Posts Tagged ‘Hubby’

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Becky and Mabel: The epic struggle

September 9, 2009

Pregnancy discussed.

Lately it feels like I have multiple personalities, and they don’t get along. There’s Becky. She has two ponytails laced with ribbons and wears a pink cheerleader outfit. She has two giant pom poms and loves daisies, springtime, and kittens. Then there’s Mabel. She wears black, paints her fingernails purple, smokes cigarettes in the girls bathroom. She loves beating up freshmen, killing bunnies, and glaring. A typical day:

Becky: Nausea! I have nausea! This is good!
Mabel: Uh yeah, sure. If you didn’t eat so fucking much you’d feel fine.
Becky: The ultrasound will be so exciting!
Mabel: (Yawn) Because seeing a heartbeat means something right?
Becky: Ooh I’m getting stretchy feelings in my uterus, it must be growing!
Mabel: Or you’re about to have a miscarriage, you idiot.
Becky: Katery put up pictures of her crib. I can’t wait to crib shop.
Mabel: You are not her. You have no business dreaming.
Becky: But this could be it!
Mabel: But it’s probably not, so burn the damn pom pom before I stuff you in a locker.

For the past two weeks I’ve been doing pretty good about keeping Becky stuffed in the boys locker room. But Jack, he’s so hopeful lately and as much as I try to resist its contagious. He’s named it sunflower. He’s figured out the approximate due date. He talks to it. He didn’t do this last time. After we lost Speck he said he’d never do it again so I don’t get why he’s doing it now. I don’t want to tell him not to because seeing him excited fills me with so much warmth, but at the same time the fucking pom poms come out and I actually start looking at the gerber ad on TV and think I’m gonna hand make my baby food. These thoughts are always followed by a quick reprimand to Becky to stop this silly hope business. I’m fine with you sitting in a corner emitting gentle rays, but to leap up and start doing the macarena? No! No! No! You’ve had two losses and you’re at higher risk for a third. Protect your fucking heart. What the hell is wrong with you?

So yes, it seems that multiple losses leads to multiple personalities. I’m doing my best to manage both sides of myself, but if you see Becky jumping rope or flashing a toothy smile, trip her down the stairs, m’kay?

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Planning

August 26, 2009

Thank you for your well wishes on my previous post. I’d be lost without you.  My coping mechanisms surprise me. I expected to panic. I feel a bit pensive but very calm. I hope this feeling remains.

I see the hematologist tomorrow to talk about Lovenox. My OBGYN already called in the ‘script. I’m scared of side effects but we’ll see what the hematologist says. Jack thinks I should get my HCG and progesterone drawn to determine the viability of this pregnancy. A part of me considers this, but a larger part shakes its head no. Waiting for those results, the lack of sleep, staring at the phone, anxious shallow breathing- it was brutal.  I don’t want to go through it again. True the results could comfort me but I dread that wait. I don’t know if I can do that wait. The OBGYN’s office asked to schedule a confirmation visit. I stalled. Confirmation visit: pee on a stick, get brochures on pregnancy, have a pelvic exam where you’re told its too soon to see a heartbeat on the u/s so come back in two weeks. No thanks. I’m already getting the meds. I’m considering scheduling a visit in three weeks when we’d find a heart beat. My goal is to stay as peaceful as possible. Any tips on how you find peace much appreciated.

I e-mailed the RE to cancel next week’s appointment. My two word response: ok. canceled. I felt taken aback. No good luck? No, that’s good news? They deal with IF day in day out so I thought they’d give a friendlier response. I never felt more like a canceled business transaction before.

The evening is drawing to a close and I glance at my pregnancy test. I’m struck by the first thought that comes to mind as I look at the two bars. Will this time be it? Have I paid enough? Am I absolved? I’m surprised by these thoughts, but this year has felt like a sort of purgatory where I sit and wonder what I did. I hope the lovenox works. I hope an earlier egg is a fresher egg. I hope. I hope. I hope. I hope my penance is complete.

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Battling my deepest fear and desire

August 12, 2009

Thank you guys so much for your feedback on my last post. I really did not make the connection between my exhaustion and the fact that I’ve suffered two miscarriages, one just two weeks earlier. It seems obvious now that you’ve mentioned it but until then I really didn’t understand. I felt determined to find out the hormonal root of the issue when the truth is, I’ve been pregnant or suffering from a miscarriage this entire year . . . something’s got to give I suppose.

Speaking of pregnancy, I know I said in previous posts that I didn’t want to wait for my cycle to begin TTC again. We BD’d every day this week save yesterday due to back pain on my part, but today I awoke to discover EWCM. I know for many this is very ho hum sort of news but for me, this is perhaps the fourth time I’ve ever seen it in my life. The lovely sort, the sort that could be photographed for a textbook definition of EWCM. I don’t know if its real EWCM or if its my body misfiring post-pregnancy as it resets itself but its EWCM and its glorious.

I saw the EWCM and at first I was practically giddy with joy. I sat impatiently at work waiting to get home. And yet, as we drove home together the previous post began gnawing at me. I am so tired. If this is a manifestation of my physical and mental state due to the losses I’ve experienced then am I ready to try again so soon even though to my core I feel I am ready?  I mentioned to Jack that I seem to be ovulating and he felt mixed about it. I’m scared about your mental well being. I want you to enjoy your pregnancy. I had to laugh a little. Whether its this cycle or ten cycles from now I’m never going to enjoy my first trimester ever again. That innocence is gone. I know I will most likely be able to talk Jack into it if I assure him I’m confident but I’m sort of scared too. This would be an egg early in the cycle so it won’t be a “late egg” that some attribute to early miscarriage, and I’ll get lovenox upon a positive test. Two variables different from before. But. . . But . . . But . . .

I want a baby. I don’t want a miscarriage. I’m ovulating tonight. I never ever ovulate this early and with so much EWCM. I’m most fertile post-miscarriage so why not take advantage. What if things go wrong again and I blame myself for trying to soon. All these thoughts run through my head. I wish I knew the right answer. It could be that its too late and I’ve already conceived since we BD’d the day before yesterday and maybe . . . or maybe despite EWCM and all the perfect circumstances I won’t conceive… so many variables at play but all I know is this EWCM feels more precious than yellow diamonds and pint sized ocean pearls. It feels painful to think of letting it go to naught.

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Tired

August 11, 2009

Each morning  I feel so exhausted I doubt my ability to get out of bed, and on the weekends that ability crumbles and I find myself in bed until noon at the earliest, and even when I get up I know full well I could have slept for several hours more. During the day, I remain tired and though the amount of exhaustion ebbs and flows the common theme is a strange sort of exhaustion which affects me physically and mentally. I can’t figure it out, the hormones have surely left my body by now, why am I so tired?

I’m trying to lose weight and doing all the right things. I’m watching what I eat and working out but the scale won’t budge past 4 pounds. I’m going to continue trying. If you eat less and expend more, science tells me I must lose weight. I know have PCOS so this makes weight loss more difficult, but it shouldn’t entirely preclude weight loss.

Its been two weeks since my last miscarriage and I’ve channeled all my energy into losing weight and contemplating the steps to take for the next pregnancy. What to do when in-laws come. Lovenox versus Heparin. Timing of ovulation. I’ve been so busy trying to plan for the future perhaps hoping it will allow me to forget what happened in my recent past. But you can only run for so long and then the past, it catches up to you.

Today after days of being okay I sat watching TV and a beautiful name on television made me think I want to name my daughter that. That’s all it took. I gasped as it hit me as though anew: Yeah you’ve been pregnant twice, but what have you got to show for it? You don’t have a baby. You don’t know when you’ll have a baby. Will you ever get pregnant again? Holy shit, it hits me as though its some sort of revelation: I lost my babies. They aren’t here. They’re gone. I’m empty. I’m literally empty. I don’t know what will happen. The future is blank.

Before I met Jack I had bad luck in the guy department. When we married I remember waking up in the middle of the night sometimes in a cold sweat from a nightmare that I had dreamed it all, that I hadn’t met him, that I hadn’t married him, that I just thought I did and it was all a making of my mind. I’d wake up and see him with his head buried in the pillow and breathe a sigh of relief.

This is the opposite. My dreams are haunted by a little girl. She wears gold earrings and short black hair. She wears a blue dress with red frills. She is beautiful. I chase her around the room while she giggles and then I lift her up and kiss her. She flashes me a large toothless grin and I feel a love I cannot bear. Then I wake and its me alone in my darkened bedroom. No crib. No tiny shrieks of joy. It’s just me. No breath of relief  just a stifling of grief always waiting to carry me away.

I fight my grief, I promise you. When my friend Lucy called me today and as I told her I’m leaving my job she saidYou should just have babies and make them your life, I think that’s what you were meant to do [oh and yes she knows about my infertility, I know how to pick them it seems] I shook my head and told myself she didn’t mean it, I hung up and went on with my day. I say this to say I’m trying like fucking hell to not let my feelings own me, but sometimes like now when I’m feeling so physically tired, the emotional strain is more than I can bear. Some days like today it feels like my feet are made of bricks and heavy boulders weigh on my head.

I just want to rest. I’m so tired.

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Getting through the day

July 28, 2009

I thought going to work would do me some good. I wondered if immersing myself in work would help me escape. Today as I got out of the car in the parking lot I saw a baby seat in the car next to me and suddenly my breathing was so painful I thought a rib cracked. I couldn’t believe this is me, standing next to my car going pale trying to breathe in and out. Keeping the tears at bay is impossible business when there is a leaking dam behind your eyes. I have never had to take it one step at a time. I stood in the elevator and said just make it through this elevator ride. I got out and said good girl, now get to your office unlock it and get in. You can do it. I’ve never felt this fragile before.

Last night Jack and I had a very intense conversation. We really talked for the first time in months. For so long he’s been my rock and he told me sometimes he feels like that’s all he is, a rock for me while I deal with loss and infertility. He said he sees me obsessed with children and the fear of never having children and he wants to go back to how it was the first five years of our marriage when we were more than two organisms set on this planet to reproduce. He feels like I don’t care about him anymore, that all I care about is having a child. That I don’t appreciate our relationship anymore. I couldn’t believe he could think this. I thought how much I loved him was a given to him. I guess that’s the problem, I’ve let it become a given. I’ve taken it for granted. He said me focusing on this one area in which we lack spits on all the areas that are good and beautiful in our life. It’s not your fault, he keeps telling me.

How can I explain that I feel like a failure as a woman. At my basest core what sets me apart from a man is my ability to bear life. My breasts are to feed a child. My hips are to hold them and help their passageway into the world. I never imagined a life without children of my own. I feel I’ve failed at the most basic level of being a woman sometimes. I know this is logically not the case but sometimes it feels very much this way. He says not to blame myself but people never realize how subtly they do put the blame on me. The nurse in the ER said you didn’t wait long enough to try again. The ultrasound tech said you must stress out a lot, stress causes miscarriages. Well meaning friends say relax and it will happen. Simply saying this is all your fault you know? would be simpler and more to the point.

Jack says not to lose hope but to start focusing on other things in life, to let go of this obsession. I think maybe I need to do a little less hoping. Maybe I need to go into the darkest part of myself and face what life would be like without the one thing I thought with certainty I would someday have, children. Jack says if I do that then I’m giving up. I feel like I’m facing my darkest fear to put it to rest so that perhaps I will have peace. I’m not sure which way to go.

But Jack’s right, I am obsessed. I can’t focus on all the other great things in my life. I know them, I can list them out but I don’t feel them in my heart. He told me you’re a writer! you love to cook, you scrapbook, you work out, you read, you have more going on in your life than just this one thing. This is why he wants to take a break for a few months. We’re definitely taking a break until someone can tell me what’s wrong with me, but he said take a mental break from all of it, try to find out who I am again. Infertility and grief has been so all consuming this year in particular I dare say I really have forgotten who else I am besides a miscarrying infertile.

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Thoughts post-miscarriage #2

July 26, 2009

I’m sure anyone who battles infertility and anyone who has the loss of miscarriages under their belt never could have imagined how difficult having a child would be. I had an inkling due to my irregular periods that I would battle infertility. I never knew I would face the pain of miscarriage, twice. So far. What do I make of two miscarriages with two heartbeats? Is it a progesterone problem, since I was borderline two weeks ago. Is it my HCG doesn’t know how to double? Is it the lupus anticoagulant? Is it my cervix or uterus that find child carrying bothersome? I hope against all hope that an RE will know the answer. All I know is I’m sad, I’m angry, and I feel guilty as hell. I am aware the guilt is illogical but its real and throbs in my chest.

1. I feel guilty that babies with heartbeats that are supposed to have less than 2% chance of dying, die in my womb. I’m so sorry to have brought them into this world only to have left without a kiss or a hug.

2. I feel guilty that thanks to my fucked up body Jack isn’t a father. He told me last night, as though reading my mind, I want a baby with you, and if its not with you then with no one else. Still, the guilt eats away at my soul. God, he’d be a good father. He would rock her to sleep and teach her tennis. I wish I had it in my power to give him a child.

3. I feel guilty that thanks to my fucked up body my parents are not grandparents.  They want it bad and I can’t give it. God knows, I try. I do my best but I can’t seem to follow through. They are coming this weekend and I feel a strong lump in my throat. They should be coming to spoil a grandchild. Every interaction we have feels empty to me because there is not a child. My parents will not live forever. I’m so afraid they’ll never meet their grandchild.

Grief and guilt intermingle through my veins in equal parts. Jack wants to wait at least three months. He says we should make an appointment with an RE and figure stuff out and just spend some time not thinking about baby making. I don’t know what to make of it. On one hand I want to try again. Yes I got pregnant twice back to back but I don’t take it for granted. I spent 13 months trying in vain. I know how long the stretch can be. Each month we wait feels like time that I can’t get back, time wasted in the babymaking game. Then on the other hand it makes sense. I can workout and lose the ten pounds Ive been battling. I get three months of not TTC, or TWWing. God knows TWWs suck. Maybe it would do me good. I’m scared to risk three losses in a year. but you’re most fertile post-miscarriage. All these thoughts swirl as I face the future, grieve the past, and wonder the hell I’m going to do right now. Thanks to those who sent well wishes. I appreciate it. I warn you though, this blog won’t be a very fun place to be for some time.

I’m Charlie fucking Brown and I can’t seem to stop trying to kick that football. Can someone please shoot Lucy?

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Notes from the roller coaster, doctor updates

July 23, 2009

Stalking works, it seems. My doctor called me back after an e-mail message and two voice messages. She said she is very confused by the falling HCG but the developing on schedule fetus. However, she said this is good.  I am pregnant and the HCG dropping means diddly squat in light of my heart beating fetus. She does not think I need to retest HCG anymore and we should just monitor the fetus on ultrasound. So to summarize: I am not miscarrying. Yet. I hate saying the word yet but I’ve been down this road before and I know that though they tell me a heartbeat reduces my risk of a miscarriage to 2%, I’ve been the 2%er before. I will remain with bated breath until that child is in my arms.

I called my maternal fetal specialist to get my labwork transferred to my OB’s office since my insurance won’t pay for work done at the specialists. The specialist wants to re-test me for Lupus Anticoagulant and a host of other clotting related issues. If present I’ll be put on heparin/lovenox. Here’s my issue, the tests take about two weeks to come back and that will put me at 8 weeks which is around the time the baby died last time (though I miscarried week 11). I asked them if they could just start me on lovenox and then take me off if the tests were fine, but they said they can’t do that.

They drew my HCG yesterday and so here is how its reading so far: June 16: 3,500; June 20: 3,000; June 22: 3,014

The specialist said the results are meaningless and from now on lets just go by what the ultrasound shows us and not worry about the HCG levels.  He scheduled one for a week from now. I might be harsh here, but easy to say when its not your baby.  I thought HCG levels rise to maintain your pregnancy so if mine aren’t, how am I supposed to shrug and laugh that off? I don’t understand it. How is this meaningless? What if they fall?

Jack has been so strong for me through this whole ordeal. Yesterday though, as we sat over dinner just staring at each other in befuddlement, I said to him our little one reminds me of you. He laughed, oh yeah? how so? I said, she’s a fighter. She doesn’t care about those HCG levels she’s too focused on growing. She’s stubborn like her dad. He winced and went slightly pale. What’s wrong? I asked him. He shook his head When you say things like that it makes it so much harder for me. To know that the baby is fighting to stick around . . . if this doesn’t work out I’ll be crushed. It was surprising to see how emotional he got. Sometimes I forget he is dealing with a lot too.

After my crushing heartbreak on Tuesday, I never imagined I would tell anyone that it seems I am not miscarrying after all, but that seems to be the case. There is still a long road ahead. I have six more excruicating weeks of a first trimester to get through and as any of you IF sisters know, we can’t breathe easy until we’re holding our baby in our arms. I just have to say I never thought my sunflower miracle would really be this miraculous. If this pregnancy succeeds her nursery is going to look like a field of sunflowers. Even if its a boy! Wow, just writing that makes me tense up. To imagine a future nine months from now frightens me. I’m so scared to dream because I’m so scared to fall.

Finally, thank you again so so so so so much for your support and your prayers and your thoughts. Like I’ve said before, no one really knows in my real life and had I not your support and your encouragement and advice I would feel all alone. Thank you for reading and for commenting and for sharing my burden with me. I cannot thank you guys enough, you will never know how your comments kept me afloat as I feared sinking to the bottom of the ocean floor.