anxiety

A River In Egypt

*Warning* Pregnancy related post ahead.

The truth is that I’m in denial that I’m pregnant. I’m being good, following the rules for what I am supposed to eat or avoid, what medications are safe. All that shit. But deep down inside, I don’t believe it. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I keep cataloging all the people I’m going to have to un-tell about the pregnancy. This week my mom is out of town. So now when I run the scenario in my head for what happens when I start bleeding and I have to go to the ER and my hubby can’t drive me, I literally don’t know who else to ask. My sister I guess?

I haven’t been doing my homework. I still haven’t scheduled my anatomy scan or called the social work clinic (obviously there’s a need for that). I haven’t been reading the little book the hospital gave me or taking notes in it or recording anything about the pregnancy like the shitty apps I downloaded tell me to. I haven’t been reading the one other pregnancy book I own.

I’m nearly in the second trimester and I am completely unprepared. Part of me is saying that I have 28 weeks left to deal with everything. Part of me is saying but I’ve already let a third of the time pass without doing anything! Except I bought a shirt for the cat. It’s fucking adorable. He hates it.

And then something happens like I read a story about someone who lost a pregnancy around this time and I become convinced that this is already over. In the past couple of days my symptoms have really subsided in many ways, which of course could be a result of being nearly out of the first tri, but I’ve convinced myself that it’s just going to be a loss. Like, don’t get too attached to this baby because you never know when it will all be over.

My next appointment is the group thing and I’m not even sure I’ll get a scan (hopefully at least a Doppler?). I’m terrified of finding out the baby has died while in a room with other pregnant women. Luckily it appears that my husband will be there with me for this appointment. So that helps. A little.

I’ve been avoiding talking about the pregnancy on Twitter for the past few days in part because of all the difficulty so many are having with so many of us pregnant, but also because I don’t know how to talk about all this in 140 characters or less. I don’t know how to talk about this at all really.

I completely lost it tonight. I hit the wall of ‘can’t take care of everyone else anymore, why can’t someone take care of me?’ and I hit it hard. My husband was there to pick up the pieces but it was not fun. With my mom out of town I’m also responsible for helping take care of my dad. He will be 80 in November, he’s a diabetic amputee (all his toes and about half of one foot, one toe on the other foot), and he can go through bouts of depression especially when he’s home alone all day every day. So my sister and I are taking turns visiting him and taking him places and we’re calling and chatting with him at least once every day. But it just adds to my already overwhelmed burden right now. But he’s my daddy and I would do absolutely anything for him.

I really need to call the social work clinic tomorrow. I told hubby to help me remember. I need to make an appointment and get in and talk to someone asap. And I probably need to be back on medication too. The depression lately has been no joke.

And all that is what I haven’t been saying.

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Pregnancy After Loss

I owe you all easily a dozen or so posts. Sorry. I’ll catch up at some point. I just haven’t felt much like sitting in front of my computer lately. Probably because my office is a terrible mess and being in here makes me feel guilty. But I digress. I wanted to talk a bit about my experience with being pregnant after a loss and the seriously amazeballs midwife I saw today. This is going to be a pregnancy-heavy post so skip it if you need.

For some people, namely my husband and my mother-in-law, it has seemed like ever since we were confident that this pregnancy was in the uterus and especially since we saw a heartbeat that they are absolutely certain that this is a pregnancy that will end in a take home baby. I’m not that certain. I have hope. I have a lot of hope and it increases every day. But I’m still scared. Even though I’ve only had the one loss and we are like ten steps further than we ever got with that pregnancy, I’m still scared. Leading up to my appointment today it had been three weeks since I last had an ultrasound and I was scared of a missed miscarriage. I had no logical reason for that fear. I still have all the symptoms (they come and go but some are here daily). The statistics at this point are in my favor. But I’ve known too many people who have lived in those tiny, scary statistics to count on something like that.

So I’ve been anxious, worried, stressed. My husband doesn’t get it. He’s so sure everything is okay this time. And it has been. But my fears are there.

Today I had my first regular OB appointment. The orientation a couple weeks ago was mostly paperwork and and overview of the process. I met with one of the midwives and she was fucking fantastic. I can’t even explain to you how great she was. She totally understood that I was scared without me even having to say anything. Well, I did fill out a form that mentioned that I’d had a lot of anxiety lately. She had clearly reviewed my chart and knew all about the ectopic. She was so comforting with everything she said. She not only acknowledged that I had the fear, but that having it was normal and okay.

I wasn’t due for a formal ultrasound today but one of the first things she said was that I wasn’t leaving without first seeing the baby and/or hearing the heartbeat. So I had my first external ultrasound. Blobby was moving all over the place, which was so amazing to see. The movement meant it took a bit for her to finally get the heartbeat but I eventually got to see and hear it. She didn’t do any measurements but just seeing Blobby moving like that made everything okay. When she was having trouble getting the heartbeat she kept telling me that the baby wouldn’t be moving like that without a heartbeat. Just so comforting.

Other things that were amazing: There are apparently social workers at the hospital who only see pregnant women. She put in a referral for me to see one of them, so now I have a chance to talk to a professional about this all and process all the fears with him/her. I’ll call tomorrow and set up my first appointment. The midwife also said told me not to be a hero, if the depression gets really bad that it’s safe to go back on Zoloft. I feel okay right now but we’ll see what happens when my husband goes back to work and I’m still routine-less. Then she set up the referral for my anatomy scan to be with the Maternal Fetal Medicine (high risk) clinic instead of radiology. She didn’t say why but I’m pretty sure it’s because they have more experience dealing with extremely anxious pregnant woman during those scans. She asked about past physical or sexual abuse and when I briefly told her about my ex she told me not to minimize it, that it was abuse. That was important to hear. I also had to have a pap smear today and she kept reminding me that a little spotting after would be totally normal and okay, but luckily I didn’t even have any spotting. We talked about genetic testing and she told me I won’t hear anything until the second set of blood work is taken and not to focus on and stress about it in the meantime, which I would so do. Just a little nudge that there’s nothing I can do and it’s okay to let it go during that time.

Finally, they have this thing called “Centering” where you meet up for your appointments with a group of women all due during the same month. So you have some private time but it’s also a group conversation and classes about pregnancy and birth and stuff. And they just started having a group meet at the military base that’s closest to my house rather than this main hospital. I’d still be giving birth at the main hospital, but all these appointments (except the anatomy scan) are much closer to my house. I think it will be good for me to have other pregnant women to bond with, even if I’m a bit scared that they will all be young and fertile. And the midwife got me into a slot in the group by my house, so yay. That starts in like 3 weeks.

I can’t explain in words how validating it was to have someone just get how scared I am, without me even really saying so. I never thought that someone outside of the RE’s office would understand like that. She was a little miracle. It’s too bad I can’t request specific people when I go into labor and they are cutting the hours of the midwives in L&D. But that’s okay, just having her today was enough to make a huge difference. I am eternally grateful to the Universe not only for this pregnancy (oh so very grateful for that) but for the little things like this appointment. I feel so incredibly lucky, more than I could ever say.

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Still Here

It’s been over a week since I last posted anything. Between traveling for the wedding last weekend and then school starting I’ve barely had time to think, much less write. I’m overwhelmed and I already feel like I’m behind in my classes. Not only did I miss the first day because we were traveling back from the wedding, our second flight was delayed and we didn’t get home until 2am. I woke up the next morning for my early class exhausted and jet lagged and there was just no way I was safe driving, especially in rush hour traffic. So I missed that class too. I managed to make the first day of 1 out of 5 classes. Senioritis?

I have so much I could talk about but I can’t focus on anything right now so I’ll just hit a few notes of importance.

The wedding was wonderful. Even though it started an hour late. The bride, who I totally adore, is not the best planner ever. So some things were kind of a mess. But it was beautiful and the two of them are so in love and happy together. And my husband did a kick ass job MC-ing the reception. But perhaps the best part was that I was able to get past my usual crippling social anxiety and actually talk to strangers. I don’t know what it was, but I think it was just that the other guests were so very genuine and friendly. I had a great time.

I had two interesting interactions with professors this past week. The first happened on the second day of classes, which was my first day. I was driving up for my afternoon class and looking for parking. I saw a spot but getting into it was temporarily blocked by two women walking, one pushing a stroller. I was annoyed and wishing they would walk faster until I realized that the one pushing the stroller was my women’s studies professor from last fall. I pulled up, rolled down the window and said hi. She was just on campus to “show off the baby” but told me to email her and we would get together and catch up this semester. She asked me how my summer had been and I straight up said “horrible.” Because it had, and she’s not someone I felt the need to lie to about it. Hopefully we’ll find a time to get together this semester and I can catch her up on everything. She’s good people.

The second was very similar. The art history professor whose class I ended up signing up for at the last minute after another class got cancelled is really nice and really likes me. I spoke to her after class on Thursday to thank her for understanding about my missing the first day. She also asked me how my summer was and I was not quite so dramatic, I just told her it’d been “rough.” But I also told her it was behind me and I was focusing on this semester and moving forward. Because I am. Because I spent all damn summer feeling sorry for myself and I’m over it.

Then I got on WordPress today and got caught up on some recent entries and everything was so very triggering. I haven’t had time to think about infertility lately, which is good in a lot of ways, but as soon as I did I wanted to cry. I am still frustrated that I couldn’t have the HSG this cycle and wondering when I will ever fit in it this semester. And I’m worried that I’ll never get pregnant again. Or that I’ll have another complicated loss like the ectopic but this time it won’t be during summer break.

I just feel really lost again. And like I don’t fit in anywhere in the infertility community. We sort of have a diagnosis but there seems to be more things going on than just PCOS. After the ectopic I’m more and more concerned that the endometriosis my former primary care doc suggested is a very real possibility. And we aren’t doing medicated cycles, or IUI, or IVF or anything right now. Because my body won’t cooperate. Because the clinics have very particular schedules for HSG. I’m in limbo again.  I want to give up. Forget fertility treatments. Maybe I’ll get pregnant naturally again. Maybe this time it will be successful. Or maybe I was never meant to have a kid.

I have so much guilt about the fact that it’s my body that is preventing us from having kids right now. My husband really really really wants kids, maybe more than I do. And his stuff is fine. I’m the one screwing it all up.

I’m going to stop here. What was a relatively positive post just got way dark and I need to walk away.