Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Really allowing "Jesus, Take the Wheel"

Yesterday, as I posted, was my angel baby girl's due date... Surprisingly to me, the day was not marked by tears or frustration, but by peace, hope and a new resolve as we move closer to TTC again.

Unlike my June 27th due date not-to-be, we planned nothing special to do yesterday - partly because there was minimal time (Chris has his ped appointment at 8:45 am, a stop in to visit Dr. D with Chris right after that, Hubby's wisdom tooth pulling at 1:10 pm and then Dr. P for counseling at 5 pm), and partly because I didn't feel we needed to do anything more than just be together as a family for the bulk of the day.

...No tears were shed yesterday. No anger bubbled up. No jealously entered my heart as I watched other women come into Dr. D's office as pregnant as I should have been.

I am at peace now...finally.

Interesting thing is, as we stopped in to the house in between Dr. D's visit (who, BTW, we never got to see because he ran into the office and went right into a 1 hour conference - I am taking this as I was just NOT meant to see him yesterday... It wasn't the right time), I received the following in the mail from Sacred Heart Monastary (where I get my mass cards from):

"God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain."
(Revelation 21:4)

How strange this verse arrived yesterday... I am truly at an amazing peace with the loss of this baby - and the other two babies that were not meant to be here in our world. I thought I would feel disconnected yesterday - like I did when I was told she was gone. But, despite how busy it was yesterday with doctor's appointments and how much I miss my angel baby girl, I am at peace.

On my way back from counseling last night, after talking about how peaceful I have become after the losses, I heard the following song on the radio...

Jesus, Take the Wheel
by Carrie Underwood

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
She was going way to fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was sooo scared
She threw her hands up in the air

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this all my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this all my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on

Oh, Jesus take the wheel
Oh, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
From this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel
Oh, take it, take it from me
Oh, why, oh

Dr. P and I actually had discussed how, in my resolve to not push to hard in TTC again and allow life to happen, these words - "Jesus, Take the Wheel" - is exactly what I need to do now.

Although the circumstances of this song vary vastly from my journey, the premise of letting God and Jesus back into your heart after a long, rough road is the same. Truly putting my TTC journey back in the hands of something more powerful than anything we can understand here on earth - like I did when we were TTC Chris - and let happen what should happen, even if that means that Chris will be our ownly child, is what I am called do now. And, for the first time in three years, I am ready to do that.

I know the road ahead is going to be frustrating, scary... But, I have to allow myself to let go and live each day as it comes. For someone who is a control freak, this is very, very hard to do. But I have to.... Because, my angels are always by my side - and I am ready for what they and God have in store.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Missing you tremendously, my angel baby girl

Today is my angel baby girl's due date....

This song, very new (and in support of SHARE), is for you my baby...

My Name
by George Canyon

It’s cold in here fells like everything’s upside down
I can feel you talking but I can barley make out the sound
I been kicking around these parts, feels like a year
I’m gonna change this world if I ever get out of here
She wants to dress me in pink, paint’s my bedroom blue
And I just laugh to myself, because only I know the truth
This love is my only emotion
Haven’t learned any fear any pain
It’s kind of funny with all this commotion
I guess they’ve got me, to blame
And they don’t even know my name
And they don’t even know my name

Well I’ve never felt so ready, think it’s finally time
Cause that big old world is waiting, and it’s mine all mine
Just then everything got real quiet, it got real bright
And a man took my hand said don’t worry, your mommas gonna be alright
Then he opened the gate, & I followed him in
Said you can wait right, here till it’s your turn again
And his love is the one true emotion
Heaven knows no fear no pain
I never got to set my wheels in motion
But they loved me just the same
And they never even knew name
Didn’t even know my name
You loved me just the same
And you didn’t even know my name

I miss you, my angel baby girl. You are with me always....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ambivalence...at the threshold of TTC again

Ambivalence (according to Webster's Nineth New Collegiate Dictionary): noun, 1. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action; 2. a: continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b: uncertainty as to which approach to follow.

Certaintly describes my mood and way of thinking right now. Not necessarily bad, yet (thanks to the current hormones raging) not necessarily good either. Just there. Not surprising, I suppose, as we gear up to TTC again...yet also begin our season of losses recognized and remembered.

What is good and right now:

First and foremost, my Chris is just a complete nutball! He is everything I could have asked for - and is changing literally every day. His speech is improving daily - my current favorite being the "Look at that!" he exclaims in the tub when he finds one of his favorite toys in the water. He is making strides (small strides, but strides none-the-less) towards potty training. He is dancing around the house and singing, which will be great for Suzi's wedding! Of course, I could have done without the nosebleed Tuesday night when he made contact with his head to my nose while playing....occupational hazard, I suppose. But, coming home from work to a big hug every day is the best....as are the snuggles first thing in the mornings. He is the biggest reason we want to venture into TTC again - a chance to add more joy that Chris has already given our family. But, TTC again is just something that I am so scared to do...

Of course, I finally got my period yesterday!!! A HUGE feat for me to get it on my own at any time, of course. Dr. D was a little rough with the PAP at my annual on Monday (then again, he may have done that on purpose since I mentioned that I was WAITINGfor my period to show after 2-3 weeks of bloating, moodiness, sleep disturbance, backache...). I spotted heavily on and off on Monday and Tuesday. But, by evening on Tuesday, the spotting was all brown and light, so I figured that the spotting was over and the period was not going to show, I might as well start taking the Provera that Dr. D gave me the prescription for on Monday (I couldn't get it filled on Monday because Walgreens was just tooooo busy!). But, as Murphy's Law would have it, after taking the first Provera pill Tuesday night, my visitor unpacks her bags with force yesterday! But, it's cool by me! Need an period to TTC, right?

So, I called Dr. D's office to ask the WAY STUPID question: Do I keep taking the Provera or stop it? Never had to ask THAT question before (felt like such a newbie for a fleeting moment there...kinda like I was when TTC Chris without the help of FF and charting software.). Dr. D said to stop - I don't need it now. Hey, at least I have 9 pills at the ready for when we start the next TTC cycle! WooHoo!

Since my period was here, I asked if it was a good time to do a CD 3 hormone check (haven't had one of those done in a while) - which Dr. D okay'ed, along with checking my homocysteine levels since it is time for it (I started the Folgard tabs 2 months ago now). For some reason, Dr. W at the MFM clinic wanted Dr. D to check the levels instead of hauling my fanny to the clinic (something about originating doctor's findings thing.... Dr. D was a little surprised at that request). Anways, so all the bloodwork will be drawn tomorrow morning, first thing. Yeah!

And, since we were on to good things progressing yesterday, Dr. McC's office called and okay'ed me to see Dr. Stef, the other, more experienced Gastroenterologist in the office since I was very unhappy with Dr. R over the summer. That appointment is now set for 11/13 at 2:45 pm - which makes the timing PERFECTO since Dr. D didn't want me starting TTC until my stomach issues are finally resolved (and I see Dr. D later that same night for our TTC Consult to decide on protocols, etc.).

I finally feel like the waiting, waiting, waiting that marred 2005/2006 is finally coming to an end - everything is falling into place like it did right before we started TTC Chris. All of my obsticals are being monitored as planned, my last issue with my stomach is finally going to be addressed by someone with real experience...

...Come to think of it, before we started the Clomid/IUI cycle that resulted in Chris in August 2003, I saw Dr. Stef for a colonoscopy because I was having ongoing cramping and Dr. D wanted to make sure it wasn't intestinal before starting the cycle (IBS and a few Diverticuli in the intestines were diagnosed then). How interesting that I will be seeing Dr. Stef again before this TTC cycle....

Sorry for the small digression there. My mind is scattered around these days...

On a non-TTC item, we are also starting some long-overdue construction on the house now. We are bumping the living room out onto the front porch (and changing the entryway a bit) to make the living room larger - thanks to Zia's hubby S (what a lifesaver you are! Getting my lazy-butt Hubby going on this!). The work starts this weekend...and should be done before Christmas! Just in time to host Christmas Day again.

...Come to think of it again, before the successful cycle that brought Chris to us, we had just bought our house from Hubby's grandmother and were doing some much needed renovations then too (to make the bathroom LIVABLE!).

Uh, sorry for the second digression there.

I have retired my original St. Gerard medal, after my conversation with Sr. Angelis (see post on A truly spritial experience), and am now wearing the new one that Zia had purchased at the St. Gerard Feast on October 15th. The original one remains by Chris' bedside now... But, four years ago, that medal was new and the gold-plate was still shining bright....just like the new one does now.

Okay, another digression...

Hubby, as much as likes the guy he is working for right now, has decided to start fishing around for other new job opportunities. He would really like to see me at least be able to cut my work load back to part time after a second baby, which would require him to make more money. This attorney he is working for now, unless he can streamline his office and get organized, just can't find the cash to pay Hubby more - and, with the long, long hours he has been working lately, he deserved more pay for more effort. And, there have been a couple of bites on the inquiries he has been making. Yeah!

I apologize for the last digression here...but Hubby did start his new job (well, at the time anyway...he's been long gone from that firm for a year now) less than a year before Chris was conceived. Interesting coincidences....

Maybe these are the good signs we needed - the positive signs that things may work out this next time? Everything is finally falling into the proper places...like they did before Chris was conceived.

I am slowing starting to change my siggies in my BG's and things here on the blog to get ready to start TTC again in January. I think I am really ready for this - scared as hell, but ready.

But, what is "bad" that still haunts me:

Monday marks the start of a rough season of losses.

October 30, 2005 was the day all of the bleeding started with my November 2005 miscarriage (see post on the events of the loss: Beginning to despise the Halloween holiday). October 30, 2006 was my due date for my last miscarriage in March 2006. October 31, 2005 was the first ultrasound and bloodwork confirming my November loss - and the Halloween holiday was less than fun for all of us. November 22, 2005 was the day of my d&e, two days before Thanksgiving.

I survived my last due date not-to-be very well (see post on: I made it through my EDD - and, I'm really okay). But, the day was much, much calmer - only visits with friends and family. Monday, however, is going to be very busy: Chris' 2 1/2 year check-up at 8:45 am; a stop in to Dr. D's office to say Hi with Chris right after check-up; Hubby's tooth pulling at 1:00 pm (complete with general anesthia); counseling appointment at 5 pm.

When are we going to be able fit in time to honor this baby lost to us like we did in June?This angel baby deserves the same honoring as the others have. What are we going to do for this baby and her (since this baby was going to be a girl) siblings in heaven, since the plants we planted by Hubby's great-grandparents' gravesite for our three angels never made it through the August heat wave? I don't want to do something like that and have it ruined again... I want something a little more permanent to honor them with. But, what?

And, while we are at it, November is going to very busy at work and with Suzi's wedding, when are we going to be able to begin to enjoy the holidays???

I made a PROMISE to myself that I was not going to have the holidays ruined this year by miscarriage and all of the baggage that goes with it like it was last year. I made a PROMISE to make these holidays better for Chris, Hubby and I instead of going through the motions of the holidays without joy and fun...instead of crying while putting up the Christmas tree like I did in 2005. I want the holidays to be joyful - to be what they are meant to be: a celebration of a new life, like the birth of Baby Jesus. He is the reason for the Season after all...

I really AM feeling emotionally better these days... It's just the reminders of the babies that were not meant to grace this world that set me back at times and cause these ambivalent feelings that show up from time to time now. I know this is normal with a loss such as this (or, losses such as these, in my case)... But, it always feels like I am taking two steps back again after I make such great strides forward to healing.

I guess this is the part that I have to accept about the losses - and I mean, accept in my heart just not in my head: that, no matter how much time has passed, these emotions and memories will always be there to remind me of the babies who are not here with us, the babies who were too perfect for this world, and how much I have changed (or grown, depending how you look at it) because of the losses.

Maybe, as we start TTC again in January (God willing that everything continues to fall into place), I have to begin to think of these signs as my angels' way of telling me through actions and without words that the time is right now to try again - the events are lining up the right way like they did when we started TTC Chris, our first miracle, for the right reasons.

My angel babies... I am listening to you...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Earth to my Body: What the hell are you doing???

Had my faboo Annual Exam yesterday with Dr. D. WoooHooo! (okay, not really...).

First, Dr. D didn't even recognize me in the office when I walked past him with Kathy (his lead nurse) - guess my face has thinned out so much since March, that it has changed my features a bit. He was very glad to see I was looking good, dropped the weight and am emotionally doing much better (well, for the most part anyway). He said he was rather worried about how I was holding up after this past year, and was glad to see that I am doing well.

After our standard hello's, we started the exam (did I mention how much I love these exams??) While he was doing the breast exam, he said "Uh, you have a lot of tissue here... Let me check the other side." He checks the other boob and says, "Humm, it's the same here too. Is this normal for you?" I responded, "Heck yeah! Especially when I have gone over two months without a period!" Haahhaa! So, I told him, "Come across with that Provera, Tommy!" That gave him a good chuckle! After telling him that, yes, in fact I took two pregnancy tests almost 2 weeks apart to confirm I wasn't pregnant, he gave me the script.

Then, we were on to the rest of the exam (confirming I still have that one pesty fibroid in there...) and of course, he has to give you the requisite "You may have some spotting from the PAP test."

SPOTTING, you say??? Uh, how about I needed to put on a thin pad yesterday...and I have to wear one now. Here is where NASA needs to start communicating with my body: I can't figure out if this is just spotting from the PAP test, or if I may actually be finally getting my period (on my own) because his poking and prodding got things moving? Do I take the Provera now, since I couldn't get it filled last night? Or, do I wait and see what the hell my hormones are planning on doing here and if I get my period on my own?

You'd think I would know what my body does in 33 years... NOT!!! I hate this.

...Now, I am a bit crabby these past days, been having problems sleeping, I have been peeing like a race-horse, and my boobs are spilling out of the new faboo bras Hubby bought me a few weeks back: All signs of my favorite visitor. But, it would be nice if she would just unpack her bags already and move in for a while. Arggh! The wait is agonizing!

Anyways, for some general medical updates:

  • Dr. D wants Dr. S (the endocrinologist) to do the repeat thyroid b/w - he feels she is nickle and diming the 2.0 TSH number a bit (see post: Update to "...Lets keep the good news a'rollin' in!" for the thyroid background info). But, to calm my nerves a bit, he will default to her on what she would prefer my levels to be before TTC in January. So, I called Dr. S's office this morning and they are sending me the lab slips in the mail for the November, December and January tests.
  • I also called Dr. W at the MFM clinic and was instructed to have Dr. D re-run the homocysteine levels in November. So, I have to call Lee for that later this afternoon... Since we are going to drop in and see Dr. D on Monday after Chris' pediatrician appointment (that is, of couse, if we all survive the appointment since Chris HATES the pediatrician - I don't think it's personal...he just knows that there is poking and prodding involved. Smart kid!), I am going to see if he can do the b/w on Monday. It's two days shy of November, but who cares, right? Would be nice to know if the Folgard is working!
  • I told Hubby last night that if he doesn't get a hold of Dr. McC's office today and get an appointment scheduled to see the more experienced gastro doc, I am going to hang him by his nails on the laundry line outside (okay, not really....). Dr. D does not want me TTC until I can finally get my stomach issues under control - which they are for the most part, but only on Librax (a Category C drug and cannot be used during pregnancy). So, I need to get over this one last hurdle before we can set our sights on TTC again. And I want it resolved months ago!
  • Hubby and I will be having our consultation pow-wow with Dr. D on November 13th to see what the next protocol will be...provided my stomach issues are resolved.

Dr. D said it is a good thing I lost those 30-35 pounds... He's estimating that after spending money on a new Size 10 wardrobe for the fall/winter, I will need a new maternity wardrobe in the next year! (which, btw, is exactly what I did before I conceived Chris...maybe I should put a little more stock in his way of thinking...).

I am so glad that he is very optomistic about this - he is planning on seeing me way more in the coming year because he's determined more than ever to get me through a successful pregnancy. I just wish I was as confident about it as he is...

*** ETA: Well, since my body feels like playing games on me... After taking my first Provera pill last night, guess what??? My visitor decided to unpack her bags today. Man, did I feel like a moron calling up Dr. D to ask if I have to keep taking the pills or not! It's no wonder my day has been sucky already! ***

Monday, October 23, 2006

How Aquarius are you?

I thought I would post something just for fun for a change:

You are 73% Aquarius

Considering I was born a month early (should have been born late February instead of late January), I fit my astrological sign fairly well!

If you want to have some fun, head over to http://www.blogthings.com. There are many questions available to tell you "who you are."

Check out Blogging Chicks

For those who love to visit other blogs and catch up, please check out:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

You can be added to the Blogging Chicks roll....and connect you to other women who blog and share stories such as yours.


This truth couldn't be more real

I joined a mailing called “HOPE FOR THE DAY” from SilentGrief.com. In today's mailing (sent out once a week), I received the following:

One of the most difficult parts about grief is trying to find an answer to the question, “Why me?”. Life can be brutally unfair, and grief is no respecter of persons. When we least expect it, loss can come knocking at our door only to leave us feeling totally exhausted, shocked, and alone in our pain. Nobody is ever prepared for the feelings of loss that accompany the death of someone we love.

Even though “why” is the one question that nags us day and night, I don’t think there will ever be a way of finding the answer to that question. At least not an answer that is to our satisfaction. Life is very unfair, and because of that, bad things do happen to good people—people who deserve only the best in life!

When pain from loss enters our world that was once so innocent, it can knock us off our feet for a while. Our world as we once knew it no longer exists. We must now learn how to live in a place that is completely foreign to us. We must learn to speak a new language and adapt to new and different ways of doing things.

There is a tendency for us to long for life to be as it once was before death entered our world; yet the “normal” we once knew cannot ever be the same again. The life we now have has been transformed by loss. We heal by feeling what we need to feel when we need to feel it. We heal by allowing our broken hearts to be embraced by hope. We heal by believing that life is worth living—even when we don’t have all of the answers. We heal because we believe that life will one day feel joy again! -- Clara Hinton

This really stuck me this morning, as I had a little bit of a rough weekend. As I have posted in previous entries (see entries on Suzi's pregnancy [How my miscarriages have brought forth new life] and her friends' subsequent pregnancy announcements [No one told me to take the water filter off out tap...]), there have been a lot of pregnancies being announced recently - and Hubby, trying to protect me, forgot to mention that another friend of ours was expecting too. He finally told me in the car Friday night when he announced M&J from Boston had a baby boy earlier in the week. I was like, WTF??? I didn't even know J was pregnant - and not only did I get upset that I wasn't told earlier, I was even more upset that 1) I found out after the baby was born and 2) found out so half-assed that I didn't have time to prepare for the news.

Hubby explained that he got the call right after we found out about the last miscarriage in March - he was watching me spiral out of control as it was, and he didn't want to add to it. I can understand that.... But couldn't he have told me over the summer? Earlier in the fall? Any time before this past weekend, after the baby was born? Telling me this was hasn't saved me from the pain I feel all over again.

I know my reaction is a little bit of the green-eyed monster entering in here... Plus, add into the mix my horror-mones, since I am on CD 76 and no period in sight (which will be corrected tonight when I see Dr. D for my annual - and my friend Provera).

Now, I am VERY happy for M&J - they are excellent parents (I have known M for as long as I have known Hubby) and the sweetest of people. But, the WHY ME'S? entered my head again Friday night...along with the WHAT DID I DO WRONG'S? to deserve where my life has been taken. Their DD is only over a year old and they were lucky enough to be blessed again so soon afterwards...and here I sit, missing three angel babies.

As Clara Hinton says in her quote above:

There is a tendency for us to long for life to be as it once was before death entered our world; yet the “normal” we once knew cannot ever be the same again. The life we now have has been transformed by loss.
There was a time that all of the pregnancy news like this would not have bothered me - in my head, I know it is partly because I just can't get pregnant without medical intervention (which, comparatively speaking is not what hurts me so much anymore), but even more so, because I am terrified by how the next pregnancy (God willing it happens) will progress. My niave state is gone... My "normal" changed with no hope of going back... For me, a habitual aborter (my moniker from now on), a pregnancy will never guarantee a living, healthy baby in the end. I will always be on guard...always be waiting for the other shoe to drop...always waiting for the bad news to come. I am not sure how I can handle that.

These feelings, of course, always follow with the guilt I feel that my hurts could be much worse - I AM very blessed to have Chris with me...he is what can always take my hurts away. I am blessed beyond words. But, why do some people have to be in even a worse position than me and are not be blessed at all - people who, just from personal observations interacting with children, truly deserve to be parents and are being denied that joy? How can I complain about how things have turned out for us, when I am thankful every day for the joy that is my son?

As Clara Hinton says in her quote above:
Life can be brutally unfair, and grief is no respecter of persons.

I long for the day that all of my questions will be answered...

Friday, October 20, 2006

100 Things about Me

In the time-honored blogging tradition... Here is my 100 Things about Me...

  1. I gave birth to my son in the same hospital I was born in...and will be going to for MFM care, if I am so lucky: St. Barnabas Medical Center (guess what comes around goes around)
  2. I have lived in NJ all of my life...with a few brief "residences" in PA for college for 4 years
  3. I have lived in 8 different houses since birth (counting 3 different dorms/houses in college)
  4. When I was a little girl, I was "in love" with John Denver
  5. I used to drag around my bean-bag baby as a little girl (and still have her now)
  6. My mother used to rip half my hair out putting pigtails in when I was a little girl
  7. My shared bedroom with my older sister looked like Pepto Bismol puked in it - there was SO MUCH PINK in it!
  8. I had to take speech therapy in early grammar school
  9. I tried to trap and kiss a boy on the fire escape in grammar school (Ricky)
  10. I tried to play flute when I was in 4th grade - and hated it
  11. I am a "reformed public" (meaning I went to public school until 5th grade, then changed over to Catholic school when we moved one town over)
  12. I never knew how to diagram a sentance (for all you grammar buffs) until I switched to Catholic school
  13. I "beat up" a girl who was picking on me in grammar school
  14. I was honored to crown the stature of Mary at the May Crowning in grammar school
  15. I chose to go to an all-girls Catholic high school to get away from the crazy boys I went to Catholic grammar school with
  16. I used to take the "Cheese Bus" to high school
  17. I was in all of the plays in high school and in drama club, even though I hated being in the spotlight
  18. I was on Chemistry League in high school
  19. I was a wiz at Algebra and Trig, but sucked at Geometry
  20. I used to read Cliff Notes to get around reading the "required" books in school
  21. I took Spanish in high school - but only got a C because the Spanish teacher didn't like to pass non-Spanish students
  22. I missed making National Honor Society by less than .3 points
  23. I could never get my hair high in high school...best I could do was spiral perm
  24. I failed the behind the wheel driving test when I turned 17 years old...and didn't bother to get my license until I turned 22 years old
  25. I tried smoking 2 cigarettes in college....until the sore throat after stopped that!
  26. I didn't drink my first drop of alcohol until the very end of my Freshman year of college... I had more fun watching those who were drunk anyway
  27. I got "written up" in college by my RA for being in a room with alcohol - and I wasn't even drinking...
  28. ...and the resulting education class gave us tips on how to handle hang-overs, positioning for bed spins...
  29. My friends in college hired a stripper for my 20th birthday and had him dance in the dorm lounge
  30. I feel and sprained my ankle for my 22nd birthday in college (gotta love the Zima!)
  31. I never have used my college degree (psychology) in my professional life
  32. I take "me" time at work to blog and check my BG's
  33. I never send out e-mails or letters at work without double/triple checking my messages
  34. I don't always get to take my lunch at work....usually some emergency comes up.
  35. I want to go back to school for an advanced degree...just don't know for what yet
  36. I was not baptized as a child - I went through the RCIA at 16 years old to become Catholic
  37. I used to attend Ukrainian masses with my paternal grandmother as a child
  38. I was a Eucharistic Minister in college (went to a Jesuit University)
  39. I was in the choir in college too
  40. I used to do retreat weekends for the youth after college
  41. I lost my faith when I experienced my second miscarriage in November 2005
  42. ...and it has taken me a long time to regain my faith in God
  43. I want to visit each country I have a nationality from : England, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine
  44. My maternal grandparents, as I knew them, were not my real grandparents - my mom was adopted by her aunt and uncle when her mother passed away when she was 3 years old
  45. My mother was forced to have an abortion by my paternal grandmother when I was 10 years old - it wasn't the "right time"
  46. I used to spend my summers at the Jersey Shore with my paternal grandparents
  47. I miss some of the friends I had to part ways with to better my spirit and person
  48. My first "boyfriend" was a friend of my brother's named Ray
  49. My life changed the day I met my Hubby at my first high school dance: 9/18/87
  50. Hubby was my "one and only"
  51. My hubby and I allowed each other to date other people while I was away in college to make sure we were "right" for each other
  52. My engagement ring was not purchased - it was my MIL's setting and Hubby's greatgrandmother's diamond. It will someday be passed on to Chris for his intended (then I get a new ring!)
  53. Hubby had a one-of-a-kind sapphire ring made for me because he "felt bad" he was not able to purchse an engagement ring for me in 1997
  54. My Hubby and I are both Aquarians - born 2 days shy of 1 year appart - makes for a rather happy marriage
  55. I HATE when Hubby leaves his dirtly clothes on the floor!
  56. I want to re-marry Hubby at a drive-thru wedding chapel in Vegas
  57. I live in the house where Hubby's grandparents and great-grandparents lived for 30 years
  58. I am "neighbors" with my IL's and Hubby's aunt and uncle
  59. I LOVE the colors Burgandy and Forest Green
  60. Most of my shirts are Black or some other dark color
  61. I only buy one "trendy" fashion item in a year
  62. I have always wondered how I would look as a red-head
  63. I love progressive rock and hair metal
  64. My favorite band is Queensryche (a prog rock band)
  65. I am a "closet" Stryper fan (Christian Metal from the 80's)
  66. I love anything Phantom of the Opera
  67. I HATE the movie "It's a Wonderful Life"
  68. My favorite Christmas movie is "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, Danny Kay and Rosemary Clooney
  69. Hubby loves my special rendition of the song "White Christmas" (okay, maybe not...it is rather rough on the ears)
  70. I love to write, when I get the time
  71. I love the ocean...and would love to live by the ocean someday
  72. I own well over 100 Beanie puppies
  73. I want a Pug as a doggie when Chris (and other kid(s) are old enough)
  74. I have always wanted to get a tattoo...
  75. ...for now, I will take my "rebellious" three piercings in each ear
  76. I want to get breast reduction surgery when I am done having kids
  77. ...for now, I own $600 worth of BarSmythe bras!
  78. My favorite time of year is the Fall
  79. I love driving around to look at all of the holiday lights on the houses
  80. I LOVE Christmas morning
  81. My lifelong wish is to be a stay at home mom
  82. I am considering home-schooling Chris
  83. I am the only one in my family to suffer from Infertility...
  84. ...and I am the only one in my family to have a miscarriage (or miscarriages)
  85. Hubby and I thought we had an "oops!" when a condom slipped off before we got married...who knew the worry was for nothing since I can't get PG on my own anyway!
  86. I miss being niave about pregnancy and getting pregnant...
  87. ...and I will do anything to stay pregnant nex time around
  88. I am scared to death to TTC again
  89. I have lost 35 pounds since November 2005
  90. I am the only one in my family showing early signs of Thyroid disorder
  91. Chris is my miracle from God
  92. I love to snuggle with Chris and Hubby on Saturday and Sunday mornings
  93. I don't mind if Chris makes a mess in the house - they are only young once
  94. I love to play on the jungle gyms with Chris at the park
  95. I secretly wish for twins...which run in my family
  96. I have been through counseling twice in my life: now and once in college
  97. I started blogging in March 2006 - and have kept it up for my own personal sanity
  98. I am happy to be "out" about my infertility and miscarriage problems - I don't care who knows anymore. It is part of my personality.
  99. I want to use my experiences to educate others about miscarriage and infertility
  100. I cherish my family more than can be put into words.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Beginning to despise the Halloween holiday

Halloween used to be a fun holiday... One that you didn't have to be "yourself" for the day, and you could pig out on all that scrumptious candy!

....Then October 2005 hit, and Halloween has changed for me.

Why are all of the "bad things" happening now revolving around Halloween? Why has this changed so suddenly?

My November 2005 miscarriage started out with a poor response to Clomid (surprise ovulation in between ultrasound monitoring for the IUI) and then bleeding on October 30th. October 30th started out as just an ordinary Sunday...Food shopping in the morning, weekly cleaning, playing with Chris, and last minute plans to get together with S&S for a late lunch. As I made one last quick trip to the potty (yes, we are potty training!), and all I see is red. Red blood. RED!

"Jesus Christ!" came out of my mouth as my hands started shaking. I called Hubby from the bathroom and asked him, while crying, to call Cookoo (Hubby's aunt is an RN)... I needed her to come over. I also asked him to call S&S and cancel...I didn't care what he said the reason was - all I could think of in that moment was the red bleeding I was seeing in front of me...

Cookoo came over quickly and we talked a bit... I made a few trips back and forth to the potty to check if there was any more bleeding. It got lighter, and browner, but it was still there. She suggested I lie down (and not finish changing the sheets on the bed, which was what I was doing before the bleeding started) and call my doc.

I called Dr. D and got his service - they put a call into the covering doc. Cookoo sat with me to wait for the doc to call me back while Hubby played with Chris downstairs. After about 25 minutes, the phone rang... I stared at the phone a second - I knew I needed to answer, but I didn't want to hear what this doc was going to say. I wanted to hear my pregnancy was going to be okay. But, I just knew it wasn't going to be okay.

He said to take it easy the rest of the day... No heavy lifting (including Chris), no cleaning, no cooking. But, how do you do that when your almost 18-month old son wants to play? Of course, he said, I could go to the ER - but, if I was going to miscarry, there would be nothing they could do, and I would sit for hours waiting to be seen. So, I scrapped that idea immediately. He said call my ob/gyn first thing in the morning and see what he thinks.

So, that night, I watched as Hubby played with Chris... Watched as Hubby gave Chris a bath... Sat and watched TV as Hubby put Chris to sleep. All I could think about was the baby I was carrying was not going to make it.

After Chris was asleep, I watched as Hubby sat at the dining room table putting the finishing touches on Chris' costume for the next day... He was going to be Ric Flair, the WWE wrestler. Hubby tried his best to get my mind off what was going to happen the next day...but it wasn't working.

Up to this point, I had no indication that this pregnancy was going to turn...or did I and I ignored it? I had no morning sickness...which ruled the first four to five months of pregnancy with Chris. Did I know before hand something was wrong and I tried to push away the intition I had all along?

The next day, Halloween proper, I called Dr. D's office and spoke with Lee, the nurse who answers the phone. I explained everything...and she said she would call me right back so she could explain it to Dr. D. About a half-hour later, she said she was calling in an emergency authorization for a full pelvic/trans-vaginal ultrasound at the Ambulatory Center - I needed to head over as soon as possible. She wasn't sure about if he wanted to see me yet, or he wanted to do bloodwork - he wanted the ultrasound done first.

So, after arranging my MIL to come over, we headed off for the ultrasound. The tech was horrible - she wouldn't say a thing, never even looked at us. She poked too hard, to the point I was sore and bleeding again. After the ultrasound was over, all she could say was she didn't see anything other than a sac... Well, duh! Lee already said not to worry yet if nothing more than a sac showed at that point - I was only 5+ weeks at the time.

On our way home, Lee called and told us to turn around... Dr. D wanted me to come in for a beta. So, we turned around and headed back up to Livingston.

The rest of the day, we tried our best to make it "normal" for Chris - took him around to my mom's to show off the costume he wouldn't wear. Took him to see Cookoo and the family. Went over to my IL's for them to see Chris too. All the while, I tried to not cry... I knew what was coming...

From there started the ping-ponging of ultrasounds and betas for 3 weeks straight - three weeks I was waiting for this miscarriage to begin. I knew there was no hope for this. And, of course, the miscarriage wouldn't start on its own. I needed the d&e in the end.

Why am I bringing this up now?

Well, I took off October 30th and 31st this year - partly so I didn't have to work on the day that marks when my last angel baby should have been do AND when the bleeding started for my second miscarriage, and partly so that maybe, this year, Halloween can be a little more fun for Chris.

But, so far, it is not starting off well...

Now, October 30th is full of doc appointments: Chris' pediatrian appointment at 9 am; Hubby's tooth pulling at 1 pm; my counselor's appointment at 5 pm. Sure, I suppose I could change one of those appointments...but, I don't want to take any more time from work.

I just need some time on October 30th to honor my angel babies that are connected to that day...and I have to fit it in somehow. June 27th was so peaceful - the edd for my second angel baby. I want this day to be as peaceful to, if I can manage it.

How do I do that now? :(

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"I Spoke with My Child"

For those who have experienced a loss.... Please go here...

Someone posted this in a comment on another blog...and it is truly amazing.

(Please enter with tissues handy)

Monday, October 16, 2006

A truly spiritual experience

After surviving Suzi's bridal shower on Saturday (which really was lovely - thank goodness!!), some interesting things came up that have reassured me that 1) my faith is being restored and moving in the right direction and 2) that although I still miss (and will always miss) my angel babies, it is okay to still cry (even in front of a church load of people!), and remember and honor my children.

First, the event that kinda got me to believing that my faith is coming back and things have happened for a reason came about in a talk with Sister Angelis Saturday night (how appropriate, right? Dr. D's name is Dr. De Angelis! Never put the connection together before.). Sr. Angelis is a VERY Irish nun, about in her late 70's, who worked with Hubby's aunt (Cookoo) at her former job at St. James Hospital for many years. Sr. Angelis was "forced" to retire a few years back (considered too old to be working by the church) and was carted off to a group home for retired nuns - which she soooo doesn't belong in since, although she has a terrible back condition, she is a spit-fire.

Cookoo told Sr. Angelis in 2002 that Hubby and I were TTC our first and we were having problems. So, in her heavy Irish brogue, she said, "Well, we cannot have any of that, now can we?" She sent me through Cookoo the blessed St. Gerard medal that I had contemplated retiring in my post on Friday about the Feast (see post on The Feast of St. Gerard Majella). She promised me that she would say her novena for me every night and to never go without my medal. Obviously, all of her prayers were answered on May 4, 2004 when Christopher was born. From that point forward, whenever she stays overnight with Cookoo, we bring Chris over for her to see him and see how much he has grown...and he is always overjoyed to see her, like he has a very special connection to her. It is lovely to see how is acts around her.

Anyways, Sr. Angelis attended Suzi's shower - which meant she was staying overnight with Cookoo since the convent house was too far to travel to after such a long day. She asked me at the shower if I would bring Chris over later that evening so she could visit with him. At 7 pm, after all of our guests for the day left (meaning, the spouses and kiddies of the wives attending the shower - and, yes, my house was a lovely mess!), we put Chris' coat on and walked him across the street.

Of course, she was shocked (as always) at his size. "My heavens! He's huge!" she says. "Blessed be. He is just gorgous!" Chris went right up to her - with a very devilish grin - and says, "There you is!" She was tickled....with that same Irish, devilish grin. They played a bit - and Chris mooched some of her pizza, which Sr. Angelis thought was very amusing, and was pleased he said "please" and "thank you."

While Suzi played with Chris in the kitchen (where, from the couch we were sitting on, I can see exactly what Chris is in to...I think I DO have eyes on the back of my head!), we chatted for a while...

Sr. Angelis, while knitting, told me that Cookoo told her about the miscarriages I had and how long it has taken me to come to a place of acceptance about them. She told me that she felt terrible that I (and we - including the family) had to go through this. She has been praying that I could finally find some peace. She also told me that she felt she was "meant" to be here (she wasn't sure she would be able to get there if no one picked her up) - to talk about how I felt, to talk about going to visit St. Gerard for the Feast, to talk about replacing the medal that I have worn for 4 years. She said that Chris is such a beautiful boy - and that he is so well behaved and mannered for only being two - that she "will not stand for it" with her God. She felt that we should have another child to raise with love and that she will be praying every night that we are blessed again. She told me to make sure I got to the Feast and offer up my prayers and thanks for what I do have, and she will be praying along with me...

I wasn't totally sure I had wanted to really go to the Feast before this...I felt like it was going to be a waste of time. But, we did decide to go yesterday. We set our plans in place Saturday night to meet up with S&S by the St. Anthony statue. We got there right after Chris' nap (after passing the car-bq on Route 280) and Hubby decided to take come pics with the new camera while waiting:

(The Madonna and Child)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

After a little bit of playing in the plaza...

(me chasing Chris)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...Zia and S arrived!

(Zia saying Hi as Chris is trying to get OUT!!)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...And we played a bit, since there was tons of room for him to run around.

(Chris showing us his pet rock - or speaker disguised as a rock)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

After noticing the line wasn't too long anymore, S and I made our way to visit the Saint. We missed the actual procession because of Chris' naptime....but, it worked out okay because Chris was in a great mood with a 2+ hour nap. We got on line and, after waiting for about 20 minutes in cramped quarters with elderly Italian women squishing past us to see the Saint themselves, it was our turn to go up.

I took out my money to pin on Saint Gerard - $10 from me and $10 from my MIL, who couldn't get in close for handicapped parking for my FIL. I gave my offering to the Guardsmen and touched the Saint so that my charm bracelet (and my angel charms) would touch his face. Maybe it was the moment - or maybe my imagination - but, a wave a peace fell over me as I stepped down from the platform. It felt like I really needed to be there after all.

Afterwards, S and I made our way into the church, looked around a bit in the church and entered the actual shrine area where we lit a couple of candles and paid our respects. We stopped in to the giftshop and bought our new medals (relics included - thanks, S! I think I still owe money for that.).

We left the shrine and made our way back to meet up with the boys, found our dinner (gotta love the sausage sandwiches!!!) and parked our butts at a table to eat.

(Chris meeting up with us after coming back from the church)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

After dinner, Chris of course wanted to play some more...

(Stopping to appreciate the airplanes a bit)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

For some reason, I felt a need to go back into the shrine with Chris - not sure why, but I needed to. I guess to really give thanks for what I have in my life...and pray that, if I am to be blessed with another child, that he or she be healthy and happy. So, I asked Hubby for some money (since I pinned all of mine on St. Gerard earlier) but, he didn't have singles (S - the man! - gave us a $3 loaner...which we will be paying back!). I made my way with Chris....and Hubby in tow, which took me a second to realize he was behind me (sorry, a blonde moment!). We went in and walked around a bit and made our way to the shrine again...

When we entered, it was less crowded than the first time we went in. I put the $3 in the candle offering box and lit four candles - three for my angels and one for D from FF. Hubby asked me if I wanted to light a candle - I looked at him weird and said I did that already, like several! He clarified and asked if I wanted one of the glass prayer candles the ladies were selling at the table...he suggested we use it for the World Wide Wave of Light Ceremony for October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day later that night. I said sure...and he bought one for me, at which time the kind women also gave him a fist full of free, blessed St. Gerard Medals (some of which I passed on already to some ladies who need it).

As we made our way to visit the actual shrine statue, Hubby gave the man behind the alter of the shrine itself money and purchased three additional prayer candles - one for each of our angels - to be placed on the alter to burn until they went out later that night. It was at that point - in front of everyone - that I completely lost it. Not only was Hubby's gesture very sweet and understanding of what I needed, but to have these candles burning in such a sacred place was just amazing for me. Chris gave me a hug while I cried and a few people came by and patted me on the back, ackowledging without words why I was crying.

I was meant to come to the Feast... I found so much peace here in a month that is marred by miscarriage anniversaries....a month I used to only associate with marrying my hubby.

As we walked out, Hubby, Chris and I just held hands and walked without words. Our angels were resting peacefully with a great Saint... I couldn't ask for more.

We met back up with S&S at the table... We hung out a little longer and played with Chris (almost losing it again with S - talk about being an emotional basketcase!). But, by 6:45 it was getting chilly and I wanted to get home to light my candle for my angel babies. We walked out together and said goodbye and headed home.

I lit my prayer candle next to the St. Gerard statue that was given to me last October by another lady Cookoo used to work with (named Ana). I had wanted to give that statue back to her after my last miscarriage - I felt no connection to St. Gerard at the time, and felt like He had failed me (nice way to think, huh?). But, Ana would not take him back. So, for the past year, this statue has been in my living room and, up to this point, just "taking up dust" in my heart. That changed last night as I let the candle burn for three hours - one hour for each of my angel babies. I finally have the connection I lost...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I took off the old medal I have worn for 4 years (placing it in Chris' room next to his crib) and replaced it with the new medal.

My prayers are with him now... And with St. Catherine of Sweden, who is the Patron Saint to prevent miscarriage.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Today is October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Today is October 15th, the official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Just a reminder that everyone is invited to participate in a WORLD WIDE Wave of Light Ceremony - to honor all of those babies lost to us.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Please light a candle at 7 pm in your time zone and keep it burning for at least 1 hour - and join me as I remember my three precious angels, and the angels of my friends and family members who have also experienced a loss. If everyone does this there will be a continuous WAVE OF LIGHT over the entire world today that will last for 24 hours.

For details, see the official October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day site.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Feast of St. Gerard Majella

The Feast of St. Gerard Majella is this weekend at St. Lucy's Church in Newark, NJ - the National Shrine for Saint Gerard.

St. Gerard is the Patron Saint of: childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; good confessions; lay brothers; motherhood; mothers; Muro, Italy; pregnant women; pro-life movement; unborn children.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I have on me every day - sick, cleaning, whatever - a blessed St. Gerard medal that a nun Hubby's aunt used to work with gave to me when we were first TTC our first child. It is the first religious medal, other than my Ukrainian cross from my grandmother, I have ever worn on a consistent basis. It is very well worn now...I've had it on my necklace since mid-2002. It's totally discolored (it was gold-plated), but well loved and special.

A year ago (on October 16th), Hubby, Chris and I went to the Feast of St. Gerard for the first time. We went along with our friends S&S - we were both TTC at the time... Our second, their first (and, unfortunately, still TTC after 4 years...).

For me, about 10 days before the Feast day, we found out that I had ovulated on 100 mg Clomid in between ultrasound monitoring for an IUI - so, the IUI got scrapped and the chances of a natual cycle working, which we did our "duty" and DTD as Dr. D instructed, was slim to none. The eggie only lives for 12-24 hours, right? So, I went to the Feast looking for prayer and guidance for TTC again, hoping that once my new cycle started, maybe it would work better...that TTC wouldn't take as long as it did the first time. I also went to give thanks for the beautiful gift I come home to every day...who usually ends up in our bed in the middle of the night, and kicks us in the back...our Chris.

Two days after the Feast, I got my first positive HPT (with several done after that since I could not believe what I was seeing). We were in total shock...and immediately thankful. The cycle should not have worked... But, we got our miracle and began telling those who knew about the medicated cycle.

...Less than two weeks later - after no signs of the morning sickness I had with Chris - my world came crashing down. Getting ready to meet up with S&S for a last-minute outing, I started bleeding on October 30th. In a panic, I tried to reach Dr. D - he was not available, so the covering doc told me to take it easy the rest of the day and call Dr. D in the morning (of course, I had the option of going to the ER - but, was warned I probably would have a long wait). So, I called Dr. D first thing in the morning...which then began the processes of repeat beta draws and ultrasounds. Each ultrasound done showed only a sac - no baby, no fetal pole, nothing close to a heartbeat. My betas were not doubling. A miscarriage was inevitable - of course hearing the news on my cell phone from Dr. D in the St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center parking deck with Hubby by my side as others walked by wondering why I was in tears. I waited for three weeks for the miscarriage to start....and only spotting here and there shadowed my days, along with the worst backpain I have ever had. On November 22nd, I finally had the D&E done at 9:30 am - at exactly what would have been 9 weeks. The PG was officially over.

I had hoped for better for S&S - they had gone through her miscarriage in August 2005 (the first person I had known to go through this terrible process) and were in the middle of a new IVF cycle... I had hoped and prayed that St. Gerard would at least answer their prayers and give them their blessing, finally.

...Yet, here we are, going back to the St. Gerard Feast on Sunday - S&S still empty armed, Hubby and I with three angels in heaven (and, more than thankfully, one here with us).

Why are we going back again? Why are we putting our faith and prayers - the faith and prayers that were not, to us, answered a year ago - back in St. Gerard?

I don't know...for either of us...

Maybe, for me, I am going again out of guilt because Lex from FFamily asked if I was going? Maybe out of my desire for guidance again as I begin to face the last of my three EDD's (ironically, on October 30th)? Maybe out of the faith I am slowly rediscovering after the events of the past year?

I don't know...

I remember, back in December 2005, we were visiting friends who live in Brick - we went to see them after their little girl was born the day before Thanksgiving (the day after my D&E). Chris very innocently grabbed my necklace while playing around and the only thing to come flying off it was my St. Gerard medal. I was in a complete panic - this was the same medal that got me through my PG with him...and, my three miscarriages. I had to make sure I had it - I needed it. I found it finally under the kitchen cabinets and, borrowing plyers, made sure I got it back on my necklace.

Am I being called back to the Feast maybe because this medal I have worn for 4 years was only meant to protect my pregnancy with Chris? Maybe it is time to "retire" this medal and seek out the blessings of a new one?

Maybe I am grasping at straws??? Being to materialistic in putting my faith in a little blessed peice of metal?

What is even more interesting to me is the day we are going to the Feast also happens to be the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Maybe I am drawn to this Feast because I need to be in a place where I can feel the presence of more than what we are capable of understanding in our time? Maybe, as I look to start TTC again in January, I am looking for peace as we start trying again - which is something I am really fearing? Maybe I need to seek a blessing for the three angels I am missing here on Earth?

I don't know...

Guess we will see what happens when we get there....which I will try to do with an open mind and heart.

There must be 50 ways to BBQ your Mother-in-Law

Uh....I have a job, right? Sure I do! I'm here right now posting to my blog (oops!)!

...But, apparently some people in the family forget that in order for me to get paid and have the super-nifty health insurance (which covers 100% of all infertility stuff - YEAH!), I actually HAVE TO DO THAT JOB!!!

My MIL has called me about 3-4 times already here at work...and it's just 10:30 am! Nothing about Chris....all about Suzi's wedding shower tomorrow...

Can you bring home thumbtacks?

Can you get wrapping paper? I need lots! Have to wrap everything.

We need 2 cards... No, 3 cards. No, 2 cards. Sorry. Forgot we went in on a gift.

I forgot to order a corsage... Crap. Should I call now? What should I get? Daisy's?

Shoot me now!

When I remind her I have a job...and some deadlines due today...I get: Oh, I just wanted to get your opinion.

Oi! I gotta get away from my phone!

Hey, it's not my problem Suzi's wedding shower (and wedding) is rushed. If she had not gotten herself knocked-up, then none of this would be a rush, right?

I want her shower to be perfect, she says.

Well, it can't be when you are planning a shower in less than 4 weeks. ...Or, a wedding in less than 8 weeks for that matter! Things have to get cut....and all 55 people you invited to the shower are not going to be able to make it - they probably had plans set in place weeks or months ago. Don't bitch over only having 24 people attending the shower... If people had known they were getting married, say last year?, more people would have been able to come.

Is it Sunday yet????? Where's my Calgon????

Thursday, October 12, 2006

...80 days...

Ahhhh.... I have officially made it through my 8 sessions of counseling as of yesterday. And, where do I stand with how I feel now? Peaceful, content, confident, happy, ME. Finally - it has been a long time since I have felt this way.

My counselor is very happy with how far I have come since starting with him in April - even though I had doubts about seeing a councelor who 1) was male, 2) sounded like a gumba over the phone and 3) did not specifically deal with infertility and pregnancy loss. Dr. P has helped me different sides of things I haven't allowed myself to see. He has pulled out of me the thoughts and feelings I just didn't want to face -- and some that had nothing to do with the losses and my struggles with infertility. He is happy to see that I have been in a consistently good mood since the end of August, and moreso since finding out why Suzi had decided to get married to quickly: to have her baby and, to the extent she can, do right by my experiences. And I am happy I stuck it out with him and didn't allow myself to think in stereotypes by a simple phone conversation about setting up an appointment with him.

Dr. P was also very pleased that I was finally able to have a "public" event to honor my babies lost - meaning, the Walk to Remember on Saturday (see post on The mixed bag of feelings: Empowerment and burried grief). Hearing my angels' names read in the name honor roll has finally given to me a dignified and proper goodbye. I no longer have to think of the medical way they had to leave me...I can think of them honored by everyone who has experienced a loss. I can rest now...and, although I will always be sad they cannot be here, I know they are with me every waking moment and every sleeping night.

...However, I know that panic, fear and anxiety are still lingering in the background... They want to sink their teeth into my head and heart so badly. In 80 days, I will be back on the TTC bandwagon...80 days until I wonder if the med potocol will work right this time around... 80 days until I hopefully enter a cycle where maybe I will get pregnant again... 80 days until I begin to worry whether I will successfully carry a healthy pregnancy to term - or, if I have to face yet another loss to our family and potentially the end of TTC forever.

It scares me to death. Even now, as I sit here truly happy for the first time since we started this ride in July of 2005, it scares me.

I wrote out my limits on how far I can go with TTC again (see post on Revisit of the MIL rant...and some lingering thoughts on it). My counselor knows my limits...and Dr. D will be told the same when I see him for my long-overdue annual exam on 10/23. I need these limits so I can remain sane during the TTC process. I am putting my fate in Dr. D's very capable hands - and I trust he will do right by me, as best he can. I am giving up control over that process - and it feels good.

I am...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...and will no longer do it.
(although I DID pass the FF Charting Course! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting ).

I am also finally...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...because I have to believe God will give us what our family needs...
...whether that be a new life or not.

I finally believe...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...and will allow that plan to happen.

Luckily for me, my counselor is contacting the insurance company to get authorization for additional sessions...one session is to fall on my upcoming, last due date of October 30th, which also happens to be the day I started bleeding with my November 2005 miscarriage - how ironic they share the same day? Althoough I feel good now...he knows, as well as I, that TTC again is going to hard, and a possible pregnancy is going to be even harder.

What saddens me (which I can admit now) is that I can't have a blissful, ignorant pregnancy now...not with 3 miscarriages looming over me and the potential, statistically, for more. I am always going to be guarded about a pregnancy until I see that beautiful face (or faces, if I am so blessed) on the day of delivery...if there ever is one. I hate that any pregnancy will be overshadowed by fear. I enjoyed my pregnancy (even through the mega-nausea of morning sickness) with Chris every second. Enjoyed every kick and wiggle and visible movement. I am just not sure if I will be able to have that now... And, it shouldn't have to be that way.

I suppose I should give that up to God too...and I am trying to.

I heard this song in the car yesterday on the way back from counseling... It totally sums up how I feel now and how I will probably feel in 80 days. I am standing in the rain now...but I hope that I will not be falling down once January arrives...

Stand In The Rain
by Superchick

She never slows down
She doesn't know why but,
She knows that when
Shes all alone, it feels
Like its all, coming down
She won't turn around
The shadows are long
And she fears if she cries
That first tear
The tears will not stop
Raining down

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when its all
Crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won't drown
And one day where scars can be found
You stand in the rain

She won't make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself
And the fears whispering
If she stands, she'll fall down
She wants to be found
The only way out is through everything
She's running from wants to give up
And lie down

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when its all
Crashing down
You stand throug the pain
You won't drown
And one day where scars can be found
You stand in the rain

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when its all
Crashing down
You stand throug the pain
You won't drown
And one day where scars can be found
You stand in the rain

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy 8th Anniversary, Hubby!

Ah... Eight years today, I was getting up to drizzle and gloomy skies - and our wedding! Nothing was rushed that day - the wedding was at 5 pm, so we had time to get our hair done, our make-up done, etc. It was one of the few days I was sure of the decision I was making... Hubby is my "lobster" (hope everyone gets the reference) and I knew it was right. No regrets.

I have yet to scan some of the pics from our wedding (proofs were still paper proofs in 1998!) so I can post them here.

I can't believe eight years have already past... It went so fast! We made it past the "7-year itch"...and much more. And, despite the emotional rollercoaster of this year, we are closer than ever.

Happy 8th Anniversary, sweetie! Hope you find your cards this morning...

Here are some songs that that define the beginning and on-going of our marriage... Specifically, The Wedding Song, which was played at our wedding.

Grow Old with Me
by John Lennon

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
When our time has come
We will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
God bless our love

Spending our lives together
Man and wife together
World without end
World without end

Grow old along with me
Whatever fate decrees
We will see it through
For our love is true
God bless our love
God bless our love

The Wedding Song
by Noel Paul Stookey

He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts
Rest assured this troubador is acting on His part.
The union of your spirits, here, has caused Him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
There is Love. There is Love.

Well a man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home
And they shall travel on to where the two shall be as one.
As it was in the beginning is now and until the end
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again.
And there is Love. There is Love.

Well then what's to be the reason for becoming man and wife?
Is it Love that brings you here or Love that brings you life?
Or if loving is the answer, then who's the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?
Oh there's Love, there is Love.

Oh the marriage of your spirits here has caused Him to remain
For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
There is Love. Oh there's Love.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Song for the moment: Cry Out for Jesus

Somehow, I woke up VERY late for work this morning and had to cancel out on my carpool to get in on time. So, I drove in solo this morning...and maybe a little faster than usual (shhhhh... It's a secret!).

Anyways, normally I listen to some sort of Prog rock in the car... or some of the classics. But, nothing normally on the Christian music stations on XM Radio. But, as I was flipping through the channels this morning, I stumbled upon one of the Christian music stations and for whatever reason, felt very drawn to it. So, I went with it and gave it a listen.

As I turned the corner for the Livingston Campus of RU (my cut-through to the Busch Campus), I heard this song...which really sums up where I stand with my faith right now.

I do feel like my faith is getting a little stronger every day...and this really sums up what I have been looking for all of this time.

Cry Out To Jesus
by Third Day

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who struggles with being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

Sunday, October 08, 2006

World Wide Wave of Light Ceremony

For anyone who has experienced a loss, October 15th, the official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, everyone is invited to participate in a WORLD WIDE Wave of Light Ceremony.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Please light a candle at 7pm in your time zone and keep it burning for at least 1 hour. If everyone does this there will be a continuous WAVE OF LIGHT over the entire world on October 15th that will last for 24 hours.

For details, see the official October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day site.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The mixed bag of feelings: Empowerment and burried grief

We got home from the Share walk, held in Edison, NJ, around 12 noon. It was a wonderful experience to be there, despite the gloomy skies and the chilly air. But, I was finally able to feel validated for the feelings I have had over the past year - like I finally belonged somewhere after this long journey toward healing.

Before I really get into the nitty-gritty of my current mixed bag of feelings, I need to thank all of those who sponsored Hubby, my mom, Chris and I as we walked the 1.5 mile walk this morning - with their help, we raised over $300 for SHARE:

  1. My parents
  2. Linda (my sister) and her family
  3. My IL's
  4. Hubby's aunt and uncle
  5. Hubby's grandmother
  6. Dawn from FertilityFamily
  7. Fred, my Center Director
  8. Mel, Tami and Brenda, my Center Associate Directors
  9. Sarah, my Center Administrator
  10. Walter, my Center Unit Computing Manager
  11. Barb, a friend in another University department

All were so generous...it is really nice for everyone to think of this walk in such a positive way. I hope that, as other families go through their losses (unfortunate as they may be), SHARE will be able to give them the same guidance and peace as the organization has for me.

After registration and picking up my shirt for the walk (which had my angels listed on it), we were serenaded by two fathers who lost babies of their own as they sang so many songs of loss...songs that were very relevant to the day. After everyone was registered, a small rememberance service was held - poems were read, our babies were honored by a name-roll calling ceremony, and the singing of the following song...

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)
by the Dixie Chicks

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, we'll find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen," wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

This song, alone, ruined me. I cried in front of everyone, for the first time - but, luckily, I was not alone. And, as good as this release was for me - despite how guitly I feel that he has to be this initutive - Chris held onto me the entire song as I cried. I love this little boy more than words could ever express... He understood why I needed his hugs, and gave them to me...no questions asked.

Now, onto the even more emotional stuff...

It was very comforting for me to know that I am not alone in my sorrow and grief - there were at least 75 families at this walk who, to some degree or another, feel the way I do. Some families are farther along the healing path than I am....some have just begun. Some families were even attending who lost their babies well before the SHARE organization began 27 years ago. I stopped feeling like an outsider - I was "home."

It was sad to see so many of us mourning out lost babies...young or old, single or married, living children with them or not. Yet, there was a sense of strength in numbers as each baby's name was read off the list...including the Three Spassione Angels.

I feel empowered now. Since this was the first day I have ever publicly cried about my babies lost, I don't feel I need to hide those feelings anymore when they creep in. I have a place and people who can understand these tears I shed - and no one judges why I need to let these tears go free.

But, some of the families who attended the walk and D's loss this week have reminded me of one important thing that I will never be able to have from my losses:

A final resting place for my babies.

My first angel was miscarried naturally...and the loss was unknown at the time. So, I don't have a thing from that miscarriage...not even the data from my FF chart (which was lost due to a stupid technical error). My second and third angels were literally removed from my body by scraping or suction, and what was taken from me was just sent off immediately to run genetic testing. I was knocked out and when I woke up, they were gone - and feeling as if they were never there in the first place.

I had no baby to hold and kiss and say goodbye too.

I had no baby to hold a service for and give a final resting place too.

I have tried to create things for my angels...a place where I can go to "visit" them when I need to...a place to know they are "there." My memory boxes were supposed to serve this purpose. The flowers we planted in June by Hubby's great-grandfather and great-grandmother's graves were supposed to serve this purpose too....and, unfortunely for us, did not survive the extreme heat of August. At the end of the day, it is just not the same for me. I have no grave to visit, no place to bring momentos too.

Why is this so important to me?

I don't know. Maybe it is the product of my Catholic roots? We learn your soul leaves your body upon your passing for a more holy place, and you are honored here by friends and family at a wake and burial service. I fitting tribute to a life passed. Maybe, in some sick and weird sort of way, I am jealous of those families who could go through the motions of having a funeral service for their precious angels and have that formal (and public) step to say goodbye? I can never have that... One baby was not even known about, one baby never even formed, and one baby was so small, tiny, that you would never be able to hold it.

How do you mourn a baby you never got to hold, thank for being with you as long as they could, and kiss goodbye?

That has been, I think, the hardest thing to get past as I finally come to a point of acceptance of my life and the events that have surrounded it. I have my memory boxes for my last two angels: ultrasound pics, cards sent in sympathy, flowers received, hospital bracelets from the procedures to lead them on to their heavenly resting place. But, it is just not the same thing as being able to hold the babies I could not have here with me. It is just an aweful feeling to have to carry with you... There is no formal goodbye.

So, to bring me back to some sort of empowerment... I am going to inquire into volunteering some time at my local hospital about the program they run where people come in and hold the babies who need to be held: those abandoned, sick and whose parents cannot be there 24/7, those in need of a little motherly love and closeness. Maybe, through holding these babies for a little while, I can get my chance to resolve these feelings...and help them thrive with feeling love, comfort and tenderness.

I am very glad I went to the Walk to Remember... At least, through this walk, I had a public way to honor my babies. I finally had a place to publically honor them and mourn for them.

Friday, October 06, 2006

CD 59 - Damn stupid body!

...Here I am... ...CD 59... ....Still no period....

The hope that the BCPs I started taking in May would maybe restart my cycles is shot, gone, ta-ta - all they did for me was elevate my T4 levels and cause havoc to my mental psyche because of the added worry over another pregnancy complication.

...Maybe I should be grateful - taking the BCPs DID, in the end, reveal the ATA issue, another pregnancy complication. If it weren't for that, I would think that the MTHFR issues were my only issues.

But, I am so tired of being bloated, crampy, everything you get before your period arrives - and no period in sight. I have felt like I was getting my visitor since I left for vacation - on September 2nd! Now, a month later, I am still waiting... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Then, let's add in the occasional spot... Spot here, spot there. I look down and go WooHoo! period's here! Then, she says "Fooled you!" Nothing.

I have lost 35 pounds since December... You'd think it might just help me to regulate my cycles a bit. NOT!

I am trying to be patient and wait until I see Dr. D for my annual on 10/23.... But, I would also like to get CD3 bloodword done again because, well, who the hell knows what my horrormones are up to these days. However, I am sure if I did that (and took the evil that is Provera), Murphy's Law would come in to play and I would end up with my Witchy friend just in time for my annual... which is WAY overdue! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So, here I sit.... Waiting yet again....

...not that I am charting... I'm not. Honest!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Revisit of the MIL rant...and some lingering thoughts on it

So, my MIL and I had another round of arguing Tuesday night.... Really, the arguement was centered around issues with Suzi's upcoming wedding. A response card was received from M&J that "3 will attend" - problem is, no children are invited other than Chris because he is in the wedding! So, she wanted Hubby or I to call them and inform them of that - uh... NOT my place to do! This is Suzi's show - she or her mother should be the one to do it!

...But, in the end, we are calling anyway to tell them... Suzi's mom asked if we could, so now we are making up a story to back them out of having Kaila attend the wedding. Oi! I can't wait for this to be over!

Anyways, our conversation (after we were done arguing) came back around to TTC again... It was the same old rehash of what I posted in the MIL rant up ahead... thread. But, it got me to thinking about a few things...and a conversation with Hubby about how far we will go on TTC again.

Why do I really want another child?

Well, I always wanted two children - or more, if we had the money to do it. I never wanted an only child - not that there is anything wrong with that. There are many, many happy only's in this world - and I am glad there are parents who know they only want one child. Unfortunately for my MIL, Hubby being an only was not her choice - her miscarriage of twins ended that dream for her. But, she made do with what God gave her and Hubby was a happy only, and close with his cousins.

But, for me, I have always wanted two, or more if the money was there. It was my picture of how my life would be when I was young...

...of course, my picture is very different now, but that is for another post...

Although I don't get along with my two siblings all of the time, I still have them if I need them, or to fall back on. They are my family, and I want to give that chance to Chris, if I can. I would like to see him have someone he can grow up with, and potentially be close to when Hubby and I are gone. To be an uncle to neices and nephews. To have someone else to love.

Why so others want more than one child? I don't know - but, I don't think it is a "status quo" thing. Or, is it? Maybe my MIL is right, in a way? That stats with families having 2.5 children are in fact swaying us to want to have those 2.5 children?

How far am I willing to go to give Chris a sibling?

Well, I have already endured more medical tests than I care to admit I've had...and not all related to reproduction. And I am certainly single handedly keeping the doctors of Essex County employed this year! But, how far am I willing to go to bring another life into this world? Far...but not that far.

I have to set limits for myself to preserve my own sanity - since I seemed to have misplaced that over the past year of TTC #2 (well, now I guess you can say I am TTC #5, if I want to be technical about it...). And, Hubby agrees with those limits. I can't put my family and friends through the emotional turmoil that has dominated my life for the past 15+ months. I don't want to miss out on any more precious time with Chris than I already have missed out on.

I need to focus on living in the here and now.

So, what are my limits to IF treatments?

I am willing to do Clomid, IUI, injectibles, triggers, progesterone (and all of the monitoring that goes with it).

I've been through Clomid and IUI - I know what to expect. I know I can handle injecting myself with an epi-pen or trigger. I could probably even endure PIO shots, if I really needed them. I went through 8 hours of induction with Chris with no epidural - I think I can handle the pain of an injection and the subsequent bruising that goes with it.

I am not willing to move onto IVF.

My reasons are many:

First, because I don't think it would have to go that far - I have managed to get PG (and subsequently miscarry, of course) in 3 natural cycles without IUI's. My tubes are obviously open. I know I don't have polyps or ovarian cysts or uterine abnormalities. I know Hubby's s/a is normal. So, I am not going to use someone else's time who truly needs to do IVF to conceive. That is not fair to those women who need it - and selfish of me to think I need it.

Second, I know through so many women the hurdles it takes to do IVF - it is NO picnic, is not to be taken lightly, and in the end, could potentially not work. It is not the "hip" thing to do - egg retrieval is surgery, after all! And, unless you are blessed to have fabulous health insurance like I do, it is freakin expensive! Simple ultrasounds to check follicle growth for an IUI is way easier than the monitoring and procedures it takes to do an IVF round.

If I had no children, and IVF was the only way for me to conceive - absolutely, I would be in line to start. But, I am blessed to have Chris in my life and at this point in my life, after having lost so much time with Chris while I was mourning my angels and getting my faith and soul back on track, I am not willing to give up any more time with him. IVF takes time - and I don't want to take that time away from Chris anymore.

I am very happy for those who chose to go through IVF to TTC #1 or TTC #2 or more - and I pray that it works for them every time I see their siggies with their protocols hashed out for the world to see. But, I just cannot chose that path - out of self preservation and time.

When do we call TTC over?

If I have another miscarriage directly related to my MTHFR and ATA diagnoses.

I don't think I can handle another loss directly related to my body not wanting to nurture the pregnancy. I could try again if I knew the miscarriage was not caused by my body: like a rare genetic condition, rare cord complication, etc. But, if my body just does not want to cooperate and I am looking at loss after loss, I just can't do it anymore. I have to stop.

Is this out of self-preservation again? Partly. But, it is also out of family preservation. I can't put everyone through this again. I put my marriage in strain because of the losses...and I can't allow that to happen again. Hubby is the best thing (along with Chris, of course) that has come into my life and I won't put that in jeapordy again.

I know with every pregnancy, there is a risk of miscarriage. D from my FF BG knows that, unfortunately, first hand (see prayer request from yesterday) - as do many women who have endured loss (or loss after loss). I know I am at greater risk already for another miscarriage. So, I have to draw the line somewhere to keep myself sane.

If I am not pregnant by my 35th birthday in January 2008.

Risks of complications go up with age - and I already have 2 risks in front of me. I cannot purposefully put a child at risk for more complications when I already know I have hurdles to get over to carry a healthy pregnancy now. I know women over 35 are conceiving and having healthy babies - but, most do not have the complications I am facing. I can't play Russian Roulette with another child's life. And, in my mind's eye, that is what I would be doing.

I pray I don't have to actually use these limits - that I can manage to get pregnant right away with Dr. D's help and that the treatments I am doing to overcome my problems in carrying a healthy pregnancy work. I am healthier now than I have been in a long time (except for the still lingering tummy issues, of course) and I am in much better physical shape than I have been in eight years!

I just hope my body will cooperate for me... That the boardwalk psychic's predictions of two more healthy children will come to pass... That God will bless us again with one more child to share our love and life with.