July 26, 2011

Progress Report

Just got back from the doc – strong heartbeat, 2 hands and 2 feet, and we saw the little bub moving around in there (doc asked me if I wanted to break out the camera phone to record the heartbeat. I said "naahhh"). Looking more babylike and less bloblike. My next (12.5 week) appt. is Aug. 11 so we are looking forward to that.

We will celebrate by…exhaling.

You may return to your regularly scheduled blog viewing.

Only thing was... she took one quick measurement and it read 9.2 weeks, not 10.2 weeks like I should be. Then again, she admitted that the regular ultrasound operator may take a different reading that would show a different age estimate. What.. me? Worry? I'm going to not focus on that little blip on the radar. I will accept what I know for sure.

In the meantime, I ordered a copy of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. It's been around for several years but I think it's time I read it.

July 25, 2011

Angry and Doubtful: Hormones or Intuition?

Having a very hard day (and it’s barely 9:00 a.m. here). On a close friend's advice, I called my doc to explain my paranoia and they added an interim ultrasound – I go in tomorrow morning. My own doc is going to do the scan.

Meanwhile, I’ve been having some serious anger issues. I could chalk it up to hormones, but I have had at least four dreams in the past couple weeks where I was absolutely furious at someone for something. They were all justified in my dreams, but it’s still unusual. I told DH that I’m apparently really mad. I just didn’t know why. And when I’m not feeling mad, I’m not feeling much of anything.

This morning I woke up and realized why I’m angry: I’m angry because I can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t going to work out, and I am sick to death of this no-man’s-land of not knowing the outcome. So my mind is constantly playing out scenarios of my reaction to another failed pregnancy, and none of them are good. In fact they kind of frighten me.

So there I was this morning, crying at the table with DH trying to soothe me as I explained this inescapable torment. It truly will be a miracle if I hear a heartbeat and see accurate measurements tomorrow. Stay tuned.

July 20, 2011

Milestones and Memories

Nine and a half weeks.

Not the ridiculous movie that came out in the 80s, but the mile marker on my journey. So why should I care?

In May of last year, I had my first miscarriage at 12 weeks. Ultrasound measurements at the emergency room confirmed that the fetus had stopped growing at 9.5 weeks. So I was walking around clueless for 2.5 weeks (so was the rest of my body, apparently, as I had no symptoms otherwise).

A quick check of the calendar confirms that I now have three weeks between me and that magical 12.5 week ultrasound. It feels like a long, dark tunnel of time. I want to forget - to numb out, fix myself a really big drink, distract myself, do whatever it takes to not obsess over this particular time period. But what can I do? I'm reminded every time I switch from my tight daytime bra to my goofy-but-effective nighttime bra. Every time I stick a cracker in my mouth to abate or prevent nausea. Every time I... well, breathe.

So, this week I'm going to a conference hosted by my church. Thursday night, Friday night, heck - maybe even the Saturday workshop. Something about living for a cause. I went last year and really got a lot out of it - that is, until we did this public outreach thing. That was not a good experience for me (I'll not bother going into details). So I'm really afraid of that part. Otherwise I'm looking forward to guest lectures and really awesome worship music and prayer.

Where are you, Sam? Is your heart still beating? Are you still growing? I wish I could know. My soul groans to know.

July 18, 2011

I'm okay

Feeling pukey today, having made the apparent mistake of drinking a glass of lemonade on an almost empty stomach (damn you, acidic foods - you're all good and I can't enjoy any of you!). Getting better now though. Wearing my Sea Bands like a good girl, hoping to get some exercise tonight. I'm turning into an ocean of expanding blubber.

Had quite an experience at church yesterday – in the last part, during worship, I sat down and started praying (I was tired of standing). I sat during the pastor’s benediction with my hands out, palms up in a receiving gesture (something we do at the Vineyard rather than assuming the typical prayer stance). When I stood up, a young teenage boy who’d been sitting behind us caught my attention. A bit embarrassed at first, he told me that, as I had sat down and started praying that he had a vision of Jesus sitting in front of me holding my hands, and that he felt like God wanted to let me know that he was with me and was listening to me.

I’ve seen that sort of thing happen with others, but it has not happened with me before. It was a beautiful, special thing.

Also, the other day I was driving and thinking about how hard all of this is. That, because of my experiences, I don’t get to just assume things are going to work out. Instead, I freak out and have trouble focusing on positive aspects of all of this since we’re still three weeks away from the end of the “danger zone.”

Suddenly, as if the Spirit had planted the thought in me, I remembered the Transfiguration (see Matthew 17:1). I considered what a pivotal, powerful moment that was and compared it to when God delivered me from fear that one day in peer counseling. I noticed the parallel. Then I remembered how Jesus endured 40 days of temptation from the enemy with no food or water almost the moment the Transfiguration was over. Me? I got pregnant almost right after my own encounter with God. So, I suddenly realized that the timing of my experience and subsequent difficult time follows what Jesus endured pretty closely. I can see that experience now as part deliverance from the past, part preparation for what I’m going through now.

All that is to say, I’m okay. Pukey, tired and bitchy. But okay.

July 14, 2011

I Consider it Good News

... that after having several tubes of blood sucked out of me, my obgyn confirmed that my hormone levels are normal enough that I do not need to take extra progesterone.

I know, it's still too early to start that baby registry. And yes, I still check for signs of miscarriage several times a day. But last year, with my first pregnancy, my progesterone levels were just low enough that I had to take this (all to no avail).

I will take good news where I find it. One less pill to take at night hopefully means a bit less of the urge to hurl. Maybe. I dunno.

July 10, 2011


So yeah, the ultrasound was Thursday. It was just fine. Totally viable. Good heartbeat. I just made the 8 week mark today. My next ultrasound isn't until Aug. 11 though, which is the 13 week mark. I feel like it's just too long though, so I may ask for an interim ultrasound like when I'm 10 weeks. Last year, I miscarried at 12 weeks but it turned out the fetus stopped growing at 9.5 weeks. It feels like an awfully long time and every day seems to pass so slowly.

It's true that my husband and I are both taking this one day at a time, but I seem to be unable to reconcile the duality between my surrendered faith and the dark tunnel of my past experience.

This past Monday, I woke up with a dreadful feeling that this one isn't going to make it and I can't say why. Maybe it was the turn of a dream or a gut feeling. Maybe it's being off my meds. But even though God really did deliver me from fear in a powerful way in April, I'm terrified. I want to believe that the best will happen, but I don't know that. I don't know anything - except maybe that God is still with me. But that doesn't stop me from having this emotional turmoil. It's like I can't exhale until the 12 week marker, and until then I can only ask God to let me down easy if this isn't going to work out.

Meanwhile I'm finding it hard not to react with resentment when I see other couples popping out their second kids, or a young couple expecting a baby who just bought their first (beautiful) house. I am forcing myself to be thankful for what I have every day though. Wisdom is no easy teacher.

July 7, 2011

Going to the doc today

In 15 minutes, I go for my eight week ultrasound. How do I feel?

Stressed (okay the first three are also job-related)
Expecting the worst while hoping for the best
Slightly pukey and very puffy

I would say it's out of my control, but that's not really true. My job is to take care of my body and meditate on a positive outcome. Visualizing growth and life and vigor. Pray for God's grace to continue while submitting myself to the process.

Have... faith? I don't know. I guess so. Do I sound like my personality is splitting? Might be.

I'll let you know what the scratchy blob on the screen says.

July 3, 2011

Holding my Breath

Every day for the past few weeks I've put my hand on my belly and said "good morning" or "well, we made it another day." I have barely moved between the couch, the bed, and the office chair. I stand in awe in the mirror occasionally in wonderment as my body explodes in every direction, and I sigh as I try to find a pair of pants that fit and are still clean enough to wear.

This is all good, right?

From the fourth positive pee stick, I decided to submit myself daily to the situation and focus on being in the present in a way that I don't think I've done before. I check in with God, I eat crackers and macaroni & cheese and ice cream and iron-fortified cereal and vitamin B6 and whatever else I can find to beat down the 24/7 nausea and acid reflux, trying to stay one step ahead of hunger and one step behind over-eating. Cuz it's just fun like that. The force is strong with this one.

Good morning Sam (the name I've chosen); today you're the size of a blueberry. I'll love you for as long as you're with me, knowing that if you end up leaving before I get a chance to meet you, I'll see you in Heaven. I envision you growing strong, absorbing nutrients, while my placenta builds steadily and your heart beats and beats.

So I have become a good steward of my body as well as my mind. I am seven weeks along. I waited a couple of weeks to even call my doctor (yes, I am obsessively checking the toilet paper too), but I did stop taking anti-depressants right away. The latter has left me with constant dizzy spells that are finally starting to go away. The last two weeks - between incredible stress at work and exhaustion and sickness - have been hell on me. But the long weekend allows me to inhale a little deeper and sleep in for once.

We went hiking yesterday, which was hilarious. I'd stop periodically and bend over at the waist, expecting to hurl at any moment, then trudge forward as if my legs were swimming through molasses. But we did the loop, which I think was only 1.5 miles, and I was completely spent the rest of the day (despite a nap). Oh well. I like that exhaustion better than other types. I hear exercise is good for me, and I have to make an effort however feeble.