Friday, March 22, 2013


As a kid, one of my favorite stories was Peter Pan. I don't think I was a normal kid. I didn't ever want to be a grown up. It seemed horrible to me. I fantasized about being swept away by a kid in green to a place where I never had to grow up. I loved Peter. In terms of super heroes, he was magical and magnificent to me. There was one thing I never understood about him though. I never could figure out why in this world he wanted so badly for that stupid shadow to be sewn back onto his foot. It used to frustrate me and I would often fast forward past it on the video.

Lately, I feel as if I have my own shadow. It has brought back memories of Peter and his refusal to let go of that silly shadow. Failure seems tethered to every aspect of my life lately. Rationally, I know that many of the things I count as failures are things far beyond my control, but it doesn't stop the darkness from creeping closer and closer to my heart. This is one shadow I have always had. I never felt even at a very early age that my best always fell short of the mark. I never manage to get enough done for enough people and I never seem to do any of it the way it should be done.

In my teens this eventually triggered my eating disorder. It was one way that I could be good enough. It was also a perfect breeding ground for the abuse I inflicted on myself when I felt I had failed once again. I could almost always find something I had failed at in my eyes. A missed quiz question, a botched scale in music, a misguided comment to a friend; anything no matter how trivial, resulted in restriction and punishment back then.

Fast forward 15 years and not much has changed. For years I let my food intake run rampant, but it never stopped the feelings of failure and punishment. For the past year however, I am right back in high school, every calorie awarded on a scale of failures and successes. I attributed a lot of that to the meds I was on, the emotional nightmare I entered when my student got sick, the insanely unhealthy schedule I was keeping, and the lack of sleep that ensued. I thought once I worked through all those things, the demons would dissolve.

Since the baby, I have been off my meds. My schedule is much easier to manage and I have opportunities to sleep. While not at peace completely, I am in a better place with the loss of my student, and I'm healthier thanks to my improved diet while pregnant and the introduction of vitamins. I also had a drive and determination to keep myself healthy in anticipation for our next pregnancy. There was hope.

Something happened. I don't know what set it off. I feel as if I am spiraling downward into a bottomless hole again. I have no desire to eat or take care of myself. I cry a lot. I put most of my energy into painting on a mask of okay for everyone, but on the inside and when I'm alone, I am a shattered fragment of what I pretend to be. My food demons are raging right now and the shadow of failure is suffocating me. I don't know what to do.

This experience has really brought to light how much infertility weighs on my heart. I tell myself over and over - I know - conception is something beyond my control. Still, I feel so much guilt, failure, inadequacy, and pain over it. I think it did play at least a part in the reappearance of my food issues. I feel like I have failed my husband, my family, myself, our future, and most of all God. I feel like maybe I have done something wrong, or I never live up to His expectations. I feel like He is punishing me or just ignoring my pleas.

Sometimes in those really dark moments of grief, I wonder if maybe God decided that my being a mother was just a bad idea. Perhaps he decided that it was better if I didn't parent Espe after all. Maybe I angered him to the point that He took him from me. My food demons like to tell me that I was too gluttonous and self-indulgent. My moral demons like to point out some of the poor choices I made like drinking at a party a week before I finally tested or the smoking, or even the thoughts I had about certain people and things going on. I know I internalize my pain and grief. I always have. This is beyond anything I've ever experienced though. There are days I wake up and cry, wishing I had never opened my eyes. There are nights I go to sleep praying I won't open them the next morning. I don't want to be the person I am now. If I can't have Espe here with me, then I want to be with him there.

I know these are horrible thoughts to most. I realize they make most people squirm uncomfortably, but I can't stop them. I can't make myself un-think them. I don't want them there anymore than anyone else would. I would never act on these thoughts, but they still linger in the darkness, just another shadow sewn to my foot. It makes me wonder what shadow Peter was clinging so tightly to.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And down again

The rate at which I can fall catches me by surprise most of the time. I will be okay. I will be coping and smiling through the day. I will cling to hope and feel a tiny bit of peace settle in my heart. Then without warning Wham! Something out of the blue blindsides me and I fall hard and fast. I feel so sorry for all the yo-yos I've played with in my life. Up and down and up again. At least for them it was predictable most of the time.

I feel detached most of the time from the reality of what happened. It's like a dream or something that happened far away from where I am. It is my coping mechanism. I shut things out when they are too tough for me to deal with. I guess this is no different. Today, I've felt reality lurking on the surface. I'm struggling with the desire to stay healthy. My weight and food are becoming an issue again. I've been okay. Things are just simmering.

I was doing okay. I finished work, took hubs to work, and stopped at the grocery store. I was in a quiet mood, mulling things over and the time alone was good for me. I decided I should stop and pick up the mail. The bills came. Two bills. Two bills that sum up the life of our Espe. It ruined my afternoon. It felt so wrong to have to pay for the most heartbreaking moments of my life.

I've held my heart at arm's length for a while, and I've gotten out of bed, gone to work, loved my kiddos, smiled at people as they passed by. Today though, I can't do it. I miss Espe. I miss my happy. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be "trying" again. I don't want to endure this two week wait which I am trying to blow off as an unlikely possibility. My heart keeps whispering "maybe it worked". I don't want a maybe. I want it all to be okay.

This is one roller coaster ride I wish I could end. The good news is, today I'm at the bottom of the hill, which means I'll eventually be on my way back up for a little while.

Monday, March 11, 2013

In working order

I don't enjoy being back in the "trying" realm again. It not only brings up the pain of what has happened every single time we surpass third base, but it also brings in this flood of fear, uncertainty, pain, and dread. It also makes me feel like such a failure. The intensity of all of those feelings at once is exactly why I quit trying. I couldn't live like that anymore. Yet, here I am right back in the maze hoping for some cheese.

My body has let me down so many times. My first instinct was to expect failure. I have a hard time believing that my body is really doing what it is supposed to do now. It is unbelievable that I managed to get pregnant, especially with what I was doing to my body. When I lost Espe, I was so scared that I had lost my one chance. It's hard to wrap my head around the idea that it could happen again.

We decided it would be good for both of us to start trying immediately. We aren't going to wait for a normal cycle. We were told that was okay, and we're going with it. I wish I weren't as hopeful as I am. I know that it might not work. I'm trying to prepare for that, but I also know that right now I need that hope to get me through the day. I'm working on balance. I don't want charts and crazy, but I do need to feel like I am doing all I can do. I know what days I should ovulate and what signs to look for to suggest that it's happening. I remember anxiously waiting for signs before. I would convince myself that things were close enough, or that maybe I just worked differently.

This weekend, I have seen signs. I have felt signs. I know that my body is doing what it is supposed to. There is no guessing or convincing. It's mind boggling. Before I wasn't paying attention. I had no reason to think things were working, but it really is. It helps with the failure and fear. I know it may take a little while, but knowing that for the first time in my adult life, my body is working with me makes this a little easier to manage.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In Limbo

I feel like I have multiple personalities right now. I can manage to make it through a day without dissolving into a puddle of tears. If I ever find myself home alone and quiet, I become a big mess very quickly. I try to at least appear as if I'm functioning on the outside, but on the inside I'm not and parts of me don't want to. I'm trying to stay positive about the future, but the future is so uncertain and scary. Sometimes I just sit and stare off into space, unsure of how I feel or how I should feel.

The functional side of me is usually pretty numb. I ignore what's going on in the back of my mind and spend a lot of time convincing everyone around me that I am okay. I absolutely hate the occasional run in with someone I've not seen lately. Twice today I had someone ask me how "the little mommy" was feeling. Each time I took a deep breath and told them we lost the baby. It's getting easier to detach from that statement, but watching the horror cross their face is awful. I feel so guilty. I feel like I have single handedly ruined their day. I don't like being that person.

The messy side of me usually waits till I get home. I will run myself ragged for as long as I can, avoiding home and any quiet alone time I might have. The quiet is usually inevitable though and when it comes, so does the flood of tears. Sometimes I fight the tears and sometimes I just let the overtake me for a while. I will pull the covers tight over my entire body like a cocoon and the grief consumes me. It is here that I acknowledge the empty ache. I miss him most in this place. I have my darkest thoughts just after this too. Sometimes I cry so hard my muscles ache the next day. I hate that place and I will fight to the very end of my strength to avoid being alone with myself.

I am not sleeping well. I fight sleep a lot too. I have these nightmares. I keep dreaming that I am running frantically around searching for something. Sometimes it is clear what I'm searching for and other times I just know I'm searching for something. The panic is always there though and when I wake up I know what I've been searching for. I'm always searching for Espe. I will hunt for him for hours in my dreams terrified that I have lost my precious baby. It makes waking up in the mornings a gut wrenching experience. I've been managing about three or four hours of sleep each night, but even that sleep isn't good. I wake up exhausted and heartbroken. The circles under my eyes make me look like I've been in a nasty fight. I've considered taking something, but that brings up a whole new personality...

We're trying. I hate it. I hate saying it, I hate thinking it, I simply hate it. I bled for 8 days. I decided it was important to claim my body again and we started back up the first night I had stopped. I cried the whole time. I didn't want to be in that situation. I didn't want my body back as my own. I wanted Espe back. I'm glad we did what we did, but it was still hard.

I did some reading and heard a lot of stories about people ovulating and successfully conceiving just two weeks after a loss. I held on to that hope for a couple of days to get me through the hardest parts of my grief, but I'm trying to be realistic now. It took us ten years for the first. I'm not a patient person either. I am preparing for another long haul with this. Still, we have consulted a calendar and we'll see where it leads. We're trying to have fun with it and we started early so we could hold on to at least a little spontaneity. I think it will be okay, but I cry every single time. It will get better I'm sure. Consulting the calendar is the only thing we have done so far, and it's all we plan on doing for a while. I just want a loose idea of when we need to be busiest. If I've learned one thing from this, it's that whatever is meant to be will be no matter what I do. I'm trying to embrace that philosophy.

The only thing we can do is wait. I'm so tired of waiting.

Friday, March 1, 2013


More than anything right now, I miss my baby. I desperately miss him. I ache with every cell. I know so many people have experienced miscarriage. I get that. I have heard loads of stories this week. I feel like a wretched human being for getting so frustrated with those people. They are simply linking the chain. They found someone they could share their pain with, and I in no way want to minimize the pain they experienced. Everyone's situation is different and this is a painful experience no matter the circumstances.

However, as unexpected as this miracle was, Espe was carefully planned and considered. We weren't like so many people that weren't ready or weren't planning on expanding their family only to be surprised. This little person has been in our hearts for a decade. We have gone through hell and back and would gladly do it again. Our hearts have been shattered time and time and time again 122 times to be exact.

We have known Espe through our hopes and dreams for ten years. We have anxiously waited for him to finally join our family. Hope has come and gone. That place that becomes your heart once hope has disappeared - I wish that on  no one. It is the darkest, loneliest place I have ever been and I am terrified at the thoughts of returning there.

Hubs actually reassured me last week in the middle of a particularly nasty meltdown with the notion that we had experienced so much heartache. We had already been through so much grief and we had been clinging to a thin line of faith for so long that surely God would not expect us to endure more. Surely this was finally the happy ending we had prayed so fervently and wholly for. The realization that He did indeed intend for us to walk this road, has been one of the hardest things thus far.

I'm trying. I'm trying to be positive and strong. I'm trying to look to the future. I try to tell myself just like the doctor and countless friends and family, that we have finally climbed the hardest hurdle. We know we can get pregnant now. Our past has jaded me though. I dread "trying". The only point of reference for me is so horribly disappointing and I don't know if I can go through that again.

We've tried to address that. For now we are going with a very short plan. We are going to set our sights for the next couple of months. There will be no doctors or medical intervention. There will be no thermometers or charts by the bedside, and we are both vehemently against scheduling bedroom sessions. I have a general idea of when things theoretically should happen. I kept hubs in the dark and he's happy with that. Even my idea is only an idea. I have no idea what my body will do or if it will even work again. We just decided that the moment the bleeding stopped, we would return to our new normal since my weight loss and perhaps amp that up a bit. I don't want any stress or tension again. We're just going to act like teenagers. Teenagers that pray fervently and ceaselessly for another chance at a miracle.