Monday, March 31, 2008


I wish I could say that this is how much we are getting in a tax refund (not even close since we aren't getting a refund at all and are actually providing a refund to the man), but instead I have to report that this is my HCG level as of this morning. I have to lose at least 7,553 more unit-thingys before I can be "pregnancy-free".* I did the math (well, I punched the numbers into a calculator which then did the math) and found that if the levels drop by half every 48 hours on the dot, it will take 22 days from today to get to baseline. Of course, nothing goes the way it is supposed to, so this is a wild guestimate.

I also made the mistake of looking at my records for my other D&C. A week after the procedure, my HCG was a whopping 350! Of course, the baby died about two weeks before we had the procedure, so during that time, I'm sure I did some serious dropping. In the end, it still took me 6 weeks to make it to below 5. Yikes.

Why does this bother me? Well, because even if we aren't going to see Dr. Uterus anytime soon, it would still be nice to think that there might be a chance for an oops. As long as the HCG is up there, the ovaries are not going to cooperate to make that happen. I know I shouldn't even be thinking about pregnancy, including an oops, but part of me just can't let go of the notion that I should be doing something to get knocked up even if that means just knowing that I might be fertile and having unprotected sex. Besides, part of me still dreams of being able to call up Dr. Uterus and say, "Guess what?! I'm pregnant and I didn't need you to get that way!" This is very indicative of how my day-dreams about pregnancy have changed over the years. I used to spend a great deal of time thinking of elaborate ways of telling my parents that I was pregnant. Now I fantasize about telling my RE that he's obsolete.

I did mention to the nurse that I haven't had a full-on period yet (just spotting) and she indicated that this usually equates to the levels going down faster. I won't read this as gospel, but it's encouraging. I go back next Monday morning for another draw. As a present to myself, I asked to be able to have all of my bloodwork after the D&C to be drawn at an off-site lab rather than going to the office each week and see all of the glum faces of the nurses who know what happened. So far, this has worked very well as the ladies at the lab don't know me, don't know my history and are extremely efficient. And, no glum faces. This and the Cadbury caramel egg I had after lunch totally made my day - well until finding out how high the level was. I think another caramel egg after dinner (which will also feature a nice Rioja from Spain) is definitely called for.

And, another benefit is that once the number goes down, maybe I can finally stop having hormonal rages (or "being pissy" as Sweetie calls it). Or maybe, I just won't be able to use that as an excuse for "being pissy".

*I won't bother to discuss how ironic this is. I'm at the point of just shaking my head.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Glutton for Punishment

When it comes to living with infertility in a primarily fertile world, I am a glutton for punishment. Article about nesting during pregnancy? I read it. Read an on-line chat about working part-time or full-time after the birth of a baby (I would kill for this choice!!!)? Tempted. Watching the episode of House Hunters where the family is expanding (number-wise, not body-wise) so they have to find a new house? I watched the whole thing, including every single freakin' reference to the fact that she's pregnant. I couldn't tear my eyes away.
image: amortize
So, why do I do this to myself? What do I expect to gain? At first, I thought I was doing it because I may gain some valuable information that I can use down the line. So, the article on soothing your baby seemed like a good read. Then, as time went on and we had no baby to soothe, it seemed less and less helpful. I suspect that I do it now to see if I've reached that point of equanimity where I can read about (fill in the blank) getting knocked up and not feel that twinge of absolute envy. I never manage to do it, though.

And, it seems as if motherhood and fertility is everywhere now- celebrities are popping out enough children to populate a small island, there is not one but two blogs dedicated to parenting and family on, and of course, there is my love/hate relationship with articles in the New York Times, which has been documented on this blog already. The point is, it's getting harder and harder to censor out this kind of stuff, which makes it easier to punish myself.

It is impossible to go to just about any website and not get assaulted at least once with something - even a headline - that brings that familiar ache. But, I am making progress. I have started to give myself permission to skip reading those articles. For example, the article on going back to work after the birth of a baby? Self: you are permitted to skip it. It won't do anything except upset you, so you have a free ride to look right past it. Instead, go look at Cuteoverload. Stick your nose in the middle of a fragrant bloom and breathe deeply. Kiss a kitty. You'll find the urge to look at those articles is gone and you've gotten a wonderful respite.

In the world of infertility where control is so fleeting, giving myself permission to skip the things that I know will just upset me is one little way I can have some control.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Graduation Day

I should mention that Dr. Uterus, while having a solo practice as a reproductive endocronologist, shares office space with a high risk OB. If he wasn't Dr. Uterus, I would have abandoned him long ago in favor of someone who didn't routinely have very pregnant ladies in his waiting area. But, he is Dr. Uterus and he is wonderful (and did I ever mention that he's easy on the eyes?), so I put up with the pregnant ladies (and the pregnancy magazines and the fliers about maternity tours at the nearby hospital).

Anyway, on the day when I had the unexpected visit to his office because my beta was rising rather than declining after he had predicted the miscarriage, I saw a heavily pregnant woman walking ahead of me to his office. I knew why she was there and I was so angry that I was in my place and she was in hers. She was happy and practically bursting and I was already annoyed at having to cancel my trip and go visit him to see if I was going to have more drama (the theory was a possible ectopic). This was just karmic icing on the cake.

As Dr. Uterus' nurse called for me, she turned the husband of the Bursting Pregnant Lady and said "hi". It was at that point that I realized, they were former patients and had graduated to the high risk OB. Rather than feel hope, my heart sank. I was a double failure. It wasn't like she had just gotten knocked up the normal way - she was a Dr. Uterus Success Story and here I was, the misfit with rising betas and what are probably delicately referred to as "issues". To be sure, I had no idea what this lady had been through. She could have had five previous miscarriages for all I knew. Frankly, at that moment I didn't care.
image: Amigurumi Kingdom
All I cared about what that she had graduated and I hadn't. I was being held back. Again. I had to repeat Remedial Infertility 101 and Early Pregnancy Loss 102. This is particularly difficult for me since I am a Type A, Class A, Grade A Overachiever with delusions of perfection and immodesty. I was salutatorian of my high school class, I graduated with honors from college and was near the top of my class in grad school. I don't do failure.

So, not ever being able to even graduate from Dr. Uterus' care is another blow to my self-esteem which is obviously heavily dependent upon my ability to succeed in conventional situations. Now, my rational mind knows that a) I have no blame for my first miscarriage and probably no blame for the second and b) my inability to get or stay pregnant is not a reflection on my worth as a person. But, my rational mind is being put in a half-nelson by my irrational, emotional, hormone-fueled, addled and grief stricken psyche and it is not going to let go. Bad crazed psyche!

The next step is to wrest my rational mind away from the crazed psyche. Maybe I should add that to the list? I suspect that all that will help is time and healing. I have a lot of the former and need a lot of the latter. Or maybe, I just need to grieve for the loss of yet another "normal" milestone.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Deluge

Of the numerous terrible things about having a miscarriage, one of the worst is that even though you no longer have a baby or pregnancy, but you still have the hormones. They don't leave the body particularly fast and depending upon how far along you were, it can take an agonizing amount of time for the HCG to leave your system. I seem to recall from last time that it leaves the body in halves - so if it was 10,000 one day, it should be 5,000 a few days later and so forth. While you are waiting for it to eek out of your bloodstream, though, you are left to its mercy (and that of the progesterone) so that all of the emotions that you are already feeling are that more heightened. Talk about being hit while you're already down.
image: Earthwatcher
So, today when I felt the sadness just overwhelming me, I knew that in some part it was the damn hormones just making a bad situation worse. But, still. I'm sad. I'm sad that once again I don't have a baby to look forward to. I'm sad that we're coming up on our 5th wedding anniversary and it's still just the two of us. I'm sad because I feel like I have failed again and that we are running out of "it's-a-random-occurrence" excuses. I'm worried that there might really be something wrong with me or with our embryos.

And, I'm angry. I'm angry because I feel cheated (again). I'm angry that we had this happen again. I'm angry that I couldn't just have a normal miscarriage like last time and instead had that two week blip of hope that still left us with nothing. I'm angry that once again we've landed in that 2-10% who hear the heartbeat and still end up miscarrying (which I find particularly cruel). I'm angry that we're infertile and can't seem to make much progress. I'm angry that Dr. Uterus has had so many successes and yet I can't seem to be in that win column yet despite our Herculean efforts. I want to add my picture to the books in his waiting area holding my baby with that grin of success and satisfaction. I'm angry that he is so confident that it is yet another random occurrence which makes the whole thing doubly worse.

And, I'm particularly angry that everyday irresponsible people who have no business reproducing have perfectly healthy children who they then abuse and kill. If I wasn't already an atheist, I think this would have sent me over the edge toward the religion-free lifestyle. It makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

But then I realize that these are all feelings that are part of the process. For as ugly as they are and as ugly as they make me feel, I know that they are natural and I probably would have real problems if I wasn't having them. We like to think that we are going to handle situations with grace and aplomb at all times, but frankly, that's impossible. The most we can strive for is to have enough introspection to recognize the feelings for what they are, have them and then move on.

It helps if you don't read the article in the New York Times about nesting during pregnancy, too. I will not bother linking to it here since it will probably just cause more misery for everyone else. I already made the mistake - no need to compound it for all you fine ladies.

In other news, we finally received the results of the chromosomal analysis that we had run on each of us. We are both chromosomally normal, although, as Sweetie sagely pointed out, we are in every other respect probably off-the-charts abnormal. This is encouraging news (yay! we have no translocations!) but it's also frustrating (boo! we still don't have that smoking gun!). Shinejil - please chime in at any time here to remind me to be grateful. I think it's my turn.

I'm also able to resume bathing - that is taking long, luxurious bubble baths lit by candlelight while Wine Boy plies me with alcohol and tries to molest me as I read Madame Bovary and other scintillating fiction. Unfortunately for Wine Boy, we are on "pelvic rest" (I just love that phrase. Who on earth thought of that to denote no sex?) for two weeks. Ouch. Well, more for him. My ovaries are screaming at the moment as they regroup back into their normal size and I have no doubt that they would be extremely disapproving if there were extracurricular activities going on in their general area.

Also, I'm slowly beginning the transition over to temporarily making my new blog my more regular blog. So, continue to check over at A Year of Inconceivable Living for new posts. It's been rather quiet because of the drama of the last few weeks, but I hope to get more prolific. I will continue to post here about infertility, post-miscarriage travails and other related topics, but I want to begin focusing on our break which I plan to do exclusively at this other blog.

And, to my dear friends in the computer who are pregnant, I must beg a favor - I'm having a hard time reading your blogs right now, so I wish you the absolute best but please forgive me for not stopping by for a while. Be well and I hope I will be able to give you the same wonderful encouragement down the line that you have given me.

bath image: amishah

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Perfect Timing

The New York Times today had a wonderful article on trying again after recurrent miscarriage.

In more sucky perfect timing, the woman sitting next to me at Subway today was a) very pregnant and b) reading What to Expect When You Are Expecting while sucking down Cheetos. Thanks for that. Knowing that I could drink caffeine and eat deli meats when she couldn't didn't make me feel one bit better about not being pregnant (again).

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Ride is Finally Over

image: nic0
It is with great relief that I report that I have finally been allowed to get off the pregnancy rollercoaster.

Everything went fine this morning. I had my Sweetie, my family's love and all of your good thoughts with me as I went through the familiar routine of the D&C. I had the same anaesthesiologist who I saw not eight weeks ago for my egg retrieval, and I told him that I really did not want to run into him again - except at the mall or something. He wholeheartedly agreed.

The nursing staff were wonderful, as usual. This is the third time I've been to this center - not a statistic I enjoy to be sure - first for my lap in October 2006, then my D&C in April of last year and now this year's booby prize. The only mild annoyance was the intake nurse going over my medical history and saw my last D&C and very sympathetically called me a "poor thing" for having to do this twice. She was very nice, but I just wanted to be treated like anyone else there.

Now a little recap of the ride, shall we? It started out with an optimistic turn in the Positive and Doubling Beta Loop followed by some twists through Anxiety Canyon. Then there was the dive down Spotting and Cramping Hill bottoming out in No Baby Ravine. The slow climb up Imminent Miscarriage Mountain began, complete with the ominous clicking as the car slowly makes it way against gravity. Instead of being released into the torrent after reaching the top, we were sent into the Loop of Disbelief following by the ups and downs of Hope and Despair Canyon. Next, it was through the Loop of Guardedly Optimistic followed by the ups and down of Hope and Despair Canyon again. And then, we were unceremoniously plunged into Heartbreak Ridge, after which we were directed to D&C Station.

My ticket's been punched, I got my souvenirs and I never, ever want to go on that kind of ride again.

We are officially leaving the Amusement Park of Infertility for a while, taking a break to remember what we have, find what we have lost, discover new things, make new friends, reconnect with old ones, go to Paris, live decadently, and step away from tests, needles, Dr. Uterus, embryos, eggs, sperm, and everything else that has ruled for the past three years.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ready, Set, Go...

Before my last D&C, I was just lost. I learned on a Monday that our baby had died and had my D&C on a Thursday (of course, this time I learned on a Thursday and I'm having my D&C on a Monday - it's almost like the eerie conincidences between JFK and Lincoln).

I had three days (since I found out Monday morning) to get used to the idea that I was no longer pregnant and we weren't having a baby. During those intervening days, I was in a fog of grief, I was just overwhelmed.

After the procedure, I remember waking up from crying - literally crying - that I had lost my baby. I remember Dr. Uterus was there, but I don't remember what he said. I never told Sweetie because it would just upset him. The days and weeks afterwards were so hard. But, eventually, I got better.

This time around, I had a lot longer to get used to the idea of a miscarriage and I knew fully well that it could happen, regardless of how many times we heard the heartbeat. So, while there is still much grief, I haven't been lost these past few days.

I have a friend who lost his father a few years ago and it was terribly hard for him (as it would be for most of us). Several years after that, his youngest brother committed suicide. I asked him how he was doing and he said something that surprised me. He said he knew how to grieve this time, that it was easier because he knew how to do it and he knew what it entailed. I hoped that I wouldn't ever had to know this as well, but now I do.

I know how to grieve, I know how it works.

I also know what to expect tomorrow. In anticipation, I have done some preparation. I hate that I will have no control over my body and who looks at it, touches it, etc, so I have done my best to make it presentable . I shaved my legs and armpits as well as tidied up "down there". As India.Arie says, "depending upon how the wind blows/I might even paint my toes", while watching the next scintillating episode of John Adams on HBO with Sweetie.

[I should state that the people at the center we go to are absolutely wonderful and I've never had an issue - it's that I won't be in a position to know what's going on so this is my one real way of retaining some control of the situation. If I'm going to be naked in front a bunch of strangers, at least I'll look good.]

I'm also on Gremlins restrictions as of midnight. Sweetie and I will probably get up at the un-Godly hour of 5:30am to be at the center by 6. I should have my cocktail by 7 and the whole nasty thing should be over relatively quickly. The wounds, of course, will take much longer to heal.


Friday, March 21, 2008

I'll Take a D&C for $2,000, Alex!

Alex: You have chosen the category "D&C" for $2,000. Here's your clue: this is the procedure you will be having on Monday at 7am, but for which you must show up at 6am.

[brrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeepppp! Mrs. X rings in]

Alex: Mrs. X

Mrs. X: What is my D&C?

Alex [in best Canadian accent]: No. I'm so-rry. The question we were looking for is "What is my second D&C in a row that sucks beyond belief and imagination."

[brrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeppppp! Mrs. X rings in again]

Alex: Yes, Mrs. X?

Mrs. X: I think you looked much better with the mustache. And frankly, I find Will Ferrell's impression of you far more entertaining than you. So-rry.

Alex: That's ok. I liked you better when you hadn't become hardened and embittered by three years of infertility.

Mrs. X: So I guess we're even then?

Alex: Yep.
Thanks to everyone for your beautiful comments. I'm actually doing pretty ok today. I'm sure the grief will come in fits and starts - little things that I have no idea are coming up will trigger it. I already had one such moment this morning when the hospital called to do the usual medical history workup prior to Monday. Once again, I was reminded of all that we have lost. She asked how many pregnancies, including this one, I had had and I answered "two". Any deliveries? No. Ugh, how is it that one question can make you feel so incredibly wretched?

I was really hoping that this would turn into the ultimate phoenix situation, but it wasn't meant to be. Like last time, we are having a karyotype done on the fetus to see what may have gone wrong. Last time, we learned that it was a monosomy - or Turner's syndrome - a 94% fatal chromosomal anomoly. This time, who knows. It may come out completely normal.

There is some good in my world, though. It is a beautiful spring day, my Sweetie and I have the day off, the house is clean since the maid came this morning, I have lots of wonderful friends and family who care enough about me to check up on me and make sure I'm doing ok, I have wonderful friends inside the computer who without even knowing me send their most heartfelt condolences, and I no longer have to worry about when the shoe is going to drop. I'll take what I can get right now.

And, as always, I have

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Now Entering Town of Heartache, Population: 2

For the second year in a row, Easter, that Judeo-Christian celebration of Christ's resurrection will be the season of miscarriage and D&C for me.

Our little phoenix is gone. There was lots of growth, but Dr. Uterus could find no heartbeat. We knew that this was a distinct possibility, but it is still so hard.

There's not much else to say.

image: Hanadi Traifeh

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raising the Stakes

Oh, my friends, thanks for continuing to follow the week-by-week saga that is my life. Thank you for all of your good thoughts, encouragement and general love. And, thanks for indulging me in the wild mood swings that accompany this particular rollercoaster. As you can tell, I'm pretty focused on one topic so I apologize in advance for the monotony that has become this blog. But, then again, like many of you, I started this blog to have an outlet for my feelings about one subject, so I guess this is completely in keeping with the MO of this blog. And, the rest of my life is extremely boring compared to this, so you probably wouldn't really want to hear about it anyway.

We go back on Thursday to get the latest look at how this pregnancy is progressing. It's been much harder this week to expect the worst given that last week had relatively encouraging news. I wasn't even expecting there to be a heart beat and we got that and a week's worth of growth.

An unintended consequence of this has been that now the stakes have been raised. Not only did we get another week, but hearing the heartbeat again gives (possibly false) hope that we might make it further. And what if there still is a heartbeat, but the growth has slowed this week? For as agonizing as last week was, I had the luxury of assuming that there were only two paths forward. It has now become more complex.

It's also hard not to begin to stop thinking of it as a pregnancy and start thinking of a little being. I had such a hard time when I learned that I was having a miscarriage last year in part because we had thought of the pregnancy as a baby. We had our special name for it and I indulged in reading the week-by-week updates from various pregnancy sites about its development. I've avoided this - I think that by thinking about it as a pregnancy, not as a baby, it may be easier if things go south (as we are still anticipating). Whether this will work is a totally different story.

Each week that we get development and relatively encouraging news, it gets harder and harder to make our negative assumptions about the outcome. In the end, I just try not to think about it, but inevitably, it sneaks and creeps in.
image: tadekk

Monday, March 17, 2008

Listeria Hysteria

image: Sakurako Kitsa
During the Week When I Thought I Wasn't Pregnant But I Really Was (WWITIWPBIRW), I committed multiple no-no's:

I ate feta cheese and deli meats.
I drank Diet Coke.
I took hot baths (two!)
I drank booze (beer and wine, oh my!)
I lifted heavy things.
I petted neighborhood cats.

I was just an all around bad girl.

So, when I found out that I still was pregnant, some of my first thoughts ran to all of the no-no's that I had committed thinking I was in the clear. I even started listing them to Dr. Utuerus, who was still shaking his head at the screen, as I was still on the exam table. I quickly forgave myself since I legitimately thought that it was over. And oh, how I enjoyed that Diet Coke.

Now I have settled into the restriction routine again and have not had any problems or temptations. Of course, this also limits my lunching-out options. See, I work from home, so going out for lunch is my time to literally get away, otherwise I'm in the house all day. With the places I can go limited, I feel more isolated.

I'm normally a pretty frequent Subway go-er. I get my Weight Watchers special with lots of spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and onion and either turkey or roast beef on wheat with mustard. I sit and enjoy my lunch, unmolested and bothered, while reading. With deli meats securely off the table, though, my options for a healthy, nutritious yet inexpensive lunch out where I can sit and eat in peace are limited.

There are still a few places, though, including one that I went to today. It's an Italian buffet-style place with really, really good food. And they had the most delicious looking spinach salad with walnuts ... and feta. I knew I couldn't eat the feta, but surely, I could pick it out and eat the rest, right? What I didn't count on was when he added the dressing and my feta crumbles crumbled into specks. I had alraedy committed to the salad, so I accepted the plate and began to strategize how I was going to have my salad and eat it too. Quickly, I realized it was a losing battle. The crumbled feta turned into specks of feta that were everywhere and I kept having to remove feta from the spinach and my utensils.

In the end, I ate like five pieces of spinach and boxed up the rest of the salad for Sweetie. When I got home, I quickly googled everything I could about listeria. I've decided not to worry about the feta I may have ingested, just like I'm not worrying about everything else I did during WWITIWPBIRW.

Just to be sure, next time, I will get the non-feta salad.

Friday, March 14, 2008

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

I woke up this morning as I do every morning to the classical music station here in town. This morning's selection with which I was destined to wake up was rather inauspicious - a variation on Taps.

I headed to the shower, half-listening to the news on NPR, trying to prepare myself for what was to come. I shaved my legs and didn't give much thought to the loofah swipes over my stomach. I put on a favorite skirt, heels and a pretty green top. I always feel better when I look good, no matter what happens, and I was determined to do it right today.

Sweetie arrived around 8:45am to squire me to the appointment and we were kept waiting about 30 minutes after our appointed time to see Dr. Uterus. I skimmed through the new O magazine and could barely focus.

Finally, we got back to the room - the same room where almost a year ago he told me the terrible news of our first pregnancy - and in came Dr. Uterus. We dispensed with the pleasantries and (literally) got down to business.

The magical dildocam did its thing and there, right where we had left it, was our little phoenix.

Bigger. Growing. Little heart still beating away.

It is still measuring small for the time of the transfer. But, it has grown the appropriate amount since the last scan. It is now measuring 7w5d and I'm supposed to be around 8w1d. Phrases like "late implantation" were bandied about, but we still don't have a clue. It could also still be an abnormal pregnancy, which we are still accutely aware.

No celebrations yet, no partying in the streets. For now, we are looking at it this way: we've bought another week. I go back on Thursday, March 20.

Thanks to everyone for their wonderful thoughts - each one has touched me and brought me great comfort. No matter what happens in the end, I have been very much buoyed by all of you.

And, my, what an incredible story.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tiptoeing Through Dangerous Territory

image: ®oberto
Gentle Reader, I have a confession to make.

I am guilty of allowing hope to creep into my heart. I'm afraid that I have managed to subconscioulsy convince myself that we are going to still see a heartbeat tomorrow. Sure, I'm toeing the line of saying, "expecting the worst, the other shoe to drop, etc" but I find that I lack that conviction. Maybe it's because I haven't had any bright red spotting, maybe it's because the nausea and sore boobs continue. Maybe it's because I still feel pregnant (and bloated).

I haven't told Sweetie (who gives our chances at about 15% that things will work out) because I know what he will say (which is what I say to myself already): you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

I try to visualize the appointment I had with Dr. Uterus when he found that I was going to miscarry the first time. I try to remind myself of the utter shock and pain that I felt at the suckerpunch I had received after the weeks of blissful innocence and lack of drama.

Or maybe, I'm just giddy at knowing that by this time tomorrow we will have an answer and mistaking it for hope. Maybe I'm so exhausted of the back and forth that I'm drunk on not worrying about it. Whatever it is, I'm surprisingly calm and collected. Peaceful, in fact. These are not the emotions of a girl who is supposedly expecting for the other shoe to drop.

You may ask what is wrong with a little hope? Absolutely nothing. What is wrong is what I do with hope - I magnify it, extrapolate it and turn it into all kinds of balloon animals. In other words, I just take and take and take like a freshman at their first keg stand. I can't have some hope. It's either hope or no hope. Just the way I'm made.

But, still, I prefer just not to think about tomorrow, not think about the big P, not think about anything.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Would You Like to Talk to My Uterus?

This is the conversation I had with Sweetie this morning:

Mrs. X: I had more of that brownish-red spotting again this morning. I was expecting it, though, because I had those cramps again last night.

Sweetie: I wish I knew what was going on.

Mrs. X: Do you want to talk to my uterus when you get home?

Sweetie: Yea. I'd like that.

He's going to have to do it through my stomach since the other entrance is strictly off-limits (per Dr. Uterus' orders). I hope this "talk" gives us some answers, although, so far my uterus has been awfully deceptive. Bad uterus!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

All or Nothing

I've always been an all or nothing kind of gal. Either I get all of it, or I don't want any of it. For the boyfriends I didn't marry (which would be all but one), I wanted nothing more to do with them. Either I'm working or I'm not, I'm doing infertility treatment or I'm not,

Either I'm pregnant or I'm not.

Spare me this in-between bull. It offends my sense of order, and more importantly, it is seriously cramping my ability to make plans in the future or to even think of the future in anyway other than with anxiety and fear.

I either want to be on the train with a first class ticket or get off of it entirely. I don't want to be a passenger just sitting there watching other people get on and off. I want to go on my own adventure, far away from the train if need be.

And then, when I'm ready to get back on the train, I will have amassed a wealth of courage, patience, and everything else required to make the journey a truly meaningful one.

Right now, I'm in the baggage car and they can't decide whether to let me forward or kick me off.
These past few weeks have certainly been an exercise in learning that finality is a fleeting concept. I thought it was pretty open and closed, but as Dr. Uterus kept muttering at my last appointment, "I'm reminded that I don't know everything." He really did look annoyed by that.
I also won't know my latest status until Friday now. Dr. Uterus is a busy surgeon on Thursday and definitely would not be able to do the morning appointment we had scheduled. I had the option of going in tomorrow, but I'm much rather receive bad news on a Friday and have the weekend to really get over it than deal with it on a Wednesday and still be expected to function.
As far as the symptom watch goes, still nauseous (although it's better if I eat regularly), boobs are still sore and inflated, still having mild cramping, and since Sunday, I've just had some brown spotting.

If there was ever a time for distraction, this would be it. Any suggestions since all alcohol and baths are completely snatched out of my grasp (again)? Short of hibernation, I think I'm just going to have to get through it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Which End is Up?

image: dominocat
I seriously still don't know if I'm coming or going. All of this, "you're pregnant, you're not pregnant, you're pregnant" business is just so confusing at a very basic level. What was good last week - booze, baths and brie - has once again become verboten this week. What was a sign of progress - spotting and cramping - has once again become a sign of terror (today's thrill was dark reddish brown. Whee!)

I also have to keep track of who knows of the latest development - and who still thinks that we miscarried. My parents - yes. His parents - no. My boss and most co-workers - yes. Semi-new employee - no. Friends - yes. Aunt and uncle - no. I almost have to start a list. We are waiting to tell some of these outlying people until next week's scan. No reason to get everyone worked up in a tizzy. Although, it certainly would be par for the course these days if I'm lying to at least one person about the state of my uterus.

There has been some good news, if you can call it that. The nausea that last week felt like just really bad indigestion has come roaring on like gangbusters. Although, I'm not treating this as the Sign of Signs since I had nasty nausea right up until Dr. Utuerus pronounced that the pregnancy had ended about 10 days earlier during our first miscarriage.

I feel like I've been spun around a few hundred times and I don't know where the sky ends and land begins.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I May Just Surprise You

First, a very heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented on our amazing news yesterday. All of you have been on the rollercoaster with me (anyone puked yet?) and you have experienced the wild ride. If anyone would like to get off, please feel free at any time. As the conductor, I don't have that luxury.
image: Thomas Milne
During my appointment with Dr. Uterus yesterday, he kept apologizing for the rollercoaster that I was on. At the time, I really didn't see the need for him to apologize - after all, I had just been told that the pregnancy that I thought was over actually wasn't.

After the shock and awe settled, though, I saw his point. This is either a new beginning or just another chapter in the longest drawn out nightmare of my life. For purposes of self-preservation, I am choosing to think about it this way:

I am still expecting to miscarry. I have to, otherwise, I will be knocked around harder than a ball in a pinball machine. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I am hoping to miscarry - I'm absolutely not. I'm just not expecting that this will have a happy ending. Dr. Uterus said that he has only seen this twice (me being the second) and the first time the fetus developed for about a week before the pregnancy ended.

I know that I am not her and she is not me. But, nothing in pregnancy is certain - not until you have that infant in your arms and he or she is declared to be perfect with ten fingers and ten toes.

You may be surprised that I am not more excited. I simply can't afford to be. I've done the excitement thing and I got bitch-slapped for my trouble. And, it is the only way I can manage to function day-to-day.

image: cobalt123

Thursday, March 6, 2008

What. The. F*ck.

image: JPhilipson
The parable of the phoenix is pretty straightforward. The phoenix dies in flames and is reborn out of the ashes. What does this have to do with me? Well, it would seem we have a little phoenix.

Where to start. I was just about to head out the door to catch my flight when the phone rang. I had blood drawn this morning to see how much my HCG had gone down since last Thursday (which was 10480). Rather than going down, the nurse told me it had actually gone up to about 28,000. That was the first WTF moment. She said that Dr. Uterus wanted to see me for an ultrasound as that was the protocol when the HCG goes up rather than down. I explained that I was just about to head out of town until the middle of next week. She put me on the line with Dr. Uterus and he started talking "ectopic." Well, he had me at ectopic. I so did not want to have some ectopic rupture away from home.

So, I called the boss, mentioned the word "ectopic", cancelled the first leg of the trip and headed in to Dr. Uterus' office fully desiring some type of answer to this very strange question. But, it just got weirder.

He starts wielding the dildocam and makes confused noises. I can't see anything since the monitor was turned away (and hey, I wasn't that eager to see). I asked him what was going on and he said:

"You're sac has gotten bigger, and you have a fetal pole and a heartbeat." WTF Moment #2.

I asked him if was kidding. And then he showed me. Sure as shit, there it was. He turned on the sound thing-y and there was a heartbeat, at about 124bpm. The fetus is measuring small for this time frame - 6w5d rather than 7w1d, but it was there and beating away.

I go back for another scan on Thursday, March 13. I'm also once again off booze, caffeine, etc. One small blessing is that I do not have to re-start the progesterone shots since my ovaries are apparently progesterone machines (the lab was still diluting the sample as of the call, so it was above 80 at least).

My main emotion is disbelief, followed by a close second of confusion and bewilderment. I'm also not getting excited either since we heard a heartbeat last time and it didn't work out.

Needless to say, given my history of travel and pregnancy, I cancelled the rest of my trip.



My trip has been cancelled. I'll explain above.

Gentle Reader, the Powers that Be have decided that Mrs. X needs to actually go out and earn her living, so she is being sent on the dreaded business travel for seven days, six nights and in two different cities. To be sure, I will be treated to dinners at fancy restaurants and scintillating conversation, but I will be away from those I love most, Sweetie and my furry beasties.

I leave this afternoon and won't be back until the middle of next week. In the mean time, I will be on hiatus from my blogs and from reading other people's blogs. I don't know how the world will move on without me, but I suppose that it must.

As my main man Jerry says, "Be good to yourself and to each other."
image: Bob Milsom

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Surprise, Surprise

I think this is most fitting for my 100th post.

The UPS man is a fairly frequent visitor to our house since Sweetie has been working on a project that involves lots of stuff from other places. So, when I got home from lunch and saw a box on the front porch, I was expecting that it was one of the numerous items that he is waiting for.

But, the box wasn't for him. It was for me. I still wasn't that surprised because sometimes he buys stuff in my name. And then I saw it was from 1-800 Flowers. He didn't order anything from there.

No, my best friend (the pregnant one) sent me a beautiful flowering plant (I still haven't figured out what kind of plant, but I am no horticulturist). It's green and lovely (which is really all I need). Her timing was impeccable, too. I'm having a down day (it was a real effort to drag myself to lunch) and this was just such a sweet thing. So unexpected.

Apparently, there are still good things in life and I am still allowed to have them. That's nice to know.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I have been rather remiss in recognizing and thanking everyone for their wonderful support and comments while I wallow in the mire of self-pity and despair over What Happened Last Week. Well, maybe it's not full-blown wallowing, but I am also not my usual snarky self. I certainly feel sad (and sometimes outright depressed) but each day, there are tiny moments of sun.

One such moment was when I learned that Farm Wife nominated me for a "You Make My Day" award. Frankly, I should be giving it to her, not the other way around. But, she's already (deservedly) received one. So I will humbly accept my award, clutching it to my still inflated bosom, and get out of dodge.

As with most of these things, there are rules. You must re-gift it to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blog land. Let them know through email or by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. With all due respect to the rules, I can barely get through the day without staring into space for large swaths, so the higher math of picking and notifying is pretty much beyond me.

I will do a modified version, though. I would like to present this award goes to each and everyone of you - commenters and lurkers - who has sent me a kind thought, posted a kind word or sent me a virtual bottle of wine during these past few weeks. This one's for you:


In other news, today's theme, boys and girls, is "what can brown do for you?" Well, for me, it can drive me crazy and make me think that things just might be starting. Or not, since it's been going on for two days now. Oh, joy.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Now Is The Spring of My Discontent

I feel as though I have been channeling Greta Garbo today: I vant to be alone. All by myself. Left to my own devices. Footloose and fancy free.

I can feel myself going through the first of many waves of discontent over our remarkably and especially bad luck (on a good day) or just plain cruelty in the world (on a bad day) that has left us with the Second Strike, Scarlet Letter B, second run around the miscarriage loop. Small things usually set it off - seeing someone who is pregnant, etc. But once it gets going, I consistently and faithfully go back to the same questions: "why did it have to be us? Why can't it work just once? Why have been at this almost three years and have no baby to show for it?"

To be sure, it's an exhausting set of questions that often leaves me doubting my goodness, worth and whether I deserve to have a child. After all, without some other explanation, the inclination is to turn the analysis inward and introspect as to what flaw, what deficiency of mine could possibly explain all of the unbelievable crap that we have been through. Because, as I have hashed about so many times before, it is not satisfying to say that there is no reason (although that is likely the truth). It's the eternal question of why bad things happen to good people (don't get me started on this one) or why good things happen to bad people.

Rationally and dispassionately, I know that it is not this simple. Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Life is the good and bad. Wouldn't it be awfully boring if nothing bad happened? Wouldn't we be unable to really appreciate what we have in life if we never were faced with not having them? I understand and accept that bad things have to happen to you in life for you to be a well-rounded, grounded and otherwise well-functioning person. I just wish those bad things weren't this bad.

Being an atheist also means that I am without a very significant source to turn to for help and guidance, namely god and religion. This doesn't bother me, because I'm an atheist for a reason and I ground myself in secular thought. This also requires me, though, to accept that there is no defined path, no preordained way in which this is supposed to work, no plan. It also requires me to accept that one precept that I just have such a hard time with: there is no rhyme or reason to what happens to us. I just happened to get the short end of the stick (again). I liken this to eating rice cakes - you know it's good for you but it is just so damn unsatisfying.

I will be continue to be angry and discontented and sad and all of it about this and probably will be for a while. And, like last time, I will just have to taste each one and pay it its due before I'm allowed to move on.

I just didn't want to be in this place again ever. Or at least not this soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Letter to My Lady Parts

Dear Lady Parts:

I know all of you are sad and disappointed at what happened. I am too. We just need to be strong and try to move on. A few of you, though, seem to be having some difficulty with that and so I wanted to talk with each of you about my expectations.

To my boobs: I know you are kind of the new kids on the block here since you didn't come onto the scene until I was about 13 (and no, there is no reason for you two to tell the story about how I wanted a training bra when I was still flat as a pancake), but can you please start deflating now? Sweetie gets very amourous whenever he sees you and I have to beat him away because I am so not in the mood for that right now. Also, you can stop being sore. Seriously.

To my ovaries: I know you are unhappy and bloated. Dr. Uterus said you were probably the size of golfballs but I swear you looked ginormous on the scan (maybe it was the magnification). Please quiet down, though. I don't need sharp pains all of the time and I certainly don't need you to protest everytime I get up.

To my uterus: we've been through so much together and I know that you are very good at your job of keeping whatever needs to be in there in its place. But, I guess you weren't paying attention on Thursday when Dr. Uterus said that things aren't going to work out because you still haven't let go. It's time. Please just let it go. It's the only way to start the healing process and frankly, your delay is really making it difficult for me to move on. You can cramp up as much as you want (yes, free pass) just please get started.

To my naughty cervix: see the above direction to the uterus. I expect you two to work together and get this show on the road. Anytime now.

Thanks everyone for reading this. Please get started as quickly as possible on your tasks and we will all be happier.

Mrs. X

image: Laineys Repertoire