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 daughter...now 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 boys...am 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 all...how 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 long...like 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 even...to 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 different...no 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!