Monday, September 20, 2010

Pregnant after Miscarriage: A Journey of Hope {First Trimester}

Being pregnant after you have lost a child you were carrying is difficult, weird, emotional, oh so many more feelings than there are adjectives to describe it. I tried to hide it from everyone for as long as we could, I wasn’t ready to tell anyone, to share this confusing place with anyone. When it became harder to hide we adopted a don’t ask don’t tell policy. If someone confronted us we told them, we didn’t want to lie, but we weren’t ready to shout it from the rafters. Once we coulldn’t hid it any longer (around 14 weeks) and we told our parents I took a very different stance. I pretend that everyone knows and has known since the start. I don’t have the emotional strength to make sure everyone gets a proper note or phone call. A good friend found out from a Facebook post. I felt terrible for a second. The truth is emotionally I can type it all out here over and over again but actually having a conversation face to face with someone, it’s hard. I stumble over words, feelings, fears, tears. It may not be the best for my relationships, but its the best for my emotional health and sometimes you need to put yourself first.

I have been trying to write a little bit how I felt, as I navigated those first few weeks in a strange and alone place. I’m sadly not the only one going through this and if people like Sarah and Beth didn’t share their stories, their feelings, I ‘m sure I would be in a different place now. Sometimes all we need is validation, hearing that’s it okay to be as scared as you are happy, as worried as you are excited.

So from time to time I’m going to post these journals with some feelings, clearly labeled so if you’re not interested, or not at a place (I’ve been there) where you can stomach pregnancy talk you can skip over them. Because if my little voice helps one mom stop crying and pick up her head, if I can validate what she feels and help her navigate this club that none of us want to enter then the tears spilled on my keyboard will be worth it.

24 June 2010
(my positive pregnancy test was June 20 Father's Day)

I should be excited and elated and jumping up and down, but as that second pink line showed up my hand started to shake. My heart is happy. So happy, it swelled, I cried, but more and more overwhelmingly I am scared. I feel every little muscle twitch and move, every little little thing. Every time I sit down to go to the bathroom I am sure it's going to be all over. I don't know if I can do this.

I woke up with a fever, low grade, 99, I cried. I took a Tylenol tried not to panic but all day long inside, I was panicking. I was sick in December before I lost the baby, my fever got slightly higher than 99, oh my God it's going to happen again. Chest tightness telling myself not to panic is not working. I call the doctor. Go over our reoccurring strep problems, what I was on prior to finding out I was pregnant, "Oh" she says. Oh? Was that an "oh crap this isn't going to end well?" Did I ruin everything? What did that oh mean, what did that breath, that sigh, oh my God I can't do this. 2 hours, $20 and several gagging probes of my throat later, no strep, no enlarged nodes, NOTHING. It's low grade I'm sure it's nothing everything should be fine. but what if its not, how will I make it 9mo, if I am that lucky with this much worry?

I want to tell no one and everyone.

I am scared.

29 June 2010
Still scared.

Trying to get over it.

My belly button hurts, aches, pulls, I can't really describe it but it's painful and uncomfortable which is causing the scare and worry. I had this a lot with the failed pregnancy. So see maybe it is me maybe I am defective.

I was reading what to expect, which I should know better I think the whole point of it's publishing is to scare moms and make them go to the doctor. It actually  says in there that a miscarriage should be looked at as positive because it's proof you can conceive? WTF? really my two children, the positive pregnancy test, those are PROOF I can conceive. Miscarriage? It's proof that I can't carry a baby, that something or someone was defective, that the timing wasn't right.

That's what it is, and it scares me, all the time.<

4 July 2010
It's hard to balance all the emotions right now, especially since no one knows. I want to be happy and excited  but I am cautious and worried as well. I know there is a chance (perhaps a higher chance? ) that this will not end well. At the same time I am also sad and am still mourning. I should be preparing for a birth, this should be my final week I should be huge and uncomfortable in this heat, instead I am a little chubby and uncomfortable.

I also know that everything happens for a reason and that God is providing what we need. That weighed heavily on my heart as I held my child, just out of surgery sobbing and in pain. Something that would have been near impossible if I was 9mo pregnant.

Looking for the small blessings in everyday. I am alive, I have two healthy children and we are taken care of of. Whatever will be, will be, His will, as difficult as that is to accept.



Cristina said...

First, congratulations on your pregnancy :)
I so can relate to what you are going through. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks.. So when I got pregnant again, it was so difficult to allow myself to be happy, excited.. because of fear. And then one day I told myself.. if I loose this child, do I want his/her short life to be filled with my anxiety? my fear? no. I would want that baby to only know my love. That was a turning point for me and I let go of my fear.
I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Unknown said...

Everyone grieves in their own way, there is no wrong or right way. True friends will understand. P.S. It seems like your fb bump picture grows with every update and I smile every time I see it.

Louise said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!
I have also miscarried a few times in the past and maybe its odd that I didnt feel like you?

I told myself that there must have been something very wrong on each occasion and that for whatever reason I miscarried - it was probably for the best. Obviously I was upset but it didnt occur to me to feel scared when I became pregnant again. Like I said - Odd!

I now have two children of 15 and 11 and several newphews and nieces. My sister is expecting in December and I've found that more traumatic and scary than anything else! I'm putting my emotions down to age and the fact that I've become more concerned about things as I've gotten older!

I hope you have a very healthy and happy pregnancy!

Gretchen said...

Oh, Melissa, I can tell that your writing is theraputic for you as well as for others. Keep it up. Your emotions are wonderful and normal and are helping women you may not even know.

Brooke said...

"I want to tell no one and everyone."

I wrote the very same thing the other day. Though it's still in a draft, because of course, I don't want to formally tell anyone. Thank you for sharing.

Erin said...

I love to read your posts. You are so open and honest and it is admirable. I don't think I would be able to write and post similar feelings and I thank you for doing this. You are right: "Because if my little voice helps one mom stop crying and pick up her head, if I can validate what she feels and help her navigate this club that none of us want to enter then the tears spilled on my keyboard will be worth it."

It is worth it.

Unknown said...

You are so amazing to share your experiences, to be so open and raw with your emotions. I guarantee you will have plenty of people reading this that may never comment, but will be truly touched.

Jenny said...

Congrats on the pregnancy.
I totally understand where you are coming from... I've finally reached 6 months with this pregnancy and I'm still waiting for something to go wrong and over examining everything. My emotions have been everywhere over being pregnant again, and just in general. You are not alone. ((hugs))

blogmom221 said...

Congrats on your pregnancy! Thank you for sharing what you are going through. I know that it is not easy. All of the emotions you are feeling are completely normal. I lost my first baby and cried for days (even though it was just days after I found out I was pregnant). You are really helping a lot of women who may be facing the same thing as you.