I am potentially in the middle of a crisis.
I say potentially because I could be off-base and wrong. I could be just being my overly dramatic self and although what I’m experiencing isn’t exactly normal, it’s not a crisis either. It could all be ok. I could look back at the last week a year from now and smile the all-knowing smile of a mother who’s been there, done that. Period bleeding for 5 straight days while pregnant? I handled it.
But I’m pretty sure I’m actively miscarrying my baby.
I’ll spare you the gory details, because they are, in fact, incredibly gory. Women have miscarriages all. the. time. Some have more than one before they even get pregnant with their first, and here I am with 2 beautiful, healthy children from 2 easy, uncomplicated pregnancies and I’m (potentially) experiencing my first and it’s a crisis.
I am freaking the fuck out.
I am torn between that “motherly intuition” thing that I sporadically have that punches me in the gut with the feeling that things are not going to be ok and my yoga-ish trying to get closer to God self that wants to be positive and trust that there’s a larger plan in all of this, regardless of the outcome.
But I want to know. Right now. I don’t want to wait till tomorrow to get blood work done and then wait 48 more hours to do it again and then wait ANOTHER 48 hours to get results back. Because once you see that heartbeat on an ultrasound screen, once you know that you have started down this journey of creating a living being inside your beautifully flawed, stubborn, strong body, it becomes your job to ensure that you do everything in your power to protect that.
The thing is, I have no power to protect anything right now. If my body is rejecting this pregnancy, nothing I can do or not do, say or not say, think or not think is going to stop any wheels from turning.
I am completely powerless.
This lady hates powerless.
I don’t need to be powerful, but I do prefer having some degree of influence over the outcome of my situations. Don’t we all?
The days keep trucking along and I keep over-analyzing every cramp, every clot, every bathroom trip. I dread my husband asking me how I’m doing because how does anyone feel anything when there is this much uncertainty? I am mad at myself for sharing our pregnancy news to so many people. I always thought I’d want more arms to fall into should anything bad happen, but now that I’m facing that road, I just want to hide. I don’t want to look at people, talk to people, explain to people anything.
I want to be brave and strong. But I only want to hide.
I wrote the first part of this post on July 2nd. On July 6th, after an entire night of intense back pain and a high fever, it was confirmed that what I was experiencing was, in fact, a miscarriage.
31 hours later I got a phone call from my mom that my Nana had passed away. I was riding shotgun in the car on the way to Virginia, desperately hoping to make it back to talk to her one last time…to show her a few more pictures of my kids and some pictures from the trips we took together. I didn’t make it back in time to say goodbye.
One heartbreaking blow after another. The numbness I had felt from the news of the miscarriage gave way to a waterfall of tears.
I spent the next couple days surrounded by family. Hugging my sister. Holding my moms hand.
There’s nothing quite as comforting like seeing my brother walk into my mom’s house. Not that we ever lived in that particular house together, but since he’s so often the missing link in our family gatherings given the nature of his job, seeing him at my mom’s always makes it feel more like home. Like our home. Like the non-existent home that my Schofield family all shared – including our kids and husbands/wives. I know that makes NO sense when I write it down, but in my head, it does, and really, isn’t that what counts? At 6 foot something super tall, his hugs are awesome. And he was there.
We all were. United by tragedy and loss but cloaked in love and support.
My best friends that have stood beside me through all of my highs and lows arranged childcare and drove from other cities to be there for the visitation, the funeral and the much needed margarita-infused Mexican dinner that followed.
I can’t quite find the words to explain my Nana and the influence she’s had over my life. She’s something else.
Ashlyn’s middle name is Lora, after my Nana, and I swear even at 2 years old she gets her sass from her namesake. There was nothing and no one Nana couldn’t overcome. She was fierce, feisty and loved hard. That was perhaps the most important thing I took away from her…that you don’t have to apologize for being who you are; for loving hard, for standing up for what you believe and for doing what you think is right. She certainly never made any apologies for those things, and the crowd of people that stood through her funeral service through an intense summer thunderstorm proved that she had a community of people who loved and respected her.
I think about her all the time since she’s passed.
I think about how I wish I could do a lot of things differently with her, as I suspect is common when you lose people you love. But mostly I think about all the positive things about my time with her.
I think about our shopping trips and our vacations. How much she loved going out to eat and sassing my mother. How she insisted we have new shoes before school started each year. How she would sit in the sun for hours and her skin would turn a warm, caramel tan color. I think about her big sun hats and her big jewelry box and how I loved to put on her bracelets. I think about the vintage Italian leather clutch I have in my closet and imagine how beautiful she must have looked when she carried it to some fancy dinner party.
I think about how she could talk to anyone about anything and had a fondness for politics and the New York Yankees. I recall sitting in the sun for hours as she purchased her first Honda and how she used to always talk about how important it was to keep your car clean. She’d die all over again if she saw the inside of my van right now…
I think about how much she loved babies and small children and imagine her cradling my lost baby in her arms and making sure he or she is protected and happy. Perhaps that’s why she had to go when she did.
It was a rough month.
It was rough navigating “real life” after dealing with both of those circumstances. It was rough being ok with feeling so numb. I was hard on myself a lot, thinking, “you aren’t the only one who’s miscarried a baby or lost a grandmother. These things happen. Let’s move on.”
While those things are true, I’m certainly not the only one to experience a miscarriage OR a death in the family, it’s still not a light switch. It was, however, a painful reminder of how much I missed writing. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a woman, a wife and a mother since I last regularly posted and I’ve felt this yearning to get back into the swing of things here.
I unexpectedly experienced tragedy and it led me back to the comfort of words on a screen. Of thoughts fleshed out and experiences remembered. Unexpectedness has been the core driver of this blog to date, right? Why shouldn’t I leverage this motivation to get back into a hobby I so dearly enjoy?
I need to get back to doing more things I am passionate about. I have found myself getting sucked into webs of negativity and getting caught up in things that at the end of the day, just don’t matter.
I need more of this. More sharing. More funny kid stories. More laughter.
I need my kids to be able to look back on my posts and see a mom who allowed herself to be vulnerable for the sake of her writing, for the sake of something she loved. I want them to read the stories of their childhood and have a place to share with their kids and their grand kids. So when I pass there’s a collection of stories they can sit around the big farmhouse table Jason just built for our new kitchen and laugh about how insane their mom was.
And hopefully, God willing, as feisty and passionate and one that loved just as hard as her beloved Nana.
In the midst of this, I also made my hair blonder. Hence the title of my post. To date, no one’s noticed.
It’s good to be back!