Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This Year Was Harder

Last year Christmas was hard...lots of bittersweet moments missing my twins and wishing they were with us since they would be just over a year old and enjoying the fun even if they didn't fully understand what all the hoopla was all about.

That was hard...but this year was so much harder!

Maybe it is because we have Maxwell and know what we are missing. Maybe it was because I didn't get a whole lot of sleep the night before (maxwell was up a lot from a change of routine/environment) and grief has more power when I am tired.
Maybe it was because I felt like William and Ethan were forgotten this year.

Yes, it's understandable that everyone was wrapped up in my son that is alive...he is HERE and so lovable! M has helped healed so many broken hearts. How could he, even as cranky as he was from lack of sleep, not be the center of attention? It still would have been nice to have them acknowledged. I know they are missed, but it sucks feeling alone in my grief. I know that's not true, it's just how it felt.

Either way it was hard to keep the merry in Merry Christmas this year. I'll admit it...I was a moody mess and this year was just harder than I expected.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I am having a really hard time getting excited about Christmas...I'm not exactly bah-hum-bug screw the holidays grumpy but I am very indifferent. It's kind of sad because its Maxwell's 1st Christmas and I should be excited. Instead of going all out for the wee man we've done practically nothing. Haven't put a tree up, no Christmas carols playing and our only decoration up is a wreath on our front door.

I think part of the reason is I know we won't be here Xmas day (heading up to my parents). I'm sure if we were hosting I'd make some effort but I can't find the gumption this year. It's shameful really... I was able to get my act together last year in the wake of grieving the twins one year milestone and growing morning sickness. I guess my only saving grace is Maxwell is still so young and won't remember my slacking his first Christmas and we can take lots of pics at my parents house that will be decorated.

While decorating at this point is probably pointless, I will try to make a little effort in the next few days. Mandatory holiday music as I wrap presents (I did get the shopping done relatively easily) and maybe some baking before we head north.

I've got to try...the wee man deserves it! After all he is the best gift ever!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I can't process this...

Friday I found out a close family friend's daughter was born still at approximately 26 weeks. My heart absolutely aches that yet another person I know has to deal with the indescribable grief of loosing a child. What absolutely confounds me is how to process the feelings that I have now that I learned more of the back story. The prevailing feeling is anger but there is so much more that I can't process.

This family friend has had a sorted past (drugs, alcohol, horrible relationships, jail) and is mother to three, no four, children with different fathers. Bringing another child into the situation she is in is less than ideal, but its not my life so I have no right to judge (but I am...especially now). Last I heard things were going better for her. This was almost a year ago and apparently things took a turn back for the worse. While I don't know exact specifics it seems that practically non-existent prenatal care combined with poor self-care (including drinking, smoking and drug use) may have contributed to her loosing her baby girl.

A string of expletives come falling out of my mouth every time I think about the situation. It is beyond comprehension...I am heart broken that another baby is dead, but angry that it could have been prevented. I am frustrated, after dealing with infertility, that someone who has made so many poor choices thinks about sex and gets pregnant when it was so challenging for us- a couple with a good marriage, stable lives. Heart broken for another mother because I know the pain of loss but lacking sympathy because she may have contributed to the death of her child.

I am not one inclined towards prayer, but in this case I pray that her family finds the strength and resources needed to get through this and I hope that this is her rock bottom so she gets the help she needs. It is one messed up situation.


Friday, December 7, 2012

In their memory...

Last year I donated two toys to Toys for Tots in memory of William and Ethan as a sort of birthday/Christmas gift. I had plans of doing the same this year but couldn't figure out what I wanted to buy that two year old boys might like...I still may do this but another opportunity popped up yesterday. A Carter's store recently opened near us so I went to check it out. By the checkout counter was a huge box full of pajamas that will be donated to children in need. One thing that has resonated with me, as I enjoy snuggles with Maxwell, is that I will never have the chance to snuggle my twins. I choose to buy two pair of fuzzy footie jammies so that two little two year old boys will feel snuggled this holiday season. It was an easy, inexpensive (yay sales!) to do a feel good deed in William and Ethan's memory.

Tomorrow we are making a quick trip to my home time to visit the twin's grave. Rather than flowers, this year I picked up a mini Christmas tree and two tiny stockings to place at their headstone. As we start new traditions with Maxwell I want to do something for William and Ethan too...they are all my sons and I want to find ways to include them all in a positive way this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Two days that turned our world upside down...
Two boys so very missed...
Two years of heartache...
Two parents still trying to cope.

I still can't figure out how fast this past year has gone little lone the last two. While my heart is filled with joy because of William and Ethan's brother, there are still two pieces forever missing and a raw feeling that can only come from deep grief. On days like today the rawness hurts as much as the day they were born and gone. Today is their birthday and the day we said goodbye to William, sweet baby A. Tomorrow is the day we said goodbye to Ethan, sweet baby B, after 24 hours of trying to hold on to hope.

Dear William & Ethan,

My sweet boys, oh how Daddy and I miss you! Today should be your second birthday and we wonder what kinds of boys you would be...are you quiet and shy or giggly and talkative? Would you be on the go constantly or happy to snuggle and look at books? So many questions about the two of you that will always be a mystery. Now that your brother is with us we are even more aware of what we are missing without you here.

There are moments that I feel certain that you must have a special connection to your brother. Not only is there a strong physical resemblance, but I wonder about a psychic connection. There have been several instances where Maxwell stares at a corner in his room and babbles and smiles for several he talking to you? It warms my heart to think he is able to communicate with you.

I think of you everyday, sometimes with tears because my heart still aches for you and all the dreams and hopes that come with wanting your first born sons. You are missed beyond measure. Sometimes I am able to think of you with a smile because I love you so!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hand-me-down Halloween and a Hurricane

My the time is flying! M keeps my days full and only recently have I had the energy to stay up past putting him to bed around 8pm.

Our local Halloween celebrations have been postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. I live in NJ just to the west of NYC and we are EXTREMELY lucky. We have power when millions do not, we didn't have flooding because we are just enough inland and very few limbs fell off our trees. I feel so very fortunate and absolutely heart broken for those who have lost so much. We have vacationed with friends at the shore for the last several years (except this year due to M's arrival) and so many places are destroyed beyond recognition.

I also lived in NYC for many years and its whereI met my Brooklynite husband...and it too has been ravaged by Sandy. The stories of loss, devastation and helplessness have brought me to my knees. If I didn't have Maxwell to care for I would be there doing whatever I could. Instead I am putting my money where my hands can't help.

It's been a week of ups and downs...on one hand every day with M brings me so much joy, punctuated by heartache of what I see Sandy has done and living through another holiday without William & Ethan.

Just after Halloween two years ago I went shopping with my Mom. I was pregnant with my twins and Mom was determined to buy them their first Halloween outfits. There were these adorable jack o' lantern sweatsuits on sale. We picked out a size we thought might fit. Just about a month later they were born and gone and the sweatsuits stuffed in a bin that went straight to the attic.

That bin was pulled out when M was born because it had the very few baby things we kept. I've debated what to do with those pumpkin sweatsuits. When it came down to it I wanted a cute picture of M to share with friends and family. Those sweatsuits were M's size...there was part of me that wanted to keep them in the bin. Then the thought popped in to my head...if my twins had lived M would wear their hand-me-downs. Why not let him wear one of the sweatsuits? After all, it is an unworn hand-me-down. And when it comes down to it, seeing my living son brought me (and my family and friends) more joy than pain.

Seriously...M is one adorable little pumpkin!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Amazing, Tired, Content

Three words that sum up life with Maxwell. During the wee hours when I am nursing him I think of all the things that I would like to share...but it often disappears into the haze of my exhaustion!

Maxwell is doing fabulous especially for arriving 6 weeks early. He nurses well and I am pushing my way through almost hourly feedings (can you say growth spurt!) an watching in awe as he changes daily.

My 5lb baby has doubled in size in his precious 8 weeks of life. I have started packing away his newborn clothing an remembering how it wasnt that long ago that (mere weeks) that he was swimming in these now snug outfits!

I am grateful that I am on maternity leave and can watch first hand all of his growth. We are currently evaluating the impact of me taking the whole school year off. I am ready panicking about going back...I don't want to miss a second and my brain is complete mush with lack of sleep and I can't imagine teaching in this state! I know it will get better but there will still be times where sleep doesn't happen (growth spurts, teething, illness, etc).

Basically, in spite of the lack of sleep, life feels good! I have the occasional teary moment contemplating what life could have been like with William and Ethan but mostly we are all smiles.

Here's a peek at what makes my heart sing!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Maxwell is home!!!

The past two weeks have been a whirl wind of visits to Maxwell in NICU, the joy of bringing him home this past Wednesday and caring for him ever since. It has been exhausting, wonderful and everything I have wanted!

I am feeling so lucky on a variety of levels...I have my sweet boy at home, he is pretty easy going, he has a reasonable eating schedule as a result of life in the NICU and is way better at breastfeeding than I am! Basically not only is he a dream come true but he is a dream baby to care for...I know that could change at any moment but the last four days have been amazing.

I could gush on and on but really... The photos speak for themselves.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My joy

Maxwell is doing well in the NICU but there are tiny hiccoughs in his progress (jaundice, not gaining weight). I absolutely am not complaining because so many others who have experienced much scarier things. I have learned in the last 6 days that my expectations and hopes of bringing Maxwell home sooner rather than later take the backseat compared to doing what is best for my Lil man.

I thought i would share some pictures of my joy!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Empty Arms

Life with Maxwell has been moving at a breakneck pace...he is 5 days old today and I'm not sure how that is possible!

I was discharged from the hospital on Monday but Maxwell is still in the NICU. Thankfully he is doing well but having to walk out of a hospital with empty arms...again...was awful. It brought back so many memories and emotions of having to leave a different hospital without William and Ethan.

But this time it is different. I can go back each day and see, hold, love and and kiss Maxwell. Each time I leave my heart breaks, but I know I can go back or call at any time. I still worry that I'll get the dreaded phone call like I did for Ethan...every time my phone rings I hold my breath.

Even walking in to the NICU I hold my breath which I know is a hold over from having to walk back into the NICU that final time to see Ethan, knowing he was already gone. Again...this is a different NICU and a different story, but the fear is there.

Two days ago I walked in and the baby in the space neighboring Maxwell was gone...she was born over a month who and probably at the youngest age (27 weeks) that this NICU will admit. She is very very tiny. Seeing her spot empty threw me into a panic and knowing they would not tell me where she was or what happened (patient confidentiality). For two hours I contemplated talking to Maxwell's nurse even if it was to reach out to this baby's parents because I know something about their pain.

You can imagine my relief when I walked through the NICU and turned the corner to head to the rest room and there she was! My relief was so intense I started to cry. When I got back to Maxwell's spot I had to tell someone so I unloaded on our nurse. Thank goodness the NICU staff is so understanding and supportive! She explained how they like to shuffle spaces around based on need and variety. Whew!

I repeated this mantra to myself throughout my pregnancy and continue to do so...this time is different.

(ps- thank you for your many kind words and congratulations. They are appreciated beyond measure! Specific updates and photos on Maxwell will be posted on his space will continue to be William & Ethan's space, my grief and related topics which will undoubtably include Maxwell.)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

William & Ethan's Brother Is Here!

Say hello to Maxwell Alexander!

(you can read more over at

Hello baby!

Yesterday my doctor decided it was time to bring Speck into the world! The induction went reasonably well (birth story to follow at a later date) and my beautiful baby boy made it safely in to my arms. Hearing his cry was the most beautiful, heart-lifting sound I have ever heard...I was crying as much as he was!

After much debate, and the suggestion of one of the NICU nurses in attendance at the delivery, we used our top two choices to name our adorable Maxwell Alexander. He has quite a bit of dark hair, a dimple on on his right check that turns me in to goo every single time I see it and makes hilarious faces already.

For being exactly 34 weeks, Maxwell weighed in at 5lbs 1oz and was 18 1/2" long. He's a small fry (for now) but I dread the idea of how large he could have been if I made it to full term! Right now Maxwell is in the NICU and will be there for a bit. He didn't need oxygen support and hasn't needed feeding support so far. He is jaundiced and needs a course of antibiotics since my water broke 2 1/2 weeks ago. Those two factors will keep him in NICU for at least 3 days. I'm guessing a minimum of a week but only time will tell.

My heart is so much lighter and at the same time I miss William and Ethan so much more. This is an interesting place to be...and unlike anything I could have imagined. I yearn for what could have been while falling head over heels in love with what I have. I thought that all of these feelings would conflict but they just are and feel somewhat unrelated.

Any way you look at it, Maxwell has captured my heart!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eviction Notice

Speck has received his eviction notice from my doctor...I will be induced sometime this coming weekend. Being a planner it is nice to know then when, but not knowing the specifics is making me a little stir crazy! I know the timing depends on the available beds in labor & delivery, my doctor's availability (active labor trumps my induction) and other factors I can't imagine at this point. What's important is he is going to be born this weekend!!! Sunday would be fun because it's my Dad's birthday (and a few other friends as well).

I have been doing my best not to completely freak out. This is scary stuff, even if Speck wasn't going to be premature. There is a PTSD creeping in with a flood of memories of William and Ethan's delivery. Then there is the fear of something going wrong for Speck either during or after delivery. And let us not forget my fear of being induced and all the craziness that can happen there...labor progressing slowly and lasting an eternity which could lead to a c-section or on the flip side labor progressing rapidly with crazy intense contractions. I still, without a doubt, feel that I'll do anything to make sure Speck gets here safe and sound.

Yesterday I got to take a field
trip to the NICU...hooray for leaving my room for the first time in 16 days! It did ease my mind a little to see it (I am not in the hospitals where my twins were born or where E spent a day in NICU) but it brought back more memories that choked me up and later brought on a the tears. I think the hardest part was wheeling by (I am not allowed to walk further than my bathroom so I was in a wheelchair) a bassinet with a decorated name tag that said Ethan. I couldn't actually see the baby inside, but it was a punch to the chest just the same. It is amazing how fast and furious grief and memories come flooding back.

While I wait (anxiously, nervously)for Speck I am trying to focus on the love and excitement and less on the scary

He'll be here soon...holy cow!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yes and No

I am still on bed rest in the hospital...the baby has stayed put for nearly two weeks and so far so good!

Being in the hospital I have met lots of nurses and staff. Being here for an extended length of time the people I've come in contact with start to be social and ask questions. Being on the L&S/post-partum floor there are lots of questions about the baby...and of course the question every pregnant after baby loss mama dreads, is this your first?

I've come up with a workable strategy for answering. If the person is involved in my day-to-day care (nurses, techs) I reply "yes and no" and only give more details if they ask additional questions. For the food service, house keeping and random engineering staff (my tv remote w/ built in speaker broke) I usually reply "hopefully." This answer seems to satisfy the curiosity of many.

In my heart I still feel that these answers are an injustice to my first born sons. There just aren't the kind of words that easily express what I've lost. We know what orphans and widows/widowers are...if only there was a title for baby loss mamas/papas so I could say, "no, I'm a ______." it would be universally accepted and understood without explanation.

It has been nice to talk about William and Ethan when the opportunity comes up. I miss them so very much.


I am coming up on two weeks of bring in the hospital and bed rest isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Thankfully Speck has been able to stay put and continue to grow to give him every possible advantage when he does finally get here. I also love having three NSTs a day ...nothing in the world sounds better to me than that galloping heartbeat!

I do know that some time in the next 2-3 weeks Speck will be here. That is such a mind boggler! Obviously I much prefer he spend as much time baking as possible, but if we make it to 35 weeks I'll be induced and that kind of freaks me out. My "birth plan" went out the window when my water broke but preference is still for a natural, spontaneous birth. What trumps everything is Speck's well being so if that means induction or c-section then so be it.

Since my water broke so early I am no where close to being ready for Speck's arrival. Well thats not 100% true. We do have a car seat, we ordered a stroller and it arrived, my parents brought down a refinished cradle that was mine and last week I ordered a custom mattress for it. The crib is out of the attic (a hand-me-down from my sister in law) but no mattress or sheets, no clothing other than the two take home outfits I bought, no diapers, no bathing supplies...luckily you don't need very much for a newborn, but some things are essential!

My darling hubby and my family (in town for a visit last week) have been wonderful about getting Speck's future room cleared out so it can be set up (it is our old office).

So much to do and so little time!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Managing My Fear

For those of you who don't follow my blog about my current pregnancy, this past Tuesday my water broke at 31wks 3 days. While this was the beginning of the end for William and Ethan, this is a currently a hurdle in getting this baby in our arms, but by no means the end.

Basically my water broke and I have not gone into labor (no contractions, cervix closed) and that key point has given me a huge peace of mind. Our little guy continues to do well on our 3 non-stress tests per day, moves a lot despite loosing almost all of his "cushion."

Am I still terrified...yes, do I worry...absolutely! For some reason I am not over whelmed by those dark thoughts and feelings. I think the key has to be that I was not immediately feeling contractions and that was the solid proof this time is different.

It doesn't hurt that my nephew was born at 32wks, was much smaller than my lil' guy and is now a smart, funny, rough and tumble 8 year old! The odds are so much better this time...and I know that is not a guarantee and there are still so many things that could go wrong.

There have been a few flash back moments to the scary moments of my water breaking with William & Ethan. I also have a bit of anxiety about an hour before the next NST, particularly if the baby has not been moving as much those are the hardest...but once that has passed (and I've gotten the reassurance i need) I truly believe this time will be different.

Knowing the path is already so different makes me miss my twin boys all the more. They should have gotten their chance. I hope they are looking out for their younger brother and will help make sure he arrives safely into our arms!

Still Baking...

Just a quick update and a thank you!

All of your kind words and thoughts have kept me feeling positive and calm (I'll post more about that over on

Speck is still thriving in his slightly downsized quarters. Tomorrow we will reach goal number 1 (since my water broke on Tuesday) which is 32 weeks. The next goal is to get me to somewhere around 34-35 weeks. If we make it that far I'll be induced, otherwise if I go into labor we'll meet Speck sooner.

Here's hoping I have more uneventful updates to share in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Deja Vous but Different.

So today we got thrown quite a curve ball...and I'm quite proud of my self for not freaking the frak out! Because in all honesty, I think a day like today totally warrants it.

This morning, around 4:30am, my water broke. I woke up and pop. That familiar feeling followed by a flood. There was no question in my mind what had just happened and I had a quick flashback to the night my water broke for my boys...but pulled it together right away since I had to make sure Speck was ok.

I woke up my hubby, called my ob's office and got myself ready to go. My doctor (one of two at my practice) was not the one to call me back, but thankfully happened to be at the hospital for other things after we got settled in. I love her!

So, long (and somewhat boring) story short...Speck is still hanging out in his slightly less padded womb, I am not in labor (cervix still closed) and Speck has been practically perfect through out the monitoring all day. Since he seems to hanging tight they are tapering back on monitoring, moved me to a post-partum room (very close to l&d should things change) and making sure that infection is prevented with antibiotics. I've received a steroid shot to help push along Speck's lung development and will get another in the morning.

I am very grateful for the level of care I have received so far. I am also grateful that Speck is measuring ahead at his current 31 weeks, 3 days and might be weighing in at just under 5lbs.

While some things are the same, this is a very different and more hopeful story so far. Here's hoping Speck stays in as long as possible and has as few complications as possible when he does make his way in to the world.

Right now I am looking forward to a (hopefully) long, boring, uneventful stay in the least until it's time to bring Speck in to this world safely and, more importantly, alive.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Hop of Faith

It isn't quite a leap and more than shuffle...a hop seems about right.

Some how time has been flying and I am already at 31 weeks. The potential of this baby actually coming home with us feels more real...even in spite of the multitude of reasons I know where things could go horribly wrong.

That being said, we have started to "prepare" as best we can. Even though my baby shower for William & Ethan was just hours before they were born we returned or donated all if the generous gifts we received. We have very little for this new baby which is not all bad. We hadn't even prepared the nursery for the twins but have had a crib in the attic from my sister in law this whole time. But we are ready to get ready and that means some purchasing had to happen.

A ordered a glider for the baby's room, the hubby ordered a car seat and today I made a few purchases for my hospital bag. Buying an outfit (or two) freaked me out the most. I gave tried to do this three times and left the store empty handed. Today I did it...I purchased two things for Speck. The kind of sad part is that I was able to actually go through with it because I could make the justification that live or die, my Speck will need an outfit. Such is the thought process of a baby-loss parent.

My two very good friends have little boys and have generously offered me bins of clothing and toys. I received 3 bins of mostly 12-24 month sized clothing but I am allowing it to be in the house. More is coming and I can't quite fully wrap my head around the fact that Speck will get to wear this stuff.

On a completely different note, today was my last day with students and tomorrow is my last staff day at school. The year has flown and I have been doing my best to prepare my classroom for my maternity leave sub. Not being there in the Fall to organize/put away my supplies freaks me out a little. Leaving my students and room in the hands of someone else is such a bizarre feeling. On one hand I am feeling a little OCD and worried. On the other hand I know that this is a great thing because I'll be home with our little guy once he gets here.

See...I am trying to believe this is going to work out ok. Little steps and hops of faith.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

On to the third trimester...

It is a really strange feeling to have every day be the most pregnant I've ever been. To be entering a whole new trimester just boggles my mind.

My hubby keeps asking me if we are out of the "danger zone" and my response is always the same. We will never be out of danger of loosing this can happen at any time for any number of reasons. I wish I could just say, yes, we are safe.

On a brighter note, things are going well so far. I now see my OB every two weeks at my last appointment I passed my glucose test and all bloodwork came back normal. Speck is moving like crazy and when I do kick counts (which I never got to do for William & Ethan) we average 10-15 min to get 10 major movements. I even had some very visible movements about a week ago and recorded it so hubby could was pretty wild! Although I rarely felt kicks with my twins, Ethan would roll and shift and it was occasionally visible. William was so much lower and further back that he made his presence known by pushing against my bladder.

I think feeling Speck move has to be the very best part of being pregnant. I have few "complaints" so i would definitely categorize myself as having a relatively easy pregnancy (apart from the fear, worry and anxiety). I even revel in the not so fun aspects if pregnancy...feet swollen, huh look at that...gotta pee for the second time in less than an hour, hey at least I'm hydrated! Honestly, after dealing with infertility and loss I truly am grateful to be pregnant and for being the most pregnant I've ever been.

While I can't say there is a huge amount of relief getting closer to my due date, it is, however, pretty awe inspiring. With every day that passes I start to believe this might all work out...all of the worry and fear (and the awe and hope) will be worth it. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Right Where I Am: 1 Year, 5 Months, 25 Days

The "Right Where I Am Project" was created last year by Angie over at't gone back to look but I am pretty sure last year I did not write a post. It felt to heavy and still to difficult to wrap my head around how I was feeling. This year everything feels very different.

Last year, my grief was very heavy and I was carrying a heavy boulder of emotion on my back. Now my grief is more like a gray cloud that follows me around. Some days that cloud is more like a fog wrapping around me so I can't see past it, others it is over my head cascading drops of sadness over me, and more often than not it is floating there as a frequent reminder of all that I am missing.

Right now I still miss William and Ethan with the same intensity, but somehow the power of that longing has shifted. Perhaps I am stronger or just more capable of processing my emotions. I think I may miss my sons more than ever being pregnant for with their brother.

Right now I am able to feel hope again, it wasn't easy letting myself get to this point and there are often moments were hope is squashed by fear. I suppose that is to be expected when pregnant again having your heart ripped out with the loss of your twin sons.

Right now I am at a point where I can enjoy this new life growing inside of me even when fear is still present. My heart aches for the sons I will never parent and also feels bigger with love for the son I hope to parent. I am still very aware that there are no guarantees that son #3 will make it into my arms safe and sound, but the potential and hope is there.

Right now there are still two pieces of my heart missing, but my heart has grown a new piece. A piece that started with a seed of hope.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Trying to Be Your "Average" Pregnant Women

The alternate title for this post would be "why I went to see ',' the movie."

Yup...I went and saw it...a pretty unlikely movie choice for a baby loss momma who has battled unknown fertility issues. Honestly the only reason I decided I wanted to go see it was because I needed to laugh at a completely Hollywood-ized depiction of pregnancy. My experiences with pregnancy have been so atypical and stressful that I just needed one night of feeling average or normal.

(FYI...spoilers ahead)

It was not the best movie I've ever seen but I also liked that it wasn't completely shiny happy perfect either. Granted it does have happy endings for pretty much everyone in spite of touching on infertility, adoption, miscarriage, preterm labor and a near miss with maternal death. I laughed, I was cynical and shed not one single tear...ironic since a commercial made me cry a few hours earlier.

Mostly I sat comfortably with the illusion that I was just another pregnant lady seeing this cheesy flick with a girl friend...happily feeling my boy kicking away pretty much the whole time. I left most of my worries at home for a few hours. While the movie might not have been fantastic, the illusion of normalcy was completely worth it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Shift...

Talking with people about my boys has been a is emotional, personal and I never know how they might react. There are a few friends that I can talk freely, it can be emotionally draining. Even my husband and I don't talk about them least not without tears.

As my current pregnancy progresses I find myself slipping in mention of my first two sons when ever it feels right. Whether it is comparing pregnancies or discussing picking names I have found more and more ways to talk about them. It helps that I work with alot of women, one of which just became a grandmother and another is pregnant and due a few weeks before me, do there is lots of pregnancy talk in the lunch room.

While there isn't a huge response to me mentioning my sons and my labor experiences (occasionally a sympathetic glance or awkward silence) it feels comfortable talking about them without tears. I also feel like my co-workers have a better idea of what happened. I went in to labor, I delivered two precious babies and they have names.

I am not sure what or when this shift in thinking happened...but I am glad it has happened.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Harder Than I thought ...

The weeks leading up to Mothers Day (with the media/advertising blitz that goes with it) was a little easier this year...of course keeping super busy with my school's art show helped keep me distracted. I was actually quite surprised how little the ads affected me...but was grateful the sting didn't have the same power.

But then I woke up this morning and the weight of what is missing fell on me like a ton of bricks. Actually saying what feels is who is missing that is more accurate. I want my William and Ethan here...I want the sloppy kisses that one year old babies specialize in. I want to hug them and love on them and all the things I can't do because they did not live long enough for any of this to happen.

I had hoped that being pregnant this Mother's Day would make me feel more hopeful or maybe it would be less difficult. I couldn't have been more wrong...the tears and ache are still there.

While I am grateful for the potential baby waiting to arrive and ever hopeful that next year will be different I still miss and long for my first two sons. They will always be missed and forever loved.

I love you William and Ethan! You were the first ones to make me a mother and I think of you all the time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Hair Dilemma

In my last post I mentioned that I had a bizarre pregnancy symptom...icky hair. To be more precise the hair on the top (and only the top) of my head gradually got more and more greasy. It wasn't exactly greasy, waxy would be more accurate. No matter how much I washed it would not go away. It looked like I hadn't washed my hair in months.

After some web searching I tried a few things that worked for soap (cuts grease usually), vinegar rinses, dry shampoo. None of it worked. I had two more last ditch plans: baby shampoo and seeing my hair stylist. The day I called my stylist she was not in so I left a message. Afterwards I went and bought baby shampoo.

I don't know what kind of magic is used in the making of baby shampoo but is is seriously a miracle worker (it got loads of hairspray residue out if my hair in the late 80s when huge hair was in) and it got the bizarro hormone induced waxy mess that was my hair back to normal! From now on if my hair is icky, baby shampoo is my go-to product!!!

Honestly... If waxy head means I'm pregnant and stay that way as long as possible I'll live with it. Honestly, if I was told shaving my head would get this little boy safely in my arms I would do it in a heartbeat if not faster.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Territory

I am now more pregnant than I have ever is scary and exciting! William and Ethan arrived far too early at 23w6d. Today I am 24w1d and simultaneously relieved and terrified.

I am so relieved to make it this far with relative ease. Emotionally it is not easy being pregnant after loss. Physically I have been extraordinarily lucky so far. I have no complaints and every symptom manageable. (Except last week's weird waxy hair dilemma which I will say more about later.) From here on I don't know what to expect since this is brand new territory pregnancy-wise.

The nervousness and anxiety has not gone may have multiplied! After experiencing the loss of my first two sons, I know how quickly and unexpectedly things can go from fine to devastating. Just because we are now further along with this baby, there is still so much that can go wrong. At no point will I feel "safe" that everything will turn out fine.

I have let hope back into my heart and and I know that if something should go wrong this be honest I just can't imagine what it will do to me. I'll live...I survived the deaths of William and Ethan. But I am not sure that I will recover. As much as I tried to guard my heart, I can't deny that once again I have fallen head over heals for this new baby.

There's no going retreating from this new territory. One day at a time is one step closer to August. I may be scared out of my wits but I would rather sprint forward to see what is next!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Was not going to go there...

Oh, but I have!

I wasn't going to plan much for Speck...only the necessities, not the nursery design, not a stroller, none of it until it was almost time for his arrival because I know all the things that could change and go horribly wrong before this is a real live take home baby.

Except that crazy thing called hope did more than creep back in after we found out it is a boy nestled in there. As a matter of fact hope came around and took over all logical sense that I had! I know have a Pinterest board for planning the Nursery, have pretty much decided on a stroller and contemplated a name or two.

I wasn't going to do seemed like an impossibility. But now that I know my boys have a new brother I feel the incredible need to celebrate this pregnancy more than I have so far...I think I am finally connected to Speck in a way I hadn't been until now. This is real and as terrified as I am that something could go wrong, I have fallen head over heals for Speck.

He is mine and I am his Mom, no matter what may come in the next 19 weeks. I am in love, again, more than I thought I could be.

I wasn't going to let this much hope back in, but hope can be kind of pushy I guess. Just to show hope that I haven't lost my mind I will make plans, but I won't make any purchases any time soon. That full on investment can wait a bit longer!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On track...

This week, in the lead up to the "big" ultrasound (aka the anatomy scan), was a bit rough on the anxiety scale. I was thrown over the edge yesterday when the Hubby found out that he would not be able to join me. Ugh!

All said and done, the scan went very well with the exception of the Speck not changing positions to get a perfect view of the heart. The tech assured me things look fine, they just need measurements from a different angle to be 100% sure.

And there was very little doubt that this baby is most definitely a boy! More than once he was flaunting his much so that the tech couldn't help but chuckle.

It is such a huge relief to know that everything is looking good (baby is on track and cervix still crazy long) especially with the hormone induced emotions coupled with the anxiety of being a Babyloss Mama. I know this sense of relief will only last a short time, but it is so much better than the alternative.

I am a mother of three boys! Fingers crossed that this one gets to come home to live with us!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


20 Weeks...half way to a full term pregnancy. That is today's milestone and all I really want is to make it all the way to the end and bring home a living baby.

Last time I made it only to 23w6d...4 weeks past where I am today. That is a scary thought, but this time it's different. A singleton vs twin pregnancy will hopefully make a difference.

Next week is our anatomy scan...I am nervous about things being ok with the baby and ok with my cervix. I am excited about finding out the sex of the baby...we are big planners so not knowing would drive us batty! So I am trying to balance the nervousness with the excitement.

The motto is "so far so good" and here's hoping it stays that way!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A number is just a number, except when it's not.

Their are lots of dates and numbers that take on special significance or act as triggers when you are a Baby Loss Mamma...due dates, birth and death dates and other milestones. Last year my due date (3/27) was a difficult day emotionally. This year It passed with out much notice (I realized two days later) and that date doesn't hold the emotional weight it did last year. I am glad for that because really, so few babies are born on their due date and mine came sooo much earlier.

William and Ethan were born at 23w6d...the 24th week. The week of supposed viability. That was a pretty big milestone and I am so anxious about getting past that milestone in this pregnancy. Only four weeks until I will be more pregnant than I have ever been.

The most significant date is obviously my boys' birthday, the 4th of December (also Williams's death) paired with the 5th which was the day we lost Ethan. The 4th of each month passes with a heavy heart because it is another month with out my boys.

As if I needed further proof of the universe's perverse sense of humor. I found out how twisted it really is when I was updating the two month "at-a-glance" calendar in our home office. I find not looking too far ahead helpful in curbing my anxiety about this pregnancy and I note each week change for the hubby. As I was filling in May I realized, with great panic, that I will hit 23w6d on the 4th of May.

I had to sit down and catch my breath after that realization. It is not as though each of those dates/milestones carry a heavy burden, but to see them paired together again freaks me out. As much as I tell myself they are just numbers I can't shake the impact of knowing what happened last time.

Yes it is a different pregnancy and a completely different month but how do I shake this fear? How do I remove the power from those numbers? How is it possible to hit those numbers again?

I guess I just have to wait, get through it the best I can...freak outs and all. Here's hoping that this time around the universe will let me stay pregnant and bring home a living baby that is carried to term. Women do it all the time...can it be my turn?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Caught in between different opinions...

Friday we got another peak at Speck who is right on target in size and estimated weight. Along with that great news we found out my cervix is ridiculously long (at least 4.5cm). That is also good, but when I was pregnant with my boys it was nice and long until it wasn't...but that is why I am now going to checked every two weeks.

The hard part of all of this (apart from all the anxiety of being pregnant after loss) is that my regular OB and my high risk doctor disagree about the 17p shots I started last week (and had 2 by Friday's appt). The regular OB is thinking along the lines of better safe than sorry. The high risk doctor does not see me as an ideal candidate and feels the risks do not out weigh the potential benefits at this point. Unmm...risks? She kind of rushed through those last time I saw her but this time she pointed out one of the greatest risks is fetal demise. Wait... What!?! Yeah, that is a risk I am not willing to take if there are other options we can utilize if there are any changes.

Hubby and I agree that we aren't willing to gamble if there may not be a need to. My regular OB's theory of better safe than sorry isn't sitting so well knowing now. Both doctors agree that this pregnancy, being a singleton vs. twins, has better odds and there is currently no evidence to suggest any other problems other than my body was not capable of carrying a twin pregnancy to term.

So I guess the shots are on hold and we continue to monitor. More wait and see...but that's ok with me.

Every day...

At least once a day (and more often than once is the norm to be honest) I think of you, my sweet William and Ethan. Sometimes it is a passing thought, sometimes it is recalling those precious days of being pregnant with you and every now and then the grief of loosing you sweeps over me like a tidal wave.

It is not nearly as hard as it has been to remember you with a smile rather than tears. For that I am grateful...while the heartbreak is still there, I would much rather think of my boys with love and a smile. They deserve that. They didn't deserve a life too short and that is the what earns the tears.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

We are 16 going on 17...

Weeks that is. And with the 16th week lots of new monitoring/prevention is happening.

Yesterday a nurse came by to administer my first 17-P shot. Nurse M is a pro and super slick at giving what could be a very uncomfortable shot. It is an intermuscular injection (in the glute) and not so different from the Prog.esterone shots from our round of IVF for my boys. My hubby administered those and half the time they HURT...ALOT! For anyone who has to endure a shot in their behind, Nurse M had me lean over a chair, make my feet pigeon-toed and gave the shot pretty high in the muscle (almost my hip). I barely felt the needle go in she is that skilled! I also got to hear Specks heartbeat two times (once before and after the injection as part of my vital signs check) and since I will have these weekly I will get to hear the heartbeat a lot more often. More opportunities to confirm everything is ok? Yes please!!!

The 17-P shots are viewed differently by my two doctors (reg ob & high risk)...the high risk doctor didn't think they were necessary, my ob says if it doesn't cause harm why take a chance by not doing it. Being hyper cautious about nearly everything I am going with the cover all the bases attitude. Better safe than sorry is not a bad motto!
I think the shots do make me feel a little icky the day after, but we'll see how I do with next weeks before I make any judgements.

On Friday I see my high risk doctor again and we start with the cervical checks via ultrasound. This is one will be the first and sets the baseline. I get to go back every two weeks to keep on top of any changes. I feel like a scared kid telling her about getting the shots anyway...but somehow I am sure she will understand the reasoning.

So far so good...I feel movement occasionally (mostly in the morning when I am laying on my back) and definitely growing out of my regular pants. This pregnancy is feeling so much more real and a lot less abstract. It feels like things are going so fast, but I think that is a good thing. I feel like hope is growing stronger with each passing day. Even though fear and anxiety are always present, hope is winning.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Here and Now

“Do not look back. And do not dream about the future, either. It will neither give you back the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams. Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now.”
--Dag Hammarskjold, Markings

I follow a blog by the author of The Happiness Project and this was the quote at the beginning of a post I read today. It really struck much that I had to share it. I've been having so many flashbacks to the days I gave birth to and lost my sons ever since I met with the high risk doctor. I need frequent reminders not to dwell on those days...the two most difficult days I have ever experienced. Those memories are vivid and strong as if it were yesterday. It is shocking, still, to feel their power. It takes all I have to pull my self out of them.

To be honest I find it nearly impossible to dream about the future, especially relating to this current pregnancy, because I know at any moment it could be over. I continue to try to enjoy each moment and let the fear be what it is and let it go (easier said than done most days, but I try). Of course, I do catch myself contemplating things like the nursery and the sex of the baby but it is usually tempered with a great big "IF we get that far..."

Remembering my boys and talking about them is emotional...sometimes sad and teary, other times all smiles. Even a year and nearly three months later I still waffle between heartbreak and joy. I imagine that will never change. I still struggle with "should be" thoughts and how they make me feel.

I know a million wishes will never bring them back to me, yet I still make those wishes.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

14 Weeks, So long 1st Trimester

As far as I can tell things are going well. Other than the obvious nervousness and insanely crazy anxiety dreams I keep having (which I won't describe because they are that disturbing) I feel ok about this pregnancy so far.

Thanks to my expanding waistline I now need to use the rubber band trick on nearly all of my pants! I even broke out some of my maternity clothing and I forgot I had I great pair of low-waisted jeans that are uber comfy (not the full panel kind). It won't be long before it is pretty obvious that I am preggers and not just munching too many donuts, which I am but that is besides the point.

The only challenge I am having is sharing our news. Not so excited about that to be honest. Those closest to me already know and I have told a few other people but I am not planning any grand announcement. I think hubby would like to, but I have real reservations. Other than being terrified that something will go wrong, there is no reason not to share this pregnancy. My principle wants to let the staff know (mainly so they don't ask me for lots of extra project help and won't be surprised if I am suddenly put on leave) and I am kind of dreading dealing with all of the extra attention.

My next appointment with my regular OB is this coming Tuesday. A little confirmation that things are still ok would be wonderful...please, oh, please let everything be ok!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello there!

Seeing this on the screen washed away the worries for just a moment...

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Second Car, Baggage Included...

Buying a new car is a dreaded and fun experience all rolled into one. Does anyone really enjoy the nitty gritty details, filling out that paperwork? But getting to test drive and take it home, that is fun.

When we found out we were expecting our sons we started researching a new vehicle. We had more or less settled on a CRV and planned on buying one a month or so before they were due (Jan or Feb 2011). That plan went out the window when our boys were born prematurely and died as a result.

So here we are a year later actually using the initial research which led us back to a new CRV purchase since being a 1 car family is not working anymore. It wasn't until I was driving the new car home that the realization that the plan had been a new CRV with two car seats in the back, not empty like it is now. And that was how my weekend came to a close...ugh!

The rest of the week was filled with increased anxiety leading up to my appointment with the high risk specialist. The dread of having to retell the story of my sons' birth/death weighed heavier and heavier. The only bright spot was knowing I would get a peak at Speck again.

I liked the doctor, she was kind, sensitive and straight forward. I couldn't control my tears, but she was understanding. Unfortunately, there are no specific reasons as to why I went into premature labor. This doctor says there is little to no chance that incompetent cervix is to blame (which is good news for my current pregnancy) and unless the pathology report from the placenta (which is missing from my copy of the hospital records) shows infection there really is no other explanation other than it was my body's inability to carry a twin pregnancy. Despite the "anticipated positive outcome" of a singleton pregnancy, I will have frequent (most likely every 2 weeks) cervical checks starting at 16 weeks.

The doctor also said that she is not too concerned about me being on my feet all day since studies have shown that preventative bed rest has little to no affect on pregnancy outcomes. I know I am nervous and over-cautious, but it is hard to turn off the instinct that doing what my job requires (on my feet and constantly moving) might be too much while I am pregnant.

All of this has been kind of hard to process...I have always felt that my body failed my boys. Not necessarily that I personally failed or could have changed what happened, but that something went wrong. However, not having any other reason other than my body failed does not make me feel fact I think I feel worse. The "why" will always be a mystery (unless I can track down that pathology report and I am mistaken about the dr who delivered the boys saying no infection was present).

While I re-reconcile the loss of my boys there have been more tears than I've had in a long time. Revisiting those darkest of days has put me right back in that hard place. And as much as I love my new car, I can't help but long for those two car seats that should be there holding my sons.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Looking good!

Today was my first appointment with my regular OB...I was more than a little nervous, had a laundry list of questions and needed a lot of reassurance that everything was ok.

One thing I love about my doctor is that she usually answers my questions before I even ask them. As soon as she walked into the exam room, after she told me how thrilled she was for me, she immediately laid out her plan. I was a little caught off guard, but had her review it again during our q&a in her office.

Basically the general plan is to have a consult appointment with a MFM specialist in which, if it goes as she anticipates, I will have regular cervical monitoring and additional appointments. If signs of dilation or funneling occur we will discuss a cerclage, bedrest, etc. In addition, my doctor thinks progesterone support, in the form of P17 shots, will help. Apparently there is a company that comes to your house to administer the shots.

That is basically it for now, but as she said, the plan will develop as my pregnancy progresses. I can live with that. The only part of the plan that I didn't really get settled was my time at work. She didn't feel that at this stage being on my feet as much as I am was a concern, but was understanding of my concern. She did say that the MFM may have more to say. The one thing that she was concerned about was my exposure to germs, but that short of wearing a mask I was doing the best I can and to continue to have conversations with the school nurse about what is going around.

My exam ended on the best possible note...another peek at our ever growing speck! It was such a relief to see the flutter of the heart beat and a joy to see Speck twist and wave! S/he was very wiggly which squelched the biggest fear I had...whew!

A better day...

Yesterday was a pretty dark day filled with fear and grief. Despite the grey clouds, a little ray of sunshine pushed back the fear when I found out our baby is ok.

Still scared, but for this second, all is good.

(A more detailed update to follow over on

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is fear winning?

Tomorrow is my first appointment with my regular OB and although there is no reason to think things are less than ok...but all I can think about is that I need to be prepared to hear the worst because that is what is coming.

I have a feeling that this is comes from making my list of questions to ask tomorrow. Going back over my pregnancy with my boys with a fine tooth comb, reviewing my medical records for any detail missed and replaying the day I went into labor trying to see if there were any clues as to what was about to happen. I've done this a million times but now there is another life on the line and no answers.

I lost my boys because my water broke at 23w6d and I had "silent" labor that proceeded very quickly once my water broke. So how do I stop this from happening again?

That's the question at the top of the list. I am terrified that not having the answer to why it happened in the first place doesn't leave many options.

So, now to figure out how to stop fear from winning.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trying not to let the fear in...

Being pregnant after experiencing preterm labor/infant loss is tricky. On one hand I am scared out of my ever-loving mind that something is going to go horribly wrong...again. On the other hand they excitement of a new life and all the hope that comes with it feels so new and fresh. After a year of living with the deep, dark, heart-wrenching grief after losing my sons, this new hope and excitement feels like a light clicked on in the middle of the night...a bit blinding, a little painful, but easier to look towards as each day passes.

Balance is my new goal...I know that my fears are not going to go away and will probably increase with each passing week but I do not want them to over-run my love and excitement for this new little speck! Yes, my excitement is tempered by all the possible ways this pregnancy could end badly. To those who know I have said, "I will enjoy this pregnancy for however long it lasts." Will it be devastating if it ends before it should...absolutely! I just don't want to regret enjoying it for what it is...a new speck of hope with so much possibility.

With all of that said, last night I was scared out of my mind by some spotting. Hubby wasn't home and for about 1/2 an hour I was a basket case. The ridiculous part is that I know what caused it and that is how I eventually calmed my self down. Spotting is very common when using pro.gesterone in vaginal suppository form. It is very easy to poke a cervix with the applicator causing very light spotting. It happened several times while I was pregnant with my boys and I was kind of surprised it hadn't happened yet this time. Even when you know what is going on, any spotting is scary shit!!! Thankfully it was a short lived event and has not happened since.

On a more positive note, Speck seems to really like raspberries. Being the off season locally I am grateful that other warm climates that are feeding this craving! Not to mention good sales at various grocery stores since I am clearing a pint every day or so! Hubby takes the berry craving as further evidence that Speck is a girl...the boys really liked bacon, clearly a more manly food in hubby's opinion. The poor guy might go crazy (crazier?) in the remaining 7-10 weeks until we find out!

Speaking of raspberries...I need a snack!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Facing the odds...

This morning on the news there was a story about one of the smallest premies going home with her family. This tiny baby girl was born, like my boys, at 24 weeks gestation and the numbers were definitely against her (and my sons). At 24 weeks a baby is considered viable, but barely...there is only 10% chance of survival, not taking in to account the ramifications of being born so small.

I am so jealous of that mom...her baby lived. At the same time I know the fear that she experienced as her baby was born much too soon. I had a glimpse of time spent in NICU with Ethan (even if only a day). I understand and have imagined the struggles of raising a micro premie...but my sons' lives ended before any of that became a reality.

The odds were not in our favor...and I don't know that I ever fully understood how small of a chance my babies had being born so early. I think I feel more stunned by this fact than sad. I am still devastated and sad that my boys are gone...that will never change.

I really do wish the best for that little girl and her family. While I know trade offs and bargains don't work this way... But if my boys couldn't get the chance to live, please let her beat the odds.

Monday, January 16, 2012

We have graduated!

This morning we got a peak at the (much larger than a) speck. With a nice strong heartbeat and measurements spot on we graduated from the RE and our next appointment us with my regular OB.


The first few days after our ultrasounds I feel pretty good about how things are going but by the time the night before the next appointment I am a nervous wreck again. Thankfully it isn't too long until my appointment with my regular OB (2/1). I am actually pretty anxious to speak with her about what plans we need to make to reduce my risk of preterm labor (more on that in another post) and what to expect for my level of care this time around.

Hubby is still convinced its a girl and is rather put out that we have to wait so long for confirmation! I'll laugh if he is wrong but even harder if he's right!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Taking a breath...

I feel like I've been holding my breath (and my tears) all day.

There wasn't any question that I would go to my best friend's (since Kindergarten) baby shower when I received the invitation. Thankfully in the last year there haven't been any others to decline...but this is a baby that sparked a little hope and excitement after all the grief we have been through. I knew it wouldn't be the easiest day, but it was a small brunch with other wonderful women and for the most part a great time.

Three things hung over me all day and now that I'm home I can let them out.

First, the last shower I attended was my own and my boys were born a few hours later. Not exactly a fun memory and the dread/nervousness wasn't as over whelming as I thought but it was still there.

Second, being a baby shower conversations gravitate towards pregnancy and labor stories and the shitty part is I can't share my experiences. Most of the women I know only through my friend and they may or may not know about my boys. Since this was a celebration it certainly didn't feel right bringing up anything that could lead to questions about my tragic story. It sucks sitting there having something to say but having to keep mum.

Third, the biggest challenge was one of the women brought her 13 month old son...his birthday was a mere 9 days after my boys. He was sweet and adorable and I had to stay the f*ck away from him! I could be in the same room but I found any excuse I could to move away if he toddled close by. There it was...what I should have (times two). I was able to get through the day pretty well, but my guard was definitely could it not be.

Just when I thought I had a pretty good handle on things a curve ball hits you and knocks the air out of you. I guess the impact has gotten tolerable, but it still sucks.

On another note, tomorrow we get another peak at our speck. Hopefully things are still on track.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Peak at the Speck...

Yesterday I got to breath a small sigh of relief. It was ultrasound day...the chance to see who (or rather how many babies) I was carrying and if there was a heartbeat. This is a much anticipated appointment as you can imagine and I think I get one more good peak before we are released to my regular OB.

With relief we indeed see a heartbeat, and only one heartbeat. It was a beautiful, amazing sound that provided so much comfort to my stressed out nerves. So far, so good.

I am thrilled, and some what relieved, that I have one thriving speck. This is the next check point on the path towards a live, take home baby.

At the same time part of me is grieving the loss of a second chance at being a twin momma. In my heart I know that my risk factor is reduced by carrying a singleton, but that didn't quell  the tiniest bit of hope that maybe I might still get that chance at twins.

On a rather funny note the hubby saw the one little speck we have and pronounced that is a girl during the ultrasound. The doctor, with out missing a beat said, "Of course, she has beautiful hair." I burst out laughing. The hubby tends to get strong feelings like this so we shall see if he is right!

Feeling better...

I have had one nasty cold the past week and a half...and it has stirred up some interesting emotions.

As an art teacher with nearly five hundred students under the age of 7 I come in contact with icky germs quite frequently. Thankfully I have developed a pretty strong immunity to most of what comes my way. However, if I do catch some kind of cold it is usually a doozy that has me down for the count for nearly a week, sometimes more. Whatever I came in contact with last week (or more likely the last few days before the winter break) was mighty powerful.

This doesn't seem like it would be an emotional trigger, except it very much is. The last time I was sick was the week before I lost William and Ethan. On a Tuesday I started feeling yucky (sniffly, sore throat...typical cold) by Wednesday I was miserable so I took Thursday off. I knew my baby shower was on Saturday and all I wanted was to feel better so I wouldn't have to miss it! Friday I was feeling somewhat better but decided to take another day off to be safe and rest up. Of course Saturday I made it home for the shower and my boys were born that night. Was my illness a contributing factor in my pre-term labor? Who knows, but maybe.

Being sick (and pregnant) again caused some major anxiety the past two weeks. Thankfully the worst of my cold occurred while I was on break and could rest without having to worry about taking days off/writing up sub plans. It took quite a bit of energy to not worry too much about being sick. Battling the thoughts of "what if my cold did cause my pre-term labor again" is not good for my stress level not to mention worrying about my cold affecting this pregnancy.

Luckily I had blood work and an ultrasound far everything is ok. Whew.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012...

So long 2011...I am not so sad to see you go but you were a tough one to get through, but we did it. 2011 started in a very dark place of grief, was filled with an emotional roller coaster, but ended on a pretty good note.

That means that 2012 has started in a pretty good place as well. I have reached an interesting place in my is definitely not as over-whelming and all consuming as it once was but it is still ever present. At the same time there is an almost unsettling sense of peace with where I am in my grief. I miss my boys desperately, I still cry nearly every day, but I feel more able to focus on the joy they brought me while I had them. I smile when I think of them more than I cry. It really is a little disarming and I don't know how or where this change came from. It doesn't always sit will with me because I still cry. Maybe I am so uncomfortable with these feelings because I still miss them so much and I feel like I am not grieving enough. I have no idea if that is true.

2012 puts a full year and then some in between the present and the time that my boys existed. That is a little hard to process and makes me miss them all that much more. I survived all of the first milestones (original due date, 6 months, a year, holidays, etc.) and they have slightly less power over me. There will be plenty more milestones to face this year, but I know I'll survive since I did it once already.

Christmas went by with not too many triggers...but we didn't have that many commitments/parties so that was good. We did go to my sister's house Christmas weekend but our plans had to be rearranged to make it back home for a Monday appointment with our RE for blood work and an ultrasound. Leaving early was a bummer, but I was also starting to get a cold so being home was a good thing.

Christmas day was focused on my two nieces (4 and 8 yrs old) so it was a whirlwind! A few times during the day I could feel the should-be thoughts creeping insane would it have been with two baby boys, would we even be here? My thoughts were evenly split between sad and smiles. It is so strange to think should-be thoughts with a smile, but they feel better(?), easier(?) than despair. This could all change but I'll take whatever emotions for what they are...good or not.

My ultrasound went well...not much to see other than a gestational sac but that is an important step down this scary road where ever it takes us. I haven't wanted to write too much here about being pregnant because it feels odd, not wrong, just not the right place. This is William and Ethan's place, a place to talk about them and explore my grief. I also want to be sensitive to those who do read this blog and might not want to know the details of this current pregnancy...but I promised myself I would never censor what I have to say. I am trying to foster this new sense of hope I feel with this pregnancy (which is of course tempered by all the things I know can go wrong) so I decided to create a new space, a new blog. That seems to be the best way to keep this place about my sons, keep my thoughts and words flowing at the same time being sensitive to others. I am sure there will be overlap but each blog has its own purpose.

If you want to visit my other blog it is

Here's hoping 2012 is better for us all!

A new year, a new blog...

A new pregnancy and a new chance at hope.

After loosing my sons, William and Ethan, hope became a stranger. Hope was something I could not dare to include in my life. I felt like hope died with them.

But a funny thing happened when I found out I was pregnant again a year after loosing my sons. Hope started to grow again. Dealing with infertility, infant loss and all that come with those heady subjects doesn't leave a whole lot of room for smiles and especially hope. But with this pregnancy hope is growing...whether I like it or not!

My other blog is about my sons and my grief. It did not feel like the right place to watch this new hope and new pregnancy grow and take shape. That is their sons' place...and this is this new speck's place. There will of course be over lap but out of sensitivity and respect for my boys and small cadre of readers separate is best.

So here we (me and my speck or specks?) are...sharing a journey that I resolve to enjoy however long it lasts.

Right now I am 6weeks, 2 days pregnant. It is still beyond belief. Since we conceived using IVF (our 2nd FET using embies frozen after the fresh IVF cycle that resulted in me getting pregnant with William and Ethan) I am closely monitored and after a pregnancy that ended with me going in to pre-term labor I am sure this will continue throughout my pregnancy.

Last week we saw a gestational sac...the first of many check-points along the way to what will (hopefully) be a successful pregnancy. I know all too well that there are many, many ways this could all go wrong...but the goal is getting a living, breathing, take home baby. This week we have an ultrasound to see the heartbeat(s). I am qualifying everything as a possible multiple because two embies were transferred. I know we only saw one gest sac, but that is what we saw with the boys and didn't discover it was twins until the heartbeat check. My instinct says there is just one speck in there, but my instincts have proven wrong before...I was convinced I was carrying a boy and a girl last time until the anatomy scan proved me wrong!

A few more days and we will know for sure, hopefully pass the next check point of seeing a beating heart(s?). There is still so far to go, but for now I will try not to worry too much (I am going to need a lot of help with that) and take care of myself.

I have had a doozy of a head cold which has put a huge damper on my winter fun and visiting friends because I feel icky. Being pregnant my cold relief options are severely limited. As my mother reminds me everytime I find some sort of doubt caused by this pregnancy, "Isn't it wonderful!" Gotta love that optimism...but really it is. I will take all of the doubt and limitations (and then some) with a smile in order to get this baby (or babies) into my arms alive.