Learning to Reach…Further

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The man who holds my heart waited for me at Short Sand Creek. We picked this beautiful spot in nature to meet before walking through the forest, hand in hand, to a quiet gathering spot in the trees next to the ocean where friends watched us say our vows, 2 years and 3 months ago. My one and only. My best friend. My sweetheart. My rock.

“I told her…she’d have to survive it. That she’d have to find a way within herself to not only escape the shit, but to transcend it, and if she wasn’t able to do that, then her whole life would be shit, forever and ever and ever. I told her that escaping the shit would be hard, but…she had to be the one to make it happen. She had to do more than hold on. She had to reach. She had to want it more than she’d ever wanted anything. She had to grab like a drowning girl for every good thing that came her way and she had to swim like fuck away from every bad thing. She had to count the years and let them roll by, to grow up and then run as far as she could in the direction of her best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by her own desire to heal.”
~ from How You Get Unstuck (thank you to the amazing Girl With a Gold Dress for sharing this)

24 Hours Post-Mortem

It’s still in me, this embryo without a heartbeat, that’s what’s so weird.

Today I began a regimen to induce my impending miscarriage. And I’ll say, I had to quickly get over the Denial Stage passing through me, the one quietly wanting to think perhaps it was a mistake and there is a future baby still in there, with beating heart, ready to quadruple in size at any minute. But I took a deep breath, made the world’s fastest grocery store trip, with head down and eyes blurry, and came home to kick it off. I connected with my naturopath who recommended the parsley/C combo and added the bromelain myself, since it’s a known abortifacient post-implantation.

  • 2-4 cups a day of parsley tea (this worked like a charm to start my period and prep for cycle 4, so hopefully it will so the same
  • 2 capsules daily of bromelain (ironically used for 5 days to support implantation during IVF, but after that it can soften the uterus and stimulate contractions to miscarriage)
  • 500mg hourly of Vitamin C (maximum 12 / 6000 mg)

I also purchased Super maxipads at the store, something I’ve never actually bought before, as my whole life I’ve had a light flow relative to the average female. My acupuncturist said to see how the Parsley/C combo works and if needed, I could come in on Monday and pick up some Resolve Lower, which I’d take for 3 days to stimulate the uterus.

While kicking this off, I received a very nice call from my RE to check on me and see how I was doing. Unlike many clinics, he’s my point of contact, not a nurse, which I really have appreciated during this time. He’s so kind and yet direct and to the point, and hugely empathetic to our frustration and grief.  We talked about the non-surgical miscarriage options which he’d told me yesterday in the office which I completely blocked out since I was balling at the time. I asked about natural miscarriage, which could take anywhere from days to weeks to happen, as it’s very unpredictable, versus inducing it with prostaglandins (4 pessaries), which he said have a much higher probability of working same-day. He was very clear to say this needed to be done when I don’t have anything on my calendar, and seeing that the next 3 days are client-free before we go out on vacation, I made the decision to go ahead and do it tomorrow morning. It won’t be fun by any stretch of the imagination, but my husband will be home the first part of the day before going in for the late shift, and as I told Dan, the sooner this physically manifests itself, the sooner I can truly begin to heal. Walking around knowing this embryo is still inside of me is just not something I want to go on vacation with if I can help it. I want to heal under the high desert skies, laying under the stars watching the Perseid meteor shower with my sweetheart’s hand in mine.

Gratitude and the Unintended Consequences of “Let Me Know If…”

While I’ve talked about the people we were once close to disappearing over this past year and a half of fertility treatments  – some doing what kids these days refer to as ghosting, others flaking so much it became clear they could not be relied on, while others just fading into the distance – I have found beauty in others who have stepped up to support me.

Last night, my massage therapist sent me a gift card for Amazon so that I could “order what I need from home and don’t have to face the world if I choose not to or just can’t.” Wow, did she get that right. While we’re fortunate that my husband works for a natural grocer and can still pick up the essentials if I’m not up to human contact, she hit the nail on the head by TAKING ACTION rather than leaving the ball in my court to, in my haze of tears, figure out what the hell I needed – especially being a person such as myself who finds it incredibly hard to ask for help in my most rational mindset.

The outpouring of “please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help” emails, and its unintended passive aggressiveness by those who say it, has intensely reminded me of when my father died in 2008 (the original impetus for this blog, by the way) and everyone said that…but no one actually stepped up to the plate, putting the ball in my misery-laden court to come up with a task for them, something I was in no way mentally capable of doing.

As the article 4 Helpful Alternatives to “If There’s Anything We Can Do To Help” points out so spot-on, “If you’ve heard that from someone, how many times have you actually called that person to ask for  help? If you’ve said that to someone, how many times has that person or family going through a rough time actually reached out to you to ask for some help? It’s kind to offer help.  But it’s even better to actually help.” When my dad died, only ONE friend actually said she would like to come over, did so, and is my sole memory of having a physical shoulder to cry on. A cousin I barely knew asked if she could bring me food – and while she was someone I barely knew, and ultimately I declined, boy did she have it spot on as far as not putting the onus on me. Don’t Say “Let Me Know If You Need Anything” If You Actually Want To Help Someone explains that by making the generic statement, “you’re actually burdening someone with the need to reach out to you for help. When someone needs your assistance and you want to offer it, be specific…people who are in a place where they can’t handle their normal day-to-day life on their own aren’t going to have an easy time asking you to do them a favor…When you need their help someday, they’ll remember.”

A newer friend of mine who had two miscarriages also has helped in the way I needed – by sharing her experience in a non-judgmental, empathetic way. She made it easy for me to ask her questions. You see, when the majority of people who can empathize with you are in blog-land (and often in completely different countries, not just states), you are relieved for that community but still want someone in your non-virtual world who can talk about it as well. I let her know that while I didn’t think I’d be up for our scheduled lunch after I got back from vacation, I wanted to get one on one time with her to talk about this. And then I asked her point blank, when were you able to finally leave the house? She talked about it very similar to how I felt, with the first few days not wanting to be around anyone besides her husband, then slowly reaching out for the distraction of friends and family, not to talk about it but just to feel a bit more normal again. And she added, “I reached out to two friends I knew who had gone through it – both with kids now – and that helped to realize/hear they both now had families after going through it.” Exactly what I did by reaching out to her. By emailing her, I was looking for hope. You see, she has a wonderful family with two kiddos now. I needed – fuck how I needed – to hear about how she went through and ultimately survived. And she agreed wholly that getting out of town for a few days (as we have planned) was extremely helpful, away from the regular world, of familiar faces. Amen.

Love+

My kickass community of bloggers

What can I say. I love you. From Baby Science Project’s post about her own journey through IVF, miscarriage, and DEIVF, to Girl With a Gold Dress’s amazing piece that I borrowed from above, to Waiting Between The Lines sharing her story, to Mint Pea tragically being just a week ahead of me in her own post-IVF pregnancy loss, and everyone else sharing their support and love that are so genuine and go well beyond polite sympathies – know that YOU have been one of the main reasons I maintain any semblance of strength and resilience. YOU have given me the hope (yep, I used that word I hate to use) and the inspiration to grow and evolve in my perspective towards our journey in creating a family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The Pursuit of Quietude

My honey and I, along with our trusty pup, are soon going to be road tripping out to the high desert of Central Oregon, wandering the Painted Hills and chilling out in a li’l cabin on a ranch where the days are warm, the nights are cool, and the night skies are gorgeously clear to lay on our backs and watch the Perseid meteor shower. My husband opened up to his boss about what happened to us and she gave him the OK to take an extra day off. This holiday couldn’t come at a better time, I tell ya.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”
~John Muir

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  One thought on “Learning to Reach…Further

  1. August 6, 2016 at 12:17 am

    I’m very sad to see this post, though is it inappropriate to add that this is some of the best writing I have seen from you?

    I have never experienced your grief and will not pretend or presume to understand it. I have witnessed it though. I had a sister I never met. I never found out about my mother’s stillbirth until a relative who talked far too much let it slip when I was 12 years old. My mother never talks about it.

    There is a happy ending to the story though. Less than a year later she had ME! So hang in there. As we say in Jamaica, “Better mus’ come…”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. August 6, 2016 at 1:53 am

    I’ve been through two miscarriages, the first natural, the second with the pessaries. I’m not sure you are wanting practical advice so wont write an essay on the subject. I would strongly recommend that you have someone stay with you once the pain ramps up. When I had the pessaries it took 3 days for things to happen and everything came in one gush – clothes had to go in the bin.

    I hope the physical part passes quickly for you and you are able to go on vacation focused on emotional healing. It sounds like a fab place you are going to. Take care. x

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  3. myrainbowdream
    August 6, 2016 at 6:29 am

    You know I never had the ‘Let me know if’ but I had a lot of ‘I know how you feel because my daughter in-law/friend/sister had a miscarriage’. Said with good intention but made me so angry, because they have not a clue. I do not know how you feel at all, nor you how I did and to someone who has never been through it you can never even come close. The only people I could speak to are my husband and sister who had been through it too and yes I cut the world off so I could heal. What I would to say to anyone is to grieve in your own way, do not care how anyone else thinks you should be coping (I was surprised to be judged on this!). Your grief is unique to you and you know what you need to do to get through this. You will find strength you did not know you had, it is certainly the worst thing I have experienced in my life and I now think if I got through that I can face anything. The other thing is the strength of our relationship, I did not think we could grow stronger but we did and we gained strength from our love for each other. I hope I have not said too much, I am super paranoid about saying the wrong thing having been on the receiving end of it (hence we never told anyone about second mc). I hope your break away with your husband and pup is a comforting escape. Take care of each other.

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  4. August 7, 2016 at 1:23 am

    I’m glad you have a holiday booked. Hopefully it will be a welcome distraction. When it happened to me I needed time away and an ‘alternate reality’ where I didn’t have to think about babies for a while. That gave me the strength to come up with plan B (or in my case, plan G or whatever). I hope the physical part is over with quickly x

    Liked by 1 person

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