Sunday, September 17, 2017

{November 22nd + 299 Days} // 31.8 years old...

Back in 2015 I wrote a blogpost when I turned 30. I was, in all honesty, copying a friend who has written herself a letter on her blog on every birthday for the past few years (Chelsea Stock, I will always try to be more like you I've always loved reading her letters and I thought "hey, I can TOTALLY handle writing ONE blog post a year!" I mean, really how hard could that be? Well... seeing as it is now September of 2017, apparently it was much harder for me than my good intentions thought. I've never been very good on the follow-through.

I'm writing now because I am currently going through my second miscarriage in two years and I've had a lot of thoughts about the past few months of my life and where I am now in my ripe young age of 31. 

My first miscarriage was December 2015 right before Christmas. I was only 7 weeks pregnant and started bleeding on my own so by the time I went to the doctor my body had already cleared everything up on it's own. Only one other person even knew I was pregnant outside of myself and Tyson. It was fairly simple to mention to her that I had lost the baby, just so she knew why I wasn't ever telling anyone about the pregnancy. We told our parents of course about the miscarriage but I never really mentioned it to many others at the time because it just seemed like an awkward and uncomfortable thing to bring up to someone who didn't even know we were pregnant to begin with. Eventually, I would mention it to friends and family in passing to explain my crazy hormone emotions, or why I was so unhealthy, or why we didn't have a second child yet. I was so early on in the pregnancy that it didn't really feel like losing a baby and I was sad but I just chalked it up as something many women go through and moved on with life. 

We knew we still wanted to have a baby soon but 2016 had a lot of life changes and Tyson was finishing his degree, I changed jobs half way through the year, we didn't have insurance for a bit, and through it all I was supposed to be getting healthier so I could feel better about getting pregnant again. I have never built up very good coping mechanisms for life though and I felt like I was barely making it through the year alive without adding on being pregnant or a new baby. 

With the beginning of 2017 I was still living in survival mode and knew I didn't want to sustain that living for much longer. Some good changes happened though and I was feeling like I was getting back on track. I got what I had thought was my "DREAM" job working for Apple from home but it ended up not being a very good fit for me. (I knew I was going to hate talking on the phone all day every day but I thought the perks of working for Apple- of which there are many- would make up for it. They didn't.) I started having major panic attacks in July and then we found out I was pregnant and being nauseous and sick on top of the anxiety made the Apple job a terrible fit for what I needed in life right now. I tried first to just go part time with them but that wasn't an option and I ended up quitting after I got a job with Mesa Public Schools working at their Community Education department. I do account management for the MPS after-school program. It's chill and lovely and only kinda dreadful when I have to talk with terrible parents who hate us for charging them for a self-sustaining after school program (people suck sometimes). I started in mid-August and have loved the flexibility of the day-to-day and being able to dis-engage and breathe for a minute every day if I need to. 

Life was on the upswing. I felt like I was making choices to help me and my family in the long run and I was getting so excited about this little baby that was gonna be coming to us in April. With this being my first pregnancy after the initial miscarriage it took a while for me to be excited and comfortable with the idea of this really happening. We ended up having an ultrasound at 6.5 weeks. Once I saw the little blob floating around on the screen and we could hear that tiny tiny heartbeat, I was able to relax. Things were working out and even though life wasn't perfect they were still going to be so happy. 

Tyson and I went in for another appointment last Tuesday and ended up having another ultrasound. I was 10.5 weeks and we could see the baby again on the screen. The ultrasound tech talked to us, showed us the parts of the baby, asked us about our first ultrasound and when it was, and then very kindly told us she couldn't find a heartbeat and that the baby had stopped growing at 7.5 weeks. My world fell apart all over again. And I think it was so much harder this time because I had actually seen the baby on the screen. I was assured that I was pregnant and everything was going fine for those first few weeks. 

Loss is so much harder when you know more about what you lost. 

We spoke with my midwife regarding options on what to do moving forward. I could simply wait for my body to expel the pregnancy on its own, take medication to speed up the process, or complete the surgical D&C. We all felt like the medication would be the best fit and I felt like since this was my second miscarriage I kind of knew what to expect. My midwife explained it would be painful and there would be cramping but taking ibuprofen should be enough and I just shouldn't plan to leave the house for a day or two so I could rest and be close to home. 

Well, I definitely did NOT expect what was to come. I started the medication Friday afternoon thinking it could take awhile to kick in and I wanted as much of the weekend to be able to recover at home and be ready for work again on Monday. It definitely kicked in, but not until 11:00pm which started the longest night of my life. (Which is saying a lot because I was in the hospital with Maggie May for 4 days before having her 15 days late). The medication didn't just produce "cramps" and "discomfort." It produced full blown contractions and labor! Tyson told me later he didn't know why I didn't expect that but I was not prepared. For the full 4 days I was in the hospital trying to induce labor with Maggie I maybe experienced 2 hours total of active contractions and then quickly got an epidural because I don't do pain. Friday night ended up being 4 hours total of intense contractions and for a while they would not stop at all! As I was in the fetal position throwing up on the bathroom floor from the pain, I was at my absolute lowest in life. And let's not go into the details of the blood and the whole purpose of these contractions. Let's just say that Tyson is a saint and I owe him for life for loving me still. 

I know it just barely happened but when I think back to that night I just start laughing because I don't know how else to process it. It was crazy! And I was so upset and angry the whole time because it shouldn't be this physically painful to go through such an emotional loss. It has made me want to sign up for c-sections for all future babies so I never have to feel a contraction again. 

Now that the initial physical pain is behind me I'm just left with this heavy heart. I have thought a lot this past week though about trials we go through and especially what women go through to bring these sweet babies to us. I personally know women who have gone through multiple miscarriages, multiple IVF treatments, infertility for years, adoption joy and heartbreak, still births and infant deaths, and those who would do anything to have a baby of their own. Our stories are all so wide-spread and different but the heartache and pain is always there. I'm glad my story is my own though. Not that I think mine is "easier" or "better" but I know it's something I can handle right now. Which, of course, is big for me because most of the time I can handle just about nothing about life.

I'm still mad that I don't have a good excuse for getting fat, and that I don't know how long it will be- if ever- that I feel a baby kicking in my belly again, but I'm mostly just sad for Maggie May. I know she doesn't know any better but man would she love having a sibling! I feel like she is getting so old and the gap between her and any future baby just keeps growing. We will try to get pregnant again of course but I've learned there really is no certainty in making plans.

I hope I have better news next time I write. The key for me is to not give in to the sad and depression too much or else I get lost in it. I have such an amazing little family and I know we still have time to keep our family growing. Maggie May loves being the center of our world and does a pretty good job about keeping us busy. I feel like I have learned these past few months to find the happiness throughout all of life and not just wait around for things to be perfect. I hope to build on this and be better prepared for the future ahead.   
Me // at thirty-one and a half