Learning to breathe again after the deaths of my twins, Nicholas & Sophia, my son, Alexander, and 6 miscarriages... and finding joy on the journey with my sweet preemie twins, Bobby & Maya, and our miracle TAC singletons, Michael, Lucas, and Ana.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I've been so tired the last few weeks and then, last night, I fell asleep on the couch after dinner (around 7:30) and slept until 11pm. Got up and went to bed. Could not fall asleep! I laid awake until the alarm went off at 1:30am for Adoration (2am). We got up, went, I was wide awake, came home, ate 3/4 of a luna bar (I was starving!!!), and then fell mostly asleep. We didn't reset the alaram at at 7:45 I woke up to a headache and the urge to, you guessed it, take the not-so-long walk to the bathroom. Peter cuddled with me and brought me some sparkling water for my tummy. He took care of calling my boss and telling her I'd be late, and letting my staff person know I wouldn't be in until the afternoon. But, once my headache subsided (and the nausea didnt) I had this urge to clean. My kitchen (save the dirty floor) is now scrubbed. I will vacuum and mop later, but the counters are all super clean. Even the inside of the microwave is clean. I had to keep sitting down because I felt sick, but my energy today is through the roof. It's insane.
Of course, I get to work and staff are at each other's throats and are having meltdowns because they have a training today that they "didn't know about". In spite of the fact that I sent out an email 6 weeks ago when it was scheduled. I know that it is a combo of not feeling good that has me wanting to walk out the door and say "ENOUGH" but man if I'm not ready!
Dr. Bailey called me last night. He wanted to make sure that I had his cell phone number so that I could call him with Dr. Lee's ultrasound results. He said that he is confident we are going to be able to save our baby/babies with the cerclage. I am praying with all that I am that he is right. He wants to see us after Dr. Lee discharges us, between 8w-9w to schedule the cerclage for sometime between 11w-13w. At this early, he said my cervix is a great length to work with and there would be time for it to really heal before the 16w point when things start to go downhill for me. That would put my first prenatal at the end of April and the cerclage middle-end of May. Wow. It feels so fast now that dates are seriously being discussed.
I checked through my employee handbook yesterday. For my position, I'm asked to give 4 weeks notice. That would put around our ultrasound date if I am going to go out in mid-May. I have time saved up, so I would work those four weeks I think and then use my sick/personal/vacation time to finish off. That would probably take me into June. I'm not sure about anything right now though.
If you would, remember and say a prayer for MLG and ANT who are going through some of the fertility wait game right now.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Nerves on edge
I cried a lot this weekend. Very weepy. I missed them so much, as did Peter. We did a lot of holding while each of us just had some moments of sorrow. Alex's due date is quickly approaching. We expected him around Easter. And now... The whole journey rebeginning just gets me very upset. I've been told that I should be over my grief by now (by people who, no doubt, have never really grieved) and that I should "move on" but... Who can say when grief ends? Does it? I can't imagine that my grief will ever go away. They are my children! How could my grief just end?!
Okay, on to pregnancy stuff...
Well, first and foremost: I just got my test results from this morning. Sit down. My hCG was more than double at 461 (double would have been 378) and my progesterone was (gulp) 90.6. Because of how high they are, I don't have to do a Friday test, just my Wednesday one and then no more until my ultrasound. My nurse said that they will be closed on Good Friday, but she will check and see if Dr. Lee will see me on Holy Thursday for an ultrasound. (We would be 5w5d). We may still be too early to see heartbeats, but at least we would have an idea of how many babies are taking root and growing. She said I might have to come back the following week, if they couldn't get HBs. So, we shall see! Cross your fingers that she'll see us and we'll have some pleasant news to share with family on Easter.
So, last Friday, after the excitement of betas and progesterone, I was getting ready to go to bed and... blood. Honestly, I freaked the hell out. Made Peter come and check the toilet paper. Just had a real meltdown. I've never had pinkish-red implantation bleeding. With Nicholas and Sophia, I had some brownish-purple mucus around 7w, but nothing much else. With Alexander, I didn't have any. So, realizing that there was nothing anyone could do anyway and with Peter trying to reassure me that my hCG and progesterone counts were too high to indicate a miscarriage a few hours later, I fell into a fitful sleep, praying for St. Gerard and St. Gianna to intercede for our babies and for us. The next morning and on Sunday morning, there was some brown mucus and this morning, my nurse reassured me that it sounded like nothing more than your average implantation bleeding. The test results today support that.
The worst part of the night, however, was the nightmare I had. I woke up in a cold sweat and was so upset, I woke Peter up. I dreamed about the most vivid and most horrific miscarriage of triplets. It was so real that I woke up convinced it had happened. I was at work and started bleeding, and then delivered these tiny babies in the bathroom. Two were tiny, tiny, like the size of the "Rosary for Life" beads. One was several inches long, bigger actually, than Nick, Sophie, or Alex. It was so strange. I remember calling Peter and him telling me he was in a meeting and to just "deal with it". That is when I realized I was dreaming and woke up. I think, at that point, I realized it had to be a dream. Peter would never respond that way. But still, I felt so sick when I woke up. And terrified. I was certain I was miscarrying right there. It was horrible.
Of course, everything is fine. I'm not bleeding. My hCG and progesterone numbers are through the roof. We are okay.
I slept a lot over the weekend. I'm so tired that I can barely hold my head up at times. I told Peter that, should I be carrying more than twins, I want to give my notice ASAP. Otherwise, I will work up to my cerclage, since it is apparant that I can carry twins to 16w. (Cerclage will be put in around 12w). I haven't called Dr. B. to make an appointment yet. I figure I will wait until the ultrasound.
Friday, March 27, 2009
So, last night, when I got home, I peed on yet another stick. It's like an addiction. I just couldn't help it. And this is what I saw:
This morning, I decided I was really going to do the digital. Especially since I hadn't gone to the bathroom all night! And, lo and behold, it said:
I drove to Dr. Lee's this morning for my bloodtest and I took the clear blue easy digital with me. I just had to show Nurse Amy. She was overjoyed, too, and we were both so giddy that it took 3 pokes! The first poke hit the vein but it collapsed. The second was too high, but the third was just right.
Having the +HPT has really made a huge difference in the stress level I've had today as I've waited for the numbers. I've thought of our babies a lot, and have had some breakdowns as I remember their days. Alex and his 40... Nick and Sophie and their 64. Those hCG numbers were so wonderful to hear. What would she call and say? 40? 50? 60? 70? I was okay until about an hour ago when I started staring at my cell phone, begging it to ring.
Well, about 5 minutes ago, it rang. And Amy was on the either end. "Are you ready for your numbers?" she asked. "Congratulations, the tests were true!" And then she dropped the bomb. Now, before I share the numbers, let me just pause. As I said, Nicholas and Sophia were 64 and Alexander was 40. Their progesterones were good, usually in the 20-40 range throughout the first trimester.
189. My hCG came back as 189. And my progesterone is over 60. I'm not sure if the test didnt run any higher or if it is still running or what, but she said "over 60". I'm to stay on the supplements.
I think I'm in shock. I really didn't expect that high of an hCG. Did the third follicle rupture and fertilize, too? Or are there just two really deeply impanted? (Or one really, really deeply implanted?) We wont know until an ultrasound, which would normally be scheduled Easter Week. Since we will be seeing family and talking to family on Easter, I'm going to ask her if we can do one on the morning of Good Friday. I realize the heartbeats may not be visible and that I will have to go back, but at least we would be able to share our news with family and tell them how many little ones to expect.
I had to pick myself up off the floor. I am sitting here in utter shock and amazement. No wonder the pregnancy tests picked up so early? I'm practically an hCG factory right now!
For all my fear, I am on top of the moon. But it's a crescent moon and it's stabbing my heart. With the joy of expectation comes the sorrow of missing. It's a two edged sword. But I'm preaching to the choir.
Thank you for your prayers and your continued prayers. They mean so much. Even Nurse Amy said those special words, "I am really praying for you guys." Often times, we think those words are hollow, but they really mean so much to Peter and I. Thank you.
Speaking of the mister, he didn't answer his cell phone or his office phone, so I am dying in my seat to tell him!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I have no will power. None. I'm the girl who sneaks into the kitchen for that one tiny brownie that no one will notice... and who was planning on peeing on a stick (POAS) for the last few days. I even coerced Peter into going to the dollar store and buying 14 of them (yes, 14 pregnancy tests lined my bathroom cabinet... sad, I know.) When I told my girlfriend, Meg, about this, she made me promise that I wouldn't test until at least 8dpo because, as we all know, hCG isn't excreted until the baby/babies implant around 6dpo-8dpo. So I promised. And I didn't test until 8dpo.
And it was negative. Because it's always negative. I have been unable to get a positive home pregnancy test (HPT). I tested at 16w pregnant with Nick and Sophie- BFN. 14w with Alexander- BFN. I even joked with Dr. Lee that I must not excrete any hCG in my urine and be in that small minority of women who can't BFP no matter how far along in pregnancy they are. (She in turn offered to spin some blood so that I could at least be able to look at 2 lines on a HPT- sweet woman).
But, because I need something to do, I tested on 10dpo, too, and got another BFN. Peter kept reassuring me that we knew this would happen and to stop worrying. That the blood test tomorrow would come back positive and that, really, is more important than POAS. But as any woman who has POAS knows, there is a certain excitement that comes with seeing those 2 lines. And I wanted that. Just once. So, it isn't that I have will power. It's that my heart can only take seeing BFN for so long...
Last night, I really didnt feel great. Not sick, just tired. I kept dozing off in my afternoon meeting and by the time I made it home, all I could do was climb on the couch and curl up under my Mamaw's blanket (Mamaw is my maternal grandma for those who are wondering what or who a mamaw is!). I was asleep when Peter got home and woke up only to eat a vegetarian corndog around 5:30. I was asleep by 6:30, with orders for Peter to wake me up for choir practice at 7:20 (it takes 10 minutes to get to church). I didn't get up until 12:30 this morning, when I stumbled upstairs to bed. Normally, I have to get up and go to the bathroom around 3am (something about the 6 hour mark), but I actually slept through the night until the alarm went off at 6am. I decided, what the heck, POAS. Especially since yesterday's comments made me think of writing a post about POAS.
So I took one of my dollar tree PG tests out and did my duty. And there were two lines. O my goodness! TWO LINES! Now, given, the test line is light. In fact, my cell phone hasn't done a great job, but here is the test.
I know the test line is light, but it is THERE! I was so surprised, I couldnt even get any words out. I took the test into the bedroom, flipped the light on, and jumped on Peter, blinded by the light, and shoved the test in his hand. He had to tell me to call down and get out of the light, but he saw the line, too. And was over the moon.
Convinced this must be a mistake because, let's face it, I can't seem to get BFPs on HPTs, I decided to do another (since I hadn't tossed the little cup because even I can't pee on demand like that). I paced the bathroom for the three minutes before grabbing it up. And this is what I saw:
Yes folks, that's right. Another light test line. OMG. The dollar store test that picks up 25ml says I'm pregnant. On 12dpo. OMG.
And, on top of that, my temps are up to 97.6.
I don't even know what to say. I am still in shock. Can this be real? I know that it could be a fluke and that I need to wait for tomorrow's test. I also know, sadly, from experience, that it could be a pregnancy that doesn't survive next week's battery of blood tests. But, I am praying so hard and hoping with all that I have that this little one (or little ones) stick in that thick lining Dr. Lee was raving about.
Thank you for your support and your prayers. I know that they played a roll in this cycle. And I hope that I can provide you with good news over the next few weeks. Heaven knows how much we could all use that.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Let it be done to me according to your word....
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Yes, folks, you've read my chart correctly, my temperature went back to its high today. THANK YOU, GOD! Even though I had practically convinced myself yesterday that the fall was going to be steady for the next few days AND even though I know that a high temperature today is no guarantee that it will stay high the remainder of this week (and the following), I did breathe a huge sign of relief when I saw the 97.5 this morning, even after I got up and went back to bed after Adoration. (I did have 3.75 hours of sleep in-between going back to bed and temping, which, I'm sure accounts for the good result.) Like I said, I realize that this isn't some surefire good news in anticipation of Friday, but I do feel better that it's not a fall. (And, frankly, all I can do is take it one day at a time.)
Symptoms continue and include a sore belly (this feels like little bruises all over my tummy and has happened for all our pregnancies, but I'm trying not to jinx myself), on and off nausea, continued trips to the bathroom (yesterday, at work, I peed 6 times over 8 hours... again, trying not to jinx myself), sore tatas, and oily skin. Of course, these things, I'm sure, could all be PMS symptoms and, while my irritability could simply be stress, my whacked out mind tells me that's another pre-period symptom instead. But who knows. The joys of the infertility patient...
On another could-be pregnancy symptom, I've been having vivid dreams. Sunday night, the dream included a Peter-look alike werewolf (I mean, the man has chest hair, but lycanthrope he isn't...) and last night, I would have sworn on stack of Bibles that I was awake when, in reality I was dreaming about being awake and tossing & turning. Weird, huh? I didn't know until the alarm went off and I actually woke up that, indeed, I'd been dreaming. So far, no dreams of Daniel Craig, but I'm still holding out, LOL.
Monday, March 23, 2009
This morning, I've felt pretty discouraged. As you know, this is the first cycle I've charted and I don't really know a lot about the whole thing. I'm not sure how to even find my cervix, so I haven't done the whole "cervical mushiness" thing. I'm not sure how to even tell what certain mucus is (is it creamy? sticky? egg white? I don't know- it looks like mucus!). This weekend was very much an I-cant-tell-what-kind-of-mucus-I-have weekend. I mean, there is CM (I'm assuming that is a good thing... since it is produced as a response to progesterone, that means I'm still producing it, right?). For lack of being disgustingly graphic but in the hopes that someone can help me, it looks like jelly, sort of... Or like I've got a cold and sneezed or coughed phlem. I know. Gross. But really, I have no clue. Because Peter and I never planned on using ABC, we also didnt really invest in NFP (hence, I have no clue how to chart). We decided from the start that we would always accept children... Things just didn't work out like we thought... But, now, I am at the beginning of the learning curve, even as I'm in the middle of the game- and I'm lost! On top of it, I dont know if my drop in temperature this morning is a result of "the end" being near or because I woke up and got up and was awake for a bit before going back to bed. I've heard waking impacts temperatures, but I dont realy get the science behind it. And when does progesterone start to drop and temps start to drop if you are getting your period?
Today, my baby boy turned 4 months old at 3:45 this morning. At 3:30, I woke up and had to go (where else!) to the bathroom. 4 months ago, at 3:30, I woke up to a contraction. How similar to two nights were. Peter was holding me, his body keeping me warm, his arms wrapped around my belly. Both nights, to the sound of his name, he got up with me, to make sure I was okay. I took my time getting back to the bedroom and it was 3:42. As I laid awake and we exchanged some words about our little cuddlebug, the clock ticked to 3:45. As the minutes had done 4 months before, they ticked away too quickly and 3:50 was there... even before, it seemed, we had breathed. I didn't fall back to sleep until close to 4am, and then woke up again, around 5am, when Peter got up to do some work. The alarm went off at 6am, and I finally got up and went to the shower.
I took my temperature at 6am and it was 97.2 (down .2 from yesterday morning at 5:30am). 6am is my normal temping time. And my temps do change as soon as I get up. 30 seconds later, after walking to the bathroom, my temperature was a full degree lower. So, movement does play a role, no doubt. But could the lack of solid sleep for 3+ hours make a difference, even when I did sleep for 1 hour? Part of me says "tomorrow will tell a different story." But we have Adoration at 2am, so I will be up from 1:30am-3:15am. I will sleep until 7am, though, so that will at least give me the 3 hour minimum window. So, should I be the least bit bothered by my temperature? I don't know... I'm trying not to read too much into all of this. It is, after all, just something I was doing to keep my mind off the stress of this whole thing in the first place! Take it for me to get stressed about my stress reliever!
So, I went to my girlfriend's baby shower yesterday. It wasn't as bad as it could have been. I handle my friend's pregnancy fine (not only is she a dear friend, but she has also lost two children via early miscarriages). I don't, however, handle all other pregnancies as well. There were quite a few, ready-to-pop mamas in attendance, and that was hard. But, on the flip side, there was a woman I touched base with who is on her 2nd Lupron cycle, and just found out at her Sunday beta, that it was a failed cycle. We talked a lot. And she was so hopeful, even in her pain. I want to be like that. Especially this week.
I've been saying extra prayers for St. Gerard's intercession, and that these twinges in my left side, my belly's tender spots, and the constant peeing are actually signs on a beginning and not of another ending.
And now, to non-possible-pregnancy related news...
We are hosting the Virgin Mary in our home! Okay, so it's a statue of the Virgin Mary, but still, May 17th, she is coming! The Legion of Mary at our church is doing a thing where a statue in the image of Our Lady of Fatima is rotating through homes of the parish on a weekly basis. You are asked to pray for peace and to pray the Rosary each day that she is there. We are already picking out her spot (even though we have 6 weeks before she comes!). I didn't know if Peter would be into that, but after Mass, we went to the LoM table and one of the members explained the commitment, and when I asked if he was interested, he said "Yes". (If he wasn't, he would say something like, "Let's think about it and get back to you" instead of a flat "no". Then I would have to tell them no!) We actually have a prayer alter in our home, so we are thinking she may go there, but we aren't sure yet. But that seems like a natural fit.
Our current Sunday commitment is praying outside a Planned Parenthood. Before this conjurs screaming anti-abortion fanatics, let me say that I am only for peaceful protest, in the image of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The whole screaming, nasty, violent protesting has no business anywhere, but let alone when you are praying. Peter and I have been going all Lent and have prayed the Rosary and held our signs peacefully on the sidewalk, facing traffic. Last weekend, I made a sign that says "Honk if you love babies", and this has been a big hit, especially among younger drivers. It amazes me how young some of these honkers are! And how many are men! Well, Peter's mom decided to come with us yesterday. She held my "honk" sign. I've never in my life seen anyone more excited to be holding a sign. Now, my mother-in-law is in her 60s. She was bundled up like it was December and she did a little dance with her sign everytime someone honked! We actually got more honks than Peter and I have in the past- it must have been her smiling face and her jigs. When we got in the car, she promptly told us that she wants to come with us next week too. Our signs aren't graphic (one says "pray to end abortion", the other has a Bible quote about God forming us in the womb and knowing us) and they get a lot of positive response from the passing cars. I never thought I would be someone holding a sign in front of an abortion clinic. What a difference a year makes...
We may have found additional seating for our living room! After many, many months (since we moved into the house in Sept. 2007!) and sitting on many, many loveseats and sofas, we have found one that we can agree on! We didn't like the fabric, so we will have to pay extra to upgrade to one that we can agree on. So now, the big question. Our current sofa is taupe. Our furniture is middle of the road in wood stain. Our walls are a very, very light beige. Should we try to match the loveseat and do a taupe/khaki color or should we go different, with an olive color? One of my girlfriends says to go with the green. We aren't sure!
And, in fun buying news, we've also agreed (well, mostly- I had to compromise more than I wanted, but he compromised on the loveseat, so... it all works out!) on a patio set! It's a square table for 4 (I wanted a table for 6) with swivel arm chairs. Since we plan on spending on the loveseat this month, the patio will be an April purchase. We've been trying to agree on a patio set since- no joke- 2005. This has come the closest to our thoughts and preferences. And, honestly, if I am going to be in bed for 6 months, I'd like to be able to be wheeled out every now and again to sit on my porch in the summer breeze (with my feet up, of course.) I don't want my little papooses to enjoy no fresh air (assuming Dr. B. says it's okay!).
I've written in Alexander's journal. I see his picture with that sweet little face and his bubble nose (my nose)... with his hands resting ever so gently on his chest or with his free hand, thumb in mouth... that peaceful look on his face, and how can I want anything but utter peace and happiness for him? But still, in my human failings, I miss him so much- I miss them all so much. I feel compelled to make brownies for dessert tonight: rich, dark chocolate brownies. Have a bite of your favorite sweet and remember my 4 month birthday cuddlebug today.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Fingers crossed. Prayers said.
I made it to Dr. Lee's half an hour early. My appointment was 15 minutes later than normal (8:45am) and since I leave right after Mass, I usually get there 15 minutes early anyway. I went to the local Panera and had some decaf and a carb filled breakfast. (bagel, anyone???) You can almost see Dr. Lee's from the Panera, and anytime I see a couple, I'm practically convinced that they must be waiting for a consult, procedure, or appointment. I'm sure they are perfectly normal and just having breakfast, but since Peter and I have spent many a morning there, I can't get my fertility impaired glasses off... My girlfriend, Meg, called, and we chatted while I had my breakfast. We usually catch up via email, but sometimes a chat is nice, too. :) Her baby shower is this weekend. I've picked up a couple of things, but still have something else I wanted to get. I dont know if I will get out tonight or tomorrow. (I hate BabiesRUs on a weekend- it's always an absolute nightmare.)
A stick and vial of blood later, I was on my way. I'm still waiting for results, not that they will tell us much. Too bad they don't do hCG tests every day after possible implantation!
I'm still taking my temperature each morning. Yesterday, I was 97.5 and today 97. Implantation dip, maybe? Is mucus a sign of impantation? I'll have to go check out Dr. Google... I'm trying to think positive, but I'm on edge. To the point that I did something I shouldn't have done at work. Our little staff refrigerator needs to be defrosted. Since no one else would do it, I took it downstairs to our larger kitchen and opened it over the sink to let it melt out. I know I shouldnt have. The thing was probably no heavier than a full bookcart, but without the wheels. I didn't get hurt or anything (just a little winded) but there was still no point in doing it. I could have just as easily have asked Peter to stop by and help me some evening instead of doing it myself. I do this. When I feel like my dreams are impossible, I actually do things that aren't smart, just to reinforce that what I think/want must be impossible. It makes no sense. I know that. Yet, I do it anyway and dont think until afterwards, when I regret it.
Hopefully, I'll get results within the next hour... or two... or three... The earliest I've gotten progesterone only results has been around 2pm. The latest- almost 4:30!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Do I worry now that I'm not feeling anything? No... I can't control what has already happened. I'm either pregnant or I'm not. Obsessing won't change that. I have my appointment tomorrow, which will confirm what we already know: yes, I ovulated. I'm not exactly sure why I have to go, to be honest. I'm already on progesterone supplements. I already know I ovulated multiple eggs, so in theory, the progesterone will be higher than my average. I realize it "might" pinpoint how many eggs ovulated, which would be good to know. But otherwise, it doesn't really prove anything. I used to think it could predict whether I was pregnant or not, but that isn't really true. I guess, in the spin of things, it does mean that I am a week from the hCG test. So that countdown begins in earnest (as if it hasn't already).
We missed our CSS class last night. Bummer... There was 5-car accident on the highway. Unfortunately, there really isnt another way to get there (that doesnt take twice as long in rush hour). We have 2 routes, but to get to either, we take the highway. When that is a parking lot, we are kind of screwed. So, I called and left a message. Our case worker emailed me today, saying that they completely understand and that we can take the make-up in May. What does this mean? It means we now sit on our hands until mid-May. According to our introductory meeting, the paperwork can't be completed until you have passed all your classes. Great. Wonderful. So we have another class on Monday, then nothing for 2 months. Talk about the wheels turning slow. On a positive note, another background check came in, so we can pass that on and at least get our folder ready for May.
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring. I can't wait. It's raining here (which I don't mind... I love the gray, rainy days that are in the 60s best of all...). April showers bring May flowers...
I brought "Alexander's dinner" with me for lunch. Tuna fish sandwiches and tomato soup. We ate that at least 3 times a week. We probably were somewhere around 4 or 5 sometimes. I just craved TF and TS incessently! And not just any way. The TF had to be made like Peter's grandfather made it: with celery salt and white, Wonder bread. (I know... I hadn't eaten white bread in forever and then I made Peter go buy a loaf.) And the TS had to be Campbell's. None of the healthy, organic soup we had in our cabinet. Nope. Campbell's. And not the low fat or low sodium kind, either. Of course, it had to be made with milk. Prima dona... I know... So, I made the same for lunch today (sans the white bread... we only keep wheat in the house...) Washed it down with a mug of raspberry leaf tea. Missing all my little ones today, but especially little Alex... my cuddlebug and thumbsucker. I'm looking at his picture right now. It's amazing how much Peter sleeps that way when he is napping, hands on chest, head to one side...
I had some level of energy the early part of the day. Now, I'm back to feeling like I cant keep my eyes open. Better get back to work...
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Today was the first day that I felt "Perhaps this cycle worked..." I woke up this morning with some strange dreams. Usually I have (extremely embarrassing) dreams of certain actors (Daniel Craig, anyone? Matt Damon?). Embarrassing to the point that I blush when telling Peter! Not so last night. I dreamed about a concert with one of our cantors and Andrea Bocelli, and then about Peter trying to catch a rabid cat! Insane! But so vivid. I woke up around 5:15am, and felt fine. Laid back down and fell asleep until 6am. Was okay, then suddenly felt sick to my stomach. (I had a work meeting last night, so this could very well have been residual stress from some of the discussions, but I'm counting it as a symptom until AF tells me otherwise--- AF "Aunt Flo" aka period). I actually laid with my head off the bed, over a waste basket, until I finally laid down and went back to sleep. Peter went to Mass without me and then, sweetie that he is, brought me a croissant from the local bakery for breakfast. By 8am, I was up and in the shower. While I would have loved to hang out in bed all day, I got dressed and went to work.
I have had pains in my lower abdomen all day. They've gotten worse over the last 2 hours. I don't know how to describe it. They aren't really cramps. It's more like actual pain near my ovaries at times, but mostly below my belly button. In my head, I keep thinking it is cervical pain. It hurts to sit, stand, walk- you name it. I went to lunch with my mother-in-law and scooting across the booth seat was an exercise in pain managment. I dont remember feeling intense pains like these in any prior pregnancy, but I'm trying to think positve. Implantation doesn't occur until at least 6dpo, so we are still 2 days out... Perhaps it is my cervix closing... I don't know. I don't actually check my cervix (I mean, I do a lot of things, but I can't even imagine HOW I would go about checking and monitoring my cervix.) T-41 hours to my progesterone test... T-9 days to my hCG test...
I'm actually starting to feel some peace about my job (I know, Gasp!). Peter and I discussed it and I think that knowing we will survive without me working has given me a different peace. We looked over our expenses and income, and this could work. It means cutting out things (like reproductive therapy) which I'm not too sure of. But, something has to give, and since the stress isn't helping anything, I can't see that working and treatment is better than not working and putting treatment on hold indefinitely. On my work calendar, I actually have written numbers on each week. (On the 15th, I have a 15; on the 22nd, I have a 14; and so on, through the end of June). Something about doing that today has really made me feel better. Like, I can do this... The stress is still here, but I do feel **better**.
I had a meeting last night and some things were discussed that really have me tied up. But, even with that, I have this sense of "Don't worry about it. Let it play out as it is going to play out. Focus on YOUR tasks and don't worry." I know that I will get pulled into the middle but I still feel like I can try to relax and just count down to the end. If I am pregnant, obviously the time table would be moved up since I would have surgery the first week of June or so, but if not, we have made a decision. And that feels good.
I'm sure I'm not over the hump yet, but it is such a nice feeling to feel like things will be okay at work... That I will be able to give my notice in a month or two and get things under control in my life outside of the library. It will be scary, but we will make it.
And onto the scary. It also hit me this morning as I was in the shower that it is possible an ultrasound will show three babies. Three. As in more than half the fingers on one hand... As in the complete total of babies I've birthed thus far... Three... And the realization that I will have no idea what to do with them all hit me. It's not just about the pregnancy. I will stand on my head if it means keeping them all safe. They can put it velcro on my cervix if it will keep the damn thing closed. Whatever needs to be done- DO IT. I'll stay on bedrest, visit the doctor weekly, whatever. As long as they are safe.
But what about AFTER? Do I dare dream of a life after a pregnancy children come home with me? It's terrifying to think about one baby coming home... A little scarier to think about two... And then the throught of three! There are plenty of moms who handle triplets well, and should we be blessed with such an honor, I would do my best to be one of them. But I dont think I really thought about having three at home with me until this morning. It's hard for me to think of a future with infants because my entire experience has been limited to mere moments in a hospital or ambulance. Nicholas was at home for perhaps 10 minutes before we were moved to the ambulance and transported to the hospital. Other than Nick, none of our children have lived outside of my womb at home for any period of time.
And then, the pessimist who lives in my head starts to talk, telling me that it is way too early to even dream of one baby let alone three... That even a pregnancy doesn't mean a baby will come home... That I shouldn't invest... But I already have. If not that, then what is there? And, I've invested in three, because that is what is possible. I would feel horrible to not invest at all, or to only invest in one and there be two or three.
I am grateful for the chance to grow our family even more; I am grateful for the chance that we may have a baby to get to know... 2 babies... 3 babies... Whomever we are blessed with, for however long we have them... I can't think too long term because life is too uncertain, but I want to feel like today is a blessing... That today, they have decided to call me "mom", to make me "home"...
There will be enough time in 9 days to mourn if I am wrong.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I'm so tired and my ovaries hurt. They are so big that they seem to be sloshing around and bumping into everything. And, recently, I've been having headaches and a stiff neck. Not sure what that is all about, other than stress.
I had a wonderful, WONDERFUL tea time with a dear friend this afternoon. I have a meeting tonight for work, so I took the afternoon off and spent some time catching up. It was completely lovely and refreshing. I didn't want to leave.
Peter called me on my way to work and I actually cried the entire way. I felt so de-stressed after hanging with SW. The minute I was on the road to work, the stress creeped in and I thought I would puke. My hands started shaking and my chest was heaving: not a full blown panic attack, but close. I just cried the entire way. The stress here is actually getting worse. And I don't have the guts to just quit. The voice in the back of my head says that if I quit, we can't afford infertility treatments (not to mention some other things that are on the list but that I'd rather not blog about). So, I can't. I want to. And I wonder if a BFP will give me the courage to say "I'm done." I don't know. I just know that I can't keep up this way. It's too hard. And it makes me into a person that I don't recognize, that I don't want to be. I wanted to scream at Peter on the phone- I dont know why, it's not like he did anything. I know I have some past issues about my work and comments he made in the past, but we've talked about them and I should be over them. But everytime I get upset about work, my mind goes to them and I want to just yell at him. And that's not fair. Not to him, and not to me. Especially since I think he'd be okay if I came home and said, "I've given my notice."
Part of me feels like I need a plan. I need to know when my end date would be. Knowing if we conceived this cycle would give me that. I would be able to say, "Okay, this is when I have to do Y and Z, so my last day is X." Financially, I know that, with just our obligations, we can do this. It's other things that I worry about. But, I'll always worry. It's one of my character flaws.
So... We are three days post ovulation and about 64 hours from our progesterone test. Not quite three days out but more than two days. I know it doesn't really tell anything. But I've decided to do HPTs (home pregnancy tests) every day after. Not that I've had success on them, but it makes the time go by. And they are dollar store tests, so at least they are cheap! Perhaps this time I will actually get a line at home, instead of waiting for the blood test results. But I'm not holding my breath.
Thank you for all of the supportive comments. Yes, three follicles could mean triplets. I'm scared, too. It's funny: I see myself as a "twin mom". I had dreams about having twins long before Nicholas and Sophia were even conceived! But the idea of triplets scares the $h!t out of me. I will love every baby we are blessed with and I know that, no matter one baby or three, I will be scared every step of the way. But the more, I think, the more the fear.
I've been praying the St. Gerard novena and the pregnancy rosary. At this point, I dont care if I am superstitious. I will take all the faith I can get.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I saw Dr. Lee this morning for the post-ovulatory ultrasound. She could confirm that 2 follicles ruptured and possibly the third did as well. She said that, her best opinion, was that it did, but because of placement, she couldnt 100% be sure. But her thoughts: 3 ruptured. All left side.
Hopefully we will know more on Friday at the progesterone test.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
My temperature was through the roof day. 97.2. Which, for me, is high. My averages are in the low 96s, even the 95s at time.
My house is a wreck. I have to clean. We served at church last night, so we decided to not go today (even though the choir was singing). Sometimes, we just need a break and the services where we are wanted but not necessarily needed, can be missed.
Yesterday, I was absolutely terrified. As we sat in a diner for breakfast, all I could think about was "I can't lose another child... I just can't." Peter is much more positive. But, for me, all of my positive thoughts are twinged with the fear that speaking out loud makes too horrible to comprehend. Will a stitch work? Will bed rest work? Will anything?
I pray a lot. I'm starting the novena to St. Gerard today. And praying the pregnancy rosary. (For Christmas, my dad got his hands on a rosary that was blessed by Pope Pius in the 60s (I think it was the 60s, maybe the 70s???) for a woman who had lost several children and couldn't conceive again. She conceived and prayed the rosary every day of her subsequent pregnancies, and now has 3 children, all fine, etc. A friend of his friend, she gave him the rosary to pass on.) I joke with Peter that all the superstition is going to go a step further if our pregnancies with St. Gerard and this rosary in tow, are healthy and full term. Of course, if it would work, I'd walk barefoot up a Tibetan mountain.
So, that is where we are today. Day 2 of the journey (hopefully). 1 dpo. The first step of yet another thousand miles...
Friday, March 13, 2009
Here's to hoping these are all good signs!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I just received the call that my LH didn't spike. It was elevated to 7.5 yesterday and Dr. Lee thought that I might surge today. But no: 8. It went nowhere. So, in 90 minutes, I'll inject the Ovidrel pen. We are back to her office bright and early Saturday morning.
This means I wont be able to lead the Rosary on Saturday. We wont even be able to make Mass, since we have to be up there at 9am, and Mass is at 8:30am. :( Sadness. I missed this morning because I woke up with my stomach feeling like something I ate didnt agree with me. I hate missing daily Mass. It has such an impact on my day. Sadness... I've asked a friend to lead the Rosary and hopefully she can. If not, I'll ask someone else. I really dont want to cancel it. Of the nearly 30 who attend Saturday morning, last week we ended up with a dozen staying to pray! Always a nice thing! Fingers crossed that PC will be able to help me out!
So, that's where I am today. This weekend is "IT". We are nervous. I am nostalgic, as I remember how similar to Nick and Sophie this cycle is.
I have a meeting for work tonight. Not excited. I just want to be in my husband's arms.
Wish us luck!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
On a funny, LH story. I heard "42" but our doctor got a kick out of it when I said that this morning. What she said was "4.2". On our answering machine, as the words came together, it sounded ten times as high! So thank you all for your comments about ranges, etc. It looks like I gave you bad information!
In your prayers today, please think of a couple in Telford, PA that recently buried their twin boys. We were made aware of them last night, as a parishioner asked us to contact the couple with our Mary, Help of Orphaned Parents ministry. Their little boys were born premature and passed away. The couple is, as we all know, destroyed by the loss.
On a sad note, I was delivering books to a local middle school. I hadn't seen the librarian there since Alexander was born. As I unpacked the bag, she told me how sorry she was... That she didn't realize why I was out on medical leave... That she'd meant to contact me but didn't know what to say. I have to admit, I didn't quite know how to respond. With work these days, I'm just in a zone. I said something along the lines of "these things happen" and then went on about the books I was dropping off. I've felt bad since I saw her an hour ago. I just sent her an email, thanking her for her condolences and explaining that sometimes my "work face" doesn't allow for me to express my feelings during the day, but that I appreciated her remembrance of our children. The one thing I don't want to ever do is make people feel uncomfortable for mentioning our children. I'm angry at myself for not responding better in person.
Tomorrow will probably be a long day... I have a full morning at work, then I leave for Dr. Lee's, then I'm back to work for a full night. And Friday starts off with a meeting. I'm actually leaving early, in the event that Friday is the big day. If not, I'll be napping my afternoon away!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
My best friend is getting divorced. These are Nicholas and Sophia's godparents, and it really kills me that this is happening with them. She is torn up over this and wants nothing more than to save her marriage but it seems this isn't reciprocated. I dont know what her husband is thinking. Please pray for them. They went to counseling, but he has quit. He doesn't want to work on things any longer. This is such a blow to her and she desperately needs your prayers. I know that she will survive and so does she, but all of us survivors know that you are never the person you were before you were destroyed and had to dig your way out.
The CSS meetings seem to be a bust. We had our "medical" class last night. In our initial interview, we were told that we would be required to take our foster children to their primary doctor of record for their first visit (which would be in Philadelphia, which could be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half away in traffic, not counting BAD traffic or the neighborhoods we might have to go into). After that first visit, we were told that we could change their doctor to a local pediatrician. While neither of us were thrilled with going into a possibly not-so-great neighborhood, we were okay with this. After all, we'd change their doctor to one near us and go from there. Apparently not! The nurse who runs the medical portion of CSS basically said that very few transfers are approved by DHS (the City department that handles placing foster children) and that, in the rare instance one is approved, it takes several months. Depending on the age of the child, they need a visit every 6 weeks! Not to mention if they get hurt! Especially if I am on bed rest for any period of time, I can't see how this would happen. And with a baby on top of it? We were okay with all of the restrictions and stipulations (and believe me, there are a lot of them that make absolutely NO sense) but this has really bothered us. Most of these kids come from bad neighborhoods. Part of what helps them is getting them out of those places. Honestly, there are parts of Philadelphia that you couldn't pay me to go into. I've emailed our social worker for clarification because neither of us wants to throw in the towel over a misunderstanding. But assuming the nurse was right, then Peter thinks that we should look into an agency in our county. (Catholic Social Services primarily serves Philadelphia county; they are on the lists for the 5 county area, including ours, but because they are located in Philadelphia, they are the last to receive placements from the other 4 counties.) I'm saddened by the prospect of starting this process all over again with a new agency, but it looks like that might be the option available to us. I have the cards to 2 local agencies. I'll wait until I hear back from our social worker to contact them, but my fear is that the nurse was right. Sadness...
I see Dr. Lee tomorrow morning. My guess is that, if my LH hasn't started to rise, she will have me do a Gonal F injection tomorrow with my trigger on Thursday night. But, if my LH has started moving or if my 2 follicles are "juicy" as one of my blog friends calls them, she will probably have me trigger tomorrow night. With Nicholas and Sophia, we triggered at 18mm and 17mm. I figure if they are in that range, tomorrow will be it. But we shall see. My nerves surrounding this cycle are on high alert. I'm trying not to worry about it. I can't really do much about any of this. We're doing our parts.
I really need to de-stress. I've been having panic attacks in recent days. Work has me so on edge and it is leaking into our home life (what little life we do have these days). I bought a book on trying to deal with stress, but cant even crack it open. When I'm home, all I want to do is sleep because I'm so tired. I cry all the time and try to hide it from Peter. I know seeing me this way hurts him, too. Sometimes crying is the only thing that "relaxes" me for a moment. It's like I'm completely full and it is either blow up at someone or burst into tears. I find a lot of my crying takes place in the bathroom at work with the water running or in the car or at home, when Peter is playing a video game and I can do it without being heard. That, in addition to the panic attacks, is so exhausting. I'm just so tired all the time.
It's not grief that drives me to these things, it's stress. If it were my grief, it would be one thing. I might actually embrace that. But the fact that my stress is what is doing it just makes me more angry... which leads to panic attacks and tears. It's a nasty little cycle.
I desperately want to de-stress. I am fearful of another pregnancy (heck, of even attempting another pregnancy) and being under all this stress. Stress not only impacts a developing baby, but it can also screw around with fertilization and implantation. I feel like that is what really did a number the last night, and I dont want to feel that way again.
I'll end with my superstition of the week. Last week, when Dr. Lee saw the follicle developing on the right sad, I was crestfallen. My right eggs have all been problems: my miscarriage in May/June 2008 was a right follicle and both my missed cycles were rights. I actually injected myself to the left of center once she told me. Well, after yesterday's appointment, I felt really guilty and asked her if that had anything to do with the left side developing and the right side not. She laughed and patted my shoulder, explaining it was just a coincidence. Is it really lame that I felt better seeing the follicles on the left side? That I felt like it was a sign?
Monday, March 9, 2009
I'm feeling melancholy today. I just can't seem to perk up. Most days, it is a stretch and I have to force myself to put on a happy face. But I just cant today. I'm really trying, but inside... It's just not there.
On another note... St. Gerard has made appearances this week. On Sunday, a woman from church brought me prayer book of the St. Gerard novena. She said that she was in a Catholic book store and just felt compelled to buy it for me. I thought it was really sweet and was tossing around the idea of praying it after ovulation day and continuing (hopefully) through pregnancy. Well, this morning, my friend, J, mentioned St. Gerard, and that she was praying for his intercession in my life. I'm someone who is constantly looking for coincidences, and this seemed like a Wow! moment.
Well... I'm waiting for a call from Dr. Lee to find out my dosage for tonight and if anything was out of the ordinary in my bloodwork. Hopefully things are going well. Chart wise, this is a lot like Nicholas and Sophia's cycle. It took longer for follicles to develop and was about 3 weeks from start to ovulation. At this rate, we would ovulate around CD17-CD18.
Tonight is out 2nd CSS parenting class. Fun times. I have to admit I wasn't impressed with class #1 (Discipline), but I'm hoping class #2 (Medical) will be better. It's not going to be fun though... Traffic is nuts into Philly at night. It took us 90 minutes last week. I'm expecting more of the same tonight... But hey! Well worth it!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
My temperatures have been nuts. 2 days ago I was 96.1 then yesterday 96.8 (my high so far) and today back to the quasi-normal 96.5. And then, later this morning, it dropped to 96!
On a good note, my BP has been back into normal ranges. After the postpartum eclampsia (PPE), I have to admit that I'm really concerned that preeclampsia will rear its ugly head in early pregnancy and they wont be able to do anything to help. I know... Getting ahead of myself... Where's that normal pregnancy most of us dream of? Oh wait: that doesn't exist anymore...
I had a dream that I was pregnant with triplets: boys and a girl (I'm sure my minds way of trying to connect with my three little saints). I was ordered to strict bedrest right away and the cerclage was put in at 7 weeks (which would never happen). I ended up conducting church meetings from my living room, where Peter moved our bed! Even in my dreams, I'm still in church mode! :)
Wow... Cycle Day 11. It seemed like only yesterday the devastation of a period hit, although, honestly, I'm still in shock from that negative hCG test. And now we are already talking ovulation dates again. Monday, I'll have a better guestimate of how to plan next week. As of Thursday, it seemed like Wednesday might be the big day, but that all depends on bloodwork and follicle size. Since my largest follicle was only 10mm and she likes to trigger around 18mm, perhaps it will be later in the week. This is another of the fun side effects of fertility treatments: keep your calendar flexible and be prepared to apologize for missing (yet another) meeting. The things we do...
Well. I'd better get out the door. We lead the Rosary on Saturday mornings and if I don't leave soon, we wont be on time for Mass!
Friday, March 6, 2009
I'm so confused...
Last night, Dr. Lee called. She said that my bloodwork showed my LH was 42 and to increase my Gonal-F dose for last night and tomorrow night.
What does this mean? I assume it means I'm not surging since she is still planning on seeing me on Monday, but I'm trying to get an idea of whether 42 is low, high, what? Any thoughts?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tonight and Saturday- Gonal F shots. Back on Monday morning to see how things are going. She things ovulation will be sometime between Wednesday and Friday of next week.
I realize we are already involved in the cycle, but sometimes I want to just give up. I feel like I should be grateful for the three children we have and the time we had with them, and just let this dream of watching children grow up fade away. My job has me on edge and I am basically working right now to pay for treatments. I want a big family. I think that every sacrifice is worth that. But I'm scared of who I might be once (if???) that dream becomes a reality. I'm already someone that I dont recognize at times. Sometimes, I'm someone I dont like. The stress is getting into my inner core and I'm worried that I wont be able to just let it go. Sometimes I fear that more than I fear never getting pregnant again or never going full term in pregnancy.
Perhaps this is just the stress and the hormones talking... God knows I wouldnt cancel this cycle or do anything to impede its success. I'd work 24 hours a day if it meant success...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Because enough is never enough
This morning, we got up and got ready for church (we've been going to the 7am Mass that our church offers for Lent) and suddenly it hit me: was the Career Fair at the local high school today? I checked my calendar but I couldn't find it listed- anywhere. Before I started to panic, I ran upstairs and logged into my computer. And, sure enough, March 4th at 7:30am, I'm due at the high school. To make a long story short, Peter ended up leaving for church alone and I drove to the library to try and pull stuff together for my table. It was a long morning and I didn't bring lunch, so, as I write this, I'm snacking on a luna bar and some brazil nuts, and counting down the next 2 hours so that I can go home and make some lunch!
When I logged into my email this morning, I had a message from my girlfriend. Her husband of 7+ years wants a divorce and she is devastated. I'm actually meeting her at my house around 3pm to talk. She's so upset and was caught off guard. A month ago, they started counseling and she really thought it was helping. This wasn't something she expected and, frankly, neither did Peter and I. We expected they would be in therapy at least a year or so and would then decide to keep working or to quit. There are a lot of other issues surrounding them, but needless to say, something feels wrong.
Tonight, we have our first "parenting class" with Catholic Social Services. This is the next stage in the foster child process. We filled out our "formal application" and have applied for our first of three background checks (CSS will complete another one and then we will have our FBI fingerprint background check taken care of). For the next three and a half weeks, we will be spend two nights a week at the Archdiocese having different training courses. Tonight is "child discipline".
And now... for what's really been on my mind...
Infertility and infanticide have taken every aspect of normalcy in pregnancy away from me. I can't get pregnant like regular people nor can I be pregnant like a normal woman. As much as I'd like to rant about how unfair it is or scream off a mountaintop at God to make me, for one second, completely normal, I'm trying desperately to make the best of the situation. I fail at this all the time, but I really want to try. I need something- anything- to be normal. I'm so tired of looking at the woman in the mirror who injects herself with fertility drugs... It's hard to make the 45 minute drive with Peter several times over 2 weeks for ultrasounds and bloodwork and IUI... And then the 2 week wait, filled with blood tests that offer false hopes in the chance that on 14dpo (days post ovulation), the words "positive" and a high figure will be yours... And even then, it's more that separates you from the "regular" pregnant women: there's the battery of blood tests and then the ultrasound at 6w to check for a heartbeat followed by the first of your high risk appointments. By the time most women are just learning they are pregnant, I've already had a dozen blood lettings, at least 3 post-pregnancy ultrasounds, and have appointments scheduled for every two weeks and, going forward, for my hospital stay with the cerclage. There's nothing normal about pregnancy for me and, dammit, I'm tired of that! I want something- anything- that feels normal...
So, I've decided to chart BBT (basal body temperature). That seems like something that "normal" women who are trying to get pregnant do. At least, I've heard "normal" women talk about it. So, for this cycle, I've been taking my temperature before getting out of bed. Last night, I went to Fertility Friend (the site that message board people have talked about) and created an account. I've logged BBT, AF, and those fun symptoms we all love so much and it created a happy little chart for this cycle.
I guess on a good note, the blood work will confirm ovulation so I will be able to see if keeping a chart like this is worthwhile. I kind of hope so. I realize that, in the grand scheme of things, this is really a tiny thing, but I want something that is regular. Even if it is just between me, the thermometer, and the computer.
On a funny note, as I'm typing in my temp from yesterday morning into the software last night, I say to Peter, offhandedly, "My BBT was 96.3 today, which falls into the low category. Is that weird." To which he responds, "Yes." Thank you, honey. I appreciate knowing that truly, I am weird. And I haven't even started checking mucus or cervical position yet. One "normal" thing at a time...
Monday, March 2, 2009
I'm an aunt.
My little brother is 25 (not so little, I know). But, he has the maturity of a 15 year old at best, which, I suppose, works well for his teenage girlfriend. They both smoke, she has some sort of eating issue (doesn't want to get fat- great mentality for a pregnant woman), and live in less than ideal living conditions. If he weren't my little brother and I heard about this case on the news, I'd think 2 things: that baby is destined for foster care and the question: is this the basis for a Lifetime movie?
I love my brother. I really do. But I also know the lack of maturity he has shown on several fronts and I think it is terrible to expect a baby to fix that. I also have doubts about his girlfriend, but honestly, I dont know the girl so it isn't fair for me to pass judgement. But I'll be damned if I'm not crossed between anger and depression and then the underlying belief that every child is a beautiful gift, regardless of the parents.
My mom is upset. I spent part of the conversation, with false hope, telling her that things will be okay, that the baby is a blessing regardless of the situation of his/her conception, that she should be excited for this grandchild, too. When we were pregnant with Alex and I called to tell her, I was a mess. Excited of course, but so scared and nervous. And it hurt to tell people and see their unabated excitement. My mom, who was so thrilled with Nick and Sophie and then super excited with our miscarriage, was, once again, on top of the world. I told her that I was worried she wouldnt be excited because there was no guarantee that things would be okay. She told me that she would always be excited, every time, because I was carrying another grandchild and she loved him/her/them, no matter what. That comment made me feel so much better, so much more calm. And last night, I reminded her of that conversation. She remembered and said it was true. And I told her that this grandchild- no matter how she feels about the situation- deserves that love and excitement, too. On a cute note, I guess my brother asked her "how she feels about becoming a grandmother" and she said "I'm already a grandmother." Thanks to Mom for not downplaying our babies even in the light of a new grandchild.
I love my mom because she's honest. She told me that I was right, but then gave voice to my feelings. She talked about how Peter and I were mature and good parents and responsible, how she didn't worry about us or about our babies because she knew we were fine and that our children were well taken care of. She doesn't have that sense for my brother and his girlfriend- and neither do I. And that worries all of us. This isn't something that you can fail on- this is a baby, another person. It's one thing to screw your own life up- it's another thing to screw someone else's up. We talked about prayer- how that is really all that we can do right now. Pray that they will be good parents, that they will put this baby first and stop thinking about themselves. Pray that they will clean up the house they live in and think, once again, of this baby. Pray that he will keep his current job. Pray that she will grow up and put her child first.
And now, forgive me, while I vent. Forgive me because my first thought once the shock wore off was "At least they aren't having an abortion." Forgive me because when I think of my niece or nephew, my first thought isn't about her/him but about her/his parents. Forgive me because I think less of my brother right now for living with a girl (and that is what she is), not marrying her, being irresponsible, and getting her pregnant. Forgive me because I can't see this as a blessing, even though I told my mom to think of it as such- that this child could become a great world leader or find a cure for cancer. Forgive me for being such a hypocrite.
But most of all, I am so angry. Forgive me for that. Instead of a post that is all flowers and happy because, after all, my little brother is having a baby and that means I'm an aunt!!!!!, you're getting a post that is full of anger and sorrow. And it's not over yet. But if I don't get it out with you, God only knows what I will say to him.
I'm angry because this isn't fair. Of all of my generation, I'm the only one who has NOT had a baby out of wedlock and am one of the few to be with the father of my children. I've the best off financially. I'm the one who had outstanding medical care, who took prenatal vitamins, who didn't smoke or drink or do drugs, who ate well and took care of myself. Peter and I are the ones who did everything RIGHT. And our lives are in shambles and our children are dead. Meanwhile, my brother and his girlfriend smoke and drink, she's bone thin and worried about gaining any weight, and they live in a poverty of their own doing. When I was pregnant, I was exhausted all the time, but because we were busy helping others and financially, I needed to work a few more months, I did. I stayed in a stressful, horrific situation. I now can say that my years of working have left me with three babies so premature they couldn't be saved, a miscarriage, and, I feel, a baby conceived but not implanted. And I blame a good deal of it to my stress levels. I practically begged to stop working but because we are freaking responsible, didnt. My brother's girlfriend has decided she doesn't need to work anymore because she's pregnant. EXCUSE ME??? You can't put food on the table for yourselves but now being a cashier is too hard?
I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I am so angry. I don't want to be. I've spent the morning praying the Agnus Dei. I just feel at a complete and utter loss. I really don't get it. I don't understand the why of any of this. I'm so tired of being the responsible one, the one who has to bail everyone else out of trouble, who has the good sense and who is supposed to just suffer with a smile. I'm just so tired of it.
Amidst all of this, I am praying that the baby is safe and healthy. That his/her parents will shape up and be good parents. That the anger I feel will disipate and I will be able, with a clear heart, to say this is good- and mean it. I want to, I really do. If things were different and my brother was married, stable, RESPONSIBLE- it really would make a difference. I could see beyond my own hurt and say "wow... good for him... congratulations!" Instead, I can't get over the issues with the situation.
Pray for them. Pray that they will do right by their child. Pray that their pregnancy will be healthy and their baby will be born full term and safe. Pray that we, as their family, will be supportive and will know what to say. That we will be able to overcome the issues that blind us to the beauty of a new baby in our family and will see this child for the gift that he or she truly is.
I'm an aunt. My brother is a father. His baby is due this winter. May blessings rain on them like the snow that is falling without ceasing outside our window.