Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The last "One Year Ago" post I hope I ever have to write

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It has taken me a long time to write this organize my thoughts clearly. With deepest hope and faith, I look to this post as my last "One Year Ago" post I will ever have put forth on this blog. I just wish I could look into the future and know if this hope and faith is out of resolve to get pregnant again and not miscarry, or if it is out of being terrified TTC again. I am scared to try again...but, I know it is normal.

One year ago today, March 21, 2006 at 7:00 am, I miscarried via d&c my last angel baby.

Kinda feels like being in AA....Or, RMA (Recurrent Miscarriers Anonymous). Just call me Tina S. Anyone wanna join this twelve-step group?

I woke up at 5:00 am, my usual time to wake up for work, just to shower and look "presentable" for the d&c procedure. Wasn't allowed to eat that morning because of the anesthesia - which, of course, made my morning sickness with this pregnancy a little bit worse already. I had to be at the Women's Surgery Center for my d&c at 7:00 am - the first surgery time of the day. Dr. D made sure I had the first time so that I didn't have to wait long and so I didn't have to suffer through the morning sickness for that long that morning (who needs the reminder of what cannot be, right?). We left the house at 5:45 am and arrived at 6:00 am for pre-op. The IV line was started and my vitals taken - just as was done on November 22, 2005 with my previous d&e. The nurses were very sweet - all knew I was there for another miscarriage, so they were kind enough to not make any not-thought-through comments. The anesthesiologist told me that I would also be given a shot of meds in the IV line after the ansethisa so that the nausea would subside when I woke up (Great stuff! No nausea! No reminders.). I was in the operating room immediately at 6:45 am - after a little chit-chat with Dr. D and the other surgical staff, I was knock-out mid-sentance less than ten minutes later... I was in recovery by 10:00 am - my pregnancy now over. By 11:00 am, I was feeling fine and on my way home to an empty house to rest - to stare directly into Chris' room from our bed knowing that I would yet again not be moving his room down the hall to the spare room, and I would yet again not be redoing his current room for a new baby.

The past year and a half has had so many ups and downs (probably more downs than ups until now), but I survived. I am still here, hanging on with both hands gripped firmly to my soul and my life.

During that time, I have watched friends (and I include all of the ladies in my BG's in this) get PG and have their babies (some with little or no complications - some with many complications); get PG and miscarry; get PG and miscarry again; get PG and send their babies to heaven much too soon; start cycles and end cycles time and again with no pregnancy and no answers. I have scrapped my own cycles and said goodbye to my three angel babies... I have finally learned how to grieve my losses. I have sat out more than a year's worth of cycles (well, really as many as my body allows me to get in a year anyway) because the anxiety and fear - or self-preservation - has prevented me from trying again... And, let's not forget to mention finally diagnosing the real medical conditions that prevented my babies from being here with me today - that will become the issues to overcome if I became PG again.

But, I have started to finally learn how to be a complete person and nurture my soul again. I have rediscovered the joys in my day, the things I am interested in, the beauty which is my life. I have rediscovered the most important things that my miscarriages can never sour: The love and bond I share with my Hubby, and the ever-growing love and joy I have for my Christopher. Hubby has ratted me out more times than I can count to my counselor and doctors about what I couldn't say was going on, which is something I regard as a selfless chore he was willing to do for me. He has been my rock while I cried, my punching bag when I was angry, and my nurse when I felt sick to my stomach. Chris has loved me unconditionally - no judgements and pointing fingers, regardless of flaws, emotional breakdowns and short-fuses. His hugs and smiles and laughter are the best prizes of all - and always well-timed when I needed them the most. For this, I will be forever greatful and consider my #1 strengths.

For the first time, I am going to share with everyone (other than Hubby and Chris) all of the items I have saved from my three miscarriages. These are my only physical memories of the babies I lost - the babies I hope to hold someday when my time here has passed. I never got the chance to take pictures, to hold these three pieces of my heart and soul. I have no grave to visit. I have no memorial place to go to....

...All I have are these boxes, filled with the memories of the children that will never know how it feels to snuggle in our cozy bed in the cold of winter, enjoy the sights and smells of a sparkling spring day, to feel the beating warmth of the sun during the summer, to hear the leaves crunch underneath our feet in the receive a tender kiss from the mommy who so wanted and loved them so much.

These are my two memory boxes side-by-side. They sit on my dresser in our bedroom all of the time - and are there when I occasionally need to feel a connection to my babies:
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This is the memory box from my second miscarriage in November 2005:
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The poem reads:

A Child’s Goodbye
By Colleen Berry

Hooray! A brother or sister for me.
A new baby to add to the family.
A brother to play ball, A sister and her doll.
We will be a happy family.

One day, Mom and Dad have tears,
I watch them with fear.
They give me a hug and kiss,
Our baby-to-be they miss.

My brother or sister one day
An angel now has flown away.
Our angel we love,
Was called by God up above.

With Mom and Dad, I too am sad,
This is something so bad.
Not an angel did we seek
But a person for us to meet.

One day when God calls me
My angel sibling I will see.
For now I know she is happy to be
A member of God’s Angel family!

Included in the box is: Cards of sympathy and support, flowers I received from my mother and from the Women's Surgical Center where the d&e was done, a certificiate from the Shrine of Innocents in NYC, the HPT I took, the medical forms from my doc confirming the pregnancy loss, my St. Gerard Medal I was wearing at the time and the u/s pic I was given before the d&e was done:
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A close-up of the u/s pic, confirming the blighed ovum:
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The memory box from my third (and last) miscarriage in March 2006:
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The poem reads:

Two Angels up in Heaven

I have two angels up in heaven
sitting side by side.
Somehow I hear them telling me
"Mommy, don't you cry!"

And though I have never seen them,
Or had the chance to know them here,
I muster all the strength I have
Then brush away my tears.

I know one day I’ll meet them
And what joy will surely flow,
When our love is finally realized
In that place where forever goes

Sadness is only temporary
When I think of what’s beyond.
I have two angels up in heaven
To love me now and when I am gone.

I have throught of changing this poem because this angel was in fact my third angel in heaven - but, at the time I only knew her as my second angel. But, I decided not to change it - to leave it as it was when the loss happened.

Included in this box is: Cards of sympathy and support, flowers I received from the Women's Surgical Center where the d&c was done, the medical forms from my doc confirming the pregnancy loss and the u/s pic I was given before the d&c was done (I have pics of the HPTs, but they have not yet made it into the box):
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A close-up of my angel, my baby girl:
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Why do I not have a box for Angel #1? Because I never thought to save anything. I didn't - and probably should have - realized I was really PG. But, since that HPT revealed a positive that we didn't plan on three months after Chris was born and AF arrived quite quickly after that positive HPT, I figured it was just an error in the test. I never saved the test stick. Hind site sucks, doesn't it? How was I to know at the time I was going to miscarry three times?

But, this continued to be one of the biggest guilts that I have carried with me since finding out about the loss - a guilt I have finally learned to let go of because, quite frankly, it is irrational to my educated brain too. In my heart, I know it is only a piece of plastic - a test result that probably would have faded over time to nothingness anyway. But, on the other hand, it was my only tangible connection to that angel - my unknown angel until March 2006... The guilt of not having that HPT to hold on to still rears its ugly head from time to time. Mostly when the house is quiet and I am in the bedroom folding laundry. But, I have learned to let the guilt go. I can't always hang on to a memory of something or someone that could never be.

However, the real kicker of it all is that this angel is the only PG (and miscarriage) I ever had where I actually got PG on my own - no u/s's, no meds, no IUI's. It was the only time I had a relatively "normal" cycle - the fluke that represents why I have such hostility towards my body. My body finally figured out what it was supposed to do, and it let me down in the worst possible way...and it only snowballed from there.

Even with all of the weight I have lost, the physical activity and healthy eating I have made strides to keep on the ball with for overall health, my cycles are still for crap. So, when we TTC again, away comes the spontinaity of trying for a child on our own yet again and back on the TTC treadmill we go when the time is right.

Through it all, however, I know I could not be the "me" I have become without the rough road I have travelled on. My angels, in their own special way, have taught me to take time for me. To love myself for who I am and what I could be. To slow down and enjoy the here and now, and not worry so much about what will come tomorrow.

What a lesson to have to learn, right?

There is a time and place to try to sway your life - We are given free will to learn things, make educated choices in our lives and relationships. BUT, conception and pregnancy and infants and children are all still miracles - miracles that, as much as you can possibly try, are still up to God to give to us as a gift at the right time, at the right moment. It is when you lose sight of those miracles that you lose your mind. I know that is what I did... I am ready for a new miracle to happen - if it is meant to happen - even if it is with a little push of medical science...

I don't want to ever write another "One Year Ago" post here on this blog - nor do I ever want to see another one on any other blog out there. I hope and pray we all are granted a special gift to one day hold and love... Until then, I can draw my strength from my angels and my family and my new-found sense of purpose and calm in my life...


...And, how did I spend this day, you ask? Differently than past terraversaries...


But, that is okay. I could have taken the day off - but, I decided it has not done me any good in the long run taking these anniversaries off. So, I wanted to keep as normal a day as possible - went out walking my two miles at lunch, stopped and got my favorite sandwich at the campus center (St. Pepper Mozzerella - PLUS they had one of the best Cream of Tomato soup's too!), and will be going home after the easier workday to spend time with my family.

When I was out walking, I decided to toss off into the stream near where I walk my "peace" keychain I had bought at Walgreens a few months ago, when things were starting to go haywire. It was one of those keychains with the Chinese symbols, like this:

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I don't need it anymore - I found my peace. And, as my saying goodbye to all that has brought me down for months and months, I tossed it off somewhere I can always return to... A place of peace.

So, a peaceful day overall...which is nice!


Adrienne said...

Although it's beautifully written, I hope you never have to write another one of these posts, too, Tina.

Peace to you and your family.

Val said...

As Adrienne said - beautifully well written. I wish you were here so I could give you a huge hug. My prayers to you and your family. You've come a LONG way in the last year. Hats off to you.

Hugs and prayers.

The Town Criers said...

This is such a gorgeous post. And it made me cry so hard. I'm glad you threw the keychain and that your peace is internal rather than external on a keychain. And I hope you never have to write another post like this again.

dawn said...

Just want you to know that I am here and that you are a wonderful and couragious woman.

serenity said...

Came here through the Town Criers. What a beautiful and heart-wrenching post. And I echo Adrienne and Mel - I hope you never have to write one of these again, hon.

Baby Blues said...

A well written heartfelt post. Your strength is admirable. I do hope this is the last "One year ago" post you'll ever write. May we all find our peace.

Shelby said...

My heart goes out to you and your family! Hopefully this year will bring lots of luck, and you won't have to write another "one year ago" post again. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

So sorry for your losses, but proud of you for surviving and finding peace in the midst of so much pain!

Furrow said...

So beautiful. For the next year, I'm wishing you so much happiness that you almost can't stand it.

Dianne/Flutter said...

Truly a beautiful post. So glad you found peace, even if it is just for the day.

decemberbaby said...

Beautifully written. I truly hope that next year's "one year ago" post will highlight the difference between this year's grief and next year's uncontainable joy.

gypsyhick said...

a peaceful day - that's so wonderful to hear. :)

Dianne said...

your stories made me cry :( BIG BI G HUGS to you. I love the memory boxes, where did you get them- and the poems too... I should get one for Leah. I hope you dont need any more boxes and I hope you dont need to write another one year ago- unless its to say- one yr ago today i got pregnant!!!!
Good luck to you. Thank you for sharing

LJ said...

What a beautiful tribute. My heart goes out to you.

Jessica said...

Im so sorry I wasn't around during this time for you (hecticness approached). However I'm glad you are doing well and you are so very organized. I think your tributes and memory boxes are simply touching. I hope you never have to go through another one again and you are blessed ten fold.