Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010-

It's the last day of 2010. There is so much to be missed, and so much that I could care less for.

It's the finale of Still Life 365- I'm hoping it continues on, it has been a beautiful and touching year. It has been a wonderful healing space for grieving parents, and I am so grateful to Angie for putting it together, and all the people who participated. The last post is a great recap:

This year I personally leave behind me a trail of empty pill bottles, surgical knives, a lot of pain medication, stitches, and loads of negative pregnancy tests.

Still, 2010 wasn't as bad as 2009- I mean, I had 2 miscarriages in 2009 alone. It just wasn't a very good year.

But 2010 wasn't the best either. Seriously, 3 surgeries in 3 months? I survived, but it was hard at times. I am glad I had them done, but I don't remember much of those first three months of the year.

Still, I didn't have another miscarriage. And for that, I am thankful. And hey, I even got my first period on my own since probably 2005. That was really unexpected, and I am still beaming that my body actually did something right. We have a roof over our heads, plenty of food, animals I love to death... it ain't all bad.

I'm hoping 2011 is ever better though. A girl can dream, right?

Here's to hoping we all have a great 2011. Best wishes everyone~

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well, shock and surprise. I started a new cycle on my own.
For the first time in like 5 or 6 years.

Maybe I did ovulate two weeks ago when I thought I may have, so around CD33 maybe. The vitamin D must really be messing with my BBT then, or my body is just going completely haywire. My BBT was all over the place, and it really seemed more anovulatory than anything.

I know some women start new cycles without ovulating, but I am inclined to think I must have ovulated because I personally never start a new cycle on my own, not on anovulatory cycles. I once went 7 months waiting to see what happens (I know now that it's stupid to do that, and the risk of endometrial cancer is increased by waiting like that. But back then, I didn't know about the risks.) Anyway, after 6 months I had to take Provera to get my period. After after that, I had another 7 months with nothing happening. (Yes, that means I had one period that entire year... and it was a horrible one.) Yay my decidedly messed up body. So due to my spectacular history of never starting a new cycle without ovulation, I think I ovulated.

If I did, I am inclined to contribute it to either my upped dose of Metformin, my changed type of Metformin (regular to ER), my prescribed high dose Vitamin D supplementation, or fertility treatment lingerings. I have done the Vitamin D before, and I don't think it did much. Same goes for doing treatments, and then not doing them. So I would really bank my bets on the change in my Metformin, if I had to.

Honestly, I am just excited that I reached CD1 all on my own. How or why doesn't seem all that important right now. Most women wouldn't be this giddy about getting their periods, heck I'm not even this happy to get mine usually, but right now I'm shocked and surprised (in a good way).

On a side note, the holidays went well enough. I got saddled with the new baby, for like a half hour, at my father-in-laws. But it wasn't so bad. I had a few moments and break downs the days leading up to everything- I cried many times about my lost babies- but the get togethers themselves were a lot easier than I thought it would be. My husband spoiled me, as usual. He did some really sweet things, and I just have to say that I love that man.

However, I am exhausted and I think I caught something from the gatherings. Darn all those germs. All congested and headachey, just... blaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Someone needs to smack me and tell me to grow a spine.

Sitting here on cycle day 43, of another anovulatory cycle (the only kind I have on my own) and I still haven't called my doctor to ask for meds to start a new cycle or to schedule a consult. I just... umm... don't want to. I know I should (I've been in the game long enough to know that) but I really don't want to.

Lame. I know.

I keep temping every now and then to confirm I haven't ovulated. Sometimes my temp spikes. But, it does that on anovulatory cycles. And I'm still on the prescription strength vitamin D regiment per my primary care physician. Last time I was on those really high doses of D, it made my temps loopty loop. Didn't ovulate then either, but my temps were crazy and unreliable.

So I am just counting the days off and letting my body be stupid and slack off.

My dog still isn't better. I had to take him back to the vet. No more episodes, but he's disoriented 24/7 and falling over a lot. And not wanting to eat. And throwing up. And scared as hell because he doesn't know what's going on. He can't jump up or down on things without stumbling. He can't go up or down the stairs without help, and thank goodness he realizes this. He stands at the top or bottom and waits for us to help him down. What a good smart old dog. He's now on 4 pills twice a day. Hoping he gets better in a few days or weeks... if he doesn't, then it might not be vestibular disease. It could have been a stroke, the vet couldn't rule that out. But vestibular issues seem more likely, so let's hope it was that.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I started collecting things after I lost my first baby. Just, little things that remind me of him. I got a tattoo, I planted a tree, I bought a pendant. These objects aren't to help me remember, because I could never forget, but rather a way to keep them with me- something tangible I can see, touch, feel. I planted something for each of our losses. That hits me every spring. I'm still working on the tattoos.

The pendants were incomplete all year, but today I finally received the last one. Now, they're all together. I love them so much. There they are, little footprints, names etched in the metal, with the colored beads that represent the months that I lost them. Green. Blue. Yellow.


I bought these for my babies, because I started collecting birds with my babies. After the first one. I got a sparrow tattoo for him. I bought these because there were three different colors, and at the time I didn't even think about what colors. But, they are perfect for representing my babies- in so many ways.


I bought an ornament for the first baby, in 2008. It's a shell with a pearl in it, and it says, "Every life leaves something beautiful behind".


This one is for the second baby, and it's the ultrasound picture, on the cover I etched "2009". I debated about putting that in there, wondering if people would think it morbid, or too weird. But then I remembered that our tree is for us, and us alone. And our babies are a part of us. Sure other people might see the tree, but they will just have to deal with it if they have a problem.


I made this one for the last one we lost. It's a simple clear globe, inside I hung a single angel wing. On the outside I etched "2009". The lights behind it make it glow so pretty on the tree. The photo isn't very good, it was really hard to get a decent one.


This is purely coincidence, but I already had these. And they hang there all year. Three of them. When they're lit up in that dark room, they're so beautiful. The fact that there are three, now makes me think of my babies. Even if that was never their intention.


And these, well, these are part of the reason why my friend Am- is so awesome. This is why I decided a long time ago that she is my unofficial adopted sister. She is amazing. She's an artist, and I have to say there are benefits to that. But this was above and beyond. She made us these paintings, and at first glance you might ask what's so utterly amazingly special about them. I'm talking priceless, and I would cry my eyes out if I lost them. The lighting in the photo doesn't really do them justice I'm afraid.

But, notice the colors. Green, blue, yellow. Yeah. Our babies. She remembered our babies. She made the abstract for my husband, because he needs a little disorder in his life, she joked. And mine, she made to represent me, and the three twirling spirit ribbons- yeah, you guessed it. She said she cried when she made them, thinking about what we've went through. Did I not tell you she is amazing?


You might wonder about the faery in front of them... an impulse buy at the thrift store. I love her very much, I collect faeries anyway. But she's special. In her hands in a bird nest, and withing in a little baby bird crying out. It made me think of my first baby.

These are not by far my only tokens. I have a sleeping angel statue for the first one, and plenty of other small things like my triquetra earrings. I know it might seem odd to keep so many things, and I'm sure people think I'm a little off for it. But these are my only children. And I have nothing to hold onto about them. I can't tell what the future holds, if we'll be able to conceive, if we'll be able to adopt, if something will happen to myself or my husband. The future is completely uncertain. Yes, we can hope for things to come together... but we can't know that they will.

Right now, these are my only children. And I miss them. I will always miss them. And for all I know, they are all I'll ever have. So I'm going to treasure them, and miss them.

I hate that we are sometimes stigmatized by some people for collecting such tokens. It shouldn't be like that. We're grieving. We miss our children. It's completely normal to feel this way, and to collect little reminders of their presence. I can't hold them, but I can touch my necklace and let the ache pass.


My dog has not improved. He's trying to keep his head tilted to compensate for the imbalance between his ears, but he's still falling over. A lot. He threw up his medicine earlier, along with some other nasty smelling stuff, and he hasn't eaten at all today. Looks like I'll be calling the vet again tomorrow. Right now, we're showing him to his dog bed, helping him up and down the stairs, and calming him when he starts freaking out from the disorientation... which happens pretty much all day. Poor guy.

I was in the holiday mood, but I don't know where it went. I just don't seem to care anymore, which sucks because my family is coming over to my house on Saturday. I'm cleaning, making gingerbread cookies, decorating, putting the finishing touched on things... which before, I wanted to do, but now I am just feeling obligated. I don't know what's up.

I'm sure it's a lot of things coming at me, so it's hard to distinguish. Like my dog being sick. Or the fact that my little brother has stopped visiting me; I knew it would happen since he's in high school now... I just hoped it wouldn't be so abrupt. A very old friend has stopped returning my texts and calls, and there could be a lot of reasons why. What bothers me the most about that, is that she doesn't have the balls to just call me and tell me why she's dropped all contact. She was making excuses, which aren't even believable. Like being too sick to return my texts, but she can apparently go to work just fine. Right. Whatever. But even then, she took a day or two to even return my text. So. Whatever.

I also haven't been feeling well, I'm just sore and I feel like I could be getting sick- but I'm not sick, and it never progresses to being sick. I'm just... unwell? And I've been that way for like two months now.

I've also been feeling a little down about things... about still not having children, about having lost my babies. Buying all sorts of presents for my nieces/nephews, and feeling that ache that we aren't buying for our own. Again. Year after year.

And did I mention, I don't want to go to Christmas Eve dinner at father-in-laws house? Ungh. Just, ungh. Talk about feeling alone in a crowd of people.

I have to work tonight, and tomorrow, then celebrate the solstice with my husband, then I have to clean/bake/shop/prepare for Christmas with my family, go to dinner at the in-laws, then dinner with my family. It's a very very busy week.

And I'm just in a major funk... I don't feel like dealing with any of it. But I know I will. One day at a time, right?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My poor doggy-

After I posted the other day about my dogs getting old, I had the point further driven home. My thirteen year old dog (who could be older, anywhere from 13-15 actually) almost gave me a heart attack. He was laying down, when he suddenly got up and started spinning in circles and tripping over his feet. His head was wobbling, and his eyes were roving. I ran to him and held him until his head stopped flipping side to side.

We decided to wait and see what happened after that. So the next day he had another episode. It lasted a minute or so, then stopped. Five minutes later he had another episode. It lasted over fifteen minutes. I got him on his dog bed and started petting him, I wasn't about to let him go running around like that. He stopped shaking but his eyes were still roving and his eyebrows were twitching really bad. At some point he wet himself.

It was really scary.

I got him to the veterinarian, and the vet thinks he has vestibular disease. Apparently this is common in older dogs. Sometimes it can be treated with medication, sometimes it can't. The vet told me his 14 year old dog had it, but did not respond to medication. Great.

While at the vets my dogs eyes started roving, and by the time we got home he started having a full blown episode on the way out of the car. He fell on the floor in the house a couple of times while we were putting our coats away. I gave him his first dose of meds, and now I just hope they work. I am terrified he'll have an episode on the stairs and fall down them.

So now I have my hands full with that. Thankfully he's sleeping now. I really hope he doesn't have any more episodes tonight... poor old man.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some stuff...

I've started several posts and saved them as drafts, deciding not to post them.

I've just been thinking about a lot of things.

I am disenchanted with my job, and ready to look for greener pastures. I should have probably done this already, but now there's a lot more drama and budget cuts, and I know I can't take much more of this crap. Really, I should be looking for a full-time position where I can utilize my degree... but finding a place locally that is what I'm looking for, well, it's a joke. One of the many drawbacks for living in a small city. I'm not interested in commuting either, so that doesn't help. I really need to get an entry level positions somewhere else and continue to build up experience in other fields.

So there's that going on. I was going to wait until spring, but with the way things currently are at my work... I don't think I'll last that long, I'll probably explode or have a nervous breakdown before then.
My dogs are old. And it's starting to sink in just how old they are. The medium sized dog is at least 13. My large Labrador Retriever is turning 12 on the 28th. That's really old considering her breed/size. Not to mention, last year she started tripping down a few steps at a time going down the stairs. The other day she tried to follow me up the stairs, and fell down at least the lower 1/4 of the stairs. She snores heavier and sleeps harder... like, sometimes shaking her doesn't even wake her right away. I have had each of these dogs pretty much their entire lives- my big girl since she was four weeks old, my little old man since he was maybe a year, maybe two. I got him when I was 13, and my girl when I was 14 (a birthday present). You can't really tell he's that old, except that his muzzle is almost entirely white now and it used to be golden orange like his fur. But he's certainly ageing too.

Watching them grow old, watching her decline in physical ability, forces me to think about what's going to happen... specifically, what's going to happen sooner than I want to admit. Ever since the recent incident on the stairs, it's been on my mind. They're getting old. Someday, they won't be here with me. I've just been emotional off and on, watching her struggle with the steps really sets me off. Watching her struggle with anything really sets me off actually.

I also have a cat that's about her age. That girl looks the oldest of the lot, and I really worry about how much longer she'll be around. She's lost a lot of weight, doesn't maintain her body weight effectively, and just clings a lot. This cat used to be feral, and she's had several litters of kittens before she was fixed, so I know she's aged a bit faster than some cats... but man, it's hard. I can't give her medicine or anything... her name is Demon Voure- Devo for short- if that tells you anything... nice lap cat, seriously, but she has an attitude about touching her/picking her up/doing anything she doesn't like. I tamed her from being feral, but I don't think you can ever take all the wild out of a cat. Like, sometimes when you pet her she'll like it but she'll growl as if she doesn't, but usually only if other cats around (she apparently has an image to uphold), if you're all alone with her she purrs. She has a broken meow, and a broken purr- I joke and say her meow box is broken, because in the eleven years I've had her, I heard her meow normal once. I think she's faking it, haha. But seriously, my girl is old. And this worries me.

My animals are my family, they aren't really pets. They all chose to stay with me, actually they wouldn't let me put them out or leave them even if I wanted to. If they sneak out, they hang around and wait for me to call them and I've literally had them jump into my arms to be brought home. So I know I'm rambling, but I've had these three for half my life. Literally. And I know my time is limited now; it's hard. I could have many more years, I know... but I might not. And that's something I hadn't wanted to acknowledge.
The holidays... not looking forward to going to the in-laws for dinner. They'll be playing pass around the baby, and probably starting on on sister-in-law and her new fiancée. I hope they don't ask us questions, some of them know about our situation, and some of them can't put two and two together. And not a single one of them know how to handle the situation. They usually pass over us anyway, and while I feel slighted that they ignore us... I am also thankful that they do.

I did buy a bunch of presents for the nieces/nephews. I can't wait for them to get their presents. I get a bit excited about these things sometimes, haha. I, ummm, also employ this philosophy that as an aunt it's my job to buy them the noisiest toys I can find. In my defense, the kids like them. And also... it's great revenge on the siblings who may have picked on you growing up (*ahem, like all of mine*). Muahahaha! And here's the upside of being infertile, they can't get revenge on me. I'd love it if they did, and not mind at all (I mean, c'mon, I would love to have kids period!) but since it's going to be awhile until we have kids... we don't have to worry about revenge for awhile. Can I get another Muahahaha!

I also bought and sent in my gift for the giving tree project at the local store. I picked a 14 year old girl, there were a lot of un-picked older kids on the tree and that always makes me sad. Everyone would rather pick a baby or smaller child, but really? It's the older children who are going to notice the lack of presents the most.

That's just my opinion and experience though, I guess. When I was younger I didn't notice when our holiday gifts were lighter than usual, but I still remember the year when I was fifteen and I got one gift (from anybody at all- just one gift total). It was a hard winter for a lot of other reasons, but that made it even harder I think. Buying gifts for the girl made me feel better, especially that I am able to give back, and that hopefully her holiday will be a little brighter. But it also brought up a lot of memories and emotions from where I was younger and we were a lot poorer than I am now. Which was hard too. Sometimes it feels like all that stuff that happened to me, happened to someone else instead. I know it shaped me into who I am, but when I'm sitting at home all snug and warm, it's easy to forget about the nights I froze because we didn't have heat. Or with a fridge full of food, it's easy to forget counting down the days until my mother either got paid or got her food stamps. When my husband buys me almost everything I want for the holidays, it's easy to forget that sometimes I had almost nothing.

I will have another post up soon, right now I'm just kind of here and there.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Articles and the Scare Factor

Otherwise known as, get your facts straight before you publish.

Also known as, stop releasing studies prematurely and scaring the crap out of people.

Also also known as get the facts straight and use it as a moment to educate, instead of a moment to induce hysteria.

I saw this article a while ago and kept meaning to post about it, but you know how that goes out here in the land of no-longer-trying-to-conceive. However, as a babylost mamma, I felt my need to call this out:

The headline reads "Miscarriages May Increase Heart Attack Risk"... so, talons out and sharpened. Okay, so I am by no means a medical expert, but I have had three, read 'em three, miscarriages. I have been through hell and back, I don't need some article to come along and tell me that means I could die. Seriously.

The article starts by saying that women with recurrent miscarriages (ahem, like me) are at greater risk of heart attack.

Here's how their stats break down:
Miscarriage increased risk of heart attack by 40%
More than 2 by 4Xs
More than 3 by 9Xs
Stillbirth increased the risk by 3.5Xs

It also mentioned that women with miscarriage history tend to weigh more. Once they factored in lifestyle factors the risk dropped a lot, but was still higher than women who haven't.

What is not mentioned is about the causes of miscarriage and stillbirth. For example, many of them are caused by undiagnosed clotting disorders. Hmm, could clotting disorders or the like have any effect on your cardiovascular system? Could that possible raise your risk of heart attack or stroke? What about the psychological aspect, depression and attitude towards life after the miscarriage or stillbirth. Yes, some of us do gain weight and become less active, it's called depression. I know that for me, the depression and the grief were so heavy I couldn't get off the couch for a very long time. Once the grief became manageable, the depression subsided... but it was really hard and it did take a toll on me.

What I'm saying is, maybe they could have mentioned these things and how they could contribute to heart attack and stroke. They could have taken a moment to address the underlying causes and how they could affect things (and not the miscarriages itself, that's a correlation, not a cause if you ask me). They could have addressed how to treat the issues, or signs of depression. This was a perfect moment to educate the public, and what did they do... try to scare you. And on such a sensitive topic too.

Personally, I would really have appreciated if they had waited to release this study. Or at least, vetted it out more before release. Now, maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, and like I said I am no expert, but as a babylost mamma this just bothered me.

What do you think of this article? Am I being overly critical here?