Friday, August 28, 2009

Please Help

I just got a request from a friend about a friend of hers - someone who has been trying to bring home their child from Guatemala for 4 years. I can't imagine being separated from your child for that long.

They are almost there, but they need people to help ASAP in a mailing blitz to try to bring attention to their cause.

Here is the link. Please take 15 minutes to print out and mail the letters.

It Mostly All Good

I had another OB appointment today. I am still spotting, although very lightly and not red at all, but enough for him to want to see me in two weeks. It's all good with me at this point. I won't feel like I can do whatever I want physically until we know the abruption is completely healed.

I will also see my midwife next week and hopefully that will all go well too. I'm not sure I want to live in both camps like I did with the last pregnancy - one hand saying All Natural!! and the other saying Intervention!!; but we shall see as things go on. For the time being, I like the extra security that I get from seeing our OB (and taking a peek at LB Mark II), but I certainly hope he isn't there for the birth.

In other news, I am sad . . . a lot. Even down right depressed. With the last pregnancy I cried almost every night, but thought it was all just part of the grieving process. Now I realize it is just what I do when I get pregnant - made worse last time by real grief.

This time, it is so . . . desperate? I don't know the right word. Because I had something obvious to be sad about I thought that was it. Because I knew I was grieving (what we had been through in total plus the loss of my genetic connection) and I was no stranger to grief, I knew it would get better.

Now I just feel sad as if my life is empty and meaningless - always was that way and always will be, I just never realized it before. I feel such despair and it is desperate because I can't figure a way out. Was I always this sad? Will I ever be happy again? What if we had a bigger house? More money? A more fulfilling job? If there is a solution, how will I attain it? How can we make more money? Afford a new house? Find better, but still part-time employment?

And poor Brad . . . he is suffering as much or more than I am. Sometimes the sadness is expressed as anger. I tell him I hate our house or ask him how we will make more money (which he hears as "you need to get a better paying job!")

Today I mentioned my depression to my OB hoping he would offer a chemical solution. Nope! He isn't uncaring, just figures (I assume) that I would come out and ask for a chemical solution if I wasn't dealing with it. And I suppose I am. A couple of days ago, I told Brad that I haven't felt any joy in weeks. Sometimes I feel "nice" but it stops short of joy. Since then I have really paid attention and I do actually feel joy sometimes. In fact, I am often most happy in the morning and trending toward most sad/angry in the evenings - the very pattern of my morning sickness in the first two pregnancies.

I will ask my midwife for some suggestions when I see her next. Of course, she will probably offer an herbal remedy or tell me to get more exercise or eat differently. And they might have some benefit, but probably not enough. I have tried lots of herbal or 'natural' remedies over the years and it is my experience most fall short or are of no use at all although there have been some notable exceptions.

It's kind of funny - I go to a midwife and an OB and don't really embrace either person's beliefs. Things aren't as dangerous in the medical arena as my midwife thinks nor as safe as my OB thinks. A home birth isn't as safe as my midwife thinks (although in most cases safer, in my opinion, than a hospital birth) nor as dangerous as my OB thinks.

Well, I have blathered on long enough. I think I will go for a walk and see if my mood lifts a bit. I have been remiss on keeping up with everyone's blogs - I hope I am not missing too much. The funny thing about the blues - you just don't feel like doing anything even though doing something is just what you need.

So - all is good, at least mostly. Don't feel sorry for me - I am one of the lucky ones and if I am depressed for another 6 months, at least it is only 6 months.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Off bed rest, that is. As of 2:00 yesterday. Thank goodness, I was getting really grumpy. Poor Brad, I bet he hated to come home from work. He was doing all the childcare and putting up with me be surly or sad or both. It was not pretty, but hopefully it is behind us and really, as things go, wasn't that painful. At least for me. Brad might have a different story.

But 6 hours later I had some spotting. I hope my reprieve isn't short lived. I have a call into my OB but he isn't in until tomorrow. The nurse said, "Take it easy. Brown spotting is normal during pregnancy." It didn't help that she sounded young and I have never spoken to her before and she isn't even my doctor's nurse, but I heard a patronizing tone of voice. I wanted to respond, "This is my fifth pregnancy, I have had two miscarriages and one early infant death. I know what is normal and what isn't. What I want to know is if I need to start the three days over again?"

I was polite and got off the phone.

Update: I forgot to post this yesterday (Wednesday) and today I spoke to my OB and we are ALL GOOD! Normal activity may be resume. Thank goodness!

In other news . . . I don't have any other news. I haven't done anything in a week.

I have had some thoughts wondering through my head lately, however. One of them being that I would really like to make some homemade pizza with homemade pizza dough soon (I have been watching Alton Brown to pass the time) or perhaps this chocolate cake.

The other thought is a twist on the "Why her and not me?"

How many times have I thought that? The first time that was sufficiently significant to remember was on FF. It was about a year after Ernest died and I came across someone offering hope to someone else trying IUI with severe male factor infertility. Like me they were successful in getting pregnant when all odds were against them. I kept reading and she ended with " . . . and now we have a 2 year old son." I felt my mind bending in on itself. Some part of me had decided that Ernest died because we really shouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place, but here was someone who beat the odds and got a baby. I couldn't believe it and kept rereading the passage thinking, "Why her and not me?"

So many times in the following 5 years that question has come up again and again. I know there is no reason. I know the world is wholly natural (with no higher powers interfering) and that things just happen. Yet, I still find I want that answer.

Lately, I have been wondering the reverse: Why me and not her? Why was I so lucky (so far) with baby number two and others are still doing everything possible and just keep trying and trying with no luck. There has just been too much bad news out there lately.

It makes no sense and it's not fair and there is not one thing we can do about it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pregnancy Update

It was an interesting visit with Dr. Wonderful. The best news is that the abruption is healing nicely. The scary part is that the lake that was so large (the fluid between the walls of the placenta) is no longer there. A lake isn't supposed to heal so that was actually part of the abruption too. I'm glad we didn't realize that on Monday. I am still off my feet until there is absolutely no spotting for 3 full days. I might have said that in my post on Monday, but then I was hopeful that meant 3 total days of bed rest. I am still waiting to go more than about 6 hours. We are at 5 days now. Oh, well, it is nothing in the grand scheme of things and I am very lucky to be pregnant at all. Plus, Dr. Wonderful said in all likliehood the abruption will heal completely.

We also saw the baby move - a kick, a punch and even what looked like a little shake of the head. We watched blood (well, red light the u/s machine showed us as blood) moving through the umbilical cord. We could then follow the main artery from the placenta into our little Dish Mate's heart. It was all quite amazing.

Before all this happened, we had a good discussion about the risks of doing a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Specifically, a VBAC at home. Current research, according to Dr. Wonderful, puts the risk of uterine rupture during labor at 0.4% or 4 out of one thousand. About one out those four will die or have serious consequences, the other 3 will probably be ok. That is, if the person is in the hospital and can get an emergency c-section as soon as the rupture is detected. If we have a rupture at home, Cathy, my midwife, could start an IV going on the way to the hospital to save time, but really the liklihood is that the baby won't survive.

Of course it is scary and the odds don't seem that high unless it happens to you and then they might as well be a 100%. I can only imagine how unbelievably painful it would be to have your insides tear open like that nevermind knowing the child you carried for 9 months in dying while you drive.

But that is the unlikely situation where a rupture occurs at home. I don't know, but I suspect, that a hospital rupture is more likely because often labor inducing or augmenting drugs are used which put more strain on the uterus. Obviously, no studies have been done on drug free VBAC's because there just aren't that many people who choose to labor drug free. Addtionally, there are other precautions we can take to avoid an abruption. We can monitor the baby more often than usual (although I think Cathy checks pretty often anyway) and transport at the first sign of fetal distress. Dr. Wonderful said that is the first sign of a impending rupture - even before the contraction monitor goes flat. We can also be conservative about how long I labor before transporting for either the additional monitoring and preperation that can take place in a hospital or simply plan on having another cesarean upon arrival.

Dr. Wonderful promises to be there if we transport too. I will keep asking him to come to my house for the birth since I went to his place last time. I know he won't, but it is fun to ask him. I like him and he is comforting to have around. Still, in labor and birth, it is Cathy who I want in charge - especially at home. No offense to Dr. Wonderful, but I wonder if he has ever even seen a completely natural birth.

Thank you to every one who commented and checked in on my status. I feel so grateful to have so many people who can support me especially since many of you are still working on that first miracle baby and I am (hopefully) well on our way to our second.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Because It Is Never That Easy

I had plans to post about my hormonal roller coaster today. It turns out I get pretty blue when I am pregnant, especially at night. There have even been times when I have wished that I wasn't only not pregnant, but didn't have any kids at all. I have also been filled with hate. I hate everything. I decided I hated my cell phone so much last Friday that I turned it off for the weekend. I would have preferred to watch it melt, but knew that was neither practical nor wise.

It's kind of funny to think of those thoughts / feelings now when I feel more in my "right" frame of mind. Those emotions are as real when they happen as any. Fortunately, I am neither sad nor full of hate most of the time and when I am I recognize that it is not based on reason. It is strange to feel this way and know it isn't who I normally am. We really are our chemicals.

But the important news of the day is that I have some placental issues. I have been spotting since shortly after the first beta. Today it turned red and was watery so we got in to see our OB. It turns out I have two trouble spots. One, called a lacuna, is a fluid filled gap in the placenta. It will likely be there the entire pregnancy and may cause growth issues or may be no issue at all.

The other is much smaller but it is between the uterus and the placenta. It could cause a miscarriage or preterm labor or, I am assuming (the OB didn't mention this) that it could cause a stillbirth as well. The good news is that it can heal.

The good news is that I will be waited on for a minimum of 3 days - strict bedrest. I will be adhering to his advice very closely, unlike the end of the last pregnancy where I took it as more of a guideline. If I can go 3 days without bleeding, I am off of bedrest. I am hoping that if I am diligent, it will heal quickly.

Our next update will be this Friday. I am still hopeful. If this doesn't work, I hope it ends sooner than later. Of course, I really hope it works because I don't think I will have the strength to try again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Seat In Upright And Locked Position

Today was our last - hopefully forever - visit to the RE. The baby measured right on time at 8 weeks 2 days and had a h/b of 171. Everything is looking good and we are now in the "less than 2%" failure category. It is a good feeling and there are times I forget to remember that 2% feels like 100% when it happens to you. That is, that there are moments when I forget that we still might not get a healthy baby out of this. I actually find myself planning for a sibling. I never planned on LB being born. I couldn't get my mind around it. It is a nice change to expect this pregnancy to make a baby even once in a while.

Of course, I also sometimes feel like I am tempting fate by thinking like that. If I utter a sentence like, "We are going to have our hands full next summer," I immediately feel I should utter a prayer of forgiveness for my arrogance to the (in)fertility gods out there. If I believed in a god, I probably would.

So we are very excited. The RE's office has a dual set of double doors that automatically open towards you as you exit the building. As Brad and I approached the exit, LB in my arms; we held hands, stood tall and pranced out of the building like were starting our adventures down the yellow brick road. We were walking out of there for good. No more blood draws, transfers, retrievals, ultra sounds and all the drama (mostly bad for us, unfortunately) that goes with it. Wohoo!!!

Still, as crazy as this sounds, I will miss the people there. My RE and I got along great. The embryologist was always very nice and explained things in detail. All the nurses were kind and easy to get along with. I'll even miss the billing lady, although I suspect she and I will have a few more conversations before it is all over.

I used to ask my RE to tell me a story during our transfers. I don't think he very talkative during a procedure and I found I was often too keyed up to make conversation. It was relaxing and interesting to hear about whatever. Sometimes we talked about the how and why of what was going on, sometimes it was about the latest book he was reading. He was also always supportive, understanding and willing to answer any an all questions. Every once in a while I got to hear some of the inside skinny about the fertility industry which was always fascinating to me.

I feel like I have just taken a long flight and happened to find my seat mate an enjoyable person to talk with. Okay, so the plane almost crashed several times and there were a lot of tears and negative experiences, but it wasn't my seat mate's fault and he was actually a comfort to have around. But now the flight is over and we have disembarked to go our separate ways. Perhaps our paths will cross again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday: Quiet Time

I discovered something the other day. Brad dropped me off at home and took LB for a drive so I could have a little quiet time to myself. I realized about a week ago that my quiet time is close to zero. Dangerously close to zero.

It was an accident - the time last week - when I found myself alone with no baby and no friends for about an hour. I didn't quite know what to do with myself. It was the first time in over a year that I was completely alone. There have been nap times where I wasn't tired enough to sleep, but there is always the sense that it might end any time. I have met up with friends for non-baby time, but the drive is rarely more than 10 minutes and often less. Usually I turn on the radio because it is a chance to play my music as loudly as I want.

Actually, I have tried the quiet time thing once or twice before, now that I think about it. Perhaps my hormones are changing because I am pregnant, but it was very hard not to feel the pull of LB. Even though I trusted who she was with, I felt I needed to be with her at a very instinctual level. I wasn't really able to be in the moment.

But last week I almost made it and it shifted my awareness enough to realize I need to find more time to myself.

So Brad dropped me off. I had decided that I would have cherry pie with ice cream while I read a book. As I got the pie and ice cream ready, I started to notice how peaceful I was feeling. Peaceful and centered in a way I haven't been in a very long time. The house was quiet as if nothing could disturb it. Just perfect in a way I can't describe.

I sat down on the front porch with my book and pie and ice cream and realized it was too much. I needed simplicity. I needed it. There was no one who might need me at a moment's notice. There was no conversation to pay attention to and no decisions to be made. There were no distractions except the ones I created.

So I put the book away. Then I slowly ate the ice cream and savored every bite. Then I ate the cherry pie, discovering that the best bites had crust or cherry, not both. Simple. Perfect.

See what others are sharing for their Perfect Moments.