Archive for July, 2009

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She’s Having A Boy

July 31, 2009

One of my law school friends is a fertile myrtle. She has baby after baby without a thought. When I told her of my infertility struggles she laughed and said don’t even think about it and it will happen, or other useful nuggets.  She began TTC for her next baby three months before me. Those three months were interesting as fertile myrtle did not get pregnant at her first try. By month two she was a mess and it was very difficult for me to find sympathy for a mother of two who has only been TTC for two months. When I got pregnant she was one of the three people I told. I asked her, did you get testing for spina bifida and the other stuff? She shook her head. You never worried if they’d be okay? She laughed Oh honey, God is good. He would never do that to me. She pointed her finger to the sky and smiled I know my God is great. I bit my tongue though my heart began twisting in my chest. She got pregnant three days after me. I better have another boy. I don’t want any girls, just boys. Girls are too much work. Again my chest constricted You should be thankful for what you get. I said with gritted teeth. She shook her head, I know that’s what I should say but I’m telling you, I’ll be so bummed if I have a girl. She just sent out a text I’m having a boy!

Is it selfish and wrong to ask why some ask and receive like they’re diners at a fancy restaurant?

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My doctor and the plan

July 30, 2009

I’m still recovering from having passed out as I did. I’ve passed out before but never like this. Jack acts like he’s seen a ghost. I’m worried about some chest pains I’m having, I wish I knew when its serious enough to seek immediate help. I have a mild heart condition (Mild mitrovalve prolapse and Type I AV Nodal Block) so I’ll certainly call my cardiologist tomorrow, I just hope its nerves getting to me and nothing more.

I went to see my OB-GYN today, and we talked about coming up with a plan. I told her that next go around I want progesterone as soon as I ovulate but I never know when I ovulate. She read my mind and offered the following two plans:

a) TTC naturally again and as soon as I get pregnant start lovenox and progesterone.

b) When I’m ready, as soon as I get my period I will go in for her to check my ovaries, and then start me on estrogen meds,  and then Clomid and then progesterone. This will ensure that I will have the progesterone from the get go and will be able to get a positive pregnancy test in a reasonable TWW so I can start the lovenox ASAP.

We’re still waiting for a more complex battery of tests that should come back in a week or two which may mean I will need more meds or more evaluation. Right now I’m leaning towards plan B. Jack wants to start TTC in October. I kind of want to start in September, but maybe two months off is not a bad idea. We still plan to see the RE in September and see what he has to offer.

I am feeling very hopeful. A feeling that’s coming of its own accord without my prodding and reasoning my way into it. I grieve the loss of my miscarriages and the babies for whom I held such dreams and hopes. I will always miss them. Still, I am grateful to know why it possibly happened. Next time we will have more knowledge and perhaps this knowledge will result in a baby I can hold in my arms and cherish. Perhaps. It is this word within which all hope and prayers hinge on.

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Fears of insomnia, etc. **Updated**

July 30, 2009

All my life I’ve been blessed with the ability to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.  Lately I toss and turn each night and then relocate to the couch watching reruns and researching miscarriages, PCOS, lupus anticoagulant, anything and everything I can find. I havent slept before 3am in over a week and its catching up to me. It’s approaching midnight now and I know it will be another sleepless night. I hate the dark thoughts that whisper to me in bed, and I fear the uncertainty of not knowing what the morning will bring.

Today was a tough day physically. I’ve been having sharp contractions. I’m taking Lortab a painkiller and its having wonky side effects. I took it last miscarriage and felt fine, but this time I’m feeling nauseous, dizzy, tired and very drugged. I couldn’t drive to work, so I thought at least I’d clean up since my parents are coming into town tomorrow, but I couldn’t do anything except curl up in bed. I am afraid to take Lortab again, its a debate at the moment between the painful contractions as tissue is expelled through my body, or the feeling of being heavily drugged. I have an appointment with my OBGYN tomorrow afternoon. We spoke yesterday when she called in my pain killer prescription she said I’m afraid I won’t be able to tell you for sure what caused your miscarriage but next time you’ll get Lovenox from the get go. We’re still waiting for lab results for a comprehensive test the Maternal Fetal Specialist ran on my blood to determine what other disorders I have. I want to know if there’s testing that’s available to know if I have low progesterone levels, and what can I do if I do have low levels considering most experts say you must start supplements as soon as you ovulate and me with my PCOS never know when/if ovulation occured.

Emotionally I’m doing better. I’m trying to battle my dark thoughts. I’m telling myself that 30 is not too late, I still have time and shouldn’t lose hope (right??).  My parents are coming tomorrow. I’m afraid of crying too much around them. I just feel like I’ve disappointed them and seeing them reminds me of this. I know that’s not the case but just thinking about it makes my eyes well with tears. I wish I could kick this unhealthy guilt.

Finally, I’ve been humbled to read Michele‘s blog. She’s been commenting on my blog as I wade through my darkest days and only today did I realize how much more she herself is going through right now.  Every day I’m amazed at how strong you all are. You comfort me and give me support in the midst of your own fears and unique heartaches. I don’t think I can say it enough, thanks.

**Updated to Add**: Holy shit. I woke up this morning around 6:15 to take a shower and see my therapist at 7am before going to work. I woke up feeling a weird coat of sweat on me and kind of shivering, then suddenly I had an overwhelming desire to vomit but I couldn’t, but I wanted to, its the most terrible place to be. So I think to myself that a shower will help so I turn the shower on, and the next thing I know I’m lying on the floor and Jack is on the phone with 911 screaming wake up wake up honey wake up. Apparently I passed out in the bathroom but fell backwards hitting my head against the bathroom doors and landed with a thump on the floor. I don’t know how long I was out for but apparently long enough for Jack to rush over and see if I was okay and call 911. I still remember hearing his voice as I was coming to, not knowing where I was, what was happening.  I looked up the side effects of Lortab and one of the serious ones is nausea, dizziness, clamminess, and fainting. Clearly I won’t be taking any more of these painkillers but I wanted to post this for anyone considering taking Lortab, monitor yourself closely or ask for a different pill.

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Getting through the day

July 28, 2009

I thought going to work would do me some good. I wondered if immersing myself in work would help me escape. Today as I got out of the car in the parking lot I saw a baby seat in the car next to me and suddenly my breathing was so painful I thought a rib cracked. I couldn’t believe this is me, standing next to my car going pale trying to breathe in and out. Keeping the tears at bay is impossible business when there is a leaking dam behind your eyes. I have never had to take it one step at a time. I stood in the elevator and said just make it through this elevator ride. I got out and said good girl, now get to your office unlock it and get in. You can do it. I’ve never felt this fragile before.

Last night Jack and I had a very intense conversation. We really talked for the first time in months. For so long he’s been my rock and he told me sometimes he feels like that’s all he is, a rock for me while I deal with loss and infertility. He said he sees me obsessed with children and the fear of never having children and he wants to go back to how it was the first five years of our marriage when we were more than two organisms set on this planet to reproduce. He feels like I don’t care about him anymore, that all I care about is having a child. That I don’t appreciate our relationship anymore. I couldn’t believe he could think this. I thought how much I loved him was a given to him. I guess that’s the problem, I’ve let it become a given. I’ve taken it for granted. He said me focusing on this one area in which we lack spits on all the areas that are good and beautiful in our life. It’s not your fault, he keeps telling me.

How can I explain that I feel like a failure as a woman. At my basest core what sets me apart from a man is my ability to bear life. My breasts are to feed a child. My hips are to hold them and help their passageway into the world. I never imagined a life without children of my own. I feel I’ve failed at the most basic level of being a woman sometimes. I know this is logically not the case but sometimes it feels very much this way. He says not to blame myself but people never realize how subtly they do put the blame on me. The nurse in the ER said you didn’t wait long enough to try again. The ultrasound tech said you must stress out a lot, stress causes miscarriages. Well meaning friends say relax and it will happen. Simply saying this is all your fault you know? would be simpler and more to the point.

Jack says not to lose hope but to start focusing on other things in life, to let go of this obsession. I think maybe I need to do a little less hoping. Maybe I need to go into the darkest part of myself and face what life would be like without the one thing I thought with certainty I would someday have, children. Jack says if I do that then I’m giving up. I feel like I’m facing my darkest fear to put it to rest so that perhaps I will have peace. I’m not sure which way to go.

But Jack’s right, I am obsessed. I can’t focus on all the other great things in my life. I know them, I can list them out but I don’t feel them in my heart. He told me you’re a writer! you love to cook, you scrapbook, you work out, you read, you have more going on in your life than just this one thing. This is why he wants to take a break for a few months. We’re definitely taking a break until someone can tell me what’s wrong with me, but he said take a mental break from all of it, try to find out who I am again. Infertility and grief has been so all consuming this year in particular I dare say I really have forgotten who else I am besides a miscarrying infertile.

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Climbing

July 28, 2009

Cupcakes are a comfort in times of grief. Finishing off the last of our cupcakes, Jack turned to me and asked, do you want the ring on top of the cupcake? I smirked ofcourse! He raised his eyebrows and brought it to me, the little plastic ring with an Ice Age logo. I’m kidding I said. You know, he said looking at the ring, when we have kids and buy cupcakes, they’re going to wake up in the morning and see their parents ate them all. I responded, well maybe they won’t like cupcakes and just be happy with the trinkets on top. And there, I felt an imperceptible gasp as I dared consider our future children, and the cupcakes they may someday eat.

I feel lost at the moment but I have faith that one day I will find my way. I’m seeing an RE September 1. Days before my 30th birthday. Jack urges me to put away the past and look to the future. Take my thirtieth birthday as a fresh slate, to start a new decade with better understanding of my conditions and perhaps hope, hope against hope, that we will find a way to make sure it won’t happen again.

My journey in infertility and loss feels like a climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Every few steps a strong wind shoves me down, but each shove, each fall arms me with more knowledge of the patterns of the wind, the slipperiness of the slope. One day I will reach the summit. I might need to take a break as I learn more about my journey and there will be days I will doubt I have the strength to continue, but I see my little girl or boy at the top of the summit and I know I will continue climbing.

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Grief

July 27, 2009

Has grief ever threatened to strangle you? Have you ever felt its sinewy arms snake around you and tighten clamping against your neck making you feel you might literally actually die. I was okay yesterday. Sure, sad, but not feeling like I might go mad with grief. Today I woke up and suddenly the world seemed like a dark inhospitable place. I’m so angry. My head throbs with fumes of fury. My tears are hot they burn like acid on my skin. Please don’t tell me the stages of grief. I know them backwards and forwards. But stages, and charts they make me angry right now, cataloguing my emotions telling me in a didactic voice how I should be feeling. I am mad that I had to put through a run around for ten days only to have a conclusion like this. I’m so fucking mad that I don’t know what the road ahead has in store for me. Will I be 80 reading back my words and have nothing to show for it? How long will I write in this infertility blog about my struggle? Will it spill over into another year? Another decade?

I want so desperately to be at peace. I want so desperately not to feel this pain scorching every cell in my body. I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to hurt. Two losses, and I know that there is no guaruntee that it will stop at just two. Right now there is a dark cloud over my head, its real and its black and its rife with thunder and lightening and any moment it will strike and it will knock me dead. I don’t know if I will ever be the same. I don’t really know, how I’m supposed to go on. Two miscarriages. Two. All innocence is loss. All banal attempts at yeah sure it’ll happen for you mean jackshit. My thirtieth birthday looms large mere weeks from now and what have I got to show for it?

How do I get through this? How will I move on?

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Thoughts post-miscarriage #2

July 26, 2009

I’m sure anyone who battles infertility and anyone who has the loss of miscarriages under their belt never could have imagined how difficult having a child would be. I had an inkling due to my irregular periods that I would battle infertility. I never knew I would face the pain of miscarriage, twice. So far. What do I make of two miscarriages with two heartbeats? Is it a progesterone problem, since I was borderline two weeks ago. Is it my HCG doesn’t know how to double? Is it the lupus anticoagulant? Is it my cervix or uterus that find child carrying bothersome? I hope against all hope that an RE will know the answer. All I know is I’m sad, I’m angry, and I feel guilty as hell. I am aware the guilt is illogical but its real and throbs in my chest.

1. I feel guilty that babies with heartbeats that are supposed to have less than 2% chance of dying, die in my womb. I’m so sorry to have brought them into this world only to have left without a kiss or a hug.

2. I feel guilty that thanks to my fucked up body Jack isn’t a father. He told me last night, as though reading my mind, I want a baby with you, and if its not with you then with no one else. Still, the guilt eats away at my soul. God, he’d be a good father. He would rock her to sleep and teach her tennis. I wish I had it in my power to give him a child.

3. I feel guilty that thanks to my fucked up body my parents are not grandparents.  They want it bad and I can’t give it. God knows, I try. I do my best but I can’t seem to follow through. They are coming this weekend and I feel a strong lump in my throat. They should be coming to spoil a grandchild. Every interaction we have feels empty to me because there is not a child. My parents will not live forever. I’m so afraid they’ll never meet their grandchild.

Grief and guilt intermingle through my veins in equal parts. Jack wants to wait at least three months. He says we should make an appointment with an RE and figure stuff out and just spend some time not thinking about baby making. I don’t know what to make of it. On one hand I want to try again. Yes I got pregnant twice back to back but I don’t take it for granted. I spent 13 months trying in vain. I know how long the stretch can be. Each month we wait feels like time that I can’t get back, time wasted in the babymaking game. Then on the other hand it makes sense. I can workout and lose the ten pounds Ive been battling. I get three months of not TTC, or TWWing. God knows TWWs suck. Maybe it would do me good. I’m scared to risk three losses in a year. but you’re most fertile post-miscarriage. All these thoughts swirl as I face the future, grieve the past, and wonder the hell I’m going to do right now. Thanks to those who sent well wishes. I appreciate it. I warn you though, this blog won’t be a very fun place to be for some time.

I’m Charlie fucking Brown and I can’t seem to stop trying to kick that football. Can someone please shoot Lucy?

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In Conclusion, Miscarriage #2

July 26, 2009

The spotting got darker so Jack urged me to go the ER. At the ER the bleeding got a little more, and then as I went to change my pad, it came out of me. They kept saying it looks like blood clots, not a fetus or placenta. But I knew. They checked the uterus: empty. My cervix strangely appears closed though it must have opened enough to let out my baby. Four hours and three pinpricks later, I’m home. I’m surprised at how I feel: calm, peaceful almost. I think the pain and torture of this week has drained me of all emotion. Yes you’re pregnant. No you’re not. Yes! No. Yes! And now today, the final affirmative no. I don’t know what the future holds. At the moment I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get to call myself a mother. I can’t imagine getting pregnant again and I can’t imagine waiting for the inevitable miscarriage. The steps I have set out for myself now are 1) have a final chat with my OB-GYN 2) Try to get genetic testing on the fetus 3) See an RE. As much as I like my OB, she is in the business of more than just infertility and pregnancy loss. I need someone who lives and breathes this. It’s worth every cent if this won’t happen again.

The nurses and the techs were very nice. They all said wait 3-6 months before trying again. One told me she had two miscarriages before her four babies. One told me she had . . . wait for it . . . fifteen miscarriages before her three year old daughter. She said she never gave up hope. I ponder the word hope right now. Right now I feel neither hope, nor despair. I’m a constant thinker, I guess its the writer in me, but right now, I can think of nothing. Just the sound of the water running. My fingers tapping on the keyboard. The air conditioner rumbling in the distance. The pain in my uterus as I cramp and bleed between my legs.

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And then there was blood

July 25, 2009

I’m spotting. It’s not a flow but its there. Pinkish Reddish. The doctor says we saw a heartbeat I’m reassured, stay off your feet and rest up. I’ve heard this before, oh yeah, in April. Please keep me in your prayers. I feel like I’m in the rings of hell from Dante’s inferno.

Edited to add: It’s still no blood on the pad and its been 14 hours since I first noticed blood. [only when I wipe] My first miscarriage from the first blood sighting to the loss it took about 16 hours. I’m really tempted to go to the ER to get an ultrasound. I shoudn’t right? I should just be patient, right? Sigh.

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Fears and in-laws

July 24, 2009

I close my eyes to sleep tonight and the thoughts from this week swirl through my mind. I’m so sorry, you are having a miscarriage. Conversations about D&Cs. Accepting another miscarriage. The hurt was physical in equal parts as it was emotional. I hear my doctor’s voice as I lay in silence. I see my father’s e-mail comforting me. I feel Jack’s arms around me as I shake with tears. The next day. I remember telling the specialist No! I don’t want an ultrasound, my HCGs are dropping, why are you going to do this? I shudder to think if he listened. Will that moment when the tech tells me my baby is 6w1d with a 104 heart rate ever feel less surreal? Because right now all I can do is think of it and feel myself tremble with disbelief and awe.

I’ve been fine all day but now tears drip down my cheeks and I’m not sure why. This blog has always been my place to sort through my feelings so forgive me if this all seems silly or unnecessary. I try to tell myself not to be afraid anymore because clearly what is meant to happen will happen and I only have today so don’t dwell on the what if’s in the future. The problem is I’ve not only just had a miscarriage in April, I thought I lost the one I have right now. The HCG isn’t doubling. They must be concerned to do weekly ultrasounds. I’m trying not to worry about the Thursday ultrasound but I can’t help it. I’m scared. I want to believe the doctors when they shrug off my not having nausea or hardly any symptoms, but its hard when you’re so afraid. My lower back hurts. Is that okay? I wonder. I feel pressure in my uterus area. Not cramping but just pressure. I immediately consult Dr. Google and scare myself silly. Pregnancy post miscarriage is always more difficult since you know what can happen. Add a history of infertility and its a recipe for paranoia and fear.

My therapist encourages me not to name the baby (Too late, Baby Bug). He said I shouldn’t talk to it. I shouldn’t say things like she’s a fighter since it hurts harder if I lose it. That I should not pin all my hopes on this one pregnancy. Isn’t that natural though? How can I see the ultrasound and the beating heart and not feel overcome by love and the corresponding worry. Every instinct in my being wants to send it good vibes, asking it to keep on fighting. I can’t wave my hand and say well if not this one, the next one. I want this one.

I think I’m also feeling very emotional because after a long week like this what I’d like more than anything is to curl in bed all weekend and catch up on the sleep I’ve gone without this week. But I can’t do that. Jack’s parents are coming in town.  I’ve written a little about them here but to put it briefly we don’t get along and thanks to how they acted after my miscarriage we won’t be telling them the news until much later (please God let there be a much later).  I also have a weird habit of bleeding whenever I see them. Somehow whenever we would visit I’d get my period. I miscarried the weekend we were visiting them. After my miscarriage there was a big blowout and we haven’t seen them in over three months. Tomorrow they will be here and the house isn’t up to par clean wise, but I don’t have the energy, and well shouldn’t JACK be working on it considering its his parents? There is no food in the house, I haven’t cooked in advance. I’m usually a good host (even if they’re seldom impressed) but I’m just feeling overwhelmed and yes, I’m scared because of the whole bleeding when they’re here sort of thing. I know its likely just a coincidence but its a fucking scary as hell coincidence. And here’s the most awful part. I know they wish Jack married someone else. Someone who was a homemaker, who had kids right away, who was more religious, etc. Sometimes I feel so guilty that I have all these fertility challenges. When I see them and the hopes and dreams I did not give them, despite my intellectual awareness that they’re wrong,  despite knowing Jack loves me and we’re in this IF struggle together, I feel so guilty that their darling boy didn’t get the fertile bunny they wanted. I feel guilty I haven’t given them grandkids yet. I feel like a huge failure and disappointment. I judge myself through their eyes. These are thoughts I struggle with when I see them and I do overcome them, however I am worried about my emotional well being while they are here after a week that makes me feel like an NBA basketball.

I’m sure it will be okay. I just need to get through each day one day at a time. This weekend will pass. Thursday will come. The ultrasound will show what it will. I will be okay. Sigh.

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Notes from the roller coaster, doctor updates

July 23, 2009

Stalking works, it seems. My doctor called me back after an e-mail message and two voice messages. She said she is very confused by the falling HCG but the developing on schedule fetus. However, she said this is good.  I am pregnant and the HCG dropping means diddly squat in light of my heart beating fetus. She does not think I need to retest HCG anymore and we should just monitor the fetus on ultrasound. So to summarize: I am not miscarrying. Yet. I hate saying the word yet but I’ve been down this road before and I know that though they tell me a heartbeat reduces my risk of a miscarriage to 2%, I’ve been the 2%er before. I will remain with bated breath until that child is in my arms.

I called my maternal fetal specialist to get my labwork transferred to my OB’s office since my insurance won’t pay for work done at the specialists. The specialist wants to re-test me for Lupus Anticoagulant and a host of other clotting related issues. If present I’ll be put on heparin/lovenox. Here’s my issue, the tests take about two weeks to come back and that will put me at 8 weeks which is around the time the baby died last time (though I miscarried week 11). I asked them if they could just start me on lovenox and then take me off if the tests were fine, but they said they can’t do that.

They drew my HCG yesterday and so here is how its reading so far: June 16: 3,500; June 20: 3,000; June 22: 3,014

The specialist said the results are meaningless and from now on lets just go by what the ultrasound shows us and not worry about the HCG levels.  He scheduled one for a week from now. I might be harsh here, but easy to say when its not your baby.  I thought HCG levels rise to maintain your pregnancy so if mine aren’t, how am I supposed to shrug and laugh that off? I don’t understand it. How is this meaningless? What if they fall?

Jack has been so strong for me through this whole ordeal. Yesterday though, as we sat over dinner just staring at each other in befuddlement, I said to him our little one reminds me of you. He laughed, oh yeah? how so? I said, she’s a fighter. She doesn’t care about those HCG levels she’s too focused on growing. She’s stubborn like her dad. He winced and went slightly pale. What’s wrong? I asked him. He shook his head When you say things like that it makes it so much harder for me. To know that the baby is fighting to stick around . . . if this doesn’t work out I’ll be crushed. It was surprising to see how emotional he got. Sometimes I forget he is dealing with a lot too.

After my crushing heartbreak on Tuesday, I never imagined I would tell anyone that it seems I am not miscarrying after all, but that seems to be the case. There is still a long road ahead. I have six more excruicating weeks of a first trimester to get through and as any of you IF sisters know, we can’t breathe easy until we’re holding our baby in our arms. I just have to say I never thought my sunflower miracle would really be this miraculous. If this pregnancy succeeds her nursery is going to look like a field of sunflowers. Even if its a boy! Wow, just writing that makes me tense up. To imagine a future nine months from now frightens me. I’m so scared to dream because I’m so scared to fall.

Finally, thank you again so so so so so much for your support and your prayers and your thoughts. Like I’ve said before, no one really knows in my real life and had I not your support and your encouragement and advice I would feel all alone. Thank you for reading and for commenting and for sharing my burden with me. I cannot thank you guys enough, you will never know how your comments kept me afloat as I feared sinking to the bottom of the ocean floor.

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Back to square . . . WHAT? Visiting the maternal fetal specialist

July 22, 2009

I didn’t want to go to the maternal fetal specialist today to discuss my lupus anticoagulant disorder. It felt too painful to go discuss “the next pregnancy” when it should have been a “this pregnancy” conversation. Still, Jack urged me to go, my Dr. urged me to go. So I went. I got there and they said we’ll be doing an ultrasound. I shook my head. My HCG is going down I’ve been told I’ve miscarried, this is just a for future reference meeting. They insisted they had to do an ultrasound since its standard procedure. Cursing them under my breath I went into the ultrasound room. They tried to do it abdominally. I looked at the tech like she’s crazy but she said Well your LMP was May 13. I nodded but I have PCOS so that doesn’t tell you anything. She asked me How far along were you supposed to be? I sighed, About six weeks. So she does the vaginal ultrasound. We see the womb. We see the little sac. We see what is an embryo. I feel emotional as I look at what could have been and again curse them for making my loss more real. Then, she says, Yep you’re right, its measuring at 6 weeks 1 day and the heart beat is 104 bmp which is normal at this stage.

Um. WHAT. THE. FUCK?!?! I kept asking her if it was a mistake, how could this be. I was told I’m miscarrying. I was told not to do an ultrasound yesterday because there’d be nothing to see and you’re telling me that there is a baby in there with a HEARTBEAT and is growing ON SCHEDULE?

The doctor was wonderfully evasive. I got no straight answer. He said its the fetus is in the right place. The fluid is wonderful. The ovaries are marvelous. Had he not known about the HCG he’d tell me I had a less than 1% chance to miscarry. Except well, there is that HCG test that told me instead of doubling my levels were FALLING!!! He took my blood work for another HCG. He said if the numbers keep falling I will have a miscarriage but the fact is that so far the baby is growing according to schedule. I guess no one told it the numbers were falling. He said it happens sometimes. I told him I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS. I don’t wake up to pee in the middle of the night. I feel lovely! He said while it can be a factor, he pointed to my ultrasound and said, that’s the most conclusive data.

My head is throbbing and I’m shaking. I don’t know what to do or how to feel. I called my doctor’s office but they scheduled me for two weeks from now? You’re fucking kidding me right? I just sent her an e-mail and we’ll see what she says. The specialist said I am cautiously hopeful for you. I wish I knew what *I* should feel right now. I crashed so low last night. I fell into the deepest caverns of despair and now you’re telling me maybe? This is the appropriate word for emotional roller coaster.

Now I’m supposed to wait for HCG results tomorrow. I’m so exhausted, so drained, so confused, so befuddled, so perplexed I don’t know whether to cry, or laugh, or smile or just pass out from the sheer emotional weight that all of this has.

Has ANYONE heard of this happening?

*Updated to add*: Why did my OB-GYN’s office tell me don’t worry about taking more HCG tests? Wouldn’t you think they’d be frantically trying to retest? I’m so confused.

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A plea for advice on how to miscarry

July 22, 2009

My last miscarriage came out of the blue and in 12 hours it was over. This one is different since I’ve been informed I have miscarried but am not bleeding. I got two hours of sleep so woke up to call in sick and hoped to fall back asleep but now I have this weird pressure on my abdomen area. Not strong. Not contractions. Just pressure. Kind of like when I’m on the second day of a period. Has anyone reading sat around (or know someone who did) waiting to miscarry? Is there a process I can expect? How long should I wait? Is this cramping indicating the process has begun? Any advice or personal anecdote would help me. Surprisingly Dr. Google is turning up nothing.

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My non-viable pregnancy, waiting to miscarry

July 22, 2009

I can’t sleep despite my best efforts so as I thought I’d share what happened. The doctor called around noon and from her voice I could tell things were bad. My HCG level, instead of doubling from 3500, dropped to 3000. She said this miscarriage is different from the last one. The last one was so close to the second trimester. We saw a heart beat and she’s convinced the lupus anticoagulant caused it. This one, due to how early its happening, she thinks is a more standard first trimester loss. One of those shit happens time of deal. She told me to still see the maternal fetal specialist tomorrow so that we can get a go ahead on lovenox the blood thinner. This way next pregnancy as soon as I see two pink lines I can start the shots right away. She called it pre-pregnancy planning except that technically I’m still pregnant. She told me I’m a high risk pregnancy person now. She wants to test my HCG levels Monday and asked me to give it two weeks to see if I’ll miscarry naturally. For such an early pregnancy she doesn’t want to put me through a D&C. It’s not easy to walk around knowing something is in you that no longer has a chance.

We ordered Chinese take out and watched two silly comedies in a row (Paul Blart Mall Cop, He’s Just Not That IntoYou) Those helped take my mind off of things but as soon as the television shut off and we went upstairs to sleep I can’t stop thinking about what happened. I can’t believe I’m going through this again. I thought it was a blessing from God, how I found peace of mind and began to just trust in the process. I found prayer and meditation and then out of the blue it happened. I was pregnant! Except it really didn’t. Two things swirl through my mind whispering in my ear: Its so hard for me to get pregnant. Now when I get pregnant, I’m high risk to lose the pregnancy.

I feel numb like someone dipped me in Novicain. My head is throbbing but inside I just feel empty. Except I’m not empty am I? There is an embryo within my womb falling apart pieces at a time. I cringe at the BFP HPT I wrapped and placed on the dinner table for our seventh anniversary. Jack’s face lighting up with joy makes me now sink further into darkness. My thoughts weave and meander through empty buildings and tiptoe over landmines. Will I ever get pregnant again? Will I ever be a mother? When can I try again? Am I ready to try again? Should I just give up? It is a sickening feeling to know that I now have to wait to miscarry. Wait to bleed. Try again. Two Week Wait again. Have any of you ever considered just giving up? The feeling consumes me at the moment.

My dad sent me an e-mail. It was actually a note I wrote to him 14 years ago when he lost his job and the small business he opened didn’t work and we were on the brink of losing our home. He time traveled me back to the past in an attempt to comfort with me with my own words:

Lately life seems hard and I know its very stressful for you. But please remember  never to feel guilty b/c you did what you thought was right. Always keep in mind that this stress is only temporary. We have dealt with worse and we all love you very much.No matter what may happen as long as you have us and we are all healthy and safe, there is no reason for stress. I love you so much, and it makes me sad that you have so much to deal with. But keep in mind all the good things in your life. I am proud of you, and I love you more than anything else. Every night pray to God, He loves you and you always try to help people.  I love you and I want your happiness.

Thank you so much to all of you who read and left me words of comfort. I read them and it felt like a hug from each and every single one of you. I don’t know what I would do if I did not have this small space in the blogosphere to let out my feelings and if I didn’t have your support who unfortunately know all too well my pain. With the way IF is such a hush hush ‘shameful’ topic I shudder to think how alone I would otherwise feel.

My dream for myself and each one of you reading is that one day our blogs will be gathering dust because we’re too busy playing with our coveted children. Until then, I’m here. Wringing my tears with the written word.

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It’s a miscarraige

July 21, 2009

Nothing more to say.

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It’s Tuesday. Still Waiting.

July 21, 2009

I can’t think. I can’t write. I can’t work. I’m sitting here just staring at this phone willing it to ring. Will I have an u/s today or will I not? What is the fate of my future? Will I hold a child in March? Or will we be waiting for blood and the long road of TTC again. My body feels wound, tightly like those wind up dolls of my youth. One more turn of the dial and I break. Jack is amazed at how well I’m handling this. He doesn’t know I’m not handling it well at all but this time I’m keeping it to myself. No sense in dumping on someone who is equally nervous though not as vocal or obviously nutty. Ring phone, ring, and tell me only sweet things.

Updated to add: The nurse just told me the report is on the doctor’s desk but she’s in surgery until at least 1pm. I can’t get the results until at least then.

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Considering Time

July 21, 2009

The clock

ticks-

Like a

taunting warden

at a gate of

prisoners.

Like a

careful scientist

measuring

the depths of

madness.

Time

is my straight jacket.

Time

is my captor

But-

Time protects me from:

Tomorrow?

Will I tumble into

a deep cavern

whose slippery handles

and scraping brick edges

my blistered knees know

quite well

Or

Will the birds sing in harmony?

Will the sailor kiss the nurse firmly on the mouth

amongst a ticker tape parade?

Will the bricks release from my helium balloon

As I float into the sky?

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Let the descent to crazy land begin

July 20, 2009

I came home and saw a missed call from my OB-GYN office but no message. No missed call on my cell. Why didn’t they call my cell? I’m now petrified. What did they want? The call is 40 minutes after my blood draw. Did something go wrong? I just sent an e-mail to my doctor letting her know I saw a missed call with my CELL number to reach me.

I turned on the television to catch the last ten minutes of the King of Queens. It’s the episode where Kerri gets pregnant and finds out she had a miscarriage. I call Jack my heart pounding, its not a sign right? He assured me it isn’t, but I’m shaken.

The dinner ingredients await me on the kitchen counter. All I see in my mind’s eye is a vision. Me in a striped hospital gown, in bed, propped up. Jack’s arms around me. A little baby in the blue striped blanket in my arms. You see, bad results, they take away my future. They are taking away dreams I cannot control.  My dreams, they self create. That mutate into techni-colored 3D motion pictures of hopes and dreams and love unimaginable. When you tell me its over. That my baby is gone. You’re pulling the plug on my moment, but you’ve sledge hammered through my future.

I’m finishing a book, Benny and Shrimp. This part struck me:

I have to get through the minutes

one at a time,

swallow them like bitter pills,

try not to dwell on

the vast number left

I’m so scared. Please don’t be gone little one. I promise, we’ll have so much fun, you and I.

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The blood draw and the wait

July 20, 2009

I went this morning to have my blood drawn for my HCG levels. The lab tech gave me the usual gauze and tape over the withdrawal site, but when I got to work the guaze was soaked with blood! I guess the baby aspirin is thinning my blood. My boobs are aching today, and for a little bit I felt nauseous. Can these be side effects of the aspirin?

I’m at work. Jack thought I should call in sick since he’s worried, but being at work helps you feel like you’re doing something. I accomplished quite a bit which helped eat up 3 hours. I’m trying to figure out how to make it through the rest of the hours left. I mean, I have no choice in the matter. My cousin e-mailed that she’s calling tonight. Calls with her last an hour minimum so there’s an hour there. I have grocery shopping to do. Gotta cook dinner and clean up after. I might put my ipod on and go for a walk in my neighborhood. Harry Potter book 7 is sitting by my nightstand asking to be read again.

I hate that I’m wishing away the next 24+ hours. Life is precious and we’re not guarunteed a second of it, why waste it waiting for the next moment? Still, I’m allowing myself this time to be a little crazy. Today on the way to work I stopped at a stopsign and three little birds, all yellow breasted, so yellow you’d think God highlighted them, with dark black tails flew infront of my car, circled in harmony and then flew away. I’d never seen such birds before, my breath caught as I watched them fly away, continually in harmony, continually in motion. Inexplicably, I hoped it was a sign.

Waiting. It seems us IF sisters do a lot of that. You’d think we’d be experts at waiting. Somehow it does not get easier.

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Cupcakes

July 20, 2009

I have not been crying, or ranting, or talking a lot about my worries to Jack like I normally would in a situation like this. Instead, I’ve been quiet. I’ve been reading, staying upstairs in our bedroom watching mind numbing Bridezilla reruns and staring at my nails. I think my silence is freaking him out.

Urging me downstairs I came down and we watched a recorded episode of 30 Rock where cupcakes were advertised. Suddenly, I wanted a cupcake. More than anything in the world I wanted a delicious Publix cupcake of my childhood with the colorful icing and sprinkles. Lets go get it, Jack said. I shook my head. I don’t need a cupcake, I’ll survive, but the urge (trying not to call it a craving) was amazing, my taste buds seemed to screech for it. Then sitting down to my computer I saw a news story of the largest cupcake in the world created today. That’s it, Jack said getting his keys and slipping on his flip flops. I’ll drive, you get them. I protested the store closes in ten minutes! He remained unpersuaded.

Let the record reflect that cupcakes can turn a frown upside down, even if its for the duration that one is consuming the nostalgic delicacy. As difficult as what I’m going through is, I am grateful for late night cupcake runs.

11 hours until the blood draw.

48 hours from now, I’ll know.

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Thoughts as I wait

July 19, 2009

No one really knows what’s going on, and honestly, I don’t want to verbally talk about it with anyone. Jack knows, but the thought of explaining this and the real possibility of an impending miscarriage, I just can’t do it. For that reason I’m writing a lot on this blog of mine. Thanks to those who are reading. If you think I’m talking too much, sorry, I just need some way to sort through my feelings.

I didn’t wake up to pee two nights in a row now. My boobs are a little bigger, a little sore, but otherwise I have no symptoms. None of the comforting irritability I had with Speck. With Speck I could want to kill you or weep for hours just for looking at me funny. So irrational, but so secure to know the hormones were running rampant through my blood. I feel so normal right now because the progesterone isn’t running high through my body. Honestly, if anyone ever complains about bad preggo symptoms in my presence, I’m not sure what I will do. Cursing nausea is cursing a healthy thriving pregnancy. I can’t judge them, if I didn’t have these issues would I be similarly sensitive?

Last night I was changing my clothes and pressed my hand against my stomach. I felt overwhelmed with so much grief and so much fear. You see, its one thing to be patient and calm for me in trying to get pregnant, that is hard and a struggle as is, but to know that someone is growing inside me and then may not, that is double pain. Pain for me and pain for who I loved and lost. A big part of me wants to accept this is over. The symptoms aren’t there. The progesterone is low. I just might miscarry. The other part, the hopeful part raising its hand from the back of the classroom squeaks, but you might not.

I’m trying hard to distract myself. I’ll shower now and blow dry my hair. I’ll read a nice book. I’ll clean my bedroom. I can’t walk around with this sharp stabbing pain for the next 48 hours. I don’t know. To lose two beings I love in the span of months, it makes my head throb.

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Waiting for Tuesday

July 18, 2009

As my previous posts indicated my blood work came back with decent HCG levels (3500) and a border-line/low progesterone level 9.5. Normal is 15.  Monday I get blood work to see if my HCGs are rising and Tuesday I get those results. If the results are good then I get an ultrasound. I’m trying very hard in the meantime to not go mad counting down. We had brunch today, and watched dumb movies. A friend just called to invite us to his place for a bbq tonight. So life is good, moving moving.

We got a call from Jack’s parents. They want to visit next weekend. I’m super tensed up about this. If I have a bad result I will not be able to deal with that and them at the same time. I told Jack if the results are bad he’s going to have to get them to not come. I don’t know how we’ll manage that, but his parents are tough enough to handle in a good frame of mind, much less a muddied one.

I got two bills in the mail. One from my insurance company, one from the hospital where I miscarried. The insurance company appeared to cover all my costs. The hospital says they denied $700 and I need to pay it ASAP. Ofcourse they are closed until Monday. I don’t know how I’m supposed to come up with the energy to deal with them this coming week along with all the other stuff. I’m so exhausted from insurance companies.

I’m trying to remind myself that this is a miracle pregnancy. I ovulated off cycle somewhere around CD33 or 40 and against the odds conceived.  Technically based on cycles, this was unusual. So, maybe even though my progesterone is borderline low, I can make it through with a healthy successful pregnancy. It can happen. Its possible. Yes its also possible for the reverse to be true, but why sit in a puddle of fear when hope is so much sweeter.

I’m surprised I’m not a crying rambling wreck. I do cry. Especially when I pray. But I’m not as bad as I thought I would be. I know come Tuesday I will be a full and complete mess, but until then the fact that I’m going about life, well, that is nothing short of miraculous.

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How to Pass Time

July 17, 2009

Tuesday is my ultimatum day. The day I find out if my HCG levels are rising. If rising, its the day of my ultrasound to see if there’s a heartbeat and date the pregnancy. As I stated in my previous post, my progesterone levels are low. They are 9.5 when it should be 15+. The doctor said progesterone supplements won’t save a pregnancy dying anyways. Low progesterone levels can indicate a failing pregnancy. Not always, but often. She said don’t ruin your weekend panicking. We might find out Tuesday that all is well and you worried for nothing. That’s easier said than done, when I heard these same words about three months ago on a similar phone call with a similar fear.

I’m in shock. I’m angry. I’m sad. I can’t wrap my mind around this. Jack says its good to be prepared at least. We weren’t prepared last time. This time we have advance warning. I don’t know what’s better. I know that not having to worry about a miscarriage would be the best alternative.

I have no earthly idea how to pass the time. Tomorrow when Jack goes to play basketball I’m going to go a bookstore and work on my manuscript and read books on formatting and how to submit. Other than that I’m stumped. I need to pass these next  88 hours without losing my sanity.

Praying for a sunflower miracle in my life. Why does this have to be so damn hard

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Beta and Progesterone Results Are In

July 17, 2009

I got a call from a doctor in the practice and my beta and progesterone levels are in.

HCG: 3500

Progesterone: 9.5

Shit. HCG is inconclusive since she said Monday they’ll do another test to see if they’re rising. But the Progesterone is scary because its borderline low. Healthy prog. levels are 15 and above. I’m 9.5. I told her I’m taking progesterone suppostitories she said they are not known to have any effect at all, but I’m wondering are my levels 9.5, this borderline level and not EVEN LOWER because I am taking the progesterone supplements? She said low progesterone levels can indicate that a pregnancy is not going well, its hard to know.

Progesterone is the cause of most symptoms. This is perhaps why I am symptom free.

She told me not to panic and that things might be okay.

But to put it bluntly she essentially was trying to say: Prepare for another possible miscarriage, odds aint pretty.

Great weekend to come.

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Doctor Visit Update

July 16, 2009

Thanks to all of you who left me well wishes and urged me to climb down from the ledge I somehow perched myself upon. It’s true the diagnosis of PCOS, lupus anticoagulent disorder, low progesterone are good things so that this won’t happen again. I do get that, thanks for the reminder. The doctor visit went as expected though I had a mini-scare at the start of it. When pregnant when you walk into the exam room, they usually have a congrats brochure with information for new mothers. This time it wasn’t there. The nurse came in five minutes later and apologized that she forgot to put the brochure there. So yes, the test at the doctor’s office also confirmed my BFP. I’m being referred to a maternal fetal specialist to discuss whether I’ll get on lovenox or not. That should be early next week. Based on my uterus I’m only 4-5 weeks pregnant. I guess that makes sense since I had implantation bleeding about 3.5 weeks ago. She offered to do a beta test so I’ll find out tomorrow what my numbers are, and I’ll go in again on Monday for a follow-up beta. Tuesday is my first ultrasound to date this pregnancy. I really hope they find a heart beat.

It’s hard to get seen by my doctor but she rocks. Whenever I meet her I feel lucky she’s taking care of me because I trust her. I feel slightly better after the doctor’s visit. She told me I’d feel weird up until I passed the ten week mark when I lost the first pregnancy. I guess that’s natural. Regardless of how many nicknames I come up with, in the recesses of my mind the fear is going to lurk. My goal is to keep it in the recesses of my mind and not to allow it to  jump up and take center stage doing the river dance.

But just for the record, I’m pretty sure it’s a girl. 🙂

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Not Doing Great

July 16, 2009

Knowing that the auto-immune disorder is the reason I miscarried has thrown me off orbit. I am haunted with the knowledge that my baby was fine. My baby was breathing and growing and deveoping on schedule and then thanks to clotting issues my baby died. The grief overwhelms me. I can’t change anything that happened. What was is no longer here. I can’t cry and bring back my Speck, but it just hurts to know what a beautiful missed opportunity of life no longer is.  I realize I am currently pregnant but I cannot shake the fear that I will lose this one too. I don’t know why but this fear has gripped me and is threatening to do me in. I don’t want two miscarriages in a year. I don’t want to be told this one is not developing thanks to my body acting stupid.

I’ve made peace with my miscarriage. I thought. I gained a lot of understanding on who I was, what I was made of. I found my faith again after years of darkness, but. . . that doesn’t make the pain hurt less. Yes if I miscarry again I will get over it and I will learn to stand again but I’m not looking forward to the fall. I’m frightened to death of the fall.  I can’t fall. Please God, please God, don’t let me fall.

16 hours until my appointment, and counting. . .

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Meant to be . . .

July 15, 2009

Jack said something and immediately apologized explaining he didn’t mean it as it came out, but its stuck with me. We were talking on the phone and I said, So it hard for me to GET pregnant with PCOS and then when I do get pregnant by miracle of miracles my body has also seen fit to make it hard for me to keep my pregnancy thanks to this auto-immune disorder. Jack responded with Sometimes it feels like we are not supposed to be parents. If there are so many obstacles in our path maybe its just not meant to be. I didn’t get mad because he’s entitled to feel as he does and I said nothing. He called a few hours later and said he didn’t mean it that way. The fact that we want it and are doing everything we can means that we will appreciate it more once a healthy baby is in our arms. I believe him, I think he was frustrated for a moment, and we’re all entitled to a dark thought.

I don’t know. I mean as far as I know I’m still pregnant. Hopefully I will stay pregnant.  I guess if I had nausea or something else this would feel more real but I have no symptoms or signs so it keeps me distanced to some degree from this pregnancy. I have hope that I’ll stick it through pregnancy and have a healthy happy baby at the end of this but it’s just hard to hang on to that right now as I look at the odds stacked against me.

I was so good about not being impatient for tomorrow’ appointment and now that its less than 24 hours away, with this new diagnosis and the now increased risks of miscararriage, 2:30pm tomorrow may as well be two years away.

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The world feels like its tumbling: Why I miscarried

July 15, 2009

Like anyone else who miscarries I wanted to know why. After my miscarriage I asked the doctor to take some blood work to see if there’s any disorder predisposing me to miscarriage. I just got a call from my OB that one of my blood tests came back positive for lupus anticoagulent. Lupus. I know that this doesn’t mean I have lupus but I have this particular variation and this means that I have higher incidence of blood clotting. Women with lupus anticoaglant have higher risk of miscarriage. It is one of the common reasons for miscarriages to happen. The message from my doctor said to take a baby aspirin starting now and she’ll explain more at our appointment tomorrow.

First of all, she could not wait until tomorrow. She called to tell me to start ASAP.  This is urgent then. What if I’ve already lost my baby? What if it’s too late? I didn’t wake up last night to pee. I HAVE NO symptoms of pregnancy.

This means Speck was fine. He was healthy and okay and had no chromosomal abnormalities. **I** lost him. I mean, I know I didn’t do it on purpose but had he found life in someone else’s womb he would’ve been born and healthy and happy.  The blood clots seep into the placenta cutting off oxygen to the fetus. I read stories of other women like me with it, who had a heart beating little baby growing that died so close to the second trimester. And I might already be losing the new one growing within me. Meggomae once reminded me I’m already a mother. When I feel the pain I do at the thought of my baby suffocating due to lack of oxygen, the thought that he could have lived and died due to us not knowing. . . the pain is so raw that I do in that moment dare anyone to tell me I was not a mother.

I talked to my doctor just now and she told me this should be seen as a good thing since now we know. Lots of doctor don’t order these tests after one miscarriage, they say after two or three they’ll check. I’m grateful this wasn’t even an argument between me and my doctor and I’m grateful she tested me.  I told her I did not wake up to pee last night and I’m afraid I might have already miscarried. She said don’t think like that, and that its probably not too late.

Intellectually the odds are low I have already miscarried, but I had a 2% chance of miscarrying Speck when they found his strong heartbeat. Odds mean jackshit to me. She said she will feel my uterus to determine how far along I am and if I’m far along enough they’ll do an ultrasound. I’m also going to see a specialist to see what to do about my disorder. They might give me heparin, a self injection daily that thins the blood, but she wants a specialist to diagnose that. In the meantime I’m popping baby aspirins.

3 metformin tablets. 1 prenatal. 1 baby aspirin. 1 nightly dose of progesterone. I will hang upside down naked from a tree in my front yard if you can promise me I will have my baby healthy and happy in nine months. Keep the meds coming, just give me my baby.

FUCK. I really wish it wasn’t so fucking hard all the fucking time.

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Random this and that

July 14, 2009

Lately I’ve been feeling a wierd fidgety feeling I have not felt before. Today I looked at the side effect label of the progesterone and among the many possible side effects one is increased nervousness. Well then. It’s funny considering this one is stated to help women with progesterone issues to conceive or maintain their pregnancy. A side effect such as increased nervouness should get a double take by the FDA considering the women who will be taking it are already preinclined to nervous tendencies.

I told my mom and she is through the roof happy. She then told me stories of about three friends who are very concerned about the state of my childlessness. One of my friends does a special prayer just for you each evening. I really feel disconcerted by the fact that my business is her friend’s business. I don’t even really talk about it with my friends but it seems based on the volume of stories she shares, everyone including the neighborhood cat knows about me. If I ask her she denies until the sun comes up but I know my mom, she can accidentally let slip many a thing without realizing. Or choosing not to realize. Her innocent stories like Maya’s mom told me she miscarried at three months also! When I ask her if she told Maya’s mom about me, my mom denies it, but I find it hard to believe this conversation randomly came up recently. It makes me feel weird next time I see Maya to know she knows so much of my life that I work so hard to maintain privacy around. Another example, at a dinner party, a friend of my mom’s said to me, your mom wants to be a grandma! To which my mom shook her head and sighed deeply Well, one can only hope and pray. The lady turned red and apologized. To date, my mom doesn’t see that as saying anything! It frustrates me because I know that she is telling me about her friends because she thinks it helps but it doesn’t help to know that she’s formed her own support group for not having a grandkid. I don’t know how deal with it because she’s my mom and I love her and I know it’s an argument waiting to happen.

In other news the progesterone or my own thoughts are making me a little nervous. I’m not nauseous at all. My boobs which were sore and painful are normal again. I do still wake to pee at night, but other than that there are simply no symptoms. Last time I got the “tsk tsk” from friends who accused me of not being grateful for the lack of symptoms when many have such severe symptoms. No one can understand save you who have been in my shoes how badly I want these symptoms because it means something is there. The Mayo Clinic says if you have no preggo symptoms its a sign of potentially impending miscarriage. Was correct last time, ofcourse I’m nervous it may happen this time.

I’m not fidgeting around with tears or anything like that. I’ve tried and partly succeeded with making peace with the fact that I *may* have a miscarriage again. I don’t WANT one. I will be sad if it happens, but I am hoping for the best while sort of preparing for the worst. I wish I could behave differently but its how I’m wired.

Thursday has never felt further away.

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The Brown Spot

July 13, 2009

I went to the bathroom and there is a brown spot on my underwear. I wiped and there was no blood. Just that brown spot. My doctor’s appointment is on Thursday. Hopefully its just one of those things. I’m not panicking or anything right now but two thoughts come to mind (1) It’s going to be a long nine months and (2) I really hope I make it to nine months.