Friday, September 30, 2011

This Time Around

Yep, I'm pregnant. Again. I know, you aren't surprised and I'm sure you had your suspicions. And in case you're wondering, I am scared out of my ever loving mind. My body has now been pregnant 3 times in my nearly 29 years of life and all within about a 6-month timeslot. My body seems to handle the whole conception part pretty swimmingly; it's after that when all hell breaks loose. At least from my track record.

Third time, you ask? I only knew about Andrew. Well, yeah.

See, right around the 6-month mark of Andrew's birth, I was about 7 weeks pregnant with #2 after about three months of trying. It turned out, however, that #2 never developed past the implantation stage and was considered a blighted ovum. I was set to miscarry after ultrasound confirmation #2. And 12 hours later, my body kicked into high gear and expelled the sac and whatever residual "pregnancy matter" that existed. That was the medical term they used. I'm not even sure if I'd consider that a child since it never developed at all, but that's a debate for another time and place. I followed that with a D&C the next day to make sure my ute was all clean and tidy. It was probably totally unnecessary, but after two losses in 6 months, I just wanted to end the battle and press on. I didn't want to bleed for another month like I did after giving birth. I was defeated. Sad. Frustrated. The why-me game started all over again and  I was in pretty rough shape. Four days after my miscarriage, I wrote this. Perhaps you can see the relapse in the words I wrote.

Even better, the same doctor who delivered Andrew (that I thought was cold-hearted and inconsiderate) had to be the one to "tell us" (though obviously we're not idiots) that I was about to miscarry. Her words: "Why do I always have to be the one to deliver you with bad news?" Really, I pitied her. She delivered my stillborn son and exited my life without muttering a condolence until the day she had to tell me I was losing my second pregnancy. I can assure you, seeing her face and hearing her voice again was far too soon. Losing my babies is the most devastating thing in my world and she treated it like the weather. There are words I can use to describe this doctor that I almost never think of when talking about another human being.

My favorite OB and the one who visited me in the hospital twice post-birth is the one I remain loyal to. While in the same practice as the witch doctor, she still came in and cried with me, offered her condolences, offered emotional support and guidance, and didn't waste any time talking about the future and gloating about all her fabulous resources and studies in the field of pregnancy post stillbirth. I just can't believe she shares an office with the woman who is so inconvenienced by having to deal with a couple experiencing the single worst thing of their lives. Make that twice. Because I wasn't "lucky" enough to experience just one loss. Some of you were probably doing the math and figuring out that I got pregnant pretty stinking fast after my miscarriage. That's because, despite what all the medical professionals advise (though mine didn't formally object), I didn't wait for a period. I waited for my hcg levels to drop below 5 and tested for ovulation. It was all methodical and planned. I didn't care if it would be harder for them to "date" the pregnancy. And I surely wasn't waiting around to give myself more time to mourn the loss of another baby. If I'm being ultra honest, I wish I hadn't waited the three months after Andrew's birth to try again either. I'll be an emotional basketcase about Andrew dying for the rest of my life. All I wanted was to get pregnant and I knew that waiting after the miscarriage would just cause me more anxiety. So I didn't. Three weeks later, I was knocked up for the third time. Ultrasound at 6ish weeks determined I was measuring 2 days ahead of my own predictions with a heartbeat. It also revealed a subchorionic hematoma. What are the Vegas odds on my pregnancy issues? Anyone? At the 8-week appt., the hematoma shrunk ever-so-slightly but was still there. But baby had a heartbeat. At my 12-week appt., the hematoma was gone and we still had a heartbeat along with fingers and toes. The little one was also measuring 4 days ahead of schedule. In addition, I also had five OB appointments and one with an MFM who I didn't really fancy all that much. Let's just say there is a plan in place having to do with extra checkups, more monitoring, more ultrasounds, and a swift delivery by induction when deemed safe. This girl isn't taking any chances and she sure isn't holding her breath.

Anyway, I'm 4 months. I waited this long to tell for so many reasons. These same reasons apply for why I decided not to announce my miscarriage formally on the blog.
  • I announced my pregnancy at 14.5 weeks on the blog with Andrew. I wasn't planning to share anytime before that.
  • I wanted this time to handle my first trimester post loss(es) as a family and as a couple. It's not top-secret information, per se, but it is information that I no longer would consider flippant to blurt out in conversation. It's too sacred.
  • I'm constantly surprised by the number of folks who read this blog. This was not started as a baby loss blog and my readers are from a variety of places. The majority of my readers are not baby loss moms. While many are still supportive and kind, there are a good number who are {likely} reading so they can put a happy ending to my story. A couple loses a child and gets pregnant again (and again). Yippee! The world is whole again. I can't wait to call her to ask what she's craving and when she wants to schedule a Babies r' Us date. Hooray for everything. Not-so-fast. I'm not fixed. I'm just as broken but I do know that having Andrew made us want children that much more. When you lose something you love so much, it makes you a fighter. At least that's what losing Andrew has made us. I refuse to accept this idea that I'm fixed. Let's not forget that my pregnancy with Andrew was textbook perfect until the end when it wasn't. So if you think I'll be comfortable at any moment to put my guard down and assume expecting = live baby in the end, I won't listen. I'll be as hopeful as I have to be, but I know reality comes in many shades. Not all of those shades are in happy colors. Anyway, all that babbling to say that if this blog were written solely with a BLM audience, I'd have announced immediately. It's not. I need to keep some of my life private from everyone I've ever met and their mothers, otherwise I'd go insane. And if it weren't for the support of my BLM following, I wouldn't even announce it on the blog. I'd continue on with my journaling offline. But I need you ladies. You have gotten me through the last (nearly) 10 months and I need you now. This pregnancy post-loss business is no joke.
  • I don't want to be treated like pregnancy is some new thing for me. I've been there before. Recently. We all know that. I've experienced this all before and would prefer to be treated like I have some expertise in the matter. Most parents don't blog as much about their second/third... pregnancies as they did with their first. Usually they're juggling pregnancy with a toddler. Obviously that's not my situation, but it feels a bit like déjà vu if you ask me. While this pregnancy is proving to be different than my previous two, I'm still pregnant and very aware of what is going on within my body and to my body. I gladly surrender to the little grower.
  • I'm scared. Being the bearer of bad news on repeat occasions has to be the most depressing thing. I'm tired of being that poor couple and didn't want to give another reason for my blog to end up as water cooler discussion. Hey, did you hear that the couple who lost their baby in December is pregnant again? Cringe. Most of what is written here is strictly for my own therapy, my family to be updated, and for friends to understand the life of a bereaved mom. And it's helped me connect with an incredible group of moms who will also live their entire lives mourning the loss of their babies. It's a heavy reality but I'm so thankful for this group of ladies.
Also, I apologize if this post sounds defensive-- because I truly am thankful for another chance. I just really don't know how to handle pregnancy under a microscope. When I wrote about my pregnancy with Andrew, I only had about 30 regular readers and I didn't know what it was like to feel the failure of losing a child yet. I'm sure many people I know have been watching every last blog post I write lately just looking for a belly photo or hint that I might be expecting since it has been nearly 10 months. She should be pregnant by now after all... since she has hinted that they've been trying. I won't be posting belly pictures or doing weekly updates like I did with Andrew. I am keeping a side journal of daily feelings/symptoms, but that won't be going public. Reading back on Andrew's pregnancy posts make me both sad and thankful. I am happy that I wrote them out so I'd have a documentation of such a wonderful time in our lives and the growth of our little boy. But this time around is filled with doubt and trepidation... something I'm not dealing with lightly. I'll share information here or there, but don't expect this to be a repeated edition of pregnancy #1. It's not. I acknowledge and firmly believe all life should be celebrated. And I celebrate this one. But it's like celebrating next to the emergency exit. In case something goes awry, I need to find a way to deal. No pregnancy tickers or cute little bouncing babies. For your sake and mine. I'm not interested in the triggers and I'm sure my ttc friends aren't either. I'll mostly blog about my anxieties and such dealing with pregnancy after loss. But in true form, I will also be blogging about what I do best-- missing my son, and all the vacations and fun things we do as a married couple, because that is the reason I started this blog. Because even though I'm still waiting to hold a live baby in my arms, I'm still living and married to a pretty fantastic guy that I will celebrate. This baby is also part of our story. It is good news and I'm just trying to wrap my head around how to react in the midst of it all.

Here's to hoping Andrew will be a "big" brother at some point in 2012.


Molly said... [Reply to comment]

aaaannnnd... cue the tears at the shirt.

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Fantastic. Well-written, heartfelt, and perfect.

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats lady! I'm pregnant, too and haven't announced on the blog or on FB. I'm not sure I ever will (although obviously not hiding it). Many of the same reasons you said here. I'm sorry to hear about your second loss. I will be thinking of you during this time. It's supposed to be a happy time, and yet there are so many other emotions and things to think about as a BLM. (((hugs)))

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

Pregnant! 4 months! Congratulations! I was actually wondering how many others were pregnant and just hadn't announced it yet.
Hoping 2012 is a good year for all of us.

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

Also, sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

oh you little secret keeper!! congrats! I'm so excited for you guys! And so sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

Gillian said... [Reply to comment]

I'm very happy for you, Brandy! Honestly speaking, I never feel totally comfortable commenting, because you make so many valid points that I really respect. I just wish a healthy, as-happy-as-possible pregnancy for you and your "fantastic" fellow. I'm sending all my love and well-wishes ~ congratulations!

Gillian from Baby Talk without the Babble

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

Couldn't agree more my friend! So glad you will be writing about this journey.

That shirt took my breath away for a second...gah our horrible reality!

You know my fingers and toes are crossed for you and Andrew's little brother or sister. May 2012 be the year we both bring home our babies! xxxooo

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

You said it all perfectly. I am so cautiously hopeful for you. You're such a great mom to Andrew, and you'll be such a great mom to his little brother or sister.

Oh, the shirt. I can't even.

lissasue3 said... [Reply to comment]


And I'm very sorry for your losses.

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I completely understand keeping this news under wraps...especially considering you experienced another loss.

I am excited for you...I hope that this pregnancy is uneventful and you get your take home baby!

e photography said... [Reply to comment]

congrats! i love reading your blog : )

ASP said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you for always helping me see things from a different perspective. You're such a great writer and I had goosebumps reading your news--the bad and the good. So sorry for your miscarriage but super happy for your pregnancy. I hope this is *your* year. A million congratulations to you. All my best. XXXX

Sneaker Teacher said... [Reply to comment]

I am really happy for you!

Sassy said... [Reply to comment]


You always write so beautifully and truthfully.
I wish for you a peaceful and healthy pregnancy.

boo and stacy said... [Reply to comment]

Blessings to this precious wee one growing inside your belly!

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

holy moly. I don't even know where to begin. Yes, I had suspicions, but didn't want to nag/pester/push. Trying to get pregnant again after a loss is hard enough emotionally without dealing with people asking you every ten seconds if you are pregnant again. but you ARE! And I'm SO happy!

And you're right, it's no joke indeed. But for as long as we possibly can WE will celebrate this little life. And continue to celebrate Andrew's life.

So very happy and so very full of hope for you.

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations. I'm sending light and love your way.

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage.
I am so excited and hopeful for you guys for this one. Congratulations!!! Thank you so much for sharing these news, both good and bad.
Miss you and love you!

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

You are loved, Andrew is loved, your angel is loved and this baby you now carry is loved!
You are one amazing lady and I'm thankful for you and the emails we have shared!

Mrs. Potts said... [Reply to comment]

I've continued reading but haven't been reading & wondering "when?" but reading and hoping for you.

My girlfriend that I wrote you about that lost her baby right at the time you did is also pregnant (& I'm thinking due just before you). And like I feel for her, I feel an intense joy for you.

My hopes and thoughts and hugs are coming to you all.

T said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations! I try to keep up with your blog but I don't communicate much on it.

My son was born premature and passed away (IC/Preterm Labor) April 2010, I had a missed miscarriage that was resolved mid-December and then was pregnant again (#3) in February. I don't want to compare or try to offer consolation but our path to our current pregnancies seems almost identical. Thank you for sharing on your blog. The miscarriage threw me for a loop and I felt hopeless and didn't "wait" to ttc again. Thankfully, now I'm 36 weeks with my daughter (after many months of bedrest but that's IC for you).

Congratulations again!

Krista and David Hart said... [Reply to comment]

So sorry to hear about your miscarriage. While I know it does not lessen the pain of losing your precious son, I am so excited for you and this new little life growing inside of you! We'll be praying for you both!!!

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

:') congrats. i must have missed all the suspicious signs. i had no clue. wishing you a very uneventful remainder of your pregnancy. i most def understand why you would not announce. must of what you have written resonates with me in a very deep way. so hopeful for a happy ending to this chapter of your story. and so sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

Sheila said... [Reply to comment]

I am one of those people that stumbled upon your blog. I have had three pregnancy losses. We lost our son at 40 weeks due to an umbilical cord issues. We lost two daughters both at 19 weeks pregnant.....still unsure as to why that has happened. In the meantime, we have now been unable to get pregnant again and are in the process of adopting. I know how scared you are! I wish I could say everything will be great but we know that bad isn't the case. All we can do is hope and pray and do what we can to endure and carry on. I wish you nothing but the best! And, I really mean it! I know how hard it is to wish other pregnant women the best but I know exactly what you have gone through and are going through and I truly wish you a healthy and happy ending to your pregnancy! I also wish you peace!


Newlywed Next Door said... [Reply to comment]

My heart jumped with joy when I read this. I'm so happy for you. I praying that have a healthy and uneventful 5 months ahead.

Just the 3 of Us said... [Reply to comment]

Such a well-written post.

I have so enjoyed emailing with you and getting to "know" you even though our stories are different.

I hope this pregnancy continues to go smoothly for you :)


katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

Brandy, I love your honesty. So much of the world doesn't understand this kind of honesty but we BLMs do. It's part of how we cope.

Onto exciting (and totally nervewracking) subjects--I'm very happy for you both and saying prayers. Do whatever you can to get yourself through. Many people are thinking of you all.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Awww I am so hopeful and cautiously optimistic for you mamma... sending lots of love and support!

*Laura Angel said... [Reply to comment]

I have am so very happy for you!!!

Sherri said... [Reply to comment]

So happy for you and your husband... wishing you a healthy and uneventful pregnancy!!!!
I completely understand your need for some private aspects this time around. How naive I feel I was the last two times I was pregnant... I took a lot for granted. This time, every day that I'm still carrying this baby is a miracle!

Sonja said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations and thank you for writing this - I want to send my friends and family here and say "read this - that's how I feel, too!" even though we haven't yet achieved the third pregnancy. I'm sorry for your second loss, as well.

Stephanie said... [Reply to comment]

Congratulations, Brandy! I am very happy for you & I hope all turns out well.

Kristin said... [Reply to comment]

Ahhh! Wow-congrats! I can't believe I am just now seeing this! We must be super close in due dates :) Glad to have you to go through this scary/exciting experience with you. Sending much love and prayers your way! XOXO

e Liz said... [Reply to comment]

Not fixed, terrified, while thankful - very much relate. can't wait to meet Andrew's little sib, while still wishing to hold them both. much continued love along the way of this layer of the journey ♥

Team Clancy said... [Reply to comment]

I got chills and tears when i read this. thank you for continuing to be so honest. it's what makes you a wonderful mom. i am elated for you and hubby - we will be praying for you until you have that crying baby in your arms.

Fabiola said... [Reply to comment]

I'm reading your blog for some time, but I never commented before.
Your post is perfect. It shows all the thoughts someone who had a loss before feel.
I am so happy you are having an uneventful pregnancy. I am pregnant for the 3rd time too and with two previous losses. I’m 19 weeks and I just take one day at a time and I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I can. And praying in the end, my baby will arrive healthy.
Cheers to healthy babies in 2012.

Hope's Mama said... [Reply to comment]

So late to this, but just wanted to say how happy I am for you. Happy and scared, all rolled in to one. One wild ride ahead for you, but you can do it.