Sunday, October 31, 2010

in this town we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song...

It's Halloween. One of my favourite holidays. And yet, I'm not excited about it this year. Sure, I threw together a costume for our work Halloween lunch and my friend's party last night, but otherwise, nothing. I haven't decorated our house, I haven't carved our pumpkins, I didn't even get candy that we like to hand out. (We don't need candy would be part of the reason. The other being that last year we had so many kids, not just teenagers but little kids, without costumes and who were demanding 'more' when we'd hand out our handful of candy to each of them, that I didn't feel like giving out great candy this year if it's just going to be unappreciated like that...)

I don't know if it's just that I'm outgrowing Halloween, or if this year it's even more bittersweet because of the loss. One of the things I'm looking most forward to with my children is Halloween. I loved this holiday as a kid and spent hours planning out my costumes and figuring out our trick-or-treat route. Had things not been different I would have been 26 weeks pregnant. I'd be dreaming of next year when I'd have a little one to dress up and introduce to Halloween (even though they'd be too young to understand, I know). At this rate, I can't even be sure I'll be pregnant next Halloween, let alone have a baby. *sniff*.

Okay, enough of the pity party.

On a different note - I hope the trick-or-treaters tonight have picked warm costumes. We got 6 cms of snow last night! It's starting to melt this morning, but it's still only supposed to go up to 3C today. Burr. Reminds me of Halloweens of my childhood - I know there were a few times I trick-or-treated in the snow in Winnipeg.

Our first Halloween in Winnipeg (I think)

Anyway, today I will attempt to find my Halloween spirit, by carving our pumpkins, roasting the seeds, and watching a scary movie. Or at least a Halloween-themed movie. Maybe scary is too ambitious. I don't really do scary movies well any more - too many nightmares...

Happy Halloween. What are you doing to celebrate tonight?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

and we're caught between the crossfire of heaven and hell...

I've realized there's a number of things I've kept putting off "in case I get pregnant". Like joining weight watchers and being serious about weight loss (why sign up for the program and waste that money if I'm just going to get pregnant next month...) Or signing up for activities (I don't want to pay for something like ski lessons and then not be able to take them if I get pregnant...) Or, like starting the Couch to 5K running program (I'm not in good enough shape to keep running if I get pregnant. And I was working out strenuously when I got pregnant with bean. Maybe that had something to do with the miscarriage...).

But then I realized that I can't keep putting my life on hold for 'what ifs'...

Which is not to say that I'm going to do all of the above. I missed the window to sign up for ski lessons (and if I'm honest, I'm not that disappointed. Two years of being terrified while at the top of a hill for 8 weeks in a row was enough). And while I know realistically my walk/running and weight lifting had nothing to do with my miscarriage, I don't really want to do them again - that mental block is there. So I'm doing Aquafit instead. And Yoga. And walking.

And, I did sign up for Weight Watchers again. Because of all of the above activities, eating well before I get pregnant is most likely to have a positive impact on future pregnancy. And it's the one that's most important to me. I've managed to maintain the weight loss I achieved about 5 years ago, which is fantastic, but I've never managed to really lose more. Even doctors are starting to tell me I may never lose more, which may be true, but I'm not quite ready to accept that completely yet. So, I need to do something. Obviously. And paying attention to portion size and writing down what I'm eating has always helped in the past. And, well, even if I can't follow Weight Watchers while pregnant, keeping an eye on what I'm eating, to make sure I'm being healthy can't be a bad thing...

Most importantly, I'm not putting my life on hold for something that may take a long time to happen. It took us a year to get pregnant with Bean - there's no promise it won't take at least that long this time round either. (Although I really hope it wont...) I've been fighting the dragon recently, but holding off on doing things, on living my life, is probably a good part of why the dragon's breathing fire again. I have to do things for me, and will continue to need to make time for myself once I'm pregnant, and then a mother. So why put that off now?

Friday, October 22, 2010

even the noise you make when you sleep, can't swim across the river so deep...

It's snowing. Not just a few little flurries, but actual snow. Lightly falling snow that catches the light from the street lamps. The kind of soft snow that is so beautiful and peaceful. When it's DECEMBER. Not October.
I know I grew up in Winnipeg where snow in October (especially the tail end of October) was almost always a guarantee when I was a child (not so much these days though...), but I'd gotten used to the no snow until late November, even sometimes into December. I guess there's no denying it - I had to wear gloves on my way to work this morning, and now it's snowing. Winter is on its way.

I'm trying to figure out a plan to get me through this winter as best as possible. Winter is always hard for me - I really do feel the lack of sunlight. I have to fight the urge to hibernate and hide inside the house. Winter is when the dragon usually starts breathing fire and this winter there's good reason for the dragon to rear its ugly head. February 3rd. The day I was supposed to meet my baby. When I first realized Bean's due date, I was so happy. February is generally my worst month mood wise. It is, for me, the cruelest month traditionally, but to have my first baby born in that month - well that would change everything. There would be something wonderful to look forward to every February. And now instead there is only sadness to anticipate this coming February.

So there's good reason to plan ahead. Chart a course of action that will keep me moving forward, head above the snow banks. Exercise. Nutrition. Activity. Friends. I haven't decided what that plan of action looks like exactly, but I'm working on it. I want to refrain from my usual 'coping' mechanisms of food, shopping, and not moving from my bed.

Or maybe I'll just sleep from New Year's until Spring.  You know - either/or.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

trusting my soul to the ice cream assassin...

So, I used to blog. And I loved it for a while. And then it frustrated me for a while. And then some things happened in the background of my life that made me uncomfortable blogging any more.

And then I tried blogging again. It didn't really stick. I didn't know what I wanted out of blogging, or of that blog. It never really felt like me.

So what makes this attempt different from the last? I don't know, other than this time it feels right. Maybe it's because I'm back to stillbaking. I'm back to 'work in progress'. That this is what fits. I tried to believe that my life was as it was to be and that I was no longer still baking. I thought I was fully baked cookies. But if there's one thing I've realized through these past few months is that life is ever full of changes, and chances for growth. I've realized I'm still not done baking. I'm still cookie dough. I'm still a work in progress. And I'm okay with that.  

So why Work In Progress and Stillbaking? Well, I believe life is in the journey, and I believe it’s all about what we learn along the way. I think we're all, always, works in progress. I don’t think I’ll ever think that I’m fully done, that I’ve learned all there is for me to learn, done all there is for me to do. When I first started blogging using Blogger, ‘workinprogress’ was already taken. But the concept of being ‘in progress’ was important to me. I’m also a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show), and I got thinking about the final episode where she tells Angel that she thinks of herself as cookie dough – she’s not done baking yet. And I love cookies. So stillbaking was born...

Here's to more steps on the journey...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

she's convinced she could hold back a glacier, but she couldn't keep baby alive...

We're coming up on four months since we lost our little Bean, and instead of getting better, it feels like things are getting harder for me lately. Maybe it's because now that we've been given the okay to try again, my cycles have gone wonky. It's pretty much impossible to get pregnant if you don't ovulate. I've had two terrific cycles since the miscarriage when we weren't allowed to try, and now that we've been given the okay to try to get pregnant, nothing works. LOVELY.

So this is what's brought me back to blogging. I need a space to work through this and chronicle our hope for a family.

First a little about me.

My name is Suze. I'm married to Mike. We've been together for just over 8 years now, and we celebrated our second wedding anniversary in August.

We began trying for our first child in May 2009. It took more than a year before we'd get our first positive pregnancy test (BFP) but on May 26, 2010, we got a surprise. I was a day late. So I took a test. And when the second line came up, I didn't believe it. I'd peed on so many sticks in my life, all of them negative, I never really thought I'd see a positive test. I was meeting our Reproductive Endocrinologist for the first time that day - we'd finally got a referral since we'd been trying for a year with no luck. I went to the appointment, but instead of going through my medical history to discuss what testing he wanted to do, as was expected, he instead sent me for bloodwork, telling his assistant "This woman decided to make things easy for us by showing up pregnant." That's when it finally started to sink in. After all this time, I was pregnant! I couldn't wait to get home to tell Mike (who, of course, had guessed. The perils of having a really smart husband who knows you well, and also of being someone who gives everything away in her voice...). We were so excited, but still cautious. We told our parents, but no one else.

I had pregnancy symptoms soon after - nausea, food aversions (sugar. I couldn't stand sugar or candy or CHOCOLATE! I am a chocoholic normally but while I was pregnant, I couldn't stand it), and utter and total exhaustion. I'd never been so tired in all my life.

One of the benefits of seeing a RE is early ultrasounds, so we were scheduled for our first ultrasound at 6 weeks. That's when I first started to fear something was wrong. The baby couldn't be seen on the ultrasound, and the gestational sac was measuring only 5 weeks - a full week behind where I should have been. The RE wasn't worried - he just figured the dates were off. But I'd been charting, I knew when I'd ovulated, I knew how far along I should be. My doctor and my naturopath both tried to reassure me, telling me that my strong early pregnancy symptoms were a good sign. But to "ease my mind" the RE scheduled a new ultrasound 12 days later.

I did my best to think positively and believe that everything would be alright, but at the second ultrasound, at what should have been 7w5d, the baby was measuring only 6w2d, and its heartbeat was only 50 bmp (it should have been well over 100). The ultrasound tech was a sweet woman who told me not to worry, that maybe we were just catching the start of the heartbeat, but in my heart I knew better. And my worst fears were confirmed when the doctor came in to see me. "I'm afraid the news isn't good," he said, as kindly as possible. But a miscarriage was inevitable, he said.

Exactly a week later, at 8w5d, on June 29, 2010, I lost our little Bean.

The months since have been a rollercoaster of emotions. And doctor's appointments. At the same time as I found out about the pregnancy, I was diagnosed as being Hyperthyroid. I had always been hypothyroid, so this was strange. We were told this needed to be checked out before we could try again. Finally, at the end of August, we got the okay to try to conceive (TTC) again. We're hoping before long we'll be pregnant again, this time with our take-home baby.