Ask Me How I’m Doing

I went back to work last Monday. It was initially really hard walking in and getting the hugs and condolences, and then it was just normal. Normal is so nice, and I have been wanting to feel some sense of normalcy since Colton died. One of the doctors shared with me that she also suffered a stillbirth. She said no one at our workplace knows and she only shares when it happens to someone she knows. In some ways I think it would be easier to have no one know. But since they do know, I think it’s appropriate to ask me how I’m doing. It allows me to open up if I’m feeling up for it, and it shows that people care. Another doctor did this, saying welcome back and asking how I was both physically and emotionally (physically almost normal and emotionally is day by day in case you were curious). I was really grateful that he did this, as I wouldn’t have expected it from him.

In my personal life, only a few people have been asking me how I’m doing. To be fair, I sent an email when Colton died saying I needed time before discussing it, so maybe I need to open up. But it makes it so much easier if my friends and family would just ask me how I’m doing. It’s hard to bring it up but I want to talk about it. My sister in law sent an email saying she didn’t know how to act and asking how she should act. I told her I wanted her to ask me about him and still be in touch with pictures of her kids. She has been texting pictures of her kids like we normally do, but then this past weekend when she visited, she said nothing about Colton. I even tried to bring up the delivery in a conversation and she just changed the subject. It’s so frustrating.

I have a couple of friends who have been texting and calling frequently and I am so eternally grateful for their support. It’s eye opening when you suffer loss to see who really cares. I’m not surprised by who has been in touch, but there are a couple of people I would have expected to be more present that have been missing. That’s life I guess.

In other news, at my follow up doctor’s appointment I still had the retained placenta. My OB was able to get me in really quickly for a D&C, which I had yesterday. It’s really hard to feel done with the physical part of birth when you’re still bleeding and cramping everyday. I was so incredibly scared to have this procedure done that I insisted it be done in the OR where I could sleep through it. Luckily this was accommodated. The OB who did it was fabulous and I even continued to advocate for myself by asking that the resident did not perform the procedure. After everything I’ve been through, if this procedure screwed up my uterus I certainly want to know that it was messed up by someone very experienced and not someone still learning. What a weird thought to have, right?!

I was so relieved to have the procedure over and done with yesterday that I was in a fabulous mood (after I napped for 3 hours). I had to have general anesthesia and a breathing tube due to heartburn, which was not something I wanted but it went fine so I’m just going to be thankful there were no problems. I am also so thankful that I didn’t lose my uterus. Being in the medical field, I just know way too much and I was so freaked out this would happen even though the risk is incredibly low. I certainly hope there is no scar tissue either.

Today I have no cramping and just light pink spotting. It’s glorious! I feel normal and it’s just so incredible to have my body be getting back to normal. Now I have to lose the last 10lbs of baby weight, but I can at least squeeze into a good chunk of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I’ve been running, walking and doing exercise videos with my husband to slowly get back into shape. It makes me feel so good. My husband and I both have noticed how we are in such better moods when we exercise. The mind-body connection is incredible.

Not a day goes by where I don’t think of Colton but I am no longer crying everyday. I do randomly have tears well up in my eyes and I also cry sometimes, but it’s much less frequent. I know that grief ebbs and flows and I’m pretty sure hitting all the milestones like the due date and birthday will be hard for me, along with lots of other random things. This is a part of me finding my new normal. It sucks that I have to do this, and I hate that I have to do this. Life is just so unfair.

Next week I meet with maternal-fetal medicine to go over the results of the stillbirth and figure out where to go from here. I already know there is no obvious reason for his death based on all the tests that were performed. However, I’ve crafted a list of questions to ask and I’m hoping to get something new out of our conversation.

10 thoughts on “Ask Me How I’m Doing

  1. Rach

    I hope that some new little piece of information comes to light to help make sense of all this for you. I’m so pleased that the return to work has gone smoothly. It must be hard to work yourself up for times when you know there will be lots of questions. You sound like you are doing well all things considered. My hearts breaks for you. I wish you didn’t have to go through it too. 😭

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  2. Amy M.

    I’m so sorry. When I had my miscarriage, not a lot of people asked how I was doing either. You’re right, you really find out who truly cares when something like that happens. (I don’t think a miscarriage and a stillbirth are the same thing, just saying I know what you mean.) I’m glad you’re starting to heal, even if it’s just a little at a time. All you can do is take it a day at a time. Sending you lots of love and strength. *hugs*

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  3. lyra211

    Thank you for this update — I’ve been thinking about you. I’m so glad the D&C went well and that you finally feel you are recovering physically — it’s just cruel that the physical part has dragged out, so I’m glad that the end is in sight. I am glad you’re telling us how you’re doing, even if the people around you aren’t asking. When our daughter died, I was so grateful for those precious friends who asked, texted, called… just kept in touch and acknowledged how hard a time it was. They are worth their weight in gold. I know that some of the people who didn’t keep in touch just… didn’t know how to deal with it. I think most of the people who did keep in touch were ones who had really experienced loss before (like my friend whose mom died when we were in high school). They get it. Amazingly, even at our age, some people really haven’t experienced loss, or at least not a profound loss like the loss of a baby, and they really don’t get it — it’s just something outside their experience that they don’t understand and don’t have the imagination to know how to be helpful, so they don’t say anything. It’s nice that your sister-in-law asked how you wanted to interact with her… although frustrating that she then didn’t follow up by talking. She’s trying, I guess. But I hereby give you permission to not spend an ounce of your emotional energy thinking about the people who are not supporting you right now — pouring your energy into the relationships that are sustaining you is a good thing and might help. I’m glad that the normalcy of work feels mostly good. I felt similarly: sometimes it could feel jarring to try to focus on whatever I was trying to focus on when it felt like my world was crumbling, but I also appreciated the normalcy and being forced to function for the sake of my students. Hang in there. I am sending all the love and support. Please do keep us updated whenever you have the energy to write. I will always remember Colton.

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  4. dubliner in deutschland

    I think some people feel awkward about grief and feel like mentioning what happened might upset the person. What they don’t realise is that the person is already upset and it feels weird to act as if nothing happened. I agree with lyra211’s comment that people who have been through some sort of loss themselves tend to relate and understand better. Thinking of you and hoping that each day you will feel a bit stronger.

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  5. 30yr old nothing

    Thank you for this post. I’m one of those who tends to give people space after they’ve suffered a loss not knowing that that might not be what they need. Suffice to say I just messaged 2 friends who have recently lost loved ones.
    It sounds like you’re doing well. I’m glad the D&C helped.
    Still keeping you in my thoughts and wishing you strength everyday. xx

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  6. Nara

    I am so sorry. It sounds like you’re having a horrible time of things and I’m sorry you don’t get to have more time off work. That’s really tough. I think when awful things happen, people just don’t know what to say. And people deal with grief so differently. Some want to talk and some don’t. A close friend of mine had a still birth and I try and mention her daughter’s name to show her that I remember. I hope in time your friends and family will be able to talk about Colton with you. Sending lots of love. ♥️

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  7. silentmiscarriageloudthoughts

    I’m glad you are finding exercise is making you feel good!
    I’ve had a friend and a cousin who’ve had still births, and I always make sure to refer to their respective sons when it seems appropriate and calling them by their names. It became pretty clear that this was how both of them wanted it; they didn’t want anyone to forget their babies, which is so understandable. I hope your friends and family work out how to best support you.
    Sending love and hugs.

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