The Fraternal Order of….

September 11, 2009

“There’s a special fraternity for those of us who’ve lost spouses and children.” – Joe Biden, Ground Zero, 09/11/2009

Yes, I can tell you what I as doing eight years ago when the families of 3,000 men, women and children were initiated into that “special fraternity.”  I worked for an elected official in Los Angeles – a place that truly believed they were next in line to be attacked.  It was a long and scary 48 hours.  Until March 2008, September 11th, 2001 was the worst thing that had really happened in my life.  It will be a defining moment for my generation.  Yes, I had lost loved ones but it was always a “good” death.  Not surprises, not traumatic deaths, usually an end to some long-suffering illness.  No, September 11th was my first real brush with overwhelmingly senseless death.  Sadly, it wouldn’t be my last.

Now, I’m obviously a much different person.  I belong to that “fraternity” Vice President Biden spoke of – he and I can share in the secret handshake.  I looked at the families of those that lost their loved ones that day and I sympathized.  Several months after 9/11, I shook hands with a woman whose husband was a firefighter who died that day.  I felt horrible for her but I couldn’t understand that level of grief and pain.  I can now.

We are out there, members of this “special fraternity” who have had children die.  You can’t tell us from the rest of the world.  You can’t see the pain we hold in our hearts.  You can’t know the tears we cry at night…or in the day…or all the time.  Only difference is, we don’t have a pool to stand at and read the names of our babies gone too soon.  So instead we write about them.  We write about our pain.  We write about our hopes and dreams for the future even though it doesn’t hold the babies we so desperately wanted and loved.  We read each others thoughts and help fellow “fraternity” members get through anniversaries, due dates, additional losses, failed medical procedures, inconsiderate family members, and unkind friends.  We treat each other – total strangers – with compassion and love because we are members of this “fraternity.”

I guess my point is this.  I hate that I am a member of this “fraternity.”  I hate that there are those of you reading this who belong too.  I’m sorry for the people who lost loved ones eight years ago today for they were someones’ child just like my boys are my children.  But I am grateful everyday for the kind and compassionate words I receive both from my real life and bloggy friends.  I’m thankful to be able to read others words and know that I am not alone.  I’m honored when others read my words and feel comforted.

But I would give anything to be able to turn in my membership pin….

Advertisements

Mending My Heart…

July 17, 2009

I called on Monday to have the boys’ death certificates amended to include their names.  We didn’t give their names to the doctor at the hospital, I can’t remember…morphine….

The boys don’t have death certificates.

They never drew a breath outside of my belly.  I was told that they aren’t entitled to any certificate.

Why does this bother me so?  Yeah, I don’t know.  I discussed this at length with the therapist and she thinks that I just need something to hold on to so that I don’t feel like they are slipping away or that I needed this for closure.  I don’t know.  I feel like the universe gave me closure when it took them from me.  I’ve struggled with how I wanted to remember them, what I’ve wanted something that I could look at if I wanted to but put away if I needed to.  A tattoo is not something I can just put away…a piece of jewelry maybe?  Nothing I have seen has spoken to me in away that I would want to remember the boys.  I have a great key chain that I love but I can’t decide if I want something I can put in their baby book or…I just don’t know….I feel unsettled…

I took a deep breath this morning, swallowed my tears and emailed a friend who draws – J, she’s a sorority sister who lives in San Fran.  I wanted to call her but it’s been to hard to even say the words to Hubby.  He doesn’t know there are no death certificates.  I don’t know if it will matter to him.  Anywho, I’ve asked her to make me certificates for the boys.  I have no idea what she will say…it’s a lot to ask someone – “can you sit down for a couple of hours and make a little memorial to my dead babies? ”  Good times.

I’m hoping she will say yes but if not, I will find something else…I think I need to do this.

It’s Not About Me…

April 24, 2009

This isn’t a post about me or maybe it is…

Someone I care about very much has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder – we will call him “H” for Husband and her “W” for Wife.  It’s been a hard road for this family to get to where they are right now.  Both H and W have been down a road with lots and lots of obstacles – some seemingly insurmountable and unsurvivable but still, they have endured.  H finally will get the help that he needs.  I’m so proud of the way they have handled things – especially W, she has a grace and presence of mind that awes me daily.

So why am I writing about this on my blog?  One, because I love them and two, because it’s a reminder to me that I need people in my life who support me and I want to have people who I can support back.  Sometimes I feel like I have taken more than I have given in the last year.  I know that’s “allowed,” I know that’s okay given the circumstances but I’ve never been that person before…someone so needy, where it’s all about me…I guess it’s a little glimmer that I’m getting back a little of the me that isn’t heartbroken, lost and hurt.  I know she’s in here somewhere, she just has a hard time swimming to the surface…

There is a song by 3 Doors Down called, “Let Me Be Myself” and while whole the song speaks to me, two lines really explain how I feel lately:

 “I’ll never see the light of day living in this cell.” 

“It’s time to make my way back into the world I knew.”

Maybe that’s where H is right now – making his way back.

Alternate Universe

February 16, 2009

Okay, so this may sound crazy but I have something to share (mainly in the hopes that other people have had this happen and I am not really crazy).  I still have thoughts of the boys.  Except they aren’t dead in these thoughts.  It’s like they are memories that I have yet to have or memories that I didn’t have or couldn’t possible have had…I have these visions of what life should be like – me getting up to feed them, playing with them, changing diapers.  Just this morning I was loading dishes into the dishwasher and I thought, “I should be loading baby bottles in here…”  I have looked in my rear view mirror and imagined that they are back there in their car seats.  It’s been nearly a year – a year since my world stopped.  I just don’t feel like I can get it started again.  I get up, eat, work, swim, go to yoga, eat again, and go to bed.  I go to dinner with Hubby, go to lunch with the girls, go to therapy dog training.  I pee on ovulation tests, pee on pregnancy tests, get blood drawn but now, not only do I long for another baby, I still long for those boys.  It’s like I have doubled my pain. 

I want my old life back but in my old life, I didn’t have the boys either.  They didn’t exist then.  I just feel so stuck.

Pity Party, Table for 1?

February 4, 2009

So thank you to everyone who sent me lovely notes after my post yesterday.  I was having one big pity party and feeling really sorry for myself.  Like my wise friend Karla said, “if this test had been required two years ago, it would be no big deal.”  She’s right, I would have rolled with it no problem but now everything seems overwhelming and is just another thing that the universe is throwing at me to handle.

This is what I wanted.  I wanted the doctors to be thorough and make sure that everything is fine.  I wanted the doctor to tell me that the only thing stopping us from having a baby is the genetic issue because as hard as it is to continue to have losses, eventually, the law of averages will work in our favor.  I had the boys and they were fine.  It will happen again.

So I am not giving up.  I take it back, I am not done but I do reserve the right to throw my hands in the air and yell, “OH COME ON!”

Thanks again guys.

So Dr. S just called.  Apparently she does not share the same philosophy as her colleague.  She would like to perform a Hysteroscopy.  That would mean putting me under, inserting a camera into my uterus through the cervix, checking for the polyps and if they are in fact there, zapping them with a laser.  I would be out in of surgery in about an hour but would be down for the count for the rest of the weekend.  She did give me the option of another Hydrosonogram but then, if the polyps were there, we’d have to schedule the zapping at some point anyway.  I’m all about efficient use of time off from work, let’s just get it all done at once.

My question is, how the hell did I get to this point?  What happened to “let’s have a baby” and “oh I am pregnant” and “oh it’s twins” and “oh we are so lucky” to “I’ve cried so much my eyelashes haven’t fallen out – twice!” and “I’m so sad that I can’t stand myself” to “let’s schedule a photo shoot with my uterus.” 

Did you ever see that episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” where the girl has some condition where she falls and breaks bones.  She’s to the point where she can’t even leave the house because she’s so afraid of breaking something else and she’s just given up a relationship with a guy that she’s convinced was “the one” because she’s scared to have another broken bone.  The whole time she just looks up at the sky and shakes her fists and yells, “OH COME ON!”

I’m done.  I give up.  I can’t do this anymore.  It’s just too much. 

OH COME ON!!!!

Today is our appointment with the RE.  I had hoped that I would be able to walk in and say, “oh by the way, can you do an HCG test on me, my period is 6 days late, my boobs are sore and heavy and I have intermittent cramping – basically, I think I am pregnant.”  Well, those symptoms went away on Saturday and I got my period Sunday morning.  I’m guessing another chemical pregnancy but since I was too scared to take a test, I don’t know.  Besides, chemical pregnancies don’t usually generate enough HCG to trip a test anyway.  The other option is that my body is just now recovering from the miscarriage to have a period and the “symptoms” were something else but I am getting pretty good at knowing when I am pregnant.

So because of that, I’m a little down plus the fact that I feel like this appointment today isn’t going to tell me anything that I don’t already know.  I am predicting that the RE will say, “your repetitive pregnancy losses are due to the genetic issue and all you can do is keep trying and suffer through the continued miscarriages.”  Not anything I don’t already know and think about all the time.  I mean, is it worse to get pregnant and lose them or never get pregnant?  I don’t know but I keep trying to remind myself of the law of averages – that eventually the statistics will swing in my favor and that the boys were fine, they didn’t have the genetic issue but died from something else completely unrelated and unpredictable.  It happened once, it will happen again.

Do I let this doctor do a bunch of tests on me to rule out other possible issues when this genetic issue is staring right at me?  Hubby thinks it’s a little weird that a fertilized egg bounces around in there for a couple of days and then just doesn’t implant.  We have had at least 3 chemical pregnancies (2 we know of for sure because the doctor did blood work and the HCG level was over 5 but never got to 50 before I started bleeding).  A bum egg or genetically not viable egg would just bounce around and then disintegrate though.  Hard to say.  Dr. T recommended a Hysterosalpingogram or HSG.  I know some of you who read this blog have had one but for the unfamiliar it’s an x-ray where they shoot dye into the uterus and watch it come out the tubes.  If there is blockage in the tubes, the dye doesn’t come out.  I don’t think I have blockage – my eggs are all dressed up in their favorite dresses and heels, going out and hitting the bar and getting picked up by the sperm.  In other words, I get pregnant, I just don’t stay that way.  My best friend from high school is a L and D nurse and she got a list of tests that her friend recently had done.  Again, I will take to the RE about that list with me but if those are tests for unexplained infertility, they aren’t going to help me.  I get pregnant, I just don’t stay that way.

I know that this is an exercise in hope and patience.  I get that, I do.  That doesn’t make me less frustrated or sad that I can’t just have sex with my loving husband, get pregnant with a healthy baby and STAY THAT WAY for 9 months.  Today is Chinese New Year so I thought it was fitting that I wear a new outfit, go see a new doctor and hope for a shiny new baby.  We shall see.