Positively Negative!

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I keep finding it incredibly difficult to write anything here. The days are fluid and run seamlessly into each other. To boot, I’m feeling fantastically dramatic.

Updates? Ok. This Thursday will be my post op ultrasound appointment to see how well the septum resection went. We’re hoping for a uterine septum under 6 mm. Here’s hoping! Another medical funzie decided to enter my life as well… I have been having heart palpitations regularly. After wearing a heart monitor and a trip to the ER, my doctor said that I have PVC’s (premature ventricular contractions), which apparently are totally normal and need no treatment. However, during that field trip to the ER, we learned my D-Dimer is elevated, which means my blood is super thick and there could be a potential blood clot somewhere. After some research, there is a correlation in an elevated D-Dimer with an MTHFR factor. Without going into gobs of details, having an MTHFR factor can cause your D-Dimer to be elevated. There’s also a lot of medical mumbo jumbo that specifically says if you have an MTHFR factor and an elevated D-Dimer, your chance of miscarriage is over 99%. Fantastic.

Sooooooo… where do we go from here? The million dollar question. I’ve had one period since the surgery and have to have two more periods before trying to conceive again. So, we’re looking at trying to conceive in the beginning of November. With the new news of the elevated D-Dimer and the MTHFR, I have to talk to both my gyno and my RE and see what they propose we do. According to what I’ve read, even being on blood thinners isn’t going to help–Still a very slim chance of carrying a baby to term. Typically, with my blood cocktail, babies doesn’t survive past 8 weeks–according to both the fantastic world of google and my previous pregnancy history.

Physically, I’m fine. Mentally, I’m not in a good head space. I read the blogs, I hit the “like” button, I go through the motions of trying to heal myself… and I’m not succeeding. I worry about the future. I worry about the next pregnancy. If I’m being honest, I’m actually dreading the next pregnancy. With four pregnancies and no babies “behind” me, I don’t know if I’m ready to change my number to “five.” Isn’t there a point where you should stop? If I were someone who never had a loss, and I was looking at a couple who had gone through multiple losses, I would think to myself, “My God, why do you keep doing that do yourself??” I would think, “It must not be meant to be. They just aren’t going to have children.” All of that seems realistic and logical and I feel like I’m way past being logical. If there’s a less than 1% chance of having a child, do you continue to try? That’s not even close to a good number. Do you hold onto that hope? Or do you try to grasp a reality that closes the door on diapers and open the door to a childless life? Isn’t insanity doing the same thing over and and over again expecting a different result? Yeah. We’re there. Insanity.

I’m mentally exhausted. If I’m being honest, I hate this “club” we’re all in. I hate how this consumes my life. I hate nodding along to the blogs I read and thinking, “Yep, yep, yep” to all the blogs on miscarriage, D&C’s, and pregnancy loss. I hate it. But it’s all I think about. I see babies and pregnant women and rainbows everywhere. This is my reality. Is it always going to suck this much? Am I going to dread every Halloween when I don’t have a child to dress up and take Trick or Treating? Am I going to dread the toy aisles in the stores at Christmas? Am I going to dread not being able to have a child to read The Night Before Christmas to and leave cookies out for Santa? Am I going to dread not having a child to take to church on Easter Sunday and hide eggs and an Easter basket? No Valentine’s Day boxes to make… no cookies to take on their birthdays. No back-to-school shopping. No sleep overs. I guess this is what you make of it. It’s my fault that I’m making this all-consuming. It’s my fault I’m not “moving on.” It’s my fault that I torment myself over silly things that people who are parents may take for granted.

Sorry for the Debbie Downer post. It’s been a long time coming. I can pretend to be fine in “real life”… but here, I’m not going to pretend to be fantastic, because this blows.

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Post Op!

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I had my second hysteroscopic septosplasty yesterday. Apparently, that’s the technical term for it; I had been just calling it a septum resection. Everything went according to plan and there were no hiccups in the day. Unlike the first surgery, this one was on time and I didn’t have a difficult time waking up from surgery. I had minimal pain, cramping and bleeding. It went as good as it could have gone. The RE said, “This should solve the problem and I shouldn’t have any problem carrying a baby to term now.”

I’m glad that surgery is done and out of the way. We wavered so much in even having it done. It was extremely scary because during the first surgery, she said that she saw a “main artery” and stopped. So there was was much confusion in, if she stopped the first time, how much more could she get the second time? Originally my septum was 18mm. After the first surgery, she got the septum down to 12mm. Anything over 12mm they recommend doing surgery. So, we’re hoping to be 6mm or less during the next ultrasound, which will be in about a month depending on when my next period starts. We can’t start conceiving for another three months, which I’ll gladly take as a much needed break.

I should be 26 weeks tomorrow. It’s still a little surreal that I”m not pregnant and there will be another non-birthday in my future. This Fall will be extremely difficult.

I heard on the radio yesterday there will be a big baby boom this Fall because of the harsh winter we had last year. Dandy. Maybe that’s why it seems like everyone is pregnant? Who knows.

I’ll try to be a little more regular in my posts. It’s just so hard write anymore.

 

 

Standing Still

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Seriously, have you ever met a motherless woman who wasn’t completely insane? Think of a woman who doesn’t have a child. She’s not normal and you know it. I think this process makes us crazy.

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Today is a particularly difficult day. I don’t know why. There’s no good reason. I’ve taken an anxiety pill. I’m trying to relax. One huge fault/problem that I have is that I can’t relax. The thought of trying to relax absolutely terrifies me and send me into a fit of panic. I have the day off work, and I have nothing planned for the day. Normally, days are packed with errands and to-do’s for the day. Today I have nothing. I’m at my worst when I’m alone left to my own devices. My mind wanders and it’s not long before I’m trying to talk myself out of hysteria.

I struggle daily with the losses. Reading the blogs does not help. The same stories. The same sad story of hope, loss, and helplessness is heartbreaking. The cyclical defeat is gut-wrenching. Some of you are pregnant. Some of you are pregnant and have lost your baby and are waiting for the miscarriage to start. Some of you are in your TWW. Some of you are sitting there more depressed than you’ve ever been. I feel your heartache. I wish I could take your pain away. I wish I could elevate that burden. I wish I could put your baby in your arms and give you that miracle.

I feel like everyone’s lives are continuing on around me, and I’m standing still. I’m standing still in a flurry of activities that surround me. Babies turning into toddlers, who turn into little people with personalities and passions. Friends’ schedules filling with their children’s activities of girl scouts, soccer practice and training bras. Cousin’s with children who will start driving soon. Friends whose first child just graduated high school. And I’m standing still. Standing still with my head spinning and my heart aching.

Ever since decided to go forward with the second septum surgery, I’ve been thinking about canceling it. Right now we’re 4 and a half weeks from the surgery date and I’m terrified. Terrified of dying on the table if she cuts the main artery that she saw the first time. Terrified of the pain. Terrified of it not working. Terrified of getting pregnant a fifth time and losing that baby. Terrified of carrying the baby longer than I ever have ever carried a baby and losing it further along. I wanted to have the surgery so that I could say, “I did everything I could.” But now, I don’t know. Can I handle another loss? Can I put myself through the again?

Where this will go, I don’t know. The ache from my first loss is so fresh and real. That was over 11 years ago. This doesn’t get any easier. The grief consumes me. I hold onto the pain. I cradle and coddle it. I protect my pain because it’s all I have left of my babies. I keep it too close to the surface. The smart and sane thing to do would be to bury the feelings. Put them in the coffin I never got to put my babies in and bury it deep below the surface. I should let it go. Fear and shame are running my life and I have to stop this. I feel depressed and scared that I will never be a mother and that my husband will never get to be a father. I’m sad for us.

Our Infertility Rap Sheets

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Thank you for helping me understand we’re more than this number.

Ever Upward™

Ever Upward is growing. My world is expanding. My recovery is strengthening.

Which also means my shamed silence is triggered more often. Even though my shame resilience has grown as a result of my practicing recovery.

As I meet more and more people in the infertility world, blogging or otherwise, I am finding myself comparing my story to theirs. I have always been uncomfortable with the TTC (trying to conceive) timelines. I am especially uncomfortable when our About pages and Twitter bio’s are our TTC timelines full of numbers and acronyms.

What I have come to realize is that my discomfort is simply a result of my shame being triggered.

The numbers we share to describe ourselves; how many miscarriages, cycles, IUIs, IVFs, BFNs, etc.* Hell, I have my numbers in my bio (two rounds of IVF and three never to be babies). I thought I included these because…

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An Infertile’s Relationship with Shame, Blame and Guilt

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I need to reread this over and over again. Thank you!

My Perfect Breakdown

Following other bloggers and learning more about the emotional consequences of infertility and miscarriage, I’ve begun to realize that there is are very real and deep rooted feeling of guilt, shame and self-blame for those experiencing most (if not all) types of infertility.

I find these emotions fascinating because I have not once felt shame because of our miscarriages and I have never blamed either one of us for them. Although, I do feel guilt, it’s important to note that guilt is an emotion that I feel about almost everything, so for me it’s not unique to this circumstance (I’ll get into my obsession with guilt in a bit).

Before I jump into my experience with these three emotions, first, let me state that I have watched Brené Brown’s TED Talk, and have only read only the first 3 chapters of The Gifts of Imperfection.  (I have no idea why, but…

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What do I say to my co-worker who has suffered a miscarriage?

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I wish I could give this to everyone to read.

Dwonna Know What I Think?

Dear Dwonna:

My co-worker was four months pregnant when she suffered a miscarriage. What should I say?

Signed,

Marilyn

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*Nisey James, my former student at the University of Texas, has answered this question for me since she understands this profound loss.*
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Dear Marilyn,

First, I’d like to commend you on seeking guidance. This is a very delicate time for your coworker, and you’ve unwittingly given her the best gift possible: thoughtful consideration.

As the mother of a sleeping son, I want to thank you for doing what so few have the courage to do. As someone who knows how painful it is to be a childless mother, I’m honored to offer whatever assistance I can to you (and, consequently, to your coworker).

Here is my advice.

Say something—and then be prepared to just listen. Most people don’t know what to say to someone who suffers a…

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