Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Crossing my Fingers and Dreaming of Normal

I've had versions of this same nightmare a lot over the last 3 or 4 years.  I'm pregnant and so happy, but with these tiny twinges of doubt.  I'm in labor and I get to the hospital to have my baby as my doubt grows and grows.  Right when I suddenly remember that I was never actually pregnant, the doctor tells me, "you aren't pregnant!"  There isn't actually a baby at all.  And then I wake up.

I had no idea how real that fear would feel when I actually became pregnant.  I still have to have my pregnancy tests sitting out on my bathroom counter to believe that it really happened and I'm actually scared to take another one in case it were to come out negative, but that's only half of it.  The other half is the fear of getting to my ultrasound next week and there just being nothing there - an empty uterus or a uterus with a non-viable hanger-on.  I wish I could say this is a crazy person nightmare and a totally unfounded fear, but we all know that it's not.  Being enmeshed in a community with so much loss - being a person who has defied all statistics thus far and had bad luck after bad luck - having seen friends and family members go through bad things in early pregnancy, it is really hard to just believe that this will all be good and normal and boring for me.  That nightmare feels so real and so so close.

My mantra has been, "Women get pregnant and have babies all the time.  Women get pregnant and make it through an entire pregnancy and have healthy babies all the time.  Women who took years to get pregnant make it through an entire pregnancy and have healthy babies all the time."

I'm sure all pregnant women go through this.  I can't imagine how you couldn't feel some serious fear over something so important.  I'm also pretty sure pregnant women who have not suffered Infertility or loss don't go through it the same way that those of us who have, do.

So, I find balance between being SO excited (and overjoyed and full of hope and full of plans) and this other stuff that is less fun.  I imagine it isn't going to go away quickly.  I have an ultrasound.  That'll be some reassurance, if it is good.  Another ultrasound 2 weeks later = more reassurance.  Passing the first trimester = huge.  Passing the point where a baby is likely viable if born, that's another.   I just hope I get to each of these.  I hope as each passes, I lose more fear and hang on to more of the good stuff!

ANYHOW.  I've been doing some thinking about what to do with this blog, and I think I've decided.  I have no interest in this becoming a pregnancy blog, or a mommy blog (barf-o-rama at that term), or even just a place I share baby stuff once I have a baby.  It's a blog about the trying to create a baby.  I don't want to turn it into something else.

So, that said, I will keep using it for a minute.  Definitely through these first two ultrasounds.  That still feels very much like a part of my Infertility journey.  Maybe through the first trimester, but that depends on what is going on and what kind of stuff I am feeling like posting.  Definitely if I experience a loss of this pregnancy.  Definitely if I decide to try again someday.  I am basically thinking about what I have wanted to read on other people's blogs when they got to this point, and what I no longer wanted to see.  I want this blog to remain a safe space for women who are experiencing Infertility. I hope that I am able to give some hope.  Those who want to follow my continuing journey elsewhere, when it moves from here, can follow me elsewhere!

So, where?  Funny you should ask!

If all goes well and you want to see pictures of baby bumps (and eventually babies) and everything that goes along with that, I'll just move you on over to the currently empty Harbinger of Birth blog I set up ages ago.  I archived for myself and deleted all the old posts that were on there (there were less than 10).  It was too painful to see the words of a 2009 and 2010 early hopeful trying version of myself.  Blank slate, now.  I'll definitely let you know here when I'm moving there for good.

And today...today I am 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  I am feeling symptoms that I hope are an indication of an actual healthy pregnancy (and not side effects from the progesterone I still have to inject every night, or wishful thinking, or anything else).  I am tired....very very very tired.  I am always tired in a way that feels like I'm coming down with a cold or am hungover or something.  My boobs are sore.  So so sore.  As I described to a friend, there are times where I feel like a light breeze hurts as if someone had tit punched me.  I am slightly nauseous sometimes.  Especially when I first eat at the beginning of the day.  Nothing major, nothing I would call "morning sickness" but perhaps a hint of what's to come.  I have mild cramps often.  Some days they are just there all day.  Some days they come and go.  Some days I just have more of a "full" feeling in my uterus.  Like I ate a huge meal and my stomach is overstuffed, except it's not my stomach.  This isn't dissimilar to how my ovaries felt, actually, when they were full of eggs before the egg retrievals.  I get strange pains sometimes - on both sides of my abdomen, down my legs occasionally, even deep inside my butt cheek.  Nothing sharp or horrible, just like things are already sort of growing or stretching or moving a bit.   According to Dr. Google all of this either means everything is great OR me and this embryo are both dying.  Ha.  Dr. Google is a bitch.  Honestly, though, it just seems like everything I feel is just a normal thing to feel and nothing I feel is a normal thing to feel.  It's amazing how different it is for everyone.

Crossing my fingers and dreaming of normal.


  1. If you are that tired, I know things are going well. I am so happy for you. here's to the next step with patience and hope. <3

    1. Thanks, love. <3 <3 <3
      (It would be awesome if I slept well all night given how tired I am, but of course my hurty boobs and crazy brain wake me/keep me up a couple of times a night, which doesn't help the tiredness!)

  2. I've had all those feelings too Sharon. Worried for a healthy baby... trying to dream of normal. I think most women are concerned.

    Also your first trimester symptoms seem very similar to what I've had. I actually didn't feel that way until about the 7th week I think. Nausea for me would hit around 8 weeks approximately. But the cramps or full feeling I get as soon as I feel pregnant, same with the sore boobs... all good signs. Try not to ask Mr Google maybe? It often just caused me anxiety.

    The fatigue... oh the fatigue. I would sleep for 3 hour during the day and still only make it to my normal bedtime. Ug. It dissipates just to feel normal tired for me by midway through second trimester.

    I look forward to reading more about your journey, so very happy for you.

  3. When I first started to follow your journey, I remember thinking that if/when the treatments worked, you would be disclosing really early. By the time most women share their news, they are beyond where you are and don't mention those first few weeks. Rest assured that the feelings you are having, though rightfully magnified by your experiences, are very much like those I and other mothers experienced early on. Tired? VERY. Scared? Yes. Disbelief? Check. Crushing responsibility? In spades.

    I told you about my cheese dream, which I can laugh about now, but at the time, my blood ran cold. I had terrible dreams, and when the time came to deliver, I remember thinking that, oh shit, more planes crash when landing than during the flight and oh my fucking god, birth is like landing. So many of us felt this, so you have a community to lean on for those feelings. My coping mechanism? Prenatal Yoga. It changed my life.

    1. Yeah, I look forward to Wednesday when, if everything looks good, I can check in with my doctor about all the restrictions I was on and if they have lifted. Prenatal yoga is high on my list (found some places in Alameda) if I'm allowed to do it now!

  4. Dreams are a place to process. I used to have dreams that people who were letting me hold their baby, then they would become afraid I was trying to steal them and would grab their baby back and say "You can't have him/her/it!" I also had the "I'm pregnant dreams" carry to term, go to the doctor and have them tell me there was nothing there. Your fears are valid and real but also as real as your mantra. Best of luck and congratulations! Enjoy!

  5. congrats my friend! this makes me so happy (and someday, i will explain that further.)

  6. Hooray! I hadn't checked in for awhile and when I finally do I'm greeted with this terrific news. Hooray! I am so thrilled for you and will be thinking of you on ultrasound day--I got pregnant with Sid at nearly the exact same time last year.

    And yes, the fear is very real. But every day that goes by without incident is a day closer to meeting your baby. Squeezes to you and Ian.

  7. Sending good vibes your way & loving how you capture how I felt so well. That "full" feeling never goes away. If I swayed side to side it made me feel sick but I caught myself doing it all the time to make sure I still felt sick, to reassure myself. You are so brave to share & I am hoping hoping hoping good things your way.