Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Better Day… Remembering Loved Ones

I have no idea where that grief episode yesterday came from.  I do not publically cry.  I am on a lot of anti-ovulation meds for the embryo donation cycle, so I am not sure if it opened the flood gates.  I had a good rest of the night yesterday.  I let my daughter stay up late to watch a movie at the hotel.  This morning, I woke up early and I did my Reiki mediation.  I almost got to the end of the tape, when I heard my daughter talking to me.   While I was working out, I watched a special on children with cancer.  It touched me.

Twenty-one years ago, I woke up in a hospital at age 19 years old in a pediatric ward.  I had just had my left thyroid removed.  Right before Christmas, I was diagnosis with thyroid cancer.  It was a wake up call for me.  At this age, I did what I was told.  Later a different hospital reviewed the information and I was told I had a marginal case.  The first hospital was being aggressive.  I decided to change my major in school and decided to save the world.  Back then, my aunt made me a Precious Moments doll.  She had it put into a balloon.  The store tired the string around the neck of the doll.  The pediatric nurses and I were laughing the morning of Thanksgiving.  Here I was with a drain on my neck and the doll was dangling from a ribbon tied around her neck.  This is my aunt, who keeps reaching out to me even today.  She is the last connection I have to my family of origin.

One of the hotel workers and I were talking about families and Thanksgivings.  It has worked for two years for us to go away for the holiday.  I noticed a lot of families were doing this.  It’s a nice family oriented hotel.   I just mentioned through I was thinking of everything that nothing has been the same since my mother died.  It’s been almost five years since the last baby was born still, the breast cancer and my mother’s death.

I wore my paternal grandmother’s velvet jacket.  Both my grandparents had their small pilot’s licenses.  My grandmother was one of the first women in New England with a pilot’s license.  My grandfather was from Utah and my grandmother was from Pennsylvania.  I have no idea how they ended up in New England.  My mother’s family can be traced to the Mayflower.  Both never graduated high school.  My sister and I were to go to college.  My grandfather was adopted at age 3 after his birth mother died leaving 12 children.  The father loaded them on a truck and dropped them off one by one to another state.  The older siblings were adopted as field hands.  One of the places they visited was Yosemite Park.  (The reason, I insisted on us visiting the park.)  He never found his birth family, but years after his death they found us.  One of his oldest brothers living in Washington reached out to us.  My grandfather ran away at 16 years old and joined the military.  He learned to fly helicopters and he built his own business.  He owned his own cranberry bog.  Both my grandparents were too young when my father was born.  They were better grandparents than parents.  Both are buried in so deep into Pennsylvania.  Someday, I hope we can go.

My daughter hated cranberries until this year.  The school took a trip to a cranberry bog.  Surprisingly, she looks at the waitress and says, “can I have another serving of cranberry sauce?”  Music to her mother’s ears…  Finally, the girl is embracing her roots.

We took the long way home from the Cape.  My grandparents were active grandparents.  We spent a lot of time with them in Plymouth growing up.  We visited the cranberry bog.  The land was sold after my grandmother’s death.  The new owner divided up the land and a bunch of houses were built.  It’s the closest thing I have to a cemetery.  We also went to the babies cemetery on the way home.  I said to my husband maybe you can take our daughter to your parents to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving, but they weren’t home.  Even through we are not close my daughter is their granddaughter.  I respect that.

My mother-in-law continues to loose her hearing due to a rare non-cancerous tumor.  For years, I have noticed my husband is loosing his hearing.  Finally this year, he is going to have it checked, which is another source of stress, I do not openly talk about.  This year, I finally put my foot down.  I hope nothing is wrong and he just not paying attention.  He told me it is happening at work too.

I found myself today praying to the babies and my grandparents for help to end this battle with infertility.  I see cute baby things.  I have been trying to have a family since age 29.  Please let this year be my happy ending!

Tomorrow is my last day off.  I am shopping before my husband leaves for work.  Then I am picking up my daughter.  We are going shopping in memory of the babies for teens in need.  We are going to see my aunt.  I brought her the biggest box of salt water taffy her favorite.  I worked the hospital this weekend.  Then I am working with the kids next week until the plane leaves next Thursday for the ultra sound.  I kinda of over scheduled myself to work six days by accident.  I won’t do that again.   I got to spend a lot of time with my daughter.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to be gone a lot from home due to the embryo donation cycle.  I started packing for the West Coast and next week.  I plan to get as much sleep as possible because the schedule is tight.   I also plan to study for that other license I want.  I see no snow for next week so I should be there to see my daughter dance.  They will tell me next Friday, when the embryo transfer will be.  I just want this to end this year with a happy baby!  Hopeful it will!

The Emptiness

Here we are at the resort with quite a few families who decided to get away for the holidays. I was remembering Thanksgivings in the past years. My mother, grandparents, my brother and my sister. My in-laws even spent time with us. Those empty parts of my soul lite up like a light board. I began to cry. My living daughter looked at me. “You crying mom?”

I lied and said chlorine had got in my eyes…. I love my family so much… I hope there comes a day my soul is whole again…

Update Quick on Ultra Sound Test Next Week

Next week is the uterine lining ultra sound.  I have been working so hard on the cholesterol and infertility.  A fresh cycle has an 85% chance of pregnancy.  I hired an acupuncturist here and acupuncturist on the West Coast.  The other day, I am getting off the exit for my job and I realized I FORGOT MY LUPRON.  I turned the car around and I went back home.  Medications are not too hard for embryo donation.  During IVF with my eggs, it was a half an hour in the morning and a half an hour at night.  I had to regularly chase people out of the kitchen to use the island to line up the injections.  So, I tried staying up later at night.  Twice I forgot my meds during IVF with my own eggs because I accidentally fell asleep.  I am on two meds for embryo donation.  My schedule is different this week because of the holiday.  So I was really shocked to forget the 1 med I needed.   The other medication is the estrogen patch, which I set my alarm on my cell phone to remind me to change it.  You only change it once every two days.

The program called yesterday.  We needed to switch sperm donors, but I hear the egg donor is doing well.  I feel a lot of gratitude to these two people who I have never met.   Due to their decision to donate, I get another chance at a biological child and my daughter gets a chance to have a sibling who lives with her.

I didn’t sleep well last Sunday.  I don’t ever know if my in-laws and I will become close.  We emailed back and forth about what to get my daughter for Christmas almost ended on a nasty note.  I refuse to respond to it.  I deleted the email.  It was a hook into a fight.  Listen I am 40 years old and I am too old for this.  I have a saying about my family.  You don’t hug cactus because you will get stabbed every time.  You don’t like the pain.  Stop expecting to them to be soft cuddly bears.

Monday, I was tired.  I finally expressed my concerns for the lack of sleep this trip to my program coordinator.  The plane lands 11PM our time.  It’s going to be 8 something their time.  It’s an hour and half drive to the hotel.  They were able to arrange for a late check out time.  The plane leaves that night at midnight our time.  It’s going to be 5:30AM when I get into the airport at home.  Somehow, I got to keep my eyes open for her dance performance on Saturday.   ( I recently saw this commercial where someone was desperately trying to stop a person from boarding a plane for a password.  I was secretly laughing so hard. That’s going to be our family in a week.)

Due to the holidays all the activities for my daughter is in high gear.  Good luck to my husband because I transport her mostly.  She could have had three events in one night.  Sadly, I am going to miss a lot being away.  I am going to spend as much time as possible with them. I am missing an memorial for my dance teacher, who died before her 40th birthday.  I have something special planned to remember her on the West Coast.  My living daughter is going to help.

This week, I am going to spend time with her.  The next two weeks are crazy.  I don’t know the dates of the transfer. I am going to find out next week. It will be sometime in the following week. We are going to the Cape tomorrow right after school. Friday, we are visiting my Aunt. Every year we donate in honor our children, who died. We are shopping for teens in need for the children’s program, I work for. Someone was telling me how they have to go to the West Coast for work and how their family helps out. It’s the three of us and it will work out. There is no one else. I am not going to dwell on it. All I can do is control me.

Our family has a jar known as the angel fund. We save all our change to donate. We hung a stocking at the fireplace at Christmas, where money is added every night to go to a charity in honor of the babies.

Fertility Journey: The Diet and Thanksgiving

It’s been about 2 months since I started Whey Protein, apples and Walnuts. I am one of those people, who has high cholesterol. In the past two weeks, I have been using spaghetti squash instead of pasta at times. When my last cycle with my own eggs failed and I was in the process of being accepted to the embryo donation, I did go on medication for awhile. I don’t know if the stress of everything did this or just when I have a failed fertility treatment, I go nuts off the fertility routine. The medication didn’t move it at all.

There is a huge reason I concerned about cholesterol, which has no medical backing here. This is all my opinion. I have been pregnant 6 times. Five pregnancies ended in loss. We understand the genetic reason for it. I was pregnant with my son. There were no signs of the rare disease with him like my living daughter. We lost him in the second trimester. I never got to hold him, because he had been dead for too long. I named him Haven. It was until 2 months after his death, I learned he was a boy. The pathology report questioned if a blood clot caused his death. (There were also questions about a possible invisible twin in that pregnancy, which is there is a twin that disappears. Thankfully no one ever told me that piece. I found out two years later when I had to gather my medical record together for a fertility center.) I went through all the blood tests. No blood clot disorders. I have an opinion not supported by any medical evidence. I think it was caused by the high cholesterol, because it can cause clots.

When I working hard to get pregnant… I am working hard on the cholesterol. I stink as an alcoholic. I keep forgetting to drink my glass of red wine at night for the cholesterol. I plan to stop the Whey Protein, when I go out to the West Coast for my lining check in two weeks. There is no good medical proof that the Whey Protein will do anything. I was on medication for 4 months and it did NOTHING! I also have tried to lower the carbs. My acupuncturist put me on vitamins. I have been a regular at the gym. I didn’t try to clean every square inch of the house like last summer. I mediate every Monday. Thankfully, a lot of the fertility foods are for lowering cholesterol. Wednesday morning right before Thanksgiving, I will get the blood drawn. I have lost a few pounds too because of the Whey Protein.

This week is crazy. I don’t have benefits from my job like sick days or holidays paid. So, I am working Monday and Tuesday. The school I work with has Wednesday off. I am spending time with my daughter since the office is closed on Friday next week. We are going shopping. We don’t have a lot of family so we are buying items for teens in need in memory of our babies. We are donating them to the children’s organization that I work for. Next weekend, I am at my hospital job. My daughter’s school has a half day with no afterschool. It didn’t make sense to work because I would need to turn around and go and get her.

My suitcase didn’t survive the trip to the West Coast. It started falling apart in Yosemite and it was gone after reaching Boston. I have to buy a new suit case this weekend. I plan to go shopping with left overtime during my next West Coast Trip. Black is not a good color to choose because everyone chooses black. If you tried to get your black suitcase at an airport you will understand. I figure we will pack up Tuesday night. I will pick her up Wednesday after school and we will head for our overnight on the Cape at the indoor water park. My husband will join us after work. My child is addicted to the hotels with waterparks.

I have done Thanksgiving at home with the 3 of us. It’s not been the same without my mom and the baby dying. Thanksgiving is a tough time for us. When I was 19 years old, I was in the hospital recovering from loosing part of my thyroid due to cancer. Our last daughter died a week before Thanksgiving. My biological father (I still have no confirmation.) died last Thanksgiving time. My last chemo was black Friday.

Here is my gratitude list: I won’t be in a hospital this year. Thank you for all my babies, I am blessed to be their mother. Thank you for my living daughter, husband and aunt. Thank you that I have two jobs with a schedule that I can set around my fertility treatment schedule. Thank you that I am not in active cancer treatment. Thank you that I am well enough to return to fertility treatment after breast cancer. We can’t forget the fur/fin children! Laughing! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Remembering Addison, Moving Forward Embryo Donation & Celebrating

Last weekend, I went to bed with silent tears and I woke up with them. My last daughter Addison who was stillborn was a dream child. No pregnancy for two years. We saved up all this money because the fertility medication was not covered. I had gone back to work full time to have child care to get to fertility appointments. I sent my living daughter to daycare, it was suppose to be for a little while. I was suppose to get pregnant and have a baby. The IVF cycle was negative. $5000 gone. I got pregnant on my own and I had happy news during my 10th wedding anniversary.

It’s like watching victims of disaster just moments before their lives were changed forever. I did learn she was going to die from the same rare disease as our first daughter. What I did, when my first daughter died. I made calls. It had been 5 years. Maybe they found an answer. I sat across from a pediatrician on the Veteran’s Day. My miracle child was predicted die in utero, maybe during birth or perhaps she would live a day like her sister. She died in utero on the 19th.

From pregnancy, we found ourselves right back to geneticists and fertility centers. Another explosion was developing called breast cancer. It engulf us all 6 months later. When you thought it couldn’t get worst, my mother died. The universe of my life was burning down. I was laid off after my daughter was stillborn, but the hospital had just reopened and I was saved. My car died, but that was so minor compared to what was going on in my body, mind and soul. Two weeks into chemo, they figured out how the rare disease was being passed to our children. It was two weeks too late. I choose not to save any eggs, because we would never know the reason it was presumed. Two chemo sessions too late. The news came. There were no time for tears, one disaster after another. I lost my fertility to chemo, my hair, my nails and my body. Nothing was sacred in my life. It was our family verses this fire ball of destruction. Friends helped where they could.

This year, the tears seems to really hurt. Next Wednesday November 19th is the anniversary of the stillbirth of our daughter. Something good happen last week. My daughter got a 100 on her third grade math state exam last year. She has been invite to go the school board meeting to be recognized by the superintendent on Monday. I tracked down my in-laws and they are going. My in-laws and I are not close, but she is still their grandchild. If they didn’t, I would have had the biggest melt down. I will be polite to them. My daughter has earned this day.

Last Friday, I started my Lupron. Today, I stop the other medications. It was good seeing my acupuncturist again. I remember her helping during the cancer treatment. She reminded me that she was there through the IUI’s too. Somehow, I forgot she was there. She put me on some vitamins and we talked about cholesterol. The vitamins seem to help with my mood some. I am trying to make more diet changes.

My living daughter had another excellent report card and she got an outstanding effort award. Today, we went to her favorite restaurant to do lunch. We went to the cemetery and left roses to mark her passing. In another week and a half, we are going away for an overnight on the Cape and going out for Thanksgiving. The week after Thanksgiving that I leave for the ultra sound on the West Coast. I work half a day and I am on a plane for six hours. My daughter has this big dance event that weekend so I am on the red eye home. It snowed again this week, which is uncommon for us. Hopefully the weather will behave so I can return home.

Yesterday, we got together with old friends from my daughter’s birthday party. I just keep trying. I hope we can come home to a positive pregnancy test in December. It feels like you wait so long to start the process for an embryo donation cycle. I feel like I keep giving and giving… It’s been 8 years now! So many children have been born in this time… I am internally exhausted. I keep meditating every Monday and visualizing being pregnant. When I want to cry, I cry. When I am feeling positive, it’s a good day. I spend my days teaching people to honor their feelings. I need to honor mine as well. Please do remember my daughter, who was born still on November 19th.

There is a song I sung to Addison. My living daughter got a birthday card that sung this song. I sung it to Addison daily… When you hear it, you will understand.

Cute Rainbow Story

Every Saturday, when I am at work, my daughter and husband see his mother and father. I am have not been close to my in -laws since my last daughter was born still and I was diagnosis with breast cancer. I was asking my daughter about her visit with her grandparents. So I asked if dad and grandfather still yell at one another a lot. All of sudden it was like hearing my mother-in-law at age 9. “Mom, they don’t yell. They talk loudly to one another.”

I looked at her and said, “grandma has you believing that whitewashing story too.” Of course it took me the next 15 mins to explain what whitewashing is without calling my mother-in-law a liar.

Remembering My Last Angel Daughter and Halloween

This week marked the 5th anniversary of the diagnostic ultra sound of our last daughter. She died 22 days later in utero. I remember it was the day before Halloween. The actual confirmed diagnosis of Campomelic Dysplasia came back after she died. I haven’t said anything to anyone about remembering these memories. The next day, I painted a smile on my face and took my four years old daughter trick treating. Pregnancy had become a hidden secret for me. I was pregnant now 6 times. I was just learning this one was going to die too. I decided this time we were telling people. Campomelic Dysplasia will kill the baby in utero or shortly after birth. I never got to the distance I did with my first daughter. My first daughter was born a preemie and she lived a day. Many people supported us, when she died. Then I got pregnant with my living daughter, who is 9 years old. The losses happened one after another and another. I began to close my mouth. I cried when no one was looking. The last baby died a week before Thanksgiving in 2009. People were too busy in the holiday spirit. My own Mother-In-Law was refused to take my daughter and husband that year, “because it would ruin her plans.” My daughter was buried a month later because of the holiday schedule. It was a bitterly cold December day, when her ashes were laid to rest. My living daughter almost walked into the hole. It’s been on my mind all week, for one day, we held her. A clergy in the hospital baptized her. Almost a month later, we buried her. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Who was it a Happy Holidays for? Certainly not us. I was arguing with my living daughter’s daycare provider that we weren’t waiting another week because it was their holiday party. My living daughter drew pictures and made things out of play dough to be buried with her. I had left the hospital job for a year which was a huge mistake. My job at the time told me I could never mention what happen ever again.

The hospital was in the process of moving. So I waited and waited. The second they reopened, I got my old job back. I had left the job originally because of a possible lay off during the moving process. I did stay as a volunteer.

Here we five years later… The embryo donation starts in December. I said nothing. I do have flashbacks of that year because shortly after her death I was diagnosis with breast cancer. The fire of my life was spreading… There wasn’t time to grief… There was cancer treatment, kindergarten then my mother died. The stone was engraved with her name two years later after her death. Last night, I had the worst nightmare… I woke straight up from it. I dreamed the embryo donation never worked. I talked my husband into adopting a dog. Both my living daughter and the dog disappeared, when they went for a walk and never came back. I was up for hours. I fear death. Not my own strangely enough. I fear the death of people I love the most. My living daughter and I have not had the best weeks. The make up pictures at school were this week. We were on the West Coast for school pictures the first cycle of embryo donation. She left everything at home, which is unlike her. So the school called. I could hear her crying in the background. I turned around and got the folder. (I hadn’t done that since she was in first grade.) Then the next day before school, we are looking for a missing head band on the playground. It was one thing after another. By Friday morning something else was missing, I spoke to her about remembering her stuff. She writes me a letter and sneaks it into my lunch box. It was appropriate. She got a post it note back. Traffic was bad on the way home. We didn’t have the unusual number of trick or treaters because half my street stopped passing them out. Last night, I just felt done. She didn’t want to crave the pumpkin. I just gave up last night.

My living daughter is having a hard time knowing I am going to the West Coast without her in December. It started a snowball of lost and missing things. Next week is another week. Yesterday, I found this card. It made me think my last daughter. I never felt my last daughter was properly remembered due to her dying during the holiday season. There is not a day, I don’t remember my daughters. FYI: Three people out of 83 recognized my message on Facebook post about the loneliness and isolation of recurrent pregnancy loss as underlining causes for my breast cancer.