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.