Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today is a day for awareness that I didn't know about. A day set aside for those who've lost their children through miscarriage, SIDS, stillbirths and other causes. I don't know if this is wrong to say but I'm happy that the pain of miscarriage is being acknowledged. Many people quickly dismiss the feelings of those who've miscarried because they never got to know their child or because this is natures way of correcting a "mistake".

When Shawn and I decided to start a family almost seven years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), we were really excited as most couples are. I went to my doctor to find out what I could do to make sure our baby would be healthy. He told me to start taking folic acid, stay healthy, get lots of rest, etc. There was no reason for us not to conceive within the next 3-6 months. I didn't worry at all during this time when month after month nothing. After six months of trying, I started to get concerned? Why wasn't it happening for us? We were young, healthy, not overly stressed.

After a year of trying I went back to my doctor who referred us to a specialist, the first of three. We waited six weeks to see him. After a quick examination we found that with some medication and monitoring there was no reason (again) why we couldn't conceive. We got excited again, this was it! We would have to go through further testing though, just in case. Wouldn't you know it, we got just in case. We had to go see the second specialist, this one took two months to get it. After six months of visits, there was nothing they could do for us. We knew what the issue was but there was no way to make it better. On to specialist number three, the IVF specialist. For this one we waited almost four months to see.

More tests, more probing, more examinations. Our results showed us that we could try IVF and possibly have a pregancy. We got the news the day before our fourth anniversary. We were excited once again. Our one chance to become parents. I started with the meds, first the birth control pills (oh the irony!), then the Lupron injections. The first time that I had to give myself the injection I swear I stared at the needle for about five minutes before working up the guts to inject myself. After the first time it became a breeze. After that, came the Gonal-F, the stimulants. Two needles a day. I thought I was going crazy while on the Gonal-F. Between my hormones going crazy and the lack of sleep from waking up at five AM to get to the clinic downtown, I'm not sure how I survived and how Shawn survived me. He was always at the brunt of my emtional outbreaks.

Finally the day came for the egg retrieval. I produced a lot, to the point of almost overstimulating. The next day we got a call that we had embryos. I cried, it was working. Two days after that we had two embroys implanted. Two weeks later it was obvious it didn't work. We were devastated. I didn't stop crying for weeks.

Still, we perservered. We had frozen embryos and we would try again. We went in a couple of months later, we wanted to give my body a chance to recoup from the original proccess. As I was lying on the table, the doctor came to tell us that the cell count wasn't good. Some of the cells had died before they had a chance to implant but they were going to try anyway. As I was lying on the table with the doctor implanting my embryos, I was in tears. They told me to look at the flash on the ultrasound screen, the moment they implanted the embryos. I couldn't do it. It was a very quiet car ride home. I stayed home those two weeks, to better our chances of it taking. Two weeks later, I went again for a pregnancy test, fully expecting to get a call saying it didn't work. On December 11, 2004, I got the call from the doctor, it worked, we were pregnant. I cried, I was shaking, this was it! Finally! I quickly called Shawn to tell him the news. He was thrilled beyond belief.

I went in again and again and again for bloodwork, to make sure that my beta levels were rising. While they were going up, they weren't going up quite as high as was the norm. We were in panic mode. We couldn't have come so far to have it taken away could we? On December 26, 2004 we went to get our ultrasound. And I saw the most magical blip in the world, our baby had a heartbeat. My baby was a survivour we were going to be okay. I was over the moon when I found out that the baby was due around my birthday. The best gift ever.

We went in every week for an ultrasound. We found out the sac was a bit small, a cause for concern. On January 17, 2005 we went in for our ultrasound. The technician did her part and then told me to get dressed. I turned to Shawn and told him something was wrong. They always informed us of the heartrate and told us to look for it. The doctor confirmed our worst fears, our baby's heart had stopped. I felt like someone had just torn my heart out. It was possible to come so close and have everything taken away. I stopped taking my meds. We went back to the clinic two days later, I started to bleed. I knew in my heart then it was over. I'm thankful for the doctor we had, she offered to do a D&C at the clinic. We took her up on it. Actually, Shawn made the decision for me, I couldn't even think straight.

They did a chromosome test on the baby, we found out that our baby was a girl. I gave her a name, she desereved one. It's her name, no matter what comes our way, it will always be her name.

I was a mess for weeks. I got really sick twice in less than a month after that. My immune system was in the toilet and any bug that could attack took advantage. We got flowers from friends and I remember crying saying they were suppose to be flowers of congratulations, not condolences.

But we survived and continued living. We will continue to live, because that's all we can do, and that is the best way to remember and honour our angel baby.


Anonymous said...

I will honor your angel baby as well.

PIPO said...

I am so sorry...and I DO understand.


3D said...

You are both so strong and so amazing. Our sad past helps us to move forward to a happier future. I am sorry that you had to feel such sadness.


redmaryjanes said...

I am so sorry for your loss and for all that you have gone through.

Juliette said...

So sorry...

Rhonda said...

I'm so very sorry for what you and Shawn have been through.


kerri said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter.
Sending hugs to you..

Gracie said...

Im so sorry. I cant imagine how hard that would be. I admire you so much for how strong you are. I am so sorry

Janet said...

Oh Dolores. I just can't imagine. All that pain. All that heartbreak. I am so sorry.

Doreen said...

WOW! Your story was touching. I am so sorry for your loss.

Doreen in Montreal

Kathy and Joel said...

You know how I feel already, but I just wanted to say again how very sorry I am for the loss of your daughter. There is nothing that can ever take that pain away. I lit candles at 7:00 on Wednesday night. I thought of all of us who have endured losses. It hurts like nothing I have ever experienced. I wish you peace.

kris said...

holding you... just holding you from where i sit with these silent tears streaming down my face.

i love you