Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First day back in the office

The first day is over. Thank God.

~~WARNING: Long whiny post ahead~~

All last week I worked from home and tried to get my mind to start focusing again on work tasks. It was tough.  Then yesterday I went into the office for the first time in 6 weeks. It was REALLY tough.  I spent half the day there and then couldn't take it any longer and went home, crawled under the covers and cried myself to sleep.

I had bad anxiety leading up to yesterday since I really couldn't tell if I was ready to go back or not. It's a hard juggling act determining what I'm ready for and what I'm not. I'm trying to be strong and gently push myself out of my comfort zone since I know I need to face the world again and can't hide forever. But sometimes I really just don't feel okay. Sometimes I feel completely broken and weak and scared.  I have some okay days now, and even some good hours but yesterday was not a good day. Yesterday was one of those days I probably should have stayed home, in my PJs, protecting myself from the world.  Instead, I forced myself to go into the office because I said I would. Everyone was expecting me to be there. Everyone kept telling me they missed me and couldn't wait until I was back. Well, I'm back. Sort of.

The day did not start out well. I didn't sleep well the previous night because of the anxiety. Then I had to find work clothes in my closet that actually fit. In general, getting dressed in anything but PJs has been upsetting to me every single time since I lost Petey. It's one of those things that hits me hard but most people who haven't experienced this probably wouldn't realize it. I used to dress to accentuate my belly bump; now my main goal is to try to hide the leftover bulge. None of my bras fit properly, I can't even look at certain articles of clothing since they are so tied in my mind to being pregnant with Petey, my regular clothes are still too small but it's so difficult stepping into maternity pants now that there is no baby growing inside of me... Getting dressed just sucks in general right now. 

After many outfit changes that morning I ended up in maternity pants afterall because nothing else was comfortable enough. That caused the first tears of the day. More tears came during the 1 hour drive to work because the last time I took that route I wasn't alone. I had my sweet baby in my belly and a happy future on my mind. That was then. Now, the vivid memories from my previous drives; singing to Petey in the car, feeling the seatbelt stretch under my bump, the extra caution I used to take while driving with a 'baby on board', are just painful and made me so aware of the hollow feeling that now lives in me.  I had to keep swallowing my grief and anxiety, blinking through the tears as I drove. Once I got off the exit into town I started crying all over again as I saw how pretty and green everything was. Daffodils everywhere and all the trees in bloom... the last time I was there there were snowbanks. Winter was the season of Petey. Now it's over. Time has elapsed, the world has moved on.  

While pulling into the parking lot at work I had to force myself not to turn right around and just drive home. Maybe I should have. Somehow though, I managed to park, get out of the car, and put one foot in front of the other.  Once inside the building, I climbed the stairs and just as I was coming to the landing I looked up and saw a big pregnant belly greeting me right at eye level.  OF COURSE. One of my coworkers is due any day now. I was hoping she would already be out on maternity leave by the time I got back but no such luck. And OF COURSE she had to be the first person I ran into. She gave me an awkward hug, a look of pity, asked how I was doing, and said how glad she was to see me. I asked her how she was doing and she took the opportunity to complain about how much her back hurt and how she "didn't know how she let her husband do this to her". Awesome. Just the conversation I wanted to have right then.

I went to my desk and found that a handful of my coworkers had pooled money to get me flowers to welcome me back. Now, that was very sweet and thoughtful but unfortunately, it had the opposite of the intended effect. The issue was that they were lilies. There's NO way my coworkers could have known that they'd be a trigger for me (since I didn't even know it myself until yesterday) but Hubs and I received a lot of flowers in the weeks after losing Petey and lilies were in almost every single bouquet. Now the look and especially the smell just make me think of our loss.  I SO appreciate the sentiment but they just made me sad.  I still sent an email thanking everyone for the thoughtful gift of course, but it seems that that email was the invitation all 5 of them were waiting for to come over to welcome me back, give me hugs and ask how I was doing. I have not been good in the small talk department since our loss and having 5 women gathered around me with pitying eyes wanting me to say something when there is just nothing to be said was unpleasant and frankly, kind of stressful. I know they care but I just have no words and always seem to get choked up now. I can't talk about how well I'm doing since I'm not really, and if I talk about anything bad, it'll just get me more upset and be awkward for them.  Conversations are hard. I much prefer to just avoid people now. 

Here's another good reason for avoidance: I had a visit from another coworker later in the day. (This is the woman who offered me her old baby stuff from 9 years ago and was the one who asked me if I was sure I wasn't having twins.) I KNEW I wasn't going to be able to escape a convo with her yesterday and I KNEW it wasn't going to go well for me since she is just sort of clueless and insensitive. She didn't disappoint and just spewed an endless series of dumb shit: 
"So when are you going to start trying again?"
"Don't worry, every day it will get easier and you'll forget soon enough."
"You should start walking to work off the baby weight."
"Did you already set up the nursery? Do you just shut the door now or what?" 
WHAT THE FUCK.  You don't need an explanation from me to see that they are all extremely insensitive comments but seriously?  I will NEVER forget.  Ouch.  And thank you for calling me fat.  And we are not even CLOSE to being able to think about TTC again.  When I told her that she said something so fucking stupid I think I blocked it out. Something about how we'll probably get pregnant "naturally" before I know it because "that's how the world works". Ummm, NO. You are obviously unfamiliar with the infertility world. I told her that once we're finally ready to try again we'll have to go through IF treatments again and she responded with: "You never knoooow...!".  Fuck you. The nursery question REALLY pissed me off though. Unfortunately, it pissed me off after the fact. When I was in the moment that question felt like a punch in the gut.  I told her we ended up returning all the nursery furniture and couldn't even get the sentence out without my voice cracking and the tears starting. That is a gut-wrenching thing for me to think about.  For what possible purpose did she need to ask me that? What good could have come from that topic? Once I started to cry I told her I couldn't talk about any of this any more and had to try to get back to work. She finally left and I tried to pull myself together.

I felt like crap. Like a big boneless defeated pile of crap. I felt weak and tired from trying to hide from people throughout the day; from trying to avoid conversations and when I couldn't, from trying to be strong and "okay" when talking to them. I was exhausted from trying not to cry. All I could think about was curling up under my desk. Then I overheard two women talking to one another about their babies.  Did I mention that I sit just outside the "Mothers Room" (aka: where all the new breastfeeding mommies go multiple times a day to pump and where I thought I would be spending time pumping too once I was back from maternity leave this fall)?  Every time I heard that door open and close yesterday I got another sharp little stab in my heart. This was the straw that broke the camels back though. I couldn't take any more. I packed up my shit and flew out of there.  It wasn't even 2pm. That's how I ended up at home, under the covers, crying myself to sleep.

I don't know when I'll go back.  Probably not until next Monday. I'm already dreading it. I just hope that this was the worst day and each day will get easier.

Even the work itself was hard. It's like something in my brain broke when I lost Petey. Sitting in a meeting yesterday, I just couldn't keep up. People were talking but my brain was NOT computing what was said. I kept drifting off into la-la land and then coming to and realizing I had no idea what was being discussed. Everything was just so FAST. Everyone was talking too fast, when driving to and from work all the cars were moving so fast... My brain just isn't all there right now. I am just not myself. My body may have been in the office but my mind was not. I am like an empty shell. A walking, talking (crying) shell of my former self.

I just hope it will get easier.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

NIAW 2014 Wrap up!

Well, I am definitely OUT of the IF closet! Way WAY out. I pretty much saturated my facebook feed this week going public about infertility awareness with all of these posts.  Hee.

The response was pretty decent. I didn't get a TON of 'likes' on every single thing I posted but I did get at least a handful on each and some comments here and there (not counting my trusty IDOB & SAIF gals who supported me the whole way through - Thank you!!).  I also received private messages from three unexpected people: an old coworker thanking me for the info because she has two family members fighting infertility; an old friend who I haven't talked with in a few years just thanking me for my courage and for getting the word out; and a girl I knew back in college (about 12 years ago now - yikes!) who wrote a very heartfelt thank you and let me know she was also struggling with infertility. That one felt pretty good. The best response from this week though was my sister.  

My sister and her husband also struggled with infertility and made the very difficult decision about 1.5 yrs ago not to pursue any further treatments beyond Clomid and rather, to live child-free.  I know it's been a hard road for her emotionally. She would open up to me sometimes but although Hubs and I were TTC then, we had no idea what infertility truly consisted of so I'm sure I wasn't as emotionally supportive of her as I could have and should have been.  She chose to go through her struggle very quietly and privately and now that I know what she went through it kills me that she had no real support to speak of. Early in the week she commented on one of my posts, agreeing that there needs to be more knowledge provided about IF to "help lift the shroud of silence and unnecessary embarrassment" and publicly identified herself as another "1 in 8"!! I was shocked and amazed. That was a HUGE step for her. Throughout the week she even shared a couple of my NIAW links on her own page. I was so so proud of her and told her so. She thanked me for being a voice for her and for everyone in our position who may not feel able to be public about their IF. She said she was so proud of me and impressed by my courage and strength... If nothing else, coming out for NIAW was worth it to me just for that :-)

At the beginning of the week I wasn't sure if I was going to share any personal information besides the fact that I am a "1 in 8".  But as the week went on, speaking out about IF actually made me feel empowered and on the last day of the week I posted the following:

THANK YOU to anyone out there who took the time to read my posts this week about infertility awareness. As you've probably figured out, this is a cause that is very important to me. 'Hubby' and I have been fighting infertility for the last 2 years. We've been through many failed treatments and finally managed to conceive last November through in vitro fertilization (a very invasive, expensive, and emotionally & physically demanding treatment). We were absolutely thrilled and thought our infertility struggles were finally over. Unfortunately, that was not to be. We lost our precious baby a few weeks ago at 5 months pregnant due to a severe neural tube defect. Every day we are attempting to heal and come to terms with both the loss of our child and the knowledge that we will need to somehow find the strength to continue infertility treatments once we're ready to start again. Trying to create a family has been a heart-wrenching journey for us but we are not giving up. We are still fighting and will continue to hope and pray that we'll hold a baby in our arms someday.

I am proud to lend my voice to the infertility awareness movement and hope that in doing so I can help change how infertility is viewed in the public. The stigma associated with this disease is unfair and unnecessary. Infertility is a medical issue that needs to be better understood and better covered by insurance. It is a very painful emotional and physical struggle and those fighting the disease need understanding and support, not to be made to feel like they need to hide their pain and suffer in silence.

I hope that by reading my posts and clicking the links you now have a better understanding of infertility if you are lucky enough never to have had to experience it. And if you are a fellow infertility warrior, I am so sorry for your pain and struggles I hope you will reach out for support if you need it. I have no idea where I would be today if it wasn't for my own support group so please know that I am here for you if you ever want to talk. <3

I received a lot of support from friends and family after that post which felt really good. 

I'm glad I spoke out this week and do not regret anything about my decision. Honestly, posting throughout the week reinforced to myself that I do NOT feel shame associated with my infertility. I didn't ask for this and I did nothing to deserve it. It is a part of me but does not define me and I am thankful to all of YOU for helping me understand that.

My hope is that I helped more people than I know this week. I am proud of myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

32 years and 1 month

Tomorrow I am 32 years old. Tomorrow is also exactly 1 month since we said goodbye to our little Petey.  Happy birthday to me.   ::Sigh::

As you can imagine, I'm not very into celebrating.  I am trying so hard not to make this day even more loaded than it already is but it's nearly impossible. My birthday wish this year is for the day to be over as quickly as possible. 

Last week I got an email from a friend asking about making birthday plans and she wrote: "How can we celebrate the birth of our precious 'Chickin'?" The combination of the words "birth" and "precious" made my heart stop. It's so dumb that something so wholly unrelated could make me burst into tears and ruin the rest of my day.  The triggers are just everywhere.

I miss my Petey. I miss the amazing little life that s/he was and what s/he should someday have been able to be but never will. I miss being able to daydream of our upcoming future family without having to temper those dreams due to the unknowns of IF. I miss having the knowledge that this summer those dreams would finally turn into our reality.  I miss feeling free of this fear that we may never be able to have children. I miss feeling free.

Never did I think I would be turning 32 and still trying for our first child.  I feel old and tired.  I am trying not to feel defeated. We are even further back in this infertility journey than we were 6 months ago because now I am more scarred, more broken, more fragile, more fearful.

I found this quote last night and will try to listen to its wisdom. I will try to surrender, to let go, and to have faith.  I will try to "move on" from this pain. Somehow.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

NIAW 2014!

I'm "coming out" this year!  National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) starts tomorrow and I've decided I will definitely be posting about it on Facebook throughout the week. I'm sick of keeping it a secret.  After TTC  for almost 2 years through IF treatments and now our loss on top of it, IF has become SUCH a huge part of me that it just doesn't feel okay to keep silent about it any longer.  So today I spent some time formulating draft FB posts and collecting links and pictures. A big thank you to some of my other brave IDOB women who created, found and shared some of these pics and links so I could piggy-back off of them!

Here is what I'm planning to post over the next week (feel free to borrow/steal whatever you want if you are also coming out!):

DAY 1 (changing my cover photo to the "1 in 8" pic and then posting the "did you know" with the green pic):

...that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?  Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system that affects 7.3 million people in the U.S.or 1 in 8 couples. In spite of its prevalence it is not often openly discussed so in honor of NIAW, this week I will be posting helpful info and links so you can learn more about infertility if you are unfamiliar with it, and if you, like me, are one of the unlucky 1 in 8, my hope is that these posts might make you feel less alone.  Many couples struggle with infertility in silence and don't get the emotional support they need so it is important to spread the word and give a voice to those fighting infertility!

DAY 2:

Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to live birth after 12 months of trying to conceive (six months if the woman is over age 35). It is a disease of the reproductive system.  One third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one third (30%) can be attributed to female factors.  In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners. For more information, check out "Infertility FAQs" from RESOLVE.org:

'Psychology Today' published an article stating that the amount of stress caused by infertility is equivalent to stress caused by dealing with Cancer, AIDS or Heart Disease. Because of this, support from family and friends can be extremely important to an infertile couple but those unfamiliar with infertility often have no idea what to say and end up saying the wrong things and causing more stress and pain. Here are 25 Things to Say (and Not Say) to Someone Living with Infertility:

DAY 3: 

Although 1 in 8 couples is affected by infertility very few talk about it openly.  Strong feelings of failure, shame and worthlessness can be caused by an infertility diagnosis so the topic is still considered relatively taboo. However, having support can make a big difference in your infertility journey. If you are currently suffering in silence, here are some ways to talk with your family and friends about living with infertility:

Whether you know it or not, YOU know at least one person who is struggling with infertility. Here are some things to keep in mind regarding infertility etiquette so you can be emotionally supportive:  

DAY 4:

An infertility diagnosis affects every part of a couple's life. Not only does it negatively impact their emotions, relationships and self-esteem, but also their bank account. Only about a quarter of US states have an insurance coverage mandate for infertility (a MEDICAL issue) so many couples are forced to pay out of pocket for all testing and treatment.  Depending on the type of treatment, these costs can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars for oral meds to a few thousand for an injectables cycle to ~$15,000 for an IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle EVERY SINGLE MONTH until either a treatment finally works, the couple realizes they can't continue due to the stress and physical demands, or they simply run out of money. Maybe you are asking yourself why couples fighting infertility would choose to continue to drain their savings month after month, year after year for the mere CHANCE to have a child. If so, I ask you: How much is your child worth?

Infertility is a medical disease. It's not something we choose and it's not something that is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. Approx 13% of Americans are unlucky enough to have to fight this battle and insurance coverage and support should be available to help every one of them. Unfortunately, as you can see in the map below that is not the case. Many states do not offer the proper support and I'm disgusted to see that my own state is ranked as one of the lowest in the nation with a grade of "F". I don't know yet what can be done to change this but I figure spreading the word is a good first step. If you agree that this needs to change I ask that you please 'share' this post. It can't hurt!!

 DAY 5: 

10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Support Someone with Infertility:

DAY 6:  

To someone dealing with infertility, a seemingly "harmless" comment such as: "When are you guys going to have kids?" can be extremely painful.  To avoid causing unintended heartache to those struggling with infertility, check out the link below.
The Question That Gives You a 1 in 8 Chance of Being a Jerk:

7 Things Your Friend with Infertility Wants to Tell You

DAY 7: Not quite finished with that yet...
I might say something about how it's not so easy to "just adopt" or talk more about how IF is not just about being unable to conceive but also being unable to carry a baby to term.  If I do the latter, I might share our personal story and talk about losing Petey. I haven't decided yet. I still have not posted on FB about our loss...I'm not sure if I ever will or not.  I think I will see how the first half of the week goes and check out what others have posted and then decide how to close out the week.

This time last year I had anxiety about NIAW. Each day that passed made me feel like I "should" do something but I just wasn't ready and once the week was over I actually felt a sense of relief.  This year I am more than ready. I'm actually really looking forward to it and am interested to see what kind of response I get.  Also, there are about 5 female FB friends that I suspect might be dealing with IF but have never mentioned it so it will be very interesting to see if anyone reaches out to me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I am having huge anxiety about going back to work. My doctor submitted official paperwork to my HR department suggesting I be out for 3 weeks to fully recover physically (done) and work on recovering emotionally (not even close to done). That means my first official day back would be next Monday 4/21.  Every hour that passes brings me closer to next Monday and I'm finding it more and more difficult to suppress the rising panic I feel.

I wish I didn't have to go back. At all. Ever. 

It's not because I don't like my job; while the actual work has gotten boring and stagnant (there's really nothing I can do about that unless I go back to school to get a masters degree in public health which I have no desire to do), I love my coworkers and have a pretty sweet gig going. I work from home 3 days/week and am in the office 2 days. I have great insurance and benefits and tons of autonomy and flexibility which certainly comes in handy when going through IF treatments.

In spite of the fact that many people would kill for a position like this, I wish I didn't have to go back. 

I think there are three main reasons for my anxiety:

One: I now associate everything work-related with being pregnant with Petey.  To be honest, I kind of stopped caring about work a while ago. Towards the end of last summer I became pretty consumed with getting pregnant and once I finally was, I just looked towards the future. I had a countdown going for days until my maternity leave; I would sit at my desk and daydream about how our lives would change once the baby was here; I used my breaks to research items for the registry and get ideas from my SAIF group... I don't know how I'm going to shut that part of my brain off once I go back to work, how I'll ignore it and be okay and actually be able to focus.

Two: I don't want to see or talk to people who know what happened.  I'm afraid they're going to ask me questions about all of this. I'm afraid they're going to give me those pitying eyes all the time like I'm broken. I'm afraid I might find that I actually am broken. I'm afraid everything will make me cry or make me angry or make me break down and that I won't be able to hold normal conversations or be myself.

Three (and likely the REAL reason for my anxiety): Once I'm back at work, that's it. My "time to grieve" is officially over and everyone will assume I'm okay and I've "moved on". Petey will be forgotten by everyone but me and I will be expected (by others and by myself) to behave in a completely normal way at all times and not act (or be) sad or upset. I'll need to force myself to focus on external things again and care about my work. Honestly, I can't really see that happening right now.  I am completely in my own little world currently and while I don't want to wallow, I also don't want to emerge from the comfort of it.  I worry that there will be unexpected triggers everywhere when I'm actually in the office that will cause me to melt down, and I worry that on the days I'm working from home I won't be able to take off my "grieving mother" hat and put on my "I care about work" hat.  I am consumed with my grief right now - how am I supposed to just switch it off because the date on the calendar says April 21st?

I'm afraid it's too soon. I'm afraid I'm actually in worse shape mentally/emotionally than I think I am and that LIFE will just be too much for me to handle.  But honestly, I won't know what shape I'm really in until I start trying to move forward.  So, I will start working again next week. My boss was very open to me starting up again just from home if I didn't want to come into the office, or working shorter days and gradually increasing my hours... 

I guess it's time. I can't hide from the world forever. (Unfortunately.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Some good news!

Correction: GREAT news.

We got the chromosome testing results back from little Petey and everything was normal! 

This means that Petey's issues were just a fluke and we do not have an increased risk of something like this happening again with a future pregnancy. If they had found a chromosome issue it was likely that any embryo formed with my egg and Hubs' sperm (including our three precious frosties) would have severe issues.  At that point, both Hubs and I would have had to go through testing to figure out which one of us is the carrier and then get either donor eggs or sperm (or embryos). 
Or start looking into adoption.

Instead, all I will have to do is take 4mg folic acid daily (10 times the normal amount) with any future pregnancy since Petey's issues stemmed from a neural tube defect, and go in for a few extra monitoring appointments. DONE!  I will go in every week and pour spinach down my gullet around the clock if it will increase our chances for a healthy take-home baby someday!

When the doctor gave us the results Hubs and I just sat there in shock for a moment staring at each other. I think we've gotten so used to getting horrible news that it took a sec for it to truly sink in that that was it; the last piece of information we were waiting for, and it was actually good.  Eventually we breathed again and were both able to smile as we realized that this was just really really horrible shit luck and we might still be able to have a take-home baby someday.  RELIEF.  I immediately felt like an invisible heavy wet blanket had been lifted off of me. I felt like I could breathe and see the sunshine and see a future.  

Don't get me wrong, I am still so sad this happened to our little Petey and always will be. I will forever miss him/her but I am also so relieved that this news means it will hopefully never happen again to another little love.  I am grateful at least for that.

Annnnnnd... ::EXHALE::


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Emotional Extremes

Life is hard right now. Really hard. Not just for me but for quite a few very important women in my life. I am in pain because of my own loss and I am in pain watching them suffer and struggle too.

My mind is so FULL. My heart feels like it might just burst.  I feel so much love and so much sadness. So much hope and so much fear.

I am, of course, mourning my little Petey. Whether consciously or unconsciously, I've been trying to make some sense of our loss; to figure out something that might soothe our aching hearts and make me feel like this was for some reason. I began to feel like this was me "taking one for the team"; that out of all the wonderful women I've met throughout this IF journey, there will, of course, be at least one of us who will have to deal with a tragedy like this and I ended up being that one. And it sucks. And it's sometimes unbearable. But it had to be one of us and it happened to me and I'm still standing. It didn't break me. Maybe I was "chosen" to shoulder this burden because my husband and I are strong enough to handle it. Maybe not everyone can weather this storm and find a way to someday be okay, but we can and we will. Thinking that made me feel stronger.

And then yesterday, Becky (one of the wonderful girls in my IF & Success after IF facebook groups) had her water break at 17 1/2 weeks and lost her precious baby girl, Rowan. My heart broke for her. The fact that we both lost our sweet babies whom we both worked so hard for and wanted so badly makes me ache in ways I did not know was possible. And it makes me MAD too. Why does life have to be so fucking unfair?! I HATE that this happened to her. My little Petey was lost - why can't that be enough pain for our group? Why does she need to feel it too?!  The amazing women in this group are just full of life and love and kindness and just want to be mothers! There are so many bad people in the world - why are these women the ones who have to shoulder so much pain? Life is so unfair.
My heart smashed into a million pieces with the loss of our sweet baby and before it's been pieced back together it smashed again with Becky's loss.  I know pieces of it will never return but even so, the human heart and mind amaze me.  I feel so much sadness and loss, but also so much love and hope and fear and worry. The fact that I can carry all of these strong emotions within me at the same time and not break apart is amazing.  It feels like pieces of my heart truly do live with some of my closest girls as they struggle through their own journeys and I somehow find it within me to send them strength and love even when I feel like I have nothing at all to give.

I've said it before but I'll say again: I don't know where I'd be without all the wonderful women in my life that I've met along this IF journey. I used to put a disclaimer along with that comment to say "I know I've never met them face to face but..." but I don't need that anymore.  I don't care that we don't live near one another. These women are my strength: They carry me when I'm too weak to do it alone and hold my head above water when I feel like I'm about to drown. I hope I do that for them too.

I haven't attended church for many years now but on this Palm Sunday I find myself praying.
I pray for peace for Becky and her husband; for me and my husband; for Jen and her family; for all the sweet women I've met through TB Loss board who are mourning their lost children.
I pray that Cici's embryo transfer (ninja reunion!) that is happening as I write this will WORK and that she will be able to have the family she so deserves.
I pray that all the IDOB women still struggling through IF will finally have good news soon; that things will start to work in their favor and they'll soon be able to celebrate both small victories and BFPs; that the world will prove to us that there is still a reason for all of us to HOPE.
I pray that all the SAIF women and other blog friends in my life will continue to have healthy pregnancies and births and babies and will never know the pain that Becky and I and others now share.

There really is not much more I can do than just survive and pray.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A post about loss

I came across an absolutely amazing blog post about what you really lose when you lose a baby: How Do I Lose Thee? Let me Count the Ways

Every single word of this post resonates with me. The author was able to so perfectly capture how I feel and what exactly I am grieving. I've been unable to find the words to accurately express any of this lately so I am grateful to have found this post. It makes me feel connected and understood and not alone. Although it's sad, it comforts me.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cabbage tits

Yes, you read that correctly.

Did you know that one of the things that supposedly helps suppress lactation/breast engorgement is draping cabbage leaves over your boobs and then strapping on a tight-fitting bra?  Yeah, me neither.  After applying cold compresses to my chest for 4+ days with no noticeable difference I've gotten desperate. Just call me cabbage tits.

It smells like I'm making soup in my sweatshirt. My dog has been extra interested in (and confused by) me lately and Hubs just told me I'm a little late in cooking St. Patrick's Day dinner.  Har har.

This doesn't seem to be working either. Oy.

UPDATE: If anyone in a similar position is reading this, here's a good resource on how to stop lactation: http://www.glowinthewoods.com/how-to-stop-lactation/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1 week.

I left the house today. Progress.

I had a teeth cleaning appointment in the morning and then ran some quick errands. And it was... okay. I was so scared the dental hygienist was going to ask me questions I wasn't prepared to answer (she could tell I hadn't been flossing) but all I said was that "I was pregnant for a while and could barely even brush my teeth without throwing up so I certainly couldn't floss" and she just accepted the information and reassured me that I can get back on track easily.  End of conversation. PHEEEEWWWW.  
Then she murdered my gums for half an hour.

I've been having anxiety about leaving the house and talking to people. Going about daily life like everything is normal is extremely difficult when it feels like your world is upside down.  Very very slowly, I am starting to integrate back into the world though.  Today was a big step.

I still am not really talking to people though. The wave of messages, cards and phone calls (and flowers, cookies and dinners) has died down now which gives me mixed emotions: I feel slightly relieved since, even though I was appreciative, it felt like a lot of pressure to keep interacting with family and friends when I barely had the energy or wherewithal just to get myself through the day.  On the flip side, it indicates that our loss is likely no longer on others' minds. Logically I know that people have lives and it would be completely unrealistic to think that just because I frame every single insignificant thing against the timeline of our loss (e.g., yesterday was the first time I shaved my legs since Petey's been gone [yes, I actually think about stuff like that]) that it is still on anyone else's mind. I realize that but it still just stings a little bit.  Not enough to make me reach out yet though.

I just want to know when things will get easier. When will I start to feel like myself again?  I don't even feel like myself writing this blog post. Over the past few days I've begun writing no less than 5 posts but stopped partway through each one because they just didn't sound like me. I'm not thinking like me right now so I'm certainly not writing like me. I just feel so different.  I don't feel like myself. I hope I will again some day.

In the meantime I'm just going to try to continue "healing". I've received so many cards and emails from people saying "take this time to heal" or "make sure you take the time you need to grieve".  What does that even mean? If it means puttering around the house waiting for the days to pass while Hubs plays video games in an effort to distract himself then we're doing great! We'll be healed in no time!  Sigh.

One thing I've learned is that in the loss community, most women hate the phrase "time heals all wounds". People like to say it in an attempt to make you feel better but the consensus seems to be that it's a load of crap. That really, time will dull the pain turning it from a sharp stabbing pain into a duller continuous ache, but that the scar from your wound will always be there. 

At this point I am looking forward to the dull ache.