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The paradox of hope and fear

September 1, 2009

Thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on lovenox. I know that many of you brave women inject yourself regularly and I’m in complete awe. I sat with the shot for a good hour until Jack walked in and insisted on doing it. The pain of the needle going in isn’t horrible, it’s more this strange burning sensation once the medicine is inside. And the bruising! I look like someone kicked my stomach in. Still, I am grateful if it’ll help this one stick.

I feel funny today. I’m scared to call it nausea. It’s saliva and its constant and it makes me feel funny. I keep trying to attribute to something else, perhaps I didn’t drink enough water, or slept too little, or maybe its just the way the moon is orbiting. But maybe just maybe its a symptom of pregnancy. A real, live symptom, imagine that. I’m scared to imagine.

My friend said to me I’m not saying its related, but your negative attitude of not accepting congratulations, not wanting to talk about it, saying ‘if’ in terms of the viability of this pregnancy isn’t good. You could negatively affect the outcome. I hope that’s not true. I think its hard for someone who has not dealt with loss to understand my emotions. I don’t like talking about it. I try to find other causes for symptoms I might get. I’m not even signing up for ICLW next month because you have to submit three words to describe your blog and I can’t bring myself to write the P word. I mean, ICLW starts towards the end of September, I don’t know for certain where I will be come September! That probably sounds absolutely horrific, but its true.

BUT-  underneath the doubt, the fear, the anxiety, and the sadness, there is hope. It is a candle on low burning in the darkness. The flames are so small you could doubt its existence were it not for the quiet nights when I lie still and can feel its warmth radiate through my body.  So yes, I am afraid.  I’m deathly afraid. And yes, I don’t want to fucking talk about it because there’s something about hearing my voice travel the sound waves that amplifies this fear in my heart, but no, I’m not feeling hopeless. Why else would I have dared to try again? Each and every one of us IFers are living proof of this paradox. I may live in fear, but I float on hope.

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Fighting Fear

August 29, 2009

I’ve been calm and blase about this pregnancy until yesterday. I think it was the first lovenox injection. Lying down and enduring that painful injection (it hurts more AFTER the injection) it hit me: I’m pregnant. I don’t feel pregnant: no nausea, no tender breasts, no exhaustion of any extreme sort, my acne is gone. As someone with two losses, both in which I felt hardly any symptoms, I don’t like this common pattern. My mom never had extreme symptoms, maybe I’m lucky. Maybe its too early, I’m only 4.5 weeks, but given my background I can’t help but be afraid. I’m trying not to be afraid. I’m trying to prepare myself for a miscarriage and tell myself I’ll be okay if the worst happens but then I fight this urge because surely there is power in positive thinking? I remember Katery talking about not having symptoms in her first trimester and the ambivalent feelings of pregnancy after loss and she is in her second trimester now. So its possible. It’s possible. I want to believe this one will work. I hate my trembling hands when I check for blood when I go to the bathroom. I hate the feeling of inevitability. I know I’m taking lovenox now, the egg is theoretically fresher since I ovulated on time. . . I just can’t shake the fear.  I wish I knew what I could do to ease these worries.  I’m waiting until September 14 for an ultrasound and until then I need to figure out how to cope. I apologize in advance to anyone reading because though I will try to cope, I’m sure there will likely be other fear filled posts like this.

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Lovenox *gulp*

August 28, 2009

After my first loss I asked my doctor to run any tests she had to find out why. She was kind of enough to oblige though I’ve heard some docs won’t run these until three or more. While waiting for these results I got pregnant again. She called me 5 weeks into my pregnancy and asked me to take a baby aspirin because I tested positive for lupus anticoagulent and referred me to a maternal fetal specialist to discuss lovenox. He ordered a series of 15 tests on me.  In the meantime I lost that pregnancy. A few days after the loss I learned my lupus anticoagulent was now negative though there were other numbers that were borderline high. She said next time I got pregnant to get lovenox immediately upon a positive test. True to her word as soon as I called in she wrote me a prescription for lovenox.

I waited to fill my appointment until the next day because I had an appointment with a hematologist. He said he didn’t think lovenox was medically necessary for me and that I should wait two weeks for him to run some more tests on me. I asked him why did I test positive for lupus first go around, and then negative the next go around. He said sometimes lupus anticoagulent follows one pregnancy but not another. I asked him if now I was safe in this pregnancy, he said I can’t be certain. So while he said I didn’t need to take lovenox he did say that if my OB  felt I should, I can go ahead and take it. I began leaning towards taking it since the thought of this lupus thing coming and going like an apparition trying to steal my pregnancies freaked me out. But I still hesitated. Dr. F said not necessary and he’s an expert on all things blood. Jack thought I should wait out the two weeks.

After fretting for sometime someone advised me the obvious: ask you OBGYN. The hematolist may be a blood doc but he works with cancer, this is a recurrent pregnancy loss issue, you should trust the people who work with the preggo people. So I e-mailed my OB-GYN last night and she said she wanted me on it on the advice of the maternal fetal specialist.

I’m freaking out now. I am hoping by listing my fears they’ll seem less scary:

1) Lovenox costs $1,000/month. My insurance covered it this go aroud but I’m switching insurance in October because my job ends. What if the new insurance gives me problems?
2) I got a positive pregnancy test TUESDAY at 13dpo. Now its FRIDAY 16dpo. I didn’t start too late did I? I’m so upset that I waited. I should’ve gone with my instinct and just started stabbing myself with the needles as soon as they were ordered. The hematologist just confused me. UGH. It’s always better safe than sorry.

Nope, still scared. Please don’t let it be too late. Please don’t let it be too late.

Anyone have any advice on how to take Lovenox?

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Oh Cavity, why now?

August 28, 2009

When I get pregnant my gums and teeth start acting funny but this time the pain was slightly more acute and I knew I had a cavity. I went to the dentist and when I signed in I said, just so you know I’m pregnant. The receptionist looked at me and smiled I remember you! You thought you were pregnant last time you came. I stared at her with my jaw hanging down to my knees. I wrote about this May 2008, over a year ago. How I thought I was pregnant and had to do the walk of shame and say nope, just a crazy IF dreaming. It’s been over a year and she remembers. I felt like one of those mentally unhinged women who pretend they’re pregnantl. No really, I said shaking my head, I really am this time.

The dentist thinks I have a cavity but he can’t do any dental work until I’m in my second trimester. Come back when you’re four months pregnant, he said. It is a really fucking sad fact of life that I stared at him confused at how he could just say that. Shouldn’t he say instead if you’re still pregnant and don’t have a miscarriage, then come back in month four. I mean, really, that’s where my mind went instead of understanding the normal assumption that women who see positive pregnancy tests have babies at the end of it! I find it amazing how loss factors into even random ordinary interactions such as a dentist appointment.

I hope and pray the cavity stays a wee little cavity and doesn’t morph into root canal. I don’t know how one survives that for months on end. <– Look at me! Months on end! Hope: you are a sticky little sucker. (fingers and toes crossed)

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It lies under the surface

August 26, 2009

4am today Jack shook me awake. You were yelling Why?! over and over again, he said with a bewildered expression.  I have no recollection but Jack told me I’ve been having outbursts like this the past few weeks.

I thought I’ve been dealing with my second loss better. I don’t cry daily. I don’t sit and fixate on what happened. I felt relieved that somehow I’d manage to hurt less this go around. Today as I made an appointment I turned a page in my agenda and bug’s u/s picture drifted out and landed in my lap. It’s been a month since I lost bug.  Her presence in my womb while my numbers tanked shocked my doctors, but there it was, a fact I will never forget: My bug was a fighter. She wanted so badly to survive. For the time she lived, she beat the odds.

I keep telling myself not to mourn this loss. Missing bug makes me feel I’m missing a mirage. But apparently subconsciously I am missing bug like crazy. I’ve wondered for some time why I showed my mom the u/s pics when she visited me after my loss. She saw it and burst into tears and kissed the picture holding it close to her chest. I felt a weird sense of relief. Now I think I know why. I think its because I wanted someone else to care. If someone else cared, bug was real, bug mattered.

Today at my hematology appointment the doctor said how far along were you when you lost your two children, I’m sorry, I meant, your babies? I felt like someone jolted me. It took all I had to not to bite my lip from crying, not of sadness necessarily but relief. He got it. He didn’t try to negate my pain with neutral words such as “losses or incidents”. He called them my babies. No one IRL ever called them that before.

Long story short, the hematologist ordered THIRTY different labs on me. He said the current results don’t indicate there is a medical need for lovenox so wanted further testing. The results come back in two weeks. As I was leaving the med tech who drew my blood approached me. Listen, he said, I read your chart. What’s happened to you is horrible. I really hope that whatever is wrong we here will find out and fix it for you.

I’ve been so busy trying to move forward I haven’t really looked back. Yes I’m jolted by grief from time to time but I try not to look at it too deeply. I run, or put on music, or turn on the TV. I’ve learned something today: you can run from the past but it catches up to you, releasing from you like the steam from a volcano. What you hold in will either come out or destroy you from the inside. I’m grateful for being the P word again, and despite the past I remain hopeful and grateful for the opportunity to try again. Still, I will never forget who I lost, and today on this one month anniversary I’m allowing myself a moment to grieve my little fighter.

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Planning

August 26, 2009

Thank you for your well wishes on my previous post. I’d be lost without you.  My coping mechanisms surprise me. I expected to panic. I feel a bit pensive but very calm. I hope this feeling remains.

I see the hematologist tomorrow to talk about Lovenox. My OBGYN already called in the ‘script. I’m scared of side effects but we’ll see what the hematologist says. Jack thinks I should get my HCG and progesterone drawn to determine the viability of this pregnancy. A part of me considers this, but a larger part shakes its head no. Waiting for those results, the lack of sleep, staring at the phone, anxious shallow breathing- it was brutal.  I don’t want to go through it again. True the results could comfort me but I dread that wait. I don’t know if I can do that wait. The OBGYN’s office asked to schedule a confirmation visit. I stalled. Confirmation visit: pee on a stick, get brochures on pregnancy, have a pelvic exam where you’re told its too soon to see a heartbeat on the u/s so come back in two weeks. No thanks. I’m already getting the meds. I’m considering scheduling a visit in three weeks when we’d find a heart beat. My goal is to stay as peaceful as possible. Any tips on how you find peace much appreciated.

I e-mailed the RE to cancel next week’s appointment. My two word response: ok. canceled. I felt taken aback. No good luck? No, that’s good news? They deal with IF day in day out so I thought they’d give a friendlier response. I never felt more like a canceled business transaction before.

The evening is drawing to a close and I glance at my pregnancy test. I’m struck by the first thought that comes to mind as I look at the two bars. Will this time be it? Have I paid enough? Am I absolved? I’m surprised by these thoughts, but this year has felt like a sort of purgatory where I sit and wonder what I did. I hope the lovenox works. I hope an earlier egg is a fresher egg. I hope. I hope. I hope. I hope my penance is complete.

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13dpo and . . .

August 25, 2009

It’s positive.

Faint but definitely there.

I’m happy but scared. This is my third pregnancy in 2009.

I hesitated posting, especially during ICLW. I hope no one finds this and feels the gut wrenching mixed emotions that the news of someone’s pregnancy can give. Please know that though this positive is good, I’m still scared. Please know I’ve struggled for nearly two years to hold a child in my arms. I feel guilty sharing because I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I share because the stories  of others gave me hope on dark nights, and because day has still not broken here. I’m not out of the woods and I need the support of my IF sisters.

This is the first time I conceived on an on-time ovulation.  I only get on-time ovulation after miscarriages which is why this time I did not wait a cycle like my doctor asked. I am hoping and praying this means my egg is fresh, that perhaps it will stick. I’m seeing the hematologist tomorrow who will give me the final verdict on lovenox for my clotting disorder. I’m itching to ask the OBGYN for it now, but a day should be fine.

Please, no congratulations. As most of you know, this positive does not guaruntee anything but gives so much- hope. Please hope with me, but please do not congratulate. The memories of the two I lost in 2009 are still too raw and  I know how much I stand to lose. It won’t be until I have a baby in my arms, healthy and happy, that I will breathe my sigh of relief.