Thursday, January 29, 2015

Forgiveness


Last night in our small group, we discussed forgiveness.  We discussed how it feels when we are forgiven, how it feels when we forgive others, and how God forgives us, unconditionally, no ifs, ands, or buts attached. 
It was a good lesson.
I sat there and cried the entire time.  I had no idea why.  I was frustrated with myself for crying.  I was frustrated with myself for crying and not knowing why I was crying.  I finally chalked it up to missing the babies so badly, and it being my daily break down time, after all, I’d made it through most of the day without crying yet.  Except for those 15 minutes on the way to work, and the 20 minutes on the way home, and, oh yeah, the 30 minutes in the middle of the day.  So, I really had no idea why I was crying. 
After Dusty and I walked back to our house after small group, it started hitting me why I was crying. 

We talked about forgiving others, and we talked about God forgiving us.  And although we discussed this some; what about when we can’t forgive ourselves?  And even worse, what about when we can’t forgive God?
Let’s start with the easy one. 

I can’t forgive myself.  I carry guilt inside me that sits in my stomach constantly.  I feel it, all the time.  It presses into my stomach, and down on my shoulders.  It is always in the front of my mind, right there with Chandler and Paisley.  It hurts, it makes me physically ill.  My body failed our babies.  I don’t think I will ever let that go.  They were perfect.  It was my body.  My body went into labor.  My body kicked them out.  How do I ever let that go?
I don’t think I’ll ever let that go.  No matter how many people tell me it wasn’t my fault.  Who’s fault was it? 

Was it God’s? 
Did God take away my babies?  Maybe not.  Did God allow my babies to be taken away?  Yes.  So what’s the difference?  I don’t know.  I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that.  Sometimes, I think it’s just a play on words to make it sound like God wouldn’t take away babies.  And that is why I am having a hard time not being angry with God, and why I am struggling to forgive him. 
The bible talks a lot about forgiveness, but I’ve yet to find mention of how we are supposed to forgive God.  I guess we’re never supposed to be in this situation, where we personally, feel like there is something we should forgive God for.  Where we feel like God wronged us.  He did something to us that hurt us, and caused us pain, and made us angry.  Maybe we aren't supposed to be in this spot, thinking these thoughts.

But I am.  And I don’t know what to do. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What's next? Locust?

As you may be able to tell from the title of this post, we've received more bad news.  On Wednesday, I had my saline ultrasound.  I could tell it wasn't going very well.  The doctor had to ask for additional saline and I could tell from the discussion she was having with the ultrasound tech and her nurse, what was showing up wasn't usual.  We finish and she shows us on the ultrasound screen what the saline normally does, and what mine did.  She wasn't sure what it meant and said she'd have to contact the fertility clinic and send them the images. 

On Thursday, I heard back from my nurse, who had heard back from the APN at AR Fertility.  Basically, there is something in my uterus, maybe a polyp, maybe some residual placenta tissue, something, we aren't sure what, and I have to go to Little Rock twice, once to have another saline ultrasound and then a 2nd time for surgery to remove whatever it is in my uterus.  My lining was still so thick that they couldn't really get a good picture of what is in my uterus, but whatever it is, it needs to be removed before attempting conception.  So, I started birth control pills yesterday, and will go to Little Rock around the middle of February for another saline ultrasound. 

Bad news is really getting old quick.  In exchanging emails with Sarah (the APN), I warned her and said I was going to be a whiney patient and basically said, this sucks, does this suck as bad as it feels like it sucks?  Sarah wrote back the nicest email and said I wasn't being whiney and yes, this sucks.  I'm being kicked when I'm down.  I've had the worst possible outcome from the pregnancy and now am being faced with this.  She wrote something like, you're probably wondering what's next, locust?  That made me chuckle.  It's so true.  It's just one thing after another.  But, she did say this is at least fixable.  Thankful for that. 

I was and continue to be very upset after hearing this information.  Not only can I not move forward with trying to get pregnant, but I have to start birth control pills, have another saline ultrasound, have surgery and then recover from that surgery before I can even think about getting pregnant.  I really have no idea what sort of timeline we're looking at for trying to get pregnant again.  I had hopes of trying for 1 or 2 months naturally before moving on to the FET, but now I'm not sure what to do. 

I've never been one to listen to what God's telling me very well.  I'm praying he'll give me guidance. 

The day after getting this news, Dusty told me that he had a talk with God on the way to work.  After his talk, several songs came on the radio, We Believe, I Will Walk by Faith, and I am not Alone.  Dusty told me after hearing these songs come on after his prayer, he had this sense of peace come over him and he knew God would take care of us.  I'm so thankful for that.  I'm not there yet.  I'm still hurt and angry.  But thank goodness my husband, and family and friends continue to carry me through this journey.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Want to Wake Up

Reality sucks.  It really does.  It seems like, about once a day, it hits me.  Our twins, our children, our babies...are gone.  There are no more doctor appointments to go see our babies on the ultrasound monitor.  There are no more diapers to buy.  No more shopping for coordinating boy and girl outfits.  Nothing like that.  It's over.  My babies are in Heaven.  And they aren't coming back. 

I don't know when, if ever, it will feel real.  I mean, it does, all the time it feels real.  And it hurts.  But, most days, I just go through the motions and wait for the moment for it to hit me, to slap me in the face, to run me over like a mack truck. 

Please don't think I'm living in some delusional state where I think I'm still pregnant.  I'm not.  I know I'm not.  Boy do I know I'm not. 

From the moment I was wheeled back into my hospital room (room 38...I'll never forget that) from the operating room, I thought to myself, has any of this happened?  Was I ever even pregnant?  Was this some cruel joke? 

I never felt Chandler and Paisley kick and knew it was them, without a shadow of a doubt.  I delivered them, but I didn't see them be delivered.  I was laying flat on the operating room table, I couldn't see my babies when I delivered them.  They weren't handed to me.  They were handed over to an amazing NICU staff that intubated them, and gave them a chance.  My belly disappeared, in what seemed like a few hours.  All of these things feel like it was all just a dream.  Nothing feels real. 

I am really struggling right now.  It seems like everywhere I turn, I see babies, children, pregnant women...happiness.  Everything that feels so out of reach for me. 

The house next to us sold recently.  We haven't met the family that's moving in, but I dreamed about them.  In my dream, I was standing in Chandler and Paisley's nursery, and looked out their window into the neighbor's window.  I saw two children, boy and girl twins, running around in the house.  Then, their mother came into view, with a huge round, pregnant belly.  Even my dreams mock me. 

I'm on an audit out of town this week.  It's an audit in a hospital.  To get from the conference room we are in to the CFO's office, and guess what hallway I have to walk down.  The OB hall.  I walk past two ultrasound rooms.  I walk past the waiting room full of pregnant women.  And every single trip, I feel a tremendous pressure on my chest, and the beginnings of an anxiety attack.

Everything hurts right now.  I'm trying to be positive, I'm trying to believe, but it hurts so bad.  I don't want to have to do an FET.  I don't know why, but right now, I don't want that at all.  I just want to be able to get pregnant like nearly every other woman in the world.  I don't want to have to have my embryo thawed and transferred into me.  Don't get me wrong, I will if I have to, but right now, I don't want to.  I don't want to HAVE to do that.  I just want to get pregnant on our own. 

I want to just be normal. 

I hate my reality.  I want to wake up.  I want this nightmare to end. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

We Wonder

12 weeks ago today, we met you, saw your tiny little bodies for the first time.  It's hard to imagine it's been so long.  I wish with every ounce of my being that we were just now meeting you.

Sweet babies.  There are so many things you gave us, so many things we learned about you during your short time here.  But, there are so many more things we didn't get to have, that we will always wonder about.

Our sweet, precious babies. 

We never got to hear your cry.  When a woman gives birth, she listens for that precious sound, that sound that signals that her child is alive and is strong, and is ok.  My sweet children, I know you tried, your lungs just weren't ready yet.  Oh how we will always long for that sound, to know what you both would sound like.  To learn the difference between your cries, to be able to distinguish you both individually, and to learn what your different cries meant. 

We never got to see your beautiful eyes.  My Chandler and Paisley, you were so little, your eyes hadn't opened yet.  How I long to know what your beautiful eyes looked like.  I'm convinced you both have my blue eyes, but would love to see your daddy's green eyes too. 

We wonder what your hair color would have been.  I think you were both going to have blond hair.  Especially when you were little. 

We wonder how you would have slept.  We planned to put you both in the same crib for a while.  We both imagine you cuddling close to each other.  After all, you have always been together. 

Oh how we long to see your precious faces smile.  My little babies.  I wish I could see that.

How I wish we could hear your giggle.  It would have been the sweetest sound on earth, I just know it. 

I wish I could hear what your sweet voices would sound like.  I ache to hear your voices say mommy and daddy.

We will always wonder these things, along with thousands more things about what your life would have been like on earth.  But now, we wonder other things too. 

We wonder about your life in Heaven. 

Do you see us?  Are you looking down on us and watching us?  Do you know us?  Will you know us when we get there?  Are you babies?  If you are, who is holding you all the time?  If you aren't, how old are you?  I picture you being 4 years old.  I don't know why.  Part of me is sad at that, because I want to snuggle you as babies and hold you for eternity, but then part of me thinks it wouldn't be fair to you for you to stay babies forever.  And Dusty and I have talked so many times of how we can't wait to get to Heaven and see two beautiful little children run up to us and call us Mom and Dad for the first time.  Oh how my heart aches for that.  I know Dusty and I will hold you for eternity. 

Did you watch us hold your bodies after you had each passed?  You went from our arms into the arms of Jesus.  Did you see us crying in agony over losing you? 

Paisley, did you wait for your brother, to show him the way?  Chandler, did you know your sister was gone and long to join her?  You both have been together since day one.  We have comfort knowing you are still together. 

Have you met our dads?  All of my grandparents?  Dusty's grandpa? 

Perhaps my dad has taken you fishing with his good friend Frank.  I think that's where they spend most of their time in Heaven.  I imagine they are fishing and catching the best crappie they have ever eaten.  By now, I'm sure Dad has taught you all exactly where the best fishing holes are, how to tie on the lure, and that trick Dad always seemed to have for getting his jig to look the most attractive to fish.   

Maybe Dusty's dad has played "where's my thumb" with you, even though we told you, Paisley, to not fall for it.  We forgot to tell you, Chandler, so hopefully you have told him, Paisley.  I know that our bodies will be made perfect in Heaven, but I still picture Rocky without his thumb. 

Do you run around together, holding hands, giggling at all of the fun you are having? 

Did you have a Christmas tree in Heaven?  We imagine Christmas is the biggest celebration of them all in Heaven. 

Do you know how much we love you?  And how, for the rest of our lives, we will think of you every single minute, and love you with all of our hearts. 

We love you, Chandler and Paisley, and we can't wait to see you again. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 Go Home...You Suck

Here we are, 8 lousy days into this year, and already, I'm over it. 

I've had what looks like a chemical pregnancy, but maybe was just a fluke HCG result (per my doctor), and there is apparently no way to know what it was. 

Then, Dusty and I found out that one of his sisters got pregnant just before we lost our babies.  We want to be happy for her, we really, genuinely do, but dang, it hurts so badly.  Why can everyone else be happy and we can't?  Not that I don't want her to be happy, or anything at all like that, I'm not mad at her, or even jealous of her.  I'm just hurt, and that hurt isn't directed at her one little bit.  If I had the ability to be happy, I'd be happy for her, I truly would, but I don't, I can't.  All I can feel inside is pain.  I'm hurt that God would seem to abandon us like he has. 

It just isn't fair at all.  Dusty and I deserve children.  We deserve to have our Chandler and Paisley.  We dreamed of twins.  That dream came true.  We lived that dream for 22 short weeks.  And then it went away and forgot to take us with it.

You know what would be a lot easier?  Giving up.  Deciding we no longer want children.  Then, it wouldn't hurt when we are around children, it wouldn't hurt when we see the babies that others carry, it wouldn't hurt when we receive news of a pregnancy.  It wouldn't feel like our entire world has crashed down around us, to never, ever be put back together again.  We could just accept the fact that we will always be that childless couple, and move on. 

And at times, I wish I could do exactly that. 

This pain is just too much.  Why do Dusty and I have to fight so damn hard for something that so many people take for granted, or even destroy?  I saw on the news today some father in Florida threw his 5 year old daughter off a bridge and she died.  My God, what kind of monster does that?  And why was it ever a good idea for that man to be able to conceive a child with somebody? 

Why do Dusty and I have to live the rest of our lives missing our babies?  Every single day, for the rest of our lives, we will wake up and think of Chandler and Paisley, and we will hurt because they are not here. 

I'm hurt, and I'm angry, and I'm so over this.  I want to crawl in bed and never get out.  I don't want to face another day without my babies. 

I want to be happy, for me, for my family, for others, but I just can't.  Literally, I don't think I'm capable of it, at all.  I've had my dreams, everything I ever wanted, crushed, ripped from me, to be left here, with empty arms and tear stained cheeks.  I cry every single day.  I hurt every single second.  There is never a minute that goes by that Chandler and Paisley are not constantly in my thoughts. 

Dusty and I wanted our babies more than anything.  Why is all we have of our babies two tiny boxes sitting on our shelf with one pink ribbon and one blue ribbon wrapped around what contains what is left of our babies?  Why is the only way we can hold our babies is holding their ashes?  This isn't fair at all.  I hate this for me, I hate it for Dusty and I hate it for our family and friends.  I miss our babies, and I want them back. 

I know my attitude is terrible.  I know it is.  I'm so tired of fighting and having to be strong.  It is hard to be strong all the time.  And I'm tired of it.  I have looked back at old posts where I thought I was tired and at my lowest and how stupid was I?  What I was going through then is nothing compared to now.  My children died.  My body failed.  I failed.  On this earth, I will never hold my children, I will never hear them call me Mom, and call Dusty Dad, I will never hear them giggle.  I will never take family pictures with Chandler and Paisley smiling in them. 

I will never not hurt. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Hits Keep Coming

The hits just keep coming.  I think I know exactly how it feels like to be a punching bag.  No, not physically, I promise you, my husband does not beat me!  However; emotionally, I have been absolutely beat.  My husband has been beat.  We are so exhausted. 

Yesterday, I found out I likely had a chemical pregnancy last week.  A chemical pregnancy is really just an early miscarriage, and is fairly common, and if wasn't for those stinking early response pregnancy tests, we'd probably never even know. 

A chemical pregnancy...really?  

After having the babies, I bled for around 5 1/2 weeks, and haven't bled since then.  The Sunday before last, something got in my head and I thought there was maybe, just maybe, a slight chance Dusty and I got pregnant on our own.  For some reason, I still had one pregnancy test left from my stock pile when I took, oh, 8 or so when I became pregnant with the twins.  {Hey - what can I say, POAS (pee on a stick) addiction is real, and when you finally see that 2nd line, you just want to keep on seeing it!}  So, I took a home pregnancy test.  I stared at the test window for about 90 seconds and the 2nd line never appeared.  I thought to myself, that was stupid, I shouldn't have done that, and threw the test in my drawer, and finished getting ready for church. 

A couple of hours later, I pulled out the test, and wouldn't you know, a 2nd line had appeared.  It was the faintest 2nd line I've ever seen on a test, though.  And, being the infertile person I am, I knew about the dreaded "evap" line that appears on pregnancy tests when they are read well beyond the time you are supposed to read them.  I instantly began kicking myself for not staring at it the entire 3 minutes, and decided there was nothing left to do except wait until Monday morning to take another test.  Dust and I made a Walmart run for other things, and I picked up another box of tests.  I didn't tell Dusty why, other than saying, just maybe, since I still hadn't started.  I didn't want Dusty to get his hopes up, especially since I thought it may have just been an evap line. 

Monday morning came and I could hardly wait to test again.  I took the test, set the timer on my phone, and stared at that test the entire 3 minutes.  Right at the 3 minute mark, I saw what I thought was a 2nd line again.  So, I asked Dusty to come into the bathroom and asked him if he saw it, because trust me, I didn't believe my own eyes and figured I was wanting to see something so badly, I could actually make it appear.  Dusty saw it though, and I showed him Sunday's as well, which he saw too.  However, we were still very hesitant because the line didn't get any darker and was just barely there. 

Tuesday morning, I took another test, and we had the same thing, with an incredibly faint 2nd line. 

Then, Wednesday morning, the 2nd line was gone. 

On Wednesday, April, Summer and I went to eat lunch together and then to watch Annie, which was so cute!  While at lunch, I told April about the tests.  When she dropped me off at the house after the movie, she came in and looked at the tests and saw what Dusty and I saw too.  April suggested I call my doctor's office and see what they said.  So, I called my nurse and she suggested I go in for bloodwork.  While on the phone with her, I asked if I could have low progesterone and that could be causing what I would guess to be a chemical pregnancy.  She said possibly, and cycle day 22 labs would test for that.

When she said that, I realized that I never had my cycle day 22 labs.  They were ordered at my first appointment, April 10, 2013, but when I had the positive HCG level prior to the HSG test, and then bled the following day, I wasn't sure when my cycle restarted, and called my nurse to ask her what cycle day I was on and if I still needed the cycle day 22 labs.  She said I didn't need to.  Now, that is haunting me. 

Friday morning, I checked my patient portal and saw my test results, which looked like they said my HCG level was 10.  I waited most of the day for my nurse to call back.  She finally did mid-afternoon, and told me that my results showed what I thought I saw on the patient portal.  I was "barely" pregnant.  She had me come back in for repeat labs.  I also pushed her about the progesterone, and she gave my a few samples of crinone to take until my follow-up labs came back, where they would also test my progesterone. 

The weekend passed, with my nurse calling me on Sunday to tell me my lab results weren't uploaded like she thought they'd be, and it would be Monday before I would know. 

Monday, my nurse called me and told me that my labs were back and my HCG was negative.  Negative.  Not pregnant.  Empty inside.  Again.  Even though I expected it to be that result, it still hurt so badly.  I cried and cried so much Monday. 

I'm so tired of disappointment. 

I asked my nurse several questions about what may have caused this and what would be the next step.  I'll post more about what's next in another post, as this one is pretty long as it is.