Archives for category: Miscarriage

Gia has had at least three colds in her short life, all lasting around a month. Right now she’s had one for two weeks accompanied by a bad hacking cough which keeps her from sleeping. For several nights now she’s been back in bed with me nursing all night. She still goes down at 7pm, and we haven’t had to do any sleep waves since the first week of sleep training. Since getting sick she at least was making it until 11 or midnight, but last night she was awake at 9:15 pm, right as I was drifting off to sleep! She nursed pretty much all night. Then tonight we found a tooth cutting through her top gums! No wonder she nursed all night last night, and anytime I took my nipple out of her mouth (sorry kid, sometimes I have to go to the bathroom for ten seconds) she screamed bloody murder.

 
My whole body hurts from side-lying all night – back, hips, shoulders. I know it’s because the poor girl is sick and teething, but it’s really getting to me again. J suggested I call in sick this morning but I had a busy schedule and dragged myself in. I have faith that her sleep will go back to one night waking soon though, since the nights she feels okay she still sleeps 8-9 hour steer his, then another 3-hour stretch. I’m just trying to hang tight.  

at the doctor… again

 

I do feel good overall though. There is so much stress at work and I miss my family, but I’m also feeling lighter in a lot of ways.  Our routine with Gia is comfortable and I think we’ve gained a lot of confidence in parenting both separately and as a couple. Gia is just adorable and I love her so much. She’s smart and notices everything. She laughs like crazy. She eats leafy green vegetables like a champ. She crawls and knocks over blocks. Taking care of her (except at night) is just so fun and amazing!

Gia was seven months last Friday. It was also the day our angel baby was due. In some ways, it feels like Gia is her and they are the same.

 

eating Korean food – she went after those chopsticks, even greens with spicy sauce!


 

roasted asparagus

 
  
 

natural history museum – first dinosaur!

 
 

Santosha – contentment – is perhaps the most psychologically relevant niyama (Bennett, 2002). With contentment in the present moment, reassurance from other people, material things, and goal-oriented measures of success are not necessary in order to feel complete and satisfied. This is not the immediate satiation of a specific desire or yearning; it is a consistent feeling of comfort in knowing that happiness can only come from within (Bennett; Buttenheim, 2003-2004). Since outside influences are merely perceptions, only relationship with oneself shows true contentment. This does not mean pretending not to need others or feel emotionally sensitive to outside influences; emotions are difficult, and trying to avoid this difficulty will hinder true contentment. Paying attention to all emotions and accepting them as part of the struggle, while bringing the self back and knowing no one else can satisfy it is true happiness (Bennett; Buttenheim, 2003-2004). To feel content with oneself and the present situation is to accept the self and surrounding world, which is the epitome of well-being and mind/body health.

This is an excerpt from my own dissertation. Alas, I know I’m a pretty good therapist and writer, but I not as good at my personal life as I’d like. That is to say, I can’t take my own advice. My dissertation isn’t about contentment; it’s actually about adolescent girls who practice yoga. In writing it however, I got intense enjoyment out of describing the yogic yamas and niyamas, or beliefs and guidelines to base your life on. They are both basic and wonderful – asteya, which means “non-stealing,” reminds you that jealousy and coveting are in fact ways of taking away from the experiences of others. Saucha suggests that you purify your thoughts before allowing them to overtake your mind and ripple into your beliefs, actions and therefore your happiness. I always aim to live by these guidelines, and in spirit, I do, but in my own behaviors, it’s a struggle.

NIne years ago I met one of the great loves of my life at Animal Services, and named her Santosha. I thought if the kitty I curled up with every night carried this name, I would remember to aim for contentment. She embodies it for sure, lying in one delicious spot for hours on end, seeking out the spot under the covers where I she can curl into my arms and purr. I named my cat Santosha as a symbol of what I want my life to be.

I’m definitely content in my daily, hourly life, but not so much in the big picture. I usually bounce out of bed, I’m energetic and inspired at work, I love my evening workout and J and I spend pretty much every night enjoying dinner, good conversation and our time together. We meet friends for dinner, go for sunny jogs, go to the beach, hike, and have our separate hobbies. The place where I get stuck in discontentedness, where people have actually referred to me as a malcontent, is in the big picture.

There are messages that run over and over in my head – I’m not married yet and everyone else is because my relationship history (before J) was erratic, and it’s my fault. Most people my age own a house with a yard and nice furniture, but I don’t. Spending all of my money and adult life thus far getting my doctorate and license was too hard, I deserve more. I’ve made a mistake in moving away from my family and I may never get to spend my daily life with my sister, which I regret every single day. Nothing ever feels quite right when I reflect on the big picture. It seems like I’ve made decisions I can’t go back on, like not living near my family, and when I think about it, I feel old, like at 35 I should have gotten farther, figured out where I want to “settle down,” saved more money.

I want to be happy. I’ve read highly acclaimed books on happiness, I’m an expert in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, I run mindfulness groups. As a teenager I was upbeat and carefree, before the world dragged me down enough times that I became jaded. So why can’t I say to myself, wow, I have a successful career, the most amazing partner I could ever have imagined, and so much to look forward to? WHY??

I’m not saying I’m unhappy. Not quite feeling contented isn’t the same thing as being unhappy. I enjoy my daily life, I have good solid family relationships, a partner I admire and never get enough of, a job I like going to every day that pays well. I’m just saying that I always want more, and I compare myself to others.

This especially happens with babies, the way it used to happen with weddings. For several years I yearned to get married and sat through many beautiful weddings, wondering when I would get my turn. I got engaged and started planning a wedding I thought was going to be romantic, run and meaningful, a wedding that never happened. Now I understand how true it is that weddings, and marriage in general, although legally useful and often successful, isn’t necessary for me. I’ve moved past it. Now babies plague my psyche. Why do so many women get accidentally pregnant and deliver one healthy baby after another, while I pined after the idea for years, finally got my chance, and had a miscarriage? I see pregnant women and mothers everywhere now, after years of barely noticing them. Before this year they reminded me that I may never get the chance to be a mother. Now that J and I were pregnant, they remind me that I lost my little nugget.

Why don’t I look at pregnancy and babies and see the hope for my own happy future? Why don’t I see beautiful houses and think, Oh, I can’t wait until J and have our home? What makes us notice the bad things more than the good? I know it’s part of the human condition to fear more than feel safe, to be on guard more than to relax, to defend ourselves more than be humble. I guess that is the reason that in our society, we always want more. We need to prove that we’re going to be okay, to ourselves and each other. That’s also why mindfulness, self-care and contentment are hot topics in psychology today; we must fight for our happiness.

I’m going to keep fighting for my happiness because I know it’s a reachable goal. I have everything I need to feel content, and I know how to discipline my mind to remember that. I’m lucky in more ways than unlucky, and I’ll benefit from allowing myself to feel that way instead of feeling slighted or inadequate. I meet a lot of strong, intelligent women who forget that their lives are positive and fulfilling. As neurotic, self-indulgent and negative as I can be, I hope to make these coming months happy; I hope to be able to relate to one of my best friends, Santosha.

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The procedure went fine. It was painful, but the doctor and nurses very understanding. I was so out of it. Afterwards I threw up water all over the sidewalk in broad daylight. Then I asked J to stop at the French Bakery for brioche. It’s all kind of a blur.

It feels like we had some closure. We rested for the day, and tonight went to get Mexican, complete with coconut margaritas 🙂 It’s time to move on. I will always love my first little nugget though.

Thank you for all of the kind words. It’s comforting knowing how much many of you understand this feeling, and I’m hopeful that the rest of you don’t have to ever experience it. Life doles out a fair amount of heartbreak in many forms, I just hope as the year goes on we can have more celebrations than condolences.

I don’t know whether or not I’ll still need the vacuum procedure in scheduled for tomorrow morning because I’ve been bleeding since I took a second dose of misoprostil on Monday. I have Valium, Vicodin and Doxycycline waiting by the door and they may or may not get used tomorrow. I’m supposed to take them when I arrive in the waiting room. Does that mean I dope myself up before the ultrasound to see if I even need the procedure?!

Last night a couple of dresses I ordered as makeshift maternity items to get me through the next few months arrived. I wore one to work today. The six pounds I packed on trying to deal with morning sickness have already started to dissipate and the dress looked frumpy.

I thought work would distract me. It did for the most part, until a co-worker shared with me that his wife is 5 months along, then later came to my office to personally show me ultrasound pictures. I almost lost it but of course just smiled.

Every time I go through something really sad, I appreciate my cats even more than usual. They are my comfort and joy amidst pretty much anything.

J had to go out of town last night on a business trip. Only one night. I think it was harder for her to leave me alone than me to be alone. I can’t wait for her return in a couple of hours.

I’m not pregnant anymore and I miss it so much. It was exciting and wonderful. I felt like the little child I’ve imagined for seven years was coming closer. Now she’s just a dream again. It’s like another blogger (I hope you read this!) said in one of her entries: “Just give me my babies!”

I know our little nugget wasn’t ready for the world. He or she was sick. We love you anyway, and I miss carrying you around with me everywhere I go. I can’t wait to meet your sibling.

J and I are ready to get past this and have a few months of summer. A few months to settle into work, to enjoy our relationship, to hike, to travel. I’ll start all of that as soon as I stop crying randomly…

Thanks to my word press friends; you’re all so loving. Tonight I’m sending out positive wishes for all your journeys…

“Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught, and in which we can open our hearts and minds beyond the limit.” ~ Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

It’s been a sad, sad few days. We spent all of Saturday in bed crying, but later in the evening we drove out to Venice and drank a bottle of wine on the beach at sunset. We brought pizza and a blanket. We talked so much, reflecting on the past, healing, and planning for the future. In some ways this has helped us reevaluate certain things, brought us closer, and helped us see the future more delicately. Sunday was just as difficult. I woke up crying. I’d be okay for an hour, then I’d start crying again. We even went for a run to see if it would help the medication along, and I felt great, but after the run I was crying again. It’s just part of the grieving – you feel terrible, like nothing is okay, then you feel comforted by something, then you feel inspired, then all of a sudden you’re incredibly sad again.

This morning we went back to the fertility clinic. They did an ultrasound to see if the medication had worked and found tissue still there. I couldn’t look at it. They were sympathetic, but in some ways we were frustrated. I feel like doctors should be more upfront about miscarriage. It would be helpful if they included it in the general introduction of this whole thing, just explained that it’s a normal part of some peoples’ journeys, and what to expect if it does happen. Especially financially. For example, to get the D & C with our fertility doctor, whom we love and feel comfortable with, would be $3,000 out of pocket, as the fertility clinic doesn’t take insurance. We didn’t know this until it was actually happening. Then we started the nightmare of trying to get a D & C at Kaiser. A little head’s up would have prepared us more for this whole experience.

Anyway, I went to work and immediately met with the director of my clinic. She was amazing. I was tearful and she immediately stood up and gave me a long hug. She listened to the whole story. I told her that I almost didn’t take the job because we were TTC, and she replied that if I’d tried to decline the job because we wanted to have a baby she wouldn’t have let me. She said having a baby is a normal part of life, that lots of employees in our clinic have had pregnancy leaves. She said I could take all the time I needed this week and that she was so sorry. It was really helpful to hear all of that, and to confide that I had struggled with taking the job and getting pregnant at the same time. Yes, I’m a total teacher’s pet, but I need my boss to know how conscientious I am!

I spent a loooong time trying to get an appointment at kaiser to be evaluated for the D & C. I finally got an appointment and rushed out of work. J left her office and met me there because she’s an amazing partner. I withstood yet another vaginal ultrasound (the third in two days) and the doctor confirmed that the placenta and gestational sac were still there (thanks a lot). They scheduled a D & E (less invasive than D & C) for Thursday morning at 8 am. I threw some fits that they couldn’t do it today, but I’m too tired to get into that right now.

Then my real doctor from the fertility clinic finally called with her condolences. She explained that she had been out of town and she was so sorry. Hearing her voice made me start crying again. She suggested that since I have to wait two more days anyway, I could try taking another dose of misoprostol.

So here I am on my couch, curled up in a blanket in the middle of a Monday afternoon. I took another dose of misoprostol a couple of hours ago. I’m so nauseous. I threw up my whole dinner last night and now I feel like I might lose my lunch. My temp is elevated (99.5) and I’m shivering. Not sure what’s going on in my body but I’m sad and I’m sick and I can’t wait for this whole thing to be over.

I was pregnant. For a few weeks I was having every symptom imaginable. I felt like my whole life and in some ways my identity were changing. I was becoming a mom. A few years ago I used to imagine what it would be like to have a child and yearn for that closeness and that caretaking, to see what kinds of things my child would say and do. About a week ago I started to get excited for that again. Now it feels like I had a taste of it, making it even worse that it’s not actually happening anymore.

I know we have more chances, but that’s not the point.

On a positive note, J and I booked a bed and breakfast in Idyllwild for two weekends from now. We got a nice room with a jacuzzi tub and hiking all around. Looking forward to that is comforting.

Thank you everyone for your gracious words of kindness, your own stories, and just for being here and reading. My blogger support is really helping.

I’m writing this from our spare bedroom, where a few hopeful onesies hang on the door, my positive pregnancy test boasts from its spot on the desk, and empty menopur bottles are lined up along the edge to remind us of the excitement of the egg stimulation.

We went in for our 8-week ultrasound this morning. The whole experience was just off. We were already having a tough couple of days but we felt like the second ultrasound was going to get our moods back on track. They had lost our appointment so we had to wait for an hour in a cold room. Our doctor wasn’t in, neither was our IVF coordinator. When we had our first u/s and everything looked great, our doctor had hugged us both and said we would graduate after today’s appointment. When we finally got into the ultrasound room, the doctor said “something doesn’t look right.” On the screen, the mass that used to be turning into my baby was silent and immobile. She said she didn’t see a heartbeat, then checked the doppler, which was silent. According to the u/s printout, the heartbeat stopped a week ago.

I can’t believe this is happening. It’s a horrible feeling, losing something that was so important, was changing your life forever, was altering your body, making you her home, settling in for the long haul, and is still inside you but no longer alive.

Having to be at the clinic after the u/s was awful. The doctor had us meet her in an office and explained our options – a D & C or taking the medication to extract the pregnancy. J and I cried and comforted each other alternately. I was terrified about work – I just started a new job and I can’t miss a day of work. They don’t know I was pregnant and I don’t even know my new supervisor’s cell phone number. Just let this tissue pass in peace, today or tomorrow, so by Monday I can at least act like things are normal.

We went to the pharmacy to get the misoprostol. The girl was really nice. She looked at me and I could tell she understood, and I started crying again. She got our meds ready in 3 minutes, the fastest I’ve ever seen.

At home I shook out the four pills I was to take vaginally. Four little white hexagons that will get rid of something we wanted so badly, something we worked for and planned for, something I’ve been protecting and falling in love with for weeks.

Today feels like a nightmare. I’m scared to go to sleep because I’ll have to wake up and remember what happened. The medication hasn’t worked yet and I’m anxious about what it’s going to be like. I feel a lot of cramping but that’s it. J is sleeping. We don’t know how to get through this experience without just feeling every pang of disappointment, shock, confusion and grief. And sleeping. There’s no way out but through.

I know that miscarriage is often a part of pregnancy. My own mother had several miscarriages and ended up having a life full of motherhood. I think what’s bothering me the most is the savings J spent on this pregnancy. We can’t recover the thousands and thousands of dollars she saved for many years, and decided to invest in our baby. I know that money should be the farthest thing from my mind right now, but with IVF, you go through so many months of appointments, medication regimens, huge bills, surgery, procedures, building up hope where there used to be money. Now it’s all gone – the hope and the money. I wish we could just go home and “try again” but it’s not like that. We have only two embryos left, and even if those implant, this could happen again.