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A heart-wrenching PostSecret.

7 Nov

Did anyone else see this secret on this Sunday’s PostSecret?


Those last five words…..I want to find whoever it is that sent it in, grab her, and not let go…and pray with all that I have that she won’t lose that baby.

Those last five words are uncomfortably familiar.

After my first few losses, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to continue.  I remember so clearly after the second and soul-crushing loss, how I briefly thought about driving into the river instead of going to the doctor’s, where I was headed.  It seemed like such a better alternative than my reality at the time, with all of my hopes and dreams lying lifeless in a plastic container in the back of the car.

These particular words are so very bold and real, it is incredibly frightening.  My experience was fortunately just a fleeting thought, but these, these are a permanent declaration.  I know I don’t know the entire story, or how long she’s fought for this baby girl…but these words, they hit me in a way that make me want fight for our collective voice.   So many of us have felt like our entire world ended with the loss of a heartbeat and felt at times like no one could possibly understand what it’s like to experience this heartache and this pain…and it’s all because people don’t talk about it.  We are made to feel so completely alone in this grief because it’s not recognized as real grief.   A woman like this needs to know that she’s not alone and that we’re all out here to help get her through this.  I know I’m where I am today largely because of you guys; because of your brave words I learned I wasn’t alone in this.  What if she doesn’t find that?

This is why it’s so important to keep talking about this out loud, and not just on our blogs.  This is why the Redbook campaign is so important and why RESOLVE exists.  I feel like I need to do more.  If I can make just one other woman feel less alone, it will make all of this hell worth it.  If I can stop one other woman from wanting to drive into a river, I want to find a way to do it.

I hope this woman finds the support she needs.  More importantly, I hope she never needs to.

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So f*ing unfair.

6 Oct

One of my best friends just found out she may have to terminate her pregnancy because of a possible condition called encephaloceles that effects 1 in 10,000 pregnancies.  She just suffered a miscarriage in July and fortunately got pregnant with this baby shortly after.  The miscarriage came after a year of trying.

I am so angry this is happening to her, one of the most amazing women I know.  I just don’t understand.  My heart is breaking in a thousand pieces knowing how much she must be hurting.  Even though I know similar pain, this I can’t imagine having to go through on top of so much pain already…I am left feeling helpless.

So this is where I’m turning to all of you, this incredible community of ours….please leave her some love here, something that will allow her to feel all of your hands on her shoulders like I’ve felt on mine so many times.  Tomorrow morning she’s going in for a CVS to find out the fate of her baby she’s been trying for for so long and needs all the prayers and good thoughts we can summon.

S, I wish I could take this pain away from you.  Since I can’t, I’ll do anything I can to ease it, even a little.

Love you.

Update: they’re 99% sure they have to terminate the pregnancy.  This is just so unfair.  My heart just broke into even more pieces for her….how much is left to break at this point?

Because they say it so much better.

7 Sep

In case you haven’t heard me say it before, I hate Facebook.  I don’t go on because it instantly makes me feel like I’m missing out on so much; not to mention every time I get coerced into signing on because for some reason people use that as their form of communication (have they not heard of email?!), I have to see someone else who is pregnant that I didn’t know about.  And, well, that’s always a bundle of laughs for me.

It’s because of my detest for Facebook that I guess I didn’t feel a huge pull to write about the Breast Cancer Awareness fiasco because I didn’t experience it firsthand.  But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t upset and confuse me, that I don’t stand behind every word the amazing women in this community of mine are saying.  It was unnecessary and at the expense of so many; I’m left baffled and justified in my decision to stay off of the Book.

Please go read these posts so you can know what I’m talking about.  Take with you that I stand behind them 100%.

Yolk: Pretending you’re pregnant isn’t cute (the original post); and her incredible follow-up posts that leave me speechless in their wake – The breast cancer game continues, Shame on you and So what’s a fertile to do?  I feel like she is able to give words to how I so often feel but fail to be able to express myself – not just with this, but with so much of this battle.

Too Many Fish to Fry:  On “That” Facebook Meme and Coming Out of the Infertility Closet  Goosebumps.

Mommy Odyssey: More Facebook Acton – In Defense of Infertiles  A good explanation of why Facebook is so hard for those of us in the trenches of this hell.

Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed: I’m 0 Weeks and Craving a Baby  Keiko offers a great alternative for a status update.  If it didn’t require me to go on Facebook and see all those pregnant women, I’d totally make it mine.

I often find that my voice in this fight against infertility and repeat pregnancy loss comes out more like a whisper among some incredibly powerful fighters.  It is times like these that I feel honored to be a part of this group.  I get shivers from your words, feel empowered by your fight, and pride overwhelms.

Thank you for being our collective voice.  Because of you, someday no one will have to feel alone when faced with this because people will be talking about it and not hiding it.  You’ve made all of this worth it.

I need to get all of this out.

25 Aug

I haven’t been able to blog much this month besides the photos, and it’s been frustrating because the things swimming around in my head haven’t been able to get out and that doesn’t make for a very settled feeling inside.  I keep trying to find time to get on here and it doesn’t come, and it’s been very disappointing.

Today I’m meeting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist at one of the top reproductive clinics in the country and I can’t figure out how I feel.  I can’t remember if I’ve admitted this yet on here, but I honestly feel like I’m not going to be able to do this.  That I’ll have one more loss and that will be it.  I can’t do this for much more.  This sadness and grief that is ever-present is just so tiring and to think about prolonging that for another 2 years…it’s too much to bear.  I’ve felt a weight pulling me down for two years now that I can’t even remember what it feels like to be truly happy.

If I can’t do this, I need to move on.  I need to find a way to get my happiness back and I honestly know that won’t be possible until this chapter has been closed.  I’m scared to death that the last page will turn and there will still be no baby there to fill this hole.  I’m scared to live with that hole that will undoubtedly never go away for the rest of my life.

I feel like the only other option for us will be surrogacy.  But the cost of that is frightening; the only way for us to do be able to afford it would be to find someone we know – friend or family – to do it for us.  But how do you ever ask someone that?  How would you ever repay that person for giving you the biggest gift imaginable?  I would forever feel indebted, unable to show them how incredibly grateful I am.  I wonder how I would handle it.  I’m the type of person who thinks about others before myself, to the point where I will do whatever it takes to keep them happy, at the cost of my own happiness….how would I ever be able to handle the pressure I’d put on myself to show my appreciation?  I don’t see it being possible.

Yet I don’t see another way to do this.  Adoption is out of the question, and I would most likely just miscarry an embryo through IVF, so it’s down to these two options – trying one more time and most likely miscarrying, or surrogacy.  What the hell.  Do you know how shitty that is?  I’m supposed to be able to do this.  I’m supposed to be able to procreate, and yet I’m failing.  I know it’s not me or my fault or blah blah blah….but ultimately, how can you deny that my body has failed to what it’s supposed to do?  How can people honestly see a way around that explanation?

I’m excited for the appointment only because I’ll finally be able to talk to a specialist, except my excitement stops there because my gut is telling me they won’t be able to tell me anything new.  That they’ll say I just need to try again while we cross our fingers.  How long will they tell me that?  How many more losses will result in that very same approach?  I think I have one more in me, then I’ve reached my limit.  I just can’t do this to myself any more.  4 losses are more than any one should ever have to go through and 5 is an even more overwhelming number.

I realize this has been just one long release of emotions…but they’ve been bottled up in me for a while now because I’ve been working so much I’ve had no time to get it out and that’s what this blog is supposed to be for.  I’m afraid the RE is in for an emotional meeting with a very upset patient in a few hours.  I can’t believe I’m at this point where I need help doing this.  How did I get here?

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.

Four.

29 Jun

Almost a month ago, at 8 weeks 5 days, I found out my baby’s heart had stopped beating.  Two days later, on June 3rd, I had a D&C and another baby taken from me.

Yes, I was pregnant and I’m sorry I kept it from you.  There were people in my real life that deserved to know that I was pregnant before they found out on my blog.  Except the shitty part is I never got to tell them that I was pregnant and instead I had to tell them I lost a fourth baby.

Four.  I’ve lost four babies.  That number is daunting.  That number changes everything.  At three, there was still a chance, my percentages were still pretty great.  But four?  At four they’re not so good.  At four I have to start thinking that this might not happen for us.  At four I have to start imagining alternatives – alternatives I never wanted to face.

I’ve tried to get on here a million times to write this post, but I could never figure out how to start it.  I didn’t think I had the energy to write about this again (this was supposed to be a pregnancy blog after all).  But it’s not just that, things for me have changed after losing this last baby.  Everything I thought before now, is gone.  I think I’m still trying to figure out how to explain how my thoughts have changed and how I’m feeling, but I still haven’t found a way to describe it.  I’m certainly pissed this happened, angry that I’m having to go through this again.  I never thought I’d be here…everyone that knew told me that the last baby was it, this time it was sticking.  I really thought so, too.  But it didn’t stick.  It never sticks.  Or rather, it sticks, but it’s heart just stops beating.

Something else that has changed is I’ve finally realized that I have absolutely no control over the fate of my pregnancies.  While I was pregnant this last time, I took it easy.  I didn’t go for my daily walks, I didn’t stay on my feet for very long, and I rested as much as I could.  I also did ridiculous things like refuse to sit in the chair at my doctor’s office that I sat in the day I found out I lost the third, or refuse to turn on the light in the bathroom that was on while I was losing the second.  I scheduled my appointments no where near the appointment dates from the last time.  I thought the stupid Katy Perry song about fireworks that was playing the second I got in my car after seeing the heartbeat was a good sign because the lyrics really effected me when I lost the third when she says that part about doors shutting and finally the right one opens or some shit like that.  But none of it helped, the baby still died.  Plus it was exhausting keeping all of that up.  I mean, I was bordering on OCD, I realize this.   I get why I did it, though.  We have absolutely no control over our pregnancies or this process we’re going through, and it gives us a feeling that somehow we’re controlling it.  I get that.  I’ve been superstitious my entire life and I just didn’t realize how much so until this last pregnancy.  But that’s all gone now.  I finally get it, universe.  I have absolutely no control over what is going to happen, pregnancy or not.  I hear you.

Can you sense my anger?  I think that’s the biggest difference for me this time….I’m just as pissed off as I am sad, if not more.  So much for the joy, eh?

This wasn’t supposed to be me.  This wasn’t what I thought would be my life.  But here I am.  This is really happening.

My doctor wants to send me to UCSF where they specialize in fertility.  I’m all for it, but worried about the cost.  I have a stack of hospital bills at home as it is, and that’s with insurance.  I may just have to move to Israel after all…Mo, you ready for me?

One thing that is very different this time is the support I have been given and the love I have been shown.  Some incredible ladies I’ve met through this blog have given me the feeling of being understood, which was what I was missing all of the other times….and I can’t tell you what a difference it makes.  I will never be able to thank you guys enough or ever have the words to describe what all of this has meant to me.  I don’t think I’d be as okay as I am right now without you.  You have made it easier to get out of bed, you have warmed my heart, and made me all emotional and sloppy from crying because I just feel so blessed.  If I can be thankful for anything throughout all of this mess, it’s you guys.  The posts you wrote while I was deep in the thick of it, and the comments people left gave me so much strength – strength I’m still feeling now.  This strength is going to help me beat this, I know it will.  You all are a pretty damn good consolation prize.

Of course I don’t want to leave out the people in my life not through this blog that have been there all along.  I am so lucky to have you in my life, I can’t imagine it without you.  Thank you for the care packages, and the calls and the love from thousands of miles away.  I know most of you don’t know what this feels like, and all you can do is love me…and I’m saying now you’ve done that and I couldn’t be more thankful.  And thank you, family, for loving me no matter what.  I know it’s been difficult to see me like this for almost two years now, and I promise I won’t always be like this.  You just have to stand by me a little while longer, okay?  You have to help me fight this.

You should know that despite this anger and change in the way I’m thinking that I’m not giving up.  I still somehow have hope and I’m going to fight.  I’ll probably even fight harder now that odds are against me.  I may finally be able to put that competitive nature to good use.  Wait, can I fight against myself and win?  I sure as hell hope so.

I do know one thing….four better be the last fucking number I know.

Heartbeat.

10 Mar

I’m often trying to convince myself that it’s okay to still be grieving.  I pretend that it’s just my way of defending my grief to others…but if I’m really being honest, I’m pretty sure it’s me trying to defend my sadness to myself.*  Last night as I was laying in bed, I was devising yet another way to convince someone/myself of believing that my grief is real.  That it deserved the attention I had no control over giving this past year.  So I started thinking about the heartbeat.  On June 28th, 2010, I saw the heartbeat of my baby.  I saw the beautiful flicker of life that gives most future mothers a sigh of relief of a thriving life inside.  When I remembered that flicker last night on the screen as I was trying to go to sleep, my heart sank.  I had life in me.  I…we…gave life to another human being.  And just as quickly as it came, my body took it away.  My body stopped it because it didn’t think it belonged there.  I had a baby with a heartbeat and then I didn’t. It wasn’t just a collection of cells, a mass of tissue…it was life.  That heartbeat was supposed to continue to beat long after mine stopped.  The being with that heartbeat was supposed to smile at it’s parents, learn to walk and talk, breathe the air in these hills that we love to breathe.  And then all of that hope that so many people take for granted, was taken away 10 days later.  My baby’s heart stopped beating. I’m allowed to grieve for that.  Why can’t people understand that?  Isn’t this enough?

*Except, right now, it is both me trying to convince myself as well as a few others.   I’ve spent a good portion of this past month defending how I chose to grieve this past year to someone, and in my head, I’m always trying to make my case.  Why do we have to do that?  Doesn’t that just seem backwards?  How are we not all compassionate?  To ourselves and to others.  It’s not right.

Okay…stepping off soap box…