Sunday, April 27, 2008

Barf and bisphenol-a

I have solved a mystery.

It's the damn prenatals. It's the damn prenatals that finally turned my nausea into a wretch-fest this morning. I made this beautiful fruit salad. Then I went through the pain of bringing it back again. (TMI)

A friend suggested I go off the vitamins for a day as see if the nausea resolved. I did. I felt great yesterday. No intestinal issues, no nausea. Then this morning, I did a little research that said, "take your prenatals with a meal." So I took then with my lovely fruit and proceeded quickly to feel like hell.

Dr. Google says that the high iron content tends to be the culprit and that a higher B content tends to quell the nausea. I will try one more trick - taking it before bed. But if I wake up barfing - that is it. I'll be talking to my RE for an alternate vitamin.

If anyone has a great remedy for this issue - by all means - share...


As a result of all of these eating problems I have been doing a little research. I can not afford to eat organic all of the time. So I discovered this great list that basically tells the the pesticide absorption rate of different fruits and vegetables. This way, you know that it is worth the extra bucks to by organic apples, but no so much for organic avocados. Here is the list if you are interested:

I have also been obsessing about the bisphenol-a, or BPA, stories that I have been reading about. This is the chemical used to create shatter-proof plastics, like baby bottles and water jugs. We happen to buy our drinking water. We started doing this because we were concerned about the possibility of lead pipes, though we never got the water checked. Now we find out that the replaceable 5-gallon jugs we buy are made of the bisphenol-a type of plastic.

My main concern is that the articles I have read indicate a fear of risk to pregnant women and infants. There is concern that the chemical has adverse effects on development including early puberty. I mean, I am already trying to buy hormone-free meats but this is crazy.

In the end, the studies are still preliminary. So I am doing my best not to freak out. But I am looking at the bottom of drink bottles before I buying and turning away if they are marked with a #7 of "PC."
Here is the NYtimes article:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

All's well in Skrimpville

The skrimp grew. Doubled in size actually, as it was meant to. We did not measure the HB, but the Doc said it looked great - rapid. So I was happy enough with that.

J. got to come with me and see the skrimp fluttering in the monitor. It was really great to have him there. I feel good about this today for the first time. So proud that my Ute has past these two weeks without incident.

I am 7.5 week. As long as all goes well, I graduate from my RE next thursday. Good times.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Planting a tree

Last weeks stress is over. Our project is done, opening done, ultrasound done. I am grateful that last week was last week because yesterday proved to be my first day of true exhaustion. I was just wiped out all day and feel really privileged to be able to come home from teaching my morning class and spend the remainder of the day on the couch - in and out of sleep. The symptom was welcomed, because my old doubts are always creeping back in.

J and I spent the majority of the weekend in the garden. I put down landscaping cloth on all of the beds, then mulched. We put up a privacy screen made of bamboo, in part for privacy, but also because my back neighbors are very fond of spritzing weed killer all over their concrete backyard. She has in the past craned over the fence to spray my other neighbors good plants. She is not to be trusted with her nasty chemicals. We also planted a dogwood tree, which I am just so smitten on. Hopefully, by next spring we will get a big white bloom from it. Our neighbors have a real love of knocking trees down, so we thought we would do our part to irritate them and plant a new one:) We have some grass finally sprouting, but I am still pulling out lots of crab grass and onion grass - the smell of that stuff is killing me. All in all the garden is really shaping up. I am hoping we have a few more weeks to enjoy it before the mosquito population booms and makes it impossible to be outside.

My intestines are still acting up. I am a little worried about it. Between the nausea, which makes me want to not eat at all, and the other end, which makes me fear what will happen if I do eat... I can't actually be providing much nourishment for the skrimp. Today I am back on the B.R.A.T diet in an attempt to get my body to settle down a bit. This is pretty normal for me once the weather is warm. A good excuse to move to Nov.a S.cotia. I wish.

Ultrasound numbero deuce on Thursday. It is with my RE's partner, who I have never seen before. I thought after seeing a heartbeat I would calm down, but I am still pretty wired over this whole thing. Worrying too much, really. This week will tell us if growth looks good.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hoop number two - jumped through

I had my 6 week ultrasound today.
The skrimp has a heartbeat. Having a hard time believing it, even though I saw that little flicker with my own two eyes.

Two more weekly ultrasounds with my RE to monitor growth. Then off to the OB.
My RE recommended 2 OB practices and insisted I see a high risk doctor because of the association of incompetent cervix with uterine anomalies. I was pleased to hear her talk about this so early.

Now that I am through the worst of the stress, I have a terrible (i mean terrible) case of diarrhea. This is a pretty typical stress reaction for me. Added to it is that we are having our first warm day of the season. Anything above 72 degrees and I have terrible intestinal issues. Arg. And I am really sure you wanted the nasty details!

Thanks for all of your kind words and support. As usual - ya'll rock!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Expectations cause suffering

I heard this phrase during a radio show yesterday and found it intriguing: "Expectations cause suffering." I thought about how this last year of trying to have a child was made exceedingly difficult because my whole life I had just expected to get pregnant, expected to have an easy pregnancy and expected to become a mother. I think many of us are taught to expect that conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy is the most natural thing a woman can do.

But now my expectations have shifted. I have learned, through a series of heartbreaking failures to expect the worst from my body. Now I expect bad news, I expect loss, I expect trauma. I don't think this set of expectations is any more reasonable than the first. Sure, I may perceive that it serves as a kind of insulation from pain, but won't I feel the pain anyhow?

I am going to attempt to ward off all expectations and live in the moment. As of now, I am pregnant. And until I am told otherwise, I am going to try to just *be* pregnant. Expecting the best and expecting the worst just leads toward unnecessary stress. I am made so fragile by the "not knowing." So I am going to try to find peace in the unknown, the unexpected.

I think a lot of this derives from my lack of understanding of faith. I am steeped in, no, sunk in reason. I look for clues, which I always assume lead to logical explanations. I am not so much talking about god or religion here, but in my inability to let the uncontrollable be out there in the world, hovering close to me, with out freaking out. I don't really believe that I was brought down this path for some special reason, or that I will ever learn a mountainous pile of life lessons from it. But I do know that the only way I am going to maintain sanity through this process, is if I learn to allow myself to let go of my own dreadful projections of the future. I am not looking for a more positive outlook, but perhaps a neutral one, where I consign to just deal with the best and the worst as I am smacked in the face with it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Double D's: Doubts and Decline

Five days till the ultrasound and my freak-out has commenced. I am starting to feel as though my symptoms are in the decline. Let's just say I feel slightly un-pregnant. Yesterday I was decidedly un-constipated. My b00bs felt less tender and my abdomen less tough. My high progesterone levels were making my face really oily. Yesterday - not oily at all. I felt a peak of symptoms on wednesday and thursday, then friday and saturday they felt less. I am hoping that there is some ebb and flow to the symptoms, making each day feel different, but I don't know. Has anyone experienced these kinds of symptomatic ups and downs and still had everything be ok?

I am six weeks today. I loose them in week five. So this week will hurt, either in anxiety or bad news.

Last week I felt like I had some peace about this wait. But now I am starting to wig out. There is nothing that I can do but wait, and wait and wait. I am so freaking sick of waiting.

I wish I could say that I have envisioned the moments my RE turns the screen towards me and shows me the heartbeat. I wish I could say how I imaged calling my husband and telling him the great news. I wish I could say that I envisioned rushing home to post here and tell all of you that it is going to be ok. But all I have envisioned so far is me laying on the table, my heart pounding uncontrollably and my RE with a slightly frantic look on her face - searching, searching, searching, and finding nothing. I have already been considering whether or not to have another D&E - knowing if there was a chromosomal issue would help, but do I risk another forced dilation of the cervix. Its like I have already decided that it is gone. But I don't know that. Be there!! Just freaking be there!

I know what's running through your head: I should think positively. But in this mess, attitude has never gotten me anywhere. This is not about hard work, it is not about positive thoughts, it is not about aiming for the stars. It is physiological. It is my body - this uncontrollable mass of cells and disagreeable parts. Yes, I can eat good, take my vitamins and exercise - but none of that changes the fact that I was born this way. My body hates embryos and I am so pissed at it for that. My body has failed me. It has failed my husband. I want to kick my own ass.

This whole situation is compounded by the fact that my husband has not got a job offer yet. We were hoping to hear at the end of last week, but nothing. Because he has yet to get an offer from the school he wants, he will have to go to another interview this week - of course the day of my ultrasound. So add to my imagination, me, standing at the corner of 8th and Pine, watching a long line of very pregnant women waddle by while I cry my eyes out. Alone. I am still considering finding someone to go with me, but I suspect I will try to act like a hard ass and go it alone.

This post is pretty grim. I hope you were not looking for something uplifting. Sorry, I just don't have it in me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

T-shirts for habitual aborter

I am getting calmer, perhaps just settling into my persistently nervous condition. I feel a cramp here and there, and I don' t panic and run for the couch anymore. Life goes on all around me, and I refuse to fall any further behind than I already am. So I push through the twinges, but stay pretty vigilant on panty-partrol. No spotting since that first smudge. I am 5 weeks 4 days today: hardly pregnant really.

It helps that I have been wonderfully distracted by a visit from two old friends who live in Spain. They only make it over ever few years, so it is a real treat to see them. On Sunday we went to the F.rida K.ahlo show at the art museum. I know her work well, but can honestly say I have not revised it since my reproductive tornado began. It was the first time in my life, even as an artist, that I felt so close to an experience that an artist was portraying. I felt I deserved a front position in the cue to see the work, but alas, I forgot to wear my "I had a miscarriage, too" t-shirt.

The experience of seeing K.ahlo's work was overall surreal. After waiting in a cue that is more reminiscent of "Space Mountain," you finally arrive at the entrance to the show. The gallery's are hot and packed to the gills with headset-toting art-goers. You shuffle through, consuming not just her work, but images of her life with Diego Rivera. In a few photos, she poignantly cradled other people's children, but never her own. Her heritage weights heavy on the work: it is dramatic, visceral, exposed, even grotesque. I was worried I would burst into tears at the sight of her body portrayed on a hospital bed, covered in blood, with her baby still connected to her. But instead I saw her pain and her experience in a way that was so beautifully unashamed - so self-exposed. I can not imagine being so driven to reveal something so deeply personal to the world. But I am grateful that she made these works. And I am grateful that Fertiles of the world can shuffle through the cue and be shocked just like I am. I hope that in these paintings a bit of understanding can occur - an understanding of the level of grieve and pain suffered by infertiles and "habitual aborters." It hurts that much. It really does. And these paintings make you believe that.

My ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday, April 17th. I pushed it back and back in attempt to avoid drama in the next week and a half because of other pressing obligations. I know I can not deal with the disruption of a bad outcome till after a deadline n the 15th: so we wait.

Problem is that my dear boy has a job interview the same day as the appointment. There is a chance he may bag the interview if he gets an offer from another place on Monday, but we don't know when or if that offer will come. So for now, I am just keeping the appointment and hoping for the best. His interview is an hour and a half away. So if there was a catastrophe, I would be stranded downtown, forced to ride the train home as a sobbing, shaky mess. We have considered telling my mother so she can come with me, but I really wanted to keep this to ourselves for a while. The other idea would be to ask my acupuncturist, who is also a friend, to come with me. This morning I feel like I could handle it on my own, but I just don't know.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Skip your 1st ultasound and proceed to Limbo

I have warned of this before. I am a failure as a fertile, but a failure as an infertile. I am one of those cases where the pregnancy part is not really the problem. It is the "holding" of the pregnancy that is the problem. Just like that Seinfeld episode about the reservation: where the restaurant can take the reservation, they just can't hold the reservation. I can take a pregnancy, I just can't hold it. I hope this one will be the first I can hold.

This issue puts me in a weird place. I felt really unhinged announcing this pregnancy in the IF blog-o-sphere. I want it more than anything, but I don't want to be a painful reminder to others of what they have yet to receive. There is just something that makes me feel inauthentic as both a fertile and an infertile. It is such a confusing issue. I am not usually the type that even feels comfortable being a part of something. I tend to be a loner. But when it seems like everyone in the real world has failed to provide you with support, or just kicked dirt up in your eyes, you long for a connection with others like you. There is just so few of us. Those of us who ride the line between the fertile and the infertile.

But it is not too late for me to lean into my IF identity. I finished teaching class today, came home and ran out to the store. Arriving back home I had a few sharp twinges in the ute. I started to put away the groceries. More twinges. I grabbed the heating pad and headed for the couch, where I have set the rest of the afternoon, feeling bite after bite. I am truly, truly frightened by this. They are not period-like. They are quick stabbing-like pains way down in my pelvis and near my hips. They feel much like the pains I had during the last m/c. I wish now I had take better notes during my previous days moonlighting as a fertile - describing in more detail how I felt in the time just before the losses.

I can not think of anything else. I can not concentrate. My brain is mush. Ever tweaking muscle heightens my awareness. But would it really matter anyhow. If I loose, I loose. There is nothing I can do to prevent it or stop it. It is totally out of my hands. Does this get better? Or if I make it all the way am I doomed to 9 month of completely neurotic behavior?

In an attempt to prevent my own mental destruction I have decided to skip my 5 week ultrasound. I have an important project that needs to be completed on the 15th and fear that any issues with the scan will render me non-functioning. So I will wait till the 17th and hope for a HB. DH is coming with me. It is gonna be a rough day.

My best wishes to my fellow bloggers in blogland that got good news this week: Jen, KatieM, Amylynn and Sara. I hope I can stay in your company for the full 9. We can ride this biatch together.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beta#2 is in...

1,517! Progesterone still in the 40's!
Way above what I was hoping for!!

Hoop number 2 has been cleared.
Ultrasound number 1 scheduled for Thursday next week. I will be 5 week 4 days. Can you see a heartbeat that early? I am guessing not, but I think it is close to the border. Should I push it off till the following Tuesday?

Thanks for all of your well wishes and support.

I am not the praying type, but I meditated on so many of you last night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. I know how fortunate I am to be pregnant. I want wish the same for all of you.