Monday, July 17, 2006

Why is it so easy to imagine the worst?

On Saturday morning I woke up, went to the bathroom and ended up staring at a dime or nickel sized blood clot in the toilet. When I wiped there was definite brown blood. I went back to bed for half an hour. Got up again, went to the bathroom again, and found more brown blood. I went to tell D that I was bleeding and started sobbing.

I called the doctor’s office, which of course was closed at 8am on a Saturday morning, and left a message with the service. Within 5 minutes the doctor on call phoned me back, listened to what I had to say, and said I should come to the hospital for an ultrasound and exam.

When I told D that I wanted him to come with me, he called his office and let them know he was going to be late. We then proceeded downtown and the entire trip I could only imagine the worst: how unfair this was; how ironic that it should be happening 2 days before I hit 12 weeks; all the people I was going to have to notify.

But once I got to the hospital, and the nurses were actually treating me nicely, and D was making me laugh, I calmed down some. I actually could plead to whomever was out there to let it all be okay.

And it was.

I had the ultrasound and it showed the baby actively moving, with a nice strong heartbeat. They did an internal exam and said my cervix was closed and that the blood didn’t seem to be coming from my uterus. My cervix was red and inflamed – but nothing bad. I was told to take it easy, avoid strenuous activity, and to not have sex. And I went home feeling happy and relieved.

The bleeding seemed to have subsided yesterday. But it appears to have returned this morning. It’s still not bright red (or really, any shade of red) and I’m not cramping (although I do feel an isolated cramp or abdominal tug periodically). By chance, my First Screen Test (that makes me sound like a wanna-be actor, but really it’s the nuchal translucency ultrasound and a blood draw to determine one’s individual odds for giving birth to a baby with specific chromosomal birth defects) was today, so I was headed to the hospital for an ultrasound anyway.

Again, it showed the fetus moving around inside me, with a heartbeat of 155bpm and no sign of where the blood is coming from. The nuchal translucency measurements showed everything as good, but I was told by the doctor that I shouldn’t bother with the blood draw part of the First Screen, as since I was bleeding and because there was a twin at one point (the empty gestational sac is still there), any results I got wouldn’t be accurate. I don’t understand why this is the case, nor do I understand why my doctor sent me to have the test if it wasn’t going to give us an indication one way or another. But I’m trying to cope with the fact that there aren’t answers to everything.

So, the NT exam showed everything was good – and by now the bleeding seems to have stopped. It’s just upsetting that even though I’ve now reached 12 weeks, I still don’t feel like I’m in the “safety zone” because of the bleeding. I guess the question really is: will I ever feel like I’m in that safety zone?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Time Marches On

Today I’m technically 11weeks, 2 days pregnant. I have good days and bad days, nausea-wise. On Saturday I had my first public puking incident. I haven’t had any scary spotting incidents (knock on wood). And I met with a real live OB/GYN for an actual first OB prenatal appointment.

The OB appointment was fine. My doctor was particularly concerned about me (or any of her patients) putting on too much weight. She recommended avoiding fruit juices and plain carbohydrates. As a pretty petite girl, I told her that honestly I was more concerned about not putting on enough weight. So, that’s the first piece of doctorly advice I’m ignoring.

She also asked me (again, because I’m a mere 5’0 tall) what my shoe size was! Thankfully, my answer of 6 was a good one – apparently if my answer had been 5, she would have been more worried about my ability to have a vaginal delivery.

Other than those out of the ordinary traits, the visit seemed pretty standard. She gave me a bunch of brochures on the various tests I can have done (I guess I’m considered to be of “advanced maternal age” since if all goes well I’ll be 35 when I deliver this baby). Blood was drawn, and a urine sample taken. And I had a pap smear and an ultrasound.

The ultrasound showed that embryo #2 had gone away. No more heartbeat. No yolk sac. Just the sliver of an empty, black, thin gestational sac next to the full one with a healthy, on-target size-wise embryo with a strong heart beat. It’s amazing how #2 just vanished without a symptom or sign. And it’s amazing to me that #1 is on board.

So, I’m pretty happy these days - tired a lot, but happy. My parents are over-the-moon. My friends are thrilled for me. D, however, not so into this.

He’s had a tough time of it work-wise, lately. July 4th was his first day off in months – literally. He’s not what one would call “involved” with the pregnancy. As an example, he went out with some friends last week whom he had told of our successful IVF soon after we found out. They, of course, asked him how far along I was and when I was due. D had no idea. Honestly and truly couldn’t give an answer.

I’m surprisingly okay with that, at least for now. I know my girlfriends think it’s bad and are worried about me/us – but I’ve tried to explain that this is how D & I work. I do the planning, whether it’s for our wedding, a vacation, moving into a new apartment – and if I need D I let him know. It doesn’t mean that this is how things will be once there’s an actual other human being to take care of. It’s just how things are now.

Sure, I’d love it if he wanted to read how the embryo was growing every week and how big it should be now, but he doesn’t want to know that. He wants everything to be okay and tries to help me if I’m feeling sick, and for now, I’m happy taking it all as it is.