Happy Birth Day Little Miss

The day has come and gone and I am still here on this earth, living and breathing and enjoying my newborn baby girl, despite my number of fears. Going back to the day though, feels no less scary as it did in that moment.

The night before, I was wide awake, midnight came and went, 1am, 2 am, 3 am, still awake. Finding things to busy myself, whipping out the sewing machine and sewing a pillow cover I had sold that week. Cleaning the master bedroom, and packing all the stuff for the hospital. I finally decided I should get some shred of sleep for the big day and I laid down and fell asleep. Only to wake a few hours later to get ready and leave.

We pulled up to the hospital, me only thinking the worst, fears in high alert now. Fighting back tears telling my husband my wishes for certain things, like not to bury me with my wedding ring, to keep it for the kids. I could barely speak at this point, tears welling in my eyes like water balloons ready to explode. My husband asked me if I wanted him to drop me off at the door, and I told him I wanted to walk, so we parked and walked inside. I felt like dead man walking, quiet as a mouse, just thinking and being totally up in my head. A moment of complete excitement and all I could do was be afraid.

We went up the elevator and checked in at the desk, a moment later a nurse came and got me and we walked the loooonnnnnggggg corridor to the triage area for surgery prep. My surgery was scheduled for 10:15am. We got there at 8:15 am just like they asked. Immediately the nurse began asking a bunch of questions to find out medical history and started an IV. IV’s suck for me because my veins are horrible to find, but she found it right away without having to poke me twice. Thank God. So we sat there, me on this very hard, very uncomfortable exam bed, in a gown, IV attached and ready to go. And with the two hour prep window before surgery, I laid there all up in my head. My phone there to distract me, battery slowly dying as the minutes tick on. And we come up to my surgery time, when they inform me an emergency took precedence and my time slot was bumped back a bit. No time estimate was given and I am just laying there, scared to death, anxious beyond belief that now I am prolonging the inevitable. When I met the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist I told them how I get really sick with the spinal and I would like to not be puking through the whole thing. I told them that my last c-section went really well because I told them my issues and they gave me something to combat it. They told me they could see what they could do, but with my high blood pressure it would have to be a wait and see kind of thing. When my doctor came in, I cheered, literally raising my arms in touchdown fashion, and audibly blurting out ‘You’re here!!!!!!!!!!’. She and the nurses were talking about how it was pushed back and she chuckled and said, ‘this is probably the worst person that could’ve happened to’ (talking about me and all my fears) and the nurse said ‘yeah, she’s been getting pretty worked up, but she’s okay now’. Because I had been crying off and on the entire time, thinking about what could go wrong. The nurse was talking at one point about the interns that were going to be watching and she said she’s had to talk them out of starting in Labor/Delivery, because it’s not always roses and sunshine, they can see a lot of bad things happen and it’s not a good place to want to start after medical school. While that may be true, it did nothing to ease any of my million-and-one fears.

So, it was time, they had me drink this sour substance that I’m no stranger to now, and as I was drinking it, something happened I can only explain as a reflex, because a bunch of it got spit out in an over-the-top comedic type of way. Then I walked into the operating room, a different one than I had been in previously. It was cold, sterile, smelled crisp like oxygen. They had me sit on the edge of the table and I held my doctors hand and rested my head on her shoulder, scared of the spinal. I squeezed her tight as they just went for it. Of course, they did the rundown of my stats, who I am, why I’m there, and any issues they may come across. They did their medical check that seems like a distant memory to me now, and when I was holding my doctor, she began asking me things to get my mind on other things, a tricky little deception whenever they are about to inflict pain. I felt this sheet of sticky material placed on my lower back and I felt fingers poking around, he told me he was just feeling to see where things were, and I thought there was more time before the poke, but there wasn’t. That’s when he just went for it. I felt a few pokes and a ‘filling’ sensation into my body, then a wave of strange came over me and they had me lay down. I felt like a mountain crumbling onto this tiny little table. Immediately I felt strange, I felt my legs sort of going numb, but I asked how they know I’m completely numb. They told me they will pinch me and they don’t tell me when they do it, and he told me if I don’t say anything, they proceed, they also asked me if I felt anything, after they did it and I said I didn’t think so, and he said, oh, you would know with how hard they pinch. And with that, the feeling in my lower body was gone.

Might I add that two weeks prior, I had a cold that left me with a lingering cough, that sucked to say the least. I was coughing the entire time, which was mildly annoying. At this point they brought my husband in to sit beside me. As I was laying there, I told the NA that was wasn’t feeling good, that I felt like I was going to throw up and there was nothing he could do at that point except get me a container to throw up in. Anyone who has thrown up during a cesarian knows how terrible it is. You have no feeling beyond your breasts and heaving into something with your arms strapped to a table, while being on your back, half able bodied and attached to a million monitors, is about the least fun experience ever. Basically vomit just pours out of your mouth into this container he holds up, sliding down your cheek in utter embarrassment. And it just keeps coming, over and over. While it did make me feel better to throw up, it just sucked. At one point I looked over and saw my stats on the monitor, and I saw my blood pressure dropped to 60/40, and that is why I was sick. Which is also why they couldn’t give me anything until they knew what my blood pressure was going to do. Every time it dipped and I got sick, they gave me something to help it go back up so I would feel better.

At this point I am feeling a lot of tugging, a lot of pressure. I am smelling the cauterized flesh that is my own, and I am trying to remain calm. I’m still alive up to this point, which I find reassuring. I ask a lot of questions through the sheet hanging directly in my face. Any time they said anything I didn’t know what it was, I asked what it meant, which wasn’t that much, but it kept my mind on simple things. I kept looking at my husband, and he kept looking in the reflection of this glass cabinet in the OR to catch a glimpse of something. It was a swift point of a lot of pressure, pressure that takes your breath away, and the NA asked my husband if he wanted to see his daughter being born, and he told him to stand up, and he did. At that exact moment of immense pressure there was a peaceful release, and then I heard the cries of my daughter. They brought her over to show me what she looked like and she was covered in the slick white stuff. They took her to clean her off and my husband went over to look at her and take pictures. I told the hospital staff I wanted to do skin-to-skin immediately and they brought her to me and placed her on my breasts. Because I only had one available arm/hand since the other arm was strapped down, the nurse holds baby to secure her while I can semi-hold her, but she is on me. It was magical. All I could do was cry. She was here, in my arms. I looked at her in awe and knew everything was worth it. They sewed me up, and it took a great amount of time, they tell me because of all the scar tissue. But having her on my chest helped pass the time. When it was ready to go to recovery, they all moved me over to the gurney. Nothing makes a girl feel fatter than having 7 (not actually sure how many people there were, but there were more than 3) people struggle to move your fat ass from one bed to another. And as they wheeled me to recovery I thanked my doctor and exclaimed ‘I’m alive still!’ to which she told the nurses of my fears of death.

The sensation of telling your toes to move and not being able to move them is a very weird one. But as the spinal wore off, I kept trying to move my toes, it wasn’t until we got to our room, my toes began to feel normal.

Going into it, I had a gut feeling I wanted her name to be Savannah Grace, but I didn’t want to make any decisions until I laid my eyes on her. Well, the minute they put her on my chest, I knew. That was her name. My sweet Savannah. When we got to the recovery area they immediately put her on me again to try to establish a latch and it really didn’t work, but she laid there, happy in my arms, happy on my skin, happy hearing my heartbeat. And we laid like that, the entire time. I couldn’t be happier.

Her stats:

Savannah Grace

7lbs 8oz

Born: 12:37 pm, June 11, 2018

19″ long

 

 

Riddled with Fear, Is it Genetic?

I am now 35.5 weeks pregnant with our special IVF baby girl, and I am riddled with fear, crippling fear that sometimes hurts every part of my body, and brings me to tears. This is not something that is new for me, I’ve struggled with fears this debilitating most of my life.

Remembering date nights when I was a child, I would sit at the window watching cars pass my house crying because I was afraid my parents would be in a car accident and never come home. This was every single Friday. I would wait until I saw the car from afar that slowed down with a blinking turn signal, and hold my breath waiting until I saw the flickering car headlights through the row of trees lining my street. When it would turn in the driveway, I’d stop crying and relax, a heavy weight off my shoulders. It didn’t stop as a silly, normal kid thing, it got worse.

I became completely engulfed in the news around 9/11 and manifested fears of flying, and fears of terrorism that were non-existent prior. I was up all night, afraid. This morphed into unhealthy fears of being murdered, which was directly linked to things I was watching on t.v. Talk shows, news channels, crime shows. It became imperative for me to turn the t.v. off of those things because it was doing far more harm than good. My fears didn’t subside, but they relaxed enough for me to function. I never liked going anywhere alone because of these fears and I was too afraid to tell anyone about them, and it became hard when friends would wonder why I seemed stunted in mental growth, and I didn’t want to verbalize my fears and tell them what was running through my mind all the time. It’s become my silent battle. I told my massage therapist, who I trust with these types of things, and she did open my chakras at one point, which opened the flood gates of tears for 48 hours until she closed them back up. She told me I had to cut the news off, and never watch it again.

Not only was I afraid of the physical part of life, but also the emotional part as well. The man I began dating when I was 18, I fell in love with and right after our 1 year anniversary, he wanted to break up. I remember being so afraid to lose him and fighting for us, and he was so impressed (and I think scared), he decided to give it another try. The initial sting of him not wanting me stayed with me, and haunted me. It wasn’t until I was in Italy on a trip with friends and I called him to say hello and he basically broke up with me over the phone, I realized how devastated I was. I threw up and it ruined part of the trip. Why anyone would be so callous to end a 2+ year relationship over the phone while one party was in another country showed how weak and cowardly he was. When I got back to the states, I won him back again, and fast forward more years, we ended up getting married. I loved him with everything I had. The problem wasn’t my love for him…it was always his love for me. I was always afraid he was going to leave me. I was afraid if we didn’t talk before walking down the aisle, he would leave me there alone, I was afraid I would get too fat and he’d leave. Which is a real fear, because as I gained weight, he didn’t hesitate to let me know he didn’t find me attractive anymore. He was unable to give me the love I needed. My fears were realized when I decided I didn’t love him like I thought I did, and I left.

Leaving him freed me in a way I didn’t think was possible. I was carefree and fearless for the short time I was single without him. My fears started creeping back in when my high began fading.

But, the fears never left. I know every time I get on a plane, I cry at take off, thinking the plane is going to explode and I’ll die. I grip the seat armrests so hard the color drains from my entire hand. And, clearly, we land and I live. But I always think, what if? What if I’m on the plane that a terrorist is on, or a problem with the plane occurs. I try and tell myself that if something happened, it would probably be quick and I wouldn’t know what happened anyways, but that’s little comfort in the midst of fear.

This brings me full circle to my deep fear of my upcoming c-section. I’ve become so afraid I will die during the procedure and every time I voice my fears, I cry. And, sadly, it’s a real fear, that people can’t really squash and say ‘oh, it won’t happen’, because it does happen, and can happen. I know in my heart it probably won’t. I know that I have a greater chance of being involved in a car accident than that happening, but it doesn’t get rid if the fear. There is more at stake now, I have three children, and this special baby girl, who we’ve worked so hard for, my fear of not meeting her and holding her is real. I know many women go into a c-section with normal fears, mainly stemming from the fact you are awake the entire time. Being aware and being out of control of your own body is naturally frightening.

I’ve tried to meditate, and I told my massage therapist yet again of my fears and she did some light therapy on me. I have no idea what it was like or what she did. I know I felt like I saw a lighthouse in the distance with a rolling light going around and around. It calmed me down that day and I felt good, but my fears crept right back in the next day.

I got the mail and in the mail was a document on how to prepare for your surgery, and it said to bring a living will to the procedure. Well, isn’t that a way for my fears to be even more scary? Now, I don’t have a living will, nor do I even know what I want. Do I want to be cremated or buried? Do I want to be around ┬áso my family can always visit me, or do I want to be thrown away some day when you are grandkids in and no one knows who you were anymore. I know I don’t want to die. That’s all I know. So, here I am 13 days away from this surgery and meeting my darling daughter I’ve been waiting a lifetime to meet and I’m scared.

Her room isn’t 100% done yet and the house is a disaster and I’m just wanting some sense of calm. I feel like I need to relax and I know it’ll be over before I know it. I think it takes like an hour total, between prep and getting baby out and sewing back up. I’ll be in recovery before lunchtime. I know thinking positive is good, and once it starts there’s no time to be scared, but I can’t stop the tears now.

There are my fears about me, right out there on a platter, but then there is the day to day, minute by minute fear of the baby remaining alive. Every day when she is sleeping or there is low fetal movement I go to the worst and fear she will be stillborn. If I feel her moving a ton then my fears go away. But until she’s here breathing oxygen and I am safe and stable, I feel like I can’t get excited. I am riddled too far in with fears and it hurts my body, my soul. It literally causes aching in my body. I can’t wait to hold her, and bring her home, and for the boys to meet her, I get so happy thinking about it, then the fear creeps in and I become afraid I won’t get that, it will be ripped from me. Joe says, God hasn’t brought us this far to let us fall. I have to repeat it, like a mantra. We have come so far in this journey, we’ve done it. It will work, we will be ok. I have to believe that though, and that is the hardest part.

I have to wonder, is being afraid a genetic thing? My dad is naturally a worrywart and my grandmother was as well…is it evolution that has made me afraid and paranoid? I did see a hypnotherapist around the 9/11 timeframe and with no knowledge of what would happen or how it worked, I went into it blind. I was immediately catapulted back into past lives and traumatic experiences. I was conscious and aware of what I was seeing and saying, and it blew me away. I was hysterical and although it was interesting, it was a horrible experience and I was too afraid to go back. But that just makes me wonder, where does unnecessary fear come from? Why am I afraid of these number of tragic what ifs? How do they go away? How can I relax?

18 Weeks along and it feels like forever

Well, here I am, on the eve of the brink of my 18th week. It’s been quite the journey now, since I’ve been sick with some sort of illness ever since my egg transfer. First a cough that gave tuberculosis a run for it’s money, then a runny nose, a sore throat, the stomach flu, a urinary infection, a yeast infection and topping it all off with what I thought was the scary flu, with full on fever. How in the world does one person manage to get that sick in merely 18 weeks you may ask? I’m thinking the exact same thing. To add to that, I’m still on this rollercoaster of pregnancy. Feeling scared at any given moment for anything really. My doctor did say that because of the IVF, this pregnancy is going to feel like it’s a year long. And when I stopped to think about it, it will be a year since we started the journey when we deliver and almost a year from when we started the shots. Crazy!

The plus side of being so sick is that I’ve been going to my doctor once a week and I get to hear her magnificent heartbeat. Which in itself can be daunting, because of my low hanging abdominal wall (or what I affectionately call “my ledge”) (c-section moms know what the ledge is, lol). The doctors, bless their hearts, try hearing the heartbeat on my ledge and that is fat, people!…like a flap of fat!…there’s no heartbeat in there!…so they move it around and try a different spot, that is still on the ledge, and…nothing. Now I’m tense, even though this has happened at least three times now. Then, as horrifying as it is, I lift the ledge up, mortified, and they move it directly over my c-section scar, and there it is, clear as day, a strong beautiful heartbeat. 145 bpm. Lovely.

I’m tired, a lot, and my hopes and ambitions leave more desire in my dreams than in real life. Baby girl’s room is going to be what is currently my art studio. It is packed to the brim with stuff. My stuff, my plans for selling toys, everything is in here since it has turned into somewhat of a junk room. I try selling toys every time I get a chance, but some things just aren’t moving, leaving an array of crap in this space. What I decided to do was install a closet system in our master closet, in a space we didn’t use, so my husband ripped down the old shelf and clothes rail and patched and painted the wall. I installed the system last night and began transferring things from my studio to this system. I feel like a poured a thimble of water on an out of control fire. But, little by little, I know it will get done.

My middle child had major surgery a few days ago and it is challenging with him being so needy. He has casts on both of his legs and has to be in a wheelchair for about 6 weeks. I am trying to get so much done around the house while I’m home this week with him but it’s a challenge.

Work has been rough, because my job, which can be pretty physical, has been changing lately. And now, my boss is requiring my team to help do receiving in the mornings if they need help. Which is basically a lot of bending, twisting, lifting heavy things to stock the shelves. I helped the first day and I tweaked my back, it hurt bad ever since. Like so bad that I would get home from work and lay flat in bed because it hurt to breath. I finally got to see my massage therapist and she helped me tremendously, I also asked my husband to help massage the knots out and he did a pretty good job. Nonetheless, my back is still hurting a lot. One of the things they don’t tell you about IVF is that I have been experiencing nerve damage in my lower back from all the shots. It causes twinges and twitches that run down my legs uncontrollably, it causes spasms directly on those spots that are reminiscent of those dozens and dozens of prickly pokes. I feel like those are things that will never go away, things that seem permanent. The two-inch circles plotted on my backside are tender and painful to touch. When will that go away? I can’t imagine women who go through multiple rounds of IVF, poking and poking the exact spots constantly. Warriors, I tell you, warriors.

Every time I go to the doctor they ask if I’ve felt the baby yet…they say since I’ve been pregnant, usually I would notice it sooner than new moms. Well, nothing. Not one flutter, not one kick. Until a couple days ago. When I’m pretty sure I felt something. A little something, small but something. I wish it would have been sooner, but, I’ll take it.

So, here I am, listening to my middle child act belligerent because he’s on narcotics and I’m trying to get some sort of peace to complete this evening. Lord help me.

Today was graduation day and I graduated!

Well, the build up for this day was bigger than it was and I have a slew of mixed emotions about it. I knew today was going to be my last visit with the IVF doctor, since I ended my meds last Sunday, but I didn’t know I’d feel funny about it.

Last Thursday I got to half my meds, so 1ml of progesterone per day, 2 estrogen pills a day, no more estrogen patch. It was exciting. My husband kept prompting, ‘isn’t is exciting babe? You only have a few more days of being poked!’. While that part was exciting, there is so much more to be fearful of. My body will be left on it’s own to see if it can handle baby girl without meds. I had no idea what was going to happen. So, that’s what we did, we halved the meds, then Sunday came rolling around, and the last dose of everything, last shot, last pills, and it felt surreal. I mean, I’ve been following this routine for 10 weeks now. Strange how something becomes such a part of you. In all, said and done, I was poked 170 times. Including, blood tests, blood test vein misses, IV’s, and of course, the dreaded shots. When it was all over, I didn’t actually feel any different. Still had nausea every day, still have issues with gagging every time I cough. I felt fearful for the future and read some things on line about still borns in IVF patients and it made my fears grow wider. I called the doctor because I couldn’t get it out of my head and the nurse told me she’d never heard of that. It wasn’t the nurse I trust, so I put it out of my head, but knew I was going to ask the doctor when I saw him again.

Mid-way thru the week, I noticed a yeast infection going on in the nether regions, and might I add I noticed something odd about 7 weeks ago, but didn’t know what it was and never had the typical symptoms, so I brushed it off as nothing. Now I know for sure it’s a yeast infection and man is it gross. I’ve only ever had two of these in my life and not so fun. So, I didn’t know who I should call, my OB/GYN or my IVF doc…so I waited to see my IVF doc today and he told me to just get something over the counter…that wouldn’t harm baby. At least I feel better knowing that’ll be taken care of soon.

So, today…my last day seeing that office, seeing those receptionists, seeing those nurses, seeing that doctor. It’s bittersweet. I’ve spent so much time there, gotten to know the staff. I’ve talked to them, heard their stories, one is newly pregnant as well. So many have gone through IVF and can offer sympathy because they know. I went in the room and asked my onslaught of questions for my doctor and he answered each and every one. Then the ultrasound, seeing baby girl dance around in there is the best. I really wish I could watch it all day long. We got a good view of her wiggling back and forth and a nice profile of her face. She looks like the man in the moon currently, here’s to hoping she gets a little better looking in there…lol. She was moving so much my doctor couldn’t get a good read on her measurement, so hoping she’s still on target.

He told me my placenta is anterior and it’s partially covering the cervix. I got a bit freaked out about that and asked the nurse for more info when it was just her and I. She told me it’s barely touching and as my uterus grows, the placenta will most likely move up with it, not only moving away from the cervix, but also freeing up the space near where my c-section will be. I was kind of bummed to hear my placenta was in the front because it softens the blows when baby moves, which was the most amazing part of my last pregnancy, getting to see the backflips and front flips baby does in there.

After all that, I sat up and my doctor gave me a hug. After I talked with the nurse at length, I gave her a hug and said goodbye. It was a bittersweet moment, happy to graduate, but sad to not have the constant care and reassurance I was getting. So, come Monday, I will be calling my OB/GYN and getting my appointment in there as soon as possible. I know how excited she’ll be to see me again. I’ve had the same OB/GYN since I was 20 years old, so for 17 years now. She’s seen me through a marriage, a divorce, a remarriage, a miscarriage, three pregnancies, and she’s delivered two of my babies. We’ve been through a lot, her and I and I love her. She’s the best OB/GYN, and I’m lucky to have found her, so I really can’t wait to see her, now pregnant with my first girl. She’s going to be so excited!

So, I can file away my IVF folder, filled with info, and test results, and calendars, and bills, and receipts and hospital bracelets. I can safely move on to the next phase. 12 weeks today. On to the next chapter. The second trimester. Cheers.

Why am I not excited?

When I tell the people who know about our IVF journey, they are all soooo excited for me. Your girl!!! It’s happening! But…I’m not excited. Why? Why can’t I smile and be happy? Why do I feel like a total disaster on the inside? I feel so alone, like no one understands why I feel so depressed. I want to be excited, I want to go in her room to be and clean it out and organize it and plan it. But, I can’t. My house is a complete disaster and my husband is drowning with the three other boys and I can’t even get out of bed. I talked to my nurse about these feelings and she asked if I felt like I needed to talk to someone, I told her no, but I don’t know what’s going on. She mentioned it could be a combination of things going on currently.

1.) I’ve been sick with the plague from hell for 5 weeks now…(this persistent cough and running nose has gotten the best of me for sure).

2.) I’m constantly battling morning sickness…all goddamn day. Like, up and down and up and down…just feeling yucky all the time. When I move, when I lay down.

3.) The shots. The progesterone in oil not only is a hormone that could be unhelpful with these depressing thoughts…but also, I’m on day 57 of being poked. It’s not fun. At all.

4.) The fear something may go wrong because I had a bleeding scare isn’t helping. The constant checking and paranoia.

Those things combined are probably not aiding in the depression and she said once the shots are done, she was sure I would feel much better. On that note, I have a week from tomorrow and all my meds are done! The shots, the estrogen patches, the aspirin, the estrogen pills. All done. Which, again, should make me happy, but I’m nervous to stop everything as it’s been all I’ve know this entire pregnancy. I am 10 weeks today, and baby girl is measuring 4 days ahead of schedule. I’ve always had big babies and she will probably not be the exception. Her heart rate was great at 165 bpm. And when we saw her on the ultrasound, she was moving up a storm. I’m already in maternity clothes because I haven’t been able to work out (nor have I wanted to, since I almost throw up every time I climb the stairs, lol). I’m sure people are work are noticing my increasing size, in fact a couple rudies have come right out and asked if I’m pregnant. Which, to be clear, is never okay.

The thing that sucks, all the things I read said the progesterone in oil created lumps under the skin, and that’s what I imagined. Giant pimples under my skin, but that isn’t what they meant. What is actually happening is the oil has created a giant lump (that resembles a spare tire) on both sides of my backside. It jiggles when I walk and it sticks out past my behind. It looks like fat to the naked eye. It is not fat. It sucks. I told the nurse it feels like my skin is callused and she said it’s not, it’s just that the skin, muscle and tissue is so bruised it feels strange. I showed her the ‘lumps’ and she said sadly it wasn’t going to go anywhere until closer to the end of the pregnancy. It takes that long to be absorbed into the body. What a bitch of a drug. The shots aren’t really painful, I have figured out the ways to combat it. But they are wearing me down emotionally now. Being poked and some days they hurt more than others. Some days there is more blood, and it freaks me out to see it bubbling out of my skin. I’ve developed an unhealthy hatred for my husband because he is the giver of the shots. Even though he doesn’t want to give them to me and it’s not fun for him either. It’s a subconscious thing…I just find I’m getting ┬ámore mad at him quickly and I don’t trust he’s going to not hurt me. One week girl, just one more week.

I am so tired all the time, I came home from work yesterday and took an hour and a half nap. Then went to bed at my normal time. I cannot get energy to save my life and I barely have enough energy to go to work. I have another ultrasound appointment with my doctor in two weeks from today, when I’m 12 weeks, then I graduate from the IVF Doctors to my OB/GYN, who doesn’t even know I’m pregnant yet. I’m excited for the next step in my heart, but terrified. New territory is always scary.

Week 7, Feeling Crappy

So, after all that, worrying for a week, checking my underwear and checking the toilet paper when I wipe, I finally had my first ultrasound. The ultrasound that has been torture waiting for. The one where we get to see if baby girl is in fact healthy and growing in there. Sometimes I wish we were some sort of sci-fi robot where we could press a button and see what our baby was doing in there any given moment. It would be an incredible app, you could see the heartbeat, fetal movements, what baby looks like…man a girl can dream right?!?!

There was one more episode of blood when I wiped last Friday, and I worried myself crazy, thinking it was the beginning of the end. I called the nurse and she told me to rest for the weekend. Which I took to mean, bed-rest for the weekend and I did very little. As the days passed and no more blood showed up, I became more and more relieved. But still not out of the woods until I see that flicker of light.

What really sucks is that I have had a horrendous cough for two weeks now, so I feel miserable from hacking so much. My neck hurts, my head hurts, my torso hurts…really everything is miserable. Nothing has helped it, and I would have probably gone to the doctor about it by now, but my dad has the exact same thing and they told him it was a virus…and there isn’t anything they can do. They won’t give me an x-ray because I’m pregnant, so, I’m toughing it out.

When the ultrasound appointment finally got here, I waited all day, since my appointment was in the evening and they are behind, so I’m in the waiting room tapping my feet, shaking from nerves. When they finally call me back, I get undressed and lay on the table trying to relax before my doctor comes in. He was speedy, because I had a moment and that was it. He came in and asked how I was doing, I told him I was soooooooo nervous, and he joked about ‘why would I be, it’s only the most important appointment thus far’. At least he knows and recognizes the nerves that go into this appointment. He had a woman with him, who I assume was being trained…he had her attempt to find baby. She stuck the ultrasound wand inside me and poked around. I saw nothing…at all. I began to get worried and my doctor was like, ‘here, you see, there’ and he pointed at the screen for her to see, then he kindly nudged her away and took over (thank God) and began pressing on the outside of my stomach kind of hard. It mildly hurt, but I really didn’t care, I just wanted to know the status of my baby. He said out loud ‘hi baby’, and I relaxed a little. I still didn’t see anything, but he said, your baby has a heartbeat, see right there. I saw nothing. I told him I couldn’t see anything and he zoomed in all the way for me. There she was, a round little sack, with a strong flickering light in the middle. He explained what we were looking at, and I started crying. Such relief. I sat up and the doctor gave me a hug. He was very confident that she is healthy looking from this scan, she measures 3.3 mm. He did tell me to stop the Lovenox injections at this point. Which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, hooray, no more shots that cause horrible bruising on my stomach!, but on the other hand, I’ve grown accustomed to it and it’s part of a routine, and it makes me fearful something could go wrong by changing the formula for which this is working. He assured me that the Lovenox is only to help aid implantation and baby is already implanted. So, I have to trust doc and go with the flow. I do still have to continue the progesterone in oil shots, which are the ones that go in my backside muscle…and man am I sick of those. They don’t hurt while going in, the muscle hurts ALL.THE.TIME. But not enough to keep me from living my life, or changing the way I walk or sit or stand. But enough to be a reminder all day long of the pain I’m going through for this to work out.

My husband is beyond thrilled, and you can’t wipe the smile off his face. Me, on the other hand, am…guarded. Really really guarded. It’s weird how we do that to protect ourselves, yet any unhappy ending will devastate you no matter how excited you were or not. Why can’t I just let myself be happy? Do I feel like I don’t deserve it? Am I waiting for tragedy to strike? What is it? I feel mildly depressed and don’t really know how to get out of it. I’ll tell you what doesn’t help…it doesn’t help when people tell you to be happy, this is great news, it doesn’t help when people tell you that everything will be fine, it doesn’t help that I’m sick with this horrible cold/cough, it doesn’t help that my IBS is acting up something fierce causing me tremendous tummy aches and bathroom breaks, it doesn’t help that I feel nauseous around the clock and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m hoping to snap out of it soon and be happy again, but the fear creeps in when you least expect it. For now though, little baby girl is a fighter, a strong woman, just like me (from what I’ve been told).

Fearful but Hopeful

Yesterday while I was working I crouched down to do a few things and I noticed a ‘bloody’ smell, similar to when I would wear a pad during my period. I thought it was odd, but convinced my brain it was just my imagination. Well, oddly enough, I didn’t use the restroom at work at all during the day and I knew I was meeting my mother in law to go pick out granite after work, so I ran in real quick on my way out to go. When I pulled my pants down I saw it immediately, staring back at me, stains in my underwear. I started freaking out, inspecting it. It looked like it had happened close to when I originally noticed it, probably right before noon. Because it looked dry and there wasn’t very much of it. It was brown in color and looked old. I wiped to inspect more and it just looked like old remnants from whatever was staring at me in my panties. Still silently freaking out, I realized it was 3:55 and my doctors office shuts their phone lines off at 4:00. I ran to a quiet place and called them up, trying not to cry. They got a nurse and she explained that it isn’t uncommon in IVF patients to see a bit of old blood like that come out. She said she doesn’t know why it happens but, in about 20-30% of patients they see it. I began having flashbacks to how my miscarriage started and this was it. All my hopes and dreams began feeling like a failure. I was so confused, how can this be? We did the special testing that put back a healthy baby girl, my numbers have been solid and great this entire time. They started at 166, then 414.1, then 1361. So, it shows she is progressing in there quite nicely. How can this be? How could I lose this baby now?

All I wanted to do was go home, but I still met my mother in law and we drove out and picked out granite. All I could think of was getting home and stripping down to check to see if there was more blood. I raced home when we were done and did just that. Inspecting the white toilet paper with every wipe. I saw a pinprick size of brighter pink-red blood and began to freak out. I called the after hours nurse crying and explained what I saw. I asked if they did more blood work could that tell them anything, she suggested I come in the next morning and get blood work done. She said that those colors can be normal too, but if I’m soaking a pad in an hour or there is a lot of bleeding to call back.

Well, I checked all night, over and over and over, and nothing. It seemed to stop. When I woke up, I checked again, nothing. Is it because I was horizontal all night and it will seep out during the day?

I got ready, my husband gave me the shots, which, today, the progesterone shot hurt, like enough to make me say outloud, ow ow ow ow ow. It hasn’t truly hurt until today. I hope that isn’t going to be a norm going forward. I drove to the doctors office and got my blood drawn. I told the nurse how confused I was given the situation, with the healthy embryo and the really good numbers. She said the likelihood of a loss now is slim given those things, but not impossible. So, not very reassuring, but nothing is. Nothing will be, until she is cradled in my arms sleeping soundly.

I patiently waited for the results and a different nurse called me back. She told me my numbers look great, at 12,000 and that I don’t need to come back for blood work. It sounded so nonchalant and she didn’t even address anything about why I came in in the first place, I said, do you know why I got the blood work today? and from her response I don’t think she did, because I said, I was bleeding and I was hoping those were good numbers, and she said they were and that was pretty much it. So I’m reassured for now. But I have to wait until a week from today and I can have my ultrasound to see her heartbeat. I keep checking the toilet paper when I use the bathroom and no more blood, so maybe it was a fluke.

The nurse told me that this has to be treated as an entirely different pregnancy than my last ones, because it is so different. I’m on all these hormones and it’s not the same. That is hard not to revert back to what you know from the previous ones and go, well, I didn’t have that in those pregnancies, so it must not be good. Also, seeing blood is never a good feeling when you’re pregnant. I still remain hopeful that we’ve made it this far, and she’s safe and sound in there.