The holiday was not without its difficulties, especially Christmas Day. A (unexpected, for some reason) multi-family event - sort of like two separate families celebrating in one house together, but not - was thoroughly booby trapped with a pregnant girl (39 weeks, I believe), who I didn't find out might be coming until we pulled out of our driveway (ah, yes, my husband, deliverer of last-minute surprises/bombs), plus a rather rude girl who was there last year with her toddler and this time showed up with a 3-month old, too. Fabulous. What things make me the most anxious? Very pregnant women. Check. Toddlers. Check. People fawning over said pregnant women and/or small children when I.am.sitting.right.there.God.damn.it! Check, check, double check. I felt like I was going to hyperventilate, and had to walk outside in the drizzle with my husband for awhile to regain my composure. (Paul told me later when he saw these strangers - the pregnant girl and the small family - come in the door, he was fully prepared to scoop me up and take me home. By some miracle, that wasn't necessary in the end, perhaps because I stayed away from pregnant girl and small family. I feel a bit rude for not talking to the pregnant girl - who happens to be related by marriage - but I'm sure if anyone told her that we lost our babies, she'd probably have understood. I was certainly not going to be the one to say it.)
All was not lost that day. Paul's younger brother and our sister-in-law presented us with a beautifully wrapped package to unwrap together. Inside were two velvet stockings, a dark red one with "A" and a dark blue one with "B" embroidered on them, and inside of each was a little Christmas ball with the appropriate baby's name, two hearts and 2011 written in metallic ink. They were precious and I burst into tears immediately. They made sets for each of the other family members' trees, too, which meant the absolute world to me...the mama who is so terrified our babies will be forgotten. It makes me cry just thinking of it now. (I'm sure the other family wondered what the Hell was going on, since we were all crying and hugging.)
Debriefing the holiday, though, we both realized it felt very unbalanced and quite wrong, almost like the world was singing off key and it hurt our ears. It wasn't comfortable, it wasn't fun, and we're both very, very glad it's over with. We have all year to plan for next Christmas, and this will be the time we really start changing the traditions that are important to us. "Normal" and "usual" feel - and are - so abnormal in light of our loss. We plan to host his family for Christmas next year, and it's our turn, anyway, since we haven't done it since 2008. The rest of the holiday? I don't know. We'll see.
In other news, the past week of chaos has really helped make the first half of my two-week wait (2ww) fly by. Today I'm 8dpiui and definitely feeling some things, but who knows whether they're pregnancy-related or PIO-related. I did have an odd craving this afternoon for sparkling cranberry juice and cold food - mostly vegetables - which I satisfied when I got home. The latter really brought me back, because during my twin pregnancy I could really only stomach cold foods, and actually craved them a lot of the time. I've also had the usual cramping/pulling/sharp ovary pains, boob pain, irritability, sleep issues and vivid dreams I've experienced before, but again, it could be the PIO at work. I still have no intention of peeing on a stick (POAS) any time before 13dpiui - the same point at which I got my first positive big fat positive (BFP - pregnancy test), if I do it at all.
*******Speaking of dreams, I had the most fascinating/disturbing series of pregnancy dreams last night. In one, I was at a baby shower for a fellow BLM blogger who also lost twins (and is pregnant again now) but whom I've never met and probably won't. It was super, super vivid and took place outside, in the spring or summer. W.E.I.R.D. but not as weird as what followed...
I apparently had been pregnant and miscarried again, perhaps at 13 weeks. My baby's body (yes, just one) was laying on paper towels on the counter in an exam room and looked at first quite a bit like Aliya and Bennett. Dr. M. was there and said we needed to do some testing on both me and the baby to see what had gone wrong this time. He covered the baby with more towels, but one little foot was sticking out, and I noticed I could see the shadow of a nail bed on the big toe (a detail I couldn't see on my babies in real life).
I got closer to examine the perfect little foot, remarking on how the baby seemed more developed than A and B, which was weird because he (yes, he) wasn't as far along. I pulled the towel up to look at the other foot and saw fingers attached to each little toe. Clearly, something was very, very wrong with my baby, but being the scientist I am (or was), I was fascinated rather than horrified and was not crying in my dream. Dr. M. took a drop of blood from me and put it on a card, then poked me and said, "Look, it turned red here, which means you have a MTHFR disorder." (That's a genetic blood clotting disorder that can cause early pregnancy loss, which neither A and B nor this dream baby were.) I've been replaying it in my head all day, hoping it's not a sign of things to come.