Planning & Hoping

May 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons | 20 Comments
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Many doctors told me that I could not get pregnant again after Jake had died.  We tried clomid, letrozole, IUIs and eventually IVFs.  We went to several infertility specialists in town and then flew to New York to get yet another opinion.  The doctor we ultimately had the twins with was so sure that I would not get pregnant that Evan and I nicknamed him Dr. Doom and Gloom.

We shocked ourselves and Dr. Doom when I had the twins.  We went back to Dr. Doom when we were trying again.  He again told us that we had little to no chance.  Again, we surprised everyone when we had Sawyer.

Evan and I did not think it was possible to get pregnant on our own until a few months ago.   I was late and thought to myself there is not a chance in the world I am pregnant without the assistance of lots of drugs and doctors.  However, there it was . . . the 2 pink lines on the pregnancy test.

I showed Evan the pink lines.  We both just stared at each other.  We were happy.  Very, very happy.  In all honesty, I did not believe that it could really be true.  After Jake and then Sawyer died there is always a part of me which expects the worst but I try to hope for the best.  There are so many stories of people who get pregnant after years of infertility.  I thought maybe just maybe this could be happening.

Until I started to bleed.  Evan and I went to the OB.  He confirmed that yes I was pregnant but I was most likely having a miscarriage.  He asked if this baby was planned.  I wanted to shout that we had not planned for this baby but then again we had not planned on burying 2 of our sons.  Instead, Evan came up with the perfect answer, “We were not planning but hoping.”

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TMI vs. not TMI?

February 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Posted in life lessons, normal?, twins, venting | 5 Comments
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I do talk about Jake and Sawyer – and if you are reading this then you know I do write about them quite often.  They are never far from my thoughts.  However, I will at times not mention my 2 children who are not with me.  Sometimes it is because I do not know the other person and will never see them again.  Other times it is because I do not want to see the look of pity which often accompanies Jake and Sawyer’s stories.

Then there are times when I give too much information on purpose.  I distinctly remember a wedding shortly after Jake died.  Evan and I were talking to 2 other couples.  One of the couples, who are our very good friends, like us did not have any children at home at the time.  The 3rd couple kept mentioning their kids and the fact that we did not have any.  They asked things like, “How long have you been married?”  We each answered.  Couple #3 followed up with, “So, aren’t you thinking about having kids?”  We each politely tried to dodge the questions and change the subject.  Couple #3 did not take the hints.  I finally had enough.  I wanted to stop this line of questioning.  So, I piped up,”We buried our son a few months ago.”  I thought that the conversation would come to a screeching halt.  I was wrong.  Couple #3 does not miss a beat, “When will you start trying again?”

The past few days I have been once again tempted to share too much information in order to stop a conversation.  We have been receiving many emails about teacher appreciation week at the twins’ preschool.   Each class needs volunteers for a specific time so the teachers can eat a child free (aka peaceful) lunch.  The exact time the volunteers are needed is when Evan and I have a meeting scheduled with a rabbi to discuss Sawyer’s unveiling.

At first I did not reply to the emails.  The emails kept coming.  I drafted the following:

“I am sorry I cannot volunteer for the teacher appreciation lunch because we need to meet with a rabbi so that we can plan our youngest son’s unveiling.  We have had trouble getting the correct headstone.  Now it is here and the rabbi who presided over Sawyer’s funeral took a visiting rabbi assignment up north.  He won’t be back till April.  A very good friend put us in touch with her rabbi.   We are meeting with him at the exact same time you need volunteers.”

I deleted my rambling email and opted for not TMI:

“Sorry again but I just cannot volunteer at that time this week.  If something changes I will let you know asap.  Hope that you have a good night.  Thank you.”

Sometimes less is more.

Out of Control

February 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons, twins, venting | 6 Comments
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“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
– – Mario Andretti

Thank you all so much for the well wishes for Evan.  He was cleared to go back to work.  He will have quite a few doctor’s appointments in his future but we are hopeful that his health will be back under control soon.  I have once again been reminded of an important life lesson. I DO NOT HAVE ANY CONTROL.

I am not sure what happens but sometimes I forget. It is like I have amnesia and I actually believe I have a bit of control.  Jake, Sawyer, infertility . . . just to list a few glaring instances where I am not in charge. I will continue to remind myself of the tasks which I can control.   Laundry, the dishes, grocery shopping. . .a few which immediately come to mind. As for the rest, I will have to try my best and go with the flow.

I recently read another Buddha story about an old man who accidentally fell into a river leading to a dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive. “I bent myself into the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived.”

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Things People Say (part 2)

February 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Posted in life after loss, life lessons, normal?, twins | 7 Comments
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In my last post I should have included the fact that I am positive I have said, written or done the wrong things at the wrong times.  Almost every time I call my father-in-law, who is a recent widower, I cannot seem to stop myself from starting the conversation with, How are you?” I try to rephrase the question as soon as it comes out of my mouth but it is always too late.

Over the weekend, I found myself in a conversation with a woman who is thinking about starting infertility treatments.  I feel like I have earned a masters (or at least an honorary degree) in infertility.   At first I started to tell her about the injectables, IUIs and the IVFs.  Luckily, my brain kicked in before I opened my mouth.

I thought back to my life before the twins were born.  Jake had died.  There was no “your baby died, now you get a baby free pass” for me and Evan.  Eventually we boarded the infertility rollercoaster.   The sadness and desperation were all-consuming.  Every month seemed like an eternity.

My friend was in pain and did not need to hear about my depths of despair.  So, instead of sharing my war stories I gave her the phone number of my doctor.  Then I told her if she ever felt like talking I would always be here to listen.

There seem to be endless opportunities in life to say the wrong thing.  It is hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and separate out your own feelings.  We all have different experiences.  We start from a variety of places.  Who is to judge what is right and what is wrong?  All we can do is try our best.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
                                                                      ~Dalai Lama

After I did have the twins one of my favorite friends sent me the link to the video below.  It makes me smile so I thought I would share.

Somewhere over the Rainbow

December 14, 2011 at 11:22 am | Posted in Grief, Love, silver lining, twins | 11 Comments
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The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.  – Dolly Parton

A “rainbow baby” is a baby born following the death of your child.  Urban Dictionary defines a rainbow baby as the following:

“In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy/child loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm clouds might still be overhead as the family continues to cope with the loss, but something colorful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.”

After Jake died Evan and I both knew that we wanted to try to become parents again.  I mistakenly thought that after your child dies you should get some sort of “get a baby free pass”.  There was no pass for us.  When we did start trying again we found ourselves on the roller coaster of infertility.  We started with cycles of injectables.  We moved onto 6 rounds of IUI’s (think turkey baster if you are not familiar with this term).  Finally after 2 IVF cycles we were so very lucky to have our own rainbow babies in July of 2007.

In the fall of 2009 we once again had a rainbow baby.

Who knew another storm would come so soon?  I am trying to learn from the twins how to look for rainbows everywhere.  Some days it is harder than others to find any light through the darkness.  The twins are pretty good teachers because the other day I looked out of the office building where I was working and this is what I saw. . .

After a hurricane comes a rainbow – Katy Perry

Thankful

November 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Posted in Grief, mourning, parents, twins | 12 Comments
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I looked back at my post from last Thanksgiving.  In some ways I have come a long way.  In other ways not so much.  I wanted to cancel the entire holiday season last year.  It was the holiday season where Sawyer should have been turning 1.  I could not understand how everyone was just going along being happy and celebrating.  I felt the same way the holiday season after Jake died.  I avoided any and all holiday parties.  I could not pretend to go through the motions.   I desperately wanted to scream, cry and run to some place where Jake and Sawyer were with me.

No matter what I do the world keeps on going without Jake and without Sawyer.  This year Evan and I tried to return to our holiday plan from years past.  The first years of our marriage we tried to see all 3 sets of our parents.   We even forced ourselves to go the year that Jake died.  The next year we had to stay in town because we had gotten onto the infertility rollercoaster.  

We did somehow manage to get ourselves back on the visiting all 3 sets of family schedule once the twins were born.  I am still not quite sure how we pulled that off with 3 month old twins.  In 2009 Sawyer was born the third week of November.  We came home from the hospital the week of Thanksgiving.  Needless to say we stayed home that year.  

I have a brilliant friend who came up with the fantastic plan to celebrate Thanksgiving early with her family.  No travel, no stress.  We have not found that happy Thanksgiving place yet.   Maybe we never will.  We will keep trying.  I will continue to be so very thankful for our families and friends and to hold on tight to what I can.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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