Lilypie - Memorial

Lilypie - Memorial

Lilypie - Trying to Conceive

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Chasing Rainbows

Honestly I'm not even sure what to say right now. So many things have happened since my last post. The most important thing to happen was that we got to meet a new RE who explained that I've got a diminished ovarian reserve and instead of wasting time on medicated cycles, she wanted to jump right into the 3 IUI cycles that my VA OB had authorized. The day we met with her we did an ultrasound to check if it was still early enough to try right away, but I was too far into my cycle for her to be able to do anything safely. So we were left on our own for one last cycle.

I left the clinic feeling hope that I might finally get my rainbow, but at the same time I was sad that we couldn't jump right in and we are forced to wait another 3 weeks to see if nasty AF would show up. I knew in my heart of hearts that we weren't going to be one of "those couples". The couples that after years and years of trying, finally get to do a big medicated cycle and BAM on their own pregnant. When she said that I had a diminished ovarian reserve I lost hope of ever conceiving on my own again. My heart broke as I realized all of the romance was being taken out of us having a baby. No longer was HE going to be the one getting me pregnant, it was going to be the Dr and a high tech turkey baster.

Now my Dr was able to confirm that although I have a diminished reserve I did have 2 very good looking follicles (one on each ovary) that were getting ready to release on their own. She said that it's not that my eggs aren't healthy I just don't produce as many as the average woman should in any given cycle. Josh and I decided that we were going to just keep it way simple this last solo cycle and we didn't do anything crazy. Well, he didn't, I decided to use my last 2 OPKs because they were just sitting there....LOL I was able to get a positive OPK when I was supposed to get it and entered the 2ww fully feeling like a failure.

About half way into the two week wait we went on a trail ride for the first time at RTR. I noticed that Magic was extra snuggly, but I also noticed the butterfly that landed right next to his groom box. I smiled and said hello to Declan, it stayed for a moment before it flew away, but while we were on the trail I swear I saw that same butterfly following us. I couldn't help, but smile thinking that Declan was watching over his mommy on her first real trail ride. At the end, while I was un-tacking Magic he rested his head right on my shoulder and nuzzled my face a bit. I'd never had a horsey hug like that, it was really nice.

The next week I started work at my new full time job in Seattle. It was pretty great, the commute isn't terrible and the people I work with are cool too. I even work with two former class mates. Thursday came around again and once again all Magic wanted to do was snuggle. He was even moving WAY slower than normal. We were supposed to be trying to trot the barrel pattern and it was almost like he refused to go fast. I didn't understand what his deal was. Did I forget to add that Thursday I had also decided to start the POAS crazy crap?? Yup, AF wasn't due until Saturday, but I started POAS Wednesday. They were of course negative, until they weren't......

Friday June 24th: I peed on yet another stick, but it wasn't negative, there was a line.....I ran into the kitchen crying and screaming about there being a line. Josh didn't see said line so I texted a few friends and they confirmed seeing the line. I was flipping out. I called my mom and told her, I called my RE and they wanted me to come in for a blood test first thing the next morning. I tried making it through my day without losing my shit, maybe it's a fluke. That night I bought a digital. It took everything in me to not take the test right away. I barely slept.

Saturday June 25th: I woke up about an hour before my alarm went off, laid in bed contemplating using the digital test. My POASaholic self couldn't refrain and I used the digital test. The 5 longest minutes passed and I checked the test, "PREGNANT" I had a little bit less of a freak out, Josh was still sleeping and I wanted to not be in tears when I told him I really was pregnant. That after 2 long years of trying on our own (minus the 4 cycles Dr Do Nothing gave me cloMAD) we now fall into the category of one of "THOSE" couples. My RE confirmed with a blood test.

I'm now 8 weeks pregnant and impatiently waiting for my 10 week ultrasound. We already had the 7 week ultrasound and we got to see Littlefoot's heartbeat which was amazing. We're calling the baby Littlefoot because a coworker said the animated version of what baby looks like kinda looks like a dinosaur. I've got a lot more hope than I did with my second loss. This one feels right, this time it actually feels like I'll get to bring a baby home. I'll finally get to stop chasing rainbows.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Our 2 year Anniversary

It's been two years since I started to TTC with Josh. Two unsuccessful years at trying to grow our family. Two heartbreaking, emotional, devastating years chasing my rainbow. So much has happened in these two years, we got engaged, broke up, got back together, got engaged again, started therapy together and apart, got better jobs, tried to buy a house, moved a few times, started working on us, took a short break from TTC, and then started again. It's been a wild ride, but we're still on this roller coaster of trying to have a baby. Josh will be the first one to tell you that it's a little harder on me than it is on him, but I can tell you it's just as hard on him. True he's not as hurt as I am when that bitch AF comes on time, or late, but he's still hurt. What hurts him is that I'm sad when we fail month after month. It takes a toll on him to see me break a little bit every time the realization hits that we're not going to be making that happy announcement this month. But we keep going, we keep trying, we say fuck you mother nature we're not giving up, we're going to grow this family and that is what makes us a great couple I think.

Infertility was never something that I thought I would struggle with. It only took 6 months to get pregnant with Declan and we weren't even trying to get pregnant with Alainn, she just kind of happened. So when Josh and I started this journey it never even occurred to me that I wouldn't get pregnant right away. I was so focused on being afraid of what might happen while pregnant that I didn't think of being afraid that I wouldn't be able to conceive on my own. Although for the first time in 2 years I'm ovulating on my own, it's still something we're struggling with. The past 3 months I've ovulated without medication and yet we're still not getting pregnant. But I've been keeping to the shadows about our journey. I used to be so vocal, but honestly I got so tired of hearing all the BS about how I needed to relax, I should lose weight, eat better, maybe I should adopt. That I stopped talking about how heartbroken I was that my hope was fading.

I know I shouldn't be silent about what I've been going through, I know I should tell the grief bullies and nay sayers, the unhelpful advice givers to just shut the front door, but honestly I've grown tired of being the one that says enough. I've gotten tired of having to explain that relaxing isn't going to help my body work, that adopting isn't financially feasible, that even fostering isn't something that I'm 100% certain I can emotionally handle. I'm not sure I can give back a child to parents that hurt them or abandoned them, I'm not sure I can give a child to a family because I can't afford to adopt. I can't afford to pay the medical bills of the wonderful friends that said they'd surrogate for me. I can't afford the IVF procedure for myself let alone someone else. The VA doesn't cover IVF, they barely cover IUI.

Although I've finally gotten a Dr willing to do what I ask, I'm still not sure that I'll ever have the happy ending that I'm longing for. I've gotten authorization to go to Seattle Reproductive Medicine. I've gotten authorization for several tests and 3 IUIs. Although there is renewed hope in this new course of action I'm still wary of really getting my hopes up that those 2 pink lines will ever equal sleepless nights and happy healthy babies. It's a painful realization that I'm not sure how to 100% get behind. I'm not sure I'll ever fully believe that I'll be anything more than an angel mom, but I'm also not 100% willing to give up hope either.

That's the give and take of infertility. Wanting to give up, but allowing hope to keep you going.

Monday, May 2, 2016

International Bereaved Mother's Day

So yesterday was a special day for Bereaved Mother's, but I bet no one noticed. It's not a trending topic on Facebook, it's not something that Hallmark will make a card for, and it's not something the retail community will make ads about. Bereaved Mother's day marks a bittersweet day for angel mommies everywhere. It's a day that recognizes us as mothers, a day that unites us in our never ending grief, but it's a day I know we'd all rather not be a part of because it means our babies aren't here to celebrate Mother's Day.

We're not going to get the cards, flowers, candy, or clumsy handmade gifts. My son won't be bringing me breakfast in bed and spilling juice everywhere. Mother's Day will likely pass without me being told Happy Mother's Day, because most people do not recognize that I am a mother even though my little Saint isn't here.

It's a painful day for me to get through. I send my love to my moms (cause I've got 3) and usually try to send them cards or big chocolate dipped strawberries (flowers die, strawberries are nom). Don't get my wrong, I LOVE my moms, I love they have a day to relax and be recognized for their hard work, but it's a sucky day for the childless.

Mother's Day is hard for me because I end up thinking about all the things that I could be getting and asking myself what would Declan get me? Would I have a day full of snuggles and movies, would we go to a fancy dinner, or picnic in the park? Would he give me a handmade gift or would he find something special in the student store? It's always a heartbreaking day for me. I will never stop wondering what my life would be like if he were still here.

So to recognize our grief, our loss, and remember us for being mother's International Bereaved Mother's Day has been growing in popularity. Though I feel, not for the right reason. Since 1 in 4 women will join our ranks as the bereaved, our special Mother's Day isn't growing in popularity because someone decided to recognize us, it's because there are many of us that are refusing to remain silent and letting others know it's okay to be proud of your Angel Mommy status. You're still a mommy if your child is in heaven instead of in your arms.

As an angel mommy we'll receive a different kind of gift that doesn't only come to us on Mother's Day. Our angels send us their love as the rain on our cheeks, the breeze through our hair, the sun on our skin, and the little critters that seem to stop and say hello. Declan likes to send me butterflies <3

So to all the bereaved mommies out there I'm here to tell you that your babies are not lost, they are here, always surrounding us in their love.

I wish us all a loving Bereaved Mother's Day and a gentle Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Grief is not linear

As I sit here in a semi drunken stupor, I'm left thinking about things that have happened to me in the last year that really shouldn't have happened. I mean there are a plethora of things in my life that have happened that shouldn't have, but in the last few years I've run into too many situations and took part in too many conversations that have dictated to me what should happen with my grief.

My marriage ended ultimately because we couldn't come to terms on what grief should look like. I didn't agree with his drinking to dull the pain and he didn't agree with my need to talk about what happened.

I lost a friend because he believed that I should be able to just get over the death of my son. I shouldn't be sad on days that are difficult to me. I should just be happy and stop thinking about how hard it really is to breathe somedays.

My therapist told me that after 6 years I shouldn't be having nightmares and should be over Declan. His birthday shouldn't affect me so much. He even said I needed more therapy to get over it.

Too many times people who grieve are told how they should do so and I think it's bullshit. There is no  timeline for grief. There is a only new normal for those who've gone through any earth shattering type of loss. Why is it okay to tell people they should be over something that rocked their very core? Why is it okay to tell people they should just forget the pain of something that killed them inside?

A very big part of me died when Declan died. A part of me that will never be resurrected. A part of me that will never be the same. I will never again be that blissfully ignorant little girl that believed she was safe. I did everything right, I didn't take unnecessary risks, I took care of myself so why would I have to worry about pregnancy loss? I mean that doesn't happen when you're in the 3rd trimester right???

I wish I could be that little girl again. I wish I could go back to the person I was before I had to say hello and goodbye to my first son, my beautiful little boy whom I would never get to see grow up, never get to hear him laugh or cry, never get to hold again once the nurse took him away.

Why is it okay to tell a grieving mother that maybe it was God's will?
Why is it okay to tell a grieving mother that she shouldn't worry because she can have more?
Why is it okay to tell a grieving mother that she shouldn't be sad because she should focus on the children she has?
Why is it okay to tell a grieving mother that she shouldn't be sad because the baby wasn't a person anyway, it was too early to mean anything?
Why is it okay to say all these terrible things to a grieving mother, but it's not okay for us to say the same to grieving siblings? Grieving children? Grieving spouses?

If you follow that logic then you should be able tell a grieving child they shouldn't be sad their parent died because they have two. When people look at it that way they should understand how asinine that line of thinking really is and therefore they should take a step back and really look at how grieving parents are treated.

How different would the world be if people understood that grief is not linear, it's not the same for every person, it's not the same for every situation, and it should never be dictated to someone how long their grief should last?

There are so many different things that are lost when you lose a child.

You lose the future, you lose the birthdays, mother's days, father's days, holidays, you lose first days of life, first laugh, first tears, first steps, first teeth, first words, first day of school, graduations, first jobs, first cars, first dates, first heart breaks. Father's miss walking their daughters down the isle, mother's miss watching their son marry the love of their lives. You lose every milestone and if you're unlucky enough to be pregnant with someone who is lucky enough to get to take their child home, then you get to see everything their child gets to do that yours doesn't. It hits your heart hard and breaks your soul deeper each time you see a post about those things your child doesn't get to experience. If you hear their name randomly your heart stops and you are left wondering, would your child have the same type of personality?

So unless you've walked the walk, unless you've had the same heartbreak you have no room to talk. Unless you've had to wear the heavy shoes of grief that stems from the loss of a child you will never understand and you have no right to tell me how I should be grieving.

To be perfectly honest I envy the ignorance of those who've never had to go through this type of loss. It's not something that I would wish on my worst enemy. But if you find yourself the unlucky member of this horrible club you'll find that you are not alone. You are surrounded by love and understanding.

To those unlucky and very loved members I impart this wisdom.

This is your new normal, you will never be the same person you were the day before tragedy struck. It is okay to scream, it is okay to cry, it is okay to laugh, it is okay to smile, it is okay to be okay. And on those days where you find it hard to function, take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute if you have to, and it is perfectly okay if all you did in a day is breathe.

Never let anyone dictate the way you should grieve. Loss isn't something you just get over, it's not a cold that you take a pill for, you're going to be perfectly okay for days, weeks, or even months at a time, then suddenly, out of no where, you'll find yourself hugging your knees screaming in your pillow, and you'll feel like your world is ending. Honestly it doesn't take much to derail your "I'm okay" train, but when it happens, weather it's been 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years or 10 since your loss, it is okay to feel. It is okay to grieve. And if anyone tells you it's wrong, punch them in the face, get some ice cream and a bottle of wine and move on from their negativity.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Learning to dance in the rain

It's amazing what a difference a change in doctors can do for a woman's mental health. Especially this woman's mental health when it deals with TTC. I've got a new ob and she is AMAZING! She has done more for me in 3 months than Dr Do Nothing did in 16!!! I've already gotten blood tests to rule out PCOS, I saw the RE had an ultrasound done to officially rule it out, and I got the CD 3 panel done. I'm waiting on the results, but I'm expecting normal results since that's how everything ends up for me.

I'm all at once happy and sad to hear that my body is normal. Happy because well nothing is wrong with me and sad because if I am normal it means there is nothing to fix. It means that there is absolutely no reason why I can't get pregnant on my own. It means that I fall into the unexplained infertility category which sucks because how can you fix something when you don't know what's broken??

But this time around I'm keeping the faith. I'm not getting crazy with the TTC stuff, no OPKs, no temping, no tracking ovulation, no freaking out about how many DPO I am, and defiantly no POAS before AF is even due. Oh and NO freaking clomad!! (Josh is very happy about that part alone). The lack of stressing about all that crap combined with me going back on my mood stabilizers and getting a Dr who is worth the title have all contributed to my positive outlook on this whole process.

I know eventually I'll get pregnant, I'll know eventually I'll get my permanent rainbow. But the question still lingers in my mind, in my heart, in my soul.....

How long will I be waiting??

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

And the journey continues again

So it's already been an eventful new year. Josh and I decided to make a go at the TTC process. I saw my Dr and she's willing to do everything I want to get pregnant. So she already ran all the tests, which came back normal (Grr), and referred me to Madigan's RE. I've got an appointment with Madigan all set for February 22nd.

I'm all at once hopeful and nervous. This means that I have a chance to actually get pregnant. I'll be surrounded by nothing but people that want to help figure out why my body doesn't want to do what it's supposed to do, which is something that I'm still struggling with.

I got my IUD removed in December, I had my first cycle normally, had all the signs of ovulation at the right time, then AF decided to come way too early. I knew that getting back on a regular cycle was too good to be true, but I let myself get hopeful anyway. Now I'm jumping back into tracking my cycle via temping. I didn't want to jump back into the tracking thing so quickly since we're supposed to be "not trying, not preventing" but seeing as this may be the only way to know when to expect AF, I've got no other choice.

I'm still so frustrated with this whole process. I wish I could just snap my fingers and get pregnant. It's driving me insane watching all of my younger family have baby after baby when they can't afford to put a roof over their own heads, while I sit here infertile and praying that just once I could get and stay pregnant. I wish I could just have a healthy baby. I wish I could stop having to survive my life.

Our Hope Endures - Natalie Grant

Friday, November 27, 2015

Letting go

The more and more I think about this, the more depressed I become. How do you just walk away from something when it's all you've ever wanted?

I'm sitting here trying to learn how to let go of wanting to try for a baby, of wanting to plan a wedding, of pretty much everything that I've ever wanted out of life. I'm doing all of this while also trying to figure out why my life took such a drastic turn and how I let my happiness become contingent upon things that I had previously convinced myself would never happen.

When Bryan left I was certain that I would never find love again, that I would never get married and have the babies that I longed to hold. Josh came and changed all that, I found myself in love and believing in forever. Then everything came to a screeching halt and here I am trying to figure out how to get things going again. But I can't because the things I want have to be the things that he wants, and he's not sure what he wants right now. The only thing he's really sure of is that he loves me and wants to be with me, but he's no longer sure when he wants kids or to get married.

It's frustrating. I got to call him my fiancé for all of 3 weeks then nothing. Then back to the beginning we go and I'm once again wondering if forever is real, if I'll ever hold a child of my own in my arms, if I'll ever get to walk down the aisle with my dad to the man of my dreams.

How do I let go of my dreams when they're all I've ever wanted?