5dp5dt

I don’t think I have ever read a more accurate quote regarding trying to conceive after a loss. I can feel every word of this quote in my bones.

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2dp5dt.

We had therapy this morning as usual, and I always leave us so exhausted. It is so incredibly hard to sit there for an hour and talk about Kenley. It inevitably always turns to sadness, or things surrounding her death that make me so incredibly mad. Today we were talking about how I like to destress. Our Therapist asked if I was the type of person who believed in “visualization” of something- If you imagine it for long enough, and hard enough that maybe it will come to fruition. Well, I’m not that type of person…at all. I’m a very matter of fact person. If I am pregnant, it’s because this bundle of cells that the RE implanted into my uterus attached to my uterine lining- that’s all. SCIENCE.

I cannot visualize that and make it happen.

Anyway, we talked about that  and I told her that I feel like I’ve been better about not randomly crying anymore. Shane chimed in and said that he sees a big improvement in my attitude and tolerance toward babies (I don’t agree with him though). He referenced the GoT episode we watched last night in which a baby cried for literally 3-5 minutes of the segment. He said he saw me pick up the remote control like I was going to mute it (I actually did pick it up to mute it but then the show ended). He said it was frustrating to him as well and he could it tell it bothered me. He didn’t mention it to me at the time during the show, but he said it today. I told him that he should have muted it because 9/10 we are feeling the same exact thing- I just don’t have a filter and say what I feel.

Then, the Therapist said ” Of course that is hard for you two, you didn’t get to hear Kenley cry. It wasn’t how it was supposed to be, or how people expect it to be.” And I lost my shit. I started crying pretty hard. It’s true, I didn’t get to hear her cry; I NEVER WILL. I grew this beautiful human inside of me and I will never get to hear her sweet cry. Things from there just went to more sad things- her nursery, using her things for future baby, moving and being faced with the feelings of leaving her only home behind. It’s just bullshit- all of it.

Back to decompressing/ destressing- I told her that meditation and things like that don’t work for me. Destressing comes from hanging out with Shane. He is my best friend and being with him is relaxing. When we go on a date, or watch tv and hang out it’s literally the best time for me. Nothing else calms me down more than being with him. He’s like my giant safety blanket I guess. So anyway, today just sucked. I have a love hate relationship with therapy.

We got home and went to the grocery store, and I passed the pregnancy tests. I decided not to buy any right now because they’re so freakin expensive. $20 for a pack of 3? Like I haven’t spent enough money already, people. My blood test to tell if I’m pregnant is Wednesday at 9am. Some (most) people test at home before their blood draw so they know what to expect. I’m pretty sure I will do that…but I guess that means I need to buy a test before Friday. Can someone just knock me out, and wake me up Wednesday after my results are back? Kthx.

So far I’m feeling tired; I think it’s probably from my PIO shots. I’ve been having cramping since the procedure, but I figure that’s probably normal, too. Yesterday night I got so hot that I had to take my robe off in the middle of Game of Thrones and stand there cooling off. It was like a serious hot flash.With Kenley I was sick immediately. She implanted, and I was sick until the day I had her; I threw up the morning she was born. If this baby has implanted, I assume that I will be sick again. Maybe that is why I’ve been feeling nauseous today? A girl can hope, right?

PIO.

I started my PIO (progesterone in oil) shots the other day, and for some reason they hurt really bad this time. After my egg retrieval my RE had me start the same shots “just incase” our embryos sucked and didn’t make it to day 5 for PGS (can you tell my  Dr has like, zero faith in my body? I don’t blame him, really) and they didn’t hurt at all! Shane was a pro then, maybe he’s just rusty. He says when he’s doing it this time there is resistance. Yeah…I know. I feel it.

I watched a few videos today of others giving themselves the shots, and I feel like I could do it but I figure we’ll give it one more shot with Shane doing it. I think tonight when he gets home, I will warm the oil by rolling it in my palms for a few minutes, and have him give me the shot while I’m laying down.

 ( * I ended up holding the vial of progesterone for a while to warm it up, which made the withdrawal so much easier. Once the syringe was filled I held it in my hand for another 5 mins and laid on my bed when Shane gave me the injection. Perfection! Didn’t even feel the shot at all *) 

For those who don’t know about PIO, it’s to support the uterine lining during the luteal phase of a FET (frozen egg transfer) or a fresh transfer.

The set up looks like this (not my photo):

needles

The one closest to the bottle is an 18g needle. It is used to draw up the medicine. The one on the right is a 22g-1.5 inch needle used to administer the injection. The shot is intramuscular.

And the shots go here:

shotsite

Um Ouch.  

If our embryo sticks, and we are indeed pregnant, we will continue this for 12 weeks. TWELVE. Every. single. night. I’m sorry – I know I should feel so pumped and excited, but it’s just not that simple anymore. I’ve lost my naivety toward the situation; I know too much.

 I know what can go wrong if your hormone levels are off, or if you start spotting. I know that you can have an ectopic pregnancy and lose a tube, or an ovary, or fucking die. I know that your cervix can “not do it’s job” and you can lose your baby at any time even when you think you’ve past the scary points. I know that, even a week before you’re scheduled to have a normal repeat C-section, you can hear the words that will shatter your world forever; “This is where her heart is, and unfortunetly there is no heartbeat”. I know that you can truly feel like you want to die for the foreseeable future because your child died inside of you when you were in the clear; your daughter died when she shouldn’t have.

Those things could happen to us again. Any of them could be a possibility and I hate that I even have to worry about it.  I know that we will be monitored so intensely, but my mind just goes back to “well, shouldn’t I have been monitored this well anyway? I am growing a human for fucks sake”. Sadly, that’s not the case. Monitoring for normal pregnancies is a joke. I had a shitty NINE MINUTE (yes, nine minutes…normal scans can range from 20 mins to an hour for some people) anatomy scan, an intake scan at a new OB that was probably 25-30 minutes long, and a scan at 36.5 weeks…and somehow, no one detected a possibly anomaly with Kenley’s cord. Maybe, just maybe, if a Biophysical Profile Ultrasound was done on me my daughter would be here. Maybe, if my doctors sent me to an MFM because of my history with Preeclampsia, they would have done one on me. I should have been sent to an MFM. I was failed by doctors. All of my doctors failed us during Kenley’s pregnancy.

There is a standard of care, and a general guideline to follow when sending your patient to an MFM…and I ticked many boxes, yet I wasn’t sent.

I will never forgive myself for not advocating harder for my Daughter.

The medical field needs to get their shit together. 26,000 stillbirths a year, and yet we just can’t figure it out?

Unacceptable.

Medicine failed my sweet girl, and it’s hard to believe that anything positive could happen for us now.

next.

Tomorrow, if everything looks good at my scan, I will be a week away from my Transfer.

A week.

7 days.

I will hopefully be carrying our next child, soon. I don’t even know what to call this child. Kenley was my rainbow, yet…she wasn’t.

If anyone knows the answer to this, I would love to hear it. I suppose this next child would be my rainbow…but what would this make Kenley. Life is weird.

The RE has my beta set for 8 days after our transfer. I’m almost 100% positive that I will not be able to wait that long to find out if it worked or not. On the other hand, I don’t want to test early and get a false negative. There’s just so much to think about, but in all reality I should just calm the hell down and wait for my beta.

I don’t think I can wait though. Dr.Google has shown me that a bunch of ladies have gotten + tests as soon as 4 days past a 5 day transfer. I don’t know how I can rationalize not testing early.

I really want to talk to a loss mom who is a few months ahead of me. I want to pick their brain, ask them a few questions. How did you control your stress? How did you not worry every second of every day? How do you make yourself feel that you are worthy of this pregnancy? Did you have issues connecting to this new pregnancy?

Just a few things I think about whenever I think about becoming pregnant again.

I did feel something like excitement today when thinking about another child…so there’s that.

anxiety? stress? frustration? guilt.

Yesterday was a rough day for me; I felt my frustration getting the best of me. Landon kept pushing my buttons, and I had enough for the day, so I left. I got dressed, and I told Shane I was leaving…and I did. I grabbed my book and purse and off I went. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but a few things flooded my mind.

• Go shopping (I did this)

• Go rent a hotel room BY MYSELF and read my book all night. Relax, maybe get room service, and just be

• Go to the airport and buy a plane ticket to somewhere (I won’t lie, this would have been a super high possibility had I brought my medication with me)

So ultimately I’m a rational person and decided to go shopping. What did I buy? I used a gift card to Ulta and bought myself two nail polishes, a new BB cream, dry shampoo, and moisturizing foot treatment sock things. Then, I bought 4 shirts for myself. And finally I went and spent $30 on dog treats because he was the only thing not annoying me.

I know that it’s not 100% Landon’s fault that I have a short threshold lately, I really really know that. But, he has been not listening a lot lately. On the 4th of July he broke a window at a cookout because his cousin told him to. He cried because he felt so bad, and I’m glad he felt bad. He knows better than that, and I don’t know what happened. He got caught up in the “fun” they were having and just lost his head. He had to apologize to his Great-Grandpa and tell him what happened. Of course great grandpa wasn’t mad and felt so bad because Landon was crying.

I’ve been trying to tell him to listen to me the first time I ask/tell him to do something because he’s been slacking on that as of late. I know he’s changing and growing up, but I have to keep on him so much sometimes that I feel as if the only thing I say all day is “No”.

Today, he was playing Garden Warfare for a minute, and was a sunflower. He shot a letter “K”on the ground and said “Mommy, look. I made a K for Kenley”. Then he immediately asked me if I was going to cry. He’s noticed that if he talks about her lately, I don’t cry like I used to. I suppose this is a good thing, but sometimes he takes me by surprise and I will cry. He keeps asking me if I’m pregnant again; I think he hears us talk about IVF and he’s catching on. I told him not yet, but that’s the plan soon. We ask him if that’s something he would want to happen, and he always says no. Always. Without hesitation. I get it, Landon. I am terrified too, buddy. I’ve had to explain to him so many times that what happened to his sister was a fluke (…ha) and that it will not happen again. That I will be going to the dr many more times than I did before etc etc, but how do you explain this to a 5 year old. He doesn’t know how to grasp these things. He was expecting a sister, and instead got his mother back as an incomplete human who can barely function some days.

So I fuckin get it, dude. I’m scared as well.

He keeps asking me for a brother. I know he doesn’t understand that right now, but it cuts me like a knife. It makes me feel so incredibly guilty, and sad for him. I couldn’t give him a brother or a sister to play with when it really counted, and when I was SO CLOSE to giving him one, I couldn’t even keep her alive. I know that someday he will understand, and he will really understand when/if he has children of his own some day. Losing Kenley was a huge smack in our family’s face, and sometimes I feel like Landon has the heaviest part of this all. He’s 5, and he has to watch his parents fall apart and “knows” why, but will spend his entire childhood wondering truly “what happened”. And the saddest part? He will probably forget about her. 

I hate life after loss. It’s incredibly difficult to navigate, and I feel like I’m not doing a good job.

I feel that somedays I’m just failing everyone.

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seriously?

It’s Tuesday. Kenley died on a Tuesday. She was born @ 10:32 pm on a Tuesday. I hate them. I’ve said Tuesdays are my least favorite, yet most favorite days. I love spending time with Shane and Landon on these days, but they just suck. It’s like a constant reminder of our one missing piece. But, I guess that’s going to be my life from now on, so I better get used to it.

Today we went to Hobby Lobby…

I already hate Hobby Lobby, but Landon wanted to go. When we walked in, we were treated by FALL DECOR. What the hell. It kind of hit me in the face like a brick wall? I mean I know that it’s July, and that August is right around the corner or whatever, but woah. I gathered myself and continued to walk with Landon toward the “toy” aisle, but there it was…

Christmas Decor. 

Nope. Not ready to see that shit just yet. I realized how incredibly hard seeing anything Christmas related is going to be for me. I don’t think I will be ok this holiday season.

This is a warning for all of my family/friends- I seriously cannot control how I feel about these things, so don’t expect too much from me this Holiday season.

Kenley was alive for Christmas last year. She got a stocking full of binkies, and a rattle. She  was the talk of the get togethers. She was given many other gifts, too- Baby bath, wash cloths, bows…It’s going to be so hard to lead up to the Holidays, listening to the music she loved to listen to and danced around in my belly to. It’s going to be a lot harder than I think I realize right now.

We did a card exchange on the TCF boards last xmas and all the cards wished us well, and said how excited they were for us and Kenley. Fucking life. I just want to punch life in the dick.

How cruel. I just cannot get past that. How fucking cruel. I know no one decided to have her die on the day that she did, or whatever but god damn it. So close to Christmas? It’s going to be so hard for the rest of our lives.

Shane and I will always view Christmas with a “death lens”.

Even if I go on to get pregnant here in a few weeks, I just worry about things. I worry how I’m going to feel being pregnant, again, at christmas. With a new baby. Because mine died.

Fuck.

Fuck you, Hobby Lobby.

 

expectation vs reality.

I want to start this post off by saying that I am not extremely sad ALL of the time. I know that it may look that way to many of you reading, but it’s not true. This is my blog; my space to write whatever I feel like writing at any given time. Just because I write the shittiest feelings here, or say exactly what is on my mind, it doesn’t mean that I am doom and gloom.

And honestly, if I was all doom and gloom, could you fucking blame me? Didn’t think so.

That being said, I had a rough night last night; Some nights are a lot worse than others. I sometimes can’t find the right words to express how I’m feeling to Shane, which leads me to be grumpy with him, even when it’s not his fault. Sometimes he will ask me what is wrong, and I can’t answer him; it’s the same thing all the time. What is ALWAYS wrong, what will forever BE wrong? That’s what is wrong. I think maybe I just should tell him to assume that if I’m having a bad day, the reason is always the same. This goes for everyone; If I’m moody, or grumpy don’t ask me why- just please assume you know the reason.

Tomorrow we have an appointment at my RE @ 8:15. I will be having an ultrasound, and getting blood work. We will discuss our plans to move forward with the FET (frozen egg transfer) and hopefully get a date! I cannot wait to hear what my RE has to say about our embryos doing so well. Maybe I will bring the it starts with the egg book along in case he wants to see why I took the supplements I did.

I was hoping that maybe we would hear news about the embryos today, but I highly doubt it. The embryologist said we should hear back within a week, so I’m hoping we hear by Friday at least; I would love for Shane to be here with me when they call. I am just ready to see what the cost of this FET will be. I know I need meds, but I really hope that we can keep it under $4k. This process is bleeding us dry it seems. Thanks life, we really really appreciate it.

Today marks 26 weeks since Kenley left us. I have a lot of feelings about it; yet I feel so blank. It’s a fucked up thing, life after loss. I’ve said it before and I will probably be saying it until the day I die. Tomorrow is the 29th; tomorrow will mark 6 months. Half a year? How is that even possible? It has been half a year since I’ve held my daughter– that just doesn’t seem like real life. I guess maybe that’s how everything will feel now?  Maybe everything will just happen in a normal way, but I will feel as if I’m standing still with the world rushing by me? I will never ever understand the reason she was taken from us.

I have begun to realize that this photo is exactly what is going on in my life. I guess the expectation of bringing my living daughter home was just way too much. I guess I’ll just live in this fucked up “reality” instead. I was never given a choice.

expectation-vs-reality

 

 

sickness.

Sometimes I have to twist Shane’s arm to make him go out and do things with me, but once we go, he has SUCH a good time. Is this all men? Would they all rather just stay at home, and do nothing? I don’t know, maybe it’s just a different personality type, or maybe he legit just would rather be at home. Our house is pretty awesome and low key so I don’t blame him. BUT, I’m here every day, all day…he isn’t.

Yesterday morning I woke up and felt like I wanted to go to the movies. I looked at moviefone, saw that Independence Day: Resurgence was playing early on Thursday night (opening day was Friday). So I asked Shane and Dustin if they wanted to go see it. Shane gave me a “meh” answer, and Dustin said no because he didn’t have time. I, however,  didn’t let up; I wanted to freakin go. I kept bringing it up to Shane and finally I just made plans to take Landon to my mother in laws for a sleep over. I text Dustin one more time and said last chance! and he said he could go now because he got off work early. Yay! So I bought 3 tickets to the Ultrascreen ($48…fml) and we had a date night + Dundy!

Guess what? The movie was frickin amazing! Take that, Shane! He said “it probably won’t be that good because it looks just ‘ok'”. Pffft. What does he know.

We had a really good night out, and a good night together when we got home. We slept in late, and I made french toast for breakfast while he made coffee. We watched CNN this morning while we ate. But then…my Mother in Law called. Landon was running a fever of 100.3 😦

I went to pick him up and he was curled up in the chair under a blanket. Poor little dude. This is so unlike him; he is so full of energy 24/7. He was burning hot, so we came home and laid on the couch for a while. His fever keeps coming back after the Motrin wears off and he is so achey. I hate being sick myself, so it is super hard to watch a 5 year old moan and groan knowing there is literally nothing I can do to make him feel better. I kept him hydrated, and he ended up falling asleep on the bathroom floor with Shane around 4pm. Shane laid him down in his bed, and Landon napped until about 7pm. We woke him up, and brought him into our bedroom (we were decluttering…emotional fucking nightmare for me by the way). 

He wasn’t feeling any better, so we just let him lay around for a little while and watch some more TV. He went to bed at about 9:20 tonight, and I hope that he gets some good rest. I’m sure tonight will be filled with up’s and down’s for all of us. Here’s hoping his fever stays away all night and he can rest well.

Back to the decluttering…

As I’ve said before, when I feel anxious or stressed I tend to slack on stuff that needs done. Well, my bedroom is pretty much a disaster zone because of this. Laundry hasn’t been put away in what feels like 3 weeks; it keeps getting the daily shuffle from floor–> to bed –> out of the basket–> onto the bed –> back into the basket –> back to the floor. I just can’t freaking do it. Little by little it’s getting put away…I promise.

Today though I really felt good about decluttering and organizing the bedroom. Shane and I went in there while Landon napped. Bad Idea. I guess maybe deep down in my  consciousness I knew that the reason I didn’t want to go through everything in my room was because so much of it relates to Kenley. I found my folders from the doctor. I found the folders from the hospital that gave me information on support groups for after she died. I found books from the funeral home. I found cards from everyone telling me how sorry they were that she died. I found my 30th birthday card from Shane that said how excited he was for Kenley to be here; how excited he was for our 3 person family to finally become the 4 person family we dreamed of. I found ultrasound photos. I found the list of names the nurse gave me so I could write thank you cards that never got done.

What do you say in a “thank you” card to a nurse who cared for your dead child?

“Thank you for taking such good care of my child, even though she was dead and nothing mattered anyway.” Because I’m pretty sure that is what would fucking come out on paper. Maybe someday I will be in a place where I feel as if I can write them, but that time is not now. I’ve looked at the boxes of thank you cards I bought, and I want to set them on fire. They make me physically sick. You send thank you cards when you receive a gift…I didn’t fucking get to keep my gift.  

I cleaned up my nightstand, now I need to find a picture frame for Kenley’s 4×6 that I finally printed out. I can’t find a frame that I like enough to house her photo. I don’t even like to look. I hope that one day I’m out shopping and one just speaks to me so I can be done with it. The stress of looking for the perfect frame is seriously stupid. I know it’s just a picture frame, but I guess my irrational brain isn’t understanding that.

Needless to say today can be over at any time.

I’ve noticed lately that when I let myself really think about what happened, I get dizzy. I feel as if I’m going to pass out in a way?  I just feel so emotionally drained these days. I cried myself to sleep a few nights ago. I don’t even know what happened, it just hit me. It’s bad at night, even with medicine and breathing exercises.

These days everything makes me feel like I’m running full speed into a solid brick wall.

 

Yep. Exactly like this. 

day 3.

This morning the embryologist called at 9:53.

He explained to me that on the third day they like to see the embryos dividing into 7-9 cells, with 8 cells being “perfect”. He said that our embryos have little to no fragmentation which is a very good thing as well.

We have 6 embryos that are in the 7-9 cell range, and we have 1 embryo that is a little behind at 6 cells. The embryologist did tell me that there is a very good chance that 6 cell embryo could catch up though. He even said “I could go check on it after we get off the phone and it could be in the 7-9 cell range”.

Hell yes. I just cannot believe it! 

 

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Here is a chart to show you the stages of Embryo development along with a description of what should be happening.  

I truly credit some of this success to the book “It starts with the egg” by Rebecca Fett. She discusses specific studies that have been done for Diminished Ovarian Reserve women; She then gives you a suggested list of supplements and vitamins to take (all with the approval of your doctor, obviously). I seriously think that all of those have made a huge impact on my embryo quality (also, the fact that we have no Male factor infertility issues what so ever helps a lot).

I started taking the following supplements 4 months before our cycle:

  • 600 mg CoQ10 Ubiquniol
  • 75 mg micronized DHEA
  • Prenatal + DHA
  • 81 mg baby aspirin
  • 400 mcg Folic Acid
  • 500 mg Vitamin C
  • 2000 IU Vitamin D3
  • 3,000 mg Acai berry extract

In the book the author states that DHEA is supposed to do wonders for women with DOR. I spoke with my RE and he had never really read any studies about it, but agreed to let me take it as long as I kept him updated on if I stopped or whatever. I’m pretty sure if this cycle yields ALL good quality embryos, I’m going to buy him the book as a gift 🙂

Now, there is a chance that the eggs all fertilized because we chose to do ICSI instead of regular IVF fertilization.  ICSI is a process where one single good quality sperm is injected into the egg (see below). This is always done for people choosing to do PGS testing (click the link to learn more about PGS testing), and often used when you have Male Factor Infertility as well.

icsi

From here, we wait until they call me on Tuesday morning. The embryologist said he would call me before 9 am, just incase we needed to come in for a transfer later that afternoon.

He told me that he recommends that we push to day 5 even if we decided to do a fresh transfer instead of freezing them and transferring in July. I’m really happy that he seems to think they are all good quality; What a great feeling for us! I guess we will see what happens on Tuesday when he calls. If we are looking at only 1-3 being good quality and growing normally, I think we may look at transferring fresh, but if they look good we are going forward with the day 5+6 biopsies. The PGS testing results should take about a week to get back.

quotes.

I love following other baby loss moms on IG; I know that sounds morbid, but it’s not. I feel comfort from it. I feel that those women truly understand the pain that lives daily in my heart. Everything they post is something that I could have posted myself at any given time. Today, I came across this from one of them. It reminded me of my post from the other day. It hit me hard so I wanted to share it with you.

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“The ones who tried their hardest to hold on, yet could only look on helplessly while they lost the thing they loved the most.”

Yep. 1,000% yes.

I felt helpless. I feel helpless. I will always feel that way.

There was nothing to be done.

We were failed by modern medicine, baby girl. It’s such a damn shame, because we wanted you so much; you were the thing we loved most.