Mission: accomplished.

Amongst my horrible feelings and depressed ponderings, we went to the beach today and – dun-dun-duuunnnn – I SWAM!! For the first time since my first miscarriage I swam!! I even did some sun bathing.

Mission: accomplished.

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Once a mother, always a mother

I’m tired of having my emptiness so apparent. Successful families are everywhere. During conversations I’m always reminded of what I don’t have, and if I feel like they’re implying that my babies don’t count, I feel quite upset (naturally). They absolutely do count, and they’re all I have. People don’t know what it’s like to have nothing but hope that one day you’ll meet your babies, and hopefully you’ll have younger siblings for them to meet. I’m clinging to hope but at the same time I feel like my hope is a rope of sand.

Karl said last night that it will work this time. While I 100% believe we can have a healthy, full term baby, we can’t say that with certainty. We are not in control. There is absolutely nothing to say that this will work next time. I just want to be pregnant again and have it go well. No problems at all.

I think the question of the day is “how?”. How on earth do you get by when you’re surrounded by questions and comments? And even when the questions and comments stop, the thoughts are still there.

Sometimes I wish I could just be taken to a parallel universe and live my life just for one day, where the miscarriages didn’t happen, or where I have 2 perfectly healthy babies. But that can’t happen. And because of that I know that I want either kids or no kids. My life at the moment is a strange combination of the two scenarios. I am a mother of two, but I have nothing but hospital records to show for it. I’m locked in this weird silence where only a few are allowed to know this top secret information. It’s a horrible existence with no escape. Even subsequent pregnancies and birthed children won’t make this 100% better. There will always be the first two who never came to be.

My whole body aches to be pregnant again. I have this overwhelming need to be a mother, which is heartbreaking and frustrating. I never asked for this grief. I think once you fall pregnant, something inside you changes. You’re a mother even before you know you’re expecting, and even after a loss you stay a mother. You’re so aware of what you are but also what you can’t be, because after a loss it’s physically impossible. Nothing makes this better.

Life is like a cappuccino

Imagine you have a cappuccino in a glass mug. You can see how the drink is structured. Coffee underneath the froth. It’s the best way I can describe how I’m feeling at the moment. There’s so much that’s laying beneath the surface.


 

Froth: I got word yesterday that my good friend had her baby on Sunday night. I was genuinely excited when I got her text message and I even did a little excited skip as I walked along reading the text message (and tried to not fall down the stairs that I was approaching). She had a baby boy, named Jack. How lovely 🙂 I’m really looking forward to visiting them tomorrow.

Coffee: I get to go and visit my friend’s baby in the hospital that I should have given birth in, and meet the baby that she has, while wishing the situation was reversed. This should have been me 9 months ago with my first baby, and then again this July with my second. I’m very aware of what I don’t have and that my arms will be full of another family’s happiness.


 

Froth: Today my boss and his wife are going for their 12 week ultrasound.

Coffee: I have only ever had one ultrasound when pregnant when things were okay. So, all in all, my good ultrasound strike rate is 1:9. I could possibly count my first ultrasound with my first pregnancy, but while the baby was healthy the sonographer discovered a small subchorionic haematoma which went away by itself within a week, so I’m not sure if I should class that as a good or bad ultrasound. Either way the strike rate is less than desirable. There are so many things that people take for granted. I would love to actually be able to go in for a 12 week ultrasound and have things be healthy. I would love to have the whole pregnancy go smoothly and actually give birth to a healthy, live baby. I feel like a 12 week scan is something elusive that I may not ever be able to achieve. I don’t want to see any pictures from the scan today. Yes, it’s a happy time, I’m glad they’ve reached this point, but don’t put that picture in front of me. And warn me when you announce things because I will probably want to leave the room, and people will ask me when I’m next, and I will need to exercise a lot self control so I don’t abuse anyone.


 

Right now I really just wish people knew what was going on so that they could leave me alone in my thoughts and my grief. That way I wouldn’t have to feel like I have to be happy for people if I didn’t feel like it. And of course that’s totally selfish of me but sometimes life is easier on my own terms. Sometimes it’s helpful for people to know so that when we go into our fortress and put our drawbridges up, they know why.

Taking control

It’s been a while! Not that 6 days is a long time, but it seems like it.

I can’t say that much has happened, apart from normal everyday life. Work and home are okay, with highs and lows along the way.

Last Saturday we caught up with one of my good friends. We both have puppies (hers is a year older than ours, but is a border collie so is absolutely overflowing with energy!), so us, our husbands and pups hit the beach. It was a really good time, but the hard thing about it is she’s due to have her first child in about 3 weeks. Thankfully she knows about both miscarriages. She’s probably one of the best people who could know. She’s ridiculously compassionate and an awesome listener, so even though it was hard to see her obviously due stomach at every turn it was still a bearable catch up.

I did realise though, that in about 3 weeks, she will be having a baby. Or really, any time now. In a short time they will go from 2 people to 3, and I do find that mildly confronting. Not run-out-of-the-room-uncontrollably-sobbing confronting, but just confronting. I’ve gotten used to her being “Pregnant Friend”, now I will need to get used to “Mum with Baby Friend”. I’m sure I will be fine when I hear the news, and meet their baby, but still it’s hard and uncomfortable at times.

Last week, my manager told me that him and his wife are expecting their second child, they were 9 weeks at the time. To my knowledge it wasn’t planned, but that doesn’t really make much difference or soften the blow. Of course it’s exciting news and I’m happy for them, but I did decide that I didn’t quite feel like saying congratulations. Not because I’m jealous or spiteful, but just because I didn’t feel like it. And I’m allowing myself that because I’m being kind to myself. I made sure he knew that I was happy for them and how exciting the news was, but, I’m not congratulating him, at least not yet.

Last week, a former work colleage announced their pregnancy on facebook. 18 weeks, due in August. About 1 month after I would have been due. Unfollow. Not unfriend – just unfollow. I don’t need to see her growing belly at unexpected times. I’ll update myself on her progress when I feel up to it.

So, I suppose what I can conclude from this post, is that I’m doing my best to take control. My triggers are everywhere, but I can control some of them. And I think that’s good. I’m taking steps to protect me when I’m feeling fragile, and I’m deciding when I come to the “yay you’re pregnant” party.

Two and a half weeks on from my hysteroscopy, and things are going well. I have been given the go-ahead by the specialist team that I am allowed to swim (not in a pool). Can I get an Amen and Hallelujah? But – the ironic thing is it’s now Autumn here… so, Summer successfully came and went without a swim, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a swim in before the weather cools down too much. The weather is very hit and miss lately, showers multiple times per day, sometimes storming, and when the weather is good the ocean is rough. So… let’s see how that goes. I’ve been tracking my temperatures and it looks like I ovulated this months, a few days later than normal but pretty good for a cycle mucked up by surgery. So in around 2 – 3 weeks I suppose we’ll have another cycle roll around and we’ll be back to normal. Here’s hoping I don’t go into full on baby making mode and burn out on my first cycle, ha!

Anyway, I’m hungry. I’m going to eat 🙂

Happy Birthday

The 3rd of March is a special day. It marks what would have been my Dad’s 65th birthday.

Dad was the first person I experienced dying, my first true experience of grief. It was a year from his diagnosis to his death (minus a couple of days). He did one course of chemo before getting his terminal diagnosis.

I remember when he was diagnosed. Dad called me up – totally unheard of since he was always such a text message guy. I can’t remember what was said, but I distinctly remember hanging up the phone and saying out loud “Ha… my Dad has cancer.” Actually I can’t remember if it was “ha” or “huh”. Anyway.

In early January 2012, we were on holiday visiting family when I got the next phone call. It must have been the hardest phone call of his life. It was a sunny day, and we were coming out of some shops across the road from a beach. With the news he gave us it was a pretty somber day after that. Sure, the sun was shining, but it didn’t feel like it. He didn’t find out how long he had left, and that was actually quite nice.

I was back at work late January and struggled through the next few weeks. The day after Valentines day I was officially unemployed, and on my way to the South Island of New Zealand. I had no job prospects, no more than 5 nights accommodation, and a bundle of nerves.

Seeing Dad was a little bit hard, but thankfully my sister had prepared me. He had lost a lot of weight, and you could feel it when you hugged him. But despite his physical condition, he was still very much Dad. We had some good times and over the next six weeks he was well enough. It wasn’t until about a week before he died that he needed a wheelchair, and in his last 3 days he was virtually bedridden. While of course nobody wants to end up that way, it really was a blessing. He would have hated to be wasting away in a bed for months or years on end. He died at 6:03pm, and I was there. I was nervous about how it would happen and I’m glad I could have been there when it happened. The thing that sticks with me about it was how similar to how the Bible describes death in the old testament. Death is described as someone “breathing their last”. His breathing changed, so I buzzed for the nurse. After a few minutes Dad inhaled, and then exhaled. He didn’t inhale again. It’s a very final moment. You can’t bring back a life, it’s a helpless feeling. You expect it for however long you know it’s going to happen but then it happens, and your reality changes significantly.

Us kids got to spend one last birthday with him 3 weeks before he died. It was a pretty good day. We went for a good drive and explored the countryside, had fish & chips and the kitchen staff at the nursing home made Dad a bread and butter pudding, his favourite.

Dad

Today, I listened to Led Zeppelin. We had plenty of good times listening to his favourite music, so it was good to turn it up tonight. My apologies to my neighbours… 🙂

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Sober

I have a bit of a connection with Pink. I’ve often said that my dream job would be to run away and join her ‘circus’. How much fun would that be??  There’s just something about her that I find really awesome. I’m not sure if it’s her personality, or the fact that she used to be a gymnast and now does the coolest performances ever, or the way she creates and performs her music. I think it’s all of that combined that I love so much.

One of the songs I have a huge connection with at the moment is “Sober”. I first fell in love with the song when I saw it performed on TV (a TV screening of her “Truth About Love” tour in Melbourne a few years back).  At first I was in love with the performance, but then the words started to stand out.

Check out the performance here 🙂

The first verse speaks of a party girl, someone fun loving, but clearly has underlying issues. I feel like in a few ways I am like this girl, except I have no problem laughing out loud, being alone, and I would actually be at home in bed at 4am!

But the chorus is what really speaks to me.

“I’m safe, up high, nothing can touch me, but why do I feel this party’s over? No pain inside, you’re my protection. How do I feel this good sober?”

While I’m not into drinking or substances, we all have that thing that numbs the pain, quietens the never-ending conversation in your head, and makes us feel protected. For me, after everything that has happened, every time I’ve gone to some form of acrobatics.

The first miscarriage, I went back to pole. This second time, I’m attempting level 4 (gymnastics). There’s a certain expression in it that helps me, but the distraction and the simple fun of it can also be a bit consuming in order to feel happy.

How do I feel this good sober?

“The quiet scares me ’cause it screams the truth”

The quiet doesn’t scare me, but it’s certainly confronting. It allows feelings to surface that you wish weren’t there, and then you’re asking yourself the same thing (yet again). Why did this have to happen? Why couldn’t my baby just survive? Of course, we need to deal with these things, but when it comes to grieving, procrastination always feels like a good idea. Where is our next “fix” so we can feel better again.

“When it’s good, then it’s good, it’s so good ’til it goes bad. ‘Til you’re trying to find the you that you once had.”

I think that’s just what we’re all trying to do. Reclaim our happy, unscarred lives. We’re all just begging to be taken back to a time and place before tragedies existed so we can have normalcy and happiness again. So we can feel like we can breathe again, without the shadows of sadness haunting our sunshine.

Looking for myself – sober.