Monday, October 19, 2009

Kicked While I Am Down

"Do you feel emotionally ready for this?"

My doctor posed this question this morning, and all I could do was look at her, mouth agape, unable to answer.

There is no denying it. I am an emotional mess. I have been since Peyton died. I am grieving and suffering from PTSD. I anger easily, feel overwhelmed at the drop of a hat, and carry massive amounts of guilt at not only being unable to save my child, but having had to witness all that was done to her for nothing. The pain of watching your child die does not end with their last breath, it begins.

Each day the waves of this new reality hit harder and harder and I feel the possibility of having a family of our own slipping further and further away. In the two years since we started TTC, we have hit two major hurdles: The loss of our first pregnancy for reasons unknown to miscarriage, and the loss of our child, our daughter Peyton, to infant leukemia. This morning I was dealt another blow, one which was anticipated, and yet still hurt like hell to hear... we are definitely dealing with an infertility issue now.

My doctor has explained that this new road, the one she wonders if I am emotionally prepared to handle, is one full of testing, stress, disappointment, hormonal changes, injections, procedures, emotional highs and lows etc. etc., all of which compound the emotions that I have been dealing with since losing Peyton. I have cried so many tears today, my heart is aching, and my fingers feel exhausted even now as I type this. It's not that I didn't think I was infertile... I have blogged about my concerns about this here and here. I think it was just hearing my doctor explain that after five months of TTC, she feels we are no longer in a place where doing this on our own is a likely possibility. Am I emotionally ready for this? Probably not. Am I emotionally ready to never again have another child? Definitely not. Therein lies the conundrum.

Today I threw a question up to God that I have so many times before... "how the hell did this happen to my life?" I actually threw it up to Him through tears after coming out of the supermarket where I saw a magazine cover with a headline that Brangelina are expecting two more. Two MORE... really... are you F*ing kidding me? I don't know why seeing that magazine brought so many tears, maybe it was just another reminder that what comes so easily to others, may never come for us. I wish I could say that I could make peace with this new reality... I cannot.

Next month we begin new tests based on these, my doctor's theories, as to why I cannot manage a BFP.

A) By rushing out of bed 30 hours after a c-section to be at Peyton's side, and allowing no time to heal, my uterus and/or tubes may have suffered scarring or damage and that is why my cycle has disappeared. A dye test will be done to determine the extent of the damage, if any, that is keeping me from becoming pregnant. I am especially angered at this theory... at the bitter irony that in trying to be a good mother and pushing myself to be with my fatally ill child, I may have cost myself future pregnancies. There are no words for the emotions that I feel when considering this possibility.

B) I am no longer ovulating or getting AF on my own because of the stress/grief/just because/etc etc any of the million and one reasons that can lead to SIF. Should the aforementioned dye test come back negative (prayers on this please) we will begin clomid and provera next month. This too brings a lot of emotions, primarily disappointment with myself when thinking about the theory that the stress and grieving has been causing my problem. The implication I draw being that I am in some way contributing to my own infertility. I know of a lot of women in this community hurting just as badly as I am, grieving just as hard and missing their babies just as much, and they have gone on to get pregnant or have other babies. What is wrong with me? The sense of failure that this theory brings is overwhelming.

C)Hubs counts have changed... I am not really giving any thought to this option because I don't feel that its the case. I don't know why I feel so sure about this, I just do. Nothing has changed for him physically and he has been coping much better since losing Peyton than I have, so I don't believe it is a problem on his end. Some tests will be run just to rule this out.

My doctor set an appointment for next month (a few days after we meet with a genetic counselor to see if there was any possible genetic cause for Peyton's cancer) to speak with me and hubs. She explained that IF can really tax a marriage, and that she is concerned about what it could mean for a couple already having been dealt such a blow. I am so tired of this, of these boulders in the pathway of our happiness. They say "God doesn't give you more than you can handle," and you know what, that's bullshit. Child loss and SIF. That is more than anyone can handle.


  1. oh wow, all this is heartbreaking news. there is not a better person in this world that is more deserving of happiness than you. i hope that the next blows are teeny tiny ones - pebbles and not boulders. prayers for you, friend.

  2. I completely understand.. its so much more than I can handle too.. I was posed the same question, though it was by my husband.. I wanted to punch him in the face..I hate it that people can have a million healthy kids and so many just can't have 1.. or 2... what is wrong with wanting that? keep on trying if that is what you want.. I know I will never replace Ella, but it may help me move on, focus on the present.. and I am sure you feel the same way..(hugs)

  3. *huge hugs* I can only imagine the range of emotions you must be feeling after seeing the doctor. As if there isn't more BS that they can pile onto the fact that you have lost a child. I will be praying for you. *hugs* again.

  4. I also saw that magazine with Angelina, and I just thought "WHAT?!". It just doesn't seem fair.

    I'm so sorry that you're dealing with SIF now. I'm on cycle 4 of TTC, and I also worry that something may be wrong. My therapist implied B) to me as well, saying that there is more to the mind/body connection than we understand. I didn't like hearing that, especially as you said because so many others get pregnant very soon after they start trying after a loss. I also rushed out of bed right after my c-section to be with Lachlan, and it's something I think about.

    I really, really hope that your dye test comes back clean and that a dose of provera and clomid is the most that will be required, and that in one month time (or very soon!) you're blogging a BFP. I believe that you'll be able to handle the rollercoaster ride of both IF and also a BFP. I'm believing for you that things will get better. ((Hugs))

  5. I am hoping and praying with you that the dye test comes back negative. I am heartbroken for you right now, and couldn't imagine being in your place.

  6. I know this all must be so hard. Just know that you are not alone in the infertility. My doctor says I have "unexplained" infertility and I too tried to come up with all these reasons as to why. I drove myself crazy wondering why. After four years of us trying to get pregnant we were finally blessed with twins. Emma and Chase were born at 24 weeks 5 days gestation due to circumvallatte placenta. Our losses are the hardest thing we will ever have to go through. Doctors told us the circumvallatte placenta was a fluke. It was just bad luck and is very rare.

    People have also told me that "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." That doesn't help anything by hearing those words. We still feel the heartache and pain.

    If I can be of any help in the infertility department, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Thinking of you. XX

  7. IF on top of losing a child is a bitter icing on an already horrifying cake. I am so sorry. I've been there (although my IF is primary and is a result of my PCOS, so fertility treatments are the only option for me to ovulate), and it sucks. Even now, I think about "could we ever go through this again?" It is a roller coaster of its own.

    "The pain of watching your child die does not end with their last breath, it begins." This is the most true thing I've heard in a long time. Thank you for putting it into words.

  8. Absolutley agree with you about God not giving you more than you can handle being bullshit. I've had that platitude shoved in my face numerous times since losing Calvin, struggling with recurrent miscarriage and then infertility before the twins. Watch someone close to you become pregnant after having four miscarriages in a row and have someone turn to you and blythely say that crap. If God doesn't give us more than we can handle, why do people commit suicide? Why do we suffer so much in emotional pain that manifests itself physically in illness or infertility? I'm hurting for you, and with you. I know how hard it can be. After we got our answers to the recurrent miscarriage problem sorted out and had our daughter, I miscarried again while trying to conceive her a sibling. A genetic disorder, Turner Syndrome was to blame. So we started trying again and a year later were still trying. It was awful. I felt we had been through so much already. I took Clomid and conceived Calvin and Georgia, a dream come true only to lose my son in the end. Some people have no idea how precious the ability to conceive or to bear living children is. It's completely unfair that any babylost mama would have to deal with anything else painful or difficult after living through the unbearable pain of losing their child. To heap fertility issues on top of everything is cruel. Things like this really test my faith in God, and make me so angry I could cheerfully extend my middle finger to heaven and tell Him to chew on that for awhile....I'm so sorry. I will believe for you that you will have your child. I will keep my fingers and toes crossed and continue to believe that someone as wonderful a mother as you are will have a child to love and nurture and watch grow up. I wish I could just put my arms around you and hug you and tell you it will be alright. I hope with all my heart it will. Sending you my love...

  9. I am so sorry - I hope the tests help to put your mind at ease and give you some positive news.
    I also think this is so well put " The pain of watching your child die does not end with their last breath, it begins." I know that all too well.

  10. Ugh, that question. I don't know how the answer could ever be yes? Yes, I am ready to risk it all again? Yes I am ready to try something that could give me the worst hell on earth again?
    Who could say yes?
    I'm so sorry. For that, for all of it.
    All of this is so, so cruel.
    We are here for you in any way that we possibly can be. If nothing else but to HEAR you. We hear you and we know it sucks and we know it's awful and we are hoping, hoping, hoping for something amazing to happen for you soon.

  11. I know its so hard to look at yourself and wonder so many things. Wonder why your baby/babies died, why your body let you down, why its letting you down now when you want to try for another. I understand it all, I live with it all every day. It sucks, it pisses me off. So many things just aren't fair and to have to suffer IF on top of loosing your precious baby/babies just doesn't make sense. You'd think that we have been through enough, yet we are given another blow. For me, IF isn't new its something i've delt with since we started TTC. So trying for another baby, trying for any of our babies has always been difficult and stressful. Full of meds, drugs, OPK's, blood work, ultrasounds...everything is just so planned and not natural. Please don't ever blame yourself for what has happened to your body. Its not about grief, its not about you not resting enough after Peyton was born. Sometimes there are no reasons. Secondary IF is very real, I know some woman who have experienced. You have every right to be upset, but blaming yourself will get you no where. You did nothing wrong. I SO wish I could take this pain away, I so wish I could snap my fingers and have everything back to normal...normal cycles and your sweet baby in your arms. I'm sorry you are hurting so much. SO many *hugs*.

  12. I'm so sorry that you've heard this to compound your sorrow and anxiety. I'm praying so hard that you conceive soon. I think anyone who says God doesn't give you more than you can handle has never felt such agony. What an incredibly stupid and insensitive comment. I'm angry for you. Sending you many, many (((Hugs))) and storming heaven to let you have a baby in your arms.

  13. I really don't even know what to say, but I am devastated for you. I cannot imagine having to deal with infertility after losing your sweet Peyton. I am so sorry. I really hope your attempt to conceive is successful. I hope and pray God gives you a beautiful, healthy baby.


  14. Oh, Dear Friend, I am so sorry that you are going through this. Please know that you are in my prayers and I think of you often.

    Sending vibes of fertility and peace your way!

  15. It's so so hard to try again. And the crappy comments you get... like 'when it's meant to be, it will happen' are so not helpful. I wish you lots of peace

  16. PTSD was just brought to my attention by a friend of mine. It never even crossed my mind that I might suffer from it. But I guess in ways I do. I'm so sorry that you have to face SIF. I pray that the dye test comes out ok and that there is no scarring. I pray that you can have that BFP.

  17. I am just so sorry. I agree, this is too much to handle. All of it. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but there is nothing to make sense of here. It just is so very cruel.Just know you are in my thoughts. Sending you much love.

  18. I'm validating every thing you wrote and the things all the ladies ahead of me wrote.

    Except this post is from the old lady. Yeah, that one. The one who became a mom and had twins in her arms at 46.

    Don't ever stop believing. No matter how long it takes and what it takes to get there, any of you.

    I pray that you will be able to move past the stress that I suspect is the reason for your not getting AF and cycling properly. Stress totally destroys fertility... emotional and physical.

    I would not blame caregiving your daughter post birth and adhesions as a reason. I am sure that isn't the problem...

    hugs to you sweetie. I am so glad to be following your journey and hoping to lift you up, as I've been there, done that... felt it, experienced it, down to the genetic counseling (but for ovarian cancer/breast cancer, not due to loss of a child).

    Your story and all the ladies who post here strike such a chord in me because I was THERE. There three times and crying on my knees, "why". Not why God. Just "why". Yes, it makes us stronger and makes us living examples of grace under tremendous suffering and pain, both emotional and physical.

    But yet... WHY? We are selected, is that a blessing somehow? All I know is, I have a core of steel and can handle anything, and persevere through the worst of the worst situations, most likely because of the hardest things life has handed me. I lean on no one and place my Trust that God has the Plan for me... and my dreams will be fulfilled in my trust for Him.

    They were. They are. They continue to be. Through tremendous suffering and pain.

    Even now, with my boys by my side, seeing pregnant women and knowing I will never deliver. That I had to have help via a surrogate's eggs and body to have my boys in my arms... and will never truly experience birth in the manner that women are supposed to... except to stand by the side and witness them arrive... gives me pain. I'm blessed I was present but feel robbed that I wasn't able to do it myself.

    hugs to everyone today thinking about all of these things, that we face every day. I also ready about Brad and Angelina and went huh? It seems so easy for them to build their family via adoption and via the "natural way" when I know so many families struggling. I talked last night to a friend who was in my adoption group. She has been waiting 5 years to adopt an infant. She is giving up. She thinks it wasn't meant to be. I tried to reassure her but she is beaten down by the wait.

  19. To have to go through the stress of fertility tests and treatments on top of all you have been and are going through--it is not fair! I am thinking of you. [Hugs]

  20. I am so, so sorry. It just isn't unfair. Sometimes it feels like we need to yell from the rooftop, "I can't handle anymore!!!" Then maybe the bs will stop piling up. I hope you can find a small bit of peace to get you through the days ahead. xx

  21. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with fertility issues,it's not fair, no way. I'm wishing and hoping that it's not as bleak a reason as it could be.x

  22. I am so, so sorry. I am sending all my positive energy your way and I am praying for you.

  23. Well, your doc had to lay out the options before you, but I think the situation that you are in, no words are soothing enough. To have a miscarriage and to see a baby die in your arms is so hard.

    I think that the change in your husband's count could also be a manifestation of the pain from Peyton's death.

    I hope they find no scarring. If the scarring has indeed come from caring for Peyton, I am going to be even more mad at the royal Neighbour from Upstairs.

    Please take care. It has never happened that I have visited your blog and not looked hard at your blog header. Her eyes were so alive!

  24. Hi, it's me again. hang in there, Peyton's mom. You need to rest, and have some peace before you go forward. Let yourself be for a little while. I know what you mean about motherhood, but you have to give yourself some time to heal. It takes as long as it takes. Think of your grief the way you would a broken leg. Your heart needs time to recover. Things will truly mever be "the same" again, but they will get better than they are right now.

    When you reach a point when you feel happy for the Brangelinas in your life you'll know what I mean ;)

  25. Just sending a huge hug. Even though our life stories are very different Ican relate with your sadness and pain, Hang in there.

  26. Your story is so heart wrenching and I pray you find the strength and the support to continue with your journey. You are still a mother, one with a greater purpose, ensuring your child has made its mark in this world and you are doing that.

  27. So many hugs to you. I am so sorry you are going through this pain.

    I can relate a bit. I lost my first baby to a very early miscarriage, and my daughter, Madelyn Rebecca, passed away the same day she was born due to underdevelopment of her lungs and kidneys (the lungs were a result of the kidneys). My husband just tested positive as a carrier of a certain genetic order and we are waiting on my results. If it is also positive, the risk of this happening again is too high for us to try to have our own biological child. If my test is negative, they are saying it's still probably genetic, and we just don't know the risk of it happening again.

    So, though our stories are different, and I believe no one can ever fully understand what another is feeling because no 2 stories are alike, I do know what it's like to experience loss and the possibility of never having a child.

    I'm so, so extremely sorry.

  28. So sorry to hear this. It is unimaginable that any of us have to go through this much pain and heartache. I am praying that your tests come back indicating something fairly simple can be done.... they can do so much these days. Luck and Love to you.

  29. Don't worry about what celebrities have... because they probably also have about eight nannies to handle their responsibilities. The pictures tell a happy story, but they don't translate to happy people. Actors, especially, have to look happy for the camera, and the objective of most (Brangelina included) is to maintain the spotlight on themselves because they thrive on attention. It's how they make their money.

    That's not you. You're better than that, having the freedom to make your own choices and not have to live up to anyone else's ideals. Listen to what you need right now, and give yourself time to do what you need to do for yourself and Dru. Remember you, love you, love Dru, and take care of you and Dru. Stay strong for each other, and go where the winds take you, doing the best you can to make your own happiness.

    Big hugs for the both of you.

  30. I am new to your blog and just the first two blogs I read of yours is so painful I couldn't read any more. You are so elequent with your words the pain just shoots off the screen and all i felt was your pain. I will pray for you with every fiber of my being.

    Now I am by no mean a psychiatrist, but I do know that the human body can do some strange things to you when you are severely stressed. I believe that you will have your family; I also feel once you get to what will be "normal" for you everything will be okay for you. I am so sorry for your lost; and I apologize if my words have angered you because that isn't my intentions at all. I wish i knew the magic words to make you feel less pain, but I don't know them and I don't think anyone does. I will end with my heart goes out to you and I am praying for peace and the shining of joy to come back to you very soon.

  31. I'm so very very sorry that your life is so painful these days. I pray for a gentler tomorrow and a brighter future for you both.

  32. I am sorry. We too were hit with SIF after the death of our son (though we had it primary as well, before our older daughter). We were on the cusp of an IVF with ICSI when we got very very lucky and conceived on our own.

    I have to quibble with your doctor a bit on the stress issue. If stress was such a big player, there wouldn't be war time babies. That's sort of a handwavy way of saying it. And to be more scientific, there is very little by way of research that points to stress being the primary cause of infertility. Yes, it can mess with hormones, but not nearly enough to be the cause of IF. It can probably contribute when IF is being caused by something else, but even that is not settled in any way.

    The die test can be very uncomfortable, so maybe take a painkiller before the test? But it can also unblock the tubes, if they are not completely blocked, because the die is being squirted in under some pressure. So there's documented increased fertility right after the test.

    And finally. I know you don't want it to be your husband. But even though outwardly he can be doing better than you, and even though nothing else you could point to could be an issue, his counts could still have changed drastically. That was the case for my husband (hence the ICSI part of the plan we were about to start). I know it would suck if that was the case. But it's worth checking. What I said going into my husband's test was that it didn't matter. Whether there was or wasn't a male factor, it would still be our collective diagnosis. It was still hard on him, but it didn't phase me too much.

    Best of luck. I hope you find the cause and the solution, and soon. The new pregnancy does not take away the pain or the missing of the child who is no longer here. But a new baby does bring new joy. I wish that for you, with all my heart.