Mommy's heart for Baby Jacob

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hug Him Once for Me...a Beautiful Video and a Miracle

I had planned to do so much more tonight...I'm behind on my blog, I have the month of October to keep prepping for--so much to do to remember my sweet little Jacob as well as all babies lost. 

Well, I'll keep this quick.  I found a video tonight that had me sobbing.  I hadn't cried this hard since the night of my D&C when I found the beautifully written, "Still", by Gerritt Hofsnik (too late to look up spelling, sorry if I got his name wrong).  His song captured my tragic feelings of loss so wonderfully nearly one year ago. 

Oh, I cry a lot at the beautiful babyloss videos out there...kinda hard not to.  But this one, wow.  This one really had me in gut-wrenching sobs every time that I watched it--you know, the kind that shake your whole body?  Thankfully, I don't have that type very often. 

What is this song that moved me in so many ways?  Please check out the link below.  The song is called, "Hug Him For Me Now" and the song is by Erica McClure.
I miss my Jacob so much.  I'm sure it's the anxiety of his one-year angelversary building.  The words to this song are beyond beautiful--they reveal every emotion that I've felt for my son...all of the sorrow, the dreams and the joy at seeing him again some day. 

The joy...yes, you read that right.  Oh, the scene in the video when that part is sung had me holding my arms open wide!  Whenever my time comes to go to our Heavenly Home, you can bet I'll be running with my arms open wide first to our Lord and Savior who brought me to everlasting peace and then to my sweet little angel, Jacob.  What a sweet embrace that will be!

Thank you, Lord, for being with me on every step of this journey.  Even tonight, I believe God was here with me in my study while I was finding this video.  Want to hear of a miracle?  Well, it's close enough for me.

I stumbled on this video through a babyloss page on Facebook. It hooked me and I loved it.  I tried to save it to my favorites on YouTube.  I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't save.  Then, I realized that somehow I was logged out.  My husband!  ARGH!  He must have logged me out at some point--usually I just stay logged in and don't frequent YouTube so don't think about it much.

Well, wouldn't you know I couldn't remember my password.  I tried everything. I probably tried TOO many things.  I was locked out!  I then tried everything I could to reset my password but for some reason it just wouldn't do it.  I searched all through help.  Finally and at this point in a very agitated state, I found a link to email someone with my question. 

By this time I had remembered my password.  Duh, how could I have forgotten it??  And of course, YouTube still had me locked out. I also now realized that I use the same information for my blog and started to panic.  What if they reset my password but somehow it still wouldn't work?  What if my blog was messed up and I couldn't get in to that?  Not now!  Oh, please not this close to Jacob's one year angelversary!  I need my blog and am going to need it so much in this next month, especially.

I wrote the tech people and tried to clearly explain my dilemma--please unlock my account but don't reset my password. I sent the email to who knows where and kept checking for a response but got nothing.

You can imagine my mood. I went from highly emotional in a sad and missing my baby way to angry at the computer to scared that my blog would be ruined.  Talk about a rollercoaster that I wasn't planning on riding tonight.

I quickly went back to the video and shared it with one of my facebook babyloss groups.  It's so beautiful that I had to share it somewhere.  I hopped around for a bit more, scanning other posts and decided I needed to go to bed.  I felt drained and unmotivated.  I felt sad and just wanted to crawl into bed and hug Jacob's giraffe. 

Then.  I clicked on the link one more time for one final good cry before bed...and somehow I ended up on YouTube with my USERNAME LOGGED IN!  I sat here dumbfounded for a minute.  All of my favorites were there--the beautiful tributes to babies lost, every single one of them!

How could this be?  Could the YouTube tech person have gotten my email, and unlocked the system that quickly even though they never wrote back to me?  But then...I never logged back in!  My name and account just popped up as if I had, but I hadn't.

I believe God did this.  Maybe he had the tech support people somehow make everything how it was and with me logged in, I don't know.  However it happend, I know He did it.  Maybe that's my hug from Him tonight...thank you, Lord.  Thank you for something so small that meant so much to me tonight.

Enjoy this beautiful video, my friends.  Drifting off here soon with these words in my heart...

"But Lord I trust you now
I know that You are good;
But Jesus I was wondering
if you would...
Hug him once for me?..."

Sending momma's hug to Heaven tonight to my baby Jacob...



Monday, September 12, 2011

Time is Running Out -- part 1

Last Friday. 

I gave Sam my standard hug and "I love you!" before letting him take that first big step up onto the school bus.  The bus driver gave me a cheery "Have a good weekend!" and a smile and I stepped back to look for my baby in the first-seat window.  He smiled at me, waved and gave me a 'heart'--our hand-shaped gesture of love.  I returned the gesture by blowing a kiss, waving and giving him my 'heart'. 

Only as the bus started to slowly roll away did I see the little girl who always sits behind Sammy.  She waved at me too.  And she curled her fingers into a heart-shape against the glass.  My smile widened and I waved more for her.

After watching the bus go around the corner, I turned to walk back up the driveway.  And it was then that the tears started flowing.  I'd held them in since this morning and during the last few days of uncertainty but now they weren't taking no for an answer.  Seeing that little girl wave and give me a 'heart' was just too much.  Why on today of all days had this little girl chosen to wave and share with me such a loving gesture that Sammy & I do for each other?  She'd never before done this.  I don't even know who she is.

I went back into the house and crawled into bed with my younger son to take a nap.  I sobbed as I thought about her sweet gesture and about the little girl we would probably never have.

This last round of fertility treatments was probably the hardest on me.  Not only physically, but also emotionally as well.  For the first time ever, I actually thought I might be pregnant.  I didn't just hope I might be, I actually thought I was based on what I had been feeling as far as physical symptoms.  Turns out it was all fake--well, real in that the symptoms were real but fake in that they were caused by the stupid shots and not by an actual pregnancy.

Three or four weeks ago.  When this cycle started I was feeling optimistic just like I normally did.  I knew that things could go one way or another but was hopeful that perhaps this time since we were trying IUI, we might just sway things in the positive direction a bit.  So I took my Femara on Days 3-7.  I went into the RE's office to have my ultrasound done on day 9.  This was pretty early for me since I normally go in on day 10 but with day 10 being a Sunday we went in early in the hopes of not missing my ovulation.

My day 9 ultrasound showed that the follicles weren't ready to trigger yet.  Even though they told me this was normal, I was a bit worried.  I always ovulated early. The nurse scheduled me for a second ultrasound on Monday, I think it was.  This time when I went in the follicles were closer to the size they needed to be.  I was told to do my trigger shot on Tuesday night and that our IUI would be Thursday morning.

Just in case it might help, we had been trying on our own off and on throughout the weekend and then even on their suggested schedule of Tuesday night.  I don't think I slept at all Wednesday evening. I had no idea of what to expect for the procedure.  It cracks me up now to think about how nervous I was for something so simple but when you are in the dark about something it can be pretty frightening to think about. 

Thursday, about two or three weeks ago.  Alex's part went well.  I guess that's how you word it?  :)  He went in early that morning, did his thing and came back to get us.  My procedure was supposed to be at 9:45 but they didn't get to me until almost 10:15!  I was trying not to panic about the time seeing as how my son was supposed to catch his bus at 11:49! 

The doctor came in with the nurse and they had me sign paperwork--this is me, that's my hubby's sperm, yup, yup.  Then my RE, whom I very rarely see and have much conversation with, asked me to look at the number on the form. I read it aloud as he asked me to.  Well, that number was my hubby's sperm count.  Apparently it was not just good but off the charts good!  My RE said that they very rarely see someone what that many sperm.  I laughed and said I'd have to tell my husband he did well.  We all joked for a few minutes and I ended with, "Well, it's too bad this can't help me any."  My RE said, "Well, actually it can.  Sometimes when we have one partner who is deficient (that would be me), if the other has something like this, it might just help make up for the deficiency." 

Wow.  That was the first GOOD news I had ever heard come out of my RE's mouth.  He was the same guy who painted that awfully gloomy picture of black for us back in March.  Now even if my hubby's super sperm (that's what I've dubbed it) give me even a half of a half of a half of a percent increase in our chances, well, I'll take it.  I take all of the good news I can in this journey.

So.  The procedure ended up being relatively painless to which I was grateful.  The nurse had said I may feel my uterus contracting or something like that and period-like cramping.  Nope.  Didn't feel a thing!  My cervix wasn't tipped or anything--it was in a perfect position which made the doc's job even easier.  The worst part was probably the speculum but we all know how much fun that is anyway.  After a few minutes I was handed a timer and told to lie flat for 7 minutes.  Wow.  That was it.

Luckily we made it home in time for Sammy to catch his bus and this was the first time Daddy was there to see him off too.  For the rest of the day I felt fine and was thankful that the procedure had been so painless and easy to move forward from.

That night I went to my folk dance group and danced for 3.5 hours! I loved it.  It was truly like I needed to be there.  The music just carried me away and allowed me to stop thinking of dates and times and schedules--pills, shots, intercourse.  I could just be in the moment.

With the first two weeks of my cycle out of the way I felt like a lot of pressure had been lifted.  What I was into now was the "tww" which stands for "two week wait."  For those of you not in the baby loss community, did you even think of all of the acronyms that are out there?  The "tww" is just one of many!  So here I was in the my two week wait and I actually felt better knowing that I had done everything I could at that point and that again, it was in God's hands.  I felt a lot of relief.

Tuesday following my IUI.  That Tuesday, about 5-6 days later, I had some strong crampy feelings.  My first thought was that my period was going to be coming soon.  Again I called my RE and they said what they told me the previous month, based on the timing, it could be early PMS or possibly implantation cramping.  Wouldn't you know that I had to go look that up again?  I keep telling myself to stay off of the computer.  Stop looking up pregnancy symptoms. But no, I had to go yet again and found out that implantation can occur as early as 5-6 days past ovulation all the way up to 12 days past.  Wow.  So I was in that ballpark for my pain.  Hmm.

That was the last symptom that I felt.  No spotting which I had had before.  No other ideas that my period was coming.  And so the hope slowly began to build.

One week ago.  As I entered into my final week of the "tww" I kept trying not to think about my test date.  I also noticed that I was developing more strange symptoms that are totally unlike me.  Remember last cycle where I was about flattened by the fatigue?  Turns out that was caused by my second shot--since it's the pregnancy hormone, it causes actual symptoms of pregnancy--like extreme fatigue.

Not only was I feeling extreme fatigue this time but also stomach troubles.  Lots of gas.  Not like you care to know that but boy, it didn't matter what I ate, it was not settling well in my tummy.  I just figured my stomach was out of whack about something and tried not to think about it. 

Tuesday, one week ago.  That Tuesday of my 4th week I developed a new symptom that REALLY threw me.  Heartburn.  I had to go look up those symptoms because to tell the truth, I really wasn't sure that's what it was.  I normally never have heartburn/acid reflux/whatever and only got it when I was pregnant with all of my boys.  Upon reading of how heartburn is triggered in early pregnancy by the pregnancy hormone and other hormones loosening some flap between your stomach and esophagus, I thought--well, that makes sense.  Huh.

The heartburn settled down a bit but my nauseous feelings continued off and on for the next few days.  I had to have my pregnancy test pushed back all the way to last Friday instead of Wednesday. I caught their error and called them and they realized they had scheduled my test too early.  Last time it took forever for me to get the hcg shot out of my body so I had to be re-tested.  They were trying to avoid that this time.

The other significant thing about that Tuesday was that it was day 26 of my cycle.  My cycles are typically 25 days long and I should have gotten my period that day for sure...or even earlier.  But, no period.  Hmm.  Home pregnancy test was positive although I knew that I was still within the 10-day window of my second shot and that I was picking up the hcg.  That's okay.  I figured I'd keep testing until it went negative...or perhaps stayed positive.

Wednesday, just last week.  The day my dreams started to fall.  Spotting that evening.  I remember saying, "Oh God, no! Please no!"  as I stared at the toilet paper.  It was just a faint pinkish-tannish but I knew in my gut what it meant.  My period was coming.  Another brand of home testing showed a negative.  Another major punch in the gut.  That night I had to buy my original brand of test.  Even though I knew my period was coming, I was desperately holding on to hope that maybe it wasn't.  The original test was back to positive.  Talk about a yo-yo of emotions building in the past few days.

This day had to have been the worst that I have felt since losing Jacob last October.  After I got the negative test and the slight spotting, I went and sat at the dining room table.  I just stared out of the window for a few minutes.  I didn't have much more time but took just a few minutes to do nothing.  It felt almost like a death.  I really thought, not for sure, but thought that I might just actually be pregnant and all of those bizzare symptoms that I had felt might actually be do to a pregnancy. 

Then I felt stupid.  I felt like I had been suckered in by this whole thing and that I fell prey to it.  I hated feeling like that.  I wanted to be stronger than that.

Thursday, just last week and one day from official test day.  More spotting that night.  Home test still showing a faint positive line.  Tried to prepare myself for the official news.  I felt it.  I knew Wednesday that things weren't good.  The nurse said some women bleed all throughout their pregnancy and it's normal. I knew and hoped that if I was pregnant, I would fear what the bleeding would mean.  Either way, it wasn't looking good in my mind.

I also had to call my nurse today to figure out what on earth to do...if my period started and when, or if it didn't.  Their phones don't open until 8:30 and my appointment was scheduled for then.  It's all timing. 

Last Friday morning.  No "flow" yet. I had been told to come in if I didn't have flow (heavy bleeding) or to call and reschedule for an ultrasound if I did.  The nurse drawing my blood told me my period should have started by now.  I was like, Geez, please don't get my hopes up any more.  It's coming.  It's probably coming today.

Ready for another yo-yo?  One of my regular nurses came into talk with me for some reason after the other nurse did my blood draw.  First she scolded me for taking home tests when I knew the hcg would still be in my system from the shot.  I have no clue why she did this because it's not like I was whining or worrying or even said anything about it.  I thought, "What do you care?"  I was actually very matter-of-fact in knowing my period was coming.  I was simply reporting to them what I had found because they asked if I tested at home.  Duh.

My nurse even clarified that perhaps the shot hcg went out of my system (hence the faint positive line) and then my own would build back up and that home tests might pick this up if they were sensitive enough to indeed pick it up.  Apparently the one test I used is awesome and super sensitive.  Good to know.  Maybe.

And then my nurse did something awful.  She crushed my dreams. Stomped all over them.  Left them in pieces there in the blood draw room.  If the cramping, spotting, impending period news and negative pregnancy test weren't all enough to throw at me on top of the last week of building hope and actually feeling pregnant, she thought she'd hit me with a lot more.
She started counting how many rounds of this treatment plan I'd been doing and said that I would have to take this next round off and meet with the doctor to discuss my options at this point.  She leaned on the counter and said, "We're fighting that low AMH score with you.  You just aren't making a lot of eggs and that signifies diminished ovarian reserve."  No kidding, really??  Do you think I've forgotten how abysmal my scores are??  Must you remind me??  And on a day like today???  She went through the one option of injectables if the doc would go that route but said she just didn't know. 

So I leave the RE's office feeling more crampy and more down than ever.  I truly felt like my nurse's little speech was more of a getting ready to "kick me to the curb" speech than anything else.  I know my options are limited.  Oh sure, there's maybe IVF which we can't afford.  And who could forget egg donation?  Sure. I have $20K in my pocket right now for that.  Yup.

I fought tears as I went back to the car to relay all of this to Alex.  He suggested we start looking for another doc to work with.  A second opinion.  The sky over me was getting more and more gloomy.  It was so hard getting Sammy ready for school.  He noticed my mood and asked, "What's wrong, Mommy?"  I sat on the driveway with him waiting for the bus and told him I was sad because the doctor said it was hard for me to have a baby. He said, "Oh," and hugged me.  Just the other day he was talking about where we'd put his baby's sister's car seat in the car.  Out of the blue. 

And then the bus came.  Sammy and I gave our 'hearts' to each other...and then the little dark-haired girl in the seat behind him made that special shape that my sons and I share.  Why had she chosen this day of all of days to do the same gesture to some other little boy's mommy?  It was too much.  It was as if seeing her do that shoved the pain of not ever having another baby, let alone a little girl, even deeper into my heart.  And that's when I cried.  Finally.  After all week of holding back, I cried for the lost that I felt thinking I had been pregnant.  And I cried for the lack of another chance--for the extinguishing of hope. 

To be continued....


Friday, September 2, 2011

An Overwhelmingly Sad Day

Well, I'm back.  And it's late.  What's new?  I'm always the late-night poster. :)  That's probably because it's the only time I have free time to write. 

I'm sorry for the lengthy delay in responding.  Been a fast, furious and fatiguing several weeks. 

Will keep this post short so I can try to get to bed for at least a bit...before we head out of town tomorrow.

Today was rough.  I've been thinking a lot lately about so many women I've met in the Baby Loss Community--both online and in person.  They are such beautiful, compassionate and supportive women.  We all share a common bond--the loss of a baby.  Today for some reason and more than normal, I was feeling their losses, I was looking at pictures of their babies at various ages when they passed away and I even saw a picture of a little boy who may have looked like Jacob did when he died at 13 weeks in my womb.  What a sweet little baby...so tender, so innocent...just like my Jacob.

And then right before dinner, I saw a note that a woman in one of our facebook baby loss communities was right then in labor to deliver her son who died two days prior.  I couldn't believe it.  Yes, we know this stuff happens all the time but how often do we know right when it's happening?  Here I was sitting down to dinner with my boys, about to eat teriyaki chicken and I couldn't stop thinking of what this woman was going through.  My heart still goes out to her and her family.  Just yesterday she had posted a question about not feeling her baby move for the last day or so. I, along with so many others, advised her to go to the doctor and not to wait.  I know we all held her in our prayers as we hoped that the baby was okay.

On a personal note, earlier I had to reschedule my blood test for next week.  Actually I had to push it back--just what every woman who is trying to conceive wants to do, you know?  My nurse wants to make sure we don't catch my trigger shot like we did last time (I'll have to fill you in later).  So I still have another week left to wait.  I can't even cheat and take a home pregnancy test because it will just pick up the hcg in my system from the shot so no go there.  Patience, patience and more patience. 

Can I be honest?  Part of me is horribly scared.  What if?  What if this time things somehow were to work?  I will have to give more details to catch you up on this latest round of fertility treatments in a day or so...but let's just pretend things do work.  I've known that even if I get a positive it's a long, scary road with an unknown destination.  Maybe I'll never get that chance to go down that road again, I don't know.  Would I stop trying because I don't want to take that path?  Nope.  I can't do that.  I don't know.  It's just so scary knowing that I may make it even farther than 13 weeks only to lose another baby.  And yet, even though I am well aware of this, I have to keep trying until there are no options left.

My hope and prayer is simple.  If I do get pregnant again that I can 1) be strong enough to get through whatever happens with God's help, and that of my friends and family and 2) that I will celebrate each and every day with that baby with joy, hope and love...no matter how short or long that time may be.   Joy, lots and lots of joy.  That's what I want.  I want to share that joy with all of you if I'm ever able.

Do you know that's what I still feel about Jacob?  Joy.  I think today may have been when I found out that I was pregnant last year.  It's got to be getting close but since I'm not organized enough to find last year's calendar right now all I can do is to go by gut feelings and timing.  I remember the shock and joy I felt at finally becoming pregnant again!  I still feel that joy for my son.  I love him dearly.  I would not have changed anything that happened (well, of course that he lived)...but even though he left us, I know he is happy and so loved in Heaven.  Just knowing I have him waiting there for me brings me such comfort.  He lives in my heart too...always.

For some reason the tears fell a bit more freely than normal today.  Perhaps because I was overwhelmed by the grief that others have been suffering, maybe having 3 "slower than normal" days in my life allowed feelings to surface that I normally keep buried under all of my busyness, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what caused my off and on sadness today.  Who knows, if this hcg in my system mimics pregnancy symptoms as I'm told it does, that might explain my mood too.  I know it definitely has knocked me on my butt fatigue-wise just like last month.

That would also explain my absence from writing--too plain tired to write at 3:00 AM! :) 

Well, friends just wanted to let you know I'm still here, my blog is still here and I have lots and lots to write about!  I must tell you to end on a happy note how much I am looking forward to the month of October.  I've dubbed that, "Jacob's month", and have all sorts of things planned--from my blog, to our day to remember him, to things I will be doing to honor my sweet baby who is waiting for me in Heaven.  I really am looking forward to a month-long celebration of his short, yet special time here on this earth.  I hope you'll join me in celebrating him.

With joy in my heart for my Jacob,

Kim :)