Friday, June 19, 2009

Jennifer Jeanne

October 28-November 5, 1978. She was my baby sister. She was born very premature and weighed 3 lbs. Her lungs were not mature, and after 8 days on machines my mom and stepmonster let her go. I know I didn't understand a lot of what happened since I was only 9 years old, but I really had a hard time forgiving them for that, sometimes wonder if I ever really have. She was my last chance to not be an only child, and there was nothing I wanted more.

I always knew that I would never have an only child. I could not put that burden and that loneliness on another. I know it wasn't intentional, as my parents wanted "at least 4", but now I am beginning to fear that history may repeat itself. My mom had an incompetent cervix, which she says was the result of a bad IUD, and lost at least 3 babies that I know about. Jennifer and I were the only ones to make it to this world. I, on the other hand, can apparently only get pregnant through extremely expensive medical intervention. So far so good, and knock on wood, our little one, our only child, will make it here safe and sound. Me, the lonely only child, loved the idea that there were going to be two babies born at once, loved the idea that they would have a bond that no other could ever break and that neither would ever feel alone. I didn't actually think a lot about the chances of twins when we put back two embryos. Two just seemed like more insurance to get one. But that all changed when I learned there were two.

It seems so obvious that Jennifer would enter my thoughts on the eve of the day that Baby B no longer had a heartbeat, but somehow I feel like she's been watching over this entire IVF process. I think I mentioned several entries back that I had a dream about her between our retrieval and transfer. In my dream she was sending me text messages from the ARTS lab, letting me know that she was there, watching over and taking care of our embryos. As absurd as it sounds, it made me feel better. I had really hoped that we would be able to donate our snowbaby to another couple in need, but it looks like we may be that couple. Jenny Girl, I'm going to need you to watch that little one for a couple of years.

Saying goodbye to our twin breaks my heart, but I know that over time it will be easier. I know from the experience with Jennifer that the grief never really goes away. It becomes a manageable part of me that makes me stronger and appreciative of all that I do have. I am grateful that it happened early and will not cause any trouble for our healthy baby. I am extremely grateful that I am not facing burying my child. There is nothing that haunts me more than the vision of a tiny, white casket that one man carried my sister in to the cemetery. It is something that should never happen, but over the last year and half on the Bump I have learned that it happens, unfortunately, all of the time.

I think I am finally able to forgive my mom for letting her go. It wasn't her fault. Bad things happen to good people. I wasn't supposed to be an only child: it just worked out that way. I will still do everything in my power to make sure that this little one has a sibling. Hopefully our snowbaby will survive the thaw and join our family in a couple of years. A second IVF seems quite out of our reach, and my eggs could take a turn for the worse in the next year. All I can concern myself with right now is the one perfect baby that is thriving inside me and expected to be here January 23. This needs to be my focus.

We'll miss you, Baby B, and you will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

No easy answer

So it looks like the 84% of you who voted twins were absolutely right; however, based on how tiny Baby B is the doctors give us little hope that we will ever be holding twins. Baby A is measuring 2 days ahead (7w5d at last week's sono) and has a fantastic heartbeat of 156 bpm! Baby B was measuring 6w1d and had a very slow heartbeat of 54 bpm. My heart sunk. How could one of my babies be doing so well and the other be barely clinging to life? I am also beginning to wonder about the people in which I have chosen to confide this information. I have actually had two people say to me, "Well, at least you've still got one" and "You could have had none." Does anyone here really think I am so fucking ungrateful as to not appreciate the one perfect baby that I am actually beginning to believe I will give birth to in January? Is it not possible that I could be truly 100% appreciative of this little miracle but at the same time be equally as sad that my other baby may never grow up as part of our family? Is it OK to say such horrible things simply because someone has yet to be born? If someone had two teenagers, and one of them was killed by a drunk driver would you ever say to that person, "Well, at least you've still got one" or "it could have been both of them"? So stupid and hurtful. I need new friends.

I managed to survive our annual work convention without any questions. There were a few raised eyebrows and I am sure many rumors started as I continuously turned down cocktails. After partaking in eight years of these fun fashion presentations followed by many late nights of drunken walks of shame, I would be fairly naive to escape without question. The funny thing is that I am always completely wiped out after the convention, and I always assumed it was from the late night antics. Turns out being 8 weeks pregnant makes you feel equally as tired and hungover. Hmmm....Don't worry everyone: If I am lucky enough to still be employed next year, I will more that make up for this year.

So, tomorrow we will go back to the OBGYN. I am excited to see Baby A again and hear the beautiful heartbeat. I am terrified to see what's going on with Baby B. We have been told of the "vanishing twin" phenomenon and that it is possible that I will go in for the sono and the other baby will simply be gone. No bleeding, no pain, simply absorbed by my body and gone. And then there's Mr. Optimism, my dear husband, who believes that Baby B will have a stronger heartbeat and will have grown significantly over the past week. I love him so very much, and God knows I want to believe what he believes. It's just so hard. What lesson is God trying to teach me here? Does He believe that carrying twins to term would be too physically demanding on me and threaten my health? Does He feel we can't afford two babies and would struggle too much? Does Baby B have Down's or Trisomy 13, and this is all part of Darwin's law? I may never know. For now it's just one day at a time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I will be napping this afternoon!

Pierce left for work at 3:45am, and I have been awake ever since.  I didn't wake up when we got up or when he was getting ready, but that little "ding ding" sound the alarm makes when the garage door goes down put me a in a state of tossing/turning, getting up to pee, playing with the cat for awhile, and now, I guess, blogging.

Ultrasound/sonogram, whatever it is called, is in 3 hours and 45 minutes.  As if I am not anxious enough already, our RE has moved his office and I am not entirely sure where I am going.  It's actually pretty comical because we live just north of XX St., we are 2 stoplights away.  The RE's office is also on XX St., but it's a really long road that changes direction and loops around into another city and, almost, another county!  You would think if all I need to do is get on one road and go that I would be perfectly fine.  Hmmm....maybe I will.  But I think maybe is a bit clouded by thoughts of 

*will there be a heartbeat?
*what if they don't see anything?
*what if the first thing out of the doctor's mouth is "I'm so sorry"
*what if everything looks perfect?
*exactly how many babies are in there?
*when do I graduate to the OB?
*when can we stop the torturous PIO shots?
*is my thyroid/blood pressure OK?

Yes, I worry a lot.  I wish I could be like any number of other girls on the Bump boards who pee on a stick, get there BFP and announce it with a full-blown ticker right away.  I admire that confidence, or maybe a lot of it is innocence.  I have never had a miscarriage, yet I am in constant fear that something will go wrong with this pregnancy.  I have seen this crippling fear in many ladies who have lost babies, but I find it very confusing that I have adopted it in some form.  I think it's a combination of all of the months of let downs, all of the tests coming back normal and offering no clues as to why we weren't getting pregnant, and all of the time and, not to forget, the money we put in to this journey.  We are very fortunate not to be up to our eyeballs in infertility debt.  I think it's like when you become a teenager, and your parents tell you to go get a part time job and earn your own money because if you have to work hard for something and pay for it yourself, you will appreciate it more.  I am in no way implying that ladies who have gotten pregnant easily don't appreciate their babies.  I am simply saying that those ladies will never understand my heartache.  And for that I am extremely grateful.  I would wish it on no one.

I hope that today's ultra-gram/sono-sound will give me some sense of peace.  I really want to celebrate this miracle(s).  Not with the world, not yet, but with my husband, mom, grandma, and cat.  If all is well on my birthday, then we will let the world share in our sunshine.  Now that it is only 3 hours until our appointment at the mysterious location, it is time for me to shower and make all parts pretty and clean.  I'm not entirely sure if today involves over-the-belly action or my good 'ole friend, the dildo cam.  Either way, don't want to scare anyone!