Monday, November 21, 2016

Early Miscarriage

This past week while on our family vacation at Disney World I had an early miscarriage. The Wednesday before we left for Florida, I went to see my Midwife to confirm my pregnancy. At my appointment I thought I would be about eight weeks. My last period was September 8th. I got a positive pregnancy test quite early (three-four weeks after my last period). Everything looked normal and I was definitely pregnant until we looked on a ultrasound, and tried to find a heartbeat.

My midwife brought a small portable ultrasound into the room and lead with, “I’m not a trained sonographer, with that in mind let’s see what we can find.” She couldn’t see anything. She told me she would get a ultrasound room and tech ready, and be right back. We made our way to the ultrasound room. The tech took a good look. All we could see was a small black shadow, that measured around five weeks. My midwife took me aside and said either I was only five weeks pregnant and I had my dates wrong, or it was an empty sac with no baby inside and I would probably miscarry soon. My midwife wanted to take blood to see what my pregnancy hormone levels were and test a few days later to see how they changed. If my numbers had not doubled I was not pregnant and I would likely miscarry.

I had blood drawn and came back on Friday and had it drawn again. It was Sunday or Monday I started spotting a little bit. I was unsure if it was because I was beginning to miscarry or if it was just a little spotting. Monday I got results back from the blood test. My hormone levels had gone down which does not happen in early pregnancy unless a miscarriage is on its way. My bleeding got heavier the evening before and I knew I was miscarrying.  

The day I got my test results back, it was a good day with
our cheesy matching sunglasses regardless of the news.
When I first got a positive pregnancy test I was worried I might miscarry. I had not had a normal early miscarriage yet, and they are very common. My mom had a few. This being my fourth pregnancy I knew I would have one eventually and was beginning to wonder when.

The biggest challenge I had was finding a Rhogam shot. My blood type is A negative, RJ’s blood type is AB positive. Basically, if the baby were to have a different blood type than me, and it mixed with mine, my body would attack the baby, and any future babies. Rhogam shots are not required for everyone, I just know I need one. I have received 3 times before, a preventative one around 24 weeks during my pregnancy with Rose, and Heather (you are given one after birth if the baby has a blood type different than yours, Rose and Heather are both A negative), I also got one after my abortion. Being out of town made finding a Rhogam shot much more difficult.

We resorted to the ER after calling an urgent care who didn’t carry the shot. I also called around to a few Planned Parenthood clinics, they were either closed, or never returned my message. RJ and I went to the ER Monday evening (we left the girls with a family friend we brought on vacation with us). The ER drew some blood. The results took a very long time to get back but as soon as they did, I got my lovely shot in the ass. RJ and I went back to the condo we were renting, it was very late and I slept well. The following day we had a full day at The Animal Kingdom, then RJ and I had tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party. I was feeling fine and we had a great time.

Second to last day at Disney, Heather refused to nap till RJ
wore her in the carrier. He is a great father. 
The following morning I definitely paid for overdoing it, and pushing myself a little too hard. I was bleeding pretty heavily, and was quite crampy. I braided my hair, and was having some pretty severe cramps, then felt a gush of something. I sat down on the toilet, and a weird three inch long clump of blood, and tissue fell into the toilet. I oddly felt much better after that but it took a lot out of me. I was pretty exhausted so we took it easy that day. We went to lunch, then RJ took Rose to Epcot, just the two of them. They had a really fun time, and there are a few great pics of the two of them. Heather got a nice long uninterrupted nap without Rose bouncing around, and I got some down time.

The rest of the trip went well, and aside from being incredibly tired and emotional, I felt alright. My bleeding is now pretty minimal, and I will be headed to my Midwife this week to confirm it was a complete miscarriage. I have a much better appreciation for other mothers who have had early miscarriages now. I never understood quite how awful they are. I am not too sad because I was pretty sure it would happen to me at some point, and it was likely just a sac and not a baby. My hormones have been all over the place, I have been very emotional, and irritable. It was incredibly exhausting, not to mention trying to push through on vacation. Miscarriages suck.

This past Tuesday (November 15th) was the second anniversary of my 20 week abortion. Last year I remember it being difficult but this year I didn’t even think about it till after it had passed. I don’t think it was because we were busy at Disney either. I think I am over the loss of our little boy, and ready to frame his ultrasound and little foot prints. It has been an eventful couple of years but every time life happens RJ is right by my side. I am so glad I have him. He genuinely carries me through the rough days.

Our date night later in the week after I was on the upswing
of things.
To all the other moms out there who have had miscarriages, all of us who have had a miscarriage are here for you. There is an inner club inside, “the mom club”, for mothers who have had losses. I am here for you. I may not understand exactly how you are feeling but I have been there in one way or another, and want you to know there is someone who you can talk to. Even if you don’t know me please reach out. I am lucky to have a very understanding partner who understands my crazy hormones during these times. I know some other partners aren’t quite as understanding, and can unknowingly make things worse. Please know there are moms out there who understand.

Thanks for reading! Get ready for a big post (or posts) all about our trip to Walt Disney World. I cannot wait to share about it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Parenting Is The Best and The Worst

I’m sorry it has been a while since I blogged. Between Heather’s birthday, planning our trip to Disney, and Halloween we have been quite busy and it’s been difficult to find time to write.

This Saturday Heather turned one. This past year has seriously flown by. I know people say it all the time, but it really does feel like I gave birth to Heather yesterday. She is walking. She still chooses to crawl sometimes because it’s a bit faster. She has two teeth. Her beautiful blue eyes came from someone, either RJ’s Mom or my Dad (RJ has greenish bluish, hazelish eyes, and mine are brown). She can say, “Daddy”, “Momma”, “nana” (banana), “Hi”, and “ok”. She loves to take stuff out of containers and put it back in. She really wanted to help hand out Halloween candy, but that just consisted of Heather picking up candy and throwing it out the front door! When we are outside Heather waves to every passing car. She loves Rose (most the time) and will not take a nap unless Rose gives her a kiss goodnight. Heather has grown so fast I still cannot believe she is one.

Heather got quite a few presents, between what RJ and I got her and what relatives sent she had 5 pretty big gifts. She got a touch and feel book (her favorite), and some clothes from her grandparents on the RJ’s side in England (she didn’t get anything from her grandparents on my side). RJ’s aunt (Heather’s great aunt) from England sent a cute dolly, and some clothes. She also got some Minnie Mouse LEGO DUPLO from a family friend. RJ and I got her a classic fisher price telephone, and a vtech train with track. The train was definitely for both Heather and Rose. Heather just keeps destroying the track and RJ has nicknamed her “Heatherzilla”. It annoys Rose but they still have fun. I’m glad Heather loves all the things she got.

The cute dolly Heather got from RJ's aunt in England. She
hugged it instantly, and has slept with it since she opened it. 
I baked Heather’s cake, and made the frosting the day before so all I had to do was put it together. I made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I also made a chocolate Minnie Mouse cake topper with the number one on it. I was very proud of my amature baking and cake decorating, and I was so glad Heather actually dug into her cake. Rose knew what being messy was on her first birthday. She touched her cake with one finger, then cried because she was “messy”. Heather made a decent mess! It was fun!

This past year has been amazing but not easy. Heather is not an easy baby. There are occasions parenting her that make me question if I even want more kids. She sleeps pretty well but when she has a sleep regression it is awful. She is very clingy, and a huge drama queen. By the time Rose had turned one, parenting her was a piece of cake. We even drove between Atlanta and Nashville, staying in hotels for weeks at a time, for RJ’s work. Rose handled this really well, it was never very stressful or difficult. I cannot imagine traveling like that with Heather, it would be hell!

Heather's cake that I baked and decorated.
Parenting is not easy! I am so lucky I have someone who loves kids, and loves being a dad. Heather has been going through a serious sleep regression the past few weeks. She hates going to sleep, and she wakes up at odd times. On Monday, Heather woke up around 5 in the morning for the third day in a row. It was exhausting, she was fussy and tired, but refused to go back to sleep. After such a long morning when bed time on Monday night rolled around I was exhausted. Heather was clearly over tired, when I put her down in her crib for bed she began screaming bloody murder, and refused to go to sleep. It was at this point I lost it! I couldn't bare the thought of dealing with Heather crying and fussing for absolutely no reason, for the hundredth time in the past week. When RJ saw me break down, he stepped in. He gave me a hug and said he would handle Heather.  She screamed at him for the next hour while he tried everything possible. Meanwhile I put Rose to bed, did the dishes and picked up. Finally after watching the most annoying YouTubes on repeat for a very long time, Heather calmed down and finally passed out in her crib.

I am so glad I get to parent with someone who knows exactly when to step in, and help me. I know a lot of people who are not so lucky. RJ always knows what I need, and clues into things immediately. He’s incredibly understanding when he comes home, the house is a mess, and I asked him to pick up dinner on the way home because the girls were being terrors that day. He is incredibly appreciative when he comes home to an immaculate house, and dinner on the stove or in the oven, because the girls actually napped together for once. He is always understanding and helpful in every way he can. Parenting with him is a million times easier than I imagine it would be with anyone else.

Hopefully Heather will be a chill toddler. Rose was an easy baby but she can be a pretty difficult toddler at times. Rose is very strong willed, which at times can be exhausting. Heather is now officially a toddler. I hoping we make a turn for the best and not the worst.

I LOVE being a mother. It is just as rewarding as it is challenging. I would have given up a long time ago if it was not as rewarding as it is. I cannot wait to have more children! Parenting is hard. It literally takes a village, I am so happy for the little village I do have.

Thanks for reading!