Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Am the Face ::trigger warning::

I haven't written here in awhile... a LONG while in fact.  After Lily was born I was convinced that I could do it all.  I could be a good mom, a good employee, a good wife, a good friend AND a good blogger.  I mean, so many other's did it!  After J went back to school when Turtle was 6 months old, I soon realized that something had to go, otherwise it would be my sanity that left.  Honestly, it was well on its way out the door.  Thankfully, with the help of my mom and my bestie I was able to retrieve it.  My house is a disaster and this blog is all but forgotten, but my life is fulfilled. 

So why am I writing here today?  This has always been a sacred place for me.  A place to explore feelings.  A virtual therapist's couch even.  It's also a place to record important experiences and possibly even make a difference in someone's life.  I've always tried to be real and honest.  I've talked about my Bi-Polar disorder, my struggles over Turtle's birth and our short lived breastfeeding experience, among many other topics.  Today I am here to be real and honest about a subject we don't often talk about.  

This time last year I had no idea I was pregnant, and it would be another 2 weeks before we found out.  Obviously, you haven't seen any pictures of a new baby, so you know where this story is going, but I have yet to write it down.  Today, October 15th, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day seems like the best time to finally do just that.

Just over two years ago, we found out we were pregnant.  In typical Mama Turtle fashion I freaked the eff out.  Going from having baby fever to "what have we done" in the few seconds it took that second pink line to show up.  Also in typical fashion J was completely calm.  Yes, life was crazy, I was living my dream job and giving way over 40 hours a week to it, but that was ok!  We could do this.  I quickly became came extremely excited.  A couple weeks later we saw a heartbeat on the ultrasound, and we started making plans.  What room would the baby have?  Would Turtle move before then?  We gave away all of our gear!  What would we need?  I spend most of my pregnancy with Turtle convinced something bad would happen. Having done this before I had a much more calm and optimistic outlook on the whole thing.  Well, as calm and optimistic as I get.

A few weeks later, at about 10 weeks pregnant, while at work I started to bleed.  It was a Friday afternoon so I called the doctor's office immediately.  They listened to my description and assured me that it was common and didn't sound like anything to be worried about.  They told me if this, that or the other started happening to call them back.  Cool and optimistic Mama Turtle vanished in that instant, though.  As the weekend progressed I started to see the signs they had mentioned.  I didn't call back because I knew if I were miscarrying there was nothing they could do about it.  We had a big event planned at work, so I did my best to put on my party shoes, a happy face, and keep plugging on.

That Monday morning though, I finally called the doctor.  I told them they had to get me in and someone had to tell me something, or I was going to lose my mind.  They were able to get me in that afternoon and it was one of the longest days of my life.  J had been assuring me that everything was most likely fine, and I was hoping he was right, so I didn't insist that he go with me to the doctor's office.  That was a mistake, but hindsight is 20/20.  

One of the things I'll be forever thankful for is that the ultrasound tech told me right away.  If I'd had to wait for the doctor to break the news there's a good chance I would have had a stroke while waiting.  They put me in a room and the OB came in to tell me what they wanted to do next.  I could barely concentrate, and I remember very little of what she said.  They wanted to do surgery.  I consented and they scheduled it for the next morning.  

I'm not sure how I got to my car, but I sat there for probably an hour.  I called my mom and texted my best friend. Then I messaged the only person I was close to and knew had been through this situation.  My supervisor at work knew what was going on so I texted her to say I would be going dark for a few days.  I texted my day care provider and 3rd grandma to Turtle to say I would be a little late picking her up.  And then I just sat there and wailed.  I remember thinking it was appropriate that it was dark and raining so bad I couldn't even see out of the windshield.  My life changed that day.  I changed that day.  J was at school that night, and I will be forever grateful for our day care provider who let me and Turtle hang out at her house for a while until I was confident I could care for Turtle on my own.

I took a whole 48 hours off of work, and honestly if my mom hadn't been here and insisted I take that much, I probably would have been back earlier.  I just couldn't think about it.  I ran a thousand miles an hour for at least a few weeks.  I hadn't told everyone we were pregnant, but I had told a few people.  I couldn't bring myself to say the words, "we lost the baby" so I pawned the task off on other people.  Beyond the difficulty of saying the words, there was the horrible look that washed over peoples' faces when they heard the news.  A look of sadness, and pity, and panic.  They didn't know what to do, and I felt the need to assure them I/we were ok.  But *I* wasn't ok.  J was wonderful and supported me the best he could, but he hadn't created a bond with the baby yet, so he wasn't experiencing the same thing I was.

I will admit, in those early days, I felt like I didn't have a right to grieve.  Our miscarriage was so early.  Our pain could not compare to those who suffered later miscarriages, still births or the loss of an infant.  J assured me I was allowed to feel however I felt, and to grieve as much or as little as I wanted, but it took a long time to absorb that myself.

As the weeks turned into months I found myself crying more instead of less, but that was a good thing.  As the pain began to dull, I found myself able to break the loss into smaller pieces, pieces that I could process.  I no longer felt like the darkness of the loss would overtake me.  I began posting about it on social media and was overwhelmed by the number of people I knew who had gone through this.  Why did I not know this about these people?  Why was it something we only shared once someone else had been inducted into this tragic order?  

There's an understanding in my culture at least (white middle class) that you should wait until after the first trimester to announce your pregnancy, at least to the majority of people.  This becomes a double edged sword, though.  Yes, this saved me from having to announce on Facebook that we'd experienced a loss, but it also meant that I grieved alone.  It meant I had fewer people to reach out to that weekend when I was unsure what was going to happen.  Do I plan to bombard every pregnant woman I meet with my tale of miscarriage?  Absolutely not!  But I do plan to be open and honest and to talk about it enough, that if someone I'm close to goes through it, they know I've walked that path.  Even if all they do is read my tale and know they are not alone.  

One of my life's guiding principles can be summed up in Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."  I know I'm not the first to walk this path, but I do hope to leave a trail... a trail of hope and survival.  

I am the face of early miscarriage. I am the one in four.

Friday, October 12, 2012

International Babywearing Week - Friday

Happy Friday everyone!! Today we are celebrating DAD's!  There is nothing more awwwww-inducing than a babywearing dad! Of course dad's can and do wear all types of carriers, just like moms.  However, soft structured carriers seem to be a popular choice, especially around our house.  Jay loves using our Boba.  Although he doesn't back carry by himself he loves to carry her with my help.  What do the dads in your life prefer?

Are you a new parent wanting to learn about babywearing?  Are you a veteran wearer wanting to meet others and learn more?  Join us for a sling party or other get together! The Charlotte Babywearers

Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Babywearing Week - Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone!  The gateway to the weekend!  Today we are celebrating soft structured carriers.  Ah... Soft Structured Carriers... my favorite!  Our Boba gets used on an almost daily basis... weekly basis at the least.  The thing I love most about SSC's is their ease of use.  They have a very small learning curve which is why they are a big hit with dads.  The buckles are similar to a back pack, in fact if you can put on a back pack you can wear a SSC.  Although some can be used for squishies, they really excel for older, heaver babies.  This is the one you can put your toddler in and hike all day with.

Are you a new parent wanting to learn about babywearing?  Are you a veteran wearer wanting to meet others and learn more?  Join us for a sling party or other get together! The Charlotte Babywearers

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

International Babywearing Week - Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone!! Today we are talking about woven wraps. The major advantage of wovens is that they can go from the first day you want to babywear to the last. They are amazingly versatile and offer infinite options. The hard thing about wrapping is... well the wrapping. I have to admit, I never got the hang of it. But we have lots of people in the group who are awesome wrappers. If you want to see more wrap awesomeness then check out Greetings from Eisenbergia

Are you a new parent wanting to learn about babywearing?  Are you a veteran wearer wanting to meet others and learn more?  Join us for a sling party or other get together! The Charlotte Babywearers

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

International Babywearing Week - Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!! To celebrate International Babywearing Week, today I'm featuring a pouch sling.  These are so nice and easy!  We used one especially between the time that Turtle decided she no longer wanted to be snuggled in the stretchy wrap (such a big girl even at 3 months old) and the time she was sitting up enough to do a back carry in a soft structured carrier.  I put her in a hip carry even before she was fully sitting up.  I would put my arm around her and support her.  Although not completely hands free, it helped us during a strange few months.   Of course the big limitation of this type of carrier is that it distributes the weight across one shoulder so it's not something we use often now that she's 19 months and 20-something lbs.  But it's a great carrier to keep in your diaper bag or the trunk for an emergency since it's is so compact.

Have you ever used a pouch or sized sling?  What were your thoughts?

Are you a new parent wanting to learn about babywearing?  Are you a veteran wearer wanting to meet others and learn more?  Join us for a sling party or other get together! The Charlotte Babywearers

Monday, October 8, 2012

International Babywearing Week - Monday

Happy Monday Everyone! And Happy International Babywearing Week! Anyone planning to celebrate?  The Charlotte Babywearers will be gathering out at McDowell Park for a BYO-Picnic on Saturday and you are welcome to join.  For my personal celebration, though I've decided to post a pic every day of us using a different wrap/carrier.  It's been fun going back through my pics and finding ones to fill out the week.  Today we start with my first wrap.

This is a stretchy wrap (similar to the Moby) and it saved our sanity!  Worse came to worse, I could pop her in this thing and walk around and she would calm down.  This pic was taken on the way to our first pediatrician's appointment so Turtle would have been just over a week old.  Wrapping can be intimidating!  But it can also be awesome!  I loved that I could put my wrap on before I left the house and pop her in and out at every stop without having to re-wrap.

Have you used a stretchy wrap?  What did you think?

Are you a new parent wanting to learn about babywearing?  Are you an veteran wearer wanting to meet others and learn more?  Join us for a sling party or other get together! The Charlotte Babywearers

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was a wonderful mix of work and play, toil and tumble.  We started out fairly bright and early at the Festival in the Park, an art/craft/music festival which is a staple in our town.  After skipping it for a few years due to the crowds and the heat we decided to try it early in the morning and that seemed to be the key.  We got there at 10am, right as the festival was opening.  It was cool, it wasn't too horribly crowded and we were able to find street parking not far from the park and avoid the highway robbery everyone was charging.

They had easels set up for the kids to color on, but no matter how I held the paper, she was way more interested in coloring on the easels themselves.  Yep, that's my kid!  The rest of Saturday was spent lounging around the house, catching up on TV shows and watching movies with Turtle.

Sunday morning Turtle and I made our weekly grocery store trip.  I love grocery shopping once I learned that there are very few people at the store at 9am on a Sunday morning.  I like to take Turtle with me so that Daddy has an hour or so to sleep or just hang out by himself.

When I got back, we put on a movie for Turtle and Daddy Turtle and I cleaned up the kitchen and cooked brunch.  Scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage links and french toasts.

After brunch (which was more like lunch), we put Turtle down for a nap and crossed our fingers.  I'm hosting a babywearing meet up at my house next Saturday.  Well, the carpet in our living room was in desperate need of being cleaned.  Our hope was to get it done while Turtle was sleeping but this was the first time we had every tried to coordinate something during her nap time.  (She is terrified of the vacuum cleaner so we knew we couldn't do it while she was awake.)

 We moved everything into the kitchen and amazingly got the entire floor vacuumed and steam cleaned before she woke  up.  We knew keeping an active toddler off the carpet would be too much to ask and given the gloriousness of the weather yesterday, I met Grandma at the park with Turtle and Daddy stayed home to monitor the carpet and move everything back.

Turtle discovered the swinging bridge and was in hog heaven.  It was hilarious to watch her treat it like a set of stairs, going down backwards, standing up to walk the middle and then getting down on her knees to crawl up the other side.  I stood there and watched her go back and forth for probably 15 minutes. Soon there after we got a text from Daddy saying we could come home.

But before we headed into the house for good we broke out the sidewalk chalk to see what Turtle thought.  As she is with everything Mama thinks is going to be awesome, Turtle was underwhelmed.  I did get this awesome shot right though before she bit it on the sidewalk and we had to go inside to attend to a very broken finger nail.  

I'm so thankful for the cooler weather.  I feel like we have been sequestered inside for months now.  I'm definitely ready to get back outside!

How was everyone's weekend?