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For the past couple of months my emotions about the miscarriage have been pretty calm. It felt like the nerve ends that were on fire earlier in the spring and summer had stopped aching and burning so strongly. I was finally moving forward.
I knew that because the pregnancy was a twin pregnancy, that the actual due date meant much less. If the twins had survived gestation, they’d almost certainly be here by now. But if they hadn’t, my due date was November 18, 2011.
Now that it is finally here, it seems like every emotion I’ve felt in the past six months has been amplified and condensed into this ball of confusion and hurt in the pit of my stomach. This week has been beyond tough. I’m extremely emotional. I’m taking everything personally. I can’t seem to move beyond my immediate concerns. And what’s more than that, I feel bad focusing on the past when I should be focusing on the two frozen embryos I plan to have transferred into my body in a couple of weeks.
But it’s hard to let such an important date pass by without recognizing it. And I think that’s where I am struggling. How do I allow myself to appropriately grieve when I feel like I should be and have been moving forward? I’m not in the same place I was this summer, but it’s normal for the impending page on the calendar to signal some sort of sadness, right?
My amazing friend, Ms. MM, told me earlier this week that I’d know the way to honor the day when it got here. I’m still hoping for some sort of revelation to fall down from the sky into my lap. I think I’m imagining some grand gesture for a day that, in the end, does not mean anything.
I think what I should do is live my life. I think I should try to keep myself from dwelling on it to the extent possible. I think I should smile. I think I should laugh. I think I should just be myself.
Maybe tonight I’ll allow myself to be sad and cry it out. God knows I could use a good tear-fest right about now. But tomorrow, I’m going to be focused on remembering the joyful part of carrying the twins and the amazing things ahead. I’m going to allow myself to shed tears when necessary, but I’m also going to allow myself to be happy whenever possible.
And I hope that there’s some happiness I can help share.
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Of course when I went back to the RE on Friday they said I definitely needed to have a period. I told them it kind of felt like one was coming on, so they did some blood work to confirm. According to them, nothing was going to happen. So now I’m in the midst of a week of progesterone. After that, I should have a period and we can FINALLY get started.
This cycle hasn’t even started and it’s already killing me. The waiting to start is just a bit much. I’ll do what I have to do, but it’s still frustrating.
The twins’ due date is coming up a week from Friday. I’m trying to think of a way to commemorate it. Life is definitely different right now than I thought it would be. Though, to be honest, it makes the due date easier knowing that I probably would have given birth by now given that it was a multiple birth. I still feel like that’s a good day to remember them.
Maybe it’s a good thing that this cycle keeps getting postponed. Maybe I’ve been able to get more accomplished without the added stress. I’m trying to look on the bright side when I can.
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Last night I was the self-appointed Halloween candy czar at The House. Mr. CVD came over and we ordered pizza and he made fun of me and others and played with Siri on my phone. It was nice and relaxing, even though it wasn’t the typical veg out in front of the TV relaxation I could use right about now.
When he left, there were still a few kids coming by, so I continued to sit outside. Soon thereafter, the neighbors from across the street came over to chat. We don’t often get to talk for any length of time and it was nice to catch up with them. I really want to have neighbors that we can do things with and enjoy and they expressed the same thing, so it was all cool.
I noticed it fairly quickly and it confirmed an odd feeling I had for the past couple of months. She is pregnant. She says she is due December 17th (my mother’s birthday), but she honestly looks way smaller than that, so it’s a surprise I even noticed it from across the street before. I ended up mentioning the miscarriage during part of the conversation and even though I know it makes people uncomfortable, I didn’t allow myself to censor too much because it’s my truth and my life to share.
But the odd thing was that even while we were talking to them and after they left, I didn’t have that usual “I’m so jealous I cannot see straight” type moment. I was genuinely happy for them. In fact, the first and only thing I told The Mister about it afterwards was that it was sad that we weren’t having the twins for another reason—they’d have a friend across the street a month apart from them. It wasn’t like a very sad moment, it was just a realization that things had happened that way and there was no changing it. Like when you order something off the menu and realize there was something way better as a special that you didn’t order.
And that’s when I realized I think I’m in a much different place of hurt and healing than I have been before. I think this was the first time I was able to think about the twins, let alone talk about them (however brief), without tearing up. It’s not that I’m not sad about it and it’s not that I don’t wish we were in their place…it’s just I don’t feel so damn angry.
I finally get to go back to the doctor on Friday to see if we can get this cycle started. Just having a game plan is going to impact my life in so many good ways. But at least I know that I’ve let go of some of the anger now. Or at least I’m able to control it better.
No matter what the case may be, it’s a start.
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We’re off on vacation starting tomorrow night. Considering the year we’ve been through, I think it’s a well deserved vacation. It’s just the thing I need to get closer to being ready for FET 2.0.
Last Friday, I took my Open Letters Friday series from PCL on the road to Studio 30 Plus. This installment was a letter from my head to my heart. It hit me in writing that how the two have been so far apart this summer and how far they’ve come back together in the past few weeks. I may not be in the perfect spot right now, but I never will be again. I do know this, though: I am ready to risk it all again.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? You have to be willing to risk it all in this journey. I’ll be honest, FET 1.0 was not exactly a 100% effort on my part. I don’t regret doing it, because I likely wouldn’t have gotten to this place if I hadn’t had that early loss.
So this vacation is for me to enjoy the little things and the big things. To refresh and to explore. And most of all, to see some of the beauty in the world with fresher eyes.
I know it’s there. I’ve just been hiding from it for awhile. Maybe it’s time I take it all in, don’t you think?
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Last week’s news that I had a MTHFR mutation was apparently exactly what I needed to hear. Don’t get me wrong, it sucks to have yet another thing to contend with in this infertility journey, but I feel vindicated in some way. It’s like a curtain has lifted and I’m able to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.
IVF is one of those things that nothing can truly prepare you for no matter how much you read or research or anything. Not that it’s bad to do those things, but the stress that you go through physically and mentally is indescribable. When you succeed at IVF, it feels like all of that was worthwhile and that you’ve finally done something right. Having a miscarriage after IVF is like a snap back to reality where you are convinced that nothing can go right ever again.
I had so much hope going into IVF in February and March. I was done with hoping and onto believing. It was GOING to happen. And by hard work and chance and luck it did. It was hard to convince myself that it was actually a success at first. I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall. Every single time we went for an ultrasound or a blood draw, I was just waiting for them to tell me something was wrong.
Until that last time. Somehow, I finally managed to convince myself that this was going to happen for me after all.
And then it didn’t.
That kind of weirdly reassuring disappointment is hard to bounce back from. And although I knew there had to be some reason for it, all I could think was “that just figures.” I was so blinded by my disappointment and grief that I couldn’t even get to the part where I was asking the right questions. And when the karotyping came back as perfectly normal, I started placing a lot of the burden on myself for any little thing I may have done wrong. It wasn’t intentional and some of it wasn’t even done consciously. It certainly wasn’t right, but there was no way I could stop.
We went into June/July’s FET with some hope, but to be honest I was just going through the motions. It was as if treatment was a job and I was just coming in, punching my time card and going home. There were a few glimmers of commitment here and there, but I never had the will power that I had the first time around. I was still blaming myself for everything that had happened.
I wasn’t ready.
When the FET turned into another (albeit much earlier) loss, I was not only grieving again, but I was angry and frustrated and unable to ask anything other than WHY. And apparently the WHY is what I needed to be pushing for all along.
Last week, the MTHFR mutation revelation wasn’t great in that I was happy I had some other potential infertility cause. It was great in that I finally had the answer I was looking for. Now maybe my losses were more complicated than just that, but maybe they weren’t. And now I have things to do and a plan in place.
And more than that, I have some distance between me and that place of grief and despair that I occupied for so long this year. About a month ago, a co-worker had a baby and I was forced to look at this newborn’s picture and hear about how the mother and baby were doing. All I could think about at that point was how much I missed my babies that never were.
I wasn’t ready to move on because I hadn’t yet found any answers as to why they weren’t still with me.
I wasn’t ready to move on because I hadn’t come to terms with what had happened.
I wasn’t ready to move on because I wasn’t ready to let myself believe again.
It seemed to me that believing again was somehow betraying their memories. It’s silly and makes no sense, but that’s the distinct feeling I had every time I tried to muster up some strength. I just wasn’t able to identify it until now…until the spot in the rearview mirror became smaller and smaller in the distance.
I will never fully lose sight of those losses. They were too jarring to the soul for me to forget. But in the past couple of weeks, and the past week in particular, I’ve been able to start putting together a plan for the future and actually be excited about it again. I still have a few more steps to take emotionally, but I don’t feel like I’m being rushed to take them.
And while I still miss my babies, my embryos, more than I can even explain, I can now differentiate that pain from the pain of infertility in general. A month ago I could care less about being a mother, I just wanted to be a mother to my twins. I wasn’t ready to move forward because all I wanted was to have them back. Now, though I’d love to have them back, I feel like my soul is comforted by the fact that I have found my way back to wanting to be a mother in general again…that there’s room in my heart once again to risk it all at another chance at this dream.
It doesn’t mean I still don’t have tears. It just means that I’m able to see through them a bit more clearly now and start to believe again.
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I’m never one to shy away from telling someone “I told you so.” So it’s no surprise after the phone call I just received that I’m flailing my arms about and pointing and repeating it over and over again.
I told you so.
The nurse just called and confirmed the sensation I’ve had in every ounce of my being since April. There is another potential cause for my recurrent losses. I have a MTHFR mutation (specifically she said a C677C mutation). While it may not have been the sole cause for miscarriage, it could have been and it definitely could have contributed.
I’ve only started my MTHFR research, but the things that they are saying about it make perfect f*cking sense. I’ve known for a few years that I have a B12 deficiency and problems absorbing B12. MTHFR mutations are also responsible for depression and other things that I’ve experienced in my life.
So now they’re putting me on Folgard (high dose folic acid) and once we have a positive pregnancy test again, they’ll start me on heparin.
I knew I wasn’t crazy. I just knew it.
Any resources that people have would be much appreciated.
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They took eleven vials of blood from me this morning to do the recurrent miscarriage work up. Then the phlebotomist gave me an apple juice. I appreciated that. I did not appreciate waiting over an hour to get my blood drawn.
It’s Friday and I can honestly say that I’m thankful it’s here. The Mister and I are headed up north this weekend for two days. That does mean I have to go on the boat (something I’m trying to deal with anxiety-wise), but it also means we’re away from things for awhile. And it means we’ll have time to talk.
Our WTF appointment with the RE is Wednesday. Before I get there, I need to clear my head and make a list of demands. I know it sounds rather harsh, but these are things that I am not going to budge on. They include:
1. An explanation as to why my nurse seemed so out of the loop this time. Example: I talked to her only twice during the FET process. Example: She neglected to order my medication until the day before I needed it. Example: I had to wait until later in the day because she wasn’t around when results were given. This is unacceptable. Whatever the reasoning is behind it (and I do want to hear it), I need to get answers and assurance that it won’t happen again.
2. I want a work up on the lipids issue. We’ve done everything else in the recurrent miscarriage work up that I can see, but I want this done. I am not going through another transfer or IVF without it being done. Clearly something implanted this time for a short period, made me violently ill and then I miscarried. Last time it happened and I was able to hold on much longer, but obviously there’s an issue. We need to address it. I also want them to check for Vitamin B issues, including Folic Acid issues that may be making a problem. I also want to discuss any other reasons this may be happening.
3. I am taking a break. There will be absolutely NO treatment during the month of July. August is off limits for everything other than down regulation. And, frankly, that needs to start mid-to-late August. I do not want any push back on this. I just went through a failed FET that was an early miscarriage after miscarrying twins at 9 weeks. I am not prepared to deal with another loss or potential for loss until I recharge my batteries a bit. It sounds weird, but because of the at-risk pregnancy, the miscarriage and D&C, and the FET, I have only had sex with my husband three times since March. This is insane. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary, but we need to reconnect on many levels before we have the power and strength to do this again.
4. I want my insulin levels checked now and before we proceed with any further treatment. Anecdotally I can say that the Avandia is working, but I want hard and fast numbers. I also want my thyroid tested again now and before any further treatment is done.
This are my demands and they are non-negotiable. And they are completely reasonable.
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I’ve been better lately with those feelings of jealousy. There are days when the sight of a pregnant woman will drive me nuts. But those days aren’t everyday. I am generally starting to loosen my death-grip on that kind of emotion.
As much as possible.
There are some people that I know, mostly from the internet but some in real life, that got pregnant around the time I did (within a month or so). And as I see their pregnancies progress, I can’t hold back on those feelings. It seems like those pregnancies in particular sting the worst. I’ll see posts online on Facebook or Twitter or their blogs and I’ll just get this heartbroken feeling. That’s what I was supposed to be doing…posting about where I was in my pregnancy, not mourning the girls that never were. Three months ago I found out I was pregnant. Two months ago I found out I was having twins. Seven weeks ago I found out the twins had stopped developing and their hearts had stopped beating. That’s how I measure my time…not in trimesters, but in remembrances.
But too much time can be spent on what could have been and never was. Too much emotion. Too much concern.
Today is officially CD1. After the progesterone shot on Friday, I actually started my period on Saturday. But then it stopped. It was there in spirit, though, with cramps and exhaustion and moodiness. (Word to the wise, having a period after not having one for five months is NOT fun.) It wasn’t until this morning that it started again in earnest. After a phone consultation with the nurse, we decided today should be CD1. (Well, she did.)
This means that today is the first day of the rest of my life. And all that crap.
Wednesday morning I will go in, get my blood drawn, get prodded with an ultrasound wand and start this whole crazy thing back up again.
There is no emotion that aptly captures what I am feeling. There is no Hallmark card to send me that really gets at these mixed emotions. There is nothing that I can even think of to tell myself to make it easier.
But if I had to try, this is what I would say: it’s a mixture of trying hard to let go of my grief and being excited to move forward, but feeling slightly guilty over this excitement and completely anxious. It’s like dreading the final exams, but being excited to graduate. It’s like knowing exactly how hard it is to run a marathon, but craving that finish line feeling.
I have to keep reminding myself that moving forward is doing no disrespect to the twin girls that never were. It’s just opening myself up to the love they want to send forth with their fellow embryos. I think if anyone is pushing me to move forward, it is them.
One of my favorite books, The Great Gatsby, has the best ending lines of any book ever written and, in many ways, it really sums things up better than any words I could put forth…
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
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After doing the whole week of Prometrium and waiting an entire week after stopping, my period still has not arrived. The nurse called today and said to come in tomorrow morning for blood work and an ultrasound.
I have to admit, I’m kind of dreading that whole routine of getting up early in the morning and whatnot. I am not a morning person. I do feel like I’m stuck in this infertility limbo right now though. So I’m glad something will be done about that.
I was really in a funk yesterday. I think it has to do with seeing two high school classmates had just delivered babies (both had girls) in the past week. It didn’t help that when The Mister and I went to the baseball game last night there was a baby in our row and at least three pregnant women around us.
I was talking to our student assistant today. She knows someone from high school who is 21 and has four kids. FOUR. At the age of TWENTY ONE. That’s insane. And yet here I sit—childless and desperately wanting a child—at the age of twenty nine (soon to be thirty). I know life isn’t fair, but it still drives me nuts that things are that way.
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