Thursday, December 4, 2014

november 3

It's been 3 and a half weeks since I wrote this post.  I couldn't bring myself to publish it, but now I feel I need to.  I don't want it to just sit and collect dust where I can't even look back on it.  This is my journal, and I need to have it "out there" as part of my closure.  That seems like the wrong word to use.  Maybe healing would be a better word.  Because I'm still sad, but I'm ok.  I'm healing.  And I'm so happy and thankful for what I have.  3 weeks ago:

I've never had a "worst day of my life."  I can easily think of the best: Marty being born, marrying Richard, Paul McCartney concert with my family.  Those are at the top of the list, anyway.  And I probably could have thought hard to think back on a fight Richard and I have had - there have been a couple of doozies - but I don't know if they would really fall under the Worst Day category, or meet whatever criteria there might be for something like that.  That changed on November 3, though.

Earlier this year, we started talking about when we thought we might like to have another kid.  It was kind of a scary thought, but as time went on, it was something we both knew we wanted.  And as even more time went on, we realized it was something we really wanted.  Like, not just something we felt like we needed to do so that our kids aren't spaced 5 years apart.  We wanted it.  So, I went to the doctor and had him take my IUD out.  About a month went by, I had my first normal cycle, and then we were on our family vacation and Marty was sleeping in the bed with us, so nothing happened right away.  We never had the "let's try" conversation, but I was paying very close attention to when I would most likely be ovulating, and let's just say we had a lot of fun.  As the days went by - if I'm being honest, I was actually counting the minutes as they passed! - I wondered if I might be pregnant, but I waited until well after I should have had another period to take a test.  I even told Katie when we were in Las Vegas that I might be, that I was almost certain that I was pregnant, but I was just a little scared to know for sure.  Because it was something that I wanted so badly that I didn't want to find out it wasn't real.  The week after I got home, I took it.  I didn't know if I should wait for Richard like I did with Marty Boy, and I was so nervous and kind of freaking out, so I just did it while he was at work.  Marty was eating a snack in his high chair, so I went in the bathroom and peed on the stick.  I left it in there for like 45 minutes without checking.  I was too nervous.  I got ready for my volleyball game, got Marty ready for his night home with Richard, and when they'd gone down to watch a movie together, I finally checked it right before I walked out the door.  POSITIVE.  This was a risky move, because if it had been negative I'd probably have been really upset, but it wasn't so I was thrilled.  I ran down to kiss the boys goodbye, and I told Richard there was a surprise for him in the bathroom.  He totally thought Marty had pooped in the toilet and I'd saved it to show him.  Funny how parenthood changes the list of things you get excited about.  Anyway, I was thrilled, and I felt a little weird about telling Richard that way, but I was excited for him to see that it wasn't just a turd in the toilet.  After my game, I looked at my phone, and Richard had sent me the sweetest text message.  I locked it and still have it saved.  I called him right away, and we got to be excited together.  Then when I got home, he gave me a big hug and we snuggled on the couch for awhile.  I apologized for being sweaty, and he said, "but the baby's not sweaty!"  It was fun.  We were really happy.  And we both decided that we were going to wait until we knew the gender until we told anybody if we possibly could.  Or at least until Christmas and then we could tell our families in a really fun way and have it be a fun surprise present for them.  I ended up telling Katie because I'd told her I might be, and my friend Rebecca who lives across the street, who I see almost everyday because Marty is obsessed with playing with her son Hudson, asked me point blank if I was, and I'm the worst liar in the world, so she knew, too.  I made the appointment with my doctor, and they said I'd have to wait until I was 8 weeks, so it would be the first week of November.

I kept feeling pretty normal, except for a week of awful indigestion which could have been from anything.  I also started to feel nauseated in the afternoons, which I chalked up to "morning sickness" or something, neither of which I ever experienced with Marty.  I kept waiting for my boobs to start hurting, because that was the big clue the first time around.  It finally started happening last week.  I still hadn't seen many symptoms, though, and I was starting to be a little nervous, so I took another pregnancy test.  Still positive.  I thought it would be, but mind monsters started getting to me, and I had to do it "just in case."  I was totally relieved.  Especially because I know so many people who have had miscarriages recently.  That always made me really nervous, but my mom never had any miscarriages.  I don't know if that means anything at all, but I remember Dr. Hartman telling me that if my mom got sick I was likely to get sick, and if she got vericose veins that I was more likely to get those, too, so for some reason I just lumped miscarriages with that short list of things that are hereditary.

Last weekend, the weekend before our Monday afternoon appointment, I started to get super excited.  I was basically counting down the minutes until we would get to see our little baby's heartbeat.  I confirmed with Richard that he would be there - he was going to leave early from work and just meet us there.  I asked him if I should ask Rebecca to watch Marty Boy, and he said no.  He wanted our little family to all be there for this exciting thing.

Monday rolled around, and it just felt like 3:00 would never come.  But it did.  Marty woke up at the perfect time from his nap, and off we went to the hospital.  He was a little nervous when we got there, I think because he remembered his old pediatrician's office, but as soon as he realized it wasn't for him, he was fine.  Running around the waiting area, chomping down his pickles I'd brought for his snack, and just being his perfect little self.  When the nurse called me back, I told her that Richard was on his way, and she said we could just get the boring stuff out of the way first: weight, blood pressure, etc.  We did, and Marty was just sucking on a sucker, with not a care in the world.  She led us to the exam room and asked me to take off my bottoms.  I couldn't remember if he'd done an actual exam at our first appointment last time, so I didn't ask any questions.  I just did it.  Marty sat on a chair like a champ, and we chatted while we waited for Dr. Hartman and Richard.  Hartman got there first.  He asked me a few questions, and determined that I was actually 10 weeks along, not 8.  He also said I didn't need to be half-naked because I had a pap-smear at my last appointment, but that train had already left the station.  When he was about to get started, like literally pulling my shirt up to squirt the jelly on my belly, Richard walked into the room.  Perfect timing.  He was all smiles, and I was so happy he was there.  He picked up Marty, and walked around behind Dr. Hartman so that he could see the monitor for the ultrasound.  He moved the thing around a bit, and I couldn't see anything.  He was super quiet.  He said that he was confused, asked who had done the tests.  I told him I couldn't see anything, and that I took two, one just last week.  He said that my bladder was so full it might have been making it hard to get a good angle on things.  I told him I didn't go to the bathroom for a long time because I thought they might need me to pee in a cup.  He backed up, grabbed another wand, and came back over.  He said that he knew I was having anxiety, and he was just going to do a vaginal ultrasound right away to ease my mind because he knew I'd go nuts in the bathroom if he had me go at that very minute.  He was right.  He finally got a good view.  No heartbeat.  Before he even said anything, tears started running down my face.  He took his time, making sure he got it right, but eventually he told us that there was no heartbeat.  Our baby had died at 8 weeks.  Two weeks earlier.  He apologized, said he'd let me go to the bathroom, and then he'd come right back.  I sat up, and Richard came over and hugged me.  I just cried into his chest for a minute.  I got up and went to the bathroom, which was connected to the room we were in, and then went back to the table.  Dr. Hartman came back in, checked again, apologized again, and then started to give us some information.  15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.  That sounded like too much to me.  He told me my options:  wait it out and let my body work things out on its own, or come in for him to do a D & C.  I didn't want to do it alone, who knows when.  I just wanted this nightmare to be over.  I told him we'd check with our insurance and let him know as soon as possible.  He was very nice, and answered all of our questions.  There weren't that many.  I tried to pull myself together, not cry as we walked out of the office, but the second I turned down the hall, the nurse who had walked me back said she was so sorry, and I lost it.  Kept trying to hold it together, but it didn't work.  I'm sure I terrified the two pregnant women in the waiting area as we walked through, and I felt bad, but I also didn't care.

Richard walked me to his car, which I wanted to drive home by myself, and then he took Marty to my car.  I sat there and sobbed, and then I called my mom.  Who didn't even know I was pregnant.  It had been so hard for me not to tell her when she took me to lunch for my birthday the week before.  When I bought a sweater dress and blouse that were just a little too big so that my growing pregnant belly would still fit in them.  She was at work, but I knew she would answer.  She was so sad.  Her voice got emotional, but I don't think she really cried.  At least not while we were on the phone.  She was so sorry, and she said all the right things.  I never stopped crying, not even after we got off the phone.  I started to drive home, though, and when I finally parked in the driveway, I texted Katie to tell her, too.  I thought about tell Rebecca, but I just couldn't.

Marty and Richard were out back picking grapes when I got home, so I went back to tell Richard I was home, and then just went inside and started searching for my insurance card.  I called the company, told them the situation, and the girl told me it was covered 100%, as long as it was "involuntary."  I could tell she felt so bad saying that, because I was still in tears, but I knew she was just doing her job.  It wasn't her fault I lost my baby.  I called Hartman's office and scheduled my D & C for Thursday.  It was the soonest they could get me in.  I also called Jackie.  She had a miscarriage right before getting pregnant with Maddie, and I just felt like I needed to talk to someone who had been through it, too.  I had no idea what to expect from the D & C, and I just needed to be reassured.  She was the perfect person to talk to, and she's been really amazing all week, calling to check up on me, sending me little text messages, and covering for me at our volleyball game on Wednesday.  She really is my best friend, even after all these years.

When the boys walked in a minute later, I told Richard about my appointment.  He hugged me, and I just kept crying.  Marty ran over and started tugging on our legs.  He kept saying "Mama," which eventually turned into "Mommy."  He's never called me mommy.  He started to give me big hugs - he does this when he knows I'm sad - the good kind, where he is the one who holds on longest.  And amid all of the "mommy's" he said, "mommy, wuv you."  He has never said that to me before.  He has said it to Richard, but not quite as clearly as it was this day.  He said it twice.  Richard walked back over to us, hugged us both, and I just kept crying.  This moment was the thing that kept me from shattering into a million pieces.  My sweet Marty Boy.

Richard had a guitar lesson that evening, so he got ready for that.  I usually make dinner while he's teaching, but I was in no mood to cook, so I put a movie on for Marty and drove to Cafe Rio to get us some dinner.  While we were eating, after the guitar lesson was over, there was a knock at our door.  It was my mom, and she'd brought us some pumpkin steamers from Kneaders.  My favorite.  She gave me a hug, but I didn't cry.  Then she sat with us for a few minutes and we talked for a little bit.  I can't remember if I cried the whole time she was here.  I think I was cried out for the moment.  I asked her to tell my dad, because I just didn't want to talk about it anymore.  And then I asked her not to tell anyone else.  It was so nice of her to come over, and I really appreciated just knowing that she was thinking of me.  Later that night, I got text messages from my dad and Sarah.  Both telling me they were sorry and they loved us.  I should have known my mom would tell my sisters.  She told Chelsea the next day.  I just told them both thanks, and not to tell anyone else.  Also that I don't want to talk about it when I see them.  The rest of that night is a blur.  I just can't remember it.

The next day, Hartman's office called and asked if I could come in on Wednesday instead of Thursday.  I said yes, feeling relieved and sad at the same time.  Relieved that it would be over one day sooner, and sad for the same reason.  It was so weird, the timing of that call.  Marty got tired about an hour earlier than normal, and he fell asleep really quickly for his nap, which never happens.  And not five minutes after I left his room, my phone rang.  I'm glad he wasn't awake to see me lose it again.  My mom got to the house for our Tuesday lunch shortly after that, but she only stayed for a couple of minutes.  We worked things out so that she would watch Marty for me, and then she told me to get some rest.  I didn't have much of an appetite, which isn't my style at all.  Usually in an emotional situation I'm an over-eater, but this was different.  I slept while Marty slept, and when he woke up I felt bad for being such a bum all day, so I took him to the Tree House for an hour before they closed.  He had a great time, playing with the trains, checking on the cow and sheep, and even drumming his little heart out.  I hope that my sadness hasn't affected him negatively.  It didn't seem to that day, at least.

That night Richard and I planned for him to be at the hospital when I woke up the next day, but for some reason I just kind of wanted to be alone before the procedure.  That's not really my style, either.  Normally I want to talk about and analyze things to death with him.  But this time I didn't want to dwell on it or talk about it up until the very moment it would happen.  I just wanted to read my book and try to keep my mind off of it as much as I could.  I knew it wouldn't really work that way, but I felt like I just needed some time to myself with this.  I really didn't want to be alone after, though.

The morning of November 5, Marty and I did our normal thing: we ate breakfast together, watched a show and got ready, and then we had to go to the store to get a stupid pill for me to take before the surgery.  He was such a good sport, being super playful and happy all morning.  We went home, and before I knew it my mom was there to pick us up.  I got the diaper bag ready for her to take Marty to Tree House, and then they took me to the hospital.  I checked in fine, but as soon as I sat in the waiting area I started to cry.  When I finally stopped, I read my book for about a minute before they paged me to fill out paperwork.  I cried up at the counter, and then again when my nurse came for me.  She was very nice, and as soon as I sat down in the consultation room, she grabbed my hand and gave me some tissues.  She took my vitals, asked me some questions, and then led me to my waiting bed and asked me to change my clothes.  The next nurse who came in to give me my IV started to tear up when she saw me crying.  She was very nice, too, and it was nice to talk to her about other things.  When she left, Dr. Hartman came in.  He asked how I was, and if I had any questions.  I said I was ok, and that I had none.  He squeezed my foot, and then explained some of the recovery stuff to me.  He said that it was going to be more of an emotional recovery than a physical one, and that I don't need to be examined by him afterward, but if I would like to I can make an appointment to talk with him in about a week.  I'm not going to, but I appreciated it.  I was crying, of course, and he squeezed my foot again before he left.  Those two little squeezes meant a lot to me, coming from him.

I ended up being in that waiting area long enough to finish my book, read the information they'd given me, and then try to take a nap.  I couldn't fall asleep, but I did start crying again.  Luckily it wasn't long before my anesthesiologist came in to start giving me drugs and wheel me to the operating room.  He patted my shoulder as I was crying on our way down the hall, and I kept hoping that I would pass out soon, but it didn't happen.  As they wheeled me into the room I could hear people laughing and joking around.  It was the nurses and staff who were going to be helping with my procedure, and it really made me mad.  As they helped me scoot from my bed over to the operating table, one nurse said, "are you just a little scared?" and I said "no." and kept crying.  I wasn't scared, I was sad.  I was devastated.  I was heartbroken.  But I didn't have to listen to them much longer because the anesthesiologist put monitors on my chest and then oxygen over my mouth and nose, and that was the last thing I can remember before I slowly woke up in the recovery room.

As I was working my way through the fog, I felt tears still running down my face, and I heard someone telling someone else to take me to 2nd phase recovery where my husband was waiting for me.  When I finally got there, I didn't see Richard.  I was really crying, and I asked where he was.  The nurse said she would go get him, and after no time at all he was standing right beside me.  He hugged me and I just cried.  Then he had a seat and asked me about it.  I told him what I remembered, and it was so nice to have him there. He'd had to wait about 45 minutes, and I felt bad that he was missing work, but I was just so glad to have him with me.  Our nurse here was so nice.  She brought me apple juice, and then she brought us both hot chocolate.  I'd been fasting, and even though I don't remember feeling hungry or thirsty, I drank my drinks so fast.  I didn't want to stay there any longer than I absolutely had to, so I changed my clothes, Richard went to get the car, and the nurse pushed me in a wheelchair to the curb where he picked me up.  Then we went home.  Marty was just waking from his nap when we got there, and he was kind of sad, so he came right to me and we snuggled on the couch for a bit.  My mom left to pick up Sarah (who had been walking to our house from the train station because by the time my mom was supposed to pick her up Marty was already napping and she couldn't leave the house) and get us dinner.  We were still snuggling on the couch, and Richard was playing guitar when they got back.  I remember my mom asking about how it went, but I don't think that we talked about it much after that.  It was just nice to have them there, and be a little distracted.  Marty was really excited to have Sarah there, and he was showing off for her big time, running around and jumping on to and off of everything, including Richard.  I was still feeling a little woozy from the anesthesia, and probably just from the day, so I started to lose steam pretty quickly.  When they left, I just wanted to lay down.  Richard fixed Marty some macaroni and cheese for dinner, and then he asked if I wanted to be alone.  I really did.  I don't know why, I just did.  So he took the boy over to Russ's house to do some recording stuff, and I stayed home and laid in bed watching a movie.

Rebecca had texted me while my mom and sister were over, asking if everything was ok because she had seen my mom taking care of Marty throughout the day.  I answered letting her know what had happened, and later that night she came over with ice cream.  Richard and Marty had gotten home, so Richard put him to bed while I talked with Rebecca in the front room.  I was starting to feel a little better, and wasn't near as emotional, so I was ok talking about it.  I was glad to finally tell the only other person who knew I was pregnant what was really happening, too.  I'm so grateful for her friendship, and feel so lucky that we moved in across the street from them.

Since Wednesday, I have felt a lot of different emotions, and I've had so many thoughts go through my mind.  Richard and I have talked about it so much, and we just have so much love for our friends who have had to experience this, some more than once.  He is so confident that we will be able to have another baby, and I want to be that confident, too.  Little slivers of worry and fear are present when I think about it, though.  I am starting to feel a little more normal, but these waves of sadness hit me occasionally and leave me crying in their wake.  It has happened in the car, in the shower, in bed, at the computer, on the phone, watching a movie with Marty.  No warning, just tears.  I've tried to tell Richard how weird it is to feel all of this - normal and heartbroken at the same time.  Like I should start moving on, but not sure how.  He said something that made me truly believe that he knows just how I'm feeling, even if he's not crying about it.  He said that it's hard to move forward when there's not really a sense of closure.  Agreed.  I found these quotes online that describe that feeling pretty well:

"I never knew until that moment how bad it could hurt to lose something you never really had."
"There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes."
"How do you say goodbye when you never got the chance to say hello?"

It's not that I thought I was special.  I knew that miscarriage was a possibility from the very beginning, and that is why we told ourselves that we were waiting to announce it to anyone.  But I think I wanted to believe I was special, and that I wouldn't have to experience it like so many I know have had to.  And I for sure know that I wasn't expecting it.  Even when I was feeling superstitious and nervous, I never really thought that it was going to end like this.  Although I've been wanting to "get it over with" from the moment I knew there wasn't a heartbeat, I just don't want it to really be over.  Because even though I hate this feeling of loss, I also don't want to forget it, and there is nothing for me to remember it by.  I think that is why I'm writing it all down.  I'm documenting it so that there will some proof.  Proof that we did get pregnant, and that we were so excited for our little baby to come.  Proof that our little baby only made it to 8 weeks, but that we didn't know it until 10 weeks.  Proof that although Richard is a rock who is holding me up, that he is also disappointed and sad and feeling a loss just like I am.  Proof that my heart can be so full of love for Marty Boy, but also broken for the little baby I will never know in this life.  Proof that I loved him/her so much even though we never got to meet, and proof that I'm not quite sure how to say goodbye.

I don't think that my situation is harder than anyone else's.  But I think that for me it is especially difficult to have happen now.  Now that I know.  I was so scared of being a mother for so long.  So scared of all of it: pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, motherhood, marriage with kids.  And while we were busy being scared, we stayed busy having adventures, making memories, being in love, and having fun with just the two of us.  But once Marty Boy came along, he showed us how special life can really be.  The adventures we have with him, the memories we make, the fun that we have as a family (that I am IN LOVE WITH) are special in a league of their own.  My heart is changed, and I love being a mother, with Richard as the father, more than anything I could possibly imagine.  I don't think I could have known what an incredible loss this really is without knowing how special it was going to be to add to this little one to our mix.  I knew it, and now I'm feeling this loss on a more special level than I would if I didn't know it.

I'm going to keep on loving being a mother, with the best father and husband ever.  I'm going to keep having adventures, making memories, being in love, and having fun with my little family.  I'm going to be ok.  Eventually.  And I'm going to keep loving the baby I didn't get to hold or know in this life.