Monday, February 14, 2011


This post has no real theme.  Mostly it's just to let everybody know that I haven't been entirely lost to February.  We were granted a reprieve over the weekend, when the temps got up into the 50s and even though I have taken this cold snowy winter as a gift that keeps everyone indoors under a blanket, we walked the dogs in the sunshine and it felt pretty good.

I wore my polka dot wellies which embarrassed David but there were a lot of puddles and slushy snow patches and some icy patches on the shadiest part of the sidewalk so the wellies served me well.

The dogs got filthy dirty, especially Little Mac, who walks low to the ground.  So when we got home we decided it was B-A-T-H time for her.  Bathtime has always been an ugly and traumatic experience for us when it involves Little Mac.  She growls, she shrieks, she bites.

Yesterday was no exception.  She drew blood twice, biting David's forearm and his hand.  I abandoned the effort to take a phone call from my doctor and worried briefly this might be a battle to the death.  But it wasn't.  Mac emerged clean and lavender scented and I treated David's wounds with hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin and bandaids.

How dare u bathe me?  I will cut u.  With mah teeth.

David ran to the grocery store later and when he returned, Mac bounded up to him, all happy greetings.  David was a little less eager to forgive, but we just take Mac for what she is.  Psychotic personality issues and all.  So he petted and sweet talked her, even with the bandaids on his hand.

* * *

I talked to my doctor yesterday about my blood tests results.  Everything is normal except for one gene mutation, cutely abbreviated MTHFR.

"It's nickname is the Mother Father gene," my doctor explained.

"Oh, really?" I said, "Because I had another nickname for it."

He paused, then chucked and said, "Yeah, I figured."

I had already researched the MTHFR and there are a few different variations of it.  I have the one that is most common (30% of Caucasians have it and don't ever know it) and it's also the one that doesn't affect blood clotting.  Typically when people have MTHFR, especially in combination with another clotting factor, it can be very problematic and can cause pregnancy loss.  But the version that I have really only affects the absorption of folic acid and, unless it is in combination with other factors, it does not offer an explanation for pregnancy loss.  My doctor said that we can't assume this is what caused Eliza's death and we will never have an answer.  I was taking folic acid in the form of a prenatal vitamin even before I became pregnant and continued throughout my entire pregnancy.  And obviously some people have perfectly healthy babies without taking vitamins or having any kind of prenatal care.  So this doesn't solve the mystery.  It just gives us an extra precaution to take next time.  Extra folic acid and a baby aspirin to be on the safe side.

I told him that safe sounds good to me.

* * *

I picked up David's Valentine gift on Friday.  Nothing really exciting--a pound of chocolate covered strawberries from Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate.  And yes, I expected him to share with me.

We had a nice low-key weekend, eating chocolate covered strawberries but also cooking some healthy meals.  My appetite is still pretty off so I have decided I need to be sure that I am eating real food.  This is the new goal for the remainder of February.  Eat healthy.

With chocolate covered strawberries for dessert, of course.

* * *

Another parent offered me their condolences at the learning center.  It was the first time I was able to say thank you and keep working without crying.

Earlier that day, though, I had an encounter that did make me tear up.  A mother at the learning center didn't say a word to me, but just gave me a huge hug and a kiss on the cheek.  She left right after that, but I could tell she was crying and I couldn't help but get all teary too.

Still, there was no running to the bathroom to sob, so this was an improvement.

* * *

It's a sunny Monday.  And David left a Valentine card for me this morning that had a pug dog on it which is funny because my mom also sent us a card with pug dogs on it.

I am still sad.  It's still heavy and congested feeling in my chest.  I still miss Eliza more than I thought it was possible to miss someone.  I miss the weeks she should have stayed in my belly.  I miss the baby she was.  I miss the little girl she would have been.  I hate that we were robbed of her and that she was robbed of life with us.

I feel like I am moving forward in a way that I know is good and necessary and positive.  And I hate that feeling.  I don't want to move away from her.

I read this quotation on another blog the other day, and it was like someone else knew the words that I needed to hear.  I needed that promise that I will never leave her behind.  That moving forward, I can still bring her with me:

"My heart panics, but when it catches up with reality, everything becomes clear: she is still with me, she is still gone. No more, no less. Wherever I put my heart and my energy now, it is because of her and what she has made me. She can’t possibly be left behind."


  1. Hmm. I know lots of people that do lovenox (blood thinner injections) with MTHFR as well (although they generally ended up having losses related to pre-eclampsia.)

    I love picturing you walking in your wellies. I really wanted to go to the zoo but I knew it would be too crowded. Plus I try to go during the week. And yikes for the dog bath!

  2. sending you love on this valentine's day. i know that you guys still didn't get much of an answer as to what happened (though i don't think any answer will really be good enough for why we lost our babies), but i'm glad you got a bit of insight and a plan of action for your next pregnancies. you are right, safe is definitely good. thank you so much for posting that quote. that was exactly what i needed to read today to help me get through this day without my love.

  3. Angie--I just wanted to add that I specifically asked my doctor about Lovenox because I'd heard the same thing. But evidently that is the treatment for the other variation of this gene--the "C-factor" that that makes clotting a concern. I have the heterozygenous "A-factor" variation, so clotting wasn't at issue in Eliza's death. With the A-factor, it shouldn't have an effect on pregnancy at all, unless it is in combination with other issues. However, it has been shown to affect the absorption of folic acid, so that's an extra precaution we can take next time. I admit I'd rather take a pill than give myself shots, but I'd gladly jab myself with a needle on a daily basis if I knew that it were a fix. I wish there were MORE that I could do, or a more definite explanation. As much as I would hate to know that her death could have been prevented, I also want to make sure that this doesn't happen again. It's an impossible position (as I know you understand).

  4. Little Mac is terribly'd never guess from that picture that she can be so vicious during bath time! Our dogs hate the bath too, but they just try to jump out.
    Although it wasn't a reason I'm glad your doctor was able to give you some answers and a good treatment plan for your next pregnancy.
    Sending love to you and hope that you continue to find strength for each new day ((hugs))

  5. It is a struggle, that moving forward and not wanting to move away from the grief that binds you.

    I remember feeling that way with Sam, not wanting to move forward as it felt like moving away from him. Now, I have reconciled that he is with me always, no matter how I feel. That took a lot of time.

    Remembering Eliza with you.