Monday, March 31, 2008

Grant's Gang is Marching for Babies!

It's March for Babies time! (formerly called WalkAmerica)

As you all know, I am very involved with our local March of Dimes. Our NICU support group has gotten a grant to give resources to parents of children in the NICU, including support group information, helpful items like gift cards to the coffee shop, water bottles, information on RSV, keychains and photo/nicu baby books. This organization is close to my heart. I would like to ask you to think about donating to our March for Babies team this year.

To donate, please click this link to be taken to our team page.

As an added incentive, anyone who donates will have their name put into a drawing for a custom child (or adult) hat/mittens OR handmade socks of your choice. All you have to do is donate to Grant's Gang's fundraising effort!

Grant Spencer Smithson was born 9 weeks too early on September 12, 2004. He was 4lbs, 2oz. When Grant was 24 hours old, he was airlifted to the NICU in Iowa City. There he received blood transfusions, surfactant for his lungs, antibiotics and specialized care. Despite having received steriods in utero to strengthen his lungs, he suffered from RDS (respiratory distress syndrome). Grant (and mom and dad) rode the rollercoaster that is NICU for 42 days until he was able to come home.
Although he was behind in his milestones for the first two years, Grant is now a precocious preschooler who is caught up to his peers. He enjoys reading, playing with Lightning McQueen and riding his BMX bike.He is the joy of our lives. He amazes us everyday with something new.
We have come to know several other families of preemies. Until Grant was born, we never knew how common premature births were. We also didn't know how serious it can be. Not all families are as lucky as we are to have their precious children today.The March of Dimes has been a leader in research including research on the condition I had, Vasa Previa. This organization SAVES babies!
Today in the U.S., 1 in every 8 babies will be born prematurely. Some of them won't survive, and others will have health problems that could last a lifetime. The funds we raise in WalkAmerica support research that saves babies' lives.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Let me tell you about my friends

I arrived home last night to a box for me. It was filled with amazing gifts.

There is a 100.00 gift certificate from John Taylor Day Spa, gift cards to Starbucks and Aeropostale, Chocolate (the new Bliss...amazing!), two skeins of beautiful yarn, two pattern books and a set of Knitpicks Options Harmony Wood Interchangable needles all in an adorable spring basket.In addition, there was a donation made in our name to the March of Dimes, something very important to us.

Who is this amazing gift from? It's from "my ladies"...a message board I've been a part of for several years now. This is the same board where Carrie found her egg angel. I've met some of them in person, but others I haven't.

They are incredible women. I am overwhelmed by their generosity. They have been an incredible support for me, they listen to me fret, whine and cry...but this overwhelmed me.

The world is a good place!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Can't seem to shake it

It's the first day of spring, Easter is coming. I should be happy...but I'm not.

I host Easter for our family. I love to host usually. Mr calls me Martha all day. I plan out the menu far in advance, do special things like hiding treats, look for Easter decor....

But this year, I'm not into it. At. All.

Part of it is that we usually have Spring Break the week before Easter or at a minumum we have Good Friday off. Not this year though. So I have very little time to get ready. My parents will be here early Saturday afternoon. I work tomorrow too...booo....

But honestly, part of it is that I realized that in my grand scheme, the outcome of the trial would have allowed us to be announcing how many we were having rather than having to explain that it failed, that I failed. Because, let's face body failed. I put three healthy, high rated, good celled embryos in and my body didn't accept them. And it sucks...

And, I'm sick of talking pregnancy with everyone at school around me. SICK. OF. IT! Sick of hearing them complain, sick of everyone telling them what to expect, sick of everything.

I think I'm depressed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I feel like I'm back in the dark ages! I'm temping and using OPK's again. After doing other treatments, it just seems wierd...KWIM?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Round and Round

As I sat waiting for our literacy meeting to start today, two other teachers from my building were talking. A was talking to V, explaining the arrangements they are making for when her #2 arrives this summer. She's due in June. She said something along the lines of "my husband said to me, 'what were we thinking, two is going to be a lot more work than one.'" V replied, that is part of what my husband and I discussed. Part of the reason we decided not to do IVF is that we are so comfy and in our routine with our son. Throughout the morning, V kept bringing up other reasons why it would be okay for her son to be an only child.

I chose not to participate in the discussion for several reasons, not the least of which being that V is good friends with my mortal enemy and I just didn't want to open myself up to that. Another reason I didn't speak up was that I thought about what Jane said at One Smart Mama in the post about regifting words.

But the overall reason I didn't join in is that I'd have to side with one or the other. If I agreed that V shouldn't have any more or pursue any more, would that mean that *I* shouldn't either? Up until now, I haven't really had to face that decision. I still don't want to. I'm not ready to say "Boo will be an only child." V is facing that and what I heard was her justifying her decisions as if she HAD to. I'm not ready to go there.

It's like when you come to a crossroads (watch me get all symbolic here)...but I don't want to make a decision yet. I'm not ready. So instead of a crossroads, let's call this a roundabout. I can get on and off whenever I want to or continue to go in circles. I'm not ready to turn any one corner yet. I'm not sure if we are firmly in the "pursuing pregnancy" camp or the "one and done" camp. So I'll hang out in the roundabout for a while. I'm sure I'll get dizzy sooner or later. But right now...round we go.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stupid and Angry

I went to the Chiro's office yesterday for a massage. It was going to be a nice treat since I'd scheduled it ages ago and forgotten.

As I was sitting in the waiting room, a young couple with brand new twins came in. They weren't two weeks old yet. For the first time, I could barely look. I felt so uncomfortable glancing at this mother who was gazing at her son as she held him with the glow of love that only a brand new mother and child have. I almost gasped aloud and couldn't look anymore.

Then I felt stupid. Angry and Stupid. I don't know what that couple went through to get where they are. Who am I to be upset that they have that? I have no idea of their story.

Anger is a theme this week. I'm angry at my pregnant co-worker who thinks it is the end of the world that she has gestational diabetes, barely. She is over by 4 points. You'd think it was the end of the world. She's now as far along as I was when I had Boo. She's just "tired of everything going wrong." I want to shake her. She took a whole day off because she'd be too upset if she got bad news about her GD a week ago. Give me a break. You have a healthy child growing inside you. By now, my son was in the NICU struggling to breathe. You got pregnant the first month you tried. I've been trying for over 2 years. Suck it up. ** really, she's the nicest person, but I am easily annoyed right now**

I do let people know my story. If you know me IRL, you know I am a talker. I tell people about lots of things about myself. I'm an open book really, people probably know more than they need to know. Now I regret that a bit. I know there are plenty of people around me who have opinions on how we are dealing with IF. I mean I know they are thinking "why is she so upset, she's just not pregnant, it's not the end of the world." And it isn't...but that doesn't make it any less painful or frustrating.

We've been concentrating on Boo lately. We all went on a date on Friday to see Enchanted and then to dinner. It was GREAT! Especially at the end when he was dancing in the aisle to the closing credits. (He shakes his booty pretty well for a boy) He's great kid, funny, loud, smart as can be.

I have baby gifts to start knitting. Is it bad that I want to do quick projects that don't take any thought?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where do we go from here?

We don't really know I guess...

We still want another child. *I* still want to be pregnant again. I'd like a chance to have a pregnancy I can enjoy, one that lasts longer than 31 weeks. But in the end, I want Boo to have a sibling, to have someone who knows him, all about him around after Mr and I are gone.

We don't have insurance anymore. It sucks, but that's the way it is. So we are going to go back to basics and chart. We'll continure acupuncture and herbs too. Since we are "unexplained," there is nothing to say that it can't work. It just hasn't. In 28 cycles, it hasn't.

But I guess there is hope that it might. It happened before, it can happen again. So we'll try. And we'll push our realtor to sell our other house...and THEN we'll persue IVF again.

There is the possibility of another trial for a progesterone ring...but not near here. I haven't brought that up to Mr much as it's still pretty expensive and we'd have to travel. I'm not sure if it would even be feasible to do...but I may bring it up and see.

Mr asked me not to write a letter to his CEO. I can understand why he doesn't want me to. If I were going to do it, I should have done it before. Sucks though.

I did take the embryo pictures off the fridge this weekend. I had Mr put them somewhere safe. Sigh....

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My support

A friend asked about our results yesterday.
When I told her, she said exactly the right thing..."I cannot imagine how you are grieving right now."

Hearing those words spoken soothed me and I realized that this wasn't just not being pregnant this time. This was the past six months and all our hopes. It was countless early morning trips, time off work. It was needles and meds that made me emotional. It was prayers and tears and lots of work.

I made Mr put all the meds away, I don't want to see them, but I can't seem to take the picture of the embryos off of the fridge. Not yet at least.

Mr has been so affected by the outcome of the trial...

Usually, no matter what, I am the strong one....when we got Boo's diagnosis, when his mom was sick, when his dad and grandfather died ....he just isn't the one to handle things, I am. I keep it together and take care of him.

But this time, although he has cried with me and been truly truly affected (he's doing all this research, has updated his resume to possible find a new job with more $ or IF benefits) but yet, is SO taking care of me.

Without a word, when I asked him to pack up the meds last night so I didn't have to look at them, he did. He waited for me at the door when I finally got home tuesday night (at 8:45) and was just there for me. He told me I don't have to do anything I don't want to and lets me just be...

Tonight, he brought me my favorite "I can't eat anything but need to" takeout and then when I offhandedly mentioned that I wanted chocolate covered almonds, put on his shoes and brought me back ALL of my favorite chocolate....dark chocolate covered almonds, whoppers, cadbury mini eggs and a Ghiradrdelli toffee interlude bar

He's been wonderful and supportive and so gentle and understanding so I needed to brag him up. He's told people that I don't feel like talking and will call when I am. He's also told them what not to say. He's dried my tears and his own and I love him for it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Things not to say

  1. Everything happens for a reason. This implies that the past 6 months were a waste. It means that it wasn't going to happen anyway so I gave myself shots, went through countless setbacks, overcame obstacles and worked very hard to get to this point. Telling us that it happens (or didn't) for a reason negates our efforts.
  2. Well, now that you don't have this stress, you can relax. I've heard that when you just relax you get pregnant. Yeah, okay, whatever.
  3. Maybe something was wrong with them. Look at all the things that went wrong with Boo, you don't want to go through that again do you? Actually, I'd go through about anything in order to have a child even remotely like Boo. He's an amazing boy and worth every second of worry and heartache. I'd go through it again in a heartbeat if I were able to experience the joys that he brings to my life with another child.
  4. God has a plan for everything. Then he better start sharing them with me because it's pretty hard to believe that he wants people to go through this.
  5. Wouldn't it be great if you got pregnant from just having intercourse? (yes, my seventy-five year old mother said this to me) It absolutely would. Let me go jump him right now because THAT'S what I feel like doing!
  6. Maybe Boo was meant to be an only child. Maybe you should shut the hell up!
  7. What are you going to do now? I don't have any answer for this. When you ask me, it opens the door to all of the other comments that I cannot bear to hear right now. It's been less than 24 hours. We've been trying for 2 1/2 years and involved in the study for 6 months, would a few days be too much to ask before inquiring about our future?

I thought today would be easier. It's not.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's over

HCG was less than 2

Today's the day

I woke up early at 5 am in order to get up and going. I needed to leave my house by 5:50 or so in order to drive to Iowa City, get blood drawn and get to school on time. It was dark when I left my house. There were no coffee shops open near my house, so I didn't get any tea but I managed.

The drive there was filled with emotions. I went from being scared to death to imagining how I would react in the event of various outcomes. There was fear, trembling and tears. (I should not be allowed to browse through all 200+ XM channels on a day like this...when Green Day's Good Riddance "I hope you have the time of your life" came on TWICE...I couldn't help but cry." I managed to pull it together by the time I got there and was calm and at peace, as much as I could be, when I got there. The nurse handed me a package from Michelle with my extra needles and a nice note on it. It makes me feel good to know that she is truly rooting for us too.

I had to wait for the blood draw station to open, but the draw itself was quick and painless, thank goodness.

On the drive home, I listened to Moulin Rouge, I do love that music and it helped to crank it and just drive. The sun was bright, I went out of the way to get my tea and all was well.

Now the wait. There are a lot of people waiting with me to hear. I have an amazing support group of women online both in blogs and at a very special message board that have given me strength and encouragement. They are amazing, all of them.

I assume I'll hear by late afternoon. I'll text Mr and then may post an update if I get a chance. I also have to study for a midterm tonight that I have a sinking feeling about. (Mrs. Masterprocrastinator that I am)

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm struggling to find my test day is tomorrow. I'm afraid to hope and afraid to give up. It's difficult and I feel like I'm grasping at straws.

My usual routine is to make myself go numb so that it won't affect me so much. It's how I dealt with being told that if my water broke my child would die. It's how I dealt with each bleeding episode with Boo, how I handled being told we were doing an emergency C/S at 31 weeks. It's how I dealt with him being airlifted at 24 hours old, how I dealt with every time he turned blue in the NICU. It's how I dealt with every stark white negative test until now.

But it's not working.

Frankly, I'm scared. I don't know what we'll do if this doesn't work. Since our IF insurance is no longer, we will have to wait until we sell the other house. In this market, it's not going fast. Maybe spring will help, but spring (at least this winter) is a ways off yet.