Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Brother Jason

  Last week while eating lunch with Jason and Lauren, I got a glimpse of Jason's ongoing grief.  We were all sitting down, when suddenly Lauren decided to get out of her seat.  Yeah, she's a big girl now and wants nothing to do with her high chair, or plastic forks and spoons or anything "baby".  Anyway, she suddenly jumps out of her chair, doesn't listen to either Jason or me telling her to finish lunch.  We are trying to instill in her to stay in her seat.  Which of course is an impossible task for a 2 year old to master.  In the meantime, Lauren is giving us her big smile and disregarding any instruction to remain seated.  Jason and I were trying not to laugh, but it's very hard not to do so.  Defeated, we burst out laughing and begin to hug her and kiss her.  Then suddenly, Jason's laughter became cries, sobs, raw grief.  I asked him what was wrong and he responded, "I miss Ethan".

  Heartwrenching.  Watching his grief, ugggh it's a double whammy.  I hurt because he's hurting.  I want to take it away.  But, I know he will also always miss Ethan and he has his own grief journey that he also has to maneuver.  There are times, when I only think about my grief, my  pain, my hurt that I forget he was a 5 year old little boy that was eager to finally have a baby brother.  He was so excited to have his little brother arrive in early July.  And his world was also shattered on May 21st when we found out our baby had died.  He also has a part of him that is missing, and his name is Ethan.

  As hard as it was to witness his pain, it was also reassuring to know that I'm not the only one that misses him.  We all miss him, my parents, my siblings, my nieces so many people.  He was only here 32 weeks but left an impression on so many people, his tiny footprints definitely left imprints in our hearts.  And I will continue to talk about him and bring him up as much as I can, because even though he is not physically here, he will always be a part of our lives.  Even Lauren, will point to his picture on our dresser and say, "Ethan".  I love it. 

Ethan, we love and miss you so much my little pumpkin.  Your big brother, misses you so much.  We love you Ethan!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Yesterday was Ethan's 3rd Birthday.  We went to our favorite cupcake shop and bought 5 cupcakes, one for every person in our family.  Yes, Ethan also got a cupcake.  And Mommy is the one that got to eat it.We went to the cemetery and sang Happy Birthday to our Ethan.   It was a bittersweet day, full of tears, memories and an overwhelming longing to hold him in my arms.  Yet, I wanted to celebrate my baby, his life, 32 weeks in my womb.  He brought us so much happiness, and when I think of him, I smile.

My sweet baby boy.  I miss you so much.  I wish you were here to celebrate your life, your birthday with us.  I know your brother misses you too.  He talks about you often, and this makes me so happy.  You're not physically here but you are an important part of our lives.  Lauren, also knows who you are.  She points to your picture on my dresser and says, "Bebe".   I'm working on your name with her.  My sweet Ethan, I wish I could go back to May 23rd, 2008 to hold you again, to kiss  you and kiss your toesies.  I want to hold you my baby.  I miss you so much.  I have learned to live with the pain of not haivng you here, but at times it's so hard.  I love you more than words can say. 
Love, Mommy

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just once...

Why can't I be "normal" and have a happy ending like everyone else. But, who am I kidding. It's me, nothing ever goes the way it should. I'm always on the other side of the statistics, the one that gets told, "I'm sorry, but...". Arggh. Yes, I'm angry and pissed and hurt. I want to lash out at everyone. I am screaming, WHY WHY WHY?

On Feb 8th, I was at work. I had just come back from attending my niece's baby shower over the weekend. My Mom insisted I was pregnant. In my head, I thought, "No, I'm not". It's me, infertile, need fertility drugs and IUI to get pregnant. Then, I began to check my calendar and yes it had been a while since my last period. Nothing unusual given my history of PCOS. Although, all of 2010 I was predictable every 40 days or so. So, I checked, I peed on a stick and to my surprise, pleasant surprise, I saw a very light pink 2nd line. Could it really be? No, it can't. All of these years and we've never been able to conceive without the aid of fertility drugs. But, there it was, 2nd line. I call my husband, excited, gitty, full of hope. I told him the news and he too was surprised, but ecstatic. Here's the thing. We were planning on seeing our fertility doctor in February. And here we were February 8th and we were pregnant. Oh the excitement of that day. I felt like as if I had won the lottery, nah better than that. I was the happiest most blessed person, or so I thought.

Of course, I called my niece and told her. We told my sister in law. I felt fine, I thought, this time I'm going to try to be like all of the other women, I want to immerse myself in the bliss of pregnancy, I need to calm down and not worry about every single thing. People get pregnant all the time, and go on to have healthy pregnancies and live babies. This is a gift and I'm going to enjoy it, every step of the way.

But, as you can probably tell by the tone of this post. It didn't turn out as I had hoped, I miscarried my "miracle" baby. I had an ultrasound done by a friend who needed pregnant models. I felt confident and volunteered to be her pregnant model. I went in on the Sunday before my first scheduled OB appt. that following Thurs. I was certain everything was going to be fine. But, we couldn't see a heartbeat. We saw a gestational sac, fetal pole but no heartbeat. She tried to reassure me, that it was too early. I was measuring 6w3d. But, I knew it wasn't. With both Ethan and Lauren, we could see their heartbeat at 6weeks. But, again I wanted to be "normal" and went along with it. I told myself, I haven't been cramping or bleeding. My HCG levels early on were fine, on the high side actually. My progesterone level was great. I was doing everything on my end, Lovenox injections check, progesterone injections check. I had even started following my diabetic diet from before since I had gestational diabetes. Blood sugars were great. Blood pressure was stellar. "Yes, everything would be just fine", I thought.

Thursday arrived, my husband accompanied me to our doctor's office. The first person we saw was the sonographer, she performed an abdominal ultrasound, and there was the sac but that's it. Maybe a shadow of a fetal pole. I made her do a transvaginal ultrasound, and NOTHING. She also said maybe it was too early. I was still measuring 6w and a couple days. Utter devastation had set in at this point. I saw the nurse practitioner and she confirmed my worst fears. It appeared I had miscarried. We talked about my options. I opted to wait and come in for a repeat ultrasound a couple days later. I was still holding on to hope. I went home that day and cried all weekend. I called my OB on Monday and decided to have a D&C, but wanted to make sure I indeed had miscarried. We went in and again nothing, the fetal pole I saw was now almost gone, reabsorbed I imagine. We talked about the risks of the D&C, I asked her if she thought this would damage my uterus, she reassured me she would be extremely cautious. I just couldn't bear the thought of miscarrying at home, the pain, the passing of my baby. I couldn't do it. Plus, I wanted to have chromosomal testing done.

I had the D&C March 8th at the same hospital where Ethan was born and Lauren was born. All the memories of losing Ethan rushed through me, and here I was again... I'm doing better now (April 11th, it took me a while to finally post this), physically I recovered fairly fast. Emotionally, I'm taking it day by day. We did get the results of the chromosomal testing, 46XX. We would've had a girl.  I have mixed feelings about the "normal" results, if chromosomally everything was fine, why did I miscarry? It's not fair. Life isn't fair!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Feb 14, 2008

I remember this day like it was yesterday. I was 18 weeks pregnant with Ethan. We went to our MFM appointment for our 18 week ultrasound. 4 chamber heart, 2 kidneys, 1 stomach and he was a BOY!!! We were over the moon! A boy! We went to lunch after our ultrasound, after all we had plenty to celebrate, Valentine's Day and a healthy baby boy!

Happy Valentine's Day my sweet baby boy, I wish you were here. I'd kiss you and hug you and would give you all of the chocolate your little heart desired. I miss you so much! 3 years ago I found out you were a boy. And oh how my heart aches for you my sweet baby boy. I love you Ethan!
Always Mommy

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Conversation with a 3rd grader

Oct. 3, 2010
This is a conversation I had with my son, while shopping:

My son: Mommy, you know Reed had a brother before and he died.

Me: Oh really, I didn't know. Was he younger than Reed.

My son: I don't know, but I know he died just like ours.

I Pause. This takes my breath away... We check out, now we're in the car driving.

Me: So, how did you find out about Reed's brother dying.

My son: My other friend told me, his brother died just like Ethan did. I think it was his umbilical cord, too.

Me: So, how did you guys start talking about this?

My son: Oh, in religion. Andy my friend always says a special prayer for his brother in heaven.

Me: Do you do the same for your brother?

My son: Yes, I just say "special mention", and that's it. I don't say anything else but I'm thinking of Ethan. I don't want anyone to ask me more about it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Missing Ethan...

There is something about fall, the leaves changing colors, falling onto the ground, cool fall winds...all of it, remind me of Ethan. It reminds me of the giddiness I had back during the fall of 2007 when my baby was conceived, then 2008 rolled around, and I welcomed the fall, I was tired of the summer weather, the never ending sunlight. I wanted the colder weather, it matched what I felt inside. I thought maybe a change of season would end the hell I had just entered, the hell of grief after losing my baby. But, it didn't. And now, fall makes me yearn for my baby, I miss him so much. I wish he were here, I miss him so much.

Last night, I was watching Grey's Anatomy, and there was a line that I can really relate to, Meredith was talking about a tragedy they've all endured and the reaction of one of the other characters and she says something along the lines of, "She's not crazy. Sure a crazy thing happened to her, but her reaction was pretty normal..." So true. I think many times, even now, some of my "friends" think I'm crazy or even cringe when I talk about my son and how much I miss him. I'm not crazy, mourning is a normal reaction to death and there is no expiration date on mourning. It has been over 2 years and I am still in mourning over the death of Ethan. I will always mourn him. He was my baby, and will always be my baby. I am his mother and will continue to "parent" him, even if he is not physically present. He lives in my heart. My parenting now consists of keeping up with this blog, tending to his grave, mentioning his name, saying I have THREE children, and it will continue until the day I die.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2 years ago...

If only I could turn back time, I would go back to this day May 20,2008. Ethan was still alive. We went on a field trip with our son, Jason, who was in Kindergarten at the time. We went to the state fairgrounds, saw different farm animals, a pregnant horse. I was feeling so good. I was pregnant after months of infertility treatments. I was on top of the world. I was glowing, I was so HAPPY. I even remember what I had on, a pair of black maternity capris with a beautiful black, white and red kimono like maternity top. BUT, something was wrong. Only then I didn't even realize it. I had no clue. In hindsight, Ethan wasn't moving as much. I told myself I'm 32 weeks, there is not enough room in there. He's not going to move as much. This now kills me, it haunts me. If only I knew. After our field trip, we went to our OB. It was our first appointment with her. I was seeing a perinotologist up until then. But it was gruelling to see the perinatologist, she was also pregnant and I no longer was seeing her. It would take 4 hours of waiting to see a doctor for a 5 minute appointment. So, I called my OB/GYN to see if she would accept me as a patient. She did, I was ecstatic.

I remember this day so clearly. I saw her nurse first, was taken back promptly. Then sat in a very comfortable leather recliner while she went over my history with me. Then she walked me into the room, where I saw Dr. J. Everybody exclaimed, "You look great, you're glowing!". This I was, I was over the moon. Dr. J examined me, we heard Ethan's heart rate 140. She asked if he was moving, and at that moment I said "YES". Because he did move quite a bit, but not enough that day. I didn't mention it, because I thought everything was fine. BUT, IF ONLY I WOULD'VE SPOKEN UP. I SHOULD'VE SAID SOMETHING. IT WAS SO STUPID AND DUMB OF ME. I felt reassured after I heard his heartbeat. Dr. J went on to explain that she would not let me go past 39 weeks and would begin NST that Friday. We talked about labor, induction and epidurals. I left the office feeling confident, excited and full of hope. We would soon have a baby boy.

That night, after I put Jason to bed. I looked and marveled at all of the information given to me. Signs and symptoms of labor, what to expect at the upcoming visits, some advertisements of pregnancy photography. Just different handouts my OB's office gave me. I wanted to hold on to that feeling forever, I loved being pregnant. I decided I wanted to take maternity photographs. I wanted to capture the moment.

The thought lingered, he's not moving. Then wham, movement. Lots of movement. I saw my belly moving and twisting. I thought it was cool, and began to look for my camera. I couldn't find it. I called my husband and told him that the baby had finally moved after a very quiet day, we talked about it for a while. I told him, I wish you could see my belly right now. I decided to listen to his heartbeat with my stethoscope. I tried but didn't hear anything. He was moving all over the place, I could see the ripple wave in my belly. I felt confident he was OK, after all he was moving. I went to bed in pure bliss. We were having a baby boy, Ethan would be his name.