Saturday, October 8, 2011

2011 - secondary

i've gone back and forth as to whether or not i would actually include this post in my 30. it makes post 31, after all. and, although it's not my favorite topic, or the happiest memory of this year, it has been a huge part of my year and ultimately who i am becoming.

it all started in july 2009 when ryan and i decided we were "ready" to expand our family again. we had been hesitant for a few months as we dealt with leah's delays, but that summer she had become a pro at walking and we felt confident her other delays were simply bumps in the road that we'd soon leave in the dust. when we decided we were ready to have leah, it happened fast. like one month fast. so we knew we needed to be ready ready this time. as in having a baby in nine months (or 8.5) was a-okay. and we felt it was.

three months passed without success, but with a devastating diagnosis, so we were okay with the slight delay in plans. a few more months passed and i grew uneasy about what might be around the corner. there had to be some reason it wasn't happening.

that next summer, after 12 full months of nothing, i met with my wonderful, amazing, incredible, super-awesome doctor. over the next few months we did some more in-depth tracking and even started on clomid. then we doubled the clomid. then we tried an i.u.i. and guess what!? it worked!! in january of this year, i took a positive pregnancy test. i had to keep checking it. after 19 months, i just didn't believe my eyes. it really worked! my due date was october 22nd, which was perfect because i'd always wanted a fall baby. fall birthdays are the best.

a few weeks passed and my first check-up approached. as the doctor slid the ulstrasound wand along, i knew immediately something was wrong. i had prepared myself for a possible miscarriage due to some other complications i was aware of. but really, those complications made it harder to get pregnant than anything else. so i figured i was in the clear.

my doctor found the fetus and measured. and then measured again. and i knew. it didn't look like leah's first ultrasound and they were at nearly the same week. and then, with anguish in her eyes and a sad, soft voice, she explained that i was pregnant, but the fetus had stopped growing about three weeks prior. she wasn't certain why, but she was certain i would miscarry. she gave some directions and a hug and left me in the lonely exam room.

i cried a lot in the next few days, but i hadn't even announced my pregnancy to more than ryan. so when i went to pick up leah, i had to explain my previous good and now bad news to a good friend. and then to ryan. and then to my mom. i sort of left it at that, figuring i could tell others as needed after i actually miscarried, most likely a couple weeks later in late march.

when it didn't happen in march, or in april, i continued to ask my doctor what we should do. she wanted to avoid a d &c for my sake as it could cause scarring, making conception even harder than before. naturally was just best. and so i waited. my levels slowly decreased, but weren't quite at zero when i left for europe. so, as luck would have it, my levels actually depleted in london at les mis. and in the mini bus on the drive to switzerland. and on my first full day of sessions at the rett syndrome conference in boston. (if you don't know what that means, don't worry. i'm certain you don't want it explained.) and then it was done. just like that.

but it had dragged on for so long, it was awkward to bring up in conversation - even to friends and family i felt should know. slowly, through random encounters, some friends found out. some were hurt they hadn't known earlier. some were sad they couldn't have helped more. and some were just sad. women with similar stories came out of the woodwork, helping me to again realize i wasn't alone.

but the summer - the busy, busy summer - came and went and my belly didn't grow. and more than a handful of friends and family shared their own exciting news. although i'm delighted for them, it doesn't make it any easier. october 22nd will come and go just like every other day and there will be no soft, squishy, perfect little baby in my arms. no little brother or sister for leah to dote upon. and it just leaves me to wonder.

i feel confident we will grow our family. i'm just not sure when or how it will happen. only time will tell. i know there will be a happy ending to this tale, i'm just hoping i don't have to turn many more pages to get there. and whenever and however it happens, i'll be waiting with open arms and an ever-swelling heart.

also in 2011 {see, it really has been a great and fulfilling year!}:
 {january - ringing in the new year}
 {february - surprising ryan!}
 {february - valentine's day prom and a handsome 30 year old}
 {february - wining it up...or watching others wine it a fabulous rett syndrome fund raiser}
 {february - with miss ribbons}
 {april - my pink easter beauty}
 {april - shivering in new hampshire in my super cool rain coat}
 {may - irsf conference and great company}
 {may - europe!!}
 {june - preschool graduation}
 {june - girls camp. love my beehives.}
 {june - celebrating a wonderful dad}
 {july - great escape take 3}
 {july - merwin}
 {august - 3,200 mile trek - with a stop in niagara}
{september - our new home sweet home}


Rach said...

we miss you so much. just seeing you in front of your "new" house is almost a betrayal :)
we are so lucky to know you maren. you have had lots of different struggles but i feel so blessed to see someone of your caliber face life and tackle everything that is thrown at you. i just love you and admire you.

Shannon said...

oh how my heart aches reading this. i just love you to pieces.

Rob and Marseille said...

I'm sorry you had to go through this. I know what you mean about stories coming out of the woodwork- alot of people have gone through this. Wow-during your Europe trip-yikes! I was praying that one of mine wouldn't happen during my sister's wedding...and luckily it waited until I got home...Christmas afternoon. But better than a wedding/during the temple session/reception/airplane ride.

t.t.turner said...

Love you, Maren. You are the strongest woman I know, and I really mean that.

Michelle said...

all of these pictures make me love you even more. I seriously just love you. I LOVE the picture of your little family in July, (leah in the yellow dress) - and you seriously looks amazing in that grey dress at the rett fundraiser. i feel pretty dang lucky to know you. good run this morning by the way.

Karen Hauley said...

It's October 22nd and I'm reading this post for the first time. . . i love you.

Tiffany Toronto said...

Love you Maren! You have become such a dear friend to me and my little family. I am so sorry for all the challenges you have faced the past few years, but I can see what a strong, courageous woman you have become through it all. We are so grateful that you came to NH and that you are on the same road as us right now :)

Jen said...

Ditto to Karen: It's October 22nd and I'm reading this post for the first time.

Why did we never talk about this more? :) Big hug from across the continent and prayers for a miracle.

ed and kelli said...

dude, i miss you. i wish we lived closer.

Colleen said...

glad you shared this one. you have a way of taking the crappy stuff life throws at you and using that to make you stronger. instead of crumbling, you pick up and carry on. i admire that : )

Amy said...

I know you don't know me very well, but I just think you're amazing. Really, truly amazing. My close family and friends hear about "maren, you know, my blog friend" all the time. :) Glad to know you're surrounded by so many great friends & family.

two forks said...

maren - i'm sorry i was so slow to catch up on your blog. i definitely can empathize with your feelings. i'm sorry you had to go through this. the best word i find to describe it is also, lonely. i've found the more i have opened up about my experience the more people really do crawl out of the woodwork. not that it makes the heartache go away, but sometimes it makes it just a little bit more bearable. wishing you the very best!

Michelle said...

Maren, you are amazingly strong and I admire you!

This is EXACTLY how I feel and I think you did an absolutely wonderful job at summing up infertility/waiting for a baby:

i feel confident we will grow our family. i'm just not sure when or how it will happen. only time will tell. i know there will be a happy ending to this tale, i'm just hoping i don't have to turn many more pages to get there. and whenever and however it happens, i'll be waiting with open arms and an ever-swelling heart.

Prayers are being sent your way! Hope you can grow your family soon!

carolee said...

Maren, I really loved reading all your memories in celebration of your birthday. I can't believe how much detail you can remember as a child. Amazing!

It breaks my heart to know you've had such hard things dealt your way this year. Lots of love to you and your cute family. We miss you guys lots!!