Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thoughts on the third loss ...

So obviously the loss is consuming a lot of my mindshare within the last five days and I just wanted to share a bit about what's going on in this heart and this noggin' of mine.

Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Betrayal. Fear.

Anger: When we learned that we were pregnant (for the third time) I thought ... heck, this has got to be the one, right? I really had a positive perspective ... I wasn't the little nay-sayer that I usually am. I was optimistic ... and not "cautiously" optimistic as most people who've experienced loss learn to be. I was REALLY trusting that God was going to bless us with a wee-one this time. I was confident of it. I started spotting on Sunday night and I was SOOOO proud of myself that I just let go of the concern thinking to myself that many pregnancies go through spotting - it doesn't mean it's over.

Sadness: I was not sad when I first realized I was miscarrying. I used the word numb in a previous post and I think that best describes what I was feeling. It was really ... pretty surreal ... unbelievable. Sadly, I'm having an easier time emotionally getting over this loss than our previous losses ... strange, huh? I really do believe that any loss whether it's 4 weeks or 40 weeks, whether it's your first or your 12th (yes, I've seen girls that have had 11 losses!), whether you already have a living child in your arms or not ... they are ALL painful, unexplainable, unfair, sad losses. For us, the first loss was a COMPLETE surprise - so the only thing that would top that pain would be for a late first trimester loss - you know like after 12 weeks when you think you're in the clear ... or perhaps a stillbirth or infant loss - I can't even IMAGINE that pain ... and I hope and pray to God that I never will have to experience any of those types of losses. Our second loss shocked me as I didn't think I could have a second consecutive loss - truly I started having anxiety attacks because I was starting to realize that this whole childbearing thing might not ever happen for us. But the third loss wasn't quite as shocking ... when you've miscarried 100% of your pregnancies ... it's not so surprising when you miscarry again (in fact, I think I'll be in more shock if/when I actually AM able to make it past 9 weeks ... in the words of one of my favorite bloggers "second trimester - what's that?")

Frustration: I think I'm filled with more questions this time around. With the first two - they were so new, so unexpected. I was told my losses were due to "flukes." Now that I've had tests and diagnoses AND even more so, now that I've been treated for those issues ... it proves even more frustrating that the identified "potential reasons for my earlier losses" when treated ... still allowed me to lose the baby. This is frustrating because it makes me think we're back to the beginning ... really we have no idea why I'm miscarrying.

Betrayal: This is my life-long struggle. I've had pretty major trust issues my entire life and I'm not exactly sure why. I think it's a stack of many small reasons, rather than one specific childhood event or something I could point to in the past. But this is the emotion that haunts me the most. I struggle so badly with trusting that God wants the best for me. That He has a good plan for me. That He cares enough to pay attention to my life and my feelings and my desires. I know that He does (in my head) but my heart doesn't comprehend as well as my head does ... it never has.

Fear: Directly on betrayal's heels (in terms of how I struggle in my life) is fear. You wanna meet someone who lives their life in fear? Well, I'm her. I am so weak to the enemy's lies ... his whispers that my plane is going to crash, that my boat is going to sink, that my body is running a muck with horrible cancers, that my body will never be able to produce a healthy baby. I hate fear. I battle fear. Fear is always nearby.

In these days following the loss I'm not really entertaining ideas of what's next ... thinking about IVF next cycle, etc. I'm just trying to marinate in this grief, trying to face it, trying to deal with it and process it with God. Because when this kind of pain gets backed up ... it doesn't look pretty.

Thanks for your continued prayers and calls and emails and PM's and love - I appreciate it and I need it more than I care to admit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yay, distraction.

So I've been "tagged" (in the blogging world) by my dearest friend Daisy (see her blog - and her answers to these questions via her link All's Quiet on the Homefront) ... Read below to learn more about me. Read below that to see if you've been TAGGED!

(Thank you Daisy for a wonderful distraction from ... well ... moping)

4 Jobs I've Held: what, only four?? Ok, I will list all of them, but I will only comment on four of them.
  1. Foster's Freeze: (similar to a Dairy Queen) I worked there through high-school (and beyond! five years total) as it was the only job that would support my cheerleading/dancing schedule ... yes, I was a cheerleader, big surprise? No. When I worked there - somedays I felt unaccomplished ... but now that I've had very high-visibility, high-stress jobs I long for the days to drop a quarter in the juke box, hop up on the counter, and kareoke to Peggy Lee's "You give me fever!" I think this job was my most pivotal and important job as it was here that I came to learn about and accept the Lord. Here's an unbelievable plug for the good that can come from shameless bible thumping in the work place! (some people [me] just need to get knocked hard in the noggin). Wanna hear something funny? I've been in the professional working world for about 10 years now and my job at Foster's Freeze is the one I've held the longest ... tee hee.
  2. U-VU Networks: (Internet streaming media company ... back in 1997, before there WAS streaming video - yikes!) This was awesome b/c I asked the president of this company if I could have a job ... at the time I was working at the Foster's Freeze and had ZERO computer experience (wasn't quite sure how to use one really) and I got this job. I thought it was b/c of my intellect and obvious "bright-ness" but no, it was b/c he was a 32 year old pervert and I was a cute 19 year old ... yikes, yikes, double yikes. BUT, it got me into my current field and was the creepy start of my career. (God works in mysterious ways, no?)
  3. Business Analyst at a telecomm company.
  4. Presales/Technical Software Sales: This was a favorite job of mine b/c I got to travel 80% of the time with my wonderfully dear friend of mine (Daisy) and we ventured to Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Scottsdale, etc together and we survived a near plane crash together - oh how a near death experience can bring two people together.
  5. Enrollment counselor at University of Phoenix: Really, I must say that although my title was "enrollment counselor" the job was actually more like a full-court-press sales position. They wanted me (someone who looks like their 12) to ask 50-something year old non-college-graduates "how it made them feel" to be where they were in life w/o a college degree ... I was lucky I wasn't hauled off and slapped silly by some (understandably) angry old losers. (HA, just kidding, just wanted to see if you're really reading ... they weren't old, nor were they losers)
  6. Project manager at an ecommerce company.
  7. IT consultant for a Microsoft partner.
  8. Systems Analyst for a noteable private university.

4 Films I could watch again and again:
  1. As good as it gets
  2. Beauty and the Beast (Hubby and I love to sing the Gaston/Lefou song, he plays the role of Gaston, me as Lefou)
  3. It's a toss up between Tommy Boy and So I married an axe murderer
  4. Finding Nemo, Toy Story 1 & 2, Shrek 1 & 2, Incredibles, all the animation movies - I so appreciate the skill.

4 TV Shows I watch
  1. Oprah - it's sick and I know it.
  2. Biggest Loser - it's inspiring.
  3. 24
  4. Last Comic Standing

4 PLaces I've lived (the first three towns are no more than 15 miles apart)

  1. Little town in northern California
  2. A different little town in northern California
  3. Another different little town in northern California
  4. A town on the Peninsula in the Bay Area, California

4 Favorite foods

  1. Lamb, marinated in olive oil and garlic - YUM!!
  2. Chips
  3. Pretty much anything deep fried my favorite is mozerella sticks dipped in ranch (fat, cooked in fat, dipped in fat ... does it get any better?)

4 websites I visit everyday

  1. Yahoo mail
  2. A fertility site that helps me track my cycles
  3. My favorite blogs (listed on the right)
  4. google - to search for all things fun

4 favorite colors

  1. sage green
  2. celery green
  3. forest green
  4. olive green

4 places I'd rather be right now

  1. Tahiti
  2. At home
  3. Kauai
  4. Traveling around the world

4 names I like but wouldn't or couldn't use myself

  1. Scarlett
  2. Jenna
  3. Clair
  4. Oprah (ok, just kidding)

And my 4 blogging friends that I'm tagging are:

  1. Maine n' me
  2. Fresh Mint. Hot Pink
  3. Mandy Dawson
  4. Wishing and Hoping - Fortune Cookie Says Don't give up

Monday, September 17, 2007

and the Lord hath taken away

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

My test results just came back in and they show my HCG level to be 10. The level should be upwards of 1600. I sit here numb. Thinking about the loss, feeling little, unable to really express whatever is going on inside.

Making a baby, starting a family, is supposed to be the most wonderful experience of one's life ... this is not what it's supposed to be like.

How do I cope? Drink, heavily. No, not really. Honestly, I try to distract myself. I try to do the laundry, respond to work emails, go to unnecessary meetings and pretend like I'm paying attention. As I had to go to work today, as I stumbled through this loss (with many trips to the bathroom) surrounded by ... my unaware colleagues ... I spent the day keeping my chin up, just trying to keep it together. There were times during the day that my mind would wander (while doing said above activities) and my eyes started to well up ... then someone would address me in a meeting or walk into my cube and I would snap back into the present and I would will myself not to cry. It was a rough day.

Today, as I found moments of quiet - walking from building to building, waiting for a bus, waiting in the clinic lobby for my blood tests ... I tried to ask God what was going on ... but I didn't get an answer. The only thing that resounded with me was what our pastor said a few Sunday's ago: Suffering comes when our timing does not line up with God's timing

... and so we wait.

In loving memory of our youngest little baby in heaven, gone today 9/17/07 ... Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jer 1:5 ... we'll miss you and we look forward to meeting you someday.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

over ... before it started?

So ... I think I've just broken my record for shortest pregnancy. Today I am 5 weeks pregnant and I'm pretty sure I started my period :-(

I go in tomorrow for all of my "confirmation" blood work - as we just returned today from our vacation and before I even get a chance to start obsessing about HCG blood levels and whether or not they're doubling ... I started my period.

So I've emailed my infertility specialist and my endocrinologist to let them know what kind of test results we might be expecting tomorrow.

I'm really not being "negative" and assuming the worst. I started cramping this afternoon and started bleeding like a period this evening ... so I took a pregnancy test this evening to see if the line got darker (which would hint towards a higher level of HCG and therefore a progressing pregnancy) but the pregnancy line looks just about gone.

All of this totally stumps me as I still have pregnancy symptoms ... and I'm not on Progesterone (which mimics and can prolong false pregnancy symptoms)

I'll let you know tomorrow what I learn. Till then, please pray for us as this (if it happens) will be our first natural miscarriage experience ... and I'm sure if a miscarriage is confirmed our hearts will be broken and we'll deal with feelings of anger and confusion, grieving and loss ... all over again.

Thanks for your prayers and your love ...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sea sickness - not so much due to the sea ...

So Berilac and I are mobbing in Sandy Eggo after our good-news-delivering cruise!

I don't have time to go on and on, but I wanted to say...

The entire time we were on the cruise I was struggling with constant sea sickness! As I talked with others - at my table, sitting next to me, enjoying the same activities I was ... I learned that NONE of them were suffering with sea sickness after the initial, first day adjustment. I thought they must have all been crazy. Even Berilac said that his sea sickness had subsided after the first day of the five day cruise.

I was convinced these people were lying to me, or just not as "in touch" (ha!) with their bodies as I am ... until I got off the boat and learned that the sea sickness was not so much due to the sea! It's been over 24 hours since we got off the boat and I'm still nauseated!

My guess ... well, I am pregnant.

Yay for morning (read: all-day) sickness!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Left with just the two of us - coming home with the three of us!

So during our first IVF appointment a few weeks ago our RE told us that it was OK to "try" this one cycle while we were waiting ... I was so hesitant - so scared to actually become pregnant again with a potentially chromosomally abnormal baby again. But after many discussions and lots of prayer ... we decided to risk it all. We were scared to say anything on the blog (when really we should have been asking for your prayers). It's bad enough to suffer through miscarriages, but to suffer through the "loss" of not getting pregnant a month when you were "trying" is also very hard and just adds to the pain already built up - I was really just emotionally protecting myself a bit.

Well folks - when it comes to us "trying" to get pregnant ... we are three for three. We are pregnant - again :-) I guess we're not going to try IVF in September!!

We are so excited and at the same time we are fighting off fear. Please pray for us that we will not let the enemies lies get to us - that we will be strong and steadfast in trusting our Lord for this healthy little (and we're talking tiny) baby in my womb.

I just took the test this morning - I still am having a hard time believing it's real ... but oh baby, let me tell you that I'm am going to enjoy this pregnancy - whether it's days long or 36 more weeks long (we are 4 weeks pregnant) I will be living it up, glowing like all pregnant ladies should. I'm going to start fantasizing about maternity wear, looking dreamily at beautiful pregnant bellies, (ok, maybe I was already doing these two things - so sue me!) taking advantage of every craving or "pregnancy" excuse ... and most of all praising my Lord for this blessing - no matter how long it lasts.

We covet your prayers for a healthy, full-term pregnancy. We covet your prayers for the absense of stress and an abandoning trust in the Lord.

I am currently on a boat off the coast of Baja Mexico, cruising North on the Pacific. (Yes, it turns out there is Internet access on the ship!) We are so excited we are shouting it from the bow of the ship "we're the king (and queen) of the world" (think quote from Titanic)

Yes, we know it's very early to be sharing this news ... but, what's new? That's how we did it the last two times. We know that if we miscarry again ... we want all of you surrounding us again, lifting us up in prayer, loving us through the pain. Besides if we only get weeks with our pregnancies (as opposed to ever being able to carry a baby to full term) we don't want to miss out of the joy of sharing the news - these fertility ailments have twice now stolen my ability to enjoy the second trimester of pregnancy, a baby shower, maternity clothes, the labor & birthing process (not that that's fun), the list goes on and on ... at least I can celebrate for awhile the life that's in my womb - and I will. The Lord givith and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Today, let's bless His name because He has given!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


So Saturday Berilac and I went to our "injectibles" class.

The nurse showed us four different types of FSH drugs, they are:
-> Follistim
-> Gonal-F
-> Bravelle
-> Menopur

Basically these drugs all do the same thing with slight drug variations or administering tool features - outlined below. The nurse gave us the whole down-low on every drug, the benefits of each, and the make up of them. This wonderful nurse of ours is a patient advocate and has completed a research study on patients choosing their OWN medication ... so a major part of the injectibles class was informing us about our options and helping us to make a decision on the drug that we feel is right for us. How strange is that? Have you ever had a Dr talk with you (and allow you to choose!) regarding the various brand name and generic drugs she's about to prescribe to you? It just doesn't happen, so it's neat to feel like I have even a LITTLE control in this whole process. When I share this information (that my RE office is allowing me to pick my meds) with my infertile friends on message boards and the like - they are all shocked. They are all under the impression that the different drugs are needed for different types of patients - but in reality they are very similar and the preference a Dr might have when prescribing a drug ... is likely due to marketing and a good relationship with the sales guy! (ok, now I'm getting way off track ... but I found this QUITE interesting)

Ok, as far as I understand, here is the breakdown:
Follistim & Gonal-F (from here forward referred to as: F&G) are similar.
Bravelle & Menopur (B&M) are similar.

*administered by easy small dose "pen" tool
*"G" is the most expensive of all 4 products as there is only one pharmacy in the US it's distributed out of (it's own) but b/c of this it has the best customer service ("hello operator, yeah, I've got a needle stuck in my butt ... can you help me?)
*Synthetically/chemically created

*administered using the type of syringes you see strewn about in alleyways.
*is mixed together with 1cc of dilutant so it allows you to mix ALL your doses into ONE shot rather than having say 3 shots. (this is really good because as I will most likely need to take boatloads of drugs, I don't need to take multiple shots!)
*these puppies sting the most out of the different types.
*"M" has LH in it, so it's needed in all IVF cycles, so I will most likely be required to take this in addition to another FSH drug.
*derived from the pee of Russian and Chinese women (and no, I'm not just trying to be funny, it's true!)
*"B" is the cheapest of the four!

So Berilac and I have decided that we prefer B&M ...
need to use the M anyway, so if the two go together, where's the decision? (it's pretty obvious). So the sad part is - I don't get to use the easy, nifty pen applicators - so I'll look like a street druggy if I'm ever forced to take my evening shot in public (like in a case when I'm not at home between 7-9pm, b/c we're actually out LIVING a life!)

So the BEST part about these drugs - is that they are subcutaneous (Sub-Q) ... meaning they get injected into the inch I can pinch on my tummy. The drugs just go into your skin. They suggested that over the many days of injects we migrate to various parts of the stomach area - but not to get too close to the belly button - yikes, that just sounds creepy! The nurse had each couple that was in the class set up with swag (many a free goodies) to take home including vials, needles, syringes, icepacks, DVDs, carrying cases, etc. But my favorite was the silicon block (stamped with expected company logo's) that we were given ... this is what we used to practice with (yay, I wasn't the pin cushion!) So we enjoyed injecting the drug into the cube, then trying with all of our might to SQUEEZE the liquid back out of it (… not paying attention to what the nurse was saying, because hey that's boring and it's only my skin at stake!)

During the class I was all about asking about the intramuscular (IM) shots that's Berilac would be giving me ... the nurse thought I was a glutton for punishment as (I guess) the Saturday session we were in was created to teach about sub-q injects NOT IM injects ... um hello? You're going to spend 2 hours showing me how to prick myself with a 1/2 inch needle, but we'll just postpone the ever so casual event of handing Berilac a one and one half inch needle to shove deep into my ham hocks! Yeah, that sounds right! We then learned that we get our one-on-one 30 minute training session with a Dr the day before Berilac is to give me the shot ... and during that session ... he gets to actually inject me with saline, so that they verify that he's doing it right ... once I learned this … I was less excited to get moving on the IM training session ... nursy, nurse - take your sweet old time! (on a side note: no, that picture is not of me, I did blog-lift it from a fellow fun (and immodest!) infertile)

Ok, so the last thing I wanted to say is ... what's "off" about this picture? Could it be the HUGE LOVING SMILE that this woman is sharing with her husband? Is there crack in that vial? ... hey, can I get some too?

Friday, September 7, 2007

Ok, I know I'm a butthead ...

I truly should have been blogging all this week ... at least twice! (as we've had two fertility appointments since my last blog!)

Anyhow, I wanted to say that Berilac and I are going on vacation starting tomorrow morning. We'll be on a very large ship in the middle of the Pacific, so I'm not sure if we'll have the Internet access to provide regular posts.

If you think to pray for me, while I'm away, I'd love prayer for:
-safe flights that are absent of anxiety (I was in a near plane crash 9 years ago, and I have a hard time not getting freaked out being 30,000 feet in the air) Praise the Lord the flight is only a little over an hour!
-a good time to relax for Berilac and I ... a time to rejuvinate and enjoy each other (a time to get our minds off of ttc)
-a heart to love on the people God puts in our lives while we're floating out at sea!
-my attitude. I've been kind of bummed all week (hence my not posting) so I'd love it if you think to lift me up in prayer, that my hope & trust will be in Him.

We will be back on Sunday August 16th so ... look forward to fun pics of our trip that I'll post upon our return!

Thank you for your support and love!