Thursday, November 29, 2007

...So I Guess That's a "No"

Well, it looks like I started a new cycle this morning. I had allowed myself to get my hopes up, so now I'm feeling a little down. That cycle was so odd. I should have had a dip in temperature this morning or yesterday morning to indicate that this new cycle was starting, but that didn't happen. Today would have been day 35, but now it's day 1. I've never gone past 30 days before.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Status Unknown

Today is day 32 of my cycle, which has never gone past 30 days in the time that I've been charting (except, of course, for the time that I spent pregnant). I took a pregnancy test this morning, though, and it said I'm not pregnant. If there's still no sign of my period at this time next week, I'll take the test again. I wish I knew what was happening.

I just looked up hysterical pregnancy (it's known by several names, but the medical name is Pseudocyesis, which literally means false pregnancy) because I was concerned that that's what I'm experiencing. But according to Wikipedia, "The hallmark sign of pseudocyesis that is common to all cases is that the affected patient is convinced that she is pregnant." So since I'm worried that this is what I'm going through, that apparently means it isn't what I'm going through.

So now I guess I just have to wait and see what happens.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who Knows?

I've been feeling "different" the last few days. It has only been 21 days since my most recent period started, so it's too soon to test whether or not I'm feeling different because I'm pregnant. And frankly, it's at the front of my mind right now. I don't want to get excited just to be disappointed again, so instead, I'm just feeling nervous and unsettled.

I've read that women who are really in tune to their bodies can feel a slight pain when they ovulate. I felt something akin to a cramp, but far more mild, on day 14, and my temperature dipped on day 15. It hasn't sprung back up again, which could indicate that insemination occurred or could just indicate that my body is out of whack this month and I haven't ovulated yet. Also, I've been a little queasy at times during the last three days, and I can't find any other reason for that.

If I am pregnant, and that's a big "if," today is day 20.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Miscarriage Update #2

Hopefully this will be my last miscarriage entry. Based on my blood test on Friday, my doctor decided to prescribe Misoprostol (generic for Cytotec). She told me it would help my cervix to dilate and allow the tissue to come out. She said she was giving me a fairly mild dose that would probably make me cramp, but it didn't sound too bad. But it was bad. Very bad. If your doctor wants you to take this, ask lots of questions and request a pain prescription to accompany it.

For my first dose, I took 400 mcg intravaginally (as the instructions told me to). I never got to a 2nd dose. 2 1/2 hours after the first dose, I was in such severe pain that I was screaming and doubling over every couple of minutes. I told my husband that I had to go to the emergency room, and he was so concerned for me that he went about 15-20 miles per hour over the speed limit all the way there. Luckily, they took me in pretty quickly and gave me some awesome pain medication through an IV. Once that was injected, the screaming and doubling over stopped immediately.

The doctor at the ER did a vaginal exam and extracted a big ball of tissue about the size of a tennis ball. He said I was just about to pass it on my own, but I was more than happy to let him pull it out. He showed it to me, and it looked like a red, veiny bag. The nurse told me later that they examined the contents of the bag and it looked like an embryo had never actually formed. So I've spent 16 weeks pregnant with nothing. That feels like such a waste of time, energy, and weight gain. The doctor sent me home with some Vicodin for the pain.

I went to see my regular doctor today. She had another blood test done (I believe that was blood test number 7 - the woman who draws the blood now knows who I am). It showed that my iron level is pretty healthy and that my pregnancy hormone level has gone way down, so I shouldn't need a D&C. I should just be able to finish bleeding on my own. That should taper off soon, though there's no sign of that right now. In fact, I'm bleeding pretty heavily. But at least the worst seems to be over. Once I finish bleeding, I'll wait until my next cycle and then start trying to conceive again.

I've prayed about the baby that never was. I don't know at what point we receive souls, but if that baby already had a soul, I want that soul to know that I love it. I asked God to tell that soul that I love it and that, when I reach heaven, I'll know it as either Grace or Andrew.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Miscarriage Update

I might as well give you an update even though the miscarriage isn't "finished". On the morning of Sunday, July 15th, I woke up bleeding. On Tuesday, July 17th, I passed a small amount of tissue. The tissue was stretchy and looked like it had a vein in it. Today is my 12th day of bleeding. It's getting heavier, and I'm suffering from some pretty significant cramps (they were happening off-and-on the last couple of days, but they've been constant today). I just called my doctor to give her an update. Since I haven't passed all the tissue yet, she wants me to come in tomorrow for a blood test and then Monday for an appointment if I haven't passed everything. I have a feeling Monday's conversation will include a discussion of a possible D&C (dilation & curretage). Basically, they dilate your cervix and then use a spoon-type instrument to scoop out whatever's still in your uterus. That's a really crass description, but I just read it and even the non-crass version sounds kind of shocking. I think they can also give you meds to speed the process along instead of the D&C. From what I've read, natural miscarriage can hurt a lot. But some people say D&C increases your chances of future miscarriage. And I certainly don't want to go through all this again. I have a few days to think about it. Hopefully, everything will come out this weekend and I won't have to consider any options at all.

Monday, July 9, 2007


It should be obvious from the title of this post that I got some bad news last week. The second ultrasound revealed that the fetus never fully latched on and failed to develop normally. My hormone levels are dropping, so that confirmed what the ultrasound showed. I haven't miscarried yet, but the doctor says I will soon. I had a long weekend at home to deal with the news, and now I'm at the point where I just want to hurry up and miscarry so we can move on and try again. I cried a lot in the first few days. I'm still sad, just not overwhelmingly so. The doctor tells me that it wasn't our fault: we didn't do anything wrong. And we should be able to try again after a couple of good, normal cycles. So there is still hope. I'll try to write another post after the miscarriage in case anyone wants to know what that's like.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Week Twelve

At my appointment on Friday, the doctor was unable to find the baby's heartbeat using doppler. She decided to do an ultrasound with her supervising doctor. They did a normal ultrasound and then a intravaginal ultrasound (yep, it's just what it sounds like). The supervising doctor said that he wasn't able to see a fetal pole. Well, I had to look that one up. Wikipedia says, "The fetal pole is a thickening on the margin of the yolk sac of a fetus during pregnancy. It is usually identified at 6.5 weeks with abdominal ultrasound imaging, and 6 weeks with vaginal ultrasound imaging. The fetal pole may be seen at 2-4 mm crown-rump length (CRL), and heart motion is often detected when it is seen. In the embryo, the heartbeat is seen as a regular flutter, which should be first evident at 5 mm CRL. If the embryo is less than 5 mm CRL, it is possible for it to be healthy without showing a heartbeat, though a follow up study in 5-7 days will almost always demonstrate the heartbeat."

So the supervising doctor thinks that I'm wrong about how far along I am. I don't see how that's possible at all. I was trying to conceive at the time, and I was pretty anal about my record keeping. My last period started on April 9. That's 12 weeks ago today (the 40 weeks of pregnancy are counted starting at the first day of your last period). And this supervising doctor thinks I'm at less than 6 weeks? I know that's not the case, so I'm afraid the baby has latched on somewhere other than my uterus. I certainly can't carry it to term if it's in a fallopian tube or ovary.

My doctor is having me take two blood tests a few days apart to see how far along my hormone levels say I am. And on Thursday, I go to another facility to see if their ultrasound operators can find what the doctors at my clinic can't. I hope to God that everything's ok.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Week Eleven

I attended a little family get-together yesterday, and I find it amusing that no one has come to me with suspicions that I may be pregnant, my mother especially. She knows I've completely given up caffeine. She saw me turn down beer and beer bratwurst yesterday. She (and my aunt, who commented on my thinness yesterday) are under the impression that I'm as thin as ever (boy, do I feel chubby right now). In two more weeks, I can tell everyone!

My morning sickness is almost completely gone, so I'm certainly happy about that. I wake up with kind of a dull discomfort in my stomach, but it doesn't get better if I eat, and it doesn't get worse if I don't eat. Perhaps I've just become hypersensitive to the way my stomach feels. I've noticed that before following bouts of food poisoning or stomach flu: for a few days afterward, my stomach just isn't quite comfortable.

So, right now, the only signs I'm still pregnant are that I'm chubby and large-breasted, and that I want to eat all the time. I have another appointment this Friday to see if we can locate the baby's heartbeat. In a way, it seems a waste of $20 (my office visit copay). But now that the morning sickness has abated, it would be reassuring to hear a heartbeat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Week Ten

My visit to the doctor last week went well. My blood work looked good. I found out my blood type is A+. We weren't able to hear the baby's heartbeat, so I have another appointment in 2 weeks to try again. She also assigned me to a doctor who will be able to do all my OB care including delivery. And I've gained 3 pounds so far, which is reasonable.

My pants are starting to fit a bit tighter. I had hoped I wouldn't need any maternity clothing until the 16 week point or thereabouts, but I may have to go shopping sooner than that. Of course, I should probably tell people I'm pregnant before I start wearing maternity clothes. And I'm still determined not to tell anyone until week 13, so no maternity clothes until then.

I received that book I ordered. It's great! This week, my baby is going from the embryo phase to the fetus phase. It's a little over 1 inch long from "crown to rump," which is how they measure babies in the womb (since they can't stretch their legs out and measure those). It already has fingers and toes. It's amazing to see pictures of development in the womb. So much happens in such a short space of time. has great pictures, if you're interested.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Week Nine

Not much has changed since last week. My morning sickness has become a bit more manageable, so that's nice. I still get queasy when I see food on TV, and I still have to make sure that I eat often.

The skin on my tummy has been a little itchy the last few days. I wonder if that indicates that it's being stretched a bit. I've begun using this lotion that's supposed to help prevent stretch marks. It may not actually help at all, but I can hope, can't I?

I have an appointment for a full exam on Friday morning. There's a small chance that we may be able to hear the heartbeat. That would be awesome, but there's nothing to worry about if that doesn't happen. A lot of women don't get to hear a heartbeat until the 12th or 13th week. At this appointment, I'll talk to my nurse practitioner about being assigned to an OB/GYN. I hope there's a woman available somewhere in town. I just can't ask a man the same questions I can ask a woman.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Week Eight

Wow, week eight already. I think I'm getting better at managing the morning sickness. I just have to keep plenty of bland food around so I can eat all the time. I'm still constantly queasy, but I've been able to bring it down to a 1 or 2 on a scale of 10 for the majority of the day.

My breasts are larger and more sensitive than the last time I complained about them. I've read that some women end up buying nursing bras far before they begin producing anything because of this same issue. I may have to do that, too. I'm going to put it off as long as possible, though.

I'm a little ahead of the curve on weight gain, but I'm not going to worry about that at this point.

I ordered a book called Your Pregnancy Week by Week by an obstetrician named Glade B. Curtis. I looked through it at a bookstore here in town, but I was able to save about $12 by ordering it from a site online. It looks like an interesting and thorough book. The only problem is that, since I ordered it, I have to wait for a couple of weeks before it'll arrive.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Week Seven

This morning sickness stuff is not fun. I've found that, if I wake up feeling pretty good, I'm going to feel really bad by about 2 hours later. That happened today, and I almost thought I was going to have to leave work. The sickness generally isn't as bad if I start the day sick. So I've found a reason to be thankful for waking up sick. Go figure.

There are a lot of foods that gross me out right now just thinking about them. And I can't think of dinner at all until late in the afternoon or it'll make me queasy. If a food advertisement comes on TV, I have to look away and think of something else. Saltines are starting to get boring, but they're the only thing I can count on to ease my stomach.

I've talked to a few different women in different pregnancy forums, and they all say that every pregnancy is different. One said that she had three pregnancies, one where she was sick 24/7 throughout the pregnancy, one where she was never sick at all, and one where she was fine unless she smelled shampoo. Isn't that odd? It makes me wonder if morning sickness has more to do with the individual fetus than with the mother.

Other than that, I think the only change is that I may have gained one or two pounds.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week Six

Well, morning sickness has started to kick in. I'm not throwing up yet, but I feel pretty close. And it's lasting all day instead of just in the morning. Saltines help a bit. I read that some women are helped by sour candy, but that doesn't seem to help me. I've also read that ginger helps (even ginger ale, if it has real ginger in it), but I haven't gotten around to buying any yet. My mom has said in the past that peppermint helps her when she's feeling sick to her stomach, so I think I'll try peppermint candies, too.

I really want to eat healthy and get some housecleaning done, but I don't feel like I can do either of those things right now. My body wants to be in bed, asleep, and eat nothing but dry bread and crackers with the occasional piece of fruit. I think I can continue to handle a reasonable diet, for the time being, as long as everything is really bland.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Week Five!

I just got back from the doctor's office, and I have a lot to do today, but I want to get this all recorded first.

Pregnancies are generally expected to be 40 weeks long counting from the first day of the woman's last period. As such, my due date is January 14, 2008, give or take 2 weeks.

I can continue to drink decaf Chai tea (yea!). I need to avoid lunch meats because of Nitrites, though they're actually a bigger worry for the baby once it's born. I need to avoid open-water fish because of mercury levels. I need to avoid cheese, or really any dairy stuff, that hasn't been pasteurized. I don't need to worry about weight gain at this point because my doctor says that weight gain in the second semester is the best indicator of a healthy pregnancy. I can even lose weight now (moderately, of course), and it wouldn't be a big deal.

Most exercise that's good for a normal person is also good for a pregnant person. If it begins to hurt or feel uncomfortable, stop. Oh, and don't do obviously dangerous stuff like skydiving, horseriding, and water skiing.

I should continue to take calcium supplements daily and iron supplements every other day. I can continue to take Claritin daily, but I should only take pseudoephedrine when I really need it. My asthma medication is totally safe.

She gave me a bunch of stuff to read, so I'll let you know if I glean anything new from that. She also had me do a TB test and a full battery of blood tests. I go back in four weeks to get the results on the blood tests and to get a full exam. There's a small possibility that I'll be able to hear the baby's heart beat by then. I'm not going to get my hopes up, but that would be so awesome.

Oh, and I found out I'm at 5 weeks and 3 days.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Week Four?

I have my first OB appointment on Thursday. I'm pretty excited. I'll actually be seeing a doctor that I've seen for years, and I think she's great. There are a lot of things I need to remember to ask about:
  • What should I eat and what should I not eat? In connection with this, how much of each food group should I eat every day?
  • Is it safe to keep lifting freeweights?
  • I know I should start walking, but how many times per week, for how long each time, and do I need to stroll or do I need to increase my heart rate?
  • Since I'm on prescribed prenatals, would it be harmful or good to continue taking calcium and iron supplements?
  • How much weight should I gain, and at what point in the pregnancy?
  • Do I need to avoid lifting heavy things?
  • Is there anything I can do about the tenderness in my breasts?
  • What is my estimated due date?
  • Where do we go from here?
I think that's it. I'll post the answers here as well after the appointment (perhaps in next week's entry).

In regards to how I'm feeling, the queasiness is gone. I get a little shaky sometimes, like my blood sugar may be a little low, but it's not bad. My breasts are swollen and painful, though. I bought a couple of sports bras to keep them in check when I'm in pajamas or working out, and that seems to help with the pain. But if I jog or even walk fast in a normal bra, ouch.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Week Three?

I'm so excited! On Sunday, I realized that I was on the 28th day of my cycle and that I was queasy. My cycle is generally around 24 days long, so I knew I was several days late. I was queasy again yesterday and decided to buy a pregnancy test. I took the test last night, and it says I'm pregnant! Now, of course, it's not a 100% sure thing. Tomorrow, I'm going to call my doctor and arrange a blood test to make sure. Oh my gosh.

I'm going to try to keep this a secret for the first three months. A lot of pregnancies don't survive the first three months, so I want to make sure that this is "real" before I go spreading the news to people who know me. My husband knows, of course, but that's it. Oh, and whoever happens to be reading this, though I bet that's no more than one person (psst...if Alex happens to be reading this, let's keep this between you and me, ok?).

Oh, and I've found a good alternative to coffee. I hope it's ok to continue with it. See, I'm not addicted to caffeine. I like coffee because it's hot and, the way I make it, creamy. I find it comforting and relaxing to have a cup in the morning. The alternative I've found is "naturally" decaffeinated Chai tea from Celestial Seasonings. I add a bit of milk and a bit of sugar, and it's pretty tasty and just about as comforting as coffee. I really wish I could afford an espresso machine, though, because I'd be very happy with a steamed milk every morning.

Alright, so I'm feeling a little queasy again today. It's not bad (yet). It's similar to how I feel if I eat greasy food. Actually, it's not even quite that bad. I also have light cramps, but again, it's not bad.

Monday, February 12, 2007

NOT Week Two

Well, I still don't know whether or not I'm pregnant. I'll have a much better idea by late next week, if you catch my drift.

I did have a very symbolic pregnancy dream this weekend. It took place in a red desert similar to Garden of the Gods, except that I don't remember any greenery at all. My husband and I were sitting on a couch and either watching TV or looking at something on the internet together. I had a peeled hard-boiled egg in my hand, and I was trying to find a safe place for it. The only two options I could find were two Christmas boxes, one that was too small and one that was about the size of a shoe box. Then, I left the egg for the time being, reminding myself that I had to do something with it before nightfall so my dogs wouldn't take it. I went over to a batting cage and asked the guy if I could practice catching the balls with a mitt rather than batting them. I caught three in a row, and then I woke up.

So, what do I think it means? The red desert would seem to indicate that I'm afraid of being barren. The egg was obviously one of my eggs, especially since it was sans shell. I think the two boxes indicate what I perceive to be the size of my uterus now and the size of my uterus when I'm full term. I thought about my dogs simply because I always have to keep everything out of the reach of my dogs. And as for catching baseballs, I'm just going to let you use your imagination. ;)

Monday, February 5, 2007

NOT Week One

My husband and I have just started trying to have a baby. So I may be one week pregnant, one day pregnant, or not pregnant at all. I noticed my blood sugar was acting a little wacky last week, but I doubt that can be taken as an indication this early in the process (I'm borderline hypoglycemic to begin with).

My plan is to write an entry each week of my pregnancy, talking about the changes to my body, how I'm feeling, and what I've done to prepare myself and my home. This isn't an entirely self-indulgent blog. I want to keep a record of my pregnancy partly to help my memory. So many women can't really give specifics about their pregnancies, and I know that women who are pregnant and women who are trying to get pregnant have all sorts of questions that can only be answered by someone who actually kept track of her own pregnancy. Also, my child may someday be interested to know what it was like for me to carry him or her. Lastly, it will help me to be able to answer the obstetrician's questions about how things are progressing.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog. I'd love to get your feedback, so leave comments whenever the notion hits you.