Being Silent

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.” ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Where did a year go?  I blinked and it was gone.  Please forgive my vanishing act.  I’ve nothing new to share on the motherhood role.  I’ve been busy with the new job…now not so new.  The changes to the library have been huge and have kept me very busy.  It’s been a strange, exciting, and scary year of an evolving life.  I’ve hardly had time to read or write…which is unfortunate in the life of a librarian.  If I’m honest, and I always try to be, I’ve also been a bit pulled away from the world.  I’ve been a bit withdrawn.  I’ve thrown myself into work, family, and events but not fully.  I’ve been less.  I’ve been silent…and its been good for me.

i found it harder, in the months following my second miscarriage.  It wasn’t so much the miscarriage, as odd as that sounds.  All those babies that were born around my first due date, they were growing up.  I saw all their photos and first experiences plastered on Facebook and Twitter.  It was depressing.  It was heartbreaking. It shouldn’t have been.  It was understandably so.

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To Return To the Library

What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education. -Harold Howe

So…first week of school down and am I ever thankful for the weekend. IT is hard work. I’m not sure how I never noticed it before. The sheer amour of tech in a middle school is daunting. To make it that much more so, we are rolling out 1:1 devices in about three weeks. I’ve been working extra hard to make sure the classrooms are up and running.

We hosted summer school this year and it just trashed the place. So I’m going above and beyond…because the kids deserve it…because the staff needs to feel supported. As a member of the school’s library, i know our support role very well. It’s been 13 years for me now. I’m a pro.

We have a bad reputation in our school. Or at least we have in the past. Part of that is an earned reputation, I’m sorry to say. As a support role, we have been abrasive and just as frustrated as those searching us out for help. Part of the reputation though isn’t really fair. Libraries and media centers take a lot of the blame for issues ranging from malfunctioning tech to reading scores. It puts us in a weird position.

After this summer I could is the distraction. So here’s to a new year and the rerun of my students. I hope it’s a good one. Bring on the hall passes, overdue notices. And chrome books. Let’s try to enjoy each day and maybe the kids will lead the way!

Let’s Talk D & C

This is a warning because I realize the details of my D & C may bother some people. I refuse to be embarrassed because someone out there may need this information. I’ve been talking about my miscarriages, here and in my life. I’ve been asked plenty of questions, several of which revolve around the procedure itself.  Its all the same questions I had back in September when this first happened to me.  That said.  I hope maybe this can help someone else or can give some peace to someone having to go through it.   I’m going to try and be as open and honest as I can about the actual experiences with both of my D & Cs. This post will probably be long and will most likely be more information than you ever wanted to know about me. 

So Monday, July 14th, was my scheduled D & C…we did make it. I can add one final thank you to my little Thing Two for holding on long enough. The procedure went well. I’m doing okay. Better than I thought I would be.  I’d also like to thank everyone again for the thoughts and prayers. It took a little while for me to be able to write this.

Last time I wrote about this, I was extremely emotional. There were several reasons. My first miscarriage. I was in a bad place with my grief. Several women I work with were announcing their own pregnancies. My jealousy knew no end. My anger was solid.  I was afraid.  I will be talking about that first procedure some.  However if you would like to know more about that experience, as I wrote it then, you can look back at my post from last October, My Wednesday Child.

Two pregnancies.  Two missed miscarriages in just under a year.  Two scheduled D & Cs.  Both experiences had similarities but each was also unique.  I had both procedure scheduled through the same OBGYN. Both of my procedures were done same day patient at an ambulatory surgery facility.  For what it was, my medical experiences were fantastic.   They were kind, professional, and could not have made the whole ordeal easier.

Because both if my miscarriages are what’s commonly referred to as “missed” miscarriages, my experiences are not the same as women who have experienced “natural” miscarriages. I did not experience the typical symptoms that come with a miscarriage. The first time I had no symptoms what so ever. This time I had some cramping and spotting two days leading up to the surgery. Other than that…I didn’t know. Everything screamed pregnant. I found out both times on a table while watching an ultrasound. The second time I was expecting the heartbeat I’d seen the week before.

A D & C is short for “Dilation and Curettage”. My paperwork said D & E, which is Dilation and Evacuation…more commonly used for second trimester procedures. It’s pretty much the same thing with slight differences. They are so much alike that some medical facilities use them almost interchangeably. You can find plenty of information on either term through Wikipedia or Web MD. I personally found the Mayo Clinic‘s site helpful.

I was asked to sign in at the surgery center one hour before my appointment…like the airport this was a highly recommended and required function on my part. No nail polish, jewelry, make up, or contact lenses. Bring someone with you to take you home…no driving yourself. I also couldn’t eat or drink anything after 12 the night before. As much as this was a same day procedure, it was still surgery. I was going to be under general anesthesia. All of this was true both times. You just know that at 12:01 I was drying for a tall glass of chocolate milk, right?

After some paper work, I was taken into prep where there was even more paperwork and a costume change. I got a stylish hospital gown, hair cap, robe, and slipper socks. They took my vitals. They placed my IV line. My husband was allowed back at this time. I then met with my nurse, anesthesiologist, and my OBGYN – who was performing the D & C. This is also true of both experiences.

I was walked back to the surgery room and asked to lay down on a table with my legs out on bent extension stirrups and my arms out in a T shape. The doctors spoke to me. The nurse belted me in…her term which is much nicer than strapped down…and I was told I’d be sleepy. They never asked me to count. This too was pretty much the same both times. I then was out. I can’t share this part. I know nothing of what happened. I remember nothing. I might as well have been abducted by aliens for all I know. I’ve got lost time and I’m pretty sure I was probed. According to X-files, alien abduction is the most likely cause. Well, that or surgery to end my miscarriage. I rather like the idea of alien abduction.

So…this is what I’ve been told happens during a D & C:

1. The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina to see the cervix.
2. The doctor will insert a series of rods into the cervix in order to slowly dilate and open it.
3. A curette is used to remove uterine tissue by scraping or suctioning.
4. The whole thing takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

I woke up in recovery not long after. I was out maybe an hour. Like I said. Alien abduction.

The nursing staff monitored me for another hour. The doctors came and checked on me. My husband was allowed to sit with me. They gave me breakfast choices…both times I chose corn muffin and cranberry juice. I’m not very creative when it comes to breakfast desires. They kept asking me my date of birth, my name, who my favorite Avenger was. Not kidding. Although the first time was my name, date of birth, and favorite underwear model. I think my nurses had senses of humor I couldn’t fully appreciate while being drugged. Shame really. I enjoy a good joke. When the staff was happy with my vitals and responses, I was allowed to get dressed and somewhat cleaned up. One suggestion for you ladies…bring your own maxi pad. The ones the medical staff give you might as well be diapers. Sadly that is my greatest wisdom to impart. I grabbed Always Supers and was so much more comfortable the second time because I planned that in advance. So your own maxi and really comfy clothing. Your going to be uncomfortable, make the best of it. Pack your favorite pjs or yoga pants or fat jeans or even a house dress…whatever makes you comfy. It’s better than the alien abduction wear and you’re probably going to be sleepy on the way home anyway.

The after is where my experiences differed.

First time:

1. I was crampy on and off for about a week. This part sucked.
2. I bled moderately for seven days, with one or two heavy days.
3. Stopped.
4. Spotted for several day.
5. Stopped.
6. Went to my OBGYN for my post op follow up two weeks later.
7. Got my first period 37 days later.
8. Emotionally, I was angry and devastated. Think stages of grief.

Second time:

1. I was crampy first and second day.
2. I spotted for 2 days.
3. Stopped.
4. Tiny bit of spotting.
5. Stopped.
6. Went to my OBGYN for my post op follow up two weeks later.
7. Waiting for my period but it’s early yet.
8. Emotionally, I’m eh. I’m okay most of the time but I’m getting headaches and I find I can’t sleep.

Physically, I did much better the second time. It was a breeze this time as far as pain and my body went. While I’m not finding my grief to be so dark this time…I am finding I’m more depressed and blah this time around. Everything seems duller this time. The pain was duller and so was the grief.

That’s my experiences. Like all things, your own may vary but I find it helps to know a little about what you might be facing. You’re not alone. I wasn’t alone. We are not alone…there are aliens…sorry couldn’t help that. Weird 90s tv references aside…if you find you need it check out websites or ask your doctor for the details. Ask friends who have been through it. Sometimes knowing these things can help a sad situation be a little less horrifying.

If you need this info, you’ve already been through Hell…you don’t need the procedure to be scary as well. I swear I’m being truthful. For what it was…the D & C wasn’t that bad. It was the easiest part.

Sleepless In Connecticut

It’s sad to fall asleep. It separates people. Even when you’re sleeping together, you’re all alone. -J.L. Merrow

What makes you smile? Really smile, not that false lip lift you flash for the camera. Who makes you happy? Where do you find joy? What scares you? Makes you sad? Have you ever really thought about it? Can you sleep when your emotions are so very full? I can’t.

Right now, I have major insomnia. I fall asleep but end up waking up. Dreams and nightmares are so very vivid. My stomach hurts but I don’t know if it’s a sign of impending miscarriage or if I’m just stressed out. I’ll say it again…I hate waiting. That’s almost over now though. Couple of more hours and I can start moving forward.

It’s not horrible…the miscarriage. I don’t mean that it isn’t sad or that I’m okay with it. I’m not. This is my second one in less than a year. Does that make this easier? I don’t think so. Remember, this time around there’d been a heartbeat. Signs of life so quickly lost. Maybe I’m numb. Maybe it’s shock. I don’t think so. As bad as the situation is, I’m feel more at peace than I was last time.

In the dark of my living room tonight, the glow of the television flashing…it’s just me and my little white dog. She’s got her head on my lap and we are just sitting. She looks up at me as her eyes start to close. Soon she’s sleeping and I am the only one awake. Upstairs, the man I love is snoring. Down the hall my seventeen year old nephew is sleeping, his music blasting. I’m alone with my thoughts, feelings, and several bad infomercials.

I should probably try to sleep. Put down my laptop and let go of the day so I can start the new one. It will be a good-bye, a little death inside myself to match what I am losing…again. Isn’t that everyday though? Joy and sadness. Anger and humor. Life in all it’s technicolor.

Loving Perfect

He had all the attributes of a perfect man, and, in my opinion, no finer personality ever existed. -Thomas A. Edison

I married a perfectly imperfect man…and I want to slap him for it. I want to fall to my knees and thank God for him. I want to hold him in my arms forever. I fear losing him. I love him with every emotion in my heart.

Yesterday afternoon I got a text from a friend of mine. Rach and her two year old daughter were heading out to a local Fireman carnival…did J and I want to go? I had been feeling the impending miscarriage and told J we shouldn’t go. Who goes to a carnival while awaiting a miscarriage? J nodded and then went upstairs. He came back five minutes later fully dressed and told me to get my things.

I shook my head.

He smiled and tossed me a shoe. “Get your things.”

“We can’t.”

He tossed me the other shoe, “Come on Cinderella…We are going to the carnival.”

“I don’t feel well.”

“We’re going.”

“My stomach hurts,” I said.

He came over to stand before me and started to place my shoes on my feet, “You’re nervous. Your stomach hurts because you’re waiting for the miscarriage to start. You’re making yourself sick. Yes. It’s going to happen. I’m sorry. If I could stop it, I would. I can’t but I can take you to the carnival and feed you cotton candy. We can spend the afternoon with a good friend and her cute daughter. We can have some fun.”

“But I don’t want to have fun,” I said, “it doesn’t feel right.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then I don’t know why we can’t go.”

So we went. Rach is a lot of fun. She’s bubbly and fun. She shares many of my interests and is super talented. Her daughter is adorable, with moods that flip with the toss of her precocious curls. Her giggles are infectious. Her peek a boo pout could melt your heart.

“No. No. No!” She didn’t want any of my lemonade…but then she smiled at me and held her hands out.

So yes…yes…yes…I had a good time. Yes. I was glad we went. I got funnel cake. The whole trip made me happy.

J drove me home and my back was killing me. My stomach was slightly cramping. I had some spotting. My first signs of the miscarriage had arrived. It’s a good lesson. You can’t stop what’s coming but you can change how you face it. If I’d had my way, I would have been afraid and suffering at home. Instead, I was at a carnival chasing a Shirley Temple child around the fairway while we both giggled. Giggling is always a better way to face life!

J is a big man. He’s broad shouldered and 6’3. He could be scary if you ever met him in a dark ally. He makes small children laugh. He takes his nephews to museums and teaches them how to build computers. He cleans his mom’s house. He works long and hard all day but will still come home to make me dinner.

J is practically perfect…there is so little I could complain about. He loves me and tells me he doesn’t care about the miscarriages, I’m all that matters. He would be an amazing father but he pushes that aside to assure me that I’m all he needs. He doesn’t blame God. He doesn’t curse the situation. He doesn’t dwell on what went wrong. He thinks about how we can try again. He focuses on living our lives, our family, and our friends. He thinks it’s a good life. It is. It’s not perfect…but he almost is. I must have done something right because he loves me.

Btw – shameless plug alert: Rach just started her own blog…cooking, crafts, home improvement. The girl is amazingly talented. Think DIY projects. Rach Makes – shameless plug over! 🙂

Life Is Pain…

Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something. -William Goldman, The Princess Bride

I’m in a dull pain. Maybe I won’t make it to the D & C on Monday. That thought frightens me a bit. I’m not really afraid of pain. I’m not a fan by a long shot but I can handle it. Its just pain. I’m more concerned about facing the miscarriage head on. Call me chicken but there are clear reasons I chose a D & C. I don’t want to see…it.

I am a coward. I get anxious over little things that I don’t know or understand. Like when I have to call a vendor for work…if I’ve never spoken to them before I get all stressed out and have near panic attacks. I do manage to calm myself down. I get the call done. I manage to overcome the fear…but…for the time before I swallow it down? Well I’m a wreck! This situation is worse. What happens if the miscarriage starts before I manage to get to the surgery? What do I do? Does the surgery still happen? Will I have to continue with the miscarriage naturally?

Not knowing something terrifies me. Waiting makes me impatient. Grains through an hour glass and all that jazz. Dull aches, impatience, nervous butterflies, heart flutter, and insomnia…these are the symptoms of my miscarriage. Emotionally, mentally, or physically…in this life event…pain isn’t even a concern.