Friday, July 11, 2014

my 'real' real life // when heartbreak happens

my social media is filled with sunshine and rainbows. it spews fun colors and sweet, loving photos. i hate when people say these photos are not their 'real' life, so they post a messy house and crying babies with the hashtag #myrealreallife. you know what? a messy house and crying baby is still a happy time. my house is messy, not because i don't want to clean, but because parker is pulling every toy out of the playroom to make a giant show for only five minutes and laugh the whole time. my house is messy because instead of cleaning, i am choosing to blow bubbles outback or swim. my focus of my 'real' real life will never be the mess in the background, it will be my baby and family, front and center. it will never be the moments he is crying, because those times are just blips. sometimes, believe it or not, those crying moments are not all sad. when he is crying to get to me or he is wanting his daddy to come home, he may be upset, but i know that he is doing it because he loves us so much. i will never remember the tears of fits though. what you see is #myrealreallife, what you see is front and center of my life.

what do you do when your 'real' real life crumbles a little? i can't post a photo saying 'hey guys, my life just exploded a little bit and i am in bed crying.' so i post a different aspect of my 'real' real life.

instead, on the day my 'real' real life crumbled, i posted a photo of my son pretending to be sailing with a peg arm. that was also my 'real' real life, the light through the pain. my front and center.

you know when you start trying to have a baby and you freak out about your fertility? if you are like me (and most woman i spoke with), you swear you won't get pregnant and will need assistance doing so. well, for the first few weeks after our wedding, that was me. then…  bam. i found out we were blessed with our perfect honeymoon baby. the whole time i was worrying, but i never really thought i was infertile. i just stressed about it.

so you find out you are pregnant and for the first 12 weeks, you worry about a miscarriage. the odds of a miscarriage greatly decrease when you hit twelve weeks. so, with the help of an incompetent doctor, i stressed for the first twelve weeks (she actually told me my baby wouldn't make it). i was so scared of a miscarriage, but did i ever, really expect it to happen to me? nope. i never thought i'd be one of the 20% of pregnant woman who miscarry.

jump to baby number two. i didn't worry about fertility. i was blessed enough to get pregnant our first month trying. i went to the doctor and they confirmed everything, cue happy tears. my tests came back good, except progesterone. 'don't worry,' they said. 'this medicine will make you sick, tired, and give you headaches, but it will make your pregnancy a healthy one.' so, every night, for three weeks, i took this medicine for my baby. i was exhausted and nauseated and it became a little tough to take care of parker during the day. you carry on, though, don't you? you carry on because you love that baby growing inside of you and there is no where else you'd rather be than taking care of the baby you are with.

oh boy, did i love you, sweet baby. i am one of those lucky (or unlucky, depending on who you ask) women who finds out they are pregnant immediately, roughly three weeks in. the moment the test came back positive, i cried. that baby was our baby. i love so much, so fiercely, immediately. this baby is not just a fetus. this was our baby. our family. i love the baby as if he/she were in my arms. we knew about you for six weeks. we made plans, we had hopes, we were so excited.

we were almost eight weeks in when i started bleeding. i didn't think anything of it. people bleed, it is possible. i knew someone going through it at the same time. the next day, there was more and i knew something was wrong. i could feel it. you try to stay positive. you try to be optimistic, but mamas just know. i made an appointment to get checked out.

getting the ultrasound was the worst. the tech cannot confirm anything, but when she turned up the volume for the heartbeat and there was nothing… i couldn't breath.

i just turned my head to the side and started bawling.

normally, i stay calm in the moment and breakdown later. when there was that little spot on parker's heart, i was perfectly calm as the doctor explained everything and we took more tests. i really let it all out when we got home. this time, there was no calm before the storm. this was a hurricane that started quickly and came in hard. it was a hurricane that didn't stop.

the first thing you feel is guilt. no matter who you are, no matter what they say, you feel like you did something wrong. did i eat something that caused listeria? did i workout too hard? when i let parker play on me, did i let him kick me? the guilt consumed me. my logical side said, 'breathe. you did nothing. the pregnancy was not viable. your baby was too sick to live.' the crazy side, the one taking over, was wondering a million things a minute.

after you stand up, dust yourself off a little, you start to think about everyone else. I knew how Eric felt. He was with me, holding my hand. Parker didn't understand, but he did learn how to say 'bayyyy beeee.' My parents? Well, their hearts were broken. Not only did they lose their teeny tiny grandbaby, but their daughter was in extreme pain. my siblings? ehh, they are fine.

then comes the little ones… how do i tell my nieces? these five little girls were already trying to guess baby fitz's gender and picking names. how could i break their hearts? why did i tell them so early? the first time i talked to my oldest niece afterward, all she said was 'love you, manda panda' and i felt myself break a little. i think the three older girls took it hard. though they were in pain, it reminded me that my sweet little babe was so loved, though they we never got to meet.

you have three options when you miscarry: a medication, d&c, or natural passing of the baby. the medication is basically an abortion pill. when you miscarry, it causes the passing of the baby with heavy cramping and heavy bleeding. d&c, dilation and curettage, is a surgical procedure where they go and cut the baby and tissue out. natural is where you give birth to the baby, but it is not guaranteed you will pass the baby and all the tissue.

i did not want a d&c. i find it terrifying and i couldn't imagine my baby being considered 'medical waste.' i opted to get the medication, but planned to wait to see if i would pass my baby within the next day.

i had contractions! i was literally in labor. i thought you just 'passed' the baby. i had no idea my body would go through labor. on top of all the emotional pain, i was giving birth.

it broke me.

i will spare the gory details, but i passed my little baby at 7:29 on June 23rd. We named the baby Blueberry Fitz. everything that followed was exactly what i wished for, given the circumstances.

physically, i was perfect the next day.

emotionally, my heart is still broken. it gets easier. but, come february, the pain will be back. i have an amazing support system. my husband is amazing. he will just hold me and deal with my craziness. my parents stood by me the entire time. they are so good. parker kept me together though. he knew something was wrong and wanted to cuddle and kiss me. it was exactly what i needed.

i still break down. pregnancy announcements are coming left and right. babies are everywhere! i hate feeling like this and it isn't true, but it almost feels like it is being rubbed in. like 'na na na boo boo, everyone gets their baby, but you.' i sound like a crazy person, but i know that i am not the only one.

because, after the hurricane settles, the feelings become more like the arizona monsoon season. sunshine all day long, but then, unexpectedly, the dust comes in, quick and hard, but it isn't so bad. you don't know if there will be a down pour yet, you just hope the dust passes and the rain stays away so you can sleep at night. other nights, there is thunder, lightening, and the hard rain that sounds like golfballs hitting the window. you just know the rain will keep you up all night long.

this whole experience tests your strength, your relationships, your faith. but you have to depend on each of those to come out smiling. that is exactly what i do.

it is exactly what i will keep doing.

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