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Battle wounds

13 Oct

When going through pregnancy loss, when you’re deep in the thick of it, you are suddenly and very painfully aware of how little people talk about miscarriages.  You feel this incredible and profound loss, one that no one seems to understand (because no one talks about it), and never have you felt so alone. Yet you find a way to survive.  You adapt to your new, unfamiliar surroundings, where everything around you seems dark and impossible.  Even if you have support in the form of your partner or this community, it’s still solely on you to come out the other side.  You are the one responsible for finding the strength to continue.  To somehow find a glimmer of hope in the depths of your hell.  Others can love you and be there for you, but you are the one that has to reach inside of you and figure out a way to keep breathing.

Then afterwards, whether or not your life becomes what you once had hoped it would be, you are beat the hell up.  The bruises are extensive and internal. You may have moved on, but your soul is still broken in a way that may never completely mend.  Life becomes easier to face, for sure, smiles may have even returned….but inside, you’re different.  Not only do you show signs of a battle having been fought, your marriage or partnership has scars as well.  As it turns out, people don’t talk about any this, either.

In my case, I’m one of the lucky ones.  I got the baby I worked so hard to have. She is….well, a miracle.  She’s everything every mother present in their child’s life has to say about their kid.  She’s all of that and more.  She was absolutely worth the fight.

But the thing is, you go through this war and then are thrust right into the depths of motherhood.  You go from one hell right into, well, another.  Sure the second hell has snuggles and smiles and a sense of a chapter finally being closed…but fuck, it is exhausting.  You are suddenly responsible for this little creature who depends entirely on you to continue living, all while you’re still recovering from your prior battle.  You’re still processing everything you just went through, except you don’t have a moment to yourself to properly think anything through.

So here I am, almost three years later, still figuring out this new me. I came out the other side of this a completely different woman.  Not only did my losses profoundly change me, trying to recover from those losses while becoming a mother also changed me. I’m still trying to recover….Even though I have my baby, the feelings of loss still resurface regularly.  The four that are no longer with me, never actually left me.

I would like to say, however, that even though my insides are still a mess, I have a confidence in myself and what I can do, that was never there before all of this.  I’m proud of the woman I have become. The battle gave me that.  Surviving the war gave me that.  Motherhood gave me that.

I may be processing this for years to come, maybe even the rest of my life.  But I will do what I did while in the thick of it: rely on that ever-present hope.  Because none of this is easy.  Loss, motherhood…life.  All we can do is keep trying to breathe, and work hard to find the light in the midst of it all.

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Five pregnancies, two and half years, & two hundred posts.

27 Apr

flowers and shadows

Tomorrow I’ll be 14 weeks.  14 weeks.  It seems surreal.  It’s hard for me to believe that I’m not still stuck in the first trimester, as I was for two and a half years.  Last week I entered my very first second trimester in five pregnancies.

I’ve had my genetic pre-screening done and everything looked fantastic…the baby is even measuring a few days ahead (which is definitely a first for me).  The tests all came back negative, with the downs chance basically non-existant.  Who would’ve thought we could make a genetic superstar?  I’ve had many chances to take a peak at the little one waving and kicking up a storm – my last one just yesterday – and it never gets old.  I thank this little baby every single night for growing stronger every day, for beating the odds to still be here today.  I put my hand on my belly and even though I can’t feel him or her just yet, I feel life.  I realize that makes me sound crazy, but every time I start to worry, I press my fingers to where he or she is and I feel butterflies.  After all my heartache, it’s the best thing in the world.  Forget genetic superstar…this baby is a superstar plain and simple.

I feel like I’ve let many of you down by not being able to come to this space.  Something happened before this pregnancy – a shift in my thoughts that revealed I was ready to step away from the everyday interactions in this world.  My sanity needed me to step away.  I honestly believe it has helped me navigate this pregnancy as well as I have.

This world has been my safe-haven, my strength, my release, my support….I can never forget that.  For four devastating pregnancies, all of you have been there for me.  Some of you strangers, some of you now friends for life, others family and friends in this with me in the real world as well.  I will never be able to thank you enough.  This space has given me so much over the years and I’m proud of the woman this world has helped me become.  She’s a badass in my eyes — in fact, you’re all badasses to me.  We navigate these murky waters with nothing but fractions of hope and the unwavering support of others in the trenches…with our hearts pulling on us and the rest of the world telling us we’re crazy.  But we come here and we’re not crazy.  We pee on a thousand and one sticks and end up finding someone else who peed on a thousand and two.  Because of this world I found inside this little screen, I dove into a fifth pregnancy with no proof it would be any different than the other four.  I gave myself one more chance at this, and knew that if it didn’t work out, I’d be okay.

I’ve learned that here: I’ll be okay.

I will never turn my back on this world.  It’s who I have become and who I will always be.  But because of  how much I care for the other women here and how much I can feel myself in their shoes, this space and this world is different for me right now.  If I find myself visiting the stories so similar to mine, with pain so incredibly raw and familiar, I can no longer separate this pregnancy from the others.  And it needs to remain different for me in order to make it to the other side. For two and half years, I was not myself.  I was pulled under by grief and anxiety and I’m ready to be lighter and present.  I experienced a hell I never thought I would have to live through…and for now and hopefully forever, I feel like I’m coming out of the cloud.

But my thoughts are still with all of you, rooting for you from the sidelines.  I’ll always be there, even if you can’t see me.  I’m the one screaming the loudest, telling you you can do it even when you think you can’t.  Telling you how I understand how painful it is, but you’ll be able to make it through.  I can promise you that.

There’s still not proof this pregnancy will be different, but in my gut, it feels like it is.  If I look past the fear that creeps in here and there, my heart tells me this one is different.  Even if the worst happens, I have a confidence I never had the previous four times: that I will make it through to the other side somehow.  Because of what you all have given me.

Four losses, one currently thriving pregnancy, two and a half years, & 200 posts.

Insane.

flowers and shadows

Love,
Courtney

P.S.  Even though I may not come to this space very often, or sadly visit yours even less…please email me at any time, I’m still here.  bodegablissblog {at} gmail {dot} com

Update on Mo

21 Feb

They have decided to induce.  Please keep her, her husband and her baby boy in your thoughts and prayers.  She’s feeling it.

The outpouring of support and love has left me speechless.  You women are amazing.

(I’m sorry if I have seemed at a loss for words, or strictly business….I’m feeling extremely helpless and incapable in the face of this.  I love her dearly, and to know someone I love like this is in this kind of pain, is almost unbearable.)

 

Mommy Odyssey

20 Feb

Yesterday evening I received some devastating news….Mommy Odyssey‘s water broke just shy of 24 weeks.  They are waiting to see if the water replenishes, but chances are they will have to induce tomorrow and her sweet baby boy will not make it.

Please send her some love via her contact page:  http://mommyodyssey.wordpress.com/contact-me/ or by commenting in her most recent post.

She is someone that I consider a dear friend, and my heart has been broken into a thousand pieces for her.  We can’t take away her pain or make this all go away, but we can give her all the love we possibly have.

As soon as I have an update, I will post it here.

Courtney

 

Oh, is it a new year? I hadn’t noticed.

3 Jan

redwoods

(At least the photo looks hopeful.)

I woke up on January 1st feeling very, well…blah.  I wasn’t looking forward to 2012 like I had been 2011; the hope I had for last year was squashed by my fourth pregnancy loss and didn’t leave much room for everlasting hope spilling over into 2012.  I’m guessing that’s the reason why I’m having a very hard time finding motivation to face the days so far in this new year.  I mean, is it really any different than 3 days ago?  I just feel like what’s the point in hoping for the best, only to be proved wrong?  I realize that has to be the most pathetic pessimistic statement ever made, but seriously…maybe if I head into 2012 without any expectations, it can only go up from here.  A year of no expectations.  See, it’s not as bad as I made it sound at first, right?  Right.  Yeah, it’s still pretty bad, I know.

I just can’t find the energy to think positively for the coming year.  I’m seeing so many wonderful posts people are writing about their goals and desires, and I can’t find it in me to come up with a damn thing.  Maybe it’s because I finally realize I have no idea any more what’s in store for me, so I need to just go forth despite the unknown, and tackle it as it comes.  Wait, is that something positive-ish?

If I really think about it, though, I do know one hope for 2012: find some freaking happiness.  And not in the form of a baby.  In the form of I’m-going-to-sleep-now-because-I-can’t-wait-to-wake-up-to-my-life kind of way….not the I-don’t-want-to-go-to-sleep-because-that-means-I-have-to-wake-up-again way of the past.  Because that way is getting old.  That way is so 2011.

I just wish I knew what form that happiness was going to come in.  Maybe then I could come up with some goals in order to achieve it.  Because right now, there’s very little pulling me from my bed in the morning…and that feels like no way to start a new year.

 

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

christmas tree star

I hope this finds you in the midst of a joy-filled day and tears are held at bay.  Although this time of year marks our two-year anniversary of this awfulness, today I’m finding happiness in the holiday spirit, and I’m sending it out to each and every one of you.

I hope by this time next year, we all have babies in our arms and presents for them under the tree.

Love and peace to you all,

Courtney
xoxo

Really?

12 Aug

Tonight we went to a small restaurant that a friend of ours owns and noticed right away that there are three very pregnant women in the tiny tiny space.  I’m standing by the counter reading the menu and up walks a woman who leans in to say to me: “You better watch out or you might get pregnant if you stay here, everyone in here is pregnant!”

I don’t even think I could fake my shock that out of everyone in there, I’m the one she says that to.  If only she knew who she had just said that to!  I couldn’t even muster up a laugh, I think I may have just stared at her.

Tim came up to me after and I told him what had happened and he asked how things like that always seem to happen to me.  I wish I knew.  If I did, I’d avoid them.  After the shock wore off, I couldn’t stop laughing.  I mean, really?  REALLY?  Ridiculous.