First, let me start this post off by stating that I am not writing this looking for pity.
My blog is my “safe” haven.
My go – to for healing, stress relief, and to help others who may be in similar situations as myself.
It has helped not only myself in times of need, but others who can relate and sometimes need a pick-me-up.
I am writing this because I am human, and I am feeling weak.
I am writing it as a way for me to vent, whether it is read or not read.
I am writing it to cope.
I am writing it because I am struggling right now, and writing helps to lift me up and feel OK.
I have always loved the Beatles, but during my recent struggles I have fallen even more in love with these ever so relatable verses; “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me – speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be”.
I find myself whispering “let it be” often these days, especially after an event that has resulted in me struggling. I try to move on. I try to change my perception. I try so hard to “let it be” and trick my mind into thinking about something else.
Sometimes it works, but recently most of the time it doesn’t.
2018 has not been kind to me.
Let me start from the beginning, for those whom don’t know me well. We will start in 2016, as one event seems to lead to another, which leads to another-so to get the full picture, you will need some background. It is my hope that with my struggles and how I handled and am currently handling them, someone else can relate and maybe my words can ease their struggling too.
April 2016. Flood of emotions this month. Was set to get married in May. The whole wedding planning process, as it is for many women, was brutal. I was tired, stressed, and anxious for it to be over. I am sure many of you can relate. Sure, it was fun in the beginning when it was “new”. But I was done. I was fed up, and just wanted it to be over. Throughout the month I became increasingly emotional. Almost like I was hormonal from a period. Yet, I wasn’t on my period, so these emotions made me more upset since I had nothing to blame. I went to my primary care doctor, whom I LOVE, and she ran some tests, just to make sure it was just the wedding causing these emotional issues and not an underlying medical issue. Figures that nothing in life can be THAT simple. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a severe vitamin D3 and B12 deficiency. It was so severe that I needed injections and prescription D3. I had never had these issues before-but I didn’t even question it. The doctor told me the symptoms can range from fatigue and muscle weakness to emotional instability. I felt better that I KNEW why I was feeling so crummy, and it wasn’t just the wedding. I finished my wedding planning, started meds, and then started to feel better!
Fast forward to June 2016. I was finally married to my best friend and we were so happy and relieved that the planning was over! Like many, we decided that we wanted to start a family right after the wedding, so we began the TTC journey! Month after month passed of negative pregnancy tests. I became emotional, though I knew that many many women suffer with infertility and try for so much longer than I did. I felt guilty for feeling this way and in August, gave myself a pep talk. I told myself that it can take up to a year and that I just needed to relax and enjoy the process. So I did just that. My deficiency levels were stable, I was eating well, so all that was left was to just relax and let whatever was going to happen, happen (no matter how true that statement is, I hate it!). September rolled around and we could barely baby dance. I had a work trip so time was limited. We did what we could and off I went on my trip, where I indulged in some wine and relaxed even more! When I came home, 2 days after my birthday, I found out I was pregnant. I was ecstatic. That feeling slipped away soon after I found out, however. See, I am a constant worrier, and was POAS every day for extra confirmation everything was ok. I tried during this time to “let it be” and be happy with being pregnant. I tried to tell myself that many women do not conceive as fast as I did (4 months) so I needed to relax and be grateful. But nothing helped my anxiety. I was constantly in the bathroom checking for blood, even though I had never miscarried. Which is ironic in retrospect because as most know I did miscarry in April of 2018 and I did the same silly checking for blood-which was clearly a waste of time because if it was going to happen it was going to happen and I would have never been able to prevent it.
As I neared the 2nd trimester I began to feel myself get excited for the baby. I felt less anxious as more time went on. Then, from 13 weeks on, everything went downhill. I encountered numerous issues during pregnancy and eventually became high risk. As many know, I also had a very traumatic birth and recovery.
June 2017. My baby was doing well despite the issues he had during and after pregnancy. But I started to feel “off”. I was emotional, but disconnected and distant. I felt sad and angry and guilty all at once. I felt like I did not love my baby like I should, but then a minute later felt a love I almost couldn’t contain. It was confusing to say the least. I was anxious about going back to work. I felt that these feelings were normal from what everyone told me, as my hormones were still regulating. But I still had this gut feeling like something else was wrong. It was then that I was officially diagnosed with PPA and PPD. I was immediately put on meds and began weekly therapy (as opposed to my normal bi weekly scheduled sessions).
I began to feel better with the medication and therapy combined. I started to feel like myself again. I had gone back to work at this point and was really starting to feel more settled and ok with being a full time working mother. I felt more connected to those that I had previously felt distant from prior to being diagnosed. I felt well enough to start this blog, which was a huge step for someone whom has NEVER had one or written for one.
November 2017. Bad decisions – but the best intentions. The biggest mistake of my life at the time was inviting family to move in with us. At first, it was nice. I felt compelled to help my husbands nephews girlfriend, who was a recovering addict and had two small kids. I took her to her meetings, helped write her resume, got her involved with the local recovery center. I gave her advice, I let her use my car-and sold it to her eventually for like 300 bucks. I helped her with the kids. I felt a deep need to help her become better. Almost like when you find a scared lost animal. I felt compelled to help her and show her I cared. As time went on I started to notice that I was becoming increasingly resentful toward her and my husbands nephew. See, we had given them a “list” of things we wanted them to accomplish and in turn they could stay until March. They had to give us money for utilities. They had to save money-which I opened an account for them to do so and always deposited the money so they wouldn’t spend it. They had to stay clean. They had to help around the house. And the girlfriend had to get a job. As we neared the new year, I started to realize that they didn’t want to change- and that you cant help someone change if THEY don’t want to change. We tried talking to them. They said they would improve. But things only got worse and my anger and resentment grew. Things ended pretty badly in March of 2018, when they were required to move out (which they’d known about for months!)-but I came home to a house full of their items-and their bedroom was a disgusting disaster. What did the girlfriend do ALL DAY LONG? She should have been packed by now and started to move out. Their move out date was the first of the month, and I’d be damned if they were going to stay any longer. So-whether voluntarily or not-out they went-and lets just say we are no longer on speaking terms and I want nothing to do with them. I feel terrible for their children, and hope one day that they truly do change for the better, but I wont hold my breath. Sure, this event in my life taught me a lot about decisions and family, but it also caused marital stress and my own well being to be jeopardized.
December 2017. Jayden had been in and out of doctors offices at this point for months. He was always ill, it seemed, with something. His immune system, like most babies, was weak. But my gut was telling me different. We were referred to a pulmonologist (whom I LOVE), where he was diagnosed with RAD and put on a daily inhaler. At this point we were told he would have an ever weaker immune system because of this medical issue. My poor baby had struggled so much in his short life, but as I would soon learn, he was a warrior and so very strong.
February 2018. It is literally the saddest thing to have your baby, especially first baby, hooked up to O2 and machines. It is so sad watching him wail because the nurses couldn’t get blood from a vein, so they had to try a finger then a foot. It is heartbreaking to see him get an IV-repeatedly. I had seen enough with him in the NICU and wanted him to be healthy and like a normal baby. But my son became a pin cushion. From February until today, he has been seen by multiple specialists. He has had 5 ear infections in 2.5 months. He has been hospitalized for the Flu and RSV AT THE SAME TIME. He has had 106.4 degree fever that scared the ever loving shit out of me. We are 3,000$ in medical debt because my little boy is always so sick. Just yesterday I brought him to speech therapy and he vomited as I was pulling into the lot. He cant maintain weight because of the vomiting, and has been referred to OT and PT for a list or various other issues. He wakes up in the middle of the night choking and coughing, so we are terrified for him to leave our side. But through it all he is strong. He is almost always happy. And don’t even get me started on his flirtation with nurses – he is quite the charmer. He has taught me so much about pain, love, struggle, and strength. Imagine that, a 1 year old teaching his parents when normally it is the other way around. I cant imagine going through what he has gone through and continues to go through. One day I hope to be as strong as he is.
March 2018. I had been seeing a diabetes doctor because the GD had turned into actual diabetes. I was one of the unfortunate moms to keep good ole diabetes around after pregnancy. My sugars were not lowering with weight loss and I hadn’t been ovulating for 7 months, which was upsetting as we were TTC #2. Non ovulation, as I found out, can be caused by insulin resistance. The decision was made by my team of doctors to start me on Metformin. I started it right at the start of the month. 2 weeks on it, I ovulated. 2 weeks after that-BAM-pregnant! I assumed the Metformin helped lower my sugars which resulted in ovulation. But per my doctors, we cannot confirm or deny. This point will be important for a event in my life later on in the post.
As most know from my miscarriage series, I was much more anxious this time around, and subconsciously I truly believe I knew something was wrong and that was why I was so stressed out.
April 16th, 2018. The worst day of 2018 so far. Loosing my 2nd pregnancy. I wont get into too much detail as most have read or can choose to read my miscarriage posts. What I will say is I learned to true meaning of loss. I learned how it feels to have your best dreams ripped out from under you. I felt empty inside, like I was a shell. Physically, it wasn’t so bad-the recovery that is. Emotionally though, I am still dealing with the emptiness. I see pregnancy announcements or pregnant friends and feel a surge of jealousy, constantly wondering why that couldn’t be me. I try to be happy for these friends, but all I feel is sad for myself.
May 2018. My sons medical complexities at this time hit an all time high. He began more testing and saw more specialists. His weight was unstable. He was always sick and had hives 24-7 with no known cause. I began to take more time off of work. Our pediatrician even asked if I would consider taking an intermittent medical leave. I found myself late for every appointment because I was trying to squeeze it all in; work, appointments, stuff with the house. At this time we decided to list our house for sale so we could buy our forever home. Terrible timing, I know. But I figured it would help distract me from my emotional state. If anything, the issues with selling our home have done the opposite and I am more stressed now than ever. Who knew selling a house could be so difficult? I sure as hell didn’t. This month my son also turned one. It was a sad and happy day for me. Sad because my baby was growing to quick, but happy because, well he was growing. Confusing, I know. I was excited for what was to come for him. Walking next? maybe words? It was just so exciting, scary, and sad all at the same time!
June 3rd-4th, 2018. I had planned to visit my Nana this day. I visited her often, both with and without my mom. I used to joke that she liked when I came so she could see Jayden, but never so she could see me. He lit up her life. Her smile when she held him was heartwarming. She was in her late 80s, but still holding onto life strong, as stubborn and sassy as ever. She loved games, and though the running joke was that she cheated sometimes, she was always damn good at them, cheating or not. I grew up visiting her often for family holidays, sleepovers, and vacations. After my fathers parents died, she was all I had, and when she moved to NH a couple of years ago I made every effort I could to see her. I visited on average 2-4 times a month. We enjoyed lunches together, activities at her assisted living home, play time with Jayden, mothers days, etc. It was always so fun to hear about her latest “gossip” of the facility. And she loved hearing about my life. So, when I was driving to see her as planned with my mother that Sunday afternoon, the 3rd of June, I expected the same thing I normally do. A smile when she saw Jayden. The humor I found when she called him “her baby”. Maybe lunch or a card game. What I didn’t expect was to hear that she was rushed to the hospital. As I drove to see her at the hospital I was just so confused. My mom made it sound serious, but how could it be? She has been fine for the most part. When I arrived at the ER we couldn’t see her. My hope was that I could bring Jayden in to see her before she was moved to the ICU, since babies cannot go there. Maybe he could help her feel better. But that never happened.
Nana lasted overnight, but was touch and go. My mom told me they had hope to treat the double pneumonia and maybe her kidney function would get better. As Monday came, that hope dwindled, and by 5pm, any family that could make it was bedside in her room. At this point she was in a medical coma, but I know she could sense and hear us. I came in with Rob around 6, and it was then that I was told that the decision was made to take her off of the machines. While her death was peaceful, surrounded by love, it was one of the most difficult things I have been though, and I am heartbroken for my mom. She passed within minutes, which made it even more clear that it was time. A good friend told me that the machines were not life saving, they were only keeping her alive. that gave me some comfort that she was ready – I have never heard a truer statement. The services and memorial lunch were amazing. The weather was beautiful and the memories flowed like the tears that rolled down everyone’s cheeks. It was hard to accept, loosing her so suddenly, but I am so grateful for the time we had together, the time she spent with Jayden, the memories we made, and the 100’s of pictures I have of her, especially loving on “her baby”.
June 6th 2018. Dogs are truly best friends to their humans. When I woke up the morning of the 6th, I was motivated to go to work and push my sadness of my Nana’s passing away for a while. Around 10am I called our vet, to try and get my pup in sooner than his appointment the 22nd. He had been acting increasingly “off”-weak, tired, uncoordinated. Not to mention the vomiting and red in the corners of his eyes. I got in right away and went as fast as legally possible from Needham to Manchester to pick him and bring him to Londonderry. My dad met us there. He helped us raise him, so his support was appreciated.
We were brought into a room that appeared to be the “death” room. I say that because it was full of things for pets that would make their last moments on earth amazing; a comfy bed, cookies, plants, etc. My dad tried to prepare me for the worst. I didn’t want to listen. He stated he believed our pup had cancer and it didn’t look good. I responded that he didn’t know that was the case and changed the subject.
We were moved to an exam room, and with a doctor whom myself and my dad knew well from our other pets. She was kind and calm. That helped. She looked at his eyes after getting his weight and told me it was blood. My heart sank. I asked what caused that. She responded that it appear he was bleeding internally, and that his eyes hemorrhaged because of it. I felt guilt. How could I not know this was happening? I have had this dog for 10 years! I heard her say that it likely is a spleen tumor, and she could run an ultrasound to confirm. 2 minutes later she confirmed that she believed there was a large mass on his spleen and that at his age and with his heart troubles, it was unlikely that he would be a candidate for surgery. I was devastated. I felt myself tear up. I called Rob and he was seemingly in denial. We went back in forth, the three of us (myself, Rob and my dad). Could he get another year? I was terrified to come home to a dead dog. We decided to do an X-ray to confirm extent of the tumor and thus make the decision based on that. The result were not good. Rob rushed to us from work. There was cancer everywhere. Lungs, spleen, everywhere. There was no coming back from this. The chances of him lasting much longer were very little, so we made the decision to put him to sleep. Rob and my dad stayed with him as he passed. I cuddled him and gave him treats and loved on him and left. I couldn’t bare to watch someone else I loved die this week. I felt sad but angry leaving him. I didn’t think it was his time. On my drive home I was pretty much numb. Cried out. Unable to feel anything. Did I deserve these misfortunes? Why was this happening to me? My stages of grief seemed all screwed up. I couldn’t stick to one emotion. But I didn’t care, I just wanted to sleep and forget it all.
June 11th, 2018. A new week. A better week. Or so I thought. House troubles continued, combined with more issues and specialist referrals for my son and more medical issues that arose with me that are preventing me from conceiving baby #2. Earlier this week I felt like my world was crashing. I felt suffocated by bad news. I felt mad at God for allowing 2018 so suck so bad. I thought 2016-2017 had its struggles, but 2018 was in a league of its own.
Which brings us to today, June 15th.
I am feeling oddly at peace today, having cried as much as my body would allow yesterday and the day before.
This is one of the few days lately where I am feeling able to “let it be” and move on from the worst 8 months I have had in a long time.
I am feeling positive. Not just thinking it, but for once in a long time I am physically feeling an emotion OTHER THAN sadness and pain.
I am feeling confident that mine and my sons medical issues are being handled by the best of the best and we will both be feeling better soon. We have both been through the ringer, but every hurdle we pass makes us stronger.
I am feeling OK about my decision to let family live with us. We knew the risks. We did what we could and failed, lesson learned. I am feeling a closure on this specific struggle that I no longer felt before. I am also sure it has something to do with a comment the girlfriend made to me when we changed the locks; ” your not even a good wife-you cant even cook for your husband”. Those words burned me. See, she doesn’t know our dynamic. She doesn’t know I bust my ass taking Jayden to all his apts., handling the financials, and cleaning the house and that Rob is in charge of the cooking. She also doesn’t know that I proved her ungrateful little ass wrong. Not only do I cook now, but I cook damn well. I needed to prove to myself she was wrong, and I did. So this whole unfortunate event I am “letting be” and putting behind me. All adventures, good or bad, teach us valuable lessons with which we take through life and can pass on to our children. This was just one of those lessons.
I feel content with the fact that I have one beautiful baby, and once my fertility issues are resolved I will have another. I still feel sad about loosing #2, but God needed him or her more than I did. I still feel a pang of jealousy seeing friends pregnant or seeing pregnancy announcements, but I am trying my best to be happy for these friends and “let it be”. I am not a fan of the “whatever is going to happen will happen cliché”- that is hard to hear in my situation-although very true. What I will say is that God has a plan for me, and anyone else struggling with this particular issue, and one day, hopefully soon, those struggling to conceive will be blessed with another child.
I feel comfort in knowing my Nana had a long, beautiful life. I feel comfort knowing she died among those who loved her so much, and were there to help her pass peacefully. Though still hard to accept, I feel good knowing how many people loved her. I will continue to visit her best friend at the assisted living home. She too was devastated in Nana’s passing and I just know Nana would love to see her smile ear to ear when she gets to see Jayden. Death is an unfortunate event, but if I have learned anything from loss it is that with memories, we can continue to allow those passed to live on in our hearts and minds.
I feel comfort that my pup lived a great 10 years with me and he is no longer in pain. I still have his blanket, which I can still smell him on and weirdly that also provides comfort. I get sad sometimes, but I am so grateful we could be with him before he passed and get pictures with him and love on him. The memories I have of him will forever be with me, and one day I will see him again. Animals, like humans, hold a special place in our hearts, but with the memories created, you can always have them close to you.
I feel positive that one day soon, I will feel strong enough to completely “let it be” and let God guide me to the happiness I crave.
We all have struggles. Mine are different, but not any less important than yours.
We all feel pain. Yours may be for a different reason than mine, but it still exists among us like a dagger to our heart.
We all feel weak. We feel out of control. We feel anger. We feel resentment.
We feel all things humans should and do feel, because we are human and none of us are perfect or lead perfect lives.
But we can all eventually let the struggles that hinder us, be. We can move on. We can forget.
And the next struggles that we encounter will be easier to handle, because we are that much stronger.
So the next time your heart hurts – the next time your mind hurts-try to remember how loved you are.
How many people need you in their life.
Remember the memories that you hold within.
Remember that is ok to grieve. It is OK to vent, like I have. It is OK to be angry or sad.
Remember that you are not alone and that these feelings are OK.
Eventually you to will be able to “let it be” and move on-but allow yourself to feel in the moment.
After all, struggles may make us fall down momentarily, but getting back up again makes us stand that much taller; always remember that the struggles you feel today may be your strengths for tomorrow.