Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My mama

I know that someday I will have to live without my mom. I get that. That doesn't mean that I have to think about it, or even consider that it would be anytime soon.
I don't have the energy to really get into the topic of my father, but let's leave it as this: he has a temper, some jealousy/control issues, a lot of anger/yelling issues, and told my mom, me, and my sister my whole young life that we were worthless. It is a long, complicated, guilt ridden, sad story, that I'm not sure I'm ready to blog about yet or ever really will be.
I don't know if it's because of that, or not, but I have the opposite relationship with my mom.
She has always made me believe that I can do absolutely anything that I want to. She taught me that no matter what, the right thing to do is to tell the truth. This is one of the things in my life that I am most proud of. I am a good communicator (well, in my mind, at least :) because of the way I learned to communicate with her. I have told her almost everything-so close to everything that I may as well get on with telling her that last thing. She makes me laugh. She annoys me beyond belief on the telephone. She says "I seen" instead of "I saw" and "them" instead of "those" and it makes me stick my tongue out at her.

Growing up, my dad was a total control freak about money. He literally wouldn't give me a dollar at times when I'd ask for it. If he read this, he'd deny it and say that it was his income that gave me what I wanted growing up. But I remember. I remember that my dad made a lot more money than my mom and that he paid all the bills. My mom's check was more or less spending money, which she spent on us. We'd go shopping, out to lunch, to movies. If I needed something for school, she would make sure I had it-even if what she made wasn't enough. She'd lie to my dad about what she was buying if he disagreed. I had what I needed to fit in, to make my place in school, to get good stuff for projects, to go places with my friends. She'd leave $20 bills on the seat of my car when I'd pout that I didn't have enough gas money. I had a job, too, starting when I was 12, so don't think I was spoiled-she made sure of that. I can remember begging to go out with my friends (and listen, I was the kind of kid that watched movies and went mini-golfing in high school-for real. nope, that's it-no sex, drugs, or rock'n roll) and my dad didn't want me to go. My mom would just say, "Honey, go-don't worry about it" and I could hear them screaming at each other as I'd pull out of the driveway. She knew that would happen, and she went against him anyway for me.
My mom knows it all. She's done it all.
She's been through it all.
I knew growing up that I had a sister, Mary, that had died. I knew she was a baby when she died. I never really remember hearing the whole story, so once I became old enough to understand, I thought it was Sids.
2 weeks before my water broke, it was a Friday afternoon and I just decided to call my mom from school to her work just to see what she was up to (we talk a few times a week, at least). Somehow, someway, the conversation of Mary came up. I asked her questions, she actually told me the whole story, which I had never known.
She told me that she was born still at full term. That they hadn't let her see her or hold her. That her mom and mom-in-law had gone home before her to clean out the entire nursery like it had never been there. That my dad blamed her for what happened. They had a private memorial service so that no one else would have to come. I asked her how she made it through and she said, "You just do."
Mary would be 33 this year. My mom still visits her grave on her birthday, April 11th.
My babies were born and died April 13th.
Was she in someway getting me ready for what happened? She had never talked about it before, and then right before this all happened to me, we had this amazing conversation where she opened up, even though it hurt her.
Today my mom called and said she was having heart pain. Her mom had her first heart attack at around 50, my mother is 54.
I just couldn't take it.
In my head, all day, I begged God. Then I threatened Him. Then I told my husband-Listen-there are two people in this world that I can and that is you and my mother so please, please start praying this is nothing.
I guess, if this whole disaster that is my life has taught me anything, it's that if I had to, I know I could. But I really, really don't want to.
I love my mama.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


NOT loving the met.formin. Not at all! :( Yuck.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

ups and downs

I saw the grief counselor on Friday. She asked me, "So, how was your week?"
I gave the same answer as I have each time, "Up and down."
When people ask me about teaching, I always say that I like it, but sometimes the ups and downs get to me. Having good days and bad days-days where a kid says something that reminds you why you put up with the days that are really stressful. I've always thought my personality never quite meshed with the up and down.
But, in reality, I thought knowing how to deal with that would help me through the ups and downs of grieving.
The counselor also said, "Christy, you have the ability to deal with more emotions than the average person."
I'm not sure what that means. I should have asked. Is that good or bad?
Thursday my friend K was here. We had a great time, as always. It kept me busy; kept my mind off things. Right before bed, I thought I'd just check the internet (read my blogs, check my e-mail, check facebook.). Scrolling down, and WHAM out of nowhere-another teacher from my school-his status, "Just heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time."
20 million congratulations followed.
I write something like, "Having a hard time-missing the babies" or something along those lines, and it's the same, faithful ones who comment. The same, amazing friends that I have that are checking up on me. Other people keep scrolling. Keep ignoring. Would I be the same way?
I know it's uncomfortable. People have de-friended me, probably because it makes them uncomfortable. But it is life. I have to deal with it. I have to get it out, and it's not a public thing, people hide this. But it's real, and no, I don't want to scare you. I don't want pregnant people to read this and think it will happen to them. Don't worry-it's probably just me-I'm the unlucky one, right?
Either way, I read this status and had a total breakdown. Haven't had one like that in weeks-with me sobbing uncontrollably until my head is pounding, my contacts rip, I'm soaked and snotty and wishing I weighed a lot less so someone could pick me up and hold me like I was a baby. Triggers. Guilt. Anger. Sadness. Uncontrollable.

I was in a shop this weekend, and I greeted the woman as I walked in. Behind me, a lady with a double stroller. "What a beautiful family!" she said.
"Oh, thank you. They're a handful, that's for sure."
"Are they twins?" she asked.
I braced myself.
"Yep. A boy and a girl. They are a year and a half."
I braced myself again, this time for tears.
None came.
I left, without thinking, without crying, without screaming. I told Brian. "Oh," he said, moving on to the next shop.
Yep, I guess that's right. "Oh."
Ups and downs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I went to "work" today for the first time. The leadership team at my school had a meeting with our new associate principal. The second I heard about it I know 1) I wanted to go, and 2) I was nervous about it. So when I was talking to the counselor, I mentioned I had some anxiety about going back and seeing people for the first time. She, in her usual rational way, asked me, "What is the worst thing that could happen?" And not in the condescending, you're stupid to worry about this way, but in the way that she wanted me to talk it out.
I said that the worst thing would be people looking at me and judging me. Making an opinion for themselves how they think I am doing. Looking me over. Also, I was afraid of crying in front of everyone. And lastly, I was afraid no one would talk to me. She wanted me to come up with a plan, so I called a friend and asked if we could drive together. If I cried, I could leave. I could always just e-mail later and tell what happened. So, I decided to go.
Well, the meeting started out on a bad note.
Firstly, we got there first. So as people started to come in, they could see me, but I couldn't see them. They also, as I feared, weren't saying anything to me. It felt really tense to me....I don't know if it felt like that to others. They were talking to each was your summer, blahblahblah. My cheeks got red and I got so nervous. I wanted to run away. I could feel my stress building. I looked at every piece of paper around me. Thinking back, I bet my body language actually told people, "STAY AWAY!" I wasn't looking up, I probably looked like pretty cranky and nervous.
Then.....we had to go around and tell about our summers and something wonderful that is happening.
I am so jaded. I almost laughed. Wonderful? What wonderful thing could be happening? Everyone went around talking about...their kids. Their new babies. Their grandkids. There are so many people in my school that are pregnant or have just had kids. When it got around to a girl who is about 7 months pregnant, she didn't even mention it. That was for me. She was thinking of me and feeling guilty.
I hate that :(
BUT I kept thinking...what am I going to say? What if cry?
That is awful. I have an amazing, loving husband. We spend all day together and we love it. We ride bikes, take walks, work out, watch Big Brother :), surf the net, read books in bed, talk about if we sell our house, how much we miss the babies, how different it would be now, how much we love each other. That is wonderful. We are going to Las Vegas to say F you to our due date and celebrate our 3rd anniversary together.
I have wonderful friends who love me and support me even if I'm being annoying, or weepy, or complaining, or getting angry over nothing.
So what if I cry!?
But all I could spit out, besides my tears was, "Um...we're going to Vegas?" Everyone laughed. And I really looked at them. And all of the sudden it was ok. Someone said, "We are so glad you're back; we missed you." And they said it with sincerity. Everyone agreed and nodded and smiled and gave me looks not of pity, but of understanding and sympathy. I felt so much better that the tension had been broken and that I had started out with a small group. For as much as I complain sometimes about some of the nasty colleagues I have, some of them are so amazing.
After the meeting, a colleague had a long talk with me. She said some of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. She said that she really felt my absence; that I was a vibrant part of the staff and it was noticeable when I was gone. She told me that the kids cried when they heard about the babies; they love me and I touch them and they were sad for me. This made me just shrivel up into tears. I do love my job. I love the kids and they mean more to me than just a "job." She told me she had a lot of trouble on the way to having her children, and I never, ever would have known or guessed. You never know. We don't talk about it.
Well, this is getting long. But I'm glad that the thought of going back seemed to be worse than actually doing it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moving On

The whole concept of "moving on" blows my mind. I'm not sure how you move on. I'm not sure what actually constitutes moving on. I mean, when I have another baby, will that just mean I'm past it? Over the sadness?
I read a lot of blogs-probably too many. Most of the time, they help. They really help. They distract me, they help me understand that I'm not the only one going through this and that I will survive this. However, sometimes they make me feel guilty. They make me feel like I'm not sad enough. Or that I'm feeling the wrong things.
I guess what bugs me is this...when I'm feeling my worst, people (not a part of this community, but irl) think it's time for me to move on (and again, can you move on from this? I'm not sure). When I'm feeling ok, people think that I've moved on and that I'm just totally fine. If she's smiling, and laughing, she must be ok, right?
Having another baby, while I dream of this and hope for it, isn't necessarily going to happen. I'm going to try, and trust my body and the doctors, and God, and hope with all my might that a pregnancy will lead to a living baby. But even if that does happen, it will never change the fact that my twins are gone. My chance at that family is gone. I'm lucky that I have Brian for my family. I know that no matter what, we are committed to having children to raise, whether naturally or through adoption.
This hope strings me along. It helps me get through the day. But then there are times when it all hits me at once. They are gone. Gone. Not to come back. This fact, although defeating, is at the same time helpful. Because I know I can't do anything about it, because I know it's done, it helps me to move past. I think. But what is moving past?
Each person's grief journey is their own. There are a lot of things I know, and many more that I don't. I should know by now that nothing in life is the same for anyone.

Along the topic of "moving on" or whatever you'd like to call it, I started on the met.formin. It has some nasty side effects. I have the extended release version, and I'm only on one pill a day to start with, but it gives me bad stomach aches and a slight headache. I also called today and made an appointment with my high-risk doctor for the end of August. I want to meet with him before we go back to school to talk about the plan for my next pregnancy (assuming there is one-hoping there is one) and make sure we're on the same page. I'm really, really, really hoping this drug regulates my period so that I don't have to take the clo.mid.

I've been really productive the last few days-and very healthy. I looked into acu.puncture and I might try it...just for some natural ways of healing. I'm still on the fence :) This probably seems like no big deal to people who are thin and fit, but b and I have been doing a training program for running. The whole idea is that you run/walk. We started by running 60 sec and walking 60 sec for 25 minutes. It sucked!!!!! I'm a terrible runner and I'm wayyyy out shape, topped with bedrest and pregnancy and grief. Today, I am proud to say, I ran 3 minutes/walked 3 minutes for 25 minutes!!! When it gets rough, I think of the babies-I use my emotions to push me through. By the end of this training, our goal is to run a 5K together. Lofty goal, but it gives me something to work for!

Love to you all!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A poem

Our Mom is a survivor,
Or so We've heard it said. But We can hear her crying
When all others are in bed. We watch her lay awake at night
And go to hold her hand. She doesn't know We are with her
To help her understand. But like the sands upon the beach
That never wash away... We watch over our surviving Mom,
Who thinks of Us each day. She wears a smile for others...
A smile of disguise. But through heaven's open door
We see tears flowing from her eyes. Our Mom tries to cope with our death
To keep our memory alive. But anyone who knows her, Knows it's her way to survive.
As We watch over our surviving Mom Through heaven's open door... We try to tell her
Angels protect us forevermore We know that doesn't help her... Or ease the burden she bares.
So if you get a chance, talk to her... And show her that you care.
For no matter what she says... No matter what she feels.
Our surviving Mom has a broken heart
That time won't ever heal

unknown author

Me 2 days before my water broke, 2 weeks before my babies went to Heaven:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Well, we have a "plan."

So, I write the word plan and have that crazy person laugh in my head-because, really-I'm such a planner, and let's be honest-plans don't really seem to work out EVER the way you want them to. There's a quote that says, "When you're out making plans, life happens." Yep, pretty much.
That said, I have to take control over what I can, so!
I went to see Nancy this morning. She was great. She, SHOCKINGLY, read my CHART before she came in! So she actually knew that since I had seen her last I had lost twins. It's just amazing what reading someone's info can do. So I didn't even have to tell the story and get all weepy, which was fantastic. She still said she was sorry, asked their names, talked about it a little.
I told her that I had decided not to take the birth control that had been prescribed to me-she said that was a great idea. I said that we are not going to start trying until October-that's what the peri told me, and that's what we'll do. I don't want to take even the slightest increase in risk for miscarriage. I asked her my two main questions: am I a candidate for metformin, and could I take clomid but then have a vag. ultrasound to make sure that it's not twins.
So, we discussed pcos a little more. She feels very hopeful that the clomid worked at the lowest dosage the first time around. However, that also helped me to conceive twins.
So, here's the plan.
1. Begin metformin now to see what it does to my cycles. I can use the time between now and October to see if it will help me regulate them at all. I've had two menses since I gave birth-one 6 weeks postpartum, and one 45 days after that.
2. In October, if metformin has been working to give me a cycle of 35 days or less, I give up the condoms, start ttc and using opks.
If metformin, hasn't been doing anything, I will try clomid. We'll start out, actually, with 25 mg of clomid, which is half a tablet. Then I will have to go to the fertility clinic to have a vaginal ultrasound to see how many follicles I have, and what their quality is. The sucky thing about this is that insurance doesn't cover anything in the fertility route. We'll have to see if there's some other reason to have that ultrasound.
When (if) I get a BFP, they'll test my progesterone levels to make sure they are ok (they were great the first time, at least) and then transfer me to the peri.
3. I am going to make an appt with my high risk doctor for before school starts to have a pap, a checkup, and really discuss what the plan for my next pregnancy will be. I want to discuss extra vitamin c and e (to help strengthen the membrane), cranberry and probiotics to ward off infection, biweekly cervical checks, and the possibility of p17 shots.

So, basically, we have a plan. I'm glad to take the metformin-if it were to work to regulate my cycles I'd be deliriously happy because there is not an increased risk of multiples with it. However, I am not putting my money on it, simply because I seem to have terrible luck and be on the wrong side of statistics.

It feels good to have a plan, to at least know what we are going to do. But trying to believe that there will be a living child, a baby at the end of this doesn't seem possible in any part. Yesterday was exactly 3 months since the babies died and it still just seems so surreal. I have been moping around. Making myself do the things I love to do, like bike riding. I've been crying a little more. I've been sad and down. I'm overwhelmed with all the work I have to do to get ready for the next school year and I have a lot of anxiety about returning.

I'm scared.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


So, Tuesday I have an appointment with Nancy, the, well, what is she? A nurse practitioner? Anyway, she is the lady from the women's center (the step before visiting the actual fertility clinic) who gave me the clomid that helped to conceive the twins and diagnosed me with pcos. I made it on a whim a few weeks ago, my reasoning being that we can start trying again in October and I wanted to have as many facts gathered before then. Also, if I need to see an RE I want to know now so I can get an appt. I want to find out a few things-my main question being is there any way to take clomid and be sure that I will not conceive multiples-i.e. take the clomid but before beginning timed intercourse make sure that there is only one...I don't know, follicle? Is that even a word? Obviously I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM EVEN TALKING ABOUT.
Tonight, I decided it would be a GREAT idea to do a little more research on pprom, premature rupture of membranes. I've seen everything there is out there to see already. This is just not great. I am scared out of my mind.
How do you do it?
How do you take the risk?
I know the outcome is so worth the risk, but seriously-the thought-even the passing thought- of losing another child is crippling. It bends me in half. Of course it does.
Every article says "The rate of recurrence of pprom is 21-32%." WHAT?
They all say, "We basically have NO CLUE as researches and scientists and doctors what even really causes pprom---we tell a lot of people it's a fluke. Others we tell it will definitely happen again. Some people we give a cerclage. Others p17 shots. We'll watch your cervix, only it probably wasn't the problem. One thing you can do is not smoke while you're pregnant."
Um, ok. Check. Got that one covered.
This is so maddening.
I was pregnant with twins-a multiple pregnancy causes your uterus to be gigantic early on, so it can cause your membrane to rupture early.
I had a horrible infection-the one that almost killed me and killed both of the babies-but no one can tell me if that infection caused my water to break, or if staying pregnant for 2 weeks after my water broke is what brought on the infection.
Can that infection happen again? Who knows! My doc says that it's a rare thing to happen, and since I had the infection, there's an even less of a chance. I don't know if what I just typed is a real sentence.
I am terrified to have twins again.
All I want in the world is to have twins again.
I need to make sure I don't have twins again.
Is there a way I can make sure that it is twins again?

How do you do this? Seriously?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So, the grief counselor decided to try something called EMDR with me. It stands for eye movement desensitization and processing. It sounds really strange, but it's actually not. They use it to treat a lot of different things, but in my case they are using it to help me process the trauma of the moment when my water broke and watching each of the babies die-probably having to tell them they could take off life support, too.
Anyway, we had our first session and it was an hour and a half long and it totally wiped me out.
So, how it goes is this. She has me start in the first moment that gives me despair or fear or sadness. For me, this is turning on my right side and hearing the "POP!" of my water breaking. I remember the ride to the hospital, knowing it was over and hearing B say over and over "It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok."
So, each night when I go to bed, I lie down and wham-I replay that moment and it's like I'm living it all over again-EMDR is supposed to give me strategies and resources to teach my mind/brain to know that that moment is over-it's in the past-it's NOT happening now and that it's only a memory.
Ok, getting back to what she does. I have to start in the worst part, bring up that fear/terror/whatever emotion, and then when I'm in the thick of it, she does a series of hand movements that I have to follow with my eyes. She does it until I "calm" down and then she would ask the question, "Where are you now?"
So, I have to tell her the next thing in the series of events that brings me one of those bad emotions. This was the hardest hour and a half I've had in a while because I'm talking/storytelling, giving details. There were a few points that I was crying so hard I was close to throwing up. I had to immediately throw out my contacts when I got home! A few times, also, she had to stop and say, "Christy-you are safe now. This is the past, it's not happening now."
I know that anyone who has ever been through a trauma knows exactly what this is like-something triggers you and it is literally like you are right back there in the moment. And not like, oh, I remember where I was sitting when I found out Princess Diana died (unless she is your mother or something) but you forget the present and go directly to the past like you are reliving it.
Unfortunately, my traumatic event happened at home and so my trigger is every single night when I go to bed.
This all sounds a little hokey when I write it, but I'm really hoping this works-she said that after I start this, my brain is going to start working on processing all of these events as memories so that it can file them away. One way is through dreams, so she said I could have some very strange ones or some very scary ones. So far, I haven't remembered any of them, but I know that I have been having them. We'll see!

An update

This will be a post full of randomness!

I have two best friends, K1 and K2. K1 is in Ethiopia right now picking up her adopted son after a 5 year long fight with infertility and the adoption process. K2 has been trying for 14 months to get pregnant, finally found out she was on Sunday, and miscarried today. I don't understand. I will never, ever understand. I read these blogs and NONE of us deserve this. I am so happy for K1 to finally get her son and I'm so excited to meet him-but at the same time, she will forever and always be sad that she cannot be pregnant.

I went out with a bunch of work friends that I hadn't seen since my water broke. It was strange, but ok. No one brought up the babies, of course, so I did. It was also really sad because one of my colleagues has brain cancer. They just found the second tumor and she's on her third round of chemo/radiation. She is barely recognizable and hard to follow in conversation because she can't recall the words that she needs and sometimes will blurt out things that don't fit in the conversation. With all of that horror, she is in GREAT spirits and just all around amazing. She belly laughed a few times throughout the night. She joked about her bald head. I don't know her too well, but I can tell that she is a fighter. She's in my prayers.

I am starting to get this really strong urge to try again. My doctor told me to wait 6 months. I know I should listen, but it seems like every doctor gives a different amount of time.

I had my first counseling session using EMDR. This needs its own post.

In the meantime, here is the stone we ordered from a nearby garden/nursery place with a gift certificate from some of my friends. I am SO happy with how it turned out:

And here is a beautiful handkerchief I got in the mail from the lovely Deborah over at

She'd really like to help out all of the wonderful ladies that have to deal with some of the worst things imaginable, so head on over and check her out.

I also just want to say hi and thank you to all the ladies that read this blog-it helps me beyond belief when I pound out an awful post, or a "happy" one at that, and within a few minutes sometimes I have comments. Knowing that I have support even from people that have never met me is so amazing.

Love to you all!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I don't know anymore

I am a different person.
I'm snappy.
I'm bitter.
I'm sad.
I hate it.
I see glimmers of what used to be-the joy I used to feel with the simplicity of life. When I was home visiting my mom, Brian and I were coming home one night, late. I grew up where it's basically all still farmland-it smells like home, it looks like home. Heck, it sounds like home. My mom and I were driving, 65 mph down a country road, with the windows down, singing along to Oldies at the top of our lungs. I let the air swirl around me, my hair whipping me in the face and gathering into little snarly knots. I knew all the words. My mom doesn't really, but sings along anyway, saying the wrong words when she doesn't know, and grinning when she does. I felt like a kid-carefree.
It never lasts, though.
Today I was mowing the lawn at my mother-in-laws. She has a huge lawn. I was on a riding mower, listening to my ipod, feeling the sun warm every inch of my skin. I sang at the top of my lungs to songs that inspire me; that make me feel. A moment of peace.
But I always return.
To that place where my babies are dead. To that place where I am NOT a mom. To where I talk to my dog as if he were my kid. Where I can't concentrate on anything. Where I snap. Where I cry. Where I feel like I am ruined, that nothing will be right again.
Listen, I know it could be worse. I could have paid 20 grand for fertility treatment and had this happen. I could be 41 years old and this was my only chance at children. I could lose my child to something different after they had lived.
But as much as I rationalize with this, I can't change the agony that I feel. The hell that I live in every day.
I went into school this week. It was terrible. My room was a disaster. There was baby stuff everywhere. It was just a reminder of who I was. Who I used to be.
Seeing everyone from back home was weird. When you don't see people often, it's like I just wanted to talk about the babies. I have one amazing friend, who brought it up right away. I'm so thankful for this. Everyone else ignored it. Pretended it didn't happen to varying degrees. I suppose I don't know what I would do. But I go from wanting to talk non=stop about them to not wanting to talk about them at all.
I just sold the last piece of baby furniture. It's all gone now. All gone.
I swear, there is evidence that this happened. But sometimes it doesn't feel real. Sometimes it feels like a dream that I had. I was never pregnant. I never heard those two heartbeats inside of me. I never laid in bed, Brian rubbing one baby and me the other, trying desperately to do anything to keep them inside of me for even just a little longer.
I don't know anymore.
I just don't know much of anything, it seems.