So, my posts will probably be less frequent now that the daily insanity of the IVF process has subsided. Since hearing the news that we are expecting, things have been good, bad, and weird... sometimes simultaneously.
The Good: Due to some spotting and bleeding (see The Bad below), we got to have a few early ultrasounds. At 6 weeks, we learned that there is one baby and it was measuring pretty much on track. At our "official" dating ultrasound a week later, we got to see the baby again, and this time it was measuring 3 days behind and had a heart rate of 120! That little flicker is awesome to see, and a little of the weight came off my shoulders at that moment because this significantly reduces our odds of miscarriage. Yay! Two days after that (again with The Bad), we got even better images to bring home and saw its little stubby arms and even a dark space at the top of its head where the brain would soon be forming! Truly amazing.
The Bad: As I mentioned, I had some issues with spotting and bleeding, starting right around the 6 week mark. From all of my reading, I know that a little spotting is common and nothing to be concerned about, but the disclaimer is usually that it be brown and not accompanied by cramping. As is my luck, *TMI Warning* I had a big ol' blob of red and brown when I went to the bathroom at work that day, which continued as reddish brown spotting. I kinda freaked. Those who know me intimately know that I always fear that the good things in my life will be taken away from me. That I don't deserve them somehow, so of course, it would all get ruined. All of those thoughts came flooding into my head, and I immediately emailed Susan (our nurse), got impatient, called the front desk, and begged to be seen. They squeezed me in right away and I fled the office to find out what was going on. Unfortunately, Justin was in the East Bay (he had the week between Christmas and New Years off and was vinyl record shopping in Berkeley), so I would be on my own until he could get there. Thankfully, the ultrasound showed all was well with The Bean, as we started lovingly referring to it, and they could not see any reason to be alarmed about the spotting. It tapered off later that evening and I felt better, only to have incident #2 smack me in the face.
On 1/3, we had our "official" ultrasound with Dr. Huddleston. It was scheduled for that day because she was on rotation, and it would be nice to have our actual doctor for this milestone. This ultrasound machine was obviously older, so the image wasn't great, but everything looked fine from what she saw, including the heart rate. She pointed out something to the side of the gestational sac and said it could be a little fluid and the cause of the spotting, and not to worry about it, even though it may continue for a while. Understatement of the century! Two days later and once again in the bathroom at work, *TMI* I looked down to see the toilet completely full of dark red blood. This cannot be good. I started shaking and trying to keep it together as I called the RE's office, and of course, they saw me right away. Justin was at work in the South Bay, so again, I was on my own. Stephanie, a practioner that I grew particularly fond of in the IUI days because of our shared affinity for funky patterned socks and the fact that she takes the time to thoroughly go over everything with me, came into the room and asked me a series of questions. She looked concerned. But, upon further inspection, the ultrasound showed the baby was happier than ever in there and the heart rate was up to 125, and it measured perfectly at 7 weeks and 2 days! I was so relieved, I could have passed out. She looked closely around the gestational sac and saw very clearly that there was a dark area adjacent it and diagnosed it as a subchorionic hemorrhage. It was small and located on the opposite end of the sac from the baby, and the side closest to the cervix. This meant that any bleeding as it resolves itself can just escape the uterus without disturbing the pregnancy at all. The prognosis is good, but until it goes away (hopefully by early second trimester), I can experience a scary moment like this again, or just on and off spotting. Unless it doesn't taper off in a few hours or is accompanied by major cramping, I should not worry (easier said than done). I have had continued spotting, though not every day, but it seems to have reverted back to the brownish color. We go back tomorrow morning for our final visit before "graduating" and moving on to the OB on February 6th. I'm hoping that everything is still on the up-and-up, at which point, I will allow myself to be officially excited.
The Weird: Ok. I know that we have worked VERY hard to get me pregnant. The money, the anxiety, the tears, you name it. But now that I actually AM, it's very strange. I mean seriously, there is something growing inside of me that does not yet resemble a human being. How is that not bizarre? My body is changing and my clothes are not going to fit soon. Pants are already a challenge. I cried during the National Anthem at a basketball game (WTF). I seem a little foreign to myself. Like I'm watching this happen, but it isn't really me. Well, the food aversions and crazy dreams and massive boobage (hello!) are all undeniable, but I guess it still seems surreal. And I don't really want to talk about having this baby until I can fully accept it myself. Even then, I dread the conversations where people ask me a million questions or "oo and ahh" or heaven forbid touch my stomach uninvited (Side note: I've decided that when people do this, I am going to touch their stomach right back. I mean, if they think we're cool enough to be that friendly with each other, then I should be able to do it too, right? I'll be sure to let you know how this goes when the time comes). Does everyone go through this? I think maybe to some degree.
I have never fancied myself as the "motherly" type. In fact, as a teenager, I insisted that I was going to to be a powerful New York City attorney and never have children. I didn't have the patience to babysit, and felt like kids in general were just not particularly fond of me. I did work full time in a day care for a few months after college, and enjoyed the experience, but let's just say that I'm not a "natural" the way some women feel they are. But that was the old me and maybe it's time to give myself more credit. At some point, I will settle into this new stage of life. I can already feel the contentment creeping in (though I am still afraid to accept it in case something goes wrong - infertility really messes with your head) and believe without a doubt that Justin and I are going to rock the whole parenthood thing. :)
I am praying to Jesus and Shiva and Buddha and Allah and L. Ron Hubbard and all those other deities that everything goes well tomorrow. Maybe then I can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And heeeeerrre's baby!