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She’s here!

This post has been struggling to go live for about two weeks now … which is when my world filled up with incredible happiness and the most soul-nourishing sunshine… but I’ve been so, so sleep deprived, it’s been next to impossible to grab hold of the laptop and blog!

Baby girl was born 2/2/2015 @6.01 via planned c-section and she came yelling and shrieking to this world. Her first cry was music to my ears and I bawled like an inconsolable baby myself as they showed her to me for a brief second before they whisked her off for weight check etc. She was born a healthy 6 pounds 6 ounces although she lost a fair bit the first week which she is now steadily gaining back.

I haven’t slept more than 2.5 hours any night since she was born and I’ve never felt so happy about it! One look at her and all troubles, concerns etc melt away.

I had a hard recovery after surgery but I’ll write about the birth story in a separate post. I’ll also dedicate a post to Breast feeding which was extremely hard for me and how I made the decision to exclusively pump which is a different level of craziness in itself!

I also need to decide what to do with this blog now. Part of me wants to just start a new one where I can also wrote about other stuff such as film etc. Hopefully some of you will consider following me there as I would hate to lose the friendships I’ve made here.

Finally I want to end this post with an acknowledgement for those of my IF sisters who are still struggling. My heart is always with you and I’ll pray hard your struggles and transient and your joy everlasting.

Leaving you with a picture of my dumpling 🙂

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No excuses!

I didn’t intend to be such a crappy blogger, leaving enough time between two posts for a whole half year and an entire pregnancy to go by! I swear I’ve come here like a zillion times (I have 7 incomplete posts sitting in my draft folder), trying to put into words the happenings of the past few months but I’ve just been unable to! I had all these plans of documenting my pregnancy, not just on this blog but also in a journal just so I would remember each and every moment of this most precious time. But not only did I not end up blogging, I could not write out even a page of what I felt. It was more than feeling blocked, a strange sense of just not being able to express in words the enormity of the everyday.

I’ve written half-finished posts only to stare at them and wonder why I just cannot finish them … and then just abandoned them altogether. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and before I knew it I went from the first trimester to the third and well, now I’m just a few short days away from meeting my baby. MY baby (the significance of that word just blows me away every time I utter it!).

And not just this blog; I have been unable to share my pregnancy news with most other than our very immediate families and a few friends who we saw and of course could not hide this from. It’s not like I did not want to share my happiness; it’s just that I felt most at peace just curled up in my precious pregnancy cocoon living the life of a (mostly!) ordinary pregnant woman. I did not have a baby shower (we don’t have many friends here and frankly no one offered to throw one for me) and I did not set up a nursery, I did not buy maternity clothes till I was no longer able to button up my pants and I only started buying baby stuff late into my second trimester. You might think I was being superstitious or scared or both and partly that is true but more than that I have just wanted to experience every moment of this pregnancy by just being in it (if that makes sense!). I haven’t even re-activated my Facebook page which has now been deactivated for 3.5 years!

My pregnancy has had its share of highs and lows but largely I have adjusted to both physical and emotional changes surprisingly effortlessly. Of course there have been moments of utter panic and huge, fat slobbering tears (like the time when I was told I might have a suspected blood clot!). Moments where I felt overwhelmed by the everyday, moments when I just couldn’t sleep no matter what I tried, moments where my ever-lingering fears got the better of me.

But through it all there’s been such a keen sense of the miracle that I seem to be living. A sense of constant wonderment as I start each day with standing in front of the mirror and observing my swelling belly. A sense of absolute and total amazement as I watch my little baby girl perform her acrobatic maneuvers, jiggling my tummy around even as frothy bubbles of pure happiness escape from my inner being, causing me to giggle helplessly! All the physical discomfort, the daily injections, the terrible nausea, the crazy heartburn, the breathlessness, the dietary restrictions, the inability to sleep, the numerous NST’s… all of this neatly steps away to the side as my daughter moves inside me, reminding me how beautiful life is.

Some days I have found myself feeling terrified, wondering what I did to deserve all this. How did I get so lucky? I have to remind myself, then, of all the scars I’ve endured over the years… the piercing heartache, the soul-crushing disappointment, the seemingly endless bouts of sheer physical agony as I went through surgery after surgery, multiple procedures, countless tests, the never ending poking and prodding and, through it all, just one disappointment after another. It’s never too far away, those harrowing memories yet I feel unable to contain all this happiness sometimes. Perhaps that’s why I resisted blogging–my mind is so, so full. Full of what’s happening right now and yet cognizant of the huge space occupied by the not-so-distant past.

As has been the case over the past few months, today also the temptation of just leaving this post right here & shutting the laptop is so strong. But I am determined to hit ‘publish’ today before I change my mind. I might have been a real lousy blogger but I can’t be so lousy as to not write for 6 months and then just blog about my baby’s birth!

Which brings me to now. Today. Three days away from my planned c-section (because of a prior myomectomy) at the completion of my 39th week. I am quite literally swirling in a cesspool of emotions right now. I am beyond thrilled to finally be meeting her and to be able to hold her in my arms. I am scared, so scared and crazy nervous about everything. I am nervous, I am excited, I am full of prayers.

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A thousand years…

I know this song is not about a mother’s love for a child but somehow these lyrics ring so true!!

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

It’s amazing how I can love and miss my baby so darn much when I have yet to see him/ her. Come soon, my love… I’m waiting with my arms wide open!

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Those voices in my head…

In the past few days I have written many posts which I went on to abandon. They now lie half-written, awaiting their fate in my wordpress folder. Why did I not complete them? I don’t have a clear answer, only that each time I began with an honest attempt to describe my increasingly muddy feelings, somewhere along the way words fell short of being able to accurately convey the churning cesspool that’s my overworked mind right now. I have to do it though, for myself, else I feel my head just might explode into smithereens and well, mashed brain pulp is not my ideal choice of wall decor!!

It’s strange… this crazy place I’m in ever since we got back from Colorado. I swing from emotion to emotion like a restless monkey in search of elusive bananas (umm yea I realize the ridiculousness of that analogy but that’s the best I can come up with right now!). Everything seems stuck, I feel stuck in a crazy numbed place from which there doesn’t seem to be any way out. The world is moving, moving on as I helplessly look out from my insulated glass bubble. Did I mention the insulation is one-way? I can hear them perfectly but my cries or my relentless banging on the glass gets no attention. There are women getting pregnant, they’re swelling up in joy, rubbing their bellies protectively and I’m just watching them. There are babies all around–heart-beakingly cute, crazily adorable little people but they’re not mine and I am burning up in envy watching those whom they call Mom and Dad.

My husband works harder than ever before and it breaks my heart to see him scavenge for hope as we ride the positive-negative see-saw every single day, multiple times a day. He reassures me, he rubs my feet, he hugs me like he’ll never let go. But when he speaks about ‘his baby’, the child he hopes we will have, perhaps a little girl just like me… I fervently wish then that the earth would swallow me up. I silently rage at God, I grovel and plead–for him, if not for me… please, please, please.

There’s sadness and dark things happening to really nice people. Some are losing their babies, after years of trying and treatments. Others are fading away from what they used to be. No one has an answer to the white-elephant-like, ginormous WHY’s that silently reverberate across collective minds. Empty arms are aching reminders of lack. When I hear of this colossal suffering, I feel ashamed of my own grief. Yet, can grief or loss ever be compared? Is it a relative construct or a personal version of hell?

Amidst all this misery, however, there is life, clamoring to be heard. Life is shoving its way through despair and frustration and showing itself in two pink lines on a plastic stick. Life is showing its blurry face in a grainy ultrasound and making itself heard through a tinny flickering heartbeat. What am I more today? Depressed over the heartlessness of injustice or unhealthily covetous of the blessing of abundance? I am both, I suppose… and more. I am infinitely happy for fellow bloggers finally getting pregnant after years of disappointments and I am heartbroken for those who have experienced mind-numbing loss.

Every day I wake up with a sinking feeling. One more day gone, one less day without my precious baby, one day less of being a mother. Then I remind myself of all that I have. My husband, my life, my biggest blessing. All the comforts a person can ask for. A healthy body (umm apart from its reproductive dysfunctionality, that is!!), a brain that mostly does its job, a great family… there’s a lot to be thankful for. Yet this craving to be a mother has robbed me of the ability to purely enjoy life and all it has to offer. I am learning though. Learning that enjoying the present does not mean I have necessarily given up on the future that I so earnestly desire. Learning that it’s not just about me; there is another breathing, living person enduring this hell with me and for his sake I must get out of bed each day and smile and go for movies and cook yummy food and well… sometimes there’s no greater joy than doing that.

I stay awake some nights wondering why why why can I not dream of my baby? Why do I get inane high school dreams and dreams of people who are no longer in my life and why can I not, instead, just dream of being a mother? If it occupies all my waking time then why does my most cherished desire stay away from my dreams? Is it a sign? I don’t want it to be a sign. Other nights, I stay up worrying about our finances. We have already spent so much and there is yet more coming and God alone knows where the finish line is. We have had to buy a new car because our old one was breaking down all the time and we were paying so much every month. New car, however, means higher car payments. Our rent is going up. Again. In the past two years our rent has gone up by $350 a month! Yet anything else we seek out is still more expensive. We need to stay in the area because my doctor’s here, my acupuncturist is and well, yes I know we could move somewhere and find new providers but the thing is anywhere else would only be marginally cheaper. And I love where we live right now. I feel that if this is also snatched away from me, I will seriously slip into depression. I wonder if we will ever get out of an apartment and into a house of our own. I feel sickened with the realization that if my body could just do its thing, we would not be going through this hell.

I go out, meet friends and watch them with their kids. Some of them know how hard we are struggling, others (most) have no clue. They hug their babies, play with them and tell us that we should have kids too. I smile and nod as my heart goes up in flames. I play with their kids, especially the little girls. I hold them close, smell their baby smell and I wonder, in a strange and detached manner, can hearts actually shatter? Do they make a noise or do they just crack apart silently?

Some days I feel just fine. I am able to drive around, run errands and walk into Target and Costco and Whole Foods and not bat an eyelid at the swollen bellies, the adorable toddlers running amok; heck even the newborn aisle does not faze me. Yet there are other days when a partial glimpse, even, of a striped onesie can feel like a solid kick in the gut. I think that next year is certainly my year, I can feel my dream about to come true. I can feel that it is our time now. And almost as soon as that thought crystallizes in my mind, a gush of fear stands poised, threatening to drown it out. Determined, I start surfing baby strollers online. I will make this happen, I tell fear. I will NOT let you win. It is MY time. I look at the bangles I wear. One is for my baby. When I made a fervent plea to God to bless me with a child. That was in the summer of 2011. I truly felt that God has listened and in 2012 when I got pregnant I felt my faith was proven. Yet, it did not last… neither the pregnancy nor the certainty that it would happen.

So where does this leave me? Like every other day. Just as I embraced the intrusive testing, the needles and the procedures, the envy and the sadness, the yoga and the acupuncture, the need for patience and the necessity of faith.. I embrace the amusement park that is my mind. I embrace the insecurity and the fear, the positivity and the hope and through it all I remind myself–this, too, shall pass 🙂

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Trust me…

I know you exist, I’ve felt your presence

Even though I haven’t yet been able to see

…your angelic face, or hold you in my arms

I’m asking you just this one time to trust me…

I long to be your mother, I crave to hold you tight

I pray for you incessantly, every thought a silent plea

… to God for making you mine for life and ever after 

I’m asking you just this one time to trust me…

 

I look at them, their joy swelling over

Envy rips me apart, showing no mercy

I clench on to my wavering faith

I’m asking you just this one time to trust me…

 

Trust me, for soon one day you’ll be mine

Making me as happy as someone could ever be

I’ll care for you, keep you safe, build your joys and dreams anew

Please, oh please, won’t you just this one time trust me?

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Friends, tests and meds

I always wonder where my blogging compulsions lie –do I tend to write/ express more when I am feeling down and out or when I’m invigorated and energetic? The past few days have been a mix of both! I’ve been extremely emotional and hyper-reactive but I’ve also been very happy and content. We’ve been going out a lot and meeting up with friends old and new. I think the best thing going on in our life right now (sad as this is gonna sound!) is the fact that we now have three couple friends who do not have kids and two of them, seemingly, by choice. It is such a pleasure to be able to hang out without feeling ridiculously envious of someone for their procreational achievements!! Plus, we end up talking about so much that is interesting like travel and news and movies and… just about everything.

One of these couples are actually going through an IVF cycle around the same time as us which is how we got to know them. I met the wife through an online support group and we really hit it off. Somehow our husbands also got along like wildfire and now it’s a strange mix of sadness and hope that I feel as we both move forward with our cycle, knowing that this friendship could fast go south if either of us gets pregnant and the other one doesn’t. I am fervently hoping that this is the lucky cycle for both of us and we both end up successfully pregnant. There is nothing I would like more than for us to have our babies around the same time and to grow closer as a result.

In other news, the errant LH surge was finally located both through a blood test and through CVS’s not-so-amazing strips. Plus (and this is so exciting!), for the first time ever my TSH levels fell below 1.9 to 1.45!! I was so happy to know that the meds were finally working! In that respect it’s been such a great couple of months. Barring my borderline high FSH, I’ve had consistently good test results and so has K. Perhaps this bodes well for the upcoming cycle.

Freedom called today to let me know they’ve shipped the meds; they will be here tomorrow and Monday onwards I start off with the Estrace/ Cetrotide etc. Next week the saizen will be here too. I am cautiously excited! We booked our tickets yesterday and even though there is a suppression check to go through before we are given the clearance to stim, I am quite hopeful things should go well this time.

More to follow…

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It opens both ways!

On 27th of May, 2012 the Golden Gate bridge turned 75 years old. Many events were organized to celebrate this landmark day. K and I had also planned to join the crowds and the merriment. What we didn’t know is that this would end up being quite possibly the crappiest day of our lives.

Late evening, after an exhausting day spent protesting against the inevitable, I lost my 6.5 week old pregnancy for unknown reasons. I remember everything about that day so vividly. Sitting in the ER waiting for an interminably long time to hear the results of the final ultrasound. The sullen teenage girl who had sprained her foot and needed a crutch to walk. The middle-aged man wearing a Golden Gate 75th anniversary t-shirt. I remember even the inane thoughts running through my mind -would the teenager go home and argue with her mother? Did that man have a good time at the celebration? I wonder how crowded it got.

My last conscious memory before being wheeled in to the OT for an emergency D&C was that of the sweet nurse from triage expressing her condolences and of me thinking this is where I would have given birth had my baby survived. As I woke up after the procedure, I remember the anesthesiologist looking down at me with concern in his eyes. He smiled a sad smile and said how deeply sorry he was. My groggy brain couldn’t comprehend. Why was he sorry? Has someone died, I thought. And then it registered. My baby. Instinctively my hands sought out my belly. It had obviously never reached the swelly stage yet it felt achingly empty.

I was wheeled over to a recovery room. I will never forget the expression on K’s face as he walked into the room. His eyes were misty with unshed tears yet his entire being radiated love and concern for me. We drove back home quietly, the silence stretching out beyond us like a limitless chasm of numbing grief. He walked me to the bedroom. I sat down on the bed, the same bed where for two weeks daily I had spoken to my unborn child, already a mother from the day two lines turned pink. It had taken us more than a year to get there and yet it was all over in a span of a few hours.

He went to get a glass of water. The devil claimed my sanity in just that instant. I slammed the door shut and turned the lock. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I needed to be alone. The walls were crowding in on me. It was suddenly stiflingly hot where moments back I had been shivering with cold. I wanted to scream aloud my burning rage, the ‘why-me’ I had been quelling for so long. But my grief was beyond noise of any sort.

The door knob turned. And then a few sharp knocks as he asked me why the door was locked. I stayed quiet. I had to face this alone. With him, in his arms I would lose myself in a torrent of tears. I needed to feel this primeval anger, to savor it almost. His knocks grew more urgent. I stood up. I did not want to hurt him and I know he was probably worried sick. I’m okay I shakily managed to say. Open the door, he insisted. I need to be alone I replied, my voice sounding distant and alien to me.

Silence, for a few moments. Then a frenzied rattling as he employed brute strength to pry the door open. The noise was awful. It was close to midnight. I could not take it anymore so I opened the lock, letting him in. He was angry with me, so angry. And terrified. Don’t ever do that again he growled at me and walked away, his stiff back betraying his fear. Even then, as now, he loved me to madness.

The next day, the maintenance guy came to repair the door which had taken a solid beating from all the rattling. He looked pissed. The knob could not be repaired, he said. We would have to manage. I wanted to shake him and tell him that I lost my baby, I didn’t give a rat’s ass to his sodding door. But of course I didn’t. Instead, I murmured an apology and an assurance that it wouldn’t happen again.

It’s been a year and a half since then and the door knob works only one way -when it is turned in the opposite direction. Today, however, as I got done with my yoga and opened the door it —opened! The right way I mean. Just like that. After months of struggling with it and cursing it relentlessly, today it just opened like it was never damaged.

It felt like a sign. Perhaps it is time for me also to forget the damage I have incurred on my self in this journey. Perhaps it is time to just live like it never happened!