Friday, August 31, 2012

Grief + Anxiety =

Me being a huge fricken mess!

I wish I could say that I am still on the "up" side of things since the great news from Jessica, but unfortunately that was short lived, and I am back to my previous state. Maybe even worse, definitely worse.

I thought June was horrible, but in terms of sucking, August is winning. I hate this month and I want it over. But is September just magically going to be any better?

After I got the news from Jessica I felt that that was the news I needed to get me working on my fundraiser. I have been having an incredibly hard time working on it and have little to nothing accomplished so far. Thank god it got moved to November because it would not have been ready by October, not even close. Novemeber is starting to seem too soon even. A friend helped me work on it on Monday night. I got a little anxious, but overall was feeling good about our game plan.

Wednesday night I decided I was going to try and work on a few of the pages for the binder I am putting together for it. This binder will include info about Liam, Evelynn, Dereck and I, where we are going from here, and the costs for using a carrier. From the point I sat down at the computer the anxiety set in. It was like I went from calm to major panic attack in minutes. I couldn't sit still and I couldn't write anything. I got to the point that I decided to take a half of one of my Xanax. If you know me at all you know that I have had this Xanax since my Dr. prescribed it to me after I lost Evelynn. I only used it a few times to sleep that first week after she passed away, but not since then.

Half a pill seemed to do nothing, so I took the other half. That not only took my anxiety away it made me so tired that I slept for approximately the next 14 hours. I woke up yesterday thinking after all that sleep maybe I could try and tackle the fundraiser stuff again. Like Wednesday the anxiety hit me instantly. I got in such a panic state. I couldn't think. All I wanted to do was pace-something I often do when I am really stressed. My heart was racing and I couldn't stop crying, I wanted to just scream at myself to just calm the F down, but I couldn't. I decided to go ahead and take a half a Xanax again. The half did nothing again, so I took the other half. Like yesterday, I got so tired from it, I fell asleep. I only slept a short time but when I awoke I was incredibly depressed feeling. So now nothing has gotten accomplished.

Dereck left for work today. He has only been gone 2 weeks for work, which was in June, since the beginning of April. Now he will be back to working his normal 3 week shifts. Normally 3 weeks isn't too bad. The alone time, to an extent, can be really nice. Yesterday we got into an argument and haven't really spoke since.

I know that everyone grieves differently and I shouldn't try to compare myself to others, but I am seriously losing it! I am losing it to the point I feel like I am scared to tell people how I truly feel for fear I will be emitted. Although maybe that would be good thing. How do others do it that have had multiple traumatic or later term/newborn losses? I feel I have come to that point that maybe I am not strong enough to get through this on my own that maybe I do need more help. I know I can't just keep popping the Xanax and sleep my worries away.

I have mentioned before that grief group doesn't help anymore. Too jealous. Too angry. I haven't gone to that now for almost 2 months. But I also don't feel like I fit into the uterine rupture group I joined a few months ago anymore neither. At first I thought it was helpful to talk with others who have had ruptures, especially the ones who have went onto have successful pregnancies after or have used gestational carriers. Lately I have felt it is doing more harm than good for me. I find myelf getting jealous even at many of them. I know we have all had ruptures, some even hysterectomies, but so many of them have had at least one living child already or there baby survived. And almost everytime I post something about how down I am feeling I get responses about how its only been 4 months and everything is still so new, blah, blah, blah. Call me a bitch for feeling this way but it may only be 4 months since Evelynn died, but I am also still grieving her brother.

I just want my pain to go away. Sometimes I just wish I never new Evelynn, that she never existed. Most days I still can't even look at her pictures. I love her, I miss her, but I wish this whole nightmare never happened.

On my lunch break today at work I decided it was time to finally do it. I called my counselor and told her that maybe I need to get on some form of anti- depressent/anxiety medication. I hate to be on anything. I know they really help some people but I have always had this "mind over matter" attitude feeling that I could get through this without taking anything. I am clearly depressed and the anxiety that I felt these last 2 days was like nothing I have ever felt before. I'll admit it. There are far too many days lately that I find myself saying I hate myself and that I hate life. I am depressed. I need help. My counselor is going to meet with me tomorrow, go over some referrals with me, and try to get me in with a psyhiatrist as soon as possible.

On top of being depressed, angry, and anxious, I am so incredibly scared. In the next month or so here I need to do my counseling session for our gestational carrier stuff. I am so worried they are going deny me and Dereck. On one hand they might see that I am trying. They will see that I am doing lots of counseling and have even gave medication a try to help me be in the best state of mind possible. On the other hand they might say that despite everything I am doing that I am to mentally unstable to proceed, that my recent loss is still too fresh, and they prefer we wait even longer before we go ahead with all this.

In other news:
One year ago on August 26th Evelynn was conceived. I remember it oh so well and so does one of my good friends. I was suppose to go to her wedding that weekend, but it just so happened that ovulation day was not only on her wedding day, but the 26th was also when Dereck had to leave to go back to work. I had really wanted to go to her wedding but figured if I ended up pregnant, it would be worth missing it. On my friends one year anniversary it was just another painful reminder of what should be right now.

That same day I helped a friend with a fundraiser of hers. This friend I met through my loss group. She started a charity after her son died to help mothers  get breastpumps who otherwise couldn't afford one. I think it is a great thing she is doing. Through her help and the Nursing Boutique I was able to get a few of the supplies I needed to help me with donating Evelynn's milk while we were traveling. Anyway, she did a fun run to raise money and it was a huge success. It was hard seeing so many babies-especially the girls, boys that would be Liam's age, the chariots, and ergo baby carriers, but I made it through it. Since donating Evelynn's breastmilk I have learned so much about the importance of it. I have become such a huge advocate and glad I could help such a great cause.

The rash that I had, which is for the most part gone now, I am told is Polymorphic light eruption-PMLE. Apparently I have developed an allergy to the sun. Part of me wants to get a second opinion. The other part of me says just where the extra sun protection like I am told to do and hope the rash never comes back. If the rash does ever come back, then get it checked out by another provider. Plus, I am told if it comes back or if I a plan to go somewhere sunny I need to take this super potent steroid. I don't think so! I'm sorry buddy but I am in the process of wanting to do an IVF procedure here in the next couple of months and then if my carrier gets pregnant start pumping again for that baby. Steroids are out of the question. Plus, I am still annoyed that they screwed with my donating of Evelynn's milk. The steroid I was put on, I only took for one week, but apparently it was so strong that I can't donate again for a couple months. I still have been pumping twice daily but throw it all away. I still just can't let it go completely.

I might have to make this my new motto!


  1. Becky, I know I sound like a broken record, but I cannot imagine how Hard this is on you. I know I could not handle it without help and I'm glad your are seeking it. My thoughts are with you often. ❤

  2. I understand your "mind of matter" mentality, but I think that you getting help IS that mentality. Your mind knows that the smart thing to do is to just seek out help - see if it works, see if it's right for you - be it medication, different counseling, etc. No harm in just asking and talking to someone else and getting their opinion on some medication - potentially a lot to gain in terms of helping you work through what arguably is one of the shittiest things a person can go through. I think you have shown tremendous strength. Although I'm sure you don't feel strong. You are.

    I never knew of you until I heard of Evelynn's passing. But I have been so impressed and touched by everything. From the heartbreak you have had to endure to the fact that you are hanging on to hope, even if it feels fleeting at times, and working towards a gestational carrier, all the while honoring your babies, talking about them, sharing them, grieving them, oh and working, getting out, planning a fundraiser . . .my oh my are you impressive.

    Hang in there Becky. So many of us "strangers" are rooting for you and your family every step of the way and want the very best for you.

  3. I think about you all the time. Both of our Liams, and Evelynn are of course always in my heart. I just want to tell you that we all support you and I hope the medication gives you any amount of respite from the pain you are in on a daily basis.

    You're a wonderful mom and the tributes to your babies are beautiful.

  4. Quick note from an anonymous reader (and I apologise in advance for not responding meaningfully to the rest of the post), but be careful with the Xanax. I am prone to anxiety as well and was put on Xanax after an early loss.

    I tried to be careful with the medication at first, knowing that it was addictive. My anxiety was amping up though, so I started to take half a pill in the morning and half at night. This routine continued for maybe 10-12 days, max. I probably went through only 1/2 of the bottle, but it was enough. Suddenly, my anxiety was through the roof and the Xanax wasn't touching it. It wasn't until I was lying in bed with cold sweats and racing anxiety one morning that I realised I had become chemically dependent on the Xanax. The very thought terrified me and I quit cold turkey. The withdrawal was simply awful. I felt like I had the worst influenza of my life for five days, plus the worst anxiety of my life. The amped-up anxiety had actually been "rebound anxiety" from when the medication would wear off--look it up. It took me two weeks to reach a non-anxiety state again. Nightmarish.

    I went on Lexapro shortly after and since then have been fine (anxiety-wise). It sounds like you're on the right track, looking for a long-term medication. But in the meantime I just wanted to caution you. I've never been an addict of any sort, so the fact that I go hooked on Xanax so quickly and innocently is a testament to its potency.

    Keeping you, Evelynn, and Liam in my thoughts.

  5. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone with your depression and hating life. I struggle with it too. I hate myself and my life and wish I was dead. Every day is a struggle just to survive. I have been damaged by so many traumas in life.I am sick physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.I ask God each night to take my life and I wake up every morning angry that I'm still alive. I envy those that are dead and wish I could trade with them and I feel like I'm just waiting to die I hate my life so much. I don't know what to say except I know what you're going thru and that you are not alone and that I completely understand and sympathize.I know what it feels like and it sucks.

  6. Oh, Sweetie...hugging you tight in my heart right now. Have you considered looking into Postpartum Support International? They have support groups and counselors all over, and maybe they have someone up there for you to talk to. I *know* the feelings you have are normal, and I know how I felt dealing with only one loss, and I can't imagine trying to cope on my own...and I'd been going to two babyloss support groups for six months by the time I sought a counselor's weekly help. It has helped me tremendously. I also totally understand your anxiety around the gestational carrier counseling appointment. DH and I will be doing do or eggs if this current IVF doesn't work, and I was terrified of the idea of being interviews pled by a psychiatrist without getting our shit together first. Thankfully, we're now a week away from our third couples counseling session, and DH will have his first individual session this week. We're just not supposed to have to do this's all too much to bear, and you are bearing WAY more than most.


  7. Anxiety is one of the worst feelings imaginable. I've suffered anxiety and panic attacks since I was 9 years old. I think a lot of it goes back to my health problems as a child. The times in my life where I've been anxious for too long (ie: regular panic attacks and general feelings of anxiety over a period of weeks) I begin to feel depressed. Feeling out of control, vulnerable and powerless, never knowing when I'm going to 'lose it' leads me to feeling depressed, which is different than just feeling 'sad' or 'grief' about something. If you've crossed the line from 'sad' to 'depressed' it's time to look at new strategies to cope.

    I think you're doing the right thing finding help. Whether it's in pill form or someone to talk to or both, asking for help in your situation is totally understandable. You've suffered a huge trauma, go easy on yourself. Take all the help you can get and need at this point. It doesn't mean you're weak and it doesn't mean that you're 'back-sliding'. It just means that you have had to rely on your reserves of strength for too long, and they need time to replenish.

    What is it about planning the fund raiser that is making you anxious? Is it the planning (ie: having too much to do, too much to coordinate?) Is it that it relates to your losses and thus makes you focus too much on them while you're doing the planning? Is it thinking about the money required to fund everything? Have you considered that while the gestational carrier may be what you want, it's also making you anxious thinking about putting your heart out there again? Trying again maybe what you want and need to do, but it's not risk free and it can mentally be tough to consider 'risking' it again.

    Trying to figure out exactly what is making you anxious might help you cope better. If you can't figure it out, and planning the fundraiser is what is triggering panic attacks, then maybe taking a break from planning the fundraiser might be necessary. Or maybe approach the planning with a friend. Having someone else there who knows how anxious this is making you and can help talk you through it or distract you, might be the 'strength' you need in order to get things done.

    Also, in regards to your 'pacing', if you feel like pacing when you're anxious...GO AHEAD! Pacing is not the end of the world. When I was anxious as a teenager I would go for a walk around the block. I must have walked that block 1000x. It helped calm me down and it was good exercise. If it calms you down to pace, then do it. You may feel weird that you feel like you HAVE to pace, but it's actually a good coping strategy. It's helping you, not hurting you. Look for lots of these coping strategies. Mine were walking, reading and jiggling my foot when sitting. You could try deep breathing, yelling out loud, have a shower, bounce a ball, watch TV, go for a run or do a cross-word. Self talk like telling yourself that the panic will pass and you will be fine is another good strategy.

    I wish I could fly to Alaska and hold your hand through some of this, because I think you deserve good things Becky. I think you will find ways to cope and I think your life will be better, if not tomorrow, then soon. I'm hoping you can ride this out, because with hard work and time, good things can happen. Sending you strength.

  8. I'm glad that you are planning to seek some help. Sometimes mind over matter isn't what we think it is. Getting help when you need it is really responsible.

    I know I haven't suffered multiple losses, but I did lose Finley after he was born at full term and did not see it coming. I am really struggling with life and how I'm feeling and sometimes when I start to tell people how bad it is, they get scared I'm going to hurt myself or something. I wouldn't do that but I do admit to wishing that I had died from my hemorrhage so that I was with my boy now. I am seeking help to. I find it hard to see a positive future for myself and often have an attitude of 'what's the point?'

    Anyways, I always ramble in my comments to you, but it's just because I want you to know you aren't alone.

    Lots of love,

  9. I think you've had some good advice here. I really think what Emily said about how you are so stressed out and need time to replenish is true. I don't mean take a break from moving forward with the gestational carrier process, but just an emotional break.. I just don't know how you do that, you know?

    Just want you to know I'm thinking about you. And your babies, and wishing this GC process could be on fast forward. xox momma.

  10. Oh Becky I don't really know what to say, except that I'm glad you are trying different ways to take care of yourself and that I hope the dark days lift a little as time goes on. It's still so soon after losing Evelyn, be gentle on yourself.

  11. You are also living in a suck, suck, suck ass moment. I wish they would just go away. I bloody hate them and I am tired of them. At least you have the Xanax my Doctors would give me nothing, not a thing. I luckily found St.John's Wort and actually as a natural anti-depressant it works surprisingly well.

    Nothing is enough, support groups aren't enough. You can come a sit with me sometimes if you like in my Black Hole and we can chat about how everything just suck suck 'keep your chin up business' just poor self pity because sometimes, some days it needs to be done and we are allowed to despair and be desperate. We have struggled for so long with noone to help come to terms with what we are, freaks of nature.

    Either way, I am sending you a hug, as always.....

  12. I think the fact that you are looking into things to help you, and honestly, even taking the xanax after not taking it for months now is a step.

    I am planning to get something to help my anxiety as soon as I can make an appointment. I'm glad you are looking into that too. I think there is room for both mind over matter and medicine when needed. It's not forever, just for right now.

    I can see how it could be PMLE! Especially because you live in Alaska where you're getting so much more sun now (I think) and it's closer to you than us further down.

    I know you think you are a "huge fricken mess" but I think you are definitely not. I am glad August is over though. ((hugs))

  13. Thinking of you this week end. Hugs.

  14. I think you are feeling exactly what anyone in your position would feel. I am still jealous of people who haven't had a loss and people who have living children Eliza's age. I don't know when (or if) that will go away.

    I'm still in therapy and I don't know how people go through anything like this without seeking help. One thing that helped me a bit was to remember that everytime I cried it was one less time I would cry again. It sounds kind of stupid since its not like we have a finite number of tears. But each time you allow yourself to express your grief and really cry, you are not dwelling as many people think, but are experiencing a natural part of the grieving process and although it's unbearable now, it will eventually get easier.

    You have been through such loss and trauma. It's understandable that you would feel physically and emotionally depleted. No one could expect you to bounce back from this in four months. I don't know what the counseling session for surrogacy will be like, but I hope they can see how much you live your kids and how much work you are doing to cope with your grief before you bring home a living baby.

    No one should have to endure what you've been through, but other women have survived and I have faith that you will too. Please know we are thinking of you and remembering your sweet babies.


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