When the Past Haunts the Present

I’m going to share a story with you today. A story I never intended to tell. A story that I thought I had put behind me. Coped with. Put into my past and locked it there. A story that is consuming me today with ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’
It happened 6 years ago. Almost to the date. I chose not to tell people then. And that’s my first ‘what if’ What if I had reached out for help back then. Maybe I could’ve saved some hurt. Not just my own. But the hurt of others too.
6 years ago I was in the military. I injured my knee and I chose to release. My biggest reason for choosing to release was that I was pregnant. And I didn’t like the level of care I was receiving. They were refusing to even give me confirmation of pregnancy. I was told the pregnancy test was ‘inconclusive’ whatever that means.
My boyfriend at the time denied it was his. Said I must have been cheating on him. (He was seeing someone else on the side, so I guess he felt I must have been to)
Because of his denial I didn’t want to tell anyone else. I felt that him and I should work through it first.
So I released. I went home to my Dr. My Dr decided to do an ultrasound in office to confirm the pregnancy. I seen my baby moving around, their little heart beating. He couldn’t date the pregnancy so he ordered an ultrasound for me for the next day.
That night I got into a fight with my boyfriend. I was mad that he was accusing me of cheating on him. I knew he was seeing someone else. But I didn’t tell him I knew. I wanted things to work out.
The next day I went into the ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. The heartbeat that seemed so strong the day before was gone. I don’t have words for how I felt. It was a Friday, the Dr told me they were going to give me the weekend to miscarry naturally and scheduled a D&C for Monday morning. That evening I told my boyfriend. (He wasn’t in the same city as I was at the time) he told me I was making it up. And that I was doing it for attention… I didn’t tell anyone else. No one knew I was pregnant. Why would they believe me?
Over the weekend my boyfriend and I ended things. Well he did. Through an email. He said he stopped loving me. Months ago. He had found someone else.
My body never expelled the baby. I went in for a D&C Monday morning. I agreed to allow an intern to do the procedure. I didn’t know it took almost 3 times as long as it should have. I was numb. I was alone.
I was lost.
A few weeks later I still hadn’t stopped bleeding. My Dr did an internal ultrasound. He informed me that there was a lot of scaring on my uterus. He wasn’t sure how it would heal. If I would ever carry a child.
I don’t remember much of the next few months. I know there was a lot of alcohol. And things I’m not proud of. A lot of alcohol… A lot of nights… And days… I have no memory of.
Then one morning I was going through my phone and found text messages between a friend and I. (The same friend I just went to visit in Edmonton this past December) I admitted to things in those drunk texts that I hadn’t admitted to myself. Reading them sober… It was scary. I didn’t know what I was doing to myself. I called my dad, I asked him to pick me up. I didn’t tell him or my mom what was going on. Just that I didn’t feel well. I spent a couple days locked in my room ‘sick’. I think my parents knew something was going on, but as close as I had always been to them… I didn’t know how to talk to them.
Around this time I had started talking to hubs. I told him a little about what was happening, but most he found out later. I started seeing a therapist. I slowly got over everything. So I thought.
I went to have four healthy beautiful babies. I healed better then the Dr even predicted I would.
My physical scars healed. And I thought I had healed my emotional scars too. Put it behind me. Overcame it. Dealt with the emotions. Put it all into a tidy little box and locked it up. Gotten past the overwhelming feelings of loss and heartbreak.
And yet…. Here I am. Haunted by the memories of that little heart beating, followed by being told that little being… Wouldn’t be. Haunted by nightmares. Anxieties. Fears.
Holding my babies a little tighter and thanking God a little louder for my blessings. For those four sweet, amazing people he blessed me with.
I don’t know why. Why I’m torturing myself this way. What triggered these what if thoughts. What if… What if… A million what ifs, I don’t even know where to start with them, and I don’t know how to make them end. How do I put these memories back… Back into that little compartment. Still a part of me, but not consuming me.
I’m so blessed, so lucky to have my babies… And I know everything happens for a reason, that baby, wasn’t meant for this world. But… What if I had done something… Anything… Different. Would it be better? What is better? Where would I be?
I wish I could stop torturing myself with these thoughts… I wish so many things.
Maybe this is something that I will never leave locked in that little box of memories. Maybe its something that will walk with me forever. I don’t know. I just. Don’t. Know.

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Love and the Postpartum Body

I love my stretch marks. I am not kidding around. I do. I love them. In fact, I would even go as far as saying I love yours too. I love stretch marks. I love the beauty in them, and it makes me sad that more people don’t see the beauty in them as well.
It makes me sad to hear you say that you wish you could get rid of them. It makes me sad to hear you say that you will never be able to show your tummy in public again. It makes me sad to see you so self conscious of them. It makes me sad that society tells us that stretch marks are imperfections. Blemishes. Seriously? How is the evidence of something so amazing a blemish?

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My belly right now, 4 months after giving birth to our fourth baby

It makes me sad when women are comparing their stretch marks and its a competition to see who has the ‘worst’ marks. Using words like bad, horrible, disgusting to describe stretch marks makes me see red. We should admire each others stretch marks the way we admire each others hairstyles. Everyone’s marks are as unique to them as their hair is.
Stretch marks are beautiful. Every single one of those lines on your body is beautiful. The ones on your arms, your boobs, your belly, hips, thighs, calves… Each and every one of them.

Stop fretting about getting your ‘pre baby body’ back. You won’t. You can’t. Your body, like your heart, will never ever be the same. You can lose the weight, you can tone the muscles, but your body will forever be changed. Forever. Embrace it. Accept it.

Those stretch marks are like laugh lines. They tell your story. They tell of the love that grew within you. Look at them and remember. Remember the wiggles, the kicks. The first time you heard that sweet sound of your babies heartbeat. Remember the first time you seen that little alien looking thing on the ultrasound screen.

Those marks tell of your body growing and accommodating a little human. They tell of the amazing thing your body created.
I beg you, please stop looking at your stretch marks in disgust. Stop viewing them as something to be hidden or modified. Stop searching the internet for ways to get rid of them. Stop viewing other women’s stretch marks enviously or in pity. Embrace the beauty. Please.

Love, hugs, and more to come later
Lynn

The Turning of a Page

Alex is going to be 4 next month. Nick is going to be 3 in four months. Zoey is 18 months old. Emma is 10 weeks old. My babies are growing and changing and getting older. It’s kind of got me thinking about me and what comes next now that I’m done child bearing.
I’m loving being home with my babies, I love teaching them and growing with them. I love planning fun things to do with them and I love experiencing things with them.
I love our slow carefree days. I love that I’m the center of their universe, and they’re the center of mine. I love being a stay at home mom.
But. My body is no longer the vessel sustaining them. My body is mine. This time its mine forever. Hubs got his vasectomy. We’re done having babies. My body is mine. So now I’m on a journey to be happy with my body. I kind of am, I don’t really mind the stretch marks. Or the sagging. Or the extra weight. But I don’t really want the sagging or extra weight to be around forever either. I want to be fit. And healthy. So this is me committing to be a healthier me. I’m going to start the 17 day diet next week (Ill post links to some info on it in my next post, I’m on my phone right now and can’t do it from here) I’m going to post my measurements. And I’m going to hold myself accountable. I’m looking forward to my journey. I hope my journey inspires someone else to make some healthy changes and be the best them they can be.

Love hugs and more to come later
Lynn