Best Friends Forever.

14 Dec

I’m going to take a break from the shitstorm that I shared with you yesterday to tell you all about one of the few bright, shiny spots in my life right now: my friends. These girls.

Ignore the fact that I look super pregnant...I swear, it's just the shirt and it looked cute in real life!

Ignore the fact that I look super pregnant…I swear, it’s just the shirt and it looked cute in real life!

A few weeks ago my friend Brooke, the red head wearing blue, texted me and told me to keep my whole schedule free on 12/8 because I was hers for the day. However, she told me it was a surprise and that I was not allowed to ask any questions. And that if I wasn’t happy with the surprise that I could hate her forever. Sounded like a fair deal to me.

Now it must be said that I HATE surprises. It’s not so much the act of being surprised that I hate, it’s anticipating the surprise when I know that it’s coming. I just don’t have the patience to wait to found out what the surprise is. I want to know NOW! So, a word to the wise: if you plan to surprise me with something make sure that I have no idea that a surprise is awaiting me.

December 8th finally arrived and my friend/SIL Kate, in the pink and white stripes, picked me up around 1pm and drove me over to Brooke’s. When we arrived, we turned around and got right back in Kate’s car and headed to our surprise destination. My sweet friends had chipped in to get me an hour long massage while they all waited across the street at a bar so that the day could be just for me. And this card explains exactly why they did this for me.

card 1 card 2

I started crying right then and there in the spa. The staff thought it was so sweet that my friends surprised me and assumed it was my birthday. After a resounding round of happy birthdays, I looked desperately at my friend for assistance because I had no idea what to say. I probably wouldn’t have blurted out exactly what was on my mind: no it’s not my birthday. I’m here to forget about a lost pregnancy after years of trying unsuccessfully. Boy, would I have like to see the look on their faces! Luckily, my much more level-headed friend informed them that I was simply there to de-stress. No need to upset the spa staff, I suppose.

It might have seriously been the best massage I’ve ever had. I didn’t realize just how much I needed it until I was practically in tears on that table as I allowed myself that one hour to forget about the lost pregnancy and the other crippling, stressful things going on in my life at this moment.

But the surprises didn’t end there. I walked across the street to meet my friends at the bar only to be greeted by two additional friends who came along for the surprise, Jackie, the redhead in the glasses, and Kasey, the blond in the back. We had a drink at the bar and then headed to our next destination: the nail salon. They had arranged for wine ahead of time and 5 pedicure chairs in a row. So there we sat, me in the middle, drank, laughed, got pampered, and talked about everything except my pregnancy loss. After our pedicures we all got gel manicures. If you haven’t had a gel manicure, you definitely should try it. I will never look back and neither will you 🙂 After two bottles of wine and an hour of fun, we left the salon just a wee bit tipsier than when we came in.

photo 2

From there, they took me to a new restaurant downtown where we ate salad and pizza and drank more wine. After dinner, we headed back to Brooke’s house house for hot chocolate spiked with smores vodka. And before you ask, no, I did not drive home.

I just don’t even know what to say about these girls. Normally I have some emotionally driven, heartfelt explanation for how I feel about these things, but tonight I am at a loss. These ladies are my everything and I simply don’t have the words to express what they mean to me. I’m not even sure that adequate words exist that would capture their place in my heart. I love them. In every single sense of the word love. I wouldn’t be whole if I lost a single one of them. They are so different from one another in so many ways, but when combined they complete everything I have ever needed or wanted. I simply love them, good and bad, for exactly the people that they are.

This day was one of the best days of my life. And I needed it so bad. They saw that need and they met that need. Really, what more could a girl ask for?

 

Love. Love. Love.

Protected: This post is password protected because I am not ready to share it with the people that I know in real life who might be reading my blog. I mean no offense, I’m just simply not ready to share these words with the world. Please feel free to email me (check my “contact” page for my email address) for the password.

10 Dec

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How I Made Friends With The Rude Girl In The Waiting Room and other Updates

5 Dec

I know that I have been MIA, but I have been so drained emotionally on so many fronts that I haven’t felt the desire to write. Probably because that would mean having to rehash everything when I would much prefer to just turn my brain off. Besides, what I am even supposed to write about? I’m still bleeding. I’m still in pain. My ectopic is still on it’s way to working itself out. I’m an effing broken record these days.

Anyway…where was I? Oh yes, my new rude friend.

This morning I had to go in for blood work and an ultrasound. The lab is on the first floor and opens at 7. My RE’s ultrasound clinic is on a first come, first serve basis and opens at 7:15. The goal for both offices is to get there early and be the first one on both lists. I’ve mastered this technique: I get to the lab at 6:45 and wait patiently outside until it opens at 7 and be out of the lab by 7:05. Run up the three flights of stairs and be the first one on the sign up sheet for the u/s. I get called first at 7:15 and I’m out of there by 7:30. Works like a charm.

Today went according to plan. I was the first one in line at the lab. Then a man joined me as second in line. Then another woman came up third. However, she walked right into the lab ahead of me and signed her name first on the sign-in sheet. Before I could say “how rude” a la Stephanie Tanner, she started telling me all about how she tried to get upstairs to put her name on the u/s list so she could be first, but the door was still locked so she came down here and needs to hurry up and get back upstairs. She was a newbie, this was her first time. She was a teacher and I don’t have to be at work until 10am. So, I decided not to make a big deal out of her cutting in line.

She immediately started asking me a million questions about femara, PCOS, trigger shots, u/s, timed intercourse, you name it. But that wasn’t the strange part. It was the fact that I actually knew the answers to her questions. And I don’t even have PCOS! Which, by the way, she kept calling PCO–just goes to show how new she is to this game. It made me long for the days of being a naive fertile, blindly hoping that my first medicated cycle would be the one that got me my take home baby. I hope I didn’t burst her bubble when I told her that I’m a two year veteran of Infertility Land.

Obviously, she got her blood drawn before me and beat me upstairs to the u/s clinic to be first in line. Much to my amazement, she signed my name in for me right below hers so that I was second in line. It really was the least she could do after messing up my whole game plan. It reminded me of that episode of Friends where that couple keeps getting ahead of Monica and Chandler in line to their honeymoon and so they keep getting all the upgrades. Finally, Chandler yells at the couple, “We’re you, just two minutes later!” Except in the case, I know way more than this girl and I can’t figure out if that puts me in a better or worse position.

 

In other news, it’s been exactly two weeks since my last dose of methotrexate. You know what this means…..I can drink alcohol again and pop a painkiller stronger than Tylenol. Lest you get too excited for me, this loosely translates to two glasses of red wine and an ibuprofen. But I will take what I can get at this point.

Beta dropped by 50% according to this morning’s blood draw. 584. Progress, alas. The pregnancy is no longer visible by ultrasound. I’m hoping this pattern continues and next Wednesday my beta will back at zero.

Another reason that I have been avoiding you all is because I have some news that I have been hesitant to share. More like, I have no idea how to even share it. It’s some heavy stuff. But, I assure you that I am working on that post and will hopefully have it up by this weekend.

Thanks for not giving up on me.

Love. Love. Love.

Beta, Beta, Go Away….

28 Nov

….Come again another day.

Like, maybe when you actually feel like sticking around for 9 months???

My body must still be reeling from the pregnancy hormones because I am hot mess today. A big ball of hot flashes, weepyness, anger, and an overwhelming desire to sleep.

I seriously cried today when I read that Jessica Simpson is pregnant 6 months after having her first baby. And were they trying? No, of course not! Who would get pregnant on purpose when a 4 gajillion contract with Weight Watchers is on the line? Me, that’s who. But certainly not Jessica Simpson. Who cried over celebrity pregnancies? Who feels like the tabloids are specifically rubbing fertility in her face when Kate Middleton (gasp!) might also be pregnant? What is wrong with me? I wasn’t even this bad after TTC for 2 years with nary a pregnancy in sight.

(click on picture for source)

Then I had an internal freakout at the realization that my friends are about to move onto baby #2. Talk about mind blowing and potentially trauma inducing. For me, obviously.

Ugh. Eff what the doctor days. I’m mixing me up a Dark and Stormy. It’s been a long two weeks. Momma deserves to drown her pregnancy hormones in an alcoholic beverage or two. Ha, now there’s a sentence that would only come from the mouth of she who is cursed with an ectopic pregnancy that won’t quit.

Finally, Some Good-Ish News

28 Nov
  • My beta went down by well over 15% so I am safe from surgery for now. It’s still up to 1121 and I have to get tested again in a week, but I am HOPING so hard that it drops considerably by then.
  • Do you guys know about LFCA??? I had no idea that this existed until I got a few comments/emails after my loss. What a wonderful, wonderful idea! I will definitely be checking in frequently to support both those that have lost and those that have found.
  • Yesterday I wrote about the tattoo that intend to get. I am leaning slightly toward putting it on my front hip, somewhere slightly more intimate. However, one day I do hope to get pregnant again (and stay pregnant for 9 months). My question is for any ladies out there who have a tattoo in that location…what happened to it both during and after pregnancy? [Side note: I have never been able to say “pregnant again.” It felt really weird writing it for the first time.]
  • I think it’s time to start harassing Stupid Stork for another video blog challenge!
  • I am beyond ready to get back to exercising and having sex…I was told not to do either until my ectopic resolved itself. I know my number is still up at 1121, but can someone please tell me when I can resume these activities? I’d really hate to bother my doctor with these questions as I have been bothering her all too frequently lately. So, internets, help a lady out 🙂

That’s pretty much all I have for today…lots of questions that need your answers. Thanks friends!

Love. Love. Love.

I’m Still Alive, Just Barely

27 Nov

Hello Ladies.

I hope you will excuse my absence. Dealing with this ectopic pregnancy has took a bigger toll on me than I ever thought it could. But I am back now. I’ve been reading all of your posts despite my lack of commenting. I have read each and every email, comment, and shout out that you have sent and I am so thankful for each and every one of them. It wasn’t my intention to ignore these things, but somehow that was less taxing on my emotions than reliving the experience each and every time I replied.

So, where am I in this process? Well, the first dose of methotrexate didn’t work so I got a second dose last Wednesday. My period started on Friday despite my HCG levels still not dropping. Friday night/early Saturday morning I made yet another trip to the ER with terrible pain and heavy bleeding. I was eventually discharged with directions to stay off my feet as much as I possibly can and to come back if the pain got any worse. As of yesterday my beta level has still not dropped sufficiently. Tomorrow I go in for one final beta test and if the number hasn’t dropped by 15% then it’s surgery for me.

I keep thinking that this baby must get her stubbornness from her mother. And in an effort to think positively (or delusionally, the choice is yours) I tell myself that clearly she wanted me just as much as I wanted her. This didn’t really hit me until I saw the blood. The experience was akin to every other month of TTC when I was hit in the face with a BFN–the reality of that never really set in until my period started. That’s how I knew it was really over. And this was no different. Mentally, I was well aware that this pregnancy was in no way viable, and yet, there was this small part of me that held out hope for a miracle. If my beta kept rising then eventually I would see the tiny flicker of a heartbeat on the u/s screen. Nevermind the irreversible damage the methotrexate would have caused. Those are minor details in the face of a miracle.

Then the bleeding and cramping started signaling to my heart that it was time to accept what my head already knew: this is over. I wept. I screamed. I moaned. And I think I’m still in the process of grieving my loss. I have also decided that I want to commemorate this experience. For however long it lasted, this will always be my first pregnancy and incidentally it will always be my first loss. This has changed me in a way that few things ever have.

My husband wrote to me, “I can’t stop feeling the weight of all this. The tragedy of it. Never have I experienced a more permeating and profound sadness. Time I guess. Only time heals wounds this deep. It’s the most bitter cure, but it’s the only one that really works. I wish it would leave a big scar, that everyone could see and wonder and ask about. I wish for people to know the seriousness of the trauma I have experienced.”

So I have decided to leave my own permanent scar on my body. A symbol of this trauma that everyone will see and ask about.

I haven’t decided where on my body I want to put it.

I considered my front hip, close to where she lived for a brief moment in time.

I considered my ribcage under my breast, somewhat close to my heart.

I considered my wrist where I could and would look at it every day.

I considered my back, on my shoulder blade so that I wouldn’t have to look at it every day.

But it’s permanent placement in still up in the air, much like the fate of my left tube. Maybe once this is all over then the solution will become clear? Until then, I am open to suggestions.

The End

14 Nov

As I sit here and write this, tears stream down my face. There has been a lot of that today. However, some of those tears are reserved for the overwhelming gratitude that I feel toward all of you who have shown nothing but support in both my time of immense joy and in my time of great sorrow. I truly feel the love emanating from every comment, email, text, and phone call that I have received today. And I have never been more happy or proud to be part of such an amazing community of women who stand together in the face of tragedy. Unfortunately, that tragedy is one we experience all too often as a community. To truly be able to empathize with another person whom you’ve never actually met is a rare and precious gift that few ever get to experience and I am lucky enough to have been touched by each and every one of you. And not just today, but every day.

When I first announced my pregnancy it was with great trepidation because I have been on your side many, many times. I know how hard it can be to read about another’s success when you are still in the trenches yourself. I know this because I have been there. You know this because you have been there. And this will forever unite us in a way that I would never wish on my worst enemy. The bittersweet camaraderie that I have established in this corner of the internet has changed me so much for the better and for that I will never be ungrateful.

Thank You.

Intermixed with my longing for yesterday (when everything was ok) is an overabundance of thankfulness for the amazing people that I am privileged to call friends and family. When we first broke the news of our pregnancy, some wondered why we would tell people so early. But I knew it was the right choice. Today, my feelings were validated tenfold by the outpouring of support and love that we have felt coming from every direction. Most of the time people don’t know what to say. I’m sorry? Is there anything I can do to help? I love you? And that, right there, those words, are all I ever needed to hear. To know that I am loved and supported. That we can just sit and cry and BE SAD together is more than enough for me. The intimacy of such a shared moment speaks volumes straight from the heart, so much more than words ever could. Language is limited in its ability to communicate feeling, emotion, empathy, and genuine concern, but actions are not. A hug and recognition of this struggle go so much further than a bottle of tequila ever could. Simply acknowledging my pain means more than a contrived explanation ever will.

I am so fortunate to have an abundance of people in my life who truly get this. And I heard from each and every one of them today. I don’t know how I could ever repay them for their compassion and tenderness. But, I guess that’s the beautiful part of true love–whether it be between parents, friends, or lovers–there is no need for compensation. The more love you give, the more you will receive. It’s very definition ensures that it will continue to multiply when given freely.

Then there is the man who stood by my side through all of this. The only person who could really ever come close to understanding my pain because this baby was also his. We were together for both conception and termination. No matter where life takes us from here, both of these actions can never be undone. Today he cried when I was too numb to do so. Today he let the sadness hang in the air and gave it the space that it deserved. Today he acknowledged what I have always known to be true: nothing in life is fair. And today he held my hand even when it was hard for him to do so. He let me feel everything that  I needed to feel and then he felt it right along side me. My partner in both love and loss, my strength in both light and darkness.

I suffered an insurmountable loss today. For 13 days I knew I was pregnant. I spent that previous 13 days falling more and more in love by the second with the life that was finally growing inside of me. Falling in love with the chance to hope and dream for the very thing that I was beginning to doubt would ever be mine. But alas, it was. It is. It will always be mine for however short I had it in my possession. Life has taught me that most things are fleeting and to hope for anything more is a futile endeavor. But this felt different. This felt like it was finally mine, to have forever. It felt like my chance. But I was wrong.

Some want to blame God. He would never give me more than I could handle and clearly I wasn’t ready to handle this. He has other, bigger and better, plans for me. Some want to blame science. I had no business messing with drugs and procedures that forced my body to do things that it would never do naturally. These are the risks that I signed up for and while the odds are always slim, there has to be an exception to every rule. Me and my baby are that exception.

But the truth of the matter is that there is no explanation. There is no reason why I am that 1% whose pregnancy is ectopic. There is no rhyme to the fact that I have been trying my damnedest to conceive for two years and that this is how the tragedy has unfolded. It’s just chance and luck, neither of which has ever been on my side.

I find myself wondering how it’s even possible to already miss something (someone?) that I knew for such a short period of time. How one can possibly become so attached to something (someone?) so intangible. I think it’s because I already knew her before she was even conceived. I have dreamed and fantasized and created her in my mind so long ago that it was really only a matter of time before my body caught up with my fantasy. When my body finally welcomed her into existence it was as if my mind could breathe of sigh of relief that she had finally found her home.

Tonight my home feels vacant and hollow. Her presence, one that was already so abstract, now feels like a ghost that will forever haunt my memory. My sweet love. The only child I have ever known.