3 days and counting

Where have I been, you might be asking? I’ve been silently counting down the days until my ultrasound. The time seems to be dragging on and on, and it’s driving me crazy!! I keep hoping for more symptoms to reassure myself that I am pregnant (you’d think I’d be happy with the sore breasts and the exhaustion). I’m so scared to go in for the ultrasound this Thursday and find out that something is wrong. I’m trying to think pleasant thoughts, but the scary ones keep on nudging their way in. I just hope after I see the heartbeat I can relax a little and enjoy this pregnancy.

Seriously though, when I say exhaustion, I mean it. Most days I come home so tired from work that I have a hard time not passing out for a nap, and even when I do give in, I’m in bed by about 9pm! I’m having a hard time keeping up with reading blogs, let alone concentrating long enough to put coherent sentences together for a post of my own. My last post regarding the book tour for The Handmaid’s Tale took much energy to put together, and I’m not even sure all of my responses to the questions made sense! I just wrote as much as I could, pressed publish, closed my eyes and hoped for the best 🙂

So other than being a nervous wreck waiting for the ultrasound, I’ve been doing some research. Research on what, you ask? On birth plans. Yes, I am already planning how I want to give birth. Because in all reality, I don’t know what else to do. I like to plan and research and do some more planning and more research, and this waiting for the ultrasound has placed me in this state of limbo of not knowing what to do with my time. I’ve been too scared to buy any books yet on pregnancy (you know, in case I jinx myself), so instead I’ve been reading up on giving birth.

I wrote a while back in this post that I bought the book, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. I’ve been reading bits and pieces of it for the past several weeks, and I have found it to be very informative. The author discusses various medical practices in regards to birth, including c-sections, epidurals, episiotomies, induction, among other things. She points out that many OB’s have adopted the mindset that the baby must be rescued from the mother rather than it being a natural occurring event. They act as if birth is a disease that must be treated. While I think it is wonderful that we’ve had so many advances in technology that can help mothers and babies that are in danger during labor, I am not a fan of how common some of these practices have become (for instance, the 30% cesarean rate).

As I’ve mentioned before, I want a natural birth if at all medically possible. By natural, I mean no medical intervention, including pain medication (I used to think “natural birth” implied no pain medication until a few discussions with men I work with said their wife had a natural birth, then threw in that they had an epidural). I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with pain medication – to each their own – it’s just not my preference. I want to experience as much of this birth as possible, and being numb from the waist down doesn’t work for me. So in my goal to have a natural birth, I’ve come to realize that there are many medical practices that I must try to avoid when I near my delivery date. For example, induction. Henci Goer discusses how one medical intervention generally causes a cascade of them, and induction is just one of the examples she gives. She explains how induction medication such as Pitocin causes longer and more painful contractions and can lead to fetal distress, which can then lead to a c-section. While in some instances it is necessary to use, she says that reasons such as convenience (doctor leaving out of town before due date) or prediction of a heavy baby (due to the inaccuracy of the ultrasound measurement) are not a good reasons because of the associated problems.

I would love to say I’ll just trust my doctor to do what’s best, but I personally think that’s a load of crap. I don’t trust easily, especially not doctors. I’m sure there are some great ones out there, but as in every profession, there are some terrible ones as well. Being in the military, I won’t have much of a choice in who my doctor is or what hospital I give birth at unless I want to pay out of pocket – which I have considered. I’ve been looking into having a midwife deliver my baby because they generally share in the ideal that birth is natural and intervention should only be used when absolutely necessary. I suppose I have plenty of time to research all my options, though.

Anyway, I’m running out of energy for this post, so it’s either end it now or never post it. I’ll post again on Thursday after the ultrasound, hopefully with some good news and pictures. Wish me luck!

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pass me some morning sickness

I told the first person at work today that I was pregnant. It felt so weird coming out of my mouth. In fact, I have no problem writing in my blog for the entire blogosphere to stumble upon, but I get this strange anxious feeling every time I tell someone in person (in person includes over the phone). I didn’t even want to tell this person at work, but I had to due to Navy specific reasons (I started to explain what Navy specific reasons means, but it was taking too long). Anyway, somehow I feel like I’m jinxing myself by telling people in person. I know that probably sounds extremely strange, since I had no such qualms about writing it in my blog, but it’s different somehow. For instance, for those who read my blog, you understand the heartache that can come with infertility, and that a positive pregnancy test does not necessarily mean a happy ending. But when I tell someone in person, I feel like I have to throw that caveat in there. “Oh, by the way, I’m pregnant, but don’t get too excited because there’s plenty of things that can go wrong”. I know that’s a terrible way to think, but I guess it’s just my way of protecting myself in the end. Expect the worst and be overjoyed by the best, right?

It doesn’t help that I still have yet to experience any symptoms of pregnancy. While I don’t necessarily want morning sickness, I think I would feel a twisted sense of comfort by it. It would be like my baby was saying “hey, I’m here! Pay attention to me!”. But I’ve had nothing. Logically, I know that is perfectly normal. But my emotions are yearning for some damn symptoms! Give me the aversion to food, or the super sore breasts, or yes, even the morning sickness! I can’t wait for my ultrasound in 2 weeks. I’ll feel so much better once I see the heartbeat(s).

On another note, the guy I told at work asked me if I was hoping for a boy or a girl. If he would have asked me that about a year ago, I may have told him one or the other. It’s funny how infertility can change your perspective – it truly comes down to just wanting a healthy baby. Nothing else matters after that.

still pregnant

I had my 2nd beta done today, and my HCG level came back at 271. It’s supposed to double every two days, and mine went up even more than that. I’m not really sure if that means anything, but nevertheless it makes me happy. I’m actually starting to believe things might actually work out with this pregnancy. There’s still a part of me that is holding myself back in case something goes wrong. There’s just so much that can happen, especially in the next several weeks. I’ll be breathing a sigh of relief when I have my ultrasound, or better yet, once I reach my 12 week mark! After 12 weeks, the chance of miscarriage drops dramatically.

I’m still not having any symptoms, but I’ve read that is completely normal for many women. Of course it’s still early, and there’s plenty of time for symptoms to kick in. I’ve also read that morning sickness shows up between 4 and 6 weeks, but I’m kinda hoping I’ll bypass that aspect of pregnancy 🙂 Mike and I are flying home for Christmas, and it will not be a pleasant flight with me in the bathroom half the time.

I’m still in quite a shock over this pregnancy. I had really resigned myself to it not working the first time. In fact, the first morning I took the HPT, right before Mike went to check it for me, I said “I already know it’s going to be negative” in such a matter of fact tone. I’m sure that was just me trying to prep myself for bad news, but I just couldn’t believe that we would be so lucky*. Now that it’s happened, it doesn’t quite seem real. I think it will sink in more once we get our first ultrasound. These next 3 weeks of waiting to see our baby’s heartbeat is going to be almost as agonizing as the 2ww!

*I say lucky in relative terms, since we were not so lucky in conceiving naturally.

57

That’s what my beta came back with today…57.  Can I just say holy shit!  I just can’t believe this is happening.  I am floating in a cloud right now.  I honestly did not think that this would happen for us the first go around.  But it has.  I can say it now.  I am pregnant.   I am pregnant!  Gosh, that feels so good to say.

So I have to admit, I didn’t really need the beta to confirm it for me, but it does feel good.  I woke up this morning, and the first thing I did was take another HPT.  The second line was there again, only darker.  I kept on hugging Mike over and over again, I was so excited.  But I was eager to get the blood test back to confirm it, and to make it more real.

I go in for another beta on Monday to make sure the number is increasing (it’s supposed to double every two days).  This is a little scary, since I know that there is so much that can go wrong at this point.  But I’m just going to keep on thinking positive thoughts and hope that I’m one of the lucky ones.  I have my first ultrasound around December 21st, which I am anxiously waiting for.

Oh, and for those out there who are wondering what symptoms to expect – I’ve had none so far.  There’s nothing I’ve been feeling that would indicate to me that I’m pregnant.  So don’t worry too much if you’re in the 2ww and don’t have any symptoms.  It’s perfectly normal.