His name is Myles.
He lives inside of me.
He is full of smiles.
(Taken from my husband's blog.)
Musings on my journey through infertility, recurrent miscarriages, IVF, preeclampsia/HELLP, the premature birth of our first child, Myles, his death, and loving our surrogacy miracle, twin boys.
Posted by Niki at 11:19 PM
First I want to thank all of you who came to give me cyber hugs and lend support. It means a lot to know there are others out there who understand what I'm going through. Many cyber hugs to all of you in the IF trenches and many congrats to those of you who've made it out.
Infertility sucks. Miscarriage sucks. Having to do IVF sucks. Preeclampsia sucks. Losing a child sucks beyond belief. Having to do IVF again sucks. Having a miscarriage after all of the previously listed "sucky" things that have happened to me sucks.
I got my 2nd beta results back and my beta hcg dropped to 7. So, this makes miscarriage #3 for me. Although this wasn't a surprise, it still stung a bit. I wasn't holding out much hope, but had that persistant thought of well maybe just maybe this could be my miracle. Seriously, who was I kidding? Miracles happen to other people not me.
I am saddened by the loss of my dream and I am horrified to think that my body may have caused the death of my embryos. I am starting to really worry that my body is a baby killing machine?! I want to believe that it's not, but I'm having a hard time putting any faith in this body whatsoever.
This loss compounds and amplifies my sadness over Myles' death. If he had been born in May as was planned, I wouldn't be going through this loss right now. I'd be cuddling and loving my sweet little boy. I'd still have 6 frozen snowbabies in the freezer. But, my life never goes according to plans and Myles came early and died far too soon. So, now rather than cuddling and loving my sweet boy I cry and long for him daily! And now I lost another baby. I've been pregnant 4 times and all 4 times I've lost my babies. I have a giant, broken heart along with two empty, aching arms.
Do I have still have hope after all of this? Depends on when you ask me this. Right now Myles still gives me hope. Will I keep trying? Today I say yes I will keep trying and I won't let it end this way. I will emulate my son's strength and courage. I will persevere. I have 4 snowbabies who are waiting for me and I hope that one will fill my arms and warm my heart after all this heartache. Infertility and preeclampsia have not won! I will not let them beat me!
Hi, my name is Niki and my body kills babies.
I took 3 hpts this past weekend and all immediately came up as +. I was guardedly excited, but honestly didn't expect much. I told some of my friends that I was pregnant, but that I would probably end up having a miscarriage because "I was due for one." Boy did I predict that one ... today was my 1st beta and it came back at only 19. I can only assume that I am miscarrying given that the most sensitive hpt detects the lowest level of hcg at 25, which means that my hcg level must have been at least 25 on Friday. Therefore, my hcg levels have dropped and I'm having chemical pregnancy #2. So, that makes a total of 3 miscarriages (2 chemical pregnancies and 1 m/c at 12wks) for me and with Myles' death a total of 4 losses. Four pregnancies, 1 beautiful baby, and 2 empty, aching arms! :(
My clinic says they don't go by hpts and that I have to continue on my meds and wait for the 2nd beta on Wednesday. I asked what would happen if the level dropped and the nurse said I would be able to stop meds and wait to bleed. I immediately asked when I could start another cycle and she said as soon as I get a period I could begin things. Gosh, what kind of mommy am I to my snowbabies that are trying to hang on?! I'm already on to my next cycle. I guess I just wish it would have been a bfn as that would have been easier to deal with. Of course all of this shit makes me just miss Myles even more! It makes me wonder if I'm destined for a life of only being a mommy to a dead baby?! I just can't bear to live the rest of my life that way!
Then I ask myself these questions: Why do I keep doing this to my snowbabies?! Am I knowingly killing them by placing them in my body? Should I just quit and live my life as the mother to a dead baby? How can I continue to go through this over and over again? How much will be enough?
Today is the day we official try again. We are transferring 2 high-quality, frozen blastocysts to my womb. Last summer we were fortunate enough to get pregnant with Myles with FET #1 and are hoping to be as lucky this time. Please wish me luck today and think sticky thoughts for my snowbabies!
Today I find myself searching for hope ... I have looked for hope in the statistics, but to me statistics are meaningless. I have looked for hope from my doctors, but they can't make any promises. I have looked for hope in other's stories of success in a subsequent pregnancy, but I know that everyone is different. I have looked for hope everywhere and can't seem to find it. Hope seems to have vanished from my life the day Myles died. Does anyone know where to find hope now?
I think over the past 3 years I've used up all of my hope and have ever so slowly had my optimism whittled away. The before Myles self was eternally optimistic despite the long, devastating battle with infertilty and recurrent miscarriages. When I was kicked down time and time again I would pick myself back up by reminding myself that all of the struggles would one day be worth it--one day I would hold my baby in my arms!
When I held Myles for the very first time my predictions were verified ... I held him and experienced the utmost gratitude and an overwhelming sense of appreciation for my struggles--if not for my infertility and if not for my miscarriages and if not for IVF I might not have been given my beautiful, amazing son! Myles was that long-awaited gift that made our struggles worth it!
I sit here and wonder how on Earth I can dredge up hope like that now?! I know that I will never feel grateful or appreciative of Myles' death (despite what a select few have told me)! At times I feel hopeless, but periodically have fleeting moments when thinking of Myles that I have a renewed sense of hope. But, then reality slaps me in the face and hope vanishes just as quickly as it came back! I find myelf standing at the interface between hopelessness and hope and have to tell you that it's a strange, unfamiliar place. So, tell me where do you find hope?
Today I've been thinking and worrying and thinking and worrying! I read a post by Mrs. Spit on Risk Management and it really got me thinking. I worry that I'm being selfish and that I'm trying to have it all and that this desire is going to come to bite me in the ass. I have 6 high-quality embryos frozen and waiting to find an inviting "home." The problem is that the "home" I have to offer isn't necessarily the most inviting place or at least it hasn't been in the past. J and I considered using a surrogate as we had a couple of offers from family members to carry our babies. I researched surrogacy--I read some books, I talked surrogates, I talked to expectant parents, I talked to those who made offers to be our surrogates, and it all sounded great with the exception of one thing ... someone else would be carrying my baby(ies)! I want to carry my baby and I want a different ending this time!
We've been battling infertility for 3 years and I've wanted a baby more than anything else. I was fortunate to get pregnant 3 times and I don't have a baby in my arms to show for this. I was blessed with a beautiful, perfect little boy, but he died and now my arms are empty and my heart is broken! I loved being pregnant with Myles and want to be pregnant again, but I worry that this may be a selfish desire that could cause my future baby his/her life.
I am 4 days away from transferring two of my "snowbabies" to my uterus and am carrying around a huge mixed bag of emotions. I'm sad and angry that I'm doing IVF again during the time I thought I would spend getting to know Myles. I'm worried that I won't get pregnant again. I worry that if I do get pregnant again that I will develop early-onset preeclampsia again. I worry that I will have another micro-preemie. I worry that the baby will suffer long-term health problems. I worry that my 2nd baby will die and I the remainder of my heart will crumble. I worry that I will become the mother of 2 dead babies! Despite all of this I still manage to have a tiny bit of hope. My memories of my beautiful boy give me hope!
I have willingly decided to go down this road again, but that doesn't mean that I don't continually question my decision. I opted to take this lonely road and am traveling it with a new, paralyzing fear. The destination that I hope to reach will make the journey worth it! Getting there will be another story!
In the last few months I have come to realize many things ...
1. I have come to realize that all of my waking thoughts revolve around my son, Myles.
2. I have come to realize that I love Myles more than life itself.
3. I have come to realize that my life is empty without my son.
4. I have come to realize that life isn't fair.
5. I have come to realize how much I love my husband and how much he loves me.
6. I have come to realize how important my memories with Myles are to me.
7. I have come to realize what really matters in life.
8. I have come to realize the intense love of a mother.
9. I have come to realize how much my son, Myles, influences my life everyday.
10. I have come to realize how fragile life is.
11. I have come to realize who my true friends are.
12. I have come to realize the intense pain of losing the most important person in my life.
13. I have come to realize that I am no longer who I used to be nor will I ever be again.
14. I have come to realize the purpose of my infertility struggles.
15. I have come to realize that many occurrences in life are unexplainable.
16. I have come to realize that each day brings new challenges.
17. I have come to realize that the pain of losing Myles doesn't get any less intense with time.
18. I have come to realize how fortunate I was to get to spend 26 days with Myles.
19. I have come to realize that I won't ever be waking up from this horrible nightmare.
20. I have come to realize that there's a hole in my heart that will never heal.
21. I have come to realize that all of my dreams have been shattered.
22. I have come to realize that I love staring at Myles' beautiful face.
23. I have come to realize that I love hearing Myles' name said by others.
24. I have come to realize that I will forever be inspired by my son's strength and courage!
25. I have come to realize that Myles gives me hope.
26. I have come to realize that no one else should have to go through the devastation of losing a
27. I have come to realize so much in almost 6 months.
Please feel free to post what you've come to realize since the death of your baby.
Posted by Niki at 9:14 PM
I have to complain about how much I strongly dislike my uterus! I seem to have a problem with a thin uterine lining, which I was secretly hoping would be different following my pregnancy. In my clomid and femara cycles my lining never got thicker than 7.5mm. With my fresh IVF cycle my lining was super thin (<4mm) and in FET#1 it was between 6.5-7mm at the time of the transfer. Obviously given that I've been pregnant 3 times with thin linings it works for me, so I know it can happen again. But I still get so pissed off that my body can't just do one frickin' thing right!
I literally have come to despise my uterus for all that it's done to me. I hate having to be on so much estrogen to try to get my uterus to cooperate! I hate worrying about what all this estrogen is going to do to me later. I hate thinking that my uterus was permanently damaged by an "overzealous" D&C after m/c #1. I hate having to constantly worry about my lining being too thin for implantation, which ultimately means I'm sacrificing my perfect, beautiful snowbabies. I hate worrying that they'll cancel my transfer or worst that my RE will again suggest using a gestational carrier and refuse to transfer my snowbabies to my dreadful uterus. I hate worrying/wondering if my thin lining had anything to do with my development of early, severe preeclampsia. I hate my uterus for not giving enough nourishment to Myles through the placenta. I hate my uterus for failing me and for failing Myles and for possibly failing any future babies! I HATE my uterus!!!!!!!!!
I'm mad at my uterus now, but will be saying apologies in a few weeks if I get a bfp! Then I'll be begging for my uterus to forgive me and begging for my uterus to not hold a grudge and to be good to my baby! Hopefully my uterus will surprise me and do something good for me! I think my uterus owes me that much!
Posted by Niki at 5:02 PM
Myles Lee was our long awaited IVF miracle. This is his story ...
Myles was conceived after 2.5 years of infertility in August '07 when we transferred 2 blastocysts (6 snowbabies still on ice) and got a bfp with singleton. My EDD was 5/1/08. I was having an easy pregnancy--no m/s, etc... At 23 wks I noticed mild elevation in bp (130/70) and traces of protein w/dip. 24hr urine showed 900mg/L, which led to me being diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was put on home bedrest for a week before being hospitalized due increasing bp (140-150/80) and discovery of intrauterine growth restriction, IUGR (baby was measuring at 20wks--he hadn't grown at all). With the discovery of IUGR I was dx with severe preeclampsia, was started on magnesium sulfate and was given steroid injections to mature the baby's lungs. I was sent via ambulance to a large regional hospital with Level III NICU and continued with bedrest and 24-hr fetal monitoring.
At 25wks 4days my platelets had dropped significantly and liver enzymes had skyrocketed (HELLP syndrome), which meant that my life was in danger, so the perinatologists informed me I had to deliver. I fought with them and refused to consent to delivery (literally I was screaming, crying, and threatening to leave the hospital), but they said they were going to override my wishes or I would die. At 10:45am on 1/21/08 I delivered my son, Myles Lee, via emergency classical c-section. He weighed only 13.2 oz and was only 9.25 in in length. Much to the surprise of the neonatologists Myles was alive. The docs told us that they weren't optimistic about his survival given his size--they expected him to die of a brain hemmorage or another micro-preemie complication. Much to their surprise Myles did not succumb to any of these complications, tolerated breast milk feedings, and began to grow (at 3wks he weighed 1lb 4oz).
Myles was a beautiful baby who looked just like his daddy! Myles was a tiny baby, but had an amazingly strong, fighting spirit! I spent every day in the NICU getting to know my handsome little man ... I read him books, sang him lullabies, held his hands, changed his diapers, stared at his beautiful face, and snuggled him with my hands. When Myles was 2.5wks old I got to hold him next to my skin (kangaroo care) for the very first time. At that moment I realized that everything we'd been through was all worth it!! A few days later his daddy got to hold him too!
On 2/15/06 (dh's 31st b-day) Myles was doing so well that the neonatologists talked about being able to take him off the vent soon. We were thrilled. Myles was wide awake and alert, looking better than ever that morning, but by 4:30pm things had done a 360. Myles wasn't maintaining his oxygen and was up to 100%. His bp were low and he was given meds. His blood ph was rapidly dropping and he was being given massive doses of sodium bicarbonate. Despite the doctor's recommendation not to lose hope I had a gut feeling that things would not turn out well. Myles looked very sick and when I looked into his big eyes I noticed the glisten was gone. At midnight they told us that Myles would not make it. We held him in our arms for a few hours before we finally said goodbye to our beautiful little man. He fought hard until the very end, but his tiny body couldn't take it. Myles died from extreme lung prematurity, pneumonia, and sepsis.
We left the hospital with empty arms and broken hearts. Myles was the baby we'd dreamed of for so many years and he was gone. We felt lost and didn't know where to go or what to do. We are working through our grief, but miss Myles more and more every day!
Myles' Video Montage:
Myles Lee Anderson
Posted by Niki at 11:11 PM
March 2005 - Stopped bcp to make a baby
March-June 2005 - No af
July 2005 - Induced af with Provera
August 2005 - Met with Ob/Gyn to discuss anovulation; Induce af with Provera and planned to start clomid
September 2005 - Clomid #1 (50mg cd5-9; unmonitored) - No O!
November 2005 - Clomid #2 (100mg cd 5-9; unmonitored) - started bleeding on cd23 - Unsure of O?
December 2005 - Clomid #3 (150mg cd 5-9; unmonitored) - BFN!
Early January 2006 - Clomid #4 (150mg cd 5-9; unmonitored) - No O!
Late January 2006 - Clomid # 5 (200mg cd5-9; unmonitored) - No O!
February 2006 - Clomid #6 (150mg cd5-9; unmonitored) - No O!
March 2006 - Consult with local women's clinic "Infertility Specialist" (an ob/gyn who dabbles in infertility) - Dx: Atypical PCOS (anovulatory)
April 2006 - Monitored Clomid #7 (25mg cd 3-10) - No O! - Dx: Clomid resistant
May & June 2006 - BCP to "quiet ovaries"
July 2006 - Minimal Stim = Clomid+Repronex = BFP!!
Early August 2006 - 1 bean with strong h/b
Late September 2006 - Miscarriage #1 = No h/b @ 12wks - D & C
October 2006 - Moved on to RE - Put on Metformin
November 2006 - Hysteroscopy to remove "retained products of conception”
Late December 2006 - Femara #1 – BFN
Jan/Feb 2007 - Femara #2 – BFN
March 2007 - Femara #3 - BFP (Beta = 8) - Miscarriage #2
April 2007 - Fired old RE, hired new RE & on to IVF
July 2007 - IVF #1 - 19 eggs retrieved; 16 eggs fert; 8 high-quality blasts (all frozen); cancelled transfer due to thin lining
August 14, 2007 - FET #1 - 2 Grade A/A blasts transferred
August 24, 2007 - BFP!! 1st beta = 179; EDD = May 1, 2008
September 10, 2007 - 1 bean with a strong heartbeat
January 21, 2008 - Myles was born @ 26wks gestation via emergency c-section due to severe preeclampsia/HELLP
February 16, 2008 - Myles' died due to pneumonia and our hearts broke :(
July 2008 - FET #2 - 2 Grade A/B blasts transferred - BFP! (Beta = 19) - Miscarriage #3
September 2008 - FET #3 - BFP! (doubling numbers that dropped at 4th beta) - Miscarriage #4
November 2008 - On to surrogacy
This is my first attempt at blogging. This blog is meant for me to share my thoughts and feelings regarding my infertility struggles, miscarriages, my near death experience with preeclampsia/HELLP, the premature birth of my son, Myles, and his death. I will also use this blog to share my feelings as I reenter the world of infertility in our quest to conceive another child. As anyone who's ever struggled with infertility knows it is a painful, lonely, emotional journey. When you add the overwhelming, debilitating grief of losing a child the journey becomes nearly unbearable. Although I feel like no one else understands my pain, the sad reality is that there are others out there who do "know my sadness." I am not happy to hear that others have lost children, but am strangely comforted in knowing that I'm not all alone in my grief. I have been reading the blogs of other babylost mamas and have cried through their posts as I could've written so many of them myself (albeit probably not as eloquently). I look forward to getting to know others as I enter the world of blogging.
Posted by Niki at 12:32 AM