Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's Getting a Little Messy Around Here

I have my CVS scheduled for August 22nd. I am second-guessing myself already. I initially decided that the horror of getting not-so-great statistics from the combined early screening (ie, NT scan and blood tests) wasn't worth it, and to go right to CVS itself. Now that the test is actually scheduled, I am feeling foolish for skipping the scan. I took some hope during the intervening days last time, between the scan and the CVS, from the fact the nuchal measurement looked good. The days will feel particularly long post-CVS with no information. Plus, a part of me feels like an extra scan is an extra chance to catch an anomaly. But, there is only a narrow window where the testing can be done--something like 11w3d to 13w6d. Since I'm pretty much having the CVS as early as they can do it (11w3d), it will be too early to do the NT scan/bloodwork the week before. I can't move the CVS back because we are flying to the U.S. My only other choice would be to do the CVS in the US after doing the NT scan here, which seems ridiculous. Plus, I'd have to explain my disappearance mid-visit home, and I'm not really up for that. I can't believe what a terrible scheduling job I did with our trip. I really hope everything is okay, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because bad results will not only be hard for me to handle, but they will be logistically difficult, as well. I deal best with bad news in private, and there is no "private" during our upcoming whirlwind tour.

I had a disastrous experience a couple of days ago with the progesterone suppositories. They are just gross. I usually get up early, put one in, and then go back to bed for a bit to try to let my body absorb as much as possible before it all melts and runs out. Then I shower and go to work. Now, even with this process, there is still leakage in the morning post-shower, so I of course use a pantiliner. On this day, I followed my usual morning process. I put a light colored suit and a pair of dark underwear (which I usually don't do with light colors, but the suit isn't see-through). Anyway, at some point after lunch, I went to the bathroom, looked down, and realized that my pants had black all over them. I looked more closely, and sure enough, they were all greasy looking on the outside and black everywhere. It was even worse on the inside. The progesterone leaked through the pantiliner, took the color out of my underwear, and transferred the color from my underwear THROUGH my pants onto the outside! The pants are a mess. Thankfully, I don't think anyone noticed before I did. I had to text my husband and ask him to bring me new clothes to work, just so that I could walk about of the building. Sigh. The things we go through for the chance of a successful pregnancy.

Speaking some more of pants, I am just shy of 8 weeks now, and quickly growing out of my pants. I thought it was early (I have been REALLY hungry!), but looking back at my blog from during Miss M's pregnancy, I see that I was growing out of my pants at the same point then, too. It all goes to my belly so quickly. It is funny to see that the pants that fit then are the pants that fit now. It makes me feel a bit better, actually, that I'm not growing exponentially bigger in lightening speed. I'm kind of looking forward to stretchy maternity clothes, just so I don't have to try to fit into my pants!

Unfortunately, I'm having some of my digestive issues again, too, which is probably exacerbating the pants situation (swollen tummy). I suspect it's because I've been eating a lot of fruit. My usual solution at this point is to eat very little (mainly protein) and drink lots of water, but that's not a solution that will work pregnant. I've gone back on my medication (it's fine to take while pregnant; I took it the entire time I was pregnant and breastfeeding Miss M). But, I only have one month's supply, so I'll need to find a gastroenterologist here, which I am not looking forward to at all. My old health insurance mostly paid for the medication, but with my new insurance it's really expensive. Fun times.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

7 Weeks

I have utterly and completely dropped out of summer camp. I just feel so uninspired to post, even with Calliope's inspiring prompts. I am still in the waiting space, even with the happy results of the ultrasound.** I should feel more relief than I do, with such a positive ultrasound. After all, in the past, our problems always happened before we saw the heartbeat. With Miss M, we saw the heartbeat and--spotting aside--we never had another problem. But somehow, I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't know if it's my own experiences or my friend's recent late-term loss or the heartbreaking stories that many women have shared across the internet. The sum total of all of that seems to be that my heart simply can't let this feel real yet. I need to get the CVS behind me, and we are still four weeks away from that. It feels like an eternity, and I dread the test itself. I need good news from that, and the first trimester behind me, to feel any sense of relief.

But there is positive news, beyond the ultrasound. I've had no spotting. That is such a relief, after spotting throughout my pregnancy with Miss M. There are some pregnancy symptoms, albeit minor ones. I'm tired and ravenously hungry, and I get up a bajillion times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I swear, this child must be a boy. I was never hungry like this with Miss M, but I am constantly starving--and right after I eat! It's absurd. I wake up hungry all the time. Two days ago I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast, then a bagel with cream cheese and an orange juice two hours later, then a GIANT sandwich for lunch (chicken and avocado on literally half a full size baguette), then a huge fruit salad two hours after that, then a giant dinner. It's so unlike me to get hungry at all. My pants are already getting tight, and it's no wonder!

So onward we go, holding on to the bits of good news while still bracing for the bad, and waiting for it all to pass. There are some things that are easier about doing all of this for a second child. You're more prepared for high seas, and you know that you'll weather any storms better. But time still creeps by very slowly.

**Welcome, ICLW-ers. My full history is accessible through the link on the sidebar, but the long and short of it is that after a bit of a rough time getting pregnant and a couple of miscarriages, we had a healthy baby girl in January 2010. We are a success story (there's hope!). With the clock ticking (I turn 39 this summer), we started trying for a second child back in June, again with We somehow managed to get pregnant that very first cycle, and now I'm navigating my way through the first trimester.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ultrasound #1

As we walked out the door of the examination room after the appointment, I heard T. exhale a long, loud breath. I think that sums up our appointment perfectly.

One perfect yolk sac. One beating heart. One perfect fetus, measuring spot on at 6W4D. Oh, and positioned in a great place, toward the top of my uterus and in the middle.

I am relieved. Now I can worry about the million other things I constantly neurose about during pregnancy. Whether I'm getting enough protein, whether there's something wrong with the water here, spotting, miscarriage, birth defects, war, plague, famine. . .

The doctor couldn't see where the bleeding came from, but thinks that during implantation it may have burrowed in near a blood vessel. There was no sign of any more blood, which is good.

As before, T. was a bit disappointed that there was only one, and I am enormously relieved.

We are going to do CVS again. It is a bit complicated, because I inadvertently booked our trip home squarely during the period when CVS should be done. There are basically only two days when I can do it here, because you can't fly right after it, either. The doctor that my doctor refers all of her patients to only does them one day a week, and can't see me before I leave, because he doesn't do them on the days I need to have it done. If we can't find another high quality doctor to do it, I may have to consider having it done in the U.S. while we're home, which isn't exactly ideal. But, I could go back to the hospital where we did Miss M's, which I trust implicitly. Hopefully, it will work out here, and I'll find another good doctor to do it.

Oh, and get this--if I have any problems, ever, I call my doctor on her cell phone directly. She has someone cover when she goes on vacation, but otherwise, I'll see her for everything.

Today's The Day

We are finally here: it's ultrasound day. I'm nervously excited. Excitedly nervous? Both.

I dreamed last night that there was nothing there. It was a terrible dream. But, I'm ready for that possibility, I guess. I still don't feel pregnant, but for being unusually hungry. Oh, and my pants are getting a little tight, but that's about the extra food I've been eating.

My appointment is at the end of the day. Now I just have to distract myself with a day of work! Fingers crossed that things are okay. I'm 6W4D today. We should be able to see a heartbeat.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


For far too long, I've needed to sort through and pack away Miss M's outgrown clothes. There is a "real" bed in her room, and for months it's been covered in clothing of various Goldilocks sizes-some too big, some too small, some just right. I still hadn't unpacked her five million stuffed animals; they've been packed away since our big move. I needed to rearrange her room, too, to make space for her to ride the giant rocking horse my mother bought her for Christmas, which she is finally big enough to use. I've been procrastinating because...well because playing with Miss M is so much more fun than packing up her clothes.

But today, it was pouring outside, so I decided to tackle the project. Good lawd, does that child have a lot of clothes! I sorted and sorted and sorted. I hauled out two boxes of animals, which she promptly emptied everywhere. I matched tiny baby socks and packed them away. I pulled out new things and washed them. I made up the bassinet and filled it with animals, and rearranged the bedroom to fit all the toys (well, all the toys that aren't in the living room). By early afternoon, I had all of the small stuff reasonably organized and put away, all closets organized, and the room in order. It's not the gorgeous nursery that we built for her in our old house, but it looks like a very nice room for a little girl.

I thought it would be sad to go through the things that she's slowly outgrown in recent months, but it wasn't. I marveled at how manygreat outfits she has, and what good condition they are in, and I thought about the next child who would wear them. Will it be this child, this
one in my belly? I am hopeful, but who knows. I still don't feel particularly pregnant, but for being unusually tired and hungry-no morning sickness, which I avoided with Miss M, but also no breast tenderness, which is surprising. It plagued me with Miss M. I know every pregnancy is different, but still...I think it's what's been worrying me so, this lack of symptoms. I was thankful for the distraction today.

In a wave of optimism, I did mention to T (of course we want a healthy baby first and foremost) that if this baby's a boy, we're going to have some trouble in the clothing department! Everything we have is resolutely female.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thread of Hope

I did the only thing that was going to make the in between time any better: I bought another one of those pregnancy tests that gives a range of how many weeks you are, based on hcg levels. The last two that I used, it first tested for "pregnancy," then took a bit longer to tell how many weeks. Today, it immediately registered "pregnant" and "5+ weeks" simultaneously. ("5+ weeks" is the max it will tell you. I will be six weeks pregnant on Friday. It is a bit, a tiny bit, of a relief. It is enough to get me through the next couple of days.

The progesterone is just as yucky as I remembered it. But, it also is giving me a little peace of mind. I know that I'm doing all that I can.

And, I'm going to plan a weekend trip for September, to help shake me out of the rest of the doldrums. Maybe I'll even plan two!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Between

Summer Camp Day 12: first time drunk. . .uh? I honestly don't remember. Probably my freshman year of college; I never drank to intoxication before that. Weird that I can't remember. But then, we are going back two decades.

As for everything else. . .still allegedly pregnant, still don't feel it. No more spotting since those early days. Getting the progesterone turned into a saga, and I've been trying not to freak out about the fact I haven't started it yet. The prescription didn't come for many days; the pharmacy didn't have any in, and had to order the progesterone, which delayed it even more; they didn't call me as they were supposed to when it arrived; then they tried to give me much more than I needed and overcharge me for it; and it cost a small fortune. But I finally got it today, and will start tonight. I have no symptoms, though--no sore boobs, no nothing. I'm hungry in the morning and get slightly nauseous on an empty stomach, but that's about it. My appointment is next week.

I am finding this period of time irritating. I feel in between in every way. There is the pregnancy, obviously. But also, there is a lull between our recent travels and our next trip. I won't find out for a bit where my next position with the company will be, but we've already started planning for it. A few people are leaving my office, but not quite out the door. It very much feels like we're in between--past one phase but not yet to the next, and it's left me restless and frustrated and a bit bored. The one silver lining is that we got a surprise email from old friends saying that they will be in town this weekend and would love to have dinner. That will be a happy little respite from the maddening in-betweeness.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Camp: Food!

Calliope's summer camp is well under way, and today it's all about the food: favorite foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead of "favorites," I'm going to list things I just can't get here in Europe. At least, not really goooood stuff:

Breakfast: Big fluffy blueberry pancakes; eggs benedict. Thank goodness for Starbucks' global domination: I can still get chai tea lattes. And for some reason, our grocery store sells Oscar Meyer American bacon in little plastic packages. Hallelujah!

Lunch: Mexican food. For the most part, there was never a big migration of Latin Americans to European countries. It is next to impossible to get decent Latin food. It's Mexican that I crave the most--good nachos; real sour cream; guacamole; fried shrimp burritos with special sauce from my favorite place; real salsa. I'd make my own, but it's hard to even get good ingredients here. Case in point: I haven't been able to find fresh jalepenos for sale here, and I've looked and looked and looked.

Dinner: Lobster and steamers. What can I say? I'm a New England girl, and it's summertime. Only, it's NOT really summertime without lobster and steamers!

In other news, I am still not feeling particularly pregnant--I'm exhausted at night, but no sore boobs or other symptoms. I took the other pregnancy test I had left on or about 4w5d, and it came back as being essentially 3-4 weeks pregnant (the only other option on the test is 4+ weeks). I dunno. I'm still pregnant, but in this weird no-man's land as to how I feel about it. It isn't feeling particularly real, and I don't think I'll let it until we're past the initial ultrasound (and probably a few other steps).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I am exhausted. I suffered from horrible insomnia while pregnant with Miss M, and haven't had one night of trouble since then. . .until now. All of a sudden, I'm having trouble again, even when I'm tired. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep for hours. I wake up super early and can't go back to sleep. It's a bit frustrating.

I called my doctor's office today. I left a message yesterday, but somehow missed the return call yesterday until it was too late to call back. They mailed me the progesterone (it should get here tomorrow), and I'm booked for an u/s appointment in two weeks. My doctor apparently likes to do the first scan at six weeks, and I'll be about six and a half at that point, if all goes well.

I'm of to bed-no camp for me today!

Monday, July 4, 2011

And on my 4th Day of Summer Camp. . .

I slipped away from camp and bought yet another pregnancy test. I couldn't help myself. There is a new pregnancy test on the market in Europe. I don't think it's for sale in the US yet. Anyway, Clearblue is marketing it, and it tests the hcg levels in your urine and tells you how many weeks pregnant you are (it doesn't give you an actual hcg level, sadly). No, I don't need to know how many weeks pregnant I am (although, yes, it irritates the crap out of me that there are women out there that might need a pregnancy test to tell them when they got knocked up). No, I don't need to know if I'm pregnant. Yes, I bought the test (a TWO PACK!) and used it one of them. After seeing endless ads for the things, I got curious about what it would say about my hcg levels. Waning? Sky high? Normal?

I am on CD31 today. That makes me 4 weeks and 3 days today. It says that I am 4-5 weeks pregnant. So, spot on. I'll take that.

In other news, there is no other spotting today. We did a fairly long albeit easy/flat hike (9 miles), and I feel really great. We've been doing a ton of walking/hiking in recent months, so I'm in pretty good shape. It was good to get out, and I'm feeling reasonably optimistic still. We'll see how I feel as the milestones come at me. It's interesting to pass those old points where other pregnancies went sideways. When you get to that point, you tense up and close your eyes and hold your breath, then try to tiptoe past like you're not really there. For me, that next point will be the 7-8 week mark, where I had my first miscarriage.

So, now that I've stuffed my fancy new pregnancy test back in my backpack, I'm going to slink on over to summer camp like nothing ever happened. . .

Today's question: What has most surprised you about being an adult?

That I don't feel like an adult, even thought other people see me as one. I keep waiting to feel like a grownup, but I still feel so young. It's kind of disconcerting to realize that young people think I'm ancient--that how other people see me doesn't look at all like how I see myself.

I had a moment the other day when it really hit me just how much time has flown by, and just how old I must be (even thought I don't feel it). I was in a restaurant having lunch, and this guy walked in. He was with a woman and two little kids (maybe like 2 and 4), and another guy, but I only noticed the first guy at first. He just had this look about him: longish tangled hair, tshirt, tons of tattoos, confident yet low key. . .as I looked at him, I thought, "this is one of those moments where I am looking at someone and they are incredibly famous and I SHOULD know who they are, but once again I am culturally illiterate, and I DON'T." So anyway, they were the only other people in the restaurant, and they were seated at the next table. This guy was sitting facing me, and I slowly took in the rest of his party: cute girls, clearly his daughters; wife was pretty but not gorgeous; nice stroller; expensive handbag; and douche-y looking guy who was clearly an agent or personal assistant or something--he was the one arranging for the table, plus he was wearing a long sleeve shirt with a fabric vest over it (like the kind that goes with a three piece suit)--everyone else was in jeans and tshirts. The assistant guy had an expensive haircut and a hipper-than-thou attitude that was visible in an instant. Anyway, one of the people with me recognized the first guy, because her son is obsessed with his band. It's a really famous band, and he used to be in an uber-famous '90's band, as well.

When I realized who he was, I thought about his music career, and realized that he's been playing music for 20 years. "Wow," I thought. "Rock legend--been around forever." And I was thinking of him as being "old." (Frankly, he looks old. . .the rock n' roll lifestyle is definitely NOT the fountain of youth!) At some point after that, I was reading a newspaper article, and it said that this musician is essentially MY AGE. Which means that when I was listening to him, he was MY AGE. And since that band seems to be a million light years in my past, that must mean I am OLD LIKE HIM! Yikes. But it seems like just yesterday that grunge was in and I was jamming away to his band while wearing plaid shirts.

So, yeah. It's a surprise to me that I don't feel like and adult, and still think of myself as "young." I thought I'd be more mature at almost 40. Although, I don't regret that I don't feel like an adult, so it's all good!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Camp, Day Three

I never went to sleep away camp, but I always wanted to. Calliope is running the best summer camp ever, in that you can show up when you want to and have a blast, but on rainy days you can chill out somewhere else. Today's Summer Camp theme is guilty pleasures . Here are mine:

Dark chocolate
Hard cider*
Starbucks chai tea lattes
Pretty Little Liars
Candied ginger covered in dark chocolate
Going to live theater by myself

Sadly, that's all I've got. Even sadder that almost all of them are food-related!

Pregnancy-wise, things seem to be moving in the right direction, and I'm feeling cautiously optimistic. I haven't had any spotting in the last day, essentially for the first time since I got my first definitive positive pregnancy test. I walked a few miles yesterday, but focused on staying well-hydrated, and I didn't have any trouble with cramping or spotting. Today, we went to a museum and walked quite a bit, but things seem okay. The only pregnancy test I had in the house was a digital, which I used today, and it says I'm "pregnant", so--so far, so good!

*Obviously, not right now!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The story is quickly becoming all too familiar. . .no spotting at all during the day yesterday. I really took it easy, I didn't do our 3 mile walk last night, and I drank loads of water yesterday. Yet, just like clockwork, at around dinnertime, the cramping started, and then the spotting. It wasn't as heavy as it was a few days ago, and it was pink rather than red, but still. . .there was more than just a "spot." I went to bed early, and there's no spotting this morning. I'd like to test again to see if the line is getting darker or lighter, but I ran out of FRER's, and the line at the drugstore was realllllly long, and since it was the one near my office, I didn't want to be standing in a long line with a pile of pregnancy tests. That could have been awkward.

This is frustrating, this in between place of having the positive pregnancy test, but not knowing whether it will last. I'm not excited. I'm not sad. I'm just. . .waiting. Every day, I wait to see how things will go, and whether I have something to be excited or sad about. Every day, I feel like I get a little of both. Argh.

I called my doctor's office for the progesterone yesterday, but no one was there. No one. I guess I need to sort out this little bit of things with her. On Fridays, she apparently practices in some sort of clinic setting, rather than her usual private practice. While she has a big modern office that looks to me like a regular OB practice, I take it that everyone actually practices individually, and they all have individual staff. Her secretary was out for the day, so that meant. . .no help. I'll need to sort out with her what I should do if I need help on a day she's not in her office, and whether she has anyone who covers for her. Monday is not a holiday here, so hopefully I'll be able to sort things out then, if there's anything to sort out by then.

I'll be taking it easy this weekend, and hoping to find some clarity. Even if it's bad news and this isn't a viable pregnancy, I'll be okay. The end of one cycle means the beginning of another one. At this point, with my success rate being 1 baby for 3 previous pregnancies, I've learned to live with the negative outcomes. It's THIS that I find so hard, this place of not knowing whether I'm coming or going. I feel like I can prepare myself for anything, once I know what I'm faced with, but the unknown is so much harder.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pregnancy the 4th?

This is going to be waaaay too much information for anyone with a weak stomach, but I need to get this down so that I don't forget it, and this is the space where I keep track of these things. So without further ado. . .

T. and I usually walk 3 miles at night before dinner. It's really nice to spend that time together. Miss M chills in the stroller, and we walk and talk about the events of the day. There are no distractions, so it's a really good to connect. Two nights ago, the day that I'd had pink good spotting in the morning, I started cramping after our walk. A bit later, I started having a fair amount of bright red spotting. In the middle of the night, it was quite heavy, like my period had started. The next morning (yesterday), it was also quite heavy and bright red. After I had a bowel movement, the entire toilet was full of bright red blood. And then, nothing. No more spotting all day. Last night, we did our usual walk and I had some cramping. I drank a bunch of fluid, and it stopped, but I did have a bit of pink spotting. This morning, all I have seen is a bit of brown, but hardly any.

I tested again this morning, and the line is definitely much darker than yesterday, so I think we are heading in the right direction. This is my fourth pregnancy. With the last chemical pregnancy that I had, the tests got progressively lighter as the spotting went on. I have to say, I've never experienced bright red bleeding with any of my previous pregnancies, so I don't know what that's about.

When I said in my last post that I was worried about ectopic, it's because it's one of the possibilities when you are talking about a positive pregnancy test plus bleeding. But, I'm not in any pain, and since today is only CD28, it's too early for them to see/diagnose an ectopic, so I'm not going to head to the doctor yet. Experience has taught me that the doctor's advice will probably just be to take it easy, drink plenty of fluids, and wait. And since I have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed, and it's sooo early still, I'm going to wait and see how things go. Since the walking seems to bring on the cramping, I'll probably skip the walk today. One thing I WILL do is call for the progesterone today.