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The “D” Word

The other night I took a step… a BIG step.  I said it out loud, I admitted it to myself and those around me.  After talking for a while with my mom and A, I had headed to bed.  I got on twitter again finally, after spending very little time on it in the last weeks, and I posted this:

just when i felt I had life in control… today it crumbles again. I am saying this for the first time to others… I am depressed

For some that might not be hard to say.  For me, it is.  I have always been the bubbly one, the goofy one, the HAPPY one.  I am the friend that is good for a laugh and a good time.  I am the one to cheer up others and be there for them.  And I feel like I have lost that part of me.  Each day is spent trying to survive, to find some bit of me inside, to deal with what life is handing me.  Emotionally, I am spent, I am exhausted, and I am lost.

When I started this blog, I didn’t plan for it to be so somber.  So, please, hang with me while I work through this.  I am on a journey and, unfortunately, the starting line isn’t quite where I thought it was.

I lead a very blessed life, I know that.  Especially when I see what is happening elsewhere in the world right now, the pain, the suffering, I am reminded even more.  But that is the thing with depression.  It isn’t about not appreciating what you have.  It isn’t about not being thankful.  I keep having to remind myself of that when I get angry because I can’t just “get over it” or “move on”.

Our Little Girl, Sydney

Our Little Girl

So, where did I lose myself?  When did the sadness overtake me?  Maybe it was lingering there for a while.  Maybe it was just at the edge of my mind.  But the day I lost my little girl, it took over.  Since the day of that ultrasound, I have tried to be myself, tried to heal.  But I can’t.  Nothing carries the significance it did before.  Nothing brings the same joy or laughter.  Nothing is as rewarding or fun.  God, am I really saying that?  I am blessed with a beautiful and healthy boy, but I am incomplete?  But I am.  I feel it every day.  I feel that void and can’t ignore it any longer.  The void weighs me down and makes everything more difficult.

At work, I have taken huge professional hits.  Of course all of this comes at a time I am being asked to grow and mature professionally.  How can someone do that when they are in survival mode?  How is it possible to grow when you are barely living?  These hits and stress add to the pain and the hurt.  They compound the already humbling realization that I can not handle the life before me.  And I cry.  At the office.  I weep because I can’t do it, I am less than I was and I am angry.

Last weekend A and I went to an event for his work.  It was just after one of these professional hits.  I felt broken in so many ways.  I felt as if I didn’t know myself any longer.  Although I know nearly all the people that would be there and enjoy them all, I had a lump in my throat.  And then it happened.  Just before we exit the car.  We end up talking about me, how he wants to help me.  How he wants to fix it.  FIX IT?  You mean, FIX ME!?  I have known I am broken but it tore me apart to think he may think I am a broken person too.  He explains that he just wants me to be happy.  Well, I am just so fucking sorry that I can’t be little miss sunshine for you!  And then I weep.  I cry because I know his desire for my happiness isn’t for him, but for me.  I know this, but what he says burns.  He tells me that he is worried that my being so concerned with getting pregnant is what is causing me to be so unhappy.  This just enrages me again!  I can’t tell you why.  I can’t explain why the idea of someone making me out to be a woman who desperately wants a baby infuriates me, but it does!  IT DOES!  Maybe it is because I am not supposed to be having to worry about this.  I am supposed to be finalizing my little girl’s nursery and planning for her to be born exactly one month from today.  I yell at him that I am depressed because I had it and lost it!  And I cry.  We talk for a while longer.  I know how much he loves me and just wants me to be happy.  Yes, happy… for me.  I wipe my tears, we enter the room and we say hello to his business partner and his newly pregnant wife.

Today I sat in the office of my OBGYN for my annual visit.  I cried.  I cried as she looked at me knowing the last time she saw me, the first time she met me, was as she told me my options for handling the baby that had died inside me.  I cried as I said the words. out loud. the “D” word.  As I told her about the last year.  I cried.  And then a few hours later I sat in the office of our Reproductive Endocrinologist.  A and he had fun teasing me about my assertion that I don’t want “him to get us pregnant”.  We all chuckled as I couldn’t quite explain myself.  We talked about options and then I cried again.  As I tried to form the words to explain that I can’t say I want another baby badly because to do so makes it real.  And then I have to deal with the fears.  The fear of loss again and that leading to more surgery and pain and procedures.  The fear of not being able to conceive on our own.  The fear of everything.  I cry as I try to explain this.

And then, tonight, I sit here and I cry.  February 19, one month from today.  It was supposed to be my dream come true.  I feel robbed of my story.  How perfect it was with a surprise pregnancy, the perfect results of the blood work and the perfect ultrasound!  My smile was so big and I was walking on clouds.  I felt so blessed and so honored to have had another baby pick me to be its mother.  And as quickly as she came into my life she was gone.  From perfect to gone.  And with her went my joy.  And with her went my heart.  And with her went a piece of me that I have not been able to heal.

So, yes, I am depressed.  It is destroying me.  It is wrecking havoc on my life.  I am a shadow of who I once was.  I am not a good friend right now.  I cry.  I yell.  I DO want a baby.  I feel robbed and cheated and angry.  Maybe for some this isn’t a big deal, but for me it is.  For me, my world is broken and I have no idea how to stop the flow of heartache.

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  1. Ryan
    January 20, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss-a very real and all encompassing loss. It is our nature as men to want to try to ‘fix’ things…even that which can’t be fixed. Having a wife who has been through a situation similar… I learned to hold a hand, listen and just be there.

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:04 PM

      Ryan- thank you for the kind words. I am so lucky to have A for a husband. He isn’t perfect, but he cares and he loves me and he truly does want my happiness for me. After reading this, he did just what I needed him to do… he came and hugged me with no words at all.

  2. Jessica
    January 20, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    Oh Crystal, I love you so much. Just let your grief take whatever path you need, love, all your friends who are your real friends won’t mind a bit if you need to lean for awhile, or forever on our backs so we can carry you.

    I’m always here. 3177180019. And ALWAYS available.

    Love you,

    Jessica

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:10 PM

      I have been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life, but there is a part of me that worries that while I make my way through this they will forget me. I know, probably ridiculous, I mean who could forget me right? haha But it is in the back of my head. And I just HATE being the one with issues all the time. I hate being that person. Thank you for your love and strength and support. Love you!!!!

  3. January 20, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    The ONLY thing that started to lessen the pain for me was to get pregnant again. Luckily, for me, it only took 3.5 months. I’m so, so, so sorry for what you are going through. There are no words and it is unbelievably unfair. Please know I’m hear if you ever want to talk about it. and that it’s not your fault. HUGS

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:11 PM

      Thank you Megan! I am so sorry for your loss too. It is heart wrenching that so many families suffer this loss.

  4. Lisa
    January 20, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    I could write a lot about my experience with this, but I’m going to try and keep things simple. I had miscarriages in the fall of 2001 and spring of 2002 (#2 was on the due date of #1). I after 3 surgeries for endometriosis and many failed medicated (& more) cycles, I finally had my boys in the fall of 2007.

    I had been a person who would cry at funerals. Anyone’s funeral. I would cry more than close family members. It was kind of embarrassing really, but the event would bring out my fears and stress. Then trouble with TTC and m/c happened. I became very good at being stoic. So much that I barely shed a tear when my husband’s grandmother died. I actually knew her and her funeral occurred on our wedding anniversary. I realized what had happened to me, but it was hard to let myself feel that deeply again. Then my pregnancy with my boys went into the 2nd trimester and I was gradually able to convince myself that their existence was real and they would be here soon. I didn’t cry at their birth, I think I was still too afraid something might happen. But people can be ‘fixed’. It’s an evolution. I cried at the last funeral I went to.

    Let yourself feel these feelings. They are yours and you own them. Write about them, talk about them to those who understand. Then keep looking forward. See your goal. Hug your son and plan for the future when you are ready. I found, time *does* heal.

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:14 PM

      Thank you for sharing your story Lisa. It means a lot to me. It is scary and painful that the depression can change you so much, isn’t it? That is one of the hardest parts. I hate watching myself, knowing that this isn’t me. An example is my birthday. I turned 30 in Sept. It had been 2 months since the loss and the birthday that I had been looking forward to for MONTHS meant nothing to me. I didn’t want a party anymore, I didn’t want anything. Everything felt like too much effort. I should have realized then that it was more than feeling a “little depressed”. I am sorry for your losses but happy that you found peace and yourself again!

  5. Ginger Truitt
    January 20, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    You are grieving the loss of a child, the shattering of a dream, the loss of part of your future. Grieving takes time. There are still moments when I see a set of twins that reminds me of the twins I lost and it hits me all over again. I have no words of wisdom, just know you are not alone in your grief. I feel your pain and understand exactly what you are going through. It does get better with time, but it never goes away because it is another piece of the puzzle that forms you as a woman. I love you!! You will get through this! I have had some experience with depression as well. It is dark and spiraling, but it won’t last forever! I’m thankful you are reaching out to others.

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:19 PM

      Ginger, thank you and I love you! It helps so much to know I have others out there supporting me who know the pain I am feeling, although I wish none of you did really. I am so happy that you were blessed with your dreams come true in P and H! You traveled a long and painful road and I know how much you wanted them!!

  6. January 20, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    I do not know you, but found you through Twitter. I don’t know your story, but this post touched my heart.

    I, too, lost a baby. Mine was a first trimester loss, my first pregnancy…a surprise, but I was so excited. I know how devastating it can be, and I’m so sorry for your pain.

    It is amazing that you have the strength to be so vulnerable. That shows that you are on the road to healing, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:17 PM

      Thank you! It took so long to be able to write this, but I am so glad I did. The support has been enormous for me, the stories are heartbreaking but also reassuring. I have so many sisters out there like you who are bonded with me through this pain. I am sorry for your loss, especially with a first pregnancy. We lost our first also and it brought a wealth of other pains and fears by simply being the first. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Whitney
    January 20, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    I can identify with you as well. I had a miscarriage in April of ’09. It was our first baby. A crazy surprise pregnancy. My husband and I were so excited. We told everyone right away. And then we had to tell everyone we lost the baby. I ended up having an emergency d&c and the first dr that saw me called me a pyscho and told my family my pain was all in my head. Horrible experience. I dealt with it in my own way…I became rebellious and extremely unhappy with my life. I wanted out of my marriage and wanted to work and not think about what I lost. Then slowly but surely, God changed my heart. He brought me back to where I could think about ttc again. He brought me out of my rebellion and into more love for my always supportive husband than I ever imagined. And now I have a beautiful 7 mo old son. And if I had my first baby, I wouldn’t have the son I have now. Please know that my heart is with you. Time does heal, but the sorrow of the loss of your child will never completely go away. As an above post said-it defines you as a woman. It becomes a piece of you. And you never know what your future will hold! You’re in my thoughts and prayers. May you find comfort and peace in your grief! Hugs!

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:22 PM

      Thank you, Whitney, for sharing your story with me. I don’t think many people truly understand the trauma that a miscarriage (at ANY stage of a pregnancy) can cause. It is devastating! I am so glad that you found your peace and your marriage survived the pain. Congratulations on your son! Thank you for your love and support.

  8. Whitney
    January 20, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    Not April of ’09, ’08 I meant!

  9. January 20, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    I’m so sorry for everything you are going through. All of it – it just sucks. After my first was born, I lost several pregnancies in a row. I was so sad and angry and felt broken – as if my body couldn’t work right – if I couldn’t get pregnant, what kind of women was I? And then I had thoughts like – God must think I’m screwing up my first child so He won’t let me have any more babies – I wish I could go back and talk myself out of that stuff, but I couldn’t. Then I felt like I was on a quest to have a baby just to prove I could do it. It was a horrible couple of years. 3 miscarriages in about a year. Testing to see what was wrong. And even though they could tell me something was wrong with my uterus. Even though it was a medical thing, deep down I still was convinced that it was something to do with me just not being good enough. It all felt so heavy and weighted on me so much. I know I was probably not fun to be around at all and I bottled it all up and didn’t tell anyone – or talked about it with such detachment it was like I was relaying something I had read in a medical journal. What helped me was finally dealing with it, facing the grief, the anger, the sadness, the injustice of it all, and coming to terms with the fact that something was physical wrong with my, really helped me move past it all. I still cry. I still am sad for those babies lost. But the anger – I worked through it and was finally able to then let it go. (((hugs))) My heart breaks for you. And I think you are so brave to share.

    • January 20, 2010 at 11:28 PM

      Brandie, I am so sorry for what you had to go through and still deal with today. You hit so many other things that I didn’t think to write about. There is so much self blame. After the first miscarriage I was so angry at my body and only nursing M for 2.5 years really healed that for me. Now I feel like I am back there again. This time is a little different for me in that way only since I know it was a chromosomal issue… but it is still there. And A and I are firm believers of not “pushing” things in life. So, each day I wonder if we are pushing too hard. It is a constant battle between my mind and my heart. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray for your continued peace.

  10. January 21, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    Oh my. So sorry. Hang in there. I feel sure that the light will shine again for you one day.

  11. January 21, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    You are a wonderful person. First and foremost. Crystal, God knew every day that your baby girl would have. He knew she’d have the exact amount of weeks inside of you. God was okay with that amount of time and I hope you can accept that too someday. I know you miss your baby terribly, but I know that she lived each and every day she was given, developing as God intended. I now she’s in Heaven with him and he can hold her until your ready to. The Bible states that God validates a child as a person from the beginnings of life in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Surely a mother-whose womb carries the life God knows and forms-develops an inherent understanding of and love for the child within her. Accepting God’s love, and remembering the blessing of a short-lived life can create an atmosphere for healing. Remember, the pain of miscarriage may never truly disappears, but the hurt lessens as one utilizes constructive coping skills. Tears will fall and, at the same time, hearts will slowly piece themselves back together. I can’t say that I have ever been where you are, or even try to imagine the hurt you have inside. However, my mother lost two full term babies exactly two years apart, on St.Patrick’s Day. Both before I was born. I watched her cry and cry year after year, asking God why. Well, Mom got cancer and passed away two years ago this coming May. I told her as she laid on her bed breathing her last breaths, ” Mom, you have been such a wonderful mother to me, and you always asked why and were hurt for so many years about Danny and Kevin. I said “Well now mommy, you can go up to heaven and be with them. And tell them I said thanks for being my guardian angels, and letting me have you as a mommy first.” If it weren’t for them passing my sister and I would have never been born you see. Things happen for a reason. I hope this brings new meaning for you and insight. Think about your blessings as I know you do. Cherrish them. Life is too short. My mom was only 59. Aaron Owens…. God bless you and Aaron and Maddox.

    • January 21, 2010 at 11:14 PM

      Aaron, Thank you so much for the kind words, the support, and for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know how close you were. That story is so lovely and so sweet. I am very happy that you were able to be with her in those final moments and say goodbye with such an incredible message. You are right, that without each miscarriage, the subsequent child may never have been. I have a good friend who has been through several losses and she works to view it that way… each loss is what brought the following child to her. I think if I were not having issues getting pregnant, that would help a lot more. I think that is what the other comments meant when they said that the real healing began when they were pregnant again. I will read and reread your message again and again. Thank you so much for sharing it. Love to you and your family!

  12. January 22, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Crystal, you are brave. It is difficult to admit depression aloud, but to admit it to yourself, in the quiet moments and amidst tears, is what I believe the most important step to healing. To walking anew. To finding your footing. To clearing a path back to happiness.

    I have not lost a baby. I don’t know this pain and I feel so much for those who do. I have experienced the yearning and ache for another child, however, and the fear and panic that my dreams of more just may not come. I know the frustrations and the obsessive state your mind takes.

    Your heart is strong. Know this. Feel this.
    This is a moment in time. You will move past it. It may not be easy and it will take some time, but know that those who you have shared this with are wrapped in your words and cheering you on. I know I am.

    Depression hurts. For you. For the friends and family that surround you. I have been there. I have defeated it. But I know how easily it can slip back into your life. And it come overtake you, overwhelm you, put you in a corner.

    Keep talking. And writing. And keeping it real.

    Bravo! And big hugs,
    Sarah

  13. January 31, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    So sorry for your loss. I have dealt with depression off and on since I was a teenager. I had severe PPD/PTSD after the birth of my 1st daughter.
    I found that keeping a journal has always helped, just a little bit.

    http://www.themahoganyway.blogspot.com

    • February 23, 2010 at 9:56 PM

      It is really amazing how much writing can help. I find it harder to garner the courage I need to sit and face the words and thoughts, but when I do it is so therapeutic. I healed so much after writing this. I have not written since as I have been taking the time to just “be”, but I am feeling far more positive and I felt a distinct improvement after writing all this.

  14. February 1, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Crystal, I just wanted to send you a big giant HUG. And give you a big huge congrats for being able to admit your depression… its normal and its okay. And I know how huge of a step that is. I pray for you daily. Let us know if you need anything!

    • February 23, 2010 at 9:54 PM

      Thank you so much Mandy! I have such wonderful friends who have been there as I need them but not expected more from me than I am able to give.

  15. February 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    oh, so sorry for your loss. i’m so thankful that you have support through this & that you have admitted your depression here….that your writing might help you heal some. *hug*

  16. February 17, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Hi honey.
    I don’t blame you for feeling depressed. Like you said Youve got heaps going on in your life, let alone the loss of your angel.
    Don’t be ashamed. We are hear from you

    • February 23, 2010 at 9:54 PM

      Thank you so much! The response I have gotten has been so wonderful and so healing!!

  17. March 6, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Casey also wants to fix me, I already deal with depression and have for years. So our recent loss is only another thing to add to mine. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a doctor, the medicines are there to help. If you want to talk more about these topics please email me. I would love to talk more with you.

    • March 12, 2010 at 10:40 AM

      Thank you so much! I think they just don’t know what else to do. I think their heart is in the right place, but that just isn’t what we need. The good news is that I did talk to my doctor shortly after this post and we upped my meds. It made a world of difference. I think that the meds, finally getting it out and talking, the support I received after this post, and just more time all helped me a lot. It still makes me sad and I still feel a loss, but it is manageable now and I don’t feel like I am drowning in grief. I am so sorry for your loss and I will be here for you on your path to recovery!!

  1. January 20, 2010 at 8:36 AM

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