Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This time of year

The holiday lights, the weather, the music..everything reminds me of the loss of my first son. It was this time two years ago that his tiny body slowly died inside of me. That hole in my heart, which became significantly smaller with the arrival of my rainbow baby, feels wide open right now. My heart aches. My body and spirit feel heavy.

The tears are not falling this time around. Yet feelings of sadness, anger and the questions-- what happened?? and WHY??? swirl around in my head.

This is not the way that I feel every day, or most days even. To be honest, with baby C here I did not expect to feel this way this holiday season. I am soooo grateful and happy he is here. I really am. But my memory of Baby S, and his loss, is ingrained in my soul's memory. My love for him and wish that he were here will never fade. So I wade through these emotions again, as grief has reared its head. It is an ongoing process indeed. A process that is not easy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

someone who could use thoughts/prayers

First of all, I'm still here! Baby C just turned 4 months and all is well here. I am still on here mainly following blogs to offer support. I'm not ready to leave this community that helped me get through the toughest time of my life.

If you are reading this, please send out thoughts/prayers to Mo & Will from Life and Love In the Petri Dish. They have traveled a very long, difficult journey. If you go to their blog and glance at their journey so far timelime you will see that they have been through cancer, 7 IVFs and now their 6th miscarriage.

My heart goes out to this couple. They have been through far too much. It just seems so unfair.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My rainbow baby

Like others in this blogosphere, I am finding myself at a crossroads with my blog. My rainbow baby, Baby C, is now 6 weeks old. It's been a few weeks since I've made an entry- partly because I haven't had the time.. but also because I am navigating my way into this new phase in my life and subsequently with my grief as well.

When I started this blog I felt so defeated. I had spent over a year ttc, underwent a surgical procedure, an IUI, and then my first son died at 21 weeks gestation. In an attempt to quickly come up with a title for the blog and came up with "not rated PG" because I was exactly that- not PG (pregnant). I was deeply hurting over the loss of my baby and was again struggling ttc.

This will not become a blog about Baby C. He is doing great and we are incredibly grateful to have him in our lives. This blog world for me will continue to be a place where I will offer support to others in their journeys and also process my thoughts and feelings about babyloss and infertility- which although may not define me, will always be a part of me.

Before my rainbow baby arrived, like many coping with babyloss and infertility, it was hard for me to read about successful pregnancies. Although I felt truly happy for those who have gone through similar struggles, I could not relate when reading about their rainbow babies when I was struggling to conceive, then in the thick of my grief, then going through fertility treatments, and then coping with the anxiety of a subsequent pregnancy.

When Baby S died, one thing that my obgyn said to me was that the grief would get easier over time- and when I would eventually bring home a (living) baby. Now that I finally have a baby in my arms, the hole in my hear is still there... however, it is no longer gaping. Despite the joy of having a newborn, I still have my moments of sorrow.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weeks 1 & 2

Thank you for the wonderful congratulatory notes! We are incredibly happy that baby C is here!! It has been a busy and exciting 12 days with him. He is teaching us so much and we are enjoying loving him to bits.

I was happy to learn the great news of the other rainbow babies that arrived recently!!! Congratulations again to you.

Although I haven't had the free hands to type, I have been keeping up on my blog reading and continue to do so. Still following your journeys and sending lots of positive thoughts and vibes to everyone ttc, dealing with baby loss and having rainbow babies. You all are never far from my mind!

Finally, here is a photo of our precious son. He has been a very good baby- very snuggly and sweet.

Big hugs to all!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello from Happy Baby Land!!! :)

On Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 9:59 a.m. we welcomed our beautiful baby boy into the world!!! He came in at a healthy 7 lbs 15 oz and is absolutely adorable.

I was hoping to post an update sooner, but it has been a whirlwind and I did not have access to a computer until now. I look forward to catching up with my blog friends and hope things are going well with everyone.

DH, our son and I could not be happier. :) The wee one is snuggled up on my chest right at this moment as I type while reclined in the hospital bed. We are so in love with the little guy and so grateful to have arrived here.

I plan to write more about our experience over the past several days once I get home. Long story short... It was a very prolonged, unsuccessful induced labor which involved a couple of stressful episodes for the baby. After 25 hrs of active labor I finally ended up having a c-section. Definitely not the quickest or easiest birth experience, but all that matters is he arrived safely- and that is all that we have cared about throughout our journey.

Big Hugs to everyone! Will update again soon. In the meantime, I will be catching up on your blogs.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tomorrow is the day!

Looks like we will be meeting our little on at some point tomorrow (Friday)!

Our due date was on Saturday, the 3rd. Early Sunday morning I started having frequent, consistent early labor contractions and have been experiencing them ever since. I've had 2 cervical exams in the meantime and am only dilated about one to two centimeters at this point. During our last appointment we decided with our doc to proceed with an induction tomorrow. At that point I will be nearly one week late and we are sooooo ready. It's been a long and uncomfortable week.

I'm excited to meet the baby and little bit nervous about the labor/delivery. I just keep reminding myself that we can do this! And what a blessing we will receive at the end of it all.

Sending lots of positive thoughts to each of you!!

I will update with more news as soon as possible.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nothing to report- yet!

Today is my due date! It is hard for me to even believe it. However, nothing happening yet... Just *trying* to be patient-- since I guess the baby will come when he's ready.

Thinking of everyone and wishing you all a safe and happy 4th of July!

Hopefully I will have some good news to update soon- and I look forward to yours too. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

In 15 days

In 15 days, it will be my due date. I sometimes think of my journey to parenthood as running a marathon. I am by no means a runner and have never attempted a marathon or other lengthy run. But I imagine it to be tough challenge- grueling and painful at times- yet one achieves a sense of euphoria at the end. Although I feel present and bonded with this baby, it is hard for me to believe that in just a couple of weeks I will be holding my precious LIVE baby boy. Most parents probably feel this way to a degree. However, I have been a bit guarded throughout the past nine months. The loss of my first son was so unexpected and difficult for me, that there is a small part of me that has been in protective mode. I am confident that everything will continue to go well, but am somewhat prepared for anything. For the past four months (once I got past our previous loss point) I have been able to enjoy this pregnancy, however not a day has gone by that I have not woken up and asked myself "did I feel the baby move last night?"... In other words, "Is my baby still alive?"

Now, as my due date approaches, I feel like I have come so far. DH and I are so excited to meet our little one. Yet a small surge of anxiety has been creeping up on me every once and a while as of late. I can not help but think of the babyloss mamas who I've met who lost their little ones at full term. There was never a reason determined for our loss. One of our doctors told us "if you have to blame something, blame the placenta".. indicating the possibility that somehow the placenta had failed to provide enough nutrients and oxygen to sustain our helpless little boy's life.

So it is at this point that I feel very excited, a tiny bit fearful of the worst, but most of all READY. This journey for me began over three years ago and has involved one dead baby, multiple failed IUIs, and an IVF. The comments I've been receiving from people around me lately amuse me. "Enjoy this quiet time while you can!" "Enjoy sleep while you are able to!" The thing is, I am so ready to bring home a baby that I could care less about sleep deprivation, etc. (Watch I say that now and will be eating my words soon! ;) But I can only imagine that for all of us who have endured these difficult journeys, that hopefully the joy of bringing home our live babies will make the challenges of parenting somehow seem less difficult.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thirty Six

The number 36 is the theme for me this week... I'm 36 weeks pregnant- and my 36th birthday is this week. Wow- on both accounts.

Baby update: We were surprised to see at this week's ultrasound that he has turned head down! Our bi-weekly ultrasounds had shown him breech since week 21. So hopefully he will decide to stay put! There are some new discomforts that come with his new position. Even though he hasn't dropped, I feel a lot of pressure in my pelvis, so no more long walks. I now get up even more frequently in the night, from both baby's movement and the added pressure on my bladder. My back aches (especially when sitting up at a desk for extended periods). At times I get a sharp pain running from my left hip down my thigh, which is apparently due to the baby resting on a nerve. However-- these are all observations, not complaints. I am so grateful to be where I am right now with this pregnancy. Overall, I'm still feeling pretty good- just READY. I'm feeling and looking big- and the belly continues to grow. The entire front of my belly is numb from what my doctor says is due to the skin being stretched. I'm most certainly waddling instead of walking. And I can tell from the looks of people that I appear as though I'm about to pop. The little one is weighing in at 5 lbs 12 oz- so he should be between 6 and 7 lbs by our due date. I can feel the baby's little bum pressing out towards my left side and his feet kicking out on my right (ouch). It is pretty amazing to put my hands on him and know which part of him I am touching. I can hold his little butt in the palm of my hand. :) I am so looking forward to seeing, smelling and holding him soon!!!

My birthday: Blah! I'm not big on birthdays when it comes to my own. And I'm really not happy about the fact that I'm 36. The past 3-plus years have been dominated by trying to conceive, baby loss, fertility treatments. It has been a long journey. I am older than I would like to be for a number of reasons and wish I could set the clock back a few years. Oh well...C'est la vie.

Sending hugs and wishing for all good things to everyone on their journeys!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Head's Up

Tomorrow I will be 34 weeks (yay! getting closer- 6 weeks till my due date!). However, yesterday's ultrasound confirmed that the baby is still breech. I figured this was going to be the case as the baby's movements and positioning of his head (which I can feel on my upper left side) have indicated. It was seeming like it had been quite some time that the baby has been upright. My husband asked the doctor when our last bi-weekly u/s showed the baby head down- and it turns out he's been sitting up in basically the same spot since week 21! So apparently I have a baby who is quite comfy right where he is- or maybe he is stubborn like his dad. ;)

According to my doc, most babies start turning head down by week 34 or 35. At this point roughly 25% of babies are breech, but then the percentage drops to about 3-4% still breech by full-term. Not sure what this will mean for us, but I am stepping up the things that I can do to try to influence the bambino to stand on his head... pelvic tilts, swimming, back to acupuncture, etc. If he doesn't flip in the next few weeks my doc could perform a version. I am not keen about the idea of manipulating the baby and possibly putting him at risk of distress, plus the success rate is only around 50/50. So we'll see what happens in the coming weeks. The last resort will be a scheduled c-section about a week prior to my due date. I'm not stressed at this point, just doing what I can and waiting to see what happens.

Hope everyone out there is doing well! Sending positive thoughts to everyone ttc, grieving babyloss, coping with subsequent pregnancy, etc.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Yesterday, the eve of Mother's Day, I thought a lot about my Mom and how amazing she is. I also thought a lot about the sweet baby boy that I am so grateful to be carrying.

Today is Mother's Day and my thoughts are with all of the Mamas who have lost babies and the ones who are trying to conceive. On this day I honor all moms, most especially those who have babies who are not here on earth.

Wishing everyone a peace-filled Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eight and a half weeks to go!

Only eight and a half weeks to go until our due date- I can not even believe it. It seems surreal, but we are very excited!

It has been a few weeks since my last update, so here's the latest...

I've had only had two doc appointments in the last 2 months. This was a change considering until now we've had bi-weekly ultrasounds. Although I missed being able to peek at the baby more frequently, it felt good to be on a schedule similar to a *normal* pregnancy. At 28 weeks, I started kick-charting at the same time each evening (for peace of mind). The little one has been moving around like crazy! Most days when I touch my belly I can feel a part of the baby and have been trying to figure out which body part I am touching. At my doc appointment this week, I learned that what I have been thinking is a head, back or butt is in fact the baby's head. I could see on the screen that baby's face has been filling out in the cheeks :) . He's 3.5 lbs now and at this point is expected to be around 7.5 by full-term. Baby is still breech, but will hopefully turn head down within the next month. I will have an ultrasound in 4 weeks to check the position.

Recently I was thrown a lovely, intimate baby shower. When the topic of a shower first came up a few months back, I dreaded the idea. For one, I am not a person who likes attention. Also, all I care about is bringing home a live baby. Nothing else matters to me. Expecting parents seem to often get carried away with all of the baby "stuff", so I wasn't embracing the whole shower idea. But- when I was ready, I decided it is important that I celebrate this little one with a small group of people who are close to me.

Lately I have spoken with a few other pregnant ladies outside of the blog world who are due around the same time that I am. It is interesting how typical it is to hear complaints about the discomfort of pregnancy and how "so over it" some people are. It is apparent that these women are likely not babyloss mamas or women who struggled with infertility. Of course everyone is entitled to and needs to vent/complain a bit. However, I've noticed that everyone I've met in the blogosphere seems to possess a much greater appreciation for simply being pregnant and has a deep understanding that the sacrifices pale in comparison to the gift of carrying a baby. I want to say to some of these people "seriously, things could be more difficult." But instead I quietly observe.

When I look in the mirror these days I can see that my face is looking more and more content. I can feel my heart getting fuller too. Yet there is that part of me that is always missing Baby S. He should be with us as we get closer to meeting this little one. It kills me each time a stranger asks "is this your first [baby]?" And I feel obliged to say yes. Baby S you are always our first child! We miss you and we love you, Baby S. Perhaps as my heart continues to become fuller, that hole in it will begin to feel less sad.. and more like something that is simply at part of me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The things people say

We've all heard comments about baby loss and infertility that sometimes sting us, right?

One of the many things that has been strange for me with this pregnancy is that EVERYONE (besides my wonderful obgyn) talks to me as though this is my first pregnancy. It's as though becoming pregnant with baby number two simply erased the existence of my first son, Baby S.

Throughout the second trimester, which I just completed, people who know of my loss would often give me a "heads-up" as to what to expect week by week. Apparently they erased from their minds that I carried Baby S 2/3rds of the way through the second trimester- so I knew the symptoms, the appointments to expect, etc.

The comments from people are sometimes strange to me. It is awkward navigating how to respond...

Them: You've made it past the first trimester, no worries now! My thought: Really? I lost my son at 21 weeks- and know people who have lost babies as far as full term.

Them: Are you enjoying pregnancy? Me: It took me getting past the 5 1/2 month mark, but now I am enjoying it as much as possible. Them: Oh, I know the morning sickness- it's the worst.

Them: This pregnancy thing is SO HARD (first-timer, instantly pregnant, no problems). My thought: Um, yeah. ??

Them: I am so glad my child will finally have a cousin! My thought: They ALREADY DO have a cousin: MY CHILD- YOUR NEPHEW- WHO DIED!!

Even though I'm sure some people haven't forgotten our loss, I'm pretty sure the outside world sees a rainbow baby as erasing the baby who was lost. In addition, although most people do not know the lengths that we went through to get pregnant both times, they do know that it was difficult for us both times. Yet still friends around me constantly talk about getting pregnant as though it's something that is accomplished on-demand, exactly when and how one wishes. "We are going to conceive this summer." "We plan to have 3 kids, each 2 years apart." etc. Most of my friends have been very lucky in the fertility/pregnancy department, but clearly do not think that infertility is something that could possibly affect them.

The strange- at times painful- comments have been plenty over the past fifteen months. But I do want to end this post on a positive note and hang on to the comments from a few friends who somehow knew exactly what to say. I will never forget their words which comforted me.

After our loss, my dear friend Stacey said: "I want you to know that I loved your baby too." She is the only person who expressed love/care for our child.

My friend Amy called me explaining that her heart was breaking for me and she began crying on the phone. She is the only person (besides dh) who cried along with me.

When I shared the news of my current pregnancy with my friend Jessica she expressed her happiness for us, and also said "I'm sure it must be bittersweet." She is the only person who has acknowledged that we must miss Baby S.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Joy and pain

This topic is one that is long overdue for me to write about. There is a certain aspect of infertility and babyloss that has changed me in a way that I am not proud of and it is something that I struggle to get past.. The pain that sometimes accompanies the joy of other people's seemingly easy pregnancy success.

This isn't to say that I am not happy for the vast majority of people out there who do not encounter fertility/pregnancy-related issues. I can honestly say I am truly happy for them to be spared any difficulties. However, there are instances when such situations sting.

I encounter this conflicted joy/pain emotion on a fairly regular basis within my own family. You see, while in the midst of me unsuccessfully trying to conceive, both my sister-in-law (by the way, not at all a nice person) and my own sister became instantly pregnant at nearly the exact same time. I love their babies dearly, yet at times the joy of both families serve as a constant reminder of what- or I should say who- isn't here.. my Baby S.

It was somewhat disheartening at the time to learn of both pregnancy news (especially since my sister-in-law constantly mentioned that it was only their second attempt- plus they weren't even married). It was soon thereafter that I began infertility treatments, as planned, and I became pregnant with Baby S. He would have been 5 months younger than both of his cousins. From the moment the two became pregnant and in the year in and half since then all I have heard about on both sides of our families is about these two babies... the constant news/updates, photos, incessant gushing. I know all of their behavior is normal and would not expect them not to be joyous over their children. However, every milestone for them- first holidays, birthdays, etc.- would have been a first for my son too. So although these events do make me smile, they also bring with them some sadness for me. And again there is the added sadness that no one else in the room is missing my baby in those moments.

I realize this all sounds completely selfish. The only reason I even feel comfortable finally writing about this is because I have read about similar emotions on several other babyloss and infertility blogs. Otherwise, I would be too ashamed to admit that I ever feel this way. It does not feel good, and it's something I am continuously trying to change- and I do think I am gradually getting better about it.

Let the 3rd trimester begin

Friends, thank you very much for the cyber hugs on Baby S's birthday on Friday. It meant a lot, especially considering that you all are the only ones (besides dh) that I truly share my grief with. You all are the best! I had a good cry in the morning, then pulled myself together. I wondered if anyone in our families would remember the date. I thought perhaps my sister would and might acknowledge it, but she didn't. It was a reminder that dh and I are alone in our grief, and have been for some time- but I am coming to accept that. I am so grateful to have this space to go to where people understand and where we can support one another.

Today marks week 28 for me! I can't even believe I've made it to the 3rd trimester. I look at my baby ticker, which I put up after 21 weeks passed, and it is now in the double digits. The wee one is currently 2.5 lbs and at this stage has a chance at viability if (God forbid) he were to arrive early. He is kicking around a lot, which I love. I wasn't joking when I said I'm getting huge... I gained 10 lbs in the past month alone. Hopefully that was a growth spurt for me and the weight gain will level off. I have been overdoing it a bit with the sweets (hello, donuts! who even knew I liked you?) but am trying not to obsess- just grateful that the baby is developing on track.

At my appointment last week we had a very brief glimpse that the baby's face in 3-D. He was covering up most of it with his arms and legs, but it was sweet to see- and now I am SO CURIOUS as to what he looks like. I am tempted to go to one of those 3-D/4-D ultrasound places and pay out-of-pocket to get some pics. One thing that is tough about missing Baby S is not knowing what he would look like. So seeing this one is becoming increasingly important to me.

I've been taking some steps in preparing for this baby to arrive into this world. This morning I purchased the crib online (a gift from my parents) and we are signed up for our childbirth preparation classes this month. I feel Baby S with us in spirit as we continue in our journey- you are always on my mind and in my heart.

Hope you are all doing well and are having a relaxing weekend!

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9th: Baby S's birthday

My heart is a bit heavy this morning over what should have been today: my first son turning one.

I imagine a sweet and rambunctious brown-haired/brown-eyed toddler running around, but he's not here. Despite the fact that I am incredibly grateful to be carrying his younger brother, I don't think I will ever shake the feeling that I have a child who is missing from this life.

I will take a little time today to work through my sadness, and then plan to honor him in my heart with nothing but happy thoughts.

I miss you sweet boy and will love you and remember you always!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

random musings

1) The other day while checking out at the grocery store, the clerk asked me: "Have you checked your eggs?" I looked at her and busted out laughing. "Um, yes, I have." Immediately my mind had gone to MY eggs-- talk about all things fertility on the brain. After 4 IUIs and 1 IVF, I know way more than I ever wanted to about my eggies.

2) I am getting huge. Do I really have 3 months more of growing? For a few weeks now, I have been at the point where strangers will confidently comment on my being pregnant. Gone are the awkward in-between stage and glances by those trying to figure out if I am indeed pregnant or just fat.

3) For the past few weeks I have felt really good with this pregnancy. Once I passed the point where we lost baby S, it is like a calm came over me. Sure, I have days of anxiety. I am hyper aware of the baby's movements and do worry about things like a cord accident or another stillbirth later in the pregnancy. But for now, I feel like I am finally able to enjoy pregnancy as much as possible (hope it stays this way). I feel happier than I have in a long time and I feel it showing on my face.

4) Lately I am getting inundated by all sorts of unsolicited suggestions regarding baby registry, labor and delivery, breastfeeding etc. etc. My doctor had warned me of this and said to take it all in but that we will figure everything out on our own. Good advice. So I basically just thank people for their thoughts and move on. Honestly, I am so not concerned with what is the best baby monitor or swing, how many months are best to breastfeed, etc. All I care about is bringing this baby into the world alive and healthy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

sweet dream

People often ask me if I have been experiencing any pregnancy cravings- ya know, pickles & ice cream, etc. I haven't craved much in particular- but I've definitely developed a tooth for all things sweet. Every day I have to have a treat, usually in the form of a little chocolate.

Throughout my second trimester I've been having very vivid dreams. Sometimes they are plain bizarre. A few times they have been intense/scary. Last night I had a wonderful dream about the baby boy in my belly- and I found it to be so funny. Here is what I dreamt:

I had just brought my baby boy home from the hospital. He was wrapped up like sweet little burrito in a pale yellow blanket. People were stopping by the house to see him. I just held him and stared at his face smiling at him. I was an amazing feeling seeing my baby's face for the first time. The baby in my dreams didn't look much like dh or I, but he was beautiful. He had soft, black hair, fair skin and blue eyes. I was in awe of how beautiful he looked and was so happy just gazing at him.

Suddenly, he spoke! The words "I WANT PANCAKES!" came out of his mouth in a child's voice.

I was in awe that he could already speak! And I laughed in my dream at what he said. Then he also proceeded to walk a few steps, which also amazed me.

Not sure what this dream meant, if anything at all, (maybe I should cut back on the sweet treats!) but it was surely entertaining. And I awoke with a wonderful feeling having had a tiny glimpse of what it might feel like to finally meet my dear boy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the lonely grief

Perhaps one of the toughest things about grieving an unborn child is that it is a lonely grief. Typically when someone in your life passes away, whether its a grandparent, parent, friend etc., there are others around you who share your grief. Difficult as any loss is, it is common to share memories and stories of loved ones- as well as share the burden of the loss. Outside of the babyloss community, it is so difficult to navigate how to grieve around others- if at all.

For me, it's been a private, lonely grief from the get-go. When we learned the news that at 21 weeks our baby's heart stopped beating, there were a few people who I called during those first few hours while in shock and tears- my parents, my sister, my best friend. When I came home from the hospital to recover, I became incredibly sick for days as my immune system was wiped out. I wanted to inform our friends and family and decided to do so in a brief email. At that point we were so heartbroken and I was very depressed. Messages of condolences poured in and we received a few cards and flowers. Eventually in the following weeks I spoke with my closest friends and family who called. But soon after our loss, our grief became quiet.

People around us did not bring up our baby, probably out of fear of making us uncomfortable. At times I brought it up, but felt awkward, and quickly stopped sharing. DH and I decided to do a private memorial for our son with just the two of us. We live out of state from our families and most of our friends, and its what felt right. At the time that we lost Baby S, we hadn't settled on a name- but had been calling him by a nickname, which we decided to make his name. That is who he was and is to us.

Of course my husb carries grief of our loss too, although he manages it much differently. We talk about our lost baby, but it's always me who brings it up. So over time, I find I bring him up to dh less and less. I began going to counseling immediately after our loss. My doctor recommended it right away, as he would with any patient, and he didn't need to convince me. I needed someone to talk to... someone who could hopefully help me ease my pain in a safe place where I could fully open up and cry.

It has been nice to have a therapist who is there to listen. Although, I noticed after the first few months, when the time came that we would start trying to conceive again, she seemed to shift the conversation away from baby loss. The focus became trying to get pregnant and is now about dealing with this pregnancy. My grief still comes up (when I bring it up), and my therapist will recognize yet only momentarily.

It's hard to share your grief, your love, your yearning for a baby that the world didn't get to meet. I know our family and friends were sad for us and for our baby, but their lives quickly moved on. Despite our best efforts to explain our experience, they will never know what it is like and they will never miss our baby like we do. And it's not their fault, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I sometimes wonder if anyone thinks of our lost child as an actual person who died. Do my siblings miss their unborn nephew? Do our parents think about their grandchild who they never got to meet? I'm not sure. Certainly they have thought of us. But no one knew our child. We did. Intimately. Despite the fact that we can't share memories of his birthdays, family trips etc. So we honor him on our own. Every day. In our hearts.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A new day and a baby pic :)

I've been so busy at work and outside of work that I haven't had the chance to blog. Staying busy and somewhat distracted has been good for me though. And I'm still keeping up with you all on my blog reading!

So I breathed my way through those couple of days where I had been feeling anxious which I talked about in my last post. More than anything, I was just really missing Baby S. I am back to feeling good. Although I am enjoying pregnancy as much as possible, I suppose the occasional bad day(s) are inevitable. I very much appreciate the kind comments from the last post!

I suspect it won't be the last time anxiety sneaks up on me. When it does, I will try my best to observe the feeling without judgment and let it go as soon as possible. For the several few weeks I've been going to a prenatal yoga class once per week. It's actually a regular beginner's yoga class that is prenatal-friendly... there are one or two other pregnant ladies out of about 15-20 people. It's been great physically, for the stretching and strengthening, as well as for clearing the mind and creating a sense of balance.

We'll see if my anxiety gets tested in the next few weeks. So far I've seen my OB every two weeks for an ultrasound, and saw the RE every week for the first 3 months. My next appointment will be one whole month from my last one a week ago. At my next appointment I will be 28 weeks and will do the glucose test. At that point forward I will probably start kick charting. In the meantime, I've got my handy dandy doppler and have been feeling lots of movement.

In the meantime, I've been getting HUGE. By 5 1/2 months I had put on twice as much weight as I did with Baby S. At this point I'm already up 20 lbs (5 lbs are from the IVF meds). My appetite is non-stop. I don't eat a lot of food at once, but must snack as least every couple of hours. And suddenly I have a sweet tooth. Chocolate...yum.

Here's something that makes me smile, the baby boy in my belly :) (pic from a few weeks ago):

Monday, March 1, 2010

Anxiety: I spoke too soon

So remember some of things that I said in my last post: "feeling at peace, anxiety being manageable, feeling the baby move every day"? Well, for the last two days all of that went out the window. My mind has shifted to worry, despite having no *real* cause for concern.

Perhaps it is this period of time during my pregnancy- my body's memory- that is naturally causing me to feel uneasy. Also, the little one- who was previously kindly doing daily karate kicks- decided to become very quiet. For a couple of days I felt little movement. THANK GOODNESS for my doppler.. I have been using it in the morning and again at night. I am greatly comforted by the sound of the baby's heartbeat. I'm not sure why the baby's punches are gentle, occasional nudges right now.. but they are they are there. And I know his heart is beating.

I suppose I spoke too soon about my anxiety. You never know what the next day will bring. For now I am walking around with a tightness in my chest. However, I plan to work it out with some prenatal yoga tonight.

Thank you for all of the words of support on my last post! I am confident that I will get past this rough patch and things will get easier in the coming weeks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Week 21

I just completed Week 21, which was the week that I lost baby S last year. This week had been hanging over me as the next milestone to be reached, and I was a bit anxious as it approached. I wasn't sure what I would feel like emotionally, but I anticipated there being some difficult emotions to deal with.

Surprisingly I did not feel quite as much anxiety as I expected. I thought that perhaps I would be feeling extremely nervous that the same mysterious event(s) that took my baby's life would happen again this week. Although I will not feel 100% confident with this pregnancy until I bring the baby home, I have come to terms with the fact that things are out of my control. And as a result, I have been feeling quite at peace these days. Of course I do obsess each day about whether or not the baby is moving, but overall so far my anxiety level has been manageable.

However, day one of this week hit me like a ton of bricks. That day I felt immensely, immensely sad. I cried and spent a lot of time reliving this time during the last pregnancy... what was I doing? What was I feeling? I thought about the red flags, things I said, things the doctors said... and of course ran through all of the maddening "what ifs." My sadness was in part for me, dh and the baby boy in my belly. It saddens me greatly that baby S is not here with us right now. I am also sad for baby S who is missing out on his life here with us. I miss him always, and have been especially missing him this week. My heart is heavy.

Baby S's little brother thankfully has been reminding me every day that he is here. I feel him the most in the evenings after dinner as I am relaxing on the couch. From this point on it will be unchartered territory for me with pregnancy, and I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Am I that person?

Recently I attended a dinner party of all women, most of whom I don't know very well. The woman seated next to me (who I've met before) asked me, "so what's new with you?" As it would be awkward to not share my news (especially considering my belly had just started showing), I told her that I am pregnant. She congratulated me. The woman seated next to her overheard and turned her attention toward us to join the conversation. They both asked me a couple of questions, like how far along I am, and then conversation moved to another topic.

During our brief exchange and then for the rest of the dinner, I kept thinking about the second woman involved in the conversation. The thing is, I know from a mutual friend that she had an early miscarriage not long ago and I assume she is probably currently trying to get pregnant. When I was struggling with infertility, and especially after my baby loss, it was hard for me to see and be around pregnant women. It seemed liked everyone was pregnant, had an easy time getting pregnant, and had easy pregnancies. Did I now represent all of that to this woman?

Yesterday I had a second experience of wondering if I am that person...

A close friend of mine informed me that after learning she was pregnant a few days ago, she just found out that she lost the pregnancy. When I received her email, I called her and left a message. I told her all the things that I thought I should: "I am sorry to hear your news. I am thinking about you. Take care. I am here for you. Please call me when you are feeling up to it."

Then I also rambled on and said things like: "I know good things are in store for you SOON." My friend is 36, recently married and got pregnant immediately. Previously she wasn't sure what was in store for her. I wanted her to know it was a good thing that she was able to get pregnant and did so quickly. So I expressed that in the message in an attempt to be encouraging.

After I left the message, I regretted even bringing up anything that might possibly overshadow my condolences. She just experienced a loss and I should have just told her I am sorry, am here for her and left it at that. When I lost baby S, there were things that people said to me which at the time stung, even though I knew people mean well. Am I now that person who says such things? I am hoping that my attempt at looking at the positive did not overshadow letting her know that I am truly sorry to learn her news.

What I learned from all of this is that I should not assume that other pregnant ladies who appear blissful necessarily are. Who knows what they've been through? And when someone says something to me about babyloss or infertility, I just have to appreciate that they said something at all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sex of the baby revealed...

We found out: the baby is a BOY!

Everything looked good at the 20 week ultrasound, which was performed by the perinatologist. At the start of the appointment, the nurse asked us if we suspected whether the baby is a girl or boy- and honestly we felt 50/50. With baby S, DH and felt very strongly from the moment we found out we were pregnant that he was a boy. Sadly we didn't have confirmation until we lost him, but we just knew it in our hearts. Knowing the sex gives us something more to celebrate and connect to. So far up until this point in the pregnancy we have had quite a bit of stress/worry. Now, despite the ever-present anxiety, I am slowly beginning to accept that this baby might actually be here in July. Both the perinatologist and my obgyn have been sensitive to our history. My ob made a point of expressing that he is confident about this pregnancy and is doing/saying whatever he can to put us at ease.

The appointment included a 4-D view of the baby, so we were able to get a *glimpse* of what he looks like. His nose and cheeks look like DH right now. From what I can tell he looks different than his brother, who resembled me in the nose and eyes.

Now that I am in week 20 I am thinking a lot about this exact time during my first pregnancy... Revisiting what I was doing, what thoughts were going through my mind, the devastating events that unfolded. Although I am celebrating this little one, I am missing baby S so strongly right now- just wishing he were here with us. I have run through the what-ifs endlessly over the past 14 months, slowly trying to be a peace with knowing I will never have the answer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

a new day

After I posted my vent session yesterday, I felt ashamed for behaving like such a whiner. Thank you VERY much for the kind comments. What I appreciate so much about our blog world is it's the one place where we can be 100% honest and other people will get it. Or at least I will feel like I am not totally crazy. :) So thank you! You all are the best. And I did wake up with those thoughts out of my system.

On the baby front...

Tomorrow I reach 20 weeks! This means a number of things:
- I will have reached the half way mark
- I will get to see the baby on a 4-D ultrasound
- I will (hopefully) receive more good news that the anatomy looks good
Yay, yay, and yay!

I am trying to be aware of my anxiety as of late because it has certainly been on the rise as I approach week 20 and soon thereafter. It was around this time that whatever it was that went horribly wrong with baby S happened. I am hyper-sensitive to whether or not the baby is moving, even waking up in a half-sleep in the middle of the night. I think I will begin to use the doppler more proactively, like first thing in the morning (rather than waiting until moments like when the baby hasn't been moving for a while).

At the same time, I am trying to stay positive about all things related to this baby. I decided we needed some fun news so WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT THE SEX! Our appointment is just a couple of days away.

What do you think: boy or girl???

Stay tuned to find out!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I need to vent

First, I am going to preface this blog entry by expressing that I am truly grateful for the fact that I am pregnant right now. I truly am very grateful. Also, I am honestly happy for other people around me when they get pregnant too. I see pregnancy as a true blessing.

But despite the appreciation, I am a somewhat jaded person now. I will admit that. The past few years have worn on me. And I've connected with so many babylost mamas who have had difficult experiences and are still in the midst of them. Life is unfair and I know that. For the most part, I accept that fact. Other times, though, that fact simply frustrates me.

As a result, I get annoyed at times by things that I know should not bother me. For example, sometimes listening to others in their naive bliss...well, just aggravates me.

During the past few years that I was struggling to get pregnant and lost a baby, I've had many friends and coworkers get pregnant and experience seemingly easy pregnancies. I am sincerely happy for them that they do not have to experience the pain that babylost and struggling-to- conceive women go through. I honestly wouldn't wish either of those things on an enemy. But it sometimes makes the struggles that those of us go through feel so unfair when there are constant reminders about how painless and easy it could be.

For example, before I got pregnant the first time and had been trying to conceive for over a year and was undergoing fertility treatments- both my sister and my sister-in-law became pregnant at the same time. Both of them got pregnant on their second cycle and now have toddlers who are the only things both sides of my family have talked about for the past couple of years. I'm now on my third co-worker who got pregnant in about 2 seconds. In the past week and a half two of my best friends have announced their pregnancies- one on the first attempt and the other on the second.

Why is it that people who get pregnant immediately always seem to feel the need to announce how quick and easy it was???

It makes the rest of us feel broken! It's too much information. Really, we just don't need to know.

Also-- 5 of the 7 of the above-referenced women announced their pregnancies the MINUTE they found out. Who does that?? Apparently every one around me. And yet despite the fact that miscarriages are not uncommon in the first trimester, they don't seem to affect the women around around me.

I realize that I sound like an ungrateful brat, and I partially blame this bad mood that I'm in on hormones. haha :) Just kidding. I just needed to get that off my chest and trust this is a safe place to do it, where people understand the mixed emotions that come up at times and don't judge.

I know to let these things go, and eventually do rather quickly. But there are moments, like today when faced with this again, when I am stewing in irritation.

Tomorrow is a new day and I will be over it!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Letting go...

In my last post I talked about some of the ways that I feel I've changed throughout the past few years of this journey. Some of my changes have been positive, and some not-so-good... Like the jadedness/bitterness that rears its ugly head from time to time. I recently read this about letting go and it really resonated with me...

"..just as bitter feelings can be self-defeating, so too can the release of bitterness be life-affirming in a way that few other emotional experiences are. When we decide that we no longer want to be bitter, we are reborn into a world filled with delight and fulfillment unlike any we knew while in the clutches of bitterness. The veil it cast over our lives is lifted, letting light and warmth touch our souls...

Divesting yourself of bitter feelings can be as simple as truly forgiving and moving on. Even when your bitterness has no concrete object, you can forgive situations too...In time, you will discover that letting go of your bitterness frees you to initiate the healing process and allows you to once again celebrate the possibility of the more wonderful life you deserve."

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Different Me

One does not experience infertility or baby loss and remain unchanged. The past few years have brought some high highs and some low lows for me. High points: getting pregnant two times. Low points: losing a baby, and many failed attempts at getting pregnant. The low points seem to be much more prolonged and complicated than the highs in my experience. The grief of losing my son has been a difficult, ongoing process. The months of trying to conceive were filled with frustration and disappointment.

I feel as though I have been stuck in one long transition period...from my former self... to a different version of me... and I'm not sure what I will be like by the time this baby arrives.

I've changed.

In some ways, I suppose I've changed for the better. I have faced challenges that my former self would have never thought I would overcome. I've gotten in touch with my inner strength and now feel that I have the ability to move mountains. I believe that as a parent I will love even stronger and will have an even greater appreciation of my family. Trivial things in life that I used to worry about now seem unimportant to me. I no longer care what people think. I focus more on taking care of myself.

Some of my changes have been negative, which concerns me. There is a residual bitterness that lingers with me. It's hard to explain, but I feel somewhat jaded from this journey... I don't smile nearly as much as I used to. I have become a more private person, to the point of nearly shutting some people out. I feel more vulnerable and carry myself with less confidence. I am impatient when it comes to others' concerns, unless they are what I consider to be real issues.

At times I ponder my journey and wonder how I can use it to become an all around better me. When the day comes that I hold my baby in my arms, I know I will feel great joy. But will life still feel bittersweet? I suppose it might. For now, I will try my best to let go of the bitterness and focus on the sweet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Is it just me or do you find yourself continuously dealing with mixed emotions??

Try as I might to focus on the joy, there seems to always be a contrasting emotion. For example:

Being able to feel the baby move a few times throughout the day....&....All the quiet time in between when I worry about whether the baby is still alive.

The relief of finally getting pregnant again....&....The inability to fully enjoy pregnancy.

Looking forward to having a baby....&....Knowing that his/her older brother is not here.

A colleague and a friend announcing news of their "accidental" pregnancies....&....Thoughts of my friends who are struggling with infertility.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Miscellaneous thoughts and updates...

The results from the amnio are in and everything that was tested appears to be "normal." Whew!! A genetic counselor from my MFM's office called to let me know, and we will meet with our obgyn next week to go over the results more thoroughly.

Getting past the amnio is another milestone for me. I definitely appreciate knowing that the baby has the correct number of chromosomes, etc. However, my anxiety has not been focused on the possibility of a chromosomal abnormality. We lost our son last year at 21 weeks unexpectedly for unknown reasons. His heart stopped beating one day, and our doctors were not able to determine the cause. So the not knowing what happened is what bothers me. How do I know it can not happen again?

I've dopplered a couple of times now, on a as-needed basis, and am so glad I bought that thing. There have been a couple of days where I didn't feel any flutters and my mind began to worry. Both times I was able to find the "galloping horse" quickly. Thanks to those of you who recommended the monitor and provided me with helpful information!

In 2 weeks, I am planning a (much-needed) surprise weekend getaway for dh & me. It's going to be his birthday, Valentine's day, and we will have just reached 20 weeks. I am very much looking forward to some relaxation for both of us!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Amnio: check!

Yesterday I completed my amnio. This appointment was one that I was not at all looking forward to. Yet I knew it was something that I should do. During the past couple of weeks, I tried not to think about the pending appointment because I was developing a sense of dread. Tuesday, the day the before the appointment, reality set in and I felt very nervous. I was not afraid of the possibility of pain- that I can handle. During pregnancy we do everything we can to protect our babies, and the thought of an invasive procedure (with a small risk attached to it) is one that probably most pregnant women are not too comfortable with. Before going to bed Tuesday night, I reminded myself that the purpose of having the procedure was to help this pregnancy and decided that for the baby's sake I had to be strong.

As it often happens in life, the anticipation turned out to be worse than the actual event. The doctor who performed the amnio is our MFM/Perinatologist, who is known to be the best in this city. He performs 2-3 amnios per day, and has been doing so for over 20 years. The genetic counselor pointed out the importance of this, versus going to someone who does one or two per month. I made sure to look away during the procedure and tried to visualize that I was on a beach in the tropics somewhere. (yeah, right!) The needle went in quickly and rather painlessly. The doctor informed me that I would feel some pressure (when he withdrew the fluid). The process was over in less than 5 minutes. Apparently the baby decided to squirm around after the needle was inserted, but the doctor quickly moved the needle out of the way.

I am currently concluding the last couple minutes of the 24 hours following the amnio. If something horrible were to go wrong, it likely would have during this timeframe. Light cramping and a feeling of pressure are normal side effects. The symptoms to watch out for are severe abdominal pain, fever/chills, or a large gush of fluid (i.e. water breaking). Now I have 24 more hours of bedrest, to be followed by a week of "taking it easy." In two weeks I will meet with my obgyn to go over the results.

Whew! Glad to be done with that part, and looking forward to/hoping for good results in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I am now at 16.5 weeks. During the past few days I have started to feel the occasional flutters of the baby moving. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To Doppler or Not To Doppler

After much consideration, I have finally taken the plunge and purchased a doppler. I know it's really not a big deal, but it's a decision that I put a lot of thought into and delayed as long as possible. Part of me wanted to be able to transform myself into that pregnant woman who doesn't worry, whose mind would not question the well-being of their baby.

But, I lost the possibility of being that pregnant woman a year ago. Of course, at every moment I am grateful to be pregnant- yet it's going to take some work and more time for me to feel confident with this pregnancy.

The doppler should arrive in a few days. My husband believes that we will not know how to use the machine correctly and will end up in a panic not being able to find the baby's heartbeat. (Another reason why I didn't buy one sooner). However, I've promised myself that if I run into that scenario, I will remain calm and rational. :) I've read on other blogs that the doppler brings much needed comfort at times and I am really looking forward to that.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

7 Things About Me

The lovely Emi at The Lilly Pad kindly tagged me with this fun, little exercise.

The rules are simple: just give 7 facts about you and then nominate 7 people for the beautiful blogger award...

1. My favorite thing to do is travel. I was bit by the travel bug early on, and there is nothing that I enjoy more than the adventure of experiencing a new place and learning about its culture. I've traveled on 5 of the 7 continents, and plan to visit the last two at some point.

2. I've always known that I wanted kids, but it wasn't until my early 30s after a couple years of marriage that I seriously started thinking about it. I never thought having a baby would be easy to accomplish, but I did not expect for the past 3 years to be so hard. Bringing a healthy baby into this world has become my top priority, and now I want nothing more to be a stay at home mom for a little while.

3. I will feel so blessed to have one child here on earth, and even more so if I am fortunate enough to eventually have another. Now that I've reached my mid 30s and have struggled with fertility issues, I hope but wonder if my dream will ever come true.

4. I grew up in the South and went to school in the West. Now I live in a big, crazy city where- try as I might- I do not feel at home.

5. My husband is such a wonderful person. Everyone who meets him adores him, and I think you would too. I am not sure how I got so lucky in that department, and it's amazing how he puts up with me sometimes. I am so grateful to have him as my life partner.

6. I love to cook (and eat for that matter!). I often spend Saturdays trying out new recipes. My preference is seafood, vegetarian and ethnic cuisines. I'm not a big sweets eater, but could easily devour a block of cheese.

7. The idea of starting a blog never occurred to me. I accidentally stumbled across a lostbabymama's blog while researching information. As much as I wish no of us were part of this club, I am so incredibly thankful to have discovered people who are dealing with infertility and/or baby loss who can relate. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and offering me your support!

Now, please play along (if you'd like)! I am interested in knowing more about each of you. So I am going to cheat..if you are reading this to consider yourself tagged!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The 2nd trimester begins!

I've graduated from my RE. Yay! I am happy about this step, partly because the RE that I recently inherited was a moron. I am so glad to be returning to my obgyn who we like and who knows us.

As soon as my ob received my paperwork and learned that I was pregnant, he called to congratulate us and let us know he is optimistic. We've completed our first trimester screening with the perinatologist, who has the rolls-royce of ultrasound machines. We got to see our wee one wiggling around on a large flat screen tv screen- very cool. The nuchal fold looks fine, thankfully. Due to my history and age, they also had us meet with their genetic counselor.

The first trimester screening results point to us having to do an amnio. I was very much hoping this would not be the case, but we are mulling over the recommendation- which is also what my obgyn suggests. This is mainly because of my history of a 2nd trimester loss and largely because I am now 35 and have therefore reached "advanced maternal age". Ugh! Seriously, it's like crossing that cut-off age changes everything.

Of course no one likes the idea of a long needle being inserted into their pregnant belly. I am not that concerned about the discomfort or possible pain. What I worry about is the small risk associated with the procedure. The risk, however, is indeed small... 1/400, or .25%. I actually have a significantly higher risk of their being something wrong with the baby... 1/120.

In order to gain more information, I will likely move forward with the testing. I hope and pray that everything goes smoothly with this pregnancy. If for some reason there is information we should know, we would prefer to find out. I may feel this way due to the nature of the loss our son.. I went in for a normal visit and found out at 21 weeks he had died. It was like being hit by a truck. In addition, the cause was never determined. As a result, I can't help but worry somewhat that whatever it was could happen again.

I am happy have reached the second trimester. I'm also hoping that soon I will be able to breathe a little easier.