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 up...how 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 yesterday...so 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 grief...it 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 in...how 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 www.aspeckofhope.blogspot.com

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 place...my 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 break...no 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.