Where I am: 11w4d
Medications: Crinone (single-digit countdown until the last day I take this)
Symptoms: still tired, still sore boobs, still nausea, still slow digestion, still food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, still congestion, still constipation
I still have symptoms. I guess I still feel pregnant.
And yet, that doesn’t stop the paralyzing fear about tomorrow.
I just keep thinking about Christmas Eve. I know, it’s not the same. I know this pregnancy has progressed much, much better than my pregnancy with Baby Bean. I know that I’ve already surpassed where I was that time. Lucky Bug is a fighter. So strong, defying the odds. Come hell or high water, this little one has kept going.
But I cannot stop thinking about that day.
I think about that moment when the technician turns on the machine, and the picture shows up on that giant wall monitor. I’m scared of what I’ll see. I’m scared I won’t see an 11w5d fetus, but something smaller. Underdeveloped. Without a heartbeat. I’m scared of that deafening silence of the technician. I’m scared of the questions about my LMP, and the gestational age at the last scan. I’m scared of the dreaded “I need to consult with a doctor, I’ll be right back” line. I’m scared of the moment one of them reaches out their hand and touches mine, gently, to tell me my baby has died.
And I know…I really do, I know. I have to be positive. And I’m not saying that’s what I’m expecting. In fact, a small part of me is hoping—and expecting—to see a healthy LB in there. Based on how I’ve been feeling. But that’s the problem. I’ve found a part of myself has slipped into that sense of comfort, into that sense of maybe everything will be okay. It was so hard not to say anything to my brother and his girlfriend today at her graduation party. I asked my brother if he had any free time next weekend, and of course he gave me the runaround. They’re going away, he’s got to work, yadda yadda yadda. Completely unaware of how desperate I am to sit them down and tell them of the last nearly two years. Of the heartbreak we’ve been through, the struggle. And of the good, of our little LB.
This is what terrifies me. How desperate I feel in wanting to make this real. In wanting to make this different.
I got a gift certificate from The Paper Store for my birthday, and since we’re on a money crunch, I used it to buy a card and a gift for my brother’s girl (and some other things). I made it to the checkout and commented to J that it kind of stunk that I was using my birthday gift certificate on someone else and not even anything for me! He told me to go pick something out…so I picked out a onesie. Green, with the Red Sox logo on it. Similar to the jersey I got for myself for the infamous Saint Patty’s Day/birthday party where I found out about my friend’s close-to-mine pregnancy. LB is due March 11th, which means s/he could be around for that holiday. If s/he is, I’ll be dressing him or her in that onesie.
And what a difference a year will make.
So if you came into this post thinking I was filled with dread…you’re wrong. I’m filled with hope. Which is possibly more terrifying than dread. Because I am going to lose that much more of myself if tomorrow goes poorly.
I’m going to try my best to sleep tonight. I unfortunately need to wake up early so I can work from home a few hours, as my appointment is at 10:00AM. There’s no point in waking J to drive me to work for 2 hours, just to pick me up and bring me to my appointment, just to drive me back to work, and then pick me up another four hours later. So I am hoping to keep busy with work, as I have things I need to get done.
So I leave you with this: my sweet little Bug, I hope you can hear me in there. I want you to know how much I love you. I want you to know how badly I don’t want you to leave me. I hope you’re safe and thriving in there. We can’t wait for you to be with us, but we can wait. I want you to know that. We can wait another six months for you. We’ve waited this long for you already. So you stay in there as long as you need, and we’ll be here. I love you. Don’t leave me.
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.
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.
Where I am: 9w7d
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.
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.
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…
Where I am: 9w1d
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. ❤ )
Where I am: 8w5d
Symptoms: tired, sore boobs, nausea, slow digestion, food/smell hypersensitivity and aversions, congestion, friggin’ hemorrhoids, constipation, are you grossed out yet?
Goodness, I am trying. I really am. But shit, I am overthinking everything in the world.
Like the cramps I had this morning. No bleeding *knocks feverishly on wood* and the cramps aren’t even painful. But I feel it, and I check the calendar on my app to confirm how far along I am (where I am based on ovulation and how far along Lucky Bug is measuring are different so I occasionally forget or get confused), and terror floods like ice-water right through my heart. The impending doom that is associated with feeling like it’s all over smacks me in the face.
(Also, the cramps are/were probably growing pains. Duh. *sigh*)
With every scan, there’s momentary elation. Relief. Happiness. But it doesn’t take long for the dread and fear to creep back in. Honestly, I’m sick of it. But I guess I have to take it as it comes. RPL was the hand I was dealt. I hope this makes me a stronger person in the end. I hope it makes me a stronger mother.
Some things I forgot to mention last time I posted: Crinone and baby aspirin is over and done with as of August 31st. I’ll be 12w3d on September 1st (which hopefully means Bug will be measuring somewhere between there and 12w5d-ish). That’s something to be celebrated! When I think of the fact that I’m barely 9w, the second trimester seems so far away. But when I think of the fact that I’ll be 12w before the end of the month, it doesn’t seem so far. It actually seems alarmingly close.
I feel like with my first two pregnancies, the beginning weeks dragged. I was alone for the first one, and I insisted on waiting several weeks between the first ultrasound and when I actually had the D&E because I was afraid they could be wrong. So that would explain the drag there. And then, with Baby Bean, when I thought I was 8w along, I was actually only 6w along. And then I went four weeks between ultrasounds before the D&E. So I started out moving backwards, and then had so much wait time at the end there. I also wasn’t working, and was only going to school, so I had very little to distract me or help the days fly by.
But with this pregnancy…yeah, sure, the two-week wait time between scans has felt long. But overall, time is passing quickly. I have so much going on, from my leg to house-hunting every weekend to working every week, that the days in bulk seem to go by fast with little pockets of minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour drags here and there. And it excites me that Bug has been measuring ahead consistently since the first scan, so maybe eventually they will change how far along I am on paper and change my due date and I can “time travel” through a couple of days at some point.
Anyway…only 8 days until my scan. I’ll be 9w6d at that point, so hopefully Bug will be measuring consistently ahead a little bit at 10w1d. My husband will still be in training, so my mom will be taking me. I was just discussing it with one of my RPL friends and as I was telling her how panic- and fear-inducing this scan is going to be, I suddenly felt this urge to call my husband and beg him to get permission from his commander to take the morning off to be with me. The thought of facing another loss without him beside me, without him to hold me, is almost more than I can bear. I love my mom, but I don’t think it’ll be the same. I need him.
But I can’t do that. He already has days to make up before the end of the fiscal year, which is fast-approaching, due to the weekend after the accident and the day he took off for the last scan. His promotion is fresh, and I don’t want him constantly leaving duty because of me. So instead, I’m going to try to be strong, and I won’t let him know how absolutely dead-petrified I am, and I’m going to think positive.
Thinking positive means the only sadness that day will be that his second-hand viewing of the ultrasound will have to suffice. (I’m going to have my mom videotape it on my phone.)
OB intake appointment is tomorrow. I’ll post an update in the afternoon to let you know how that goes. I had a Papsmear with my last pregnancy sometime in November, so I wonder if she will do another. I did have bacterial vaginosis at my last one (fancy word for “too much bad bacteria in your vajayjay”) so I feel like at least a pelvic is in order, and probably a swab. I’ve also been subtle about it by only putting it under the symptoms part of these posts, but I’m also having another issue “down there” that she will probably want to investigate, just to make sure it isn’t out of control. I’m just dreading the smear because there’s a potential for spotting.
I don’t care if she warns me ahead of time. I’ve had spotting before between 5-8w with both miscarriages. I haven’t had it yet with this pregnancy and I’m nearly 9w. I will flip a lid if I start spotting, “normal and expected” or not. Ugh.
I have a public post coming up that I’m working on, but I doubt I’ll have another one tomorrow. So I will plan for the public post to have links to this and tomorrow’s post-intake protected post. So check back on the public post tomorrow for the new link. It will be added in there once the new post is up and running.
And that’s all, folks. I’m glad I’ve been blogging a little more consistently. I find it’s the hardest to do so right before a scan, as the nerves and anxiety and melancholy get the best of me and I don’t have the focus or energy to write. So fear not if, next week, I get quiet. I’ll just be withdrawing again, fearful of bad news and just trying to will the days to fly by so I can get to scan day.