My three boys

Dear Noah,
You have a little brother. He’s little, with a lot of fight ahead. Be for now, he is growing in the space that a year ago you occupied. Our hope for him are everything we hoped for you, but didn’t get. Mainly, a long, happy life.

I wonder what he looks like. So tiny, but we met you tiny too. You had 2 months of growing on him, but you were still so small. So much smaller than we ever wanted to see you. I wonder if he looks like you.

I see kids your age. The ones due within days of you. They are so big now. It seems impossible that they are so big. That they grow while you do not, It breaks my heart that you never got to grow any bigger than your 10.3oz. Never got to look around this big world and take part in it. That all you ever knew was your little space inside me. The space where Owen was before you, and your little brother is now. The space where we lost you. And lost the tiniest babies after you.

I miss you. More than you could ever know. You have been gone for so long. More than twice the time you were here. It will be your birthday soon. Just over 2 short months away. I think of you always.

Everything is so tangled. If we make it there this baby will be 21w that day. Barely older than you were. We will have just found out if you share the same brain defect. Whether or not we will ever be able to bring him home. If things go badly, your birthdays will be at most a few weeks apart. Possibly days. I love you, and I feel guilty that the time leading up to your birthday will be consumed with this baby. I worry that he will get all the attention.

Though I suppose maybe that’s normal. Aren’t parents supposed to worry about new babies taking attention away from their older siblings? Please watch out for him if you can. Be with him those weeks, whatever comes. O too. I worry about what will happen if he loses another little brother. Take care of each other. My three boys.


No news is good news

I know I’ve been really quiet lately. Between HG and my paralyzingly fear, everything has just been hard. We should get the results of our Panorama DNA test this week. I’m nervous even though as far as we know none of our losses have ever been for genetic reasons.

We have been open about this pregnancy since the get go to friends and family. If all comes back well with the Panorama test, I think we will post on then. I have been struggling with how to do it. With O we were coming off of IF treatments with many friends still struggling. We ended up waiting until about 16w and then just did a text announcement.

With Noah, my pregnancy was so hard with HG I wanted to do something cute. While it may be over done we did the “shoe thing.”


I wanted something special for this baby, but I couldn’t imagine a purely happy announcement without acknowledging the fear, and Noah! and all that we’ve lost in the last year. I looked for other PgAL announcements, but didn’t find much. It seems like most people don’t announce, or mention a rainbow baby, or their lost baby having a little brother or sister. None of that seemed right to me. I’ve lost babies who I thought would be rainbows. Calling this baby a rainbow right now just felt like jinxing it. And while Noah is this baby’s big brother, he was to the babies we lost to chemical pregnancies too. Plus we have O.

I think I’ve finally decided on something. I’m not sure what if anything I will write with it. If all goes well, I will probably add baby boy/girl expected March 2015 on the ultrasound part, but this is what I am thinking.


Little flicker

Well, we have a heartbeat.  

I really wish the offices were better at reviewing my chart before I came in.  The nurse at my RE’s asked me if this was my first pregnancy, despite me having a miscarriage after an IUI with them less than 3 months ago.  I did think it was interesting that unlike at the OB’s or the MFM, after I told them how many pregnancies, they did ask IF there were any births, rather than how many.  I thought it was interesting that they didn’t assume.  Of course, I still needed to go into more detail because saying 2 births is not the full story.  I’m so tired of having to go into detail on all of our losses for every doctor’s appointment.  

I still feel like I’m waiting for the shoe to drop.  When they started the ultrasound, I clearly saw the sac, but didn’t think I saw anything in it.  I thought that was it right then.  But the doctor pointed out a tiny flicker right at the edge of the sac and said it was the heartbeat. I started crying.  I’ll put a picture after the bottom, feel free to skip it.  

I think I just don’t want to get my hopes up.  I’m not sure how to change it.  It feels like if I think this baby may really live, I’ll jinx it, and everything will fall apart.  I just don’t know how to handle it again.  

I think that’s why I’ve been so quiet here.  I don’t know how to be optimistic.  I don’t know how to just be grateful for the fact that things are looking good for now without following it up with that “for now.”  With the addendum that I don’t think it will last.  

That and I’m exhausted all the time.  The nausea is definitely hitting.  We are starting O in preschool next week to give him something to do if I end up on bedrest soon again.  By this point (6w4d) with Noah I already had the pump, and would be in the hospital for the first time in less than a week.  I’m not there yet, be we know I may get there.  

The preschool app asks if there is anything going on at home that could effect his behavior such as “death, divorce, new baby, or illness.”  I have been avoiding filling out that part.  How do I distill the trauma of the last year down into 3 lines?  I know Owen is aware of it.  I mentioned the baby to him once, and he got scared and upset, and has been clingy ever since.  And I can’t reassure him that this baby won’t die too.  One, I can’t promise that.  And two, I still think it will.  

I’m a mess.  And I don’t know how to not be a mess.  

I’m lucky.  I know that.  This is exactly what I’ve been wishing for, and I know so many are wishing for it too.  But the fear is there.  The mistrust that I could really have another living baby.  I want to be one of those PgAL moms that focuses on the positive.  That bonds during the time they have, however long or short that is. But I don’t know how.  

Ultrasounds below



1 out of 5

So we had our first appointment with the high-risk specialist(MFM), and first ultrasound Tuesday. Everything looks good. We could just see the gestational sac, as we expected.

But man going over history was hard. Particularly when I checked in, in a room full of hugely pregnant women when they asked me what number pregnancy this is (5) and how many living children (1). And then we had to do it all again when we went back with the nurse. Except then it was how many pregnancies (5) how many full term births (0) and how many living (1).

Having to spell it out in numbers like that I just feel so broken. I know everything looks ok right now, but damn my track record sucks. Why can’t I keep babies alive? I know we are doing everything we can for this pregnancy.  Every potential issue I have, or am taking something for.  But will it be enough?  Who knows.  

This is the 3rd Fourth of July out of 4 that I have been pregnant. I have to wonder, will I miraculously be here with a baby, or will my arms be empty once again.

I thought my triggers would lessen once I was pregnant. That I wouldn’t cry at pregnancy announcements. That double strollers wouldn’t feel like a knife to the heart. But nothing has changed. Obviously I knew that another pregnancy wouldn’t ever make me miss Noah less. But it’s not just that. I still don’t believe that I will take a baby home. It just doesn’t seem possible.

I know from experience that a pregnancy does not equal a baby to raise. In fact, a living baby has been the exception, not the rule. Even if this baby lives, I will still have had more pregnancies end in loss than not. With that track record, how can you ever believe that this will work?

Grow baby, grow

I got tears just writing that.  I got my next beta back today.  It went from 74 at 15DPIUI to 165 at 17DPIUI.  So far now things are going well.  We are done with betas and I’ll have an ultrasound with the RE on 7/7.  I’m trying to prepare for being out with HG, but it’s still hard to believe it’s happening.  I’m just so afraid it won’t last. I don’t know when or if that will change.

One scary thing is that my EDD is March 2nd.  Nine days before the one year anniversary of my due date with Noah.  So every milestone will line up almost exactly.  It’s going to be an interesting few months.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.  Keep them coming.  I am so excited, but so, so terrified.

I’m also thinking of all my IF/Loss bloggers still trying.  I am thinking and hoping for you, and understand if you need to unfollow or only visit sporadically.

Holding My Breath

I’m not up for a big update yet, but…


15DPIUI Beta = 74


So yeah.  I still have a hard time saying I’m pregnant but there it is.  This doomed cycle with a huge 31mm follicle and I’m pregnant.  I’m still terrified, and waiting for my next beta Wednesday.


So any prayers, juju, positive thoughts you can send our way would be appreciated.  Right now I’m just holding my breath.

Happy conception day Noah. Thanks for the balloons.

8 months ago yesterday we saw these hot air balloons out my hospital window while we were waiting for my induction to start. It was a moment of beauty in a very dark time.

Since then hot air balloons have always reminded me of Noah, but I don’t think I’ve actually seen any flying.

Until this morning. 8 months from day 2 of my induction. And exactly one year from the day I ovulated and conceived Noah.

The balloons this morning brought me to tears. They felt like a sign from Noah. They were exactly what I needed this morning.


IUI #2

I’ve spent most of the week pretty angry.

We had IUI #2 on Sunday and it was not a good experience.  I got my positive OPK on CD13, so that was a good sign, but I had been having pain in my left ovary since Friday, and I was really worried about too many follicles.

My regular RE Dr. C wasn’t there.  He trades weekends with his partner Dr T, who I hadn’t met before.  We started off on the wrong foot when they told D that he couldn’t come back for the ultrasound with me.  They took him to have his “date with a cup” at the same time as they took me back.  Right away that put me a little on edge.  If they were starting the semen spinning before we even knew my status, would we even have the opportunity to cancel?  I never asked, but it certainly didn’t ever feel like I had the option.

Dr. T started by looking at my right ovary – no dominant follicle.  And then on my left – 1 follicle.  Should be good news after all my worry over ovulating too early or having too many follicles.  But instead of the 16mm-20mm follicle that we should have seen, mine was 31mm.  No wonder I had pain.  Dr. T continually told me it was fine.  That they worry about too small not too big.  But that’s not what I know from my time in the IF world.  I haven’t found anything from a reputable source online, but the general consensus is over 25mm is too big.  And I do know one other IFer who has had follicles 30+ and her RE said that over 30mm there wasn’t much of a chance.  I felt really blown off by Dr. T.  I asked him twice about it while we were there, and when I called on Monday to see what Dr. C thought, he wasn’t there and the nurse just asked Dr T again, even though I told her that I had already talked to him and that I wanted to hear what MY doc said.

So we’re going through the motions – still doing progesterone suppositories until 14DPO.  But I feel like there is little to no chance.  I’ve been pretty pissed off and had little patience for anything this week.  Coming off of a benched cycle, to feel like there is no shot again just sucks.  And it’s June.


Public grief

I just read this post from the round up. And this quote stuck with me. “She said something that stuck with me, “Clare, a friend just told me that I am grieving publicly and that doing so, in the current world, is a rare rare thing.””

I think public grieving is becoming more common, at least in the BLM community. We blog, we make websites, Pinterest boards, facebook pages, donations. We have loss jewelry, car decals, memorial tattoos.image

We want the world to remember our children, so we share them daily. And in doing so, we open up about our grief, we bring public what a generation ago was very private.

I have a very close friend I’ve known for a decade and a half, and it wasn’t until Noah died that I knew she had a brother who was stillborn. I didn’t know my grandmother had multiple 2nd trimester losses.

I honestly don’t know how they made it through without the community and the public support we have now.

I think grief should be public. I think that as a society, mourning together and honoring the lives of those gone is important.

But I also know that this is relatively new. And I know that for those who haven’t been there this “public grief” may seem uncomfortable.

I don’t know how to bridge that gap. I do know that I’ll keep sharing Noah with the world, and encouraging other to share their children, even if they have been told they shouldn’t.


TFMR and the loss community

I want to write a longer post today about the strife we saw in the community yesterday. For now. This is a place holder. I will update more later. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, I have links and thoughts on my Facebook page. I find myself writing short thoughts more often there.

Until later.



When we got Noah’s diagnosis, the TFMR communities were the only places I went.  I didn’t feel right going into a loss community while I was still pregnant.  I was incredibly grateful for the TFMR communities for helping me prepare for my induction.  For letting me know it was ok to call NILMDTS, and to have my oldest meet his brother for the only time, and to buy clothes for him.  That it was ok to make as many memories as I could.  To remind me that this was my only chance to sing him songs, or rock him, or kiss him.


But after we came home, I needed more.  The TFMR communities were small.  I needed a place where there was someone available now.  I needed to “meet” moms who had also just gone through loss as recently as I had.  And I needed a wide audience to share Noah’s story with.  Because isn’t that what we all want?  To share our children with as many people as we possibly can?  To have them say, your child is loved and will be remembered?

But it took a lot for me to reach out.  My OB gave me the name of a local mom who’s son was stillborn at 41w.  I didn’t call.  I was afraid that she wouldn’t consider my loss a loss because I chose the timing.  I was told of a local child loss support group.  But I was afraid to go.  I was given the same woman’s name by multiple people, but it took one who knew her personally to assure me that she would not judge before I could call.

I was still terrified.  I took an anti-anxiety pill before that call.

She was wonderful.  Welcoming.  We still talk frequently about our sons.

But I still needed more.  I was so raw in those early days, and even though one woman accepted my story, I knew not everyone would.  Before asking to join any loss group on Face book, I read the rules.  See if it said anything about TFMR or abortion.  I would message the moderators.  I would tell them my story, and ask if I would be welcomed.  I held my breath waiting for someone to say no, but they never did.  I am so incredibly thankful for that.

I began to think that maybe I was wrong, that maybe everyone would recognize my loss for what it was.

Yesterday proved me wrong.  I saw some of the ugliest sides of our community.  I (along with other TFMR moms) were told that we were not “real BLMs.”  I woke up yesterday morning to more negative comments than positive.

If any of the times that I apprehensively reached out I had received a reaction like the ones that I saw yesterday, it would have crushed me.  I probably wouldn’t have reached out again.

I also saw something amazing yesterday.  As the day wore on, more positive comments came in.  Both on the post, and around the community.  I hope that if any moms who new to the community read that yesterday the positives outweighed the negative and they are able to find the support they need like I did.