my heart beats for you

January 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm (First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage) (, , )

The day I have been both dreading and anticipating finally arrived. Today was my ultrasound.

Two hours before my scheduled appointment, I started to drink those vast amounts of water that you’re supposed to drink before the ultrasound. You’re supposed to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water in an hour and a half and NOT pee. Let me tell you – I have a hard time holding it for two hours as it is. Holding it while downing that much water wasn’t just causing me discomfort, it was painful! Every little bump in the road had me clenching my teeth, trying to keep my bladder under control. I could barely walk from the car to the clinic, and sitting down once I had checked in was a huge debacle. M told me just to go let a little bit out because I was so uncomfortable, and for awhile I refused, but finally I gave in and went. It was hard to stop!!!

Finally, they called my name and took us in. They asked M to wait for a moment in a seating area, assuring me that he would be able to come in shortly. The techinician could tell I was in extreme difficulty, so she said she would just have  a quick check and that I would probably be able to let some more out. Immediately upon placing the ball on me, she said I could go pee a cup worth! I was in heaven and much more comfortable when I went back in and laid down. Then she set back to work.

Some searching and rolling. A couple of strokes on the keyboard and a few beeps. I don’t think I took a breath. I don’t think my own heart was beating until she said those wonderful wonderful magical words:

I see a heartbeat.

Immediately, I started to bawl. “Thank God!” I cried. After a few more checks, she said she would go out to get M. As the door opened, he could already see my beaming face and the Cheshire Cat grin that stretched from ear to ear. She turned the screen to us again and showed us our baby. She pointed out the tiny heart beating away wildly, the head and developing brain, the little arm and leg buds. She described the little appendages as looking sort of like a gummy bear. How cute! Baby is a little bit smaller than expected at 9 weeks, and she asked if my cycles were a bit long, which I confirmed at about 31-33 days. She said that because it’s within 5 days that they likely would not change my due date. That remains at September 2, 2010. We even got a picture to take home with us and it shows that baby is just about an inch long right now.

I am floating on air right now, with relief washing over me. I can’t describe the feeling of seeing that heartbeat! Seeing it pulse away so madly, so feverishly… it brings me to tears just to picture it again in my mind. I love you, baby, and I can’t wait to meet you.

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false alarm

January 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm (First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage) (, )

I watch for spotting all the time. I try not to torture myself every time I go to the bathroom, but it’s hard to not look. Sometimes I force myself just to throw the tissue away without checking it, but it’s always a conscious decision NOT to look. The automatic response is to check, just in case.

I had that one tiny spot about 3 weeks ago and both M and I were bracing ourselves, scared that it was happening again but hoping like mad that it wasn’t. Since then there had been absolutely nothing. Instead, I’ve been having positive signs, like swelling belly and breasts, slight nausea, fatigue, occasional headaches.

And then it happened. I went to the bathroom, wiped, and froze. Blood. Lots of it. Not a spot like a few weeks ago, or like the implantation bleeding I experienced before Christmas. Bright red blood covering the toilet paper. I shivered with fear and wiped again. Less blood, but it was still there…. something odd, though, it seemed to come from my rear end. I checked up front and there was absolutely nothing. I checked again with the same result.

Running from the bathroom, I called frantically from M to let him know what happened. After hearing where it came from and me reassuring him multiple times that there was nothing from the front, he suggested it was probably a hemmoroid. Turns out that hemmoroids during pregnancy are extremely common. I began to calm down, but the shock and fear from seeing all that blood still made my knees weak and caused me to have to collapse on the floor for a few minutes to collect myself.

Once I had verified again that there was no bleeding coming from where I was scared it was, I went online and did some research. About 50% of women get hemmoroids during pregnancy, but I had never heard of it before. Basically, it’s the same thing as getting varicose veins in your leg, except in this case, it’s your butt! I was surprised I had never come across this fact before. I guess it’s not the most pleasant thing to discuss, but it sure would have been nice to have been warned instead of finding out about it like this. Thank goodness it was just a false alarm.

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uncharted waters

January 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm (First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage, Thoughts) (, , )

I’ve never been here before.

Today I am 8 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I’ve been walking on pins and needles for the past week because I’ve been nervous and worried that I would experience a miscarriage again. I have even avoided wearing the same clothes that I remember wearing around that time for fear that I would be tempting fate. But so far so good. No cramping. No spotting. I keep thinking about all of the things that seem different this time, hoping that it means things are going well. My breasts have continued to get larger and are swollen and uncomfortable. (I laugh to myself sometimes because it looks like I’ve gotten breast implants! They’re too big for my little frame now.) I can’t wear my skinny jeans anymore because they cut into my belly. I’ve been slightly nauseated, though not as much as I sadistically wish for. I’ve even thrown up a couple of times.

It’s so strange that women who have a miscarriage seem to want to be as sick as possible, even though they know they’ll be miserable. I just want to know that it’s real this time.

We go in for my first ultrasound in 4 days. I have mixed feelings about this. In a way, I can’t wait to go. I’m very excited and am looking forward to having the chance to see my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I want to see how it’s grown into something the size of a green olive, to see those little arm and leg buds developing. But I’m also really scared. What if we don’t get to see what we’re supposed to see? What if there’s another empty sac? What if there’s something there, but there is no heartbeat? Will my heart be broken yet again?

I try not to think of these things, but it’s difficult not be scared. Being pregnant after a miscarriage is joyful and fearful at the same time. I’m so thankful to be pregnant again, but I’m terrified about the prospect of having another devastating loss. I honestly don’t know if I could handle it a second time around. When I visit pregnancy boards or read articles, I avoid any sort of mention of miscarriage or signs of miscarriage. I am trying to focus on positive thoughts. To focus on my seemingly growing belly – whether it’s my growing uterus, or just bloating, or a combination of both.

I just want Thursday to be here so I can hopefully see that heart beating away like crazy. I want tears of joy this time. Please think of me.

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treading lightly

January 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm (Emotions, First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage) (, , )

I’m worried. Not so much worried…nervous. anxious. wary. cautious.

It was on this night in my first pregnancy that I was curled up in a ball with pain. I was crouched on the floor of my bedroom, and later in my bathroom, with incredible cramping that turned out to be the start of my miscarriage. At the time, I had thought that maybe it was the salmon that I had for dinner that was not sitting well. After all, I had eaten salmon a couple of weeks before and also ended up having a stomach ache. But this was different. The next day I found spotting. It was bright red.  Then more on the following day, and yet more spotting again the day after that. Finally, I went to the doctor’s office where she sent me for an ultrasound. And on Day 1 of Week 8 of my pregnancy, an ultrasound found that there was no heartbeat. The yolk sac was present, but they didn’t see what they should have been able to see at 8 weeks. My baby was already dead. Within a day, my miscarriage was in full force and I was passing huge clots of blood. It was the most devastating thing I have ever gone through in my entire life.

Today, I am 7 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I had lamb and rice for dinner. I’ve felt sick a few times today, as usual, but there’s an additional queasiness that has nothing to do with my hormones today.

Since I found out I was pregnant again on Christmas Day, I have cut out all alcohol. I’ve cut way way back on coffee and any kind of caffeine. I’ve been eating well, taking my prenatal vitamins and drinking lots of water. I haven’t played a single game of hockey or gone to hot yoga. I’ve barely even gone out, except maybe for dinner. I didn’t even go to watch M’s hockey game last Friday night, opting instead to sit on the couch with our dogs and watch a movie. In a way, I’ve put myself on a modified bedrest, trying as much as possible to let my body rest and concentrate on what’s more important than anything else in the world right now – building a baby.

I knew that when this week came, I would be extremely nervous. It’s part of the reason I didn’t schedule my ultrasound for this Thursday even though my doctor said that I could have. I would have been way too terrified to go for another ultrasound at the 8 week mark. I felt as if I would have been tempting fate, daring it to repeat what it had done to me in the past.

I have to believe that this time is different and that I won’t have another miscarriage. I have to believe that this time, we are going to have a beautiful, happy, healthy baby.

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so it begins

January 12, 2010 at 7:45 pm (First Trimester, Morning Sickness, pregnancy after miscarriage) (, )

You know that saying, careful what you wish for? I think this applies to my yearning for morning sickness.

When I miscarried, I was never sick. I was never really tired, never nauseated, never bloated. This time, I have been waiting and hoping to get sick as a sign that things are different this  time. I wanted to feel like hell just to know that my baby was doing better. I’ve been reading up on when morning sickness begins, and even asked my doctor about it when I went in last week, but the consensus has been that while morning sickness tends to start around the six week mark, it varies widely between all pregnancies. Some women are sick mere days after conception, and other women have little to no morning sickness at all. However, in all of the forums that I’ve visited where women are discussing pregnancy after miscarriage, all of us are on the same page. We can’t wait to start throwing up. We yearn for it. We’re jealous of women that are going through it.

It’s only actually happened to me once, and even then, it was only saliva, but for the past several days I have been nauseated every single day, multiple times per day. It seems to be worst in the morning and later at night. Unfortunately for me, my office has a glass wall and I’ve always kept my door open, so I have to keep any daytime retching as discrete as possible. Right now, it hasn’t been too much of a challenge, but if my morning sickness gets worse, I’m not sure how well I will be able to hide it.

Over the weekend, I was also extremely tired and low on energy. Even a trip out to get breakfast and do grocery shopping knocked me out on Sunday. I slept for two hours! I wasn’t sure how I would be able to work a full day, but I’ve managed. It’s definitely challenging, especially since I’ve cut out coffee as part of my pregnancy diet. I try to make it through by nibbling on fruit, which coincidentally, also helps with the nausea.

Lastly – the boobs. Oh, The Ladies have been tender and sore… I have had to start wearing a sports bra to bed so I can sleep better. And even still, I wake up a few times through the night because of strange and vivid dreams or because I have to pee.

You know what, though, it’s all worth it.

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what’s up doc?

January 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm (First Trimester, pregnancy after miscarriage) (, , , )

This morning I went for my first doctor’s appointment. It’s just my GP, so I knew it would be a short visit and definitely no ultrasound. It didn’t matter, I was still excited to go. Last time I saw her, she was telling me what to expect as my miscarriage went into full gear. This was a much happier visit. She was pleased to hear that I had decided to stop playing hockey right away. “I’m not saying playing hockey caused your miscarriage, but it is a rougher and more physical sport, so it’s probably better that you’re playing it safe and taking it easy.”

So – M made the call to our friend who organizes our hockey team and said that I had hurt my ankle while out for a run last night and that I wouldn’t be playing tomorrow. I’m hoping this scenario is pretty believable since I have had multiple ankle and knee problems from running. It should also allow for a longer term “injury” that will keep me sidelined for a few weeks. I honestly don’t know if it will fly, though – we’ve been playing hockey together for years and I never really miss games even if I am hurt. For weeks, I just played with my ankles taped up and would swear in the changeroom as I ripped the tape (and some of my skin) off game after game. Between this “injury” and my “detox”, the rumors may start to fly!

I don’t know if I’ve written about my fake detox yet… It’s the same line I used last time, before I miscarried. My friends are used to seeing me every weekend and I always have a glass of wine or some other kind of drink. I had to come up with some sort of excuse as to why I wasn’t drinking any more that would be somewhat believeable. In a way, I think that because I’ve done this before, it will make it easier and less suspicious this time. I know for sure last time that one of the ladies on my team knew I was pregnant, so maybe since I’ve come off  “detox” over Christmas and had enjoyed some wine over the holidays, she’ll take it easy on me this time. Also, with it being January and so many people making new year’s resolutions to eat healthier and work out, etc, it will seem like a natural time of year to not be drinking. So what is my fake detox? This is what I tell people: No booze, no coffee, no pop, no fast food and no junk food. I explain that I will allow myself to have a salad or something from Wendy’s but that I won’t have a chicken burger. I think this works because I go beyond the normal restrictions of a pregnancy diet so it sounds more like health binge. Of course, when I’m alone or just with M, I will eat whatever I want.

Back to the doc – one of the things I REALLY wanted was to get an early ultrasound. She is normally great about this type of thing, and I know she really knew how hard I took the miscarriage. I also told her that I had experienced what I figured was implantation bleeding before I took the pregnancy test, and that I had a tiny spot two days ago but nothing since. (Yes, I did completely freak out when I saw it the other morning and we were extremely worried and upset… but yesterday I had one of those funny intuitions that everything was fine.) She said I could go in for an early ultrasound in a couple of weeks and that I should mention to them that I had a bit of spotting. I plan on making an appointment for the last week of the month so that M can be with me. I am looking forward to my ultrasound so much.

Once again, I find myself wishing that I could just fast forward time to the end of January so I can see and maybe even hear my baby’s heartbeat. It’s funny how often I have wished for time to pass by faster. When I first miscarried, I wanted to fast forward to November when I would have my period again. Then in November, I wanted it to be December so that we could start trying to conceive. Once December arrived, I wanted to fast forward to Christmas so I could take my pregnancy test.  Now I am wishing for a couple of flash forwards: 1) end of January so I can have my ultrasound, 2) M’s birthday in mid-Feb so we can tell my mother and 3) March so I can be in my second trimester and have less worry about miscarriage.

I know you are supposed to relish and enjoy your pregnancy, but miscarriage has ruined that for me, I think… Why haven’t they invented a time machine yet?

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double checking

January 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage) (, , )

I can be a little neurotic at times. Even though I took that HPT on Christmas Day and got a positive result, it kind of drove me nuts that the line was faint. I know it still means it’s positive, but ever since I’ve sort of wanted to take another test anyway just to put my mind at ease. I have been experiencing some mild bouts of nausea and it’s been over a week since my period was due, but for some reason I just wanted to take another test. M chuckled and shook his head today when I told him I wanted to take another test. “Do what you gotta do.” So, of course, I went and bought another one.

I was debating on whether I should take it tomorrow morning or do it this afternoon. I didn’t want to chance having a weird result by not using the first pee of the day, but I also wanted us to be together when I checked. In reading and re-reading the instructions on the insert, I noticed it did say that it was not necessary to use the first pee of the day, that’s just when the pregnancy hormone would be most concentrated. Since your HCG hormone levels are supposed to double every couple of days, and it’s been over a week since my expected period, I decided it would be safe enough to test this afternoon.

It came out exactly backwards from last time. The pregnancy line was a solid, dark pink, and the control line was definitely there, but also fainter. I had to laugh. Of course, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see – two bold lines, but the important one was unmistakeable. I’m definitely pregnant. It cost me $15 to double check, but it was worth it to satisfy my neurosis. Maybe I’m crazy, but I needed to see it.

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