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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Approach to New Beginnings

How is it that a period of time can form a transisiton? How can moving from 11:59pm on December 31st to 12:00am on January 1st change you? Does it?

For me it will. Again.

I'm antsy, anxious even. I desperately want to jump forward to 2009 and bid this year goodbye and good riddance. I want to hope for so much better this next year that I could cry.

I have so many hopes and dreams that are so close to being tangible. I've come so close twice to one of them and once again I find myself on the verge of being there once more. Ryan and I are taking the leap again and hoping we'll be lucky to get pregnant on the first try again. We're also hoping against all hope for a happy ending.

What are you doing New Year's Eve? Many people do something special and stay up late to ring in the New Year with glee and happiness. Drink Champagne, eat wonderful food. I'll be eating some lovely food I'm making and we're staying in. If I make it to Midnight, so be it but I'll be just as happy to go to sleep early, find the peaceful oblivion of sleep and wake up in 2009.

I'll be curled in my blankets all nice and cozy. Wake me when it's over.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A New Meme: Show and Tell

Still trying to recover from my Christmas entertaining (another post to follow about that later) and I haven't had a chance to think about Show and Tell when...

I've been tagged! I missed it completely in the insanity that has been the last week, but better late than never. So no pics, just some fun. If you check back tomorrow I shall probably have some more holiday merriment to share.

1. Link to the person who tagged you. Thank you Kim. :)
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

Okay, here we go...

1. I have a 2 1/2 inch birthmark on my back that my husband says looks like India. It's a great indentifying feature.

2. On my right hand, on the top of my palm underneath the beginning of my index finger is a grey dot that could technically be considered my only tatoo. It's the residual mark left from a very sharp graphite pencil that I accidentally stabbed myself with years ago and has decided to never go away. Yes, go ahead and laugh, I know you want to...

3.Whenever life scares the sh*t out of me (ie. I go through something traumatic) I do something drastic. I like change and tend to go all out. I have in the past, gone back to school, quit school and chopped and coloured my hair for examples (2006 & Fibro= short red hair).

4. I have always wanted to be a singer/musician. In high school, it was Broadway/ musical theatre. Earlier this year, I started learning the guitar so I could write my own music. And yes, I can actually sing.

5. In connection with #4- I have recorded two songs. In high school with four other girls, we sang with a local folk singer for a Watershed Sustainability project. I still have the album and am proud of being involved, but don't expect me to be recording anything anytime soon. I think it's a desire more than a reality (many things are for me).

6. I am a classical OCD Virgo. I like things neat and tidy. I will straighten things on a table top, desk, ledge or counter so they are just so (glasses, candles, coasters, papers, magazines, you name it). But I hate cleaning (must be the artist in me). Go figure...

7. I have Career ADD. I love so many different things but get bored easily. I have to be constantly growing and learning new things or I start to get antsy and start looking for some new job/ challenge to sink my teeth into. Usually this happens every four years or so. It drives my Mom nuts as it has resulted in a pretty hefty student loan. For the years and $ I have put into the educational system, I should have a Masters degree by now. Instead I have a Business Admin diploma and a lot of debt. But I don't regret a single second of it. The problem is that I want to do more art/ photography classes. Yeah, I will be saving them up and doing them one at a time.

Okay so I tag the following people:

1. Claire

2. Dave

3. Are You Kidding Me?

4. Meg

5. mlr

6 & 7. Okay, so my readership is still pretty small, so I don't think I have 7 people who will even know they are tagged, and since this thing is making it's way around the ALI community pretty swiftly, if YOU are reading this, are not on my list already and haven't yet done this: Consider yourself tagged. Yes, YOU. Seriously!

And don't forget to check out what the rest of of the class has to say this week...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Determination is Everything

Shortbread. Glorious Shortbread. And so much more tasty since the whole trying-to-burn-down-the-apartment incident. And not just any old shortbread, but my favourite scottish shortbread. But I decided to modify the recipe and make them chai chortbread. They melted in my mouth. Yum.

I think I'm enjoying them so much because of the pain (literally) involved in making them. It makes me think of the journey I've been on so far in my life. The many times where pain was involved and where sheer determination was able to bring about happiness.

When I was diagnosed with my fibro, I was so discouraged. I was in pain, both physical and emotional and I didn't know how to get out of it. Once my doctor told me that losing weight would help my body feel better, I had a plan of action. So began my journey to a healthier lifestyle. It took months of work with A, my personal trainer, but in the end I walked down the aisle on my wedding day pain free and confident. I also danced the night away with R. It was the best day of my life to date. Fantastic in every way.

This last year has been so difficult (again). The two miscarriages took so much out of me and it is only now that the clouds have lifted that I can see just how much I lost; not just my babies, but of myself too. It's like I had willingly given away parts of myself these last years without even realizing it. Pieces that on their own seem so insignificant but when you gather them altogether they form a hole.

But what I've realized is that the hole isn't empty. It's been filled with other things. Filled with the love and compassion from others. Also faith and hope that the journey I'm on is a worthwhile and amazing one. I'm gathering all the strands of my courage to take this next step. January is the beginning of a new year. The month itself I think holds another new beginning. I can't be sure just yet, but I'm hopeful. I'm also determined. No giving up for me. Never really been the kind. But sometimes I've been known to need a swift kick in the behind to get off my butt, stop feeling sorry for myself and take that next step. I'm ready now, really ready. I feel joyful and so light inside. Everything is possible.

I started out talking about cookies and ended up here. What is it about food that makes me turn philosophical?

P.S. My fingers are doing much better now. Thanks for all the comments. And yes, I do know about parchment paper and fully intended to buy some the other day but forgot. It's on my list to buy tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Close-Calls and Injured Pride

I am typing this with my left hand and the ring finger on my right hand. I had glorious plans to be eating homemade scottish shortbread this evening. Plans that have since gone awry.

No less than two minutes into the oven and I start smelling something like a lit candle. I turn around and open the oven and smoke starts pouring out! I turn on the overhead fan, grab the potholder and reach for the pans all in the space of a second. The potholder slips a little and instead of the cloth acting as a protective layer between the hot pan and my fingers, the pads of my index finger and middle finger are now grasping the baking sheet. The stupid thing was that it took a moment for it to register before I threw the pan on the top of the stove and reached for the the second pan. A moment to long to be good news.

I run over to the balcony and whip the sliding door wide open. It's freezing (literally) and snowing quite heavily. I run back and grab a couple pillows just in time for the two smoke alarms (conveniently located on either side of my tiny kitchen) to go off. I fan both of them and within 30 seconds, the incessant sounds turn off.

The smoke having cleared the place, I close the blacony door and go back to the kitchen to figure out what the hell went wrong. As it turns out, while wax paper apparently works great in the microwave, it's a bad idea in the oven. Hmmm, I think I missed that note somewhere... (this is where you get to LOL at the would-be Martha)

Four hours later, my fingers now longer need to be on ice. All I can say is that deep burns (however small) hurt like HELL! And they leave big white blisters.

But in the grand scheme of things, it came down to my fingers or saving my apartment from fire. Hmmm, very tricky choice...

Is it bad that I'm still pouting because I really, really want my shortbread now? I can almost taste them. Gods I'm hungry

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Show & Tell: Decking the Halls

It's that time of week again. Since a lot of people have been sharing their Christmas Trees for Show and Tell, I thought I'd throw in my decking-the-halls-galore pics. Keeping in mind that we have a 730 sq st apartment and you'll realize why my friend CT once gave me a mug that says "Just call me Martha". I collect vintage Christmas ornaments. This year I added two new ornament (not vintage)- one for each baby.






















Alex's Ornament













Kenneth's Owl












A wreath I fashioned out of a garland and suspended from our dining room lights.











We are not allowed to have a real tree inside, so I made one for my balcony. It is cedar branches wired to an inverted tomatoe cage and set on my potted bulbs (the crocuses of which have sprouted already).

What I did with the leftover cedar branches.

So this is half of my festive decorating. Go see what everyone else is bringing to Circle Time!

Seriously? Since When?

6:22. That's the time this morning that I dragged myself out of bed. Not because I had to be up early, but because after waking up to take my temp at my normal time of 5:45, I couldn't go back to slepp. My brain simply wouldn't shut off. It's running through Christmas menus and the list of errands and groceries to get. IT. WON'T. SHUT. OFF! lol. Oh, well. At least I have loads of time to get things done. Again. At least when this happened to me yesterday I made it to 6:45 before getting up. As I finish this post it is 6:35. The last time I was up this early on a Sunday morning was, oh wait, when was that? Travelling maybe?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maybe a Little Dented, But Not Broken

OMG OMG OMG!! I am soooooo excited!

So... my GP freaked us out for no reason. My OB has seen plenty of miscarriages and chromosomal abnormalities and she's not concerned at all. She said that the trisomys only seem more rare becuase they don't test all miscarriages. So she says it's up to us but doesn't see any need for us to go through genetic counselling unless we have three unexplained miscarriages or we keep having the same chromosomal abnormalities show up. We're all pretty sure that this last pregnancy was a fluke. Things went wonky and it wasn't going to go forward. We weren't meant to hold Kenneth. And there's nothing we could or couldn't have done that would have changed the outcome.

As for my LPD, which she does agree with, she's ambivilent about treatmentt but says that if I'd like to try progresterone, she'll prescribe it for me because it can't hurt. So I have my prescription of Prometrium to fill. Here's hoping it does the trick! We have officially been given the all clear to try to conceive again!

I walked out of there feeling like the biggest of weights had been lifted off of me. I'm not broken! A little dented though and worn in. But still whole. I'm not completely f*cked up, only a tiny bit. But hey, I already knew that long time ago. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Much Anticipated OB Appointment

So tomorrow is the day we take our next steps. There's so much I don't know about this new journey we're on. The original path to have a baby seemed so innocent and easy before. We took the steps we needed to make ourselves ready and jumped in without a clue that things could go differently. I like to think that we've still maintained some of that innocence, that we can take these new steps with faith and optimism.

I'm still scared. I don't know what to expect. I have an inkling of the steps involved in this next phase, but really, the whole concept seems overwhelming to me.

What will she say about everything? What will she suggest? Despite the uncertainty, I am excited about this appointment because I still believe that our journey is an amazing worthwhile one and that in the end we will hold a baby in our arms. I have to believe that. I have to...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

30 Minutes to Rest and Relief

I hate being sick. I turn into a pouting miserable person. I just got over a bug last week and now I'm sick again. It's a stupid head cold. :(

I'm going to bed very soon and am looking forward to my Ad.vil Cold & Sinus knocking me out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finally Getting Somewhere

Our appointment with my OB is Thursday. 1:45pm PST. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. What will we accomplish? Will we walk out with a plan? I need to know that she has a solution to my LPD or in the very least, goes along with the one I've already figured out. We'll also discuss those fateful test results. However, while I'm interested in her opinion, it's really out of her hands now.

We finally got an appointment with Medical Genetics at BC Women's. The reason we didn't get one sooner? The requisition was faxed in instead of called in (as is pretty standard when sending medical history). But clearly this makes a difference in the validity of my appointment request. In any case, my GP's office has followed up and secured the beautiful (and much sooner than anticipated) date of Jan 8th.

It's safe to say that things are finally starting to happen.

And yes, I get it. These last three months were the Universe's lesson in patience. Would it be too childish to stick out my tongue?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Show & Tell: Rare December Snowfalls

I live in Vancouver (BC that is). It's mild here. It deosn't snow very often and I can't remember in my lifetime of living in the South Coast having a white Christmas (maybe when I was young and living in the Fraser Valley). This year we stand a prety darn good chance, considering that as I type, we are having the loveliest snowfall and it's the second time this week. It probably won't stay (it rarely does), but it's lovely while it lasts. Being the photogrpaher I am, guess who's getting up nice and early before everyone else to go over the Central Park to get some lovely pics on untrodden snow. DH is coming too.

Don't mind the blurriness as 1) it's snowing hard, 2) pretty dark and 3) I'm not using a tripod. The view is from our 12th floor apartment. And yes the balcony was VERY cold on my feet! :)






P.S. My favourite part of nighttime snowfalls are the orange glow and the supreme blanket of quietness that settles over everything, even when the noise of the city continues on. I find it so overwhelmingly peaceful and meditational. It calms me and centers me.

Now that you've experienced Vancouver snowfalls, go see what's happening in other people's worlds at Show&Tell.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Letter From a Secret Society Member

Don't you wish you could just stand on the roof somewhere and tell the whole world what you're really thinking and feeling? Dealing with RPL, I feel like I'm supposed to be quiet about it, like it's something to be ashamed of. But I am not one to stay quiet. Face.book makes things so difficult. There's all these people on there who have no idea what we're going through, who know nothing of our pain and anguish. Those who do are pretty good about saying what they need to support us without giving away our "secret". In a moment of utter frustration, I wrote this letter. You should know that I have had every intention of actually posting it on my Face.book profile. Howver this journey isn't a solo one and I had to take into consideration the feelings of my dear husband. In the end, while he really liked what I had written, R wasn't comfortable with me posting it. I can handle that. But I did warn him that I'd post it here. Afterall, it's not like I'm revealing new secrets here. Here's my letter:


To All Our Face.book Friends: A Letter From a Secret Society Member

I feel like I belong to a secret society, or worse yet, a cult. We keep our day-to-day business secret from most people. Why? Because it's not a topic for polite conversation? Because people feel awkward and don't know what to say? I don't think those reasons are valid enough for us to have to stay silent.

Face.book makes it even worse. I feel like a live a double life. I post a status but it's not really what I'm doing or feeling. If I make a random odd comment and someone calls me on it, do I tell them what's really going on? Most of the time. But I'll send them a message instead of writing on their wall in return. So no one else knows what I said, you see. I don't do this because I don't want others to know, but because it's what so many people in our position do, what's expected. It's what we're made to think is normal. It's so very wrong.

Infertility. A strange word that often garners looks of pity and spurs on comments and advice from people who mean well but really have no idea what they're talking about. For us it's worse. We don't have any problems getting pregnant but rather, our issue lies in carrying our babies to term.

We have lost two babies. BABIES, not just pregnancies. Yes, they were with us only for a short while, but they were our children. The first came and went so quickly we didn't even know we were pregnant until it was over. The second, we knew all along and bided our time waiting for that magically moment when you get a heart beat and your chance of miscarriage goes down to 5%. We started to get excited. We never heard the heartbeat. I carried him for over 10 weeks (we found out later from testing that it was a boy) but he had died at 6wks 4 days. We've grieved and grieved and tried to figure out how to make sense of all of this. Test results may indicate a more serious problem that could impact our ability to have healthy children. Or it could be a fluke. We don't know yet.

So how do all of you fit into all of this? Well, you're on the outside looking in trying figure out what to say. What's the ettiquette here? Do you say anything at all? So from all of us who have experienced loss, here are some guidelines:

1. The appropriate response to hearing about someone's loss is ALWAYS "I'm sorry". No more, no less. We want you to acknowledge the brief lives of our babies. They were real and have had an impact on our life. Please respect that.

2. We don't need your pity. Trust me when I say that we've got all the pity we need and it comes from ourselves in our darker sader moments. Please don't add to it.

3. Kindly keep advice to yourself unless we ask for it. We know you mean well and don't mean to be hurtful, but unless you've been through it, you can't really know how we feel or what the best next steps for us. That's for us to decide. In my particular case, it also involves the opinions of medical professionals, who believe it or not, probably know better than you do.

4. It's okay to admit that you don't know what to say. We're okay with that. Words aren't always necessary. But maybe a smile and a hug the next time you see us, would lift our spirits. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen or give us a shoulder to lean and /or cry on.

5. Lastly, a general note about infertility (and yes, recurrent pregnancy loss is a form of infertility). Think about all the couples you know in your life. How many of them do you think want children? Have you gone and asked them recently when they're planning to have kids? Do you realize how hurtful it can be? You see, 1 in 6 couples have some form of infertility. Some require meds to make their bodies work properly. Some will go through very expensive treatments just for the off chance that there will be one magic moment when things actually go their way. Others may be told they can never have kids. Still others will endure loss after loss waiting for the numbers game to roll the dice in their favour.

I bet you know more people in your lives dealing with infertility than you ever imagined. Our secret club tends to hold our cards close to our chests, hoping no one will see the sadness and the desperation. But here's another secret. We also become so very grateful for the things we have in our lives. Everything becomes so much more precious and amazing. It's a perspective that only resilience through difficult times can bring.

I have always been a very open person. If you ask, I'll probably answer. It can be a fault of mine, or simply a part of my charm. Depends on the day. Ryan on the other hand deals with things differently and may or may not want to talk about it (and yes he knows I'm writing ths). At the end of the day, this is a COUPLE'S issue not an indiviual issue. So we'll carry on together hoping for our chance at the amazing journey called parenthood. Meanwhile, we're just trying to move forward with our lives. We're taking it day by day, step by precious step. It's all we can do. It's all any of us in life can do.

Sincerely and lovingly,
The (No-longer Secret) Society Members,
Lindsay and Ryan

P.S. Don't ask us when we're having children. We really don't know. If we do get pregnant again, it's a safe bet that we won't tell you until we know that our child has a chance of making it. Unless of course you want to know and are really willing to take the chance with us of risking having to share potential grief again. We're pretty optimistic about our chances next time though, just so you know.

P.S.S If you're wondering what we truly want for Christmas, I don't think you'll have to use too much imagination to realize that the ultimate gift will never come in a box with a bow. We'll settle for peace of mind and happiness this year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Magic Number 8

8.

That's the number of pounds I've lost since I was pregnant. I had gained four during my relatively short pregnancy (most due to the fact that all I could stomach was carbs- the more refined, the better).

In October I started walking everyday at work. I lost four pounds by the beginning of November. I have also been in the gym. Not always regularly due to fibro and my stupid hip causing me pain for those couple of weeks a little while ago. But I've tried.

I've also been pretty good when it comes to what I eat. While I do indulge in the Christmas goodies that pervade our office every holiday season, I've been good about keeping it to the occasional taste. What? I have willpower?

I weigh-in most Wednesdays. On one of the boards on the forum I'm on, there's a Weight-Loss Wednesdays thread. We all are trying to lose and it's a great way to cheer each other on and kick ourselves in the butt if we fall of the wagon.

At my 1st OB appt back in Aug, I weighted 184 lbs. Ugghh, don't even say it, I know. Being 5'7" with a body fat % that is considered obsese scares the sh*t out of me.

I weighed in this morning and nearly fell off the scale. I've been losing very slowly or staying the same. Never gaining, which is good. The magic number today?

176! Down 2 pounds! Read them... 1 & 2! Ha! Only 11 more to go until I reach goal weight #1 (165 pounds- which is what I weighed at our wedding last Sept).

I can't wait for the day when I see my GP and he stops asking me if I plan on losing weight. I can't wait for the day when it's obviously that I already have.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sweat, Peace and Bliss

I love the Seawall in the winter. There's barely anyone there. I go for a power walk pretty much every lunch break. Rain or shine. Now if it's really down pouring I might reconsider (especially if it's raining) but generally I operate under the assumption that I won't melt from a little moisture.

These days, the few people you do see are those who live in the area and the few people willing to brave the cold and maybe the rain and hit the pavement. Some of them are running, some like me, are walking. There's a leisurely feel even though I clock almost 3k in 30-40 minutes.

Today it was a little warmer. It was supposed to be sunny but the clouds hung around threatening to drop rain. Fog had nestled itself around Stanley Park, hugging the treetops like a big soft blanket.

I love my power walks. They're intense and relaxing all at the same time. I have my iPod on and walk to the beat, letting any tension and stress slip off of me.

It is sheer bliss.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Show and Tell: Creating Christmas Cards

This is my first week doing show and tell.

I'm so bad this year. I'm way behind. I still haven't bought or made any Chritsmas Cards this year. So figuring I should really get on it, I went looking for the image I wanted to use on them if I should decide to make my own as I have done in the past. I tend to use an image from my photography.

So here is this years: (R gave his vote of approval)

So, now that you've heard my bit, go and check out what the others in the class have up their sleeves: Show and Tell


P.S. If you're reading this and likely to be getting one of the beforementioned Christmas cards from me, pretend you never saw this.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Renamed

In a moment of clarity it was born. It came into being after much thought and deliberation; some deep soul searching too.

I decided that in this journey called life I am a warrior. I have fought some interesting battles and no doubt will face more in my future. I also continue on. Each challenge brings new ones and those bring further challenges. In order to cope with this state of being, you must endure. And in many ways, I know I have.

Consider these definitions:

Steadfast: loyal, steady
and...
Warrior: a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness
http://dictionary.reference.com

Henceforth, I will be known as The Steadfast Warrior- committed to fighting the battle and enduring with dignity.

What do you think? Is it a keeper? Should I try again?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Great Debate

We could throw all the caution in the world to the wind, say screw it, and decide to try again. Soon. As in now.

My darling husband is the one who started it. Yes, I'm blaming him for putting the idea into my head into the first place. After all, we've been resigning ourselves to The Wait. We've gotten comfy with it. We invited it in and ever so impatiently told it to have a seat. Offered it tea even. All a bribe for sure. Maybe after a great cup of tea, it'll give us the benefit of the doubt. Maybe even give us a break.

Two weeks away from our OB appointment and here we are considering walking into that office possibly being pregnant. Could we really? No, that isn't the question we need to ask ourselves. Afterall, we're two for two on the instantly pregnant front. The questions we should, no need to ask, is SHOULD we?

Aye, there's the rub! Our miscarriages weren't small things. They were the end of our two babies' lives. I can't and won't make light of that fact or brush it aside. It would be wrong. But...

But we could try. With my short LP, there's a pretty good chance we wouldn't even get pregnant. Or we could and we could miscarry again. What about the possible genetic issue (if in fact there is one)?

But we could win the numbers game i the biggest way imaginable. We could really win it this time. Lucky 3. It could be. You never know...

The other thing that complicates this is that I thought that this was the last cycle we could possibly try without making it difficult to be a part of AL's wedding on Oct.31 next year. However, someone reminded me that we still try the next cycle and still be okay on the timing front. Hmmm...

So where does that leave us? Do we try and risk heartbreak again? Or do we wait another couple of weeks, have our appointment, and go ahead (whenever that might be) with our Dr's blessing and support?

I think that maybe I have my answer.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sign of the times

Thursday and Friday were difficult days.

When you work full time, you probably spend more time in a day with your co-workers than you do with your family. For me, my co-workers are my work-family. I get really close to some of them, especially over time.

On Thursday afternoon I watched two of them leave without even knowing that it would be last time I saw them. A third also left that day.

I cried. Lots.

Restructuring. A word you've either been hearing lots about or will be. At first I was angry about how quickly it all happened but now I've had time to get perspective, I understand how necessary it all was. I just hate that was necessary in the first place.

So to make things more interesting, my job has been expanded and I have a new office. But to clarify, it's not a promotion. I'm just helping out someone in management who needs support, but not an assistant. But she also is taking over Directorship of our company charity, which means we'll be working very closely on next year's golf tournaments. I'm actually very excited about this because we both have the same practicality and common sense when it comes to event planning. This could be the start of a beautiful working relationship...

In other news, it's December 1st. It's almost Christmas. We had our tree trimming at work today and while it was lovely, I'm just not there yet. Our apartment is pretty much disaster (what else is new?) and we have a lot of cleaning and tidying to do before the tree and decorations can go up. Maybe I'll feel better when that's all up. We're even planning to do the balcony. So that's our plan this week.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to feel excited about a holiday that was supposed to be so much more for me this year. Prior to both miscarriages, I'd have been pregnant this Christmas. It's hard to reconcile in my mind that come Dec.25th, I 'd either have been 36 or 26 weeks pregnant. I would have been as big as a house or sporting a nicely defined baby bump. I'd have been planning and dreaming of all the things we'd need to do or get before the baby arrived. We'd have been debating over names, or maybe have settled on some.

Instead, things are different. We're still planning and dreaming, but they're different. These new plans and dreams are more cautious, somewhat tentative. But they're not less hopefully or optimistic. They're just, well, different. Everything seems different these days. Am I different then?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Acknowledging Them

Last night in bed I was thinking about how wierd it is to refer to our two lost babies as Baby#1/#2 or 1st Miscarriage/ 2nd Miscarriage. I don't know about you but it seems rather cold and impersonal for two lives that however brief touched me. The second of course, even more so, because we know it was a boy. I know names are usually given to babies who are still born rather than miscarried, but it seems somehow natural and appropriate for us to do this at this point.

So I was lying there curled up with R and mentioned this to him and said that I need to find a name or some way of referring to them in a way that is consistent with the impact they've had on my life. He then looks at me and says "Kenneth". I paused, slightly stunned, as I was 1) a little surprised he was going along with this and 2) that it came to him so quickly and easily. But there we have it.

Kenneth. The perfect name for the little boy we'd never hold.

So then there's our first. We have no idea if it was a boy or girl, so he suggested Alex, a gender neutral shortened name. Works for me. So if I use these names in any future posts, you will know who I'm talking about.

Alex and Kenneth, our babies, who will always be with us and who's brief lives will guide us forward through the unknown.

Help Requested: Lindsay Needs a Blogging Name

Ever thought about creating a name that represents all that you've been through and your personality all at the same time?

I hadn't until I came across Mel's post.

It's hard to keep up a blog (as we all know). That first year is full of holidays and events that are fresh for writing about. And then that second year you have to find a new way of going through it all over again. She decided to honour two years of blogging by coming up with a blogging name akin to a trail name as they do on the Appalachian Trail to honour the trek and keep you going. For more info because you're probably really confused) check out the link above.

So considering I've been blogging for ages now (over 4 years!), I think I've earned a blogging name. Once you know what I'm talking about, leave me a comment if you have any ideas. I'd like it to be fun but also representative.

Happy trails!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Little Reminders and Useless Products

So R and I got back from the Island yesterday (we had a lovely time despite my decrepit body) and we walked up to the apartment and there was a box sitting there. I looked at it and it's addressed to me. An Expedited Parcel with no return address. Hmmm... I was definitely curious.
So we take it inside and it's rather light. I open it up and inside is some free baby stuff from Nestle. Crap! That must have been that thing I signed up for when I was buying my maternity clothes at Thyme (which I needed desperately at 5 weeks!). Crap! Now what?

Well to be honest, the bag is quite great and will come in handy when we have a baby. It's a small insulated backpack with a pouch for a bottle. It be great if you'rr just going out somewhere briefly and don't need to carry everything with you. Or it can be a second bag. Either way, I don't feel like I need to give it away.

However, they did send a can of formula, which considering I'm intending to nurse if I'm able, may not be too useful. I'd keep it but it expires in March 2010. Ummm, since my crystal ball broke the other day, I reallly can't tell you if I'll be able to use it by then. You see, my baby horoscope doesn't seem to work very well either, so we have no idea when we'll have ours.

So, that leaves me with a can of formula I probably can't use. Anybody want it? I'm serious! Anybody know of anybody who could use it? I'll gladly mail it (as cheaply as possible) to the lucky Mom who can actually use it. Because this RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) gal really doens't have a need at the moment.

If you want it or know someone who might, please let me know. I really don't need it sitting in already too small cupboards wasting space and I'm too practical to just throw it in the garbage.

Come one! Free formula! You know you want it!!
On a last note, does this mean I'll be getting stuff in March when my baby won't be born? There are days when I wish the baby product people would get a little message from the universe after someone has a miscarriage telling them to remove us from their list. I mean seriously, give us a break here...

A Meme

"A meme is any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs, and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme



I've seen and read meme's but I haven't gone all the way and participated. So here is my first true meme care of Helen. I'm not cool enough yet to be tagged to do a meme, so I'll do it anyway.



Today's meme is to go to the 6th photo file on your computer and post...but I kinda had to cheat because being an emerging professional photographer means I have stuff from my work I really can't post unless I have previous permission and they know about it. So I went to go post the first photo after the 6th photo. However it was a RAW file that I haven't converted yet... so the photo I'm actually posting is the one after that. Enjoy!






So this was taken one beautiful sunny day last year on my way to class at Langara College. Just me doing the creative fine art thing I do.

So pass this contagious beast on and spead the love.

I'm tagging Dave and Claire, both of whom I know will probably actually do so. (That, and I don't know anyone else who reads my blog on a regular basis, so there we are). Oh, and if you do the meme, leave a comment at the end of the post and I'll check yours out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Shout Out to Alanis Morissette

The Queen of Angst. I get her- a lot of the time.

And she gets me. Although in a different context...

"Day one, day one
Start over again
Step one, step one
I'm barely making sense
For now I'm faking it'
Til I'm psuedo-making it
From scratch, begin again"

Sometimes it's nice to have to the words to match with the feelings...

On a more positive note, this weekend will find R and I in Victoria, visiting parents and friends (not as many as I'd like though). It's my Dad's b-day weekend. He turned 50 on the 14th.

Time to celebrate and enjoy being away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Can someone please shake me???

Please?!?

Seriously! I hate being in this place sometimes. The place where you feel you're just sitting on the ground. You know you should probably get up and maybe you're even inclined, but you can't. So you just sit. And wait for something to change. In this place, you're okay, but you're not. You could be better.

I want to feel better.

I think I need a hand standing up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nature's Reminder

Sometimes when we least expect it, nature has a way of reminding us how things really are. Subtle messages hidden in beauty for those willing to look.

I planted bulbs on my balcony that should sprout in the spring. I also planted, Narcissis, or Paperwhites inside. You plant them now in stones and water in a container and let them go. They bring life to the indoors when the outdoors lay in winter. Mine have just started blooming. Taking them in, taking in their smell, I was shown a metaphor for life:



The Foundation:
The place of beginnings, of roots. Well planted, there is strength here. Not everything is seen- sometimes only fragments.

The Place of Growth and Structure:
Here is where we expand and reach out, searching for our potential, our dreams. Sometimes though, we're not strong enough on own own and we need help, something (and often someones) to hold us up.



Fullfillment:

When we let it all go and give ourselves up to fate, the most beautiful things can happen. Fullfillment, enlightenment and the ever elusive, happiness. Everytime I find myself growing from the ground up, learning the most difficult lessons, something magical happens: I blossom a little more.

So simple, so beautiful. So Life.

Live yours...Everyday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The middle space

If you can't go back, but you can't move forward either, where are you? Are you stuck? Where are you?

The middle space, the in-between place where life seems to stand still. Strangely enough, here you can see things that may otherwise be hidden. Where you've been and that almost tangible future you're reaching so desperately for. But it's a little foggy. Nothing is for sure but everything is possible.

I am here, in this place. Just for a visit, though. I don't think I'll be lingering too long. What little strength I've found recently could disappear in this place, so I won't stay. I'm just resting. I feel a little weary but I'm feeling more like myself again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ahhh, much better

Can we get three cheers for last minute massage appointments? Thank you T for saving me! Seriously! I can move again! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quick Rant

Okay, so it's this amazing sunny day and I plan to go for a walk on my lunch break in awhile to enjoy it. If I can move properly.

My right hip is killing me! The tissues around it have been sore for the last while, so I stretch and move it and for the most part, it'll ease up and go away.

So I'm on the Skytrain this morning and standing, which was fine. As we're approaching the station before where I get off, the women beside me starts to try and make her way to the door. Now, first off, lots of people get off at this station, two, I'm in her way and have no where to move to, and three, the train is still hurtling into the station and usually comes to a pretty abrubt halt.

So I carefully move a little so she can get by and she squeezes her way past me. We pull into the station and she tries to push past the guy next to me. To do so, she pushes backwards. Problem is, I'm still standing there. So she ended up shoving me backwards, where I lose me footing and fall in the next person standing there, who breaks my fall. My bags drop to floor and I barely catch the pole to stop myself from falling right on to the floor.

The doors open and the lady just strides on out without so much as an "I'm sorry"!!!!

OMG, the nerve!!!! People like that drive me crazy!!

My hip hurts like hell and I'm limping around like a cripple. Didn't manage a workout this morning, so I was really hoping to make sure of my lunch hour.

Anyway, rant over, back to a beautiful day.

A Love Letter to Friends

Ahhh, four-day weekends. It's amazing what a couple of extra days off can do for your well-being. I'm happy to report that I've been working out lots and upping the intensity and things are starting to happen. I've lost another pound this week and my jeans are starting to get that awkward slightly baggy feeling that tells you your body shape is changing. It's the best feeling ever.

As for other great feelings, I feel so chipper this morning. Lots of energy and optismism to spare. But I think that a portion of that has to do with the good things that happened in the last four days. It's all lead me to be reflective of where I am in my life and the people who are in it.

I've been reflective about friendships lately. As most people have experienced, surface friendships can come and go, but the good ones, the true ones, survive the waxing and waning and endure. I recently heard from a friend who had more or less dropped off the face of the Earth for awhile. Not an entirely new thing for me, but one that concerned me only because my instincts told me that something was "up" and there was more to the story than someone purposefully ignoring me.And I was right.

When SE returned my message almost a month later, all I could do was smile. Her message was sad and she is going through some difficult times (boy do I understand), but I couldn't help but just be happy she reached out. She let me in. Which confirmed what I already knew: that we still had a worthwhile friendship. The kind worth fighting for. In the months that we haven't spoken, so much has happened in both our lives that I took the time to write and explain from the beginning (March) what's happened with me, hoping that at some point, she'll be ready to go in more detail about her life. I want to be there for her.

Thinking about SE has made me reflective of the other great friendships I'm honored to be a part of. People I wish to tell you about in absolutely NO particular order! (I promise it's not reflective of anything but my mind rambling forward).

There's CT, who probably knows me better than I know myself. Who can read into the things I say (and more importantly, the things I don't say) and be able to help me put things into perspective. CT, who I start each year off with the search for the perfect quote to start our year right. Who gives the biggest hugs (surprising for someone of her petite size), that are some of the best hugs (she can match me, which is saying something). Our people-watching coffee dates are my favourite way to spend time with her.

AL- my kindred. The friend I've had the longest. Our friendship is so special because it's endured distance (we've lived in different cities for all but 1 of the 15 years we've known eachother). It's endured spaces of time where we don't talk for weeks or months. But a simple phone call and we automatically continue on as if the time away hasn't existed. She's quirky (in the best possible way) and makes me laugh. She reminds me not to take life so seriously all the time. But she also has an amazing heart that is sensitive and caring. I'm honored to be there when she gets married next year, just as she was there for me.

And DR, my virgo companion. He's just as anal, and dramatic, and probably insane, as I am. Who never passes judgement and is accepting of my flaws- perhaps it's that we have simlar ones, so by reflecting them in each other, we've learned to accept them in oursleves. I've watched him grow so much these last years, tackling one challenge after another, with as much dignity as he can muster (I'm so proud of him). Who I can chat with for hours, or simply sit in the same room saying nothing, and both being perfectly acceptable ways to enjoy each other's company.

CF, who for all our differences, how shown me what real friendship is by fighting with me to save ours. She's the only one I have ever had any real conflict with. And in that, I'm glad, because she found the strength to be at odds with me and force me to accept that there are situations in life where you do have to sometimes start over. We have a fresh start as friends, but our history guides us too. She is warm and funny and talented. A wonderful people person, she is also somewhat mysterious. The real friends in her life, I think, are the ones who are helping her to be at peace with that side of herself, all the while learning about themselves in the process.

CB I think of as an "Earth Mother". This wonderfully grounded, peaceful person who listens without prejudgement. I've had the pleasure of watching her grow into an amazing mother and wife. She's been an ear and a shoulder so many times but is never worried about keeping score. I feel so calm and sure of myself after every conversation. It's a wonderful gift, hers.

NG is my crazy cellmate in life. We get each other. We've both struggled with life and aim to make the most of it. We openly share everything that sometimes we hope the walls don't have ears. lol. We're both hoping for so much for this next year, and are there side-by-side to face whatever may come. When I think of NG, I think of her insane beauty. She has one of the most beautiful spirits I've ever encountered. It pours out of her in her passion for life and her dedication to her family and friends. Sometimes it leaves me breathless in awe.

CR is someone who means so much to me. She's like the older sister I never had. Wise and mature, but she also has an amazing vibrancy that'll keep her young all her years. CR is the one who taught me not to just trust my instincts but to follow through on them. She taught me that we sometimes have to set our fears aside, and say something, or risk making a mistake that'll we'll always regret. I almost lost her once, but she's still here in my life and for that I'll always be grateful.

CS is relatively new in my life. We "met" through an online forum (not the first time I've done that), and discovered how much alike we are. In her words, "We are like the same person on different sides of the country". We shared an experience at the same time that many other women have sadly had to go through. We bonded over joys and sadness and our optimism for the future. CS is going to be a 1st time mom in the spring- around the same time I was supposed to be due the 2nd time. This for me is special because that time would probably be very painful for me. However, a lovely and amazing woman is going to have her miracle then, and somehow, because it's her, I find comfort in that. I've only met her in person once, but I have this feeling we're going to be a part of each other's life for a long time to come.

Sweet, sweet AW. What conversation about amazing friends could be complete with her? When I've lost my faith in optimism and my hope has been shattered, she's the one who's pep talks can break through the negativity and help me find myself again. Her random calls to say "how are you, I've been thinking of you", have meant so much to me these days. Hell, even a brief text message from her brings a smile to my face.

SL is the little sister I never had. She reminds me of me. Her energy and crazy personality fill every room she walks in, barely containing her. This vibrancy translates into dedication, loyalty and passion. She's willing to work hard for what she believes in, including her friends. She reminds me of how I want to be, living life fully each and every day.

You're probably wondering if this will ever end, but no fear, a temporary stop is at hand. Surprisingly enough, I could say so much more about each of these people and so many others. Perhaps a Volume Two is in order. More than anything, I wanted to remind myself how lucky I am. Each person in my life forms a portion of who I am- this giant puzzle being built, decontructed and re-built continually. I am so honored that all of these people are willingly to be in my life. They give me strength. Remind me to be compassionate to others and passionate in the things I do. They hold me up when I'm too tired, and give me space when the world and life gets too claustrophobic for me to handle. They remind me to be me. And they remind me that will always be enough.

I love you all more than I can express (I don't say that nearly enough). Maybe some day soon, I'll try to do just that, but for now this will have to do. This crazy adventure wouldn't be nearly as fun or amazing without you.

So thank you.

Your "Drama Queen", Linds :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Optimism only a sunny day can induce...

It's amazing how the sun shining can make everything okay.

Today was a day off, making this a four-day weekend. I have needed this so much every since September. I haven't really had any time to just relax and not worry about everything, so this is a really amazing.

So I didn't do a whole lot today. Although, what I lacked in quantity, I made up in quality. I had a really good workout and really pushed myself. 20 mins med-high intesity on the elliptical, 10 minutes strength training, 5 mins core worka nd then some well deserved stretching. So far so good. I always worry about over doing it but at some point I just have to risk it and up the ante.

There are days lately that I want to cry over my relapse. I admit it freely: I have moments of pure self-pity. And then it goes away. I really don't have the time or energy for that kind of negative self-indulgence. I mean thinking of yourself for a change is a good thing but lately, I've noticed that I go the route of pessimistic dwelling. It's not helping, so I'm done with that.

So I'm trying to get over that and stay positive. I'm on the verge of a new chapter in my life. I can feel it...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Picking myself up off the floor...

Today is a better day. Even yesterday afternoon was better. Re-reading my post from yesterday I almost tangibly hold the despair, anguish, and fear. The hope I tried to convince myself I felt was more desperate than real.

I suppose I hadn't given myself enough opportunity to process. I was so ready to think that everything was going to be so much more difficult, that I barely gave myself the chance to process all the information I had been given.

So we have to go for testing. And they'll give us results of some kind- positive or negative. Will it change the fact that I truly believe the next pregnancy will stick? No. Does it change anything about the fact that I've lost two babies? No. Does it mean we could have done something about all this earlier. No.

So it doesn't change all that much. I may have to take medication to strengthen my cycles, or I may not. If there's a genetic issue, it'll probably be a numbers game. Roll the dice and see what happens. I want to seriously believe that it won't happen every time. I have to believe that.

So we'll play the game of probability and put it out to the universe that we really want this and maybe things will go our way if we only give ourselves up to it- I've been humbled. I've also found my strength again. The warrior has found her way back into the game to fight for the dream once again.

So bring it on. Tests, fears, waits and whatever else we need to accept. We'll face it all... together. Because my husband and I saw our counsellor for our last session yesterday and came to the realization that after everything, after all the tears and the arguments and the pain, after it all, we're okay. We always were. We had just forgotten to let each other in. It was our last session unless we feel the need to go back to get help processing everything.

Tomorrow is a new day, and so is today. I've also realized that I had been holding my breath. Letting life pass me by on the chance that I'll be pregnant, or still pregnant. I've put things off, set aside my loves, the things I had been working on. Did I mention I had been humbled? I've re-learned not to let another day pass inconsequentially. My fibro helped with the humbling. I'm still in flare but it's easing. Only by relinquishing my fear of losing control can I take back it's hold on my life.

So I'll live today knowing that each tomorrow is another chance to try my hand at life again, and that each yesterday taught me something important. And we'll keep going. Because it's worth it, this dream we have and that R and I are clinging to. It's worth it and it always has been.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Finding a Place to Begin

There are days when I just wish I could go back to the beginning. That amazing place where trying to conceive a baby had magic and innoncence. Instead I'm here, stuck in sadness and I don't know how to get out of it. No innocence, no magic, just questions and fears.

I had accepted that we would probably need help in order to carry to term. I just didn't think it would be this extreme. Or at least it seems that way to me right now. It could be worse. They could tell us flat out that we can't have children. But they haven't. So there's the first glimmer of hope.

I saw my Dr yesterday to discuss my little theory about my screwed up cycles. As we sat down he asked if I had heard the results from the emryonic testing. I explained that we hadn't and were waiting for our Dec.18th appt with my OB to review them. Well, to my surprise, he had just gotten the report this week.

We miscarried a chromosomally abnormal baby boy. He had two trisomys (3 chromosomes instead of two) of Chromosomes 7 & 14. From what my doctor was telling me, both of these trisomys are rarer. And the fact that I had two at once at my age (I just turned 25 in Sept) is apparently cause for concern. My doctor is very thorough but never an alarmist. For him to be concerned enough to tell me that there may be genetic issue with my husband and I that could be serious, well, it got me freaked out.

So we're going for testing; and lots of it. Everything you can think of. We're being referred to a genetic counsellor to have both of us tested, I need a full gynecological and hormonal workup etc etc etc. All of this to find out if Ryan and I can have children together. At 25 years old, this possible reality hurts so much I can barely breathe when I think about it.

But there is another glimmer of hope. While we didn't get into my luteal phase issues too much, he did say that my charts will be very helpful to the specialists. I'm still pretty convinced that it's all related. I'm trying to focus really hard on that potential issue as there's a part of me that doesn't believe it's bad genes for the two of us. But I don't think it was simply just bad luck either. Low progesterone still can explain everything. If you really think about it, you can see where the problem would be.

With my last pg, I had a very clear implantion dip in temps on 10DPO and implantation spotting the next day. This is pretty much on the late edge of implantation but not necessarily a probelm. But maybe it is if your homone levels are too low. If progesterone wasn't being produced in the right quantites, then besides the obvious effects on the uterine lining, the embryo would be getting the nutrients it needed. As cells are dividing, this lack of nutrients could very well have caused something to go wrong. In my case, two somethings. I'm no doctor, but this is my theory and one I'll definitely be asking about.

So there is hope. It's the only hope I have left right now, so I'm clinging to it like my life depends on it; for me, for my husband and for our child-to-be.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Holding on to the pieces...

Today was a better day.

I woke up again in time to have a workout. That makes three workouts in four days. Not to mention my lunchtime power walks. I'm moving again. Stiffy, but I'm moving.

These last few weeks have been some on the most difficult. Even the immediate aftermath of the miscarriage wasn't like this. Then, I was in the place I expected to be. Hurting and angry and feeling hopeless. Now it's shifted to a place I hoped I'd never be again: flare. The place where negativity swirls around and threatens to consume me. It's grip is strong.

But what I learned last year is that I am stronger. I am so much stronger than that. And that realization keeps me going. Moving forward to where I want and need to be.

Forward to today, where things seemed more hopeful. The sun was shining so brightly for most of the day. Snow has fallen on the tops of the North Shore Mountains. The air was crisp and fresh. Everything seemed vibrant.

I still hurt. My body hurts and aches and my heart is still sad but it's gettting there- one tiny step at a time.

Tomorrow is the day of new beginnings, or at least that's what I keep telling myself, and hoping for. Always hoping...

Finding a place to start

November 4th:

Okay, I'm stuck and I'm not sure why...or maybe I do and I'm not sure what to do about it...
Yesterday I was all gung ho about calling my OB's office to try and get an earlier appt (ours is scheduled for Dec.18). Since I'm so certain about a luteal phase deficiency being my problem, the sooner I get the ball rolling on whatever test or treatments she'd want to do the better, right?

Right?

Well here I am. Stuck. I tried calling earlier but it was busy. I've been glancing at my phone for the last hour and a half trying to work up the nerve to call... but I can't.

I guess I'm afraid if I don't wait out the next six weeks and go in with even more concrete proof (via my charts), that she'll not take it seriously. But I don't know that she'll react that and really don't have any reason to believe so. She was great when I had the 2nd m/c and she was the one who did my D&C at the hospital. She has said that when we get the embryonic test results back, we'll go from there. She's obviously willing to help me stay pregnant.

So why can't I call?

November 5th: AM

So I did it. I made the call.

Yesterday I couldn't do it. I couldn't pick up the phone to call my OB's office and try to get an earlier appt. After thinking on it awhile, I realized I was scared- terrified even. Terrified to be here, at this place where you know there's something wrong and that without intervention, I will likely never carry a baby to term. That scares me so much. Such a big step, really, for someone who has had no obvious issues conceiving in the first place.

So I sat with this fear throughout the afternoon (and vented it on one thread yesterday) and overnight. And here we are today. It's a suprisingly beautiful day here in Vancouver and the sun is shining. I manged to get up for my workout this morning for the thrid time in four days (a huge accomplishment with my fibro calling the shots these days).

So this morning, I called my OB's office and asked about an earlier appt. But alas, it's not going to happen. My OB is away for three weeks as of tomorrow and my appt on Dec.18th is really the earliest I can get in. However, her assistant did suggest I see my GP and see he can get any testing I'll need done now, so we don't have to wait. Which means we'd have all the test results in by the time I see my OB!

So I called my Dr's office and I'm going in at 4:30 tomorrow. Me and my charts are taking the first step to making the dream a reality!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Five Years...

Five years ago, I met him. Stared into his eyes and saw my future. Heard his voice and knew that I never wanted to stop hearing it. I walked away knowing that I would marry him.

Leap ahead to today and I still see the same man, but we're different. We've changed. We've grown older and wiser (at least I'd like to think so). We've felt the greatest joys and had our hearts broken by fate. But we're still here. And we're fighting- clinging to the one thing we both know for certain: We were meant to be together, till the end of our days.

We had our second counselling session on Wednesday. I cried at one point and it was in that moment I realized how raw everything still is. How broken I've felt, how tired. I wanted more than anything to just give up. But he was there, knees touching mine, holding my hand, reminding me that he was still there, loving me. In our sessions with R-A. S. we're relearning how to talk to each other, how say what we need to say and how to listen to the other. And it's working. We're talking again. Not just speaking but having meaningful conversation.

A month ago I would've told you I thought all of this too big for us to deal with. But obviously that's not true, nor was it ever. We're so strong. So what that we both feel helpless and the world seems scary again. We're still here, together, moving forward.

So five years of love, joy, drama, pain, tears, laughter and dreams and we've made it here. To this place of new beginnings. Of Love that will always be there for us if we're there for it. It's really that simple.

Five years and counting. R... I love you more than I can possibly ever express with words or actions. So I'll leave it for my heart and soul to tell yours. And we'll leave it at that...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Reflection

I posted this response on a forum I'm on and thought it's was worth putting here too. The thread was called Looking for Hope- How'd You Do It? It's on a message board for coping with miscarriage...

Hi all,

Thought I'd jump in and add my two cents worth (and I apologize in advance for it being long). First off, I'm so sorry for your losses. I've been where you all are, twice. M/C [miscarriage] leaves you in a very difficult and wierd place, a place most of us never thought we'd be. How do you change that, how do you move on?

I think in some ways, we don't. M/C will always be a part of us. It's shapes our identity, forever changing how we look at life. We no longer look at pregnancy as something that equates to holding a baby in your arms. The innocence is lost.

But that's where each person has a choice. The pain and hurt you feel right now is real and it should never be brushed aside, especially from yourself. It will gradually change and get easier to deal with. It won't feel quite so raw. More like a lingering sadness. Sometimes it'll hit you when you least expect it. And in some ways it's good not to forget. It reminds us how fragile life is. And how beautiful.

I'm slowly coming to the realization that I have to consciously choose not to be the victim here. I'm choosing to be a survivor. Because I have survived, we all have. We're making it through one day at a time. And hopefully, we'll all find our way towards trying agin. But how, you may ask?

In my humble opinion, it's because the dream is so much stronger than the nightmare. Our desire to have a child leads us to risk it all each and every time we try. To risk heartbreak and empty arms to have a chance at one of the most amazing moments any of us can imagine: holding our child for the first time. Those of you who have children already, know this and perhaps for you, you'll reach this realization faster than others. Or perhaps not. So we risk it all, in some cases, over and over again, because the dream is just that strong.

So what is the point to all this rambling? I sure don't profess to have it all figured out. My life feels like it's in tatters, my beautiful strong marriage is rocky and I'm coping with depression along with a chronic pain condition that has flared becuase of the m/c and all the stress.

I guess my point is, that it will get better. Proably not today and maybe not tomorrow. But at some point in the near or distant future, we'll all look back and know that we came out this experience more strong, and determined and humble. We'll move forward knowing that our worst fears had come true but yet we still made it. We may not be the same women we were before, but maybe, we can hope we're better.

And maybe that's the best we can hope for. And yes, despite your fears about not making it through... you will. You are that strong!

All my best wishes and thoughts. I'm a regular all over these boards and always here to talk...Hang in there...


Just thought I'd share this. It's a good reminder for myself when I have a bad day that I don't truly believe my world is ending. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Sassy Girl

If you liked Little Miss Sunshine, you'll like this remake of a very popular Korean film.

My Sassy Girl is freakin' hilarious, and has fantastic dialogue. Oh and Elisha Cuthbert is amazing.

Surpasses date movie status- meaning that you don't need a date or to be on one to enjoy it.


http://www.goldcirclefilms.com/movies/movie_my_sassy_girl.html

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the Bottom Up...

I put them away. Safely tucked them away within reach. I know I'll be needing them sooner rather than later but just not yet.

Baby things. Cute and soft and lovely. They were mine. Things I wore or used. A yellow velour jumper that I remember dressing my dolls with when I was a kid. Tiny satin baby booties and a pink baby brush and comb.

I put them away. And that makes me sad. But not the kind of sad I was before. Before it was an overwhelming grief that threatened to break my last thread of strength. In some ways, it did. There's a part of me that was lost with our baby and I'll never get that back. But slowly, I've been filling that hole with somehting I didn't think I'd find again: Hope

Someone on a forum I'm on mentioned a great book that she had picked up at the library. reading her post, I thought to myself, "Duh, what an idiot, why didn't I think of checking out the library for info?" I'm an avid reader, so why didn't I think about doing so? Who knows. Grief spins you in weird directions. So one weekend, my husband and trecked down to the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public library, and I went hunting.

4 books later, I held in my hands something I had lost in this crazy situation: Control. I know that when you welcome a new life into your own, you have to give up that control. I just didn't think I'd be here, the Survivor of two miscarriages. But this book has given me some of that control back. I'm still trying to figure out where I'm at but I do know it'll get there.

R and I have started counselling and that is a huge step forward. Hopefully we'll come out of this stronger than before. Ready to take our life back in our hands and leap forward...together.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Catching up

Here are some of the forum entries (or partial ones) about where everything went well and then went wrong:

August 12, 2008:

I had my first OB appointment:

I went to my appointment and the place is REALLY nice! Each of the exam rooms have ultrasound machines!

The temp OB came in (mine's on holidays) and we ended up doing the full prenatal Q&A. Thought it would be a short consultation but she also did an internal exam, pap smear (I'm not worrying about any spotting) and then to allay my fears abot this pg, she offered to do an ultrasound!!

So we got to see our little bean! Basically a tadppole with flippers! lol! But sooo amazing!! I actually gasped, I was so shocked. But she tried to find the heartbeat and was having a hard time. She actually had a hard time finding the baby at first and it took awhile. So the angles made it difficult. That and she wasn't a untrasound tech and I didn't have a full bladder.
Suffice to say that we thought we had a heartbeat but it seemed really slow and might have been an echo of mine. So we're not sure. BUT... I have a dating ultrasound on Monday, so we'll know then wether this pg is viable or not.

I really need it to be! The m/c in May was horrible and I hope to never go through that again. So cross your fingers for me! I'm trying to be really positive but could use a little extra hope...

August 18, 2008:

Dating ultrasound revealed no heart beat and dated me two weeks earlier than my dates indicate. And I'm certain about my dates. Have a follow-up ultrasound in two weeks to see what's going on.

September 2, 2008:

Had my ultrasound and it confirmed what I knew in my heart.... our baby hadn't grown past 6 weeks, 4 days and had no heartbeat. On top of that, 4 weeks later, I finally have started miscarrying. I'm relieved it's at least happening on it's own.

Suffice to say that I am numb and devastated. But I have an amazing OB who is willing not to wait for a 3rd miscarriage to figure out what's going on (is concerned because I'm so young- 25 this Thursday and haven't had a live birth). We'll be doing some tests to see if it was chromosomal (and therefore inevitable) or if there's something in my system that's preventing me for carrying a pg. This time hopefully we'll have answers and maybe some peace of mind knowing that the next time we decide we're ready to try again, we may have some back up to help us through.

September 4th, 2008:


I spent my 25th B-day in the hospital!!!

Thursday (my b-day) I filled my prescription for Misoprostol which is supposed to contract the uterus and speed up the miscarriage. Well it worked... TOO WELL! The contractions, well were exactly like being in labour would be and I was in agony. Then I starting bleeding... A LOT! There was so much in the evening I got really scared and got DH to call an ambulance. I knew we couldn't deal with it on our own and in the end I was right to call.

Paramedics came and agreed that I was not okay. We went to BC Womens, where my OB delivers and said that we'd do a D&C if I ended up choosing to. Figured that was the best option as I was supposed to take any tissue there in the first place so we could get the genetic testing done. Paramedics tried calling the hospital to warn of our arrival but had no luck with their weird phone tree system. Got to Women's and some idiot at the front desk told us to go to Van General because they only take women 22 wks or later (which it turned out was BS).

Get to VGH and was admitted into the ER. They ran tests, did exams and decided to keep me overnight for observation. Bleeding and cramping slowed to almost nothing by 1 am Friday and I managed to get a little sleep (in between the nurse checking my vitals). Had an ultrasound at 8am and it showed that there was still tissue left so I opted for a D&C.

Took forever to get admitted and get a room. Also had a hard time finding out when the surgery would be because the OR had a bunch of transplants to do and other critical cases. Got a room on the ward at 6pm and by 9 they were prepping me for the OR.

If you've never had a general anaesthetic, it's one weird experience. It happened so fast. One second, they're hooking me up to the ECG and then next thing I know I'm fading into darkness and soundlessness. Next thing I know it's a little after 11pm and I'm in the recovery room. Groggy as all hell too. Takes awhile for me to be able to move and talk.

They give me a while and then move me back to my room where I sleep soundly except to have my vitals taken again at 2:30 and 6 am. Breakfast at 8:30 was crappy hospital food but the best crap food ever considering I hadn't had anything food at all since 5 pm on Thurs. Even then it wasn't a meal but I was in too much pain to eat, so my last real meal was lunch that day.
The D&C was uncomplicated and went really well. I have no pain at all right now and am bleeding only a little, much like a light day of af. Feeling much better emotionally too. I had a major breakdown about 30 minutes before calling the paramedics and I think that made the whole hospital experience easier. I had better coping skills by the time we got there.

All in all my 25th b-day sucked big time but it's now over. My OB (who happened to be on call last night and did the D&C) was able to retrieve the tissue. We'll get results of the genetic testing in about 3 months (maybe less); just in time for DH and I to be allowed to start trying again if we're ready. I know when depends on the next while and how we cope and grieve.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

New Season, New Beginning

Summer has finally arrived! Well, actually, I think it really arrived last weekend and it's just decided to stick around. This weekend has been beautiful, just like the last weekend. When we were in Kelowna last week, it was 30 degress and I even managed to get a little bit of colour wihtout burning. Always a bonus. Yay for Vitamin D!

Think we might go out this afternoon across the street to the field with our beach blanket and relax in the sun and read or something. Not up for much else. Had a scary moment this morning because the bleeding has intensified like crazy. But couple that with feeling a little bitchy yesterday and I think I've just gotten my period a week earlier than expected. There's nothing more discouraging than knowing it all started on the 5th and it's still going.

Ryan and I finally came to blows so to speak over the situation and finally really talked about everything on friday night. He was avoiding thinking about it becuase he really didn't understand what was happening to me. I was blunt and maybe a little uncaring in the way I did it, but I've been in so much emotional pain that I needed him to understand the reality of what a miscarriage means physically and emoitionally. I had to explain the trauma of watching everyday the reamins of what should have been our child leave my body. Once he understood that, we were able to come to grips on the situation together. We're okay now and we talk about it, which is the biggest step. It's no longer just me doing the talking. We're finally in this together again.

And at the same time I finally allowed the grief to hit me and I just broke down and cried. It was... freeing and healing. I'm not "better" all of a sudden, but I am better than I was. I can laugh and have a good time with people even if I'm not as social and bubbly as I normally am. Still coping, but I'm glad things are almost over with and I can finally move on. What a relief. The next month is all about slowly getting my life back on track. I want to get back into my fitness routine (not working out is driving me crazy!) and eat really well. I want to start getting my weight back to a healthy level again.

Time for a new start. After all, As Claire reminded me: Anything is Possible...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Waiting

Today was a a better day. Especially compared to yesterday. The pain was such that I could barely walk or sit up. I called the Dr's office to sees if my test results were in. There were and I was asked to come in (which confirmed the result for me right there) and that I might need an ultrasound.

So I (slowly) made my way downtown and waited about ten minutes before I saw my doctor. I walked into his office and he told me that my suspicions were correct, I was pregnant (duh). And that the bleeding would indicate I was miscarrying (double duh). But what I didn't know was that my hcg ("pregnancy hormone") levels were normal. I registered at 436 which puts me at 3-4 weeks pregnant. But that was as of Tuesday and I've been miscarrying for probably a week and a half (maybe) and the levels would have been slowly dropping from their peak.

In the end, he didn't send me for the ultrasound. I don't think I could have handled it; it would have put me over the edge. My first ultrasound should only happen when I'm actually pregnant! But he figured that I was too far along in the miscarriage and not far enough in the pregnancy for anything to turn up. Whew! (I think...)

Been off work the rest of the week. Too much pain yesterday and today, while it's lessened, it's not gone. More positive today, but been a little lonely. Normally when I'm stressed or sad, a workout helps, but I'm not even allowed to do that!

My world has momentarily shattered. But I'm putting it back together, one piece and one day at a time.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Day

I was hoping today would be a little better. Boy was I wrong! The slight cramping I had been having for the last couple of days broke out into outright pain. By the afternoon, it was uncomfortable to sit upright or walk around too much.

Went in to work this morning even though I really didn't want to. But I felt obligated to work on the millions of things that I have going on. But I ran into my manager in the elevator on the way up and told her that I wasn't doing well and was in pain and she basically sent me home. I was there until 9am and then went home. Off tomorrow too. Just need time to heal physically and emotionally.

I'm being positive (most of the time), but also allowing myself to fell the entire ranfe of emotions that roll through me. And Ryan's there for me even though he struggles to comprehend what I'm going through.

As always, time and love are the greatest healers.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trying to Cope and Be Positive

Well, I don't know what to think or feel right now as my mind is running rampant and my emotions are all over the place.

In the last week of April, I had the strangest bout of nausea and was certain (and I mean absolutely certain) that I was pregnant. But on the Sunday, it suddenly disappeared and the next morning I got my period. We thought, "oh well, next time".

That was May 5th. Today is the 20th. It's still going, 16 days later...

On day 12 I was starting to believe that something was up and that maybe I was right in the first place. Could it have been that I really was pregnant? If so, then all this bleeding would mean I am having a miscarriage.

Then we went away for the long weekend (I'll talk about that in another post). Couldn't stop thinking about the possibility that I had lost a baby I didn't even confirm I had had. Strange.

Saw my doctor today and went for blood work to see if we can still confirm my pregnancy. It may be inconclusive though, since it's been so long since I first starting bleeding.

We're 95 % sure (or at least I am) that I am miscarrying right now. I have all the symptoms and they're not pretty. It may be more info than you want to know but since you can probably watch CSI and ER with no problem, I figure you can handle it...

Aside from the start and stop again spotting, I'm passing quite a bit of tissue and blood clots (creepy to witness trust me). And in the last couple of days I've starting to have lower abdominal cramps.

Physically, it difficult but nothing compared to the emotions. I mean, I know I was only 4 weeks pregnant, but I was still pregnant (despite what the test may say, I firmly believe that a woman's intuition trumps all). And now I'm not.

But there are some ltiny silver linings... I DID get pregnant, so I know I can. The miscarriage doesn't change that. And there was obviously something wrong with the pregnancy and my body knew that it shouldn't continue. I trust that and am glad it happened sooner rather than later.

But I'm a bit of a wreck right now. Went into work but left at Noon. I just can't focus. We'll see whether or not I go in tomorrow. I think what I really need is some me time. Time being the operative word. I just need to digest this and feel everything I need to feel. Go through the grieving process and be ready to move on.

And I do want to move on. I'm ready to. But obviously my body isn't. If I'm still bleeding at the end of the upcoming weekend, I'm going back to the doctor. He'll probably have to send to go have the rest of the tissues removed so that I don't get an infection.

In case my rambling hasn't indicated this already, I really DO need to talk about it. I'm finding it helps and that people's support is really important. So please don't feel awkward about asking me about it. I'll probably bring it up anyway... ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

12:55 pm

I stood at the corner of the street waiting for the light to change so I could cross. The sun was slipping between the buildings, spilling onto the street in thin streams that pinned me where I stood. The wind wove up the street, smelling sweetly of early spring pollen. It caressed my skin, both crisp and warm at the same time.

I felt myself inhale deeply just absorbing the sensations around and through me. People behind me were talking…two men; their voices rich and deep. The coffee I was holding was warm in my hand and smelled intricately of sweet milk, caramel and rich strong espresso.

As I had approached the corner a few moments ago, I had passed a homeless man sitting on the corner. As I saw him, the smile I had had on my face started to slip. He looked right into my eyes, grinned and said, “keep smiling, it’s good a thing.” I chuckled and grinned, appreciating the sentiment and the casual reference to Martha Stewart and her saying, “it’s a good thing” that is now quite famous.

The smile stayed etched on my face for the rest of my walk back to work. The fresh air and beautiful weather did me a world of good. I needed the time to sort out my thoughts and re-frame my mental state. While I’m not sure I really tried hard enough to shake the negative thoughts from my head, I still find myself thinking of the homeless man and his message to me.

It’s most definitely a “good thing”.

:)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Falling into Place

It's an amazing thing, being able to breathe deeply and just be. As I'm writing this, I'm just relaxing on a lovely Saturday night. We had Ryan's aunt over for dinner, which was lovely as always. Spent the day rnning errands, cleaning and packing (at least Ryan did- I get my chance at packing tomorrow). Today was a beautiful sunny day. Got to spent quite a bit of time out in it too! Cleaned up the back stairs and deck of all the plants. Kept some, tossed some.

The more I think about it, the more I find reasons to love our new place. I haven't even moved yet and I can't find anything wrong with our new life there. Everything is close or easily reached by transit, the apartment is bright and lovely with an amazing view. And of course, the biggest reason to love the new place... not being in this house anymore. NO more awkwardly flushing toilet, mold in the bathroom, falling apart cupboards, lack of doorbell and best of all, no more noisy and disrespectful neighbours who wear runners inside with hardwood floors, talk loudly ALL the time, swear excessively and generally make it an uncomforatble living space.

Time to let go.

I'm letting this weekend be relaxing by not trying to accompish too much and not overdoing it. Afterall, I have a hell of a week coming up. Alhtough, I can't complain, considering event planning/execution is a part of my job now. But I really didn't see this coming. I found out Tuesday that I am working our leadership conference mon-wed this coming week. And I've been appointed on-site coordinator! I spent all of Wednesday morning getting the hotel to fix the contract so that the VP I'm working on this with could sign it. That was interesting.

And don't let me fool you, I might complain about some of this, but I (not so secretly) get a kick out of this all. They're preparing me to be able to take over the conference for next year.

I find it a little ironic that I'm now doing what I went to Camosun for in the first place. Don't you? Hmmm, go figure. I feel like I'm really doing somehting now. I have several big projects in different parts of my job that are all happening at the same time. I love it! And also good news, my trip to Toronto has been postponed (thank you!) until April. NOw I don't have to worry about moving Mar.1 and then flying out Mar.2. Now I can actually get some stuff done and it'll actually all be manageable.

So since I have to be at the hotel for the conference at 7am each morning to make sure things happen and then don't leave until end of day (which means- mon:5:30pm, tue:10:30pm and wed: 4:00pm) don't be surprised if I'm not available (or comatose) by the time I catch up with everyone. Love you all but I may not be able to put coherent thoughts together by later in the week. Oh, and did I mention that I'm working my regular days on Thurs and Fri?

Wish me luck! (Hopefully I won't need it)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Slowing it down...

I was walking home from the bus this afternoon, enjoying the amazing sight of the the sun brilliantly shining through layers of deep dark grey-black clouds. The sun was almost blinding . It felt warm on a day that has been cold and damp.

Last night, Ryan and I went to Oakridge to see a movie. Watched The Golden Compass and had a wonderful evening. At the bus stop waiting to go home we got into a an interesting debate about metaphysics. The bus came and we continued talking. Got off the bus and chatted till we got back to our block. As we neared the house I steered him past the house and asked if he minded continuing our walk and conversation. It was a beautiful warm star-filled night and so we walked for another half an hour. The discussion was fascinating, and ironic. I mean, here we were, a skeptical scientist and a spiritual metaphysical artist, debating the finer points of proving the unknown and unseen.

What struck me about these two events are how time seemed to stall for awhile and how I managed to simply "be". I'd forgotten how wonderfully fulfilling it is. Maybe it surprises me so much because we just don't allow ourselves to go there often enough. As I sat down to write this I was astonished to think that on Tuesday, the month will be half over already. Where did it go? What have I done? I mean, I know things have happened and I participated in life, but if that's truly true, why does the passage of time surprise me so often?

Maybe it's because I'm at a point in my life where I am thinking beyond my own life to that of the next generation, to being parents sometime in the future. When you put yourself into that perspective, it's hard to separate individual days or weeks with the years that pass you by. I think I'd like to see this year go by a little slower. Not that time itself will change, just my perception of it. How I'll do this, I don't know. Maybe simply getting back into documenting the simply ordinary occurrences will be enough, or maybe it will require more.

Either way, I've set this goal in hopes that all the things I have planned for or hope for this year will not just happen but stick with me and make lasting impressions. In the end I just want to know that I've lived each moment as fully as possible. It's something I think I missed at times last year. Experiencing this idea fully on our wedding day put everything into perspective for me. I mean, that dya, that weekend, even though it was a whirl-wind, I can remember each moment. I look at our photos and I can tell you the story of our wedding.

That's how most days should be. That's how I intend for them to be from now on. Or in the very least, I'll try.