Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's an Epidemic

Eight people in the last week have either (a) given birth to a second or third baby when their previous child is younger than B or (b) told me they are expecting a second or third baby when their previous child is younger than B.  One friend is unexpectedly having twins.

Now I know I'm on this grand year-off adventure, which is supposed to make me calm and Zen, but SERIOUSLY WTF.  It's an epidemic.

Forgive me.  I know this is irrational.  I know other people's pregnancies in no way relate to mine.  I know I should be happy for each and every one of them (and I am... deep down....), but it's been crushing my spirit a bit this week as I feel like I am just being passed left and right by people who are so easily getting what I want.  And of course I mark each birth and month with where I would be if I hadn't had two miscarriages.  #3 would be four months old.  I'd be about 20 weeks pregnant with #4.  Everywhere we travel, I see families with two or three children and one of them is about B's age and there is always a younger one.

The thing is, I really do not want to feel this way.  I'd like to be present in the moment and on this trip all the time.  And when I'm not, I'd like it to be because I'm doing something constructive like reading, blogging, exercising, or listening to a podcast.  I don't want it to be because I'm stewing and being jealous of people I don't even know and whose ability to pop out babies left and right is wholly irrelevant in my life.

I went so far as to write down grievances I've been holding onto and to make a few wishes using Flying Wish Paper as recommended by Gretchen Rubin on the Happier podcast (which I adore and highly recommend).  It helped for a few hours, but this morning the feelings crept up on me, especially after seeing on Instagram that a friend had a baby and I didn't even know she was pregnant again!

Apologies, I'm just venting.  I *know* I have so much for which I should be (and am) grateful.  But I also think that part of letting go of these feelings is owning them and admitting they exist.  I don't always feel great.  I sometimes resent and am jealous of people in a ridiculous way.  And I feel extra guilty for feeling this way because I know my pre-B self, who was consumed by grief and fear of never having a child, would hate this post-B self for wallowing and being jealous considering I have a spunky, smart, fun, joyful toddler to chase after day in and day out.

That's all.

If anyone has any ideas for me, I'd love to hear them.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

An Update from the Southern Hemisphere

Wow, I've been terrible about blogging.  I have been writing on my other blog, but I've been preoccupied with traveling and having fun.

Mercifully, the day after my doctor's appointment, my body started to miscarry on its own (I started bleeding).  It was as if my body had known for weeks but my mind was clinging to the pregnancy. Once I let go of it in my head, my body followed.  I took Cytotec anyway and it was a pretty easy process albeit uncomfortable as many of you unfortunately know.

5 weeks later, I have just had my first cycle since the miscarriage.  I haven't had any menopausal symptoms this time around for which I am eternally grateful and I haven't fallen into a depression like I did last spring.   Part of it is certainly that I have learned to manage my expectations a bit but more so I think it is just that I refuse to let this ruin our trip.  We had an incredible time in Hawaii, fell in love with Sydney, and are having the best time exploring New Zealand.  My health is good all things considered and I love spending time with R & B.  Am I incredibly sad and disappointed?  Of course.  But I won't let it swallow me whole this time around.

So, that's the update from here.  My OB did write me another prescription for Clomid before I left Hawaii and I filled it, but I don't plan on taking it right away.  I'm going to see what happens the next few cycles and try not to focus too much on trying to get pregnant.   I feel more resigned than ever to not having another baby.

I did read a fascinating NY Times article today about stillbirth and three tests that can help determine the cause in many cases: placental examination, fetal autopsy, and genetic testing.  We had all three of these done on Q and the placental examination did tell us what happened to her although we still don't know why.  In any event, an interesting read for those of us who have experienced stillbirth (at least I find myself wanting to read and know everything about it).

You all are still very much in my thoughts, I'm just not at a computer very often (which is the whole point of this trip).

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Another Day, Another Miscarriage

I'm right back where I was last spring, just four weeks farther along than last time.  Yesterday we saw an OB in Kauai and the baby hadn't grown since six weeks and three days and there was no longer a heartbeat.  R & B were there with and just looking over at them and seeing B smile at me and give me a big hug made the whole situation survivable, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't devastated, disappointed, sad, and, frankly, really f-ing angry.  I would just rather not repeatedly get pregnant only to find out the pregnancy isn't viable, and this one feels worse because we saw a heartbeat and I'm now 10+ weeks with *no* signs of miscarriage.  In fact, my HCG yesterday was 25,000 so clearly my body has not yet caught on.

Given how high my HCG is, the OB here wants me to come back in for a scan with their radiology department (better equipment) to confirm it isn't a molar pregnancy.  My Colorado OB (with whom I've spoken several times) thinks this is highly unlikely, but of course I'm going to go in to confirm.

Most of all, I feel foolish.  Foolish for getting my hopes up, foolish for thinking this was our second rainbow baby, imagining flying home mid-summer instead of next winter so that I could have this baby at home, worrying about the logistics of getting meds, etc.  None of it matters and why haven't I learned my lesson about thinking things will work out?

I am, of course, already thinking about what is next.  I'll take misoprostol again to induce bleeding so that everything can be "take care of" before we leave the U.S. (on February 12th).  And then what?  I know in my heart I'm not done - I want to have another baby.  But I am beginning to wonder if that is wise.  I'm 36 years old.  I have POF.  I now have a history of recurrent miscarriages, presumably due to chromosomal abnormalities.  I have complicated pregnancies.  I keep thinking: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

One silver lining to all of this is that, so far, I feel much better emotionally than I did last spring.  Even with getting my hopes up, I knew better than to tell many people, make plans, or really give this pregnancy much credence.  I don't know if that is helping or the fact that I'm with my family in Hawaii but I don't feel the darkness overwhelming me like I did last spring.  Who knows?  It's too soon to tell how I'll feel in a few days, but I'm trying to keep perspective and stay as positive as possible.

So that's the (depressing, frustrating, infuriating, disappointing) update from here.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Grieving

A double rainbow with my rainbow baby beneath.  I'm choosing to see this as a good sign.

We have a lot going on over the past two weeks, much of it wonderful.  We celebrated Christmas (it's difficult to believe that was just two weeks ago), B's birthday, and the New Year, we packed up our house and moved out, moved our cat to my parent's, and left the mainland for Hawaii.  In the midst of all of the good, there is the anxiety that comes with early pregnancy and all of the thoughts that are always in the back of my mind but are front of mind this time of year on the anniversary of Q's death and the day I gave birth to her (Was she "born"? What is the the right word?).  I thought constantly about Q over the past few weeks and reflected a lot on everything that has happened since December 2013.  We didn't have the opportunity to do anything in particular to memorialize the day other than to light a candle and talk about her and what happened (and to think about how lucky we are to have B), but I feel the heaviness of the season even here in Hawaii.

"The Japanese Art of Grieving a Miscarriage" appeared in the NY Times this week and I love that the culture embraces and encourages publicly honoring babies who are never born.  I'm going to keep my eyes open for a Jizo when we are in Japan and try to bring one home to honor both Q and the little baby we lost this spring.  There is something so comforting about an object -- when Q died, the hospital gave us a box and inside was a tiny bear.  It isn't anything special, but I have slept with it every night since we left the hospital.

I've been particularly upset this week about some favorite bloggers (who I do not know personally) who just lost their son who was born prematurely.  Their grief and sadness and loss is so palpable in the photos and how courageous of them to share something so personal.  For whatever reason -- this time of year, being pregnant and emotional, or just the fact that their situation is heartbreaking -- I find what they are going through so upsetting and I wish I could reach out to them.  I have no idea what I'd say, but I just want them to know they aren't alone.

All of this just serves to remind me that, three years out from losing Q, I still acutely feel her absence and it is front of mind, more so in December and January than is typical.  And even in the midst of an exciting adventure and the possibility of another life, I'm grieving.  Still.

***************************

I did find an OB in Kauai and have an appointment at the end of the month.  They have no perinatologist or MFM on the island and they don't do "level 2" ultrasounds as they called it (e.g., the 12-week anatomy scan) so I'm going around 10 weeks for another ultrasound and the Progenity chromosomal test.  If I need additional monitoring or testing, we'll spend a night on Oahu before we head to Sydney.  At this stage with Baby B, I had weekly ultrasounds (for my peace of mind). I'm trying my best to be Zen about this -- what will be, will be.
 
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