Category Archives: NOT Pregnant…AGAIN!

Make Mine a Lite!

I’m still spotting, but I figured I would for some time since I was flushing out a cycle’s worth of repronex, progesterone, antegon and of course one teeny-tiny embryo who really did take after mommy and got too lazy to stick around.

The cramping was pretty bad the first couple of days. It was like one of my old periods where I would gorge myself on chocolate and mochas days before CD1 would show and not drink enough water. Do you know what I mean?

Friday is my ultrasound to see how my lining looks in prep for the FET. After tonite I will be on 8mg of oral estrodial and I am trying to take my folic acid and vitamins daily.

I have reviewed the 2003 CDC findings for my clinic and they have a 50% success rate for women my age (38), but – and it’s a BIG BUTT – they only did 4 FETs in 2003 in my age group of which 2 resulted in live births. And they only did a total of 13 that year, of which 4 resulted in live births. Again the odds are better than if we were trying on our own, but I can’t help but want something a little more…definitive, ya’ know?

It seems surreal that by the end of next week we will have done another transfer – godwilling that a couple of the embryos survive the global warming, petri-dish style. No injections so my buttocks have finally healed and my underwear no longer sport little red polka-dots and I haven’t had a good wanding since the transfer on Dec. 21. Suzanne coined the phrase in one of her emails that this cycle should be called IVF-Lite: All the hopes, but half the stress!

Thanks everyone for offering support when I’m feeling none from those I should. Also, I’m sorry that I am not a brunette…this year anyway. I had been growing out my hair since I lost Baby May as a way of mourning. Some women slice off their hair, I decided that I would grow it since I really do not like long hair on me, I’ve got a pinhead, hatsize 7. I’ve always been the type to keep it short, very short, so by it being so long, it’s an evil reminder every morning that I still am not pregnant. But that is about to change. Friday I have scheduled a hair appt: 1) to take care of those nasty roots as I am a brunette (of mousy hue) under all that blonde; and 2) to take a couple inches off. I have to start slow as Mr. DD associates long hair with babedom. So by that standard, I have only become a "babe" in the last year of our 13 year relationship. Whoda’ thunk?

It’s 211 Degrees F. In Here

Things are slowly coming to a boil with the in-laws. Mr. DD finally is seeing how some of his family has been ostricizing me/us and hasn’t shown any concern for what hell we have been going through. Now I understand our position doesn’t mean every body’s lives need to come to a screeching halt, but some acknowledgement would be appreciated.

Today was the shower. Plan A was for Mr. DD to arrive at the hostess’s home with gifts in hand and to announce that I had suddenly contracted the ebola virus and thought it would be wise for me to stay at home and avoid bringing the plague to those expecting. However, harsh reality has struck and he is starting to feel as bitter as I am so I figured, what the hell, a little truth is what everyone needs to be subjected to right about now so on to Plan B.

So at noon, I gathered up the gifts and went to the where the party was scheduled. Party was scheduled for 3:00. Hostess, a SUPER lovely lady without a malicious bone in her body graciously welcomed me in and I brought the gifts in and set them on the floor and announced I would not be able to attend later.

"Oh no, did something come up?" she asked sincerely.

"No. I just can’t be here." and without missing a beat, she came up to me and gave me a hug and told me she was sorry. I then started to cry.

I explained that I just don’t care anymore if the family thinks I’m being a self-centered bitch, but right now I have to take care of me. Things are already strained and showing up to the shower would not have absolved me of my inability to socialize cheerfully with the mother-to-be; and it sure the hell wouldn’t have made me feel better.

She gave me every platitude in the book:

You just need to relax.
When’s the last time you had a vacation? Just you and Mr. DD and then, who knows?
At least you still have X.
G*d probably has some very special plans for you.
It will happen.

But I just couldn’t be mad at her. It’s not her fault that I’m not pregnant. It’s not her or her family who treats us like outsiders. I could only smile and nod quietly in agreement.

Before I left, the sister of the mom-to-be showed up and barely acknowledged my presence, which is completely opposite of her normally bubbly and happy personality. Knowing how uncomfortable we were in the same room only confirmed that what I was doing by admitting I couldn’t be there was the right thing to do.

I don’t know what will happen from here. Mr. DD wants everyone to get together and hash it out. I’m glad he finally gets that it isn’t up to me to make this all right; but he knows he will have to instigate a meeting between us all in order to begin the healing. It’s hard to see him in so much emotional turmoil and I hate that I have become a wedge between him and his family. On the other hand, I feel more love and respect for him than ever as he has chosen to support and defend me AGAINST his family in this very painful time in our lives.

The Joys of Baby-Shower Gift Shopping

Over my lunch today, I decided I better go find a baby-shower gift for my niece-in-law for Sunday so I skipped merrily over to Target and with the assumption that she had registered at every baby-related area in Small Town (List: Target only), and I printed out her gift list. I found some things that were all grouped in one location and confidently picked up an assortment of activity toys and jauntily headed for the wrapping paper and gift bag area to make sure our gift was appropriately attired.

As I stood staring at the cute little bags and bows and pink, yellow, blue and green paper, I felt…something. Almost indiscernible, but as I wondered from the paper to the bags and back again in perpetual pace of indecision, IT became more noticeable.

Just fucking GREAT!

I snagged my first choice of wrapping and threw it into my cart and headed over to toiletries. I needed a new toothbrush, some contact solution, facial cleanser, and because I knew I had nothing in my purse or drawer at work, some tampons.

I found the feminine products isle and cruised past the OPK and HPT with only a slight hesitation and found what I was looking for. By that time I was trembling in fury and cursing the unfuckingfairness of it all. I thought I was going to have to resort to Julie’s Temptation of a Period, but I should have known shopping for baby-shower gifts would trump any white panty/white jogging pant/new bed linen combo. No offense to you, Julie, as your idea was brilliant, but mine?! Well, do I need to say more? No, all it took was gift shopping for baby stuff wearing one of my finest CK underwear to bring on Cycle Day 1.

Or is it Cycle Day 37? That would make me 5 weeks and 2 days, so it’s the end of my pregnancy; beginning of my miscarriage; beginning of my FET cycle. Gosh! Who knew One Day could be the end and the beginning of so many exciting opportunities.

fuckityfuckfuckmotherfuckercocksuckersonofabitch…I hate this! I’m too mad to even cry. Sure, I knew this was coming, but it doesn’t suck any less.

Sometimes the Clinics Have GOOD Nurses, Too

I *heart* Nurse W. at my RE’s office! Just *heart* her!!!

I told Mr. DD that since his “services” won’t be required with the next cycle I thought we should get some additional diagnostic tests done to see if we can determine what has happened to make our IF a Male Factor dominated issue. It wasn’t until we headed into IUI #2 that we realized on hindsight that the amount of eejakulut (try Googling that, ya pervo troll) had been significantly reduced in volume. In what little research I can find, there isn’t much more in testing we could do except maybe an ultrasound to determine if there is some blockage or whatnot. I called the clinic and left a message for a nurse to call me back to see if we could look into this.

Nurse W. called me back and before getting all clinical and professional, she offered her condolences for our loss. Yes, our Loss. She made me feel like I was a person, with a face, and heart instead of just another uterus.

Being an efficient nurse that she is, she had already pulled my chart and talked to Dr. Blinksalot to see if there really was anything else they could do, and she apologetically told me that even if we got the quantity up, the quality will never be there. In short, my pregnancy with X and the pregnancy with Baby May were in fact, Miracles. In other words, we have been an Infertile couple all along; we just happened to get lucky and did things in reverse.

She really thinks we should look into IVF#2 if this FET does not work, even though she sincerely hopes it does. She sees more heartbreak at the office than I even care to imagine, but she sees the miracles as well. She thinks we can do it. Logistically, I think we can to.

What really good (or really bad) experiences have you had with nurses at your clinic?

Sanity Check: 24 Hours Later

Weird day yesterday. I felt good mentally for the beginning half of the day, but my mood took a one-eighty by 7:00 pm. In the morning, as you know from yesterday’s post, I had felt at peace with what had happened and what was being planned for the immediate future, which will be the FET.

I should elaborate a bit on the FET schedule: Dr. Blinksalot informed us that we could move directly into the procedure once the most expensive period I will probably have, begins. In other words, CD1 will also be Day 1 of the FET cycle. If we had opted for IVF#2, we would have had to do one cycle on BCP (Birth Control Pills), then the IVF cycle. I think knowing that I don’t have to "waste" a month off was one of the reasons I was feeling some optimism earlier.

And yes, I had also said in an earlier post that I didn’t know if we would move forward with ANYTHING. That’s my frustration and grief talking. If it was up to me, I would keep trying every available treatment there was until I had a sibling for X. But Mr. DD would never allow that. I fear a huge argument will ensue *if* the FET fails on what we will do next. I find his aversion to a donor to be nothing more than a shield to his male ego. But then again, am I so desperate for a baby that I wouldn’t care if it was his baby or a stranger’s? Some serious and sobering thoughts. Thoughts that took hold of me during the early afternoon yesterday and contributed to my good mood taking a stumbling trip out the door.

Also part of the problem yesterday was we went to The Metro. Mr. DD had purchased tickets to see this event as a surprise to X. Tickets to see some Monster Trucks. Now before you make any snap decisions as to my IQ or taste, I opted to go with the two boys so I could see the look on X’s face when he found out what we were doing. The event and all it’s sights and smells will have to be saved for a later post – including pictures! I’m sure you’ll be on the edge of your seats ’till then, right?

Anyway, we went to The Metro. I feel like Pavlov’s dog and have been conditioned to abhore the trip. It use to be associated with a relaxing day full of shopping, but now has become the 2 hour anxiety-filled trip to the RE (how are my E2 levels? will I have cysts? will there be any follicles? how big will they be? what will be my due date if I get pg this time? and on and on and on…). So I began to think about those emotions and didn’t want to mention them to Mr. DD on a day that was supposed to be filled with fun. Then when we arrived, we had planned to eat an early supper before the show started so we went to F^mous D^ve’s. It ended up being the last straw for my good humour.

We were seated in the exact same spot we had been over 4 1/2 years ago when we had found out we were pregnant and we had been invited to eat there with Mr. DD’s niece, her then fiance’ and his family to celebrate their engagement. I was nauseous and could barely eat. I think I was only 6 weeks and we didn’t want to trump the engagement party with an announcement of our pregnancy so I sat in what I now realize was the most wonderous misery. It brought back so many emotions and feelings including how I would give anything to go back to those days when infertility and miscarriage were awful things that happened to other couples, not us. Now that same niece is expecting her first baby in just a couple of months. And as we were sitting there, two couples sat next to us. One couple was considerably older and it was easy to figure they were the parents of the girl, who was very pregnant. I was subjected to their discussions of how she was already dialated and so much effaced. My appetite had vanished and I was left with nothing more than a bitter taste in my mouth.

Will I ever make it out of purgatory? How does one ever make peace with any of this?

Sanity Check

I have been in a complete frazzle this a.m. I have been racing from one end of the house to another, unable to concentrate or focus.

Is it because I’m stressing about the upcoming FET? The loss of so many hopes and dreams via a failed IVF? Could it be X is driving me to abstraction with his "Mommy?"
"Yes, X." "
I wanna…(pause), Mommy?"
"Yes, X."
"I wanna…(pause), Mommy?"
"What, X!"
"I wanna…can I have a…(pause), Mommy?"
"WHAT, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! X!"
"Can I have a Ho-Ho?"

AAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Oh, no. It’s not quite so mundane. Instead I cannot find a shirt. That’s right. I bought a new t-shirt that I want to wear today and I cannot find it. I already have washed it once, wore it, and now I cannot find it. I have hearded all the laundry into the laundry room and sorted everything. I have checked my closet not once, not twice, but three times. Not there. I have even checked Mr. DD’s and X’s closets. Not there, either.

What the hell is going on? Did the uni-socked gnomes finally get cold and decide what better to go with one sock then a white, scooped-necked t-shirt with lace on the bottom?

Dammit!

Last night, I told Mr. DD something I don’t think he ever expected to hear from me at this stage of the IF game, and that was I feel relieved.

Relieved that right now I don’t have to stress about the mind-fuck game of "Am I, or am I not?" Even for the 48 hours I knew that I was pregnant, I was trying to figure out how I would make it until the baby was born without having continuous DBT (Dead Baby Thoughts). I don’t have to dread the nightly injections of PIO, at least for a while. The lumps on my ass will subside and leave only the cottage cheese texture that has resided there since X was born. I will have a physical reprieve from major medications for a while, or a couple of weeks anyway. So I am relieved. I feel surprisingly light. It’s almost a shame to admit it.

So, now where is the stupid shirt??!!

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program Already in Progress…

All the positive thoughts, prayers and hopes were not enough to save what we now get to refer to as a Chemical Pregnancy, which means that at least one embryo stuck but failed for whatever reason and died before a heartbeat would have been detected. Even though I knew in my head that this pregnancy was going to end before it really had a chance to start, there were moments this past week that I thought, “maybe…, just maybe…”

Chemical Pregnancy is too clinical an expression and trivializes what we are going through. A “chemical pregnancy” sounds like it wasn’t even real and that nothing happened. But what is so heartbreaking right now is that it DID work. Even if it was just for a few days, I was pregnant. I went from an all-time high last Friday once I saw the HPT was positive to an all-time low today, exactly one week later.

Nurse K. at the clinic, who I am beginning to like less and less, said that I should discontinue my medicine and my period (read: miscarriage) should happen in about four days. They had only requested the lab run the hCG/beta – not the estradial or progesterone. This was my first hint that even they thought that a beta of 63 was not a good sign on Monday after she dared reprimanded me then by saying, “This could be a good pregnancy and for now, you still are pregnant, and we haven’t given up.” Now the words are like burrs under my saddle-blanket as they had obviously given up just as I had. When she told me this morning that it was not good, I told her I knew that already. Oh, did I already know the level (beta was only 13), she asked? I said no but explained when I talked to her earlier this week, I knew that we could’ve had this resolved by Wednesday and putting me through 4 days of hell would not have been necessary.

My “period” will be in full flow by the time my niece’s baby-shower takes place, which I have already decided I will not attend. It’s the day before what would have been my 6 week ultrasound.

When Dr. Blinksalot called me, she explained that it was 95% likely that it was the egg and not the sperm that caused the embryo(s) to fail after implantation. Not what I want to hear when I’m trying to convince Mr. DD to try donorsperm IUI in an attempt to overcome the male factor in our reproduction attempts.

She wanted to know if we wanted to move into another fresh transfer, IVF#2 (I never thought I would have to number any of our ART attempts, but there it is) or to try FET (frozen embryo transfer). Mr. DD has nixed the idea of IVF#2 because he cannot bear watching me go another 2 weeks of hell. I have tried explaining that all this physical and mental anguish will slowly resolve, and that he needs to take into account how all the medications magnify the emotional portion of an IVF cycle. Right now he’s not buying into it and is only willing to look at the FET because I can do that without any major mind-bending meds except estrogen.

They would thaw the embryos and let them stew for a couple of days and then do the transfer at the blast stage. My clinic’s thawing success rate is around 50% but their pregnancy rate is 40%, which are obviously better odds than if we were trying without their help. As Mr. DD said, since Team A (the 3 fresh embryos) were unable to pull it out, it’s time to bring in the second string, Team B. I will not try to get my hopes up, but will anyway, so I don’t know why I bother trying to psych myself out.

I believe we are getting to the end of our reproductive journey. I don’t foresee Mr. DD ever being convinced to try an IVF#2, even if we had won the lottery (it seems to me we would have a better chance at that!) and lately he has begun chanting the mantra, “What will be, will be.” I can’t believe that this was how things were meant to be for us, which in the Grand Scheme of things is not too shabby: one healthy, smart, cute preschooler whose only care right now is seeing how large he can amass his empire of HotWheels; and a marriage that will see us into our old age. But I honestly must admit I will always feel a tug and get a lump in my throat each time I’m reminded of What Could Have Been.

13dp3dt IVF/ICSI

It appears I’m the only one who has given up on this pregnancy. I’m a born pessimist and cynic. I think I’m all done crying about it and that I’ve come to accept the worst, and then I read another one of your comments, even if it’s to just say you’re thinking of me and I start crying all over again.

Mr. DD and I talked a little last nite in an attempt to get ourselves warmed up to the next step(s), or if there will be any. I guess I’m counting on the proverbial chicks to NOT hatch, and according to the Nurse K., the clinic’s protocols on beta testing will not be coaxed into changing, because even THEY have not given up.

I called them this morning after thinking about the whole waiting period between yesterday’s beta and Friday’s. To me, if they really thought this pregnancy was viable, why not test right away again today or even Wednesday? She said why waste the money because if it went up, they would have to do another beta. I almost laughed humorouslessly at the "waste of money" because as of right now, my insurance is covering the betas for pregnancy. What about the thousands of dollars we spent on a potentially-failed IVF? That’s not wasted money???

Sorry, I’m a tad bitter.

But I called the clinic to suggest we bump up this next beta to at least Thursday. I will have enough PIO to squeak me through Thursday nite and I refuse to refill if things are a bust. Nurse K. said they haven’t given up on the pregnancy, so why have I? How can I explain to her that the symptoms I had enjoyed on Friday/Saturday have all disappeared: nausea, soreness, tiredness, hunger, etc. Yes, I understand symptoms can come and go; but really, they are G.O.N.E. Plus I figured the only reason they wanted to wait the 4-5 days was to give the hCG plenty of time to start to crash to make sure it’s not ectopic. They could know that by tomorrow, right? No, Nurse K. will not reschedule. I felt reprimanded and small for not believing that this really could work out.

I have a friend up in the Lake’s area who after years of trying, went through an IVF and produced the most adorable, blue-eyed, baby. I called her yesterday to give her the not-so-good news. On the spur of the moment, she has decided to take a couple of days off to make a nearly 7 hr drive just to be here with me tomorrow. I love you, M.

I love all of you.

It’s not good news

My beta was only 63. It should have been at least 88 ideally. Nurse W. said she has seen it go either way, but I need to be realistic.

I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. I test again Friday.

************

Edited to add: Just as sure as those little embryos are dying, I am, too. The more info I find on "doubling" the more reality sinks in that a miscarriage is inevitable. Bless you, Cricket, for trying to find the bright spot in this, but right now I really don’t see one.

I’m Crazy, How ‘Bout You?

I finally have scheduled an appointment that is long overdue. In fact, I should have scheduled it a year ago after we lost Baby May, but I was too proud to even think that I should seek counseling.

I have decided to take advantage of our Employee Ass.istance Pr*gram. Even though I have made it a full year without completely falling apart and committing myself to the ward just two stories above me at work, I fear that this upcoming transfer will put me as close to the edge as I’ve ever been. Due considerably to the stress and worry of yet another, and quite possibly, the last failure we could go through in trying selfishly for the ever-elusive “baby sibling.”

XBoy is now at this stage where he wants you to play with him. That sounds weird, unless you knew him. He has always been independent and very good at playing solo when at home. It used to give him a chance to unwind from all the sharing requirements he follows at daycare. But I have noticed a change recently.

Last night, after getting him ready for bed, which includes a bath, jammies, and the reading of 2-3 books, he proceeded to give us the stalling technique we have grown accustomed to:

XBoy standing with both hands in a “stop” gesture: “I tell you what. I’ll play for a while and when I’m done, I will call you to tuck me in.”

Normally, we let him do this because it’s within 5 minutes that we would hear his little call, “I’m ready!” but last night his little neurons were cooked. He was at both day care and preschool, had no nap, and went to bed late the night before.

Dad: “XBoy, it’s time for you to go to bed. You said earlier that it had been a long day and you were tired.”

XBoy: “No! I’m not tired anymore!” He climbs into his bed and lays his head on the pillow. “I want you to play with me.”

Dad: “Not tonite, XBoy. We can play tomorrow. Good nite, I love you.” Mr. DD exits XBoy’s room.

I am in the bathroom washing up, getting ready for bed myself. His room is on the other side of the wall. I hear XBoy sniffle a little and then say out loud himself, “I have nobody to play with.”

It was if someone has squeezed my heart with their big, meaty fist. It’s obvious how the miscarriage and subsequent infertility has affected Mr. DD and I. But how did we overlook the affect that this has had, and will have, on XBoy?

If the event our IVF fails and we have to come to terms that XBoy will be an only child, I’m sure he will adjust to the circumstances quickly, as he has nothing to compare to. He will eventually enjoy the privileges that come with being an only child.

I am hoping that counseling helps not just me to move beyond the guilt, and even some shame that comes with infertility; but helps me be a better mother by not taking for granted my son’s existence. I am trying to be prepared. I am trying to stay positive. It’s really hard, you know?

My RE appt is tomorrow a.m. I’m guessing we will be triggering tomorrow nite if we decide to move forward. My appt with the counselor is also tomorrow nite. It should prove to be a very emotional day. Thanks everyone for the good vibes. I’m sure it was your positive thoughts and prayers that have gotten me as far as I have.

In Memoriam, Part II – Conclusion

…continued from yesterday’s post…

It was the day of the scheduled D&C, November 11, 2004, and OB had instructed me about the no-food-and-drink and to come to his office in the a.m. to review what would be happening. I was given the order-form and sent over to the hospital. I checked in with the receptionist who requested to see my order and told her I was scheduled for ambulatory surgery. She looked it over and then snidely said, “Well, what procedure are you here for?” Like it’s any of your fucking business, I thought and then without a word, I curtly tapped on the order with my finger where it said, “Dilation & Curettage” while I glared at her. “Ooops, sorry about that. [insincere apologetic smile] Go ahead and have a seat and we will get you checked in.” I walked over to a chair and started crying…again. What made that whole experience more horrible than it should have been? I work at the hospital. She knows me. Just about everyone knows who I am, and she was a bitch to me and I have never spoken to her again.

Once I was sent to ambulatory, the nurse came in to go over standard procedures which included asking if I wanted to see anyone in Spiritual Care. No, absolutely not, I answered. What about social services about grief counseling? Not today, but they have permission to at a later date.

Jerry did not accompany me, but would be there as I was coming out of anesthesia. We had nothing left to say at that point and every time I saw him, I would apologize for losing the baby, as if it was my fault. He apologized for not being able to take my pain away. We were tired of saying sorry to each other and thought maybe it was G*d’s turn to apologize. Sometimes I think I am still waiting.

I don’t remember much after that except being asked to wake up post-procedure. I remember thinking what if they were wrong? What if Baby May had been alive and the tech read the US wrong? I fought against the reality and tried to stay asleep, dreamless, just for a while longer. Jerry called my name and I began to cry some more.

That was a Thursday. I didn’t come back to work until Monday, and I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get anything done without breaking down and I dreaded the questions, comments, polite sympathies and dreaded platitudes. Instead, my co-workers avoided me as if I carried the plague, and I grew angry. I found out that no one knew what to do so they were instructed not to mention it, as if it had never happened. I spoke to the co-worker I consider the closest to me and I explained that I HAVE to talk about it or else my heart will explode. And so slowly they stopped avoiding my office and made eye contact and I told them about my pain. I felt minutely better…that was until V. from social services called me.

The conversation started innocuously enough.
V: I would like to send you some pamphlets that we send to our patients who have experienced this type of loss, yada, yada, yada, and I also have the baby’s footprints.

Stunned silence.

DD: What do you mean you have the baby’s footprints? You mean like a poem called The Baby’s Footprints, right?

V: Oh, no. The pathologist who was there always tries to get footprints for the parents and during the D&C she was not only able to get footprints but some handprints as well of your baby.

DD: I can’t talk right now.

And I hung up on her and started bawling all over again. I was shocked and angry that she had the complete brain-fuck to not deliver that surprise to me in person so I could have ripped off her head and vomited down her neck. They took MY UNBORN BABY’S FOOTPRINTS AT 15WKS GESTATION!!!!!
……

Even OB was upset that he was not notified of this supposed “courtesy” that the pathologist was providing. To him, that info should be sent to the OB who would then discuss with HIS patient whether or not she would like to be provided that type of “memento.” He would talk to the path and get things squared away.

V. then showed up at my office all apologetic about dropping that bomb on me over the phone. She left a packet of info with me and told me that the envelope with the baby’s footprints were inside.

I had to have my friend S. with me when I opened the envelope with “Baby Lastname” written on it. I pulled out a card, the kind they use in the maternity ward to take the newborn’s foot- and handprints. Right there were 3 very tiny handprints and 2 miniature footprints. Blurry, but without a doubt handprints and footprints, all no bigger than the bed of your pinkie-nail. I handed the card to S. We both started to cry.

Several weeks later it was confirmed that Baby May had a chromosomal anomaly. Jerry and I have both tested negative for the corresponding gene, so Baby May’s death was a “fluke”. It wasn’t because I wasn’t taking my pre-natal vitamin regularly; or drinking cola and not enough water; or that I ate a hot dog. OB was right. This loss was not my fault.
……

The reality is I am now the mother of 2 children. One is now days from turning 4. The other is buried in a small plot the hospital owns, which I have been to only once. I will go again today. OB said that I can find out the sex of Baby May when I am ready. I had planned on finding out when we got pg again, except I didn’t know that we wouldn’t as easily as we had hoped. I then thought on the one-year anniversary of the D&C, I should know if I was having a boy or a girl and give Baby May an official name. I can’t. The wound is still too fresh and bleeds with every touch, every reminder of what I don’t have.

For those of who have suffered through a loss, you eventually do stop crying every day, but it can take weeks, if not months. Even now a year later, EVERY night when I lay my head on the pillow, I think about Baby May. My ass-vice? Don’t push those thoughts away. Keep the memories, even if think you will never be able to look at them again, including the HPT with the faint 2nd pink line, the US, the cards of congrats, the cards of sympathy, and the pressed flowers, all in a special keepsake box. I will now share my most precious memory of Baby May:

In Memoriam, Part I

I have started this post in my mind almost everyday since I started my own blog back in August. I want to share the moments of that day exactly a year ago, November 10, 2004, for two reasons: 1) I want the baby, who I will refer to as Baby May (which refers to the month due) to be memorialized both honorably and honestly; and 2) I am hoping this helps me move beyond this soul-obliterating grief I have been feeling for so long that has been perpetuated by our failure to conceive again and brings some resolution.

Please take this as an opportunity to delurk as yes, I am looking for validation. Today I have no shame, no pride in asking for such, as it will only inhibit the emotions, which in written form is problematic in itself.

And with a deep breath, I begin:

November 10, 2004 Jerry picked me up from work so we could go to lunch together. I didn’t realize until much later that I was finally starting to not feel so wretchedly tired and the awful, dirty-sock-in-the-mouth taste was not as overwhelming. We did a quick lunch, just 30 minutes as I had been missing quite a bit of work, sometimes not coming in until 9:30-10:00 a.m. due to morning sickness.

After Jerry dropped me off back at my office, I visited the ladies room for a quick break. It was when I wiped that I saw the spotting. Tiny, bright red spots on the paper. There was nothing in my underwear to indicate that the spotting was anything but very recent. I called by OB immediately as my pregnancy had been uneventful to this point; and my pregnancy with Max was just as uneventful. It was only 12:30 and OB wouldn’t be back into the office until 1:00, they could see me then. With only a few words to a fellow co-worker about where I was going, and her reassuring words echoing in my head, I left my office noting I should be back by 2:00pm.

Once at OB’s, I appeared to be patiently waiting, but on the inside I was vibrating with nervous tension. I had called Jerry to let him know where I was. “Do you want me to meet you?” he asked, but I told him I would give him a call later once I had seen OB as it was probably my paranoia taking over. I was escorted to the exam room, and I gave the nurse the details of the spotting. It sounded so innocuous even to me, that I wondered why I was even there, but she assured me that they would make sure everything was OK so I could get back to work. More waiting ensued. OB finally came in, along with a nurse in training. He got out the Doppler and I tried to relax on the exam table. The Doppler seemed strangely cold for having been pulled out of his coat pocket, and I heard the familiar static as the wand moved over my just swelling belly. It was only 9 days earlier that we had done this for the first time following a normal US. I remember he remarked at that time how easy it was to find the heartbeat. He did not say it this time. As he tried again and again to maneuver the Doppler in a way to find the little *bump, bump* of Baby May’s heartbeat, he tried to joke about how my digestive system was covering up the sound of the baby’s heart. That went on for several minutes, until he shut off the Doppler to tell me that we should just do an US. He also tried to reassure me that everything was probably fine, and it was just my guts’ loud rumbling that prevented him from picking up the heartbeat with the same ease he had several days ago. But, in that moment, I knew something was wrong. As OB exited the room I started sobbing and the nursing student squeezed my hand quickly before following.

I still did not call Jerry. To get him to the OB’s office just in time for me to find me looking a little sheepish over nothing was not going to help get his work done. I waited alone for over 25 minutes. The one US machine was in use, but I would be next said the nurse who popped her head in after 20 minutes to inform me of the delay. It was then I called Jerry, and asked him to meet me for the US. I hadn’t stopped crying the whole time.

When I was finally escorted to the US room, I advised the receptionist to send Jerry in when he came. I was prepped with the cold slime on my stomach and the machine was turned on. Just as the wand touched by skin, Jerry came in to stand beside me. I found it odd that the tech did not have the screen facing me as she always had in the past, but instead it was turned just enough away from me at an angle that allowed me to see only the distorted blackness of the screen. She moved the wand slowly and Jerry held my hand while watching me. I will never, ever forget what the tech then said to us following those horrible moments of silence “I don’t see a heartbeat, either.”

My heart broke into a hundred-thousand shards of pain and I wailed. Jerry almost fell upon me in his own stunned grief and we clung to each other. Painful waves of anguish washed over us again and again. I briefly remember in that haze the tech rubbing my knee in sympathy before excusing herself to get OB to look at the images. I was sobbing loudly and uncontrollably and I felt like retching. OB and the tech came back in and quietly looked at the now frozen image on the screen while they measured. “12 wks gestational age” was the size of my little baby, who had already stopped growing when I had come in 1.5 weeks ago.

OB quietly and professionally explained to us what are options would be, which was to let the MC naturally take its course or a D&C and all that each entailed. He told us to call him later that night with our decision if was to be a D&C as he would have to schedule the OR room. They left Jerry and I alone again and told us we could take as much time as we needed there and showed us the rear exit of the clinic if we wanted to avoid the waiting room full of still-expecting patients.

When we finally left, my car stayed in the parking lot as I was physically incapable of driving. Jerry took me home, put me into bed and hugged and held my hand, until no more tears would come. He went back to work, and I took a deep breath bracing myself for the immediate phone calls I knew I had to make. Each phone call started off calm but before I could finish the sentence, “we lost the baby” I was again wracked by sobbing. I called my mother, my best friend, and a fellow co-worker who were left in shock by the abrupt news. The platitudes started even then, and now, a year later such statements like, “It’s part of G*d’s plan,” “You can try again,” and finally, “At least you still have Max,” still sound like nails on a chalkboard.

By 5:00pm, I had called OB to let him know that we would move forward with the D&C. He was obviously affected by this as well and told us that he would make sure to have the baby sent for analysis since we were as far along as we were, but that the results may come back inconclusive. He said not to blame myself, as he was sure it was nothing I had done to cause this. The D&C, scheduled for the following day, was when I would have been exactly 15 weeks pregnant.

When Jerry came home after picking up Max from daycare, I remember them both coming into the bedroom and Max, who was just weeks away from turning 3, stood next to the bed and said, “Mommy, are you going to be OK? Daddy said you were sick.” I lied and said, “Yes, I’m going to be OK.”.

…to be continued…