Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby F Memorial Day

Today is the dreaded day. Today marks the one year anniversary, or better yet memorial of our first child's birthday. (I immediately take a moment to rub my face and hide from the fact that I just typed that.) A year. A full year has passed. The memory has not faded, and the hope of being pregnant again to help lessen the blow, has not happened.

Instead I am going to be completely honest with all of you. I hate writing about this. I hate being the one everyone feels bad for. I hate that everyone knows what I am going through, what we are going through. I hate that it's Christmas in 2 days, I have no tree and barely any decorations up. I hate that the 2nd bedroom isn't a nursery, or that my basement isn't over run by toys. I hate when I'm holding my new niece, that no one has the nerve to ask to take her from me. I hate that I wake up at 4:30am, but not to a screaming infant. I hate the looks I get after someone reads a devastating post. I hate that even my closest friends aren't sure if they can ask what's happening in fear of sparking tears. I hate that our Christmas card, which I haven't even sent out yet, doesn't contain a 3rd family member.

But this is my life right now. I'm married, working a full time desk job, trying to get over months of depression. I am focusing on losing the 20lbs I've gained. (Yes, I said 20.) I'm attempting to be a runner and finish a 5k in the Spring. I signed up for a weaving class in a nearby town to hopefully rekindle my love for the arts. I hope with everything that I am, that I can get pregnant, and carry to full term. I hope that if I can't, that we are blessed with adoption. I hope that I can pull myself out of this pit of sadness to remember who I am, and how I want my life to go.

Control the things you can. That's what I plan to do. I could sit here and think that our child would be turning 5 months old, what they would look like, whether or not I'd have some serious bags under my eyes. But I won't. There's things that happen to good people that we can never explain. Things that make absolutely no sense. I hope one day I can come to terms with all that has happened. But for today, I am thankful for those 9 weeks, for the sound of their heartbeat and the image of them on the ultrasound. I am thankful that my husband is still by my side after months of fertility drugs. I'm thankful we were lead to Dr. C. I am thankful for Barbara, our nurse and all her support. I'm thankful to our friends and family always letting us know they support us. I am thankful for all of those who will never have to experience what we have. I am thankful I started writing this for all of you to read. I'm thankful for those of you who have reached out with similar stories.

Today I am thankful for Andrew. Our first son whom I will never forget and look forward to meeting in heaven.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Selfish or Ensuring your own happiness?

I'm the youngest of three girls. For my entire life, I have been told I'm spoiled, I guess it comes with being the youngest. When I was little, my parents would always say how easy going I was. My husband will now argue that that is definitely not the case, and I have to agree with him.

I've also been called selfish. Which I'm proud to say I am. (Hear me out.) I think a lot of the time we confuse selfishness with just trying to be happy. Is there a difference between the two? I don't think so. For most of my life, I had gone along with what other people wanted. I never put up a fuss or stated what I was really thinking. My freshman year of college, attending a university where I knew no one, I started fresh. I began speaking up for myself and at times, I'm sure my friends would say I was brutally honest. It wasn't until I started a sorority my junior year of college and began having to be diplomatic that I realized there's a delicate tact to being honest. I remember being at a meeting and completely losing my temper. I just got to the point that I was so frustrated with trying to please someone else, or not hurt their feelings, that the honesty just boiled up and exploded. I immediately regretted it. It was from that day on that I vowed to myself to be honest, but kind.

So why is being selfish good, you're probably asking.....I think a better way to word it is "living for yourself". But seriously, they are the same thing. Living for yourself allows you to follow what you think is best, instead of going along with what everyone else wants. No one else can supply you with your own happiness. So my 2012 resolution is to be more selfish. I've lost bits of myself over the last 3 years focusing on getting pregnant and maintaining the perfect health. Pieces of me lost that allowed me to be healthy, allowed me to de-stress. Pieces that I need back. And whether or not I get pregnant, I can't keep planning on it happening. I need to live for myself. I need to make better choices when it comes to eating and make more of an effort to be active. I need to be selfish and not indulge in whatever my husband can eat. We have very different genes, mine being the fat, his being the "burn everything that enters". I need to put my needs first.

I challenge all of you to take time each day for yourself. There's a lot of moms I know that seem to forget to do that. Whether it's not finding the time to put on make-up, or shower every, or take 30 mins to read a book, go for a walk, or sip a glass of wine all alone. Whatever it is that makes you you, take time to do it. Be selfish. Start small, maybe just 10 mins a day to stretch, or learn a new yoga move. Your kids may drive you crazy, or your husband may keep asking about dinner. Tell them it's "me time", and use a small amount of your day to bask in the small things that make you special. It will help lower your stress levels and remind you of everything to be thankful for.

Being selfish isn't a bad thing, as long as it's not all the time. Find the happy balance so you can be a happier you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Now what?

It's officially taken me 5 days to digest everything we discussed with Dr. C on Friday. (As I've stated recently, I always trust my gut. Thankfully Dr. C agrees with that statement.) After we received the blood results from Saturday, the day I started bleeding, we were afraid that I may have imagined the whole pregnancy thing. However, the blood work we had done in his office on Monday was >.5 and Saturday's was .5. That low amount usually indicates no pregnancy. But seeing as we had a positive home test on Thursday, he agreed I had a very early miscarriage, also referred to as a chemical pregnancy.

So, has knowing this changed anything? No. When he asked me what I thought happened before we had the blood results, there was no doubt in my mind that I was pregnant. I had two days of nausea, saw implantation bleeding, and you couldn't even look at my breasts without causing me shooting pain. But after three days, they were all gone. I still believe we got pregnant, then days later, for whatever reason, the embryo stopped growing. Dr. C is in agreement. We are unsure if I released a premature egg, or if one of the warped sperm found their way to the egg.

Now what? As recommended, we are taking the month off. I am spending this time to focus on me. As a wise woman informed me, I've lost a bit of myself the last few months. I am attempting to regain those pieces and remember who I am. Starting with working out. I'm probably going to regret saying this, but I've started training for a half marathon, (shhhhhh don't tell). I tend to go over board with things, it's usually all or nothing with me. So Saturday I started running again. I am hoping at the very least, come Spring, I'll be ready for a 5k, and then we'll take it from there.

As for hubby, the poor guy had his junk ultrasound today. He met with the urologist who insisted on a consult, seeing as it's been 1.5 years since we've seen him. He now has to redo a specimen and has a follow up on January 4th. At that time, the urologist will determine whether or not surgery is necessary to remove bilateral varicosele. By the time he gets in for surgery, most likely it will be February. I am still hoping and praying that in the meantime we will get our miracle. As for now, you may see me disappear for awhile, or become overwhelmed with food, fitness and sanity tips. My apologies in advance.

I will say one thing in closing: for the past 3 years we have been trying to have a child. This is the first real month where we will be avoiding getting pregnant. Knowing, seeing and charting my cycle won't allow for any slip ups (mostly because my Creighton Nurse said firmly yesterday to avoid this month, it's definitely not by choice.) I almost don't know what to do with myself. Oh yes, new obsession: train for 1/2 marathon.

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Survive the Holidays-Infertility Style

Let's be honest, it's hard enough miscarrying on any given day. The holidays make everything worse. Besides getting through the EDA, getting through the holidays are by far the next runner up. Here's my words of advice for all of you living through the same pain.

1. Eat.   I'm not saying eat the entire Christmas dinner yourself. (Although if you're anything like me, you've thought about it.) Allow yourself to enjoy some Christmas desserts. After all, like my grandmother always says "Think about the people who passed up the chocolate cake on the Titanic." If you start to feel guilty, counter balance the sweets with some extra time at the gym. It will burn off the calories and help to clear your head. Trying mixing in a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains as well. Offer to bring a dish to the family party, something nutrient dense. It will help to keep your energy level up and mood happy.

2. Drink. Allowing yourself a drink (or two) at those awkward family gatherings, they will help to calm your nerves. However, don't over indulge. You don't want to be the blubbering idiot in the corner everyone feels bad for and avoids. You want to attempt to be the happy socialite surviving the pain, even if you're just pretending. When you need a moment, take it. Emotions come in waves and you just have to ride them out.

3. Avoid. That's right, avoid those who always seem to say the wrong thing. You have enough to worry about and bad memories filling your every thought, you do not need another one. Simply smile and say hello and then walk the other way. No need to be rude, but no need to cause yourself any more pain.

4. Be Merry. Yes I know, this will be the hardest one. How do you be happy when you have no baby bump, no "Babies 1st Christmas" ornament, no child sitting at the kids table? Remember you always have your spouse. If you can make it through infertility together, you can truly make it through anything. Through all the torture, my husband and I have managed to let this pull us even closer together. Don't let your sadness put a void between you two. Remember that infertility is no one's fault. It's discouraging, it can bring you to your darkest place. But when you're there, tell your spouse. Be open and honest with one another and find a way to be happy. (Happiness is a choice after all.)

5. Remember you are not alone. I am there with you in spirit. Quietly avoiding conversations about kids. Smiling when someone feels the need to remind you that you're still young. Biting your tongue when you hear "You should look into adopting" for the 1,000th time. I'm sitting beside you, holding your hand, reminding you that this is a battle we share.

6. Therapy. And if none of those seem to help, there's always Retail Therapy. Buy yourself a new outfit for the holidays, something flattering and makes you confident. Strut your baby-free figure and smile that you don't have any stretch marks hiding under that shirt. Hell, buy yourself a gorgeous Christmas bra and matching underwear set. Enjoy staying up all night together and sleeping-in in the morning. (Your husband will thank me.)

Just remember to take care of yourself first and foremost. If you can't handle the company Christmas party, don't go. If the thought of sitting through the family dinner curdles your stomach, plan a last minute getaway and say Adios to the holidays. Your family and friends will understand. Taking care of yourself comes first, and I think a lot of the time we forget that. This holiday season, put yourself and your happiness first. I know I plan to.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Goals

Word to the wise: Do not under any circumstance, tell me that:

A. We are trying too hard.
B. We should just relax.
C. Look into adoption.

I don't want to hear it right now. I know you may think these are comforting words, or you may really believe one of these things, but they are not helping me. I realize my stress level right now is high, trust me, I KNOW. I will say that tequila is my new best friend. I fully intend to relax and try to enjoy the holidays. We've booked a long weekend for New Year's in the Berkshires, alone. (No offense to any of our friends.) But I want to be alone.

December 23rd marks the anniversary of our first miscarriage. Having just experienced our second, I plan to do my very best to make it through the holidays. I make no guarantees though. All I know is that the one two things getting me through this month is my husband and our long weekend. It was my hope to be pregnant this month, I thought it might lighten the blow of facing the 23rd. I know now that that isn't a possibility. Therefore I am making new goals. Things to keep me focused and keep my mind off of everything else. I hate resolutions, goals seem more attainable. And why wait for the new year, why not start now?

New Goals

1. Work out 5 days a week. This year has packed on the pounds that I worked so hard to get off last year. So it's back to the gym, with a strong focus on nutrition. No longer eating to fill the void. Words of encouragement: Eat to live, don't live to eat. (Possibly hanging motivational photos on the fridge, and buying a scale to stay focused.)

2. Take a yoga class once a week. Nothing calms my nerves or helps relieve my stress like yoga. I figure once a week is an obtainable goal.

3. Run a 5k in the Spring. I've always wanted to be a runner. Having been blessed with ghetto ass and a substantial bosom, I never thought it was in my cards. However the week in Vermont re-instilled my desire to run. So look out world, you're going to see a lot of jiggling until things shrink or finally tighten back up.

4. Cook more. When I'm sad or depressed, like most people, I stop doing the things I love. Like cooking. Which has also contributed to the weight gain. So back to being Susie Homemaker it is.

5. Get pregnant by June. I've heard writing down your goals helps them to come true. After all, you don't know what you're striving for until you've faced them/written them down. 

6. Continue looking into adoption. Even if we don't move forward right away, I want to begin the process. (Shhh.....don't tell hubby.) No, I'm just kidding. This is obviously a big discussion that I plan to have with him. In no way does this mean we are not going to continue trying on our own. But we won't be meeting with Dr. C until January to discuss what to do next. And in the rare circumstance that we discover any more bad news, I want to have all of our options on the table.

7. Be more creative. What can I say, I was a textiles major and art has always been a huge part of my life. I recently discovered a local shop offering classes and happened to pick up a steal on Goupon. Also looking to relearn how to knit. Anyone want to help with that?

8. Be happy. Happiness is a choice after all. There will always tragedy, suffering, pain, sadness. But you have the choice to bask in it, learn from it, or look past it. I will not let life get the best of me. I chose to be happy. (I'll just have to keep reminding myself of this.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I know.

Sometimes you just know. I know I was pregnant. I knew early. Every sign was there along with that first line that appeared on Thursday, confirming what my gut was saying all along.

I know now, that I am no longer pregnant.

And now the waiting begins. Waiting for the awful cramps and endless bleeding that comes along with miscarriage. Waiting for my body to regain it's normal cycle. Waiting until we can try again.

But there's hope.
Hope that after 2 years and 11 months of trying, we finally can conceive on our own.
Hope that 2012 will bring us what we've wanted for so long.
Hope that my body can carry a pregnancy to full term.
Hope that one day, we will be parents.
Hope that no matter what, we remain positive.

Thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts. I truly felt as though I could feel them, and still do. There's an aura around me of love today, and for that, I am ever grateful.

Today I pray for another soul lost too early. 
I pray that they felt our love the moment they were conceived. 
I pray that I can remain strong. 
I pray for all of you walking similar paths. 
Know you are not alone. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

What is my gut saying?

So you have all been very patient. More patient than me. First, my apologies for keeping you in the dark. I have my reasons, and I hope you can all understand once I explain. It's a long story, so here goes.....
Thursday, 17 days post peak, still no period. So I peed on a stick, or two, or three...light line. I've had that so many times I tried not to get too excited. Dr. C told me to call his off on day 17 post peak if I didn't have my period whether I saw a line or not. I called at 8am. By the afternoon, I still hadn't heard, so I called back around 3:30. Told the message is on his desk. No phone call that night. That night, after I peed on a stick, I showed my husband the test. His first response: "Holy shit! You aren't crazy!" Mostly because I'd been saying all week that I thought I was pregnant, and he worries that I read too much into things.

Friday, 18 days post peak, still no period. Peed on a few more sticks. Light line. Keep in mind, my first pregnancy I never saw a dark line. My Hcg Levels were slow to climb to the point I didn't really see a line until day 19 or 20. I called Dr. C's office at 8am again, he's off today. Awesome. Thankfully his nurse practitioner was in and I was told she'd phone back. No call, so at 2pm letting anxiety take over, I phoned again. Told once again, the message is on her desk now, and she will phone around 4pm. 5 mins later, the receptionist phoned back and ordered lab work. I got out of work too late, so figured I'd go Saturday morning.

Saturday, 19 days post peak, still no period. (You may want to stop reading if you can't handle details.) So hubby and I had waited to have sex for a while after ovulation, I was afraid to disturb the area knowing it was already irritated. After, I started bleeding. Then came the cramps and some back pain. Afraid of another miscarriage, I phoned Dr. C's answering service. 2 mins later, Dr. C phoned me back. I explained what had happened. His first concern was that maybe my cervix was irritated and to relax, have bloodwork done, and be positive. There was also the fear of miscarriage discussed. I took a couple more tests that day, still a light line. The cramps continued for about an hour along with the back pain. After that they faded out for the most part. The bleeding wasn't heavy, didn't feel like clots. I tried to stay positive, knowing I would have answers on Monday.

Sunday, 20 days post peak, still spotting. Although it was light, it was still there. Still no clots, which made me feel a bit better. It's now become a mix of bright red blood, brown, and clear cervical mucus. Not heavy, but not super light either. In my mind, at this point, I was feeling like it was a miscarriage. My gut had been telling me for the past week that I was pregnant. I had a few days of nausea, super tender breasts, and some constant daily headaches. They started to fade mid last week, except for the headaches. At this point I'm very confused and starting to believe, and brace myself for another miscarriage.

Monday, 21 days post peak, still spotting, but much lighter. I phoned Dr. C's office as directed. I was able to get an early morning appointment and headed in alone. (Hubby had some meetings today.) I get to his office and in about 20 mins brought into a patient room. I then have to explain to the nurse that I'm there because I don't know if I'm miscarrying or not. Dr. C came in shortly after. Explained everything to him. He did a quick external exam, just pressing on my abdomen and lower abdomen. No pain, he seemed pleased. He continued to explain that the bleeding could be caused by the disturbance on Saturday. If I'm pregnant, my uterus will be flooded with blood and very sensitive. The blood, seeing as it's bright red and brown, that it could be a lower leak from my cervix, and some of the blood may have been trapped, but now being released.

So here I am, thinking he's going to tell me I'm miscarrying, and here he is, being super positive and scheduling a follow up appointment, Hcg level bloodwork again, and an ultrasound. I'm sorry, what? So you don't think I'm miscarrying? He was really positive and hopeful that this pregnancy may still be happening. He excused himself at that point to get my blood results from Saturday. As luck would have it, the lab messed up and only took my progesterone level, not my Hcg. At this point, I'm laughing. Seriously, how many other things can go wrong right now?! The lab however, still has my blood and thinks they can pull the Hcg, but we won't get results for at least another day. So then Dr. C's office does an Hcg test today as well, to be able to compare the two levels. I have taken another home test, where the line appears and then fades once it dries. My emotions are truly split down the middle, half of me believes I am still pregnant while the other half is telling me it's a miscarriage.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I should have answers. Tomorrow we should know what is actually happening in my body right now. I'm scared, I've cried numerous times and hid inside all weekend. This is the difficult part of blogging, the part that frightens me the most. I'm tearing up as I type because I don't know what's happening. I don't know if I am pregnant, I don't know if I am miscarrying. All I know is that we need alot of prayers right now. We need positive thoughts and energy. I ask that you all continue to be thinking of us and praying for us. I know that your support has helped us get to where we are today. And no matter what the outcome is tomorrow, we are happy with knowing we were able to conceive on our own, something we did not think was possible.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Trust Your Gut

I know you're all waiting for a big announcement, that I really wish I could give you. I do however want to take this day to announce:


I joined Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope recently and shared our story. You can read it here if you haven't already. I've been keeping up with the daily posts and there is always a consistent lack of follow through or better yet CARE, by the doctors. And many women say the same thing "I knew something was wrong." So why doesn't your doctor listen to you? Why aren't you being adamant on being seen?

There's something I've learned from my experience, always trust your gut. Know your body, know your instincts. Don't listen to the doctor when they say bleeding is normal during pregnancy. Yes, some bleeding is, but more cases than not, it's a warning sign. Having pregnancy symptoms one day, and the next they've disappeared is a sign. Demand to be seen. I don't care how crazy you sound or feel, if you have a concern, voice it. You are your only advocate.
One of the reasons I love Dr. C is because he actually cares. My cousin who referred me to him, shared that when she discovered she was finally pregnant, Dr. C wanted to see her that day. Not because he was concerned of any issues, he wanted to do everything in his power to let that life breath the air we breath, have a future. Does your doctor care that much? If he or she doesn't, find a new one! Find someone that understands your concerns and addresses them quickly. It may be the difference between loss and life.

For those of you concerned about seeing a religious doctor/practice, don't be. I had the same concerns and reservations. If you're struggling to conceive, find a NaPro doctor in your area. In no way do they push their beliefs on you. They are well educated, beyond the normal OB, to assist with fertility. Their goal is to help you get pregnant, and stay pregnant. Is that your fertility doctors main focus? Or are they just focused on the getting pregnant part? I know the difference now and would never trust pregnancy with anyone else. In 7 months, this man has given us the one thing we lost: HOPE.  He found numerous underlying issues that IVF never looked at or even thought of.
Figure 51-38
Have you experienced recurrent miscarriage? Having you been trying for months with no results? Is your gut telling you something is wrong? Take control of your fertility, and contact a NaPro doctor. It was the best thing I ever did.

Need to find a doctor in your area? Click here
And don't hesitate to email me questions, I'm happy to answer any and all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Are you all in suspense?

So am I.....

Still no definite answers yet.




(Is anyone even reading this?)