Lately, I have good days and bad days – the highs and lows sometimes hit me in one day even.
I think it’s good to note that the good days do not get too high and likewise the bad days are not too low. As there is a history of depression and bi-polar disorder in my family I am constantly checking in with myself to make sure that nothing is too wonky. Sadness is just as normal as happiness, bad things will happen in life and there will be grief – but, there is always that internal watchful eye making sure I don’t let it spiral.
My best days are when I run. My focus on running in the F*ck It List, by setting a goal to run a race every month, I specifically chose because I know that running is a natural anti-depressant for me. During my divorce, my counselor told me that she believed that my addiction to running is what kept me off of medications or from having some sort of breakdown. The anger and grief that I had – that I carried around for years – were not often seen in someone that did not show at least some form of depression, anxiety or other problem, at least according to her. Admittedly, I used my running to escape, I know this now, and while that in itself was not healthy as well – it was a method of self-preservation that I learned from. Still, I will happily admit that it is an addiction and one that I hope to struggle with for the rest of my life.
What is nice about an addiction to running is the endorphins. When I am in my sweet spot of training – I am eating well, sleeping well and running loads of miles – my brain is on fire. I am so happy the majority of the time, jazzed about life and I feel emotionally able to tackle the normal day to day stresses we all have. What sucks is that there is the danger of injury if I over-indulge on my cravings to run, which can leave me sidelined, unable to run and open to, well … depression. So, my addiction to running must be managed in order for me to reap all the benefits.
So, I run. I have a fabulous day! The morning is great, I eat breakfast, visit with my pups, get ready for work. I’m excited to get to work, be at work, do my work, work with all my co-workers … work, work, work! It’s great. I come home and by this time the endorphins are starting to mellow, but I still have some energy left to cook, maybe clean a little, then cuddle with Ed and my pups while we watch a little TV. Sometimes though, once I slow down, I’m hit with a crap-storm of GUILT — for having a great day. How could I allow myself to be so happy when I’ve just lost my baby. Don’t I miss my baby and the dreams that could have been? I chew on that shitty rational for a few minutes but spit it out. It’s not productive.
However, the seed is planted and the sadness grows. I miss being pregnant and carrying Aoife in my belly. I miss my baby. I miss feeling her flip and turn – I only felt it for about a week before she passed and it was heaven. I miss dreaming about what it would be like to hold her, soothe her, shower her with hugs and kisses. Dreaming about the first time she rolls over, or starts to rock on her hands and knees getting ready to crawl. What would she be like at bedtime? Would she be a morning person like me and drive Eddie nuts? Our ultra sound tech thought so, the way she kicked, rolled and squirmed in the mornings. I wanted to watch the grandparents, Lyzi and Aiden – everyone in the family spoil her. I’ll never be able to dress her in all the adorable dresses I see in the kid’s department, text pictures of her to my parents or post them all over social media – LOOK at my adorable baby. All the “never will happen now” shittiness. Oh it goes on and on – my brain won’t stop. I can’t stop, even though it hurts. Just stop thinking about her!
And inevitably I ponder on the moment I found out I was pregnant wishing I could go back to that day and somehow make everything right … this reminds me of the first test I took Christmas Day in 2014. And I realize how long this grief really has been going on. I’ve never even recovered from Sweet Pea. I told myself I did, but just another one of those times I was absolutely full of shit. I’ve gone from one miscarriage to another. How do people do this, who’ve lost 3, 4, 5 times or more, before they have a successful pregnancy? How do they keep trying and how does the woman handle all those hormonal shifts, physical changes over and over?
I’ve been asked a couple times if Ed and I will try again. We have decided between ourselves to wait 3 to 6 months to decide. To be honest, one day I feel completely – Yes, of course! Then the next day, I feel – Absolutely not.
The miscarriages, the hormonal swings – they’re hard on my mind and body. I expected when I went on this journey to be affected physically, obviously. I’ve been through this twice before, I knew I wouldn’t come out unscathed. But, I thought it was going to be a few cravings, irrational mood swings, weight gain and some new stretch marks. Panic attacks and frozen shoulder were never part of the deal – in addition to the stress and anxiety during the pregnancy, and subsequent grief.
On top of all that – miscarriages are expensive! Our first loss cost around $2k – all medical bills considered. Now this loss is closer to $5k in bills. How are we supposed to continue to work on our goal to be debt free and our other financially related goals of a house, travel, etc. if we’re constantly paying for medical bills that honestly – we choose to acquire. I can’t even imagine if we had to pay for fertility treatments or egg donors; which I felt were a more likely possibility than getting pregnant in the first place. I have a hard time justifying the cost of this journey that feels like a big gamble at my age. I have two kids and a husband I could afford to spoil a bit, if we weren’t constantly paying off medical bills.
All that doesn’t change that I’m a good mom and I love being a mom. I would love to have another baby and raise a child with Eddie. Sigh.
For me, it’s always been either we get lucky or maybe explore adoption a few years down the road. But, this is a decision that will be made between Ed and I … later.
Good days, bad days and everything in between – it’s all part of the process to getting back to a place where there is more good days than bad days. That’s the most realistic goal, I think.