Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Different?

I have been having the strangest feeling lately that I'm having trouble shaking. The feeling that my future baby is going to be "different" in some way.

I can't really describe it better than that. By different I mean that there will be something "not normal" with the baby, such as Down Syndrome, a limb difference or something like that. It doesn't bother me, this feeling - I'm not afraid for future baby or freaked out that there might be something wrong. I just have this odd feeling.

I think it might have to do with all the losses. Like after eight losses, I can't quite get my head around the fact that I'll someday have a healthy "normal" baby. That I will get my baby, yes, but I'll be getting something "extra" along with. Again, this doesn't make me sad, but it's been occupying a lot of my brain space lately.

Added into this is the fact that there is a high chance of something "going wrong" or being different. I had a placental abruption at 33 weeks with my son; the chances of this happening again are high. Which makes the chances of the baby being premature high. All of these losses may also be caused by just a string of bad luck and odd trisomies, which makes the odds of a survivable trisomy higher, too.

I know one woman who battled infertility to have her second son. She had some extra prenatal testing done because they were worried that it would negatively affect the baby and she would therefore abort. Her second son was fine; there was no need for any intervention. And I wonder how common her reaction is to these feelings, versus my reaction to them.

Do many infertile women, or women who have multiple pregnancy losses start to feel that the next baby they conceive will be "different"? And of those that do feel this way, am I the only one that is totally and utterly at peace with this fact? (And by "at peace" I mean now that it is in the hypothetical future. I'm sure I'll be concerned and fact arming if I do encounter a difference.)

I wish I knew why I felt this way and if it's some sort of universal warning system, arming me against the future, or if it's just my crazy head making stuff up.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I Want Another

 I left the house rather early this morning to get to a Thanksgiving day yoga class. While I was bending, twisting and standing on my head, my husband was at home with the 3yo.

Because my husband needed to leave for a little while when I got home, he had to jump into the shower while I was gone. A certain 3yo has lately been obsessed with showers, and quickly peeled off his own clothes to hop in, too.

Everything went well until it came time to get dressed. Mr. Stubborn refused to put on his own underwear. So my husband says, "Do you put on your own underwear or does Mama do it?" This, my friends, was the end.

For the next 30 minutes, whenever he was asked to please get dressed, my son calmly answered, "Mama will do it." Mama was still quite a while from coming home, but this didn't phase him in the slightest. His incredible confidence in me and the bond we share is what keeps driving me through all these miscarriages to have another one.

Think about it; having another is going to double the amount of awesome that I have in the house.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful

It's hard to see the silver lining sometimes, but I try to do it from time to time. Otherwise the "whys" and whatnot start to really get to me.

So, despite our misfortune, I'm actually thankful that we have had to wait to add to our family for the following reasons:

My son is now completely and totally potty trained. He's in training pants at night and just has the occasional overnight wetting now. Day and naps are totally done. If we had had our baby by now, I would have spent several months with two kids in diapers.

We're in better financial shape now than we were a year ago. We can be more flexible and buy some stuff we need. Huge when you consider the costs a second kid will add.

I'm more "secure" in my job as a freelancer now than I was a year ago. Taking time off for maternity leave shouldn't be a problem with my current contracts - they love me.

We have Peep. My little black kitten who I love with all my heart. I have a soft spot for all animals, but particularly black kittens. And especially black kittens who were born on Friday the 13th. Love her.

My son has made huge strides forward socially recently, so I think it will be less of an impact on him to suddenly share the house with a brand new "stranger".

I have my pain syndrome under control. Drug free, no less. It would have been hell to have been in that much pain with a newborn around.

So things might not be perfect, but I think we still have a lot to be thankful for. Hopefully next year, we'll have something even bigger to be thankful for.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Anxiety, Continued

The last couple of weeks have been very tough for a variety of reasons. The dog is being an asshole - he ran away the other day, leaving me to chase him through the neighborhood while I left the 3yo in the house alone. I literally had chest pains because I couldn't leave the 3yo for more than 5 minutes, and my parent's dog was hit and killed by a car when he ran away one day. Thankfully a neighbor caught him but still - asshole dog = anxiety.

In addition to this fun escapade, the child has not been sleeping well. He's at a point where he needs to nap once every couple of days. He gets "rest" time every day, but really needs to sleep every couple of days. He hasn't been, and because he's one of those "sleep begets sleep" kids who get manic when they don't sleep enough, he's been waking us up at night. When I don't sleep, it brings on my pain syndrome. Which in turn makes me anxious. Not good times.

I also learned a friend is pregnant. I do, rationally, know that waiting until January is really the best plan for us. Really. It gives us our best chances of success, and of not going crazy while we try. But. But, I want to get going! I want to be pregnant NOW, not in January, even though I realize that there is no guarantee no matter what month we try in.

I'm currently investigating which, if any, anxiety medications I could take while pregnant, because clearly I need to be doing something else right now to function well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Anxiety

I think that part of what's been happening with all these miscarriages, is that I'm stuck in some kind of Catch-22.

I have a condition that causes pain and inflammation if I get stressed. The stress could be caused by foods that I'm sensitive to, lack of sleep or just general anxiety and stress.

Here's the kicker: these miscarriages cause a lot of stress, which in turn causes inflammation. According to my RE, at least part of my problem staying pregnant is inflammation. In other words, the more I stress my body - physically and mentally - to have this baby, the more I undermine my chances.

I've been spending the last couple of months trying to get it under control. I've cut out all foods that cause even a slight reaction, have been taking melatonin and going to be early to ensure good sleep and have been trying to reduce my mental stress.

It's that last one that is kicking me in the ass just now. I've been having a flair up for the last few days - not fun - and it's totally attributable to mental stress.

I want so badly to get this under control before January comes and we try again, but it seems that just thinking about it is causing enough anxiety to stress me out. Ugh.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kicked Butt

Sometimes I wonder why I'm going through this. This long battle to have another baby. I mean, on the surface I know that my son is awesome and that having a second baby will only double that awesomeness.

Below the surface though, 3-1/2 has been kicking my butt. He doesn't listen, cries for no reason, has been waking me up in the middle of the night to ask for a kiss (cute, but annoying after the fifth night in a row of interrupted sleep). And I'm starting to wonder if I'm cut out for two kids.

Mixed in is the chronic pain I live with. When I'm having a flair up, I have very little patience. Add in a little boy who refused to nap, took off his underwear instead of pulling his pants up, let the dog out of his crate, and you have a scenario that I am at the end of my rope with.

These times are so fleeting, I know this, and I also know that these phases only seem endless when you are in the middle of one. But still, sometimes I can't help but wonder if the reason I don't have two kids, is because the universe doesn't think I can handle it.

Jealousy

Every year there's a gigantic New England craft fair near where we live. It's a great way to get some unique gifts, and since money is tight just now, I'm leaning more toward unique and special instead of big and expensive. Therefore, to the craft fair we go.

We spent a couple of hours wandering around, and I scored numerous awesome gifts: handblown glass rings inside patchwork coin purses for my sister, sister in law, step daughter and mom, an assortment of hot sauces for one brother, tequila pistachios for another brother.

It was a good time, except for one thing: The sheer number of booths dedicated to baby stuff. Baby quilts at amazing prices, cute little clothes, hats, toys. I had to push past them without looking, because we still don't know how long this journey we're on is going to be.

The worst was when I went past a booth only to get stuck there by a woman pushing a MASSIVE double stroller. Her kids were my kid's age and older, and my kid was on foot, so why she had to push that thing was beyond me, but what really killed me was watching her push her TWO kids.

My son has a little friend who was conceived via IVF. Her mother has been trying for number two as long as we have, and we've shared our struggles with each other. They'll be cycling again in January as well.

She's admitted to me that she also finds it hard when she sees a woman with two or more kids, because in the back of her head, she has to acknowledge that this might never be her despite what she does or tries. I so get that. Every time a friend of acquaintance announces another pregnancy, I get jealous. I get jealous because they don't have that breathe held worry that they'll lose it any second. I have one friend that announced the second the stick turned pink. I couldn't be around her for a while after that, listening to her plan for her perfect pregnancy.

I know that some women have it even harder: I have one awesome, wonderful son. There are women who don't even have that, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm still struggling to have another. That even if this new cycle with drugs works, I'll be holding my breathe through the whole thing. And not just the first trimester, due to the abruption I had with my son at 33 weeks. I won't be safe until the baby is in my arms, and that's a long, long time to worry.

And a long, long time to avoid looking at baby quilts and mothers pushing their two kids around, too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Obsession With Names

We are not pregnant yet. The earliest that we could possibly get pregnant with a sticky baby is January. Figure in a few months after that to find out the sex of said baby. Despite all of this, I am obsessed with baby names just now.

We picked out the perfect boy name last year when I found myself pregnant the first month we were trying. We were tossing around names, and the perfect one just sort of fell into our laps. Done - if we have another boy, we have the perfect name.

Girl names, on the other hand, have been trickier. I hated my name growing up. Hated. It. I started using my middle name by the 7th grade, because I hated my first name so much. I really don't want to saddle a daughter with a name that she might hate, so I feel like there is extra pressure to be perfect about it.

Let me be clear here: we are not pregnant yet. We don't know when we will be. And there is nothing to say we will definitely be having a girl and will need a girl's name. And I still obsess about it daily.

I think I've finally found the perfect name. I have yet to bring it up to my husband, because while he is tolerant of me and my small obsessive quirks, I know he's also a, "Deal with it when it needs to be dealt with" kind of guy. Meaning that he doesn't really want to have this discussion until we know that we are definitely pregnant, and preferably definitely pregnant with a girl.

I'm a planner, though, and a slightly superstitious one at that. I feel like I have HAVE to have the right name before I can be pregnant with that baby. We had our son's name picked out while we were still dating - he mentioned that it was the male version of his mother's name and that he wanted a son with that name. I loved the name as soon as I heard it, and when we found out we were pregnant, I declared that was the name for a boy. The girl's name was tougher, but it wound up by a moot point anyway.

So now I feel like I have to have the right girl's name picked out, just in case the next one is a girl.

Silly, I know, but this is what you are reduced to after 1-1/2 years of trying and eight losses to show for it.

Holding Pattern

We're in the middle of a bit of a holding pattern just now. Last year, I miscarried in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. It put a bit of a damper on the festivities last holiday season, to say the least.

Therefore, we're waiting to try again until after the holidays. We have a new plan after talking with the RE.

All my numbers are good, no abnormalities in my uterus. So we're going with an "assisted" cycle where we will be trying:

Antibiotics to reduce any potential inflammation and try to get rid of the abnormal amounts of white blood cells in my uterus.

Drugs to make my ovulate more and give support to the developing egg in case this is the problem.

Progesterone as soon as I ovulate in case this is the issue.

I have absolutely no reason to be more hopeful about this cycle than I have about any other, but I am. We'll see.