Inexplicably tough days

Why has today been such a tough day?  I really can’t explain why I am so down in the dumps.  I think there are enough “reasons,” but I must not give in to them.

This morning I woke up somewhat disoriented because DH’s alarm clock is CRAZY.  So, I thought I was already late for the brunch we scheduled with friends, and somehow that set the tone for the rest of the day.  On our way to our friends’ home we stopped at a local bakery.  I ran into a midwife/herbalist who had been helping me before her mother fell ill.  It was the first time we had talked since my miscarriage.  That continued to establish the tone for the rest of the day.

We proceed onward to our friends’ home.  These are our best friends in town.  My girlfriend is now 11 weeks pregnant, and it’s really really tough.  Of course I am thrilled for her and relieved that all is well with her pregnancy.  But I’m also mad as hell.  It’s a hard place to be – for both her and me.  We had invited another couple to brunch who are considering a move to our town.  They have 2 kids, so of course there was lots of talk about kid-related issues, and my friend’s pregnancy, and whether or not we were going to have another baby.

I had a good conversation today with a friend of mine who has been down a different but no less significant miscarriage path.  She forwarded some threads to me that she thought would be helpful.  I decided to put them off until later.

We returned home from brunch and all decided to nap.  I couldn’t.  My brain started processing MISCARRIAGE MISCARRIAGE MISCARRIAGE again.  It wouldn’t stop.  My heart was breaking all over again right there in the bed where my DH & I have tried and hoped for three babies.  We were planning our upcoming homebirth just days before my last miscarriage.  We believed.  We trusted.  We were deceived.

I went upstairs to my computer to work on some outstanding projects.  Instead, I turned to the multiple miscarriage threads that my friend recommended.  I was quickly overwhelmed.  I am meeting with a different OB (one who spends 2 days a week seeing fertility patients) on Tuesday.  I am starting to panic.  There is so much that can contribute to recurrent miscarriage that is not easily found.  It’s also quite possible that no definite cause will be found.  Then what do I do.

I cried.  I cried more than I’ve hardly allowed myself in the past 6 weeks.  Tears were streaming but I was silent.  Don’t want to wake up my slumbering family.  And what might happen if I actually let loose?  I’m terrified to go there.

I stepped into a nastly little debate on-line today about whether or not women who have had cesareans have actually given birth.  It grieves me that women can be so mentally and emotionally damaged from their childbirth experiences, and while I am empathetic, I can’t relate.  Especially not on a day like today when I have been reminded over and over again that other people get pregnant and carry babies to term just fine.  No, cesarean surgery is NOT an optimal way – even when a life-saving mechanism – to have a baby.  But I’d take another cesarean over the madness and hell I’ve been in for the better part of a year.

I feel like I am starting to lose ground.  Perhaps this upcoming visit to the OB is stressing me out.  Perhaps my professionally-insane April is starting to weigh on me already.  Perhaps being behind on so many projects has more than caught up to me.  Perhaps I’m starting into a new phase of grieving.  Perhaps I’m afraid to get over these losses.  But one thing is for certain:  I am not who I want to be right now.

Grief Is

I found this poem today at MDC.  I just have to share it here.

Grief is a quiet thing
Deadly in repose.
A raging horror, a thunder of abuse.

Raucous -
Demanding -
Incomprehensible -
Tearing all that one has ever loved.

Hopeless,
Forlorn,
Fear-ridden and misunderstood;
Ceasing a moment, and through the years,
Returning…to destroy.

To rage
To curse all that is happy -
Or contented,
Or trusting.

To threaten every beauty that is true.

Grief?
It’s a quiet thing.

- Melba Colgrove, from How to Survive the Loss of a Love

Indeed grief is a quiet thing.  In real life when someone asks, “How are you today?!” or “How are you doing?” I am compelled to answer, “Just fine!” or something similar.  People don’t seem to really be asking me if I’m doing better with the expectation that I might actually tell them how hard every day is.  People don’t understand that it’s not terribly easy to just be fine after a pregnancy loss much less after three.  They don’t want to hear about it – not really.

Recurrent Miscarriage Update

I had a follow-up appointment yesterday with the OB who performed the needed curretage a few weeks ago.  I can’t say that I really learned anything helpful from the meeting. 

Pathology on the baby came back normal though apparently no chromosomal analysis was done.  I hadn’t realized that the pathology would only rule out ectopic or molar pregnancies.  I already knew from the ultrasound that neither of those were concerns.  So that was a costly dead end.

Chromosomal abnormalities?  Perhaps, so she recommends testing for both me and my husband.  I assume that we will go ahead and do that.

Progesterone deficiency?  Perhaps, so she recommends taking Clomid when I’m ready to conceive again.  I was not previously aware of using Clomid to treat potential progesterone deficiency or apparent “luteal phase defect.”  Since I ovulate on our around the 15th cycle day, I don’t think LPD is my issue.   However, I’m not ruling out some sort of hormone imbalance.  When I’ve had HCG levels tested, those numbers have been just fine.  But I’ve never had my progesterone level checked, and this OB wouldn’t do it anyway even after Clomid treatment.  I find that odd.  What if the Clomid wasn’t quite enough to sustain the corpus luteum until the placenta takes over?  Wouldn’t it make sense that I could still possibly need progesterone supplementation even after conceiving on Clomid.  (Remember that I have no conception problems; I’m just “failing” to sustain pregnancy right now.)

Immunological problems?  Not suspected though I am inclined to disagree.  I have a history of endometriosis, depression, low energy, and adult onset acne, for instance.  My mother has rheumatoid arthritis which is an auto-immune disease.  I rarely feel particularly “great,” but then again, given what I’ve been through this past year it would be hard to identify a great day even if it was right under my nose.  I found the Reproductive Immunology Associates’ information on miscarriage prevention to be interesting, encouraging, disheartening, and overwhelming.  I will pursue some of these ideas with local care providers.

Next month I will follow-up with another OB in town.  I may also go see an endocrinologist who has been recommended.  There are evidently fertility specialists as near as Spokane, so perhaps I should be contacting them?  I have so many questions, and I don’t know if I’ll ever find answers.  That’s perhaps the scariest part.  At this moment I think I could deal with being told that trying to conceive again would not likely be successful for X, Y, or Z reasons.  We do have one incredible child, and I might be inclined to consider adopting from abroad.  But to have to deal with the unknown is what really worries me.  Three miscarriages in a row “just” bad luck?  How will I overcome that “diagnosis” if it is the most likely deduction?

Time will tell.  Each day is different.  Some days are ok and some are not.  I am living moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day.  Planning ahead for anything is excrutiating.  But “ahead” will come whether I like it or not, whether I can deal with it right now or not, and whether I can deal with it then or not.

Aimless

I hardly know what to do with myself.  My normal internet activities have been disrupted by my miscarriage, and I find myself wondering what I’m supposed to be doing when I get onto the internet.

I can’t visit my “December Darlings” because they have what I don’t – growing families.  That may seem strange and selfish, but I just can’t deal with seeing the absolutely adorable pictures of my friends’ children.

I can’t even visit the main ICAN list . . . too many pregnant women there.  Too many women worried about their upcoming birth experiences, something I certainly can’t relate too right now.  Plus there’s the issue of having been told that my effing scar is too thin to attempt a VBAC.  (I haven’t had my follow-up with the OB yet to find out how she decided my fate for me.)  How am I supposed to encourage women to VBAC when I’ve now been given this news?  If my scar (which from the outside looks like nothing) can’t be trusted then how can I tell other women to trust their scars?  I feel like a hack.

I can’t visit Mothering’s forums, MDC.  I did today, but it’s been two weeks since I’ve been over there.  And today seeing the signatures of women whose pregnancies weren’t as far along as mine when I lost my baby . . . aaaa, it really stings.

I’m not in a good place right now.  Not at all.  I don’t feel “healed” in any way.  I’m just more drunk than I was 2 weeks ago.  Wow, that’s something to be proud of . . .

I don’t understand

I don’t understand why people who would kill or abuse children are able to get pregnant and maintain their pregnancies and so many wonderful people are infertile.  You hear stories of babies found dead in dumpsters or sexually abused or beaten or abandoned, and these stories hit me so hard these days.  It’s so unfair!!!

I saw something horrible on CNN this evening and found it again through digg.com.  A woman was caught on tape POWER WASHING HER 2 YEAR OLD CHILD at a car wash.  Thankfully the baby wasn’t physically damaged, but I can only imagine what this toddler has endured at home and how emotionally damaged the child is.  It just breaks my heart.

At least . . .

At least . . . 

  • I have an amazingly supportive husband
  • I have my daugher, my miracle daughter 
  • I still have my uterus
  • I didn’t end up needing a blood transfusion
  • My body doesn’t allow ailing babies to grow into the 2nd trimester – as horrific as it has been to lose three babies in a row in the 1st trimester, I am fortunate that I haven’t lost a baby after the 1st trimester or at birth
  • I have health insurance – hopefully they will pay for the extensive blood testing that may be recommended here in the near future
  • I have friends and students who are trying to help me figure out what to do next
  • I can think of 7 or 8 things to be thankful for this evening

Thanks to Mara for her at leasts . . .

Every Day Is Different

Every day people ask me how I’m doing.  When I can tell that they really mean to ask “how are you doing?” I tell them:  “Each day is different.”  Actually, each moment is different.  I can be going about my daily routine and completely get caught off guard.

Today my only child wanted “up” for “snuggles.”  “I can’t pick you up right now, baby,” I explained.  “How come???”  And I told her that when the baby went to see God that it hurt my belly.  Then, feeling her soft baby(ish) skin against me I was overcome with sadness.  “Mommy, are you crying?  Do you miss the baby?  Mommy, you miss the baby just like I miss the baby.”  I picked up my 40-pound toddler even though I’m not supposed to do so, and she dried my tears with her shirt.  Ugh, when a 3-year-old is consoling a 35-year-old . . . pretty sad.

Monday was my first day back at work.  I had seen a psychologist the Wednesday before.  He thought it was incredibly poor form for the OB to have suggested that I would go back to work 2 days after a curretage procedure for a third-time miscarriage.  Indeed, I felt incredibly guilty but relieved not to be at work the rest of last week.  I went to a student recital on Tuesday night, and I could hardly take the sadness, concern, and sympathy in my students’ and colleagues’ eyes.

This past Monday I was more or less ready to be back at work.  Tuesday I was already feeling tired and overwhelmed.  Today was awful.  I taught 6 voice lessons and a theory class and didn’t have time during my lunch break for lunch.  I got home and my husband had to leave, so I was left to figure out dinner and put our daughter to bed.

I am not winning any mother of the year awards.  I found a pizza in the freezer.  My daughter is watching Noggin’ while I type.  My husband should be done with his stuff in 5 minutes, but I need to put her to bed before he gets home.  I dread night time still.  Night time means sleep which means that the next day sneaks up on me.  It’s been 2 weeks since I first became aware of problems with my pregnancy.  How can that be?  How has nearly 2 weeks passed since the ultrasound that revealed my dead baby???

I’ve slept some since then.  I’ve drunk some since then.  I’ve taken zanax since then.

Every day is different.  Perhaps that is what gives me the strength to keep waking up “tomorrow.”  No, that’s not it – it’s knowing that my little family depends on me.  Right now there’s not much more that gets me to “tomorrow,” but maybe that’s ok.