Its been a while. Quite a while. Since I last posted, we passed a lot of significant milestones. All of these milestones were pretty hard, and they actually made me feel less like writing. Instead, they made me want to crawl into my own little cocoon and burrow there for a while.
The Big Dates
The first big date was 19w2d, which was my PPROM milestone with the twins. It happened to coincide with the weekend before my SIL's wedding, so it was also a hectic family time. I spent a lot of time crying in the shower and crying in bed that weekend. Hitting my PPROM milestone was harder than I anticipated and made me sadder than I thought it would.
I was also incredibly fearful. I knew there were no ominous warning signs that my water was about to break, but it still felt like maybe there was something karmic or evil about that particular gestational age that would rob me of this little one, too.
My FIL made a toast at dinner in which he listed month by month all of the babies born in our extended family over the past year and he omitted Aminadav and Naava. Given my already fragile emotional state, this really made me feel like crap even though I know he meant no harm by it. I didn't think it was worth it to call him out on it, especially not on my SIL's wedding weekend when the attention should deservedly be focused on her, but it did really upset me and the timing was just very poor.
Y's grandmother noticed the omission and also commented that she always remembers them. We shared a little cry and that made me feel much better.
Later in the week, I reached the gestational age where I lost Aminadav and Naava. Getting to that point was surprisingly less emotionally charged and sad for me than my PPROM milestone. I felt a small weight lift from my shoulders as the day ended.
And just a few days after that was the Hebrew anniversary (yahrzeit) of Aminadav and Naava's death. I knew that being essentially on the same calendar with this pregnancy as I was with their pregnancy, all of these significant dates would come one after the other.
Their yahrzeit falls on the Jewish holiday of Purim, a particularly joyous holiday, ironically. Y and I decided not to celebrate. Instead, I lit their yahrzeit (memorial) candle and we went out snowshoeing in a nature reserve. I wanted to do something solitary in nature, so this felt right to me. In the evening, we went out to dinner. I spent a lot of time crying on their yahrzeit and the crying was very therapeutic for me and actually made me feel better, as I find sitting in the depth of my pain on occasion often does.
Then about 10 days after that was the one year anniversary of their birth/death on the English calendar. That date was actually much easier and lighter for me than their yahrzeit. I focused on my appreciation for the blessing of their brief existence instead of on all of the hurt, pain, and what-ifs and should-haves.
The Babe and Me
Thank goodness this pregnancy continues relatively uneventfully. My only major complaint is that I have frequent contractions and cramping/pressure, which coupled with my anxiety makes me really nutty. I go in weekly for a tv u/s to measure cervical length and take a quick look at the babe. My cervix continues to hold stable, usually measuring between 3-3.7cm. This is obviously a big relief.
At 21 weeks, I had my anatomy scan. Everything looked good and we were told for the 4th time that baby is a girl :) The only notable finding was an echogenic focus on the heart, but we are told that with improving ultrasound technology, this finding is becoming increasingly common and is very unlikely to have any significance in light of our first trimester screening and quad screen results.
Baby girl was super active during the anatomy scan, which was pretty cool to see. I have an anterior placenta again this time around, so movement was a little muted at first, but during the past few weeks I have been feeling consistent movement including some really good jabs and kicks that are visible from the outside, which is pretty cool. I started progesterone on the same day as the anatomy scan.
I had a detailed placenta scan at 22 weeks, which showed my placenta looks great. This is also a big relief since it seems placental issues are what began the series of disasters that ultimately resulted in the loss of the twins.
I've made one trip to L&D, which was actually a positive experience, but hopefully we won't have reason to repeat it for many more weeks. I was having menstrual-like cramping and lower back pain for a few days that wasn't going away and I was scared of PTL. My MFM happened to be on call that night and she was very reassuring. We were in and out within an hour with the knowledge that even if I was contracting, my cervix was stable.
I met with the hematologist again a couple of weeks ago. The current plan is that I can get an epidural as long as I take clotting drugs prophylactically beforehand (the concern with an epidural with a bleeding disorder is a subdural hematoma). I will see her again in May.
I am really fearful and anxious these days. I am so scared my body will screw up. I know these next few weeks until 28 weeks are really critical. I relive my water breaking all of the time - it was such a strong sensory experience.
I know that right now I am very "lucky." Lucky in that I had a relatively easy journey (relative to my previous history, anyway) conceiving this pregnancy after losing the twins and lucky in that so far, I have had a pretty good go of it this time around. (It feels a little ominous and foreboding to write that.) I have experienced enough to realize that this journey has everything to do with dumb luck and little to do with deserving.
I exist in this really weird place where I am constantly trying to mentally prepare myself for losing this dream little girl while in the same moment I can look at cute baby clothes and read carseat safety reviews. Stuck between preparing for the future I have dreamed about for so long and preparing for the death that I pray won't happen.