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.

Advertisements

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.

A Different Kind of Two Week Wait

This two week wait is a different kind of wait. Filled with the same, but different, sort of uncertainty.

My worries:

These cramps and aches and pains. I keep Googling and Google keeps telling me it’s okay, but it’s freaking me out a bit. Anyone else have these? How long did they last for you?

Another Beta. I don’t know why, but I think that I’m going to call my RE on Monday to see if I can come in the morning for another Beta. Again, Google says that two is standard, but I think it will help settle my mind.

Nerves and Anxiety. I’m So excited to be pregnant. It’s been something we’ve been working on for so long and we’ve spent so much money and we’re finally pregnant! But I’ve been having really weird dreams, and of course a million what ifs fly into my head day in and day out. What if I MC? What if there’s something wrong? What if I’m not really pregnant and it’s a tubal? What if? I’m trying to re-direct these negative thoughts with affirmations about my body being strong and trusting my body, just as I did two weeks ago. But they just keep creeping in.

Did anyone else do this? How did you get yourself through?

B-B-B-Beta!

I first want to thank EVERYONE for the outpouring of love, emotion and support. Since we’ve only told our parents and bosses it feels really good to pop online and see everyone’s words of support so, thank you.

red stringThe last few days have been crazy! The first night after we found out we both barely slept. Last night was a bit better but I got up SIX TIMES to pee, and I’ve already had a near toilet miss. Thanks to my fibroids already swelling my uterus, I’ve joked to Leah that by the end of the first trimester I’ll be wearing Depends. She laughed, but I’m so not joking.

I’ve wept a few times, this morning on the way for our second blood draw I cried because I realized that I wouldn’t have my sister along side me for this journey. Despite her many faults, she was my only sister and she had three boys via vaginal birth. It really struck me this morning that I wouldn’t be able to call her to ask her for advice, thoughts on my aches and pains, or what her experience with birth was like.

I also feel incredibly alone here in Seattle with all of our pregnant and new Mama friends on the East Coast. I started looking up lesbian parenting groups or lesbian pregnancy groups on FB, but it’s interesting that we really don’t have a support system here to help us through this time. Leah and I’s relationship is rock solid, so that feels awesome, but the reality is is that it’s just she and I. Which if I think too much about I really get freaked out. Operation find lesbian (and awesome radical straight) moms ASAP!

Jewish things we’re doing: We tied red strings around our wrists at the beginning of IUI#5, there’s a tradition of women visiting Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem and praying for children (or happy marriages). Pilgrims tie a red string around her tomb and then cut it and wear it for protection against ayan hara (the evil eye) and as a fertility amulet. The first is tattered and pilling and stretched out, so we decided to add a second red string for the pregnancy. It’s a lot of Jewish superstition, I’m WELL aware, but it also feels like tradition.

I’ve also been reading a lot of Tehillim (Psalms) and focusing on gratitude and appreciation for my body.

Lastly, still feeling really achy and crampy, which my fertility app and every single Google search has told me is okay and completely normal.

In the library now:

The Natural Pregnancy Book

Childbirth Without Fear

The Jewish Pregnancy Book

Birthing From Within.

All books I purchased on Amazon for super cheap for preparation into my doula work (did I ever mention that I was a doula?) But turns out, I’m reading them for me now!

So Beta? 328! Our 6-week ultra sound is scheduled for the first week of May!

Holy Fucking Shit and a Beta Update

CD 24

13DPO

I took a test two days ago and it was negative (hence the posts)

Since then I’ve been incredibly emotional; crying, weepy, angry, frustrated, sad and resentful of friends who are pregnant or just had babies.

I’d already prepared myself for AF and told Leah that as a consolation prize, I would be buying a puppy.

So today I woke up feeling crampy. I decided to take the last test in the box and totally expected to see a negative and instead got a BFP!

Freaked out, I called Leah (who’s out of town) and yelled, “I’M PREGNANT!” she was just as confused (we totally folded this cycle days ago) and freaked out. I explained the situation and sent her a picture of the test.

I called my RE office and asked to come in immediately for an HCG. Guzzled some water, took Progesterone, and grabbed a yogurt befPositive Pregnancy testsore walking to the office. On my way home I bought two more tests from two different brands and just like the first test an hour ago, the positives came up within 10 seconds of setting the test stick on the sink.

We’re thrilled. Nervous. Anxious. Excited. Nervous. Excited and waiting to hear back from the doctor.

And if on cue, I puked up my yogurt.

If you know me outside of the blog world, please keep this quiet, we don’t want to officially announce until much later.

Also, holy fucking shit, ya’ll!!

****UPDATE****

Just got a call from my RE and my beta is 108.4. We have an appointment on Wednesday to check for an increase, but YES, I’m FUCKING PREGNANT!!!!!

Today is a Better Day-And an Update!

Sorry for the extreme post, ya’ll.

I’m not feeling any less desperate or hopeless, but it’s a sunny, warm day in Seattle and I’m feeling less weepy.

Yesterday nothing was good and it all made me cry: the despair of this cycle and all of the symptoms I’m feeling that feel like PMS. It seemed that every commercial on television was for diapers or about motherhood. My Instagram and Facebook feeds were filled with brand new babes, pregnancy announcements and little ones.

Today it’s all the same, but after a good talk and another cry we’re not giving up. I don’t think we’ll shoot for IVF right away because new mortgage and IVF don’t really work in the same sentence. But if this cycle is heading where I think it is, I’m going to take the rest of April to work on dropping at least 15lbs, clearing my mind, getting positive and hopefully finding a Known Donor.

I’ve sent “that awkward email lesbians TTC send to to men in their lives” to potential KD #1, so we’ll see.

We’re thinking KD because of timing, though according to the medical fertility we’re doing everything right. I do have a question though; has anyone triggered and then had an ultrasound the following day to make sure the follicles are gone?

Thanks to everyone who reached out. It really helped.

*****UPDATE*****

Literally emailed potential KD#1 and he responded in 5 minutes with a firm yes! He and his husband are in the process of finding a surrogate and he “knows our challenges and frustrations” and would be “100% happy to help”

Seriously, best news all cycle. Keep your fingers crossed for us, ya’ll! If it all pans out, we’ll be trying with a KD in June!

Will it Ever Be My Turn?

I haven’t tested yet. The disappointment of early testing last cycle plus my super PMS-y signs have me fearing the worst. And while waiting for my period doesn’t seem idea, I just don’t think I can bare to see another negative pregnancy test.

So. Some good things going on in our lives:

We’re in the process of buying a house, which has been a long process. We’re currently in the inspection process and hoping that the sellers fix the many problems associated with the purchase of a 120 year old home. The house is in Tacoma, 40 minutes south of Seattle which is a lot better for Leah’s job but not so ideal for my job.

Some stressful things going on in our lives:

The house buying, while full of roller coaster-style ups and downs, has actually been quite thrilling and a much welcome distraction from this cycle, which I fear is going to end with another (my sixth) negative test. Because we are putting so much money into the house buying and my insurance is still not covering my infertility (though I’ve put in an appeal, so fingers crossed) we’re most likely going to have to stop trying for at least another year or so. Which will make me TTC at 36 years old. Not to mention the fact that when we go to NYC for a wedding this spring Leah wants to try with a potential known donor, a friend of mine who agreed over bottles of wine to donate for her.

I’m feeling incredibly sad. Incredibly angry. Incredibly hopeless. If this cycle ends in a negative I honestly don’t think I can blog anymore because there won’t be much more to say.

And I know I still have 8 more days until I can officially call it quits, it definitely doesn’t feel like I’m pregnant-meaning I feel like I always do before my period.

So we’ll wait and see and I’m still hoping for the best, but no one ever talks about what happens when you can’t try any more. And turns out, what happens when faced with that possibility. Well-it really, really sucks.

Meanwhile I’m Fakebooking happiness for the many friends who have welcomed babes into the world and really hating myself for that resentful feeling I’m feeling. I almost want to quit all social media for the time being because it’s just so fucking hard to see happiness when I’m feeling so sad.