This is how I have felt for about the last 10 weeks. I’ve gone below deck; not complete radio silence on social media but very quiet. The truth is: I am not as brave as everyone thinks. I am not as strong or bold. I am scared shitless and couldn’t be the person on social media that shows a pregnancy test the day she takes it and then lets everyone in from the beginning. In my head, I could do that. But in reality…absolutely not.
I am pregnant. As of today 15 weeks and 4 or 6 days depending on who is counting from when. And it was easy. And I don’t even know how to handle that. My whole experience, and truthfully, a big part of my identity has become being part of the #ttc, #recurrentmiscarriage, and #infertility communities. And this whole experience has been so strange I am having a hard time accepting it.
As I wrote in my most recent post, we decided to start trying again. As I mentioned, I would have loved to wait a whole other year before starting but as I am “elderly” in the pregnancy world and as we expected it would take a while, my doctor recommended getting started. After my visit in August, the plan was to give it a try on our own for three months, and my doctor made me an appt with the fertility specialist for November in case it didn’t happen, as they call it, spontaneously.
Well, we tried exactly one time. One time, at the right time. I knew, because of how much over-information we had, based on signs from my body that I would be ovulating. And we were actually kind of chill about it, relatively speaking. No ovulation tests or schedules. Just a…well today seems about right, let’s give it a go.
A couple weeks later I was feeling a little strange. Not sick, or anything dramatic, just not how I usually feel the few days before I get my period. I decided, against my better judgment, to take a test early. The only reason was that it was the day before Labor Day, and while my job has me working the majority of Labor Day Weekend, I knew that the few hours I had off at the beach, I would likely want a cocktail. Took the test and it was negative. I was not sad, but I was a little perplexed. Mostly I felt frustrated that I couldn’t rely on my gut feelings about my body and that I couldn’t trust myself.
But I went about my merry way, had a Painkiller at the Stone’s Throw and enjoyed it. I figured it was our first try and I knew that wouldn’t work, so we just keep on keepin on. I went to work one of my busiest weeks and still no period and no period symptoms. I was like what the eff. I knew the test was really early and given that, it could be wrong. But I was also like what are the freaking odds…
So, circa 4am the following Friday. On the day after my period was actually due I took another test. I sat, mostly casually on the toilet, just aimlessly scrolling through my phone (as you do) and then glanced over to the counter to see PREGNANT written on the digital screen. GET THE EFF OUT OF HERE. I took a picture of it, left it there and went back to bed. Notice, I did not say back to sleep because I certainly didn’t sleep. But I laid in bed waiting for the hubs to walk in there and notice it. Two trips to the bathroom later and nothing. Turns out, he pees in the dark in the middle of the night which explains a lot about my need to clean the bathroom floor often LOL.
*Note: I always spring for the digital test with words. This girl cannot handle the whole is there a line or is there not a line thing. I know a lot of #ttc folks do the line progression thing, which I have never done. Luckily for my sanity I didn’t know that was a thing until later on, and since my doctors are on high alert they bring me in for a lot of testing early.
Finally when he went in to shower he came bounding back out with a shocked look on his face. I had never told him about the early test and dudes are dudes so he had no idea where I was in my cycle. But both of us knew mathematically there was very little likelihood of this happening. So, we were both pretty shocked. And then I flashbacked to my painkiller and looked down saying “sorry about that, for the record, I did make sure before I undulged”.
Then came the endless tests, phone calls and waiting. I called right away given my history and they took an early HCG count. I waited all day for them to call me back, walked around work with my phone in my hand for 8 hours, and nothing. Finally on my way home I called and said I know you close soon and I haven’t heard. Then, of course, T-Mobile had some type of network crash, and I missed the call back which was after 5 and therefore I couldn’t return the call. UGH. I did get a hold of the after hours people, and eventually they called back with my number: 29.
Considering the number to qualify as pregnant is 10 this is very low. Once I heard that number I set myself up for this not working out. Of course they wanted me to come back. Each office is different, but mine had me return every 48 hours and were looking for the numbers to double at minimum. Since it was over a weekend I went back three days later and the numbers did rise appropriately, then I went back two more times. Then they said the shocking and exciting: “Ok it’s high enough for us to do a scan”.
This was too early for viability (aka looking for a heartbeat) but given my history with ectopic pregnancies, they wanted to make sure it was a pregnancy happening in the right place. Luckily, it was. And I was scheduled for a 6/7 week viability scan. This all sounds so chill but there is not enough space on the internet to describe what goes through your mind in the hours and days in between tests and scans. The best of the best and the worst of the worst. I feel like I have lived several years in the last 15 weeks.
My viability scan was scheduled for the first day of my husband’s new job. Can’t really be late on day 1, so I actually went solo which was kind of scary. But I knew, whatever it was, I would get through it. Somehow. Because, you know, you just must. Thankfully, they found the heartbeat right away, it was solid, we got a couple pics that look like different shaped blobs and I went on my way thinking: Holy shit, this might be real.
Of course the dreaded spotting persisted. Off and on to steal any short moments of joy or peace I had. Many phone calls, a couple of urgent care visits and additional tests made up a lot of the last few weeks. That and a mix of heated phone calls with my insurance company and specialty pharmacy threatening harm in the way of social media rants and strongly worded letters to get my progesterone supposetories.
Overall, I have had relatively minimal symptoms which for most would be a reason to rejoice. But for me, with every wave of nausea came a wave of relief. A welcomed “oh ok things are doing what they’re supposed to do” dry heave. But if the symptoms waned I went right back to my new natural state of doom. The only true bliss I feel is in the doctors office with the warm goo on. If I am watching in real time, I believe everything is fine. Moments after I leave, there is a chance it all went downhill in those few seconds.
But as the hubs says “everytime we’ve gotten this far, we’ve gotten a baby”. Which was once. But, alas, he is not wrong. This whole time I have been trying to reconcile my history with my luck. Aside from the spotting and resulting “emergency visits” this has THUS FAR been an extremely easy situation. I don’t really know how to handle it. This is the type of my teen mom bullshit that makes those of us going through fertility want to punch faces through TV screens. ONE TIME. We tried ONE FREAKING TIME. And it just worked. We are those people. But we are also not those people. Who am I. I am so confused.
I think this has been my biggest struggle with how and when to share this news with the world. I’ve built so many relationships with other folks in the infertility community and I feel like I am going to have my membership revoked. One legitimate surprise ‘we’re not really sure how this happened’ baby and one ‘we tried one time and it just worked’ baby on the way. It is truly hard to reconcile my current state with my late 2015-early 2018 state. It’s all part of me and yet two complete opposite ends of a spectrum. There is a part of me that feels like this easy road on #2 resulted in me losing any legitimacy, if that’s even a thing. Like if it was hard, if bad things happened, then I could solidify my membership in this community. And while grateful those didn’t happen and it does leave me in this weird place of identity confusion.
I had a scan today. The good thing about having a history of loss, and now, a history of preterm labor is that you get LOTS of scans. Annoying to schedule but lovely to see the little nugget so often. Sometimes the long waits in between were BRUUUUUTAL. So far this rotation of every two weeks has been great. But I still lay there in disbelief. How is this possible.
As we embark on a weekend of family, friends and thankfulness I know how freaking hard this can be for my ttc and infertility friends. I remember one holiday a few years ago when a family member so casually mentioned someone was pregnant again and I thought to myself, “Two. So close together. This is so unfair.” I had no way of knowing I would be that person and there is likely someone out there reading this thinking the same damn thing about me. And you should. I’m ok with it. In fact I welcome it because I know that’s the truth. Hearing about other people’s successes is not always hopeful, it’s often the exact opposite and I get that.
Each of us has a lot to be thankful for, but if you’re missing the one thing you hoped to be thankful for, this time of year can be a real bitch. Drown your sorrows in wine, gravy or pie…or all of the above. And if a family member says some dumb shit to you, please kindly to tell them (for me) to KICK ROCKS.