Monday, June 26, 2017

A new normal

I'm doing okay.

That's what I tell people, because it's the truth - I'm doing better than "miserable and sad," but I'm definitely not "cheerful and joyful" either. I'm doing okay.

I'm struggling to find my way back to "normal." There is something about that profound moment of seeing the plus sign on a pregnancy test that rocks the very foundation of your life (well, my life, at least), such that I can no longer remember what exactly I did to pass my days before I was pregnant. And now that I'm no longer pregnant, I'm trying to figure out how to pass my days again.

Oh sure, I probably wasn't doing much differently - knitting, reading, going to work, posting on social media, whatever. That stuff all looks the same. You know, outwardly. But inside, I've been so restless and confused, like my entire existence is fidgeting and doesn't know how to settle down. What was my life like before all this happened? Who was I? I still hold my belly when I sleep.

Is this my new normal? Is this how life is going to be until we (hopefully) get pregnant again? Or until (god forbid) we decide to throw in the towel. (We're going to keep trying. We are.)

I'm tired. I don't know how to be right now. I don't know what my life is supposed to look like right now. I feel like I'm in this suspended state of existence, just waiting for things to happen.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Loss

On Sunday, May 28th, after days of nausea, exhaustion, and other symptoms (including a late period), I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive. We were ecstatic, over the moon, after nearly a year of trying. Jolie was going to be a big sister!

By the end of January 2018, we would have a baby!

* * * * *

Yesterday, Wednesday, June 14th, after days of spotting, intermittent cramping, and lower-than-normal HCG results, I went in for an ultrasound, and was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy. They rushed to me the ER immediately for surgery, where they discovered that the mass (that would've been our baby) had grown so large that my Fallopian tube was bleeding quite a bit into my lower abdomen, and I was pretty much on the brink of rupture.

By the time I woke up the next day (this morning), I wasn't pregnant anymore.

* * * * *

The short of it is that... this is hard.

It was hard for me not to share the good news when I found out, but some part of me just felt compelled to wait, like it just KNEW that something was off. I don't know. Maybe I was just being paranoid - if stressing out were a professional sport, I'd be the Golden State Worriers, nailing every worst possible outcome with pinpoint accuracy.

It was hard for me, then, as the "bad" signs start appearing, and my anxiety started to grow, and I felt like I just couldn't talk about it, because it was a thing I was still trying to keep secret. But it was so hard to be so afraid in secret.

And then it was hard for me, yesterday, sitting alone at the ultrasound clinic and hearing over the phone from the OB on call at the hospital across town that this baby I was just starting to get used to was basically on the verge of killing me, to the point that he wouldn't even allow me to drive myself to the emergency room - I was ordered to stay there at the clinic and wait for an ambulance to pick me up.

I've never ridden in an ambulance before. I cried the entire way there.

I cried as they told me that they needed to operate TONIGHT.

I cried as the OB went over the list of risks, such as completely losing my fertility (not likely to happen, but they HAVE to say this stuff to me, right?)

I'm crying right now as I write this, but I have to do it, because I need to put my thoughts and feelings into words. I've spent the last few weeks saying nothing, even though this pregnancy has taken up 100% of my thoughts, and do you know how hard it is not to be able to talk about something that is taking up 100% of your thoughts? It's so hard.

There's no one and nothing I can be angry at. I didn't do this to myself, and no one else did this to me. There wasn't one thing that I did or ate or breathed that made this happen. There wasn't one moment in this embryo's short life where things would've been okay, because it was never okay. It already wasn't okay before it even became an embryo.

On the one hand it's a relief that I didn't do anything wrong and the only thing to blame is really bad luck; on the other hand, knowing that there was nothing right that I could've done, being helpless at the hands of Lady Fortune, isn't very comforting either.

Also, on the one hand, I am grieving the loss of my child-to-be. But on the other hand, we might have lost me too. When they told me how large the mass was and about all the blood they found pooled inside me, I realized that I hadn't been very far away from never coming home to the child I already do have.

I don't have any profound realizations to impart right now, aside from the fact that I am glad I'm alive, and I am so thankful to everyone (like my family, my best friends, and my coworkers, as well as the hospital staff) who has stepped up for me, especially Jimmy who is still managing to be my rock even as he too is grieving. This was hard for both of us.

I just needed to share this, because it helps me to write about it. If I don't seem like myself lately, please forgive. I am home now, out of danger and recovering, trying to find my way back to normal.