Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Miscarriage & Pregnancy Loss, Coping, and its Effects

I have always been very quiet and introspective when I have had devastating events happen to and around me because most of the time, I didn't feel I'd get the support I desired or needed. It is no surprise that during my last two miscarriages, I didn't tell anyone but maybe a few friend privately. I grieved on my own with my husband, and for me I was able to cope well.

With this pregnancy, people started to notice my growing belly/pregnancy bloat and pregnancy symptoms right away - and I mean right away. I had to tell my supervisor at work at just 6 weeks pregnant. So I announced early - on Mother's Day. Everyone practically knew anyways, so it seemed natural that the next step would be to just announce.

When I went in for a routine ultrasound at just shy of 11 weeks - and there was no heartbeat - the devastation that this happened to me again, hit like a freight train. A fourth angel rather than a third child. A third miscarriage with a perfect reproductive system. Again.

These seem like just words, but the emotions behind them are what I want to discuss. People have said they can't imagine how I feel, or that they sometimes wish they knew so they would know what to say.

But you don't. You don't want to imagine, you don't want to know. The pain strikes at your very core - every bit of who you are. Every heart beat echoing, "Gone. Gone. Gone." It's like have a needle in your heart that jabs deeper every time it beats. Your baby - who from the moment of his/her knowledge - you imagined a life with, a future for... is gone. Not coming back. You'll never hold them, you'll never hear them cry. Nevermind hear them cry, "Mama," or whine, "Maaaamaaaa," or groan, "Mom," or excitedly, "Mom!" You'll never see them smile, walk, run. You'll never see them off to school, or college. Never see them marry, have children.

Those seem like such future events you wouldn't consider at such a stage as early pregnancy. But it is. When you become pregnant - at least, I speak for myself as a woman - your life forever changes to wrap around and embrace this new future - a future that changes because of and with the child in your womb. When that baby is gone - that future is gone. Every single wish, dream, or thought you had about the future comes crashing back down on your head like a shower of razors. Each one cuts you deep - the child - the sibling - that won't be.

But it's more than that. The pain strikes at everything you are, too, remember? So on top of that pain, you wonder (at least, every other loss mom I've spoken to - and myself). Did I eat enough? Did I eat healthy enough? Miss too many prenatals? Bump my belly, or take too hot a bath? Stress too much, what about that sip of wine you had before you knew you were pregnant? It doesn't matter that we all know logically that this just happens, that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss - you try to find your fatal flaw. What did you do? What if you're not deserving enough? What if you aren't good enough of a mom for 2, 3, 5 kids (or however many it would be)? Are you being karmic-ally punished? What if you aren't "woman enough" (anymore)? Is your body working against you? Are your eggs okay? Is your uterus rejecting your baby?

Don't forget the anger. Angry that this has happened to you (again). Why you? Why are you less deserving than crack-addicts, or the woman who has four other kids she doesn't take care of? Once again, logically, you know that you are no judge of who does and doesn't deserve kids - but you want to be. You want to feel like you deserve your baby - you actually wanted this baby, envisioned a future with this baby, took care of yourself. You felt you were doing what you could to be a good mom already - so why you? Every mom walking by with a baby in the supermarket becomes a mark for your ire - every Facebook pregnancy announcement makes you want to scream.

The hurt and the anger usually leaves you so drained - so short with people and so irritated with the world - you don't want to get out of bed. It physically drains you to have to get out of bed before you're ready. You lash out at the people you care about - you spiral in anger to a point where you end up sobbing in the bathroom with the door shut, or with the pillow over your head because you just can't handle life right that minute. It sounds ironic - you can't handle life, when all you wanted was the life of your baby. But it's true. Life becomes just that much more difficult, lonely, and unfair. There are so many other emotions I could go into, but right now this is the gist of things - to give just a taste of the reality loss parents deal with every day.

It reminds you just how little control you actually have over your entire life.

That you can do everything perfectly - you can dream up the most wonderful dream - but not all stories have a happy ending.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Hitting the Wall

I hit a wall. It's been so long since I even wanted to post. For some reason, at some point, I just didn't feel like posting. I didn't feel "social" enough to want to share anything. I've been thinking about posting again for a while though, so I think I'm going to transition back into it! Yay!

My last update was a 6 week bumpdate on my last pregnancy. It was a great, uneventful pregnancy. I had a wonderful homebirth in just under 4 hours (it was really, truly, the most amazing and empowering experience to have a healthy birth) and Lilija Sage joined our family that day on February 19, 2014.

After that, I looked into surrogacy. I connected with a great couple, and soon enough we were starting meds and preparing for transfer so I could be their gestational carrier. I got pregnant and miscarried their twins at about 7 weeks, and from there things fell apart and we dissolved our contract.

I started a job around Lili's first birthday, meaning I'm no longer a stay at home mom, and my days are much busier when I'm working.

I got pregnant with my own baby a few months ago, and just found out at almost 11 weeks that there was no heartbeat. Making it miscarriage #3 for me, meaning I've lost 4 babies (including the surrotwins.) I had a D&E this time around since after four weeks of no heartbeat, my body was doing nothing to miscarry as it should be even with the help of black cohosh (under the advice of my midwife). In turn, I'm feeling the need to record my thoughts and feelings and start to write again; because I've hit the wall in a different way.

So here we go. Here we start again.