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Off the ride, at least.

24 Jul

I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps I’ll start at the end, which is today. Today is the end of a seven-week pregnancy. Today is the end of my only natural pregnancy where a heartbeat was seen. In a few hours I will take misoprostol in the hopes of passing this pregnancy on my own, without a surgical procedure.

I am prepared. Preparing for it makes me feel calmer. Here’s the plan I’ve devised: I’ll have a light, nutritious lunch at 12:30. Chicken, kale and lentils. With lunch, I will take my last prenatal vitamin. At 2, I will take a full dose of Tylenol. At 3, I will insert the four tablets close to my cervix, put an overnight pad on and take to my bed. I will watch a movie and wait for the pain.

It could take a while, or it might not be long at all. Under my bottom, will be a waterproof pad from the hospital. Next to the bed will be a heating pad, a full water bottle, Tylenol #3 (the heavy stuff, should I need it), and waiting for me in the fridge is juice and coconut water to drink once the heavy bleeding kicks in, to keep my blood sugar up and keep me hydrated. I hope the worst will pass before I’m ready to sleep. DH will sent a few alarms to wake up and check on me in the night, if I’m not up frequently anyways. I will try to collect any remnants if possible for testing. This may be difficult to identify. It is okay if I’m not able to collect anything.

That is the plan. It’s a good plan. I take comfort in the plan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the beginning. Let me get this down. For my own record, if nothing else. Ready to take a roller coaster ride?

On June 26th, at 12 dpo, I took a HPT. I had a hunch. We are semi-passively trying naturally for a second baby for an undetermined period of time. Probably a long time. Possibly forever.

It was beautifully positive. Beta that day was 58. Two days later at 4 weeks exactly, it was up to 181. Beautiful. Encouraging. Progesterone was 24.4. Is this real life? For the next four days I will marvel at how I’m not spotting. I always spot when I’m pregnant.

4 weeks 4 days (18dpo), a small gush of bright red blood. Cue crying. Cue “of course.” Cue blood test. Beta: 1,987. What? Begin spotting regularly now, mostly brown blood.

5 weeks, 1 day. Gush of blood with a thumb-sized clot.

5 weeks, 2 days. Ultrasound. Weird, emptyish sac barely seen in uterus. Concern of second ectopic in last remaining tube. Beta, 19,382. Breathe?

5 weeks, 3 days. Repeat ultrasound with radiologist. Normal sac seen in uterus, with yolk sac, with embryo. WITH HEARTBEAT. HB = 104 bpm. Cue relief. Enter real hope.

5 weeks, 5 days. Another bleed. More small clots.

6 weeks, 1 day. MAJOR bleed. Golf ball clots.

6 weeks, 2 days. Repeat ultrasound with radiologist. Heartbeat seen immediately. Up to 120 bpm. Embryo growing appropriately. Bleeding in uterus also seen. More relief, more hope.

6 weeks, 2 days eve. Small bleed with clot. Keeping the faith.

7 weeks, 1 day. Another large bleed with palm-sized clots. Faith wavers.

7 weeks, 3 days. Repeat ultrasound. No heartbeat found. Embryo appears to have stopped growing 3 or 4 days prior. Fifth loss, third miscarriage. Blighted ovum, chemical, vanishing twin, ectopic, now this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why am I writing this? I don’t know, I just need to. It’s not for sympathy. I have plenty and while the acknowledgement is nice, what I know is that this is what trying to make a baby means for us. It means the roller coaster. It means the very real possibility of loss every single time. I really have accepted it.

But, I’ve never lost a pregnancy where a heartbeat was seen. So that does feel like new emotional territory. I’ve never taken misoprostol. So that will be new too. My cynical side has so much sarcasm to spew but I’m keeping it at bay. It’s a ruse, anyways.

The only way out of all this, for us, is to decide we are done building our family, and we’re not ready to do that. So, on we go.

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Because I owe you

14 Nov

Hi. I am alive. We are alive. This blog, however, has been very dead for awhile.

I’m sorry I disappeared. We brought baby J home from the hospital for the very first time on August 28th after 101 days inpatient.

At first my excuse was how busy and stressed I was, because we were so busy setting up what is essentially a mini hospital set up in our home. J came home on IV nutrition which is a very big and stressful and involved thing for reasons I can’t begin to go into. And we were so stressed trying to figure out her bowels. She threw up a lot that first month and progress was excruciatingly slow.

But then things turned a little corner and we settled into our routine and she started eating and pooping more and throwing up way less. The second month home was much better. But still I didn’t blog because I didn’t know how to anymore. I honestly couldn’t figure out what tone or content or approach to take. I didn’t want to be too light and undermine what we’re going through, nor did I want to be too serious. I didn’t feel like glossing over things nor did I have the energy to explain all the details.

In a way, I feel like I failed the readers of this blog and the members of this community that gave and gave when I needed it so much. I thought about running away forever but that didn’t feel right either. I owed you an update, even just an acknowledgment. So here I am/it is.

We’re good, she’s growing like a champ, she’s so happy and engaging and beautiful that everyone falls in love with her instantly. We still have a few months yet on PN but one day we’ll hook her up to the pumps for the last time. One day in the next few months (I hope), we’ll go in to Children’s to have her central line surgically removed. This will, hands down, be the happiest day of our lives. When the threat of bacterial infection and the line getting pulled out is removed from our constant list of worries.

Until then we wait and take care of her to the best of our abilities. In the meantime I have left my job because her care is way too involved for anyone other than a trained nurse or, ironically, me or DH, to do. And it needs to be me. I know her and her history more than anyone ever can or will (other than DH who is the best partner in this anyone could imagine). Money will get tighter each month but it’s okay. It’s worth it. And it’s not forever.

I also started an Etsy shop. I needed something else, some other purpose and outlet and so mini mintery was born: https://www.etsy.com/shop/minimintery.

As for the future of telling our story here on this blog, I don’t know. All those feelings about how to be here remain. I’d like to be able to come back now and again but will I? I don’t know. What I’m saying is, this isn’t a break up, I don’t want to be exes, but maybe just friends with benefits?

To those who would like to keep in touch, email me. Or you can try my other blog though I’ve done a pretty crappy job blogging there too: http://www.thespottedduck.com.

That’s all for now. I love you all.

28 Weeks

23 Mar

Every Saturday morning I wake up with a smile. Not just because its Saturday, but because it’s my milestone day. Every Saturday means we’ve survived another week and that we’re one week closer to meeting our boy face to face.

Twenty eight is an auspicious number in my family. My mom and dad were both born on 28s. I always though it an amazing coincidence and a good sign that two people in DH’s family were also born on 28s.

Week 28 is when you reach an even stronger point of viability, though of course I take those viability stats with a grain of salt given our condition. Still, it’s nice to know we’ve reached a point that would be considered on the safer side in a normal pregnancy.

I haven’t been updating much because there hasn’t been too much to say. I feel mostly great, other than some minor sciatica, swollen hands and feet, and the extra effort required to maneuver my enormous body around. (Side note: I’m typing this from the pedicure chair and another lady just asked me when I was due. When I said June. She was like wow – you’re big!)

I don’t mind being big though. The bigger the better, I say, because I want Turtle to be so big and strong when he’s born. My body is showing the signs of all this growth though. I’ve got full on deep red tiger stripes from my bottom, wrapped all the way around my hips and across my lower belly like a band.

While not pretty, I accept my stretch marks as a sign that Turtle is thriving. Other than brief moments of “belly envy” when I see beautiful big stretch-mark free bellies, I wear them with pride.

This week, we’ve got another check in ultrasound with Dr. Kind on Thursday and I’m very much hoping for another good report ahead of my shower on Saturday. We’ve got friends and family coming in from all over and I’ve been promised a cake, so it should be swell. I’ll be getting a haircut and some makeup done with my girlfriend in the morning. First pampering (other than this pedicure) in a long time.

I think I’ll look back on this time as my favorite part of pregnancy, feeling mostly good, creating the nursery with love with DH (pictures to come when it’s finished), and looking forward to my shower next weekend. All is as well as can be right now, and even though it feels a little like the calm before the storm, I’ll take it.

Waiting by the phone…

19 Apr

Waiting by the Phone
A play in three acts

Act 1
(The moment I leave the RE’s office until lunch time)
“This is totally fine…”
Barely glance at my phone,
but of course keep it right by my side.
You know.
Just in case.
But seriously though, I’m cool.

Act 2
(Lunch time until about 2, 2:30 pm)
“Okay, you can call now… any time.”
Start actually holding my phone on my body.
Or place it directly on my keyboard.
Wake it up every 10-15 minutes to make sure I didn’t miss something.
(Okay, every 5 seconds.)

Act 3
(2:30 until the moment they call or I cave and call them)
Nervous, sweaty, disorganized, unfocused.
An addict going through serious withdrawal.
“What’s happening, what’s going on, something is wrong…”
Call. Call now. K, now. K, NOW. NOW NOW NOW!!

And I’m not even waiting for beta results. Seriously, you’d think I’d be better at this by now.  The theme from today’s tale from the waiting room: impatience!