Sunday, June 2, 2013

Return To Zero and other thoughts...

There is a new movie that has yet to have a release date, that is because this movie is the story, the true story, of a subject that no one wants to talk about, think about, admit that it happens because then the whole ugly truth will rear its very ugly head. And, that huge elephant in the middle of the room will have to be addressed, and we all know that no one wants to have to do that. It is so much easier to keep it all in a dark corner that when talked about is nothing more than a very low hush so that no one will hear you, be offended, be hurt, have to face the truth. This movie that I truly hope will make it passed the critics is called 'Return To Zero' it is the story of a family and the devastation that losing a baby can have on that family. It is based on a true family, it could be the story of many families I know, it could be my family's story.
The first time I remember hearing of someone losing a baby was when I was 7 or 8 years old. I had been with my Grandmother all day while my Mom was at work, when my Mom came to get me I overheard her talking with my Grandmother about a co-worker that had lost their baby. I don't remember the circumstances of the loss, the age of the baby, none of that, what I do remember was that there was an old plastic corsage box, I thought that I was being helpful by suggesting that I could put some pretty flowers in it and Mom could give it to her friend because it looked like a coffin. I don't really remember what was said by anyone, but I vaguely remember the reaction of both my Mom and my Grandmother, they weren't completely horrified by what their child/grandchild had just suggested, they were more afraid of what I had heard and tried to explain why my gift was thoughtful, it just wasn't appropriate. I remember being a little confused by that, someone died and I just happen to have this nice box that reminded me of a coffin, wasn't that where they put someone who had died? Was it different with babies? Why was it so hush, hush? The corsage box was thrown away, we went home and didn't talk about it ever again.
Like most little girls I had always dreamed that I would grow up, get married and have babies! I had been told at the age of 18 that I would most likely have difficulty conceiving, but it really wasn't a problem, I would just have to take some medication and everything would be fine, besides I was only 18, had no boyfriend, no prospects and most of all, I had time on my side. Fast forward about 3 years, I am now married, but we wanted to wait a few years before starting our family. My ObGyn suggested I try the DepoProvera injections as I hated taking pills, would forget to take my pills and the Depo would prevent the ovarian cysts that I had become prone to, it would also help with my irregular, extremely heavy and painful cycles. It sounded perfect. Looking back I wish I had chosen something else, I didn't get all the information about the Depo, this was partly due to the fact it had not been out on the market all that long so no one knew all of the information about the medication. The Internet wasn't like it is now, if I had had access and the forethought I would have researched the Depo and maybe found that people who had taken it long term (a year or more- I was on it for almost 3 years) were having difficulty with their cycles being irregular and/or delayed up to a year AFTER stopping the Depo. At times I blame myself for not trying to find out more information, for blindly trusting my MD that this was the best option. When we did decide that we were ready to stop the Depo so that we could start planning to start our family. After a small mishap with the MIL we did eventually stop the Depo in March of 1999; my cycle finally returned in November 1999, but it was more screwed up than it had been prior to the Depo, now it appeared that my body wasn't ovulating at all, but we were reassured that this is what can happen with the Depo (now they know) and we will stick with the same plan- fertility medications and we would be pregnant in no time at all- okay, we could go with that. Changing jobs between me and Richard, me deciding to finally go back to nursing school; we both decided that we had waited this long, what was another 2-3 years? Fast forward again...2003, I have one year left of nursing school and finally the waiting would be over! Instead of getting excited about finally starting our family excuse after excuse came up to wait just a little bit longer- get a better job, be at better job for a few months so the stress of orientation and nursing wouldn't be so overwhelming, just another month and I would have benefits. First road block, November 2004 I developed a blood clot in my leg and one in the base of each lung- I have to take Coumadin for the next 6 months to treat this...Coumadin is Category X for pregnancy pharmaceuticals, basically the two DO NOT mix and it is believed that the blood clots were caused by extra estrogen in my system from the years of hormone replacement therapy that I had been given over the last decade in the attempts to save my fertility by keeping the ovarian cysts at bay so that I wouldn't develop further scar tissue and further damage from the endometriosis that had been developing on my reproductive organs over the last several years; now as a precaution I could no longer take/use estrogen based birth control and being on the Coumadin we were given explicit instructions to prevent pregnancy at all costs. In December 2004 I developed one of my famous ovarian cysts, it didn't require surgery at that time, but we would need to keep an eye on it- hoping that it resolved on its own. By April 2005  the cyst had grown and become more painful, so the decision was made to surgically remove the cyst and the endometriosis, check on abdominal adhesions and other scar tissue, there was also the possibility that the right ovary may need to be removed. Although we had discussed it, Richard did not want me to sign the consent form, he didn't want to lessen our chances of having a baby. I thought that if the ovary was going to be a continuing problem, causing more scar tissue, ultimately causing us to not be able to have a baby, the way I looked at it was that we were being left with at least one functioning ovary. Instructions were given to the surgeon that the ovary would only be removed if absolutely necessary, consents were signed, surgery performed, ovary stayed. In May 2005 we finally made a firm decision that we would start to try in September 2005- my orientation would be finished, I would be comfortable in my new job, I would have benefits. Yet another road block...I lost my new job because they weren't comfortable with my latex allergy and the possible liability to the hospital (what I got for working for a privately owned hospital). So, yet again, what's another couple of months, we've waited this long...luckily for us mother nature finally decided to intervene, that and the surgery 5 months earlier got everything cleaned out and ready for an occupant. I can still remember waking up that September morning and realizing that my cycle hadn't started and that I was feeling a little different, I woke Richard up and told him what was going on, he thought that I was being crazy, but he humored me, retrieved my Maternal Nursing textbook and looked up pregnancy he went down the list I kept checking off symptoms. He still didn't believe that this could be happening, he came home with a HPT (home preg test) that evening....because we wanted to do it right we waited until the first thing the next morning, you know, the hormones are supposed to be more concentrated first thing in the morning...that night seemed to take forever! I finally made it to about 6 am, and then we waited for what seemed like forever...when you are waiting to see those 2 pink lines 3 minutes seems like hours! When the time was finally up we were both a little afraid to look, I think we were not sure how to react either way...finally I picked it up and at first I thought that it was a BFN (big fat negative), but then I looked a little closer and there really were 2 pink lines...they were faint, but they were actually there! I made Richard look at too, just to be sure that I wasn't imagining that they were there- he saw them too, our first BFP (big fat positive), it was really happening! We kept our secret between the 2 of us for as long as we could- we did the math and discovered that this little Angel was going to be due on my Mom's birthday and just days before my MIL's birthday; what was so special about this was that my Mom was born on her Grandmother's 50th birthday and she had always talked about how special that was for her to share her birthday with her Grandmother, Richard and I couldn't think of anything better than to be able to tell our Mom's what we 'got' them for their birthdays next year...our little Angel got her name in honor of some very special Grandmothers- Richard's biological Grandmother's last name would be her first and my Great-Grandmother (who I am named after, who shared her birthday with her Granddaughter and soon her Great-Great-Granddaughter) provided the middle name- Brierley Isabel.
She was and always will be our first, our little Angel that we never thought would become an Angel quite so quickly. There is much more to her story, it plays every so often over and over again in my head when it is quiet and my thoughts slow down as well. What I will leave this entry with is a beautiful dream I once had during the short but wonderful time we had Brierley with us....On a beautiful late Summer day at sunset in the middle of a meadow of wildflowers I see the silhouette of a little pixie of a girl running through the meadow, as she runs countless white butterflies fly up around her, slowly she turns around, looking back at me and smiles. She had the fairest skin with freckles on her sun kissed cheeks, green eyes and beautiful curls of red shining in the fading sunlight. I don't know if this was what was meant to be or where she is now, either way I smile and am saddened at the same time...I am happy that I got this rare glimpse of my sweet daughter, I just wish it would stay a little longer, maybe just long enough to touch her, hold her to my heart, just once.

No comments: