Life After the Second Line

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


First things first. As far as I know, there aren't any still-in-the-trenches infertiles who read this blog. But since there's no way to know who might happen by one day, let me give fair warning: if you are, in fact, still in IF hell, you should stop reading this post RIGHT NOW. Continuing to read will either make you sad or piss you off (and quite possibly both). So please, move along to one of the other lovely blogs out there and stop by to see me again some other day.

In fact, that may be good advice for anyone reading this post, currently IF or not. Because I'm warning you, this post is going to be chalk full of bitching and moaning and information no one really wants to hear.

Ok then. Back to my confession: I don't like being pregnant. Sometimes I even hate -- loathe -- being pregnant. Some women are such wonderful mothers to be. They feel great and they glow and are content with life as a whole. I am not one of them. I feel like shit. I've been vomiting nearly every day since about 6 1/2 weeks, and I'll be 13 weeks any day now, but it's still going strong. Yesterday I vomited so forcefully that it splashed back and hit me in the face. Three times. My legs and hips ache, I can't sleep even though I'm effing exhausted, my heart is constantly racing and pounding, and my skin is hideous. And then there's, er . . . the discharge. What is this shit and when will it go away? I was a master of analyzing cm in my actively ttc days, but I've never seen anything like this. I don't think it's an infection -- it's not oddly colored and doesn't have a particularly offensive odor -- but it is copious. My pregnancy books say oral sex is perfectly safe and wonderful when you're pregnant, but are you kidding me?? No way am I letting G's head anywhere in that vicinity while this is going on. Sorry for the TMI. But I did warn you.

And all that is just what's going on physically. My head is a mess, too. I worry all. the. time. About the baby, about my health, about caring for 3 such very young children, about money, about G & I, about global warming, about Iraq, about EVERYTHING. Granted, I am a worrier even at the best of the nonpregnant times, but it is so very magnified now. Especially since, having gone through a difficult pregnancy and preterm birth not even two years ago, I know firsthand exactly how much can go wrong, and how quickly.

Basically, this is a miserable time for me. I know, thanks to P & E, that it will all be well worth it in the end. A couple months after this one is born, I won't even remember most of this stuff. (I know this because I had nearly all of these same issues while pg the first time, but I'd blocked them all out and only now have they come rushing back to me). But that doesn't make it easy now. G is unsympathetic, for the most part. His take on the whole thing is, what are you complaining about? You wanted this. And he's right, to a point. I did/do want another baby. But does that mean I have to love all the not-so-wonderful stuff that comes along the way? And you know, it's easy for him to say anyway. He doesn't have to experience any of it. He just feels sorry for himself because the house isn't as tidy as he'd like it to be while I spend these days/weeks/months in a perpetual state of nausea and vomiting. Still, I do feel guilty. Horribly guilty. I'm pregnant, by surprise, the old fashioned way -- the infertile in me keeps telling me what a stupid, ungrateful bitch I am to complain for even one second.

Argh. I don't want to wish time away because I don't want P & E to grow up too quickly. But it's hard not to think ahead to next June, when all this will be behind me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

To the OB -- finally!

I am relieved to report that everything went well at long-awaited appointment number one yesterday. It's official -- if all goes well, come early June, we're going to have another baby! We got to hear the heartbeat (148 bpm), and that confirmed for me much more than any pee stick ever could that there really is somebody growing in there.

I am measuring in the 10-11 week range, which is what one of the online edd calculators had come up with based on the date of my lmp. I didn't quite trust that, though, considering that in the 18 years since my period started, I've never -- not once! -- had a normal, unmedicated 28 day cycle. Not until September, anyway. Go figure.

Of course, for me no doctor appointment can be entirely without incident. My initial blood pressure reading, before hearing the baby's heartbeat, was 150/82. Not exactly stellar. The nurse asked if I had a history of hypertension, and I felt a little sick as I recounted exactly where that history had taken me eighteen months ago. Anyway, then the nurse practitioner came in. There are five NPs in my OB's practice, and I'd never met this one before, but I liked her instantly. She was one of those people who just has such a gentle, peaceful presence about her that I couldn't help but relax. Anyway, she did the whole exam, told me how far along I was, gave me some info, gave me a blood pressure recording chart to fill out at home and bring back at my next appointment (ugh -- here we go again), and answered all the questions we had. Then she let us hear the heartbeat again. After all that, she said, "Hey, since you're still here, why don't we test that blood pressure again just to see what happens." She did, and it had dropped all the way down to 120/78. Perfect! So I'm still going to monitor it at home until my next appointment, just to be on the safe side, but it looks like the elevated reading was just due to my panic that there would be no heartbeat and this whole wonderful thing would be shot to hell. I am so, so thankful that didn't happen. He/she is in there, 10 or 11 weeks old, and doing just fine so far.

I go back on December 11. (This whole month-between-appointments shit is for the birds, but I don't want to complain *too* much since last time it was the blood pressure problems that got me weekly apointments starting at 22 weeks. Give me healthy person monthly appointments over sick lady weekly appointments any day!) Anyway, until then, I'll just keep hoping and praying for this miracle to continue.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Still here, still pregnant, as far as I can tell

It occurred to me that I probably ought not drop a bombshell like the one I came out with here a few weeks ago and then not update for three weeks at a time. Sorry!

Ok, first off, thanks to all of you who suggested maybe I could call my old RE (aka Oz) to get in for an earlier appointment than my first scheduled prenatal. It is a good idea, and were my circumstances a bit different than they are, I would have absolutely done that. However, 1) at my clinic, the RE dept. and the OB dept. share the scheduling desk. This means that, had I called again to request an appt. w/ the RE, the same woman who I'd already spoken with twice would've talked to me again. She already knew my situation and had spoken with my OB about it, so I am fairly certain she would've stonewalled me. Second, and more importantly, was this -- Oz's former partner recently left his practice, leaving all his patients in Oz's care. That means Oz has a LOT on his plate right now, and I just didn't want to add to it. I kept thinking about my own long, fucked up cycle, and how much attention I required back then. It would've really pissed me off if I'd known part of the reason he was so busy was because he was trying to pacify paranoid former patients who were already pregnant. Make sense?

So that leaves me where I am now -- probably around 9 weeks along, with no way to know for sure, and another 12 days until my first prenatal finally rolls around. I've been feeling really sick though, and exhausted too, so I'm hoping everything is ok. The whole thing is just so surreal to me still. I can't even fathom how this has happened. (Ok, ok, I guess I do know "how" it happened, but you know what I mean). But when you couple the fact that I haven't had any ultrasounds or heard/seen any heartbeat (hell, haven't even been to the doctor!) with the fact that we had medical reason to believe this could not happen -- you can see why it all seems like a dream, or like it's happening to somebody else. If not for that test . . . ok, ok, testS (4) . . .

Right now I guess I'm about equal parts excited, disbelieving and terrified. Good thing I've still got another seven months to adjust.