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  #281  
January 22nd, 2010, 09:00 PM
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KDD KDD is offline
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I love your plan. You're definitely right about setting priorities. I should do that and maybe I would get to the gym!

We're cycle buddies this month too!
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  #282  
January 23rd, 2010, 08:12 AM
~*Jackie*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Just dropping by to say "hi" and I hope you have a good weekend!!
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Our TTC journey: 6 cycles Clomid, lap surgery/ D&C, IUI, 2 x IVF; 41 cycles- BFN.
IVF#1 (March 2010) Transferred two 8-cell grade A (perfect) embies- BFN and heartbroken.

IVF#2/FET#1 (Jan/Feb 2011):Transferred two (7&8 cell) grade A (PERFECT) embies- BFN again.
March 2011- August 2014: All but 7 cycles on BCP due to endometriosis.

IVF#3/FET#2 (November 2014) Transferred two perfect blasts- First BFP Ever. EDD 8/18/15


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  #283  
January 23rd, 2010, 11:45 AM
MandyRS's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks for still stopping by my journal ladies... I really appreciate it, given that my new reduced JM time means far fewer responses in YOUR journals. I love you all.

I'm breaking my own rule... have not been to the gym or gotten any work done yet today. But I just want to mark the fact that, 12 months ago, AF was here and I was "technically" pregnant. It was our first cycle of trying, I was excited and nervous and such a baby myself... I feel very old and jaded after 12 full months of this. That baby would be almost 3 months old and in my arms right now if life was fair. I don't have the energy to write much, but I want to share the story, just as I wrote it immediately after it happened, raw and unedited. I have never until now shared it with anyone, despite saying "everyone"... I started to write it thinking I wanted to tell everyone on facebook, but by the time I got to the end it had gotten too personal and I decided to keep it to myself for several months more. It's novel length, so please don't feel like you have to read it all. I just want it here for myself. To remember. To love my little lost baby. To remember that I was brave, and that even if I have to go through that again to get to my healthy baby, I can do it. And to share my heart with all of you (too many of you...) who have been there too.

March 15, 2009

I recently miscarried my first baby, and I need you all to understand how I have changed. I don’t need sympathy, I don’t need philosophy, I don’t need pragmatism or optimism or anything at all really. I don’t need you to tell me everything happens for a reason, better now than later, I’m still young, God has plans for me, etc. etc. etc. PLEASE don’t say things like that, because it only hurts me more. What I do need is to share, because I will never be the same person and I need all of you who I love to know that.

On Saturday, February 28 I found out I was pregnant. When I imagined in my head seeing that positive pregnancy test for the first time, I always thought I would be terrified. You may be surprised, knowing my love for children and dream of being a mom someday, but in truth I am truly terrified of being pregnant and giving birth. My mom says I should be more afraid of being a parent, but I guess that is a lesson I have yet to learn.

What happened though, was not what I imagined. I stood there in my friend Stephanie’s bathroom that morning, pulling my clean shirt on and slowly watching the second line appear, believing what I was seeing only in very slow motion. At first it seemed like just a shadow, then my imagination, then a faulty test, all before I finally understood that I was really looking at a plus sign. As I took it to show Greg, I was shaking from the surprise, but I wasn’t terrified. I was so happy. In that moment I became a mom. I had confirmed what I had suspected in my heart to be true the week or two beforehand, and I suddenly just loved that little being inside of me like nothing else ever. I was scared, for sure, and shocked, but there was an overriding emotion that I had never felt before, and I can only call it mother love.

I was so excited to be able to show Steph, who has two girls and has been asking me every time we talk if I’m pregnant yet. It was so fun to walk out in the hallway and greet her with my test in my hand. “Good morning Steph!,” I said, and in the same breath, “Look at this!” She was SO excited with me… I had imagined the day before when I bought the test, how fun it would be to see her reaction firsthand. It was strange actually watching it happen, almost surreal. We spent that whole day talking and dreaming, wondering if I would have a boy or a girl- her daughter Joanna was sure it would be a girl- and when we went to Costco she very sweetly bought me my first little newborn outfit, a onesie set with rubber duckies on it that says “Squeeze me”. With her help and excitement for me, so quickly in my head was this hypothetical baby becoming a reality.

I was afraid to eat that day- afraid to eat too much or too little or the wrong thing. I told my grandparents and my mom and our best long distance friends in Ohio. We figured out my due date, November 2, but I suspected it would be later- and smiled thinking our baby might share a birthday with our goddaughter Madison, November 10. I remember thinking a November baby was a good sign, because I had always said I wanted a kid just like Madison. I imagined how I would tell the friends that I could tell in person in the coming week. I walked around with my hand on my belly without even realizing it. You will never understand how quickly you become a mother until you are one… and if you have never had a loss, you may never fully realize how attached you really were to your child from day one. I don’t think I did, anyway.

As we drove home from Bakersfield on Sunday, Greg and I were processing in the car together. We were talking about how all of a sudden the world seemed like a new place, everything seemed different, how it seemed we suddenly had a new purpose in life in the blink of an eye. We were making plans, talking about the future… we stopped at Barnes and Noble and got a few pregnancy books. I was so enthralled reading the day by day development, and more than a little intimidated by how quickly (and often) a baby doubles in size. It seemed crazy to think that the being inside of me already had a spine and a heart, and the cells that would become its bones were multiplying. In the car I called my ‘second family’ in Iowa and told them our news… I was so excited thinking about bringing my baby to see my girls, I loved hearing the excitement in their voices when they figured out the news. When we got home I told a few close friends on facebook who I knew wouldn’t spill the beans to the people out here we were waiting to tell in person. I was in a cloud of excitement and happiness, and yes, still some shock, but mostly I was just loving the fun of telling people… of having friends and family share in our excitement, making the whole thing more and more concrete.

I had been feeling crampy that day, which my mom told me was normal as your muscles expand to make room for the baby. It wasn’t the first time I had felt the cramps in recent weeks, just the first time since I had known I was pregnant, so I didn’t worry too much after I found out it was normal. But then I saw blood. It was just a little at first, and so light. I didn’t know it could be normal though, and as soon as I saw it my heart stopped. My head was spinning and my throat closed off and I could barely talk, I was so afraid and heartbroken to call for Greg, knowing that my words would cause a similar reaction in him. I called my mom who called my sister in law who asked her friend at the hospital, an OB nurse, about what was going on. She told me to relax, some early spotting is normal and fine if it’s not bright red. I felt better for a short while.

But before long the blood was red, and in that second I wanted to die. My heart felt like it was swelling up so huge with the pain that it had taken up permanent residence in my lungs and I would never be able to breathe again. I went to bed and was inconsolable. I literally writhed in pain as the cramps grew worse, I felt intensely feverish, nauseous, and couldn’t stop crying. I have never, and I mean never, been more miserable in my life. It felt somewhat similar to the day I found out my dearly loved cousin had been in a car accident and was dying, except that actual physical pain and fever also came along with it. I had NO control, my child was dying and I knew it in my heart and there was nothing I could do about it. I eventually found the power to numb myself emotionally and sink into denial so the pain would stop enough for me to escape into sleep.

I went to the doctor the next day, Monday, and was told there was nothing I could do. If I was going to miscarry, there was nothing I could do to stop it, and if I wasn’t there was nothing I could do to make that happen either. All we could do was a blood test to see if my hormone level rose like it was supposed to. If it dropped, we would know I had lost the baby. The red blood had tapered off and disappeared by morning, so I convinced myself that my baby was okay, despite the intuition I had that it was over. I did a blood test that day and then went home to wait it out for 48 hours until we could do another in order to find out what was going on. I was in limbo, not knowing if my baby was alive or dead and knowing that there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t grieve, I couldn’t be excited. I found it difficult to be at all. I didn’t go to school, I didn’t go to work. I couldn’t watch movies without feeling wildly irreverent, I couldn’t listen to music without condemning the comfort it brought me. I could hardly eat, nausea all of a sudden had an iron grip on me, and when I did get hungry I was starving, and then I could only eat very small amounts before feeling like I was going to throw up again.

Tuesday night I took my prenatal vitamin with dinner and ended up awake all night in horrific stomach pain which we suspected may have come from the iron in the vitamin. We mentioned this to the doctor on Wednesday, and she promised to look for a vitamin I might be able to handle better. I did my second blood test and ordered a stat return on it, and by this point I had experienced more bleeding and was very much expecting a confirmation of my feeling that I had in fact miscarried. My hCG hormone level from Monday’s test was 466, not very high, and the doctor had warned me that it was probably not a good sign. However, when she called me on Wednesday she informed me my level had in fact gone up to 721- and said that we could be “cautiously hopeful” for a positive outcome. I still had consistent light bleeding, so I knew I wasn’t out of the woods, but I was so hopeful. hCG going up meant the baby was still alive to create it, so it wasn’t over yet. However, since the number was still not as high as it would be ideally, I was ordered to do yet another blood test on Friday. So it was another waiting game.

That pain was so intense and I was so miserable in my sleeplessness the previous night, that I was terrified to even turn off the light that Wednesday night. I was so afraid I would have another night like the one before, despite the fact that I had skipped the vitamin. Eventually I did switch the light off and get some sleep.

Thursday was somewhat hopeful. My mom spent the entire week with me, never leaving my side except at night after Greg got home from work. Tired of all the fear, I let myself slip into imagining again, wondering if I was having a girl or a boy, thinking of names. Friday morning I was nervous about the blood test, but generally feeling peaceful. I hated how hopeful I was, but I couldn’t stop it. I had to have hope that my baby was alive, what else could I do about it?

We ordered another stat return, but I didn’t get my phone call for about 6 hours or so after the test. The doctor gave me a rambling explanation about confusion at the lab when she finally called, much to my annoyance. I remember thinking that she should know that all I care about is if my baby is dead or not, and here she is telling me about a lab mix up. Eventually she got around to telling me the truth of the matter- my hCG had dropped down to 271, which meant my “initial feeling was correct” as the doctor helpfully reminded me, and I was indeed miscarrying. Desperately needing to get off the phone, unable to do more than utter a few tearful “okay”s, my doctor reminded me of one thing before hanging up the phone. “At least now you won’t have to worry about the prenatal vitamins!”

Right. Thanks for that.

The weekend was filled with grief and healing, as my mom and I cleaned, rearranged and decorated my house, creating a new space and a fresh start. Any little thing might trigger tears though…. Standing in line at the grocery store, seeing a girl with a baby at the coffee shop, biting into a vegetable I had eaten only days before specifically thinking of nourishing my baby. The grief comes in waves, unexpected and forceful, knocking me over with the power of the pain and leaving as quickly as it comes. I can’t bear it for extended periods of time, so it’s like my brain is trying to help me by shutting it off and allowing me to be distracted.

I decided I couldn’t continue to disrupt the lives of those that were counting on me for order, and I went back to work and school on Monday. I told myself the world was never going to be reverent and understand the significance of this loss of life, but I still had to live in it and move on. I did this too soon. Monday morning, I began getting bad cramps in class. I sat for 3 hours at school, extremely uncomfortable and still grieving deeply. I drove to work, and the cramping became so intense I called my mom sobbing in the car. I felt like I was going to throw up the pain was so bad. Thankfully, the mom of the kids I was caring for was wonderful. She was very concerned about me doing too much too soon, and listened to me talk without feeling the need to try to make me feel better. In that moment I was thankful that she is not really a very verbose person… although I had wished she was chattier many times, just then I was so thankful for her compassion and quietness. I could tell just by looking at her eyes that she understood how significant and deeply painful this experience was. Shortly after she left, the pain overtook me. I turned on a cartoon for the kids and curled up into a ball on the floor, tears streaming down my face. I had taken 4 ibuprofen but it didn’t matter. There I was, in someone else’s house, without my husband or my mom, going through the physical reality of a miscarriage. I had managed to convince myself it would be gradual, or would just go away with my next period… that it wouldn’t be so different than what I have experienced countless times. I was so wrong.

I finally stepped into the bathroom to see what was happening, and before long I passed a golf ball sized clot right into the toilet. I stood there staring at it for the longest time, sobbing and sobbing staring at the lone bloody clump that was supposed to be alive, not dead sitting at the bottom of a toilet. I stared at the red outline the blood made in the water, fearfully peered at the dark tissue clot, wondering what I would find if I pulled it out and looked through it. I debated actually doing it. I was crazy with grief. I was insane with guilt. My first child was at the bottom of a toilet.

Finally I realized I couldn’t very well remove it and keep it without seriously alarming the children I was caring for, and I told myself it was an unhealthy fixation, and I had to flush it down and move on. So I did. Again, I was too hard on myself. I did it too soon. Who knows what I would have done if I had been in my own home, but as it was, I flushed my first child down the toilet like a dead goldfish. Some mother I am.

After the clot came out, the physical pain stopped instantly. I thought of my friends who have given birth telling me about how crazy it is when your baby is born, how you go from the most intense pain you could imagine to absolutely nothing, total relief. I had tried to imagine how that could be possible, how it could be that it didn’t gradually decrease like any other kind of pain. This was not the way I wanted to find out what they meant. This was not the ‘birth’ I had wanted for my child. I was so ashamed and overwhelmed and guilt ridden and grieved, I don’t know how I managed to keep the children I was caring for safe that afternoon.

The grief has not stopped since then. Especially at night, it overtakes me, it crushes my heart with a physical searing ache, my anger at myself for not seeing a doctor before trying to conceive, my guilt at my body’s failure, my distress over what could have been discovered if I had saved the miscarried tissue and had it examined (I later found out). I still cry at unpredictable triggers, my irrational anger at people who don’t understand makes me even angrier at myself. I feel alone and afraid and bereaved. I miss my baby, I ache for my child who I will never know. I will never even know if I would have had a son or a daughter, even though that was already determined. All I want is to be pregnant again, and at the same time there is nothing I am more afraid of in the world. I grieve for the joy and excitement I will no longer be able to feel with a new pregnancy, knowing that I will spend the entire time living in fear of seeing that blood again. I long for the naiveté of believing a loss like this wouldn’t happen to me. I fight the guilt of wishing more people understood what I was going through… even though at the same time I would never, ever wish this kind of agony on anyone. And I can’t forgive myself yet. I cry angry tears at my very own self, at my body for failing, at my mind for being careless. I am distracted and happy for hours at a time, knowing all the while I can’t escape and will inevitably come crashing back down.

I am lost, distraught, empty, alone. I will never be the same. I will always be a mother without a baby. Even when I hopefully am a mother WITH a baby, it won’t be THIS baby. And I wanted THIS baby with all my heart. And no one can fix that. No one can change it. Please just keep loving me while I can’t love myself very well.
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THANK YOU to *Sharon* for my perfect siggy.

Last edited by MandyRS; January 23rd, 2010 at 11:57 AM.
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  #284  
January 23rd, 2010, 12:17 PM
denalibear's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh Mandy Im so sorry

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  #285  
January 27th, 2010, 06:10 AM
Oreobaby's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Mandy, I am so sorry!!!

I actually had come to your journal to say I love you new siggy...but now it seems somehow lame and inappropriate... I pray almost every day for my TTC 1 vets, and pray that God will give you your sticky and give you the babies you all deserve!!
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  #286  
January 29th, 2010, 09:11 AM
Coley's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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There are no words...

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  #287  
January 30th, 2010, 08:20 AM
chrissy323's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh MAndy! I am crying for you.......
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  #288  
February 8th, 2010, 10:51 PM
MandyRS's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Sorry its been so long guys... I know I have been really MIA with school and this surgery I just had. The one year mark has been pretty tough, and this is always the worst time of year to deal with DH on top of it all. I'm pretty sure he has SADD, because winter is always the WORST. It is so hard. So TTC has honestly not been at the front of my priorities right now. I didn't mean to put a big fat damper on my journal by posting my story, I hope you can still feel okay to post happy things in here! I just wanted it here to mark the really hard year that passed, and to acknowledge everything I went through. I'm okay though, and I have a peace lately that we will have a baby when the time is right.

I had to go off my Metformin cold turkey for about a week, since it interfered with some of the drugs they were pumping through me at the hospital (I had emergency surgery for an abscess, for those who didn't know), and I think it made me feel worse along with the general crappiness of surgery recovery and antibiotics (I HATE AUGMENTIN!!!). I am weaning myself back on now, but I have no idea where my cycle is at or when AF will show again. Pretty sure I did not O, given the trauma my body's been through.

I came out to Chicago for a friend's wedding last weekend and found out (after I ended up having to stay here for surgery and follow up care) that she is 14 weeks pregnant. She was afraid to tell me because she knew we had been TTC for so long and lost a baby, and told me she was just praying it would happen for me too before she had to tell me. So of course I was not upset, and told her she couldn't do that to herself, that our lives were very different things and that I was both thrilled for her AND sorry for the struggle she's now facing with a new marriage, family stuff, and baby all at once. It's a strange thing though... she's had the same cycle stuff I have all her life, and this pregnancy is a total fluke... she told me the only time they DTD without a condom was at the end of her period, so she doesn't even know how it happened. And she is the one with a healthy baby growing inside of her, not ready and scared out of her mind, and I'm still here... waiting. Life is funny.

Anyway, I get to go home on Wednesday and hopefully will fully recover soon, and be back a little more around these parts. Love to all of you girls, and fingers crossed for the whole bunch of you vets in the last part of the 2WW!! I hope we see a BFP storm SOON!
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  #289  
February 9th, 2010, 04:20 AM
jensma's Avatar Katie: mommy to Ty & Em
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Glad to see you're okay and that you're recovering well. I LOVE your new siggy Mandy!! How was school??

I hope we get to see more of you soon.

And yeah, life is definitely...interesting.
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  #290  
February 10th, 2010, 08:23 PM
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Just wanted to say I am thinking of you!!! Miss you too!!
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  #291  
February 10th, 2010, 09:03 PM
dansyl's Avatar Missing my angel baby!
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Just wanted to say hi!!! I really hope you are feeling lots better!! I hope school is going well!
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Adopting our miracle baby due Sept 2014!!!
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  #292  
February 21st, 2010, 09:51 PM
MandyRS's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Kate- School was AMAZING, I had such an awesome time! And even now, just continuing with independent study has been so good for my life in general. It has been such a challenge, and I think its only going to keep getting harder (in a good way!) as the next two years go by!

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to say hi and leave some love, you girls are the greatest!

Well girls, I just suck at JM anymore. The truth is, I can count on one hand those of you still in TTC #1 with me that were here when I joined, and I just can't handle it anymore. I am so impressed by those of you (Kim... Stef... Chrissy...) who have been trying as long or longer than me and remain such amazing, supportive, involved sisters, but I just can't do it anymore. I'm just sick of it. Looking at the Grads' Preggo Journals is like looking at a laundry list of almost everyone who I TTC'd with and it makes my heart hurt like heck that I'm still not there with them.

The reality is, coming here brings me down, when most of the time I am actually doing okay. Much better than I was 6 months ago, when I was obsessed and FRANTIC to be pregnant by my first EDD. I can joke about my fertility issues, I've accepted it, I still have a lot of hope that I will get pregnant fairly easily once we can truly get in a truly decent shot- and major surgeries and events quit intersecting with my ovulation!!

I don't want to be all drama, just wanted to let you know quietly why I'm so MIA lately... I'm not disappearing totally, I just think I'm going to continue my trend of being less active. But I hope you'll all still want to see me in the grads once I get there, because I am SO ready to just be over there already it's not even funny. I hope with all my heart that every last one of us vets sees a sticky BFP in 2010!! And feel free to add me on FB if you haven't already, I'm still on there all the time! I'm Mandy Robbins Taylor there... probably the only one!
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Last edited by MandyRS; February 21st, 2010 at 09:55 PM.
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  #293  
February 22nd, 2010, 08:26 AM
MommaLee's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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HUGS! I see you on FB and you look like you are doing well.
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  #294  
March 7th, 2010, 01:54 PM
denalibear's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hey girlie...I haven't seen ya around in awhile...just checking to see how you're doing!!!
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  #295  
March 7th, 2010, 06:04 PM
Tammyms's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hey Mandy, I took a break from journals for the longest time so just read your story now and wanted to say it really touched me... You're an amazing writer and I read through every word and from one still ttc#1 vet to another, my heart is with you hun
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