Friday, June 30, 2006

Have I Just Been Accepted into the P Club?

I went to my first prenatal appointment with my OB yesterday. The nurse took my blood pressure, tapped my vein, and then asked me a few questions. When she finished asking me questions she gave me a folder full of information about breast feeding, birth classes, lactation consultants, preadmissions paper work, information about what will happen in the last six weeks of pregnancy and cord blood banking. Umm, thank you for all the info about the middle and end of my pregnancy. Oh, they also included two pregnancy magazines. The second package she handed me was for registering at Target??? I thought it was a little odd. The third package was full of coupons. I guess this is my welcome package from the pregnancy club. It felt strange. I don’t belong to that club, and I think I still kind of hate those bitches. It sort of feels like I’m one of those losers in school that isn’t a part of the popular crowd until I walk into school with the right pair of jeans on and then I’m suddenly they want me to be a part of their click. I still don’t think of myself as one of them because I don’t think I’ll ever really be like them. Of course I’ll be pregnant like the rest of them, but we won’t look at things the same way. Ok, I won’t get into that whole ugly thing because I’ll just end up sounding bitchy. I’m too tired to say things with tact right now.

Once I received my welcome package the nurse brought Howie and I into Dr. P’s office. She asked us some questions and then started to tell us what the end of the pregnancy would be like, where they deliver, all of this stuff that didn’t matter because we’re moving. So I interrupted her to remind her that we were moving. She had barely remembered seeing me two days earlier and only remembered when she looked at my chart. Howie asked if we could have an ultrasound and she said, “Oh, no, she was only bleeding because of the pap smear.” So I mentioned, as I had before the pap smear, that the bleeding had started Tuesday morning BEFORE my appointment. She repeated that it was just my cervix and that they couldn’t do an ultrasound because they don’t actually have an ultrasound machine in their office. She moved on from that like it was no big deal. Howie and I considered accepting that things were fine until we spoke to his father who was so pissed off that the doctor didn’t seem to care. He asked when we’d have an ultrasound and we told him that it probably wouldn’t be until after we moved because the doctor wasn’t going to send me for an ultrasound during my 12th week visit. I think that’s when it sunk in for me, we really won’t have a clue if the baby is ok until some time in my second trimester. That really upset me, what if I just let it wait that long and I thought things were just fine just to go in and find out that the baby died. Howie called the doctor again this morning because I didn’t have any privacy in my office at all and Dr. P agreed to order an ultrasound for me next week. The ultrasound is now scheduled for next Thursday.

The bleeding stopped Tuesday night, I am still experiencing nausea, exhaustion, food cravings, and food aversions, so I’m hoping that is good news. I wanted to thank all of you for your comments and support after the loss of Small Fry and after my bleeding began on Tuesday. I really appreciate it. I’m still trying to catch up on my blog reading, Howie and I have been busy house hunting on the weekends and with doctor appointments during the week. I’ve been sleeping a lot too. This weekend we are headed to CT for house hunting and visiting with family. Luckily we will have access to high speed internet so I will have a chance to catch up on my reading.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I woke up yesterday morning to find that I was bleeding. At first the blood was brownish, and even though I know that sometimes happens in a perfectly healthy pregnancy I decided that I was going to stay home from work. Luckily I already had an appointment to see my OB for a pap smear later in the day. I wasn’t bleeding like I had my period, just when I wiped, but there was quite a bit of blood. Around 8:00 am the brownish color turned to bright red. That really had me worried, so I decided the best way to get through the next few hours was to just sleep.

Howie went to Dr. Google for some answers. He called to tell me that he found many sites that said it was normal. I told him that when I had my miscarriage they told me that light pink spotting was normal too, but it ended up being a miscarriage. Before I left to go to my OB I checked for blood and it looked like the bleeding had stopped. So I relaxed about it a bit and decided, maybe this was normal.

It was weird being at my OB’s office again. All the patients are pregnant and the staff wouldn’t know your name if they didn’t have your records in front of them. I wish that REs delivered babies too. Anyway, I told my OB, Dr. P, about the bleeding when she came in. She didn’t seem too concerned at first because I am taking Prometrium and one of the side effects is bleeding or spotting. Then she went in for the swab. Dr. P told me that as soon as she touched my cervix it started to bleed, and not just a little bit of blood, it was a lot of blood. She went on to say that she believes that it’s only external and that during pregnancy it’s normal for a woman’s cervix to become very sensitive and bleed. She said she was trying to clean it up a bit so that I wouldn’t get scared from seeing all of the blood. I was thinking that if a light brush up against my cervix would make it bleed that there wouldn’t really be a way to clean it up, that she was only going to cause more bleeding if she kept fussing with it. She kept talking about how much blood there was, but not to be worried, but holy shit, that’s a lot of blood! She had this worried look on her face and at one point she even held one of the blood drenched swabs to show me how much bright red blood was coming out of me. Yes, seeing all that blood really made me feel confident that things were perfectly fine! After going through a few dozen swabs she lubed up her hand and shoved it inside of me, I’m not sure what for. I wasn’t really focused on what she was doing as much as I was focused on how uncomfortable it was to have her hand up in there like that. She then pulled her hand out and threw away her blood covered glove. She said that she looked forward to seeing me for my first prenatal appointment on Thursday, handed me a pad and said congratulations.

Umm, so I don’t know what to think right now. She told me that it was all ok and that I shouldn’t worry, but the expression on her face and all the blood told me to worry. It seems totally reasonable to me that the bleeding is from my sensitive cervix and that it’s not from my baby, but is my cervix bleeding too much? She looked worried about something but she wasn’t saying anything, so what does that mean? I felt like she was just telling me things were fine to keep me calm, not because things were really fine. I guess I’ll ask her more questions at my appointment tomorrow. I’m curious to see what my first prenatal appointment at my OB’s office will include. Do I have another ultrasound? Or do they just weigh me and give me a pile of information about what to expect when you’re pregnant?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bitter Sweet

Our week 8 ultrasound showed that Small Fry was no more. Doctor Sunshine looked for a heartbeat for a moment, but there was nothing. She hadn’t turned the screen so that I could see so I looked up at Howie and he just shook his head. She quickly showed me that the sac had shrunk a little bit and then quickly moved over to Little Nugget. My heart just sank.

Little Nugget has grown and looks healthy. Its little heart was beating 158 beats per minute. Doctor Sunshine said that was great. She took lots of pictures and we looked at it for a few minutes. She explained where its head was and that the dark space was its brain. It looks a little bigger than it did last time, but it still resembles a chicken nugget or a gummy bear.

I think that I probably appeared to be underwhelmed by my beautiful baby. That wasn’t it at all. I can’t explain how much I love Little Nugget and how amazing it is to watch its little heart beating. I’m so happy that I don’t have words for it, but it was all mixed with the unbelievable sadness I feel for our loss of Small Fry. I was in love with the both of them. Yes, we’re grateful for Little Nugget and we know that we’re lucky that we aren’t left with nothing like we were after my miscarriage. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel equally heartbroken as I was when I lost our first baby. I am happy that we have Little Nugget, but I don’t want to act like because we still have one that it’s ok that we lost Small Fry.

Doctor Sunshine gave us both a hug and said congratulations. We said goodbye to everyone on our way out. It was sad that it was our last appointment there. They’re all really wonderful people. Everyone knows your name and they all knew what was going on with my cycles and always had something comforting to say. I’m really going to miss them.

On the way home Howie told me that he felt sad about Small Fry too. Then he said that Small Fry had given everything to Little Nugget to make sure that it continued to grow to be healthy and strong. That made me cry. I t’s a nice way to look at it. I guess if I had to lose Small Fry its better that I lost him now rather than further down the road. I don’t want to miss out on the wonderful new things that I will experience with this pregnancy, I just wanted some time to mourn Small Fry.

Last weekend Howie and I told our parents that I’m pregnant. We gave them these little silver photo albums that can also stand up on a table or whatever. On the outside of the album it says “Grandkids”. The first picture in the album was the blastocysts photo, second was the ultrasound photo of Little Nugget and the third was the ultrasound of Small Fry. We gave the photo album to my parents on Friday. My father knew as soon as he saw it that I was pregnant. It took my mother a little longer. My sister had a baby two months ago and Howie and I weren’t going to do our first IVF until July, so my mother thought she was looking at old ultrasounds from my sister’s pregnancy. She couldn’t understand why we’d give her old ultrasound photos when they had plenty real photos of the baby. Then she got it and said, “So, you’re pregnant right now?” They were very excited. Later that night my mother gave me a bunch of crackers and her raspberry gingerale to help me with the nausea. When they got home from RI my mother showed the pictures to all of our family.

On Sunday we gave the same gift to Howie’s parents. They both knew that I was pregnant as soon as they saw it. They looked at the pictures, then looked at each other and kissed. It was cute. His father gave me a 5 minute hug. They’ve been through a lot in the past year. His mother had colon cancer, which she has since recovered from, and there have been other hard times in his family, plus my miscarriage in December. His mother said, “This has turned a very bad year into a very good year.” That was good to hear, it was nice to see them smile. As we were leaving his father said, “Howie’s going to be a father.” I think it really hit them at that moment, they looked a little teary. It felt so good to share our news with them.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Midnight Snack

It’s past midnight and I’m up eating apple sauce. It’s one of the few things I can keep down. I’m now 7 weeks 1 day pregnant. I’m sick as all hell, no matter how much I eat I’m ALWAYS starving, I’m exhausted, I have brain fog, my boobs hurt just a bit but my nipples are itchy???? I’m also really gassy and I pee about every 15 minutes. It’s fine though, I’m not complaining. The symptoms are like a security blanket, it makes me believe that things are going along just fine.

I have worried a bit about Small Fry. What if he did stop developing? Then I wonder, why would he? He was behind before but he attached and grew a yolk sac and fetal pole. That has to count for something, right? And Little Nugget was the only embryo so developed, the other five embryos were at the same stage as Small Fry. Technically that means Small Fry is average and Little Nugget is above average. Or does that mean that Little Nugget is average and Small Fry & Friends were below average? What if we get to our ultrasound on the 22nd and Small Fry is no more? Should I have been more careful about getting attached? No, how could I not get attached, I saw him in there. Falling in love with him wasn’t a choice, it was involuntary. I just want to see his little heart beating at the next ultrasound.

Les and I ordered Chinese food with another co-worker today. I was feeling pretty sick when we sat down to eat. I had only eaten saltines and ginger ale because my stomach was feeling a bit iffy. I noticed my hands shaking when we began eating. Not good. The rest of the day I obsessed about how bad I was for not eating more. I know that I can’t keep it down, and just the thought of swallowing anything makes me want to vomit, but I could have tried to eat so much more! I started to think that because I’m not feeding the babies enough that I’m going to kill them. I’m so frustrated because I’m trying to do everything I’ve been told to do in order to combat the nausea, but it’s just not working. I’m trying desperately to figure out what else I can eat or ways to trick myself into keeping things down. Right now I know I can eat Chinese food, apple sauce, saltines (barely), ginger ale, toast (barely), and oatmeal. It’s not much, but I’m trying to do what I can with it. Chugging water from my water bottle yesterday almost made me vomit immediately. In order to stop myself from vomiting I begged my husband to distract me with a story, any story. He told me a story about being attacked by a duck when he was a child, and it worked. I know it’s silly to obsess and there are many women who can’t keep a thing down during their first trimester, but I’m freaking out because I’m sure that if I’m as hungry as I am that they are near death. That’s why I’m up right now. I realized that I was so hungry that I was getting a headache so I got up to eat some apple sauce, but what I really want is some Chinese food. I sort of want oatmeal but I’m too lazy to heat the water.

I just want to sleep. I can barely keep my eyes open but for some reason I still can’t fall asleep. I was going to go to work early because I’m leaving early so that Howie and I can get to RI at a semi-reasonable time tomorrow… errr… tonight. I can’t wait to tell my parents that I’m pregnant. They’re going to be so surprised, I can’t wait to see their faces! I’ve been feeling so miserable this week and so many times I reached for the phone to call my mom and then remembered that she didn’t know yet. I can’t stand keeping the secret anymore. I sent my uncle his birthday card (we have the same birthday… Saturday) and I included the ultrasound pictures for him to share with my aunt and cousins. It feels weird telling people that I’m pregnant. It still doesn’t seem real, and I’m still afraid to let people know, but I know that as soon as my mother finds out that the whole world will know. I wanted my uncle, aunt and cousins to hear it from me. I sent it with his card because I didn’t want him to find out before my mother did.

I better finish my apple sauce, then go potty, and then return to bed… it’s pretty late!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Proof of Life

After all the worrying I did all day yesterday, all last night, and all morning, it turns out that things are just fine.

There are two babies. Both Babies A and B, more affectionately known as Little Nugget and Small Fry, have a fetal pole and yolk sac. Little Nugget is bigger than Small Fry, and we are assuming that Small Fry is our little slacker blastocyst.

Small Fry has always been a step or two behind, but we love him anyway. And yes, I said "he" and "him" because I just imagine that Small Fry will end up being like that little boy from Jerry Maguire. A small awkward child with big glasses, but so damn cute that you could just eat him up. So, that's why I say "he". Anyway, Small Fry does not have a visible heartbeat right now. Dr. Sunshine said that either he will stop developing or that he's just a little bit behind. I think he'll be ok, he may be slow but he is strong. I mean, he was behind before but he attached himself and grew a fetal pole and yolk sac. I'm not ready to give up on him just yet. Maybe we'll see a heartbeat at our next ultrasound on June 22nd.

Little Nugget did have a visible heartbeat today. The wand lady was measuring and explaining everything that we were looking at and then she pointed at this flicker and said, "That flicker is a heartbeat". A HEARTBEAT! We saw our baby's heart beating! It was surreal. Howie said that he shed a tear but I missed it because I had my eyes glued to the monitor. All I could say was "Awwww". I didn't cry, I didn't even think to because I was so focused on observing every little thing I could about the smudges on the screen that are my babies. I was facinated by them, so far that's what Howie and I look like all together in one person, well actually, two people. They are the most beautiful things that I've ever seen in my entire life.

Doctor Sunshine and Wand Lady left the room and Howie and I were alone. I was still in awe from the whole scan and Howie was happier than I'd ever seen him. He gave me a kiss and we looked at the photos. Once we were in the car everything started to hit me and I began to cry. I have totally fallen in love with them. I know that it's still very early, but this is further than I've ever been before, and I don't want to worry about the next hurdle right now. I probably should, it's something that I'm used to doing, but I just saw them and they look as good as I could have hoped. Like Les said to me the other day, bad things could happen at any stage in my pregnancy, there's nothing I can do about it. It doesn't matter if I worry or if I relax, if something happend to them my heart would break, the only difference is that if I relax I'll be able to enjoy them now. So, for now, I'm going to relax.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rising Numbers

Howie and I have returned from our cruise. It was good, but I'm happy to be home. I had my second beta test this morning. According to Dr. Google my hCG level should have been somewhere between 5163 and 5427 today. When my nurse called with my results she was very excited, she said that my numbers really went up a lot. My hCG is 10,380 today! I will have my first ultrasound on Thursday.

We haven't told our parents that I'm pregnant yet. Last time we told our parents right away and then had to tell them that I was having a miscarriage after the third beta. I just can't imagine telling them so soon this time because it's too early to say it with excitment, and I want it to be a happy and exciting moment for us all when they find out. Even if the numbers are good, I need to SEE that everything is ok... at least for now. I know that a good ultrasound doesn't mean that I won't have a miscarriage, but at least I'll be further along than I was last time.

So this is the plan. On Father's Day weekend Howie and I will be in RI with my family for my brother's grad school graduation, my birthday and Father's Day. That Saturday we plan on giving my father the picture of the first ultrasound in a frame as his Father's Day gift. Then we're going to head to NJ early that Sunday (Father's Day) to meet Howie's parents for brunch. That's when we're going to give the same gift to Howie's father. We can't wait to see their faces. Let's just hope that the ultrasound goes well.