Thursday, May 29, 2014

Beneath the Waves

Have you ever been robbed?

I remember when I was in first grade, maybe kindergarten, my best friends house was robbed. I went home with her after school to spend the night and when we walked into her house it was immediately evident that someone had broken in and stolen things. I remember being so scared. It wasn't my house or my things but I still felt a sense of discomfort and paranoia. Their privacy had been invaded and even as a small child it felt gross and shameful. Not that they had anything to be shameful about but it just felt wrong.

I feel those same feelings today. Except it isn't my home that's been invaded it's my body. It's my heart. I wish that I would have had a miscarriage. That I could've understood. It would have been hard and painful and I'm sure I would be feeling some of the same things that I'm feeling right now. But this, this feels wrong, and shameful. I was forced to do something I would have never done under other circumstances. My body didn't reject my baby and dispel of it. I was robbed. My baby was taken from me. Stolen. At least it feels that way. I know that my baby couldn't survive in my Fallopian tube and I know had the pregnancy continued much further then I may not have survived either but the whole situation just feels wrong.

The pain comes in waves. I think I'm doing fine and out of know where I'm drowning or it feels that way. One summer when I was a kid, my family rented some motel rooms or something on Tybee Island. I grew up in a small town about an hour south west of there. My dad had rented us some "boogie boards" and he would push us off on a wave and my brother and I would ride the wave to the shore and then swim back out with our boards to meet my dad for another round. We had been at it for a while and the waves were getting bigger. My dad said this was the last wave for the day. I don't remember being pushed into the wave by my dad but I do remember the wave overtaking me and me and my board tumbling over and over beneath the water. I desperately wanted air. I needed to reach the surface. I began to panic and then my face made contact with the ocean floor. I was now in shallow water near the shore. My mouth and nose were filled with sand and I was bleeding mostly from scratches from the sand and probably my face hitting so hard. That was the end of that beach day for us. I don't remember a lot else about that vacation, just some snippets here and there but I remember that moment like it was yesterday.

The grief and pain over this unexpected loss is much like that. Most days I'm coasting the waves but on others I'm tumbling beneath the surface unable to breath. Unlike the bloody face and the sand in my mouth and nose, I have no physical evidence of my loss, at least not by outward appearance. I don't go around with my stomach hanging out so very few have seen my physical scars. It's a very private pain. People ask how I'm doing and I say I'm fine or I'm ok because I don't think people really want to hear that I feel like I'm drowning on dry land. I mean, life goes on right? Should I be over this by now? I don't know how I'll ever really get over it. I know one day the pain will lessen, I just don't know when that day will come.

My mind constantly feels like it's moving in a hundred different directions at once. It makes it hard to sleep at night. And it's at night, when I'm completely alone with my thoughts that it hurts the worst. Even thought my pregnancy was still in the beginning stages, between 7 and 8 weeks, plans had already began to form in my mind and heart. It's hard thinking about Christmas to come when just a couple of weeks ago, I thought we'd be getting ready for a new arrival by then. Then I begin to blame myself. Is it because I wasn't excited enough when I found out? It was a complete shock after it taking so long to get pregnant with our two girls. I had only been not pregnant for 5 months.

So I lay here, wrestling with these thoughts and my grief unable to sleep. I wonder if I'll ever feel like myself again?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday, I had one of the worst days of my life.

It started out like any Saturday morning with Charlotte playing and making noises and me not wanting to get up yet. A quick trip to the bathroom and the beginning of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day began. Anyone remember that book? Well the title definitely fits.

What most of you wont know is that about 3 weeks ago I found out that I was pregnant. It came as a shock considering that Charlotte is only 5 months old and it took me significant amounts of time to get pregnant with both girls. I never expected it to happen so fast. It took me a few days to get over my shock but we were happy and hoping for a boy this go around considering that I was planning on having my tubes tied after the c-section with this baby. Having two sections so close together and it being my third, I figured that my body couldn't handle much more.

At this point, I'd only had blood work at the hospital lab to confirm the pregnancy. I hadn't seen a doctor yet as the military has their own way of doing things. So when I noticed blood while I was in the bathroom I woke up my husband to take me to the emergency room and called my friend to watch our girls.

After the girls were taken care of, off we went. The ER doctor explained that the bleeding could be cause by numerous things including miscarriage but at that point it would be hard to tell and most likely I would be sent home and come back on Monday to have repeat blood work to test my hormone levels. They needed to do several test there though including an ultrasound to rule out ectopic pregnancy. I had this done with Charlotte due to intense pain in my left ovary region which turned out to be a pretty large cyst on my ovary that went away by 20 weeks. So, I was sure that because I was having no pain that ectopic was most likely not the cause.

The ultrasound took much longer than I anticipated and the only info the tech gave me was very cryptic in nature. I knew then that something was wrong. Once I was back in my room the nurse came in to recheck my vitals and I could tell by the way she acted that it wasn't good news.

Finally the ER doctor came in and confirmed my fears. It did indeed look like there was a mass near my right ovary and there was no evidence of anything in my uterus. They were calling the OB on call to come in and confirm and I would most likely be having surgery to remove my tube and my baby. The news was devastating and heart breaking. I never expected for my world to be rocked and turned upside down that Saturday morning.

As a side note, I want to say that I am so thankful for the friendships in my life but this weekend confirmed for me that, it isn't who you've known the longest or how long you've even known someone at all, there are just some people you meet that invest in your life and love you from the get-go. I've only known Stephanie since February of this year and didn't know her husband until Ryan's unit came back from Afghanistan but these two are the best friends a girl could have. They took my girls in like their own and when things went south Stephanie left the kids in Bart's hands and came and sat with me and Ryan until they took me back for surgery. They cooked us dinner and kept my girls overnight. I'm not one to usually make friends quickly much less trust someone besides family to take care of my girls overnight but they love my girls like their own and I couldn't ask for more. Thank you Stephanie and Bart. You made my horrible day a little less sucky and I'll never forget that.

The surgery went well, I guess you can say. The doctor came in and talked to me after I woke up in recovery but I don't remember much. I should be having a follow up on Monday and I need to have another test since there seemed to be scarring on my left tube. We do not want a repeat of what happened yesterday.

So I'm resting and dealing the best I can. Right now everything seems surreal and I haven really felt the depth of what has happened to me. I'm sure when that day comes it won't be very pleasant. In the meantime my husband is taking good care of me and my friends are filling in for the family who can't be here. At this point, our friends are our family and I'm so grateful.

We ask for your prayers as I recover and we mourn the loss of our third child. Love to you all!