Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've been struggling lately. A lot. I've noticed myself becoming closed off emotionally to everything and everyone. I wish I could fix myself, but I'm not sure how. Chase's birthday, Mother's day, my birthday all in the last month in addition to struggling yet again with infertility has taken its toll on me. My birthday was last week and it was hard. Another year gone without being a mom, without even having the hope of being pregnant and knowing I will soon be a mom.

I know I'm a mom to Chase, but he isn't here...I have to wait until I leave this world to parent him and I don't think parenting in Heaven is anything like it is down here. Every month that goes by and I get another negative, I grieve not only for the loss of a future child, but for Chase all over again. Because honestly, I just want him. Yes, I'll be thrilled and over-the-moon excited when I am finally pregnant again, but right now, I only long for him. I have yet to learn how it is a mother's heart grows and expands to love a second child as equally as the first. I hope that someday I get that chance.

This past month I finally broke down and saw an RE (fertility specialist) to get their opinion about trying to get pregnant. I've put off that appointment for over 5 years now. I was always so afraid of going in and being told there was no hope for me, there was nothing they could do. Or even that my only hope was to do IVF and we definitely don't have the funds for that and it would take years to save enough money for it...and then what would happen if we saved for years only for it not to work? Yes, sometimes I have a problem with being a little pessimistic. I like to call it being a realist. So for years, I just hoped and prayed that it would happen naturally, on its own. It didn't.

For 5 years we tried to get pregnant and it didn't happen until I joined the medical study. Then, like magic, it happened on our 3rd cycle. I was so relieved that we had finally found our magic medicine, although technically, we weren't sure which medicine I was on, since it was a double-blind study. But, we knew it was one of two things (Clomid or Femara), and we would figure that out when we were ready to try for baby #2! That would be several years down the road anyways! Or not.

So last September, we started trying again with the medicine I suspected I had taken while in the study. My main problem with fertility (as far as we know anyways) is simply that I don't ovulate on my own due to PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). The Femara I was taking was simply to help me ovulate so that I had a chance of getting pregnant. Well, it worked...for 4 cycles I took it and each and every cycle, I ovulated. But I didn't get pregnant. At the end of the 4th month, my doctor told me she was moving and she suggested it would be a good time for a break anyways. This type of drug typically worked in 3-4 cycles if it was going to work at all. So she suggested I take a break, then to follow up with an RE if I hadn't gotten pregnant on my break, but she suspected I would.

So the beginning of this year, I was on a break. That didn't mean we quit trying. It just meant I wasn't taking any ovulation-inducing drugs. I do believe I ovulated every month though...but still no pregnancy. So I finally made that long-dreaded appointment with the RE in April. Things went very quickly after seeing the RE, hearing his recommendations, and starting the course of treatments. My head was still spinning a little when we started that cycle (since it was the very next day), but I was also excited. We decided to do the Femara again, but to double the dosage I had been taking (hoping for a stronger ovulation and better, more mature egg), taking an HCG "trigger" shot (forces ovulation), and doing an IUI (intra-uterine insemination).

We also finally decided to let our families know that we were officially trying again since the stress of everything gets to be a lot, so at least this way they might understand why we were tense. I told myself and everyone else not to get too excited - there was only about a 20% chance of it working. But I couldn't help but feeling so hopeful and optimistic - things I don't normally feel. So of course, when I kept getting negative test after negative test, I was crushed. I kept hoping maybe it was too early, but eventually I accepted that it wouldn't be happening that month and grieved the loss of yet another month. So we are now on another break, but this time because the cost of doing this treatment every month is expensive and since we had no time to prepare for our first cycle, we definitely need to save before moving on. I'm not sure when we'll be able to resume treatments, but I hope it won't be too long.

So for the past year, I spent a good portion of it just trying to grieve and learn how to feel like myself again. Then we started trying to get pregnant, and while it started casually, we've been trying long enough now that I am losing hope and feeling doubtful that we will ever be blessed again. Even though we've been trying for a shorter time since Chase, it has been much harder emotionally than all the previous years combined. I think it must be because I know what it feels like to be pregnant, to love that child instantly and for my heart to feel like it's bursting with love upon meeting him, yet at the same time, be broken into a million pieces because he is dead. We were so close to finally being parents and bringing home our sweet, precious child. My heart aches now, more than ever, to experience that again.

For the past year, I have refused to commit to anything long-term, like a job, volunteering, getting involved in a church, etc because I keep hoping that I will get pregnant soon. I fully expect to be on bedrest throughout my next (and all future) pregnancy because of my cervical issues, and honestly, even if my doctor won't force it on me, I know I will self-impose it. I have a lot of guilt from having watched my niece and nephew during my entire pregnancy with Chase - holding them both, carrying them up/down stairs, etc and wondering if doing all of that led to what happened. I know that it probably made no difference whatsoever, but I can't help but feeling partially guilty for not taking it easy while I was pregnant. So for that reason, I've refused to commit to anything in hopes that I would be pregnant soon, then I would have to quit anyways so I could be on bedrest.

Unfortunately, I'm still not pregnant and it doesn't look like it will be happening anytime soon. So now I feel like I've pretty much wasted a year. And I don't want to keep wasting my time away waiting for it to happen. I'm just not sure where to go from here. What do I do? Most days I'd rather just stay at home and sleep an insane amount of hours, then just stay at home by myself. It takes an enormous amount of effort for me to go anywhere, especially on my own. It's easier when Greg tells me to get ready cause we're going somewhere. But on my own, what's the point? I guess I feel like I've also lost a part of myself, a part of my identity in my grief. I am Chase's mommy, but Chase isn't here...so where does that leave me?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

It is May 15th. I have officially survived my 2nd Mother's Day. Both with empty arms. I have to say I think Mother's Day this year was almost harder than Chase's birthday. I knew Chase's birthday was coming up and while I was dreading it, I also think I was looking forward to getting past it. I knew it would be hard facing the day without him and remembering everything that had happened a year ago. It was an emotional day and an emotional week or two leading up to it, but overall, I felt a lot of peace the day of. I did hide out in bed for the first part of the day, then after a cry and praying with my husband, we were ready to face the day. The rest of the day I was able to hold myself together and just focus on my sweet boy and dare I say, enjoy it. And I'll admit, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders after we passed his birthday. Whew. That's over...and so is the last of the 'firsts' since his death. We've faced every first holiday, birthday, season, anniversary and day of the year since Chase's death and we survived.

Then Mother's Day started to sneak up on me. I hadn't even really given it a second thought until after Chase's birthday came and went...then that horrible dread took over. I hate Mother's Day. It is a painful day and I always feel like it points out how inadequate I am. For 5 years I faced the day with the desperate longing to be a mother. Of course, you see all the beautiful families with precious children and the moms looking so natural and happy. Then there is me. Me and my husband. Just us. Again. For 5 consecutive Mother's Days. Then finally, 2011 was going to be my year! I could stand up in church and accept carnations because I was finally going to be a mother! Only, it looked a lot differently than I had imagined. My first Mother's Day was 2.5 weeks after Chase went to Heaven. It was not a good day, to say the least, but I think I was still in so much shock, it didn't really hurt any more than any other day did at that point. A slap in the face? Yes. So, while many people told me "Happy Mother's Day" last year by way of cards, texts, and facebook messages, it was appreciated; however, that made me wonder if I would be acknowledged this year. I still got some "Happy Mother's Day" greetings this year, but nearly all were from my family and fellow baby-loss moms. Not that I didn't appreciate them...I very much did, but just as I suspected, society doesn't see me as a mother.

I guess I can't blame them...what do I have to show that I am a mother? The only sleepless nights I have come from a day of doing too little and spending too much time sleeping the night before, so I am not tired easily. I don't have big birthday parties for my son at the bounce houses, we have them at the cemetery. We are on time to holidays at family's houses because there are no children to get ready, unless of course, I'm too busy crying in the bathroom to get ready on time. We have plenty of money because we don't have to buy formula or diapers, unless of course, the hospital bills from my delivery count...then there's also the money we're paying to the RE for fertility treatments. We have no child because Chase wasn't real - he never existed, he was just a miscarriage - so I guess the kicks I felt just an hour before he was born don't count then...neither does his fingernails, his sweet face that looks so much like his Daddy's or the nose he inherited from me. We don't know the love that a parent feels for their child...funny, because if I didn't feel that love I don't think my entire life would have changed because of him and I wouldn't have a huge hole in my heart now. But no, I guess they're right, I'm not a mother.