Major Changes

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So the first few paragraphs were written about a month ago and the post was intended to be shared about a month AFTER we moved. Certain events have encouraged me to change plans:

Okay so I kinda felt like I fell off the bandwagon because of all the crazy things that ALWAYS seem to happen in the fall. I keep telling myself that fall or September doesn’t get busy for me because I don’t have school or kids in school.

I have a handful of things that I wanted to commit to like #Inktober and busting out more Etsy listings, but that can’t be too hard, right?

Oh ho, was I wrong.

We basically had TWO MAJOR LIFE-CHANGING news effect us in September and that’s when the whirlwind began.

We’re moving to San Francisco!

Yep, In about a week we will be in San Fran. I haven’t written about it because moving keeps you busy. Jason was offered a job at Adobe. We accepted and now we are (kinda) living blissfully in the Bay Area.

We were expecting…

How this post would’ve read if I was still expecting:

You read it right, no need for a double take. Mini Mace is on the way! TeeHee!!! We can’t be more giddy! (Give me all the deets mamas! I want to inhale as much information as possible)

So the crazy thing was that I found out the day after Jason left for a job interview in California. I debated for several hours whether I should tell him over the phone. In the end I decided not to, because it would distract him from the interview and I wanted to tell him in person and (bonus) I wanted to surprise him AND catch it all on camera.

VIDEO

Once I told him. We had to decide the very next day whether we were going to move to San Francisco. And then we took a trip to Disney World (which was exhausting and hot for a pregnant woman, but still a fun vacation with my husband. Side note/tip: Pregnant mama’s can do a whole lot more rides at Magic Kingdom than any of the other parks).

It was a lot to take in.

Today:

The Miscarriage

About 8 weeks into my pregnancy things started to change. Since it’s my first pregnancy, I wasn’t sure about miscarriage symptoms. I only wanted good vibes so there was zero research into the passing of a fetus and the loss of future dreams of nestling with my little one in a nursery.

At 8 weeks I got a cold. Then the early signs of miscarriage crept in. Lower back pain (I thought it was part of the minor twinges of pain that came with pregnancy). Lessening of the typical morning symptoms (I just thought I was done with them and I was one of the lucky ones to be done early). Then the spotting came.

I thought it was just some irritation the first day and shed a few paranoid tears, but then it became irregular day 2 and 3. The color and flow of the blood kept changing so it was kinda confusing, until Friday October 26th, 2018, at Cafe Zupas (I swear we could make a dang good commercial for them with all the life-changing news we have received there).

I went to the bathroom, the bleeding became heavier and became a deeper red. I started crying, I told Jason to get our food to-go. We went to the ER. We were there for 4 hours.

2 blood tests, urine sample and an ultrasound.

That was the most agonizing part. The ultrasound. You know how you dream of that classic moment when you’re about see the white silhouette of your baby for the first time? That precious face and you try to predict who the baby will look like by a simple black and white image… well it wasn’t really like that for me.

The tech kept the screen angled so that it only faced her. I was dying to see if there was any speck of my baby that showed any evidence of carrying. Any evidence that I was still a mother. Any shred of good news. The tech didn’t budge. She only kept saying the image was too blurry and that my bladder wasn’t full enough to get a good image, but in the end, she got what she needed.

We went back to our designated room. The doctor came in. He said, “unfortunately…” - I waited for the joke. It didn’t come. I cried. Jason cried. The doctor apologized. The gave us a moment.

I was suppose to be 10 weeks along in my pregnancy. He said the fetus had only developed to about 8 weeks, and the heart stopped beating. I felt like mine stopped too. I looked over to Jason. We were both teary-eyed. He held me for a few minutes.

I Was Gently Warned

I remembered the prompting I had received the day before. I just got off the phone with my reassuring mother.

The spirit told me, “Nichole, the baby is gone.”

Not in a harsh tone, but it was firm and solid. The thought didn’t sway or change. I felt a deep calming steady peace. I let it linger for a moment soaking it up, but then I got sad, I didn’t want to waste my emotion on unnecessary tears, so I tried to sorta move on with my day keep a bright perspective.

Back in the ER, the OBGYN came in and explained our options for how to approach the miscarriage. Naturally, pill, or D&C. At this point our choice is the D&C. I can’t bare to just watch everything bleed out. We might change our minds.

To All the Supporters

While I was sitting and waiting in between Doctor, nurses, and the OBGYN. Jason and I were silent. I thought about a lot of people. And the plan of Salvation. Oh how I LOVE the blessing of that knowledge. And lots of thoughts about the people who I have interacted with and interact with daily…

To the nurses and doctors: Thank you for having the emotional strength to deliver terrible news on a daily basis and still continue treating people with kindness. I couldn’t do that. I would be an emotional train wreck if I worked in medicine. To the nurse who drew my blood: incredible work. No physical pinch or sting to add to the emotional sting. I appreciate that.

To my beloved mother: The emotions are too high, but don’t stop comforting me like you did when I was at home. Graham crackers, milk, disney, kind words. I will cry when I’m being comforted, but don’t stop. I still want that crib and rocker, maybe not right away, but someday.

To my sister: Thank you for checking in all the time. Alexia is the vision I had hoped for in our little baby, so I will cry when I see her, but I still want to be with you and your family. When I get her little face in my brain I just sob, because I hoped to have a baby like her.

Actually, Robert just came over with the brookie (blessed man) and with Alexia.
I was surprised by how I wanted to go to her immediately. I didn’t cry.
She wanted the brookie back.

To my sister-in-law: I felt bad because I couldn’t feel for you then, I tried to be as sympathetic as possible. I felt like I didn’t do a good job. But I understand a little better now. This morning I imagined the family portrait/illustration I made for you, but this time Jason and I were next to Joe’s dad holding our little angel baby. I now see why the portrait made you cry. I balled when that image floated to my mind.

To my pregnant sister-in-law: You do your pregnant mama thing, girl. It might be weird with my loss and with your living little one, but I don’t want you to hold back your happiness and excitement because of me. Let’s talk it out, keep things open and keep talking about it. I’m still going to be a mom. And I’m still designing your gender reveal invitations. End of story.

To my former neighbor upstairs: You are so strong! I didn’t know the full story or comprehend some of your pain until now. I will pray more fervently in your behalf that IVF works. You deserve all the joy in world, and thank you for letting me be apart of video-making of telling your story. It means so much more to me now.

To Jason: My dear handsome man. I hope you know that your feelings count just as much as mine, maybe even more so because you have witnessed the entire process, plus the devastation in my weepy face. Thank you for the hugs and the hand rubs. I’m so glad you are by my side.

To my friends, family and readers…

And for others who are curious…

So far it just stings. It stings a lot. The tears come in waves. I told Jason’s family that “emotional rollercoaster” is a major understatement. My thoughts and remains of what I once had engage the water works.

The reminders. I don’t hate them (yet?). My mommy and pregnant friends, I still love you. The dream to have children is still there. Just a little tainted and apprehensive.

Be patient and understanding. Be open to different reactions and emotions. Be supportive. Be a listening ear. You don’t have to know what to say. Give me a hug. Send a fun memory of us together. Or an uplifting scripture or song.

I’m still human. I still know happiness. I am just becoming well acquainted with grief at the moment.

Don’t Trip on Guilt

Also, I don’t want you to compare my story to your life (I’m REALLY good at this). They aren’t the same. I don’t say that to tell you that my life is worse. No. I say that because I don’t want you to feel guilty because you might think that there are people that have it worse.

Find the joy in what you have. It’s okay to be happy while others are not. And when the tough times come, your pain and my sorrows still matter. The Savior doesn’t take a measuring stick of standards and emotions from your neighbor and hold it up against you.

He throws that measuring stick you made up into the garbage, runs it through the trash compactor, shreds it, and then obliterates it into a fine powder!

He doesn’t measure! He just lets you in, lets you feel the peace when you need it. And at any time. He doesn’t say, “Oh wait I’m busy, but I might be able to squeeze you in on Tuesday.” He doesn’t give you excuses, and He doesn’t use a measuring stick.

So don’t feel bad for having adorable little children right now while others may not have them. Give them a squeeze for me.

Don’t feel guilty for having the blessing of being pregnant. Embrace those queasy throw-up symptoms (actually, this might be a poor example. Idk I would go that far, those are dark days too).

Don’t feel like you have to eat until you explode because there are starving children in Africa.

Just do your good deeds where you can with where you are at. Sit and mourn with those that mourn for 2 minutes, just listen, and offer simple short encouraging phrases: I’m sorry. I’m here. I don’t know exactly what you’re going through, but I can listen.

If you’re not really sure what I’m talking about watch Brené Brown on Empathy.

I’m SO Sorry!

I use to be insanely insensitive to all the infertile mommas getting on their soap box. I felt like they used their story to get sales or attention. Oh how wrong I was. And oh how small I feel for ever thinking that way.

To you Mommas struggling with infertility or miscarriage at any point in your life:

I AM SO SORRY! Please forgive me for being so judgmental, and completely ignorant of your pain. Please accept this newly humbled mommy striving to grow her family into you tribe.

What now?

I wish I could get through the 5 stages of grief like Monk, super fast and with out the looping (it’s okay to laugh, and for those who might not be acquainted with Monk, this is suppose to be funny)

I have found the most help from MiscarriageAssociation.org. They offer support to the mother and fathers as well as advice to their support groups. If you’re like me and you feel awkward about talking to people who are experiencing loss or emotional pain and feel like you don’t know what to say, visit that website.

And for now I just write and pack with Jason and frequent tears and hugs in between.

I welcome encouraging text messages. Please don’t be offended if I don’t answer your calls.