Monday, March 28, 2016

Here we go again

I've debated whether or not to write here again. I truly lack the time and energy, but not the fear of putting myself back out there again. My motivation right now, though, is guilt...guilt that as much as I documented my pregnancy with Asher, I've said virtually nothing about this baby currently growing in my belly. What kind of a mother am I? Do I want this baby less?

No. I will say, though, that it all still seems surreal, and I find myself sometimes forgetting I'm pregnant...that is, until I barf again.

Let me back up.

I added a new page to this blog to document our infertility journey. I didn't have it written down anywhere in a single location. You can find the page in my blog menu.

Paul and I are so over the moon with Asher, but we never wanted to be a family of just three. However, my struggles with postpartumm anxiety turned plain ol' anxiety really made me second guess the idea of trying again. We finally decided to take the leap in August 2015 through donor egg IVF. The process took longer than we'd hoped, with scheduling pre-cycle tests, selecting a donor, pulling together the funds, and having another hysteroscopy to remove polyps. Finally, in December, it was time to start meds. Given we chose to use an anonymous frozen donor egg program, the guaranteed two healthy blastocysts that were created were frozen when they reached Day 5, so I could do my meds relatively stress-free, without having to worry about timing my uterine lining and hormones with embryo growth. It was crazy easy compared to what we'd gone through in the past. On transfer day, we transferred on fully hatched, perfect Day 6 blast. Five days later, I had an unbelievably faint BFP, one that barely progressed in darkness over the next several days. Betas confirmed a nice, sticky pregnancy, and our first ultrasound showed one embryo with a heartbeat.

This first trimester has been painfully long for me, although Paul says it's gone by fast. Today, I am 13 weeks 4 days pregnant. Baby is the size of a peach. I've been in maternity clothes since 10 weeks 3 days, and started feeling baby move at 11.5 weeks. I have been really sick again this time, throwing up more in the last week than ever, and definitely more than I did with Asher. Frankly, I've been miserable, and not terribly grateful most days. I actually had to miss Asher's first public Easter egg hunt last weekend because I was home throwing up. Good times. It's bad enough that I'm fairly positive that I will not do this again. Our one remaining embryo - while we hope/plan to not have to make a choice as to its fate until this child is 12 months old and the risk of SIDS is super low - will likely not make it into my uterus. I just can't fathom having a fourth first trimester filled with all day morning sickness...and worry.

This weekend I'll reach the same gestation as I was when Aliya's water broke. My anxiety level has ratcheted up significantly as the weekend approaches. I'm using my home Doppler daily to make sure my little passenger is still with us...and kind of surprised to hear that galloping heartbeat each time. My OB sees me every two weeks, so I'll get to see baby again this week. At 16 weeks I'll start 17P shots and biweekly cervical length monitoring again, so that'll be my next milestone. After that, anatomy scan between 18-20 weeks, when we'll finally get to learn the sex of our fourth child.

For now, it's back to parenting our beautiful, funny, smart and active toddler boy and managing my nausea and vomiting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Still rough around the edges

I've been carrying the below around on a sticky note for years, since three months after I was diagnosed with PPD and PTSD, in fact, and rereading it, I realized it still rings true...although the glue is no longer as fresh.


I am a China cup, once all pretty patterned, smooth outside, delicate handle. Then, dropped to the ground, shattered, scattered in jagged pieces. Now, glued slowly back together, still patterned, still a cup, but now imperfect, rumpled, no longer smooth. I still hold the same inside, mostly, but it's moved by the lumpiness of the glued together fragments.

The same, but not at all.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Feeling all the feelings

Asher recently moved up to the toddler room at daycare. He's following their routines, washing his hands, closing and opening doors, putting toys away. Sharing. Today, while signing Paul and myself up to chaperone some of the class's summer field trips, the date of one I was considering popped out for the first time, even though I've looked at it numerous times in the last week.

August 5th. The day my babies died.

My breath caught in my throat. After a quick deliberation, I signed up to chaperone that day. I suppose it's better to spend a few hours at a park and getting ice cream with my rainbow boy, who turns two in just six days, than trying not to cry while sitting among my co-workers at my desk, very few of whom know my story.

It's clear that so many people around me have forgotten about our babies. Life has moved on. We have a handsome handful of a towhead toddler running us ragged. We must be all fixed, like none of it ever happened.

It's true that I have joy in my life today. I laugh every day at and with my funny boy. He's the life of every party, and has a harem of little girlfriends at daycare. He's a sunshine, no doubt, an extrovert and people person, making friends right and left with people of all ages. As much happiness as he brings me, his siblings are missing. There are holes in our family that can't be filled by anyone, not even him.

This past weekend we joined other bereaved parents at the TEARS Foundation's Rock & Walk event in honor of our lost babies. In talking with my friend at and after the event, several feelings came up: the anxiety leading up to the event, the absolute annoyance during the event (like why in fuck do we need a 45 minute opening ceremony when we're really all there just to remember and honor our dead babies?), and the emotional exhaustion after. As I walked slowly around the track with my mom ahead of Paul and Asher, I said, "I still cannot believe this is my life." The life of dead babies. Of years of heartbreak and infertility. The exclusion. The isolation. The trying to navigate joy with pain, the devastating guilt I feel when Asher is pummeling my very last nerve, wondering when, if ever, these contradictory feelings will fade.

We're almost to the four year mark. I can look back in my mind's eye to the events that happened on the 4th and 5th of August so many years ago as if I'm watching someone else's movie, detached. But the lingering effects of our journey to build a family and claw my way through the reality of life after babyloss are still very much real and alive.

It hurts my heart.