This blog is small glimpses into my heart and soul - attempts to be transparent with friends, and sometimes, to myself. This is my safe place, where I can come and be purely Ness.

Family: If you found your way here, please do me a favor and don't poke through my closets, ok?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm Not Ok

I'm not ok. I know that I've not been doing very well for the past few days, but now I'm beginning to wonder if it goes deeper than that. The idea is kind of scary - I'm broken enough, I don't need mental/emotion issues on top of what's already there - and then what do I do if there are bigger problems? I just don't know if I can handle this.
Next week, I go for blood work to see if the thyroid medication I'm taking is bringing my TSH levels down to levels that are healthier for pregnancy. This is the one thing we've found to try for my unexplained recurrent losses, so if the levels are good we start "actively" (you know what I mean) trying to conceive again. Basically right away. For the first time in over a year.
I'm really, really scared.
Even though I've been doing my best not to obsess about it, and spend great chunks of time not thinking about it, it's getting to me. I feel like I'm entirely made up of stress and emotions. There is this weight in my chest that is just pulling me down. I'm this weird combination of numb and panic.
Every now and then I have a moment of calm and clarity. I feel ok, "I can do this. Even if I have another miscarriage, it will be horrible, but I can make it through. I've done this before. I will survive." But mostly, the possibility freaks me out. At one point I had hope that something would work, would make a difference to allow my body to carry a baby to term, but lately all I can feel is that it's just not enough. Tinkering with my thyroid is just not enough to make a healthy environment for a baby. How could something so slight be the whole reason that they keep dying? How could this tiny adjustment be a fix? It's not going to be enough, and I'm either going to lose another baby, or just not get pregnant at all. The hope is so small, that it's almost non-existent.
Should I give up? I ask this now and then, and I know that somewhere I have my breaking point, somewhere is the place where I have to just stop before it consumes me. But, I can't do it. Not yet anyway. I'm driven by a need for another child. A need to give my Bug a sibling. I know many people choose to have only one child, and I don't for a second think there is anything wrong with that, but for me, I feel like I'm doing my son a huge injustice if I can't give him a brother or a sister. Like, I'm keeping him from one of life's great experiences. I'm sure some of this comes from growing up in a family of five kids (not always roses and ice cream certainly, but my sister is one of my closest, most trusted friends), since Boy - an only child - doesn't feel this way at all. I feel like my family is incomplete. I've already given up my ideal of having four children, I just can't see it as an option anymore, but to concede to having only one? I can't. let. go. It certainly doesn't help that lately Bug has taken to telling us that he wants a baby sister, mentioning all the things he'll share with her, and occasionally asking, "Is that our baby?" when he sees another little one in life or pictures. I keep telling him we are going to try to make another baby, but it doesn't always work out; but of course, he doesn't understand any of this at all. I mean, despite our trying to explain how we hope to have a baby, he still doesn't understand that we can't just pick one out of a picture, or take home the little girl from church.
So I'm kind of a mess. I'm trying to focus on positive possibilities, but it's so hard. The negative ones are screaming at me.

This morning, Boy had his weekly meeting with the senior pastor. They talk about work, and life, and keep in touch on all things important. Today Boy shared what was going on with us right now, and how we were close to trying again. I don't know the full discussion, but there was mention about how I was handling it all, and SP wondered if I had fully processed my grief from all my losses. When Boy mentioned this to me, at first I was just pissed off. "How does any one else have the right to say I'm not ok? He doesn't even know me that well, he has no idea how I'm doing!" And honestly, I like this man. He's been nothing but kind and helpful to us since before we moved here. So maybe my immediate defensiveness is not really a good sign.
As I talked with Boy and began to think about it, some memories came to mind. Over the past several months there have been more than a few losses with all of my Twitter friends. With all of them, I feel great sympathy and heartache for those going through the loss. But, there have been a few that have shared starting with a tweet much like this, "I'm spotting." Reading those tweets makes my stomach plummet, my chest constrict, and my spirit scream, "No, no, no! Not again."
Wow, even writing those words, I can feel my heart beat faster, my breathing get shallower. As I keep writing, the tears threaten and I can remember exactly how I felt every time the first signs of pink showed on the toilet paper - that frozen panic fear.
See, this doesn't seem like a good thing. I think maybe I'm really not ok. But, what do I do about it? The idea of trying to deal with another problem is just overwhelming. I've already got so many things in my life that I'm trying to figure out, how do I handle one more?
And - it's March. The weather is warming up, Spring is trying to sprung, green things are growing in my garden. It's the time of year where I've always felt myself coming to life again, felt energy renewing after winter and the slight depression that it brings. It was always a time of joy for me. Until I lost my first baby as the crocuses bloomed. Three years after that I had my second loss at the very end of February, and then a year later had my fifth loss, also during the month of March. I love Spring and finally feeling the sunshine on my face, but it brings waves of grief, bittersweet memories of seeing the first flowers bloom, celebrating my first baby, not knowing it was all going to end in a few days. This season now brings me an odd combination of joy and sorrow. Maybe some of what I'm going through right now is simply part of all of this. Maybe this year, this season will bring renewal, and a bit of healing through new life, not just outside, but maybe also within my womb. Maybe this year will bring redemption to March.


  1. Just posting to say that I'm reading and listening and hoping for strength and resilience for you, whatever this and future springtimes have in store.

    I'm sure that even if all of your hopes are realized over the next year, this will be a trying time of waiting and seeing. Do you have particular things that help you guard your energy and strength in times like this?

  2. Thanks, Hannie. I appreciate your support so much. And yes, even if things go the way we would like, there will be much anxiety as we wait for that, as I wait and hope that nothing goes wrong, and as we make adjustments to having a new life.
    I'm not sure that I understand your question. Can you rephrase for me?

  3. I wish I could hold you and let you know you're never alone and that we're listening. I'm where you are, wondering how much more heartache there is, if I'm strong enough to handle it, knowing there is a big probability we wont be able to have another child. It rips you apart bit by bit. Its more than depression and grief. It's an all encompassing feeling of panic and dread and wonder with a tiny bit of hope and fear thrown in. I want to tell you it gets better and you'll have another baby, but I cant and it breaks my heart. So instead, know I'm here, I'm listening, and I am sending love from you always <3

    1. Oh, Kayce, how I know. It can be such a miserable way to live. There are so many times when I want to tell people, "It's going to ok. You're going to get your bfp, have a healthy baby, everything will be fine," but I can't because I know how much can go wrong. How often it does go wrong.
      I appreciate your support and knowing there is someone else out there who gets what I'm going through.

  4. An attempt to rephrase:

    My job has been shifting a lot in the last 6 months and has become more and more extroverted (which I find utterly exhausting), and I find myself needing to ensure that I have introvert-time so I can recover. My weeks go much better if I take time for petting cats or reading non-work-related stuff or taking naps or doing puzzles. Without that down time, I get completely frazzled and perma-grumpy.

    Are there things that you can set aside as Required Time/Activities To Keep Vanessa Going that will make the next while of waiting and seeing (and adjusting and waiting and seeing) more feasible for you? It sounds like you're keeping good tabs on how close you are to the end of your rope, but also that you don't have a ton of rope to play with, so rope-preservation techniques become important!

    1. Hmm, I sort of have some of that, but I should probably put more effort into it. Actually writing this post made me go from mostly crazy to almost sane. I totally didn't expect that, but I'm pretty grateful for it. I'm planning to keep that in mind for the next time that I start to feel a bit insane. I'm also trying to keep up with running, because I definitely notice a difference when I do that.
      For the genetics tests - I called my dr's office this week to double check that all the records had finally made it there & to ask a few questions about the blood work. She confirmed that they had the results. From what she and the assistant with my previous doctor said, I would know by now if anything had shown up, but I haven't been able to hear it directly. We have an appointment next week to go over everything now that the paperwork is there and we will find out for sure.

  5. (and out of curiosity — did you ever get the genetics tests back? I assume given this post that everything's okay on that end?)

  6. Catching up on blogs after crazy catch up week at work...

    Praying for you, is all I can say. Because I know that fear and because I know that loss and because I know that racing heartbeat that comes when I watch others go through the all-too-familiar pain of losing a baby. It's deadening. It's painful. It's terrifying.

    And you have every right to be terrified. No one is judging you for wanting to add to your family. We just want to support your heart, to hold you up when you need to be held, and I want to thank you for this honest post. I now know how to pray for you more specifically.

    Love and love and love.

    1. My dear Audrey, I very much wish that you didn't know what I was talking about, but at the same time, I'm glad I'm not alone. That's a little bit crazy, but I know you understand that, too.
      Thank you so much for your "no one is judging" words. They mean much to me. I do struggle with being part of the IF community and wondering if sometimes I'm not completely welcome because I already have my precious gift. I'm so grateful to you and all of those who sent me replies of great support and compassion.
      Thank you so much for your prayers, know that you are often on my heart also.

  7. You remain in my thoughts, Vanessa. Hugs to you.

  8. You write with so much honesty and raw feeling. I will keep checking in on your blog to see how you're going, but you are one strong woman and that strength has got you through so much already......And I tagged you for the lovely blog award! Here are the rules: 1. share who gave you this award to you with a link back to their blog. 2. write down 7 random facts about yourself. 3. give this award to 15 other bloggers.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments, Ali. It's cool to see a new face around here!