Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our Hope For 2015

Surprisingly, after feeling so down, angry, lost, and confused the last couple months, I can say that the last few days I have done an almost complete 180. I still hate my body for completely failing me of course, but whatever, won't get into that today, again. Dereck and I had a good talk a few days ago and we made the decision that we are going to adopt. It is still scary, nerve racking, and far from stress free, but it is still by far the least risky and possibly the least spendy of options. Granted things go smoothly of course. Plus we can choose to only look at profiles for baby girls, which is what I prefer. And I hope beyond hope if we are lucky enough to get picked that the birth mom does not change her mind. 

We have already emailed in the paper work and yesterday I paid for the initial up front consulting fees. We have our consultant picked, who I've spoken to a couple times already, is actually the owner of the company, and seems so perfect and sweet. She is going to be getting back to me as soon as she speaks to the person here in Anchorage in charge of handling the home study. Then we can start looking at all the educational materials and start our profile. So much to work on but glad I have something to stay focused on, when Max will allow it of course. My goal is to get these 3 steps done by January so we can start looking at profiles for expectant mom's soon. Eeeeek!

It is still early on in the process but I am happy I am in a place to say that I feel good and even excited about this decision. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. It is definitely is helping me to be a bit happier for the Christmas and something to look forward to in 2015.

For anyone who wants to keep up to date I'll be starting a tab with all things adoption, including the cost, like I'd did with our gestational carrier journey.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 19, 2014

This Is All Too Much

I can hardly think these days. The grief is weighing me down again, along with those thoughts of the "next" baby. Christmas is almost here and I am just wanting it to be over and get to January. Of course, January through April aren't exactly my favorites times of year either. So many friends pregnant and having these perfect babies. So much hate for my body for completely f-ing me over. I hate that my thoughts are so wrapped up in all of this that I can't even bring myself to do much of anything lately. Poor Max. I wish I could find it in me to more excited, but I can't, not this year.

I met the MFM Dr a few weeks back. It went about how I expected it to go. She wasn't exactly  supportive in terms of being like "lets get ya pregnant" and "it'll all work out". I wouldn't have exactly wanted to hear that anyway since no one can guarantee things will work out. She, however, did say that if I chose to get pregnant again that she would be 100% invested in my care. I am glad to hear that but I just wish I would've saw her last time then. Not that things wouldn't have worked out the same, but its hard not to wonder. Also, its not like it was my last MFM Drs fault. She was just listening to the Perinatologist from UCSF. My ob Dr on the other hand, I am still just so angry with. Obviously, she didn't want my uterus to rupture or my daughter to die, but I can't help but still be pissed that she kept blowing off my concerns of a rupture, telling to stop worrying I am stressing my baby out, and that things were going to be fine. It just pisses me off that my daughter might still be alive someone taken this more seriously. But why would they assume I'd rupture, afterall, its so rare. Fuuuuck! Oh and the MFM Dr said that they don't refer anyone to UCSF anymore because for some reason they keep losing all the babies. WTF? seriously?

Tomorrow I meet with that new Ob Dr to go over the consult I had with the MFM. I expect he still won't be supportive of another pregnancy, but lately I feel like I am just done with all things pregnancy.

As far as the search for a new carrier, I have spoken to numerous surros through this website called Surro Moms Online. I wanted to find another carrier on our own and be independent again. Granted with Jessica, she found us, and was amazing, I believe there are other wonderful people out there who want to help people like me, without it costing a fortune. I honestly don't know how anyone can afford going through agency, IVF is expensive enough. About a month ago I thought I found the perfect carrier. She had just given birth to a baby for another couple a week prior and wanting to find another couple to help this spring. She seemed perfect and more on our time line. Most surros I was meeting were ready to start the process, like yesterday. She had her first post nantal appt yesterday, but I guess needed to get rechecked in January before the Dr would give her the okay to do this again.

I spoke with my RE's office a couple months back about wanting to do this process again and they had needed me to do some blood work to test my hormone levels once I was done breastfeeding. I was told I would have the results of my blood work the following Monday, the labs were drawn on Friday. Still no call by Wednesday, so I called them on Thursday and left a message. I should have known that if the nurses weren't calling me back with results right away it couldn't be good. Sure enough, I finally got a call on Friday that I needed to speak with the RE regarding my results. We spoke with him over the phone on Wednesday and I was right. My results are showing that my ovaries are failing fast. He said we were so lucky to even have Max since we only had one embryo. He thinks it'd be a huge waste of our time and money to try and go through ivf and preparing a carrier again to only have no eggs or embryos next time. I started crying and wanted to scream. Why? Why? Why? Hasn't the world screwed me over enough in the having a living baby dept? The RE said we can do another blood test next month and see if anything changes, but he doubts it. Dereck thinks we should get a second opinion, but I don't even know if I can handle anymore of this. Like with getting pregnant again, their are just so many risks, money, and time involved that I don't know if I can mentally go through either of it again.

I have thought about doing an egg donor more. It sucks to have to use an egg donor and a carrier, but the baby would at least be biologically Derecks. I have also thought of looking into getting a donated embryo. The baby would not be biologically ours at all, but by using a carrier we trusted we could ensure that she would take good care of the baby and of course not be able to take the baby back. That is still a worry with me in adoption, but saying all this, I am kind of to the point of just being ready to adopt. I want more than one living child, and through adoption I will have a better chances of getting a living daughter. I know its a lot of work, stress, and money too, but also so different from the IVF and gestational carrier side of things. I have spoke to one of my blm friends who ended up adopting about her experience and already am looking into the adoption agency they went through. It doesn't hurt to look and too talk to people and know more about all our options, I just hate that they seem to keep getting more and more limited it seems. Because really a baby with spina bifida, fetal surgery, babyloss, a uterine rupture, another babyloss, IVF, and now learning my ovaries just straight up suck isn't enough to completely screw somebody up.

I also went back to grief group last night. I haven't been there in over a year. I think not since right after Evelynn died. Then I had to stop going because I just couldn't handle, well much of anything. Before the grief group was for anyone who had lost a child of any age, but now a group has been created specifically for people with pregnancy loss or very early infant loss. I think I might try to go again next month. It actually felt good to go and just get everything off my chest to all these women who understood more of what I was going through.

Well I guess that's all for now. Hopefully I can pull myself together a little more so that I can at least be a bit more cheery for Max this Christmas.

I saw this on facebook posted by another blm. How true it is.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I have participated in the Right Where I am Project the last 3 years and had wanted to this year as well but just never seem to sit long enough to write anything up. Time seems to be flying by and I honestly don't know how I am these days. I am grateful for Max and the chance to raise a son, even though I didn't get the chance with Liam, but yet I dream of my little girl on an almost daily basis again. For awhile I had gotten away from being so set on her or even just girl, girl, girl, but lately it has been so hard to not think about everything I am missing. I feel so selfish and like such a bad mom on those days when Max is being crabby. I get caught up in these thoughts about how I bet Evelynn wouldn't be acting like this or even that Liam would know better. It's like I am comparing my children, and I obviously don't know how Liam or Evelynn would be since my chance to parent them got stolen away from me. I may be a little bitter these days. Or maybe the bitterness and all the jealousy I hold in me never went away and is making a gruesome comeback.

People being pregnant is still rough, especially when its your close friends. I know I've wrote about it already, quite a few months back, but we are finally at that time when my 3 pregnant friends here are finally having their babies, and I am losing my shit. I am trying to keep it together, and for the most part I am. So far there has been a boy, that one was a surprise, and now one of the girls has been born, and next month the 3rd baby, another girl, will be born. I have been cursing the world a lot again at why I got shit on, twice, and everyone else gets perfect pregnancies and deliveries. Not that I want someone's baby to die, but why is it that everyone seems to gets it all?! Seriously, no emergency c-section, no gestational diabetes, no need to see a high risk dr., no bedrest, NOTHING. It. makes. me. crazy! And I'll just stop there with all my negative juju I keep trying to push into the world.

In other news, talk of the next baby is still going on. A few weeks back I met with a brand new ob dr. Actually, the dr. I met with just so happened to be at the hospital when I had my rupture with Evelynn and helped get me prepared for surgery while the dr. on call from my clinic was on her way. He remembered my case right away he said when he read my records that had got sent to his clinic. He, as with most, strongly suggest getting another carrier since I would be so high risk. Like we didn't see that coming. He did say though that he would consider it, but that he would have to talk to his colleagues since they all share patients at this practice. Honestly I wish my old ob office was like that, then maybe it wouldn't have been such a surprise to the ob dr. on call when she cut me open and realized my baby wasn't in the uterus anymore. He is also referring me to a maternal fetal medicine dr. for a consult as well. I saw this mfm when I was pregnant with Liam. It was her office that told me about the fetal surgery. I went to a different mfm when pregnant with Evelynn, but from talking to other blm friends they all said she is the one I need to see, so that is what I am doing. I am sure she too will say I need to forget about another pregnancy, but I just need to hear what she thinks. That appt is in a week. Then, depending on what she says, I'll go back and see the new ob dr and hear what he has to say about everything. I have my days where I think this is the only way and other days I am scared to death. Not so much scared of losing another baby, I'd hate to, but I've lived through it twice, but I am scared of having the baby end up with severe developmental issue or have cerebral palsy because of my stupidity in getting pregnant. I am also so scared for my own life in that I could end up with major issues if I rupture and don't get to the hospital I time. It's all just stressful.

Then there is getting another carrier. I have asked multiple people to either carry for us or at least to tell all their family and friends about us in the hopes that maybe someone will want to help us. So far no such luck there. A month ago I did have a family member tell me that they had a coworker who wanted to be a surro and that she would call me to talk about it. She never called and when I texted her I never even received a message back. I wish people would understand how stressful this is and I can't help but get my hopes up, and god does it suck when they get crushed right away. Its really hard to ask people. I know that not everyone loves being pregnant, feel they could handle giving up a baby they carried for 9 months, or even handle all the stuff that goes along with carrying someone else's baby, but sometimes I get so mad when I hear all the no' and the multitude of reasons why. I want to scream back and ask how the hell they would feel if they were in my shoes. I guess I can't say for certain but I think if my situation were different I could've been a carrier for someone.

I just finished breastfeeding last week, yay I made it a whole year, and need my body and hormones to go back to "normal". Once that happens I'll get some blood work done to see where I stand with doing another round of IVF since we only ended up with one embryo last time. one perfect embryo that is. Hopefully that'll all be done, with good results, by the end of the year. I keep hoping we could have someone lined up by then, so that hopefully by next spring sometime we can start the whole ivf carrier process again. We are still talking about posting something on Facebook, but waiting for those test results first. I have also joined a surro and IP Facebook group to talk with and meet other surros and IPs. That facebook group told me about this website called surromomsonline. It has a classified section for IPs to search for surros or for surros to find some IPs. You can put up your own ad or you can just answer them. So far I have emailed a few of the gestational surrogates. I have emailed one of the ladies multiple times and we even spoke on the phone this weekend. She actually seems pretty perfect. I am going to look into RE's in her area tomorrow to see what those clinics require. It might be easiest for us to go to a new clinic and start fresh and than have her fly to ours. We'll see after I make some phone calls. I'll also be calling a surrogacy lawyer to learn more about the laws in her state. I know its a surro friendly state, but I need to know all the ins and outs before we can go any further. Tomorrow sounds busy. Depending on what comes of these calls, the next big hurdle will need to be how to pay for it all again. No fundraiser this time nor a second income since I am mainly a stay at home mom now. I'd hate to have to wait longer to start a new journey and bring Max a living sibling home, but I guess if the money isn't there, their isn't much we can do.

Suppose that's all for now. I need to get to bed because that adorable little man of mine will have me up early.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Uterus Transplant Success

So excited to have learned that one of the women that had a uterus transplant over in Sweden delivered a healthy, living baby. Gives hope to so many women either born without a uterus or who have had serious pregnancy/uterine type problems, like me with my rupture.
Here is the link to the article.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A First Birthday- September 26, 2014

Some days I still can't believe we were lucky enough to enter our lives and help us bring home a healthy, living baby, but how can that little boy already be 1 years old. Where did the time go? It has been a great year. We've had up and we've had downs. Max is so sweet and cuddly and I love that I get to spend my days with him watching him grow. Saying all this though, I am still uber paranoid about something happening to him, like the big D, death that is. He still sleeps with his angelcare or snuza monitor and I get crazy nervous about feeding him certain solids for fear of choking to death. Not sure that worry will ever go away.

We celebrated his first birthday in MN and ND with family. He's had 4 cakes already and will have another party soon with our Alaskan family. Making it to a first birthday is kind of big deal. We also took some time out to visit some of my old friends as well as a few of our blm friends and their rainbows. We even got to meet up with Jessica and her family. I am glad that we are able to have the relationship we do. Her and her family are as wonderful as the day we first met them. We also visited Liam and Evelynn. I sure wish we could visit them more, but did leave them some birthday party favors.

Here is the link to his 1 year pics for anyone who wants to see.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Walk to Remember 2014

This morning Max and I did the Walk to Remember. I am so grateful to have Max with me this year walking in memory of Liam and Evelynn. Not grateful for having to be in this boat in the first place.
Love you forever little buddy and baby girl.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In Regards To The Last Post

There were numerous comments on my last post and I wanted to follow up with some of the questions that were asked and clarify a few things. It is nice to hear other points of view, well with the exception of one of the comments. Also, I had a comment from a reader who I thought was going to be another Jessica. Here goes...

-First question that was asked.
"I know you specifically want a baby girl who is genetically yours. You deserve that. If it just can't be done safely, would you at all be open to traditional surrogacy? Where it's your husband's sperm and the surrogate's egg? Then the baby would at least still be a half sibling to Max.... just throwing it out there since I didn't see you mention it specifically. I hope you are able to find peace and a solution. It's all just unfair :("
-I did comment back with this response, "I haven't looked into traditional surrogacy closely but I am not sure if it is even legal anywhere in the U.S. I guess when it comes down to it we'd still have to find someone to be pregnant for us and give us the baby in the end."
-The above commenter wrote this in response, "Maybe a donor egg vs traditional surrogacy? And in theory you may be able to find a female embryo looking for a home..." 
-I don't know too much about the process of getting a donor egg or even getting an embryo. I do think you're right about the possibility of being able to get a female if we decided to get an embryo though. The thing with both of these options for us, as well with traditional surrogacy, is the big issue in finding someone to carry the baby for us. If we can find a carrier then we'd obviously want the baby to be both of ours. If our issue was just me being infertile, but could carry the baby, then I think a donor egg or donor embryo would be right up our alley. Surrogacy, no matter what form is costly, and if we do it the baby would need to be both of ours, or we'd just assume adopt at that point. I hope that answers that question well enough.

-2nd question.
"What happens if you do get pregnant and it's a boy? It sounds like you've got your heart set on a bio baby girl and unless you're paying for IVF with gender selection and that's expensive, I'm not sure how you'd ensure that it's a girl. If you get a 2nd bio boy would that be enough or would you still be upset because he's not a girl?"
-Okay, Dereck and I have talked about this very thing. Whether we were to get pregnant again or get another carrier (which is more likely), I can tell you right out that I will be a to an extent sad if the baby is a boy. Will I love that baby boy? Absolutely. Of course I would. Ask anyone who has lost a child and not been able to get the same sex child again after a loss. It's hard and as crappy as knowing you can't or should never get pregnant again. Just the thought of getting rid of Evelynn's never worn things makes me want to cry right now. And I already hate so much that I don't get to see that brother sister relationship grow as is. I also know that no girl we have will be Evelynn, just as Max is not Liam. I want my chance at raising a daughter, and whether I get to or not, I'm pretty sure my heart will always ache for the chance, just like it will always ache for Liam and Evelynn.
- Now, if we do IVF again, which we have to do if we go with a carrier, doing the PGD testing for gender selection is out of the question for Dereck. I am all for it, and yes it is quite expensive, but it won't be happening for us. Honestly, I don't even think it'd be something worth hoping to try for anyways. I say this because we talked to our RE already about the possibility of trying to do a cycle and freeze the embryos until we get a carrier and he said that wasn't a good idea since we only ended up with 1 embryo last time. Not to mention he had us do a 2 day transfer, versus a 5 day, to hopefully up our chances of it taking. Embryos need to make it to day 5 for freezing and also to get sent out to do the PGD testing, I believe, but don't quote me. So I guess for us there is no way to ensure its a girl without adopting.
-Also, in regards to the part about it being expensive, well, it is, it all is. The way I see it is that I have known a lot of people that have gone broke or whine about money all the time over less, a lot less. 

Then there was this comment.
-"I am so sorry you are having to face all of this. There is no easy answer. I'm trying to understand why Max can't be enough. You are sooooo lucky to have a living baby after all you have gone through. So many people are still waiting on their baby....it truly is such a miracle that you have Max. As you well know, life is not fair. Why not just focus on Baby Max and enjoy every minute of life with him instead of chasing after what you have lost? You really want a biological baby girl but even she won't replace Evelynn. Many people just want a baby....any baby....and you have that. Just be content in what you have and be happy and thankful for what you have after all you have lost. You are so lucky!!!!"
-Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this comment really upset me. Dereck and I went back and forth on the type of commenter this came from. Was it someone who came across my blog and has had multiple perfect pregnancies, healthy babies, and got to say when they were finished having kids? Or was it someone who has had years of infertility and most likely still waiting for their take home baby, as stated above in the comment? If it is, I am so sorry that you are still struggling, but I honestly can't believe you would judge me when you should understand more than most what it's like to have to work so hard to get a baby. If its been easy for you, then I am pretty certain you would have been beyond annoyed if someone told you to stop at one. A struggle or not, doesn't seem like any good reason for me or anyone to give up on the dream of having more than one living child. In all reality there is a lot of people out there who shouldn't be allowed to have kids or should be forced to stop after one, but they just keep on having them. Sorry for the rant. And lucky, hahahahaha, okay whatever you say, lucky is the person who hasn't had to bury their children. I suppose its easy to say this when you're "anonymous." And to add, yes, we are thinking about future baby plans already, but that little boy couldn't be more loved.
-This commenter gets it and I appreciated reading the comment, so I included it here. "With regard to other commenters, I understand that many who follow your blog have been through years of infertility with zero hope for a bio - or possibly any - child. However, I think it's insensitive for anyone, regardless of their own pain, to come here and call you "lucky" when they see Liam and Evelynn at the top of the page... Max is an amazing and precious blessing but you guys are as entitled as anyone else to pursue the dream you had for your family. I'm sure if a time comes that you need to let that go and just "focus on Max" you and Dereck will be the first to know that. Without suffering anything like your losses, I went through 8 years of secondary infertility, all the while questioning our choices as we had two healthy kids. The fact is, we'd always wanted and planned for at least two more - not unlike you and Dereck. I think your love for Max answers the question of how you would feel about another boy, as well. I will always wish we could have more kids, and have them years ago, but that doesn't take away my appreciation for what and who I've been given."

And finally the comment that I didn't publish but made my day.
-"I've been reading your blog for a really long time & my heart has broken for you. My sister is a BLM. She lost one of her twins. I've wanted to be a surrogate for someone for a really long time so if you do go that route, I'd be very happy to talk with you."
-I could not believe what I was reading when I saw this come through. We have since emailed back and forth, spoken on the phone, and texted one another. She actually lives in Illinois, which is a surrogate friendly state, and one that allows you to buy insurance to cover the pregnancy. It seemed to good to be true once again, but the way its looking it most likely will not work out for us after all.

For now, outside of this blog, Dereck and I have decided to wait until we go back to MN and ND this fall before we engross ourselves anymore in the world of IVF and gestational carriers again. We have decided at that point we will try and talk more one on one with family and friends to see if they would be willing to help us, know of anyone who would, or at least spread the word. If nothing comes of that then I guess there's always posting it on Facebook.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New News, New Hope, New Worries

Sorry for everyone who tried to read this post and it wasn't there. I accidentally hit publish before I was finished and then had to revert it to a draft. Just getting back to it now.
This post has been a long time coming. I started it a couple of months ago and a lot of what I had started to write has already changed so much. Here goes.

We have been discussing the next baby for months already. It's just always in our thoughts. How can it not be after all we've been through. We for sure want to have at least 2-3 living babies, it just sucks that after 5 years of trying, 2 surgeries, and lots of heartache, we are at one. Ugh. We are enjoying Max, love him to death, couldn't be more grateful for what Jessica did for us, but hate that are family is so incomplete. It doesn't help having lost 2 babies already and knowing the next is going to be far from easy. The question is, how do we go about adding more children to our family? It seems like every option brings with it risks, stress, and/or financial troubles. How do you decide which is the right way to go? Can we afford it? Can we handle the stress of another pregnancy whether it be ours, another carrier, or adoption? And in the end will it have been the right way to go or will it have left us with more heartache and no baby once again.

I decided to split this into 3 sections; Pregnancy after rupture, Another gestational carrier, and Adoption.

Pregnancy After Rupture

As some of you may recall, after Evelynn died I had Dr.s telling me to never get pregnant again and other Dr.s telling me that they think it is possible for me to get pregnant again. The Dr.s that told me that they did think it was possible for me to carry again were my Ob Dr. and the perinatologist that helped with the fetal surgery. They said that as long as I waited at least 2 years, possibly went on bedrest by 28 weeks at the latest, and we delivered by 34 weeks, they believed everything would be fine. At the time of Evelynn's death hearing a couple of those Dr.s say I should never carry another baby was too much to handle, but the ones that thought it was possible at least gave me something to hold onto through all the sadness.

We were lucky enough to have Jessica come into our loves and for the time being we were happy that we had a chance at bringing home a biological baby versus having to wait a 2 full years to attempt a very stressful, very high risk pregnancy. Again, I will say that we love Max to death, but we do want another living baby and would ultimately prefer our own biological baby, but is getting pregnant again really a smart option? On Evelynn's birthday, exactly 2 years after she was born, I decided to call my Ob and hear her thoughts. I didn't exactly hear what I was hoping to hear, but in a way she said exactly what I figured she'd say, that being that she didn't think it was a good idea. She did say though that when I came in for my yearly that she could order an mri to take a look at my uterus and we could discuss it further from there. When I went in for the yearly appt, it was about a month after the phone call on Evelynn's birthday, and she again said it wasn't a great idea at all and that it would be highly unethical for her to help us get pregnant again when the odds were not in our favor. It makes sense, but was still so disheartening.

After talking to my Ob I decided to call the perinatologist from UCSF, afterall he was the one who suggested the 2 year wait and early delivery. He too was completely against the idea, especially once he heard we had Max. I kind of feel like the only reason that they said I could try again was to not completely crush me when my daughter had already died. I mean, I get it, can we emotionally handle losing another baby or what if I died attempting another pregnancy. Max would be without a mom and Derecks whole life would change. At first, I kind of felt okay with the news because it really would be risky, but also hate that the thought of never feeling that bond from carrying my own child again. It'd be like grieving a 3rd loss. Plus, if we don't try again then we are left with adoption, another carrier, or having only Max-which I feel is not an option. So what do we do? Do we try to get a few other opinions from high risk Dr.s or do we throw the idea completely off the table and try to accept it? If we for sure had another carrier lined up and we knew that we would end up with another good quality embryo it would make the decision a whole lot easier.

Do I sound crazy for even considering another pregnancy? I have been in a uterine rupture group for quite sometime and their have been a lot of successful pregnancies after rupture. Of course, those are usually women that had ruptures during vbacs and on low transerve incisions. The fundal ruptures/incisions, like what I have, tend to rerupture, but now I know the signs. What are everyone's thoughts?

Gestational Carrier

Back when we were in Minnesota, 3 months ago already, I had the chance to visit with one of my old friends. This friend of mine has 3 kids already, the youngest I think is 2 1/2??? She asked me about a future pregnancy or if we are going to get another carrier. More specifically if Jessica was going to carry again for us, which tends to be the question most people ask us. I told her I didn't know what we were going to do. We talked about it a little more and then she told me that she would love to be able to help and carry a baby for us. I was beyond ecstatic! When I left her place I told Dereck what she said and for a moment we felt like this could all work out again. Over the next few weeks Dereck and I talked about it more and more and then were starting to have our doubts about her being a good carrier. First is that she has had 3 c-sections already and then what are the chances her insurance would cover the pregnancy. Their is absolutely no way we could afford a c-section out of pocket and three c-sections scares the crap out of me. What if she ruptured while carrying our baby? I would never be able to forgive myself and she is a single mom with a family to support. I decided to ask my Ob her thoughts at my yearly and she thought using someone with a previous c-section was a horrible idea, especially someone with 3. Ugh!

Then, one day when I was out on a walk with one of my good friends, a friend that was pregnant at the same time as me when I was pregnant with Evelynn, told me that she has talked to her husband about possibly carrying for us. Again, I was ecstatic, but told her I really hope she is serious because I don't want to get my hopes up to only be let down again. She would be a perfect candidate since she has had 2 perfect vaginal deliveries. About a month later she told me that her husband just really didn't want her to do it because he was scared of something going wrong. Double Ugh!

Before I had heard that neither of these 2 friends would work out for us as a carrier, I had contacted our RE to let them know that we are looking into another IVF cycle and what I would need to do to prepare for another round. As you may recall, we only ended up with one embryo last time and luckily one is all it took. Since I am still breastfeeding he told me that I would need to quit breastfeeding and then wait for my period to come back. Ha! Me get my period. He said he would put me on meds to get it and then we would do blood tests to check my estradiol levels, I think, to even see if proceeding with another cycle would even be a smart option. Since, I have a difficult time getting pregnant without the help of clomid and didn't respond well to the meds, the RE thinks I may have diminished ovarian reserve and that my chances of this working again may be slim. Why does life hate me :-(. I wanted to scream. Is he fricken serious? Why? Why? Why? So, now we have to decide if this is something we want to proceeed with and hope we can find a carrier if the numbers come back in our favor or if they don't look into adoption or consider ttc on our own. My main concern is that I will drop the breastfeeding to do the blood tests and they will come back bad. If we have to result to adoption then I kind of want to try and keep the breastfeeding somewhat up so that I can possibly breastfeed that baby without having to go through the domperidone process again.

Anybody want to carry a baby for us or know someone who does?


If I am not getting asked about getting another gestational carrier, I am getting asked why we don't just adopt. Apparently people just assume adoption is a piece of cake, worry free, and financially friendly. I find it to be none of those things. I don't know a lot about it, but what I do know is that it is none of those things. I had a friend give her baby up for adoption when she was 19. I know she took care of herself and wanted a good home for her baby. She picked a family, both parents were eye Dr.s and fairly well off. That couple adopted another child a few years later and everything went pretty smoothly for them. My friend still is in touch with them, because it was an open adoption, and got me in touch with her. I spoke with her a couple months back and she told me everything she knew about domestic adoption. Of course that was well over 10 years ago.

As for more recent adoptions I have 2 friends who it didn't end well for and another friend who it did. The first friend and her husband decided to adopt and were lucky enough to get a little boy. The baby was home with them for 2 days when the mother decided to take the baby back. The second friend, who is one of my fellow blms, adopted a baby girl who was home with them for 23 days, and then the mother decided to take her baby back. 23 days! That is messed up and just isn't right! Both of these adoptions were in MN and MN law, I believe, allows the mother to take the baby back up to 30 days. If we decide to adopt it will absolutely not be from a state like MN. This is one of the main reasons why adoption scares the F out of me. I have been through enough heartache, so if the momma took the baby back I would be beyond devastated.

The recent adoption that I know of that did go well was also by a fellow blm. We actually were doing our IVF cycles for our carriers at the same time, but things didn't go as planned for her, so they decided to adopt. She had worries like me. I spoke with her on the phone about a month ago and she told me all about her experience; the cost, the agency, etc. I think if we decide to adopt I would go through A Step Ahead like she did. She said through them you have a better chance of getting a baby sooner than if you went with just a local agency. Of course, the cost goes up with that. She explained to me about all the decisions they had to make as far as what they wanted in a baby. They didn't care about the sex, but were concerned about not having a baby that came from a family with say mental issues. She did say that almost every baby comes from a mom that smoked and it was something they just had to accept or they would never get a baby. One of the big things was deciding if they were okay with getting a baby that came from a mom that had drank or did drugs like meth during the pregnancy. That is a tough one and scares the crap out of me that people would even do stuff like that knowing they are pregnant, but I know it happens. My friend said they were more concerned with having a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome than one that came from a mother who did meth or other drugs. When I brought this up to Dereck he was quite the oppoite. He kind of felt that meth is a newer drug and that we don't know all the long term damage that could come from a baby that was exposed to that inutero, yet. Where as people for years drank while pregnant, and although FAS isn't something we would want our baby to have, their a lof of people who turned out fine. Maybe it just depends on how much the mother drank??? They also only wanted to adopt a baby from a state that had a really short take back time, since they were scared of the mom taking the baby back like we are. They were able to adopt from Nevada, where the mother only had, I think, 72 hours. My friend also said that in the end the adoption costed them about $50,000. That is same as it costed for our gestational carrier pregnancy with Jessica and Max. So definitely not cheaper. The nice part though, is that from the time they started the process, they got a healthy, beautiful, baby girl in 9 months. She had 3 other friends adopting at the same time as her and all 3 got healthy baby girls in about 9 months time as well. That does give me hope, but.....

We have thought about trying to adopt a native baby or going through the state and foster with hope to adopt, but I don't know if I am up for that. Why couldn't it just be easy and find some teenager that gets knocked up and just gives us her baby???

So as you can see, I have gone through each option over and over again. I do know that I really, really, really want a baby girl and that adoption is our best chance at that happening, but I also just want my own biological baby girl. I love seeing how much Max looks like Dereck, he has my eyes, but that's it. I think Evelynn would've looked like me, and I miss that I'll never get to see her grow up, same with Liam.

Why does this have to be so hard and so stressful? I wish I felt like we had time, but I don't. If  we decide to adopt we have to first do the entire home study and then who knows how long we'd wait to get picked and hopefully get to keep the baby. If we do a carrier I clearly don't have time. I am 33, advanced maternal age is 35, and I have enough to worry about with my possibly diminishing eggs. And of course what age would be a good age to be pregnant again and stressed out when you have toddler at home that needs you. I don't know about the rest of you, but we are just so tired of being "pregnant" and ready to just be on with the next stage of our lives. What to do, what to do?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Seems Like Everybody's Expecting........Except Us

I don't recall if I have wrote or not about the fact that I have three friends that are pregnant right now, and a fourth that's in the process of joining them. The three that are already pregnant are all due within weeks to a couple months of one another, so pretty much all due between October and December.

When I found out my first friend was pregnant I took it really hard. Hard because she had just gotten married last summer, decided to start ttc shortly after the honeymoon a few months later, and got pregnant right away. It's still so frustrating to me when people can get pregnant on the first or even the second month of trying. And, of course, I still have major issues with pregnancy in general, along with the fear everyone will have a girl. This friend isn't going to find out the sex until the baby is born. I'm almost certain I will not be going to her baby shower.

Then I found out about the next friend being pregnant. This friend was pregnant at the same time as I was with Evelynn. Our babies due dates were within a few days of one another. I always new she wanted to get pregnant again sooner than later, but it's hard to deal with when I just finally started being able to be around her son and not get depressed that my daughter should be here and be the same age as him, also that she could get pregnant again, and lastly because I just finally got a baby here, home, and alive. Just two days ago she found out she was having a girl. I wanted to scream and smash something. Not fair. I want my boy and girl.

Then there is my third pregnant friend. She is one of my closest friends and has been there for me through both pregnancies, both losses, and helped us tremendously with fundraising for our gestational carrier pregnancy with Max. She thought for sure she'd have a hard time getting pregnant after seeing what we went through, but sure enough she was pregnant the first month. I'm happy she can talk to me about any concerns and ask pregnancy related questions. In a way it makes me feel good, useful, and that at least she doesn't think I am like this versus this horrible cursed pregnancy baby killer, that I often feel like I am. She also plans to find out the sex of her baby. I fear it'll be a girl as well. I also feel like I should be the one throwing a "it's a girl/boy!" party and do her baby shower, just as she did for me. I don't think I have it in me to go to a baby shower yet,  let alone throw one. I know she would understand, but she also deserves to enjoy all things pregnancy and baby related with the support of all her friends and family, including me, and not be concerned about how it'll affect me.

The fourth friend I guess we will wait and see if she ends up pregnant or not. She is doing it all on her own and commend her on that. She wants a girl sooo bad.

Having Max here and after multiple years of grieving, it's still hard. I was just starting to feel better about so many of my friends being pregnant, but them having girls is just too much for me. When I was pregnant with Liam,  everyone I knew pregnant seemed like they were having girls. When I was pregnant with Evelynn, everyone seemed like they were having boys. I just feel like this is going to be the season of girls, and I have no idea how I'll cope, whether it's just one or all of them. Girls or not, it's going to be hard. It's making me want to be pregnant again so badly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Return to Zero

The Return to Zero movie premiered on Saturday, September 17th. The babyloss community knew of this film early on as we have all experienced it firsthand and were excited that a film was finally getting made in hopes to help break the silence surrounding stillbirth and infant loss. It is actually the producer and his wife's story of when they lost their son in the last weeks of pregnancy. I wasn't able to see it because I don't have cable, but hopefully I will be able to soon. Since I have not seen the movie I can't exactly give it a review. I have heard comments from both baby loss moms and from friends who have never experienced a loss that were able to see it. From the friends that have never experienced a loss, they all said it was so incredibly sad and just can never imagine. Which is pretty much what they all said to me after my losses. The target group for this film is of course the ones who have never lost a baby in hopes that they can get a better understanding of how painful it is to lose a baby, how life will never be the same, that we will always love those babies, and they will always be a part of our family. The reviews I have heard from a few baby loss moms have been both good and bad. One thing I have heard is that their wasn't enough crying and talk about just how important that baby was. I know everyone grieves differently, although I cried and screamed a lot, but I'll just have to see for myself when I get to see it.

One thing I loved that this movie did was to allow us baby loss moms to purchase a spot in the credits where our babies names would be listed. I love that everyone who watches this film had a chance to see the credits and see my babies names along with so many other loved and missed babies. I was so happy and surprised when I got a few different pictures from friends of the credits, who have not lost a child but watched the movie.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Second Birthday

For so long it seemed I was stuck in a place where time stood still, but everyone else's lives seemed to be happily moving forward. I remember those final days leading up to the rupture and her birth and how excited I let myself get. I was finally going to have a baby at home......and then of course it was gone, again. Having Max here has not only made time not seem like it's standing still, but instead flying by. The worst part about it is that it still hurts so much, especially around this time of year when we should be celebrating a birthday, her second, with her here.

As usual I never seem to know what to do on these birthdays and anniversaries. I want to honor my babies but I still just can't get past the unfairness of it all. I tend to pout, and that's what I did all day until an unexpected surprise showed up. At about 3 in the afternoon on her birthday, April 22nd, the doorbell rang. There was a lady at the door with a birthday balloon and some flowers. The lady looked at me and said, "Evelynn Rasmussen," and the tears formed immediately. Somebody said her name!

It is now 2 and a half weeks since her second birthday and that balloon is still hanging around the house. It was floating around for a long time from room to room and now is just hanging out in the living room as it's lacking in air. I love seeing it and smile thinking of my girl.

I finally got her scrapbook out and am determined to get it done before the year is out. I wish sooner, but I am not going to push myself. Getting that out alone with all of her hospital pictures is progress in itself. I've still barely looked at them since we got them developed. I also still haven't gotten any of her NLMDTS pictures on the wall, but that I hope to get up by the end of the year too. We will see.

Love you forever baby girl.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

6 Months Pics and a Family Visit to MN and ND

A month and a half late. but here are a few of his 6 month pics. How is time going so fast?

After the blm weekend in Vegas, Max and I stayed another 5 days and did some sightseeing while Dereck came down and went to a work conference. Max did so awesome! We drove and hiked all over together- to the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead Recreation Area, to Red Rock Canyon, to Valley of Fire State Park, and even spent some time walking up and down the strip. It was a great few days of mom and son time.
After we left Nevada we flew to Minnesota to visit with family. It was a busy week as we had a lot of people to visit and of course everyone wanted to see Max since they hadn't seen him since he was born. We were also able to visit with Jessica and her family, but only for a short time since we were all so busy, but we were happy to see them at all. We were able to get lots of pictures of Jessica and her family with Max. It's still so hard to believe that at this time last year she was still pregnant with him and now he is 7 months old.
The most important visit being back in ND was of course going to Liam and Evelynn's graves. It just so happened to be sibling day on the day we made it out there.

Visiting Evelynn and Liam on sibling day.

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 BLM Rainbow Weekend in Vegas

Big things have been happening this past month. Some happy, some sad. Many posts to come!

The weekend of March 27th Max and I flew to Las Vegas and met up with 9 other blms and their rainbows. Last year I did not gather with these women since my rainbow Evelynn had passed away, and it would've been too hard for me to go without a baby. This year I had Max and I'm glad we were able to make it. 

I knew I wanted to go right away when the discussion of when and where this gathering was going to be, but I was incredibly nervous too. We all had rainbows, but their rainbows were all toddlers now that were around Evelynn's age. Max was by far the baby of the group. I thought it would be hard seeing all the little girls knowing my rainbow daughter didn't make it and also having a house full of toddlers running around seeing firsthand what I was missing out on. I'm not going to lie, the first few days I definitely felt a little left out. All the kids played together and the other moms got to talk about all things toddler. One little girl in particular  melted my heart as she became obsessed with "helping" Max with his pacifier and pushing him all over in his stroller.

By the last night though, all that anxiety and nervousness seemed to vanish, and I was finally able to breathe, share some of my thoughts, and listen to others talk about their babies. And other than for some nasty sickness that got a few of the mommas and babies, it was a great weekend. I can't wait for next year.

Anna, Camille, Addison, Hayes, Otis, Eliza, Bear, Elizabeth, and my Liam and Evelynn- you are all forever in our hearts and missed dearly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Where Has March Gone

March seems to be flying by, and we have been so busy. Max is growing like crazy. Can you believe he is 6 months old already? I'll post his 6 months pictures when I get them.

Here's the run down of what's been going on lately.

-We have started solids and he seems to be enjoying them so far. Actually, I can't help but giggle watching him trying to devour the spoon. It's classic!
-We put in his big boy car seat a few weeks back. Best decision ever! He hated that infant car seat, so it was time for a change, and he has never been happier on car rides.
-He still has issues with dairy. I test it on occasion. Sometimes I feel like he handles it okay and other times I pay for it for days with a very unhappy, restless baby. Maybe in another couple months he will be able to tolerate it better. I really miss cheese, but I really want to continue to breastfeed for the first year if possible.
-Since his eye surgery back in February he has been wearing glasses, but now also has contacts. The glasses are big, get in the way, and gives him no peripheral vision. The contacts, on the other hand, will give him better vision, which will better his development. At his 6 month pediatrician appt. yesterday Max still scored lower in his gross motor skills. Our pediatrician thinks he may still be playing catch up from the cataracts.
-Max hasn't started crawling yet, but we are working on getting our house more baby friendly. We have a ways to go.
-Other than all that, Max and I spend our days playing. It definitely isn't easy, but being able to stay home with my kid, well, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

One thing I had been wanting to do for a while, but was so scared about doing, is joining a mommy and baby/kid type meet up group. I was really starting to feel the need to meet other moms that stay at home with their kids and I know that it is good for Max to start interacting with others around his age. We have gone to 2 meet ups so far, and I'd say they've gone pretty well. I still have my own issues I need to work out when it comes to others and pregnancy talk and baby girls. Right now I am trying to find the nerve to respond  to a message from one of the girls in the group who messaged me the other day. She has a baby girl who is a week younger than Max and is wondering if we can get together for a play date. Eeek!

I have so much more to share, but that's all for now.

Haven't figured out the jumping part yet, but he seems to like it.
I bought the chariot when I was pregnant with Liam. I am so excited that I was finally able to use it!
Daddy's been working a lot. He sure does love his daddy!

Upgraded to the big boy carseat and wearing our new glasses!
We started solids and wearing contacts!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Max's Eye Surgery

When Max was born we had about 5 different Dr's look at his eyes. We thought we were in the clear, no sign of cataracts, and he seemed to be seeing fine. Then at his 4 month check the pediatrician wasn't seeing the red reflux like he needed and referred us to an ophthalmologist. To make a long story short we got seen by the ophthalmologist and Max got eye surgery 2 days later. Having lost 2 babies already, 1 during surgery and the other shortly after, we were nervous for him, but as I said, I had the surgery and my dad had the surgery, and we can both see. So, we were definitely nervous but at the same not as much as I thought we'd be. He came out of the surgery fine with no sign of infection or other issues. And as much as I never wanted one of babies to have to deal with the ugly thick glasses, the look on his face when he got them after surgery, letting us know he could see, and see really good, was priceless. I've never seen a more talkative happy baby.

I remember when one of my biggest fears with having kids was that one or all of them would get my congenital cataracts. I had eye surgery to remove the cataracts when I was 22 months old and then again when I was 18 to get lens implants. Growing up I was the kid with the coke bottle glasses and didn't want my kids to get made fun of for something they couldn't control like I did. I now know their are worse things that can happen as I have lived it, for now I am just glad we made it through this.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Catching Up

Here I am finally getting around to writing and saying yet again that I need to write more often, but rarely do. I started a post back in December and now am determined to finish it so I can get my post out about what has been going on these days with our family. Which I will say the reason I am up late writing this is because I can't sleep and am nervous about what's going on with Max right now.

So here goes.

The first months of Max's life were hard. Hard because I was scared he was going to die too. Hard because he was always so upset and looked like he was in pain and we didn't know what to do for him. Hard because though I knew he was my son, I had a hard time bonding with him. It was also hard because I was really thinking of Evelynn all the time.

A lot has changed since then. We of course now know it was the dairy that I was consuming that caused him so much pain. Luckily we figured that out before too long and between 2 and 3 months I had my diet under control and he was so much happier. Overall I'd say he's just a pretty happy baby in general these days.

The fear of him dying is definitely still there, and I don't think its going to go away anytime soon. I still check on him continously to make sure he's breathing. I'm talking all the time. If he falls a sleep in his swing, bouncer, carseat, his carrier on walks, and even in his crib and that has his SIDS monitor under the mattress. Back in December I believe I had my first real scare. It was 2am, I was up pumping, and Max was asleep in his crib. The monitor went off letting me know there was no movement in the crib=baby not crying, holy shit my baby is dead. I fly up as fast as I can to get to him. To make a long story short, I had him in my arms yelling at him, crying, saying is this really fucking happening to me. He wouldn't wake up. I tried searching for my phone to call 911, but of course it went flying when I got up so quickly. With one hand I was looking for that the other I was doing some really sloppy CPR. I am trained to do it, but clearly I now know when I am in a panic state with my own baby, everything I learned went out the window. When I finally found my phone and wanted to dial  I went to move his limp body, at which point I accidentally smacked it on the ground, and he woke up screaming. It hasn't happened since, but I was pretty certain my baby was gone.

I would say that once he reached 3 months the bond I had with him definitely grew. I don't even have the words to describe how I really felt, but it wasn't like the feelings and instant love that I had with Liam and Evelynn. Maybe its because I didn't carry him. Or, maybe its because my heart was worried that he would be gone soon too, and was easier to not get too attached. All I know is that I am so love with that little guy. I love his smile and his laugh. I love how we sleep in in the mornings together, and yes I bring him into bed with me in the mornings even though I always tell myself ot probably isn't the smartest idea. I love watching him grow and how now when I hold him he wrapd his arms on me like he is giving me hugs. He has me wrapped around his cute little finger. I just love him.

Saying all that, I do still miss my daughter and the chance to raise my girl. Not that those feelings ever went away, but they hit me really hard after Max was born thru around Christmas. I know Evelynn isn't coming back but I am determined somehow, someway, I am going to have a girl to raise. I need at least that. I have amazing blm friends, we have what we call our "tribe", they were so much help through Max's pregnancy in keeping me somewhat sane. Many of them are now pregnant again or just gave birth to their second rainbows, many of which are girls. Of all people to be jealous of, it shouldn't be them, but I have been. I should be overjoyed with Max being here, but so much of my thoughts for awhile were filled how my daughter should be here and it isn't fair that all these girls are on their next rainbow, when I just got my first,  and of course their girls. The pain and so much of the blame is still there. Some days it just eats away at me. Some days I have gone as far being determined that at Evelynn's 2 year anniversary we are getting pregnant again because I need to try for my girl. Now thats scary, but then I know getting a gestational carrier again isn't exactly cheap. Although I think if we could afford it again I could possibly make it so that the embryo(s) we transfer is/are a girl(s). I have thought about this all so much and definitely still have a pretty broken heart over my baby girl dying. I am trying to fidn that balance between still grieving her, put those next baby thoughts a little more at ease for now, and just try to enjoy every moment I can with Max. It's not always as easy as one who hasn't lost a child thinks it can be.

Alright well that's a lot off my chest for tonight. I'll try to update the rest about us/him by this weekend.  I promise. Maybe if I say that I'll actually do it then. I leave you all with a few pictures of the cutest little boy ever.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Liam's 3rd Birthday

Liam's 3rd and golden birthday was back on January 3rd. Thank you to everyone who thought of him, sent birthday wishes, and sent cards. The days leading up to his birthday are always a little stressful. Since our time in San Francisco, before the fetal surgery and his birth and passing, was over New Years, I have yet to feel anything remotely close to joyous when we enter the new year. Maybe one day we will do a little bit more for his birthday. One day maybe we will even get a cake and celebrate it like we will for Max's birthdays, but for now, mellow is okay with me. We look at his pictures, we speak of him, and talk about our time with him. I don't think of San Francisco as much as I once did but on occasion, especially around his birthday, I still think about it and about our hopes and dreams we had during our time there. sometimes I wish I could separate the two, but its hard when some of my greatest memories with Liam are in the same place that brought me so much sadness.

We miss you so much and wish you could be here. Your little brother Max is with us now and we are finally able to use all your baby things that you were never able to. It's very bittersweet. I look at your pictures and I think Max looks a lot like you. We are so happy he his here with us, but we will always wonder about the type of baby you would have been and miss being able to see you grow up. It's hard to believe its been 3 years already. Happy 3rd birthday in heaven little buddy. Love you forever. Mom
Made by Keleen- Addison's mom.

On January 4th a dear blm friend of mine, Claudia, finally got her rainbow take home baby. Or in her case, babies. Claudia lost her twin boys a few days after we lost Liam back in 2011. She later lost 2 more boys. Like me, she ended up getting a gestational carrier. She was able to transfer 2 embryos to her carrier, that both took, and now, 9 months later on January 4th, has 2 beautiful baby boys in her arms. Claudia also started taking domperidone like me and is working on being able to breastfeed her babies as well. It has been a long road for her and her husband, but I am so happy she finally has her babies to love on. Forever missing, Benedetto, Vincenzo, Gabriele, and Santino.

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