It may sound silly, but I feel like writing this post is necessary for my current grieving process. Sometimes, the best thing about a blog is that you get a chance to get everything out at once. It's not a conversation with someone (though those are often awesome as well), you can cry and keep on typing, you can edit how you say things (without your readers ever knowing that you aren't so clever the first go-round all. the. time.) and you can blog about difficult things, and move that little bit forward in a tough situation without having to sound calm, and collected, and any other manner of emotions that you're not.
Dear readers, some of you may know, many will not, that I have had a
"tough go of it" (as my Grandmother would say) lately. And I know
that there will be parts of this story that get left out, there will be parts
that aren't chronological, and to be perfectly honest, no matter who ends up
reading this, the reality is, it may not be for you. The reality is that this
blog post is for me.
As I sit here to write this, I am almost 2 weeks post-op for an emergency
surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Layman's terms: I had surgery because
I had a pregnancy that implanted in the tube instead of in the womb, and it
burst, and bled. A lot. It was dangerous. It was potentially fatal. It was
Whoa whoa, back up the truck, you might be saying. Or perhaps you're just
staring at the screen. Don't worry, I'm not going to use a lot of medical
terms, and I'll try not to give out too many "gory details", because
I don't actually want to talk about the physical surgery here much. Believe it
or not, that's not the hard part.
I am married to a wonderful,
exceptionally calm and collected, kind and caring man. He is my best friend. I
often refer to him here on Talk and Tea Leaves as "The Hubs". We have
2 crazy, wild, beautiful, sweet little boys: The "big'un" and the
"littl'un". My big'un turns 4 on Tuesday. The littl'un is 2.
We love being a family. We love our children to absolute bits. We also both
came from families with 3 children and we wanted another.
In November of 2011, we had a natural miscarriage. It was early, it all came
about naturally, and it was extremely difficult for me. I am that woman; that
as soon as there are 2 pink lines on that stupid stick - it's a baby dammit.
And I grieved that loss. Through Christmas, and family functions, and
band practices and work, and all that life just is.
But we moved forward. We knew that God has a plan for us, and perhaps it
didn't include having a baby at that time, that he needed us for other things.
We don't always know or understand God's plan, but we do try and trust in Him.
It's hard - no one is going to say it isn't, but we try.
So, at the end of May when I saw those 2 pink lines again, I was both
immediately overjoyed and terrified. I didn't want to go through that loss
again. And when I started to miscarry (my impression of what was happening) at
the beginning of June, I decided to try and grieve as privately as possible and
just carry on. At one point I even had myself convinced that it was a false
positive, and that I had never been pregnant at all.
June 10, 2012...
Was a pretty great day. We had our outdoor service at the church that
morning. The music was awesome, our liturgical dance group danced, we had a
picnic lunch. We worshiped, we laughed, and we had fun. Later that afternoon I
attended a bridal shower for one of the girls we grew up with at church. More
laughter, more fun. A good day all around.
I got home, talked to my kids, and let the dog out in the backyard and
started talking with the hubs. Suddenly I noticed the gate was open, of course,
I noticed it after the dog noticed, and the hubs and I had to chase him down
the street and finally manage to wrangle him home. I took the time to
post a cheeky Facebook status about it. Then I went around the house to tidy a little bit. In our upstairs bathroom, I bent over to pick
something up off the floor and went down like a sack of bricks. I felt like I'd been stabbed in the stomach. My husband was outside. My kids were downstairs. I was
alone. And I thought I was going to die.
Somehow I managed to get myself down to the backdoor where the hubs was
working outside, opened the door and said "Call my parents and call
9-1-1". I was scared. My husband was .... calm-ish, and on the phone.
I was in pain. To be honest, the next little bit is not all that clear.
My folks arrived, we managed to get me to a couch, the hubs called an
ambulance, they came, and they took me to the hospital. The only thing I kept
thinking was "I'm going to die, and my children's last memory of me
will be terrifying".
The nurses and EMTs asked a million questions; or the same question a
million times. There was blood drawn, I was given something for the pain (thank
goodness), and taken for an ultrasound. The tech couldn't (wouldn't? wasn't
allowed?) to tell me anything. I asked her what she was looking for and she
said "a pregnancy, normal, ectopic or otherwise". I didn't really
know what that meant, but that it might mean a shot.
We were taken back to our room in the ER, and a nurse came and told us they
were moving me to another room. We hurried down a short hall, to another room,
where we were met by a doctor - who was rushing. In my
experience: doctors don't panic, but when they rush, there's something wrong. She spoke to me, explained that I had been pregnant (past
tense) that it was ectopic (past tense) and had ruptured (past
tense). She also explained that I was hemorrhaging (present tense)
into my abdomen and had a blood clot the size of my hand and 2 inches thick.
Doing nothing was not an option. Doing nothing meant that this would be fatal.
We were going to surgery. ASAP.
I was terrified. I asked the hubs to call my family. I needed people
to pray. I spoke to my children, and though they don't know it, I was saying
goodbye. All at the exact. same. time. as dealing with this thought: "I
was pregnant, and now that baby is gone, and I may die".
The rest of the evening progressed to emergency surgery, a lot of pain, a
huge incision (in a big rush according to the doctor's notes), recovery, and
moving to a hospital room. By 1am I was in a room, hopped up on a tonne of
drugs, and feeling decidedly empty.
That lasted for about 2 days.
People came to the hospital to visit. The hubs, the kiddos, my in-laws, my
parents, my sisters, my b-i-l and his fiancée, my friends from church, my best
friend. Many people. So much love and support and care. I knew,
rationally, that I was and am continuing to be blessed beyond measure. But all
I could think, over and over and over is "My baby is gone. What did I
do wrong? Why is this happening to me? My baby is gone."
They released me; I was sent home: with anti-inflammatories and high caliber
pain-killers. My anxiety rising, but trying desperately to appear normal and
thankful and grateful and all the things that I really really was, or wanted to
And I want to say, truly, we have been so so so blessed. The absolute
outpouring of love and care and support that has come from our families, our
friends, and our church has been indescribably wonderful. We have so many
prayers and care and good thoughts coming our way that I know we will get
through this. We will. But on Monday I had a panic attack. And there are still
times when I feel so empty. Numb.
And here's the thing. No one really knows what to say (and if you're
someone who doesn't know what to say: it's okay... really it is) and they so
desperately want you to feel better, and to know and understand that you're
loved, that they say really wonderful things, like "I'm sorry"
and "We love you" and "Look at your beautiful boys,
take comfort in them" and it breaks your heart over and over because
it's true and you're still sad. It's true and you still feel
empty and broken and numb and drained and awful. And you smile, and you agree,
because you want to, and you feel stupid doing it. And there's a part of
you that feels like, because you DO have children and that so many others don't even have that;
that on some level, your grief is not allowed.
And no: no-one would ever tell you that.
But that's how it feels.
And the real question is: does it ever go away? I don't know.
I know that right now, after a wonderful happy day of celebrating my
big'un's birthday with family and laughter and too much food that my heart
aches because in May I was planning on announcing the coming baby at the party.
That even though I am wildly proud of my kiddos and completely in love with my
little family that on some level it feels incomplete. And part of me
desperately wants to go back to "normal" although I'm not even
certain I know what that is anymore.
So here's the message to the interwebs part of this (seriously lengthy -
good on you if you've stuck it out) post: I'm not a professional anything, but
this is what I think:
It's okay. It's okay to grieve. To grieve endlessly, heartbreakingly,
painfully. And it's okay to do it while you're laughing with family and
friends, eating cupcakes. It's okay to grieve when you wake up in the middle of
the night in a panic. It’s okay to be grieving when you tell someone
"I'm okay. I'm doing good." because you are. Because grief is okay. Grief
is good. You need it. It's allowed.
And it's okay to laugh. It's okay to spend a day and realize that you
haven't had that mind-numbingly empty feeling for a few hours. It's okay to be
moving forward. It's okay to be healing and searching for normal and still have
heartache. I think; that's what makes us human. That we are wonderfully complex
and able to love and laugh and grief and ache all at the same time. It's okay
to pray. It's okay to ask others to pray for you.
But if this happens to you. please, please, please - talk to someone. Your
GP, your friend, your mother... your blog readers ;)... just someone. Let
people know how you're feeling.
And drink tea.
Because that helps too.
Thanks for reading this. And if you're one of those out there praying for
us: thank you. Thank you for caring and supporting and loving us. We are all
grateful beyond words. Beyond expression. Thank you. Thank God for you. And please do believe me when I tell you "I'm okay. I'm moving forward." because I am.
Update: Erin pointed out to me that this tutorial was missing some pretty important steps. (Uh, like HALF of them!) How embarrassing!!! So I...
I've just participated in a One Tiny Thing swap on my fave crafting website Craftster . The theme for the swap was Doctor Who - which I&...
My goal is to do a round 10 posts of the P2RL style challenge issued by Sarah of Sarah's Real Life . So I'm almost half way there! ...