About Me

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I am modern mom to two wonderful boys. I am married to my childhood sweetheart and love of my life. I am on a journey to wellness in my personal life and for my family as well. Why I Blog: I have found that writing in general is very freeing for me. I enjoy writing and the idea that other people are reading what I'm writing moves me. If even just ONE thing I post touches, moves, or helps another human in ways that I have been touched by bloggers, I am pleased. Blogging is my release. And once it's out there, it's free for anyone and everyone.

Monday, December 10, 2012

They're everywhere

Pregnant women, that is. 

And babies.

Big, pregnant bellies, facebook announcements, tiny little feet, perfectly healthy smiles. 


And I hate it.  I hate that it's not me.  That should be me rubbing my belly.  I should have been finding out if my baby was a boy or a girl.  I should be planning the move to our bigger house.  Because we needed a bigger house to fill with children. 

They say "You already have 2 children, you should just be happy." or "You can try again! Don't give up." or "Time heals all wounds." or "Everything happens for a reason." 

And to that I say "fuck off".  But I don't actually say it.  I smile and nod and agree.  Because they don't know.  They have never felt the ache.  And I'm so happy for them.  Truly, I am.  I wish I wasn't a member of the "club". 

I want to be able to show off my beautiful, pregnant belly to everyone; friends and strangers alike.  But I know that if that were me, I'd just be making another mama like me feel the pain and heartache that I feel.  So I'll just sit back and be jealous of their blissful ignorance.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Indescribable pain

This is one of the last pictures I have of me being pregnant.  I have plenty of pictures of my pregnancies with Jack and Elliot but I don't have many of my pregnancies that ended early.  I wish that my belly could have gotten bigger; that my baby could have continued to grow.
One of the biggest struggles for me right now is the thought that I won't ever be pregnant again.  I am so grateful that I've had the ability to conceive so easily and that I have 2 beautiful healthy children as a result. I'm just having a hard time accepting the fact that I'm done.  That I'll never be pregnant again; I'll never give birth again.  Never breastfeed another baby.  Never snuggle another baby.  I was supposed to.  My family isn't complete and it never will be.  It's a sad truth that I'm having a hard time coming to terms with.  Josh and I have discussed adoption (prior to getting pregnant with Adley) and I suppose it can still be an option.  I just need time to cope with this first.  I know there are options for us, I just hate that they are not options I would have chosen. 
This all makes me feel so selfish.  I get mad at myself for being upset because some women NEVER get to conceive on their own.  For them, sometimes they only choice is adoption.  That must be so difficult.  So devastating.  I can't even begin to imagine the pain those women feel. 
And that's when I'm brought back down to earth.  We all feel pain.  No ones pain is "worse" or "easier" than anyone else.  We all feel it in different ways; different times in our lives.  I need to allow myself to feel the pain.  To be hurt.  And as Pink says "Just because it's burns doesn't mean you're gonna die. You gotta get up and try."
So I'll let it hurt.  And I'll feel the pain.  And eventually I will get up and try.  When I'm ready,  I'll move from the pain and hurt and figure out what this means for me.  For my life and for my family.

Friday, November 23, 2012


So here I sit, quite literally, empty. And feeling more alone than I have ever felt before. 

It's been one week since my baby was taken from my body.  Only this time I wasn't awake to give birth.  I didn't see my baby.  I chose to have a procedure called "D & E".  It stands for dilation and evacuation.  Whatever you do, DO NOT google it.  It's rather gruesome and I regret typing those words into the search bar.  The doctor that performed the procedure did talk to me about what it entailed.  And I was okay with that.  I knew that my baby would not come out whole.  I knew what would be happening, but I was NOT willing to endure the hours of labor as I had in the past only to give birth to a baby I didn't even get to take home with me.  I've done that before and it was not something I wanted to experience again. 

So last Friday I went in for the procedure.  Josh came with me and waited for me to come out.  I'm gald he was there with me.  It was much harder than I expected, emotionally.  I went in to the room with a baby in my womb, and came out empty.  I knew this would happen, obviously, but I wasn't prepared to feel such a......void.

Physically, the procedure was painless.  I mean, I was asleep and drugged up so clearly I wasn't feeling anything.  But even afterward, I had minimal pain and very little bleeding.  Nothing like the other times when I'd been induced in the hospital. 

I have been feeling pretty great, on the outside.  But inside I don't feel much of anything.  I want to feel something.  ANYTHING.  I want to be sad and mad and frustrated and quite frankly pissed the fuck off.  But I don't feel any of those things.  I feel numb.  I feel as though everyone has already moved on and forgotten.  I think about my babies all day.  I want them with me.  They are my children and will always be mine.  And I'm sad when I think of what happened.  But I still don't feel much, if any, real emotions.  I want to cry and scream and do all of those things I'm supposed to do, but I keep filling my time with other things. 

Avoiding it maybe?  Postponing the inevitable?  Maybe.  But until I start to feel again, I'll just continue to write.  And search.  And if I come up with something or find my break, you'll be the first to know.  Because (insert religious figure here) knows I won't be sharing it out loud with people close to me; people who say they care about me and want to listen, but in reality they're scared that I'll share too much.  They're afraid I will talk about it too much and mostly they think I should be over it by now.  I mean, it's been over a week since I found out, right?  That's plenty of time to greive, no?  Nevermind the fact that I wasn't even finished grieving the loss of Adley yet and it's been a year.

But I'll get over it.  Until then I'll just feel numb.

November 16th...are you kidding me??

I was referred to an OB who was skilled in performing D & E's.  I met with him on Tuesday November 13th, just one day after we found out that our baby had died inside of me. 

I was so grateful for Dr. Chang.  He gave me all of the information I wanted and needed to make the best decision about how to proceed.  I had already endured labor and delivery of a dead baby TWICE.  I didn't want to do that again and I begged to just have the d&e and get it over with.  Dr. Chang really wanted to make sure I understood the risks involved with this procedure.  I knew what the risks were.  They could break my cervix or perforate my uterus potentially ending my chance at ever having more children.  This was a risk I was willing to take as I know I never want to be pregnant again.  Ever. 

On to the significance of the date.  Dr Chang tells me that he can get me in for the procedure on Friday at 11:30am.  I instantly started crying.  Friday was November 16th.  The exact date, one year ago, that Adley was born.  Are you fucking kidding me?  And not to mention it's the day before my oldest son's birthday.  So every year I get to mourn the loss of two children on the same day and then celebrate the life of my son the following day.  It's just ridiculous to me.  How can this be happening? 

For a few days after hearing of the loss, I kept waking up thinking it was Monday the 12th.  It was as if my mind and heart were not willing to accept that Monday had happened.  I truly felt as though I was waking up still pregnant.  I mean, I WAS pregnant.  But I really hoped my baby was still alive. 
It would take a minute to snap back to reality. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

50 shades of fucked up

I don't even know how to start this post.  If you've been reading my posts and following along, you can probably understand how crazy, fucked up and confusing this all is.  Warning: It's about to get a thousand times more fucked.  Bare with me, or just stop reading.  That might be a better option at this point.

My last post was explaining what happened to me a year ago when we lost our sweet baby Adley at 16 weeks.  If you followed my surrogacy blog you can go back to the post titled: "Misoprostal to induce Miscarriage" and basically understand that I went through that same exact experience again.  I don't want to type it all out and re-live it because that shit was hard enough once, let alone TWICE!  To make a very long story short: I was induced in the hospital and endured REAL labor and birthed Adley on November 16th, 2011.

In January 2012, I went to my 6 week check up (you know, the one you have 6 weeks after giving birth where all of the nurses are swooning over your 6 week old at how adorable he is and how he looks JUST like you, only I didn't have a 6 week old to bring for swooning).  I requested an IUD at that time because I knew I didn't want to be pregnant again anytime soon, if at all!  I decided on the copper IUD as it wasn't hormonal and I'm sort of a freak about added hormones in my body.  (I get kind of crazy on hormonal birth control.)  But 3 days after my doctor placed the IUD, it fell out!  Yep.  Just came right out.  WTF?  I thought that didn't happen?  My uterus is pretty hostile or something.  I didn't want to get another one (it really hurt getting it put in), so in the meantime I just chose to use condoms and natural family planning methods (because we all know how well THOSE work out!!).  Well, my method worked for a little while, until July this year.

I found out I was pregnant, yet again.  Only this time I wasn't that excited.  How could I be?!  I didn't tell anyone about the pregnancy, except of course my husband and the ninja's. (The ninja's are explained here.)  I didn't let myself get happy, excited, prepared or feel anything other than fear and expecting of the worst.  I had to protect myself.  I really had a great feeling about this pregnancy way, way deep down.  I thought MAYBE I would actually get to bring this baby home!!  The thought was overwhelming, though.  We didn't share this news with many people at all.  I didn't even tell my mom until just a couple of weeks ago and my mother in law we told last Sunday night.  We were cautiously optimistic.

When I found out I was pregnant this time I immediately called my doctor and asked him what we can do to make sure I keep this pregnancy.  He referred me to a perinatal group about an hour away from me.  We met with them at 9 weeks.  We had an ultrasound which looked great, met with one of the perinatologists and went over all of my pregnancy history.  She was awesome!  She was very clinical and that's exactly what I needed.  I didn't need someone telling me how sad it was and how sorry they were for my previous losses.  I needed someone who was going to be proactive and help me keep this baby alive.  And I thought she was the one who would do that.

The plan was solid.  She ran many tests to check for clotting factors and other issues.  Everything came back normal so her orders were to continue prenatal vitamins, take extra folic acid and take baby aspirin.  And I did just that.  She wanted to see me again at 15 weeks to do an in-depth ultrasound and make sure baby looked good and was growing well.  (15 weeks was significant because it would be just before I lost the other pregnancies.)

My 15 week appt was Monday, November 12th, just 3 days ago.

We got there at 7:45am.  Waited in agony in the waiting room.  While we were waiting my husband was reading Newsweek magazine.  I was so nervous and literally on the edge of my seat.  I actually remember saying over and over again in my head a prayer to God.  (For those of you who know me, you know I don't pray.  I don't pray because I don't believe in the christian God.  I grew up as a Lutheran, however I walked away from that religion when I learned about science and other religions.)  So there I am, praying to a God I don't believe in.

"Dear God,

I don't know if you're real, but if you are, please do me this one favor.  PLEASE let my baby be alive.  I'm a good person.  I've done good things in my life.  If you can just do this ONE thing for me, please keep my baby alive.

I said that about 3 or 4 times until the nurse called us back.  We went to the room and got settled.  She explained what she would be doing and all of the measurements she would be taking.  When she got started I saw the screen and immediately put my arm over my eyes.  The baby wasn't moving.  But maybe that was normal?  I peeked through as she looked at the chest.  No movement.  No heart flutters.


Not again.

I put my arm back over my face clinging to hope that I was wrong.  Searching my head for reasons I could be seeing things.  This could not be happening again, right?!

The nurse didn't say a thing the entire time.  So I finally asked the dreaded question.

"Is there a heartbeat?"


My eyes welled up with tears.  She said "Here is the chest cavity.  I'm not seeing any fetal heart movement."

I lost it.  This CANNOT be happening to me AGAIN!!!  What did I do?!  What did I do to deserve this?!?!?!  She finished up the measurements and left the room assuring us the doctor would be in to speak with us.

I cried for a bit with my husband but then it stopped and I became numb.  Meh, it happened again.  We are not meant to be more than a family of 4.  I wiped my face and pushed forward.

When the doctor came in she explained what they saw on the ultrasound.  Hydrops in the head and chest.  Fluid, basically.  I guess that's possibly what caused it?  I was already over it.  I asked what was next.  She explained I would need to do the hospital induction and I exclaimed that was not an option this time and I wanted something else.  D&C, D&E, c-section.  I didn't care.  NOT the induction again.

She said she would talk with my primary doctor and figure something out.

We left the clinic empty hearted but still had a baby inside.  A dead baby.  IN my body.

I went shopping.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Utter Devastation

I had bought an at home doppler from a friend of mine so that I could listen to the baby's heartbeat at home whenever I wanted to and help ease my mind.  It usually did the trick even though it often took a few minutes to find the heartbeat.  I used the doppler almost daily to calm my fears about losing him.

On the Saturday following my appointment I got out of the shower and grabbed the doppler to listen to baby.  I moved the wand all around my belly for about 15-20 minutes and heard nothing.  At that moment, I knew he was gone.  I tried to convince myself that maybe he was just "hiding" and I was having trouble locating the heartbeat, but deep down, I knew. 

I waited an hour and tried again.  Silence. 

I tried again a few hours later.  Nothing.

Finally at 5pm I broke down and told my husband what was going on and he assured me I was just being paranoid and everything was going to be just fine.  I told him that I had to know for sure so we went to the ER that night.  I wouldn't have gotten any sleep not knowing (not that I got any sleep as it is).

Walking into the hospital, Josh grabbed my hand and I'll never forget what he said, "No matter what happens, we will be okay. I will be here for you."  It was as if he knew, just by looking at me.  He knew that I knew.

We got inside and while I know my situation was not "emergent" I hoped I was still treated respectfully.  The triage nurse was nothing close to that.  She said even if it was a loss, they can't do anything.  I reminded her of my previous losses and that I just needed to know.

Two doctors tried to find the heartbeat with the doppler and finally ordered the ultrasound. Even though I knew he was gone,  there was just a glimmer of hope in me that by some miracle, some act of a God I don't even believe in.  But there was nothing.  My beautiful baby boy was just lying there inside of me; lifeless.  The ultrasound tech was speechless and I knew looking at the screen.  No movement, no heartbeat.  He was gone.  Dead. 

Josh held me and we cried together.  Our sweet baby.

We would not be bringing him home.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Scared Shi*less

When I found out I was pregnant I was shocked, scared, anxious, excited and any other feelings you can use to describe someone who has no idea what just happened.

Josh and I had always wanted at least 4 children.  I knew that by doing surrogacy I was taking the chance that I might never have any other children of my own, biologically.  And I really was happy with this decision no matter what happened, but I knew there was still a possibility of our own in the future.  I just didn't plan on it happening so soon! 

Since I had just gone through a horrific experience with the surrogacy I was not really prepared or ready to take on what this pregnancy might bring.  But I went ahead and made an appointment with my doctor and confirmed that I was indeed pregnant with a due date of April 29th.  At first I was a little scared but things started to feel okay.  I had the usual symptoms I had previously had with my boys pregnancies.  During a routine 6 week ultrasound, the technician mentioned that I had a SCH (sub-chorionic hemmorhage).  She said it's usually nothing and that my doctor would talk to me about it.  My doctor did call and mention it and said it was very common.  This did not ease my mind.  From that moment on, I just knew I would not be bringing home this baby.

I didn't tell many people about me being pregnant because I just knew that I would have to "untell" them, when it happened.  I made it to 12 weeks just fine, had an appointment and heard a nice strong heartbeat.  My fears were somewhat relieved but not entirely.  I still didn't feel right about it and I just couldn't picture a future with this baby.

When I had my 16 week appointment I was prepared for the worst.  16 weeks is when I lost the previous baby, the surrobabe.  I hopped up on the table and awaited the sound on the doppler and much to my surprise THERE IT WAS!  The beautiful sound of his heart beating.  My mind eased some more and I started to think maybe it really WAS all in my head and I WOULD be bringing home a baby!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My surrogacy journey in a nutshell


I think I'm ready to commit to this blog.

It has taken me some time to come to terms with all of the things that have happened up until this point in my life; and day by day things just seem to get more and more interesting.

I will try to give a small backstory of what has brought me to this blog.

In 2007 I gave birth to a beautiful boy.  Jack is our first son and my labor, whilst difficult, was amazing.  Things went exactly how I had "planned" (I was one of the lucky ones) and it felt great to start our family.  Fast forward to 2008.  I found out I was pregnant again just after Jack turned 1 year old in November.  Elliot was born in August 2009; another boy!!  I was elated.  I knew I had wanted at least 2 boys.  At that moment in my life, things felt great.  I loved being pregnant and giving birth and it was truly a passion of mine.  Another thing I felt very passionately about was infertility.  I was so fortunate to had not had any problems conceiving when I wanted to start my family.

After Elliot had turned 1 year old, I longed to be pregnant again, but I didn't necessarily want to add to my family size at that time in my life.  I looked closely at surrogacy and after months of research I decided to contact a surrogacy agency.  I met an amazing couple through the agency and we were the perfect match.  In November 2010 we transferred 2 embryoes into my uterus.  A positive pregnancy and beta test showed that we were pregnant!  The dad's (intended parents) were overjoyed!  Their dream to add to their family had come true.

In Februrary 2011 I went to my Dr for my 16 week appointment and was devastated to find that the baby had passed.  This begins the road of horrific events for me and my IP's.  I broke the news to them and it shattered their dreams.  (You can read the entire journey on my blog about being a surrogate here.)  I went in for an induction and spent hours waiting to give birth.  Jonathan was born on February 12th, 2011 at 16 weeks.  We never found out what happened or why he died.

After some time of healing for both the IP's and myself, we decided to try again.  It must have been a fluke, right?  It couldn't have been me; I have given birth TWICE to two completely healthy boys.

In May 2011 we did another transfer of 2 embryoes.  Another positive pregnancy test and beta confirmed pregnancy and the joy rushed over us all yet again.  They got their second chance at being a family.

The joy didn't last long when I started spotting and the beta numbers were increasing but only slightly.  At 7 weeks I finally saw a decrease in the beta numbers and I began to miscarry.  At this point, I knew I was done with surrogacy.  My heart and my body needed a break.  I was sad to part ways with my new found friends with whom I'd become very close.  I knew they would have to start over and find a whole new surrogate, but I just couldn't do it again.  I was devastated for them and for me.  But I knew it was over for us all.

I had come to terms with not being a surrogate again but I was sad to lose my friends and more sad that I couldn't help them out in the only way I knew possible for me.  I put all of that aside and began to focus more on finish my schooling.  Things were going really great and then in August 2011, I recieved some news that was hard to swallow but so exciting.....

I was pregnant!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Wall

I can't take credit for this first post.  While I would love to say that I wrote this, I didn't.  Though I am unsure of who the author is, it rings so very true for me.  I must share it here as it describes in great detail the very motivation for the start of this blog.

The Wall

"You are walking along fine with everyone else and the sun is shining and all is well, then you walk SLAM into a brick wall. And it hurts - it really hurts. It hurts your head and your chest where your heart is and your stomach. And it shocks you as only slamming into a brick wall can. It stops you dead in your tracks. And you stand there thinking, "How did I not see that coming? What the hell happened? How could someone just do that to me?" And you look around and everyone else seems to be walking around the wall. They are carrying on like nothing happened and the sun is still shining for them. They don't even see the wall. They don't even know it's there. And you realize you didn't even know it was there until you hit it - you didn't even know there was a brick wall you could hit - not now, not at this stage. And slowly you pull yourself back together. The pain in your stomach has turned to a sick feeling and your heart still hurts, your mind racing with questions about this brick wall - How, What, Where, Why??? Mostly WHY??? Why on earth would someone make you walk into this wall - why did they have to put it in front of you and no one else?

And you can walk again now the pain in your stomach and maybe your legs has lessened. So you slowly make your way around the wall and to the other side. But it doesn't look the same on the other side. It's greyer and emptier. And you know you've left something behind - something very precious and you want it back. So you turn around and there is the brick wall behind you and it seems to hit you with the same force again when you realize you can't go back. It's blocking your path and it will always be there. You pummel your fists on it and cry and shout at it but it's unbreakable and absolute. It won't let you get your precious bundle back - that has to stay on the other side and you must carry on without it. You can't go back to the path you were on before you hit the brick wall - it's impossible. So all you can do is go forward and walk on from it. But it's hard going and your legs don't seem to want to walk away from it. You know when you look over your shoulder it will always be there. It may fade a bit from view but if you look closely you will always be able to see it - even in the distance. And you look around you again and see all the people who never hit the brick wall carrying on too. You tell some of them about the brick wall and they sympathize - it must've hurt they say. You are looking very well despite this brick wall - you have no cuts or bruises on the outside because those heal. So you must be doing ok then now they say. "But my wounds are on the inside!" you feel like screaming. How can you not know about this brick wall - why couldn't you walk into it instead of me? And then you feel bad - you know you wouldn't really want anyone else to walk into that wall.

Some people are ok - maybe they have seen the wall themselves in the past or came close to it - maybe they are really good friends/family who close their eyes and do try to imagine walking into the wall. They are the ones who help you keep walking away from it. People tell you that you'll never hit this brick wall again - it only appears once in your life. And you want to believe them even though you can't ever be sure. Up ahead it looks like maybe your path does cross back into the sunshine again - the same sunshine that everyone else is basking in. And you can maybe just make out another bundle waiting for you to pick up and carry with you for the rest of your life. And maybe if you are strong and keep moving forward then you'll reach it one day. But it's not the same bundle as before - it can't be. That one is behind the wall. The wall that's always there if you look over your shoulder. And written on it forever more is the message in letters a mile high, that only you can see - "My Darling Baby Boy...Rest in Peace"