Us

Us

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Therapy

I think it is time to seek professional help. Yep. I said it. I may need therapy. I honestly feel like I have been able to process and deal with the loss of our children over the past year and a half pretty well. I never before thought I would go down this road. However, over the past few weeks I have noticed aspects in my thought process that I know is not normal. Does this all have to do with just the loss of our children? Partially, but that’s not all of it. There are a few aspects of my life that I have never really been able to process and work through and I think the loss of our children has just magnified problems that have always existed. I know there is a problem, I know why I have this problem, and I know it’s not normal, but I am at a loss as to how to fix it. So I figure while I am making my way through the grieving process, why not deal with everything? Lay it all out there and fix me all at once? Work towards a new and improved Jessica 2.0!

You may be wondering why I am announcing to the world that I’m thinking about seeking professional help. I am kind of wondering that myself. I thought about why I have this blog in the first place. I wanted to start this blog not only to work through my feelings and experiences of infertility/loss, but to try to help others out there understand what this world is like. Infertility and loss touches many lives. Not only for those going through it, but for their friends and family members as well. Everything relationship a woman has is affected by infertility/loss and sometimes it is hard to navigate that dynamic. For awhile I thought I would keep this therapy idea private, that it was no one’s business whether I seek help or not, and to a certain degree that is true. But then I thought about why I wanted to keep it private and I realized that it was because I was embarrassed. Therapy has such a stigma attached to it. When people would mention it as an option for me over the past year and a half I would brush it off thinking, “yeah right, I don’t need to see a shrink.” As if deciding I needed to see a therapist would be admitting that I am not normal, that I am sick in some sense. But this fact is obvious to me now, I’m not normal, and that’s okay. I mean what is ‘normal’ anyway? So I finally decided to post this to my blog to help people realize that seeking help is okay! There is nothing wrong with those who do. Sometimes being able to process certain events is beyond our ability.

I may be a hypocrite in saying this though because after all, I have yet to make the phone call. I have been mulling it over in my mind for a couple weeks now but still haven’t picked up the phone. I don’t know what is stopping me. Maybe I’m scared? Maybe I am still fighting against the idea that I even need it? Who knows? I told Justin it is his job to keep me committed to this and not let me chicken out. I just need to find the courage and buck up and do it! Wish me luck!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bekah's Poem

My little sister had the assignment to write a poetry book for school. I wanted to use one of her poems on my blog because it is about the loss of our kids. What I like most about it, is it is addressed to my late father who passed away almost three years ago. The reason I am posting it on my blog is that I have thought of my dad often through this whole process and wondered if he was near me, and how much he knows about my children and if they are together. So a big thank you to Bekah for letting me share her poem :)

Letters To The Grave
By Bekah

Hello Daddy.
Can you hear me?
Can you see the things I see?

My sister, your daughter
She's hurting, she's aching.
Her fragile heart just keeps breaking.

Why this has happened,
None of us know.
I try to be strong, but it's all a big show.

Those precious little souls,
Too pure to stay here,
They've gone to a perfect place and have nothing to fear.

Did you meet them,
In the palace above?
Did you console her when she needed your love?

What happens now?
She's all alone.
A huge hole in her heart is all she's ever known.

I stand on the side,
Watching her cry.
Her weak little voice, "why, why, why?!"

I feel so helpless.
What do I do?
I feel so lost and I desperately need you.

Please give me the strength
To lift her up.
And peace of mind in knowing my love will be enough.

I love you Daddy,
And so does she.
In our hearts forever you'll be.

Thanks Bekah :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Numb

I think it is safe to say I have reached that all too familiar stage of feeling…Nothing. I wouldn’t consider myself sad, but I do not feel happy either. I feel fine. I don’t feel much. So am I making progress? If feeling nothing is better than being sad, then yeah I guess I am progressing.

I hate feeling nothing. I feel so detached, like I am operating through a fog where nothing really gets through to me. It has been awhile since I really cried, but I can’t remember the last time I genuinely laughed or smiled either. My smiles feel automatic, mechanic. I can’t remember the last time I was actually excited or invested in what is happening around me. I am just going through the motions, with no real interest in anything. (I sound like I could be on an anti depressant commercial). But I don’t feel depressed; I don’t spend my time sad. I go through my day like normal, a functioning member of society like everyone else.

What I find most frustrating is not feeling like myself. I look at pictures of Justin and I during our first 2 ½ years of marriage, before all the madness began, and I miss that girl. She was excited about her future and the possibilities were endless. The last two years have sucked that girl dry of any excitement toward the future. I feel like a little kid who just found out Santa isn't real. I feel like I am just existing, doing what I know I am supposed to be doing, but my heart is not in it. I have heard that I will never get that girl back, that I can never be the old me, because I have been forever changed. But I am not so sure I like the new version of me. She is numb, she is not excited about the future, she doesn’t laugh as much, she is not fun. I want the old me back.

This stage for me is the most frustrating. I would rather spend my time moping and crying than what I am doing now, because then I am actually FEELING something. Something is at least affecting me. It’s like I am on a hunt to find something that will produce some sort of feeling from me.

I don’t know how to fix it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Remembering Details Part 2: Chloe and Daniel

As soon as we knew my water broke and people started showing up, I began to retreat back into myself again. I didn’t keep my eyes closed like with Braden but I couldn’t/wouldn’t look anybody in the eyes. My sister and mom were already so upset and I couldn’t stand to see the look of grief on their faces. I couldn’t look at them, because if I did I would lose it. It’s almost like I could pretend that it wasn’t happening, or avoid the situation if I didn’t look at anyone, but if I looked at their faces it became so much more real.

I remember my doctor finally coming in and how I was both glad and embarrassed to see her. She has always had such a good and comforting demeanor, but I had a hard time looking her in the eye also. I remember wanting to apologize that we had to bother her on a Wednesday evening. I remember wanting to apologize for what she was going to have to do. I am sure no doctor likes delivering babies too early. This was not going to be a fun and exciting delivery and I wanted to tell her I was sorry I didn’t make it. I also felt bad because she had tried so hard to get me these babies and my body was failing once again. I felt like I was disappointing the whole team of people who had taken care of me over the past month. I remember her telling me we were going to deliver the babies, how we were going to cry, and how we would get through it. Then she left the room to get ready. I remember the nurses wheeling me to a delivery room. I also remember cracking jokes as they were moving me. I don’t know why. I think I felt the need to let the people with me know that I was going to be okay, that this wasn’t going to break me. I think a lot of people were worried how I was going to get through this and I didn’t want them to worry about that. I don’t even know what I said, only that I kept saying funny things, trying to make the situation lighter and less awkward for everyone.

I got into the delivery room and I remember them putting a lot of fluid into my IV, which helped flush out the magnesium faster. The effects of the magnesium wore of quicker than usual which was nice. I was so grateful when I got the nurse I did during shift change. Her name was Bethany, she was a taller blonde. She had been my nurse many times in my month in the hospital and I liked her a lot. I was so glad she was going to be my nurse during this whole ordeal. She and Justin even had a little conversation about hunting season starting as we were waiting. I remember a male coming in to give me the epidural. I remember being so nervous about it. I wanted to go pain free this time, Emily and Braden’s births were not something I wanted to repeat. I remember having to sit on the edge of the bed so he could put it in. Justin had to stand in front of me and hold me up because I was still weak and drugged up and had little control over my muscles. I remember sitting on the bed swaying from side to side like I was on a boat and Justin having to hold me still. I remember kind of chuckling to myself; I thought it was funny that I kept swaying. They laid me back down and waited a half hour or so. My doctor came back in and told me she was going to remove the stitch. She told me she anticipated that baby B (which we were thinking was a boy) would come very quickly once she removed the stitch. I remember laying there hearing the clipping of the scissors and being grateful I couldn’t feel anything but movement and pressure. I remember my doctor saying, “Sorry Jess” over and over. From the time she removed the stitch all the way through the D and C of the placentas she kept apologizing. I assured her it was okay and that I wasn’t feeling too much.

Just as she thought, Baby C was ready to come as soon as the stitch was out. Once again people around me were telling me to push harder. And once again I thought, “I don’t want to”. How do you put your whole heart into and push with everything you have when you know your baby is not ready and won’t make it? How do you push hard enough when you want to keep your baby safe inside? I remember hearing the sniffles of my mom and sister crying and hearing my doctor tell me the baby was almost out. When baby B came out I opened my eyes and saw my doctor holding my baby with a confused look on her face. She looked over to my mom and sister and said, “This is a girl baby”. We all went, “what?” It didn’t make sense. Baby B was supposed to be Braden’s identical twin; it was supposed to be a boy. It was a bitter sweet surprise. We had our baby Chloe. My nurse laid Chloe on my chest and I was able to look at her. I remember thinking she looked a lot like Braden with Justin’s nose. My doctor waited to see if the last baby was ready to come, but my contractions started to slow down. I remember her walking to the side of my bed, telling me Chloe was beautiful, hugging me, and told me she was going to give us some time and left the room.

 I remember my mom and sister coming over to see her. I remember saying, “I just don’t understand” and allowing myself to cry for the first time since my water broke. We spent the next hour and a half looking at Chloe and watching my contractions on the monitor. I remember saying a prayer, asking my Heavenly Father to have pity on me and not allow this labor to drag on for hours. I wasn’t excited to deliver my last baby, but the anticipation of what I had to do was worse than actually doing it. I just wanted to be done. Heavenly Father heard my prayer and within a short time I felt a weird sensation all through my belly and a sudden “pop” of pressure. Within just a few minutes my doctor was in the room and Daniel was out in just a couple pushes. My nurse placed him on my chest as well and I just stared at him. He looked just like Emily. It was so weird to look at this baby, knowing it was a boy and a completely new person, but being reminded so much of Emily. I remember having Justin take him while my doctor had to deliver all three placentas. It wasn’t painful but it was uncomfortable. I think I was slightly tilted on the bed because the epidural was working better on my right side than my left side. I could feel cramp-like pain on my left side as she delivered placentas and did the D and C to get everything out. It was a weird sensation.

I remember thinking how relieved I was that I wasn’t feeling much of what she was doing. I had told her after Braden was born that no matter what circumstances, I wanted an epidural when we delivered the last two babies and I didn’t want drugs in my system that made my head all foggy. I had spent Emily’s and Braden’s births totally drugged up, my head so foggy and in physical pain that I felt like I couldn’t take full advantage of the time I had with them. Now here I was, having just delivered Chloe and Daniel, not in pain, no foggy head, with more clarity than I had with the other two and to be honest it was harder. I had no other variables to distract me. All I had this time was the emotional pain. It was so much more harsh and real.

I remember the nurses taking Chloe and Daniel and them putting Pitocin in my IV to get my uterus to contract. They took out the epidural and once the Pitocin was done they took my IV out and it was so nice not to be hooked up to anything. Justin went and got us Wendy’s. I think it was close to midnight by this time. I remember my nurse coming to tell me goodbye, she was going home. She gave me a hug, told me she was so sorry, thanked us for letting her be a part of our experience, gave me a kiss on the head and left. I remember how excited I was when my new nurse told me I could take a bath. After a month on bed rest with sponge baths and an occasional shower, this was going to be great. I remember trying to walk on my wobbly legs and with Justin’s help making it to the tub. It had jets and everything. After taking the relaxing bath and taking a couple strong pain pills, I was pretty comfy back in bed. Once I was situated and laying on my right side, Justin brought Chloe and Daniel over and laid them on the bed with me by my head. They smelled so good and were so cute together. I remember feeling overwhelmingly guilty. I just laid there and said I was sorry over and over in my head. By no fault of their own, my body failed them. There was nothing I could do for them and I felt so bad. I remember not wanting to let them go, but knew I had to. Like ripping off a band aid. I finally told Justin he could take them to the nurses. I remember him picking them up, kissing each of them and took them away. I just cried as he left. I didn’t know it was possible for a body to produce so many tears.

I know it is asking a lot of people to get through these long redundant posts. I mostly did this to preserve everything I still remember as I forget little things everyday. I think it will be nice to look back at these years from now and be able to read such a fresh account of what happened.

Remembering Details Part 1: Braden

The next couple posts have been a long time coming.  Almost every night for the last couple weeks I have replayed my time in the hospital and the birth of the kids in my head. I am already beginning to forget all the little things and details I want so badly to remember. I will probably end up saving all my posts from my blog so years from now I can reread them and remember all that happened. I know I already briefly told the story of Braden’s birth so some of this might be redundant, but mostly for myself I want to try to write down everything I can still remember.

The Sunday night before he was born, my family came to see me in the hospital. Justin had brought me spaghetti, which I was so excited about. I had read somewhere that spicy food can make you go into labor and Justin was worried he made the sauce too spicy. I remember after Braden was born him saying something like, “What if it was the spaghetti?” I assured him that that wasn’t the problem. I remember having a good visit with my family and being sad when they all had to leave. At least Justin got to stay with me that night since he didn’t have to work the next day. I think we turned the lights off somewhere between 10 and 11.

I woke up at about 2 am. I remember feeling uncomfortable, but nothing too bad. I couldn’t go back to sleep however and the pain began to increase. I woke Justin up and explained to him what I was feeling. I remember him saying, “If you aren’t going to call your nurse, I will”. I knew my nurse was awake and doing her job, but subconsciously I felt bad bothering her at 2 in the morning. But the pain was pretty intense at this point so I paged my nurse. I explained to her what I was feeling, how the pain was all in my back. I don’t remember my nurse’s name, only that she was a blonde with shoulder length hair and this was the first time she had been my nurse. She wrote it off telling me I was probably constipated. I remember thinking that was highly unlikely as I had never been constipated in my life and this pain was a little intense for me just to be constipated. She called both of my doctors around 3, both of which agreed I probably just needed to go to the bathroom. I remember feeling bad that my doctors had to be bothered at 3 in the morning and felt embarrassed I was having this little episode. I was convinced I didn’t need to go to the bathroom, but told myself my doctor’s knew what they were doing so I didn’t say anything. Besides, there were no contractions happening in my uterus.

I remember trying to go to the bathroom and the exact moment I realized what was happening. I sat in the bathroom for several minutes prepping myself for what was to come. I knew what was about to happen and I seriously debated whether I wanted to even tell my nurse. Maybe if I didn’t tell her what was happening I wouldn’t have to deliver him and keep him safe inside? I mean how do you tell your nurse you are delivering your baby when you don’t want to be delivering your baby? As soon as I told her what was happening, she and another nurse both checked me, told me they felt something, but it didn’t feel like a head. I think Braden was slightly breech. They call my doctors again, having my perinatologist come deliver.

At this point they are getting me prepped and wheeled into the operating room. I would be delivering naturally, but I had to be ready for my doctor to put in the cerclage right after the birth. I remember keeping my eyes closed and covering my face as I was wheeled to the OR. I did this for a couple reasons. The lights in the hospital were very bright and I had a hard time opening my eyes and I was able to concentrate on getting through the pain with my eyes closed. But mostly I kept my eyes closed because I was embarrassed and ashamed and couldn’t stand to look into the eyes of the nurses and doctors. I couldn’t handle the looks of sadness and pity they were giving me. I just wanted to disappear. As I was in the OR with my eyes closed, I remember hearing a lot of nurses talking about my condition and what they were going to do. I had several people getting me situated at once. They drew my blood twice, took my blood pressure, told me to sign stuff or when to move a certain limb. The only time I opened my eyes was when a nurse specifically told me to look at her. Being in labor, experiencing the pain, all while being prepped for surgery was a very strange experience.

I remember briefly seeing my perinatologist before I closed my eyes again. I remember he looked tired. I am guessing it was between 5 and 6 at this point. I remember wanting to apologize to him for having to come in at this gosh awful hour and do all this.

I remember the doctor having to reach up and help get Braden moved into position and the nurses and Justin telling me to push harder. I remember wanting to say, “I don’t want to”. I didn’t want to push harder or even push at all. I didn’t want to deliver this baby. How could I push harder knowing he wouldn’t make it as soon as he was out? I remember hearing them say he was out (my eyes were still closed). The sounds I heard after he was born were depressing. There was no crying. It was eerily quiet for awhile, the nurses only talking when they had to. They said it was a boy. I remember thinking, “A boy? That’s weird.” I had only ever had a daughter; it was weird to think I had a son now as well. I didn’t know this at the time, Justin just told me a few weeks ago, but I guess the doctor just put Braden in a bowl and passed it off to one of the nurses. That nurse and Justin took him and got him all wrapped up in a blanket so they could show him to me. I continued to lay there with my eyes closed, hearing my doctor talk to some of the nurses about how he was waiting to see what my body was going to do. The plan was to put in the cerclage, but only if my body didn’t try to deliver the other two. I remember him finally saying, “Okay let’s do this”. Justin quickly brought Braden over so I could catch my first quick glance of him. My eyes were still closed though and I remember Justin saying my name, telling me to look. I remember seeing him and immediately noticing his nose and how it looked like Justin’s. I remember another male voice telling me to breathe deeply and then I was out.

I woke up later that morning completely foggy and unable to move from all the drugs that were in my system. Braden was in our room with us and I remember having Justin help to roll me on my left side and lay Braden on the bed with me up by my head so I could see him. I remember thinking how different he looked than his older sister Emily. I was still in awe that I had a son.

Looking back I feel like the couple weeks following Braden’s birth were very unfair to him. The comment was made several times that now that Braden was out and the stitch was in, the remaining two had a better chance of making it. Like he was so easily discarded. We didn’t spend much time focused on Braden because we still had two babies to worry about. I wasn’t even there for his burial. I know it was no one’s fault given the circumstances, but I still wish we could have taken more time and care with him.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Purging Part II

My lovely MIL sent me a book recently entitled For They Shall Be Comforted, Grieving the Loss of A Child by Camille Call Whiting. It is a fairly quick read. There wasn't anything new in it that I haven't felt or thought about but it did wonders to realize that someone out there thought the same things I have. I found myself nodding emphatically to passages as I felt I could have written them myself. I even put stars next to the passages I really enjoyed and thought they would be a great way to express things I have felt/experienced.

"I wanted desperately for them to visit me in spirit form. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to allow just a few seconds of time for me to see my two children, just to know that they were together and doing well in the spirit world. I just knew that if only I could see them for a moment then I would be at peace. But they never came. I couldn't understand why they couldn't spare just a few moment for their mother, after I had given them life and been through immense pain in their behalf."

I was quite surprised when I first read this. I didn't necessarily want to see my children, but I have prayed fervently to feel their presence and feel them near. I remember a couple dreams I had about Emily shortly after her passing and what comfort that brought me! I know my children are real, and they exist somewhere, but I am having a hard time feeling like they are real. I have never heard them cry, I have no idea what they are like, I have no memories of them or their personality to fall back on. They seem more like an idea to me and I want so badly to feel like they are tangible beings. I just feel like if I could feel them close to me, or have a dream, like I did of Emily, they would become more real.

"Eventually, my anger faded, but it took longer for my guilty feelings about the anger to subside. Intellectually, I knew that anger was a necessary stage in grieving, but at the same time I felt that I should be above that. I was striving to be a righteous mother, wife, and person, and anger was unbecoming of someone like me."

This is something I have felt a lot of. Anger is natural in the healing process, but I don't want to be angry. I have never wanted to be angry. I am sad. It's not fair. But I never wanted this experience to turn me angry or bitter. I was not raised to be an angry individual or throw a tantrum when things don't go my way. I have always been taught to turn to the Lord and have faith when things got difficult and I don't always see where my anger fits in with that. How can I get direction and comfort from the Lord when I spend my time angry? But anger is a very real emotion that everyone has to go through when they are seriously grieving. I guess the important thing is to find balance between being angry, but not letting that anger consume me.

"Subconsciously, I felt there might be a problem with Ammon's arrival. I realized this afterward as I thought about the many worries I'd had that something would go wrong, almost as if they were hints toward the future.  The same thing occurred during Kija's pregnancy, except then I was very conscious of it."

This is something I experienced with both pregnancies. About a week before Emily was born I vividly remember thinking to myself, "Life has been really good to us the last couple years. The Lord has blessed us greatly.... It is about time something bad came our way..." And then she was born! And then with the triplets, I tried so hard to remain positive about the outcome. I tried to imagine what life was going to be like once we got all three babies home, but I could never imagine taking them home as a reality. I never could picture myself getting to take care of them or raise them. When I ended up back in the hospital the second time I knew what the outcome was going to be, despite every one's encouragement to stay strong and keep fighting.

"Grieving mothers are not thinking or feeling rationally. They may outwardly appear to be, but inside they are still battling the 'what ifs'."

The biggest "what if" that has consumed my thoughts is, what if we had chose to put the cerclage in early instead of waiting? I continue to kick myself over this. Had we put the cerclage in at 13 weeks, would I have even ended up in the hospital to begin with? Maybe Braden's water wouldn't have ruptured had we done it earlier. Maybe I would still be pregnant and my babies still alive. Are these thoughts rational? I don't know. I know it does me no good to ponder it, I will never know the answers, but I will probably wonder for the rest of my life what would have happened had we gone ahead with the cerclage when it was safer to do so.

"It may be easier to accept the death of a loved one when we know that we will be with them for eternity. But in some ways I think our knowledge of the gospel also makes grieving harder. It did for me, anyway, because we believe in a loving Father in Heaven who will grant blessings according to our obedience. If we pay our tithing, He will open the windows of heaven that there will not be room enough to receive the blessings. If we honor our father and mother, our days will be lengthened upon the earth. I thought that surely having a child should have been similar to these other commandments, with a promise of a healthy, living baby attached as a reward for obedience to the commandment to raise righteous families. It may be harder to come to peace with the death of a loved one when we know that we have tried our best to choose the right and to be a good person. To a grieving Latter-Day Saint mother, this makes no sense. Yet, our faith in Heavenly Father's plan and His love for us eventually persuade us to accept the reality of our lives-we are blessed for our righteousness, but we also need to be tried and tested."

This pretty much sums up what has been running through my head. Thanks for reading.

Purging Part I

Okay, I know my last post was supposed to be my last. But I have had so many thoughts swirling through my head the last couple weeks that I just need to get it all out. I have found that typing these things out is way easier than writing it down, which is why I have never been very successful at keeping up with my journal. I am not sure anyone will even see this. After all, everyone thinks I have stopped writing. But that is okay, this is more for me and my therapy than anything else. And who knows, maybe someone sometime will wander their way back to my blog and see this.

It has been about a week since my 2 week follow up appointment with my OB. I was very much looking forward to that appointment, because I really wanted to pick my OB's brain about Justin and I's circumstance and get some answers about whether or not I would ever be able to have children. I had gone into that appointment feeling optimistic, thinking my OB would be all for us trying again. If we got pregnant with just one baby, put the stitch in early, and hung me on my toes, I would easily make it to viability right? Well I was sorely surprised when she gave me a less than 50% chance of ever carrying a baby to viability. Yes, I have an incompetent cervix, but so do many women, and they get stitches and are fine the rest of their pregnancy, so why isn't that a possibility for me? Well apparently I have the weakest cervix any of my doctors have seen. I also go from perfectly fine to dilated very quickly. My OB also told me I would always have a chance of conceiving multiples as well since that is what happened last time. Yes, we got 2 from the Clomid, but we ended up with triplets because one split. I guess if it happened once, it can happen again. And with such a weak cervix, it is not really possibly for me to carry multiples.

I left my appointment feeling very discouraged. I was not expecting her to give me such a low probability of carrying a child. Justin thinks she probably thinks I can do it, but doesn't want to give me false hope. I am not so sure, her whole demeanor seemed worried about me getting pregnant again. We told her our plans to not use any contraceptive and just let nature take its course over the next couple years and she basically told me that that "scares her to death" because that could mean another pregnancy. I am not counting on getting pregnant without fertility drugs, but I guess crazier things have happened.

I have spent the last week thinking about what this means for us. I have spent my whole life thinking I would have children I would get to raise. That was my plan. Yes I would pursue school and get my degree, but that and my hobbies always took a back seat to what I really wanted to do with my life, which was to be a mother.  Never did I think I would be in a position to have to revamp my life plan. Justin and I have talked about adoption and that is a very real possibility for us now. Are we giving up on having children of our own? I don't know. Am I ready to pursue the adoption thing? Not yet. I definitely feel like Justin and I will have children. How those children come into our life, or when, I have no idea. But for now, we are taking a break. I am going back to school. I am going to finish school and start work before we come back to the baby thing. I am only 23 so we have time to focus on other things for the immediate future. I know this is the best thing for me, to heal physically and emotionally. Especially after the last couple years we have had. I am not really happy about waiting, but I know it's the right thing to do.

It has been three weeks since the birth of the Chloe and Daniel. I would say I am doing fairly well. I have my good days and my bad days. There are days I cry about everything and my heart physically hurts, and then there are days I hardly think about it. Physically I am all healed up, except my muscles, which I am slowly working to get back. I am not currently working or in school. I have to wait until January to get started on school. I am spending this semester finishing our house, catching up on my scrapbook, and a few other projects I have been wanting to get done. I am doing my best to just feel what I am feeling, without letting myself linger on the anger and unfairness of it all.

There will probably be another post coming, this one is long enough but my mind purging isn't quite finished. Thanks for reading, whoever you are.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Goodbye

So here it is. My final post. I promised a couple posts ago that I would finish out my journey before I ended my blog so here is my final update. I am not real sure where to start or what to say so I think I will just stick to the facts for now.

Last weekend I was sent home from the hospital and I was home a whopping 2 days before I ended up back in the hospital last Sunday. I was having some contraction-like pain and after being checked by my doctor, it was decided that I was going back on the magnesium and staying in the hospital until I had the babies. I had 2 1/2 weeks to go til my goal. I can't stress enough how much I hate hate hate  being on magnesium and anyone who has experienced it can tell you how awful it is. By Wednesday this last week I was so sick of feeling crappy, sick of the IV's, sick of being in a hospital bed, attached to all these wires and monitors and I had a break down. It was Wednesday afternoon I just started crying and just wanted to be done. The contractions were still coming no matter how much stuff they pumped in my body and the thought of sitting like that for two more weeks was more than I could handle. Justin was working that day, but I didn't care, I called him up bawling because I couldn't take it anymore and he came rushing from work and didn't leave my side. I finally calmed down from shear exhaustion and was just enjoying having him with me.

It was about 5pm and I was feeling another contraction coming on and felt something leaking. I called for my nurse to come help me get cleaned up, thinking I was just bleeding more. The nurse came in and informed us that she thought one of my waters had broke and she was going to call my doctor to come confirm. The next hour or so was spent with me laying perfectly still, trying not to get too worked up, holding Justin's hand and us just sitting in silence. I think we were too afraid to speak and neither of us knew what to say. We both knew what was coming and what was about to happen and there wasn't much we could do about it. I gathered all the strength and peace I could muster so I wouldn't start crying and freaking out. I wanted to wait to hear from my doctor of what the game plan was.

The next hours passed in a blur. My doctor came and informed us that it was indeed amniotic fluid and we would have to remove the stitch and deliver the two babies that night. They got my epidural in and as soon as my doctor removed the stitch, Baby B was born. The last couple weeks we had thought baby B was a boy so we were quite surprised when it was a girl that came out. We named her Chloe Elizabeth. My doctor wasn't sure how long it would take Baby C to come so she left the room and gave us some time to spend with Chloe. She was beautiful and looked a lot like her brother Braden that was born two weeks prior. I cried a little but in all reality was too exhausted and drugged up and wanted to hurry up and finish delivering Baby C. It only took about an hour and half before Baby C was ready to come. I know that sounds like awhile but it went by quickly. Baby C came easily and it was a boy. We named him Daniel James. He looked so much like his sister Emily who was born last year. It was almost like I was looking at the same baby.

They took the babies to get washed up and finger printed while my doctor delivered all three placentas and had to do a D&C to remove parts of placenta that hadn't come out. Boy was that so much fun...

All I can say is that at the time I was glad it was over. I just wanted to go home and curl up in a ball but they had to keep me over night. I remember finally being unhooked from all the tubes and monitors, Justin bringing me food and being able to take an amazing hot bath with jets that was so relaxing. Once I was back in my room in bed they brought Daniel and Chloe to us and we just spent time holding them and talking about them and crying. I thought holding Emily and letting her go was hard, and it was. But I can't even describe how it felt to lay there holding my two precious babies, knowing I had to let them go soon.

I felt so absolutely miserable and guilty. I kept looking at them feeling like I had let them down. That I had failed them. I am sure they wanted to be here so badly and I just couldn't make it two more weeks. They were born at exactly 22 weeks. 2 weeks from our goal. We were so close and had tried so hard but still came up short.

We were able to go home the following morning and the days since then has been spent sleeping and trying to recover physically. After being the hospital a month and having all kinds of drugs still in my system and all the pain that comes after delivery, my body has had a hard time getting its strength back. I still haven't talked to anyone, nor do I feel ready. I have no idea what to say to people. I don't have much to say honestly except that it sucks and I am sad, and scared of what my future holds now. I don't know where to go from here.

I haven't really dealt with the emotional grief yet, I keep putting it off until I feel better physically. We have the service planned for this coming Wednesday and I know there are hard times ahead and I will have to face it eventually, but for now I am choosing to ignore it until I am ready.

Grieving this time around will be so much more different than it was when Emily passed. After Emily there was still hope of children in our future and there was so much to say and ways to make myself feel better. I have no idea how to make myself feel better this time, the grief seems so much more magnified. Not only am I grieving three of my precious children, but I am also grieving the possibility of children for us. At least in the foreseeable future. It all seems so much more final this time around and I don't know how to handle that.

So there it is. The end of our journey. There will be lots of emotions and things to work through in the coming months and I could blog about it if I wanted, but I truly feel like now is the time to say goodbye and work through this in my own time. A big thank you to all of you who have followed our story and said prayers on our behalf. I don't know how to say thank you enough.

I know there are wonderful things in store for Justin's and my future and we will work through this and come out of it okay. Thanks for sharing in a small part of our life together.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Heading Home Tomorrow! and other random updates

Yes, you read that right, I get to go home tomorrow :) No more hospital prison for me!! I don't really have any more freedom, but instead of being trapped in a hospital bed I get to be trapped on my own bed/couch. I had no idea this was even an option for me until a few days ago and since then time has been DRAGGING!!! Justin and I are both nervous about me being at home now instead of under constant watch of the nurses, but there are many benefits as well. I have 1 appointment with my OB every week and 1 appointment every week with the perinatologist. So between two appointments a week and remaining on my contraction medication I think things should be okay. I am currently 21 weeks and still have several weeks before that "being able to breathe easier/viability" time.

Now for the other update. I had my 20-ish week anatomic ultrasound this morning and boy was it a crazy roller coaster I don't think I was ready to handle. I was excited to see the 2 remaining babies, mostly because I needed that renewed love, excitement, and determination to finish out this pregnancy. Since Braden was born I have had weird emotions concerning the remaining two babies. I have felt emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. I have not been convinced that I want to keep fighting for these two. I just wanted to be done. I instantly fell in love with Braden when he was born but I have yet to feel that love and dedication to the two that are still in there. I delivered a baby and I wanted to be done. I was really hoping that by seeing these two on the ultrasound and seeing them move around, it would get me excited about this pregnancy again and help me to get through the next several weeks.

During the ultrasound they discovered that Baby B's placenta is weird and small and the baby has really low amniotic fluid. Baby C is doing fine and its placenta and fluid is normal. There aren't any plans or ideas of what is going to happen at this point. The perinatologist just wants to do an ultrasound every week to see how Baby B develops and what is happening with its fluid. As if I didn't have enough to stress and worry over when I go home! I still have a month to go, worried about preterm labor and this stitch, and now every week I will be stressing over what they will find with Baby B and the placenta/fluid situation.

I was feeling more confident about the outcome until the ultrasound this morning. Now I am back to having no idea what will happen or how all this will play out. It's hard to get excited about this remaining pregnancy when I am not convinced I get to keep them. Gah! Somebody please reprogram my brain and allow me to only think positive, happy thoughts! So that's all the updates for now, it might be awhile before I update again.... we will see!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

1 Gone, 2 To go

I am feeling a little more human and my head is beginning to clear a little from the events of the last week and I thought now would be a good time to update everyone.

Last I posted I was pregnant with triplets still, with Baby A's sack ruptured. A week ago tonight I went into labor and delivered Baby A (which was a boy and we named Braden Andrew). It was about 2 am when I had woken up in some discomfort and having to use the bathroom. As the next half hour progressed it got increasingly worse. I informed my nurse, and the next two hours were spent trying to get me to use the bathroom while I was having painful "contractions". It seemed every part of me was contracting and hurting except my uterus. That is why it took a couple hours before it was agreed that it might be labor. It was about 4 am when I attempted to use the bathroom and knew he was coming. My doctors were called and I labored for about two more hours. I delivered on the operating table with the perinatologist ready to put the cerclage in after Braden was born (if my body cooperated and didn't try to deliver the other two babies). The labor and delivery was painful but went fairly quickly. He was born about ten minutes after 6 am Monday morning. They told me it was a boy and let me get a quick glimpse of him before they put me under. Thankfully the doctor was able to put the stitch in without any major problems and the other two babies stayed safely inside. Several days following the delivery/cerclage I was pumped full of magnesium and kept in a slightly comatose state. Friday morning they took me off the magnesium and it has taken the last couple days for it to get out of my system and for me to be a bit more functional. Currently I am still pregnant with two babies, the cerclage hasn't given us any problems and I am about 3 weeks from viability.

Braden's birth was recorded as a live birth and we will be getting a birth certificate for him. Emily was further along in gestation but was stillborn. I was told Braden was still alive when he was born and moved a little bit while Justin was holding him. His burial was yesterday morning and I heard it was sweet but brief which is what we were wanting. He is buried on the same plot as his sister.

The last couple days as I have been "waking up" a bit I have been thinking a lot. I have decided that it is time for us to stop trying for children. At least through infertility treatments and procedures like we have been doing. Part of me wants to no longer be pregnant, go home and move on with the next chapter of my life, whatever that may be. I have to continuously remind myself that I am still pregnant with two babies and at the end of all of this I could still walk away with two living children. It is not a guarantee but it is a possibility. I have to really try to keep fighting and prepare myself for whatever is to come with these two babies.

Regardless of the outcome of all of this, we are done pursuing children. At least in the natural sense. I know there is always adoption and other avenues, but I am not even going to consider those options for a long time. The last couple years have been too trying and too focused on getting us a baby. It is time for a break physically and emotionally. I am done going through fertility treatments to purposefully get us pregnant knowing that my body probably won't cooperate long enough to have a viable baby. I think it's time to move on. This isn't to say that I won't get to raise these two babies or that other children won't enter our life at some point. I am only 23 and have many "mothering" years ahead of me.

As a result of being done with the fertility and baby attempts,  I have also decided to retire my blog. I had started this blog to process the loss of Emily and have an outlet as we continued to try for children. Deciding to move on with the next phase of my life includes letting this blog go. I will continue posting through the remainder of this pregnancy, I think it is only fair that I follow through with this experience and continue to update til the end. Once this pregnancy is over, whenever that may be, I will be done posting.

I am looking forward to whatever the following years hold for us, and I know that no matter what happens, I still have 4 beautiful children. We aren't childless, just waiting to be a family :) Thanks for reading and following us through this process.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Musings From my Hospital Room

Well it has been awhile since I have updated my blog. Now that I have a few moments by myself and a computer, I want to update everyone on the events of the last week and sort through some things that have been running through my mind the last few days.

So for a quick update. Last Tuesday, July 24 I went to my weekly ultrasound appointment to look at my cervix. I felt great that morning and assumed all was well since the previous week's ultrasound showed things looking great. A nurse did the ultrasound and I immediately saw that the screen looked differently. She left the room to go get the doctor and when my doctor saw the screen she informed me that I was heading to the hospital right then to go get my cervix stitched. The ultrasound was showing I was dilated to a 1. I was not at all concerned at this point. We had caught it early and I always knew a cerclage was a possibility.

Over the next several hours I got admitted into the hospital, told I would be there indefinitely, and pumped full of magnesium to calm my "irritated uterus" so the perinatologist could do the cerclage later that evening. He came to  talk to us before I was taken back and told us there was a 50/50 chance baby A's water sack could rupture during the procedure, but at this point there wasn't really an option, we were going to do it. My uterus didn't calm down and I was placed under general anesthesia instead of an epidural so my muscles would relax more. They told me later when I woke up that baby A's water sack had ruptured before the perinatologist could get the stitch in, so no stitch was placed. This was around 8 pm. My husband and I picked up little pieces of information and spent that first night under the impression that my body would go into labor soon, I would deliver baby A and we might have a chance of saving B and C. What a confusing night that was. I wasn't feeling much grief over A yet and still tried to focus on saving the other two.

The next morning my doctors came to visit and filled us in on some information that we had been missing. They told us baby A was still alive and doing fine and could continue to grow and thrive because B and C's water sacks were still providing the cushion it needed. Who knew! So crazy right? There was still a chance my body could go into labor over the next few days so they kept me on the mag and once they were convinced my body was stable and I wasn't going into labor, they moved me to a more comfortable room. So I have been here 8 days and so far everything is looking good! Over the past week I have gone from staying horizontal around the clock, a permanent catheter, IV medications, and sponge baths to being able to walk to the bathroom, take a real shower by myself, prop myself up to eat, no more IV fluids and I get to wear my own comfy clothes instead of the hospital gown! I am currently 80% effaced and dilated somewhere close to a 1. I was at a 2 but once baby A's water sack ruptured it took the pressure off and the cervix relaxed back thank goodness!

So I am currently 19 weeks, the docs want me to make it at LEAST another 5 weeks to viability. I am taking medications to keep from contracting and so far they are doing their job! We just have to keep me out of labor and all three babies could make it!

I've spent the majority of the last week staring at the monitor that is tracking my uterus activity and contractions. I feel any kind of cramp or tightening and my eyes are on the screen checking to see if it was a real contraction. But for the most part I am feeling pretty confident in my situation, no matter the outcome.

My prayers over the past week have not been for the babies but for my sanity. Is that insensitive? I don't know, but here is why. I have known from the very beginning that this pregnancy was risky. I also know that Heavenly Father knows and has a plan for these babies. I think he already knows whether he is going to let them stay or whether they are going to go be with their sister for the time being. I also know that these babies are mine, whether I get them in this life or whether I get them the same time as Emily is irrelevant. These babies are loved and being cared for and no matter what the outcome, I know they will be fine.

 I have more doubts about myself. Looking back I feel like I have processed, dealt with, and come to terms with the loss of Emily fairly well. I feel like I am in a good place as far as she is concerned. However, I am not real sure I can handle that again. I don't know if I can mentally handle burying three more babies. I worry that if I lose these babies I will snap. I not only will lose the babies, but I will lose my sanity, my faith, and my desire to have any more children. If I lose these babies I am not sure I will want to go through all the fertility, the risks and the loss all over again. I am coming up on my 24th birthday and I feel like that is too young to decide that I don't want to try for kids anymore, but I just don't know if I can handle it. So mostly I worry about being able to handle whatever is going to come our way over the next couple months. I feel like I should be preparing myself but how do you prepare for something like that? The only tearful break downs I have had since being in the hospital is when my mind plays out the birth and funeral of the three babies. Instead of seeing Emily's 1 casket I see three and I just can't handle it.

Sorry for the depressing thoughts. To be honest I really have been trying to stay positive. I really am very pleased with how far I have gotten and how well my body is cooperating. I truly feel like if it continues to behave we can make it to the end and that is what I focus on. I celebrate all the little bits of good news, even if it's just being able to walk to the bathroom! It is too early to feel down!

I am not sure when I will post again, hopefully not for awhile because that means nothing is happening!! Just know I will be laying in my hospital bed trying to be the best incubator I can for the little ones! Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Anxiety is Building!

Okay so I lied in my last post, it's been longer than I thought since I am finally writing again, but here it goes... The hubs and I decided not to go through with the cerclage at this point. Crazy? Maybe. We discussed how everything is going great and there are no signs of impending doom yet so why rush into it? Also, part of me really feels like losing Emily was due to preterm labor and not an incompetent cervix. I could be wrong, but that is what my gut is telling me. I truly feel like my cervix won't be an issue (as I'm currently knocking on wood...). I went to my doctor's appointment last Thursday totally expecting my doctor to not be happy with my decision. She was just as shocked as I was that the perinatologist even gave me an option. After going through my train of thought with her, it was decided that we would do bi-weekly ultrasounds of my cervix, just to monitor it. If it starts shortening, in goes the stitch. Then earlier this week I get a call from the perinatologists office wanting to know when to start scheduling ultrasounds of my cervix. Next to follow was several confusing phone calls between my perinatologist's office and my regular OB's office to decide how often I would be seen and whose office I would go to. The two offices decided I would be seen every week at my regular OB office. Remember, I am only about 15 weeks at this point, that is a lot of office visits and ultrasounds before the end of this pregnancy! I should be getting to know my OB office really well :)

Today I get to head to the hospital and pick up a jug to collect my pee in for the next 24 hours. Sounds wonderful right? lol Yeah I didn't think so either... And then when I return said jug, they get to stick me with a needle again and get more blood. How much blood do these people need? lol.... this wouldn't be that miserable if I didn't hate needles so much.

Our house is slowly coming together. Very slowly.... I have never felt so unmotivated in my life! My kitchen is functional, one bathroom is put together and my clothes are unpacked. What more do you need? So everything else is still sitting in boxes and it gets done little by little when the husband is home to help me.

So how am I feeling at this point in my pregnancy? Well, I am going to be completely honest. I am sick and tired. Tired of being sick and sick of being tired. That pretty much sums it up. I am still waiting for that second "feel good" trimester, but I am beginning to think the "feel good" part isn't coming...welcome to a triplet pregnancy right? I'm still sick all the time, still dry heave all night and can't sleep longer than a couple hours at a time because I have to get up and eat something. I'm almost like a baby myself :)

There have been days where I have been really discouraged. Just feeling uncomfortable and overwhelmed and not wanting to do this anymore. I know I should just be enjoying this experience and be excited for these babies, but it's hard to feel that way when your head is stuck in a toilet most of the day and you can't get anything done.

I have also been feeling a lot of anxiety over what is going to happen later this pregnancy. Several times over the last few days I have thought to myself, "these babies have to come out somehow". I do not know when they will be coming or under what circumstances they will be coming. The only experience I have to fall back on is my labor and delivery with Emily and the thought of reliving that is more than I can handle. I know we will be doing a c-section this time, but that is causing just as much anxiety. I am really having to remind myself to exercise some faith that things will work out and stop spending my time worrying about the months to come. I have read so many birth stories of triplets and one thing I read over and over is how hard it was for the mother to leave the hospital without her babies and go home empty handed.... I almost chuckle to myself when I read this because I have been there, done that. That is probably the thing I am worried about the least. I have had the experience of leaving the hospital empty handed and I survived. The only difference this time, is I will be able to return to the hospital and see them often. That is something I didn't get to do with Emily. She wasn't waiting for me at the hospital to go visit her. So while it may be hard for me to leave the babies in the NICU, I think that is one hurdle I know I can handle.

One positive thought I keep coming back to, is that I am almost half way done with my pregnancy! So crazy right? I am coming up on 16 weeks and 32 weeks is my goal! I am half way there! I know I can make it :) There is an end in sight! Then the real craziness begins :) That is all for now. A big thank you to everyone who has been following this pregnancy and asking about our family's well-being :) The support has been tremendous and we are truly blessed :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Perinatologist Appointment

Hello there! I realize it has been a couple weeks since I have posted. The perinatologist's office rescheduled my appointment for a few weeks later than the original date so my appointment wasn't until today. I'll be honest, I was pretty  nervous about this appointment. Mostly because I didn't know what to expect and the perinatologist is slightly eccentric. However, I was also excited to see my babies again and to finally get some information and definites on this pregnancy.

Well, I left the doctor's office feeling disappointed and now more confused than before. They did an ultrasound, which was great. The babies are looking so big and are doing so great. They were all moving around and looked so cute. Baby C (the singleton), which was originally smaller than the twins is now bigger than the twins! They were adorable and it was great to hear how well they were growing and how great their hearts looked and so on.

Then it was time to see the doc and here is what I learned: Nothing. He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. It was nice to be able to talk some things through with him and just get some confirmations on things. For example, he thinks it's great that I want to start swimming and has no reservations about me doing so. He is not concerned about my weight gain and says the weight I put on has no direct affect on how big my babies will be. I was worried about being able to put on all the recommended weight. I am supposed to gain 50-60 lbs and so far I have gained 3. I know I am only 13 1/2 weeks and the weight will come, but I am still not convinced I'll gain 50-60 lbs, and I was worried I would have small babies as a result. He told me not to worry about it and just eat what was comfortable and healthy and the babies will do fine.

Now, here are some things he did not have answers for. I asked when to expect bed rest. He said he had no idea and that is not something I have to worry about until I get into my mid 20's weeks. He said I was free to live life as normal until then. Which is great! More time to decorate my house! But he still wasn't sure when to expect bed rest or to what extent that bed rest will be.

The big topic that I got no information on was the cerclage. I went into this appointment expecting him to talk about the cerclage and schedule it. We did talk about the cerclage, but ultimately he left it up to me and Justin on whether we wanted to do it or not. I have until next week to decide. The thing that makes this all so hard and confusing is what happened with our first pregnancy. No doctor, including the perinatologist, has been able to determine what went wrong with Emily, whether it was a cervical issue or preterm labor. Therefore, no doctor has been able to tell me whether the cerclage is really necessary or whether we should put it in "just in case". I kept asking him what he thought was best or what he would do if he were me and he still wouldn't tell me. He just kept telling me, "I can't tell you that, you just have to decide what you want to do". Ugh! I need a professional to tell me, "yes, a cerclage is a good idea, let's do it" or "We think you will be fine without one", either way, great! Just give me something to go off!

So I left with no more information than I already knew and now I have to decide for myself if I want the cerclage. To be honest, I am completely on the fence. Any time I think I should do it one way, I change my mind. I don't know if I need one. I don't know if I should add extra bills for procedures that aren't necessary. But there is also a "what if" that lingers. So why not just put it in as a "just in case"? Well, why would I put myself through  more procedures if it won't do me any good? Or add even more expenses to an already expensive pregnancy? I know money should be the last thing I think about but it still seems to be a factor in this decision... gah! help!

So hopefully in the next week or so I will have a better idea of what we want to do. I just hope when it is all said and done I will feel 100% comfortable with what we decide and I don't spend the rest of my pregnancy second guessing myself..

My lovely best friend came with me to the appointment since she is in town and Justin had to work. We stopped by the fire station and showed him the pictures and mentioned the cerclage issue. I briefly asked him what he thought and he doesn't know either. Plus the tv was on and all the other guys were sitting around and it just wasn't the time to make a decision so I will have to wait til he gets home to discuss it further.

So other life updates. We close on our house Thursday! That is in two days! Which is awesome because we have been with my mom the last week and a half. I love my mom and Justin has been working a lot and hasn't been around much anyway, but I am ready to have my own house again and I am sure my siblings are ready to have their beds back :)

I have an appointment with my regular doc next week and we still have to decide on the cerclage, so I am sure you will hear from me sometime soon. Hopefully I am feeling better by then too. I am entering my 2nd trimester and am so ready to feel better! Not going to lie, I am pretty tired of feeling awful. I am ready to be done with this pregnancy lol I just want to feel like me again! Not a sick and tired invalid! I just keep reminding myself that it will all be worth it once babies are here :) Well that's all for now, thanks for reading :)

Not my best pic, but you can still see my belly :) This is about 13 1/2 weeks

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Triplet/Pregnancy Update

Well I am currently not quite 11 weeks and so far everything is going well! I have had a couple doctor's appointments since my last post, one every couple weeks or so just to check the progress of the little ones. There was some worry that we could miscarry one and it affect the other ones so my doc wanted to keep a close eye on what's been happening. There are two identical and one fraternal. The fraternal one has been measuring smaller and has had a weaker heart beat in the past and there was a big question on whether that third one would even make it. But here we are, getting close to the end of the first trimester and according to the ultrasound today, everything is going wonderfully! Which is a relief for sure, I can stop worrying about some things going wrong and focus now on my worries for the second trimester.

Next step in this process is my appointment with the high risk specialist this coming Tuesday. He will do an ultrasound and talk about the cerclage. I should have the cerclage put in within the next couple weeks which is so nerve wracking. Not going to lie, I am totally freaked out about this cerclage thing. I know many women have had it and have had no troubles with it, but that doesn't make me feel any better. After my experience with the labor and deliver of Emily I would have thought I would be ready for anything physically but the more I read about cerclages and c-sections the more I am stressing. It's okay though, I know Dr. Thompson knows what he is doing and I am sure everything will go well.

We were supposed to close on our house yesterday and spend today and this weekend moving and getting settled into our new place before I had the cerclage done. Unfortunately closing has been pushed back and we won't be moving til next week (hopefully). That is putting me a little too close to my cerclage than I was wanting but it will be okay, I am blessed to have a lot of family and friends and support around so I know I will have help with everything.

Something interesting I have come across the last several weeks since announcing our triplets is the question of how that happened. Several times people have asked us if multiples run in either of our families, implying they are curious as to how this happened. I've read several comments and different blogs of women who don't like to answer these questions and like to keep the fertility stuff private. I have never felt like it was anything to be embarrassed about, I mean many women experience this. I have been pretty open with the fact that we were going through some fertility stuff and that's why there are three. I guess I am grateful that I don't feel the need to keep it a secret or get annoyed when random strangers want to know why I am carrying three babies. I am simply grateful that we are pregnant period and I don't care what process we went through to get to this point. Fertility treatments or not, these are my babies and it is going to be wonderful :)

My doctor seemed genuinely happy, excited, and a little shocked that all three babies seem to be thriving. At every appointment I have had, she does an ultrasound and exclaims, "It's official, you are pregnant with three babies!" She seems to think that things will continue to go smoothly and we'll just have to do our best to hold of labor as long as possible :) Okay, that's all for now, I'm headed for a nap, thanks for reading :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Drum Roll.......Triplets!

Yes you read that right. Triplets. But before we get into that let's start where I last left off. My last post consisted of celebrating Emily's birthday and how we were still in our 2ww. Even before the 2ww was up I knew I was pregnant just based off how I was feeling. 14 days post HCG shot I took a test and it was positive. I would have worried that it was a false positive from the shot, but I took a test 8 dpo and it was negative so I knew the shot was out of my system and my positive was real! I couldn't believe I had a positive test already. I was 6 1/2 weeks before I got a positive test with Emily so this early of a test was surprising. The first thing I did, after telling Justin and a few close people, was call my doctor's office. They weren't going to see me until I was 8 weeks so I had a little over a month to wait... I told the nurse I was PCOS and I was worried about my levels and miscarrying so they had me go in that week to get my blood drawn. They drew my blood again about a week later to see how my HCG levels were multiplying.

When I called to find out the results of the blood work and whether or not they needed to stick me again, they told me they wanted me to come in the next week for an ultrasound because my HCG levels had sky rocketed. If you remember during the earlier ultrasound, there were two good eggs so we knew the chances of twins was higher than normal. Never in a million years did I ACTUALLY think I would have twins, but we'll get to that later. Anyway, they wanted me to come in for an ultrasound at 6 1/2 weeks to see what exactly was going on and why my levels were so high. I immediately knew I was having twins. For several reasons. First because I had such a dark positive so early, before I even missed my cycle! Second, the exhaustion and nausea started even before my positive test, weeks earlier than it hit me with Emily. All the pregnancy symptoms I had experienced with Emily were hitting me so much harder and so much sooner so I knew this was either twins or I was carrying some super baby! But of course there was still doubt in my mind until I got the confirmation from the ultrasound.

Well fast forward to this week. My ultrasound was scheduled for today (Friday). Earlier this week on Wednesday I had some cramping and a tiny amount of spotting and was totally freaked out so I called my doctor's office and went in for them to check me out. They had to do an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay so I got to see even sooner than I thought I would. Justin was working so I was by myself. The Nurse midwife that is in my doctor's office did the ultrasound and informed me that I was in fact having twins and that besides a small cyst on my right ovary, everything was looking fine. Even though I had suspected I was having twins, I still wasn't prepared for the over all panic and shock that hit me when she actually said there were two babies. I mean holy moly! She continued to poke around and look at some stuff which I thought was strange considering we had already heard both heart beats and she confirmed everything was fine. After a few minutes she quietly said, "let me show you what I am looking at", she turned the monitor back around and showed me the three sacks and proceeded to explain that there was a third baby. I was completely floored! 3 babies?!?!? How is that even possible? There were only 2 good eggs! What is happening!?!? Needless to say I didn't say much I was just speechless. The nurses were worried I was so shocked I shouldn't be driving and asked me if I wanted to call someone to pick me up lol

The third baby was measuring smaller and the heart beat was much slower than the other two which caused some concern on whether it would make it or not. They decided to keep my originally scheduled ultrasound for Friday to check the progress of the third one. Even though I wanted to announce our triplets immediately, I wanted to wait to make sure it would even make it. The next two days went by SO SLOW!!! I was just dying! After I left the doctor's office I went straight to Justin's fire station where he was working and showed him the pictures. All he could do was smile. He just giggled because it was so unbelievable and we were both in shock!

So fast forward to this morning for the ultrasound. My doctor was there this time so that was nice to be able to talk everything through with her. The ultrasound today confirmed that there are in fact three babies. One egg split so there are two identical and 1 fraternal. Absolute craziness. We were finally able to hear the heart beat of the third one and it had caught up to its siblings which was a comfort.

So how am I feeling? Every emotion possible. And it changes by the minute. So normally if anyone asks I am mostly speechless. I have had a few moments of being excited, but getting all three of them here safely is so far off and so many obstacles away at the moment. I am only 6 1/2 weeks with three babies so anything could happen at this point. Makes it very scary. I could end up miscarrying one and bleed out the others in the process and lose all of them, worse case scenario (well one of them). So our first hurdle right now is to make it to 12 weeks with all three babies still in there. Obstacle number 2 is the cerclage. I will see the high risk specialist at 12 weeks and will get stitched at 13 weeks. The thought of getting my cervix stitched is so incredibly scary, but also a bit of a comfort too. Gives a little reinforcement. But then there is a big risk with the cerclage. My doctors are not 100% sure that I have an incompetent cervix. Losing Emily could have been from just preterm labor. If that is the case, a cerclage will not help preterm labor and I could tear right through the stitch. Very scary.

My doctor said weeks 22-28 will be the scariest simply because the babies will be getting bigger and that's my biggest risk of preterm labor. She said we can breathe a huge sigh of relief once we get to 28 weeks. Because that means viable babies that have a higher chance of surviving the NICU. She said if I happen to make it to 32 weeks we will have a party :) wahoo! So long weeks ahead of us full of worry and stress and the possibility of anything happening!! We debated whether or not we should announce our news yet, whether we should wait til we were "out of the woods", but then we realized this whole pregnancy is a risk and we will never be "out of the woods" until all babies are here safely. So we couldn't keep it a secret forever and I figure the more people who know, the more prayers there will be :)

One thought I keep coming back to is there has got to be reason for this. Heavenly Father must know what he is doing. Because to have BOTH eggs fertilized and then have one split to give us triplets is just so astronomically crazy! The nurses told me I should go buy a lottery ticket lol. I can't help but think that this happened for a reason and I am supposed to have these babies, because the chances of it happening otherwise is just practically impossible. So maybe they all will make it here safely :)

In a moment of panic after our first ultrasound Wednesday I thought to myself, "not that I wish this, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if the third didn't make it and I just ended up with two". But to be honest, when the nurse midwife couldn't pick up its heart beat I panicked. I was so worried there was something wrong with one of them. I had no idea how instantly attached I became to these babies as soon as they told me there were three. And I realized that even though I know it is going to be the hardest thing I will ever do, I really want to keep all three babies. Which to be honest, surprised me. After losing Emily I told myself that I would remain detached in future pregnancies until I had that baby safe in my arms, but here I am at 6 1/2 weeks and am already attached to these three little babies :) Holy Moly Heaven Help Us!!! Thanks for reading:)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Emily's 1st Birthday!

One week ago was Emily's first birthday. It's taken me awhile to write this post because we were out of town for awhile and then Justin had the camera while he was Turkey hunting. I was getting anxious to share our day with you!

The few days leading up to her birthday I had been preparing myself for a hard day. For weeks before hand I would start crying just thinking about her birthday (course it could have been all the crazy hormones in my body too). Surprisingly, however, her birthday was a great day :) I got choked up a little in the morning but I was distracted by a marketing test I had to take.

First stop of the day was to go find a girl's baby dress. We found one we liked and wrapped it up and took it to the hospital. We went to the birthing floor and explained to the nurses that today was our daughter's birthday and we wanted to donate the dress to the first girl born that day. We asked the nurses to take a picture of us with the dress though before we handed it over.


You can't really tell from the picture but it was a yellow dress with little flowers on it with a little sweater. Justin and I were holding ourselves together quite well. I think we were enjoying being able to remember Emily this way. The nurses however, were a little more emotional. They cried and thought what we were doing was so sweet. We told the nurses they didn't have to explain to the recipient why they were getting the dress, just that it was donated anonymously. I am curious who ended up with the dress and if they liked it :)

Next up that day was balloons at the cemetery with my sister and my niece and nephew. It was a really windy day so we had to stand a ways off from her grave so the balloons didn't land in the trees. We didn't get very good shots of them floating away since the wind was so crazy.









After the balloons we had cake at our house. It was amazing! I will definitely be making this again!







A few weeks prior to Emily's birthday I had a sister in law and some cousins interested in doing something for Emily's birthday. I sent out a mass message to the family telling them about the balloons and asked that if they participated to send me pictures so we could see all the balloons! The response we got from our family was just incredible! How blessed we are to be apart of such a wonderful loving family! The following pictures are from various families celebrating Emily's birthday :)


Chris and Amy's family, Wyoming






Andrea and Justin's old work buddies, Arizona



Teresa and Gorie's family, Arizona
(I love that they did it at the temple Justin and I were married in)




The rest of our family in New Mexico!
They are a little small but I couldn't get them larger without making them fuzzy :(



 





Overall it was a wonderful day and we loved celebrating her birthday. I can only imagine how much she was celebrating with her other angel babies up in heaven :) Happy Birthday baby girl!!

Thanks for reading :)




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Temple Open House

As many of you know we are in our endless 2WW. Although this thought never leaves my mind, fortunately we have a few things going on that are keeping me occupied. Other than the constant flow of homework, Justin and I had the wonderful opportunity to head to Kansas City and participate in the Kansas City Temple Open House. What an amazing experience this was! We went through the tour ourselves Friday evening and stayed over night. Saturday we did some shopping around town and then went back to help with the open house Saturday evening. I got help take the foot coverings (booties) off people's shoes as they were exiting. It was so great to be able to see people's expressions, both members and non members alike, as they were coming out. Justin was part of security, with a little ear piece and everything. I think he had way too much fun :) I am so grateful for this experience and opportunity to serve. How thankful I am to be so much closer to a temple now that we can attend regularly.

At one point I was standing inside the temple watching tour groups go through and opening the door for the groups that were finished. As I was standing there, there was this young family with a little girl in front of me. Her dad was holding her hand and she was so precious looking around at the beautiful building. As I was standing there quietly, I immediately thought of Emily and what it would have been like to be taking her through the temple and to have her there with us. Most occasions this would have made me sad, but as I was standing in the temple and feeling the spirit, I was filled with peace and gratitude. Of the knowledge that I have that we are an eternal family and that I will see her again. She is not lost to me forever and it is because of the wonderful temple that we have such a great blessing. It was a great weekend :)

You will have to excuse the bad picture. It was really late and really windy


 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Egg Hunting

Hello again! Before I get to the update, I would like to post a little disclaimer... I realize my blog started out as a way for me to release thoughts, feelings and experiences from losing our daughter, and has morphed into a blog that follows our attempt at conceiving a second baby. I completely realize and acknowledge that this topic is not something everyone feels is appropriate to share with the world and it may be a little unorthodox to share our step by step process. If you feel this to be true, I completely understand and it will not hurt my feelings in the slightest if you just don't read my blog! :) I choose to blog this experience for a couple reasons. The first, is that Justin and I both come from large families. There are many relatives that are invested and interested in this process we are going through and I have found that my blog is a great avenue in which to share our experiences and keep everyone updated. Yes we still talk to people on the phone, but this allows me to tell everyone everything and not have to worry about phone calls I have missed or things I forgot to tell someone. We have been greatly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful family members and friends who like regular updates :) The second reason I blog is because I find it to be extremely therapeutic. Things I post on my blog are not normally things I share to everyone in a normal conversation. I don't always get the opportunity to spill my guts and all my emotions in an everyday type of conversation.  Before my blog, I would try to keep a journal but would always fail. I normally would have the same conversation with a couple close confidants and keep the rest of it bottled inside. After losing Emily I realized that is not healthy and I needed an outlet. So far I have received nothing but love and support from family/friends and strangers alike. However, I do realize that some out there may feel it is not appropriate to share with the world where I am at in my cycle or how successful/unsuccessful we have been at conceiving. Which is fine, I respect that opinion. But please realize that this has been helping me immensely and I am doing it for me, not for other people :)

Okay, so now back to where we left after my last post! I took the Clomid last week and thankfully did not experience any side effects other than the hot flashes and an occasional mood swing. Justin is probably thankful he spent a lot of time at work :) Anyway, this morning was my ultrasound to see how much/if the Clomid helped. The ultrasound found I had 2 perfect follicles in my left ovary (18-22mm) and 2 in my ovary which were not great (12-13 mm). My doc said the ones in my right ovary were small and typical of a PCOS follicle so we are mostly counting on the left ones. She said with 2 healthy follicles there is an increased chance of twins, but also an increased chance of getting pregnant. At this point I am not concerned about twins, I really do not think it will be a problem. Anyway, after the ultrasound I got my shot. I thought it would be in my arm. The nurse said she could do it in my arm, but since my arm was "so small" (She is now my favorite nurse :)), she put in smack dab on my butt. Ouch. I thought I hated shots and needles before, but now I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate them. Most unpleasant shot of my life. So then I was free to go after I paid the 500.00. So in reality I left the doctor's office feeling totally assaulted and completely broke, but yet I still find it all so exciting! :) I then went to school and took an accounting test while trying to ignore my throbbing buttocks!

So there it is! I am very excited the Clomid was successful and I have viable follicles this month. I know Clomid doesn't work for a lot of women and I am just grateful it worked for me :) So within the next few days we start the dreaded 2ww. Thankfully we have enough going on to (hopefully) keep us distracted and occupied. Thanks for reading! :)