Thursday, September 1, 2011

Double Dose

This blog has become an almost forgotten piece of my past. I only stop by once a year to dump bad news. I miss writing and would like to write about something else, but honestly I've been so preoccupied and depressed that nothing else really comes out. I started off the summer with yet another loss. Two in one year. I didn't learn my lesson the first time. I still got just as hopeful and excited, even as I tried to be guarded. Secretly I thought I couldn't have two miscarriages in a row. My problem was always just getting pregnant, not staying pregnant. This time I only made it to 6 weeks before I started bleeding. I left work a total wreck and went straight to my OB's office. They did an ultrasound and said they couldn't tell for sure, there might be something viable, it was still too early to tell. I should get serial quants and come back in 3 days. The quants were reassuring, and my bleeding stopped, but by three days later the ultrasound was clear. Missed AB. There was nothing like a baby in there. That was it.

It still doesn't feel right to say I lost a baby this time, since there was never much more than some cells that didn't line up quite right, but it was a significant loss. I lost the future I had imagined with that child, and it hurt--bad. It was only a few weeks, but I could already see Jojo as a big brother. Our family would become four. I was pregnant with my sister-in-law and one of my best friends. The kids would be close in age. The pain of the first loss would be soon forgotten, replaced by the joy of a healthy pregnancy, but that's not how the story ended. So here I am at the end of the summer still licking my wounds. Scarred by the experience and wondering what comes next. I'm not sure how many rounds I have in me.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I've had a crazy month and finally felt like writing about. This old spot in the virtual world seemed the most appropriate place to do it.

Our son is closing in on 2 years the end of December. He's amazing. This post is not about him.

In August MM and I had a casual chat about contraception and the possibility of having #2. We naturally thought it would take us some time to conceive, but finally felt like we were at a place that even if the unthinkable happened and we got pregnant without intervention, and soon, that we would be OK.

You probably know where this is going, now. October 17th I had a positive pregnancy test. TWO MONTHS after being off birth control. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! We couldn't believe it. After the shock wore off we started getting really exited. I had only been pregnant once before, through IVF, so I thought that was my only real hurdle, the getting pregnant part. Of course we were still cautiously optimistic for the first few weeks, but then at 7 weeks (when I couldn't stand the waiting), one of the OB/GYNs in my office did an US for me (while I waited for my first official prenatal appointment) where I saw one lovely intrauterine pregnancy, a beating heart, and a healthy yolk sac. THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING I thought.

Last Tuesday we had that first official prenatal appointment with "big HMO". MM and I were in the exam room together, my lying on the exam table looking at the ultrasound screen, expecting to see a 9 week fetus and that same reassuring heartbeat, but it was still. No movement. I watched the screen as she moved the probe around, turned the sound up, shifted the contrast on the screen. Nothing. I knew what I was seeing, but didn't want to believe it. She sent us down for a formal ultrasound to confirm what the office ultrasound showed. It did of course.

MM and I took the rest of the day off together. I felt physically fine, no cramping or bleeding, nothing that would have clued me into a problem with the pregnancy. We took a drive, went to the beach, watched a movie, cried and talked. Since I had a trip planned for the following week and wanted to avoid prolonging the inevitable, we went with the D&C option. I went on with life as usual Wednesday and Thursday, and went in on Friday AM for the procedure. MM was with me, and it went as well as those things can I suppose.

Now it's over and part of me feels like it never was. The whole thing was so unexpected and unbelievable. I wanted to believe the universe was paying me back for all the trouble the first time around, but that wasn't the way it turned out.

It's amazing what your mind can do. I only knew I was pregnant for less than 5 weeks, but in that time I saw the rest of our life as a family changed. Jonas with a younger sibling, just 2 1/2 years apart, like me and my brother. A summer baby with time off to bond and hang out with my two kiddos. Family vacations with the four of us. You get the idea.

This last month has been up, down, and around. Sometimes things seemed to be moving too fast, other times in slow motion. Now here I am in a place I didn't want to be. Wanting. It doesn't feel so casual any more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's been real

I've watched several blogger buddies, previously infertile and otherwise, drop out of blogging and wondered when or if I would be ready to call it quits. Over the past three months with Jonas I've watched my posts drop off considerably. Yes, I'm busy being a new mom, but I also just haven't felt the need or desire as much lately.

I looked back over my posts from this time last year when I was dealing with another failed IUI. My post from Feb. 21st 2008 pretty much says it, the disappointment and despair was intense. Now, a little over a year later, that despair has been replaced with fulfillment and joy almost equally intense, though maybe not as blog worthy.

I have appreciated immensely the encouragement and support I have received here. Thanks for joining me on the journey. If you're still reading and wouldn't mind leaving one last comment so I know you're there, that would be great.

If you're interested in Jonas updates I may keep up a very minimal family blog, so send me your e-mail and I'll get you the link.


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Pump Returns...

My return to work date is just 6 weeks away! I am so glad to have had this time with my baby, but am looking forward to going back to a job that I love. There are so many things I thought I'd do with this time. Most of them never got done. The reality of caring for a newborn (and a new mom) all day is not quite like my romantic fantasy. Still, I feel absolutely bonded to my son and have treasured this special time at home with him. MM and I will be sharing childcare starting in May. We'll both be working a reduced schedule so we can be with Jonas most of the time. I'm happy to have a nanny for the other 15 or so hours we'll need to close the gap.

Breastfeeding still isn't as easy and painless as I had hoped it would be, but I'm committed to sticking with it. Yes, it is getting better, still not great though. Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to make sure I can continue to breastfeed him when I go back to work. My job is very breast-feeding friendly, so I'll get "pump breaks" and can go see him at the nanny's on my lunch break the days I'm there a full day. I'm just not sure how much/if I need to be pumping now so I am sure to have enough as he grows. Honestly, I still hate the thing. All the little parts, the noise, the ridiculous feeling of being hooked up to a milking machine...but I'll do it if I need to. If you have successfully managed this transition I'd love to hear from you. It's a little daunting.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Three weeks in baby land

We've had a pretty busy 3 weeks with our little man. I could write a lengthy post about each of the following, but I won't. Instead here's a quick run down of what's been happening in our world with a few of my favorite photos.

Feb. 24th- Evening training at work. Left Jonas with dad. All good.

Feb. 28th- Date night with MM. Jonas stayed home with awesome friend. No tears.

March 1st- Hosted my birth attendants for dinner to celebrate Jonas' 2 months and say thanks for the awesome care.

March 2nd- First IZs. More traumatic for mom and baby than expected. Cried like he's never cried before. Glad dad was there too.

March 5th- Jonas meets his great-aunt on my dad's side while she visits for a conference in SF.

March 6th- Trial run with nanny-to-be. Jonas stayed with her for 3 hrs while I prepared for company. Hard for me. Jonas was totally cool.

March 6-14th-Friends from St. Louis visit. Whirlwind of activity: Redwoods, Winery, Beach, SF. Jonas was great. Nice to reconnect with old friends and introduce them to our son.

March 9th- Scary night. Jonas spit up bright red blood. Seemed like a lot. Brief panic. Rational brain kicked in. Cracked, bleeding nipple was the culprit. Healing well. No more scary episodes.

March 14th- Planted the placenta under our apple tree in the new community orchard.

In and among all these events Jonas continues to grow and thrive. I am amazed at him daily. It's such a gift to know him and to be his mom.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What's that in the freezer?

A few days after the delivery, I opened up the freezer looking for something to eat. I noticed a clear Tupperware container with what looked like frozen fruit salad inside, but I didn't remember freezing any cut up fruit & berries. Before I investigated any further I realized what it was--my placenta. If you think that's gross, I apologize. I think it's a little gross myself, and it's my placenta.

Prior to the delivery the midwife had asked if I wanted to keep the placenta to plant or anything. Apparently it's pretty common with home birthers to save the placenta for some other use. I wasn't sure at the time, so I guess she erred on the side of caution and froze it so I could decide later. For quite a while I still wasn't sure what to do with it. It didn't seem right just to throw it out, but we live in a house we rent, and I didn't want to worry about having to dig up a placenta tree every time we move. So it remained in the freezer.

Now I am excited to report that my placenta will have a new home. A non-profit dedicated to developing a sustainable local food system just started an adopt a tree program. You donate toward the purchase of a fruit tree that you can then name and plant on their farm here in town. I was a little nervous about asking the farm manager if it was OK to plant my placenta with our tree. I left an odd message on her voice mail, but she called back and said she loved the idea and that my placenta was welcome there. So in just a few weeks my placenta will become part of the earth that nourishes a fruit tree that will hopefully provide great fresh fruit to local families for years to come. That makes me smile--even if it is a little gross.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Home Alone

Jonas is 5 weeks old now, and today was our first day home alone together. MM took the first 3 weeks off, then my mom and grandparents came the day before MM had to go back to work. My mom stayed for two weeks and left on Saturday evening (she returned for another brief stint later in the week). It was great to have help for so long, but I also felt like it was time for Jonas and I to get into our own groove.

I know it's different for everyone, but bonding didn't happen instantly like I imagined. I love him deeply, but the feeling of closeness and attachment just wasn't there for a while. The complete dependence of an infant and the selflessness that's required of a mom is intense, and was harder to handle than I thought it would be. Now that we're on our own and some time has passed (and breastfeeding is finally getting easier) The feelings I was missing and wanted at first are coming.

Everything went pretty well today. No major melt-downs for either one of us. I ate, he ate, we walked, he even let me shower while he hung out in his bassinet looking at a book. Not a bad first day home alone.