2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas: Dealing with the Unexpected

This post was inspired by 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino, a novel about hope, love, and music in snow covered streets of Philadelphia. Join From Left to Write on August 28 we discuss 2 A.M. At The Cat’s Pajamas. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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 In the book Madeline’s life changed forever with the death of her mother and she had to change her everyday life. It’s no secret that I had a miscarriage, so it is probably no secret that Nick and I have been trying for almost year to get pregnant again. I wish I could end this post with a ta-da, I am pregnant, but I can’t.

I hate saying this, but I got pregnant easily the first two times. The first time I was on the pill, and it was a shock to say the least, but now I have a happy and healthy 3-year-old, and I would not change a single thing. When Nick and I discussed having a second baby, without a lot of effort I was pregnant again. Just like that, I wasn’t. It  was the worst thing I have ever been through.

Now with B starting pre-school it is really hitting me hard. I never expected to have this time to be by myself. Having a few hours a day where I could pretty much do anything is completely unexpected. Many people tell me that I will figure it out, because hopefully soon enough that will change. And I get it, I do, but this wasn’t the plan, and I hate that I couldn’t control this.

IMG_8698I mean, who wants to spend a minute away from this guy?

On top of all this, Nick and I have been seeing an RE (reproductive endocrinologist) to figure out exactly what is wrong with me, and it is never an easy process, is anything.., and one that I am not quite ready to put on this blog because I am still dealing with the process that we are going through and some of the diagnosis we were given.

I know in life things never go how you plan and you have to roll with the punches, so here I go, attempting to let life guide me and not the other way around…

 

 

The Opposite of Maybe: Lucky

Here’s hoping that I wake up to a UCONN win this morning!

Before we get to today’s post, make sure you head over to Friday’s post and see who won the giveaway!

This post was inspired by the novel The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson. At the age of 44, Rosie finds herself suddenly single and pregnant. She tries to hide in her grandmother’s home, but meets two men that will change her life forever. Join From Left to Write on April 8 we discuss The Opposite of Maybe. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

FYI this post does have some spoilers.

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This book also brought up a subject that is extremely difficult for me, pregnancy. I am beyond lucky to have been able to bring one beautiful little boy in to this world and I am very aware of that.

At 44 Rosie got pregnant after unprotected sex once, once! She didn’t know and didn’t even take a pregnancy test until she was 9 weeks along, it seemed like every appointment was perfect, labor wasn’t a disaster or have any scary parts, and her child was healthy.

All of this makes so angry and so sad. After another month of tracking and testing and all of the stuff no one talks about when you are trying to conceive which is followed by another disappointing negative pregnancy test, it was so hard for me to read this entire book without hating Rosie.

She was so cavalier, at first, about the fact that she got pregnant by chance the one time they didn’t use protection, she even walked into a clinic for an abortion (this is not a political post). Eventually after the first trimester was over she got her shit together and started cleaning up her eating and reading about babies, but I just couldn’t get over her luck and her reaction.

I am not one of those people who can just listen to these stories about how someone beat the odds and got pregnant. It is so hard to hold on to the hope that things will miraculously get better. It sucks, that I have to wait a year from my miscarriage to even have the discussion with my doctor about seeing a specialist.

I, naively, though I would be pregnant by the time my due date from the miscarriage came, and I am not. That due date is 12 days away. I know that things happen for a reason, at least I need to believe that. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when friends start posting on their blogs, FB, twitter, etc… that they are pregnant. That they weren’t even trying or that they got pregnant the first month. And on April Fools Day, the amount of people who posted fake pregnancy announcements, not only did it feel like a punch to the gut, but it seemed like people don’t understand how hard infertility or the struggle to get pregnant is. Or how long the emotion and mental parts of a miscarriage affect you.

I am LUCKY to have the support system that I do, I know that. I am LUCKY to have the most amazing husband and son. I am LUCKY that I live in a place where I might be able to have a baby when it feels like the odds are against me.

I am trying to believe in the LUCKY, but it is so damn hard.

Five Things Friday: Links I love

Welcome to another addition of Five Things Friday. I will be back to alternating this and Confessions of a Mom on a regular basis now.

This weeks post is dedicated to some awesome bloggers, some I have met, some I have only interacted with online. All the same, I want to share some important posts and causes this week.

1. Boston Marathon Fundraising

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My pretend twin (I mean we have the same irrational fear of crickets) Jane is running the 2014 Boston Marathon for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, read all about her fundraising here, and she is also hosting a virtual valentine’s 5k and selling some super cute New Balance tech tanks and long sleeves. Please think about donating, participating in the 5K, or buying a shirt. I can’t wait to cheer Jane on during Marathon Monday, and I hope you can cheer her on virtually by helping her raise some money for such an important cause.

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I mean how cute are those shirts!?

2. Struggling with fertility & miscarriage

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It’s no secret that I have been struggling with dealing with my miscarriage and not being able to get pregnant, and I hate that more people are experiencing this. I am however glad that more women are opening up and talking about this. As women we should rally around each other and become lifelines of support and love.

Please read these three posts from Lindsay, Charlotte, and Colleen. Share them. Let women know it’s okay to talk about the pain and struggle, the sadness, the anger, and the hope. My raw posts about my feelings have never made me feel more exposed or more cared about.

3. On the Marine Corps Pull Up Requirement for Women

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That’s Lauren in the green tank on the right – the leader of the Achieve Fitness Triathlon Team

Lauren from Achieve Fitness wrote this AMAZING post about the Marine Corps eliminating the pull up requirement for women. Her thoughts are much more eloquent than mine and I really hope you take the time to read this article and share your thoughts. Also, there is an amazing video at the end of the post that I encourage you to watch.

4. Defeating Unhappiness

After having my breakthrough moment in yoga, I have been really into yoga and what it can do for me. Just like I loved reading about runners and their experiences, I want to immerse my self in the yogi world, so please send your favorite yoga websites, blogs, instagram accounts, etc… my way. This article on defeating unhappiness really spoke to me!

5. On Goal Making

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PR & I

Sometimes as bloggers we put all our goals out there in the blog world, almost keep us accountable. So what happens when we don’t accomplish those goals? I think my pal Pavement Runner handles this so well. He didn’t accomplish his goal, but he ran the best damn race he could that day. I have no doubts he will accomplish this goal and get that sub 3:30 soon. Stop by and show him some love.

What links are you loving this week?

What It’s Like

I feel like I HAVE to preface this with I know that some people struggle much more than we have with getting pregnant, and I am not saying any of this to make it seem like I have it worse. BUT I need an outlet for my feelings and honestly, NO ONE talks about this, hopefully this outlet will help someone.

It has been almost 4 months since the miscarriage. It feels like it was yesterday, and it feels like years ago. What no one tells you that trying to get pregnant post-miscarriage is emotionally one of the hardest things you will go through. I wish I could end this post right here and say ta-da I am pregnant, but I can’t.

It’s a hard thing to explain, but I am going to try my best. Every month that you try is exhausting. You track cycles and temperatures, days that you have tried, days that you haven’t. You pee on a stick every evening to track your body’s ovulation cycles. Then you enter the 2 week wait. The wait between when you ovulate and when you can test to see if your pregnant. You analyze every cramp and twinge. You try to not build up hope that you are pregnant, but it happens, and then you get your period. Not only do you have your normal hormone craziness, add in the disappointment of feeling like a failure because once again, you couldn’t get pregnant, and every month I get my period I feel like I cry myself to sleep, over the loss of our child and over the feelings of failure . Then you start the whole cycle over again.

On top of all of this I feel like I am expected to be my “before miscarriage” self. I’ve found that most people give you an allotted amount of time, and for every person this is different, to grieve until they expect you to be back at 100%. Now I don’t expect people to cater to me or ask about my feelings, but there are definitely things I never want to hear again, pregnant or not.

1. You must not be pregnant, you are eating or drinking xyz. TRUST ME, I would gladly give up sushi, wine, runny eggs, etc… to be pregnant.
2. Well at least you can go out for New Year’s Eve. Ditto
3. It will happen when it is supposed to/ Everything happens for a reason. Is this really supposed to make me feel better? Because it makes me feel like I am setting myself up for failure
4. You don’t know other people’s struggles, don’t get angry if they are pregnant. You’re right, sometimes I don’t, but a lot of the time, when I say these things, I do. The person who wasn’t even trying, the person who got drunk and got pregnant. I am allowed to be upset.
5. Don’t stress. Please show me someone who isn’t at all stressed around the holidays, and telling me not to stress, easier said than done.

Edit: I am adding this video because a friend shared it with me on FB after reading my post, and I think it truly explains empathy vs. sympathy in a way everyone can understand.

This sums up what I am trying to say above, I know that people aren’t, for the most part, saying these things to hurt me, but the truth is, THEY HURT. Please watch this video.

 

I know the last four months I haven’t been happy & fun Kelly, I know that a lot of people don’t want to be around me for that very reason, but I already feel very alienated when I am home with B all day, and it’s a catch-22 this time of year because the parties and events are all happy and celebratory and I feel like I have nothing to celebrate.

I have let my eating slide, extra desert, sure. I have let my gym sessions slide. It’s dark out, maybe I’m pregnant right now I should take it easy. These are all thoughts I’ve had. I don’t feel as comfortable in the gym anymore, I feel like an outsider or beginner, I feel like I don’t belong. None of this is going to make me feel better in the end, and I know that, I just can’t pull myself out of it.

My friends, where do I even start, I have a few friends that have stuck by me through all this emotion, and for you I am eternally grateful. I am sad that the friends I thought would be there have disappeared, and not for lack of trying on my part.

I am trying to be the best mom for B. Lots of time out of the house, fun and inexpensive new things to do. Mom & Son dates, playdates, but I am sad for him too. He asks for a baby brother and sister. He does so well with other kids that I know he would be an amazing older brother. I grieve for the sibling he didn’t get.

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for now they are best friends

I am forever grateful for B and Nick, they are absolutely my rocks in this situation, I would be lost without them.

At Peace

I love running, I do, but at this point in my life I think it is time to take a break.

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Last year’s jingle run

The thing is, I had a hard time getting back into running after my miscarriage. I KNOW that the running didn’t affect it, BUT, my body hasn’t felt the same.

I had registered for a second half-marathon, just in case my goal PR didn’t happen at Zooma, and if I did PR, then it would be a fun congratulatory 13.1 hilly miles.

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To be honest, I had forgotten about that I even signed up for the Newton Chilly Half, it wasn’t until I received the emails about packet pick-up and race day that I remembered. It was a relatively cheap registration, $40, that I had made back during the summer. If the race had a shorter option (a 5 or 10k) I probably would have still gone to the race and just downgraded.

There wasn’t an option, so instead I decided to soothe my soul…I took my first yoga class at Studio Poise, and I let my body enter healing.

Someday I will come back to running, I am not sure when that day will be, but it will happen. For now I am sticking with my strength and Metcon at Achieve and my favorite classes at Studio Poise.

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On Love and Loss

This is a post I hoped I would never have to write, and yet here I am writing it. Some days I hope that I will wake up and it will be a bad dream, but I know that is not the truth. [FYI there will be some talk about women’s cycles here, if you think that is TMI, then you probably should stop reading]

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Nick and I have an agreement, when we are going out and there will be drinks I will take a pregnancy test, just in case. Well we were pleasantly surprised when I took one on August 10 and it came out positive. The more the news sat with me, the more excited I became. Of course there are always fears when you go from one child to two, but I was giddy.

We shared the news with our close family and friends, only a handful, and they were just as excited as we are.

I came up with wonderful ideas for this years Christmas card and how we would share the news with everyone who didn’t know yet. I started thinking of ways to organize the guest room/nursery, and how to reorganize the downstairs and B’s room.

Then just as quickly as the first trimester nausea came, it left. For a week I didn’t tell anyone, and then I finally told Nick. I came up with reasons, chasing a toddler is exhausting and I wouldn’t notice the nausea. I wasn’t teaching 8th graders that had a hard time with understanding personal hygiene. Every pregnancy is different. But I knew, I just knew something was off. I really think I just didn’t want to admit it. {I think this article really reinforced what I was thinking}

This past weekend, I participated in a Sprint Tri with a group from my gym. I was only doing the run portion, which turned into more of a walk. About a half mile in to the 3.5 miles, I started having a cramp on the front of my stomach. It was weird and freaked me out. I walked until the last .2 miles of the race. I felt like I let my relay team down, but I also had already started worrying about the cramp.

Saturday night, I felt fine. Sunday during the day I felt fine. Sunday evening I noticed some brown spotting in my underwear. Not enough to be concerned, pregnant woman can spot through their entire pregnancy and have a healthy baby.

Then it started turning bright red. At this point it was 9 pm, B was in bed, and I was freaking out. I called my dad who was an OBGYN before he went into anesthesiology. He tried to sugar coat it, but pretty much told me red was bad. I called the OB’s office emergency line and they told me to sit tight. My first appointment for this pregnancy with my OB was the following morning at 9 am.

I tried not to google, but I couldn’t stop myself. Nothing was looking good. Nick and I decided to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

I went to my doctor appointment and told the nurse what was going on, she decided to have me go get an ultrasound done before I met with the doctor. This was my first vaginal ultrasound, and it was uncomfortable, but I watched the screen as the tech took pictures. I knew the moment the images popped up that the baby was too small for what was supposed to be 8 weeks. Then I watched her try to get a heartbeat, nothing. I couldn’t look anymore. I stared at the ceiling until she was finished, willing myself to not cry in front of a complete and total stranger. She told me the baby was measuring small and that as soon as the radiologist looked at the images and talked to my doctor then the doctor would call me.

The nurse told me they were unsure if the pregnancy was still viable. I needed to have blood work and schedule another ultrasound for the following week. After that was all set, I brought Nick and B home and went out.

I couldn’t stay in the house. I got coffee, I went grocery shopping. I walked around aimlessly at the store. I just needed to be alone, but with strangers, if that makes sense.

I was hoping I was wrong. I hadn’t had any cramps yet. The bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was afraid to go to the bathroom, I was afraid to see what I wasn’t ready to admit.

Finally, I came home, and used the bathroom. I had started cramping, and there were clots, lots of them. I couldn’t move. I started crying. I knew I had lost the baby. {and I hate that word lost, like it reinforces that I did something wrong}

Nick called the doctor and we got the official news. Based on my blood work the pregnancy was not viable and I would have to let things run their course, and if they didn’t then I would need to schedule a d&c.

Nick was amazing, he called the majority of those who knew to tell them the bad news. He comforted me, he took care of B, he was the strength that I needed. I can’t even put into words, how much comfort he has brought to me in this time of need. He is/has been the most compassionate and caring person.

My heart and soul.

My heart and soul.

It’s hard for me to not blame myself, what could I have done differently so that this baby would survive? What if I stopped working out? What if I didn’t run on Saturday? What if I had a different diet? Maybe I shouldn’t have had any coffee…the what if’s and blame games are endless. A friend told me, as moms we fall in love with that pink second pink line. It’s not easier to have a miscarriage at 8 weeks just because it is an early miscarriage. Every time I go to the bathroom I am reminded of what is happening. Every time I have a cramp, I know that my body is taking the natural course, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I’m incredibly sad, but I am trying to be strong for B. He needs a mom who is present with him, and I need to not let this take me over. I am blessed with B, but we do want more children, and I know that some do not have the option to have even one child, I am not taking him for granted, but I am allowing myself to grieve over baby #2.

I am also saying the words that have scared me for as long as I can remember. I had a miscarriage.

{As you can imagine, I am not feeling the blogging/social media thing, it has helped me to put all my thoughts down, and tell those that I just didn’t have the heart to call and tell the story all over again. For now, I am taking a break, save for the already written posts and scheduled tweets. Thank you for understanding.}