Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Viver's 1st Report Card

We had the ultrasound part of our NT Scan last week (which is the first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s Syndrome or other forms of Trisomy) and Viver passed with flying colors. A++++++++

The ultrasound itself was the coolest experience so far. Kaiser isn’t equipped to do NT scans yet, so they pay for members to go to the few places that are certified in our area. The closest place is about an hour away so Chris and I had to take a half day off work, but it was worth it. It was quite the foo-foo place, nicely decorated and up on all the latest technology.

The ultrasound is an abdominal one (what? An appointment where I leave my pants ON? That’s a weird experience) which also meant I needed to have a full bladder. By the time we arrived, it was quite full. Chris, of course, immediately located a restroom when we arrived.


Let’s just say, if there is another time where I have to keep my bladder full, he will have to keep his full as well. I don’t for a minute agree with the pregnant women that feel their husbands should be deprived of everything they are deprived of while pregnant (drinking, sushi, whatever), however I think it would help him understand why I was so anxious that they seemed to be running a bit late. Sure, 10 minutes late is nothing in doctor appointments, but when you have to pee and know the ultrasound is going to take about a half hour of someone pressing just about right on your bladder, it’s bound to make you a bit anxious and just a touch pissy.

So we are ushered into a room and I lay down and see that we have our very own screen to look at that’s mounted just over head! What a treat. Half the time we can’t see anything, or if they do tilt the screen towards us we’re both craning to catch a peek. This time we got to see it all. They even took some 3D pictures of Viver, and gave us a CD of images including a little movie showing Viver’s heart beating.

I had to laugh at when the doctor decided Viver wasn’t in the position he wanted him to be in so he jiggled my belly trying to get him to move. He did, but he rolled away and put his back to us. I told the doctor he was mocking him. That’s definitely my kid. All he was lacking was the middle finger thrown up for good measure.

Monday, February 18, 2008

February 18th, 2008

For many today is a holiday.

For me, it’s the due date of my first pregnancy that I lost at 12 weeks. It’s also not a work holiday for me, but that’s another whine for later.

Chances are slim I would have given birth on this day, but it’s the only day I have to hold on to. Anniversaries and due dates of miscarriages are particularly hard on the moms that would have been. Today is not easy for me.

While being pregnant now makes it much easier than I imagine today would have otherwise been, it still is not easy. I think being pregnant makes me less angry than I would have been, but no less sad. People that haven’t experienced miscarriage often don’t understand that one pregnancy does not replace a lost one. I so often hear people say “you’ll get pregnant again” or notions to that effect to women that have lost a baby…I can’t speak for everyone but for myself, that was far from comforting, and not only because I was infertile and no one knew if I would get pregnant again. I wanted that baby. I miss that baby. I mourn that baby. I love the baby I’m carrying; but it does not make me miss my first any less.

I often wonder what I was doing when my baby’s heart stopped beating. Was I sleeping? Was I at work? Was I eating? How could I possibly not know what had happened? For as long as I live, I will never forget the image on that ultrasound machine and will never forget seeing 8 weeks 3 days show up as the measurement when I should have been 11 weeks, 4 days. I will never forget the image of the too small baby laying on it’s back completely motionless. I wanted to reach through the screen, grab my baby and hold it, apologize for anything ever happening to him or her, tell her I loved her…we loved her.

I will never forget the moment Chris and I both recognized what had happened and how my husband comforted me and held me – as if my body wasn’t responsible for all of the pain and agony we had been through up to and including that horrible day. At that moment, I felt like the luckiest unlucky woman in the world.

To our baby that never was, you’re always in our hearts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I wanna go back...

(anyone else hearing that Eddie Money song in their head right about now? No? Anyhow...)

I wanna go back to that time during this pregnancy when I was neurotic for no good reason. When I worried incessantly without due cause. Back when I would cop a feel during the day and realize my boobs weren't at all tender and nearly start crying...even though we had a perfect ultrasound the day before. In a nutshell, I want to go back to being crazy. Just your average infertile with a history of pregnancy loss trying to make her way through the first trimester, crazy.

Because really having something to worry about sucks. It sucks a lot more than just being crazy. Because, FYI, crazy doesn't go away - it just compounds with actual, validated fears to make you one big crazy, scared, bitchy mess.

So the spotting didn't stop. We accomplished a record last week of 3 appointments (if you count the ER as an appointment, which, in this case I am) within 6 days. We were given an explanation for the spotting that thankfully isn't harming Viver or the pregnancy in any way, but it is still incredibly unnerving to spot this consistently for a week and a half now. I now have the honor of sporting a cervical polyp, likely throughout the pregnancy unless it decides to go away on its own. It's basically a benign growth and lucky me, it bleeds. I was in a kind mood and didn't include a picture of one. I stumbled across one on the internet and it was very disturbing. Almost as disturbing as the two doctors that diagnosed me with it offering to show Chris and I what it looked like. No thank you. He's just here for the moral support and ultrasound folks, no need to send him down to that side of the exam table.

Pretty much the polyp just means I'll probably spot for the rest of the pregnancy, and I am on pelvic rest indefinitely. Beyond the obvious things that can't be done on pelvic rest, I've decided the following should be included:
  • Mopping
  • Vacuuming
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cleaning, especially the bathroom
  • Cooking
I'm sure I'll come up with more later. It's just best for Viver. Really.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Screw the Superbowl...let's go to the ER instead!

Yesterday marked our first pregnancy trip to the Emergency Room. I say first because somehow I doubt it will be our last. Just a hunch.

Yesterday evening I experienced some very light pink spotting that threw me into a tizzy like you wouldn't believe. I know I'm neurotic with this pregnancy to begin with, but I don't spot. I'm simply not a spotter. The one and only time I've spotted was when I miscarried before. Needless to say, we both feared the worst (feared might be the wrong word. Assumed the worst would be better). In addition to the scary spotting, I had killer back pain all day, my annoying ovary was hurting all day and the entire weekend I was worried because my few symptoms I had disappeared...just like last time.

Thankfully the ER wasn't that crowded and we got in right away. Last time we were at the ER (not pregnancy related) we were there for nearly 4 hours. I guess a threatened miscarriage is a higher priority than a bite from a stray cat. (In my defense, the advice nurse insisted I go to the ER for the cat bite...I was simply looking for her to say something like, "If you wake up and your foaming at the mouth, then you should go to the ER", but instead she made it into a dire situation that needed to be attended to immediately. Did I understand?! Immediately! I will say the cat that bit me was vicious. Oh, I can hear Chris laughing....).

First Dr. Sympathy visited us in the exam room. We assumed he would be attending to me, since well, he was in scrubs that said Dr., and he was in our exam room. But alas, he wanted to talk. He had glanced at my chart and saw we had been dealing with infertiilty. He went on to say that he and his wife struggled with infertility, then suffered two 15-week losses back to back. We exchanged the requisite I'm sorrys. "No, I'm sorry for your loss!" Because as pregnancy loss survivors, we all know how fucking rude it is to not say I'm sorry when someone tells you they suffered a miscarriage so we do have a tendency to over compensate. Then he somberly told us that we did understand that there wasn't much he could tell us that night as it's too early to tell if there is a heart beat or not....uh, what? We didn't just pay $100 to exchange stories, buddy. I told him we had already seen the heart beat twice so that shouldn't be a problem. Hell, I'd be happy to perform the ultrasound myself, just log me into the machine sitting next to me and you can go on your merry way! He was very nice and thankfully called an OB into the ER to do the exam.

At this point we already know the baby is gone. We just know it. Another fucking loss. In between Dr. Sympathy leaving and Dr. Doppler arriving, we start talking about quitting our jobs, living off our savings for a while...traveling or doing something, anything but trying to have a baby. Maybe open a bar and become fun-loving alcoholics. Maybe travel the world, except we'd have to bring our cat with us and that was going to pose some logistical problems.

Our pondering was stopped when Dr. Doppler arrived. She got right to the point and started trying to find the heart beat with the doppler. This was new territory for us...we've never had a doppler experience. Now, with an ultrasound, I can tell what is or isn't going on - I can read it myself just fine. But with the doppler, I had no idea what we were listening to. The "whoosh, whoosh" was loud and clear, but what the hell was it? Ah, the placenta. But, she finally found the heart beat! We heard Viver's heart beat loud and clear, it was 150bpm which she said was good. It was the most beautiful sound. We would have wanted to listen longer, but I of course started laughing out of shock and relief and the sound went away. Funny, no one even said nipple.

She said light spotting isn't uncommon and everything else seems fine so it wasn't a concern. I won't feel ok until we see Viver this week and make sure he's measuring on track and there's still a heart beat, but obviously we feel better than we did on our way to the ER. One thing is for sure...if we have a good appointment on Friday, I'm ordering a doppler.