Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Periods, TTC again, Reminders, Christmas…

I have a couple different ideas for posts floating around in my head right now, but they are all  being drowned out by a voice that keeps screaming “AHHHHH! You’re taking the GRE tomorrow! AHHHHHH! PANIC!” Yes, the voice in my head is a bit melodramatic. So today is going to be a bullet point kind of day:

  • Thank you ladies for your responses to my previous post. Every time I’ve ever talked to someone about it, I’ve always gotten the, “deal with it, everyone’s period sucks” response, so I guess I didn’t take it as seriously as I should have. Like I said, it wasn’t until very recently that I even realized just how heavy my flow is compared to other women.  So I’m going to make an appointment to talk to my OB about it, and I can’t help but think that maybe figuring out why I have hellish periods will also solve my mc mystery without any “infertility” testing that wouldn’t be covered by insurance. Hey, a girl can hope, can’t she?
  • I am now in my fourth cycle after my last mc, which is the cycle that we had decided to start trying again. Right on time, I am starting to feel the desperate need to TTC. I knew that waiting was right for us the past couple of months because I didn’t want to TTC, and I was afraid of becoming pregnant. If I still felt this way, we would wait another cycle–or however many cycles it took for us to be ready, but I am ready. At least, I’m as ready as I can be. And hubby says that he is ready too, but I am willing to pull the plug as soon as he says that he isn’t.
  • Saturday was the Christmas parade in our town, and hubby’s shop made a float for it. There are only three employees at hubby’s shop: the owner, hubby, and one other mechanic. I think I mentioned before that the other mechanic’s wife found out she was pregnant the same time I did with my first pregnancy, and every time I see her, it’s like getting punched in the stomach. I can’t even hate her because they really wanted children but didn’t think she could get pregnant because she has pretty bad endo, but I still break down and cry every time after I see her. Well, all three employees and their wives were on the float on Saturday and the owner took everyone out to dinner afterward. It was horrible. She looks adorable–just glowing with the cutest baby bump I’ve ever seen. Ugh, I’ve been a bit of a mess ever since. My first due date is in January, and I don’t know if I’m ready for it.
  • My magical Christmas hope has been fading fast. I think the biggest reason is the fact that it has been 60+ degrees here over the past few weeks. At the Christmas parade, people were wearing t-shirts and sandals–it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. Combine that with my GRE stress and the pain of seeing my pregnancy twin still carrying her child, and I’m just not feeling the holiday cheer anymore. A cold front rolled in yesterday, and I’ll be done with the GRE tomorrow, so hopefully that will lift my spirits. Hopefully.

For those who have suffered a loss, how do you handle pregnant women with the same due date as you? Any spells I could cast to make her invisible to me?

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Confession Time

Sorry I haven’t been very present here lately. I’m freaking out a little trying to study for GRE and complete my grad school application. Plus, my dad and his wife are coming to stay with us next weekend so I’m trying to do a bunch of stuff around the house. I haven’t seen them since my wedding two and a half years ago because they live out in Austen and it is hard for us to make it out there when hubby doesn’t get any sort of paid time off.

I do have a confession to make. I spent hours last night looking at the maternity pictures of all of my friends with babies. Apparently, I’m an emotionally unstable person who likes to torture myself. I just sat there and looked through all of them and felt worse and worse about myself. Why the hell do we do things like that? I would say it’s like pouring salt on the wound, but at least salt cleans the wound. I feel like this isn’t remotely healthy, and I know I’m not the only one who does stuff like this. Who else out there looks at maternity pictures when it does nothing but upset you? Who checks their pregnancy milestones months after they’ve already lost their baby? What about reading baby blogs and birth stories? Now that there are secret boards on Pinterest, who has a baby board? Seriously, ladies, why? Why do we do these things? And please, please tell me that I’m not the only one who goes there…

On a lighter note, I’ve been nominated for the Liebster blog, and I’m working on my post for that. It’s taking me some time to answer all of the questions and think of some of  my own, but I promise to post it soon.

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There is Healing Here

Hello beautiful ladies :o)

I apologize for my absence lately, hubby has been sickly. You all don’t know this, but when the hubby is sickly, it is a big deal because is very rarely sick. I think he has thrown up three times since I met him seven and a half years ago: once he was drunk, once he had a ruptured appendix, and once he had a stomach bug. He is one of those people that can somehow suppress it, put his sickness in the back of his mind, and continue to do what needs to be done. So when he called me Friday and told me that he left work to go to the doctor and they were not allowing him to drive himself home because he is too ill, I knew he felt like death. Apparently, he had some sort of stomach bug and was severely dehydrated (to the point that he almost passed out at the doctor office). So I’ve been playing nurse since Friday, and I am happy to report that as of yesterday, he is feeling much better and participating in his normal activities again. I know he’s not 100% yet, but he definitely looks and acts like he feels a lot better.

I have so much to tell you ladies. First, I have finally started listening to the Bitter Infertiles Podcast. I feel like I have been living under a rock because it took me so long to start listening, but every time I would read a post about it, I would be at work where I couldn’t listen. So I finally started listening at home, and I love listening to these women because I feel like they really verbalize everything that is on my heart. I started at the beginning and I’m about that start episode six. The podcasts are fairly lengthy and they can get heavy, so it’s taking me some time to catch up. Listening to these women has helped me realize and confront some stuff, like my husband’s grief and my need for someone to acknowledge that I am a mother who suffered a terrible loss. They have also inspired some good conversations between hubby and me, and we have made some important decisions:

First, we want to have some sort of service to say goodbye to our children. One thing that is so terrible about miscarriage is the lack of closure. Normally when you lose a child, you have a funeral and grieve with friends and family, but we never got that. So we are going to have a small service, light some candles, say a few prayers, and say goodbye. There are a few people we want to invite, but it’s going to be very small and intimate because this is really about hubby and me healing and moving forward with our lives. We need to honor our children before we can talk about trying again.

Next, we are going to look into counseling. Hubby seemed surprised and uncomfortable when I first mentioned this, but we decided to try it. I think he’s only agreeing because he wants to help me, but I also think he will still benefit from being there.

Needless to say, we have had some difficult and significant conversations in the past week. While it has been emotionally exhausting and uncomfortable, I feel like we are more open with each other now and more aware of each other’s feelings. For example, hubby and I have started becoming friends with another couple in the fire department who got married last month, and I was excited to be friends with another fireman’s wife. Yesterday, hubby told me that she is pregnant, and I just broke down and cried. Hubby acted like this was a totally normal and expected reaction to that news, and I knew that he understood how I felt. I knew he felt that way too.

So that is where we are right now. It’s not a very pleasant place to be, but I think there is healing here.

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Feeling a little Horrible

Three posts in one day. I feel a little like an over achiever–like I should be quiet and let the other kids talk. Anyway, my first two posts were prompted, and I wanted to let loose a little and tell you ladies about my day:

Today was a bit of a rough day. It wasn’t positively horrible, but it was a little rough. I work in the office of an EMS service and my office (which is shared with one other girl) is essentially a hallway, so we always have EMTs and medics walking through. We have two chairs we have deemed the “therapy chairs” because so many of the crews will come in and visit with us. Most of the people who work in the office can be a little hateful and the crews avoid them, so it makes me happy that they like us enough to visit. Today one of the EMTs came into my office very excited and looking a little freaked out, and when I asked him what was up, he exclaimed that he is going to be a dad. Exact words: “I’m going to be a dad.” When I asked him how far along she was, he said she was only a few weeks, that she had just found out that day. My heart skipped a beat and it took all of the self control I possess not to shout, “Wait! No! Don’t tell anyone! You still have no idea if she is going to have a baby!” I couldn’t bring myself to pop his bubble and bring him into my world. I couldn’t tell him that a positive pregnancy test isn’t a guarantee of a child. I couldn’t tell him the one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. I couldn’t tell him that he may have to go back and tell every one of those people that he is no longer going to be a dad. He doesn’t understand, and I know that because I didn’t understand either. My mind went to two different places, and neither of them were very nice. First, I thought that he will understand one day when his wife has a miscarriage and he has to deal with all of the crap that we’ve dealt with–when he sees that he’s not really going to be a dad and the universe is just playing a cruel joke on him. Then I felt really horrible. Could I really think that? Automatically assume that the pregnancy won’t last and he’ll be in the same babyless boat I’m in? I felt a little disgusted with myself, and then I thought, “No, he’s going to have a baby. Why would anyone else have problems carrying children? Just me. I’m the only one who has to keep my pregnancies a secret and be filled with fear when I get a BFP. He’s going to have a baby just like all the rest of those stupid, smug fertile people that have no idea how amazing of a feat they are accomplishing. I hate them all.” This is what my loss has done to me. I am a horrible person.

I can’t remember where I read it (I think it was survivingbabydreams), but a few months ago, I read a blog post where she talked about automatically judging whether someone was “worthy” when you hear they are pregnant. How long did they try? Did they have to do any treatments? Did they suffer any mc’s in the process? Or are they one of the annoying fertiles who just decide they want a baby, have sex, have a positive test, then have a baby–all in a ten month time span? The thing is, I don’t even know this EMTs TTC story. I just assumed that they hadn’t had any trouble or suffering at all because if they did, he wouldn’t be announcing her 3 week pregnancy. I just assumed that they did not meet the standards of being “worthy” of having kids.

I am one of those people who is genuinely happy for others when they announce something exciting. At least, I was. I’m upset because I feel like this journey has stolen that from me. Now when I learn someone is pregnant, I either pity her because she could have a mc like me or I feel bitter towards her because she can have children when I can’t, and I always resent her for reminding me of my pain. Ugh, this post is turning out to be even more bitter than I thought it would. I just feel like a horrible person sometimes, and I wish it would stop. I wish I could just be innocently happy for people again.

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A much needed and fun vacation, and a new life plan

Hello! I’m sorry I haven’t written in awhile–I’ve just been so distracted. I know I have a bunch of October writing prompts to catch up on, but I want to tell you all about what has been going on first. I’ll start by telling you about my wonderful weekend! I took a vacation day from work on Friday and spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Nashville at the Southern Festival of Books. It was wonderful. I was surrounded by authors and people who truly care about books and reading, and it really reminded me about what is important to me and my passion. I also got to feel very strong and self-sufficient because I went alone, and I didn’t have hubby to lean on for directions or anything. Solitary travel isn’t something I have gotten to experience since I was in Germany, and I had forgotten how much I actually enjoy it. I stayed with a friend from college who lives in Murfreesboro, and it was so much fun to hang out and catch up–plus we went to a beer fest on Saturday night which was really fun. The best part? I got to meet Katherine Paterson, who is my favorite children’s author! For those of you who don’t know who she is, she wrote The Bridge to TerabithaThe Great Gilly HopkinsJacob Have I Loved, and loads of other awesome books. She is basically amazing.

Another great thing about going to this festival is that it really motivated me. I remember now just how much I love literature, and how much I love to learn. I always wanted to work in a college as a professor, and my original plan was to go the grad school and get my doctorate in order to teach at the collegiate level. Life, however, got in the way of that plan. This trip was just the kick start that I needed, and while I can’t give up 5-7 years of my life to a doctoral program right now, I have decided that I am going to go back to school. I’m applying to the Masters program at the local university! I’m so excited that we are finally in a place where this can happen because I love going to school: class discussions, reading books I would have never thought to read, learning about things that matter to me, I could go on for quite awhile.

So now I am spending my time working on my application, asking for letters of recommendation, studying for the GRE, editing out an excerpt from my thesis for my writing sample, working on my statement of purpose, etc. The deadline is January 15th, which seems like a long time from now, but it doesn’t leave me a lot of time to study for and take to GRE. I’m still too excited to start freaking out, but I’m sure that will come soon :o)

On an IF/loss note: I have officially finished my first AF post-miscarriage. I has definitely given me a feeling of “moving on” which is great in some ways and very sad in others. Today I saw a picture of the girl who found out she was pregnant at the same time I  found out about my first pregnancy. She’s 27 weeks. Broke. My. Heart. I’m excited about where my life is going right now, but I’m homesick for my children that I will never meet. I’ve accepted it, but I am still so sad. At the book festival, there was someone dressed up as Clifford to celebrate his “birthday,” and some kids were singing happy birthday to him with their moms. I had to walk by very quickly because it made me cry. One day at a time.

I promise I will catch up with you some more soon!

Also, the posts for the IF Bloggers Book Club is “due” Friday. Is that ok with everyone, or do you need another week?

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Reminders

I had two experiences this weekend that caught me completely off guard. There are situations that I expect to upset me. For example, when I found out I was pregnant the first time, hubby’s coworker’s wife found out she was also pregnant, and we were going to be due around the same time. So I expect to be upset whenever I see her because she is reaching all of these pregnancy milestones that I should be reaching too, but sometimes things just sneak up on me.

Saturday night, hubby and I went to dinner with one of his fire buddies. We went to a very popular and somewhat famous pizza place that I’ve only been to one other time. The one other time I’ve been was to celebrate BFF’s pregnancy. Apart from their families, we were the first people they told, and she was only five weeks when we went out to dinner (yes, they starting telling people and celebrating when she was only 4 or 5 weeks along). I don’t even know how to explain why it upset me to be back in this restaurant, and as I type this, I feel like it is stupid that this place somehow seemed to shove my fertility issues and losses in my face. It’s just that when we were there with BFF and her hubby, we were so happy and the mood was so light and everything was so damn easy for them! If we get pregnant again, there will be no celebratory dinner at 5weeks. There will be fear and anxiety and loads of appointments to make sure everything is ok and secrecy so that we don’t have to explain to people that we had yet another mc if something goes wrong. Who knew a restaurant could hold so much meaning and emotion? I didn’t. It’s a shame because they have really good pizza.

I should have expected the second one, but we’ve been so busy that I just didn’t think about it. Sunday afternoon, we went to a family reunion with hubby’s family. Every year they give out little awards to the oldest male, oldest female, family that traveled the furthest, and the youngest child. They also announce all of the deaths, weddings, and births from the last year. I remember sitting there last year thinking that maybe next year, they would be announcing the birth of our child, and maybe our baby would even win the little prize. I assumed that I’d at least be pregnant at the next reunion, but instead, this was just a reminder about how long we’ve been trying without any success.

The worst part of these two experiences? How do you explain to someone who doesn’t know about your TTC journey why you’ve suddenly become sad and withdrawn? No matter how hard I try to change it, I wear my feelings on my sleeves, and I just can’t hide it when I’m upset. I’m not a fan of being the seemingly moody wife who gets upset for no reason.

What infertility/loss reminders caught you off guard? How do you deal with it without seeming like a brooding nutcase?

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