Thursday, April 30, 2009

We Have a Live One!

Just wanted to say that the ultrasound went great and was followed by the most amazing shower of relief. Even if it is only a temporary peace of mind (as I undoubtedly will start the cycle of freaking out in a little over a week's time again-I have it on a timer), I'll take it! The peanut filled the screen and has pretty much outgrown the dildo cam! Even crazier still is that it now has a distinct human profile, which was simultaneously creepy and amazing. But the fact that the little heart was beating away and that she/he was moving it's now long limbs this way and that gave me the most amazing security, something that has been foreign for quite awhile.

I will say this, though. I think the nurse practitioner thought I was totally bat shit crazy. As soon as she came into the room, I started crying and telling her how scared I was, giving her an unprompted miscarriage history, which she was already aware of. I'm not even sure we got as far as normal greetings before I started in with the waterworks. She got a panicked look on her face, thinking something must've happened, but no, you see, the lady is just crazy. I looked over at Mr. S who looked just as startled. You see, this is unlike me. While I'm not exactly stoic, I also rarely wear my heart on my sleeve, especially for strangers, but in the course of communicating how anxious I was, I also inadvertently communicated that I've officially lost it. Oh well. At least I can say that after today, whatever it was I lost, I got it back.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Ghost of Miscarriages Past

The more I step into the future, the closer I am to reliving the past. I've been avoiding writing at all for the past few weeks for fear that revealing my feelings and most importantly, my fears, will make them come to fruition. I realize now that I am no longer dealing in logic. Instead, this experience is becoming a practice in pure memory.

Tomorrow is another ultrasound to save my sanity and I am TERRIFIED. Yes, that deserved nothing less than all caps. The logic leaves when you realize that not only have I not experienced anything that would make me believe this pregnancy has come or is coming to an end, but that my symptoms are still in full swing for the most part. And no bleeding means good, right?


With my first pregnancy, I reached an ultrasound at 10 1/2 weeks wrapped in the false security that no bleed=awesome. Weeks upon weeks passed as I carried around my dead baby. I was cruelly allowed to get close enough to smell and almost touch that 12 week mark. And then one day, nothing. All gone. No warning. So, yes, I am simply terrified of the silence with which my last longed for child disappeared from my grasp happening again. And most importantly, I am terrified of what it would do to me and whether I would have the strength to re-experience it. I greatly underestimated how large of a shadow my first loss would cast on future pregnancies.

The stakes feel higher. I let myself believe this time, something I thought I might never do, potentially creating a farther distance to fall. I mean, so far, everything has been perfect-the levels, the growth, the heartbeats-a type of perfection and progress an infertile girl is simply not used to. Maybe is suspicious of. It feels too good to be true. I'm not used to things going right. I mean, am I really someone who could have my dream? Who deserves her dream? My beginnings and later, infertility and loss, assured me that I was not someone who would ever have her fairytale ending, so how could I possibly think that I could fool the universe now?

I have never experienced a panic attack, but if I came close, I can count two times this week it happened. Mr. S. seems to think it's pregnancy hormones, but part of it is the exhaustion of living in constant fear. I walk around waiting for the punch line, the imaginary voice once again saying, "ha! fooled you again sucka!" I'm tired, but still strangely enough, grateful. If I could endure the pain of infertility and treatment for a child, then I would gladly have a million panic attacks for them as well. So, if this is what I must experience, so be it. I just really hope and pray that all this worry is for nothing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PG Stuff

At the risk of sounding positive (whose blog am I reading??), we had our 6th (yes, you read that right) ultrasound yesterday and as always, despite my heart pounding terror sitting in the waiting room, it did not fail to astound. Of the 5 we had previous, only 2 were actually prescribed. The first extraneous one was just for peace of mind because our RE rocks and allows such things and then almost 2 weeks ago, we had a bleeding episode following a session of insanely tame sexy time which prompted an 'emergency' ultrasound at my HMO (emergency as in I was freaking out, despite the fact that the bleeding had completely stopped).

My HMO, in all their big corporate 'let's save a buck or two at the expense of up-to-date care' suckiness, had the shittiest machine imaginable. After being spoiled by the crystal clear images at the RE's office, we could barely see the flicker of a heartbeat with the HMO and in fact, the practitioner couldn't even identify the head from the bum or the source of the bleeding, so you can imagine that when my RE offered me another appointment later that day, I snapped it up. Yes, 2 ultrasounds in one day, but if it means sanity, then sign me up.

The equipment was world's different. Not only did we see the head, but we also saw the newly emerging limbs, the umbilical cord and best of all, movement. We also spotted a blood clot far away from my uterus that was likely the source of the bleeding. Thankfully, it's since resolved itself (I hear this can be common for pg women due to increased blood flow). It was the first time that I really started to grasp that there is a strong likelihood that at the end of all of this, we may actually have a baby.

We officially graduated from the RE's last week and had our first OB appointment yesterday. This was significant for us in a number of respects. During our last pregnancy, we were 'graduated' at a mere 6 1/2 weeks. There was an entire month between that ultrasound and the one I got at my new OB's and by then, the baby had been long gone. So, you might be able to imagine my utter co-dependence on my RE. Firstly, they have been AMAZING. Even on my week of 3 ultrasounds, they never made me feel as if I was a burden or completely over-the-top in my anxiety (which I probably was). They held our hand, spent time discussing everything, so when it was time to leave the nest, I was afraid. I mean, in my past experience, leaving RE=bad things. So as we sat in the OB's waiting room, I know that the last time we had been set free was still at the forefront of both of our minds. I could see the other waiting room as if it were yesterday. Thankfully, as we decided to go with a provider covered under my PPO rather than my HMO (and yet still in the middle of being double-covered I still never had IF coverage), we will likely never step foot into that other waiting room again.

At 9 weeks, 3 days, our little bean is measuring at 10 weeks 1 day and moving, twisting and waving up a storm. I was so relieved that I was seeing life on a screen outside my OB's office, that I actually screamed a few times (yes, when I get excited, I squeal like a little girl). I know that it was all in relief. My baby is alive. That's all I can think. I can barely attend to some of the details others were catching because of the joy I felt in just seeing proof that he/she had found a way to exist beyond the RE's office. At that point, it felt real. Of course, as one gets farther away from that experience, it begins to revert back to the surreal feelings bordering on disbelief. After explaining my heightened chance for insanity without frequent feedback, the NP gave me the option to come back when I want for an ultrasound. Awesome. I've found another enabler. Now I don't feel so lost outside my RE's doors. I do wonder, will there ever be a week during which I'll feel confident enough to not have an ultrasound to reassure me? Probably not, but I can say that compared to a few weeks back, I'm in a much quieter, calmer place.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Infertile Pregnancy

I have penned the draft of this blog a million and one times in my head, and each time I am faced with the competing dilemmas of the fact that there is simply too much to say and that I am not quite clear on where to go with this blog at the moment. I have always felt that 'if' I ever did get pregnant again, I would create a separate pregnancy blog. But I would never be naive enough to feel that at 9 weeks this one is for sure, so just as I'm not leaping out my front door buying onesies and strollers yet, I'm certainly not going to devote an entire separate blog to something that could still potentially be more of a memorial. I know, ever the positive Patsy. That's the infertile in me, folks. You see, yes I may be pregnant, but that's not where the story of infertility ends for me.

In fact, the farther I progress into this pregnancy, the more I envy those to which it came easily. I wonder, does their heart pump uncontrollably the second before they look at every piece of toilet paper inspecting it for blood? Do they question whether every twinge will begin a process that ends in another dead baby? Do they look at events several months in the future and feel the need to preface it, "If I'm still pregnant"? I wonder, do they sit in the OB's office awaiting their appointment, in half panic, with the memory of what a practitioner's face looks like when they discover your child has died seared into their memory and praying that they'll never see it again?

Or do they only imagine what their child will look like? How they'll decorate the nursery? What sex they'll be? What they'll name them? I won't lie and say that as the ultrasounds pass by one-by-one, these things have not flittered through my mind, but I wonder what it would be like to have these thoughts dominate. I know of someone who will be in a wedding in September with me. While she is not yet pregnant, she has announced she is trying and is so confident in her future pregnancy that she is already making plans to have a maternity bridesmaid's dress. As of now, I am pregnant and yet, I have requested to postpone any dress plans until at least June. How I wish I had the same blind confidence.

This is not to say that those who conceived easily do not have any of these worries, but coming from a place where for years nothing went right, I believe it's harder to imagine that they ever will. I'm getting there, though. Bit-by-bit, but I'm afraid to let go. It's like if I believe too readily, than perhaps this in and of itself will result in heartache. Oh, what a number infertility has played on my mind. For all of the things it has given, it does still remind me that it is something never to be ignored. It will always be there, threatening to take even the small victories. I hope that some day, I will finally be able to just 'be'. One step at a time, I guess.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mr. S: New Blog! Check it Out!

No need to accuse me of being one of those chicks who got what she wanted and is now hitting the road and leaving her infertility blog in the dust. That couldn't be farther from the truth. First, I have not yet gotten what I wanted (and until I leave a hospital with a live child this will continue to be the case) and second, I suspect I will have many continuing bones to pick with infertility well into my older years, regardless of how this all ends up. I have much still to discuss, but before I somehow muster the alertness to do so, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. S's brand spanking new infertility blog: Two Peas Waiting for Our Pod, or as Mel from Stirrup Queens calls it, the elusive male point of view. Enjoy, and in the mean time, I swear I will stop being a bad little blogger at some point!