Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today was a hard day.

{This post was written sometime in June, and has been saved as a draft ever since. I have no idea why it was never posted. So here it is now}


Today was rough.

I'm still in training at my new job, which includes a few months of mandatory classroom training. Today, we talked about Shaken Baby Syndrome so that we can recognize the signs of it. That actually isn't the part that was hard. I knew when I applied for this job that I would see some awful things happen to kids. The part that really got to me was when we spent a long time talking about grief and mourning. I actually hadn't really thought about that being a part of my job. After talking about it for a while it makes a lot of sense - a lot of parents will mourn the loss of their children from their lives even when their own actions might be the reason that their children were removed from their homes. I can talk about grief - obviously. No big deal. The hard part came when the trainer wanted us to talk - in detail - about what grief felt like...because we'll be more empathetic etc., if we can kind of know what they're feeling. He asked if anyone in the class who had recently lost someone would be willing to talk about the physiological effects that it has on your body... like what it physically feels like to grieve. I knew that I would lose it if I raised my hand to speak, so I just kept my mouth shut.  A couple of other people raised their hands and shared their stories... but I could very well be the only person in the room who knows what it's like to actually have to hand over their child to someone knowing that it's the last time I'll ever see her.

Talking about grief and mourning isn't the problem, but because of the discussion, I felt like I was actually reliving the moment we placed Olivia back in her basinette and walked out of the NICU over and over and over in my head. I haven't actually let myself really think about that moment in a very long time. I didn't cry though... and I don't think anyone could tell that I was getting shaken up.

Afterwards, the trainer read two poems about grief out loud. To the group. By that point I was just thinking, COME ON!!

The good part was that after we finished talking about those issues, talked about attachment and watched a video of kids seeing their military dads for the first time after a deployment. I think ALL of us (at least the girls) were crying... so that was a good little emotional outlet for me!

I also would like to say that I really hesitated before writing this post. Then after I started writing it, I erased it and started over a few times. Talking about hard days makes me feel like I'm complaining too much. I struggle with worrying that people will think I'm grasping for sympathy from others - like I want people to feel bad for me. But I know that when I was a "newbie" to this baby loss thing, I found so much comfort in reading the blogs of women that were candid and honest about their pain - and happiness. It's so much easier to write about the good days than it is to write about the bad ones, but I think it's important that I'm honest with myself and with you guys. Because even after posting just yesterday about how well I'm doing, it's okay to have a bad day too.

Weight Watchers!!

In my last post, I said that I needed to start focusing on myself more, and what makes me happy - and healthy.

SO. After much debating, I joined Weight Watchers Online. My mom and I have joined WW together in the past, and I never had much success. We did it the traditional way - I'm not sure if the online tools even existed yet... and I remember feeling like tracking points was way too much work and I always forgot to do it. But that was when you had to look them up in a book, OR, add up everything yourself and do a little math equation when looking at the food label. Now that EVERYTHING is online.... it's so much easier! I also love that when I'm eating breakfast and/or lunch at work - or wherever - , I can use the app on my phone to track my points. That was the biggest problem before, remembering to come home at night and put in all of my points for the day. I am LOVING being able to use the WW App on my phone to add my points to my tracker while I'm eating my lunch at work.

I want to blog weekly about my progress. I really think it will help keep me even more accountable. I really need to put things in place for myself to make sure I don't stray from the plan too much. I've never been able to commit to any kind of weight loss plan for longer than a month or so. I owe it to myself to do better than that! 

My regular post day will be Thursdays, but I'm 2 weeks behind so I thought I'd do a quick post now, and post again in a couple of days.

I am in my third week. My weigh in days are Thursdays, so I've weighed twice so far. This past Thursday, I was down FIVE POUNDS! I lost 4lbs in the first week, and 1 the second.

This week, I'm nervous that I'll have stayed the same, or possibly gained a few. I went WAY over my points this weekend - we had a birthday dinner for my dad at my parents' house. I knew that I would be going over, but figured it wouldn't be too bad. WW gives you a certain amount of "extra" points that you can use however you want - either spread them out over the week, or use them for a big splurge.

Uhh... FYI - Village Inn french silk pie has 22+ points...................... in case anyone was wondering.

I totally should have known better than to even take one single bite! Because once I did - there was no turning back.

I really need to work on this will power thing....

Monday, January 23, 2012

new years resolution, and my One Little Word.


Experiencing this second loss, for whatever reason, really made me stop and think about my life. I haven't been paying enough attention to myself (or my husband, like I should be), and it took this miscarriage to make me realize that.

I had been working non-stop. My job requires me to work later into the evenings sometimes because I have to visit kids and foster families at home, and because it's the school year... that means going after 5:00pm when people are home from work, daycare, and school. I was finding it hard to "turn off" when I got home from work, often spending a few extra hours on my work laptop when I'd get home. Of course, I would stop for dinner, and kind of half-watch TV shows while I worked sometimes. We do have a lot of expectations, and a workload that is impossible to complete within a normal 40 hour work week... BUT, what I was doing was definitely excessive. I don't even think I was being that productive, it just felt like it because I had my laptop on my lap for the entire evening. 

Not only did that make me start to get burned out on work, but it also meant I wasn't doing anything I love or NEEDED to do/get done. I wasn't having as many quality conversations with my husband, cleaning wasn't getting done, laundry piled up, I stopped scrap booking, blogging,  and weeks went by where my camera didn't move from it's bag. It also meant that months went by (seriously) where I didn't go to the gym, AND I didn't take the time to care what I was eating. And don't even mention my shitty communication skills - my friends probably thought I fell off the face of the earth. Thank God for texting, twitter, and facebook, because without those three things, I don't think I would even have friends anymore since I haven't had time to see them.

The result? More pounds, less energy, more stress, a messy house and a bazillion unfinished projects.

Right about the time I started feeling like I needed to make a change, Kurt and I went out to dinner. I was telling him all about how much I loved my job, but that I kind of miss being paid hourly (we were hourly at my last agency), and that I think that if we somehow could switch from salary to hourly, I would feel a lot better about "shutting off". Sometimes, I think being salaried makes you feel like you are supposed to be working constantly.

And I am not kidding you - the next day at work, we got an email telling us that my position, along with several others, were being changed to hourly as of January 1st. CRAZY, right!?!? 

Anyway, this is too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. I took this as a sign that I needed to start focusing on what is really important in life. On myself, my husband, our family, God, and what makes me happy and healthy. And yes... I will still have to focus on work :(. But I am going to have to learn how to balance. So, that's my New Year's Resolution - to focus on what's important. I am not sure how it will take shape just yet, but we'll find out.... and the result can only be a good one.
And obviously, in case you haven't figured it out, my One Little Word is {Focus}.

I plan to blog often about my progress, and what I'm doing to change my life for the better. Hopefully, this will lead to some more positive blogging, as opposed to the non-stop grief related posts from the last several months. Although, as always, there will be some of those too.

Ps: I actually didn't think I was going to participate in One Little Word. I have read about it before, but I've never done it. I wrote this post about focusing, and then realized that I had just accidentally chosen a word for myself. So... why not?  Maybe it will help me focus? You can learn about Ali Edwards' One Little Word course here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Tomorrow, it will have been one month since the ultrasound appointment where we found out that there was no  heartbeat. 

Honestly? I feel pretty much completely normal. I am not sure if that's good or bad. The pregnancy started and ended so fast, it barely had time to register. I was really trying to hold off on getting too excited or thinking about baby stuff "just in case". I wasn't pregnant for long enough to get attached to that particular baby. I am grieving, but it's completely different this time. 

Right now, I'm just feeling defeated. I feel like I have no enthusiasm to try again. Obviously that means that now isn't the time to try again, and I'm hoping that feeling will go away eventually. But I think both of us are really wondering how much more we can handle. How many more bad things have to happen to us before we get to bring home a healthy baby? 

Trust me, I'm really not trying to throw a pity party - just being honest about my feelings. Actually, what I want to do is throw the complete opposite of a pity party. I am so sick of being the people that everyone has to feel sorry for. Even though we told the world SO early about this pregnancy, it was really nice to have a couple of weeks of "Congratulations!" before the, "so sorry for your loss" comments kicked back in again. I know some of you are probably thinking, "you probably shouldn't have broken the news so early". And maybe you're right. But at the time, all we were thinking was that we were so excited, and we didn't want to waste a single second. I honestly don't have any regrets. Yes - it was hard to tell everyone so fast that we miscarried - but it was nice to have the support, rather than having to keep it all inside. 

That's pretty much all I have to say about this right now. I'd like to start blogging about some positive things again.:)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A very late, and not very happy update

As usual, here I am, apologizing for not keeping up to date with my blog. This time, I can say with complete honesty that I have been thinking about writing every day, just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I have officially become one of those women who falls into the "multiple losses" category. You would think that after losing Olivia, we would have learned to be a little bit less naive. I guess somehow, both of us just hoped that after going through such excruciating pain after her death... There's no way we would have to go through losing a baby again... Right? Wrong.

We found out on the morning after Thanksgiving that we were expects again. We made the decision after we lost Olivia to never waste a single second of a pregnancy, so we called and told our parents immediately. We were, of course, SO excited.

We went to the doctor almost right away. I wasn't sure if I needed to be seen faster than normal because of the "high riskiness" of this pregnancy. When I called and talked to the nurse, she made an appointment for us for the next week, which would put me at 5 weeks or so.

We went to that appointment, which was with the same OB that I had when I was pregnant with Olivia. We talked a lot about how things would go once I got further along. I would have had ultrasounds twice a month. One at her office, and one at the perinatologist's office. She also said that they would have tested around 37 weeks to make sure the baby's lungs were strong enough, and do the c-section then.

But at that appointment, when we talked about dates, she said that she thought it might be too early to see anything on the sonogram. She said that we had been through enough, and we were the right at the time period where we may be able to see the heartbeat, or we might not be able to see anything at all. The decision was left up to us, but she suggested that we come back in two weeks. Her concern was that we had seen enough "bad news" ultrasounds. And if we ended up seeing nothing, we would just have to come back in two weeks anyway to find out if there was really any cardiac activity.... Or not.

So. December 22nd, we went back for our ultrasound. Kurt was supposed to work, and I had asked my mom to go with me. The day before, he told me that he was going to call in to work, because he felt like he had to be there. I also had a gut feeling that he should be with me, and that I absolutely could not go alone (which is why I asked my mom to go).

When she said that there was no cardiac activity, I wasn't even surprised. It was like I somehow knew. But she kept telling us that she wasn't positive, and that she wasn't getting a very good view. She had us go upstairs to radiology to have another one done on the HUGE machine, rather than her little portable one on a cart. Her nurse took us upstairs, and then that ultrasound confirmed it. Baby was measuring 6w2d... Which is exactly how far along I thought I was based on the day we are 99% sure we conceived on.

My doctor's nurse came back up to get us, and asked us if we'd like to take the "back way" downstairs. I'm not sure why, but I said no, and we rode the elevator back down with a bunch of other people. My doctor wanted to see us before we left. She gave me a huge hug and then gave us our options. We could go home and just wait for my body to do its job on its own, or we could take the misoprostol right away. She also said that we could do nothing and come back in a week to see if anything had changed... But then said that there was no doubt in her mind, or the radiologist's that based on the measured size, cardiac activity should have been very obvious.

At first, I sid I'd like to go home and wait. Kurt jumped in - which he never does during appointments - and said that he didn't think that sounded liked the best idea, and asked if I was sure I wanted to put myself through that over Christmas. After we talked about it, I completely agreed, and we got the prescription. We filled it, and ate lunch at Subway together. The whole thing felt like a dream. Like it wasn't really happening. How could it be happening. To us. Again.

Don't get me wrong, I know lots of women who have had multiple losses. But I guess, just like i said above, I somehow talked myself into believing that losing Olivia was bad enough, and we had reached our maximum loss capacity.

It was the last day of work before we were off for the long Holiday weekend, so the first thing I did after taking Kurt home was get in the car and call my supervisor. She is awesome and super supportive, and knows Olivia's full story, and was one of the first people that I had told about this pregnancy. She knew that I had been at an appointment, and told me to just go home and rest, and not worry about anything work-wise. BUT I had Christmas presents for several foster kids in my back seat.. So I spent the next couple of hours delivering those.

Finally, I made it home at 5ish, and took the pill. Our friends Tony and Alicia came over and brought us dinner, which was nice and took our mind off of everything. I had ben told to expect unbelievable pain.. And I felt nothing. I took the second pill, and still felt nothing. I called the office the next afternoon, and was told that I was just going to have to wait it out. And that I should call on the 27th when they were open again. I spent all of Christmas weekend waiting for something to happen, but trying not to think about it. And nothing happened. I called on the 27th, and they scheduled me for a D&C for the 29th.

My doctor called me that morning and had me come in for one more ultrasound just to be on the safe side. Of course there was still nothing, and baby was measuring the same as it was on the 22nd. The procedure went very well, and I was feeling 100% normal (physically) by that evening.

Okay - I have made this post long enough! I am going to post again with more about how I'm feeling, but this is long enough for now.

As usual, I want to say thanks for all the wonderful support that we've gotten from the people who already know about this - where would we be without you guys?