Tag Archive | doctor

Making a Change

I had my annual appointment with my fabulous OB/GYN yesterday.  I was very anxious and emotional.  I thought I would be in there pregnant before being due for my annual.  My doctor was amazing as usual and helped put my mind at ease.  She validated my feelings and concerns around my thyroid and together, we came up with a plan that I feel comfortable with.

One thing she asked me about was my diet.  I threw out the wide range of excuses that I use for not eating well – the main one being that the bad foods I eat make me happy.  (Awful, I know.)  She asked if I’ve ever thought about going gluten free.  Though I’ve thought about it and even tried some gluten free cereals and cookies, I never jumped fully on that bandwagon because many gluten free products contain soy, which is toxic to the thyroid.  She told me that she’s done a lot of research recently and that gluten has been closely linked to decreased thyroid function and fertility.  She suggested I try it, assuring me I would feel better.

I left my appointment feeling reassured and optimistic.  I had a lot to think about.  I told Hackie how the appointment went and we discussed our options.  I told him what my Dr. said about gluten and he jumped on board almost immediately.  I told him I wanted to do more research and really think about what it would mean for us to go gluten free.  We went out to dinner and both ate a lot of bread – perhaps we knew what was going to happen next.

This morning, I got up feeling a sense of enlightenment.  There are lots of things in this world that make me happy.  I do not need to overindulge in food to feel joy and happiness.  I need to eat, first and foremost, to live.  Maya taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee and that life can change in an instant.  The only way for her to live on is through me, and I need to live the healthiest life I can for her.  I need to feel my best and be my best every day – that’s what she would have wanted.

I started researching and quickly found that nearly 100% of people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis have at least gluten sensitivity, if not gluten intolerance.  My basic understanding is that the gluten increases the thyroid antibodies, which are what attack my thyroid gland and decrease its natural function.  My first reaction upon learning this was to be really pissed.  I’ve discussed my thyroid problems with several doctors and none of them ever recommended I go gluten free.  I feel like I fell victim to western medicine – the idea that a prescription drug will fix everything!  Then, I was pissed at myself for not doing this research sooner.  I am so grateful to my OB for opening my eyes to something so simple that has the potential to make a huge difference.

Hackie and I headed to Trader Joe’s and stocked up.  We both agreed that, to avoid feeling deprived and resentful, we needed lots of foods that we know we will like.  We realized that there is very little that we have to completely give up and that many of the foods that we like are naturally gluten free.  When we got home, we cleaned out the fridge and the pantry.  I threw the half a pan of amazing brownies that were left in the trash and we compiled two bags of food to give away.  Our fridge and pantry now look lighter and healthier.

We were told we would feel better in a week.  I’m looking forward to feeling the effects of going gluten free.  I know it will not be easy and I know there will be times when I am tempted by certain foods.  I am beyond grateful that my dear husband is doing this with me and is as excited (if not more) by the idea of living a healthier lifestyle.  There have been times before when I’ve dramatically changed my eating and it works really well and then I fall off course.  This is the first time Hackie and I are doing something together.  This is the first time we have literally cleaned out the foods that are off limits.  This is the first time it feels like a lifestyle change and not a diet.  This is the first time it will work and it will stick.

I’m doing this for myself, my husband, Maya, and my future children.  I fully believe it will make a difference and can’t wait to come back here and report on my progress!

Making Connections

I wanted to write this days ago, but life has gotten in the way.  This past Saturday, Hackie and I had the opportunity to go to an event at Children’s Hospital for bereaved parents.  We were nervous as we didn’t know what to expect.  The day was beautiful and we both left feeling so fulfilled.

The day started with a panel of bereaved parents who each shared their story.  They did not all lose babies.  Some lost older children who had been sick or been in an accident.  They each talked about how they cope and there were many things said that Hackie and I both felt we could relate to.  Following the panel, we were put into small groups for table discussions facilitated by the social workers from the hospital.  In our group were two other young couples.  Both had lost infants and one of the couples lost their son just three days before we had Maya.  The six of us clicked almost instantly.  We related on so many levels and I loved hearing about their babies and their journeys through grief.

I want to list some of the common themes of the day in hopes of educating my readers on this world of baby loss.

-There is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Though we would all love to have a manual, there is no guide to navigating this long road.  Those who haven’t experienced loss often have unrealistic expectations as to where we should be in our journey towards healing.  Please don’t judge us.  We have to take what we need and do what we feel is right in order to face life without our babies.

-We LOVE to talk about our babies.  We like to tell our stories.  We like to hear others’ stories.  Please don’t think that asking about our babies will make us sad.  When you ask me about Maya, you are acknowledging her life.  You are acknowledging that I am a mother and that you remember her.  Even if you want to know what happened, it does not make me sad.  I like to talk about my daughter.

-It is beneficial to talk about our journey through grief.  When we ignore it, it gets louder and takes over until we acknowledge that it’s there.  Most of the time, we deal with our grief in the privacy of our own home or car.  We don’t bring it up because we don’t want to make those around us feel uncomfortable.  However, asking sincerely how we are doing and just generally staying in touch goes a long way.

-All of the couples in our small group lost our first, and don’t have other living children yet.  We all agreed that parenting our angel babies is very difficult, but very much desired.  We all believe we are mothers and fathers; however, what that looks like is much different than the traditional understanding of the role of a parent.  We want our babies’ lives to matter.  We want them to be remembered and will do everything in our power to ensure they are not forgotten.  We just ask that we not be judged by those who have not walked this path.

After the morning small group discussions, we broke for lunch.  We had lunch with the same two couples and continued the discussion.  We felt such a connection and it was so comforting.  We had another chunk of time in the afternoon to continue the small group discussions.  I think we could have sat there for hours.  After that, we made a stepping stone for Maya and participated in a remembrance ceremony where we lit a candle for our precious angel.

Often times, this climb feels very lonely.  The world carries on as we struggle to get out of bed and make it through the day.  I left Saturday feeling less alone.  I left with two phone numbers of women who are walking a similar path, and who I feel I can turn to when the road gets real bumpy.

One thing I have struggled with is whether or not it was necessary to transport Maya to Children’s when she had such a slim chance at that point.  The neonatologist said that Children’s could say they did all they could whereas Emerson (without a NICU) couldn’t.  Still, I wondered if it was really necessary to put her and then myself through the trauma that went with being moved.  Now, I understand the purpose.

I continue to believe in fate.  It was fate that she was transferred to Children’s.  Had she not been transferred, we would not have been connected to this hospital.  We would not have been invited to this event, and we would not have met these wonderful and supportive people.  It was truly a blessing to make these connections and I am so grateful.

Stupid Thyroid

Originally, this post was going to be called ‘Stupid Halloween’ and was going to be about how upset I was that I couldn’t dress Maya up and post cute pictures of her on facebook.  Originally, I was going to write this post yesterday.  However, yesterday was really hard – as in ‘I really couldn’t stop crying’ hard.  Because of the hurricane, school was canceled for three days.  Spending days alone in the house is not good for me.  I need my routine, and when I have the time for my brain to take over, it’s sob city.  So, needless to say, I couldn’t write yesterday.  And now, a rant about Halloween seems silly.

So instead, I will rant about my thyroid.  However, in the interest of keeping this interesting, I decided to let my thyroid tell its side of the story first… (excuse me, I’m feeling creative/silly this evening).

Hello!  I’m Annalee’s thyroid.  I’m not very effective.  It all started in February of 2010 (except not really).  Annalee went for a routine physical and was lectured about being overweight.  Now, with her wedding only 6 months away, I knew she was trying to lose weight, but I was making it difficult -haha!  On a whim, the doctor tested me and found that I was being slightly lazy (read underactive).  Annalee went on meds, felt better, lost some weight, got married, and lived happily ever after!  And I was off the hook… whew!  Well, not really.

Fast forward to June 2011.  Annalee had been off birth control for about 9 months and started actively trying to get pregnant.  Little did she know that I was mad about the changes in hormones and became even more lazy.  After a 72 day cycle, a trip to the endocrinologist, and some more blood work, we found out that it’s not my fault after all!  Annalee has antibodies that don’t like me and attack me (read Hashimoto’s).  It’s not very nice and it makes me under-perform.  A change in dose, a few more months, and Annalee is pregnant!  Woohoo!!!!

Throughout her pregnancy, I did pretty well.  There was one adjustment in the beginning and then I was perfect!  It’s been made pretty clear that I am not in any way responsible for what happened to Maya.

Thanks thyroid.  I’ll take it from here.  (I hope that wasn’t too corny).

My original plan was to keep this blog more as an emotional outlet, rather than writing about my physical ailments.  However, this is so much a part of my life right now and I need to get it out of my brain!

Typically, after a pregnancy, the thyroid dose is decreased.  However, Hackie and I are hoping to get pregnant again soon (there I said it), so I thought that I could just continue on my ‘pregnancy’ dose and be fine.  How naive and stupid of me.  After some longish cycles, I started to think that something was up with my thyroid dose.  I actually thought that I didn’t have enough in my system as the symptoms were similar to those I had last summer prior to the increase in dosage.  My hair has been coming out in clumps, I have been very tired, and I’m struggling to lose the rest of my baby weight.  I gave in and got my blood work done.  What was found was that my dose is too high and I am now overmedicated.  All of the symptoms I was having coincide with having too much thyroid hormone in my system, including long cycles.

So, I’m back to my pre-pregnancy dose and I’m hoping that within the next month or two I will be feeling better.  Like I said, I hesitated to write all this here and reveal so many personal details about myself, but it plays a huge part in my life.  I also remembered reading some other women’s blogs that reference thyroid disorder and pregnancy.  I found it so comforting and educational to read about others’ experiences.  Perhaps someone will benefit from reading mine.

Personally, I think that thyroid disorder is overlooked.  Doctors won’t test it until you complain of symptoms and even then it’s not consistently measured.  Mine probably went undiagnosed for at least 4 years, if not more.  At this point, I have come to terms with it and understand that there are much worse things that a person could be diagnosed with.  I am grateful that mine was caught when it was and is fairly under control.  I have learned that I need to trust my doctors and trust my body, rather than trying to self-diagnose.

There are days when I feel like my thyroid condition is yet another thing in my already massive pile of crap that I am dealing with.  I then remind myself of what I do have – a loving husband, a beautiful house, a gorgeous dog, a precious angel, and the ability to go to doctors, get the medicine I need, and live an overall healthy life.  For all of that, I am grateful.

Up, Down, Up, and then Down Again

The roller coaster continues… or the climb up the mountain becomes more rocky – whichever metaphor you prefer.  It takes a lot of mental energy to function these days and this week has been exhausting, to say the least.  When I’m the most tired, I’m the most down.  I feel like I have to put so much effort and energy into day to day tasks.  In those moments of extreme fatigue, the sadness creeps in and catches up with me.

Yesterday was a mixed bag.  The school day was fine but as it got to the afternoon I started feeling anxious.  I had my last Maya – related doctor’s appointment.  I was looking forward to seeing my OB because she has a way of reassuring us, but I was bummed because I felt like the door to Maya’s case was closing.  We’ve gotten all the answers there are to get and reviewed the labor and delivery with everyone involved and then some.  She went over the autopsy report with us in more detail.  Basically, Maya was perfect.  Everything abnormal on the report was likely due to her being resuscitated for so long.  I was hoping that talking to the neonatalogist, all the doctors, and receiving the autopsy report would bring us a sense of closure.  Instead, as the door to Maya’s case closes, we are left with no closure and more questions that will never be answered.  It’s so upsetting, frustrating, and painful.

Today was day 3 of school for the kids.  I was feeling good this morning and thought it would be another successful school day where I could function and keep it together – I feel that is what is expected of me at this point.  After lunch, the fatigue caught up with me.  The kids were presenting posters about themselves and I couldn’t stop yawning.  All of a sudden, a thought crept into my head: “Maya will never get to do this.  Maya will never develop a favorite movie.  Maya will never have a first day of school.”  It hurt.  It physically stung my soul.  I could have lost it.  Luckily, I kept it together but the rest of the day was a wash in terms of productivity on my part.  Thankfully, there is no school tomorrow.

I’m so nervous about next week.  As much as I dislike the first week of school, it has been somewhat low key in terms of actual teaching.  Tuesday, I will teach my first science class and then repeat it 4 times.  I’m not nervous about the teaching part – that I can do.  I’m nervous about having enough energy to get through it.  I didn’t think of how difficult it would be to be “on” for three 50 minute classes in a row as 25 eager eleven year olds stare at me.  When I started to try and plan for next week, my head was very foggy.  I couldn’t think straight and I started to feel very anxious.  “What if I really can’t do this?”, I thought.  It’s a roller coaster, for sure.

The unpredictability of grief is very difficult.  I am never sure what will set me off and what won’t.  What sets me off one day may not the next.  In hindsight, I would say the first week of school was overall good.  I really like my students and I’m happy to not be feeling the anger and bitterness I was experiencing last week.  Next week will bring about a new onslaught of challenges as I really get into teaching and conduct my first science lab (we’re making slime).  I know I can muster up the energy to continue to live on, and, when I have my moments, I will take a deep breath, think of my Maya, and proceed as best I can.

Trying to catch my breath

This has been a tough week… a really tough week.  The fact that my daughter died has become very present in my life.  That sounds weird, but for the last month or so I distracted myself so well that I had a break from my reality.  This week, there has been a lot of contact with various doctors and a lot of talking about what happened to Maya.  It’s overwhelming and hard to deal with, but also necessary in this journey towards healing.  As I mentioned previously, I spoke to my OB on Tuesday.  Today, I had an appointment for a perinatal consult with the maternal fetal medicine doctor at the hospital… I’ll get to that in a minute.

This morning, I had a list of things I needed to get done.  I woke up highly unmotivated and pissed that the sun came up and I had to face yet another day without my Maya.  One of the things on my list was to call the neonatologist that treated Maya at Children’s Hospital.  About a month ago, my husband called to try and reach him – we had some questions.  We were told he was away for a few weeks and that he would call us when he got back.  He never did and it’s been on my mind since we got the autopsy report.

I looked him up on the website and called the number that was listed as his office phone.  I was expecting a voicemail or a secretary and what I got was him!  I wasn’t prepared to speak with him but was pleasantly surprised that he answered the phone.  He spent 25 minutes on the phone with me.  He answered all of my questions and expressed how much families like ours affect him.  He was so kind and compassionate.  I got off the phone feeling so grateful that we have such great doctors helping us find closure and peace.  I also felt like Maya’s little life had a profound impact on the entire NICU team and that brings me so much joy.

Now back to the MFM doctor.  I wasn’t quite sure what the appointment was for.  My OB wanted me to consult with the MFM prior to getting pregnant again.  It was fine.  We went through my medical history and what happened to Maya.  There was nothing discussed that we didn’t already know.  She said we should wait a year before trying to get pregnant again – I cut her off and told her no.  She tried to tell me that I wouldn’t be emotionally ready to carry another pregnancy in the near future.  This upset me.  I don’t like being told what to do and I don’t feel like its fair for a complete stranger to diagnose my emotional state.  Grumble.

My phone conversation with the neonatologist was great.  The meeting with the MFM doctor – not so much.  And so today was another up and down kind of day.  It’s exhausting to say the least.  I’m very ready for this week to end as it has been very tough.  Although, next week is the start of school and I don’t want to deal with that either.  I’m sorry I’ve been so whiny lately.  Do you know those videos of the middle of a busy train station that are put in fast motion with everyone coming and going?  I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of that.  Everyone and everything around me moving so fast and me left feeling dizzy and confused in the middle.

What we’ve learned this week is that it was most likely my labor and delivery that killed my baby girl.  This has been very hard to process.  On the one hand, I wanted so badly to believe that there was some underlying condition and that the outcome would have been the same no matter what.  On the other hand, an underlying condition could have been genetic and therefore a risk for future pregnancies.  I’m very torn on how I feel.  I thought the autopsy would bring closure and instead it brings more questions that will forever be left unanswered.

My world is spinning.  Will it ever stop?  Will I ever catch up?  We have one more appointment scheduled with my OB next week.  The neonatologist offered to meet with us, which we may or may not do.  Then what?  The book on Maya closes and we look forward to a future pregnancy and bringing Maya’s little brother or sister into this world safely?  No.  The book on Maya will never close.  She will live on through me as she continues to affect the lives of others.

Struggling

Today has been hard.  After a summer that I strategically filled with distractions, reality has hit me right between the eyes.  With NH, New York City, Disney, and then trips down to RI in the off weeks, I didn’t have to face my reality head on.  Sure, it was there and there were certain things that reminded me of what my life now consists of.  But I had enough going on to occupy my mind and time that I had some respite from real life.  Now, with little to look forward to and school starting in a week, reality is rearing its ugly head loud and clear.

I went into school to work on setting up my new classroom.  I got a new job, which I’ll blog about later.  It’s a welcome change and I thought another good distraction.  However, I wasn’t supposed to go back to work until after Thanksgiving.  There’s that phrase again… “supposed to”.  I say it so often now because life was supposed to be so different from what it is.  I counted down the weeks until school started.  I never wanted a summer to pass by so badly.  I thought having something to do and a solid routine would help pass the time.  Now that we’re less than a week away, I want nothing more than to crawl into a hole and hide.  Anger is a part of grieving and today, I felt angry.  I don’t want to set up my classroom.  I don’t want to deal with the beginning of the school year.  I don’t want to teach.  I want to mother, and I can’t.

My fabulous OB called today.  She got the autopsy report, which I’ll also blog about later.  It’s nothing all that conclusive, and she only went over it briefly.  It left me feeling sad.  I’m sad about what happened to Maya.  I ask over and over again, why her?  I’m also sad because the autopsy report was the last piece to this puzzle before the door closes.  I don’t want the appointments and the contact with my doctor to end.  I don’t want the door to close because I feel our time with Maya getting farther away.

Right now, reality sucks.  It’s so hard to face each day and to wrap my head around a new school year.  I am in such a fog and I can’t think straight – how am I supposed to teach?  I am so tired.  During the weeks leading up to Disney, I was running on adrenaline.  Adrenaline to get through the summer and get to our trip.  Now, I have nothing left.  Functioning every day is exhausting and I am nervous about what September holds.

My mom assured me that having a tough day today does not mean that I am back where I was in June.  Between spending an extended period of time at school and hearing from the doctor, there was a lot on my plate today and it broke me and brought me back to the dark place.  She reminded me that today will end and tomorrow can be better.  As much as I want to feel the low moments because they allow me to grieve my loss with every ounce of my soul, I am so uncomfortable in that place.  I feel like it’s a setback in my healing and I get frustrated and confused.

I am putting so much pressure on myself to be as close to the old me as I can.  I’ve convinced myself that if I can be the old me, interactions with other people (especially colleagues) will be less awkward.  The truth is, I have changed and haven’t quite figured out who I am now.  There are glimmers of the old me but I will never be the same and I don’t want to be.  This new finding of identity is hard and tiring.  I’ve learned that interactions with other people are awkward no matter what because there will always be an elephant in the room.

Getting back to school feels too much like the old normal.  One of the common phrases in the babyloss world is finding the “new normal”.  Hackie and I are slowly learning what that means.  However, the new normal feels too much like the old normal and I don’t like that.  Being back at school at the start of the school year is just another reminder that the world around me still goes on while I look backwards, trying to climb up the down escalator.

Today reminded me that grief and healing are not linear.  Though I feel I have made progress, I can still go backwards.  I can feel relief and joy one day and anger and sadness the next.  I can go days without crying and then lose it out of nowhere.  This is a never-ending process and I am only at the beginning.  There will be setbacks and there will be milestones.  There is no right or wrong way to travel on this journey.  I am doing the best I can.

What Not to Say…

I had an appointment with my primary care doctor today.  I thought I should consult with her before trying to get pregnant again.  I thought I should bring her up to speed on what went on.  I thought I should bring up the shoulder pain that I experienced while pushing.  I thought all doctors would know what to say and what not to say in a situation like this.  I thought wrong.

She had not looked at my chart prior to me sitting in her office so I completely caught her off guard and she stumbled on her words for an hour.  I have been so spoiled by my incredibly compassionate OB that I was so surprised at how incapable she was at finding the right things to say, or better yet, avoiding the wrong things.

Almost everyone I have encountered since Maya died has said, “I don’t know what to say” or “There are no words”.  They are right.  There are no words and there is no manual for how to interact with someone dealing with tragedy and grieving such a devastating loss.  Though there are no right things to say, there are wrong things.  Let this be a guide…

-Don’t tell me this happened for a reason.  There is no reason.

-Don’t tell me that she is in a better place.  The best place for her is in my arms.

-Don’t compare me losing my daughter to you losing your dog.  (One of several inappropriate things the doctor said today).  I have a dog.  I act as though she is my child and I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Therefore, I understand the love one has for his/her dog.  I also understand that however upsetting it is, we are supposed to outlive our dogs.  We are not supposed to outlive our children.

-Don’t say to me “at least she didn’t develop a personality that you got to know” (again from the doctor today).  I get what you are doing – you are comparing the loss of my infant to the loss of an older or adult child.  They cannot be compared.  They are different.  They are awful.  To compare like that is to diminish my loss and that is not your place.

-Don’t tell me that I will move on.  I go into depth on what those words really mean here.  I am living on and doing a pretty damn good job at it.

What can you do?

Sit with me and let me speak about my daughter.  Say her name.  Ask me questions about how beautiful and perfect she was.  Ask me how I am doing, even though I will probably lie because it is very hard to put into words how I am doing.  Tell me that you are thinking of me and my husband and our precious angel.  Say you are sorry for our loss.

If any of the above makes you uncomfortable, simply say and do nothing.  Honestly, it is OK.  It is better than saying the wrong things.  This kind of loss and grief is uncharted territory for most people, as it should be.  I completely understand that you don’t know what to say.

I wish I hadn’t gone to the doctor today.  It probably wasn’t really necessary.  I clearly made her uncomfortable and she truly did not know what to say.  Unfortunately, she felt like she had to say something rather than simply go about her medical business so she said a handful of the wrong things that made me feel quite hurt.  I know this will not be the last time that the wrong thing is said to me and there may be more hurtful things to come.

In the meantime, I continue to be grateful for all the supportive people in our lives.  The countless number of people who have simply said and continue to say “I’m thinking of you” is getting us through each day.  Though Hackie and I have both endured hurtful comments, we are mostly exposed to support, love, and comfort by our family and friends both near and far.  Thank  you from the bottom of my heart.

A Meeting with Doctors and Feeling the Highs and Lows

We had a meeting yesterday at the hospital.  I had requested a meeting to review what we know happened to Maya.  There is a lot of fogginess for Hackie and I when it comes to the memory of that day so we were hoping that some of the gaps could be filled in.  We met with my OB, the OB who delivered Maya, the pediatrician, and the head of their department.  Overall, the meeting went well.  There wasn’t anything shocking revealed and there are still more questions than answers.  Here’s what I learned:

-I was actually good at pushing.  For the hour or so that I was pushing, Maya was doing better than she was doing throughout the labor.  I made good progress and was good at bringing her down.  This was news to me.  I was utterly exhausted during that hour and was falling asleep in between contractions.  I thought I was a total failure at being able to push my baby out.  Turns out, she was indeed stuck.

-Eight minutes before she was delivered, they checked her heart rate with the Doppler.  It was nice and strong.  When she came out, she was not breathing and had a very weak heart rate.

-The doctors were just as shocked as we were.  For some reason, I had convinced myself that the doctors knew the fate of Maya as I was being wheeled in for my c-section.  I also thought they had seen this before and maybe weren’t as dumbfounded as we were.  What I learned yesterday is that this does not happen often (especially in that small hospital) and they were, and still are, completely shocked.

-We still have no idea what went wrong.  We continue to wait for the autopsy report.  After yesterday’s meeting, I feel more strongly that it was not my labor and delivery that caused Maya’s death.  It seems as though my labor and delivery were relatively normal and this is just a freak thing that happened.

Though we still do not have the answers we want, the meeting put my mind at ease in some respects and filled in some gaps.  The strangest part of the whole thing was that I was the least emotional person at that table.  I basically led the meeting with my questions and was very business-like.

Afterwards, I tortured myself wondering why I wasn’t more affected by the meeting and the somber look on all the doctors’ faces.  I asked myself, “What is wrong with me that I am not more sad and emotional?”  I want to cry and scream and grieve with every ounce of my soul – but I can’t.  I have become desensitized to the highs and the lows.  I also hate pity.  I’ve dealt with a lot in my life and the last thing I want is for others to feel bad for me.  I am a strong person.  On Maya’s due date, I went to Panera for lunch and lost it.  Everyone who I was with stopped eating and stared at me.  I did not want this to happen at the  meeting yesterday, and I knew that if I lost it, the meeting would turn into a comfort session for me rather than getting the answers to our questions.

I know I will feel the lows again.  And I know that I cannot predict when they will happen.  The purpose of the meeting was to get some answers, and I needed to keep my emotions in check in order for that to happen.  I’m pleased with how it went and it was nice to see the doctors again.  Hackie and I are so blessed to have such compassionate doctors who were clearly affected by Maya’s death.  They have our best interest in mind going forward and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Finding the Positive

I’ve always said that one of my secrets to leading a happy life and being a genuinely happy person is my ability to find the positive in any situation.  This is how I have coped with many tough things in both my personal and professional life.  However, I can’t use that tactic in this situation.  My newborn daughter died.  There is nothing positive about it.  No matter how deep I dig, I will not find the positive in this situation.  There is nothing good, nothing beneficial, nothing that was “for the best”.  IT SUCKS!

However, I have the desire to recognize something positive.  I yearn to be back in my happy place.  I want so badly to be my genuinely happy self again.  Instead of looking for the positive in the situation (did I mention that there is nothing positive and that this totally SUCKS?), I have found myself recognizing the positive outcomes of the situation.

First and foremost, this has changed me and as I have said previously, I believe it has changed me for the better.  I haven’t discovered all the ways it’s changed me just yet (it’s too soon), but I know I will be a better person because of Maya and because I am forced to travel this journey called healing.  Positive.

My relationship with my husband has taken on a whole new meaning and grown stronger.  He will get his own post soon about how incredible and amazing he is.  For now, let’s just say that going on this journey alongside him has made me see how truly blessed I am.  Positive.

Along the same lines, I have been given the gift of time.  When I was pregnant with Maya, I was telling a friend that I was nervous about the 4 weeks in between when school ended and my due date.  I was afraid I would go crazy with eagerness and anticipation.  She told me to savor the time with my husband because it’s the last we have before becoming parents and before our lives would change forever.  For at least another year, it will still be just my husband and me with the dog.  We have been forced to have this time together just the two of us, with no living children.  I have thought about this a lot.  I could resent the time and be angry at the circumstances.  Or, I could receive the cards I have been dealt and see the time as a gift.  My husband and I have decided to make the most of this extra time that we have where it will be just the two of us (and the dog).  Positive.

My OB has been amazing.  She spent an hour with us two weeks after I delivered to go through my labor.  She was compassionate, reassuring, and sensitive.  She has returned my phone calls promptly and done everything we have requested.  She sent a card and wrote that she will be there for us however she can be and hopes we can find closure together.  I have always had a negative attitude about the medical field after having some bad experiences years ago.  She has changed how I feel.  It’s comforting to know that I have a doctor who will treat me as a person and not just as a patient.  Positive.

My friendship with my best friend (who is more like a sister) has grown stronger.  She has been there for me for every leg of this journey.  We have been friends for more than 10 years and have had our share of ups and downs, but have always promised each other that we are there for one another no matter what.  She has been there for me full force.  I am forever grateful and indebted to my friend for sitting with me, listening, and understanding as much as she can.  In addition, since I have spent more time with her, I have spent more time with her kids (my niece and nephew) and am starting to feel closer to them as well.  Positive.

My mother is a saint.  I already knew that.  Her strength through this all has been contagious and she has helped me find the strength to live on.  I have spent a lot of extra time with her this summer and I know that ten years from now when I look back on this summer, I will have fond memories of the time spent with my mom.  Positive.

I have learned that I can’t find the positive in every situation.  There are some that have not one ounce of positive.  However, I can identify positive outcomes.  I believe there are more to come and I am paying very close attention so I can soak them up for all they are worth.  Being happy is where I am most comfortable and I am slowly getting back there.