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Transitioning to positive

27 Aug

Tonight Tim and I are going to visit the hospital where we plan to give birth.  I’ve been really excited for this because I’m a planner and I need to be able to visualize things in order to better plan.  There are supposedly new birthing suites that are really nice, with your own room and shower.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now, and I’m really excited to see where we’ll be welcoming this little girl into our lives.

Except, I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of this before now, but it’s the same hospital where I’ve had to leave 2 of my babies behind and there may be some difficulty walking into those doors tonight.  I mean, the thought had crossed my mind that I’d be giving birth in the same place I had my D&Cs, but I guess I was choosing to ignore it.  But now that I’m facing it, I’m nervous.  Walking through those doors where all I’ve ever felt is sadness, fear, and grief, may not be easy for me.

I remember after both surgeries having a hard time leaving the hospital.  What remained of our babies were no longer in me, I was empty and I was leaving them behind in the fluorescent lights and medical waste receptacles, not in my arms.  Those moments still stand out to me.  I left my hopes and dreams behind in those sterile and cold walls; going home was the last thing I wanted to do, where only tears and devastation were waiting for me.

I know I have been given a gift to turn these experiences into something positive.  To make that hospital into one that will give us life, instead of one that takes it away – a gift that so many have unfairly not been given, and I do not take that lightly.  I know that if I can get past the initial sadness it may give to me, it will be followed with so much joy and love.  And for that, I am deeply blessed.

Nothing will take away from what I’ve gone through.  Nothing will erase the pain of those losses, of having my babies so unfairly taken from me.  But tonight I will walk in focusing on the little being inside of me, the one that is still thriving and growing – the one that fought so hard to be here – while remembering the ones that came before her.  It’s time for me to reclaim my hopes and dreams, and finally take them home with me.

A broken compass.

7 Dec

When I moved to California 5 years ago, I did so primarily because my intuition told me to.  I knew absolutely no one in Sonoma County, I didn’t have a job or a place to stay, and I barely had any money.   And yet, because of a feeling in my gut, I hopped in the car and took a chance. Within three weeks of being here, a newly acquired friend asked me to go to a party with him.  Even though I didn’t feel like going, I decided to join him because something was pulling me there.  The second we opened the door, I spotted Tim.  2 years later, he became my husband.  My intuition was dead-on.

In therapy two nights ago, we discovered that one of the problems for me with my losses is that my intuition has been silenced.  When I think about my next pregnancy, my head is telling me it’s not going to work-out and that I have to start accepting the fact that I may not be a mother because my head is trying to protect my heart.  But when I try to listen to my intuition, I can’t hear a thing.  It’s telling me nothing.  Which means one of two things: 1) my intuition has been thwarted from all of the grief and pain and it just doesn’t have an answer for me, or 2) I’m too scared to listen.

We sat with the second option for a few moments.  As we sat in silence while I tried to listen, I still heard nothing.  But while my intuition was mute, my fear was screaming.  It appears I’m scared to death of finding out what it’s trying to tell me.  Which can only mean one thing: that it’s going to tell me what I don’t want to hear.  I can try to tell myself that my fear and my heart are confusing my intuition, but it has never failed me before.

Or has it?

Didn’t I believe whole-heartedly that my second pregnancy (and first planned) was it?  Isn’t that how it works?  Except I think in that case it was merely naivety.  Women who get pregnant stay pregnant, right?  No one miscarries!  My intuition didn’t know any better.

This brings me to a very good point that both my therapist and my husband brought to my attention: biology will always have the ability to overrule my gut.  Perhaps biology even trumps it all – no matter what I feel, it will always have the last say.  The bastard.

Perhaps this is something I can believe in while my intuition remains silenced.  That even though I can’t (or won’t) hear what it’s trying to tell me, that maybe this one I should just leave up to biology.  It’s just so difficult to turn my back on the compass that I’ve relied on my entire life, the one that brought me three thousand miles to my husband.  Navigating this newly-found landscape sometimes feels impossible without it.

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.

On “giving up.”

27 Oct

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in my spirit.  I’ve begun to feel lighter, even starting to believe that maybe this road moving forward doesn’t have to be so bad.  Maybe I can still find joy along this path my life has taken.  I’ve even felt it in my entire body, this joy starting to creep in.

Until yesterday, that is.

Yesterday, when I started my day with a negative pregnancy test.  It’s safe to say that put a little bit of a temporary damper on my spirit.

The tears I fought back during the day came to the surface with the bitter reminder of just how tired I am of all of this.  I know I’ve said that a thousand times before, but it’s times like this where my exhaustion with this comes rushing back and I just want it be over.  After the fourth loss, the last little bit of fight I had in me dissipated; and for my own sanity, I knew I needed to start becoming more comfortable with accepting I may not have a child of my own.  Yet in order for me to fully accept that that may be my fate, I know I have to give it one more try.

So that’s where I am now….trying to give it one more try.  Except I’m anxious for that try to hurry up and get here, because I can’t keep living in this world of not knowing.  Two years with 4 devastating losses has made that world hell.

I know what you are thinking, especially those of you still in the thick of it, still with some fight left in you:  Don’t give up!  You can’t give up!  That’s what I would have said a loss or two ago, back when I still felt in my heart I couldn’t give up until I had that child in my arms.  I couldn’t even fathom how women could even get to the point where they would stop fighting for that.  I couldn’t understand how they could just give up.

That was all before I knew what devastation four losses would bring to me and my life.  After each of their little hearts stopped beating, a part of mine stopped with it.  The part that would do anything to have a baby.  The part that will be forever left with the four I was forced to leave behind.  I am all of a sudden looking into the face of the women I feared so much of becoming.  The part of my heart that wants to keep fighting for this until I have that baby in my arm…has started to slow to a stop.

I know to a lot of you, this probably sounds incredibly sad.  And to the part of me that mourns for the life I thought I was going to have…is incredibly sad by this.  I also know some of you may be frightened you may have to get to this point yourself.  I know what that feels like, I know how scary that is.  But that’s part of why I’m writing this.  It turns out I was wrong all along.  This isn’t giving up.  This is knowing when you’ve done all that your heart can bear.

It’s me trying to stop the pain I keep experiencing from being inside all of this.  It’s me questioning if the pain still feels worth it, and all of a sudden feeling the desire to fight my way out of it all, instead of fighting for what I have desired all along.

If my last try doesn’t work out, I know the road still won’t be easy, at least not until all of my friends and family get out of the “child-bearing” years.  Even then the pain will still be present at every birth I hear about that isn’t my own; but at least now I have faith it will lesson as time passes.  That’s what this has brought me.  I now believe life can still be wonderful and happy, even if the part of me having my own child doesn’t come true.  The part of me that’s lighter is the part of me that is ready to begin new dreams that can take the place of my old dreams.  I need to move on from this chapter in my life so I can start living it again, because while living in this hell, I’ve lost who I was.  And yet at the same time, I know I’ve uncovered a new me that I’m ready to discover.

Please know I’m not saying this to try and convince those of you out there in the midst of this battle to stop fighting.  The chances you’ll have a baby are very much on your side, especially if you still have the fight.  Don’t give that up until you’ve done absolutely all that your heart can bear.  This is simply my story and what my experience has led me to, not your story or where you’ll end up.  I hope you continue to fight and get what you so badly want.  Even if this chapter of my life closes without a baby in my arms, I’ll still fight for you to get yours.  That fight hasn’t ended.  I’m here until the end for all of you.  And maybe in the meantime, you’ll get to see me fight for something new.

Or maybe you will get to see me with one in mine.  I do still have one more try, after all.  And you never know…maybe if we just relax…

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.