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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Is this your first child?

I'm not so sure how people have been asking this question. Sometimes they seem to word it "Is this your first pregnancy?" or as "Is this your first child?" I always appear to hesitate and I had to say "YES" to most strangers.... I hate saying it but I guess I don't trust everyone with sharing my special babies. Before I was pregnant again, I was bombarded with "Do you have any children?" It hurts to see a few of John's coworkers with newborn daughters. Last week when we met up with them and one brought her newborn daughter, I couldn't make eye contact with the mother. I felt my bitterness resurface and held back my tears thinking "Where is my daughter?" The other mother conceives easily, has an EASY pregnancy, and then pops out a healthy baby girl. My bitterness and grief are still buried in my heart even with this miracle baby inside of me. I miss my Josephine. My Joey. My first child. I have a daughter too except no one sees her. She is in heaven and it feels so far away even though we will be reunited one day.
I'm not saying I am taking my third baby for granted. My living son growing inside of me cannot replace the first child we had. I'm thoroughly ecstatic to still be pregnant yet I can't seem to face the holidays forgetting my Joey is missing....
So couple days ago I was asked again by a dental assistant if this was my first child. I felt this urge to say "No, I have one in heaven" and I felt like it was an out of body experience. I couldn't believe I just said those words. I said it and it felt good to acknowledge Joey. She asked me if it was a boy or a girl that I lost.... I shared that it was a girl. I think sometimes Baby Juno will be another selective time for me to share with others just because it will lead to more questions and me expressing not knowing the gender due to early miscarriage. For me, it's easier to share about  Joey because I know her gender... somehow Juno seems harder to share. I think all the Babyloss Moms will have their preferences and way of sharing....After reading many articles and Facebook comments of some BLMs, I recognize the uniqueness of our boundaries and the need to respect each others' differences when it comes to sharing about our babies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A New Season: 21 weeks and 5 days

My new season of pregnancy started on August 3rd when my home preg test came out BFP. It was another scary and exhilarating moment. Juno's scenario was mostly on my mind even though the Hcg level was higher with this pregnancy than Juno's.
The first trimester was a long waiting period for me... I know I don't need to explain the feelings of anxiety to the babyloss mamas out there. Some of us had more than one losses and there seems nothing in this world to give us enough reassurance or a guarantee our next baby will be okay. Around the 9th week, I saw blood on my underwear about 2 quarter size. My legs were shaking at the restroom and all I could think about was saying goodbye to this baby as I did with Joey and Juno. I was incoherently speaking to the nurse on the phone about the bleeding. It was after a bowel movement and she persuaded me to see the bleeding as a mild incident from possibly straining too hard. I was so panicked and started crying with my husband after hanging up with the nurse.
Week 12 or 13 came around when the Walk to Remember was starting in October -  week before Joey's 2nd birthday. Until that time, I kept wondering if there will be a third ornament to hang on the tree for a third loss... I remember habitually checking my underwear for blood or to see if my water broke all throughout the first trimester.
We took weekly pictures from the beginning of the pregnancy. I regretted not taking any pictures of Joey growing and I missed out on Juno also. I wanted to have as many memories of this baby as I could and enjoy those memories.
I am under close supervision of my cervix even after the TAC procedure. I have a sonogram every two weeks to check the baby and my cervical length. My husband gives me P17 shots every week. Every sonogram is a treat for John and me since we love seeing our baby. I still get the butterflies before each sonogram just wondering if our baby is still alive! IT is so hard to persevere and to stay POSITIVE! Having a "normal pregnancy" is foreign to me. I am so blessed to have a doctor who stays concerned and have supervised me thoroughly with this one - quite a contrast to my pregnancy with Joey. We found out Joey was having a little brother at about week 16.

Today is a special milestone for John and me. We lost our loving daughter, Josephine, at 21 weeks and 5 days. In this new season, we still have our little boy alive at 21 weeks and 5 days. I hope he continues to live and grow way past 24 weeks. I am not able to blog much with my neck and shoulder pain which came out of nowhere in this pregnancy. However, I will try to write throughout the milestones. Even in my own joy, I know my joy won't be complete without other BLM's holding their rainbow babies - I am still praying and hoping for those who endured another hard year to have their living babies in their arms one day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Joey's 2nd Birthday

My daughter is two years old in heaven today. We kept the grieving and celebration to ourselves unlike last year. Having friends and family over to the resting place last year gave me so much peace - the peace I didn't get to have without a funeral and holding her to say goodbye. I needed Joey to be validated as our baby and a person who passed away. I felt okay to celebrate between just us two as Mommy and Daddy.
It rained today just like the day she was born. No balloons or flowers today because of rain.

I always seem to ask John the same question "So what happened that day? Do you remember?" It was a nightmarish day yet I still want to hear John's side of the story over and over. While I was being induced with pills, J had to go home in the rain that morning. He was crying all by himself in the car and he doesn't remember how he made it home. He told our dog Joey was gone for good...took a shower....packed my clothes. All of this happened while I was in bed waiting to dilate. Two years ago already.

I felt guilty to not be able to bake her cake this time. I guess every year will be different. J and I will have to come up with different ways to celebrate her birthday each year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September Memories

As my daughter's 2nd anniversary/birthday draws near, I am reminded of where I was around end of September two years ago. I remember.... in one hour of my 20 week appointment all the "bad" news were waddled up and delivered to us. Total previa - confirmed. We didn't know what that was back then. Then the eerie news that Joey's fluid was low. Was that bad news, urgent news, or something we can manage? The OB at that time merely gave me the number to call the perinatalologist after he did some sort of bacteria check. The first medical term I saw related to pPROM was "oligohydramnios." I didn't become familiar with the more common medical term, pPROM, until I went to my support group weeks after the loss.

So here I am rambling over the's's done with. But it breaks my heart that there could've been MORE done for me and my baby. I should've been on bedrest and antibiotics right away even if it was too late. Yeah, I still feel this lingering anger towards the OB. I really don't think he treated me the way he would've his wife or pregnant daughter. I know there are always heartbreaking stories when I read through the PROM websites. Some moms were encouraged to terminate by delivering immediately without given alternate options. Some moms were fortunate to have miracles. I feel a pang of envy and injustice whenever I hear other OB's who went far and beyond to care for the pPROM mothers. By the way, I keep mentioning "pPROM" instead of "PROM" since 2nd trimester rupture is considered Preterm Premature Rupture of Membrane."

I don't remember if I strongly felt this dark cloud of memories last year around this time. I am just glad this month, this week is almost over.

Friday, September 9, 2011

23 month Anniversary

Today is another 9th before Joey's 2 year anniversary/birthday. She is 23 months old today in heaven. I miss her so much more these days. I find myself more emotional as I think of her more often these days. There will be more 2nd babies born this fall and winter to our friends. I have to say I know I haven't fully healed yet when I feel more envy than happiness for others. I try to say that is their life and my journey, whether I like it or not, is my life. Conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy will just be a challenge for broken luck. 

We were going to make Joey a name book this year as I was inspired by another BLM's book. 
I had second thoughts about it.... wondering how many people would actually respond. It was hard enough getting candlelight pictures for Joey's slideshow 2 years ago. I think they don't know how much the little things mean to us because there aren't many tangible things we have of Joey. 

We have a Walk to Remember October 1st. On her birthday, J and I may celebrate her short life among ourselves. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

About juno

This week I thought of Juno randomly while driving. I thought about the regrets I had... such as subbing at a school couple days before the pregnancy test. I thought surely subbing a third grade class would be a breeze but of course, there was one thuggish kid who caught me off guard. I tried not to stress about it. The next day I was completely sick with high fever. I should've at least taken something for it but I didn't. That week was one of the highest pollen days and many people posted on facebook how sick they were. After the 7 week sonogram discovery of the blighted ovum, I asked the RE if having a high fever for two days could've caused it. It was embarrassing because I was trying to talk while sniffing and crying at the same time. All he could say was "Maybe, it could have." There are no definite answers to my last loss. In my mind I just wonder what in the world am I supposed to do. Should I just stay home and live like the "bubble boy" movie - protected inside a plastic sanitized bubble? Did my one decision to go out and work change the outcome of my baby? Or was this truly a defect of the chromosomes that I had no control over?

I wish I was OVERLY cautious about everything. I feel like I worked through a heavy load of guilt over Joey and now it happens again with Juno.

Joey's 2nd anniversary/birthday is coming around soon. I can't believe it.... Hubby and I still talk about her  saying "Joey would've liked this or done this." Even at Costco we pick out toys we like for Joey.

I liked these quotes about miscarriage or stillbirth from Losing Aidan blog.
"...having a miscarriage is like joining a sisterhood you didn’t want to or didn’t know about." -

"Getting pregnant is like being proposed to, and having a miscarriage is like being dumped at the altar." - Darlene Schacht,
(I especially like this one because this is the exact feeling after a loss. Once we get that positive preg test, we feel like it's another promise or hope to have a baby. I see myself waiting at the altar for the promise only to find myself abandoned by a promise. Then when I see pregnant women, I feel shocked and hurt as if I just bumped into an ex-fiance who dumped me - this ex-fiance analogy was provided by a book I read "Bittersweet" by Shauna Niequist.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Same Ol' Same Ol'

Here goes the same ol' treatment.... The last IUI follistim treatment didn't work. Yes, I was deeply disappointed to the point of doing NOTHING for a day except staring at the TV screen. I was actually concerned about any possible cervical changes I might have had after the transabdominal cerclage. The last IUI just didn't feel right. We can choose to have two more IUIs with increased follistim level. After that, it's for us to decide whether IVF will be an option.

My mother in law keeps saying she wishes for me to have twins. I think it's because she sees it as a "double blessing." I keep reminding her how risky it could be for me to have multiples due to my medical history. There is a language barrier since I cannot explain thoroughly in her language so it gets frustrating. She doesn't understand how my world has been turned upside down by my losses. Gone are the innocent days of announcing my pregnancy early with pure joy so early in the trimester.  How I wish I can blissfully fantasize having multiples or just even a healthy baby! It will take some extra work to stay safe during pregnancy but I am ready whenever it happens again.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

To Joey on July 4th

Mommy and Daddy miss you!
Mommy thought of you as I made rocket popsicles.


Red, white, and blue for my baby.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Unfinished Business

Nothing new was going on in Joey's room. After she died we called it the "guest room" to avoid the pain of our loss. Now in my mind it's still Joey's room and our next baby's room. We didn't even start cleaning out the room while I was pregnant with her. All the pregnancy books and magazines my friends cleaned up for me during my stay at the hospital still remain in the closet. The room was just there. The walls were neutral in color. A part of me wanted to go all out and decorate the nursery after a year of grieving. The room looked depressing. Then another part of me thought it would be painful to wait for a baby while the nursery was all decked out. My husband at least painted this empty room couple days ago. I still have time before taking a preg test but regardless, it feels good to complete something left undone. Painting this room was something we COULD do while everything else was left untouched frozen in time - my new maternity clothes that I bought with Juno while on sale, books from healthy pregnancy eating to all the how to's, Joey's memory book, and I still find random pregnancy cravings with Joey still in the pantry. I found a 2 year old package of lemon drops - my first trimester I had the weirdest craving for lemon drops while waiting in line at  a post office. I bought it and never opened it.

Joey's dolls we collected over the years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Being in a Limbo

Living in a "limbo" was commented by blogger Dana in one of my posts. I thought about it and all the delays of volunteering or traveling have been set by this "limbo."I want to find different ways to cope because of my powerlessness to this thing called  infertility or the tragedy of losing a baby (Calvin's mom talks about "powerlessness" in her blog). Some of the things I would like to do as a means of coping are not beneficial for TTC. For example, whether I can realistically make it or not, I would like to participate in a boot camp just to get all my anger and frustration out!!!  Right now it's probably not a good idea as I am still going through treatments. I take it day by day... trying out different recipes for cooking.... enjoying time with my hubby for his summer off... reading...

All my summers were supposed to be enjoyable. However, we were both financially unable to plan a nice getaway and medically feeling protective of possible pregnancies. I like the feeling of hopefulness when I actually go through with IUIs. I DO NOT like the feeling of disappointment when I stumble upon medical obstacles or another negative preg test. I am quite tired of this "limbo." What really goes through my mind in this journey is the PLAN. Not that our plans have ever gone through but I mentally start calculating how many more cycles I want to do the IUIs and if something goes wrong, I wonder what it will take to pursue inter'al adoption. Yes, this is overwhelming every time I do this. I say all this just to express how depleted I feel from not knowing the answers. I pray that this summer will be the last summer of being in this transitional state. At this moment, I don't think I can go through another long summer of uncertainties.

So another July 4th is coming up. The first July 4th was the hardest without Joey. I would like to get out of town even if it's not so far. I would like to celebrate what we still have even while missing Joey and Juno. I still have my little furbaby and my dear husband.... we have each other through the hard times like this.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby Juno

Today was the due date for my miscarried baby. June 20th. Today is the day I once again "could've" had a living child if the pregnancy went perfectly. My husband had a feeling the baby could've been a boy but of course, we will never know until we see "him" one day. I wanted a unisex name and thought of "June" from the due date then "Juno" as a nickname.
To medical professionals he was merely a blighted ovum. An embryo that didn't quite make it. A chromosomal mishap. I even tried to make light of this past miscarriage from November but I can't get past the fact how much we wanted the baby. The baby stopped growing and we didn't get to see the baby. I only remember the empty sac from the sonogram. How could a baby just not be there? I know some ladies keep every pregnancy tests but I never bothered to even though getting a BFP is truly rare and precious to me. The picture of Juno's positive BFP is all I have left of him. He really did exist. Does anyone care? I may not cry as much as I do for Joey but Baby Juno was loved and dearly wanted by us. I hope that's all what counts for a miscarried baby to be as valid as any other baby.

In a perfect world I would be holding my two children.

Lost you before I found you
Gone before you came
But I love you just the same
Missed you before I met you
On earth we never can
But in heaven we’ll meet again

Chorus from the song "Still" by Gerrit Hofsink

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Right Where I Am: 1 year 7 months, 3wks and 5 days

I don't think I have responded to a theme or maybe I did one time with another blog. For some reason, I missed out on still life with circles blog until I dropped by out of curiosity. I was attracted to its posts and especially the topic. The shared topic is just like the title says, right where we are from the beginning of grief. As I ponder upon this,  I also remember today also happened to be the very FIRST BFP I ever had and that was my precious little girl, Josephine (Joey) - June 4, 2009. I am not good at remembering dates but my husband is.... so he remembered. He talked about what it would've felt like to walk down the aisle with Joey as we watched "The Father of the Bride" yesterday. He woke up this morning playing with our little dog on our bed and he thought about what it would be like to have his Joey wake him up in the morning. She would be 19 months old.... I'm so out of the loop with babies' developmental stages but I am assuming she would've been walking and saying some words or phrases. Every time I miss her, I imagine myself just holding her so tight...

The healing process would have been different if we had our rainbow baby by now. I think about where I would be if my life went differently. Where would I be if the miscarried baby could've made it to the due date of this month. No, I don't think I would've ever forgotten my daughter or stopped grieving. I think I feel more pain because of this infertility struggle. It is quite potent when you mix infertility and grief. It stings a little more every time you miscarry like I did back in November. Facebook has been the worst enemy. I feel a stab at my heart's desire and brokenness every time I see a picture of someone's newborn on FB. Trust me, I have stopped reading many newsfeeds but it finds a way to pop up through someone else's comments. "Deactivate" has been the best way to go.

My hubby and I have isolated ourselves from many friends or acquaintances. Why? Most of them have kids and what else is there to talk about with others besides their children. John's coworkers are getting pregnant and I feel increasingly "left behind." This burden of feeling "left behind" has never left me since the early years of infertility.... I thought I would become immune to pregnancy news, pregnant friends, pregnant strangers, pregnancy commercials, etcetera, etcetera one of these days.... But no, it doesn't just simply vanish and go away.

Four and a half years of TTC, sometimes I just say five years, I recall the summers of avoiding church activities or vacations thinking I would get pregnant "this month." Were those long summers just wasted? So here I am trying to be normal again as I feel ready to hang out with others. They will get to know the masked version of John and I if they don't know our story. We need friendships but not just any kind of friendships. We need friends who accept us where we are emotionally, who don't preach, or offer unsolicited advice. My defenses are still high due to some negative comments from the past. I am afraid to be transparent with those who never walked through infertility or loss because too often I would hear things I don't want to hear. Our social life has slowed down quite a bit. Will this all be turned around just because we have kids in the future? Maybe; maybe not.

By now, I have processed my guilt and have come into acceptance that Joey is not coming back. I wish I had all the medical answers I do now back in 2009. I also bounce to the stage of shock once in a while; I ask myself "Did I really lose my daughter and a miscarried baby?" It's surreal. It's unfathomable. I long for Joey but this year I find myself smiling more than crying at her cute footprint in my living room. Bottom line is I am at a place where I long to hold Joey in my arms and where I yearn to have rainbow children soon. I have one foot in the past and one foot in the future.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Letting Go

Once again I was ready to TTC after recovering from the TAC surgery. It was scary to try again with the added risk of a C-section due to the TAC procedure.

A dear BLM from my support group offered her follistim cartridge for free. She was pregnant and didn't need it anymore. It was encouraging.

    I wanted this IUI cycle to be PERFECT.  Even though we can do the drills with our eyes closed by now I was still struggling for control. I panicked for a moment when we realized the follistim pen was NOT in the fridge like we thought it was supposed to be!!! My panic was relieved when we discovered that refrigeration was not necessary once the cartridge was pierced when my hubby googled it.
C-O-N-T-R-O-L  --- I wanted to tell God that this HAD to be it. Haven't we waited long enough? Haven't we suffered enough?

             Dis a point ment
            After thinking everything was going smoothly, there was a long eerie pause coming from  my good ol' sono tech. He is not the type of guy that talks much but seeing him for 2 years off and on, I have picked up on his gestures. When I hear him clicking on that sonogram machine and scanning repeatedly, I know SOMETHING is wrong. The longer he takes on that ultrasound, the more anxious I become. After he released a frustrated sigh, he told me my body had already ovulated. There was not going to be an IUI this cycle.

                           I was ready for another IUI cycle today. The sonogram showed 3 cysts on my left ovary. One is acceptable for a treatment but more than one required a break. The medications stimulate more follicles and when those eggs are not released they expand into liquid filled cysts. I was told to wait it out since they typically go away after one cycle of break. I don't know if I am more frustrated or relieved. Relieved that I don't have to spend money. Relieved to take a break from those darn hormones which exhaust me physically and swallow me into a barrage of emotions. We will try naturally this cycle. I will let go of this self-defeating battle between me and mother nature. Let go, destress, focus, keep going, Patty.

Friday, May 6, 2011

As Mother's Day approaches...

My sadness lingers as Mother's Day approaches; perhaps my pattern is grieving the days PRIOR to the dreadful holidays. By the time the holidays come around, I try to ignore the significance of that day. This poem was published in my support group's newsletter... Just wanted to share.

"A Mother's Day Ode"
I am your mother, but you, my child, I cannot hold.
It'll get easier with time, or so I'm told.
People may forget that I am your mother.
I'm part of a secret club we only share with one another.
But that doesn't diminish my love for you.
I think of you the whole day through.
I wonder what you're doing, my Precious Little One.
We are connected by an Infinite bond which cannot come undone.
I will not let Death tear us apart.
I promise to always keep you alive in my heart. 
~ by Susan Mosquera

M.E.N.D. stands for Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death and this faith-based organization was started by a mother who lost her son to stillbirth. They have been a lifesaver for me - every time I felt like I was going crazy with grief I learned my emotions were the norm among my support group mothers. Their newsletters are filled with articles written by BLMs in different stages of grief, some whose grief is fresh and some moms who continue to keep their babies' legacy alive. My favorite theme is the Sept/Oct 2009 issue regarding our changing identities. Here is the link for more articles.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What are you doing for Mother's Day?

There are always posts I want to write but I find myself staying occupied with other things somehow. I ask myself am I sounding redundant? Didn't I go through these feelings all last year? However, things are surely different this time around. I know my right to grieve this year unlike last year I tried to mask my sadness with my smile.

I don't have any relatives to validate me as a mom on Mother's Day. I received one card from a friend who didn't lose a child but wanted to express compassion. It was sweet. I find myself at peace and in deep comfort knowing there are other moms from my local support group as well as blogging BLM's around the world feeling what I feel. My husband and I didn't do the usual dinner for his mom last year. I don't think she knew that NEED and LONGING I had for people I love to acknowledge the grief I dealt with. So another year of Mother's Day is coming around here in the U.S. I don't expect much from my family again but I told my husband with humor how I wanted to be acknowledged at least by him on Mommy's Day - "I am Joey's mom so buy me a gift!" I will celebrate my precious daughter and the special relationship I have with her that will be ongoing.

Frankly, I wanted to avoid being around family but we had no choice with the timing of it. My mom in law is going through so much herself taking care of her mother. We hope we can encourage her Sunday with BBQ ribs for lunch. I don't know what I will feel that morning. Sad, happy, lonely? Church is out of the picture... not because I think I will lose it if I see babies (I think I am pass that but who knows)... I think it's just my act of mourning for my daughter's absence.

If you are a BLM, I am curious to see what you are doing this year for Mother's Day. Please feel free to comment.

Free Facebook Orkut and My Space Mothers Day Graphics Glitters

Orkut Myspace Mothers Day Comments & Graphics

Sunday, April 24, 2011


My Little Joey,
Today was cloudy and dark for the most part of the day. I know the day you were born the weather was so dark and I remember listening to the raindrops in that silent room.
Mommy and Daddy miss you more over Easter. I try to be happy because I know that one day I will see you again. Easter reminds me you are okay; you're with Jesus. Happy 2nd Easter in heaven, Joey.
Love you and miss you so much!! Hugs and kisses!


Monday, April 18, 2011

He is Faithful

Today is hard... in fact, this whole month has been hard as I mentioned in my last post. I am holding on as best as I can to the truth of who He is. I truly believe that God will redeem this chapter of my life just as He will redeem me from my childhood deficits. I see so many holes throughout my life yet I cannot discount the fact that God has been with me from the moment I was conceived. No, I am a frail human being and I admit to not  always having the strength to give Him the glory when I am in the valley like this. I also do not have the theological answers as to why God allows certain things to happen to us in His sovereignty. I won't even go there because I still have so many questions. Recently, one of my old middle school teachers emailed me and she encouraged me to choose to "trust His heart" at a time of disappointment and frustration. That phrase came from an old song and it resonates with me as I am challenged to trust in His goodness for what has already been four and a half years of TTC (trying to conceive). I do not underestimate what we all go through waiting and waiting for our homes to be filled with the laughter of our beautiful children. It is just HARD!!! Even in the dark, God has a way of sending me His love through others. Whether I feel it or not today, I want to hold on to God's goodness and faithfulness. I pray for His redemption somewhere down the road of uncertainty. He alone knows just how much my husband and I love Joey. I listen to Steven Curtis Chapman's album "Beauty will Rise" over and over again because his songs are so raw from heartbrokenness. I heard that SCC took six months off from his tour after he lost his adoptive daughter.

This is the first portion of the song:
I am broken
I am bleeding
I am scared and I’m confused
But You are faithful
Yes you are faithful

I am weary
God please help my unbelief
Cuz You are faithful
Yes you are faithful

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
Sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring and Grief

What is it about spring that triggers my grief? It is not as overwhelming as November and December. I think it's just any holiday that can trigger our grief. As Easter approaches, I vividly remember the overwhelming emotions last year just thinking about heaven. Every time my church sang a song about heaven, I was in tears... It was the first time heaven felt so real and personal to me as I thought of my own daughter safe in her new home called heaven and loved by God. She is a part of my husband and me; a part of us is in heaven. Although my grief is lighter this year, I am saddened to see children's Easter baskets and toys everywhere. Then there will be Mother's Day to deal with in May...

This spring has been filled with pregnancy news on Facebook. I somehow survived not reading people's posts but FB only became disturbing eventually. If this is the way to survive and cope until further healing takes place then I don't mind avoiding FB. It is surely nobody's fault that they are pregnant and able to have a successful pregnancy. However, they have no idea what tormenting thoughts run through the minds of a mom who has lost her baby. I believe my most tender spot is seeing moms make it to their third trimester because I grieve over what I had missed with Joey and now the miscarried baby. As I gradually lost the amniotic fluid, I did not know that my placenta was eventually infected and Joey was not able to move like a typical 21 weeker. I wish there were more memories of moving and kicking to cherish with Joey...

Spring flowers and pinwheel!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

To Hope Again

I have more days in my grief where I am just occupied with daily routines. It has helped to tutor some kids in the evenings and leave the house. I try to sub at my former school district once in a while even though financially I should be subbing more often. There were hobbies that I wanted to pick up on such as sewing so that I may be ready to sew for my children one day. However, sewing itself has never been easy when you're wondering what or whom to sew for while you don't have kids of your own.

It takes alot these days even after the TAC to get myself encouraged and hopeful for our future. My husband is a teacher and all of a sudden this week we weren't too sure about his job stability. My state has made some crappy choices to save money in this dwindling economy - cutting budget in public schools. We have enough to worry about and I just want to focus on one thing which is the very reason I quit my job - to have a healthy pregnancy and to bring our baby home. I need to consult with my RE and see when my treatments will start again. I am actually so scared to try again that I don't mind this waiting period. I have been resting at home anyways - it's been 3 weeks and I am just starting to feel a little better although not to the point where I can work out. I probably am the weakest link compared to other moms who are tougher than a short Asian lady! With medical bills heaping up, I can only be thankful that my husband and I are still determined to make sacrifices for our future children....

I admit how overwhelming it can be to think about every little step we have taken to find out why I couldn't conceive and then to pick ourselves up again after our losses. I have cried even after returning from the surgery. While in New Jersey, we met this wonderful couple from Canada who also had the same surgery the same day. I was disappointed that I missed two other couples who were TAC'd but we bumped into the Canadian couple while picking up our prescriptions. I was encouraged to see this couple's endurance in their complex and heartbreaking journey. I hope our stories will end with redemption as our loving Father works in ways we don't see... I HOPE this is the year. Here is a link to another blogger, mom of twin boys in heaven, who lives in my area and who shares the same OB!! She will have her CSection soon!

My last day with Dr Davis!! I think most ladies ask him for a picture!

My dearest Hubby who had to take care of me at the hospital!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

pPROM and Incompetent Cervix

So much has happened already this new year of 2011. After over a year of traumatically losing my daughter to pPROM, I have discovered that my cervix has been incompetent. PPROM is complex and it happens for numerous reasons; every mom experiences the rupture of membrane under her own unique circumstances. I had the IC on the back of my mind just because my RE examined how odd looking my cervix was. Then my new OB's nurse practitioner also identified the same observation in January. I was frustrated to not fully understand why my cervix was in a bad shape. She looked through my records and connected my condition to the hysteroscopy when the cervical fibroid was removed back in '08. I remembered that OB suspected a cervical polyp but it turned out to be a fibroid. I think he briefly explained that a deeper incision had occurred due to the fibroid but of course, what did I know back in 2008 about my body?! I only wanted to conceive so desperately and none of this made sense to me at that time. After I changed OBs for infertility issues, I only recalled the term "polyp" and kept referring to that procedure as a polyp removal....
Mid January I had a phone consultation with Dr Haney in Chicago who specializes in TAC. There were two moms that I know personally who had TAC with him. He had no doubt that I had pPROM'd from IC. I discussed TAC (transabdominal cerclage) with my new OB and she completely supported this decision since she already had one of Dr Haney's TAC patient. She also measured my cervix as short but wasn't sure if her measurements were accurate. My OB described how a portion of my cervix was "gone" or effaced. I couldn't go with Dr Haney's date in April - it didn't seem worth the wait when there was another skilled doctor in New Jersey. So here I am typing this blog the day before my TAC surgery with Dr Davis in New Jersey. He also examined my cervix and it was even shorter than what my OB described. Not only that, my cervix was tender and weak which shouldn't be for someone who's NOT pregnant. If my cervix was this weak, then there was no barrier such as a protective mucous plug that could have protected the pregnancy from bacteria. I had placenta previa - maybe the placenta was infected first causing the rupture. Dr Davis primarily does post-pregnancy TACs but he emphasized the advantage of pre-pregnancy TAC for me under my circumstances. I am relieved the timing of this is all working out.
It feels like redemption to finally know what went wrong after losing Joey but I have to admit it hurts...I wish this was not the way my life went. I wish I was able to change every event to save her. I am trying to remain hopeful for another child while I miss Joey so much. Tomorrow I will be TAC'd.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Obstacles

I have a few symptoms regarding my health that I am worried about. These symptoms pertain to other health issues that have nothing to do with TTC. Well, I guess it does because if I have other issues then I can't TTC!!! At this point in my life, I know that I am not in control of these obstacles. I had to learn to surrender my short life to God and life sure does feel shorter now that I have lost my own daughter. I will post more details later. I came across this verse while reading "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman -        

                   My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
             but God remains the strength of my heart;
             he is mine forever. (Ps 73:26, NLT)

I feel like my body has "fallen apart" through this journey of infertility and losses. The more I find out about what went wrong with losing Joey, the more I grieve not just for her but this body that couldn't protect her. I had so many mothers to talk to through my support group and blogs. Many have survived multiple losses and I continue to see their courage to keep hoping for a biological child. I am so thankful to meet these amazing women...I can only keep going and learning to rest in the Lord through these challenges.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Article About Three Coaches and Fathers

I posted this on my Facebook as soon as I read it from another babyloss mommy. I am not a sports fan at all unlike my husband but I feel such connection to these coaches. You don't find many articles about fathers grieving for their babies in heaven. Here is the beginning of the article... Click on the title for the link.

Billy Donovan's Secret Sorrow by Jason King

The text arrived two days after Halloween, well before Billy Donovan got to the cemetery.
“Thinking of you,” it read.
For almost a decade, it’s never failed. Every year, on Nov. 2, Arkansas coach John Pelphrey – along with Alabama’s Anthony Grant - have reached out to their former boss at Florida. A phone call, an e-mail, a card or text. Just something to remind Donovan how much they care. And how they can relate.
“No staff,” Grant says, “has ever experienced what we experienced. What happened with all of us … I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”
Long before they were all head coaches in the SEC -- long before they became competitors -- Donovan, Pelphrey and Grant helped Florida blossom into one of the country’s most-dominating programs during the early and mid-2000s. Still, the moments the three of them remember the most -- the three precise dates that spurred one of the strongest, most unique bonds in all of sports -- have nothing to do with winning NCAA titles and conference championships.
Instead, they involve the loss of life, and the strengthening of friendship.
“The human body is amazing,” Pelphrey says. “We can all sense when those days are coming closer.”
November 2 for Donovan.
February 6 for Grant.
August 22 for Pelphrey.
“I let John know I was thinking about him at the end of the summer,” Donovan says now. “He wrote back and said, ‘Tough, tough day. It never gets easier.’”
Donovan pauses.
“He’s right,” he says. “It doesn’t.”

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The New Normal - A Poem to Share

Someone on a PROM email list forwarded a really good poem on our new normals after a loss. I posted this on FB to deepen the understanding of my friends who have not been through a loss. Some new friends whom I have met after losing Joey are all in a different journey - as I have mentioned months before, one friend has filled her empty arms with the beauty of adoption, one friend is anxiously awaiting for her baby to be born full term, and another mom of beautiful daughters in heaven is still on the path of waiting like me. Just as the friend who adopted said, our normals are different too once we move forward to having a rainbow baby. However, I know that NO mom will ever forget her child even when her subsequent children bring much joy. Let me know what new normal you moms would write for yourselves if this resonates with you all. Here is the poem:

This is now what "normal" is...

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone
important is missing from all the important events in your family's life.

Normal for me is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Birthdays
Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine's Day, July 4th and Easter.

Normal is feeling like you know how to act and are more comfortable with a
funeral than a wedding or birthday party...yet feeling a stab of pain in your
heart when you smell the flowers and see the casket.

Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and
screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's
go through your head constantly.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind, holding
your head to make it go away.

Normal is having the TV on the minute I walk into the house to have noise,
because the silence is deafening.

Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby's age. And then
thinking of the age they would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then
wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never

Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness
lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.
Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday,
commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how
awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal".

Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your
child's memory and their birthday and survive these days. And trying to find
the balloon or flag that fit's the occasion. Happy Birthday? Not really.

Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special
my baby loved. Thinking how he would love it, but how he is not here to enjoy

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my babies.

Normal is making sure that others remember them.

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives,
but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets
worse sometimes, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss,
unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the
remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare. Losing a parent
is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is taking pills, and trying not to cry all day, because I know my
mental health depends on it.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

Normal is disliking jokes about death or funerals, bodies being referred to as
cadavers, when you know they were once someone's loved one.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken
with grief over the loss of your child.

Normal is sitting at the computer crying, sharing how you feel with chat
buddies who have also lost a child.

Normal is feeling a common bond with friends on the computer in England,
Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and all over the USA, but yet never having
met any of them face to face.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying
together over our children and our new lives.

Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done
this because..." I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing
people trying to think up excuses as to why healthy babies were taken from
this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving

Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house,
did laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have two
children or one, because you will never see this person again and it is not
worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have 1
child to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your

Normal is avoiding McDonald's and Burger King playgrounds because of small,
happy children that break your heart when you see them.

Normal is asking God why he took your child's life instead of yours and asking
if there even is a God.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million
years.And last of all,

Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so
that everyone around you will think that you are "normal".

------ author unknown ------