Friday, August 21, 2009

A Whole New Roller Coaster

I am six weeks pregnant today, which means I’ve “made it” halfway through my first trimester. So I guess I’m supposed to feel all “whew, it’s halfway over, surely I can do that much again!” But of course this is a total joke, because I’ve been pregnant for less than 4 weeks and have only felt pregnant (and known I was pregnant) for two weeks, which means—wait, let me do the math—that I’ve really only made it 25% of the way through my first trimester.

However, I’ve hit a much more important milestone. I now have officially “made it” past the length of any of my other pregnancies. And given that much of our prior miscarriages primarily, we suspect, were due to wimpy sperm, and give the super high-charged professional sperm we used this time, both J and I are suddenly starting to feel like we’re going to end up actually having a baby or two.

So we’ve stepped up for a whole new roller coaster ride. Some of which is pretty cool, much of which is sucky, and all of which is scary as hell. Mind you, this roller coaster is WAY better than the crap-ass, rickety, piece-of-shit IF/ART roller coaster, and I’m oh-so-glad to be here. But it’s still a whole new ride.

To start with, there’s the physical. Every day I tell myself, “if this is as bad as my ‘morning’ (read: ‘any time of day’) sickness gets, I can totally survive this pregnancy.” And—with the exception of some random symptomless days—every day it gets a little bit worse. I have lowish blood sugar already, so I’m used to the frustration of having to constantly feed myself. But this is ridiculous. This morning I had a cup of 4% cottage cheese while I was making my lunch, then went to brush my teeth, and by the time I was back out in the kitchen gathering my stuff to leave for work the nausea/hunger was back, and even worse than before.

I took a couple of deep breaths, muttering something to myself about not really liking these kids growing inside me so much. Then I got out a yogurt and began to feed again. As my nausea rose up with the first bite, I had this image of my babies as petulant gods inhabiting my body. “Accept this offering,” I said aloud, breathing deep and taking another bite. “Please, just accept this offering and leave me be.”

It really could be much, much worse. As long as I keep eating, and eating, and eating, I seem to be able to keep the nausea at tolerable levels for fairly brief periods of time. And my energy levels, while low, are also acceptable. I’m still getting work done (for the most part) at work, which is the most important thing. As I said yesterday, if this doesn’t get much worse I’ll survive it okay. Then again, given that I’m only 20% into my first trimester, maybe I shouldn’t hold out too much hope that it won’t get worse. (I also know it’s folly to count on the “first trimester” lore, but I just can’t think of being sick an entire pregnancy right now.)

But even stranger is my topsy-turvy emotional state. This is where the roller coaster really gets moving. I’m up, I’m down, I’m sideways. I just don’t know what to think. On the one hand, I can’t help but start to get excited about finally having children. On the other hand, I feel like I should keep squashing those feelings down. Because what if this doesn’t work out? What if this beautiful glimmer of hope is snatched away from me, again? One of my friends (totally fertile mother of two) just told me she had a miscarriage last week. She was three months along, but was told by the sono tech that the embryo had died at about 6 weeks. (Can you imagine so little monitoring? Thank god for IF!) Six weeks, I thought to myself, that’s right now for me. What if my embryos just stop developing? What if their little hearts never start beating?

But despite the fear, last night J and I started talking about baby names. Not a serious, look at a list conversation. But, aside from his presumably facetious insistence on naming our baby “Jebediah,” J and I haven’t talked about baby names since our first miscarriage three and a half years ago. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

And it isn’t just an up and down roller coaster, because there’s also the twists, the curves, the g-forces taking my breath away. Because while in my head I know that I do want twins, my heart and soul are FREAKED AS HELL about it. High-risk pregnancy (or do I mean higher risk?), virtual guarantee of preemies, two infants to care for (while probably recovering from a c-section), and so so so much to pay for (like day care for two?). I wonder if I will even be able to bond with my babies if I’m stretched so thin?

My friends who know about this want me to be thrilled, but I find myself a bit shell-shocked instead. And I refuse to fake happiness. Any sane person would be frightened or at least seriously overwhelmed at the prospect of twins. I have every right to be freaked.

All this aside, last night I had an image of going on a family vacation with two kids (not babies), who could play together and talk to each other, and run around together and wear each other out, and I got a soft warm feeling deep in my heart.

I’m sure that happiness and hope are coming. Right now I’m just focusing on surviving the ride.


Newt said...

Oh yes, I remember this part. I hated this part. And the twin nausea, ugh. I ended up in the ER at one point.

Medicate the nausea if you need to. It's better for the babies if you are functioning. My doc gave me permission to take 50mg vitamin B6 and 1/2 a unisom every I think six hours. I don't know why it worked, but it did.

The emotional stuff is harder, and there's nothing to do but power through, and make short milestone. You made it farther than any previous pregnancy! I am thrilled for you, and so hopeful. When is the next U/S?

Ms. J said...

Right there with ya, sistah. I hate how our histories rob us of feeling happy and secure and being able to plan with confidence.

I find myself having semi-positive thoughts about the future ("let's paint the 3rd bedroom a light lavendar") and then chide myself how I still have to make it through the next dr. appt. as they scramble to find a h/b at 10.5 weeks.

Keep eating, small, steady, and at regular intervals. I read that eating before going to bed (even handful of crackers) helps keep lightheadness at bay first thing in the morning. I have traded this for ice cream, hee hee, but to each their own!

When it comes to hearing about people who had u/s and they learned they had m/c weeks prior, I remind myself that while my husband's sperm has sucked, and my body has sucked at pregnancy (never got past 7 wks before), my body has excelled at expelling dead babies and tissue -- hence, I'd know if it had happened. Small, kinda dark consolation, but has worked for me.

XOXOXOXOXO - we both need extra lovin' right now ;o)

Rain Child said...

I should start out by saying that I have never been pregnant (here's hoping it's sometime soon), however, all the women in my family who have been pregnant in the last 3 years swear by "Sweet" gum by Orbit.z and small amounts of peppermint tea. Again, I know I am in now way able to know what you are feeling, but I thought I would pass to you what advice I have. Good luck!


kate said...

I've been waiting to read that part, that this pregnancy has made it farther than the others. This is exceptional news, and you're right-- now starts the next part of your fears, the ones where you actually have to deal with months of pregnancy symptoms and (gasp!) bring home a baby or two at the end of it all. Your ride is just starting, and as crazy as it is, it's also very very exciting.

I, of course, have no advice whatsoever on how to deal with anything regarding pregnancy (I'm counting on you to tread that path before me so that if I ever manage to get there, you can give *me* the advice!). I hear that the trick with morning sickness is to just eat all the time, which it sounds like you're doing.

The other trick that a friend once gave me that has seemed to work for any type of nausea I've ever had (and I've had some weird ones-- from general stomach upset, to gall-stone issues, to just nausea from severe pain, to PMS nausea) is to place a cool wet towel on the back of your neck. It has worked in every single situation, even if it was just long enough for me to get home and puke in privacy. Before I started taking metf.ormin, the nausea during PMS was pretty bad, and I'd just carry around a wet paper towel in a plastic bag in my purse for emergencies-- take it out, fan it around a bit, and put it on the neck. It's probably just some sort of psychosomatic aid, but for whatever reason, it's gotten me through some tight spots without puking on anyone.

Ms Heathen said...

Just catching up on my blog reading, and wow! congratulations!

You're so right - getting beyond the point of previous losses does make a huge difference. I wish you much joy as you navigate your way through these previously uncharted waters, and hope that the nausea subsides soon. I'm sure other people have already told you this, but ginger (biscuits or tea) may help.