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Archive for February, 2010

Six Months

Six months. One half of a year.

It feels like both a split second and an eternity all at once. A split second because the night Madelyn was born has never left me. It remains as close to me as yesterday. Or perhaps even today. I can still feel her skin, her weight against my arm, and remember her scent. I can visualize her eyes fluttering open as if it is happening this very moment.

It also seems appropriate to describe the time that has passed as an eternity, because sometimes I feel as though I have lived my entire life in these six months, unable to remember life before Madelyn. Several people have told me I seem to be doing so well. I even can convince myself I am doing very well most days. Yet I still so often feel as though I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. And when I take the time to sit and reflect on all that has happened, I realize just how much I still ache ever so deeply for the daughter who is frozen in time as an infant in my mind.

Still, thinking about her brings me the sweetest happiness. And while I hate that I am six months further away from holding her in my arms, I choose to view today from the perspective of six months closer to the day we will be reunited.

Missing you as always, sweet Madelyn.

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2/26 Appointment

Today I had an appointment with my OB to discuss the list of tests required by the fertility clinic prior to the embryo transfer. Fortunately, he was able to order all of them! Not only am I comfortable with my OB and glad he is doing the tests, but my insurance will probably respond better to tests ordered by an OB than tests ordered by a fertility center. However, I’ll still need to find a local RE to do my baseline ultrasounds in April.

I was expecting today to be no more than a consultation, but my OB decided we could get started today! He did a culture (I think it’s to check for STDs – I’m not at all worried about that one), and since I hadn’t eaten anything yet today I was able to go ahead and have all my blood work done, along with a urine test. The lack of food in my system would have only affected the glucose and insulin tests, but it was nice to get everything done at once instead of having to do 2 separate blood draws.

Those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning have probably figured out needles are not my friend. I thought for sure I’d be passed out on the floor by the time today was over, because they needed something like 12 or 13 blood tests from me! I warned the lab when I arrived with my paperwork I would need to lie down while they were doing the draw. While wearing the nervous look phlebotomists so often get when they realize I’m not an easy patient, they set me up in a not-so-comfy recliner (but at least it reclined!) and began. I leaned back, kept my eyes closed, and engaged in conversation with the phlebotomist. I felt vial after vial after vial being placed on my lap (there was no table convenient near the recliner), yet I maintained full consciousness. I didn’t get dizzy, my arm didn’t go numb, my only side effect was a sweaty palm! Could it be that I am released from my phobia? I hope it is so!

I also hope all of the test results are favorable for me to proceed with our 4/19 FET. One minute I’m sure all is going to be fine, the next I’m scared out of my mind they will find something wrong. This is undoubtedly a precursor of the emotions that will accompany my pregnancy after loss.

Next on my agenda is a saline hysterogram scheduled for 3/17, and my endometrial biopsy is 4/6. I am to take an antibiotic on the day of the hysterogram, and a couple of motrin the morning of the endometrial biopsy. I’m afraid that one might be a little painful.

Finally, I start my birth control pills tomorrow. That will probably sound strange to some, but it allows the doctor to manipulate my body so it will be ready for the transfer on 4/19.

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My friend’s new blog

I referenced a friend in a recent post whose unborn child has been diagnosed with skeletal dysplasia. This friend started a blog, and I wanted to share it. I know there are others connected to my blog who have dealt with a scary pregnancy prognosis, and I am hoping to send some support her way.

Her new blog can be found here.

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Heaven

Lately I’ve been wondering about Madelyn’s life in heaven, and who she is now. The Madelyn in my head is the baby I carried for 34 weeks. The one who I held in my arms for a few short hours. The feisty baby girl who was determined to beat the odds, not allowing the lack of amniotic fluid prevent her from getting her exercise in the womb. I knew her beating heart and the feel of her limbs pushing around my insides. But who is she now?

I have often considered what happens when a person goes to heaven. Are they eternally bound to the age they were when they left the earth? Or does everyone default to a certain youthful, but mature age? I am most inclined to believe there is no age in heaven since time operates differently. But that still leaves no answer to the question of what people are like when they get there. And what of our souls? What are they like when separated from our bodies? I wish I knew so I could better imagine what life is like for her.

I guess these are things I won’t know until I am there myself, because I’m sure whatever the answer, my finite mind could not comprehend it. Still, I seem unable to suppress my curiosity. I wish I could have a window, if only for a brief moment, into her current life. I hate feeling so far from her. One day this separation will end, and I will see with my own eyes. Until then, I can do nothing more than daydream.

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A special thank you…

…to Franchesca who has given my In Our Hearts blog a makeover. I absolutely love it. Please stop by and have a look if you get a chance!

You can visit Franchesca’s studio here.

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Thanks to Waterfall Angels for taking this beautiful photo of Madelyn’s name at Rainbow Springs State Park in Florida.

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Statistics

There was a time when I was ignorant of just how many babies die every year. I believed pregnancy complications, and certainly infant death, were a thing of the past and of third world countries. I never imagined how many lives are torn apart each year through pregnancy and infant loss. Then it happened to me. And then my eyes were opened. Very widely.

I first discovered this cold truth in the blogging world. Every single day in the first few weeks of my loss I would stumble on a new blog written by a mother in honor of the child, and in some cases childREN, that for one reason or another could not live in this world. I discovered babies who had died from chromosomal abnormalities, genetic issues, premature birth, and more. Once I became pregnant, I learned that there is a chance of some of these things occurring, but statistically we should have had nothing to worry about. Yet someone must be the statistic for said statistic to exist. We were a statistic, and I have found so many others who were as well.

Though my eyes have been opened, I still experience shock and heartbreak every time I learn of a new loss or possibility of one. I don’t think I will ever adjust to the fact that these things happen, and more often that we want to believe.

In the past few weeks, I have learned of three difficult situations. I posted the first on my blog here. I never updated, but baby Madyson was born last week and left this world shortly afterwards. I saw her picture, and she is absolutely beautiful.

Then, yesterday I found out about a friend from college whose two year old son is in intensive care and has recently been diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, which can be fatal if left untreated. The last I heard was that he was not responding well to treatment. This little boy’s twin sister died during pregnancy, so this family has already been through much more than any parent should ever have to endure.

The third situation involves a very dear pregnant friend of mine who recently discovered her baby girl has some type of skeletal dysplasia. There is a 25% chance of stillbirth and a 30% chance she won’t live longer than 6 months. The remaining percentage represents the chance that the baby will live, but with some type of physical deformity. They will learn more details as the pregnancy progresses.

I ask that everyone who reads this please keep these three situations in your thoughts and prayers. My heart hurts for each of these families as they learn to cope with the paths that have been set before them.

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