Friday, May 06, 2005

Not just a uterus

Hello to everyone who hasn't given up on checking this blog.

I am still here, and still pregnant. I think out of desperation, I just needed to let my thoughts wander away from the whole pregnancy issue for awhile. To stop thinking it, writing it, chewing it over in my thoughts. It has come home to me that in early pregnancy, there is so very little I can do, beyond taking my meds and eating well. So, apologies for my unannounced sabbatical. I read about 10 books, had my first alcohol-free-for-me dinner party, and am now ready to resume regularly scheduled programming.

So. To catch up on the news. The weekend before last, I had some bleeding and cramping that made me freak out, because that is how my first miscarriage started. It's a heartbreaking thing about pregnancy: Bleeding and cramping are either completely normal and nothing to worry about, or they signal the impending death of your baby. The doctor will tell you the former...your heart will scream the latter, especially if you have miscarried before.

I cried inconsolably all weekend...I was sure my little baby was leaving us, just like the two before. On Monday I went in to my RE's office for an "unscheduled" ultrasound at 5 weeks, 5 days. All was well. The bleeding and cramping had stopped and there was no indication of bleeding in the uterus. There was only one baby, which was something of a disappointment. I had so wanted twins, both for my own selfish sake and because I think it might be important for a DE baby to have a "full-blooded" genetic sibling. But, we've got two batches of embryos that we can use later for frozen transfers, and hopefully we'll have our second baby that way.

The doctor saw a gestational sac and a yolk sac that measured correctly for the date. I could have sworn I saw the flicker of a heartbeat, but the doctor kept moving the ultrasound wand around so much, I couldn't get a good look. It's like when my husband channel-surfs...I wanted to bark at him, "Hold still for a minute and let me see!"

Then came the real blow. You guys know what a worrywart I am, right? I've made that really clear? So the waiting time in between blood test results and ultrasounds is a special kind of hell. I had originally been scheduled to have my first ultrasound at 6 weeks, 2 days. But I'd gone in early out of worry from the cramping and bleeding, so the doctor said, "Since you came in today, I won't need to see you for 10 days...we can't see enough difference in only five days."

My heart just sank. At 6 weeks, 2 days we might have seen the heartbeat, and that was the point at which my other two pregnancies went wrong. We saw a heartbeat for each of my little ones, but they were slow, predicting the deaths that ultimately occurred. So this was a very important milestone for me...and to find out that my punishment for worrying was, five more days of worrying? Well. I wished so much I'd been brave about the cramps and bleeding and just toughed it out.

True to my own aggravating personality, I submitted meekly to the doctor's decree in his presence, and then bitched up a storm about it later. Why can't the man understand that I'm not just a uterus?

Yes, let us all praise the's the star attraction here, indeed it is, especially since my ovaries have left the building. I'm proud of the old girl for doing her job. Yet, attached to that organ is an entire woman, with a heart and a brain that deserve some consideration. In short: Couldn't he see he was making me nuts? Would it have killed the man to give me an extra ultrasound?

And he had to cap off the interview with, "And you know, those beta numbers were going up but not very fast...we won't know anything until we see a heartbeat, especially with your history."

I wanted to throttle him. My "history," which is based on high FSH, poor responder, egg issues, should have nothing whatsoever to do with my experience this cycle. Hello, using a 27-year-old egg here? Wasn't that the whole frigging point of the big speech he gave me, that if I would give up the pursuit of a genetic child and go with DE, my miscarriage risk would go down to that of my donor? Jeez.

So I suffered through the 10 days...and I do mean suffered, since I was starting to have constant nausea and bruising fatigue. Not complaining, mind you--well. Maybe a little. Yesterday we finally saw a healthy heartbeat. It measured 130, and all is right with the pregnancy and the world.

Maybe now I can relax, and smell the--ugh. No. No smells. Gaaack....