What it’s like to carry this

Friends, this has been hard. Really hard.

I have had only moments of being able to rise above the physical and emotional experience of this. On Friday night, DH took me out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and we had a lovely time, and yesterday we found an Indian dosa place that served us some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted. But I’m not able to tolerate almost anything I eat or drink. The distension in my abdomen is so painful! It feels like I have a giant, leaden tumor in my gut. The leaden tumor pulls forward, creating aching pain in my lower back, and under and between my shoulder blades, that can only be relieved by lying on a very hot heating pad. I did not realize that I was going to physically feel so awful. The nausea is constant—it’s not like it was before, when baybina was alive. It’s more of a sickly feeling.

I had been keeping serious depression at bay. I was—and still am—telling myself that if I can handle this with grace, then it will be worth something. If I can learn and grow from it, it will have meaning. I tell myself that I do not have to be diminished by this. I do not have to fall down a well of isolation, sobbing, and dark thoughts.

DH and I had an incredible conversation on Thursday night about ways of experiencing this, rising above what wants to pull us down, being our best selves, honoring our love, believing that we have had, and always will have, no matter what befalls us, the power to heal ourselves—all we have to do is believe that that is true, and it is true.

But the true horror of what I’m feeling right now found voice last night. I started to feel so sick in the early evening, and all I could do was lie down on a heating pad and watch movies. I couldn’t get comfortable, and I couldn’t eat or even drink very much. The discomfort was maddening. I had to take off my pants and underwear because any pressure down there whatsoever made the discomfort worse.

I started to sob. “What is happening to me is not okay! This is not okay that I’m going through this!” I was rolling around on the couch, fighting some unseen force, body writhing, palms spread on the back of the couch. “My life! My life!” I started seeing images of myself as a little girl. “I was such a kind and hopeful child! I was so excited about life!” I saw that little girl, playing in the woods in the sunshine, and I wanted to protect her from all that was going to happen to her.  I felt a million years old. I felt that parts of me had been buried forever. “Why? Why? What did I do? What did I do to deserve so much pain and loss? I don’t understand! What message am I supposed to read in all this? What direction am I supposed to go?”

I started thinking of myself in the future, sticking needles into my gut. Lupron. Lovenox. The bruises. The bloating. I’ve gone through only one IVF, and one donor egg cycle, so I know that I have not experienced even a fraction of what some of you have had to endure on this front. But the needles are very hard for me. The physical and hormonal changes to the body. There is something telling me You are so close, don’t give up just yet. And then I see myself going through another awful series of moments on The Table, in the stirrups. I see myself going through this again. And the gown on, the hair in a net, the table being wheeled into the room, the voice saying, “I’m going to count to ten…” Waking up in a brightly lit recovery room, feeling good at first, until the realization of what has just happened, what has just been taken out of me, settles in, and whatever resources I have left to help me endure time are found. Endure time. Endure time. Crackers and ginger ale. DH comes, with his kind, helpless face. “How are you bayba? Are  you in pain?” No baby in me. No baby near. No baby, never, ever baby. No hospital scene with a baby in my arms. Just another D & C. Just more loss and recovery. Just more of the same.

My heart—it is so broken.

Endure time. Trying.

I had a dream that I traveled through earth in a rickety wooden cart. The cart was on some sort of track that was very steep. At first I saw flashes of sunlight. And then it was completely black. I rolled along, more quickly. I wasn’t frightened. I knew I had absolutely no control and whatever was going to happen to me would happen.

The cart ended up passing through a circle of light onto the floor of a barn. DH was there, in the hay. “Her name is Sienna,” he said—not that he’d named her, but that he’d discovered the name somehow, somewhere out there in the landscape of this dream. I’d never considered that name, and am not even sure I would pick it for a child, but maybe Sienna was really referring to the color, sienna, which is the color of the earth, which is what I’d just flown through in my wooden cart.

Something about coming from the earth and going back into the earth.

I don’t know what I believe when it comes to souls—old souls, new souls, past lives. I do know that I want to be buried in the earth in a biodegradable cloth so that I can become one with the earth that made my life possible. I wonder if that was what the dream was trying to tell me—return the life to the earth that made the life possible. That is all. Seize the simplicity and the peace in that, if you can.

But it won’t. Not right away. It will go somewhere to be tested. And then I don’t know, physically, exactly where it will go. But maybe I should take one of these flowers here on the table, one piece of the pretty white bouquet DH got for me on Friday, and bury it in the back yard. Something pretty that can fade into mineral. And eventually disperse into new life.

Leave a comment


  1. You are doing the very best you can. There is no perfect way to deal with loss. It can be ugly and destructive and calming and grounding all at the same time. You will go through the ups and downs however it comes to you. We are all here holding your hand and supporting you through it. I think any dreams you have right now will be poignant and thought provoking. Listen to them and you’ll know in your heart what’s right. Love to you xx

  2. I a crying with you. You don’t deserve this, just as no one does.Try not to lose yourself in the things to come, just take a step and deal with today. Today you only have to endure today.

  3. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Exactly the same thing happened to me in August… baby didn’t grow past 7 weeks but little heart kept on going until 9. It’s heartbreaking and there is no right way to deal with it… I’ve been extremely up and down. Thinking of you and sending you lots of strength to keep going xxx

  4. Maddening. You don’t deserve this. None of us deserve this. Sounds to me like you are brave. You are strong. You will endure and rise above this. In the meantime be kind to yourself. If your back is in pain, ask your doctor for something to aleve the pain. That doesn’t make you weak. This physical pain is temporary. You don’t need to torture yourself. Concentrate on healing emotionally. This all is so tough. It’s not fair.

  5. You are so brave and lovely to want to not let the pain drag you down, but don’t beat yourself up… You need to grieve and that’s ok. Sending you strength, am so so sorry you have to go through this xx

  6. Freiburg

     /  October 21, 2013

    Oh, sister, I just want to give you big big hugs! I was catching up with your posts at the airport, and my heart rose and sank following the development of the little star in you. I know that no word can ease your pain. I had several losses too, I know how you feel and my heart goes out for you. There are so many things that we just cannot find answers to. You are incredibly strong, and incredibly kind-hearted, I wish you a quick recovery, both physical and emotional, and the next cycle will be the one for you.

  7. Vedha

     /  October 21, 2013

    I was not able to leave a message to u earlier,since I did not have the courage to even console you,I was looking forward to each of ur posts to see something positive come up.but this is the time for u to draw strength from the little baby who is sure going to be in your arms very soon.just chant OM……..when u feel disturbed,it should make u feel better.take care of yourself and you will be in my prayers and thoughts.

  8. Mrs. McIrish

     /  October 21, 2013

    Thinking of you today and hoping you will be feeling a bit better at least physically after the D&C. Just remember that you don’t have to be strong. I personally hate when people tell me I’m strong because I certainly don’t feel that way. You go on because you have no choice. But it is ok to breakdown and feel this. You can pick yourself up another day. Big hugs.

  9. Grace means nothing. Sob pantless. Let it tear you apart if that is what you need. Let grace come later. Sweet Sienna.

    I’m thinking of you a lot. xo


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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