Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our release

 ***Preface:  This post contains many of my personal beliefs.  I hope you won't be offended by the language I use.  I believe that some type of release like this would be useful to anyone who has gone through a pregnancy loss, whatever your belief system may be.  I feel like anything we can do that will bring a sense of closure, an event that we can look forward to and look back on (just like a funeral or memorial service is for those that have died) will help us through these difficult times.  I just wanted to share what we did to give some ideas of possibilities.***

Last night, we purchased blue and pink balloons to release up to our little ones.

After the kids were asleep, my husband and I got the balloons out.  We each had written a poem, and we shared those with each other.  It was interesting that although neither of us had shared what we were going to write, we both had decided to write to all of those we have lost, not just this last one.  We also both wrote of our hopes of meeting them someday.  I thought it was nice that we both ended up sharing similar sentiments even though we hadn't planned it that way.

We then closed these papers up in an envelope, taped the envelope to the balloon strings, and went out in our backyard.

It was so peaceful.  The sun was almost down, so the sky was dim enough to watch the balloons float away, but bright enough that we could see well.

We let the balloons go and watched them as they went up high into the sky.

We held each other and shared tears.  Just before the balloons were out of sight, I blew a kiss and waved goodbye.

It was exactly what I needed.  A beautiful, peaceful evening to say a final farewell to them and looking forward to meeting them someday.

Here is the poem I shared:

When I found out you were coming,
 My mind raced with imagining, with worry, with joy.
What will you look like?  What will you enjoy?
Will I be a better mother to you than I have been before?
Will your body be complete with ten fingers and toes, a strong heart and mind?

When I found out you were coming, I couldn’t wait.

When I found out I had lost you,
My mind raced with questioning, with worry, with sorrow.
What did I do wrong?  Am I being punished?
Should I have eaten something different? Or not taken that last pill?
How will I move on without you to hold?

When I found out I had lost you, I couldn’t breath.

When I think of you now,
My heart races with longing, with sorrow, with wishing.
I want to hold you. I want to look in your eyes.
I want to be the best mother you could wish for.
I want to watch you grow up and see the joy in your eyes at the world.

When I think of you now, I miss you.

When I think of someday,
My heart quickens with hope, with possibility, with anticipation.
Someday, I will look in your eyes. 
Some day, I will hold you.
Someday, I will know you.

When I think of someday, I find peace.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beautiful poem about miscarriage

Another person posted this on a group about miscarriage--I love it.

These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints,
They never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint,
For now I have wings.
These little tiny footprints,
were meant for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angels tears,
of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
is you just give me the chance.
You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one who grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on mommy's heart.
'Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part.

May God bless any of you going through a miscarriage or grieving from one now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts on miscarriage, planned pregnancy or not

In the process of writing this blog and in my personal journal, and have discovered that at the time of the pregnancy and miscarriage, I went through a crazy amount of emotions.  I have been trying to figure out exactly how to explain the feelings I have had the past several months since, though, and have discovered through all this writing, that I basically need to deal with 2: the guilt over the decision to not try again, and the grief over losing a child.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have found peace with the guilt; I need not feel guilty because I am absolutely positive that we would have loved this child and would love any others that are sent to our family; we are simply deciding what we feel is best for our family at this time.

As for the second emotion, I am hoping that getting these thoughts down and 'releasing' them in 2 weeks will help the healing there.

Here are some of the thoughts I have had about losing a child (this one and the previous miscarriages I have experienced):

Miscarriage is different than losing any other person in my life.  As soon as I see those "two lines," I am imagining this new child: will it be a boy or girl?  Will they have my dark hair and eyes or my husband's light hair and eyes?  What will they like to do?  Sports, music, writing, math?  Will they like to snuggle or will they prefer to roughhouse and play around? 

When I see those "two lines," I am automatically thinking nine months ahead and preparing my mind to add this child to our family. I am thinking of getting the carseat ready, the crib ready, the clothes ready, and helping the other kids prepare to have another sibling. 

When the miscarriage happens, I do not have a child to hold and say goodbye to, I do not have a funeral I can sense some closure from, and I don't have all the support from everyone around me to get me through the difficult time.

I recently talked with another friend about this experience, and we talked about how we have this cultural thing where we don't tell anyone we're pregnant (except very close family and friends) until we're 12 weeks along when the "risk" is gone. . .I wonder why we do that?  If a miscarriage happens, don't we want the support?  Isn't that the time when we go through such awful morning sickness and worry that we would appreciate the help?  These really are just musings because I was the same way. . .don't tell anyone that isn't super close until 12 weeks; looking back, maybe if I had done things differently, it would have been easier. 

However, I'm not sure.  When I have told people about my miscarriages, I have gotten mixed reactions.  The hardest one to hear was, "Well, at least you've got your other kids."  While that is true, I have lost my possible third child, and then I lost another possible third child.  And now, I have lost my fifth child, or the possibility of having a fifth, probably forever.  Those comments, although well-meaning, hurt badly because I felt I had to defend my grieving and sorrow to others--I felt like they couldn't understand why I was so incredibly sad.

Those who have been through this particular trial were those I was so grateful to have around me.  After my first miscarriage, I had a friend (who had been through a miscarriage herself not long before) bring me flowers and dinner when she found out.  It was so nice to feel someone knew what an empty space we felt and that flowers really were appropriate--you send flowers to a funeral, don't you?  I feel a miscarriage is the same thing: even if we never met the person, we grieve for them and feel a great sense of loss.

I guess this post is for anyone who has experienced a miscarriage, unplanned pregnancy or not:  please know that someone out there has been through the pain and the trying-to-be-helpful comments.  Although I cannot know exactly how you feel as everyone experiences life differently, I do know how I have felt, and the pain can be truly unbearable; you're not alone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The miscarriage and my emotions

I have gone through two miscarriages before where I had the positive test, had the pregnancy confirmed by a doctor, then went through the loss of the baby.  Both times, the solution was clear: try again to have another baby.  I dealt with the pain of losing those children by having more.  This time, it's different.

Here's the story of the actual miscarriage:

A few days after the positive pregnancy test and dealing with all of my own crazy emotions, I decided to take one more before I told my husband; I guess I wanted to be sure that this was something that was really going to be life-changing before I brought it up to him.  I took the test: only very slightly positive.  I had been through this with one other miscarriage--I knew that I was probably going to miscarry.  The next test I took? Totally negative.

I didn't bleed for another week and half after the negative test, but I knew I was going to.

Now for the flood of emotions I felt:

I felt so guilty that I had been anxious and frustrated about getting pregnant in the first place; here I was now wishing I could still be pregnant. . .Then, to be completely honest, part of me was relieved: I was relieved that I wasn't going to have to deal with having another baby.  Then, guilt for feeling that way because I really should want every baby, right? Relief, guilt for feeling that way, but more relief, but missing the baby I could have had, missing the possibility I had of having five children instead of four, and then more relief, and then more guilt.  What a roller coaster.

I thought the roller coaster would end shortly after I went through the miscarriage.  It didn't.

Almost every week, I would bounce back and forth between "let's just try again" and "no way, we KNOW we don't want anymore" and that roller coaster has continued all the way till now.  I know now that my desire to try again is completely based on my desire to have this pain go away and with my previous miscarriages, that is what we have done.

I have, though, come to a sort of peace about my guilt now.  My husband said something recently as we were talking about this topic that really hit me.  When discussing the guilt I felt over the whole situation and that maybe I was being selfish for not wanting to try again, he mentioned--If we had been given the opportunity to have that child, we would have loved him or her so much and they would have been so special to us.  I know now that although we have decided to not try to have any more children, I can be content and find peace in knowing that if we are ever sent another child, we will love them like crazy.  Yes, we may feel apprehensive if that happens someday, but we will also be so happy to welcome them into our family.  We don't need to feel guilty because we know that we would accept any child that came into our family with such joy and happiness.

The issue now is dealing with the pain of losing that child; I have never had to confront the pain because I have just focused my energy on having another one.

This past week, a friend that I would have been pregnant with had her baby.  That was a very hard day for me.  I imagined that if I had not miscarried, I would have been eagerly awaiting the birth of my new baby in just a few weeks, and the pain of imagining that was unbearable.

What we have decided to do, is release some balloons up to heaven during the week I would probably have been due (the first week of August).  We will think about the child we are missing and hoping that someday, we will be able to meet and love.

I am trying to get my emotions written down, so on that day, I can hopefully feel a real sense of release and be able to move on.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The beginning of the story

Last November, I wasn't really charting my cycles because we were NOT trying to get pregnant.   I knew that I would get my period sometime before we left for our Thanksgiving vacation, but wasn't sure the exact date.  When Thanksgiving came and went, I had the thought that I might be "late," but didn't really think much more about it.

However, a few days after we got home from our vacation, I noticed that my Psoriasis (a skin condition I have had for as long as I can remember) was disappearing.  I thought this was strange since that really only happened when I was pregnant unless I was taking medication.  Along with that, I had the strange experience of getting up in the middle of the night with our then 12-month-old (whom I had weaned about 4 months earlier) and in my half-awake state, proceeded to try and nurse him.  Um, what?!?  That was weird. . .I'm sure he was thinking the same thing--"what in the world are you doing, Mom?!  You haven't done that for A LONG time!"

It was in that moment when I really woke up and realized what I was doing that I had the realization:  I'M PREGNANT.

Without proof, I didn't want to jump the gun on my emotions, but of course, the rest of the night, I was awake worrying: "How far apart would my last one be from this one if I was really pregnant?" "How can I do this again when I feel like I'm just now becoming a a normal person again?"  "Does this mean I'm going to need to start eating all of my allergenic foods again to help the baby not get my allergies?" "How in the world am I going to tell my husband when we both have decided together that we are DONE?" *sigh*
The next morning, I went and got a few pregnancy tests. I took one: 2 lines. Positive.

I went through so many emotions at that time: Anxiety, excitement, frustration, happiness, worry, elation. . .the list goes on.  I figured out that I was probably due sometime in the first week of August 2012, and worried about that as well because we already have 2 kids born the first week of August. . .I thought, "how am I going to possibly give THREE birthday parties in one week when two is overwhelming as it is?!?

I don't know that I have had that many emotions in such a short period of time. Ever.

I kept the pregnancy to myself because I wanted to figure out the best way to tell my dear husband. . .I knew he would be happy and love our child, but I also knew that he was going to have mixed emotions just like I was having.

I knew that we would probably announce the pregnancy to my parents and close family at our family Christmas party after we had an ultrasound and knew that everything was alright.  So, the night after I took the test, I stayed up late and typed out a poem.  I wrote it from my last child's point of view, but telling everyone that although it was unexpected, Mommy and Daddy were happy to have another one; as I wrote, I was trying to convince myself that by the time we got to December, we really would be just feeling excitement instead of this roller coaster I was on at that moment.  It was a great poem, but the computer crashed right after I wrote it and I lost it. . .maybe that was meant to be. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The story of this blog

The story of this blog starts back in November of 2011.  My husband and I were blissfully happy to have the four children we had planned on: their ages were 6, 4, 2, and barely 1 years old.  As my pregnancies were very difficult, we were also very happy to be DONE having any more children, and to be able to just enjoy those we already had.

Right after Thanksgiving 2011, I found out I was pregnant.  Hopefully in a later post, I will write about that story, but suffice it to say, there were many, MANY different emotions at that point.  Shortly thereafter, I miscarried.  Again, many emotions that I hope I can get down as I continue to post on this blog.

Through the journey of having our other children, we had experienced two official miscarriages and another assumed one.  Each time, we dealt with the heart wrenching loss by trying again and having more children.  However, this time, we were DONE.  We didn't want to have more children; we were happy where we were at.

I went online to find out how others in my same position had dealt with the grief of miscarrying a child when they were done having children.  Apparently, every person in this position (although I found very few in the same position, admittedly), decided to go ahead and have another one even though they weren't planning on it originally; they decided that the best way to deal with the grief was to have another one.

My husband and I have decided differently; although we will celebrate if someday we have another unplanned pregnancy and we end up having a child (simply because we love children and believe that God will send those that are intended for our family), we are not planning on having any more.

This blog is to get down the emotions and thoughts of the last 7 months and work through them as I write, and also hopefully to be there for someone someday who might go through the same thing--a miscarriage after an unplanned pregnancy, and not planning on having any more children.

These emotions have come up again recently as I would have been due with the baby in a few weeks;  I now have to face that I am not only going to not be having a baby, but that I do not even have another possible pregnancy to look forward to and channel my energy into.

My husband and I have decided that the week I would have been due with the baby, we will have a symbolic "goodbye" to this child and to the idea of having another child in our family.  My hope is that I will have some closure from this hard experience, and be able to move on and celebrate the family that we do have.