Behbeh Love Part 4.5

[If you’re just joining me…]

Part One   Part Two   Part Three   Part Four

The past 10 days have been something out of a horror movie.

I’m still in it. Physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.

Thank God that I’m 3 sleeps away from going on vacation to my hometown of Smithers. Most of my friend & family ties are in that area, and I have not seen them in over a year.

So, before I’m able to churn out a Part 5 that actually regales you with my honest experience in miscarrying a child, I’m going to disappear for a week. Maybe two. I need to go where nothing is required of me except to be, and be held, and fed and drank and loved.

If I haven’t replied to any of your previous comments yet, I am sorry. I read them. I feel them. I love them. I’m just too drained to think of anything to say other than Thank You right now.

I do want to tell you, though, that I just finished spending the last 3 short days with my best friend Laurie. She flew approximately 1,350 miles just to be with me and my husband as we grieved.

We ate poutine and fro-yo and stayed up until 4am and made a gloriously sketchy vlog (coming soon!) and had a very special photo shoot down by the beach.

The idea came to me almost in a dream: to take a balloon down to the Pier, somehow attach 2 love notes from myself and Steven, and then send it up to our Baby In The Sky as a memorial of sorts.

Steve worried that this was not environmentally friendly. I didn’t care.

So, we went to a really dodgy retail store, and found the perfect balloon. THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY PERFECT BALLOON.

The rest…was pure, bittersweet magic.

2014-07-27 16.06.19

baby button balloon

baby button balloon 2

 

2014-07-27 16.35.19

2014-07-27 16.36.55

It was a good day.

But, since grief is a fickle bitch, we are in a low valley once again. We’ll retreat. We’ll climb out. And we will be ourselves again.

Thank you for staying with us.

Advertisements

Behbeh Love Part 4

Part One   Part Two  Part Three

** Trigger Warning: Miscarriage and grief. **

The past 24 hours have been one of the best and worst days of my life, simultaneously.

I may not have a lot to say, or I might have waterfalls of words. I’m not sure yet. I thought I would need more like a whole week to process this and write about it, rather than a day, but I’m just going with it for now.

It started at 1am on Wednesday. I was called out to go assist with my very second birth as a doula. I was very excited because I’d spent some time getting to know this new “client” and they had become friends. They were planning an at-home water birth (another first for me!), so I safely raced to their house. I told them that if she was still labouring around noon, I would unfortunately need to leave for about an hour for my own ultrasound – but I would be back no matter what.

I needn’t have worried. I witnessed a beautiful, healthy baby girl come out of the water and into her parents arms by 9:30am. I’m not totally sure what I think about good vibes or energy or juju, but I thought that my morning certainly couldn’t be a bad way to go into my next appointment.

Steve was there with me this time. We knew that this ultrasound would be the make-or-break-it, and he wanted to be there. He expected to be brought into the ultrasound room later to hear a heartbeat if there was one.

Instead, I left the clinic and took him out with me. I waited until I reached the bottom of the stairs where I knew there was a bench we could sit on. And there, I told him.

There is no Baby Button. Technically, there never was. I experienced what is (terribly) called a “blighted ovum,” which means that our fertilized egg never quite made it to embryo stage. However, it stayed inside my uterus and formed a protective sac around it, as it would normally.

This was enough to keep my blood hormones skyrocketing, my breasts growing, my heart certain that everything was okay.

It was probably already over by the time I took that pregnancy test on Father’s Day weekend.

I’m sorry, but if you’ll allow me to speak freely…

I fucking hate my body right now. Sure, it did its job and didn’t keep a non-healthy embryo growing. But to lie to me about it? To trick me for the past 5 weeks? That’s just bullshit. Trust the hormones, we said. Trust the growing boobs, we said. Sure.

Do you know what I have to do now? I have to take a bunch of pills that will make my uterus cramp and contort like I’m in labour. Over the span of 24 hours (hopefully) I will most likely be doubled over in pain while my body expels the tissue of a sac, a placenta and a defunct egg. And THEN I have to fucking collect it in a Ziploc or a Tupperware or whatever, and take it back to the hospital so they can examine it to make sure that nothing got left behind to try and infect me. Because as long as that godforsaken sac is there, my body will continue to believe that it is pregnant – and it will also prevent me from becoming pregnant again, should I try.

This changes everything. I was starting to buy maternity clothes, and getting rid of old clothes I knew wouldn’t fit me anymore. I quit my job. I wrote a pregnancy diary. I shared my hopes and dreams with my husband, my friends and family.

And now, I don’t even want to see or talk to anyone. I just want to be alone and watch Netflix all day, but know that my people are still there should I change my mind.

I’m scared out of my mind. I’m still tired from the birth the other night. Throughout the day, I roller coaster between staring numbness and unstoppable tears.

I still feel pregnant. That’s the whole problem.

And Steve…Steve is my broken hearted rockstar of a man. He has been unreal throughout this whole ordeal. He’s letting me do whatever I want/need to, and making sure I still eat, still sleep. Part of me wishes he wouldn’t, because then I could start wasting away to ghost level; then everyone could know how I feel inside. He said he didn’t realize how attached he was to Baby already, until yesterday. Neither did I, really.

Thankfully, every doctor and assistant at the Maternity Clinic in the hospital has been like a grief counselor. Giving free pills, and hugs, and sympathetic looks. Calling it a loss, and not just telling us to get over it and move on. Encouraging us to do something together that will create closure for us.

I’m thinking about getting a tattoo.

And…that’s it. In a nutshell. I don’t know what else to say. Thank you for reading.

 

 

Behbeh Love Part 3

**Trigger Warning: talk about possible miscarriage, and all the feelings within that.**

Sohry aboot that cliffhanger, eh?

Part One    Part Two

Last Wednesday, I parked at Valley Imaging Clinic, 10 minutes before I was supposed to check in for my ultrasound. I sat in my car. I waited, I listened to music, I cried. I had been bleeding off and on for 5 days now, and I was still waiting for my blood hormone results, and I just…I needed to know if my baby was okay. Every minute felt like an eternity.

…I will call upon your name, and keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am yours, and you are mine…

So why was everything so quiet?

I laid on the table in a dimly lit room, trying to just keep breathing, trying to keep the cushion from sliding out underneath my hips while the stone-faced tech ran a wand over my jellied belly. Searching, searching, searching…

She said I had a very full bladder. A little too full, perhaps. She told me to go empty it so that she could do a vaginal ultrasound. I was prepared for this possibility. I saw Jennifer Lopez’s The Back-up Plan. Whatever would give me that heartbeat.

More cold gel…an aching probe…this will be worth it, this will be worth it, this will be worth it…

So why was everything so quiet?

“When’s your estimated due date again?”

“February 20th. I should be almost 8 weeks now.”

“You’ll need to go back and confer with your doctor. What I’m seeing does not indicate 8 weeks.”

I tried to keep the tears back. “Okay? So..nothing’s wrong, though? It could just be too early to get a heartbeat, right?”

“Just make sure you talk to your doctor. You can clean yourself up now.”

…Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me…

It took 7 minutes. To go in and come out. Really, though, it was 7 years.

I sat in my car again, and decided to call the walk-in clinic, hoping they would have my blood hormone results.

“Your first test showed your hormones at around 13,000. Now they’re over 18,000, so everything looks good. Dr. Aspinall will be in at 1:30pm today if you’d like to talk to him.”

I nearly cried again with relief. “Thank you. I’ll be in at 1:30.”

For the next 2 hours, I distracted myself with food and the superfluous lives of celebrities in magazines at the Library. I gave a brief update on Facebook, then answered the flood of caring texts and comments.

I arrived at the walk-in clinic exactly at 1:30. The clinic was empty, and I rejoiced. When Dr. Aspinall heard that my blood hormones were still going up, he rejoiced.


(Source)

 Not even kidding. He did the double-fist pump. I officially loved him after that.

He had the ultrasound report faxed over (yes, faxed) and we looked at it together.

Not only had there not been a heartbeat, there hadn’t even really been a baby to see. They base it by seeing what they call a “yolk sac” and “fetal pole”, which is kind of a fancy word for the spine. Therefore, it could not be called a “viable fetus” yet. Either something was wrong, and I would miscarry – or it was simply too early to tell.

Dr. Aspinall gave me another requisition to take back to Valley so that I could book another ultrasound in a couple of weeks, as well as a Bio Med form to have more blood taken later in the week.

It was 4pm by the time I got home. Steve got home not long after that, and we collapsed into a hug for awhile. The kind with no words, only touch and requited feeling.

Steve: “We’ll keep trusting the blood and the size of your boobs. Cause, honey, those things are still growing.”

 

 

People have been amazing. Texts, calls, private messages, stopping by the house to chat. Laurie even went so far as to order me cupcakes from my favourite shop. Oh yeah, and she’s approximately 2,000 miles away from me. So she’s pretty amazing.

2014-07-10 12.44.19

 

Days passed. I stopped bleeding and started puking. Hope returned, and every time a wave of nausea washed over me, I smiled. Baby Button is still here, and they want me to know it.

My in-laws opened their swimming pool, like an oasis in the desert. I used to give the Israelites a hard time for all their Old Testament complaining, but now I know better. I’m not even IN desert heat, I have food and water at my disposal constantly, and now I have a swimming pool. I would have been the bitchiest bitch of all those Israelites. Like, open-up-the-earth-and-swallow-me-whole-God-cause-at-least-it’ll-be-cooler-down-there-thanks.

2014-07-12 15.26.22

Not that you really wanted to know, but swimming really helps with my bowel movements.

 

Yesterday, Steve and I went to the hospital for my very first Maternity Clinic appointment. All of my walk-in clinic and blood hormone and ultrasound info had been sent over to them, so they wanted to create a Health History on the both of us. It went pretty well. Dr. Hansen told me to get my blood hormone done again that day, and that he’d get me an ultrasound earlier than the 31st. It all sounded awesome to me.

Until.

“Receptionist So-and-So, can you call over to Valley and tell them to get us an ultrasound this week? Chance of miscarriage is very high with her.”

“Of course, Doctor.” *beep boop beep* “Okay, Carly, you now have an ultrasound on Wednesday. Take your blood test today, and call us on Friday with all your results.”

Something in me went numb after that.

I had my blood taken, and was told I could check my online results that evening.

I went home and slept for 3 1/2 hours. I didn’t realize it then, but I was done. Giving up. Letting it get to me. I was back in the wilderness of my earlier years, the mindset of hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst. I forgot to trust the blood and the boobs like Steve told me to.

Even reading my results later didn’t phase me. Oh awesome, my hormones are up from 18,000 to over 28,000. Doesn’t matter. I must have done something wrong; now it’s over.

 

Last night, we lay in bed and talked. Well, more like I had a breakdown and Steve held me. Then we talked. I poured out all my fears, not even realizing that I was talking about this miscarriage as though it was a “when,” not an “if.”

What if I’m home alone when it happens? What if I can see our baby? What do you DO with a miscarried baby? I’m scared of the pain, but I’m even more scared of the After. I’m scared I’ll just fall apart and never get out of bed again. You deserve more than that. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I want to be strong. I want to be brave. But holding it in makes me dissolve, and what if holding that stress in is bad for the baby? But what if letting it out like this is bad for the baby too? I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

And then he cried, and spoke, and I was shaken out of my fearful stupor.

“I’m not even thinking that way right now. Our baby is still alive and growing in there, and I still believe in it! Do YOU? Whatever happens, you are loved and we WILL get through this TOGETHER. You will NEVER be a burden or a disappointment to me, got it?” He rubbed and kissed my belly over and over, whispering prayers into our child’s unformed ears.

 

Tomorrow is my next ultrasound. I feel like a broken record. But I’m STILL not bleeding, and my hormones are STILL going up, and my stripper cans are STILL getting bigger every day. And my Father has a plan that I WILL be able to walk in.

When I look into your eyes, it’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise – well, there’s so much they hold.
And just like them old stars, I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are; How old is your soul?

Well, I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough,
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up.

And when you’re needing your space to do some navigating
I’ll be here patiently waiting to see what you find.

Cause even the stars, they burn
Some even fall to the earth;
We’ve got a lot to learn, God knows we’re worth it.

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make.
Our differences do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah we got a lot at stake.
And in the end, you’re still my friend
At least we did intend for us to work,
We didn’t break, we didn’t burn, we had to learn
How to bend without the world caving in.
I had to learn what I’ve got and what I’m not and who I am.

I won’t give up on us, God knows I’m tough enough.
We’ve got a lot to learn, God knows we’re worth it.
No, I won’t give up. I’m still looking up.

(Jason Mraz, I Won’t Give Up On Us)

 

 Part Four

Behbeh Love, Part 2

As I continue this “Pregnancy Diary”, it strikes me that pregnancy is a very polarizing event. Some people live for baby stories, and others really couldn’t give a crap.

And yet, for too many others, it is painful to be reminded of what you want so badly but can’t have.

I was nervous to start this series for all of those reasons, but my friend Lizzi wrote a powerful piece recently about the painfulness of infertility and the even stronger painfulness of being shut out of others’ pregnancy joy, just to avoid hurt feelings. Girl got Freshly Pressed for that gem.

So as I do this, I will do my best to not leave a single detail. This will be a Behind-the-Scenes journey, the unpretty but certainly hallowed transformation that we Buttons are about to go through. You deserve more than the shiny, Pinterest-perfect photos, and the “I loved pregnancy so much, I never even got sick!” spiel that’s enough to make you vomit yourself.

You deserve the truth.

Therefore, I feel it is my duty to inform you that immediately after I revealed that little plus sign to my husband, he did 4 things in the span of 10 seconds.

He: said, “WHAT! Omygod! REALLY?”

He: gripped me tightly.

He: got a little weepy.

He: said, “I’m so sorry, love,” threw back the covers, ran down the stairs and slammed the bathroom door.

I *literally* scared the shit out of him.

 

A visit to the clinic later that day confirmed that I had indeed NOT peed on a faulty stick. Thus began the lovely process of having 5 sausage-sized vials filled with my blood, and looking for the right prenatal vitamins. Getting overwhelmed was pretty easy.


(Source)

We finally found a prenatal vitamin that had the least amount of unpronounceable/non-medicinal additions in them, as well as folic acid. Now apparently, you’re supposed to be taking folic acid BEFORE you get pregnant, to make for better chances of conception, and to prevent neural defects in your baby once you DO conceive.

However, like a fool, I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant, so I was weeks behind on taking my folic acid. Baby Button, if you come out with part of your spinal cord missing, that’s my bad. Hope we can still hang out.

I started to get really excited. A baby. A little bit of me, a little bit of him, a little more of who knows what, all mixed together into something that will no doubt be cute.

mini me Steve6

Also, I’ve been doing the whole “menstrual cycle” horror show for nigh on 15 years now, and when my body heard the news that it was getting a 9-month reprieve, booty was like

(Source)

What a precious, naive child I was.

I basically traded feeling like crap for one week a month, to feeling like crap for 3 months straight.

I am now in (what feels like) a never-ending whirlwind of hunger, exhaustion, emotions both disastrous and euphoric. My pelvis hurts. My ribs ache. My skin is tingly. My poop is stuck.
I, an exotic mixed-race Mexican, will boil if I’m out in the sun for longer than an hour without the use of an umbrella and/or sunscreen. Sunscreen. Like a basic white person.

2014-06-26 18.20.34Also, zits. are. everywhere. More than I ever had as a teenager combined.

Can we talk about water retention for a minute?

It’s July. It’s starting to get hot, and I like to be active, especially in the summertime. Lately, though, my ankles look like marshmallows that have been put in the microwave. Every muscle below my knees is so tight and swollen that I’m afraid to touch them, for fear that they will do a good ole Senator Kelly from X-Men.

(Source)

The summer job that I so excitedly blogged about earlier is very obviously kaput.

My brain is tricking me because so much more blood is going to my uterus rather than to my think tank where it’s [also] needed. I’ve forgotten to lock my car door, words to my favourite songs, the names of favourite actors. I’ve entered the wrong PIN twice in a row. I’ve nearly sliced my leg open because I was so desperate to eat the steak sitting on my lap in a tinfoil take-out box. But so far, my crowning achievement has been following my husband straight into the Men’s Restroom at a Red Robin’s, right in front of a male staff member.

What, don’t ALL couples go to the bathroom together anymore?!

So far, I’ve been able to laugh at everything I’ve experienced. I’ve got a good sense of humour, I can laugh at myself and also I have boobs for the first time in my life, which is a *perk* neither myself nor my husband are complaining about. The lining on my new bra is definitely silver.

However, on Friday, some things started happening that were a little less…exciting.

I started spotting blood in my underwear. Not much, but enough to cause my heart to race and my worry to get kicked into full gear. I called the 24/7 Public Health Line, and they asked me a multitude of questions about my health and what I was feeling, which I was gratefully able to say “no” to all. No cramping, no vomiting, no blood clots. No to many things I’d never even thought of.

They encouraged me to see a doctor within 12 hours, and if I’ve soaked a pad or tampon within 3 hours, to head straight to the emergency room.

4 days later, I still haven’t even used one full pad. Every breath is a “thank you.”

Since I’m still doctor-less at the moment, I’ve been going to a walk-in clinic at the local Superstore. He’s kind of old, so it was weird to keep a straight face while he put his gloved hand up inside me. “You’ll get used to this,” he said. “Okay, relax your tummy.”

I did.

“Wow, you’ve got really tight tummy muscles. Do you go to the gym?”

Newwwwwp, but I appreciate what you’re trying to do.

“Everything looks okay and sealed up. It’s not an ectopic pregnancy [where the egg fertilizes and starts growing in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus], so that’s good. I’m gonna send you over to book an ultrasound. Normally it would take weeks to book one, but I’m going to put “threatened miscarriage” on your chart JUST so that they schedule you in quicker, okay?”

I swallowed nervously. “Okay.”

He smiled, and on his way out the door, said, “I’ll see you in 7 months.”

I’ve had two samples of blood taken, 3 days apart, so they can compare my hormone levels. Apparently, if my pregnancy is being “maintained”, then the HCG hormone will double every day. The blood tells many stories, and I don’t know mine yet – except that my Type is A positive, which I’m told is very good to have, and I keep telling myself that I have A+ blood, so really there’s nothing to worry about, right?

My first ultrasound is tomorrow. I think I’m excited. I was more scared, but I’ve been hearing many stories from friends today who said they spotted early on in their pregnancy as well, and their first ultrasound confirmed a resilient little heartbeat. I want that more than I want my next BM.

Just so I don’t end this on a scary note, here’s me and #BabyButton, our blobby little blueberry-becoming-a-raspberry, along with my spectacular new bewbs and my kick-ass bubble butt.

2014-07-03 13.49.45

And here is Daddy Steve, wondering just how that happened. *wink wink*

2014-07-05 12.24.38Thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts. xo

Part Three

Behbeh Love, Part 1

As you might be aware, Father’s Day has always been rather…unpleasant for this lady. Last year was all right because, for the first time, I had someone to call “Dad”. Someone to hug, give a gift to, and spend the day actually not thinking about my real dad.

My hobbit-y little F.I.L.

My hobbit-y little fatha-in-law

This year, however, everything changed. My husband, Mr. Steve, found out that he’s going to be a father.  

2014-06-14 09.42.25-1

That plus sign is no joke.

The recently downloaded BabyBump app on my phone has encouraged me to start a Pregnancy Diary, “even if you can only write down a couple sentences a day.”

Clearly, my technology hasn’t been stalking me nearly enough, or else they’d already KNOW that not only do I NOT need encouragement to start a Diary about my Pregnancy, but that I have a thousand things to say about it already. A couple sentences my steadily expanding ass.

First things first. How it happened. Well, one night, Steve and I felt a little frisky and before you know it– JUST KIDDING. Here’s how it really happened.

I was 4 days late. And I only knew this because I have ANOTHER app that helps me keep track of this banal and depressing information.

Looking at App on a Normal Day: Oh yay, 5 days of freedom and joy left, wooooo.
Looking at App A Couple Weeks Ago: Hmm. Strange?

We are one of those couples who is VERY attuned to my cycle, and prepare to batten down the hatches on a regular basis. We have no idea how those “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” people exist.

So we decided that I would take a home test on Father’s Day. We had some leftover from a bulk Costco purchase, because– like I said — we’re a little jumpy.

Verbally, we had decided on my taking the test the morning of Father’s Day Sunday, before we went to church.

Saturday morning, I took the test without telling Steve. Partially because I was 90% sure I was going to get a positive and I wouldn’t be able to focus in church AT ALL with that fresh information – but the other 10% just wanted to get on with my life if it was a negative.

I’ve taken at-home tests before. I’m used to peeing all over it and my hand, and then waiting 3 minutes for the result to appear in the window.

However, this time, from the very SECOND the stick got wet, it turned into a plus sign. I had three thoughts: either I had peed on it wrong, or it was old and faulty, or I was SO SO SO SO VERY OBVIOUSLY WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT having a baby.

After washing my hands, I texted Emily, my friend and nurse who had her first baby last summer. She reassured me that I was indeed pregnant, and that she was so excited for me.

Me: Wow! Okay! I guess I should tell Steve! This is crazy!
Emily: WHAT? You told ME before you told STEVE?!
Me: Well, I wanted to be SURE before I completely change his life! He’s still sleeping!
Emily: Well, wake him up right NOW!!!

So, with surprisingly sure steps, I clutched the pregnancy test in my hand and climbed back into bed, sandwiching Steve between myself and Walter the Cat. I was sure he would feel my heart pumping out of my chest as I spooned up against him.

Apparently, both Walter and I were pretty fidgety, because after a few minutes, Steve very sleepily mumbled, “It’s Saturday morning, my only morning to sleep in, and my two little ones are keepin’ me awake…”

He’d practically opened the door for me.

I pulled the pregnancy test out, and said, “Actually, you have three little ones now.”

To be continued…

Part Two