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I’ve been wanting to write for weeks now, but life with a 6 month old doesn’t afford you much free time. I saw that my good friend Angie posted this project again and it just seemed like the perfect excuse to sit down and write. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about Silas and I am ready to get them down. I just re-read my post from last year when I had been newly pregnant. I remember clearly feeling such anxiety after having had a bleeding scare and thinking “holy shit, I could actually lose this pregnancy right now.”
It was a great post, one that felt important for me to write. After losing Silas, I had grieved for a long time and then tried to put it aside to focus on getting pregnant. That took most of my energy for the next almost 2 years. It felt like I was betraying Silas in a way but it was all I had room for. The pregnancy was a tough one though, fraught with worry at every twist and turn. We were completely teetering on the edge, that’s what it felt like every second. I wanted to believe that it couldn’t possibly happen again, but I know way too much in this babylost world. I knew my odds were pretty good to have a live, healthy baby, but then again I was on the wrong side of the odds the first time. So really, anything could happen and I wasn’t quite sure of anything. All I was sure of was that I wanted this baby more then anything in my life.
But here I am, with 6 month old Zephyr Rigel who is the most amazing little guy. He’s perfect in every way, and our lives are forever transformed because of him. I knew I would love being a mom, but it was always a dream. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real, that I get to parent this living, breathing, beautiful human. He’s mine and we created him. It has taken so long to finally get to this point where I have a baby in my arms that I stare at him and kiss his face a zillion times a day to make sure it’s real.
This post though isn’t about Zephyr, it’s about his older brother Silas who I miss terribly. I miss his being the older brother that Zephyr will never know. I will sometimes mention him to Zephyr, knowing that one day that conversation will really have to happen. I miss him when I see my friend’s kids who were born around the same time. That will probably always make me sad, forever. I get a lump in my throat when I’m around those kids- it’s something I can’t seem to shake.
When I was pregnant again, the question “is this your first?” was the hardest. It made me think of Silas every time and how I should answer. I changed it up depending on how I felt at the time. I liked to mention him, so I did often. It felt right. It didn’t happen every time, just when it felt appropriate and I got good at giving my answer. That’s how often it was asked. I believe Silas was with me during the pregnancy, and his presence was felt when I heard his little brother let out his first cry. The cry that Silas never made, came out doubly loud with his brother. He made sure we knew he was alive and well, and it truly was the best sound I have heard in my life. I get the chills just thinking about it.
When Zephyr was born, I think he looked like that picture we have of Silas. I think about all the pieces of Silas we’ll never know and hope that his baby brother is carrying on some of those traits. Traits like the infectious laugh when we make silly sounds at him or sing his name, his constantly moving legs, or his insane focus when trying to get that toy exactly right in his mouth. His eyebrows are super expressive. I like to think Silas may have had the same ones. It’s hard to tell though, the live memory of him has faded. We only have a few pictures and I never took enough time to study him like I should have. When I think about him, I think about that picture. I wish I knew his feet as well as I know Zephyr’s. I love his feet, I am always playing with them, knowing they will be way larger then mine one day. Boys feet start off so sweet and innocent but grow to be something so completely not! I am savoring them while they are still small and cute.
I think I may be too tired and too busy to grieve his loss most days. This moment when I think about him it makes me angry mostly and of course really sad. Angry for a loss that never should have happened. Angry that my baby doesn’t get a brother, that we don’t have 2 sons and our parents are missing a grandson. I am sad too. But mostly I feel joy for the baby I have now, for his beautiful and pure life that we get to experience every second of every day. As heartbroken and devastated as we are about Silas, that is how ecstatic and in love I am now about Zephyr.
I cannot believe it’s been almost 3 years since the birth and death of my first born son. Our lives would have been so different had we had a 3 year old running around here. I miss Silas, the promise of Silas, what could have been our amazing little boy. I feel cheated of his life and what these last 3 years could have been. Of course we made the best of it, in all the ways that we could. We have amazing people in our lives that are supportive and awesome which has helped. I write here often of all the things we do to make our lives full and fun, but a piece of our hearts will always be missing, despite what we try to do to find that happiness.
This year feels different now that I’m pregnant. Last year we were apart for this weekend. I was traveling out west and Chris was here at home. It was hard on both of us, and we promised not to let something like that happen again. With the beginning of Sept comes the natural anxiety. It brings us both instantly back to this time 3 years ago, waiting for our baby to be born. All the things we had to do to get ready, the weather changing and with it a change of seasons. It’s really strange how much our bodies just sense this timing and naturally react to it. This week in particular I’ve been overly emotional. Today I woke up just pissed. I didn’t feel like getting up, going to teach, and really doing much of anything. I still feel mopey and sad and knew that a blog post was important to help me get through it.
This last month has been emotional on so many levels. Chris definitely feels like he is powerless and thus needs to try to protect me as much as possible. I’m sure it’s hard for the guys to have to sit back and watch this unfold, without being able to control every move we make. I go about my day, teaching, driving, cooking, etc and just hope for the best. I hope that I don’t slip and fall, or get in a car accident, or do anything that could take away this precious life inside me. Chris watches me with bated breath, still wishing he could use that bubble wrap and keep me protected from harm until this little guy lands screaming in our arms. Since that is not practical, and yes, I have to live my life, we just try to work it out, communicate our fears and needs, and breathe that big sigh of relief that we got through another day.
We are close to picking our baby’s birthdate which feels awesome and weird at the same time. I had a Dr. appt today and a date is being requested, but they can’t schedule until 32 weeks, and I’m at almost 31. I can’t even believe sometimes how my whole perception of birth has changed since losing Silas. I am thrilled to be with doctors (though I love the 2 midwives in the group too), can’t wait to deliver in a hospital, and am truly looking forward to my scheduled c-section. I want a healthy, live, screaming baby and if this is how it’s done, I’m all for it.
So here we are, just patiently waiting for our first real live baby in our arms. I feel so close I can taste it, but man, 8 more weeks! arghhh!! I’m so ready for this. Every single day, I look at my belly and give thanks. I still cannot believe it- that I am really pregnant, and that it’s almost time to deliver this miracle child. With all the fertility treatments we went through, I feel like this babe inside me is truly a ray of sunshine that we worked so hard for. Every little kick reminds me of that, every day.
Despite all that, I do complain sometimes, even though I said I wouldn’t! Pregnancy is hard on my body- I tire easily, my feet get swollen, I’m uncomfortable as can be, I sleep poorly. Chris is quick to remind me how much we wanted this, but sometimes I can’t help myself!! I am truly thrilled, of course, but I am ready though. This baby feels like 4 years in the making- which is a hell of a long time to wait for a baby.
The hardest part though lately has been answering the question-
“Is this your first?”
It happens up to 5 times a day. Most of the time I say yes, just to make it easier on all of us. But I feel terrible about it every single time. In some ways I want everyone to know about Silas, but I know it’s just not appropriate to share what happened sometimes. I don’t think it will ever be easy, regardless of how I answer. It’s always followed up with a truly uncomfortable conversation that I really don’t want to have.
To get through this tough weekend, we made sure to make awesome plans. We are going to NYC and walking the Highline, meeting up with friends, seeing Wilco at Summerstage in Central Park, staying with my brother and sis in law who have all kinds of fun planned for us all weekend. The anticipation leading up is always harder then the actual day. That seems to be true each year. Maybe somehow my body knows though, that even though Sept 25 was the day I gave birth, it was a Thursday, so today was really the day it all went down. I just want to be sad and melancholy today, it just feels right.
As always, thank you for all your support, those who read, and those who read and comment. I am not much of a blog reader these days, but I truly appreciate that there are so many of you who still read and comment and follow our story. I may find myself writing more and more as the time gets closer to baby, and as the anxiety & excitement increases.
So please light a candle for our little Silas Orion on Sunday, look up to his stars, and give your kids a hug for us. xo
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.
I’d like to thank my friend Angie from Still Life With Circles for putting this project out there for us to participate in. Angie is an incredible force in this community and her blog was one I read daily way back when. I don’t read many blogs these days. I write on mine every so often, but it feels different then when I first lost Silas. Back then, it was my lifeline. It was what kept me sane. I devoured blogs, commented daily and made a group of friends who also lost babies around the same time. Our lives have progressed differently since then. Some went on to have subsequent babies pretty quickly, others, like me, took a lot longer, while still others have yet to conceive again. Though our paths were different after our losses, our stories & comments kept each other sane and able to move forward through the early months of heartache, pain and devastation. I will always cherish those beginning friendships and the strong connections we made. These women just got me, they knew what I was feeling and were there for me no matter what.
I sometimes go back and read my early posts, from when I guest wrote on my husband Chris’s blog Elm City Dad. I was raw, angry, sad, depressed. You name an emotion and I felt it. I was honest though about how I felt. I knew people in my life were reading, people who knew and loved me. It didn’t change what and how I wrote, I knew that they actually used our blogs as a tool to help them deal with us. We told it like it was- putting it all out there with real, honest emotion.
I think that because of our blogs, we are still super close to all our friends. It was their way of connecting to us in helping to know what we were going through. Our friends found it easier to contact us because of it. Having email, text, fb, gchat and blog comments gives us so many outlets to communicate and I appreciated every single one of them. I didn’t need my friends calling me. I didn’t need people to worry about “how I was doing.” My blog shared that, and if you took the time to comment or email or text, I let you know that I was ok. They knew and understood I couldn’t see their new babies, couldn’t send a gift or call/write to congratulate them. The jealousy, oh the jealousy. This part of me was a huge loss- not being able to see, hear, watch, read about babies. They were everywhere and it was almost impossible to navigate.
Those early days were so incredibly hard. I couldn’t lose the weight, couldn’t get pregnant, didn’t have my son and really couldn’t make sense of this world that came crashing in on me. I am one of those people though that couldn’t hide in my bed all day, every day, even though I thought that was what I wanted. Chris and I went out, saw friends & lots of music. Leaned on our amazing families & friends a lot. I practiced yoga, went to bootcamps & therapy, and continued my work as a children’s yoga teacher. I struggled through it all, but I think that because we continued to live life, through our loss and grief, really brought us to where we are today. We are still devastated by our loss, but we don’t wear our grief on our sleeve. We worked through it, around it, inside and out. I will always miss him, til the day I die – but my heart isn’t aching like it did in that first year. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m still standing, and other times I am proud to be still standing.
I am finally pregnant again, exactly 2 years & 8 months later. It took a really long time for that to happen. I think for me, it made this journey a bit more tumultuous. My time was spent grieving the loss of my sweet little first born son Silas and then it was spent trying to get pregnant again. After awhile, it turned into just trying to get pregnant again. Silas was there in my heart, but his loss wasn’t my focus anymore. I was determined to get pregnant and after a year of trying on our own, it was time to venture into the land of infertility drugs. I couldn’t believe this was our life. First we lost our child at birth, and then we can’t get pregnant? That just seemed truly fucked up. I mean seriously? We tried every fertility treatment out there, and finally, became pregnant after our 3rd IVF attempt. I am currently 13w4d and was feeling great until last night. We had a bit of a bleeding scare, but found out I have placenta previa and it’s pretty common. Now I am just told to take it easy which I’m attempting to do.
This pregnancy is fraught with the feeling of it being our last hope to have a child. It finally happened and I wont let anything take it from me. Last night, right after the toilet was filled with blood, I sobbed with the thought of having to start this process over again. It can’t possibly be happening. But the bleeding stopped, the ultrasound showed a heartbeat and a healthy baby, and I’m now required to chill out. At this point, I will do what I’m told. Chris wants to wrap me in bubble wrap and put me in a closet and not let me out til I’m ready to birth this baby.
Now that I’m finally here though, I am finding a new relationship with Silas and his loss. I still get choked up when I see my friends kids who were born around when he was. I sometimes can’t believe I could be parenting a 2 1/2 year old. That always breaks my heart. I am constantly now required to answer the question “is this your first?” This brings up all kinds of feelings and emotions about whether to share and break someone’s heart? or pretend Silas didn’t exist? It’s a very challenging question to answer, no matter how I choose to answer it. I always hesitate and I still haven’t figured it out it in the moment.
Silas taught me so many lessons. He taught me that everything in life doesn’t always work out & things don’t happen for a reason (sometimes shitty things just happen). He taught me patience. He allowed me to fall even more in love with my husband (which I didn’t think was possible). I gained a better appreciation for what I have & more empathy for those who are suffering. Over time I’ve learned that when shitty things happen to me, I don’t have to blame myself for it. Blame and guilt, 2 huge emotions that come with loss. I worked through those emotions, and while I’m not completely healed of them, I don’t beat myself up anymore. Silas Orion will always be a light in my life, will always hold a space in my heart and will always be the big brother to the next little Gallagher to come our way.
Don’t you think that would make a great reality show? I mean, there is 16 and Pregnant, Pregnant in Heels, I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant- it goes on and on. But no 40 and Pregnant? I’m sure the networks are on it. Especially the whole IVF thing- I know there are a few shows out there that have dealt with this issue a little, but it seems that people still haven’t a clue what it’s like. Between all the injections, ultrasounds & meltdowns, I think it would be a hit. And if it finally works (after 3 or more tries), then it can turn into that feel good story everyone would be rooting for. Throw a prior dead baby into the mix, and yeah, this story gets compelling. It’s all good though- I feel so blessed right now. I keep saying that, but it’s true. I guess I never thought I’d be where I am at 40. I remember my parents turning 40 when I was a teenager! So weird to be in such a different place.
This whole process to get to this point has been challenging, but here I am, 11 weeks and still going strong. I feel good- not so much nausea but enough to make me feel pregnant. I am showing already (and have been for a few weeks) which seems crazy to me but I’ve been told that happens with your second. I still feel like I just look fat, since I haven’t been eating too great (with all the bday celebrations and all) and not really working out these last 3 months. But I am accepting that this is where I am right now and soon enough that baby bump will show prominently and I won’t just have to blurt out “I’m pregnant!” when someone asks why I’m not having a glass of wine or beer like everyone else around me. Chris cracks up everytime I say it- like I am trying to find an excuse to tell people (maybe I am?) but I’m at that awkward stage where I just don’t look pregnant to the outside world, but feel just big all over. So I choose to share my excitement and happiness and it feels great to do so.
The dreaded 40th bday came and went and it actually was pretty awesome. The day itself (4/28) was perfect- with a delicious breakfast cooked by my sweet husband, an awesome lunch at my fave New Haven restaurant with my girlfriends, and then dinner with my siblings & their spouses at my brother-in-laws cousin’s restaurant in Westchester. My sister was out here visiting that week so it was perfect! I never get to spend quality time with both sibs and so it was truly special. The dinner was amazing and was a great way to celebrate this milestone in my life.
For the weekend, we went to Montreal with our friends. It was fantastic! What a beautiful and interesting city. We ate and drank (some of us) our way through the city. Just perfect!
And then it was time to celebrate Chris’ bday. It wasn’t a milestone like mine, but b-days still deserve much celebration and for days we did. It’s fun having back to back b-days, but it does get tiring and my body definitely doesn’t feel awesome from all the treats and heavy foods.
So now back to normal- or what is turning into a new normal. We finally picked our doctors/midwives and we are pretty psyched. We found the perfect group with the perfect balance of what we are looking for this time around. All the advice you all gave was super helpful and very much appreciated. Starting to figure out how to answer “is this your first?” by just seeing how I feel like answering in that moment. It comes up at least once a day and as soon as I start to show more, will probably happen constantly.
Mother’s day was yet again, really really hard. I had my breakdown while emptying the dishes- which I think happened the same time last year. I think it just really hit me at that moment how much I miss Silas and the time I lost with him as my son. Parenting a dead baby is hard, but hits hardest on a day like Mother’s day where everyone is celebrating and it is EVERYWHERE for weeks. I know so many friends who lost their mother’s at a young age, and then now all of us who lost our children- and with all the lost soldiers as well, it seems to be more of a sad reminder of who we lost then anything else. But I do try to cherish what I do have, and that is an amazing mom & mother in law and I feel blessed for the 2 of them in my life.
Waiting patiently to be out of the first tri. It’s almost here and I can taste it. In the meantime, I am FINALLY finding the warmth I so badly missed. LONGEST WINTER EVER. The sun is out, the back door is open, the kitties are playing in the yard, the garden is starting to be planted and I can finally wear my sundresses again. YAY!
We saw a heartbeat this morning. Yes!!! Such great news. Wow. We are at 6w1d which is really early to see that, but it was there. We both saw it and our Dr. was thrilled.
This is probably crazy but I said to Chris this weekend that if UConn won the basketball championships, I’d take that as a good sign. It’s always hard to know when and if you are making the right decisions. This is all a game of chance and there was a lot riding on this cycle. We switched clinics, not because we thought UConn was better then our other place, just that it was different, had a great reputation and just we felt it was the right thing to do. Even though it’s not convenient, we decided to go for it anyway. It was a great move (obviously!) and a double bonus seeing UConn come from out of nowhere to win it all last night. I was still nervous this morning, but had a good feeling about it.
I can now breathe a sigh of relief for the next week, til the next ultrasound. It’s hard for me to look to the future still, we have no due date or anything yet. Though I’m sure I can figure it out. I just don’t know if I want to go there just yet. I want to stay present and get through each day feeling relaxed and happy.
That one beating heart was just the most beautiful sight. ahhhhhhh.
Been very excited to finally write that here. Except that instead of feeling that pregnancy joy, I’m feeling that anxiety that comes with some HCG levels that aren’t going my way.
So we found out last Monday that we were pregnant, and not only that, my HCG levels were really high. We were truly elated for those first 2 days. That little secret smile that I just couldn’t contain. We shared our news with all our friends and family who have been on this journey with us. We made so many people happy and heard so many tears of joy being shed at our expense. It was quite overwhelming and felt so deservedly good. It has been quite the journey to get here.
The 2ww was hard, but I took care of myself. I did my restorative yoga every night & kept my 2nd chakra candle lit whenever I was in the apt. I ate well, I rested and I imagined those 3 perfect embryos (yes, we had 3 perfect ones!) sticking (or at least 1-2 sticking!) We allowed all of our friends to share in the process and to send us sticky implantation vibes as much as possible. And it worked! It really worked.
So I went back on Wed for my 2nd beta and unfortunately, my levels didn’t go up as much as they wanted them too. They thought there was a possibility that there were multiples and we lost one. Made complete sense to us, so we felt ok about this. They wanted me back again on Fri. Problem was, we had a 7am flight out to Florida to visit my parents and to do a blood test, I’d have to change the flight to that evening. It didn’t make sense to us to lose a whole day of 85 degree sunny Florida weather to find out that maybe it was bad news, or possibly it went up. Either answer wouldn’t change a thing, so we decided not to take the test and to just go and relax and not think about it (yeah right).
Florida was awesome. We had a fabulous 4 days with my parents, eating, beaching, relaxing, reading- everything you do on vacation. It was perfect. The weather was perfect which never happens to us. Every friend of theirs congratulated us, but I thanked them with the statement “I’m cautiously happy.” It was hard to be truly happy, with the not knowing, and expecting a toilet full of blood at any given moment.
So early Tues morning (after getting in at 4am) I ran back up to Hartford to do another blood test- the 45 min drive each way has been one of the hardest parts of this cycle like I knew it would be. They called me in the early afternoon to tell me the levels still didn’t go up as much as they’d like and they need to see me for an ultrasound. Yikes. All I wanted to do was take a nap after not having really slept the night before. But get back in my car is what I did, and I drove back up to Hartford, shaking and attempting deep breaths the whole way there.
The good news was that there was nothing they could see in my tubes- if there was, it could have been an ectopic pregnancy which is really bad. They think they may have seen the sac in my uterus, but still too early to tell. I was at 5w2d which is super early.
So now, I just have to wait and see how it goes. I go in again on Tues for another beta and ultrasound. I guess that all our disappointments these last few years have added up and I really can’t be optimistic about this. I am protecting myself from the pain I will inevitably feel when this pregnancy turns to loss. It’s so hard for me to stay hopeful and positive. How can I? I usually am. Chris is the hopeful & positive one right now. He has been amazing for me. I really don’t have any left in me and I am using everyone’s positive energy to get through this.
Everyone knows someone who knows someone who had a slow rise in their HCG levels who then went on to have a baby. But in my heart of hearts, I don’t think that’s going to be me. I want it to be me, but that hasn’t been me in years. I am getting myself so prepared for what I think is the inevitable loss, that I almost forget that I am pregnant right now.
I have yet to turn that switch on in my brain that accepts that I’m actually pregnant. The side affects that started during the 2ww b/c of the progesterone injections are still around, which doesn’t help b/c I don’t feel like they are real. Even if they are. I pray every morning to wake up nauseous. Then I would know that my levels are rising.
It feels good to write this out, to share this tumultuous beginning to what could be the child we have been dreaming of all these years, or just another loss on this endless path.
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.
Making plans is the worst these days. As I look at dates to schedule things, my mind constantly goes to “well, I could be 3 months or 5 months or 6 months pregnant then so…..”
It makes living in the present almost impossible. But I have to make future plans- trips we are taking, weddings, teacher trainings I will be giving, work plans for the summer. There are all kinds of things happening that I need to make plans for, but when the possibility of pregnancy enters the equation, things can get pretty complicated. It takes me to places I know are not healthy and really just fucks me up completely. I have been patient. So so patient. I am losing patience. I am nearing the end of this extremely long IVF cycle and yet I am about to lose my mind.
The thing is, I have been doing this to myself for the last year and a half. Making these future plans, with always the thought in my mind of being pregnant. But now since we are doing IVF, it makes it that much more plausible. The success rate is way higher and all I hear these days is about so and so who got pregnant through IVF. Which then gets my hopes up, which I don’t want to do. But it’s so damn hard.
I know the meds are the culprit right now. I have become super emotional and weepy and can’t seem to hold it together. Working is a challenge, though it is keeping me busy and distracted. Relaxing when I’m told to relax is nearly impossible. I spent the weekend trying to take it easy, but I found myself too antsy to do it. I read a lot, but I also felt the uncontrollable urge to keep straightening up the apt, or working in the garden, or just doing things other then relaxing.
It’s all so confusing. I have to stay hopeful, but if this first go at IVF doesn’t work, I’m not sure I will handle it very well. It’s a very long and tedious process. It’s expensive (even with all the awesome coverage), the meds are extremely hard on my body and mental state, and it’s just plain hard.
We’ve gotten through the bulk of it. The waiting game? I’m over it. I’ve been through this waiting period time and time again and I keep thinking that every move I make could be the thing that causes it not to work. The other day I pretty much convinced myself I injected the wrong medication. It’s like if it doesn’t work again, I have to have something to blame.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have dug those holes to plant my Brussels sprouts” or
“I shouldn’t be teaching all these kids yoga classes right now” or
“Am I eating the right foods? Not enough water? Too much salt? or
“Why can’t I let the apt get a little messy?”
But if I don’t plant my seedlings, or teach my yoga classes or let the apt get messy, I give up that control and I need to have control of something. Because right now, I don’t seem to have control over whether this will work or not.
It’s all about the control isn’t it?
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.