Thursday, January 16, 2014

Size of a Grape

Greetings from 9 weeks. Never thought I'd arrive, but the weather is fine!

Seriously, people. How is it that other people's pregnancies are over in a flash? Friends and celebrities seem to have mastered some sort of supersonic gestation technique. But your own pregnancy, when you've worked for it and just really need the first trimester to take about five minutes -- it crawls by at a snail's pace.

Still. Obviously I am grateful to be at this point. I don't want to say it out loud but I have not been here often.

The spotting continues -- all brown, which makes health care providers absolutely yawn in your face, because they are not the one who has to take a deep breath while pulling down their pants. I think it would really help me if someone would come over here with an ultrasound machine, like every single day. Why is this not offered? Luckily, I am still seeing the RE to monitor hormones as I'm weaned off the medications, and have also gotten in with an OB and a perinatologist, who will do my scans. So if a slightly illogical but urgent question pops up, say, what will happen if my son's friend pushes me in the stomach or will I bake the baby with my heated car seats, I can spread the crazy evenly over three medical professionals' offices.

Meanwhile: pedestrian complaints I am not supposed to complain about because I'm an infertile. Like oh, Lord, the nausea. Hungry every. Single. Minute. And yet everything, to me, is exactly like Oliver Twist's porridge: an unappealing, colorless pile of slop. Please, sir, I do not want any more. And yet I must eat or I will throw up, and everyone who knows me understands that throwing up signals the coming end of the world. So I eat exactly five things: pizza, bagels and cream cheese, apples and cheddar cheese, and yogurt with granola. Do not ask me why these things are okay and chicken makes me gag -- all I know is that keeping up with the hunger when you don't want to eat anything is making me so tired.

Finally, a slight obsession with progesterone. My clinic has already weaned me from the estradiol this week, which felt a little early -- but their medical degrees really gave them a leg up in that debate. They typically wean off the progesterone at 10 weeks, and looking back, that's exactly when I stopped it for H. On this they're a little more willing to work with my neurosis. They say no problem if I want to go longer, to 11 or even 12 weeks. Advice welcome.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sweet Relief

It was a long time, the seconds between the probe going in and the words coming out of her mouth. And you can trust that this is true, because my husband, who had the objectivity of not having a probe swimming around in his own nether region, later told me he thought it seemed like a while too.

And I don't know for sure what she said, even though I'd imagined it in moments of optimism, I don't know what she actually said, because I don't think I was actually in my own body, able to hear things. I was floating somewhere, waiting for someone to say something that made me think it was okay to be in that room.

Whatever she said, it registered that there was a beating heart on the screen, that pulse of light I'd prayed to see. And this time, when everyone in the room sighed their sigh of relief and said things like Congratulations and I'm so happy for you, it felt like they were talking to me and that it was really, truly true.

The heart rate measured at 164. I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Nail Biter

So of course this couldn't have been straightforward, 40 weeks of blissful nesting and pickle flavored ice cream eating. No. I'm going to have to work for this, whether it goes the distance or not.

I started bleeding on Christmas. I'd had a perfect scan two days before -- at 5w3d they saw an appropriately sized gestational sac as well as a yolk sac, which I was told was a bonus for that GA. They warned me I may have spotting from the scan, but I typically do not so I was surprised when later that afternoon I did have some light spotting. They told me not to worry so I didn't. Much. Until Christmas, when it started again, this time red and with some momentum behind it. I thought we were probably looking at bad news. Which really put me in the holiday spirit.

By the evening, though, it really had lightened. The doctor was reassuring when I reached her. The nurse the next morning suggested that I try to wait for my next scheduled scan, since another scan would just create a vicious circle of probing and bleeding. I agreed to try. I put myself on self-imposed bed rest.

Things were going swimmingly with that plan until Saturday, when I stood up after surfing online for info about stopping progesterone supplementation and felt an enormous gush. I went to the bathroom and felt what I was certain was the sac fall out of me. And a lot of blood. There you have it, I thought. That's it. I called the doctor again. My only options were to go to the ER and deal with the drunk Saturday night crowd or wait until Monday morning for a scan with her. Somehow, she did not think this was the end of the road, while I would have bet the house on it.

I made it to Monday -- schlepping H to the ER and sitting there for hours only to hear bad news sounded almost worse than the thing itself. I felt exactly as I did four years ago, waiting for bad news after H's pregnancy bleeding: bracing myself for impact as the truck hurtled toward me. 

Instead, she turned the screen toward me and pointed out the sac and the fetus, measuring 6w4d (I was 6w3d). I don't know how to drive this point home strongly enough: I could not believe it was true. Not like: Wow, that's unbelievable! More like: Literally, I do not believe you.

Questions remained. What came out of me (blood clots from laying down)? What is making me bleed (she saw what is possibly a small subchorionic hematoma, just as with H)? Why was there no heartbeat when I swear we saw one at that point with H (she swore up and down before even doing the scan that it was too early to see one)? Why must everything I do in the reproductive department be such a sh*& show (she could not answer this)?

The big scan is early next week. Until then, you'll find me at home, on the couch, being of no real value to anyone, willing the hours to go by and trying very hard not to freak out.

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