Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Story: Part 27

After hearing the h/b (left off after hearing the heartbeat around 12 weeks in my pregnancy after losing Curtis and my miscarriage).

So, Craig wanted to tell people. I did too, sorta. I mean...telling people meant questions. Telling people meant causing THEM worry. Telling people meant it being OUT THERE.

There was also the issue with the doctor. I never wanted to see my old OB, the one I had with Curtis, again. While I don't blame him for what happened to Curtis, I do blame him for the cruddy way he handled the loss, the way he handled my miscarriage, and the way he handled my new pregnancy. (Saying "We will do nothing different this time" did not sit well. Isn't that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result?)

Thanks to the conference, I had learned there were a few doctors out there open to the emerging research about cord issues repeating. I was given the names of two. One, I was told, would be there. She wouldn't just pretend to believe me, she would be me. She was amazing. I was told to go to her, despite the fact it would be close to a 2 hour drive to see her each time. The other doctor, I was told, was just as good. But a little bit more unreachable. A little bit more clinical. She would work with us, but I got the feeling she was more humoring her patients. She was much closer in location.

I did not want to be humored. Craig wanted the doctor who was closer. Who cared if she humored us as long as we got answers? I didn't want someone to pat me on the head, roll her eyes, and order me the tests. I wanted someone who believe me. I didn't want to fight. I didn't want to have to dig in my heels and insist.

I just wanted it to happen. Craig agreed to meet with the far away doctor, because it is what I wanted. I guess, in a way, he was humoring me. I emailed this doctor and we set up an appointment for 14 weeks. Just 2 weeks away.

In the mean time, my mom's birthday approached. She ended up being alone the weekend of her birthday due to some crazy circumstances that my dad had gotten himself roped into. Craig and I offered to take her out to dinner. My grandparents decided to come along, then asked if she could change the time of her birthday dinner so they could scoot off to another party.

My poor mom. First my dad has to leave on her birthday, then her birthday dinner time gets moved...she was feeling pretty bummed.

I informed Craig we should tell. I wasn't sure if I was quite ready. But I figured she would love the surprise and the first of getting to "know". I bought a birthday card for her that said "To Grandma". I signed it "Love, Curtis and Baby #2 due in December."

We arrived at my parent's house and were lingering around, waiting to leave for dinner.

"Open your cards!" I insisted. I thrust the grandma on in her hands.

My stomach was in knots. My heart was racing.

She opened it and stared.

And stared.

She was squinting at it.

She didn't have her glasses on. She was trying to figure out what it said.

'What is it I am reading?" She asked.

Sigh. Typical. Big huge news and she couldn't read it.

"Happy Birthday. Love, Curtis and Baby #2 Due in ...."

She let out a scream like I have NEVER heard before. It wasn't really an excited scream. It wasn't terrified. It was just a SCREAM. She dropped the card, buried her head in her hands and started to sob. Hysterical sobs.

I looked at Craig. He looked at me. "Hug her." He mouthed to me.

I shook my head no. I had no idea what this reaction was. Was it good? Was it bad? What was it?

After a few moments she flung her arms around us. "I thought that is what it said! But I wasn't sure. I thought maybe you signed the dog's name to it! I didn't want to assume."

I was overwhelmed at her excitement. I thought the news would be met with more reservations. Excitement, but cautious. Not this unbridled all out happiness.

We went to dinner and shared the news with my grandparents. Later that afternoon, while my dad was on his way home, my mom called him and made me tell him the news over the phone. He later told me it was hard to stay on the road when he had tears in his eyes.

We left my parent's house and Craig was practically bouncing out of his seat. "Can we go to my family now?"

I couldn't deny him this. We had told my family, there was a good reaction....but i felt that headache setting in. That overwhelming feeling. The "what have we done" emotions rolling in.

We live a good 50 minutes away from my inlaws. We usually just don't 'show up' out of the blue. However, they didn't seem phased that we were on their step at 8pm on a Sunday night. My mother in law starts telling us a crazy story that happened earlier in the day to her and my father in law. It was a pretty funny story but it kept going and going. She was totally oblivious we had news to share. The longer the story went, the more my throat felt like it was closing.

Craig finally had enough. When his mom stopped to take a breath, he jumped in and said "Well, do you want some more news?"

My father in law put down his glass of brandy, very serious, and said "Yes." quite loudly.

"The due date is in December."

The response was overwhelming. A lot of hugs, happy tears, and more hugs. Lots of questions. His mom saying 'Why did you let me talk for so long? Geesh! I just kept talking and talking!" We walked across the street to where my brother in law and sister in law live and told them the news.

Everyone was SO happy.

We left our inlaws and Craig called another one of his brothers and told them the news. Lots of celebrating on their end.

After he hung up the phone, I burst into tears. It was all much. I wasn't expecting it all. I was expecting them to be excited, yes, but I wasn't expecting such an outpouring of emotion. I was expecting them to be cautious or worried (which I am sure they were...) but they were so happy. In that moment, they were happy.

As we drove on the car, I continued to cry. The headache came on full force. Now they were all involved. Now it meant this was real. We were traveling down this road together. Now if something sad happened again, it meant bringing them down with us. But they needed to know. They deserved to know. We needed the support. They had been wonderful in supporting and remembering Curtis with us. But it was hard. Just so hard. I didn't want them disappointed again.

Friday, July 3, 2009


How are you?

It has been a long few weeks. Good things, scary things, More good though.

I need to jump into the here and now though. As always, I will return to the Our Story posts because I like getting all of this down, but I also want to talk about something that has been weighing on my mind, very heavily.

As I mentioned previously, I am pregnant. I am a little over 22 weeks and a few weeks ago we have our "big" 20 week ultrasound. By big, I mean we find out the gender. We find out how everything in the pregnancy is progressing. I have a Level II which is a 'high risk' one where they take and even more in depth look at the baby.

I had this appointment, June 18th, booked for over 2 months. That date lingered in my mind. I was sitting at my friend's wedding on April 18th thinking "two months from today...". Work documents, commercials, any talk about mid June my mind went to the ultrasound.

I haven't blogged about this yet, but at 20 weeks with Claudia was where things got very stressful. So that was always on my mind.

Enter June 18th. Craig and I both took the day off and headed to my ultrasound. We had a scare earlier in the week as well where I heard some fetal arrhythmia's on my home doppler. I was freaked out. I had talked to my doctor, they would make sure to do a fetal echo cardiogram on the ultrasound. They would figure it all out.

There we were. Me, on this table in a darkened room. A screen in front of me. The tech was all chatty. "Are you going to find out the gender?"

"Uh, yeah."

Gender? Great, yes, finding out the gender is fun. But what I wanted to tell her is "I want to find out if the baby is healthy."

Realistically, I know this ultrasound can't predict a healthy, living, full term pregnancy. I have multiple perfect ultrasounds with Curtis and we didn't take him home. But, in that moment I wanted to know everything is okay.

A few minutes into the ultrasound, she scans between the legs. Now, thanks to my years on baby message boards I have seen a lot of ultrasound pictures. Plus, I have had a boy and a girl ultrasounds. If given a clear shot, I can tell.

"That is a boy."

I was the one who said it, even before the tech got the words out. I saw it, and I do mean IT, clear as a day. No mistaking. Craig grinned and said "How did you even know what you were looking at?"

I don't care about gender. I honestly don't. But I was shocked. Hard core shocked. I was convinced the baby was going to be a girl. I had a feeling after we lost Curtis, not a bad feeling, but just a feeling I would only have girls. I did wonder, deep down, if this baby would be a boy. But I was fairly certain it was a girl. I didn't care. I had images of toddlers in matching Christmas dresses and teenage girls fighting over the bathroom.

The next hour the tech took all the measurements, telling me what looked good, what she was measuring. The doctor came in, started jabbering away, saying he looked 100% healthy and we had nothing to worry about. He also said some total jerky stuff like "Bad things don't happen twice." (um, why don't you talk to women who have had multiple stillbirths, then? Because there are women who have had this happen twice.) He also said it was "Better to have the girl first." Which just isn't factually true for us, we had the boy first.

But...I was in a good mood. The baby, in this moment, looked healthy. We found out the gender. We wanted to celebrate as a couple. So, I didn't say anything. Because this doctor I would never see again (he is not my doctor, he belongs to the high risk group). I just wanted the hell out of that room.

Craig and I carried on our tradition of going to pick out a few outfits. A boy. A boy. A boy. I hadn't allowed myself to even glance at the blue section of baby sections in years. 3 years to be exact. I had learned to avoid and head straight for the pink.

We told our families that night. They were very excited for us, my mom cried, my father in law jumped up and commented it was time we had a boy with the girl boom recently (Claudia and my niece who is 10 months) which led me to have mixed emotions. How would everyone had reacted if it was "another" girl? Would they have been AS excited?

I know I would have.

And then as we have told other people the last few weeks, I knew it would happen. The comments we would get.

"Now you have a girl AND a boy." Well, no. We have 2 boys and a girl.

"You are so lucky to get one of each!" Well, no. We have 2 of one and one of another.

"You will have the perfect little family!" No, we won't. Perfection is having all your children on Earth.

"So excited about the birth of your first son!" No, he is the second! Trust me. I gave birth to Curtis. I was there. I remember.

"When number two comes..." No, actually. Number 3.

"So great Claudia will have a brother." Now, I know she doesn't have a brother in a traditional sense, but once again...factually it is not true.

Craig heard something about his 'first' son as well.

And on and on and on.

I knew those comments would come. I cannot let them go. I am kind about them, I do not get on my high horse. But I will say "Nope, number 3!" Or "Well, we have a little boy who died, so he will be our second son and we are very thrilled he looks healthy."

But those little comments really bother me. I think anyone, anywhere with kids get gender comments. My cousin has 4 girls and I am sure she is ready to strangle the next person who does the "Hohoho, just you wait until the teenage years!" comments. Or my friend who is pregnant after having 2 boys who hears "I bet you are hoping for a girl this time!" I bet she wants to scream....she tried for a baby. Not a gender. Like she is going to ask for the kid to be put back in if it is not the 'correct' gender?

It is an odd sense of emotions to be expecting a boy after losing a boy. Like I say, for me it was a win/win situation. I WANTED a girl, because I wanted Claudia to have a sister, I wanted to see two little girls grow up together. Share that bond. Plus, I love our girl's name we had picked out. I WANTED a boy, to experience dirt and firetrucks (yeah, totally gender stereotyping here.) and getting to experience a son on Earth.

How could I *not* win in a situation like this?

One day, in the we are out as a family of 4 (please, please please...) some other people will see us and think "One girl, one boy...perfect little family" but we will always know that isn't true. Our family chain is forever broken. There is a link. A link between us and Claudia that is forever missing. I just hope and pray people realize that things aren't always what they seem.