Day 6: Pet Peeves

pumpkinToday we put away the summer decorations and unpacked our fall decorations. I experienced a pang of sadness, the kind I read about but thought I would be immune to: preparation for your first holidays when you should have had an infant (or infants, in my case) in your arms. My family should be complete right now, and instead my arms are empty. I remember the last time I saw my Halloween decorations I was weighing and measuring which ones were childproof, but for another year at least it doesn’t matter. What will it be like next time I set out my fall pumpkins?

Day 6: Infertility Pet Peeves

30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.

I guess my biggest pet peeve is naïveté of others. People who believe BFPs → babies, or even that making it past the first trimester → baby. Or worse yet, those who reassure me that lightning won’t strike twice, when I’ve heard stories of those to whom it has happened. I was proud of myself for telling my dental hygienist about my loss, and she told me she had a friend who lost twins TWICE in her second or third trimester.

I hate people who are blissfully ignorant. I feel bad but there is a girl who, having suffered an ectopic previously, is now pregnant again and flooding my Facebook feed with belly photos and videos of her baby kicking… and she drives me bonkers. It’s like she’s forgotten what it feels like to be on the other side and she’s maddeningly blissful. I will never be blissful like that because I will always be waiting and holding my breath, wondering if I’ll deliver prematurely again. I imagine it’s even worse for someone who’s lost a baby to SIDS—to potentially go through a picture-perfect pregnancy and still worry you’ll lose your newborn.

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Day 5: Mantras & Quotes

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.My next ultrasound is one week from today, when we will see a heartbeat (or not). I am choosing to believe that things will be okay so I don’t continue to worry myself sick. I have to save my worrying for the second trimester!

 

Details of this 30 day blogging challenge available at I Love You Potato.

Lately my number one personal mantra is “…because fuck you.” I’m going to [insert anything] and not give a shit—when previously I might have given a shit—because stupid things pale in comparison to losing the twins. It grounds me when I start to worry what someone else is going to think about how I look or act. There is much bigger shit to concern myself with than what other people think of me. It doesn’t have to make sense… because fuck you. See how nicely that works?

I’m not only snarky though.

There are SO MANY quotes to pick from that have inspired me, but I think Gibran’s are my favorite. Fun fact: his real name is Khalil, not Kahlil.

the-deeper-that-sorrow

Remembering my twins. Ignore the distracting fonts and hear the message. ♥♥

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you will see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your joy.

Day 3: Grief Playlist

Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. -Vicki Harrison
credit: http://www.facebook.com/amandaonwriting

30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.

I’m hijacking this prompt.  Rather than an infertility playlist, I give you my brief grief playlist.  These are mainstream (so un-hip), but I don’t listen much to the radio anymore, so haven’t tired of them yet.  They’re the few songs that have really stuck with me lately.

“All of Me” by John Legend (YouTube)

Who doesn’t love a song that talks about loving all my curves and edges?  Especially since my body is different having carried twins and the intense hunger they brought.  “Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too.”  DH and I both found this song very triggering in the wake of our loss, but now when I hear it, I almost like that it gives me pause to think about and remember my boys.

“Chandelier” by Sia (YouTube)

Wild abandon and complete disregard of consequences.  Let’s make some bad choices.   I want to live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.  Of course, it’s easy for me to romanticize it now because I obviously can’t drink.  I’m over the party scene and would prefer my late nights to focus on bonding and feeding and diapers.  Well, okay, not really diapers.

“Habits” by Tove Lo (YouTube)

You’re gone and I gotta stay
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
High all the time
To keep you off my mind
Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe
I fall back down
Gotta stay high all my life
To forget I’m missing you

It’s ironic, because I didn’t do any of that, except for the one day I sat down to have a glass of wine and drank the whole bottle (I think somewhere in the CD 1-7 range).  And I’m not trying to actively forget them, rather songs like this make me think of them.  I am very good now about making songs intended to be about ended relationships instead about my lost sons.

Days 1 & 2: 7 Things, Rituals & Superstitions

Catching up!  This 30 day blogging challenge details available at I Love You Potato.

September 1:  7 Things

But I don’t want you to know me too well!  What about my precious anonymity?  Okay, let’s go for some general info.

  1. a ClearBlue f*** youI’m not technically infertile.  I have had numerous chemical pregnancies, but they all qualify as “preclinical losses” and therefore don’t really qualify as repetitive pregnancy loss.  When I took medical genetics in college, I was told 75% of the time when sperm and egg meet, a loss occurs, but no one ever finds out about it… unless they’re POAS addicts like me and test a day after implantation.
  2. That being said, I am no stranger to infertility. For every one of the blissfully naïve people I want to strangle, I know another in real life who does not have a baby due to PCOS or unexplained repetitive pregnancy loss.
  3. I am a child of infertility. I was conceived via IUI with donor sperm.
  4. I have a cat and two dogs. I feel like a house isn’t a home without pets.
  5. I like to lift heavy things.
  6. I thrive in clutter. This drives some people crazy.
  7. I am a dark chocolate connoisseur. It’s kind of a problem.

 

*fingers crossed*
Source: lindleyhewatt.wordpress.com

September 2:  Rituals & Superstitions

I believe that if I prepare for a certain bad situation, it won’t happen.  The one thing I was sure wouldn’t happen to me (besides conceiving twins in the first place) was horrifically early preterm labor.  The day I went into preterm labor, and even at the hospital waiting to be evaluated in triage in labor and delivery, I wholeheartedly believed I was fine and I’d go home.  Stupid.  I won’t make that mistake again.

In terms of rituals… I plan to go to a different site for my anatomy and growth scan(s).  I will likely have to go to the original ultrasound office for my first dating ultrasound, but thereafter I want to avoid that site.  I want to avoid the place that told me everything was fine a week before everything changed.

I hate pregnancy.

I hate pregnancy.

Yeah, I know, it’s a like a cardinal sin for a pregnant person to say that.  The third time was the charm this go round, two chemical pregnancies and a “sticky” pregnancy.  (I wish it had been this easy the first time.)

In my defense, I decided I hate pregnancy when I wasn’t pregnant.  I was recalling my pregnancy with my twins.  There was a time when I was beginning to get really uncomfortable physically—I believe there is no “honeymoon period” in a twin pregnancy because your body expands so rapidly—and I rubbed my belly and told my boys I just couldn’t wait to see their faces and wished they were here now.  But holy crap, I DIDN’T MEAN IT like that!!

Probably 3 hours before I was admitted to the hospital in preterm labor, a stranger gawked at me with wide eyes and asked when I was due, implying I looked ready to pop.  Cruelly timed comments have a way of sticking with you.

Going through all the pregnancy crap and getting nothing out of it.  It sucks, you guys.

My body image suffered (suffers) a lot postpartum.  I recall one of my friends discussing her still-swollen postpartum belly, wearing it as a badge of honor marking her as a mother.  I think that is a really healthy mentality.  It just sucks when your belly is tiger-striped and lumpy and your arms are empty.  My belly folds over now.  It’s very weird.  And I COULD DEAL WITH IT, I could, if I had a baby, because that’s all that would matter, a price I’d pay.

My hobby is working out.  I’m not badass, but I enjoy it.  I enjoy it even now that I look fat, traipsing around the gym in clothes that show off how unglamorous my body has become, and I continue to work out for the mood-elevating effects rather than to lose weight.  Not that I don’t want to lose the baby weight, I do.  I mostly returned to my prepregnancy eating habits, though I admit not with the same discipline.  It’s hard to make yourself lose weight when you know that at some point you are going to get pregnant and gain it back again.  It’s really messing with my head.  Even my ob/gyn, who is FIXATED unhelpfully on BMI, advised me to lose the weight before I try to conceive again.  She said it with a look on her face as though she knew I was going to ignore her advice.  I am just one of those people who turns into a crazy, ravenous beast when pregnant.  Intellectually, I understand I don’t need a huge surplus of calories, but it’s hard to remember that when I’m too hungry (hangry, really) to think about anything else.

barbell therapyOkay, I’m digressing.  Anyway.  Today at the gym there were two things that upset me.

First, I am afraid.  I am afraid that I will be too afraid to work out this time.  I am also afraid that even if I’m not too afraid to, my body won’t be able to handle working out.  Officially, my preterm labor was caused by an infection (presumed GBS) per the pathology report on my placentas, and because my cervix was “long and closed” per exam and ultrasound a week prior to birth.  That being said, I was enormous and carrying so low it was causing edema in my legs (secondary to my lymph system being physically squashed, NOT preeclampsia).  Is it possible my body just can’t handle being that pregnant?  Of course I had toned down exercise to very tame stuff compared to my nonpregnant self, but was even that too much?  Should I have gone on bed rest as soon as the edema appeared sometime around 20-22 weeks?  I last worked out 5 days prior to going into preterm labor; shouldn’t I have felt something?  But I didn’t; I felt great.  I am worried about either being too afraid or physically unable to work out… because I love it.  It grounds me.  Exercise is a natural mood booster.  Even when I don’t want to go, I know I will feel better afterward and be grateful I went.  I am also afraid that I will forget how awesome working out is, and that I won’t make the effort to return to the gym after…. however this pregnancy ends.

The second upset was a strong flashback.  I was sitting quietly in a corner, waiting for my class to begin.  I was supposed to be warming up but that early pregnancy exhaustion is hitting me and I just. didn’t. want to.  Fifteen feet away from me, someone dropped a barbell loaded with very heavy weight.  The SLAM as it hit the floor.  That slam would always get the boys moving.  There was a competition day I went to observe, and though I couldn’t participate, I was tickled at how the barbells hitting the floor made the boys do flips inside me.  I was so blissfully happy then.  I don’t know if I will ever have that again, not during pregnancy.

So maybe you can understand that I hate pregnancy.  Months of suffering, months of joy, permanently altering your body with no guarantee of the fabled take-home baby.

And now the real grief work begins.  I knew it would be hardest when I got pregnant again.  In our most recent neonatal loss group meeting, I finally felt like I had a breakthrough, like I would be okay.  I was able to tell our story without crying.  But I knew that things would change.

With so many chemical pregnancies, I don’t really have a fear of miscarriage.  For better or worse, I feel like my ute is almost too picky about who she lets implant in her snobby cushioning.  But I will wait through this first trimester with a sense of foreboding, fearing my own personal hell hurdle: the second trimester.  Every milestone of this pregnancy will be shadowed by my fear that I will lose him or her (or them) in the second trimester.  Feel the kicks, feel the personality, and then lose everything.

Which brings me also to the “twin thing.”  Statistically, the odds of conceiving twins twice is low.  So it seems melodramatic for me to fixate on the fear that I might be carrying twins, but like so many people I’ve come to know on Twitter, once you’re on the shit end of a statistic, “low probability” is still something to acknowledge.  Shortly after our loss, my husband and I sat in the perinatologist’s office and were advised to perhaps consider selective reduction if I conceive twins again.  Not something to be taken lightly.  DH is adamantly opposed to it.  I don’t want to end a wanted life either, but I do also acknowledge that one surviving baby is better than two micropreemies that don’t.  I could be throwing myself into research, but I can’t.  I can’t even deal with this possibility unless I absolutely am faced with it.  Which is why I scheduled an early scan at 5.5 weeks.  The staff at my clinic were baffled: “there’s nothing to see that early” – but au contraire, ignorant people.  One lump or two?