Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pregnancy, Loss, & Fear

I've been meaning to write our story. . . but it isn't over yet and something has been holding me back.  Today, I am 28 + 3 days pregnant with our survivor.  I am ecstatic, over the moon, thrilled to watch my belly bounce with my active, apparently healthy baby.  I am scared beyond belief.  When we lost the 2nd of our trio, I told myself it would get easier once this baby passed the first trimester. . . once this baby passed the anatomy scans. . . once this baby hit viability. . . once this baby comes home.

But will it ever get easier?  For a while I was able to put our losses on the back burner.  They didn't consume my every thought.  I've lost babies before. .  . none have been as hard as our loss from 2-1 this time.  Losing the first of our triplets wasn't as hard, maybe because I never saw that baby's beating heart?  Maybe because losing the second of the trio scared the bejeebers out of me and left me gasping for breath, praying that we would still have a baby at the end of this road.

Today, I try to feel confident that this strong baby will be coming home with us in 11 weeks time.  My c-section is scheduled.  My pre and post op appointments are scheduled.  I passed my scans and was released from maternal fetal medicine to my regular OB.  By all the statistics, I should be breathing a little easier now.  We have a baby.  Our baby is healthy by all measures.  Even if baby was born today, his/her chance of survival is high with minimal risk of long term issues.  So, why can't I breath easier?  Why can't I go along in peaceful oblivion counting the days until my baby takes its first breath?

As our baby shower celebration approaches, I find myself more at a loss than ever.  This was suppose to be a celebration for a TRIO, and then for a DUO.  Now, it's a celebration (no less wonderful) for a SINGLE. . . and somehow, it feels anti-climatic despite our years of infertility treatments.  We are blessed to be having this baby and I know that and I love this child with every fiber of my being. . . but I'm still waiting for him/her to be ripped from my womb.  Will that feeling ever end?  Will I become the hovering over protective parent that lives in constant fear of harm falling on my child?  Will I one day be able to breath deeply and say, "my baby lives"?

Recently I had to go back through our baby registries and update everything to a singleton, and I spent many hours in tears. . . all the hopes and dreams that came with a multiple pregnancy are gone, those hopes far outweighed any of the fears and complications that I knew would come with the pregnancy as well.  I wasn't frightened of the challenges that arrive with multiples.  I was thrilled to have been blessed with the opportunity. 

My oldest daughter is almost 13. . . she says to me, "I just don't understand why God gave us three and took two away".  Neither do I, but I'm learning to trust that HE knows better than I.

Then there's the loss world and where do I fit in?  I have at least four preborn babies waiting in Heaven.  I believe they are in the loving arms of my Mama who went home to Jesus four years ago.  I'm stuck in this between world. . . I have dead babies inside my womb, waiting for their surviving sibling to be born. Then we will bury our placenta with their remains and look for some closure to their loss.  I don't fit in with the loss community, I feel like there are few that understand the complexity of my emotions.  Yes, I am happy I still have a baby. . . but that doesn't diminish the pain of the babies I will never meet Earthside.  The babies I don't get to hold and cuddle. . . it doesn't change the fact that I will look at this sweet baby when s/he is born and mourn for the loss of the ones who are no longer here.

When do I stop weeping when I see multiples out and about with their Mamas fighting with doors as they push their limo of a stroller through. . . when will I stop hoping that the Doctors were wrong and that somehow I'm going to miraculously deliver a healthy duo or trio?  When will I believe that my survivor isn't going to be ripped away from me too?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Life After Infertility

It's official. . . I'm 12.2 weeks with our one surviving bambino.  Last week, I was released to the OB and had another ultrasound.  Baby looks beautiful.

Looking back at these last 12 weeks (and 2 years, really). . . it has been an emotional roller coaster from HELL.  When I got that double line, I so wanted to be happy but I was cautious.  I knew from our history that a positive didn't mean a stick baby.  Three BETAs later, with numbers rising at better than doubling rate, I started relaxing a bit.  Then the ultrasounds started. . . you have three!  Oh, wait, two have heartbeats but maybe only one is viable.  Oh. . . two look beautiful.  Two still looking good.  Oh. . . now there's one.  Ugh. . . I've spent the weeks since in this state of fear. . . when will my last baby be gone.  It's like waiting for the inevitable to happen.  Thankfully, it looks like we've avoided that and still have a strong baby growing inside.  I've rounded the corner into "safety" but I know there are still so many things that could go wrong.  Even so, I'm starting to act like we will have a baby at the end of this.

I'm still struggling with enormous grief over the loss of our twin.  I don't know if it's the compound loss of 3 out of 4 babies we've conceived in the last year, or if it was because that baby was healthy and looked like it would make it and then, suddenly, was gone.  Whatever the reasons, I think I will always mourn that baby.  We saw the cutest little B/G twins at the library the other night and I lost it.

There are a couple of moms in my life after infertility forum that are expecting twins around the time I am due. . . I am happy for them, their babies are growing strong. . . they don't have to go through the turmoil that I am, loss while still expecting. . . loss that no one understands.  But reading their updates is getting very very difficult for me.  I'm so sad and heartsick over our lost babies.

I'm trying to focus on that beautiful little baby we saw on the ultrasound last week.  Kicking it's little legs around.  We could see little eyes, nose, mouth. . . best of all, we could see it's little heart beating away.  I'm praying for this baby, and the souls of the ones we've lost.  I'm trying to refocus my planning from multiple babies to a singleton.  I'm trying to not think too far into the future when we try for a close in age sibling (there will be almost 9 years between this baby and our youngest child).  I'm already joking with hubs that maybe we should start the adoption process after baby is born. . . I don't know if I can go through this roller coaster of infertility/loss/pregnancy again!

Here's a picture of our happy little bean at 11.2 weeks.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ultrasound #5

After the week 8 ultrasound, I went into my 9wk 3day scan expecting to see growing babies, but otherwise have it be uneventful.  Both babies looked great and had almost no different between them in size or heart rates.

We knew immediately at the start of this scan something was wrong.  We could see one baby dancing around but the other one didn't look right.  And S didn't say anything.  Finally, she said, "well we have one good healthy baby here but I think we've lost the other one". She brought in Dr. A and he spent a good deal of time looking at both babies.  Sometime in the last couple of days, Baby A died.  We don't know why.  A had the strongest HB from the beginning so this was a real shock.  It looks like that weird shaped sac may have had something to do with it.  Her sac was a long oval instead of the normal circle.  A was on the far right of the oval and her placenta was on the far left.  We could see her cord stretched out across the sac and a clot/cyst in her cord. My hypothesis is that the distance caused a tear in the cord which led to a clot. . . what other explanation is there for a healthy baby being gone.  We'd had no signs that this one had genetic issues because it was growing so well. . . I've also seen other babies with strange sac shapes that do just fine. I wonder if my damaged lower uterus had something to do with this since the two babies we lost were the ones implanted at the base of my uterus and B, who is strong and healthy was at the top.  Maybe A was spread out because the embryo tried to implant in the fluffier tissue and the distance was just too much for the baby.  In the ultrasound picture above, you can see healthy B, in the part of the sac that's visible to the left you can see the yolk/placenta. . . the rest of the sac for A extended behind B's and A was a couple inches away from the yolk/placenta.  I have pictures of A also, but it's obvious she's gone and I don't want to post them.  She still looks like a little baby but different.

Who knows.  I'm having a very very very hard time with this.  I should feel thrilled that we have a baby coming. . . that was the plan.  But to have gone from 3, to 2, and now to 1 feels like a nightmare.  I feel like my body is killing my babies and I am waiting for the bad news that we've lost B too.  Dr. A tried to reassure me that B looked great, she was dancing and wiggling all over the place and looked healthy and strong. . . but it's hard to believe I will have a baby at the end of all this.

Coupled with our loss in June, I've managed to conceive 4 babies and have lost 3 of them.  We are praying very hard that B holds on and we are rewarded with a healthy baby in 28 weeks or so.

Today, I am 10wks 3days.  No ultrasound this week, I've been released to my OB.  I will meet him on the 25th and have another scan then.  In the meantime I'm slightly attached to a doppler, trying to reassure myself that B is okay in there.

How are the Twins?

Baby A looks squished in there. . . but her sac is the odd ball one and part of it is over behind the other two.  HB 171.

Baby B HB 166.

Both measuring right on track for gestational age.

Baby C's sac is getting smaller in comparison, but is larger than it looks in this photo.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Baby Update

Mickey Mouse is in my uterus!  :-)

Here's the scoop.  Three sacs are still growing but only two have live babies.  So, at this point we have twins, but my body thinks there are three since the sac is still getting bigger.  Evidently little jelly bean #3 quit growing but jelly beans #1 & 2 are keeping the sac going. 

Jelly Bean #1- CRL 9.1mm, GS 27.7mm, HR= 125bpm  (6wk 6days)
Jelly Bean #2- CRL 12.7mm, GS 23.8mm, HR= 144bpm (7wk 4days)
Today I am officially 7weeks 3days pregnant. 

Sac 1 is very odd shaped. . . for a minute, Dr Awesome thought we had four sacs now.  Then he realized it was one odd shaped sac.  He searched all over for a hidden identical twin in that sac, but only found the one baby.

This image doesn't show it well, but Jelly Bean #1 & #2 are pretty close in size and both are measuring correctly for this stage.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ultrasound #2

Jan. 22, 2013.  This was suppose to be our first scan.  6 weeks 3 days.
Baby A isn't looking great- 8.2 mm, no heartbeat visible yet.
Baby B looks good, GS 14.2mm CRL 6.2mm HR= 125.
Baby C iffy, GS 17.2mm, CRL 4.2mm, HR= 111.
Next scan on Wednesday, Jan. 30th.

First Ultrasound

A week early- did I mention my neurosis?  5 weeks 3 days and it's TRIPLETS.
Baby A is the small one- 6.2mm, B is 10.1mm (and kind of squashed), C is 10.6mm.  Nothing much else is visible because this is EARLY.  Tubes are clear, ovaries are enlarged but no obvious reasons for all the pain I'm having.