Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Looking for the bright side.

The baby seems to be fine.

I seem to be fine.

The bleeding is little more than tannish-brown spotting when I wipe.

There is no threat to the pregnancy at this time.

DH will now have to rearrange the closet as I am not to lift anything heavier than a fork. I will have to direct him. Hee.

I still get angry over the mess when I think of it, but there is nothing to be done, so I'm going to focus on the positives.

Along those lines, Chickie has just about caught up to our original edd, so that's cool. I'm officially over 12 weeks. Additionally, we got one picture in which we think we can make out a face - eyes and a nose and lips. That, or it's an ear. Shrug. If it's a face, it inherited DH's long narrow face and probably (hopefully) my nose.

So. Yeah. Cheers.

Monday, June 29, 2009

You know, an uneventful pregnancy is not THAT much to ask.

At least, in my humble opinion.

Nevertheless, The Powers That Be seem to have decided keeping me on my toes is a good way to train me for parenthood. Perhaps that's all it is. Maybe it's the universe's sick way of reassuring me. It possibly is just revenge for something I did in a previous existence.

All I know is that I frankly could do without upsetting the apple cart every fucking time I seem to have all the apples stacked in place.

So. What is this all about? Right. Let me preface again -- it seems Chickie is just fine, and the u/s I had 2 hours ago showed him/her jumping and kicking around most reassuredly.

This afternoon, I was standing in my coworker A's doorway, chatting with her and my boss. When I feel a small gush of fluid. I don't pay it much heed, because that happens sometimes. Then I feel more. And more. And it feels exactly like when you bleed through your tampon or are on your period without a pad. And I knew, I knew, that I was going to see blood. I calmly excused myself, grabbed my keys and walked to the bathroom. I locked myself in a stall, and pulled down my pants to find my underwear completely soaked through to nearly dripping with red blood. If I'd had a pad on, I believe it would have been filled.

I sit down and can feel and hear it dripping into the toilet. That stops relatively quickly, thankfully, but there is a huge mess. I start to clean up as much as I can when my nether regions are covered with blood, and find a few small clots, but nothing of really great concern. I wait until it seems like there is no more active bleeding, take off my soaked underwear and return to work, where I shut myself in the office and start shaking. I call my mw first. No answer. Call her cell, no answer, so I leave a message and take a few deep breaths. Then I call DH and tell him we have a problem. He says eventually he's coming over. I decide that I want to get home, to clean up, put my feet up and try to hear a heartbeat. I thrust some papers at my coworker, tell her briefly what's going on and try not to lose my shit completely. I stop and tell my boss I'm going home and why. I tell them I'll update when I hear something from my mw.

DH shows up and we leave. The walk to the car seems to take forever. I'm not in pain, I'm not really cramping, but I'm very aware of my uterus and fear that the cramping will start any minute now. I call my mom and fill her in. We get in the car and my mw calls me back. After reiterating that there is not much we can do, and that I should try to continue staying calm, she says there is an u/s tech she would like me to see, but she's not sure she takes my insurance. I SO do not care at this point. MW texts me her number, DH calls her while I'm driving home and the angel says she can fit us in this evening, if we don't mind driving to her home.

We get home, I get cleaned up, and the next thing we do is obviously pull out the doppler. The Chickie was cooperative, Dh found the h/b pounding away loud and clear and in normal ranges (166-172). Thank God. I relax for a wee bit, but am still tense, and I am achey. I'm scared, frankly, but trying hard to keep it together.

Eventually we go see the u/s lady, who was totally and utterly amazing and kind. The rest of the story can be shortened to this. Chickie popped up right away, kicking and jumping around, with a clear strong h/b and no gross abnormalities. There was absolutely no signs of bleeding anywhere. No pooled blood, no blood in the cervix, no tears in the placenta, no separation that she could see, no sub-chorionic hematoma, nada, zip, zilch. Which is great in that there appears to be no threat to Chickie and sucky in the sense that this is the second time this has happened and there is no clear reason for it, and I'd sort of like more of a reason for 15 minutes of a whole lot of bright red blood out of nowhere than 'sometimes that happens.'

In the end, it seems things are ok and I am under orders to rest, call my mw tomorrow to let her know how I'm feeling, rest, drink lots of fluids, don't worry and don't lift anything heavier than a fork.

So great. But also, what the everloving fuck? Could this sort of crap be done now? Glad Chickie seems healthy (definitely looking forward to the u/s on Thursday for further confirmation on a higher resolution u/s), but seriously, I'm trying hard here, so I'd appreciate it if the universe could meet me halfway in my efforts and cease and desist with the scaring the everloving fuck out of me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

So. Success After a Loss.

Blessing and a curse.

And I'm not talking about just going through the experience, which seems to be almost universally rough, at least through the first tri. Hats off to positive people like my friends Heather and Babs who were far more graceful and either way more positive or way better at hiding or coping with their fears than me. I can't remember Heather being at all fearful or calm, just perhaps a little superstitious in that she would tell us after the fact that she'd had an appointment or u/s that went well. I can remember only two times that Babs really lost her nerves of steel, when there was spotting, and as she approached the date of her first loss which coincided with an OB appointment.

Obviously, I'm the chick who routinely lost her shit and didn't really cherish or enjoy the first tri at all (the last couple weeks haven't been so bad, really, though). And that's ok. I know there are a lot of us lose your shit type people out there, and maybe I've helped someone avoid being like me or helped someone know it's ok to freak out a little. Shrug.

I'm really beginning to settle in and enjoy more - the lessening nausea assists that endeavor, btw. Which caused me to reflect a bit on how I've gotten to this point. Which made me grateful for the Success After Loss (or SAL) boards I've visited.

These are wonderful communities filled with women who understand the ups and downs that you go through after a previous loss. They understand the beta hell, and the total fear before an u/s, and the dagger that is loss of innocence in pregnancy. They have lovely mantras (which seem to help some people, but were more likely to drive me batty than help - what can I say? Repeating words I'm not sure I really believe in has never made me believe in them, but I've seen them help other people) like "Today I am pregnant and I love my baby!" and "Previous history does not determine current success." and "Miscarriage is not contagious. It doesn't matter who you know in real life or on the boards or wherever that has had a loss - you can't catch it." and "You cannot jinx this pregnancy - putting up a ticker, telling your family or a friend or buying something for the baby will not affect the outcome of your pregnancy." They let you freak the fuck out, even when it's totally insane, they bring you back down to earth and they generally are nice, supportive women who have been there, so they get it.

I've also found they tend to be less drama-filled and inclined to be sugary sweet, so I don't hang out there 100%. Not my cup of tea all the time - though I make an effort to participate in the boards and reciprocate the generous support I've received. I try to relieve newbie fears as they did mine and celebrate the good news of the other women.

But I've found - as wonderful as that support is, and much as it helped me to get through some difficult times when I simply couldn't talk to my friends or blog about things because I felt so negative and so cut off and frankly, a little schizophrenic - there is most definitely an edge to things.

It's very much like that book I talked about awhile back. One I bought in hope the weekend before my first u/s, a book about coping with pregnancy after a loss. It was utterly terrifying to me. I thought it would bring some comfort and instead of comfort, I read horror story after horror story about various pregnancy losses - things that had never occurred to me to be concerned over because they are so rare, were suddenly thrust right in my face with accusatory undertones saying 'This does happen. It happened to this woman. It could happen to you too.' The book was far from comforting and I stuck it on the shelf and have not touched it since.

I've found the SAL boards have that same edge. The dark side, if you will, to the support and caring is being thrust face to face with some of your worst fears. Ask a question about say, the odds of a missed miscarriage after you see a heartbeat: One the tri boards, you are likely to get a very factual answer - your risks are under 5% if you've seen a heartbeat between 6-10 weeks and drop more after you hear a heartbeat on doppler or that missed miscarriage is pretty rare and really only accounts for about 1-2% of miscarriages. Ask on the SAL boards, and you are likely to be flooded with emotional stories of several women who saw h/b's at 7-9 weeks and went back for the next appointment to a baby that stopped developing shortly thereafter - but GL! A comment on rarity of the situation will be refuted by a number of women who point out it happened to them.

And you learn about totally heart-wrenching stories of losses in the second trimester - still births and tiny babies and how these women live in fear for many weeks, terrified of one of the happiest moments of most normal pregnancies - the big u/s. You read about women debating between very inductions or just outright c-sections or fighting the instinct to let the baby cook awhile longer - because their full term children died of cord accidents or in utero for unexplained reasons and there is the clear feeling or implication that had they only done something sooner, the baby would have lived and they are not going to repeat the mistake again. And your heart breaks for them and the uncertainty and fear they deal with for 40 weeks, never really feeling a respite from the anxiety, and you wonder how they cope.

Stories, in short, that statistically are in fact pretty rare. That don't happen commonly, that in normal course you might hear about from a friend of a friend or a distant relative and shake your head sadly. But in these communities, the actual women themselves are gathered and so the statistics are completely invalid - because we are the women in that first group of 15-25% who experienced a miscarriage and further break down into those tiny statistics of things that are so rare and so unlikely to occur in the normal course of things.

Blessings and curses. There is an overwhelming sense of comraderie and sisterhood and support given freely. There is also a desperation and sadness and stifling, choking fear that can be read between the lines. At one point, at my lowest, all it did was terrify me and mock me that any of this could happen to me again, and I stayed away for a bit. Now I go back, feeling obligated to return the favor - to soothe and calm and bolster where I can. I wonder if I am alone in feeling the two edges of that sword in those groups. I see some post on tri boards and other who do not, citing all the drama and sometimes the ungratefulness or naivete that exist there. Me, I often prefer to lose myself in some of the normal pregnancies and forget that there are dangers that lurk outside my control. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. I am grateful for them . . . but sometimes wish I could do without them.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letter to Chickie

Dear Little Chicken (or Det. Charlie Crewes, as your father insists on calling you to torment me) -

Well, well. Twelve weeks, sort of. Quite a milestone we've reached (or will soon). It's hard to believe we've come so far together, that you are still in there, living, growing, hopefully thriving.

The books say you are between 2 and 3 inches long already, which astounds me. I know you are supposed to get much bigger - 6-7 times your current size! - before you make your debut, but it's crazy to imagine that you are already so big. I'm not sure quite where you fit, to be honest. You are somewhere around the size of a lime or a plum, and even though I can feel my uterus, it's hard to imagine something the size of a piece of fruit just hanging out inside me all the time.

You clearly move around a lot too, which just tickles me to death. If imagining you being so big and inside me is hard, picturing you moving is harder . . . and yet the way you avoid the doppler and skip about makes it clear enough. I am thrilled whenever you hold still long enough to let us clearly your heartbeat. It makes our days. Your daddy sits there in the chair, eyes closed, a small on his face everytime, unless he's actually holding the monitor, watching for you.

Settle in well, darling, I want you snug and secure for another 6 months or so. I am so looking forward to seeing you on Thursday, since you should be far more recognizable and visible than you were 6 weeks ago. I can't wait. So far, each and every week, each and every milestone, you've exceeded our hopes and expectations. You are so amazing, little one, and we are so very grateful for you. Every moment of sickness and fatigue, and misery and uncertainty has been worth it to have you safe and sound.

There is so much we want to do with you, to teach you, to show you, to tell you. I pray often that you are the baby we will hold in our arms, watch grow, and raise in love. You are so very much wanted and loved.

We cannot wait to meet you, Chickie.

Love always,
Mama and Daddy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Got a First Look

Of the charges we'll owe for the ER visit.

Gulp. My insurance company sent me the explanation of benefits detailing what the insurance was charged, what they covered, what was disallowed, and what my anticipated portion would be (I haven't done the math, but it's likely 20% of the allowed charges for the u/s and lab work). All in all, not including the co-pay, it looks to be a little over $300.

Yee-ouch. Still, thank God for insurance, right? The initial charges I'd have had to fight without insurance? $2500. $1200 alone for the u/s. Which is bullshit, frankly. For that kind of money, they should throw in a free dvd of the u/s with optional director's cut commentary!

I know only the uninsured would pay that, or haggle it down, which I think makes it worse.

On top of that, my midwife informed me she would be billing the insurance for the previous pregnancies. Since the deductible for out of network wasn't yet met, I'll end up having it applied against the deductible and forwarded on to me. Fine. But I expect that to be between $300 and $500 as well.

Not exactly planned for, and we still have the deductible/down payment for this little chickie due, plus our portion of the costs which should be about $1500 total. Not quite what we had planned, you know? We'll have to start making payments on that soon, which leaves me wondering exactly how the bathroom will be renovated. . . but I decided not to worry about that right now. Things will happen as they happen, and if it means we need to take out a small home improvement loan, we will. If it means putting it on the effing credit card, well, we will.

No sense in fretting over it now, right?

I was a little bummed out by these developments. But then I used the doppler and Chickie finally obliged and moved into position, so we could hear his/her beautiful lub-dub lub-dubbing away around 170 bpm. Since Tuesday night, we've heard it barely in the background and definitely picked it up on the monitor, but hearing it loud and clear is the most reassuring thing, and as I got to hear my beautiful Chickie lubbing away, I mentally shrugged and said out loud to DH, "It's worth way more than a few hundred dollars." To which, he agreed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Silver Linings

I went to my mw today to get her help with the bloodwork portion of the NT testing.

It was a good thing.

I needed enough blood to fill 5 circles, about the size of dimes. The packet of info said I could do it at home, and provided two lancets and a bandaid and a cotton ball, which was quite generous of them. But my mw had said she would help me, and I needed the order for the NT scan (they said to bring it with), so I called and was told to come out around 11:00.

Turns out, pricking my fingers to draw blood is as time consuming, difficult and bruising as sticking my arm.

I was stuck three times, there are visible bruises, and holy crap it HURT (please, God, do not let me have GD!). It took a full 20 minutes to fill those stupid tiny circles with my blood. At one point, my mw sighed in exasperation and said, "Do you have any blood in there? I suppose I should just be relieved it's not a vial draw!"

I thought about that on the way back to the office. . . it was better than trying to worry over her not finding the heartbeat when she tried (she tried for 3-5 minutes, and was a little high, from what I could tell).

My conclusions? I have the awesomest silver lining to my small, spidery, shallow veins ever.

I will never die from a vampire attack. A vampire will get so sick of the long wait to suck all my blood out, he'll give up in disgust and go find more suitable bleeders. And so I'll live. And I might be left with super powers.

Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Extremes and Role Reversal

Totally crazy night.

Actually, pretty mundane night until about bedtime. Ate dinner - scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes, and sausage. Was sitting ok, but not great. A little after 10:00, I started to feel really tired and really nauseated. I told DH I wanted to go to bed and he put the dog up. We went upstairs, DH carrying a bucket and I went to the bathroom. I took out my contacts and then . . . oh, yeah, that bucket was necessary. I think this was the worst vomiting session ever (and to back that up - I have burst blood vessels all around my eyes and on my cheeks and forehead today. Lovely!).

When everything I'd eaten was sufficiently repented of, I went and laid down and begged DH to try listening to the h/b again. So he got the doppler and we plopped it on and it took a few seconds, but then we heard it. And this time there was no doubt. Little Chickie was in the perfect position, far enough away from the placenta that we could only barely hear it, and my h/b wasn't interfering and it was a wonderful rapid lub-dub-lub-dub-lub-dub. Amazing. Completely and utterly amazing. We got to listen for nearly 4-5 minutes, though Chickie was moving around some, so we had to trace it a couple of times.

I have a baby with a lub-dub that moves! And that is when it hit me and I started laughing. We started talking to the Chickie, which is something we've not done a lot yet. I looked at DH and said, "We're going to have a baby."

He nodded and said, "Yeah. That's been evident for a few weeks now."

I said, "No, for real. There is a baby in there! There is a chicken baby in there, and it's alive!"

DH gave me a side-eye and nodded patiently, and said, "Er, yeah. I've understood that since the first ultrasound. Baby. Yay!"

I said, "But you didn't really believe it did you?"

He said, "Well, yeah, I did. I've been telling you. I saw the h/b pounding away at the ER, and felt pretty confident that there was really a baby in there."

I said, "But I didn't really believe it."

And I didn't. I hoped, but until this point? When I heard that lub-dub, and it was clear, and there was no question, and he/she moved around in there and we could tell, it was this amazing, magical moment. For so long, I've been praying for, longing for, begging for reassurance. For some signs that I can fall in love with this baby, that this one will be the baby we hold in our arms and raise in love. That this time won't be pain upon pain. That this would not be in vain.

And last night, I got it. That beautiful, amazing sound that told us 'I am here. All is well.' - My Chickie has a lub-dub, and I have a Chickie. I'm going to be a mother. I just think it's funny that my husband has been adjusted to this idea for weeks, and I'm only now - near the end of the first trimester - coming around. I looked at him at one point and laughed and said, "What the hell were we thinking? We're having a baby? What a terrible idea!" And we laughed and hugged, and I fell asleep, talking to Little Chickie in my head.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Normal post interrupted by the following new update:

OMG, I think we heard the heartbeat!

I had a post all planned out, talking about the mixed blessing of loss communities, and I think the thoughts are good ones, so I'll save them for another time.

In the meantime, I have to squee and jump up and down and turn cartwheels and everything, because holy fuck, y'all, I think we found it!

The second I plopped it down - right on the spot I've been checking, near the placenta, there was an immediate sound like a drumbeat or an oncoming train clacking. Not static, rhythmic, sort of like a technobeat!

The monitor picked up the 160's for a few seconds then went blank, but I could still hear the sound for a little bit. Then nothing. I moved tad, heard the placenta whistling through the uterus trees (that is what it sounds like anyway), angled it a bit, and then again, both the whistling and the beat-y sound. Then I found my blood whooshing, and I called DH and asked him what he could hear, moved it back a bit, and he said, "That's the placenta."

I said to ignore that and listen close and he scrunched up his face and said, "I hear it, I think. Like . . . clacking, sort of like a garage door opening or something. It's like a really soft, rapid tapping noise."

So. Heartbeat, right? To be sure, I moved it to the left side and it was silence. Nothing, no blood whooshing, no placenta sounds, no static. It's still faint, but on the right side, now and then, for a few seconds, I could hear the technobeat sounds. The monitor would come and go but it does that even when I'm picking up my h/b loud and clear.

OMG, I think little chickie might actually be in there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Been awhile since I posted.

Just not much going on, truly.

I've been feeling much better since Wednesday. Spotting did indeed stop and has graciously stayed away, which helps my frame of mind. Additionally, I finally ordered a doppler (HiBebe with digital display, from Ebay) and even just ordering it made me feel better.

It arrived on Friday, and I quickly tried to make use of it. I learned in the process that I need to press down more than expected. It took me at least 10 minutes to find my own heartbeat, lol. And I knew that there was a large artery running right across my ute. I also found the placenta (sounds like wind through trees or crashing waves) but nothing else.

And I didn't freak out. I didn't worry, I didn't fret, I just shrugged and said, that's ok.

I tried three more times over the course of the weekend (and honestly, I feel bruised now, lol, so I am leaving off for a couple of days). On Sunday, the monitor picked up (though I couldn't really hear it personally) a steady rhythm for at least 10 seconds: once in the 150's and once in the 170's. There were two times that I picked up a steady reading on the monitor in the 230 -240s. As my heart beat was clearly whooshing away in there loudly, and there was at least once a faint echoing drum beat sound, I think it was both heartbeats combined.

I was hesitant to trust that, since I've heard the monitor can flicker and jump and be a bit unreliable, and I honestly didn't hear much (maybe a faint background noise if anything). But everyone has told me that I can be reasonably sure that was in fact the baby.

If that's so . . . well, then, we're almost in the clear! Astounding. I'm holding my breath until I can actually hear the noise myself and until the NT scan is actually happening and we see little chickie on the screen moving about at the right size and all that jazz.

But really? I'm doing prety well.

Nausea and sore boobs are not gone completely (and sore nipples are VERY present - ouch), but have greatly subsided. Exhaustion remains, frequent urination remains. I am glowing (seriously.)but also have a few bad zits here or there. Food aversions are lessening (but can crop up with no warning). I can feel the uterus moving up . . . and my conclusion is pregnancy? Is just weird. The pain it brings, the weird physical things I am experiencing and the mental aspect . . . just weird.

(oh, and still thoroughly convinced it is a girl.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Best Laid Schemes

To a Mouse

Robert Burns

On Turning her up in her Nest with the Plough

"Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie,
O what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request:
I'll get a blessin' wi' the lave,
And never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin':
And naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin'
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste
An' weary winter comin' fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till, crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, oh! I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!"

(emphasis mine) I think this sums up nicely how I've been feeling these past 10 days or so. I'm trying hard to find positivity and equilibrium again. It's not easy. I fear a great deal. But I am trying and I will try.

Still there.

I don't really know what else to say. I haven't heard from the mw. I spent some time talking to my mom on the phone, and finally broke down in tears. I'm really scared, and the uncertainty of everything weighs on me. There can be a lot of totally normal reasons for light spotting (and it's very light. Only when I wipe. Not showing up on liners at all), and 50% of women who have spotting have perfectly healthy pregnancies.

But I don't know if I'm one of them. I don't know what is going on in there. I don't know if things are ok, and it's killing me. I'm terrified this is just a worse repeat of the last miscarriage, which started out in similar ways - thinking all was well and then spotting, which turned out to be caused by hcg levels beginning to fall.

I still have a lot of pregnancy symptoms - which, looking back, I didn't then. And I had a beating heart at 6w and 8w. Which should be reassuring. The chances of a missed miscarriage or a spontaneous miscarriage are really low. But then, so were the chances of a fucking cervical ectopic pregnancy. So where does that leave me?

Hanging on faith and feelings, both of which are slim at best. I told Mom that I just don't have a good feeling anymore. She told me it was simply clouded by fear. Maybe that is true. Maybe this is something I just need to get through and all will in fact be well. Or maybe it's my subconcious trying to prepare me.

All I know is that I swing from feeling secure and that all must be well with the Chicken, and utter fear that all is going wrong and it's simply a matter of time until the end comes. I feel exhausted by these swings and by the uncertainty that just rains down on me constantly. It's another two and a half weeks, roughly, until my NT scan. I'll borrow my friend's doppler before then to try to hear a h/b . . . but it's still very early. If all is well, Little Chickie is only 10 - 10.5 weeks today.

On top of this is severe fatigue and bad nausea/vomiting. It's just awful right now. I feel awful. I guess that should be reassuring, but it no longer is. I just want to know all is well, and there is no way to know that right now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More spotting.

Still not a lot, but now it's pink. There was some definite spotting last night that was peach.

So, it's not going away, and it's getting darker/closer to red.


Combined with the cramps (which seemed to have lessened since yesterday afternoon), this has me officially on the border of losing my shit.

I cannot think of any good reason to have spotting at this point in time. Maybe there is a perfectly legitimate reason. But this is how things started the end of things with Chickadee. So. . . sort of freaking out. Hard to stay calm and think everything is ok.

I'm going to call the mw this morning. I don't know what she'll suggest or want to do or not do. I know what I would prefer (an u/s), but I also am so scared to go in and not see anything. It's such a frustrating place to be right now.

Last night, I dreamt that I was having a miscarriage for 2 hours. Nonstop loops of cramping and bleeding. I finally got up and went to the bathroom, expecting lots of blood that wasn't there. I eventually accepted some water and Tylenol pm and slept well. Woke up feeling restored and optimistic until I saw the spotting. Felt depressed and again felt the crush of inevitability. And yet, felt more optimistic again when I got to work. Now, I'm just . . . here. Waiting.

* * * * *

ETA: And now, there seems to be no spotting. Not even lightly tinged CM, that I can tell based on my last 2 trips to the bathroom. I did call, sounded like a blathering moron, and we'll see what she suggests. Annoying. I want it to be gone, so that's good, but I don't like the feeling it gives me that I may be crazy.

* * * * *

Further update. As of this afternoon, still no real spotting. CM may be a little tannish, but not overtly so. Cramping has been mild and nowhere near as crampy as the last couple of days. I haven't heard back from the mw, though I expect to tonight or tomorrow morning. I intend to take it easy and keep my feet up and rest. I hope everything is well in there. I feel a bit more hopeful, but it battles constantly with fear.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In a weird place.

The night was awful. NO sleep and consequently all symptoms were there and awful. I threw up water, ffs.

And there was some very minor, minute light brown spotting today. Mostly in the morning, but the cm was a little darker than usual in the afternoon as well. Combined with all the crampiness of the last two days and how exhausted and worried I was, this made for bad headspace.

I tried to remind myself that the uterus has a lot of growing to do (it was pointed out that between 9 and 11 weeks, the baby itself grows from the size of an olive to the size of a lime, so the uterus has to make some room, presumably extra true when it's small to begin with). I tried to remind myself that if there was a miscarriage on the horizon, the cramping would get increasingly worse and more painful and there would be more bleeding than a miniscule amount of brown spotting.

Of course, I also felt like a miscarriage is simply inevitable. Ever since I hit 10 weeks-ish, I have been surprised. I expected to feel relieved by this somewhat significant milestone - double digits, a drop in the risk of miscarriage, within a couple of weeks of ending first tri . . . and instead, I've found myself brooding and moody, feeling that instead of 2 weeks leading to a happier, easier place in pregnancy that I was facing a quickly closing window; that my pregnancy would clearly end within the next couple of weeks.

I am not and never have been an overwhelmingly positive person so it's hard to maintain positivity. I don't know why or when, but at some point today, I felt sunnier, more positive. It comes as a relief.

I found out that insurance does in fact cover the NT scan, and plan to schedule it for July 2 or 3, at which point the baby should be measuring 12w and a day or so. I'm both excited and completely terrified by the prospect. I am so scared that we will go in and be told there is no heartbeat and that chicken stopped growing weeks before. I suppose still having some pregnancy signs - and in fact, still being pregnant - should be comforting. My OB friend just reassured me today that she is confident I will have a healthy baby based on the good heart tones earlier on u/s, but still. It's tough to go such a long time between appointments, you know?

Which always brings us back to the question of the doppler. I'm pretty certain we are in fact going to buy one, but man. I'm so hesitant to do it before we hear a h/b on doppler. Fearing that I'll freak out if we can't find the h/b, worry even more than I already do . . . so I'm not sure when that purchase will happen, honestly.

And to top it off, it appears we may have some identity theft, since there are suddenly random charges appearing on our bank account. We've cancelled our debit cards and are filing a dispute claim. It appears there are sex phone charges, of all things. Very disturbing. All in all, it makes for a weird feeling in the air.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Itch

The itch to shop for baby gear, that is.

It's come and gone throughout this pregnancy for me. I was very anti-baby gear shopping with Chickadee, for reasons I could never explain, and which my Dh found baffling (not that he wanted to complain, mind you) given my propensity to descend on BRU with no warning while ttc just to gush over the littleness of the cute items.

I have not yet set foot in BRU, but it's more for lack of being near one at an appropriate time than anything else. I've had the desire and have satiated that with a couple of online browses here and there.

Today the urge hit again and so I decided to be constructive with it. One of my friends has a shower coming up and while I'm not sure that I can make the actual event, I want to get her a kick-ass gift because I've not yet been able to properly thank her for the kick-ass congratulatory gift she left me when we found out we were pregnant with Chickadee. It was the nicest thing ever, and I sucked at reciprocating, so I want to make sure she gets a kick ass gift from me for the baby.

And of course, I know a few other people with registeries going up or recently added and I lurve browsing.

So . . . I may go soon to purchase before the items I want are purchased by someone else. But man oh man . . . the itch is there. I've found myself asking DH about some of the things I want and seeking his opinion . . . mind you, we have a lot of the big gear already purchased or handed down and stored. The big outstanding items are the crib mattress, a pack'n'play, a co-sleeper (which I find vastly overpriced and hope to get used) and a few items in the $50-$80 range (the range I consider 'group gift' or 'family obligation' as I would be unlikely to spend that much myself). I don't anticipate that anyone will throw me a shower, outside work, given how scattered my friends are and how not into the childbearing years quite yet DH's friends are. Still, you never know, someone may think of it and offer. I am glad it's not something we've counted on and have much of the big stuff out of the way already.

Now that I have hit (and little chickie should soon hit) double digits (10 weeks - ish today sort of!), I am finding myself increasingly hopeful. Still nervous and prone to a fit of anxiety, but . . . we're getting there, you know? And those little teeny baby items are looking more and more like they may yet find their way into my home.

In the meantime though - I'll just look and let the itch be scratched by my friends' more pressing needs.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Much better day.

First - Fibercon worked. The box said that it would work in 12 to 72 hours. I went to bed at 8:00 after dozing on the couch for an hour. Within two hours, I was in pain, and went to the bathroom and lawzy, did I poop. We'll suffice it to say I visited the bathroom three times overnight and the scale was over 2 pounds lighter this morning. Yeah, for real.

Second - I tried harder to eat more, even when it seemed gross, and it really did help. I think that the overwhelming amount of sleep made the nausea easier and the food aversions less severe. Or they are just tapering off. Dunno. Still have food aversions and still had nausea today, both before and after eating, but it was a far cry from yesterday's horrifyingness.

Third - I got the big thing done that had to be done. My list for Monday is godawful, but I really feel good about getting this done. My confidence in myself and my job performance has taken a real hit since I got a very mediocre review and pregnancy brain hasn't helped matters at all, nor has feeling so sick and being worried it's affecting my job performance. So getting this done was a big boost to my ego. I needed it. Now I just need to buckle down Monday and move through my list.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bad, bad day.

Spotting - reddish (knew it was probably from yesterday, still frustrating). Nausea. No breakfast. Desperate plea for food. DH brought a cheeseburger which made me gag. Don't even mention the fries (they weren't touched). Pregnancy brain, work meltdown, tears shed in my office.

And then. Then.

Cramps. Awful, clinching, ripping uterine cramps. Horrible. Painful. Terrifying. Reminded me of the cramps I had on misoprostol.

Went to the bathroom, no signs of bleeding. Back to office. Subsides, but sudden urge to vomit came on. Made it back to the bathroom, vomit up earlier cheeseburger. Cramps return. Feel more to the right now (cyst issue? constipation? still having some uterine cramps). Lay down on couch in bathroom for awhile. Doesn't help. Go back to office, nearly double over in pain. Gasp to coworker that I'm having bad cramps and plan to shut my door and lay down on the floor.

Do that. Call DH, starting to feel a little panicky. This is eerily familiar and scary and awful. Still no signs of bleeding. Lay there, talk to him as he tries to make me calm and rational. Feel a little better, roll onto my side and feel immediately a LOT better. Still no signs of bleeding. Start to think maybe this isn't the beginning of a miscarriage, and sit up. Eventually move back to chair.

Friends say I may be dehydrated. Start to say no, and realize, actually probably yes. On their advice, start gulping back water. Drink two and a half glasses in the next 30 minutes and feel way better. Still have a sore spot towards the right. Constipation is suggested - possible. Eating habits (lack thereof, really as I have aversions to 96% of food items available) discussed.

Day continues, but I am still having aches and heaviness and fullness. Figure that I could stomach some chicken and roasted potatoes and french onion soup, so we stop and buy them. I did eat the chicken, though it was close. Potatoes were good, but I fill up quickly these days, so only ate a few of them. Haven't touched the soup yet, will eat some later tonight. Also stopped and bought some Fibercon to help with the constipation. God, I hope it works.

I don't want to relive this day again. One of the worst things? Thinking during the cramping that today should be 9w1d for the chickie and just how unlucky that has been for us. I tried my best to stay calm and not completely lose my shit, and I was partially successful. Still - like I said - be happy with never again, really. Hopefully, the worst is behind us and I will focus on trying my best to stay totally hydrated in future. I never realized the dehydration cramps would be that severe. Sort of like the heartburn vise in my chest that I was concerned was the beginning of a heart attack. It's nuts. I thought I knew a lot about pregnancy, and I guess I do, but I never realized quite how bad or painful it could be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Midwife appointment was good!

Whew. So I moved up my appointment so the midwife could assess the dilation and cervical length/thickness in person and advise from there.

I was nervous going in, but coming out, I felt great.

She was very reassuring in general and specifically regarding the cervix. Length and thickness are good. The dilation is only at the tip and not inconsistent with having had a dilated cervix before. At this point, given no bleeding (at this time), no cramping, so signs of shortening or thinning, she thinks there is no cause for concern, but we will continue to be vigilant. She's going to request that they do a cervical check at the same time as the NT scan for reassurance, and we'll check again at the big anatomical scan and if there are any warning signs we'll do pelvic exams as needed.

No h/b on doppler which was unsurprising, but also unconcerning, since we just saw the baby's strong h/b on Saturday. She said we should definitely hear something by the next appointment, and I could come in sooner if I felt concerned, but that since we're planning the NT scan, it probably wouldn't be necessary, because we'll see the baby on u/s then.

Blood pressure was good, heartrate was good (both are usually elevated in a clinical setting, even on with flowery quilts). Urine dip was fine. No blood draws this time, to both our relief. Weight is down at least 7 pounds - 10 by my scale at home.

Overall, I felt very reassured when I left, and feel much more relaxed and happy about this pregnancy again. I know specifically what to watch out for, and feel calmer about everything. What a relief.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who is the shrieky woman and where is my poo?

First, here is what I ate today: Golden Grahams and milk for breakfast. Vitamins with 4 oz of cranberry-grape juice. Grande non-fat hot chocolate. Serving of Easy Mac. Three handfuls of Gardetto's mix.

I'm telling you that to set the stage. All together . . . it's really not a lot, you know? I don't have any appetite this week. I truly cannot think of a single thing I really want to eat. Just lots of stuff I don't want to eat.

But I started feeling really nauseated by about 5:00. And by 5:45 when we finally left . . . I was feeling weird. Shaky, very nauseated, near vomiting and utterly convinced I needed food as quickly as possible. I realized that the above was not enough, especially since there was zero protein in that combo. The nearby options were very limited, and McDonald's had stayed down well, so there we went. The drive through was at least 10 cars long, so DH hopped out and went inside. I requested small fries to share and two plain cheeseburgers.

What seemed like hours later - all the cars and more had perversely been through the drive through and gone - DH comes back. Peeks in the bag and said, "Huh. Looks like they gave you double cheeseburgers. Oh, and no fries. Crap."

I feel really awful at this point and am starting to shake. But double cheeseburgers . . . that is pushing it, both on the grease, fat and gross level and on the inundated with calories level. I feel a little neurotic as I ask with a desparate edge to my voice, "How the hell can you fucking screw up fucking cheeseburgers? CHEESEBURGERS? Fucking plain cheeseburgers? And no fries? What the everloving fuck?"

Dh looks a little wary and says he can go back in if I want, but it looks like they didn't charge him for the fries. Do I want the fries? I feel tears in my eyes, and I feel really bloody awful and I say, "I don't know, I don't know" (have I ever mentioned that when it comes to decision making when I feel bad or upset, I'm fucking useless? I totally am). Dh is now giving me a side eye and shrinking as far into the corner of his seat as he can when he asks what I would like for him to do about this situation.

Suddenly, bile rising, hands shaking, I turn and SHRIEK - and I mean shriek like a crazy cat lady with strange kids on her lawn - "I DON'T FUCKING CARE WHAT THE FUCK YOU DO BUT GIVE ME SOME GODDAMNED FOOD THIS INSTANT." Wide-eyed, DH hands me double cheeseburger, muttering under his breath something about crazy bitch and hormones. He's forgiven though, because I just shrieked at him over fucking McDonald's fries and cheeseburgers.

I shoved that damn cheeseburger down my throat in about a minute and instantly felt better. Dh did go get fries, and I ate a few bites out of the other burger, and DH finished it. I felt vomity for awhile, but now ok.

However, it did occur to me that I cannot recall the last time I pooped. I started having some uncomfortable cramps on the left side near my ute (but too high) and recognized that as likely to be constipation related. God knows greens, vegetables, fruits and fibers sure have not been part of my diet in the last six weeks. I try to get all of these as I can, but really . . . no. Do drink lots of water, but I suspect, with my reduced fruit and vegetable intake, it's likely only just keeping my hydrated and isn't enough to really help the constipation issue.

So I am sitting here drinking Kals' Shit Cocktail which works for me more often than not - has only failed me once - and hoping it helps. I imagine that my intestines look like they are covered in tar and there isn't enough to really bind the poop together and work it on it's way. No seriously, I've been pondering that as an actual pictorial image in my head for about 10 minutes now, as I sip the sour lemony goodness that I pray brings me relief. Raisins are next up on the list, I suppose. Maybe some applesauce, which doesn't sound as bad as it might on a normal day. Baring that, tomorrow I'll pick up som Colace.

So there you have it, pregnancy continuing to wreak havoc on me and change my personality in ways that frighten my husband.


Today has been a lot better.

Nausea has not been nearly as bad (maybe it was the McDonald's last night?? tasted good and stayed down!) today, which is great. Food aversions abound though, and there is truly very, very little I am at all inclined to eat. Fun times, yo.

I slept very well last night - very involved dreams, but I can't remember them at all.

I felt a feeling of peace come over me this morning, a feeling that all will be well. I don't know for certain whether or not that is really true or quite where it comes from, but I am grateful for at least a small restoration of peace in my spirit.

I talked with the mw last night and she listened to my concerns and explained a little about why she isn't concerned but took me seriously and agrees that following up is the right move. I'm going to see her tomorrow for an exam, and she is going to request the records from the ER so she can read the u/s report and get a better sense of the cervical length (which is the bigger indicator of incompetant cervix). I also got a couple of good recommendations for OB's who DO take my insurance, so I'm ready to go for a second opinion or to transfer care if it is necessary. Not my first choice, but obviously, the health and safety of the baby is the top priority.

So, there is some relief in feeling like I've got at least the beginning of a plan, in some form of action and hopefully reassurance. If nothing else, keeping a monitoring eye on it is comforting.

So thanks for all the thoughts, wishes, and prayers. We're moving along. I am 9.5 weeks and the little chicken should be catching up to 9 weeks as well soon. Just moving right along.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Still trucking. Barely.

1. I'm beginning to feel mildly better about the events of Saturday. This is aided by the spotting being just about gone and no unusual cramping or pain to speak of. However, I am totally terrified by the dilation thing. Even though they said it was probably ok, I'm researching cervical insufficiency and trying to figure out how best to keep an eye on the dilation and get it treated (usually with cerclage and bedrest) if necessary. I have a call in to discuss further with the MW and will see what she says and have spent some time looking for an OB that I can see for a second opinion if necessary. I'm trying to be positive, but it's terrifying. Cervical incompetancy is a diagnosis that is generally made after a loss. At least I have a heads up that there may be a potential issue, so it can be monitored and that is what I am trying to focus on. It doesn't help that the signs are literally - vaginal bleeding or spotting, increased discharge - possibly mucuosy, and abdominal pressure. Well, had the weird bleeding, and now feel pressure and notice discharge, but how much of that is hyper-awareness? Trying not to jump the gun here, but . . . well . . . I sort of suck at that.

2. In more reassuring news, vomit. Everywhere. We went out to the Melting Pot and I got my mushrooms and things were pretty good. As soon as we left I started feeling warm and flushed. About halfway home I realized I was going to vomit, the question was when (I was driving). I made it home (with lots of muttered prayers and invectives) and into the back door, stripped, got into the bathroom where my husband handed me a bucket and . . . up came the expensive lunch and the breakfast I'd consumed hours earlier. Very little stayed down.

This morning didn't seem promising, though the Golden Grahams I chanced stayed down. Later on, I tried a muffin and some v8 fusion. Eventually the fusion came back up, though the muffin appears to have settled far enough down that it's going to stay there. For now. And I have officially vomited at work. Yeehaw.

3. I decided, in a weird, round about sort of logical way, that fuck it all, I am not changing my fucking tickers. I don't believe that I got a pregnancy test at 5 dpo, which means that though the little chicken may have taken her sweet time dividing cells or whatever, I have been pregnant for this length of time and damn it, I want some fucking credit for it. I am mindful that the chicken is not quite in line with my ticker, but hell, it's all a guessing game anyway. The chicken could be born at 37 weeks or at 42 weeks, and these four days or so really won't make a big difference. So the hell with it, even if it's just to make myself feel better, I am relieved to be beyond 9w1d, and Friday, the chicken will have hit that benchmark too. Good Enough For Me. It seemed pointless to relive that time given the fact that I have been pregnant this whole time. So why bother?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You know what? I'm angry.

I'm angry that the clot thing happened. I'm angry that I was ripped out of the place of peace I'd reached, and that the happiness and lack of fear I'd finally found are taken away. I'm angry that the baby only measured 8.5 weeks, and that I have to relive that stressful period of the end of 8 weeks and the beginning of 9 weeks all over again. I'm angry that I can't just take comfort and be relieved to know that the baby is ok.

I'm angry that I couldn't see the h/b on the u/s myself and that I didn't get a good look at the baby - it feels like relying on someone else's words. I'm angry that the ER staff might think I just wanted another u/s or something. I'm angry that I was starting to feel good and feel ready to work out and now I am not supposed to. I'm angry I have 4.5 weeks until the end of first tri, not 4 weeks. I'm angry that my calmness is shattered and that I am back to feeling total terror and analyzing every single thing.

I'm angry that the ER said threatened miscarriage and that my history could mean things weren't ok. I've never lost a healthy baby. In fact, I've always been told that my body is very good at hanging onto pregnancies, even well past their expiration dates or abnormalities. It's been one of the few comforts of this pregnancy - thinking that as long as everything was ok with the baby, we were in the clear. Now, it's in the back of my head that my body may not work the way it should and may betray us into a miscarriage or pre-term birth. I'm angry that they put that thought in my head and I'm angry that I can't get it out. I'm angry that I am now overanlyzing every twinge and cramp and feeling of pressure, with a sick feeling of waiting for the cramps to become regular and for the contractions to start which will end this all.

I'm angry that I don't think I can adequately explain how terrifying that very big, very red clot out of absolutely nowhere (I was napping, ffs) was, and so it might seem like I was overreacting. I'm angry that the terror won't go away. I'm angry that I'm back in a scared, frightened place and that this time, I don't know when I will come out of it. I was out of it before. And now . . . I'm not.

It's bloody fucking infuriating, actually. I feel so helpless and so fragile, and I'm fucking livid that that was thrust on me when I was finally feeling strong and secure. I want my peace back, but instead, I'm examining the toilet paper closely (still some light staining) and googling to find info about an open cervix (which I don't recommend, as it's pretty grim overall).

We were supposed to be celebrating our making it past the minefield date at lunch today - and filling my cravings - and instead, I'm reliving that fucking time again and I don't want to leave the house, honestly. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Utter terror = visit to ER

First - I'll just get this out there so you can stop reading if you just want the bare bones and no details. Baby is ok, measured 8w3d, which is exactly 2w3d since our u/s dated us 6w even two weeks and three days ago. Heart rate was 182 bpm.

Background, or why I went to the ER in the first place: After taking a nap and feeling perfectly normal, I laid in bed reading. Completely out of nowhere, with absolutely no warning whatsoever, I felt a warm gush of fluid into my vagina. Went into the bathroom and saw red blood. I passed something into the toilet, wiped, found a lot of red blood. Wiped up, yelled in a panic for my husband, stood up and saw a very large clot in the toilet. It was triangular, about the size of a square of toilet paper folded diagonally, or a little smaller. DH saw that, and we talked about what to do. I checked internally, and found that my cervix felt about the same as the last time I checked - a little open, but low and mushy.

We called my mw, who advised that we go to the ER. By this point, there is just a little pink or brown spotting, even internally. No real sign of bleeding. She said we could wait until Monday if we wanted to, but that for my peace of mind, given it was out of nowhere and I said my symptoms had declined some over the previous week, and given my history, she strongly advised just going and getting the ultrasound, so we would know for sure.

I hung up and called my mom and started crying. Then we drove to the hospital across the street and found the ER and got in, at which point I was visibly shaking. They were very kind and triaged me immediately and sent me back immediately to a room with a bed. Things seemed to move fairly quickly, and they drew blood (had a lot of trouble though, had to try both arms and only barely got enough for the quantitative beta). Left an IV port in and holy hell, that hurt a lot. Jason called a couple of friends for me and then got pulled out to do paperwork and they took a history and did a pelvic exam. The PA immediately said there was some 'old blood' around my cervix but no active bleeding. She also said I was a fingertip dilated, but only at the opening, not all the way through. I was worried about that, but she said it's not uncommon in women who have had cervical dilation, as I have had. She was surprised that the clot was red and that it was out of nowhere, but it totally was - no cramping, no spotting, no nothing. I asked about the size of my uterus and she said she could feel a fullness, but didn't check for anything, preferring to wait for the u/s.

They got me in fairly quickly for the ultrasound. The tech asked a few questions and I told her I was really nervous and why. She said she understood and hoped things would be ok. She started with an abdominal u/s, and the screen was turned away from us. After a quick look, she said, "I am not allowed to tell you anything or interpret the results for you, a doctor has to do that. But there is nothing wrong with you watching if you'd like." And she turned the screen towards us. DH had a good view, but I didn't. She was moving fast. I got to see the baby a few times, and it was definitely a lot bigger than the last time, but I couldn't see a heartbeat and couldn't ask DH if he did. There was one point that she was clearly checking for a heartrate, but I couldn't tell whether it was there or not or what it was, partially from not knowing exactly what we were looking at but also because of the angle, I couldn't see the entire screen or anything she typed. She then said she wanted to do a vaginal u/s to double check.

I honestly felt like her allowing us to watch was based on reassuring us, that she wouldn't have turned the screen if there was no h/b. But then I was afraid she was gently trying to let us know that. And I was worried that she wanted to do a vag u/s (the last time we started with one and switched, it was with Chickadee and that didn't go well). Unfortunately, due to the position I was in, she couldn't turn the screen for me to see, but turned it so DH could. I squeezed his hand and gave up a thumbs up/thumbs down sign. He just shook his head and watched. He was concentrating pretty hard, and I was getting nervous. After what seemed like forever, he squeezed my hand and gave me a thumbs up, tapped his chest and mouthed 'heartbeat' - he told me after it was clear as a flashing Christmas light. The tech said she would review the images, send them to the ER doc and he or she would come talk to us.

We went back to the room, and about 45 minutes later - during which time DH told me that he saw the heartbeat and saw her type 182 bpm and that the gestational sac measured close to 10 weeks and he was sure all was well - they came back and told me I could get dressed again (thank goodness, I felt gushy after the pelvic exam and the u/s goo) and took out the devil IV port. The PA came back, handed me labwork (beta was a little under 97,000) and said all looked well. Baby was fine, yolk sac was fine, gestational sac was fine. Heartrate was 182 bpm, which was normal, baby measured 8w3d. She asked me about that, since I'd said I was nearly 9 weeks when I first went in and I said that matched the last u/s to the day. She said total pelvic rest and rest with my feet up as much as possible. She said there was no clear or obvious cause of the clot or bleeding and no signs of further bleeding. She said while all looked good and normal now, they couldn't say everything would be ok, given my history, but that for now, all looked well. Follow up with my OB, and take it easy.

I feel pretty reassured after the terror, because my miscarriages have never been totally spontaneous abortions - they've been mostly missed miscarriages, where development stops and we find out weeks after the fact. So given that there is clearly a healthy baby in there now and that according to u/s, my cervix looks ok (though I'm going to take it very easy and ask Jackie to check up - though I'd previously read about cervical dilation potentially causing an opening at the vaginal end and that being ok), I am feeling pretty good. I'm crampy now, but between a pelvic exam and two u/s, that is to be expected, as is some spotting over the next week.

I should probably change my tickers, which still say 9 weeks, based on ovulation, but honestly? 9w has sort of been a benchmark and it sucks, and I refuse to relive this again. I told DH I'd be happy to relive 11 weeks or 13 weeks, but I'll just leave things as they are, with a disclaimer it may be a little ahead. Don't care. Just happy the chicken is ok, even if we don't know why it happened.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm getting bitchy.

At least on the interwebs.

Actually, I think it's less that I'm getting bitchy and more that I am caring less and less about being nice. More easily irritated might be the polite way to put it. I don't go out of my way to be snarky or mean. I just don't sugar-coat or search for the most politic responses right now.

I mean . . . bloody hell. Use some common freaking sense people. Someone asked about their beta and if anyone could compare. Instead of looking it up on betabase, which I am capable of doing, I gave her the website and advised her to google it. That's not totally bitchy, nor is it totally helpful. Someone asked if their sig was too big, and I responded bluntly, 'Yes. It takes up my entire monitor.' Someone made a flippant comment about being jealous over early u/s and I went through a very thorough explanation about why that jealousy was unwarranted. I was called rude and told I flamed her. Which was sort of funny, because as I read it, it was a firm, but still reserved explanation of the other side of the picture.

Lately there have been complaints about people being more outright rude or mean. I haven't considered myself part of that demographic - I don't call people names, I try to keep to points, and generally participate when I have something to add and not just to insult someone - but it wouldn't surprise me much anymore if others saw it differently.

Oh well . . . that's life on the interwebs, I suppose. I do care about being even keeled and compassionate, but I simply find I haven't got the patience to put up with a lot of stupid these days.

I also find less and less patience for false optimism and hopeful responses to the multitude of posts that seem to be cropping up with January moms as they make their first visits to the doctor. There have been several posts along these lines 'I am supposed to be 8 weeks by LMP and I got a positive test on May 17, but there was no h/b or fetal pole. My doc says I just ovulated late, but that's pretty weird. I can't believe I have to redo three weeks! I'm supposed to go back in 2 weeks and see what's going on.'

While one or two of these may truly be a case of mistaken dates and ridiculously early pregnancy tests . . . most of these are going to be early miscarriages/blighted ovums. Because three weeks after your positive pregnancy test . . . you should see more than just a sac. I don't know whether their doctors are trying to be kind and hopeful or if the patients are not hearing the words of warning or what . . . but there are tons of posts in response that say that the poster must indeed have ovulated or implanted late. Which . . . happens, yes. But the dates add up to bleak pictures. It's all I can do not to go in and say 'Well, that is possible and I wish you the very best and hope you see a fabulous baby and heartbeat in two weeks, but honestly, it's probably a miscarriage, because your dates are all kinds of off.'

Or be blunt with someone who has spotting. I usually want to say, 'Bottom line - about a fourth to a third of all women will experience bleeding or spotting in pregnancy. Half will go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies, the other half will miscarry.' I do say that sometimes, if someone asks clearly for honest advice. But the rest of the time, it's so negative that I am afraid it's unnecessarily insensitive.

I just don't have a lot of patience for blind positivity. I do wish these women well and I hope things work out for them. But I can't bring myself to just rah-rah them with well wishes. I'd rather someone were honest with me, and so I loathe being dishonest. But neither do I wish to cause even more grief or worry . . . so I try to bite my tongue.

Still . . . the filter is being stretched thin.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Letter to Chickadee

Dear little one,

Today was your edd. Months ago, which sometimes feels like lifetimes and worlds ago, your daddy and I expected to be holding you in our arms soon. If not by today, then soon. And instead, of course, we learned that that was not to be, and we gave you and our dreams of you up.

I'm sorry that we never got to see you, or hold you, or tell you how much we loved you and wanted you. I'm sorry for regrets we lived through, and for all the pain we suffered when we lost you. But I'm not sorry for the brief experience of you, and being pregnant with you and being your mother and loving you.

I still find it easier to write to you, after all these months, my little baby that never was, than to the baby that very much is, currently growing inside me. I feel more secure with this little one, and every day that passes, the closer we get to moving past when we lost you, I feel better. The nausea that overwhelms me and kicks my ass this week especially reassures me. As afraid as I have been for this little chicken, I feel a peace deep down, and a joy that was not there with you, and an appreciation of our blessing that I would not have were it not for the experience of you.

I still think of you, Chickadee, and miss you - or rather miss what could have been. When I get very afraid, touching your tattoo brings me some peace. But if I'm being honest, loved one, this date crept up on me. I'd known it was coming, but my focus has been so pinpointed on making it past 9 weeks with this little chicken, and on how I am feeling and coping, and just consumed by life in general . . . that I forgot. I was startled to see today's date and a little ashamed when it hit me that the reason it seemed so familiar was because of you.

I think, actually, that it is healthy. Life has gone on, and we've gone with it. We have a new baby to prepare for, one that we love as much as we loved you, and wanted just as badly. This baby will not replace you, nor will he/she live in the shadow of your memory. Already, this little chicken is totally different. I am sad for your loss, but no longer overwhelmed or defined by it. There is a bright spot in our lives, but that doesn't mean you are forgotten.

I haven't been able to write to the chickie yet . . . but maybe that's because this is the letter that needed to be written first. There will always be a place in my heart that is yours alone, but I am fortunate that there is no limit to how large my heart can expand.

We miss you and love you. And we are so grateful for the little chicken that is with us now.

Always -

Mama and Daddy

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Well, that's a relief then.

Symptoms abound.

Nearly threw up in the car.

Feel utterly miserable.


Now what the hell do I do about dinner?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A more positive post - cravings

Ok, yesterday, I had the most ridiculous, out of the blue, completely inexplicable craving for astronaut ice cream. You know, the freeze dried stuff that basically comes in neopolitan or cookies and cream and sort of melts on your tongue like baked meringue and that you can mostly find at science museums or middle school dances? Yeah, that stuff. So I immediately went to Ebay and bought a 10 pack. Why Ebay? I remember that one of my favorite sellers sells it - I had to find some when I discovered two years ago that my husband had a horribly neglected childhood and had never tried it before and I haven't thought of it since.

I'm counting the days until it gets here.

And also, much as I want to blame Blair for this, I can't. She spurred me into action, but it was in place before hand. I am dying to go back to The Melting Pot. When we were there over a month ago, we finally tried the oil cooking style (when my mom and I first went, we tried the coq au vin). If you've never been to The Melting Pot, allow me to explain in the brief paragraph following, if you have, skip ahead.

The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant. Most people have had cheese or chocolate fondue - and they do these excellently there - but like me, had never had meat fondue before. Basically, if you order The Big Night Out, you pay a ridiculous price for a four course meal for 2. The first course is cheese, which they make table side; we've had traditional Swiss each time. I think we'll branch out for the next, but whether it will be Cheddar or Spinach artichoke, I haven't decided. Then they bring you salad, I highly recommend the Ceasar with their parmesan crusted baked pine nuts (or little crispy sweet bits of heaven). Then they bring out a giant-ass plate of seasoned, portions meats. We get the fusion, which comes with pork, chicken, ravioli like purses, sirloin, shrimp, lobster and filet mignon. And veggies - potatoes, broccoli, giant mushroom caps. And you cook it a piece at a time, in a 'style' of your choice - either a broth base with different flavors or in oils and there are tons of sauces to try with it all. Following that, you heave a sigh when they bring you dessert and then you roll yourself out of there. So delicious.

Anyway, as I said before, when DH and I went, we cooked in oil, per my friend's recommendation. And OMG. I can't wait to take my mom back and do it again with her. They bring out batters! And they bring out a green goddess sauce, which you can fill the mushroom cap with, and then you dip the mushroom cap in the batter and you have a fried, stuffed mushroom. And it was divine.

And I've been dreaming about it. And when Blair talked about her birthday plans, it reminded me of my birthday. And my meal at The Melting Pot. And OMG I want those fucking mushrooms again. The rest is good and all, but I NEED those fucking mushrooms.

So I talked my husband into it - he liked it well enough, but it's pricey and he isn't a fan of cooking his own food for that much money, but he loves me and wants me to shut up about the goddamned mushrooms, so we're going this weekend.

I can't wait. I am literally thinking about those damn mushrooms whenever I stare off into space. Oh, and did I mention, I am eating a pickle as I type this? Dill, naturally. Sweet pickles are from the devil.

Feeling fragile today.

I pretty much just copied and pasted the below from a post I wrote on SAL, because it pretty much summed up how I'm feeling today.

I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm freaking out, but the symptoms seem to be declining. My breasts are not as tender or achey as they were, though still full and if I poke and prod them or sleep on them or something, they hurt. My nausea is nowhere near as bad as last week. It's still there, but it doesn't seem constant. Insomnia made a return, and I'm getting much more thirsty than before, and my skin still turns to an oil slick within four hours of washing it, and all that jazz . . . but there are now hours that pass where I don't feel pregnant at all.

I know I should be grateful for those reprieves, and I know it's not uncommon for symptoms to start declining between 8 and 10 weeks, as hormone levels are naturally leveling out, and blah blah blah . . . but we're so close to when we learned the bad news about Chickadee. All day long I've expected spotting to start, and I feel freaked out that symptoms are declining, since they were declining rapidly by this point with Chickadee as my body figured out it wasn't viable.
It's so difficult to remain positive and trust that the heartbeat we saw was in fact a good heartbeat (the interwebs and the u/s tech said so, but most people seemed to be in the 120's . . .) and that this little chicken is still going strong. I'd feel better if I were violently vomiting again, honestly. And my next appointment is 2 weeks from Friday. I wanted to be as far as possible to improve our odds of hearing a h/b on doppler, but now I'm getting worried and scared. My friend offered me use of her doppler when it comes in, but it isn't here yet and I'm afraid to try and not hear a h/b.

It's just stressful. And I'm sort of tired of it, you know? I just want to know things are ok, and no one can tell me that or promise me that even if I could have another u/s in an hour that things would be ok in two weeks, you know?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Walking cliche

My lunch?

Not the nutritionally balanced vegetable soup or chicken noodle soup with orange, fiber bar and yogurt that my DH lovingly packed for me.

Nope. Easy Mac. And plain Pringles if I want them. And Sprite. And water.

Also, I really like pickles. Not like intense cravings for them, but it's one thing I can reliably eat. And DH mocks me every.single.time.

Ridiculous, no?