11.26.2008

A Reason to Everything

Sitting in church on Sunday, there were babies in front of us then babies in back of us. M leaned over and whispered to tell me how he loves those tiny grunting sounds babies make. I never knew that. It was a tough day for both of us.

I cried off and on for about an hour at work today. For every reason and for no reason. I cried when looking at the calendar and wondering when my cycle will return. I cried when plotting M's school schedule for the next year. I cried because the mountain was so beautiful and the sky was so blue and the air was so clear in the post-rain, start-of-winter afternoon that found its way to my city.

But in these last few days, particularly Sunday, it occurred to me that perhaps the reason we've experienced this loss (and it's feeling like a loss now if it didn't before) was so that we could both be "fully converted" to parenthood and that for some reason we need to really want it before it happens. I have no idea why. But that's what I've been thinking. . .

~Nichole

11.23.2008

Rocking the Emotional Boat

So. That "matter-of-fact" thing is not working so well seeing how I cried in the shower yesterday as I contemplated that number, that age: 33.

Last night, we looked at M's old mission pics. There were some in there from his family of his newest niece at the time. She was such a cute baby! I stared at her picture and realized I've never imagined what our kids will look like. I now imagine that they might look something like her. As I think about this today, I cry.

Today, I find myself crying looking at the picture on page 86 of my conference Ensign. It shows three Ukranian men, holding babies, smiling, and standing in front of a picture depicting the Savior at the First Resurrection. I cry because I'm happy. The world has changed and the role of fatherhood has been redefined. Men today are more involved and more loving fathers than ever before.

The Spirit teaches me today that our eternal identities are gender based: man or woman - and that by vestage of that identity, we also are eternally fathers and mothers.

Seeing those men, those priesthood holders, standing there with their children in their arms and the Savior behind them - there's this abiding sense in me that that's just the way it should be. And I cry.

~Nichole

11.22.2008

In which we try to be. . . matter-of-fact

M continues to say I don't like to think about it. It makes me sad. It makes my head hurt. I continue to feel strangely detached.

Now that the head cold is clearing, I'm realizing it's not the head cold keeping me in a foggy separation from what's happened.

I told M last night that I feel protected. I told Heavenly Father on that day of Bad News (10/28) that I couldn't do a failed pregnancy all by myself. And He listened. And my recovery has been marvelous. Seriously - nothing to report. And emotionally, I'm completely intact.

M admitted he feels protected, too. But he's still a little sad. And I understand. I really do. I've been through it before. But it's really strange to not be going through it again, and to not be going through it with him this time. I think he thinks he has to be strong for me. Or maybe that he can't be all that sad if I'm not all that sad. 'Cause the mom's supposed to be the emotional wreck, right?

We talk about timing. We talk about how we wanted a summer baby. We talk about how summer 2009 has passed for us in those terms, and now we're on to at least a year from now. We'll have been married 10 years by then. We'll be 33! I wasn't anticipating being that age when I had my first child! That makes me sad. (with tears and everything).

We talk in vague generalities about when we'll try again. I've proclaimed that we'll wait for my cycle to return, then "we'll see how I feel". He's good with that.

For now, our talk is all business. Practical. Logical. Cold, hard math. It's really all either of us can manage. And we end these business meetings with a hearty "I love you". So, that's something.

~Nichole

11.19.2008

So far, so good

No major meltdowns. We're getting back to normal here following our travels and my head cold. Not so much following the miscarriage. We're taking it one day at a time. And not really talking much about it.

Last Saturday I visited with my family. Once again, huge relief that they all knew and I didn't have to go around explaining much of anything. T offered to be my surrogate. M gave us a card that made M tear up a little. And Mom just gave us extra hugs.

I realized today that I thought my peeing-on-a-stick days were over for a while. But now I've got to get some more. Uggghhh.

Plus, I have some dandy questions for my doc when I see him in a few weeks. Like "can you please test my blood for Rh antibodies?" and "while you're at it, can you please order a blood test for my hub?" and "how soon are you going to want to see me if/when I get pregnant again?"

Mostly, I'm still tired. Unbelievably so. It's such an accomplishment just to be keeping pace with feeding dogs, doing dishes, making dinner, and keeping up with the laundry. Nevermind that my house is in disarray and in terrible need of a good scrub, and that suitcases and other such travel paraphernalia are still lying about.

So far, no reportable emotional episodes. (That's a good thing.) Mostly just the realization that I'm 32. I have a great life. I have a fantastic husband and a wonderful family. And I've just had a miscarriage. Followed by a D&E, some cramping, some weakness - but I've pretty blessed healthwise overall.

~Nichole

11.16.2008

The Papa

The D&E (I was suctioned, not scraped) was accomplished without much ado. I've recovered relatively well - better than expected, really - but too much activity brings on cramping. So, I rest so as not to make my body mad.

It was nice to be around my family last night. To feel their love and concern. I told them M needs more hugs than I do. He's sad.

I told him yesterday that my belly's already flatter. He said "don't say that! That makes me sad!" My sister gave us a card, which made him a little sad too.

Then last night, he laid his hand on my stomach and said "I feel like the emperor penguin who's lost my egg!" Poor guy!So far, I'm doing OK emotionally and physically. I f/u with my doc in 2 weeks. Right now, my major concerns are how my body's going to take the hormone plummet, how long it's going to take for my cycle to return, and whether we'll be ready to stand back up and try this all over again.

~Nichole

11.13.2008

Breaking News

I've sent out more "broadcasts" today - by e-mail, voicemail, text message and phone calls - than I've ever done in one day.

Letting everyone know the news. Even those who didn't know the original news. That's my modus operandi, I suppose. Better tell it all at once than piecemeal - kind of like ripping a bandaid off. Plus, I have a penchant for forgetting who I tell what to and if I left someone out of the D&C loop that was in the "I'm pregnant" loop, that just might get too uncomfortable.

Weird?

I don't know.

But the mental checklist of "did I get everyone I originally told" is not a fun one to keep.

I have to say I really like my doc this time around. He's so calm, and patient and thorough. And I like that I see him every time I come into his office, and that when I call for test results, he picks up the phone and talks to me, and he explains procedures thoroughly. And he's patient when I whip out my handwritten list of questions to ask him. Novel medical concepts, I'm sure - but with my last doctor, those duties were relegated to the nurse practitioner. Not my idea of good bedside manner by a long shot.

So, tomorrow's the surgery. I'm a little worried about my ability to recover. You know, since I have a freakin' head cold and my throat's currently feeling like the early stages of a fiery, can't-swallow-without-pain strep throat. What the. . . !? I thought I was getting better!

So far, I'm still being shielded from the reality of all this by the fogginess of a stuffed up sinus-head. I don't know for how long that will be the case, particularly once the hormones begin their hasty decline. But M's parents came by and after a prayer and a blessing, I'm feeling comforted. Very much so.

It also comforts me to know that my family knows. I told Mom and T today. Their concern was like a balm to me. And the fact that T is medically trained such that all I had to do was say "D&C" and she said "Oh, I'm so sorry!" - no further explanation needed - it was so nice, given that I'd been explaining it all day and that gets a little old for someone who doesn't like to tell such things about herself.

I can honestly say I'm not excited for the days and weeks to come. Right now I'm just looking forward to some restful sleep. I'm exhausted!

~Nichole

11.12.2008

Pressurized Cabin

I awoke this morning with gastrointestinal issues. It started last night, actually. Having just gone through the process (several times during 3 flights) of holding my nose and holding my breath in order to get my ears to pop - stupid head cold! - I imagined that the stomach issues were just this pregnancy's way of righting itself. That the jagged oval of a gestational sac was popping itself out to a nice, round circle.

The imaging tech today, after ensuring me she could not give me any results, asked me leading questions. "Are you bleeding or spotting?" "What were your most recent numbers?" "Are they going to take your quant again?"

I still had hope.

By 2:45 in the afternoon, I could wait no longer. I rang up the doc's office and Dr. M got on the phone. He said today's images confirmed what he thought yesterday. The pregnancy is non-viable. My options: wait for a miscarriage (7 to 21 days, followed by 3-5 days of heavy bleeding, and possibly needing a D&C anyway) or get a D&C (as soon as Friday afternoon).

I go in tomorrow to ask him all my questions and find out more about each option.

M got the news by phone again. Poor guy.

Today, during one of my frequent bathroom breaks, I bumped one of my still-tender boobs and realized I'll miss being pregnant.

But I'm grateful I had more time this time to be pregnant. To experience it. And that everything made it to the right place this time, which gives me a certain measure of hope for the future.

Maybe this head cold and its achey pressure aren't so stupid after all. It's dulling much of this experience for me because I just don't have the wherewithall to deal with it right now. That will be saved for another day I'm sure.

~Nichole

11.11.2008

Two Trees and a Sweater

We were so busy with traveling, and I had sort of resolved myself for the worst and put it out of my mind, that I actually forgot I was pregnant the first few days of our vacation.

Then, I remembered and it kept revealing itself to me over and over again the way it does when you first find out you're pregnant.

I was prepared with pads like the doc suggested, but never needed them. "No cramping, no bleeding?" "No. No cramping, no bleeding. Just spotting."

We were in Malta and I saw this little handmade sweater. I was tempted to buy it. I showed it to M and he wanted to buy it. I was hesitant. (I'm superstitious that way - for instance, I did NOT want my nails painted red when I got the pedi because I didn't want red to remind me of the possibility of miscarriage. . . )

We bought the sweater anyway. Last night, after we got home, I was drinking some water and looked over to see that sweater draped over the back of the couch - like a beacon.

I've been nervous over today's doc appointment for the last 3 or 4 days. It's an exercise in faith. I have lots of hope - but really began to question the amount of faith I have that things will be OK. I don't have the answer. But I trust my Heavenly Father. So, I guess that's the faith part.

I was waiting in the ultrasound room and was anxious followed by calm, then anxious again. There are two paintings there - both of trees. One has 2 trees, and in the distance, 3. I thought about how M and I are like the two trees, looking off into the distance and hoping to become 3 trees. Three trees.

Chatted it up with the doc, then the moment of truth: the u/s. At first, I saw nothing. Then, black space. Weirdly shaped. Not a good sign, apparently. He also couldn't see "cardiac activity" (aka heartbeat) and isn't sure if the movement of blood we saw is evidence of heartbeat related stuff, or just blood flow.

The combination of these things, along with a drop in progesterone, don't bode well. He's 99% sure it's nonviable, but is sending me for a second opinion ultrasound tomorrow. Then, we'll go from there. He reassured me it wasn't because of the traveling and may not be related to fertility issues. It's just a crapshoot.

It's hard to break news like that to M over the phone. But, with the craziness of our schedules because of time off and such, it's my only choice. Plus, I'm a pragmatist that way I guess.

I'm still hopeful.

I get home and see that sweater and say out loud "little boy or little girl, we're ready for you whenever you want to come. and whenever Heavenly Father is ready to send you - because he'll take care of all of us."

He loves all his trees like that you know.

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury