Monday, June 28, 2010

Keep on keepin' on

Nothing really worth blogging about has happened recently. I'm almost mostly good. I am still sad. I still cry sometimes. I am excited to try again. I'm terrified to try again. I have pretty much had to cut one specific person out of my life and avoid her (not you, Rachel! Love you!) because I can't stand hearing about or seeing her pregnant. She's quickly approaching the time when we lost Caleb, and seeing her pass by that date is going to be a stab in the heart. If I'm entirely honest, I'm not excited for her. The jealousy and the feeling of unfairness has completely overshadowed any bit of excitement that should exist. Part of it is just who it is...there are other women who are having babies who I AM excited for. Still jealous of, yes, but there exists at least a modicum of excitement as well. Just not for this one person. It's just too unfair.

Chris and I are having a "debate" about when to start trying again. We were cleared to go after three cycles, but he wants to wait four just to be sure. My number one huge gigantic goal is to be pregnant by Caleb's due date, and if we wait four we won't hit that goal. It's unlikely that we'll get lucky enough to hit it waiting three cycles, and with four cycles it's impossible. He can't understand why it means so much to me to be pregnant again by that specific date, and I can't understand why he thinks waiting another cycle will be any safer. Since I need his cooperation, we'll probably wait four. But I'm continuing to try to convince him otherwise. I need some sort of bribery! Sex won't work (I won't have sex with you unless you have sex with me???). He buys himself all the gadgets and electronics he wants. Maybe clean, folded laundry every day so he doesn't have to root through a laundry basket for a pair of boxers? Putting on the "good wife" apron for a little while might just do it.

I just wish that the world wasn't chock full of reminders about what I lost. Example: Yesterday I went to the Summer Arts Festival - a local street fair - with my family, and not only was it apparently Pregnant Women Day, but the entire festival reminded me that last year when we went, Chris and I had just decided to try for a baby later that year so I went with the mindset of finding things for a nursery and child's room. Seeing those same booths this year - the wooden train here, the rubber ducky painting here - was such a slap in the face. HAHA! fate seemed to say, HAHA! Get excited about having a baby and be confident that you'll have one by this time next year and I'll show you!

Yeah, well, curse words and inappropriate hand gesture to you, fate. You sure showed me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Planning Ahead

When I was pregnant with Caleb, I was extremely superstitious. I didn't buy anything for him until well into my second trimester. I didn't want to jinx anything. By the time my water broke, I had purchased a few outfits, but everything I had for him fit into one small box that is now packed up at my mom's house waiting for baby number two.*

I've always loved baby things, and started keeping a bookmark folder full of things I loved - toys, nursery decor, clothes, furniture - well before I was pregnant. Like maybe two years before I got pregnant (don't tell my husband!!). I came close to deleting it after Caleb died, but instead just renamed it and moved it so I wouldn't see it every day. After a month or so, I started slowly saving new things to it. Just one here, one there...but it was a start.

Yesterday I got an email that Threadless was having one of their rare $10 sales. Threadless is a community-based t-shirt design company, and on any given day there's a 90% chance that either my brother or my sister is wearing one of their t-shirts and a 60% chance that they both are (sometimes the same design). I don't wear t-shirts, but when I discovered that they sell onsies and kid's tees, I was beyond excited. So cute! When I found out I was pregnant with Caleb, I started stalking the Threadless site, waiting for one of those sales. The sale never happened in the five months that I was pregnant, so Caleb never got his Threadless onsies.

When I got the email, my heart leapt - and then sank. I had no reason to buy them.

But then. Then I had a revelation. Last time I was so cautious. I did everything "right." And a fat lot of good that did me. So screw it. I was going to take advantage of that $10 sale. And I was going to do it now, before the designs I loved so much went out of production.


And I did. I bought my next baby some onesies and some baby tees. I can't worry about what might happen next time. I am going to fully embrace the next pregnancy and the next baby and not be so superstitious. World, you will know when I'm pregnant the second the pee dries on the stick. I'm not wasting a moment before celebrating.

And maybe I'll have another loss. Maybe there won't be a next baby. I hope there will, but maybe there won't. And if that happens...well, I suppose the clothes will go to a niece or nephew. But I can't let that fear control me. I did last time, and I regret it.

So yes. I bought my as-of-yet-nonexistent-2nd-baby some clothes. And it felt great.

*I kind of love the idea that the next baby will have hand-me-downs from his or her older brother - just like in a regular, non-dead-baby family!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's the final countdown!

When I wrote that title I had this song in my head. I feel like you should, too. So listen, and once it's firmly implanted, come back.

The doctor's visit on Friday was entirely uneventful. They reviewed the HSG results and the CT scan results and, based on the opinion of several different doctors, the test results were normal. It looked like there was a slight dip due to the positioning of the uterus, but after review they determined there was not. My uterus is tilted/retroverted fairly significantly.* That CAN cause problems if it's locked in that position, but during the exam she was able to move it, so that shouldn't have been an issue in my loss. A tilted uterus isn't considered a defect, per se - just a normal variant on the positioning, as something like 30% of females have it. So nothing in the scans came back abnormal, and all of the bloodwork came back negative (with the exception of hetero MTHFR, which again is fairly common - it happens in about 40% of the population - and also shouldn't have been an issue.).

The consensus? A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, shitty piece of luck. A fluke. My doctor is confident it won't happen again - though, as we learned last week, that isn't a guarantee. All I can do is hope and pray it doesn't.

We're cleared again to start after two more cycles, and right now the plan is to do that. I can only hope that a) we get lucky and get pregnant again right away like we did with Caleb, and b) we get to take the next baby (and all subsequent ones!) home with us.

Fingers crossed!!!

*When this was originally started as a baby blog, I was planning on sharing this with my offspring so they could see how excited I was about meeting them. However, now there is 74% too much uterus talk for that to be feasible.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Don't you hate when you can't think of a title?

I had a minor freak out last night. I've actually been really good for a while*, so I am allowing myself that freak out without getting too mad about it. I went to a movie with a friend, and she took her adorable baby son. She nursed him during the movie and his little kicking legs and those sweet snuffling sounds babies make while nursing just totally got to me. I WANT ONE. I want one SO BAD. I can't even explain it, but you other DBMs or couples suffering from infertility, you know what I mean. The want and desire for a baby took my breath away. Even if we got pregnant right away when we are cleared to start trying again (hopefully in July or August), it would mean I wouldn't have a baby until May...and in May, I should have had an 8 month old. Thoughts like that are so frustrating! I mean, if I hadn't gotten pregnant when I did, we could easily still be trying and it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Right? But I did and I was and but but but. Those "buts" will be the death of me!

*The last time I got upset was over Memorial Day weekend. A couple weeks after we lost Caleb, a mutual friend [we'll call her Jane] let me know that another friend of ours [we'll call her Sally] was pregnant, because Jane didn't want me to be blindsided when Sally made her announcement. Sally decided to spill the beans at a party they were having. I had a feeling they were going to do that, so I skipped the party. Not only for my benefit, but because I didn't want the excitement or joy anyone at the party felt over the news to be tempered by my presence. Soon after I saw that congratulations started to arrive at Sally's Facebook page (dude, Facebook is seriously the devil for a DBM). I was a little irritated that Sally had never taken the time to tell me in person, but assumed Jane had told Sally that I knew [follow that??]. A few days later I saw Jane and asked her if she told Sally about telling me, and she said no, she hadn't. Not only that, but Jane specifically advised Sally that she should make sure to tell me before telling everyone else, and no matter how she did it - whether it was email, phone, taking me out to lunch - it didn't matter as long as she TOLD me. However, Sally didn't. She left me to find out (as far as she knew) on Facebook. And that's just.....that's just cold. I was hurt and offended and a little shocked. Initially I had written it off as Sally just not knowing what to do, but to be told to let me know and still not do it? That's just insensitive. I've refrained from writing Sally a note to tell her how horrible it made me feel, because I'd have to out Jane in the process, but I want to. I've written her notes in my head, though...sent with a flaming bag of dog poop.

**Whoops. My postscript is longer than my actual post. Apparently I had things I needed to get off my chest. Ahem.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Testing, test, 123

I had the hysterosonogram Friday. It was...interesting.

It started out normal enough. They injected the dye, I felt a bit of cramping - but not nearly as much as I'd expected - and they brought the radiologist in to read the results.

I was watching on the screen, and even I could tell something was weird. The uterus filled with the contrast dye, but then it kind of "bloomed" around the uterus and didn't stay contained inside it. That not only freaked ME out a bit, but it freaked the radiologist out a bit. He was a resident, so he called someone else over to look. No one was sure what was going on. They were confident they hadn't punctured the uterine wall, because the dye was coming out from all over and not just one place (and the doctor didn't feel the wand push through any muscle). As they couldn't figure out exactly what was happening, they had me put a giant towel between my legs to keep the dye in (TMI) and took me to have a CT scan. It was just like on "House"!! I felt connected to Hugh Laurie and his fake American accent for just a moment.

After the CT scan, the nurse sent me home and said they'd be calling with a follow up. It was a rather abrupt end to what seemed to be something fairly significant, but we dutifully packed up and left.

Not even five minutes later I got a call from the doctor asking if I was still in the hospital. I KNEW that nurse was giving me the wrong instructions! Luckily the doctor understood and went over the results on the phone. The "blooming," they thought, was just an enlarged vascular system. The blood vessels around your uterus expand to provide extra blood to the area while you're pregnant, but normally should have gone down to regular size by this time (8 weeks after delivery). For some reason, they didn't. She mentioned the enlarged vessels could be a possible infection and or could be a possible sign of endometriosis, but didn't elaborate too much (she sounded more on the 'just-taking-longer-than-normal-but-no-big-deal' side of the spectrum). She put me on antibiotics for the next week to combat any possible infection just in case, however. She also mentioned that she noticed a slight dip in the top of the uterus. She talked to the RE about it, and he didn't think it was significant enough to worry about, but she said she might want to do an endoscopy (laparoscopy??) to investigate further since I did have a loss. She also ordered two more blood tests and I didn't catch what those were looking for, but I had a couple more vials of blood drawn and am waiting on the results.

Speaking of blood tests, the results of the blood tests I had last week (or whenever...the appointments are blending together) came back all negative, except for MTHFR. I do have one copy of the gene, which means it's heterozygous and shouldn't be an issues at all. It's when you have two copies (homozygous) that it becomes an issue. I will probably take extra folic acid during the next pregnancy just to be on the safe side, though.

So I'm still hanging out kind of in the middle of nowhere when it comes to testing and the test results, at least as far as the HSG is concerned. Hopefully at my follow-up on Friday I'll get some more information and a chance to ask all the questions that consulting with Dr. Google has brought up.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Attention, you.

You, with that big pregnant belly in the checkout lane.

I'm really jealous of you. I want to reach out and touch your stomach. I want to make sure you know to appreciate all this. To take it easy. To not stress out about having that extra coffee this morning. Let the stock boy lift that box for you! I try not to stare, but I can't help it. If a weird look crosses my face, it's not disgust. It's shock at seeing you, a hurt that goes straight through me, a lot of jealousy. It's not you. It's me.

You, with the baby pictures all over your blog.

I'm really jealous of you. I can't stop torturing myself by looking at your pictures. Your baby is adorable. I wish I had one. I try to remind myself that even if Caleb had lived he wouldn't be your baby and there's no reason to be jealous. But I am. Every expression your baby makes cuts me to the core. Seeing those pictures magnifies the emptiness in my arms by a million. I love them - they're really cute - but I hate them at the same time. I don't hate your baby. I hate that I don't have my baby.

You, the one on Facebook bitching about your kids or how you hate being pregnant.

I'm really jealous of you. I would give my life to trade places with you. Shut up. Just shut the hell up.

Me, the one with the empty uterus and empty arms.

Stop looking at the calendar. Stop torturing yourself by going on Facebook or baby blogs. Don't look at that website of cute baby clothes. Stop pushing your stomach out when you get dressed in the morning so you'd see what you look like wearing that outfit if you were still pregnant. You'll be pregnant again someday. Hopefully soon. Focus on that. Focus. Focus.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roller coaster

And that's how it goes in the life of a DBM*.


Then down.

Then up.

Then down.

High on top of the world one minute when you're feeling confident in the future, then completely gutted the next minute when you read about it happening for a second time to someone else.

Today should have been the first day of my third trimester. I should be huge. I was already huge! I should be huge-er. I really, really miss being pregnant. I really, really hate milestone days like this. I really, really hate that I still have these days in my head and that they're still marked on my calendar (even though they're scratched out...I still know what is under those heavy pen marks). I should make it through the rest of the summer without a date like this slapping me in the face; other than Caleb's due date this was the last big milestone.


Then down.

*Dead baby mama.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


One of the blogs I follow, The Peeks, has been a wonderful place of encouragement for me. Courtney lost her twin boys on January 31, 2009 at 22 weeks when she came down with HELLP. Almost exactly a year later, she became pregnant again - with another baby boy! I loved following the story of her second pregnancy, reading about how strong she was, and how she gave this baby all the excitement and love it deserved despite her fears. It gave me so much hope.

She just lost her third son, at 23 weeks.

I am just devastated for her and her family. This is my biggest fear: having to go through this again. She did everything right, and was being monitored left and right and had all the right testing done and everything showed that the chances of this happening again were virtually nil. Last Wednesday she started having contractions and on Monday...Memorial Day, how flipping lovely...she had her baby. This time it looks like it might have been because of BV*...a huge fear of mine because I had to take antibiotics for that just before my water broke. I hadn't known it could be a cause of pPROM until after Caleb was born and died. Whether it caused mine, we'll never know. But it looks like it might have played a part in Courtney's.

One devastated family. Two entirely unrelated causes. Three terrible deaths. It can happen again; it does happen again.

I just have no words. So. Fucking. Unfair.

*Bacterial vaginosis, another term I hate writing out. Ew.

Edited: The official cause of her son's death was incompetent cervix, which can be caused by trauma to the cervix - like the D&C she had to deliver her sons. Totally preventable with a cerclage. Complete bullshit it happened.

Around the corner

It's been a really good week. Being so confident in the upcoming tests has done amazing things for my emotional well-being. There are only two possible outcomes: they find something, or they don't. And I'll be thrilled with either one. If they find something, we can fix it. If they don't find anything, then it really was just a terrible fluke and chances are it won't happen again. At least it shouldn't. I made great strides with karma over the weekend by making a preschooler's LIFE by giving her a pack of glow sticks (which she continually called glue sticks, only adding to the adorableness). It wasn't perfect. I felt a few pangs of loss when playing with her 7-month-old brother, who is doing his part in keeping the cute baby tradition alive in their household with his easy smile and eight-mile-long eyelashes and giant blue eyes. Seeing his dad interact with him took me straight to how Chris would have been with Caleb. Carrying his car seat into the restaurant where I ate with his mom and dad was a physical reminder of what I should have had. Changing his diaper, pinching his toes, tickling his chubby legs...I should have had that. I want that. I hate that I don't have that. But knowing that the testing is being done gives me confidence that I will have that. It just won't be with my first baby boy, Caleb. Which is unfair. So flipping unfair. But I will have it with his little brothers and sisters. (However, despite this leap forward, I haven't made it so far as to unhide all my pregnant and new mom friends from Facebook. One thing at a time!)

But it was a very normal holiday weekend. I hung out with my family, I hung out with friends, I even got to hang out with my husband a bit! There was no crying. There was a lot of laughing. The raw open edges of my heart have worn away to a dull ache...always there, but not always causing pain. Normal. I can haz it.