Aside

Note* This blog was started on Friday, the 25th: It’s late and again I can’t sleep. I have taken my pregnancy safe Unisom in hopes of getting some much needed rest, so until it kicks in- I’ll blog. I’ve had the flu the past two days and so that’s been fun. Tomorrow is the much dreaded day of what should be Mason’s birth. Granted, hardly any babies come on their actual due date, but it’s the closest thing I’ve got to knowing when he should be in my arms. It’s also my grandpa’s birthday. Two of my angels, celebrating in Heaven, together. I’ve been anxious about this day since the beginning. It’s one of those milestone markers that you face after a loss. You know the ones: first time saying your baby died.  The first time going back to your doctor. The first time starting your period again. The time when you should be so many weeks along. The due date. And finally, the anniversary of the loss date. There may be more, but right now in my broken, jumbled brain- these seem like the biggies.

For those of you that have been following our stories, you know that my pregnancy with Mason presented a few additional challenges. I was due 2 weeks after a friend and 2 weeks before a cousin. I found out about my cousin’s pregnancy after having lost Mason. I also was to attend the wedding of a pregnant friend only a couple days past my D&C. I was unable to make it to the wedding, but did get to go up for some quite time after the ceremony.  Three weeks ago, my friend delivered her chunky little boy, Liam. I handled that pretty well. I was prepared. I had expected it.

As I’m sitting here typing this, the news has already been spread and photos are being shared of the 2 week early, tiny little Morgan. In all honesty, I had forgotten, just temporarily, that another baby was to make her way into this world. I was wrapped up in honoring Mason. I was planning his day. January 26. A day when I could grieve and honor him simultaneously. And then there was Morgan. I wasn’t prepared for her arrival. When I was anticipating it, I had time. I could get through tomorrow, Mason’s day, and then prepare myself for Morgan’s birth.

I am glad that my mom called me to let me know of the news before I found out any other way. I was helping Emily with her homework and as I was hanging up the phone, my voice cracked. I took a deep breath and swallowed my pain. Chris asked who it was and what was said. I told him I didn’t want to talk about it (meaning I didn’t want to talk about it that second in front of the girls because it was almost dinner and I wouldn’t be able to pull myself back together.) I put it my grief in a box and threw it away somewhere. We sat down to eat dinner as a family- Chris, the girls and me. I didn’t make it long though before I had to excuse myself. I went upstairs, laid in my bed with my head buried under a pillow like an ostrich and sobbed. Apparently, I didn’t throw that box far enough away. I muffled my tears for about 10 minutes, composed myself again, and went back downstairs.

*I can now feel my Unisom starting to kick in and everyone else is already in bed, the dog included. I’ll take a short break here, 24 minutes until Mason’s day, and be back to you in the morning. *Don’t worry, luckily for you I’m not posting until the whole blog is written, so you won’t even notice the time difference. It will just make more sense to you when I say today as opposed to tomorrow. Good night friends*

*Another note: it’s now Wednesday! I came back to you on Sunday to finish up and my blog had been mostly deleted and the revisions section was gone. Dangit WordPress!! I wasn’t able to get my blog back until now, but I digress…*

So here we are on Wednesday. It’s been a few days since Mason’s day, which was Saturday. I surprised myself and made it through the day with few tears. Mostly, I sat quietly on Facebook or Pinterest and blocked out the feelings. I didn’t really do anything to honor my son, which I regret. I just couldn’t handle it; I don’t think. I did tell him I missed him and that I loved him. I did make it through the day. I did survive. Today is week 14 with the little one and I think Mason would want me to enjoy this pregnancy. He’d want me to be happy and optimistic. I think that is how I will honor my son and my daughter: enjoying every moment I have with this one. ❤ Mason and Jordan, Momma loves you. We’ve made it through the rain and now we are working on our rainbow.

 

 

Mason’s day: Missing my son

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How old am I, 12?

I didn’t go in to pregnancy uneducated. I’ve been checking out pregnancy research, magazines, and forums for the past 10 years. I know all of the symptoms, side effects, and wives tales. I went into pregnancy anticipating the worst, yet hoping for the best.

We all know that pregnant women cry. They cry a lot. They are hormonal, emotional, and downright crazy. I expected it. I tried to prep myself, but in all of my planning I could not prepare myself for the depth and range of my emotional instability. I haven’t felt this helpless over my emotions since I was a teenager. Mind you I wasn’t just a normal-hormone shifting-parent arguing- teenager. I suffered from depression, but had yet to be diagnosed. I had multiple instances of crying episodes for no reason. My parents would ask what was wrong and I’d tell them exactly that- “I don’t know.” It sounds silly, but it’s true. I had no idea why I was crying and I couldn’t help it. Now, it’s happening again!

I’m so freaking emotional. This morning I broke down sobbing on my way to school. There was no reason for it. Last night in my social work class, a lady mentioned she was going in to social work to work as an adoption counselor: tear. The teacher mentioned grant proposal writing: tear. A song came on the radio and it had a note that struck me (*this was a music note- not even a song lyric:) tear. It happened a lot with the depression too. I think it’d be worth doing a study on emotions and music notes. I wonder if it was always the same ones that made me tear up…

Side note: I initially chose social work to be in the mental health field. For a while now, I’ve been undecided. I’ve thought about looking into adoption counseling and also working at the VA. Still, I’m undecided. I’ve got time. No matter what though, the grant proposals that I’m going to learn to write will help tremendously with Lotus Be Infertility and Miscarriage Awareness Foundation. Maybe that’s why I chose social work. 🙂

Point being I have no control over my sob fits. I guess I should have gotten the clue when I cried over the hamburger that was too sweet a month ago. Stupid hormones.

 

Why surprises aren’t always a good thing. Oh, and a Chuck Norris baby.

Good morning, world! I had what I thought was an NT scan or Nuchal scan at the OB today to test for Down’s Syndrome. I guess I got my appointments switched and the NT scan is actually in 2 weeks. Today I went in and surprise- no ultrasound machine. You’ll have to wait to find out if the little one has a brain or not. Sorry. Yes, I was bummed, but this just means I’ll have a bigger bean to see when I go back!

So the nurse starts off with a list of questions for me to answer: Medical history, family history, blah blah blah. She asks if I’ve felt the baby move yet. I’m only 10 weeks 5 days, but I swear I did feel it yesterday. It was just a little blippy-tickle on my right side. I thought it’s a little early, but if the doctor’s asking, it can’t be too crazy, right? At first, Kristen told me I was psycho and that it was just gas. (It wasn’t gas. I’m sure of it.) After a minute, she changed her story. She has decided that I am carrying Chuck Norris, reborn. There is probably a lot of ha! and hi-ya! stuff going on in my uterus at this very moment and that is probably why I’m so queasy all the time.

Back at the office, I’m finishing up with the 50 questions and the nurse asked me where I’m delivering and who my pediatrician is. I’m only (almost) 11 weeks! I didn’t know I was supposed to have all of these extra decisions made already. I still have 30 weeks to go! The nurse checks the heartbeat and I probably was not as excited as I should have been. I could barely hear anything except a microsecond of baby’s heart and so I was quite underwhelmed. Especially since my at home Doppler picks up a nice loud sound. Baby’s heart-rate is still 160, so no change since yesterday. Cheddar, QB, or now Chuck Norris Jr. is still going strong. Love you baby!

Now on to the surprise. It wasn’t the lack of ultrasound machine either. After the nurse leaves I am left waiting a year for the doctor to come in. She brings with her a med student. I am laid out on the table completely naked except for my gown that opens in the front, we say our introductions and nice to meet yous. This wasn’t my first gynecological med student encounter and I do not find this awkward at all, actually.

How am I feeling questions- check. Am I doing the prescreening for Downs Syndrome- check.  Breast exam- check. Wam bam- surprise pap!!! Whaaaaat?! Backtrack a bit- I had my yearly pap in February of 2012. I got pregnant with Mason in May and had another pap. I got pregnant with this baby in October and had another pap. So why in the world am I getting yet another one now? That makes 4 paps in less than 365 days. If you are wondering, none of them came back with any type of negative cells or whatnot so I find this beyond stupid. I know they they have to do one with each pregnancy protocol rules medical jargon, but really? Tell me why the doctors like to torture me. That was not the kind of surprise I like to get. A surprise vacation would be nice. Or a surprise winning lottery ticket. Not a surprise pap. The doctor finishes up and she and Mr. med student get ready to go. He was a polite young man, we again said our nice to meet yous and he wished me good luck.

Now back to baby Chuck. Please, whatever it is you do, do not call it baby Chucky. I have a strong fear of horror movies and I will punch you in the throat if you want to annoy me in such a way. Kristen has asked baby Chuck Norris Jr. to tell God to give her a baby. She thinks it’s less greedy coming from a fetus. She also said she wants a parasite in her uterus. To that I say: be careful what you wish for. hahaha

And cue the Chuck Norris jokes. Just remember, Chuck Jr. can roundhouse kick you into next week if you mess with me.

*No, Chuck is not at all an option for an actual name for this child.Image

 

Making peope uncomfortable since 1984

Candi and I are sitting at the flea market trying to raise some money for our company and the fertility grant we plan on giving out in the 1st quarter of 2013.  The day started trying to find out how many people we could make uncomfortable by just sitting here.  We have a table set up with all of our jewelry and our raffle ticket info and the prizes behind it.  We are pretty impressed with ourselves.  People started coming in and they take a quick glance at our sign and immediately look away.  There are also the teenagers that walk in, ignore us in general and are dumb.  No one, aside from Candi’s mom, her cousin, and the owner of the shop has given us more than a second look.  There are a few people that have lingered and looked but not much else.  I have enjoyed it because it’s been nice hanging out with Candi and we have been on pinterest all day.  What we have sold has been great because it is a fundraiser for my friend Trisha that is going through infertility issues as well.  I am actually super excited that we have been able to sell somethings for her.

Anyway, we have noticed that any site of our sign immediatly stirs a fear in people.  Lotus Be Infertility and Miscarriage Awareness Foundation.  BAM! Right in your face.  I would venture to say there were 25-30 people in and out of that place (this is in a VERY small town outside of another small town).  Of those 30 people, aside from Candi’s mom, 2 people physically stopped and investigated our table.  1 woman with a little girl who was looking at our letters for our jewelry.  The mom had a conversation with us, albeit short, but spoke with us about the company.  The 2nd person was a man who stood back and just looked.  I was happy 2 people looked and didn’t avert their glances after immediately seeing what we were there for.  There were people that walked into the building that I had seen around town.  I knew who they were and yet no one said anything.  This is why we started our company.  We need to raise awareness and help these 2 incredibly difficult topics become something more than shocking or uncomfortable.

Tomorrow I plan to push.  I plan to make more attempts at chatting folks up.  I played it safe today and kept my mouth shut because I didn’t know what to expect and we were eating pumpkin pie.  Tomorrow that pie will not interfere with my need to make people uncomfortable.  I have a lot of plans to continue making people uncomfortable since that seems to be the only way to make them pay attention.  People I work with now know that most of the time I will talk about my uterus or our son that we lost.  Sometimes I can see them being uncomfortable but it lasts a second when they realize they aren’t getting out of the conversation.  I have learned more about people this way in the past few months than I would have ever learned about them if I didn’t push the boundaries.

Push boundaries with me.  When someone tells you something that is rude or something that is meant to help, tell them why you feel it was rude or not the correct thing to say.  I don’t mean everything has to be politically correct….believe me…it doesn’t.  Candi and I told her cousin today that because she has 6 kids, she is a whore.  Very inappropriate but hey, it’s called humor.  I had no problem telling a woman the facts when she told me I wasn’t a real mother because I didn’t have my baby and that he wasn’t alive.  I have no problem reminding people who complain about their kid screaming in the middle of the night that I would give my life for a child to scream for me in the middle of the night.  I do refrain from telling them that if they say that one more time I will knock their teeth out.
So there you have it.  Our first foray into the public and we are doing exactly how I thought we would.  Just perfect.

UTERI Unite!
Yes, I googled that and uteri is the actual plural for uterus…don’t start with me Candi. 🙂

A slightly blurry photo of Kristen and Candi at the Burbank Indoor Flea Market

Unexpected (and unwelcome) emotions

I know Kristen already posted today, but I had an unexpected breakdown yesterday I want to share with you. So if you haven’t yet, check out her blog from earlier, so that you don’t accidentally skip over it. 🙂

Yesterday, I had a migraine all day, which is one of many health problems my body and my mother have blessed me with. (Thanks Mom!) My loving Christopher thought he would try and ease my pain by trying to “impregnate me.”His words, not mine. (It’s been 4 months ttc since we lost Mason.) That works for headaches, but not so much for migraines. Too much head flopping and brain shaking… However, I love the fact that he knows what will make me feel better. Babies. Babies make me feel better. My babies, not other people’s babies that is. He even suggested we can have twins and quadruplets! The idea of twins freak him out and quadruplets freak me out. We’d both be running for the hills at that point. Ok, not really since I’ve always wanted 4 babies, but since he has 2 of his own (8 year old Emily and 9 year old Brooke,) he told me our limit is 2. What would probably happen if by some miracle I get pregnant with quads is that I would keep 2 and give 2 to Kristen… Happy birthday, friend!

If you have ever experienced a loss, you probably know that you have good days and bad days. After your initial phase of grief wears off, you’re probably pretty good at knowing your triggers and what things/people/dates/events to avoid to keep your sanity. As previously mentioned, my triggers are new babies, pregnant women, pregnant women at weddings, pregnant women at family functions, pregnancy related posts, pregnancy announcements, ultrasounds, etc… Side note: I had an unexpected pregnancy announcement yesterday and I remained calm, gave my congratulations, and did not cry. Round of applause for me. You do what you can to keep yourself in check, but sometimes there are those things that just pop up out of nowhere and your suddenly a blubbering mess.

Side note/Background information: (Side note on the side note: Yes, I am aware that I have multiple side notes. I’m slightly ADD and I’m giving you the information in the order my brain gives it to me. Welcome to my world.) Chris loves football. He loves his Cleveland Browns and I love being able to share that with him. When I found out I was pregnant, I told Chris by wrapping up Cleveland Browns pacifiers in a gift bag. Soon after we found out Mason’s due date, who at the time was called Bug, was January 26. This was my grandpa’s birthday, so it must be a special day. My birthday is February 3, just a week after, so I’d be getting the best gift EVAR!!! Guess what else is February 3 of next year? The Super Bowl. Chris loves football, Chris loves babies, genius idea– I’ll buy Mason his first Super Bowl outfit to wear! Are you seeing the football theme? Boy or girl, it didn’t matter, my baby was going to be dressed in football clothes for it’s first Super Bowl party. I was so excited!

Ok, so unexpected and unwelcome emotions. Fast forward a bit in time from the pregnancy/loss in June, back to last night. I still have a migraine, and I’m trying to sleep. We’re talking about moving and Chris mentions that if all goes well, maybe we could have a Super Bowl party in the new house! My reaction- “That would be so much…. that wouldn’t be so fun.” If there was a way to shrink those last words, I would have done it. I trailed off at this point* As I was saying how much fun I thought that would be, my brain reminded me that I won’t have Mason there with us. I burst into tears. Chris was so supportive about it, which I love about him. He lets me cry and holds me tight. He is absolutely amazing. The Super Bowl is my new, unexpected trigger. Who woulda thunk it? This may be the only time I am glad the Browns have no chance at all, but there’s always next year…

Guess who’s (not) coming to dinner!

*I’m really, really wanting to post something crazy funny, but as I’m typing, my words are more sober than happy drunk. I’m not really sure what the opposite of sober is in this situation. Or do I mean somber… Anyways…

So the trouble with grieving (a loss or the inability to conceive) is that it doesn’t stop time. Your friends move on, your family move on, the world keeps on spinning. The AWESOME things about this most recent loss of mine is that I have a good friend, “Megan”, due 2 weeks before I should have been and a cousin, “Devin”, due 2 weeks after. My due date was my grandpa’s birthday, January 26. I have another pregnant best friend, “Liz.” I am surrounded by crazy pregnant hormones and I’m not seeming to be catching whatever it is they have.

Let me back track just a tad. Last month was the wedding of a cousin of mine. We’ll call him “Jeremy.” See above paragraph where I have a pregnant cousin- not the same ones, but yes, same family. Somehow in my excitement for celebrating the marriage of these two lovebirds, Jeremy and “Dani”, I neglected to register that above said pregnant cousin (Devin – wife of cousin “Stevie”) would also be attending said nuptials. Well, as soon as I saw Stevie, I burst into tears. No joke- hysterical- oh-my-gosh-I’m-dying-of-a-broken-heart, sobbing, tears. I excused myself to the bathroom for some tissues, got two quick hugs from cousins, “Gwen” and “Jess”, and headed back to the ceremony. I couldn’t control the raw emotion that overcame me. I felt as if I had just lost Mason, and here it had been 4 months. I continued this awful, ugly, crying throughout the ceremony. I felt HORRIBLE. How would you feel if some crazy psycho made a scene during your wedding???

Fast forward a month, and it’s holiday time! Yay for family get-togethers, lots of delicious food, and happiness. Right? Yeah, no. Sorry family, but here is my public announcement: I will not be attending Thanksgiving. I will not be attending Christmas. I will not be attending any other parties that are between here and the foreseeable future. I do NOT want to be around my (very dear, sweet) pregnant cousin when I should be 2 weeks fatter than her. This is no reflection on her or my family, but on me. I can’t control my emotions. They are raw and horrible. I am still grieving the loss of my son. I do not want to subject my loved ones to yet another (or multiple) scene(s). Nope. I am not gunna do it.

Come January 26, when Mason should be in my arms and instead I’m seeing pictures and announcements and excitement, please excuse me for not sharing your joy. Yes, I am happy for your blessing, but I am still grieving over mine.

I guess my point here isn’t that I’m trying to hide my grief, but that I am trying to contain it just a little. Sometimes you have to do what is best for you, and this time it has the benefit of not upsetting my family. Everyone grieves differently. There is no timeline. There are no rules. There is no “right” or “wrong.” We do what we are able to do on a particular day and rejoice when we realized we’ve survived. We will all survive. We will come out stronger than when we started our journeys and we will have absolutely no clue how we did it, but we will.

Here’s to hope, faith, courage, love, and understanding friends.

P.S. The names I used in this blog are in fact not changed in any way…