Gah-Easter

I have nothing against Easter. I love what it represents and I’m in awe of a God who sent His son to die so that I could have a chance at eternal life. 

This Easter is hard though. All these little people in cute outfits and too big bow ties and fluffy dresses is a lot. Langston would have been 6 months…perfect size for a too big bow tie. 

 Also: when some of your closest friends get together for an Easter Egg Hunt and you and Hubbins weren’t invited…because childless..it sucks. I have said and will continue to say: give me the opportunity to turn down an invite; don’t make me feel even more leperous by excluding me because of our ‘condition’. Grief isn’t contagious. 

I realize this turned into a snarky rant and I’m sorry. I do wish you guys a Happy Easter and I hope you spent it with loved ones. Chocolate bunnies for all 🐰

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To my first born

Dear Langston,

Oh little one, we miss you. That seems like a weird place to start but it is the emotion that sums it up the best. Although we never met, I feel like I know you. As soon as I saw those two lines telling me I was pregnant, I knew you. And I began to plan. I didn’t think you would be a boy. Daddy has always said that he would have all girls as payback for all the hearts that he broke in college so I just assumed that you would be a girl. I allowed myself to dream. You had so many nicknames. KitKat, Baby Bunny, Baby Spot, Baby Spider Monkey and we used them interchangeably. You made me so nauseous. I remember that I watched what I ate religiously because you made it clear early that if you didn’t’ like a certain food, you would make sure I knew it right away. Although I didn’t like constantly feeling like I was running to the bathroom, in my mind, I loved that you were opinionated and in that I recognized myself.

We started thinking about names for you and I had so many boy names and a few girl names. Langston stuck out to me. It was a strong name. I was already dreaming of the kind of man I wanted you to grow to be. I wanted you to be a thinker and a dreamer. I wanted you to be a strong independent man  of God who valued his family and friends and was a hard worker. I knew you would be a mama’s boy and I looked forward to spoiling you. I knew you would have your Daddy’s patience because you surely wouldn’t get it from me. I was so ready to see the way that he loved you because of how he loved me and good he is with kids.When you were born, I saw him in you even as little as you were and my heart broke again as I recognized that you were the perfect realization of our love for each other.  

I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that we didn’t’ get any of our dreams together. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t keep you with me longer. I’m sorry that I didn’t cherish every day more that we had together. I’m sorry that I won’t ever get to hear you cry or hear you call me Mommy. I tell myself that it is all for a purpose and that you won’t ever feel grief, or pain or have to be sad; that you won’t have to know the harsh realities of being a black man in America…..but the selfish part of me still wants you here. I do thank God for choosing us to be your parents and even though you could not stay, I want you to know that you were so wanted my sweet boy. We longed for you and we worked so hard for you.  I love you for making us Mommy and Daddy. You gave us those titles and we wouldn’t have them without you. Thank you for representing my happiness. You will always be my ‘happy’ pregnancy. You represent a time before I thought about babies being born at 13 weeks and being so little that they could not survive. I am going to see you one day. One day an angel will bring you to me and I know that I will instantly recognize you because that’s what happens when you are a mother, even if you haven’t seen your child for a period of time,  you recognize them as a part of you that has been missing. I am so happy that I got the chance to know you. I love you so much.

 

Love,

Mommy.

Rough day

I’ve had a series of allright days; not great, just allright. Today broke that streak. I’m not sure if it was the email about a free nursing cover, or the reminder that popped up on my phone about my growth appointment for Friday after I was sure I had turned those all off or the fact that when I weighted myself this morning I had only lost 2 pounds..but it was a cry in the bathroom day. Maybe tomorrow will be better. 

It has been a busy week

I haven’t posted since last week I think. I knew this week was full of appointments and such and I wanted to wait and just do one post… because.. lazy. So this will be a long one…

On Tuesday I met with Dr. Atlas to consult for the TAC procedure. I WAS SO NERVOUS. So nervous that I got in and my blood pressure was 180/105!! His NP Malissa said “ummm, let’s have you sit and think happy thoughts for a while and we will repeat it after we are done with the doctor”. We did the repeat after the consultation and I was back to normal. I was really impressed with this doctor you guys. I had requested my records to be sent over from my OB’s office and he came to the consultation having reviewed everything. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a provider who knows nothing about my history and I have to rehash everything for them. I also love that he is straightforward; after reviewing my history and checking my pressure and lab results (no diabetes or high blood pressure) he said “you’re healthy, you’re just… ” and I said “fat” and he started laughing and said “we don’t like to say that, we say overweight”. I said “you know I’m fat, I know I’m fat, you’re going to see my insides, let’s be frank and honest with each other”.

He thinks I’m a good candidate for the procedure but has asked me lose 20-30 lbs prior to surgery. He did say that they would/could still do the procedure without the weight loss but he wants me to be in the best possible cardiac health to increase my healing time and decrease my risks under anesthesia. Also, I’ve gained about 9 pounds since Lucas was born from being a couch lump so he has a good point. He  cautioned me to not do anything crazy to lose weight just replace my drinks with water and add some walking…and maybe not have Talenti EVERY night.. it is a problem..  I need an intervention.

Prior to scheduling a surgery date he wants me to have an HSG (x-ray that is done with a dye injected into your uterus and fallopian tubes to check for any blockages or abnormalities) done to ensure that there is nothing else going on that we don’t know about prior to surgery. He was actually surprised that I had never had one done with my difficulty ovulating on my own. After those results, I’ll consult with Dr. Im who is the robotics guy. Dr. Atlas is confident we should be able to have surgery this end of May/June.

That same day I had my first therapy session and I love my new therapist!! She put me right at ease and in our first hour together we talked about so many things that I didn’t expect. She said we have a lot of work to do and I am so happy to have found her going forward with everything.

Yesterday, I had my last follow up with my OB. It was just a final check to make sure my cervix was back to normal and everything was back in place. All looks well. I got a Provera prescription from her to stop this on one day/ off three days bleeding that I’m still having and reset my cycle; the HSG has to be done on a certain cycle day and I have no idea where I am now. We also talked about Zika. Why Zika? Well, Hubbins side of the family does a Thanksgiving trip every two years. This year it is a cruise to the Bahamas..which has been in the planning process for a year now. I want to go; we need the vacation and he doesn’t want to go solo. We have been spearheading the whole process so we both can’t not go….but if I won’t be risking my fertility in anyway fooling with any mosquitoes on anyone’s behalf. Dr. H and I settled that if I’m pregnant in November, I won’t go.

I then had to talk to Hubbins last night to figure out what that meant with us trying. Do I want to be pregnant again? Yes. However, I don’t mind waiting. I need to build back up vacation time at work. We are looking into starting the process this fall to purchase a home; I would love to be moved in and have a baby’s room before we get started again. Also, I think we just need a break. When we lost Langston last May, I was back at the RE in  August and we were trying again. I got pregnant with Lucas in November and we started back with appointments and such. I don’t think I want to jump back into the timed sects and the shots and the pills and the appointments. Our relationship needs some time; I am looking forward to getting back to the spontaneity that comes with ‘not trying’. So we decided, we are going to continue to take precautions until we have the procedure this summer; I am adamant about having the TAC in place prior to getting pregnant. Once that is done, we won’t take any precautions to prevent pregnancy, but we won’t start treatments with the RE again till after the cruise. If I get pregnant ‘naturally’ (something that has never happened but as they say “man plans and God laughs”) so be it; if it hasn’t happened by the end of November, I’ll go back to the RE and do the Letrazole and Ovidrel trigger again.

It feels good to have a plan.

Therapy

I have an appointment for next Tuesday. This is a big step for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this here but I come from the Carribean. Growing up, depression wasn’t a real thing. It was something that if you were strong enough you could shake. This was even more true if you believed in God; He would carry you through. I believe all of this. I know God is able but I also know that depression is real and that it is dangerous for me to keep carrying all of this around and trying to work it all out in my own head. I need help. 

What’s next?

I’m ready to plan for the future. That doesn’t mean trying again right now. It means figuring what I can do so that I give us the greatest chance of this not happening again. I mentioned in a previous post that I had begun doing some research on the Trans-abdominal cerclage (TAC). If you aren’t familiar with the procedure, the easiest way to explain it is that they tie a suture around your cervix right at the top, closest to the uterus. This is different from the vaginal cerclage (TVC) that I had done twice with Lucas. In the TVC a stitch goes through the cervix to help hold it closed. The thing is going vaginally only allows you so much access as the bladder is ‘in the way’. Doing the procedure from the top down allows the suture to be placed closer to the top. The stuff they use to truss you (yes, truss because I keep picturing a turkey with its legs tied together when I think of this procedure) is strong enough to hold the weight of a full grown adult SO it should have no issue holding a baby. My problem has been that the weight of baby once I enter the 2nd trimester is too much for my do nothing lazy weak cervix. I have been doing extensive research and have PORED over the Abbyloopers website/blog for women who have had the procedure and/or are considering it. I refuse to ‘try’ with another TVC and I was worried that my MFM doctor would recommend this instead of being supportive for me moving ahead with the TAC.

I had my MFM consult/follow-up yesterday. Dr. J (who was the 2nd doctor on 2nd TVC surgery) is amazing. She is a straight shooter and that is what I love about her. We talked about my delivery and before I could even suggest it she said, “we need to talk about an abdominal cerclage”. This was confirmation for me; I have been praying about this procedure because it is major surgery and a big commitment both physically and emotionally. The TAC is permanent; once it is placed, it is there… what that means is you are committing to C-sections for all subsequent deliveries. That is scary for me; not in light of having a c-section to bring home my baby but in having my water break again or something else happen and still having to have a c-section and coming home empty handed. She did say that was a valid concern; if there are issues requiring a D&C prior to 10 weeks or, they can do one. If the loss happens after that, then we will be facing a c-section. Even in light of that scary news, I still want to proceed. If I am taking the risk to try to get pregnant again, I need to know that I did all that was in my power and gave my baby the highest chance possible to succeed. One major plus for me is that I can get the TAC prior to being pregnant; I was so worried last time having surgery while pregnant with Lucas…this way I just have to worry about me getting through the procedure, not the both of us. I did also ask, since we need help to conceive, if I would be making that harder by having the procedure. She said no harder than it was previously.

Dr. J did refer me to another physician for the procedure. She said she has done them in the past…but it has been about 2 years since she did one. She feels the same way I do; if we are going to take the chance on the surgery, let’s give ourself the best chances for a positive outcome. I appreciated that. You don’t find a lot of doctors who will say ‘I’m not the best one for this, here is someone who is’. There is a doctor who performs the procedure who is about 10 minutes from where I work. There will be insurance hoops to jump through and that has started already even with making an appointment to see him as he is ‘out of network’ but I will not be deterred. I am nothing if not stubborn and persistent. So I guess this is the start of new chapter in our journey.

One month later

Yesterday was one month since the birth of our son Lucas. I didn’t remember till later in the evening.. and then I felt guilty that I hadn’t remembered. It was weird. There is a part of me that thinks about my boys everyday. It is especially hard because I seem submerged in pregnancy related things. Social media is in pregnancy season and there are announcements and pictures and such. Hubbins cousin had a baby shower this past Sunday (which we weren’t invited to..I don’t know how I feel.. I probably wouldn’t have gone but it feels bad to be left out intentionally) and I think I have mentioned before one of my  best friends from elementary school is pregnant; we would have been due two weeks apart. The grief isn’t as close to the surface as it usually is. Not all the time. It still feels fresh and catches me off guard. For example, scrolling through IG and seeing the pictures of the cousin’s baby shower.. who of course is expecting a baby boy and bursting into tears. Or standing at the time clock with a coworker who knew I was pregnant but still haven’t explicitly told about the loss. She asked if everything was alright and I said no.. and she looked and me and I shook my head.. and she started tearing up.. and I had to run away because I have a strict no crying at work where people can see you policy. I know that on some level though I am healing. I can talk about our sons easier now; my voice may waver but it is a lot stronger than it was a few weeks ago. At my MFM appointment yesterday we were able to discuss details of my delivery without me breaking down; on some level I think that when I talk about it to people, I try to think of it as something that happened to someone else and I’m just reporting facts. The feelings are there but they don’t have to apparent to everyone. I can’t break down at every doctor’s appointment. There are still things that are hard and the feelings come that I feel guilty for having. I have some dear friends in the blogverse who are pregnant and I find myself both longing for news that they are ok and their babies are doing well and at the same time feeling envious when I read the good reports. It is a jumble of things. I am actively searching for a therapist because I know that I need to talk to someone. Not willingly…but I know that for my overall health and to be as healthy for my future babies I need to heal from this and I need some help. So that is where we are.