Sunday, December 30, 2012

Birthday Bash-

I made cupcakes, a "snow owl" cake (although if it really looks like an owl is debatable ha), cookies'n'cream owl lollies, I made a lot of the decorations myself with clipart, plus assembling them (I made that cupcake stand with stuff from the dollar store), we had balloons and good food... it all came together pretty well!

The weather was not the best though, so a lot of people didn't make
it (holiday illnesses didn't help), but a lot of people made it anyway.
It was awesome being able to celebrate V's birthday with great friends
and family.
I feel so fortunate that I was able to plan this out and throw this party to celebrate the life of my son. I'm so glad that we did this, even if I am exhausted today from shoveling the snow, setting up, disassembling, and all that... it was still awesome, and I'm glad we'll have this day to look back on.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A year later-

So, V turns one today! It's still hard to reconcile that much time has passed. This year he's taught me to smile again with my whole heart, without reserve. Yes, there's still pain, there's still grief, still moments of despair, but it doesn't echo in every second of every day. He didn't heal me, that's not his responsibility, he didn't mend all the hurts or replace what I've lost- but he gave me a new reason to smile. He taught me to hope again.

Last year, hearing his first cry was the most amazing sound in the world. It didn't really hit me, until that very moment, that we were actually going to have a baby this time. I mean, I knew, I prepared, I hoped, but part of me never fully believed he'd be coming home with us. It wasn't an intentional blocking or self preservation, I just couldn't bring myself to believe with all my heart. Hearing him cry, after the silence in the operating room, shook something inside me.

Today I'm going to make his cupcakes, let him open some of his presents, and have a small intimate celebration with just A, myself, and V.  I'll make his cake, finish all the little touches for his decorations, all his treats, and the shopping, tomorrow. Then, this weekend we'll have a party for family.

Then we'll welcome in the New Year. I'll go see the neurologist for the EMG of my leg. Then we'll say goodbye to Dr. J, and figure out what's next.

But that all comes later. Today, today I'm just thankful that he's here and we survived the first year. It's been amazing watching him grow, watching him take off and learn something new each week, holding him close and soaking him up. Here's to many more years or such joy.

Happy birthday V.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Be kind to yourself-

My heart goes out to everyone still struggling this year, who's going through losses, unanswered questions, or just remembering. It's a hard road when nothing goes right, when your body fails you, and when the odds are stacked against you. The holidays are especially hard, centered around babies and fertility. I spent my fair share of Christmases crying my eyes out. If there's anything I can say to my friends who are in such a place this year, it's this: Be kind to yourself. There's nothing wrong with self preservation. You can be happy, and be sad, at the same time... and there's nothing wrong with that. Take care of yourself, know your limits, and don't feel guilty if you can't handle going to that gathering. Sometimes you have to put your own emotional well being as your first priority.

Thinking of you all, and wishing you peace and strength this holiday season.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


The holiday isn't complete without an unexpected pregnancy announcement in the middle of a family Christmas gathering.

I called it earlier this year. I told my husband that I knew my brother and his new girlfriend would have one underway before this year was out. I told him that I just knew they'd end up announcing at Christmas too.

Well, I guess I nailed it.

Yes, I have a precious child after all these years. Yes, I'm enjoying my holiday season and look forward to his birthday next week. And all of that is wonderful. This doesn't hurt like it would have during the years of infertility and loss before V, but it still stings. Especially in the wake of losing my doctor and facing so many unknowns, as I approach this consult, and as I face what happened with all the ones I lost and the one I kissed tonight.

It serves as another reminder of how starkly polar our realities are.

Friday, December 21, 2012


It's been a week since I got the letter from my reproductive clinic, and I was choking on a decision about to call or not to call. I froze, unable to decide if I should pay the money for one last conversation with my current doctor (who has been amazing- a real godsend to us) or to wait until February and schedule an appointment with our new doctor instead. I hate making decisions like that. I know it shouldn't be such a big deal, but it felt so heavy.

Ultimately I knew I needed this last appointment. I won't get a second chance to talk to her, to pick her mind, to listen to her recommendations. I brought the number up on my screen, and promptly closed it. I brought it up again, and managed to press send. My stomach has been in knots ever since. I have the appointment (January 4th) but I feel so anxious now. I don't know if it's more because I'll have to rehash what went wrong, think about the possibility of it happening again, or because I'll have to say goodbye. Maybe it's all of that, and more.

There's a lot of emotional trauma tied into my reproductive clinic. There's also a lot of wonderful memories. There were times when we were able to laugh hysterically while I waited in the stirrups, and times where all I could do was hold in the tears until I could reach my car. There was a time when they confirmed another miscarriage, and a time when they confirmed there was finally a heart beat. There was that look in Dr. J's eyes when she told us that it was just a matter of time as she urged us not to give up, and the day she said good luck and good bye.

I never really said good bye to any of it though; for me it was always on hold. Even when I didn't know if I was ever going back, I took comfort in the fact that if I did- they would still be there. My clinic has 4 branches across my state now, it seemed pretty certain. And while I knew my doctor might move on at some point, I liked to delude myself that she wouldn't. It was such a shock for me, although it really shouldn't have been.

I've never really said good bye to her because she was still within reach. I mean, I just sent her a greeting card/letter earlier this month. When we planned on trying this coming year, it was with the assumption that she would be there. We thought, "Well, in February or March we'll just schedule an appointment and it'll be no big deal."

Now, I feel full of so many unknowns. I don't know who can help me through the first trimester (assuming I can even get pregnant at all.) I don't know if they're going to give me the same emotional support, or the same understanding. I don't know if they'll be able to handle (or even understand) my neurosis of "oh my god, did I lose another one?" My utter panic at the object of my desire- another pregnancy.

I feel nervous about the appointment, because it means going back. Because it might not offer any answers. Because I'm not sure where we'll go from here. Because it means facing the fact that I am losing the most amazing doctor I've ever had in my life- the woman that never gave up on me, who helped me realize my dream.

Because it means saying good bye.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December weigh in-

I weighed in this week at 179.2 lbs. I was a pound lighter, but I guess I gained it back. I have a lot of stress right now, so I haven't been eating well. I also have a cold, thanks to baby sitting my nephew last week and dealing with the back pain and foot issues. Then I got that letter from my reproductive clinic, and I think I just went over the edge of "I don't want to deal with this right now." Hence, regaining the pound. It doesn't help that this cold has diminished my lung capacity, so I'm having difficultly walking 2mph, let alone jogging at my normal 3.5mph. I struggled through it the other night, but I don't know if I'll be able to Wednesday.

However, back to the positives- I've lost another inch off my hips and an inch off my waist. I'm down 6 lbs from last month, which is great. So I'm hoping that for the rest of the month, sickness be damned, I at least maintain my weight loss and don't backslide.

Since March 17, 2012:
Weight lost: 47.8 lbs
Inches off hips: 10.5
Inches off waist: 10.5

Total weight lost: 70.8 lbs. I've lost about 18.5 inches total off of my waist now too. I wish I had a before picture from when I was 250 lbs. I mean I have pictures from the front, but I don't have any from the side. I do still have my pants from back then- the ones that were starting to get too tight. They're a size 24, and I'm in a size 16 now. So I guess that'll have to work.

Not too shabby.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


We got a letter in the mail today from our reproductive clinic. My husband said, "I wonder what this could be?" I told him I had sent them a card and a short letter of appreciation to our fertility doctor, Dr. J, but I didn't think they would send anything back in response to that. It couldn't be a bill, because I paid our account off months and months ago.

He opened it while I was making dinner, and said, "Oh no!" I stopped stirring the rice and looked over at him, wondering what it could be about. He said, "Dr. J accepted a position in Texas. She's leaving in January."

I'm devastated. I kept saying, "Oh no." Randomly while cooking dinner, as it hit me again and again.

I know that she has to do what's best for her career and herself, I can appreciate that, but right now all I can see is my own loss. We switched to her after seeing our first RE for a year (he was a terrible fit). With Dr. J, we had a wonderful relationship. She always believed in us, went above and beyond, and did everything she could for us. She was wonderful, and I'd hoped to see her next year to discuss our options once more. Now, I don't know if I'll get to see her before she leaves.

I believe that the other doctors at the clinic are competent and I'm sure they are wonderful- I've met them briefly when Dr. J was on vacation or at a conference. But they were never what Dr. J was to us, they didn't know us or understand where we've been. I don't know if they're of the same mind as her, if they'll handle my loss issues as well as she did. I don't trust them like I trust her.

Honestly, I'm scared about seeing someone else. Dr. J was my safety net of understanding. I don't trust my OB like I did Dr. J. I've never had a doctor so personal, who took an interest in us, who made it a point to know us by appearance and not by chart. Yeah, I know we went there for two years, but she's known us by sight since our first appointment. She knew I always came in with research articles, that I was going to take notes and research everything she told me, and she was okay with that! She encouraged it.

I've been feeling nostalgic lately, with V's first birthday coming up. That last consult keeps running through my mind. She told me that she believed we could carry to term, but she couldn't give us any odds. There were no guarantees, because despite all that testing we still didn't know exactly what was going on. She urged us to keep trying. She said she was sure she could get us pregnant again, and that she believed it was only a matter of time until we carried to term. You could tell she cared by the look in her eye and the sound in her voice.

We told her that we wanted to stop treatments, that we wanted to pursue donor embryos or adoption because we couldn't rationalize paying $2-4k out of pocket just to have another miscarriage. We were coming up on 4 years of trying, and we were just done. I was beginning to seriously contemplate living child-free because I just couldn't take any more heart break. She asked me if I would try, just one more time, if she could get me the medicine I needed. I hesitated, and talked it over with A. I think ultimately we decided, "What could it hurt? What's one last try?" It seemed right, one last try on our 4 year anniversary of trying. One last go before saying goodbye. We never imagined it would work.

Yet, here's my son. This perfect, unimaginable being. This precious child I had given up all hope of, teaching me to believe in the impossible. And it's all thanks to Dr. J. She's the one who never gave up. She's the one who performed my surgery, did all the testing my first RE refused to do, recommended the course of action that ultimately helped us. She's the one who told me that we could survive the sub-chorionic hematoma, and that she's seen babies survive worse than mine. She's the one who found that beautiful heart beat, reassuring me over and over that he's still alive.

And now she's leaving. Just as we decided we should schedule an appointment in mid-Jaurary to early February, we're finding out that she'll be gone by then. I don't know if they'll squeeze me in before she leaves. I don't know if we'll get the aggressive help we need. I don't know if my new RE will listen to me the way she did. I don't know if I'll have the same help, the same level of care, the same ear to talk to. I don't know. And I don't want to scale that mountain all over again in order to get the level of care I need.

I don't think I have it in me to go through that all over again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Feeling off

I'm making a lot more progress with my weight loss. Just this past week I've crossed over below 180lbs, which is great! So I had that going for me, I was sore but feeling pretty triumphant. My next weigh in is in 6 days, and I'm hoping it reflects all my hard work. I'm starting to think that reaching 175 by the new year might be attainable after all.

I find myself hurting a lot today though. I didn't even work out yesterday, I ended up watching one of our nephews all day while his mother was at the hospital with her other sister-in-law who having a baby. Said nephew is only 3 months older than V, so they kept me on my toes. I don't think that caused the issue though. It's my back, in the area where my hunch back is (from my scoliosis) and it feels like I need to crack it but it also keeps randomly feeling like ice (to me internally, not to the surface) and tingling, and it's numb... it's kind of hard to explain. It just comes on suddenly, last for a little bit, then mostly dissipates. It started last night, and it hasn't stopped into today. I guess if it keeps up I'll call my doctor tomorrow- maybe I have more nerve inflammation? It kind of sucks. I took some anti-inflammatory medication for now, but that doesn't usually do much. My wrists haven't been the best today either, and it feels reminiscent of my carpal tunnel but it would be awful early for that to be coming back since I just had surgery on both wrists in 2010.

Other than that, I've been feeling kind of nostalgic and my thoughts are running in circles. I'd write a post, but my thoughts keep slipping away from me. Maybe once I can actually pin down my thoughts I'll have something more to write.

Thanks for all the support and understanding on the last post. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ignorance is... ignorance.

The other day a family member posted about how she was buying presents for her nephews, and how she thought it would be more fun if there were nieces. She proceeded to say that we should have girls next time, in all capital letters, and tagged A and his other siblings in it.

I don't know if there are adequate words for how this affected me. I know it might not seem like much, but this is just another drop in an already full bucket of gender-biased/taken-for-granted crap.

In all fairness, she is younger than us. However, she's not completely ignorant. She knows, just like all of our family, exactly what we went through. They might not all know the specifics, but they know that we had several miscarriages. They know that we had to utilize fertility treatments. They know it took us four years. They also know I was on bed rest for months and there was a serious risk of losing him.

But hey, whatev's. Apparently a vagina makes a baby more fun.

I get that there is a lot more adorable girly things you can buy. I often find myself cursing the stores for having this huge section of dresses and shoes, accessories and other goodies, then the boy section is... limited. I like buying cute things for my little man, especially an assortment of cute hats, but I don't like having to hunt them down across various stores and the internet. I get that there is a marketing bias. Really.

But this isn't just about a marketing bias. This is a bias that our families have had since before we even conceived V. This is about a blatant disregard for what we went through, a willful ignorance and insensitivity. Furthermore, every single time they bring this up it's like a punch to the gut because I was pregnant four times... who's to say I haven't already had a daughter, and lost her? Who's to say I'll ever be able to have more children? Having one may prove it's possible, but it is not a guarantee. Every time they bring this up, it's a reminder of how different our reality is from their own.

It hurt my husband, having such willful ignorance coming from so close to home. He ignored the tag, rather than have that show up on his profile. I ignored her and didn't comment, preferring to seethe and talk to my friends about it. I needed an outlet, because honestly I've begun to give up correcting our families. No matter how many times we try to explain what we went through, they choose to ignore it. Or rather, conveniently "forget." I'm tired of fighting, tired of explaining, tired of having to constantly remind... but most of all? I'm tired of being ignored.