Saturday, May 30, 2009

Still Nothing

Well, today would be day 8 of waiting for this miscarriage to start, and there's still nothing to report. It's now been more than a week since the confirmation, and almost two weeks since the devastating news that there was no heartbeat. No spotting, no cramping, no nothing. Perhaps God is looking out for me and something will happen in the comfort of our own home this weekend, rather than at work. Please pray for us--I would have now been at 10 weeks, so I fear that things will get harder and harder the longer we wait. It sucks knowing that it's going to happen, and anticipating it, and yet just waiting while trying to emotionally move on with our lives.

Thinking back, God was good to us in the first miscarriage--though that was different because I had been spotting for two weeks before we got the confirmation. Once the news was broken to us, it all happened the next day. And with the second miscarriage, it all happened so early. Had I not taken the test, I would have never known that I was actually pregnant.

At least today I'm blessed with a the house for company tomorrow. Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying I'm "excited" to clean the house. Rather, I appreciate it for the distraction that it will cause, and it forces me to get off the couch and stop feeling sorry for myself (which is what we allowed ourselves to do last weekend when we first heard the news). I'm off to tackle the kitchen!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nothing to Report

I haven't written anything lately...mainly because I don't really have anything to report. Nothing has happened yet. At the confirmation appointment on Friday, the doctor said that I could expect to start bleeding in 5-7 days. Today is now day 5.

It sounds so backwards to ask (especially since I praised God every time I wiped in the last 9 weeks without any spotting), but please pray for the bleeding to start. I feel so horrible thinking "I just want it to be over"--because the "it" in question was a baby. But with no heartbeat in two ultrasounds, there's nothing to hope for in this pregnancy. So please, pray for God to act smoothly. With the first miscarriage, I spotted for two weeks before ended up in the hospital. I really don't want to experience that sort of drawn out agony again. I just want to move on.

Today's blessing is work related. We started New Student Orientation today, and it's such a blessing to see the energy and excitement in the students with which I work. My position allows me to work with some really cool groups of high achieving and motivated first-year students, and it brings me a lot of joy to see them develop throughout the course of the year.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Out and About

I was realizing that my most recent blogs have been rather focused on this most recent miscarriage, but I don't want this to turn into just a depressing sort of thing. So in other news...

My husband safely returned from his business trip last night, and I desperately needed to reconnect with him and get out of the house. So we took a day trip to Bisbee, which is a fun little
tourist town in Southern Arizona. We took a tour of an old mine from which they hauled 8 billion (yes, b as in boy) pounds of copper! Aside from the parents who couldn't keep their kids quiet when the tour guide was speaking, it was all rather interesting. We did some window shopping but didn't buy anything, other than lunch and dinner--which were both amazing!

My blessing for today is simply to have my husband back. I can be strong and independent and carry on just fine when he's gone, but he truly is my partner, and I love being equally yoked with him.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I went back for the follow-up ultrasound, and the doctor confirmed what we had expected--he still couldn't find a heartbeat. So this is now officially loss #3. He didn't have any sort of explanation--just that the embryo hadn't formed genetically perfectly. It's hard for me to wrap my head around how he can say it was "bad genetics" when our chromosome testing came back totally normal. If I understand it correctly, the genes that my husband and I pass on are individually perfectly fine, but that sometimes things get messed up in the cell division (perhaps I need to go back to my science books to truly understand it). But he says that he sees this all the time, and he feels confident that we can have a perfectly healthy baby.

I'm usually a rather shy and reserved person (my husband makes fun of me because I'm scared to order pizza over the phone), but I did something bold today. The route to the doctor's office brings me past our church, so I stopped by the office to see if I could ask the pastors to pray for me. They weren't available, but I asked the woman in the office to pray for me instead, which she did. I wouldn't normally reach out like that, but I knew I needed all the prayers I could get. And I'm so appreciative of everyone else who is praying for me through this as well.

I find it so hard to feel blessed on days like today, but I know that God loves me. Today's blessing is a "silver lining" type of blessing, but it's still a blessing that I can finally stop the heparin injections and progesterone supplements now that I have confirmation of the loss.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bad Run of Eggs

In the initial ultrasound on Monday, the doctor said that this loss (and perhaps the others as well) was just a "bad run of eggs". That doesn't quite make me feel any better. If anything, it's got me quasi-obsessing over if there is any way that I can improve the quality of my eggs.

A friend and I were chatting about my "bad run of eggs" diagnosis, and wondering how our eggs are "selected". I realize that egg retrieval is a little different for certain procedures, but what about natural ovulation and conception (which all of my pregnancies and subsequent losses have been)? When it comes to "egg quality control", are our ovaries like gum ball machines and I just happen to have "stale" eggs down there that are happening to be released and all the "fresh" refills are on top?

I've read that acupuncture can help improve egg quality, but I don't know if I buy into it. If anyone has any experience (and perhaps success) with acupuncture while TTC, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. For that matter, I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts or suggestions on improving overall egg quality.

My blessing today was from a friend who offered to attend tomorrow's ultrasound with me to be a support since my husband will still be traveling back from the East Coast. I turned down her offer, but it still meant so much to me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not Liking Those Odds

I read today that a women who experiences three miscarriages has a 60% chance of miscarrying again; and a women who experiences four or more miscarriages has a 95% change of miscarrying again. I realize that there are women who beat these odds all the time. But it sure is discouraging.

For me, I feel like one miscarriage is unfortunate, two miscarriages are frustrating, but three miscarriages are just downright dismal! I've read stories of women with many more miscarriages, and my heart goes out to them. Some have gone on to have perfectly healthy babies, while others have not. The thought of trying again--and going through all of the anxious emotions again--freaks me out. The hopeful part of me wants to believe "I'll beat the odds this time", but the practical side of me pipes in and argues "but odds are odds". I don't know if we'll take that gamble yet...time will tell.

Today's blessing was a bit of rain. After 14 days in a row of 100 degree weather, the few sprinkles here and there were much appreciated. And the rain always brings such an amazing smell to the desert, and the clouds should allow for an amazing sunset.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Words of Comfort

I'm prepared for the confirmation of bad news on Friday. Part of me is hoping for a miracle, but the rest of me knows that a child with no visible heartbeat at 8 weeks belongs in God's hands instead of mine. But I happened to discover a verse that I love in my bible study yesterday. I love how God gives me words that comfort when I need them the most. Psalm 112:7 say "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord".

I don't understand why God has put these obstacles in front of us. Perhaps I'll never understand. But I know that He has a plan for me. If I were to come up with a plan for my own life, it would include children--three, to be exact. In a sad way, I have those three babies--I just don't have them with me. But any plan that I could think up would be nothing compared to the "perfect plan" that He has for me. I trust that God will bless me in amazing ways in His perfect way.

It's still hard to find blessings amidst the sorrow, but my Mom and Dad just had a beautiful arrangement of flowers delivered to me at work. They can't take the pain away or bring my baby back, but they are pretty to look at.

Monday, May 18, 2009

No Heartbeat

"Singleton - No Cardiac Activity"

That's what the doctor typed in the corner of the ultrasound. He wants me to do another scan on Friday to confirm, but he is 95% certain that this child won't make it either.

It's so hard to find a blessing on a day like today, but at least we know. And aside from these unexplained losses, I'm healthy and my husband is healthy. My heart is breaking, but I know that this child is in heaven with our Creator.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Symptoms or Side Effects?

Our ultrasound is tomorrow, but my mind is still messing with me. It's so hard to keep doubts from creeping in. I feel like I haven't had to pee that much that because the pregnancy is failing or am I just dehydrated (we do live in the desert with triple digit weather). My bbs are sore from time to time...but is that just from the progesterone supplements? I praise God that I haven't spotted with this pregnancy, but again, could that just be due to the progesterone supplements? I've felt nauseous all afternoon...or is that just nerves? Sometimes I wish I would just puke already so that I know for sure that this is morning sickness.

We'll know more tomorrow, and I admit that I'm terrified of bad news. For many women, I would imagine that pregnancy is such a joyful time filled with surprises and excitement. But after a miscarriage (and especially after multiple miscarriages), it's quite a different experience. Everything scares me. Every twinge worries me. Every experience gets my mind racing in a million different directions. With daily devotion and exercise, I feel like I am able to manage many of these emotions. But the fear of another loss is always in the back of my head. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we anxiously anticipate a strong heartbeat tomorrow.

As for my blessing of the day, I love our Sunday routine. It sounds totally cheesy, but every Sunday, my husband and I play Scrabble at Starbucks after church. Even though he won today, I cherish the time that we have together in our countless games.

Friday, May 15, 2009


As we get closer and closer to the ultrasound on Monday, I find that I am getting more and more anxious. I'm trying not to worry. I try to live by Matthew 6:27: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?". And yet my mind finds ways to mess with me. Last night, I had a dream that I was bleeding. I didn't freak out in the dream--but it did wake me up, and it's hard to shake images like that. Please pray for peace over the weekend, and positive results on Monday.

As for my blessing of the day, I got to watch some amazing students graduate today. We had over 600 participate in commencement, but I'm especially proud of the students I have worked with through clubs, organizations, and Residence Life. I wish you all the best as you embark on your career paths!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sensitivity Training

Now that I have experienced both infertility and loss, I find that I'm rather sensitive to how others who aren't going through these struggles talk about pregnancy. At a end-of-the-year staff luncheon, the conversation got turned to babies when one of my colleagues shared that her daughter is expecting in December. I am too, but opted not to share my news with my colleagues yet, other than my amazingly supportive supervisor. In the last couple of months, two colleagues have both given birth--I would have been right in the middle with my first pregnancy. So everyone starts talking about babies and who the next person will be to announce a pregnancy. Our "big boss" then starts claiming that "there must be something in the water" and "anyone who wants to get pregnant should just join our staff" and tells a story about how a woman upstairs couldn't conceive for 13 years and the suddenly found herself expecting as soon as she joined the staff. Although our staff tends to be really supportive, I don't know if this woman (who isn't a part of our immediate office staff) would want her fertility journey shared with our entire staff!

As supportive as my colleagues are, they haven't experienced the losses that I went through. I don't plan to share my pregnancy with them until I'm definitely showing--and I've got a long torso, so that could take a while! I cringe at the thought that they are taking bets on who will be next (yes, they've mentioned such a thing in the breakroom). It breaks my heart that when I do finally tell the "big boss" and she asks "what took you so long?", that I'll crumble as I try to explain that I lost the first two.

To their credit, I need to point out that some of these same "insensitive" colleagues were the same individuals who picked up my car for me from the hospital and carried my workload for the two days I was out.

So how do we conduct "sensitivity training" regarding infertility and loss to others who take fertility for granted and assume that any woman should be able to effortlessly pop out a baby within a year of their marriage? I wish I had a good answer, and I wish that I was braver (and less emotional) and said something today to my colleagues.

As for my blessing of the day, I got a call from my dearest friend from 2nd grade this afternoon. The last time I talked to her was about 6 weeks ago--right around the time when I thought I might be ovulating. My friend has a December birthday--and we're expecting a December baby. She called to see if I would serve as a reference for her when she takes the Bar Exam. I'm so proud of her, and I'm honored to be able to speak to her "moral aptitude", since any morsel of virtue in me comes from my friendship with her.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day Off

Fatigue is a good sign, right? I've been starting to get really tired lately, so I opted to take the day off. I work in Education, and while the end of the year can be busy (we have Commencement on Friday), today seemed to be a good day to stay home and get caught up on rest. I've noticed this with the last two pregnancies as well, but I never seem able to sleep in when I'm pregnant. Perhaps it's the getting up early to pee, but I'm never able to fall back to sleep afterwards. So I got up and picked up trash along the side of the road before the temperature hit triple-digits. Sometimes I try to convince myself that it's possible that the desert winds innocently blew the items out of our neighbors' trash bins, but that would be quite the journey for some of these items. I found a cap to a HPT today. Trust me, I know what those things look like (and I had found the box in the same area last time I picked up trash).

It's dirty work, but someone's got to do it. I just want this world that God created to be a beautiful place for my children, so it's the least I can do. After two miles of trash duty (can that count as my cardio for the day?), I was ready for a nap. That was exactly the type of rest that I needed! And now I just get to be lazy and relax until "Taco Tuesday" tonight (my husband insists on tacos every Tuesday, and I indulge his request--but you should see him try to come up with a meal option for Wednesdays). Perhaps I'll clean up a bit as well.

My blessing for today is having a job and a supervisor that allow me to take a day off, just because. Call it a "Mental Health Day" or "Preventative Maintenance", but days like this are so appreciated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One Week Wait

Okay, so I know that in the world of TTC, we tend to talk about the "Two Week Wait". But here I am, anticipating a "One Week Wait"--one week until our first ultrasound. Actually, the ultrasound was scheduled for tomorrow, but my husband is in a class this week that he can't skip, so we pushed the appointment back to next week--Monday, May 18th. This will actually be the first ultrasound that he is able to view with me. During the first pregnancy, when I just "assumed" that everything would be a textbook pregnancy, I had two ultrasounds. The first was scheduled really early (around 5 weeks, I assume), so we only saw the sac. With the second, I calculated that I was around 8 weeks, but the technician said that the baby was measuring around 6 weeks with a really low heartbeat (in the 60s). I guess I probably should have known at that point...

So I feel like I need my husband to be there from now on. I pray that we will have the joy of viewing a healthy 8 week baby with a strong heartbeat. But if God has other plans for this child, then I need him to be there so that we can support each other through the pain. Please pray for us as we patiently anticipate viewing this child for the first time next Monday.

As for today's blessing, I'm totally thankful for whoever picked up the busted couch on the side of the road to our house! Our community is about a mile off the main road, and people tend to litter profusely. Since I'm taking tomorrow off, I was planning on picking up the beer bottles and cigarette butts, but didn't know what I would do about the couch. So whoever picked it up and discarded it was a huge blessing for our entire community!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Most of the world wouldn't recognize me as a mother. I don't push a stroller around, I don't have drawings on the refrigerator, and I don't drive a mini-van. I've never decorated a nursery in our extra bedroom, I've never settled on a name, and I've never designed a birth announcement. And yet, I consider myself a mother. I believe that I have two precious babies in heaven, and I'm blessed to have a third growing and developing in me right now. I'm not showing yet, I don't have that "glow" yet, so I don't expect anyone (aside from my family) to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. But I consider myself a mother.

It was hard to go to church today. Our pastor preached on Hannah's story in 1 Samuel. If you haven't yet read her story in 1 Samuel, I strongly recommend it. It offers a Christian view of our desires to start a family and be a mother.

I wish a Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there--those who have experienced the joy of watching their children grow and develop, and those who are still waiting to experience the miracle of life.

As for my blessing of the day, my own mother is my blessing. She and I have been through so much, but she is now my "go-to person". I've learned so much from her, and I only hope to be able to be as great a mom as she. Mom, I love you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Let's Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start

How are you supposed to start these things? This is all so new to me; and to be honest, I never thought that I would actually start a blog. I consider myself a fairly open person, but that's typically in the realm of friends and family. And yet, here I am, opening up my heart, mind, and (in a way) even my uterus to the whole world. (By the way, my doctor tells me I have a "beautiful uterus").

My blogs won't always be this long, but I feel like like I need to recap our situation to get anyone who might stumble upon this blog caught up. The last two years have been filled with so many ups and downs, valleys and peaks. I have experienced life to the fullest potential, and I have experienced loss so deep that my foundation trembled. But through it all--I've been blessed. I've been blessed with a husband who runs barefoot into the desert to retrieve papers blowing in the wind; I've been blessed with family who will hop on a plane to care for me after a trip to the emergency room; I've been blessed with a doctor who gives me her email address so I can check in with her even when she's busy; I've been blessed with friends and colleagues who care so deeply for me that they too cry at the pain I've felt and beam when I share good news. But most importantly, I'm blessed with a Lord who loves me and stands by me and will never leave me, no matter how hard it gets.

As I write this, I'm currently 7 Weeks pregnant. This is my third pregnancy, and yet I'm still waiting to hold my first child. I've been blessed to be able to conceive naturally three times in the last year. (I fear I may have lost a lot of readers who are trying to go through IUI and IVF, but please bear with me--I have my scars too).

Things did not start out that way. You know those commercials that refer to AF as "the curse"? I hate those commercials! A cycle is a beautiful thing that is so vital to fertility! I once went 112 days with no "curse". And when you're TTC with no "curse", that adds up to a lot of HPTs. My doctor was able to "induce" a cycle with progesterone supplements once, and we hoped that would "kick-start" my regular cycles again. But that didn't necessarily happen, as my cycle remained abnormally and unbearably long. All of the tests that she ran came by normal, which is a huge blessing, yet my cycle was still so screwed up! But this is a story of blessings, and the Lord blessed us with our first BFP.

I was ecstatic, but since I've already stated that I do not have a child in my arms, you know this doesn't finish with a happy ending. I spotted on and off through the 12 Weeks, but tried to chalk it up to the information I found online about how something like 30% of all women experience spotting. But the night before our appointment when we hoped to hear the baby's heartbeat on the doppler, I experience spotting with a consistency of blackberry jam. Based on what I was experiencing and the results of the 8 Week ultrasound, my doctor didn't even touch the doppler sitting on the counter. She shared with us that it sounded like I was experiencing a loss, and that my body would probably handle the loss naturally. My husband and I were devastated, and had a good cry in the Prayer Garden of our church. He then left for a business trip to Alabama that afternoon, and I went back to work, determined to move on. I made it through that day, and the next, but that night got bad. I'm blessed that I never bled heavily at work, but the blood kept coming all evening on September 17th, my husband's birthday. It's like I was dropping blood-filled water balloons every time I sat on the toilet. Exhausted, I finally crawled into bed at midnight, just to awake an hour later and realized that I had bled through three beach towels. I knew it was time to drive myself to the hospital. Upon arriving, I promptly passed out in the bathroom, hitting my head in the process. I woke up in just my bra and hospital-throw-away-panties on the bathroom floor, shivering. By the time the nurses found me, they thought I would need a blood transfusion. I just remember trying to focus on Psalm 23: "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of darkness, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me".

That was the darkest day of my life, and it breaks my heart that my husband's birthday will always be associated with the loss of our first child. It's hard to find a blessing in a miscarriage, but the "silver lining" is that my relationship with my husband was refined. If we could get through something of this magnitude apart (he was still in Alabama), then we could get through anything together. And I was reminded of just how much support I have from everyone else--my family, my friends, my supervisor, my church. And I started spending time with God in daily devotion, something that I had been neglecting for so long.

After the requisite wait following a D&C, my husband and I were given the green light to try again. And again, we conceived naturally. We were thrilled, but the joy was short-lived. Less than a week after the BFP, I started bleeding again, and miscarried on Valentine's Day. Had I not taken a HPT, I would have thought it was just AF. I was barely 5 Weeks along. Again, there is no blessings in a second miscarriage, but the Lord was good to us, and this loss happened quickly without any physical pain or trauma. My poor husband--why is it that all of the "guaranteed lovin'" days are associated with sadness?

This time, my doctor lovingly told me to see a specialist. She specializes in Family Medicine, not infertility concerns. So we saw an RE, who told me that I have a "beautiful uterus", and seemed excited to take me on as a patient to figure out why an otherwise perfectly healthy women would lose two pregnancies. A dozen vials of blood later, he determined that my FSH and LH levels were reversed, thus indicating a hormone imbalance, thus indicating slight PCOS, even though I showed no other symptoms. Well that explained that previous year of crazy cycles (or should I say "lack thereof"). He prescribed Metformin to help regulate my cycles, potentially creating a more normal ovulation. And he also found that I have a Protein C Deficiency. My levels were 68, but the normal range starts at 81. So for that, he prescribed Heparin injections in the stomach twice a day once we became pregnant again. Oh, and he also recommended 60 minutes of cardio and 200 crunches a day and to cut out all potato and corn products and anything that has High Fructose Corn Syrup. Do you realize just how many foods have HFCS in them? Even Ritz Crackers!

But we started putting all of his recommendations into place, and my first cycle after seeing him was 30 days! I think I even ovulated before starting the Metformin! The next month, we got our third BFP.

So that is where I find myself today--in a world of cardio, crunches, no HFCS, and Heparin injections twice a day. I thought I was tough, and I know that the shots will be worth it when I'm finally holding this child in my arms--but these shots hurt more than I thought they would! I am anxiously awaiting our first ultrasound on May 18th, and praying for a healthy baby in December.

If you happened to find this blog, and if I happened to keep your attention until this point, thank you. This is scary, but I know that there are others out there who share the same ups and downs as us. It's nice to know that you're out there.

In closing, I want to try to end with a "blessing of the day", which today would simply be the blessing of being able to crawl back into bed on a lazy Saturday with my amazing husband.