Today is My Due Date

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

Today is my due date and if I hadn’t miscarried last August I would be bringing home our little bundle of joy any day now. So I thought I would pop on here and do a quick “postpartum” mental health update.

Before I jump into my feelings and all that stuff I would like to say that there isn’t a ton of post-miscarriage mental health information. I’m so glad that people are finally talking about postpartum depression and anxiety, but I tried researching post-miscarriage mental health and it seemed like there is hardly any information about it. So since there is a lack of information and I have experienced it, I thought I would share my story in case anyone has experienced a loss like this or of any kind and wants to hear a personal story.

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I did ask my OB in August what I should do if I get depression or anxiety because as you know, I have always had sad days and days where I just can’t seem to find the motivation to get out of bed. My OB gave me a Depression Screening which I passed and told me if I felt depressed to come back in and she would prescribe me something to make me better.

Of course I believe in medication but I also believe in healthy coping mechanisms and a holistic approach and my OB didn’t seem like she wanted to give me any other recources except counceling and medication.

So in order to prevent myself from being medicated unless absolutely necessary, I hardly told anyone about what I was really going through and I did my best to power through it.

I will say that I was completely unprepared for this mental health journey. Like I said, I know my depression pretty well and have built up tool-belt of positive coping mechanisms over the years to help me through it. I was expecting depression, but I actually met anxiety for the first time in my life.

Of course I get nervous about public speaking and things like that but I’ve never had a panic or anxiety attack and I did for the first time in my life after losing the baby.

It was the day after I lost the baby and I was trying to put the dishes away. All of a sudden it was like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and I felt like I had let myself down, my husband down and everyone in my family down; and for some reason I couldn’t catch my breathe. The harder I tried to breath my way through my feelings the more it felt like an elephant of sadness was sitting on my chest laughing at me for my failures. The more I tried to breath the tighter my chest got and the more my throat closed up. It wasn’t until Mike came into the kitchen to get a glass of water that I was distracted enough to finally be able to breath again.

That was the first time I experienced an anxiety attack and I haven’t had one that extreme since then. But I do still get fits of irrational anxiety. Like every time I need to leave the house a little voice comes on in my mind and tells me things like “You can’t leave the house because something bad will happen.” Its the strangest thing and I don’t have an anxiety tool-kit full of positive coping mechanisms yet. So if anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.

Anyway its been 6 months and I’m heartbroken I don’t get to take my baby boy home today, but I have learned so much about myself; how I grieve, how my husband grieves, what anxiety feels like, and what it feels like to make it through the tunnel of sadness to the other side.

I’m finally almost back to my normal self again and I am so glad.

Before I end this post, I would also like to give a huge shoutout to my husband Mike. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him or where I would be. He has made everything so easy and has never had an unkind thing to say about my bad days. I hope I have been as much of a rock to him as he has been to me during this past year of grief.

Thanks for joining me today!

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Life Update: Baby # 2?

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Hello everyone and welcome to another post!

Today we will be talking about the birds and the bees.

Just kidding, but I thought I’d pop on here and talk about Mike and I’s thoughts about expanding our family with a little bundle of joy.

As you may already know last May I found out I was pregnant and 4 months later in August I lost the baby. I think we will always call that baby Baby # 1.

I was told by my OB that we should wait a minimum of 3 mensural periods before trying to conceive Baby # 2 so my body would be healthy enough to support a pregnancy to full term. In other words I needed to allow my body enough time to replenish my blood supply because at a birth of any kind there is a lot of blood loss; and I needed to lose a little weight because I gained some while I was expecting.

Anyway, enough of all that TMI.

I am pleased to announce that we are expecting a new addition to our family… In 2021.

Hooray!

Obviously, 2019 will be dedicated to getting healthy and debt reduction. I have sort of been on a health journey since October of last year, and it was part of my New Years resolutions to continue that journey so I can have a healthy life, pregnancies, and babies. And of course we sort of acquired some debt when we bought the house. We also have some left over baby bills that we have to pay. Who knew being pregnant would be so expensive? Anyway once that is all under control, we will be saving money for our next project.

2020 will be dedicated to Mike studying like a madman for his PE exam and renovating the house because the previous homeowners sort of gave up half way. We have to take down three giant dead Chinese Elm trees, add in flooring to both bathrooms, put trim all around the house, add thresholds to most doorways, finish the garage (there are no inside walls), and paint. When that is all under control we will finally be able to start saving up for baby expenses.

2021 will be dedicated to starting our family.

Of course things don’t always go according to plan and we could end up with tons of kids (which we would totally love and cherish with all our hearts ❤️) before we are financially stable again and have a nice renovated house, but we definitely will not be actively trying to conceive any time soon.

If you want to read more about my pregnancy and miscarriage, you can do so here: Pregnancy & Miscarriage

Thanks For Joining me Today!

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Pregnancy & Miscarriage

Hello everyone!

This post is a little more personal than my other ones and I will be sharing some uncomfortable details because it is about pregnancy and miscarriage. I know these topics are not interesting for everyone, so if you don’t want to read about these maybe skip this one?

Finding Out

Although my pregnancy started in May, I didn’t miss my period until the beginning of June. By the time I decided to take a pregnancy test my husband and I had been joking around that I was pregnant and surprise, I was!

I had all the feelings. I was excited, I was filled with dread, I felt unprepared, I felt like I could handle it, and I felt like we both were going to be great parents.

We announced the pregnancy to my dad and Mike’s dad for their Farther’s Day gifts. We didn’t really post it on social media because we were waiting until I was further along so we could use a bump picture.

Symptoms and Appointments

My pregnancy was pretty easy as far as my symptoms went.

During June I had some heartburn and had to pee every 10 minutes. I also had some spotting at 6 weeks, but it wasn’t bright red and it went away after I took a nap so my OB said not to worry about and I didn’t. I also started dreaming that we were having a boy.

In July my symptoms picked up and I had aversions to all meat. I couldn’t look at it, smell it or even think about it without getting nauseous. I only threw up for real about 4 or 5 times which was pretty lucky. I had my first prenatal appointment at the beginning of my 3rd month of pregnancy. Me and the baby were healthy and we got to see our tiny baby wiggling around on the sonogram and the heart rate was 169 beats per minute.

In August my pregnancy symptoms were still nausea, frequent urination, food aversions, and some cravings but I was beginning to feel better. I thought it was because I was almost done with the first trimester which is when most early pregnancy symptoms go away. I also had my second appointment which was at the beginning of my 4th month of pregnancy, and I was so excited because I was going to hear the baby’s heart beat for the first time on the doppler and we were going to find out the gender via a genetic test.

Miscarriage Diagnosis

At my August appointment I found out that the baby had passed away which was a humongous shock because I still had all my pregnancy symptoms and during my pelvis exam my OB said my cervix wasn’t dilated so the chance of miscarriage was low.

I was diagnosed with a missed or incomplete miscarriage when my OB couldn’t detect a measurable heart rate for the baby via doppler, two low-tec sonograms, and one high-tech sonogram. The baby was also the same size as he/she was in July.

At this point in time I was told I had 3 options:

  1. Wait until I miscarried naturally – this obviously wasn’t happening since the baby had passed away nearly a month earlier and I showed no physical sign of a miscarriage.
  2. Take medication to induce the miscarriage.
  3. Have surgery to remove the baby.

When I got home from my appointment I was inconsolable, but thankfully my husband was given the rest of the week off which was so wonderful because we were able to be sad and eat our feelings together.

Experiencing the Miscarriage

My husband and I decided to try the medication and if that didn’t work we would do the surgery. I was told when I miscarried I would have cramps, a heavier than usual mensural period, maybe I would see some blood clots, and it would take about 4 hours.

The weekend after my August appointment I took the medication vaginally. 4 hours later when I thought it would be over, nothing had happened except some mild cramps. Then I got up to use the restroom and all of a sudden things started happening.

It felt like someone popped a water balloon. This was my first pregnancy so I wasn’t familiar with the sensation of having my water break and to be honest I didn’t even know that could happen in a miscarriage.

After that my cramps were terrible. I was getting doozy cramps about every 5 minutes that would last about a minute each. I did see a tiny lime sized baby which broke my heart and was very unexpected because I was told the baby would be too small to see. About a half hour after this, I had another lime sized clot which I can only assume was the afterbirth.

After that, I started to bleed and the amount of blood loss I experienced was tremendous. I was using the biggest elephant sized pads Walmart sold and I ended up needing to change my pad every hour or so.

It took about 8 hours from the time I took the medication until I passed the baby. Apparently this is when the miscarriage is considered over and I honestly thought things were going to wind down and that would be the end of that. But I continued bleeding heavily for about 4 days, light bleeding for about 5 days and spotting for about a week. Then everything pretty much back to normal.

What is Next

I am now considered a “high risk” patient because of the miscarriage. I did get back on birth-control just so I can give myself some time to heal both physically and emotionally.

The genetic results come back and the baby was a boy just like I had dreamed he was. He also had a genetic abnormality which is known to cause heart issues. My OB told me that this was likely the reason he had passed away.

I know this was a really long post with a lot of personal details but I hope that the information in here might be helpful to anyone going through a similar situation.

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