Thanks

Thanks for stopping in. There isn't really a rhyme or reason to this blog. It's just what comes to my head as I go through each day. If something I say resonates with you (positively or not), please leave a comment. It helps to know that people care. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dreams

My dreams have been getting increasingly weird and baby related.  It's starting to concern me a bit.  I think the weirdest one was the one where I was breast-feeding a child...but I was relatively sure that it wasn't my child.  I feel like I need to do some Freudian self-analysis on that one.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On again, off again

I was one of those people who completely gave up anything that could remotely be considered bad during pregnancy.  This included (but is not limited to) caffeine, alcohol, bean sprouts (weird, right?  apparently they carry parasites or some such thing), lunch meat, etc. etc. etc.

Well, for the last five months, I've been enjoying these things on a two week on again, off again system.  See, I enjoy whatever I want during the two weeks from the beginning of my cycle through ovulation, then I cut it out for the next two weeks...just in case...then I start over again.

The caffeine thing is the hardest one.  I always intend to not imbibe too freely, but then the coffee calls to me, or I stop at Wawa (my own personal temptation island) and I feel like a soda, or...whatever.  By the time I get to the end of the two weeks on, I have to suffer from a massive withdrawl headache for at least a full day. 

I'm an idiot.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sleep.

So, my husband works nights.  The week around ovulation, therefore, is really tough on me.  He gets home at 2am, I get up at 5:30am...he therefore wakes me up, I'm awake for a bit (I'll leave out details.  I'm just not that person), and then I go back to sleep for an hour or two.  I cease to get solid sleep for about a week.  I know it's supposed to be a process that we enjoy (again, leaving out details), but the need to time things and our opposing schedules make things difficult.  It makes me very, very happy when he has days off....because then I don't have to worry about the schedule.  I know that in theory we should let it happen organically...but we've been ttc for 6 cycles now...so it's time to get serious. 

I just wish it didn't result in me not getting sleep!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Conception Math

Though it's only been six months, it's hard to remember what life was like before I gave a damn when I ovulate.  It used to be that I couldn't have cared less.  To be honest, the whole thing grossed me out a bit.  Not so much anymore. 

There are all kinds of ways to do conception math:

1) Ovulating for Dummies--so, if your cycle is 4 weeks, in theory you should ovulate approximately two weeks after the first day after your period.  this is the most simple version of conception math, and at the end of the four weeks you take a pregnancy test.  Unfortunately, this is kindof like when a car says it gets 32 miles per gallon...it's a nice theory, but don't expect to drive cross country on a tank of gas.

2)Ovulation Calculators--if you go to whattoexpect.com (my personal favorite) or pregnology.com or any other pregnancy related website, you can use their wierd math calculators that give you a window during which you might ovulate.  The problem with that is that it gives you a very vague window based on what most people's bodies do.  My body hasn't really acted normally in months.

3) OPK (Ovulation Prediction Kits)--an OPK, in theory, tests the amount of LH in your system.  LH is a hormone that "surges" (this is the popular TTC word) right before ovulation.  The OPK looks exactly like a home pregnancy test, but you can't just SEE a second line.  The second line has to be DARKER than the first in order for the test to be positive.  Once it's positive, you (in theory) will be ovulating within the next 48 hours.  Here's the issue...not everyone gets the same levels of LH surges, and so some people NEVER get a positive OPK.  I went through three cycles of OPKs with no positive results, but I know I ovulated based on options 4 and 5 coming up.  OPKs are also very expensive.  I use internet cheapies, and they're still a dollar a day.  Yes, I know I just said they didn't work well for me...that doesn't mean that I want to give up on them...just in case.

4) Temping--this is a fun one.  In theory, something about the hormone balace causes your basal body temperature to be cooler (by 1/2-1 degree) before ovulation than after ovulation.  This means, when your BBT rises significantly, you have ovulated.  Yay.  Here's the procedure:  you have to get at LEAST three hours sleep before taking your temperature, you have to take your temperature at the same time every day (meaning set the alarm on Saturday morning), and you can't get out of bed, talk, eat, or drink before taking your temps.  It's a pain in the ass.  Seriously.  It is, however, pretty effective.

5) The cervix--this is the TMI factor.  The cervix does all kinds of interesting things during each cycle.  It's position, texture, opening, and mucus consistancy and color all tell part of the story of your body.  I won't get into too much of the details here, but feel free to google cervix and ovulation together.

So here's how conception math works:  You need to know when you ovulate.  Think of this as the constant.  In addition, you need to BD (stands for "Baby Dance" in TTC message board lingo, which means sex.  I don't know why they don't just say sex.  Me having sex looks absolutely nothing like dancing.) in (estimated!) the three days before and during said ovulation.  The BDing is somewhat of the variable, as, while the egg can only really survive for a few hours after ovulation (seriously!!), the sperm can hang out up in there for hours and days.  It's a good idea to build up a nice wall-o-sperm for when the egg finally graces us with her presence.  The problem is, if you don't know when ovulation is, you don't know when to BD, and then you lose the sperm.  So you have to take the OPKs, and the temping, and the calculators, and the cervical mucus, and you have to try to put all that nonsense together somehow and figure out when the hell you're supposed to have sex during all of this.

Is there partial credit on this test??

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mother's Day

I'm worried about getting through Mother's Day. 

It really upsets me that I don't count on Mother's Day...I feel like I should.  I know I was only mother to a child for three months...and many people would argue that I wasn't a mother at all...but I think I was.  I loved my child.  I still do.  Doesn't that count for something?

At the same time, I can't MAKE people recognize me as a mother...even the mother of an angel baby.  That defeats the purpose.  If people wouldn't naturally recognize me, it has no value.  I actually talked to my husband about it...he said (humoring me, I think, but I'll take it) that he agrees that I count as a mother, but doesn't think that it is something to be celebrated on Mother's Day, because it makes him sad.  I guess that makes sense...but it still makes me sad that I don't count.  My child existed...

He said we'd celebrate Mother's Day if we get pregnant before then...testing on Mother's Day morning would put me at 5 days before my next period, so I guess it's possible.  I doubt it though.  I thought God would cut me a break last cycle, and it didn't happen, so I'm really not getting my hopes up about this one.

*sigh*  It is what it is....I think I'd be a good mom, though.

Surviving the day

I've done much better today than I thought I would.  I really wanted to talk to someone about the fact that it's my would-have-been due date, and that I'm having a hard time, but I don't know what to say.  I honestly really want to just talk about the fact that I'm sad and cry, but people always want to say something to make me feel better.

There is no way to make me feel better today.  Saying "It'll happen when it's meant to happen" or "Everything happens for a reason" or "Just stay positive" really doesn't help me.  I get it.  I know all that.  It doesn't change the fact that I just want to be sad about it right now.  It's not that I "lost the pregnancy"...I lost a child.  I had a child, for a very short time, and it died.  Am I not allowed to mourn that child's loss? Let me be sad, damn it.  I know it's been six months, but today was the day I was supposed to meet that child.

So I haven't really gotten to talk about what I'm going through today.  Most people don't even realize today means anything to me.  I guess it's probably better that way.  So, possibly fictional people reading my blog, I'll send my sadness out to you.  It's nice to just be sad to someone...even if no one reads this....so thanks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Days I have been dreading

So, tomorrow was supposed to be my due date.  Awesome.

I feel a bit like God is a vindictive little kid with a magnifying glass, and I'm the ant he's presently burning.

OK, that's probably melodramatic.  I know there are people out there with much worse things going on in their lives...but this is really hard.  If you haven't gone through it, you have no idea.  I sort of feel like my body is just inexplicably messed up. Bah.

...I've been dreading tomorrow.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Harder than I thought it would be...and I thought it would be hard...

So, back before the big m.c., I had a belly buddy...a girl preggo at the same time as me due around the same time as me.  Awesome right?  Well, then October happened, and just when I let my guard down when we hit the second trimester, we lost our Seamonkey. 

So today was my belly buddy's shower.  Oh my God, was that hard.  I mean, I knew it would be.  Don't get me wrong...I'm totally happy for her, and I harbor no ill-will for anyone...but it's impossible not to be jealous.  I sat there, smiling, watching her open present after present, and I just kept thinking about what I would have registered for, and what my child would have looked like in that onesie, and what I would look like with the big round belly....Forcing happiness when it hurts so much is exhausting.

This girl has been my reminder of what would have been....when she found out it was a girl, I would have been finding out gender, too.  When she felt the baby move, I would have felt the baby move.  When she...well, you get the idea.

So, yeah.  Today was hard.  It doesn't help that my due date (would-have-been) is this Thursday and I just found out that we didn't get pregnant this month.  I really thought, honestly, that, with this baby shower, and my due date coming up, and mother's day this month, too, that God would cut me a break.  We've been actively trying to concieve for five cycles now, and I really thought this would be it.  God wouldn't make me go through all these hard days without a rainbow to hold on to.  Well, apparently I was wrong.

At least I have a few friends who understand that I'm hurting and are trying to help me out.  Quick shout-outs to Jess and Liz.  Jess gave me an out during the shower by asking me to go out with her to get something from her car.  I needed a few minutes alone to cry and hurt and not pretend to be happy...Thanks for that.  Liz drove with me so that I had someone to talk to....without judgement...Thanks for that.

Today was hard.  Trying to concieve sucks.

So, not so much

So, the day before I have to go to the baby shower of a girl who was due the month after me, the week before my would-have-been due date, and my last chance to get pregnant before mother's day....big fat no.  Trying to concieve really sucks.

So now I'm getting ready to go to a baby shower.  Trying to remember to breathe.  I'm really scared that I won't be able to hold myself together.  Someone suggested that I not go...but I don't want to be that person.

Deep breaths...

Deep breaths...

Deep breaths....

...dammit.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hoping my luck was displaced

So, over spring break (I'm a teacher, not a student), my husband and I went to Atlantic City.  We usually don't win a lot of money, but neither do we lose a lot of money...except for this trip.  I don't know what the deal was, but we couldn't seem to win to save our lives.  I'm hoping we just displaced our luck.  We were in AC around the big O for this month, so hopefully we weren't lucky at gambling, but....

....but I'm still waiting...and waiting...and waiting....

Last time I called the baby "Seamonkey", because that's what the pictures in the books looked like for how far along we were when we first found out.  This time, if it goes this month, I want to call it "Lucky".

Fingers, toes, and eyes are crossed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Going cross-eyed

The closer I get to the day my period should start, the more I stare at each and every test.  About 1/3 of the time my mind puts a second line there.  Other times I'm tilting and turning the strips, taking apart the test if it's a real one and not an internet cheapie, and moving to different light.  This sucks. 

I'm now 10 days past ovulation...I'm getting to the time where I should see something...so do I see something, or am I just going cross-eyed and crazy.  Maybe both. *sigh*

My husband and I recently got the same fortune cookie when we had Chinese food (there were 3 other cookies with different fortunes that neither of us chose.)  "All your hard work will soon be rewarded."  I really hope so.  My would-have-been due date is next week.  Getting through it without my rainbow baby (that's what they call the child concieved after a miscarriage) would (not will, not yet) be really hard.

Here's hoping.  Waiting for "Lucky".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The waiting game.

There is a thing called the two week wait.  This refers to the two weeks between ovulation and when you can take a pregnancy test (or get your period).  It sucks.

Now, there are many theories about when one can actually take a pregnancy test.  Some women claim to have gotten a positive as soon as six or seven days after ovulation, which obviously cuts down on the two week wait concept.  Many websites (I've looked) contend that it's really close to impossible to get a positive that soon.  So, when to start?

It's stupid really...if one is pregnant, knowing about it one week sooner makes little to no difference.  It's not as though, if you don't take the test as early as possible, you won't still be pregnant, and it's not as if you wouldn't figure it out soon enough anyway.  That being said, I'm a POAS(pee on a stick) addict.

I want to know as soon as it is physically possible to know, and so I start testing illogically early, just so I'm sure I don't wait one second of time that I could "know".  I started testing three days ago.  I'm not ENTIRELY sure when I ovulated, but I'm pretty sure it was only five days ago.  OK, really?  Who does that?  I started testing only two days after ovulation...just in case.  For those of you not up on the baby-making science, that's just dumb.  I do it knowing full well that A) I'm wasting a lot of money on tests (I get the super cheap internet ones, but still...it adds up) and B) I'm going to see a ton of negatives...which could all be wrong, but I won't know that for another week.

It's not a surprise to take test after test, morning after morning, and see only one line.  I know I can't know yet...  So why do I do it?  Just in case.  You never know.  It could happen.  Besides, a negative isn't a negative until you get your period.  I should know.  I've seen a lot of negatives.


So that's how I've been playing out the waiting game.  I suck at waiting.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hospitals and miscarriages

I was reading somewhere that women going through miscarriages are treated the worst of any type of hospital patient.  Many women are told to "go home and wait it out"...which basically entails a lot of pain (it's basically labor) with no support and no medical person to ask questions of.  It can also be incredibly traumatic in and of itself, pain and confusion aside. 

I was relatively lucky in that I had a D&C immediately following my bad ultrasound day.  A D&C is, effectively, an abortion...but in this case it was done because my body hasn't recognized that the baby was dead, and I was far enough along that there was a serious risk of extra blood loss.  I only had some of the pain later on (that's part of the body not going back to normal, which I'll elaborate on later).

That being said, the admitting people at the hospital were absolutely horrid.  We stopped at the hospital on the way home from the ultrasound, to fill out all the required paperwork and to do my pre-op.  I had literally just found out that my child died two hours before hand.  Well, they were training someone new at the admitting desk, and here's how our conversation went:

Her: Can I have your ID?
I hand it to her.
Her: How do you say your name? LaPlanta?  LaPlata?  Lapple?
Me: It's LaPlant.
Her: Well that's a funny name.
Me: (silence)
Her: OK, I need to ask you a few questions.  Do you have a history of... (this took a few minutes)   
Me: No
Her: Are you allergic to anything?
Me: No
Her: Are you or could you be pregnant
Me: I don't even know how to answer that.
Her: I don't get it.
Me: Look at my paperwork; that's why I'm here.
Her: Oh yeah, it says "fetal demise".  That's an interesting term.  "Fetal demise".....What's a D&C?  I've never heard of that before?  Wow.  That's funny, I've never ever heard of that procedure before.  What's it for?
Me: ...seriously?

And it continued like this...until she messed up inputting it into the computer and had to start all over again.

OK, I know people in clerical  positions aren't required to be tactful or compassionate, but SERIOUSLY?

Monday, April 5, 2010

What would/could/should have been

I was due April 21.  It occurs to me that, if things had been different, I could have a baby right now.  Occasionally I find myself daydreaming about what my big, huge belly would look like, or what I would be feeling.  I pass infants in carseats on grocery carts at Wegmans, and I wonder which carseat I would have chosen.

When we were expecting, we started work on the nursery.  We removed furniture, painted, put up a border, and hung new curtains.  Since we're TTC, it doesn't make sense to take it down, but sometimes that empty room haunts me a little.  I walk past it and see the ghost of a crib.  I imagine it full of all the shower gifts I would have gotten.  I can't help but think of the joy I would feel looking at that room.  It's empty. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm empty too.  I'm surrounded by the ghosts of what would have/should have been.

Background

In August, 2009, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child.  I may tell the story of HOW we found out later.  For now, I'll tell you that we had been on birth control at the time, and we had been planning on waiting to try to conceive for another two years. 

Well, when we found out, we were thrilled (once the shock wore off, that is).  We modified our plans.  We picked out names (Amelia Sophia or William Alexander).  We moved the guest bed out of what was to be the baby's room.  We picked a paint color and a border and repainted the room (I wanted to do it early so that we could have the windows open while we painted).

Everything was going fine.  We had our appointment at 10.5 weeks at which we were told everything was fine and we heard the heartbeat.  Life was good.  We started to tell people, since the first trimester was just about over and we were out of the woods...or so we thought.

So, on October 10, I started spotting.  I wasn't too worried about it.  I am obsessive about researching everything about what's going on in my life, and I knew that spotting often happened in the first trimester.  No worries.  On the morning of October 12, when I was exactly 13 weeks pregnant, the bleeding got worse.  I went to school (I'm a teacher), but I called my OB after my first class.  She set me up for an ultrasound for three hours later.  I went home, woke my husband up (he works nights), and off we went. 

I remember saying to Mike (my husband), "This will either be a really good day or a really bad day."  I had a feeling it was going to be bad, but I remained optimistic that maybe this was a blessing in disguise, and we'd get to enjoy an unexpected ultrasound viewing.

When we got called in the room, I remember staring at the screen WILLING it to show a flicker of life.  The tech was quiet for a while, then she said (I remember her exact words), "I should see some movement and a heartbeat at thirteen weeks, and, I'm sorry, but I don't see that."  Mike didn't speak again for about an hour.  I dealt with the call to my OB from the ultrasound clinic, I set up the D&C for the following morning(I may elaborate that in a future post), and I didn't break down until I got to the hospital for pre-op.

We decided that we wanted to try again as soon as possible.  Well, my body didn't get back to normal until the end of December (again, I may elaborate on that later), but we've been trying ever since.  It's been six months since we lost the baby, and trying to conceive again seems harder and harder to handle.  We're on our fifth cycle of trying, and no good news yet.

So that's where I am.