unhooked my IV and the stupid leg squeezing-blood clot preventing things (Did I mention they put those on before surgery? They are annoying), and let me get up, clean up, and get dressed.  By then I wasn't in pain, just sore and weak.  Adam helped me clean up and dress and then he went to get the car. The nurse took me outside in a wheelchair and that was it.

My physical recovery has gone well.  I took one pain pill that evening and I think another one or two the next day, and then I just switched to Tylenol. I wasn't cramping much, but I did have some soreness from the procedure, but not too bad. Really it was sort of appalling how little physical pain I felt. Going through something so traumatic, I would have thought it would hurt more. Although I guess it's fair, really, since the emotional pain was quite enough to be dealing with.  Tuesday night was rough, because I didn't sleep.  At first, I was just running through the day's events in my head. I wasn't overly emotional about it, but my brain just went over and over it.  Eventually though, I started to get upset. I finally got out of bed and went downstairs and turned on the TV. I still didn't sleep, but I watched Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen and just didn't think for awhile, which was better.

Wednesday, Adam decided to stay home.  He was taking things pretty hard and I think he was pretty drained.  He rested and later went to Goodwill for a distraction (he buys things there to sell on Ebay).
I stayed on the couch and didn't do much.  My sweet coworkers and my sweet friend Bonnie sent me flowers, and so did our favorite Kroger cashier Tina. My friends called and texted and were incredibly sweet. My mom was very understanding and let me talk when I needed to--she knows a similar (even worse) pain from when my sister died as a baby.  And my boys were there to hug and hold.  Tyler had some pretty sad moments and I've been trying to shield him from the worst of my grief lately. 

Thursday I decided I wanted to do something.  I went out with mom and the kids and we went to Michaels Craft Store. I bought a photo box and some decorative items. I put the best ultrasound picture on the inside of the lid and decorated it, then stored the few items I have in it--my pregnancy tests, more ultrasound photos, cards from the flowers, etc.  It felt nice to have something for the baby.

My mom also got me these crazy beads that you can use to dry flowers in the microwave, and this resin you can use to make paperweights.  I'll take photos of the things I made and put them up in another post, with pics of the memory box too.  It was nice to be able to preserve the flowers that I was sent.  My mom did the same with some of the flowers from Nicky's funeral.

Friday, Adam was off work again. I stayed at home, just feeling the need to be alone. I talked to Angie on the phone, but aside from that I didn't sit brooding.  I watched TV (binged watched the Glee Project on the Firestick) and then drove to McDonalds and thoroughly enjoyed a Big Mac.

Saturday and Sunday I ran my normal errands and rested.  Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were spent arguing with Comcast because our cable, internet and TV went out--I can't even get into that. We cooked chicken, hot dogs, veggies, and smores on the grill on Saturday and Angie came over.  Monday we did some small fireworks with the kids.

Tuesday mom was supposed to have a doctor's appointment, (They cancelled it an hour before) so I didn't get into work until 10:30 am. The day was difficult, dotted with teary moments when my various coworkers came in to offer their sympathy, or a new sweet email arrived. But it felt good to be busy and focus on normal things.  I'm slowing catching up on my work, although I'm not rushing.

Wednesday was interesting and awful for different reasons. I was getting ready to go into work (Adam was going in late to meet the Comcast technician, again I can't even TALK about that), and I decided I needed to try to look more human--I hadn't been doing much in the way of make up and hair and all that in weeks.  So I decided to pluck my eyebrows.

And I sliced my cornea with my tweezers. Yeah, not kidding.

Long story short, it was my left (bad) eye (see post about it here), so it wasn't affecting my vision much, but it HURT.  I rushed off to Immediate Care and confirmed that yes, I had scratched my cornea. Luckily, this can heal on it's own in a few days.  But there isn't much else to do for it. So away I went, with antibiotic drops and instructions to take OTC pain meds and return in 2 days for a recheck.

The pain was pretty bad, plus it made me extremely sensitive to light and gave me a killer headache. But I really needed to go to work, so I managed.  My eye got pretty swollen and looked pretty awful and was tearing up all day.  So that was fun.

That afternoon was also my follow up with Dr. A.  I was dreading it. It was hard to go back there, where I found out it was over. And of course I was worried about seeing pregnant women or babies.  Luckily the waiting room was totally empty and I was called back pretty quickly. Unluckily, their walls are ridiculously think and I heard the healthy heartbeats of living babies over the dopplars TWICE.  OUCH.  The Medical Assistant was in the room the first time and I could tell she felt bad. She tried turning up the radio. I plugged my ears and cried.

Dr. A was great. We went over everything, just so I could hear it again, mostly.  No test results yet, hopefully in a week or so.  She seemed to think I was recovering well and told me what to watch for, reasons I would need to call them.  She encouraged me to look into the support group the hospital offers and consider seeing a counselor for awhile.  She told me to wait until I have a normal period to try to get pregnant again, which is fine because I'm not ready for that.  But she did say that with my health issues and age, she encourages us to try sooner rather than later.  And she reminded me that I have had two healthy pregnancies (of course, I have had two NOT healthy pregnancies too, so idk if that makes me very confident).

She didn't need a follow up appointment unless the bleeding doesn't stop or my period gets concerning (she said I was on the edge of being far enough along that they worry about not getting everything, so to speak).  I forgot until afterward that someone had mentioned that they would want to do blood tests to watch my HCG level drop, so I called today and left a message about that.

So yeah, that's where I am now.  It's Thursday. My eye is much better today.  And my heart is hurting, but I'm getting back to life.  I know it's going to take me a long time to come to grips with this. I know that I'm going to have a lot of worries, fears and anxiety if we try to conceive again and even more if we succeed.  I know I am always going to grieve my precious baby, my little fighter.  Dr. A said the baby was really strong to have survived so long with that hemmorhage. 

So now I wait, wanting answers, not wanting answers.  Once we hear back, we'll come up with a name. That's important to me.  We'll go to the service in October.  I'll probably check out the support group next week.  Work offers 5 free counseling sessions, so I might start with that too.  I'll so some things to remember the baby...I want to get a necklace once we pick a name.  Maybe a stone or statue for the yard, or plant a tree or something after we move...


I'm taking it a day at a time.  I know my blog doesn't reach many, and maybe this is something no one wants to read.  But I've read miscarriage stories and I wanted to write mine. It was horrible, but I have to remember it.  Briana---Blogger doesn't really let me REPLY to comments, thank you for always reading, commenting, and being so sweet.  Anyone else who reads, those who ready but don't comment, thank you for the thoughts and prayers.

Friday, July 1, 2016

6/28/16

We lost our precious baby. Ultrasound Tuesday showed no heartbeat. Had a D&C. I will get a story up eventually.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

11 Weeks

So I thought I would put one of these little pregnancy surveys up.  I don't know if I'll do it every week, but I didn't do an official one with the boys, so I thought it might be fun.

How far along? 11 weeks. Baby is the size of a lime!
Total weight gain/loss:  As of the beginning of last week, I was down about 12 lbs. I haven't weighted myself since.
Maternity clothes? I've been wearing all maternity pants, although I've been folding down the band this time, something I did not do with Tyler or AJ. My nausea and gas seem to be much more in my upper tummy, so the band is often uncomfortable.
Stretch marks? No new ones

Symptoms: Nausea (though I am taking some medicine and it's much better), fatigue, sore breasts (still!), vivid dreams (seriously! All. Night. Long), gas (I've never burped so much in my life), food aversions.
Sleep: I love sleep. I often fall asleep on the couch around 8:30 and sometimes I'll just go on to bed by 9:00 or 9:30 if I'm still awake then. If I feel sick, I go to bed earlier. I often rest or catnap on the drive home from work and if I'm at home I sometime doze off when AJ is napping in the afternoon.

Best moment this week: Seeing baby on ultrasound, always a relief
Have you told family and friends: Yes
, pretty much everyone knows. We told family and close friends by about 9 weeks and we announced on facebook after our first official appointment last week. People are still finding out at work as word travels, but all official announcements have been made.
Movement: Too early
Food cravings: I don't really have cravings.  Maybe pickles? I'll just list a few things I'm tolerating. I'm snacking on a lot of cheese and crackers and sweet pickles. That sounds weird, but it's something we always have lying out on Thanksgiving, so it's a natural combo to me. I'm not very into food right now, so I'm leaning on a few things that taste good. Apples (I have to peel them though, which is weird for me), bagel thins with cream cheese, cheese wraps (tortilla smeared with cream cheese, then topped with cheddar cheese sliced and lettuce. Most people would also put ham or turkey on it, but I never do, even when not pregnant. Oh and I eat it dipped in BBQ sauce.  You'd think it was a pregnancy thing, but it's really not), and those little popsicles in the plastic sleeves.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Eggs.  Most meat. I'm managing on a little bacon, lots of cheese, and peanut butter for protein.  I went off meat with Tyler and shied away from it with AJ too. I can't drink soda or coffee and even hot tea isn't very appetizing. Basically I'm drinking water, occasionally iced tea or strawberry lemonade.
Have you started to show yet: I don't think so. I'm pudgy already, so I could pass for pregnant, but I don't think it's the real deal yet.
Gender prediction: We are hoping for a baby girl way too much to be subjective
 Labor Signs: No and it had better stay that way

Wedding rings on or off? On. I took them off with Tyler, but not with AJ
Happy or Moody most of the time: Up and down. This week I've been a little stressed.
Milestones: Another week down!

Other notes: At my ultrasound on Tuesday my SCH had grown to 7 cm, which stressed me out. The ultrasound tech talked to the doctor to be sure they didn't want to change my restrictions, and they just ended up saying I should make even more of an effort to take it easy this week.  I'm trying.  That's difficult.  Baby still looks great, but was at an odd angle so the pics weren't great. Another ultrasound Tuesday morning and then the next week I have my first trimester screening.

My bloodtests all came back fine, although my white cell count was a little low--I assured her the number was higher than it usually is. I have AB positive blood, as a point of interest. I knew before, but always forgot. They made me stop in for a weight check on Tuesday too, since I'd lost weight. Their numbers showed a 2 lb gain since last week (I was sure to eat and drink well Tuesday and I hadn't used the bathroom yet, so it was probably a little less than that, but it satisfied them).