Breathe

What a difference a new perspective can make.

I spent the night awake, worrying, wondering, hoping.. anxiously awaiting my appointment with my new doctor this morning at 11am. If you’ll recall the last one didn’t go so well:

https://everleerose.com/2013/05/13/i-dont-know-how-much-more-i-can-take/

After that appointment I ended up meeting with the managing nurse at the clinic I go to and complained about how I was treated. She was so apologetic and suggested maybe a fresh set of eyes and a fresh start for us would do well. And boy was she right.

In the time that has passed since I wrote that entry I have lost 27.3lbs (probably a little less since I did some celebrating today..) and have spent hours upon hours working on my own mental health, and overall well being.

I spent the night last night in agony wondering would all of my hard work be in vain? Would I be sent away again only to be told that my size was the only diagnosis I would be given? Would my health even be given consideration this time around?

My new doctor was a breath of fresh air. She said she wanted to do a number of tests (bloodwork mostly) to rule out anything that may be a risk in any subsequent pregnancy, if we’re lucky enough to get to that stage. She wants me to see the Maternal fetal Medicine specialist (essentially an extraordinarily high risk pregnancy doctor) to determine how we’ll approach a pregnancy next time around, and she said once that is done and we have a clear slate in front of us, we can start fertility treatments. Right now that looks like either August or September. With this sort of thing, it always a matter of timing.

*I* had to bring up my weight. She said I had done an amazing job, and that she knew I lead a healthy lifestyle before I was pregnant and she wasn’t at all concerned. She told me to keep doing what I’m doing. She said another 15-20lbs wouldn’t hurt, but she’s not concerned as long as I was healthy and mentally ready to move in this direction.

Night and day.

It has been so long since anything positive has happened for us, this day was everything we could have hoped for. So after 2 solid months of agonizing over every morsel of food I have put into my body, I had a cheeseburger, a beer and an ice cream! (Back to healthy clean eating tomorrow I promise!).

Darcy and I had promised ourselves that no matter what happened today that we would do something we both loved and enjoyed, so we spent the afternoon out on the water whale watching in our beautiful province of Newfoundland. The air was clean and crisp, the whales and birds were plentiful, and there was even a rainbow brought too us by a playful humpback. And for anyone who frequents baby loss blogs or groups, like I know so often many of my blogging friends do, they know the symbolism of a rainbow. And I think my little Everlee had something to do with bringing one to us today, even on the most sunshiny day… We caught a glimpse of our rainbow.
This is what hope feels like. I missed this feeling.

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Life, Revisited.

Every time I’ve sat down in front of a blank screen this week I’ve been at a loss for words. With Before-Rhonda that would be shocking. With After-Rhonda, not so much.

My words are lost somewhere between my heart and my fingers. I rarely write here with my head. When I started this blog I knew it wouldn’t mean anything if I wasn’t completely honest and raw as a writer. I write first and think after most of the time. It gives me some catharsis then. A release that, no matter how hard I try, I can’t find anywhere else.

After my last entry, Darcy looked at me and said “You know, your blog entries are incredibly self loathing”.

And he’s not wrong.

I see that when I write, but more and more, I see that when I look in the mirror. And I know that’s what I need to change now more than anything. I can’t bring my daughter back. No amount of hoping and praying nor well wishes from others will ever give me what I need most. I used to love myself, every little bit of me. I loved who I was and I loved what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I wasn’t ashamed of who I had become. But that was Before, and After-Rhonda needs to fight her way back to that spot, if that sacred piece of ground still exists. Maybe it’s somewhere in a new place.

When I started this blog, I started it from the very depths of my own hell. A hell I have barely begun to inch my way out of. I’ve lost track of the stages of grief. I’m not sure I’ve ever really gone through any of them fully. I’ve always been the type to do things my own way, anyhow. Why should this be any different? At least that part of me hasn’t changed. But Darcy is right, that fun-loving side of me is gone, those shiny blue eyes that could look in the mirror and love what they saw are dull, and weary and tired. At least for the moment. Maybe forever. Who knows? But I’m working so hard to get that spark back; To try to find a little bit of joy. Right now I would settle for being able to face the world without being medicated half the time.

Every now and then I get a glimpse at what my life was like Before. It’s so alien. I’ll see my own photo and I’ll not recognize myself. I want that feeling back. I want to feel like tomorrow is promised again. I don’t want to face my own mortality like this. I don’t want to feel death so close anymore. I don’t want to be heavy with grief. But I am. And I look at those pictures it’s like life, revisited.

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Ive started beating the crap out of my body with exercise. Eating right wasn’t working fast enough. I have just over 15lbs gone in the last 5 weeks. It hurts to move, but at the same time the ache reminds me that I’m still alive and that I’m still breathing even though most days I feel like I’m merely existing in my own little world. I’m trying to learn to love it. I’m not there yet, but I know it will make me healthier and stronger for Everlee’s brother or sister.

It’s easy sometimes for me to hide behind my screen and interact with people this way. No one has to see the sadness in my eyes or hear the cracks in my voices. No one has to watch my eyes well up and my body recoil as I learn to live with discomforts of being this new me. It’s easy to type “:)” or “haha” to fool other people. I do it every day. That’s why I love social media so much. You can create a persona and no one is any wiser. But here, in this space where everyone sees me as who I really am, I don’t have to hide. And although my blogs are honest, and real and sometimes painful and self loathing they’re who I am right now. But readers I want you to know, that no matter how far down I am, I will always be fighting to get back to that place where I can smile and feel happy again. Because here, I’m Everlee’s mom, and I’ll always fight to make her proud of me.

Weight of the World – Pt 2

Every day since the 12th of February has been hard. Some have just been harder than others. This week has been full of the harder days. Monday was awful. After my doctors appointment and after the facebook fiasco I felt as though everything had happened yesterday. Any progress I had made forward was gone. I spent all of Monday night curled on the couch crying and and feeling sorry for myself. I hope with everything inside of me that that moment was my final rock bottom. I can’t possibly imagine going lower – but then again I’ve thought that several times over the past three months. I have been repeatedly kicked in the face. Broken and beaten. 

Tuesday morning I crawled out of bed a rumpled mess, my eyes were swollen and my throat was sore from crying all night long. But I had a job to do. If I’m to make my little girlie a big sister I have to lose the weight. Even if I don’t agree with my doctor. I went back to Empowering You. The place that helped me do this in 2010

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Back then it wasn’t about a number. I have always struggled with my weight and my self image my entire life (much like every girl). After spending my teenaged years fluctuating my weight and losing weight in the most unhealthy ays possible, when I went to Empowering You in 2010 it wasn’t about the number on the scale anymore. It was about feeling better about myself. It was about feeling comfortable in my own skin and being able to walk into any store and be able to buy clothes at my will. And I got to that point.   Not with pills, or supplements or special foods. I never looked at the number on the scale. I had no idea how much I weighed. And I was happy. (And I need to thank the amazing Brenda Barry, the owner of EY for that, and for giving me some hope on Tuesday.)

My doctor has stolen that attitude from me because she’s made it about the archaic concept of BMI.    Despite the fact that I could lift my doctor over my head, my muscle mass seemingly plays no role in the equation. Height and weight. That’s all she cares about. You’d be shocked to know how much I weigh. I’m seemingly dense, imore ways than one. But she’s made it about a number on a scale. She’s made it my personal vendetta. As of Tuesday I had 47lbs to lose.  As of yesterday I have 43lbs to lose. 4lbs gone and 4lbs closer to shoving it in her face. 

And I hate that it’s not about how I feel anymore. I hate that it’s only about that number for me. But I have nothing else to focus on. My dead baby girl who I love more than anything on this earth. And a number on a damn scale. This is what my life has become. And it hurts more than anything. 

I don’t know how much more I can take

I don’t even know where to start.

I apologize in advance. This entry will probably be long winded. Full of run on sentences . Disjointed. And absolutely full of self loathing. But today was a nightmare. People over use that word. But today was a true, honest nightmare I mean, I knew when I woke up this morning it would suck. But I had no idea I would feel this incredibly awful. I feel like any gain I’ve made in the past three months has been completely over shadowed.

We got the autopsy results back today.

Walking into the doctors office set the tone. I saw a coworker. She obviously had no idea what had happened (I have no idea how that’s possible). She came up and smiled and asked me how far along I was. I was so utterly dumbfounded that I just replied “I’m not pregnant”. She hugged me and said she was sorry and told me shed been through fertility issues and shed be happy to talk to me any time. She had no Clue. And I was too shocked to respond and tell her what had happened. She walked away and I broke down.

And then we waited in that awful little room. The one where I had all of my prenatal appointments. The one where I heard her heartbeat for the last time. And the silence was deafening. The anxiety thick in the air. The doctor walked in and I held my breath and braced for it.

My only comfort is that Everlee was perfect. She was completely fine. Until she died. There was nothing wrong with her. No chromosomal defect. No disease. She was flawless. Had she been delivered just a few hours earlier I would be holding her right now.

They officially confirmed that it was a placental abruption. My blood pressure issues were a result of problems with my placenta. That’s ultimately what caused it to detach. And kill my baby. We know what happened. It doesn’t make it any easier to know. I thought it might. But it doesn’t.

It hurts worse.

I then tried to start the conversation about when we could start fertility treatments. The answer was like a blow to the head.

Because this has happened I am now at a higher risk of it happening again. And there’s not much that can be done about that. Except lose weight. My doctor said that the only thing within my control is to get back to the point I was at before I got pregnant. The smallest I’ve ever been. She won’t even consider helping us until then. She said my weight likely played a role in what happened. Her resident tried to explain that this kind of thing can happen to anyone, no matter what their weight. But that this was a risk factor that we have some control over. But my doctor made it sound like because I am fat my baby died. I don’t care what else she said, that’s all I heard. I feel like, now more than ever, it’s my fault. And I can’t even start to fathom trying to have another child until I’m not so fat. She even went so far to say that I could get put on a list for gastric bypass. I didn’t know I was that big, I didn’t know I had let it get that far. I’ve never felt this awful about myself . Ever. Nothing about this has been easy. Nothing, but it seems as though I can’t ever catch my breath. I’m tired. As I keep getting kicked in the ribs while I’m down. I’m going to lose the weight. I’m going to fight harder than I’ve ever fought before to lose it.

But until I am actively working to get pregnant again I can’t possibly see myself moving forward (not moving on) mentally. I am stagnant. I am broken. Fat and broken.

So Darcy and I came home and tried to digest as best we could our latest defeat. We both posted something on Facebook that aptly described how we were feeling in the moment.

Then an acquaintance of Darcy, who is pregnant, updated her status. Apparently she’s sick of hearing about dead babies because she’s trying to have a positive pregnancy. I hope you’re reading this. I really hope you are because I want you to know how incredibly sorry I am that the death of my child makes you feel mildly uncomfortable. Good news is that you can log off of your Facebook and go on about your day and dream about your perfect little baby, much like I used to. But I have to sit here and live in this hell without my child. I’m sorry that you are ‘forced’ to read our status updates and see us trying our best to remember a little girl who brought us so much joy for a much too short period of time. But most of all I am so sorry that you are so completely oblivious and insensitive. I hope you never have to feel like this. i hope you never have to wake up and think for a split second that you hear your dead baby crying or forget for that instant that you’re still pregnant only to realize how empty you are. Luckily you won’t have to look at your updates anymore, because we did something you should have done if you were so bothered by the loss of our child.

I’ve discovered that I’m much more bothered by pregnant people than I am by babies. I’ve spent some time over the last two weeks with various friends with brand new babies. And they bring me a sour sort of happiness. I love them all. But they remind me sorely of how much I miss my Everlee. Pregnant people make me nauseous. I feel like they see me as the grime reaper when they know what’s happened, and when they don’t know I feel like I want to yell at them and tell them what could happen. I told my psychologist about this today and she assures me that it’s normal with post traumatic stress. It doesn’t feel normal. It feels awful.

I’m just beaten down. Worn out. I’m tired. I need to catch my breath. But the blows keep coming. Left and right. I don’t know how much more I can take. I’ve always been down oneself about my weight. I’ve always hated by body. But now I feel more and more that I’m starting to hate myself too. I just wish I could wake up from this nightmare.

The Weight of the World

I was laying in bed last night trying to remember what it felt like to feel her wiggling in my belly.

Yesterday was a bad day. One of the worst I’ve had since her funeral. Then again, I’m still in search of a good day. The day started easy enough, Darcy and I went to get our passports renewed at the passport office. We’ve decided to take a vacation to try and get some sun on our bodies and our souls. Life is depressing enough here in the winter months in Newfoundland without all of the added torture in our lives right now. After that was done we went to see my doctor.

I stopped taking my blood pressure meds earlier this week when my blood pressure started returning to normal and the pills were driving it down much too low. So she had me repeat some blood work and go see her.

After the formalities of my blood work were discussed I asked the questions I’ve been longing to have answered “when can we try again?”.

My mind kind of went numb after the first few sentences. She said most people (I have no idea who these people are) recommend you wait a year to try again after something like this happens to recover mentally. My heart ached. Then she said that she usually suggests 6 months. Ache again. I don’t want to wait that long, I can’t. What may hurt one person might help heal another. And I know that actively trying to get pregnant again is something that’s going to help me get through this. I know I have to wait some time, but 6 months seems like a lifetime to me right now when I have so much trouble just seeing past the moon to tomorrow when I go to sleep at night.

Then she said what hurt the most. In reviewing everything in my file and considering everything that went wrong, the only thing we have that we can actually fix is my weight. Breakdown. Emotional breakdown. My weight is something I have struggled with my entire life however, when I got pregnant I was the smallest I’ve ever been. I’m not meant to be a skinny girl, I have hips, and an ass (that I love) and curves. But I’ll never be smaller than a size 12. That’s just how my body was made. I know this after years of struggle with my weight and my self-image and self worth. I had made peace with that. And now all I can hear in my head is “because you’re fat your baby died”. I know that’s not what she said, not even what she’s implying and its the furthest thing from the truth. people, much bigger than i have ever been, give birth to happy healthy babies all of the time. But my mind is playing all kinds of strange tricks on me these days, and the only thing she says I have control over is the one thing I know I can’t change. I have weight to lose now, and I will try my damned hardest to get it off and get it off quickly (I’m already back in my jeans that I was wearing when I first got pregnant, two weeks after delivery) but even then, will that be enough to make things safer for Everlee’s brother or sister? Will she tell me it’s not safe enough for me to try again? I already know that I can’t get pregnant without medical intervention, so I need to have her support on this, but how do I make her see that this is not only what I want, but what I need to make my heart heal? No two people are the same in their grief.

She should have been born this week. They were going to induce me. We buried Everlee two weeks ago today. I can now say I have lived and survived two weeks in hell. Absolute and utter hell.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, just trying to make it to tomorrow through all of the pain.

I miss you Everlee.