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William Lynn 5.1.12-5.1.12/Pregnancy Loss

THIS IS GOING TO RUN INTO TMI TERRITORY AND YOU MAY GET GROSSED OUT FAIR WARNING READ AT YOUR OWN MENTAL EXPENSE. This is extremely long!!!
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I’m Samantha and I am a survivor of a few pregnancy losses, this is just some of the story.
This month is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month as well as it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this is the first time both of these matter personally to me.
For those that already know I’m sorry for the rehash but I’m trying my best to be open and honest about something that is real and that happens more often than one would think. There are millions of women and families out there going through the trauma of a miscarriage, stillbirth, or losing their baby before they had a chance to cut their first tooth that are suffering because they feel alone. When in reality they are in an ocean of other women who also feel alone. It’s only when it happens to you personally do you realize how many people are in the same boat as you and it’s up to us to spread the word that yes this happens, yes this sucks but we will persevere and spread the word so more women and families realize we are here in the same boots and able to help them get through what I’d like to liken to hell because it is a form of hell.
Whether you lose a baby in utero at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 14 weeks, 20 weeks, at birth or months after birth it is a form of hell because you have all these plans for these babies that will never come to fruition and it’s painful like someone is tearing out your soul. All those plans on what the baby’s room goes up in smoke, all the plans of going apple picking with them when they are older are gone. You end feeling at a lost of what to do and no one says the right things to you because there aren’t any right words for situations like ours. You do however learn who will stick by your side no matter what. It’s not uncommon in these situations for relationships to fall apart including marriages but the relationships and marriage that get through it make it through so much stronger.
Now me personally, I feel like I’ve had it pretty terrible when it comes to pregnancy and the loses that have happen.
In the last 6 years alone we were unlucky to lose the first one at 12 weeks and not find out until we went in for the ultrasound and the baby had no heartbeat, that was a terrible moment compounded by taking medication to make it come out. I ended giving birth in my bathroom and it was just horrifyingly horrible and still haunts me to this day, I’ll cringe if I think about it and I have nightmares about it 6 years later. But they said well this just happens and I was told to give my body time to get pregnant again. This was March of 2011. We tried and we tried and we tried to conceive and I would cry every time my period arrived because it felt like another failure.
Then FINALLY in December of 2011 we finally were pregnant again, the pregnancy ran smoothly even though I hate pregnancy but on the night of April 30th I knew something was wrong and contacted my doctor because I was having contractions and my back really hurt and she kind of just brushed me off so I tried to get some sleep but by 6am on May 1st 2012 the pain was so bad, I called the OB back and was told to go to the ER. I wake Mike up who barely had slept at all and we went off to the ER. They put us in an observation room and they do an ultrasound on the tummy turns out it’s a boy. Anyhow anyone that knows me knows I have always wanted a boy so that was exciting for all of a second before they told me his foot was hanging outside my cervix. I felt myself go numb because I knew in that moment it was over almost 20 weeks of carrying this child and I knew I was going to lose him. Poof went the ideas for his nursery (Mario Bros theme) poof went a life together, poof all the clothing I’ve already bought for this child who was not going to last the night. So I was admitted into the Maternity room and got to listen to doctor after doctor say oh it will be okay and maybe you won’t go into birth today and we can get him back inside and fix this. But I knew it was unfixable and only when the specialist came in did I get that confirmed by now it was the afternoon and he was the only one to tell me the truth which I appreciated. “You will have this baby in the next hour, he most likely won’t come out alive” Brutal it seems to some but he put my mind at ease. I’m a planner and false glimmers of hope do not sit well with me. During this time Mike was occasionally leaving the room to get some air and tell family what was going down. When the specialist left, I looked over at him and said very blankly well now we know and I could see him screaming on the inside so he excused himself and went out to our car and smoked a cigarettes and beat the roof of our car and then did the second round of calls to tell family what was happening with us.
In the afternoon of May 1st 2012 the labor began, Mike was back in the room with me and at first I didn’t want to see this poor baby that wasn’t going to come out breathing, but the birth was quick and I want to say his birth time was 3:31 but I’d have to check the certificate but most likely I won’t I avoid looking at that unless I absolutely have to. Surprisingly he came out not only alive but breathing as well but I knew with out current medical tech. there was nothing to do to save him and I didn’t want to hold him, hell I didn’t even want to be here anymore. After a half hour of the nurses holding him, I asked to hold him. He was so tiny only 9 ounces big and his skin had a reddish tone to it and his eyes were closed but the eyelids were semi-translucent so I could tell he had dark eyes. Possibly my eyes but I’ll never know because he never opened them. I held him until he took his last breath and the one thing that I think about now 5 years later is how painful each one of those breathes had to have been and almost wish he had come out not breathing. They took him out of my arms shortly after he passed and his skin started feeling slightly cold and put him in a basket and left us alone to grieve our tremendous loss. We decided to name him William Lynn because he lived long enough to get a birth certificate. William for his father but really for a deeper reason, the grievance counselor came in to speak with us and said “He had a strong will to live” So that’s where William really comes from, I never call him William, he’s always Will to me. Lynn was my grandpa’s middle name and it seemed fitting seeing we had lost him in January of 2012, that our son should carry my grandfather who has always been like an actual father to me in honor of both of their memories.
We finally got to go home at 10pm that night because I refused to stay overnight in the same room where our son was born, held and died in the course of only a few hours and we cried. We spent the weekend in Ann Arbor it was supposed to be our honeymoon but it was a disaster, the room was shit, their was gum on the wall, wifi sucked, the toilet overflowed and whenever you started up the Jacuzzi it sounded like you were starting up a lawn mower but I found it all hilarious because really we have already been through so much that the room sucking just made me giggle my butt off. Even the bed sucked lol except one section the middle of the bed so we would spend the day doing things as long as I could and come back and cuddle up together in the middle of the bed, the only comfortable part of the bed feeling like this can’t be real. This isn’t reality. Any moment we will wake up and this will have been a nightmare and I’d be still pregnant with our much wanted son. But life isn’t always kind and instead of it all being a dream it became a part of who we are. We had to have him cremated, his ashes sit in a chest I bought and stained myself along with his little hat, with his special bear and with his pictures which I may add to this post. I have a difficult time facing this and I don’t think there will be a time where it’s easier. But hanging off my necklace is a pendant that says “William” from my friend Carley that I wear every single day of my life and his tiny blue bear the hospital gave us I carry in my purse every day. I’m not religious but I throw away my disbelief long enough to believe my granny, grandpa, and Mike’s grandparents are watching over this much loved baby who I miss every day of my life and as I’ve said this before his death did serve a purpose because after so many loses I finally had a diagnosis that ensured Katie’s survival. So thank you Will for making sure your sister could stay inside long enough to have a fighting chance at life and thank you for being here with us even if it was such a short amount of time. I’m sorry you didn’t live, I’m sorry I’ll never see you grow up and I’m sorry I’ll never know what color your eyes would have been.
This will always hurt it will just hurt a little less every year. Every year on the anniversary of his birth and death I’m a wreck and I sob and that’s okay because it happened and it sucked. My whole point is that I guarantee their our parents right now suffering a loss that happened whether it was years ago or last week and they have a hole in their heart and I just want to say, I know where you are and I see you.
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Your past doesn’t define your future

This is a saying I say a lot because I think it’s true, your past does not define your present or future. Yes you are who you are because of your past experiences but letting your past hold you down makes you miss out on the present and on the future. How can you move ahead if you are letting your past haunt you? I know plenty of adults that love to blame their childhood for the shitty things or decisions they make or do and to that I say bullshit. You always have a choice, always. You can choose to continue down the path you are currently taking or you can change directions.

I grew up with a not so awesome background and though I don’t like it and I don’t like what my family did or does, I didn’t let them define me. I looked at them and thought “I don’t want to be like them” so I didn’t. I made my own path and became my own person early on and I’m always slightly taken aback when someone says that this is amazing and so hard to do because to me it wasn’t. I didn’t want to be like them so I choose not to be, that’s it. I didn’t have to work at it, I just looked at the people around me and learned from their mistakes instead of making my own. By no means does that mean I think I’m perfect, I’m not, I’m wonderfully flawed like any other person. I’ve made my mistakes in life and I’ve paid for them in spades. I’ve fallen and picked myself back up again and luckily once I make a mistake I make damn sure I don’t make it again.

My life isn’t perfect and it sure isn’t easy and sometimes it’s down right just hard but it is what is it and I love who I’ve grown into. So, what I say to you whomever reads this, I know life sucks sometimes and maybe you are currently going through something difficult but you will make it through and you are wonderful. You don’t need to be perfect, it’s okay to be wonderfully flawed because that’s what makes you you. Only you defines you, not your past, not your significant others, your children, your family, only you and that’s a beautiful thing and if you currently don’t like who you are or what situation you are in, all it takes is one step in the right direction followed by more steps. I sincerely hope you all are doing well and just know even though we don’t know each other, I personally love you for who you are and who you will become.

 

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A open letter to Katie

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Katie,

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of you coming home from your 225 day stay in NICU and I wanted to take a moment today to write a letter to you that I hope I expand on every year until you’re old enough to give them all to you.

I hope I have been a good mom to you and if I have messed up hopefully it was nothing major and just small things like making you mad because I wouldn’t let you go to a party or something like that. I really hope I do right by you and the reason I’m writing this letter is to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you. By now you’ve probably heard many stories about your NICU stay and the struggles during your baby/toddler years and maybe you have some memories of outpatient therapists or specialists or maybe you don’t. Right now I’m not sure where the road is leading us but I do know I am so proud of everything you do.

I’ve loved you and been proud of you since the day you were born and I know I definitely loved you from the moment I knew of your existence. I’m sure we won’t always see eye to eye but please know that every moment of your life I have cherished. You have always been wanted and always been loved. I will always be proud of you and love you no matter what. You have been through so much at such a young age and in such a short time and I can’t imagine loving anyone as much as I love you. Every new thing you do thrills me even if it’s something as simple as a smile or one step forward or one word spoken. We are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing daughter and I don’t know right now who you are going to turn out to be or where your road in life will take you but I do know no matter what, I will always love you for who you are. Your dad jokes he will disown you if you go to OSU but don’t worry he’s just joking because you’re amazing and you have both of us wrapped around your finger.

I’m really hoping that we don’t end up with a pony in the backyard and I hope we give you the space and room you need to grow and thrive and find yourself. I really hope I’m not too overprotective and let you be you and not wrap you up in bubble wrap to keep you safe and I really hope you are proud of me too. Because you are literally the best thing I have ever done in my entire life and I really really hope I haven’t let you down. I love you so much Katie and I’m sure I don’t show it enough but I hope I tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of who you have grown into. Katie, you have made my life such a joy and I hope I do the same for you in return.

I hope to keep this up writing you letters every year on this day and you already know about the many holiday cards I’ve written in by now and of course the hand written journals that talk about your childhood. You have your blanket over your head right now so I need to go take that off your head. I love you Katie and always will.

 

love,

Mom

I was doing so well

My god do I ever hate depression. I was doing so well for so long, I was off the depression meds for over a year then out of nowhere “hello darkness my old friend”. So now I’m waiting the 4-6 weeks for it to fully kick in and just having a hell of a day. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve forgotten to take my PTSD medication for the last few days. Nothing bad has happened. My daughter is being an absolute angel, the dog isn’t being annoying, and my husband is fine doing what he normally does playing video games. However I can just feel the anger and hate flow right out around me just coloring an otherwise beautiful spring day to just grey. If I had to sum up how I feel right at the moment it would be, I hate everything and everyone.

My husband tries to cheer me up and I just want to punch him in the face but then I also now if he didn’t try to cheer me up I’d still want to punch him in the face. By the way I have never punched anyone in the face, thought about it oh god yeah actually done it never. Currently the only person I don’t personally hate, is our daughter. Which I guess is progress but everyone else…..I want to give the middle finger salute. Whatever, fuck this day and fuck everything else too. Tomorrow will be another day and blah blah blah.

 

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Depression and PTSD definitely do not mix well….Fuck the Emperor as well! 

Looking towards tomorrow

It’s three days after the most volatile election in my lifetime. We all saw something that most of us haven’t seen in our lifetime. A election filled with hate and negativity. Now I know that in every election there is always mud throwing contests but this one was different on many fundamental levels. We finally have concrete proof on how divide a country we live in.

One half of the nation is against the other half and that makes me sad. Not because who was elected but what it means for us as a country. How did we get to this point where we cannot have a civil conversation about politics? What does it say about us as a nation where everyone wants to point their fingers at another and blame whomever does not agree with us? But mainly how do we fix this?

I don’t know the right answers and I’m sure many feel the same way. No matter what side of the argument you are on and I think we can all agree we need to start uniting instead of furthering the divide that is happening in our country. So how about starting today we start loving one another instead of fighting. Compromising with each other rather than blocking each other at every turn. I believe in us, I believe this is an attainable task and I believe in the future of this country, not only for me but for the next generations. What we do today will echo throughout history and lets leave the future a more beautiful place for our descendants. They deserve a better more united world and we should start today to make sure that is exactly what they get.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and just remember love is always the answer.

 

Inside the mind of one Trach Mom

I think one of the hardest thing about having a baby or child on a ventilator is the jealously and envy we have when we see “normal” children. The kids that were full term and had no issues. In the trach parent community we all have friends with kids and we see them either on Facebook or in real life hitting all their milestones with no problem and I know I find that hard to watch. That doesn’t mean I hate their babies or have resentment towards them just that I’m envious of a life that I most likely will never get to live. Katie most likely will be my only child, so I most likely will never have the joy of carrying to full term. To be able to breast feed my child, watch them hit their milestones on time or before time. There is so much we have missed because she was born so damn early. We missed out on a normal babyhood and sometimes that breaks my heart. I got to see my nephew when he was a little under 9 months and this kid is crawling all over the place while I’m struggling to get her to just creep around to get to crawling. He pulls himself up into a standing position (which btw is 3 months ahead of time the little cute thing). He is currently taking his first steps at 10 months old which Katie isn’t doing yet. She’s so behind because of 7.5 months of being in NICU without being able to do anything because either she was sick or too little to do any development stuff. We didn’t even get to start doing any OT/PT until she was 6 months old 3 months corrected. I know she’ll get there but I have to say looking at everyone else’s children makes me feel jealous of their child and of their life.
Having said that I am extremely proud of Katie’s progress, she has come so far from where she was. She’s healthier, happier, and absolutely amazing. This little less than 20 pounder has gone through 5 surgeries, 6 different procedures and has come close to not making it a few times during the NICU stay but she’s still here. That’s why I believe she is my hero. The theme for her 2nd birthday party is Supergirl which I find fitting because she really is a super girl. She won’t have the trach removed by her birthday but she’ll be off the vent off 24/7 and that will be absolutely awesome. I can’t wait to just be able to hold her and be with her without worrying about having to carry all the machinery with us anymore. I want her to be like everyone else and just have a life that is full of joy and not so filled with doctor’s appointments.
This is the most difficult road I’ve ever traveled and I’m looking forward to getting to the end of the road and getting to just be normal for the first time in years. In the last four years we have lost a son that we badly wanted at 5 months pregnant and then the years of depression and then followed by the pregnancy with Katie and the cerclage placed, hoping an praying that she would stay inside only to have her be born at 26 weeks, the ensuing 225 days in the NICU, the trach and g-tube place, her coming home, the nurses and the privacy you lose with having nurses. The appointments, the stress, the trying to keep yourself together. Sometimes it’s just too much and there are times where I would love nothing better than to curl up in a ball and just cry. But then I pick myself up again and go about my day. Do the best I can possibly do for my little girl because this process definitely sucks but she’s what matters. One day we will get to have a normal life and that day is worth waiting for. She was worth waiting for.

 

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Tupperware is the shit.

Mistakes

We all make mistakes. I’ve made plenty in my 32 years on this planet. Tiny mistakes, moderate mistakes and luckily only a few huge mistakes. I look back sometimes at the things I have done in my past and feel without those mistakes I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Do I regret the mistakes I’ve made? Sure, who doesn’t but it does no good to constantly dwell on the mistakes I’ve made. Instead I choose to occasionally look back and remind myself not to make the same mistakes again.

I don’t think of myself as a bad person but I’ve definitely have done bad things in my life. Nothing like murder or terrible like that but still I’m not perfect. Honestly I don’t want to be perfect. I don’t think it’s possible to be perfect and I’m not going to strive ever to be perfect. I just want to be the best person I can be.

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