My Pregnancy: A couple questions

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So how are you feeling?

Very tired and very nauseated.

And very unmotivated to do anything other than lay on my couch all day long and read my son thousands of books (or the same book thousands of times, whichever he happens to prefer at the time).

But I’ve realized that these feelings of fatigue and nausea are a great blessing in disguise.

Because I never felt like this with the baby we lost.

And feeling like this gave me the courage to face my pregnancy.

Why did you need courage to face your pregnancy?

For the first month or so of being pregnant, I unconsciously ignored the fact that I was pregnant.

Typically, I can’t wait to take a pregnancy test and do so at the earliest possible moment.

But this time I didn’t.

For some reason I just couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t directly face the fact that I was pregnant again so soon after my miscarriage.

Finally, after some weeks of being pregnant, I hesitantly tried to face my unexpected feelings and sort out what exactly was going on.

And I realized two things.

I felt like I was betraying the memory of the baby I’d lost to get excited about another one.

And I was afraid of loving my baby and then losing it.

I didn’t want to get hurt again.

And when I realized that, I felt like an awful mother.

What kind of a mother avoids loving her baby?

I was so ashamed I almost didn’t write about it in my journal.

And I almost didn’t tell anyone else.

But finally, I told my dear friend, Charlotte.

I knew Charlotte wouldn’t think I was an awful person and I prayed that somehow these feelings would make sense to her.

True to my faith in her, she immediately responded that it was completely normal and other women felt the same way.

And tears came to my eyes when she concluded, “It is just a measure of your deep love for your children that you feel this way.”

Thank you, Charlotte.

Your reassurance meant everything to me.

And it was the first step toward getting me through this unexpected emotional turmoil.

The second step came while I was buying myself a pair of rain boots.

By the end of the transaction, I was undeniably and completely nauseated.

For the first time since I was pregnant with Bubbers 2 years ago.

And instead of walking out the doors back to my car, I veered my shopping cart back into the store and hesitantly approached an aisle I hadn’t had the confidence to approach before.

And when I put the small pregnancy test box in my cart, I kissed my son and smiled a tiny, secret smile.

And every day since then, I’ve found increasing comfort in feeling sick.

Knowing that it meant things were likely going well with our new little life.

I was still afraid, though.

Until I finally scheduled my first doctor’s appointment and requested an ultrasound beforehand.

And when I saw the tiny form of our baby on the screen and the flicker-flicker-flicker of a tiny heart beating, I allowed myself a wide smile and a warm squeeze of my husband’s hand.

So even though my fatigue and nausea are wreaking havoc on my blogging productivity, I am thankful for the daily reassurance it gives me that at the end of this I will be holding a dear little newborn in my arms with a heart overflowing with love.

My Miscarriage: A Few Thoughts

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It’s been a little over two months since I lost my baby in a miscarriage.

But strangely, it feels like an eternity has passed since those long, painful hours that consumed me.

I feel very distanced from that raw, vulnerable woman who couldn’t bear to be parted from her son who was the only thing that brought warmth back into her heart.

That is, I felt very distanced.

Until tonight.

When I found out a dear friend just lost her baby in almost the exact same circumstances that I did.

And in the blink of an eye I was there again.

And then tears filled my eyes to think my friend was there now.

**

After talking with my friend, I decided to post something that I have been very hesitant to post, because I didn’t want to offend anyone.

But I’ve decided to post it with the intention of trying to help those women who have never had a miscarriage.

Those women who may have been like me before mine.

Who have no idea what to say to someone who has one.

Who may even avoid a person or avoid talking about a person’s miscarriage, because you don’t know what to say.

Because it was only after having my miscarriage that I realized the things I thought were okay to say really didn’t help at all…..

**

“Don’t worry, you’ll get pregnant again.”

I used to think those were very reassuring words.

Hopeful words.

Words to cling to.

But when I was fresh in my grief, those words held no comfort for me.

I wasn’t worried about getting pregnant again.

That didn’t matter to me right then.

What mattered to me was the pregnancy and baby that I used to have and didn’t anymore.

The pregnancies that would come later had no power to bring back the one I had lost.

And what I wanted right then was the one I had lost.

**

“Don’t miscarriages happen because there’s something wrong with the baby?”

Probably.

But I didn’t care.

I still wanted my baby.

And I still missed my baby.

**

“At least it happened early on.”

True.

But what matters is it happened.

And when it happens, there’s pain.

There may be less pain than if it happened later.

But there’s still pain.

**

“Miscarriages are very common.”

Perhaps.

But it doesn’t make them easier.

(Except for the fact that other women understood how I felt and I didn’t feel alone).

**

“Oh, Heidi, that’s awful and I’m so sorry.”

Time and again, I was amazed at the power of such simple words.

Just the direct acknowledgment that I had gone through something terrible.

And the expression of their sorrow for me.

That was all I needed.

That was enough.

**

Now, I truly hope that I haven’t offended anyone.

Because honestly, I was never bothered or offended by anything anyone said to comfort me.

I was always touched and grateful when someone went out of their way to try to make me feel better.

But I was also very surprised at the thoughts I had in those early days of intense grief and anger when I sat alone by myself.

And I’ve only written them to try to help others understand a little.

And to remember.

The Healing Power of Nature

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A while back, I asked Charming if we could go on a family hike together.

Despite our beautiful summer weather, we hadn’t done any hikes, yet, and I was really feeling the need to get away from the world for a while.

It was only two weeks after our miscarriage, our second house still hadn’t sold, and I was feeling heavy and stifled by one of the most difficult summers of my life.

Fortunately, Charming thought it was a great idea and when the appointed Saturday came, we packed our lunches and loaded up the car to find a nearby hike Charming read about online.

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But when we got there, we drove right past the trail head marker without even seeing it.

And five miles later, we pulled over at a ranger station to get directions.

“Oh, you can’t miss it,” the ranger said, “There’s a big sign on the east side of the road.”

So we turned around and went back.

And he was right.

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There was a big sign on the east side of the road.

Except.

That big sign read, “Gobbledeegookersnuck.”

And suddenly, we didn’t feel so bad for driving right by it before.

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Then we unloaded the car and it was time for our little family to embark…..

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….. Into a breathtakingly luscious forest.

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Where my soul sang its love for ferns.

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And peaceful trails.

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Glistening leaves.

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And moss covered trees.

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Spooky tunnels.

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And my awesome boys.

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*Sigh*

It was exactly the break we needed.

“Resting” in the Backyard, Part 1 (a play-by-play…)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a hard time resting.

I like to be working.

I like to be productive.

So just sitting and resting can be a challenge for me.

But usually that’s okay, because I can handle working.

It’s just those times when my body really needs me to rest, that it’s a little more difficult…..

For example, after my miscarriage, I gave myself a day to rest and then tried to jump back into normal life.

But it landed me wiped out on the couch every afternoon.

So, finally, I promised myself a day of rest.

Today I am not leaving my house, I told myself forcefully, I am going to sit on a chair in the backyard and rest.

I tried to occupy my mind by watching the cute Bubbers king wander around the yard.

He played with the swing set.

Walked around the deck.

And made his usual rounds.

But then all of a sudden, he headed for a part of the yard he rarely visits.

The side of our house…..

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….. With a chunk of deck that Charming et al. ripped off while moving our hot tub and hadn’t put back.

Bubbers happily started playing on the little chunk.

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And I happily admired how cute he looked with his hood up.

And how round his cheeks were.

And how little his hands were.

And then…..

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….. My eyes wandered beyond him.

To this monstrous plant that was trying to eat the side of our house.

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And made it impossible to use our French doors.

And as I sat there and stared at this huge monstrosity, I suddenly found myself thinking, “Hey, I’m not doing anything else right now.  I should go attack that thing.”

And without a second thought, I stood up, opened the shed, took out my gloves and pruning shears, and walked toward the house-eating plant with a determined glint in my eye…..

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….. And attacked the living daylights out of it.

But it wasn’t long before my uterus started complaining.

“Uh, Heidi?” my uterus said quietly.

“Yeah?” I replied as I clipped and pulled a vine with all my might, “What’s up?”

Then I tossed the vine onto the growing pile of branches on the ground next to me.

“Aren’t you forgetting something?” my uterus asked.

Forgetting something?” I repeated as I left the house-eating plant and started pulling weeds along the house.

“Yeah,” my lower back chimed in, “Aren’t you supposed to be resting??”

Suddenly my mouth dropped open, “Holy smokes, you’re right!”

I paused for a moment and then resumed my weeding.

“I totally forgot about that,” I said with laugh, “Let me just finish these weeds and cut down a few more vines, and then I’ll rest.”

I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten my promise to rest.

But I couldn’t stop right when I was almost done!

So, I finished up as fast as I could, and then really promised myself I’d rest.

I sat myself down in my chair and told myself, “You’re not moving from here for the rest of the day!”

So, I sat there.

For a whole minute.

And then I had to do something.

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So I called over the Bubbers king and pulled out the bubbles…..

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….. And he tried to eat them!

But it didn’t work.

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So then he flipped them over and tried again.

But it still didn’t work.

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So then I turned on his bubble machine and he became surrounded.

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And then I pulled out the bubble gun and made a big huge bubble mountain!

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And I watched his cute Wooga hands reach into the bubbles.

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And squish them between his fingers!

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And then squish some more!

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And then he up and stomped through them!

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But then he realized what he’d done.

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“I realize what I’ve done,” he said and asked me to make another bubble mountain.

So I did.

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And he immediately abandoned it…..

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….. And took off!

But I couldn’t move from my chair and follow him, because I’d really promised myself to stay put this time.

So, I called, “Bubbers!  Hey, Bubbers!  Come back and see what I’ve got!”

To be continued…