Second Time Around

Registering the second time around isn’t that exciting.

Let’s get something clear – I’m not pregnant, at least not yet. This is the first official cycle of trying and I’m currently on CD 6. I won’t ovulate for another week or so. I do feel surprisingly confident this time around. I don’t know if it’s the meditation or false hope. I would like to believe I truly think I’ll be pregnant again soon and that’s helping with the nerves.

For those new to this blog, let’s hit you with some terminology I’m going to use within the next several months:

PgAL: Pregnant After a Loss.

PgALL: Pregnant after a Late Loss

Rainbow baby: Baby after a loss

Rainbow pregnancy: pregnancy after a loss

IC: Incompetent (or insufficient) cervix

Cerclage: a stitch that keeps the cervix in tact so a woman can carry to term. This is typically common with IC.

So now we got that out of the way…let’s talk registering for the second rainbow kid.

With Bo, it was easy and not for a reason I like to admit. I still had Ethan’s registry on Amazon and I simply used a lot of that to fill up Bo’s. Yeah, kinda sucks. I don’t necessarily like how convenient it was.

Now, it’s a bit different. The expectation for the first baby is so exciting because it’s really new and fresh. Who doesn’t love picking out baby clothes? Who doesn’t love going to showers and seeing all of the cool little gifts? With the next baby, it’s like…hmm…I already have this. And that. And those. And I probably have too many of those.

Not as fun.

I’m also debating if I should even register. Tradition says a mother should only have one baby shower because she’d have everything else for the other children, which is true. But what if your first baby is a different gender from your next one? Does the same rule apply? What if there’s a bit of a time-lapse between babies (3+ years), does the rule still apply?

Decisions, decisions…

If I get pregnant soon, this baby will be a spring 2016 one. That means I will have to get summer-type onesies like this one.

summeronesie
Available at Amazon, click on the picture!

These were the same onesies I originally picked out for Ethan. Yeah, feeling emotional puffs.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at, emotionally-wise about a registry. In other news, I decided I’ll have another cerclage. I know you’re probably thinking, ‘Um, wasn’t that plan anyway since the last one was so successful?‘ Well, I’m stubborn. I vividly remember all of the doctor’s appointments (three of them monthly) and the cerclage recovery (which wasn’t that bad, other than I had to stay inside the house for a week). A part of me wondered if I really wanted to go through all of that again? I have a toddler now and it’s never a dull moment with him. Each appointment I go to, Bear will come with me. Keeping a toddler entertained in a waiting room? Hah. That’s going to be fun.

And then I received some clarity.

I’m part of a IC group on Facebook. While I don’t post as much as I used to, I do remain to lend my support and give advice to other moms in the group. Two moms recently lost their sons; one of them being her third loss.

I remember the devastation of losing Ethan and can still recall it like if it just happened yesterday. There is absolutely nothing worse than to bury your child. Nothing. Nothing can compare and nothing won’t compare. Why in the hell would I even want to risk putting myself through that again?

So, I’m getting another cerclage. I’m also getting another c-section. Meh…I’ll share my feelings on that in another post. I’m not advocating for a VBAC (nor do I want) but major surgery is a little iffy on me. Maybe my feelings will change again soon.

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My Saving Grace

There is something innately unnatural about burying a child. Like it really goes against God’s plan and all laws of nature.

This Friday marks the second angelversary of Ethan going to heaven. I can vividly recall that entire day – going into labor at 2:30 in the morning, and fighting the labor the entire day until 5:30 that night when Ethan appeared on his own. It was then I learned I had incompetent (now diagnosed as insufficient) cervix and would require a cerclage and bed rest for all subsequent pregnancies.

Supposedly IC affects only 1% of all pregnancies though I beg to differ. I know many, many women who have suffered the same fate as me; in some cases, worse with many women having several losses. No parent should ever have to bury their child. It’s a surreal feeling – knowing I should have an 18-month old toddler and I don’t.

IMG_0333
I was about 16 weeks pregnant with Ethan in this picture.

I remember the days after Ethan’s passing were a fog. My mind convinced me that it was a nightmare and that I was never pregnant and for a while, I believed it. (I learned later this is a coping mechanism.) I lost a couple of friendships, one being 30+ years, and some other friends and family members I have no desire to talk to. A friend who I thought had my back through thick and thin, admitted he kept his distance from me because he couldn’t handle my grief. As a result, I terminated the friendship. (Funny how said person is trying to get back into my good graces now that Bo is here.) My brother (yeah, that brother) used a bullshit excuse of ‘not knowing what to say’ for an entire year and decided it was better to avoid than to acknowledge (now can y’all see why I want absolutely nothing to do with him ever?)

I felt (and still feel) abandoned by both sets of parents – mine and M’s – as they refuse to talk about Ethan or count him in the number of grandchildren they have. A lot of the time, it feels like I’m the only one who cared that I had a son before Bo. Both grandparents are proudly showing off pictures of Bo in their home but not a single one of Ethan. I decided who ever comes over to my home is going to see a picture of Ethan. He’ll be in a frame and along with other pictures of friends and family. It’s my home and if seeing a picture of an angel baby bothers them, they can get the fuck out and not come back.

Tragedy brings out the very best and worst in people. You will quickly learn who cares and who doesn’t. Some people can’t handle grief for reasons only they know while others embrace it. I guess I was so used to unexpected deaths from friends and family, I was able to deal with Ethan’s death head on. It wasn’t easy, though. I can vividly recall the day after Ethan’s funeral, I attempted suicide. I had a note written out and I cut up both arms with a very sharp knife, waiting for M to come home so he could discover my body in the living room. It was then I decided to seek treatment from a therapist.

Caring for Bo has been a challenge. For a while I thought I was suffering from postpartum depression and maybe I do have a mild form of it. I talked to other angel mom friends of mine about my feelings – why I’m feeling sadness when this beautiful moment just occurred. They all expressed the same thing – they were dealing with their rainbows milestones and big moments when they should’ve celebrated their angel’s milestones.

It makes sense. You would always wonder about the ‘what ifs’ and ‘could’ve beens’ instead of what actually happened. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wondered if Ethan would’ve been a fussy baby like Bo or what type of child he would’ve grown up to be. Would he be into art? Would he like sports? What about European football? Would he be a cool kid or a geek? What type of girl would he be into?

It’s sad. What hurts about infant loss is that you’re robbed of the opportunity to know what could’ve been and nothing will ever make it better. It gets easier over time. You smile more before you cry. I can look back at my pregnancy with Ethan and smile fondly. But I’ll always wonder what could’ve been. No matter how many children I’ll have, I’ll always long for the one that never came home.

Remembering Ethan

 

Scream

This kid is stubborn.

So it’s been almost two weeks since my cerclage was removed and well, I’m still very much pregnant. It wasn’t too bad except for when I suddenly fell sick. I didn’t think it was a big deal but apparently my OB did. I saw him today and he checked me. The good news: Yoda is still locked and loaded. The bad news: He’s not low enough to warrant an induction.

angry-cat-fuck-this

Yeah…

See, I asked him if Yoda could be induced on his due date (18th). Well, my OB had other news for me:

I don’t want you going past the 14th.

 

Granted, my reaction was pretty appropriate:

2359913-are_you_serious_bro_22

 

Yoda’s head is already measuring 41 weeks. His body is measuring over 39 weeks. Combined with me being sick suddenly and my blood pressure being unusually high, my OB was very concerned about me going 40 weeks. In short, the longer Yoda is inside, the sicker I become. 

Twisted.

Whether I’ll be induced or have a c-section, it doesn’t matter at this point. I just want my son alive and healthy. That is all.

Superwoman

I’m sure I used that title before.

Today I had my cerclage removed. It was an eventful day. Let’s count the struggles…

My MFM’s office usually calls the day before an appointment to confirm. I didn’t get receive a call yesterday but I didn’t pay too much attention to it and just thought it was an oversight. Heh. Note to everyone – if a doctor’s office usually calls to remind you of an appointment and they don’t, you call them.

M and I arrive to the appointment and sign in. My MFM’s office is always busy no matter what time of day or what day of the week. It’s horrible. My appointment could be at 10:30 and I probably won’t be seen until noon. It’s something we’re used to. So, we thought everything would be cool today. We waited in the hallway since there were no seats available and we thought (logically), they would come out and check to see if we’re in the hallway or at least call my cell phone on record.

They didn’t.

After an hour, I sent M. back inside the office to inquire about whether we should go out to lunch while they go through the long waiting list. Turns out, not only did they not attempt to come see if we were in the hallway, they didn’t even have me listed to get my cerclage removed.

word

Yeah, that was pretty much our faces.

So M and I had a, ‘Oh you got to be fucking kidding us’ type of silent reaction, the receptionists sent us out to lunch and told us they will call. Over lunch, I took the advice of a fellow IC mama, Jaimee, and had two extra strength Tylenol to help with the pain before the removal. We went out to lunch and sure enough within the hour, they called, eager for us to come back. We went back to the office and checked in, and ready for the show to get on the road. My MFM came in shortly after and started the examination. My cerclage, a double-stitched Shirodkar, was holding steady and my cervix measured at 3.5.

Now comes the fun part.

If you ever had a pap smear, you know those damn things are uncomfortable as all hell. Well, add some excruiating pain to them and you got yourself a cerclage removal. Yeah, it’s pretty much like that. I didn’t see the cerclage being removed but M did and said it reminded him of cable ties. Heh. I had some heavy duty reinforcement up in there! Afterward, I did bleed for a bit (which is common) but I wasn’t in any more pain. The pain, while it hurt very much, only lasted a few moments as the cerclage was being removed.

So you’re probably thinking, well, this is it, right? That was the appointment? I wish.

After the removal and during the general examination, there was a scheduled fire alarm and we had to evacuate the building. Yeah, we had to freakin’ evacuate the building. I thank God the fire drill didn’t occur during the removal or that would’ve really sucked. So I had to dress up, evacuate along with the other preggos and go down three flights of stairs, and wait outside until it was safe for us to go back in. We didn’t have to wait long but it was an inconvenience.

After we got the go-ahead to go back in, we went back to the examination. Yoda was being stubborn (like Daddy) and refused to let us see his face, though he did throw up the Black fist to us.

black-power

Once the general examination was done, I had to for my NST to make sure Yoda wasn’t in stress and he passed with flying colors. Happy and exhausted, we finally went home. It was the final appointment at my MFM’s office.

For those keeping score at home, let’s add up the totals:

Time we left our apartment: 10:45

Time we arrived for our appointment: 11:15

Time of appointment: 11:30

Time we were actually seen: 2:00 PM

Time we arrived home: 5 PM

A very long and emotionally exhausting day but we got the end result that we wanted – the cerclage is out. Yoda is measuring just an ounce shy of seven pounds and is expected to make his award-winning debut within a week.

And now we wait.

Outstanding

Tomorrow is the big day.

The day I get my cerclage removed.

It’s cray-cray to think that back in May, I posted about how nervous I was to get the cerclage implanted. Then I posted about how my recovery was going. Now I’m posting on the eve of its removal.

I never thought I would make it this far. Not that I was expecting the same thing that happened to Ethan to happen to Bogdan (Yoda) but with a late loss, you never feel comfortable.

Truth is, I still don’t quite feel comfortable but it’s more pregnancy-related than anxiety.

Getting the transvaginal cerclage was a huge risk and it paid off. I knew the risks and the spectacular failure rate. Both of my doctors were watching me very closely. My OB started researching pediatricians who specialized in premature babies, just as a precaution.  My MFM advised me not to leave the area unless it was an emergency.

Now I’m 37 weeks, according to LMP. I’ll find out how big Yoda bear is and if he’s still measuring ahead.

Just crazy. I think I’ll celebrate today’s accomplishment with some lemonade and tomorrow’s achievement with a nice, cold glass of cranberry juice.