There is something about going through a tough time that just makes me want to run away from my problems and hide from the real world. To avoid all the reminders. To forget all the pain. To escape our reality.
So, after miscarriage 3, I googled cheap flights and searched the world for a last minute get away. At the best of times my husband and I are not good beach people – we are too active to sit in the sun all day and we have a desire to see the world. And, given the circumstances, we knew we had to be active to keep our minds busy and not just thinking about 3 lost babies. We’ve always loved to travel, and in recent years we’ve been going to more adventurous destinations before we have kids, since with kids we’d be more inclined to go to “safe” vacation destinations (there’s that life plan again). Anyways, we have a list of dream places to visit, but after a few hours of scouring the internet I determined none of the dream places would work right now. They were either too expensive for an unplanned, last minute trip (Oktoberfest in Germany or Galapagos Islands), or it was the rainy season (Southeast Asia), or it was generally too unsafe (Egypt).
When pondering places to escape too, I was talking to a friend about our trip planning, and he suggested Peru because it’s cheap, and Machu Picchu is supposed to be pretty awesome. So, I looked into it – we could afford it, the weather was supposed to be good, it’s pretty safe (if you don’t read about the safety of road travel through the Andean Mountains, which we didn’t), and we could plan a busy itinerary.
Although, I absolutely hated the thought of delaying our escape, but the reality was we couldn’t simply hop on a plane the next day. We had to delay the trip to accommodate our work schedules and to ensure there were not any complications from the miscarriage (we didn’t feel like experiencing the medical system in a developing country – one of the benefits of being a Canadian). So, between work and medical appointments, I spent the next four weeks organizing our itinerary (we never travel with tour groups – we like the freedom and flexibility of doing our own thing). It was the perfect distraction and before we knew it we were on the plane to Peru.
We had an amazing vacation. There were no dreaded questions about family planning, no explanations of what recurrent pregnancy loss means to our future, no emergency room visits, no doctor appointments, and no painful medical procedures. And we got to spend amazing quality time together while experience the amazing sights – Huacachina, the Nazca Lines, Arequipa (highly recommend a few days here if you are ever in Peru), the Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco and Machu Picchu.
The escape plan to Peru, worked perfectly for the 2 weeks we were away. But, all our realities returned the second we got back home to our big empty family house and more doctor appointments and medical tests as they tried to determine why we were experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss. So, although the escape plan worked for the duration of the trip, we found that it is not a great long term coping mechanism.
So, now we are on miscarriage number 4. As soon as the ultrasound (unexpectedly) told us that baby 4 was dead, I desperately wanted to run away. But logic says it won’t work and past experience proves that it won’t work because reality will be waiting for us when we get home. Combining this reality with the fact that I will be reducing my work, a trip right now would also be financially irresponsible. So, no major trip to an exotic location right now, but we will be trying to focus on happiness and good times. We know that spring is arriving and pretty quickly the snow will melt and we will spend our weekends hiking, camping and fishing in our massive backyard – the Rocky Mountains. Really, what better way is there to spend the summer then outside in the mountains?
Today I’m thinking about things I’m grateful for, so I thought I’d tell the world about two of the most amazing people I know.
I have two incredible friends. They are completely different, but the characteristic that they both share is that they are two of the most amazing people in the world. I admire and respect both of them for everything that they are, both good and bad. These two ladies, are the only people who knew about each baby as it was happening. What makes them each so special?
Friend 1 – We met a few years ago at a former job. A job that I left because I was exhausted from working so many hours (I’ve since learned the problem is actually my inability to say no, not the job itself, which is too bad because asides from the hours, it was a pretty decent job and I loved my colleagues). Anyways, she’s a fiery red-head that is a bit older than me, with two grown daughters. She has struggled with an unhappy marriage and after 20 some odd years she left a few months ago. He wouldn’t let her have any of “their” belongs, so she left with a few items from her childhood, her clothes, and her enormous shoe collection. Her life plan fell apart, and she’s now starting over with grace and confidence. She has definitely had some tough times over the last few years. Her situation is completely different from mine, but through all of this we have found a way to be there for each other. I can text her at 4 in the morning when I’m having a panic attack about work, or when I’m devastated about another loss. She has been my most trusted shoulder to cry on, a smile when I’ve needed one, she’s always good for a laugh and she knows when to gives me space. She’s an amazing shopping partner, who knows things like fashion so much better then I (thankfully). She’s also a great person to have glass of wine (or two) with. Every girl needs a good friend like her in the best of times and the worst of times!
Friend 2 – We have known each other since childhood. She stood up for me in our wedding. I asked her because I know no matter what happens in our lives, no matter where we live, or how long we go without seeing each other, we will always be a friends. Today she has an 18 month old, and a second one on the way. Of everyone I know, she has the most positive attitude and outlook on life. She has a huge heart and is also one of the most sympathetic people I know. When all I want to do is cry of feel bad about our situation, sometimes these traits verge on annoying. But, she just won’t let me dwell on it and she always finds the positive. For someone going through a hard time, a friend like her is a must!