Some Reasons To “WOOO!”

Let’s talk about some awesome, shall we?

One week ago, E went to school Friday morning to discover a sign with the “Senior Favorites” on it and it included his name! He was named “Headed For Broadway” and he took a picture with the caption, “WAIT. PEOPLE KNOW I EXIST?”

We were very excited.

That day was also the start of a workshop he was in charge of for local elementary school kids to learn about musical theatre. He ended up skipping the pep rally that day so that he could do some prep for the workshop. While he was getting supplies he got a text that said he should have been at the pep rally. BECAUSE HE WAS PUT ON THE HOMECOMING COURT.

Talking about a good day!

This week has been homecoming week and we had to buy him a suit and he gets to be part of the pep rally today and the football game tonight. This is all very fun and exciting and exactly what we all need to be focusing on. While we had some bad news this week and I’m sad over our loss, I’m thrilled the universe has given us something to celebrate to help remind us of all the blessings we have in our lives.

While I can’t go to the pep rally today, we’ll be at the game tonight to see E be part of the spotlight for a moment. Talking about a great Senior Year. He also got cast as a Herdman (Claude!) in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever which is going to be tons of fun for him.

We really do live a blessed life with amazing children who give us things to celebrate every day. And that is my salvation right now. They are my strength. They are my joy.

They give me reasons to “Wooo!” even when my heart hurts from a loss. And for that? I owe them the best me I can give them.

Therapy For Fun

Recently, Alice Bradley wrote a great entry on her blog about her first watercolor class after her therapist instructed her to do something fun. She mentions how important she realizes that is, especially as someone who suffers from depression.

I want everyone else to have something like this. Especially those of us dealing with depression–we who tend to focus more on feeling okay, on avoiding pain, than seeking out joy.

I don’t suffer from depression, but I do have issues with anxiety and exercise has turned out to help me a lot with that. Unfortunately, for awhile there, I wasn’t able to exercise. And even before reading Alice’s article about how therapeutic “fun” is – I had found myself incredibly addicted to local painting classes.

I actually painted this with a friend of mine the night I found out I was pregnant and I remember, just feeling like the swirls were helping calm me. I mean – I’ve done those painting classes before, once every few months for a special occasion, but that night? It totally calmed me. I started coming up with excuses to do more. For example, E’s grandmother’s 75th birthday was coming up! It would be a great gift from him to her and a great outing for he and I! LET’S DO IT!

And we had a blast! Not only was the painting therapeutic but these classes are great to do with friends or family because you don’t have to talk the entire time, but the freedom is there to chat. It’s very casual. E and I caught up on a lot of stuff but it was just an easy hang out time…mixed in with a lot of giggling.

Then I talked Donnie into doing a Date Night with me to a class. This is our third one together and he loves it as much as I do. Of course, that was the fateful night of the second hemrrage associated with the nasty hematoma, but I love these classes so much I didn’t even let that thwart it.

Then I did something I never thought I’d do, I went to a class? ALONE

And being there alone, just painting, I realized how amazing this whole thing was for me. Just the zoning out on this picture and these swirls and dots – it just let me escape from whatever was haunting me.

And then Sunday? I took the kids!

It was PERFECT for Nikki. I’ll take her back again. Wes got a bit bored. He had fun, but he just wanted to paint, not listen to the teacher or do anything like everyone else was doing. Nikki was half and half. Once she got her groove? She didn’t care what the teacher said and just started mixing colors and adding circles like a crazy woman. It was fantastic.

And we do hang these up in our home! We love them!

I guess I’ll be running again soon now that I’m no longer pregnant. But man, I really enjoyed these classes as a substitute for awhile. I’m sure I’ll go back again, just maybe not once or twice a week. They are a bit pricey if you don’t have coupons or vouchers.

And while this class I go to is offered in several cities (Chattanooga, Huntsville, Knoxville, Little Rock, Richmond) I know that there are several others in Huntsville as well. So even if you don’t live in one of those cities, I’m betting someone does these once in awhile in your city. They’re great outings and wonderful therapy. AS LONG as you aren’t the kind of person that stresses out over perfection. I don’t. But I’ve been in classes with women and men who get REALLY stressed about not doing it perfectly. That’s probably not as therapeutic!

Do you have anything like this? And art therapy for just…fun?

This Is Definitely The Cleanest I’ve Ever Been

This is going to be my featured blog image for awhile, in case you’re wondering.

Pre-Op prep is different now. Our hospital – an an effort to reduce spread of infection – is asking every pre-surgical patient to bathe the night before.

And by “bathe” I mean scrub down for FIVE MINUTES with this weird pink liquid (it is NOT soap). And then, if that’s not enough? I had to do it again this morning. TWO SHOWERS WITH ANTIBACTERIAL LIQUID IN LESS THAN 12 HOURS. For someone who never even uses shampoo, this is quite significant.

I may not be pregnant anymore – and am about to have the dead fetus scraped out of my body – but the good news? I am squeaky clean!

They gave me a cervical softener last night which did not make me as miserable as they can do. And they gave me percocets for pain afterwards. YAY for pain meds!

I didn’t reschedule anything I had going on tomorrow night or the rest of the week because I know that recovery time was nill (once I had a good nap after the procedcure) and that the meetings and whatnot would be a great distraction. I’ll be back at work on Thursday and still refusing to process my sadness for at least a few days. My goal is to keep my shit together until I can go out for a long run and then – when I’m on my own with the therapy I love most – I’ll process it all. I’ll scream, I’ll cry, and I’ll sprint like a mother trucker until I sweat the sadness out.

Until then…I’m just focusing on the mundane. Like the fact that the soap stuff they made me double-bathe with has made me TERRIBLY ITCHY. And I’m also starving to death and dying of thirst since I haven’t had food/drink since 10:30pm last night. OH – and even though I’m down to 2 cups of half-caf coffee a morning? I know that not getting that today will give me a raging caffeine headache.

In other words? TODAY IS AS AWESOME AS YOU WOULD EXPECT.

Thanks for being there for me, guys. As usual – you all make me feel completely and totally blessed even if the world takes the periodic dump on my head.

The Power Of Prayer

flowersIn case you missed it, we got bad news yesterday. I normally don’t do a “Previously On Kim’s Blog” link but I don’t normally post at night and I’m worried this entry might seem a little…whatevs…with my casual mention of my miscarriage and I wanted to make sure you saw that I did give the news an entire post yesterday.

I hate the word atheist. I feel like it implies I don’t believe in ANYTHING. When in reality, I just don’t believe in God or gods. But I do – in many ways – believe in SOMETHING. My own kinda something, I guess. My own faith in the power of good. The power of love. The power of kindness. The power of friendship.

This is why I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer.

A lot of people weren’t sure if I wanted prayers when I said I needed you guys. I made sure to let them each know – I believe more in the power of prayer as a non-religious person than I ever did as a practicing Catholic.

And that’s because I believe in the power of good.

I believe when someone prays, or when someone simply hopes for something good for someone else, or when people just think positively — then positive things happen. Everyone was praying for my pregnancy to to last, and it didn’t. But I still believe the prayers worked because – from the moment I knew the baby had no heartbeat – I felt loved. Because while those prayers were not answered in the way we all hoped, I still knew that you all had prayed for it and I felt that love in a very sad moment.

So – what I do believe is that if there are 100 people praying for good in my life, then good will enter the universe around me in some way. Like feeling loved, even when I’m drenched in the sadness of a pregnancy loss.

I don’t believe any prayer is wasted.

I pray myself. Quite often. Just not in the way a religious person might. But, I do focus my thoughts and my energy on good things and hope dearly for positive results in the lives of those I hold dear. I hope my friend who is stressed finds peace. I hope my friend who is sad finds joy. I hope my friend who is lost find direction. And I truly believe that – if I think about those people enough in my life – good will find them. They will feel the positive ripple of my thoughts/prayers in their lives. Maybe not in the way I imagined, but in some way.

It’s simple, what I believe, really. That if I put positive energy out in the universe in some way (good thoughts, prayers, smiles, hugs) then that positive energy will surround me as well as those I’m thinking of.

So, yes. I always accept prayers. Especially now. I welcome prayers with open arms. I believe wholeheartedly in the good that prayers can do. And while I may not believe in your God or your Church, I believe in you. And your prayers still reach my heart and I hope you know how much that means to me. I hope that you know that, even though I don’t believe what you do, I value your prayers as deeply as someone who sits next to you in church. I hold them dear in my heart and embrace them when I’m feeling the weight of my sadness. Those prayers in my heart hold me up so I don’t collapse under the pain. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of those prayers.

And please know that I pray for you too.

Second Verse, Same As The First.

Yes. I’m coping with beer. I know this is not healthy.

If you’ve clicked over from Facebook – this is the post I wrote after my last miscarriage in September of 2012. We decided after that to stop trying to have more children because my heart couldn’t take anymore loss.
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Two interesting notes.
1) I’ve never had two consecutive baby-producing pregnancies.
2) I’ve written “We had a miscarriage” blog entries four times before “live baby check” appointments and ended up not needing them. The one time I didn’t do that because I was home with a sick kid? I need it.

Yep. So, today I had what repeat-aborters like to call a “Live Baby Check” appointment. I’ve had several of these, as you know. But this one? Showed no live baby.

When I got to the doctor the ultrasound tech was the one who I had last time I had a miscarriage. I thought, “Well, if I’m going to get bad news, I’d rather it be from her.” It’s sad when you’ve had enough bad ultrasounds that you ranked the techs as who’s the best to get the bad news from.

I knew immediately. You know when they don’t tell you “There’s the heartbeat!” that it’s bad. But then when she says, “I’m going to get the doctor so he can see how big the hematoma has gotten,” you just start crying. Which I did. Because I’m not a miscarriage virgin. I know the drill. Baby didn’t measure anywhere close to what it should be and there was no heartbeat. Evidently the hematoma just kept getting bigger and the poor guy didn’t have a chance.

I’m heartbroken. Obviously. But I’m also very robotic about it. Even 5 years from my last one, I still go right into autopilot mode. Walking around with the thought in the forefront, “I have a dead baby inside of me,” but that thought not actually touching the surface of my heart. It’s there, clear on my mind. DEAD BABY. But my heart is automatically separated from this fact. Like it was every time before. I’m surprised I still remember how to do that.

Evidently having a miscarriage is like riding a bike. You never forget how to do it.

I go in Wednesday for a D&C. And I just pray that my body doesn’t decide to take care of things itself between now and then. I’ve done that before, miscarriage this far along on my own, and there are few things worse than that. At least the D&C is a clear end without me in hysterics on the floor of my bathroom.

I keep apologizing to everyone. I’m devastated that E has to break the news to his friends. I feel like I should have to do that since it’s my crappy body that can’t sustain a pregnancy. I hate that my husband is heartbroken. I keep telling everyone, “I’m sorry,” and I know that’s stupid. But it’s just another thing I do on autopilot. Apologize for my shitty reproductive system. Most of the time with the shitty periods it just affects ME, but when it comes to pregnancies, it affects everyone.

So I’ll say it once to get it off my chest: I’m sorry to you all too. I’m sorry we all got our hopes up. I don’t feel bitter. I don’t feel angry. I’m just sad. And while my brain is not really connected to my heart right now, so that I can still function normally for my family, I can still feel the pain in my heart. It hurts through my toes and into the tips of my hair. If I let it get too close to the surface I can’t breathe.

So I push it down and just wait a bit. I just have to get through Wednesday. Then I can process the grief in bits at a time.

And drink several beers in between each bit.