Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Interdimensional Holes in my Living Room

Since it's the season for creepy tales, I thought I'd share one about the time I experienced what I'm pretty certain was sleep paralysis. It happened when I lived in Alaska in the yurt and worked nights on the slope. I was sleep deprived, working nights and with the weird hours of sunlight and darkness messing with my sleep schedule even further. Apparantly that makes you more prone to it. I think it was set off that day because I was alone watching The Fourth Kind before I fell asleep on the couch in the loft. The Fourth Kind is a creepy movie about alien abductions in Alaska if you aren't familiar with it.

So I started to drift off. I felt that sleep heaviness where you can't lift your eyelids and you start to lose track of your body and you feel so relaxed. But then it changed. I started to feel tingly, sort of numb and dizzy almost. I could feel my whole body, I was aware of everything, how my hands felt and where my toes were, but I couldn't move anything. Then it felt like my head was this stationary point and everything else was orbiting around it. My head felt still but my body felt like it was continually spinning around and around, faster and faster, making sharp changes in direction and speed. My head was the pivot point. It wasn't scary yet, just disorienting and uncomfortable. Then that feeling slowed and I could feel where I was laying. It felt like my body floated back down to the couch. And I could see again. I knew my eyes were closed, but I also knew I could see my living room again, the real room, not a dream space.

Then this little pinprick of light started to appear to the left of the tv. Right above the corner. I can still picture it. It started to grow slowly. It was silver and shiny and as it started to grow, I could see it spinning, like a mini little galaxy. At first it didn't make me feel anything but curious. But then it started to make this noise I've never heard before or since. It sounded metallic. That's the only way I can describe it, it sounded like metal tastes. A completely foreign thing. And that's when I knew it wasn't benign.

And then something told me that there was a thing in there. A think that wanted out. I don't know if it was a thought I had or an actual voice, but I knew it was true. Something was trying to get through that little spinning metallic hole in the air. I started to try and move but I couldn't. I tried to roll, shake my head, twitch my fingers so I would wake myself up. I was aware I was sleeping. But also I felt like whatever was happening was real. That if I didn't wake up before whatever was in there got out, it would be out in the real world for real, not just a hallucination or whatever.

I just kept thinking to myself, "You can't see what's in there. You CAN'T." Not, "I don't want to see," but "I can't see. Can't, can't, CAN'T. " Just this feeling of dread that if I see it...the worst will happen. It was a sense of wrongness. Whatever was in there wasn't supposed to exist. The whole time this is running through my head, that metallic noise is still there. The spot is turning and turning and throbbing with this pulsing light. I'm starting to panic more and more. I've had some lucid dreams before, but this is different. In those dreams I can't feel my real body and I can control my dream body and fly around, do whatever I want and make anything scary disappear. This was the worst nightmare I've ever had, this wasn't in my control.

When trying to move my body didn't work, I tried to make noise. I started trying to say something. I started to say, "No, stop, help, wake up." But it wasn't working. So I gave up on words and started trying to scream. I could feel my body laying there and I was just watching that spot hoping nothing would crawl out before I could wake up. But I also know it's getting closer somehow. The noise is getting louder and louder, the spot is growing and the light is pulsing faster and brighter. It's right there, just out of sight. If I see it, I will never unsee it, and I know instinctively that it's something my mind can't handle looking at.

So I'm just screaming silently in my head when it finally works. I make the tiniest whimper, a real out loud, not in my head whimper that I meant to be a full on scream. All the feeling comes back to my body and the spot vanishes as I open my eyes. And that was it. It was so eerie that my surroundings, minus the mysterious hole in the air, had stayed the same the entire time. I know my eyes were closed, but nothing ever took on that dreamlike unreal quality.

I didn't go back to sleep that day. I've never seen anything as terrifying in my sleep since, but I still think about it. I'm waiting for it to happen again. For that hole in the air to come back. And dreading what happens if I can't wake up quick enough the next time. I don't want to see what's in there, I don't want to let it get out. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Decisions and Updates

I've tried to write an update post a few times and every time I'm unsatisfied and they sit in the post queue going no where. They just ended up sounding to depressing or annoyed or some other off feeling I can't quite put my finger on.

So the basic status update. I'm not pregnant this month, I'm not going to try this next month and I am 99% likely wait out the rest of the year before trying again. I have a whole post written about this paragraph right here. But I'm not sure I'm posting that. In summary, I feel very conflicted.

I want to be pregnant again but also I like having my body to myself again. I'm also really working on being less codependent and being more independent a baby would tie me up again in some ways. I wanted a small age gap between kids but it's already going to be larger than I wanted even if I get pregnant now, so what's a few more months. I wanted to be pregnant by my due dates. But there's no chance of feeling "safe" by either one. I won't be feeling the safe zone until halfway through when I start to feel the baby kicks. I don't want a miscarriage on one of my due dates, that would be an emotional disaster. Plus medical bills, I don't need more of those. But also I wanted to be hopeful and optimistic about it, I wanted to be fearless. But maybe that's the point. Maybe I still am. Admitting maybe the best thing for me is not what I wanted and the right thing to do sucks. So I'm going to wait.

It is 95% likely we won't do foster care but we are giving the last day of training class a shot first before calling it for sure. If nothing else it's a good free parenting class. And it brought up/let me work through some stuff from the days my family of origin did foster care. I won't get into that any further though, because too many other people's feelings and lives are tangled up in that. Foster care just isn't the way that seems right for everyone involved to expand this family.

The social worker running the class said two things that stuck with me, "you can set up your license to only accept certain ages and issues, but if I think you'd be really good at handling a certain situation, I will try and convince you," and "the best foster families know when to say no." Here's the problem. I want kids younger than Lyra. I'm not willing to take any older than her. I'm not willing to take any risks concerning Lyra's safety or well being, and I'm not ready for the lifestyle change that would be an older child or teenager.

What gets me, is that what I'm pretty certain I'd be good at, and what I'd have a hard time saying no to when presented with a specific circumstance or child, are the hard placement cases. The anorexic or bulimic kid, a kid who cuts, a transgender child, a pregnant teen, those kind of more intense situations. And I feel guilty about that. I have a lot of both personal exposure and experience with some hard things and I've managed to make it through and build up skills to survive that I think could be useful for a kid going through something tough. But that's not a good option right now. I think going into this with both eyes open and having had personal experience with it all, makes it a harder complex decision.

I feel like I'm at this odd crossroads where my life could go in any number of directions. Sometimes I think it could all be this big moment I look back at and point to and say, "Oh, right there, that's what led to everything important today." And other times I think it all could just be any other moment in life and say, "Why was I so worried about it all?" I think that's just kchildren for you, they have to throw any plan you ever had out the window for better or worse from before they ever arrive.

I've thought a lot about my conclusion here. That's my weak point in writing, especially in this case where I've been so conflicted about my decisions in the first place.  So I'm trying a new writing (and life) style where I say, "The heck with conclusions,  I'm not done living yet."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Shitty Situation

I mean that literally. Actual Shit.

So Lyra is 2 and sleeping in her own room and somewhat potty trained. This means she wears pull ups to bed and usually comes wandering into my room to cuddle with me around 6 am. Usually 5 or 10 minutes of intensely wiggly cuddles later she'll hand my phone to me (she used to hand me my glasses too but now I keep them out of her reach after she handed me a pair she had ripped in half) and demand that I "git up" or state that she needs to "pee potty." 

On this particular morning I heard her usually loud stomping coming from the hall a little early at 5:40. She burst in through the door like the kool-aid man babbling, "pee potty pee potty pee potty," at top speed. I jumped up to comply with haste as she seemed more urgent than usual. I touched her side as we walked to the bathroom and thought to myself, "Hmm, her pull up must have leaked. She seems damp." I should have known then.

This is where I made my fatal mistake, though the situation would have been dire either way. I pulled her pajama bottoms and pull up down to her ankles before I hit the lights. Even in the darkness I could see something was amiss as soon as the pull up hit the floor. "Oh no," I gasped, "That's poop," as I switched on the bathroom light.

So much shit. Apparantly something didn't sit right with her and had led to explosive morning diarrhea. That was the first time anything like this has happened since she stopped having those not too terrible breastfed baby poops and starting having normal mini person poops. It makes a huge difference. It's so much worse when they take normal shits. Trust me on that one. "Oh my god, oh my god, oh noooooo," was my refrain for the next 20 minutes. At that point the only option was a shower for both of us, there was no saving the situation. And hand washing out clothes and starting laundry and wiping up the floor and the lightswitch. There was poop on the wall. The WALL. It was full scale decontamination before 7 am.  

Not the first poo mess, won't be the last either. The other day at dinner Lyra was sitting at her little table while I finished up cooking. At one point I glanced up and noticed some thing suspicious sitting next to her on the floor. Right next to the little baby potty, I might add. Sure enough, she'd dropped a big ole number 2 right there on the floor in between bites of her noodles. Sure glad we don't have carpet.

My other favorite potty training story was the day my friend without kids was texting me about how awesome my lifestyle was and how he was kind of jealous sometimes. I was explaining it's not all sunshine and flowers. Meanwhile, Lyra peed her pants. I set her on the toilet and went to start laundry. And promptly stepped into a puddle of pee. I think a dog is to blame for that one but I will never know for sure. I cleaned that puddle (and my feet) and checked on Lyra to find her shoving half a toilet paper roll into the toilet. I sent her on her way and cleaned that mess. Immediately afterwards, Lyra came up to me, clearly wet, and I pulled down her underwear only to have poop fall out onto the floor. As I was setting Lyra on the toilet again, planning to leave her there for at least 30 minutes, and contemplating using diapers until Lyra is 6, my friend called. I answered the phone with, "You remember how you were bitching about how great my life is? Let me tell you about the last 20 minutes of my life in excruciating detail."

Despite the mess, there are upsides to a potty training toddler. Besides the obvious, like not having to use diapers, I have my own personal cheering squad. Everytime I pee on the potty I get a round of applause and a "Yay! Mama pee potty!" Followed up with an announcement to whoever is around about my victory. Travis tries to high five me when Lyra tells him "Mama pee potty." I flip him off behind her back instead. This is my life now. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Names and Plans

I haven't said much here lately. I've been a like bit more in this quiet place where I want to talk to a few people and just stay off the radar other then that.  I keep thinking the last really hard day is behind me and then there always seems to be a new one in front of me.

We got out baby's remains back finally. I couldn't look at them but my midwife said that there really wasn't enough after the genetic testing to cremate. So that all sucked. But we were able to ship her to Michigan since we were going to be out there quickly anyway and we know Travis' family at least is staying put.

We buried her out in the woods, just Travis and me. It was the only thing, the last thing, we could really do for her, but it just sucked. Right now she doesn't have a marker other than rocks and wildflowers but Travis' parents are making her one. We picked the name Nova and a quote for her marker, "Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect."

I had a bit of a meltdown one evening about leaving her behind in the ground. Too much wine and a Facebook birth announcement hit me harder than I anticipated and set me off and it escalated from there. Oh well, it happens, I got through it.

I made Nova a playlist to say goodbye, oddly it's more comforting than hard to listen to for me. https://open.spotify.com/user/1225401903/playlist/1YUDJENDQrqU44K4xxwI0e

But I'm feeling more ready to just move on. We are going to get going on the foster care application and just give the pregnancy thing another go. I got my period back right when I predicted from my pee sticks. At least my body seems to be predictable and still sorting itself out quickly. I feel better, like I am starting off again with a good reset. So far, it hasn't been the painful horror story a lot of women seem to say is common for a first period post miscarriage. Especially since I haven't had one since March, I was braced for a brutal experience. But, it appears I lucked out again in the physical department or my pain tolerance really just is beastly. I think I'll just go with the "I'm just a badass" theory because I like that one better. My hip tattoo tickling was worse than the pain so there's more evidence for that theory. I can't lie though, I feel like I've been a bit cranky the last couple days though.

If I have another miscarriage, I think that's when we will have some serious thinking to do. And when more testing would make more sense. Especially after finding out how much that shit costs. Our genetic test before insurance is about $6,600. Did not see that one coming, to be honest. I mean, we got an answer, but that number is just....ughhhh. I'm not sure what insurance will cover yet. I would think they would decide the test was justified. Seeing as I was on miscarriage number 2. Travis thinks we probably will be fine and the bill won't actually be terrible. The same company does the common first trimester genetic blood test screening you hear about a lot. Out of pocket cost for that test is usually 100 to 200 and we will likely do that one for peace of mind the next pregnancy. Also, my ER bill makes me naseaous.  Take a look.

The total bill to insurance then for this miscarriage is over $11,000. Why is it that expensive?

I keep reminding myself that Nova was just a one time tragedy. 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 10,000 chance so I did the math. I got my first period when I was 12 and the average age for menopause is 51. Let's just call it 12 cycles a year for ease of calculating and because it's close enough for an estimate. Then take out 22 months for when I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding and not ovulating. That's roughly 446 months, or eggs, 446 chances of getting pregnant. Not even close to 4,000, let alone 10,000. So Turner syndrome won't happen to my babies again, statistically. That was my one month that could happen and it was just bad luck.

So that's just one random unexplained miscarriage I've had, that happens to a lot of people. Probably nothing is wrong and the next baby will be smooth sailing.

If we get pregnant right away, I'd be due June 9th. Right in the middle of summer, exactly when I didn't want to be super pregnant in the Nevada heat. Oh well, just details, I would still rather be pregnant than not. I'm trying not to take it for granted and assume I'll be pregnant again right away, because that's a possibility. But I have no reason to think it won't happen as fast as my last 3 pregnancies have. We shall see. I'm just really hoping I'm pregnant before that first December due date. Not that I will feel safe or that it's really happening until I can feel the baby kick regularly. Second trimester safe is gone for me now.

That note aside, I am planning on just relaxing as much as I can this next time. There's literally nothing I can control so why stress? I mean, I'm sure I'll stress more though, but I'll do my best. The one thing I clung to with Nova is that she was always loved and never felt my stress or worry or sadness. My goal is the next one will get that same experience.

I read a quote recently that stuck with me and is how I feel I am jumping back into life this month. "Living in fear won't stop us from losing what we love, it will just stop us from enjoying it." And I have my new tattoo to remind me of my general life philosophy and goals. Go fast, take chances, jump out of the plane, live boldly, love fearlessly.

The stars are for the 2 babies, the colors are the birthstone colors of the months I was due and the months I miscarried. I sure hope I never have to add any more. But if I do, I'll survive it regret free. It's all worth it for moments like this.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

More Than You Probably Care to Know About Pee Sticks PLUS Bonus Genetic Test Results

So I figured I might as well go all in with this whole trying to grow the next child business. Might as well share the details at this point, not like we will surprise anyone. Or maybe we will, you never know about me. But the current plan is to take this month off and let my body heal and reset since this last miscarriage was really physically rough for me. I haven't had a period since mid March. I had the last miscarriage and immediately got pregnant again.  So it's reset time. After this month we'll see how everything is and reevaluate. Emotionally I'm in a fairly solid place right now, considering. My freaking hormones are out of control which is helpful. A friend handed me the perfect metaphor for my emotional self. I'm emotional moss. I'm resilient but I cling to emotional rocks. Truth.

Since we don't want to get pregnant this month but don't need long term birth control, I invested yet again in some handy little pee stick cheapies. There's a method to this. Don't buy the expensive grocery store tests except for a confirmation when you're sure you're pregnant. They're like 10 bucks a pop. And are less sensitive and likely to say negative if you test early. On Amazon you can get them for like a dollar each. And I've always gotten the earliest positives on them.

My soon to be frequent morning routine. *sigh* Peeing into a shot glass is harder than you'd imagine.

The thing about pregnancy tests and ovulation tests is they are in fact difficult to read. Here are today's results.

The pregnancy test is the one that says hcg on it, thats the hormone it detects. A pregnancy test is positive if a second line exists at all, however faint. Ovulation tests (the one that says LH) on the other hand are positive if the second line is as dark or darker than the control.

I still have some pregnancy hormones in my system. Believe it or not, that's definitely a clear positive pregnancy test for me. See that second line? Its right where the second line on the ovulation test is. It's even harder to photograph than it is to see in person. I'm a pro at this faint second line at this point, it is really there, I promise. If I saw that at a different time I would feel sure enough to say I am pregnant without a doubt. This isn't even as faint as the faintest test I've ever had. The ovulation test I'm assuming is confused by the pregnancy hormones. Hcg in your system can make them show a false positive. It looks close to positive but I don't believe it, I'm not ovulating yet. So I'll give it a few more days, test again and see what happens.

Also, I'd like to take a minute to appreciate how costly it is to have a baby. My pee stick bulk order cost me $40. Probably won't last more than 2 or 3 months. That's not including what I spent on the last 2 pregnancies testing my pee. I've had 3 ultrasounds thus far, copays were $150 I believe. Though we got a refund for one for who knows why and I don't know if the emergency room ultrasound cost more yet. $15 for blood tests to rule out ectopic the first time and I may have to have some again if I don't get negative pee sticks soonish. Unknown amount for the genetic test. We weren't in a good place to rationally discuss that, we just did it. ER visit of unknown cost. Plus whatever we will spend on testing and interventions to stay pregnant in the future. Prenatals, iron pills, probably progesterone and baby aspirin the next go around. Little stuff that just adds up. And we haven't even had to do any big interventions yet. Plus beer cost because that's needed.

Still waiting on our genetic test results so that's a bit stressful. And I'm doing way too much speculation. My last ultrasound mentioned a possible bicornate uterus. That would be a problem. But we already had Lyra with no complications and no one has mentioned this before so I'm not sure what to think. And I even had the thought; what if it's autoimmune related? I had rheumatic fever when I was a teen, my body basically attacked itself. And there's some autoimmune disorders that contribute to miscarriage because your body doesn't recognize the baby. And the crappy thing with this would be, there's not research on that as far as I know. Rheumatic fever is on the rare side. So all the unknowns I can speculate about are bugging me.

I have to admit, I'm tired of announcing a pregnancy. It's like, I'm already on the 4th one this next time, it's losing it's newness and shine. So next time I'm just mass texting the family and besties like, "Hey look what I peed on today." And then posting here probably. Whatever though, not the biggest deal in the long run. It's just Facebook likes but it's fun to see everyone excited and its frustrating to do it over and over.

Foster care for little littles, Lyra's age or younger is probably something we will consider and get going on soonish. There's no better way to guarantee we get pregnant and stay pregnant (probably with twins or something) if we get fertility testing done and have a foster child placed with us. Also I said I would never do foster care. So we're for sure destined for that.

Update. Literally as I was writing this post my midwife texted me. We got the genetic test results back. We had a baby girl. That feels so much more real and concrete because I know what having a daughter is like. She had Turner syndrome. She only had one x chromosome. This is "good" news. This condition is not inherited, as in we won't keep passing it on, it was a fluke. It happens in 1 in 4000 to 1 in 10000 pregnancies. 99% of the babies who have this are miscarried or stillborn. While I'm never going to be glad this happened, I'm so glad this was a miscarriage and not a stillbirth. I could handle it if I had no choice. But thankfully, this time I do not have to handle that. The 1% of babies that survive can have plenty of complications in a range of not so serious to serious. Generally, it isn't a fatal condition though if the baby is in that tiny 1% that do survive. I honestly expected no answers with this test. I'm so grateful we did it though.

My mother's intuition is a bit off. Thought Lyra was a boy, thought this last baby was a boy. I was convinced this last one would be fine. Predictions out the window this next one. Who knows.

I don't know if we will name this baby. Or the last. I don't know what we will do once we get this baby's remains back if we have some sort of ceremony. Or when or where. We'll figure something out eventually. No rush really.  We won't ever know what happened with our first miscarriage. But this raises the chances that this two in a row miscarriage bullshit was a just bad luck. Shitty shitty fucking luck, but most likely random chance none the less.

This weekend is going to be bittersweet, celebrating Lyra's birth and saying goodbye to another daughter all at once. But Lyra is our little shining star in a month that always tries to bring me down. She's a good little lighthouse in the storm.

Going forward is scarier than it was after a single miscarriage regardless of this result. So I'll keep you posted. It's still just life, so it's all a shot in the dark really when you get right down to it, I can definitely take that leap just fine after a little time to get my self back together.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Love Fearlessly

Today I'm happy. I have decided I don't think I'm made for unhappiness. It doesn't suit me. I just can't do it for long before I have to find a way to laugh or I will lose my mind. My natural state tends towards smiles and laughter and joking. I have been allowing myself my sadness, but I'm also trying to allow myself my happiness and remember that that is a state I'm allowed too. I'm trying to just concentrate on all the love and caring that's been going on around here. Plus, I still have my 2 year old, Lyra, who forces me to laugh and be present and happy. She's pretty convinced I'm the island goddess from Moana, so I do have standards to live up to. My husband, Travis, says I am like the island demon from Moana, but hey, can't win them all. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately in this mood I've been in. If nothing else, through these miscarriages, I've learned some important lessons about myself and about what love means to me.

As I was in the process of adding another child to our family, I thought about what a lot of second go around parents think about; will I love this new child as much as my first baby? The first time I met Lyra, I was lucky enough to be one of those people, and have one of those births, where the immense love I felt for her was immediate and instant, it didn't take any time for that bond to develop in me. It was a weird thing to instantly have that love appear where it hadn't existed a second before. Not that I didn't care for Lyra during the pregnancy, only that meeting her added a new dimension and made it all the more concrete to me. I would say I love her with my whole heart, but that doesn't seem like the right description to me because then there would be no room for anyone else. And there is so much room. I also love Travis, my brother, my parents, my best friends. I guess what I'm getting at is all the reflection I've been doing lately has made me realize I don't have a finite amount of love in me. So it makes me unafraid to keep giving it out. Because love is one of those rare things that always comes back at you bigger and more intense than you sent it out.

I don't mean to sound all, "I'm so much more enlightened than you," or all woo woo "love is flawless and makes everything perfect." I've just been looking for a way to make peace with everything that's gone on in my life lately and a way to live comfortably with all the emotions in my head. It just helps me knowing I can come out of this intact and being able to explain to myself just why that is.

I have different types of love, sure, but none of it takes from another.  Loving my brother doesn't make me love Lyra any less. Just like my parents love my brother and I both, but of course they don't love us the same way or for the same reasons. It was an important lesson for me in sharing, having Lyra. It made me almost annoyed and territorial at first. I had this perfect pure little baby I grew and who was solely mine, physically, the first 9 months. Sharing with Travis came somewhat more naturally, but it was hard sometimes feeling like everyone else was laying claim to my baby just by loving her. I mean, I understood it logically, I always wanted her to love and be loved, but it's hard to let go of someone you never want to be hurt ever. It was like taking my heart from my body and sending it out into the world completely unprotected. I felt like if someone else loved her, it took away from the importance or value of my love for her. If that makes any sense, its so hard to put that feeling into words. And jealousy; I wanted to be the reason for every smile and always the person she wanted. But the reality of watching people love her and seeing her love them back has changed that for me. And being a person's everything is exhausting. I feel like I was only afraid because I didn't quite get the fact that she could love Travis as much as she does me, she just loves us for different reasons and in different ways. Or that she could love her grandparents and have fun with them and that didn't change the fact she'd still want her mom at the end of the day. I've learned to embrace the village as a bonus, not a threat. Because that village is full of the people who love and take care of your baby when you can't possibly manage, when you have another baby who needs everything you have.

Regarding that village too, I've gotten better at understanding how to spread my needs and finding the best way to be supported in those different needs. And I've learned a lot about my friends. I'd call Travis my best friend. But he's not the only one I'd give that title too. I talk to them all and lean on them for different things depending on the situation. Doesn't make any one of them any less dear to me. None of my friendships came about in the same way, so they're all unique now. Jeri and I bonded over school stress, break-ups, and timing (we were both hot messes in the same general time frame). That's a different bond than Emily and I, who bonded over embarrassing middle school moments and mean girls. So now I text Emily more often about parenting stuff. And I text Jeri almost anytime I'm annoyed at Travis and want to complain about him (sorry, Travis). I know who to text when I just need some distraction and goofiness. I know what friends I don't have to talk to everyday but are easy to pick up where we left off on the rare visit we get. I've also learned what friends are unhelpful in some situations and who I should just have realistic expectations for to not end up hurt. The newest thing I've started to really notice is the acquaintances and strangers who surprise me with kind words and gestures. I have heard it said that losing a baby shows you who your true friends are. It's been true for me. I have a lot of true friends. And I have more lifelong friends than I ever realized. The ones who are there for you, year after year, who you can go back to after fights or distance or just when plain old life busyness separates you temporarily.

So it's been surprisingly easy for me to love each new baby without holding back. I knew I could continue to give my heart away, as it were, because it just keeps growing back and then some. I did have a hard time for a bit, feeling like I'm grieving harder for this last baby than my first miscarried baby. But I'm trying to accept that it's OK that this is hitting me harder right now. It's something that's happened twice now, this was physically rougher, and hormones are playing with my head harder. I'm just trying to remember it doesn't mean I loved that other baby any less, just that now I'm grieving doubly. I just love them differently. Plus I had a lot more time to anticipate this recent baby, this one wasn't a surprise. Being sad for this last baby more than I'm sad about that first baby right in this minute is OK. I've also already had time to be sad for that first baby. And of course I love Lyra differently than these babies, I get to see her everyday and I get to know her as a person. I love her without sadness so it will always be different than how I love these babies as just memories.

I'm still struggling with some things. Our baby's remains will be sent back to us sometime this week. I have no idea when. I know that delivery will take me out when I least expect it because when else would it happen? So probably this weekend will be a visit to the funeral home and also Lyra's second birthday. And also the date my brother attempted suicide years ago. A grab bag of emotions right there. Then there's the little day to day reminders. A lady asked me recently if Lyra was my only. I didn't feel like explaining so I just said, "Yes." That sucked.

I keep thinking how true it is the saying, "Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all." For being so cliche, it is still so true. So for all of these thoughts lately, I'm getting a tattoo to remind myself. Love fearlessly. That's my new life mantra, it seems a worthy goal.

I've been listening to music constantly and it's really helping me cope. I'm gonna drop a few of the song that I keep in my head lately. A little playlist for happiness. And I'm gonna toss in my favorite literary tidbits.

The first couple quotes are from the golden compass.

"We feel cold, but we don't mind it, because we will not come to harm. And if we wrapped up against the cold, we wouldn't feel other things, like the bright tingle of the stars, or the music of the Aurora, or best of all the silky feeling of moonlight on our skin. It's worth being cold for that."

"Every atom of me and every atom of you...we'll live in the flowers and the dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those specks of light you see floating in sunbeams...And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't be able to take just one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight."

"She wondered whether there would come an hour in her life when she didn't think of him-didn't speak to him in her head, didn't relive every moment they'd been together, didn't long for his voice and his hands and his love. She had never dreamed of what it would feel like to love someone so much; of all the things that had astonished her in her adventures, that was what astonished her the most. She thought the tenderness it left in her heart was like a bruise that would never go away, but she would cherish is forever."

And good old Dumbledore.

"Darkness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light."

"The ones who love us never truly leave us."

 As for the songs that have helped me pull it together. Here's just a list if you feel like listening.

No Such Thing As A Broken Heart by Old Dominion
The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Poet by Bastille
I Lived by One Republic
Life in Color by One Republic
Wash Away-reprise by Joe Purdy (the version from LOST)
Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson
Swim by Jacks Mannequin
Something Wild by Lindsey Stirling and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Aftermath

Well things are starting to stabilize around here. Not that it won't take a while to grieve and heal but it seems like we are leaving crisis mode behind. Travis has gone back to work, Lyra is back in my care. I'm feeling a bit better physically, the cramping and intense bleeding has tapered off to just low level bleeding. Most importantly my killer headache seems to finally be receding. I probably will be dropping the frequency of blog and socail media updates shortly. I'm just winging it here, though. 

Emotionally I'm still somewhat of a basket case. I have a few friends who are really helpful with distracting me. That will come in handy the next while. I still am processing and talking, but breaks and normallacy are totally underrated in my opinion. They are always the most helpful to get from crisis mode to normal life mode. I definitely have friends I have been and will be leaning on hard. I've been having some trouble sleeping, the quiet time when there's nothing else to think about is hard. But I'm trying to just work on getting my mind on other things or topics at night instead of dwelling. 

Lyra is officially weaned. I wanted one last nursing picture and to make it to technically 2 full years not about 2 weeks short of her 2nd birthday. But it was time for us, she was not unhappy about it for more that 5 cumulative minutes. And frankly, my milk supply was probably already plummeting with the pregnancy hormones and reduced nursing amount we already had going. The fluid and blood loss of the last days would have finished it off. And I really wasn't up to it the last couple days. But it is a hard thing at the same time, cutting the last baby ties to my toddler while simultaneously losing another baby. 

My mini little baby bump is virtually gone. Theres still some swelling, I think from my poor worn out overworked uterus and muscles, but that's it. That's a little hard for me to see but also it helps me move on. Once I feel better physically I'm going to do some getting back in shape and general being healthy stuff just to feel like me again. My body will be my own for the first time post concieving Lyra. I'm not naive, I know eating disorders are troublesome in times of stress so I need to watch that. But health and weight loss are two separate things so I think I'll be fine, really. For the record, I hate saying that all in here, I really do. These are probably the sentences I will read and overanalyze the most. And likely, the ones I will somewhat shamefully regret later, to be perfectly honest. But acknowledging it helps. And I try my hardest to just face things head on, I'm working on being and raising a fearless person. So fuck it, why not put it all out there and go all in. That's my current attitude right now...fuck it. 

The hardest moment I see in the next week or two is the actual physical logistics of dealing with this loss. We sent our baby and a blood sample of mine off for genetic testing. I asked our midwife what would happen to the remains because it just haunts me. We were told that the testing facility usually discards everything as medical waste but would return remains to us if requested. So I did that. I couldn't bear not to. I have spent the last 24 hours fixated but not speaking aloud about the fact that I needed to call funeral homes and trying (and failing) to mentally prepare myself to do so. This morning (I was going to make calls today during Lyra's afternoon naptime) I got a Facebook message from a local woman that I do not know. She had called around to feneral homes, found me a place who will cremate our baby at no cost, and provided me all the contact and legal infomation I need to do so. I cannot even begin to comprehend this fact. Once I get my head together I will be thanking her fully, and hopefully can find a way to meet and thank her in person. I'm just absolutely blown away. Lately, this last year even, has shaken my faith in humanity and life a little. Things have been so hard and having someone do something like this for me restores that faith. I can never communicate what this means to me.

This next month I'm going to try and focus on me. Not on being a wife for Travis, not on being Lyra's mom, not on being perfect for friends and family, not on more babies, not on keeping it all together. Not that I won't keep up on all those big things or that I will be a terrible mother and wife. I don't know that Travis and I have ever been in a better place relationship wise and I feel like Lyra is going to survive us as well as anyone ever does their childhood. I just mean I'm going to be a little healthily selfish. All those people who matter have loved me for years when I'm grumpy and whiny, they won't stop now. They can handle it. And I'm going to buy some new bras that aren't nursing bras and maybe get a job. I'm conflicted about that still though. Not about the bras. Maybe a little about the bras, nursing bras are so fucking comfortable but so hideous. Even the ones that are advertised as pretty. Mostly I miss engineering but I'm determined not to miss the next baby's first year especially after such a fight to get there. So who knows. Maybe I'll start a bra company. Or I might start working on that book to be published upon my death with all my secrets. 

I'm still getting new people and repeat offenders checking in on me. I appreciate every single message, you keep pulling me back up and keeping my head above water. Please keep it up, even if I barely reply. I assure you, I'm feeling the love.  Someday I hope to return it. Thank you.