Thursday, April 30, 2015

My future bestseller's title

"Waiting For My Period"

Seriously, when you spend a significant portion of your life either a) pregnant or b) recovering from a D&C post-Asherman's Syndrome, waiting for your period takes on a life of its own.

Update:  Still waiting for my period.  Gah.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015


"Are you strong enough to try again?"

No kidding, I know I'm prone to drama, but for reals, Dr. K bored into my eyes with hers as she asked me. It was intense. My uterine lining appears to be bouncing back post D&C.  My cervix was swiped through easily with a pipelle (think long flexible Q-tip - ow) and we expect my period to come within the next ten days.  I clearly ovulated on my left side.

Yes, doc.  I think so.  I just need some luck on my side, and I will likely be pregnant again if my past fertility is any indication, right?

With that, I'm getting back on the horse.

Monday, April 20, 2015

low visibility

I write this likely typo-ridden post as I sit on an Amtrak train.  It is crazy early in the morning.

Celine was supposed to arrive today, and her estimated due date is being marked by my required attendance at a meeting in New York City. In my mind's eye I had imagined maybe planting a tree for her, a plan that would have been marred by the torrential downpours along the east coast. So instead I sit here and fiddle with the jewelry I bought as tokens of remembrance.

This morning, a little over two weeks after my D&C, I woke up to stabbing pains on my left ovary. The rains today are fitting. Driving to the train station in the dark this morning the streets were flooded and treacherous.  Everything outside is murky and washed out.

I think that what I want most right this morning -given that holding my baby girl in my arms isn't on the table- is an understanding.  Some clarity about my future. Will the remaining last gasp years of my fertility be marked by mourning and only mourning? Am I living some weird endless loop?

I am coming to terms with a future where Niblet is an only child. I am giving my best effort to bring Nibley to that understanding as well. A few days ago, in the best language I could conjure for a six year old, I asked her to understand that Mommy will likely never have another baby....but that together we could always wish for a miracle.

This conversation was prompted by another one of her plaintive cries for a baby sibling a few days ago and our talk, snuggled together on the sofa, wound it's way through appreciation of our existing lives, religion, and the existence of God(?)

This morning I woke up at 5am to make my train. Niblet -who usually sleeps like a log- was up with me hugging me and begging me not to go...Celine was not primary on my mind. Instead I had to calm Niblet and then concentrate on not getting washed away on the roads.

Is it too corny to say that these rains are like my tears?  Bear with my lack of cool poetry. All I can say is that the cloudy skies and rain do feel strangely fitting today.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Renewal?

So, um, I think I am ovulating again.  Trees are blooming (sneeze), the sun is starting to shine (walk) and I am fitting into more of my old pairs of work pants (walk some more).  And maybe - just maybe -  my body can bounce back to normal (whatever that is) with the natural rhythms of Spring.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

When a high-functioning introvert grieves

So I have been in many conversations the past few days with my husband, with my acupuncturist, with PBFAW... about what it's like to be someone who is naturally introverted to navigate the world around them when they are dealing with grief.

The past few days have been rough on me.  Celine's estimated due date is April 20th.  I just learned I have to work that day.  Needless to say, since this weekend I have been overwhelmed, snappish, and apparently speaking in some language that I thought was clear to my husband, but isn't. He appears to be baffled as to why I am falling apart at the seams.  Now, don't get me wrong, he's not some sort of clod, he absolutely knows what I have been through, since he's been there with me for the past three years. But he honestly hasn't internalized any of our losses, including Celine, as I have.  They are his "babies" not his babies.  He is without question, sad.  But he is truly at a loss I think for why I find myself struggling.  And why I would much rather crawl into bed with a trashy romance novel on my e-reader and stroke Princess, than be out and about amongst the many friends we have.

Part of the answer is that Husband, you see, is an extrovert.  He thrives off of the energy of people.  They are quite literally, his life source.  I see his energy wane and dull when he isn't out and about with a group of friends, listening to music, talking, laughing.  I am sure from past experience that part of his healing comes from being his extroverted self.

I am by contrast an introvert, but a really high-functioning one.  Maybe I've even fooled him all these years.  I can smile and laugh my way through parties.  Hell, when I'm not recovering from D&Cs I teach lively zumba classes.  I sometimes jokingly note that I can hold a conversation with a lamp post if it's required of me.  But large-scale social interaction has always been something I found exhausting, not to mention it creates a small degree of anxiety.  I would much prefer to sit with one good friend and talk over coffee for hours.  It sucks a lot of energy out of me to put a smile on my face and face groups of people, on a good day.

Many of my readers know how when you suffer a miscarriage, you are keenly aware of the "clock" that's set by the world around you.  No matter how often you pay lip-service to the fact that "grief isn't linear," grief is "on it's own clock" and "no one can put a time limit on your grief," well, the fact of the matter is that the world does put a timer on it.  As we enter into spring and summer, the months of cook-outs and house parties and pool parties.... the months when people emerge from winter hibernation.... I am keenly aware that the clock is running out on my quiet time. Hell, another baby was lost while I was already in active mourning over the one baby who I grew most attached to. Even those closest to me have moved on....This introvert will have to function in an extroverted world.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I realize that I have been completely MIA in the week following my D&C.  I wanted to let my readers know that I am actually doing relatively well and have been spending a great deal of time trying to fully process this latest chapter in my fertility history.

The day of the D&C, due to a series of logistical snafus with my own husband and family, I depended upon the help of my pregnant best friend at work (PBFAW).  All I can say is that the universe was really wonderful to put this woman in my path. 

Very few people in real life (IRL) have a clue as to what I struggle with on a daily basis.  Part of that cluelessness, I am sure, is that people carry their own silent struggles which could be as bad or worse than mine....Part of it may be a testament to my own personality quirks (in the words of my acupuncturist, "I am larger than life.")  I am, friends, very very good at shoving down bad things into the darkest recesses of my brain, so that I can function well.  As an example, two days before my surgery I gave a presentation at my office that culminated in accolades from the Executive Vice President of my organization.  I'm a fucking whiz at compartmentalizing.

I also recognize though, that shoving grief and anxiety down into some corner of your body will lead to a very sick person.  I mean physically sick.  So the coming weeks I am working hard to get to get back to that warm and fuzzy place I have visited before.  That sweet spot where my weight is under control, where I exercise regularly, where I fit in visits to my therapist, acupuncturist and maybe an extra massage while I am at it.

My wonderful parents, who are in town to watch Niblet while she is on Spring Break from school, seem to believe that stress related to my job is the cause of my woes. Doesn't stress change your estrogen levels, queried my Mom?   "Sophia Loren had miscarriages until she was told to quit working," said my Dad in my truly what the fuck moment of the morning.  It took everything I had not to explode at him, and I hope I was able to calmly convey that "No, while high cortisol levels aren't good for pregnancy, they don't cause eggs to carry trisomies."  I realized (again) this morning that my parents still don't understand the RPL I am faced with.  How could they?  Fucking doctors have no answers.  I felt like I had to explain for the tenth time that my pregnancies have mostly failed because they are chromosomally abnormal.  As I said to my Mom, "I could live on a beach in Hawa'ii right now and I would still be miscarrying.  A baby with Trisomy 14 isn't going to survive (pulling a random trisomy from miscarriage #2)" 

Do I still believe that not enough is understood about MTHFR and the mutation I carry and whether there is a reason my egg quality has been so spectacularly bad, even in my thirties?  Sure. That's why I am back on my supplement regimen.  But do I also believe that it will take more than a little bit of luck for me to ever carry a healthy baby?  Unfortunately, Yes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Feeling Broken

So one week of Chinese herbs, and two weeks/four rounds of cytotec produced.... a gestational sac that is not budging in my uterus. 

I can't begin to explain how dejected I felt yesterday, and how every moment of my day at work - where mind you I am in a staff "retreat" where we are all locked in a room and talking about work for 8 hours, three drays straight - was a challenge of Mt. Everest proportion.  With much of the day surreptitiously looking at my phone as I tried to finagle the logistics of scheduling a D&C on Good Friday, when my daughter is home from school, while my husband is trapped at work.  (God bless good friends out there who will take your drugged ass home from surgeries in a pinch.  And the grandparents who will take your child for the day no questions asked).

But last night I was a hot mess.  It took everything I had not to break down in front of Niblet, and let's just say I didn't have enough.  She doesn't know what brought on the mass of tears, though she does know that mommy has had a number of stomach pains and needs to go a hospital to have a doctor make them better.  The weight of the toxic what-ifs are getting to me (and I know my therapist would be pretty disappointed in my even going there).  What if this latest D&C brings on a return of my scarring?  What if I need to fly to Boston to get fixed?  What if I miscarry again?  What if I finally carry a healthy baby, only to have my cervix fail me because it's been through the ringer of so many D&Cs?  I think anyone would feel a little crushed by the weight of these cumulative experiences.

You know, I often wear thick horn-rimmed glasses.  I feel like Clark Kent, if Clark Kent were hiding the hidden identity of some broken mess of a grieving mother instead of Superman.  I was tasked with giving a presentation/workshop to my colleagues, and all I will say is I must be some sort of compartmentalizing prodigy because I got a round of applause when it was done. 

So I sit here writing this update, completely spent.  Deflated.  I am facing my fourth D&C.  Dr. K is going to use ultrasound guidance, and be extra-careful not to be aggressive.  The only silver lining is that the remains will be tested, though we expect a run of the mill trisomy or something.  And I am facing the pure sadness of grief now, as the medical "management" portion of this latest miscarriage
winds to a close.  My fifth baby is gone.