Friday, February 6, 2009

I Just Don't Know What To Say

Let me start by assuring you that everything is fine - or at least it was a couple of weeks ago, when we saw the baby's heartbeat on ultrasound. I have no reason to believe that things are still not fine. My morning sickness has subsided for the most part, but at 11w5d, that's perfectly normal. Other than fatigue and my very tender boobs, I've been pretty much asymptomatic. We never found out where the bleeding came from, but it doesn't really matter anyway.

I want to apologize, sincerely, for my absence. It shames me to say that I haven't written anything because I haven't had anything to say...and I haven't had anything to say because so far I have utterly failed at bonding with this pregnancy.

It's not like it was the first time. The first time I was in love from the day I found out. I was so really ridiculously thrilled to be pregnant. I was walking on sunshine. This time I don't feel much of anything. I'd hoped that it would change once we saw the heartbeat. It didn't. My husband cried when we saw her little heart thumping on the screen, but I didn't have much of an emotional response at all. I was glad, certainly, that things were all right...but only distantly.

I've tried to force myself to feel something. I've been telling more and more people, in hopes that their excitement would help me to make this real. I started buying baby clothes. I started making a baby registry. I've bought a book or two. And it still doesn't feel like anything.

The only explanation I have for my lack of emotion is that some part of me must be trying to protect myself from getting hurt again. Some part of me is staying distant so that if things don't turn out well...maybe it won't be as bad as last time. I don't want to think that way (and consciously, I really don't), but why else would I continue feel like this pregnancy is not a real part of my life yet?

I have no doubt that when the baby comes, I'll be head over heels in love. But I don't want to start feeling that way on the day she is born, I want to feel that way now. I want to trust that things will be all right and that we really will bring home a child this August.

Maybe it will change when I start feeling her kick, or when I start showing. Maybe it will change all at once, with no particular explanation for why, just like the day that I realized that I was ready to start trying for another baby. Maybe when I reach the second trimester, which is so very close now, whatever bit of leftover paranoia that I still have will leave me, and I can start to enjoy the thought of being a mom-to-be again.

I just don't know. But I am very grateful for all of the kindness that you all have shown me. I'll try to be better about writing. It's just very difficult right now.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And Now We Wait

After weeks of being almost completely asymptomatic, I started spotting yesterday afternoon. Just that quickly, my chances of losing this pregnancy ballooned from 5% (that's the probability of having two miscarriages in a row) to 50%, the probability of miscarrying after having spotting or bleeding.

Marcus and I had to haul ass to find someplace to get my blood drawn before they all wrapped up for the weekend, but of course we won't find out what my hCG levels are until Monday. I'm also getting a second draw on Monday before work to see if my levels are rising properly, and I've been prescribed Prometrium (a progesterone supplement) in the meantime.

We should find out before the New Year whether or not this pregnancy is already over. I don't have a good feeling about this, friends. Not at all. I could feel more optimistic if I'd been having any sort of symptoms in the past two weeks, but I haven't. No fatigue, no increased appetite, no morning sickness, no pulling feelings low in my abdomen, no bloody noses, NONE of the stuff I experienced last time except for sore nipples (and they're not even all that sore).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Midwife Me!

I've decided against calling Doctor D. I did like her demeanor, and as receptive as I was to working with her while trying to conceive, I've since of fallen on the side of not wanting to work with an obstetrician for this pregnancy. Fortunately, my insurance covers nurse-midwives, and I've already called and made an appointment for January 14th with a highly recommended local practice.

I have trust issues with doctors as it is, and my last pregnancy sort of reinforced that. My last GYN seemed okay, until it became apparent that I had miscarried, at which point her attitude towards me and my situation became mechanical and almost stand-offish. After waking up from my D&C, one of the nurses became impatient with me and treated me as if I was purposely wasting her time because I was sobbing so hard that my heart rate stayed elevated. Experiences like that made me feel as if I was just a body (a lame body, at that) that had to be dealt with and not a woman in mourning.

This time, I want an experience that is more intimate and less clinical. I want to work with a woman who is empathetic, trustworthy, knowledgable, and LISTENS to me. I also want minimal intervention with this pregnancy.

Has anyone hear had experience with a midwife (or know someone else who has)? I'd like to know how you felt about it and whether you would do it again. If you chose not to use a midwife, I'd like to know why. I'm not entirely decided and I'd love it if you shared your experiences and concerns with me!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


So it's been a little over 24 hours since I peed positive. I'm nervous. I'm trying to take things one day at a time - which is a great difference from how I handled my first pregnancy. During my first pregnancy I focused on various points in the future and counted down obsessively; I had countdowns for the ends of every week and month, one countdown to my first ultrasound, one to the beginning of the second trimester, and one to my due date. I had so many days to look forward to, each for different reasons.

Not so much this time. I know how far along I am (3w6d today) and I know my due date, but I haven't bothered calculating anything else. I think that my first trimester ends around Valentine's Day, but I don't know for sure. I'm not keeping track. I don't even have an interest in thinking about the future because I can't take for granted that this pregnancy will make it.

The first time I got pregnant, I was terrified that I was going to lose it from the very beginning. I knew what the odds were and I knew that there were a lot of factors that were completely out of my control. Everyone, my husband included, dismissed my anxiety as unfounded paranoia. They would use words like "when" and when I corrected them with words like "if," the reaction was often along the lines of, "Don't be silly, you're not going to miscarry, of course there's going to be a baby."

When I did miscarry, I was too wrapped up in my own head and heart to say, "I told you so." But I did think it. A lot.

And now with this, my second August pregnancy, I'm trying more than ever to just keep myself in the here and now and not take anything for granted. Today I am pregnant, and today I am grateful for being pregnant. If I'm still pregnant tomorrow, I'll be grateful for it then too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

August 23rd

I was woken up this morning by a very whiny, very needy cat. Rocky was meowing and pawing beneath the door, a habit that drives us up the wall but we haven't corrected much lately as long as he waits until at least 7:30 (which is when I'm SUPPOSED to get up) to start. I turned off my alarm, determined to sleep in, when I remembered that I'm supposed to take a pregnancy test this morning. Today I am 12dpo, and even though the test had come up negative on Wednesday, there was a chance that it was a false negative. I wasn't all that excited, but it was enough to get me out of bed.

I peed on a FRER and then waited for the line(s) to show up. It took less than a minute for a solid pink line to appear on the right side of the window. A single line. Negative. Yet again.

I can't say that I was disappointed, really. At this point I'm just tired. I sat with my head in my hands and wondered, What is wrong with me? Is our timing completely off? Am I not ovulating? Are we fertilizing successfully, but just failing to implant? I thought about the corpus luteum cyst I had on my right ovary during my last pregnancy, and my failure to get a follow-up exam for it after the miscarriage (I couldn't stand the thought of yet ANOTHER ultrasound in another depressing pregnancy-centric room), and I wondered if it was still there and mucking things up. I thought about calling Dr. D and making an appointment for January, after our next inevitably failed cycle, and winced at the thought of the tests and medications that lie ahead.

And then I looked back at the test, and there was a second line. It was faint - so faint that I couldn't be sure that my eyes weren't playing tricks. I woke Marcus up to make sure - and he could see it too. It darkened slowly and by the time ten minutes had passed, I could see the second line at arms' length even without my glasses on. It was absolutely, undeniably, amazingly POSITIVE.

I have a lot on my mind right now and not enough time to get into it all, friends. But you can expect a lot more entries from me, especially now that I have more to write about.

I'm trying not to get too excited. Anything can happen. It's still really, really early, and my chances of a loss are very high. But at least we made it this far. At least I know it's still possible.

My due date is August 23, 2009. May this one stick around long enough to meet us then.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Battle Begins

Today I am 10dpo. This time every month, I start to get antsy. This is the point at which a FRER (First Response Early Response) could possibly show a positive. Between today and 13dpo lies the Gulf of False Negatives, a torturous place in which the sticks come up white but hope is still hurtfully alive. As I do every month, I try to hold out for as long as I can. The first month we were ttc I think I tested on 7dpo or something crazy like that. The last month, I somehow managed to make myself wait until 11dpo. Here's a nifty chart to illustrate my relationship with early testing:

As hope turns to cynicism, the first day of testing inches later and later towards the end of my usual cycle

Right now I'm trying to focus on Friday. That would be 12dpo and my chances of a false negative are much lower. If I make it that long, I can be proud of myself.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And To Think, I Used To Be The Kid Picked Last For Sports

I subbed for an absentee curler on a team of strangers last night, and while my team ultimately lost, I didn't do too badly and even had my ego stroked quite a bit by a couple of the senior curlers. After delivering one of my stones, a woman who has been curling for over five years remarked, "You have the most beautiful form I've ever seen on a new curler." (I'd heard the sentiment before from other new curlers, but this was the first time a seasoned curler had commented on my form.)

Late in the game, my team's skip (for you non-curlers out there, the skip is the captain and main strategist of the team) pulled me aside and said, "You curl very well. I was wondering if you'd be interested in being on my team in the second half of the season. That way I'll technically have a new curler, [it's mandatory to have players of mixed experience on a team in the casual leagues - August] but we'll have an advantage!"

The fact that I was being recruited to be a sort of newbie ringer on someone's team was pretty damn flattering, especially since I've only been at the sport for about 6 weeks! After we lost, the woman told me, "You're going to be an awesome curler. Let me guess - you've always been a jock?" Taken aback, I laughed and told her that I have always sucked at sports, but I was ever-so-grateful for the compliment.

I've been in a pretty good mood lately because I'm positive that I actually ovulated this cycle. I know, we're supposed to be on a break from ttc - and we are. I haven't touched that thermometer or microscope even once. But my usual post-ov symptoms, which I haven't had in a couple of months, kicked in pretty strongly on cycle day 15. The familiarity of my symptoms is assuring even if we aren't pregnant this cycle; I'm just glad to know that my plumbing still works even occasionally.

If something has made you smile lately, share it here. I'm all about the good news lately!

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