Today was the final ultrasound at the RE’s office. Wee-beastie is still alive, still growing, and still moving around. We go the requisite “blob” pictures as proof, beyond my nausea and fatigue, that I am pregnant.
The nausea and vomiting are admittedly not as bad as last time. I have Phenergan suppositories that work even when I throw up the Zofran. They totally knock me out, though, so I have to make sure to have someone able to watch S if I use one during the day. I am just counting the weeks until the end of the first trimester when hopefully I will ge some relief.
I am doing a little better on now that I have been on Wellbutrin for over a week. We have hired two babysitters to take shifts during the day so I can sleep. It was difficult to admit that in this state I can’t take care of S by myself. I am woefully behind at work, too, so S is going to start going to daycare for 2 hours a day 2 days a week. It’s not much, admittedly, but it will give me some uninterrupted work time. My therapist thinks my expectations of myself as a mother are too high and are physically and emotionally buring me out. She’s probably right. I feel better being able to be sick and miserable without having to worry about S and, quite frankly, he is getting more attention/interaction from his non-pregnant, non-ralphing babysitters right now.
If we get a healthy baby out of this pregnancy, I am done. I just can not physically/emotionally do this again. Once, in my younger, pre-miscarriage days, I thought I might like 3 or 4 children. Ha! I am in awe of the women who can do it, but I am too miserable as a pregnant woman to do it yet again, regarldess of the long-term rewards. Two is enough.
(in no particular order)
1. going to my ultrasound on Tuesday and finding nothing
2. going to my ultrasound on Tuesday and finding one sac, but finding nothing alive a week+ later
3. going to my ultrasound on Tuesday and finding more than one sac, but finding nothing alive a week+ later
4. going to my ultrasound on Tuesday and finding more than one sac, and having them all turn into take-home-babies
5. whether I can travel internationally from weeks 32-34, assuming something sticks
6. tenure requirements (i.e. how I am going to publish as much as I need to)
7. whether my colitis is going to stop acting up if this pregnancy progresses
I have no idea what this means, except that my HCG levels more than doubled.
4w/1d (about 15dpo) = 310 HCG
Ultrasound shows a corpus luteum on the right ovary and a thick endometrial lining; nothing else is visible this early.
Repeat draw on Thursday. Next appointment is a week from today for another ultrasound.
HCG level is, according to the nurse, very, very good. According to Dr. Google, I am off the charts for a singleton pregnancy, but I am not going there right now. One thing at a time.
I was riding home on the bus and the urge to pee on a stick was just overwhelming.
I knew it was too early, but I just couldn’t help myself.
My cheapo tests are not here yet so I used a First Response ( = $$) to test on 7-8 dpo.
I know this is not going to shock you, but it was negative.
Then I ripped the test apart and really looked at it.
I hate the two-week-wait; it turns me into a lunatic.
(… and then I went upstairs and fished it out of the garbage to have another look. Still negative. Pathetic. )
I remember when Princess Diana gave birth to Harry and the media quipped that she had fulfilled her duty of providing the royal family with “an heir and a spare.” At the time, I thought it was a very odd thing to say but an even odder way of thinking.
I was talking to my friend the other day and she brought up her step-sister, who had a series of miscarriages before ultimately giving birth to her daughter.
The step-sister now wants another child because — and I am paraphrasing here — you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. She said something about never knowing what could happen and wanting to have more children because she lives in fear that something might happen to the one she had. My friend was horrified and said she just could not understand how a 21st-century mother could think like this.
But I do understand. Two miscarriages taught me to be this cynical.
I don’t worry about Baby S (who isn’t really a baby anymore!) constantly or obsessively, but I do know, first-hand, that shit happens. I want another child because I want another child; I want to have children that can grow up together and learn from one another. Yet I understand what this woman was saying. You lose a pregnancy and you see how fragile and delicate life is. You see how your hopes can be shattered in a minute. In my case, I do not think I will ever completely let my guard down. I try not to let this fear for Baby S overpower me or color how I raise him, but it is always there. Always.
The magic number for fertility in my head was always 35. I know that in reality your eggs do not shrivel up and die the day you turn 35, but somehow it is the number that always stuck in my head. For some reason, and I know this is somewhat out-dated thinking, I regard having a baby over 35 as “high-risk” and “dangerous.” I know that people do this all the time and have perfectly healthy babies; I also know that you can be much younger and still have something go very, very wrong with your pregnancy or your baby. It is just something that has very effectively been programmed into my brain. Interestingly, I can look at other people and their plans quite objectively but I feel that, for me, 35 is some sort of fertility ledge.
I turn 35 in November.
I feel fairly confident that I “cured” my miscarriage problemg, in so much as that can ever really be done. Perhaps the two miscarriages were a fluke or perhaps Baby S was a fluke, but in treating the hypo-thyroid and using the blood-thinners to address a probable auto-immune issue, I feel fairly confident that I am doing all I can to prevent another miscarriage.
Somehow, though, I feel like waiting until I am 35+ to try again is tempting fate. My logical mind says “really, how much of a difference can a few more months make? If you start trying a year from now, how much will your eggs really suffer?” The irrational side of me feels like waiting is ensuring that I will miscarry or will have a baby with genetic abnormalities. I know this is not rational, but it increasingly plays in the back of my mind. I worry about being able to conceive again, about spacing children, about handling two kids and working, but even more than that I worry that by waiting, all I will be left with is genetically mutated eggs.
This is not something I can even really write about well, becuase it is not yet fully formed in my mind. I can usually talk some sense into myself, but the fear keeps creeping back. I just worry it is my intuition.
Niobe put up another Niobe’s True Confessions. I found the first edition horribly unsettling (is everyone really cheating on their spouse and/or having suicidal thoughts?) and I can’t bear to read the second. Instead, I will post my own version of “true confessions.”
1) I do not enjoy breastfeeding. On 22 June, I will have made it a whole year. Baby S has refused to nurse for over a month, so I pump between 2-3 times a day. I do it exclusively because the health benefits for him, which are particularly important given all the auto-immune issues in our families. I don’t even remember loving it when he was actually nursing. There were days when it was okay, but mostly I felt like it was a chore. Still, it is a minor chore and may bring him a lifetime of health benefits, so I pump. And pump. And pump. I will continue to pump until I go back to school in the fall.
2) Giving birth was not a transformative experience. Having a baby was/is a transformative experience, but pushing him out of my bajingo did nothing for me except, well, to get him out. I would have been fine with a C-section if it had been necessary.
3) I weighed 30 lbs. less when I was 9 months pregnant. Fuck.
4) I have the worst acne I have ever had while breastfeeding — huge, cystic zits that really hurt. I have gotten facials, I have applied zit creme, I have used every product imaginable; nothing seems to work.
5) The only thing that keeps me from wanting to try again for another baby right away is my trip to Europe scheduled for next spring. It’s the hormones talking, I swear. My logical mind is no match for my hormonal mind. A 2+ week European trip, however, is no match for my hormonal mind.
6) Having my own biological baby has made me more interested in adoption. Go figure.
To get to this point in my life, my heart had to break in half. Twice.
I had to have a D&C to remove dead embryonic tissue from my uterus. Twice.
I spent most of my third pregnancy terrified that it would end without a healthy baby. When I wasn’t worrying about that, I was throwing up.
I fall more in love with him every day.
Yes, it was worth it.
I am even considering doing it all over again eventually, which, although I am still a cynical bitch regarding all things pregnancy, I think is the ultimate gesture of optimism.
I have a new plan. It is not terribly exciting, but I will feel better if I write it down.
Next spring, I am going to do another study-abroad trip. I can’t handle the spring break thing, but I will ask if I can do it in May. We will save and save so that Mr. MC and Baby S can go along with me. We will also save and save so that we have a nice big nest egg.
This will be May 2010.
After that, we can start trying for another one. Baby S will be almost two at that point, and my midwife’s advice was to wait until he was at least 18 months before trying again.
This will give me a chance to have my body to myself for a little bit and try and lose some of this breastfeeding weight.
This will allow us to beef up our savings.
This will allow me to enjoy the heck out of Baby S.
This is the new plan, because I like to plan.
And, because abstract plans are boring, here is a picture of Baby S:
When you are trying to get pregnant, or trying to stay pregnant, it is all consuming. You live you life in two week increments: waiting to ovulate; waiting to take a pregnancy test; waiting for the next ultrasound, etc….
Here I am with Baby S, my wonderful, glorious son, and I feel like I should be doing something else. I feel — dare I say it? — like I should be trying to get pregnant.
The problem is, I do not think I am ready to be pregnant again. I am still breastfeeding and I would like to have some time to have my body to myself before I have to share it again. I would like to lose weight. I would like to work on my research. I would like to not have to divide my attention between Baby S and another child.
Yet, there is this nagging feeling that I should be doing more. Is it my biological clock ticking? Or it is just that for years, a healthy pregnancy was all that I wanted? I am not sure. I do want another one, I really, really, really do, but I can’t pinpoint why I keep thinking about it so much right now. Baby S is only nine months old. Still, it might be easier to just stay in the trenches? To just do it now instead of waiting?
Or perhaps I have just become obsessed with the means and not the end.