“Tell me how’s the way to be, tell me how’s the way to go, tell me all that I should know.”

Where I am: 10w7d
Medications: Crinone
Symptoms: tired, sore boobs, nausea, slow digestion, food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, congestion, constipation, occasional dizziness, dull cramps and sharp twangs


The birthday cake I baked for myself last night. :P

The birthday cake I baked for myself last night. 😛

This morning, as of 4:12AM, I turned 27…and I feel old.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know, 27 is young. And when I move on to tell you that I intended to be a mother before I turned 27, many of you (older than me) may tell me that I’m still young. I still have time. And that may be true. And I may not understand what it’s like to be 30, 35, 37, and still not have any living babies.

But I had a plan. When I was growing up, it was to have my first baby at 21 (like my mother). When I grew up and realized I might want to have a career, the age changed to 23-25. When my husband and I got engaged, it changed to 25ish (after our marriage). In May 2012, at age 24, I got married. I turned 25 that year. The following January, we started TTC.

I thought I’d have a baby before 26. Then, before 27.

Well, 27 is here. I’m still not a mother…not in the way I intended. And yeah, I may be pregnant now, but I”m 5 days shy of my NT scan. And still a few weeks shy of the second trimester. I’m hardly home free, yet.

There’s just something about RPL/IF that changes the way you see birthdays. Instead of celebrating, it’s “Oh great. Another failed year. Still not a mom.” It just sucks.

What my messy, albeit decorated, cube looked like when I came in this morning.

What my messy, albeit decorated, cube looked like when I came in this morning.

And don’t get me wrong…I’m not lamenting this day. I baked myself a cake yesterday (hubby doesn’t come home until tonight) and my coworkers have made me feel quite good about myself. I have a Thai lunch date with my mom and my “work mom” this afternoon, so that’ll be nice. And who knows what surprises my husband will have when he gets home. Hopefully nothing extravagant (honestly) since we are in a money crunch right now.

I’m honestly having a good day. I’m just anxious. About a lot of things. I hope I get to celebrate my next birthday with a cute little bouncing 5-month-old.

In other news…like I said, 5 days and counting until the NT scan. I’ve been having dull cramps and short sharp (not too painful) pains now and again. My boobs still hurt. I still have nausea. I’m still constipated. I’m still tired all the time, and sleeping horribly, and waking up at least once in the night to pee. So as far as feeling pregnant goes, I feel pregnant. The pains down there just worry me. But I know growing pains are normal. My uterus is (should be) growing along with baby…and at the 11th week, it starts popping out of the pelvis, right? I don’t know when round ligament pain happens. But maybe it could be that.

All I know is I feel more pregnant at roughly 11w than I did with my last pregnancy. Could be because I am following it more closely…but I don’t think it is all in my head. At the very least, my body is still acting like it’s pregnant. I hope Lucky Bug is growing and thriving in there.

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There Are Good People in this World

You see, early last winter, I decided I wanted to start a personal blog. Freshly started in graduate school and navigating my second year of marriage and my second pregnancy, I looked forward to the second trimester after Christmas and planned to blog about embarking on my crazy “adult” adventures. I had my second miscarriage before the end of the year, but despite that, I still went live with my blog on January 1st. I befriended random people, people with writing or publishing connections…on occasion, though, I would type “miscarriage” into the topic search bar and look for other bloggers out there who had been through what I’d been through.

And that’s how I met ACalmPersistence.

I followed her blog for a while, super paranoid that I would somehow be “found out” by any family or friends following my blog if I commented personally on her entries, so I tried to be as generic as I could while reading her struggles with medicated cycles and cysts. Finally, though, I decided I wanted to reach out. Desperate for a connection with someone, anyone, that wasn’t a friend that felt bad for me but didn’t understand a bit of the pain I was feeling. It’s funny to think that about six months ago, I was nervous about reaching out to someone about this…knowing what I know now of the RPL/IF community. About how desperate we all are to find that particular empathy that is difficult to find anywhere else. I reread the email over and over and over, wondering if she’d be mad at me for contacting her, wondering if it was inconsiderate of me to mention my own losses as if by comparison, wondering if she would even want to talk about it with me. A complete stranger. An “internet person.”

I was wrong.

What followed was a good string of at least five, if not a few more emails back and forth. I was just starting to navigate my way through the world of RE’s and infertility testing and procedures, and I was terrified and missing my babies. She was in the midst of it and was more than willing to offer advice, and to share her experiences, and just be a generally nice person to me. It was a relief. It was she and another blogger that I became friends with for different reasons (who then suffered her first miscarriage shortly after I started following her) that most likely led to the creation of this blog. I realized that there were others out there like me, suffering in silence and bearing a pain we can’t see or touch. I realized there was a place for me.

And these months, following my second miscarriage and during the seemingly never-ending four months of testing and procedures, held the darkest days I’d had in a while. I was struggling. And getting on Twitter and WordPress, even anonymously, honestly helped me heal. And it all started with her.

And Saturday afternoon, after a few hours looking at houses with my husband, we return home to find a package sitting on our doorstep. What waited for me inside brought me to very literal tears.

photo

“I believe in this for you!” ❤

A little light-up ladybug, a envelope marked “Dear Friend” with a card and heartfelt note written inside, and finally the piece that actually made me catch my breath: a little teething ring/rattle. The very first actual baby gift I’ve received in my life.

I was overwhelmed. I knew something might be coming for me eventually, as she’d obviously asked for my address several weeks earlier, but this…this…I was not expecting! I let out a yelp, as I was sitting on my bed resting when I opened the package, and my husband came in asking what was in it. When I showed him, he just smiled. I told him who it was from and he said, “She didn’t need to do this.” I couldn’t agree more.

But she did.

This, coming not even 24 hours after she announced on Twitter that she’d confirmed her fourth loss. My heart, although happy and thankful, was breaking for her. For someone to be going through her own struggles and yet still take the time to reach out to someone else and root for her the way she has for me…words can’t do my gratitude justice.

I’m sorry, this is an awfully mushy-gushy post. But I feel like I owe it to her. I owe it to her to let you all know how lucky you are to have someone like her as a friend in this community. She truly is a one of a kind person.

Baby Steps Toward the Big Steps

Where I am: 10w2d
Medications: Crinone
Symptoms: tired, sore boobs, nausea, slow digestion, food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, congestion, constipation


Yesterday was quite the big day, wouldn’t you agree?

Of course, the rest of the day, I kept having short sharp pains. Dull cramps, too. I have to keep reminding myself…I am still taking Crinone, and also the baby is growing (therefore so is my uterus). I have to keep reminding myself that…this has all been going on for the last few weeks. Nothing to be nervous about. Still no spotting. *knocks on wood* No serious pains that take my breath away. I’m good.

Yesterday, when I got home, I scanned all my ultrasound photos onto my MacBook. Then I spent the better half of a few hours creating a new page for this blog: a Lucky Bug Timeline, of sorts. This was a big step for me. Creating a page for this baby is a step toward accepting that this could go all the way. That I could really have a take-home baby early next spring.

Anyway, back to this new page…this timeline for LB. I really wanted someplace that people, new followers or old friends, could go to and get a quick look-see at how this whole pregnancy came to be. I linked to relevant posts for further reference. You see, the J+S=TTC page (formerly Our Story So Far) just didn’t seem to do the pregnancy enough justice. Besides, the very top of that page holds the last living photograph I received of Baby Bean. And while I don’t want LB’s progress to be overshadowed by that photograph, I also didn’t want to take it down.

Or, I’m just crazy and overly sentimental and way overthinking this whole blog concept. It’s possible. I’m a bit OCD sometimes.

Whatever. So, I got a new page. Check it out.

Back to the whole “big steps” thing I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. One of my apps (because I actually looked at them yesterday, post-appointment) is telling me to start a registry.

WHOA.

This is a major conflict of interest for me…because only a week and a half ago, my cousin was visiting me and I went on Target Baby and just started looking around and my fingers were just itching to start a registry! But I felt it was too soon. So I didn’t.

But I am trying to remember that jinxes aren’t real. Because…they aren’t. (Right? Right.) But seriously, I don’t know…is it too early? I honestly don’t feel sure.

I know I want to, although not knowing the baby’s sex may or may not impact what I choose. I can choose the basics, though. Diapers. Breast-feeding pump (is that appropriate to put on a registry? hmmm). Gender-neutral…things.

Ugh. I just know I want to start making this feel real, already.

Like maternity clothes. I’ve got a good little selection in a bag in my closet. Two pairs of jeans with belly bands that I bought weeks before my last miscarriage, and 5-6 tops my parents bought for me for Christmas (again…before the miscarriage). My cousin and I love to shop together and I daydream about maternity clothes shopping with her all the time.

So…lots of big steps I’m considering, with the key word there being the last. I guess I’ll be taking baby steps toward the big steps.

My husband comes home tonight. I can’t wait to show him the ultrasound photos. He’s seen the video, though…about a million times. I was in tears last night talking about it with him. To hear him so excited, and that he knew it would be okay, and that he loves me so much. That last one, I hear it all the time. He tells me he loves me multiple times a day. That’s just how we are with each other. Always saying it. But when he was saying it last night…and knowing that when he said  “I love you” that he meant “I love you, my wife pregnant with our little baby,” it just filled me with a new kind of giddy. Similar to how I felt when he first told me he loved me…but different, still.

I think I’m actually starting to let myself hope. I’m slowly letting my guard down, slowly opening my heart to the possibility of having a baby. It’s overwhelming. I don’t know what to do with these feelings.

You know, other than crying. 🙂

One more thing before I go (this post is a fucking mess, I’m sorry): I looked into our insurance, and they will only cover the MaterniT21 test for a woman under 35 if she either has trisomy in the family or she had an abnormal result from another test (e.g. an NT scan). With that said, my husband and I decided we weren’t willing to pay out of pocket for it unless it was necessary (although being able to learn the sex sooner was appealing, but we can wait another 8 weeks for that). So, I booked the NT scan yesterday afternoon.

Monday, August 25th = NT scan (at 11w5d).
Friday, August 29th = Doppler check with CNM (at 12w2d).

Big freakin’ week.

Fair warning: the melancholy will probably come full force right before that NT scan. You all know my history, you know why I’ll be shitting my pants with terror. But the good thing is that it’s only 10 days away. Barely over a week. Nothing like last pregnancy’s four-week wait of doom.

Okay. I got all my thoughts out. I feel better. Sorry for the word-vomit, I didn’t mean to dump this all in one discombobulated post. Whoops.

August 14th, 2014: Documented As the Farthest I’ve Ever Been

Where I am: 10w1d
Medications: Crinone
Symptoms: tired, sore boobs, nausea, slow digestion, food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, congestion, constipation


Oh…my…goodness.

Lucky Bug is totally hanging in there. Measuring between 10w1d and 10w2d, with a strong heartbeat of 178.

Today makes it official: this pregnancy, my third, is the farthest I have ever been.

Holy shitballs.

The day started off rough. I woke up early to a text from my dad saying my mom was not going to work today. Not giving me a ride to and from work. Not giving me a ride to and from my appointment. So I called him still half-asleep and told him I might as well not bother going in until after the appointment since it would be a waste of time for him. He told me he would drive me today, wherever I needed to go.

So I got up, and since I was up, I took a shower. I mosied around getting dressed. Put on my “Lucky Bug” jewelry for good luck, and tucked the little mascot in my pocket. I had a glass of orange juice and an ice cream sandwich (don’t judge). I then began to chug water because, at 10w, the chances of her doing an abdominal were higher than not. My father came to get me and off we went.

I cycled between going numb and panicking. They took us late, which is unusual. I spent the better part of fifteen minutes in the waiting room, feet and hands shaking, anxiously keeping my Twitter friends updated on the status of my insanity. The same tech as always, Fran, took us in. I had a full bladder, and she intended to do an abdominal first, but she wanted my bladder empty just in case. I told her how nervous I was, and she knew to check immediately to make sure LB was okay in there. It took maybe three seconds from the moment she turned on the monitor before she said “It’s okay. It’s okay.” And I let out a deep breath as she checked my ovaries and conducted her measurements.

My dad was in the chair beside me, and I could hear him laughing and when Fran asked if he saw this, and saw that, he would say yes, and I could hear the emotion in his voice. I couldn’t look. I knew he was crying. I knew if I looked, I’d cry more. My eyes were glued to the screen anyway while I watched little LB wriggle around.

The baby was active. Pumping his or her little fists and legs all over the place. I asked Fran if I could take some quick video for J, because he was away, and she said even though it was against the rules…she would allow it just this once. I love her.

Once she had taken all her measurements and confirmed LB was measuring right on time, and the heartbeat was strong as ever, she told me to video quick as she got a perfect view and the baby was moving. I turned on my iPhone camera and almost instantly, like the baby knew, s/he started waving. Once again, I was crying. Silently…not sobbing. Little tears. But tears nonetheless. I got about 30secs of good movement and waving and then turned it off, telling Fran I was good, just grateful for the chance to video at all.

I didn’t need a transvaginal…she got everything she needed from the outside. She congratulated me, and then almost impulsively hugged me tight, and told me everything was looking really good. And then I was done!

I waited another 20mins to see the RE, for all of maybe three minutes. He went over what I had discussed with the endocrinologist (forgot to tell you guys about that, more on it later) and told me that not only does everything look great, but since I’ve passed the point of my last miscarriage, the chances of this pregnancy proceeding look better than ever. He shook my hand, wished me luck, and told me he looks forward to seeing me around the office sporting a nice healthy bump in the coming months.

While we waited, I texted J and sent him the video. He didn’t respond for a while (probably busy), but when he did, he just couldn’t stop saying he loved me. I asked if he watched the video, if he was happy, if he saw the baby waving for him, and he just said yes and so happy and he loved me so much. I can’t wait to talk to him tonight. I’m so glad he was at least able to see what I saw today.

So, my dearest friends, my companions, my supporters, that’s that. I am 10w today. I am 1/4th of the way through this pregnancy. My chances get better every day. LB is hanging on, s/he is certainly a fighter. I am in awe. I am so in love. I am still so terrified, and I’m sure the anxiety will continue to rise exponentially before every appointment…but for now, I’m blissfully happy. I wish I could feel this way all the time.

Shut Up, Stupid Pregnancy Apps

Where I am: 9w7d
Medications: Crinone
Symptoms: tired, sore boobs, nausea, slow digestion, food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, congestion, constipation


Today, most of my pregnancy apps (I honestly have too many—there isn’t just one that I like entirely) were sending me push notifications announcing the start of my tenth week (some apps/docs would consider 9w7d as 10w0d…so confusing). “Congratulations, you’re ten weeks! Check in to see what baby is up to now and how big s/he is!”

Um, no thanks. I don’t want to know.

O_o

Okay, I know that sounds harsh. And maybe a bit terrible. But I can’t help it. The absolute worst thing about not knowing Baby Bean was gone the last four weeks I was pregnant was that the entire time, I was reading my baby books and reading my BabyBump app daily tips and weekly info like the baby was still growing. I was learning all the things a baby would be doing, and look like, at 10…11…12 weeks.

Only, s/he wasn’t. Bean measured 9w at our NT scan at a little over 12w. All of those things I was imagining weren’t real. They were in my head.

(‘Scuse me one moment… fuck you, RPL PTSD. Fuck you. Okay, I’m back.)

So…tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will look. If I can, if it makes sense for me to look.

Which…if I was being optimistic, I would say, it will make sense. And I’m trying to be optimistic.

I am.

It’s just…hard.

This is uncharted territory. A good ultrasound tomorrow would officially document the farthest I’ve ever been with a pregnancy. I mean…10w just doesn’t seem real right now. I keep closing my eyes and trying to remember the sound of the little Bug’s heart beating on that Doppler only a week ago. A heartbeat, right on the cusp of the Red Zone. Right around the time it all went wrong last time. I try to imagine that sound, inside my tummy, when I can. Visualize the baby getting bigger.

But it’s harder than it looks. It really, really is. As I sit here typing this, my hands are shaking and my heart is racing. My husband just started texting me for the first time today (we’ve both been quite busy) and I told him how nervous I am and he said, “It is going to be all good.” I so hope he is right. I wish he would be by my side tomorrow. Good or bad. Good because I want him to see in person how Lucky Bug has grown, and bad because I need him there.

My mom will be there, but it won’t be the same.

It’s funny…I haven’t been sleeping well the last week or so. I toss and turn a lot. It could be the pregnancy…it could be something else. I was talking with my mom about it today, about how I was up late…and then slept restlessly…and she asked me if there was something wrong or something bothering me. I was quick to say no, but I remembered tomorrow and told her I was just nervous about tomorrow. Preparing for the worst.

She told me not to think like that. I sighed.

It could be everything else, too. The lack of two cars. The rehabilitation I still have pending on my leg. The absolutely-final-can’t-turn-back-now deadline on our lease just tick, tick, ticking away. The lack of a house. The school year starting in less than four weeks. My new job, starting in less than three weeks. This pregnancy. Everything.

No wonder I’m not sleeping. I’m losing my damn mind.

I almost cried today in my cube, randomly, out of the blue, for no reason. I just got anxious and got that, “What if it is all over tomorrow?” terror squeezing the life out of me, and I almost lost it. Earlier this week, I tweeted something along the lines of, “Sometimes I can’t breathe because I think, if this all ends, I don’t know if I’ll come back from it this time.”

I truly feel that way sometimes. I feel so close to this baby now that I can’t imagine going back. I feel like I’m walking on thin ice. I feel like the further I go, out into the middle of the pond, the more likely it is that I’ll fall through. And I wonder if I’ll have the strength to pull myself out.

You’re in the middle of treatments, or in the middle of trying again, and you think you have the strength to get through. You tell yourself, “Even if I have another loss, I still need to try. I want a baby that badly, that I’ll keep trying.” But when you’re in it? When you’re pregnant, and every week that passes brings a new milestone that makes you feel that much more connected? You start to lose your fucking shit, man. You start to wonder if you really can take another loss. You start to wonder if after the last ten weeks, you can really say goodbye to another baby.

I don’t know if I can.

Shit. I feel like a terrible person writing this. It just dawned on me. If I go in there tomorrow and Lucky Bug is perfectly fine…I’ll feel terrible. I wish I could be positive. I’m scared my negativity will jinx me. Or affect the health of the pregnancy.

Why can’t I be more positive?

This has clearly been a stream-of-consciousness post. I hope you’re enjoying this little trip inside my brain. It’s a mess, ain’t it? Jesus.

Okay. About twelve hours to go. (I probably won’t sleep well.) My ultrasound is at 9:30AM (EST) with the follow-up and (hopefully) graduation appointment with my RE immediately afterwards.

I am going to go tomorrow wearing my lucky ladybug necklace and bringing my little mascot with me. I don’t care if it’s stupid. I can’t have my husband, so I’ll take what he gave me as good luck charms instead.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to see a nearly baby-like-looking baby in my tummy. I’m hoping to hear a strong heartbeat. I am going to take deep breaths, and stay calm, and focus on sending all the good vibes to this sweet little one that I can.

Please…please let my hopes be reality this time. Please. Please, please, please…

Depression is a Disease, Not a Choice

I know this is a blog for infertility and miscarriage. I know that talking about Robin Williams and the cause of death may seem off-topic to you. And if talk of depression, suicide, self-harm, or anything similar could be triggering or upsetting to you, read no further. Otherwise, please hear what I have to say.

Note: I am open to healthy debate and discussion about mental health issues in the US, or around the world. However, please know that if your comment is in any way rude or destructive to the cause, it will be deleted without incident. My blog, my rules. If you have nothing constructive to say, don’t say anything at all. Continue reading

Heartbeats Are What Keep Me Breathing Now

Where I am: 9w1d
Medications: Crinone
Symptoms: tired, sore boobs (and rash), nausea, slow digestion, food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, congestion, hemorrhoids, constipation


Another post with the word “Heartbeat” in the title?

I think so. Because right now, that is all that matters to me.

My OB intake appointment was…for the lack of a better word, perfect. I saw the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) that I saw with my last pregnancy, and she recognized me. She was happy to see me again, of course, since the last time we met was the follow-up for my second D&E. We went through the motions for screening…she offered the MaterniT21 test to me, which I need to call my insurance about and discuss with J (if it’s not covered, if we want to spend the $$ on it, etc). She asked about my symptoms, I ran through my list of questions with her (a few topics: hemorrhoids, boob rash, safe acne medication, getting calcium and Vitamin D supplements to help with my leg healing). My mom was there, helping me remember all the things I wanted to ask about.

And then we discussed my nether region. I had a Papsmear last pregnancy, so she said we could skip it for now. I have also had quite a few people up in there lately looking around, so she said she wouldn’t do a pelvic. She did not want me to start spotting and lose my shit over it. This was so kind of her. She said she would do a visual just to make sure everything looked okay. And then she asked me to undress so she could check me all over, so my mom hid behind the curtain while I undressed and then gathered her things as the CNM came back in and said she was going to wait for me in the waiting room to give me some privacy.

And the CNM looked at her and said, “Well I was going to try and listen for the heartbeat, so if you’d like me to do that first, you can stay for that?”

And I swear, my heartrate increased dramatically. I was excited. Nervous. Panicked. Anxious. All at once. I was afraid she wouldn’t find it. It’s so early! There was no way she’d find it!

But she did. It took maybe a minute, minute and a half, but she found it. Way low in my uterus. Lucky Bug’s heart is beating at 180bpm, which the CNM said was right on target. It was music to my ears. I know that’s corny, but it was. That’s the best I’ve got. It was muffled by static, and a little hard to hear, but I heard it. Fast, strong. So did my mom. She stayed behind the curtain but she was happy and saying “That’s my grandbaby,” and she was crying of course. I’m over here trying to hold it together and she’s blubbering like a whale. Sheesh.

I wish I had recorded it with my phone for my husband. That’s my only regret today.

The CNM was so understanding about my RPL, and told me if I’d like to come in every other week or every week to listen to the baby’s heartbeat in the office, I could. She said she wants to keep my anxiety minimal and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. So I have my ultrasound a week from today, and then I will see her again in two weeks for a Doppler and short visit. And then a week from that, I’ll meet my OB doctor and get to listen in again. After that, I can schedule quick little appointments every week or every other week to come in and just make sure Lucky Bug is okay.

They have also officially pushed up my due date to March 11th, 2015. This morning, I was 8w6d (a hard day, as that was the last day we knew Baby Bean was alive). But as of this afternoon, I am officially 9w1d. Got to do that little time-travel hop I was talking about sooner than I thought! So that is a relief.

I won’t lie, I was (and I guess, still kind of am) flying on cloud nine after hearing the heartbeat. My mom is of course talking about names, and that I’m going to be a mom, and she’s going to be a grandmother, and blah blah blah…and I can’t blame her, she doesn’t get it. I told her we weren’t out of the woods yet and she said she thought so. Of course she does. She doesn’t know what it’s like on the other side of all this. But that’s okay.

But anyway. Yes, happy. Excited. Relieved. But of course the fear is starting to creep in again. With every positive appointment, I get closer and closer to this baby. In a way, each appointment is amazing because the baby is doing well, but it’s devastating because it is that much move developed and I am that much more attached and it would just kill me to lose it the farther I get.

Such a shitty mindset.

Anyway. Focusing on the good. Yet another week has passed, and Lucky Bug is hanging in there. That is wonderful news. I can’t wait to see him or her on the ultrasound next week (10w1d). The farthest I’ve ever seen a baby get was almost 9w, so it is going to be insane to see one further developed than that.

(By the way, I’m sorry I haven’t been responding to all of your comments! I’ve had a lot of them recently, so I will be going back and responding to each probably later today or tomorrow. I’ve read them all though, and thank you in general for all your good thoughts and vibes and prayers. You’re all so sweet. ❤ )