a year ago today…

This is my 100th post.  It seems fitting that this would be my topic on this milestone in my blogging life.

A year ago today my world came crashing down around me.

A year ago today my body could hold on no longer.

A year ago today they said to me, “don’t worry, it happens to 1 in 4 women”

A year ago today I was scared.

A year ago today I didn’t understand why.

A year ago today I was in excruciating pain.

A year ago today my heart broke.

A year ago today my husband held me as we both broke down.

A year ago today I lost all of my hopes and dreams.

A year ago today, my baby died.

Though it’s been a year, the pain is still fresh.  There are a lot of things that I don’t remember about that day, the grief was so much that I think it’s over written some of the details, but I do remember most of it.  I would have never guessed that in the year that I lost my first child, I would loose a second as well.  I know my beautiful Declan is watching over his precious sister Sophie.  At least if they can’t be with me, I’m glad that they are together.

My husband and I don’t normally do Valentines gifts to each other, but this year there was something that I very much wanted.  I spelled it out very specifically for him and said, “just an idea!”  But I knew he would do it.  Here is what he got me:

It’s a necklace with the names of my babies and their (would have been) birthstones.  An opal for Declan (October) and a Peridot for Sophie (August, the same as me).  It was ordered from La Bella Dame.  If you’re looking for something to remember your little one, or as a gift for someone I’d recommend this company.

Hoping (knowing) that this is what I was getting I wanted to get something for him to remember our little ones by.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Justin is in seminary now, working on becoming an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church/USA.  I wanted to get a cross for him, something he could use in his prayer time if he wanted.  He’s not a bit jewelery person (he had a hard time adjusting to the wedding ring!), so I wanted something that wouldn’t HAVE to be worn if he didn’t want to.  This is what I got him:

It has their names and the days that we lost them (the day we found out they were gone).  He wears it every day.

This day is hard, harder because of my recent loss.  Hard because if he had survived, he would be about 5 months old now.  Hard because we’re still on the long and winding road, trying to find our baby.  I miss you Declan, and I always will.  I love you.

and it just keeps on coming…

Hey guys…sorry it’s been a while.  I have had things to post about, I just haven’t been able to convince myself to do it.  I had my follow up appointment with my ob/gyn on Monday.  I should have known it was going to be a bad day when I got to work and realized that the appointment was that day, and not the next day as I had been thinking it was!

I got to the office and they showed me to the exam room.  I sat down to wait and then I heard the nurse calling me from the hallway.  I went out and she said “I need to get your weight.”  I thought, okay, kinda weird, but they do weigh you a lot when you go to see a doctor, so whatever.  She took my weight and then handed me a plastic cup.  “We’ll need a urine sample too.”  I kind of gave her a confused look.  “Really?  You need to test that?”  She looked back and said, “Yes, we need it every time you come in.”  It was then I realized what was going on.  I looked at the nurse and said, “They didn’t change the appointment did they.  This is for a miscarriage follow up.”  She looked down at my chart (the one she had been holding the whole time, the one she had JUST written my weight on, the one that said on the very first page that I had lost my baby) and looked back up to me with just a bit of panic in her eyes, “Oh, I’m sorry.  Okay, you can go and wait for the doctor.”

Yup.  If that wasn’t an unfriendly reminder of what I was going through, I don’t know what would be!  I’m really getting frustrated with doctors and their staff NOT LOOKING AT MY DAMN CHART BEFORE THEY TALK TO ME.  Seriously, is it so hard to open up a folder and see just WHY I’m in your office to begin with?  You know, shouldn’t that be an important first step to a visit?  I understand I live in Chicago, it’s a GINORMOUS town and my doctors see a lot of patients so they can’t be expect to remember me and my issues, but isn’t that what the charts are for?  So that they don’t have to remember all the details?  So they can read what it says and know what they are doing before they walk into the room??

The hubs and I have decided that after this whole mess is over that I should start looking for a new gynecologist.   She’s nice enough, but sometimes she just frustrates the heck out of me.  I have to explain EVERYTHING to her each time I go in.  She can’t do all the things for me that I need (monitor Metformin, etc).  I should really be with someone who’s specialty is infertility and high risk pregnancies.

So after the nurse spoke with me, I waited a bit for the doctor to come in.  She talked with me a bit about what the MFM doctor said and then she did a quick exam to make sure that things were going along okay.  I told her the MFM doc wants me to get some blood work done in 8 weeks and that I’m not supposed to try again until after those tests and the results have come in.  We’ll go from there.  Then she said she wanted me to go in for blood work to check my beta numbers.  She said “I can’t sign off on you trying again until the numbers are 5 or lower.”  I asked if it was necessary, since the MFM doc doesn’t want us trying until after the big blood tests.  She insisted on it “I just can’t let you try again until we know the numbers are falling.”  I said again to her, well we won’t be trying again until after the blood tests in 8 weeks to which she said, “Oh, that’s in 8 weeks?  Well, I’d still like you to go in.”  It’s like she had cotton in her ears or something!  I said to her at least 3 times that I was having all this blood work done, ordered by the MFM doc, and she didn’t seem to understand what I was saying.  I really don’t want to have to go in 2 times for blood work…can’t they just tack on the beta test with the rest and get it all done at once?  Apparently not.  So now I have 3 orders for blood work (2 betas, in case the first test numbers aren’t low enough I’ll have to go back in) and the tests for the MFM doctor.  At that point I was just ready to get the hell out of there.  I was mad and frustrated and just wanted to get home.

I had to run some errands quick, so I did that and went home.  I had to walk the dogs.  They got on my nerves.  I was also starting to cramp again so I knew I had to get inside quick.  The dogs were being very naughty on their walk and not listening so I was getting more angry and frustrated by the minute.  Went inside, go to the bath room and had a melt down!  I’m not sure what the final trigger was, but all of a sudden I was throwing things across the room and then I just broke down.  I sobbed and sobbed and cried out.  My poor doggies on the other side of the door were trying to get to me, but I just needed to be alone right then.  I think up until that point, I hadn’t let myself deal with what was happening.  Of course, I broke down and was devastated the day we found out Sophie was gone, but after that I bottled it up.  I had to go to work the next day, and really haven’t had any time off to really grieve the loss.   After Declan I had almost 5 days to be home and face the loss.  I haven’t had time to do that this time.  It all came out on Monday, and I’ve been trying to come out of it ever since.

I’m of course not saying I don’t want to grieve, or that I’m over it.  Not at all, and I never will be.  I’m just not sure how to go on from a second loss.  I think that’s why I haven’t been letting myself deal with it.  I’m getting there slowly.  The breakdown on Monday I think was step one – I think that’s when I really accepted it, and let myself feel the pain.

I’ve also recently realized that I’m in a bit of a rut and I need to break out of it.  I need to shake my life up a bit and do something different.  Get out into the world and experience it.  I used to be in such a good place and really enjoying life and all it had to offer.  Lately, I feel like I’ve been putting that old me on as a mask and projecting that that is who I still am, trying to get back there, but not quite making it.  I’m not sure if that sentence just made sense, but I think I know what I meant.

To that end, I’m going to try and shake things up in my routine.  Start a class in something, or do something different at home every night, instead of just plopping down on the couch because I’m so exhausted from the day.  I need to DO something instead of just letting things happen to me.  It’s time to take some action and become the me I used to know and love.

I hope this post hasn’t gotten anyone too worried about me.  I’m not depressed, don’t worry.  I have a lot of amazing things in my life: my husband (first and foremost the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love him very very very very much), my puppies, my friends, my family.  Our life is on the right track, with my hubby discovering his path in life – I’m so happy for him.  We’ve hit this huge speed bump in our life, but I know, in someway – someday we will reach the top and get over the hump.  I just need to do something to keep myself going until we get there.  It’s time for a change.

mfm update and the loss…

Hey all…sorry it’s been a while since I updated. It’s been a hectic week, and I just haven’t taken the time to get it all down.

On Tuesday I went in to see the MFM. He confirmed the miscarriage (not that there was any doubt) and then spent some time talking to me. He doesn’t think there is any reason why I can’t carry a child full term. After taking my history, the scan and looking at records from my other doctors he said he believes that I’ve just had bad luck that past 2 times. That for my 2 pregnancies unfortunately the egg that has fertilized have had some sort of genetic defect and so they did not work out. He said this happens sometimes and there’s no reason to think it will continue to happen. I am having some blood testing done, but it’s mainly just to rule out things like Thyroid problems and diabetes. He wasn’t really convinced I even needed the blood testing done, but since I’ve never been tested for these problems before (really, shouldn’t my fertility clinic have done this???) he said it would be a good idea. I am to go in 8 weeks after the miscarriage is over, get the testing, and he will get the results about a week or two after that and then call and discuss it with me. He recommended staying on the metformin since it did work.

He actually knows the doctor I had at the fertility clinic. He said, “Oh, I’m sure he tested for thyroid problems and these other things before he started your treatment, they always do that.” I couldn’t remember that ever being done, so we had my files faxed over, and sure enough, they never tested for ANY of the things the MFM wanted me checked for. I get more and more frustrated with that place the more I learn. They diagnosed me PCOS, but never mentioned Metformin. I went in with fertility issues, and they never checked, what I’ve gleaned to be, some major causes of infertility. They didn’t even want to figure out what was wrong with me when I first went in. My doctor wanted to jump straight to IVF. At that point, we’d been trying on our own for a year with no luck. I was very frustrated that they didn’t even want to see if there was something wrong with me before they jumped straight to the end of the road! I had to be very insistent that I wanted all of the diagnostic work done BEFORE and course of treatments. Obviously, they didn’t do that. It’s very frustrating that we all have to go through all this crap and basically teach ourselves about the world of IF and ART’s in order to make sure that we are getting proper treatment! After 3 years of this I would be a much better patient going into that clinic now. I’d know what they were doing, I’d know what I needed and I’d be able to ask the right questions. I really do think the 2 years and X number of dollars I spent at that place were almost a complete waste. The only thing that ever came out of that was my first pregnancy, my Declan. Even though I lost him, I wouldn’t trade the time I had with him for the world.

Or with Sophie for that matter. Yesterday I took the day off of work. Wednesday night I started bleeding and passing tissue. I knew I was in for a lot more on Thursday so I took the day off. I thought I was getting off pretty easy because the cramping was not too painful and everything seemed to be going okay. At around 4 pm however, I realized the worst was just beginning. I spent about an hour in terrible pain, crying and throwing up. It was just as bad as I remembered it being at the hospital the first time, only then I had IV pain meds to help out a bit. I won’t get into too many details, but today I think it’s pretty much over. I haven’t passed any tissue since late last night, the cramping is mostly gone and I only have a bit of bleeding now.

I’m glad that it is finally over. I of course am devastated that I lost my child, but I think anyone who has lost a child will tell you, you just want it over at that point. It’s heartbreaking to know you are carrying your child, but it is no long living with you, growing and being nourished by you. With both of my little ones I carried them for 3 weeks after they had already left me.

This means too that I can start the 8 week count down until my blood tests. We are not supposed to try until after the results are in. When he told me that I almost started crying in the office. I had been able to hold it all in until he told me it would be another 2 or 3 months until we could try again. I know it’s for a good reason, and hopefully we’ll be able to use the results to prevent future losses, but it’s going to be a long 3 months.

I want to thank all of you for your love and support through all of this. All of the comments on the last post were a blessing to me and my husband. I don’t know what I would do with out this community to talk with and support. Blessing does not even begin to cover it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

i love my husband…

My husband Justin is the most caring, wonderful man in the whole wide world.  I love him very much.  He wrote a post on his blog about our loss.  Please check it out.

8w1d and dreams…

Hello!  I wish I had more to post about lately, but I really feel like until my next appointment, not much is happening!  I mean, other than the growing of my baby, but I just don’t have much to report as far a symptoms etc…I hope I’m not too boring for y’all!

However, the past 2 nights I have been having baby dreams.  I’ve heard this can happen, so while they have been weird, it’s kinda fun to know that I’m getting this “symptom”.

Dream #1: I’m at my parents house with my newborn baby and my aunt is going to babysit for me while I go somewhere I don’t remember…Anyway, so I put the baby in the infant car seat carrier thing, grab the diaper bag and head out to my parents porch.  Now weirdly enough, I look over and my parents house has become one of the row house things and all of the porches to the next few houses are identical.  Of course, just then my friend Tripp shows up to help me get the baby to my aunts house.  He also knows which porch is her’s (since I don’t).  So we walk over and talk a bit and discuss what I’m going to name the baby.  I tell him if it’s a girl (which is silly, I already HAVE the baby, I’m carrying it!  Somehow though the conversation goes as if it is yet to be born) that her name would be Mae.  Mae is my middle name (which I go by) and also a family name.  We are planning to give the baby the middle name Mae if it’s a girl, but not first name.  So then I realize this baby’s name must be Mae.

We get into my aunt’s house (which looks nothing like her real house) and I take the baby out of the infant carrier.  Now at this point, my child has turned from a new born into a 1 1/2 year old.  But not just any 1 1/2 year old.  She looks just like the daughter of one of my good friends, piggy tails and all!  I of course don’t think this is weird at all, or the fact that my newborn is just learning how to walk!  Weirdness abounds.  Also at this point, I realize I have NO IDEA what my child’s name is.  This seems to be an observation that I make as the dreamer, not as me in the dream.  It seems to not bother me at all that my baby doesn’t have a name in the dream.  So, I proceed to talk with my aunt and my younger sister who has popped up out of nowhere.  I think my grandma is there, too.  After a while I decide it’s time to go and do whatever it was I was going to do.  I open up the diaper bag to changer the baby’s clothes into pajamas and a new diaper.  I have some jammies for her, but only 1 diaper.  I change her and head over to my parents house to properly pack for the baby.  I get back to my aunts and realize I STILL don’t have any diapers or extra clothes!  So I pick up my daughter and take her back to pack again, intending to bring her back to my aunts after that.

We get to my parents house and I sit her down on the floor of what is her room apparently.  There are 4 dressers in that room, in my dream.  They are all dressers I’ve had in my real life or that have been in that room at one point in my life.  I open each drawer and find NO BABY CLOTHES.  Instead I find an assortment of clothing that my sisters and I had growing up – very classy 80’s style clothes no less!  In one drawer I DO happen to find 3 newborn outfits, and one of them is a Christmas onsie.  I take it out and hold it up to my baby and say “well, that’s not going to fit you any more, and it’s too bad too, since you were almost a Christmas baby.”  Weird, I know…since my little one is due in August.  Though I DID find out about my pregnancy 2 days before Christmas…maybe that’s where that came from.  Anyway, I decide she’s just going to have to do with the outfit she has on and the 1 yellow onsie that she was wearing before.  Also, I find NO diapers, no matter how much I search.  I decide that she’ll just have to be okay with the one diaper, since she’s close to being potty trained anyway.  I pick her up and head back to my aunts and that’s when I wake up.

Of course during this whole dream in my mind I’m thinking how weird it is that I have no idea what the baby’s name is even though this fact doesn’t bother me at all in dream land!  It was very strange.

Dream #2: This dream was just this morning, though the details are a bit fuzzier than the last one.  I remember, again that I have my daughter with me.  We’re in my grandma & grandpa’s house and exploring all of the rooms.  She again resembles the daughter of my good friend and now she can talk.  Suddenly we aren’t at my gma’s house anymore, but in the gym of my elementary school watching a basketball game.  There are a lot of people there and they are all coming up to meet my baby and say HI.  My daughter draws pictures and signs her name (even though she is not nearly old enough to be able to sign her name) and hands them out to people.

Then a friend of mine from high school comes up from the game (he’s playing in the game) to say HI and meet the baby.  Of course, he asks me what her name is.  I look at my daughter and tell her to say her name, but she won’t.  Then I realize, I’ve forgotten what her name is and I panic!  How can I have forgotten my daughters name???  So to cover for it, I tell my friend to guess what it is.  He starts listing off names and after each one she shakes her head no.  I’m getting more and more frantic because I realize at some point he’s going to ask me to tell her.  During all this she’s still drawing pictures and signing them, but handing them out before I can see the name on them.  Finally he turns to me and asks what her name is and I run up the risers to “ask someone a question quick”, trying to buy more time to think of her name.  As soon as  I leave, someone comes up to my daughter and says, “Thank you for the picture Sophie!” and she smiles.  That’s when I wake up.

Why am I having so many dreams about not knowing my own child’s name??  It seems like a very ominous theme to keep running through my head!  It’s even stranger because I have had the name of my future daughter picked out for about 5 years!  I mean, I have a list of back ups just in case that name doesn’t fit once the baby is born, but I’m pretty set on that name.  Not once has this name popped into my head during the dreams, not even as an option in dream #2 when I was trying to think of her name.

In the other dream, not only did I not know my baby’s name, but I had no clothes or diapers for her!  The room we were in that was “hers” looks like it always does at my parents with the regular bed and computer in it, just with 4 dressers instead of 1.  So, it seems like in the dreams I was COMPLETELY unprepared for this baby in so many different ways.

Maybe that’s why I’ve had these dreams.  Am I feeling unprepared for a baby?  Sure!  Who doesn’t!  I have been thinking about it a bit more lately.  I’ve spent the past 3 years just trying to get pregnant, learning everything about making a baby that I’ve spent no time learning about what it means to BE pregnant.  I definitely feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m in uncharted territory.  But on the other hand, I’m a little afraid to look deeper into pregnancy and how it works…I’m still so early on, and still so far from my next check on Little Wiggle that I don’t want to “jinx” it.  I know that’s ridiculous, but I think some of you may understand what I mean.  I did finally order the “What to Expect” book, but I got it from a free book exchange website, so I’m not really paying for it, like that will counter act the “jinx”.  I’m afraid to open up the “Raising Baby Green” book that I got when I was pregnant with Declan.

I’ve also been scarred to start journaling again.  With Declan I had planned to keep a record of my pregnancy to show him someday when he was older.  I kept a little book that I wrote in almost everyday.  I had planned to do this with all of my children, long before I knew we would have issues.  Now, I haven’t even started 1 entry for Little Wiggle yet.  At first I was just waiting for the doctors confirmation that yes, I was pregnant and the baby had a heartbeat.   But now, I think it really is just fear.  Fear that something may happen.  I’m not living my life daily in fear.  I really am handling this surprisingly well, but I still have my moments, and I still have things that I haven’t thought about yet because of that fear, like my journal.  Or really digging into the baby name books again.  I think my dreams are a bit of a reflection on that underlying fear.

I’m going to try and work on that.  I’m going to try and get better.  Perhaps, tonight, I can reopen that journal and say my first hello to Little Wiggle.  I hope I can.