This is a word that is often added to the title of a post in online forums for pregnancy loss. At first I was unsure when it was required. I learned that mentioning a live child or a current pregnancy was a taboo thing to do with out warning others. Although I understand being careful of others feelings, I found it interesting how people try to figure out what might trigger a feeling of loss.
For me trying to figure out or understand what might trigger an unwanted emotion has been a confusing and difficult task. For some reason some pregnant woman really upset me; other times, I wasn't effected at all. Very strange things sometimes are a trigger for me. I broke down crying because of scratches on our dishwasher because it reminded me of scratching the crib we set up for our nursery. I have been struggling with the idea of Heaven and an afterlife, so reading things about seeing your child again in heaven etc. was a trigger for me.
I often hear people say, I don't know what is the right thing to say. The thing is, there is no right thing to say. Every person experiences every loss differently. I have learned to just hear, "I love you, and I care." whenever anyone says something that could be upsetting. I don't even know what I would say to someone else who has experienced this sort of loss. Any phrases that invalidated my feelings were really hard to handle. Try to avoid statements using phrases like, "At least..."
Although things could always be worse, that doesn't make what a person is going through any less difficult or traumatic.
Here are a few things that have been helpful to me.
Know that you are loved.
What can I do to help?
Take all the time you need.
What you are feeling is normal.
Grieve how you need to.
We are here for you.
Call me if you need or want to talk.
Wyatt was very loved.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Getting pregnant after a loss is both exciting and terrifying. After a loss, ignorance no longer protects you from fear. The only think helping me was the constant reminders from others that miscarriage is common and often just "bad luck." "It won't happen again." I convinced myself that once I get to a certain point in my pregnancy, I could relax.
I was almost 11 weeks for my first ultrasound. I felt great. No bleeding. No cramping. I was really looking forward to seeing our baby. I walked in and made small talk with everyone. I watched the screen so closely waiting for my doctor to show us that amazing little heart beat. I remember clearly seeing my smiling doctor's face change as she said, "I am sorry......." There was no heart beat. She turned off the screen and told us that our baby only measured about 8 weeks and was no longer alive. She told me to get dressed and meet her in her office so we could discuss what we do next.
My world began spinning all over again. What? Why? How? I was so confused and in instant denial. I didn't understand how I could have lost another baby when everything seemed fine. "It's called a missed miscarriage," she explained. She said my body was still acting as if I were pregnant. My uterus was still growing, but the baby had passed.
We began discussing different tests she could run. She also told us she was referring us to a fertility specialist. She said some doctors make you wait till you have had 3 losses, but she feels as though we should try to figure out what is going on after 2 losses. I will always remember how she quickly switched out of her professional doctor role and cried for us. She even got angry with us. She said she doesn't understand why this happens to parents who care so much when there are parents out there who couldn't care less for their children. She hugged me tight and said she would do her best to find out what went wrong, but sometimes there are not answers.
We went home and discussed weather to have a surgery or to wait it out and let it happen naturally. I wasn't convinced that our baby had passed. It seemed like she only had the ultrasound on for a few minutes. I wanted to wait. I only lasted a few weeks before the idea of carrying around a dead baby overtook my thoughts.
I insisted on one more ultrasound, so I could be sure the baby was really gone. My doctor had no problem with my request. She took her time and showed me that there was still no growth and no heart beat. We scheduled the surgery. One additional benefit of a surgery is that they can do more testing to try to find some answers we so desperately desired.
Waking up from the surgery was awful. Physically I was fine, well mostly. I was shaking uncontrollably. They finally gave me something to make that stop, but nothing could stop the feeling of loss. The tests they did came back normal. We had discussed if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. We hadn't decided yet, but when we got that call, she said, "normal female kareotype." I am glad now to know she was a girl, but at that moment, it made the loss feel so much worse. I began picturing all the things we would not have from frilly dresses to watching our daughter get married. It made it seem so much more real.
I quickly decided to stop making it real. I wanted to just skip over the grieving pain and get back to work. I remembered how much better I felt after the first loss once I got back to normal activities, so I decided that I would just jump back into life and move on. That was a really bad idea. I am still having to process this loss. A child is not something I could just forget.
Our next step was to meet with the fertility specialist and hopefully get some answers. I quickly learned that with every answer, there are more questions.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
We have all heard the phrase, "Don't take things for granted." Yet we all do. When the doctors confirm a pregnancy, they also give a family a date to expect their child. There are books telling us what to expect during the months of carrying a child. A pregnant mother needs to feel that having a healthy child will be granted because otherwise the worry will over take her every thought.
Wyatt was due today. I was expecting tears of joy. I was not expecting tears full of grief. I was expecting photos I could treasure forever. I wasn't expecting those photos to be of a lifeless child. I was expecting a day full of joy and wonder. I didn't expect this aching heart. I was expecting to get to hold him tight. I didn't expect these heavy arms.
Even after the loss my expectations changed. I thought time would heal more quickly. I didn't expect to still feel so broken. I expected that I would have a drive to do something amazing in his honor, but all I wanted today was to rest and think. In my experience, nothing plays out the way we expect and nothing is granted.
It's a depressing thought, but anything and everything that we hold so dearly can be snatched away in an instant. So does that mean we shouldn't love, or desire good in our lives? What good would life be to live that way? I say don't take things for granted, but instead cherish everything good around you. Hope for good, but don't stop there. Create more good. Share more love. Go above people's expectations and help support them through the times when things don't go as planned.
So today in honor of Wyatt I created this event. Please help me honor his life in whatever way you can. Although he is gone, his influence on this world will go on. Wyatt's Legacy Event