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I have been procrastinating writing for weeks now, but this amazing project brought me back. I have had so many thoughts and feelings swirling around in my brain lately, but nothing was forcing me over to my blog to put it out there.
Until tonight, reading through blogs I’ve left behind, blogs I used to read all the time but just haven’t wanted to go to lately. I came across something that I need to be a part of.
It’s been National Infertility Awareness Week and I need to show my support. I am part of the community whether I like it or not. Reading through this list of What Ifs had me in tears. So many resonated with me but these are the few that I live in every day.
What if I will never get to be a mother?
This is my fear. I got pregnant pretty easily the first time but then lost my baby Silas Orion to a really difficult delivery. He died 10 hours after he was born. As a teacher to other people’s children, I have been aching for my own. I want a child to have Chris’ sense of humor, my laughter, and the curly hair we both share. We came so close and it was taken away. Silas was beautiful and perfect and we’ll never know him. I have so much love to give a child, my child. I am sick of being patient.
What if we didn’t choose to do a homebirth?
This one never goes away. If we chose to birth our baby in the hospital, maybe we would still have him today. We’ll never know. We talk ourselves into believing it could have been worse. Our choice of homebirth still haunts us.
What if I just never get pregnant again?
It’s been a year and a half. Month after month of the negative preg test or getting my period. I’ve become used to it. We’ve done clomid, IUI’s, injectibles- none of which has worked. I am healthy, Chris is healthy, we are among the unexplained. Especially since I got pregnant before without meds. I just turned 39 on Wednesday. I had a wonderful birthday, I made sure of it. Did all the things I wouldn’t have done if I were pregnant (went to nyc & drank, ate sushi, saw Courtney Love rock out in a smokey club) and had a grand ol’ time.
Our Niece was born on my birthday as well. Noa Seda Gallagher came into this world on Apr. 28, named after the cousin she’ll never know. Seda means echo or spirit of the forest. Silas means man of the forest, so it is fitting. It is a beautiful tribute, one that brought me to tears during my birthday lunch. In the year and a half we’ve been trying to get pregnant again, so many others have had their babies. Noa and I will have a very special relationship of course, since we share a birthday and she is named after my son. It’s just that her perfect and beautiful birth is another reminder of what we don’t have, and what we want desperately.
This IVF process has actually been ok so far. The meds aren’t making me crazy(yet), my body feels strong & healthy (thanks bootcamp!) and I have been feeling hopeful. Something switched in me though yesterday. I crashed hard after the fun of my birthday. Reality set in. There is a new baby in the family, and here I am in the middle of taking some crazy drugs that will hopefully get me pregnant.
But What if they don’t work?
And I have to do this again and again. I read about women having to do cycle after cycle of this, and I don’t know if I have it in me. It’s been a year of using the meds and I don’t know how much longer I can do it. I hope I don’t have to.
As per instructions from Mel, we need to end our post on a positive note. So I’ll try these on for size-
What if this one will be the charm and I actually get to be a mom to a living child? What if I actually get to hold my very own newborn baby in my arms in 9 months?
ah, that felt really good.
At just past 18 months, it really feels like Silas is slipping away from me. All focus is on this TTC business. But yesterday, 2 kids asked me about him. One of my 5 yr olds, who knew me back when I was pregnant, said,
“Lani, why did your baby die?”
Right in the middle of our yoga class. It really caught me off guard. I told him we can talk about it after the class was done. I just went right on with what I was doing as if nothing was said. It was like a punch to the gut, but I couldn’t let it affect me as I was teaching.
After class, while the kids were putting on their shoes, I just told him that my baby was really sick and that was why he died. I told him that most babies don’t die, and even if you are sick, it doesn’t mean you will die either.
He said “just like my baby sister? She didn’t die.”
I said “yes, just like your baby sister.”
It was a sad conversation, but obviously this little boy is still struggling with the death of my baby. I find it incredibly interesting, but I know this little boy really loves me so maybe he just really doesn’t get why something like this could happen.
The second incident happened with my older kids. I started a new class of 2nd-4th graders. A 9 yr old girl, who doesn’t know me, was looking at the charms on my necklace. She looked at one and asked me what it said.
I said “It says Silas, which is the name of my baby that died.”
she kind of looked at me curiously.
I said “it’s really sad.” pretty matter of factly.
Both she and another student said “yeah, that is really sad.”
Then the conversation was over. We continued with our class. That’s how it is with kids. They ask, get an answer and then move on to the next thing without missing a beat. It just was strange that after all this time, 2 kids would bring it up- one knowingly and the other not.
The other day I went to the park to see Silas’ tree. We never go to the tree, it’s just too hard. But I was in the park for my bootcamp so I figured I’d go see if the bulbs we planted last fall were blooming. There were no buds on the tree and none of the flowers had popped through the earth. I found it so sad and so strange, since all over the place there were flowers blooming like crazy. I was pretty devastated.
Then yesterday I was there again, and what do you know? the tree was full of buds and some daffodils popped through and were blooming beautifully! I really need to go take some pictures. In 3 days, all this change? I don’t get it. Did I somehow look at the wrong tree? I can’t imagine that is possible. I am so perplexed by this – but I don’t really need to question it. I just know that Silas’ tree is starting to bloom and maybe those flowers signify that I will have some new life growing inside me soon as well.
The 2nd round of meds didn’t work so now we have officially begun the IVF process. It takes longer then doing a regular cycle of fertility meds, so the wait is a bit more excruciating. My body is in the resting phase right now, and with it, comes higher doses of hormones that really make me dizzy and nauseous. But it’s not terrible- I can handle it.
My box of very expensive meds will show up on my doorstep soon. With the co-pays being as high as they are- you can just imagine how much these meds really cost. Again, we are super lucky to have this treatment covered by insurance. I feel blessed to be in CT which has a mandate that will cover 2 IVF’s until I’m 40. Good thing we’re doing it this year b/c I’m turning 39 at the end of the month.
So with my not so good news, there has been a lot of really great news for my fellow babylost- congrats angie, monica & aliza! All 3 gave birth to beautiful little boys. And with the news of babies being born, also comes the new pregnancy news. One friend who had a baby the same time as me is now pregnant again. You can just imagine how that must feel. But of course I’m thrilled for my friends and of course slightly jealous. How can I not be?
We seemed to have gotten through the letdown better this time. Not sure why, but I just have to be thankful I guess. Last month was rough and I fully expected it to happen again. I have so many hormones coursing through my body, it’s amazing I can even function sometimes. But I do, because I am on a mission and I need to stay focused. It has almost become my second job. I spend more time at the clinic then I do anywhere else. I have a perpetual bruise on my arm from so many blood tests.
While waiting for our results of round 2, we took a trip to Florida to see my parents. It was super relaxing and really fun. My parents are so wonderful and supportive and just made sure we were happy the whole time. It was a great little getaway. It’s amazing how normal our lives seem on the outside. You see pictures of us and we really look happy. And on occasion, we are really happy.
Tonight we were listening to the Wilco show streaming through the computer. The windows were all open because it’s a super warm night- just like we love. We heard the opening notes of California Stars, our wedding song, and just had to dance and hug each other tight.
Through all this shit, and what it is is total and utter shit, we have each other and that is the most important thing of all.