Life is truly like a roller-coaster. It has it's ups and downs and for our family, I find the two are closely related, meaning it's hilly as hell. Steep, deep hills. Fast and swervy. The last few weeks have been the perfect example of when life goes to hell. How the roller-coaster feels like it will de-rail.
It started off with excited anticipation. We bought a pass last year to go to a water park in Niagara Falls. We have been looking forward to going for months. It was kind of one of those things I wasn't suppose to be able to do because I was suppose to be pregnant. So after the miscarriage and after my two week wait to get the go ahead, we woke up one Monday morning and decided to go that day. We quickly packed (which is very rare for me, I usually need a few good days but yeah for being spontaneous) and headed off. We had the time of our life and I truly mean that. I smiled and felt warmth and peace and just some really good feelings and emotions were had. Bee had her first experience at Rainforest Cafe and loved it. Then we spent 5 hours at the water park. Let me give you a bit of advice right now, take your kids to a water park and I don't just mean "take the kids", I mean take yourself too. Just go and do it. I even flipped over face first in the wave pool and just laughed at myself.
It was more than just about having fun too. It was a step forward for me. The fact that it was a spontaneous trip was huge, it was only for a night but it was still a few hours from home and that is not normally something I would do but thankful that we did. Prior to the trip, I had to find a bathing suit. I don't like shopping for regular clothes let alone bathing suits. I went 4 days after my miscarriage. Talk about self confidence and body issues at that point. But I actually found one I liked. I put that bathing suit on that Monday and took 5 hours to enjoy life.
There is always joy in seeing Bee have fun. The girl has not stopped asking about going back. She just had too much fun, but then again we all did and we all really want to go back. We stayed together as a family racing down slides together but then Stephen and I also took some time by ourselves to go on the bigger slides. This for me was HUGE. Here's the thing, I have a fear of water slides. Yup, me, afraid of water slides. More so the ones that are covered because as a small child, one of my excursions at Wally World (yes there is a place called Wally World) almost ended up in me drowning. I went down a covered slide and the amount of water splashing in my face was so much I couldn't breathe. I choked and have been scared ever since. So I started small, I went on the tube slides that were open, then to the one that was partially covered, then the one that was mostly covered then the one that was completely covered. I faced fears. I almost barfed with nervousness while waiting in line, I had to really focus on breathing and inner self talk, almost chickened out so many times but I did it and I went again and again. It was actually fun. I even went down the racing slides with the mat that you go face first on, didn't like it but I faced me fear and did it. Won't do it again, but I did it. I faced my fear of water slides and now I can't wait to go back with Bee when she is tall enough for the bigger slides and get to experience that again with her. I mean the happy emotions were real, honest real feel good emotions and for a few hours, it was just so much fun. So go, take you and your kids to a water park and go down those slides. I didn't even think about how I looked for one second. It was awesome.
The whole trip was. Walking by the falls, the tantrum by the falls, breakfast that was more like dessert, time with family, shopping at IKEA.. It was much needed. I definitely needed a few days to recover as my anxiety overwhelmed be after all was said and done. However, life right? Turns out we were needed up in Wasaga Beach on Wednesday to help Stephens grandma move. Talk about more spontaneity. We had just got home on Tuesday and here we were rush packing again to head off. Bee and I didn't have to go but we wanted to. So quickly got everything together and in place for the cats while we were gone and headed off. The drive there and back was wonderful. So many small little towns, really cool houses and the greenery up north is breathtaking.
We got settled in a nice little suite, walked to the beach then headed out for supper. It was a late night but Bee loved it because her aunt and uncle were sharing the suite with us. The next day it rained all day so our beach plans were cancelled, we helped pack instead. But, thankfully, at the end of the day it cleared enough for us to get down to the beach. We spent some time collecting rocks, building a sand castle and putting our feet in the water. Took a late night swim in the heated pool and then warmed up in the Jacuzzi tub. It as the perfect way to end the day. Even though we spent a good chunk moving and loading the truck, it was still so nice to sneak in some precious family moments.
I needed some time to cool down after the whirlwind week. The thing I found though, my anxiety wasn't too horrible after the trips. Normally I get so overwhelmed I'm just off for days but I found it was only really one day where I was just not having it. It didn't last as long as before, maybe spontaneity was the key. Maybe because I didn't give myself time to be all worked up before we left, it helped in the end. It was such an amazing week. We can't afford to do much as a family or go anyplace right now but sometimes being close to home and taking a day or two vacation is just what we need. Of course now we want more!
Life was good, we were going up, then it all came crashing down as life does. It got ugly. It started off with a cold, Bee and I got a cold, nothing we couldn't handle. We just felt yucky so we chilled, didn't do much and tried to get better. Colds we can handle pretty well. My anxiety has learned how to handle mild colds. But then one day Bee started throwing up. Not like her at all, I knew something else had to be going on. She threw up for 7 hours straight. I ended up taking her to the ER because she couldn't stop and we could not get any fluids into her at all.
Hospitals always cause me anxiety. I've had a lot of traumatic experiences at hospitals so I'm always on edge. We arrived and saw quite a wait but thankfully the profuse vomiting and lethargic look bumped us ahead of everyone else and they took her right away. They gave her this magical medicine that made her stop vomiting. We had a few hours wait to see the doctor and they couldn't have put us in a worse room. About 3 hours into our 4 hour wait, they brought in a lady who was having a heart attack. We could hear everything. EVERYTHING. All the beeps, all the vital signs, all the doctors lingo, everything brought me right back to Jacob. It was like I was back in the NICU when he first stopped breathing and they were bagging him. The scary beeps, the ones that say, all shit is breaking loose. All of it. The doctors calling for this and that and it was really like standing in the room with Jacob. but then, the lady died. They could not get her heart to start again and the killer, the silence of death is deafening. You could hear air hit the floor it's that deafening. Noise, noise, noise then nothing. Absolute silence. Silence that makes you want to scream and cry but you can't. It was like then being in the room after Ty was born. It was like I was standing beside myself watching him be born into silence. Or the silence after Jacob was taken off life support and we were left to hold him as he died. Death has a deafening silence.
Then there was the brigade of family members coming in just losing it, which is totally expected but it was like I was reliving Ty and Jacobs deaths all over again. I have never gone this far back. I have never remembered so vividly about their deaths until I was sitting in the ER, holding Bee balling my eyes out. For this lady, for her family, for Ty and Jacob, it's good the doctor didn't come in until an hour later. I needed that time to pull my self together. It was probably the most traumatizing, triggering experience I have had since the boys died.
I'm overwhelmed at the moment, so much anxiety and it's intense. It's really bad right now. Between being tired, Bee sick, the ER fiasco, not having Stephen here, him having to manage our nephews himself (we were taking care of our 4 nephews this weekend), my system is just shutting down. I'm so anxious and worrying about everything. It's had too much and it's done. In theory, I will keep going, I mean I have to, sometimes I have high functioning anxiety. I feel like I have to do do do, even as tired as I am. I have to keep busy to distract my mind. I try to think of better times, I try to think of those feelings at the water park but they are so far gone. I know I banked them and the hope is to one day connect more when I have a full bank of good emotions but it's hard. It's hard when everything else takes over. The last few weeks are just an example of how life is. All the while I keep thinking, we should't have been able to do this because I was suppose to be pregnant. I also fear, taking care of 4 boys may change my husbands mind about more kids. Speaking of which, I didn't even mention....we have our fertility clinic appointment. That event will need its own post. Life can go crazy, it can be crazy good but it can also go to hell.
Understanding is not required to be supportive to someone. You do not need to understand what someone is going through to continue to provide support. Society is missing this key point. I'm trying to figure out where people are coming from when things are said to the bereaved. I honestly want to know, so please comment below if you can give some insight.
Many times bereaved parents are subject to harsh statements. I'm sure the messenger doesn't intend for them to be harsh, but they are. things like "everything happens for a reason", "at least you have....", "be happy about....", "be thankful for....", "think of everyone else suffering far worse travesties than you", etc. My favourite, "choose to be happy". If you follow this blog, you know how I feel about this statement, you know how much bullshit it is and how horrible it is to ever say that to someone, give them a false idea that you can actually choose to be happy when you can't.
What us bereaved are having a hard time figuring out is, do people honestly think that we choose to be this way? For example, I have anxiety and ptsd, there are a vast amount of side effects that come with those mental illnesses. Do people who do not have these mental illnesses honestly think we choose to be anxious and worried and fearful? Do people think we choose to throw up from anxiety or ache so severely or shut ourselves in doors to keep us grounded? Do people think we choose to miss our or decline events because we are ";lazy" or "anti-social"? Do people think we have a hard time planning, organizing, making eye contact because we choose to? Do people think we honestly chose to feel miserable and sad, so much so that some days you break down in the parking lot of a hardware store or in the middle of the frozen food section at a grocery store? Do people think we choose to leave when things become too hard? Do people think we choose to look over bearing and protective of our children because we unfortunately know life is not guaranteed?
It seems that people think those with mental illness choose a lot of "unhappy" things in their life, like it's honestly their choice. It doesn't work like that. I've found those who do not walk this journey and do not understand how to be supportive think we choose these horrible ways to live, like anyone would every choose to feel this way all the time.
I compare it to my food restrictions. Many people do not understand and seem to think I choose to just not eat dairy or wheat when in fact, scientifically it has been proven that my body cannot break down diary or wheat. There are dire consequences if I eat even a small amount (just the other day there was butter on my gluten free toast that I was unaware of because I said no dairy) I spent two days in severe pain, alternating between gravol and advil all day long, missing out on fathers day dinner because I could not be aware from the bathroom. I had a severe headache and stomach ache from just a tiny amount. I don't choose this, I wish more than anything I could eat dairy and gluten filled foods because they are delicious. I miss so many yummy foods. Not to mention the cost to buy dairy and gluten free is not budget friendly. But no, people think I just choose this and it's as easy as just eating them again. It's not.
Its the same for mental illness, do people honestly think we should go on merrily about our lives, pretending we didn't have children die? Like that situation wouldn't change the way you live life? Do you honestly think that is the case? I've now had three children die, two had names and we held, one was to early to know, but do people honestly expect me to live a happy life and be thankful got every god damn thing? It DOES NOT work like that. My grief, my journey greatly affects how I live now. Anxiety dictates a large part of my life because my brain. My body. It remembers everything, all the pain, the heartache, the sorrow, the fear of something going wrong because it has. The daily fight to find the will to keep going, trying to figure out how to breathe and make it through some days.
It affects my marriage severely, that is an ongoing struggle. It affects the way I parent. We are pretty lax with Bee to a point, she gets a lot of things as well as a lot of one on one time because she may be the only one. We do also raise her to be kind and think of others but the girl swears and I'm okay with it. I honestly could care less if my daughter says oh shit. At least she uses it in the proper context and knows not to direct any swear words at anyone (she only knows shit so far, but I imagine fuck is close behind) Sometimes swear words are the only words that fit the situation and like I've said before, I do not hold my daughter to a higher standard than any other adults. Adults swear, so she can too.
Bee also talks a lot about death. She talks about how everyone will die and how we will see Ty and Jacob again, even when we are out in public she talks about death and I get eye popping, jaw dropping stares directed my way, but I won't quiet her. She has such a pure innocence about death and isn't afraid and I want her to hold onto that as long as she can. I want her to keep that outlook and innocence about death so we talk about it in the grocery store, I say yes everyone dies at some point and we go on with our day. Death is a large part of our lives, it's normal and healthy to talk about.
But, do people honestly think we choose to have sad moments, to live a life of fear, to worry so much we make ourselves sick, to be "lazy", don't people think we would choose to be happy and worry free, enjoy life and not mind the small stuff, or not let circumstances dictate our life? It sounds wonderful, it truly does but that's not how it works. So enlighten me, are there people out there who honestly think emotions, mentality, situations can always be chosen? Are there people who think just because they don't understand they have all the answers and can't provide support?
P.S. She got the fish. Named them: Snowflake, Lollipop, Zoe, Goldie and Seashell (See previous post)
There are two things Bee has been relentless about....asking for a sibling and asking for a fish. She's getting one of the two, the other, well sometimes I don't know if it will ever happen. I even have my doubts about adoption. Every single day for almost a year straight she asked to have a sibling and I wanted nothing more than to give her that opportunity. I feel one of the best gifts we can give Bee is a sibling and that feeling is what led us to talking about having another one, that and we both really think Bee is awesome and she makes us want another one as well.
Everyday.....I had so many fun ways planned to tell her that we were pregnant....I won't be doing those now and don't know when. Everyday she now says she wishes the baby didn't die and all I can muster is a "me too".. She asks why the baby died and I honestly tell her, I don't know because I don't. I don't understand why it is so hard for my body to have babies. It angers me, it makes me feel worthless, I can't even do the one thing a woman's body is suppose to be able to do. I have so many questions as to why. I've never smoked or done drugs, I barely drank (and haven't in 7 years) I eat organic and natural as much as we can afford too and I use organic and natural products. I work out to stay in shape and yet here I sit. The tears are pouring tonight like the rain. I've wanted a good rain storm for days because it suits my mood. It's hard to stay positive and in the now when I feel like this.
My mind goes to all the dark places all over again. Those places I worked so hard on clearing up and adding some sun. But they are becoming dark again and it worries me. It worries me that this journey we are now on may be even more difficult and I don't know if I honestly have it in me. I know people go through this journey and struggle, I know, I have friends here as well. But I personally do not know if I have it in me. It's heartbreaking. It's hard. One may call Bee spoiled and it's because she may be our only child. She may be the only child we ever have to buy things for, to take places, to give treats....though she may be spoiled I will also mention, she is not a "brat". She understands and values kindness and giving. When given the choice to go to her playground games class or to go to church and serve meals, she always chooses the church. She enjoys going to serve others. She enjoys shopping for others and buying things to donate so I don't really mind that she may be "spoiled" and the poor thing is smothered with love more than she could ever imagine. I tell her hundreds of times each day how much I love her, I give her a million kisses and I'll never stop because she may be the only one.
There are no guarantees in this life. Even through adoption, there are risks and with adoption there are financial requirements to adopt that we don't currently have. Adoption is not always "free", not that I think it should be for the safety of children but it's more planning to go that route. We've looked into it before and are continuing that avenue because I don't know what the future holds for us ever being pregnant again. Even if we get pregnant, I do not have a great track record at healthy babies. It's hard to accept that. It's very hard to accept that I may be done and not have it be on my terms. That is something that is tearing me apart.
I know there are doctors to help us, I'll be going to see one. But even then, I don't know if my heart can take it. I'm already broken and tired and don't have much left. I don't want to go deeper until I have settled once again. But more than anything, I want to give Bee a sibling. I want her to have that wonderful experience and we want another child. I just wish it didn't come with more heartache, I wish it were easy. I wish it wasn't so hard, emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, everything, it affects everything.
At least we can go fish shopping this week, at least she can get one thing she so desperately wants. It just breaks my heart when we go places and everyone has a sibling they are playing with and no one wants to play with Bee, kills me inside, it destroys me to see her hurt like that. Honestly, such a horrendous feeling to witness. Total gut wrenching heartbreak. I can only pray it will one day happen....until then, fish it is.
I'm struggling, like really struggling. I know, it's all I have written about lately but it's the truth. There have been a lot of hard days. I'm taking this harder than I thought but then I remind myself, I have not been through this early loss process yet so I have no idea how I would feel or react. I think the worst thing for me is it is bringing up so many painful memories. The deep sadness, the dashed dreams and hope, the empty feeling, the hopelessness. The strike of grief anywhere and everywhere. The reminders of the should have's, the what have's, the only if's. It's all coming back.
Food, if you know someone going through loss (of any kind) bring them food. Bring them food, send them catering, give them giftcards to take out restaurants because I feel the hardest thing to do is cook. It's okay if you don't sweep for a week or two but you have to eat every single day and a few times a day at that. When in grief, you just can't be bothered. Bring or send food. If any one is every struggling with something, provide their meals. They will truly appreciate it more than you could ever imagine!
I remember after Jacob we had people organize to bring us meals and people send us giftcards and it was amazing! Seriously, to know when we were hungry we could just eat without thought, it saved us. Let's just say, this time around they know me by name at A and W. They also know my dietary requirements. But if it means we eat versus not eating, that's all I can manage to do at this point. Thankfully we also have lots of fresh fruit we snack on throughout the day so not totally off the deep end of the nutrition wagon yet.
We went and served our monthly homeless meal last night. I really did not wan to go, I usually look forward to it but while, like everything else, going through a miscarriage everything sucks. It sucks the life out of you. But Stephen and Bee wanted me to go so I trudged through. It was hard, really really hard. To see parents who had 7 kids when they clearly even shouldn't have one ( hate to judge but you know what I mean) and to know we struggle so much with even getting one. Let alone trying again for another. It was hard to watch and see and not feel angry. It's okay to feel angry at such situations. It's part of the grief.
I feel as if I'm moving without living again, I feel this blog is all over the place like in the early grief days where my mind was so rattled, everything jumbled into a mess. I'm trying to connect to hold onto small moments to build back up but this is so hard. I never expected it to be this hard, then again, I didn't know what to expect. I wish somedays we could catch a break, just have comfort in life for a year or two. I know it means hard work but when you have ptsd, anxiety, are going through a miscarriage, taking care of a very active 4 year old, trying to keep up a house, trying to do renos....there is not a drop of energy left at the end of he day to do anything. Trying to get things settled around the house so we at least have that. It's a starting point. Home is my zone. It's where I usually want to be. Somedays I like to just sit inside, other days we do get out and play and plant and work on the yard.
Yard work is fun, or so it is right at the moment. I like mowing the lawn. I had the time of my life tonight with my new weed whacker (thanks mom and dad) learned how to edge using the weed whacker and just went at some tall weeds, nice to make everything look so neat and tidy.....ish. Seriously, I was like a kid on Christmas. But, I felt something there, though for a tiny minute it was still there. I also enjoy getting out in the garden (which is a weeded disaster) but we made a few areas and planted some plants, looks like we may have a good harvest this year and that makes me smile.
Of course there is my sunshine on the cloudy days, my miracle Bee. She truly is a miracle in every sense. She is hilarious. Things that come out of her mouth make me laugh until I cry. She also has a very innocent way of looking at death. She said to me the other day, mom the new baby is in heaven playing with Ty and Jacob and she was so calm and peaceful about and so real that it provided me with some comfort. She is so sure she knows thats where they are and that when we die we will see them again, I don't know what I believe but it makes me comforted to know she is so sure of it.
I really think her going to school is going to affect me a lot more than I let myself to believe. Even this morning, Stephen took her into town to have a morning with her while I went to the dentist, it was weird and quiet without her around. It's going to be an adjustment for me for sure. I am excited for her though and look forward to these new adventures but there was suppose to be another baby and that was the plan. But, our plans never go as...planned. So we are left to wonder.
The next step is going to see a specialist. The fear that, that within itself causes is tremendous; I know it could help, I know it could work but I fear more than anything, now that we decided we want to try again, I fear hearing that my body simply cannot do it. I fear being told there is something wrong with me. I know technology can help but I don't know how more loss my heart can take. Even with adoption there is the risk of loss. Kids are truly miracles, hug yours a little more tonight, there are so many of us who struggle and it's hard. What I would give to require two carseats in my car, to require setting the crib back up, pulling out the cloth diapers and all the baby clothes and toys. It hurts to think there may not be the chance for that again.
I am beyond thankful for the sunshine in my life and seeing and watching her grow is so special. From her first dance recital last weekend to her first soccer game tomorrow, there is no doubt she is growing and constantly asking for a sibling, I only pray, she will be blessed to have that one day. She truly is the sunshine in this rainstorm.
Another box arrived. I forgot the day I found out I was pregnant, I was so elated I popped online and bought myself some new maternity clothes. They came today. Another slap in the face. I can't bare to keep any of them. I don't have much hope at the moment that I would ever need them again. How could I? Carrying healthy babies is not what my body does. Its a graveyard for my children, as gruesome and dark as that sounds, it's how I feel right now. It really does a lot mentally to a woman when her body can't do the one thing it s suppose to do well, reproduce.
I struggle with knowing who I am, where I fit into this world and each loss just adds to that struggle. It's hard to find a definition that fits, I thought I was getting somewhere recently but it's all been thrown in the air. So many pieces to a person and so many of mine are missing. I'm overwhelmed beyond belief. I've decided to take a break from the business because I just can't do it. I can't write, I can't process anything, my mind is so far from being in the now, I just survive everyday. I survive, I paint, I do crafts with Bee. I can't do anything else beyond that.
All these little reminders popping up, it's all happening so fast. I found out two weeks ago I was pregnant, excites, elated, happy, something to look forward to but in a matter of days it was all dashed away again. I don't even remember if I ordered anything else so it could possibly still happen. Box after box, an empty sad reminder of the now. Having to go to stores and taking everything back and finding the strength to figure out an answer to the dreaded "why are you returning these" question. I'll have to stick to my go to, they didn't fit. But what about the toys? Gah, I hate this. I hate all of this. I feel so hopeless at the moment. I need to do, I can't sit I need to do. Burn those damn boxes (once everything is out of them of course) and curse at whatever I feel like cursing at. The gods, the world, the injustice. Roast some marshmallows while I'm at it because we love making smores. If we only eat smores for a week, I'm okay with that. Now only if the boxes of dread could stop showing up.....
I forgot how sneaky grief can be. How it can strike at anytime anywhere, like in the middle of the frozen food aisle of the grocery store. the sadness hits with such a hard punch all you can do is cry. The good thing is that is only a Thursday, mid morning in a small town so no one else is in the aisle with you other than your 4 year old.
I forgot how deep the sadness feels. I forgot how deep that pain is. I forgot how incredibly heartbreaking it can feel. I forget that all the memories can come rushing back, the weather is not helping. As much as I love this weather, it's just another trigger.
This journey is different than the other two. I have not had an early loss, that is not my knowledge area. I'm not in the hospital getting a bunch of drugs to numb me, to help me through. I am at home a lone. I am suffering in pain that Tylenol is barely touching. I am questioning my bodies ability to take care of this without intervention. I doubt it as I have doubted it so many other times. I question whether or not I need to go to the ER. I question whether or not it is progressing like it should, I don't know. I haven't been there but I also have not met with my doctor yet to be informed how these go. I know there is pain, but to what scale.
It's new because I have Bee at home. Before I could take a bunch of meds and sleep all day. I could lay around, not eat or shower and just let it happen. It's different having a 4 year old at home during this. There are no naps, no ability to take a bunch of meds as I still have to be coherent to take care of her. She still wants to do things, go places and doesn't fully understand what is going on. She doesn't understand why mom can only sit and lay around, she doesn't understand why mom can't do anything really, she knows why there are tears, she knows the new baby died but for her, it's okay because the new baby is in heaven playing with Ty and Jacob. I want that innocence, unfortunately I can't but its different dealing with it this time with a little one at home.
All I can hope and pray for at this point is that my body handles it. I wish not to have surgery and I wish not for this to become an emergency with an ectopic pregnancy (but hcg numbers may show this is the case, which terrifies me)
You know what sucks about a miscarriage? Everything, everything sucks. Having to continue on like nothing is happening when physically, mentally and emotionally you feel like a wreck. Having to keep going when all you want to do is lay on the couch for a few days. Bee had her recital, it was emotional. I mean regardless it would have been emotional because it's one of those firsts and I was so proud of her the tears couldn't be hidden but there was an extra layer of emotions there. Seeing siblings up on stage, it got me. I wonder if Bee will ever have a sibling, I want it more than anything but I wonder if it will ever happen. My heart breaks but it also breaks for her missing out on a sibling.
Last week when I found out I was pregnant I actually felt excitement. I mean real actual excitement. I started to think of creative ways to tell Stephen and Bee. I started to think f what it may look like to have two living children, the concept was lost beyond me but I knew we'd get there, I just didn't expect that chance to be ripped away so quickly.
I received a box on Friday, I forgot I had ordered a baby toy. I wanted something small to hold onto to give me hope but instead it was a horrible reminder of what is happening.
I feel so lost in this, no one talks about miscarriages. I've had to google so many things because I don't know what to expect or what is normal when going through one. I know theres emotions, but beyond that I have no idea.
Everything sucks right now, Stephen took Bee out for the day and I stayed home to paint. I've been painting for 6 1/2 hours because I just need to do. I need to do something, I can't sit around and do nothing so productive I will be. I will get shit done that I know I am capable of and to keep my mind busy. I don't want to think, My mind is going to live in fearville. I can't keep happy thoughts in my mind, my mind is running with worst case scenario situations all day, all night long. It's exhausting. So I paint, I paint and I ponder. I sigh. Everything sucks.
Sometimes I feel like I am being punished, like I did something so horrible that I deserve to suffer from now until my death day. The suffering has felt heavy lately. I've been struggling with my anxiety, as the last few posts have mentioned. Life has been going on and while it was small things that all led up to me being overwhelmed and shut down, something recently happened that has sent me back quite a few steps.
I've debated whether or not to write about this as it is personal, but then I realized I share a lot of personal things and this is a part of my love and loss journey. This is the heartache that so many women suffer through. I was hesitant to mention it because for the most part, Stephen and I have not told people we were "trying" again. It was our secret, our solace. It was suppose to end with a surprise post about our new addition and instead...well here's how it began.
Bee, Stephen and I decided our hearts weren't full enough and we wanted to add another edition to our family. All 3 of us agreed that our hearts were in a place of want. We wanted another baby. It took a couple of months of "not preventing" but in May, after a missed cycle, I decided to test. I got a very faint positive. A positive non-the-less but very faint. I didn't tell a sole. I didn't feel very pregnant, okay I didn't feel pregnant at all so I kept taking tests and they all came up very faint. I went to see my gp and her test was negative so she sent me for bloodwork. It came back very very low. Not a number it should have been, but "every pregnancy and every number is different" so I repeated the test. Still at this point, I had not told a sole. I had to wait 5 long days to repeat my blood work and one morning at 4am, I checked my blood test results and saw the heartbreaking news. My levels had not doubled, in fact they didn't move much. My heart sank. My Dr called and said it didn't look good. I called my OB to schedule an appointment and that morning I decided to tell Stephen.
All my excitement and plans to tell him in a fun way were dashed and instead I presented him with the stick of heartbreak and said we're pregnant but it's not going to be viable. I couldn't stop crying, for days. Why, why is this happening? After all we have been through why must I suffer a miscarriage? Why, what have I done? I'm heartbroken.
This child was wanted, this child was planned for and prayed for and yet again, my heart breaks even more. I really can't find the words.
The worst part was knowing I just have to wait. finding out it could be a week or a few more weeks until nature takes its course. There is nothing I can do but wait. It ruined June, so many plans have to be put on hold, a family vacation finally scheduled has to be postponed because I can't risk going and going through a miscarriage. All the while I sill have to have ultrasounds and blood tests and with each one hear on repeat its not viable and time will take course, or surgery if need be. I just want it over and done with, I want this horrible nightmare to end.
The grief is immense. I can't compare this grief to Ty or Jacob because it is a different situation and within it's own situation, there is heartbreak, there is emotions, there is trauma, there is devastation, different then Ty but then so was the grief from Ty to Jacob. It's different but it doesn't mean it hurts any less. I've never been one to say early miscarriages didn't hurt because they were early, I've always said they matter, just like a full term loss. To each person, the grief carried is different. Some may brush it off, but others may fall. I'm falling. It doesn't matter if I was only 6 weeks, this baby was wanted, this baby was a leap of faith taken to try once more and it has set me back so far into my grief, so far back into my ptsd.
All I can do is cry and wonder why, what is the reason? I have a lot of guilt and self hate right now. I hate the waiting, it is cruel to sit and wait. Knowing that I am pregnant but knowing that we will not be bringing a baby home in 9 months. I know people questioned us when we tried for Bee, I know people will question us about trying again, that's why we were keeping it secret. I know people will say give up or just adopt. I'ts not that easy. Don't get me wrong, we've talked a lot about adoption and it may be the way to go if we keep having reoccurring loss. But it's not easy just to give up on something you really want. I get that. We've had people say we should be thankful we have Bee, I try not to punch them in the face, their just.....clueless. We've had people say to just give up already, clearly it's a sign we aren't suppose to have kids. We've had people ask why we would do it again, risk it all again. We've had people say at least you have one living one. This is the reason we chose to keep it a secret, not because we were early on in this pregnancy and the baby could die, it was because of the harsh backlash people feel the need to voice. It's hard to ignore because a lot of the time I do wonder why I'd put myself through this again.
Not only has this been devastating, I have a 4 year old at home who wants to know why mommy is crying all the time and what the pink stick mean, trying to make sure we don't tell her too much because I don't want her telling everyone. It's not that I want to hide it from her, but I want to hide the innocence of a 4 year old telling the cashier mommy has a baby in her belly but it will die. I rather avoid such situations so trying to find the right wording while also being honest is hard. Add on the grief and the lack of motivation to do anything other than cry, it's hard for her too I'm sure.
Its just a hard time and mentally it is setting me back even more. My body has begun the physical side of the miscarriage but I'm scared because I don't know what to expect. I've never had a loss this early but the sadness is taking me back to a dangerous place. Sitting outside today, the warm sun, the cool breeze and the smell of bonfires brought me back to Fall. Fall, such a heartbreaking time for me. It's bringing so much of Ty and Jacobs death back, the pure heartbreak, the sadness, the empty feeling. The anger, the devastation.
All we ever wanted was a big family and yet we can't have that. For some reason, I have problems with being pregnant. I'm not surprised with the things that have been going on lately, but I want answers. I just want a break, we just want another healthy baby but it seems that will be another journey just to get there again. I don't know if I can do it.... I don't know if my body can do it.
I ache, my whole body aches with sadness. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I feel gross. I feel really down right now, as I should and as I'm allowed to feel. No medication will make the pain go away, counseling will help in time but I'm tired of people telling me to do this and that to feel better. Let those in grief wallow on their own time, they are entitled to it. I will figure it out on my own in my own time.
My depression seems to be rising as does my ptsd and anxiety. I'm starting to live in the worry and fear again. I'm grasping to hang onto the now, to look forward to all the exciting things we have coming up, that is the light. Plus I have a 4 year old who demands me and my attention almost 24/7 and is pretty cute and has this death thing down solid. Keeps telling me the new baby is having fun with Ty and Jacob in Heaven playing on all the playgrounds and telling me it's okay we'll have another baby. If only I could have her outlook. If only this was all another bad dream instead of reality.
I have not written in 22 days. It has not been an easy 22 days, in fact it has been hell. I feel like it's been a total mind fuck. Seriously, the anxiety has riddled my body. The aches have been bad and I've just been trying to survive. It was not a good time to work on the book. I know that now, I can' force it, if it takes a few more months then so be it. I can't force something my mind can't handle. There's been so much going on, not just in our lives but the world. It's hard for a person with anxiety not to feel the affects of things going on all over the world because we're pro at thinking of the worst and if the worst is happening elsewhere, it can happen anywhere.
I'm also frustrated with the programs for mental health. I appreciate they offer some but what people fail to realize is time. What do I mean by that? Depending on when your trauma occurred, you could have 5 years, 10 years, 20 years or 30 years of built up trauma. It took that long to get where your mind is trauma wise and people fail to see that you may need just as much time to sort through all that shit. Most "free" programs offer 12 sessions. 12 session, let that sink in for a minute. You've had, 7 in my case, years of trauma and you get three months to sort through all the shit. Not happening. Usually by meeting 10 people are just getting comfortable with their counselor to start opening up and then bam, sorry done. It makes it very hard to get anywhere mental health wise. I was so thankful that the PTSD program I was accepted into was 2 years. I can't tell you how much that has affected my life in a positive manner. However, I am now left with anxiety and that is destroying my every being. Some days I can't manage, it's easier just to do nothing. Some days If ind motivation to get outside and be with nature.
Add on, the issue of needing childcare and not having it readily available. I feel most programs fail to realize a lot of moms have mental health issues and one of our barriers is childcare. Living in a big city it's a bit more accommodating but living out here in a rural town, there is nothing. There isn't even drop in home day cares. It's no wonder so many people suffer and suffer alone and don't seek help. It's exhausting trying to find help.
My exhaustion is exhausted. My anxiety is anxious. My worries worry. It's not even one big thing, its so many little things. All the little things add up and my isolation does not help. We have lived here 10 months now, it still does not feel like home. I don't know how long it will take. There have been more moments of feeling a small connection so I am hopeful one day it may feel like home. In the meantime, just hanging on. Trying to take each day, day by day. Trying to find ways to make things work. Trying to find motivation to get stuff done. Trying to find energy to keep going.
At the same time, I feel like I'm failing at being a mom. I had this grand idea of what it would look like to be a mom but I also feel, trauma or not, many mothers may feel this way. Parenting is hard and exhausting for many. Letting go of the guilt is hard.People always say to treat children like little adults because they are, I do see value in that. I never make Bee do anything I wouldn't expect another adult to do but at the same time, another adult also wouldn't stop and sit on the ground while hiking, another adult would not pinch, kick, hit or call me names when they are frustrated (or I sure hope they would not) another adult would not lay on the floor in the middle of a store screaming because they want Shopkins. So at the same time I see giving children respect and I do believe in that ( don't make them eat if they don't want, don't make them finish food they don't want, don't make them do something they dont' want to) sometimes, those little adults also need a stern voice because they don't act like little adults (well, unless some become president then apparently childish behaviors are the way to go) but all jokes aside, there is guilt. There is guilt no matter how many times people tell you they are in the same boat. There is always guilt. Just like I hold some guilt over what happened to the boys, though I know now through my therapy that I shouldn't but I do because thats how my mind and body work.
It's hard to be stuck where I am in this moment. It's really hard and has been since we moved. I am isolated, I have no one here and lord knows my social anxiety causes me a lot of grief in being able to seek out anything. We do volunteer at a church once a month serving meals to the homeless and we all enjoy that very much, but it's hard.
I think another thing that really set off this downward spiral was going to church. My faith has been destroyed since our journey began, it's seen a fair share of sharp roller-coaster sips and turns. I'm at a place now where I'm neutral. I haven't been back to "our" church in a few years because going through me emdr made it very hard to face. That church holds a lot of traumatic memories. Ty and Jacob's funerals were both held there. It is also where we got married so happy times too, but the hurt and trauma from Ty and Jacob's death is hard for me to deal with, let alone being in church usually makes me emotional anyways. So I was avoiding it, however, my husband served on Easter and really wanted Bee and I to come so we did. I may not be on board with the whole religious aspect but I love my family and do things to be with them. It was hard, it was very emotional hard. Add that on to the emotions from trying to write the book proposal and it was a lose lose situation. We also went back last week and have been going to his moms church as well (which is easier for me) but the difficulties of church have been sitting heavily upon me. Even if I don't believe in what is going on in church, it sometimes makes me feel better. So I guess I may be more inclined to do that again if my mind will allow for it.
Stuck, it's just how I feel. The guilt is there. The struggles are real. My anxiety is taking over and I need to find a way out. On nice sunny days, we are out working in the garden. There is so much to do and with no landscaping budget this year, it's all about the prep work which is probably more exhausting but being barefoot in the dirt and digging, it soothes the soul. On rainy days, working inside within our budget limitations (think a can of paint) will have to suffice. It's hard to let go of the guilt of not being able to contribute at this point. That is really hard for me. I wish more than anything my mind could just work and function like it needed to, to hold down a job. Maybe I am not giving myself enough credit and would be okay, but if my track record at home has proven anything, it's that I can't even handle the basics at home some day, the anxiety is too much. The guilt is strong with that one. It makes me feel like a failure and while I see that people in my life sort of get it, they don't really get it, not the ones who share in the pain of anxiety. Many people think just "suck it up" and I wish more than anything I could, I really really do. But at this point I can't. I know I need to seek out more counseling for my anxiety but like the issues above, it poses challenges. However, I've never been one to give up and I never will be, I will find solutions, I will make phone calls. and figure something out because I know I need it. I know how helpful the program was for my ptsd, though I still struggle some days, I know I need to find something similar for anxiety.
In the meantime, I will tend to my vegetable garden and hope it isn't a flop. First year doing a big vegetable garden so we'll see how it goes. First year planting the seeds in the ground myself and some haven't sprouted yet so we'll see how it goes. If anything at least it is good to be outside in the sun, it's good for the soul. Just need to remember to take it day by day and hour by hour if need be. We will get where we need to be in a few years, just need to remind myself of that. It may take time but that is okay (I say cringing with discomfort at the sight of some areas of our house that need some major work) in time......everything is in time.
It's mental health week, though I thought it was just mental health month or week not too long ago. It really doesn't matter, it's sad we need a week or month to bring about the awareness of mental health issues. Why not a year? Why not every day? Because let tell you, mental health issues happen every single day for many people. We live and struggle with it daily. That's why I blog, that's why I share my struggles through out the year. One week of talking about it unfortunately won't do much.
But since it is mental health awareness week, let me indulge you with my current struggles, ones that will last past this week. I have ptsd and anxiety. My mind does not function like it use to nor does it function like society thinks it should/does. I have struggled for years. I have gone to counseling on on off and the only reason it was on and off was because we couldn't afford it. It's where we are currently at. I would love to continue counseling, I need it. I have a lot of unresolved anxiety issues. Thankfully the 2 year program at the hospital really helped with my ptsd but it opened the can of worms that is anxiety. I know I need more help but we can't.
Bee has been with me, without me getting a break for 5 months now and it has taken is toll. I love that little girl more than anything and its hard to be a parent, it is exhausting. There is no balance or routine to our life because I can't function enough to figure one out. When she was in school, things ran a lot smoother. It was a good balance for us. So why not put her in school? I looked, I even caved and looked at home day cares but the cost was more than we could afford. In my current state it is also hard for me to drive for long periods of time. The thought of having to drive her 45 minutes one way to get someplace gives me so much anxiety. I can't do it the amount I need to. There are very very limited spaces where we live now, but most only accept full time. The ones that do accept part time just cost too much for us. Just so you can get an idea, daycare would cost $600-$1000 a month. Part time would be approximately $400-$600.Even one day a week would cost around $160-$200.
It kind of applies to the issue with counseling. I'd love to find a counselor and work through some more anxiety issues, I'd love to see the same person I have over the last two years but I can't. It costs too much.
I don't say this to get pitty, I say this because there is a huge lack of funding for those with mental health issues. We aren't rich by any means, we barely make it pay check to paycheck but we make do. However, that leaves no room to get the additional help I need. Because we are on the border for government help, we don't get it as much as I need it. All government programs are based on what your income is. To qualify for help you have to be poor, sorry but you do. I'm sure they think it's because people who are rich can pay for their own help and I wish more than anything we had that opportunity but they are leaving out a huge group of people caught in the middle. They leave out those who may "make too much" by their standards but fail to see that indeed, most of us stuck in the middle, it would mean not having food on our tables in order to go go counseling. Some counselors charge up to $150 an hour. Even the lower ones can be $80 an hour. You figure you go once a week for one hour and thats already $320-$350 a month. Where the hell are we suppose to come up with that kind of money?
A lot of people also do not have benefits, which is why the cost is so high. Companies these days are not as willing to give benefits and if they are, they are only willing to contribute a small amount. The last job I had benefits at, I was still expected to pay $250 a month on top of the 20% I was responsible for. So even with benefits, it still costs a lot. Not to mention those of us who can't actually work.
Why do I mention all of this? Because, there needs to be funding for access to mental health care, regardless of how much you make. Yes I agree if you have millions maybe you could afford to pay for your own counseling, but there is a large group of people who are too poor for government help and not rich enough to pay for themselves. That's where I sit. Even though I know I still need counseling, until I can find some free help, I'm stuck. I should also mention most of the "free" help is limited to 12 session, 12 fucking sessions. Sorry but by session 12 I'm just getting to know my counselor and starting to feel comfortable enough to let everything out. 12 sessions is by no means near enough.
There is no doubt thousands of people are falling through the cracks of mental health because the help is either not there at all or they can't afford it. Some people do not seek out help, but for those seeking out help, shouldn't they, regardless of income, be able to get help? Why should they be punished because "they make money" even if only a small amount. If you are seeking out help to better yourself, to try and get a hold of you life to make it better, then should't you be welcome with open arms instead of invoices? I get people have to make a living (therapists) but there needs to be help for those stuck in the middle as well.
So during mental health awareness week, I am pushing for change, there needs to be change to those of us stuck in the middle. Stuck in the middle of funding. When you take a low income (but enough according to the government) add on expenses, house costs, rent, heating, gas, bills, health care (because when you don't have benefits that shit costs a lot, my 3 months of medication while pregnant with Bee was $800, but I had to take them, of course she was worth it) little things that come up because you know, life. Add on special dietary requirements because certain things make you so ill, just a small amount can send you sideways for days with being sick so you have to buy special food, any car payments if you are blessed to have a small car, everything life sends your way. Apparently after all the basic needs are covered, we still have money to throw around. Instead of being able to go to the dentist and have cavities fixed or buying certain medication to help you feel better, seek out alternative treatments that have been proven to work, it's like a game of roulette, what are you willing to risk in order to make your life better?
I am hopeful that one day I may be able to return to work, when my mind decides to get back online, even if only in a small amount, but in the meantime, I do what I can even though it is physically killing me. I am so sick from anxiety right now, no amount of pain meds can solve this hurt, this ache. My body is overwhelmed, my mind is overwhelmed and the worst part is knowing I just have to hang on for the ride, there is nothing I can afford to do at this moment but let it run its course.
I know I'm not the only one in this position, I know I am not the only one who has to decide between a month or two of counseling versus paying for my daughter to dance for a a year, or play soccer for a few months or take her to cheap )preferably) free events so she can still enjoy life. It's a sacrifice I am willing to make for her, but it is costing me. Our government needs to change the requirements to accessing mental health help. Anyone who wants to seek help should be able to get it, regardless of income. It shouldn't be a game of picking and choosing what you can give up in order to get help.
Let's take a walk through the pre-trauma era right around when I received my drivers license. I loved to drive, I would just pick up and go. Often I would find myself driving back to London to visit my friends. Driving was my escape, it was my outlet to just go and do. I never had any problems driving, I even took some lengthy 20hr drives down south. All of that changed when my trauma occurred. It took me a while to even just get behind the wheel of my car and drive down the road. I struggled to drive, often leaving it to Stephen. For 6 years post trauma I did not go on a highway. I did not go near a highway. But, when we moved I was forced to have to take the highway to get back to the big city. It was a good way to ease myself into driving on a highway again. Once I accomplished doing that a few times, I pushed myself to drive to the beach, one on the highway, one not on the highway. It was more about the 45 minute drive than the type of road.
Then at the beginning of this year I pushed myself further, driving an hour and crossing the border. I've always had a bit of anxiety about crossing the border but the first time back, it was hard. But I did it. I did it again one month later with Bee in tow.
Fast forward to this week, I really wanted to go back but felt the need to push myself further and make the 3 1/2 hour drive solo with Bee to my parents house. It was an impromptu decision, one I made Tuesday and by Wednesday we were on the road. I knew it had to happen like this, I could not plan a date and sit and wait for it to come. I just needed to go and do it. I went on adrenaline. It was a nice sunny day and I knew Bee and I had made it as far as an hour before so I knew I could do that much. We were okay driving in Canada, the border crossing made me anxious but it went smoothly so it eased. The next 2 1/2 hours were a mix of feeling good knowing I could do it and panic. Thankfully I was able to manage the panic enough not to have to stop. But the sweats and the dizzy feeling along with nausea and an uncomfortable feeling were there, They held on for the 2 1/2 hours. We did eventually stop half way there and it hit me like a ton of bricks, the panic took me over and I barely made it to the restroom. I was so dizzy with adrenaline and panic. I knew we just needed to get back on the road and once we did it settled down again.
I'm also thankful Bee rocked the ride pretty well. We made it in one piece and a new, unexpected issue arose. Being back "home", a place that has been home for 20 years, it was tough. It was emotional. I tried so hard not to cry at the thoughts and memories flooding back. It was like the gates of my mind, my younger years were opened and everything reminded me of this time or that time.. It was really hard to deal with. It was unexpected. We have gone down post trauma but I think because I have not done emdr yet and my mind wasn't fully online, it didn't register like it did this time.
Places, so many things happened in high school, so many things to tell Bee about. Bittersweet memories. A part of me wanted to go back A part of me wanted to move back. A part of me feels there is a lot of unresolved issues I have there. I know I need to go back before my parents move back here. I didn't want to leave but knew I had too. There is definitely something still hanging on but I don't know what it is. Next time we go back, I think I need to take a drive, just drive around and look, stop and remember and cry if I need too. Memories of the past are hard for me, the innocence, the joy, the need to just have fun and not worry about life. But being back in my "hometown" really made me sad. I don't know if sad is the right word but there is an emotion there in relation to going back. The memories I hold came pouring out and I didn't have time to process them properly.
By the time we had to head home and pack up my mind was done. It had checked out from overload and that is there I sit today. I can't process much, I am angry and agitated, I have no patience. I'm beyond exhausted and physically hurt.. My body is done. The car ride back didn't go as smoothly and the cloudy weather didn't help my checked out mind but I'm glad I did it. I am glad I pushed myself to just do it. I know it will take a few days/weeks for me to process everything, I know there is still unresolved issues holding me and calling me back. I will deal with them in time. For now I need to comfort.
I don't see it as an accomplishment but thats my ptsd/anxiety mind. It doesn't recognize positive very often. All it recognizes is how exhausted I was. I appreciate that we went and I know my mom does (she had knee surgery a few weeks ago and we wanted to check up on her, we didn't tell her we were coming so it was a surprise) It was nice to be with my family, thankful my brother had Thursday off so we could spend the day with him and do some shopping. As much as I feel I wasnt ready to leave and as exhausted as I was, it is a good first step towards more road trips. Maybe once day that spontaneous adventurer will come back but in the meantime, we'll chalk this one up as, we did it and now we need to nurture our minds and bodies.