Balancing Act

This week is sure to be another crazy balancing act in our house. Curtis and I both have extra work training to try and fit in this week, and there’s not a lot of compromise that can be done to work around it. It is what it is. But we’re communicating with each other and with my super understanding co-worker (thankfully) and I think we have it sorted out… in theory… knock on wood… standby and go…

We has to make some tough decisions about sports this week. Nolan and Reegan have baseball practice tonight and all 3 kids have soccer games.┬áCurtis also has a baseball game and a soccer practice tomorrow. Allowing him to go to both games would require switching with his mom, but not for practices. Nolan hasn’t swung the bat once in 4 games. He’s done very well at the other aspects of his game, but he’s not swinging… he needs the practice. So does he go to both practices (ball tonight and soccer tomorrow), or is it more important to play both games (soccer tonight and ball tomorrow)? (Hard to follow? …Yeah, for me, too) Sigh… Well, he wants to play the games (what kid doesn’t?) so we had to make that tough call. We did end up deciding to let him go to the games. Reegan’s coach had said ball practice would be cancelled tonight, too. It wasn’t, but we had already told their mom, so all 3 kids will go with their mom to soccer tonight. The only good thing about this is that it will let Curtis visit his dad in the hospital. It does allow us to fit that one important thing into our week. We can’t both go, but we’ll take the wins where we can get them.

Tuesday, I have all-day training, and I have to go into work early and stay late. Both Reegan and Nolan play at 6:30 in town so Curtis might have to do that on his own. I’ll meet him there when I can. Then he has ball Tuesday night. Wednesday, more all-day training for me, same deal, and then Reegan has ball again and Curtis has training at 7 so I have to be home for that. Thursday is the last day of school and Curtis has ball. Somewhere in there, we have to pack for our trip to Ottawa on the weekend and just do regular life stuff. I’m tired already.

I’m just hoping we can stick together through all of this. It was a rough weekend. We have trouble finding the balance we need when his sister is visiting. There’s no middle ground, it seems. It all has to be his way. His sister may have the run of our house when she’s here and I am not supposed to feel uncomfortable or anxious about it because that’s how his family does things. I find the whole thing wholly unfair and that in itself makes me feel anxious and he doesn’t deal very well with my anxiety…so we argue. It’s an exhausting downward spiral. When we stick together and work together and respect each other (because I’m not devoid of blame for the arguing on the weekend), we can accomplish so much. So here’s to balance. And baseball. And family. And wine… because sometimes, wine is the answer.

I also wanted to share a moment of appreciation I had for my boys (yes, I just called them my boys). I have started walking in the evening with a neighbour and she was telling me that when her husband goes out for the evening, her step-daughter goes to her mother’s. She will never stay with my neighbour. She even chose to walk in the rain to the bus, rather than take a ride from her step-mom. My neighbour never takes her step-daughter to sports or just has one-on-one time, and that made me sad for her. She’s fine with it, she has two girls of her own to be an amazing mother to, but I still felt sad. She is one of the nicest, most generous people I know. I would be devastated if the boys did that to me (and her husband would be devastated if her girls did that to him). The boys would always choose their father, and I’m (mostly) ok with that. Even Reegan, who is usually ok with me, clung to his dad yesterday. And that’s ok. I still got to be there with the team and write the recap and be a part of their lives. That feels like a step-parenting win. So, here’s to my boys…

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Reegan’s ball team waiting for Team Pictures

 

 

A post about loss

This post is about infant loss and may be TMI for some people, but I hope it can help even one person not feel alone. 

When I realized I missed my period, I was terrified. Curtis wasn’t entirely on board with the idea of more kids, although we had made progress on that front. I picked up a pregnancy test and I finally told him that I was late and he took it really well. The test was positive and he could not have been more lovely about it. I was over the moon. We were so happy, it felt like the answer. I felt pregnant, but wasn’t too sick. It was a wonderful time for us. We were planning for our family, all of our family. 
About 6 weeks in, I had some spotting so my doctor told me to come in and have an ultrasound. The spotting was over before I even had the ultrasound. About a week later, my doctor called and said they couldn’t find a heartbeat, I had to have another ultrasound. He called me with those results and told me it was an unviable pregnancy. My baby stopped growing at 6 weeks, 4 days and had no heartbeat. He told me it could take a few weeks but my body would probably work it out on its own. He told me it was best for my body and for trying again if it did it on its own.

And so began one of the hardest two week periods I have even been through. My vision of our happy family was gone with our baby. 

The morning after I found out about our baby, I went to NYC with two of my friends. I wasn’t sure I was going to tell them because I didn’t want to ruin the weekend. They were also supportive and lovely. And it was a bit of a damper on the trip, I noticed I was tired and not myself. I barely took any pictures. I had some red spotting and walked around terrified, waiting for my uterus to explode. It didn’t. But everywhere we went, I had an exit strategy, where was the bathroom, where were my pads and wipes, where were my friends… I had a pad for the bed and my travel medical card and googled hospitals… it was stressful.

When I got back, I took a day off. I was convinced it would happen. It didn’t. So I went back to work, stocked with pads and wipes. At every little thing I went to the ladies room… was that a cramp or just gas, did I feel something? Am I bleeding? I wasn’t. It was pretty gross, but always a false alarm. So we kept going, family parties, baseball games, where’s the bathroom, do I have my pads and wipes, is this starting, will I be bleeding, will I need to go to the hospital, what’s my exit plan? Wash, rinse, repeat. Every day. Everywhere we went. For two weeks. 

I saw Curtis’ therapist because infant loss is something she deals with. It was nice to have someone listen and explain some things to me. I also hope it will help her understand us better so she can keep helping him. Eventually I stopped feeling pregnant, which was a blessing and a curse. I trying to move on, but still no miscarriage.

I did all the things you’re not supposed to do when pregnant or at risk for miscarriage. Exercise, wine, anti-inflammatories, hot yoga, cinnamon… no miscarriage.

I had what was supposed to be my “1st Prenatal appointment” and my doctor sent me for one more ultrasound so they could determine what to do. I had mostly come to terms with what had happened. I know it’s not my fault, I know that Curtis has an increased risk. I understand all of that. I just really needed it to be done. I couldn’t move on. I carried the burden of my morbid dead baby any longer. I was stressed and scared all the time. I was constantly worried about it happening at a bad time. I was just stuck. Half pregnant with a dead baby. It was awful.

I went for my ultrasound and, surprisingly, he told me that it hadn’t passed. I mean, I knew that, but I was surprised and relieved he would tell me that. He did an internal ultrasound to get a better look and by the time I got home, I was definitely cramping. I made dinner and by the time we got home from baseball, it was much worse. We read to the kids and I grabbed a heating pad. The cramps were bad, but not as bad as I expected. I had heard horror stories. Some increased spotting, but still nothing.

At 3:30 this morning, I woke up, and ran to the bathroom. It came. I felt it when it passed. I felt something leave my uterus. It was weird. And then… I just felt better. The full feeling in my stomach passed. The cramps stopped. And I felt sad. Surprisingly sad. Like maybe there had been the smallest chance it would have been ok, even though I knew it wasn’t. 

I took the day off today. I’m ok. I’m sad, but I’m ok. Before we got the results of my 2nd ultrasound I asked Curtis if my pregnancy made him feel any differently about having kids with me. Despite how great he was about everything, he said no, he was still not saying no, but not saying yes to trying again. Before I left for NYC, he stopped me and hugged me and said we could try again. And that has helped me get through this. If you have followed me, you know that is something we struggled with. This was not our fault, and there’s no reason we can’t try again, now that this is finally over. And maybe something wonderful came out something so difficult. We are going to be ok. I put the kids on the bus this morning and I’ll be here when they get home. I still have my family, and we’ll try again for a baby. If it doesn’t happen for us, I can live with that, as long as we try and are in this together. We will be ok. 

If I learned anything, it’s that I don’t need to be so afraid… except maybe of the internal ultrasound because that was finally the straw. You can be completely careful and these things can happen and you can do all the things you’re not supposed to and it still won’t happen until it’s good and ready.