The Hardest Thing I Ever Did…

I just wasn’t ready to write about this before now…I’m f*ing bawling and I haven’t even started…

Ok, so on February 4, 2013 I woke up and took a perfunctory HPT and almost died when I saw two lines. Totally unexpected. I was totally terrified because my Ulcerative Colitis was ‘flaring’ and my doctors had cautioned me time and again to “Be sure my disease is under control BEFORE I get pregnant because it will most likely become worse in pregnancy”. I thought my body was smart enough to know better than to get pregnant when I’m already bleeding (from my anus). I also thought that I wouldn’t get pregnant since we’d only had sex ONE time all month (due to my health issues). I told Mr. MLACS not to get excited because I was worried this wouldn’t work out. I felt sick–I was freezing cold and exhausted and fuzzy-brained and my colon was bleeding (I later found out I was suffering the symptoms of hypothyroid in addition to my UC). So of course, he went out and told EVERYBODY at his work. I was apprehensive but decided to treat the pregnancy as though everything was going to be fine.

For Valentines Day, Mr. MLACS gave me a gift certificate to a pregnancy spa for a prenatal massage, along with several sessions of prenatal yoga. I went to one session with a friend who was 32 weeks along at the time, and the yoga instructor looked appalled when I told her I was only 6 weeks along–she acted like I was crazy for coming to the prenatal class. I understood after I took the class, because it was so easy that a brisk walk would’ve been more useful to me. But I got the distinct feeling the yoga instructor was also intoning that I should be concerned about miscarriage and that it was too early to embrace my pregnancy. After I had my miscarriage at 7w2d, I understood…

So, hopefully you’ve read the story about my friend, Dee (click ‘Dee’ to read) becoming pregnant quite soon after my miscarriage. It hurt. We both lived in the Southwest and met because our husbands work for the same company and were working on a project together–we were both strangers in a strange land. But though I trusted her, she was hard to get close to. We were talking every day and then after my miscarriage I hardly talked to her and never saw her…only later I found out it was because she was in the first weeks of her pregnancy. Then a couple of times she went home to visit her family in the East Coast and didn’t call or text me at all while she was gone (for a month each time), even though I tried to keep contact with her. I knew I wasn’t being rejected, but still, how could we go from talking every day to no talking for a month? Anyhow, I sucked it up and would hang out with her and her pregnant belly. I felt sorry for her puking ALL DAY (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) EVERY DAY through her second trimester. I offered to keep her son (who I adored) when she went to prenatal appointments. I went shopping for baby clothes with her. I didn’t stop her when she gushed about all the great stuff she scored at the baby swap meet, or her nursery theme. And to her credit, she listened to me lament my health issues and talk about trying to conceive–she encouraged me.

I felt like maybe I should give Dee my prenatal massage gift certificate…but then I thought “No, Mr. MLACS wanted me to have it” and “I should be pregnant before we move so then I can use it”. I mean…I got pregnant by dumb luck once, so, it should be easy, right?

I did not get my second BFP until the end of July. The line was veeeery faint, and I was cautiously optimistic, and I thought “Statistically this pregnancy should work, odds are in my favor”…but alas, my beta was 5…how the hell did I even see a line? FRER’s are amazing, IMO. I started my period right on time, but it was THE most painful period I’ve ever had, worse than my first miscarriage, so I call my “Chemical Pregnancy” a Miscarriage…Also, I went to see my RE for a scan before starting Clomid …he saw a sac in my uterus…I wish he had never told me that he saw something. I had already been reading IF blogs because my friend Steph Mignon writes one. Also, Steph had just done her first IUI and fallen pregnant! I KNEW, that we could not possibly be so fortunate as to enjoy our pregnancies together. My life is full of hubris. The blogs I read told of nothing but heartache and failure (although almost all of the bloggers I started reading 9 months ago are pregnant now). I realized that my journey to motherhood was not “normal”, and I was (as per usual) in the minority statistic of women who struggle to conceive and carry a baby. My head hung low and my heart was broken–I felt broken.

I now had to come to terms that we wouldn’t be conceiving before we left…well I’ll just say it..Las Vegas. I had purchased a little onsie on Freemont Street that says “I’m What Happened In Vegas!” as a gesture of optimism that we would conceive while living in Vegas and I imagined holding it across my pregnant belly in our pregnancy announcement (this was before I started resenting pregnancy announcements). I realized that I would not need that prenatal massage gift certificate…THAT broke my heart…remembering how excited Mr. MLACS was when he brought it home to me…how he’d kissed my belly and rubbed my feet and told everyone in his path that he was going to be a daddy…I had been clutching that gift certificate with the belief that it was meant for me and my rainbow, but I was moving 1,482 miles away with no prospect of a rainbow…

And of course I knew, that the only right thing to do was to give it to Dee, because she was 7 months pregnant and also moving across the country WITH a potty training toddler…she deserved it. But GOD was it hard…I was jealous of her…then I felt guilty…but it’s SO unfair…what if I just threw the gift certificate away, as a symbol of throwing my dreams away…giving Dee the gift certificate felt like I was handing her MY dream…and wasn’t she already beyond blessed???

I was with Dee in the car one day and she mentioned getting a prenatal massage…and I took a deep breath…and I said “Well, you know Mr. MLACS gave me a gift certificate….and I’m not going to use it…and I wanted to get you something anyways…so I’d like to give it to you as my gift.” And I was so awkward and heavy with my words…Dee urged me that I could still use the massage even though I’m not pregnant, but I said no, that I was already getting a massage somewhere else and I wanted her to enjoy it. And I got out of her car. And I walked in my house. And I fell to my knees on my kitchen floor sobbing so hard no sound would come out. And I couldn’t stop crying for hours. And I talked to my dear departed Mother, and I talked to God, and I hugged my cat, and Mr. MLACS came home to find me crumpled on the couch.

Giving Dee that gift certificate was the hardest thing I ever did, and I’ve done A LOT of hard sh*t. I’m pretty hardcore actually.

There are two good things that came of this experience:

1. Making this sacrifice made me feel like I have good character.

2. I did something nice for my friend Dee, and even though I didn’t tell her how I felt, she knew it pained me and I know she appreciated that I gave it from my heart.

And now, at 7:30am EST on December 5th, 2013, her daughter will enter the world via C-section. And I’m happy for Dee. But it brought up this story, which I had meant to tell you about already but just never found the strength until now.



25 thoughts on “The Hardest Thing I Ever Did…

  1. I can so see why it was so hard. There are certain things that symbolize different points in our lives. That gift certificate was a symbol of a time when you and your husband were so excited, happy and full of hope. I know you felt like you were handing over your dream and that it was so hard, but it is very admirable. You do have good character and you are an amazing friend.

    • I feel like, in life, it’s important to let go of things that are not meant for us, no matter how strong our desire is for them–it’s a Buddhist philosophy, and a hard concept to grasp, but I’m fortunate to be able to embrace this thought, and be able to let go…but this was my greatest test. XO

  2. that was a toughie. I also have a VERY hard time letting go – of grudges, dreams, control, hopes, pretty much anything. that is my motto this month and I think it’s been helping me not to freak out (about IF anyway). any time I feel myself getting worked up I just repeat “let go” in my head a hundred times until I feel calmer.

    thanks for sharing that story. it’s amazing what we harbor in our heads and how we each experience things so differently from everyone else. I am sure Dee appreciated the massage and the gesture. and I think the karma will come back to you.

    • Thank you–I should also remind myself to let go more often, of little things like ‘road rage’, and be more peaceful. I’m better when looking at the ‘bigger picture’ but I tend to gloss over the details. XO

  3. Oh hon, this story is so heartbreaking and touching at the same time. You are so strong! I can barely see what I’m typing through the tears right now. I know this story. It’s a story I too have lived through in only slightly different ways. You’re amazing hon. Praying so hard that you get your bfp and this time it sticks!

  4. It’s so hard sometimes to help others celebrate what we want but can’t have ourselves right now. You are a great friend for sacrificing something you could have held onto yourself. I tend to believe God takes notice of those things. πŸ™‚

  5. *sobbing* You are such a beautiful person! You are incredibly amazing and I feel privileged to “know” you. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to share these stories. Dee is so lucky to have you. Sending health and happiness to Dee and her baby. Sending strength and more love than your heart can hold your way.

    • Well I can tell you it’s SO much easier to reveal things when your blog is annonymous–but it’s a catch 22 because I adore and trust you ladies so I want to get to know you/you get to know me, because I feel like you are my REAL friends. Thank you for being a friend Jess–sorry I made you cry. XO

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I love how you were able to share exactly how you were feeling with such detail. It was heartbreaking for me to think of you sobbing on the floor with your heart in pieces. You did the right thing by giving it to her, but I know that had to hurt so badly. You wanted and deserved to use it for yourself.

  7. When your time comes, please send me your address: I’m going to send you a gift certificate to the most amazing pregnancy massage spa on planet earth.

    I understand why it felt like you were handing your dream away. But you didn’t. It is safe inside you, and safe inside this community. No one can take it from you.

    I honestly don’t think I would have been able to do what you did. I think I would have thrown it away and tried to forget about it. You’re a good person! xxoo

    • Oh that is such a lovely gesture and you know I wouldn’t give you my address without demanding yours. Neither one of us is working so howzabout we just bake GF stuff and send it to each other fatten each other up??? I believe I saw your email on your blog so I’ll trot on over there. XO

  8. I completely understand the difficulty in spending time with someone and their pregnant belly (as if it’s a separate entity). And feeling “ok” with your own childless lot in life whilst out in public and crumpling at home. I know it’s no consolation, but you’re not alone x

  9. You my dear, DO have SERIOUS character! I truly believe you give and expect nothing in return and I love that about you. Regardless, I believe that your generous spirit and thoughtfulness is banking you so much good karma that amazing things are headed your way. I know how hard it was for you to give that gift up, but like another poster so eloquently put it, your dream of being a mother didn’t go with it. It’s safe in you and in all of us. And when you ARE a mother, your child(ren) are going to be so so lucky they have you!

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