Sunday, June 27, 2010

Waiting for the other shoe...

Last night I had a dream. In my dream I was where I am now, a few days post IVF transfer, awaiting my pregnancy test. 

I dreamt that I was walking along a sidewalk in the city. Each stretch of concrete that I travelled was surrounded by a small patch of grass with little yellow tickets warning that pesticides had been applied. I tried to get away from the harmful chemicals, frantically crossing the street, but as I did, more little signs popped up. It wasn't until I came to an area where there was no longer any grass, that I finally was able to take a sigh of relief - and that's when I saw them. 

Men, dressed in protective gear, were spraying pesticides at weeds growing up through the cracks in the concrete. The smell burned at my nose, and I clasped my hands over my mouth trying not to let any of it in. I held my breath and started running past them as fast as I could, but as I ran, the chemicals from the sidewalk soaked into my socks and shoes, and I could feel the wetness spreading across my skin.

I was desperate to get away. The pesticides, it seemed, were everywhere. Standing in this concrete space, I began screaming and crying for someone to help me. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, a taxi stopped, and I begged the driver for a ride. I told him about my little babies, and that I needed to protect them, but he didn't care. He just stared at me, straight faced, demanding payment. When I checked my pockets, and showed him what few coins I had, the driver told me it wasn't enough, laughed, and drove away. 

I was alone, hopeless, and afraid. It felt like no matter what I did, where I turned, or what steps I took, my poor little embryos would be exposed to some cancer causing agent. When I woke up this morning, I was terrified.

I know they say that stress affects implantation, so I wish I could calm my mind, but as I look around me, I see threats everywhere. Threats I didn't pay much heed or attention to when I was pregnant with Peyton. Don't get me wrong. I ate all organic with Peyton, refusing any processed foods except on the rarest of occasions. I worked out five hours a week, and had excellent prenatal care. I did all these things, and still, she was born with cancer.

Now it is as if my eyes have been opened to a world full of hazards. 

I am afraid to walk down my own street, for fear of what neighbors may be putting on their lawns. I went tag sale-ing with my mother the other day, and couldn't even bring myself to get out of the car for the same reasons. I drive with the internal air being circulated at all times, worried that some fertilizer or chemical truck might pass me and send harmful toxins in through my vents, or that the cigarette smoke from the car beside me will harm these little ones too. And my fears don't stop there.

My husband took me out to eat last night. I got meatloaf. I love meatloaf. But last night I looked at the plate wondering if my veggies had been washed enough. If the beef was grain-fed, or full of antibiotics and hormones. If any of the ingredients came from cans lined with harmful BPA. If the water I was drinking, being city water, was being treated in a manner that could harm them. If the adorable dog who came up to me on the street wanting to be pet, had chemicals on his back. If the cheerios I ate to get me through my bout of nausea, were processed with too many chemicals for these little ones to tolerate. If the computer, on a table in front of me, posed any sort of microwave danger, or the cellphone my husband handed to me, was sending harmful rays.

You can see where this is going.

I KNOW that I need to find calm. I KNOW that I can't allow my fears to take over because stress affects success rates, and believe me, I am trying. But how? How, when the first time I did everything right, and still created a child so wracked with cancer, how can I find peace? How can I trust that these precious little embies who I love so much, will one day arrive in this world safe, and healthy, and alive?


When all I have known of motherhood has been heartache and loss, how can I BELIEVE?


  1. Oh Kristin, I wish I had some good advice but, the truth is, I just don't know. All I can say is I'm praying for you.

  2. Right now, I am suffering with crippling fear too. I assume everything will end badly as well. I wish I had some sort of advice, something that has worked for me, but I don't. I'm still trying to find my way.

    The only comfort I can give, is that I completely understand about the paralyzing fear. Our experiences have been different, but I know about living in utter fear, and not trusting that we can have living, healthy babies with us. You definitely aren't alone in this.

    I'm sending positive vibes & love your way. I think the most we can hope for is to have moments of peace during the day - for right now. All I am able to do for myself is pray to be able to face each hour with a sense of peace. I'll be saying the same prayer for you...

  3. firstly, i had wacky dreams in the beginning of my pregnancy and still have them....good sign! secondly i did everything right with my pregnancy with harvey and he was still born with a neurodegenerative disorder. i had friends who drank caffeine and the odd glass of wine, painted nursery's and all went on to have healthy perfect babies. basically its the luck of the draw. whatever your embies are going to be was determined at the moment of conception and nothing you do is going to make on scrap of difference to that. you aren't going to do anything to harm your babies during this next two weeks and further on for 8 months (positive thoughts) you are such a caring mom already and like me will do everything you can to protect them. but seriously, heroin addicts can have healthy babies!! nothing you do in a normal healthy lifestyle will harm them, sending loads of love xxx

  4. You need to trust that GOD loves these babies as much as you do!
    Don't let the Devil get the best of you....

    John 16:33 says:
    These thing I have spoken to you,that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,I have overcome the world."

    We can be our own worst enemy...

    I pray that these next few weeks don't feel like an eternity for you!

    Much peace and many prayers to you~


  5. PHEW!! So I'm not alone in my paranoia and my nightmares.

    I can so so relate to what you are saying and feeling. My fears are different - obviously more related to what I've been through. My recurring nightmares (there are 2 versions) are these:
    in one i wake up and I'm always as far along as I am in real life and I'm bleeding. In the other I go to the hospital and they can't find a heartbeat. I hope these dreams go away someday.

    In terms of fears: I wish I could wrap myself in cotton wool and be away from any danger. I freak when people drive fast - especially over speed bumps (I can get quite vicious :) - my poor car pool. I don't use the gas heater in my room, I'm careful about skin products and soaps, I won't go to the hairdresser til she's born, won't have a wax - simply coz these are things I did last time and you never know.
    Today I sat folding nappies. I was sitting cross legged and baby was quiet. After a while I started freaking that I was cutting off her blood supply or something.

    Pregnancy after loss is the hardest battle of the mind. Worth it, obviously, but hard!

  6. I completely hear you. I don't really know how to help you relax. I did everything right with my pregnancy with Wyatt, too, and we lost him anyway. This time, I'm afraid of everything, everything. It's like with a loss, your eyes are suddenly opened and there's no going back. Ignorance IS bliss.
    I'm just trying to take one day at a time, and I have to believe that this is going to happen. I look at the others around me who've been through hell and then had a healthy baby, and try to find comfort in that.
    I really hope you can relax. I'm thinking about you and sending relaxing vibes...

  7. I don't even know how to help you my dear. I wish there was a fool proof way to tell you that this or that will work. I just hope and pray that your dream comes true. You are always on my mind.

  8. Fear is so infectious, it spreads so quickly when we give it power! I am hoping and praying you can squelch it. It is so draining, so hard. Praying for peace that surprises you with its depth...

  9. I had several miscarriages several years ago before I had any live births. I remember feeling so crazy when I was finally pregnant with my little girl. I was so so paranoid. I prayed and I prayed. Finally the Lord gave me peace. The funny thing was it happened when I was in pre-term labor and hooked up to all sorts of drugs to stop labor. I was really scared and I prayed and from that moment on I felt at complete peace. I just knew she was going to be okay. And she was, she was born at 36 weeks and she was just perfect. I thanked and continue to thank the Lord for the blessing of my daughter and the 5 others that followed after her. I pray that you can have peace and that you trust that peace that only God can give. I hope that I don't hurt your feelings with this story I mean it as a story of hope and peace.

  10. I'm like you Kristin, I also spend a tremendous amount of time worrying about pesticides and hormones and other revolting things. And I don't even have any embies on board, I'm not sure how it will go then. I keep reminding myself that there are crack whores smoking 60 cigarettes a day who miraculously give birth to perfectly healthy babies. If that is the case, then it can certainly happen to good healthy girls like you and I... and we have to keep believing it. Now if those embies know what's good for them, they'll realise what a fabulously healthy uterus they're in, and they'll be burrowing in, nice and snug and warm. I hate it when people say this, but I strongly suspect that's EXACTLY what they are doing :-) And am praying and visualising to that effect every night!

  11. The fear really is crippling, isn't it? Just as you were standing there, desperate, in the middle of the concrete--just paralyzed with fear--it can control our every thought and action.

    And I also wish I had some great words that would remove the fear and let you breathe but I don't. I just pray each day that I am allowed the opportunity to have hope again and to keep it for longer than I did with Matthew. I have enough to worry about as it is, so (as a control freak) I give myself permission to worry AS MUCH AS I WANT TO --- but only when I have something to worry about. If the doctor tells me there's something--I get to Google and stress and worry all I want. But I won't allow myself to worry about the salad at Olive Garden.

    Admittedly, I won't eat it, but that's how I stop worrying about it.

    Katy said something yesterday that she'd heard in church--to expect the miracle. It's hard when you've been given a miracle and then it was taken away, but again...but I think there's merit in that--expect the miracle. While there are so many reasons not to---there are so many reasons to expect it still.

    Praying for these next several days for you!

  12. Thinking of you and hoping you find a way to exhale.

  13. I have no advice, just know I am praying so hard for you..Just continue to take it easy..and I agree with some of the above comments, with Ella, I stopped all caffeine(hard for me), don't smoke or drink, took vitamins, avoided the list of things to avoid and she still died..I know that trusting God is a lot easier to say then to do after blow after I will say I believe good things are due for you..(way over due actually) I am sending prayers and as many good vibes as humanly possible your way! xoxo

  14. I wish that I had something to say that might help allievate your fears, but I dont. I am wracked with the same fears myself, that when I do get pregnant again something will happen again. All I can offer is prayer and (((HUGS)))

  15. Oh my goodness, I've had ALL of these thoughts, too. I've wracked my brain with toughts of all the possible things that could've contributed to Freja's condition. I was never content with the answer of 'it's just one of those things.' I've considered every possible environmental factor like you have, and was terrified of it happening again (especially since Soren was conceived in the Summer too, when pesticides, pollution, and other toxins are at their peak.) Thinking of you, my friend.

  16. I feel for you!! I'm not gripped with fear but I am constantly fearful (if that makes sense). I guess I'm just saying it's not all consuming but it's always on my mind. Talk of this babys future is crazy to me because it's not guaranteed. After anyone says anything about her being born I say "fingers crossed" or "hopefully." I don't think the fear goes away but I hope you can find a balance. Praying for some healthy babies <3

  17. I feel for you here...the maternal instinct is so strong already!

    I trust God to take care of the be doing well in your uterus, and that your mind will really give you a break...seriously!

    Good Luck!

  18. I'm so sorry about that awful dream :( I am sending sooooo much positive energy your way. I've never wanted so badly for someone else to become pregnant than you! Hoping, hoping, hoping...

  19. Of course you are afraid. How could you not be under the circumstance. I saw some of those stupid flags when I was on a walk the other day...and I started to cry for you. And for all the unsuspecting people that think "Oh, what a nice green lawn" when they pass by a sea of green toxins....

    I've barricaded my yard with 6 foot bamboo fencing wherein dandelions bloom with abundance, and I pray every morning that your babies will come, and that they will be safe. I pray that you will get the chance to shine as the beautiful mama you are. I pray that you will be protected. I pray, not in a blind way that assumes that God can or will protect us, but in a focused earth centered way that pleads for some justice in a crazy world.

    You did all you could do with Peyton. And still....she was lost. You will do all you can with your little ones who WILL arrive....and all anyone can ask is that you will get to keep them safe in your arms. ((HUG)) Thinking of you....let me know as soon as you know! (HUG)

  20. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and every time your fears begin, wipe them away with prayer.

    Hugs and can't wait to hear the positive news, honey.