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Showing posts from 2012

When I see it in Stone

After our visit to the cemetery this weekend, I received a call that the girls' headstone was in and installed. Today I went on my lunch break to see it and make sure they had arranged the flowers correctly. I am so glad the headstone is finally in - just in time for Christmas.
I was fine driving there, but as soon as I saw the headstone I started crying. To borrow a lyric from Miranda Lambert, "it really sinks in, you know, when I see it in stone." It just hit me that this was really my daughters' resting place - not that I haven't been aware of that, but something about seeing it spelled out just hit harder. It was the first time I visited them by myself. I just kept telling them I love them and that I am sorry. I still have guilt that as their mommy I wasn't able to do anything to protect them or keep them alive. I love those babies so much. I can't believe it has almost been a year.
But, the headstone looks beautiful, and I am glad they finally have i…

Christmas Visit

Marty and I went by the cemetery this weekend to put out Gentry & Savannah's Christmas flowers. I always make their arrangements, and it is something I enjoy. Yes, it is sad, but it is the only thing I can really give or do for my girls here on Earth. I take my time in picking out the just right flowers and decorations, nothing too grown up, and always season appropriate :) My parents went with us this time; my sister (their stillborn baby) is buried 4 plots down from our girls. They never finalized the headstone for my sister 30 years ago, but my dad did so a few months ago when I paid off S & G's headstone. My mom had no idea, so when she saw the marker she just started crying. It was a sad, but sweet moment. My mom and I just held each other crying for our daughters.


Since our girls aren't here to celebrate Christmas with us, Marty and I decided to adopt two babies from the Salvation Army Angel Tree in memory of them. We chose two 8 month olds, 1 boy & 1 gir…

Back in Action

I have been a little MIA on here lately, but I am back in action. A few things have happened since my last post.

1) I had a breakdown at the work Thanksgiving party. Everyone in the office had to go around and say what they are thankful for this year. As soon as my boss (President of the company) started his story I lost in. I am talking 30 seconds in to the story full on tears. He and his wife struggled with infertility for 9 years before they got pregnant with their son via IVF. And, this year they were blessed with a surprise pregnancy and another son, born in October. Through the last few years he has been someone I could talk to about our own infertility struggles. My first day back at work after losing the girls, he took me in his office and just cried and prayed with me. I work for a very special company where we are all like family. But, being that I was already having a "blue day", his sharing of their story just sent me over the edge. I couldn't hold the tears …

A Year Ago

It was a year ago on Friday that we had our first beta (227) and found out we were expecting. It was a year ago today that we had our second beta (574, I think) confirming we were in fact pregnant. It's wild what a difference a year can make. You can go from experiencing such joy to so much pain. I wish I could still be the person I was a year ago. While I was scared of early miscarriage, I thought for sure once I made it through the first trimester I was guaranteed to bring home my babies. I was so naive. I will never have that again with a pregnancy. I won't be one of those who immediately runs out and shares their news (I wasn't last time either, but may wait even longer next time). When I see people announce their pregnancy at 6 weeks, I want to tell them you maybe should wait just to make sure everything is ok. Of course I don't, and things usually do ok for them. But, I envy their naivety.

A year ago life was everything I dreamed it would be, never thinking I wo…

Stressed

Things have been CRAZY busy lately, I have been such a terrible blogger. We are in our busiest time of the year at work, with one person out on maternity leave and one more preparing to be on leave in a few weeks. In other words, I have been SLAMMED during the day trying to make sure we get everything done. Also work related, our company has a new partner, so a lot of rapid growth is anticipated. 
I mention the new partner and growth because it has thrown another wrench in to my baby decisions. Previously it had been decided that if  I were to do IVF and get pregnant again I would be allowed to work from home for the 28 weeks of bed rest. I had a feeling that with all of the company growth now anticipated that would change, and it has. They will still allow me to work from home, but with a slight job change, reduction in hours, and reduction in pay . . . like half the hours & pay. Marty and I had pretty much decided that we would try IVF one more time before seriously pursuing a g…

Wave of Light

Day 15: Wave of Light
Tonight I light this candle in memory of Gentry and Savannah, as well as the other families who have experienced the heart breaking loss of a baby.

Capture Your Grief: Days 13 & 14

Day 13: Signs
These cute ducks came up to us on our first visit to the cemetery. Now we see them often on our visits. They get close enough we could touch them, although I'm not brave enough to try. I like to think these are our girls just sitting with us on our visits.
And, of course, the S & G on the sidewalk in San Francisco.

Day 14: Community
I have found the best support from the blogging community. I appreciate all of you for making me feel almost normal & letting me know I'm not alone.

Capture Your Grief: Day 12

Day 12: Scent
The scent that reminds me of my girls is tomato soup. When I was pregnant I ate tomato soup & cheese crackers at least four times a week. Every time I see it or smell it, I think of being pregnant. Happy times.

Asking for Prayers

Please say a prayer for my cousin and her family. Her one day old baby boy, Tyler, passed away last night. There are just too many of us who know this pain, and it's something no mother should ever have to experience. My heart breaks for her, her husband, and her oldest son.

Day 11: Supportive Friends

Aside from my husband and my parents (who have been AMAZING), my best friend L has been a life saver in the last 7 months. She has listened to me talk out emotions, held me when I needed to cry, and has just been there for me. I know I can say exactly how I am feeling to her without the fear of being judged. I have had some pretty dark days and thoughts since February, and she has been by my side. She is expecting her second baby girl in December. I think we were both afraid it would affect our friendship. But, it hasn't. She is the one friend who hasn't shyed away from me, and she doesn't walk on eggshells around me. She released pink balloons in honor of my girls when she did her gender reveal photo. A time when I should have been furthest from her mind, she still thought of me. I don't know if she will ever know how thankful I am for her friendship.


Capture Your Grief: Days 9 & 10

Day 9:Special Place, a place that gives you peace

Of course one special place is the girls' place at the cemetery. When I go there, I like to just be quiet and still. I like to feel the way the sun warms my skin, or the way the wind brushes against me.There is something so serene about being there.

Relating to that, another special place is anywhere outside under a beautiful sky. I find myself looking to the sky a lot more in the last 7 months. It makes me feel closest to my girls. To quote Train, "When I look to the sky something tells me you're here with me, and you make everything alright." My bed is another special place. It is here where I have cried most of my tears, alone and with Marty. It is where I have said the most prayers. It is where I can escape in my dreams.
Day 10: Symbol
Owls are the things that remind me of my girls. I had been looking at owl things for their nursery. I first used the owl on their "birth announcement". It really isn't …

Capture Your Grief: Days 4-8

Day 4: Most Treasured Item
My most treasured items are the photos I have of my girls, their hospital blankets, gowns, bracelets, and their footprints. These are things I prefer to keep private, so I will not be sharing a photo of these items.

Day 5: Memorial
This is a frame that hangs in our bedroom. It has photos of the girls' feet, their names, and the quote "There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."


Day 6: What NOT to Say
Some people say the dumbest things to people when they have no experience in the given situation. Here are a few of those things I have experienced:

Day 7: What to Say
Here are suggestions on what to say:

Day 8: Jewelry This is a necklace I wear everyday. It has a heart, a G, & a S.


Capture Your Grief: Day 3

Day 3: Self Portrait After Loss
My first Mother's Day visiting the girls at the cemetery.

Capture Your Grief: Day 2

Day 2: Self Portrait Before Loss

This is a photo from our Christmas card session last year. I love how happy we look, caught in a moment of laughter. We talked a lot about how this would be our last card with just the two of us.
One year ago today was my first IVF injection. In some ways it seems like forever ago, and in others it feels like it was just a month ago. I read it now and think, if I had only known all that was to come. You can read it here.

Capture Your Grief: Day 1

Today is Day 1 of CarlyMarie's Capture Your Grief in honor of Pregnancy & Infant Loss month.

Day 1 Photo: Sunrise Not exactly a beautiful sunrise today. It is cold and rainy.


A Little Hello

I can't believe I forgot to post this photo from our trip to San Francisco.

On our second day there, we walked just about everywhere in the city, or at least it felt that way. On our way from the Fisherman's Wharf to Union Square, we took some random turns and ended up on a street with this on the sidewalk. Marty and I saw it at the same time and immediately stopped.


If we had followed the directions on our phone we never would have seen it. I like to think of this as a little hello from Savannah & Gentry.

7 Months

It has been 7 months today, and I have no words.Other than I miss my baby girls like crazy.

I know some people don't understand my pain because I wasn't full term. But, I don't think it's something you can truly understand unless you have been pregnant - a mother's love. I only knew my girls for 19.5 weeks, yet I love them with every inch of my being and it started at day 1.

One of my closest friends is going in to be induced tonight at 10 pm.

If she goes quickly tonight or waits until tomorrow, her baby boy will be born on the 7 month "angelversary" of one of my girls. It's not as significant as the 6 month or 1 year milestone, but it still hurts.

Seems to be the way my year is going.

I love you, S & G.

It's Fall!

Saturday was the first day of Fall, so I took new Fall flowers out to the cemetery. I also made the final payment on their headstone, so it should be down in a few months. I will be so glad once it is put in and the temporary marker will be gone. I have felt bad for months that they only had the little plaque and not a real headstone.

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, but I am having a lot of mixed feelings about it this year. This time last year we were gearing up for our first IVF cycle. So I am anticipating going through this Fall with the "one year ago" mentality, starting with my first injection to finding out we were expecting twins. So I am praying for the strength to make it through all of those important dates.

The one good thing about Fall this year - I can enjoy my Starbucks. It's the little things that help me get through.




Pros & Cons

I have really been in no rush to make a decision in our next step, but as the bellies around me grow larger, it it starting to tug at my heart.

I don't think I have ever mentioned this, but the day after the girls were born, one of my cousins offered to carry a baby (or babies) for us. She didn't come to me directly, but I got word through her mom and another cousin. At the time, it never seemed like an option I would really consider. But, as time went on, it started to open to the option. I told her I wanted to see how our second transfer went (the one in June) before I really wanted to discuss it.

We have recently been talking about it - I outlined the standard FET protocol at my doctor's office, medications, injections, etc just to see if it was something she really wanted to dedicate herself to. I don't know that everyone realizes how emotionally and physically involved an IVF cycle can be. She has agreed that she would be willing to be a pin cushion for a few mont…

Am I Crazy?

For some reason,  I have been a mess the last few days. I feel like I am on the verge of a breakdown at any moment on any given day. On Sunday we went to the cemetery to visit the girls, and I lost it there. Marty was referring to our girls as "our pumpkins". I have always called them that to myself because their transfer took place on Halloween last year. But there was something about him calling them pumpkins that had me in full on sobbing. Not unusual, at least it was an appropriate location for a breakdown. Yesterday our company CFO sent me an email, nothing bad, but just the tone sent me over the edge. Not normal. Last week we were talking about all of the things that need to be done while one of my friends/co-worker is out on maternity leave (could be any day now), and I just started laughing and it turned in to crying. Also not normal. I'm not sure if it's stress, impending births of friends' babies, hormones, grief, or a mix of all, but I feel like a CRAZ…

Fun Stuff! (Pictures)

Despite all that we have going on, Marty and I have had quite a bit of fun in the last month. In August we flew to San Francisco for a 6 nights, 7 days getaway. I swear that trip saved my life and renewed my spirit.





The weekend after we came back from vacation was the kick off for college football. We had a great time tailgating with our group of friends. We left the game early due to a bad storm moving through. The Tigers went on to lose, bummer.

Do You Get It?

I know some people just don't know what to say to me any more, but some really need to get a clue. This happens more with the infertility side of things than the loss. Let me just tell you how  it makes me feel when people tell me to "relax" or ask "have you thought about adopting?'. Seriously, you think after 2.5 years of trying to get pregnant, 2 IVF cycles, and 2 angel babies later those two thoughts have never crossed my mind? Gee, what novel concepts. I know I shouldn't get worked up over it, but I do. Marty always has to remind me that they are just trying to help. In my opinion, these type of phrases need go under "if you don't have anything nice to say" rule. 
You know, we have thought about adoption, and we would both like to pursue that one day. But, now is not the time. As it is, IVF happens to be a more affordable option. Because we have the frozen embryos, it is only $3800 per cycle. Yes, we have already spent about $20,000 between…

Addiction

I swear, IVF is like a drug I have an addiction to. I suppose because it is the thing that can get me closest to having another baby, whether it's me or a gestational carrier. I really am enjoying not having to plan my life around injections and the possibility of bed rest. But at the same time, I have a lot of days where I want to call my doctor and set up a cycle right away. Maybe it's an emotional high from the hope an IVF cycle gives me. I haven't gone in to either cycle feeling like it wouldn't work. Both times I was just sure I would get a baby. The odds were in our favor. Now, I would probably go in less optimistic, but optimistic none the less. And it is during those cycles I feel happiest, being closer to achieving my dream.

Gentry

Just saw my baby girl's name on the preview for "Trouble with the Curve". Only seems fitting that the storyline involves the Atlanta Braves; we are huge fans. Just a little happy.

FRAGILE: Do Not Break

So what does it mean to be the infertile girl at work who has had her IVF babies die, the one who is surrounded by pregnant women? It apparently means you have a sign over your head that says "FRAGILE: Do Not Break". In other words, it means they tiptoe around you while you live with a daily hell. And now, they are trying to plan work baby showers around me - on days they know I won't be in the office. How does that make me feel? It makes me feel like crap. I only found out because someone told me, otherwise it is all being done behind my back. Which makes me feel even worse. I just can't explain it. If I was invited would I go? Probably not, but I don't want to be tip toed around. One of the ones who is pregnant admitted a few weeks ago that she purposely avoids me because she doesn't want to have to walk on egg shells around me. Am I that fragile that everyone feels this way? Apparently so.

Georgia on My Mind

Marty and I are still trying to decide what our next step is going to be to try to have another baby. We are both leaning towards using a gestational surrogate, but it would take the right person (and having the funds). I want to be pregnant again, but I'm just not sure I can do it again for my mental sanity. Six to seven months of bed rest is a long time to be in the bed and home alone all day. I was a bit of a control freak last pregnancy with my eating habits, activities, or anything else I thought could harm the girls. I imagine it would only be worse if I have all that time at home by myself. I'm afraid I would become my own worst enemy. In the end it would be totally worth it, I just don't want to drive myself crazy. Aside from the bed rest, I just don't know that I could survive another loss. There is the possibility that my cervix could fail even with the stitch. I just don't know that I could pick myself back up if that were to happen again.

I know I have …

Six Months

This past weekend (Saturday & Sunday) was the girls' six month birthday. Marty and I were in San Francisco on vacation, and I can't think of a place I would have rather been. Saturday was beautiful - perfect temperatures, lots of sunshine, and a calm peace.

I finished reading "Heaven is for Real" a few days before vacation. I think that book was a huge blessing to me. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who has suffered the loss of a child. I was bawling reading it, but it soothed my aching heart in a way nothing else has.I feel like I may have reached a turning point in this journey. On their 6 month birthdays, I just had the most peaceful feeling, not the extreme sadness I was anticipating. I think the book and a full week away were exactly what my heart, mind, and soul needed.
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I miss my baby girls and love them with every ounce of my being, but I am ok.



Consumed

In the last few days I have come to realize I am really enjoying the time off from IVF. For the last year it, along with pregnancy, have been my dominating thoughts. At this point last year I was still wavering on going forward with the IVF, that decision was consuming. Then once we were booked, it was a series of doctor's appointments for tests and consultations. I had a mental countdown going of how many days I had left to start injections, when we might know if it worked, when I would possibly be due. Seriously, it consumed by life. Then, once I was pregnant, that consumed me as well. I am a planner by nature, and let me tell you, trying to plan for two babies rocked my world. Not in a bad way. But just a where will all of their things go in our small house, what kind of schedule will we do - feedings, diapers, sleeping. I was planning a nursery, picking out clothes, planning cute photos. Planning to be a mommy consumed me.  Once we left the hospital with no babies, grief consu…

Dreams

Marty and I had some random dreams related to becoming parents last night. While I tend to have some odd dreams, they usually don't get so involved in my mental dilemma as this one did. And Marty, he never dreams about babies. These are short summaries of the dreams.

In Marty's first dream we were at a baseball game, and there was a little girl with brown hair sitting next to him. He was frustrated because her mom wasn't paying attention to her, so he started playing with her. He eventually asked the mom if he could just have her. And she allowed him to take her. Her name was Emily.

In Marty's second dream he was getting autographs of baseball players (this is his hobby), and he was telling this one guy about how he couldn't afford something because we have been doing IVF. The guy told him there are some things God controls, IVF being one of them.

In my dream, one of of my uncles was at my office, and I just happened to run in to him in the hallway. He asked me if …

Memories

It's weird how out of the blue memories of the days the girls were born will replay in my mind. They just creep up from nowhere and can cause a total emotional meltdown.

These are the most common ones for me:

Being in the emergency room with the nurse trying to find two heartbeats and nervously laughing while saying "When there's two it's kind of hard to tell who is who and find both heartbeats." I kind of believed her.

The ultrasound tech questioning me over and over if I was sure I was having twins because she only saw one baby. It felt like an eternity until she found Gentry already in my cervix with no heartbeat. At least she was honest and didn't make me wait to see a doctor.

The sight of my girls being whisked away covered in hospital sheets. I remember thinking "you are suffocating them", only to remember that wasn't true because they were no longer breathing anyway.

The feeling of Savannah moving in my belly after Gentry was born and bei…

5 Months

It's been 5 months today.
5 months since I met my girls.
5 months since my world was turned upside down.
5 months of crying.
5 months of trying to live a normal life.
5 months of attempting to get back to a recognizable form of my old self.
5 months of faking my way through a work day.
5 months of falling apart to and from work.
5 months of wondering what's next.
5 months of pain I never dreamed imaginable.
5 months of figuring out how to function when a part of me has died.




Time for a Break

We initially decided to do our second FET the week of September 17. However, after talking about it some more, we have decided to hop off the IVF roller coaster for awhile. Even though we want another baby more than anything in the world, it just doesn't make sense financially and physically to try again right now. 


I think my body is so confused on what it is supposed to be doing that I want for it to figure itself out before we try again. It has been 9 years since I have had a period without being induced by birth control or some other hormone. And now, my body has decided it wants to have two cycles in one month - even while on birth control. I need to get this right before I can think it would be ok to try to get pregnant. I would hate to try another FET with my body this screwed up. 


So for now the plan is to hold off any IVF plans until next year. Not to say that come October or so we won't be changing our minds if my body fixes itself and we have the funds. But, for now t…

Lucky

Yesterday my best friend found out her second baby is a girl. To make the announcement, she photographed her 4 year old daughter releasing pink balloons from a box. The moment I saw the picture I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. My next feeling was that I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I just felt so down the rest of the night. And yet, I couldn't quit looking at her facebook and reading everyone's congratulatory comments. Apparently I like to punish myself.


Despite all of these feelings, I am still happy for her. It just hurts because we were three days away from finding out the sex of our babies when I went in to labor. I was looking forward to that day and couldn't wait to go shopping for their nursery. And now I am left wondering if I will ever get to experience the excitement that day brings.

About 3 hours after her announcement text & facebook post,  I was checking my email and had an email from this friend with the subject "more pictures&qu…