Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pregnancy #2: What I'll Remember

I found myself driving to Walmart at 6:15 on a Friday morning to buy pregnancy tests. A cheapie at 4 a.m. had shown a faint line, much to my surprise. After a year and a half since my last pregnancy, I hadn't counted on it happening again. Going back to sleep was out of the question. I finally figured out that our Walmart was open 24 hours and was off and running.

Two pink lines showed up immediately. My husband, hater of mornings, pulled off his eye mask and snapped to attention as soon as the words left my mouth. I spent the day on top of the world. Of course there was reason to keep my joy in check, just in case, but I'd worry about that later. I wondered if my coworkers could somehow tell that I was pregnant from the aura of fertility I was radiating.

We had a gift certificate to The Cheesecake Factory and decided to go that night to celebrate. I kept asking myself if the salmon I got was making me feel sick--maybe? We were both so ecstatic that my choking on a fish bone, gagging repeatedly, and nearly throwing up on my plate didn't dampen our moods. Afterward, we wandered into Crate & Barrel and cuddled like newlyweds on their couches. We started calling each other "Babymomma" and "Babydaddy."

I started writing this post intending to talk about the entire 3 weeks of the pregnancy after I found out. The beach trip when I was able to look at toddlers playing in the sand without getting a lump in my throat. The beginnings of horrible nausea that forced me to eat Saltines in the middle of the night. Buying new shirts to attempt to hide my humongous boobs. The anxiety of that first week of knowing about the new pregnancy combined with work stress.

But right now, the memories that stand out most for me, more so than even the nightmarish first ultrasound, are the ones of that first day. The euphoria of getting there again, of starting to grow a new life inside me, was part of it. A bigger part, though, was sharing the joy with my husband and connecting through our excitement. Feeling his giddiness combine with mine and draw us closer. Maybe I'm subconsciously choosing to remember the good and forget the bad, but I'll take that for now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Me 101

Since this is an infertility/loss blog, I'll dive right into where I am with the process. I'm 34 and subfertile. Been trying to get pregnant for over two years, with two miscarriages along the way. This will be our first baby. My amazing husband is 40.

We found out I was pregnant for the second time a few days after my husband's 40th birthday. He was so happy that it looked like things were turning a corner for us, and thought it was pretty special that it was happening at such a milestone birthday for him. I know he was excited for the first pregnancy, too, but this time was different. We'd been trying for an additional 1.5 years, a surgery (laparoscopy), lots of fertility tests, lots of fertility sex, and finally, a medication to promote ovulation (letrozole). I'm sure the extra time had given him space to settle into the whole baby concept.

After going through many cycles with no pregnancies, we knew we were very lucky to get pregnant our first cycle on letrozole. To only have to take a few pills and not do a more invasive treatment was a huge gift. There was a fetus this time, an actual baby on the ultrasound. Our first pregnancy had resulted in a blighted ovum, which was a big fake-out. It's like the sac is playing this cruel joke about growing something inside it--"I'll give you all of the pregnancy symptoms but there's nothing going on in here!" After finding out there was no heartbeat this time, I started sobbing while the doctors continued trying to find something on the ultrasound. There was a little part of me under the shock and devastation that was happy I could see a baby this time. My self-congratulations were short-lived. The ultrasound doctor said that this type of miscarriage is more worrisome than the last. Once there's a fetal pole, stuff is less apt to go wrong.

But it did. And I'm dealing. It's been one and a half months since my D&C and I'm ok. In some ways this one has been easier to deal with. In my less confident moments, I attribute all of the difference this time around to the Prozac I started taking several months ago. But I think it's also easier because I've changed. My psychiatrist said recently that she doesn't think I'm avoiding the grief from this miscarriage, which was my concern. She thinks I'm making healthy adaptations to the heightened level of stress in my life.

I guess. I do feel better prepared to handle what life throws at me these days. I feel stronger, more resilient. But I also feel battered. And cynical. Like this will never work and my biggest fear will be realized: I won't be a mom. I keep reminding myself that chances are good that we'll get there somehow, but the fear still lurks under all of the reassurances I channel its way.

I'm brand new to writing like this. I'm a medical writer by trade, which gives me just enough understanding of medicine to pepper my doctors with a million questions at every visit, but not enough actual medical knowledge to really know what's going on. I guess we all have to eventually just trust the doctors, but it's so difficult. Anyway, blogging and writing about myself in a creative capacity is entirely new to me.

What am I looking for with this blog? A place to be a little creative. To express my frustrations and joys. To find and give support. Thanks for reading!