A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some of All Fears; or, Waiting's Never Easy

This weekend has been a combination of great and really rough, and I'm sorry to say that right now the rough is winning. I realize this may sound like hideous whining to someone who would give anything to ever even see a positive pregnancy, and I'm sorry for that. Pregnancy after loss is a tricky beast, but I do know that I am lucky to be having these fears. I do know that.

I've tried to capture moments of zen, and here and there I have. The hours after the nurse called with our beta numbers were wonderful. Lawyer Guy and I had told ourselves over and over that we would be content with 30 or 40, so to hear 225 was way beyond our wildest dreams. I almost started crying in the middle of crossing 47th Street! Things seemed so good and so hopeful.

But now I wake up each morning around 5 or 6 am with a knot in my stomach and a quickly beating heart. I'm obsessively analyzing every sensation of my body. Is this occasional cramping a good thing or a bad thing? Have my hunger pangs subsided? Is it just my imagination, or do my boobs hurt a little less than they did yesterday, and yesterday did they hurt a little less than the day before? Is that terrible? Does that mean my betas are plummeting?

I keep imagining getting that call tomorrow afternoon and hearing the nurse say, "I'm sorry..." As soon as I imagine it once, I can't keep from imagining it continually: "I'm sorry," "I'm sorry," "I'm sorry."

I have to keep it together. I have a meeting to run tomorrow night. I have my first class to teach Tuesday. I have a massive qualifying exam in May to study for. I can't let myself lose my mind, and whatever I happens with this pregnancy, I need to stay grounded and focused.

But I've got doubts and fears lodged deep in my soul. I don't believe I'm going to get a baby out of this. I don't know how to believe that. I would love to be proven wrong! (Please, please, please).

Lawyer Guy and I have tried to seize on the good in this situation, whatever it's ultimate outcome is. We're delighted that two of our three IUIs lead to a conception--that's a way better track record than we've had on our own. Yesterday, I took out the bag of Gonal-f in my fridge and held it, reminding myself that however this turns out, I've got options and hopes and places to go from here. LG and I have taken to pretending I'm not pregnant at all. We say things like, "When you/I eventually get pregnant..." We smile a little as we say it, but something about the words does feel natural and right.

I'm going to church in a few hours. If there are no atheists in foxholes, I guess there are few church delinquents with questionable pregnancies. Nothing like fear of a(nother) miscarriage to get my ass in a pew.

If you've read this far, thanks for bearing with me. I pray so much that I have good news to report here tomorrow, but I know either way I return here to find the incredible support all of you have given, and that will help me get through.


  1. Oh Sloper, this makes me cry and my heart hurt. You've been through so much, I want this so badly for you. I wish there were magic words that could take away the panic and anxiety, but I know there's not.

    One step at a time, dear Slopie. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Your beta is so awesome and I can't wait to hear about the second one! Feel whatever makes you comfortable. Loss does kind of ruin the fun of BFPs, but I'm hoping you can enjoy it!

  3. Please don't apologize for feeling scared after a positive pregnancy test. Every part of this journey is hard and we all know infertility does not end with a BFP. I am now in week 12 of my pregnancy and I am Finally starting to feel a little bit more confident. I spend a lot of time in the first few weeks saying this affirmation to myself "Everyday in every way I am growing a strong and healthy baby". Whenever I started to have a negative thought, I would repeat that to myself. This bit is so hard, but when you can't believe, we will believe for you......can't wait to hear your second beta.

  4. Any woman who's experienced loss or infertility can't instantly put aside their history with a BFP. As much as I wish you or anyone else in the same situation could feel unadulterated happiness, your hesitancy seems pretty normal; self preservation and all that... That being said, I hope you can find moments of joy, because this is pretty frigging amazing and awesome. Let yourself be a bit happy :)

  5. I completely understand the apprehension after seeing a positive after loss. I know that all too well. It's very normal to be protective of yourself - especially since you know how painful the letdown is. Even now - at 22 weeks pregnant - I still can't get that feeling of the "the other shoe dropping" out of my head. Don't get me wrong, at this point, I am enjoying the pregnancy, but it's not going to be until the baby gets here that I'm going to breathe a sign of relief.

    Good luck and I know this is going to be it for you - just take it day by day, visit by visit and milestone by milestone. Sometimes it's just too much to look that forward with a positive outlook. But if you can look to the very next day, that's how you will maintain happy and let this exciting time seep in.

  6. I thought pregnancy after infertility was tough, but I can only imagine the added fears involved when you've lost a pregnancy. I think I squeezed my boobs every 5 minutes for at least 3 months. The anxiety was huge.

    However, your beta is ROCK solid. That is an awesome number for 15dpiui!! I am so very, very hopeful that this is it for you. And I hope that despite the very natural fears you have, you can enjoy this oh-so-exciting moment!

  7. Yeah, I remember well the days in the beginning of this pregnancy, when I was ricocheting haphazardly and dizzyingly between relative calm and all-consuming terror. To say that those feelings sucked is to put it very very mildly... at the same time, that little flame of hope and excitement inside won't die, and afterwards, it is that flame that you remember the most.

    I am also sorry to report that even after all the doctors have assured you that you have a healthy normal, pregnancy, these feelings of terror don't die. I am still experiencing them. This morning, as I lay in bed before getting up, I was thinking about how I would tell people if I had a stillborn baby. I was actually rehearsing the wording of the announcement, until I realized how horribly gruesome I was being and made myself stop thinking that way. But it is just so hard to ever ever believe that you will actually be a mom-- even though, yes, the second beta, the heartbeat, 12 weeks, 24 weeks, etc. are all milestones that contribute some reassurance, that consuming void of terror just waits at your feet throughout the whole fucking pregnancy, and it just takes massive willpower not to look down at it.

    I think that this will be your baby-- statistics are overwhelmingly on your side here, and your beta is fantabulous. But getting through this pregnancy is going to be, at least at time, rough throughout. No lie.

    Of course loss is a real possibility, although slim. But so is the possibility of getting hit by a bus, you know? Or this is how I try to reason with myself...

  8. Pregnancy after a loss is a motherfucker. Ha. See what I did there? Mother. Fucker? Anyway, what you're feeling is so totally normal and rational and unavoidable. To be honest, I'd be much more suspicious of you (and your brain function) if you *weren't* terrified and nervous and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I will be waiting to hear your beta news tomorrow and hoping as hard as I can that it's good news. That's only the first hurdle, I know. But you gotta clear the first hurdle before you can clear the next one, or else you just end up like that poor girl in that viral video who biffed it the whole way down the track. So, for now: hooray for not biffing it on the first hurdle!

    (Why yes, I can make everything about sports. It's a well-honed skill)

  9. Totally understandable! Sending hopeful and peace-filled thoughts your way, and looking forward to hearing more tomorrow!

  10. Pregnancy after a loss is infinitely harder. Sending positive thoughts your way for continued good news. *hugs*

  11. i can only imagine if C and I get to have another positive test that what you are feeling and internally battling will be what I will feel. I always said going through IF takes the 'fun' out of pregnancy. Instead of loving every minute, ever twinge and thoughtlessly moving forward, infertilites dwell and fear every unknown physical feeling. It's another 'unfair' aspect of the rollercoaster we ride. Please try to stay positive and enjoy those moments. Good luck tomorrow!

  12. That is a very, very good first beta! Happy for you!

    Pregnancy after loss is very challenging and the entire first trimester seemed full of things my baby needed to do to prove to me that it was really the one - the first, second, and third beta, the ultrasound to check if it was in the right place, the heartbeat on the ultrasound, the 8 week ultrasound, and then the long wait of getting through the first trimester...anyways, all this to say I know how you feel and the best you can do is take it one day at a time, allow yourself to feel hopeful and happy if that's how you feel or in denial if that's more comfortable. Denial has been my good friend...

    The good news is you're in the care of an RE who will monitor you closely and you'll have so many more check-ups to know all is well than if you were a patient at a regular OB - one of the only positives to getting pregnant after having been through so much.

    I've been thinking of you and said a little prayer for you and your babe at church today - (I'm with you that fear of losing something so great has motivated me to get my back to church as often as possible). Best of luck tomorrow, Slopie. Hang in there, one day at a time...

  13. It's 100% understandable how you feel, Sloper. I imagine if I'd gone through what you have I'd be cautious, too. Oi just know good things are to come! Xoxo

  14. Hoping, hoping, hoping, Sloper. Big hugs, friend.

  15. I wear a necklace with the following quote:
    I untie my wings and step from the edge, away from the future, dropping the past and I carry the moment.
    -Casey Haymes

    I bought it after two miscarriages, rubbed it constantly through my third pregnancy of that year, and that baby boy plays with it now. Living in the moment is a hard thing and I still suck at it. Hang in there. Of course, my thought was always, what else can I do but hang in there?

    Peace, hil

  16. wishing you all the best with your next beta; stay positive!! I recently discovered your blog and gave you a Blog Award. Check it out on my site:

  17. thinking of you and here to hold your hand along the way. IF and baby loss change everything and it makes perfect sense that you would be so worried. Hang in there...
    fingers crossed for amazing numbers tomorrow.

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  19. Oh, Sloper, I am so happy that you are at this point again. This is just the begining. I can only imagine how hard it is to truly believe that this might be the real deal. It's hard to believe that for once everything will work out just the way it's supposed to after landing on the wrong side of the statistics too many times, but that beta is incredibly convincing. Try and hold onto that! As they say, a jounry of a thousand miles sstarts with one step. I'd say you're father thana step into this and so far so good. I'll be thinking of you and sending you positive vibes for beta #2!!

    This is No Baby Ruth, but I am having an impossible time with Open ID...

  20. Hoping so much for good news today. (((hugs)))

  21. I know it's impossible to think positively right now. You don't really want to think about it at ALL. I'm hoping for a great update from you today. Thinking of you...

  22. I hope you read my blog. I had an early miscarriage, and also a chemical pregnancy. I also had some other things happen, but when I heard the numbers for this current pregnancy, I had the SAME emotions you had, wondering when I was going to find out it was all over.

    I'm 35+ weeks strong, so hang in there! It is so much easier said than done, but I have been in your place and know what you are feeling. I hope you are able to enjoy this pregnancy. I was not able to enjoy mine for a while, but making certain milestones were wonderful.

    Good Luck!

  23. That's a beautiful beta! Yippee!!

    Experience is a hard master (well, more like a knife-carrying felon), and it is very hard to be burned on multiple occasions, and then go forward into a pregnancy light of heart. But I hope that as the days go by, as you meet each of these steps, that the zen periods increase and the anxiety dissipates. So far, so good, Sloper. I'm so glad.