Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hello, fetal pole!

Yesterday we had our first ultrasound. It was -- still is -- surreal. We saw the yolk sac, fetal pole and fluttering heartbeat. Really, we saw a blurry blob with a quivering middle, but the ultrasound tech assured us it contained all those parts.

It's measuring right on time: 6 weeks, 5 days. Expected due date = Sept. 15.

One more milestone down. Countless more to go.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

As I lay dying

If hell exists, there must be a special place reserved for whomever termed this "morning" sickness.

A new combo -- half a Unisom before bed, a B complex vitamin in the AM -- takes the edge off. But I am far from feeling well.

The past two days have been hell. Yesterday, I didn't even leave my bed. This is like the world's worst hangover with no relief in sight.

How do other women deal?

Monday, January 18, 2010

And so it begins

Morning sickness. More accurately, in my case, all-day-nausea peaking at bedtime. I honestly feel hungover. Not that I'm complaining. Every new symptom makes this thing -- this pregnancy -- feel more real.

It started Friday night. Just a knot in my stomach as we were going to bed. "I don't feel so great," I said before curling up in a fetal position and going to sleep. The next day, it was still there. And the next. And today.

This morning, after laying in bed for an hour, I finally gathered the will to get up and walk into the kitchen to scrounge up something to soothe this gnawing feeling in my gut. Only steps down the hallway I was assaulted by the most offensive, stomach-turning smell: chicken noodle soup. So I retreated to the bedroom to wait for Chris to remedy the stench of his breakfast.

Perhaps I should be grateful the nausea seems to peak in the evenings. I hate mornings enough already; no need to add vomit to the mix. But I fear this will get worse before it gets better.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

P.S. It's a peanut

Yes, according to Visible Embryo, this is growing inside me.

One step forward

Today I got the results of my second beta HCG test. The results were near perfect.

CD 30 = 514
CD 34 = 2440

The doctor is looking for my levels to be doubling every 48 hours. And I'm right on track. Actually a wee bit ahead of the curve.

It's hard to restrain my excitement about that good news. Obviously it's still way early. But ... Yay!

Our first ultrasound is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Life is tenuous

Only hours after my first positive pregnancy test, fear set in. What if I can't sustain this pregnancy?

This weekend, that fear came to life.

Saturday afternoon, right after I got off the phone with a friend who was trying to find out if I was pregnant (don't make me regret making you one of the few I've confided in) I went to the bathroom and saw blood.

Bright red spots. In my underwear, and on the toilet paper. And there were more dots when I went to the bathroom a second time. (Now I know why they call it "spotting.")

Since the doctor's office was closed, I turned to the Internet, where I learned bright red = bad. Dark brown or pink = not necessarily bad.

At that point, my only option for medical care was the ER. Since I wasn't having heavy bleeding or bad cramping, and since I knew it was too early for doctors to do or see anything anyway, I stayed home to wait it out.

The term "chemical pregnancy" is a terrible one. It implies there's nothing lost. Just a "whoops" on the pregnancy test, a little blip in hormones that didn't mean anything. These implications are false, of course. Because even if the physical damage is minimal, the emotional impact is devastating.

I was overcome with a horrible, helpless feeling. There was nothing anyone could know for sure, and nothing I could do about it either way.

I finally called Chris — who was working — and broke down in tears. Sobbing out of control. He tried to reassure me that we would be OK. We knew how to "make" a baby now, and we could do it again. He put my emotional pain above his own fear, anger, helplessness. He was amazing. I do love that boy.

I took a nap. And when I woke up, the spotting had stopped. But the fear did not.

Today, I finally talked to the nurse. It turns out sex can cause the type of spotting I had. She says intercourse won't cause miscarriage. But it turns out pregnant sex can have a nasty side effect.

So no more pregnant sex for me. Not until I can feel more confident about staying pregnant.

When can I allow myself to feel excited about this?

Friday, January 8, 2010

A new dog toy

I didn't want my mother-in-law finding used pregnancy tests in her trash, so every time I took one, I put it back in the wrapper, and put those in a plastic baggie that went into my suitcase.

Today, my dog found those used pee sticks fermenting in the ziplock, still in my suitcase because I hate unpacking. And what did he do? He chewed them!

It is gross and funny all at the same time.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

What a girl wants

I'm fiending for a hot bath. With my new favorite Bath and Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint body wash (which makes one fabulous bubble bath).

My HCG beta test got rescheduled for tomorrow, due to blizzard-like conditions. And even though I had to haul my frozen ass to work, I told the doctor's office, of course, I'd be happy to reschedule, and save someone else from having to come to work. Anyway, I'm a tangled up knot of anxiety waiting for the results of a test I haven't even taken, and since I can't have a drink or a bath, I'm going to blog.

When I was young, I hated baths. Mostly because my parents wouldn't let me take showers. Yes, I grew up in one of those households where as many kids as possible were cycled through the same tub of water. I don't miss those days.

I rediscovered baths last year (because 2009 is officially so last year) as a wonderful relief for sore muscles. And then, when I fell in love with Eucalyptus Spearmint, I abandoned TV for the tub. For the two weeks leading up to the IUI, I was taking a bath almost daily to relax. I'd come home from work, eat dinner, and sit in the tub for two hours reading books like Maybe Baby, a fabulous collection of essays about negative, positive and ambivalent feelings toward reproduction, and Having a Baby When the Old-Fashioned Way Isn't Working, a sometimes humorous first-person narrative of Cindy Margolis' experience with infertility.

At least until I can ask a real doctor (just because the Internet says so, doesn't mean it's true, but that doesn't mean I haven't Googled "baths while pregnant," like, 100 times to try to find some source that says it's totally OK), I'm trying to avoid the tub.

I found this site, according to which I am carrying something most closely resembling a lentil, except smaller. Or "a donut with a line," according to Chris. Judge for yourself.

Anyway, I like lentil soup, but not a cooked lentil baby. And I'm ready for the results of that test, dammit.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Believe it or not

This afternoon, for only the second time in my life, a Clear Blue Digital test glowed "Pregnant" at me.

The first time was yesterday morning.

In between the two digital tests, I also peed on two regular pregnancy tests. Both showed faint, but distinct second pink lines.

So, four over-the-counter tests have confirmed what I hope will stick: My first pregnancy. The result of 14 months' collaboration by doctors, nurses, lab techs, pharmacists, my dear husband and myself.

Yesterday, I was so certain the test would be negative -- only 11 days past the IUI (10 days past ovulation?) and at least three, if not five, days before I expected my period. Anyway, I was so certain, I hopped in the shower without even waiting for the test result.

My husband, let's call him Chris, got out of the shower before me, but when I asked him what it said, he simply replied, "Let's wait and look together."

I finally finished, wrapped myself in a towel and padded over to the bathroom counter. There was no uncertainty, no pink line to analyze. Just a digital screen glaring "Pregnant." Chris started doing some victory dance, but suddenly, I was so overcome by emotion, I just started crying. No, sobbing. Uncontrollably. Chris picked me up and hugged me so hard. But I couldn't stop. Getting here has been so hard.

All these months, I have been trying not to torture myself by imagining what it would be like. And now I am. Pregnant. Just like that. Other than my nipples feeling like they're pressed against blocks of ice, I feel pretty normal. A little backache and some bloating, but nothing that couldn't be blamed on PMS or too much Chinese food.

Thursday I go for a blood test, and 48 hours later for a second blood test to measure my HCG levels and make sure this is real.

I still can't believe it.