I have spent so much of my life fearing failure- not wanting to fuck up, make folks mad, disappoint anyone, make a mistake..... But real life is full of failures-- small ones, big ones, many I am sure I could have avoided, while many others sure seem to have been unavoidable.... I am good at some things, bad at others, and there are a billion billion things I have not tried. When I was younger I was afraid of trying and failing, so often I would not try at all-- I was that afraid of additional failure. And really so much of that still holds true. I have not grown out of it yet.
But I have learned that failure is part of what happens-- the whole IF thing is all about trying to snatch (as it were) victory out of the jaws of defeat--- it felt like nothing but a great parade of failures big and small--but for once that was what I was fighting against rather than folding in the face of--I was fighting the presumption of failure-- I made plans, learned new things, tried new things (and how), and failed and failed and failed and all the while, I admit, part of me fully expected failure to win. And then much to my astonishment and against crazy odds, I succeeded.
Whoa, I say, I don't know how to do this part-- I feel apologetic, I say. When the few folks who know ask me how things are going I say fine, so far. so far. I qualify externally when talking with folks, and I qualify inside my head and heart as if somehow that could cushion a blow if something goes wrong (while I know nothing can).
Dear friends of my darlin miscarried this weekend at week 12. It feels so cruel-- you're out of the woods! But no. And my heart is breaking for them. I say I cannot imagine it, do not want to imagine it, and yet, to be honest, it is something I imagine every day.
I am looking for boogie men. Yes, I say, so far.... as far as I know... yes, things are going fine I hope.... but my heart feels so cautious, I dare not fall into this idea of YES THIS IS GOING FINE. because what if I'm wrong?
I asked myself in the middle of the night if my fear of failure has turned into some perverted fear of success-- I admit I am scared shitless of parenthood-- I am not a lover of all kids no matter what, and not a natural when holding other people's babies-- I was no ones nanny, babysat only twice in my whole long life, have no younger siblings, did not play with dolls (unless I was performing surgery with cuticle scissors on the ironing board)-- there is nothing about this that I know.
but I think I realize that I don't yet look at this as success.
I am too scared to drop my guard as if somehow the mere intensity of my guard is what is making this work (so far). So many of you post-IF pregnancy folks have written about your fear of jinxing it-- no, do not put on the maternity clothes, no do not tell folks yet, no do not....... as if if we relax into this the tiniest bit, we will open the chasm held shut by the power of our fear.
Gosh darn, wouldn't it be great if our fear could be so powerful!? Then all the dragons would be slayed and we'd all be home.
Ok, as of a few years back I am a painted toenail girl (Jane is laughing)-- and a few weeks ago I went to take off my nail polish prior to a re-do and my new-found-conscience-voice said NO. um... so now what? I went online and found Honeybee Gardens-- they have non-toxic remover (works on ALL polish, just be patient)-- and non toxic polish in some really yummy colors-- I do the pale, but they also do the vivid. You need to apply this at night, and let it cure while you sleep (about a half hour before you can go tangle in the sheets)-- I cannot say enough about this polish or the remover which is totally non-noxious.
Ahh vanity. Along that line, the belly oil I got was really embarrassingly expensive (seriously, 42 bucks) from Belli-- I love lavender and wanted something symbolic and luscious so I just went ahead and got it. I have no idea if it will make the slightest difference in my eventual stretchmarkitude (should I be so lucky)-- I am a stretch marky gal BUT in the meantime, it is the one nod to body care that I have indulged in that is specific to acknowledging this pregnancy and I like the way it smells. It is THICK though so your best bet is to put it on right after you shower and stay nekkid for a while before you dress so it can soak in. There's a smaller version in the pregnancy product sampler if you want to try it.
For heart instead of body-- I just bought myself one of Superhero's newly designed heart necklaces. If you have not stopped by her blog, please do. She is amazing. Someday I hope we'll have tea.
And because I love them more than I can say-- lovely painted rocks from dancingmermaid (mccabe) come every month or so (a wonderful christmas present from my darlin)-- and the one that arrived yesterday says Flow. Earlier this year were Create, Hold hope, and Shine. The set I linked to is exactly that: a set-- but near the end of the year keep alert for her announcement of the magical monthly subscription since I am not sure much is better than a little surprise in the mail.
And I am not sure if Hold Hope could have come at a better time.
A crampy uncomfortable night, and wild dreamed interrupted sleep but mostly, an odd feeling of reassurance-- the cramps made me feel reconnected. I cannot pretend I have a handle on myself and my responses but I am feeling grateful today instead of blue. I'll take it.
Wow, my 100th post. Since last November, somehow there've been almost 6000 visits to my blog (ohmygosh THANK YOU!). I never would have imagined when I began that by this point I would be pregnant. What a colossal surprise... or that I would have the opportunity to meet such wonderful people in this on-line community... that through the blog I would reconnect with such a dear and beloved friend (Jane)-- and that I would forge a new kind of connection with a loved relative (Jenn)...
I never would have imagined how touched I would be by your stories, and how loudly I would cheer, or how sad I would be with successes and setbacks. And I never would have imagined just how supported I would feel.
You all make me feel much less alone in the scary things and in the uncomfortable admissions, and the strange weird crazy world that is the IF journey, and then, finally, the strange and crazy world of pregnancy after IF journey which is so much less simple than I expected.
So-- Me? I'm better today (yesterday clearly sucked rocks). I am pretty pragmatic and often just need to do something to feel better so I did-- I gathered information, I asked for support, and I gave myself a talking to last night-- told myself that blue and tired this morning was ok, to be expected, a good sign. And through some miracle I slept through the night for the first time since my positive test result.
So thanks to all of you-- this morning, I am coping much better. A little less tired, a lot less blue. As my sister says, when you are this tired, it is hard to know what is tired and what is blue. At least on the inside, on a normal day, I am a pretty active and energetic person-- to feel otherwise is totally foreign. And this pregnancy is simply kicking my ass.
I will need to keep reminding myself (to overcome my pathological emotional amnesia) that this is normal, this is normal, this is normal. And, with any luck at all, in about a month, I'll be pulling out of it and into the twinkly starry skied land of second trimester. But today? 8 weeks. Sprout is the size of a blueberry. And me? I'm bigger than a breadbox.
I realize that while I am lucky in that I do not have debilitating nausea-related morning sickness (for which I am grateful)- I am really having a hard time with the blueness and exhaustion-- specially in the morning. I have done a great job overall reframing them as kind reminders for me to take is slowly and easily and I am trying to pay attention to when I need to slow down-- But I woke this morning feeling like SUCH SHIT that it scared me- that kind of blue, that kind of tired.
My relationship with depression is a bad one, not my own depression, but knowing the devastation that it can wreck. So the mere fact of it makes me feel out of control and scared. Really scared. I am trying to remind myself that this is temporary, that, oddly, it is a good sign, that means things are still happening, that progesterone has depression as a side effect, that it does not last all day all the time all bad all deep all dark-- it waxes and wanes. It is worst when I wake up and when I allow myself to get too tired or when I fight the tired with myriad shoulds (should vacuum, should work in the garden, should take a walk, should should should).
I am still having some cramping (mostly at night) but it is not awful. And I am having moments of queasy what-the-fuck-ness. But they are not awful either. The main thing I am feeling is bad. Just emotionally and physically dragged down. I hate this, since it is counter productive and counter intuitive, and really, who hears about this ever? Post partum depression, sure-- but prenatal?
As I said it is not constant. I am fine right now for example (once I stopped fighting the tired and the shoulds and came in and put my feet up). But I wanted to write about it just in case you know someone who knows someone who needs to know they're not alone.
I am aware of worrying more when I am blue, find myself worrying that things have stopped progressing, that my next ultrasound in a week and a half (GOOD LORD PEOPLE) is going to be bad news... I get worked down (not up-- it is not a high energy state)-- it is more like a feeling of heavy resignation than agitation.
So I am managing all of this weirdness by trying to keep my blood sugar up a little more consciously/conscientiously, by trying to remember this is a very good sign, and reframing it as my particular brand of morning sickness. But shit folks, I am starting to dread mornings.
Ok then internet, I find myself feeling very very cautious about talking about pregnancy stuff, especially anything that smacks of blueness, or fragility, or ambivalence and fear and weird dislocated separateness in the face of so many wonderful folks who would dang near kill to be in my position-- And I am also cautious and aware that I do not want to sound like I am gloating either-- like look at my symptoms! Aren't they something! Isn't this magical! I find myself poised with fingers over the keys wondering what is safe to say, what will be the least hurtful, what would be fair.
I need to say outright that I do not mean in any way to be insensitive, and hate the idea I might say something that will alienate or make someone feel shittier than they already do about such an insanely emotionally loaded topic. I want to apologize in some odd way-- some sort of weird desperate declaration of still being part of the team--like I want to say Hey, I've been there too and was there a long while, it sucks rocks!-- I got here by accident! It's like I feel embarrassed and apologetic about being so lucky.
So, with my heart wide open and meaning no offense to anyone, I decided I will go ahead and write about what I'm feeling anyway since that is why I started this blog. And I totally get it if some of you wonderful souls are not able to read it. I'll try to tag these entries with the new 5% or sprout-- so please just avoid them if you need to. So skip the rest of this one if you want.
Yesterday I woke up feeling full. Like I'd had a big pasta dinner. And every time I tucked in my shirt down the front of my pants (which I do a lot since I am peeing more), my hand touched an unfamiliar belly.
I have always been soft bellied. Always. Sometimes more (sometimes MUCH more). Sometimes not quite as much, but always enough to sink a finger in pillsburydoughboyish style but without the freakish giggle. But yesterday, that belly was suddenly a bit firmer with the familiar squish only on the top. And it really was that sudden.
I am almost too body-aware most of the time having had a life time of belly issues--give me a twinge or a gurgle or whatever and I am ON IT. My attention is rivited, and I go through the flow chart to determine the magnitude of the threat, the proximity of the nearest bathroom, the number of minutes I might have to create options... but I am not as tactilely aware of my own fine self (except for the hairs on my chin of which I am freakishly aware) ... in most of my self tactile experiences I am extremely very matter-of-fact-- the lotion goes on, the shaving happens, etc etc... I am much more in touch with how I feel on the inside. Except for my belly, ah yes, the belly.
I can see it so easily and have had to interact with it in the whole fastening of the pants process, or have so many times cursed it in that shirt, or that bathing suit or that dress for oh so very long... oh yes, of all of me, I do have some rather long term tactile and visual knowledge of the belly. I have poked it disparingly a bazillion times-- and not just with needles! It is one of my favorite places to hang many of my issues with self esteem, body image, and that horrible feeling of who the hell put That there sort of like the intersection where my butt meets up with my legs and how did it go from being one crease to three when I wasn't looking!?! But I digress... So, it was from that place of hyperfamiliarity and with an OH! feeling that I recognized the suddden change.
Gosh I am only in the middle of week 7 and with a pea sized sprout and a papaya sized uterus-- so it is not as if I am about to pop out a lovely bump anytime soon. I am simply in the beginning of the thickening stage. I knew it would happen sometime in the next few weeks if all goes well since I'd read about it and heard about it, but I did not know what that would be like-- could not quite imagine it really-- and now, at least, I know how it will begin: Suddenly.
Rainy and gray, today seems almost colorless, not quite like winter's whites and grays, more a mosaic of faint browns... but then looking closer, and it is simply awash in subtle color--in the fog I can see red maple blossoms and the dusty yellow gray of birch catkins, a daffodil here or there, the bottom branches of forsythia blooming where the snow had held the longest, the yellowing of willows-- If you go by fast, and don't look closely, it is fog and brown and empty and bleak, but slow down and there is just so much life happening.
Last night in therapy I asked about the blue, the fragility I feel, and talked about how odd it feels to feel so separate from something that I worked so hard for and wanted and want so much. But she said something that rang true-- that these are all signals from my body that my self needs to be quiet right now. And I feel she is right, this is an inward turning time, and a time for quiet reflection and creativity.
I know I need to be gentle with myself, allow myself to be slow and quiet. This simply rings true. There is such a push to achieve, to rush, to be and do and feel and become. It is hard to remember that a lot can happen without striving. And much can be experienced better in quiet.
A long long while ago I used to fly fish, not to catch trout (although the occasional nibble was a satisfying affirmation of a well presented fly)- but to stand still in the midst of a stream, to just be there, feeling the water press hard against my legs, and the stones shift under my feet, and to watch foam and twigs swirl in eddies, and sunlight dapple through the leaves a million colors of green.
So for me this is about remembering to slow down, to remember how to be in stillness and quiet.
Today as in many recent days, my heart goes out to Sprogblogger and Musicmakermomma - they both have their ultrasounds tomorrow, which will bring closure or news of miracles. And Meinsideout just had a totally shitty night that feels pretty final for this cycle. I want to gather them all up in bigger arms than mine and rock for a while, saying somehow this will all be ok, somehow this will all be ok. But I know how many times I have felt that it wouldn't be. That it would Never be ok. And never work out. And who the hell am I to placate with words of hope so tight on the heels of losses. So many losses. Gosh darn how I wish it were different.
...until my maternal and fetal medicine appointment and ultrasound. I am glad I called. But man alive, that seems like a long way away. Who knew that this whole process would all be marked by a series of two week waits. Feels more than a little ironic.
I'm still feeling fragile and blue-ish and still trying really hard not to examine it as if it were of marked importance-- trying to recognize it most likely is just that this crazy exhaustion and hormones and all the attendant stress are having their way with me.
Today started with bright clear warm sun, but by 9am clouds came in so thick and fast it was as if someone pulled the curtains shut. I wanted it to be warm and tried to dress the part, but ended up in a sweater and jacket, and was only warm enough to take it off in the car.
As the day wore on, it rained just a few raindrops, just a little on and off, but never truly rained-- so the earth is dry right now and between the dry earth and all the downed limbs from the ice storm, we have brush fire warnings all around the state.
It is pretty bleak looking here still-- no trees budding yet, no real greening except some patches of moss and the finger length leaves of the iris that have bravely pushed up in the garden. But mostly it is a time of texture, of rough bark, and dried leaves, and branches at every angle. But the snow is finally gone from the back yard as of last wednesday, so I know spring is coming.
Disbelief still reigns.
I realized that while I was so wrapped up in TRYING to get pregnant, I did not spend much time imagining what it would be like to BE pregnant. And maybe that is just as well, since as so many folks have pointed out, it is never what you imagine anyway. But still I guess this persistent disbelief was not what I imagined. I imagined more awareness, more awe.
But I also know it is early yet and I still have plenty-o-things I am Worried about. If we go by what the doc said at the ultrasound on monday (6w2d), I guess today is the start of week 7.
I can tell my body is accommodating. I have continued to have reassuring cramps (even though I've been drinking LOTS of water) and have learned to welcome them as evidence of something good-- have sporadic moments of hmmmm, that vague rocky carsickishness, but mostly I am aware that something is going on when I laugh (I have a big loud laugh that leaps out) or when I sneeze (um, I have a big loud sneeze that leaps out)-- when these things happen, the tendons right inside my hipbones pull tight in a very ouchy way-- they also do it if I twist as I turn in bed, of if I try to sit up too quickly. I am learning to move slowly, and hold on if I sneeze. There is no cure for the laughter and I hope there never is.
On a more psychological note, I am having crazy ass body image bullshit going on where I simply HATE how my body looks, as if I have the worst PMS ever. We've tried to take some "before I show" photos, you know, just in case this actually works out-- but I swear I simply cannot stand how my belly looks right now. A sudden insane dislike (I've never really liked it but this is crazy intense even for me). As for the whole kate, I find I feel more ok fully clothed or fully nekkid, but nothing in between.
And I am feeling a little fragile. I think it is hard to hold such a big secret, but it is also hard to share. I'll probably write more about this sometime.
And time is pulling a really weird stunt. Usually my life usually whizzes past in a wild galloping rush-and has been moving faster and faster as I get older- but these weeks since the decision to convert to IUI, these weeks of various types of waiting have just inched by. I feel like I've gained 6 months back. This is a totally unexpected gift, however oddly wrapped in anxiety, lunacy and disbelief. I love that time has slowed some, that this one week felt like three.
So that's today. And I am grateful for all of it, even my belly. Still heartsick for some of my friends out there in the ether and hoping against hope that they will beat the odds since while some of this may be science, so much of it is magic. And I really want magic to win.
See for me this never never land is the GOOD kind, the kind where I know things are happening that are good. (Ok, I don't really know that, but it is more likely than not for once).
Some of my dear ones on the internet, they are in the shithole kind of never never land. Beloved Sprogblogger just had a shitty and heartbreaking ultrasound, EB at IVF 40+ has had a rocky ride with a creeping hCG level that is now coming to an end-- and musicmakermomma, gosh, had a sad bad ultrasound with shitty bedside manner to boot. And K who provides us all with such great support has stopped her PIO shots and is waiting for her cycle to end. Sending love out to all of you.
So me? I am one lucky gal, yes I am. Hear me now. I am lucky and I know it.
I kinda feel like an ass admitting this, but I trust you folks and want to put it out there I guess.
To be honest, this mainly does not feel real.
I know, I know, I know, gosh we worked hard to get here. Gosh that was a lot of injections...and a lot of this and that and the other thing, and more than a lion's share of luck... but it really does not feel real.
I still look like me, still feel like me only more tired and with occasional waves of car sickness (what a great description from one of my internet posse)-- some pretty persistent (but thankfully low grade) crampiness. I swear if it were not for the drama of the twice daily progesterone suppositories and their attendant intestinal oddnesses, I would feel, well, decidedly non pregnant.
I am not sure what I expected. Flowers and gold dust maybe, angels singing (maybe I just can' t hear them)-- I thought that by seeing the little one it would help make it all feel more real, or seeing the heart beat, or allowing myself to buy some luscious belly oil.... but really, no.
I hate saying this.
I want to say I am all blissed out and mired in the right now experience of Finally Being Pregnant.
But it goes unnoticed for hours, and then I re-remember. And I am so surprised. But even then it does not feel like it is happening to me. It just doesn't. I want it to be immediate: HERE, RIGHT NOW, GROWING INSIDE ME. I feel awe and immense humbleness because of what I know is happening. But I do not feel that it is happening to me.
I guess I wanted to put this out there, since I expected to be overcome with abiding joy (not really abiding, but the kind where you can't stop grinning). Or even relief. Or excitement. And instead I have a feeling of..... well.... I guess I don't know.A very cautious and intellectual sort of optimism with a liberal sprinkling of emotional distancing.
Hope is such a fucker-- we get so driven forward by what we want and that is so incredibly intense. Then finally FINALLY here we are and...
I worry, gosh I worry about things going wrong, or how the hell I will deal with my nutty boss, or the horrible tug of war about needing to work and just wanting to be able to stay home... and I was so scared about what we might see during the scan that before the ultrasound I cried and cried. This worry, and all these the various fears-- well, in many ways I find those are my most tangible connections to this incredible miraculous process taking part inside me.
Your enthusiasm, your celebrations, your congratulations, those are keeping me emotionally connected to this in ways I do not seem to be able to maintain on my own.
It all feels so fragile. And it is so scary.Like, yeah, so, for now maybe, but then what? Look at all than can go wrong! So maybe this feeling of separateness from this process is in some way self protective.Like if I allowed myself to feel all that is really there, maybe I would be overwhelmed.
Someone else recently mentioned PSTD when it comes to infertility issues, and I wonder how much that has to do with so much of what we all go through.
Because I am kate, I spent some time yesterday doing visualization, and also asking the little one to help me connect. I immediately imagined dandelion seeds, one in particular, lofting in an unseen breeze, and the question came right that very moment-- I asked, are you the seed? or the breeze? Am I trying to hold something unholdable right now? Like light? Like air? Like all the things we wish for?
One embryo, in the right place, measuring 6w 2d. And we got to see the heartbeat (HOLY SHIT FOLKS). One bittersweet moment: seeing an empty second sac. That explains a lot of what I was feeling and supports my own intuition. So while it was affirming, it was very sad.
But it was the best news possible to see our little one defying the odds just by being there.
The doc laughed, beamed, smiled and shook his head, said he SURE would not have bet on it.
And with that and a small lecturette on prenatal nutrition, I officially graduated from the faraway fertility clinic to the much more local maternal and fetal medicine guy since I am of advanced maternal age. I already know that I like him a lot, having met him once before all of the fertility/IVF hootenany. He is geeky and competent and has a very no nonsense no bullshit way about him while still being humane. Am waiting back to hear when our appointment will be.
I promise to post a photo later on.**updated as promised! This baby is zoomed waaaay in. That gestational sac is about 1.6cm along the long avocado axis.**
And all is well. I slept last night in spite of being bundled on a sofa and being saranaded by a whining and then barking crated dog. BUT no big cramps, just me and sleep just like we used to be. It was a nice break. I am nervous about tomorrow, I admit. Even though I tell myself that I am not expecting bad things, I also have to admit I still fear bad things. So, it will be good to have it over with so we can know instead of worrying (at least about this part and this moment).
Connecticut has spring already, yellowing willows and spikes of skunk cabbage and trilling red winged blackbirds. I even saw forsythia and daffodils in bloom along with a maple tree. Our trip north was a rewind back into the familiar landscape of late winter, into snow patches in the shadows in the forest, and a snow flurry from some low hanging clouds. Tonight is just dang cold.
I'm having some formatting troubles on my wee computer so I will end here. I expect I will update tomorrow once I am back in the southern part of the state. Thanks for all of your reassurance. I really am thinking of these sensations as positive in general. Just scary when they get so intense. Just like life..
So I have to admit, last night was really tough, big big cramps that kept me awake. Not waxing and waning like period cramps. Just cramping. On and on and on and on. The kind that I had to breathe through for an hour or more. It all started when I got up to pee-- the cramps moved from background noise to WOW this is intense. And then they stayed that way for an hour, two... and gosh I was pretty darned tired this morning.
So clearly this is worse at night for me, as if sprout is doing all of its growing, or my body is doing all of its accommodating once I am in bed and it is the middle of the night. But the persistence of it, the intensity wore me out and wore me down. At least period cramps come and go, even when they are awful (and mine often are) they let up, there are moments when breathing can happen (and of course there is magical advil)--
But, I've had no bleeding (thankfully) and no intense cramping today so that's a relief!
I am heading down to see my wonderful sister this evening for the night-- then tomorrow we'll drive from there up to Dartmouth for the monday morning ultrasound. I will probably check in from there if not before and I will certainly let you know what's up after the scan. I am still cautiously optimistic. Still feel that things are ok. But I admit it is harder to think of the cramping as a good thing in the middle of the night when it is so consuming. I am going to try like hell to believe it is all good.
Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend. For me, I am celebrating that I only have about 100 sq ft left of snow. I went outside today and worked in the yard (gently) moving more sticks from the ice storm, and put my hands in the last of the snow. Bittersweet.
Wow, thanks K! thanks EB! My very first award. How sweet of you!
So, the "rules" are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post. 2. Nominate 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. 3. Be sure to link to your nominees in your post. 4. Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog. 5. Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award
Many of my posse have already been nominated- so can I nominate them again? I say yes! since this is all about acknowledgment. And yes, I know, I know, I am just supposed to nominate 10. I am not a very good rule follower. I'd rather follow my heart. So Kate's rules? Feel free to pass this on as you see fit. In other words, feel free to ignore the rules.
A sincere thank you to all of you who have offered so much support to me since this wild ride began. I love hearing from you here, and reading your words about your own journeys on your brave and honest websites. Thank you for all that you are willing to share-- such immense generosity! I am blessed.
Now I am worried that I might have inadvertently forgotten someone. If so, my apologies, let's chalk it up to the hormones. Cady, do you have a website? Please feel free to leave it sometime if you do. Good luck tomorrow with your ultrasound.
Apparently, thanks to all of you who commented, I am actually normal! How cool is that? I am feeling MUCH much better about the cramping thanks to all of you-- I am looking at it is as very positive sign and a wonderful reminder that something is actually happening in there.
Yesterday I had a truly shitty and unexpected non-pregnancy related stress bomb-- the kind that sends adrenaline surging through your system, heart pounding hard and fast, crazy shaky stress. I kept saying to my self, calm down calm down you have to calm down for the baby. But it took a while, 45 minutes maybe, for the episode to be over and the whole time I was so incredibly pissed off at the person who catalyzed it since it felt like it had put my pregnancy in danger, and I was so worried I might be harming this little being I am growing, and good lord it was stressful. I'd already read a long time ago about gestation and acute grief (I had come across the paper quite by accident) and the study I read showed no ill effects on the developing baby, but goodness, I am sure it effects it somehow-- talk about being awash in chemical soup! I just tried to calm down as quickly as I could. I kept saying to the little one, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, this will pass quickly, don't worry, hang in there.
But it highlighted a really amazing change that has happened here. I am a pretty self centered person. Not in a *bad* way but in the way that happens from being single for a long while, living by myself, being independent and only needing/wanting to rely on myself sort of way (I am fun to be in relationship with, let me tell you- no laughing Jane). But in that moment? Instead of worrying about me and being self-protective, I was worried about the baby.
Holy shit folks, I think I may actually be pregnant.
Yesterday's worry "vacation" was divine. I highly recommend it. I did pretty well. A few moments of whatiffing, but mostly, I did just fine. And I was right, everything I worry about was right where I'd left it. I thought maybe it would run off, but no.
So I have a question/concern- (trying not to use the word worry) I have been crampy on and off since soon after my unexpected positive and I am just wondering about whether this plagues the rest of the world. A quick search on Dr Google freaked me out so I've given up on that. It is worse at night-- calmer during the day. Sometimes it wakes me like the past two nights. There is no spotting at all (thankfully!), but it is at the level where it feels just like period cramps, the kind I would take something for. Insight anyone?
I am sleeping so lightly it seems that anything can wake me and then I lie awake for hours. When I do sleep, my dreams are filled with crazy and complex scenarios. Sometimes it feels like I am focused on old loves, as if I am cleaning out the file cabinets.
I know all of this is normal to some degree. My body is adjusting to my new sprout. In general I think I'm ok-- feeling a little bit low (maybe just tired + fragile), but I admit (timedly) that I am also starting to feel cautiously optimistic. Monday's number was such an immense relief. And this past week and a half seems like a month and a half-- so much happening! Phew. I find myself fantasizing about the weekend and being able to sleep late and nap.
Sweet commenting Susan, do you have a blog address?
In fact, it was a very lovely 2904 (22dpo/dpIUI) PHEW Now I can breathe. My heart was beating SO FAST as I waited for Sharon to tell me the number that I realized I was really worried. Not just obliquely. So this is good. Good. Good. Will go make some (decaf) tea and try to calm the fucQ down. This is so much not an intellectual exercise. I keep thinking there must be some way to override my panic with reason.
Ha. Not so much.
But while I was waiting and panicking quietly here in my cube, I learned something from flailing about on the internet that I wish to share-- a small peace offering to the side of reason.
My wee little symptoms have waned a bit these past few days, except for the impressive exhaustion and my sore breasts if I poke them enough... and I found myself worried in spite of what I know. I re-read the wonderful a beautiful day post for reassurance, and while it helped some on an intellectual basis, I still felt like it was meant for someone other than me. I could not shake this low level sense that things might not be going well. Scared that maybe I am not *actually* pregnant or that it is failing.
In my previous life, I would take this mood on a hike- but since that's not allowed, I did some yard work and work in the garden, and made great progress out there. But I got really really tired even though I was being pretty careful. And when I realized I needed to stop, it was more because I was watching myself and said- if I were a friend of mine, what I would I say?
I came inside and changed our of my dirty clothes and lay very still on the sofa for a few hours, not sleeping, just staying very still-- feeling almost paralyzed by the heaviness of the exhaustion and the mood. Not exactly sad. Not exactly bereft. More like deeply disheartened.
I finally started feeling better after a long while, but it was a doozy.
Tonight I am feeling more like myself again. I have another blood test tomorrow. I am obviously hoping for some good news. Maybe that will help allay my fears some. Or maybe this is just part of the hormone hootenanny. I am not sure but I am sure I don't like it.
In an attempt to save myself and remind myself of my highest and best (or at least my ability to fake it), I am adding a wonderful button from the amazingly talented and oh-so-very-honest swirlygirl both in this post and on my sidebar.
On a separate note, anyone else find it bizarre that one's week of pregnancy is counted from the date of last missed period? So, even though I am just about 3 weeks pregnant in real life (3 weeks tomorrow) the universe says 5 weeks. If you look up early embryo development stuff, it starts with week 1, "you have your period". Um. Ok. So with this time travel technique, this means my ultrasound next monday (should-we-be-so-lucky)- is the first day of week 6. HOLY SHIT. I hope this works.
So there I was, happyish on the one hand from my hcg level, but spiraling in neurotic worry on the other at the slower doubling, and onwardsandsideways sent THE BEST LINK for those of us who find ourselves quite suddenly on the other side of the fence.
A beautiful day posted this way back in 2004- debunking some of the myths that hold us captive in a state of panic-- including some gems on symptoms and hcg levels. So, for you folks out there who are suddenly finding all sorts of new things to worry about (I'm talking to you sprogblogger)- this might really help-- it sure talked me down last night and I felt MUCH better after reading it.
Another thing I wanted to talk about is my amazing pharmacy- Ascend up in Portland Maine. They ship everywhere folks, and have the best customer service ever. How good is their service? Well when I called to re-up my progresterone suppository supply (yay, more on this in a minute)- I mentioned that I was now pregnant (gulp) and perhaps that meant that my insurance might now cover it at least a little. They said they'd ask and called back soon after with the news that not only was it covered quite a lot (50$ copay)- but it seems they had been given incorrect information about my coverage when I was getting my IVF meds and that they (Ascend) were going to try to see if anything else I had purchased at full price might also be covered. Yesterday they left a gleeful message for me to call. I did. It seems that through their perseverance, they discovered that I indeed did have some prescription coverage and that it did cover some of the drug costs and that -- get this-- they had not only finally wrangled this information from my insurance company, but due to their dogged investigation, the company already paid the claims and I had $4000 or so waiting to be refunded.
Um. HOLY SHIT?? That certainly takes a meaningful bite out of the monstrous IVFdebt.
I am serious, I cannot say enough about this pharmacy and their amazing customer service.
Ok, on to the progesterone suppositories. As you know, I hate them. They hate me. My skin was pissed off, raw, hurting. I came up with an initial plan that helped. I cannot do usual pantiliners, they make me more raw and more sore. So I got some gladrags cotton panty shields-- they are expensive as all get out but washable, snap around the crotch of your panties, are soft and thick enough to matter, and built to last until the next century. They also don't end up in the landfill. But then, having made this discovery that helped me manage the horribleness a mite better, Sharon, my super nurse, suggested I try an alternative, well, really, the only alternative- yes, folks--rectal insertion. (I hate to think of the web traffic I'll get now)-- but really, I was so desperate that I tried it. One small bit of vasoline, a moment of thinking of england, and voila. No lying down for half an hour, no persistent goop, no leakage or seepage or pissed off skin, no nothing but that one weird (!) moment and some very interesting bowel activity.
The beta results came early today-- 976. Doubling rate is slowing and I am trying not to get neurotic about that. All still fine and normal and my amazing nurse is still happy so I need to try to calm down.
Gosh, I don't read for a few days and what do I find? Onwardandsideways is pregnant! How cool is that! She has a shitty cycle experience at one of the big clinics and it seems to have worked in spite of all of that!
So, I am surfacing to say that I've got another beta tomorrow- keeping my fingers crossed that my newly sore nipples (sorry David) and my twingey uterus are good signs. And good lord I am tired. And this afternoon I was so hungry I could have gnawed my own leg. Then later, my mouth filled with saliva so fast, in a kate-bouche-font way if you will, completely unbiddden.. and I realized, oh yeah, at least in this moment things are different.
I was so sure that I'd dreamed all of this I did pee on a stick on tuesday, but then refrained yesterday (I think a good beta was enough) and have not done it today. So maybe these little twinges and changes and awarenesses are enough to have me thinking that something just may be happening in there.
But to be honest I can't quite believe it. I keep re-discovering it-- and it does not feel real at all. It feels dreamy and distant. I know that this is sometimes how I cope- with a little distance, off and to the left and back a little. But I want to be present for this. I want to wallow in the wonder of it. Wonder and I are well acquainted. And I do have some moments of WHOA... and I hold my hand over my belly and just marvel at what must be happening in there. I am so used to doing-- injecting, planning, mixing, getting scanned, making appointments, driving... as I was commenting on some blogs tonight I realized that I suck at just being. Shouldn't I be doing something? Um... apparently not.
I spit in the face of the devil today, I released our appointment slot with CCRM that was for next week-- but I also asked the kind person there to keep our records just in case. She said she would. Yup, sure am. Hedging my bets.
I just got the call: my beta today was 568. Fine doubling. They even scheduled the ultrasound for Monday April 13th. (WHICH SEEMS LIKE A LONG TIME FROM NOW)-- Good lord, every little twinge in my lower left quadrant makes me worry it is lodged in my wonky tube (very twisty) and that scares me badly and I cannot wait to find out that "it" is in a fine place so I can stop panicking about that particular thing. BUT for now I will try not to panic, and instead revel in the good news of the day.