Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh my God I'm really pregnant!

With one embryo. And it has a heartbeat! 115 beats per minute. Amazing amazing amazing. I guess it's real : ) No guarantees for the future, but at this moment I'm pregnant. Wow.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm having a hard time, so this is going to be me getting it all out, so that I can see it more clearly. First off, I've been really emotional for the last couple of days, so I need to focus on the fact that this is a good sign - it's just a symptom, and all symptoms are signs that I'm actually pregnant. Even though this symptom makes me weep uncontrollably, and makes me cry when my parents and mother-in-law call to share their excitement.

My breasts have been really sore, even though I don't think they're any bigger. I haven't thrown up, but I do feel slightly nauseated a lot of the time. In the last couple of days that's made me feel like eating only carbs. Even though I'm terrified of getting gestational diabetes and hurting the baby, I'm trying to remind myself that at this moment the baby doesn't need much in the way of extra nutrition (keeping up with the multivitamin and fish oil supplements). Eating a little bit several times a day helps with the nausea, so I think it's probably morning sickness. I've also been completely exhausted, and having a hard time sleeping through the night. I think it's probably that I need to pee and that makes me sleep lighter, which makes me more sensitive to my husband snoring. So again, I need to recast this issue as a symptom, and therefore positive.

It's worth mentioning also that I suck at being sick. Seriously - even relatively minor ailments make me emotional and lazy. I frequently cry out of frustration when I'm sick because I hate feeling out of control so much. So even though I am trying to remember that these symptoms are a good thing, I'm also having a hard time dealing. Normally I just wait it out when I feel bad, but in this case, that comfort doesn't exist: it's going to get worse rather than better, and it's not going to stop for months. And that's a good thing, but it's also hard for me to deal with when I'm already having mood swings. Human beings are magical, and we can adjust to almost anything. So I'm going to be able to feel like myself again. This won't last forever, and I need to be gentle with myself that I'm not superwoman.

I'm also having a hard time not worrying about miscarriage. So many other people have dealt with this, and it seems foolhardy to think I'll get a miracle when the odds are so high. But I'm trying to remind myself that my betas were good, and I did another home pregnancy test today and realized I'm an idiot: when I took the first one, I saw that the line was pretty faint, so I thought today I would feel better seeing it go up. It was only after reading this one that I realized I had the lines reversed - the other one was super dark. Luckily, today's was too. But that was after I had a heart attack over the fact that the line was really faint. The CONTROL line was really faint. Some lab scientist I am : )

All of which brings me to the topic that will make me feel insanely guilty. Please stop reading now, all of you. I need to write it down, but it's just going to make you all hate me. So please, just stop here. My inability to work this week has made my ambition-related anxiety go into hyperdrive. I'm incredibly ambitious, and I love being good at science. I want to have a baby more than anything, but I also want to be a good scientist. During the years that we've been struggling to have a baby, I have funneled lots of my energy into work. I became a slightly frightening work-a-holic as a way to deal with the complete lack of control that infertility continually rubs your nose in. But by now, that approach is a complete habit for me (one I like). So much so that I feel terrible that I'm not being more productive in the last week as I adjust to being pregnant. I should be writing this paper, but I'm exhausted and nauseated, so instead I work way less than I used to. I'm realizing that I need to recalibrate my expectations. When I started doing this job, I had a totally reasonable balance of 10 hours per day, 5 days a week. If I was focused and productive during those hours I could get a lot done. In the last few years that has increased, so that now I feel guilty if I work less than 12 hours. Which is every day recently, and I'm feeling like I'm losing an important part of myself. I need to focus on recalibrating, and I also need to get into a new habit for writing. Before, I would go to the coffee shop and a decaf would help me focus. I need to get back in that habit but without the caffeine. I also need to get back on track with my writing buddy, who I've been avoiding because I can't handle telling her I'm pregnant. But I need to bite the bullet, and get back on track so that I can get a handle on this anxiety. Which now I feel like I can do.

In case you're still reading, here's the final, slightly hilarious symptom: I can't stand things being messy, dirty or disorganized. In general, I'm a totally messy person, and my husband does most of the housework. But in the last week I've done a lot of cleaning, because it makes me anxious to have things out of place. Our house isn't especially neat or clean right now, but I'm noticing, and that's a new thing. Pregnancy OCD. I wonder if that's a thing.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 5

The stick was a good idea, and both moms were over the moon. So that made it seem more real. But now it's fading again. I think it's mostly because my husband processes things deep in his brain (the emotional stuff at least), so he doesn't bring it up, and he's the main person I talk to outside of work.

The third beta was 2081, which they count as appropriate doubling even though by my count it's not quite (for 3 days later). So we scheduled the ultrasound for Friday, and hopefully that will make me more confident about the whole thing. I really need to tell people, because a) it doesn't feel real if it's a secret from everyone around me, b) I think about miscarriage a lot by myself and other people are too ignorant to be worried about that so they focus me on the happy part, and c) I feel like I'm lying by hiding this from important people. But the things that hold me back are a) I feel like I should tell my siblings before I tell other people (even though I feel like I'd rather practice on friends first), and b) I know if I miscarry I'm not going to want to have to tell almost anyone.

So at the moment my plan is to tell one close friend before Friday, and then tell my siblings over the weekend if the ultrasound goes well. I know it's stupid to be scared of telling them, but I really am. I'm the oldest, and this will change a lot about the family dynamic (or at least they will be worried it will). None of them have any experience with this area, and none of them has a very good filter, so I'm really worried they'll say something that will crush me without really meaning to. I know that's stupid, but it's there and so I need to get it out.

In other news, I've been exhausted and very slightly nauseated all week. I've been so tired that I have no idea how there are people who don't notice they're pregnant. Week 5, and I can't function at all like normal. Which sucks because I'm insanely anxious about work, and not getting it done makes me wake up early from anxiety, which means less sleep, which makes me more tired, which continues the cycle. So I'm trying to do some very basic easy yoga, to make me feel a little more physically competent. And I keep reminding myself that I'm accomplishing something at all times by growing a human being. And most importantly, that as long as I finish my PhD before the kid is born, it's really not going to matter that I couldn't finish by the end of 2010. It just means I need to tell my advisors way earlier than I otherwise would, since that's why I'm asking for an extension.

It's all going to be ok. Cleaning is surprisingly soothing right now, so I'm going to go do that. Thanks for listening to my anxiety-fueled ramblings.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great news

The result today was 768, more than double 48 hours before. I have another test on Monday, and if that shows good doubling too, we get to schedule an ultrasound at the fertility clinic for the 19th. That fact made it seem more real all of a sudden. And I’m very grateful that I won’t have to wait long to see if there’s more than one embryo in there. The nurse said it’s impossible to predict anything from the levels being on the high side, so my fears about multiples are solely based on the fact that they had no idea how many eggs were mature when we finally triggered. So there could be up to 25 in there : ) But hopefully NOT! I’m going to keep my fingers crossed until Monday, but today’s result definitely made me feel better about the whole thing. It might be real. That means we need to tell our moms - probably today. Which still doesn’t feel like a good idea, but I’m going to buy a stick test on the way home, so hopefully that will make it seem more real. I’ve never ever seen even a hint of a line on any test in the last 2 years, so I’m really looking forward to it. Happy happy, and hopefully going to get to stay that way. I hope my mom is happy, but even if she is, there’s a strong history of her making me cry when I tell her good news. Hopefully we can break that pattern today, since she should be expecting this news. Craziest week ever!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


There are too many things I want to say at once. In the end, I'm only trying to write this entry because I think I'll want to remember how I feel today, before it's overshadowed by how I'll feel tomorrow or the day after that.

I'm pregnant. At least for now. And the stupid thing is that I feel like I should apologize to anyone reading this, because your infertility journey has probably been so much worse than mine, and I hate feeling like I'm going to cause someone pain by writing this. But I am, and I'm so unbelievably a jumble of emotions.

It doesn't feel real, although I'm hoping that the repeat beta test tomorrow will make me feel like it's ok to believe it. I'm also going to buy a pregnancy test on the way home tomorrow, so that I can pee on a stick and know for sure they didn't mix up the samples, and maybe holding it in my hand will make it seem true. This can't happen to me. IUI? But it's so simple. We started this cycle the day the doctor told us that IVF was probably our only shot. Can we really be getting what we've been dreaming about for so long? And how can I ever take on the responsibility of keeping safe, and growing this other human life? It's so overwhelming (and amazing - I oscillate continuously).

My husband didn't believe it either. Not really. I could tell it wasn't sinking in, even though his face in the first moment I told him was something I want to remember forever. And he held me while I cried out of happiness and sheer overwhelmedness. So many emotions. I need for him to come home tonight so that I can talk to someone about it again. I feel bad about it, but I lied point blank to my mom about it when she asked this afternoon, and told her the test is tomorrow. Because I am feeling so worried that it's not going to keep being true that I couldn't bear the idea of having to deal with her happiness today. So instead I get to tell her tomorrow, right? When there really is good news, and I won't have to snatch it right back.

My primary anxieties today are that the high HCG level (351!) either means multiples, or a molar pregnancy, and also that this happiness will only last for a few days or weeks and I'll miscarry. It has happened to so many other women, and it makes it almost impossible to believe that we'll actually get to hold onto this happiness. But at the same time, it's so insanely reassuring that our genetic material can combine at all, so I'm trying to hold onto that. I teased my husband that the fact that our first IUI worked means that the problem all along has been that his sperm weren't bright enough to get past my cervix.

The nurse called yesterday, and I asked her whether she was sure at least twice. I was so surprised. They always say they have bad news. Never good news! We have a whole routine. And yet she did. And they didn't call back all afternoon to say it was a mix-up.

I'm reassured by the fact that there are actual symptoms. Not definitive, obviously, but it explains a lot, in retrospect. I was exhausted all weekend, and the weekend before I slept for an entire day. I've had a variety of other health issues in the last couple of weeks, and they all show up on a list of early pregnancy symptoms. So maybe it's true. Maybe this will actually be the start of an amazing amazing adventure. And not the start of a dark period in my life. For tonight, I'm going to try to focus on the idea of a baby (or babies) next summer. Perfect timing for my teacher husband (and for me, assuming I can work successfully while pregnant). The timing he would have chosen two years ago (a year earlier, obviously) if I hadn't told him firmly that fertility isn't predictable, and that we were not stupid enough to try to time anything. Can we really be this lucky?

I think that's most of it. Maybe my life really did change in an instant. Just like every other part of this experience, it's very Schroedinger's Cat - I won't know whether my life changed yesterday until further down the line. But maybe. Maybe maybe maybe....