Thursday, September 29, 2011

The darkest of days....

Its hard to explain all of the emotions that I am feeling today but I am going to do my best to make all of you understand. So here it goes....

One year ago today was the worst day of my life.
One year ago today I thought that my life was over, or at the least the life I dreamed of.
One year ago today I was sitting on my kitchen counter, crying harder than I have ever cried before, feeling like someone reached inside of me and ripped my soul out. I remember dropping my phone, falling to my knees on the counter, and screaming because I was crying so hard.... it still hurts.

One year ago today I got the phone call that our IVF w/ICSI didnt work, that I wasnt pregnant, and that I may never be.

Here is what I blogged last year about that day and the days following:

"Last wednesday I was so happy. I had the day off work and Justin called off sick to be with me on beta day. We went and had my beta drawn and everyone in the office was so excited and happy towards me. They all told me that they "just knew" this was it. We felt that way too. They asked if I had POAS and I told them for the first time ever I had not, that I was just too scared. We left feeling like that day was going to be the best day. We went and had breakfast and then Justin dropped me off to have my eyebrows waxed and my haircut. I went there with all intentions of cutting a few inches off and getting some bangs, this was the NEW me... the pregnant me... the happy me. We then went home and I began painting the kitchen so that I wouldnt go crazy waiting for the phone call.

At 1:47pm as I stood on the kitchen counter edging above our archway I looked at Justin and said "I just all of the sudden feel like bad news is coming". Right then my phone rang.... it was them. I grabbed my phone and answered. All I remember is the nurse saying "We got your numbers back (at this point I was thinking YAY NUMBERS!) and it was negative." :::insert panic here::: I looked at Justin and just shook my head as my eyes filled with tears that were soon running down my face. How could this be happening?! All I remember after this is sitting on my kitchen counter completely devastated and crying so hard that there was mascara dripping onto the counter.

A few minutes later I went into autopilot. I stood back up and just started painting. I painted and painted and painted. Its almost like I thought there was going to be another phone call... one telling me that they made a mistake... one telling me that everything would be ok. The phone never rang. I dont think it ever sunk in that afternoon. We went and met Amie and Chris for happy hour at Marcellas and I gladly drank way more sangria than was necessary. When we left we got in the car and as we drove away it hit me.... I was drinking, drinking because I wasnt pregnant, drinking because our IVF didnt work, drinking because it was all that I could do. It was then that I realized it was over, our dreams were shattered. It was that moment that I for the first time knew it really may never happen.

After crying myself into a migraine I walked in the door and went straight to bed, at 9:30pm. I crawled in bed and crashed like I hadnt slept in weeks. I worked the next day even though I could barely pull myself out of bed. I didnt want to see the sun, I didnt want to smile, I didnt want to talk to my patients and pretend that everything was ok because the truth is it wasnt ok, and I wasnt ok. I didnt want to see anyone. I just wanted to lay there and pretend that this wasnt my life but that wasnt an option. So I worked. Autopilot set back in and I felt like a zombie, I wasnt happy, I wasnt sad, I didnt feel at all.

I came home that night and painted. Justin was gone all night and I just painted till there was nothing left to paint. Then I packed because, THANK GOD, we were going out of town that weekend which we needed more than I can even express.

Friday came and we went to our Drs appt and we worked and we left for the weekend. It was so nice to be away, to be out of our house full of medicine, needles, sharps containers, and things that reminded us of all that we just lost. We had a great weekend away.

Then we came back. I walked in the house and wanted to turn around and run back out. I wanted to pretend this wasnt reality. Since then all I can seem to do is cry. Everytime I am in my car I cry. When I lay down to go to bed I cry. When I sit and stare at the TV not even really seeing or hearing it because of the screaming thoughts in my head I cry.

Its so hard to explain how it feels to fail an IVF cycle. You have pictures... pictures of the babies that were growing in the lab, the cells were dividing and multiplying and life was being created. That is, until they put them into your body. Its almost like losing children.... or failing them at least because they were there and they were growing. What am I supposed to do with these pictures now?! We grew so attached to them, we looked at them everyday and talked about them. These were our kids, or so we thought.

This past weekend marked:
I.5 years
18 months
78 weeks
548 days
13,152 hours
and 789,120 minutes
since we started trying to conceive this baby.

Here was are:
8 rounds of clomid
Hundred of shots
Hundreds of blood draws
Thousands of pills
7 IUI cycles
1 IVF w/ICSI later and still no baby.

That is so many failures, so much lost hope, so much wasted time, so much pain, so much money.

The stages of grief are as follows:
Shock stage*: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
Testing stage*: Seeking realistic solutions.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward

I am somewhere in between denial and anger. I wish I could go back to denial, it was less painful there."

I still cry at the mere thought of that day, that phone call, that feeling. I lost myself that day. I became someone that I didnt want to be. A sad person, a mad person, a jealous person.

If you told me one year ago that today that I would be where I am, I would NEVER have believed you. I was in such a dark place. It almost scares me to think back to that time, to think of how desperate I was then.

Things changed, we didnt give up, we got lucky. So, here I sit.... crying because it still hurts so much and the pain isnt one you can forget but also crying because I am so happy and I love Foster so much. He saved my life.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Overwhelming Love.

‎"You think that true love is the only thing that can crush your heart; that will take your life and light it up or destroy it. Then you become a mother."

Someone recently said to me that the love a mother has for her child can sometimes be "overwhelming". I cant think of a better way to put it. I have never had happy tears that are so painful. You truly cannot understand the passionate selfless love that you form when you have a child.

Today, his 2 month birthday, was a happy but hard day. I look at him and its so fun to see him change and grow but at the same time it is scary because it happens so fast and I just want to slow it down. I am TERRIFIED for the day to come when he no longer wants to snuggle with me or let me hold him and just squeeze him tight and kiss his head. I know that every parent goes through this but I never really understood how painfully hard it is, and my son is only 2 months old!

The pain that I felt when I thought I honestly would never have a child was indescribable. The pain I feel now is very different but painful all the like.... its fear of losing him, fear of not giving him everything that he needs, fear of failing him.

My husband means the world to me but the love that I have for my son is so different from any other love. I am so thankful that through years of the most painful experiences I have ever had that it has led me here, to what I was seeking all along and what I got is even greater than I ever imagined. I pray that everyone eventually gets to feel this.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stretchies (aka stretch marks)

While I absolutely dislike the way that my stomach currently looks and I complain and all the "stretchies" that I got while pregnant the truth is that I love them. This is why:

"A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn't very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That's OK. It was your home. It's where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it."

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A year ago today...

One year ago today I was in Akron preparing for surgery, THE surgery. The egg retrieval surgery for IVF #1. This was the egg retrieval that led to Foster.

We were so hopeful on this day last year. It was all finally happening. The hundreds of pills and injection that I had just taken in the past month or two were finally all paying off. I was slightly nervous because I had to be put to sleep for surgery and anesthesia used to scare me (HA!).

On September 15th 2010 they retrieved 24 eggs from my ovaries, of which 12 were mature (which we would learn the next day).  11 of those eggs fertilized normally. On the end there were 7 embryos that progressed far enough for transfer or freeze. We transfered two and froze five.

{the page of embryos created from this egg retrieval}

Two of those "frozen five" would later be transfered during our second IVF (an FET) and one of those two IS Foster. Such an amazing thing to see.

So today I am EXTREMELY thankful for a year ago today because it made Foster possible and brought me to where I am today. Sitting on the couch with Foster amazed by the miracle that he is and loving more than I ever knew was possible.

So thankful. I will never forget September 15th.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Great Formula Search

Breastfeeding/Pumping didnt work out for me so we are exclusive formula feeders in this house, this time around.

In the NICU Foster was fed Similac Neosure while they were trying to wean him off of the feeding tube. This food seemed to work great for him.

When he left he NICU and came to our room he was changed to Similac Advanced. This seemed to work well and he was on it for a few weeks but with his reflux and some gassy/fussiness issues we changed him over to Similac Sensitive. He liked the similac sensitive and it seemed to help with the reflux but with his zantac and that food he was SO CONSTIPATED... my poor little guy would only poop about every 4 days and every day multiple times he would writhe in pain and scream at the top of his lungs while pushing and trying to poop only to have nothing happen. It was terrible to watch him in such pain. When he would finally go it would be complete liquid which made no sense as to why he had to work so hard.

One of the pediatricians finally told us that we should change to "Similac Alimentum". It is a special food that has predigested proteins and should help his system since he wont have to digest it all himself. When we went to get Alimentum it only comes in a ca half the size that we normally buy and this half tub costs $11 more than the large one. It would be about $40 every 4 days. So, I read the Enfamil Gentlease information and it says that it has "partially digested proteins" so I decided to give it a try first.

Many people say that their insurance covers the cost of Alimentum so I decided to look into that. Well, mine doesnt cover it.... shocker. So I am going to write and appeal to this decision and get a letter from Foster's doctor. We will see what happens.

In the meantime, I am feeding him Enfamil Gentlease and so far I dont like the actual formula nearly as well as Similac BUT it seems to be working on the constipation.
Here are the differences:
-Enfamil doesnt mix in the water as well
-Foster needs to burp a lot more during the feedings with the Enfamil
-He throws up after feedings sometimes now which he never did before
-He chokes a little more since this formula seems to be thinner
All that being said....

drum roll please.......


So for now, its worth it. We will see if the side effects get better!

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Thoughts and Updates

First let me start by saying that being a mom is the best thing in the whole entire world. These past 7 weeks have been the best weeks of my life. Truly the past 43 weeks have been the best of my life (the pregnancy and time with Foster since he has been born).

I know that you are probably thinking that I am crazy and wondering "who could enjoy a pregnancy with that many problems and constant issues?!".... ME! I worked so hard to experience all that and I feel like I was robbed of my last 4 weeks of being pregnant and I pray that I will get another chance to be pregnant because I loved it.

Foster amazes me and I often wonder how my life would have been if I didnt get to see what a miracle we could create (with the help of an amazing doctor and nurses). When he cries and I hold him he calms down and its an amazing feeling to be so "connected" to someone.

All my life I have said that I would NEVER want to be a stay-at-home mom because it just wasnt for me. Well, let me tell ya, I wish so badly that I could stay home with Foster for at least a year. Its just not in the cards for me but, man, would I love it.

- I have a liver/gallbladder ultrasound tomorrow
- Foster and I will be attending our first gymboree class tomorrow after the Dr.
- I have an appointment with a Hepatologist this coming Monday.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

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1. What temp do you keep your thermostat on during the day?
Truthfully between 68 and 70 but that is because I am home on maternity leave. Normally set it to 78 but it NEVER gets that hot because our house is so well insulated... it gets up to maybe 72.

2. What temp do you keep your thermostat on at night?.
Between 64 and 66. We like it cold to sleep =)

3. In a canister of mixed nuts do you pick out only certain ones or do you eat them all?
I pick out and eat the cashews and peanuts. ONLY.

4. What is your favorite kind of M&M?
I am not a fan of chocolate but once I had some raspberry ones and they were good!

5. How do you buy books?
Text books I buy online, normal books at the book store. I wanna take Foster to half price books and get him some books soon!

6. How do you like your eggs cooked?
I like eggs all ways, I love them actually. My favorite it over easy/medium. I like the whites cooked and the yellows "dippy".

7. Can you whistle?
Honestly, no not at all. Thanks for asking =(

8. What common word do you always misspell?
Definitely.... is that right?!

9. Are you afraid of flying?
Not really. I have done it tons but had some bad experiences so I dont love it, makes me a little nervous.

10. How often do you go shopping?
Too much. I dont go clothing shopping for me really but I always seem to buy little things and stuff for Foster. Im bad about spending money =(

A foster picture to keep you happy: (from his first week home, he was so little!)

Day from hell.

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Today was the DAY.FROM.HELL!!!
My DH woke me up almost 40 minutes late (before he left for work... was home but just forgot !??!?!??!??!).
I didnt get to dry my hair.
I went downstairs to find NO clean bottles when I was already running late. Fed my son half of a feeding because I could only find two 2 ounce bottles and didnt have time to feed him the second till I got to the dr.
Rushed out to the car and there was no CARSEAT base in my car because DH stole it for his car. GREAT.
Went upstairs to get the spare that was still in the box and had to try and figure out how to put it in the car.
Looked in the trunk, no stroller like DH was supposed to leave in my car this morning.
By the time i left I was supposed to be at the Dr in 10 minutes and its 30 minutes away. I called and they said that I could reschedule for 2 weeks from thursday..... um no. I said "ill just try and get there before the 15 minute window closes".
I think they let me wait because I looked like a rabid dog when I walked in that place! So basically my dr drew more labs, is sending me for a gallbladder and liver ultrasound and to see a specialist. She has no idea why my liver is doing what it is doing.
By this time i was late for Fosters appt. so I called and luckily they accommodated and let me come 30 minutes after my scheduled time.
The Pedi saw exactly what we see.... that Foster doesnt seem to be seeing anything but bright light. That being said he has a red-reflex in both eyes (which he should have), all his anatomy seems to be there, and his pupils dilate and constrict. So she is called a pediatric opthamologist to see what we should do from here.
So, we got NO answers today but we are working on it.
Add to this a bottle spilling on me, my car refusing to unlock because my remote must be dying, getting home and realizing that my son was in his car seat but not strapped in for the whole ride home (OMG! Worst mother EVER) and its been quite a day.
DH is gone all night coaching and playing hockey so im on my own to wallow in this misery of a day.
Oh P.S. my dog just ate a whole bag of DHs Reasins (Spelling?!).... AWESOME! 
P.S.S. After all this I made myself dinner because DH is gone and I went to the bathroom for one second and came out to find that the same PITA dog ate my dinner. FML.
And I cant drink this away or take meds for my migraine because of my liver.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Enough already, UNCLE!!!!!!

I have been hesitant to post about this and scare my close family/friends before I really know any details but the truth is that this is where I pour my heart out and it just doesnt feel right not to write about this here.

Justin and I are EXTREMELY concerned about Foster's vision... really his ability to see period. It started out with us just wondering if he was seeing but then every once in a while we would have a moment where he seemed to connect gazes with us. Truth is, those moments are rare and its probably coincidental. 
Foster doesnt make eye contact.
He doesnt look at a toy being shook right in his face (he doesnt even move his eyes towards it).
He doesnt look around the room when he hears my voice to find me.
He doesnt respond with his eyes when we talk right at him.
He seems to look right through things and just have a blank stare.
You can literally put your finger right up to his eyeball and he doesnt blink or react as if he even knows its there.
When he gets scared I have to put my face right into his and talk to him and rub his head and have 2 handed contact for him to begin calming down. Its like he gets scared and its extra scary because he thinks he is alone. He takes a minute to realize that "mommy is here" and it breaks my heart. When I look at him and cant connect it terrifies me that he may not see this beautiful world that is all around him.

The bath TERRIFIES him. He didnt get it before why he would blood curdling scream unless someone has their hands all over him the whole time. Now I think its because he is in water, cant see, feels water dump on him and thinks he is in danger.

Needless to say, we are panicked over this. Many times I will turn around to see Justin trying to get a sign that Foster sees and then disappointedly look at me and say "Im so worried". "I am too, I am too" is all I can think.

I am calling the pediatrician tomorrow to get in about this ASAP because its breaking our hearts worrying and wondering.

I feel like when it comes to all the issues I cant really take anymore..... I wanna scream "UNCLE".

New look (again)!

I am addicted to giving my blog frequent facelifts, haha! So, this is the look for now.

I need to spend some time updating on our labor day weekend away but there is no time tonight. I will post that tomorrow.

Biggest Update:
At my 6 week follow up after my c-section with my OB (who I love!). It was normal appt and things are going well, they drew some blood to check my liver enzymes since there had been some issues with them before. We also started me on NuvaRing to handle my PCOS for the time being (next few months).

Fast forward to wednesday morning and my OB calls me... personally. She said that my liver enzymes are VERY high and I need to see a specialist to see what is going on with my liver. Ugh..... why is it ALWAYS something?! So I am going to see my family doctor to get sent to a specialist (im assuming) tomorrow morning at 10:40. Wish me luck!

And, because I cant resist, here are some pictures of Foster:

P.S. I miss this belly A TON! Like really bad.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

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