Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The 'whole' truth? Is it really that difficult to say?

I whole-heartedly believe that we should be open and honest with our patients and their families. Even when we have had a new delivery/admit into the NICU that is very sick and the family is asking if everything is going to be okay, we try to be optimistic- but we don't lie to them- we tell them that their baby is sick, what we are doing and why. We don't want to scare them and make them think that their brand-new baby is going to die right there in front of them in the next 10 seconds- but if it is serious which I have had my share of these- my full resuscitation that required lines and meds to keep the blood pressure up at the same time that we were preparing another baby for transport to our level 3 for a total blood transfusion- our neonatalogist I remember was asking which baby do I need to see first as I am coming into the NICU doing compressions and he was getting ready to do lines for transport on the other baby- that night was considered controlled chaos- both babies turned out fine- but we were open and honest with both sets of parents- their babies were very sick and we would do everything for them, keep them up-to-date on their progress. But when things don't go so well, which unfortunately in my department does happen- in fact it happened with my very first micro-preemie I have heard more than one of our neo go in and speak with an expectant mom and her partner while we are either trying to stop preterm delivery or a preterm delivery is inevitable- they (the neo) basically lay it all out- depending on who it is- they are able to do so with a little more warmth and tact, but they all tell the parents the facts- all of them the and the bad- this may sound cruel, but at least our parents go into their deliveries with some sense of what is about to happen- we don't except them to remember everything that we told them- but at least we told them the truth, and whatever happens we continue to do that. Back to the micro-preemie- this baby's parents didn't want to believe what they were being told- they thought that their little miracle would fight and prove us all wrong- I wish that I could say that that is what happened in this case- the birth was beautiful, the baby so tiny, my hand forever a part of documentation for size as a family photo- the next 5 1/2 months forever burned into my memory as specialist upon specialist truthfully explained to this family that the outcome was never going to be positive, that there is nothing that can be done- this baby was just born too early with too many problems- we are sorry, we have tried, but we can't fix what is broken- no matter how hard we try. I know these parents at times thought that we nurses were heartless and didn't care about their miracle- I stopped going in this child's room in August because I couldn't handle seeing this bloated, grey 'baby' that just 4 months prior I had helped deliver and stabilize for transport to the level 3 NICU where this short life was lived out. These parents were so wrong- all of the nurses that came into contact with this child more than cared about that life- the parents found us heartless because we all didn't agree with this child being kept 'alive' suffering through infection after infection that couldn't be treated because surgery was never an option due to the baby's frailty- the baby never breathed without assistance, the brain fought for space between the grade 4 ventricular bleeds and the hydrocephalus that has developed- this baby that is almost 5 months old that was born weighing slightly more than 2 pounds with a sweet cry of that sounding like a kitten- looking like a normal healthy baby except for the fact that everything was in miniature- again the length of my hand (tips of my fingertips to just below the base of my thumb) to now a head swollen with blood and fluid, body bloated with infection, skin no longer pink- central lines, cardiac leads, feeding tube, breathing tube with ventilator- you all reading this may think us cruel, but I would say that 99-100% nurses, doctors, NNPs, RTs, CAPs- all caregivers that came in contact with this poor child where all praying for the same outcome- that this child's' suffering would end soon since the parents continued to believe that we were all wrong even after each specialist would excuse themselves from the case since they could no longer deal with pain that they felt they were causing to this child by continuing the current plan of care- the parents were always told the truth- the cold hard truth, and each time they wanted everything, and I mean everything done- they were present for multiple codes as this child went into multiple organ failure at the age of 2 1/2- 3 months- the end of this child's life was wrought with 4 back to back full codes- each time we hoped that the parents would understand what we were doing to their innocent child; each time we would hope that this poor innocent child would make the decision that the parents couldn't that the body would just finally give out and it would all be over- finally in October at the age of 5 1/2 months the parents realized that we hadn't been lying to them, we hadn't been sugar coating anything- that this precious miracle wasn't going to be going home with them- they finally allowed us release this precious angel from its prison and signed a DNR order.

Why did I tell this long depressing story- for this reason, my husband and I have some dear friends currently going through a situation where the doctors aren't being open and honest. Our friend is not being told the whole truth, he is getting what I call the candy-coated version of medical truth. Why adults are given this truth instead of what they really need to be told I don't know- According to the American Heritage Dictionary, this definition is given, and it is all to true.

To minimize the unpleasantness of; sugarcoat: "Trust is damaged when doctors seem overoptimistic, or candy-coat the truth"
A little back ground on our friends- my husband and I used to participate with a medieval reenactment group- the SCA (society for creative anachronism) we met this couple about 11 years, they were not together at the time, in fact she thought that he was annoying, he thought that she was amazing- I was new to the SCA thing- this was my first event; at feast that evening the four of us ended up kind of sitting together- she was less than thrilled with the arrangement- but was talking to me, my husband was talking with him- end of story. Fast forward several years, not exactly sure what happened- but they ended up together- fate has a weird way of working itself out :) They were married I believe about 5 years ago (they are also Trekkie's- they were married in Klingon wedding garb) They now have 2 beautiful children- a very, VERY busy man child that has his own personality and has since he was barely 2- and a beautiful princess that recently turned 2.

The current situation with this dear family started a month or so ago with brain surgery to remove what was a recently discovered brain tumor that luckily was benign. She was in recovering well for the first few days, then everything started going down hill slowly- and now in the past 2 weeks the pace has quickened but the candy-coating has remained. First she developed pneumonia which in turn caused partial spontaneous pneumothorax (partially collapsed lung) to fix this they re-intubated her and placed her back on the ventilator and high dose antibiotics- the ventilator took the pressure off her lungs and helped to re-inflate the pneumo. They have tried to wean her from the vent multiple times and each time her sats plummet almost immediately into the 50's.
Last weeks development was the discovery that she has progressively been getting weaker on the right side- a brain scan showed that she has suffered from 2 strokes, 1 effecting the brain stem the other elsewhere in the frontal area of the brain- it was also discovered that that she has a pseudo-aneurysm that is slowly leaking causing further damage. She is losing the ability of motor functions- she attempted while on a recent visit by a mutual friend to either spell something or ask for something of a nurse- she was given a pen and paper, a board with letters on it, and much assistance- she resorted to finger spelling in the air- she is losing the ability to communicate basic requests, cognitive abilities are decreasing- but again these are all just 'temporary'(The brain stem stroke would explain the inability to wean her from the vent.) All the while her dear husband is continually being told that each set back is temporary, everything will be okay- I know he believes this because he has been passing this 'hope' on in his updates to all of us in his emails, in the visits by mutual friends, by what he has told his son. Childcare recently fell through and he had to bring his young daughter with him to the hospital- when she saw her Mother, that sweet baby freaked out at the sight of her Mother- the tubes, the machines- it was all so overwhelming for the little angel. The other thing that I believe is that children are innocent and still have the ability to listen and see things that most adults can't or won't- but that is another post.
Today's developments- again only temporary of course- she will be extubated, because she is getting a trach; the nasal feeding tube is being removed, because she is having a more permanent- yet only temporary- feeding tube surgical placed into her abdomen. The pseudo-aneurysm continues to leak- the medical staff is trying to keep her blood pressure down in order to keep her intracranial pressure down to keep the leaking slow and to hopefully keep her from having further strokes.
I wish that the medical staff- both doctors and nurses would stop with candy-coating, because very soon that pretty perfect candy-coating is going to start to develop cracks that no amount of rainbow sprinkles ,gummy bears, or Photobucket is going to be able to cover up and someone is going to have clean and explain truthfully that what started as brain surgery to remove a benign tumor has turned into something much more serious- something that she probably is not going to recover from- she can't stay in the hospital indefinitely. We placed the trach and the G-tube (gastric feeding tube) because the other tubes cause damage to the soft tissues of the palate and the sinuses over long periods of time. These more permanent therapies will allow your wife to be transferred to a long term care facility- where I am sure he will again be told it will only be temporary while she continues to recover and where they can help her rehab. Or maybe, just maybe someone will get a heart and look into his eyes or the eyes of that mischievous demon spawn (their nickname for the man child) and the baby princess and begin to tell the cold hard-uncoated truth- that she may need to go home with a nurse- see what happens and go from there.

Why am I so concerned about all of this, besides them being friends, and the fact that their are 2 small children involved? Besides the fact that I am a nurse (albeit the fact that I am not allowed to work currently)? I am concerned because this hits too close to home- my family went through 5 months of this hell on Earth beginning February 1992 finally ending July 11, 1992 with my maternal grandmother. She developed an aneurysm while she and my grandfather where on their yearly vacation in Arizona with another couple. My grandmother was airlifted from Yuma, Arizona to the hospital in Phoenix where they were more equipped to care for her life-threatening condition- it wasn't even known if she would make the flight to the University of Arizona in Phoenix or once there make it through the surgery itself. I remember staying up all night long (it was a Wednesday) praying, playing the piano, hoping for a miracle- somehow she made it through the flight and the surgery. The doctor's of course were hopeful- my mother was on the next flight to Phoenix to be with her parents, over the next 3 months my mother and her 3 other siblings took turns spending time with my grandparents- my grandmother would have her ups and downs- she was breathing on her own quite quickly, but remained weak and unable to walk or communicate for a long time- the doctors convinced my grandfather to place a G-tube as it would only be temporary until she recovered and re-learned to feed herself, it would be removed prior to her discharge to home. She began to speak a few words, they didn't always make sense, but it was progress, PT began to work with her, she was able to 'stand'- in my grandfather's eyes she was getting better. My mother and her siblings decided that it would be in my grandparents best interest to get them home, so in April she was discharged to a long term care facility here in Idaho closer to the family.
I still vividly remember that tour of the facility the week before she came 'home' the facility seemed nice- the staff appeared caring- her room would actually be with a family member- a second cousin that had also suffered from an aneurysm a few years earlier- her husband was there with her daily, that was somewhat comforting, my grandfather would have someone that he knew, so would my grandmother- this other woman- I had met her a few times in the past- she was up walking with assistance, she didn't know who any of us where- she didn't recognize my grandfather or my mother or any of her siblings- these were people she had known all of their lives- that made me a little nervous- she was moody and aggressive- that was not how I remembered her, maybe it was just a bad day. The next thing that I noticed about the facility was that there was a beautiful grand piano in the lobby-I envisioned my grandmother sitting on the couch or in one of the other chairs in the room while I played for her- my recital would be coming up in a little over a month- if she wasn't able to attend, I could just come there and give her a private concert. I had all these big plans, I had my driver's license and I could drive on my own to visit with her and talk with her the way we used to- then she came 'home' the following week- I was there with my parents, my grandfather, my mom's youngest sibling and his wife and their oldest son- my cousin, 4 years younger than me. We were all so excited- my dad and I were the only ones that hadn't been down to Phoenix to visit her while she was in the hospital- I walked into the room- I had seen photos that my mom had brought back from previous visits, I knew that grandma didn't have much hair- they had had to shave it for the surgery- but in the pictures she usually looked awake and 'happy' sometimes smiling. This time she looked small, frail, pale- scared- I had never seen my grandmother look scared ever in my life, she looked confused, almost angry. She didn't recognize me, my mother had to introduce me to my grandmother- and she just looked at me with this blank stare, she wasn't looking at me, she was looking through me. Then I looked around her room- there was a feeding pump hooked up to administer continuous feedings. There was a catheter to drain her bladder. There were elastic bands tied to the side rails that she began to play with- tie into knots.
Then she started swearing- words that I had NEVER heard fall from my grandmothers lips. She noticed the shocked look on peoples faces and then made this face like a child would when they realized that they did something that they shouldn't have- then my dad asked her where she learned words like that, and she said them again and giggled- it was a game- it was at that time that I slowly began to realize that she wasn't really my grandmother- sure it was her physical body, sort of, but for the most part her soul had left her body in February- this was just a small bit left that hadn't been let go of by the family. I had to get out of there, I couldn't let my grandfather see me cry- because he was still under the illusion that she was going to get better, that she was going to wake up and walk out of that nursing home. I could see in her eyes that she was already gone- she was patiently waiting for everyone else to wake up and see that too. This person that laid in that bed would once in awhile let my grandmother come through- I got to see her once- and that memory will be with me in my heart forever- she slowly started to recognize who we were, but more importantly my special memory was the day she took my hands after she had been playing with string, again tying it into knots and ignoring me sitting beside her bed- she all of a sudden dropped the string and grabbed my hands and took them into hers she tried to sit up in bed to get a better look at me and my hands- she felt my fingers and my fingernails and smiled- she said 'oh sis, your nails' my mom stopped watering the plants and came over and looked at her mother holding my hands, rubbing my hands- I couldn't say anything, I was so shocked! You see, my grandmother's nickname for me was sis and I had always had a horrible habit of biting my fingernails down to the quick- I had stopped biting my nails suddenly a few months earlier and finally had fingernails- and she noticed- my mom answered her back that yes, I finally quit, and my grandmother looked up at her and then looked at me and just kept saying 'oh sis' and then my grandfather came in and she had to tell him that 'sis has nails'.
That was one of the last few times that I visited my grandmother at the nursing home-one the next times I had gotten a new watch, I had also always wanted to be an exchange student, I had worked very hard to get good grades to get a scholarship to do so- I finally got a partial scholarship for a summer program to go to Germany- my grandparents had always wanted me to go- our family came from Germany, they had been there a few times, when I told her about the scholarship she didn't seem to care, I tried to blow it off as a bad day- I had received my new watch as a gift to celebrate the scholarship- it was a Mickey Mouse with all of the world flags and it played 'It's A Small World' grandma looked at it as I explained what it did, I asked her if she wanted to hear it- she looked at me confused- so I pushed the button to start the music, she grabbed my hand and looked at the watch from where it was you couldn't hear the music, she was looking at the flags, then she let go of my hand the music was still playing and she was cocking her head as if looking for the music so I placed the watch near her ear- but far enough away that it wouldn't be too loud-she listened briefly then slapped my hand away. I asked if it was too loud or if it hurt her ear- she wouldn't look at me, she did the look through me thing again and ignored the fact that I was even there. The very last time that I visited she was out for a walk with PT when my family arrived, we met her in the lobby- the PT gentleman and the director of the facility asked if I had played the piano for my grandmother yet- I had not done so yet, so PT helped my grandmother to her wheelchair and placed her near the piano, my mom pulled a chair up beside my grandmother- I sat down at the piano beside my grandmother, I started to play my upcoming recital pieces, I got through the first one which was very short, a piece by Mozart, my grandmother appeared happy to be hearing me play- mom explained that I had played that piece for festival a few months ago. I then asked my grandmother if she wanted to hear another piece, she didn't answer but she smiled, so I took that as a yes, my mom also asked if she was feeling okay, if she wanted to stay out here or if was ready to go and lay down- a nurse had been standing behind us and indicated that she wasn't acting like she was ready to go, so I started to play my next piece- I was half way through the piece when all of a sudden my grandmother began to try to stand up from her wheelchair, I continued to play unsure of what she was doing or trying to do- then all of a sudden she reached for the keyboard cover and proceeded to pull it closed on top of my hands- the nurse came rushing up behind my grandmother for fear that she was going to fall, my mother noticed what she was about to do and try to stop her- my mom calling out to her mother made me aware of the cover quickly closing and I was able to move my hands in time that all that was heard was my the slam of the cover on the frame of the piano and previously played notes of my song along with my grandmother swearing 'well shit'. I just sat there staring at the closed keyboard heartbroken at what had just happened- I couldn't believe my grandmother the person that helped my mom and I pick out my first piano- my grandmother was the person that encouraged me to follow my dreams- how could she do what she just did, why would she do what she just did?
Then in July the day after my mom's birthday my grandmother was placed on hospice- she was moved to our home- into the room next door to mine- I was not at home very much during those 9 days that she was there- I stayed with my Aunt, my best friend, at my 2nd mother's house. I was there the day she passed away- we had a wonderful hospice nurse- she never sugar-coated any of it. She always was very truthful- she was able to get my family where they needed to be, she was able to get my family to the point of saying good bye and letting them know it was okay to let go.
I am seeing so many similartities between my grandmother and our friend- I just hope that it doesn't go that long- and most of all I hope that I am wrong and that I can write a post someday soon saying how wrong I am- at least for the sake of those a husband that is not ready to be alone with two children.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Can't sleep, again

I have been thinking about one of my past posts- about my issues, my job, nursing school, my life, a lot of things in general. Irish  left me a comment a few days ago on that past post- it also got me thinking a lot about why I am going to see the psychiatrist and about a specific incident I had in nursing school- also why I really didn't want to do my psych rotation- I used to joke with my husband every night (I had evening clinicals) well I am going to pick out my room- you will come visit won't you- I think the have visiting hours at least once a week if I behave myself- and I get phone privileges if I eat all my jello and don't bite any one ;) He didn't ever think that I was being very funny. Now I guess I know why.
Our director of the program had a special guest speaker come and talk to us during one of our lectures during psych- it was her niece- I can't remember if it was before or after nursing school before she was diagnosed as bipolar after having a psychotic episode- listening to her talk about the experience (I used to sit in the front row also) made me start rethinking about so much- I have never gone so far as she has- but I have to have things a certain way or I WILL re do them- I can't think how much time I wasted even in Junior High and High School re-writing lecture notes because they weren't 'perfect' by my standards. I was even going to to re-write my nursing notes AFTER I graduated until my husband made me stop, I have slowly over the past 4 years been going through them and getting rid of them- I have notes from classes I took back in 1994 my first time around in college- it is kind of scary and sad and silly.
I am nervous about what is going to happen- I worked so hard to get my degree, this was the one thing (besides being a mom) that I ever really wanted to do when I grew up- and now I don't know what is happening to my dreams. As of right now I can't do any hands on patient care because my medications have made me unsafe- and I am afraid that I will hurt someone- and that is the last thing that I ever want to happen- I want to be at work- I miss being with my coworkers- I miss being at the hospital- but when I go back it will be to do chart audits or some over type of 'busy' work- 
It just feels so weird that this is where my life has ended up after only 4 years of nursing- completing my dream- that I can't do it because of my body- that my body has yet again betrayed me- I am trying to figure out what I did to piss it off so badly or screw it up this much- I honestly can't figure it out- better living through science- not really- here are the side effects some 30 years later of giving an infant adult doses of antibiotics- glad that we don't do that for meningitis any more- and hey- there is a vaccine to prevent it now too.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I have issues......

When I first found this new community of bloggers on their final IVF/FET treatments or those that had made the difficult decision to stop the treatments and attempt to 'come to terms' with that decision- it was like a light suddenly came on for me- I really wasn't alone- it was the same feeling that I had gotten when I first found the infertility groups and then the loss support groups- I really wasn't alone- what I am feeling, all of these emotions- everything- it was all normal- I am really not crazy (well I am but that is another post) this is how I am supposed to feeling- all of these other women are feeling just like I do. Wait- all these OTHER women, maybe I am not completely broken, they aren't, they are normal, the cards just feel in the same crappy order for all of them too- I don't have to feel guilty for the decisions that I have made- I don't have to listen to my hubby try to talk me into ttc just one more time, even though just 10 minutes early he told me that he didn't want to push into something that I couldn't handle, that he 'understands'. 
No, all of you- YOU who have been through the pain and torture of feeling broken and worthless at one point in time- that you weren't a whole woman because your body let you down too. You are the ones that understand my decision, the decision that has been forced upon me by biology- the decision that definitely was not willing made- because every time I think about it breaks my heart- it tears me up inside, because it just really isn't fair- it wasn't the choice/decision that I ever dreamt that I would be making- be forced to be making- it isn't a decision that any of us should ever have to deal with ever- I know wish that with my last surgery my ovary and tube had to have been removed- it would be making this a little easier- because then at least I would be working with having only one functioning ovary and tube- not two and whatever other faulty equipment that refuses to maintain a healthy pregnancy for more than a few weeks.
I have just been referred to a psychiatrist- for OCD like issues- this doc doesn't have any idea what he/she is in for, because I have kept everything so bottled up for so many years- I have (again Irish if you read this, remember what I told you earlier- nurses make horrible patients- and I admit, I am one of the worst- 'Do as I say, NOT as I do') taken so many psych classes throughout my college career, I have a 'special' talent- not a great talent- because it doesn't benefit me except on the stage- I have learned to tell people, shrinks, family, etc- exactly what they want/need to hear to make them believe that I am perfectly fine so that they will go away and leave me alone- depressed- me, no, I am just peachy, I was just having an off day, everything is great- hell, I functioned throughout much of high school with daily migraines, I even had a few days of jobs where I had to function with close to debilitating migraines- as soon as the day would be over and I was safely in my car or at home I would completely lose it- start throwing up and curl up in a ball on the floor and want to die- pop a ton of benadryl and advil and tylenol- grab an icepack  and attempt to sleep it off so that I could put on my academy award performance the next day- now I just don't have the energy to all of that- I have tried and I just can't pull it off any more- at least not as believably- and I have learned- why lie about my issues- that is not going to get them fixed, and I am getting worse, not better- they are getting to a point where I sometimes can't function, it is affecting my life, my marriage, and my job.
I had post-partum depression after all 3 of my miscarriages- I can't imagine how much worse it would have been had I carried any of those pregnancies to term or close too it- my hubby had even mentioned several times prior to any of the pregnancies that he was concerned about my depression and pregnancy- sometimes I do wonder if there was a reason that I can't maintain a pregnancy- maybe my children are being protected from me- I wouldn't be all that surprised- I would hope that I would never doing anything that crazy, but I know that hormones and everything else kind of take over when you don't get the appropriate help, so that is what I am doing- I am finally getting the help that I have needed and ignored for a very long time- hubby is a little concerned, but I think mainly it is because of finances- but we will make it through- we have been here before, not this bad, but we can do it, I know we can.

Happy Day!!!

Well, I am so HAPPY today!!!! One of my long time friends that has been trying so hard to make her dreams come true finally did it today! And I can now stop feeling like a 'blog stalker' and relax- because Maya Louise and Sophia Marie arrived safely on Monday afternoon! http://trying-for-baby.blogspot.com/ is her blog if anyone would like to stop by and check out her exciting news and look at some cute belly shots from along the way and the nursery and what not. Heather has been there for me through a lot of my issues, my losses- and I am just so excited that someone that I met randomly through fertility friend while on my quest to become a Mom and then followed to Lounge Place to continue that quest- and then followed her throughout her finally successful IUI-  through her blog- it is just amazing how close you get to people that you don't know irl- you share each others ups and downs, hopes and dreams- they become a part of your extended family almost- I find myself talking all of my blogger family to my husband and my family when something good or bad happens in their lives. Congratulations Heather and Hubby- you guys deserve this! I mean it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Letter to My Body

Dear Body-

Why have you betrayed me the way that you have?! What have I done to you to deserve all of this unnecessary pain and heartache? I have tried to take care of you- sure there have been some bumps along the way- many were out of my control- the medications that I have had to take since childhood- I was told were for our own good.

That first cyst, the confirmation of endometriosis at age 18- the first surgery and then the start of BCP to control the cycles and stop the production of further build up of scar tissue- 'to protect' my future fertility. The knowledge at that age that conception might be difficult, but not impossible- a little Clomid but no other problems where forseen- don't worry about it- you have all the time in the world.

That next cyst a year and a half later- caught too late- it ruptured, causing who knows how much damage- told by a trusted OB/GYN "let's start depo-provera you're young; let's get all this under control for a year or so, then look at getting pregnant". We were told that the injections were safe, that they wouldn't harm our chances of conceiving- we believed, we were naive. When we were ready to stop the injections because the added weight that I put on you wasn't healthy I let others get in the way of my decision to protect you my body. I let outsiders make my decisions on how to protect my body- but is that really a reason to now continue years later to betray me- to hurt me- to fail me- to make me feel broken and inadequate as a woman?

Yes you have been put under the knife multiple times in the past 32 years: urinary issues, 2 cysts and endometriosis, an appendectomy, along with various other body parts to be repaired. I have had you poked and prodded, tested and re-tested. And then hospitalized because the estrogen that was supposed to regulate our cycles so that we could get pregnant tried to kill us with a DVT in the left leg, breaking into smaller clots traveling into each lung. This seriously limiting all future options for infertility treatments.

Along with my husband, sometimes on my own, sometimes with the urging of other family members the decision was made to wait to have babies. Wait until I was finished with school, wait until things were settled, wait until jobs were stable, wait until the perfect falling star shoots across the sky. I now know that I made us wait too long- I can't turn back time, I wish that I could, oh do I wish that I could. I know that it is no ones fault but my own for making you wait to do what you were ready to do- I am sorry- but isn't it time to stop punishing me for my ignorance- yes I took what I thought was fertility for granted- I was oblivious to the fact that all this time I was actually dealing with infertility and was on a time table- I took that for granted- I wasn't in control- you were- you are- I know that now and it is too late.

Then you surprised me in late September 2005, without any planning- you gave me, along with some help from my husband, the answer to my dreams! You gave me those first few signs- I remember how happy I was, for those few brief weeks. I called and made that first appointment after seeing that faint BFP. I remember being so careful and thankful to you not wanting to do anything wrong to hurt you are the precious cargo that you were helping me carry. Then on that early Tuesday morning, the 25th of October at 5:30 AM you woke me from a deep sleep with the cramping; I tried to ignore it, change position afraid to get out of bed because I knew what would happen if I did- I didn't want to believe that anything bad was happening- not to me, not to my baby, not today- today at 10:30 AM we were having our first prenatal appointment, later that day my Dad was having knee surgery- no this was not happening today- if I ignore the cramping it will just be a dream- none of this will be real. But it was real- you kept cramping, and then you started to get rid of my dream- slowly at first, and then as soon as I got up you let me know that everything was over. I back in bed to tell my husband that our dreams were ending- I went to my appointment to have the pregnancy confirmed by ultrasound- yes there was a gestational sac measuring 4 weeks 3 days in our uterus but there was also so much bleeding around that sac that it was inevitable- the baby was gone. Our dream ended. Why? There were no answers- but there was ironically hope- I could get pregnant- it was a bittersweet moment. Little did I know that it was actually only the beginning of what was to be the be the next 2 1/2 years of heartache that you were about to bestow upon me and my family- heartache that I still have yet to recover from.

Under doctors advise we waited for you to heal physically and me to heal emotionally- then we started the famed 'Clomid Protocol' after a well thought out and loving planned fertility ceremony was performed by a wonderful circle of girlfriends on our behalf. Cycle 1 began with much excitement and stress in May 2006 ending in a BFN; but without discouragement we went right into Cycle 2 in June 2006- and you cooperated right before the 4th of July weekend you again blessed me with a BFP! Only to have that dream ripped away on July 5th at 5 weeks, the cramping and spotting started and once again you got rid of yet another dream. And again, I ask- what I have done to deserve this- I am giving you PreNatal Vitamins, I have stopped drinking any type of caffeine, I have stopped all medications that are harmful to a growing fetus, I am eating foods suggested by fertility specialists- what more do you want from me? Is maintaining a pregnancy too much to ask of you?

Cycle 3 in July 2006 yielded yet another BFN and then the headaches began, so it was decided to stop the protocol for a few months. You continued with the headaches until August. All I wanted was a baby, I began to fear that that I had waited to long as my 31st birthday was quickly approaching. What had I done by waiting- was this your way of getting back at me for waiting until the 'time was right'? I don't know how many nights I spent begging and pleading with you for just one more chance. Test after test- result after result, retest after retest all with the same results- everything is normal with you. The only problems you have is the endometriosis that is starting to build up again which you prove to me with each months cycle and the increasing pain in my lower back and pelvis, and the 3 cysts that we have had on the right ovary over the last 10 years- other than these problems everything else is coming back normal- nothing should be causing any further problems with our fertility. And we know that our husband has fathered a child in the past.

The Clomid or on our own these are our only options- you know this as I have had long heart-to-heart talks with you regarding this- you know that we cannot do the IVF or IUI protocols- we cannot take the medications required for those protocols because they are not safe for us- we are already putting ourselves at risk with the current protocol by taking 5 days of estrogen. Because of past mental issues that we've suffered we don't qualify for adoption. This is our only chance to fulfill this final dream of becoming parents.

Our final chance ended up a surprise yet again in January 2007; I did notice the signs that you were trying to show me, but I was too afraid to be happy, to get attached, so I ignored what you showed me. My husband noticed the signs that you showed, he pointed them out and made me believe that it was really happening again, he had me take the test that showed that the BFP yet again- it was like you were giving us a life as my grandmother was saying goodbye to hers. You let me be happy, you made me sick, but I enjoyed every minute of it, you made both my husband and I feel that this baby was going to be the one, that there was something very special about this baby- I was so careful, or so I thought. You let me think that everything was great, that everything was perfect, you let me get attached, make plans and hopes and dreams for the future of our family- you let me believe that every thing was okay between us- everything was forgiven. You had me lulled into a false sense of security, I let my guard down- until that horrible day. It started out normal, I was feeling good except for the nausea that was becoming my normal daily routine, we were out shopping, had gone out for breakfast- then the spotting started, but it was light brown, not bright red, so I thought that everything was still okay- I tried not to panic- I wasn't cramping after all, it must be okay, after all this one was different, this one was special. No, you took this one away too later that day on the drive home the cramping started, and by that evening, that Sunday evening, February 11th, the cramping was bringing me to tears and I began to pass large clots- at just over 4 weeks you ended my last dream of being a Mother.

For whatever reason the 'Clomid Protocol' was attempted 2 more times in June 2007 and again in July 2007. You made me very very ill in July, tricked my body into thinking that it was pregnant with the July cycle but every test that was taken, every single one was always a BFN- yet my cycle was over a week late, the nausea continued, did we test too early, only you know the answer to the strange cycle that I had the very end of July beginning of August the intense cramping with the passage of large clots that lasted for only 2 days then suddenly stopped. Did I miss a miracle? Was that your cruel joke, your way of getting back at me for the torture I put you through over the years- you tortured me with the possibility of a pregnancy but no way of knowing for sure? That would be the ultimate joke- okay you win- no more torture, no meds, I quit.

That is it, with a broken heart and empty arms- dates to remember my angels by, statues to light candles for, fleeting memories of the many hopes and dreams that were made for each special life. You, my body, win- I can't do it any more- I give in- my heart and my soul can't take the pain any longer. I am truly sorry for everything that I have done to hurt you- all I ask of you now is to stop causing me pain- I get it, I hear you loud and clear, and all I do ask for your forgiveness- let me live my life as a childless woman, my life as a barren and broken wife- let me live my life in peace.

Brightest Blessings-

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Still at home, waiting, sleeping.....

Well I am still at home, now the only difference is is that I am no longer getting paid- I am now on unpaid medical leave- my FMLA runs out 5/10/08; I can go back to work before then, I am really hoping that I am able to go back to work before then, because there is no way that we can pay our bills on my husbands salary alone. Once we get our taxes back that will help for a while, but not for long. I am trying to find a position either at my current hospital or at another hospital or somewhere else where I wouldn't necessarily have direct patient care so that I can go back to work safely, but nothing is open in that capacity- I have even looked outside of nursing but things that I am qualified for are either a huge pay cut that would really screw us (which I don't think would make a difference- it is something unlike now- where we are getting nothing) or they don't have any benefits which is not an option- I have to have medical insurance.
It is just getting frustrating- my husband and I are fighting more and more, which isn't helping my stress level which in turn causes me to have more headaches. He doesn't understand the part of my medications and their side effects, he doesn't think my pain doctor is being aggressive enough or that I am being aggressive enough in getting my doc to understand that I really need to get back work. I am having more anxiety, more depression, more anger and frustration than ever, even with my medications- all I seem to be doing when I am not crying is sleeping. My headaches are getting better, my side effects are pretty much staying the same- I don't feel that I can safely do my job, which would put not only my license in jeopardy- that I worked so hard to get in the first place- but I don't feel safe taking care of a live person- especially a newborn- I work in the department that I do because I want to be an advocate for patients' that don't have a voice- how fair is it when I don't feel that I can do that safely- I keep screwing up my own medications on a weekly basis- I just wish that my husband would understand a little better. I understand where he is coming from, finances are a big deal, we need to have a house to live in, electricity, gas, telephone, medications, insurance, etc- but if I can't work safely I don't know what else I can do- I am at a loss. All I know is that I don't have the energy to argue with him or my Dad anymore- I know that they are trying to look out in our best interest, but I just can't do it any more. I am too tired. I hate to say this, but I am so glad that we don't have children, because I can barely take care of myself right now, I know that I would not be able to take care of a baby by myself right now. I just want to crawl into a hole and go to sleep- have everyone stop yelling at me- I want to stop feeling like I have let everyone down, like I can't do anything right- like it is all my fault that everything is going so wrong.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Happy Birthday......

Well....1 year ago today, actually 1 year ago in this morning I remember standing in a delivery room trying to keep it together watching the sunrise at an end of shift delivery suddenly realizing that I had done my dates wrong. What made me think of it that night, that shift I don't remember right now, but I remember watching that delivery thinking that should be me- I shouldn't be at work- I should be on maternity leave- what the hell am I doing here watching someone else deliver there baby- where is my baby?! And then it hit me like a cruel rush of reality- your baby has been gone for over 7 1/2 months.
Well, today, had Our Little Peanut not left us so soon would be his first birthday. So, Happy Birthday little one!

Here is the cruel trick my body is playing on me this year- AF decided to show up this morning- aren't our bodies just amazing things- whatever- life sucks sometimes.