Therapy


I’ve started to see an individual therapist.  I’ve been feeling incredibly depressed lately and it has gotten pretty bad.  I feel completely unmotivated, angry, sad.  I don’t feel like myself and I decided it was time to do something about it.  A friend told me about her experience on antidepressants and how it helped to lift the fog of negativity so she could start to feel like herself again.  I haven’t broached the topic of antidepressants yet but I think I will soon.

I LOVE my therapist.  From the moment I met her and started to share with her (just my background and family history), I felt like she “got me.”  She even was able to articulate some feelings and put a label on them when I’ve been struggling for some time to do so.  As you know, I’ve been struggling a lot with MH and I brought up my “issues” with him.  She said that she wants to work with me on those because I’m committed to working on those but first I need to deal with the TRAUMA (she defined my experience as trauma) of the miscarriage, leading to a difficult pregnancy, leading to bed rest, leading to premature birth, etc.  She believes that when I’ve dealt with the emotions of the trauma of one emotionally challenging thing to another that I will better be able to work on my relationship with my husband.  I love it – I just wish I could speed up time so I feel better faster.

One of the homework assignments was for me to put down on paper each individual experience as a fact and then write about how I felt then and how I feel about it now. I think that I’m able to upload it for you to read (sorry it is so tiny).  These are deeply personal feelings and thoughts and I hope that you will be respectful if you choose to comment about what I’ve written.

Therapy Writing

I realize when looking at the whole picture that I was depressed through most of the last two years.  That I have felt very alone, scared and overwhelmed through the miscarriage, feeling so ill with my pregnancy with Roo, my water breaking, the hospital stay and even now dealing with the ongoing appointments with occupational therapists, nutritionists, etc.  I should probably write about it more here.  I just don’t have the time and I’m exhausted (and depressed, which doesn’t help).

So, maybe some of you feel the same way as I do, even if you haven’t been down the exact same path as me.  Please share with me.  I know I’m not entirely alone here.

xo

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Anxiety Provoked


I thought a lot about this before writing and hesitate sharing with you but I’ve always been very open with you for authenticity and so here goes…

I always heard about post-partum depression and how common it is for women to suffer from it. What I never thought was that it could happen to me. I actually think that I have more of post-partum anxiety than depression. I’m not suffering from any of the classic depression signs but my level of anxiety is at an all time high.

Since Roo came home, I haven’t been able to sleep at night because I’m terrified that she is going to stop breathing or that she will choke on her own spit up. I won’t let her sleep without someone watching her at all times. It means that no one is getting good sleep. I am constantly checking to make sure she is breathing and I always need to know that she is ok.

It has gotten to the point where I need help. So I have an appointment with a therapist on Monday morning. I hope that it helps because I need to sleep, I want my family to sleep and I need to lower my anxiety levels.

I think a lot has to do with the miscarriage and that loss. I think it has to do with the premature rupture of membranes and Roo’s early arrival. I hope to work through my fears and anxieties and get to a better place. I want to be able to breathe and enjoy my daughter instead of being afraid all of the time.

Has anyone else experienced this anxiety? I know that most new moms feel this way but I feel like my level of anxiety is off the charts. I’m not pleasant to be around.

If you have experienced this heightened sense of anxiety, how did you manage it? What did you do? How long did it take for it to go away?

Xo,
Michelle

26 Week Bump Photo and Brief Update


I know I did an update at the beginning of the week so I’ll make this short and really focus on my bump pic:

Somewhere along this journey recently, my bump has grown.

Roo is getting stronger and bigger!  I’m loving it.  Though, yesterday, I noticed that Roo wasn’t moving much and it made me nervous.  I called the doctor since I hadn’t felt her all day since the night before.  The nurse had me lay down and drink some juice and sure enough Roo started to kick and move around though a lot lighter than usual.  Today, she’s back to her usual self kicking quite hard and having a ball in there 🙂

I tried on some maternity clothes at H&M yesterday and got really frustrated.  I’m clearly not the same size anymore.  I thought that the sizing guidelines were to try on maternity clothes in the same size as when not pregnant.  Well, I’ve either gained a lot of weight or my body has taken on a whole new shape (ha ha clearly!).  I got frustrated and need to try again another day.  I think that I need to go up a size.  Did this happen to anyone else too or is it just my crazy body?

This week I learned that a friend/former grad school classmate of mine is also pregnant and due with a baby girl on August 8.  This now brings the total for August babies in my circle of friends to five, including Roo.  I wonder what was going on in November!  I’m the only one who struggled to get pregnant and had a loss.  I’m so happy for everyone else though in spite of how easy it was for them including one new friend and wasn’t planning on this pregnancy – she has twin boys who are six years old.  Only one of these friends know how much I struggled.

Anyway, I know that several of you, dear readers, are currently undergoing treatment with medicated IUI or IVF cycles and I’m praying and hoping that this cycle is the one that leads you to a successful pregnancy!  I’m cheering you on 🙂

On This Day


For the two weeks that I was pregnant last year, I spotted and cramped the entire time. I knew that something was wrong but there wasn’t anything that could be done.

We kept our New Years plans and drove from SF to LA for the Rose Bowl except we never made it to the game.

By NYE night I had full on bleeding and cramping off and on. Not knowing what to do, we went to Mt Sinai emergency room where we stayed until they released me about 10 minutes before midnight.

I held it together in the hospital when they told me my beta numbers were too low for my pregnancy to be viable. I held it together when they gave me my care instructions. But as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot and clock struck midnight, MH pulled into an empty bank parking lot and pulled me close where we both cried and held each other.

This year even though I’m carrying a baby inside me, I’m terribly emotional and sad today. That little one we lost will always be our first. We will never forget that little one.

I hope and pray that this is our last New Year without another family member in it and I hope the same for each of you. Happy New Year to each and everyone of you, my friends!

A Little Light in the Shadows


Thank you for your sweet public comments and emails to me yesterday.  It is amazing how therapeutic writing is for me.  I wrote yesterday’s post a few weeks ago and came back and revisited it before publishing it on Monday night.  I shed some tears as I wrote but yesterday I didn’t shed any except two or three when MH was tucking me into bed and we did a little reflecting on what might have been.

MH was super sweet all day to me.  He asked me to pick him up from work – which is rare – and he surprised me by taking me to a well-known bar that sits at the top of a hotel in the city where we live.  The views are AMAZING!  We had a couple of cocktails and a cheese plate and then had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants down the street from our apartment.  We decided that instead of being sad about our loss that we would celebrate our life together.  And that is what we did last night.  We celebrated our wonderful life together and we celebrated the excitement of what is to come in the very near future…the offer letter was everything that we expected and a tiny bit more.

I’ll share more of the exciting details when we figure them out but we are probably going to be moving within the next month!

Remembering Our First


Today might have been your birthday.  Your estimated due date is today, August 30, 2011.

But, on New Year’s Eve, we lost you.  You were just shy of being in my belly for 6 weeks.

The day that I told your Daddy that you were coming was one of my happiest days – it was an early Christmas gift.

The day that we learned that we were losing you was one of my darkest.  I never knew that I could love something so tiny and so precious so much even though you were inside of me for such a short time.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mommy.  I married your Daddy because I know what an amazing Dad he is going to be.  I still hold that dream of being a mommy and I know that it will come true.  I haven’t given up hope.

The past 34 weeks have flown by and while you left my body waaaaay too early, you never have left my mind. I will never forgot you.  As I’ve seen pregnant friends over the past few months get bigger and bigger baby bumps, I often think of what I would look like if I were as many weeks along as them.  I think about what we would have been doing to prepare for you.  But for the most part, I’m just sad that we lost you and that we haven’t yet been able to successfully get pregnant again.

Today though I focus only on you and the happiness that you brought us for even just a few short weeks.

If there is such a thing as heaven with angels like you, I hope you’re watching us from above.

You are loved even though you never set foot on Earth.

You will always be remembered.

You will always be my first.

I’m a dork!


I’m not doing such a good job of keeping to my goal of accomplishing my to-do list.  I know it’s only been one day and I have 11 more days to go but still…I had a revelation last night as to why I’m feeling more mopey and less motivated these days.  Even though I feel as if I’m calmer this cycle during this TWW but it is not because I’m actually calmer about it.  It is actually because I’m depressed as I anticipate the estimated due date of the loss of our first little one.  It is on August 30 – two days after we’ll know if this IUI worked.

Last night I was looking at the calendar and it hit me.  If we hadn’t lost our little one, we would be preparing to welcome our little one in the next couple of weeks.  I would be making last-minute preparations – though knowing me, I’d be done.  I would have a massively huge belly slowing me down.  Instead of waking up in the middle of the night for no reason, I would wake up because my body is uncomfortable.  The meaning of the TWW would have a completely different end result if we hadn’t had our loss.

I’m sad because of our loss.  But I’m also very sad because we haven’t successfully gotten pregnant again.  I never would have imagined losing a baby and at the time I never would have imagined not being pregnant again already.

People do things to commemorate their loss(es).  I think often times it is when their pregnancy loss happens further along but I think that I want to do something anyway.  I would plant a tree but since we’re likely going to move (and don’t have a yard in our city apartment), I will wait until we’re in our “home.”  Perhaps I’ll release a single balloon on that day or maybe I’ll buy myself a necklace or bracelet to remember our little one.  I’m not sure what I’ll do but I know that I’ll do something.

Did you do something to commemorate what would have been your little one’s birth day even with an early loss?  If so, what was it and if I love it can I steal your idea? 🙂

And so begins IUI cycle #2


This morning was my CD3 ulstrasound to confirm that I have no cysts lingering and that I can start to take the Letrozole to prepare for IUI number two.  Everything looks good.  My antrafollicle count is OK – 4-5 on the left side and 8 on the right side.  I asked my questions and got answers that were vague but confident on his end.  I’m not so confident but I have to trust that he is the expert and has been doing this for years.

I asked my question re: dose of Letrozole resulting in thin lining and overly large follicles: his response – we never know how a body responds to a medication but I’m not concerned about your lining, it worked out fine in the end and yes, follicles can be too large so let’s bring you in on CD12 to see where your follicles measure.  Let’s leave the dose as it is.

I decided to leave the HSG question alone for right now.  I will do my own research on where I would get it done, pricing, etc.  And, I’ll ask my OB to order the test to be done.  If this IUI fails, I’ll be prepared and ready to make my decision.

And, so begins preparing for this second IUI.

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Yesterday evening I had a complete meltdown.  It was the emotional meltdown that I thought I would have had either earlier in the last cycle as a result of the Letrozole or on the day I got my period.  But no, I held out for 24 hours.  I had a great morning.  I was over my initial disappointment of getting my period.  I had a great new business meeting, which resulted in a signed client at least through the end of the year and I signed a contract with another client for a smaller two-month project.  So, good news!

I was feeling so positive that I decided to treat myself to an eyebrow wax and tint.  It is something that I do to feel better and it has been a while since I’ve been in save-money-for-infertility-treatments mode.  But, the girl f’ed up and left the tint on too long.  I look terrible.  I probably feel worse about it than it looks.  AND, my sister-in-law sent me an email that pretty much, if I read into it correctly, confirms my fears that she is pregnant and isn’t ready to share the news yet.  THEN, as I was cooking, which in addition to writing is my comfort, a tiny splash of hot oil hit me in the face.

All of those things were the perfect storm and I fell apart.  MH was running late and wasn’t responding to my text messages because he was on the phone.  So, I got worried and started to imagine the worst case scenario that he got hit by a bus or a car on his way home from work.  I was a complete mess when he walked in the door.  I was pretty much hyperventilating because I was sobbing so hard.

My sweet husband held me in his arms.  He reminded me that all of these things individually would be nothing in the scheme of it and that if we weren’t struggling so hard that I would be fine.  He reminded me that it is OK to cry and be sad.  He reminded me that I need to be happy for my sis-in-law and brother because when it is our time, they will be happy for us.  He reminded me that he loves me and married me not because he wanted me to give him babies but because he loves me so much that he wants to be by my side for the rest of our lives.  I love my husband so much.  I feel so lucky.  I’m glad that since we’re forced to go through this challenge in life together that it is he who is by my side and not one of my previous relationships.

I lost control last night.  I’ve been devastated and sad and cried before about this crappy situation – once when the doctor in the ER confirmed the miscarriage and again when I heard the diminished ovarian reserve diagnosis.  But, I held it together with those for the most part.  I cried with MH, we wiped my tears and went on.  Last night, I felt out of control.  I could have cried all night.  I don’t know why.  Maybe I’m odd and my hormones kick in after…who knows.  But, it felt good.  I could use another good cry again soon (but maybe I’ll save it for when I’m home alone).

Green Monster is Here


My sister-in-law and brother had a miscarriage shortly after I did this year.  She has been struggling to get pregnant as well but has not gone for any testing, etc. as far as I am aware.  However, I get the feeling that she is pregnant again.  Though I don’t have confirmation, I’m pretty certain that she is and is keeping it from me.  She asks me how I’m doing and I tell her.  I ask her how she’s doing and she talks about different things.

And, so, the green monster known as jealousy has reared its ugly head in me.  I don’t have confirmation but I’m so jealous that I don’t want to talk to either of them – but I do because I should.  I’m so scared that they’re going to tell me that they’re pregnant.  I’m so afraid of my reaction.

I’m going to be happy for them but I’m going to also be devastated.  I’m going to be devastated because it’ll be a kick in the stomach for me that I’m not pregnant again.  I’m not pregnant again and I’m struggling with infertility.  I’m infertile.  I’m jealous.  I’m sad.

Life’s Cruel Joke


The postman rang the bell early this morning – around 8am – to say that I had a package.  I wasn’t expecting anything but who doesn’t love a package, right?!

When I got pregnant with our first one, I eagerly signed up for all kinds of email updates that told me how fast our little one was growing, etc.  Well, I had to unsubscribe myself from those email updates pretty shortly after because I miscarried.  Oh how naive I was to think that I could sign up for all of those email alerts, parenting magazines, etc.  My enthusiasm got the best of me.  Never once did it cross my mind that I would have a miscarriage.

Back to this morning, I open the door to our apartment and there is a shoebox-sized box of infant formula.  Are you kidding?  Is it a joke?  I realize that I’m approaching my estimated due date and so yes if I were having a baby in a month I would be interested but instead that baby is gone.  My tummy is flat.  My uterus is empty (actually, hopefully it has one or two sticky little embryos burrowing inside of me but you know what I mean).  My arms will be empty on August 30.  We won’t be going to the hospital.  I won’t be in labor.  My water won’t break.  We aren’t making final preparations.

This sample of infant formula is one of life’s cruel jokes.  A reminder of what I don’t have right now.  A reminder of my daily struggle.  A reminder of our loss – a little one who I will never hold anywhere but in my heart.

I should find out where I can donate baby formula.  I’m sure that there is someone out there who needs it and I will gladly donate it instead of tossing it into the garbage.  Any ideas?