Friday, June 27, 2008

Such a beautiful day

It's good that I think so, right? It's 8:30 am and so sunny. I have windows open, and the house feels fresh and clean. Nice while I sip coffee, check email, and plan a second day of doing next to nothing.

The D&C went fine on Wednesday. The walking-into-the-clinic and waiting-30-minutes-to-get-called parts were hard. Everyone else in the waiting room seemed ultra cheery — and so damn chatty — that morning.

The staff was really sweet to us. And Dr. S was on special-good behavior. After he'd slipped out to see if the OR had opened up, DH replicated the robotic double pat Dr. S had bestowed upon my ankle. DH smiled, shook his head, and said, "He's so flawed." I said, "I know . . . and it just makes me love him." (It's true, that's how I felt.)

My pre- and post-op "room" was in the middle of the larger area, and there was an excited retrieval couple through the curtain wall to my right. An in-training nurse who kept double-checking things with the supervisor had trouble getting the point that she wasn't supposed to shout things like "Did they get 18 or 19 eggs?" and "Is the D&C next up?" across the space for all to hear. She'll learn.

Recovery is under way. The bleeding turned heavy today for some reason, but it's not enough to cause concern. Just annoyance. The cramping is there but not too bad. I don't tolerate most narcotics (good thing, probably), so I haven't taken much for the discomfort. I don't actually need anything most of the time, just maybe once during the day and something before bed.

I can't tell you how glad I am that I took the time off work — I can't imagine mustering up interest in the job today. Yet, emotionally, I feel fairly stable.

Not sure what to do today. As I write this, the day is just getting prettier. I waffle between keeping the feet up and getting outside for something. I'm sure I can incorporate both somehow. I have a stack of books and many DVD possibilities. I'd love to walk the dog but I'm hesitant with the bleeding. I'm positive it's safe. But she likes a long, vigorous stroll, and DH can do that after work. Maybe the pup would like to hang out on the deck with me for a while, before it gets hot.

One quick thing I can do while I'm thinking about it:

I can say thank you to everyone who has sent so much kindness and support my way. It has helped me more than I can say.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Willing away the hours

The D&C will finally happen tomorrow at 11:00 am. For a while it was scheduled for late in the day, so I was glad to have it moved up. Gotta tell ya, though, I spent a couple of days spittin' mad that there was NO room for it — and no way to make room — Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday . . .

It just seemed inhumane to give me the choice between waiting for a natural miscarriage and having the procedure — but then not providing me with that procedure quickly. It will happen 5 days after the confirmation of the loss and who knows how long after the actual end.

The nurse who's been following me since Friday was all but convinced that I'd m/c before the weekend was out. She implored me to pick up the pain meds prescribed for the procedure early. I did (she scared me into it), but I really don't think I'll need them.

I'm cramping all the time now. Mostly in spates of dull aches with occasional sharp pains that take me by surprise. Haven't started bleeding yet, a favor for which I'm so grateful. I took "the law" into my own hands with this and continued my progesterone until the surgery got scheduled once and for all. It doesn't hurt anything and won't affect the procedure, but it may be helping keep the bleeding at bay. I can tell, though, that I must not be producing much progesterone on my own. I can sort of feel it leave my system, and that's happened earlier and earlier each day.

I ended up taking today through the end of the week off from work. I worked over the weekend and was doing pretty well yesterday. My hormones are falling, I think, and I'd work, dissolve into sobs, then feel good and work some more before something assaulted my senses and made me lose it. I was happy with the system. Then I got a single normal/no-big-deal-at-all request to follow up on a project. Someone needed information that would typically take me, oh, an hour to provide. She knew about other stuff I'm working on and so wanted to know when I'd be able to get back to her.

I still can't quite believe my reaction to that, but it was not good. I didn't just lose it, I sent it speeding off a cliff inside a burning car so it could smash to bits and pieces on the rocks below. I'd been living, hour by hour, focusing on how I'd meet all work obligations without incident (read: w/o having to tell anyone anything was amiss). I'd work up until leaving for the procedure tomorrow, then be back at it right away Thursday. I could use the weekend to make up for lost time Wednesday and any time I spent weeping Thursday. And by next Monday, June 30, I'd be all caught up, on time with everything, and able to take a breather for a couple of days to, oh, do some stuff around the house and maybe start working out again. That one hour of extra work was NOT going to fit in anywhere.

I'm laughing a little bit at my crazy.

In any case, yesterday's afternoon breakdown was good for me. It made me see that I can't, in fact, act like nothing is wrong. I know I will get through it. But I have to give myself a break. And making a few schedule changes was the least I can do toward that end.

All I want right now is to get home from the clinic tomorrow and start the healing.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It wasn't meant to be

Less than 2 hours ago, DH and I learned that our baby has died. S/he measured today at just 6 weeks, 3 days. That's a little bit ahead of the measurements we had at our 7-week ultrasound (actually, it might even be behind; truthfully, I'm unclear on that) — today was officially supposed to mark 9 weeks of pregnancy — so we think everything stopped working just about a week ago.

DH's workday starts at 6:30, so we arrived separately for the appointment. Afterward, we spent some time clinging in the parking lot. I'm waiting for him to confirm that he made it back to the office. I saw him wiping away tears in his car as I pulled out of the lot . . . he quickly caught up to me on the road and we sort of drove in tandem until our paths diverged on the interstate. He looked stoic, so I think he was under control. (Okay, I just called. He's there. He sounded shaky.)

I assumed I'd make it home safely because my body's/brain's go-to reaction to trauma is to immediately enter a state of dead calm. My assumption was right. I'm "fine."

It's too early for gin (I kid; it's probably a fine hour for gin, but I have a writing deadline today), so I grabbed a three-shot latte on the drive home. I'd previously lost my taste for coffee, but this tastes not entirely bad. Not quite good, though. We'll see if my system experiences any shock from the out-of-the-blue caffeine jolt. Doubt it.

What's next? Today I have to work. I'm roughly 4 hours away from completing a project. I know my client would tell me to drop it if she knew what's going on. But I can't possibly tell her that today. I don't have it in me. And I know I can finish the work. Call me crazy. Or call me (sick) master coper. I'll break down soon enough.

I'm standing by for a call to see exactly when the RE's clinic can fit me in for a D&C. I would have done it today, on the spot, but of course that wasn't logistically possible. Monday or Tuesday seems possible at the clinic, but I'll just have to wait for the word.

Naturally, Dr. S — the good doctor who gave us all that good news at the first IVF retrieval — will be the on-call surgeon next week. Dr. K is gone for 2 days and booked solid the others, and the only way she thought she could do it was on a lunch break (which she was willing to do). But I said no, the sooner the better, and my opinion that Dr. S is a social boob has no bearing on this situation. I know he is an exceptionally qualified surgeon.

I don't think my family members are standing by waiting for news today like they were at 7 weeks. So I shouldn't be getting any calls asking for updates. For that small favor I thank something in the universe.

When I turned on the computer just now I noticed an early-morning email from my dad in which he described the gorgeous scene at their lake home 2,000 miles away (which he knows I dearly love): Sunny day, slight breeze, highs in the 70s with calm, smooth waters. He and my mom are golfing (him) and lunching (her) during the day, then boating to a "summer's here" party tonight.

Dad wrote: "Tough day ahead. Don't you wish you were here?" He will be crushed.

I dropped a sunrise shot of that special, peaceful lake into an earlier post. See below for one taken two summers ago during what DH and I thought was an amazing twilight. Too amazing to capture with our camera, but try to capture it we did. We'd watched the sun sink just below the horizon — yet the water and the sky were still so brightly illuminated. I look at that scene and wish I could teleport myself there now, just to sit in a lawn chair — or better yet, quietly drift along in the middle of the lake. One of my favorite things to do is take the boat out by myself, find a perfect spot, and just float.

Despite my numbness, this feels like a twilight time. The sun has just disappeared (I know that I'm no longer pregnant) yet the water and sky are illuminated (I feel just as pregnant as I did in the full sun). That's better than a sunset, right? So, for a momentary fun-is-relative kick I just looked up twilight's definition. I can't quite choose between these equally compelling shades of meaning:
  1. A period or condition of decline following growth, glory, or success
  2. A state of ambiguity or obscurity
But, I figure, nobody is going to make me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blogging it

You know, I'm just not sure how to handle this blog right now. I keep toying with the idea of switching to a pregnancy blog . . . one that the family can actually access for news. But then I think, Where will I write about what I'm really thinking? I can do that in a regular journal, of course. But that's a whole different kind of outlet. It is for me, anyway, and I do like certain aspects of blogging.

I'll keep the status quo for now. Probably until I'm out of the first trimester and start actually talking about the pregnancy in real life. Honestly, it's STILL not feeling altogether real to me. Our immediate families know, and so do several friends and a few of my colleagues, but we've mostly kept a lid on it. (Not that I'm not positive some people we've told have told others. But that doesn't directly affect us.)

Later, I'll likely start something for general public consumption but maybe keep blogging here about my take on being pregnant after years and years of thinking I never would be. That "take" isn't all somber and full of fear and doubt . . . but is reflective of my particular path, which I really don't discuss with very many real-life souls.

My 9-week ultrasound happens tomorrow. Hoping to see good growth and a nice solid heartbeat! If we do, that will be my last appointment with the RE.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I *almost* got another u/s today

But then I had to go and open my big mouth. I had my first appointment with my regular OB. She wanted to see me before I "graduate" from the RE. Why? 'Cause I'm old!!

Technically, I didn't get to see the OB . . . I saw a nurse practitioner. The whole thing started off poorly. I was the first patient through the clinic doors this morning, and I still had to wait 40 minutes to get started. I showed up with all the paperwork they'd mailed me, filled in. Handed it over. After the assistant escorted me to the exam room, she started asking me all the same questions from the forms. I answered a few, but soon I balked and said "Please, can't you get all this from the identical forms I already took the time to fill out?" Then she listed pregnancy symptoms and asked me to say yes or no. I almost laughed when she said "irritability" because I was fairly well irritated right then but still said no. What's she gonna do, challenge me? :)

The NP had me do — of all things — a urine pregnancy test. (They like to see it for themselves!) Then she did a cervix check and said, "Oh, yeah, you feel pregnant." I thought about asking what that felt like, but it seemed awkward with her hand all up in there. She did a blood draw, too, and sort of an all-around physical. Then — with me still on the table in the front-closing gown that had nothing better to do than keep falling off — we chatted about the upcoming appointment schedule, various screenings available, and classes offered by the hospital.

The NP asked about the 7-week ultrasound and then said "We usually do one at this appointment, regardless." I said, "Oh good, I can get a peek before next week's scan with the RE." And that ended that. She said it would be overkill and clearly wasn't budging. No scan for me! Stupid, stupid sharing instinct!

The one big difference between the atmosphere at the OB's and RE's offices: everyone today told me congrats and talked about the rest of the pregnancy as though it's a done deal. Very strange.

Friday, June 6, 2008

We have a heartbeat

The scan went well. We think it did, anyway!

Hard to believe, but there's an extra heart beating inside my body right now. It's flickering at 116 bpm, and the sight of it took my breath away. (DH squeezed my hand extra hard then too!)

Dr. K? Well, she played everything VERY close to the vest. We didn't expect a parade or anything, but we did expect some positive talk. Instead it was mostly neutral. Noncommittal, even. She clearly thought the baby was measuring on the smallish side and that the heart rate is on the low end of normal. We asked what concerns those possibilities raise, and she wouldn't give us any, citing nicely proportionate measurements and difficulty getting truly accurate readings this early. She wants to wait until the 9-week ultrasound to really register an opinion. She did utter the words "You're pregnant." So I know she thinks I am! But she said nothing remotely similar to "Things look good for now" or "Don't worry." Everything was a big, fat wait-and-see.

It was kinda strange, I must say. We weren't upset by it, and of course the doctor was perfectly friendly and professional, as always. But we did say "HUH?" the second we stepped outside the clinic's doors. I guess we'd expected a more upbeat vibe on what we felt was a milestone day. So it was a bit of a letdown.

I've decided that Dr. K has seen every outcome under the sun and simply has to maintain a bit of distance for this part of the process. Of course she is right — we will know more at 9 weeks. Then my OB will weigh in at 10 weeks and at every turn after that.

As DH said over breakfast afterward, "I guess we'll be biting our nails for a while."

I say heck with nail biting right now, though. I can't identify anything significant to fret about!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Countdown to 7-week u/s

Not much to report. Still seem to be pregnant.

My symptoms really wax and wane, but I've learned to ignore the waning days. My mom tells me that she had very few symptoms with my brother and sister (barely any to recall) and just some mild nausea with me. Two other female family members I've talked to were sick, sick, sick. I can tell that they'd feel better if I had more symptoms: one because she equates strong symptoms with a healthy pregnancy, the other because she'd like to know that I'm suffering. :)

Four days to go. The ultrasound is scheduled for Friday at 9:00 a.m. Pacific.