We’re Back

Hey Ya’ll-

It’s been over a year. We’re not pregnant yet, but we’re trying again. At the same time, again. Because apparently being 37 helps you to do the things that are probably insane, but hopefully it works.

I’m using a KD and Leah’s using a clinic and frozen stuff.

We shall see.

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We came, We tried (again), We’re still not Pregnant

A brief synopsis:

I’ve been planning to quit my job to focus on refreshing my doula skills and work for my friends as their nanny for some time. I’ve been eyeing a college to be a KD for Leah; he’s handsome, smart, fertile, kind of a perfect ten. We always said that after some time I’d pass the torch to Leah to try since she really wants to carry as well. So it was kinda perfect.

Except he and his partner decided to move to California … around the same time I put in my notice aka the end of insurance.

So we both inseminated.

Leah with the KD two Fridays ago at home and me the following day, triggered, but no Femera (new RE)

We TWWed together giggle about the possibility of both being pregnant. We compared TWW symptoms and yesterday we discovered that neither of us are pregnant. Double the BFN + Double PMS = no fun zone.

I was holding out hope that I tested too early, like when I got my BFP, but three tests later, CD 28, 13 DPO I think I’m done.

Like, done done.

The first try after the miscarriage, I dunno, for some reason I thought I’d get thrown a bone. I thought I’d get a break, Gd would have some mercy and we’d get to be moms. I didn’t think it would be as hard, but it’s so devastating to know that we’re still motherless women.

I told Leah through tears that I felt like my body was broken and that I was really done this time. I don’t want to try to get pregnant any more, at least not for a long while. For almost 2 years I’ve been on this journey and I’m 95% sure I’m ready to pass the baton to her. It’s hard because we have a KD lined up for me who’s ready, willing and able but without insurance for monitoring (although I produced 3 follicles all on my own this cycle) and my body’s inability to ovulate on it’s own or to carry a full luteal phase without progesterone, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the further headaches and disappointment. I’m at the place of feeling completely hopeless …

I’ll be 36 in a few weeks and it’s scary to think that I’m going to be willing to wait until I’m 37 to try again, but I just don’t think I have the strength to do it. Who knows, tomorrow I may think differently. Okay, probably not tomorrow.

Where We Are Now

Hey Bloggers,

So many of you are Mamas now, and I send you so much love and mazels on your new additions!

Leah and I are trucking along. We’ve had a lot of relationship issues to iron out after the miscarriage. We’re working hard on reconnecting and have started to get back in the saddle of TTC.

There are more things to say, but the reason I decided to write again is because of TheBump.com and it’s unnecessary and sad reminder of my pregnancy loss. Leah and I bickered today about the car. We only have one and she’s been riding to work on her bike on nice days. Since today starts my “weekend” I was looking forward to having the car, but she’d run about 7 miles yesterday and was feeling sore. In the end, I have the car, but felt yucky and selfish for getting it. We said goodbye stiffly and I drifted back to sleep before needing to be awake for a follicle check at 8:50AM.

Then a buzz from my phone, “Erika! You’re 25 weeks pregnant today!”

Um, no, Bump.com, I’m not. As I told you MONTHS ago when I requested that you, again STOP bombarding me with emails about my pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. It was frustrating and a sad reminder that our journey continues.

GIRL Friend ARE you preggo?

pregnancy loss helenabbot.comthis is also posted on my other blog

That was the Facebook message I got from a friend on April 27th. I was pregnant, about 6 weeks along, and while I wasn’t telling anyone, I wasn’t exactly hiding it either. Well, at least not on Instagram.

I’ve always posted about birth, nursing, doulas, etc. because of my work as a doula. But I also started pinning best cloth diapers, best foods to eat, best ways to stave off morning sickness, best yoga and low-impact exercised to do while pregnant. I only told a few close friends, and of course my mother, but I was aching to let the entire world know.

Nearly one year of TTC had passed, and while we didn’t try for 12 months straight, it felt like a miracle that we were finally pregnant after praying and pleading to G-d for our miracle.

Now I sit, at what would be the half way mark of my first pregnancy. My stomach is not swollen, I’ve not purchased any maternity wear and I’m not having a baby. The month-long miscarriage process was hell on earth and the month that has passed since then, while better, has not been a cake walk. I am feeling a bit more like myself; I laugh and smile easily now, I’ve started running again, and my G-d summer rosé is pretty amazing. Every once in a while I’ll get sad; My first period was rough, as was the confusion of my fertility app. Did I have a miscarriage, it asked clearly confused I was marking a period again. Sympathy from an app, yay technology! My sadness doesn’t come from seeing babies, which I thought would be the case, but from swollen bellies.

Perhaps it’s because of my birth work experience that I don’t blame myself for the miscarriage. Of course, in my darkest moments, I did wonder what I’d done wrong; Was it the glass of wine I had before realizing I was pregnant? Was it the feta cheese in that salad? Did the salad dressing have raw eggs in it? Maybe there’s just something wrong with me and I’m not supposed to be a mother. Maybe it’s because I made a registry and Jews don’t do things like that. 

It wasn’t my fault. It happened. It happens to more women than most know. And it could happen again. For now it’s about figuring out what my future will be like, how I can shape it, and remembering the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn during this process.

Like my sister’s death, my miscarriage has shaken my center. I’m no longer interested in simply existing in this life, I want to live it wholly and fully and without fear. Birth work, adding a nursing degree to my doula certification, is my driving motivation. And I also want to continue to be more vocal about pregnancy loss and miscarriage, even provide doula support for women who lose their pregnancies because while it’s 100% necessary to have a doula by your side when you bring life into the world, it’s possibly more important to have a doula by your side when you realize the life you were growing isn’t.

My partner did the best she could when we lost our baby, but miscarriage is hard, possibly harder in different ways, on partners. Our doctors and nurses did a rather shitty job providing comfort. There were forced hugs, diagnostic works that lacked emotion, a need to remain professional, rather than personal when all I needed was someone to look me in the eyes, hold my hands, give me a hug and tell me how incredibly sorry they were for the loss of my child.

The first step in this journey is science. Lots of science courses in subjects I loathed as a lazy undergraduate. But as an adult woman who has seen glimpses of what life is like when you don’t live it fully, I’m pretty confident that I can kick Chemistry (and bioChem, and Biology, and Anatomy)’s ass!

I don’t know what this means for the blog, we shall see as it goes. But, thanks for reading and for support.

Non-Carrying Mama … For Now

We’ve always discussed both Leah and I carrying children. Because she was finishing her PhD program and my work schedule was more flexible I tried first.

To say that the miscarriage has been hard is still the understatement of the year. And as such, I really don’t think that I can go through another TTC cycle(s) at this point. I can, however, focus my energies on Leah and her journey towards Mamahood, so here we go, ya’ll! I’m sort of excited to see this from the other side.

I’m Not Pregnant Anymore

After a miscarriage the pregnancy hormone, HSG, can stay in your body for up to a month. A month that, for me, meant morning sickness, sore/sensitive breasts and nipples, frequent urination, fullness in my stomach-all of the joys of the first trimester of pregnancy.

The first trimester came and went and now I’m officially no longer pregnant.

Tonight, in a friend’s house, a friend who has a beautiful baby girl, I took a pregnancy test and only got one line. And because we’re in a weird phase of the TTC cycle I didn’t feel upset that we weren’t pregnant, I felt relief that I wasn’t any more.

For over a month I went through the miscarriage process. 2 D&Cs, 3 rounds of mispopristil (sp), acupuncture sessions and herbs all trying to expel the lifeless fetus from my body. For over a month I isolated myself. For over a month I wondered if my relationship was over (Leah did not handle the miscarriage well at all-and that is the understatement of the century). For over a month I wondered where I would live, how I would survive. I thought about death, my own. I thought about life, the one that was lost. For over a month I laid in bed, I wept, I starved. For over a month I spoke to no one.

And through it all, some how, mostly guided by a trip to NYC that was planned months before we knew we were pregnant, I have found myself again. I am laughing. I smile easily. I enjoy the company of other people. I feel alive again. I feel like myself again.

I have on new glasses, they’re crystal clear replacements of the rose-colored glasses I wore through this TTC process. They are glasses that know that I may not get pregnant (some women don’t). They are glasses that know that I may miscarriage again. They are glasses that know that whatever happens, I will be ready.

Chapter Closed

Today I went to Swedish in Seattle for another (successful) D&C and this Chapter of my life. Pregnancy #1 is now closed.

There’s a lot to say. Lots of feelings. Lots of planning, but I’m just looking forward to actually being able to properly heal and properly grieve this loss.

My Midwife is all of a sudden worried that my fibroids will be a “problem” which is interesting because they were never problematic for my RE in Brooklyn, but that worry is for another few months.

For now, I’m just here. Watching from a distance as some of your bellies continue to grow. Holding space and prayers of strength for those of you whose path has gone astray as mine has. And hopeful joy that one day I’ll hold a baby all of my own in my arms.

Gonna take some time away from the blog to re-group, but/and THANK YOU to all of you who have supported me both on this blog, offline and in real life.

And now we wait *language*

If our baby was still alive, it would be 9wks 3 days.

The really fucked up part is that its still inside of me and after one D&C and three unsuccessful rounds of Misoprostol all we can do is wait.

Today I went to my RE for an ultrasound, that I didn’t watch. I squeezed my eyes shut for the scan that seemed to last a lifetime. I knew I couldn’t watch. I couldn’t see our baby on the screen. I asked the tech to just scan and not tell me anything and I asked my RE to distract me, so we talked about the house.

After the scan the tech and my RE left to let me dress and my RE came back to report that the gestational sac has started to pull away from my uterus and that blood has started clotting in the space where it was attached. I could miscarry tomorrow or next week, but because we want to try again they don’t recommend doing another D&C for fear of damaging my uterus.

So I literally have to wait.

Fucked up is the only way I can describe what I’m feeling. Tired and depressed and anxious and sad and unglued all work, but fucked up is the only thing I keep thinking. It’s so unnerving to be in this state of limbo. It’s unnerving to remember (because my body still thinks it’s pregnant) that I’m not. It’s unnerving to roll over at night and my breasts still hurt. I still have nausea when I eat certain things and my pants are still snug around my waist.

It’s also still incredibly lonely and isolating and I’ve found that much like when my sister passed away, some people cannot handle this kind of unfinished grief. I say unfinished because while our baby’s heart stopped being sometime last week, the fact that I still haven’t miscarried means that it’s not “finished.” There’s no closure. There’s only the impending fear that one day I’ll be awakened by cramps and that I’ll have to see my body bleed. Things I was hoping to avoid with the D&C and things that are inevitable.

And all the while I have my job on my back wondering when I will return. I have friends who have all of a sudden disappeared and I have a Facebook feed brimming with pregnancy announcements and new babies and I can’t help but feel resentment and anger towards those women and families and can’t help but wail while showering.

My grief is all-encompassing, over-powering, all-consuming, raw and unfinished. It’s the only thing I think of and the only thing I wish I could get rid of.

Still Nothing

Tomorrow makes one week since we found out Bean’s heart has stopped beating. And despite two rounds of misoprostil (sp) I still haven’t miscarried.

Tomorrow I take a third dose.

Today I had some light spotting and light cramping and that’s it.

I’m honestly not sure how much more I’m going to be able to withstand.

Waiting to Miscarry

The last 24 hours has been a bit nuts.

Leah and I got into a HUGE fight because I posted about the miscarriage on FB. Mainly because I’m feeling alone and wanted to find friends who’ve been through this to talk to. Also, because I don’t think that losing a child should be a secret. When people die that’s not a secret-so why this.

We processed a lot and today is a much better day.

Except that the medicine to help me miscarry hasn’t worked yet. I took the two doses of Cytotec, had some minor cramping and light (like first day of your period light) bleeding but no tissue passing and insignificant bleeding.

My RE perscribed another dose which we’ll take in a few hours.

For those of you who’ve been through this-did it take you this long to miscarry? What can I expect?