The Last Day of the First Third

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I know we are far from done, but we have made it to the famed second trimester! I am SO excited to be here, in this moment, with a baby growing inside me.  And being in the moment is very hard for me.

If you know me at all, you know I am a hypochondriac.  It seems that finding out you’re pregnant makes you a serious HYPOCHONDRIAC.  Between the spotting, cramping, and other fun pregnancy things I’ll leave out for now, my fears have been all over the map (thank you google search).  Now that I am about to enter the 2nd trimester I’m hoping that when I feel crazy back pain again, I’ll think “I’m just growing.”  I got some good advice from a friend to not worry until I have “bright red blood gushing from parts of my body it shouldn’t.”  I’m gonna try to live by that rule for a while.

Entering this new phase in our pregnancy has also made me start thinking that this is for real.  Seeing the first ultrasound where our baby looks like a baby with feet and hands and a nose…kind of changed everything in my head.  It made me start thinking about a nursery and names and diapers.  That’s when I had to stop myself from spiraling wildly out of control in the planning department (yes, I’m neurotic).

When did you let yourself go crazy with baby planning?  I think I’m starting too soon.

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Scared Stiff

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How many times will I google “miscarriage rates at ___weeks?”  When will it end?  I am so frightened that this isn’t real.  Each day I assess whether my symptoms are stronger, dwindling, or the same.  To make me even more crazy, today was the day I took my last progesterone supplement.  Now I’ll have to add checking my underwear every hour for spotting to the equation (wait, I already do that.)

I really want to enjoy each day of this pregnancy, but it seems my joy is overshadowed by doubt.  I pray that in a few weeks I can be comforted by a healthy check up and that I can rest easy and enjoy growing this baby.  Although, who are we kidding, I’m probably gonna worry the entire time.

I wonder if this preoccupation with loss is heightened because of our long journey to get here, or if every fertile woman out there goes through the same predicament.  Hmm…

I AM Grateful

Am I grateful enough? Yesterday I was at the salon, getting a much needed haircut.  (My hair was starting to look like a rat’s nest.)  I overheard a very pregnant lady saying how wonderful her pregnancy has been.  “I’ve felt great.   And I just feel so grateful everyday.  I mean sure, I had a couple days of nausea in the beginning, but so what, I don’t feel like eating.  I won’t eat that day.  I’m just so grateful.” At this point I felt A) terrible about myself for being such a wimp.  And B) like I wanted to punch this lady in the face.

Let’s talk about A.

After struggling with infertility for 3 years, 2 years with treatments, we have finally gotten to our first pregnancy.  It’s still super early, but we’re here.  I doubted so many times that we’d reach this point.  I wanted so badly to be here that I didn’t even realize what it would be like once I arrived.  I didn’t know I’d feel nauseated all day long, unable to eat anything of substance.  I didn’t know I’d be crampy and tired.  I didn’t know I’d be able to tell the difference between a mere gag and an impending vomit session.  I didn’t realize that I’d get a bladder infection and have heartburn and indigestion.  I just thought it would be rainbows and sunshine.  I thought knowing there was a little human growing inside of me would make all that other stuff disappear.  Perhaps that’s why I feel like such an awful person.  I am so grateful for this chance.  SO grateful! But, you know what? That doesn’t make the morning sickness go away.  Which brings me to point B.

Let’s talk about B.

Pregnancy is different for everyone.  I’ve heard it, I believe it.  After talking to lots of people about it, some had it WAY better than me at this point, and others had it significantly worse.  (I feel so bad for them.) But when you are a person who had a few days of nausea your entire pregnancy, and felt amazing the rest of the time, it’s a bit unfair to attribute it to your grateful attitude.  It makes the rest of us whose genes predispose us to crummy symptoms feel somehow less worthy of this journey.  Maybe it IS all about attitude, but please I just don’t want to hear it right now.

I’m sure so many people out there would say, “Oh quit your whining, at least you get the chance to be pregnant!” Trust me, I’m trying to quit my whining.  I feel like a horrible person to even complain for a second.  I can’t help it…I’m a whiner.

Gag

Last week was my spring break, and this is what I felt like the entire time:

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This is what I look like when someone mentions food to me.  It’s what I look like after I eat, and it’s what I look like pretty much all day.  Sometimes the look is accompanied by a wretch or dry heaving.  (Okay, maybe I’m not quite as cute as this puppy) Oh yea, and I also got a skin infection on my nose after rubbing it raw during an allergy attack.  So, not only am I queasy, but I’m queasy with disgusting lesions on my nose.

But you know what? I’m ecstatic that I feel like poo.  I’m thrilled that I’m bloated, constipated, nauseated, and tired.  Just thrilled because it means our little embryo decided to stick around! The bleeding and cramping I was having last week was completely off putting and scary, but apparently common for some women.

So, bring on the uglies! I’m ready….kind of.

A Bad Dream

After our transfer and first positive beta, I had a terrible dream.  I thought if I didn’t talk about it, the universe couldn’t know it was a possibility and it couldn’t happen.  Yes, my bad dream had to do with being on the toilet and finding clumps of blood.

I tried to tell myself that miscarriage after two positive betas can’t be that common.  If it’s implanted, it will surely stay.  The universe was giving us a gift on my birthday, it was all meant to be.  It was going to be fine…more than fine.  I could feel the little guy tugging away on my side.  He was growing good.  I could feel it. I knew…

Except you don’t ever know, do you? Today I am 5weeks and 6 days pregnant. Except I may not be, really. Last night I started getting painful cramps across my lower abdomen. My ovaries felt cramped and I started spotting pink. I held out hope, that it was just normal early pregnancy spotting. I only had it once before on the day of beta #1, but it was a lot less and the cramps felt different. I was trying so hard not to believe my dream, until this morning I felt like it might be real. I was on the toilet…I wiped bright red blood, and even found a clot. I am now wearing a pad and hoping it doesn’t get heavier. Though my cramps tell me something fierce is on its way.
I called the doctor’s office and everything, but it turns out there’s nothing anyone can really do to confirm/relieve/prevent anything at this point. My only solace at this point is that there’s nothing I can do. Absolutely nothing except, like a fool, hope that my dreams aren’t premonitions.

 

The Second 2WW

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I cannot express how grateful I am to be here, to be in this place where I discover there is yet another 2 week wait.  I thought after you go in for your Beta Hcg, you knew.  But apparently there’s more limbo to wade through.  In about a week though, we should know what path we’ll be on.

Until then, I worry about whether every sensation that I feel is normal.  I google every symptom that comes and then just as quickly disappears.  I am so afraid of losing this chance that I am forgetting to enjoy every moment.

I have 7 more days of practicing a quiet mind, and a peaceful and patient heart.  Wish me luck!

Making a Home for an Embryo

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Beautiful free print from graphic designer at http://www.danielleburkleo.com

The “she” here is me.  We just completed a very big step in our long IVF journey.  We finally had our first embryo transfer–ever!  Here’s how the morning went down:

7:00 am Open my eyes after a long listless night of sleep, worrying about whether I’ll drink enough water or the valium will work today.

10:00 am  Take a valium and drink 32 oz of water

10:30 am  Arrive at the lab unsure of whether the valium has actually kicked in.  (I was told it would feel like I had downed a big martini, but right now, I’m not feeling so good)

10:45 am The embryologist comes in and shows us a beautifully thawed embryo.  She says it looks as good as fresh!

10:50 am  The nurse comes in to see if my bladder is full enough yet.  Not yet.

11:10 am  My bladder is finally ready and my uterus is flat enough for a straight shot.  The doc inserts a catheter up into the “perfect” spot in my uterus and shoots the little sucker up there.

11:10-11:40 am  I remain on the table watching Jimmy Fallon videos with the hubs.

Before I leave, the embryologist assures me that my uterus is like “shag” carpeting and the embryo won’t fall out.  I can just see it now, like my grandma’s old living room with brown shag carpeting, a wooden television, and some brown and orange floral print couches.  If that embryo knows what’s up, it’ll burrow deep into that couch and get some fluffy blankets and camp out for the long haul.  At least, that’s what I would do.

But, for now I can only obsess over every twinge, cramp, movement I make.  I’m going to need lots and lots of courage to make it through the next two weeks without losing it.  I’m going to try my hardest to be brave enough to live in the moment, and not predict the future.  For I am no psychic.