Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Help when Talking

After my miscarriage, a couple of people have told me that they just did not know what to say to me, so they didn't say anything at all.  Besides that, some people would say the worst things possible.  Things that really hurt.  So, after talking to some friends and receiving some help, I have come up with some things that are helpful to say to someone who has experienced a loss and some things that were very hurtful and not helpful at all.

What to Say
*I am very sorry for your loss* - This is the most simple, but it is also one of the most beneficial.

*I don't know what to say* - Be honest, but also be there.

*I am thinking of you* - Just let the person know you care.

*If you ever want to talk, I am here to listen* - Don't just say this.  Actually be there to listen.  No matter what.  When a person experiences loss, they go through many stages.  They could be happy, sad, angry, crying, or laughing.  They could also be all of these at the same time.  Just be there.  They will appreciate it.

*I can't imagine what you are going through* - Again, be honest.  Let them know that you don't know how they feel, but that you care.

*Other things that helped are hugs, shoulders to cry on, and asking if they need help with anything like cooking or cleaning (then follow through with helping them).*

What NOT to Say
*You can always try again (At least you're young, you can always have more)* - Some women can't try to get pregnant again, and if they can, it doesn't mean that they did not want their Angel baby.  Plus they will have all these new fears, if and when, they do get pregnant again.

*Everything happens for a reason (Some things just aren't meant to be)* - While this seems like a good thing to say, it does not always make the person feel better (especially if they don't know the reason or can't find out the reason).

*You were lucky* - I do not know what makes people think you were lucky when you lost a child, but there is nothing lucky about it.  Even though I was blessed that I did not bleed more or receive permanent damage from the miscarriage, I was not lucky when I lost my child.  And neither were any of the other women who lost their children.

*At least you weren't that far along*  - It does not matter how far along a women is in her pregnancy, she is carrying a human being, a person, another life inside of her.  Whether she loses her child when she is 2 weeks pregnant or 32 weeks pregnant, she has lost apart of herself.  She has lost a child.

*It's for the best (it's a good thing)*  - Another very inconsiderate thing to say.  I'm sure the best thing to happen was not losing a child.  Even if the parents could not afford to raise a child, they do not want their child to pass away.

*You should be thankful for the children you do have* - I am sure that all moms know this.  If they have other children, I am sure they are thankful for them.  Probably even more thankful for them after the loss.

*You just weren't ready to have children* - Many woman have unplanned pregnancies, but it does not mean that they aren't ready.  Most of the time, motherly instincts kick in immediately, and mothers do everything in their power to become ready for their children.  We would do anything for our children.  And, I mean anything.

*It's not okay to cry, be sad, or be angry* - Unless you have been in the situation, you don't know how it feels.  You don't know the emotions that women, men, and families go through.  It is okay to cry.  It is okay to be sad.  It is okay to be angry.  And, it is okay to show these emotions!

*It's your fault* - This was not personally said to me, and I am so happy it wasn't because I may have punched the person that said it.  I mean how stupid and inconsiderate could you be.  Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

*Other things that hurt and do not help are when people pretend they don't see you, they don't talk to you, or they refuse to acknowledge your child.  Don't avoid the subject because you think you will be reminding mothers about their child because trust me they do not forget.  They will never forget. And, acknowledge their child.  If a mother has named her child, use the child's name when talking about him or her.  It lets the mother know that you care.*

Thank you to all of the ladies who gave me their input and helped me with this post.  Thank you Tracy Wantenaar, Cathy, and all of the other ladies who would like to remain anonymous.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why I Write

I write because it helps.  

By sharing my story, I am allowing myself to grieve and heal.  I am putting myself out there because I know that miscarriages happen often.

Death/loss is a part of life.

I hope that by writing, someone, somewhere will be touched.  I hope that someone will receive some comfort from my writing.

I am offering support.  I have been there.  I hope if someone comes to my blog, sees my story, and has been through a miscarriage or some other type of loss, that they feel they can contact me for support.

I am here to help.  Yes, I am still grieving, but I know how it feels.  I know the pain.  I know the anger.

My main reason for writing though, is to share my story.  To share Bo's story.  I want the world to know that it doesn't matter how long I was pregnant or whether or not I delivered him or her, Bo is a person {Jeremiah 1:5}.

He or she is my angel now, watching over me from Heaven.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my Angel!  I love and miss you, Bo!

I know it is the day after Christmas, but I avoided Facebook, my blog, and my computer, in general, the past two days {well, I avoided them as much as I could}.

I really did not want to see pictures of pregnant women in cute outfits, standing with their partners in front of the tree, or posts about the pregnancies and what everyone got for Christmas.

I just really wasn't in the mood.  It made it even worse when AF decided to drop by on the 23rd and she hasn't left yet.  I honestly did not think I would be seeing her since I am on the depo shot.  With her coming, I got that reminder that, "Hey! You're not pregnant anymore!  Oh, and guess what?  You are on the depo shot, so no getting pregnant in the near future either!"  It was a horrible feeling.

Flat out, it sucked and it still sucks!

So, I celebrated Christmas in my own way.  I wished our Lord a Happy Birthday.  And, I told my Angels {Bo, James, Papa, and all the others} Merry Christmas, I love them, and I missed them!

And, I didn't do much else.

But, I am a little upset.  Upset because I could not go home to see my family (who I live over 3,000 miles away from).  Upset because I haven't even heard from some of my family (who I thought would call me, but they haven't - and I know it is a two-way street, so I am upset at myself too).  Upset because of the family that I did talk to, only a few of them asked me how I was doing.

But, I know everybody has their own life and their own struggles.  This is my struggle.  I cannot ask someone to bear it with me.  It is not their struggle to bear.  It is mine.  And, I will continue to deal with it.  I will continue to seek support from the online groups I have joined.  I will continue to pray for healing, comfort, and strength.  I will continue to rely on God because in life, He is the only one who will not leave your side.

Friday, December 21, 2012

One Month

Today is my baby's one month Angelversary.

I cannot believe it has been one month since my miscarriage.  It seems like it just happened yesterday.

On 12.12.12, Justin and I decided we wanted to enter our baby's name into the Book of Life at The Shrine of the Holy Innocents.

Since I was only 12 weeks pregnant, we do not know what the sex of the baby is.  So, we chose a name that we both liked.  We named our baby Bo Ortiz {I know both guys and girls named Bo, and the initials B.O. kept coming up because we always called the baby "Baby Ortiz," hence the name Bo}.

{Bo's Certificate of Life}

{Bo's Christmas stocking, crocheted heart, bracelet, and angel, heart rock, and candle}

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hugs for the Holidays

Today, I am linking up with Four Plus an Angel for Hugs for the Holidays.

I believe this a great idea and will offer support to many individuals who need the most comfort during the holiday season.

They also have a Pinterest board called Hugs for the Holidays that they are sharing.

The story I am using and linking up with is An Angel for my Angel.

Please visit some of the other link-ups and support them today as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I think of you...

I think of you...

*Every time we go grocery shopping {I used to love to go down the baby aisle - now I avoid it like the plague}.

*Every time I have to go to a doctor's appointment {or any other appointment - such as WIC, because in Cali, I still get it for 6 months after the miscarriage}.

*Every time I use a WIC check {especially at the little 99 cents store down the road because they give me 3 free diapers for every WIC check I use there}.

*Every time I get on Facebook {many of my friends are pregnant, and I am happy for them, but it is still painful to see all the ultrasound pics and posts about babies}.

*Every time I see a pregnant woman {and sometimes I want to smack my last doctor's appointment when I got my lab results and the depo shot, I sat in the waiting room for a bit, as always, because the health department is so busy - there was a younger lady and an older lady sitting there talking - the younger lady was pregnant and she was saying how fat she was - the older lady said something along the lines of "you are 6 months pregnant.  you are not fat."  - I personally wanted to smack the lady because she was smaller than me - I wanted to tell her to count her blessings for being tiny and having a healthy pregnancy - Not all woman are so lucky!}.

And several other times, such as...
*When a random stranger passes me holding a toy, asking if I have children.
*When I look at the Christmas tree and your stocking.
*When I check the calendar - it's been almost a month, but it feels like it just happened yesterday.
*When I see a mom who is not paying attention to her child {also happened at one of my doctor's appointments - she was talking to another female - a friend or family member - and her son was running around the office like a wild child, running in and out of the front doors, running into people, throwing his toys, etc.}.
*When I look at my belly {and I know you are not there, and it hurts, but I know you are in Heaven watching over me}.

I think of you all throughout the day,
and I miss you terribly.
<3 I love you, Baby Ortiz. <3

An Angel for my Angel

I crocheted an angel ornament/tree topper in remembrance of our angel.  Right now, the angel is serving as our tree topper, and after the tree is taken down, I will hang the angel in our bedroom.

Along with crocheting the angel, I wrote a poem to be put in Baby Ortiz's stocking.
Here is the poem:

My Baby, My Angel

It was the day before Thanksgiving,
When I got the news,
I had lost my baby,
He was gone way too soon.

Daddy was there to help Mommy,
But there was nothing he could do.
We tried our very best,
To do everything for you.

The doctors said you were gone,
I couldn’t believe my ears,
But I remember all of the pain,
I remember all of the tears.

I don’t know why you left so soon,
But I miss you oh so much,
I think about you all the time,
I want to feel your touch.

I want to hold your hand,
And hug away your pain,
I want to kiss your face so gently,
As I say your name

I want to tell you that I love you,
All throughout the day,
To tell you how much I need you,
I needed you to stay.

But, God had other plans,
When He gave me you,
He knew what I needed more,
An Angel to guide me through.

So, now when I think of you,
I know you are in Heaven,
Watching over Mommy & Daddy,
Giving us direction.

A beautiful angel,
With wings so pearly white,
A halo made of gold,
Shining very bright.

Mommy and Daddy love you,
we miss you every day,
we can’t wait to meet you,
when we come home to stay.

So until we get there,
Please keep guiding us through,
Helping us live our lives,
Until the day we meet you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Post Miscarriage Doctor's Appointments

If you didn't see My Miscarriage Story, you can read it by clicking the link.

After my miscarriage on 11/21/12, I had a couple of follow up visits with the doctor to make sure I was okay.

My first doctor's visit was on Tuesday, 11/27/12.  I went in and had my weight and blood pressure checked, then the nurse proceeded to hand me a cup for a urine sample.  I had not expected this.  I should have, but I just had a miscarriage, so I was not thinking.  I did not expect to have to tell anyone at the doctor's office but the OB/GYN NP about my miscarriage, but at this point I had to let my nurse know as well.  I looked up timidly, and stated, "I had a miscarriage the day before Thanksgiving.  Do you still need a urine sample?"  She said no, told me she was very sorry for my loss, and took me to my room.

The doctor came in shortly after.  She offered her condolences, talked with me and my fiance for a bit about the miscarriage and how we were, then sent me to have blood taken.

On Tuesday, 12/4/12, I went in again to have blood drawn.

Thursday, 12/6/12, the last appointment for the month.  I went in to talk to my OB/GYN NP about my lab results to see if I miscarried all tissue or if I would need a D&C.  My blood work showed that my HCG levels were at 9 (normal for a women who is not pregnant is 5 or below).  To ensure that everything was fine, the doctor wanted me to take a pregnancy test (instead of having blood drawn again).  The pregnancy test was negative.  The doctor said I was fine.  She suggested that I go on the depo shot to get my progesterone levels back up, if I did not want to try to get pregnant again right away.

Honestly, I wanted to try again right away.  I still kind of do, but I knew by getting the depo shot, I was helping my body heal, both physically and emotionally from the miscarriage.  So, I got the depo shot.  For the next three months (if not more), I will have time to heal and prepare for when we want to try to get pregnant again.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012

The day after my miscarriage.

After getting over 12 hours of sleep, I woke up a little after 12 in the afternoon.  {I didn’t sleep the whole night, but I tossed and turned.  I had an alarm set for midnight reminding me that I would have been 12 weeks pregnant according to my LMC, as if I could forget, but I had forgotten about it after all that I had been through.  I had set this alarm after I first found out I was pregnant.  It was not the best alarm to receive after the miscarriage, and it set my emotions into a tailspin again.}

As soon as I got up, I started cleaning and cooking.  I did my best to keep my mind off of the miscarriage and everything that had happened, but first I had to call my mom and talk to her.  It was not as emotional as I thought it was going to be {I believe that I had cried all I could for the time being}.  So, I cleaned up the kitchen, and I began cooking our {my fiancé and my} Thanksgiving’s dinner.  I spent pretty much the whole day in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, cooking some more, and cleaning some more.

After all that I had been through, though, I was still thankful.  I am still thankful for the blessings bestowed upon me by God.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Miscarriage Story

WARNING:  This post may contain some details and information that are considered graphic and explicit in nature to some individuals.

On 9/30/12, I took a pregnancy test after being 3 days late on my cycle.  Lo and behold, it was positive.  I couldn’t believe it because of my history (I had been told that I might not be able to get pregnant).  Now with my fiancé and soul mate (I met him in May 2012 and moved in with him June of 2012), I ended up pregnant after only 4 months, and we weren’t even trying (Again, I didn’t think I could get pregnant, and my fiancé also didn’t think he could have children).

Everything was going fine, until 11/7/12.  I went in for my first ultrasound, and according to my LMC, I was supposed to be 9W6D.  The ultrasound showed that the baby was only measuring 7W3D.  And, there was no heartbeat showing.  The doctor did not seem positive, but I was.  On Saturday, 11/17/12, I started bleeding after sex.  I totally freaked and ended up in the ER.  They did my ultrasound and said that I was measuring 9W, but there was no heartbeat.  Again, I remained positive.  I had faith in God (and I still do).  They told me to go back to my doctor to have blood tests done to check my HCG levels and to have another ultrasound done.  I already had an ultrasound scheduled for 11/20/12, so I called my doctor to schedule appointments for my blood work.

On 11/20/12, I went in for my ultrasound.  The news was not good.  The baby measured 9W2D as it should, but again there was no heartbeat or fetal activity.  The doctor began talking about a D&C and several other things that I cannot even remember because I blanked out.  I walked out of the office crying for the second time, but I was also professing that God was in control.  No matter what happened, God was and is in control.

That night, I started bleeding more heavily and clotting.  I also started cramping some.  Not enough to get worried according to the doctors I saw when I went to the ER, but enough that I knew what was happening.  I went to bed with a very heavy heart.  The next morning (11/21/12) I woke up, woke up my fiancé, and told him we had to get back to the hospital.  I was having a miscarriage, and I knew it.  We walked to the bus stop (we don’t have a car, and I was not in a lot of pain, so I was trying not to call 911), and we took the first bus to our stop for the next bus ride, which would take us to the hospital I had recently been to.  While waiting for the bus at the bus stop, I started to feel very nauseous, dizzy, light-headed, and I seriously thought I was going to pass out.  Luckily we were right at another hospital.

I barely made it to the back of the hospital.  I was sweating profusely, but had cold chills.  I was blacking out.  I could barely walk due to the pain that I was in.  I was cramping so much it felt like I was being ripped apart from the inside out.  I also thought that I was going to vomit everywhere, and I had nothing on my stomach but some Mountain Dew.  And, I was crying my eyes out.  My fiancé is frantically trying to find a door to get in the hospital, but they were all locked (we were in the back of the hospital).  As he was trying to find a door and some help, a lady walked by in a knee-length, white coat (I assumed she was a doctor, but I don’t know.  I do know for a fact she was an employee of the hospital).  I called out to this lady for help.  “Ma’am, can you please help me?”  She looked at me, turned her head, and kept walking.  This happened a couple of times.  I watched as this lady scanned her ID and went into one of the doors that my fiancé had knocked on and tried to open.  She had something in her hands, so I figured she was going to put it down, and she was going to come back.  She didn’t.  As a matter of fact, I never saw this lady again at the hospital after that point.  {I wanted to add this part in because I feel that this lady needs prayer.  And, a lot of it.  I hope that she is never like this with her patients.  I pray that she opens her heart and finds the strength and courage she needs to help others who are in need.}

After about 5 minutes of searching (it felt like hours), my fiancé found someone to help me.  Two very nice security guards showed up with a wheelchair and rushed me to the ER, where I was treated by some friendly and some not-so friendly staff.  For the most part, everyone did what they could to make sure that I was okay.  I was given morphine for the pain and an IV to keep fluids in me.  The doctor and nurse checked me and stated that I was bleeding way too much, so they moved me to a bed in the main ER area.  They hooked me up to a couple of machines that kept check of my heart rate and my blood pressure.

After about an hour or two, the doctor came in and said that my blood work was fine, so he was going to put some medicine in me to slow the bleeding, which he did.  It worked, and within the next hour I was in another room with the OB/GYN having a pelvic exam done to make sure everything was okay.  She said that I was fine.  My cervix was still dilated to a 2, but that was normal, and it would close on its own.  My doctor came back in and told me I was being released.  The nurse came back in shortly after that and gave me my release papers, checked my vitals, and said I was good to go home.

I went home that night, I cried, and I went to bed.

My Angel in Heaven

I did not know when, or even if, I would be ready to post my story.  It is still so fresh, and so many things make me think about my baby and how it could have been.  But, I know that many women go through similar situations, and I just hope that it will help these women, their partners, and anyone else who has or is grieving the loss of a baby or child.  Also, I hope that it will help in my healing process.

I wanted to post this first, before I post my story, because I will be going into some details about the miscarriage.  Some of these details may be too graphic or explicit for some individuals, but I want to post everything.  

So many women experience miscarriages, but not very many of them seem to talk about it.  I want to share my story because it is important to me, and I want other women to know that they are not alone.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, "the chances of having a miscarriage can range from 10-25%," (source).  That means that between 1 out of 10 and 1 out of 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage.

I am a mommy.  I have a beautiful Angel baby watching over me from Heaven.  I never got to hold my baby, hug or kiss him or her here on Earth, but I know one day, I will get to see, hold, hug, and kiss him or her, when we meet again in Heaven.

This is our story...