Getting the best of me

I’m letting it get the best of me. I’m on the verge of giving up and just letting the depression take me over. I have good moments and low moments and downright miserable moments. I’ve let the miserable take me over today. This morning I was woken by the blinds tapping against a window and it did my head in. I got up and shut the window, and of course, minutes later my alarm went off. I snoozed my pre-set three times, then ended up just setting my timer for an additional 30 minutes.

I couldn’t bear the thought of getting up and facing the day. My head hurt, my belly ached and my mind wouldn’t shut down. I made a doctor’s appointment and made the call to tell work I wouldn’t be in today. The appointment with a doctor is wasteful, I just need a medical certificate so I can redeem sick leave. I know what’s wrong with me; I’m just too weak to overcome it today.

Mel and Alison came round for drinks Saturday night. We had no firm plans, other than have a couple and see what happened. We ended up drinking more than expected and stayed in. Mel got my phone again (okay – I handed it to her) and she got onto Tinder. Alison was curious how it worked, so we had a laugh. I had a like and a super like, but I’ve not followed up. I’m not in that space anymore, and the effort required is just non-existent right now.

This week marks my birthday, the anniversary of the night I met Gary and also my work Christmas party. I have no plans for my birthday apart from going to work. The idea of spending my birthday alone is really breaking my heart. I want someone to make me feel special, to show me that I am worth it, and worthy.

When I caught up with Manda and Jules last weekend, I told Manda that I had initially been planning to go to NZ to see what happened with Gary, but I was now thinking against it. She didn’t hold back and told me that he was all about him and that I was worth so much more. I deserved someone who would treat me well and be about me and for me. She did hit the mark though when she said that she knows I haven’t had much in the way of relationships, so clinging to this one isn’t good for me.

That’s the truth. I’m scared that there isn’t anyone else out there for me. As much as I know in my head that he isn’t right for me, I’ve not had much luck otherwise. He came up again this weekend with Mel and Alison. There’s no holding back by anyone now – my friends do not like him. I still want to protect him of sorts. I need to stop that as it is holding me back and stopping me from being happy.

He liked an old Facebook picture of mine – one from almost four years ago. I felt some of the power come back. Mel and I messaged him Saturday night – against my better sober judgment. I asked him 10 questions, not sure if he’d respond to them all. Oddly enough, he did. I asked why he was Facebook stalking me to which he said that he was wondering if he’d made a mistake. I also asked him if he wanted me to go to NZ. He said no.

I have asked him to elaborate on the NZ answer – I said it was harsh. But I don’t feel terrible about it – it has been increasingly obvious that he didn’t want me to go. I’d already decided I’m going to Asia anyway. I did tell him that he did make a mistake, but he needs to learn from it. So he’s again contradictory. He wonders if he made a mistake but also doesn’t want me to go. My head knows what is right and that he is not it, but my heart still has that soft spot.

Life, while not especially hopeful at the moment, will go on. I may not feel worthy or worthwhile at the moment but I do need to have my time outs. Today is one of those. Today can take away the best of me but I’ll bring it back. Not likely this week, or even this month. But I’ll get it back. I’ll be the best of me soon enough. I have to be.

I’ll get the best of me.

Back to miserable

I’m back to feeling just positively miserable. I’m on the verge of tears or actually getting my eyes to well up and I’m just so over it. It seems that my mood last weekend was because of PMS. After all the shit this year, I’m now bloody regular. This month was like freaking clockwork – four weeks on the dot. I was so moody on Tuesday. Nothing was satisfying me and nothing seems to have since.

Tonight was my last pole dance lesson, the end of term. I actually did a climb and a half – the best I’ve done yet. I was finally starting to get out of my head a little tonight and now it’s bloody over. I almost didn’t go; I was running late then while at a traffic light, saw a pregnant lady and my eyes filled. I told myself if I didn’t get a car park straight away I’d just circle back home. Not only did I get a great spot, I nailed the reverse park in two moves. At least that’s something the universe was helping me out with.

But now I’m back home, have my frozen meal in the oven and I’m fucking miserable. There, I’ve said it. I’m fucking miserable. I told Jess today that I was just looking forward to feeling normal again – she assumed I was referencing my PMS. Well, perhaps hormones are playing up on me now, I don’t know. I’ve not really suffered PMS before, I get cramps sometimes, food cravings, but for the most part I feel fine. But this week, holy hell I’m just over it. I just want to feel normal again.

I’ve mentioned Graeme at work before, his wife has just had baby number two and he everyday tells us how tired he is. We laugh at him, tell him he gets a break at work during the day. And today he just announced to me to not have babies at all. Just don’t have them. I know it’s lighthearted and in jest, but while I had thought I was almost over ‘it’, I’m just not. I want to be pregnant. I want to have my own little baby growing inside me. I want Gary and I to be together and I want to be planning a future with him, for our family. Instead, I’m packing up my stuff, moving house, quitting my job and running away.

I said the other day that I want to hibernate for December. It’s usually my favourite month of the year. It has my birthday, it’s the start of summer and it has Christmas. But this year I don’t have anyone to celebrate my birthday with, my family are a bit all over the place and no one is really looking forward to Christmas. I also have to move past the anniversary of when I met Gary. There are far too many memories for me to deal with for December this year. I just want it over and done with. I want to go to sleep on 30 November and wake up on the second of January. I want 2016 to be over and have faith and trust that 2017 will be a good year. I want to wake up refreshed, happy and not miserable.

A friend shared the following on Facebook tonight:

“Be who you were before all that stuff happened that dimmed your fucking shine.”

If I could remember who I was a year ago, I would totally be that person again. I would get my shine back on and be who I was. But I don’t know who that was and I’m a changed person now. I’m broken and I’m on the edge. It’s more than just my shine that’s been dimmed; it’s my hope for a happy future that’s gone. My heart is split and feels irreparable. I think I need to hate him.

I feel alone and abandoned. I feel there isn’t a way for me to un-dim my shine.

A Letter to my Baby

To my little baby,

How I wish to have been able to meet you; to feel you grow inside me; to hear your cries and giggles; to hold you at least once. Life is hard without you, immensely hard. The pain I’ve felt has been incomprehensible. I didn’t know that pain like this existed.

You entered my life unexpectedly; you caught your dad and I off guard. We didn’t know how to react, what to say to each other and what to do. I was so happy to have you in my life, yet I was so worried to tell anyone about you. So worried that I wouldn’t get to meet you. I need you to know that this was nothing to do with you, but was about the stage in my life and the struggles that your dad and I were going through.

You were absolutely created with love, I will always know and acknowledge that. I need you to as well. I constantly think about the what ifs, the if onlys, the what could or should have beens. But they only hurt me further. I can’t go back and change anything and I can’t bring you back to life. Even if your dad and I had reacted differently, it may not have changed anything.

Many have tried to tell me that losing you was nature’s way of telling me that you weren’t viable, that you weren’t meant to be. I can’t believe that. You were my baby; you were growing inside me for almost seven weeks. I need to think and feel that you were meant to be, that all living creatures are viable. But in the end, you decided that it wasn’t right to come into this world, into my life further than you had.

I don’t blame you for anything; I’m trying not to blame myself. I’d like to blame someone or something, but that’s not me. I can question the facial cleanser I used, the drinks I had, the hot bath I enjoyed, and the salad on my burger. It won’t help, I’ll never have an answer and the outcome won’t change.

I see other babies around, other pregnant women and I want to be a part of it, I want them to be me, to be us. But that can’t happen. I need to try and let you go, so I can move on. I’ve been told I need to stop thinking about the dates and counting up. But that only disrespects you and dismisses what you were to me. You were my baby; you are my baby. I can’t and won’t forget you.

I’ve been quite lucky in my life; I’ve not suffered a lot of heartache and experienced very little grief. Maybe I needed to suffer, or learn from you to be the best person I can be. Learn and truly know and believe that one day I’ll be an amazing mum.

Maybe things weren’t meant to be for your dad and I. If they were meant to be, we would have worked through things better, shared in our grief at your loss, or shared in our happiness at our initial gain. I don’t know what your dad went through, but he wanted you, though you sure as hell scared him. He wanted you to be a boy; he wanted to take you to the football, to teach how to kick a soccer ball (he had no clue with an AFL footy, I would have taken on that task!). The truth is I think he would have been even more scared if you were a girl; though I would have insisted that you still get taught soccer and be taken to the footy.

I wanted you to be happy and healthy; at times I did want you to be a girl, simply out of spite to your dad. However I only considered girls names and one kept re-emerging: Lily. There are lots of Ls in my family and I think it would have fitted in nicely. I also liked the idea of having Jane as your middle name, not just after me, but also because that is your Aunty Wendy’s middle name, so it would have been a nice reference to both sides.

I’ve just learnt that yesterday was International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I didn’t know it existed. I do know that many people hide the loss of their babies and struggle with their grief. An official day might help remove the stigma associated with miscarriage, might allow people to share their stories and their heartache. But it won’t bring their babies back or suddenly make them feel better. Only time will help us feel better, less sad and allow our grieving to come to an almost bearable level.

I do hope that I get to meet you one day; that you’ll tell me that you wish you had been able to meet me and show me your cries and your giggles and be held by me. That you knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you were very much loved and oh so desperately wanted.

I’m coming to terms with the breakdown of my relationship with your dad; we’re even talking now without arguing and will be seeing each other soon. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I do hope that we can one-day share in our pain, and joy, for you.

I’m not necessarily coming to terms with losing you, but it is getting easier each day. I’m putting myself out there and trying new things, taking this time to love myself again and look after me. Make sure I’m the best version of me that I can be, so that when the time is right, your little brother or sister will have the best of me. I hope that you’re there to look after them, guide them and me through our lives.

To my baby, I love you and I miss you.

Love,
Mum

 

 

Two Months On

I’ve now been not-pregnant for longer than I was actually pregnant and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier to deal with. I’m trying not to countdown; to blame myself. I’m trying to keep myself busy and think of other things, but when something as unexpected and painful as this happens, I can’t help but do all of that. Life is so unfair at the moment. I want nothing more than to move on, be happy, looking forward to what is yet to come. But I can’t. My mind won’t let me and I keep circling around what I’ve lost; what I should be gaining.

There’s something every day that reminds me of what I’ve lost, what I’m missing out on. From waking up each morning with an ache in my stomach, to smelling the bath products I brought as a treat after I found out I was pregnant to coming home to an empty house. From losing weight and not gaining it to seeing so many happy families and baby products. To friends on Facebook counting down their pregnancies and others counting up the age of their babies. All of these things bring back the memories and stop me from being able to let go of the pain.

I’ve been told that a miscarriage is nature’s way of telling me that my pregnancy wasn’t viable, that I couldn’t have done anything to change the outcome. What I don’t say in return is that I feel like I gave nature a helping hand. That I put myself through so much stress in those weeks, experienced so much anger and frustration that I forced my body and nature to react in this way.

I’m not one to hold on to guilt or lay blame. But right now I feel all of it. I blame myself for not being able to keep my baby alive. I feel guilt for having had a hot bubble bath, for getting angry with Gary, for having a couple of drinks before I knew. I feel so guilty that I was using a facial cleanser that contained ingredients that shouldn’t be used in pregnancy.

I found out I was pregnant on the Thursday night; I kicked Gary out on the Saturday morning. I spent the day and night crying. I ate McDonald’s on the Sunday and spent a miserable day with my family. I went to the doctors on the Monday morning and then had an argument with Gary after. I didn’t allow myself to be happy or excited. I kept thinking about the possibility of miscarriage.

When I told dad I was scared, he asked me why. I told him I was scared of doing it alone, I was scared of everything. I was scared of having a miscarriage. I told mum I was scared of miscarrying. She told me it didn’t run in the family, so there wasn’t a reason to be scared.

On the Tuesday I bought myself ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’. I had a hot bubble bath then settled into bed with my new book. I read about the dating scan I was booked in for, what we should see and tried to work out how far along I was. I then read that having hot baths is a no-no. The body can overheat by staying submerged and can’t adjust, as it needs to. I freaked out.

I messaged Gary and told him I was scared of miscarriage and being alone. I was scared I’d done something wrong. I was scared I’d do something wrong. I was scared.

I went about the next nine days in a scared, yet hopeful, daze. I embraced the constant feeling of nausea, the lack of appetite and constant need to pee and just the overall exhaustion. These were all symptoms for the baby that was growing inside me. These were real things that were happening for a very real and exciting thing.

The day for the scan arrived at long last. Mum and Gary came in with me while dad waited outside. I stripped off my jeans and underwear and made myself comfortable on the bed with my knees bent up.

The technician went about her business, asked a few opening questions then proceeded to move about with lots of clicks and measurements on the screen. I had no idea what I was looking at, and eventually asked in a light tone ‘there’s just the one in there, isn’t there?’

The question seemed to linger. She asked me if my doctor had thought that my levels were low. I’d had my blood test almost two weeks ago; I told her that in fact she seemed to think they were quite high and I might have been further along than expected.

Silence followed. I wasn’t too sure what to make of it all. I just stared at the screen, hoping to make sense of the black and grey swirls. It all remained a mystery. I did find it odd that she wasn’t speaking to me, to us and telling us about what she was looking at.

‘I’m sorry, but I can’t detect a heartbeat.’

I don’t know what I said or what happened next, but she said something about sending the genetic counsellor in. Mum was then by my side and hugging me. My tears started and I lay frozen, my knees eventually dropping flat.

We didn’t see the technician again. I kept looking at the screen trying to make sense of it all. I began to doubt myself. Had I made up the symptoms that I’d still been experiencing that very day? Had I somehow created the hormones to appear in my urine and blood tests? Was this all just a big joke?

My biggest fear had come true. The main thing that played on my mind for those two weeks had been my fear of miscarriage. And that is exactly what happened. My body’s ultimate betrayal.

Greetings to Realisation

‘Hello Laura’

‘Night Laura’

Simple things, really. Usual greetings or farewells, nothing out of the ordinary.

But in my case, my heart stops and my stomach jumps. Why? After the initial shock, my heart and head start to freeze over. I feel myself go backwards, more steps back.  My heart beats rapidly; so rapidly it’s the only thing I can hear in the back of my head. My ears and head pound – all this, from a simple ‘Hello’ or ‘Night’.

I’m trying to move on, keep myself upbeat, keep myself busy. But I still wake up each morning with him crossing my mind, I hear songs on the radio that remind me of him, I watch TV and commercials or shows bring him to the front of my mind. I am so over my stomach tightening and my chest heaving. The hole in my chest. I want to move on and I need to move on.

These simple greetings only add to my pain and confusion. The last message was sent Wednesday night, thankfully after I’d fallen asleep, so my night wasn’t spent tossing and turning and questioning. Instead the questioning happened shortly after waking up and has continued since.

I don’t know what he’s trying to achieve or what he wants. Was he lonely and had no one else to turn to, or did he miss me? Is he doing this to mess with my head? I would like to think that I didn’t fall in love with a manipulator, that I didn’t fall for a nasty person, that he wouldn’t deliberately hurt me. But then he did hurt me, he treated me nastily and did try to put it back on me. So maybe he is messing with me.

I told Jess that I’d heard from him and she got angry. Why is he doing this? Both her and Rachael have told me not to see him when (if?) he comes to Melbourne. I’m still in two minds. There is a part of me that thinks it will be therapeutic; it might finally provide me with a chance to get some much-needed closure. But then there is also the part of me that remains hopeful, that we can work things out and find a way.

We did move quickly; we wanted, well, I wanted, to be with him. Stay in love and build a life. Have children and travel the world, buy a house and open a café. Getting engaged and then married seemed to be the way to do this – it would have provided us with the opportunity to get a visa and be together. But we didn’t actually talk about how we would do all of that. I had full time employment and no restrictions and a path to getting a UK passport. But he didn’t have long-term full time employment and had restrictions on what he was able to do. We didn’t have plans for how we would do all of those things; we just wanted to be together.

It stings when I think back to when he said that the love he had for me wasn’t enough for us to get married; that if we’d met sooner and known each other longer, things may have been different. I interpreted this as him being scared and wanting a way out, that he didn’t love me, didn’t want to be with me.

We didn’t think it all through; I still won’t think of it as ‘the consequences’ however we didn’t make any future plans. We were caught up in the moment and just said we wanted to be together. I need to let go of that moment. Perhaps if we had met sooner, if we hadn’t had the deadline looming, things may have been different. It would have been more than a moment; it would have been a true plan for a future together.

Let him keep sending me those greetings. Let him keep thinking about me. I will no longer let those greetings confuse me. I will not allow my thinking of him to make me sad. I will move on.

‘Hello Gary’

‘Night Gary’