Friday, August 31, 2012

Grief + Anxiety =

Me being a huge fricken mess!

I wish I could say that I am still on the "up" side of things since the great news from Jessica, but unfortunately that was short lived, and I am back to my previous state. Maybe even worse, definitely worse.

I thought June was horrible, but in terms of sucking, August is winning. I hate this month and I want it over. But is September just magically going to be any better?

After I got the news from Jessica I felt that that was the news I needed to get me working on my fundraiser. I have been having an incredibly hard time working on it and have little to nothing accomplished so far. Thank god it got moved to November because it would not have been ready by October, not even close. Novemeber is starting to seem too soon even. A friend helped me work on it on Monday night. I got a little anxious, but overall was feeling good about our game plan.

Wednesday night I decided I was going to try and work on a few of the pages for the binder I am putting together for it. This binder will include info about Liam, Evelynn, Dereck and I, where we are going from here, and the costs for using a carrier. From the point I sat down at the computer the anxiety set in. It was like I went from calm to major panic attack in minutes. I couldn't sit still and I couldn't write anything. I got to the point that I decided to take a half of one of my Xanax. If you know me at all you know that I have had this Xanax since my Dr. prescribed it to me after I lost Evelynn. I only used it a few times to sleep that first week after she passed away, but not since then.

Half a pill seemed to do nothing, so I took the other half. That not only took my anxiety away it made me so tired that I slept for approximately the next 14 hours. I woke up yesterday thinking after all that sleep maybe I could try and tackle the fundraiser stuff again. Like Wednesday the anxiety hit me instantly. I got in such a panic state. I couldn't think. All I wanted to do was pace-something I often do when I am really stressed. My heart was racing and I couldn't stop crying, I wanted to just scream at myself to just calm the F down, but I couldn't. I decided to go ahead and take a half a Xanax again. The half did nothing again, so I took the other half. Like yesterday, I got so tired from it, I fell asleep. I only slept a short time but when I awoke I was incredibly depressed feeling. So now nothing has gotten accomplished.

Dereck left for work today. He has only been gone 2 weeks for work, which was in June, since the beginning of April. Now he will be back to working his normal 3 week shifts. Normally 3 weeks isn't too bad. The alone time, to an extent, can be really nice. Yesterday we got into an argument and haven't really spoke since.

I know that everyone grieves differently and I shouldn't try to compare myself to others, but I am seriously losing it! I am losing it to the point I feel like I am scared to tell people how I truly feel for fear I will be emitted. Although maybe that would be good thing. How do others do it that have had multiple traumatic or later term/newborn losses? I feel I have come to that point that maybe I am not strong enough to get through this on my own that maybe I do need more help. I know I can't just keep popping the Xanax and sleep my worries away.

I have mentioned before that grief group doesn't help anymore. Too jealous. Too angry. I haven't gone to that now for almost 2 months. But I also don't feel like I fit into the uterine rupture group I joined a few months ago anymore neither. At first I thought it was helpful to talk with others who have had ruptures, especially the ones who have went onto have successful pregnancies after or have used gestational carriers. Lately I have felt it is doing more harm than good for me. I find myelf getting jealous even at many of them. I know we have all had ruptures, some even hysterectomies, but so many of them have had at least one living child already or there baby survived. And almost everytime I post something about how down I am feeling I get responses about how its only been 4 months and everything is still so new, blah, blah, blah. Call me a bitch for feeling this way but it may only be 4 months since Evelynn died, but I am also still grieving her brother.

I just want my pain to go away. Sometimes I just wish I never new Evelynn, that she never existed. Most days I still can't even look at her pictures. I love her, I miss her, but I wish this whole nightmare never happened.

On my lunch break today at work I decided it was time to finally do it. I called my counselor and told her that maybe I need to get on some form of anti- depressent/anxiety medication. I hate to be on anything. I know they really help some people but I have always had this "mind over matter" attitude feeling that I could get through this without taking anything. I am clearly depressed and the anxiety that I felt these last 2 days was like nothing I have ever felt before. I'll admit it. There are far too many days lately that I find myself saying I hate myself and that I hate life. I am depressed. I need help. My counselor is going to meet with me tomorrow, go over some referrals with me, and try to get me in with a psyhiatrist as soon as possible.

On top of being depressed, angry, and anxious, I am so incredibly scared. In the next month or so here I need to do my counseling session for our gestational carrier stuff. I am so worried they are going deny me and Dereck. On one hand they might see that I am trying. They will see that I am doing lots of counseling and have even gave medication a try to help me be in the best state of mind possible. On the other hand they might say that despite everything I am doing that I am to mentally unstable to proceed, that my recent loss is still too fresh, and they prefer we wait even longer before we go ahead with all this.

In other news:
One year ago on August 26th Evelynn was conceived. I remember it oh so well and so does one of my good friends. I was suppose to go to her wedding that weekend, but it just so happened that ovulation day was not only on her wedding day, but the 26th was also when Dereck had to leave to go back to work. I had really wanted to go to her wedding but figured if I ended up pregnant, it would be worth missing it. On my friends one year anniversary it was just another painful reminder of what should be right now.

That same day I helped a friend with a fundraiser of hers. This friend I met through my loss group. She started a charity after her son died to help mothers  get breastpumps who otherwise couldn't afford one. I think it is a great thing she is doing. Through her help and the Nursing Boutique I was able to get a few of the supplies I needed to help me with donating Evelynn's milk while we were traveling. Anyway, she did a fun run to raise money and it was a huge success. It was hard seeing so many babies-especially the girls, boys that would be Liam's age, the chariots, and ergo baby carriers, but I made it through it. Since donating Evelynn's breastmilk I have learned so much about the importance of it. I have become such a huge advocate and glad I could help such a great cause.

The rash that I had, which is for the most part gone now, I am told is Polymorphic light eruption-PMLE. Apparently I have developed an allergy to the sun. Part of me wants to get a second opinion. The other part of me says just where the extra sun protection like I am told to do and hope the rash never comes back. If the rash does ever come back, then get it checked out by another provider. Plus, I am told if it comes back or if I a plan to go somewhere sunny I need to take this super potent steroid. I don't think so! I'm sorry buddy but I am in the process of wanting to do an IVF procedure here in the next couple of months and then if my carrier gets pregnant start pumping again for that baby. Steroids are out of the question. Plus, I am still annoyed that they screwed with my donating of Evelynn's milk. The steroid I was put on, I only took for one week, but apparently it was so strong that I can't donate again for a couple months. I still have been pumping twice daily but throw it all away. I still just can't let it go completely.

I might have to make this my new motto!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baby Via Gestational Carrier Journey Update 3

On Thursday, August 23, 2012 Jessica met with our RE. She called me immediately after the appt. and said that everything went GREAT! She said that our RE was surprised by how much she already new about the process. After the consult, and Jessica agreed that she did indeed want to move forward with this, she got an HSG. That also went great!

I practically started bawling on the phone with joy hearing her tell me how well it went. It really was the news I needed.

Now the fun stuff can begin, right?

I called our lawyer immediately after I talked to her and told him that she was cleared and that we can get started with the contract end of this. I have never had a need to hire a lawyer before. Yesterday I paid our retainer fee. Today I faxed our paperwork saying that we do in fact want that lawyer to prepare our gestational carrier agreement and also prepare our legal documents to get our names as the parents of the child(ren) on the birth certificate.

On Sunday night, the 26th, we skyped with Jessica and her husband. It was the first time we have seen them since we met back in May. I am eager to get our contract wrote up. I already had a whole list of questions for them pertaining to what should go in the contract, as it is important to make sure we have the same values going into this. Once I get the basic contract from the lawyer we plan to go back and forth via email adding in or crossing out anything that might or might not be of some concern. We talked about a few of these things when we first met with them and so far we still tend to agree on some of the bigger issues like number of embryos transferred, views on selective reduction, and how to cover loss of wages if she can't work. So far so good!

This afternoon I got a call from our RE clinic nurse coordinator. She told me the next step is to make sure that there is good access to my ovaries for the egg retrieval. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can get in with my Ob and get the u/s needed to verify that. At that same appt. I will most likely be getting my infectious disease testing as well. Infectious disease testing is next on the list for Jessica as well. Then we can both do our counseling sessions.

Still quite a few months until transfer time, but at least we are still moving forward with this process.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walk to Remember

Last Saturday on August 18, 2012 Dereck and I went to the Walk to Remember. We went last year and now again this year. This year should've been so different, as with everything that should be, but isn't. I wish my daughter could've been there, walking with me, and crying with me as we remember Liam. This year we wrote messages on balloons for both our babies. Last year was hard, and this year even harder. I still find myself struggling to not be jealous of others, who are obviously there because they also have experienced child loss, but just hate that many of them all have at least one child with them, whereas I still don't. I started crying from the point we showed up at the hospital. I was crying so much that I could barely write on my balloons because they were getting so wet with tears. I cried while writing a message in the book to be read to our loved babies. Bawled my eyes out as the messages were read and as we released our balloons. I love you my babies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

4 Months

Last night I woke abruptly around 5am after having a bad dream. The dream started out with me running through the hospital. Although I didn't look it, I was pregnant. As I was running I was questioning if my baby was still alive. I didn't have much of a belly but could feel this small ball like spot that stuck out that I assumed was my baby. As I was running around I would glance down and see more and more little blood stains appearing on my pants and new I needed help fast. There were so many people there and I couldn't seem to figure out where to go for help. Finally it occurred to me that I needed to go to Ob Triage. I found it and went straight up to the front desk, butting in front of a few people, and started telling the guy behind the counter that I needed to get seen immediately. I said that my uterus was rupturing and I needed a Dr. to deliver my baby right now. The guy told me to settle down, stop yelling, and that someone would be with me shortly. I was getting so angry and said that I was going to call my Ob be directly then because my baby was going to die if they didn't help me. Then I woke up.

I had a huge talk with my counselor yesterday about "this month". I write about this a lot, but since the first the what-ifs and anger toward myself are only getting stronger. It is consuming me more and more. My counselor keeps trying different types of trauma work with me and usually we never get far. She tried another new exercise with me at my appt yesterday. I told her about all these angry feelings building up within me. Again we had to stop doing it within minutes of starting. That's seems to be how every exercise goes as I usually start bawling right away. She obviously wants me to stop playing the what-ifs game and stop blaming myself. I say that I wish the what-ifs would quit as well. The truth is though, that I don't think they are going to stop nor are the exercises going to truly help. At least not until I can deep down honestly stop blaming myself for my daughters death. I don't know if I ever will though.

It is 4 months today since my daughter was born and I still can't look at her pictures and not have some form of angry feelings come up. I think she is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, but even that makes me angry. I look at those pictures and that weekend starts playing over and over in my head. Lately I have even been getting flashbacks of being in the hospital. I see her in her little NICU bed, her little arms are moving back and forth but she can't control them because she is having a seizure. I think about all the pain she must be in and wish that me as her mom could hold her, give her a hug and kiss, and tell her it'll be okay, and doing so would make everything better. How this is happening to my baby? Why are these the only memories I have of my time with my daughter?

I feel so traumatized by this all.

I never thought I would say that I hate life this much.....
but I do.

I know I need to get help before this really gets out of control, but I don't know what to do all at the same time. I feel like the only thing that will make this better is having my daughter here, but I know that's not exactly an option.

Tomorrow is Jessica's appt. with our RE. She could get cleared. Hopefully she'll get cleared. If she don't though, I don't how I will handle the news.

My love. My little beauty. My baby girl. I miss you more than words could say. I cry a million tears for you almost daily.
I love you, Mom

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Just "Feel It"

After Liam died and through my whole pregnancy with Evelynn all anyone could say is how next time things will work out, it was a fluke, stop worrying, and that this can't happen to you twice.  Of course I wanted things to work out with Evelynn, but you know what happened about the time I stopped being paranoid? I ignored abdominal pain thinking it was no big deal and that I have nothing to worry about and then my uterus ruptured and my daughter died.

It's coming up to 4 months since Evelynn was born and died and almost daily I still struggle to get through my day. I am constantly trying to fight back the thoughts that creep in that tell me that it is all my fault my daughter is dead. That I did nothing to protect her. That she is dead because of me. I am a horrible mom.

I have been crying so much lately again, even now as I write this. August is not going well for me at all. I want these thoughts to go away and to leave me alone. I love my daughter and I miss her dearly but these "you killed your daughter" thoughts make me hate myself so much and I fear they will never go away. I get these thoughts and then instead of looking at my daughters pictures with love I look at them with anger because all I picture is how it is because of me that my beautiful baby girl is dead. And then I get angry. That weekend of when I first felt the pain through the time she was born plays in my head over and over again. I want a do over so badly. I want to go to the Dr. and get checked out and fight for my daughter and tell those Dr.'s that something doesn't feel right and that I am at risk for a rupture. I want her to be born and get to come home with me.

I have been telling people here and there that have asked me about pregnancy related stuff that we are planning to use a gestational carrier next time in hopes of bringing home a living baby. Well what do you think is the first response that I get from most of these people? If you guessed "I can just feel it that everything will work out" you guessed right. Of course that is what I want to have happen, but she is not even pregnant yet and there are like a zillion steps to take before we can even get to that point. I want people to STOP saying this to me please and I want everyone else to not even thinking of STARTING to say this to me. Also please do not get all religious on me saying that you will pray that it will work out because God doesn't answer wishes nor does he make miracles. It doesn't work that way nor can I handle hearing this anymore.

I want a living baby so bad and I want things to work out with our carrier. I know that what has happened to me sucks, try living it, but can't people just say that they HOPE it all works out next time but if it doesn't they will be here to SUPPORT me. I don't know why people feel the need to say that stuff to me. Is it because it makes them feel better because they can't handle the thought of something bad happening? Or is it because in all reality the odds should have been more in my favor of working out than not working out, so it seemed like the obvious thing to say? Supporting me would be more beneficial, especially right now when I am at one of the lowest points in my life. Now that would be more beneficial in helping me get through this dark time and even through another pregnancy via our carrier than "I can feel it" because you know what, unless you got some kind of superhuman ability that knows this for sure-you got nothing. But if you do have some kind of superhuman ability to know the future then we need to talk because I am still considering finding a good medium or psychic.

So please, please, please no one, I ask of all of you, please do not post anything in my comments saying that you "know" or "feel" or that it's "gonna" work out. Please just offer support.

Last night I more less cried myself to sleep. Actually it was more of a cried on Derecks shoulder in bed for a good two hours. Then when I tried to fall asleep I had a difficult time because I was shaking so bad from all the crying and being so overtired. This morning I got up and the crying resumed.

Oh did I mention I am thoroughly annoyed at myself because I destroyed my IPhone last night. Yes, it is just a phone and I was able to borrow a used one from a friend until I can get a new one but I lost a lot of stuff I had wrote in my phone about Liam and Evelynn. When I think of stuff that relates to them I always type it into the notes section so I don't forget, and now its gone. So for now I am going to cry about it.

I did see one of my friends babies briefly today, it was my friends, my coworker that I have wrote about. She was the one who gave me the phone to use and when I went to get it her baby boy was sleeping in his car seat. I went over and I looked at him. He is about 2 months old now. I didn't ask to hold him or anything, but it was nice to see him in person.

I also learned today that a friend from grief group just had her baby yesterday. I am happy for her, really I am. Although at the same time I felt this anger seep in that makes me so angry because, yet again, I feel I was pregnant first both times, I lost my baby first, and I am supposed to have the living baby first. It's not a contest but I feel I am always in last place and will never catch up.

A friend sent this to me awhile back and think its a good time to post it.

"Have You Ever" - Author Unknown

Have you ever watched your child die?

Have you ever held her hand, feeling the life that grew within you slip away, breath by painful breath?

Have you ever kissed a cold gray cheek, knowing you will never kiss it again while helpless tears rolled down your own?

Have you ever left your child-the child you dreamed of, the child you love-knowing the next time you visit her, it will be at her grave?

Have you ever sat at your window at midnight waiting for sleep, waiting for any escape from a nightmare that won't go away, only to watch dawn bring nothing but reminders of what you will never have?

Have you ever watched the world forget the person you love the most saying "you'll have another one" or "move on" or "let go" as if she were a book or a pen, or a bad haircut that could be replaced or erased as if she didn't matter, as if she had never been?

Have you ever looked at your future knowing someone will always be missing? Have you ever looked at your past knowing some things can never be changed?  Have you ever looked at your present and felt nothing, saw nothing but guilt and anger and loss?

If you haven't - then don't tell me what to think. Don't tell me how to act.  Don't tell me how to feel.  Don't tell me to get over it... because I NEVER will.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Super Long Post Part 2: Everything Else That's Been Going On

.............and this is going to be long as well because that's how I roll these days.

Distraction Projects
I haven't done much for distraction projects lately. Hell I can barely bring myself to even clean my house these days. Seriously, what happened to all that energy I had the last couple of months? I have been playing around a lot on Pinterest though. So many projects that I would love to make in memory of my babies and even more I want to make for my future babies and the house. I have a few projects that I want to start on but I think it would be good to get the house cleaned and organized before I add more clutter to the disaster I feel my house is presently in. I had decided to go to Jo-Ann Fabrics last week though, just to get a few things for one of the projects I really want to do. As I was walking around the store I started thinking about the last time I had went there, which was about a month before Evelynn was born. I had a whole basket full of scrapbooking stuff so that I could start working on her scrapbook. The lady behind the counter had asked me if I was making a scrapbook for a friend or relatives new baby. I had told her no and that I was making one for my baby who was going to be here in around a month. I remember the lady saying how she didn't even think I looked pregnant, but congrats! That thought played in my head over and over again. The tears started forming so I had to go check out quickly and before I hit the car I was bawling.

Baby Anxiety
Last Monday I went into work and heard that the Dr. I work for daughter was in town. She had her baby about a month before Evelynn was born. It was our Dr.'s birthday and we were going to have a potluck for him. I heard that his daughter and baby might be coming in. I like his daughter but there was no way I could be there if she came in. Last Wednesday morning was the day of the potluck and birthday and there I was at home bawling my eyes out and having an anxiety attack before work fearing that I was going to be stuck at work and have to see and hear about the baby. She never came in thankfully, but holy anxiety attack thinking about it.
That same day a friend of mine, whose baby was born a month and half or so after Evelynn was born, set up a birthday get together for another friend. She said her baby would have to be there though. I have wanted to meet up with this friend first before I was ever around a room full of people ooooing and awwwwwing over a baby in front of me. I considered trying to force myself to go since I am trying really hard to move forward and put myself out there even if it hurts. Then I read a comment for the event on how excited someone was to see the baby and I knew right then that there was no way I could go when my daughter should be here too. Tonight is the birthday party. I hate saying I hate being left out because surely I could go, but in all reality I couldn't handle it. So instead I am sitting here inside typing away and cursing at the world and the stupid sunshine.
I really hate how another year is going by where I still can't handle going to certain gatherings with friends or even coworkers for fear of a baby. It's such BS and makes me feel so left out.

Counseling and Wildflowers
My counselor has been working with me on doing some EMDR work to help me with the trauma side of things. This past week she had me envision a place that I really like, I guess to be like a safe place. I pictured this hike that I love called Lost Lake. There is an area there that I love that is filled with beautiful wild flowers. We didn't get very far with what she was trying to have me do though as I broke out bawling. Thinking about that place made me think of my babies. That poem that I read at Evelynn's funeral about Heaven that I fell in love with after Liam passed away talks about "your child running through wildflowers" and I like to imagine that area to be like in heaven with my babies running through it laughing and smiling. My counselor decided after that, that maybe I wasn't ready to do that kind of work yet.
On Saturday I went to Lost Lake hiking. The whole hike is beautiful but this one wildflower area I am in love with. I am not the best photographer, but come on, that is beautiful.

Give Forward Fundraiser
The Fundraiser through GiveForward that my friend had started a few months back ended last week. Thank you so much to everyone that donated to it or spread the word by putting the link on your blog. I am so happy that we were able to raise $6,500, bringing home $6,184.50 after the website took there cut. That's half the cost for the prepayment of the egg retrieval. Now if only I can get my butt in gear to work more on my silent auction chili feed fundraiser.

It has now been two works since my coworker who was out on pregnancy leave has been back. It really has been great to have her back, although I still wish I wasn't there. I love how she is not afraid to talk to me about my loss and also that she can mention her son around me as well. Although she has mentioned that she is worried she will say the wrong thing and make me feel bad. I am glad that she is mindful of it but love that she doesn't ignore me. I could talk all day about why I am angry at the world and miss my daughter and so on but I also understand that she does have a son now and she has the right to talk about him on occasion as well. I wish more people would realize that even though I am angry and sad that I am also lonely and when you ignore me it makes me feel like you don't care. Maybe some people don't care, maybe some people don't know what to say, and its true that there are some things that can be said that truly will make me more upset, but to not talk to me at all makes me feel like I am contagious or something. I hate having to be there when I know I should be with my babies but at least my work days have been a little more bearable with her around.

Today was the day that I had set up with my boss to go back to work after Evelynn was born, Mind you that I wasn't planning on going back but wanted this set up just in case. Fuck that I was right to have to set this up versus just quitting my job. I guess this date doesn't mean much since I have been back at work for a couple months already, just saw that I had it programmed in my phone, and it sucks.

What else...... Oh yesterday was one of those days. You the ones where you wake up and you can just tell it isn't going to be good. The crying came and went all day long. I also had a talk with Dereck about thinking that we need to find a very reputable medium and then get an appt. with them. Anyone know a good, reputable one? I searched Google for quite awhile in search of one. I wouldn't say I fully believe in psychics or people that say they can communicate with the dead but there's a part of me that thinks maybe, somehow or another, one could help me. I don't even really no what I would ask or what I would truly hope to get from meeting with one. Maybe just hearing one tell me that Liam and Evelynn are okay and that they love me is all I would need. Maybe I could get some kind of answers for the zillions of seemingly unanswerable questions that I have. Maybe I would need more.

So much more I could write about but I guess enough for now. I am surprised I got this much out since I really can't think straight most days anymore, So much going on in my head. I keep wondering how the days keep going by at the speed they are as I feel most days I am getting nothing accomplished and yet the day is over. I guess it doesn't matter physically how busy you are because when your mind is all over the place time somehow can go by just as fast, maybe even faster.

Super Long Post Part 1: The Rash, Katmai, and Pumping

I can't believe its been 2 weeks since I last posted anything. Then again it pretty much has taken me a couple of weeks to even reply to most emails I get these days. I want to write about everything that's been going on, but I just can't bring myself to doing it. The more time goes by the more and more confused I feel about everything. And then there is still the anger, the feeling of being left out, left behind, the emptiness, and so on. Even the "what ifs" still consume me almost daily.

This is going to be long.................

Stupid Rash
A couple weeks ago I noticed this rash on my foot. This was when I was about 3/4 the way finished with planting my garden. Then the Wednesday before I was leaving for my weekend in Katmai I started seeing some red patches on my hands and it itched pretty bad. My first thought was that I must be having a reaction to something I planted in my garden because I had been working in it almost daily for a couple of weeks. I did some research and learned that a couple of the flowers I planted can cause a skin irritation and assumed that had to be it. I was freaking out because go fricken figure that I try to make a nice memorial garden for my babies and something bad comes from it. Just my luck I thought. By Thursday morning the rash had gotten worse and was now all over my hands and blistery in spots, on my left elbow, and down my left arm. I considered going to the Dr. to have it looked at since I was leaving town the next day. I even thought about the last time something didn't seem right with me and it resulted in my uterus rupturing and daughter dying. I didn't go in though and decided to just throw some hydrocortisone on it. Friday morning I woke up and had to finish getting ready so I could leave for my trip. The rash had now spread to a patch on my face and on both ears. Why didn't I fo to the Dr.?
I dealt with the rash all weekend while in Katmai wondering what it was and afraid to touch any plants for fear it would get worse. On Monday I was back at work and the rash was still looking red, mean, and still itching like crazy-the cortisone did nothing.
By the time I got off work the itching was so bad I decided to go to an urgent care. I get in to see the Dr. and he has absolutely no idea what it is. He doesn't believe it was caused by my garden though. Whew, but then what is it from? He had me get a bunch of blood work done and said he might send me to a dermatologist. Before I left he see's in my chart that last year around this time I got Bell's Palsy and asks me if I am one of those people that have all the weird or rare issues happen to them. Buddy you have know idea.
He had given me a steroid cream that seemed to be helping a little but I really wanted to know what caused this rash so I took it upon myself to make an appt with a dermatologist. I went in last Thursday and saw that Dr. and he is pretty sure it is this genetic disorder called porphyria. Oh and it is rare. Me get something or have something that's rare happen- never. From what he says it gets worse from being in the sun and its maybe worse now because my metabolic levels are all messed up from pumping. I don't think this makes sense but I am not a Dr. Also one of the best ways to keep it under control is to get a pint of blood drawn. Can we say fricken weird? He told me a few other things about it and then wanted me to get another blood test done. He hopes what he thinks this is, is it, and then we can work on managing it. Otherwise if he doesn't see the results he wants he might have me get a biopsy done to find out exactly what it is. He then gave me an even stronger steroid spray to use and informed that I might as well pump and dump all my milk until this gets figured out because this medication is not recommended for use with nursing. Before I left he then asked, like the other Dr., if I was one of those people who get all the weird disorders. I am thoroughly annoyed with all of this and wish the Dr. would call me with those results.

I went to Katmai Nat'l Park two weekends ago hoping for a fun little getaway. I knew it was going to be a little rough though because after all I am pumping and would have to coordinate hauling around a breast-pump and pumping while camping, hiking, going bear viewing, going on a bus tour, etc. I got it to all work though. It was a lot of dedication but I was determined that I could still go out and do things like this and still pump. Even though I did have to dump it all while being there at least I kept it up for when I got home and could start keeping it again- or so I thought.
The trip was a lot of fun and thank god I have tons of airlines miles that allow me to be able to get away on mini vacations like this. I do think though that if there was ever a contest of the weirdest places anyone has ever pumped before, I would win it. Try pumping in a gear shed and outhouse, with your only light at night being a headlamp, in a bear filled nat'l park and the only way to get to this place is by float plane. It was crazy, but I did it. The PA I work for even thinks I should write a story for a parenting magazine about it.
Also on this trip we took a bus tour out to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. My seat mate on the bus was this little boy. I liked having him sit next to me, as I do love kids, and we chatted quite a bit. It wasn't until right at the end of our ride that this probably 5-6 year old boy out of nowhere asks me if it hurt when I had my children. WTF, right? Totally caught off guard I give this "ah,ah,ah" answer. He then asks if I have had my children. I hate saying no, but I did. I just didn't know what to say and really wasn't expecting this question to get asked. He then asks a few more questions about my age and if I am married and then moves onto when am I going to have my children and why haven't I had them yet. Crazy! 

Now like I said the pumping while camping wasn't so bad and I made it work. Now you throw in crazy, weird rash that I have no idea how I got-different story. It takes a lot of dedication to pump and keep my milk production up for donating and here I get this stupid rash that now makes me wonder if my milk is even safe to donate.
From the start I have recorded all my pumps down on paper with dates and the amount at each pump so that I would have a record of my own of what I have done. Once I started using the cortisone I made sure to record that on my paper as well to make sure I kept track of what milk was pumped after applying that as well as when I used the stronger cream from the one Dr. Now that I am using that new steroid spray nothing is getting recorded because nothing is getting saved. This all just makes me so mad that all my hard work and dedication is now going down the drain-literally.
However, a lady that I donated 30 ounces to shortly after Evelynn was born called me last Thursday though and was wondering if I was still donating. Her baby is now 5 months old and she really needs milk if I can give her some more. I told her I had 2-3 gallons in the freezer but wasn't sure of the safeness of it do to my rash and the creams I am using. I had talked to the milk bank about this and they weren't concerned about the rash but said some cortisone/steroid creams can get in the milk. Most topical things are normally okay for most babies I guess, but the milk bank is usually a little pickier since the milk can go to fragile NICU babies. I would hate knowing I sent anything to them that was potentially unsafe. This lady came on Friday night and took all that milk. It stills worries me a little but she is a midwife so I assume she would know if its okay to use. At least that milk did not go to waste I guess.
So for the past 4 days now since that appt and steroid spray use I have been pumping and it has all gotten thrown away. I went back and forth with what I should do now. On one hand if the rash goes away and I have kept the pumping up I can hopefully start donating again soon. On the other hand I have to quit eventually and this would be as good a time as any since the milk can't be saved so I can't feel too guilty about throwing the milk down the drain. Although if it wasn't for this stupid rash none of this would be of concern right now............
Thinking about quitting stresses the crap out me though. For one thing it has become routine. Routine was huge for me these past few months as it gave me something I had to sit down and do throughout my day and even night. Then there is the fact that I did this for my daughter. This is Evelynn's milk. It is because of her that this milk is even here for me to donate. Some might not understand why I ever decided to do this and others might not understand why I am having a hard time wanting to quit but you see PUMPING HER MILK IS THE LAST REAL PHYSICAL CONNECTION I HAVE WITH HER! It is her milk and it is going to help other babies thrive and once it dries up it is gone. My last real physical connection with my daughter will be gone and that makes me so sad.
I was stressing pretty bad about this on Friday. At one pump I would feel like "okay, I can do this. I can give this up. This is the most logical thing to do" and then at the next pump it was like I was a pump addict not being able to put the pump down. Who would have ever thought it would be so hard to quit pumping? I hate it even more that this stupid rash is what brought this all on.
I have decided though to start slowly weaning. I went cold turkey after Liam passed and that was just damn uncomfortable. I have been slowly trying to cut back on the amount I pump. The last 2 days I was stopping at 5 ounces a time versus pumping until they were drained and figure in a day or so I'll drop down to pumping only about 4 ounces and so on. Last night was also the first night that I did not get up during the night to pump. I haven't not gotten up during the night since I first started pumping. My boobs hurt so fricken bad by morning! I only pumped about 5 ounces this morning, which they could've let out so much more but it was enough to take a good amount of the pressure off. I hate this:(
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