Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31, 4 weeks, 1 day

I am enormously glad that July is almost over. I'd really like for it to go away and act as if it never happened. Unfortunately, it will continue to happen, once every 12 months until they decide to change the calendar (which, I'll admit is not very likely). These have to be the worst 4 weeks of my life... that's topping a lot.

I will say that even with all the horrible-ness (yes, I'm making up words, deal with it) Chris and I are closer than before. That can't be all bad. It's not the way I would have wanted to figure out how much we're there for each other. There have to be better ways for that to happen. I'm looking for the good things (I'm trying here, honestly).

New job, new month (yay for August even if I do have to go back to work)... well, that would be perfect (can we get new baby in there somewhere?).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doctor's visit

So, the official diagnosis is "Um.... we're not really sure." Obviously, the effect was pre-term labor, however the actual cause is up for debate and could have been one of several things. I'll outline them:

1. Incompetent cervix - this is what I heard in the hosptial, but I was told today that it is actually probably NOT the cause. Typically, an IC happens over time, as the baby(ies) grow. So, it's likely that somebody would have noted something in a previous appt. The other thing that makes them suspect otherwise is the speed at which the situation progressed. At 11 am, my cervix was only 50% effaced (or so) and the cramping was mild, highly irregular and very spaced out (by hours), by 4 pm, it was pretty much 100% effaced and was having actual contractions about 30 minutes apart (that's an estimate, they were never actually timed). By 5pm I was also 3cm dialated and in the span of roughly an hour I went from 3cm to 10 cm. This is not, apparently, a typical pattern for an IC. However, my cervix will be closely watched in all subsequent pregnancies and if there's any sign of effacing, then we'll go to a cerclage. It's also possible that we could go to a cerclage at my request, especially if I have another set of twins.

2. The number of eggs implanted was 4. It's possible that this set me up for an early labor, since my body may not have realized that two of them stopped growing, or just the hormone levels were off. How that could have gone unnoticed is beyond me, since they took lots of blood, but they hadn't taken blood in quite some time, so that could be it.

3. On that note, it could be a progesterone issue. Even if it's not, progesterone shots have been known to help reduce preterm labor, so we could try that as well.

4. There could be some defect or anomaly within my uterus. To rule out this possibility, I'm having a hysterosonogram on September 5th. The goal here is to look for any polyps or fibroids in the uterus or any abnormalities of the uterus itself. Essentially, it's an ultrasound, and they fill the uterus with fluid to get a look at the inside.

Yeah, quite a list, huh? We can also throw in that I'm Rh negative, so will need rhogam for future pregnancies (cause there's no way Chris is going near a doctor to find out what his blood type is, so we're assuming he's positive).

So the current treatment is kind of complicated now. First and foremost, we want to minimize the chance of my conceiving multiples (since obviously that's a problem). I am clearly sensitive to clomid, and while that doesn't mean we won't use it, it does mean we'll go about this a different way. Step one is waiting to see what my body does. It's possible that my body may "fix" itself to some extent. I'm also going back on the metformin (850mg 2x per day). Apparently, the longer you're on it, the better your body reacts to it. She wants me to be on it for about six months to see exactly what my body is going to do. If after six months, my body is still having irregular cycles, then we can try Letrozole. This drug is similar to clomid but less potent. There's also only one dose of it, so unlike the clomid we wouldn't have to mess around with figuring out which dose works. It would either work, or it wouldn't. If the Letrozole doesn't work then we could go back to the clomid.

In the meantime, we can try if we want to (there's no physical reason to not try). Obviously, we don't know if we'd have any luck and I need to wait to have a period first (although it's possible to ovulate before the first period returns, it's also just as likely that I won't) and then... then we wait. So, unless lightning strikes or divine intervention occurs (and when in my life have I EVER been that lucky?) we're stuck waiting for awhile. That sucks. And that's all I have to say about that.

Pace across room, turn, repeat

I'm going to the doctor today. I am anxious, afraid, nauseated, somewhat sad, afraid (did I mention that?), nervous and (oddly enough) relieved. Part of me is glad this day is here, because I was beginning to think that time was stopping and the day would never arrive. The rest of me is gravely concerned over the things that she can (and can't) tell me. I have a million and one what-if's again. I wish I had Chris, Kate or my mom to come with me too. Those are the three people that I think would be a really good support right now (not that I don't love the rest of you, but there's a unique aspect to this and I really need somebody who knows me inside and out and those are the 3 people who I think qualify at this point in my life). I have 2 hours to go...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Missing them

Today seems to be a day when I miss the boys. And I'm not in tears over it, but I have this very heavy heart and I keep taking these deep breaths that sound more like sighs. It's a little strange that there doesn't seem to be any particular reason for it today. I guess that's just how it'll be for the rest of my life. There will just be days...

It's hard to think about losing your child. Children are supposed to live longer than their parents, not die as infants. It makes me wonder how those who have lost more than one child manage to go on (probably the same way I keep going, although in much more pain). I also can't begin to understand how a parent could kill their child. This isn't to say that women with post-partum depression are evil, but rather I can't ever imagine being in a place where the death of my child would be a good thing. I would rather die myself first. That's probably the one thing I can't get about PPD. Where the rational comes from that killing your child is the best possible way out, as opposed to killing yourself. Maybe it's one of those things that unless you've been there you can't understand.

What has been truly aggravating as of late are the women who see fit to complain about their pregnancy. How uncomfortable they are, how hot they are, how big they are, how they wish it was all just over. There are certainly sympathies in there - the woman who has been throwing up since day 1 and is in the hospital. That has to be hard. But I would trade with any of them (and I hate throwing up) to be in their situation. I would happily be hot and big and uncomfortable. Those women don't realize how lucky they are.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Of patience and decisions

Two weeks seems like both a very long time and a very short time. It's interesting that time can move in two completely different ways like that. And, of course, there are decisions that I need to make. Cause life would not decide to be easy ever (heh, why would it?). And then there are the two strange occurences....

So number one starts with tomorrow. I'm going to an interview tomorrow at a high school north of us. This would be the second time I've changed jobs within a few months. This wasn't my original plan... but there are reasons. Originally, I had no choice to change jobs. The job I had at North was going to be gone as of the summer, since the new school is finally opening. Plus the hour commute was just really long and difficult. I hadn't realized just how far until I was doing it. When I was offered the job I have now, I was under the impression that I wouldn't have to teach Earth Science. And then I got Earth Science and lots of it, with no sign of relief. I can't explain to you how much I hate freshman. They're to much like middle schoolers. This new job is offering me Biology. Not perfect, but a BIG improvement. My hesitation is that were I still pregnant, I wouldn't be changing jobs. Part of that is probably because most people won't hire a woman who's obviously pregnant (it's illegal, but that's never stopped anybody yet). Part of my dislike may well also just be uncomfortable with new surroundings. Be that as it may, I'm in a position where I don't really feel comfortable with the people I work with and a lot of them aren't even people I really know. So the idea of going in to work in a month and having to explain to all these people about what happened, well let's just say it's not appealing. The idea of starting over fresh, so to speak, is nice. I don't have to tell anybody that I don't want to tell. This seems like a giant cop out to me, like running away. But as several people have pointed out to me, this isn't about proving emotional strength. It's just difficult to seperate the two at this point (the emotion and the rational).

Of course, I face the same thing again on Friday. I've been teaching a test prep class. It's easy, once a week for 2 hours. Currently, it's also paying $35/hour (that may be changing, but I'm not going to worry about that right now). The Friday after 4th of July we had off and I took last Friday off as well but this upcoming Friday I need to go back. This is a daunting idea, but one that must be done. Kind of a similar situation as above, but a different situation. I'm really hoping that nobody says anything. Or that the director said something to the students last week. Anything that saves me from having to say something.

I think that part of the problem is that I tend to be private. This loss is incredibly personal and I don't tend to be an incredibly open person with people that I don't know real well. I don't know if this is something that most people feel or if it's just the quietness in me dominating (or protecting). In a lot of ways, even the pregnancy was personal. I didn't say anything to people until I had to (and obviously by the end, it was quite obvious but I still wasn't saying anything) and I was quiet even when I did tell people things. Unless they were close (or a doctor), they weren't getting details. So that same feeling is taking over now, except that people tend to be nosy about things like this. So I'm getting anxious about having to say anything.

So, about the strange occurences. Both of these things can likely be explained away easily, but they still surprised me. The first one has to do with the birdfeeder we have. There's a family of cardinals that has been living in the woods behind our house, although for the past month or so I haven't seen the Mommy, the Daddy or the babies. Today though, they all showed up. The babies are looking all grown up with mostly red feathers (so they're boys, ironically enough) and some of the baby feathers still muting the red. They're going to be very pretty. The fact that the cardinals had two baby boys just kind of stuck with me today. It's good to know that they're both doing well. I was wondering if the boys didn't send me the babies just to let me know they're ok.

The second odd moment today was in the boys' room. The cloth cubes are all filled up with stuff that makes them rather heavy, espcially the one on the bottom which has all the little pajama/onesies that I had bought. This morning that cube was pulled out, about half way. But there was no sign of cats - no pulls in the fabric or signs of cat fur. I mean... I guess they could have pulled it out without leaving a trace, but that's very unlike the cats. So, I'm guessing it was the cats, but I've got no proof of that (and no other ideas about how it could have happened that can be proven by any earthly beings).

Next Tuesday, I go to my OB for a post-partum checkup and she'll (hopefully) answer all my questions, or the ones that can be answered at any rate. I've got a list of questions written down. High on the list is when we'll be able to try again. I'm betting that the answer is going to be October/November ish. I don't like that answer, but as she controls the clomid rx we kinda have no options. It's probably for the best, medically, but it makes me uncomfortable. I need to be patient, I suppose. I'm not the most patient person. But before stressing, I need to patient and see what she says. There's that word again...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I think I'm losing my sanity

That assumes I was sane to begin with, I guess. And we all know that I'm not. My house is getting cleaner by the day. The rooms I've cleaned are likely cleaner than they've been since we moved in (that was in October, I think). I realized today that for 5 months I was resting and nothing got cleaned. So I started cleaning. Or maybe I just started trying to occupy my mind with something that didn't involve the boys or this feeling that I'm going to end up some crazy lady with 100 cats in her house. I have 2 vastly different emotions going on at once (which is likely the cause of my slipping sanity). At this rate, my bathroom floors will be able to be eaten off of.

I want time to move forward. I feel like I'm sitting here and time isn't moving. Like this day will never end, ever and I'll be stuck at this point in my life forever and then suddenly, one day I'll be 80 and my life will be over but I'll have never moved forward. I think that the primary emotion I have right now is anger (not that the sadness is gone, but it's being overwhelmed, I think). The problem is who to be angry at. There isn't really anybody to be mad at. Everybody did what they thought was the best at the point in time we were at. So the anger has no real outlet and it sits. Hence the cleaning.

I feel like everybody is moving past me. More and more people end up pregnant with their baby and soon I'll be the only one left. Everybody else will be having playdates and I'll be... pretending that I'm ok? Acting like I don't care and it doesn't really matter because we can do things without worrying about a babysitter?

Envious. I know that's on the list too. I envy the people who will never worry about losing their baby. I know that I'll spend every minute holding my breath while other people just go on about their life and never worry about anything. I feel like I'm doing that now, actually. I'm holding my breath and waiting, wondering when I'm going to get more horrible news. Wondering when... lots of wondering...

I feel like that sense of peace and joy that I found is gone. I finally felt like I was getting what I wanted, that my life was moving forward and everything was going to be ok. Now, I wonder if anything will ever be ok again. And my mind keeps drifting to this one thought - in about a month, I have to go back to a job that I don't like, people that I don't really know and answer a million questions about what happened and have to relive this entire experience over and over again for people who don't know me and just want their curiosity satisfied. I don't feel like I have the strength to handle that, yet I have no choice. I have to go back. Part of me just wants to print out a little business card that says "I lost my babies. No, I don't want to talk about it. Please don't ask me any questions." and then just hand that out to everybody. Except that would be rude. The world will expect me to answer all their prying questions ("what happened? why? are you ok? i'm sorry. you can try again, you know. you're still so young...). I hate every single one of those damn questions or statements. "Are you ok?" is probably the dumbest (yeah you moron I'm great. I'm thrilled that my babies died.) and "I'm sorry" is probably the lamest (that's the I don't know what to say, but I'll say I'm sorry cause it makes it seem like I care and I don't feel guilty).

I think the rudest of these is "You can try again. You're still so young." statement. This is typically said by people who are roughly 10 years older than me and seem to think that my children are replaceable. It's also common with people who assume that I am younger than my 30 years, because "You don't look 30!" (really asshole? I feel 30, so shut the hell up.). Like it matters how damn old I am. People assume that we just accidently ended up pregnant and we'll try again tomorrow and then have another baby without any problem. Here's a suggestion - don't assume anything. In fact, the absolute best statement that I've heard from people who've not ever been through this is "I don't know what to say." because it's the truth. It's honest. It's not trying to make that person feel better. It's not assuming anything. It's acknowledging that they don't know anything about how I feel right now and that they aren't going to try and act like they do. Trust me, should you ever meet somebody who's going through this, tell them that.

It's back

I have that same horrible, awful feeling again that I'll never have any kids.

Actually, I think it's worse now.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Blah...

Today, in a few hours, officially marks the birth of my boys. I had trouble sleeping last night. I wouldn't be surprised to have trouble sleeping tonight. Last night I spent hours laying in bed, going over moments in my head. It was literally like "at this time last week, I had the cramps that I thought would go away. what if I'd gone to the hosptial now, instead of waiting?" and on, and on, and on. Eventually I fell asleep and then I'd wake up to go to the bathroom and I'd have to start all over again. I keep looking at the clock... I know that I'm counting down the hours and minutes in my head (5 hours to go, until Liam was born). It's... hard. I don't want to do it. I keep telling myself not to do it. And then I do it again. Time moves so strangely now. Some moments I don't know where they went and other moments drag on like they'll never end.

I've also found it interesting (or something like that) that I have no desire to chat with people online about trying anymore. While we were trying for the boys, it seemed that chatting with other people kept me sane. Now... all of their concerns seem so silly. I've read across a few different threads, and with the exception of one board, there isn't anywhere I want to talk about trying. Maybe I just can't relate to people who've been trying for 2 months and cry when they discover they aren't pregnant. Or the people who test 15 times a day, even though they got a negative the first time. Maybe that'll change with time.

I also wish people would quit telling me that I can't replace Liam and Conner by being pregnant again. I KNOW that. I think it's annoying that anybody could even think that I'm trying to replace them. They aren't replaceable. They're my babies. Am I supposed to sit here and just cry and hope for several months that I could have them back? I can't have them back. I am acutely aware of the fact that I can't have them back. Why is it so wrong that we want to have children. Are people just that uncomfortable with the idea of losing a child that they think that wanting to try again means I want a replacement for my boys? I find it somewhat ironic to that most of the people telling me that I'm rushing myself (like they'd know) also have children that are alive. I'm not looking at the world through their glasses.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Random chatter

It's probably not real commonly known (well, I sure didn't know) that sadness like this is actually a physical thing. I mean, obviously there's a huge emotional part there. But there is this physical pain that goes along with it. Maybe pain is a bad word choice. But it's harder to breathe, joints ache (mostly, my back but I've also had other pains in my knees), and there are moments when my heart physically feels heavier. I doubt it actually is, it just feels that way.

I also have these wonderfully conflicting emotions (hear the sarcasm here?). I've wanted to have children forever (it seems that way, anyhow). We certainly worked long enough to have the boys. And yes, it did sometimes feel like work. And I have the boys, in a sense. Nobody can take away the fact that I am a mommy. But... I don't have them. The rest of the world sees a person with no children. Not that I really care what anybody else thinks, but in a sense I don't have any children. It's a strange thing to try and understand. How can I want to get pregnant again (like NOW!) and still recognize that I have children (which IS what I wanted)? Maybe this doesn't make sense to anybody else. Whatever else you might say, DO NOT tell me that I shouldn't worry about it. Because I'm going to, for awhile anyway.

I decided today that I also needed to put anything that could potentially get barfed on or otherwise destroyed by a cat needed to get put away. This included several things that were not specifically for the boys (like a car window shade I had bought) and a few things I had bought for them (like the Eeyore and Pooh stuffed animals). And part of me didn't really want to put them away, like they were just for another baby because they weren't (although they will, obviously, get passed down). I felt somewhat horrible for "hiding" these things. That wasn't my intention, but I think that's what it ends up looking like.

And of course, I am one of those people who worries. There's no real explanation for why I do, but I do. Maybe it's partially being a person who abhores things being totally outside of their control. Actually, it's probably largely a result of that, but I digress. My worries are compounding. I am terrified that it'll take us another year or more to conceive another child. Now, this worry seems silly since the clomid clearly worked (heck, it worked on the first try, so what does that tell you?) and chances are that it will work again (why wouldn't it?) but the worrier in me... well... yeah. And then there's the worry I have of how well the clomid works. Remember the first ultrasound showed 4 sacs, although only two actual babies. So, I fully expect another set of twins (or worse). The thought of a cerclage scares the hell out of me (but may be the best choice, depending on the situation) especially since one of the potential problems is that it could inadvertantly cause preterm labor (wouldn't that be bloody brilliant?). I'd probably also rather take drugs, but I don't think that's the first choice that's used. That's one of those ask the doctor questions. As to why I'd rather the drugs... probably just because it doesn't require somebody trying to sew my cervix shut (charming thought, huh?) but then again, if it means my baby's (babies'?) life, I'd likely walk through heaven and hell. Scratch that, I know I would.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The little things

Baby steps. That's how I've been getting through my days. It seems to be working, although I don't think I'll be starting a cheer anytime soon. We've gotten some flowers (which are beautiful) and lots of people just letting us know that they're thinking of us. It's nice to know. It's not the way I'd have opted to find this out though.

There are still little things... You know those things. The ones that make you stop unexpectedly and cry, mourning what's lost. I think those are the hardest because they come out of nowhere. One moment you'll be fine and the next the world is wondering what's wrong. But I've made it this far. I'm willing to bet I'll make it a little further. There are still plenty of things that are making me wonder what steps to take next in my life. Maybe I've just reevaluated what's truly important.

Surprisingly, the boys' room doesn't upset me yet. It's actually kind of comforting. Maybe that's where their spirits ended up. Maybe that will change. Eventually it will become a room for another little one, I imagine. Maybe that will change my feelings about the room. That's one of those wait and see things. I don't think I'll know until I actually get there. But that all goes back to the baby steps.

Right now, it's hour by hour. Eventually, I'm sure I'll get back to day by day. I know for sure that every night for the rest of my life I'll say goodnight to my little angels before I go to sleep.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My little angels

My little boys were so tiny and precious. I need to get some of this out. Writing seems like it might help.

Liam and Conner...much loved by their mommy and daddy, born 7/2/07. They're perfect. What else can I say? There aren't any 2 babies more loved. They could have been anything. They get to be angels.

There are a million what ifs going through my head. What if I went to the hospital sooner? What if I rested more? Drank more water? Did I miss something? Did I eat something bad?

My job for the first nine months was to just keep them safe. My heart is breaking because I couldn't do that. I got them all to myself for 5 months. I got to see pictures. I heard their little hearts beat. I would do anything for a chance to do it all again. I would give up the rest of my life if they could just have theirs. This pain is terrible.

I got to hold them both. I kissed them both. I told them mommy loved them.

Now I have to go on. Without them.

Liam, Conner, mommy loves you. She always will.