Friday, June 30, 2017

Mom rocks

Last night I had a few minutes to chat with my mom, and man, it felt so normal.  We talked about this pregnancy, I described how this one feels eerily similar to Niblet's (though unfortunately, so did Celine's).  But mostly it was nice to hear her voice and her sardonic sense of humor come through while I described my fatigue, and my cravings.  What kinds of clothes to wear to hide the three pounds I've gained and the tiny bulge in my lower abdomen (she is crazy fashionable,also a former dancer, and steered me well in skirt choices).

Some points were understandably awkward.  She's never really kept the kind of running log on my fertility history that I have.... so she mistakenly thought that at 11 weeks, I was farther along than I had been with others....and she thought I was being a little hyperbolic when I said this was my tenth pregnancy ("no, really Mom, counting Nibble this IS ten.")

I made the (possible?) mistake of telling her when my next drs visits were.  Appointment with my OB next thursday (where I explained I will likely only hear a heartbeat - if there is one - on doppler), and the N/T screen the following monday, where I will have a far more detailed ultrasound.  She didn't make the connection that this is where my world fell apart during my pregnancy with Celine, and I didn't want to tell her.  I also noted that I wouldn't feel truly confident until after an early anatomy scan, which wouldn't likely be until maybe 18 weeks.

But what was really helpful, what made me smile inside, was that the donor factor never came up.  I was just another pregnant lady talking to her mom about how the pregnancy feels. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The waiting in between anxiety in between the waiting

Today I'm 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  At least, I am going to assume I am still pregnant, since I haven't had anything resembling a scan for about two weeks, and I won't be getting any additional proof that this baby is still alive until after the Fourth of July holiday (Thursday the 6th, to be precise).

Saturday I woke up and felt amazing.  Maybe this is the week the placenta takes over and I start feeling great?  I took a relatively easy ballet class, ate a brunch with lots of flavor and nutrients, took the Nibble out for ice cream... and then needed to get home to pass out cold.  Like the narcoleptic I have been the past few weeks.

This week, it's been a mixed bag of nausea, the desire for real food, and then last night, some insane bloating that I shit you not, created a stomach on me that looked 6 months pregnant. I jumped in a bath (not too hot, don't worry), threw in some lavender oil, and an hour later re-emerged feeling a little better, with the ability to put on a pair of pants.

Is this baby a boy?  A girl?  Dead?  Still developing?  Developing normally?

Last night I was on the phone with a colleague, "O," going through some work related stress and bullshit that just shouldn't be.  She is awesome and brilliant, a great sounding board.... we've worked together on a campaign for the last three years, but I've never told her anything of this hidden life.  My story has always been "I've got some medical issues I have to deal with."  Well, last night, I told her a little more of the story.  We were talking about the need to shake off our work, be home for our children in the summer, be present in our marriages, not become martyrs to the mission-driven insanity of our work just blurted out of me:

Can I tell you something I've never told you?  All of my health issues these three years?  They've been miscarriages.  Eight of them.  Yes, eight.  And now I'm pregnant again.  And who the hell knows if it's gonna be a ninth miscarriage.  And I just want to not be additionally stressed by this fucking job.

Pregnancy after loss(es) is living at the edge of a glacier, facing the abyss.

Sure, work's been a little stressful, but it's got nothing on this.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Adventures in eating

This morning I ran to the corner store next to my office and got one of these.  Because THIS is what my body was demanding.

To say my diet has a been a little skewed these days would be an understatement.

The list of the only things I want to eat:
  • Real pasta with marinara sauce (Chef Boyardee notwithstanding)
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Potato chips
  • Toasted sandwich bread with mayonnaise and a thick slice of tomato
  • Tuna sandwiches (I know, I know)
  • French toast with bananas and walnuts and vanilla creme fraiche from one specific local restaurant 
And that's really about it.   All washed down with water or iced tea.  Viking picked me up a McDonald's Fillet o'Fish the other day that I thought would hit the spot, but really didn't.

The good news is that my doc ordered a 1 hour glucose screen for me, because of my borderline A1c numbers.  The better news is that I passed it, so for now, this diet  - better called "the foods I can choke down" - isn't technically killing me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brutal honesty, and the great genetic crapshoot

The other night I woke up at about 4 am with just a tremendous amount of anxiety.  Of the OMG, What have we done variety.

This time it was about the donor.  Did I choose wisely?  Should I have waited to find a Jewish donor? What if I bear a child who is so clearly not of my blood line?  What if I give birth to a baby that just looked like they dropped from the sky?

Then I had to breathe.  And then I was ok.  Sure, finding a Jewish donor would have been awesome, but would also have added months - and probably another $10K -  to this process.  I turned 43 this year.  I just didn't have it in me to wait.

I reminded myself that my donor was lovely, and thoughtful, and artistic.  Just like my one living Niblit, who thoughtful, lovely and artistic, AND who is heading towards being a 6 foot tall amazon blonde. 

And then I worried about my generally awesome, but some what old-fashioned parents.  Would they treat this child differently because they wouldn't be able to see themselves?  Would it even matter?  My mom often calls Niblet and Viking "frick and frack" because she is just so clearly OF him. Some of her facial expressions are uncannily HIM.  On the other hand, the Nibble is such a mini-me in her words, the cadence of her speech, her love of arts, how she moves.  Is all this nature or nurture?  How much of this hinges on genetics?  Will I ever truly know?

I know not just in my brain, but deep in my heart that so much of what has made the Nibble an astounding kid is our love for her, and the way we have raised her.  The way we talk with her, the ideas we expose her to. 

The Viking and I often note to each other that Niblet is exactly why we want to do this again.  We could never replicate her.  But we do honestly feel like whatever little person we would be lucky enough to raise would have all of the potential to thrive with us as parents. Simply put, we enjoy it.

But I will be honest.  At 4 am I made a wish:  I hoped this baby I am gestating (yes, I am acknowledging it and the potential for it to love) comes out looking like the Viking. Just like the Nibble did.  The donor and I have similar eyes and we're both brunette, but she's hardly my twin.  What your baby looks like is truly a genetic crap shoot.  It's a little exciting.  But I am pretty sure that for many donor egg mothers, it's also a little terrifying.

A second baby is the same for any expectant mother.  Different, with the potential to be a completely unique fully-formed human.  For me, a little bit of the familiar might come as something as a relief.

Monday, June 12, 2017


I wonder if there will ever be a day when I'm getting an ultrasound when I don't get up on that table and expect to see a dead or very sick baby...

For now, we live to see another day.  I am 8 weeks 3 days, measuring on target, with a normal heart rate. 

I still feel awfully disconnected from this baby.  And I mean, specifically, the baby, who is starting to sprout arm and leg buds.  Not the pregnancy, I mean, there's no more *forgetting* I'm pregnant, what with the ever present nausea and narcolepsy. 

Part of me wonders if this is because somewhere deep in my psyche I worry about the lack of a genetic connection to this little bean. But, another part of me recognizes that staying detached from your tenth consecutive pregnancy is a probably fairly normal response. 

And now that I think of it, I used to call the Nibble "the parasite" when she was in utero.  Viking HATED that by the way, even though it wasn't said with a shred of malice.  Honestly, that's just how pregnancy feels to me, like this alien being is sucking your life from you.  I know I'm not the only one.  Well, I said it again a few days ago about this baby, and he reprimanded me again.  Dude, when you carry a baby you can call it anything YOU want.  I'll just be standing in a corner laughing at your inability to function at all.

Truth be told, when my one living daughter was born, I was completely numb and sort of disconnected as well.  Almost a full day of labor (22 hours), a fourth-degree tear, and a fever scare had her taken from me and wheeled away from observation for at least an hour. The hormone crash and PPD that ensued wasn't pretty.  I recall a very specific day, when she was about 10 weeks old, that I truly felt in my bones the love I had for her.

Anyways, in other news, I had vials of blood taken this morning, including a really early glucose tolerance test.  God, I hope I pass, if only because the only thing I could choke down yesterday was a giant vanilla milkshake. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Crushing on my new OB

So this is your 10th pregnancy, and you only have one living child?  And nine of them were with your own eggs?  Ok.  Whoa.

Dr. W is awesome.  Maybe the many years of Dr. Cuddles has made me never expect a warm OB, but I found Dr. W to be surprisingly good-natured.  And, oh man, it's so nice to talk to a doctor and say things and not have them look at you like you're an alien. 

The good news is that she doesn't think that my A1C number makes me particularly high-risk.  The better news is that she does view the five million D&Cs I've had as potentially making me high-risk, and she has a monitoring game plan off the bat.  And she's also moved to get me in for a NT screening before the end of the first trimester to ensure we're not looking at another Omphalocele. 

I feel like I'm in good hands. 

*Because they encouraged me to, I counted chemicals.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Medical Records

I usually get to work about a half hour before anyone else will even consider it.  I like the quiet.  I especially like being able to copy a million pages of confidential medical records without anyone seeing me at the copier.

Last night I remembered that I see the new OB Thursday and promised to bring my medical records.  I know I requested for my current RE's office to mail them everything they had, but not sure whether that file will encompass everything that came before them.  So I dug out the last 5 years of records, and tacked on the stuff related to my pregnancy and birth with Niblet.

The amount of paper I'll be hauling in with me is just ridiculous.  And sort of jumbled, since I was often seeing more than one doctor at a time.  And I see now that I don't have any of the records from Dr. K (who recently passed), which would mostly include the management of miscarriage number 5.

Oh well.  This is where my blog, with its Reproduction Road - TTC Timeline is pretty damn helpful.  I can cut and paste an edited just the facts version of it onto a word document and head into a new doctor's office like a champ.  Most of it I can recite by memory, but some of the dates get fuzzy.

It's been 5 long years, after all.

Monday, June 5, 2017

the comfort of feeling ridiculously uncomfortable

My constant nausea and narcoleptic like fatigue is all that's getting me through this experience with a shred of sanity. 

I curl up in bed at night with a fresh-scented bar of soap to keep me from wanting to hurl.  I am nodding off at my desk here at work, right now as I try to type this post. 

All of this takes the edge off.  I mean, sure, it's quite possible that when I head to my new OB's office on thursday we will see another dead baby on an ultrasound screen.  I mean, it's me right? 

But the fact that I feel terrible is by all reasoning, keeping the hope alive.  And stopping my mind from wandering to the terrible, anxious places it can go. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

can I sleep now?

I have an appointment with Dr. W.  Next week, when I am exactly 8 weeks.

Dr. W is an OB with a perinatal group. She has seen everything. She also handled the pregnancies of two women I know who had issues with their cervices (cervixi?).  Both women went on to deliver healthy term babies.  That's the kinda care I want.  So it's like I'll be getting the care of an MFM who also delivers.  I'll take it, for as long as this pregnancy lasts, since there's no way I can even fathom making it that far.

In the meantime, with that huge hurdle jumped, I am tired.  So so tired.  I have to stay wide awake for the next five hours, at least, as I shuttle Niblet to her ballet's dress rehearsal and then function as the backstage dance mom.  Where I will probably be overseeing about a dozen children, with lots of "don't wipe your hands on your tights" and "use the bathroom now if you have to" and bobby-pinning loose buns and the like.  In other words, I can't curl up and take a nap.

I recall being this tired with the Nibble, when I was a spry 34 year old, so I am going to tell myself it's not because I am a desiccating person over 40.