Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Heavy Heart...

My friend's baby girls were born heart is breaking for her.

It absolutely sucks that in two weeks time two more mommas have had to say goodbye to their babies far too soon. Four little girls who were loved and wanted...gone.

I am angry. I am sad. I just wish it wasn't true.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers Needed...

A dear family friend who is pregnant with twin girls (mentioned in this post) is just past 20 weeks and was admitted to the hospital because her cervix is dilating. All I know at this point is her contractions have stopped but her membranes were bulging but had not yet broken. Since my pre-term labor was such a surprise and unexplained something went awry between 20 and 24 weeks all I want is for her to have the chance I didn't. Let those babies be as safe and sound as long as possible.



One positive thing I have learned from the depths of despair in my grief is gratitude. Along with it is my need to express it as often as I can to those who have shown me love and support.

Right now I want to thank you for all of the wonderful comments...they have kept me focused on the positive thoughts and (mostly) away from the scary fearful thoughts.

I am thrilled to be still pregnant (yay for a beta that doubled) and will cherish however long this lasts. I go back next Monday for follow up blood work and u/s to make sure we have a good start. That is a week of waiting and worrying, but I am doing my best to appreciate each day and try not to focus on what could go wrong.

This morning I woke up a bit sad ...but my thoughts are on my boys. I am missing them like crazy. They are never really far from my thoughts but since passing their first birthday their has been a bit more peace in my thoughts. The "should-be" thoughts have given me a reprieve for now. It is a bit of a surprise, but I am grateful for that too.

One of my fears of getting pregnant again was that I might feel like this is a replacement pregnancy, a do-over. Nothing could ever replace my first born sons...and this feels like a second chance, but in no way does it feel like a replacement. Even in the should-be reality we might have tried again to give our sons another sibling. It has been a full year since they were born and nine months since their due date...this pregnancy stands on its own.

I am grateful that a sense of hope (no matter how guarded) has returned. I am grateful for all the love, joy and excitement it has brought to those "in the know." While we all know how fast things can change, my fears are tempered (certainly not gone) by all of the positive thoughts and prayers that have been put out into the universe on our behalf.

In this holiday season what better gift! For this I am grateful!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


That is precisely what I said to the nurse today when she called to give me the results of my blood work today.

At this moment I am pregnant. I have to keep saying it to believe it. I was sure I wasn't when I woke up this morning and I was a doubter as they did the blood draw and I certainly was not convinced when I heard the nurse say that I have to go back in on Monday to see if my beta doubles.

Of course, true to form, there was a slight hitch in the prog.esterone levels are on the low side of ok so I have to increase that and see how it goes.

I know all to well that this is just the first step towards a real, live, take home baby. There are so many things that have to happen in the first month alone (2nd beta with doubling, u/s to see fetal pole, u/s to see a heartbeat , etc). I am trying so hard to focus on the next step and not let myself get to far down the line of worry.

I know that my fear and worries will have to be addressed as they pop up. That is inevitable...but I don't want that to cloud this pregnancy. I want to celebrate each second because I have no idea how long it will last or what the result will be.

For right now, in this moment I am pregnant. Wow. I am happy, scared, shocked, nervous and just trying to take it all in.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I'm scared this cycle won't work...

I'm scared it will...

I'm scared that if it does it will be twins again...

I'm scared that if it works it won't be twins...

I'm scared that I'll never parent living children...

I'm scared of the hope I feel...

I'm scared of loosing hope again if this cycle fails...

I hate feeling do scared and nervous. Two more days and we will know what fears are reality.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Trying to get in the holiday state of mind...

The tree is up, stockings are on the mantle (I actually have a mantle this year!) and other decorations are up around the house...and yet there is a very conspicuous hole. The children who are supposed to be center of our Christmas are not here. This makes the holiday a whole lot less merry. Last year I was numb and in a haze of grief and pain. This year I am in a much better place emotionally...but there is (and will always be) missing.

I am trying to not focus on how I am feeling post-transfer...tired, crampy...mostly because I know these can be caused by all of the hormones I am taking as much as any potential pregnancy. Some how hope is still strong and I am doing my best to get reacquainted with this stranger.

(the ornament is one I received at my baby shower just a few hours before my sweet peas were born...I hung it on our tree last year and will every year.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another Momma has joined our ranks...

Through a friend I learned of another broken hearted momma who had to say good bye to her twin baby girls earlier this week. Since I have only just "met" her online through our mutual friend I want to respect her privacy and will not share the little I know. I will only ask you to keep her in your heart while she makes her way down this terrible, heart-breaking path.

I reached out to her as I wish someone could have when I lost William & Ethan. No one in my circles of friends had experienced infant loss and really had no idea what to do for me...but they did the best they could. It is my hope that maybe I can offer her a little bit of comfort.

I shared with her a link to this blog post that I have saved on my phone so I can read it often...
"For me on May 14th & for everyone who has lost a baby"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This is what hope looks like...

Today is transfer day...and it surprises me how much hope I feel. We had two sweet specks of hope transferred back this afternoon. We even have our remaining two frozen in reserve.

It scares the crap out of me to feel hope again, but it is time to let that feeling back in to my heart. Living without it hurt like hell, but letting myself feel it knowing there are so many odds against us is what I need to do...after all this might just work (heavy emphasis on might).

For now, this is what hope looks like...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Missing you...

Tonight I am lighting candles for my William and two amazing boys born one year ago tonight. While they were only mine for so short a time, they are a forever part of me...the two pieces of my heart forever gone.

I also lit candles for the little ones I have come to know this past year, as well as their parents. They, too, left this world on this sorrow-filled weekend last year.

Along with my William and Ethan, they are loved and missed beyond measure.

Addison, daughter of Keleen
Andrew, son of Brandy
Eliza, daughter of Brooke
Greyson, son of Paige

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It is in...

When we arrived at my parent's house this morning the grave marker for William & Ethan and the likelihood of it getting done was slim. My mom made a few phone calls to people with some pull and it worked!

My Mom, she's pretty amazing sometimes.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Going home...

Tomorrow we leave for my home town...we are going to them. We are going to be with family.

This week has been harder than I ever imagined. Just knowing that the one year mark loomed was so much to carry every day. Every day has brought more tears and more memories I haven't dared look back upon.

I still can not believe a year has passed so quickly. A year with out my William and Ethan.

Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the last full day I carried them. Sunday is their birthday, their first birthday. A year prior we made a similar journey for my baby shower. I was surrounded by friends and loved ones during the day and that night my water broke at 23 weeks 6 days. My sons were born a few hours later.

Tomorrow we go back with hopes that their grave marker will be in place. (Supposedly it will be installed no later than tomorrow...but I have learned that nothing ever goes as planned)

Friday, November 25, 2011


Or at least trying to focus on the things I am thankful amazing husband, loving family and friends, a job that I love, I am alive and relatively healthy. If I try the list could be quite long. The truth is that each thought ends with "...but I don't have my sons."

It is very hard to focus on all that is good in my life when such a huge part is missing. That gaping hole where my sons should be has been hard to ignore as the holiday season is in full swing. From their absence at the family Thanksgiving gathering to the generic holiday cards I am preparing in an attempt to fill my minutes in the week before their first birthday I can't celebrate with joy.

In the alternate universe where they lived we would have packed them up to take to my sister-in-laws (or everyone would have come to our house) where they would be fawned over while making a complete mess eating their first big turkey dinner. I also would have created some cute holiday card with their recent photo...or maybe we would have our hands so full we wouldn't even send out cards. The final birthday party plans would need to be confirmed.

But that is not the universe where I live.

In my reality I had a nice turkey day with my in-laws, tried not to think too hard about how much my nephews look like my boys and repeatedly made mental notes of all the things I have to be thankful for in my life as it is. Today the sun is shining and I am getting ready to stuff the holiday cards I bought last year (but didn't send because I was too mired in grief) that are photo-free and signed only with my hubby's name and mine.

Today I am focusing on what I am most grateful for...

...another chance to try again to build my family. sons, even if they can not be here with me.
...the wonderful people in my life.

I am especially thankful for my fellow baby loss mammas...the kinship and support I have found among you has helped me survive this year.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rolling with it...

Or at least trying to roll with the uncertainty that is inherent to another FET cycle. Cycle day one(aka my period) arrived finally so I get to get up bright and early tomorrow to go in to the RE's office before school to get day 3 blood work and u/s done. If this FET is anything like my last it could mean a transfer on day 19. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that day 19 is December sons' birthday. The very thought of that possibility is mind twisting. I will have to talk to my nurse to see what we can do about not having that as a transfer just doesn't feel right. There is also a (very good) possibility that my transfer could happen on any other day so I might be getting worked up over nothing. Oh the irony!

My mom is coming to visit tomorrow...I haven't seen her since September and it really has been too long. Of course, knowing my mom this will not be all fun. That is just how it goes with us. But enough time has passed that it will likely be more good than not.

One day at a time...just trying to roll with it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whirlwind Mini-vaca...

Hubby and I just got back from a quick trip out to Las Vegas...and it was a wonderful break from the ever present "sad" that has been hanging around. Now, neither of us are huge gamblers, partyers or clubbers...we are actually early to bed/rise sort of folks so it is kind of unlikely vacation, but we had fun our way!

We arrived late Wednesday night and got settled in to our fantastic upgraded suite in Aria SkySuites and order room service. All I can say about our room! It was on the 52nd floor, had floor to ceiling windows in the living area and the bedroom (what a view), the bathroom was bigger than my bedroom at home and there is something magical about a heated toilet seat...just sayin.

Thursday we got up way early (still on East Coast time) and the best part is no one knows if you are up early or still up from the night before. We grabbed a very early breakfast and headed to the spa for a couples massage. We spent the rest of the day undoing the benefits of the spa by walking around the Vegas Strip. Seriously too much walking that left us hobbling the next day. We enjoyed a great dinner, walked (hobbled) around a bit more because we had to get up again early Friday for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. Another wow!

Getting up early was sooo worth it for that helicopter ride. I will admit I was very nervous about being in a helicopter at first, but it was amazing!!! On the way out I was stuck in the middle so hubby got a better view, but on the way back the woman who was squished in the center with me got front row in sitting in the front row next to the pilot). Jaw dropping views the whole doesn't begin to cover it...but if you ever get a chance to take a heli tour do won't regret it!

Friday after dinner we spent a little time at the have to gamble a little if you are Vegas. I am not great at table games so off to the slots we went. I picked out a machine and started playing...I even cashed out with ten times what I started with! That sounds impressive but really I sat down at a penny slot machine with $1 and walked away with $11...but hey, it's $10 more than I started with, right!?! We called it a night relatively early since we had to rise and shine again on Saturday to fly home on the first flight back to NJ.

It was a quick trip that gave me a vacation from my reality, the ever-present sad and let me pampered a bit for a few days. Now that we have been back a full 24 hours I can feel the sad creep back in (finalizing the grave marker details pulled me back in to my grief for a bit) but I can't help but smile at our fun little Vegas trip filled with lots of great food, a sweet suite upgrade, the beauty of the Grand Canyon, a quick peak at some art, lots of walking around seeing all of the new stuff that has popped up in the last 5 years and the thrill of a heated toilet seat (yes it was definitely a highlight and I may need to invest in one for home it was that good).

Now I am awaiting cycle day 1 (which is late due to traveling I am sure, but could happen any minute now) so we can get ready for another transfer around Thanksgiving. The delay pushes us closer to a transfer near my boys' 1st birth/death days but it is what it is and I have to roll with what ever happens.

Here's hoping we brought back some luck from our trip to Vegas!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I hate saying no...

This past Sunday I painted the faces of 20 wee princesses at a friend's daughters birthday party. It was a fun distraction and I was super busy!

During the lull of pizza time the woman who was giving the girls princess braids asked the question anyone that has dealt with infertility or lost their baby/babies dreads. "Do you have kids." Ugh!

Lately, if someone asks I say, " only the two I carry in my heart." which often leads to a quizzical look and the subject is changed. Rarely do I get asked what I mean. But this a little girl's birthday just didn't seem appropriate to set the stage for my sad explanation so I just said no.

I hate that saying no is the socially preferred response. I hate that no is far too simple an answer to a loaded question.

I hate even more that I can't say yes!

The honest truth that no one wants to hear is that yes, I do have two sons but sadly their life ended as fast as it began.

Their names are William and Ethan and they were beautiful. I miss them so much!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Can't Avoid the Should Be

I should be frantically planning a first birthday party that will take place one month from now.

Instead I approved the design for my sons' grave marker.

I should be chasing around two 11 month old boys baffled that the time has flown by so quickly.

Instead I spend my evening watching tv wondering how it is possible I have survived 11 months without them. I am baffled by how quickly time has passed.

I should be getting things together to take my boys to their cousin's birthday party tomorrow.

Instead I worry about how I am going to make it through the day without them.

I should be crying because I am exhausted trying getting two 11 month old boys to sleep through the night.

Instead I am crying tears of grief and loss.

Yes, I should be doing all of those things, but I am not.

I have missed you every second...every minute...every hour...every day...every week...every month...for the last eleven months.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blogger Ate My Post...

Last night I had a great post written out about Day of the Dead, the random winter storm we were hit with and how my brain has too much time to think this week. I hit "post," received and error message and it was gone. It seems posting from my iphone is not a good idea. So now I am on my pc and fingers crossed this works!

In summary...This week has been bizarre!
  • Saturday we had a crazy storm that dumped 4" of snow on us and brought down lots of branches, limbs and trees, caused major power outages and made life miserable for lots of people. We were power lost, only damage was the power line to the garage causing our car to be trapped until we could get an electrician here. Oh...our trees took a beating too. We now have a 6ft high pile of branches across the front of our property. Yikes! It is a miracle nothing worse happened!!!
  • My school has been without power and heat so no school until today. No more available snow days from now on so if this winter is snowy I need to say so-long to my spring beak. Plus, way too much free time lets my brain dwell in the "should-be" far too much. Sooo glad to go back to school today!!!
  • I am cycling again so I started my shots on Tuesday. Here we go again! I am trying not to think about it too much...just going with the flow.
  • Yesterday the family friend that is pregnant with twins came out on FB (so did her mom and husband) complete with u/s pics...lots of jealousy and please don't let the same thing happen to her thoughts.
  • Placed an order (finally) for the grave marker...hoping they can get this installed before the one year mark. Least favorite project...but soooo necessary.
I was dreading this winter's first snow storm but I am glad it came crazy early this year. Last year's first snow was the weekend I lost my sweet peas. An out of season snow fall was good for me...the association of snow and my boys is not strong now.

My heart is still heavy but the tears are not as quick to come. One day at a time...even if those days are flying by faster than they should!

Friday, October 21, 2011


They are every where this has not been an easy week. Ironically this has nothing to do with hormones (do not start the next cycle's meds for a week or two, no where near PMS time).

It is all grief. There have been lots of tears and very little I can do about it. I have no choice but to surrender to my feelings.

Today was supposed to be a stellar was a staff development day and every year the art teachers in my district take a field trip in to NYC to visit one of the major museums and write a lesson plan/unit based on something we see. This year we went to Metropolitan Museum of Art and there is always lots to see. I also planned a lunch date with my hubby which was an added bonus. Sounds perfect...except it wasn't. Don't get me wrong, it was a pretty good day. But grief added to the cloudy autumn day.

I am usually all for bringing children of all ages to a museum...start them young! It seemed like there was an awful lot of little boys in the 6-10 month range (the should be age of my boys had they been born on their due date through their birth/death days). I could keep it together seeing them, but it made me want to be carrying one of my boys in a sling and pushing the other in an umbrella stroller. (Sigh)

On the way to meet hubby for lunch I decided to cross through Central Park to catch the train down to Wall Street. Again...lots of strollers but it wasn't until I reached the saxophonist playing under the bridge that I became unhinged. He was playing a slow version of "Somewhere Under the Rainbow" that made my heart ache and the tears flow. Thank goodness for large sunglasses and a tiny hint of sun on an otherwise cloudy day to hide my tears and I crossed through one of my favorite places on earth. It was too much to keep inside.

By the time I got to the subway I had pulled myself together enough to take off my sunglasses and get downtown to enjoy a yummy lunch. Tempura cheesecake...a nice way to end a lunch! (They are mini-cheesecake squares coated in tempura breading and lightly fried) After lunch I went back up town for more time at the museum.

There were a few art works that I stumbled upon that reflected my mood so well I wanted to share them. First I turned face to face with The Massacre of the Innocents by Francois Joseph Navez.

This woman is holding her dead child and clearly is mourning her loss. And in her I see me. Here is a detail...

 She is not sobbing, she is crying and looking lost. Oh how I can relate!

On my way out I passed through a hall with a number of sculptures (mostly studies for larger works) by Rodin. The one that pulled me in was Fallen Caryatid Carrying a Stone.

Her burden is heavy and the description tag (which I generally avoid reading to rely on my own observations rather than an art historian, but on occasion I like to learn more) and the last line stopped me in my tracks...

"The variant seems less weighed down by her stone than by some unsupportable loss or nameless agony of the soul."

Yup...I have an agony of my soul, and it has a name. It is a loss that feels too heavy to carry, but I have no choice. For the rest of my days I will have this feeling as a part of me. Some days it is more pronounced. But it is there always.

I have a feeling the time between now and December 4th and 5th are going to be rough going.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Yesterday I lit this candle for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.

I chose it because it has three wicks...three glowing flames.

One for William...
One for Ethan...
One for all of the babies that can only be held in their parents hearts, not their arms.

As I lit each one I thought "You are loved!"

As I blew them all out I made a wish that yesterday not a single baby was gone too soon. Just for one day, but I am sure (sadly) that more joined the sad club of parents who know our awful truth that babies die. I wish it wasn't so.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Game Over

Got the call...bloodwork was negative. This cycle has ended with nothing to show for it except a weight gain and another feeling of failure. I am going to indulge in sorrow for the loss of another chance and a few items I have avoided while cycling... - fully caffinated pumpkin spice latte (check) - chocolate brownies (check) - great bottle of wine (saving for later, but check) - sushi dinner tonight (also for later, but check) I think I was expecting a negative so I don't feel as upset as I expected, but it still sucks. I think it bothered me just a little more because during my post-bloodwork nap I had a dream about a baby girl. In the dream I was laying on the floor breast feeding her and it felt amazing...of course it was a funny dream and she puked on my face but the over all feeling was one of contentment. I want that...I guess it is just going to take a lot longer than planned, if at all. Game over...let the pity party begin.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Last Night of Waiting...

One more sleep and the wait will be over...I am so anxious to know one way or another if this cycle worked or not. As the week has slowly crept by I have only gotten more and more anxious.

I am not very confident that I am pregnant. My gut says no, but then again it did last time too. I also have to keep in mind that any "symptoms" will be milder because their might only be one (if any) little one in there. Last time there were two and my levels were crazy high.

My bestie at school bought me a bracelet with a "hope" charm on it to remind me to believe getting pregnant is possible. It has a stretchy elastic band and she tells me that when ever I am a doubter I should pull it and let it go in order to "snap" out of it! I've tried it a few times and it helps.

I am still a doubter, but I am trying to balance it with a bit of hope.

Tomorrow I will see how much hope is left.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ten Months...

Tonight my heart is aching for my boys...ten months ago they were born too soon. Ten months ago my body failed them. Ten months ago my life was turned inside out and will never be the same. Ten months of tears. Ten months trying to figure out how to live with out them. Ten months of feeling a hollowness that will never be filled. Ten months since two pieces of my heart were gone forever. I love you William and Ethan. I miss you both so very much.

Monday, October 3, 2011


When you have experienced any sort of infertility and are trying to get pregnant waiting becomes a part of your life and it is a trial for those with the best of patience. I used to be a patient person...not so much any more. Knowing that I have to wait five more days to find out if this cycle worked or not is not easy. I also have some pro.gesterone side affects which may or may not be good signs...heartburn all the time, tender breasts, tired constantly...but I don't dare read too much into them.

I am very grateful that I have had an art educators conference to distract me yesterday, today and again tomorrow. I enjoy learning and gathering new ideas from my colleagues that I can take back and use in my own classroom in one way or another. This has kept my mind off of my cycle for the most part...

Except the part where nearly half of the art teachers in this state must be pregnant (the other half are about to retire and a small portion are men). Seriously. Bumps of all sizes are in every single talk or workshop I have attended. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but I started counting after lunch and there was at least 2 obviously pregnant women in the 4 talks/workshops I attended after lunch.

The last talk I attended was given by a woman, bless her heart, is due in 20 days. How she lasted all day and was able to present at 4:30 is beyond me. I was amazed she made it through with out her water breaking...she is riding low and I am sure she won't make it to her due date. She was so damned optimistic, naive, and smiley too. She was so freaking confident that everything is going to turn out peachy keen...and I sat in her audience and kept my dark thoughts and knowledge to my self. I also wished and hoped with all that I had that she never ever knows what I know...that sometimes things don't have a happy ending.

I should probably back up and say that I took a long walk at lunch to get away from the preggo bellies. I found my local hit for a  (decaf) pumpkin spice latte and ended up standing behind a lady waiting for her coffee beverage with an adorable little girl and an older woman who asked all sorts of questions about the cutie pie that wanted desperately to walk, in spite of not yet having the hang of this whole walking business. Turns out cutie pie is about to turn 10 months old.

By some miracle of the universe my drink was ready first and I could bolt before I lost it. I did manage to not cry for the rest of the afternoon but my mind was in a very dark and morbid place. Oh to have even a little bit of optimism...not likely considering all that I know.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Speck of Hope...

We had one little embryo transferred back this afternoon. One little speck of hope.

I am relieved that the transfer was able to happen and still cautious in my feelings. I have released a lot of the negative energy from yesterday. Right now I don't have a gut feeling one way or the other if this has worked.

In nine days we will the mean time, dig in little speck and stay for a while. I'd like to get to know you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A nervous wreck...

This morning was the last check for blood work and an ultrasound before tomorrow's transfer. On top of being crazy nervous the ultrasound was slightly less than perfect. I should expect things to not go smoothly...that's how my life rolls.

Basically the doctor found a wee bit of fluid in the endometrial cavity and she basically told me that it may or may not result in cancellation of this cycle. I appreciated her telling me why she stared at the screen with a very concentrated look but having to wait ALL DAY for the phone call to find out if my cycle was cancelled or not was torture. I lost my shit after leaving the office, could barely hold it together to make it through my day. Finally at 3:00 I saw I had a voice mail (couldn't check my phone between 1:25 and 3:00 because I was teaching) and we are still good to go.

I had given up all hope that we would even get to tomorrow, but we are so I should be feeling better. Except I don't.

That is not 100% accurate...after a long chat with my mom and another chat with my therapist (thank goodness I scheduled an appointment for today!) I do feel a bit lighter...not better but a good chunk of the heaviness I felt all day has lifted. Truth be told I am no longer optimistic about this cycle working. I want to be...I want that hope...but with so many hurdles I just can't hold on to it.

There is still the wait for the thawing and embryology report tomorrow morning. One last hurdle before transfer time. Thankfully this requires nothing from me other than waiting because there is not one shred of strength left.

I am grateful to have a break from school for a long weekend. Thursday and Friday the district is closed for Rosh Hoshana and then I have an art educators conference Monday and Tuesday. I figure at least these are working in my favor and I can rest for a few days post-transfer and not be on my feet for the beginning of next week in case this cycle might work.

Every little bit helps.

So if you see any luck out there floating around send it my way 'cause I could sure use it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One step at a time...

It is amazing how a few words of encouragement can pull you together for a day or so. I can't thank you enough for the comments filled with support and reassurance that my hormones are INSANE!

Today started off not so great (uncooperative veins for blood work, weather report postponing my outside project this morning but teasing with me with sun) but ended on a better note for sure. The tears continue to hover below the surface and occasionally leak out, but I am in a slightly better head space.

So I got the call...I am scheduled for my transfer....

Holy crap...this is really happening. As if the crazy hormone manipulation wasn't a clue! (I am currently covered in e.strogen patches which apparently come with sarcasm as a side affect...who knew?!?)

If all goes well between now and then, next Thursday (9/29) I will have one embryo transferred. One little speck of hope to take root and grow. I can't really wrap my brain around it...I am so focused on getting through each day that thinking that far ahead is completely surreal.

I have actually thought this past month about how I will be feeling about the potential outcome of this cycle. The actual transfer happening seems impossible. When I consider all of the outcomes I am more prepared for a negative result than a positive. Of course I am hoping to get pregnant more than I can express...but I am pretty sure I know how to deal with getting a negative beta. I will grieve the loss of another opportunity to build my family and I am experienced in that department. On the flip side, I have no idea how I will react to finding out I am pregnant. Last time I was in shock (I had lots of spotting and was convinced that I wasn't pregnant) but this time I know the pain of loss. I can't even begin to imagine the worries that will come up.

I have to keep focused on the here and step at a time even if the path leads to places unseen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's gotta be the hormones...

I won't lie, the last few days have been exceptionally hard. Like, back in the early days of my grief hard. All I keep saying to myself is that it has to be the hormones I am taking. Seriously emotional and lots of tears.

My monitoring over the weekend was ok, but they doubled my estrogen patches. I also over heard the doctor tell the tech he saw a fibroid (only he used the technical term but I knew what he meant) but didn't seem concerned. I have had fibroids come and go. I also know from conversations with my OB that fibroids might contribute to things like miscarriage and pre-term labor. How I forgot a detail like that when I lost my boys is beyond me, but it brought all of the over-analyzing back to the front of my brain. Could that be what caused my pre-term labor? What does this fibroid mean for my FET cycle and potential pregnancy?

I have never really had extremely guilty feelings over my pre-term labor like I know can happen. Played out all the scenarios- yes, felt like I failed- yes, felt guilty or responsible- not so much. Just evaluating every possible option was more than enough. Unfortunately my thoughts over the weekend were filled with flash backs to my sons' birth and why, at 23w6d, my water broke suddenly.

I haven't cried this much in such a long time. It is exhausting to be on the edge of tears all day long.

Please let it be all of the hormones and please let it be worth the onslaught of emotions.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hello Weekend!

I am so glad the weekend is here. This has been an exhausting week physically, emotionally, and mentally.

The first full week of school is always a grab bag of meetings, getting to see what the students are really like (not the 1st week of school jittery/scared straight behavior), still preparing for the new school year and it all did a number on me. Yesterday it all came to a head...figuratively and literally.

Thursday morning I woke up with one of my rare, but vicious, migraines. They are evil and this one is surely induced by the wacky hormones I am subjecting myself to for our FET cycle. This migraine came complete with vertigo, nausea, light sensitivity and general yuckiness. Fortunately the pain was dulled by your average over the counter pain killer, but all the fun side affects stuck with me most of the day. It made for an interesting teaching process.

And did I mention that was the day of "Back to School Night" where I have to speak to several hundred parents intelligently about my art program...ha! Add nervousness to the mix of feeling unwell, exhaustion and stress and I was a mess. Thank goodness it was therapy day!!!

I told my wonderful therapist all about my Mom dropping the twin bomb on me at the wedding, not feeling well and I felt as though I was back in the desperate days of my early grief. I cried the ugly kind of cry while I was there and she let me...reminding me the whole time I still need to be gentle with myself and give myself the time to grieve even though we are trying again with the FET cycle.

Feeling unwell scared me...I could feasibly, if this works, have to deal with morning sickness while teaching and I am not sure I can keep my mental status in good shape if I feel so crappy. (When I got pregnant with the boys I had the feeling of perpetual car sickness, not vomiting, but it was all during summer break and eased at the same time I went back to school.) It is so much harder to keep it together mentally when you feel physically and I worry how I will handle it all.

I am really starting to think about the "what ifs" should this cycle scares me in so many ways. Am I really ready to be pregnant again? Am I strong enough to deal with the worries that plague a normal pregnancy that will be amplified after having experiencing a devastating loss? The answer is, and has to be...I am ready as I will ever be. The strength to deal with ever comes my way lies in my family and friends and I will tap into that strength as the need arises.

I ready for a nap...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still Reeling...

The week leading up to today has been emotional for a whole bunch of reasons...PMS and L.upron induced moodiness, watching the 4th and 5th pass by and knowing those days mark the 9 month since I lost my boys, back to school stress, watching helplessly from afar as my home town and surrounding area experienced flash flooding that left the area devastated, all the while knowing that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was coming.

Ten years later, I still have not fully processed the pain of 9/11. I was living in NYC at that time with D (we had been engaged for 5 months). We were fortunate not to loose anyone close to us in the attacks on the Twin Towers, but it was impossible not to feel the hurt of so much loss on that day. It was an impossibly beautiful day, I was taking a month off between jobs, I had been sitting in jury duty limbo the day before but had fortunately been released due to a lack of cases and new potential jurors streaming in (the court house is just a few blocks away from Ground Zero) and it was supposed to be a fun day. I woke up minutes after the first plane hit, and couldn't process what I was hearing and could see from my bedroom. I was glued to the tv when the second plane struck and again later as both towers collapsed. There were lots of tears, phone calls tracking down friends and loved ones and shock. I can still see everything clearly in my mind and smell the stinging, acrid, burning smell that lingered over the whole city for a month as what once was the World Trade Center smoldered. I am forever grateful my best friend decided to go to law school in Pennsylvania, because if she hadn't she would have been in her office in the Twin Towers and I could have lost her forever.

One thing that I looked forward to was a family friend's wedding on Saturday. It was amazing! A beautiful day in the Adirondack Mountains, an unforgettable wedding (missing vows, finally found) and a reception that was so unique and fun (a bridal party introduction complete with superhero/princess alter egos)...just like the happy couple! But the end of the night left me reeling.

The reception was winding down and a bombshell was revealed with a complete lack of sensitivity. It turns out the lovely bride recently found out she is pregnant, (insert drumroll) with twins. I received the hush hush news at first with excitement, then shock as the twin part was revealed and then despair as the nity-grity details of how it was discovered twins are expected. From strangers, I am not stunned by the lack of care in delivering pregnancy announcements. I know not everyone is completely aware of my loss and I know the world doesn't revolve around my grief. What leaves me reeling is that this news was delivered, expanded upon and given in great detail by none other than my own mother. Yes... the grandmother who lost her TWIN grandsons a mere nine months ago thought I would want to hear all about the spotting and ultrasound that revealed the twins who are due sometime around the date mine were supposed to be born. Ummm...yeah....thanks Mom. She only realized her mistake as my face fell from a smile to whatever it is I look like when I am trying to hold my shit together.

So you can probably guess that my fun evening came to a crashing halt and I ended up back in my room sobbing. I am trying not to hold this against her, she isn't always very conscientious and she had been drinking but that is just making excuses. If she has just left it at pregnant and twins I might have been ok, but she didn't. From here on out, I told her, I don't want to know the details just let me know when (if) they arrive safely.

I really hate reality sometimes, especially when it crashes the first party you actually are able to enjoy in the last nine months or so.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Out of the Blue...

Today I found myself in a situation where I had to explain what happened to my sons rather unexpectedly. There are quite a few new teachers to the building this year and I have been dreading "the question," the about how many kids you have...but that is not how the conversation got started.

Standing in the hallway this morning with our new librarian, she called me Jennifer by mistake. She remembered my last name and was puzzled by the initials on my necklace and innocently asked. I kind of blurted out the short version of what happened and watched her eyes fill with tears and she reached out for me to give me hug. As she hugged me she said, "I've been there and lost two of my own."

My eyes misted over too...and instantly I felt ok. We said no more but both stood there with what I call the "grief smile," the look you get when you try, but can't, smile, holding back tears and somewhat grimacing. My first impression of her was that she was a little quirky and tried a little too hard to be chipper...I understand why now because I feel like I am filled with that same awkwardness most days.

This stranger is now a life line...someone who gets it. It is such a relief just knowing she is there even if we never utter another word about our missing babies.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nine Months...

...of heartache, tears and longing.

There has also been love the past nine months, you taught me how to love you even though I can not hold you anywhere but in my heart.

I miss you my sweet William and Ethan.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Got the call..

I start my meds tonight! Nervous, excited and about this cycle...big, big happenings!

Sweet Footprints...

I love looking at my boys' footprints. It probably borders on an unhealthy obsession...but seriously...can you blame me? It is the least heartbreaking way to "look" at them. I have their photos, which were so kindly retouched by Heartprints Photo Retouching but it is so hard to look at them still...they are photos from after they were already gone. But those tiny little footprints make me smile!

But their footprints show no sign of death, or life for that matter, but it is proof that they existed. I played around with my blog layout today (because clearly lesson planning can wait...ha!) and created a new header. I used the heart logo from our March for Babies team t-shirt and their footprints. While I was designing the new header I came to realize that William has my hubby's flat feet and Ethan has my arch.

I had my repeat bloodwork done this morning and waiting for the call to see if tonight's the night...

Do I get to start my meds or not. I hope so...I am so ready to get this FET started!

On a very exciting note, I found out my friend caved and found out she is having a girl! Her son isn't so excited, but he's only 2 (almost 3) so any siblings are an abstract concept. Stay strong Baby Girl!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


The last bits of Hurricane Irene are passing over and all in all it could have been much much much worse! We are safe, we have power and our house undamaged. Whew!

Our area received approximately 9.72" of rain and that caused a lot of flooding. We only had a bit of water leaking into our basement which is amazing since there was 6" in my backyard and the street was completely flooded. Our neighbor on one side had about 8" in their basement and the neighbor on the other side had over 4 feet! Lots of very large tree limbs came down but fortunately none in the immediate area took down power lines or hit houses. One especially large limb fell very close to our garage and broke part of our fence...not surprising since it is an old, plastic lattice fence. I hate that fence so maybe this is an excuse to get a new one.

So long Irene!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting prepared...

Hurricane Irene is heading up the coast and making a bee line for NYC...We live 14 miles west of the city and that's not a whole lot when a hurricane is supposed to hit. We are at a high enough elevation that flood worries are low but strong winds and heavy rain are huge concerns! Definitely hoping it is less powerful than predicted. Last night I drove down to the Atlantic City area to help evacuate my nephews and mother-in-law. It was probably the quickest trip on record for 6pm on a Friday during the summer! Usually the parkway is crawling due to everyone heading "down the shore." today we cleared the deck and yard of anything that could get blown away. Exciting stuff!

On a different note, preparations for my FET cycle have been delayed, again, hopefully by only a few days. This is not because of the hurricane, but because of my body. On Thursday I had bloodwork done to make sure I've ovulated and can start L.upron. Apparently I have not ovulated yet so we repeat the bloodwork Tuesday and go from there. Yet another hurdle in this process, hopefully just a small one!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


They keep popping up everywhere...
this one is a cute little raspberry from breakfast yesterday. 
(Photo taken with my iphone and tweaked using the Instagram app)

Still wish I had those two pieces of my heart I so desperately miss...
I love you William & Ethan with all of the heart I have left!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So yesterday I received two disturbing pieces of information. Both made me feel old...I know I am no Spring chicken, but 36 isn't ancient but seriously!

The first was not so shocking, a good friend from high school (a high school BFF's older sister) has to drive her daughter to college today! Her granted this friend is 3 years older than me and her daughter was born the weekend I graduated from high school. This is news that makes me feel older, but not a real shocker.

The next tidbit was what I can not get over.

Another girl I knew from high school (same grade as previously mentioned friend, also 3 years older) became a grandmother yesterday....A GRANDMOTHER!!! WTF!!! I am still baffled and stunned by this news. It is actually a little sad, this new mommy is going to be a high school senior this year. And, um, there is a family history of this in that family. The new grandma's sister was in my grade but didn't graduate with me because she was about to have her own daughter (who also graduated from high school this year).

Still...someone I was on the cheerleading squad in 9th & 10th grade with is now a freaking grandmother. Seriously.

I know it is logistically all sorts of possible (clearly since it has happened) but it is so far from my reality. For crying out loud I am still trying to create my own (living) child and yet people I was friends with are grandparents. That is probably why it bothers me and absolutely boggles my brain.

PS- To anyone who kept my friend in their thoughts....thank you! I got the good news text that all tests are a-ok and the little one is still snuggled in tight. The only debate now is to find out the baby's sex now or wait until 18 weeks. Stay strong little one!

PPS- On a completely different note...drugs for FET have been received and if all goes with my bloodwork next Friday it officially is on like donkey kong!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just a nice day...

Today I needed to do something...sitting at home lesson planning for the new school year wasn't going to cut it (even if I have so much to do I should have).

I've been meaning to go for a hike in the local nature preserve and today was the day. I figured I would follow that up with a swim at the local pool and a trip to Star.bucks before the hubby arrived home. And that is exactly what I did! I packed a lunch, head for the Reservation (aka nature preserve) and hit the trail. It was a 2 1/2 mile hike out to this little water fall I had heard about so I thought that would be a good place to hike out to, have lunch and then come back. The trails are easy/moderate throughout so it wasn't too long to do 5 miles round-trip. What I didn't count on is meandering footpaths that criss-cross the marked trails so my hike was probably more like 7 miles all told. Thankfully it was easy going and absolutely beautiful. Not as tranquil as I was hoping since I was barely 100 yards from a major road and cars/sirens could be heard in the distance practically the whole time. It is amazing how you can see nothing but forest, feel like you are in the middle of no where and still hear a car alarm.

On my hike back to my car I was starting to mull over where I am with my grief and what it means that we are going ahead with the FET cycle. I had this over-whelming feeling that the further forward I move that the farther away I get from my I forgetting them? Leaving them behind as we try for another baby? No sooner did I think the thought I looked down and saw this...

 A heart rock...seriously! As I mentioned previously, I have been seeing hearts everywhere and this one couldn't have brought me more peace than it did. I must have stood there for 5 minutes staring at it. How could it not be a sign from my boys?!? And then I knew, no matter how much time passes, no matter what I do or where I go they are always with me. They are there in my heart always.

Here are some other pretty things I saw along the hike...

And this is kind of fun...I was drawn to this rock and it wasn't until I sat reviewing my pictures as I ate my lunch that I noticed it looked like a head poking out of the ground (the nose is sticking out the right side and the shadow is under the eyebrow).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Something Like Hope...

The last few days I have had nothing but my friend's pregnancy on my mind...all good thoughts. I want everything to go well and for her to get her take home baby! She is my bestest of best friends and she has known her share of heartache due to 1st trimester missed miscarriages and shared my heartbreak during my loss.

And part of me wants this to go well so that maybe we can be pregnant at the same time. I'm not sure that as little girls we ever talked about being pregnant at the same time (we've known each other since kindergarten) but it feels like one of those things we could have joked about at least once. After cool would it be!

For the first time I am able to hope without the sharp, bitter after taste of my grief. I am hopeful for her, for me and the other women who are able to find the strength to try again after the heart break only the mothers of babies they will never see grow up can know.

It would be nice if this feeling sticks around for a while!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Today I have been a nervous wreck waiting to hear from my friend about her ultrasound...I finally received a text. Her little one is still snuggled and she heard the wonderful sound of a little heart beating 160 beats per minute...nice and strong!

There is still at least a week before the genetic testing results come back but in the mean time my heart is soaring for my friend!


Ready or Not...

Actually...I am ready.

I apologize in advance for the over-sharing that is about to happen...well not really, since I do not want to apologize for whatever I say on my blog. It is more of a warning that there is potential TMI ahead!

That being said...on Saturday I got my period which means I am officially in the cycle leading up to the transfer cycle for my FET. To keep things in check we are doing a medicated FET, and in a sense taking away another layer of chance. There are still plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong, but I am trying to put a positive spin on this. This month is all about the positive thinking.

Positive thinking was hard to come by on Saturday though...the day itself was good. I went to a family friend's bridal shower. They are our "adopted family" or "family of choice" so it is exciting to see my "cousin" so happy. It was a fun shower too...a luau theme, really good cheesy bridal shower games and time with family. Afterwards, when I started to feel icky with the in-coming, previously mentioned, period I realized that the last time I saw most of these people was at my own shower...the baby shower that was followed by the pre-mature birth and death of my sons. It had been eight months, but they are super fun and loving people so those thoughts didn't pop up until much later.

That night was a rough night for one reason only...the worst period arrival I have ever experienced. My July/August cycle always runs 35-40 days long, I realized this trend 2 years ago after years of tracking and the first frustration I felt after I thought I might be pregnant, but definitely wasn't. Unfortunately the end of a long cycle means one evil period. It comes on quick, painful and knocks me down for a day or two.

This was no exception to that rule, only it was worse. I have had bad cramps and never before had I ever had them this bad. After experiencing a swift, intense labor with my boys this was much worse. I had heard of contractions during labor that cause women to vomit...I was close to that when I went into labor, but not quite. The only thing I can compare the pain and discomfort to is a vomit-inducing contraction that lasted continuously for 3 hours. My insides felt like they were being twisted unmercifully. I nearly threw up four times, almost passed out once and was generally miserable for four hours Saturday night. Taking four ibuprofen dulled the pain a little and a heating pad helped slightly but that was horrible. Never ever have I felt that way...and I would definitely not wish it on anyone. At one point I worried I had food poisoning that coincided with my period arriving, but my family had eaten everything I had and they were all fine. Not fun!

The positive spin on all that nastiness is that this cycle has started. In three weeks I head in for bloodwork and start taking my meds. I found out today there is a L.upron shortage so I may have to take an alternate medication. At least the doctor's assistant told me ahead of time so that I would not freak out about it later.

In theory, if everything goes forward as it should (and with my luck that is a big IF) I could be pregnant again by the beginning of October. Wow! It is still hard to believe it is possible again and there are still so many things that can go wrong. But I feel ok...good be making steps towards building my family. In three short weeks the medical side of the process begins.

I have to put out a call for positive thoughts for my friend I told you was pregnant a few posts back...she is at the end of her 1st trimester and at the point where she found out she had miscarried twice before. We are hoping to see a strong beating heart at her ultrasound and good results from the genetic testing she is having done (high Trisomy risk, and other genetic risks). Please keep her family in your thoughts during this stressful time. Thank you!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rambling Thoughts...

I was going to head to the town pool today, but it started to rain and with the chance of thunderstorms I'm better off staying home. Instead I am going to empty out some of the thoughts rambling around my head.

First, I am so glad it is raining. My lawn needs it, my poor flowers are desperate for it and I kind of like the dusty smell right as it begins to rain on a hot summer day. If I could, I would wish this rain westward to give some relief to those who are boiling in the summer heat.

Yesterday I was at the pool, and was stalked by one of my cutie soon-to-be second graders. I would be lounging away, reading something on my iphone, look up and there would be this little girl peaking at me with her eyes barely showing above the pool edge. It cracked me up so I would wave, she'd stand up and say "HI!" We did this five or six times while I was there. Some teachers I know hate bumping into students outside of school...but I get a kick out of it. Maybe because I am not a classroom teacher so I am not over-exposed to any students. Perhaps it is because they make me feel like a celebrity.

Today my mailman asked me the question that BLMs and IFers tend to dread. "So any luck getting pregnant again?" Um...huh? First, it is a private thing and that really isn't anyone's business unless I offer it up. He does not know about our IF issues, but does know about our loss. I kept it to a minimum with a "Not yet." What happened next was a bit of a surprise...but not really since our mail guy is a bit of an over-sharer. He shared that he and his now ex-wife dealt with secondary infertility and ended up adopting a son from Korea, now 23. It was a tough time and may have led to their divorce. Wow...sometimes you get more than you bargained for when you ask about your mailman's vacation!!!

Several BLM bloggers have mentioned they feel like they receive messages or signs from their babies. I never really gave it much thought, or rather never noticed anything like the flickering lights or repeated numbers they describe. Recently that has changed...I see heart shaped things everywhere and it is happening with greater frequency. I know that is nothing new or necessarily extraordinary, but it feels special somehow. Everyday I see at least one new heart somewhere whether it is a leaf on the side walk broken into a heart shape, clouds in the sky, paint splotches on the road, burls on the sides of trees, seashells, sea stones, and even the strawberries from my bag of Trader Joes Freeze Dried Strawberries. Out of the 5 or 6 bags I have had since discovering them I have never had a whole strawberry slice...mostly broken bits. The last week at the beach I grabbed a few for a snack and the last two I had to eat were heart shaped. I also had fun playing with my new Hipstamatic app and took this pic...

 Also last week at the beach my friend and her daughter found heart shaped stones almost at the same time and stopped to show me, not knowing that I see hearts constantly now. Are they a sign from my boys? No idea. I like to think maybe...

With the help of one of my friends I think we have a place to get the boys' grave marker made. It has been a hard thing to work on because it is so heart breaking. As much as I want the marker form them, I hate that I have to make these decisions at all. To make it harder I have a very specific way I want it to look. Most places will work from a sketch but I wanted it just right so I have been working in Adobe Illustrator to get the layout to a place that will work for us. Hopefully in a few weeks it will be ordered and installed. Here is my mock-up with my heart symbol ...

I miss them so much...tomorrow they would have been 8 months old and I have no idea how I have made it this far. I love you William & Ethan with all of the heart I have left, since each of you carries a piece.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back from the Beach!

I just spent a wonderful week at the beach with two of my best friends and our families. This is our third year and it is a much needed break from everything...well almost everything. My hubby had to come home for two days to deal with a work crisis and then there is my grief. I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do and feeling not so thrilled with my figure these days I avoided being photographed as well. The memories will stay in my head I guess.

Grief was still with me, it always is, and followed me around like a little grey cloud during my sunny days at the shore. What was missing (my sons) couldn't be shaken from my head or heart. Spending time with my friends and their adorable kids has never been a huge challenge. They range in age, right now, from 2 1/2 through 7. They are adorable and fun and I love them with all of my heart. It was painful to know that my boys should be there too. I think back to our first year and the youngest was about the same age my boys should be. I kept it together for the most part.

I cried early in the week while I was in my room and again at the end of the week. This time it was at the beach on our last full day. I was helping take family pics of my friends and their kids, watching them get in their last pics of  kids and it was more than I could take. The tears started flowing and while they clicked away I went back and started packing up our base camp at the beach. Thankfully big sunglasses could hide my tears from the hundreds of people around me, but my besties knew better. On the way back I lost it completely...freaking out the little ones and worrying my friends. All I could think of was that if my boys had lived I wouldn't have been able to jump waves for nearly an hour or that I should be taking pictures of my boys too. And darn it...I wanted my family portrait at the beach!

One of the mornings hubby was stuck at home I got up really early and took a walk on the beach hoping to see the sun rise. It was cloudy so not much luck there but I did get a few photos of the boys name written in the sand and my heart symbol. I guess that is as close to a family portrait as I'll get this year. It was so peaceful walking along the shore and feeling the waves lap at my feet. Small moments to cherish.

Pregnancy seems strongly linked to our beach vacation...last year my William and Ethan were snuggling in to my womb and I was sure I wasn't pregnant after our first IVF (the transfer was the weekend prior to leaving for the beach so I hadn't tested yet). The year before I had no idea about our fertility issues and had just started trying to conceive and was so hopeful. This year was so trying or hoping I am pregnant; only looking towards my next IVF cycle and hoping that my friend stays pregnant. Oh right...I found out two days before we left that one of the friends we were vacationing with is pregnant. She is the same friend that I found out in April had a second missed miscarriage.  Initially I was struggling with being the last to know...again...but I worry for her too much to be upset. Mostly I hate that my situation is such that it is that she needs to stress about telling me. So far so good...she is nearing the end of her first trimester but not passed her danger zone since her other miscarriages were discovered at 10 & 12 weeks. All I want is for her to get her take home baby...after two devastating miscarriages she may not be able to handle it again. No, that is not true, she will get through it...but I know the pain will break her heart again and I worry about what that will do to her.

All in all it was a great week and in spite of the rough patches I absolutely can not wait until next year. I really need to start playing the lottery so I can afford a beach house to go to whenever I want....dare to dream!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Survived...

Today I survived two events that many baby loss mamas wasn't easy bit I did it without tears (although I ma cry later who knows).

First was the kid birthday party with quite a few little ones. A very close friend's son turned 1. Most of the kids were around age 4 and gave younger siblings. There was baby Emma, 9 months old (I met her 2 weeks ago) and she was a little easier to be around and baby Seth who is 7 1/2 months old. He was born maybe a week or two before my William and Ethan. I have been dreading meeting him...but it was actually ok. Being around so many little kids and a few babies wasn't as bad as I expected but still a reminder of what I have been waiting so ling for and all that I am missing.

The second big thing was holding a baby close in age to what my boys should be. It kind of happened suddenly. Little Seth is a brave little one that reached for me and with out hesitating his Dad handed him to me. He is at a point where he is a little squirmy even if he wants you to hold him and before long he wiggled his way back to his Dad. it happened in a flash and I was sad, but again ok. Seth was long and lanky and very different from what I believe my boys would be like physically. I also use the baby boy who wad born near my due date as a comparison so maybe that is why it was ok. Maybe it is just an ok thing now...who knows!

All I know is that this feels like some sort of step forward...these are things that once scared the crap out of me, but it wasn't so bad.

I still miss my boys though...and wish every minute that I could hold them in my arms. I love you William and Ethan!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Should Know Better...

I should know better than to start to hope...especially when it comes to creating my family.

The crappy part is that I haven't even started my FET cycle and already things are not going smoothly. I got a call from my RE yesterday and was told that the embryology lab closing (they do this every summer which I already knew) was delayed and therefore I can not have my transfer in August as planned. I was supposed to have my CD21 blood work this month, start Lupron and get ready for transfer sometime mid-August. All that has been pushed back because now the lab will be closed. The closing time is kind of flexible based on cycles in progress which is the reason for the change. Since my cycle hasn't started me, and whoever else was planning on a transfer in August get the short end of the stick. Every woman who is currently cycling had better have their dream come true and get to take home a healthy baby or I will be thoroughly disgusted with the universe. If I can't get what I want then they seems like a fair trade.

But who am I isn't fair and that is why I am so angry. If it was I would have my two sons and this would not even be on my radar. I am most angry that I allowed hope to gain so much foothold. I hoped that this cycle would happen as planned so it wouldn't interfere with school in September (actually I dared to hope that it would work and morning sickness would interfere). The only thing that still is a positive is that I have five embryos waiting...but even that can go wrong so I tempt fate yet again.

This just sucks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So this is what seven months out is like...

Seven months ago I never though I could make it this could I? My babies had just died. My heart was shattered to a million bits and two huge pieces were missing.

Somehow my heart managed to get put back together, probably not as it used to be, but it is bandaged and working. It still hurts from time to time, but it is more of a dull ache than a sharp, stabbing, throbbing fresh pain.

This past weekend hubby and I were supposed to go to my parents to celebrate the 4th, but in the end we decided to have a quiet weekend, just the two of us. Hubby had quite a rough end of his week and I really think he was dreading heading to my hometown...he hasn't been since we lost William and Ethan. He was in a terrible funk and the more I thought about going home to "celebrate" felt all wrong. I couldn't bear the thought of sympathetic looks and hugs or uncomfortable conversations that were completely void of what we went through 7 months ago. It was just too much for the both of us so we stayed home and just were big party, no parade, no fireworks (well, they were all around us and our neighbor's son accidentally hit our house with one he set off...but that is a whole other story)...just us and our memories. I cried once...the really hard, ugly kind of cry...but I felt relieved afterwards. Our moods improved as the weekend went on and we were content to be together.

We also played the game of "Life" on hubby's is very addicting. I even played a few times (ok 5) on my own and as if it was some cosmic message delivered through the game I could only end the game with twin boys or no kids at all. Yup...that's my life of dealing with infertility and loss in a nut shell. Only in the game there are no losses like mine. Although somehow you can miraculously have grandchildren without children...figure that one out!

I am still struggling with the what "should be" thoughts. I walked downtown to run some small errands and as I passed through the park I could literally see the stroller I was supposed to get with both boys snoozing wasn't a was just something I could visualize more realistically than I could ever imagine. I am not sure why, but I never think of myself with just Ethan. He lived one day and for that day only I reorganized my thoughts to what it would be like to take care of just him. When he died those thoughts went with him. All of the imaginings since then are of both boys and what I should have with both of them.

All in all, things are at an ok place...not great (they never will be)...but ok. I still need to put more effort in to looking forward, but I am getting there.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Summer Time...

And I guess the living is easy...ok not really.  But it could be can always be worse.

I have been out of school officially one week and my house is starting to get clean, house projects are underway (painting the wood trim outside, replacing gutters, termite abatement in the garage, mantle for the fireplace). Really what I am trying to say is I can not sit still for long periods of time. This is kind of challenging when I have lots of reading I need to do for an online course I start today. I think going from a crazy busy pace teaching during the day where I barely get to sit for 15 minutes to have lunch to very few obligations is making me stir crazy. Even the day I went to the beach I didn't sit for too long because I got to play with my friend's 4 year old daughter.

And let this be a lesson to all...if you use spray sunscreen, especially on a windy day at the beach, make sure you have a friend confirm you sprayed your entire back or have them do it for you. I have a crazy splotchy sunburn across my back and arms from where the sunscreen did not hit. The front of my arms, chest and face were adequately suncreened and I barely have a tan. Four hours with out sunscreen on a high UV index day is bad bad bad news. Thank goodness my swimsuit has a high enough back and wide enough straps that wearing a bra is not problematic. I am usually so careful!

I am still trying to stay away from the "what should be" thoughts and thinking more about trying again in August. It is hard. I can't stop thinking about what should be and have to really try to think about August. At my therapist's advice I am not trying to squash all "should be" thoughts, allowing myself to think them quickly and let them go by focusing on what is. I am also taking a moment or two each day to consciously think about our upcoming FET cycle. I have even set a reminder in my to-do list app on my i.pod that way at the end of the day when checking off my completed items I can make the time right then if I haven't. I am a nerd like that...I admit it! It is taking much more effort than I anticipated.

Today I was looking at my calendar and realized that a year ago I was prepping for my egg retrieval on the 3rd and had my transfer on the 8th. It honestly feels like so much longer than a year ago. It feels like someone else's story, not mine. Maybe that is because that all happened "before."

On a proud note...I received an email from the local March of Dimes chapter and their March for Babies award dinner is coming up on the 13th and our team has been invited. I am sure they invite everyone, but I got a second email asking us if we were going because they are giving us an award for being one of the top fundraising teams. Wow! I guess I kind of have to go now. I am so proud of my team and all that they were able to do to honor the memory of William and Ethan. I am so full of gratitude I could burst!

Friday, June 24, 2011

School's Out for Summer!

Yesterday was the last staff day at school and it was bittersweet for sure. On one hand I am super psyched to have a nice long break. This year was tough. By the end I was managing pretty well, but soooo very ready for it to be done. I also said so long to several colleagues that I am sad to see leave. Some by choice, some not. The teacher who lost her 25 year old son the same weekend I lost William and Ethan has decided to retire. She is going to travel with her husband and has certainly earned some happy days. Two teachers were not is upsetting how it was handled and I will miss seeing them on a daily basis. Two others are leaving to move on to new adventures. All of them supported me through my heartbreaking return to school and I love them dearly. For all its ups and downs, drama and laughter, my co-workers are family (some I wish I could get rid of...but you can't, just like family).

This summer holds lots of exciting possibilities and I am trying to grasp the reality of "tying again." The last few weeks I haven't thought about it much, but I need to start. Moving forward is a big deal. Mentally preparing is going to be a major focal point of my summer. I am trying very hard not to focus on the "should be" and what this summer was supposed to look like. In a parallel universe is the only place my boys lived. I am not there and I must focus on what is...I miss them, but I can't go to the dark place of wondering what I could/should be doing.

Father's Day was last weekend and I was in a pretty good place going in to it, my dear hubby had a harder time. He is a hard person to read sometimes. Of course he is grieving, I know that, but he doesn't show it very often. Sunday, he woke before me and took some private time to grieve. I woke up when he came upstairs to shower and he tried to hide his tears from me. I realized he was crying in the shower and followed him in. It broke my heart that he feels he needs to hide his tears. I hugged him and he cried the most I have seen since their funeral. He gets misty-eyed, but never cries in front of me. I know I have been so focused on my healing that I haven't given his grieving much thought. I want to do more for him, but he needs to let me and be open to grief...that is very hard for him.

Yesterday I found out that the New York Assembly and Senate recently passed legislation granting a certificate of still birth. (Read more here If the Governor signs it means my William  could be granted a birth certificate (if passed I can apply retroactively). It has always bothered me that my boys do not get equal acknowledgement. They both were alive, William died during birth and Ethan died from complications of being born prematurely a day later. It may not do much more than provide me peace of mind, but that in itself is a HUGE thing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


That wooshing sound? That is time flying.

The end of the school year is two weeks away (11 school days). My head is spinning with all of the things I need to get done in that time. Hello summer...I see you lurking and I can't wait to devote myself to you! Summer brings beach week, an online art ed course, exciting new lesson plans/curriculum writing and a FET cycle. Summer is going to fly, I can tell all ready!

We also just past the 6 month mark...six months since my life was turned upside down and my precious sons were gone. They have been gone longer than they were alive inside of me. That is a heart breaking thought...can it really have been so short of time? Saturday was a tough day but I burned off some of my energy planting flowers and re-doing the ring of stones around a tree in my front yard. The sweat and the hard work (occasionally with tears) made me feel much better. The quote "If I had a single flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever" (by A.L. Tennyson) has popped up in several places in the last two weeks. I think I would like to get a garden plaque with that on it in memory of my sweet peas.

About a week ago I received a fundraising letter from the NICU hospital Ethan was taken to...reading it I was beyond irritated. How the letter was written just did not sit well with me. I am usually not one to write a strongly worded letter, even though I joke about it. I had to write this letter...mostly because it was therapeutic,  but also because if I felt this way, someone else did too and might not be able to speak up like I was compelled to do. Here is my letter...

Dear ...

This week I received your fundraising letter, while I understand the hospital’s need to fundraise and the important benefits fundraising, I ask that you please remove our name from future fundraising endeavors for the two reasons listed below. This is a letter I debated writing, but felt compelled because I may be speaking up for not only myself, but others who are filled with similar grief and are unable.

First, the timing of this letter came at an extremely sensitive time for my husband and me. It was received mere days from the sixth month anniversary of the days our infant sons, William and Ethan, were born prematurely and died.  William was born still, but Ethan spent under 24 hours in the NICU at ... before he passed away. Grief is a unique experience for each individual and to be perfectly blunt receiving your letter so soon after we lost our infant sons was nothing short of insulting. Surely our name is in a database and that source of information, if it does not already, should have a date and reason for which we were added. Letters such as these should be respectful and sent after a reasonable amount of time; six months is far too soon.

Secondly, the blatant assumption that a parent had passed away doubled the insult. I am fully cognizant that a child dying before a parent is not natural – it is what I deal with every day as I remember my sons. If you wanted to keep the letter generic, it is my advice that you use only “cherished person” and leave out the notion that the loved one lost was a parent all together. I might have considered making a donation at a future date had the letter been more general.

When we gifted the receiving blankets to the NICU, we did it because of the kindness we received while Ethan was in their care and after his death. Any future gifts to ... will be made on our terms not at your request, so again I ask please remove us from your database.
With all of the thinking, crying and imaging I did this past weekend, I came to a realization that is hard to process. I have become very close to the teacher across the hall from me. We have been friendly ever since I started at this school and we definitely bonded over my pregnancy...but since I lost William and Ethan we have become incredibly close. She is my guardian angel and looks after me. We have become the best of friends. I had the realization that this would not have happened had they lived. I would not have returned to school for the rest of the year and we would not spend the time that we do together. I do not doubt that we would have continued to be friendly and possible become good friends, but not like we are now. I had to loose them to gain her as one of my best friends. Given the choice I would choose them every time, but I am so grateful to have Miss A in my life. I hate that my tragedy is linked to our friendship. I love her to pieces and do not know if I could have made it this far with out her. Perhaps she is my gift from them.