Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fortunately (and Unfortunately)

When I was a kid, I remember reading this book.

The basic premise is that this guy has bad things happen to him and then because of those things, good things happen, and then bad things, and so on.  

I kind of felt like this week was like that.
Fortunately, I was able to get to the doctor today for an ultrasound and blood draws.

Unfortunately, I had to go in right during state assessments- so I had to leave school a bit early to get to the office on time. 

Fortunately, a dear friend (and parent) covers my class so I don't have to get a sub. All I have to get her is a case of Diet Pepsi for helping me out.  Score.

And fortunately,  my meds arrived, my ultrasound looked good, we're ready to go.  

And another fortunately,  my next appointment just happened to land right on Good Friday!  Whoop! No sub! No missing school! 

Fortunately, Dave and I were able to get our taxes done on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, I spent the few minutes that I actually was home before the appointment scrounging around trying to find proof of Maggie (no birth or death certificate since she never lived or died outside the womb) and collecting medical bills that we paid out of pocket.

Fortunately, the amount we paid out of pocket did not equal the 7.5% of our income (or whatever it is) . It could be seen as a bad thing, but this is a "fortunately I have fantastic insurance" kind of thing.  If we would have had to pay that huge amount that the clinic wanted us to for Mag's CF screening and what-not, we would have definitely hit that mark.

Unfortunately, I brought up Maggie and asked if we could claim her for the year (I had heard from someone) even though I have no proof of her life (except a broken heart, a spare tire, and a closet full of adorable clothes that need to go on a soon.  It was a bit awkward to bring up and explain to tax lady.  But, we decided that we should at least try and get something beneficial out of this situation.  And, of course, she had never dealt with this situation, so she had to chase the head-honcho down to ask her what we do in this situation.

Fortunately, we can!  We can write her off as a deduction for the year.  Win!

Unfortunately, I have to go to the hospital to request my records.  Which means I am going to have to go there before 5 tomorrow. Which means I will not be able to stay at work as long as I had hoped. I am the usual loser who stays at work way too late on a Friday night.

Fortunately, the tax ladies are wonderful and are meeting me on Saturday to make sure I have what I need to turn into the tax warlords in D.C.

Fortunately, I crawled into bed early on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, I watched the Duggar's Season Finale.  The family was sharing their story of their loss of their 20th (good grief) daughter.  I have mentioned how I don't need to have 20 children and there are many things about the family that I find weird, but I appreciated the fact that they shared their story and that they didn't omit it from their season.  I didn't know if I'd be able to watch it...

Fortunately, I did.  And, honestly, I think they did a pretty good job sharing the story and how they felt. 

If you want to watch, click on this link and it should take you to several videos that will show you the entire show (If the link doesn't work, go to youtube and search for 19 Kids & Counting Season Finale- several videos should come up). Below is the promo.

Did anyone else watch it? What did you think?

Fortunately,  it's Friday tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Dave is on call.  I plan on seeing him next Thursday.

Fortunately, he has a job.  And I don't have to do it.  Right?

Prayers needed for:
  • Heather- she miscarried her little Peanut of love at 7 weeks and her son's 1st birthday is approaching on April 3.
  • A family from my school community. A 19 year old was killed in a skiing accident and the funeral is tomorrow.  This devastating loss has rocked the community and affected many in my school.  Please keep Garrett Spencer's family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their son, friend, brother, and student.
  • D's great aunt Bessie passed away this past Sunday after a recurrence of breast cancer.  She was an amazing lady who has, not surprisingly, wonderful children who are mourning the passing of their mom (and last living parent).  
Dude--heaven keeps filling up with really good people.  

Friday, March 23, 2012


1.  Recently Reread
Because I'm going to the movie tonight!
And it had been 2 years since I had read it!
And I am so excited!

2. Recently watched
(Thanks, S.W.)
The husband's facial expressions are hilarious.

3.  Recently Rented
Best $50 spent.
I took pictures of the water, but I'm too embarrassed to show you.
Cause it was nasty.
I'd like to think that we're clean people.
We (I) vacuum regularly.
We take our shoes off when we come in the house.
But dudes.
The water was black.
It was completely satisfying.
Now I don't want to walk at the carpet at all.
I want to keep those pretty little lines.

4.  Failed to Mention
My hCG levels were back down to where they should be.
So, I'm back on meds.
Weird that I'm happy about my hCG levels going down
when, for the past 4 years, I've been wanting them to be up.

5.  That's Right
I said 4 years.
May marks the 4 year mark of talking about a family.
I realize that's short for some couples out there.
But, it feels like a crapload of a long time.
Especially when people have had 3 kids since then.

6.  Recently Read
This post.
About this woman.
14 miscarriages.
1 stillbirth.
1 infant death.
And finally.
One healthy baby.
Bless her.
I wonder how much counseling she has been to.

7.  Recently therapized.

And I am learning that my biggest issue
(besides stillbirth and miscarriage and infertility)
is that my expectations for life
aren't happening the way I planned.
And I'm a planner.
And my to-do list is not getting checked off.
At first, I was stuck at "get pregnant."
Now, I'm stuck at "get into 3rd trimester"
or "have living child."
(I crossed "conceive child naturally"
off my list years ago.)

8.  Recently Received
A check in the mail.
Enough to buy a shirt or two.
Or to pay for 3/4 of a follicle monitoring ultrasound.
And it was from the hospital.
From when Mags was born.
So, a year later
we get some moolah.
Maybe they timed that.
Happy one year?
Nice try, hospital.
It still sucks.
Money or not.

9.  Recently graded
Too. Many. Papers.
Like almost 600 papers too many.
Do parents even look at this stuff anyways?

10.  Reminded While Grading
I looked at this
and was reminded of this scene from Billy Madison.

Happy weekend.
Happy last few days of Spring Break.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

525,600 minutes ago

Friday, March 16, 2012:
I did fine during the day except for when I started opening up cards and gifts from my coworkers.
And I was reminded, not only of how much has happened in the last year
and how much I would love to have Maggie here, 
but also what a great support system I have around me.
Thank you to those of you who acknowledged Maggie
and her birthday
and the joy she brought us.
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge
Maggie's short life with us.
I know that some of you went out of your way 
to mention something to me.
And I know it may have been uncomfortable.
And it would have been easier to not say anything.
But, thank you.
Whether it was texts,
facebook messages,
letters, or
phone calls.
Your words are the most acknowledgement we have gotten 
of our daughter since last year.
And, as her mama, it is so nice to hear her name
and know that people know how much I miss her.

(Also, for those whom I had no idea were reading my blog and you let me know yesterday, through facebook or snail mail, that you were thinking of me and praying for us...I appreciate it. Thank you.) 

Friday was not an easy day.   
As that day was the day my world was flipped upside down.
And I am so thankful that I have people around me
who knew that it would not be easy.

From some friends/coworkers and dear family:

Some of you know about the organization "Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope."  It is a place for women to connect about miscarriage, infant loss, or stillbirth as well as place for people to go for resources to help those they know whom have experienced such a loss.  I have met some wonderful people through this website and read some incredible stories.

One of my coworkers, and dear friends,  knows that I love this organization and what they are working towards.  
And in honor of Maggie's birthday she made a donation so that women can continue to have a resource of support for them.
Thank you.
Thank you, K.B.
Thank you, A.T.~ it is hanging perfectly in our kitchen window.
Thank you S.A. & P. U. (I never realized your initials were P.U.  Funny!)

From Cooper and his parents (read about him here and here- he always gives Maggie flowers!
And some beautiful flowers...
From some dear cousins...
From Baltimore.  They know this pain all too well.  Thank you.
Saturday, March 17, 2012:
I have struggled with how to celebrate this day.
Because the word celebrate doesn't seem right.
And I'm not sure what to call this day.
It's Maggie's birthday.
But it's so much more.
And everything that I thought about doing just didn't seem like it was enough.
Like, what could I do that would honor her enough but not be over the top?

Dave and I ended up having a very low-key day at home.
In the evening, we went out to her grave.
I had some new stuff to put out
since I knew her pink pinwheel
probably was going to be trashed.

I added a few things that I hope will withstand the Kansas wind and heat.

I tried to find some hawks or something, but those are not popular.
My second best option were 2 little birds.
One for Maggie.
One for Nugget
(as we have no resting ground for Nuggs).
And a pink M for Maggie.

We spent the rest of the evening at the cabin hear Maggie's grave.
I hope she heard our voices and our laughter
and remembered the sound of my heart
and voice.
And she remembered how much we love her.
And miss her.
And wish she was not buried
and, instead, in our arms or toddling around the field.

Sunday, March 18, 2012:
Maggie's tree is going to bloom any day now.
I am so excited to see the progress
and it's amazing to me how it is blooming so close to her birthday.

In some ways, 
I'd give anything to relive a year ago.
So that I could take more pictures
and hold her longer
and count her toes one more time.
I'd love to be able to relive that moment.
And savor it a little longer.

And, in other ways,
I'm extremely grateful I didn't have to relive that day again.
I never want to relive that day,
and, honestly, I don't know if my heart could handle that again.
I never understood the phrase of "heart breaking"
until a year ago.

So, for those of you wondering how the weekend was?
Or how the day was?
It was less eventful than last year.
That's a plus, I guess.

Happy Birthday, dear Maggie.
There are no words for how much my heart loves you
and misses you
and wishes that your life had not ended when it did.
I had such big plans for you and I.
I hope that you are taking good care of your little brother.
It seems crazy that you have been gone for a year already
and I have thought about you every. single. day.
and probably every single hour.
I hope you had a good birthday, even if I couldn't be with you.

Your Mama

"I held her close for only a short time but after she was gone, I'd see her smile on the face of a perfect stranger and I knew she would be there with me all the rest of my days."  ~Brian Andreas
(Thanks, G for the text.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Deja vu. Or whatever.

I was talking to a friend at work.
We were discussing how this time, last year, is when I had
the appointment.
You know which one I'm talking about, right?
(This one, if you have no clue what I'm talking about.)
How that appointment was the Wednesday before spring break.
Which would be...
Now, it's not March 16 today (which was the actual day)
but, it's the Wednesday before break.

from our bedroom window
And, do you know what's even weirder?
I had to go to that freaking clinic today.
For my blood draw.
Are you kidding me?
Seriously, guys,
that's hilarious.
Real funny.

So, I drove down the same road.
Thinking that I did this exact thing last year.
I remember what I was thinking while driving there.
I remember what I was wearing
(I will never wear it again).

I drove to the same clinic.

Just with different expectations
and hopes this time.
No hopes of a heartbeat today.
Just hopes that I can, maybe, just maybe hear one in a few months time.
A different kind of hope.

It was weird
walking through those same clinic doors
and smelling the same
stale air
And my memories went right back to a year ago.

I'm so relieved that last year's appointment is over.
That I never have to do that again.
At least not anytime soon.
Today's appointment went better than last year's.
Way better.
Thank goodness.

Today, my appointment was 5 minutes vs. 2 hours.
I left today with a reassured hope that maybe, this time, my levels will be where they should be
instead of a feeling of utter, pure devastation.
I left by myself
instead of Dave driving me home
while I call my parents.
I drove myself
instead of being huddled in the passenger seat.

Today was way better than a year ago.
and hopeful.

Maggie's tree has buds!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


This week has been hard.

Reason #1
I was excited to get my blood drawn.
Then I did and
my levels were still not as far down as they want.
(They had gone down, but not enough.)
I know I should have not gotten my hopes up.
But I thought of that after I was let down.
And I was so let down.
And so sad.
And I felt hopeless.
Like Seriously, throw me a bone.
Give me one thing good in all of this.
Something to keep me going.

To be honest, I'm getting really sick of this.
(I thought I was sick of all of this in, oh about, 2010. 
But I didn't know what I was talking about.)
I know I have no other choice.
And I could have it much worse.
So I'll keep plugging away and doing all of this
because the end goal of a larger family is what I want more than anything.
This is getting old.
The constant ups and downs are taxing.
The rushing around for scheduling appointments
and charting
and giving shots
and going for blood draws
and taking pills
and making phone calls
and waiting for phone calls back
(because I cannot answer the phone with 20 eager ears listening in)
is exhausting--physically and emotionally.

And then after all the hustle and bustle
I just wait.
With my thoughts.
And, honestly, the waiting is worse than anything.
At least when I am going to doctor's appointments
and calling and injecting myself, I feel like something is getting done.
But the waiting?
It's brutal.
I feel like my eggs are just shriveling up in me with each passing day.
And while I'm waiting, I'm thinking about the time.
And I'm calculating when my next appointments could tentatively be.
And it all seems so far away
and such a long time to wait.

And, of course, I calculated everything as soon as the nurse told me that I needed to go in for another blood draw next Wednesday.
And my heart sank.
Because that means that there is no chance to have another 2012 baby.
And 2013 seems so incredibly far away.
(That's making a huge assumption- that I will even get pregnant and that I will birth something living.)

Reason #2
I realized at this time, a year ago
I was completely naive.
I was pregnant, 
making plans for putting together a nursery over my Spring break.
I was searching for cribs online.
Maggie's stroller had just been delivered
and Dave was testing it out by speed racing kitty throughout the house.
My heart was full 
and overflowing
with excitement of 
being a mom
and having a daughter.
I had no idea the bundle I was carrying had already passed away.
And that I had less than a week with her.
One week until my heart would feel such intense, incredible sorrow.
Sorrow that I hope to never feel again.

Reason #3
I'd be in my second trimester with Nugget.
Or, I'd be toting around an 8 month old.
Instead, I'm not doing either.
And all I'm doing is waiting.
And figuring out how to celebrate (that doesn't seem like the best word choice)
Maggie's first birthday.
Reason #4
Snooki is pregnant.
I wish her well
but seriously.
(If you don't know who Snooki is, consider yourself lucky.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

For my IF Friends

Found this.
Anyone tried Snake Handling or Animal Sacrifice?
If not,
we may have found the golden ticket to the end of our misery. :)

Who is the genius who thought of this?


A few things for you today.

1. Recently Bought
This is fabulous because I hate playing with the cheeses.
(And, I hate playing with D's brother.
We have now banned the phrase, "You should know this!" from the game.)
And, I hate to admit it, but D is really good at answering.
I shouldn't be surprised, though.
He was 5th grade Geography Bee champ.
And, he's still a giant Nerd.

2.  Currently Reading
Any suggestions?

3. Recently Watched (And then peed my pantalones)
If you've had a bad day, you need to watch this.
I have watched is over and over.
And I cry every time I watch it.
Because it is so ridiculously funny.
I dedicate this to my dear friend and coworker, CA,
who takes the bull by the horns
and teaches my dear 4th graders how to play recorders, too.
I believe that they sound similar.
The good stuff starts at 0:20.
(Fergs bit me after I played 3:19 over and over.
Not kidding.  Her ears kept twitching.)

4.  Looking Forward To
Because school lunch is Corn Dogs.
because I get to have my blood drawn.
Pray for a score of zero!
I hope corn dogs don't increase your hcg levels
or I'm screwed.

5. Recently Discussed
Today we were reading a book about a funeral.
We were talking about hearses and coffins and the like.
(And, if you're wondering, the book is The 39 Clues- great series for kids, even if it does start out with a funeral).
Anyways, a kid asked me (totally out of the blue):

Kid: How big was her coffin?

Me: Whose? Aunt Grace's (character in book)?

Kid: No, your baby's.  Did you have to get it specially made for her?

Me: Deer in headlights. 
        Um, no.  They make smaller coffins for babies.

Kid:  How big was it? Yay big? (Demonstrates size with his hands)

Me:  Um, yes.  About that big.

Class:  Oh! That's cute! (Cute?  Errrm.  Not really.)

Definitely not part of the lesson plan.
But, it's part of life.
I kept it simple.
Answered his questions
and didn't elaborate.
I am, however, a bit curious if this will be a discussion at dinner tonight.

6. Recently Born

I mentioned my email friend, Alli, a few days ago.
She lost Harrison last May
and has been on bed rest for the last several months
while she anxiously anticipated the arrival of her second son, Nolan.
Nolan Thomas was born on February 28--
and everyone is healthy and happy!
She sent me an email yesterday
(I hope you don't mind that I'm sharing this, Alli)
that stated,
"My son is living proof that God's love is greater than any amount of suffering
and hope is greater than fear."
I'm so glad that she has her Rainbow baby.
And it's so nice to hear happy news.
It gives me hope.

7.  Head Shrink
I've met with my head shrink twice.
And, it's so weird.
How just talking can be so cathartic.
And helpful.
And even though I talk a lot about things
and I feel like I'm open
about Maggie
and Nugget
and my handicapped ovaries,
it is different talking to someone who is outside my circle of life
(cue: Lion King music).
The outside perspective is so nice.
I guess one of the things that is helpful is that
I actually believe what she's saying.
Instead of thinking,
"Oh, (s)he's just saying that to make me feel better."
Or whatever.
Which is my issue that I think that when someone says anything to me.
Hence, why I'm going to head shrinky-dink in the first place.

Anyways, it's great.
I love it.
She asks the right questions
and makes me think.
The biggest thing?
She affirms my feelings.
And says, "I think you should be feeling anger and sadness.
Your feelings are normal."
And that is so nice to hear.

And for any baby-loss,
normal-life loss
person out there?
I would highly recommend it.
It doesn't mean you're psycho
or losing your mind
or weak.
It means you want to live a better and happier life.
And you don't want to be stuck where you are for the next 10 years.

More on all that in the future.

8.   Recently Received
I got a package in the mail this week.
I knew whom it was from just by seeing the handwriting.
An adorable little cheery bird
and a hope stone (perfect for 2012).
from Ten Thousand Villages.

Thanks, JBR.
I'll play some Natalie in honor of you
and your kindness.

9.  Recently Got Annoyed Over This
I read this article a few days ago.
I realize you aren't reading the blog to read my tirade.
Or you are.
And that's fantastic.
(Just imagine being married to me.
you could hear it all the time!)
1.  When pregnancy & infant loss happen to 1 in 4 women, it seems only legitimate that people talk about it.  This should be something that is discussed a lot more than it is.  So, I'm glad it's getting talked about.
2.  I'm sorry that some parent's grief makes others so uncomfortable.  So uncomfortable, in fact, that those bystanders feel alienated enough not to comfort the parents.  However, that seems a bit selfish--that the grieving parents need to be sensitive enough not to make others uncomfortable by over-sharing.  Shame on us for making others feel awkward.  But, get over it.   The last thing on our mind is if we are making others uncomfortable.  And, if you are that shallow enough to feel sheepish if I over-shared, I'm pretty sure your comfort wasn't going to be that life changing for me anyways.
3. And I do not believe this blog is stalling the healing process. Instead it has brought me great healing because of the circle of support that I have received. By family, friends, and strangers.
I'm done.

10.  And
I miss those little peanuts.
and Maggie.
(Way better than Magget).
It's weird how such little things can dig so deep into your heart.
It's kind of ridiculous, actually.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


We finally got some answers about Nugget yesterday.
Dave and I were concerned that there was something wrong.
Something big.
Like genetic disorders that cannot be fixed.
Or something that we wouldn't be able to do anything about.

So, we met with Dr. Grainger to go over the tests they ran on Nugget's tissues.
And, without holding you in much suspense,
we got GOOD NEWS.
He showed us the papers and I had no.freaking.idea what the words on the paper meant.
But, thankfully, I am not super shy and I asked about 500 questions
so that he could explain what in the world he was talking about.

Basically what happened is that it was a fluke.
(And, as one of my friends at work said today,
Dave and I just have shitty ass luck.
True statement.)

Nugget had triploidy, which is one of the most common genetic causes of miscarriages.  Triploidy occurs when a fetus has 69 chromosomes instead of the usual 46.  It is caused by either the sperm or the egg bringing a full 46 chromosomes instead of the 23 that each of them are supposed to bring to the marriage of babyness.

Triploidy is incompatible with life and the majority of fetuses that have triploidy miscarry early and don't make it past 20 weeks gestation.  I think the longest a child has lived is 10 months after birth.  Any child with triploidy will not survive and it's just a matter of time.

Triploidy is not something that D or I have or carry--it was just a fluke and our chances of conceiving another child with it are slim.  It can happen to anyone and it isn't anything that we did or didn't do or had or didn't have that caused it.  It isn't something that they could have "cured" if we would have known about it.

Good news.
Wonderful news.
Many prayers of thanks were sent up after hearing this.
And, although I am still grieving and figuring out life now,
I am thankful.
Thankful that it happened sooner instead of later.
And that my body did what it was supposed to do even though, at the time, it seemed like it failed me.

Looking in the future...
the pregnancy test that they took at the appointment came back with my hcg level still at 15.
I was annoyed since I wanted to get the ball rolling.
And since it's still at 15, I just have to wait.
But, i will work on my patience.
I go back in a week to take another pregnancy test.
If my levels are where the should be, then we will get this whole cluster-of-craziness started again
(using the same approaches as last time- femara, gonal-f, ovidrel, iui for those of who that know and/or care).
Since it worked, we'll do the same thing.
In the meantime, Dr. Grainger is also going to test some other things just to make sure levels of some other things are normal.

I am relieved.
And thankful.
Isn't that weird?
But, it could have been so much worse.
I am lucky.

And, guess what else?
We found out Nugget was a boy.
Now I have a daughter and a son.
He's a he now.
Not an it.
I struggled with that last night for a long time.
I thought I would want to know.
But, now that I know that It was a He.
It makes it difficult to swallow-
And, I've tried to think of names that are close to Nugget
(like how we picked Maggie's name) 
but there aren't any.
He may just be known as Nugget forever.

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