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.