Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Man's Best Friend

We took Spencer to the vet for like 300 things today. After more than an hour of waiting and watching our dog being poked and bled, I was at the front trying to write the gargantuan check when the receptionist asked a woman with 2 chihuahuas to move over to the other side of the room. Soon after, an older hispanic man came out with a blue tarp covering his rather large dog that he had just put down. He was old, his best friend, and he wanted to take him back home and bury him. 

My hands shook while I wrote the check. It was a sad way to end an already completely shitty day in the pit.

My cyber friend delivers her fatally diagnosed baby tomorrow. If ya'll are praying folk, pray for her strength. No woman should have to go through this 2X in 8 months.

I played with an 11 week old mini wiener dog today. I should have been giddy and happy. Instead I was marveling about the tiny creature. A baby. No bigger than my hands. And after she left, I felt really sad. 

Random thoughts flew back into my head. My skin was starting to burn, a feeling that I had when I left the hospital after delivering Ronan. Hormones. Flying high again. 

I need to write thank you notes to the nurses who helped us deliver Ronan, but every time I begin to think about what to say, I am near hysterics. How do you verbalize the kindness of 4 women who stepped up in a way that only women can in this situation? 

Victoria who snuck us food from the doctor's lounge that first night, Tonnya who was there when my labor started and was pushing demerol as fast as humanly possible, trying to get me to hang on while I was whimpering and begging for someone to kill me to put me out of my misery. When I was in my drug induced state, half in and out of consciousness, Tonnya hugged my head when her shift was up and said that I could do this. God didn't give me any more than I could handle. Valerie, who was my silent-as-a mouse overnight nurse, came in when my epidural was placed and came in every hour to monitor my contractions and bp. She snuck in one time around 2 am, and I just stared at her quietly, my eyes vacant and my expression numb. She looked at me with so much tenderness and whispered softly, "it should be very soon now". I nodded, crying silent tears. She then proceeded to clean me up to prepare for Ronan's arrival. She hung around until he arrived, even though he was delivered during a shift change. Jennifer took over for her. She carried Ronan to another room to bathe, weigh, footprint and swadle him. She went with me to the bathroom for the first time after I gave birth, and she cleaned me up. I held on to her strong shoulders as she got me situated with the pads, disposable underwear and clean gown. I remember being completely numb as she explained the physical changes that I was going to go through. She said I looked pretty good. I should heal quickly. This would be but a horrible memory. Later on, she took Peyton by the shoulders and gave him the strength to care for me when I was already on another ward, away from the lullabies that played softly when a living baby arrived... 

3 months. Some days it feels like it just happened....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I had a week to think over a few things. I know we are meeting with the geneticist sometime next month and then, who knows. Maybe we can have a baby sometime next year.

My cyber friend got some terrible news last week. She had lost her first son in September at 35 weeks due to complications from Down's Syndrome, and was pregnant with her 'sub' or 'rainbow' baby, as they like to call it in the stillbirth world. She found out last week that her sub baby has Potter's Syndrome (and that is a fatal diagnosis for those of you who don't know).

I was in a cyber cafe at the conference reading this with a room full of men, and it took everything not to cry a river and shake the damn screen. Not that I know this woman personally, but seriously, do we really live a world where the hope of a second baby has to be squashed in such a horrible way? Her options were let the baby die naturally (from lack of amniotic fluid) or to force induction. Either way, the baby dies. Can this truly be more horrible?

I called Peyton and my MIL and cried to them a little. Peyton was surprised at my emotion for someone I didn't really know all that well. I think that the real thing that got me sobbing is that she is living my nightmare. 

You can talk yourself into trying to have a baby again mostly by chanting a mantra--saying the same things that your doctors say: It was a fluke, it was just bad luck, or one of those things. So what happens when you are on the examination table again and the ultrasound tech is scanning and you see that horrible expression on their face?

Peyton and I just had this conversation, mostly about how horribly frightened we will be the second the pregnancy test turns positive. 40 weeks of hell. 12 weeks of waiting to miscarry, 17 weeks of waiting to see them on a level 2 ultrasound to see if all the parts are there if and when the quad test comes back ok or abnormal. 20-28 weeks to see if they live past when Ronan died. 28-40 weeks of praying that they don't stop moving or kicking on a normal basis. Praying they live through labor, through birth, through the first 2 years when they could die from SIDS.

There is so much pressure already to try to carry another baby to term, and then to be like my poor cyber friend and have her nightmare of the agony of losing another baby come true. 

All she wants is to be a mom. Why the hell can she not be a mom? Why is there so much genetic brough-ha-ha going on with her? Will Peyton and I have the same issues? 

Trisomy. Non-disjunction. A simple misstep of when the egg meets the sperm. Is it just bad luck? Really? Truly? 

I feel like there is something that someone isn't telling me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I will be in KC, MO this week for a conference.

Will blog from the road when I can---

In the meantime, enjoy this little tidbit--

Thursday, April 17, 2008

47, XY, 18+

When I was in Ann Arbor at my 9 week appointment, the older nurse asked me if I wanted the AFP/Quad screen at 15 weeks. I declined, in part because we were moving to SA, and in part because I would not terminate if there was an issue. I was assured that many things could be picked up on ultrasound if I still decided I didn't want the tests when I reached SA.

When I got to SA, I still didn't get the Quad screen at OB#1. She suggested that we would use it if she saw something weird at the 20 week u/s. I said ok, if we saw anything. Fast forward to numnuts who missed the thumbs on the 20 week and then to 28 weeks when Ronan just up and died on us. 

If Numnuts had really looked and saw the missing thumbs, I'm sure OB#1 would have done the Quad screen, which would have been abnormal...

I don't know why I was so adamant about not having the Quad screen. I am usually so pro-active, wanting to be in the know so I can prepare. Maybe it was because I didn't want the hassle of the false-positive result--which happens less in the Quad screen, but still happens. Maybe it was because we were in transition to San Antonio and with OBs. Maybe I figured if there was something wrong, someone would ACTUALLY SEE THE GODDAMN THING ON THE ULTRASOUND. 

Or, maybe, just maybe I had a sixth sense that something was wrong with my kid and I just didn't want to know yet...

I was 10 weeks along when Peyton and I drove down to SA. We were chatty, happy and in love. We were optimistic. We were planning our new life. I was ready for my new job and my new baby, who was swimming (happily, we thought) inside of me. 

If I had done the Quad screen, our world would have crashed around Thanksgiving. There would have been emergency ultrasounds, amnios, the fatal diagnosis, the option to abort, the tears, the tears, the tears as we decided to keep going on until Ronan passed naturally. My new co-workers would have had to deal with paranoid, psychotic, coming unglued me. The stress of everything would have weighed so damn heavily on my marriage. All of this because of a single fucking test. Our life here would have only have been to know that I was carrying a baby that was going to die--either in utero (95% of the time) or shortly after birth (hours to weeks). 

Instead we got the happy ignorance. Blissful speak at Thanksgiving about Ronan's arrival in the Spring, Christmas with my BIL and SIL who talked about his arrival in the Spring, toasting a New Year to his impending arrival. The plans, the plans, the plans. Oh so many beautiful plans.

I don't know if ignorance is bliss. But I accept that the way it happened was the way it was meant to play out. I was meant to find the new OB group I went to 15 days before he died. I was meant to deliver at the hospital where all the nurses came through for me. I was meant to feel this pain now, not back in Thanksgiving. I was meant to be his Mom for only 28 short and wonderful weeks.

For all of this, I take my fate.

For the next time, I'll be damned if I don't know what's in store for me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This is the week that we would have been welcoming home Ronan. His due date was supposed to be on Thursday. Instead of going into labor, we will be going over a pathology report on Thursday.

I have been dreading this day, even though we have an idea of what happened. I am scared out of my mind that we will get the 'well, YES, he did have a congenital issue, but he would have survived if it wasn't for your BLANK' 

Or....'this is the name of the congenital issue---what we know is that you and your husband are carriers and this will happen {all the time} {25% of the time} if you try to conceive again'

Or....'yes, he had no thumbs, but everything else was fine, and we really don't know why he died'

Speculation aside, this is truly going to be a terrible day....

Plus, we owed taxes this year. 


Friday, April 11, 2008

I have determined that my most favorite sound in the world that I currently live in, is the sound of my husband's laughter. He called me, and was laughing at the insanity of the situations down in Florida (he went to his cousin's funeral). He was laughing in semi-horror that his Nana was disoriented enough to start to take off her shirt while he was in her room. The thought of witnessing old-woman boobs was enough to send him into near hysterics. 

I have fallen into a weird pattern since Peyton left yesterday morning (at the crack of dawn). I ate 200 goldfish crackers for dinner last night. I fell asleep reading a book I already read 3 times (in 1 month, mind you). I went into work in 'slacker jeans' (Friday uniform) only to read in my e-mail I had a meeting later that day with an O5 in the Navy and a Colonel. I was mortified, but was assured that it didn't matter.

I talked to a friend who said that I sounded better. It is all an act. In the dark, all alone, I can remember how Ronan smelled when I got to hold him. How wonderfully red his lips were. How my mother-in-law held him for an hour like he was alive and just sleeping---and how her strength left her when she had to give him back, her empty arms falling by her side, and how her stomach spasmed from her trying to suppress her grief for my sake. 

Acting is better than feeling. It's kinda a new motto....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

3 tidbits that sent me over the edge this weekend.

1). The fact that Oprah interviewed that she-he who is carrying a baby. Granted, I don't begrudge people from getting pregnant, having babies and what not, as long as they take care of them. 

But REALLY? A transsexual? She/He gets to have her baby and I can't have mine? Seriously, God, are you fucking kidding me with this?

2). An SA doctor was gunned down outside of her office building by the hubby of one of her patients/receptionist who was infatuated with her. You can read about it here

This was also my MIL's doctor. I was upset about this story, more so when I heard that she was connected to my MIL somehow. Apparently this doctor was beloved. She was competent, compassionate, and everyone loved her. Then a dillweed with a few screws loose decides to take her away from her patients, her family, her hubby of 28 years. What a completely crap way to die.

And 3). 

Peyton's cousin (17) was playing with a firearm this weekend and accidently shot himself through the neck, clipping his brain stem. He died almost instantly. 

I met this kid when we went to Maui a couple of years ago. I thought he was a good kid. His older brother on the other hand---a complete and perfect ass. 

I am angry that it was the younger one who died, when everyone in the family expected the older one to meet some stupid and unforeseen, ridiculous death. The younger one was smarter than this. Way too smart to die this way. I have been screaming WTF? all weekend. (And no, I didn't want the older one to DIE, but I mean, come on. There were times when we were bracing ourselves for the phone call that the older one finally did something stupid. We were FLOORED when we found out it was the younger one. I am STILL in shock, and it's been a couple of days)

I am angry that my hubby's uncle and aunt have to ride on the insanity roller coaster of losing a child. No one should ride this. 

I am concerned that the older brother, who is already unstable, is going to spiral out of control because this happened---and what can anyone do except watch the family go down the crapper?

As far as I am concerned, you can crumple up 2008 and flush it in the toilet. My family doesn't need any more drama, thanks.