Monday, February 25, 2013

Wings for Espe

We joined a new club today. I think we both knew yesterday, but we tried to stay positive for each other. Our precious angel is gone. There are just no words for how hard this is. I know he was so small and early, but he was so incredibly loved by both of us and we have prayed and tried for so long. The ache is almost unbearable.

I was afraid we would regret telling everyone and living it up, but now I am so, so thankful. We cherished every single second. We loved this baby from the first moment and I know he left us loved and cared for. He was no less a part of my life than anyone I have had with me here on Earth.

The world seems so cruel right now. Thankfully, the process itself is almost over. I had a lot of pain yesterday. I tried to keep that from hubs until we knew. Today there is no pain and very little bleeding. There is this overwhelming emptiness. It goes beyond an emotional emptiness. There is a physical emptiness too. I still have morning sickness and all of the other symptoms, which is one of the cruelest things so far. I automatically took up placing my hand on my belly within days of knowing. It gave me joy and peace of mind. Now touching my belly which I still unconsciously do is heartbreaking. I don't think I will ever be able to erase the image of the empty ultrasound from my mind. He didn't even have to tell us. The baby was just gone.

God gave us a precious gift though. Hubs snuck his phone in Saturday at the hospital and recorded our ultrasound. We have the heartbeat and five minutes of video showing our beautiful little baby. It is a priceless treasure and I hope hubs knows how precious his gift is for me. Within an hour of that video, our baby was gone. I thank God for that blessing too. I can't look at it now, but I know I will always have it.

I decided that even though our baby was so early and we have no physical evidence of him save some medical paperwork and the ultrasounds we needed a name for this baby. I need him to have a place here. We decided on "Espe". This is short for Esperanza which means hope which this baby most certainly gave us. We had honestly lost all hope and this baby gave that back to us. Esperanza is normally a girl's name, but Espe will serve just fine for a boy which is what we felt it was.

We loved him so much.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being there since the beginning of this too. The support and knowledge I have found here with this community has already helped us so much and I know it will help us through this hurdle and on to the next.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hope and feathers

Yesterday was such a hard day. I did decide to go to work yesterday but I made sure to take it really easy and put the kids in front of a movie. I took a bathroom break once I got them set up and the bleeding had amped up a little. It was now showing on a pad. I panicked. I called hubs at work, took the kids to their parents and off to the ER we went.

We decided to go to our local hospital because hubs had left work and needed to get back if possible. The doctor there was wonderful and took care to check everything from my blood levels, to my cervix, to an in depth u/s. Everything came back wonderful. The u/s tech was so kind. She immediately went to the baby's heartbeat for us before doing her measurements, just for peace of mind, then returned at the end of the scan to let us spend some time watching the baby and hearing him. There are simply not words in any human language that could come close to describing the feeling I get when I hear that sound. The baby measured 6w 4d, which is right on target with what I thought. The cervix was closed up tight, and my hcg was 5 or 6 thousand, which they said was right in line with what they wanted it to be.

The doc came back later to tell us that I had placenta previa and that I was to be on strict bedrest until a follow up hcg and exam with my ob on Wednesday. I questioned the previa dx, but we went with it and left with a smile on our faces. We stopped to get something to eat before heading home. I only walked from the car to a chair. The nurse had told me as long as the bleeding was light I could even go to church the next day, so we didn't see any harm.

**** This might be a bit graphic for some, sorry, just a warning****

We got up to leave and I felt a large clot. I took off to the bathroom and sure enough, there was a large clot. I cleaned up, took a deep breath and headed back to hubs. I had no idea what to do. We decided to see if we could stop by and just ask them if things were okay. There was a shift change though and they insisted on seeing me again. I had no cramping to speak of, but I was petrified. The doc talked to us, basically said there's nothing we can do, bump your appointment up to Monday, just go home and wait. Before being discharged I had another large clot almost the size of my palm. I was devastated. The nurse that discharged me just shook her head and said unfortunately, nature can be cruel sometimes, and they sent us home shattered and in tears. We were certain we were going home to miscarry.

Hubs got angry and insisted I call my ob who was on call at a much larger hospital (the one we will deliver at) for the weekend. He called back very quickly and I am so blessed to have him. He was so kind and reassuring. He told me it was impossible for me to have a previa diagnosis so early and that he was still confident that our baby was okay. He agreed that I should remain on complete bedrest until Monday but that he would see me as soon as he opened Monday morning and he promised us another u/s to make sure things were okay.

I came home and passed another large clot, this one smaller than the first two, but still large. After that, I haven't passed any more though and the bleeding has slowed significantly. In fact the only time I have really had any bleeding is when I had the clots. I am resting and per the advice of both ER docs and my doc, keeping things really calm and quiet. I am trying to stay positive and hopeful.

I am overwhelmed by my love for this little person. It really floors me how I feel about him or her. I know without a shadow of doubt that I would go to the ends of the Earth for this baby if that's what it took and I know that hubs feels the same way. It is an amazing, and very powerful feeling. I hope no matter what happens, this little person knows how unconditionally and completely he or she is loved and wanted by both of us.

Friday, February 22, 2013


We had a little scare last night. It was nothing major. Thankfully, I've read thousands of things over the years about early pregnancy and all of the things that go with it. I know that it's normal, but it didn't stop the tears from flowing and the feeling of despair from creeping in. I started spotting last night. It was the teeniest amount. It was what I call tp or toilet paper spotting. I called hubs last night. He was at a friend's house building a computer for him. He kept me on speaker phone so that he could feel close to me until I fell asleep a couple of hours later.

This morning when I got up, it had stopped, but hubs insisted I take the day off and stay in bed. I've pushed myself pretty hard this week and I was exhausted, so I didn't argue. The spotting did start up for a few hours today again, but it is tapering off again and still isn't anymore than just some pink tp spotting. I did put a call in to the doc and his nurse, a lady that has been there through the thick of it for 6 years with us, assured me that this sounded very classically like implantation of the placenta and that I should stop worrying. She made me feel so much better about something completely out of my control and I am once again truly thankful for my doctor and his staff. My doc is also on call at the hospital this weekend, so she assured me if anything happened I could call the hospital and I would get him.

Poor hubs was a mess. He's so scared. I try really hard to be encouraging and positive for him, but truth is I'm terrified too. I hate that we are so jaded by disappointment to enjoy this and feel comforted by a doctor's words. The nurse assured me that nothing I did could have caused this and that if I wanted to take it easy a few days that was a good idea but only because it might ease my fears, not because it would make much difference. Still I find myself scared to do anything. I didn't want to cook today or clean up the house. I don't even want to sneeze for fear of hurting something or triggering an avalanche.

I feel the need to explain myself to people. I feel silly for our overreaction to every twinge or tug. After ten years of repeated heartbreak it is so hard to accept that we might finally have a happy ending. We tiptoe around the issue, both waiting for the other shoe to fall. It sounds silly, but disappointment is almost comforting. It isn't surprising. We are usually braced for it and know how to handle it. Hope, and faith are much harder to embrace.

I plan on resting a lot this weekend and working to stay positive and as worry free as possible. For now, everything is a wait and see situation. I wish I could blink and find myself on the other side of this first trimester when everything is so touch and go. I believe this pregnancy is just another challenge of my faith and trust. Hopefully, I can pass through it quickly and look forward to what I pray is a happy ending.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I had a bit of an anger problem with my infertility after so many years. I was angry that I had sacrificed so much and had worked so hard only to come out the other end empty handed and broken hearted. Last year, when things started getting really hard, and age 30 was looming over my head, I guess I sort of decided that I would show God what I really thought about what was going on. I was like an angry rebellious teenager. I let so many bad habits back into my life. My obsession with calories led me to start smoking again, and I started consuming large quantities of B12 and caffeine, both to help curb my appetite. For a short while I drank every weekend, but the calorie count quickly snuffed that. I exercised excessively, pushed myself to the edge almost every single day.

Even early on I had some nasty health problems. I cut out all fats and carbs almost overnight. Within four months, I had to have my gallbladder removed and had to have temporary stents because my ducts were blocked. My hair has thinned drastically. I suffered from a lot of little things that could be attributed to malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies. I had cramping muscles, anemia, constipation, and dizziness. My fingers and nails cracked, I bruised easily, my joints ached, and I felt miserable most of the time.

It started simply as a way for me to take back my life. I wanted a family and hubs and I were at an impasse. The only way we could move forward was for me to lose the weight and it made me angry. I felt forced into it and I think that's part of the reason control became such a driving force. There were a lot of other things that contributed, but I know infertility played a big role.

I also know that this pregnancy is an absolute miracle. There are only a couple of people that know how deeply encapsulated I was in my problems. I'm not sure even hubs realizes how bad things had gotten. The idea that a baby could have survived what I was doing amazes me!

It also made me realize how quickly I had to make a 180.

The morning I took the first test, I was about to smoke a cigarette and decided on a whim to test first. That cigarette never got lit. I immediately cut out all caffeine, and I am working very hard to sort out my eating habits. The doctor gave me a goal of 1300-1600 calories a day for the first trimester. My goal is 1000 calories most days. I've done pretty well. I'm actually hovering around 1200 calories a day right now, just because I crave food all the time. I am taking prenatal vitamins, and I have started exercising again, but reasonably with a support system to keep me in check. I am also halfway through the process of weaning myself off of the migraine meds I have clung to for so long. So far, everything is okay, but just okay.

There are a lot of adjustments and they all happened instantly. It overwhelms me to tears sometimes how much I love this little tiny being inside of me and how quickly I knew I would do anything to protect him or her. It was much easier than I expected to quit the caffeine and the smoking, but I had such a drive to keep the baby safe. The food is a work in progress. Most of the time I am okay with it. I get really upset at some point every day. My body is having a hard time processing food again, and there is some bloating and discomfort that I'm pretty sure is exaggerated because of food. I'm sure that this will ease up, but my body will start changing soon and I'm nervous about how that will make me feel. My doctor knows about it though, and I'm sure we can make it work.

On top of it all, there are of course the normal pregnancy symptoms. I usually grin like a fool the moment nausea strikes. I try to indulge in a nap every day to help with the fatigue, and I remind myself often how blessed I am and how thankful I should be. I am scared to complain. I hear so many pregnant people around me complain about aches, pains, going to the bathroom. I just sit quietly and nod my head, acknowledging their discomfort.

I feel afraid to complain. At any moment God could decide that perhaps I'm not really ready for this, or maybe we aren't good parenting candidates after all. I feel like I am walking on eggshells. My closest friends encourage me and tell me how proud they are of my change and progress. I feel like a fraud. I am not strong or brave. I am terrified. The only reason I did these things is because I am so scared of failure. I am afraid someone upstairs will finally realize their error. I don't feel like I deserve this or that I have earned this, yet I cling to this baby with every cell in my body.

No matter the reason, I love this baby. It is forever a part of our family. No matter what happens, this little person has made us a family of three, and I will do absolutely everything in my power to see that we finally have a happy ending.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


It's been a while hasn't it?

Posting here got so painful and I finally got to a place where I didn't want to think about having a baby anymore. I honestly gave up and decided that adoption was our only option. Don't misunderstand me, adoption has always been in our plan, but like most parents, we did hold out hope for a biological child too.

The past year has been painful to say the least. I had a student that was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. It really hit me hard. I had struggled with another horrible cycle of migraines that left me with memory loss, speech impairment, and temporary blindness. I was going to school full time, working two jobs, and still dealing with the idea that we might never be parents. All of the crazy led me down a nasty dark road. My student passed away in December, which just made things harder.

The new year rolled in with a new me. I went from a size 24 to a size 8. I lost about 120 pounds in about ten months. I won't say I did it in an entirely healthy way. The schedule I kept alone almost destroyed me. I was working out every day, going to class four days a week, working 6 days a week, and averaging about four hours of sleep every night thanks to some difficult scheduling and one vehicle. Looking back at all the crazy I was dealing with, it's no wonder I stopped paying attention to my periods. I had stopped all of my hormone medications, so there wasn't really a need to know when things happened, and I had given up, with many things taking priority.

Fast forward a few weeks, I thought my habits had caused my period to stop completely. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor to be put back on Provera and try to get things started again. On a whim the weekend before my appointment, a friend from work urged me to take a test. I finally decided it wouldn't hurt.

I can't tell you the amount of tears, anxiety, fear, and cautious joy that hubs and experienced that weekend. We have never seen this before. Ten years, and never has this happened. We had a very faint line once in our first year of marriage, but never anything like this.

The following week I went in for my annual exam and to discuss prenatal appointments. Today we had our first real prenatal appointment. I had no idea when my last period was, so I was clueless about how far along we might be. We estimated about 6 weeks and scheduled an ultrasound for today. We were off on the date it seems. We are only about 5 weeks pregnant right now, but we have a priceless picture and we heard the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. This tiny little flicker on the screen gave off a strong, loud heartbeat!

Hubs' eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas and there have been many tears and smiles all afternoon. I know it's early, but we have told everyone close to us. We decided the first day, that we had waited ten years for this and if for some reason it was only meant to be a short lived experience, we would cherish every single moment and celebrate with the people that have prayed with us and hoped with us for so long! I'm glad we made that decision. I know there are tons of people praying for and wishing that this little blueberry will stick around. Already, the love I feel for this little person is unbelievable!

I just had to share it with all of you too! You have been here in the thick of it with us. I know many of those in our fold are still in the gnarly horrible nightmare of infertility, and I pray that I can pass on a small spark of hope. It is possible.