Thursday, September 25, 2008

Remember to breathe

I will be seven weeks pregnant tomorrow. I've seen the heartbeat, heard the heartbeat and had my first OB appointment. So when will I let myself begin to feel, celebrate and embrace this pregnancy?

The truth is, I've been terrified to acknowledge this baby. Even typing "this baby" feels uncomfortable to me. Because I'm...scared. Of getting to know and love this baby and then lose her. Yeah, I've been calling it her the last few days.

Last week, my husband was leaning over me as I lay in the recliner (like always). He kissed me and then lifted my shirt a bit, kissed my belly and said hello to the baby. And you know what my first reaction was? To tense up. How f*cked up is that? Because I'm so scared of losing her that I don't want to get too comfortable with her. I don't want to let her in and then have her be gone one day. My beautiful child, my dream, slipping right through my fingers.

People have been asking me all the time, "Are you so excited?" And I say yes, but in my head my response is no. Not yet. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like this pregnancy is too good to be true. Like I've spent so much time and energy in my infertile shoes that I'm scared that they truly are the pair I'm meant to walk through life in.

I've spotted five times in the last couple weeks. Two more if you include the fact that my cervix is bleeding from my OB appointment. The doctor tells me everything looks fine but the bleeding certainly doesn't help me embrace hope or excitement.


I'm beginning to let her in, a bit, here and there. Sometimes, I immediately kick her right back out, but at least I'm peeking out the door through the crack rather than barricading myself behind it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fast forward

The day that started off with a faint line ended with four more very distinct positive pregnancy tests, two dollar store and two digitals. Honestly, I still didn't know if I should celebrate because I felt like I needed a doctor to tell me it was real. But I did feel it was time to tell Mr. Jaguar. Initially, I debated waiting until I was certain but I didn't want to leave him out of a day like today.

I had to stop at three different Hallmark stores in search of my treasure. I hadn't purchased it before because, well, I didn't want to jinx myself. At that point, I only had the three positive dollar store tests and it hit me that I wasn't sure if the husband knew that two lines means pregnant, so I grabbed a three pack of digitals on my route. I raced to beat my husband home and get everything situated.

Mr. Jaguar arrived home right on schedule. I was ready with the camera behind my back set to record video. Now I just wait, right? He'll head into the bathroom at some point. Nope. I continued waiting. We made small talk. Nothing. Finally, I blurted out, "I think the toilet's leaking." That'll get him to the bathroom stat, right? Wrong! He still hemmed and hawwed, browsing through the mail.

"I don't know. Maybe it's not the toilet. I can't tell where the water is coming from but it's definitely coming from somewhere." Still nothing.

Finally, he headed for the toilet to investigate. Breezed right past the bathroom counter without noticing my little display.

"I don't see any water. Where's it coming from?"

"I think it's behind you." At this point, he noticed the counter and the camera in my hand simultaneously. He started laughing, I started laughing and he leaned in to investigate. Five positive tests all lined up with the pregnant Willow Tree figurine standing watch over them.

It was a great moment. I'm thrilled that I have it on video.

Fast forward to Friday. My abdomen had been having small, crampy pains all week, like little pulls and pinches. By the end of the week, it was significant enough to call the doctor's office and check in. At the point of our IUI, my one ovary had been enlarged but I wasn't officially labeled as having ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. I'd been close, but not official. The doctor had informed me that, if I did in fact get pregnant this cycle, my ovaries were going to get worse before they got better. So on Friday when the pain was a bit worse, the doctor fit me in on my lunch break and labeled me "a little hyperstimulated". My ovary had increased in size but things weren't in any kind of danger zone yet. The doctor told me to do a weekend of bed rest, measure how much I drink and pee and no lifting. After that, return to work but take it easy. Try to sit as much as possible, limit crouching and bending, relax when I get home. Okee dokee. I'm on it.

After a weekend of rest, I returned to work, carefully navigating my way through my job and students and taking it as easy as possible. I made it through Wednesday.

Thursday morning, I woke up at 4:50 to pee. As I headed back to my bedroom, I had a searing pain through my abdomen. I can't even explain how much it hurt. It didn't drop me to the ground but it left me holding myself up in the doorway trying to breathe through the pain. After about thirty seconds, the pain hadn't really lessened up much but I knew I couldn't stay there. I gingerly made my way to the bed. The RE had told me sharp pains are normal if they're quick, but if a pain lasts more than twenty minutes to call. Let the clock watching begin. I woke Mr. Jaguar. I was so scared it was a miscarriage. I couldn't imagine that a pain this awful could be no big deal. I started to cry but my diaphragm catching made the pain so much worse and I had to force the tears to stop.

At the twenty minute mark (5:11), I called the on call service and left a message. At 5:30, the doc called me back. I explained everything. What do I do? My options were to go to the emergency room now or to take some Tylenol and wait the hour and a half until the office opens. I would probably be seen quicker in the RE's office and could wait this out in my bed rather than an uncomfortable, waiting room chair. I chose my bed.

After an hour, I actually managed to doze off for a bit. Mr. Jaguar woke me and I struggled into clothes and made my way downstairs. I looked like hell. No two ways about it. At the doctor's office, the nurse brought me back fairly quickly. I waited for the doctor.

Here are the words you don't want to hear at the beginning of your ultrasound: "Let's try to figure out what we're looking at here."

Ummm....what??!! My insides are unrecognizable??!! After a moment, the doc realized that one of my ovaries was filling the entire screen. We thought it was the left one being as it was on the left side. But guess what? It was the right one on the left side and the left one had pushed itself over to the right side. They had opted to trade places and check out one another's living quarters. Both of my ovaries were measuring around nine centimeters and I had a small pocket of fluid that had collected in my uterus. How does the fluid get there? It actually oozes out of your ovaries because they are so full.

And it was official. I was to be on bedrest for the remainder of the week and two full weeks after that. My response: sobbing hysterically. All of my sick days shot in the first month of school. How would I go to OB appointments? What if I get sick? What if there are any other problems with this pregnancy? Sob....sob....sob.

I had to stay for a few minutes to get my betas done and make this pregnancy official. I waited in a chair near the waiting room, continuing to sob. The doctor noticed that I was still a wreck and I was moved to the conference room where I would "be more comfortable".

"You mean because I'm sobbing?" I asked.

The nurse looked at me with a sympathetic smile and quietly responded, "Yes."

That part was actually pretty funny.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I've been tackled

So I've been triple-tagged by Mats, Nikki and and Mrs. Blondies. I'm flattered. I love love love being tagged.

The Rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write 6 random things about yourself.

4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.

5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

My Randomness:

1. I can't sit near people if they're eating cottage cheese. I can't look at it, I can't watch others look at it, I just can't be near it. It makes me think about vomit.

2. I have this thing about symmetry. If I scratch one leg, I have to scratch the other to keep things "balanced". It's the same thing for the rest of my limbs, face, etc.

3. I'm constantly calculating numbers. It's a freakish habit that I've had for as long as I can remember. If a commercial is on and it posts a phone number on the screen, I add the digits, or multiply them, or combine them to make multi-digit numbers and then add those new numbers, or turn them into fractions to multiply together. Mr. Jaguar teases me because, occasionally, when we're watching TV, he'll catch me calculating in my head or I'll suddenly say "174" and he'll realize what I'm doing.

4. I can talk about candy for, like, hours. I can analyze the flavors and textures of various candies. Weigh the pros and cons of a particular sweet treat. Compare and contrast different candies. Also, Tangy Twister Mike & Ikes changed my life.

5. I think the Beatles are just okay. I try not to even say it aloud that often because people generally get all riled up about it, but really, I'm not that into the hype.

6. This one morning, I woke up and there was a tiny dead spider in my mouth. Swear to God. It was grosser than gross. I went to work, but looking back, I really think I should've called out sick for that. Eating a dead spider can't possibly be the start of an even remotely good day.

And so now I get to tag a few folks. I choose Sweet Spikette, Maya, Jackiemac, Allison, Lari, Chrys and Maye. Hope to hear from you, gals.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A change is gonna come

I started testing early. I had peed out the trigger shot within six days and honestly, peeing on sticks became a part of my morning routine. I'm economical about it. I use the dollar store tests. On Tuesday, the first day of school for teachers, at 10 days post ovulation and 11 days post IUI, I peed in my trusty cup just like most mornings. I tested in the upstairs bathroom that day (sometimes I can't make it to the downstairs bathroom and so there are tests and cups available in all of my facilities).

I collected.

I used the dropper to place my pee on the test.

I waited.

I stared.

I looked away. Y'know, because a watched pot never boils.

I stared again.

One line appeared.

Bummer. Mentally, I started thinking about what I had to do next for the day. After months of only teaching summer school where I have full permission to look like a complete scrub, I was out of practice as to how to go about my morning routine. I decided to start by cleaning up the pee test trash.

Wait a minute. Is that something? I think that's a line. I picked up the test and stared at it intensely. That's something. I squinted. I think it's definitely something. The light in my upstairs bathroom sucks a big one so I took it to the lamp on my night table which is so bright I could perform surgery under it. That is so a line. A faint line, but very much a line.

I would love to say that I cried or shrieked with joy. Thanked God. Rushed to the phone to call my husband. But I didn't. You know that face a dog makes when it hears a funny sound or sees something strange? Cocks its head to the side with that confused face? That was me. The only words out of my mouth:


I stashed the pee cup and two more pregnancy tests for the road in my purse.

Where do you start...

when so much has changed?

Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm trying to rewind, go back to the beginning. It's been tough not being able to write as I go since I've been on bedrest with no laptop. I think this could take a lot of posts....

A few weeks ago, I was driving home. I still remember exactly where I was on the road, coming around a corner and approaching a stop sign. Right at that exact moment, my own voice popped up in my head.

"I'm pregnant," it said. Quite matter of fact. Just a simple statement. Initially, I smiled and kind of let it repeat itself. I'm pregnant. I know I'm pregnant. I just am. It's not hope, it's a fact. And then my next thought arose...

What the hell??!! Knock it off! I chided myself for letting me feel and think that idea so confidently, shoving the pregnancy statement down deep under lots of other internalized bullsh!t we all carry around. Infertile people have no business thinking "I'm pregnant" thoughts so simmer down, Jacki Jaguar, simmer down.

But you know what? That little thought kept popping back up all that week, my own little private Jack-in-the-box interrupting the daily humdrum.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Briefest recap ever...

is about to start now. I'm so sorry I can't write more, but I will very soon. First of all, I can't believe I'm typing this, but I'm pregnant. It still hasn't hit me yet. I've gotten positives since Tuesday and today my beta results were 243. Next step is more betas and figuring out how many babies are in there. Yikes! Second, I'm on bedrest for the weekend and don't have a laptop (hence the brief recap). The hyperstimulation has gotten worse as a result of the pregnancy and so I'm on the couch for the weekend and hopefully to work on Monday and just taking it easy for the next few weeks. Last, I need prayers for a friend. My also infertile coteacher goes in for her beta on Monday and please pray for her positive. I can't even think about the idea of her having to deal with bad infertility days while stuck in a room with a pregnant woman. Please pray that she and I get to walk this journey together. Promise I'll write more soon.