Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Still here ... I think

I haven't been able to bring myself to write lately. I'm still so emotionally confused about so many things and writing frustrates me when I feel this way.

My dad's memorial service was nice and appropriate. There were lots of things about the whole situation that drove me crazy, but I kept my mouth shut and went with the flow. I was there for myself and my dad and I didn't want to have any ill feelings on the day I said goodbye to him. Unfortunately, I found out that my dad severely downplayed his illness to me. I suspected this when he first told me of his illness, but seeing the proof of that in the form of pictures was very troubling. And, with seeing those pictures, I just couldn't fathom how no doctors would help a person in that condition. It disgusts me to think that that gross neglect contributed to his ultimate death.

On the baby-making front, apparently my fertility really IS my foe instead of a friend. We're on cycle 13, but who's counting?

Actually, my RE is counting and it's not good. My anti-mullerian hormone level is low, indicating that my fertility is on the decline. Great. Another sucker punch.

I'm still pretty pissed and disappointed by this news. I mean, seriously, I must be THE butt of the jokes shared around the fertility gods' water cooler.

The one good thing that has happened is that the results of my HSG are good ... no blockages or anything else unusual. Bad news is that because my old body is starting to shut down, my meds had to be increased almost three-fold to give my system the jolt it obviously needs. More meds equal more money. So, this will be our last medicated cycle for quite a while, which dramatically decreases our chances of getting pregnant at all. We can't allow ourselves to be so consumed by having another child that we overlook the commitments we've already made, i.e., our home, pets, vehicles and the like. It'll break my heart that we'll have to abandon our efforts and merely hope for a miracle. Not a very promising outlook.

I have lots of unresolved grieving issues because of the timing of my dad's death. I was in the midst of sorting out all my emotions from a year ago, when I unexpectedly had to deal with new and old grief simultaneously. Suddenly, I was reliving last August, as sympathy cards and flowers arrived, and as I looked around my house, I immediately thought about how this was happening to me exactly a year ago and I'm actually having to do this again.

I'm still in disbelief that my dad has died. I had bought him some Johnny Cash CD's for his birthday, which was this past Sunday, but I have no idea what to do with them. I don't want to take them back, but it seems silly to hang on to a gift that will never be given.

Crazy shit like this is why I haven't been able to write. And, even THIS is a poor excuse of my writing and usual thought processes, but I thought it was time to at least put forth the effort.

I have taken steps, though, to help guide me out of this emotional muck: I'm visiting an acupuncturist next Tuesday. I'm hoping I'll benefit in several ways to get myself back on track.

I want to feel somewhat normal again, and hopefully Eastern medicine can steer me in the right direction. Hell, any other direction would be an improvment over where I've been headed.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fertility Fiend ... or is it "Friend"?

In the midst of our emotional roller coaster ride, Mike and I were expected to "perform" on cue in the bedroom, as per our instructions from the RE.

Nice timing, doc. Nothing like being directed to go at it like hormone-crazed bunnies when your emotions are all over the map.

Actually, I should direct my contempt toward my ever-uncooperative insides and their usual impeccable timing. Who the hell decided I would ovulate on what should have been my baby's first birthday? Insanity, I tell you.

Any woman who has used the Fertility Friend website understands the little "intercourse timing anaylzer" box that appears after FF's software has determined you have ovulated. The "analyzer" analyzes your chances at attaining pregnancy based on your intercourse frequency around the peak time in your cycle. Then, the analyzer uses dots to indicate which days you "BD'd" - out of a total five days - and how those interludes rate, in their not-so-humble opinion.

With Ryan, our conception chances were only rated as "good," as we opted for the somewhat conservative BD schedule back when we were still stupidly naive about the whole TTC process. But this time, though, nothing was held back. We went for the gold and FF has rewarded that gusto by scoring our chances as "high" and has given us a green dot in each of the five windows that were considered peak days to achieve conception.

For whatever reason - maybe the odd timing of all of this - I found it amusing that Mike and I met the BD challenge established by Fertility Friend and "earned" our approval rating at a time like this.

Now, it remains to be seen if we'll be awarded our long-overdue medal in nine months, or will we once again need to compete in another BD marathon.

All I can do is hope and pray.

Thank you to everyone

I wanted to thank everyone here, in the virtual world, for all the prayers, cards, flowers, e-mails, gestures, and sweet sentiments of support shared during Ryan's first birthday/angel day, as well as during my dad's sudden death.

I'm fearful that I'm handling all of this a little too well, and I'm waiting for the real me to emerge at any moment. You know (or maybe you don't) - the blubbering one who cries at the silliest of memories or weeps at a stranger's wedding. But, at a time when I fully expected to go through enough tissues to keep Kleenex in business for a long time, my tears are suddenly on strike and the wells are dry.

Another self-preservation mechanism, perhaps?

Regardless, the extra support from everyone around Mike and me has, without question, gently carried us through this especially difficult time. I can never thank all of you enough for all the strength and love sent our way, but it means the world to us.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

So, it DOES get worse

I received a call a few hours ago, informing me that my father was terribly close to death.

And, about an hour later, I received "the" call, telling me that he was gone.

I haven't grasped the enormity of all of this quite yet. I understand it perfectly in my mind, but at the moment, my physical self refuses to respond accordingly.

It has been inexplicably proven to me that just when you think things can't possibly get any worse, they actually can and quite often do.

I knew that these three days were going to be bittersweet and gut-wrenching to begin with, but I never imagined anything of this nature would happen.

My God.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy birthday, beloved angel

Happy birthday, sweet baby Ryan.

I can't believe that an entire year has passed since you entered this world for far-too-brief a time.

I miss you so incredibly much.

I can only hope that your sleep among the angels will always be peaceful and happy and filled with love - everything I tried my best to give you during our time together.

And, be sure to catch one of the kisses I'm blowing to heaven on your most special of days.

All my love to you, my little Peanut.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Who goes there?

Last night I got my introduction to the questionable phenomenon of phantom kicks. Any woman who has ever been pregnant enough to feel her baby's movements knows what I'm talking about. Those ghostly kicks mimic the real ones pretty darn well.

Yet another wonderful way nature chooses to torture me. The timing was impeccable, too.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Just stuff

I thought I really knew what I wanted to write about today, but after sitting here for ten minutes, I'm realizing that my mind is far too scrambled from all the space junk clunking around in there. All I can say is that today has been very emotional and been very roller coaster-like.

Today a year ago I lost my mucous plug. I also vividly remember a phone call, where Mike asked me how his "fambly" - his term of endearment for Ryan and me - was feeling and what we were having for lunch. I remember the sense of relief at knowing it would be my last day at work for several weeks. Mike and I went out on a date that Friday night, since we knew our time as a two-person family was quickly coming to an end. We did our final preparations for the big day: Double-checked the car seat (it had been in the car for two weeks by that point); put the final coat of sealant on the wooden letters that spelled out Ryan's name, which were to be hung over his closet; lined our bed with towels, as well as my path to the bathroom from my side of our bed, in case my water broke while sleeping; put the last-minute items in my hospital bag; took a bath; and thoroughly examined my breast pump so I was sure I'd know how to work the contraption when the time came.

All pretty normal stuff to do before a baby arrives. And I miss it so much.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Freak-out #1

As my dear husband I exchanged goodbyes this morning in our driveway, my memories were whisked back to our goodbyes of a year ago, where I received the first farewell kiss and Ryan received the second - along with a hearty belly rub and an "I love you, son" muffled into my swollen stomach.


Why is this so GD'ed hard? Why do I have these flashbacks that, for a fleeting moment, are happy but turn instantly horrible because the ultimate reality of what happened to Ryan falls on me like a ton of bricks? Will I always be reduced to a sobbing, pitiful mess when these memories come rushing back? Will my heart be filled with so much sadness forever?

I just don't know how I'm going to make it through the next 10 days. I can already feel myself dying inside all over again.