Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In the Middle Or- The Post-OP Appointment Post

Post-Op Appointment
I had my post OP appointment yesterday morning. I went to my OB, who I adore, and not the MD that did my TMFR (who was a wonderful surgeon but seemed uncomfortable with my sadness). It was hard to walk into that building again. The ultrasound room is on the 1st floor, the MD that did my level II ultrasound and amnio is on the second,  the 3rd  is my doctor and on the 7th the TMFR doc. Lots of memories. The bad ones I can deal with, it was the good, exciting ones that were so hard.  

Aside from the mental, it was a good appointment.  She looked at my cervix, which was closed and felt me up and found nothing concerning. I have the go ahead to start trying to conceive again as long as my period comes back and seems “like my own”.  

I’ll repeat: I have the go ahead to start trying to conceive again.

In the Middle
I feel breathless with both anxiety and excitement as I type those words (OK fine, I copy and pasted the second time). I can't wait, and yet I can do nothing but wait. How can I go down this road again? How can I not? Fortunately, I'll have some time to digest this, I am reasonably certain I won't be back to my period for another week and if things aren't familiar then I have to wait another month, decision aside. (How delicately put was that!)

My snap decision? No. No way in hell. We'll try in March as planned. This was only strengthened when my OB went through the "as soon as you get a positive test at home call the office, you'll do beta draws until it is over 15,000. Then we'll do a dating scan. At that point we'll talk about how invasive and comprehensive testing you want". Oh. My. God. Blood draws, that ultrasound room, banal chit-chat with Nancy the (wonderful) tech, then the horrible awful blood draw for the quad screen. Then she dropped the real bomb, the earliest, earliest we could know if T18 or any of it's ugly step-sisters has it's hold on our rainbow baby is 12-13 weeks. 

I literally put my hands over my face and cried. It seems like an eternity. 

Then, going home my heart changed. It would always be that succession of memory events, one more terrible than the last. Next month, 3 months from now or 3 years from now. Still, I wasn't 100%, so when hub asked, I told him let's wait it out, we have a vacation planned for the last two weeks of March- why make it a dry cruise? Cue canned laugh track. But in my head I said "it would be a good way to pass two weeks of waiting to get to 12 weeks. Then you only have 7 weeks of terror aided by Dr Google".

Now a day has passed and moonlighting statistician Liz has come into the picture. Not sure why she ever pops up, I am terrible at math and really hated every stats class I ever took (3) yet I keep ending up in math-y Epi classes (and those stats classes). Every month a normal healthy woman has only a 20% chance of getting pregnant. I really, really want a 2012 baby. If I start TTC in March, I only have one shot. If I start in February I'll have two. Since I have already been the 1:5 shot twice in recent memory- once when Blue Sunday was conceived in September and then again when Blue Sunday was the 1 in 1:5 for T18- I think it will take more than one try. How can someone be the 1 that often?

Today is Tuesday- date night at our house. Dinner has a 4:5 chance of being when to make a baby discussion. By which I mean, me asking hub to try next month. 

To be continued...

It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Jimmy Eat World, In The Middle

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rick Santorum's daughter Bella

Life of Pain
I can't stand Rick Santorum's politics, I think he is a hateful bigot.(An Aside: As I am sure will come out on this blog eventually, I'm straight not narrow and believe in human rights for ALL) I am however so, so sad for his little daughter Bella. She has T18 and is 3 years old, currently hospitalized. A "miracle" they say, for living "so long". 3 whole years.

I try and refrain from publicly judging people in a negative way as much as possible. Reading about the struggles of this little child, of her limitations, of her hospitalization, of her terribly poor life expectancy I find myself unable to avoid negative judgement of  the parents who brought her into this world. Even before this happened to my Blue Sunday this was a judgement I couldn't help but pass. Why is it "right" to allow a child to suffer, but it isn't "right" to have an abortion? The end result will be the same- death, intense sadness, a chasm of guilt- but you spare a child pain in the process. How is that not the very meaning of Christian morality? Aren't you supposed to be kind to others, to love your neighbor as you love yourself? If I were born to suffer I would hope to be spared by my parents. That would be kind and right and loving.


The above is a link from Rick's website talking about Bella. Two issues: First off Trisomy 18 is NOT "like Down Syndrome" other than the fact that they are both trisomies and they both cause mental retardation. This is like saying a brain injury is like Down Syndrome because they both cause mental impairment. They are different issues with different outcomes and limitations. Secondly, I REALLY don't understand why it isn't OK to medically intervene to end a pregnancy with a poor fetal diagnosis but it is OK to provide medical intervention to extend that  life. Isn't it the same thing? Aren't you, in both circumstances, altering "God's Plan". Or is it that God created medicine to extend life and the Devil created medicine to end it? Good people chose to extend life with God approved medicine and bad people chose to end it was Devil medicine?

What brought this on? I was on Yahoo News and gleefully reading comments on various stories while on a study break. When I came across the Santorum story I felt pity for that little girl. Her parents knew she was afflicted before birth and yet allowed the pregnancy to continue. I can't find it in my heart to feel real pity for them. I am sorry they had this happen to their child, but their going forward with the pregnancy made me angry. There was a comment that, though harsh and over the top, mentioned some things I believe are really the issues in question. For your reading pleasure, Will D from Houston, Texas

You know, if these g__d__ religious people would not be so dogmatic and just accept that there might actually be a good reason to have an abortion once in awhile, Mr. Santorum would not find himself in deplorable position. He has allowed the birth of a child with unspeakable deformities and who is in constant and unimaginable misery and pain. Yeah, way to go right-to-life people. That really Christian and compassionate of you to bring someone into the world who is assured of a very short and very misery-filled life. That's just super great of you all to put some ridiculous misguided ideology ahead of human misery and suffering. You're all super-great people. Really. The good news is that if there REALLY is a hell, guess where you're going to spend all of eternity? That's right. God doesn't give a crap about your false piety. God cares about your actions. God cares about your compassion. I mean, you might as well have tied this child to a bed and beat it every day with sticks and rocks, burned it with cigarette butts, and bashed its head open. By your selfish, dogmatic actions, this is exactly what you have done. And I pray each and every day that there really is a hell because if there really is, you will receive eternal justice for your despicable, inhuman, psychotic behavior.

Current Playlist:
I understand your problems
I can figure out the reasons why
But I can't help what I feel
I can't accept what I see
Black Flag, Life of Pain

Friday, January 27, 2012

The "What If" Carousel

Born This Way?
Though in my heart I know I did the right thing, I can't help wondering "What if".

I would have been 22 weeks yesterday.
We would have been starting the nursery this weekend. (Happy side note- my office is finally finished! happy yellow paint in there!)

I was listening to my iPhone's music and having a killer day at work (because of work not because of what's in my head) when Born This Way came on. To refresh your memory:

I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Lady Gaga, Born This Way

I love my baby, but what if she/he was on the "right track" and I was not? Of course the next line is:

Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Lady Gaga, Born This Way

Can't make it easy, can she? May be I'm on the right track. And what happened to Blue Sunday was just a huge Charlie Foxtrot. I want to emphasize "what happened to Blue Sunday", I don't believe that Blue was the disease, I feel that she/he was separate from it. That this is something that happened to him/her and not all he/she was. I know that is a little point, but it is one that matters, and one that makes it so hard for me. The extra chromosome was added to a baby who would have been wonderful, special., naughty, cute and mine all on his or her own.  I'll never know what that little person was like because of this little extra piece. It's true I suppose- It's the little things.

I was going to end there, but in more signs from my iPhone- it just played for me "Going 'Round One More Time" By the wonderful James Taylor (hearts and flowers to him <3) .

Betty was a little heartbreaker
It didn't quite work out
She did a number on my confidence
I was riddled with self doubt
I said that's it I'm through I quit
Then Juanita she looked so fine.
James Taylor, Going Round One More Time 

Hoping I regain confidence in my eggs and give this mommy thing another go.

Monday, January 23, 2012

4 weeks since the bad news

Let me tell you the story
'bout the call the changed my destiny
Backstreet Boys, The Call

I can't believe it's been a month. It has been one entire month since I received the phone call giving me the 1:5 odds of Trisomy 18. It was the day after Christmas.

It has been more than one month since I was feeling happy and pregnant. I took my very last pregnancy picture just an hour or so before the phone call that essentially ended it. I feel like I haven't been able to breathe since that moment. That call really did change my destiny.

I had felt destined to be a mom, to hold a warm, squirming baby in my arms one day. Finally, that one day was in reach! Hub and I had planned a future with kids since senior year of high school, 7 years ago now. I just don't know if that is in the cards for us now. Hub has started to join me in my talk about what we'll do (have frivolous fun), buy (a vacation home in Florida) and see (all MLB teams in Texas and NorCal this summer) as a childless couple. It just doesn't seem as fun as when we were actually childless. Now we are just less a child. (Ahhh word play, told you I was an English Major) It is freeing to escape the weight of Blue Sunday's loss by thinking about a life I stopped wondering about long ago, but it feels like I've given up on a whole set of dreams and it never felt like that before. Because, really, you CAN travel with a child but you CAN'T be someone's mom without being a parent.

In happier news, it appears my weeks of bleeding are over. I have been clean since Saturday- so at 2.5 weeks it appears I'm done. That is BIG news, I'm hoping to start my period in the next 2-3 weeks and start getting back to normal. The new normal. I can feel that my hormone levels are normalizing, while I am still sad (so sad) I don't feel desperate and I can concentrate on other things- at least for some length of time every day. I have been eating and showering on a normal human basis-- go me!!

It's been raining since you left me, now I'm drowning in the flood
See I've always been a fighter, but without you I give up
Bon Jovi, Always

Friday, January 20, 2012

Perfection Will Not Come

All I can think is "My baby is dead".

My baby is dead
My baby is dead 
My baby is dead 

There are so many way to think it, but nothing changes it. 

And when I stop repeating that (because crying at work makes me incredibly unproductive) I am left with, "My baby is better off dead". Which is worse?  

Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
Maybe you want her maybe you need her
Maybe you've started to compare to someone not there
Maybe you want it maybe you need it
Maybe it's all you're running from
Perfection will not come
The Fray, All At Once

This, That and part Two of the T18 Story

Editor's Note: This was written at 2 weeks post loss, Wednesday 18 January, I just published it Friday.
The baby who didn’t make it

The link above is to a very poignant article by Helena Holgersson-Shorter about the termination of her pregnancy for Trisomy 18. I could identify with almost everything, but particularly the "whispered confessions" of others. Below, on the two week anniversary of my termination, is the story of receiving the amino results, starting from where I left off in my first post "4 days later":

I was told not to expect results until Friday, or perhaps I was told by Friday, either way, I didn't expect results on the Thursday after my Tuesday procedure and I went to work; happy to be released from bed rest. I spent the morning obsessively on Google scholar looking up odds of seeing a normal scan with a T18 baby. (about 80% of the time they see some marker at the weeks gestation Blue Sunday was. I'd drop a citation but I don't want to Google it anymore.) I was eating a snack bag of Smartfood popcorn and then took a bathroom break. For some reason, I brought my phone with me-- my personal not my work. That was very unusual. I was just finishing up in the small, dark back stall when my phone started vibrating. I answered the un-programmed number and heard the Indian accent I was dreading. Just the tone of his "hello" and I knew it was bad. After the usual pleasantries he said "I'm sorry this is a Trisomy 18 baby". As if that was all about it that mattered. I suppose, it is all that mattered in the end. He asked me a few questions, but I just wanted to rush him off the phone, I don't even remember what they were. My legs were shaking so hard I could see them jiggling. I had sat back down on the toilet.

I made it back into my office and shut the door before I cried. I don't remember if I washed my hands, doubtful (yuck). Then I started crying, those awful loud sobs that you can't quite believe are coming out of you. I called hub, who asked if he could call me back because he was at the barber. I told him no, I needed him because our baby had it. Then I started wailing, he told me to come home and said he'd meet me there. Not the best way to tell your hub, but what could I do?

The next person I told after the confirmation of Blue Sunday's diagnosis was my boss. I think I mumbled something about how I'd be out for the duration of that week and all of the next, since I would have to terminate. She knew we were waiting on test results. She is the mother of 2 healthy tweens, and said to me, tears in her eyes "This happened with one of mine". While she cried and gave me a hug. Even in the moment, I liked that the baby was "one of" hers, and not something that happened to her. That baby was still a baby, not a horrible event.

Chris called me back just as I was leaving the garage. I know that he was grasping "Is this for sure, could they have made a mistake". I felt like I was breaking his heart every time I had to tell him that this was real. Our baby had this terrible disorder. He stayed on the phone with me as I made my way home, it probably took me 40 minutes. I did my best not to cry and make the drive home even more unsafe. I did an OK job. When I walked in I just collapsed into hub's arms. We sat mostly in silence until it was time for us to go over and tell my parents.

I live just a few blocks from my parents, something hub was very happy about (no sarcasm),  so we drove over at about the time we thought they would be home for just a few minutes.. but we misjudged and they were still climbing the front stairs (22 of them). They both knew right away "Why are you here" they asked, panicked voiced. "Just go in" I tell them "it's cold". This volley happened a few more times but I got them and and was crying before I even said "The baby isn't going to make it. It has the disease". They knew the screening results, but everyone but me was so sure it was going to be negative. My parents did a great job actually, comforting me rather than breaking down themselves. They knew we would terminate and everyone is OK with that. No one wanted to bring a suffering baby into the world.

For the rest of the night we did what we always do- order pizza, drink beer (delicious and bittersweet after so long) and play cards. No one's heart was in it, but life must go on. Right?

The worst part, so far, was watching hub's reaction after he told his mother. He called her, because she has an opposite work schedule of us and getting together is hard. He had left the room to call, so I wouldn't have to hear. He came back in still shaky and crying. He had been so, so strong for me, it had been clear he was sad and disappointed but actually breaking down isn't his thing. His mom had known something was wrong, I stopped updating my "pregnancy!" album on facebook and  Hub and I had called trying to get in touch with her more than we ever have in the past. She has experienced a m/c in the 2nd trimester, so she gets how hard this is for us. I think her kindness and understanding broke him a little. His stepdad called crying as well. Poor everyone.

So that leaves it as our families know, but not our friends, and I still am, technically, pregnant. More to come.
I just got this bracelet I ordered in memory of Blue Sunday. It is so pretty I wanted to share with you all! It is green because I haven't had the heart to look at the sex yet, with the blue flower because I felt "boy" throughout. The branch is in honor of the tree-top nursery we had planned and the little bird is flying free of the terrible disease the baby would have been born with. I got it from seller HeatherBerry on Etsy and recommend her and her shop. The bracelet is just as pretty in real life as it is on-line. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


An aside before the meat and potatoes of my post: I'm sure you wonder why every post has a song. It is because I LOVE music. I really believe that music is the new oral tradition, that music is poetry. I am actually tone deaf, so I spend a lot of time with lyrics and lyrics alone. I was an English major in college and put inordinate emphasis on hidden meanings of word choice. I also can name the next lyric freakishly easy. True story, I one won a lyric competition, tone deafness and all! Poor audience. I was once singing a love song to hub (Bon Jovi, Always sob!) and he told me "It's really better if you don't sing" :( On that sad note (me? Sad? Never!, on with the post.
 I adore this song, so I had to write out nearly the entire song, it is so fitting for how I feel:

Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far.
And did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
Don't make you sad to know that life is more than who you are?
Grew up way too fast and now there's nothing to believe.
Reruns all become our history.
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio,
And I won't tell 'em your name.

I think about you all the time, but I don't need the same.
It's lonely where you are. Come back down.
And I won't tell 'em your name.
The Goo Goo Dolls, Name

I am struggling with my choice not to find out the gender of Blue Sunday, and to give him or her a proper name. I keep having name lyrics pop into my head, that above and those below. I want to refer to him or her. I want to have a memorial of some sort, a donation or something bought in his or her honor. I feel I can't do that without a name. I am considering a real but gender neutral name ("It's Pat!) but can't think of anything fitting.  

I think I am fearful because I really felt this baby was a boy, and have thought of it as my son. I will be so heartbroken if it is a little girl (the girl I have always dreamed to mother) and think of how she must have felt that I thought of her as a him. Also, I fear that I will never have kids, or kids but not of Blue Sunday's gender, and the baby will come to represent even more than the loss of one baby, but the loss of the whole idea of being the mother of a son or a daughter.

On top of all that, Hub doesn't want to know. Above and beyond all else is our relationship with each other. I know if I told him I *had* to know, he would consent, but I'm not there yet. I can't bring myself to go behind his back, because I would slip up eventually. Also, how shitty of someone to keep a secret like that from their spouse (the finding out, not the gender)?

And then of course there are the words of the immortal Shakespeare through Juliet telling me that a name is nothing meaningful: 

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.
Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II lines 47-51

Does it really matter in the end? I lost a baby. My baby. Who I love and desperately miss. At the end of the day, I don't care if it is a boy or a girl.. and how could I hurt more than I already do?

Current Playlist:
Destiny's Child, Name "Say my name, say my name/ If no one is around you, say "Baby, I love you"
Vanessa Williams, Colors of the Wind "But I know every rock and tree and creature/ Has a life, has a spirit, has a name"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Other Blogs and Milestones

Sunday Bloody Sunday
U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday

Yes, that is in reference to what you think it is. Yuck and TMI ahead.
So yesterday I started back on walking on the treadmill, I did 40 minutes and then walked over to my parent's house for Sunday dinner. I paid for "overdoing it" with increased bleeding, including clots, and cramping. It lasted right through midday today. I just want to be able to work out. It makes me feel so much better, mentally and physically. We are planning a vacation for the last two weeks on March, I'd like to lose this pregnancy weight, seeing as I didn't really earn it.

More about that vacation later, today I want to blog about other blogs, riveting I know. I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading blogs by other women who have lost babies in pregnancy, for one reason or another. This is less depressing than it sounds, since it seems like starting a baby loss blog was all the rage back in 2007 and 2008. Or perhaps there were more baby losses back then? Regardless of why, I read through years worth of blogging in just a few hours, giving me a crash course in this whole process. Cheaper than "getting help", right? Here is what I've learned, we'll call it Baby loss blogging, Step by Step

Step by step oh baby
I want you, I need you, I want you in my world
New Kids on the Block, Step by Step

1) In the first few weeks, there are LOTS of blog posts, they aren't so organized or thought out. This is raw emotion. Raw, sad, angry and full of disbelief.

2) After a couple or a few months, blog posts are more infrequent, but direct. The mothers talk about deep grief, but it is much less raw to the outside world (me).

3) Eventually they talk about trying to conceive again (TTC) this is fraught with worries and concerns above and beyond the average TTC'er.* Most try and succeed to conceive again (yay!)

* It seems that baby loss moms who blog have more than the baby loss issue going on. Many have fertility issues related to the pregnancy loss that led them to blog, or had a history of issues conceiving. This is not one of those blogs.

4) Conception achieved! Flurry of blogging, worries for the new baby, worries about forgetting the baby that passed, worries about when to tell family/friends/coworkers. These are the generalized anxiety posts. I cheat here and make sure the baby makes it, and then feel superior reading all the concern.

5) 12-20 weeks into the new pregnancy and true terror sets in. This is where those of us in chromosomal/ fetal abnormality dead baby land freak out. Waiting for the screening tests and what the naive people call the "big gender scan" is agonizing, even for me and I cheated and know the outcome.

6) Somewhere in here, there are the "XX months ago" and "this time in my last pregnancy" posts. These are hard to read, they assure you that you NEVER get over it.

7) Weeks 20-birth less blogging. Who can blame them? The blog was for a baby that died, it must bring back awful memories. When there is blogging, and it isn't blogs like #6, it is excited disbelief, "I can't believe I might actually take home a baby"!

8) Soon after birth, whenever tired new mommy has time, there is a post about how new baby won't replace dead baby, how they will always miss it. But from here on out, there are longer and longer gaps between posts. Baby is growing and is beautiful, life seems happier.

9) Obligatory "dead baby anniversary" post, this is whatever year is immediately after the living baby birth. Usually is something like "I wonder what you would be like with your new little sibling" or " I can't believe that if you hadn't died, new baby wouldn't be here."

10) Death of the blog. Sometimes there is literally a "this isn't the place for these ramblings" post and other times there is just a string of everyday family posts and then nothing. May be this is where they accept the loss, this is my hope, for them and someday for myself.

Current Playlist:
Now she's gone and I am left alone
as you can see
ever since I caused her death
I do miss her company
James Taylor, Mona 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dreaming with a Broken Heart

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for the moment you can hardly breathe
Wondering was she really here?
John Mayer, Dreaming with a Broken Heart

I'm now 11 days post surgery, and slowly becoming more stable. The hardest part is the mornings, I think because my dreams are so awful. Last night I dreamed I was pregnant with a little boy who was missing an arm and a leg. Everyone wanted me to terminate, but he was otherwise healthy. People kept telling me "you've done it before, why won't you do it again?". Someone else wanted to know why I would keep one imperfect child and not the other. I want to stress, mostly for myself, that this termination wasn't to prevent an imperfect child, it was to prevent my beloved baby's suffering. I wake up crying.

Last night Hub and I went to the movies, we saw Contraband with Marky Mark. Unfortunately he was mostly clothed, but it wasn't a bad movie. We did our usual, dinner and drinks in the Lux level before the movie, 7$ a ticket with a military ID! It was a nice way to forget, until I was confronted with a hugely pregnant woman in the lobby. Then I was crying, rather hysterically. Ugggg

Much to Hub's annoyance, I spend a lot of time trying to retrain myself to think as if we'll never have kids. We plan on trying again, but I just don't find myself naive enough to think I'll have kids just because I want them. Instead of planning for them, I want to start thinking about the remaining years of my life with just the two of us. It is different, but not terrible, I suppose. Today I came up with two things in the positive category- sleeping in on weekends and getting an Audi (since I won't need to pay for private school). I almost had a third, never saying things like "don't leave your poop in the toilet, flush it please" but then I remembered who I married! Look! I made a joke!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Numb or Sobbing

Joy and Hope Broke
Wow. My emotions are whacked. I'm on day 8 post loss and I cried three times this morning before I even made it to work. The first was when I found that the cats broke a candle holder- with 3 pedestals labeled "Joy, Hope, Love" Joy and Hope broke- Love was fine. Figures right? A sign perhaps? The second was actually thinking about Blue Sunday and how much I am missing out on. The final time was listening to Rocket Man- Elton John

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time/ 'til touchdown bring me 'round again to find/ I'm not the man they think I am at home/ oh no, no, no

I couldn't help thinking, it is going to be a long (long) time until I am back again, and I am never going to be my old self. I'll eventually behave like a normal person (eating, sleeping, behaving acceptably in public) but I'm never going home.

Since this (deep?) realization, I feel.. nothing. I am numb. I know, really know, that I will never again think of my life as so blessed and so lucky (as I have always felt). I will never joyfully announce a pregnancy before the 20 week scan (ignore the logistics of that for a few months, please. I KNOW there will be lots to think about eventually). I will never feel whole, because I am not. Part of me is just... missing.

And I feel nothing about it.

Current Playlist (Aside from Sir John's masterpiece)

I need something beautiful
To fill the space we've taken up
I need something to feel real
Again before I go numb
Sevendust, Beautiful 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines

In pieces on the ground

Sigh. That is hands down my favorite line in all of songwriting.

Sweet dreams and flying machines/ in pieces on the ground

James Taylor, Fire and Rain. That's how I feel today, on what should have been the mid way point in my pregnancy. That song is going to be on loop for the coming weeks and months. It is simply perfect for how I am feeling-- my world has crashed down around me.

I feel better than I did yesterday, physically. I started bleeding again, it was never much to begin with, but it was nearly non-existent until today, now bleeding. I was hoping I was nearing the end so that my body can get ready for cycle 1 hopefully in 3 weeks. Looking unlikely now.

While writing a blog is a big relief for me, it is hard to read the blogs of others. I can't find very many who have had a chromosomal loss, most of the baby loss blogs are early miscarriages and when the women reach the second trimester in later pregnancies there is a palpable sense of relief. I won't get that until after 20 weeks IF I ever get pregnant again.  Sigh.

If you're out there reading this, feel free to comment. I wonder who my audience is, I see in stats people are reading it but I have no idea who you are!

It's been One week...

Cue BNL...  
I am now one week post termination. Today was a hard day. I ended up not going to work. A combination of knowing I would be an emotional mess and the fact the my pain was getting worse. It is very like doing WAY too many sit-ups. Hub was terrified last night, so I agreed to call the doctor this morning, just my luck, both my OB and the surgeon were out of the office. It is fine for my OB, her office was very nice and offered to get her on the phone for me. Since she wasn't the TX MD anyway, I just called the other doctor, who was also out of the office. That office has been nothing but a shit show and today was no exception.

Back on my first appointment there, they asked me to pay my co-pay, which is fine. I went up with a credit card, like I do at every medical office I've been to in the last 10 years. The receptionist looks at me like I'm a moron and says "check or cash". I say "I don't have either" "well, how are you going to pay?" Smartass. So I respond "I haven't been to an office that doesn't take cards since the 90s" She didn't like that and gave me the death stare. Whatever. Then they went on and on, losing forms I needed to sign not knowing where the MD was.  The next day for my follow-up visit they lost MORE paperwork, this time stuff I had already signed. Then the MD's headlamp thing died and he had to get one from another room.. isn't that someone's JOB? So he goes to get the lamp, and I'm on the table with my who-ha hanging out for the world to see!

So back to yesterday, I call the office and tell them who I am and my problem. The response: "Well Dr is out of the office. Is this an emergency?" I don't know.. that's why I'm calling you.. the doctor's office. I say something to that effect and she says "I can take a message and let him know tomorrow". Look, we've established we don't know if this is an emergency or not, can you GET IN TOUCH with the doctor? He must have an emergency number. Eventually this receptionist sees reason and takes a message. Doc calls back, asks a few questions and calls in an antibiotic. I was sure it wasn't an infection, and am morally opposed to taking antibiotics for no reason, but I took them so Hub wouldn't kill me. We'll see if they do anything.

I think that feeling lousy and being mad at the doctor's office has made me feel a little better, my mind is busy elsewhere. I might want to capitalize on this.

Hub isn't doing so well, he is slipping into a depression. We both list as part of our daily accomplishments getting dressed and showering. Not really that swell. Now that we are 1 week post, I told him those can't be listed as accomplishments. So his goal is to start cooking again and mine is to start eating. On a related note, I lost 6 pounds this week.

It's been one week since you looked at me 
Dropped your arms to the side and said I'm sorry 
Five days since I laughed at you and said
You just did just what I thought you were gonna do
Barenaked Ladies, One Week 

From Blue Sunday to me, God knows I apologized to that baby time and time again over the last few weeks. I can only hope Blue Sunday would laugh and know that what I did, I did for love.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blue Sunday loss = Hub Deployed

6 Days Post Termination:

I just find myself comparing this loss to deployment. When Hub left, I felt like I was staring at an impossible journey. The year just stretched in front of me endlessly. I didn't see how I would get through one year, one month, one day, one minute. Every single one of them represented time that I wasn't spending doing what I "should" have been. Spending time with Hub, incubating and raising a baby.

Then there is R&R, that magical 2 weeks where you get a break from the worry of war and have your solider home in your arms, safe and sound. Looking forward to it always felt like a jinx- like he'd be killed in the mean time, at the exact moment I buy that all important first sighting outfit or book a romantic hotel. This is like imagining getting pregnant again. As wonderful and awesome that would be, and is to think about- what if it never comes? Like the R&R for so many war widows. What if I am childless from here on out? Or-worse?- what if this awful loss happens again? What if the R&R comes and is every bit as wonderful as one can imagine, and then the unthinkable happens and your solider is killed between R&R and homecoming? What if this happens again. Can I handle the thought of hearing again "I am sorry, this is a trisomy 18 baby". or any one of the myriad of other deadly abnormalities of fetus-hood. That's the trick of R&R and additional pregnancies. You can think for just a moment you're in the clear, when really, you're just starting over again.

Current Playlist:
Just a Dream- Carrie Underwood- "Baby why'd you leave me/ Why'd you have to go/ I was counting on forever, now I'll never know/ I can't even breathe/ It's like I'm lookin' from a distance/ Standing in the background/ Everybody's saying he's not coming home now"

Just one today song on the playlist, this came on as I was in the car yesterday and I literally couldn't stop crying. Very fitting.

First Day Back at Work/ rant against God

Blech. Today was hard. My cry counter was already at 4 before I even walked in the door of work. I just feel like it is way too soon to get back to real life, that this baby.. that baby... deserved more. More time to mourn in private, my bruises from the IVs haven't even healed yet. Mostly, I didn't want to deal with other people, with their sympathy faces on, asking questions that will make me cry if I answer.

Mostly I was afraid of people I couldn't really speak my mind to saying silly things like "It was God's plan" or "Things happen as they are supposed to". Really? God wanted me to have to choose between watching my baby suffer and die or have an abortion and never even meet him/her? God planned on giving me this grief? And, to stop being so selfish for a minute, God choose to kill thousands in Haiti, Japan and Louisiana in natural disasters? He chooses to allow wars and dictatorships? My favorite is when people make off like I will be punished eternally for aborting a baby that would have lead a horrible, painful, short life that God gave it (in their minds) and my response to him would be "Fine I'll go to hell for one life, where do you go for all the people you made ill and die?"

I have so much sorrow on my heart. I feel like I can't do anything right. I feel like we cheated baby by not finding out the gender (though I have the option open to me, the OB has my amnio results). We don't even have a name for it, though I call baby Blue Sunday in my head- for Little Boy Blue and My Girl Sunday. Sort of a pretty name, as long as you never grow up. But really, it is easier not to know EXACTLY what we lost. And in so many ways it doesn't matter- "not even a little bit, not even at all" to quote 10 Things I Hate About You.

Current Playlist:
Hold on baby, you're losing it
The water's high, you're jumping into it
And letting go and no one knows
That you cry but you don't tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one 
And you're tied together with a smile
But you're coming undone
Taylor Swift , Tied Together With a Smile

Really the entire song speaks to me, so I linked the lyrics but my favorites are:
They say bad things happen for a reason
But no wise words gonna stop the bleeding
Cuz' she's moved on while I'm still grieving
And when a heart breaks, no it don't break even
The Script, Breakeven


Sunday, January 8, 2012

4 Days Later

Somehow, this post was deleted. I am recreating as best I can this post, the very first of my blog. I won't do it justice. I had bits of it copy and pasted, the rest of it is seared in my memory.

I am 4 days past terminating my very much wanted baby. Still crampy, sore and medicated. My baby had trisomy 18, a horrible constellation of physical and mental disabilities caused by a tripling of the 18th chromosome. It is fatal in most fetuses. Of those who survive to full term,  most die in the birth process. If that is survived, 90% die in the first year of life. The 5 year survival rate is less than one percent. These babies usually don't breathe, see, talk, walk or eat on their own. These babies.. my baby. I couldn't sentence my baby to a life of ventilators and surgeries. To die in pain. I did what I could to protect my beloved baby from any pain, fear and suffering. I had to let my Blue Sunday fly. 

Hub and I have been wanting a child for years, but he was away for 2 years over just 2.5 and the timing wasn't right. He came home and settled in and we tried to conceive for 6 months when I realized that I was pregnant on September 18th 201l. I was on a flight on the way to vacation in California to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. My boobs were heavy and sore, I was exhausted and nauseated. I was 3 weeks and 4 days pregnant and I just knew. I was sitting away from hub on the first crowded plane, just a quick flight then 8 hours to California. I smiled to myself, so pleased in knowing this huge, wonderful secret and dreaming up the perfect way to tell him that we were going to be parents in May.

The perfect time came and went when we were driving through the mountains overlooking a canyon on our way from LA to Palm Springs. We got out to look around at a scenic overlook. We took some pictures of one another in the surreal landscape. I turned to him to tell him he was about to be a dad.. when he asked me if I wanted to sneak over to a secluded spot and do the deed. I declined on the count of cacti and I let the moment pass. When I did tell him the next morning we had a laugh over that. I confirmed the pregnancy with a pee test, 2 ink lines, and that was it. I was going to be a mom.

I wonder if I had told him in the canyon if things would have been different. All through my pregnancy I sang "Sweet Baby James" for my baby there is a line "He works in the saddle and sleeps in the canyon". I can't go 5 minutes without crying....

The end of the pregnancy started the day after Christmas. I got a call from my OB, but I missed it. I called back as hub was leaving for work. The call started out okay, I just didn't think anything could be wrong. She stated with the blood test results were high, 1 and 250 ish for Down Syndrome. I as scared, but thought I could have a baby with DS. But then she said 1:5 for T18. Don't look it up, come in tomorrow for a scan and an amnio. I looked it up. By some tiny blessing, hub forgot his Dunkin Donuts gift card. He called me to let me know he was coming back and that I should run it out to him. I thought  held it together but he asked me a few times if I was ok. When he came back to get it I lost it. I wanted to just tell him when he came home from work, but I just couldn't hold it. He called in to work. I called my parents, who were heartbroken and terrified, but tried to keep it together for me.

That Tuesday I called out of work and went to the OB early in the day. They did the scan, with the other OB who did my NT scan. They were all watching the hands, which are usually clenched in T18 babies, they opened once they told me, but I wonder if they were trying to make me feel better.  I just gripped hubs hand so hard the whole time. They said the legs were measuring short, which was the only issue they saw, and not surprising since hub and me are short. The OB told us unless we would terminate he wouldn't recommend an amnio. I started crying hysterically and through the tears told him we would terminate. But he thought  I said we wouldn't so he started scheduling other appointments. The u/s tech and I kept trying to correct him but it took some time. It was awful.

We did the amnio,  was very painful and scary but there were no complications. Then I just had to wait on results.