Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

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Dentists, ultrasounds, and in-laws

September 11, 2009

Pregnancy discussed

1. I’m starting to enjoy going to the dentist because they’re  so hopeful. They say things like come back when you’re eight months pregnant for your six month cleaning! and after you have your baby, get your wisdom teeth removed. Wow, these people think pregnancy equals babies. They don’t know pregnancy = maybe baby. Still, whenever I’m around them I get the feeling of what it might be like to be a normal pregnant person and I feel hopeful. The dental hygienist asked me Is this your first pregnancy? I stared at her unsure how to respond. What response do you all say? I told her no, not my first pregnancy, my third but hopefully this one will stick around. I know this probably made her uncomfortable, but I feel its a dishonor to lie and say yes. I don’t want to cover up what happened and though I’m not fully out of the closet about my IF and losses in real life, I don’t know how I can lie to anyone if they ask. I’m trying to figure out a better way to answer this question since I know that when if I reach a stage where I begin to show, then people will inevitably ask and I want to be honest without making people uncomfortable.

2. Each time I had an ultrasound, I lost the pregnancy soon after. This is irrational but what if that’s the cause? My mom and Jack voiced these concerns too. I don’t know. I’m scared not only of the results of Monday’s u/s but the act of ultrasounding. My mom suggested I wait but unless there’s solid (or controversial) proof I’m getting an u/s despite the fear.

3. I just found out Jack’s parents are coming next weekend. If you read this blog you know why I’m paranoid (i.e. when I see them I bleed). Jack found good tickets to Orlando and suggested I go see my parents. I’m scared to book because what if Monday’s ultrasound is bad? Then I’d hate to go. Or, what if I fly to Orlando and the flight causes me to lose my baby? Or should I just face my fears of seeing my inlaws. My therapist says I’m clinging to superstition to feign control over life and suggested I fight the superstition and see them. I’m not sure I can handle it. If I wait until my ultrasound to book tickets to Orlando, they’ll be $900. I’m so confused.

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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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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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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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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.