Saturday, April 30, 2016

Falling Down

Yesterday, I fell down.  I'm not even sure that's the right word, more like crashing down.  Yesterday I came crashing down.  It had been building since Tuesday, since 11 month.  I could tell.  I needed to cry and I couldn't.  It festered in me, it bubbled.  On wrong word from my husband on an evening he was stressed out and it all fell apart.

Yesterday PTSD won, the struggle won.  I didn't wake up "me", I woke up the other person.  The person who can't think straight.  I took some anxiety meds hoping that would help, it didn't.

It's important to me to be acknowledged that I am trying, that there is progress, that I AM making it.  I need to know that.  I need to know that I'm going to be okay, that a light exists and more importantly, I'm going to find my way to it.

Yesterday I didn't feel that.  I felt darkness and no light and that I was never going to reach it.  What's the point?  What am I going to do if I can't reach the light? I had a thread closed on a website I frequent that went from a journey of healing and a living child to the journey it's now become.  The other "me" had it turned off, but maybe they follow me here.  I don't know.

My mind went there.  To my end. I started to think I need a gun.  Turns out that's not exactly an amazon item or even ebay.  Hmm....  I messaged a friend who knew about guns, I was vague, but casual.  He's a guy, guys don't "get" things.  He'd never suspect.  He offered to take me to a shooting range.  I laughed in my head, shooting range.  I know how to do this, you do it through your mouth, it's the "sure" way.

I texted my therapist.  I told her I was cancelling Monday.  It turns out I wasn't making any progress and why waste time on me when she could use it on someone else? Someone else can get help, but not me, I'm beyond it.  We talked.  She refused to cancel my appt.  She wanted to know if I was safe and planned to be safe.  I wouldn't directly answer her.  I didn't know at the time.  I wasn't going to admit what was in my head, she'd be forced to do something with that.  I didn't want anything.  It was MY decision.  I chose.  Except it was an illness thinking, not me.

I didn't mean for it to come out this way, but I posted a sort of goodbye on a group I'm a part of.  I wanted them to know how much I cared about them should the day come I couldn't pick myself back up.  I deleted the post when I didn't get the response I wanted, but you know the internet.  You post, it's screen shotted.  A member called my husband, my husband called me, we talked.  I understood his comment was just a comment in a moment of stress.  He didn't realize he wasn't talking to "me" when he made the comment, and so it went wrong. I slowly calmed down as "me" came back.  My therapist called my husband too, to make sure I was okay.  He told her we'd talked, I was okay, I was safe.

I get home to my sweet girl and I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I held her extra tight, no easy feat for a "no cuddle" tot who loves her independence. My friend asks about the shooting range and I tell him the truth.  I'm not to ask for a gun, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.  I don't have interest in them personally. I was embarrassed to tell him, but he told me he's been down that road and he's there for me.  That he cares about me, as does his wife, and to always feel okay talking to him.  I apologized for involving him, for making him a part of this. I'm lucky to have good friends.  I told his wife too, a very good friend of mine.  This couple has a child a few months older than Katie and we hang out a lot.  They've been trying for their second almost as long as we've been trying to give Katie a living sibling, so we've gotten closer on a few levels.

"Me" came back last night.  And me is here this morning.  Ready to do this again, ready to keep going towards the light, ready to heal, ready to fight.  Ready to say YES. My therapist said I can contact her any time this weekend.  We'll talk Monday.  We'll talk about what to do when I lose "me" so I can find it, so it doesn't get to this level.  PTSD is real and it's horrible.  I've had so many triggers.  FB posting "memories" from a year ago.  Memories of planning and excited for two beautiful children to join our family in the fall.  There's been storm after storm after storm, reminding me of that vision being shattered. I haven't signed the contract to my new job yet and it hasn't been emailed like I was told.  Fear has gone up because even if it's just for the summer, I need a break from my current place of work.

This was yesterday

I don't need a hospital and I don't need meds.  I need people who believe in me.  I need people who know I can do this.  People who know that some days are hard, May is going to be hard. I'm going to be okay.  I am.  I'm going to make it.

In the words of Tom Zuba from the book: Permission to Mourn: A New Way to do Grief

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Progress Update

I haven't done a real update in a while because I've been in transition and honestly wasn't sure "how" I was doing.  I'm still in transition, but I have a better idea of how it's going now.  I can honestly say I am starting to heal, truly heal, and start to find peace in my heart.

I'm carrying my kids with more love and less pain.  The good days are more often as are the good moments.  I still struggle.

I've come to accept that I am not only dealing with grief, but also PTSD.  I'm learning what that means and how to keep making progress.  My therapist is amazing and has been my rock and a true support in this.  I have support from some amazing people.  I try to keep to who I know is really there for me and can tell me the hard stuff when I need to hear it and pick me back up when I fall.

I'm learning to enjoy my family, I smile at Katie and look at what I have, not what is gone.  I'm changing my perspective and tapes in my head and believing that my kids are with me always.  They aren't gone from me, they are just not a part of Earth.  I am still there mom, I'm just not raising them in the same way as Katie.  I'm still very much connected to all 3, while getting to fully experience my oldest.

My therapist has noticed all the positive changes in me too.  Most of these came about once I stopped Lexapro.  Not a popular decision from those who care about me, but once they saw how I changed, everyone knew I'd made the right choice.  Lexapro made me worse, not better.  What was a tool back in October, was now holding me back from progress.  The book I shared a few blogs ago, keeping myself in a more optimistic place, has really helped.  It's one day at a time and May is coming up.  I expect May to be hard, but here another thing I know, I will get through it.  I will have days, moments, where I can't pick myself up, but I will.  I will each time and I'll keep going through the darkness towards the light-my kids are in the light.

I am doing better, it's going to be okay.  I'm currently in the midst of changes, but good ones.  My kids have only brought out the best in me, it's just taken me a while to see that.  With the amazing support system that I have, plus my own understanding and desire to make it through to that place of healing I've seen others reach, I know I can do it and I know I'm going to be okay.

Monday, April 18, 2016


Been dealing with a lot of PTSD stuff for the past few days.  I'm hanging in there and doing okay.  I was very much needing and counting on tonight's counseling appt, but that was cancelled due to a massive storm.

My triggers are, my wedding anniversary, I just kept replaying a year ago over and over again and actually this storm is giving me a hard time.  We had a series of rainy days followed by a horrific storm like now where everything was shut down the day Chase was born.  It's why I had visitors to come see Emma, but no one saw Chase because of the storm.  I'm taking my anxiety meds and trying to keep myself grounded.  I know in my head I feel like I'm failing, but I think I'm okay, I don't know.  Due to the storm my therapist's office is closed.  I have to wait until Wed.  Trying to hang in there.  This is so hard.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

11 year anniversary

Today is a hard day.  Last night and now this morning, I'm very much struggling with my PTSD. I'm trying hard not let it spiral too bad and as much as I wish it would go away, I expected it to struggle with it today and I'm going to allow myself the feelings and the memories, because they are mine. They are part of my grief and it's okay.  There's nothing wrong with today being so bittersweet.

Why bittersweet?  Today is my 11 year wedding anniversary.  And why is this triggering?  A year ago I announced my pregnancy to social media.  I "came out" that Katie was going to be a big sister and that I was going to have twins.  Here's where I posted on my blog. It's interesting when I reread it now.  I feel like I knew, I always knew.  Even a year ago, I'm writing about my fear.  The fear that even though I had no reason to worry I did.  I had to smirk at the 2 lb NICU babies.  Who knew that would've been the preferred outcome?  I remember struggling to post the post button on FB.  I was shaking every time I came to do it.  I talked to a good friend on messenger who was waiting for me to post it and I couldn't, I couldn't do it.  I told her for some reason I was having a panic attack just thinking about posting and I didn't know why, but I had a hard time sharing this news.  Did I always know?  I mean really know, somewhere in the back of my head that those sweet kids would never make it home with me?

Katie's big sister shirt.  I was so proud of that shirt.  Took me a while to order it.  It came in just days before we had the pics taken.  Big sister to twins.  I loved it.  I loved everything about it.  I saved her shirt.  I'm wondering if she should wear it on the day we celebrate their birthday, I don't know. I'll deal it it next month. One hit at a time, today it's this one.

I'm crying while I type this.  Even taking breaks from typing to cry.  Reminding myself that I am healing with each tear, reminding myself that it's okay to remember, okay to feel.  That feeling all of it means I loved them, that I STILL love them.  That I wish with all my heart the outcome had been different, will always wish that. Letting the grief in and accepting that it represents love and the human experience of missing kids I love with all my heart.

I remember once I posted I couldn't even go back to FB to see what people said or who liked it or what.  It took me hours and I was at work and just buried myself in it.  I was shaking.  I didn't know why, still don't know why. I regretted posting it as soon as I did, but it was out there.

That night, at dinner.  We went to a nice restaurant.  I had a virgin drink, of course.  We happily told the waiter it had to be that way because I was pregnant.  It was our 10 year anniversary and we were going to complete our family.  I joked with David how our goal had been when we started TTC when I was 30, two kids by age 35 and I was going to not only meet the goal, but beat it by having a third child.  We toasted and we laughed and we took our time to enjoy our meal because we knew this year would be different.

We didn't realize how different it would be. I thought I was never going to get anyone to watch an active toddler and two infants.  We'd order in, enjoy our anniversary with our perfect family.  Instead, my mom happily offered to watch Katie, she's just one child. It's different because since that day I've lost three children. It's different because I need to accept my family might be finished and somehow make that okay. It's different because whether I have another child or not doesn't matter.  That child will never be Emma, Chase, or Ivy.  NEVER.  It doesn't mean there isn't a different future, but it does mean it hurts.

I'm trying to find who I am.  Lately I do better with it all.  I tell myself I am not grieving, I am healing.  I'm telling myself that they are not "gone", they are simply not with me.  Today, right now, I just miss them.  I wish I had my bracelet back.  The seller is fixing it because it was caught on to my sweater and it broke. I hope I get it soon.  I need them on me.  I'm glad I have my figuring and in a little bit I'll hold it and spend some quiet time thinking about last year, crying more, and thinking about my kids.  It's okay to do so.

This is the amazing man I married.  My best friend as well as my husband.  The one I can always count on to be there for me.

The day I became the luckiest woman alive.  The day he chose me to be his wife.  I love him so much.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ivy is home

I had a figurine gifted to me of my whole family after my twins died.  I contacted the shop owner, The Midnight Orange about Ivy and asked if I could send her the figurine to have Ivy added or pay for Ivy to add.  Just something since my family now included him as well as Katie, Emma, and Chase.  This amazing seller said she had the perfect Ivy for me.  A rainbow angel, since Ivy was to be my rainbow, that was smaller than Emma and Chase, indicating the earlier gestation and just perfect for me.  Furthermore there would be no charge.

Ivy arrived two days ago and I love him.  He is absolutely perfect!!!  Here's some pictures of him and the the final piece completing my family.

This family figuring means so much to me.  It's the ONLY thing I have that shows my entire family and this is so incredibly precious to me.  I love it.

I asked the shop owner about a gift figuring for the amazing nurse that was with me the whole night I labored and delivered Emma.  Nancy stayed by my side the whole night and helped me through the hardest thing I ever had to go through in my whole life.  My husband was with Katie, it was just the two of us.  She's the one who cleaned Emma and put her in my arms once I was stable enough to hold her since I almost died immediately after delivering her.  I plan to contact Nancy and set up a meeting.  Nancy has had 4 IVFs and is a Still Mother (no living children). Her husband left her as well and she an older woman now who is a night nurse and the one they give to loss moms like me.  She's an amazing and wonderful lady. I feel so guilty that I haven't contacted her in this past year, but people assure me she'll understand.  I hope so.

Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief

*Warning: this is going to be a looooong post. This is about a book that has affected me deeply and is affecting some of my thoughts and perceptions. There's many, many quotes in this post, most probably want to skip it*

My therapist recommended a book to me. It's called Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief by Tom Zuba.

This books has really opened my eyes up to a lot. Many of it with grief, but in other aspects of my life too. The items in bold go beyond Emma, Chase, and Ivy and into a new realm of who I am and other things that are becoming a focus in counseling.

I'm going to share some of the quotes that have deep meaning to me, have me wondering, questioning, etc. I'm probably going to take time in the next few weeks, months, maybe even years, examining some of these, because as time's gone on, I find myself wondering who I even am and what now.

Onto the quotes:

“I firmly believe that for many of us, if we were able to take in, really take in, the enormity of what has happened to us we would not be able to live. Literally. I believe our bodies would shut down. Our minds would turn off. Our spirits would take flight. Our new reality is simply too much to take in all at once. So, we take it in little-by-little, detail-by detail. Over time.”

“No one wants to hear about it anymore. If I’m always a downer they’ll stop inviting me. When you’re with your family. (Don’t ruin Christmas/Easter/Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. Can we have one family gathering when you don’t cry? We all miss him/her but can’t you be happy for one day? For me?) You stuff your feelings. You repress and deny any and every emotion that arises. You try to look and act “normal”, hoping and praying that one day you’ll actually feel normal again. And people tell you how strong you are. How “good” you are doing. How great it is to have the old “you” back. But you know a different truth. You feel numb. Empty. Lethargic. Hopeless. Exhausted. On the inside. When you’re really honest and quiet and alone, you know that you are a swirling cesspool of feelings and emotional wanting to explode. You’re angry. And you’re not even sure what you’re angry about.”

“And when your arms physically ache to hold your beloved, when you have heart palpitations and stomach pains and fight to keep your balance, this too is grief. You think you are going crazy. You are not. You have entered the wilderness of grief. And in order to get out, you must go through. Period. You must give yourself permission to mourn.”

“You must give yourself permission to mourn. You must actively pursue your own healing. Time alone will not and does heal. You’ve been lied to. It’s what you consciously decide to do with your time that matters. That determines whether or not you will heal.”

“There is a new way to do grief. First you must set the intention to heal. You choose to heal. And then you create a plan. Concrete. Measureable. Doable.”

“Commit to crying. Say yes to crying. Allow yourself to cry every day, reminding yourself that when you cry, you heal. Crying is the body’s way of clearing out the hold and making room for the new. Cry. Cry. Cry. And when you do, say over and over and over, I am healing, I am healing, I am healing.”

“You will never, ever be the person you were before the person you love dearly died. Never. Ever. Until you surrender that truth you will not heal.”

“You are supposed to question every single belief you held true and dear. When you do this you will discover that many (most) of the beliefs you’ve chosen to hold on to no longer serve you. And you begin your search for new beliefs. Believes that complement the new you that is emerging. This can be exciting, challenging, frustrating, scary, invigorating, confusing, and hopeful at the same time.”

“This is life. Like a fragile tender seedling. Which is you. The new you. The new you emerging. Wiser. More compassionate. Stronger. More vulnerable. Flexible.”

“So many people ask me, Is healing possible? And if it is possible, what do I do? To heal? Yes, healing is possible. And contrary to popular belief, part of the way you heal is to tell your story over and over and over again. Why? Because the truth is that at the time of you loved one’s death, if you were really able to fully grasp the magnitude of what happened and all its implications you would most likely not be able to survive. Literally. If the breadth and scope and all-encompassing reach of your beloved’s death came crashing down on your in one explosion you yourself would implode. It’s just too much. So your spirit, your mind, your body protects you by allowing the truth to sink in slowly over time at a pace you can live with. And it’s in telling the story of what happened over and over and over again that you are able to see and come to know the truth. The magnitude. Of what has happened. So I can offer light. And hope. And possibility.

“Rejecting the old way of doing grief. I allowed myself to feel those feelings and emotions. And in doing so, I was thrust into the deepest, darkest, blackest, seemingly endless pit of despair. For a time. Complete utter indescribable despair. Perhaps you have been there. Perhaps you are there right now. In that pit. And during that time you realize grief is not the enemy.”

“Grief is not the enemy. Grief is the teacher. The powerful blessed gift-from-God teacher. But you must be brave enough to enter the pit. By feeling your feelings. You must be brave enough to recognize, acknowledge, and turn away from all of your soft additions. The activities you cling to in order to stay numb. Numb to your feelings and emotions. To life. And to wisdom. Soft addictions, like, watching endless television. And shopping. Nonstop. And playing mindless electronic video games. Over and over and over again. And eating to fill the bottomless hole. In your heart. The hole that’s there because someone you love died. And drinking. And drinking some more. And relying on prescription meds. Kidding yourself by saying they must because the doctor knows I’m taking them.”

“There has to be another way, I thought. I can not keep repressing, denying, pretending, and numbing. I must do something different. I must discover my next step. And I did. Discover my next step. And I took it. And then I took the next step. And the next. By feeling, honoring, and releasing my feelings I began to crawl out of the deep dark pit. And you can too.”

“If you are like me, you have prayed for a miracle. We each have our own story. And we hold on to beliefs about our stories. Beliefs that can cause us incredible pain. Beliefs such as: He was stolen from me. She died too young. We were robbed. I should have been there. I could have saved him. Her death is my fault. I am not a good mother. I was not a good husband. I will never be happy again. There will always be a great big hole. Perhaps you are holding on to some of these painful beliefs. Or other similar painful beliefs. Author Marianne Williamson defines a miracle as a shift in perception. That simple. That profound. A shift in perception. I have grown to love this definition of a miracle. This definition of a miracle gives meaning to my prayers. Not to change the perfect mind of God but rather to change me, my perception, of life as it is unfolding, and as it has unfold. So the miracle for me is questioning the beliefs I hold on to that cause me pain. Or is there another way of looking at life? At my life? At my beliefs about my story? A less painful way? Can a miracle occur? Can I shift my perception about what happened? So when you pray. If you pray. Consider praying for that. For a miracle. Fro a shift in perception. But only if you want to make peace with life. Your life. And only if you want to learn how to live a full joy-filled life with the death of your beloved. Pray for a miracle. Pray for a shift in perception. Yours.”

“You think they are gone. Vanished. You think that there is no more relationship. Only in our memories and in our hearts. But the relationship continues. Always. The person you love that died is right here. Waiting. Wanting. Ready. Doing everything that he/she can do to let you know they are right here. Still. Beside you. Above you. Below you. In front of you. Behind you. Yes, they are in that perfect song.”

“It’s the language you use to describe the death of your loved one that tells the story. The story of whether or not you will heal. And your language is deeply rooted in your beliefs. Your beliefs about death, grief, mourning, resurrection, and life itself. If you are like me you subconsciously inhaled your beliefs at an early age without realizing (really) the power they have to create your feelings, emotions, and experiences. You cling to them. Your beliefs. You fight for them. You defend them and own them. These beliefs are mine! You don’t even realize that your beliefs can stop you from healing. After someone you love dearly has died. You hold beliefs that create pain on top of pain on top of unbearable pain.”

“You begin to heal when you identify a belief that causes you pain. This is the first step. The second step is asking yourself if this belief is true. Is it really true? Can you be 100% certain of that? The third step is having the courage and the wisdom and being open to the grace that allows you to release the belief that has been causing you so much pain. The thirst step is understanding that when you thought was true is not. The third step is not easy. And the fourth step is identifying and holding on to a new belief. A believe that brings you peace instead of pain. Light instead of darkness. Hope instead of despair. Life instead of death.”

“It’s the language you use to describe the death of you loved one that tells the story. The story of whether or not you will heal because your language is so deeply rooted in your beliefs. What story are you telling?”

“You hear people say, it’s so great to see you out and about. You’re really doing well. You are so very strong. While deep inside you know the toll that faking it to please others is taking on you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You wonder how long you can hang on. The pain seems to actually be getting worse. You feel pain on top of pain on top of unbearable pain. And at night, when you finally drop into bed exhausted from all the scurrying and the running and the pretending to be just fine you begin to get a glimpse of your new life. Just a glimpse. You begin to feel your feelings. They bubble up. They have to. You can only deny and repress and numb and pretend for so long.”

“And every so often this encounter with your feelings is frightening and overwhelming and confusing and uncomfortable. It feels messy and out of control. You have been lead to believe that feeling your feelings is the problem. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Feeling your feelings is the path to healing. Realize and remember that you are not your feelings is the path to healing. You are not sadness. You are not anger. You are not despair. You are not loneliness. You are not confusion. You are not regret. You are not guilt. You are none of that. Or any of the other feelings or emotions that are grief expressing itself through you. Remind yourself that every feeling and every emotion has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Practice meeting each feeling and each emotion that arises with compassion, and tenderness, and gentle kindness. Remember that you are not these feelings and you are not these emotions. They are energy currents running through your body rooted in the beliefs you hold on to. You are actually a spirit that has come to earth to have a human experience. And when you are finished you will return home. And part of your work here on Earth is learning to life a full joy-filled life with the death of your beloved.”

“If you are like me you want to know that the people you love who have died are safe. That they are happy and healthy and whole again. That they know you ask for forgiveness and that you forgive them. You want o be sure that they know how much you loved them while they were with you in their physical bodies and how much you will continue to love them now that they have returned to their spirit form. You want their reassurance that they know you did everything you could to keep them alive. With you. You want them to know that they will not be forgotten. And that your deepest hope is that you will them again when it is your turn to leave your physical body. So you ask for signs. You pray. You plead. You beg. Give me a sign you are still here. And you hear that favorite song on the radio at the perfect time in the perfect place. And then you hear it again and you wondering, could it be? And you notice the butterfly appearing when you need to see it most. As if it knows the cry of your heart. And you wonder could it be? And the bird taps at your window. And comes back again and again helping you feel a connection. And again you wonder, could it be? And you see their name on a billboard and on a license plate and in the newspaper. And you seem them in a dream. You can feel them. Hear them. Hold them. And you wondering could it be? And I say to you over and over and over again yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is your beloved talking to you. He is telling you he is okay. She is telling you she is still here. And you go to see the Long Island Medium and she tells you the same thing. And you read Sylvia Browne’s books, and John Edwards’ books, and James Van Praagh’s books, and they all say the same thing. They say yes. Yes.”

“His life was taken from him much too early. It’s a painful belief that many of us breathe in. Unexamined. Unquestioned. He died too early. She died too soon. As if any one of us can point to someone who died right on time. The death of someone you love dearly cracks you open. Wide open. It gives you the opportunity to question everything. Or you may remain asleep. Until the next time. Who or what gives life? Who or what takes life? Ultimately? In the biggest picture? The picture that is so enormously big that we can’t begin to fathom it. Yet we try. And I think we should. Who or what gives and takes life? Is this true all the time? Or just some of the time? Who do you become when you believe that the person you love so dearly was taken from you much too early? Who do you become when you believe that? And when you believe that who does your version of God become? And how do you feel about a God who allows the people you dearly love to die much too early? And who would you be and how would you feel and how would you live life if you decided to believe that God whatever you believe God to be, only allows each of us to die right on time? Regardless of the circumstances of our death. What if you decided to believe that it could be no other way? That everyone dies right on time. Even if you don’t understand it. And you never will. While you’re in your physical body. Who would you be if you decided to believe that everyone dies at the perfect time? Everyone.”

“We were pregnant, as she always said. As we turned to share our news. I felt a bit of hopeful joy bubbling up from my core mixed in with the sadness and confusion and anger and despair and bewilderment and all the other feelings and emotions that are expressions of grief. I felt a bit of hopeful joy and I realized it doesn’t have to be an either-or-situation. One feeling can sit right beside another feeling. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Make sure you set the intention, make the decision to create a space for hope for possibility for peace for relief for gratitude and yes even for a bit of joy. Make sure you keep that door open even the tiniest bit. It does not have to be all or nothing. One feeling can sit right beside another feeling. You can create a space for hope.”

“In time and with a lot of hard work, I did discover a gift. Many gifts in fact. I’m not sure how I would have responded or what I would have thought or felt had someone suggested that there were fits given and to be received following their deaths. But now from the chair that I sit in today oh have there been gifts. And so very, very, very, very grateful. Search for the gifts. They are there. And when you are willing, ready, and able you will discover your gifts too.”

“What if I told you that you will always have a relationship with the people you love who have died? Always. And what if I told you that those relationships will either bring you peace and comfort and strength and connection and inspiration or they will bring you pain and loneliness and heartache and sorrow. And what if I told you that the choice is yours? You define the relationship. You are either moving closer to the people you love who have died. Or you are pushing them away. By building a wall. When someone you love died it’s your job to redefine the relationship. It’s your job to forgive if forgiveness is necessary. It’s your job to say good-bye to their physical form if that will bring you peace. Just as it’s your job to say hello to their spirit form. You will always have a relationship with the people you love. Even after they leave their physical body. Even after they die. You are defining those relationships right now. Consciously or subconsciously. Pay attention and define them consciously with love. You will always have a relationship with the people you love. Always.”

“And the truth is, you have two voices in your head. And it feels like these two voices do battle every day. One voice tells you that you will be okay. That you will be happy again. That life will feel good again. That you can do this. That you have the courage, the strength, the knowledge, the wisdom, the grace to live again. Or for the first time. And the other voice says No. It is too scary out there. You will be hurt again. You will not recover. It is not possible. The sorrow is too deep. The loss too great. You are doomed to a life of pain of sadness of suffering of isolation of desperation. You get to decide which voice you listen to. You get to decide which voice you make room for. Which one you feed and nourish and pay attention to and encourage to grow stronger and louder and more influential. You get to decide which voice you say yes to. Not just once. But over and over and over again. It begins with setting the intention. The intention to say yes.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It's not just about the grief

Counseling is opening up my eyes to something, moreso yesterday, although it's something I've been realizing for a couple of weeks. It's not just about the grief, the loss, the infertility.  A lot of what I'm struggling with are things that have happened in my life, including my core beliefs on who I am, what I am, what makes me me and how I view myself.

Yesterday it came out.  The truth of what I think of myself.  I found myself opening up Pandora's Box and being open and honest about who I am.  Having a hard time thinking since then.  I'm in sort of an emotional purgatory at the moment.  I am okay, I am functioning, I'm at work, my anxiety actually isn't too bad weirdly, but I'm in this weird hell of having opened a box I've shut for years.  The box that has made me "okay", although I guess for years I've been "artificially okay."  I don't even know what all this means.

I'm reading things, seeing things, hearing things.  I don't know what's true, what isn't.  What to hold about myself, what not.  I've debated trying to get an appt today, but I don't want to bug her.  I can wait until tomorrow.  I want to run away, but I won't.  I will face this, all of this.  I will overcome and I will succeed.  Not sure if everyone believes in me, but it doesn't matter.  Right now I believe in myself.  I will somehow, someway, do this.  I know it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Finding Healing

I'm trying hard to find peace, healing, among the loss of all three children.  Their losses were different.  I know the reason for each one and all of them are "flukes", so to speak, but at the same time, I miss them and wish they were with me.

I do feel differently about my kids.  I'm not going to lie.  There was nothing wrong with Emma and Chase.  Only something wrong with the vessel that carried them.  I get I didn't choose to be sick, but nontheless I was.  I was sick and it got to them and my body let go and they were just too young and it was too early. They were perfect.  I got to hold and see each one and spend time with them, although never together since I lost them 28 hours apart.

Ivy was never going to live.  He had a full extra chromosome 16.  He was never going to be okay, no matter what and had he had a partial copy and not full copy, the choice might've come down to me deciding how long he was going to live, because T-16 is fatal, unfortunately.

I feel more pain with Emma and Chase.  I think it was everything surrounding their loss.  There was trauma along with the loss.  With Ivy it's different because I was already in such a bad place, already expecting the worst, and already struggling to accept this precious baby, that I said goodbye before I could really say hello.

Some think Ivy is the "lesser" of my children, but he's not.  He's the child who made me see the truth.  The truth that wasn't wanting to heal.  That I wasn't ready before and even though I said I was ready and I was trying, I really wasn't.  I was hiding in the dark, holding the pain in.  I thought it was the only way to keep them with me.  Then when Ivy came along I saw it as being forced to let go and it made me angry.  When I said goodbye to Ivy, I realized that I had to let go of the pain, so I could feel the love.  Ivy is the child who's helping me find peace and healing.

I see glimpses of this world where I carry all 4 of my children.  There may or may not be a fifth child, I don't know and I can't control that.  If I do have a fifth child, I don't know which side he or she will join and I also can't control that.  I can't control much.  Something could happen to Katie this very second.  I have to make peace, find healing and move forward.

Emma and Chase possibly saved my life.  There's strong evidence point towards my being sick for a while before they did and all of us probably before my body let go.  They are the ones who gave their life for me.  Ivy is the one who is saving me emotionally who makes me see I want to get better.

You see, my children are beautiful, perfect, and wonderful.  No one, especially not the only person who got to experience them personally, should feel pain because of them.  They aren't about pain, they're about love and peace.  They are always with me and we're always a part of each other.

I'm somehow going to find that place where it's no so raw and so painful.  That place where my heart doesn't feel broken.  I'm going to keep working until I do.  I have another EMDR session tonight.  Day by day, little by little, I'll get there.

I hope a fifth child begins his or her journey to our family this summer, but regardless, I'm a mother of 4.  2 perfect girls and 2 perfect boys, now I need to be the mom to them all that they deserve. Katie, Emma, Chase, and Ivy.  I love you all so much!  Thank you for being a part of my life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A New Week

Last week was bad, real bad.  I actually have very little memory of it, but I'm getting the idea after talking to others, like my counselor, friends, etc.  I seemed very "not okay" and I wasn't.  It wasn't me and I don't think it was grief, although maybe some of it was.  I do know most of it was meds, which is also why my memory of last week isn't great.  

I was way overmedicated and it had adverse reactions.  This is why I hate to take meds.  I had a pcp who had given me these meds and wasn't calling me back even though I was calling daily saying "help me, I'm not okay".  I took matters into my own hands and reduced my medication.  I'm now only on 5 mg of Lexapro and guess what?  I'm okay.  Am I perfect?  No.  Fantastic?  No.  I'm okay though and I'm functional. I'm not crying all the time, I'm not upset all the time.  I was able to enjoy my family this weekend, get things done, etc. I can cook dinner and not sit there on the couch like a zombie while my husband does everything.

I've also learned a lot of my anxiety has to do with my job and is separate from my grief and healing.  Yesterday in counseling, my therapist just wanted to talk to me and see how I was.  I think I scared her when we had our EMDR session last Wed and she was rethinking if I could handle it.  After talking yesterday and seeing how much better I am, we plan to continue and my next session is tomorrow.

I can't wait to get off meds because they really affect me so much and it's hard to tell what is me and what isn't.  I feel like I'm just waking up from this fog and that I was asleep or something all last week.

Anyways, so far a much better week.  Starting to think about the twins one year anniversary next month and what to do.  I can't believe I'm really coming up on a year soon since it happened.  Mine and David's anniversaries are coming up.  19 years of being together on 4/11 and 11 years of marriage on 4/16.  I remember I announced our pregnancy on social media last year on our 10 year wedding anniversary.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Learning about Ivy

I found out more information about Ivy today.  I learned that Ivy is a boy.  I have two sons and two daughters.  Ivy, unfortunately, had Trisomy 16, meaning he had an extra copy of chromosome 16.  This is incompatible with life and there is no way he ever could have lived.  Most of the time those with Trisomy 16 are miscarried in the first trimester, just as he was.  This does not have a strong affect on future pregnancies from the research I did.

So there you go, Ivy, my youngest, my precious son.  With this brother and sister.  Not well enough to live in this world, but whole enough for another.  I miss you, my precious son.