Sunday, August 23, 2009

On the brink

After losing our baby, we were advised to wait a few months before ttc. DH and I decided that we would return to the RE. We were familiar with the IUI process and wanted the focused care. In March 2009 we did IUI #1, with Clomid. The result: BFN. I also developed cysts due to the meds. So, I was put on birth control to shrink the cysts and would have to skip a month ttc. Our doctor recommended doing injectibles for the second round and we were game for that. We thought this was it- the pg test would be positive. I felt pregnant. I even threw-up randomly one morning. Apparently it was from the progesterone because attempt #2 resulted in another BFN and again, cysts. We would have to wait out the next month. Sigh. IUI #3 was scheduled for July. Third time's a charm, right!? Wrong. BFN!

After the third failed IUI last month a wave of defeat swept over me. Two years of ttc, the monthly roller coasters, the loss of our child, and all the poking and prodding caught up with me. My RE informed me that after 3 failed IUIs, it was time to reevaluate our plan. We could try one more IUI. However, she noted a couple of factors: a) my age... I just turned the dreaded 35 and b) my FSH level has gone up over the past year and is now at a level of concern.

Last week I had a saline sonogram to examine my uterine cavity to check to see if the polyps had grown back. Thankfully, they have not. DH and I were on the fence about whether to try another IUI or move on to IVF. RE gentled nudged us towards the IVF. So now I wait for my next cycle, which should start in a couple of weeks, to begin the process...

O goodness: GRIEF

In December 2008, our baby was stillborn at 21 weeks. Like approximately 50% of those who suffer the loss of a child due to stillbirth, despite a battery of tests we may never know the reason for our loss.

Anyone who has lost a baby knows what a difficult, seemingly lonely grief it can be. We knew and loved our baby intimately. In an instant, our baby was taken from us- and we don't know why. Our hopes and dreams were shattered. Our hearts broke into pieces.

DH and I clung to each other in our grief. He tended to me during the horrible three days in the hospital, and during my recovery after. He was deeply saddened. I was a complete mess. Our friends and family shared their condolences and offered support.

Losing a child is difficult on so many levels. My child will live forever in my heart. And the grief I carry lurks just below the surface. But I forge ahead. Every day I forge ahead. And we continue our quest to have a family.

Darkest Hour

Our 21 week appointment began with our doctor reviewing the positive results from our 4-D with the perinatologist. Everything looked perfect, he told us. He would only do the doppler monitor today and listen to the baby's heartbeat. Bummer, I said. We were hoping to see the baby.

As I laid back, relaxed on the table, our doctor placed the doppler monitor on my belly. We heard the familiar ocean-like sound and then a heart beat, which he distinguished as mine. The doc moved the doppler to another spot on my belly, then another. "Don't worry," he announced, "it takes time to pick up the baby's heartbeat sometimes with these machines." The truth is, I wasn't worried. Afterall, minutes earlier he discussed the excellent results of our exam just one week earlier.

Then doc began strategically placing the doppler in a clockwise motion around my belly. He was quiet. "I guess you will be getting a sonogram afterall," he announced, and quickly left the room. Oh good, I thought. I had wanted to see the baby. I looked over at my husband, he was sweating bullets. "Ok, now I'm getting nervous," I told him.

The events that unfolded in next several minutes felt like seconds. Everything moved in fast forward motion. Before I knew it I was being rushed to the sono room and was laid out on the table with the wand on my belly. The room was dark. I looked up at the face of the sonogram technician. Her eyes welled with tears as she disappointedly spoke the words "oh no.." My doctor's voice then followed, "I am so... sorry." I looked up at the screen to see my precious, perfect baby...motionless... lifeless...still.

Words can not describe the utter despair that we felt in the ensuing darkest of hours. We were in shock, completely devastated.

Our baby was gone.

irrationalizing rational fear

Following our Thanksgiving trip, our lives resumed to their normal busy routines. A week after the trip, it dawned on me for a moment that I had not felt the baby moving around much. Granted, it had not been long since I had first started feeling the flutters to begin with. I had friends who had freaked out over their babies not moving and everything turned out fine. I told myself that I was not going to obsess about this and be that crazy mom. In passing though I mentioned the lack of movement to my mom, who assured me that the baby was probably napping as babies do. I also told my sister in conversation, who said she had a similar experience while she was pregnant with her now three week old baby. So this is a common irrational thought had by pregnant ladies, I concluded. When I told my husband, he suggested that if I were concerned that I should call the doctor. But I had an appointment scheduled in just a couple of days. We felt confident that everything was ok. So I put the fear out of my head.

A few days later I was on the way to my appointment when my sister rang. We were on our way to say hi to our baby, I told her. Saying hi to our healthy baby while watching him/her move around on the sono is all I thought we were going to do.

our happy holiday

In late September 2008 at 3 months pg, we shared the news with our families and friends. They were delighted. My parents and close friends knew of our ttc and my subsequent surgery. Neither of our families had grandchildren yet. However, both my sister and dh's brother were each expecting babies in early November. As a side note, my sister is one year older than I and we are close. I was happy for them, not only because she is my sis, but they also faced their own challenge ttc. My SIL on the other hand is a self-absored person who has also felt the need to repeatedly state that she got pg on her second try. And they weren't even married.


In November my cute little bump was showing and I felt great. The Friday before Thanksgiving week we had our 20 week appointment, a 4-D ultrasound done by a perinatologist. This was standard procedure in my ob's practice. It was amazing to see our baby in 4-D! We had decided that we were not going to find out the baby's sex. We loved our baby whether he or she was a boy or girl. We wanted it to be a surprise. On that day we saw all of the perfect little parts that made up our beautiful baby. His/her arms, legs, fingers and toes. We even saw our baby's face! He/she had my nose and dh's lips. All of his/her organs were functioning properly. Everything looked great. We were so so happy.

We spent the following week back home, visiting with family and friends for Thanksgiving. We had a lot to be thankful for and enjoyed celebrating this time with those closest to us. As I laid in bed Thanksgiving morning, dh put his hand on my baby bump as he did each day and we would talk to our sweet baby. The baby was active, and on that morning gave a swift kick to the exact spot where my husband had laid his hand. We both felt it strongly. It were as though he/she was saying hello back to us.

My first pregnancy

For the first three months of our pregnancy, dh and I told no one. We planned to wait until we hit the end of the first trimester mark- the supposed safety zone. We were excited, yet wanted to remain calm during those initial weeks. (Of course few friends picked up on our news when I wasn't drinking at social events, but didn't acknowledge it to us until later). To my surprise, at my 8 week appointment, my RE said "congratulations! you've graduated." What? I thought we couldn't feel confident about this pregnancy until after the first trimester was over. She explained that there was a less than 9% chance of miscarriage after 8 weeks. No more RE appointments. I had graduated on to my obgyn. Off I went with my the "graduation gift" that they gave to me, a baby bib and spoon.

The pregnancy proceeded in the coming weeks as normal. I was tired and nauseous, but that felt like a small price to pay for the miracle growing inside of me. At 11 weeks I had a brief scare, which turned out to be ok. During a pee break at work I saw blood. Not a lot. But a bright red quarter-sized spot. Now I knew blood was not something that you want to see when you are pg. So I called my RE immediately. It was 5:00 on a Friday so I got the doctor on call. She informed me not to worry unless the bleeding persisted heavily. In that case, I could be having a miscarriage. The bleeding ceased for a day. Then on Saturday night, the bleeding returned including some clotting. In the middle of the night, with visitors sleeping soundly in our guest room, dh and I went to the ER.

I prayed that our baby was ok, but at the same time braced myself for bad news. The nurse did a sono, while I gripped dh's hand...The tiny heartbeat was still there. I cried tears of relief. Our little baby had hung on. And I wanted nothing more than to bring this baby who we loved into this world.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Welcome to My Uterus

Two years ago I set out on my journey to have a baby. I was 33 years old, had been married for five years, and I felt it was time to begin trying. Having a family was something that I always knew I wanted. However my dear husb and I wanted to be married for a few years first, during which time we were both focused on our careers.

I was 32 when the burning desire to have a baby began. Friends all around me were having babies. I figured I had waited long enough, and did not want to wait any longer.. I did not want to be an older mom. Hopefully I would pop out a couple of kids within the next few years. Then life got in the way... a move across the country, new jobs- and suddenly a year had gone by with the urge to conceive gnawing at me all the while.

So when I turned 33, I wanted a baby pronto. I did not expect to get pregnant right off the bat. But after several months of ttc to no avail, I became a bit concerned. I had also noticed light spotting during the middle of my cycle. My OB referred me to an reproductive endocrinologist. A saline sonogram followed by an HSG showed two pretty good sized uterine polyps. One was situated near the top of my uterus, possibly blocking my fallopian tubes. Having excess uterine tissue could also potentially prevent implantation. I opted to have the polyps surgically removed.

At that point a year of ttc had gone by. A work-up of both me and my DH looked good. We were ready, and anxious. So, we proceeded with an IUI accompanied by Clomid. My body responded well, and a couple of weeks later we delighted to discovered that it had worked... I was pregnant!

Recap of My Journey Thus Far

This is one woman's tale of trying to conceive. My story unfolds with a few high highs and some very low lows. The happy ending has not yet been reached. This blog was created as path to meet up with other travelers along their journey to destination family.