Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today, we had to go to the mall.
I hate the mall. Especially on a Saturday. Everyone is out shopping, pushing their strollers-grandmas buying gifts for their grandbabies, mothers and daughters sharing lunch and buying new clothes, fathers and sons looking at video games or trying to buy a birthday present for mom.
It hits me hard. I have a great relationship with my mom. I live a few hours away from her now, but I have so many fond memories of Saturdays at the mall with her. People watching, bargain hunting, talking about our weeks. Sometimes seeing a movie or sharing a milkshake.
Walking past the stores that are dedicated to small children's clothes-there is a store that before I was pregnant I would complain about. How can people spend that much money on clothes that their babies are just going to throw up on?
Now, I would give anything to spend my money in there.
I think about what it would be like to spend the day at the mall pushing a double stroller. Buying little boy and little girl clothes. Perhaps my mom coming to visit to go with us.
How silly to just get so caught up in a day at the mall?
I don't even like the mall.
How silly it is to dream about something that will NEVER happen. Because they are gone. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget that there is only one baby inside of me right now. It's like weirdo deja vu-I was pregnant at the same time of year, exactly one year ago. Sometimes I wonder if I could close my eyes and pretend like the last year never happened. Perhaps it was all a dream? At the doctor yesterday, the nurse came in, one who clearly doesn't read charts and said, "So are you having two boys or two girls?"
I said, "It's just one girl."
She laughed. "Oh. I've had three patients with twins in a row, I get them all mixed up."


I said, "I am here because my twins died."
I admit that I said that to be mean. Because I wanted for her to feel the burning that I was feeling. I am not proud of that.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing nothing right.

But still I dream. I dream when I'm at the mall. And I am trying so hard to be positive. I am so unbelievably thankful right now-I feel like I'm in a dreamworld. I wish I could fast forward time. I'm keeping hope. I'm letting myself dream. Even when it hurts.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I saw the psychologist again yesterday. I had three essentially sleepless nights in a row-I was so exhausted I couldn't keep my eyes open at work and yet the second I got into bed, I was wide awake with worry.
We talked a lot about ptsd and what the triggers do to us. She wants me to work on spending time in my bedroom (which I hate!) doing things besides sleeping so I can kind of desensitize myself to it. After we got back from the hospital, I repainted my room, got all new bedding, turned the bed the opposite way, did all sorts of things to change the way it looks. But it doesn't help. It's just the way it is.
But the thing about it is, the bed didn't make my water break. The bed didn't kill my babies or make them come out prematurely. So why do I hate my bed?
Just one of those things, I guess.
She told me about this study that I found interesting.
They took two groups of people that had a strong fear of heights. They told the first group to climb up (I think a ladder? something like that) and once they got far enough up that they got scared, they could come back down, get their money, and go home. The next group they told to climb up until they got scared-but they had to stay there for 20 minutes before they could come back down in order to get paid.
So, the next day, they did the same thing again with the same group. The first group actually went lower this day-because they knew if they went higher they'd get scared. The second group went HIGHer, because they had stayed there for 20 minutes and learned that nothing bad happened, so they thought they'd go higher.
I found this pretty interesting, but I already know logically that it's not my bed that's bad-I just am afraid of it.

Anyway, she asked me a few questions and then commented on something-that I say the word "should" a lot. We talked about this extensively, and as I thought about it, I realized that I read this word a lot here.
I should be a better....
I should be over my anger
I should be able to move on
I should be able to do....
I should be able to go...

She talked about how" should" places high expectations on ourself that are often realistic. That just using that word (or honestly, having that word said to us, because I experience this a lot) sets us up for some sort of failure. Once we perceived that we've failed, we begin to feel guilty. And the cycle starts all over again.

I'm going to try to work on this. She said that some days, all I'm going to be able to accomplish is to just "be." If I don't get everything else done, oh, well! I know this is easy for me to say because I don't have any living children, but I know there are things I can do.

I'm going to try to focus on what is the best for me and for this little girl. And even in that, just because I think I "should"

Should is something I think about all the time. Something I say to myself even more. But tonight I think I'm going to just "be."

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today, I am 20 weeks pregnant.
It's getting into this really, really, really scary zone.
I was 21.3 when my water broke around baby A (my daughter).
I think about a week before that, I saw a part of my mucous plug but had no idea what it was.

20 weeks is a milestone, though, right? At 20 weeks I can go straight to labor and delivery and bypass the emergency room if I have questions or if I'm scared or whatever, and I like that. I HATE the emergency room (and I know you all love it, right? I know I'm not alone here). I guess if something happened today, it would no longer be called a "miscarriage." I don't know if that's really important, but it seems significant to me, like I've passed some hurdle or something. (I am not at all trying to diminish the pain of a miscarriage-and honestly I think 20 weeks is kind of a joke for that "limit" but, -ugh, it's so hard to write anything without worrying that I'm hurting someone reading this-please ignore me if I am).

I've become sort of superstitious. I won't wear any clothes I wore when I was pregnant with the twins. All my maternity clothes are kept in a bin that I need only put the lid on and store away somewhere.

We have repainted our bedroom, moved the bed, and taken the clock off the wall (so I can never look up and see 9:40). We have new sheets and new blankets and new pillows. I won't use my $100 pregnancy pillow, no matter how badly my hips hurt.

I won't keep any to-do lists. Won't doodle this baby's name anywhere (although right now she is going by an acronym, ACC, for the 3 names we are still choosing between). Certainly I'm not signing up for any baby things or making any registries.

At school I have one week's worth of "emergency" lesson plans done. I've printed a list of my schedule, my students, how to log-in to all the important computer programs. I've contacted the nice woman who covered for me during last year's emergency, and she is "praying for me" but definitely on call should we need her again.

I've packed a bag. It has a camera, a baby blanket, some toiletries, a change of clothes, and important phone numbers and a calling card.

It's what I assume it's like to prepare for a hurricane. One that you know has an uncertain path-it could come right through your town, so you'd better be ready-but it could take a completely different path and miss you altogether.

I saw a psychologist who specializes in my kind of issues on Friday. She was very nice and I think she'll be helpful. She diagnosed me with ptsd, which I was not at all surprised about. She wants to see me very frequently over the next few weeks. At the end of the appointment, she asked, "What do you think you'll feel like once you get to 25, maybe 26 weeks?"

I didn't know what to say. I don't know. Grateful? Relieved? Still terrified? And how does she know I will get there?

I'm not sure I like being asked to speculate about this! It's like saying aloud to someone that I'm feeling rather good physically lately (KNOCK ON WOOD). I feel as though I'm going to get jinxed.

Crossing my fingers and toes and all the rest (my eyes, too, maybe?). Hunkering down for these next few weeks. Fighting the demons and hoping against hope that this baby can survive. That we might have a baby girl to bring home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So, I teach middle schoolers (11-14 year olds here). I am often asked why in the world I would do that, and if I'm honest, sometimes I do wonder! But, really, I do it because I understand them. I "get" them, if you will. I loved school when I was a kid-I came from a middle class family, had lots of friends, and got really good grades. Of course I loved school.

But my least favorite was definitely middle school. We judge each other, we are horribly cruel, our bodies are changing in all sorts of ways, not to mention (ahem) hormones. And I can pick out the kids (which is not to imply I have any sort of talent-when you see them everyday, you know!) who are struggling. And it breaks my heart. If I had any wish, I would sit them down and be like that story the Christmas Carol but only show them the future-and how if they don't want to let it, middle school can mean NOTHING to them! The friends they have now will probably not be the friends they have later on. Who you are in school doesn't HAVE to define who you are in the future. There are those stereotypes out there-you know-the dorky guy who had acne and glasses and no friends is now Bill Gates, a trillionaire or whatever. What is happening now does NOT need to define you (um, unless you work in a public school, because I think sometimes I feel like I still am in middle school).

I teach French (very beginning) but sometimes I come across a teachable moment. Today some of my 8th graders (13/14 yr olds) came in and they were very riled up. Something had happened and I wasn't sure what, but as the story unfolded we started to have a really good discussion. Now, you might say I'm a bad teacher because we didn't progress at all on conjugating -er verbs, but I disagree because life is so much a part of learning, and I might argue-life is more important to learn about than curriculum!

Anyway, we went down the path of comparing yourself to others. How dangerous that could be. The kids were asking really good, thoughtful questions and while I was pleased that they trusted me, I was nervous I'd give them the wrong advice.
Because in the middle of it, I realize I am doing EXACTLY what I'm advising them not to do. And it's dangerous. And bad.

Reading these blogs has been so good for me. But I think part of my anxiety right now is because I think of my story and I compare my situation to other bloggers and their journey and what *their* doctors do and how they are treated.

Because I am not getting a cerclage, but others are-I worry. Because this person lost twins and then had a perfect singleton, I think-that could be me! Because I read a blog where they've lost two seperate pregnancies, I worry-that could be me. I am constantly reading and trying to find someone exactly like me and that way I will know what will happen.

I compare my grief to others.
What if I don't dream about my babies, and others do?
What if they write amazing poetry and can see the beautiful side of things, and I can't?
What if I'm still jealous and angry, and they are not?

What if?

Haven't I learned by now that we are all different? That you could take someone who lost boy/girl twins at 23.3 weeks, just like me, and we could have TOTALLY different experiences.

But I let it make me feel bad. Or guilty. I'm not feeling enough. Or too much.

This comparing and contrasting is making me a crazy person, I think. I've got to learn to read stories and support people without comparing them to me. How they feel is so totally different. It's about so many different things. I can't let this get me down, or I won't be able to continue blogging. And I rely so much on this support.

What do you think? Do you compare yourself, too?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ok, a double post kind of day.

I am miserable. And so happy. And terrified. And so full of hope.
Today is ten months since Sophie and Aiden were born.
Also, yesterday I found out I am having a girl. A beautiful, squirmy, right on size, girl. I got to see her moving all around during the ultrasound, dodging the techns pictures, yawning and stretching out her legs. The u/s went really well. She weights 10 oz. and is in the 40th percentile. My cervix was 4.15, which is great. It was long and closed, no funneling. I"ll have it checked in 2 weeks again. My doctor was very happy (and in a great mood) and one of the nurses we knew from the twins' birth saw us come in and asked to see us, and she was so kind. She gave me her card and said her phone is always on and that I can call her whenever I want and anytime I want to come in just to hear hearttones or whatever, she can do it.

But after the u/s was over, I didn't necessarily feel better. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this, because I had an absolutely just as perfect ultrasound with Aiden and Sophie. I was just going along, thinking everything was great, and WHAM. Infection is creepy like that. I had no clue whatsoever that I even had one. So reassuring news is somehow not that reassuring.

After the ultrasound, we drove home to my mom's house because B had a meeting in Milwaukee to go to. My mom was so excited, which I am glad about. I could feel hope seeping back into my heart.
And it scares the COMPLETE crap out of me. This hope scares me. It's almost like I don't want it. We went to Target today. I loathe Target. I haven't been able to walk past the baby section without wanting to hurl someone through a window since last March. But when I walked by, I was drawn in. Now, the plan was to buy an outfit for new baby. Which I did (well, my mom did). I picked out a dress, some hairbows, and a blanket. I only did it today because I was with my mom, who lives 3.5 hours from me.
And I wanted to keep looking. I wanted to put every little girly thing in my cart.
Just like that, these dreams popped into my head. Dreams of a little girl and barbies and outfits and taking her shopping and out to lunch and I lost myself for a moment.
And then I came crashing back down.
How dare I hope for this?
I am only 19 weeks pregnant. I have a looooooooooooong road to a healthy baby.
What was I thinking?
How did my brain let these dreams back in? I've done all I can to suppress them.
And back they came.
I feel like such a cheat. Like such a horrible mother to the twins. Today is THEIR day, and I spent it dreaming about this new baby and buying baby clothes.
This is freaking impossible.

Ten Months

I know I need to update you on yesterday-but I can't seem to do it because, you see-today is ten months since Sophie and Aiden were born.
At this exact time (6:45 am) I was on my way to the hospital hoping that it was somehow just gas, that I wasn't going into labor, that the infection wasn't spreading and that my body wasn't actually TRYING to push my babies out before they were ready.
I was not lucky. I got there and hooked up and I was definitely contracting. The whole two weeks after my water broke, the doctor had said we could try to give birth to Sophie and then hunker down and try to keep Aiden in longer since his water sack was still in tact.
Now he was saying no. That the infection would kill me and he had to come to. No choice.
But then I had choices.
C-Section? Vaginal birth?
I didn't seem to care. Only I did. Because choices then would affect subsequent pregnancies.

I look back sometimes and it seems just like a dream. Like I wasn't even there.

I was so ready for the ultrasound yesterday. I had myself geared up. Ready to do it.

Then I laid on the table and the first questions out of the ultrasound tech's mouth was, "Is this your first pregnancy?"

And then my mind started racing. And Sophie and Aiden were right in that room with me. And as she continued on with the seemingly relentless questions, "What do you have at home?"

What do you think she'd have done had I said, "Two urns."?

Anyway, I digress.

Sophie and Aiden were there with me. I could feel it.

I miss them. I don't know how to miss them the right way, I don't think, but I miss them. I really find it hard to believe that we have survived 10 months without them. I know time will continue to march on. But sometimes it's hard to believe.

I promise I will give you an update about the appointment, but just know everything went well, and c'est une fille!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Remembering...and hoping...

Tomorrow is our anatomy scan. I can't help but be worried, yet hopeful-look forward, but look back.
It was almost exactly a year ago when we had the anatomy scan with Sophie and Aiden. It was on a Friday afternoon, it will be in the same place with probably the same ultrasound tech.
Brian and I left school at lunch and grabbed lunch on the way to the hospital. I was so excited I couldn't eat! We got there and I remember sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called back, both of trying to decide what the genders would be! Brian swore it was a boy and girl, but I wasn't so sure. I remember calling a friend and telling her I was nervous.

I will never forget the first time they came up on the screen. I looked at Brian and his mouth was literally hanging open-he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Watching the babies move and wiggle and suck thumbs and wave...I am pretty sure this was close to the happiest moment in my life. The look on Brian's face was almost better to watch than the screen (but not quite :). We got a ton of pictures.

I remember a very strange feeling when she told me that she couldn't give me a DVD because for some reason it hadn't worked. She gave me a quick 3 minute one and got that DVD to work, too. When we got home they were both blank. I remember feeling very strange about that.

Immediately after the appointment, we were on such a high and we decided to on a whim go and buy the minivan we had been looking at. We'd surely need it! We went, bought the van, and drove to my mother-in-laws to show it off and show her the new pictures. When we got home, we ordered two cribs, two dressers, and two gliders (one for each of us, of course!).

The very next weekend my mom came and I showed her the van and we went to make the babies' registry. Just me and my mom.

That wednesday, my mucous plug came out, even though I didn't realize that at the time, and then that Sunday night my water broke after no symptoms or contractions.

Tomorrow we decided to take the whole day off-so that it won't feel quite the same. We won't be going out to lunch. We won't be buying anything at all like a minivan. I've decided that if we are able to find out the gender, we will definitely pick a name and I want to buy a blanket and one outfir for the baby. I want the baby to have something of its own, for sure.

Tomorrow @ 1:40. Here's to hoping.

And remembering, too. I miss you, Sophie and Aiden.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Rollercoaster

So, Thursday I called the nurse at my doctor's office and cried hysterically into the phone. She listened, and was very kind, and when I told her that I wanted to be seen earlier but that my doctor was "booked solid" she said, "Well, didn't the receptionist offer you to see a midwife or another doctor in the meantime, just to have a checkup and listen to hearttones?"
Well, no. No, she did not!
So...she hooked me up with a different doctor, a colleague of my docs. For the next day! So yesterday, I went, feeling nervous. My blood pressure was down from last time (when I sit in the room-it skyrockets-and this was a dift room) and she was SOOOOOO nice. She was opposite my doctor in the way that she kept reassuring me that I was normal. That this was normal for me to be scared and that if 5 weeks was WAY too long for me, then I should be seen anytime. Anytime. I think I knew this, but hearing it made me feel so much better. She said I could see her in the middle of appointments anytime I want.
She listened to all my questions and gave me lots of good answers.
I got really nervous when she got the doppler out, but literally-she set it on my belly and there it was. 156 :) She didn't even have to move the doppler, which was really great for me.
She also had me make two more appointments with my doctor-two weeks after each other-so that I already know that my appointments are set up closer together.
She was amazing. And while I still feel anxious, that crippling anxiety seems to be (at least temporarily) gone.
She also referred me to someone in behavioral psychology that has a speciality in pregnancy after loss. I have to call on Monday to see if insurance will cover at least part of it. I hope it will. I've been talking to a lady who is a family counselor, but I think I would benefit from someone with more of a specialty.
I loved hearing that little baby's heartbeat. It did so much for me. Believe it or not, it was the first time I got to hear it. I have had two super quick ultrasounds and got to see the little heart beating, but never got to hear it. It is such a beautiful sound.
It did bring me back to listening to the heartbeats with Aiden and Sophie. After my water broke, and I was in the hospital, they would listen to the heartbeats every shift change for those weeks. For some reason, I was never worried that I wouldn't hear the heartbeat at that point. I should have been. Sophie had no fluid. But I never worried, and I loved hearing it. It got to the point where I could use the doppler better than the nurses to find where they were. Aiden would hide and move and kick and squirm around.
Anyway, this appointment was really good for me. Next Friday is my anatomy ultrasound. We are going to find out the gender. I am nervous for it, but mostly nervous for my cervical measurement to see if everything is going ok in there.
Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post. I rely so heavily on this space and your comments and reassurance and honestly, I usually feel so much better once I pound it out and hear your voices telling me, "We're here, Christy! No matter what!" I hate so much to post about this because I know some of my friends are struggling to get pregnant, but you are all so amazing and you make me feel ok about it.
Loving you all!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Are you irritated without reason?

Anxiety \Anx*i"e*ty\, n.; pl. Anxieties. [L. anxietas, fr. anxius: cf. F. anxi['e]t['e]. See Anxious.]

1. Concern or solicitude respecting some thing or event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind, and keeps it in a state of painful uneasiness. [1913 Webster]

2. Eager desire. --J. D. Forbes [1913 Webster]

3. (Med.) A state of restlessness and agitation, often with general indisposition and a distressing sense of oppression at the epigastrium. --Dunglison. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Care; solicitude; foreboding; uneasiness; perplexity; disquietude; disquiet; trouble; apprehension; restlessness. See Care. [1913 Webster]

Couldn't have said it better myself.
The days for me are fine. I am busy (especially busy with work, which is more like an annoyance) and I don't think about it much. Well, except every time I go to the bathroom. Or look at a calendar. But otherwise I'm good.
It's at night when the fear creeps in. Will tonight be the night? Will today be the last day that I was blessed to be pregnant?
I am fighting this. I want to fight it.
My counselor told me that grief can cloud over your true intuition.
So these little tiny pregnancy symptoms that I'm having, are they intuition? Or me just being an anxious freak?

Twice now I've had myself ready to go to the Emergency Room. Until I get ready to go and realize I don't have a thing to say to them when I get there. Um, I have a feeling I am having "silent contractions." Why? Because I read about it on google, that's why. Or that I think my cervix is secretly dialiting but I have no pressure or pain or increased discharge.
Because I know what can happen and I just want to be checked out? And why didn't I go to my normal doctor for that?

Well, because he is "booked solid."

Do I have to bypass the receptionist or something? Who do I call to pull some strings or something for me? And what do I say. I just want to be checked. I don't have an appointment until next Friday. It just honestly seems like a lifetime away for me.

I just want reassurance. I want that damn vagina wand to tell me that my cervix is fine. There was absolutely NO evidence that what happened last time was my cervix. Immediately after my water broke I went to the ER and my cervix was closed and hard and there was no funneling.

I hate this guessing game. I hate not knowing. I hate the fact that I want SO badly to know that I won't have to leave this baby in the morgue. Where I left two already.

I want this baby (of course). But I wish they were here. If they were here I wouldn't know this fear or this pain or this feeling that time is literally standing still.

I feel like a broken record. I can remember being a kid and the record would skip and we'd have to put a nickel on it. I wish I could do that. Skip right over the scratches. The scratches put there by me jumping around to Cyndi Lauper when I should have been upstairs doing my homework.

I have no original thoughts. I'm paralyzed with this. I'm stuck. In a rut, we'll say.

I'm sure you are all sick of reading this, too. Some of you might be saying, you should just count your blessings that you are pregnant right now.

I get it. I should. I wish I could shake this. I wish I had confidence that my body would work this time. That it will do what it is supposed to. That it won't let me down.

Im sorry. I'm sorry that this is the only thing I can say.

I called to tell the nurse that I wasn't able to sleep. That when i get into bed I am haunted by my water breaking. That I can't roll over without wondering if when I get there my water will burst.

She asked, "Are you irritated or angry without reason?"

Um. Don't ask my husband that.

"Are you having thoughts about hurting yourself or the fetus?"

Nice question, lady. The fetus? Why does that word make me want to scream at someone?

Irritated without reason much?

I just think-why do you think depression? I don't want to hurt myself. On the contrary, I want to transport me to a place where my body is perfect and will complete this pregnancy.

Anxeity is different than depression. It's just different.

I need to go relax. Nice, soft music. Lights off and a candle burning for Sophie and Aiden. Breathing and focusing and figuring this out rationally.