Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Weekend

Another holiday without Otis here.  It's hitting me hard.  We went over to my mom's to dye eggs this afternoon and after my husband made this one, I sat and watched as it dried, tears streaming down my face.  At some point my mom said, "You should make an egg for the new baby too!" and I quickly snapped, "No." And everyone grew quiet. (*E did make one, eventually.  Just a little squiggle on an egg, but a squiggle to represent this new life in me, he said. Nobody else had to know it was the egg for our baby, but he and I would, he said.)

I feel horribly, being so negative.   But this should be Otis's Easter.  Last Easter, I was pregnant, newly in maternity clothes.  My family has a tradition of making "Peep Art" at Easter, from the marshmallow Peeps.  I made a "Pregnant Peep" complete with big boobs and a big round belly and long blond (ok, so it was more like fluorescent yellow) hair.  E saved it, and we just found it a few months ago, and I threw it out. This Easter, I don't even want anyone to talk about the fact that I'm pregnant, even though everyone that will be there tomorrow already knows (except for 98 year old Granny, but that's another complicated blog post for another day.)  I am purposely NOT wearing maternity clothes at all, even though I probably should be, for comfort and decency's sake.  I am avoiding them as long as I can, I don't want anyone to see that I'm pregnant, I don't want anyone thinking I'm even remotely "expecting" anything this time around.  

I think part of the pain with Easter this year is that it feels like everyone in my family, though Otis is of course still important to them, is able to move through their days without the sadness that still weighs heavy on my heart...So tomorrow, Easter Sunday, when we go to my mom's for a big supper with all the family, they will able to be joyful, egg-hunting, candy-eating, laughing, celebrating, yadda yadda-ing and it feels like this would have likely been the first family holiday where his personality was really starting to shine through (he would've been so newborn-y still at Thanksgiving and Christmas) and no, he wouldn't have been hunting for eggs or anything, but he would have been there, laughing, sitting up, doing all those things that almost 8 month olds do.  Right?  Argh. (Like I even fucking know what 8 month old babies do, for fuck's sake.)

Instead, family and friends will be there and will try to cheer me up with talk of this new pregnancy.  This new pregnancy that I cannot believe in, not even for an extended moment these days.  They may mention Otis, but it will be brief, like it almost always is these days.

I would like to crawl under a rock, skip the "festivities" tomorrow and sit at home on the sofa with the dogs.  Pretend it's just another crappy Sunday, which, in essence, it will be. Another crappy Sunday without my boy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Appointment Today 4.19.11

So again, hopeful optimism from the peri's office today.  (A note, it took me several tries to type "optimism" because my fingers kept wanting to type o-t-i-s...)

I have no signs of new bleeding.  Still a bit of blood in my uterus but a small amount that the doctor thinks will either come out as light spotting or will get reabsorbed as the baby gets bigger and "squishes" the blood out of his way.

Baby's heartbeat was strong, 160, and he was active, waving and kicking and flipping about.

We saw a new peri today, my regular doctor is on vacation.  This guy was like your dad's best golfing buddy friend.  Very friendly.  Told me that if I was his daughter, he'd be feeling really relieved and really happy with these results today.  I guess that is another one of those "I should hold on to his words" kind of statement.  It's good for me to write them down, I know I will need to return to them in my moments of fear.

As I'm sure you can all understand, I am still wrought with lots of anxiety, lots of thoughts of doomsday and paralyzing fear...(not to mention the nastiest head cold, I am full of snot as well as full of anxiety)...I really wish I could just make it a point NOT to google because all I hear and read are worst case scenarios (even though there are so many out there that aren't, the only ones I remember are the worst), and that is NOT what my doctors are telling me.   The doctors that have seen my uterus, my baby, along with many others, and are at the top of their game in doing what they do.  This is a test of self-care, and I have to recognize that endless google searches to find "comfort" or "security" from others' experiences most often end up making me feel completely out of control, terrified, frozen.

But I have to turn towards the sunlight here.  I have to.  I have to acknowledge what is true right now.  My baby's heart was beating strong at the doctor's appointment an hour ago.  My baby had plenty of room and fluid in his sac an hour ago.  My doctor could not see where there was damage to my placenta.  My doctor feels very optimistic, very good.  This is the second doctor I've seen that feels very hopeful and very optimistic that this is an insignificant blip in this pregnancy.  I want this baby to grow strong and healthy.  I want my uterus to heal, to hold this baby in love and security and health for the next 5 1/2 months.  I want this baby to come home with us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One More Thing From the Peri's Office

(I realized in rereading the update post below that I think it sounds a little more scary than how we felt when we left the office.  I also forgot to mention here that I really think my perinatologist is fantastic.  Really sensitive and really aware of how scary this is for us and really, really there for us.  He always greets E by name when he walks into our room.  He actually came to the ER to see me last night, after we talked on the phone, because he was at the hospital with a patient having a scary labor but I had already been discharged.  I mentioned how today he introduced us to the other doctors in his practice because I will be seeing one of them for a followup next week, and he just wanted us to know the other one because she is often the Attending Dr in the ER so if I ended up back there he'd want me to know her as well.  He scheduled me for a follow up u/s in five days for our peace of mind, saying that usually they wait two weeks but he thinks it would help me sleep if I got checked next week, and then again the following week.  Really Great Guy.)

He told me that he really thinks I'm going to be fine.  And baby is going to be fine.  

E asked me if I heard him, and then asked the doctor to repeat his words, and he (the doc) took my hands, and looked me in the eye, and said that he really thinks this is going to work itself out and be just fine.

I really want to believe him.

Update from Perinatologist

I'm back.  I've got a subchorionic hematoma (aka a subchorionic hemorrhage) - a clot of blood between my placenta and the uterine wall where the placenta isn't attached securely.

Baby looked great, strong heartbeat, totally oblivious to the terror outside...He was licking his lips and pretty damn cute.

The doctor says this should resolve itself naturally, there is no treatment for it other than rest and patience really, I'm likely to bleed over the next week/ten days he says, and that I should try to stay as calm as I can.  He introduced me to all the other doctors in his office since he is out of town next week and I will see his partner on Tuesday for a recheck.

I guess this is good news.  Scary good news.  Doctor says my biggest risk is of going into preterm labor from an infection at this point; but he doesn't see that happening (I had no contractions while hooked up to the u/s, I've had no cramping, my cervix is long and closed tight...).  He said he has never seen fetal demise from an SCH, rather that the ptl is the biggest concern. (Though, duh, ptl would mean fetal demise at this point, I do understand that.  But at least I'd have some warning - I'd be cramping and contracting - it wouldn't be a sudden "no heartbeat" scenario, he says. I guess that's comforting.)

So, that's where we stand.  So much for an easy, uncomplicated pregnancy this time around.

Baby boy, stay strong. Uterus, stay healthy.  Hematoma, resolve your issues and heal up soon, k? 


I ended up at the ER last night after a very scary, big gush of blood upon standing up to leave a meeting.  By the time I arrived, my jeans were soaked through with blood.  I was sure I had lost the baby.

Baby's heartbeat was strong, 164.  My cervix was closed.  I have no cramping, no pain.  They say these are all good signs.  I have had very little bleeding since the first episode, one additional gush last night when we got home from the ER, and no more bleeding for the last several hours.   They don't yet have any explanation for what's happening, other than "Threatened Miscarriage" - but reassuringly (ha) they told me this is what they call any situation when a woman has unexplained bleeding in the first twenty weeks of pregnancy.

I can't believe I'm going through this.  And yet, of course I can.

I am on pelvic and bed rest today, and possibly for a while.  Hopefully for a while, if it means this baby will get to stay here and one day come home with us, in a car seat and not a small little box.

I have a follow up today with the perinatologist at 2:30, I will try to update afterwards.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Oh baby boy, I can't believe it's been 7 months since you were born. It feels like yesterday, and at the same time, I can't remember what life felt like before you were here with us.

Otis, I feel you so deeply, my sweet boy, all around me, all the time.  In the stars in the expansive night sky, in the tulip blossoms bursting out of the ground, in the scent of that candle that we keep on your altar, in your blanket which I fall asleep with every and there and everywhere in between.  There is a space in my heart that is forever and exclusively yours.

Papa and I love you so very very much.  You are so deeply missed.  You always will be.  Forever and always, I love you as high as the sky and as deep as the ocean.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oh, Brother.

We got our CVS results yesterday. All the chromosomes are arranged just as they are supposed to be.  And this baby is another boy.

I am incredibly relieved to know that all is going as it's "supposed" to, chromosomally speaking, that is. And I am officially out of that "first trimester" danger zone.  But come on, we all know that the danger zone has no boundary.  We are in it, forever.  Sure, statistics say...yadda yadda.  Statistics didn't do me a whole lot of good last September.

I miss Otis so much, and also so differently, I think, with this new one growing inside of me.  I am now mourning a different level of the loss - I burst into tears the other day thinking about Otis being a big brother, but a big brother forever frozen in time as a newborn.  I worry about how this new baby (*insert standard disclaimer of "IF HE LIVES AND COMES HOME" wherever it's needed in this and any subsequent posts, please) might grow up in his big brother's shadow.  I worry about what this baby will know of Otis.  I am so sad that Otis will only be dead to his brother.  His brother will never know Otis as we did, when he was in my belly, kicking, hiccuping, stretching, squirming.  His brother will never know Otis as our greatest wish, our biggest hope, our best dream; only as our saddest loss.

I am thrilled to be carrying another boy.  I am sure that had we found out I was carrying a girl, I would be thrilled as well, though if I am honest, I would have to say that it would take me longer to adjust to that news.  Just yesterday morning I lay in my bed, thinking about all the boy clothes we have in boxes in our basement.  Many were made or bought especially for Otis, and I imagine there will be some that will always be his, no matter what, and a new baby will not wear them.  But there also will be many shared pieces of clothing, and I am happy thinking that we may have a baby to wear them someday soon.

See, this is what's complicated.  Yesterday after getting our cvs results I had many glimpses of that "naive pregnant lady" hopeful optimism that I thought was forever lost to me.  I find myself thinking a lot that this baby IS coming home with us.  I catch myself talking as if this is a sure thing.  What the?  Didn't I learn?  How could I possibly be so naive, so hopeful, so STUPID?

I promise, gods above, I am not trying to tempt fate,  I am not asking to be struck down again.  I just would really really like to hold my son, hear him cry, bring him home and watch him grow.