We’re going to change my antidepressant. I knew it weeks ago (in fact, I probably mentioned it in some long, wordy blog post) but what I was on was just not working. Well, now the overpriced psychiatrist finally agrees with me. So we’ll try a new pill.
I should be delivering a beautiful baby girl in 3 weeks and a new pill is supposed to make it better that I won’t ever get to hold her? It’ll make it better that she was scraped out of me on Mother’s Day at 16 weeks gestation instead of me laboring with her and hearing that first cry. Some pill is going to make me not hate my body and hate myself every day for the rest of my life? Doubtful.
The psychiatrist asked about my daily schedule and how I function. I don’t. All I do is take care of Sweetie. That’s all I have the strength for and many days I barely have that. We were supposed to go to all these fun classes together this fall- half the time we don’t go because I just can’t face other people and every class but one we signed up for has a pregnant woman or a woman that brings her little infant and her toddler. Some days we get in the car and drive to a park and we turn around and go home if I see other people there- other mothers with multiple children, other mothers who are pregnant. I just can’t do it. It’s just another way that I’m ruining her life- not only does my body kill her siblings, my f*cked up mental state is taking her away from playdates, classes and library storyhours.
Sweetie is too beautiful and sweet and lovable. She’s all I live for and I don’t think that’s good for her anymore. Every moment I look at her I know that having me as a mother is going to mess her up. I’m just too far gone. I look at potentially having a surrogate carry another baby for us and I don’t even know why I think I deserve that, why I should have more children when I know what I’m like inside now? Broken. Shattered. Beyond fixing.
After miscarriages #1, #2, and #3, my biggest fear was that I would never get to be a mother. I wanted nothing more and the thought that I would not get to someday be a mother just paralyzed me.
Then I had my Sweetie and being a mom just felt natural. It just felt SO right. I didn’t have many of the fears that I heard other first time moms talking about. This is not to say I thought I was better or doing everything perfect, but I really just felt at ease. I knew I was doing the very best I could and I didn’t sweat the small stuff. I really worked hard to enjoy every moment (I know, the cliche that most moms can’t stand). I loved this Mom role so much that I couldn’t fathom not doing this again.
And then I had two more early miscarriages before my Sweetie was even 15 months old. And my 3rd loss when she was 19 months old. I look back at pictures from so many memories with her that should just be happy and I instantly remember: “Oh, that was the trip we took right after I miscarried #4, I couldn’t take Sweetie swimming because I was still bleeding.” “That was the Thanksgiving we celebrated right before miscarriage #5.” “That was our happy family vacation when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Abby” Now I feel like her entire life has been so marked by my losses of her potential siblings that I’m just doing her a huge injustice.
I am less of a mother since losing my Abby. I regret that more than anything else (and that’s saying a lot). Where I used to have (pretty close to) endless patience and be playful and fun and sing songs, now I’m on edge and constantly fighting back tears. I can’t sing so many songs to her now because I just start crying (try singing ‘You are my Sunshine’ when you’re depressed/grieving without crying). I don’t want to look at pictures with her because I play the ‘before miscarriage/after miscarriage’ thing in my mind and it drives me crazy. I use so much energy during the day trying to act ‘normal’ or like my old self with Sweetie. And there are so many moments when I just want to scream– not at her (and I don’t) but because she doesn’t understand and I just want to explode. But I shudder to think what will happen as she gets older and does understand. I can’t handle my guilt now, how will I handle it as it grows exponentially?
Sweetie is so into ‘baby dolls’ now like many other toddlers her age- she brings them over to me and says ‘Mommy feed baby’ or ‘Mommy read to baby’ and I just want to throw the baby doll across the room. I want MY baby, her little sister. Not some lifeless plastic doll that reminds me yet again of what I’ve lost. I’ve tried to hide the baby dolls, and then she cries and wails and asks relentlessly for them. Believe me, that’s far worse. I hear myself in her and it breaks what little is left of my heart.
Parenting is hard. Parenting after losing 6 of your babies is harder.
So I’m still just reeling from my news and it’s almost been 2 weeks now.
I’m still trying to figure out how when the worst possible thing you can imagine happens and then you find out later it just gets worse.
I’ve tried to pick myself up and keep moving.
I’ve spent many hours pounding my punching bag.
I’ve consumed more alcohol than I thought I would ever consume.
I’ve spent hours reading medical journals and literature about Asherman’s and surgery and how with my history of RPL, it’s just not worth wasting embryos on my uterus ever again even IF I found an expert to attempt to remove the scar tissue.
I’ve had moments where I felt relieved that I will never be pregnant again. I’m strangely comforted by knowing my body/uterus will never be responsible for killing another baby.
I’ve put the only energy I have left into furthering our surrogacy plans. Because that’s all I have now.
I’ve found myself resenting the fact that I have the most wonderful living daughter because if I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t have to keep going. And then I hate myself because that makes me a pretty shitty mother to even wish for a second that I didn’t have the responsibility of my daughter when she’s all I have and the only baby I’ll ever have carried. I just want to quit.
I wasn’t sure what to expect being gone on vacation. I tried not to have high expectations (because we all know where those get us especially once we’ve suffered from recurrent miscarriage), but I think I did have some hopes of what would happen. Hope that I could just let go and enjoy myself. Hopes that I could reconnect with nature a bit and heal a little. Hopes that my husband and I would have some time to just be ‘us’ again. Sadly, I feel let down on all of these.
I’m not sure why I hoped to enjoy anything… I just feel like a zombie. Everything is just happening to me and I’m in a daze watching things go by. So I’m in a lovely tropical foreign country and I just sit there, wishing my life were different. I can’t enjoy things, it’s just happening to me. I feel sick when I think about this- how many people wouldn’t love to go on a vacation like I did. But it’s not what’s important to me, so I have a terribly hard time even enjoying it a little bit. I would give up all vacations for the rest of my life to just be 23 weeks pregnant again. This must be the ‘bargaining’ part of grief, right?
I didn’t need a vacation, I needed a vacation from being me. From having all these crazy thoughts running through my head. From waking each morning and being reminded that I’m no longer going to have a baby in a few months.
So when are things going to start having a more positive light? I’d take a glimmer, a speck, anything…. I have considered starting Zoloft or something like my OB has recommended. I have been on antidepressants in the past and they have never helped (I always struggled with seasonal depression). My experience with being on antidepressants is very similar to how I feel already- dazed, very numb and neither high nor low. Why go on medication to feel about the same as I do already? But I know this isn’t sustainable- I need things to feel just a bit better. I need a little light at the end of this endless tunnel. I hoped vacation would give me that, but it unfortunately didn’t.
On the husband front, whew, that’s another post. He and I are struggling so badly, I had hoped that vacation time away from our daughter would give us the opportunity to talk some more and reconnect a bit. We made it through 5 miscarriages and I thought we were going to be one of those couples that were strengthened by infertility/loss. I guess our past experiences haven’t really helped us as much as I thought after this last loss. Definitely a topic for another post.
Tomorrow will mark 6 weeks since I last heard my little girl’s heartbeat on my doppler. Gosh, how has so much time gone by? It literally feels like yesterday. And sometimes it feels like it was years ago, but it’s still very painful.
Today I texted with a friend and she asked the infamous ‘how are you doing?’ question. I’m always honest, I just cannot sugar-coat my response anymore. I’m struggling. I’m depressed, I’m anxious about things I was never anxious about before, I feel so alone and angry and bitter. I hate this person I’ve become.
I’m packing up for a small vacation. I’m hoping to really get away from some of my darkest feelings, but I don’t know. When we planned this trip we made plans expecting me to be 22 weeks pregnant. And now I’m nothing. My husband had been so worried about me carrying a suitcase or pack n play, but now it just doesn’t matter.
Time to get away.