Sunday, September 17, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Edited to add:
I wrote this entry last night, posted it and then took it down after about 30 minutes. Last night, when I got to thinking about it, I became worried about scaring my Mom (who reads this blog) or offending someone with my Zoloft talk. I thought that this stuff wasn't what I wanted people to associate with me. But this is my journal. I started it so that I could write it down and let it go and maybe even come back months or years later to better understand this journey I've been on. Like I say in my header--it's a pensieve.

I recently read this comment left by Delphi for a fellow blogger and it really struck a chord with me:

"EMOTIONS ARE NOT RIGHT OR WRONG, THEY JUST ARE. And the healthiest thing that anyone can do is express them - and a blog is the perfect forum for that."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I really don't have one particular thought or theme for this entry. I just feel like writing something and that's what blogs are for, right? This one will probably be all over the place, so just walk with me, ya'll.

I've just been thinking about this blogsphere support system that we have here. I've been thinking about all of the support that you have given me here as well as in email and in your own blog entries. I have a wonderful support system in my family and friends, and I don't know what I would do without them, but I don't know what I would do without you, either. In my town, the only support group that we've been able to find is The Compassionate Friends. I think that it's a great group that does so much good for people, but in our particular chapter Tom and I are the only parents who have lost a baby. Most of the people in our group have lost adult or teenage children. Not that that isn't every bit as horrible, it's just horrible in a different way. And as for people close to my husband and I that haven't lost a child, as much as they love us and as much and they are hurting because we're hurting so badly, I still can't help but think that they can go back to their own lives. What I would give to just go back to my own life. And now we've had this second loss. I'm afraid that people are thinking, "Poor Tom and Laura. Damn, I'm glad we're not them."

What am I getting to here? I think that it's this--I've been using this blogging thing as a psychiatrist. In the past 7 months I've been working so hard to get to a good place. To be able to be around my 8 month old nephew without crying. To be excited for my pregnant friends. To just be half-way normal and not define myself by my loss. But I was walking a fine line--it took everything I had to stay together most days and try to remain positive and happy like the old me. This miscarriage has pushed me over the edge--I'm bonafide. So when I go to the doctor on the 22nd, I'm going to ask him to refer me to someone. And maybe even give me a prescription for something.

Reading back over those last few sentences, it sounds like I'm saying that people who see psychiatrists and take meds are nutjobs. Good Christ, I don't mean that at all. After we lost Nate my OB gave me a prescription for Zoloft. I didn't fill it. I was so terrified that once I got pregnant again, I would have to go off it and I just didn't know what would happen. And this is just my ignorance about medications. I wasn't sure what I would be like coming off of the Zoloft coupled with pregnancy hormones. Both my husband and I controlled our grief with lots of exercise, and it did help. We both had a ton of baby weight to lose anyway. I guess that I just did what I thought was right for me at the time.

But I think that I had an anxiety attack yesterday. We went to an arts and crafts festival and I knew that I shouldn't have done that. Those dumb festivals are absolutely saturated with pregnant women and babies. Everybody wants to dress their baby up, plop them in a sling and go look at pottery and crap. Well I did anyway. I thought about it all the time when I was pregnant. Plus, I think that there must have been a baby boom this past December, January and February. There were babies Nate's age all over the place. And I can't believe that I'm even writing this, but I would look at these babies and I all could see was Nate in his tiny coffin with his little fist closed around a daisy and wearing his only dress-up outfit--blue Ralph Lauren feety overalls. And how Nate was buried so far underground and enclosed in a concrete vault. All I wanted to do was to go to him and claw at the dirt until I could reach him and hold him again. Is this my life, now? Where every baby and pregnant woman I see reminds me of how I have failed and what I don't have? Those were the thoughts that went through my head so furiously that I had to sit down and stare at a tree until I calmed down. I would like to be able to leave the house, you know? But I probably should avoid places that I know are going to be baby-filled. I just wanted to see some pottery.

This is such a sad post. If you've made it this far, thank you. That last paragraph was pretty heavy, I know. I don't quite feel like I'm starting over again, but I do feel that I've stumbled back several paces. Before I got pregnant this last time, I at least had the thought of being pregnant to hang on to. I've said before that having one loss doesn't make you exempt from having another, secretly believing that I really was exempt. I wasn't.

18 comments:

lauralu said...

you are not alone. i have had practically the exact experience, and while i know 50 people online who could have written this post, i only know three people in real life who could have written it (and they are also part of this 'net circle). if it's any help to you, you might be interested in my posts from last end-of-september and october, not because they're full of any wisdom, but just because they're full of the thoughts you're having now, which i hope is comforting to you. as to the psych help, i believe you deserve any help you can find. hell, we all do.

delphi said...

I don't think that this is a sad or scary post at all. I just think it is acknowledged truth. Nothing but good can come from acknowledging what is true for us and then deciding what course of action we want to take. I think the real danger is hiding from it all and taking no action. That's when life spins out of control and we no longer can make rational decisions and judgements.

I congratulate you on the courage it took to repost this. No one said that this grief thing was pretty. But I have found that the ugliness fades little by little the more time and attention that I give it.

Kathy McC said...

I am glad you re-posted this. I agree with Lauralu...you've said so many things that all of us have felt...those of us who have lost babies regardless of when or how they were lost. And so few real life people get it.

I've been seeing a psychiatrist AND a therapist for years and I've been on Zoloft for almost 3 years straight. Straight through my past 3 pregnancies (I even tried to blame my miscarriages on Zoloft). If I hadn't been on it, I think I would have ended up in an insititution. I am still taking it and still breastfeeding. All is well.

And I still don't know what I'd do without it...

Whatever you decide, just know how much support you have here in blogland.

KTP said...

I know that when I visit your site, I am risking the reading of sad things. Normally, I WOULD avoid such a thing, but I you had me at "hello." Your writing style is so engaging and I just have to keep up. I feel like I would be letting you down if I looked away.

KTP said...

btw - I had a similar experience with morbid visuals after I suffered a loss of my own. Counseling helped A LOT.

Anam Cara said...

Laura I hope this post was cathartic for you. I think everyone of us whose babies have died have had very very similar experiences. I've felt exactly the same way on MANY occassions. Seeing pregnant women and babies would trigger horrific flashbacks (I honestly believed I had post-traumatic stress syndrome for awhile). I also couldn't stop picturing my son in his little coffin everytime I saw a baby. I thought I would lose my mind. I understand completely why you say are bonafide. I felt the same way. I had to retreat from most people in the "real world" for a long long time. I couldn't be around anyone I knew who was pregnant or had a baby. I had to do it for my own survival. I couldn't *pretend* that I was fine or that I was comfortable hearing pregnany and baby stories. I didn't care if anyone was *insulted* by my behavior. I realized it was the only way I would survive without going completely insane. So I was very anti-social for a long time. I know it is impossible to stay away from babies and pregnant women all together since they are EVERYWHERE, and that sucks. But please know that everything you are feeling and thinking is normal. I'm so sorry that have been knocked back in your grief. You were in the very early stages to begin with, so with the miscarriage it is completely understandable. When I reached rock bottom I ended up going to a grief counsellor (for a year) and it did me the world of good. Please do what you need to do for you. Big (((hugs))) to you.

MB said...

I think we've all written posts like that at some point. Some if us have done it several times. When we did IVF last year (December/November 05 if you want to take a look) and then it resulted in the ectopic/miscarriage, I thought I would not survive...no way no how. And in the months following I can't help but wonder what I have done to deserve all of this. I know there's a lesson in that, but I'm just not ready to deal with it I guess. But somehow I do go on, we all do in our own way. There's not much anyone can say or do that will make any of us feel any better. Pain just doesn't work that way.

You are certainly entitled to feel however you want. My pain seems to manifest itself mostly in anger. I've had people say that I should work on that, but I've kind of decided to just let it be and let it happen so long as it is not directed wrongly at anyone. It mostly comes out in my blog entries...

I wishing you whatever little bit of peace you can muster. I'm so sorry this has happened to you again. It just sucks.

Hugs.

You do whatever you need to do to help yourself. If it's therapy and a prescription, so be it. there's no shame in any of what you have said.

Sarah said...

I just wanted to second all of the others who've said that you're post isn't scary. It's real. Sometimes reality isn't pretty. It's ok to be raw, especially here. It has to come out somewhere.

And I also highly recommend following through with getting the name of a therapist from your doctor. You and the therapist can decide about whether ADs would be helpful, but if you decide to try them, try not to feel guilty... Do what is best for you. AD's can be a short term thing, so don't feel like you're committing to long term use.

I'm glad you put the post back up.

vixanne wigg said...

Oh Laura. It just sucks. I don't think your post is sad or scary. (If you'd like to read some really scary blog entries, check out my archives. You'll feel about a billion times better about yourself.)

You really should have been exempt from another loss. I was going to say that Laura went through pretty much the exact same thing, but she already responded.

I can tell you that after being away from my MISS group for several months, I was shocked by how many new women were there. It does happen so much more than we think it does, but I don't know...maybe people just don't talk about it.

There's nothing wrong with you seeing a counselor. It doesn't make you weird. You've been through something very traumatic and then this second loss just compounded it. You might call The Compassionate Friends and see if they recommend a counselor who deals with grief.

I was also too afraid to take drugs, but I think they really have been proven safe for most of pregnancy. But I know. It's scary.

I hope things get just a little bit better soon.

stat763 said...

thank you for your post. As the others have said, it is so real and true. My son died in the summer and when the weather turned cold I was obsessed with thoughts of his tiny body in that cold coffin. Your thoughts are so normal for what you have been through. Please do whatever you need to make you feel better. A counselor and/or drugs may be just the things that will help you with your grief. I saw a counselor, never took the drugs but in retrospect I probably should have. I am just so sorry for everything you are going through. It really does suck and I hope it gets easier for you soon.

B said...

I've been reading your blog for the last few weeks, and I was rooting, for lack of a better word, so hard for you and your hubby; I'm so sorry for this loss. I'm so sorry for all the bullshit you've been through.

I'm praying for you guys.

kate said...

I agree -- i am glad you put it back up. I didn't want to say anything too revealing in my other comment, in case you left it down. But yes, i have had those feelings too (though i was not blogging at the time) and they are not abnormal at all. And as far as meds, i say take all the help you can get ;)

kate said...

PS. Next time, come to Detroit with your dh, we will have some fun!

Renae said...

Laura, I have not had to go through your kind of hell and I am so damn sorry that you are having too. But a few years ago when I was dealing with some of my own crap, I was seeing a counselor and trying out the gamut of anxiety/depression meds on the market (zoloft, wellbutrin, paxil and lexapro). That counselor is one of the reasons I am alive and somewhat sane today. I hope you can find one that you connect with.

Thank you for posting this - and re-posting it. Scary and sad happen and while I don't find the post that, people with some inkling of hope don't share like you have.

Aurelia said...

I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. Please be gentle with yourself though. I'm not surprised you are upset only a few days after having a miscarriage. Please give yourself some time to heal. Counselling can be wonderful, with the right counsellor or the right group. I'm trying a new one right now, hey, it can't hurt right? I'll be thinking of you.

three minute palaver said...

Oh sweetie, I know all this sucks and it's so awful and so unfair but I am glad that blogging and the internets are some comfort to you. I think you are doing amazingly well considering how much grief you are having to deal with. I'm thinking of you and hoping each day gets a little easier for you.

MB said...

Hey, I'm thinking about you...hoping you're still hanging in there. Have you graduated to maybe...curtains yet?

I'm bummed we won't be close...the prospect of having another mom nearby who knows what all this is like was a good one. So sad it won't work out...

Julian's Mom said...

I completely agree with delphi, and I just said something similar to DH today about feelings just being feelings, not right or wrong. Anyway, just wanted to stick up for the mental health profession and those of us who have gone the anti-depressant route. Please do not feel like a failure if you do decide to take them. I have taken a low dose of Zoloft on and off for about 10 years for what is considered a very low level but chronic form of anxiety/depression, and which I like to think of as constant cranky bitchy neurosis. I feel like the female Larry David. There are worse things. But when my son died, I definitely needed my medication more than ever, and I definitely needed to see my shrink once a week for a real talk rather than once a year for a refill. I took it throughout my pregnancy with Julian, but I don't blame it for what happened to him. I continued to take it during my pg with Natalie, but I went off in my third trimester so she wouldn't experience withdrawals. Once I stopped giving her breastmilk after 1 month, I went back on it since I started to feel some post-partum symptoms (which I am prone to anyway), and I am feeling so much better now. I live in NYC so I don't know too many people who aren't on anything and who don't have a therapist, to be honest. Anyway, not to be a pill pusher, but I say do what makes you feel more like yourself.