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!

 

 

I sometimes Imagine

After two miscarriages in a row, I got my rainbow baby. My older kids, my husband, and I all love her dearly. We dote on her and probably hover a little too much. She knows she is loved. However, sometimes I find myself wondering about the ones that did not get to be born. I wonder if they would have blond hair. I wonder if they would have slept through the night or would they have been like Sweet Pea and not slept at all. Would they be outgoing or would they be shy? What would their favorite lovey be? What would be their favorite food? Would they like frozen waffles like all their siblings? I would like to think so.

This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

I still sometimes feel like there is an empty spot where they should be. However, I want them to know they are not forgotten. They will forever be loved by all of us. While we will never get to see what kind of personalities they would have had or what they would have grown up to be, we will always remember them and hope that we will someday meet in Heaven. We focus on what we have, like each other and try not to take one another for granted. They will forever be in our hearts.

If you have suffered an infant loss or miscarriage. Please know you are not alone. Please know that while it is hard and while some people may not understand or support you, it is okay to grieve. It is okay to feel however you need to feel and for however long you need to feel it. This is not something that is often talked about. In fact, I didn’t know how many of my friends had miscarriages until I started talking about mine. That is why I have talked about mine so much. I want people to know that it is okay to grieve for the child you didn’t get to know. It is okay to miss that child and wonder what might have been.

If you would like to share your story, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

Post-Partum Depression is Not a Character Flaw

About this time four years ago, my husband and I decided that we weren’t done with having kids. At the time, our kids were 5 and 8. We had some things we wanted to work on in regards to our marriage, so we waited about another year to start trying. Two years and two miscarriages later, I finally got pregnant with our youngest, Miss Crankles. When I had her I felt that all of my fears, anxieties, and depression would go away because she was finally here. However, I have found myself dealing with post-partum depression for the last several months. I haven’t discussed it a lot with most people because of the stigma associated with it, but it is because of that stigma that I think it’s time to break the silence so that other women will know they are not alone!

After my miscarriages, I was in a bad place mentally. At the time, I thought it was just grief. However, it could have been the hormonal changes as well. I didn’t get help at the time because I thought I would get over it. I thought if I did get pregnant with my rainbow baby that all those feelings would disappear as soon as I had her. They didn’t though. When Miss Crankles was a newborn, my husband had to leave soon after to work out of state. I was trying to nurse, and she wouldn’t latch. I hardly slept that first month because I was determined to pump milk for her. I didn’t have a lot of help. If I had to do it all over, I think I wouldn’t have worried so much about giving her breastmilk, and I definitely would have sought out a better support system. Even the few times I did have someone come over, I wasn’t even sure what to do. I felt bad for asking, and I felt I needed to play hostess even though I know the person came over to help.

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I know I am not the only one that thinks that we should all be superwomen, but I think that mentality hurts us sometimes. Our houses don’t always have to be cleaned. It’s okay if our meals occasionally come from a box. We need a good support system. We shouldn’t have to do it all on our own.

I knew something was wrong with me about six weeks post-partum. However, I waited another month before I sought therapy. I really thought I could beat it on my own, and I was ashamed. I felt guilty because I went through a long process to have this kid, and I felt that my feelings made me look like I wasn’t thankful for her. Truth is, I love that kid and my other two kids dearly. Even if I could have foreseen the hell that I went through to have her, I would have still done it. I felt like I had done something wrong, that it was my fault, and that I wasn’t good enough. If you have ever felt like that, please know that it’s not your fault. Many women go through post-partum depression. While a lot of women seek help, others do not because they are afraid of being seen as weak or fear that someone will say they are not good enough mothers. If you have depression, you are still good enough. It’s not a flaw on your character. Getting help does not mean you are admitting you are a horrible person. Getting help means that you love yourself and want to get back to having a normal life.

I still have my days where I am not quite myself. However, it’s getting better. It’s a “one day at a time” type of thing. I have opened up to my spouse a lot about how I am feeling, and I find that it helps to have him by my side. I admire his strength to carry me when I feel like I am weak.

If you are having issues with post-partum depression, please know that you are not alone. Also know that you are still a good mother. Make sure you take care of yourself. Go to the doctor. If you need therapy, find a way. If you can’t afford it, try checking out charities that help women or your local church. Just remember that you are still worthy and a good mother!

Living the Illusion

You know the saying “Fake it til you make it?” Yeah, I do that sometimes, and I know we all do. Up until recently that was all I was doing. I write advice from time to time but seldom take my own advice, and for the past few months, I haven’t felt like sharing what has really been going on in my life. I didn’t want pity. I didn’t want anyone to take what I was going through the wrong way and chastise me for having another child. I just didn’t want to deal with any bit of fall out from sharing. However, over the past few years, I have been very honest about a lot of what has been going on in my life. It has been my therapy, and I have found through writing that I am not alone, and that is what keeps me sharing (and sometimes over sharing). So here it goes.

When I was pregnant, I kept making plans and then making back up plans for if something didn’t work out the way it was supposed to work. I was lucky that my husband was home for Sweet Pea’s birth. It was almost as if Sweet Pea knew and said, “Ok Mama, let’s do this!” I felt that with older kids, it wouldn’t matter that our families don’t live close by or that my husband is gone for weeks at a time. I have friends who offered to help, and I told myself that this time would be different, and I would most certainly take help. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I encourage mothers of newborns to take advantage of any offerings of help.

However, after her birth, things fell apart really fast. I had postpartum depression with my older daughter. I haven’t really discussed it here because quite honestly, I have always felt such shame about it. I have had some unresolved issues over miscarriages and everything that happened before having Sweet Pea. I probably should have gone to see a therapist and didn’t. I had hoped that once Sweet Pea was in my arms that all my apprehensions would just dissolve away. They didn’t. She wouldn’t latch. She dropped almost a pound in the first two days. I had to supplement her. She had jaundice. The doctor was not very eager to share information with me, and I felt that it was because I had a homebirth. We quickly switched practices. She wouldn’t SLEEP AT ALL. My husband got sent out-of-state soon after her birth. A perfect storm for disaster.

The peacefulness of the sleeping newborn was not meant to last. Picture by Photos by Emilly.

The peacefulness of the sleeping newborn was not meant to last. Picture by Photos by Emilly.

I felt awkward reaching out. I was afraid that even though people offered that I would be seen as weak or a failure. I started having all of these fears about the baby and the kids. I was afraid someone would get sick, and then the baby would get sick. I started pushing everyone away. I came up with excuses why we couldn’t go anywhere. I shut us all away in the house, and there was a part of me that knew it wasn’t good. However, I didn’t know what to do or how to fix it.

I felt a little better after we went away in October, but then it all came creeping back once we came home. It wasn’t until my son spoke up that I knew I needed to do something. He said something about how I was going back to being a hermit, much like I did after I lost the first baby. It was true. I got the kids to their extracurriculars, and that was about it. Heck, my godchildren and their parents live two doors down, and I barely made an effort to see them, which is not like me because next to my own kids, I love my godchildren to the moon and back.

I made an appointment to see a therapist. She was the same one who I worked with when I had PPD with my other daughter. It felt good to just talk. I still didn’t really feel like being around many people, but I didn’t feel as anxious. My husband got us all away from the house again. He did a lot with the older kids, and I spent a lot of time just bonding with the baby and enjoying her. Then he took the baby and let me get some one on one time with the older kids, something I haven’t been able to do. I felt the stress melting away.

I came back feeling like a different person. I know I have more things to work through, but I am actually feeling more like my old self, probably more so than I have in some years. I even enjoyed Christmas this year, which is a feat in itself because I loathe the holidays. Sweet Pea even got her first cold over the holidays, and I haven’t panicked. I have just taken it in stride and used it as a way to get in some extra cuddle time.

What I would like to tell anyone who has ever had PPD is that it’s not your fault. I mean, your body goes through an awful lot when you have a baby, and your hormones are all out of whack. Just be sure to be gentle with yourself and don’t be like me. Take people up on their offers to help and make sure you are getting the help you need. Also, realize you are not alone, and this will all pass. Just take care of yourself.

I know this is a rather personal topic, but if any of you would like to share your experiences, please feel free to do so in the comments below.

Honestly…

20141115_131853I will be honest. I forgot just how hard having a newborn really is. Maybe it’s because it was so long ago. Maybe it is because my memories from my other two are fuzzy because my memories for the first few years after my accident were a little spotty. Maybe it’s because I am getting old. At any rate, some days are a struggle.

My life has had a lot of ups and downs. I think I pretty much hit rock bottom a few years ago after my first miscarriage, and it took a really long time to bounce back from that. Yeah, I have two other kids, and I love them so fiercely. However, something snapped that day inside me, and in some ways, I don’t think I have yet fully recovered.

Perhaps I should have seen a therapist when it all first started, and I didn’t. However, I have been writing about it and pretty much leaving my life as an open book to others. I do it because I want others that find themselves in my shoes to know that they aren’t alone. I want them to know that just because society dictates something doesn’t mean that it is right or has to be that way…whether it means how we react to something such as miscarriage to how we create our tribe in taking care of ourselves and our children. I want other women to know that it’s okay to reach out. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to grieve for however long you need to grieve.

I am adding a new one to that list. It’s okay to love. I spent a lot of my pregnancy absolutely terrified. I took pictures and did things so I would have something to look back on because Sweet Pea may very well be my last baby. However, the whole time, I kept thinking I shouldn’t because what would happen if she wasn’t a forever baby either. Some women can get through miscarriage and loss and be very stoic. I have not been one of them. It has been my kryptonite and I sometimes feel my downfall. I was reading an article about how miscarriage changes your outlook on pregnancy, and it was something that I wish I would have seen when I was pregnant because it really hit home for me.

I have tried in the last two years to get to a point where I can outwardly make it look like I am good. However, I have been taking a long hard look lately and seeing all the ways that I have shut down. The obvious ways, as my kids have pointed out to me, is that I have been slowly turning into a recluse. Honestly, I just don’t want to deal with people. I don’t want to try to awkwardly explain what is going on in my head. I don’t want to ask for help. I don’t want to rely on anyone because I don’t want any more disappointments in my life because let’s face it, we all disappoint each other sometimes, whether it is intentional or not. I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer. I don’t want to sit and put a plastic smile on my face when I am having a bad day.

In my heart, I thought that if I could get through this pregnancy that I would have my baby and all those feelings would magically disappear, and I would have my happy ending. However, I can honestly say that it’s not like that. There are still times that I wonder about the babies that might have been. There are times where I wonder if I am a good enough mother. Then there are times where I just want to freeze a moment because it all goes so fast, and I don’t want to miss anything because she might be my last and because I feel like a hormonal ball of emotions still.

At the end of the day, I am still in awe and thankful for my Sweet Pea. I might be tired and worn out. I might wonder if I did a good enough job homeschooling that day or feel bad for bursting into tears on the phone with my husband because right now I really hate his work situation sometimes. I am thankful for the friends and family that check in with me and are patient with me. It means a lot when you know that you have people that haven’t given up on you when you sometimes give up on yourself.

If you are hurting, I want you to know that it is okay to feel however you feel, and you don’t have to act a certain way or be a certain person because that is what society expects of you. Take care of yourself. It’s important and find your voice…whether it is talking to a friend, a therapist, or writing it all down to get it out.

Just know that you aren’t alone.

Why I chose to write about my losses

be0033d62f02445292a72765e0379c88  One question I have been asked is why I talk about my miscarriages or write about them at all. Sometimes it is therapeutic, but mostly it has a lot to do with the fact that people don’t talk about it. It’s almost like we are supposed to keep quiet about it, pretend it didn’t happen. When I lost my first baby, I felt so lost. I had friends that tried to help, but I had no idea how to move forward. I had people say some really horrible things to me like how it wasn’t a real baby or that I must have done something wrong. The baby was real to me. The hopes and dreams I had for my baby were real. My baby existed, even if it was for a brief moment in time.

I have lost two pregnancies. I have been on my journey to baby for two years, and now it looks like we have a rainbow baby on the way, but I am still afraid.  I have been writing so that others who are on a journey like mine know that they aren’t alone. I want them to know that it is okay to grieve. It is okay to give your baby a name. It is okay to be joyful when you get your rainbow baby, and it is okay to still feel sad sometimes for the one(s) you have lost. It is okay if you sometimes wonder what that baby would look like or what that baby would be doing now. It is okay to move forward. It is okay to sometimes fall back. We all deal with our losses in different ways. Some days are better than others.

I will admit that this week hasn’t been easy. Today marks a year since I lost my second baby. We named that baby Faith. We named the baby Faith because I was afraid I was losing my faith…my faith in God, my faith in life, my faith in myself, and my faith in everything. I will also admit that I ended up in a very dark place after my second loss. I felt so empty inside. I have two other children and a husband that loves me. However, I felt so alone. I didn’t know who I could talk to. I didn’t want to say too much to most of my friends for fear they wouldn’t understand. I lost so many friends by that point already. I am in a better place now than last year at this time. However, there are times when I still grieve. I have a godson who is about the age of the baby I lost last June, and sometimes I wonder if that baby would be like him. I look forward to the day I meet the baby growing inside of me. I am excited. I rejoice in every kick. However, I don’t think the fear will ever completely go away until I am holding her in my arms.

If you have been through pregnancy loss, I want you to know it is okay to feel however you feel, and while society may not be on board, it doesn’t matter. You matter, your baby mattered, your grief matters.

As always, feel free to comment below.

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.