Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thoughts of a habitual aborter


It has now been four days since we saw that the embryo is alive. That's 96 hours, or 5,760 minutes if you happen to be counting them, which I am. A lot can happen in this amount of time. When you've been through recurrent miscarriages, that is plenty of time for your mind to go to very scary places.

I know that this is a particularly hard week. It is the week during which we lost our first pregnancy. The only other time we've had a heartbeat. The only time we got really, really hopeful, and then were crushed. I know that this week is the 8-9 weeks timepoint that I am terrified we can't get beyond, the point I fear a baby in my body can't live past. And for those reasons I know I can't expect myself to be rational.

I also know that prior to this week, I've already been convinced that the embryo has died at least five other times and, yet, despite my lack of faith, he was still there every time we have checked, most recently last Friday measuring on track, heart beating enthusiastically at 185 beats per minute.

I know this. But I am still prone to magical thinking. To fearing that the more people who know, the more likely we are to lose the pregnancy. That the more hopeful I get, the more likely we are to miscarry. That if I let my guard down for a second, all will be lost.

And despite knowing that overanalyzing symptoms will bring nothing but grief, I continue to scan my body for the slighest sign, or rather focus on the lack of them. When I wake up in the early mornings, I sometimes wonder if this entire pregnancy is a figment of my imagination, something I dreamed up because I want it so badly. It doesn't help that the past two to three days, I haven't felt very pregnant. Not really nauseated (except when my husband Will had me help collect the kitchen garbage off the floor after the bag malfunctioned). Not really that tired (stayed up until 9:30 without even trying). Not that short of breath. Not really much of anything.

All this is true. It is also true that I sometimes talk to the embryo, mostly in my thoughts, but occasionally out loud. On Monday, after I (we?) presented my dissertation to the graduate school dean and had my exit interview. I (we?) walked down the stairs, and I said to Embryo, "Well, that went pretty well, didn't it? We may never be in this administrative building again. Can you believe it? After all this time!" Or Sunday, walking down a leafy street in my neighborhood, I quietly put my hand against my stomach and thought how great it was to get to carry this embryo inside of me. At least for now.

That's the thing. Even when I'm feeling hopeful, there is always that thought. At least for now. So far so good. Looks good today, but who knows about tomorrow. I try to let go. I try to let myself enjoy the today and I try not to anticipate tomorrow. I tell myself, you may never get to have tomorrow, so don't miss out on today. Push your fears aside and experience it. And I try, again and again.

On Thursday morning, we will get another peek at Embryo to see if he is still with us. If Embryo is alive on Thursday, we will be past the beginning of nine weeks. Which we have never been before. We will be in unchartered territory. Only 2,880 minutes to go until then. I will try not to squander them.

Mo

p.s. And today I've had more spotting. As though just writing about this makes me start to bleed. Not just a whiff of pink like last week, but at least a tablespoon of dark red blood. Ugh. Seems to have stopped, but if it returns, do I call OB or RE? Just wait it out until Thursday when u/s is scheduled? Nothing they can do anyway, right? Sigh.

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42 comments:

Gil said...

One day at a time.

That's been my mantra all along, because like you, I disbelieve (to this day!) that I got lucky. I still worry about miscarriage and stillbirth. I still fret about placenta issues. I tremble at the thought that SOMETHING will go wrong. And it takes every ounce of strength and conviction to keep going and keep BELIEVING that everything will be okay.

Hang in there Mo. You can do this. One day at a time. One step at a time. One moment at a time. That is all any of us can ask for. *hugs*

Nepsi said...

Mo... take care. I remember when I begged for an u/s at 9w2d sure that my baby would be dead again and the strange feeling of carrying past that demarkation line. I will keep everything crossed for you until Thur but also know you will probably worry all the way up and through labor. I kept my monitor turned up so I could hear the heartbeat the entire 3 nights I was being induced because I was sure something would go wrong.

I hope the embryo is happy and thriving in there all snuggled in for the long haul.

MabelB said...

I can't think of anything to say that will make it better or easier so I maybe shouldn't post at all, but I just wanted to add support. I can't imagine how emotionally and mentally hard this week is and I really hope Thursday's u/s breaks past that milestone and gives you happy news. Everything so far sounds really good and really normal. Wishing you very good luck.

JJ said...

I cd have written this post, Mo. I feel exactly the same as you, even now at nearly 18 weeks. We went to some classes on multiples at the weekend and I sat there the whole time wondering if I was a fraud for being there or whether it cd really be true that we belonged in that class, you know? Just wanted you to know that you're not alone with these feelings. One day at a time is really good advice (I'm not good at following through with it though).

sprogblogger said...

Yes. Yes a thousand times over.

Megan said...

Thinking of you. Try to relax although I can imagine where you are right now. It's such a hard spot. Good luck on the next scan.

Anonymous said...

mo. is it too early to buy a doppler for home? you can buy the portable one and listen to the heartbeat all you want. i just don't know if it is a little early for that(based on where you are week-wise-i dont' know a lot about them), and the panic of not being able to hear it (for instance, your uterus is tipped funny or baby is upside down, whatever) might make things worse, but do some research and ask your doc. my best friend got one (after three miscarriages) and would go and sit in her car during breaks at work to listen to the heartbeat. hang in there.

Barefoot said...

Ugh, the bleeding is so, so hard. And even without it, I can't imagine what you're going through this week.

On calling your RE, I would say do it, if just for peace of mind.

Thinking of you and hope everything slows down (except time!) before Thursday.

Mimi said...

Let me tell you. It doesn't get any better heading towards the second trimester. I'm still feeling that way. I have yet to enjoy this pregnancy or to feel connected to my babies. Isn't that horrible. I don't want to right now because I am scared they are going to leave me. I know, it's sad but I can't help it just like you can't. It is totally normal. As for the bleeding, I would call just to be safe.

Hugs,
Kami

The Blatchford Family said...

I am so sorry for the continued spotting. I would call your doc and just let them know what is going on, even if you don't end up going in to see them until your regular scheduled day.

Clio said...

I'm not sure of anything I could say that might help reassure you, since you seem to be doing both jobs, the reassurance and the fear walking hand and hand.
I totally get that you are terrified. I would be too. But keep open that possibility, that thread of certainty that this embryo that you now carry is the strong one, is the one who's finally ready to stay and grow in your womb, to stay and be born through you and to experience this world through yours and Will's chaperoning and guidance.
hugs

Bella said...

I am excited and pertrified for every u/s because I'm so happy to see them but so scared something might have happened and we won't see their precious little heartbeats anymore. I'm praying your little on is holding on tight!!

Allison said...

I cant imagine how hard it is to be hopeful when youve had so many disappointments in the past :( I hope and pray that this one is different and your little one is here to stay! :) Praying for the next 2,880 minutes until you see him again! :) Good luckkkk!!!

Infertile In the City said...

All you can do is what you are doing, taking it one second at a time.
AFter losses, no one is ever the same, and I hope the spotting is brief.

Kate said...

Boy do I ever know where you're coming from. I'm so damn thankful that I made it to 9.5 weeks today with a live baby, when I've been trying to ignore my worry for the last 2.5 weeks since our first ultrasound that things might have gone wrong in the meantime. Making it past my first pregnancy's 8.5 week loss milestone is huge, and such a relief. I also haven't had many symptoms to hang my hat on, which made me feel even worse.

Here's hoping you have a great ultrasound on Thursday. Good luck staying sane till then with the spotting. Fingers crossed that it's nothing, just one of those things, and that your little embryo is hanging on in there and growing like mad.

glamcookie said...

I'm sending so many positive, sticky vibes your way. I hate how infertility/miscarriage robs us of the joy of actually being pregnant. Only now at 19 weeks am I starting to feel "over the hump," though I still worry prior to each ultrasound.

In terms of the spotting, I know so many people that have it and all is fine. That said, I'd probably call the RE because your peace of mind is worth it. Hugs to you.

DAVs said...

"There's only us. There's only this. Forget regrets, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way...."

Thinking of you and hoping that everything is ok. I wish I had more that would help, but I don't...just cling on to Will. You're doing everything you possibly can.

Melissia said...

It is alright to protect your heart and to do whatever you need to do to get through the day. If you want an ultrasound everyday and you can get it then I say get it until Thursday if that is what you need. Your RE has offered and he would not have offered if he did not mean it.
Once you are past the point when you carried your longest viable pregnancy you start to breath a little easier, at least I did.
I am keeping you all in my thoughts.

Me said...

What a beautiful and honest post.

Pie said...

Hang in there. I can't imagine what you are going through, as I've never gotten there yet, but know that many, many people are hoping and praying for you, Will and the little one.

dreamsandfalsealarms said...

I"d call anybody who would give me an ultrasound--I'm crazy like that.

The worst thing about that magical thinking abyss is that there are times when the magical thinking is "right", and we can't help but feel that it was a communicaiton from beyond. I hear you sister.

I'm wishing and hoping for you two/three.

Michelle said...

I know how you are feeling. I being a habitual aborter just like you, the second I get a positive pregnancy test starts the obsessive worry. Even now just talking about it makes my heart rate go up. It sucks that with all that has been taken away the joy of pregnancy goes with it too. It just sucks but all you can do is take it 1 minute at a time and not berate yourself for feeling the way you do.

I have you in my thoughts and everything is crossed for you!

sasa said...

keeping you both in my thoughts... and hoping it is all okay.

iamstacey said...

I'd call your RE. Let him ease your mind, maybe get in an extra u/s. You're almost to and past the 8 week mark. Hang in there, Mo and Embryo!

meinsideout said...

Oh Mo - you know I feel you and my heart and soul go out to you. I hate this spotting nonsense. I really do. I know that you know that so, so many women spot bright red blood throughout the entire pregnancy and it is fine. That is how this pregnancy started out too - pink and red and then dark red. It is enough to drive us mad.

Do whatever you need to do to stay as sane as you can - I had to leave work today - and I called to move my u/s up from Monday to Friday.

Your RE sounds amazing - like he would bring a portable u/s machine to you if he could. Yes - I do wish we had Tom and Katie's $ to have an u/s right in our family room.

So, get yourself what you need - an u/s or three - whatever. I am thinking of you as well and hoping to hear a great update from you.

My Endo Journey said...

Your post is so true...the minutes...the seconds we count through this infertility roller coaster. Sending the best of thoughts and prayers your way! :)

Emily said...

Thinking of you and thinking happy, hopeful thoughts. HUGS!

MFA Mama said...

I think in your shoes I would call either the RE or the OB (whichever is more likely to cave to a plea for an ultrasound) for a "LBC" as Tertia called them ("Live Baby Check"). I think I've told you this before, but with two out of three pregnancies resulting in take-home babies I had spotting from week 6-12. And by spotting I mean enough that I had to wear a pad, enough that it was "like a menstrual period" and my OBGYN grimly suggested that I not tell anyone about the pregnancy in question "just yet." It. Was. Terrifying. Both times I ended up with a baby out of it though. When it was at its worst I was found to have a minor yeast infection, which apparently makes a pregnant (and therefore VERY vascular) cervix even more irritable then normal. So maybe you should have an exam, with an LBC and a swab to check for microorganisms. Can't hurt, might help, and at the very least you'll know where you stand. I'll be thinking about you!

Good Egg Hunting said...

I'm right there with you. I will say that although I continue to feel the way you do, I've noticed that it has gotten easier, that there are moments now when I do feel like more of a normal pregnant person, when I can almost forget about all those qualifiers (IF this continues, etc.). So hang in there...we can get through this! I am certain that your spotting is nothing but I would call your doctor if it continues, even if just for reassurance.

kirke said...

Hey Mo - Whatever it takes to make you feel better....calling the RE, the OB, another ultrasound. I thought your post was so honest...and it addressed so many things I'm afraid to let out of my head and put into words. I am thinking of you, and hoping that it gets easier. The waiting for each appointment is so hard.

Echloe said...

I would call the RE. OBs don't seem to want to do anything for you in the early stages in my experience. I really really hope all is well and your little one is snug as a bug. I think it is good that you are talking to him now. He will know your love and hopefully that will help him to continue on. XOXO.

Phoebe said...

I hate magical thinking, though I do it all the time. Have you had your progesterone check and/or are taking supplemental progesterone? Maybe that would help? Yeah, I would call if you have any concern.

musicmakermomma said...

Thinking of you - hope you are not bleeding anymore. As you know bleeding is so common in early pg; and usually it is nothing. May Thursday's u/s come soon and be perfect in every way!

'Murgdan' said...

Thinking of you. I can only imagine this is pure torture. Thoughts with you until the US tomorrow.

...and if you're worried, call. Sounds like your RE was willing to be more than accomodating for you as far as ultrasounds go, right? You know, just to set your mind at ease.

I'm sorry a time that is so easy for most of the population has to continue to suck for you. It's not fair.

Megan said...

I know I've commented on this twice now, but I was thinking of you last night and just wishing that things could be different for you. SO obviously...you are in my thoughts. Waiting for the scan with you!

Grade A said...

The "I'm pregnant today" mantra is so helpful. Fear of loss is a monster that's hard to banish. Of course you know that spotting can mean all sorts of things, but I wanted to share that I had several bleeding episodes throughout the first trimester-the first landed me in the ER and the last was a week long and required pads...I never thought I would make it past those first 12 weeks. The fear never goes away completely, but hope and joy just might become more of the center stage players. Truly and sincerely wishing you all the best.

strongblonde said...

i totally know how you feel and i agree with all of the other ladies. i *still* am scared to go in for the US. i'm always shocked to see that there are babies in there that are still moving around and doing good. i think that IF and, particularly, serious illness associated with IF causes us to be very cautious. maybe sometimes too cautious?

i know that the spotting is irritating. i would take advantage of your doc's offer to scan you whenever you want, though. seriously. it will help your mind.

xoxo

Dora said...

I know there's nothing I can say that will really reassure you. Hang in there, and hang on to each other.

Oh, and could you do me a favor? I won't have internet access starting around 10 tomorrow morning until Monday. But I should have cell phone service until about 4 or 5 tomorrow afternoon. Could you send me an update text? Just a quick "xxx bpm." I don't want to wait until Monday to hear how your u/s went!

MissMVK said...

So sorry about the spotting again. Is there anyway you can go in today (Wed) instead?

Infertility robs you of so many things, changes you, hardens you and worst of all, makes you feel like you have a false sense of security even when things truly are perfectly OK.

Keep the faith that everything is going to alright. We are all hanging in there with you.

Many Hugs.

Sheila said...

After 3 failed IVF/ICSI, 2 m/c and finally our 1 miracle, I've got to say, even though our miracle is 7 years old, I still find myself fighting away those thoughts of fear and worry and 'it's too good to be true' feelings. I got a Baby Beat at about 8 weeks into my pg and it was the best thing I ever did, it was the only bit of sanity I could find :-). It's so crazy that I don't even know you, yet my heart has become so involved in your journey. I find myself lifting you up in prayer so often. I'm praying that this is your time for your miracle, for your blessing. Hang in there, cling to your hubby, be there for each other through it all :-) and I will continue to pray for your family.

chicklet said...

Gawd, I just can't even imagine being where you are, after you've been where you've been, and worse - after you wrote your PS. It must just be such a hard thing to have it dangled in front of you, and dangled longer, not ever able to totally believe but wanting to so very badly. I'm wishing and hoping for you and just wanting this to turn out. I know saying that you've "had enough" is like "duh!" but it's true. It's gotta be your f*g turn doesn't it?

Erica said...

Wishing you all the luck in the world on tomorrow's u/s.

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