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Karin's Trying to Conceive Journal

Entry #1
~ Deciding to TTC Again

Karin JohnsonBefore I met TJ, I never wanted to have children. My mom always told me that I just hadn't met the right guy. Ok, mom. Well, she was right. Before we married, TJ and I discussed having children and to my amazement, I heard myself say, yes, I think two or three children would make a perfect family--or maybe even 4! It just seemed like the most natural thing in the world. I finally felt like I knew what my purpose was here on earth. I am going to be a mommy to the most amazing kids with the most amazing dad.

I never thought getting pregnant would take so long! We tossed out the birth control pills in March 2000 and just let nature take her course. Two cycles later I started charting. Then finally in October, I felt something was different. I was craving Taco Bell (which I do not care for at all!) I had the craziest cycle, which I attributed to my stressful teaching job. I didn't even think I ovulated that month, but I was late and my breasts hurt something fierce. I tested at the urging of my friend who had just given birth a month before--she was excited to have a possible playmate for her son. At 1 am, I couldn't stand the suspense any longer. I figured it would be negative as it was all the months before when I was convinced I was finally pregnant. To my complete and utter amazement, I watched the two lines turn blue. I jumped on TJ and woke him up shouting that we were finally pregnant! He rolled over and said something like, "uh-huh, yup, you're joking." About two seconds later, he bolted straight up and asked if he heard me correctly. I was smiling from ear to ear, and he just knew I was serious. He was so excited; he even told the bus driver and the man at the latte stand on the way to work!

We calculated the arrival of our bundle of joy to be around July 16, 2001. How were we ever going to be able to wait that long? Our hopes and dreams were becoming reality. I made an appointment to interview a midwife. I was pretty sure I would have her attend the birth; I had met her when she was a guest speaker at my Doula class. I liked her very much, but I wanted to have a formal meeting with her just to be sure. I was on Cloud 9.

Then one morning, I woke up bleeding. My heart just stopped. I had been having some cramping, which I know is normal. I just thought it was a little too intense, but I was going to talk to the midwife about that. I called TJ at work in an absolute panic. The midwives were not in on Fridays, and I wasn't even a patient there yet. TJ wanted me to call my regular doctor, with whom I was very upset (long story). I remembered that she wasn't in the office on Fridays, so hopefully I could see one of the other docs and they would reassure me that everything was ok. I called and they told me to come right down. I had to start the drive myself . . . I stopped to pick up TJ and thankfully he drove the rest of the way. I was shaking so hard; I'm sure I would have had an accident. To make a long story short, I was losing the baby. I saw one of the physician's assistants. She was so mean to us. I had to fight to be heard. She repeatedly told me to stop crying; after all, it was only a bad blob of DNA, not a baby. At one point, I told her she had better be quiet because I would no longer be responsible for my words. We believe that life begins at the moment of conception. Shame on her for trying to de-humanize our experience and dispute our beliefs. We left filled with sadness; our hopes and dreams shattered. How are we supposed to put it back together and start again?

The next day we drove out to our favorite beach along the Pacific Ocean. We sat and prayed and cried together. We watched the sunset and hoped that our faith would help us heal. We decided to name our angel Alex. We also put together a memory box for him including a positive pregnancy test, a guardian angel pin, a little shirt and socks, some rocks from the beach, and a little stuffed Piglet. The box is a small Classic Pooh lunchbox, which is kept on the window seat. We also started an angel ornament collection for Alex.

I must say that I am eternally grateful to my wonderful friends and support system here at StorkNet. I would not have been able to begin grieving without your love and support. Our families were of the "it wasn't meant to be" mentality. My sister (a trauma nurse in the ER) had the nerve to tell my mom that I should just get over it; after all, she (my sis) sees decapitated people every day in the trauma unit, and that is really something to be upset about! Can you believe? Anyway, now I am on the emotional roller coaster of dealing with grief and TTC.

My days are about half and half good/bad. I find that I have the most difficulty when I am in the mall or at the airport. Ok, anywhere you find lots of cute babies. For about the first four weeks, I was in such a fog. I couldn't understand how people were living a normal life. Time just stopped for me. I couldn't imagine it ever going back to normal. I have been forever changed. I have lost my innocence and now completely understand how fragile new life is. I joke that I will worry for the first 25 years or so of each baby's life.

Deciding when to go full steam ahead with TTC has been very tough. We want a baby more than anything, but to try knowing that the possibility of another loss exists . . . *sigh*. It's very frightening. I also don't want to feel like I am replacing Alex. We will always have a little hole in our hearts for him. TJ wanted to start trying right away. His reasons were that it took so long the first time; we will be able to heal while we wait. If we should happen to fall pregnant sooner, then we will have something to look forward to. During the first cycle, TJ had to go away for a weeklong business trip. We missed the fertile days, and I was actually quite relieved. The second cycle, I'm not quite sure what happened. I ovulated early and with no warning signs. We figured we had one chance. AF was very late . . . 5 days. I was so terrified those five days. When I began to accept the fact that I might be pregnant, I tested three times. Nothing. I went over and over my charts. I was definitely late with 19 days of high temperatures. I was either pregnant, had a cyst, or my hormones were still in a tizzy. I'm going with the hormone theory. AF finally showed. I was ok with that as I wasn't quite ready.

Now, I'm ready. A little scared, but ready. Later this week, we are leaving on vacation. We really need some time away from home to relax. And work on the baby dancing! Maybe a change of scenery will be exactly what we need. Unless the plane ride throws me off (which hasn't been the case in the past), we will have fantastic timing. Wish us luck!

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