Friday, February 26, 2010

132 Beats Per Minute

You know what was a little heart wrenching? Having the ultrasound tech yesterday see yet another empty sac where there should have been a tiny nubbin with a heartbeat, and start asking me whether I was SURE about the dates of my last period, and only THEN, when I had gone numb all over and turned to stare at the ceiling, mentioning, "Oh, but there's another sac over here- and there's a heartbeat in this one." All casual-like, as though she hadn't just jerked Jim's and my heart up and down like a yo yo.

And yes, there it was, in between a weird, scar-like patch where she thinks the bleeding came from two weeks ago, and a lumpy, empty sac which presumably was my baby's vanishing twin, was a normal sac with a normal embryo measuring at six weeks four days, and a heartbeat, a heartbeat we even got to HEAR. I thought I would cry, for sure, but after the tech's initial comments about empty sacs and correct dates, I think I had literally steeled myself and was still somewhat in shock throughout the visit. Even once she saw a heartbeat, all I could do was say, "You're sure?" and then stare in disbelief at the snowy image, not trusting my eyes.

The weird thing is, I could have sworn that I saw two sacs even on that initial, five week ultrasound that the doctor did in the office after the bleeding episode. She only referred to one, in which she could see, just barely, a forming fetal pole, but I KNOW I saw two. I even mentioned it to Jim: "I think it might be twins," I voiced uncertainly. "I swear I saw two sacs today. But maybe she didn't want to get my hopes up yet in case it's one of those vanishing twin things?"

It also explains how quickly my tummy popped out, and how especially tender/nauseous/fatigued I've been. Must be some extra hormones in there, if there's still a second sac, so I guess my body still thinks it's having two right now.

Because of the second sac, and the weird "bleed" as they called it on the other side of the viable sac, I'll be getting another ultrasound in two weeks. They also said I could possibly have further bleeding at some point from one or both of these odd factors, but to definitely call and come in if I do. The doctor seemed a little nervous still given these variables, and frankly so am I, and yet... It's a remarkable thing, to see an ultrasound picture on the fridge door again. It's been a long time coming.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nauseously Yours

Oh HAI. Yes, yes, I do realize that I have a blog, in fact, two now, and that I've been neglecting them both. I'm sorry. It's nothing bad that's kept me from being online the last five days. Or, rather, it's bad in the sense that I have NEVER and I mean NEVER felt this sick so early on in a pregnancy, but it's actually GOOD because that must mean the baby's doing well, right? At least, that's what I kept telling myself as I lay absolutely still on my bed last night, already exhausted and DONE for the day at eight pm, staring at a newborn picture of Eli and chanting to myself queasily, "This is worth it. This is worth it."

I finally gave in today and let myself throw up. I just hate throwing up so much, but fighting it all day and night long wasn't working too well. I think it was a good idea, because after three, um, SESSIONS, I am finally feeling marginally better this evening. Marginally, in that I actually made dinner for the first time in four days and I wiped down all the kitchen counters and cleaned the sticky off the kids' play table in the den and... that's it. It doesn't sound that impressive, but trust me that it's the most I've done in one afternoon in many days.

Thank goodness I have nice peoples, though. I mean, SERIOUSLY. Jim's been a rock star around the house with the kids and the groceries and the cooking and the tidying. My dear Jess is watching my kids tomorrow morning so I can either clean or vomit in peace, whichever fate decides. AND, my mom came over today, on her lunch break no less, and instead of eating, CLEANED OUR BATHROOM and did our dishes. So at least the second and third times, I got to gag over a clean toilet. It's the small things, folks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Info, Rambling

Quick update- My progesterone was 15.70 on Monday. That is... meh. Not fantastic. But I refuse to take any more progesterone supplements, despite being nagged about it from every single person in the doctor's office. I have tried it three stinking times with no success, and I feel like all it ever did for me was drag the process out, since progesterone keeps you from physically miscarrying even if the embryo has already failed. So I get to walk around thinking it's fine when it's not. I'm done with that, especially since there are no conclusive studies to show that progesterone supplements help improve the chances of a declining pregnancy. Even my doctor admitted the truth of that. So.

But on another note, I nearly barfed today; that's always an allegedly good sign, right? Also, craved: (and ate and felt much better for it) cold pizza, Taco Bell, pineapple, and pink lemonade.

Another DEFINITELY good sign is that my hcg draw this morning had reassuring results: it rose from 4300 to 6600 since Monday morning. At first I panicked because it didn't double in forty eight hours, which I thought it was supposed to, but the nurse told me once the levels hit 4000 they don't expect them to double anymore, and that a fifty percent jump was very good. So. Okay.

I took Adelay to her dance class tonight and ran into a friend I hadn't seen for awhile but had heard through the grapevine was pregnant. We were chatting about baby stuff in general (though I didn't reveal my secret) and specifically OB's, when she shocked me by saying, "Yeah, I just love Dr. so and so. She was so great to me through all my miscarriages." Wha? I mean, I'm not best friends with her or anything, but I'm close friends with other people who are close friends with her, so I just kind of thought I would have known if she'd had multiple miscarriages.

Further discussion revealed that she, too, has had three losses and two live births, but her stories were even worse than mine. She's had one early loss, seven weeks along and ultrasound revealed a still empty sac, but the other two were at twelve and sixteen weeks, the part of pregnancy where you start to let your breath out and think you're in the clear. "Yeah," she shrugged. "We just kinda don't tell anyone we're expecting until I'm at least four months along now."

I personally feel the opposite way, after my experiences- for one thing, if I'm feeling sick or needing to procure childcare for frequent doctor's visits or whatever, it's really helpful to have family and friends who KNOW you're pregnant (and nervous) and are eager to help rather than wondering why you keep dumping your kids off, or napping in the middle of the day. And also, while the friend I talked to this evening said that she never wanted to have to tell and then UN-tell people about a coming baby ever again, I feel like sharing this pain helps with the healing. It would feel awful and unnatural to me to be grieving and have to try to mask it when I was around other people. I guess everyone's just different. Um, OBVIOUSLY- scintillating observation, there, Sarah!

But that's just a side topic, there. My main point was, WOW. Here's someone with two kids and three losses, and I had no idea. Another woman chimed into our conversation, too, saying that she'd had a miscarriage before having any live births, and that she was totally blindsided and thought she must be "barren or something." I got to thinking about how many people I KNOW OF who have had at least one miscarriage, and then wondering how many people have that I just DON'T know about. Why don't people talk about this more, so we aren't all so shocked and horrified upon experiencing it ourselves?

I mean, it never crossed my mind, as a young, healthy woman in my twenties, that I would have more than a remote chance of having even one loss, let alone three (and ONLY THREE, KNOCK ON WOOD.) But it happens, and not just to me, and sometimes for no reason that anyone can pinpoint. You just have to keep trying and hoping. Nature is a cruel, fickle beast, but it sure would help if we could at least WARN each other about her ways a little more.

So, PSA! Miscarriage: It's not just for other people! Also, you are not a freak of nature or an inferior woman just because you happen to release a defective egg or your body doesn't like to produce certain hormones. You are just a human being, and subject to the whims of your body like everyone else. And... It sucks. Hang in there. One of these days, we are going to have us a baby, okay?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Still Sticking

Oh. Oh oh oh. The baby is still there- or at least, there's a visible sac, and it's where it should be, not descending into my cervix or anything ominous. My hcg is really good, too, 4300.

Initially, the doctor said she wasn't even going to try a sonogram since it was so early, which of course left me wilted with disappointment. She just examined me to make sure my cervix wasn't opening, and did a culture of the blood left near my cervix. She then left the room, told me to get dressed, and went to see if my lab results had gotten faxed yet. A few minutes later the nurse came back in, informing me I had to undress again because my hcg was so high the doctor thought maybe she would be able to see something in my uterus, after all. And indeed she did. A lovely, lovely blob of baby material.

And now I will go collapse on my Victorian fainting couch and sniff smelling salts for the rest of the afternoon, if you don't mind. Good grief, what an emotional wringer. So much for avoiding stress. I feel like a limp noodle after the last fifteen hours of my emotions zinging from sobbing in despair to shaking with relief. Happy, fun times.

Hang In There, Baby

Two things:

1) Yes, my husband actually did that down there. Id'n he the sweetest?

2) I had a pretty severe bleeding incident last night, followed by a pretty severe meltdown, complete with hysterical sobbing and demanding of, "Why, why, why is this happening again?" I assumed it was the beginning of the end, went to bed with a towel under me, and stared bleakly at the wall while I waited for the night to be over.

But then I woke up and nothing had happened. No bleeding in the night, no clots or tissue or anything to indicate an actual miscarriage. No cramping, even. And I'm not spotting at all this morning. I called the doctor, had my blood drawn at nine, and I'm going into the office for an ultrasound at twelve fifteen. I stopped at the store on my way home from the lab and got a pregnancy test, thinking that if I were miscarrying, the positive line would be really faint, probably, or even gone altogether.

Well. The positive strip turned dark purple the second the urine hit it- I mean, it's even darker than the control line. So that... has to be good, right? Right? And for whatever reason, I FEEL good. I feel like it's going to be okay somehow.

I'll update later. Please please, pray for me, think positive thoughts, whisper to the baby to STAY PUT- whatever you can think of.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Dear Sarah,

Happy Valentine's Day sweetie. In lieu of a card, I decided to hack into your blogger account and post a letter to you. I thought it would make for a fun surprise plus you know how i feel about Hallmark.

We exchanged vows nearly six years ago but it was November 2003,
the day I got on my knees to plead for your hand, that I pledged my life to you.

Through highs and lows, my adoration, my love for you still grows.
My life yet pledged to you.
We've welcomed a son and daughter, though now spread, my dedication will never falter
My life yet pledged to you.
Tragedy has affected us, saddened us, but my will to comfort you is ever present, albeit novice.
My life yet pledged to you.
Our finances have struggled at times, but I will always do what I can to provide
My life yet pledged to you.
Though this "poem" is short, it is most heart felt.
My life yet pledged to you.

While these are only words, I pledge to back them up with some action (wink wink).

I Love You,


Friday, February 12, 2010


Reassuring symptoms checklist:

-Fatigue. Yes. I am sleeping so hard I barely even dream anymore. And when I DO dream...

-Weird pregnancy dreams. Yep, already had one. Involving my ex and a strip club, so that fulfills BOTH caveats of the weird pregnancy dreams rule- sudden memories of exes or bizarre sexual elements! Well done, hormones!

-Toothpaste suddenly tastes WAAAY too strong. CHECK. As soon as I brush I feel the strong need to eat something to get that gaggy, gritty taste out of my mouth.

-Bras suddenly feel like torture devices. Actually, also the lack of bras. This is the most comforting one to me right now because this isn't something I've ever experienced much in the past except when I was on progesterone supplements... Which makes me hopeful that maybe it's my OWN progesterone causing this symptom. That would be quite novel! Sarah, producing a normal amount of a normal pregnancy-related hormone?!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Isn't It Ironic

So the problem with seeing multiple doctors is that there's a lot of conflicting and complicated advise. One doctor believes that my best chance at carrying this baby is to reduce stress as much as possible so that my hormones can function properly. I am to JUST STAY CALM above all else- and take all sorts of supplements to help with this calmness and mental health (Omega-3 oil, Cyrofood, Calcium Lactate and Cataplex D, all from the Standard Process line.) On the other hand, the OB wants me to call the second I get a positive test, get blood draws every forty eight hours, and have a viability ultrasound around six weeks. I haven't actually DONE any of those things yet. I haven't even told my OB I'm pregnant, in fact.

My supplements came today in the mail, and after some internet research to make sure they're ok, I think I'm going to take all of them except the Stress-Ez (Deseret Biologicals) which contains gingko biloba and is advised against during pregnancy. The fact that the doctor went ahead and sent it to me even AFTER being told about the pregnancy makes me trust his advise less about other supplements, however, so I still feel a little iffy about taking any of it until I talk to my OB and make sure it's ok during pregnancy.

That, however, would require TELLING her that yes, I'm pregnant, but that I don't care to do all the blood draws and super-early ultrasounds this time. This time the name of the game is wait and see. I'm sure she'll at least understand that decision, since we've gone the early intervention route numerous times without success. Surely she'll get it, that this time I just want to curl up around my belly and hibernate for a few weeks in blissful ignorance before doing all that official pregnancy stuff, right? I just want to give my body the chance to either accept or reject this baby on its own, without manipulating hormones and delaying/making worse the inevitable if it's not a healthy pregnancy. None of that has done any good in the past anyways.

BUT. I'm an Authority Pleaser, so I really don't like consulting with doctors without doing exactly what they're telling me, or even what I think they WANT me to do, even if they don't say it outright. My instinct is to be a model patient, but what I've become is a consumer, picking and choosing which advise and treatment I think is applicable and appropriate for my situation. I'm fine with this, mentally. But actually explaining my position out loud, especially over the phone, is daunting.

Ah well. Time to suck it up. How ironic, though, that the supplements which were supposed to REDUCE mental tension and anxiety are now CAUSING it. We all know how much I love me some irony!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thirteen Days Later

So, uh, as it turns out... That castle really WAS pretty magical.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cheese. It's What's For EVERY SINGLE MEAL.

I need some meal planning help. Not for evening dinners, which are actually going pretty well so far this year, but for lunches. I get so bored and weary trying to pull together lunches that my kids will both eat. The main problem is how to sneak in some protein. I try not to use packaged chicken nuggets or fish sticks much, though they both will eat them. I don't mind getting fast food now and then, but I don't really want processed, nitrate filled meat particles becoming a staple in our kitchen.

This leaves me with... Cheese. Seriously. They won't eat hamburgers, Addy won't eat deli meat (Eli will but rarely,) and suddenly doesn't want PIZZA, for goodness' sake. Even before, it had to be PLAIN CHEESE pizza, none of this pepperoni crap. Which I guess is also a processed, nitrate filled meat. Sigh. They both hate hot dogs, they hate chicken noodle soup- they won't eat RAVIOLI, or any pasta with meat sauce. Addy won't even touch it if it has marinara sauce on it. Parmesan ONLY, please.

They will eat regular old chicken, shredded up, sans any seasoning or sauce whatsoever. Eli will occasionally eat shredded up pork or beef. But in general they are VERY picky about meat stuff, and so the only protein they get on a daily basis is whatever they get from dairy items, eggs, and peanut butter, and then whatever I make for dinner. Which, I should note, they usually reject after a bite because I refuse to cook plain noodles, plain chicken, and plain green beans every single night just so we can all eat the same thing. So then they eat pb and j again.

Here's the stuff that I can count on to get eaten at lunch, at least usually: cheese and crackers and fruit; grilled cheese, apples, and a veggie; macaroni and cheese (homemade only, no boxed stuff for my little gourmands!) and a fruit and veggie. And... that's about it. Oh, or scrambled eggs, WITH CHEESE. They both are usually up for that. We do breakfast lunches (and dinners) a lot, actually. I'm just a little concerned about the lack of variety and the predominance of cheese in their diet... It doesn't seem that that much cheese could be good for anyone's... digestive processes, if you see what I'm getting at.

Any suggestions for possible protein sources I'm forgetting? Or ideas for something besides CHEESE for lunch?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Once Upon A Time, On A Misty Hilltop, There Was An Enchanted Castle With Central Air And Indoor Plumbing

So here's a little tour of ze castle we went to two weekends back. That I spent the following week pining for. Ah well. 'Tis better to have loved and lost/Than never to have loved. Or so I hear.

This was the view from the tower. Which was very small and enclosed, and which one reached via a very unstable-seeming spiral staircase that left me happy I had worn flats. And which reminded me that I do indeed still have a touch of claustrophobia.

Monday, February 01, 2010

***coughcough oh hey I have new blog now coughcough***

I feel a little shy about this, but I sort of started another blog. Nothing fun and flashy like a review blog or a fashion blog or a cooking blog- no, this would be more like a whining blog. Er, venting, not whining, exactly. Except more constructive than venting, because the idea is to get helpful or at least interesting feedback. So it's a...

Oh, right. It's a blog blog. Well. Just come look, please?