Category Archives: NOT Pregnant…AGAIN!

WHAT MATTERS

I will honestly admit that I forgot that today was THAT day, THE day set aside by someone who like me – and tragically – like too many others, felt more awareness was needed. Today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

And while I forgot that today was that day, I wake up every morning knowing that something is missing from my life. Would I have smiled more, cried more, loved more? Would I have found peace sooner, stopped blogging sooner?

I am reminded of a little trick I use to deal with things that hurt or irritate or anger me in which I ask myself, will it matter in 5 minutes? Will it matter in 5 days? Will it matter in 5 months?

How about in 5 years? I can tell you that for me, it has been 5 years come this November. It still matters. It always will.

  1. Pregnancy #2: Vivienne Elise – Death November 2004 at 15wks GA, EDD May 2005
  2. Pregnancy #3: Death December 2005, chemical, EDD September 2006
  3. Pregnancy #4: Wolf – Death October 2006 at 8wks GA, EDD June 2007
  4. Pregnancy #5: Death May 2007, EDD February 2008

I don’t light a candle. The small flames flicker in my heart and they will never, ever be extinguished.

PREGNANCY PALS

I had a Pregnancy Pal when I was pregnant with XBoy. We didn’t start off as friends who had planned pregnancies at the same time. Instead we had met during our late 2nd trimesters at the YMCA where we both were taking the swim class. We even worked for the same company, but had never met since we worked on different campuses.

Pregnancy Pal and I were due within a week of each other in December 2001. We both were going through our first pregnancies. She was in her late-20s. I was in my early-30s. Looking at us as we climbed out of the pool you might have thought she was at least 8 weeks behind me as her bump was just that – a bump – whereas I bulged.

We became good friends.

Her son was born at the end of November. I remember coming to visit her and her baby and holding him and marveling at how small he was. Less than a week later, I delivered XBoy.

During the first couple of years, all four of us spent a lot of time together. We compared milestones in both our babies’ lives and our own. We dressed them similarly for holidays and took pictures. Soon we were talking about having our second children. Early summer 2004, she announced she was pregnant. By the end of August, I told her I was, too. We were again Pregnancy Pals.

I specifically remember how we packed up the now three-year-old boys in my SUV and made a trip to The Metro for a day at the zoo, something we had done the year before together. The boys were in the second row trying to outdo each other in noise levels, silliness, and snack consumption. My friend looked at me and announced, “Next year when we go, our baby girls will be in the second row and the boys will be in the far back!” jokingly said since neither of us knew the sex of our babies, but it was a lovely image to have.

As most of you know, in November 2004, the path my Pregnancy Pal and I had started on violently diverged. I miscarried at 15 weeks. She went on to deliver a healthy baby girl in the spring. Obviously I did not.

A rift was created that November between us. We still got together for play dates with our sons. We got together to discuss flooring options and pour over paint chips as we both were building new homes. But those times weren’t as often as before. Part of it was the constant time demand of dealing with construction decisions, but what went unsaid was the fact that we were no longer Pregnancy Pals.

Compared to her first baby, who I held when he was less than 24 hours, I did not see her daughter until she was almost two weeks old. She was on maternity leave and I was still working full-time so getting together to go for a swim, or lunch or shopping, were moments few and getting further between.

A couple years later, her husband was transferred to another region and they moved away. For the first year, she would call up when they had returned to town to visit family so that our sons could get together (XBoy took his friend’s move pretty hard, and he still talks about him), but even those times came to a stop. I don’t know when exactly the last time I saw her or her children, but I know it was before our donor egg cycle.

The other day I typed in her name on Facebook’s search and I saw her face for the first time in two years. It wasn’t just her I saw, either. Her profile picture was of her and flanking her, in a group hug, was her son and her daughter. They were both wearing back-packs. I assumed the picture was of their first day of school.

As I stared at the postage size picture on my screen, I saw what might have been.

Angrily, I also thought, what SHOULD have been.

I closed her profile screen without sending a friend request. I shut off the light above my computer, kissed my husband goodnight who was watching TV, and went to bed with my heart heavier than it has been in a long, long time.

I lost a baby and a good friend that fall. I really miss them.

no. 543 – Today

…October 15, 2007…

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I didn’t need the U.S. House of Rep to set aside one day of the year to remember the pregnancies I have lost, but they did, and today is that day. So while I think about what could have been almost every waking moment, I will also take advantage of this day and remind you.

November 11, 2004 – Vivienne Elise, miscarriage 15 weeks

January 10, 2006 – Miscarriage 5 weeks 4 days

November 14, 2006 – "Wolf", miscarriage 8 weeks 2 days

June 5, 2007 – Miscarriage 5 weeks 3 days

Waveoflight_2

no. 472 – The Silver Lining

Most of you have read the statistics: as many as one in five known pregnancies will end in a miscarriage and usually within the first trimester. With that said, the likelihood of a woman who has had one unexplained miscarriage going on to a subsequent healthy and term pregnancy is 60 – 70%, if not better.

After we lost Vivienne in 2004, that information was my silver lining in my dark cloud for over a year even with the troubles we were having getting pregnant. Eventually that silver lining received a spit-shine when we saw the RE for the first time and the genetic testing on both my husband and I confirmed that Vivienne’s trisomy was a fluke – not a gene passed on from either of us.

The embarrassing enthusiasm I wrote with when our beta numbers came in after the first IVF is painful even now, 18 months later, to think about. But that enthusiasm was fueled with the naiveté that comes with believing that statistically that particular IVF should have been my swan song.

When the beta didn’t double within 48 hours, that silver lining lost its sheen, scratched by disillusion and tarnished by bitter tears (if I was to wax poetic).

The bad news to which there is no good is that since my subsequent pregnancy to my first miscarriage ended in yet another miscarriage, statistics start tilting against me. Less than 5% of women have more than two miscarriages, and once a woman has two, her chances of having that healthy pregnancy start falling from that nice cushy 60 – 70% range.

Who could blame me then when I struggled to find some bit of happiness with my brief and odds-defying pregnancy with Wolf? When we found out that even that one was doomed, I blamed myself more than usual for not having optimism or faith and instead a premonition of what turned out to be the worst possible outcome: miscarriage number three.

Wolf threw me into the less than 1% of women who are jumbled into the three-or-more-concurrent-miscarriages basket. They (Researchers) don’t have information that outline specifically odds on the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, or eleventh iscarriage. Three becomes the “magic” number. After that, it doesn’t really matter to ASRM if I’ve had three or thirteen.

The fear of getting pregnant again has finally outweighed the fear of not getting pregnant again. I’m trying hard to remember that using donor gamete/egg gets me a statistical reprieve because the number one cause of Early Pregnancy Loss (poor egg quality due to age and chromosomal defects) has been eliminated. Unfortunately, the little testing we’ve had (genetic analysis and clotting disorders) have not indicated what our…excuse me…what my problem is. The tests have only ruled out what it is not.

So here I sit with a rather misshapen cloud, rimmed with tarnished and dented silver, and imagining it in its former glory. I try not to get too close for fear of seeing myself reflected back in the few remaining spots not marred by anger, depression and reality.

Since we don’t have any known medical reason for my miscarriages, I cannot safely bring myself to hope again that donor egg will be the answer to our presently unanswered prayers. I will try to polish up that silver lining again but it won’t be with the enthusiasm I had before. This seems like a good place to end with a riddle: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” What happens when I let a pregnancy fool me for the fifth time?

no. 469 – Dear Squatters

Dear Hundreds of Baby Spiders Using My SUV As A Nursery,

Unless you plan on spinning me a beautiful silken hammock to which I can laze away these humid and warm days of summer, I request that you find a more appropriate setting to make your eye-blinking jumps. Also, please note, my morning coffee is not your personal jacuzzi.

Dear Deer Camping in the Tree Line Across the Road,

Stop. Look. Listen. Even my son knows this. Stop perpetuating the rumor that beauty and brains do not mix.

Dear Uterine Lining,

As impressive as your ability to pad my "baby buggy" apparently happens to be, 7 full days of either bleeding, spotting, staining or a combination of any of these attributes is just plain mean. I’m trying to get all laundry done before Thursday and you are not doing any more than just pissing me off and reminding me that sustaining an embryo, even if a mouth-breather, is not within your scope of functions. Shed and be done already.

Sincerely,

The Car-, Land-, and Body-Lord

no. 466 – The Maternal Heart’s Essence

For the past couple of nights I’ve been working on a new pet project. I still am undecided about starting and maintaining a real, live support group, so I thought I would try dipping my toes into something similar without as much pressure.

I’ll present the idea and you let me know what you think, or even if it’s already been done and that  I’m quite possibly a complete jackass for not knowing that already. It’s something similar to Babyblogorama, which I had the incredibly painful honor of requesting that my name be removed from the "Expecting in September" list after my first IVF. Someone had sent them my name and blog after I had posted my positive beta.

Even though the site has gone defunct, I appreciate what the author was trying to do, and that is to find a way for women/men or couples to connect with other people with similar situations in either trying or expecting.

My site is not nearly as "optimistic" as Babyblogorama, but I’m hoping it can create another sense of community, especially in the miscarriage and stillbirth segments. I’ve called it The Maternal Heart’s Essence: Remembering the Life We Never Met But Loved With All Our Heart.

To get an idea of what I’m doing with it, you can click on either the About This Site page or look at "11 November" or "06 June" to see what I’ve done in relationship to my own miscarriages.

If you think the site is in bad taste (my husband said "People want to forget those dates. Why would you do this to remind them?"), or that it’s been done and I’ve inadvertently copied someone else’s hard work, or even if you think the title/subtitle are cheesy beyond cheese, would you please feel free to let me know? Keep in mind I’m a delicate flower and will surely crumble to dust if you think it’s kind of dumb. No, really. I’ll be OK with it. The big girl panties are on and providing full coverage.

On the other hand, if you think this is something you would like to use to commemorate a loss date, please email me or leave a comment and I will add the informaton as I have time. Personally, I just used my loss dates because they were more real than the supposed due dates.

Alright then. Time to let me know what you think. You’ll have through the weekend since I’m going to treat myself tomorrow to a poisonous injection in a dermatologist’s office, then off to the antique show a few hours from me in Iowa. For Saturday and Sunday I’ve just been forcing myself not to blog. I’ve got my priorities, you know.

no. 465 – That Was One Hell of a Hump

Yesterday was a B-A-D day. It sucked, quite frankly. I had to open up my own site and look at my son’s picture multiple times to keep me from running from the building into the rain and never looking back. I blame the hormonal let-down combined with the ‘roids.

Of course it didn’t help that at one of my meetings I noticed the woman across the table from me sitting peculiarly, with her arms akimbo. Jesusonaritz! She’s pregnant! Nothing extraordinary about that, except she just had a baby born in August. Clearly she was 5-6 months along already.

I had a friend with a very colorful personality when I was living in Kansas who had a quaint saying for women like that: She didn’t sleep with her feet in no bucket.

Couple that with the attendance of my sweet, caring ER doctor, Dr. Marathon, who pulled me aside at the end of the meeting to ask how my ultrasound had went…

Yes, today I would have been scheduled for my 6 week ultrasound. Good thing I had that 3rd beta because the requisite freakingthefuckout would have already begun with all the bleeding I’d been doing for the past 36 hours. Because he was sincerely moved by my bad news whispered discreetly back to him, I had to quickly excuse myself to go sob in the bathroom.

When I got back to my office I then had to shut the door because I was a mess, complete with the blubbering, sniffling and snot draining.

As I was getting ready for bed, it started all over again. Mr. DD, bless his heart, even went ahead and mounted the under-cabinet radio I got for him for Father’s Day (he found it "hidden" in the garage). Major truce move since this morning he announced he didn’t like it because it had to be bolted to the cabinets. Well, duh.

He then came in to the bedroom and sat down next to me. The room was already dark, so I watched his silhouette as he said to me:

You cannot let it get to you, this business of being angry at every pregnant woman you see. If you do, it will eat you alive. If all you do is think about them, then you are not thinking of X, and when we get all done with this, he will have grown up without you.

Not only was that the sweetest blow I’ve had to the stomach lately, but it also echoed something someone else just recently wrote me in an email.

The control I so desperately want on my life is swirling the drain. While I wait for a donor, I think I’ll find a tampon or a drain plug and try to stem that flow. This bullshit has got to stop!

By the way, if you notice the time of this post? After two full days without hives, I woke up at 3:00ish to pee and was attacked by another round, this time on my elbows, buttocks and the back of my thighs. It looks like I’ll be getting some refills before heading to the beach NEXT SATURDAY!!!!!!