Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Anyone know that cheesey song? Well... here's what I'm doing. Ummm... writing in my blog, hanging out at home, NOT paying for a babysitter. Oh, and it snowed again today so I didn't feel like digging out anyway.

D, T, and I are all feeling better from our plague (thank god) but we're not going to be able to celebrate Christmas with T's family tomorrow as we were supposed to because we're still contagious. That's just in case anyone was wondering. :)

It's hard to believe it's New Year's Eve. I thought for sure (twice) that I'd be unable to drink tonight because of a growing belly, but really as it turns out, the only reason I'm not drinking is because I'm still recovering from the rotav.irus. Oh, the irony.

My mom's family has a New Year's Eve tradition that I've decided to carry on as of this year. The tradition is to light a bayberry "wish candle" on New Year's eve. You make a wish as you light the candle, and if the candle burns all the way to the bottom before going out, you get your wish. This Website explains a little about the tradition. On another website, I found the words: "Light a candle for those who have passed on to spirit. Light a candle for your new potential in the coming year."

Isn't that a wonderful, hopeful thought? A candle for those who have passed on to spirit, and a candle for new potential in the coming year.

Yes. I'll light a candle to that.

Monday, December 29, 2008

And a happy New Year

My husband and I now both have the rotav.irus. There were five other people there on Christmas day who ALSO got it. Oh joy. Nothing like changing a diarrhea diaper when you're feeling sick to your stomach to begin with.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'll have what he's having

Christmas was just okay this year.

My son D has had a cold for almost three weeks, and just when he was getting over it (I thought) he spiked a temperature of 103.2 on Tuesday (Dec 23). Awesome.

We went to my parents' house prior to going to another relative's house for Christmas Eve appetizers. Before we left, they lost power (AGAIN). Awesome. A still sick D stayed at my parents' house with my husband.

My cousin mentioned (for the third time since my first miscarriage) that I could "solve" something (I can't remember what) by having another baby. She doesn't know about the miscarriages, obviously.

Later, I dragged my husband to the candlelight service at church and I cried pretty much the whole time. I think the tears were a combination of the miscarriages, D being sick for Christmas, and just the nice feeling of being in church. I'm not as much of a church-goer as I would like to be, but I used to be when I was younger, and being in church makes me feel safe and loved. I guess it was like I had permission to let my defenses down for a short while. (So that was probably the BEST part of Christmas.)

The power had come back on, but was off again when we got home from the service. Because my parents have a well and a pump, that means no running water. We brushed our teeth in the dark with bottled water and went to bed (me without going to the bathroom because I was afraid I might still be spotting and didn't want to leave that surprise in the bathroom for anyone else.)

Luckily, the power was back on in the morning. D was sick and whiny all day on Christmas day. I felt so bad for the poor guy. It's such a terrible feeling to not be able to make it better for him.

Now some background: My nephew had the Rotav.irus two weeks ago, and my sister-in-law and brother both got it after he was over it. (If you don't know what it is, it's a flu type of thing with persistent vomiting and diarrhea. And it's very contagious. Again, awesome.)

D was JUST starting to feel better on friday and show no signs of having a fever.

On Saturday morning, D's whole crib was covered in last night's dinner. He puked three more times that morning, and then got the big "d" later in the afternoon. I called my Mom and it turned out that she and two of my cousins were having the same symptoms. (These are all people who saw my nephew, brother, and SIL on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.) My husband and I are washing our hands like maniacs and praying that we DON'T get it.

So that's the story.

I guess Christmas could have been worse... I have a loving and wonderful family, and I can almost forgive my brother's family for giving us the Rotov.irus. On top of that, my hsband T got me a beautiful white gold, ruby, and diamond necklace along with a pair of garnet and diamond earrings. He's a keeper. ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fertility Specialist

We had our first appointment today with the infertility doc. He was very, very nice and I'm excited to have someone who's interested in KEEPING me pregnant the next time. Here's where we are.

1. Wait for first period after D&E.
2. Get blood drawn after period ends and before ovulation.
3. Wait for second period after D&E.
4. Get hysterosalpingogram. (Also called HSG or tubogram.) This is an injection of dye into my uterus and x-ray to make sure there are no abnormalities. Doc says that a septum can exist even though we have had one healthy baby, and it can make it very difficult to conceive again. He's seen it before.
5. Try to get pregnant on second cycle while taking Progesterone and baby aspirin. (Progesterone and baby aspirin were what I was expecting.)

The thing that is weighing on my mind is PCOS. He said, "I'm not saying that you necessarily have it, but it's possible." See, I spot for a couple days before I get full flow. I never knew that it was abnormal to do that because I guess I don't really chat about my cycle with a lot of people, but apparently most people just get the full flow right away. I also have more hair (luckily most of it is very blond) on my face, arms, etc. than most people. I have also struggled with my weight for my whole life. I was an obese teenager, and finally got my weight more under control during college. Now I'm at a weight that I'm comfortable with, but still maybe 15-20 pounds more than where I'd like to be. All these things can be signs of PCOS.**

When I was between 16 and 20 I brought an article that I ripped out of Good Housekeeping or something to show my doctor. I am not 100% sure, but I think it was about PCOS. I asked her if I could have it because of excessive hair growth, obesity, and very irregular periods (they were then, but not now.) She pretty much told me that she didn't think so, and I'm sure it was because I was obese (which can cause irregular periods and excessive hair growth). It will be interesting to see if maybe I self-diagnosed 10 or 15 years ago...

**Edit: I forgot to add that I have some ovarian cysts, which can be harmless, but they can also be a sign of PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Drunk shoveling

I'm going to try not to bitch today. :)

Tonight was a good night. We had two holiday-type get-togethers this December. One of them was earlier this month, and one was yesterday. I LOVE entertaining, but especially under the circumstances this year, I'm happy to be DONE entertaining for the season. So tonight was a good night because we're done. And we happened to have a leftover bottle of Pinot Noir from yesterday's festivities. (Who am I kidding? We LOVE wine and have a wine refrigerator in our kitchen. This bottle was sort of intentionally left over... :) Anyway, we love pinot noir, and we handily finished off the whole bottle between the two of us.

We got ummm... I dunno, maybe a foot of snow today? So it's 8:20 pm and my husband is out with the snowblower. He's a big guy, so 2 1/2 glasses of wine shouldn't have too much effect on him, but by his own estimation, he is now "drunk shoveling" (or snowblowing, as the case may be.) Somehow, that's just funny to me. As long as he doesn't lose a finger or anything.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bitch, bitch, bitch

Sometimes I feel like all I ever do is BITCH on my blog. I'm actually a pretty happy person most of the time. (Really.) I guess I use this space to bitch about stuff that I can't (or won't) share with people in real life.

So my husband and I have an appointment on Tuesday with a fertility specialist. I think we're going over our histories (nothing exciting for either of us really) and getting some preliminary blood work. I called my insurance company to ask what would be covered by insurance, and I seriously got the third degree.

Insurance woman: (confirms address, phone, etc.) Dr. J---- still your primary care?

Me: No, I changed to Dr. A---.

Insurance Woman: *exasperated* We can't change that until the first of the month.

Me: Okay.

Insurance Woman: *annoyed* WHY did you change doctors?

Me: Ummm... (Now getting annoyed, because what the hell business is it of hers?) Because I moved.

Insurance Woman: Oh. Is the doctor in our network?

Me: Not sure.

Insurance Woman: *audible sigh* I have to check. Hold please.

Me: (waiting and now getting agitated and upset at how short she's being with me)

Insurance Woman: Okay, change to the new primary care is effective as of the 15th.

Me: (Thinking, "you just said it had to wait until the first of the month, but whatever.")

Insurance woman: Now what do you need?

Me: I'm just trying to find out if my appointment with Dr. N------ (fertility doctor) is covered by insurance.

Insurance woman: *Starting to scold me for some other heinous insurance crime that I've committed*

Me: *on the verge of tears and starting to raise my voice* I'm sorry, can you PLEASE just be a little patient with me. (*start verbal diarrhea*) I JUST had a miscarriage last week, and I had another one in September, so I really just need you to be patient with me and I need your HELP to find out if my insurance covers the appointment with the fertility doctor.

Insurance Woman: *MUCH nicer* Yes, sure. *MUCH slower and calmer, and a WHOLE new tone to her voice* Okay, blah blah blah (goes through the initial info). Would you like me to go through the additional fertility coverage?

OH. MY. GOD. Why the hell did I have to raise my voice with her to get her to just be HUMAN to me?

Friday, December 19, 2008

17 kids and...

Is it just me, or does it annoy anyone else that someone just had her EIGHTEENTH child when we're all having this much trouble with one or two?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/18th_baby

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's next?

We opted not to do chromosome testing on the embryo because it would be around $700 and not covered by insurance until the 3rd miscarriage unless "medically necessary." Plus, the doctor said the results are almost always inconclusive. We will have blood tests done, but again, they may not tell us much. As the doctor said, a lot of things they test for are automatically ruled out by the fact that I've already had a successful pregnancy.

So basically, waiting and then rolling the dice again is where we're at. It sucks.

I'm not particularly sensitive about things that people say like "it wasn't meant to be" or "there was something wrong with the baby" because I honestly (so far) believe that. It's definitely harder to keep that perspective the second time, but I'm still going with it... (especially considering the fact that my body didn't expel the embryo again, which gives me hope that my uterus isn't the problem.) However, I do agree with other bloggers who have written that people expect that you should be over it after a certain amount of time. That's just not the case. There will be two birthdays in 2009 that I will not be celebrating, and two people that should have been my children who will never see the world. You don't get over that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Raw

It hasn't really set in I guess. Things are just a little raw right now. Maybe it's just that I never really let myself believe that this one was going to be okay.

In an instant, I went from being a person who had one healthy baby and one miscarriage to a person who has had two miscarriages and one healthy baby. I went from being a low-risk pregnancy to being referred to a fertility specialist for testing.

I feel so lucky and so, so thankful for my son, but I'm panicking. Is this it? Is that the bargain that God made with me? Maybe I just get one healthy baby. Who's to say that I'll ever have another?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The end. Again.

Call it sixth sense, call it whatever you will, but somehow I knew. My baby has died. Again. I should have been 8 weeks 2 days, and the embryo was only 6 weeks. D & E is scheduled for tomorrow. My heart is breaking.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Nerves

Tomorrow is the big day. We're going for my first appointment. I'm thrilled, but at the same time I'm terrified of seeing a big black empty ultrasound screen. The thought of the ultrasound re-opens the not so distant memories of my last ultrasound... No heartbeat, no baby...

More than likely, by the time a lot of people read this post, I'll already know the answer, but please keep your fingers crossed for a live baby on the ultrasound screen.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Scolded

I'm feeling a bit scolded. I called to schedule my appointment yesterday and spoke with my nurse practitioner at the OB's office. She's the one who said to call her directly when I got pregnant.

I told her I was seven weeks pregnant, and she was all dramatic about not being sure if they could "squeeze me in" the following week for an appointment and ultrasound. I explained that I had been kind of superstitious and didn't want to schedule the appointment too early, to which (if I were the nurse) I would have said, "yes, I can completely understand that." But nothing.

Really? Okay, I can understand that I probably didn't make life easy for them. If I had called at five weeks to schedule, it would have been much easier for them, but MUCH harder for me. The knowledge of the date of the appointment and that three week wait would have been torture. It seems to me that the NP has probably (definitely) dealt with nervous post-miscarriage Moms before and she should maybe be a little more compassionate. But whatever... that's just me.

On another note, I LOVED the nurses at my old OB's office. :( I changed to the new OB after I moved to cut about 30 mins. round trip off of my drive. I almost wish I had just stayed at the old office and dealt with the drive. Bleh.

P.S. Still no definitive symptoms...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Symptom?

Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe it's "Holiday Stress" related. But. I have a headache. Since last night. And it's all on the right side of my temple. Plus, I'm feeling just the tiniest bit queasy. If I didn't know better, I might think these were symptoms... *Crossing fingers*

What kind of freak wishes to be nauseous on Thanksgiving? (Then again, I'm sure you can all relate!)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Game plan and Twins?

I have a game plan now. I'm going to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving and the weekend that follows, and then on Monday (or early next week) I'm going to call the doctor's office to set up my first appointment. I haven't gone in yet because 1)I've honestly kind of been expecting to miscarry and 2)there's nothing that can be seen/done at this time anyway, so I'd rather just wait to go until I can actually see something. The other thing is that my son makes my OB appointments very complicated (because I either have to find someone to watch him or I have to take him with me.) So less is more.

Then there's the twins thing. My Mom is a fraternal twin. Fraternal twins are genetic and they usually/often skip a generation. That means I (arguably) have a better chance of having twins than the average person.

Years ago, my Mother in Law had a fortune teller tell her that one of her sons would have twin girls. (Not that I put a TON of stock in that, but it's part of the story.) Her other son is definitely done having children, so that leaves us. THEN today on Face.book one of my friends (who doesn't know I'm pregnant) wrote "I had a dream last night that you were pregnant with twins!!! Ready to give D a brother AND a sister? ;-)"

Oh goodness. I'm certainly not counting on anything but it was enough to make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand on end! (What's really funny is that the same friend (or maybe a friend of hers) had a dream that I was pregnant before she knew that I was pregnant with D! How crazy is that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Same old, same old

I wish I had something interesting to write but the truth is, same sh!t, different day. No headache, no sore boobs, no morning sickness, but still no period. I guess that's the best sign. God knows, if I DO get the headaches and morning sickness later, I'll be kicking myself for not enjoying the lack thereof at the beginning. But there's still that nagging thought in my brain that says "you might not have any symptoms because you already miscarried and your body doesn't know (again)."

Remarkably, I'm much more calm than I would have expected to be. Since I have nothing telling me I'm pregnant except for the positive test, I would have thought I'd be obsessing, but I'm doing okay. (I admit that I've made a couple semi-frantic trips to the bathroom when things felt like they might be "leaking" but have ended up with no adverse result.) I feel like I'm almost in a zen state of "whatever will be will be" since there's nothing I can do about it anyway. Just continuing to wait and hope.

Oh, but I do have one interesting thing to report which is that I went to my cousin's baby shower this weekend. It turns out the trip.lets are IDEN.TICAL, and they were naturally conceived after surgery for endo. (Apparently iden.tical tripl.ets are like a one-in-fifty-bajillion chance.) I had no problem there - i.e. wasn't feeling emotional or anything - and I told her that I'm happy to help her out in any way I can. I'm hoping to go up there a few times before she delivers because she lives not too far from me. I can't give too much advice on tripl.ets, but I can at least be of some help with being a first-time parent. I know when I was a new Mom, I was taking all the advice I could get...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Slippery slope

Blogging in the infertility/miscarriage world is a slippery slope. When you miscarry, you're in the club, and when you get pregnant again, you're not really. It's a strange feeling. It's like you're in some sort of fertility twilight zone. I still want to visit people who are struggling with losses and try to help them through it with comments of encouragement, but what if they don't want me to? For now, I'm back on the "other side" and I've seen on more than one blog that it's really hard for ladies to watch other bloggers get pregnant again when they aren't. (And I can completely understand why it would be.)

So what to do? If everything is kosher with this pregnancy, I'm still only 4 weeks pregnant. Four weeks in nothing. The baby isn't even visible to the naked eye yet. I'm not trying to be morbid, but I'm not ready to put all my eggs in this proverbial basket. I don't really even feel like I'm truly pregnant yet. It's almost odd to say this, but I'm still relating more to those who have lost babies to miscarriage than I am to those who are pregnant.

I am so, so greatful to have another opportunity to be pregnant no matter what happens, but it will never make me forget about my loss or forget about the stories of all the wonderful women who are still waiting for their own miracles.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nerves

It doesn't feel the same. Either my mind is playing tricks on me, or this just doesn't feel the same. I can't remember how I'm supposed to feel, but I want some sore boobs and a nice headache and a little nausea. Please. And I'd like a side of pickle craving, too.

I'm nervous.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic

Well, the title pretty much says it... I'll admit that I couldn't wait to test until today. I tested on Friday and got a veeeeery faint positive. I tested again this morning with a digital test and got a fairly quick positive reading.

I'm excited, but at the same time I'm trying to keep myself grounded. Although I know it's a longshot, I still have the fear that my HCG levels might be elevated from the miscarriage rather than a new embryo since I never tested after my miscarriage. I'll feel a lot better in a week or so if I still haven't gotten my period.

I had some cramping last night, which I was sure was a sign that I was going to miscarry early (and so it begins) but after consulting Dr. Google it seems that cramping can just mean that my uterus is stretching.

Now only 4 or 5 more weeks to wait for the ultrasound to find out if there's a real baby in there! Piece of cake, right?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two week wait

I've been thinking and thinking about whether I wanted to post this on here. I'm probably being paranoid, but I really have no idea if anyone I know might have discovered this blog so I've been a little worried about making this "public". But.

I had my first cycle after my first period after the miscarriage. So I'm waiting. And hoping. And testing on Monday (the day the crimson bitch is due). Or maybe sooner if I can't wait.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Not ready for Babies R Us

I've been to Babies R Us a couple of times since my miscarriage (to pick up stuff for my son). It's been a little difficult, but overall I got through it because I had a focus. A goal. Stuff to buy for my living child.

Today I thought it would be a good idea to go in and look at baby clothes for my cousin's trip.let baby shower. I was wrong.

I stood in front of the preemie girl outfits and started looking at how beautiful and tiny they were, and my eyes filled up with tears. I managed to pull myself together to check out without lots of questioning stares, but it was not easy.

Damn. Guess I'm not really ready for that yet.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The loss of innocnece

I have a friend who lost a baby in her fifth month to (among other things) an incompetent cervix. I e-mailed her when I lost my baby and asked her if, when you get pregnant again, you spend the whole 9 months gripped by fear of losing the baby. She told me that what she was most angry about was losing that innocent, unbridled JOY of being pregnant. You never get that back. That totally sucks. It makes me really sad.

Most of the time I can remind myself that only 75% of babies get to be born, and this was my time to be in the 25%. But really, WTF? I don't WANT to know as much as I do about miscarriage. I don't WANT to know how common stillbirth is, and I certainly don't want to worry about it for my entire pregnancy if I'm lucky enough to get that far again.

My husband thinks I probably shouldn't read so many of these blogs because he thinks they're going to make it hard to take a breath later (when/if I get pregnant again.) Maybe he's right. But the thing is, you get invested. You find someone who's pregnant, and you save the blog because you want to know that the baby comes out fine. You find someone who's ovulating, and you save that blog because you want to find out if they get pregnant. You find someone who just had another miscarriage, and you save that blog because you want to support them and know that they're going to be okay.

Guess that leaves a bit of a conundrum. For me, I'm gonna keep reading. What do boys know, anyway? ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The other side

I worked on my "Common Ground" post for two or three days before I posted it. I tweaked it for fear that it would sound too harsh. I reworked it a couple of times. I kicked it up "Freshman English 101-style" with a rough draft.

But it still wasn't right.

After all that re-reading I read it one more time after I published it and thought to myself, "I'll be damned." I thought I bent over backwards to make it even-steven for both sides, but it's not. As if I weren't already "out" about my relative newness to pregnancy loss, I realized that I forgot one major side of the coin.

I already know how tough it is to be a mommy, but infertile? Not so much. What about the issues that infertiles struggle with on a daily basis? Speaking as one who doesn't know about that (yet) I can tell you that if you're not infertile, you really can't get it. I think you have to live it and breathe it to get it.

I will say that when I was pregnant, I had a close family member dealing with infertility, and I bent over backwards to NOT talk about my pregnancy in front of her. However, 95% of the time, pregnant people don't know when they're around infertiles. They probably never mean to hurt feelings, but they inevitably will. This has been made very clear to me just in the short time since my miscarriage. I've had several people (who don't know about the miscarriage) make comments about "when you have another one" and about so-and-so being pregnant. I've even had a couple people innocently ask if we're planning to have more, and I vaguely answer "probably, sometime."

Just to clarify, I'm not writing this post "in response to" anyone's comments. I don't take them personally because I know they're just opinions, but I did want to acknowledge and validate those feelings that I don't understand. It must be absolutely awful to want something so badly and not be able to make it happen. It has to be an all-consuming, terrible burden to live with every day.

I don't know what it's like to long to get pregnant month after month. I don't know what it's like to chart temperatures and time cycles. I don't what it's like to see specialists and make game plans. I only know what it's like to be pregnant, and then have it taken away.

We're all sisters, and I'm sorry I forgot to include one side of the family.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Perspective

I've recently gained some new perspective on what's really important.

My son had a check-up last week during which I brought up a few concerns that I've had with regard to his development. The doctor basically said that everything looks good to her, but yes, we should get these things checked out. So he's had a couple of tests so far, and has a couple more coming up in the next few weeks. I'm not going to lie. I'm scared.

The funny thing is that I WANTED the tests, but now that the doctor has actually agreed to order the tests, it's driving the point home that she's concerned and that something might be really wrong. Of course, the places where he needs to have the tests are booking into like 2011, (well, not really, but it seems like a long wait.) So everything else is kind of on the back burner right now. It's a waiting game, and I'm just hoping that everything is okay.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Common Ground

It really is amazing how common miscarriage is.

I had lunch with a friend of mine today, and after a couple hours of chit-chat, she confided in me that she had been pregnant in January and had miscarried sometime in her 7th or 8th week. Of course, I then told her about my recent miscarriage and we went on to talk about how common it is.

I was also talking to someone else about miscarriage on the phone last night. She went through IVF treatments and now has a healthy baby to show for it, but we were talking about how infertility, miscarriage, and loss in all forms are things that are just not spoken about. It's really quite amazing to me that infertility, which affects so many, and miscarriage and loss (which affects 25% of women) are like dirty little secrets that people feel almost ashamed of.

Something that I'm having a difficult time grappling with is the almost... I don't know... competition (?) between women with different issues. Is it harder to have infertility issues that make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant, or is it harder to have multiple miscarriages? Does a woman who has a healthy child (or two, or three) have less validity to her grief over a miscarriage than someone who has no children? Is it fair for an infertile to judge a pregnant woman for complaining about her pregnancy symptoms using the "I would kill to be in her shoes" line of thought? Is it fair for fertile people to think, "you can just adopt," or "why are you so bitter?" about people who are infertile? Is it even fair to judge someone who is a great parent, has had no dealings with infertility, but who feels overwhelmed with their kids sometimes?

I'll tell you the truth. I've known people who've gone through IVF and then have gone on to have children. They still complain about the pregnancy symptoms. They even *gasp* complain about their KIDS sometimes after they have them. No matter what you've gone through, some of the symptoms of pregnancy are NO FUN. Some days raising children is NO FUN either!!

NO pregnancy is easy. You get nauseous. You get headaches. You have cravings. You worry about gaining too much weight. You worry about not gaining enough weight. Your skin doesn't fit right. You get stretch marks and varicose veins. Maybe you're constipated and get hemorrhoids. UGH. What's fun about that??

I guess my point in the end is that it's so easy to get lost in our own specific issues. I'm not trying to minimize the personal stories of each individual, but it seems to me that there is so much common ground. If there's something that I've learned from reading so many blogs, it's that the old adage about walking in another person's shoes really is true.

I've gained so much from reading other people's stories. I hope that now or in the future if I write something that you don't agree with, (and you can count on it) you can at least file it into your "common ground" file, and remember that the roads down which we all walk are really more similar than they are different.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm struggling

I'm struggling with this blog. (I know, I know... I've only been at it for a few weeks.) The truth is that I'm struggling with self-censorship. I've already got five posts that I haven't put up because I'm afraid of what people will think. How effed up is that? I'm writing a blog about my true emotions and thoughts to make me feel better and I don't even have the balls to write the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (Of course, balls is a figurative term since I'm female and all.)

It's not that I'm ashamed of the thoughts. I know that people who know me in real life would understand them (at least to a degree) because they know me. It's more that I'm afraid of being judged by people who don't know me.

Who the hell am I after all? I'm just some girl who has a pretty happy life. I have a pretty great husband and a pretty cool kid. I didn't have that much trouble getting pregnant, and the first time I didn't even have trouble staying pregnant. It was the second time that was the bitch with the staying pregnant thing.

*sigh*

I will publish some of those posts (probably not the one about my daymare about someone being behind the shower curtain in my downstairs bathroom...) but I guess I'll just have to wait a little while until I feel like I'm ready for the scrutiny of the general public (or at least the infertile and semi-fertile public.)

Until then, more of the same...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Constant Reminder Part 2

The phone rings at 8:30 this morning.

Clueless receptionist chick: "Good morning, this is X Ultrasound place calling. Is She there?"

Me: "This is She."

Clueless receptionist chick: "Hi, we're calling to confirm your ultrasound on Thursday."

Me: "I actually had a miscarriage."

Clueless receptionist chick: "Oh, I'm sorry. We'll cancel that for you."

Are you kidding me? That's awesome. I really needed another reminder of the fact that I SHOULD be having my 18 week Ultrasound on Thursday - that there should be a beautiful baby growing inside me.

And the best part is that the ultrasound at which my miscarriage was discovered was THERE. Don't you think that they should have canceled the 18 week appointment after they discovered that my baby was dead? Sorry, but that pisses me off.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Constant Reminders

My cousin is pregnant with tripl.ets (naturally, believe it or not.) She has endom.etriosis and was expecting to have a hard time conceiving, so it is very, very exciting that she's pregnant.

The thing is that I should have been due about 2 weeks after her. I'm totally happy for her. Not jealous, not bitter, not sad. I'm completely happy for her.

However.

Every time I think about how far along she is, I think about how far along I'm not.

My Mom and I were talking about her the other day, and she said, "She's 19 weeks you know."

Me: "Yes, I know."

Mom: (realizing that of COURSE I know, because I should be 17 weeks) "I'm so sorry."

*********************************

It is my fervent hope that someday my cousin's trip.lets will be playing a game of tag with my future babies, and I'll be able to tell them about the cousin they should have had...

I'm it!

Wow, I'm very new to this blog thing, so I'm honored to be "tagged" with a friendship award by my new blog friend Yaya over at Yaya Stuff

Here are the questions. If I tag you (that means I've given you this award) then you just copy and paste and answer them on your blog.

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
I'm still friends with a couple of my high school friends, but only very close with one. The majority of my friends are from college and my first few years in the working world after college.

2. What do you value most about your friends?
They like a lot of the same things I do, like going out to exercise so that you can THEN go eat yummy food without guilt!

3. Are your friends sounding boards?
The best of the best.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with friends?
I loooove dining out, and I don't see my friends that often, so we usually go for walks or out to eat (or both!)

Now I present this Friendship award to the following 5 people:
(These are blogs I read, not necessarily people I know. Their blogs may make me laugh or cry, but always make me think.)


Expecting a Miracle at Expecting A Miracle

Sushilover at Life After D & C

And one that's purely for laughs: Cake Wrecks

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"the spice run" Update

D is down for a nap, and there's now a shiny new cabinet lock on the spice cabinet. I can't WAIT to see the look on his face when he tries to do a spice run after his nap. ;)

The toddler chronicles

So far I've tried to not write about my toddler because I know that it might be hard for other moms who've had losses. So that's my warning... this story is about my toddler. The reason I decided to write about him is because he (and the funny/sweet things that he does) have been part of what is helping me through the grief of my miscarriage.

So here's the story.

We've baby-proofed our downstairs really well. We've moved all the little baby-height knick knacks out of his reach and have put locks on all the drawers and cabinets.

Except for two.

These two cabinets are the lazy susan cabinets in the corners. One lazy susan is where I keep my herbs and spices. (Those cabinets need special locks that we haven't gotten yet.) Can you guess what D's new favorite game is? It's the "spice run."

He waits until I'm distracted - doing dishes, cooking... whatever - and then he goes straight for the spice cabinet. He usually grabs the cinnamon in one hand and the nutmeg in the other and sprints (well, sprints as much as a waddling 15 month old can) into the living room with me chasing along behind him saying, "D, can I please have the cinnamon back?" Of course, he thinks this is the best game ever so he continues running away shaking the cinnamon like a rattle and laughing while his pants (which are a little too big for his teeny little bum) fall down to just above his knees.

As much as I know this is going to get really old, really soon, I had to take a video of it yesterday because I was laughing hysterically at this pint-sized getaway.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Progress

Much more quickly and efficiently than I had any hopes that it would, AF has arrived (Monday, to be exact). I know it doesn't mean I'll be able to snap my fingers and get pregnant, but it's progress. And I can say with absolute certainty that I've never been this excited to get my period in my whole life. Oh yeah, baby. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The name

We named the baby.

When I brought it up to my husband I thought he might be reluctant or think it was weird. He was awesome. I should have known. He loves me, and he knows he isn't dealing with the miscarriage in the same way that I am, so even if he thought it was weird I think he still would have said okay. In some strange way I think he's glad, though. Maybe he's just got a good poker face, but I think he likes the name and that he's happy that the baby isn't "it" anymore.

I searched for a website with Unisex names and was looking through them when I hit one name in particular. I'm not sure what it was about the name, but when I saw it and thought about it, it brought tears to my eyes. I knew it was the name. I brought the list to my husband and let him look it over for a minute before asking him what he thought of the name that I had liked. Without any hesitation he said he liked it too. It's not a name we had considered for our first baby, and it's not what we would have named this baby if it had survived, but somehow it's right and it fits.

And thus, baby number two has a name.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Naming baby #2

Right now I have a file in my filing cabinet with my ultrasound pictures and other various paperwork from my miscarriage of baby number two. It's labeled "Baby 2." I've been reading a lot of different opinions on whether or not you should name a baby when you miscarry. I know it's a personal decision and I can do whatever I want, but I'm trying to decide what's right for me/us.

Obviously if we had named it by the time we lost it, we would call it by whatever name we picked, but since we hadn't, do we just keep calling it "baby 2?" I haven't approached my husband on this so I really don't know what his thoughts are. Honestly, like I said I still don't know what my thoughts are.

Since we won't ever know the sex, that leaves us with the sticky situation of picking an ambiguous name. Plus, we had names picked out for our first son, but I don't want to use any of those names in case we want to use them for a future baby.

I'm thinking I want to name it, though. I want to be able to say, "remember when I was pregnant with "_(insert name here)_?" Not, "Remember when I was pregnant with the second baby?"

It was a pregnancy. It was a baby. It was loved and wanted, and I guess it deserves a name.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

They're everywhere, they're everywhere!

When I turned on the t.v. this morning there was an old episode of Saved by the Bell on. Anyone who's seen Saved by the Bell more than once knows that it's generally a baby-free-zone.

In this morning's episode, Mr. Belding's wife was pregnant and they had a baby shower for her at school. At the end of the baby shower she got caught in the elevator with Zach during an earthquake and Zach had to deliver her baby.

Are you kidding me? I know this is rhetorical question, but does anyone else feel like babies are fricking EVERYWHERE??

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On the follow-up appointment and dead baby blogs

Yesterday I had my follow-up appointment with the NP at the OBGYN office. I was given a clean bill of health and am now just waiting for my period. The NP asked me "how I was doing" and I wanted to say "you mean aside from the dead baby?" I knew she meant well though, and she was asking me that to find out how I was physically and emotionally doing. So my answer was that I'm doing okay. Not great. Just okay. Some days are worse, some are better, but in general I think I'm healing.

On another related topic, I've been reading a lot of blogs involving miscarriage and loss. I think my husband thinks I'm psycho. When he walks in and sees me reading one of them he makes a sarcastic comment like, "Ooh, fun stuff." When I tell him about one of the stories he'll imply that it's not healthy for me to be reading those kind of things because it will just make me more worried the next time I'm pregnant.

Last night I felt the need to explain to him why I read them. It's because you women are the only ones who have been through what I've been through. My husband has been through it in a way - he's very sad that it happened and he wanted the baby as much as I did, but it's much more personal for me. It was my body. I read the dead baby blogs to validate my feelings. I want to know that I'm not crazy for being sad, and there's no reason that I should already be "better" just because my body has healed physically.

I read a blog of a woman who said that she's afraid that if she starts acting like everything is okay, then everyone will forget. I can relate so much to that. I can walk around like a normal person every day, but that doesn't mean it's over. There is still a baby that I loved and wanted that will never be. I don't want it to be the elephant in the room that no one can talk about. I had a miscarriage. No child before or after that child can replace it. So I don't want to talk about it incessantly or obsess about it. I just want people to remember.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby books

It occurred to me yesterday that I had come very close to starting a baby book for the little person that was growing inside me. I got two for my first baby so I had a spare book. I thought it would be nice to start writing in it early to record those "early thoughts" and excitement of the beginning of a pregnancy. I had the ultrasound pictures of the blob that I was given when the blob was 8 weeks and 6 days old. I would have put those in too.

I never got around to it...and now I'm so glad. Because what the hell do you do with a partially filled out baby book belonging to a baby who died? It's not like I could throw it out, and I certainly couldn't use it for another baby. So would it just sit there forever on my bookshelf and remind me of what I lost?

When my son woke up from his nap yesterday afternoon, I went into his room and scooped him into my arms, and held him really, really tightly, and I cried.

And then last night, I got out his baby book and I added the things that I had been "meaning to get to." I added some pictures we took in the hospital after his birth, and I taped our medical bracelets in, and I added pictures from his first birthday and wrote about the cake I made for him that looked like his favorite crab rattle.

And I know it won't keep him safe, but I feel better knowing that more of his life is recorded.

Then there's the second baby book that I never did write in... It's still sitting on the top shelf of the bookcase in the spare bedroom, empty. I hope, I hope, I hope I get to write in it someday.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Better check those iron levels

** TMI WARNING** This post is not for those with weak stomachs...

So, I've stopped bleeding. I feel a little weird about broadcasting that to anyone who wants to know, but the way I see it my blog would be totally uninteresting to anyone who hasn't had a miscarriage or lost a baby anyway, so you've all been there. So there ya go. Consider yourselves the (third or fourth) to know that it's been about a week and a half since my D & E and I have successfully stopped bleeding.

Of course, in the process of the "spring cleaning" of my uterus, there was one particularly exciting day of cramping, huge clots and lots of gushing blood. I was not expecting that at all and I'll admit that it freaked me out. I'm a pretty level-headed person, but all the "call the doctor immediately if..." lists said that if you passed clots larger than a walnut shell or bled through more than a pad in 1-2 hours, to call in. I called, while sitting on the throne after having lost several major clots, and was asked if I could hold. Can I hold? Suuuuuuuure. Why not? I may be hemorrhaging, but the polite thing to say is "sure." So I was on hold. For 5 minutes and 48 seconds. Are you kidding me? I hung up and called back and my call was luckily answered immediately by someone else and I was NOT asked to hold this time.

I spoke with a nurse for literally 25 minutes (which is when I knew that they were at least a little concerned) and they scheduled me for an ultrasound the next morning at 8:30am. Long story not-that-short, the ultrasound showed that everything looked normal and I had only one clot left, which I then lost a day later.

Now it seems that I've stopped bleeding. That makes me really happy because it gives me hope that my body is now going to begin the process of making my uterus hospitable for another try at a baby. (Of course, we'll wait the recommended one cycle before we try again, but it's a step in the healing process for me.) Keeping my fingers crossed that I *really* get my period in 4-6 weeks...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fraud

The truth is, I feel a little like a fraud. Here I am with one healthy baby and one miscarriage. Those odds are 50/50.

When I look up miscarriage on the internet, I find thousands of stories of women who have had two, three, four miscarriages, and no healthy children. I feel guilty. Guilty for feeling as sad as I do that I lost this baby, and guilty for being in the same category as these other women who have had so much more sadness than I have. I can't even begin to comprehend the sadness of someone who has undergone fertility treatments and then miscarried. Their pain must be multiplied a hundred times over.

So I find myself apologetic about my miscarriage. When I tell people about it, I tend to say things like "you were so much further along" or "there was clearly something wrong with my baby" (this to a mom who had an incompetent cervix and lost a perfectly healthy baby at 5 months.) I'm not sure what it is that makes me do this. Not sure why I can't just allow myself to feel whatever I feel.

And the strangest thing is that I'm not even sure what I feel. I wanted this baby. I loved this baby. Do I cry when I think about it? Sometimes. Do I cry for no reason? Sometimes. Do I feel like the world is over? No. What's the "right" way to feel? Hmmm... that's a tough one, Dr. Freud.

I'm comforted by my beautiful son. I'm comforted by the thought of trying again. But will I still feel that same guilt? I'm scared that if I get pregnant right away that I'll be "out of the club" of women who have miscarriages. At the same time, I'm afraid I'll be the crazy pregnant woman who second-guesses every little thing about the pregnancy. Why am I not nauseous? Why do I have more energy? Will I hear the heartbeat at the ultrasound? Should I rent a Doppler so I can hear it every day? I should be enjoying the pregnancy in ignorant bliss, but that will be impossible now that a baby had been taken away. And the worst part is that not many people know about my miscarriage so they'll think I'm even MORE crazy when I worry. So do I tell them? Do I explain why? Or do I just suffer in silence with the guilt of "only" having one miscarriage? Having one miscarriage isn't that bad in comparison to lots of others, but I can tell you, it's not that great either. :(

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The end of one thing and the beginning of another

Miscarriage is a strange thing. It's different for everyone, but for me it was like losing something before I ever had it. It's a little like living between two worlds. To me, it wasn't really a "person" yet (we hadn't named it or anything) but at the same time, I feel like I lost something that was part of my family. Does that make any sense? When I think about this baby that will never be, I feel like I want to write a letter to it about how much we loved it and were looking forward to welcoming it to our family. When I think about writing it, I think that maybe I'll write it and then stow it away for when the baby is old enough to understand it. And that's when I remind myself that though there may be other babies, this baby will never be. Note to self: I guess there is a denial stage.

I have a beautiful one year old who is the light of my life. I have a loving husband who I adore and we're living the American dream (dollar by dollar, pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, but living it nonetheless.) We got pregnant the second time without too much effort and were thrilled to watch the ultrasound screen that showed the beautiful and strong heartbeat (160-something beats per minute) at 8 weeks 5 days.

Everything seemed normal to me. I had no bleeding, cramping, or spotting even. I was still having morning sickness, cravings, hormone headaches, and was very, very tired. I was looking forward to the date, a couple of weeks in the future, when I would be moving into my second trimester and would be able to share my happy news with people outside of my family.

Then at the 11 week ultrasound (which I went to alone because it was supposed to be a simple screening for Downs Syndrome), the ultrasound showed that the baby was only 9 weeks 5 days and had no heartbeat. Smack. There it is. This can happen to me too. Not that I EVER took my first baby for granted - I know how fragile life is, and I only breathed a little easier about him when I knew he had passed the cusp of viability. But no matter how much one prepares oneself to potentially be in that 15 -25% (depending on who you're listening to) whose pregnancies end in miscarriage, I don't think you can ever be ready.

So the day after I found out, I was scheduled to leave for a week of vacation in the next state. I thought I could wait until the Monday I came back to have my D & E. My first reaction was maybe to ignore it and "not let it ruin my vacation." Turns out that's a whole lot easier said than done. Grieving is hard enough. Then add the knowledge that once the D & E is done, you'll have to start grieving all over again. My husband and I drove home mid-week and I had the procedure so that I could start moving on.

All that being said, I've been thinking a lot about God lately. I went to church for my entire childhood and was confirmed in junior high. I rarely go to church now, but I still consider myself a believer. So now that the reality of miscarriage is here, I feel at least a little comforted by thinking about the fact that this baby just wasn't meant to be. It sucks that my husband and I had to fall in love with it before it was taken away from us, but I believe in fate. I did not do anything that made this baby die. My body is capable of growing a baby, so that leaves the conclusion that there was something genetically wrong with the baby and it would never have been able to live outside of my body if it had been born. This is the thought that helps me to sleep at night. (Maybe the thought of the Ambien on my bedside table helps me to sleep too, although I haven't taken one yet.)

So where does that leave me? Bleeding. Fun stuff, right? For those who have gone through it, I'm sorry. This is no fun. For me, one of the worst things is that I'm looking forward to trying again, and the timeline seems endless. Bleed for a couple weeks... Get your period within 4-6 weeks... Babies come when they feel like it, I guess, but I was hoping to deliver before or during the summer (I was due in March) so that I wouldn't have to have a newborn in the dead of winter. And did I mention that I should be three months pregnant?

Ironically, I just realized that today is the day. Today is the first day of my would-be second trimester when I should be making excited phone calls to friends and relatives. And instead, it's the one week anniversary of the day that the remainder of the pregnancy was suctioned from my uterus, and I'm sitting here thinking about the timeline. Six weeks brings us to late October. My doctor says I can try again once I get the first normal period (all doctors have different recommendations) so that brings us to November. (That is, if I even get my period within 6 weeks. I read someone's blog last night who has had two miscarriages and both times didn't get her period until the 7th week.)

So IF the stars align, and IF I get my period in the prescribed timeline, and IF we get pregnant easily, MAYBE we'll have an August baby. Hmmm... What will be harder? Grieving the loss of something I never had, or worrying every day about a possible new little person growing inside me? I've been wondering how women who have had "missed" miscarriages (like mine was, with no sign of trouble) can sleep at night carrying another baby without wondering if its little heart still beats in rhythm with hers.