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Evolving Fears Of Pregnancy After Loss

Early on, I thought if we could just make it to the second trimester, my fears surrounding pregnancy after loss would disappear. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that was not the case when I kept experiencing random bouts of spotting that sent me into my OB’s office in a panic each time.

Once that died down, I thought, surely, now I can relax & trust that all is well. I will be 32 weeks this Sunday &, sadly, I can tel you this still isn’t the case for me. My fears with P.A.L. haven’t gone away, they’ve only evolved.

Early on, there was, naturally, the fear that this pregnancy would, like the others, end in miscarriage. Into the second trimester, I worried about the spotting I kept having, the infections, & the possibility of preterm labor. Now, nearing the end of the third trimester, I keep finding myself worrying about labor & delivery.

Will we go to the hospital when we should? Too early, too late? Will he come out okay, breathing/screaming/blood covered & all? Or will something go wrong?

As much as I try not to let my mind wonder to all the possible things that could potentially go wrong, I can’t help but repeatedly keep finding myself there.

Which brings me to wonder, does the fear that is so associated with P.A.L. ever fully go away? & what does that look like?

Coming upon the close of this pregnancy, I have came to the conclusion that perhaps it doesn’t. It can only be dealt with.

For me, that means coping by making lists & getting as prepared as possible (over prepared more than likely).

I have a list of things that still need to be done before he arrives. A list of things we need to get ready in our home, not including the nursery, & a list of things we still need to buy for baby. I also have a handy dandy hospital bag list ready to be marked off-which will, more than likely, happen this weekend. Along with anything else I can busy myself with in the meantime.

Have you experienced the evolving fears of pregnancy after loss?? How did you cope??? 

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Automated Response

You know the annoying things I’m talking about. The ones that just start talking to you when you say, “Hello?” or already have a pre designed responses when you press a certain key.

When dealing with, & overcoming, an eating disorder, you have a lot of these. A lot. Sometimes, even in recovery, you hold on to these things without even realizing it. I know this because it happened to me this week.

While going around & around about what I’d have for breakfast one morning, I settled on a bagel. But what else will I have? I thought, tearing the bagel in half. It’s not like I can eat an entire one, I can’t do that. It’s not allowed.

& I froze, eyes widening a bit. After holding this pose, my half a bagel in hand (looking rather ridiculous to a passerby I’m sure), I laughed to myself a bit. I laughed because I realized just how stupid that sounded. So I shook my head & pulled out the other half of that bagel, toasted them both, & then lathered them in cream cheese, another thing that was once forbidden to me for years. And you know what? It felt good. It felt damn good. Because no one can tell me what I am and am not allowed to enjoy, especially an automated echoing voice of an eating disorder that still thinks it can live inside my head. Not anymore.

Now, let me say I am in no way trying to give the impression that overcoming an eating disorder is that easy. It’s NOT. The overcoming is an entirely different part, the hardest part. What I’m referring to is that, even after being recovered for years, you will continue to realize that some things that are your normal are, in fact, are not normal at all. You will realize that life is much more than all of the tiny things that added up to weigh you down. You will realize that you can have not just half, BUT A WHOLE BAGEL, in one sitting, with-dare I say it-cream cheese included. I’ve had several realizations like this over the past 3 years in which I’ve lived my life entirely different than what it was before. At the risk of triggering those who may still be struggling, I am not going to list those but there have been many a moment I didn’t expect to have.

Recovery is beautiful. In one word, it is freedom. Freedom from rules, time limits, & a thousand regulations. It’s the ability to move on & TO  LIVE life, instead of focusing on one aspect of it alone. With this post, I want to stress something not many people told me about it, thought. I’d always heard it will still be hard. I’d heard that, at times, the eating disorder thoughts may flood you & you’d just have to be strong enough to fight against them. I had not heard that you would go on doing certain things when you yourself did not even realize you were continuing to do them. So, if this happens to you, please do not feel defeated. It’s a normal part of the process. And, every time you realize these new things, you’re only getting stronger in your recovery-not weaker.

Here’s to you, ED soldiers!

 

 

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Pregnancy Update

After our regular scheduled programming-I mean Dr’s appointment yesterday :P- I thought I’d do another pregnancy update. Looking back for the other I did, I quickly realized it’s been a good while since I’ve updated (oops!).  So, without further ado:

How far along? 26 weeks & 5 days

Weight Gain? Around 13 pounds

Maternity Clothes? All of them. Just all of them lol My favorite thing is my Jessica Simpson top. I can still wear some of my stretchy tops & dresses, though.

Stretch Marks? On my sides

Belly button in or out? Still in…miraculously enough 😀

Sleep: For the most part, this is still okay. It is starting to get a bit interrupted with random bouts of insomnia, back/hip pain, & trips to the bathroom.

Best moment this week: Hopefully, this will be passing the gestational diabetes test we took yesterday *fingers crossed. Until this can be confirmed later today, it was our appointment going well yesterday & hearing everything looked fine &, again, being told he’s a, “big boy.”

Symptoms: My heartburn & nausea is back

Miss Anything? I still miss sushi & wine. But, again, I’d happily give that & anything else up for life if it meant I got to have this.

Movement: LOTS!!!

Cravings? Again…SUSHI!!!! &, oddly, rum…this baby is a pirate! 😛 Also, anything sweet.

Food aversions? Chicken!!!

Queasy or sick? Sometimes

Looking forward to? Our baby shower I never thought we’d get to have tomorrow!!!! We are having one near our hometown for our family & friends there & another at our home near the end of the month.

Anything new? Instead of monthly appointments, I’ll now be having biweekly appointments….which is exciting & mildly scary at the same time since that means we’re nearing the end & we aren’t anywhere near ready yet. We also signed up for hypnobabies & begin classes on the 12th of this month!

Complications / Medications? Still taking Lovenox injections, baby Aspirin, & Methylfolate daily. Complications: None since whenever ending infections have ceased!

Nursery Update: Yeah, about that….we haven’t done anything since the last update 😀 Another oops! We have what we plan on hanging above the dresser & decorating, just need to mount it to the wall so I can decorate it. Also still on the list: finding what I want to hang behind the crib/decorate, finding bedding I want, & curtains, & either having the carpet in his room professionally shampooed or putting down the rest of the laminate flooring we have left over down in there.

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It’s Time To Talk About It

This year’s NEDA Week slogan is #itstimetotalkaboutit so let’s talk about it.
For more than a decade of my life, my only source of gratification was in obsessively working out-though working out is a poor word choice for what I was actually doing to myself.
It made me feel accomplished & strong when, in all actuality, it was making me the complete opposite of both.
As a friend once said to me a few years ago about her own eating disorder, “I have a lot more to live for now than hip bones & collar bones.”
Presently, I am truly accomplished in healthy ways. I got my MSW & CSW this past year. I’m, finally, going to be a human mom, in addition to a dog mom (& my man child 😜).
Those, those things, are accomplishments.
I no longer feel I have to go to a gym or stay on a machine for X amount of hours to feel worthy as a person. There is no worth in deterioration & it won’t make you any less unhappy. It may for a while, a brief while, & then it will be gone. Just like you.
After years, I am thankful to know that I am worthy just how I am, regardless of what I’ve eaten on a particular day or how many hours I’ve put in. I am worthy just because I am. I hope that you know you’re too &, if you don’t, there is help out there.

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Moving On

As we are nearing the other side of this long road of infertility (as odd as that is to say since I am still paranoid something will go wrong most of the time), I’ve thought a lot about how this will effect my blog & our life as a whole-specifically for those who are still deep in the trenches of their battle.

On one hand, I have been, & remain to be, sensitive to the feelings of others who are still TTC their own miracles. On another, after going through so much & believing having children was something that was never going to happen for me, I am also elated & believe that the biggest miracle of our lives deserves to be celebrated.

With that being said, I full well respected anyone who needed to unfollow me on any form of social media. I get it. There were several times in our struggle where I had to do the same in order to protect myself. Seeing announcements were  incredibly painful. They seemed to be, for me, especially difficult when coming from someone who, A, instantly got pregnant,  or, B, could easily have children & was newly pregnant with their third child, or, C,  from someone who, weeks or months earlier, had reached out to me to ask about infertility & boom became yet another person who was (successfully) pregnant before me.

And while, as a fellow infertile, you are absolutely elated when a fellow battler moves on, there is a part of you that is also a little sad to be left behind. You feel as if yet another person has moved out of the world you are in & there you still are in this scary, heartbreaking, isolating place. To say it is hard will never quite do it justice.

In the past few months, these things have weighed heavily on my mind as I’ve thought about what this blog will be once we do move on. After a lot of thought & consideration, I’ve decided to continue it & I’ve arrived at that conclusion for the following reasons.

  1. When I started this blog, it was never only about infertility. I’ve also blogged on current events relating to mental health & rape culture, as well as a few lifestyle posts here & there.
  2. Infertility, regardless of moving on, is something that will always greatly effect my life. What we went through to get to this point was horrific, not to say that some people don’t go through just as much or a lot worse than we did. Moving on will also never change the fact that we had two losses & four embabies that didn’t make it. I think about them all the time. Quite often, even now, I wonder who my children would have been had they lived. I know how old they would be & look on in heartache at children their age, especially children of people I knew were pregnant the same times I was then. I look at their cute picture of their children from insignificant days & I think, “that would be my child now.” No amount of separation in time will change the fact that we will never get to know those children. With that being said, infertility will always, always be a big part of my life &, fear not, will be something I continue to blog about because of that.

For those of you still waiting, please know that my heart is with you, I am cheering for you, & I hope you never, ever give up. For those who have moved on or are not effected, while you relish in the immense joy, please continue to be cognizant of those who are not getting to do the same. More than anything, the world needs kinder people.

I hope that you continue following along with us in this journey but also know that I completely understand if you cannot.

Sending lots of love ❤

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A Late Update

My apologies for updating everyone a bit late! I had planned to right after our appointment but we didn’t find out the results until late that evening & I was on the road.

Our ultrasound was at 10 yesterday at the hospital, which totally helped with the whole anxiety element. Scott met me there. Surprisingly, I even had to wear one of those fun/itchy hospital bands for it that he later cut off with his pocket knife.

When we were called back, the tech asked why I was getting the ultrasound so I filled her in & also told her what the Dr. had told me in regards to what they were looking for. She nodded & then informed me I’d be having two ultrasounds done, an abdominal one & also a transvaginal to check the cervical length. First I’ve heard of this, I thought. Even more fun.

Baby had, we think, just woken up when she started because his heartbeat was 132 (it’s usually a lot higher) & he wasn’t moving around quite as much as he normally does…this soon changed when he realized what was happening & she struggled getting him to hold still. Kid hates ultrasounds…& dopplers, apparently. Always moves away! She even called him rotten. She took a bunch of measurements & pointed out a few things to us in regards to where certain body systems were. We also got to hear how much he currently weighs for the first time, which was exciting. One pound & 10 ounces as of yesterday, I believe. He measured a week ahead on height, which isn’t surprising given my husband & father in law’s stature.

Then came time for the fun part, another round with the dildo cam! Which, just let me say, is even more fun when you have a bigger baby floating around inside you. We were not amused. While she was moving it around she told me she needed to check my cervix so she’d have to push on my abdomen & it would probably be uncomfortable. Yep, no questions asked about the uncomfortable. She did this twice, then it was over.

We were on our way to the OB’s office….where we’d wait, & wait, & wait.

Apparently, thanks to some idiotic new system the company has as a whole, my Dr. couldn’t get the results of the ultrasound to interpret. We waited an hour & 30 minutes &, at that point, the Dr. came in to apologize that they still couldn’t access the ultrasounds. We were told we’d get a call when they did on those.

She  explained again what they were looking for on the ultrasounds & said she could do another exam since we were there. At that point, we both felt like, since we were there anyway, we may as well in case anything else came up. She noted my discharge still looked better & then checked my cervix again (ouch) to make sure it was still closed. She said that it was still thick & closed.

And then we waited…….until 4 that evening for ultrasound results. Finally, the nurse called me & said that the cervical length was 4 & that was good. Cervix also appeared competent & the placenta was no where near the cervix, just like they were hoping for.

So all is, thankfully, good. We are guessing the brown spotting I had this week was just old blood from my cervix being irritated from the meds I’d just finished.

THANK YOU, TO EVERYONE WHO SAID PRAYERS FOR US, SENT GOOD THOUGHTS, & ASKED ABOUT US!!!!!! I am so sorry it took me so long to update. I was driving when I got the call & then my friend took me out for my Birthday a day early so I didn’t get home till late & then was exhausted by the time I did.

We appreciate you all more than you will ever know. ❤

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Ongoing

First was the scare. Then there was the scare take two. Then we had the scare take two, part two (I feel like I’m announcing a new film sequel).

This morning we had another. I got up & it took me completely by surprised since I finished the dreaded yeast infection medicine they’d thought was irritating my cervix Sunday night.

There was a bit of odd brown spotting then, a bit later, a considerable amount. So, as to avoid a replay of my battle with the receptionists, I automatically opted for the triage voicemail option. I explained I’d been in twice last week, had a medium amount of odd brown spotting today, finished yeast infection meds Sunday & antibiotics yesterday, & wanted to know whether or not to be concerned.

I got a call back from the Dr I’d seen last week around 1. She’d sent a message to my Dr. who wanted me to have an ultrasound & come in for an appointment tomorrow morning to check my placenta & cervical length. Why they couldn’t just stick me in somewhere today, I don’t know. In the meantime, I’ll probably have a panic attack until tomorrow.

To make matters even better, the Dr’s office didn’t have any openings for ultrasounds so mine will be in the hospital where we’ll deliver (in hopefully 3 months).

In addition to being terrified out of my mind given my history & highly worried, I’m also very frustrated & disappointed at this point.

Frustrated that this is an ongoing problem that is very alarming & disappointed that, yet again, I’m not able to enjoy this pregnancy. As I touched on last week, I feel like we’d just gotten to a point of breathability & now here we are back in the trenches of constantly wondering if something is wrong & things are about to take a dark turn for us. In addition to that, I’m really disappointed that tonight would’ve been an exciting night because we had our 4D ultrasound scheduled & have been looking forward to it for quite a while. We’re still going, since Scott votes that’s what we should do, & can hopefully be put at a BIT more ease until tomorrow morning.

Please, please send up lots of prayers for us that everything is okay & the spotting I had today was just old blood from my cervix being irritated & nothing else.

Will update more tomorrow.