Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 276

If you've wondered why I have been MIA the past couple months, aside from the random posts, it is because I have been going through one of the most exciting and terrifying trials I've endured so far. On February 16th I went to the doctor because my blood sugar had been kind of crazy while we were on vacation in Vegas. I decided to get it checked out and while I was there she ran an HCG test to rule out pregnancy. Monday the 21st I returned for the results and my A1C was in the normal range (meaning I wasn't diabetic) and my HCG was negative (meaning I wasn't pregnant). Despite the results, I found myself standing quietly in my Mom's bathroom the very next day, waiting patiently for the results of another hpt. It was one of those moments I could feel my pulse in my tongue. I still don't quite understand why this particular time I had such feelings of anticipation. It's not like this was new to me. After 7 months of trying to get pregnant, I had this pregnancy test business down to a science. I even reduced myself to becoming one of those women that breaks the test apart and holds it up to natural light, with such sincere hope that there would be a shadow of a line. Anything. But this time I was excited, because somehow I already knew there was a little thing growing inside of me. The second line didn't waste any time appearing and I collapsed in my Mom's arms, crying for a good 20 minutes. You have to understand...I had a miscarriage, surgery, and 7 months of pain wrapped up with the news of this pregnancy. How could I possibly approach the next 9 months with any sort of normalcy? But I still tried- and broke the news to Trenton by wrapping Ben in a shirt that said, "Big Brother." Trenton was elated. We made a pact to keep the world wide web out of the loop until things seemed a little more promising. And this is where we made our mistake. We were already expecting something to go wrong.

My first prenatal appointment was earlier than it usually would have been because of my previous miscarriage. My doctor and nurse were so excited and did everything in their power to sweep out the memories of the last time I had been in that office. It was too early to get any images so they drew my blood and let me know I'd be receiving a call in a couple days. After a week of having my HCG levels monitored, I got the call that things didn't seem to be progressing like they should. In a "normal" pregnancy, a woman's HCG levels should double every 48-72 hours, and mine were only mildly increasing. The nurse then told me, in the least compassionate tone imaginable, "This is most often a sign that you're miscarrying. You should prepare yourself for that reality." How does one prepare themselves for something like that? Should I be doing something to prepare physically? Is she talking mentally and emotionally? All I know is that with a few words, this woman crushed me, and I was somehow expected to accept the reality for what it was. Which would have been fine, honestly, except that we weren't positive that I was truly miscarrying. I was left with very little hope, but I couldn't shake the fact that there was a slight chance this baby could survive. I was stuck in this dark, detached pocket of fog where I couldn't bring myself to feel excited, or sad. I had to watch and wait, for what felt like an eternity. That next Friday, I began bleeding.

The following Monday I went to my doctor so she could confirm that I was, in fact, miscarrying. While performing the ultrasound she noticed a yolk sac beginning to form. There was no baby, but my body hadn't expelled the sac yet. "This doesn't necessarily mean anything. But if your baby is viable, we should be able to see the heart in about a week. We'll repeat an ultrasound then." So for the next week, I again lived in limbo. Hell, actually. Trenton and I showed up for the ultrasound with high hopes, which were quickly dashed when the sonographer did not find a heartbeat. For as far along as I was said to be, they should have seen a heartbeat. "It could just be too early. I really can't give you any more information than that. We'll just have to watch and wait." Trenton and I walked out of that office completely numb, and that's when he got the call that his father had passed away and everything baby related took a much needed backseat. I continued to bleed through that week and the days following our return home from Iowa. But at my next appointment, my doctor did an ultrasound with their low-resolution, portable machine, and even without having to squint, I saw that familiar flutter of a heart. This baby was thriving! All four of us- my nurse, doc, Trenton, and I were speechless. It didn't make any sense. None of this made any sense, but I was not going to question it. Unfortunately since then, I have been placed on bed rest because of the bleeding. And I have had the worst morning sickness I've experienced. But as far as we know, I am almost 9 weeks pregnant.

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