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Pregnancy tests are just not funny

April Fool’s Day is a day of elaborate jokes and pranking. Heck, I have participated in my fair share of fairly epic pranks. However, there is one “joke” that gets pulled year after year, and it is never funny. That “joke” in question is a fake pregnancy announcement.

pregnancy test stick

Photo by Steid for Pixabay

I use “joke” loosely in the above statement because it really is no joke at all. On April Fool’s Day after I had my first miscarriage, one of my Facebook friends, posted a pregnancy test on her wall. I am sure she thought of it as a harmless prank, but it felt like a kick in the gut. Here is this chick basically saying, “Ha Ha. Psyche! I am not really pregnant. Pregnancy is soooo hilarious, you all.” All I kept feeling was how my body failed me, how I was supposed to be a few months away from having my sweet baby, and all I had was an empty womb and a still broken heart.

Women grieve differently. Some women who are struggling with infertility or suffered miscarriages can see this and not be affected. I am not one of them. My back to back losses made me feel like a failure. They ripped my heart apart. I fell apart. I had nightmares. In fact, I still have nightmares sometimes, and it has been over four years since my last loss. For many women, this “joke” acts as a trigger, a reminder of how our bodies have not given us what we wanted, a reminder of what we have lost.

I have written about my losses quite a bit, as well as my journey to my rainbow baby. I have done it because miscarriage is still a somewhat taboo subject, and many people are still insensitive about the subject. My losses spiraled me to a very dark point in my life. The feelings from my losses made me want to rip my heart out to ease the hurt inside me. So I wrote and wrote and wrote…to heal…to share…and to help others understand.

There are plenty of jokes that you can try for April Fool’s Day, but don’t be a jerk. “Jokes” like a fake pregnancy announcement can really hurt someone you love, someone who may be struggling with infertility or someone who may have miscarried. Because these are subjects that are not always shared, you may not even know about their struggles, so find something else. Don’t be insensitive. Be funny. Be creative. Don’t be a jerk on April Fool’s Day.

1

When it’s unfair…

Three years ago, around this time, I mourned the fact that my due date had passed from my first baby I had lost. A month before that, I lost my second pregnancy. Somewhere around that time three years ago, I briefly lost my mind too. I actually got to a point that I no longer wanted to be here because the pain in my heart was too great for me to bear. I eventually got through, and I started to live a bit more after that. However, when my missed due date had come and gone and a friend who had the same due date and a sister-in-law who also had the same due date had their babies, I couldn’t help but feel that it was all a little unfair because the babies I carried for a time in my womb would never be in this world for me to enjoy. It wasn’t like I wished ill of my friend or my sister-in-law, it was more of a twinge of jealousy in seeing them with their bundles of joy. All the dreams I had for my babies would never come to pass. The hardest thing about life sometimes is that it is extremely unfair.

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The theme of unfairness came into my life again after Miss Crankles was born. By the time she was two months old, I had postpartum depression. It, and lack of sleep, robbed me of the joy I should have felt when she was so little. It is one of the big reasons that I have decided to continue with extended breastfeeding. It helped me gain back the bonding time I felt I lacked from being distant when PPD was at its worst. I couldn’t help but feel at the time that someone in the universe was laughing at me because it seemed like a cruel joke. I finally got what I wanted, but my body and hormones were seriously out of whack making me not be able to enjoy the little person that I almost lost my sanity trying to get.

When you are struggling with fertility, whether it is your for your first child or in my case third, life can seem very unfair. It is not like you hate the friend whose husband just has to look at them to get pregnant, but you wonder why that can’t happen to you. I used to think that I must be severely flawed. Maybe I was not a good enough mom, and so God didn’t want me to be in charge of another human being. I know it is rubbish since the news is full of stories of people being completely awful excuses for human beings, and those people have babies. However, sometimes, it is easy to go into that dark place and think the fault must lie within you because you feel you need some sort of an explanation. Not to mention, sometimes people are assholes and tell you things like this because it makes them feel better about themselves. Whatever the reason you think negative like this, know it is not your fault. Life is just shitty sometimes.

In my story, I did get my baby in the end, and now we are a family of five. However, if we try again, I don’t know if we would have a happy ending this time. Some people never do. I wish I could be full of inspiration and say, “Keep going Tiger! You will get there.” I feel like the biggest Debbie Downer to say that you might not. Life is never as easy as they make it sound in the story books. Then of course, there are those who say that God has a plan. I really hate that line, like I loathe it. Saying that God has a plan does not make the pain of loss or trying and not having a baby any better. Also, saying that really does not make God sound like a good being. Please people of Earth stop saying this. Period. Remove it from things that come out of your mouth.

I have a friend who has been trying for a long time to have a baby, and it just is not happening. The more I think about it, the more that I just wish I could punch something for her. She is this beautiful soul, the kind that takes you and holds you and tries to make the world less ugly for you when you need it the most. I know that part for a fact because she has done that for me so much in the past. If there is one person deserving beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a mother, it is she. Thinking of my own experiences, I wish there was something I could say to make it any better, and I can’t. So I am not gonna try, and I am not going to try with any of my readers to sugar coat it for you. It sucks. If you want to be angry about it, you can. If you just want to move on, you can. If you find yourself sitting in a park wishfully thinking you had a munchkin running around the play area with the rest of the kids, you can. The only thing I will say is to take care of yourself and to be gentle with yourself. Don’t blame yourself for it is not your fault. Stay busy. Stay active. If you fall apart, carefully put yourself back together again. Infertility and secondary infertility are hard pills to swallow.

My biggest way of coping the last few years from everything that has happened… secondary infertility, multiple loss, pregnancy, ppd, and moving has been writing. I don’t always share everything I write, but sometimes just getting my thoughts on paper helps me to organize my life better. Walking has also been therapeutic too.

You may be wondering why I have even bothered to write any of this since it seems pretty gloom and doom. I write this for one reason, and one reason only: Three years ago, I almost gave up. Do you know what that means? I not only wanted to give up and end it all for myself, but I wanted to not exist for my other two kids and husband who love me very much. I love them too, but the pain was so great. I felt like I was consumed by it. I share all of this because yes, life is unfair, but I don’t want anyone to be consumed by its unfairness like I did. Talk to someone, vent, punch a punching bag, find a hobby…anything just to get focus back. It won’t give you what you want at the time, but it will help you get through the day.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or you can always send me a message. I do respond! Take care and remember to be gentle to yourself!

 

 

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My Dearest Luk,

I thought today would be different. A year after you have gone to heaven, I thought perhaps I would be pregnant or have a baby now. Right now, I will admit that the hope for that is low. However, I wanted you to know that we miss you. We think about you often, what you would be doing now, had God not called you home. We had hopes for you, and while our time with you was only in my womb, you are still in hearts.

Lukasz

We lit a candle for you and said a prayer. Our lives have changed so much this past year, and we talked about the hurt and trials we have been through this year. We also made a decision tonight to do something in memory of you. We have decided to live and love with our whole hearts. It will not be easy, but I feel if we are ever going to be happy that we must fill our lives with love…love for ourselves, love for others, love to fill the void, love to light the way. We will love each other, and we will always love you.

And we will continue to share so that others may know that it is okay to grieve. It is okay to share feelings. And we will remember you and always love you.

Love,

Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, and Bubby

 

To my readers, if you have experienced loss, please feel free to share your feelings or your own letter to your loved one in the comments below.

 

 

4

Mending and Processing

I must admit that I still am laying low for now. Honestly, the closer it gets to next month, the more I want to hibernate in my home. I am going to be honest. I am still sad. Somedays I feel broken. I feel awkward talking about my feelings. Almost a year ago, I suffered a miscarriage. In the past year, I have lost another.  In addition, I almost lost my business. I was harassed and terrorized by my next door neighbors, and I am currently on week three without my husband.

I am sure eventually it’s going to be okay, but quite honestly, I feel like I need a break from reality to process the events of the past year. I don’t feel like myself. I find it easier to hide behind my computer and give a persona that everything is fine and dandy when I feel like my world is falling apart.

Sometimes it’s hard to put on a happy face for my kids. It’s even harder when I know they are hurting. My son desperately wants another brother or sister. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Do you know what an emotional roller coaster it is to try for a baby after miscarriage? It’s downright terrifying. You find yourself looking at the calendar to keep track of your cycle, when you are ovulating, and then you wait. And you know what’s worse? Sometimes your body is a real jerk to you and gives you false hope. You feel that queasy feeling in the morning and think maybe this is the month, until you find out a day or two later that it is not and that your cycle this month is going to be hellish.

I am not a holiday person. I worked retail for so many years that I associate this time of year with greed and ill-behavior. Losing my baby so close to Christmas last year did not help the situation. I had so many dreams for my baby. I have friends that had babies right around the time mine was due, and sometimes I can’t help but think what my baby should be doing now. I feel haunted.

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but there are many people out there that are like me. Maybe they lost a loved one. Maybe they feel alone. Maybe they are depressed. If you see someone like this, give them a hug. Invite them for a cup of coffee. You don’t need to act like you know what they are going through, but show some love. It might make all the difference in the world.

As for me, I am going to keep writing. I am going to try to find ways to get through this, and I am going to keep sharing because I want those that have been through what I am going through to know that you aren’t alone. It’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to feel however you feel.

Please feel free to join the discussion in the comments below or on facebook:

www.facebook.com/bearhavenboutique

It's a little blury, but other than a copy of an ultrasound picture, this is my only reminder of the baby I lost. My belly grew very quickly last fall, and I took this picture about just a few days before I lost Luk to remember my pregnant belly. I didn't have the heart to delete the picture.

It’s a little blurry, but other than a copy of an ultrasound picture, this is my only reminder of the baby I lost. My belly grew very quickly last fall, and I took this picture about just a few days before I lost Luk to remember my pregnant belly. I didn’t have the heart to delete the picture.