Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Getting Back on Track

Last week I did a little journaling exercise where I wrote down where i'd bee in 5 years if I didn't get healthy and continued to gain weight. Then, I did an entry of where i'd be in five years if I DID. It was a helpful if not somewhat dramatic experience that opened my eyes to really how much our eating habits can affect our future, one another, or relationships, or children and the quality of our lives.  After doing so I set some goals in the following areas; weight loss, fitness, emotional, and nutrition. I bought a brand new journal that was spiral bound to track my caloric intake in. I started that on Saturday and have been doing pretty well. I've made a few little mistakes along the way but one thing that i've come to realize is that my all or nothing mentality- when it comes to eating heathy is a major roadblock.  For example- Cookies. If I eat a cookie and then eat another cookie… then i've blown my day! So, logically, (????!) I must eat all cookies so I do not have to see them and "ruin" tomorrow.  Doesn't that make PERFECT sense?!?! No. It's cray cray.  So I am striving to let go of this perfection mentality in that I don't beat myself up for mistakes, and don't expect any day to  be perfect. I may go out for dinner and order something I thought was less calories only to discover the dressing and cheese were not accounted for and that puts my over my daily goal. So? So tomorrow is a new day,  I didn't know.  And that's OK.  Another thing i'm trying is to not deprive myself. I LOVE treats. Am I going to live my life without having them once in a while? No. It's just not realistic, so i'll calculate them into my cal intake, have only one, or a healthier version, or just a bite, maybe walk a while longer to burn some extra cal's that day and move on with my life. Not beat myself up about it, not binge, not feel deprived or punished… and not quit because...t's all about moderation and learning to live in the real world and to enjoy the real world. And improving my relationship with food.  So so far, since I started my little food journal i'm down 4 lbs., 7 since we lost the baby.  I know some of it is water weight and I waited until it had been 2 weeks before I started tracking things. I have noticed the days that I walk I lose more and that motivates me to go further and get moving more. I still have pain some days from the D&C and caught a viral flu deal so I haven't walked today.  Hopefully I'll post more about successes! I plan on it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Where Do I Start?

Where do I start and what do I say? I kept thinking I needed to make a post about the pregnancy, how things were going, how we found out, our plans for the future, names, ultra sound photo's, how we announced the pregnancy, what everyones reactions were… I never got around to it.

The first person I had to tell that we had lost the baby was the receptionist for ultrasounds at the doctor's office.  We came out of the room and walked right past her.  She said "Well that was quick! Wait, you still have to have your finger pricked!"

We had gone in for a regular checkup.  Afterwards the doctor asked if I wanted that defect screening where they measure the baby's neck on ultrasound and then do a blood test on the mother. I said yes and asked if it were possible to just do it today. I was so sick of tests or doctor visits every week! We were in luck, they'd recently and one of their ultrasound tech's  come back so they were less busy than usual. I was excited to see our baby again.  It had been a month since we'd seen our little bean on the screen, seen the heart beat and had proof of our second miracle. I had shared the ultrasound photo's with my family and friends and felt a rush of love when my parents responded with excitement and tears of joy.  With high risk pregnancies sometimes you get the perk of having more ultrasounds, so every week I hoped we'd get to see our baby again.

I sat on the table in the hospital gown waiting for the ultrasound tech to return. She hadn't been able to see much from the outer US - "because I wasn't very far along"… but I had a knot in my stomach. I felt nervous. I told Danny I felt anxious for some reason. And where had she gone? She was taking too long.  For the past two weeks i'd had irrational fears that something was wrong with Rowan or that he'd stopped breathing in his sleep. I'd become anxious and have to check on him, I always found my perfect little son snoozing away soundly.

The ultrasound tech was taking too long examining my… ovaries. Unease increased inside of me. Why was she doing that? Why weren't we seeing our baby? Then the doctor entered the room and I knew.  The tech turned the view to our baby. The doctor asked how far along I was supposed to be, she respond with "12 weeks 5 days."

"It's not is it?" I asked. Finally realizing we should be hearing a heart beat right now. And we weren't.

"No. It looks like the baby no longer has a heart beat. And stopped growing at about 8 and a half weeks." The doctor said.  He went on, about options and how this just happens sometimes when things weren't developing correctly. He said we could have the weekend to decide "What to do." I told them I understood.

After dressing and returning to the room Danny tried to hug me, I pushed him away and said "Not here." I just couldn't break down there, in front of strangers. My baby was dead.

The unease I had felt that something was wrong with "my baby" suddenly made sense. I had been carrying my baby who was no longer with us for weeks, I just hadn't realized it and been focusing on the wrong baby; Rowan. From the very beginning this pregnancy seemed different, but everyone says that each one is different. I knew I was pregnant long before it was showing up on home pregnancy tests. I was becoming more and more frustrated as symptoms kept showing and the blue line never did. Eventually I started worrying maybe it were ectopic or something so I went in to the doctors, the did a blood test and got a very low positive result. We returned a few days later to have the hcg levels in normal ranges. I wasn't near as sick with this pregnancy. In the beginning I worried, maybe something wasn't right? For having been so sick with my first it was unusual to not be… and a sign that things weren't normal. I told friends I was concerned, they assured me things were fine.  When we saw our baby on the ultrasound at what I KNEW to be 9 and a half weeks, heart beating away my fears were calmed, although I was a little bummed they moved the due date  back according to the baby measuring only 7 weeks.

The pregnancy continued, or so I thought and I just wasn't near as sick as before. I was so grateful and thought "What a blessing!" My biggest fear with trying for another baby with Rowan being so young was if I would be too sick to take care of him. I just thought that heavenly father must know what I can handle, and he knew it was time to send us another baby so he lightened the load. I was so grateful.

I'd be lying if I didn't say how stupid that makes me feel now. How foolish I feel for all of those times on our knees we prayed for a baby who was no longer living and had no idea.  Don't tell me I don't "need" or "shouldn't" feel that way, I just do. For all of those times I looked down at my abdomen in the shower and smiled at the miracle or stroked my belly while falling asleep wondering if we would have a baby girl this time… I feel so, so, just dumb.  I feel lots of different emotions though. That's how grief is. Anger, sorrow, pain. And in that first week after, when shock was still present there were times when I felt so much love, between my husband and I and from dear friends. I felt myself exploding with an overload of raw, human experience.  I was deeply upset by the knowledge that our child was no longer living inside of me. When I finally made the decision to have the d&c procedure I was flooded with peace. And fear. I was very worried i'd be having a living baby removed even though I knew that i'd seen there was no heart beat.

My mom came to stay for almost two weeks a few days after having the procedure. It was great to have her support and the distraction. It has only been three weeks since we found out and people somehow seem to expect me to be "fine." To be ready to "get over it." I'm not going to apologize for feeling. I'm human and that baby was a person who was to join our family in 6 short months. It's hard for a society to acknowledge such a loss while aborting children of the same age at the same time.  It's hard for a society to not look down on someone for being honest and saying "I need more time." For not jumping ahead and throwing themselves back into life, into distraction. For not just saying "I'm fine."  I understand myself and that emotions must be addressed instead of stuffed away, or they will exhibit themselves in unhealthy ways in time.  This is not me being negative, this is not me thinking I cannot handle it. It's me, dealing with my loss in my own way in my own time.

The distraction for the first two weeks was good… except for at night, when my subconscious brought the pain to the surface to haunt my dreams. I took some time to feel the pain and grief a couple of nights ago after my mom left and while Danny was on a field exercise.  I took the ultrasounds from the fridge.  I got the "Only Child Expiring" onsie out of Rowan's drawer and I wrote my angel baby a letter. I felt the loss, the unfulfilled dream and I told my child how they were made in love, and how much I wanted and love them. I told them how much I wished I knew if they were a boy or girl so I could give them a name. I told them how I knew we would be together someday. That they were mine and I theirs for eternity.  Then I placed them, along with a newborn sized diaper i'd purchased for our baby all in a little box wrapped in pretty paper.

I hope we never have more ultrasound photo's to add to that box.

People keep asking. How far along are you now? Do you know the gender yet? I know it's not your fault.  How do I look at you and say it? Over and over?

Where do I start?

I know I will see my baby again. I know others have gone through this as well. I know there will be other children. I know we will be fine.

Yes, we're pregnant!

(I guess  I did make a post about the pregnancy, I just hadn't posted it because, now I remember I wanted to make sure everything was ok and that we got to hear a heartbeat, then I forgot to finish and post it.)

As you may have seen on Facebook this week we announced that Tracy baby version 2.0 will be joining our family this fall! End of October to be exact. In some ways I have felt the need to defend our decision to have another baby this soon, but here on my blog I feel like i'm sharing my thought process with friends rather than defending or choice. First, Danny gets out of the army in November. Knowing how expensive having babies is, and how much more expensive it was with complications and the cost of the zofran we started discussing trying for baby number 2. We wet exactly 10 months away from when he gets out. The topic of my heart condition came up and although I was ok-d by my cardiologist to have more children we had the feeling that it may be easier for me to handle if I have kids sooner rather than later. (Just because the stenosis builds up over time, if we waited 10 years between our first and last … who knows?)  We also will not have the same medical coverage after Danny gets out.  I started considering how far apart we both were from our next sibling…. Kenyon and I are a year and a half and Danny and his twin sisters were 14 months apart. Although I was terrified to go through the pain again and sickness part of me was really looking forward to doing it WITH Danny this time, from beginning to end as well as raising a newborn. In the end we decided hey, we have 10 months before we get out, lets just try this month and if we get pregnant then it was meant to be! But if not, we'll wait until we know what coverage we will have post-army.

My main concern for having another baby was not being able to take care of Rowan if I were too sick.  Danny assured me he would be here to help every step of the way. Even though he's working full time and in school he has been very helpful. I love him so much! And, i'm so happy to say that things have not been near as bad this time! With Rowan I was throwing up from day one, so severely that even as my body produced bile every 10-15 min I would be violently ill, popping blood vessels in my eyes, dislocating my jaw… yeah. Zofran was my saving grace! Every day that has not been like that with this pregnancy has been a gift. For a while I was worried maybe something was wrong to not be having such severe symptoms! And truthfully… I keep FORGETTING i'm even pregnant because i'm not so sick. To me that is what pregnancy is in many ways. I have of course had all of the other fun symptoms, terrible acid reflux, constipation, sore breasts, sore hips, nothing fits and some nausea and a bit of throwing up. My bladder problems haven't been too bad yet because baby is so small.

 Because of my health problems I am considered high risk and they are sending me to a doctor OUTSIDE of Eisenhower! I'm SO glad. Ugh. I hate that place. And Danny tends to shut down there for some reason and it's very frustrating. Usually because he's tired and doesn't want to be there!  Today is my first appointment and i'm pretty excited! I want to see our little bean, hear the heart beating and see that it measures normal.