No Expectations.

The clock will soon hit midnight, and the calendar will flip to a new year. I’ve been trying to sum up my feelings about it and ironically, I’ve been all over the board. I saw this card and at first, I couldn’t agree more. Goodbye 2012 and good riddance. If I never had to think about you again, it’d be too soon. But then I realized that if we never spoke of this year again, then it would be as if Sarah Hana and Benjamin Samuel (and their triplet) never existed. But they did. And they do. So I can’t wipe out this year from my memory, no matter how awful it was. Not tonight. Not ever. Somehow, what I have to try to do is to reframe how I think about it. Somehow.

Right now when I think about 2012, some choice words come to mind. I’m sure I could string together a proliferation of profanity that would make a sailor blush (who am I kidding, I could do that on a good day), but what good would that do? Who would I be yelling at? No one can change what has happened. Life will continue moving, and who knows what’s ahead of us. I look back on this past year and am once again am amazed by Double A’s and my strength, courage and perseverance:

We didn’t think we could have a worse year. We did.

We didn’t think we could be faced with something even more horrific. We were.

We didn’t think we could survive more loss. We are.

I remember sitting here a year ago, counting down the seconds, thinking the worst year of our lives was behind us. There was so much hope in the air. So much promise. Last year, I talked about not knowing what 2012 would bring, but I had hoped it would be better. And yet here we are.

We have no expectations for 2013, but once again, we find ourselves hoping. And that in itself, says more than I can write.

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Holidays are a B*tch, Huh?

I wish I could take credit for that title, but I have to give that to my friend and fellow babyloss Mom, S. She actually said it about Thanksgiving, saying it’s hard enough to make it through a regular day sometimes, let alone when you’re supposed to be with family and giving thanks. But I think it sums up the whole holiday season perfectly, doesn’t it?

Double A and I decided not to acknowledge the holidays this year. We didn’t attend any of our family’s Hanukkah gatherings. We didn’t even light one menorah candle at home. Not one of the many that reside in our collection. We passed on the tradition this year to focus on what we needed—to not think about the holidays and not focus on the fact that our children are not here with us. Hanukkah has now come and gone. Life continues moving.

But the thing is, most of the rest of the world around us are acknowledging the holidays. They’re celebrating and spreading good cheer. And they should. It’s just that that cheer rings boastful to us right now. Every holiday card we’ve received from family and friends has gone immediately into the recycling bin, unopened. It’s the same reason I’ve stopped going on Face.book. It isn’t that we expect the world to stop and for everyone to be miserable with us. Rather it’s the fact that we don’t want their happy lives, with their happy families and happy stories rubbed in our faces. These are daily reminders of what we don’t have and what’s been taken from us time and time again. They represent what we want more than anything, yet can’t seem to get.

We realize that our friends and family probably didn’t think twice about sending us their yearly update. We’re on their list, so they had to cross us off. We know they likely had no clue that this seemingly normal yearly act would prove to be so hurtful to us. But that’s just it. So often in our situation, we’ve come to realize that people just don’t take a moment to really think about what they’re doing before they actually do it. On the flip side, we realize that some may have thought that we would have been hurt to not be included. Once again, there are no easy answers.

My intent in saying all of this isn’t to hurt any feelings. I’m glad there are people celebrating. I’m happy that there are good things happening in this world, especially in light of recent events. I only want the best to happen. It’s just that we’re tired of always being the ones on the reading and listening end. It’s time for us to finally experience the joy and happiness we’ve been teased with so often.

An Hour Fifteen

I’ve held off on writing because I’m still trying to process the follow-up visit last Wednesday. But I realize that if I wait until I can process or fully understand everything, I’ll probably be waiting a very long time.

My tears started when we got there. And by there, I mean across the street. Double A’s favorite joke these days when I break down in a public place is that people are going to think he’s the a*shole who is breaking up with me, and he tried to use it here to make me laugh. I pulled myself together only to slightly lose it again walking off the elevator, and completely once we got to the waiting room…turning into convulsing sobs when the nurse came out.

“She’s here!” She’s here!” the other nurses whispered, running around. “Page him. She’s here.” If it were different circumstances, I would have felt like royalty. Only this time, I just felt appreciative of these caring women who knew how hard it was for us to be back in this spot.

I’m not going to lie to you, it SUCKED. And I wish I could tell you that we got some answers. That there were some a-ha moments which led to an explanation of what happened, or a clear path for any future endeavors. But there weren’t. While I had found this helpful list of questions you should ask during your follow-up appointment (thank you to Stirrup Queens), most of them didn’t apply to us. Our babies were perfectly healthy. My cervix was normal. There was nothing telling from the placentas. And since I’ve already gone through about every RPL test there is, there’s not really more to be said on this. Once again, we are left with no answers.

The doctor talked with us about a potential next time. Double A and I shuddered at the thought, yet wanted to hear our options. He said if we did find the resolve to try this again, that we should do everything we can to ensure a singleton pregnancy as there’s greater risks associated with multiples. That he would recommend doing so either via spontaneous conception (you know, like “normal” people do it) or IVF (which we’re not covered for). But if we did do IVF, that they should only place one embryo at a time, which may limit our chances, but it also somewhat protects us from multiples. IUIs with gonadatropins and even clomid are out.

He talked about if we did have the resolve to try this again (a phrase he kept using), and were successful in getting pregnant, what would or could be done differently. Bottom line: not much. We could look at doing progesterone shots and/or a cerclage, but neither of those solutions would have been of any help this last time around. And there are risks associated with the latter.

And then we had the birth control talk. You know, the same one from high school, only this time it was for a different kind of protective measure…emotional protection. There’s also the physical protection that it would provide too, as he said my body should continue to heal for at least 3 months. Speaking of physical, the actual exam showed that all is healing properly, and looking and feeling normal. Too bad the same could not be said for our heads (and the PTSD from being back in the hospital gown and on the exam table didn’t help either).

We spent an hour and fifteen minutes with the doctor, and came out with no more clarity than we had arrived. While I was expecting that this would be the case, there was a tiny part of me that hoped that he would have come across something, anything, that would explain why we lost our twins. I know we can’t turn back time, but having some sort of answers may provide some closure. But we have no answers and I’m not sure we’ll ever have closure.

As I said before, we have a lot to think about, and a lot to process, especially when it comes to what’s next for us. And while we don’t have to make any final decisions right now, we know we need to soon. Of the five years we’ve been married, 4-1/2 of them have been consumed by pregnancy, loss and the road to family. Enough is enough. But what’s enough when we don’t have we want?