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

Opening Up…

July 30, 2009

It’s getting easier to talk about the boys.  I noticed yesterday when I relayed the story of the “induction discussion” to the therapist, I didn’t cry, I didn’t get angry…I just told her how it bothered me but that I wasn’t surprised, people outside of my “invisible army” (thanks MisterIVF, I think that’s going to stick) don’t understand but that I would just try and let it roll off my back…I talked a lot about how I feel horrible for the time that Hubby spent alone while I was gorked out on morphine but I did so without falling completely apart. 

I do, however, I feel like grief is cyclical and that I might just be a mess tomorrow or Monday or whenever…I don’t know…I keep getting my hopes up that the pain will be less intense but then it smacks me upside the head.  Sucks.  The boys first birthday would be next week…sigh.  K and I are going to lunch.  I’m lucky to have her.  I’m lucky to have all of you in real life and in the bloggy world.

I heard an author talking about her poetry on NPR yesterday.  She wrote a book to cope with the grief and loss after the murder of her daughter called, “Slamming Open the Door.”  She read a poem she wrote about things that you don’t say to someone who was grieving….it was sad and funny and very relatable for me…I sat in the parking lot of the Harris Teeter and cried and laughed as she read it.  I ordered it from Amazon, I will keep you posted.

I found a piece of jewelry I want.  I was going to ask Hubby for it for my birthday but I think I will just order it for myself.  I’m a little afraid he will think it’s dumb or silly or that I’m wallowing…not that he would say that but he worries about my mental health (probably rightly so) and I don’t like making him worry.  Anywho, it’s neat stuff and I corresponded with the artist to get her to make some changes to the pieces so they would be perfect for the boys.  I love the keychain that K got me and it made me realize that I was okay to have something that commemorates them.  I’ll post the link to the artist soon…

Support

April 20, 2009

I just can’t seem to get it together today.  I’m very weepy and it’s really annoying me. 

I found an online support group for people with the genetic issue (Balanced Translocation) that I have.  It’s nice because infertility support groups focus on people who can’t get pregnant.  While, I’m sure that’s maddening and frustrating and angering, that’s not me.  I get pregnant.  A lot.  Five times in the last year not including the boys.  And I miscarry.  A lot.  And so do these women.  I can’t say which is worse.  I don’t know.  Which would you chose?  Never, ever being pregnant or knowing that you are pregnant and waiting for it to end for the 5th time in a year?  I can’t walk in those shoes, I can only walk in the ones I have but I am here to tell you, this sucks.  I’m tired, I’m angry, I feel old, I feel hopeless.  And as a bonus, I’m so good at knowing that I’m pregnant, I don’t need a stupid test to tell me.  I’m the blood hound of knowing when I am pregnant.  Hence, not only do I know when I am but I know when I’m not anymore.  It’s a hard life to live right now and I am feeling really sorry for myself.

I am hoping this group will help a little bit because there are success stories.  One woman reminded me again today, “keep trying and it will eventually happen.”  It’s “eventually” that’s hard on me.

Also, I learned that the drug discussion that Hubby and I had with Dr. S. wasn’t so crazy.  As a reminder, Dr. S doesn’t want to give us fertility drugs because we are fertile but Hubby and I thought that if the drugs increase the number of eggs, wouldn’t that increase the possibility of viable ones (ones that don’t have the translocation or are balanced and therefore, able to sustain)?  Dr. S is reluctant to give a drug I don’t really need.  However, several people in the group have done this and they have been successful…

I’ll stick it out one more month without drugs but then we are having the conversation with Dr. S.  And if she isn’t up for it, I’ll head over to Duke.  UNC is chocked full of bad memories for me anyway…

Baby Boys

April 7, 2009

Beans:

I miss you terribly and I love you. 

I cannot believe it’s been a year since you were delivered but your Dad and I will always love you and hold you in our hearts.

Love,

Your Mommy.

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.

Proactive Me.

January 8, 2009

Went to the doctor yesterday for the “annual” exam.  I joke that I’m like a smoke detector, I need to be checked out around New Year’s because otherwise I forget and the house might burn down.  The lady parts are fine.  We have been referred to an RE for additional testing.  I think it’s a waste of time because the source of our miscarriages is the translocated chromosome but can’t hurt to rule out other things too, right?  I have embraced the fact that while 2/3 of my pregnancies will fail, 1/3 will not.  I have had 3 pregnancies, 2 have failed and 1 has not (for the genetic issue anyway).  I’m basically back to the beginning.  New year, new slate, new pregnancies.

And we see a therapist on Friday afternoon.

And the diet started Monday.  I need to lose the remaining 15 pounds that is leftover from the twins.  I have had this attitude of “oh well, it won’t matter because I will be pregnant again soon and then I can be as fat and unhealthy as I want to be.”  Wrong.  My blood pressure was 139/78 yesterday.  My blood pressure is never over 118/68.  Could have been the argument with Hubby the night before, the fact that I didn’t sleep well, that going to UNC makes me anxious in general or that I took some Benedryl to help me sleep but I wasn’t pleased with the number I saw when I stepped on the scale either.  Hanging on to the weight is not going to make it any easier to conceive and while getting pregnant isn’t the issue, why make it the issue, you know?  I lost 15 pounds right before I got pregnant with the twins and I loved the way I looked.

I have developed some bad habits over the past month or so.  I could chalk it up to the holidays but I have been drinking a hot chocolate from Starbucks just about 4 times a week, skipping the gym, eating meat, and snacking on candy and cookies with regularity.  I found out yesterday that those hot chocolates I love from Starbucks (the Signature Hazlenut Hot Chocolate is my favorite), despite being made with non-fat milk – has 650 calories.  That’s right, 650 calories.  A simple switch to a non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte (decaf, of course!) is a savings of 450 calories right there! 

So cutting back on calories, no more meat, lots of veggies, back to swimming 3 times a week and Kelly has offered to go to yoga on Wednesday nights instead of mid-day (remember? I can’t deal with the pregnant yoga teacher so I just stopped going) is the plan.  Yoga and swimming will make me feel better and losing weight will boost my self-esteem.

So moving ahead trying to get me back.

Hell, I sound almost normal, don’t I?

Nahhhhhhhh.

So I have been having a lot of “should be’s and should’ves” this weekend….I should be struggling with 5 month old twin boys – happily exhausted and pulling my hair out.  I should be waking up every 2 hours for feedings and changings.  I should be handling this loss better.  I should’ve handled the disagreement with Hubby without resorting to tears (which I know makes him sad and frustrated).  I should’ve done something to prevent the miscarriage 2 weeks ago.  I should be more positive.

I don’t know what to do, I don’t know whether I am coming or going.  I barely look people in the eye for fear they will see my tears and *gasp* ask me “what’s wrong?”  I mumble “thank you” to the people at Starbucks or Barnes and Nobles or Trader Joe’s (and that right there is the sum total of all the places I go besides work and the gym) and run to get out of the store as quickly as possible.  I feel like I have taken 4 steps back to right after I lost the boys.  I don’t want to eat (except for licorice).  I don’t want to do work.  I want to lay on the couch and sleep and read books about other people’s lives.  People whose babies don’t die.  People who can stay pregnant longer than 22 weeks.

I need to be positive that I will be pregnant again soon and this time, it will stick for longer than the last 2 times but I just can’t.  I’m trying, really trying.

What the hell am I going to do?  I can’t keep living this way.