Friday, December 31, 2010

6 am January 1st, 2010

I can't believe it's been a year.

Happy Birthday, my sweet little Wren. I wish you were here.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

phistelkciuy

I usually like to sum up how I feel or what my entry is about in a short title. This one represents my brain right now when I try to put how I feel into words.

For the last few days the emotion floating to the top most often is anger. Maybe anger is too light a word. Rage. Blinding, seething, burning rage. I remember in the early days there was this tremendous weight, this pressure to do something violent. It sat on my chest, heavy and hot, like heartburn but stronger. I wanted everyone else to hurt like I did. I wanted everyone to FEEL what I was feeling. These last few days that feeling has been creeping back. Not as strong as before, but definitely there.

I've been trying hard to keep so busy that I don't have time to think. It's been working a little too well. Everyone thinks I'm fine and they don't understand why I am being bitchy when I start to get overwhelmed. My husband actually asked me why I was in such a bad mood after I snapped at him the day before Christmas. I burst into tears and screamed at him that I had just lost my last chance for a baby in the year since Aiden died and that I didn't have my goddamn baby. I couldn't believe he couldn't figure that one out. I still can't. Why the hell would I be in a good mood right now?

My mother and sister haven't said anything but seem to be aware that I have good reason to be depressed right now. My idiot father gave me a very cheery "Merry Christmas!" over the phone the other day. I get that people don't associate the holidays with my baby dying. For the most part I don't mind. But my family should remember. I really don't think that's too much to ask.

We're packing up for our trip to the mountains. It will be just us and the manager. No one else wants to brave the cold. I'm grateful, since the idea was to be far away from any celebrating. The only bright spot is that my Aiden must have heard me and sent me some snow. The town we are going to had 6 inches on the ground and more on the way. I'm not sure I really believe anything answered my prayer, but its comforting to think it was him.

One of the things we packed was our son. I wasn't expecting this to hurt so badly. We should be bundling up a seven month old. Hell, if he was alive we wouldn't even be going on this trip. I had to pack my dead son's ashes instead.

Oh, God. I just want to hold him. I want to watch him sleeping and count his precious toes. I want to listen to his little baby grunts and play with his silky, downy baby hair. I want this pain to stop. I want to stop crying. I want to forget that I've been trying for children for seven years and only have one and a jar of ashes to show for it. (I hope everyone knows I am deeply grateful for my daughter - but it still hurts). Most of all, I want to stop hoping. It just hurts too much. I KNOW what I am missing and what it would take to get there. I just can't change the way things work. Sometimes it feels like it is killing me.

What good am I if I can't get through a day without pain pills? What good am I if I can't get my body to do what it was built to do? What good am I if I can't pull it together enough to love my husband? Or play with my daughter? Or grieve?

I have been drinking a lot (for me) the last few days. I can't say it's helping really, but it is easier to get through the nights. I hope this trip will alleviate some of this depression and not make it worse. The anger may be around for awhile. My sweet baby is gone and sprinkling his ashes on the snow is a really poor substitute.

I'm sorry about the stream of consciousness. I just really needed to get some of this out. Keeping so busy has meant neglecting my writing, the only therapy I have right now. It helps to write, even if it does sound like I'm about to jump off a bridge (I'm not).

I hope these days are easier on you, dear readers. May you find peace and comfort in the days ahead.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

well, that's that

I'm pretty sure it is now 11 dpo. My temp dropped to 98.2, my cover line was 98.6. The bleeding is heavier. Looks like I get to spend Christmas drunk after all.

We're doing our traditional solstice celebration tonight, but my heart is not in it. I hope my little girl doesn't notice.

I expected this, but I'm still sad - and so, so angry.

Now I get to go to work and listen to everyone's holiday plans and try not to burst into tears.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Up in the air

I still don't know one way or the other.

I started taking progesterone again, about 3 days earlier than I was supposed to, hoping it would stop the spotting. It seemed to work for a couple of days and then I started spotting again yesterday. I took a test this morning - very negative. But since my temps are really unreliable I'm not sure if this is 8dpo or 10. Either way it may be way too early.

Today was much, much easier than I thought it would be. I spent most of it in a bad mood but that had more to do with thoughtless friends and cranky children that what day it was.

I can't believe it's been a year since we were told our son would die. Some days it feels like ten, some days it feels a couple of months.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Well, that was more like a 6 day wait.

I'm spotting. Damn.it.

I tried so hard not to get hopeful. I had this ritual the last few days. Every time I went to the bathroom I would check for blood. When I didn't see any I would get this stupid grin and the thought, this might be it, would sneak into my head. I would give myself a stern lecture that it isn't very likely and then get on with my day.

I guess the stern talk didn't help. I am crushed. This was my last hope for hope before Aiden's birthday. I guess the fat lady is singing and that prescription for birth control will get filled after all.

I want to get drunk, but I won't, because there is still a very slim chance I'm pregnant. I bled with Aiden and was still pregnant. I was probably bleeding for a reason, but that doesn't keep me from stupidly hoping.

I hate this. I really, really hate this. I keep giving up and changing my mind. I want to leave that back door open for a miracle but it is killing me. I don't know if I can keep doing this.

My little girl just came over.

"Mommy, what's wrong?"

"I'm sad today, honey"

"Why?"

"I miss baby Aiden"

"I miss him too. He's not ever coming back. I want baby Aiden, Mommy."

"I know, me too."

She crawled in my lap and cried with me. I wish that made me feel better when she is being so sweet. Instead it just hurts more because I know what I'm missing. There should be more presents under the tree and a seven month old to entertain.

I have a feeling the next 3 weeks will just be hell, even though I'm running to the mountains.

Baby Aiden, if you can hear me, please send us some snow. We could use some joy right now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I hate 2ww's

Not really anything else to say right now, just making myself crazy waiting for the 18th. I'm really, really hoping I will get news that will make that day not so horrible to get through every year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Coincidence? Or does the universe think it's funny?

The last time I ovulated - In august, it was the exact same day I ovulated and conceived Aiden. I was terrified of having the same dates in a subsequent pregnancy so I skipped that cycle. I was so mad. How can someone with such fucked up and erratic cycles ovulate on the same day two years in a row?

Then when I didn't ovulate again I was sure that was my very last chance and I blew it. I still don't know if that is true or not. I'm only 2 or 3 DPO so I could start bleeding again any day. So far things are looking okay. Which brings me to the next coincidence. The first day I can test, at 12 dpo, is the same day that we found out our son was dying last year. On the one hand, a positive pregnancy test - one that ends well - will probably do a lot to heal the wound caused on that day. But on the other hand, if it's negative, it's just another reason for that day to suck. And Christmas and New Year's will be that much harder.

God, I wish this was easier. I wish I could wake up, safely in 2011, with a positive test in my hand and this horrible year behind me.

To everyone that is also having a hard time this holiday season - peace and love healing to you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's about freaking time!

Finally - for the first time in 3 months, I have a positive OPK. Apparently my body just wanted a really long ramp up to the event. I think taking home a prescription for birth control might have done the trick :)

Here's really, really hoping.

Monday, December 6, 2010

finally alone

I have been trying for a very long time (months) to get some alone time. I need quiet and time to write. That is in very short supply around here. The holidays are hard, but not as bad as I feared. I find myself cheering up from where I was a couple of weeks ago. My little girl's enthusiasm is contagious. I find it easier to be happy for her than I thought I would.

I wish I knew what my body was doing. We should come with troubleshooting guides or something. I have finally stopped the constant bleeding, but I don't know what is going on with my cycle (can you really call it that if it is never the same twice?).

My last three bouts of heavy bleeding and horrible cramps were all 2 weeks apart. So that's three periods in 6 weeks. The last one was on November 20th, which would make this CD16. I started cramping this past Thursday and got very sore in the uterus regions. This normally means I'm about to have a period or about to ovulate. However, there hasn't been so much as a dot of blood, no fertile CM (I always get lots) and VERY negative OPK's. Now the soreness is concentrated on one side as if I ovulated and now have a cyst. WTF?!

I have no idea what is going on. I've started combining OPKs and OPTs in the hopes that something will pop up and tell me what's happening in there (Are you listening, uterus? I'll even take a prophetic dream). If it weren't for other factors I would just wait and see, but I can't.

I hurt my knee at work a couple of months ago and the doc wants an MRI. I don't want to get one if I'm 2 days pregnant but if I wait until I'm sure I'm not, it could be the end of January. Unless I just stop having sex and test in two weeks. I'm not willing to do that though, because every time I decide to skip a cycle it is months before I get another chance. The knee needs to get treated as soon as possible because I will be traveling frequently come February. There isn't anyone who can take over for me if I'm out for knee surgery.

Why, oh why can't I have one problem at a time?

*Sigh* At least right now it is merely frustrating, I'll take that over last year any damn day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A bunch of little things

The biopsy was "normal" whatever that means. Nothing glaring to explain why I just won't stop bleeding so the next step is to try Lupron, provided my insurance can be convinced that it is necessary. If all else fails I will donate blood and then get a blood panel done - being severely anemic should get them to do something.

I find myself feeling horribly guilty for reporting the guy at work. I feel guilty that I never confronted him myself and guilty for stirring up trouble. Even though I know I HAD to do this, even though he has gotten away with his behavior for far too long, I still feel like I did something wrong. I hate that about myself. I'm so much the people pleaser that everything is always my fault. I wish I could change that about myself but at least this time I was able to ignore that little voice long enough to protect myself. Now if I could just be brave enough to not hide in my office.

I keep hurting myself. First my back and now my knee. I think I may have torn the meniscus. It was hurting constantly but not intensely for the last two months. I finally went back to the doctor and started physical therapy and now it hurts much worse, but not as often. If I keep this up I'm going to have 3 different surgeries to choose from next year, and no sick leave at work.

Speaking of sick leave. I have decided (for now) to apply for a job in my agency that will be a significant raise and full state benefits. It's a job I am pretty sure I won't enjoy but I'm thinking in the long run I will be happier. More money is the only possible way of growing our family and that is what I want most of all. I think I can take a job that I don't love for a couple of years for that. I hope I can, anyway. I'm really putting the cart before the horse worrying about this because the competition will be fierce, but I can't help it. I'm good at worrying.

So - all this and we're coming up to the one year anniversary of the worst month of my entire life. I'm finding it hard to think happy thoughts right now. I think I need to go back to counseling, at least until after the New Year. Yea. More appointments. Super.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little wine and a little whine

I had a shitty day. Feeling a little better now, buzzed on wine.

My 62 year old co-worker, who is a dirty old man, finally pushed me too far today. I went to our supervisor and complained about his harassment. My supervisor (who is also male) asked if I wanted to file a formal sexual harassment complaint and I said no. I told him I would if this guy continues his behavior after our supervisor speaks to him. I am absolutely furious that I had to deal with this shit today. I shouldn't have to stand up for myself. This man has been working there for 30 years and everyone knows damn good and well how he treats women, especially young women. He should have been fired years ago. What he did today wasn't anything especially bad - it was his typical commenting on my clothes and my body and then touching me (on the shoulder - but still),for some reason today I had just had enough. It helped that several of my other male co-workers witnessed the incident and were appalled that he would behave that way.

I was so angry I was shaking and on the verge of tears. I'm mad at myself that I've never been able to tell him to leave me alone and not touch me, but my past with men has taught me not to fight back. Even today I didn't say anything directly to him; I doubt he even knows I'm mad at him. I'm hoping this doesn't cause huge problems at work. I don't think my job is at risk since I have so many witnesses, but it says a lot about how this country and this field works that the thought has crossed my mind. I should not have to fight to be treated like a human being and not a walking pair of huge tits. I HATE THAT DIRTY OLD MAN!!

I am really too buzzed for coherent typing right now (thank god for spell check) so I will fill everyone in on the fallout as it happens. Also - I should get my biopsy results tomorrow. I REALLY did not need this shit today.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

tiny feet

When I had the 20 week ultrasound with my daughter I was only excited to see the little being I had been feeling for weeks. In the waiting room I joked that she thought my full bladder made a great trampoline. It never once occurred to me that something could be wrong. The worst I was thinking was that she would be stubborn and we wouldn't see the sex. The most magical part of the ultrasound, and the best picture, was when she pressed both tiny feet against my stomach, as if she wanted to show me how perfect and tiny and cute they were. I literally gasped in wonder and cried. I still have that picture and treasure it.

This experience made it especially painful when my second 20 week ultrasound was so drastically and tragically different. By the time I had my follow up scan just prior to the amnio, the baby was partially paralyzed. I remember laughing at the ultrasound tech trying to get a view of his feet. They were not easy to see and he couldn't move them so the tech pushed in with the device and jiggled my stomach hard, trying to knock them into another position. My whole stomach jiggled in a really unattractive way, and even in the midst of the worst thing to ever happen to me, I laughed. I don't know why they needed to see his feet when there was so much else wrong with him. They said they thought he had rocker-bottom feet, which can be another indication of chromosomal damage. It hardly mattered with all his other problems, but I was very disappointed that I couldn't see his feet. I think I was more upset because I was thinking they were deformed and I couldn't have even that little piece of wonder in all the horribleness.

*** Warning - really graphic description of a dead baby - skip this paragraph if you need to ****

When Aiden was born I wanted badly to hold him, but at the same time I was very afraid to see him. I will be forever grateful to the nurse who helped deliver him. As soon as the doctor removed the placenta the nurse told me that I had a beautiful baby. I knew it wasn't true, not in the traditional sense, but it helped that she didn't think he was a monster. When they finally brought him to me I did the same thing I did with my daughter - I immediately undressed him. I couldn't take off his hat because his head was mostly fluid and I was afraid it would just come apart. I remember in my nightmares the way his overly large head flopped on his tiny little neck. For one horrified minute I thought I was going to break his neck. I tried to uncurl his poor little fingers but I couldn't. They were clenched tight to his palms, but they weren't grown into the skin like I had imagined. He had an adorable little pot belly, which I couldn't figure out, because they said he had no stomach. When I made my way down to his feet I just stopped breathing.

There in my palm, like a gift from a God I don't believe in, were two tiny, beautiful, perfectly formed feet. I felt guilty that this made me so happy. Would I have still loved him if he had deformed feet? Silly question, but I still felt like being happy about that made the rest of his body, in it's pitiful brokenness, somehow less. But I've held on to that image of those perfect feet. It's what I see when I think of my son and the only picture I can look at.

All of this was brought back tonight by my stupid idea to read "My sister's keeper" If I had known what a horrible ending that book had, I never would have read it. But the end got me thinking about my Aiden, and how long it's been since I looked at his pictures. I wondered if I could still remember what he looked like. I can, mostly. But still all I really see are his perfect feet.

The thing I can't remember, the thing that hurts right now, is how small those feet were in my hand. I wish I had gotten a picture of his feet resting in my palm. I have prints, but somehow it just isn't the same. Maybe one day I will try to make a cast from the prints I have.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some things are just not funny

This is a post by Princess Jo that I think everyone should read. This subject is very, very important and I think we should all be aware of how our words can wound. Please stop by and read it.

Ironically, I had an experience with another type of thoughtless joke today - not nearly as bad, but still painful.

I think even without the dead baby hovering just over my heart, today would have been hard. I'd like to say up front that I'm not angry or upset with anyone. Maybe the universe, because I am angry and upset. The guy in this story didn't mean anything; he just thought he was being funny. Unfortunately he picked a very bad joke with exactly the wrong person.

I had to go to an occupational health clinic today to get my knee checked. I twisted it falling into a damn gofer hole out in the field and am now dealing with worker's comp. The doctor was funny and indignant that I hadn't been treated 2 months ago. He kept joking around and was very upbeat. The problem came after he looked at my x-ray. He said I already have arthritis in that knee (at 34 - fantastic), then he said this:

"There are no fractures, but you're pregnant."

For one tenth of a second I had this physical feeling that shot from my chest through my whole body. I think it was an even mix of wild hope and terror. Then before I could say "WHAT!" I realized it was a joke. He took a picture of my damn knee. There was no way he could tell if I was pregnant, which was the point of the joke. It was all I could do not break down right then. He quickly realized he had said something wrong. He stopped smiling and said it was a joke. Then he said "you're not laughing." I only said no and looked away so I wouldn't cry. He kept talking about my knee and I tried to hold it together. A little while later he asked if I was mad at him. I told him no without any other explanation. I thought about telling him why that was such a bad joke but I found I didn't want him to feel like crap for upsetting me. He was a really nice guy that said a really dumb thing. That didn't stop me from calling my mom and sobbing to her on the phone all the way to work.

God. I hate that I can't handle stupid jokes anymore. I hate that the most innocent comment or picture will ruin my whole day. I cannot imagine how my friends that have no living children can make it through even one day. I think I would have dug a deep, deep hole and never come out.

I just hope this shit gets better. I still feel like crying.

Friday, November 12, 2010

No polyps or fibroids

So no reason for the sudden onset of constant bleeding and horrible cramps. Crap.

I don't get the biopsy results until next week but I'm already working on part B of my plan. Since there is nothing obvious to fix I am going to try rebooting. I'm going to ask my doc to do a round of Lupron, which the damn insurance should cover because I have endo, and hope it resets everything. Unfortunately I can't get in to see her until December. Damn holidays!

Enough about my pity party, someone really needs some support -
Please stop by and give my friend B some hugs. She is in a really scary spot right now.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The deck is not stacked against me . . .

because the universe never gave me any cards to begin with.

I'm sad and angry. I want the whole world to go away today.

My biopsy went better than expected. It hurt a lot, but not nearly as bad as I feared. I wasn't really told anything because my doctor wants to look through the pictures first. The sonographer did say it looked like I had a mildly bicornate uterus. How that was missed during two pregnancies, I'm not sure, but I'll ask about it at my follow up. There's my seventh(?) risk factor for infertility. Yay.

The bad part of the day was the other appointment. I had a really bad night on Tuesday because my sciatic pain flared up on the way home. I could barely hold the gas pedal down and by the time I got home I was in AGONY. I decided to try the neurosurgeon my doctor tried to refer me to after my MRI. I don't want to see him because I don't think it will do any good, but my doctor is not willing to treat my pain. That PISSES ME OFF. It costs twice as much to see a specialist and they are also not willing to treat chronic pain without a shit load of useless tests and procedures. I don't have many options because I cannot handle that level of pain. I don't need pain meds every day, but at least once a week it gets unbearable. So I went to my regular doc in hopes of getting a small pain med prescription before I see the surgeon and to ask him about getting a breast reduction. He immediately said that wouldn't help my lower back (I think that's bullshit, my lower back is connected to my upper back) and definitely didn't give me the impression that he would fight the insurance if I really wanted one. He told me twice that he wouldn't do pain management (I know that, asshole) and ignored my objections about taking muscle relaxers all the time.

I'm tired of hurting. I'm tired of getting the runaround from doctors and being prescribed things I can't afford, and then being treated as a drug seeker when I don't do what they told me because IT WONT HELP AND I CAN'T PAY FOR IT!!!

God - I'm so angry. I hate my body. I just don't want to be in this useless broken shell anymore. I want to play with daughter without having to lie down. I want to come home without a headache, enjoy the two hours I have with my daughter, and be able to stay up long enough to spend some time with my husband. I wish I could find a doctor that would listen to me, and work with me, and not pawn me off on someone else. Or - as long as I'm wishing for the impossible - I wish I had a pool and the ability to get a massage every week and go to yoga classes, since that would probably be much more effective.

Whoever said that money can't buy happiness never had to live with infertility and chronic pain with this country's broken health care system.

Bleh. Today is a good day for wine. Lots and lots of wine. And chocolate.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's nice to have a doctor in the house

I called my sister because I've been getting more and more freaked out about this test on Thursday. She is OB but not GYN (weird, right?) so she didn't have a lot of details, but she was able to tell me exactly how much it would hurt and how long. She also reassured me that polyps and fibroids are not as scary as I thought. I think I can handle a D&C and who knows, maybe that will fix things long enough to get pregnant. If nothing else, I'll have lots of information to give the fertility specialist.

So that brings me to my current dilemma: breast reduction or fertility treatment or both? I just can't decide. I would hate to give a baby formula(after my friend's baby died I REALLY don't trust food manufacturers) but many babies do just fine on it and it would be SO NICE to not be in constant pain. Then there is the recovery - does anyone know how painful it is to go from a 34 L to a 34 C? I'm betting very.

If anyone has advice about breast reductions, please chime in. I am very torn.

I'll update on Thursday or whenever I get the biopsy results back.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

very worried

I have my saline ultrasound and endometrial biopsy on Thursday. I am getting really, really worried. There is obviously something very wrong. For the last two months I've been bleeding more often than not, frequently heavily, and accompanied by bad cramps that last several days. Even the progesterone only stopped the bleeding for a few days. After running this morning - which went great, by the way - I started cramping badly again and spotting.

I've never experienced anything like this. I'm hoping it is fibroids but not severe fibroids, so they can be removed and I'll get better. My husband asked me how I would feel if they tell me to get a hysterectomy. How can I answer that? I certainly won't be okay with it. Even if I was prepared to give up on ever having another baby, which I'm not, how can we manage me being out of work that long?

I have this habit of thinking the very worst thing will happen - that attitude of expecting the worst and hoping for the best, without the hoping part. I'd like to say I'm just a worrier but life has proved to me that expecting the worst is often the best way to go. Then I'm not so surprised when things go badly.

Damn, I am tired of having something to worry about. I'm tired of this stupid body not working. I'm so, so sick of being in pain every day and sick of complaining about it. Please universe - just give me this. Don't take my uterus too.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wish me luck

The March of Dimes 5K is tomorrow and I am in awe of how much my family and friends donated. I really wasn't expecting much, everyone is having such a hard time right now. I was really, really touched that so many people contributed.

Hopefully I will do everyone proud and survive the race. I won't be running most of it. My brilliant self decided to make Kira laugh by standing on my head, and oh good god my neck hurts! Idiot! A three mile walk/run sounds like the perfect thing for a stupidity induced migraine. I think it will be well worth it though. I'll post a summary some time this weekend.

In other news - have you seen what Jenni is doing? It is such a wonderful idea and the perfect balm for what I'm sure will be the worst holiday season ever. Check out the link on my sidebar and participate if you can.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A thank you and some really cute pictures

I can't express how touched I am that people I have never met in person have sponsored my walk for Aiden this Saturday. I wish I had something eloquent to say so that you know what it means to me. I know your donation will save someone's baby, and that you did that with my baby in mind gives his life some meaning. As a mother with not much to hold onto of her son, that is a great gift.

With that - here is the cutest baby jaguar ever -

In the first one we told her to smile. In the second one she wanted a picture of her curled up to "sleep". She loved the tail and was so excited, jumping around and growling at everyone. It was so freaking cute.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is NOT fair.

I am bleeding AGAIN. This is the third heavy and PAINFUL period in the last 6 weeks. They are coming exactly two weeks apart, without ovulation. What the hell is my body trying to do to me?

I'm beginning to suspect that I do have fibroids or polyps. I have never had anything like this happen before. It is starting to freak me out and I'm more than a little pissed. This is making Halloween pretty difficult but I'm very grateful it was this weekend and not next (hopefully). I'd be really angry if I couldn't walk for Aiden next week because of my idiot body.

I'm going to share a picture of my daughter in her costume soon. She was so incredibly cute. If you can't look, I understand. She is such a big part of my life that I can't leave her out of these pages, but I don't want to hurt anyone with constant reminders. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday - Halloween has always been my favorite.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hiding

I've been hiding all week. I'm getting kind of sick of it. I knew this winter would be hard. I've started passing all the one year dates. One year since I found out I was pregnant has been and gone. My life has changed so fundamentally that it feels like much, much longer than a year. My relationship with my mother in law is completely destroyed. At the moment I have no desire to try to repair it. My faith that things can work out is gone. My belief in the basic goodness and kindness of most people is gone. Any comfort I had in my body is long, long gone.

This week has been pretty hard. I went to a three day professional conference in another town. I was really looking forward to the trip. I was stoked that I would get two uninterrupted nights of sleep and that I would get to go out and eat with some friends and not worry about much. Ha.

The very first thing that happened is that I sat down in the lobby across from a woman who looked about five months pregnant. Normally that just makes me a little sad, but I don't run away screaming. After all - that did work out for me once. Little did I know. As I was trying to ignore the conversation and congratulations, I hear her tell everyone her baby's name was Aiden. Fucking OW. I left. I went to my room and sobbed for an hour. I missed the only talk that evening and had to make up an excuse. The rest of the conference was spent worrying that I would hear that name again and get stuck listening to her talk about baby showers. There was another very pregnant woman there and I just couldn't seem to get away from them. In a conference with over 100 people, I ended up with them sitting very close to me at almost every talk I made it to.

Which brings me to today. Today is my office Halloween party. Last year at this party I hadn't told anyone but my boss that I was pregnant. There was a woman there who had what I thought was the coolest costume. She had glued a bunch of tentacles, eyes, and teeth to a white t-shirt that was stretched over her pregnant belly. There was red paint everywhere to make it look like a monster was bursting out of her stomach. Now I think that is morbid and gross but at the time I thought it was hilarious. I wanted so badly to tell everyone I was pregnant and do a cute costume like that, but I wasn't sure I was "safe" yet. I knew I couldn't go to that party this year and rather than try to make excuses, I just stayed home. I really do have a migraine but it normally wouldn't have stopped me from going to work.

We have plans to be gone during Christmas and New Years so I have more hiding to do. I've been really angry that all my dates have revolved around holidays but at the same time it gives me a great excuse to disappear. I wish I could just tell people - "I don't want to be happy today, my baby died" and have them understand and be sympathetic. But I don't trust that they will respond the way I need them to. The people that are supposed to love me and support me didn't - why should near strangers? So I'm hiding.

In other news - I haven't had a chance to post this and I'm kicking myself for it. I'm running the 5K for March of Dimes next week. I wanted to do something to help prevent what happened to us. More people should be aware that the standard dose of folic acid may not be enough so I am supporting the research that March of Dimes does to prevent birth defects like Aiden's. I put up a widget if anyway has some spare change to contribute. Well wishes are equally appreciated.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CD who the hell knows

I FINALLY stopped bleeding, the day after taking the first progesterone. I really wish I had thought of that 3 freaking weeks ago. I can't wait to see if my blood count is low.

I was told not to do any um, activities, until after the antibiotic is finished and I get the ultrasound, just to make sure everything is cleared up. I'm sure that means I will ovulate next week and have a perfect 14 luteal phase, cause that's the way my body likes to do things. It is kind of nice to not worry about a cycle, though.

In other news - Adoption applications are DONE! I'm turning them in tomorrow. Woo hoo! I'm nervous, wish me luck.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

That went well I suppose

I love my doctor. She is always kind and never condescending. She remembers my background and doesn't talk down to me. That is so very rare.

Here's the game plan:
Progesterone to stop this ridiculous bleeding, and two antibiotics for one week in case the pain and bleeding are being caused by a bacterial infection. She took a culture but said the one she suspects is very hard to grow and might not show up.

I'm scheduled for a saline enhanced ultrasound and endometrial biopsy on the 11th. Sounds painful. She wants to check for polyps and fibroids and see what my lining is doing. I'm really grateful she is trying to do what she can for me in regards to fertility testing. Never once did she recommend birth control. She seems to have a good opinion of the one and only fertility specialist around here, so come January I may have new round of appointments and testing.

I find myself with very little hope that any of this will do any good. I'll be thrilled if I can have another baby but I just have a feeling it will never happen. Just like I had a feeling I would lose Aiden. I'm not super depressed because the adoption plan is coming along, at least we have a plan B. But I will always regret not getting a chance to hear that first little cry again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Appointment tomorrow

I've now been bleeding for 20 days. This isn't the first time that's happened but things are definitely way more screwed up then they've ever been before. I don't know what to expect. If she tells me to take birth control I may explode. I'm nervous something new is wrong that I can't fix. I'm worried that my insurance won't cover anything. I wish I could just stop dealing with this damn, useless, broken body of mine.

I'll update as soon as I can, please keep your fingers crossed that I get good news for once.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wow. Really?

Oh, my mother in law.

I wrote this 29 days after giving birth to Aiden. Things have really only gotten worse since then. This week really takes the cake.

Last week I stopped by my MIL's house to get something to surprise my husband with for our anniversary. The previous week she had demanded that we watch her stupid, spoiled dog. The dog managed to destroy our rented house in 2 days. My husband took her back to MIL's house and left her alone (with adequate food and water) for four days. I wasn't sure if the dog was dead or MIL was just pissed that we didn't watch her the whole week, since she hadn't called us, so when I got to her house I was listening for the dog. She normally wears a collar with bells on it and you can hear her coming. I got to the front door and saw that the screen door and front window were open. I didn't check if the door was locked but did hear bells. I assumed the dog was okay and MIL wasn't home. I unlocked the door and went in. I didn't notice until much later that the dog was not wearing her collar. My MIL's back door was wide open and some lights were on. At first I thought she was home and her car was gone - it is a POS and always in the shop. Then I thought she had run to the store and not locked up.

Well - it turns out she was robbed. The bells I heard were the bells on her backdoor. They rang as the robbers ran out the back door, while I was coming in the front.

My MIL called my husband that night and cried and cried about the $700 and jewelry that was stolen. She was apparently unconcerned that I had been lucky not to get hurt. But here is the good part: the woman who didn't call us for 2 months after OUR SON DIED complained to her son that he didn't call and check on her. She actually said, "since you can't call me and check on me." And this phone call came on our anniversary.

Today she called to bitch at my husband that he needs to come over and fix her damn shower, install a wall-mounted safe, and find out what kind of computer she should get.

My husband showed much more restraint than I would have. I'm sure you can imagine what I would say - it starts with an F and ends in you.

Bitch.

Monday, October 18, 2010

really TMI - don't say I didn't warn you

I love my Diva cup, but days like today make even me squeamish. I have not stopped bleeding since my period started on the 1st of the month. It was mostly light after the first few days but all of a sudden on Sunday it got much, much heavier. I also had severe cramps and still do. I'm starting to get worried, this is really weird, even for me.

I'm bleeding so heavy that I filled up the cup in a couple of hours. I had to dump it at a gas station while I was out in the field and it looked like someone had been murdered in the bathroom. There was so much blood I really wondered if I should go to the hospital. I'm still kind of nervous although the flow has slowed down now. The cramps are bad, motrin is not helping. I just have no idea what the hell is going on. I was going to try to get my GYN's help in conning the insurance company and have her order an HSG for suspected fibroids. I didn't really think I had them but my insurance won't cover an HSG if it is for blocked tubes. So now I am wondering if maybe I need one anyway. This is the second cycle that has gone on and on, but the first with the crazy heavy bleeding.

I have an appointment on Thursday, just keep your fingers crossed that I make it through the boat ride tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random thoughts

I'm over the moon to hear that B is finally pregnant again. Please stop by and give her a hug so she knows she has some support during what will be a very scary 9 months.

I forgot to light a candle for Aiden. I wasn't even home and right now I don't really feel guilty about it. I guess it's because it is a day someone else picked and really has no relation to my life. I suppose I also didn't want to turn our anniversary (the 18th) into another painful day like Christmas and New Years will always be now.

I decided to call a fertility specialist and am kind of pissed at myself that I never looked into this before. I always thought that we would never be able to afford it. I didn't realize that the 10-20K price tag was really only for IVF. Even though I knew about IUIs and knew I probably just need a medicated and monitored cycle, I just never realized that might not be out of our reach. From what I was told we may be able to get a couple of IUIs for under 2K, which is really doable. So maybe I'll put off that breast reduction a little longer.

I'm almost done with my adoption paperwork, but my husband hasn't even started his. I am trying very hard not to get angry. I know he cares and wants to do this, he just doesn't have the insane voice in his head demanding that we do everything NOW!

So - a little bit of hope, I guess. But winter is coming and it has almost been a year. There is something just so sad about that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Paperwork hell

I wish I had more time to post here. I have so many things to talk about. Right now I am trying desperately to get this adoption application filled out. Other people must not sleep very much. There are just not enough hours in the day for a full time job, a family, and friends. I have so many demands on my time that I had to schedule a day a month in advance to spend doing something I enjoyed without my family.

Anyway - if anyone knows people that are dealing with foster adoption, I would love to know. I'm having a hard time finding answers to my many, many questions. This paperwork is taking forever and I'm feeling the strain of not having it done. I think a master's thesis would have been a lot easier. Yikes!

Wish me and my poor arthritic hands luck, I think I'm going to need it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kicking you when you are down

The universe seems to be good at this.

I just read this post by B and it got me thinking about what I'm dealing with right now.

I'm sure I've mentioned that my suck ass employer doesn't offer my position any benefits whatsoever. I get paid only when I work. So when I left abruptly for a month after learning my baby was dying, it started a financial meltdown that we are just now starting to pull out of. We lost our house in Idaho that we spent four years remodeling. We had to file bankruptcy so we lost our excellent credit rating. We lost what little savings we had paying for the lawyer. And now, we may lose our chance at adopting this year.

I'm pissed. This is NOT FAIR! We both have college degrees. We have both worked hard to find good jobs. It is NOT our fault the economy collapsed and I lost my job. It is NOT our fault that as soon as we recovered (somewhat) from that, our baby died. Yet if I ask a rental agency about a property and mention that we had a bankruptcy, they do the equivalent of hanging up on me.

I don't understand this. Aren't there thousands and thousands of people with ruined credit, foreclosures, and rocky employment histories out there? Are the rental agencies really that blind? We have never, EVER been late on a bill not related to the bankruptcy. Our rent and utilities and car payments are all up to date. So I'm not trustworthy because my baby died? Fuck you.

I'm hoping we can find a person renting their house themselves. Otherwise I'm not sure we can get a bigger place that will allow us to adopt more than one girl. Right now if we did a home study that is what we would be approved for, and how many healthy girls are there that have no siblings and would be safe with a four year old? Not many.

For awhile after Aiden died I was able to ignore the "small stuff" but this doesn't feel small to me, and why do I have to deal with petty bullshit when all I want is to hold my baby?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Think of one happy thought, and you can fly

Or so the song goes.

I've been really angry that my whole pregnancy came down to one horrible, life-changing decision and in the trauma of those two weeks I lost all of the good moments in my pregnancy. I thought they were gone for good but I think maybe I just wasn't ready to see them.

All along there was a wonderful memory close to my heart, I just wasn't seeing it for what it was. My husband and I nicknamed our baby the little alligator. The name has stuck so that we even got a little stuffed gator to remember him by. The name comes from something my daughter said. I wish I could remember how far along I was, but one day we were laying in bed, my daughter and I, and I was asking her if she wanted a little brother or sister. She first said sister and then said brother and then said two sisters. I laughed and exclaimed, "Two! Do you think there are two babies in there?"

She giggled and told me there were two babies. Then her eyes got big and in a very dramatic voice she informed me that there were ALLIGATORS in my tummy. And they will BITE me! We laughed and tickled and moved on to other things. I thought that was freaking adorable and told everyone, and Aiden's nickname was born.

All this time I've been calling him my little alligator, without ever really connecting the joy of that day to the name. I remembered where it came from, I just couldn't remember the joy involved. It was like I just couldn't see the sunshine in that memory because the hole I was living in was so very dark. I lost all ability to even REMEMBER the sun, it became someone else's fantasy that I didn't really believe in.

Suddenly one day this week I was driving home and something made me remember that day. And I smiled. It was so odd, and so liberating. Maybe I will believe the sun is there. Maybe I can even see a ray or two.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This helps

I've been looking for some public way of bringing our loss out of the shadows. I keep trying to think up catchy bumper sticker phrases to say that my son died, and I'm fucking sad. I found this on sadkitty's blog (Thank you for the link!) and it's perfect. I'm going to make it into a sticker for my car, big enough to be easily seen.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Apologies - I promise I care

I have been trying for 3 weeks now to comment on blogs. I have been reading and trying to respond but every time I try to submit a comment it just blanks out the comment form and does nothing else. It seems to only be an issue with blogger. I've tried 3 different browsers but not a different computer. Has anyone else had this issue? It is really pissing me off that I can't comment. To me that is the whole purpose of blogging.

I will keep trying to find a way to fix this. In the meantime I can try email, it just takes longer if I don't already have your email. As always, feel free to email me.

And that reminds me - I've gotten this question a couple of times now.

If you (god forbid) have a friend that receives a poor prenatal diagnosis and needs an ear, I ABSOLUTELY want you to give them my blog and email address. The main reason I talk so openly about the heart breaking decision we made is that I found zero support for what we were going through. I only found the two support sites (only 2!) and various blogs after the fact. I hoped to prevent that for at least one person out there if I possibly could.

I just wanted to say I'm still around and I still care, I'm keeping up as much as I can and hopefully will be able to comment again soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The land of the free and the home of the destitute

I fucking hate this country, and this state especially.

I'm so fucking angry that I had to go back to work 11 days after giving birth to a dead baby.

I'm so angry I had to hide what I was doing from even the hospital so that my baby was spared pain.

I'm so angry that I had to file bankruptcy because of the month of pay I did miss.

I'm so angry that because I filed bankruptcy I can't rent a larger house, which means I can't adopt more than one female child - of which there aren't any, by the way.

I'm so angry that I can't pursue fertility treatment because my insurance won't cover it.

I'm so angry that I can't afford couples counseling and my medical expenses AND the things that we need to be able to adopt.

I don't know where to go from here.

I'm so lost, unhappy, and overwhelmed.

I just want another child. Is that so much to ask?

I'm trying so hard to have patience and faith that things will get better. I have never believed that what will be, will be. I have always fought so hard for what I wanted and right now it is grinding me into dust.

I need a partner and my husband is not being one. I don't know what to do because when we try to talk, we just yell. Couples counseling is so expensive and my last therapist went loony toons (seriously - I'm not talking about a mental breakdown, she is just nuts), so now I have to find another one.

It feels like I am trapped in quicksand. The more I struggle to make things better, the harder it pulls me in and the faster it suffocates me.

I knew this meltdown was coming. I tried to set aside a day for me to decompress and life again intervened. My husband has no idea (and yes, I have told him - repeatedly) how much I need this. He is hurt that I need to be away from him. How do I deal with that? Do I be a selfish bitch and take the time anyway? Do I beg? Do I ignore the impending explosion and hope it won't cause too much damage? There just doesn't seem to be any good answers.

I'm all ears if anyone has advice. How does a lifelong people-pleaser get through to a somewhat selfish and very insecure spouse that she just needs time to herself?

Friday, September 10, 2010

writer's block

I keep thinking of things I want to talk about but it never gets any farther than two or three sentences. Also, by the time I get home and get everyone fed and my daughter in bed, I just don't have the energy to delve into my psyche.

A mini update is manageable, so I'll fill everyone who's still around in on what's been going on lately.

We have 3 MAPP classes left but the one scheduled this following Monday was cancelled so it is actually 4 weeks. I'm getting nervous and anxious. My horrible self esteem is rearing its ugly head. I keep thinking that they will not want me. When I was filling out the paperwork I got really worried. I ended up marking nearly all of the negative boxes under the "what kind of childhood you had" section. I went from thinking that they would be impressed that I made it through all that to thinking that no one would want someone so damaged taking their kids.

Sigh.

I guess I do have something to talk about. I think I will come back to it though. I want to go watch an old movie with my friend and relax. I was going to make her watch Steel Magnolias but I don't think I can handle that one tonight. Ditto with Beaches. I think I will go with the psycho thriller I told her about, Malice. My friend is much younger and hasn't seen any of the movies I spent my teens and twenties watching so I have to catch her up.

How is everyone? Anyone else really struggling with self doubt?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Forced rest and a confession

I wanted to thank everyone who offered sympathy for my feelings of being overwhelmed. I wanted everyone to know I'm not a masochist. Of course I would take a sick day for mental health, if I could.

But I won't get paid. Our state has a type of employment that was supposed to be for temporary work. They abuse it horribly. It was intended to allow departments to employ people on temporary, grant funded projects, without the expense of paying benefits. Unfortunately, they now use it for EVERY grant funded position, no matter how long the grant is for (the one I'm working under is from a federal source and has no expiration). So they get away with employing people for years, at full time, with NO benefits. No sick leave, no vacation, no way to get health insurance, no retirement. If you are not at work, you do not get paid. We can't even accept donated sick leave from someone else. And not only do I not get paid for state holidays, I am expressly not allowed to work on one. It is monstrously unfair. It is why I went back to work 11 days after giving birth to a dead infant. It would have been sooner if I could have stood up. So cue today, when I am forced to stay home because my period was so bad this month that I couldn't function without a pretty high dose of narcotics. I haven't slept more than a couple of fitful hours since Saturday night so I had to stay home today. I'm not sure I could have driven to work safely, and I couldn't stand up straight this morning in any case. So now I am being forced to rest, which I am really angry about because I have now lost the time I saved up for the stupid holiday next week. I am so joining the union and filing a lawsuit for this. It is not right to treat state CAREER employees like irresponsible part time teenagers. I'm fucking sick of it.

I have tried to find another job, there just isn't anything open right now. That's the case pretty much everywhere.

Anyway - enough of that. Here is the real reason I wanted to post today. I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now. As noted here, the later part of this cycle has mirrored the dates of the cycle when I got pregnant with Aiden. This has caused a lot of anxiety and bad memories to circulate in my head lately. The main one I keep thinking of is that I don't miss my son.

A fellow blogger said recently that had the hospital given her another live baby she would have been content. As terrible as some people may think that sounds, I agreed. What I can't forget or overlook is that the baby I actually had would not have lived. In some ways that makes him not really real to me. Of course I loved him, still love him, but it is an abstract kind of love. I think of my Aiden as a fragment of a soul that was trapped in a broken body and released to go back out into the world when we let him go. I never would have gotten to meet that soul. Had his body survived to breathe on its own, he still would have been trapped. Unable to connect, not really here. Sometimes I think that is a horrible way to think of a very disabled child, but it is what I believe. I don't think it is a kindness to keep life for the sake of just breathing. There should be something there; some spark, some connection. Anything less is just torment for everyone involved. This leaves me with the thought that I don't miss my son. How can I miss something I never held, would never have been able to hold? How can I miss something so nebulous as a tiny little fragment of a soul that never developed? I think I just miss the possibilities, the might have beens. But it is such a circular thought. I miss what my son might have been had he not been so deformed. But he was always so deformed, he started out that way as a small bundle of cells. So how can I miss what was never really there? But if he was never here, why am I so sad? Why can't I forgive my body for making something so broken? These are questions I just can't answer, and they lead to another confession: I am beginning to hate his name.

Every time I type his name, my computer underlines it in red. For some reason the accepted spelling in the metal minds of computers should be Aidan. But that was not the spelling I chose and changing it seems so wrong somehow. Like his name is interchangeable, so he was too. Any old baby will do. I haven't gotten to the part of my/his/our story where we chose a name. Very briefly - we didn't put much thought into it like we did with our daughter. This was only because we had a very short time to make decisions and we didn't want the baby to die without a name. If we were going to force him to leave us, we wanted to say goodbye with something other than Hey You. It felt so disrespectful somehow to not have a name. After a few days of searching online when we could, my husband asked if there was a name I liked. I had liked Aiden from my teenage years and I liked the meaning (flame or fire). We never would have chosen it for a living child as it is FAR too popular. We like somewhat unique names. But in the limited time we had to choose, it was acceptable to us. I'm not sure I really regret that, I think I may have felt worse if he did die without a name. However, because of the way we chose his name I have always felt guilty about using it. Now I am actually starting to dislike it. It is not the name I would have chosen. It doesn't fit in my head and it's edges seem to scratch more every day. Instead I think I will start using his middle name, which we did give a lot of thought, and he didn't receive until he had been gone for weeks. My little Wren. I think I am happier with that, and the damn computer likes it too.

I'm sorry I couldn't hold you Wren, I wish I cold have known you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No time

I have no time for me. No time to write, no time to read the beautiful words of all the wonderful people I've met here. No time to remember that one year ago today I had just started my new job and was still unaware that I was pregnant. No time to be so frustrated that I've been bleeding since one day after I ovulated. No time to be aggravated at myself for being frustrated; after all, there was a damn reason I had to resort to clomid. It's not going to fix itself, even if I secretly hope it will. I'm sad, and exhausted, and so antsy. I so badly need a break and I just don't see a way to get one. I find myself hoping I'll get fired so I can get unemployment and food stamps. I could spend a few weeks at home, pretending to look for work (like my husband tends to do when he is out of work). That tells me how desperate I'm getting. I love my job - it's the best one I've ever had.

Something has to give.

On a more positive note, I saw something really cool while out sampling the other day. Don't look if you are tenderhearted and like frogs.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear body, I HATE YOU

I loath you. You suck. You really suck. If I could get to my ovaries they would be smashed up bloody grapes on the pavement. Maybe my uterus would be useful as crab bait.

This is just so fucking unfair.

I gave up; I wanted no more to do with this horrible waiting, and trying, and hoping, and not getting what I so desperately wanted. I FUCKING GAVE UP!!! Two rounds of clomid and a pathetic response. Over 40 ovulation tests in 3 months because you can't ever do something the same way twice (Oh - except today). Twenty some-odd negative pregnancy tests. Three years of trying for another baby. One dead fetus. Dozens of bloody days of excruciating pain. For nothing. For a tiny wooden urn filled with ashes.

And now, when I'm trying to move on, what do you do? On the one year anniversary of the conception of your most spectacular failure, after 48 days of really confusing signals - you give me the most positive OPK test EVER.

Some of you may be confused as to why I'm so angry. After all, a glaringly positive OPK to an infertile is pretty good, right? But, I planned from the very beginning of this mess to make sure a subsequent pregnancy didn't follow the same dates as Aiden. I realize it's superstitious and crazy, but I can't bring myself to get past the irrational fear. I don't want to relive every milestone and every date from my pregnancy with Aiden. I KNOW I would be a basket case. I also don't want a "do over" pregnancy, as if Aiden never existed and the last year didn't happen. I was freaked out on Friday because I thought I ovulated then, which wasn't the same date but really close. We had sex Thursday night and I told him that was it, I wasn't risking getting pregnant this cycle. That's with the laughable assumption that it would be that easy.

I'm angry because in the 7 years I've been using OPK's, I've never had a test where the line was darker. It has always been the same as the control. This test, on the one year anniversary of Aiden's conception, is REALLY positive. If it were any other month, I would jump at the chance to get pregnant. What if this never happens again? Why the hell is my body doing this? How is it possible for someone with such incredibly erratic periods, with an interrupted pregnancy, to ovulate on the same fucking day two years in a row? When I had a period in the middle of July I was crushed, but at the same time relieved that I wouldn't be dealing with mirror cycles. Now this. I'm too upset to even think about trying to conceive. Just the thought of it causes my heart to seize up in mindless terror.

And I gave up already!!

I absolutely cannot do anything to try to get pregnant right now. I am emotionally incapable. But I hate myself a little for not trying. And I hate my body even more for making this something I even have to think about.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Learning the hard way to never say never - Part II

We had the amnio on Dec 22, two days before everyone would be closed for FOUR FUCKING DAYS for the Christmas weekend. There was a slight chance we could get the initial results back before the holiday, but absolutely none that we would get the full results back. The wait was agonizing. We were so sure we were dealing with trisomy 18 that when we got the initial results back on Dec. 23rd we were in shock. They tested for trisomy 18, 21, and 13. They all came back normal. The genetics counselor was the one to tell us this. Thank god, we didn't have to talk to the asshole doctor again. She told us that they still thought it was a trisomy, just that it might be mosaic (not present in all cells). She was careful to emphasize that the outlook was bleak no matter what the results were, given the severity of the baby's defects. She was the one to tell us what the actual defects were. She answered the questions that the doctor wouldn't. I asked her about the ethics committee and although she also didn't think they would okay an induction, she was much more sympathetic.

I don't remember exactly when we decided on a name. Neither of us wanted our baby to die without a name. We had been waiting to find out the sex before looking for one, so we didn't even have a list. Sean and I both spent hours combing through baby names, trying to find something meaningful that we would both like. Nothing struck us. Sean asked if there was any name I liked and I said there was but it wasn't one I would have used for a living child. Both of us are against really popular names and the name I liked was VERY popular. I told him what it was and he didn't hate it. A couple of days went by and I couldn't find anything better so we decided to call our baby Aiden. It seems important to use his name for the rest of this story.

Usually a full chromosomal analysis from an amnio takes 7 to 10 days. They have to culture the cells to get enough to run the tests. The genetics counselor warned us that we might not get the results before the New Year's holiday. The exact sequence of events is all jumbled now but I remember frantically searching for a humane way to end the pregnancy. I DID NOT want to give up my son, but we were convinced that he would suffer, if he wasn't already. I asked the genetics counselor and my OB what we could do. Without the hospitals cooperation, our only option was an abortion clinic in a large city 6 hours away. I called the one I was told about and asked about the procedure. At 20 weeks they do what is called a D&E. (If you've had one - please skip this part, you don't need to read it) I can't go into the detail here, you can look it up if you want, but the description was horrid. I was sobbing and barely understandable when I asked if they anesthetize the baby first. She said they give an injection to stop the heart before they do anything else. While that was reassuring, the knowledge that I couldn't see or hold my son, that he wouldn't be intact, was more than I could take. I also couldn't imagine walking into a waiting room filled with perfectly healthy babies that just weren't wanted. I've always been pro-choice but that was just too much to ask of my right then. My heart was being ripped from my chest by slow degrees and it felt like the medical community was just twisting the knife. I thought about carrying to term, although the thought of walking around for months visibly pregnant with a dying fetus was pretty horrible too. I called the genetics counselor back and she gave me some advice that I will be forever grateful for. She told me to call another fetal specialist in town, one who might have other "options". I asked my OB about him and she agreed to talk to him on my behalf. Later that day, a Monday, his nurse called me and told me that we had another option.

She told me that the doctor does reductions in the case of high order multiples. She told me that he was willing to do the same procedure for us if we paid cash and didn't tell anyone. That way, we could show up at the hospital with an already dead baby and they would treat us like any other grieving parents, instead of criminals trying to murder their baby. I got off the phone with her and WAILED. I can't even call that crying. It was the most soul wrenching, painful moment of my life. In that moment I really accepted that our son was going to die, no matter what I did. The only difference between then and later was how much Aiden would suffer. The really horrible part was that the doctor was going on vacation right after the New Year. The only time we could see him was December 30th. We would have to make the decision that day because by the time he got back it would be illegal to perform the procedure because I would be past 24 weeks. We had exactly two days to decide the single most important thing of our lives. I still wasn't completely convinced that termination was the best choice. I just did not know what to do. Even though the outcome wouldn't have changed his prognosis, I wanted to have the amnio results before I had to decide. I just needed an answer, some type of reason. I was on the phone with the genetics counselor daily. We finally got the results the morning before the consultation with the new doctor. Aiden had an extremely rare deletion of the 2nd chromosome. I've only found two living people with it. One is an adult male that has to be restrained constantly or he hurts himself, the other is a little girl that leads a fairly normal life, although she has severe delays. Neither of them had any of the defects that Aiden had.

We took this information with us to the new doctor. We had researched as much as we could in the few hours before. My sister, a medical resident, had flown in the night before to help me. She went with us to our appointment to help ask questions and give support. The doctor was a MUCH nicer, much more sympathetic person than the first one. He talked to us like we were human beings and answered all our questions. He did the same scan the first doctor had done and told us what no one had bothered to until then. Aiden's defects were very severe*, there was an extremely small chance he would live, but he would be a vegetable. The clenched hands and lack of leg movement indicated severe neurological damage. However, if he was born and his heart was stable, we would have had NO CHOICE but to hand him over for surgery to close the spina bifida and put in a feeding tube. The doctor told us that if we refused those treatments, that social services would remove Aiden from us and a judge would order it done anyway. There was not a great chance of him surviving surgeries, assuming he lived that long. So we were faced with multiple surgeries on a vegetative child, immediately after birth. We would probably never take him home, and he would never talk, walk, smile, eat on his own, and would probably be deaf and blind. I couldn't imagine the horror of having enough awareness to register hideous pain but not be able to see, hear, or communicate in any way. When he told us that, the decision was made. I wanted more than anything to hold by poor baby and tell him I loved him while he was still alive. But in the end, my reasons for wanting to carry him longer were all selfish. I wanted him with me. I wanted to smell him and and feel his skin and sing to him, just once. But I had to let him go. I had to. He was so small, so defenseless, so dependent on me to make the best decision for him. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do when I told that doctor to do the procedure. Part of me died right then and there. One thing that I resented, and still do, is that I was the only one who could make this decision. My husband thought it was the right thing to do but would go along with whatever I could live with. Ultimately, it was all up to me. It was a crushing burden and I've never felt so alone.

After I was prepped and we said our goodbyes the doctor injected a numbing agent into my belly. It hurt more than anything had so far. My husband was holding one hand and my sister the other. We were all sobbing. I wanted to watch but couldn't bring myself to. I knew if I saw Aiden flinch I would freak. The doctor used a needle like the amnio needle to inject potassium chloride into his heart. It seemed to take forever. I imagined him moving the needle around, trying to get it placed exactly right, while Aiden moved around, completely unaware he was about to die. My sister watched the monitor and I still want to ask her if the doctor got the right spot on the first try. I can't stand the thought that Aiden hurt for more than a second so I haven't been brave enough to ask. It was over so quick. One long, painful stick, some valium, and a dead baby. I was pretty numb. I know I went home and somehow interacted with my daughter, I don't know how. We had decided to wait until the following morning (Thursday) to go to my OB's office and from there to the hospital to be induced. That way we would be sure of having my OB on call. So that was our last night with both our children in the same house. One alive, and one dead.

I can't believe how long this is getting. I think I can finish in one more post, I have to stop before I get a migraine. In a way the next post will be the easiest one to write, as I've done it before. At this point all the agony was past and we had only to say our final goodbyes. One more physical trauma to get through.

*I did this elsewhere but I wanted it connected to this post. Here is the most complete list of Aiden's defects, taken from the records I have:

-Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) in both lateral ventricles and the third ventricle

-type II Arnold Chiari malformation (brain sits too low and is squeezed into the spinal chord - this is an extremely painful condition that the first doctor did not tell me about even though I specifically asked)

-agenesis of the corpus collosum (the structure separating the hemispheres of the brain is missing)

-meningomyelocele in the lower spine (spina bifida - the spinal chord is outside the body)

-ventral septal defect, atrial septal defect, and ventricular hypertrophy (heart defects, caused by the failure of the neural tube to close in early development)

-bilateral (both sides) cleft lip and palate.

-none of the three ultrasounds found a stomach bubble. Most likely there was no stomach or the trachea did not reach the stomach.

-enlarged kidneys

-too much amniotic fluid

-severe growth restriction

-clenched hands

-rocker bottom feet (his feet looked perfect after he was born but his legs were deformed)

Learning the hard way to never say never - Part I

I've heard this twice in the last week:

"I don't know why I need prenatal testing, I won't terminate no matter what is wrong with the baby."

It's a wonderful sentiment, that those people would love a baby no matter what. It's what we would all like to believe we are capable of. Unfortunately that sentiment is born of ignorance and naiveté. Those people don't really understand what "no matter what" means. I'm not saying this to be harsh or to criticize. I really hope the vast majority of people never find out what that means. I just need to say how much it hurts to hear that, and how much I would give to have that kind of ignorance.

Four days from now marks the anniversary of the conception of my only son. The son we wanted badly and tried so hard to get. The son that we had to let go. Some people may think we are horrible people for deciding to end a pregnancy. Some people think that we were playing God. Some people are kinder and just think that while they don't condemn us for our decision, they would never make the same one.

I've been meaning for awhile to record all of Aiden's story here and now is a good time. The discussion of prenatal testing and termination are so much a part of his story that it feels right to talk about both at the same time.

One year ago I was on my first round of Clomid after trying for 18 months to get pregnant again. I had developed a luteal phase defect on top of all my other problems so I asked my OB/GYN for help. We couldn't afford an RE so it was just a case of trying the Clomid and see if it worked. It did. Seven days after I ovulated I started bleeding. I cried myself to sleep thinking that my period had started too early again and I wasn't going to get pregnant. The next day the bleeding stopped and didn't start again. Five days later I felt weird and took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I was over the moon. This was so easy! We were going to get our second child and then we were done. No more trying desperately to get pregnant, no more miserable pregnancies. One more beautiful baby to cuddle and love.

My OB tested my HCG levels because there was a decent risk of an ectopic. The numbers did not double in 48 hours. I spent the next few days panicking. I was sure I was having a miscarriage. My OB put me on progesterone to try to help the pregnancy. At 7 weeks we had an ultrasound and everything looked fine. The baby was measuring a little small but the doctor never mentioned that to me. I found out later. So I was happy again. The pregnancy wasn't nearly as hard as my first had been. I was pretty nauseous but doing okay with work. I had planned to get the early prenatal testing done but time slipped away from me and it was too late, so I decided to just wait for the quad screen. The heartbeat was fine, I assumed the baby was okay. If felt like time was flying. Before I knew it I was feeling the baby moving, starting to show, and getting really excited about the 20 week ultrasound. I had waited until after I was "miscarriage safe" and not told anyone until after 12 weeks (wow - was I naive). I told everyone at work when my ultrasound was. We read "I'm a big sister" to my daughter every night. I even thought about taking my daughter with me to the ultrasound (thank GOD I changed my mind).

Friday, December 18th. My husband and I took the whole day off. We went out to lunch to celebrate the new baby and my new job. We meandered through a cute baby store and almost bought a bunch of big sister stuff for our 3 year old. We waltzed into the OB's office so happy and self-assured. I had planned just right. My bladder was full but not too full so I wasn't squirmy and miserable. The tech smeared the goo and went to work.

The very first thing I saw was the very large black circles on the top of the baby's head. I knew that meant fluid. In a weird moment of absolute denial, I said nothing to the tech or my husband. We talked about how different this one was. It was behaving and not jumping all over the place, making measurements hard. The tech was pretty quiet. I didn't notice. She asked if we wanted to know the sex and we said yes. She found the genitals and labeled them "boy stuff", it made us laugh. She left the room for a few minutes to see if the doctor wanted a look. I still wasn't alarmed.

She said we could go to the waiting room and the doctor would call us back. We laughed and talked quietly about how strange it would be to have a boy. I asked my husband if he thought his brother, who had lost his twin boys at 8 months, would be upset. We talked about names and wondered if Kira would be upset about not getting a sister.

The nurse called us back. The doctor sat down in front of me and said, point blank: "There are several things about the baby that concern me."

I remember my eyes filing with tears. I tried to listen but the list was so LONG, I just tuned it out after a while. I kept thinking, "did I do this?" I thought about the early signs, that we should have miscarried. I questioned why he was still alive. I thought I should have told Sean about the fluid, than he wouldn't have been so shocked. I thought I deserved this. This was the disaster I was expecting.

My doctor made it clear from the beginning that the prognosis was very poor. She refused to predict if he would live or not, or really explain what she meant by very poor. But it was pretty obvious what she thought. She said it looked like a trisomy - probably 18. She said trisomy 18 is universally fatal in boys. She told us that the hospital here, even though it is catholic, would permit an early induction (before the age of viability) if the fetal anomalies were incompatible with life. Apparently there is an ethics committee that okay's these things. She referred us to the maternal fetal specialist for an amnio. This happened on a Friday at 4pm. The earliest they could get us in was Tuesday.

I don't remember what we did the next 4 days. We didn't go back to work. We called our family and friends and told them something was terribly wrong. We cried a lot. We talked about what we would do. I researched trisomy 18 and tried to decide whether to carry to term or not.

Tuesday came and we went to our appointment. When the doctor came in he introduced himself and then just stared at us. I was a little disconcerted but so stressed out that I didn't give it much thought. I told him that we knew it was bad and that we wanted to know if he thought the defects were incompatible with life. We wanted to know if the brain defects were causing him pain and if it looked like his heart would make it through a full term pregnancy. He didn't really respond, just told us that he had to take a look first. He did a high level ultrasound that included an echo cardiogram. He didn't really talk to us the whole time. They couldn't get a look at the baby's feet because he wasn't really moving his legs. What I had thought were kicks were actually the baby arching his back and throwing out his arms. It looked like his legs were paralyzed. On the higher resolution I could clearly see the cleft lip and palette, the clenched hands, and the water on the brain. I cried the whole time.

The doctor finished and left to put his notes together. He came back in to do the amnio which was quick and painful and then talked to us. He also said the prognosis was very poor. But that was ALL he said. When we asked if he thought the ethics committee would allow induction he was very emphatic that they would not. He avoided all of my specific questions about the baby's brain and heart. He told me the brain defects were mild and would not cause the baby any pain. He also assumed the baby had trisomy 18. He referred us to a patient's blog, saying that his parents "celebrated his life" when I asked what happened to their baby. When I asked "what do we do now" he said, "just wait". The bastard didn't even have the guts to tell me that this was a fatal condition. He brushed off or ignored every question we had, and I got the impression it was because he was totally against the idea of interrupting the pregnancy.

I have to stop here, next time I will get into the amnio results and what happened after that.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Close encounters of the fangy kind




While standing in chest deep water in the middle of a stream, one of these ever so friendly creatures happened by. He was less than amused to find me in his way. I was less than amused to find myself in his way, especially since the only way I could rectify that was to back up, into the deeper water. So I got a quick lesson in how to tread water while your waders are filling up and your heart rate is up to about 280.

I love my job.

Everyone will be pleased to know that both the snake and myself made it through the encounter unharmed. And trust me, I was WAY more scared of him than he was of me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My brain is on vacation

Since the rest of me can't go.

I am really wanting to get Aiden's full story permanently posted on here but I just haven't had the time to allow myself to fall apart. I've written bits and pieces on Glow and other places and it is always hard. I always end up sobbing hard. I think it will be cathartic to do this and it is really important to me. I just can't seem to get it done. I will keep trying, hopefully soon I can get it finished.

I miss you Aiden. I think of you every day. Kisses and hugs little alligator.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Self pity

That has got to be the most destructive emotion there is. Sorry about the whiny, self indulgent post last time. I really hope I didn't hurt anyone, if I did I'm very sorry. Just to be clear, I'm certainly not jealous of my friend's most recent pregnancy, I'm jealous that she has two kids. I only wanted two and it feels really unfair that I only got to have one. Yesterday I was thinking about how petty that complaint was and realized that how I feel about my friend's two kids is probably how a lot of people feel about my one kid. Why am I so special that my first pregnancy ended in a beautiful, healthy child? Why can't I just be grateful?

I was feeling sorry for myself the other day. I had a tough week and was feeling very overwhelmed when my friend called to ask if I would watch her kids. I really, really wish there was something I could do to help my friend. I don't understand her desire to have eight kids, or to be pregnant with an infant at home, but I do understand her pain. I understand that she is angry with her body and feeling hopeless so I wish I could ease that for her. I wish she could have her eight kids. I wish I could have my two. I wish all the people I read could have their one. And I wish I could get rid of petty and hurtful jealousies and moments of self pity.

Fortunately I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut and just be there for my friend.
Even before I talked to her I was feeling bad for my reaction. After I talked to her I felt even worse. She kept apologizing, saying she knew her loss was not as big as mine (I don't agree and I told her that). I felt about an inch tall. I only have one loss to her more than a dozen. Who am I to be jealous? Idiot.

Anyway - I wanted to get that off my chest and talk about what happened last week that sent me into a tail spin.

I was taking the 24 hour HAZ.WOPER class for the oil spill stuff. It's your standard safety class that spends many hours telling you not to stick a fork in an electric socket. The instructor was interesting and had lots of "war" stories, which unfortunately involved lots of dead children. He was at the tsunami and nine eleven so we got a first hand glimpse of some of the really horrible tragedies the world has seen in the last ten years. It was really hard to hear some of the stuff he talked about. On the second day of class I asked if there was somewhere I could look for a list of chemicals and the long term health effects of exposure. Over my ten year career as a chemist I was exposed to some nasty stuff, in some cases very large quantities of nasty stuff. I wanted to know if any of them were mutagenic or carcinogenic. He laughingly asked me if my kids glowed. I laughed for a second and looked away. My mental reply was, "Well, no, but one died of birth defects." I thought about telling him he should be careful what he says, but I didn't think it was really worth upsetting anyone. And I find I don't like to share Aiden and his story with just anyone. That exchange and the horror stories really colored my whole week. I frequently found myself dwelling on the more painful parts of my loss throughout the week. It's good to finally be home and to not have anymore things to take care of.

Our first MAPP class is tonight so I should have something more cheerful to talk about next.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm back

I was out of town all week getting training for work. I didn't bring my laptop so I didn't keep up with anyone. I hope everyone is doing okay. I doubt I'll get time to catch up on my reader, I'll probably just have to mark everything as read and move on. I hate doing that, it feels disloyal.

I had a rough week filled with stories and pictures of massive disasters and dead children. It seemed like every time I turned on the TV it was a dead child/baby or that stupid "I didn't know I was pregnant" show (Really? I think that is denial) or the Iphone commercial with the pregnancy test.

Gah!

I had to hold down my little girl for shots Friday, which was traumatic after her ER visit a couple of weeks ago. When we went into the waiting room to wait and see if she had another allergic reaction (she did last time) there was a newborn baby boy. I hope the mom didn't get too creeped out by me staring with a tortured look on my face.

Right at this moment I'm watching my friends kids. She went to the ER for a suspected miscarriage - her third this year. I'm heartbroken for her but at the same time jealous. She already has two kids, the youngest is only 9 months old. I know it's not really fair, but I feel like she is asking for 100 dollars when she already has a million. I can't even get pregnant again. I guess I wouldn't trade places if I could, though. She doesn't know why she miscarries so often and that would be a whole other source of grief and stress.

More later when I don't have a screaming baby, hyper four year olds, and a fed-up husband.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Must not get excited, must not get excited

I posted before about a co-worker that started the foster adopt process after I got pregnant and already has a baby. The situation is a little different that I first believed but here is the story (this is important, I'll explain in a minute):

My co-worker (I'll call him Adam) and his wife completed their home study about a month ago. Two weeks ago they got a call about a 2 1/2 month old girl that was going to be available for adoption. She is a legal risk placement because TPR (termination of parental rights) has not happened yet. The baby was removed from her mother after police were called about neglect. Apparently the mother spent an entire day with the baby in a bowling alley without feeding or changing her. The owners called the cops and the baby was removed. The mother is a 17 year old foster child who lived with the same family from 3-12 years old and when her foster family found out their income would drop once she was adopted they abandoned her. She was adopted by another family and then kicked out with the clothes on her back (I don't know why). When she went back to get stuff that she said was hers the family had her arrested for grand theft. She became a prostitute and somehow managed to have a healthy, non-drug addicted baby that she knows she can't care for. She has already asked for the baby to be adopted so there is little chance that this adoption will fall through. The judge on the case has been working with the mother her whole life and wants to expedite the adoption and try to break this cycle of neglected children. The mother is facing several criminal charges so is in hiding until she turns 18. I'm not sure why but if she is 18 the case worker can get her to sign the adoption papers without having to turn her over to the police.

Here is where me not getting excited comes in. The mother thinks she is pregnant again. Adam does not want another baby so soon, but would be the first person the new baby would be offered to. I am starting the classes on Aug 2nd and would have plenty of time to get a home study before the new baby (if it exists) is due. When Adam told me about that I immediately thought "I'll take the baby!"

There are a whole lot of ifs in this situation. If we complete the course and homestudy, if the girl is even pregnant, if the girl sticks around long enough for us to offer, if she doesn't try to keep this baby, if our case-worker will even help us with this as it's not his/her case. If, if, if.

But it gives me hope. There is a small possiblity that we could have an infant from birth, which I never would have thought could happen. Oh please, please let this be a possibility.

Regardless of the outcome - my heart breaks for that mother. What an awful, awful thing to do to a child. It doesn't sound like she is a bad person. She just has no idea how to take care of a baby and no one in the world to take care of her. I'd take her in if it was safe with my 4 year old.

I've actually thought about that - offering to foster a pregnant teenager. Not because I would want her baby, although I would adopt it if that was what she wanted, but because those girls have had shit piled on them their whole lives and someone should take care of them, dammit! Can you imagine being pregnant and 15 with no one that gave a damn if you lived or died?

I hate this system we have, it just seems to chew up children and spit them out. Sometimes the parents, too. Adam told me that the foster parents who originally had the baby were not certified for adoption, only foster care. Even though they loved the baby and wanted to keep her, they were not allowed to. So there is another heart-broken couple out there without their baby. It's just so fucked up.

At least all of this has been a nice distraction from hating my broken body and mourning the possible end of baby-making.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Giving up?

I’ve said that I am giving up on fertility treatments and moving on to foster adopt. This is the story behind that decision. If you know me in real life, please understand that these are things I don’t talk about, not even with my husband or therapist. Please don’t discuss anything you see here with anyone, not even me. If I want to talk about it, I will bring it up.

I’ve never gotten around to posting the details of my experience with IF and how my life has gone so far. I want to do that now because I feel like I have to justify my decision to stop fertility treatments after what seems like very little effort. I realize this is probably all in my head, but I still thought it would be helpful to have my readers understand where I am coming from. It also helps me to have all my thoughts and reasons laid out.

The journey so far stuff will take a long time to write so here are the cliff notes:

15/16 years old: diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism (hashimoto’s), goiter, and delayed onset of puberty. Finally began menstruating 3 months before turning 16, five years after developing breasts.

19 years old: put on birth control after a 3 month period, never having had a “normal” period. Periods became regular but debilitating.

21 years old: diagnosed with recurrent PID, no known cause. Several months of antibiotics cleared it up but abdominal pain continued. Endometriosis diagnosed after lap.

22-27 years old: no insurance, no boyfriend. Learn to live with horrible, unpredictable periods.

2001: rear-ended at 40 miles an hour, resulting in severe soft-tissue injury in back and neck. I’ve been in chronic pain since then, sometimes controllable with OTC meds.

28 years old (2004): married and ttc. Tried for over a year with no success. Started charting and using OPKs, conceived after 6 months of timed sex. Carried to term after a hard pregnancy and delivered a beautiful baby girl in 2006!

2008: dropped out of grad school, stopped bcp, got laid off, and moved in with MIL across the country.

2009: hubby and I find good jobs, finally have insurance, and move out of MIL’s. Start trying to get pregnant in earnest. Periods became even more erratic – luteal phase defect.

June - August 2009: tried metformin to regulate periods (suspected PCOS), it worked a little but the luteal phase was still too short. We tried 50 mg clomid and it worked!

December 2009: so much for that. Turns out I have MTHFR and we are REALLY lucky to have a healthy, living child. Our son Aiden had every neural tube defect there is and we chose to end the pregnancy with heavy, broken hearts.

April 2010: we decided to try again. I am on Neevo prenatal for the MTHFR. Further testing revealed no indications of PCOS so we went straight for the clomid when it became apparent that the luteal phase defect was still around. Two failed cycles later I have decided enough is enough.

Now, to the average infertile with multiple IUIs and IVFs under their belt, one unassisted and successful pregnancy and two failed clomid cycles may not seem like much. But here is where I think I am a little different. I had a bad childhood with abusive parents and lots of bad experiences. Having been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it is very dangerous for me to have sex if I don’t feel like it. I didn’t even like sex until I met my husband. This makes timed sex extremely difficult to accomplish, especially after my existing sex drive took a nose dive after my daughter was born. So that is strike one.

My pregnancy with my daughter was awful. Due to the injury from the car accident I was in pain every day, often excruciating pain. I couldn’t take anything because I was pregnant so I tried to suck it up. Then I went into premature labor at 30 weeks. It was stopped with magnesium in the hospital but after that I had a very “irritable” uterus. I was unable to do much of anything for the rest of my pregnancy. After she was born I seriously didn’t want to ever be pregnant again. I did want more children. My husband and I are in careers that we love, but they don’t pay much and jobs are often not permanent and don’t usually come with benefits. This means that any kind of private adoption was completely out of the question. After much debate and weighing the options we decided that we would try for another baby of our own making. My fertility became even worse and we were so grateful to get pregnant with Aiden. We thought we were done. I was nervous that I would have another horrible pregnancy but willing to suffer for the chance of another baby. Of course we all know how that turned out. That was strike two.

So now I am left with a hole that I desperately want to fill, but I don’t know how I should go about doing it. I wanted to give pregnancy another try, mostly because I just didn’t want it to end this way. But I find I can’t keep doing this.

I have struggled with self-hatred my entire life. I was always told that I wasn’t good enough, and for many, many years I believed that. Now I have a little more self confidence and self worth, but it doesn’t take much to knock my feet out from under me. Trying to have sex when I am not in the mood feels like rape, even if my husband is not “making” me. It makes me feel dirty and angry and worthless. Maybe with many more years of therapy I could get over that, but it is my reality now. Charting feeds my self-hatred. Every day that my body doesn’t do what it is supposed to, I hate myself a little more. I can’t seem to separate the failure of my endocrine system from my self image and sense of self worth. I know this is a common problem in IF, but it is magnified by my existing insecurity and the remnants of my childhood. I think I am causing irreparable harm to my emotional well being by trying to force my body to do something it is clearly not good at. And I have been dealing with my endocrine and reproductive system far longer than I have been trying to get pregnant. I’m sick of it.

So I think this is strike three. Part of me is keeping hope alive for another baby of our making sometime in the future. Maybe I just have more healing to do. But the larger part doesn’t want to hear about hope, it wants to move on. I want to move on. I want to stop hating myself and this useless, broken body, this murderer of my only son.

Adoption was always what I planned to do, long before the IF and baby loss crap. So why does it feel like giving up?

I do wish I could have a chance at raising another baby, I so love infants. But mainly I just want a bigger family and I will be very happy to be able to give a lost child a home.

The plan for now is to ignore my cycles, have sex when I feel like it, and take the MAPP classes starting August 2nd. If by some miracle I get pregnant* before we get a placement that will be fantastic. If not, I will be working toward something equally worthwhile and not just obsessing over my failures.

I would love to hear from anyone that is considering foster-adopt or has already started the process.

*After all this angst and hand wringing I’m going to feel awfully stupid if I get pregnant without the clomid and charting (see, hope sneaks in no matter what I do).