Friday, May 23, 2008

As Close As We're Gonna Get

I finally heard from our genetics counselor today. After months of leaving her voice mails she called me today to tell me what the doctors had finally decided. She made sure to tell me that Avery's X-rays had been looked at by a few doctors all over the country and that they were going back and forth between two diagnosis but had finally agreed on one. Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type II. This is also known as brittle bone disease. Type I is not considered lethal, Type II is. This is a diagnosis that they had ruled out during my pregnancy because they had seen no obvious breaks in Avery's bones during any of our ultrasounds. They had noticed, however, that over time her bones became crooked and misshapen. The doctors decided on this diagnosis because in her X-rays they could see that her ribs looked like they had been broken and healed. She never gave me a name for the other possible diagnosis. All she said it was very rare and that most of what the doctors saw pointed toward the one that they had decided on.

So what does this mean for our future attempts at a family? Well we have been given no more than a 2 % chance that it will occur again. That is a little bit higher than I was hoping for but not as much as I was afraid of. I am only skeptical because we hit all the bad odd when pregnant with Avery, other than getting pregnant of course. The heterotopic pregnancy that was found at 11 weeks had about a 1% chance of happening. Avery's condition was also very rare and we just happened to hit that as well. I can't help but wonder what our next attempt would be like.

This is something that Skeet and I probably passed on to her but there is no way of testing us to check for sure because it can affect only one egg or one sperm. They could possibly test our embryos but it is a very complicated and extensive test and would most likely make it less likely that the In Vitro would work. The suggestion that we were given, if we choose to go ahead with the FET (frozen embryo transfer) is to get frequent scans throughout the first part of the pregnancy until the diagnosis can be given or ruled out. If we did go that route, the only purpose that the scans would serve for me is to give me peace of mind if the baby is healthy as early on as possible. If it does occur again we already know that we would not terminate the pregnancy, everything happens for a reason and if we were chosen to be the parents of two special angels then so be it. My only concern is whether or not I can take the chance, even if it is a very small one. The fact that there is any chance at all scares me to death. The only thing that I know I can do is pray. Pray that my Heavenly Father will guide me in the direction that He has planned for me. The He knows what is in store for us and that His will be done.

Skeet was surprisingly optimistic when I told him, I know that he has been scared so when he reacted so well it did help me a little bit. But I couldn't help but cry, I don't know if it was out of relief of finally having an answer or out of fear of what is to come, but I stopped at the cemetery, sat in front of Avery's grave and cried, harder than I have in a while. Then I came home and slept. I feel a little better now, but I still don't know what we are going to do other than once again, put all of our faith in the Lord and pray that he will guide us.

I am going to bed now, I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Have vs. Had

This is a very hard topic for me to write on. I am torn on what to tell people when they ask if I have any children. Of course I do, I have a beautiful daughter who is watching over me from heaven. I have gotten the question a lot, "Do you have any kids?". To which my answer usually is "Yes, I have a daughter." Then I get the questions "What is her name?" or "How old is she?". To the latter I have to explain that she passed away at birth and that she would be 7 months. Then, people feel strange and they usually stop with the questions at that point after they say "oh I am so sorry", or one girl- who's little 9 month old baby happened to share Avery's name- didn't say anything at all just stopped talking to me altogether.

I don't mind talking about my daughter. I am extremely proud to be her mom and am willing to talk about her at any time. A couple of times however, to avoid the follow up questions I say "had" instead of "have". It doesn't mean that I used to have a daughter but don't anymore. It simply means that I have a beautiful daughter who is no longer living on this earth. Some days it is just so much easier, we get the "I'm so sorry's" out of the way a couple of questions earlier and the person can go on feeling uncomfortable.

About two weeks after Avery was born I had a woman stop me in an aisle at the grocery store. She said to me "You look like you have children, can you tell me where the glue sticks are?". I was so taken aback. I was trying not to burst into tears and run off. I answered quickly "I don't, but they are right there." Walking away I realized what I had said and felt extremely guilty. To this day when I think about it I still feel guilty. I should have just pointed her to the dang glue sticks and left it at that. Why did I add the extra statement? I think that perhaps I was so unprepared to face that type of question or comment, I hadn't really had time yet to think about what I would say to strangers when the question came up. Or maybe it was a test and I failed horribly. Whatever it was I hope that Avery knows that I love her and that she will be my daughter forever and no one can change that.

I know I have some friends out there in a similar situation as mine, and even to those who aren't, what would/do you say?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No end in sight

This is the project we will be working on for the next couple of months. We have a half acre so it is going to be a lot of work. If I can at least get some grass in this year I will be happy and so will my doggie.

This is Callie, mad at me cause I just gave her a bath.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day out there to all those mothers that have been such a huge inspiration to me. My mother is the best. I love her with all of my heart and would be completely lost without her. I only hope that I show and tell her that enough. Today has been extremely hard for me. I miss my little girl. I found this poem somewhere (I don't remember) but it really stuck with me.

I am still her mother
In a baby castle, just beyond my eye My baby plays with Angel toys that money cannot buy. Who am I to wish her back into this world of strife ?No, play on my baby, you have eternal life. At night when all is silent and sleep forsakes my eyes,I'll hear her tiny footsteps come running to my side. Her little hands caress me so tenderly and sweet, I'll breathe a prayer and close my eyes and embrace her in my sleep Now I have a treasure I rate above all other,I have known true glory - I am still her mother
-Author Unknown

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Where did it come from???

Until recently, I have been extremely proud of myself with the way I have been able to handle seeing pregnant women and newborn babies. I have rarely asked the question "Why?" ( I say rarely because nobody is perfect). The last 6+ months I have tried really hard not to throw myself a pity party and I have tried to be happy for those that are able to be blessed with healthy pregnancies and babies. For some reason, it is not so easy anymore.
Yesterday I attended the graduation convocation for the SUU School of Business, because I had been asked to help out. The day started off stressful and when I got there I was a little bit on edge. Then, as I noticed all the baby bumps and strollers coming through the doors I started to feel bitter. I tried not to notice but anyone who has dealt with fertility issues or has lost a child will agree that it is hard not to notice. It is almost like you develop a hyper sensitive pregnancy beacon that automatically points your eyes in the direction of a pregnant woman or baby and makes it incredibly hard to look away. There were so many young couples that were expecting or had just welcomed a new little baby and I found myself wondering "why?".

I think that I am particularly emotional right now because my only sister just moved across the country, and she took my adorable nephew with her. Ayden, my nephew, had become my own personal "cheerer upper". Anytime I had a bad day all I had to do was stop by and see him smile at me and all the bad stuff just seemed to go away. No one could spend 15 minutes with that kid and not come away smiling and in a better mood. He has an adorable smile and gives hugs that melt your heart. He has been my little buddy since the day he was born, and Charise isn't too bad either! ;) She moved in with me when she was around six or seven months pregnant with him and it had been a couple of years since the last time we had lived with each other. I had really missed her being around. So when she was finally back in Utah it was so great to always have her there to watch Grey's, go to lunch, or just sit and talk. After Ayden was born she moved in with my parents but we stayed very close. (They only live 10 minutes away!!) This past December she married a great guy. He treats her well and loves Ayden, they seem to be made for each other. The only problem is... he is currently in Dental School in Philadelphia. They lived apart, seeing each other a couple of times a month, for 5 months and she finally made the move this weekend. It wasn't the first time I have had to say good bye to her but it was definitely the hardest. Probably because this time we had to say goodbye to both her and Ayden.
I really don't know what I am going to do without her. She got me through the hardest time of my life. She was always there for me and she loved Avery so much. I really don't know what I am going to do with out her. It is really hard to be happy for her when I miss them both so badly.

So, I am blaming my recent moments of weakness to her leaving. I can only handle one extreme emotion at a time and with Mother's Day coming up next weekend, my best sister and favorite little guy being thousands of miles away and the extremely obvious pregnancy epidemic going around... it's just too much to deal with. I am giving myself credit for being able to make it through everyday without having a complete breakdown.