Monday, September 9, 2013

An unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage and how I coped....

Well, this is going to prove to be one of the hardest posts I've ever written. I've battled with whether to write it, or not, but the more I think about it the more I wonder if my experience happened to help me be able to comfort someone else, a friend, a stranger etc. I also feel, as a woman, it's not something I should feel alone with.
So, do you all remember my last post about my surgery? If not. You should probably read that one first for this to make much sense.
The craziest thing happened that day.
We had been at the pool all day, and as usual I had been in pain, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. I'm in pain all the time. I'm so used to it that i'm at the point where I conceal how I feel so well that people don't notice/realize that I'm not well. I never let the crippling pain I feel in my abdomen show on my face. I wait till i'm safe in my home to cry about the stabbing, burning feelings that I get and the constant cramping that goes on where my uterus is. (Please remember, i'm not an overshary person, I'm sharing because I hope that I can help someone else who is feeling this. I suffer from endometriosis and adenomyosis combined. It is crippling.)
Well, at the end of this particular day I had been feeling odd. My pain wasn't as bad as normal, but I felt strange. I suddenly had the feeling I needed to take a pregnancy test. So, Clyde stopped off at Rite Aid before we got home and grabbed one. I fed the kiddos when we got in, and in between sweeping the floors I took the test and left it in the bathroom to decide yes or no while I finished the floors. I had forgotten about it after getting back to my chore, until I heard the door squeek and Clyde came out to me saying "No freakin' way!!!".... I remember staring at him and immediately feeling angry, I told him to quit messing and this was one thing that his sense of hillarious humour was NOT welcomed in. He grabbed me by my shoulders held me and looked in my eyes. His eyes were full of excitement and gleaming. He told me, "You are pregnant Jessie!" .....
I felt my knees go weak and Clyde had to physically hold me up. I broke down and asked how this could happen? {I don't mean HOW....obviously I know HOW, but more in a how can this happen to us when i'm getting a hysterectomy in 2 weeks, kind of "how"}
This is where I am so aware that I married the most amazing man. He is the strongest man I know, while also being the sweetest man I know. He held me and not for a minute did he falter. He gave me the pep talk I needed and reminded me how strong our family is, how strong WE are, how strong I am.
So, after maybe 5 minutes of sheer panic, fear and confusion, I allowed myself to feel the excitement that was hiding beneath the other stuff. I couldn't believe I was pregnant.
It was NOT planned, not even a little bit, but after convincing myself for the past few months to go ahead with the hysterectomy it reminded me how we are not in control. It reminded me to be able to roll with the punches sometimes.
So, for the last few weeks I've busied myself with choosing prenatal vitamins, wondering if it would be a boy or a girl, thinking of where we would fit this little one in our house, who would share rooms etc. We talked about how we felt old, but aren't really. I think having 4 children in 30 months sure made us feel older than we are really. Hahaha! Keep reminding myself i'm still in my 20's, and not my 40's!!
I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant and after all the fear washed away, I couldn't have been happier. We couldn't have been happier.
Well, the day before what would have been the day my surgery was supposed to take place, I started feeling unwell. I knew something was wrong.
I was in so much pain that I ended up at the ER. After tests and lots of confusion and miscommunication between Drs and nurses etc., they had to tell me that I was getting ready to lose the baby.
On the day of my previously scheduled surgery I miscarried.
I couldn't believe the timing on top of everything else. It was hands down one of the most emotionally painful things I have ever experienced. It felt so cruel.
This is not something I could normally ever share with anyone. But despite how painful this is to write about, after a few weeks of healing and praying about how I feel, I felt prompted to share my voice with other women. I know that I would have appreciated hearing from other women to help comfort me, so I'm praying that this comforts even at least one other person.
I know that the pain we all might feel will be different, as not only is each case different, but each woman deals with life trials differently. All I can do is say how I personally coped.
Without going into too much personal experiences that I just prefer to keep sacred to myself, I wanted to share the basic things that comforted me at this time.
While I went through the miscarriage we stayed up in Pittsburgh at a hotel. We were blessed to know that my mummy happened to be in town for what was supposed to be my surgery recovery period where she was going to watch the children so I could lay in bed. Turns out it wasn't so different after all. We knew the children would not only be safe, but be having a blast being entertained by Nama who just adores them. This time was ours to heal, together.
I drank A LOT of tea, which calmed my anxiety and tummy. I tried all types of herbal tea and settled on a few of my favourites which I will share another time. {I literally could do a series of posts on herbal and fruit teas!}
I cried, a lot. I tell you this because I feel it is important. When we were still waiting in the ER for the results of the hormone levels I remember chewing on my mouth to hold back the tears, I could feel them stinging behind my eyes but I wanted to feel strong and like I could handle it no matter what the answer was. I was rehearsing how I would react to each possible result when she told me. But when they walked in the room, they didn't need to tell me, I could tell from the look in her eyes. It was pity, but for some reason, I was glad of her empathy at that time. She put her hand on my leg and just nodded that the results were not good. I literally collapsed and let the tears go, and I immediately felt relief. Letting go of those tears was important and with something like this, it's good to remember that no one expects you to be strong. It was ok for me to cry, and I sure did. I cried it out, said over dramatic things and questioned everything, then I waited for my husband to sweetly tell me I was talking absolute nonsense and to pull myself together. Which I did.
It's quite simple really, I learned that it's best to cry it out, say all the silly things that are in your head, and let the person who is with you, husband, mummy, sister, best friend, whoever it is, bring you back to reality. I knew he was hurting too, but he knew that I needed him to lean on and to be my rock.
I know some may believe that having an earlier miscarriage is not so bad, and maybe I would have thought so before it happened to me, but I couldn't have been more wrong if that was the case.
Within the two weeks of us knowing that I was pregnant we had whittled down our boy and girl names to about 4-6 each, discussed nursery colour/theme ideas because they would have to share, we had decided to sell our collection of strollers and buy a new one, I had changed my diet and started taking vitamins because I cared about making sure this little one knew their mummy cared from the minute she knew they were in there. So, quite simply, I was attached, and felt like this little one was a part of our family already. We had told the children and they were SO excited to have this big secret JUST for our family and would put their hands on my belly all the time and ask how big the baby had grown pretty much every hour. We were all so excited.
It felt so unfair that it happened on the day that my surgery had been scheduled. The day my life had been supposed to be taking a huge step towards finally feeling normal, pain-free. The complete opposite happened, and I felt like i'd never been in more pain. But the lessons I learned from that day are priceless and I wouldn't give them back for the world. I grew closer to my family as we clung to eachother for support. My mum held me so tight, she admitted she had no words and I appreciated her honesty, and that fact that she didn't try to string words together and just let her arms do that instead. My brothers both reached out in the simplest of ways that meant so much to me. If anyone knows my brothers, discussing anything like this is the utmost awkward subject yet both had a couple words that comforted me in ways they probably never knew. My dad sent me a text that was so perfect that I saved and will always keep. Clyde's mum spoke with me and comforted me with encouraging words and reminded me that I was a strong mummy who could handle this. I slowly realized that this experience led me to have these close moments with my family and to see sides of them that I admired and may not have experienced otherwise. I hope that I will meet this child someday somehow, and so once I had come to terms with all this, and began to heal, I made myself a plan.
1. Heal. Emotionally and physically. So we stayed a couple more nights in the hotel and talked, talked and talked, ate macarons, watched movies and drank tea.
2. Get back to my beautiful, healthy children at home and squeeze them all real tight and talk about whatever they need to talk about.
3. Pick myself up, dust myself off, get back to our life and trust that there is a great plan for our family and that each of these life experiences happen for a reason and that someday they will make more and more sense.

A few weeks have passed now and my healing is better and better. I appreciate that it happened to me for a few personal reasons, but i'm still trying to figure it all out. There are a lot of unanswered questions that I will continue to pray about. I am stronger for it. I have a better understanding toward women now, and if ever this is something someone else needs comforting for, I now feel like I am equipped with experience and hope that the lessons I learned may help someone, sometime.

I hope that no-one misunderstands this post and finds it distasteful. I passed it by my husband and mummy to check that it wasn't an overshare, but both agreed that after what I went through, the fact that I was looking for something good to come out of it, that this might be part of that. I am aware that early stage miscarriage is more common than we think, and so there must be women out there who wish they could relate with someone or find someone who understands their pain. I do. (I do not intend this post for someone suffering a late term miscarriage, as in my opinion, that is entirely different and I know is not something I could have coped with in the ways I suggest in this post. Please note this.) I just adore my family and I know there are great things to come, I just hope we're ready for them! <3

Thanks for reading the blog, leave a comment if you read it as it's always nice to hear feedback, and specially with this being such a personal blog today, i'd love to know if it meant anything to anyone that I shared it.

Love to you all and again, email me to stay in touch!

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