Monday, March 30, 2009

Courage and Fear

This morning on my way to work I saw a sign on a church kiosk that read as follows ...

"Courage is being scared but doing it anyway."

Ever since reading this it's been playing over and over in my head. I feel like I live each day in fear. I fear that Myles will be our only child. I fear that a high proportion of the embryos we make are chromosomally abnormal. I fear that we "wasted" chromosomally normal embryos on my sub-optimal uterus. I fear that my eggs are bad. I fear that I won't get as many eggs in IVF #2. I fear that being 1.5 years older will negatively affect my egg quality. I fear that suddenly something will be wrong with J's swimmers. I fear that I won't have many embryos this time. I fear that our embryo quality won't be as good this time. I fear that I won't have embryos to freeze. I fear that if I don't do acupuncture like I did with IVF #1 that I won't have similar results in IVF #2. I fear that I won't have a surrogate to help make our dreams come true. I fear that if we get pregnant again we'll have another miscarriage. I fear that we will lose another baby if we are so fortunate to have one. I fear that we'll live our lives with completley broken hearts and aching, empty arms. I fear that I am fighting a losing battle. But, the thing I fear the most is not trying again and spending the rest of my life wondering what if ... So, I keep repeating to myself that "courage is being scared but doing it anyway."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Acupuncture Dilemma

As always I'm so thankful for all of you, my wonderful blog readers who are here supporting us and cheering us on! I honestly don't know how I'd get through all of this without knowing that there are others out there who truly "get it". You don't tell me that "it will be okay" or "it was probably for the best" or "someday I'll be a mother" (grr, that one hurts the worst). You don't ask me if we are "now going to adopt?" You tell me that you are sorry, that it sucks, and that it's not fair. You make me feel a little better in the midst of my sadness and despair. Today we're doing okay ... not good, not great, just okay. I put on my happy face and pretend for the world because when people ask me how I'm doing they don't really want to know! They want me to say I'm doing fine or preferably good, but honestly how on earth would someone who's struggled with years of infertility and who's just gone through miscarriage #5 with our wonderful surrogate be feeling? Um, to me the answer seems fairly obvious ... frickin' horrible!

So, I'm having a inner struggle regarding acupuncture. I did acupuncture for about 2 months prior to IVF #1 and continued it through the last FET I did with myself. I am a huge proponent of pre- and post-transfer acupuncture because the data is strongly in favor of it. I did it with all of my ET and K did it this last FET. However, I'm unsure of how much acupuncture really impacts egg quality and blood flow to the ovaries leading up to an ER. The data isn't very conclusive. Sure you can find some studies that support it, but in my scientific opinion many aren't very sound. Several are uncontrolled, have small sample sizes, and aren't replicated. I'm aware of all the anecdotal evidence that supports the use of acupuncture during IVF and completely agree that it helps to reduce stress, but really there are too many factors that determine egg quality (e.g., age, nutrition, stim protocol), which makes it nearly impossible to impossible to determine what's producing good results in an IVF cycle.

Now with that said I am a bit superstitious. I feel the need to do everything the same with the next IVF cycle that I did with the first that resulted in 8 blastocysts. I'm having my TSH tested tomorrow to ensure that it's between 1-2 because that's where it was at when I did IVF #1 (I have mild hypothyroidism and take Synthroid). Additionally, I am planning to go back on metformin again and plan to eat a diet high in protein during stims. Also, I will start doing guided imagery and meditation again. My problem is whether or not to do acupuncture again? If my health insurance covered it and we didn't pay out of pocket, I'd do it for sure. It costs me $65/week out of pocket on top of everything else related to IVF that we pay for out of pocket. I won't go into the details of all of those costs, but any of you who've done IVF can attest to the exorbanent costs associated with it! Suffice it to say that J and I have spent somewhere around $40,000 on IF stuff over the past 4 years and we are not rich!

So, I'm wondering if you did acupuncture during your IVF cycles, specifically leading up to ER, and what impact you think it had on your cycle. I'd love to hear from those of you that did it one cycle and not another. I'd like to hear if the results of your ER were any different in terms of # of eggs retrieved, # embryos created, the quality of those embryos, and resulting ET results.

This Thursday I have my post-IVF follow-up appointment with Dr. S. I'm anxious to hear what he has to say, but I can probably already predict it. I'm hoping that I'll have the pathology test results back from the miscarried embryo, so we can chat about what that means. My guess is that Dr. S will stick to his hypothesis that my uterus is sub-optimal, which resulted in me having early, severe PE and recurrent miscarriages, and that this miscarriage with K's perfect uterus was the result of bad luck (i.e., just happened to transfer an abnormal embryo). Even if it was "bad luck" it still sucks and was/is horrible for K and her family to have to go through.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bleeding after D&C

Okay, girls I need you to share your experience with K regarding bleeding after a D&C. When I had mine I bleed for about a week ending with some spotting. As of yesterday K was still having a pretty heavy, period-like flow. She is worried that they did a poor job and that she has "retained products of conception", which will result in her needing to undergo a hysteroscopy. Of course I hope she's wrong and that the bleeding is normal and tapers off soon.

After my D&C I did need to have a hysteroscopy to remove "retained products of conception" that were left behind, which we discovered when my betas weren't dropping back to zero. Per my urging my ob did an SHG 8wks post D&C and saw "something" in my uterus. That something was removed during the hysteroscopy and was biopsied and found to be leftover tissue from the pregnancy. As soon as the tissue was removed my beta dropped to zero. For me that whole process added insult to injury and didn't allow me to have closure for the cycle and loss. I'm really hoping that K doesn't have to go through this as she's already had so much to endure. Please share with us how long you bleed after your D&C.

Please share with us your experience.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WHEN Bad Things Happen to Good People

NOT WHY Bad Things Happen to Good People. Last night I attended a speech by Rabbi Harold Kushner the author of the well known book that inspired the title of this post. The Rabbi wrote this book following the death of his son. My dear friend, M, who's also a babyloss mama invited me to accompany her and I'm so grateful she did. Thanks M! I was inspired by much of what Rabbi Kushner had to say, but have to admit that I haven't read his book in it's entirety. My dear friend, M, recommended that I read it following Myles's death, but when I noticed all the biblical quotes I immediately put it down. I just couldn't deal with one more person telling me that Myles's death was part of some bigger plan that I just couldn't understand. I wish I had known a year ago that this is the last thing that Rabbi Kushner would say. In fact last night he said that no one has a right to tell someone that something bad has happened for a reason and I couldn't agree more! Here are a few things that Rabbi Kushner said that resonated with me:

  • All who have experienced any kind of loss have something in common, but the intensity we experience differs.
  • When we experience a loss all we can do is cope.
  • In the valley of the shadow is where the light finds us.
  • Everything DOESN'T have a moral cause, but everything does have a physical cause.
  • G.od doesn't give us a finished world, but rather a world that needs our intervention.
  • Losing a child may make you more sensitive, compassionate, patient, but anyone who's lost a child would give that up in a heartbeat to have their child back.
  • When you can help others the cloud of helplessness is lifted and you feel connected.
  • Ordinary people do extraordinary things.
  • Friends who abandon you (e.g., don't call, don't come to visit, ignore your feelings) in your time of need do so because they can't acknowledge your reality. They fear that acknowledging it will make it happen to them.
  • When the wind blows over some of what you built, you learn to live and celebrate without it.
  • Doubt is not the opposite of faith. The opposite of faith is certainty.
  • Hermit Crab growth and development as an analogy to losing and finding faith: hermit crabs have a hard shell that protects them. In order to grow they have to shed their protective carapace and at this point they are vulnerable and without protection, but eventually their outside hardens and they are again protected.

Many of these thoughts spoke to my grief over Myles's death while others spoke to my 5 lost dreams and my continual battle with infertility. I feel like I should explain how these statements spoke to me, but quite frankly I'm still tossing things around my mind. I didn't walk away from Kushner's speech with all of my questions answered, but I never expected that to happen. However, I do think that Rabbi Kushner allowed me to develop a new perspective.

Along with Kushner's inspiring messages a wonderful, caring friend, S, grabbed my hand and helped me out of my dark hole of hopelessness. I see a small light flickering and I feel a little hope returning ...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mexico--Our Escape From Reality

Deep Dark Place

This is where I went yesterday and am not sure when I'll return. Please beware that this is not a happy, hopeful post by any means. Today I feel hopeless and want to curl up in my dark place and not face the world with my fake happy face. The people IRL who read this won't understand how one goes to such a place and I'm too tired to explain it. Quite frankly I'm reaching the point where I'm just plain tired, actually exhausted is more like it. Like one of my dear blogger friends I too want off this horrible ride!

One of my closest friends, L, listened to me cry and go on for hours yesterday. She has to endure my constant questions about how the universe can put so much on one family ... about how unfair it is that others are blessed repeatedly and others are just beaten down repeatedly ... about how I don't believe in miracles. All of those beliefs went out the window when Myles died. At one point during this conversation L said that maybe this is hell? Maybe J and I are experiencing hell on Earth? My response was that hell couldn't possibly be any worse than the life we live, so I guess this is my hell.

I have reached a point when honestly I wonder if I'm in denial. Am I refusing to see the evidence that is stacking up in front of me? For as difficult as it is to endure the constant heartache we face it is even more difficult for me to acknowledge the real possiblity that I might not have another child.

(Please don't give me any trite platitudes or promises that I'll one day be a mother to another child. I really don't need that right now. I just need to wallow in my dark place.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Now What?

Hmm, haven't you heard me say that before?! I feel like I've been sitting in this very same spot a million times before over the past several years, yet I seem just as lost right now as I was the first time I sat here. I hate the limbo! I hate the not knowing of what we will do next or what direction we will embark on! I like to know where I'm headed as it always brings me comfort. I'm not feeling like we don't have a travel destination, but rather just that we don't have the GPS programmed yet. I'm obviously anxious to get the GPS programmed, so we can head off in the right direction.

I've talked with K about all that's happened with the miscarriage and emergency D&C. Not surprisingly K's husband was scared to death when he receieved a frantic phone call that his wife was going in for a D&C because she was hemorrhaging. As a result he feels quite strongly that K can't go through another cycle with us again. I don't blame him for having these feelings. He wants to protect his wife, the mother of his children, and the logical way to do that is to end the surrogacy journey. Additionally K's husband has some other reasons for not wanting K to continue, which I won't get into here, but all of his points are very valid. I understand that both K and her family need time to process all that's happened in the last two weeks before they make any final decisions, so we are going to give them some much needed time and space.

K and her family know that we will be moving on with our plans for IVF #2 and that we do not presume that they will be a part of our continued journey. It is important for my mental health and well-being to keep moving forward, so that's what we'll do. I will discuss surrogacy as a part of our future, but I will not discuss who will be a part of it. I need to give K and her family time to decide if they will continue on this journey with us or not. Of course we are hopeful that K will continue this journey with us, but we understand if she is unable to do so.

I told K that it's much easier for us to bounce back from the miscarriage because 1) we didn't go through the physical part of it, 2) we've been through 4 other miscarriages and are familiar with the wide range of emotions that accompany such a loss, and 3) it's not nearly as emotionally painful for us as was watching Myles die. Plus, years of being battered by infertility and recurrent miscarriage has made us quite resilient. Like I said before we stumble along this journey, but we keep getting to our feet and we forge ahead. We are "walking through flames" to get to our child. I have to say that this fall was a pretty bad one for me, in particular, because I expected surrogacy to solve all of our problems. I should've known better to think that it would be a smooth ride as nothing about this journey has been smooth. Despite this HUGE, devastating blow I still feel strongly that surrogacy will bring us a child, so working with a surrogate will be an integral part of our future journey.

I have my WTF appointment (i.e., post-IVF consult) with Dr. S scheduled for 3/31 to discuss our next step, so that meeting should help set us in motion. I hope that Dr. S is ready for me this time because I have a million questions for him! I'm guessing our protocol for IVF #2 will be similar to that of IVF #1 because I had a good response. I stimmed for 11 days with a combo of Bravelle & Menopur. My estrogen levels were low the whole time and never correlated properly with my follicle count, but my RE assured me that there are a select few women (go figure I'm one of them!) who have mature eggs as indicated by u/s despite what the E2 level indicates. He was correct. Here are my stats from IVF #1:

-21 mature follicles at trigger
-2 empty follicles at ER
-19 eggs retrieved
-16 mature eggs that fertilized with ICSI
-8 blastocysts (graded A; all frozen due to lining problems)

I'm guessing that he'll have me do the same protocol: slow and low seems to work for me! I was thinking that stimming during the school year might not be the best idea and thought about waiting until June, but maybe I'll start near the end of the school year if it works with Dr. S's schedule. I figure that the worst case scenario is that we won't have a surrogate to transfer our fresh embryos to, but realize that if that's the case we'll just freeze the embryos until we can find a surrogate. In my dream world my uterine lining would suddenly do something miraculous and grow thick so we could transfer to me, but we know that is highly improbable and very unlikely to happen.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Insult to Injury

I am back from Mexico and just as I expected reality has hit me hard. I've spent the whole morning crying about the recent loss, the horrors that K and her family had to endure, and our future. I'm upset with the universe and the inequality that exists. To top off my horrible morning I came home to discover that someone had stolen a glass snowman solar light off Myles's grave. It was a "gift" from my parents and has been hanging on a shephard's hook on Myles's grave since late November. I am just so upset and hurt by this. As if it's not bad enough that my son died people have to steal his things from his grave. What kind of person does that sort of thing? I know it's just something material, so it shouldn't bother me so much yet it does. I think it's because I don't have Myles here with me to physically protect, so I'm protective over his grave and all of the things I put on his grave. So today I'm not only mad at the universe, but mad at those who inhabit this universe as well.

I will give you the whole scoop later when I'm feeling more like posting, but to give you a quick update on K ... she had a D&C this past week due to the loss of too much blood, the development of an infection, and failure to expel the embryo. K kept this from me while I was in Mexico because she didn't want me to worry. She is so thoughtful and kind. K continues to amaze me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Miscarriage is underway

I just received an email from K and she thinks the miscarriage has started. Last night she started having heavy bright red bleeding, cramps, and contractions, which have been pretty constant ever since. Just in time for her birthday--nice, hah?! I swear the universe has it out for us and punishes us and now those reproductively involved with us on our birthdays ... I found out the baby died on my 30th birthday in pregnancy #1. Myles died only a few hours after Josh's birthday. Now K is going through a miscarriage on her 31st birthday. Damn universe! We might just have to start celebrating our birthdays on a different day of the year!

K is such a trooper and toughed it out at school today and plans to go to her clinicals tomorrow. She really is one tough cookie, isn't she?! K said she's worried that she missed the baby (I asked her to collect the tissue to send to pathology for chromosomal analysis), but has received reassurance from a few she knows who've had a miscarriage that she will know. Although I'm a recurrent miscarrier, I can't provide much guidance in this area. I had a D&C with my first and the other three were early losses (5-6wks), which more or less resulted in an extra heavy flow. So, if you have any experience please share it with K. Also, please continue to think of K and pray that the process is over relatively quickly.

Hola from Mexico!

I finally convinced J that we should spend the $60/wk to have wireless internet, so I thought I'd post a quick blog update while J is still sleeping (we had a late night in the club last night). Our travels here were smooth and uneventful and the resort it absolutely beautiful, but I have to admit I was disappointed to see kids here. I just really needed to get away from kids/babies right now. This isn't a very "kid-friendly" resort and we are surprised that people would bring their kids here, but we try to ignore them as best as we can. We are enjoying the warmth of the Mexico sun and the chill of the cold drinks. The ocean is a bit too cold for us (you'd think Wisconsinites could handle the cold?!), so we sit around the pool most of the day, which is okay anyway because it's closer to the bars! :)

I have to admit that being here is like an escape from my reality, but I'm worried when I get home my reality is going to come crashing down on me in a huge way. :( We will be meeting with my RE to discuss the plan of action for IVF #2. I'm hoping that I have a similar response (19 eggs retrieved, 16 mature, 8 blasts), but am worried of course that being two years older might hurt me. I do plan to discuss PGD with my RE. I know that PGD is not as good as CGH, but I don't have that option with my clinic (and we're not ready to go to CCRM yet). PGD has it's limitations, but it also has it's value. I think it might be helpful for us. I would like to know that I'm transferring chromosomally normal embryos to my carrier, so I can significantly reduce (or hopefully eliminate) the chance of another miscarriage. It pains me that I've introduced K to this sad world of loss and that the reason she is experiencing this physical and emotional pain is because she wanted to help us. The injustice of that is killing me! Someone who gives so selflessly should NOT have to suffer in any way! So, if PGD helps us to insure that more pain won't befall our wonderful, amazing, selfless, giving carrier, then we will do it!

Okay, back to my escapre from reality ... here's a couple of pics of us in Mexico:

BTW ... Today is K's birthday, so please wish her a very, very happy birthday! She so deserves to be treated like a queen today and every day! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mourning in Mexico with Margaritas

Per K's request we are going to go to Mexican as planned. We fly out early tomorrow morning. We are hoping that the sun and tons of tequila will be good for us as we work through the emotions of this loss. I am worried about K, but I know that she has an amazing support system in her husband, children, friends and family. I know she's strong and I know she will be fine, yet I still worry. I assume that a little break from us may be helpful for K. She may need some time alone to work through the emotions of the loss. I know it's a different set of emotions to deal with than mine, but I'm sure it is just as challenging (if not more). K so wanted this dream to come true for us and now she has to deal with the utter disappointment and the physical pain. I just wish her peace and healing in the process.

BTW ... for those of you who have been wondering I did do the Brazilian wax. My appointment was Wednesday night and I figured that with the emotional pain I was going through any physical pain would seem insignificant. I have to say it really wasn't that bad and I'd definitely do it again.

I'm off to soak up some sun, regroup, and drink muchos margaritas! I'll try to do at least one quick post from Mexico, but promised J that I wouldn't be blogging during our vacation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Walking Through Flames

I am at a loss for what to say. I am moved beyond words by your kindness, compassion, sadness, mourning and willingness to be mad at the universe with us. We will ever so slowly pick up the pieces as we always manage to do. K is strong and I know she will weather the storm and will come out fine on the other side, but my heart still hurts for her and for us. I know K wanted to do this for us to help us realize our dreams and I know she was aware of the risks, yet I can't get over how unfair it is that she has to go through this. Someone who gives such a gift shouldn't have to suffer. We have been openly communicating and are doing are best to try to support each other through this. As K reminded me this morning "we're in this together". That tiny little phrase warmed my heart and took away some of the guilt I feel for putting K through this. I was reminded that we are a team and that although it's not going to be easy for any of us, we will perservere!

I am saddened that the universe teased me and dangled my dream in front of me only to coldly rip it from me again. You'd think I'd be used to the disappointment and sadness of a miscarriage being that this is the 5th one I've lived through, but I can't seem to grow accustomed to it. Despite my best efforts to guard myself and prepare myself for bad news I'm left shocked and devastated. As most of you know this little embryo had an extra special place in my heart as he/she was conceived with Myles and frozen with him. This little embryo was my last living connection to Myles and now it's gone and my heart aches. With every miscarriage after Myles my heart aches more for him. The losses take me to the dark place inside of me where I am certain that I will never have another child and that Myles was my one shot at motherhood and I f*cked it up. (Please don't lecture me on my guilt over Myles's death. I'm logical and know I couldn't do anything, but it doesn't make the hurt and guilt in my heart any less sharp.)

I looked to surrogacy as my hope for the future and I never expected that this would happen. After having a day to reflect and think, I'm still convinced that surrogacy is the path for us to baby #2 (or #3). A friend asked me last night why I don't consider adoption. At this point I don't care to get into all the details of why adoption isn't the appropriate path for us at this time, but suffice it to say that it just doesn't feel right to me. I felt strongly when pursuing IVF that it would lead me to a baby and it led me to Myles. Yes, I had to go through hell and back to get there, but I was blessed with my wonderful, amazing little Mr. Myles. I would do it all over again and go through more just to have him for a minute of time.

Others have asked questions that leave me thinking they wonder how and why I put myself through this repeated heartache? I realize that it's difficult for some people, especially those who have easily conceived their children, to understand how someone would continue to go through such pain and devastation. It seems sadistic. But I ask anyone who's a parent to ask yourself this question ... Would you walk through fire for your child? I'm certain you all would. I am doing just that. I just walk a little longer and through a little hotter flames. I may stumble through the flames, but I manage to get up again and continue to walk. I walk through these flames for the child I know in my heart awaits me in the future. I feel it in my heart that surrogacy is the path that will lead me to another child, so when, and if, K is ready we will try again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fetal Demise ...

... yes that's right there wasn't a heartbeat and the baby hadn't grown in a week. There was a lot of blood forming all around the gestational sac, so I'm sure the miscarriage will happen soon once K stops the PIO. At least I hope for K's sake it's over soon and relatively painlessly. I was prepared for this and just yesterday hypothesized to my IVF nurse that this very same scenario would play out at today's appointment.

I am crushed yet again, but more crushed for K. I'm used to this kind of disappointment ... I've lived through worse, but K she hasn't had to deal with tragedies in pregnancy and now because of me she will go through the physical and emotional pain of a miscarriage. I did this to K ... I put her through this and I feel horrible. I brought her into my nightmarish world and I have forever changed her. K entered this journey with us to help us make our dreams come true and look what we gave her in return. K was strong and kept telling me not to worry about her. I am worried about someone who can give so selflessly to us and then be put through this incredible hell. This whole situation is f*cked up and unfair beyond words.

So, apparently it's not just my $hitty, ghetto uterus that I have to worry about anymore, but now I also have to worry about my f*cked up eggs. My beautiful, strong, highly-graded embryos are not what they appear to be and my hypothesis is that my eggs suck! We know that one of my 8 Grade A embryos from IVF was chromosomally sound as Myles's karyotype was 46XY (normal male), but who knows about the others. 1 out of 8 is terrible. With 5 miscarriages (wait is it ? the number is getting so high I'm losing count) I suspect that the embryos might be a contributing factor too. Yes, the others losses could have been due to my crap uterus as we suspected, but this is the 2nd loss we've had after cardiac activity was established (my 1st m/c was @ 12wks) and that's typically an indicator of some chromosomal problem, especially when you know that a hormonal imbalance can't be the cause and the uterus is perfect, like K's. I asked K to collect a specimen for pathology (how nice of me, hah?! as if she doesn't have enough $hit to deal with on my account) and I anticipate the news of a chromosomal mess in the poor little embryo. Yep, today I officially feel like my entire reproductive system is beyond f*cked up!

As you know J and I have plans to fly to Mexico on Saturday, but how can I go and leave K to go through this alone. What kind of person does that?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Why does this stuff bother me so much?

Okay, so let me start by saying that I have a bad cold and am home sick today, which doesn't help my mood any. I have heard several things over the past few weeks that upset me for one reason or another. Now I keep repeating them in my head over and over again and they continue to bother me. I have been hesitant to blog about these statements because now many people IRL read my blog, but I've decided that it's my blog and I should be able to use it as I inteneded--to vent and get support from people who understand. So, here goes ...

The first thing that's been bothering me is conversations with people about me becoming a Mommy when K has this baby for us. This type of talk kills me. I am Myles's Mommy and will always be his Mommy! Myles is my son. I just don't get this mentality. If my mom died, I'd still be her daughter and she'd still be my mom. Why is it any different with my child and me? I wonder if it's because the people who make this sort of statement didn't get to meet Myles, so maybe he doesn't seem real to them? But, the reality is that Myles was very real and was my 1st child. I am Myles's Mommy and he is my son. So, I won't become a Mommy when K has this baby, but rather will become a Mommy again to another child just like any other woman who has a 2nd child.

The other thing that has been bothering me is related to friends complaining about how horribly difficult it is to be separated from their child(ren) for anywhere from a few hours to a week for vacation. I do not doubt that this is difficult for any parent to leave their child for any amount of time. I don't doubt that having to leave a newborn to return to work is horribly hard for a Mommy. I don't doubt that leaving your ill child while you go on vacation is tough. I dont doubt that watching your baby suffer through a cold isn't difficult. But, I do doubt that the pain even comes close to never being able to see your child again. Never being able to touch his little hands and feet. Never being able to kiss his soft skin. So, when people tell me that they just don't know how they are going to handle leaving their child for 8 hours while they work, I can't help but think how lucky they are that in 8 hours they get to return to see their child. I can't help but think at least your baby is alive. Again I don't doubt that any of these things are difficult, but rather wish people would empathize with me ... I never get to see my child again.

The other thing that drives me absolutely crazy is the comments that I'm so strong to be able to carry on with life in the wake of Myles's death. Some have even said that they'd "die if they lost their child" or "that they wouldn't be able to get out of bed". These statements are hurtful to me because it makes it seem as though I love my child less than they love theirs or that I'm acting abnormally for someone who's lost a child. Anyone who's lost a baby/child will tell you that it's not easy to face the day. There are many days that I don't want to get out of bed. There were days when I thought dying would have been easier than facing the constant pain of not having the one thing that meant most to me (no I'm not suicidal). Life after losing a child is horrible. I put on my pretend happy face and enter the world, but inside I feel broken and lost. I miss my son and always will. I will always feel like someone is missing from my life because someone is. I will always have a hole in my heart that won't be filled by anyone or anything. My life was changed by Myles in so many wonderful ways and my life was changed forever by his death.

Friday, March 6, 2009

8 weeks--our "blueberry" is now a "lima bean"

Thank you so much for being so understanding of my fears! I do know all the things that could be causing the brown spotting, I know it's old blood, and I know it is very normal and quite common with IVF pregnancies. Also, I know I need to stay relaxed, but it's much easier said than done. However, I am trying and K is relaxed, so that's good.

I just want to clarifiy that we did have an ultrsound on 2/23 that showed a strong heartbeat of 122bpm. Our next scan is to assess growth and will hopefully show a steady strong h/b again. Several of you asked if we could move up the ultrasound appointment to ease our worries, but it's just not possible. K is going out of town for a mini-vacation with her family, which she very much needs and deserves, and won't return until Tuesday night. Our u/s is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Fortunately I have a busy weekend planned, so that will keep my mind occupied. I'm practicing patience and before I know it Wednesday will be at my doorstep!

Today our baby is 8wks and one whole inch long! I read that the baby is now more like the size of lima bean, which botanically speaking isn't a fruit, but rather a seed from a fruit (remember I'm a biologist). Don't argue with me that lima bean pods are a vegetable because they are not--anything that contains seeds is technically a fruit! So, most of your classic grocery store vegetables (green peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers) are really "fruits". I digress. Other sources say the baby is slightly larger than a cherry, which I think seems a little cuter than a lima bean, but I'll stick with the term "bean" for this week.

Much is happening with our "bean" this week. At this point in embryonic development the ovaries or testes are formed, but anyone who says they knew of their baby's gender at this point is a lier, nuts, or some combination of the two. External genital formation isn't visible for several weeks and even at that point requires a skilled technician and a good machine. At this point the baby's fingers and toes are visible with some webbing while the head is still diproportionally large compared to the body. The brain is growing about 100,000 new brain cells every minute! By the end of this week all of his/her little organs will be primitively formed in their proper location. The other cool thing about the 8th week of development is that the baby will begin to have spastic movements (although K won't feel them for several weeks).

Here are some pics of what our little "bean" looks like this week:

(image above taken from

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A few more spots

Yesterday K didn't have any spotting, but then had a little again this afternoon. It's still brown and very light. Additionally, she's been having the menstrul-type cramping that many experience in early pregnancy. I have to admit that I wasn't nearly as calm today when K told me about it, but I was also under a lot of stress while trying to set up a lab for my botany class for tomorrow. I kept reminding myself that light brown spotting can be common and normal, yet every experience in pregnancy I have with any kind of spotting has been bad. I didn't spot one single drop while pregnant with Myles. I decided that I needed to hear someone tell me that things were probably okay, so I called my clinic. I talked to one of my favorite IVF nurses today who reassured me that it's still probably some irritation from intercourse that occurred a few nights ago. I knew everything she told me, but it was nice to hear it from someone else.

I'm trying to remain calm because I don't want to alarm K, but I have to admit that tonight my anxiety was a little elevated. I just spent the last 30 minutes on Dr. Google reading about miscarriage rates after seeing a heartbeat and spotting during pregnancy. It's actually ridiculous because I wasn't reading anything new and think that it was contributing to my anxiety. I took a few Xa.nax and am feeling better. I'm one of those few unlucky ones who did have a miscarriage after seeing a strong h/b and several growth scans with my first pregnancy, so of course I worry about that happening again. I am especially worried now that K is in the picture. The last thing I want is for K to have to go through something horrible like a miscarriage. K is doing an amazing thing and only deserves to have good experiences.

I'm just crossing my fingers that next week's u/s alleviates our worries and we see a strong beating heart again along with nice growth of our little blueberry baby!

Monday, March 2, 2009

One brown spot

K called me and left a voicemail and then emailed saying to call her, which immediately made me worried. When I called her K informed me that she was worried last night that she might be having a miscarriage because she'd been having some cramping, but no bleeding. She said this morning it felt like her period was on it's way (not really painful cramping). She went to the bathroom and inspected the tp this morning (yep we've had a bad influence) and she saw a tiny, brown spot. Wiped again and nothing. Late last week the RE lifted the pelvic rest restrictions, so K and her dh took advantage of this last night.

K called her ob who explained to her that this was all normal and that she shouldn't worry. He even told her that I'd know and probably wouldn't be too concerned. Suprisingly I wasn't really all that worried. I didn't panic and actually breathed a huge sigh of relief when I heard K telling me about what had happened. This is SO unusual for me! I'm normally the one who completely freaks out about the smallest of things. I guess I remember the early pregnancy cramping and remember how I was always worried about it too. I know that brown is old blood. I also know that intercourse can cause bleeding in early pregnancy because of the highly vascular nature of the cervix. I know that bleeding with an IVF pregnancy is common. Plus, I just have a calm feeling, so I'm not worried and really don't want K to worry either. Please reiterate to K that all is likely well with the "blueberry".