Friday, January 30, 2015

Time vortex - A miscarriage story

I've become so aware of time. How quickly it's been going by and how much everyone seems to be craving extra hours in the day. Some people want that time to work, or clean, or exercise, or just to jam in a few extra minutes of sleep. Where does the time go? I went to have blood drawn this morning, and after a quick stop at Whole Foods (yum!) I got back to the hotel and realized I had been running around for 3 hours. It didn't seem possible, but clearly it was. Ha ha

I'm so fortunate to get to spend a little extra time with my hunnie before he deploys. As I mentioned in other posts, we have been trying since we were married to conceive. One of the plus sides of regulating my cycles with NaPro Creighton Model charting is kind of being able to guesstimate when our chances to try for pregnancy will fall for the next month. Sadly, it won't line up for us to have another try before he leaves. At first I was really sad about that fact. Then after lots of time to reflect and work through my self-imposed "must be pregnant ASAP" pressure, I realize that my state in life has me being a wife. Why not totally embrace that? Obviously it's not our time to be parents, especially for us to become first time parents while we are worlds apart. 

I'm getting emotional even typing this. I feel so so so lucky to have the husband that I have. I can't imagine enduring the miscarriage that we did without him by my side. He is so wonderful, supportive, understanding and can always lighten my spirits when I'm feeling down. We work very hard to have open communication in our relationship and be totally honest with each other. It's one of the things that  took me some time to get used to! Since the miscarriage really has catapulted me onto a different (overly) emotional level, I thought I would force myself to talk about it, so here it goes.

In October DH and I were in Florida visiting his parents. Things felt so different in my cycle. We had hit our peak time to try for a pregnancy, I had been doing acupuncture for pregnancy, I had a huge change in the way my appetite was, I was soooooo tired and I was having a lot of cramping on one side of my belly. I would break into sweat, my heart was racing a lot of the time...just weird. So my SIL who is a nurse, handed me a pregnancy test. I took the test the next morning, ran into the kitchen where she was, and she confirmed, there were two lines. I couldn't believe it was real. I showed DH and he was just as shocked. "Are you serious, babe?" As his eyes lit up. I felt like I could take on anything in the whole world. We flew back to NJ, I called my NaPro doctors office and they sent me right away for blood work. The blood work confirmed, I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it! DH would be able to hear the heartbeat before he left, we would have a baby in June 2015 and suddenly our whole world was changed. They said I was 5 weeks at the point we found out. Apparently that is early.  

So I went for blood work again a few days later and when my NaPro practitioner called me, she sounded apologetic. She said my HCG numbers weren't doubling. They wanted me to start a special progesterone injection compound right away and told me to stay off my feet for a few days. With DH in NYC training, I did just that. The injection progesterone came, and we started on that as quickly as we could. We started getting comfortable with the idea we were going to be parents! After a few days, they sent me for more blood work. My HCG numbers had increased, but weren't doubling, which is what they are supposed to do early on in pregnancy. I started reading everything known to man on the entire internet about early pregnancy HCG numbers. There were women who had successful pregnancies after low numbers, as well as women who had successful pregnancies after first tirmester bleeding (which I was having). I would call the doctor every day to make sure every little pain or twang that I felt was normal. I started worrying that everything was wrong. 

I went to have blood work done again in the middle of week 6 of the pregnancy. I stalked the doctors office to find out what the bloodwork said! Finally my Doctor called me back, not the NaPro practitioner. Her voice was calm and very very somber. My low HCG numbers had fallen. She said that this was the tell tale sign of a miscarriage. I kept myself together and I asked her several questions about what to expect over the next few weeks and what were the "normal" parameters. I called my husband and told him what the doctor said. He was away for training and I asked him to please come home that night. Not totally unreasonable since he as about 1.5 hours away and could make that happen. Then I called my mom and I lost it. I cried and cried.

To try to explain the loss I felt is very hard. I felt like I let down our baby, I felt like I let down my husband, and even thought it was 6.5 weeks into the pregnancy, I felt like I let myself down. The doctor assured me several times that it wasn't my fault. There is nothing I personally could have done to change the outcome, but my heart felt so incredibly hollow. I really felt like a disappointment as a wife... I mean what's the root of being a wife? I think it's to segway to a Mom...  if I can't carry our first baby to term, what am I supposed to do? That feeling took some time to kind of figure out. My DH never once said anything other then how proud he was. He told me he married me because he loved me, not because I could maybe one day mother his children. 

Miscarriage is such a hit to a lot of areas of life. I feel like I'm still stuck in this time vortex. I can't quite get my head back into the game of life. Granted, a lot has changed in the last 3 months. We sold our house, we miscarried, we moved into an apt and probably most importantly, DH moved across the country to continue training. Life has taken some unexpected turns. Sometimes you just have to hold on and pray that God will get you through!

Monday, January 26, 2015

My growing grinch heart and surprise travel

So I have a new respect for people who support a deployed spouse or loved one. This business is hard! I haven't seen my DH since New Year's Day. What a scam! I cry literally every time I talk to him on  the phone. It's a lot harder than I thought! Of course I know I can do it, but that doesn't make it any easier.

You'll be relieved to hear (or I'm relieved to be typing) that this message is being typed to you from the  skies courtesy of United Airlines. The weather forecast in NJ was calling for 2 feet of snow! Holy moly! So instead of staying to face it, I decided I would up and book a last minute ticket to see DH. Now this is going be to be a total surprise to him...So don't tell him! 

I feel like I'm heading to a first date. I'm so nervous that he won't like the surprise. He's not big on being surprised. I managed to pull off a surprise birthday party for him last year. He was so surprised I was able to keep the secret. He enjoyed that party, but this is different. His head isn't in being married mode. It's in prepping for mobilization mode. So it's not that he wouldn't love to see me I'm sure, it's more his head is in the game. I might just be a distraction. 

As I enjoyed a glass of wine before the flight I was chatting with the lovely woman next to me. She was traveling for work and was excited to be getting out of town with the pending doom....I mean snow. When she asked why I was traveling I told her it was to see DH before he deployed. She started telling me of everyone in her family who has served or was married to someone who was/has served. She said to me when I told her the outrageous last minute price I paid for this ticket, "the things we do for love.." And it got the wheels turning. 

My outlook on love has absolutely evolved over the last 3 years.  Growing up in the family I did, we always had implied love. Not expressed love. We didn't really ever say I love you, we more just knew everyone loved everyone else from the way we treated each other. Now I'm married to a Puerto Rican and boy when it comes to love, he knows how to show, tell, express, and layer it on. It's one of the things that drew me to him. This unexplainable openness with emotion that he has.  I feel so lucky to have a husband who is willing to share that side of himself with me. It has got me opening up more. Every once in a while I'll sneak in an "I love you" to my Mom, or Dad or siblings or cousins. It's crazy how one change can have a ripple effect on your norm.

Then I started thinking. I wonder if the emotionally bound Katie would handle this deployment differently. Would I have been as weepy as I am? Would I be breaking out into tears at work as much as I do? I'd like to think that I would, but being through everything I've been through in the last 3 years has brought me to who I am today. And I never thought openly emotional would be who I am. Yes, i am welled up with tears right now on the plane. Haha I'm like the grinch in the way that my heart has begun to grow at a rate I couldn't imagine. My emotional heart is about the size of Noah's ark right now. I feel all emotions on a new level. Especially love!

Coming back to my initial thought in this post I feel overwhelming thanks. Being a military spouse is a defining role and it is only enhanced by support of others. So thank you, whoever you are who is reading this. Thanks for being you. Thank you to spouses and military support systems. Thank you to all hopeful mothers like myself. Thank you to everyone who has shared their blogs for me to read silently for months. Thank you to my DH for serving our country and for loving me as much as you do. 

Disclaimer: this was typed on an iPad. Sorry for any spelling errors!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Great to meetcha....

So I found myself with some extra time - I have a lot of that these days. I thought I would introduce you a little more to my life.

There are two big parts of my life as it currently rolls, and that's being a wife and a military spouse. Both are big changes from what I was used to! Might as well introduce you to the man who changed my whole life, right? DH and I met on September 11, 2012 on none other than There were A LOT of bad dates I had to endure before I finally met the one. Both from online dating and just regular life (you know, blind dates, speed dating, etc...) I knew things with him were different pretty early on - we endured hurricane Sandy together and the way he treated me, took care of me, was so aware and in tune to my fears and really went over and above what I would expect out of a new relationship. No wonder he is still around! He treats me with the same respect, genuine concern and love that he did when we first met and started dating.

So the story he tells of when he "fell in love"with me was Christmas 2012. He was working ovenights at his job at the time and had to work Christmas eve AND Christmas day! How awful...he claims the money was worth it, but the jury is still out on that one. Since he was working (he worked at the airport) all night, I wasn't going to miss my chance to have a Christmas dinner with my new beau. So I cooked up pounds and pounds of chicken legs, vegetables and baked easily 4 dozen cookies of all variety types and sizes. I packed up place settings of glass dishes, silverware and placemats and headed to meet him for dinner. There we sat, in baggage claim outside Dunkin Donuts, having our Christmas dinner. That is when he said he knew I was a keeper!

We had only been dating 3 months at that point, but in January 2013 he bought a ring. He worked millions of hours and I had no idea why. He set a goal to pay the ring off before he talked to my Dad. How sweet! So March 8, 2013 he proposed to me! The timing was crazy because at about 9am March 9th I headed to a 10 day vacation in Hawaii I had booked with one of my girlfriends. (Side note: the trip was booked because we weren't going to wait for Mr. Right......I booked it 3 weeks before I met DH).

Once back from Hawaii, we went high gear planning for the wedding! We did precana and all our marriage prep and managed to pull of an October wedding. What a whirlwind! We knew eachother for 13 months on the day of our wedding. And here we are, in year 2 of our marriage. I always wanted to be a wife and mother. So far, the wife part is going great! I miss him a lot more then I thought was imaginable. I am so immensely proud of him serving our country and keeping us safe so I can sit here and blog while he is working in some desert.

We started NaPro and Creighton Model charting before we were married. It's been an up and down roller coaster going through trying to conceive, and now even adding the deployment. We tried up until the last minute that we could. We were almost there....In the fall we found we had a positive home pregnancy test. For 6 weeks I was a mom to a perfect little angel. Just as the idea of being parents (and the baby being born during his deployment) started feeling more real, we miscarried. It was COMPLETELY heart wrenching. Looking for the positive became so hard, but looking back, I feel so lucky that DH was home while we went through that emotional torture. My DH was there to support me, hold me, tell me it would be ok and shower me with unyielding love. I never was happier to have someone to be there solely for me. It was selfish, but he really helped me carry that cross. It was what I always yearned for as a single woman and my heart is just so full now even thinking about that painful journey.

This is longer than I thought......I will earmark until a later date!


So that mostly describes my day to day dealings with just about anything! It's been three weeks since I got to physically hug my DH. I kind of feel like I have to constantly drag this 200lb brick everywhere I go. I'm always tired and nothing is fulfilling. I've tried shopping, and spending time with family and friends. I'm missing a piece of me and my heart! The separate just sucks.

Moving on though - because dwelling on the negative is never a good thing! I saw my fertility doctor...let me tell you a little about that! Being Catholic, it is important to both DH and myself that we follow the "old fashioned" seeming rules of the church when it comes to babies. Infertility is unfortunately common within my family, so I followed the lead of some of the ladies who had successful pregnancies (within the confines of the church rules - yay!) following The Creighton Model. So basically I chart on a daily basis and keep an eye on when fertile and non-fertile days are. They have discovered over the past 15 months we have been trying to conceive that I do in fact have endometriosis,  PCOS, insulin resistance and of course could stand to lose a few pounds. The problem is when this mix all gets together, it makes is VERY hard to lose weight.

Sidetrack to the weight thing for a minute. I have tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Doctor moderated diets, low car, no carb, low fat, no fat, no sugar, no caffeine, low glycemic index, you name it, I tried it. I even had the lap band and was the only stalemate they had experienced. I lost ZERO weight! So I went forward and had gastric bypass where I lost 30lbs and stalled out. Since then, keeping to a strict 80/20 eating philosophy (good 80% of the time, cheat a little) I have managed to watch my weight begin creep back up little by little. This is despite the 4-5x a week I am at the gym working out. I cardio, I weight train, I use free weights, body weight, machines, elliptical, I feel like I could be a spokeswomen for how to make the gym more fun - is it really too much to ask for a separate weight area for women? Anyway......that's my weight story....back to the feature focus - fertility.

So while my husband is away, I plan to work on myself and what I have control over. I have an appointment already scheduled for the surgeon regarding the endometriosis. Who knows what will happen there but I hear amazing things about this doctor. He is a Creighton Model doctor, and is supposed to be very gentle and welcoming to deal with. That's one of the things I like about all the doctors I have met through this Creighton Model journey (I should do a post on that, right?). All the doctors, practitioners, nurses, etc that I have met have been wonderful.

Along the fertility lines, I have also decided to try adding acupuncture back onto the list. I did it briefly in October, when we actually conceived and then lost the baby at only a few weeks. I don't know if that was the reason, but I figure it atleast gives me one hour in a dark room to nap! The best kind of stress reduction ever :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Starting out

Making a first post is the best way to start a blog, I guess? Things in my life are crazy, but I figure as I write, something will always bubble to the top to talk about.

A little about me, so you know whose blog you are reading. My present life lends me to being a military wife. My wonderful husband and I have been married for just over a year. While he presently is serving our country, I find myself lost mostly in how much my heart aches to be in his arms! He is a reservist, which means he has been home with me aside from drill weekends and the all too often schools, training and qualification achievements. This will be our first deployment together, and my first one all together! It is definitely an adjustment to go back to a "single" mindset when it comes to taking care of things around the house.

When I'm not missing my DH I am left to ponder our ongoing fertility issues. We want so badly to be parents, and it just didn't seem to happen (yet?). We found out we were pregnant just at our first anniversary, but we lost the baby at just 6 weeks. We thought we would have another chance to try over Christmas when I saw him for a few days. A very large part of who I am is a Roman Catholic. Some will think it's old fashioned or there are too many rules, but I find there is so much that it offers to me. It has helped me through some rough times! So I have praying like a mad-woman that we will have our own "Miracle".

We weren't successful over Christmas, which just broke my heart. Who knows if we will have another chance before he actually deploys out of the country....

I think this is a good place to start, I hope this ends up being a positive thing for me, and maybe even someone else!