Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Being Together

T and I got a precious and rare day off together yesterday.  We had to go see the doctor for my follow up appointment.  Everything looks good there, no D & C.  We have been given the go ahead to start trying again when my period starts.  I am very scared and very nervous but we want to try.  We have lost our innocence and illusions of safety but we still have hope.

We decided to take a family day after the appointment.  I haven't been out of the house except to go to work in over a week.  We decided that since we were going to be down in Cincinnati, we would go to Hueston Woods State Park.  It's actually north of Cincy in my old stomping grounds,  Oxford OH - home to Miami University.  I am lucky enough to be a Miami alum -- Class of 1997.  We stopped in Oxford to pick up some lunch and took it with us to the park.  It was a fantastically typical Fall day to be in the woods.  Chilly and overcast with a little bit of dampness.  It was just what we needed.  We got to walk in the woods and along the beach area, laugh at B's antics and discoveries, and hold hands.  It was very healing for the soul.  I felt closer to T than I have since this whole tragedy started.  It was nice to feel "normal" again.

                                             My precious B, beach side

                                                     In the woods

When we got home, B and I made cookies together.  That's something we haven't done since Christmas.  Of course, with a almost 4 year old little girl helping, the kitchen was a disaster.  But it was fun and filled in some of the empty places I have been feeling in my heart.  We enjoyed a very Fall supper, in my humble opinion, of chili and corn muffins.  Very warm and filling after a day of tromping through the woods.  All and all, it was a great day of being together and reconnecting as a family.  I felt happy for the first time in awhile.

Friday, September 24, 2010

One week later

It's been a rough week.  I finally took the misoprostol on Sunday night and the miscarriage process started around 4 am Monday morning.  That wasn't as bad as I feared.  I had heard some horror stories of massive blood loss and extreme pain.  I had Vicodin and the blood loss wasn't horrible.  I passed the twins around 1:30 pm on Monday.  The pain has been on again, off again and I have been dealing with it.  The bleeding is still ongoing.  We go in on Monday for an ultrasound and blood work to make sure everything has passed.  We will find out if I need a D & C then.  We are keeping our fingers crossed.  I DO NOT want surgery.

T and I discussed it and have decided we want to try again.  I am absolutely terrified but... If we don't try again, we will always wonder "what if."  Of course, I already have so many "what ifs" running through my brain.  What if we can't get pregnant again?  What if this was our only chance?  What if my eggs are so damaged that all future pregnancies will end the way this one did?  T says I will drive myself crazy with all those "what ifs" and only time will tell.  We decided we will come up with a list of questions ( "what ifs" ) and ask the doctor when we see him Monday.

I have been overwhelmed by the support from friends and family.  I found a couple support boards and have been going there on a daily basis to talk with other women who have been through this.  I find it easier to write about my feelings than to actually talk to anyone other than my husband.  I haven't even talked to my mom other than through emails, yet.  I guess it's still too fresh for me.  Maybe I never will be able to just talk about it with people.  Maybe writing will be the best and only way for me to deal with this.  Time will tell.  I am a private person and it is hard for me to open up.  Writing gives me a level of anonymity and allows me to be a step away.  If I don't like what someone is saying or it is too soon for me to deal with something, I can delete it or pass over it.  Unfortunately, you can't do that with personal interactions.  I have been saddened to find that some people aren't as sensitive or compassionate as I had expected.  Right now, those people and their attitudes are beyond my ability to handle so I am just going to have to step away from them.  It hurts but I guess I will do what I have to do.  T says, "F&^* them."  People like that aren't worth our time or energy.  Easier said then done.

I worry about T, though.  He is focusing so much on helping me that I worry he hasn't grieved or allowed himself to do so.  We talk about the loss, though.  And we talked about where we want to go from here.  I take that as a good and healthy sign that we are dealing.  He bought me flowers the other day to bring a little color and beauty to my day.  They are beautiful and simple, just the way I like them.

We also decided that we wanted to get a plant as a kind of memorial to the twins.  A lady on one of the support boards had recommended taking the twins remains and placing them in a plant so that we would always have them with us.  It had been very upsetting to me to think about just "disposing" of them.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to retrieve their remains so T suggested we still get a plant and make it a memorial.  I really like that idea.  I love plants and gardening.  Unfortunately, I don't always do well with house plants so I really need to research to find the right plant so I don't kill it off like I sometimes do.  We don't get a lot of sunlight into our house so a shade tolerant plant will be best.  I have several right now that aren't doing too bad so maybe with the extra love and care I will give this one, we will have a beautiful plant to remember our little beans.

I feel a little stronger today.  I am only crying once or twice a day inside of every 5 minutes.  I am having some issues with triggers that set me off -- the shoes I bought because T was so worried that I didn't have any appropriate shoes for being pregnant in winter weather,  the cranberry juice I was using to help with the pregnancy constipation,  seeing ads for and going down the feminine hygiene aisle,  etc.  I can't look at the shoes let alone wear them so they will be going into the closet -- out of sight out of mind.  T is going to dispose of the juice for me so I don't see it every time I open the fridge.  The other stuff, well, hopefully time will help me deal better with those.  I have given a few clerks some bad moments when I broke down crying while choosing pads at the drug store.  But, I have my husband and I know I have people out there that will listen to me, help me when the time is right for me.  Some days are good, some are bad.  So far, today has been a decent morning.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Emotional Roller Coaster

I haven't posted in awhile and there is a reason for that - mainly superstition.  Back in August, T and I had our 2nd round of fertility treatments.  We had 3 follicles this time.  About 11 days after my Ovidrel shot (it makes me ovulate), I was feeling very crampy.  We thought, what the hell, lets test just for the fun of it.  Imagine our surprise when it came back positive.  We were over the moon.  I called the doc and they set me up for my 1st blood test  (its called a beta test).  That night I got on the Internet and was researching pregnancy, due dates, etc.  I came across an article talking about how testing too early if you are on fertility drugs (especially Ovidrel) can give you a false positive pregnancy result.  It said you shouldn't test until 14 days after the shot, at minimum.  I immediately became upset.  So, when I went in for the beta, I mention when I tested to the nurse.  She says, "OH, you shouldn't have tested that early.  Your positive is probably just the Ovidrel still in your system."  Well, thanks a freaking lot for passing that tidbit of information on to me and getting my hopes up only to knock my feet out from under me.  I believe me breaking down into tears and saying almost exactly that got my point across and the office was extremely apologetic for not telling me.  The long and short of it is that the 1st Beta showed enough pregnancy hormone in my system to indicate a pregnancy, but I had to have a 2nd Beta to show if my numbers were going up which would indicate a real pregnancy.  Two days later I had that, my numbers were up but they weren't as high as the doctor would like.  So, I had to go in for a 3rd Beta.  Three was the magic number -- we were pregnant.  Talk about being all over the place emotionally for that long, long week.

T and I decided to tell just our parents.  I was extremely worried about miscarriage and was superstitious.  Both our parents were very happy.  They have been on this journey right by our sides the whole time.  At seven weeks, I went in for our 1st ultrasound.  I had been worried about ectopic pregnancy, blighted ovum, chemical pregnancy, how many embryos we had (remember, three follicles so a potential for 3 babies), you name it, I was worried and anxious about it.  The ultrasound was going to resolve my anxieties one way or another.  T and I were shocked to find out that there were 2 embryos -- that's right, twins.  We got to see the heart beating on twin A and were ecstatic.  However, twin B wasn't as far developmentally and we couldn't see that heart beat.  The doctor said there was a strong possibility that twin B wouldn't continue to develop -- its called Vanishing Twin Syndrome and is fairly common now that technology can show earlier ultrasounds.  The doc said it wasn't a forgone conclusion and twin B just might have implanted later.  We had to go back in two weeks for a 2nd ultrasound to see if we were going to lose twin B.  But, twin A looked very good and the doc said twin A shouldn't be effected if we lost twin B.

So, I was very conflicted.  I had one healthy baby but the other might not make it.  I wasn't even sure if I wanted twins -- health risks for them, health risks for me, financial reasons.  But I still was upset that I might lose twin B.  I was very conflicted.  The ultrasound that was to reassure me now brought up a whole new slew of worries and anxieties.  It was another two weeks of emotional upheaval, stress and anxiety.

On 9/16, T and I went in for our 9 week ultrasound.  We both had the feeling that twin B wouldn't have survived and were dealing with that.  We were excited to see the heart beat again and, maybe, get to hear it.  The doc did the ultrasound and I almost immediately knew something was wrong.  He was looking at both babies way longer than he had the first time.  I also noticed that I wasn't seeing the little flicker from twin A's heart beat.  The doctor then told us we had lost both babies -- neither had a heart beat now.  I completely lost it.  We had brought B in with us so she could see the baby.  She wanted to get a copy of the ultrasound pictures (we had gotten two at the 1st ultrasound) just for her to carry around so she could show off her baby.  The doctor and nurse were quick enough to get her out of the room, she was upset at our level of upset and didn't understand. 

I cannot describe how awful and devastating it was.  I keep playing the whole thing out in my mind and I am at a loss for words to describe it.  All our joy, all the emotions, all the anxieties, ups and downs just wiped out by a few words.  The doctor told us our options -- wait for a natural miscarriage, have a D & C done, or take a vaginal suppository that would induce the miscarriage.  Our two precious, wonderful little miracles reduced to three choices for getting rid of them.  Don't get me wrong, the doctor was truly caring and concerned.  He was giving us the facts but not pressuring us in any way.  He told us to comfort each other, go home and think about it.  I realized suddenly that I couldn't wait.  I couldn't wait days or weeks to have a miscarriage.  I didn't want surgery so I told the doctor I wanted the medicine.  He gave me the prescription and a prescription for pain.   Then, I had to explain to my 3, soon to be 4, year old daughter why Mommy and Daddy were so upset.

Now I have to wait and decide when I want to take the medicine.  I am still having all the pregnancy symptoms - morning sickness, sore breasts, fatigue -- but there aren't any live babies.  My body just hasn't accepted that yet.  It feels like a farce to still be feeling pregnant but not be.  It is emotionally trying for me.  I want to take the medicine so that I can start to accept what has happened and move on, but, to take the medicine means I am getting rid of my little beans.  And I know that it is going to be very painful, both emotionally and physically.  I would like to do it while T is able to be home with me but that means I will probably have to take time off from work.  I am finding this to be a hard choice to make.

I feel guilty and so very, very devastated.  Two years of trying to conceive.  Finally getting that positive pregnancy after being told we would probably only achieve it through egg donor.  The absolute joy, the prayers and thanks to God.  The fear and hope.  All of that wiped out inside of five minutes.  Now what??  It has been such a emotional roller coaster.  I just don't know if we want to get back on that ride.  I do know that these little miracles were my babies, and I don't want to hide them and what happened to them from the world like they were some kind of dirty, shameful secret.  They were my little beans, I loved them and I grieve for them.