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.