Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Whine & Wine


What a week! It's amazing how much can change in just seven days. Last week at this time, I was hoping to be pregnant and now, I am hoping to for my period to start - still no sign of it.

What a whiner I have been this week. Sure, I probably have justifiable cause for a bit of whining her and there, but I have been boring myself this week with my "poor, pitiful ol' me" attitude. Sure, it kind of sucks that our last IUI didn't work, but a lot of really great things happened this week, and I am thankful for the fact that so many people are working together to make this whole IVF thing come together at such last minute notice.

The latest in the "it's all coming to together" is that I talked to my boss about everything yesterday. She knows all about our issues and has been incredibly supportive in the past. Even so, I was a little concerned that she might not like me taking so much time off during December. I had drawn up a calendar and a proposal for my time off, including asking a colleague to cover for me on the days when I would be truly out of commission. I even rehearsed my speech and then called her. She ended up being relieved because she thought that I was quitting!

Anyway, she couldn't have been more excited for us or more supportive. She told me to do whatever I needed and we would work out the time off/work from home days as needed. I was so thankful for her support and it seems as if this is all truly coming together.

Now, for the weekend!

We are off to Leavenworth, which is a cute little resort town about two hours from our house. It is a "Bavarian Style" village in the mountains and is so pretty at this time of year. A couple of years ago, a lot of wineries opened up tasting rooms in the little town area. I think there are a total of 16. We got a hotel within walking distance and plan to do a lot of wine tasting and have a great dinner. We are going with one of my husband's friends and his girlfriend that we really like. When we planned this weekend, I wasn't sure that I would be able to partake in the wine tasting. Of course, that would have been an easy sacrifice, but since I am not pregnant, there's no reason why I can't wine this weekend instead of the whining that I have been doing!


Can I Get A Side of Salt for My Wound Please?

I am still raw from yesterday.

Of course, it started with the BFN. I know that there are people out there that get positives later on, but for me, that has always been my threshold. Sure, I always hope that I am wrong, I even POAS this morning, because the tests are only a dollar, you know. BFN.

I tried to pull it together and did a pretty decent job, I thought. I had an early morning appointment and it was an important one. I didn't have time to cry or mope. I did manage call my RE's office and left a message for my doctor's medical assistant.

Surprisingly, friends, it was that message that would later become my undoing. See, here's the deal: This was our sixth medicated cycle. I have been doing A LOT of research and what I have found is this: if oral meds don't work within the first three cycles, they probably aren't going to. The success rates go down dramatically after that third cycle, and they aren't crazy high to begin with. This was only our second IUI, but the doctor had suggested doing two OR three cycles with oral meds before moving on to injectibles.

So my message to the medical assistant asked when Dr. M thought we should do next. I asked if we needed another face to face consultation or just a phone one.

T called back about two hours later and the conversation went like this:

Me: "So, it is 13 DPO and I got a negative pregnancy test today. Having been pregnant many times before, I know that I always get my positives by this point. I am pretty sure that this cycle didn't work. What does Dr. M think that we should do next?"

T: "Well, we always say, our patients know their bodies." (Said with a little undertone, meaning, I think, that I shouldn't give up hope yet for this cycle).

Me: "I won't stop taking the progesterone until tomorrow, just in case I had a late implanter, but I really think it didn't work."

T: "Okay. What can I do for you then?"

Me: "I wanted to know what Dr. M thinks we should do for the next cycle."

T: "I am reading your chart from your last appointment and it says that you wish to do two or three more cycles and then move to injectibles."

Me: "But what does Dr. M think?"

T: "I just told you. Two or three more cycles."

Me: "But I am not a doctor. Does she think that we should do another oral or just move to injectibles now?"

T: "I am reading your chart."

Me: "I know. I know what it says, but I would like to know what Dr. M says now that the two cycles have gone by. Does she recommend a third cycle?"

T: "It says that you wish to do two or three more cycles. So, I guess it's up to you."

I won't bore you with the rest of the conversation, which wrapped up in me making an appointment to start an injectible cycle. Here's the deal, though. Why am I making these decisions? Why isn't my RE being more proactive, taking the bull by the horns, and saying, "Let's go!" Why do I always have to be the one to pull the trigger on these things. Much as I consider myself the "expert," I am not. She is. So why can't she have a frickin' opinion? I even asked the MA what injectibles would do that oral meds hadn't done. She said that was a question for the doctor. Um, yeah, do you think I could talk to my doctor? Not a chance.

The other really frustrating thing for me about this cycle is that we cannot try in November. Usually, that is what gets me through a BFN. I ovulate early on meds, so our follicle scan is Day 10. I may be sad, but I can live ten days to try again. Unfortunately, a work meeting is Day 10 - Day 15. We will not be able to try this month.

So, December, here we come. Logically, I know that it will go by quickly, but emotionally, it sounds so very far away.

One more grain of salt to throw into the wound is that I have had amazing fertility insurance until this point. And I have never taken it for granted. I always have felt so fortunate to be able to make decisions without having to be too concerned about the financial portion. As of January 1, that all changes. We are going to be responsible for a huge portion of all of our fertility related medical procedures. Part of me wonders if we should just say screw it and see if we can't squeeze an IVF cycle in before January 1.

But I am scared to do IVF. It's the "last step." I have watched others be defeated in IVF and I have always wondered if I am strong enough to do it.

Sorry this post is so jumbled. I guess it's just a reflection of my feelings today. It's so hard to believe how happy I was last Halloween, seeing sweet Gummy Bear on ultrasound for the first time. And now I am so, so sad.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for caring.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nothing To See Here

I imagine myself in a cage, huddled in the corner, tears slowly slipping down my cheeks.

Perhaps I am in the zoo or a museum.

A little girl walks by with her mother, points a chubby finger at me and asks, "Why is that woman crying, Mommy?"

Her mother pauses, reads the sign in front of my cage and sadly shakes her head. "Something awful happened to that woman."

"What happened, Mommy? What was so awful?"

"Hope died."

"Who is Hope, Mommy?"

"Not who, Sweetheart, hope is a what. It is the most important feeling to a woman and when it dies. . . Well, there is nothing left."

13 DPO. BFN.

Hope has died.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Making Something Out Of Nothing

I woke up this morning with mixed emotions. Yesterday, I allowed myself to get slapped around by the pee sticks again. Shortly after my post yesterday, my husband picked up my "negative" pee stick and said that he could see a faint second line. I grabbed the stick from him and, sure enough, the faintest of faint second lines was there. Of course, being me, I peed on two more sticks yesterday and both times, came up with faint second lines.

In the back of my mind, I knew it could be trigger. Even though the tests on Saturday had been blank, I just knew it could be trigger messing with my head. And mess with my head it did. All day yesterday, I played the "Maybe I am" game in my head. My husband was even a little excited.

So, it was this morning, with great fear and trepidation that I peed on a stick.

13 DPTrigger. 12 DPO.


I know that I don't give up until Day 13. But my hopes for this cycle are really sinking fast.


I am such an addict. Really, I am out of control. I have POAS twice more since this morning and still BFN.

This is why I keep peeing so desperately:

1) With Gummy Bear, I didn't test positive until 13 DPO and I did test on 12 DPO.
2) I am having to pee a lot, which is my #1 pregnancy symptom.

But there is really no logical reason to continue to literally pee away my money like this.

And yet I do. This is my insanity.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

All Aboard!

Does anyone hear that? Off in the distance? It sounds like. . . could it be? I think. . . oh, no. Oh, YES! It's the Crazy Train!

And I have a one way ticket.

It is 12 DPTrigger and 11DPO. For those of you who have followed my craziness for other 2WW, you know what this means. Katie is gone. She has been replaced by an insane woman who will spend all of her time, pee, and latte money on pee sticks.

I POAS Friday and Saturday and trigger is OUT. As in even under the brightest lightbulb and blindingly direct sunlight there is no line OUT. As in not even an evap line OUT. So, now I am hoping for the second line to appear.

So far, nada. Just for anyone keeping score, I never give up until 13 DPO. So, please keep your fingers crossed that I am soon seeing double!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The No Joy Luck Club

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and thoughts for P. She had her D&C yesterday and physically is doing well. Emotionally. . . well, we all know that is an entirely different story.

P is now part of the infertility/miscarriage club. Like all of us, this is not a club that we ever wanted to join, and we find ourselves wondering how we got here. We have all paid our dues, but there isn't even a cool Members Only jacket.

Or perhaps there is. We all wear our pain in some way. I wear my pain when a friend tells me that she is pregnant, and I flinch. I wear my pain when someone asks my husband and me if we have children, and I have to search for the right words. I wear my pain when a friend, or even someone that I don't know that well, calls to tell me that they have had a miscarriage. I cry with them, because I know that pain and disbelief so well.

In some ways, this is how I honor my angels best: By helping other women through this terrible time. I am not going to lie, I wish that I had never known about this club we are in. I wish that you didn't know about it, either. But since we are here, I am so glad that we are here together.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sharing the Hurt

Yesterday, I received a phone call.

No. Wait. I need to back up a minute. This summer, when we started trying again, a fellow coworker (P) shared with me that she was TTC #2. She is an "older" mom (her definition, not mine) at 39, and after having a beautiful little girl two years ago, they were eager to jump on the train again before her egg factory shut down (also her words). I then told her that we were trying, too, and she knows a little bit about our history, so we became cycle buddies.

In August, she called me up and excitedly told me that she was pregnant. I was happy for her, although I was more than a little sad for me. That was the cycle that I had a chemical pregnancy on, so I was also jealous beyond words. I had a few "why her and not me" moments, to be sure.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a meeting with P. We flew down together, worked together during the meeting, and then flew home. I tried very hard to be a good friend to her, and listened to her pregnancy woes. P is very tiny and this is her second, so at 10 weeks, she was already started to pooch out a little bit. It was so hard to spend all that time with her. I desperately wanted to be pregnant, she had what I wanted. I didn't begrudge P her happiness, I just wanted to be there with her.

This past Tuesday, we had another meeting, this time with my entire workgroup. P had ended up telling our manager about her pregnancy, but was not planning on making a big announcement to everyone until she was safely past the 12 week mark and her first ultrasound. Our manager "outed" her a bit early, by making the announcement that day.

I sat next to P later that afternoon and looked at her with what can only be described as envy. I did not wish any ill to P or her unborn child. But as I watched her casually rest a hand on her abdoment or happily eat a second brownie for dessert and say "For the baby," my heart just ached. I couldn't figure out why some people have it so easy and some people have it so hard.

P and her husband are great parents. She desperately loves her little girl and talks about her all of the time. They deserve to be parents as many times as they would like. I truly held no grudge against P becoming a mommy again. But as I looked at her growing stomach that day in the meeting, I felt the sharp edge of jealousy ripping through my soul. I imagined her getting bigger, watching her feel the baby kick, and of course, I knew that there would be a shower.

P was sensitive to me. She knows what we have been through. She never once flaunted her pregnancy in front of me. She was just a naturally, happy carefree pregnant woman, who was excited about being a mommy for the second time.

P's 12 week ultrasound was yesterday. I had asked her to call me with the good news.

I got a phone call yesterday. P's baby had no heartbeat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What Should Have Been

Saturday and Sunday, December 9 & 10, 2006 (written Monday morning)

Dear Angel Baby,

The weekend was sad and seemed to take forever. Saturday morning, I woke up and my first thought was of you, as it has been for over two months. For a split second, I was happy. Then my second thought was that you were gone. I started to cry and Daddy was already awake and hugged me for a little while. We went downstairs and I watched some tv and slept some more. We kept talking about getting dressed and going somewhere, but it just never happened.

We watched a movie on tv and there all of a sudden a commerical came on for forumula and the cutest baby in the world snuggled next to its mother. I picked up the remote and threw it at the wall, leaving a scuff mark and popping the batteries out. Daddy started to say something and then just stopped. I stormed out of the room, my head pounding, my heart aching.

By evening time, I was still feeling pretty nauseous and couldn’t eat any dinner. I remember thinking it was really unfair that you were gone and I still had to feel so awful.

On Sunday morning, Daddy suggested breakfast at my favorite restaurant, the Totem. I felt a little hungry and so we went to have breakfast. It tasted really good, but unfortunately, I couldn’t keep it down. I cried in their small little bathroom because the myth that morning sickness means a healthy baby is one of the cruelest lies I know.

We went to do some Christmas shopping after that. It was weird because getting out of the house and into bustling crowds meant that I couldn’t cry and I almost felt as if this whole miscarriage thing had been a bad dream. I still felt pregnant and I hadn’t had any spotting. Maybe the doctor was wrong? I knew in my heart that this wasn’t true, but I know denial is part of grieving, and that is definitely what I was feeling on Sunday.

I felt as if the whole weekend was a bad dream. I kept waiting for someone to wake me up. I remembered how discombobulated I felt after my nap on Friday and I had this fantasy that I had never woken up from that nap, but I would at any minute and it would be before the appointment. Only this time, the appointment would go well and we would continue on our happy lives, going to tell Grandma Jan about you and happily celebrating Christmas.

I think about that a lot, Sweetheart. I think about how there is this alternate universe somewhere, where Dr. S moved the probe and said, “Oh, there’s the heartbeat. 160 beats per minute. Measuring perfectly.” Daddy takes my hand, I cry a little, we ask for extra pictures. Then we come home, I cut the pictures carefully and put them in the little ornaments for Grandma Jan and Grandma Evelyn. We pack quickly with a quiet excitement, both of us thinking about telling them. We drive in the car, grumble a bit about the traffic through town, listen to Christmas carols, and I cry because one of the songs hits my pregnant heart as sad, but it is an indulgent weep, and really I am happy inside. We get into tGrandma's house and we can’t wait, we give them the ornaments, they start to laugh and cry and call Nancy and Lisa and Aunt Mary. Everyone comes over, we are so blissful. We are so happy.

But of course, I don’t live in that alternate universe. I live here. Where you are gone and nothing changes that. I don’t want to live here anymore.


Letter to An Angel

This is the unedited journal entry from the day that we lost Gummy Bear. It's long, but it didn't seem right to edit it.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Dearest Angel Baby,

This shouldn’t be the way that this all ends, but it is. I have to share it because I know that someday, I will want these memories on paper. I read back over the happiness of the past two months and I want to stop. I want to stop right here and have there be a different ending. As I have learned so many times this past year, I am not the one who gets to control the endings. I want to honor you and all that you have meant to your father and me. We will always treasure these months that we have had with you with us. You will always be in our hearts and our minds. No matter how my heart breaks as I write these words, or no matter how much I might cry, there is no measure to the happiness you have brought to us and I would do it all again.

Today started as any other day for the past few weeks. I was sick in the morning and a little dizzy. I went back to the conference in Seattle and my boss, J, was there. She told me some pretty exciting news – she is pregnant! She is due in August and I joked about her copying me! She is a little nervous about her baby, because they didn’t see much on the ultrasound, but I told her that is how things started with you, and now look how well we are doing. I look back on that conversation and it is bittersweet when I think of how I was so confident.

She told me to call her after my appointment because she wanted to hear the good news. I knew that after this appointment, we would be very confident about you coming and were going to start telling the world. I was planning on putting your ultrasound picture in my sign book as a way of telling all of my offices. I told her that I would try, but that it might be too late to call, or that we might not get to see the doctor at all, since the nurse had said that Friday afternoons are the hardest to keep on time.

I stayed at the conference until noon, then drove home and took a nap. It is amazing how tired I was. I remember waking up from my nap feeling a little disconcerted. I can’t exactly explain it, but I was feeling a little out of sorts, kind of jumbled. It was probably a combination of grogginess from my nap and excitement at the prospect of seeing you, or maybe it was some deeper instinct. I called the doctor’s office to make sure they were still on time, and was told they were. I started to get a little excited, because I knew we would be seeing you on the ultrasound soon. I was also really excited to tell Grandma Jan about you. I was thinking that it would be a wonderful evening. The details of what would happen next are so imprinted in my mind, it is almost as if I am watching a film loop over and over again. Some of the details are so clear it is as if I am still back in that moment, and then other little parts seem to blur right past me.

I tried to eat some chicken casserole for lunch, but it just came right back up. As usual, I was thankful for the pregnancy symptoms and laughed at myself a little because I was still checking for spotting. Since lunch hadn’t stayed down, I grabbed a bottle of grape Gatorade from the ‘fridge and took it with me.

Sweetheart, I wasn’t even that nervous going to the appointment. Daddy and I took separate cars because he was running a little late and we were both grumbling about the traffic on our phones. Daddy doesn’t drive around town much, so I had to give him directions. I felt lucky because I found a good parking space and hurried to get checked in. As I was walking toward the office building, I noticed a house all dressed up in twinkly white lights for the holidays. I felt a bubble of excitement and thought about how wonderful this holiday was going to be. I don’t know if I have ever felt such happiness as I did at that moment. I am sure I was wearing my goofy having-a-baby grin. I am thankful for that last moment of pure happiness as I know it will be quite some time before I feel that way again.

I checked in and had to ask for a bag since I was feeling so sick. Daddy came in a few minutes later. We noticed that we were both wearing green sweaters. I always love it when we match - and he always hates it! In fact, he will change if he notices that we are wearing the same color before we leave the house. I was thinking that we looked like such a cute couple expecting a baby together and that if you were a boy, I would dress you two alike someday.

I remember two things especially from the waiting time. There was a grandmother sitting with a little baby girl in a chair near us. The little baby had the biggest brown eyes and kept staring at Daddy. I nestled into his arms, smiled up at him, and said, “We are going to have one of those soon.” I felt such happiness, such pure contentment. I honestly felt sometimes that I would bubble over with all of the wonderful feelings that I had inside.

There was another couple there, too, the appointment after ours. The wife was pretty with curly blond hair and the cutest pregnant tummy. I remember saying to Daddy what a cute pregnant lady she was and how I couldn’t wait to be that pregnant. I was so excited for my “bump.” She carried her purse and a bottle of Tums. She sat down next to her husband, popped open her Tums and offered him one. It made me smile and think about toting Tums around in a few months. She caught me smiling at them and she smiled back.

K, the kind nurse that had her own miscarriages, called us back after we had waited for quite awhile. She told us that she was fighting for the ultrasound machine and I told her that Daddy was ready if she needed backup. We all laughed. I was weighed in and had lost a few more pounds. I changed in front of Daddy, feeling a little self conscious because the lights were so bright. I put on my comfy, thick blue socks over the thinner white ones I was wearing, because I wanted my feet to be warm. It’s funny how I was worried about such little things, but that was my world then. I was so content about the bigger things that I could just worry about the details.

There was a board of pictures behind the examining table and Daddy noticed the babies. We both leaned in and looked at all the cute newborns. I thought to myself that soon your picture would be on that board.

Dr. S was running over a half hour late, so I thought for sure that he would hustle us through our appointment, but he came in and jovially shook my hand. He said, “Well, look, they are all smiles.”

It seems strange now how long we talked to him before, almost a waste, but then again, those were our last moments to have before it all ended, so I am once again grateful. He was methodical and went through our entire history. We talked about medications to take for the nausea and other questions that we had. He did a physical exam and said that everything looked perfect. Then, he dimmed the lights and K wheeled over the ultrasound machine. She had a little trouble getting the screen to turn on and my biggest worry at that moment was that it wouldn’t work and that we wouldn’t get to see you.

Finally, the screen stopped acting up, and the doctor put the probe in. I remember asking at what stage we could hear the heartbeat and he answered me, but I don’t remember what he said, because I got distracted looking for you. It is at that moment that everything seemed to start going in the slowest of slow motions.

My first thought was, “Oh, my God, the baby is completely gone.”

From all of our previous ultrasounds, I knew what the uterus looked like and there it was, looking completely black and empty. I know my heart stopped beating. But the screen was really fuzzy, almost as if we were getting a bad reception, complete with diagonal lines running through it. I think I might have even commented on the bad picture. The doctor rotated the probe and then we saw a light image of you come on the screen. Daddy had been squeezing my hand and he started to relax it, but I was busy watching the doctor’s face and I knew something wasn’t right.

“Let’s get a measurement,” he said quietly. I saw him take the crown to rump measurement and my world stopped. The 9 weeks, 5 days popped up on the screen in this bright, clear print. I remember thinking how strange it was that everything else was so out of focus but those words were as clear as day. I knew you were too small. You should have been in the late ten week range at least. I started to shake a little and I remember asking K for a tissue. Daddy turned to me and said, “The baby is right there.” He was trying to comfort me and he told me later that he didn’t see the measurements pop up, so he thought I was upset because I couldn’t see you.

I don’t even know where my voice came from and it didn’t even sound like me speaking, I sounded too calm to be experiencing what we were, but I answered, “But I am not seeing a heartbeat, are you, Doctor?”

Dr. S’s words will forever echo in my head. “No, I am not.”

I turned to Daddy and said, “I am so sorry.” He just shook his head at me and smoothed my hair away from my eyes, then looked back at the screen. I kept saying it, “I am sorry. I am so sorry.” I don’t know who I was apologizing to – to Daddy for letting him down again, to you, for not doing my only job and keeping you safe, to the doctor for not sitting still and crying when he was trying to get a clear look at you on the screen. I just kept saying it because no other words seemed to come out.

K was by my side then, handing me the tissues that I had asked for. I grabbed her hand and looked away from the screen, starting to cry and shake some more. I remember saying something about how I couldn’t do this and I squirmed a little, I think just trying to get away from the horrible heartbreak that was crashing down everywhere. Daddy said that I was shaking the machine, so for just a second, he thought he saw a heartbeat, but then it was just still again.

The doctor looked at the screen for a long time. It seemed like both seconds and hours all at once in that darkened room and I just prayed for the miracle I knew wasn’t going to come. It was really too late to pray for your life when it had probably been over for more than a week. Dr. S said, “I know this is disappointing.”

I felt a flash of anger and snapped, “This is not disappointing, Doctor. This is devastating.”

He didn’t say much to that. What could he say? I asked him if we could have a print out of the ultrasound, which I think surprised him, but I knew I would want it for later. Daddy asked if I was sure and I was. I knew that I would want to cling to everything that was you. K clipped the picture off for us and set it by my purse.

Finally, the doctor slipped the probe out and the lights were turned back on. I sat up and for some reason, was acutely aware that my robe had untied at the neck and was gaping open. I felt so vulnerable because this was the worst moment of my life and there were all these people watching me. I was shaking and trying not to cry any more. I looked everywhere around the tiny room, trying to avoid looking at anything for more than a couple of seconds and definitely trying to avoid Dr. S and what he was going to say.

Dr. S sat down right at my knees and put his hands on them. I remember thinking what a kind man he was, how he looked like just the type of man that I would want to be the first person our baby saw when it came into this world. And then I remember thinking, “What baby?”

He said he was sorry, that I was right, it was devastating. That 1 out of 5 times, they have to give bad news at these early ultrasounds. He said that I was still so sick because the placenta still puts out pregnancy hormones even if the baby dies and the placenta takes awhile to break down. We talked about the options, whether to naturally miscarry or have a D&C. I asked about getting tests done to see if we could determine a cause, but he said because you had already been gone for a little while, we might not be able to get anything valuable from the tests. Daddy said he thought the surgery would be best, I really didn’t know what to think. To go from joking about fighting over the ultrasound machine to talking about how to get rid of this dead baby inside of me, in a matter of just a few moments, just didn’t seem possible. It didn’t seem humane.

I remember the whole time Dr. S talked to me, I couldn’t maintain eye contact. I wanted to. I know it is rude not to look at someone when they are talking to you and I thought that perhaps he would think I was going crazy. But I just keep looking away and couldn’t keep my eyes on him. He said that I needed to know that I had nothing to be sorry about, that I had no way of controlling this. He said that I shouldn’t try to stop myself from crying, that this is something to grieve. He was really so kind, but I just wanted him to go away. He told us to stay as long as we wanted, all night if we needed, although he didn’t recommend it. His last words to Daddy were, “Give her a big hug, will you?”

The door closed behind Dr. S and it was just Daddy and me. I remember looking down at him and the tears were starting again. Baby, in all of my life, I will never forget the look on your father’s face. For just a moment, I literally felt as if my heart would break into a million pieces. I really felt a physical shattering that sucked all of my breath out of me. Then, Daddy laid his head down next to my leg and I put my hand on the back of his neck. I remember seeing the tiny rash he has there and wondering if it hurt him. Even though that is one of the saddest moments of my life, it was also one that I never wanted to end, because it was as if we were on this bridge between the life we had just been living, so filled with dreams and hopes for your life, and the life we would now have to walk in, where all of my dreams and hopes were gone. I didn’t want to cross that bridge, I just wanted to stay there forever. But of course, life doesn’t stop just because our world ended.

Daddy took a deep breath and then he got up. He walked around to face me and he hugged me. I remember telling him that I would be all right and he looked at me as if I was crazy. We hugged a little bit more and this is one of those blurry times. I can’t remember everything we said to each other, but I do remember that neither one of us wanted to go home. I wanted to stay in that tiny room forever, because I knew that facing the world outside again was going to be the hardest thing. We talked about going someplace, perhaps Leavenworth or our favorite hotel, but we knew we wouldn’t be able to get the dogs boarded and that it was too late to really drive anywhere too far away. Also, I was starting to realize that I didn’t want to be far away from a hospital in case I started bleeding.

I finally said that I wanted to get dressed because I felt naked, which of course, I practically was. But I felt a different kind of naked, stripped of everything on the inside and outside. I got dressed and then left to use the bathroom. I walked in and thought it was strange that the last time I was in the bathroom, I had been throwing up and now I was crying. I looked at myself in the mirror, my face pale and eyes red. My hair was a mess and I had this crazy kind of look in my eyes. I went to the bathroom, and ironically realized I was still checking for spotting. Obviously, I hadn’t quite accepted that it didn’t matter any more.

When I came back down the hall, I could hear Dr. S in another room, laughing. I realized he was probably talking to the blond woman with the Tums and the cute round pregnant belly. I wanted to be that woman. I wanted to be any woman but me.

K was in the room with Daddy and she was talking about scheduling the D&C. Dr. S had jury duty on Monday and Tuesday, so the procedure probably couldn’t be done until Wednesday. I felt a brief panic and told her that I was scared to miscarry you at home because I didn’t want to see you. She said if I started bleeding a lot, I could go right to the ER and have an emergency D&C.

Finally, K hugged me and said that this is the toughest part of her job. I looked back at the board of newborns and said, “But think of all the happy times.”

She replied, “I hope I will get to be there for your happy time.”

I didn’t know what to say for a second and then I said, “I just don’t know that I will ever have that, K. If this was the first time. . . but there have been so many.”

We walked out of the office and everyone had gone home. It was empty and dark in the reception area. Everything felt kind of surreal. We got into the elevator and rode down to the bottom floor. I was not crying. And then I saw her. She was waiting by the door, probably for her husband to go get the car. It was the blond woman with the cute pregnant tummy and the bottle of Tums. I tried to smile at her, but my face got all twisted up and I put my hand over my eyes as the tears started. I know she saw me crying and I hope that for just a moment, she forgot about her heartburn and realized how lucky she was and how precious her baby is. I still think about that woman. How they probably went to dinner afterward or maybe Christmas shopping. It is weird how I can’t get her out of my mind. I guess I am just so jealous of all that she has. All that I feel we have been robbed of.

Daddy walked me to my car. He was so concerned about me driving home, but I didn’t want to leave my car parked on the street. I promised him that I would be okay. I also needed to make some phone calls.

I called J first. She answered and said, “Do you have good news for me?” I told her that I had the worst news ever, that you had died and that I didn’t know when I would come back to work. She said to take all the time that I needed.

I then knew that I had to call Grandma and Grandpa. I really didn’t want to have to do that, but I also knew that I would have to at some time. For some reason, I thought if I could just say it enough times, I would believe it. They were right in the middle of dinner and Grandpa asked if I could call back, but I said that I couldn’t wait. Grandma got on the phone and I told her that you had died. Every time I said it, I felt like a hammer was hitting me in the chest where my heart should have been.

We got home and I took the white frame with the ultrasound picture upstairs. I took the baby books from the coffee table upstairs. I couldn’t put your things in the miscarriage basket yet, so I put them all on the bed, where your blanket and Pooh Bear had been sitting. I shut the door to the second bedroom and came back downstairs.

Daddy sat on the couch and I sat on my chair. We talked for awhile, trying to figure out what we should do. I warmed up some chicken noodle soup and sipped at the broth. I didn’t really want to eat, but my body, my stupid body, hadn’t realized that it wasn’t pregnant anymore and was demanding food.

Finally, we got the dogs in the car and drove around, looking at Christmas lights. I patted Jack and didn’t really cry. We listened to Christmas carols on the radio, but I kept changing the channel. I never realized how many of those songs are really quite sad once you really listen to them. Even the happy ones about family and children waiting for Santa Claus were now sad to me.

We got home and I was nauseous. I realized that I didn’t have to hold off taking the phenergan anymore. I took one of the pills and within twenty minutes, I was so sleepy that I conked out right on the chair. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to go to sleep, because if I went to sleep, that would mean that I would have to wake up. And if I had to wake up, it meant that I would have to face my life without you.

Oh, Gummy Bear, I don’t know what to do without you.


Letters to Gummy Bear

I have kept a journal through each of my pregnancies. It has been with sad fascination that I have looked back on my progression through recurrent miscarriage. My first diary was so innocent and filled with hopes and dreams for the future with my baby. My diary with subsequent pregnancies is always hesitant. The ending is always the same, though. I always end up writing to an angel.

After that fantastic appointment with our RE, my journal entries took a carefree turn. I started writing to my baby, and the hopes and dreams for my future with Gummy Bear took shape. Here are some exerpts of things that I wrote to sweet Gummy Bear in the final two weeks of my pregnancy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

It doesn’t really matter what I do anymore. My favorite activity is really just sitting and thinking about you and how much I love you. I have waited what seems my entire life to be a mother. This past year has been filled with so much heartbreak and despair. Now, I feel as if the world is coming together in the way that it should. I still worry that I won’t be a good mother. What if I miss nights of uninterrupted sleep or being able to take a nice, long soak in my tub? Will I miss working? Will I miss being able to go out to dinner whenever the mood strikes? I don’t think so. I mean, some part of me might miss it, but really, I am not getting those things now. I wake up at least once a night to use the bathroom, I can’t sleep in anymore because the nausea wakes me up, and I certainly don’t want to go out to dinner! But I don’t miss those things and even at my sickest moments, I am just so grateful for each and every moment that I have with you. I love you with all of my heart and you mean the world to me.

Sunday, November 26, 2007

What a wacky weather day today! We woke up to SNOW! Daddy was so excited and Rocky (our dog) likes snow, too. It was only a couple of inches and we figured it would melt as the day went on. Daddy took my favorite blankets that I like to cuddle with and threw them in the dryer, so that when I came downstairs, he could cover me with them. It felt so cozy! I love it when Daddy does those extra little things for me and he does them all of the time now. He is always a considerate husband, but this pregnancy, he can’t do enough for me. I know it is also his way of doing things for you. Daddy is going to be a wonderful father and I can’t wait to see how the two of you interact.

As the day progressed, the snow did start to melt a little, but then it started to freeze up again and the snow came down harder. We lost power for a couple of hours in the afternoon. We listened to Christmas carols on the emergency radio that Daddy has and cuddled on the couch. Luckily, the gas fireplace stayed on, so we weren’t cold. When the power came back, we decided to stay lazy and ordered pizza. The food took a long time to get here with the snow – we now had over 6 inches! Of course, after one smell of the pizza, I couldn't eat, but Daddy ate our share!

It snowed really hard in the evening and we sat on the front couch to watch. It was so beautiful to look at and part of me wanted to get on all of my snow gear and take a walk. But most of me was too tired, and that part “won.” I sometimes feel a little guilty at how very lazy I am. However, I read in one of my pregnancy books that there is no such thing as a lazy pregnant woman, because even when you are sitting down, your body is working as hard as if it was climbing a mountain.

I know I sure feel as if we have climbed a big mountain together, Sweetheart. I look at your picture on the counter at least twenty times a day. I carry another copy in my purse and it is all I can think about. I love that little gummy bear shape. I love to picture you growing nice and strong in there.

I have to admit, I hate feeling so sick. I throw up many times every day, but I also like knowing that as crappy as it feels to me, it means that everything is working for you inside. You are worth everything to me.

Friday, December 1, 2006

I did something today that made me happy and nervous all at once. Grandma wanted to go to Target to show me the sleigh bed-style crib that she wants to buy for you. We looked at the clearance maternity clothes and I found a pair of lounging pants and shorts that were so cheap that I couldn’t resist. Still, after I had bought them, I felt kind of funny about it, like I had done something wrong. I will need things to wear as time goes on, but I really didn’t need them now. It still gave me such a happy little feeling to buy them, though, so I guess I am glad that I did. And I will definitely be glad to put on those lounge pants!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Something strange happened last night and I am a little scared. I was sick before I went to sleep, but finally managed to drift off. I woke up at 3:00 AM and felt as if I had to go to the bathroom. I got up, used the toilet, and as I was sitting there, I had one sharp, awful cramp. The strange this is that this cramp felt EXACTLY like the cramp I had when I lost my first pregnancy. You don’t forget a feeling like that. I immediately panicked, looking for bleeding. But there was none. I was breathing too fast and felt dizzy. I made myself drink some water and get back into bed. I reasoned with myself that I have been feeling so sick and there has not been any spotting. When I had that one cramp in January, I had already started bleeding in the morning just a bit. And I started heavily bleeding the very next day. I prayed to God that you were all right and then also prayed that I wouldn’t lose you away from Daddy and home. I managed to get to sleep, but not for a long while.

I have been really sick all day. I am glad for that and also glad to have no spotting. I drove home this morning and when I got here, Daddy had vacuumed the house and it looked really nice. I tried eating lunch, but no such luck. By dinner time, I was frustrated, because I hadn’t kept anything down since yesterday at lunch. I was feeling weak and tired and kind of wanted to take the prescription the doctor had given me when I went to the ER, but I don’t want to risk hurting you.

Daddy was so sweet to me. He decided that the best course of action was to get me to eat small bits of food all day. He gave me three spoonfuls of applesauce every twenty minutes and a Wheat Thin cracker, too. I kept a couple of portions of that down for a bit, but eventually, that came up, too. I think we were both a little worried, but it distracted me from the pain that I had last night.

I know that I need to get a grip on my fear. I am so sick, which everyone says is a good sign. I also know that we saw you on ultrasound just a little over a week ago and you were fine. It is just so hard not to worry when I feel as if my life would be over if I lost you. The sad part is, now I am starting to do something that I haven’t done for this whole pregnancy. I am checking for spotting now and worrying about you. I am glad we have an appointment in less than a week so that I can see for myself that I have nothing to be worried about.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Everything seems extra beautiful to me this year. I kept thinking about how next year, you will be here and our lives will seem complete. Last Christmas was the first year that I felt that something was truly missing in our lives. We have so much to be grateful for, and I truly am, but I started to have a feeling of, “Something is missing.” We have a lovely home, good jobs, and a wonderful relationship, but no child to share it with. I know Daddy feels the same way. Last Christmas, I told him I wanted a baby by this Christmas. As usual, Daddy finds a way to get me what I want! I love presents and I won’t pretend that I don’t want anything this year. In fact, I would love to get something special that I will always remember getting when I was pregnant with you. But I also know that nothing can compare to the special gift I am already getting!

Getting to this point has not been easy and I feel as if we deserve to take pleasure in even the smallest moments. I am glad that Daddy and I get to be this happy and that we get to be your parents. It is going to be such a wonderful adventure filled with days of “nothing special” turned extraordinary.

The ultrasound dating would later reveal that the baby stopped growing the night of the cramp. But that is tomorrow's post.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dog Nose & Popsicles

Being pregnant was wonderful.

Being pregnant was awful.

Yep. I said it. Somebody needs to. Just because we have had a hard time getting pregnant, doesn't mean that former infertiles don't have the same right to moan about their aches and pains as fertiles do. There are two sides to pregnancy. The first side is the end result: The baby. That is what makes it all worthwhile.

Then, there is the other side. My mother once said to me that the Pregnancy Stick hits everyone. You are going to get some sort of pregnancy evil, so you might as well just accept yours. For example, it might be horrible vericose veins that my friend got, in locations that I didn't even know that you could get such things (hint: think Britney). One of my girlfriends got a hernia during her pregnancy and the cute baby bump that she'd always dreamed of - marred by this ropey, knotted bulge right in the center. For me, it was endless morning, noon, and night sickness and incredible sense of smell, which I termed Dog Nose.

The first funny smell reaction that I had was doing the laundry. I reached into the hamper and the smell from those dirty clothes had me racing for the toilet. Now, you think to yourself, of course, laundry can be stinky. But the other problem that I had with laundry was using my favorite dryer sheets. The smell was too strong. I couldn't handle it. I couldn't even handle it if my husband did it. One of his favorite smell memories was when he had lovingly made the bed for me and I came upstairs, only to start frantically heaving because the dryer sheet smell was too strong. He had to get a pair of sheets from the closet and remake the entire bed. Good man.

Some of the nausea moments can certainly be funny, but around 8 weeks, it became more serious. When I went in for my first appointment at the regular OB, I was still semi-controlling my nausea, but had already lost a few pounds. The nurse told me that if I went 24 hours without keeping anything down, I should call in. "But," she added, "That is pretty rare, so don't worry about it."

Apparently, there is a small percentage of women (really? another subset of pregnancy that applies to me?) that get something that is beyond the morning sickness usually associated with pregnancy. That condition is called hpyeremesis gravidarum (HG), which is defined as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids. This affects less than 2% of women. Huh. Another statistical bullet.

Now, let me be clear. I was actually never diagnosed with HG. However, at my 11 week appointment, before we found out that Gummy's heart was no longer beating, the doctor was very concerned. I had lost a lot of weight, I was constantly dehydrated, and I had been to the ER or urgent care clinic for fluids more time than I could count. I had been prescribed anti-nausea medication, but it really didn't help. He was talking in terms of taking me out of work and that if I lost any more weight, I would have to be on a stronger medication.

This was more than simple nausea. I would put food into my stomach and it would immediately come back up. There was no time for the food to be digested. It was an immediate in and out reaction. I would literally eat over the toilet, because it became impossible to dash from the dining room in time to make it. If you have never suffered extreme morning sickness, you are probably thinking EEEEWWW right now, but I would actually find it the easiest to eat immediately after throwing up, as if I had fooled my stomach, so there were times that I was literally eating the second that I was done throwing up.

It was absolutely disgusting.

We never went to dinner anymore, it was a waste of money. My husband existed on food from various drive thrus in town that he could eat in the car. The smell of food in the house was too much for me.

My job was an interesting dilemma. I am in a sales position where I need to be quick on my feet and speak to my customers as they are running from one thing to the next. There were several times that I ended up with my head in a trashcan in their offices. Luckily, I had been calling on these people for several years, and they were kind about it, but it is hard to keep a pregnancy under wraps in this scenario.

I kept a box in my car, with a plastic bag looped over the handle. This box became my new best friend and saved me from a lot of embarassing moments.

I became so sick that, other than work or doctor's appointments, I didn't get out of bed. I slept anytime that I could. My house was in shambles, laundry piled up, my poor furbabies would whimper for a walk, and all I could do was hope to keep a sip of water or a bite of yogurt down.

There was one Saturday that scared both of us. I was in bad shape. I couldn't keep anything down, my lips were dry and cracked to the point of bleeding, and I just cried and cried. My husband begged me to eat something, anything, and finally, he came upon the idea that I should eat something every twenty minutes. By something, he meant one Wheat Thin cracker or a bite of applesauce. He set the timer and every twenty minutes, brought me one or the other. It workd for the first hour, but then, I couldn't keep that down, either.

The next day, I woke up at 5 AM so thirsty that I literally felt as if I was dying. I asked my husband if he would go to the store for me later that morning to get me some Pedialyte. He told me to make a list and jumped out of bed. I have never been so in love with a man as I was that day. I only asked for Coke and Pedialyte, but he got creative and got me popsicles and no-salt rice cakes. Those popsicles were the best thing that I had ever tasted. I was able to eat three and then I finally fell into a deep sleep and didn't wake up until later that morning.

I came downstairs and my husband had put up the Christmas tree. This was wonderful, because I am into Christmas, big time. But I couldn't fathom the energy that it would take to get the tree up. I usually take care of that, but this year, he had taken matters into his own hands. I sat on the couch, admiring the beautiful lights, and he brought me another popsicle. This time, there was no keeping the icy goodness down.

The pregnancy stick beat me up pretty good all right. And I still thanked my baby for making me sick and smiled through the tears and the vomit.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Which Dot Becomes Gummy Bear

When our RE said that we had to wait two weeks for another ultrasound, I thought for sure that the days would crawl by. The time actually went by fairly quickly. I think the fact that I was so sick helped, so did the lack of spotting. I was losing weight from being so sick, but my pants were fitting more snugly. The signs and symptoms of pregnancy were overwhelming, but I loved that, it made me feel like the baby was all right.

The day of our ultrasound was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I felt that the timing was perfect because I knew that if this ultrasound showed good news, then we could start to be more confident about the pregnancy. And becoming more confident meant that we could tell my parents as a holiday treat.

I was a nervous wreck the morning of the ultrasound. I tried to let the fact that I could barely keep anything down comfort me. Sick Mom = Healthy Baby, right?

We got to the ultrasound room and I was shaking as she inserted the probe. Right away, the dot showed up. But this was no dot. This looked like. . . well, a gummy bear! Only this gummy bear had a beating heart. That little heart was just beating away at a perfect 176 BPM. I looked at the screen in absolute amazement and then at my husband. He seemed in complete awe. We were holding hands and I squeezed his. He looked at me and said, "It looks. . . human."

The technician was wonderful. She let us look for a long time, from all different angles. When I told her that we would be using these pictures to tell the Grandparents, she happily printed off extra copies for us. I asked her about the growth and lil' Gummy Bear had more than caught up and was now two days ahead of schedule - "measuring more than perfectly" were her very words. She asked when our next ultrasound would be and I told her that we were offically "graduating" from the RE's office and that it would be another two weeks before our next ultrasound at our regular OB. She said that we would be amazed what changes we would see by that next time.

After she left, I got my pants back on and started crying a little, but these were such happy tears. My husband hugged me and I looked up at him with such complete joy and said the words that I had been longing to say for such a long time: "We are going to have a baby."

I believed them with all of my heart.

Our regular doctor was unavailable, so a nurse practioner came in. She was all smiles, congratulating us on the baby. It was the first time that I really felt pregnant. She asked how I was feeling, what I was doing to handle the morning sickness, gave me some suggestions, treated me like an honest-to-goodness pregnant woman. There was no talk of slow growth, she said that the baby was doing beautifully. Always a stickler for the details, I asked her what our chances of miscarriage were at this point. She looked at us directly and said that while there was always that chance, she would put it at less than 3%. Her closing remarks to us was the the clinic always liked baby pictures, so she would be expecting them from us.

We floated out of that office. It was truly the best day of my life. I kept smiling so much that my husband was laughing at me, but I didn't care. I felt that I deserved every millisecond of happiness that I could squeeze from this pregnancy. At that moment, I let go of my fears and became something that I thought that I could never be: A happy pregnant woman. Despite our history, I was no longer afraid of miscarriage. We were okay. We had dodged the bullet.

We went to the mall that night and purchased Grandma ornaments to give our mothers. These were perfect, because they were little picture frames, just right for our ultrasound pictures. As we were buying them, the lady who checked us out asked if we were giving them to our grandmas, and we told her that we were actually buying them for Grandmas that didn't know they were Grandmas. She gave us that goofy smile that people give you when they find out that you are having a baby. My husband snuggled me closer and then we floated right out of the mall.

That Thanksgiving, I had so much to be thankful for. I told my mom by handing her the ornament and saying that we got her an early Christmas gift. At first, she was confused, thinking it was a picture of our dogs, but then she realized what it was. My parents were thrilled, if a bit worried given our history, but we told them about the less than 3% odds, and they started to relax. So much so, in fact, that my mom started telling everyone. We ran into some neighbors that night and she told them, and once again, we got that goofy grin from them. Then I looked at my husband and realized that we were wearing those smiles, too. It felt so good.

I was still sick as a dog, unable to eat or keep much of anything down. I had lost ten pounds. But I didn't care. As long as the baby was okay, I was happy.

My husband and I had started to play the part of expectant parents. We threw caution to the wind and bought a baby name book and started keeping a list. We dared to go back to Babys R Us and even bought somethign else for the baby. We were out of control! But didn't we deserve this? Isn't this what everyone else gets to do?

My favorite thing that happened is that we started a ritual each night. I would say, "Goodnight. I love you. And the baby loves you."

He would reply, "I love you, too. . . AND the baby." He sometimes would pause between the two, teasing me, but he loved saying it as much as I loved hearing it. We would fall asleep, spoon style, both of our palms on my slightly swelling stomach.

There is no measure to the sadness that I have felt since losing our precious Gummy Bear. But there is no measure to the happiness that I felt for those all-too-brief weeks. As desperately sad as I have been, as much as my heart has been broken, I would do it all again. I would do anything for that happiness. I would do anything for Gummy Bear.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Watching You Grow, Loving You So

Yes, my life was changed on Halloween 2006. That little dot on the ultrasound screen gave me such hope. There was still concern, still worry, of course. The doctor said that the bleeding was probably nothing to be worried about, but advised pelvic rest and that I take it easy for the next few days. With four previous losses under my belt, I was hardly running marathons, so that was easy advice to follow. Also, the size of the "dot" put us a few days behind where I thought we should be, however a quick consultation with Dr. Google put me at ease, as according to the great doctor, ultrasound measurements can be off as much as five days either way. We were only three days behind, so all was well.

You know the old saying about being careful about asking for something - 'cause you just might get it? Well, I had been praying for morning sickness. I had always heard that the sicker the mother, the better off the baby. So, I was really hoping to be good and sick. My wish was granted.

At first, it was just a queasy feeling. Like a good pregnant girl, I was reading all of my "What to Expect" and "Girlfriend's Guide" books. They told me that if I ate before getting up and always had something in my stomach, I would be okay. This seemed to work for a little while, even if it seemed that my finicky stomach only wanted certain things. For breakfast, my stomach demanded Corn Pops, a cereal I hadn't eaten since childhood. My stomach couldn't get enough lemonade, but it had to be a certain kind, not just any. If I had ever thought that pregnant women were being picky just because they could, well this was my payback. I finally understood that it wasn't pickiness, it was a need. The stomach demanded and wouldn't let up until it was appeased. As long as I listened to it and ate only what it asked for, it rewarded me with a few hours of peace.

Our next ultrasound was a week later, to see if we could see a heartbeat. This was a big deal to me. Even though I was in love with our "dot," I couldn't quite let myself relax until I saw a good heartbeat. I knew from my research that this would dramatically reduce our chances for miscarriage.

It was on the fateful day of this ultrasound that morning sickness changed from something that I could control to something that controlled me. I had consumed my usual bowl of Corn Pops and two glasses of lemonade. I had my crackers and caffeine free rootbeer at the ready. We had stopped for gas on the way to the appointment and I was sitting in the car when. . .well, I will spare you the details, but it wasn't pretty. I am a private person when it comes to bathroom activities. I have never used the bathroom in front of my husband and before that day, he had never seen me vomit. Pregnancy opened a lot of doors for us - and this was one of them.

I threw up three more times before we got to the doctor's office. I was clutching a plastic bag in the waiting room, because dashing to the restroom was getting dicey. The nurse who put us in the ultrasound room looked at me sympathetically and said, "Sick mom, healthy baby."

I nodded miserably, but was smiling, too. Who ever knew that you could throw up and be so happy? In fact, in the coming weeks, I would start to say "Thank you" to the baby whenever I would throw up. There would be times when I was in the hospital, getting fluids, and I would pat my stomach and think to myself, "Do what you have to, Baby, make me sick, you grow strong and healthy."

They gave me a pan to put by my head as I nervously succumbed to my date with the dildo cam. But I hardly noticed the invasion, because I was soon looking at our little dot. Only now, the dot was bigger and lumpier, with something flashing in the middle.

Our dot had a heartbeat.

The heartbeat was good and strong, right in the range that they want it. The only small concern was that the baby wasn't quite the size it should have been. When Dr. No Personality came in to look over the results, she said that it was probably still fine, just a couple of days behind, but that we would have to come in for another ultrasound in two weeks to see how things were progressing.

It was a day of mixed emotions. I was thrilled to have seen that little flash. And the dot was most certainly bigger. However, I knew that slow growth is not a good sign. I started to cry as we walked through the parking garage - and then promptly threw up behind a parked car.

My husband put his arms around me and held me with such tenderness, which is a little hard to do when I wasn't exactly smelling like a rose. He told me that we had to think positively, that a little person was depending on us doing everything to keep me calm. Then, my husband did the most wonderful thing in the world. He asked me if I wanted to go someplace that I had only dreamed of before, a place that was the shining beacon of all things pregnancy and baby. A place that I hadn't dared to step foot in since we lost our first baby: Babys R Us.

Sick as I was, I wasn't going to turn down a trip to that meccca, not when that beating heart within me gave me the right to be there. I walked through the aisles, for the first time in months, I was able to look at baby things without crying. There were pregnant women everywhere and I only felt a sisterhood with them. My husband came up to me with the softest blanket I had ever seen, with the word BABY stiched on it. He said that it was his present for the baby, and now I had to pick one, too.

My heart lurched at this. It was one thing to enter the kingdom of All Things Baby. It was quite another to buy things within the gates. But he was right. There was a baby, with a beating heart, and we had to think positively. There were so many things that I wanted to buy, but I found the perfect thing: A small frame with a spot for the ultrasound picture and the words "Watching You Grow, Loving You So." It was perfect for the thin little picture that they had given us at the doctor's that day.

That frame went into our kitchen, where it would stay for the next few weeks. I loved having it there, my touchstone of sorts. Even on the worst days of sickness, when I couldn't even keep water down, I would look to that frame and know that everything was going to be okay.

And it was okay. For a little while more.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Beginning of Gummy Bear

A year ago today, I found out that I was pregnant with Gummy Bear. I didn't think that I would get pregnant that month, because we steered clear of my usual fertile window, not realizing that having an HSG can cause you to ovulate early. In fact, just one week before, we had sat in our RE's office and reviewed all of the tests that we had completed. All of the test results were normal, so our doctor's next advice was to create the "Perfect Cycle" by increasing my egg quality and ovulation, plus progesterone to support the pregnancy.

We left the office, armed with several prescriptions and a sheet of instructions, thinking that in a couple of weeks, we would be back for ovulation monitoring.

Except by the next week, I was experiencing my usual early pregnancy symptoms. Sure enough, a pee stick came up with a second line. I was a little embarrassed and not quite sure what to do. I wasn't sure what my husband was going to think about this latest development, so I didn't tell him. I didn't tell anyone.

Looking back, this was definitely a strange reaction. But this was my fifth pregnancy, with no babies to show for it. Science had failed to produce a reason for our losses, so I went a little superstitious this time around. I decided that if I could make it to the 6th week without any spotting, then I would call my RE's office and schedule an ultrasound.

I managed to keep it from my husband for a full week. When I did finally get around to telling him, he was not very happy with me for keeping the secret. When I explained my reasoning that if we did things differently this time things might end different, he agreed that since nothing else had worked so far, it was worth a try.

So, we didn't even talk about the pregnancy and another week went by. I realized that I was nearing the six week mark, with no spotting to speak of. This had never happened to me before. With trembling fingers, I dialed the RE's office. They had me come in for a beta and when the nurse called me with the results, I almost fell over: 5562.

I had never had a beta go about 100, so this was incredible news. The nurse was very positive and said that I was possibly in the twin range at the DPO we were at. Because the beta was so high, we didn't need a second check for doubling and we were scheduled for our first ultrasound in three days - on Halloween.

The Day of the Great Beta was a Friday, and we were headed to my parents' house a few hours away. We decided that it was best to keep the news under wraps, so we were pretty secretive that weekend. It was wonderful to have a secret, just the two of us, and I had never felt so pregnant. I was starving, moodier than usual, and my breasts felt on fire. My husband and I walked around with goofy grins pasted on our faces and springs in our steps. On our way home, I napped in the car, and was awakened by some pretty strong cramping. I was worried, but when I checked to see if I was spotting, there wasn't any, and I felt relieved.

Until the night before my ultrasound, when I had some dreaded spotting. I was devastated, thinking that this was the end of yet another pregnancy. My husband tried in vain to comfort me, but I was still in tears. Each day that I was pregnant, I got more attached to the very idea of the baby. Usually, by this point, I had spotting or lower betas, certainly never had I felt this ill. I put my hand over my stomach and prayed that the baby was all right.

Halloween was a beautiful fall day, sunny and clear, not too cold. I spent the day with my stomach churning in fear, checking for spotting as if it was my job. I didn't have any more bleeding, but I was still convinced that I was about to miscarry and that there wouldn't be anything on the ultrasound.

Finally, we got to the appointment. I started crying the minute we were in the ultrasound room, waiting for the technician. My husband asked what was wrong and I wailed, "This was supposed to be a happy day."

He replied, "It still might be."

The technician came in and I explained where I was as far as LMP and when I thought I might have ovulated. I also told her that I was spotting and started to cry again. She said, "Well, let's just see what we can see."

What we saw wasn't much. But it was something. There as a tiny little sac and an even tinier fetal pole. There wasn't a discernible heartbeat, but we were still too early for that to be a concern. The tech even thought she saw a reason for the spotting - something called a subchorionic hemorrhage, which she said would most likely resolve on its own.

I was completely gobsmacked by that little dot. This was our fifth pregnancy, but we had never gotten this far. I always thought that I would cry when I first saw our baby on an ultrasound, but I found that tears didn't do justice to this moment. There are two screens at our RE's - the one the tech uses and then a smaller one that is right next to the mother. I reached out and touched the small dot in wonder, feeling as if my life had been changed forever.

And it had. I will never be the same.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quick and Dirty

I wrote an absolutely groundbreaking post, filled with wittiness and prose the likes of which the blogasphere has never seen before. It was a sight to behold, I'm telling you. You would have been talking about it and my genius for days.

And it got erased.

And I have to leave for work.

So, here it is, the quick and dirty: The IUI is done, although there were several times this morning that I didn't think it would happen. Hubby's sperm count was a little on the low side at 9 million, post wash. But our doctor seems to think that is still good enough to get the job done. Here's hoping that she is better at hedging bets than her bedside manner.

What I did write and don't want to forget to put in this post is how much your comments and good wishes mean to me. I am humbled that so many people take time out of their lives to not only read about mine, but also to support me with commentary. I am so thankful for each and every one of you, and my only hope is that I am able to be there for you as well.

OH! Somehow, Google Reader (which I still don't know how to use - anyone want to tutor me?) caught my post before the world wide web snatched it away. Thanks to Infertility Just Sucks and K for sending it to me. Now you can see for yourself my literary prowess - which I was actually lying about, by the way, and now am red faced in embarrassment at being caught! But just in case you want the whole story rather than the Reader's Digest Version, here it is in all it's glory!


Back from the IUI morning from hell.

I am really hoping that today's events are not a predictor of this entire cycle being a bust.To begin with, we are lucky that we even got in for our appointment. It seems that Seattleites have forgotten how to drive in the RAIN. There is also a lot of talk on the news about a storm coming this afternoon and apparently that is keeping people from being able to focus on the morning commute. There were accidents everywhere and we were bumper to bumper the whole way. A drive which usually takes us no more than an hour took us two hours today. We had left a little margin for error on the timing, but not enough to stick to our original appointment time. When I realized this, I made a teary phone call to the receptionist and had to tangle over when we could reschedule. They had plenty of afternoon appointments, but DH had to be back at work by noon, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Finally, we managed to sneak in to a later set of appointments.After what seemed like ages, we got back to the lab for my husband's appointment and. . .well, the only way to put this is that he had performance anxiety. This is not his first time producing a specimen, but for some reason, he was not in the "mood" today. We were finally able to get the job done, but it took tears on my part and a lot of concentration on his. Oh, the memories. . .To further complicate the day, do you remember the plaque that my dearest husband wanted after his great sperm count last month? Well, this month, he had to take his plaque down. His post-wash count was 9 million, which is on the low side. It definitely put a pin in his ego balloon, but the doctor reassured us that it was still a decent enough count to get the job done. After all, his super count from last month didn't seal the deal. It only takes one. But it was still not the greatest of counts and does slightly reduce our chances for success.

My usual doctor was at bat today, the one with no bedside manner whatsoever. She actually started out okay, but fizzled quickly. You can tell that she doesn't read charts before she comes in and had no idea who we were or what our story is. She asked how long we had been trying and how many IUIs we had done. When I told her, she said that we would just have to hope that this was it and we finally got pregnant. I reminded her that we have been pregnant before, and she just looked at me as if I was speaking some foreign language that she didn't understand.We finally got down to business and for some reason, it HURT when she did the IUI. Last month, I didn't feel a thing, just a bit of pressure, but this time, I actually got tears in my eyes from the brief but sharp pain.

We got none of the cute sprinkles of baby dust, just a couple of comments on the weather and then she was out the door. I am still cramping and it has been almost two hours.

BUT.I still have hope. I still believe that this is our cycle. And I am so grateful and so humbled how everyone has made time in their busy lives to follow one girl's silly ramblings. When I saw how many well wishes that I had waiting for me, I was overwhelmed. I hope that I am able to be there for you as you have been there for me. From the bottom of my infertile little heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Can't Even Get A McSandwich!

Update: It is probably due in part to my lucky red socks and in part to all of your finger and toe crossing, but today went GREAT! I have a monster follicle from my left ovary at 22.5 mm (my largest to date) and a slightly smaller but still respectable 20 mm follicle from my right ovary. We trigged this morning and have to be at the clinic bright and early tomorrow morning for the IUI. In a fertility battle that holds so few days, this is a good one. I am grateful.

Ah, Cycle Day 10. Behold this day, as it shines and sparkles, with all the promise and allure of fertility. I can almost hear my ovaries, singing in happiness and anticipation. Perhaps not, but it's still a heck of an exciting day. My follicle check and (hopefully) trigger shot is scheduled for this morning and I couldn't be more happy about it.

I am a tiny bit nervous, however. This day hasn't always worked out exactly as planned. Rewind to Day 12 of our first assisted cycle in June. This was our first time having "help," so all the medications and appointments had a sort of newness to it, a feeling of proactiveness. When I say that we had never needed help with conception, realize that I don't say that without respect to those that do, and I always felt blessed that it was not an issue for us. So, I guess I had a sort of confidence going into that cycle. How could it not work? We had always gotten pregnant when we tried before, so I thought with the dating, the triggering, the medicating, the perfectly timed intercouse, how could we lose? Well, we lost. Two weeks after our carefully timed everything, I was frantically peeing on sticks to no avail. I cried in the bathroom with the last shreds of hope falling like so many HPT wrappers around me as I realized that it hadn't worked.

After a couple of days of self-pity, I had a stern talking to with myself. "Self," I reasoned, "You cannot expect to get pregnant every time that you try. You need to buck up. This is your cycle."

In June, although we had perfect timing, we were at my parents' house celebrating our birthdays. Not exactly the greatest of baby-making environments. So, for July's cycle, I was thrilled when trigger landed on a Friday. I told hubby "NO PLANS" for that weekend, unless they involved him, me, and a lotta sex.

So, cycle day 12 of our second cycle, I strolled into the follicle check ultrasound, armed with my trigger-shot-in-a-box and a renewed sense of hope. Imagine my surprise when the ultrasound technician aimed the dildo cam directly at my left ovary and said, "Huh."

Now, "huh" is not a word you want to hear when you are spreadeagled on an exam table with an ultrasound wand shoved up your Britney. And what "huh" meant that day is that I had already ovulated. We had missed ovulation. I was stunned more than anything, I didn't really understand. How could this have happened? I was a textbook ovulator, always day 14. How? How? How? The doctor came in and explained that it was a fluke, that it wouldn't happen again. She suggested timed intercourse for that evening, although she was pretty sure that ovulation had happened the day before, so it was too late. Since they recommend abstaining from relations the night before the follicle check, to build up the troops, we didn't have a chance. I was fine, until the very end, when she stood up and shook my hand and said, "I'm sorry, I know this is a disappointment."

When I had my last ultrasound with Gummy Bear, where we found out that there was no heartbeat, that is what the doctor said then, too. At the time, I fired back angrily that it was not a disappointment, it was devastating. The doctor later apologized and agreed with me. Now, obviously, this missing ovulation is a disappointment. It's not devastating. But I think it was the culmination of all that we had been through that really started to hit me as I sat there, faced with yet another disappointment.

I looked at the doctor, tears starting to form in my eyes, and said, "Well, I guess that I should be used to disappointment by now."

This wasn't my usual doctor, she actually has a little bedside manner, so she got me some tissue and suggested that I stay in the room for a few minutes. She patted my hand and said that she knew what a rollercoaster this could be and that she was sorry. This kindness helped me to pull myself together and I left, still sniffly, but trying to keep my chin up, proud of myself for not breaking down completely.

Then, I got into the elevator. I am not exaggerating. There were three extremely pregnant women and two women holding newborns. I had to look up to the ceiling to fight the tears that were threatening to fall, but I managed to keep myself in check.

I got to my car, still feeling pretty sorry for myself. I sat there for a minute, wondering why we continued to face so many obstacles in our course to become parents. As I drove away, I squared my shoulders. Okay, another obstacle, I could handle this. I decided to treat myself to something that I just love. It's a dirty little secret, but I just love McDonald's Bacon, Egg, & Cheese biscuit sandwiches. I take the egg off of it and put a hashbrown on instead and it's just heaven. For many reasons, my health being one of them, it's a rare treat, but I decided that I deserved a little pick-me-up. I pulled into the drivethru and ordered my regular. I grabbed my bag of goods and pulled away in eager anticipation. After navigating through a couple of busy intersections, I rustled through the bag for my treat and to my dismay, found that I got a Ham & Cheese muffin. I don't like ham, I don't like muffin, I wanted my Bacon & Cheese BISCUIT. If I can't have a baby, I should at least have the frickin' McSandwich.

Sadly, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I turned into the nearest parking lot, laid my head down on the steering wheel, and sobbed so hard that I got hiccups. I cried for a good ten minutes. Finally, feeling that empty, washed out feeling you get after a hard cry, I picked up my cell phone and called my best friend. I said to her that at this point, I had two options. I could keep crying or I could see the humor in my situation. I told her the story, and ended it with a plaintive wail, "I can't even get a McSandwich."

She was quiet for a moment, then I heard her laughing. "You poor thing," she said. "I hate it when my breakfast gets f*cked up." And I started laughing, too.

It turned out that Femera just makes me ovulate early. The next month, I had already ovulated on cycle day 12 again. This time, I was more prepared and didn't take it so hard. We then decided to move my follicle scan to Cycle Day 10. That was three cycles ago and (knock on wood) we haven't missed ovulation since, but I always worry just a little.

Please keep your fingers crossed that today, I get what I ordered.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On My Mark. . .

For me, one the hardest parts of infertility is the lack of control, the feeling that I can't do anything to help my situation. In all other elements of my life, I am a proactive person. When something isn't going right, I take the necessary steps to make it happen. Infertility is the first challenge that I have come up to where it doesn't matter how smart, funny, nice, etc., I am, or how clean my house is, how many friends I have, whether or not I have a good job, or am a good wife and "mother" to my furbabies. There doesn't seem to be a magical combination of anything that I can do to ensure pregnancy or that I won't miscarry. It seems that the only thing I can do is something that I was never very good at: be patient and wait.

There is a lot of waiting in a cycle. Waiting for your period to end, waiting for ovulation, waiting for the right time to have "timed intercourse," and finally, the waits of all waits, waiting to see if it worked. So infamous is that last phase of waiting, that it even has its own name, the Two Week Wait. Any infertile worth her digital HPT knows what the 2WW is and has lived through her life in hellish two week segments for longer than she can remember.

Even if you are not in an active TTC cycle, there is a lot of waiting involved. For me, it was waiting for three months in between my second and third loss, then waiting for that third loss before I could get help from a specialist. Then, it was a two month wait to get into the specialist. Then, when I was there, raring to go, it was still a wait to get into the doctor's schedule and make sure that the tests were at the appropriate time in my cycle. More waiting.

For a few glorious days in a TTC cycle, however, there is a flurry of activity. There is a sense of doing something for the cause, of accomplishment. There is much to do Cycle Day 10 - 14 between follicle check ultrasounds, injections, and then of course, the IUI and any extra activities you throw in to make sure conception takes place.

This is where I am, on the eve of activity. I have hope for this cycle, I really do.

Monday, October 15, 2007

In Memory of My Angels

Words cannot express what I am feeling today.
Angel Baby #1 "Piglet"
January 31, 2006
Lost at 6 weeks
Angel Baby #2
March 30, 2006
Lost at 4 weeks
Angel Baby #3 "Poco"
July 31, 2006
Lost at 7 weeks
Angel Baby #4
August 25, 2006
Lost at 5 weeks
Angel Baby #5 "Gummy Bear"
December 12, 2006
Lost at 11 weeks
Angel Baby #6
September 13, 2007
Lost at 4 weeks

Friday, October 12, 2007

How Many Candles?

Update: Many of you asked about the church memorial service. I found out about it through Parent Support of Puget Sound. I know that Resolve also usually lists such things. The memorial service at this particular church is actually on Monday at 7 PM, although I know another local church that is doing one as part of their Sunday service. This is another site that I have used for various ways to memorialize my lost babies. I hope this is helpful to all of you as we approach this special day. As always, thank you for your support.

Monday is October 15th, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. Last year, I found a local church that did a memorial service for parents who had suffered losses. It was a candlelight service, so as you walked in, they asked you how many candles you wanted. Last year, my miscarriage count was at four on the 15th.

I asked for four candles, which since my husband was with me, was no problem. One candle for each hand. However, I felt a little guilty asking for four, especially when the lady's eyes widened when I gave my request. She handed me four dixie cups with little white candles poked through the bottom and then walked around the table and gave me a big hug.

"You have been through so much sadness," she said softly. "May God bless you and bring you peace."

I was comforted by her condolence, but I felt like I had asked for too many candles. This year, I am again faced with this question, and now, my loss count is at six. Or is it? When they ask me how many candles I want this year, I don't know what to say. And it isn't because I am running out of hands.

The reason for my trepidation in asking for candles for all of my losses is this: How do I count my losses? You see, only one of my pregnancies has ever made it past the chemical into the clinical state. Three of them were long enough that had I had an ultrasound, it might have shown something. The other three all ended so very early, barely before a period was missed. If I wasn't a POAS-aholic, I might never have known about them.

Doctors have dismissed my pregnancies. Nurses have told me that I wasn't "really pregnant." Friends and family have tried to help me feel better by doing the same. Even I find myself doing it, negating my losses, talking in terms of my "real" miscarriage with Gummy Bear, vs. my chemical pregnancies. I think that part of it is survival. If I really allowed myself to think about how many angels I have lost, I might really lose it.

Another part of it is the simple fact that it was harder to lose Gummy Bear after seeing that beating heart. Seeing the baby flutter and grow, it's little heart beating so strong, then seeing it silent after it had died, was the greatest heartbreak of my life. And that was at 11 weeks. After Gummy died, we went to a local support group and were in the room with three other couples. One couple had had a full term still birth, another lost a little girl at 26 weeks, and the third had a normal birth, but then 24 hours later, the baby was turning blue and they realized that he had a terminal lung disorder. He died at 6 days old. I cannot fathom that pain. To lose sweet Gummy was measurably worse than losing my six week pregnancies. There would be no measure to the pain of losing a baby that far along or after giving birth. I'm reasonably sure that if that happened to me, then my next blog entries would be coming to you via my padded cell and voice activated keyboard, seeing that it is difficult to type while wearing a straightjacket.

Last year, when I sat in that church, with my four candles, I looked around at the other people there. Most held one candle, there was a smattering of couples clutching two or, more rarely, three. There was not one other couple holding four candles. I saw people casting looks of pity our way, and I felt uncomfortable and undeserving of their sympathy. The mother sitting next to me held one candle and a picture. The picture was of a little baby. She saw me looking at it and told me that it was her daughter, who had died at three months of SIDS. When she looked questioningly at my four candles, I told her that I had had four miscarriages. She patted my shoulder, but I felt that my grief was insignificant when compared to hers.

So, my question to you is: How many candles should I ask for this year?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Baby Making Isn't For the Weak


Back from the IUI morning from hell. I am really hoping that today's events are not a predictor of this entire cycle being a bust.

To begin with, we are lucky that we even got in for our appointment. It seems that Seattleites have forgotten how to drive in the RAIN. There is also a lot of talk on the news about a storm coming this afternoon and apparently that is keeping people from being able to focus on the morning commute. There were accidents everywhere and we were bumper to bumper the whole way. A drive which usually takes us no more than an hour took us two hours today. We had left a little margin for error on the timing, but not enough to stick to our original appointment time. When I realized this, I made a teary phone call to the receptionist and had to tangle over when we could reschedule. They had plenty of afternoon appointments, but DH had to be back at work by noon, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Finally, we managed to sneak in to a later set of appointments.

After what seemed like ages, we got back to the lab for my husband's appointment and. . .well, the only way to put this is that he had performance anxiety. This is not his first time producing a specimen, but for some reason, he was not in the "mood" today. We were finally able to get the job done, but it took tears on my part and a lot of concentration on his. Oh, the memories. . .

To further complicate the day, do you remember the plaque that my dearest husband wanted after his great sperm count last month? Well, this month, he had to take his plaque down. His post-wash count was 9 million, which is on the low side. It definitely put a pin in his ego balloon, but the doctor reassured us that it was still a decent enough count to get the job done. After all, his super count from last month didn't seal the deal. It only takes one. But it was still not the greatest of counts and does slightly reduce our chances for success.

My usual doctor was at bat today, the one with no bedside manner whatsoever. She actually started out okay, but fizzled quickly. You can tell that she doesn't read charts before she comes in and had no idea who we were or what our story is. She asked how long we had been trying and how many IUIs we had done. When I told her, she said that we would just have to hope that this was it and we finally got pregnant. I reminded her that we have been pregnant before, and she just looked at me as if I was speaking some foreign language that she didn't understand.

We finally got down to business and for some reason, it HURT when she did the IUI. Last month, I didn't feel a thing, just a bit of pressure, but this time, I actually got tears in my eyes from the brief but sharp pain. We got none of the cute sprinkles of baby dust, just a couple of comments on the weather and then she was out the door. I am still cramping and it has been almost two hours.


I still have hope. I still believe that this is our cycle. And I am so grateful and so humbled how everyone has made time in their busy lives to follow one girl's silly ramblings. When I saw how many well wishes that I had waiting for me, I was overwhelmed. I hope that I am able to be there for you as you have been there for me. From the bottom of my infertile little heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I Have Been Tagged

Oh, yes! My first tag, thank you, Amanda! I have really noticed an increase of comments lately, too! I am starting to feel as if I am a "real" blogger!

Eight Random Facts About Me

1. I am scared of spiders, actually terrified. Three years ago, I was moving things from a storage unit to our garage, and a nest of eggs got into my car - and hatched. One morning, I got into the car and started driving. It was early and dark and I through my jacket was just itchy. Then, at a stop light, the glow of the red light revealed that my "itchies" were actually due to the swarm of baby spiders crawling ALL over me. I almost had a heart attack. I managed to drive the car to the nearest parking lot and then had to call over 20 exterminators before I found one that knew how to handle car infestations. It was probably the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me.

2. I have a little brother who was born when I was 14. He is now a freshman in high school. We are very close. He was my world when he was a little baby. I used to rush home every day after school and play with him. Our relationship has changed a lot since then, especially now that we live three hours apart. But it has been so much fun being part of his life.

3. I LOVE to eat. It is my favorite activity. I also like to cook, although the clean up part isn't my strong suit. I like all sorts of foods, especially ethnic cuisine.

4. I would love to be a published author someday. I say published, because I have actually written several novels. I just don't know what to do with them. I think it has to do with the fear of being rejected. This is the only public forum that I have ever shared my writing in. And even this is nonfiction. I think that by keeping my novels private, I feel as if I can't get hurt if someone doesn't like them.

5. My favorite vacation spot is Cancun, Mexico. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon and have been fortunate enough to go back three times since. We are creatures of habit and usually stay at the same resort. It almost feels like our second home!

6. My husband and I are foster parents for Rescue Pup, a nonprofit dog rescue society near where we live. Our second furbaby was one of our foster pups and we have had him since he was three weeks old. Our other two furry kids are also rescues - our first dog was from our local shelter and our cat "found" us. We have fostered over fifty animals through Rescue Pup and it is a very rewarding feelings helping abused and negleted animals get the good homes that they deserve.

7. I helped to raise almost $200,000 through the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. I had never even heard of RFL, but a good friend of mine worked for ACS and needed a chair (i.e., the person in charge) last minute. She begged me and I did it as a favor to her, but she really did me the favor. I had to learn as I went, but we were able to raise more than double the money that was their previous record. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. If you have never been to a Relay, I highly suggest going to one.

8. My infertility goal (beyond having a baby, of course) is to increase the awareness of miscarriage and the lack of education around it. The silence around miscarriage makes our grief harder to bear. I would like to put together a letter for parents who have just found out that their baby died and a packet of information on where to get more information and self-care. I am in the process of putting the packet together and soon want to start going to local offices in my area and seeing how they are received. I eventually want to start a website and see if I can get people in other areas to do the same. That is my someday dream, that my angels did not die in vain and that I can help others get through the darkest hours of pregnancy loss.

Coming up with eight random facts was harder for me than I would have thought. Although I think that I am a pretty interesting, it turns out that I am kind of boring and normal on paper. Oh, well!

You know, it just hit me that now I get to tag people! Okay, Polka Dot and Tracy, you're IT!