Friday, December 31, 2010

Ends and Beginnings (Part 2)

December 31st. The end of the year. We have about 4 hours to go here in my time zone before this year is quits. This is the quietest New Years we have ever spent. Even last year when I was almost 8 weeks pregnant (and tired...and nauseous), we hung out with friends of ours who were due to deliver their baby in February (They did. She lived.) We spent the evening not drinking, taking photos of ourselves with the new DSLR, playing band hero, and watching the ball drop.

This year, it is just my husband, myself and the cat.

And the ashes of our dead son. Can’t forget about those.

I feel the best line to sum up this year is: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Mostly the worst”. Because it was. 2010 held so much fear, grief, sadness and disappointment. I cried more often than I can remember. I often wonder if you gathered together all the tears we cried this year, could you carry them around in a cup? In a bowl? How many were there? Could they water a plant? Could they make up cloud?

But, as this year draws to a close, I don’t want to focus on the worst moments. I spent much of the year, and many of these postings doing that. No, for my last post of the year, I want to focus on the good, shining moments of 2010...because they define the year as much as the worst ones do.

In 2010...

I saw my baby kick, squirm and suck his thumb on the ultrasound.
I watched my husband get excited about, and fall in love with that little being.
I named that child the boy’s name we had been dreaming about and planning on for years.
I felt my baby kick.
I fought hard to keep him alive (mostly by lying around and doing nothing).
I birthed him. It hurt, but I survived and I would do it again.

I loved him.
It did not matter that he was about to die. He was mine. Ours.

He was perfect.

2010 contained my Aidan. And 2011 will not.

In 2010 I experienced love for my child and it was as big and as strong, and as overwhelming, and as profound as I ever thought it would be. And I loved that about this year. The tears I cried, every single one, was only because I love him, and miss him and wish that Aidan would exist in 2011, and 2012, and 2013...and on and on. I do not want to leave him behind in 2010.

That is the sad part. As much as I am hoping I get to parent a living child this year, watch him or her grow, and live and breathe and be...

I wish I could take Aidan with me into the new year too.

Instead, no matter where I go, or what I do, no matter what the coming year brings...

I carry his heart. I carry it in my heart.

I love you my boy. I miss you.

This year belongs to you.

Is any part of you sad to leave behind 2010? What are your hopes for 2011?

Ends and Beginnings (Part 1)

This is going to be a somewhat long and jumbled post and I might even make it into two posts.

Perfect cap to a somewhat long and jumbled year.

It's New Year's Eve and I finally got the results of my 2nd beta today. I tried calling the day after I had it done (December 29th) and I got put on hold for 15 minutes at my doctor's office. I had to hang up eventually because I was at work and ya' know, had stuff to do. When I texted my husband at home, he said he'd drive over and see if they would tell him. Not 20 minutes later he texted me back saying my doctor's office had CLOSED for the day!!! (Did they leave me on hold and close??)AND they were closed the next day, December 30th!!! (I'm still not sure why that's a work day...middle of the week and all that). Anyway, finally got the results today and my 18 DPO beta from Dec 28 was: 242.

First beta: 26, Second beta: 242 Time between: 118 hours. Doubling time: 36.67 hours.


Then of course I start reading stuff on the Internet about how 'late' implantation (which I assume I had), more often results in miscarriage...

I really should just move to Antarctica and the penguins and I could survive just fine without a WiFi signal to mess with our heads. New Year's resolution #1: No more checking the Internet for shit that just scares the bejezus out of me and doesn't contribute to my mental well being.

Of course, I also have a really bad cold. I've had it for a week and this morning woke up feeling as though my left ear might explode and my throat hurt so much I could barely swallow. I thought I might have an ear infection. Due to my heart, I try not to screw around when I think I might have an infection. Now this would be the perfect type of illness for my family doctor to deal with, but I didn't even bother calling her. Why you ask? Because to get an appointment with her takes days if not weeks. If I'm actually sick when I need her, I will either be better or dead by the time my appointment rolls around. I didn't have to wait long at the walk in clinic and fortunately the doctor felt it was viral related, no antibiotics required and told me to take Tylenol (but nothing else!!). I have since caved and taken an extra strength Tylenol. I have been avoiding them the last week (even though I would have loved to take one as this cold is kicking my ass) as I made one of those stupid promises to myself. You know the ones where you promise to be good and safe and do all the right things and then in the end what you want will most definitely occur because of all the sacrifices you made??? ie: "If I don't take Tylenol for this cold, my pregnancy will be fine and result in a healthy baby". Yeah, well...can't think along those lines anymore. It didn't work for it probably won't work for baby #2. But I might just Google it until midnight...

Anyway, as I was about to leave the doctor's office, he asked the question. "Is this your first pregnancy?" I told him no and what happened. He responded with "God is watching over you". Since I don't deal with many religious people in my daily existence, I was a bit taken aback with what to say. Should I shoot back that I came here for medical, not spiritual advice and that he should keep his God talk to himself? Should I say "Thanks, but we don't believe in God?" I responded with the less antagonizing response of "I hope so". The doctor then went on to say "Oh, you don't have to hope. You hope that I'm a good doctor and that your husband is a good husband...but God is always good".

Um...right....great...tell that to Aidan...but yeah, whatever....

We made a move to walk out the door and that's when the doctor said "And you never know, he might have been disabled"....


I don't think I'll be going back to that walk in clinic anytime soon. Jackass.

I have more to say but I'd like to write a post dedicated to Aidan and this year a bit later. Since I'm just staying home tonight and vegging on the couch, I'll continue with Part 2 after I choke down some dinner.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favourite Christmas Present

One more thing which I forgot to mention.

Other than the biological one, my favourite present this year was from my mom.

It's a very small stocking with Aidan's name on it. I had actually bought this one (on the left) before Christmas, just because I had to buy him something and I hated the fact that he wouldn't be represented on our (theoretical) mantle. I was happy to find the smallest one I could (it's actually meant as a gift card holder)...but it was SO awesome that my mom thought of it too and managed to get one with his beautiful name on it. It will be brought out every year and hung with the matter how many other stockings are hanging.

Aidan, I miss you baby.

What was your favourite present this year?

An Update to Half an Hour Ago

Okay, I made my husband go out into the cold winter night and pick me up another pink line pregnancy test.

I am somewhat enthused by the progression shown below:

I know it's bad lighting and kind of small, but the test line is obviously getting darker compared to the control. The latest one taken about half an hour ago is darker than the control line. It's not definitive proof that all is well, I know, but it might help me to sleep tonight.

Thanks for following along on this already nail-biting journey.

First Beta

Okay, we've progressed to freaking out over here.

At my last fertility clinic visit in mid-December they said that I didn't need to take a home pregnancy test becuase "the blood test is more accurate, don't waste your money". That would be all fine and dandy except my pregnancy test was due December 24th and the clinic was CLOSED for the holidays...UNTIL JANUARY!!!!

So I'm having to do my blood tests at my family doctors office. And they do not understand early pregnancy fears and the need to IMMEDIATELY KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH MY BODY!!! Holidays be damned!

I ended up having to do my first "beta" on December 23rd, when I should have been either 12 or 13 DPO (probably 13, but if we err on the side of lowest possible DPO I'd go no lower than 12).

I got the results back today and it was 26. Basically one number higher than what they would call "equivocal" results (which the dictionary defines as 'open to interpretion').

Super. So as of last Thursday I just barely tipped the scales into pregnancy territory.

Now since then I've had two 'pink line' tests which showed a darkening line from barely visible on December 24th to obviously positive December 26th (but not as dark as the control line). I wasn't however, able to do the second half of my blood 'beta' test until today (118 hours later to be exact) to show whether or not I'm 'doubling' at least every 48 hours.

And they won't be able to get the results of that test to me until tomorrow!

I think I might need a paper bag to breathe into until then.
In. Out. In. Out.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Que Sera Sera

Que Sera, Sera...Whatever will be will be...The future's not ours to see...Que Sera Sera.

I find myself humming this tune over the past few days. Just to keep myself calm. I cannot know what will happen. I can only do what I can. Eat well. Rest often. Take vitamins.

Did that the last time too.

It doesn't help that I'm currently working through my second cold of the season. I was sick only a month ago with something similar and now I got to cough and hack my way through the Christmas festivities. (I'm chalking it up to the snotty nosed children I look after at work...) I would LOVE to take some Tylenol, just to make the pounding in my head go away, and I know it's considered 'safe'...but I just don't want to risk it. I remember that about my last pregnancy. One day I didn't care what meds I took or what I ate, and the next day I'm checking the apple cider to make sure it's pasteurized and avoiding anything that looks remotely like a 'soft' cheese.

I hope I didn't hurt anyone's feelings with my Christmas post. I know I probably did, and I'm sorry. I know that as much as you might be 'happy' for me, it hurts to see someone else get what you want. I know because I've felt it. I considered starting a new blog, but I just can't. I like it here, in Aidan's space. I'm home when I'm here and I'm not sure I have the energy to maintain two blogs. Plus this blog chronicles my life, and this is a big step. I don't want to leave my little support system that I've built up here (all 69 of you who follow along!). I'm so grateful for all the well wishes I received on my last post. We (obviously?) aren't telling anyone we know in real life yet...but it was nice to share my good news with those in cyber space. With Aidan I didn't do enough of sharing the good moments, so I hope that soon I will be able to work up the courage to share it with our immediate family and close friends.

But don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a shiny, happy pregnancy blog. I wish it could...but it won't. The next (hopefully??!!) 9 months are going to be stressful, even if all goes well. Our life in 2009 and 2010 was such a roller coaster, I'm hoping that 2011 resembles the graceful swan ride on a clear sunny day.

So all aboard...hopefully no life jackets will be required.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Miracle On Our Street

I woke up early this morning. It's Christmas. As you remember a few posts back I created a list for Santa.

Sadly, Aidan was not under my tree, nor was he babbling away in his room. Our house was quiet. His room is empty.

He is gone. Not coming back. Not even the magic of Christmas could counteract that.

But, I'm pleased to report that not all was lost. Santa did bring me this:
As much as I miss Aidan and wish this was his first Christmas here with us, I cannot go back. I can only hold on tight to his memory and pray that this new little life blossoms into someone healthy and happy and wonderful and alive. Keep the faith that maybe this time will be a little less scary and sad and filled with a little more hope and joy.

So, today my husband and I feel a little like this:

I hope this day was not as hard as you expected, and maybe even filled with some peace and joy.

Merry Christmas.



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Biology is Destiny


I distinctly remember this being my response, when at age 17, I was told by my boyfriend’s sister that she was pregnant. Even if she hadn’t been a possible drug addict and definite high school dropout, my response would likely have been the same based on her age alone.

She was 17.

In my WASPy neighbourhood, it was general knowledge that getting knocked up as a teen spelled “Loser”. It was taken as an automatic given by myself and my high school friends that getting pregnant before one was finished university, had travelled, had a well paying job, and was happily married was akin to a suicide mission. Your life was over.

This is why, not 5 minutes after I found out about his sister’s pregnancy, me and my then boyfriend had a nice long heart to heart that if something similar were to happen to us, I was definitely having an abortion. Sorry, Catholic high school much as I planned to enjoy our sex life, there was NO WAY I was risking my entire future on a BABY. He agreed.

I, being one of the ‘responsible’ teens ensured that I started on birth control (for a whole month prior to commencing sexual activity to ensure that it was working) and we used condoms. I was not about to risk my future. Or his. And damn, it would have been SO embarrassing to have to tell our parents. That scene in the movie “Juno” to this day, makes me squirm.

The adults of our social spheres (other than the ones that preached abstinence of course), would have applauded both myself and my boyfriend for such responsible attitudes towards our burgeoning sexuality. They would approve of our plan to ensure that our emotional, social, educational and financial futures were not compromised by our sexual desires. They would have been glad to know that, although we were fucking, we weren’t fucking up.

But nobody warned us about our biological futures.

This seems to get missed in our world focused on achievement, self gratification, educational pursuit and the accumulation of both wealth and experience. Women (and men) are encouraged to go on to higher education, pursue careers, date, travel, save money, buy real estate, live together, get married, ‘wait’ a few years and enjoy each other’s company...AND then have a baby.

However, take a look at the following graph:

Pregnancy Rates Over the Course of One Year (Women with Normal Reproductive Function).

March of Dimes also reports that:
"The risk of miscarriage increases with age. Studies suggest that about 10 percent of recognized pregnancies for women in their 20s end in miscarriage (1). The risk rises to (1):
About 20 percent at ages 35 to 39
About 35 percent at ages 40 to 44
More than 50 percent by age 45
The age-related increased risk of miscarriage is caused, at least in part, by increases in chromosomal abnormalities."

So biologically, according to this info we would all have been much more likely to have gotten pregnant and had a healthy baby sometime around the age when we were dealing with final exams, hangovers after one (or two or three?) too many shots of Tequila, discovering the best way to ‘sell’ ourselves on a job application (without lying!), ‘finding’ ourselves in Europe, and deciding whether Jesse or Tom is better in bed.


Babies. I’ll get right on that.

But here I sit, ready and willing to have my life completely changed by a demanding offspring...and have come up short in the biological lottery. Although my views on abortion have not changed for general society (I am still resolutely pro-choice), Aidan, and his death, has made me question my previous need to so tightly control my biological ability to reproduce. What was I so worried about? That I wouldn’t have the job I always dreamed of if I had a baby too young (like at 24??). Well, I actually don’t have the job I always dreamed of now...and it’s okay. That I would show up at my wedding huge and pregnant, and that the day would somehow be less special, or somehow ruined as a result? Um, probably not. That I would not fit in with my peer group as a result of my 'youthful indiscretion'. Yeah, well, I don’t really fit in with my friends now that my kid is dead either. And there is no baby to replace the hurt I feel at not belonging. That I would never get to travel having to lug a child around? Maybe not...but as observed during my travels, other parents make it work. I’m sure Brian and I could have as well.

Sometimes I look at the current predicament that my husband and I are in and wonder “what the hell were we waiting to have a kid for??” I’m not ‘old’ by any stretch of the imagination. At 28, I’m still considered a ‘good’ age to get pregnant and have healthy babies, but as we all know there is no ‘add baby to cart’ button . Who knows how long it will be before (if?) we get another chance at a baby. It could be soon...or it might not be.

If I hadn’t been so worried about fitting all that life in before I had a kid...would I have one now?

Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything different in your reproductive past? Does your dead baby make you question any of your previous choices?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nobody's Perfect

I feel like another completely random post:

So, Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds are divorcing. Too bad, so sad. I liked them mostly because I like both of them as actors, but I also respected that they didn't treat their wedding or their relationship as tabloid fodder. You rarely saw them photographed together and they didn't seem to do the 'Hollywood stuff' that seems par for the course for other young actors these days.

But, the fact that they were rarely photographed together was exactly the problem, because to be photographed together you have to actually spend time together. From their released statement it sounds like that's what broke them up, a lack of togetherness. Hard to build a marriage when you never see the other person.

I'm sure I'm putting way more thought into this than is actually completely necessary. I'm in the two week wait that will actually be TWO WHOLE WEEKS this time, because I'm on daily doses of Prometrium. Damn two weeks is long. Plus I'm on holidays from work this week just to use up some vacation time, and I have a lot of time on my hands.

Anyway it struck me as kind of funny that both Ryan Reynolds, recently voted Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine and Scarlett Johansson, who was Esquire's 2006 Sexiest Woman Alive, would each look at each other and think: "nahhh...I can do better".

I suppose perfection isn't always perfect.

Twiddling my fingers over here. Comments to pass the time away are appreciated.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jingle all the way

I've actually been in a slightly better mood lately. I think it's because we've finally reached the time of year where Aidan was 'alive' last year. And, as much as it completely and totally sucks that he's not alive this year, and I would do anything to have him's also...well...not as awful as I was expecting. It's always going to be sad of course, but I'm okay. I'm coping.

I was really afraid that this Christmas would be absolutely horrible. That neither my husband or I would be in any type of mood to celebrate. That we would mope through the holidays and ruin it for everyone else. And maybe we're not *quite* the joyous people we could be, but we're also really trying not to be stuck in the dumps either. We have got it together enough that we are over halfway through our shopping and wrapping. We went out and bought a real tree and decorated it, just like we always do. I have done some baking for Christmas, and even spread a bit of holiday cheer by taking some cookies into work (and they were DAMN good cookies). So, all in all so far December hasn't been a total washout this year.

It has helped a lot that I went back to the RE, where, as I expected from our test results she proclaimed us as 'not having any problems that she could tell as per our testing'. But, when I told her about the spotting that I have before EVERY period, she immediately suggested that we do some cycle monitoring and that I start on progesterone therapy for the second half of my cycle. YEAH! FINALLY!!! (And cheap!!!)

In case you're keeping track, ovulation should be taking place as we speak and I will start progesterone therapy on Saturday. I'm just glad that someone is finally taking this spotting seriously, and trying to do something to stop it from happening. Although it might not be the only thing holding us back from getting pregnant, I feel it's a step in the right direction to have a luteal phase that is at least 14 days, rather than my usual 11ish days.

So that's where we are at folks. It could all come crashing down in a few days and I could be on the floor sobbing my eyes out, but I'm enjoying this little holiday high.

How are you doing this holiday season? If you've celebrated without your baby before, how is this year ranking in comparison?

Friday, December 3, 2010

A year ago...

A year ago I got my positive pregnancy test. We had been trying for 8 months and sudden there it was...two pink lines!


It was so nice to have hope. I miss that.

I miss Aidan.