Two Babies

About three weeks after the miscarriage I started tracking my ovulation again, mainly because I had no idea when to expect my period and I don’t particularly care for throwing away underwear.  I tested for about a week with nothing, no ovulation.  I figured my body was still getting over the miscarriage and D&C.  Then ten days or so in, the little ovulation strips started to pop positive. Good. I would get my period in about two weeks.  Crisis averted. But I kept testing and I kept ovulating. Which was weird.  Usually it is a couple days.  At about day six of ovulating to I started to be like.. um.. what? And my back was hurting.  So, mainly to discount it as an option, I took a pregnancy test.

Pregnant. A month after a miscarriage.

But it wasn’t that simple.  It was possible that I was testing positive due to the previous pregnancy hormones hanging around in my system, as they sometimes do.  So I spent about four days not knowing if I was pregnant.  That was super fun.  Lesson learned, never take a pregnancy test on a Friday. Do not be as stupid as I was.

Finally, that following Wednesday I got in to see my fabulous OB.  Yes, baby. Yes, heartbeat. Oof. Okay. Baby. So soon. Okay we can do this! Right? Right. Okay.

And then nausea hit me like a semi-truck. So this is morning sickness. And by morning sickness I mean all day, nothing but dry cereal, laying on the couch feeling like I am dying, sickness.  This was not like last time. But, morning sickness can mean a strong healthy pregnancy so I tried to take it in stride and eat a lot of cereal and take a lot of naps.

My next appointment was at eight weeks.  I didn’t need the appointment or the ultrasound per se, but I looked a little wild around the eyes at my first appointment so my OB wanted me back in two weeks to assure me.  Have I mentioned I love this man?

I took Rob with me because I was ready for bad news.  I didn’t want to have to call him and tell him like I had last time. By the time I got to the appointment I was so nervous I had tunnel vision and was dry heaving.  Hello, I am a hot mess.  I hopped up onto the ultrasound table and they have this giant probe thing.  Trans-vaginal ultrasound for the win! Anyway, heartbeat, baby. Good!

And then what’s this? Something else is on the screen.  I know that a cyst is a possibility, which the OB was like hey man whatever about, but he keeps probing around (fun times for all) and he is quiet and I am not breathing.

Heartbeat number two. Heartbeat number two.  How sure are you?! Have you ever had a woman have a heart attack on this table?

And then there they both are, Twin A and Twin B. Beating away. Two babies.

Two babies.

when to ask for help

I am not a doctor. Go talk to yours.

I am taking my current unemployed state as an opportunity to really get my shit together.  I found a new psychiatrist, a dietician, general doctor, etc.  I also have been planning Rob’s life to a lesser extent.  He is thrilled about his new doctor and the physical that he has scheduled.

One of the goals with my new psychiatrist is to slowly taper off my anxiety meds, until I am on none.  I started taking Celexa when I was at a breaking point.  My last year in England left me emotionally damaged and near the edge.  I was a nervous mess.  My first day of orientation at law school I scheduled an appointment with the campus psychiatrist and didn’t look back.

My psychiatrist and the meds were a Godsend.  Law school was the first time I had taken meds, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  So many people told me that I wouldn’t feel anymore or that I wouldn’t be me anymore.  Neither of those things happened.  The best I can describe it, is that it lessened the panic enough to let me get out from under it.  It is hard to manage your anxiety when you feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest.  Celexa didn’t take that feeling of weight away, it just made the anxiety feel more manageable.  Think, large dog, rather than elephant.

I saw my psychiatrist throughout law school and stayed on the Celexa.  In my last year the little cogs in my mind starting clicking and I decided it might just be time to taper off.  I never wanted to be on meds forever and my doctor agreed that I was managing well enough to start to work towards being off of it.  Well, I had slowly halved my prescription when my grandpa died.  Doc put me right back up to my normal amount.

I didn’t really think about it again until this January.  There was no way I was messing with my meds during the Bar, don’t be silly. Then I was without health insurance until January.  Who loves the Affordable Care Act? This girl!  Then there was actually finding a psychiatrist.  Mine from Pepperdine wasn’t covered under my new insurance.  He’s also on the other side of LA.  Not that that would have stopped me..

So, after three weeks of calling I found someone only four cities over.  (Seriously kids, if you are trying to decide what to major in, psychiatry needs you!)  I would hate to think what it would be like if I didn’t live in the LA area.

Anyway, I met him and we talked and talked and he agreed, I didn’t need the Celexa anymore.  We made a plan.  I start by cutting my dosage in half.  Then in half again.  Then nothing.  I am a little a more than a week into this plan and I feel.. fine.  Me.  We’ll see how it goes when I go half again.

Though the timing of this decision seems poor, given I only miscarried a month ago, I am managing.

I am not 100% and I am not over it.. does anyone ever get over it? .. I am okay. The same week I met with my psychiatrist and decided to taper off, my therapist fired me. I don’t need therapy right now.  I am happy and handling and our hours had become far too quiet.  It was abrupt and surprising to me, but not unwelcome.  It is nice to know a mental healthcare professional thinks I am strong enough and okay enough to know when I’m not okay and to figure that out on my own.

I know when to ask for help.

photo

 

Though my comment about not being a doctor may seem flippant, I wouldn’t be where I am without an excellent team of mental healthcare professionals.  If you think you might want to see someone – do it. 

Fully-Grown Psychopath

Stormy, love of my life, somehow managed to get fleas.  He is an indoor only cat so I am choosing to blame our other cats for bringing them in the house.  He started scratching ferociously and cut up his neck pretty significantly.  He’s never really had fleas before so I am sure he was pleased with this development.  Once I realized what was going on I went out and got him some of the flea ointment to put on the back of his neck. Done. Problem solved.

Um.. nope.

So the flea stuff makes a cat’s fur all oily and it usually disappears in a few weeks, max.  Well three weeks later Stormy’s fur was STILL oily and he’d taken to trying to rip out the oily fur.  This was clearly a great improvement in the situation.

Stormy has had one bath in his fourteen-year existence, me being a firm believer in cats being self-cleaning.. and dangerous.  He was a kitten at the time of his last bath and pretty easy to control.  He is now a fully-grown psychopath.  I tried to wait out the oily fur situation as long as I could and it just wasn’t getting any better.

So, on Valentine’s Day it was bath time.  I locked Jillian, Stormy, and I in the bathroom and took off my pants, naturally. Because between getting my pants wet and getting my legs torn to shreds I decided getting my legs torn to shreds was preferable (my logic is highly questionable).

First Jillian got in the tub that I had filled with just a few inches of water and I tried to gently place Stormy in the bath while Jillian poured water on him.  He did not seem to enjoy this in that he jumped out of the bath and started yowling at the top of his lungs.  This lead to all the other cats in the house becoming curious and then yowling in commiseration.

I tried the gently place him in the bath, pour water on him technique three or four times. About the fourth time he hopped out and peed all over the floor. I have only seen him pee out of anxiety one other time.  I was introducing him to my college boyfriend that had a mohawk at the time, so I knew this was getting pretty serious in the world of cat anxiety.

I tried it one more time and ended up with two lovely cuts deep into my hand.

Then mom stepped in.  After wiping up the pee with my jeans (thanks mom) she grabbed him by the scruff and we shampood and washed just his neck.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of the scruff before.  It could have been the yowling and lack of pants that threw me off my game.

We got his neck shampood and rinsed and then opened the door.  He ran like a bat out of hell.

A few hours later when he finally ventured out, I realized we had, instead of solving the oily neck problem, we had created a new problem: shampoo neck.

photo 2

Sorry buddy…

 

 

 

 

through the darkness slowly

(this is a miscarriage post with some graphic language and adult content. reader discretion is advised. if that is not for you, watch this!)

sadcatI am not a slow pace person. I am not a patient person.  I am not a let things lie person.  And I never will be. 

I used to pray for patience.  For years.  And then finally, I came to the understanding that patience was just not something I was blessed with.  I would just try to meet people where they were, the best I could, even if that meant going at a glacially slow pace.  I would grin and bear it when my impatience got the best of me.

Even with grief I have tried to move things along.  This takes so much time.  Seriously.   I think that is one of the things that has been hardest.  I keep waiting and waiting to come out the other side.  Waiting for it to get easier.

And for about a week, it didn’t.  It got harder.  I cried more.  I slept less.  I spent more time by myself, questioning everything.  Why?  What if it happens again and again? What if it takes years?

One of the difficult aspects that no one tells you about miscarriage.. is vaginal rest (I’d be willing to bet a significant amount that a man came up with that term).  Unfortunately, it isn’t what it sounds like.  You don’t get to take extra naps just for your vagina.  After a D&C you are placed on vaginal rest for about two weeks.   No sex, tampons, or douching for two weeks.

Okay. Tampons? Whatever. I can roll with pads or panty liners. Douching? What? I never did that in the first place.  In case you were wondering, your vagina is self-cleaning.  Don’t work harder than you need to. Really.

But sex? No sex for two weeks could be just fine. We have done it before, on numerous occasions.  Hell, we have gone months and months (side note: don’t marry a foreigner).  Something about this time around was harder.

It was like we were two people in the fetal position, curled away from each other.  We didn’t know how to reach out and say, I need a lifeboat, I am sinking.  I didn’t realize that the no sex rule would create this invisible wall where we felt like we had to heal on either side of it.  That first week after my D&C was my hardest week.  It was a week I spent mostly alone.

We didn’t make it two weeks.

When I saw my OB for my checkup he was neither surprised nor concerned about my inability to rest for a full two weeks.  Phew. Something about being able to reconnect with Rob flipped the switch.  We were no longer healing side by side, but together, as a couple.  We were able to reach out and say, I’m still not okay.

I’m still not okay.  And I am anxious to get there.  But I am trying and trying to be patient with myself.

me too

(this is a miscarriage post.  if that isn’t for you, spend some time here. i’ve watched it twice.)

IMG_1943

I had my D&C yesterday. A D&C is done if woman’s body isn’t naturally moving things along once the baby is no longer viable.  If you are super interested, this is a pretty good explanation. I had the choice of having a D&C or waiting it out to see if my body started the process on its own.  Rob and I spent a lot of time thinking and talking about our options, and I ultimately decided that it was the right choice for me.  If I waited for things to run their course I could be waiting up to six weeks.

Having the D&C felt like the first step toward closure.  I am no longer carrying the baby we lost.  I am a blank slate.

 After posting on Monday and word slowly getting out about the miscarriage, I have to say that I am stunned.  I simply cannot believe the number of women that have come to me, in one way or another and said, me too. I had four different nurses yesterday, three of them told me about their losses.  I had an appointment with my regular doctor on Thursday about something completely unrelated. She said, me too.  I have had Facebook messages and texts and emails. All from women quietly providing their support by sharing their experiences, so similar to mine.

And all this has me thinking, why so secretive, ladies? But I know. I know that it is hard to share and that it is painful and emotional and nothing that anyone needs to know about.  But I am so grateful for the women that have shared with me. Hearing other women say me too has helped more than anything else.  It’s made me feel like this is normal. It’s made me feel like I am normal. If you are one of those women, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

The D&C itself was uneventful. I love my OB to teeny tiny pieces and did even before this happened.  I want to be his best friend and have a million babies just so I can hang out with him all the time and he can deliver all of my babies for me.  When he told me the baby didn’t have a heartbeat he said, on the plus side they’d gotten my blood work back and I was STD free! Hell yes.  He has a great sense of humor and an amazing bedside manner and I could go on but it would start to be weird. or weird..er.  He gave me all of my options, D&C and otherwise and because of him I am physically good.  He has also been a huge help on the emotional front, but I still have a long way to go. 

He told me the statistics and the women that have contacted me have confirmed.  In my last post I wrote about being a statistic, but talking to other women has eased the pain in being another number. This is normal.  It may not be welcome, but it is normal. And what is more, it is normal to have a miscarriage and move on to have lots of healthy babies. Win, in my book.

So, for now, I will be leaning in to my family and to those women who have said, me too.