chicken little

Things are probably going a lot better than I realize right now,  but this is the foggy part of the journey where I don’t recognize any of the road signs so I feel lost.   My next doctor’s appointment and ultrasound was meant to be next week, but I got it moved up to tomorrow afternoon because I keep panicking about cramps I’m occasionally having.  While I am managing to stay positive and settle into the idea that yes, this is really happening,  I still can’t be cool about cramps.  Not while they keep telling me my hormone levels are screwy.   I need to stay away from Google.  Googling the words “bad cramps” and “early pregnancy” together gets you nothing but nightmares.

So I keep hitting the panic button and paging the on-call nurse.  This is the only  time it is a good thing to hear somebody laugh at you like your question is silly.  Yes, I want this to be a silly thing I’m panicking about.  I want the nurse to laugh at me.  Please, nice lady, tell me I’m being stupid right now and I’d feel much better if I farted.

In the meantime I’m exhausted all the time, but still trying to carry on with things that need to be done, like going to work, and looking for more work.  I figure I should work as much as I can while I still can and right now i only have a very part time job.  So with all these new anxieties and very little energy,  I still have to show up for job interviews pretending to be perky and alert.   I haven’t gotten all the way sick yet, but I as of this week I am in a constant state of feeling like I might.  I basically feel like I have a really, really, really bad hangover all day long… but still the reality of the whole thing hasn’t really set in yet.

But just this morning when I woke up and rubbed my tummy,  I noticed something unfamiliar under my hand.   Down very low,  my belly is getting swollen.  The baggy shorts I wear around the house don’t quite want to snap anymore…

This is really happening, isn’t it?

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brain drain

hi all

i’ve been wanting to write but i haven’t really had the energy to.  I’ll give a quick update and then go back to bed.  (forgive typos and bad grammar- i am flat on my back right now with my computer balanced on a pillow in my lap)

Had my blood drawn (AGAIN) last week.  The hCG number (which was the problem before) is good, but now my progesterone number has dropped.  you never want to hear about things dropping…  So now I am taking a prescription progesterone suppository every night.  Good times.  The side effects are that what ever your symptoms were before, they get much worse– and my main symptom before was having no energy.

I’m trying not to freak out about the numbers game again this time like I did before… it would be hard to freak out about anything right now anyway.  All I do is sleep.

more later ~ *hugs and thanks*

funny little lies

Writing about this journey has become awkward but I know I need to keep doing it, if only for the sake of my own sanity.   When I started writing,  the topic was infertility and the confusion that comes with it.  That was easy to write and joke about as  I was intimately familiar with the subject matter.  It has been a constant part of my life for so long that I needed to write about it to keep the experience of it from crushing me.

Now I have crossed a border into new territory.  It’s hard to write about where you are when you have no idea where you are.   I am excited,  but frightened… thrilled, but confused… animated with new joy, but fatigued to the point not being able to have emotions at all.  All the opposing feelings balance (or cancel) each other out and leave me with something like numbness,  suspended in a bubble where part of me doesn’t even know how to believe my own new reality.  It’s a weird trip,  and I know I need to keep chronicling it just in case somebody else is lost out here too and can use the trail of breadcrumbs.

Not being able to shout it out to the world yet is another odd factor.  This is the biggest deal in my life,  and I am supposed to act like it’s not happening for a while… just in case.  I think it’s that ugly just in case that is keeping me handcuffed to all my old fears.  I have told a couple of my closest friends, but most of my them live in another time zone so there is still a sense of detachment from the whole thing.  Even my mother and mother in law live in another city, so I haven’t had been able to directly experience the tears and hugs that should be part of The Big News.   So most of my time in public is spent lying.   “How have you been?”  “Oh…you know… just really tired.”  “Really?  Are you okay? What’s up?”  “Oh, nothing… I think it’s the heat…”  Meanwhile the inside of my brain is screaming like a kidnap victim “I AM LYING TO YOU RIGHT NOW! FIGURE THAT OUT AND MAKE ME TELL YOU THE TRUTH!”

Funny thing is that up until now everything odd that I said or did or felt made people assume I was pregnant ans ask me about it.   Now that it’s true and I have been acting weird and sick,  no one is saying a word.  Maybe I finally got everyone trained to not dare bug me about that.  Maybe I bit off enough heads in the past that the word got out not to even make the suggestion in my presence.  Husband keeps having to go out to dinners and birthday parties without me, saying “She hasn’t been feeling well” or “She was too tired.”  That has to be obvious right?   But I just get messages of “Hope you feel better soon!” in response to my sudden anti-social mystery illness behavior.   It’s funny… and weird… and lonely.

I suppose I could consider this self-imposed period of isolation a sort of cocoon phase.  I’m just hanging out alone while I learn how to transform and shed the skin of my past life.  Soon enough I’ll be able to bust out of my shell and show off the new M.G.  But for now,  maybe I’ll work on making “Must be the heat” as obviously fake as possible until somebody finally calls me on my BS.

 

steady

Just got back from the doctor’s office…

where I saw

a teeeeeeny tiny little flickering heartbeat.

It even surprised him.  I’m only 5 and a half weeks so he was just looking for the egg sac.  Everything was there… the sac, the yolk, an impossibly small two and a half millimeter smudge which apparently is my kid…

and  a heartbeat.

So far so good.

….aaaaaand exhale.

The captain has turned off the fasten seatbelts sign.  Feel free to move about the cabin.

turbulence

5 weeks and 3 days pregnant.   Still haven’t cried about being pregnant,  and shouldn’t I be crying about everything by now?  Also haven’t had a touch of morning sickness,  although my tummy is cramped all the time from all the iron in the prenatal vitamins.  These should be good things, right?  I’m not a mess.  So why do they scare the crap out of me?

Today I had my third blood test.   The first two times I was told that my numbers were great, “unexpectedly high” even.  Today I got a call saying that my hCG level is lower than they expected for where I am… low enough that they want me to go in tomorrow for an early ultrasound.

You know, I had been so excited for my first ultrasound.  I knew it would be the thing to make this whole thing seem real for me.  Now I’m terrified.  Now I am crying….

fear of flying

So it’s been a week since I found out, and I still haven’t cried. Well, that’s not entirely true.

One of the physical things I have been experiencing is cramping late at night.  The other night the cramps were bad enough that they woke me up, which scared the crap out of me and made me cry.  I did some 3a.m. Googling to make sure it was normal,  Husband made me a heating pad out of moist dishtowels microwaved in a plastic bag,  and eventually I was able to calm down and sleep again for a while.

I find myself doing more Paranoid Symptom Googling now than before.  I am obsessively checking to make sure everything I am feeling is normal, especially since I am so crampy.  I think part of the reason I haven’t really given into rejoicing over this moment is that part of me is so horrified of losing this thing that I can’t be properly psyched about it.  There are waves of cautious giddiness,  but it isn’t completely real to me yet.   It’s like I won a million dollars in the lottery,  but the check hasn’t arrived yet and there are still a bunch of bills to pay so I can’t plan the party just yet.

Also,  after all that time where I hated to hear about other people becoming pregnant I find myself wondering now who might be somehow offended or hurt by my success.  It’s  like that million dollar check is on its way but I don’t want to rub it in anybody’s face in case they are flat broke like I was before.  The difference though, is that at least I might be able to share the million bucks… this thing is all mine.

See what I keep saying?  “This thing”?  I don’t mean the kid,  I mean the success… the pregnancy… those are the “things” I don’t let myself say very much yet.  Sometimes I text the words “I am pregnant!” to Husband just to see how it looks and see if I believe it.  There were so many times just before my period started that I really believed it so strongly, and I was always wrong.  There were so many times that I “just knew” like they say you will,  and I was always wrong.  I have “felt pregnant” many times before without being that way.  Now that I finally am,  I don’t think I “feel pregnant” at all yet.  I just feel nervous and anxious and a little spooked by all the unfamiliar  creaks and groans my machinery is making.

Okay I just figured it out.   You know what this is like? (You guys know I do love a metaphor…)  It’s like my whole life I have wanted to go on this dream vacation to see the world.  I have been looking at everyone else’s vacation photos and listening to all their fabulous travel stories wishing I could get there, too, one day.  Now I’m finally on my way,  but before I get there, I have to get on an airplane and fly over the ocean for a long,  long time.   I was so excited to get my tickets,  so excited to pack and head to the airport,  but now that the plane is starting to take off all I can think of is everything that might go wrong.   My ears start to pop and I panic, wondering if anyone else’s ears are popping or if maybe my head is about to explode.   I hear the wheels shift back and lock into their hiding place and I panic again wondering if they are really supposed to make all that noise.   The ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign keeps coming back on and freaking me out.   We pass through a cloud and there is turbulence… “Shit! Shit! Shit! What was THAT”    The nurses at the fertility clinic are the stewardesses,  patiently masking their amusement and/or annoyance at my repeated calls of  “Is this normal?  Is this safe?  How does this thing work?!”

Yep, that’s exactly what it is:  Fear of flying.   I can’t get excited about this lucky lottery dream vacation I’m going on until I convince myself that the plane is not going to crash, and I should just sit back and enjoy this gorgeous heavenly view… turbulence and all.

Up, up , and away!

numb~

It freaks me out that I’m not freaking out yet.  I mean, look at the name of my blog… I freak out about things.  This is the biggest thing to freak out about in all of my 38 years– so why am I not freaking out??

This was the cycle that we were taking a “break” from treatments, partly for financial reasons, and  partly because our doctor had concerns about Husband’s sperm numbers and wanted him to get checked out again.  Turned out his swimmers got bad grades in the morphology class,  which meant that not enough of them were formed correctly and wouldn’t survive the trip.    I asked my doctor if this was an impotant factor in why I wasn’t getting pregnant and she said “Of course!  Combined with your scarring and your advanced age.”  (Usually the word “advanced” is a good thing,  like if you are taking an advanced class in school… but youch!)

So there were no high hopes- we weren’t getting any help, and the doctor had broken down for me all the reasons we needed it.   But we were too broke to continue for a while, so I was prepared for months of sulking and disappointment.   Still I kept temping and charting and forcing Husband into the sack when the party lights came on.  There were no fireworks,  there was no magic moment after sex when I thought “That was it!”  (I thought I had that moment several times before.)  In fact,  as I whined about in a recent blog we hadn’t been doing it very much at all.  He has been busy with a new job and we have literally wept together over the state of our sex life and apparent lack of reproductive health.

But still we were trying.  Even with all those factors it was definitely NOT the situation where I “finally just stopped trying and it happened on its own.”  It wasn’t that.  The few times we actually had sex last month it was impossible for me to enjoy myself because I was anticipating his orgasm, and what position and state of mind I should be in when he had it.  I still checked my temperature obsessively every morning and checked my breasts for “unusual tenderness” every night (and morning… and afternoon…).  There was never anything strange.  There was never a bizarre change in cervical fluid,  there was no nausea,  there were no unusually high temperatures,  there was no “8dpo implantation dip”,  there was no sense of “just knowing”.  Everything was exactly the same as it always is when I’m about to get my period, complete with cramps (which I still have).

And then right on schedule (if maybe a single day earlier than normal) my temperature dropped way down, heralding the impending end of my cycle.  It was 12 days after ovulation, the 26th day of my cycle,  and my temperature took a big dive like it would normally have done a day or two later.  So that was when I threw in the towel,  felt my heart break a little,  and wrote a blog begging myself to stop getting my hopes up every month.

Then I started feeling like crap.  But I always feel like crap when I’m about to bleed.  The thing that was new was a massive scary migraine that would not quit for 3 days.   We are in the grips of a major heatwave and drought down here and heat gives me headaches.  So does the start of my cycle.  But this headache was new.    It wasn’t just an “I need aspirin and a nap” headache,  it was an “Oh shit am I having an aneurysm?!” headache.  I never looked it up to see if it was a symptom of pregnancy, because my chart had already told me my cycle was over.

Then I noticed I was feeling hot in the morning and I started temping again, surprised to find out the numbers were back up.  But not way up… just “kinda up” the way they get right before they drop for good.   I thought I was just getting sick from stress and had a little fever.  There was a lot of other stuff going on right then, too.  Husband was having travel problems trying to go on an important work trip,  I had a friend in town who was having a “my boyfriend just dumped me” meltdown on my couch,  our anniversary was coming up and we were having money problems,  and the IRS was threatening to repo my mortal soul.    I was pretty sure all of that was contributing to The Big Headache as well.

Then my throat started hurting, which I attributed to stress and lack of sleep.  Meanwhile I wasn’t sleeping because I suddenly couldn’t find a comfortable position.

I think it was the morning of Day 29 that I woke up at about 4:30 a.m. with hot flashes and a crazy notion in my head that I decided maybe I needed to make a run to the 24 hour drugstore around the corner from here.   I got the cheapest one they had because I knew it would be negative.   I just needed to shut myself up so I could go back to sleep.   It made a plus sign right away.

I didn’t scream,  I didn’t even gasp.   I just made a face at it like somebody told me a joke that didn’t make sense and said “Whaaaaat?”  Then I pulled the box out of the trash and read it over again and looked back at the stick.  that was a dark blue POSITIVE.  “Oh… but it’s blue,”  I thought.   I had always heard that those were the faulty ones.  Was this for real?  If so why wasn’t I shaking and crying?   I stared at the plus sign for a while and I think I started to laugh.  I decided I was going to go for a walk and decide how if and when I would tell Husband.  I planned to go early morning grocery shopping and make a big breakfast.  I’d get him some flowers and a card and let him wake up in his own time to some big crazy display.   That’s what I thought I would do.  The next thing I knew however I had pounced on top of him going “Honey! What are you doing?  Are you awake?”  holding the little blue plus sign in front of his bewildered face with one open eye.

I sent an email to the nurse at the fertility clinic (which we hadn’t even used last month) and ran off to the dollar store for another test.  Two Pink Lines.   All I did was chuckle at it.   The nurse faxed me some paperwork to take to a nearby lab where I had my blood drawn.  A couple hours later i got the official call : “You’re positive!”  Still, I only giggled and asked what the next steps were.  “More bloodwork in 2 days,  don’t smoke or drink or kickbox,  no more of this and that and yadda yadda…”

Still, I haven’t freaked out.   I haven’t cried and that is really bugging me.  I have lost sleep,  but mostly because my body is aching in ways that make it impossible to lie down comfortably.   I stare into space in a way that makes Husband think I’m lost in deep thought,  but it’s really just because I feel like a complete airhead right now and I’m probably trying to remember my name.   Maybe that’s a form of freaking out?

I don’t “feel pregnant”,  I just feel like I’m having a really uncomfortable period without the blood.   I don’t think I have accepted it yet.  I have spent so long “without” that now I don’t know how to behave “with”.

It also doesn’t feel real yet because it’s not news.   Maybe I need to tell more people.  I haven’t told anybody yet other than my mother, his mother, my boss, and you guys.  I want to be rejoicing.  I thought I would cry when I told my mother, but I didn’t.  I just laughed at her while she hyperventilated and squealed over the phone.  I want to be delirious with excitement,  but I’m just sleepy and out of it.  I want to believe it… but I don’t know if I do.

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