So yesterday I started to wear mascara again, I haven’t worn mascara since two days before I lost Hope.  I finally feel like I won’t burst into tears at a moments notice.  It’s weird to have normal thoughts come back into my life.  Its been almost 7 weeks and I felt like I would never think of anything else besides losing Hope and feeling sorry for myself.  But, as more time passes by my mind drifts to other things that are not Hope-related.  I sometimes feel guilty, but I know that I am making progress.  I also know that I might make a u-turn in this “progress” and have mascara running down my face when I least expect it.

I am also starting to think about ttc again.  I know I need a cerclage in any subsequent pregnancy due to incompetent cervix, and I am going to go all out and get the transabdominal cerclage.  It requires surgery through the abdomen similar to a c-section, most doctors think that it’s too much, but there is no way I want to go through losing another baby.  I know I could still lose a baby due to other reasons, but at least it wont be because of incompetent cervix.  I just need to figure out if I should do it pre-conception or post-pregnancy.

AF hasn’t started yet since I lost Hope.  I went to my follow-up with my OBGYN and had an ultrasound done to make sure there was nothing retained in the uterus.  The u/s tech commented that I had a juicy follie on the left side and that I should ovulate in the next couple of days.  It measured at 16mm last Wednesday, and here I am a week later and no ovulation.  My body sucks at getting back on track after losses.  I’ve had post-miscarriage cycles where it took me 4 months and another 72 days to start AF and start ovulating again.  I feel so stuck.


Hope’s Burial

This weekend DH and I went back to DH’s hometown in Iowa to bury our baby girl Hope. It was hard, even getting on that plane was hard. Driving from Omaha to DH’s small town where he grew up was hard too. All the corn was planted and almost waist high by this time in August. The weather was gorgeous though, which was weird for me. All I did was cry on the way there.

We bought our plots in the town’s cemetary. DH’s family on both sides are buried there. DH and I decided to be buried there together too along with Hope.

The burial itself was very small and intimate. It was me, DH, DH’s mom, DH’s brother and wife and two kids. We had DH’s pastor from church say some words and prayers. Then DH, DH’s mom and I said some words about Hope. My words were more speaking to Hope directly. I thanked her for being strong and letting me get to meet her alive. I thanked her for holding my finger and showing me what a mom’s love is. I told her that I loved and missed her everyday and that I couldn’t wait to meet her in heaven. The pastor and rest of the family eventually left us alone with her, that is when I really broke down. I knelt next to her tiny vault and sobbed. I told her I was sorry, sorry that she would never experience life, never experience all that life has to offer, all the milestones and I listed them off. At that moment I wanted to be buried with her.

Eventually the sun came out from the clouds and it was so nice and sunny, not at all appropriate for a burial. I got up from my knees and knew it was time to go. I was also sad that Hope’s headstone would not be ready until October or so.

DH’s mom bought the prettiest, softest pink fleece blanket for Hope. We decided it would be nice to wrap her urn in it and put it together in the vault that would be buried. It was nice to know that Hope would be nice and warm during the cold Iowa winters.

I can’t believe that I buried my baby girl. I love and miss her so much.

Here is a picture of her tiny vault.
Hope's Burial

Rest in peace my precious baby girl Hope. I can’t wait to see you in heaven.

Coffee & Wasabi Peas

Lately I have been on a binge of coffee and wasabi peas.  Not together, that would be gross, but separately.  I drink about 5-6 cups of coffee a day now, well not whole cups, I probably babysit (coffeesit?) about 5-6 cups drinking about 1/3-1/2 of each cup.  This is mostly at work since there is an unlimited supply of Peet’s coffee bags to brew.

As for the Wasabi Peas, they are from Trader Joes.  So far I have bought about 8 bags of them and have gone through 6 bags.  DH thinks its disgusting that I eat so many of these wasabi peas.  The wasabi makes my nose hurt because its so spicy, but I keep eating them.  I eat them for dinner while I make DH a cheeseburger or meatloaf or whatever.

I realize that I have gotten obsessive over the coffee and wasabi peas, and its kind of like my addiction.  But, its just for the month of August.  I don’t know what this has to do with losing Hope, but I know its interconnected somehow.

Starting September I will try to cut out caffeine and not eat so many useless carbs.  I have 16 more days to drink coffee and eat my wasabi peas.

Inked for Hope

Yesterday, DH and I went to a tattoo place nearby to get our Hope tattoos. I am very happy with my tattoo. DH’s was very simple as it had Hope’s initials, “H.O.L” and her date of birth/passing, “7-26-13”. I have another tattoo that I got a long time ago in my first year of college, its an angel on my right shoulder. I always regretted getting it and never thought I would get another tattoo, but I am so happy with this one. Its placed on my left hip bone, very near my laparascopy scar.

My Hope Tattoo above my left hip/pelvic bone:
Hope Tattoo
DH’s Tattoo on left ribs near his heart:
Hope Tattoo DH

I wish I had her back. I miss her so much.

Missing Hope

Its been 2 weeks since Hope was born.  I still feel raw with pain and sorrow.  The last 2 to 3 days have been especially painful.  I can’t get her out of my mind.  The birth, the way she gasped and moved her limbs, the guilt that my body let her down and made her die.

I don’t know how anyone gets through this.  DH says take it one second at a time, so the seconds tick by, and I guess it is working. 

I went to go see Dr. N yesterday to get his opinion.  He agrees that it is Incompetent Cervix, but thinks that a cerclage (transvaginal) will be enough to save the next pregnancy.  I asked him about a transabdomincal cerclage, in his words, “Its like killing and ant with a hammer.”  He said if there is a family or friend that can be a gestational surrogate, then “that would be a gift from heaven.”

I feel bad for even thinking about trying again.  I miss my Hope so much.  I can’t wait for the day I get to meet her in heaven.

Hope’s Ashes

Today DH and I went to the cemetary to witness Hope get cremated. It was a very surreal experience. We walked into the chapel and there was a cardboard box with Hope’s remains sitting in the front of the chapel. It was heartbreaking to know that her body was in there, it just looked so lonely.

We sat on the pew and broke down and cried and cried. Over and over I cried, “My baby Hope, my baby Hope.”

DH then opened the container that held her body to make sure it was our Hope. When he looked inside he said her remains were in embalming fluid, but that he recongnized her face. Even at 18.5 weeks she had a recognizable face, that brings me comfort. We have pictures of her at birth, and they put a tiny knit cap on her, she ended up looking like a smurf to me, an adorable smurf.

After holding onto each and crying, we decided it was time to get the cremation started. We both carried the box together to the oven, and then DH placed it carefully in a pan. They pushed the pan in and closed the oven door. Her precious body. After a couple minutes or so, we decided it was time to go.

I am so thankful we have pictures of Hope. I treasure those pictures so much, even though some might find it hard to look at since she is so tiny, but she is so perfectly formed.

We plan on having a private memorial service for her on Sunday, just DH and I, my mom and my sister.

I love her and miss her so much.


Hope Olivia – Gone Too Soon

Warning that the following is graphic and might trigger intense feelings related to loss:

Hope Olivia L. was born on July 26th, 2013 at 12:54am at 18.5 weeks.  I was in labor for over 24 hours after I started contractions and Hope’s water was bulging out of my fully dilated cervix.  It started on July 24th, Wednesday at 3:00pm.  I felt like I was having contractions but since I never felt contractions before I was unsure.  I called the oncall doctor, they told me it was probably round ligament pain and that if there was no bleeding, I should be fine.  The doctor told me to call back right away if I saw any bleeding.  At 8:30pm, I tried to have a bowel movement and strained to do so, immediately I felt something like a clot emerge from my cervix, I reached down and was horrified to feel a bulge, almost like a water balloon.  I yelled out, DH asked what was wrong and I told him that we had to go to the emergency room right away.  I called the on call doctor again and told her about the water bag, she said she would tell the emergency room that I was coming in.

Once in the ER, the ob/gyns determined that it was indeed the sac, and that it was bulging through a fully dilated cervix.  They also did a scan and determined that Hope was still alive, moving around with good heart rate.  They told me I was going to be admitted, but not to Labor and Delivery since I was only 18.5 weeks.  I was finally admitted at 2am on Thursday morning, the doctors all agreed that I was going to deliver Hope soon, there was no way she was going to survive.  Since she was still alive I told them there was no way I was going to induce labor with my water in tact.  My only options were to induce if my water broke on its own, or if she already passed within my womb.  I was so numb, I couldn’t believe the reality of the situation.  I begged God to wake me from this horrible nightmare.

I only got 3 hours of sleep that night even while taking am.bien.  My contractions let up and I started thinking about being on bedrest to get Hope to viability.  The doctors reminded me that even if I could keep the bulging water sac from breaking for another 6 weeks, that Hope would be born with so many complications that would not be good for her.  I then begged God that if it was his will to take her to heaven, then to let it be sooner rather than later.  I was so wrenched with guilt that I was letting her down, letting her die while she still was living at that moment in my womb.  I got another scan, Hope looked so adorable, I couldn’t believe that her precious beating heart was in jeapordy, and that she was going to be gone soon.

At 6pm that evening the contractions started to pick up and the pressure in my rectal area became very intense.  I asked for some pain medication, they gave me a shot of a narcotic, they would not allow an epidural.  The medication did nothing for me except make me throw up and feel so drowsy and dizzy.  I went in and out of sleeping and throwing up, only to awaken to each painful contraction.  DH just stared out me while I moaned in pain.  The pain and pressure went on until about midnight when the pressure started to transfer to my vaginal area from my rectum.  I felt like I had to urinate, they gave me a bed pan, but I begged to go to the bathroom to try to pee.  The nurse was weary and said I might give birth in the toilet, but I went anyways.  When I got on the toilet no urine would pass, suddenly I felt the sac descend even further down and I got up to go quickly back to the bed.  I yelled for the nurse to call the doctor, that I was having the baby right then, she didnt believe me, another nurse came and examined me and finally agreed that the baby was right there still in the sac.  I begged them to get the doctor because I wanted DH to baptize her with water if she was born alive and before she passed.  The doctors came running in and I pushed may once or twice, felt the sac come out and break instantly.  DH quickly sprinkled her with water and said, “Hope Olivia L., you are being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

After that they wrapped her in a towel and DH laid her on my chest.  She was so tiny, but I felt her weight on me, it was the greatest and most bittersweet feeling.  Hope moved her arms, her fingers had fingernails, I gave her my finger to grasp, she held on tightly.  She seemed to gasp, I tried stroking her arm, but her skin seemed so delicate I was afraid to hurt her.  DH and I told her over and over again how much she was loved, how we were so thankful for her.  How her Grandpa Ron would be waiting for her in heaven.  She was perfect and beautiful in every way possible.  We told her how prowud we were to have her as our first born and our daughter.  The nurse finally took her to dress her in a tiny cap and dress.  I am so glad DH took many pictures of her.  Hope’s images have been a lifeline for me so far.  I think many people would be too squimish to see her picture, but it brings me comfort that I can forever remember what she looked like.  DH laid her on my chest again while she was clothed, we talked to her some more, I think by this time she had surely passed.

The doctors and nurses came back to attend to me and to see if they could deliver the placenta.  During this time DH took Hope and sat with her and got to spend his own time with her.  It was determined that my placenta would not budge and would only come out in pieces, the pain was excrutiating while they manually tried to do this.  Finally, it was time for them to take Hope away.  We were assured that she would be placed in the morgue until we were ready to cremate her.  I stroked her arm and reminded her of how much she was loved, then she was gone.  Gone too soon.

The next day I had to have a D&C to remove the placenta.  I lost a liter of blood in the surgery and had to have a transfusion, but everything else was textbook and they were able to remove everything.  Even today, 2 days later my bleeding is very minimal, and I have had no pain or complications from the surgery.  We were finally discharged on Friday at 7:30pm, less than 19 hours after I had given birth to Hope.

It is so hard to even breathe right now.  I am in so much emotional pain.  I was fine on Tuesday, I can’t believe Wednesday brought such a different outcome.  I was supposed to have my 19 week anatomy scan this Tuesday, July 30th.  They were supposed to do a thorough check of my cervix.

So I come back here to this blog.  The irony has hit me that I started this blog for my IVF experience, and with the surprise pregnancy of Hope I had only come back to update my readers (literally this week) on that surprise news.  The ironic part is that I named this blog IVFhope, not knowing that I was going to have my first born named Hope.  I feel like I can use this blog to tell my journey about her and what I have lost and gained through carrying her for 18 weeks and 3 days.  It might not be a lot of posts, but whenever I have the urge to share my feelings, I will come here and share them with you.

Thank you for reading this far, I know it was a lot to take.

Newly minted mother of Hope – C

Surprise BFP

I wanted to come back here and update.  After my failed IVF cycle in Feb/March, I vowed to take a break from all that was ttc until June/July.  I would take a 3 month vacation just to enjoy life and then try a FET in the summer.  I guess God had different plans for me.  On a whim in April I took a opk and it was positive, we did the deed.  Let’s say it was the only time DH’s sperm made an appearance that month.  I tested on April 10th because I was spotting and it was very early to be spotting (and I usually do not spot before AF arrives).  It was a bfp.

The first 8 weeks were a rollercoaster and I was sure I miscarried so many times because of a SCH clot that caused massive amounts of bleeding.

But, here I am today, 17w3d and we are having a baby girl due December 24th.  I could not be more thankful.



BFN – Confirmed

Had my beta this morning that confirmed the BFN.  I wanted to be that mythical story you always heard about on the infertility boards.  You know the woman who had bfn after bfn on her hpts, had absolutely no symptoms, but to her surprise, the bw comes out positive.  Well, hope crept in at the last minute, maybe, maybe I could be her… 

IVF is such a crapshoot.  So I still have 4 frozen embryos.  I am unsure as to when to go for the FET.  I think I will take a break for now.  Maybe the summer will hold out better luck.  At this point I dont know if we should just stop trying.  I need to sort through my thoughts.  I am not making any promises for now.

Until then, I will take a break from this blog.  I will start again once if I am ready to do the FET.

Thanks for reading. – C

ivf hope less

So I took a test yesterday (6dp5dt) and there was a faint positive on a wondfo test, the second line was clearly visible, but faint and it was a thick pink line. It took about 10 minutes for the line to appear, but as it dried it looked more prominent. I dipped a frer in the same sample, and no line, not even a squint of a line. I thought it could be anything, maybe still the trigger, even though trigger was on 2/18, 14 days ago, and it was only 7,000 iu of nova.rel. It didn’t seem like a good sign that the frer was completely negative though. Fast forward to this morning (7dp5dt) and I dip a wondfo in fmu and the line is barely there, a ghost line. Chemical? Trigger that is now completely gone? The thing with the trigger theory is that I tested the trigger the day after I took it, and the bfp it gave me was so light. I have a very hard time believing that it would still be in my system after 14 days. So I have to assume that it was a chemical. My beautiful embies tried to implant, but didnt make. I already miss them.

I know what you guys are going to say, it’s still early, anything can happen. But, I can’t hold onto hope like that. That’s a hope that is on the wrong side of the statistics. I am at work now, and all I want to do is bury my head in DH’s arms and cry. But, that will have to wait for tonight. I know I know, there are stories out there, maybe of the exact same scenario, where women just like me had a bfn then magically were pregnant. But, as always, I need to manage my expectations.