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The kicks and flutters are a constant now. It is so reassuring at 23 weeks that this little boy (yes, another boy!) growing inside me is active and healthy. I’ve had many tests and ultrasounds in this pregnancy, way more then in my first one with Silas. I think the combination of the IVF, my age and what happened the first time, has dramatically changed the way this pregnancy has been approached- by doctors and by us.
I also find myself comparing the 2 pregnancies often- because that’s what we do. Different but similar aches and pains, the familiar flutters, the swollen feet and ankles, the need to stay fed and hydrated, to be well rested but still active and the never-ending amazement that I can really grow a baby inside my own body. I really still can’t believe it sometimes! I truly feel lucky that I get to be here, a place I’ve been dreaming of for so long in my life.
The doctor/midwife group we chose this time around is just different. It is a more clinical setting, but the warmth is there and the care is impeccable. Some visits have been 5 min long- while others I spend at least 30 getting my questions answered. They are on top of it, making sure that every need we have is met. I even got a call today randomly from one of the midwives, just to see how I was doing. She asked how all the doctors have been, if we’ve been happy with our care. She even asked if they were pronouncing my name correctly! So great. I feel like we are in good hands and very hopeful that this little guy inside me will end up in my arms screaming and healthy.
But as all of us in this community know, nothing is definite and things can go wrong, up to the very last minute. I’m still feeling pretty hesitant that this pregnancy can really end with a live baby. I won’t keep anything for him in this apt until he is alive & kicking. What do we really need? I don’t feel the pressure to set up a baby room (we actually didn’t do this last time either), or have clothes or diapers or anything here until it happens. All the stuff given to us last time is safe and secure at my inlaws. I am confident that when we need it, it will be brought to our home, ready and waiting for us. I refuse to register and really have a hard time even going to that place of decision making. What stroller, bassinet, car seat do we want? Beats me. I checked out what some of my friends have, asked a few questions, but don’t feel like it’s necessary to go there quite yet. I know, I know, a week before I deliver, I’m sure I’ll feel frantic if I don’t have this stuff, but for now, I just want to get through each day. I have lots of people who want to know what I’m going to do about work, daycare, etc. I am not planning a thing. I have some ideas and I know I want to take off some time, but to actually plan what we’re going to do after that is just not going to happen. I planned last time, and then had to take it all back. It was brutal. It just feels better to leave it out there and we’ll figure it out when the time comes.
I’m way more tired this time around. I think being 40 and pregnant is really hard work! I wish I could exercise more, but it’s so hot on the east coast and so hard to get motivated to even take a walk! I am still teaching the kids yoga and am pretty much using it as my form of exercise right now. Every downdog feels heavenly, but my body definitely doesn’t move the way it’s used to! That I remember explicitly from last time. That crazy feeling of not being able to bend and stretch like I am normally capable of.
I know my sister does not want a big announcement made (sorry J), but her pregnancy, only 7 weeks behind me, is so very exciting in my family. My parents are beyond thrilled and daily texts from my mom are not unusual.
“How are my girls feeling today??”
It’s so amazing to see my parents so happy. They have struggled to deal with the grief and loss of their first and only grandson while staying hopeful that their 3 kids in their late 30’s will procreate sooner rather then later. They have to listen to all their friends who only want to talk about grandkids. So now that both of their daughters are preggers, it is a really happy time in the Rosen family. When I start to think about the thought of “What if that IVF cycle didn’t work?” I get a feeling over my body that is so horrific, I don’t even want to go there. It happened and it’s all good. But it is still so hard to even believe sometimes.
We just got back from a fantastic trip out west for a good friends wedding in Lake Tahoe. So beautiful and so much fun. Of course we also stayed a few days in SF- bar hopping, coffee tasting, seeing friends, eating burritos and just enjoying ourselves immensely. Meeting new babies (me with gifts in hand finally!) and seeing pregnant friends, all with a huge smile on my face and excitement for them that was real.
As always, the love and support we get from our friends & family, and those of you who read my words have kept me going. So I just want to say thanks.
The last few days have been filled with crazy, crazy news. They found some regrowth in the same tumor spot on little Carly. That enough would make you just want to throw things. Then I got some news about a fellow babylost mom who was pregnant and lost her baby midway through the pregnancy. Really? like, seriously? And then I got some more pregnancy news and then some babies being born news and all these people in my life having their second already since we lost Silas. It’s all just very hard to take, all piled on top of a few days. Somehow I’m still standing.
We are starting IVF again. It’s our 2nd fresh cycle but 3rd altogether since we did that frozen one way back when. We’ve determined this isn’t the be all end all of me getting pregnant. We could not possibly add any more pressure then we already feel going in to this round. If it doesn’t work, we’ll cross that bridge. I’m happy to be in this mind space for this cycle. I know what to expect, I’m not scared, I’m ready.
2 1/2 years out and still trying. How do we stay hopeful? Any suggestions? It’s so hard. I expect not to be pregnant now. It makes the letdown month after month so much easier. I don’t cry much anymore when I get my period. I just expect it. A few weeks back I decided to stop trying so hard. No more acupuncture, herbs, teas, vitamins. I just don’t want to keep putting in effort, time, money, etc when it hasn’t worked. So this month we just said fuck it and whatever happens happens. I’m starting IVF anyway if and when I get my period. We decided to try a new clinic- and this one isn’t having me do a rest down before the cycle. So I just start right with my period. Time to shake things up a little, when things aren’t working, change it up.
I am still having bad days mixed with good days. There are moments where I stop dead in my tracks and think- wait, did my baby really die? I still can’t fathom it sometimes. I also cannot believe I can’t seem to get pregnant. I know everyone in this IF world thinks that- but after our loss, it just seems so unfair. I got pregnant easily the first time, no issues. I wasn’t so young either. How many times can I say this? but its 3 years since Silas was conceived. We’re in that phase of his pregnancy where it was so new and so exciting, but 3 friggin years ago! So long ago. I want to feel that again so badly it hurts.
I am going to do restorative yoga, just like the NY times article said to do. (yeah yeah I’m a yogi, I should know this but I generally don’t do restorative). I’m going to stay calm and not stress. Even when I’m poking myself with needles day in and day out & driving almost an hour to the clinic at 6:30am on these really cold winter mornings. I’m going to breathe, and relax and take care of myself. (At least this is my plan).
We now have a few trips planned- Florida to see my parents, and this is immediately after we find out if this cycle worked. Then we are going to Costa Rica for my 40th and for Chris’ bday and so I can do a teacher training. We also have a trip to Lake Tahoe planned for the summer for a wedding. So all of these trips are something to look forward to, regardless of whether I’m pregnant or not. I have chosen not to add that to the equation anymore. It did me no good when planning for my sister’s wedding. It made it complicated and depressing.
I choose to let these little things make me happy these days. It’s all I can do to stay sane.
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.
That week was so rough, it pretty much knocked me to the ground. First a negative preg test, then getting my period and then having to start the injections again. The hormones were coursing through me – apparently it is so much worse when taking fertility drugs. I was more depressed then ever. Day after day, I kept thinking I would wake up and feel better. It took me almost a week- the longest recovery yet.
I was so angry. More angry then I have been in a very very long time. I was angry at my midwives for failing to deliver a healthy baby, at my body for not cooperating and making me go through all this month after month, the fact that I have to work with other people’s children day after day without having my own, and that we are endlessly struggling to pay our bills. All of it. Angry that my 18 month old baby is not here with me. That I should be trying for live baby #2 right now and yet I’m still working on live baby #1.
I didn’t even want to do anything to help myself feel better either. Didn’t want to meditate, or do something fun. I wanted to be angry and wallow in my pain. I knew that it would lift at some point, so I decided to just stay there.
And then one morning I just woke up and felt ok. Just like that. The angry mood lifted and I was me again. I was able to go into the world feeling like I can smile and not feel like I wanted to hide away and never come out again. It’s amazing what hormones can do.
But I’m fine now. I guess as fine as I can be. To get through yet another tough month, we decided to take the plunge. We finally adopted another kitty! His name is Beans and he is super cute and super lovable. Still a bit of a scaredy cat and Chumby isn’t making him feel too welcome just yet. But all in good time. It’s fun having a new life to take care of and focus on.
The changing seasons have been freaking me out a bit. Wait, it’s spring again? How did that happen? When you’ve been through a trauma, especially one like ours, you see time so differently. I can’t believe that it was 2 years ago in the spring that I was newly pregnant. That last spring I was still freshly mourning the loss of Silas, but still hopeful I’d be pregnant again soon. And now, a year later, I’m still here. Still trying to get pregnant. Watching everyone around me have their babies. I know, I moan and groan about this fact constantly. But it’s wearing on me.
My job, though I absolutely love it, can wear on me too. I see these beautiful kids, day in and day out, and I long for one of my own. My work has saved me, I do know that. It keeps me going, it keeps me busy and it feels good to be part of what is actually helping our country. I am making a difference and that is important. But I have given so much to so many. I want to be selfish and give some of it to my own kids. It’s time already.
I watched 60 minutes yesterday and there was a special on Haiti and how many orphaned kids are out there now, kids whose parents can’t find them. It was heartbreaking. I cried my eyes out watching it- wanting to go there and do something about it. Sometimes seeing the big picture, seeing the tragedy affecting the millions of people all over the world helps me to see how lucky I really am.
I know I am lucky. I know that I have it good over here- people who love me, a roof over my head, and I’m healthy. And while I take the time to realize that, I also allow myself to feel sad for what I don’t have. I can recognize that balance, and that is healthy.
So while the lucky socks did not work last month, I was torn about wearing them again. I couldn’t decide if now they were deemed “unlucky” since they didn’t work for me the first time I wore them. Suffice it to say, I did not wear them this time around. We’re in the dreaded 2ww. Luckily we are heading to Florida this weekend to visit my parents and soak up the warm Florida sun. Should be a fun distraction.
This past weekend of sun was good for our souls. Though it was fleeting, it was a taste of what’s to come and really, it’s hard to be pissed off at the world when it is a beautiful sunny spring day and flowers are blooming all around you.
I’m hoping that this will be another spring where I’ll have a blossoming belly- because it really is time.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written. I just don’t have much to share these days- same old same old, ya know? It’s just a tough time all around and we got through it. We even had a really really fun new year eve. So that is hopefully a sign of what’s to come in 2010. Trying not to be too hopeful but I just have to stay positive.
Carly’s gorgeous little girl Ocea was born on Dec 16, 2009. Sarah’s little sunflower Micah was born on Dec 30, 2009. I am so happy for my friends who have been at my side through this last tumultuous year.
Thank you all – my friends, family and those out there who read and comment. You all are what keep me going.
Here’s to a new decade, a new year and some good friggin’ news.