A good one

2014 was probably one of the quickest years of my life.  I feel like I was sitting here, in this very spot, at this time last year.  Only it feels like that was last week.

I haven’t had a lot of time lately to reflect upon my year or to think about the year to come.  I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions anyway.  But, I don’t need to think very hard to know that 2014 was a really good year.  One of the best, in fact.

January and February were a bit tough, with bad weather, finishing up work and wondering when Baby Bo would choose to make his entrance.  Those months were also memorable, though, because they were our last months as parents of one.  We did some special things with Littleman before he became a big brother and his world was completely turned upside down.

When March came around and Bo still wasn’t here, I started to get anxious.  Then, on March 6, he arrived, our sweet little babe.

My mom and I were talking this morning about how, when you’re pregnant with your second child, you wonder how on earth you could possibly love another human as much as you love your first child.  But then that child arrives and your heart grows, making plenty of room for all the love that rushes through you.  (OK, that sounds cheesy, but I swear, I just really, really love these two kids!)

The rest of March was blur of cracked nipples, infection, illness and sleep deprivation.  It kind of sucked.

After that, though, we hit our groove.  The weather warmed up.  Littleman loved his brother.  Bo was a happy kid.  I went for walks.  I started exercise class.  I spent time with friends who were also on maternity leave.  We hung out at the farm with my family and my baby niece.  I taught myself to run and did a 5K.

Sure there were some blips this year, but mostly, I’ve loved every second of my maternity leave.  Knowing that it will be my last, I’ve tried to savour every bit of it.  Looking back, I feel lucky to have had such a great experience this year.  I also feel a bit sad that all the things I was looking forward to are over.  I know there will be lots of other good times ahead, but it will be hard to top a year like this one, where we welcomed our lovely Bo and watched our Littleman grow into a smart and strong almost-four-year-old.

I know lots of people are looking forward to a new year, with its promises of a fresh start and new opportunities.  Me?  I’m kind of dreading it.  I have two months of maternity leave left before Bo starts daycare and I return to work.  It’s going to be tough and I know it’s going to test my ability to stay positive.

So, in the absence of New Year’s resolutions (which I hate), I think I will set myself a couple of goals this year: try to stay positive (or at least limit the negativity!) and find some time to do some things for myself.  Going back to work will make both of these things especially difficult but it will also mean that they will be extra important.

Whether you are looking forward to or dreading the arrival of 2015, I hope it turns out to be a good one for you!

The lost one

It was a beautiful morning.  I put the baby down for his nap and his big brother was busy playing outside with my husband.  I set out for another run, feeling behind on my 5k training after a few days out-of-town.

I started down the street and I felt good.  The sun was out and it was warm, but not too hot.  After some pretty cold September days, it felt amazing.  As I ran, I thought to myself, how is it already late September?

All of a sudden, it felt like someone had punched me in the gut.  Late September.

My baby – the lost one – would have turned one this month.  If he, or she, had lived, my baby would be a year old.

I felt a bit shaky as I gasped to catch my breath.  I had forgotten.  That dreaded date had come and gone… and I had forgotten.

I wondered, what does this mean?  I still think about the miscarriage often.  But I don’t think about it everyday.  I see my friend’s twins who were born at the same time that I was due and I don’t feel horrible anymore.  I look at my six-month-old baby and I know he was the one who was meant to be part of our family.

But it’s September.

Last year, September was a month I looked forward to with all my heart and then dreaded to my very core.  Even when I found out I was expecting again, I knew September would be a tough month.  Earlier this summer, I realized that I could have had an almost-one-year-old.  So then how did this September manage to creep up on me?

As I ran on, I decided this means that I’m healing.  I’m not a horrible mom for having forgotten that awful due date.  Yes, I still have moments of sadness for the baby I never got to meet.  But I have many more moments of gladness for the family I do have.  I’m not as sad or as scared as I was this time last year.  I’ve learned that bad things can happen and that good things can come out of it.  I am able to think about the baby we lost and the baby we got to meet, knowing that I love them both.

I didn’t see any of this coming when I laced up my running shoes and stepped out my front door this morning, but I see it much more clearly now.  I am healing.

Postpartum check-up

I had my postpartum check-up with my OB last week. It always feels a bit weird to be back at that office and NOT be pregnant. I noticed that none of the other patients in the waiting room were noticeably pregnant, so I’m guessing the gynecological appointments are scheduled on a separate day. Makes sense, I guess. After my miscarriage, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to see a bunch of pregnant ladies at the doctor’s office…

Although I’m happy to not be pregnant anymore, the one part I used to love about my regular pre-natal check ups was listening to the heartbeat. So, I think I’ll kind of miss this stuff:

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Anyway, back to my appointment. Everything checked out just fine and I got the “all clear” to resume exercising and sexual activity. Good thing, because Bo and I have signed up for mommy and baby fitness, which starts tomorrow! (And the sex. Of course, there’s that. Maybe when I’m not so tired. Or flabby. Huh.)

We talked about my birth control options going forward. D and I don’t plan to have anymore kids and we’ve discussed vasectomy at some point, but we just aren’t really there yet. I’m not super keen on going back on the pill at this point in my life so I’m considering IUS (Mirena). My doc gave me a prescription to fill whenever I feel ready and then I can make an appointment to have it inserted. It sounds like the best option for me right now but I’ll probably do a bit more research before I make a decision.

I’m glad that everything checked out ok and that I’m feeling good physically. I’m pumped to be ready to start working out again because it feels like ages since I’ve done so. I was in the best shape of my life during my last mat leave so hoping I can get close to that again!

Breakthrough

Today, for the first time in a long time, I feel like myself again.

We decided to spend the weekend at our farm because we hadn’t come here since early January. (I didn’t want to risk being too far from home when I went into labour!)

It feels good to be back here. Sure, it’s harder with a newborn baby, but it’s a refreshing change for all of us. My parents are here too, which gives us two more sets of hands, and we have lots of space to spread out and play.

But the best part of the weekend so far? I went outside for a walk! I put on my (non-maternity) ski jacket and boots. I walked (not waddled or slouched) around the property. It felt amazing! For the first time in ages, I’m not hurting. I don’t have reflux or back pain. I’m not bleeding and my boobs aren’t aching. I can stand up straight. I can put on my own boots.

The sun is shining and it seems like this horrible winter is finally on its way out. I feel like I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough. And it feels good to feel good.

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Should I keep writing?

I wrote my first post on this blog a year ago.  I was sitting at home, struggling to recover from the biggest hit I’d ever taken.  My body healed pretty quickly after my D&C, but my soul was crushed.  My husband went back to work and my toddler was in daycare.  I sat at home and wondered how I was going to move forward after losing what would have been our second baby.

That was when I found the online community of bloggers who had been through or were currently experiencing exactly what I was dealing with (or worse).  I have some amazing friends and family in real life – all of whom were incredibly supportive – but what I really needed were people who had been there.  I needed people who weren’t going to say things like “at least you know you can get pregnant” or “you can always try again.”  I needed to see that other women had dealt with this kind of pain and had survived to tell about it.

When I started writing my story, I was blown away by the kindness of the strangers who reached out to me to show their support (you know who you are!)  These people really helped me to realize that it would take some time – a long time – to come to terms with my loss.  And that it was ok to be sad.

Today, I find myself in strange position.  It’s been a year since my miscarriage. A year since I started this blog. I’m at home caring for my second son, my “rainbow” baby, who is an amazingly sweet little boy.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m over it.

I’m not ready to walk away from this community of support.  I’m not ready to stop writing.  But my life is different now.  I’m not constantly struggling with the pain of my pregnancy loss.  I’m not trying to get pregnant or worrying that something will go wrong with my pregnancy.  In fact, things are pretty darn good. 

I started writing in this space for me, as a way to manage my own thoughts and feelings.  At some point, blogging morphed into more of a conversation with others, which I really love.  So do I keep writing, even though my story has changed?  Does anybody care about life with my two boys?  I guess the answer is that I care and as long as I do, I will keep writing here.  I hope others will stick around for the journey.

 

Where we were last year

One year ago today, we found out that I had miscarried.  I woke up that morning and went to work,  14 weeks 1 day pregnant.  A few hours later, I found out that my baby had died.

This morning, D and I talked about that horrible day.  In some ways it feels like it was a long, long time ago.  In other ways, it feels like just yesterday.  I still find it hard to believe that it happened to us.  Losing Puppet was, by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with and it took me a long time to come to grips with it.

Now that Baby Bo is here, it makes our feelings about what happened seem even more complex.  I still wonder about the baby that we lost.  He or she would be six months old now.  Who was that little person?

But, of course, if we hadn’t lost Puppet, we wouldn’t have Bo.  And as I watch him sleeping in his chair right now, I can’t imagine life without him.

So today I will remember our angel, Puppet, and be thankful that we have been blessed with our rainbow, Bo.  Both of them are part of our family in their own way and I love them.

Getting older

As I climbed out of bed last night to head to the bathroom for one of my many pee breaks, I caught a glimpse of my very pregnant self in the mirror.  This is going to sound kind of stupid, but in that moment, it hit me that I’m an adult.  A real, full-blown grown up.

My husband was at work and I was home alone with my three-year-old asleep in the room next door.  I’m expecting another baby any day now.  I have a house.  I’m a mom.  I’m old!

I mean, obviously, I knew I was an adult before that moment.  But for some reason, something about seeing myself in the mirror threw me off.  It took me a moment to regroup.

Thinking about it today, it kind of makes me laugh.  I’m 35-years-old (will be 36 in a couple of weeks!) and I know that isn’t terribly old, but sometimes I wonder where all the years went.  At times, I feel like a teenage girl inside.  If my husband could tolerate it, I would pull out my old fuchsia and purple bedding for our room (my only regret when we moved in together was giving up my hot pink room!).  I have a bunch of episodes of vampire-centric tv shows saved up on my PVR.  I can’t wait for the super-slushy snow to melt so I can pull out my new purple Uggs.

So when did I suddenly get so old?  It feels like it wasn’t all that long ago that I first left home for university and had to figure out how to take care of myself.  Now, I’m responsible for raising a family.  Crazy.

I guess the fact that I’m about to become a mother of two has made me realize how quickly time goes by.