Archive | July, 2011

Struggling with who I am now.

27 Jul

For me, one of the most frustrating parts of losing four babies and making it as far as I did with them, is the weight I’ve put on and then weeks later had to lose once they were gone. This last time has been the worst.  Not only have my boobs morphed permanently into something I’d rather not see, I’ve got this pudge all around that’s haunting me.  I know it’s partly my fault.  After each loss I tend to be not very nice to my body for a few weeks (or months), eating anything I want in defiance of another baby gone.  Following the previous three losses, I didn’t care so much how I looked because at that point, it was still worth it because the next time?  It was going to work.  What were a few pounds?  But this time, the hope I still had before isn’t there to mask what I see in the mirror.

I don’t feel good about myself, and I know a large part of it is the extreme disappointment I feel in my body.  I know I need to forgive myself, but it’s not easy when your entire life you assume that when the time comes to try for a baby, your body will do what it’s supposed to do.  It was easier to forgive myself after 1 or 2 – even 3 – but I’m having a much harder time this time around.  Now reality is hitting and it’s been really difficult for me to come to peace with that.  I know my family and friends want to see the old Courtney back, the one that laughs and smiles and jokes; but the truth is, after this last year and a half, I don’t know who this new Courtney is.  I know the old one is still in there, but she’s changed with each loss.  I’m not the same person I was two years ago, and it’s really challenging to figure out who I am now.  After 29 years of believing one thing, a few months is an awfully short time to switch gears.  I think so many people who haven’t gone through this don’t realize the transition that’s having to be made internally.  It’s monumental.

The worst part is my therapist has been gone at a workshop since right before I lost the baby.  The last time I saw her I was 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant, breaking down in fear that I was going to lose that one, too.  I miss my time with her.  She’s helped me tremendously throughout all of this, and I can see the difference in my mind without her.  She doesn’t come back for another month!  She did give me contact information for a colleague of hers that I could go see while she’s gone, but I don’t want to talk to someone new.  It takes me a while to feel comfortable with a therapist, I’d just be getting used to her by the time mine came back.  Plus, it’s nice to save the extra $180 a month I’m not spending on therapy.

I want to go back to the Courtney that liked who she was and felt comfortable in her skin.  I’m proud of making it through these past two years, but my pride stops there.  The way I feel about my body is effecting so much – my work, my marriage, my daily actions.  I don’t know how to get back to a place where I honor myself.  That’s what it’s all about, honoring what it has gone through for your dreams, appreciating what it’s done despite the losses.  I’m still breathing….perhaps I need to start there.

My June and July according to my phone.

25 Jul

I was going through my photos on my phone recently and realized I have so many on there just being ignored that I thought I’d have a little show and tell session today for a change of pace. It’s also my way of gearing up to do the August Break, an idea that I stole from Cable Arms (who just had a miscarriage a few weeks ago and deserves as much love as she can get).  Although, you may be wondering what it is I really need a break from since I barely post any way.  To that I answer: I don’t need a break, but I need a fun project!  So I’ll be partaking in this little photo-taking exercise for the entire month of August, during which I’ll still post my not-so-regular posts.  Woohoo!  So onto the neglected photos from my phone…

courtney

I took this the day I found out we lost the baby.  I was holed up in a hotel room while Tim was out doing inspections.  Took was not all that pleased with being in a hotel, but I needed him with me.  He survived.

courtney

This was taken in Maine when I was visiting my best friend and home town during my recovery from the D&C.  I love Lupines so much.  They were a little glimmer of happiness in between the dreary fog of the coast (and my head).

courtney

This was my view for 4 days from my best friend’s cottage. And that’s me in the water trying to cure my poison oak. Can you see me in there?

courtney

courtney

These are downtown Providence. Oh how I love this city. I had to leave it because I was miserable there (which I’m beginning to realize had nothing to do with where I was, and everything to do with my head), but I miss it so much. I spent an afternoon by myself walking around downtown and it was so wonderful (despite how awful the weather looks, it was actually quite warm). Someday, I’ll be back there.

courtney

On the bus to the Boston airport and my last chance to get Dunkin’ Donuts. Mmmmmm….Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

courtney

courtney

Some more Took photos. He’s my favorite subject because he’s just so damn handsome. The second is at Tim’s mom’s house in Southern California. He had it rough.

courtney

This was my first attempt at a tart that I made for this lady and her love. We met while I was down there and it was just so wonderful. The tart was pretty good, too.

courtney

Have I told you about the $100 ice cream maker I got off of Craigs.list for $15? BEST. PURCHASE. EVER. I used to make ice cream for my job back in the day, and this makes it almost as good as that. This is my first attempt at coffee chip, and it was so good.

courtney

Anyone know what these are? Tim planted them in our front yard and we have no idea what they are, but they’re so interesting and beautiful.

And finally….I cut my hair and had it highlighted this past weekend:

courtney

I call it my break-up hair because my babies keep breaking up with me. Why do they have to keep doing that? It’s not very nice.

And that concludes today’s portion of Show and Tell. Thanks for bearing with me while I post a bazillion pictures, but they just give me so much joy, and this here blog could use some of that.

* Enter Journey Song Title Here *

22 Jul

believe

The genetic counseling appointment turned out nothing like I expected it would.  Actually, that’s a lie…the part where I had a feeling they’ve already done all the genetic testing they can do, was completely right on.  But the part that I didn’t expect was when towards the end of the conversation, I mentioned that I had been looking on the practice’s website and saw a doctor who specialized in pregnancy loss and asked if I would be able to meet with her eventually.  She stepped out for a moment and stuck her head in the doctor’s office and asked if she could meet me real quick.  The sweetest woman then stepped into the office and immediately took me back to hers to talk.  When I told her I had just had my fourth miscarriage, she looked me in the eyes and said how sorry she was.  A doctor!  Here’s where it gets crazy – she’s had four miscarriages and is now pregnant and in her 2nd trimester (the genetic counselor had given me a heads up about the pregnancy before she went to get her, but none of that mattered after Dr. W told me her history).  I may have recently stopped believing in signs, but this right here might have me questioning that choice (or maybe it’s a sign I should keep believing in signs?).

We talked for almost half an hour, free of charge.  She went over my history and discussed what my next steps most likely should be.  She gave me three names for Reproductive Endocrinologists that she recommended and thinks my insurance will even cover them.  She called my doctor that afternoon to tell her what she thought the course of action should be (Heparin, progesterone) and wants to see me as soon as I’m pregnant until the 2nd trimester when she’ll hand me back over to my OB.

I wanted to take her and her pregnant belly home with me I loved her so much.

What I thought was only going to be a step in the right direction, turned out to be just what I needed.  I can’t tell you how good it felt to be in an office of a doctor who knew everything I should do and what will most likely work*.  By the end of the appointment, I knew she was already rooting for me.  I even felt like the counselor was in my corner.

And see that necklace above?  Maybe I need to start believing again.

courtney

(Necklace is from Kyri at littlejarofhearts.  I bought the last one of it’s kind, but please do go and check out her stuff because she’s a real sweetheart.  I bought an exact version of this necklace for a friend of mine that said “Hope” and then decided I needed one as well, but all she had available was “Believe” — apropos, no?  The Hope necklace went to one of my best friends, S, who just experienced her first – and hopefully last – miscarriage a few weeks ago.  I was devastated when I found out because I honestly thought I had taken all of the miscarriages away from our group of friends (shouldn’t four have that benefit?).  Apparently it doesn’t work that way.  I just didn’t want any one else I love to experience this pain.  It’s just not fair.  If you can, send her some love and strength.   I love her dearly and remember all too well how it feels after that first one, and you need hope any where you can get it.   I love you, S.  I’m here for you. )

* I love my doctor, but even she’ll admit someone else might be able to help me more at this point.

The next step.

20 Jul

Tomorrow I’m going to meet with a genetic counselor* as our first step in having to do this with assistance.  It’s been a long time getting to this point, and even though I’m still pissed that my body can’t do what it’s supposed to naturally, I’m looking forward to finding out what our options are.  Although I’ve been in this world for almost two years now, I have no idea where to start.  I guess because up until now, I haven’t had to look further than crossing our fingers and jumping in.  This part of the world is overwhelming.  I just hope I can keep it together enough tomorrow to have a coherent conversation.  Hopefully they’re used to tearful meetings being that this is their specialty.  I don’t know even know what to expect from a genetic counselor, have any of you seen one?  What are they even going to test for?  Mine and the hubby’s chromosomes have already been cleared as compatible, what’s left?

At least it’s a start.  I need to put my big-girl pants on and be okay with where this path is going now.  It’s just that they’re really hard pants to fit into, and they certainly don’t look nearly as comfortable.

* Updated: the genetic counselor is at a Perinatal practice..I guess that is important to know!  Thanks, Eggsinarow.

The rack.

13 Jul

(Dad, you might want to skip this one, the title isn’t referring to the rack on my car.  Let that be considered a warning.)

Before I get to the part of this post where I bitch, let me toot my own horn for a minute here — ever since I developed breasts, they’ve been the only part of my body that I haven’t hated.  My weight has fluctuated, my head has seen it’s share of bad hair days years, my belly has always been slightly round, and my legs were once called tree trunks (that one scarred me).  But my boobs?  I haven’t heard a complaint yet.  I’d give anything for my friend’s legs, their hair, their flat stomach….but they’ve been known to want my chest.  (However, you should know that despite my comfort with my chest, I’m not one to really flaunt them.  Except for that one – okay, maybe two – halloween costume(s).  Ahem.  Moving on…)  Before my losses, it was the one thing I worried most about when I thought about having babies – I didn’t want to lose my boobs.  Oh how naive I was!  I would love for that to be my only worry now.

Two weeks ago I looked down and realized my beloved chest had betrayed me after this last pregnancy – it now belongs to a woman who has birthed – and nursed! – a child, maybe even two.  Except, in case you haven’t noticed, I’M CHILDLESS.  Out of all of this shit, this might be the worst joke to have been played on me yet.  Are you kidding me?  When most women’s boobs turn into this, they at least have a baby to make it all worth it!  What do I have?  Ill-fitting bras and hospital bills?  Hardly worth it!

I know that in light of things, this is pretty insignificant, I know that.  But come on!  Going through all of this for the last year and a half has definitely taken a toll on my relationship with my body…the least the universe could do would be to let me keep my boobs!

 

Unfavorable odds.

10 Jul

Last night was the first time since June 1st that I’ve really lost I it.  I was a crying mess; hyperventilating and shaking, asking Tim over and over why this was happening to us.  I think up until then I had had it in my head that this wasn’t going to happen for us, that I needed to accept the fact it was over, that I was going have to give up.  But something last night finally hit me and I became terrified.  I crawled into bed and woke Tim up hysterical, burrowing into his arms in need of the comfort only he can give.

It made me realize I’m not ready to accept that I might not be a mother to a child I birthed, but I am so scared that that is my fate.  I feel like there is probably a 10% chance I’ll be able to do this – the remaining 90% will have to be either surrogacy or accepting life without motherhood.*  Do you know how hard it is to be okay with those kind of odds?  My instincts have rarely proved me wrong, and it’s frightening that my gut is telling me that everything I grew up wanting, is being forced to change.

I’m thankful that out of my hysterics, my desire to not give up was reawakened.  I realized I’m not ready to wave the white flag and accept that 90%.  I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I think I have one more loss in me.  I will pray to whoever will listen that I won’t have to go through another one, but the only way to keep trying to do this with my body is to be okay with another loss.

I have an appointment with my doctor this week and we’re going to discuss what to do next.  I know she wants me to wait a while to try again, but I waited a whole year just to lose another one and I refuse to waste that time again.  I don’t regret the wait, but it pains me to think how much further along this path we could be if we hadn’t.

I’m ready now to find out what this outcome will be and how many more tears will be shed.  I just want this nightmare to be over and  my life to stop being in a perpetual state of pause and suspense.  It’s not a way to keep living.

* Tim and I have discussed adoption and we’re not sure it’s an option for us.  I guess that’s for another post.