Thursday, January 24, 2013

A New Journey

I had my post partum checkup about 5 weeks after delivering Landyn. Everything checked out and the dr asked if we had thought about trying again at some point. I said yes. She cautiously asked when. I said, um, now?  She gave me the go ahead as soon as I felt ready. We decided instead of trying or not trying we would just live life and see what happened.  It took two weeks. Of course I didnt know it for a little longer but I was pregnant again just the same. By October 30, only 66 days after saying goodbye to Landyn, I knew I was pregnant. I find it interesting how my mind seems to have two parts, the part that is logical and knows what is true and the part that is completely illogical that I can't seem to not believe. Well, that illogical side was telling me that if I didn't take a pregnancy test, if I didn't know for SURE, then it wouldn't hurt so much if I lost the baby. It took another 3 days and a friend actually bringing me the test and standing outside the bathroom door saying, "Did you do it yet?  How about now? Can I come in yet?" for me to actually take it. Well, I didn't even get my hands washed before I had two lines. Pregnant. I was happy about it but really felt no joy. How could I? I now knew that a positive test no longer meant a baby to hold. We told our immediate family right away but I just couldnt spread the word further than that, untelling last time had been terrible.  I couldn't even bring myself to make a dr appointment for two weeks, that illogical voice in my head kept saying if I just don't go THERE they couldn't give me bad news.  I had my first check up at 8 weeks. The dr walked in and thankfully knew who I was and what I had been through without me having to explain everything. She asked if I was nervous and gave me a big hug when I immediately started crying.  She did a quick ultrasound and there was that beautiful, tiny flicker, a little heartbeat.  She told me for my own sake she would see me every 2 weeks and would do an ultrasound first thing until baby was big enough to get a heartbeat on dopplar without any messing around.  I was told I could come in any time I needed to hear the heartbeat. They have been very careful with my emotional state.  I knew that being pregnant again after losing Landyn would be hard, I was told it would be unlike any pregnancy before, I had heard you should wait until you are "emotionally ready".  I dont know that any amount of waiting could prepare me. To wonder every day if your baby is alive, to find yourself unconsciencely designing another headstone, to be so nervous before every appointment that you shake and your heartrate makes the nurses comment. This has been so very hard. I'm sure it didn't help having the two pregnancies so close together...but I don't know that waiting would have made much difference.  I felt like I was doing ok, normal for grieving anyway at first. But then between the grief itself, technically still being post partum, and the new wave of pregnancy hormones I tanked. I spent nearly two months with absolutely no desire to get out of bed. I probably wouldn't have if Kylee didn't come in and ask me to help her go potty. My bed felt safe and everything else felt overwhelming. When I did get up I sat around in my pajamas, I didn't want to shower, clean the house, do school with the kids, or leave the house. It was as if existing was the only thing I could handle and anything more was just too much.  I knew I wasn't quite right so I finally starting talking about it to Ryan, then one night I googled depression. I was actually surprised to find I had many of the symptoms. I thought depression would mean I would be sadder and crying more. Nope, I had just lost interest in everything.  I thought about calling the grief counselor from the hospital and the dr to ask for something to help. I think just putting a name to what was bothering me and the thought that help was right there if I felt I needed it made a huge difference. Ever so slowly I started getting good days. It's so hard to describe how different I felt, like a huge weight had been lifted, like the sun had finally come out from behind the clouds.  I really think it was mostly hormone induced and that makes me a little wary, like it might be lurking around some corner.  Now I'm back to "normal" with good days and bad days.  I spent most of those early weeks not able to really think about the baby. I mean I was eating well and taking my vitamins but I couldnt think past NOW. I couldn't think due date, when we would find out gender, or even what tomorrow would bring. It was just too overwhelming.  I had my first appointment with a high risk specialist at 13 weeks. She did an ultrasound to measure everything and  check baby out. Usually I get an ultrasound at the beginning to verify dates and one when baby is much bigger around 20 weeks. This time I could see all of baby at once. We checked and were pretty sure it was a boy. He was moving all over and even looked like he was sucking his thumb. I so enjoyed seeing him. That night however was a hard night for me. I feel like I became "emotionally pregnant" that day.  I just kept picturing that ultrasound and I think that is when the pregnancy really became real for me. He was perfect. I could see fingers, toes, facial features. I realized then how much I loved him and how much I had to lose. I felt so dumb so crying over having a perfect baby. It was right about that time I started feeling him move. Not much, but it was there. I had a small....ok, not so small...panic when I hadn't felt him move for about 5 days. I knew in my head that with just his size or the direction he was facing could make the movements harder for me to feel. Enter the illogical voice again.  It was not too long before Landyn's due date and my grandpa had just died, I think I was just overwhelmed. I called and asked for a heartbeat check. They would have gotten me in right away, but with a dr I didn't care for so I settled on an appt the next day.  Right away we picked up the heartbeat. The dr just let it go for a few minutes so I could just listen. She even wiped a tear from my face with her hand.  We are now to week 16, the very week the dr measured Landyn as dying at. We verified today this baby is a boy. His name is Ian, meaning God is gracious. And I truly believe that if I get this baby to hold and love and take home or only to kiss goodbye that God is GOOD. The dr measured him all over and he is right on schedule. He looks to weigh about 5 ozs. She checked the placenta and cervix and other then the placenta still being low everything is normal.  This whole pregnancy just FEELS different (more on that in the next post). These appointments are still hard. It's 1 am and here I sit, unable to sleep. I love seeing him and knowing he is ok but it hurts to know that is the exact size Landyn was and yet instead of moving all over she was dying. I want her, I want him, it's very complex and confusing sometimes....I wish I could have them both to hold.  It's so hard to put into the words what this all has been like. There is hurt and happiness at the same time.  The movement is getting easier to feel. I am amazed at how relaxed I get when I feel him move, it's the only time I know for sure he is ok.  July seems far.  I am ever so slowly feeling myself relax, letting myself get glimpses of what I hope is coming. Mostly, though, I just take one day at a time and am glad at the end of the day when I feel him move and know we made it through one more day.

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