The Firecracker (Guest Post)

Today I want to give someone very special to me an opportunity to share her story. In December, my cousin and her husband lost their baby. Baby Massey 2.0. She asked me to help share her story and I immediately agreed as I want to help spread the word about not only infertility, but also miscarriage. 1 in 8 couples experience infertility and 10 to 20% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage. The statistics and reality are there, but are still taboo subjects for some reason. I want to help end that and I love to help give a voice to those who want to share.

It’s written in journal form. A compilation of her thoughts over a period of time. It’s going to be presented in two posts and it might be two of my longest posts yet, but she’s got a lot of words and they’re important words. And I know that she not only wants the world to hear them, but needs the world to hear them.

Girl, you’re strong, but most of all, you are brave. Don’t you ever forget that.  Thank you for sharing your story with me, with us and the world.

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I’m Marissa. Wife to Brian and mother to Edric, and I’m here to share my story. Ready to dive into the mind of a crazy, off -the -wall, quirky red head?

I am not one to sit and stew, or to hold things in. I process very outwardly and vocally.  I was trying to think of a way to express myself to the world. I’m tired of acting and having people assume that I’m okay, all put together all the time. I’m far from that. I’m a mess. Will you walk through this journey with me? I’ve come to realize that we’re all are a mess, but that the mess just looks entirely different for us all. The one thing we have in common is that God loves us like crazy. We may not have it all together, but He loves us! I might not make complete sense in this little monologue, and I will probably use some angry words. I’ll probably make us both cry, but this is my heart.

Meditation {Written 1.7.16}

I began to meditate and pray over the situation I had just been through. It’s horrific; if hell on earth could be placed in front of me to walk through… this was it. I just walked through hell and still had to clean a home, prepare for Christmas, love, care and play with a toddler day in and day out, do laundry, keep up with dishes, attempt to love myself enough to then be intimate with my husband. This was all just too much. And top it all off, our baby died, inside of me. Anyone who knows me, knows I have only ever really wanted to be a wife and a mother. It’s my one dream and goal in life. I have one amazing, busy, sweet, singing, and dancing 19 month old, Edric Wilbur. He is amazing. I am a wife to one outstanding man, Brian John. Brian and I have been married 4 ½ years. We have a journey and it has been a journey that I only would want to go on with him. He’s amazing!

As I meditated and began to chew on the last month or so I began to put pieces together about my miscarriage. From the beginning, I didn’t feel right. It didn’t flow, I wasn’t ecstatic, I was terrified, I was scared, I wasn’t feeling prepared to endure pregnancy and birth all over again.  I had just begun to feel somewhat normal after: quitting my job as a kindergarten teacher, staying home to raise our son, endure a year of roller coaster breast feeding, figure out a constant whiny/teething child of mine, and re-learn how to love my husband as not just my husband, but also now the father to our son. I also realized that six months into our son’s life, I was dealing with a form of postpartum depression. I was having agonizing anxiety, was overthinking and had all over my body itching.

Blurry Vision {Thoughts from 10.24.15}

For those of you that don’t know me well, I have awful vision. I’ve had glasses since I was 5. So for this section to be called Blurry Vision is quite funny. I was driving to go pick my mom up for a fun day shopping at the new outlet mall with my mother and sister-in-law, that we were dying to have a chance to walk through, and as I was driving with Edric in the back seat, my vision began to blur. It blurred so badly that it was difficult to see the road while driving. I just assumed my blood sugar was low and I needed to eat a snack. Once I got to my mom’s I asked her to drive. I just wasn’t comfortable with driving and possibly putting everyone in danger if my vision wasn’t in full working order.

She drove and I just sat there thinking about what could have been causing my vision issues. Thinking through what I had eaten earlier that day and trying to make sense of it all. Then, in a moment of honest to goodness utter terror, I remembered that the only other time I had had this intense of vision issues were when I was teaching full time and when I was PREGNANT with Edric. I said this out loud after I thought it to my mom. OH MY … could I be? I’d only been off birth control for like 2 weeks, less than a month… is that even possible? Is that healthy? Is that right?

Right then and there I began to question and wonder if this was even something real, something good. Is this even possible? Is this even right? I began to question this life before I even knew it was life for certain.

I asked my mom to stop at the Wal-Mart in Hastings. I had to know if I was pregnant and I had to know then. So I went in, and quickly found the EPT pregnancy test double pack and then had to wait for the oldest, slowest man to check out at the pharmacy counter. I was in a bit of a panic, or hiding what I was purchasing. I grew up in Delton, not far from Hastings and I had a fear that I would see someone I know, they would see the test before Brian or I could even celebrate.

The lady who checked me out was not emotionally there. She scanned, allowed me to swipe my card and then let me leave. She had brown hair and glasses, that’s all remembered. I was so focused on the fact of… do I have to pee? Can I just take the test in the bathroom? I was panicking. I knew how much Brian wanted another baby, but because of how difficult pregnancy, hormone fluctuation and postpartum junk was, I was dreading it and just kept telling my closest friends that I was doing this for my boys. So my husband would have another baby to snuggle, so that Edric would have a brother or sister to play with. That was my honest focus for another baby.

I finally reached the bathroom, shut my stall door, dropped my pants, impatiently ripped open the packaging and peed on the stick. I turned the stick away from me after I peed on it because I truly didn’t think that it was possible to be pregnant so quickly after stopping birth control and maybe possibly, part of myself just didn’t want to be pregnant. I got my pants back up and then turned the stick over to just put it back into the box to throw away… but it was +.

I believe there was someone else in the bathroom with me, but when I flipped the stick back over, I said out loud,“What?” I was completely caught off guard. I was pregnant according to two silly lines on a pee stick. What? I was staring at the stick in disbelief. I then made it back to the car, and somehow didn’t say anything about the stick incident to my mom who was driving because my vision was also still messed up.

We shopped and then went to Brian’s marching band competition that evening. It was a busy day of shopping at the outlet mall, and now with the fact that I wouldn’t be fitting into my pants much longer! I got really nauseous while we shopped and also remember being very uncomfortable that whole day. I also didn’t tell anyone because I wanted to tell Brian first. I ate – wait no, inhaled a bacon cheeseburger at Culvers before the marching band competition. What was happening to me? I was slipping back into the pregnancy fears and hates that I felt I had just finally escaped from. YIKES! Save ME!

When I got home after such a long and busy day, I took the other pregnancy test, because remember, I bought a 2 pack.  It was also positive. I knew Brian would be getting home late that night, as in 2 am late. But as you probably could have guessed, I didn’t sleep well until he got home. I kept the two pregnancy tests in a Ziploc bag on my nightstand. When Brian slid into bed and got comfortable and threw the bag at his chest. He was surprised and said, “What’s that?” He grabbed his phone for a light and realized what he was holding and replied, “Are you serious?” with total excitement. He then went on to compare his swimmers to Michael Phelps. (Men!) The rest of that night and our conversations were a blur. I just didn’t feel right, or super excited that I was in fact growing a life inside of me. Nothing about that day felt right. Looking back, I realized that’s messed up.

The Telling

We told our parents with a big brother t-shirt I had found at a Mom 2 Mom sale for Edric. He suddenly looked so big wearing that shirt. It was extremely odd to think of him as a “Big Brother” to another human being. We also had told our closest friends that we were pregnant. We told everyone at our Halloween party a few days later. Cravings, nausea and extreme exhaustion started literally immediately after I peed on that stupid stick in Wal-Mart. I was miserable. I was heading back into the “fog” that I described being in while in my first trimester with Edric. It sucked. I felt like I was going to puke all day long. I learned that if I snacked all day long that I felt better in the evening. If I didn’t eat enough during the day, my evenings were filled with extreme nausea and so close to puking moments.

Brian and I had just started an intense marriage group to strengthen and realize each other’s pains, move to peace and realize all that God has for our marriage. It was an intense group of sharing our testimonies and being very vulnerable. One night before group I had felt AWFUL! I puked and rested and attempted to make Brian let me still go to group. He told me to go back and lay down. We went back the following week and I this group will continue to be a source of help, prayer and support and we continue through the next few weeks and months of our lives.

I started to feel all the normal next steps of pregnancy: tight clothes, MAJOR food cravings. I think I ate my weight in cheeseburgers from Wendy’s and Culvers for a couple of weeks. I wanted unsweetened Pure Leaf tea among many other cravings. Those ones stick out to me.( The cravings are real people; they are so real.)  I began to switch my closet over to maternity clothes; I was beginning to like the idea of holding another infant, teaching Edric how to be gentle with this new little life. I was excited to get all the newborn clothes out of the tubs and see what I would clothe that sweet baby in. I was wondering what sex our baby would be. I wanted a boy, but wondered if we would get a sweet surprise of a little girl… I was full of wonder.

We knew we didn’t want to announce on social media quite yet. We knew also the same thing with Edric. In case something was to happen we only wanted to re-tell closest friends and family. We knew we would need their support is something were to happen. Man, am I glad we stuck to that plan. At first when I immediately started to plan for the due date with the plethora of apps for new mamas, the due date came up to be May, 30th, 2016 – Edric’s birthday. Which was kind of weird that there was a possibility that they would share a birthday.

Because I didn’t think we would be pregnant just a couple of weeks after getting off birth control, I didn’t truly note the last day of my last period. That made the due date a bit wishy-washy. Dr. Ebner, who is the best OB  in the world, ordered an ultrasound so that we would know a more accurate due date for our babe. Brian went into the ultrasound with a ton of excitement. We didn’t hear a heartbeat at our first OB apt. So I was just concerned and demanding that I knew our baby had a heartbeat. I was kind of dwelling on that. I wasn’t thinking we didn’t have a baby; I was still nauseous, and had cravings so I was 99.9% confident we had a baby in there. But something just wasn’t right. I can’t explain it.

I drank a ton of water, sat, waited and went to sit in a dark ultrasound room with warm jelly squirted onto my belly. The technician was really quiet and didn’t tell us much because she was a student. The official technician came to make the final images for Dr. Ebner to read and evaluate. Mind you, we thought we were 10 almost 11 weeks when we went to the ultrasound. The technician asked me to go pee and let my bladder empty. She wanted to do a vaginal ultrasound to get an accurate size of the baby. She said that there was a baby and it did have a heartbeat, but that I wasn’t even close to the estimated due date we had discussed just a couple days before with Dr. Ebner. We were actually only 6 weeks and 1 day! SO YOU’RE TELLING ME I’M NOT ALMOST DONE WITH THE FIRST TIRMESTER! I could have screamed. Probably the cruelest thing anyone could have ever told me. I was PISSED! So you’re saying I have to endure almost double the amount of pukey weeks and days… I’m not almost done with this first trimester of life sucking agony? This sucks! And top it all off the ultrasound photo’s edges are tattered. It was the end of the roll of photo paper roll, so the photo is all crinkled on the edges. They gave a photographer a tattered photo of their child. And to also note that that is the only photo I will EVER have in my possession of our child. There will be no other photo of our babe ever in history.

Acceptance and Excitement. Is It Real? 

I went along after that accepting the fact of a new due date and realizing that it would hit right when Brian was beginning his last semester of masters classes. July 4th, 2016. That terrified me that he would be super stressed in finishing his degree, I would be struggling to keep my head afloat with Edric being a busy 2 year old and a new infant that also would suck my time and energy. I was already overwhelmed and it was only November.

November came and went. We told our extended family that we were expecting at Thanksgiving gatherings and everyone was very excited. I was beginning to come around to the fact of being pregnant. I honestly loved talking to people about it. I love dreaming, planning, hoping, decorating and just being excited about what was to come.

Moms around me in my circle of friends were either pregnant, almost due, talking about having babies and planning timing so our children would be close in age. This talk got me super excited, just excited that I wouldn’t be going through this journey alone. That’s the only thing I found truly fulfilling about these conversations. To be completely honest, I still wasn’t really excited about having this baby and going through the changes that come with it all. I was still terrified, but trying to cover up my terror with fake happiness, excitement. I was covering it up. 

Scary Thoughts

Before Thanksgiving, arrived I remember an odd conversation that I only really had with my mom. I asked and confided in her about something that made me nervous and was kind of messed up. My nausea was already beginning to fade as was my exhaustion and cravings. And I wasn’t 12 or more weeks yet. Nausea didn’t subside for me with Edric until 14 weeks. I was trying not to panic. I began to make up stories. The due date was a bit muddled, so maybe the ultrasound tech was off, we still hadn’t heard the heart beat at our appointment with Dr. Ebner. We heard Edric’s strong heart beat at the 7-week appointment. I was trying not to panic about that. Brian even asked me if I was concerned about not hearing a heartbeat. I said I wasn’t concerned because I was trusting Dr. Ebner’s word that depending on the placement of the placenta and where the baby was sitting the pelvic bone can sometimes block the travel of the sound waves to hear a heartbeat. I was trying not to panic, but it wasn’t making much sense and was not panning out to be a good story of happiness and joy. Ugh! What was wrong? This story just seemed to get more confusing and muddier as time went on. People had asked me how I was feeling and I told them openly that my nausea was fading and that I wasn’t sure why, but I wasn’t overly concerned yet.

I think it was then that I realized there was a slight possibility that this baby wasn’t going to make it, but know that I was also in full denial of this idea.

An Unfortunate Turn of Events

It continued to be muddy. I had begun to bleed. Not bright red nonsense that is terrifying, but enough to make my mind start to wander and wonder. I didn’t call my doctor right away because I knew that some bleeding in pregnancy meant nothing. Again, I was trying not to panic. This is messed up. I never felt this way during my pregnancy with Edric. Why am I feeling this now? I also never bled one single drop when I was pregnant with Edric so that also concerned me. But everyone says that every pregnancy is different… yadda, yadda, yadda. That just sounds like a broken record to me and those comments were all the more reason for me to start freaking out even more as to the expectancy and reality of this life that was supposedly growing inside of me.

Then after a couple of days of on and off light bleeding, I decided to call and chat with Dr. Ebner. I had already called him probably 3 or 4 times with concerns in weeks prior. He was probably so sick of me. But he always answered as sweet and calm as ever. He always made time for my phone calls, my ridiculous questions, and concerns and NEVER made me feel stupid.  He said unless the bleeding wasn’t bright red and I wasn’t cramping I was okay and he wasn’t concerned. Well, later that evening after getting confirmation and peace, or what I thought was peace, things changed. While picking out a new tux shirt for Brian for his Christmas concert in a few days… I began to cramp and when we got back home from running errands and right before bed, my bleeding went from no concern, to concern… it was now bright red. I, again, began to panic.

{Post to be continued tomorrow.}


2 thoughts on “The Firecracker (Guest Post)

  1. Marissa you are such a strong woman. It hurts me so to know that you have been hurting. I know that anxious feeling of having another baby after depression all too well. I don’t know or can’t pretend to know the loss of a child but just the time elapsed since the start of your journey till now opening up about it remember how strong you are for sharing and maintaining.


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