Thursday, August 15, 2013

It Doesn't Go Away

As phenomenal as it is to have this beautiful baby in my arms at last, he has not been a cure for the emotional wounds of the last four years. I never expected him to be, but the last few days have taken me by surprise with just how intense and sharp and close to the surface that grief still remains. I knew it wouldn't really go away, but I thought it would dull around the edges. It doesn't. It is part of me and I'm not even sure I would want it to go away at this point.

Last week, I was staggered watching a Twitter friend receive news that her long-awaited pregnancy was over... and remembering the days and weeks spent processing the loss of my own first pregnancy in vivid and excruciating detail.

Then, I finally went to the grocery store for the first time since before I was pulled from work and put on bedrest... bad idea to leave Thumper at home with Daddy and go all alone. I found myself drifting up and down the aisles with tears dripping down my face, thinking how the last time I was at the grocery store (in June!) I was still pregnant. And staring down the knowledge that I will never be pregnant again and admitting that despite all the complications, I DO WANT to be pregnant again. I always knew I wanted two children. I knew when we had our first sight of Thumper on ultrasound that I still wanted him to have a sibling and I was heartbroken that he would be an only child. All of that grief came flooding back along with memories of years of pre-pregnancy grocery trips spent fighting tears over other women's pregnant bellies in the aisles. For some reason the produce section was always the worst...

All this also dregs up the memory of the phone call from the embryologist after our donor egg cycle, telling me that all of our remaining embryos had stopped growing and we had none to freeze. I closed my office door and sobbed for hours over those little lost lives, even knowing that they were only ever "potential". The power of that sorrow shocked me then and it still does. I never expected to be so attached to a handful of cells that weren't certain to be anything ever. For a few days, they were mine and then they were gone.

It never goes away.

Friday, August 9, 2013

He's Here (or An Eventful Two Months)

And nearly one month old... to recap and catch you all up:

34 weeks: NST after a day of no fetal movements. All fine. Two days later, we had to put one of our cats to sleep - definitely one of the most horrible moments in my life. He was my first ever furbaby and had been with us for 12 years.

36 week appointment: BP 170/110 with protein in urine. Midwife pulls me out of work and puts me on bedrest. NST shows baby is fine but I'm not great, so admitted to hospital with possible pre-eclampsia. Ultrasound shows baby is still breech and estimates weight at 8.5 pounds already. Three days in hospital to monitor, medicate and get BP under control. Last ditch ECV to turn baby not successful. C-section scheduled for 39 weeks, bedrest continues.

38 week appointment: BP still elevated, increased protein in urine. Officially diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and called in to hospital for c-section with only four hours notice. Thumper delivered healthy and perfect in every way (and at only 7.5 pounds).

Now we are four weeks out and he is hitting milestones left and right. As of today, he can hold his head up by himself for about 30 seconds at a time and is starting to make social sounds instead of just crying. Prof has taken to fatherhood like a fish to water - he was absolutely made for this and I am loving watching him don this new mantle.

I am hitting MY milestones a little more slowly... but then, a 40 year old body doesn't heal as quickly as a younger one might. My pain levels are lingering a little higher than normal. I am also struggling a bit with the baby blues, combined with emotional side effects from the blood pressure meds and the inevitable baggage of infertility trauma. As I said on Twitter,

I live in fear that the Universe is going to snatch my beautiful boy away from me, that he's too perfect for me somehow. Then I wonder if losing Cat Two was the Universe taking a "sacrifice" so I can keep my baby & if the Universe will honor that substitute.

I still have eight weeks before I go back to work, and I'm already dreading it.