Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My untold story

Let me start this story by saying that it is very personal to me. It is not the most cheerful story but I feel that is important story to tell and is the real reason that Jeff and I went to Japan.

In September of 2013, Jeff and I decided to start trying to have a baby. By that point Jeff and I had been married for almost 11 years. We spent a long time thinking about our lives together before we made the decision to try to have a child. Because we had been married for so long most people assumed that we were not going to have kids. When I got pregnant the first month that we were trying we  were super excited. We felt like we had a fun secret that we were keeping to ourselves.

Keeping things a secret stopped being fun once I was feeling more of the side effects of pregnancy. Not telling people what was happening started feeling a little isolating.  I was tired and nauseous a lot. One of my employees was worried that I was dying of cancer and made me promise that I was not hiding a terminal illness.  I told very few people what was happening until Thanksgiving. At that point I was 11 weeks pregnant. We told our families over Thanksgiving weekend. They were shocked and happy and surprised.  It was nice to finally tell people.

The next week I had my 12 week check up.  When they did the ultrasound, the baby had no heartbeat. The doctor said that it looked like development stopped around week nine.  They recommended that I have a procedure done called a D &C to remove the dead baby since it did not seem to want to come out on its own.  They said they would call and schedule an appointment for the procedure.

Jeff and I were in such shock that neither of us cried and we both went to work after the doctor appointment.  We really weren't able to process what happened and what it meant.  I was able to get the D&C scheduled for the next day. I told my boss what had happened. He was one of the few people at work who knew I was pregnant. He almost cried when I told him. I just felt numb.

After the procedure and once we told family what had happened Jeff and I both said that we were OK but we really weren't. I can speak for myself and saying that I was really sad once I was able to process what had happened. Even though I did not lose someone that I knew, I felt the loss of a possible future. I took it much harder than I was willing to admit to myself. And I think it took me a long time to actually get sad so it was harder to recognize.  I just kept telling myself that I was fine even though I wasn't.  I didn't give myself permission to grieve and be sad.  That was a mistake.

Shortly after all of this happened my work and get a reorganization.  Part of that reorganization was a change in my role and similar roles in other departments. I know longer had my employees. They took away my work kids. After the loss of my baby it was more than I can handle. I took it very very personally even thought it was not personal.  I was mad and sad all the time.  But mostly, I felt alone and isolated. I didn't know how to answer simple questions like "how are you doing?".  You can just say "I'm feeling really depressed because I lost a pregnancy you didn't even know I had".  No one wants to hear that.  I felt like this huge thing happened to me but I couldn't talk about it.  I didn't know how.  I felt like I was pretending to be someone I was not just to get through the day.  It sucked.

Jeff and I went on a vacation to Chile.  Planning it gave us something positive to focus on and I felt really good while we were out of town.  Shortly after we came back I started struggling again.  I had a really bad day at work and said "F*** it!  Lets just pack up and leave the country.  I need a change.  Jeff, can you get a job in Japan?"  And Jeff started looking for jobs in Japan.

Even after we moved I felt like I couldn't talk about the failed pregnancy.  I was afraid it would jinx things or something.  I don't know.  Its not something people talk about.  I had a huge spike in my anxiety level every time I went to the doctor while I was pregnant until I saw the heartbeat on the ultrasound.  I don't think I really knew how much this affected me until after Wren was born healthy.  I can see it all in hindsite.

I guess i wanted to tell this story just in case someone reads it who had a similar experience and perhaps this will help them grieve or know it's OK to talk about it or maybe some one will read this who knows someone who lost a pregnancy will understand a little better what they are going through and that it is a hard thing to go through.  Way more difficult than I expected.

Anyhow.  My untold story has now been told.

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