2.28.2009

Backin' Up

You know that line from "Juno" where she talks about the joys of pregnancy?

"And if it is any consolation I have heartburn that is radiating in my knee caps and I haven't taken a dump since like Wednesday... morning."

Yeah.

That's me.

Except without the heartburn part.

~Nichole

2.27.2009

Laughin' Like a Mother

So, I happened to mention, in passing, as I was kissing my husband before returning to work from my lunch hour, that I had some spotting that made me worried. He could tell I was preoccupied, he asked, and I told him.

He immediately said "do you want to say a prayer with me?" So, we went and prayed in our den. It was the perfect place to kneel, with the shades slightly open, letting in the afternoon sun. It was the perfect place to hear my husband promise our God that we will love, teach, and cherish this child if only we're allowed to keep it.

Later, back at work, I commenced my afternoon yawning session, which usually lasts from when I get back from lunch until I leave for the day. I just walk around yawning and yawning and yawning every few minutes, while simultaneously worrying that my co-workers are beginning to be suspicious of my frequent bathroom breaks and persistent yawns. I feel like I might start having to steal away in secret before too long, hiding my yawns and using the public bathroom out of the sight of watchful eyes. But that's just me being paranoid. . . I digress. . .

So, I was yawning (for the eleventieth time this afternoon) when I thought "man! I'm yawnin' like a mother!" Then, the irony of that thought struck me full force, and I laughed out loud for half a minute. What!? It's funny!

(btw, The spotting eased up this afternoon and I'm feeling better. But mostly tired.)

~Nichole

Pregnancy for the Mildly Insane

Wednesday, I carted around my double-lined pee stick, proudly showing it to M every now and then. It went from the bathroom to my bedroom to the livingroom, serving as the tangible proof I so desperately needed. I even took pictures. (That’s what I do.)

Thursday, I was just plain excited! I no longer needed that piece of plastic to remind me what my mind keeps repeating like a mantra: “I’m pregnant!” I started looking at calendars and counting weeks and planning things around those weeks. (That’s also what I do.)

Today, Friday, I’m struggling. Worrying about every little thing, including the brown spotting I had this morning (just a little and just once, but still!). I’m suddenly wondering where my pee stick ran off to. I'm wondering if my husband threw it away, you know, now that it’s documented in photographic history. And, you know, because it has my aging urine on it (even though it’s capped). Suddenly, I need that pee stick the way a child needs a blankie!

Today, I keep reminding myself that I’m not half pregnant, that false positives don’t just happen, and that if I was pregnant Wednesday, I’m still pregnant today and I will still be pregnant tomorrow. I keep thinking “maybe L was right. Maybe taking a hpt this early was not such a good idea!” Because maybe my body hasn’t fully signed on to do this for the next 9 months. . . . maybe it’s having second thoughts!

Today, I’m checking to see if my “symptoms” have plateaued – or worse, disappeared. (They haven’t, but I still worry!) I keep trying to convince myself that it’s ludicrous to worry about having a positive test on Wednesday and being suddenly un-pregnant come AF Sunday. Except . . .

It’s happened before. One day I was pregnant, the next I wasn’t.

And even though it might be a little crazy thinking that what’s so obviously “did” can be undone, especially in light of the glaring difference this time of not having that awful spotting, I still worry. Because it can!

So, call me crazy. I would. Especially since I’m running to the bathroom every hour to check my underwear, panicked by the sight of browns of any shade, and I’m scrutinizing toilet paper like I’m reading tea leaves or divining runes or something.

I keep telling myself, defiantly so, that I will not have a fearful heart! And as I say it out loud, I look out the window and imagine myself actually getting to 8 or 12 weeks – passing that critical things-go-belly-up stage – and actually hearing a heartbeat. . . . And I pray my mid-day daydream becomes a sweet reality.

~Nichole

2.25.2009

Seeing Double

I made a secret deal with myself that if I got up to pee a second time again last night, that I'd take a hpt on the second go-round.

Shortly after my 2:45 a.m. bathroom visit, I worried for about 2 seconds whether I would have enough hcg built up for a test in the morning, then I stumbled back to bed in a tired stupor and worried no more. It's amazing how first-morning pee can be like liquid gold when you're trying to get pregnant.

I woke up at about 6:45 a.m. with my bladder doing the pee-pee dance again. I re-routed to my bathroom - the Girl's bathroom - and peed in a cup. Strange how such a little amount of pee can cause you to awaken from a dead slumber.

I stuck the stick in the pee and waited for the pink cloud to start moving across the window. . . and then. . . .

two pink lines

Pregnant!

(even though one is lighter than the other.)

I knew it!

After I told M, I turned on some Marley and decided that "One Love, One Heart" was the perfect soundtrack for this moment.

Since I'm not even 4 weeks yet (that happens tomorrow), I figure I'll wait for a few days before calling the doctor. Might as well see what my body will be up to over the weekend - AF is due Sunday - before alerting the medical media and beginning the process of being "medically managed" until Dr. M tells me all is well.

Somehow, somehow, I know it will all be well this time.

~Nichole

2.24.2009

Potty Girl

The tell-tale sign has arrived: waking up to pee in the middle of the night.

I'm still not fully convinced, even though I did it twice last night. And even though the twingey boobs persist and feel different than PMS boobs. And even though I'm Sooooo tired. And even though I'm not doing the normal (for me) PMS spotting.

L says I should wait until at least Saturday morning so I don't get disappointed by a false positive. I say I have two tests left, so I can take one tomorrow and if it's positive no need to take a second, but if it's not, there's still Friday or Saturday. Tomorrow is 5 days before AF is due to arrive, thus the first day my brand of hpt is supposed to be effective.

On the one hand, I'm curious to see what my body will do this week - if I'll start spotting, if I keep having to get up to pee. What's the rush? If I'm pregnant now, I'll still be on Saturday. . .

On the other, I'm feeling decidedly pregnant. Like 85% sure, so why not just confirm it already?

Hmmmmm. I guess it'll all depend on how many times I get up to pee tonight. Or not.

~Nichole

2.21.2009

Baby Brain

I'm having what I think are "for reals" symptoms (dizziness, cramping, pink discharge, twingey boobs, come-and-go nausea, fall-down fatigue), but I had some of these last month and they turned out to have nothing to do with pregnancy, so I'm trying to be patient. And calm. And trusting.

Hard to do when the friend we visited last night is 30 weeks pregnant, and the one I'll see this afternoon is 12 weeks pregnant. Babies babies everywhere!!

I'm not as crazy (yet) as I was a month ago. I feel calmer, like everything will work out OK and that when it happens next time - whenever that is - it will be for good.

It's taken a lot of prayer to get to this level of peaceful calm.

But that doesn't mean I don't wake up in a panic or that my mind doesn't wonder to bad places.

The other day, for instance, when I'd only had about 5 hours of interrupted sleep, I woke up thinking "how on earth am I, the must-have-her-sleep-or-else queen, going to survive being perpetually sleep deprived??"

And I'm reading the Girlfriend's Guide to Baby Gear, which talks in detail about the things you need to breastfeed and take care of the cord stump, etc. etc. It's enough to make me want to back slowly away, tuck myself in a corner and rock myself like a crazy person. OK. Not quite. But, the reality of caring for a baby is still a little frightening. It's not all rainbows and butterflies. (That's the lyric from a song I recently heard. . . ) I digress. . .

I had myself convinced not to take a hpt until next Friday. The crazy-baby-hungry-lady inside of me is trying to convince me Wednesday would be good, what with all the "clear-cut" (hardly!) symptoms I'm having.

*fingers crossed for double pink lines*

~Nichole

2.17.2009

Implantation Station


I've entered another 2 week wait. At this point, I'm doing 2 things:

1) trying not to go nuts searching for every possible, even minute, symptom and using the internet to analyze it within an inch of its life and my sanity; and

2) making deals with God, asking for the strength to trust Him and have faith, explaining that I don't think I'm the kind of woman who can do this month after month after year after year, pulling the "miscarriage" and "ectopic" cards, and asking Him to help me out a little here . . .

In the meantime, my husband is joining in the fray. At this point, he's:

1) asking me if I'm baking a baby

2) telling me how cool it will be when he has a baby to take to High Priests' meeting with him so that our baby can learn from the "old men"; and

3) coming to bed at 1:30 a.m. and waking me up to ask me what I think our babies will look like.

So, we're trying to wait patiently. I'm hoping we are successful, in more ways than one.

~Nichole

2.11.2009

Can We Get a Cipher Over Here?? (In which I share TMI** and use too many acronyms)

** You've been warned: TMI ahead.

I took an ovulation test (OT) last night. I called M into the bathroom to help me decipher whether the test line was "lighter than, darker than, or the same as" the test line. He concurred that it was lighter. (meaning no LH surge detected. . . Dang!)

I spent the rest of the evening looking up topics and reading all about them in Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

Now I'm scared I might have LPD: Luteal Phase Deficiency/Defect. I worry about it because I routinely spot 7-10 days before AF, and since I ovulate between CD 16-18 and have a 14-16 day LP, this means my LP might be too short (i.e. less than 10 or 12 days, depending on who you ask).

Crap!

I keep telling myself (in between continued consulting of TCOYF and the internet, which just scares me!) that I got pregnant once and my progesterone level was OK there are the beginning, so perhaps LPD is not my problem. Just to be sure, I analyzed my cycles for the last year and I think I've had LPs as short as 4 days and as long as 16. Last month was 16.

Perhaps that means this month's LP will be just as long (*crosses fingers*). But my CM is doing some weird things: arriving early, sticking around for 4 days, then disappearing well in advance of my usual "fertile window".

Apparently, B6 and B12 are supposed to help lengthen the LP and progestrone creams/pills are supposed to help do the same. I take small amounts of B6 with my B50 complex and I take B12 separately. I've been doing that for almost 2 years, so I'm not sure if that's helping or not.

If I don't have a bun in my oven this month, I'll probably add to my hysteria by starting to keep fertility charts (I write a bunch of stuff down in my calendar, anyway) and I might consider using some "natural progesterone cream" from O to AF.

In the meantime, I'm gonna go take my daily vitamins, drink tons of water, eat well (M made yummy lentil soup) and hope my current sickness doesn't mess too much with my ovulation. . . and pray all this adds up to a fertile February.

~Nichole

2.10.2009

Something about Trying, Patience, and Trying my Patience

It's probably a little too early, but we're "trying" again. I say "too early" because it's only Day 13. The Big O doesn't happen until Day 16 or 18. But with all I've been reading, I'm worried about O coming early. I'm simultaneously trying not to worry about such things as cervical fluid and old sperm. (I told you: I know too much! That's what I get for going swimming!)

I woke up on Sunday morning, unable to sleep because a baby shower game was going through my head. See, my sis T twisted my arm after the ectopic, saying I had to have a baby shower when it happened for real. So I relented (it didn't take much) under the condition that it not be a scary Girls Only shower, but a co-ed Boys Allowed shower - something more like a party/celebration with our closest family and coupled friends. Plus, I've never been big about banishing my husband. . .

So, Sunday morning I woke up with this game going through my mind and when stuff like this happens, I make a point to write it down. While writing it down, it occurred to me that this new game would not give the seasoned pro-baby shower women any homecourt advantage over the men. Excellent!
But, as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm not even pregnant. Yet.
Whatever happens, I hope I don't go through what I went through last month. The authors of The Conception Chronicles described it succinctly:
"Once ovulation is confirmed, the countdown begins. And to add to your already borderline insanity, your mind now begins to play tricks on your body. You know the pregnancy symptoms you want to experience -- sore boobs, fatigue, an acute sense of smell. You chronically look for all of them. . . You pass time at traffic lights pressing and grabbing each boob. . . . Yes, your breasts ache this month, but why? Because you're pregnant? Because you're getting your period? Or is it because you've been poking at them for the past five days?"

"Despite the progesterone test you took to confirm you did indeed ovulate, you are certain you are not pregnant. Maybe it's a defense mechanism, but it's the only way you know how to manage your soaring expectations. . . As easily as you were able to convince yourself you could not possibly be pregnant, the next moment your convictions make a 180-degree turn, and you allow yourself to dream again."

Which in my case means I rush out and buy tests, debate about taking them, take 1 and as it turns negative, feel depressed but still hold out hope that it's just too early and that the spotting I'm experiencing is "implantation bleeding" and my body just needs a few more days to get the message that it's pregnant. And you know the rest of the gory tale: AF visits and ruins my chances for an October baby.

Eventually, over the next few days, I decide November is a nice month, and my hopes jump over 1 calendar month, landing and nestling snugly into their new home the way I hope an embryo nestles into my uterus for a comfortable 9 month nap.

And I'm very very humbled to realize how naïve I was to think I could just plan having a baby like I plan everything else.

I used to be all "These are the babies I want: Aquarius, Pisces, Cancer, or Libra. These are the babies I'd be OK with: Capricorn, Taurus, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, or Sagittarius. These are absolutely a "no": Aries and Gemini."

Dumb.

There's nothing like a miscarriage to set your priorities straight and then go swiftly to work on your husband's, until you both come to the place of humility that is "we'll take any baby we can get at any time, just let us get pregnant and we pray that it's healthy."

~Nichole

2.08.2009

Sixth Sense

Call it what you will. I think it's a sixth sense. (A "mother" sense? Hmmm. Probably just the Spirit.) And I'm trying to trust it.

It came to my attention a week ago now. Last Saturday while I was gabbing it up with my sis T. I told her I just have a sense that everything will be alright next time. It's not a lasting sense, or even a strong, abiding one. It's a trickling sense. It's a sense with a slow pulse, barely alive. (But the pulse quickens if I concentrate hard.)

It's the same sort of sense I had when I cancelled my HSG test. True, I was initially dissuaded by the price tag: $600 out of pocket. . . but I also just had a sense that I would not have that trouble the next time.

And I didn't.

So, I'm trying to trust this mother sense. Or Spirit. Whatever you wanna call it. I'm trying to believe this sense that keeps trying to convince me that everything will be alright.

~Nichole

2.07.2009

The Hunger


If I didn't know it before yesterday, I definitely found out the easy way. One of our planners recently had a baby. He was 6 weeks early and is now a month old. She brought him in to meet us yesterday.

"Oh my gosh! He's so little! And has so much hair! Look at that full head of brown hair! Oh! Look at his chin! He's so light! He's so cute!"

And so went my oohing and ahhhing over this little boy.

And so, also, went my conversion: I decided right then and there that even though I've only imagined (and dreamed) myself having girls, I could totally have a boy and love him to pieces!

I quickly called M to report all about the cute baby. Then I texted L: "I just saw a coworker's 1 mo. old newborn. Tiny, with lots of brown hair and a cute chin. I want one!!!"

~Nichole

2.05.2009

Going Swimming

After having fallen apart last week, I have recovered. But since I finished my Coming to Term book, I've felt a little lost. I've felt my link to motherhood has been tenuous at best.

In short, I've felt the need to immerse myself. So, on Tuesday evening, 20 minutes before the library closed, I kicked the dogs out of the house and rushed off to the library.

I came home with:

~Miscarriage: Why it Happens and How Best to Reduce Your Risks

~The Conception Chronicles: The Uncensored Truth About Sex, Love & Marriage When You're Trying to Get Pregnant

~Taking Charge of Your Fertility

And I've been swimming ever since.

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury