Today is the four-month anniversary of the saddest and most beautiful day of Paul's and my lives - the day I gave birth to our tiny angels, our perfectly gorgeous daughter and son, Aliya Amy and Bennett Paul.
I took today off work, fully expecting to be a wreck like I was at the three-month mark. So far, I'm doing pretty well. I've cried many, many tears for others today...today is also the first birthday of two angels who were stillborn, Addison Eloise and Andrew, both lost due to cord accidents. Addi's day weighs especially heavy on our minds, because her wonderful parents, Brian and Keleen, have been so helpful to Paul and me during our journey the past four months.
Today is a gorgeous day so far, a beautiful winter day. The heavy frost of last night still lays white on our fences and plants, although now, finally, at 10:15 a.m., it's warmed up to 36 degrees and the frost is melting from the lawn. I don't remember anything specific about the weather the day our babies were born. I didn't even look outside...our room had no windows. (That's odd, isn't it? We really must have been in the depths of the Family Birth Center to have no windows, although it is in the basement.) The day my water broke, on August 4th, I remember I was wearing my purple maternity t-shirt and dark khaki maternity cargo capri pants with my beat-to-crap Birkenstocks, no socks. I had painted my toenails the day before, so they were nicely red, OPI's "I'm Not Really a Waitress", I think. (I have this thing where I always make sure my toes are painted before an appointment where I'll be sockless - thus any infertility procedure, OB appointment, ultrasound...and of course, the day I delivered, ironically.) I took those clothes off in the emergency room and changed to a gown, and that's all I wore for the next 30 hours. My clothes and Birks and wrist watch were placed in a bright green plastic bag with drawstring closure. We still have that bag (it's a nice, sturdy one), but so far I haven't been able to reuse it. Too many bad memories attached.
I think I'm doing more ok today than expected because while four months is a long time to miss our babies and I still can't believe it's been so long, there aren't any milestones attached. Three months is a measure of a quarter. In my work, we talk quarters all the time. One quarter, three months. I'm guessing here that six months will be much more painful than today is. The day I had set as my delivery date goal will be one of the most painful, I think. But today is kind of ok.
It's a good thing, too, because today my period started. This is significant, as it marks the start of our next IUI cycle, if - knocking on everything made of wood right now - my ovaries are cyst free and I have enough antral (i.e. resting) follicles to begin the injections. Our Menopur has been waiting in the fridge since early September. Tomorrow is my baseline ultrasound to take a look at my ovaries and get my Menopur and mini-Lupron dosages. If all goes well, I will be beginning my mini-Lupron shots on Wednesday morning and the Menopur on Thursday morning, moving toward (and hoping for) back-to-back IUIs in a couple of weeks.
The timing could not be more coincidental. I remember my first two periods after losing the babies being so horrified and traumatized by the sight of blood, even though it was expected this time. Thankfully, now I'm ok with it. More back to normal in that respect, so to speak. We both feel ready to go through the ups and downs of another IUI cycle this month. Having four months between us and our loss has been much needed and helpful, I think, moreso than we could have imagined even last month.
So, today, I feel fond memories of my children (I'm looking at their beautiful picture right now), and hope for tomorrow's appointment and the coming month. Somehow it feels like Aliya and Bennett might be sending peace to my heart today.