Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thoughts from Mid-February

One of the things that really makes me angry about PCOS, is the feeling of being robbed-- robbed of those early days of pregnancy. Robbed of normality.

I feel robbed of the joy of Telling. Normal women Tell in all kinds of creative ways-- there are entire threads in pregnancy forums devoted to sharing creative ways of Telling the News. I don't get to do that.

I don't Tell. I keep it a secret. I hide it away in a hesitant place in my heart. My first thoughts are not of new babies and cute clothes and cozy hours ahead with the knitting. My first thoughts are of pain and loss and apprehension and emotional upheaval. And then, as the weeks go by and things continue, I begin to share a little. I show the test to my sister. I call a dear friend. I ask for prayer. They jump and shout and cry and congratulate, but I caution. I withdraw. I hesitate. I hedge.

I feel robbed of all the joyful Buying. Normal women go out and shop for cute maternity clothes. They admiringly despair over their popping bellies and compare them to "last time I didn't show till at least twelve weeks!" They buy "I'm the Big Brother" shirts for the older children, take pictures and post it on their blogs.

I don't buy anything. I rubber-band my pants button and wear J's shirts and bulky sweaters and coats. I can't bear to tell my kids and run the risk of "un-telling" them later. Last time Sofi cried and asked questions and it was more than I could bear to go through again. I neglect my blog for two months and try to avoid playdates.

PCOS reduces my pregnancies to a statistic. It takes me months to relax away from "50%-60% chance of..." into being pregnant. Expectant. Hopeful.

It sucks.


2Shaye ♪♫ said...

My oh my, this is beautifully written...straight from your heart! My eyes are all blurry with tears now. :( Oh E, I'm so sorry for all you've gone through. I haven't had PCOS, but I have struggled with sticky babies for some unknown reason. Even the normal chance of miscarriage is very painful. I completely understand the feelings of not wanting to tell anyone until I knew each baby would stick...of worrying that others would be set up for disappointment and that it would be easier to suffer in silence. Even when I did tell people we were pregnant again, I felt the need to add my disclaimer and tell my story so they'd know how to react when the unexpected happened.

That said, a few years ago my hubby and I came to the unique decision that we'd start choosing to tell everyone of our pregnancy just as soon as we found out, no matter the outcome. Our perspective was geared toward celebrating each implanted egg as a human life and, in turn, each loss as one worthy of mourning by all who loved us. As you know, this spring, we're newly pregnant (a surprise since we thought I was entering menopause) and if something were to happen to this baby, our friends and children would hurt with us. We'd probably name our baby together just as if it were stillborn at the full 40 weeks and go through all the steps of grief together as a family. My daughter would learn as a little girl that sometimes babies are lost and that it's okay to cry hysterically about it. I want her to know there's no shame in this. Boy, it wouldn't be easy, but this is a decision we carefully made in love after our past experiences. And I'd need you ALL to help me through such a devastating loss.

Our choice certainly isn't for everyone, so I hope I don't come across as saying that. I've simply heard of far too many moms who, years later, share their years and years of mourning in privacy mostly for fear of disturbing everyone else. That just tears me up inside to know that my very own friends didn't have me there to love them through the loss of a very real hear me tell them this WAS a real baby and that they are ALLOWED to openly mourn such a painful loss.

Aaaanyway, a couple years ago this subject weight heavily on my heart (I was pregnant with Brighton at the time, go figure). I arranged a MOPS meeting where we had a guest speaker in to talk about miscarriage, loss, and support. At first, the steering team didn't feel comfortable with the subject. They said it might make some moms feel uncomfortable and we didn't want that. I was outraged. "Then lets let them feel uncomfortable for one meeting this year! This is REAL, ladies! One in every three pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Why can't we talk about this?" I said, probably with a very shaky voice.

The entire meeting was so moving, but it was shocking when we all went back to our tables for group discussion time and we learned that most women in the room had experienced loss and most didn't feel like they could talk about it openly because it wasn't a "real" baby. Ouch! That's just so heartbreaking.

Okay, so I've talked long enough here. I've wanted to blog about this, but haven't made the time, so I apologize for this lengthy comment. I suppose I should go find someone else's comments to hijack (though yours are most fun to write in because you always write straight from the heart!).

Love you, my friend! I really do!


Hosanna said...

Oh wow. You know, as your friend and knowing your history, I felt this pang of dread when you first told me. I was happy; but knew what ......this could have meant for you.
I am sorry that you were robbed of all that joy. I am praying still that your joy will be doubled when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. :)

Anna Banana said...

*hugs*, Elisa. Your honesty is heart-wrenching. I know the pain of not knowing and fearing. And loss. But I pray God has a glorious and joyful outcome for you now.

Padgaretti said...

I hear you completely! I can honestly say I know how you feel. PCOS, so completely 100% sucks.
At the same time I am so excited and very happy for you. The possibility. 2 miscarriages and 1 boy later, I long for more chances. And you give me hope, but I at the same time feel for your pain and the hardness of the situation. Thinking of you all...


Denise said...

You know, Lisi, of course I relate... And my heart aches for you and what's been taken from you. The chance to be excited right away... The chance to share and tell the world, without the fear and knowing you'll have to "untell." We experienced that as well.

I only know that the Lord loves you guys. And His plans are to give you hope and not leave you crushed and feeling your loss forever. I am praying for the little Forshey inside you every day now!!!

Herb of Grace said...

Thank you so much, ladies, for your support. I know all too well how seldom people speak out about m/c whether about their own experience, or in support of their sisters. It's a burden of mine to do something about this. Hence my willingness to bring it up here. I think we do one another a dis-service to hide this experience that soso many women share.

septembermom said...

I'm sorry that you have to live with this worry for now. I can't imagine the concerns that you must be feeling. I think you will help many women in similar circumstances by sharing your thoughts and feelings at this time. Hugs to you, my friend.

Seth and Karen's blog said...

First off, congratulations on your pregnancy! It is a wonderful time for a woman, but I understand your hesitancy. I have to say that I appreciate your openness. My sister was so open with all her emotional experiences during her IVF treatments, miscarriage and pregnancy. It opened my eyes to what many women suffer sometimes more than once! It made me much more grateful and helped me not to complain about the physical trials I go through with my pregnancies (so little in compairision with the emotional trials women with infertility issues must deal with). I don't know why and I sometimes wonder about why God chooses some to go through fiery trials and others "sail on beds of flowery ease" (not to say my pregnancies were easy, nooohoho!, but in a different sense.)

So, anyway, I think for women who haven't experienced miscarriages it is important for them to realize the very traumatic circumstances other women have faced. I know it must require a vulnerability to share these emotions and hurts, but I really appreciate it and it gives me a desire to pray fervently for your little one and you. God bless you guys!

Herb of Grace said...

Thank you all so much :)

Karen, I hope you know that I would never begrudge my friends their easy-breezy fertility :) Most of the people I know have no trouble at all. You're right, it does seem to be a mystery why God chooses one path for some and another for others... His will be done. I don't want to come off as resentful or bitter. I'm really not.

I do get angry, sometimes, but it's not a bitter, resentful anger and it's not directed at God or my sisters-in-Christ who don't share my burden. It's the same kind of anger I feel when I see/experience other instances of sin and the fallen nature of the creation. All those front page headlines, for example. You know what I mean?

Anyway. Hope that clarifies things a bit.

Jordana said...

I'm very slow, but first let me send my congratulations.

That being said, I've always been slow to tell anyone about my pregnancies. And miscarriages definitely leave extra burdens and scars on the heart. I've only lost one baby to a miscarriage, and it was 5 pregnancies ago, but the pain is still there and so is the terror that it will happen again.

I hope and pray that this little one will stick around.