Unmedicated Sinus Infection….

Since I was in college, I’ve had chronic sinus infections. And when I get one, I’m out. It’s like I have the flu. Fever, body aches, all the symptoms. I’ve been getting them for so long, I know the course and Saturday it started. I was due for one. And it’s been awful. I can do the nasal rinse but I can’t take my go-to med (Sudafed). Yesterday I ran a low-grade fever all day. I don’t know what I would do (besides lose my mind) if I didn’t have the doppler here at home. I can always check on baby and ensure it’s still alive. I had some dental work this last week and had a bad reaction to the local anesthesia. I felt so guilty and like I put the baby at undue risk. But my doctor’s nurse assured me that it’s okay. But I feel like no amount of reassurance will make me feel like I am really, really, REALLY going to hold my baby in my arms in 5 months. 

My husband turns 32 this week and my gift to him (and to myself of course!) is to have an elective ultrasound to determine the sex of McBaby. I will be 16 weeks 3 days so I’m hoping we are able to find out. Talking about this pregnancy is getting easier but I am somewhat thankful that you can’t yet tell I’m pregnant. I like being able to bring it up when I’m feeling okay talking about it. 

Hope all of you are well! Looking forward to updates from all of you! 

Still Clean

Tomorrow marks 7 months of being free of Facebook. I can’t begin to tell you how much this choice helped me when I was in the depths of grief and depression. And part of me knew that when I got back on my feet I still wouldn’t want to go back. I think it’s terribly toxic and I don’t need that crap in my life. I’ve found ways to keep in touch with family and friends. And I don’t know the business of people I don’t really know anymore. So thank you A Calm Persistence for your posts on this over 7 months ago.

Speaking of being back on my feet. I’m getting there. The first 10 weeks of this pregnancy was tougher mentally than I could have predicted. My counselor suggested that maybe a Doppler would help with my fears and it has. It’s been a lifesaver for me. And now that I’ve passed the 14 week mark, I’m starting to feel comfortable about this. I can talk to people without feeling like a fraud.

If someone would have told me 6 months ago that this would all work out, I would never have believed them. But I’m glad I was wrong. Praying for you all always.

On My Mind

I know I haven’t posted or commented a lot lately. But I read daily. I think of all of you daily. And I pray for all of you daily. 

But I haven’t known what to say. Someday Mama recently wrote a post that I got me thinking about how I’ve felt lately in regards to this blog and to all of you who are reading and still facing the journey of becoming a mom. 

I also felt really guilty and still do sometimes. I know how I felt when someone else got pregnant. I know the thoughts I had. I would avoid the topic of pregnancy at all costs. It hurt too much. I was always happy for someone but my sadness for myself was always greater.

So I haven’t known what to say. I’ve had SOOOOOO many conflicting emotions and thoughts about this pregnancy. Some of them I didn’t think it would be fair to post here. I told myself that whenever I got pregnant again, I would just embrace the pregnancy and I despised when someone would worry, when I was thinking, “Don’t you know how lucky you are?!?!” But the truth is, I’ve had a lot of fear. A lot of worry and anxiety. I don’t know if I’ve even been able to fully engage in this pregnancy yet. I’m so scared. 

You amazing ladies who commented and supported me through my darkest days are so very important to me. I know this is my blog and anyone can unfollow if they don’t like reading what I’ve wrote. But I really did not want to cause any hurt to any of you. I value this community so much. 

I think that for now, I am comfortable with giving minor updates about this pregnancy on this blog. If I feel like I want to expand on this, I will start another blog. I am currently 12 weeks and 1 day. I am starting to feel more positive and hopeful but it’s taken a lot to get here and I still feel scared sometimes. Everything is going okay and I have experienced some symptoms but nothing I can complain about.

The road of pregnancy after miscarriage is a tough one. I think I was so focused on getting pregnant that I didn’t think about the challenges I would face. I hope that someday soon, I can support you all through this precarious time. 

Thank You

First, I just want to thank everyone who offered advice and support as I faced a difficult situation with my in-law’s. I did attend the funeral and I did hold the baby. It was my choice. My sister-in-law was sensitive (I think). She asked if I wanted to hold the baby but said I didn’t have to. At first I didn’t want to but eventually I did and I was able to do this on my own time. The baby wasn’t forced upon me and I feel like the family was carefully watching my moves. I know that they love me and care about me. They just don’t know how to deal with this situation. I don’t know if I would either. But I still need to have some boundaries and figure out what’s best for me. There hasn’t been any contact with my sister-in-law since the funeral but this is normal and part of my issues with her. My mother-in-law is wanting to sew for our baby. At first, when I was bitter and angry, I wanted to decline but I know she’s doing this because she cares so I am slowly letting her in again. It’s progress, even if it slow. 

It was so hard not to wonder “what if I hadn’t lost my baby” when holding her baby. But I knew I couldn’t go there. I hope I can continue to grow and move past this because I love children and I really want to be a positive part of her life. 

Another thing, apparently my mother-in-law had told her family and friends about my pregnancy. I was asked about it by many people. And I felt like a fraud. I don’t want to offend anyone or make anyone think I am taking this pregnancy for granted. (I will write another blog post about this.) But as people were congratulating me and asking me questions, I felt like a fraud and I wanted to crawl in a hole. It is still early and anything could happen. I felt like I couldn’t go along acting like this was happening because it could all be taken away in an instant. And again, I felt like an awful person. I tried to be gracious and my husband recognized my distress so he compensated by sharing details when I couldn’t without tearing up.

Miscarriage robbed me of this. Of being able to be excited when someone congratulates me. Of fully engaging in the pregnancy without always being fearful of another loss. I know this is normal and part of the process and my grief. But it sucks. 

Forgiveness

Forgiving has never been my strong point. I hate this about myself. I will give all of my love and support to a person until they hurt me. And then I’m done. I’ve ended friendships because of this. It is something I want to change about myself. Especially now.

I’ve written a few times about the situation with my in laws. Short story. Sister-in-law announced her pregnancy the day I miscarried. They did not know. Following my miscarriage, I received relatively little support from my in laws. (Ex. I sent a text to my sister-in-law about my miscarriage. She didn’t reply for 4 days and when she did, she used a pregnancy symptom as an excuse to for replying sooner.) For the 8 years prior to this, I’ve felt like a part of the family and I’ve supported all members of my husband’s family in many ways. (Sitting through chemo treatments, sending care packages to Afghanistan, taking care of things at home when they were away, making a point to drive 5 hours to see my sister-in-law when my husband couldn’t have cared less.) I don’t regret any of this because it’s who I am and I thought of them as family. Well the let down from the lack of support following my miscarriage was epic. I felt like my self-worth tanked because I must have not been important enough for these people to support me. I felt like an outsider, no longer a part of the family.

Part of the problem was my expectations. I am a very emotional person. I feel strongly for others and go out of my way to make others feel comfortable. This is not how my in laws operate. They are emotionally distant. They have a hard time with difficult situations. I expected them to do something they really aren’t capable of. Since I’ve been in the picture, I’ve been that bridge between them. I usually know what’s going on with my mother-in-law’s cancer treatment before her children do. I have to encourage my husband to make time for his family. 

So following the let down, I then began to avoid them and after a couple of months of this, it finally caught up to my marriage. In January, I sat down and talked with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. They both expressed their apologies. And I expressed to them why I was hurt and how deep it was. I thought it would get better. I thought they would show care and concern. I thought they would show support. But it hasn’t happened. It is the same as it was before. Me being let down. 

Now I know some people might judge me for the things I’m about to type but please know, I realize some of this is irrational and I wish I felt differently. 

Well my sister-in-law had her baby the week after my due date. I tried to prepare myself. Tell myself this is all going to work out the way it should. That I would be a good aunt and I need to embrace this kid. Now that they are here for the weekend, I have no interest in meeting the kid or giving any of them my support. What is wrong with me? Who doesn’t want to meet a baby? It isn’t the kid’s fault that this family can’t support me and that it the timing was tough for me. 

What makes me feel like even less of a person is that my husband’s grandmother passed away this week and this is why they are in town. I feel like this is selfish of me to make it about myself. I need to just suck it up and deal with it. But I can’t. I am going away to a friend’s 2 hours away tonight so I’m removed from the situation. I will attend the funeral but other than that, I feel compelled to make myself unavailable. 

I need some advice, perspective, scripture…. something. I need help. I can see this ruining my marriage. And I don’t want people to look back in 5 years and remember me as an awful person. 

Life…

Life has gotten away from me. I’ve been naughty. I’m sorry. But I have kept up with your blogs and words and I’ve continued to pray for my friends. Those of you who are TTC, taking advanced methods – IUI, IVF, medications, those who unfortunately are facing miscarriage and grief, and those of you who are cautiously making your way through a pregnancy. 

Life consisted of many things in the last few weeks. I took my praxis in school psychology for my license. I know that almost everyone in the education field (in my area at least) has had to take a praxis exam. And if you have, I’m sure you understand what a ridiculous test it is! There was too much guessing for me to feel comfortable. It wasn’t even an exam you could study for! Craziness. But I should find out in a week or so if I have to take it again in June and pray that I pass then or I won’t be able to start my job. 

Speaking of my job. I signed my contract and have my assignment for next year. I am very happy and excited to have my own schools. I also spoke with my boss about the pregnancy, considering I’m due 3 months into my new job. (But I learned a while ago you can’t mess with God’s timing.) She was very understanding and it put me at ease. The agency also offered to pay for my insurance so I can get on it now rather than transition to it in October. Very blessed. 

We traveled to Colorado for Spring Break. I’m not a skier. I have a serious (irrational) fear that if I ski I will either die or get a traumatic brain injury. And the only time I’ve tried, I had a panic attack on top of a mountain. So I got to shuttle the skiers around Breckenridge and relax. It was nice but I’m always ready to be home. And I’m super sick of snow. 

I continue to be amazed at the connections that I’ve made since July. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers. And I am especially thankful for Elisha. I don’t have to tell you all how amazing and inspirational she is but I definitely have witness to this. Thank you, thank you, thank you 🙂

Books

Today brought good news. At 7 weeks, the baby measured 7 weeks 2 days and the heartbeat was 171 bpm. I am so very thankful. For this miracle and for all of the support I’ve gotten during this journey. Seeing that heart beating felt like the last 14 months were lifted off my shoulders. I know that we are not out of the woods. But I’m choosing to live like I’m pregnant because for today, I am.

We opened our present today! A box full of books that I received the day after my miscarriage. My husband is reading right through one of his tonight. These books represent a journey and I’m so glad that we are where we are at this moment. But there will always be an element of caution but I think this is normal? 

He Knew

I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for the last 2 1/2 weeks. Praying and hoping things that are completely out of my control are going well. I am ashamed to admit that there have been times I’ve completely convinced myself things will end as they did last pregnancy. My husband doesn’t want to talk about it much. We both are still very cautious. He went to my last counseling session with me so that we could somewhat create a plan on how to proceed in our different ways but still be there for each other. This is just as hard on him. About a week after this session, I received a card in the mail from my counselor. One side with a personal note and the other side with something I really want to share with all of you. 

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Is there any way to look at this other than she is a Godsend? All along this journey, all I’ve wanted is understanding and validation. 

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

This has always been one of my favorite verses in all times but especially times like these. He did not leave me. He lead me to make that phone call and schedule help for myself. He was with me. And He will continue to be with for no matter what this journey throws at me. And He knew that I needed this on the day I received this. It melts my heart. 

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WOW….. I couldn’t believe it when I read that. We have discussed a lot about my fears and reluctance to engage in a future pregnancy the way I see others engaging (stupid Facebook, we know that’s all a ruse anyway). How I feel that I’m being “cheated”. And I am trying to protect myself. I don’t think these are feelings that are uncommon in miscarriage and pregnancy after miscarriage. But it’s true, it’s become quite painful to remain in these ways. And when I let hope creep in a bit, it’s nice. I hope you are able to let hope find a place in your mind. Even if it’s just one thought or for a second. And if you are feeling like you need support, please don’t hesitate to talk to someone. Sometimes an outside perspective makes all the difference. Sometimes you need a cheerleader. 

I have my first appointment with the doctor this Thursday. There will be an ultrasound so we will have some answers. I’ll be 7 weeks at this appointment, so I’m hoping we will see a heartbeat and I’ll be able to open my present I posted about a while ago. (The books I received in the mail the day after my miscarriage.) I do have some symptoms but otherwise feel normal. I’ve already made it further in this pregnancy without complications than my last pregnancy. But the biggest comfort is knowing that I have prayers and positive thoughts from so many. 

Lots to Focus On

I have a little over a week until my first doctor appointment for this pregnancy. If I make it past tomorrow without spotting, I’ll have made it further than the last pregnancy without complications. There have been some weak moments when I’ve convinced myself that I need to prepare for the worst and times when I can take it one day at a time. My counselor suggested that I “chunk” the pregnancy to manage my worries and only worry about certain things at this time and save the other worries for another time in the pregnancy. It is actually working. I am not allowing myself to worry about anything beyond my appointment next Thursday. 

So I’ve been focusing on work a lot and I officially have a contract for next year. I’ll be a full-fledged school psychologist with my own schools and students!! I am so excited. And today I witnessed just another reason why I choose this profession. 

It was towards the end of the day at a high school we were doing some testing at. Some cheerleaders were practicing a cheer and there were whispers that a girl was going to ask a boy to prom. The girl is a special education student and the boy is not. The cheerleaders approached the boy with the girl behind them. They said their cheer and then moved out of the way. The girl was holding a sign asking if he’d go to prom with her. The boy was so sweet, he just said of course I’ll go to prom with you and gave her a hug. I consider myself lucky to be in the presence of some of these students. What a brave young lady and what a sweet young man. 

I hope you all are well – no matter where you are in this journey. 

Overwhelmed

I am utterly overwhelmed with emotion tonight. The amount of support that all of you have shown me is more than I deserve. And the amount of support I see so many others receiving is honestly what I consider a God-given miracle. All of you are amazing. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!