Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Emotionally Shipwrecked

I'm glad I exhaled last week because right now it's hard to breathe. We went for the first sonogram of this pregnancy this afternoon. 7 weeks. I've been trying with everything in me to think positively, and why shouldn't I? I've been feeling increasingly nauseous, most all food sounds terribly disgusting and my boobs are still tender. But my heart was scared.

It had every right to be. From the moment the sonogram view was up on the screen, Mr. Mandolyn and I knew something wasn't ok. It took a long time for the doctor to see anything. (Apparently I'm adding disgruntled tilted uterus to my growing list of dysfunctional parts.) Every now and then we could catch a blurry glimpse of a pregnancy sac, but couldn't see anything in it. Nothing. The sac measured 6 weeks. I know that isn't a good sign. So I'm going back next week for another go around. Basically, it doesn't look good, but we're holding onto a sliver of hope. Just in case. Fuck me. The All Time Best Nurse in the world came up to us as we were making the appointment. She gave me a hug, looked at me through teary eyes and said, "I'll pray for you." One of these days I'll let her know how wonderful she really is.

Damn it all to hell, this hurts. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel- how much hope to hang on to versus not setting myself up for disaster. But if that tiny tiny chance is right and there is a baby in there fighting with everything she has, I can't just emotionally check out. Not yet. Most of all, I'm afraid to listen to my heart. It's trying to protect me, I know that...and I know that I'm thinking worst-case scenario, but that's all that I know. I needed good news today. Desperately. I needed to know that everyone else and their "good feelings about this time" trumped my guarded thoughts. I needed my prayers to be answered, to feel like they were listened to. And I don't. I feel empty, angry, confused, hurt...shipwrecked. I need a damn lifevest.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A slight exhale

The Awesome Nurse B just called with the latest news. Progesterone is up to 16.1 (it was around 12, then down to 10). HCG is now over 5000.

I let out a tiny sigh. I smiled. For one full minute, I didn't freak out. Don't worry, no one was looking.

And then I settled back into my normal knot-in-the-stomach and nervous breathing routine.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

smiley face with a straight line mouth

I went in to donate another vile of blood to analysis yesterday afternoon. The shirt that I was wearing wouldn't roll up past my elbow, so I took it off. Stellar planning on my part. Everything was normal- gauze and pressure, then new gauze and tape, shirt back on. I was exiting the lobby when I thought my arm felt wet. Yeah, clotting? Not so much. I had blood running all down my arm. Apparently my vein felt cheated having to stop at just one vile. (Bonus Tip courtesy of my OB office: hydrogen peroxide gets blood out of a dark purple shirt.)

Today, good news/not so good news. I just got a call from the nurse that I've been anticipating all day. My HCG levels seem to be behaving themselves, but my progesterone is down. Delightful-sounding supplements are currently waiting for me at the pharmacy. (High Fives for the details on what to expect from Stirrup Queens Operation Heads Up.) Nurse B (who I love- she's a no-nonsense kind of girl with personal knowledge of IF) said that the baby's levels are fine, but we need the progesterone to help sustain the pregnancy. Those last three words send me into all kinds of nervous fits.

And now for something completely different...

aah0424 at A Somewhat Ordinary Life tagged me earlier today and I'm supposed to list what I think of when I see the following words:

My biggest concern. Now that I finally have something alive in me again, I am overwhelmed by the wait to find out progress and the emotional weight that this process brings.

Can I get a definition and origin for this word? I slept over nine hours last night and should have some serious energy. Um...no. I still had to verbally abuse the alarm clock this morning. Possibly because I only got three hours the night before, but whatever.

The song I heard this morning on my way to work.
"You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world..."

The picture on my desktop cracks me up. It has three drawings: Rock. Paper. Scissors. The caption underneath says, "Choose Wisely."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Dark Side

It never ends. Tabloid reports of Britney's new baby seem to all lead to her quote about how the baby wasn't planned, how it "just kind of happened." I think of Mel's sliding scale of happiness and sigh. I shouldn't care. It shouldn't matter to me at all. And yet.

Yesterday Mr. Mandolyn anxiously called me to find out what they said about my blood. So far, so good. I go again this afternoon again so they can compare levels. I want to be genuinely excited. I want to be grinning ear to ear. And yet. I can feel myself trying to build a wall around my delicate heart. Just in case. I loath "just in case." I hate that it keeps reappearing in my head every time I think I've kicked it out for good. Mr. Mandolyn and I talked yesterday about it. While I'm comforted that we are going through the same emotional ups and downs, it truly breaks my heart to hear how it's hard for him, too. He is also somewhat involuntarily guarding himself, trying to strangle out thoughts of doubt. Yes, so far everything is good, but it was all fine at this point last time we made it this far. A close friend joked that I'll be uncomfortably pregnant in the hot summer months and I choked back tears. We have a room empty at the house, painted for Someday Baby. My mother was asking decor questions the other night. We both avoided eye contact and rapidly tried to change the subject. We're so afraid to think ahead. We're afraid to let ourselves imagine something that might not come true. We're afraid to be thoroughly happy. Maybe it's that we've never been down the smoothly paved highway of fertility. We got diverted to this unnamed dirt road, littered with rocks and tumbleweeds. At any moment, the scattered debris might cause you to blow a tire, but it's familiar.

"Think positively" is something I keep hearing. Damn. I try, but these thoughts simply won't go away. It's all just so unfair, and I know that I haven't experienced anything compared to some. "Fair" is something that only exists in fairy tales. But sometimes I like fairy tales with their sweet innocence and nicely packaged storylines. I'm thrilled to be at this point, don't get me wrong. But that happiness comes with strings attached. I'm still angry that Mr. M and I won't ever get to experience the joy of gestational naiveté. I hate that we've realized the fragility of our hearts and that we have to cloud this pregnancy with emotional cautiousness. I hate "just in case."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Um...Hold Please.

Apparently, the roller coaster ride was not over.

I called my doctor's office last week and had a conversation similar to this:
Doctor Awesome: "Ok, I want you to call us and make an appointment next week."
Me: "Uh, ok. Am I waiting for a period that isn't going to come?"
DA: "No, we know that probably won't happen. I want to wait until then so that we can do a test and make sure that you aren't pregnant. I don't feel comfortable giving you Provera until I am confident of that. There could be a chance you just ovulated later than we both expected."
Me: "Fine."

I went out of town this past weekend for a wedding. I had a beer on Friday night because I was absolutely certain that this cycle had been a bust, too. I had already cried my tears. And then at lunch with my family on Saturday I started to have strong cramps. I couldn't eat the deliciousness that was the enchilada plate in front of me. Mr. Mandolyn leaned over and asked me if it was as bad as last time. Yeah, it was. So we stopped by the drug store on the way back to our hotel. I'm sure the cashier's odd look was directly attributed to my purchases: a pregnancy test and a box of tampons. Well, it was bound to be one of them. We soon saw a faint blue line. And after another trip to the store, two plus signs.

The element of surprise was so far from my head that it was actually nice to be caught a little off-guard. We didn't get a solidly good reaction from my parents. We got a reserved, cautious response, along with a "I don't know, cramping like that makes me worry" from my dad. I fumed to my brother about it, letting him know that about my mom's statement the first time I was pregnant, "Well, we'll see if it gets to three months, and then we'll celebrate." Apparently my mother had been at the door to hear all of that. So my (selfish) joy was interrupted by a damage control session with my hysterical mother. I felt like shit. She shouldn't have heard it that way, but it needed to be said. But damn it, this was not how it was supposed to play out. I know at one point I told her that "anything and everything you could possibly be thinking about this, we've already thought about. We are painfully aware, thank you. Leave that to us. We need you to be absolutely supportive right now, even if it's a false front." I wish that Mr. Mandolyn and I could have had the experience alone, so that we could inform everyone else on our own terms, but apparently that wasn't meant to be. I'm upset that we won't get to see that thrilling excited reaction that you dream about when breaking BFP news. Damn you, IF.

Still, in this world, a positive is a positive. Today's calendar date has such potential to be a sad, mournful day. I'm more than thankful to have something smile about.

"Happy" doesn't do it justice. But then again, neither does "Terrified."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Big Bad BFN

Per yesterday morning:

Womb status: Vacant
Thought status: "Fucking A, Man."

You know, by this point, a BFN shouldn't shock me. It shouldn't send me into a sobbing fit, shouldn't make it hard to smile, shouldn't make me feel defeated, even if temporarily. It shouldn't steal my sunshine. Oh, but it did. Again. It stole my sunshine and made a quick getaway, laughing and pointing at me. Big Bad BFN threw my sunshine out the window and then made a U-turn, scattering dust, just to come and run over it. With a Mack truck.

Again. Damn it.

I'm not looking forward to calling the doctor today. I will soon though. It's not like I'm waiting on a visit from Aunt Flo. That saucy bitch hasn't so much as called without excessive force since I ditched the pill.

Friday, September 01, 2006

An Open Letter to my 2WW

Dear 2WW,

I've tried to largely ignore you lately. It hasn't really worked out for me. You've got me analyzing every stomach twinge. Was that a slight dizzy spell? Oh! I had to pee in the middle of the night again. Wait, I've been starving and I only ate two hours ago. I have a headache again but it isn't a migraine...and I'm afraid to actually take anything. I'm almost finished with you, so if you wouldn't mind, could you possibly BACK OFF? You know, just slightly. Look, I've already embraced the fact that Sunday morning will bring me to my knees either in a state of raging anger/disappointment or happiness a la nervous wreck. Isn't that enough for you? Why the two week torment? I'm exhausted trying to keep a semi-normal front for the world when my insides are constantly debating whether or not I think I might be pregnant.

I need a nap. For about three weeks.