Monday, November 13, 2006

Normal, or not

Last Friday J administered my final PIO shot. No more greeting the day with a poke in the ass. Hallelujah. On Saturday we celebrated by sleeping in well past the normal injection time. I would have slept in even longer, but my bladder refused to play along. That's happening more and more these days.

It seemed strange to me that you quit PIO cold-turkey. One day your body gets extra progesterone, the next day it doesn't. How does that make sense? I asked the RE. He said your body starts making progesterone at around 7 weeks. He rather sheepishly admitted that in theory we could have stopped doing the shots around that time, but that they recommend continuing in the name of caution. I'm all for caution when it comes to maintaining this pregnancy, so I didn't complain. In fact, I told him I'd continue the shots through the entire pregnancy if he told me it would help. "No doubt," he said. "You'd stand on your head for three hours a day if I told you it would help." Sadly, he's right.

So, for the first time in longer than I can remember, the only medication I'm on is prenatal vitamins. My RE said that at this point my pregnancy is no different than any other pregnancy, and I am no different than any other pregnant woman.

Except that I am. The scars of infertility don't magically disappear once you become pregnant. You've read that same statement on a million other pregnancy-after-infertility blogs, and it's true. You worked a lot harder to get to this point than most of the other pregnant women out there, and somehow that's significant. It makes you different and it makes you feel differently about your pregnancy.

I recently trolled through some popular pregnancy message boards and found I just couldn't relate to the other women. Those 23-year-olds who tried for 6 weeks, or women pregnant with their 4th, or those who "weren't even trying! LOL!" Their stories simply aren't my story.

I'm going to have to find a good pregnancy-after-infertility message board. Somewhere where pronouncements like, "I'm more bloated now than I was even after my egg retrieval" or "I haven't seen a doctor in two weeks and I'm in withdrawal" won't fall on deaf ears. At least somewhere where I'll never again have to read the statement, "Vaginal ultrasounds? I didn't even know they did those. Gross!"

I mean, seriously.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

If I thought the heartbeat was the most magical sight I had ever seen, I was wrong. Today we saw two arms, two legs, and one rather large head. The crumb even performed for us, waving its little arms and bopping its head. I had no idea it was moving around so much in there. It measured right on track at 9w3d with a heart rate of 175 bpm.

I never thought this day would come. This day when we felt we might really have a chance, that this might actually work. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rushing out to buy a crib and highchair, but this is certainly more hopeful than we have ever been.

All through this journey, I never let myself daydream about having children. I never pictured myself holding my baby or taking my child to his first day of school. I never imagined first steps, first words, bedtime kisses, or morning smiles. It was simply too painful.

But now I can start to see it. Just little glimpses, snatches of the future. The curl of a lock of hair, the dimples on a knee, the warmth of another being against my chest. I can start to see it. I can start to see my family.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Smack down

J and I have been feeling good lately. Things are finally falling into place for us. We sold our house for more than we asked. J just found out he'll be able to keep his job when we move to the East coast next month. We've started to let ourselves believe that we just might have a baby sometime next spring. In short, we've been happy.

And then came the shock of blood on toilet paper the other night. I've spotted in the past, but this was more blood than before. It was mostly brown, but with enough of a tinge of red to be worrisome. The bleeding didn't last long and I feel fairly confident that things are fine, but seeing the blood was a karmic smack-down of sorts. A reminder of just how quickly this happiness could be snatched away.

J and I have been suitably humbled and we spent the weekend avoiding talk of the future. For my part, I spent the weekend lying on the couch drinking copious amounts of water. Our next ultrasound is tomorrow morning. I so want to see that little heart beating again.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The most boring post ever

I'll just apologize for that upfront. There has been much going on, but little that's of general interest. Our house has been on the market for just under a week. Thankfully the Seattle housing market is still relatively hot, and we accepted a nice offer last night. If all goes smoothly, we'll move in early December.

J and I went to a mountain resort last weekend to escape the realtors and the masses tramping through our house. It was lovely. We napped and read and sat by the fire. On Sunday morning we got up early and went for a lovely hike through the hills. Not long after we returned, the sun gave way to howling winds and snow flurries. The resort lost power. Quite dramatic.

My symptoms are increasing somewhat. Food, a passion in the past, now holds little interest. My queasiness is stronger, particularly in the morning hours, but it's still not terrible. Mostly I'm just tired. Bone tired. All the time. If I thought my body was not my own while trying to get pregnant, it's even less so now now that I am. Simply put, I am at the mercy of the crumbcake.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

(I'm way, way, way behind on reading all your blogs. My thoughts are with you, and hopefully my comments will be soon to follow. I'm traveling for business this week, but will try to catch up with you all as soon as I can.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

So that's what a heartbeat looks like

And it's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. That glorious little flicker beating even faster than I imagined. A strong 160 bpm. Dr. Gentle said the baby is measuring right on track at about the size of a lima bean. J said he's never loved lima beans so much.

We go back in 2 weeks for another scan. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The moment before knowing

Tomorrow is the day. I've weathered the last 3+ weeks relatively well, but I'm starting to come apart at the seams. There is just so much riding on this ultrasound. I can honestly say I have never wanted something more in all my life.

I don't have much in the way of symptoms, and that's making me nervous. I'm tired, but that's as likely to be a result of the non-stop packing and cleaning we've been doing trying to get the house ready to put on the market. I'm mildly queasy throughout the day, but nothing I'd call nausea. I wish there was more to report, but there's not.

My appointment is not until tomorrow afternoon. Of all the time we've been waiting, the moment I am dreading most is sitting on the exam table waiting for the doctor to arrive. That moment before knowing. Part of me wanting more than anything to know the answer, and part of me wanting to clutch that paper sheet around me and make a run for it.

Because no matter what the ultrasound shows, after tomorrow life will never be the same. For good or for bad.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Anniversary

It was five years ago today. On a crisp fall day that couldn't have been more perfect had we ordered it from a catalog. So perfect, in fact, that our indoor wedding became an outdoor wedding under a canopy of autumn leaves. We danced, we laughed, we kissed. A lot. We were surrounded by family and friends. We had lost too many people that year (my grandfather only the day before), but they were there with us too.

My heart was full. Despite everything we have been through ... or maybe because of it ... it still is.

J, I will love you forever.