Friday, October 30, 2009

First week of normal

So... week one of our new normal is done. We both survived the week. Yay team. Joe is working in the Mike company office at TBS. It is good that he has something to keep him busy all day, even if it is BS most of the time. He has been working out again and getting into shape for when he starts school. We are back on normal people time now. We have been going to bed around 11 each night, which is a huge improvement from our 3am bedtimes before.
This week was pretty busy for me too. We let a lot of things slide while I was pregnant, just because I was unable to do it. So I have been catching up. Bailey went to the vet, which he loved. It is amazing how much he loves the vet's office. He practically wiggles the entire time. He was a very good boy and everyone in the office loves him. He has to go back in a week to check his ears. I think that he might have something going on, but the vet tech didn't think so... so I made an appointment with the actual vet to be sure. He just acts like they are bothering him. We will see what the vet says.
I had an awesome spa day this week too. A few of my friends from home sent me a gift certificate for a full day of pampering. It was really sweet of them to do that, and I really appreciate it. It was amazing. I left feeling very relaxed and FINALLY got my toes done. They were due to be done when I was put in the hospital, and it just didn't get done. They look very pretty again thank goodness.
I did have a very disappointing moment this week. I realized that not everyone is going to get it, no matter how much I try to explain everything. I can tell them over and over again, but it wont make a difference. That really hurt my heart. I wish everyone would get it, but they wont... and I really need to learn to accept that. Until I do, I am just going to be disappointed over and over again. It is hard for me to accept that, but it is just the way things are. The more I understand this is the way things are, the less I will be disappointed in people. I have to constantly remind myself that the people that don't understand are still good people, they just don't understand... and say/do things that show that they don't understand. Just because it has been a month and a half, does not mean we are all better.
Overall, this week was not so bad. We are starting our new normal, and it isn't too bad. It could be a lot better, but we are dealing with that. I started cooking dinner again, and our house is slowly coming back together. Hopefully next week will bring us even more happiness in our new normal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We are back from Vegas. It was a fun trip, and we enjoyed our getaway. It was nice to be away and pretend to be normal. We saw all the sights in Las Vegas, and then traveled over to the Grand Canyon. I loved the Grand Canyon. We went in the afternoon and watched the sunset. It was a beautiful site, and seeing such beauty really did my heart good. We took a ton of pictures.
When we got home, reality set back in. It is amazing how being distracted can make things all better. I really felt like I was doing alright and moving forward... silly me. It was hard being at our house again with all of Ethan and Jacob's things. It was like we walked in and God slapped us back into the real world. Joseph goes back to work on Monday, and I have to say I am not looking forward to that. I have not been alone since the boys were born. I am sure I will be fine, but I am nervous about it. Hopefully, once we get back into our normal routine life will get easier. Until then, we just have to keep pushing through each day. Some days are easier, and others feel like I have to move mountains to get anything accomplished. Either way, we will make it through. There is no other option.
After we got back, we met with the perinatologist at Bethesda. She is one of the three specialists that saw me while I was in the hospital. We were really happy to be meeting with her, as she is one of the more friendly perinatologists at Bethesda. She is also from North Carolina, so we have to like her for that! After meeting with the OB that delivered me, we knew that next time I am pregnant I will be at higher risk of premature rupture (between 10-30%). Dr Hickey said that I am on the lower end of that percentage (around 10). She recommended only transferring one embryo during our next IVF treatment, as most of the complications I had were from having twins. She said being pregnant with twins was the reason I had so much bleeding. Bleeding and multiples are risk factors for premature rupture. She said that next time I am pregnant, they will watch me very closely. I will be seen every other week or weekly depending on how I do. I will also get a shot weekly to prevent premature labor. All-in-all it was a very positive appointment. I was really nervous that we would have to deal with premature rupture during every pregnancy, but Dr. Hickey said that if I was pregnant with only one baby things should be fine. I am sure when that time comes Joseph and I will still be nervous, but she said they will understand. She said we can start our infertility treatments whenever we are ready emotionally. My body is healed, we just have to wait until we are ready.
Overall, that is what is going on with us. Joseph starts work again Monday, and I am planning on starting school again after Christmas. We are just trying to figure out our new normal...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our Vacation Pictures

The Vegas Strip




Hoover Dam


Grand Canyon






Sunset at the canyon

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One month

It has almost been a month since I held my two little angels. It doesn't seem possible. In some ways this month has flown by, and in others it seems to be slowly creeping. A lot has changed in a month. Tomorrow I would have been 27 weeks pregnant. The survival rate at that gestational age is so much higher. The boys would have had a real chance at making it, but life didn't work out that way.
I have dreaded October 13th since the boys passed away. The one month mark just brings all of those feelings back. From the fear to the pain, it brings everything back. I think that the first of everything is tough. This is the first month marker, and it will be tough for us. We will get through though, as we have no other option. Time will continue on, and before we realize it... it we will be back to having another first... instead of month, it will be a year. We will think about Jacob and Ethan every single day of that year, and hope they are shining down on us.

We are back in North Carolina now, we leave for vacation on Monday. My parents are watching Bailey the Boxer while we are gone. My mom gave me a beautiful necklace with the boy's birthstones in it. Of course it made me cry, but I love it. It is perfect. I also love that she understands. Through all of our infertility struggles, I always felt like my family just didn't get it. They just didn't understand, and we didn't really tell them a lot about it. I really feel like my mom really understands how hard it was to say goodbye to Jacob and Ethan. She understands how scary everything was, and how precious those 36 hours with Ethan were. She gets it, and I am so thankful to have her completely understand.

Well, we are off to Las Vegas for a week. Hopefully we will have a great time and can come home with some happy memories. Keep us in your prayers on the 13th... that day is going to be a tough one, no matter where we are.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Test results and f/u appointment

I had my follow up appointment on Monday at Bethesda. I thought it would be a physical appointment, but we actually just talked to the doctor. The doctor that delivered the boys came downstairs and met with us. I had not talked with her since I delivered Ethan and Jacob, so seeing her brought back all of those emotions. It was very hard to see her at first, and Joseph had to do a lot of the talking at the beginning. She was one of our doctors for three weeks, then delivered the boys.

We first talked about how we were doing emotionally. She gave me a prescription for Ambien, to help me sleep. I have been really struggling with sleep. My doctor said that it was completely normal to have problems sleeping after a traumatic experience. I usually stay up until 2 or 3 am, then fall into bed. It is easier to watch tv or play on the internet, than lay in bed and think. Joseph will eventually have to go back to work, and I want to be on a normal schedule again... so Ambien it is. Hopefully it will help me to fall asleep instead of just laying there.

My doctor answered a lot of the questions we had about the delivery. I don't remember a lot of what happened, and Joseph was not allowed in the room... so I had a lot of questions. She answered all of them, and she talked to us about why everything happened the way it did. It really made me feel better to have some answers. I feel like I finally know exactly what happened in the OR that morning. I also know exactly what happened to Jacob and Ethan while they were in the OR with me. She said that anesthesiology really dropped the ball when it came to my pain management, but they were not expecting me to deliver as fast as I did.

We finally got the results to the testing they did on Jacob while I was pregnant. They originally thought there was something chromosomally wrong with him, which caused my water to break. The tests all came back normal, so there was nothing wrong with Jacob. He was a normal little boy. They also got some of my cells in the test, and apparently I am a normal girl. Jacob being chromosomally normal is great news. We still have a frozen embryo waiting on us, and if Jacob had any abnormalities... it could be an issue for when we use the frozen embryo. I am happy to know that my little guys were both normal.

They also sent both of the boy's placentas for testing. They both came back normal, but very infected. According to my doctor, this is why I went into labor. This is also why my contractions went from cramping to unbearably painful in such a short amount of time. My uterus was really infected, causing the extreme pain. The infection is also why the medications they were using to try to stop my contractions, were not working. We knew from the beginning that infection was our main worry. The odd thing is that I never ran a fever. All that time in the hospital, the nurses were checking my temperature every four hours! I lost a lot of sleep from those stupid four hour temperature checks. The good news is that the placentas were formed correctly and had no abnormalities, which is also good news for future pregnancies.

We still don't know why Jacob's water broke so early. There are many reasons that it could have happened. Jacob's membrane could have been infected from the start, and the infection traveled up to Ethan's placenta. My cervix could have been thinning and dilating. It sometimes just happens for no reason. Since both placentas were infected, the doctor leaned toward that reason, but there is really no way to be sure. My doctor gave us a consult to talk to Maternal Fetal Medicine on the 20Th of October. They are the perinatologists that treated me while I was admitted. They want to make a "plan" for the next time I get pregnant, before I get pregnant. I will be considered high risk from day one next time around. I will only see the perinatologists and watched very closely.

Joseph and I are doing alright. Our days are a mix between good days and bad. I usually struggle with Sundays, since that is when I had Jacob and Ethan. We are working on getting our normal routine back, and it feels good to be as normal as possible again. We leave next Monday to go on vacation, which I think will be great. I will post some pictures once we get back to Virginia. Once we come back, Joseph will go back to work and our normal routine will be that much more normal. We have been so lucky that he has had so much time away from work. Since we lost Jacob and Ethan, I have become really attached to him. I will definitely be a little sad when he has to go back. He has to go back eventually though, so I will have to get use to being alone. I am sure Tina and I will have plenty of stuff to do. Other than that, we are moving forward. There is no time limit for grieving, so we are taking life one day at a time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thank you...

We just want to thank everyone that attended Ethan and Jacob's memorial service this past weekend. It means a lot to have so many people that care about us. Joseph did an amazing job telling everyone about the boys. Ethan and Jacob were up in Heaven giving their daddy a thumbs up for being so brave.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Just For Today

Just For Today

Just for today, I will try to live through the next 24 hours...not expecting to get over my child's death, but learning to live with day at a time
Just for today, I'll remember my child's life, not his death, and bask in the comfort of the treasured days and moments we shared.
Just for today, I will forgive all the family and friends who didn't help or comfort me the way I needed them to. They truly did not know how.
Just for today, I will reach out to comfort a relative or friend of my child. For they are hurting too, and perhaps we can help each other.
Just for today, I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt. For deep in my heart, I know if there was anything in this world I could have done to save my child from death, I would have done it.
Just for today, I will honor my child's memory by doing something with another child, be it my own, or someone else's, because I know that would make my child proud.
Just for today, I will offer my hand in friendship to other bereaved parents, fo I DO know how they feel.
Just for today, I will matter how much I hurt on the inside...for maybe if I smile a little, my heart will soften and I will begin to heal.
Just for today, I will allow myself to be happy and enjoy myself, for I know I am not deserting my child by moving on.
Just for today, I will accept that I did NOT die when my child did. My life did go on and I am the ONLY one who can make that life worthwhile again.
~by V.Tushingham, taken from the Bereaved Parents of the USA Tampa Bay Newsletter, Sept 2001.