Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life, as it happens.

Since having a huge, epic cry over finding out that our "friend" is having a boy, I've been doing pretty good. And I have to give a shout out to Chris (who doesn't read this, but I still feel the need to give props) for dealing with me that night. I know he didn't quite understand where I was coming from, but he just let me cry and held me, which is exactly what I needed. And in the morning, I felt better. I won't say I'm entirely at peace with the fact that they're having a son (and that she's blogging about "folding cute, little clothes for my special little gift to come.") but I got most of the emotions out during TearFest July 2010 and have been feeling pretty great since then.

I've talked a little bit before about our plans for any future pregnancies and what we've been doing thus far. I would wear a dirty diaper on my head if it meant that I would have a take-home baby in the future. I'd accessorize with air fresheners and glitter, but damn straight I'd rock that diaper 24/7 if it'd help. Hence the supplements I'm taking, the acupuncture I have scheduled for next week (so excited), the tests I've brow beaten my OB into performing, etc. Anything I can do to achieve a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, I'll be all over.

That being said, I don't really know that my OB is on the same page as I am. I love her - she's very nice, extremely competent, and also very unworried. She's confident that it was just a fluke and that I don't need to make any changes for the next pregnancy, especially after all the tests came back normal. She's probably right. But I can't shake the feeling that I need to be doing SOMETHING proactive next time.

So today I called the Maternal-Fetal Medicine department (MFM) and scheduled a consultation. After my water broke, I saw one of the MFM doctors and he had mentioned that while not necessary, I could be a candidate for MFM care next time. Since I haven't felt 100% comfortable with the lack of action plan for next time (other than a couple extra checkups/ultrasounds), I want to explore my other options for care should I get pregnant again. I am not hoping for miracles; I don't think they'll be able to give me answers as to why this happened; I don't think they have some magic test that hasn't already been performed. I am hoping that they'll be more understanding and offer me weekly or bi-weekly checkups and ultrasounds to keep my mind at ease; that they might be more aggressive with treatments (even if unnecessary...if it can't hurt, I want to do it); that they might be more willing to work with an admittedly bat-shit-crazy-paranoid woman (a title which I loathe, but is well-earned).

I told Chris the other day that I have this sinking feeling that our journey isn't over yet and that this will happen to us again...that there is something wrong with me that the HSG and RPL screen didn't pick up. I'm sure that's coming from a place of pure terror and is normal when when something this devastating occurs for seemingly no reason. But in the back of my head, I can't help but think we have to go through this one more time before we get our take home baby. I hope not. I really, really hope that's not the case. I know people who have gone through this more than once and it's so fucking unfair. But they made it through...and I know that if it does, I can too. That being said, please god no.

Where's that crystal ball when you need it??

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I wasn't sure I'd ever call myself lucky again, but I am, really. I am lucky enough to have some really amazing friends (I also have an amazing family and amazing husband, but that's a post for another day). July 24 was supposed to be my baby shower. My best friends had planned the date well in advance because their jobs don't give them a lot of flexibility, so they had to start early to find a date that would work for everyone. Yesterday, I should have be 34 weeks pregnant, huge, and sharing in excitement and love with my friends and family (while awww-ing over adorable baby clothes, of course). Because they knew it would be a hard date for me, they took me out to celebrate our friendship. We went to dinner, had a few drinks, and then played games* at one of my friend's parent's house. If your friends don't have amazing parents, that might sound weird, but I laughed every minute I was there.

It feels like forever since we lost Caleb, but I still haven't been without him as long as I had been with him. That blows my mind. And it won't be until the very end of August that I'll even reach that milestone. Wow.

*Telestrations. Get it. Best game EVER.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Don't get me wrong.

"You need to get over it."
"People are going to have babies...boy can't let it make you sad."
"Don't let it bother you."
"Can't you just be happy for them?"
"You'll have one too someday."
"Focus on the positive!"

Look, I know. I get it. The world doesn't stop procreating and people don't stop having boys because of what I went through. I'm not going to lie to you; if there was a button I could push to make that happen until I caught up, I totally would. Selfish? Sure. Self-preservation? Absolutely.

You can't force yourself to feel something other than what you do. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy for them. I'm glad they are living the dream. I know that they were really looking forward to having kids - and lucky them, they got pregnant right away and have thus far had a perfect pregnancy.* I wish nothing more for them than a screaming, healthy baby in 20 weeks. I'm glad they didn't have to suffer infertility or miscarriages to get where they are.



That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. It doesn't mean I'll ever be able to look at their son without thinking of my son who should be running around, three months older than their son. I understand how easy it is to say that I can't let it bother me, but unless you've been in my exact shoes or worse, you simply don't get it. And I'm GLAD you don't get it. Because getting it would mean that you are suffering as much as I am. But it's going to bother me. It's going to make me sad. It's going to be hard. It's going to make me mourn the loss of my son all over again.

I can't make you understand if you don't. It's a gut feeling. It's a certain drop of the heart. It's tears welling up without control. To go as far in the opposite direction for an example as I can, imagine that you put in a bid on a dream house, and didn't get it. Shortly thereafter, your friends put in a bid on the same house, and get it. Wouldn't you be a little jealous of them every time you visited? Wouldn't you think, "Man, this should be my master bathroom with jacuzzi tub and marble tile!"? It doesn't mean you're not happy for them - but come on, they're living in the house you always wanted, and that's gotta sting. Or imagine you saved up for months to go on some fabulous vacation to Italy. At the very last minute, it fell through, and you have nothing to show for it. You're out all that money, all that time planning, all that excitement you had. A few weeks later, you find out your friends are going on vacation. And not just any vacation, but that exact Italian vacation that you wanted to take. Wouldn't you be sad you didn't get to go? Wouldn't you think to yourself, "Man, I wish they would have chosen to go to somewhere else, anywhere else." You'd be happy they got to have an amazing time, but you still wish you would have gotten to go on YOUR vacation. And you think it'd be a lot easier to look at their vacation pictures if they were showing you pictures of Australia, or Antarctica, or Arkansas, or anywhere other than Italy.

It's like that.

Times a million.

*Fertility ho's**, as we call them one on of the forums I go to. And there's nothing wrong with that. I was a fertility ho until we lost the baby.
**Don't get me wrong. As much as I complain, they're good people. I think. Self-centered, thoughtless, tactless people, but still okay people. They deserve a baby as much as anyone else.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gdamn it.

They're having a boy. Of course. Of freaking course.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I spent the last week or so traveling; first to Philadelphia and then to St. Louis. I flew to Philly, but drove to St. Louis and back. About an hour into my trip home from St. Louis, I saw a pro-life billboard that said something like "You have one job...protect her and keep her safe." with a picture of a late-term fetus. And of course, there's nothing like seeing a billboard like that while driving by yourself with nothing to take your mind off it. Bring on the waves of guilt! I had one effing job to keep my baby safe for nine months...and I failed spectacularly. He did his job; he was perfect. I didn't do mine. I was the only one who COULD keep him safe, and I'm the only one who failed. Once he was born, the task of keeping him safe and alive would be shared by dozens of people - Chris, relatives, babysitters, teachers, doctors. But for those 40 weeks, it all was on me. And I didn't pull through for him. Needless to say, I spent about an hour of the drive home crying uncontrollably.

After I'd finally pulled myself together, I stopped to eat and checked Facebook on my phone. The "friend" I've mentioned a few times (Sally) just keeps shocking me. There are so many things going back years that she's done that are thoughtless, but she's seemed to ramp it up since she became pregnant (or, more likely, I'm now more sensitive to it). She posted on about a big surprise...her first stretchmark. She emphasized that it was tiny and barely noticible, but said, and I quote, "It really is devastating." It took all my strength not to reply to her, "Sally, I don't think you actually know the definition of the word devastating." Or maybe, "Wow, if a stretch mark is devastating, what do you consider what happened to me?" Or maybe, "No, Sally, a stretch mark is not devastating. MAYBE disappointing. Certainly not devastating. Losing a baby? That's devastating." Or maybe just a simple, silent wish that she gets super fat and covered in stretch marks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Snake oil and quackery

I'm not a crunchy-granola hippie - I haven't checked my shampoo for phthalates; I eat lots of frozen foods chock full of unnatural preservatives; I love coating myself in chemicals to fake a tan; I got the flu shot; I plan to vaccinate my kids. But I was going to a midwife and planning a natural birth and I am open to the idea that modern science might not have all the answers; that you can't necessarily isolate one part of the body and diagnose it without looking at the rest of the body as well.

Today I went in for a consultation at a natural healing center, which was recommended by several people. I figured it couldn't hurt to see what they said about getting my body in balance and the best health it can possibly be in for the next baby.

During the consultation, I told the herbalist/healer/owner guy about my medical history (it's always so comfortable telling guys about your period, amiright? Or is that just me??) and about what I hoped to achieve...namely, a baby. Full-term. Alive.

He checked a pressure point in my ankle, my eyes, the pulse in both wrists, my ear, and my tongue. He said that my pulse is pretty sluggish and that I might be slightly anemic. He also diagnosed a food allergy by looking at my tongue - which one he can only guess at, but that he's confident that I have one. He also mentioned (based on a slightly inflammed pressure point and history) that I might have minor thyroid issues. He advised that I continue to take the supplements I currently am taking (Vitex, Pom juice, fish oil, Green Tea, acidophilus, prenatal) and added a fertility one and a tincture that he explained in detail, but I can't remember the details other than that he was adding something for digestive health and stress. I've had issues with dairy before, so he advised trying to cut that out for a week, then the last day adding it to all three meals to see how I feel. If that doesn't seem to be the allergy issue, I'll add it back in and cut out something else the next week.

In a month or two when we're actively trying to conceive, the supplements will change, and once I get pregnant, they'll change again. He said that he knows of several herbs and supplements that are thought to help strengthen the amniotic sac and can help prevent pPROM.

Whether any of that is backed up by actual medical science, I couldn't tell you. But I'd drink the urine of a unicorn if someone told me it'd help. So I'm giving it a month or so to see what happens - whether my cycles become more regular, if I feel like I have more energy, if I'm sleeping better - and if so, I'll continue it. I'll also likely add in acupuncture at some point. It certainly won't replace modern medicine, but I'm hoping that supplementing it with a more holistic approach will help. And if it doesn't do anything, then no harm done...right? RIGHT?!?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

No, that's not comforting...but thanks?


Telling me, "Well, at least you can _____________* now that you're not pregnant!" is in no way a comfort to me. I hope you realize that I'd give up doing ___________ for life to still be pregnant? I know, bright side and all, but really all that does is remind me that I'm not pregnant any more. Truly, a hug and an "I'm so sorry" is sufficient. I don't need to be told that God has a reason (unless he's personally told you the reason for this happening?? In which case, I'm all ears!). I don't need to be assured that "at least you know you can get pregnant!". I don't need you to assume that something was wrong with the baby (there wasn't). Don't tell me that it wasn't the right time or that maybe God is pushing me towards adoption (unless, again, you've spoken to him personally? In which case might I recommend a talk show?).

Just a hug is fine. Really.

*Drink, have sushi, go on vacation, go on roller coasters, scuba dive (um, I live in Nebraska...?), do a headstand while snorting cocaine, whatever.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holiday cheer

I cannot WAIT for the 4th of July! It's my favorite holiday by far. Granted, I will have to deal with seeing the person I was talking about in my previous post (the friend that I've cut out as much as I can), but I'm hopeful that fireworks and s'mores will remedy that. What CAN'T fireworks and s'mores remedy, really? Not much, methinks.

I can't believe how fast this summer is going. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 weeks since I lost Caleb, and that when I was pregnant with him I thought this summer would drag on FOREVER. Not so! His due date is just around the corner...less than two months away. And with it is my birthday. I didn't remember until today how close our birthdays were supposed to be - mine is August 31; his was supposed to be September 3. Damn!! The two will always be associated in my mind.

I've spent most of the last 10 weeks thinking about next time. We've had so much advice from so many friends and family, and I seriously appreciate all the different viewpoints (and trust me, this post is directed at no one in particular...we've been hearing all sides for weeks now!!). Because my cycles were so irregular before - like, it's amazing it happened so fast with Caleb - I'd like to get going sooner rather than later [see: turning 30 in August]. The sad fact is that no matter what, if we get pregnant anytime in the next two years, this next baby (pleasepleaseplease let there be a next baby) wouldn't have been here had Caleb lived. However, I hope that our next child never feels like they are just a replacement, because truly they will have to some extent saved me. I did talk to the doctor about whether waiting any additional time could be beneficial; she assured me that it made no difference whether we waited three or four or five months. There have been some studies that have shown better outcomes if you wait a year or two, but, um, no way [see again: turning 30 in August]. This journey has already been long enough without stretching it out even further by waiting that long to even start trying. And it might take that long to just get pregnant, who knows?? I feel so much joy and hope and the prospect of finishing what we started back with our Big Fat Positive and I know that I'm ready when my body is. But I would never ever pressure Chris into trying if he wasn't ready. Ok...that's a lie. I would totally pressure him. But I'd never ever actually try if he wasn't fully into the idea. The sight of a plus sign on a test is going to be emotional enough; I don't need to feel nervous about his reaction on top of that - the same reason I never threw out the birth control pills before he was ready (despite the suggestions of several friends, an aunt, and a fortune teller.) (Ok, the fortune teller may not have said EXACTLY that but I was trying to convince myself that's what she meant so that it would be FATE that got me pregnant and not me cheating on birth control....who can argue with FATE?) (Well, clearly I can since I talked myself out of it.). Hopefully he comes around to three months; if not, then we'll wait four. In the long run, it's just a month and in the long run, September 3 is just an arbitrary goal that I seriously understand may not - probably won't - happen. I mean, it'd have to happen on our first shot, and while I'm sure Chris's boys are good swimmers, I'm not sure they're THAT good. I'm going to be gutted on September 3 no matter what, and if I have a bit of excitement to look forward to that day, then I'll take it. And if it doesn't happen....well, it'd be just a sprinkle of disappointment on the sundae that is life.

Wait, what?

Worst analogy ever.

In sad news, my mom found out that the college she's worked at the last four years is closing suddenly. She just found out yesterday - after a student called to ask her about it, no less - and school was supposed to start in just a few weeks. They're not sure if they'll be able to pay the teachers for July and August (which was in their contracts). She's completely devastated, and I spent today crying with her. I know it doesn't seem like a huge deal, but especially in this economy, especially in the post-secondary teaching's going to be difficult to find a new position. I know that she just feels like the universe is dumping everything on our family and she's just waiting for the next shoe to drop. Hopefully fate is one-legged and there's not another shoe coming.

Good Lord, what is with these terrible analogies today??

In happy news, it's fricking beautiful out. Like the best weather we've had all year. I kind of want to take the next week off and just lay out back reading and sit on our porch and go camping and hiking and possibly float down a river in a barrel and be outside constantly. Mmmm. Just thinking about that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Is it wrong strongly resent work for keeping me inside during this weather?