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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Updates; or, How to Choose?

Something unexpected happened last week after I updated everyone on my OB search: I had a callback from another high-risk practice, this one associated with the hospital where Dr. Wonderful is based, and was able to set up another appointment for Friday, the day after my first appointment with the other OB.

This raises two questions:

One) Assuming everything goes okay at the first OB appointment (a large assumption, I understand), should I refuse to have an u/s at the second appointment? I'm worried that back-to-back ultrasounds could harm Smudgie.

Two) How do I make this choice? Gut instinct based on meeting the doctors? Research on the two hospitals in question (both excellent, with excellent NICUs and private rooms available)? The size of the practices? Some factor I'm not even aware of yet?

I'll have to make this decision myself. Lawyer Guy is super busy at work right now and can only take the time to make one appointment. He's coming to the first so he can be there to get reassurance/find out if something is wrong. I'm going alone to the second, so the choice will be my responsibility. Tense!

The closer we get to 9 weeks (on Thursday), the less I can believe we'll actually make it there. The closer we get to our appointments, the more anxious I grow, which is the standard pattern these days. I feel kind of juicy down below and run to the bathroom, convinced it's blood (nope, just more white goo). I cramp and am scared. I don't cramp and I'm scared. And so on, and so on, ad nauseum

Speaking of nausea, I'm finally getting hit hardcore with the queasies...at 8.5 weeks! This is seriously unexpected. I'm not complaining (no, no, no, I will take round the clock puking if that's what I must to do bring this baby home). But I was finally accepting of that fact that I wasn't going to have morning sickness. Oh well, that's the kind of joke I don't mind the universe playing on me.

Finally, I want to thank Charlie Sheen for providing me with hours of distraction over the last week. Charlie, you're a true humanitarian. Reading your increasingly insane commentary on your own life both amuses me and fills me with overwhelming gratitude that LG's ideal weekend features neither hookers and porn stars nor aneurysm-inducing amounts of cocaine.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lucky; or, Deserving

When we got our first BFP, we had been trying to conceive for about seven months--a laughably short time from this vantage point but a very trying experience while I was going through it. I'd spent most of those months crying, fretting, obsessively tracking ovulation, convincing myself I was broken, and fearing the future.

And then I saw that positive test. I was ecstatic. And standing there alone in the bathroom, I remember thinking, "I can't believe it was this easy." Which is a weird first thought to have when dreams appear to be coming true after an agonizing half-year of waiting. But I couldn't. This little part of my brain-- The psychic part? The prehistoric part?--had been convinced that I was in for a long and painful road toward my first child, and when it came without intervention, without any testing, without any special effort at all, it really seemed to good to be true.

And it was.

I did not have that thought when I saw my positive peestick last month. That sense of not quite having earned this, not quite deserving it, being luckier than I think right--that's all gone. The past two years were every bit as hard as I had feared they would be when I started this trip, and that's a sad thing. But there's also an odd feeling of psychic appropriateness about it all (or fate?). I hesitate to say this is "meant to be" because I know it can all still go wrong. I hesitate to say it because I would never for a moment suggest that anyone is "meant" to lose or to have a child. It's a genetic gamble, as we all know.

But I don't feel guilty to be where I am right now. I know I haven't had the longest, the hardest, the most hopeless, or the most painful IF experience. But it was hard enough, right? And I'm ready for it to be over. Maybe I just jinxed everything but letting that wish out into the universe , but it's true.

To those still waiting: I may be back with you in the trenches soon, but I hope so much that you all join me here instead.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Hunt; or, 8 Weeks

I live in a crazy city. I already knew that, but it's been doubly reinforced by the experience of trying to find an OB here. Who knew that getting your fetus into certain hospitals was as competitive as getting your child into a Manahattan pre-school? (For those outside the tri-state area: that's, like, university-level competitive).

I called a total of nine practices over the last two days, did not find a single OB who could take me at the hospital where my RE is based, but did (just today!) get into a high-risk practice that delivers at another top-ranked hospital closer to the park. (And two NYC-bloggers, Sienna and Fairytale Ending, are also patients there). I'm a little embarrassed to admit that the OB hunt was sending me into a frenzy. I think that I channeled all the anxiety I was feeling about Smudgie and passing (or not passing, who knows right now) milestones from the last pregnancy into worrying about getting a great doctor at one of the hospitals I wanted. Lawyer Guy was (perhaps rightly) completely dumbfounded at how stressed I became about all this.

And of course, now that I have the appointment set up for next Thursday, the day I switch over to 9 weeks, I'm back to worrying about more ordinary concerns: Will Smudgie be okay? I'm so afraid he won't be. I'm so afraid that something terrible will happen again.

LG reminded me of what Dr. Wonderful said last week: the time to stop worrying is now. I reminded myself that when my bloggy friends get to the point I'm at today-- 8 weeks with two good heartbeats under their belts--I officially move them down to the Pregnant blogroll. But I can't emotionally move myself to that place. I'm doing better at imagining. I even let myself look at custom nursery bedding on etsy last night. But we still haven't told our families and the thought of telling them makes me want to throw up. How can this work out? How is it possible that after all this time, we'll finally be lucky?

Please let us be lucky.

Monday, February 21, 2011

7 weeks 4 days; or, (A Little) More Worrying

This is the point in our first pregnancy when we learned the m&m had died. It's an arbitrary marker, since we don't know the exact date of fetal demise and I didn't have my d&c until a week later. But in my mind, this was always how long our pregnancy lasted: seven weeks, four days.

It's hard not to wonder what's going on in there. It's hard not to imagine the same thing happening all over again. I know that Smudgie has been so different this entire pregnancy: hitting all the milestones just when he's supposed to, showing great heartbeats at two separate scans. I've had no spotting (knock wood), no ambiguous maybe-this-isn't-so-good ultrasounds, nothing definite to point to a problem. That doesn't mean there isn't one, and I'm very aware of that fact, but it does mean I'm not out-right panicking. In fact, in a show of confidence, I even bought something for Smudgie yesterday: This Is New York, a classic children's book from the '60s that I love (and can easily re-gift to someone else if this doesn't work out, as it's not as personal-feeling as clothing).

But still, I won't feel like we've passed the last pregnancy until we have another excellent scan. Right now, there's just no way to know. And unfortunately, I don't know when that scan will be. Dr. W's scheduler copied down my e-mail address incorrectly on Friday, and by the time we sorted out the mix-up and she was able to send me the OB referrals, it was after four and both offices were closed. And thanks to this holiday weekend, they're closed again until tomorrow. I'll have to call and try to schedule something from the parking lot of the university where I teach before heading into the classroom.

I guess all my anxiety about this date and this stage is being transferred to scheduling an OB appointment. The fact that I don't have a doctor and I don't know when anyone is going to check on this pregnancy is freaking me out. I'm worried neither of these docs will be able to fit me in to their practices (even though both these doctors deliver at the same hospital as my fertility clinic and Dr. W. said to call and enlist their help if there's difficulty scheduling anything). I can always go back to the RE for another ultrasound if I have trouble getting an appointment-- Dr W. encouraged me to do so, in fact, if this is going to take more than three weeks. And she emphasized to me that she is still my doctor and I'm not without medical attention while I'm trying to set this up.

I've lived each of these past three weeks with an eye toward what comes next. It's been agonizing, but also comforting. I only have to anticipate the next scan, the next exam, the next week. Now...? What comes next? I don't know! We want to tell our parents about the pregnancy after our first positive OB exam. When will that be? Ah, the uncertainty!

Despite all this, I'm happy. Since the last ultrasound, I've been much calmer, much more relaxed, even if there's still a part of me that doesn't believe this is actually happening. I'm grateful to be pregnant, grateful for the support and love of Lawyer Guy, grateful to be feeling so good and nausea-free.

I'm glad to be here in this place. I know I am extremely fortunate. Whatever happens, I'll still believe that. And I hope so much that all my friends still waiting will have their own happy/scary milestones to celebrate soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Smudgie Sloper Graduates!; or, Another Hurdle

He did it! Little Smudgie's heart rate was 140 bpm and Dr. W. said his growth was right on target. So we're...gulp...moving on to an OB once we get some referrals from Dr. W's staff.

I know that I worry a lot. I don't think that's going to stop, even though crossing this hump (solid heart beat at 7 weeks) is major for me. I think I've trained myself too well to expect the worst over the past two years to forget all those lessons right away. And, of course, it is still very early and anything could happen. I am not ready to let my guard down yet.

But Lawyer Guy posed a question in the exam room this morning after the ultrasound was over. "When can we let ourselves stop worrying?" he asked, and Dr. W. answered, "Right now."

Now that would be getting ahead of myself. What's a pregnancy without constant, crippling anxiety, after all (a pleasant experience, you say? Pshaw!). But I did let myself discuss the parent-telling with Lawyer Guy (after the first OB appointment, if we can get one scheduled for the next two weeks). And I did let myself google some images of nurseries in the color palette I've been dreaming of (and I even tried not to hate myself while doing so). And I didn't avert my eyes from the Pott.ery Barn Kids we passed on our walk from the clinic to the subway.

One step at a time. And grateful for all the support I have along the way.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

7 Weeks; or, Doomsday Approaches

I'm seven weeks today. I can't stop thinking about the fact that at this point in the first pregnancy, it was all over, or nearly so. The m&m stopped growing right around 7 weeks, though they couldn't know if it developed normally until that point and then stopped or if it grew slowly a few days longer and slowly faded out. Either way, by our 7 week 4 day ultrasound its heart had stopped.

Tomorrow's appointment looms large. It feels like the crucial one: like THIS IS THE POINT YOU FIND OUT YOUR BABY IS DEAD should be written across February 18 in my datebook. My mind refuses to believe that I could move past here to something better and safer and less fraught with fear.

When I would think back to being pregnant with the m&m, it always felt like an epoch in my life. The time seemed to fill several months. I remembered every detail-- specific meals, specific jokes, every single time I puked. We crammed a lot into those weeks.

While I can't say the time has flown by this go-around, I can say that it feels appropriately short. It's been just about three weeks since we found out we were pregnant, and it feels exactly like it's been that long, no more, no less. Maybe because I've been anticipating this point, this 7th (or is it the 8th) week since we got the BFP?

There isn't much more to say, is there? Once again, I'm scared. Once again, I'm facing a terminal moment which will either end happily or sadly (because even ambiguity at this point will make me sad). Once again, my heart is trying to prepare itself for a blow, wrapping itself in negative visions and doomed daydreams like packing peanuts and cotton wool.

But I can say this: we found out a few hours ago that Lawyer Guy's step-mother's mom passed away today. LG and I didn't know her well-- I'd met her fewer than a half-dozen times in the last ten years--but I know my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law will be devastated. I know we'll have a funeral to attend in the next few days. I would really, really, really like to be able to spare them more bad news.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Optimism/Pessimism; or, That Un-Real Feeling

Over the past few days, I've let myself start to feel optimistic about this pregnancy. In the moment, I really enjoy that. I enjoy imagining telling our families and friends or attending my shower or decorating the nursery. While I'm day-dreaming, I feel happy and secure. If I hold this hope at arm's length and observe it objectively, though, I scare myself again. If I read accounts of women with excellent betas and on-target heartbeats who still lost their precious babies, I get depressed.

Ultimately, none of this feels real--not the happy dreaming times and not the scared and worried times. I've entertained those fantasies or ones just like them for so long now, so many, many years, without any real sense of when they'd come true. I still feel like I'm emotionally in that mode, that "Wouldn't it be nice if..." kind of mode rather than an "It's going to be awesome when..." frame of mind. I still refuse to calculate a due date or to think of bringing a baby home this fall.

I keep both ultrasound printouts and both positive pee-sticks in a carefully arranged pile on our tall dresser in the bedroom. I sometimes touch them as I walk past. I often stand there and stare at them while I'm drying my hair or putting on makeup. And it's so hard to connect the image on those printouts with something going on inside my body. Probably because I still don't really feel all that different. More tired, my boobs hurt more and are bigger, I'm peeing a lot. But I've had no nausea in over a week and feel physically close to normal.

In the drawer of the nightstand next to my bed is an older ultrasound and two older pee-sticks. I haven't opened that drawer since we got this BFP. I don't want to put Smudgie's evidence away with those of my lost pregnancies. I think I'm going to keep everything, every new ultrasound we get or test I take, out there where I can see them and just hope and pray that I don't have to eventually put them away.

But overall, things are okay. I've been practicing relaxation on demand, and it's working better and better with each attempt. And I've passed a few m&m milestones over the last week. We've made it passed the point when we started spotting last time (6 weeks-6 weeks 3 days) and we saw and heard a normal heartbeat, which we never got to before. The big milestones are still to come-- the day the m&m stopped growing (7 weeks) and the day we learned it had died (7 weeks 4 days)--but I'm hoping more and more each day that we'll pass those, too.

I know I'll be scared again on Friday for our 7 weeks 1 day ultrasound. That's a given. But I'm doing my best not to grieve a potentially devastating day before I absolutely have to.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Sweetest Sound I Ever Heard

Smudgie has a heartbeat! And we heard it! At 6 weeks 1 day!

I am overjoyed right now and resisting every urge to undercut this with caution. This is such a happy day!

I had a terrible night's sleep last night, and so did Lawyer Guy. I woke up for the last time around 5:30 am and couldn't fall asleep, just lay there tossing and turning. I was convinced this would wind up a blighted ovum--something about my vague and intermittent symptoms put that idea in my mind.

Poor LG was also pretty shaken up this morning. He gets a "nervous stomach" during times of stress and had to run to the bathroom three times when we were at the clinic waiting to be seen by Dr. Wonderful. During his last tummy-trouble trip, she came into the exam room. I really wanted to wait for him to get back. I was so afraid of hearing bad news without him there to hold my hand. Dr. W. said she'd keep looking until he got back, but fortunately he showed up right before she started the ultrasound.

I couldn't look at the screen. I was too afraid I'd see nothing or an empty sac. I stared at LG sitting to my left as he stared at the screen. And then Dr. W. said, "We have a heartbeat" and I could finally look.

Such a little Smudge! With a heartbeat of 101 bpm! She flipped on the sound and we heard it, actually heard that tiny little thing's heart beating away, and I started to cry.

Before she left the room today, Dr. W. told us, "Don't worry. This is a good baby." I really did believe her right then and for the first time started to think that maybe this could work. When she left us alone, LG and I both hugged each other and started crying. We didn't need to say anything to know how the other was feeling.

We go back in a week, and if all is well and Smudgie has grown and the heartbeat has sped up, that will be our last visit with Dr. W. I know I will be anxious before that appointment, too. I know there are still many obstacles for this little one to overcome and much to be worried about. But right now, I am happier than I have ever been during a pregnancy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tell Me Your Symptoms; or, Who Knows?

Six weeks today. I've passed into clinical pregnancy territory. Next appointment with Dr. W. is tomorrow.

When I think about tomorrow and the fact that we'll KNOW (in capital letters) if there's nothing going on in there, I feel rather terrified. I am distracting myself as much as possible. I taught a pretty good class this morning on close reading and poetics. I've been reading Daniel Deronda for my orals list. I love the sound of running water, so my therapist and I worked out a relaxation visualization involving fountains, and I also downloaded the sounds of a waterfall to my iPod. Now, when I feel my thoughts starting to spiral out of control, I just tell myself "waterfall" and call to mind the sounds and the visualization. It seems to be working. I'm still waking up early with anxiety, but I'm no longer at risk of a panic attack.

I'm avoiding all those "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" websites I was obsessed with when pregnant with the m&m. I used to check them seven times a day, reading ahead to where I would be at the end of the week, reading back to where I'd already passed. I've looked at them once or twice since getting the BFP two weeks ago, but all I can think as I read some description of baby at 6 weeks or whatever is: "You don't know what's happening! That might not be happening at all! In fact, my baby probably stopped developing a long time ago!" It's been surprisingly easy to ignore them ever since.

I can't shake the feeling that I should have more symptoms now than I do. My boobs are the same as they've been the last two weeks: bigger than normal, but not pregnancy huge, a little tender in spots, but not excruciatingly painful. My pukies have pretty much gone away. I have a little nausea here and there, but the past three days have been puke-free. My cramping comes and goes. When it's here, I'm anxious. When it's gone, I'm anxious. I don't have any constipation (rather the reverse, actually). The only really consistent "symptoms" are hunger and the fact that I'm too exhausted to stay up past 9:30 each night.

I'd like to have more to bank on. I certainly felt more pregnant last time, even though it didn't work out. But I try to remind myself that my betas kept rising even when I felt no different at all. There's a chance this could work out. I don't know how much of chance, but I do at least admit there is one.

I'm going to eat another bowl of sausage ziti and then lie down on the couch and listen to the waterfall CD. I don't want to hope or fear anything for tomorrow; I just want to be here now in this day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Visualizing Whirled Peas; or, Getting By

I haven't felt like blogging much lately. Not because I'm not feeling a lot or thinking a lot or reading what others write, and certainly not because there was more to say before I got pregnant again. But part of my efforts to quiet all the terribly anxious voices in my head involve distancing myself a bit from this space--and, unfortunately, from other people's pregnancies and struggles. So if you are one of my pregnant bloggy friends and I don't comment much in the next few--days? weeks? however long this thing lasts--please don't take it to heart. I'm just busy here doing whatever I can to keep from collapsing in a messy puddle on the floor and reading about other people's worries unfortunately dials mine up to eleven.

I'm about half-way through the 1ww between appointments. Man, is this difficult. I feel for women who don't get a single check-up between the positive pee stick and the end of first tri. Though to be fair, most of those women don't fall into the delightful categories that I and my fellow bloggers do.

I've come up with some relaxation techniques and some visualization exercises with my therapist, and I've been using them frequently the last few days, so I've surprisingly remained relatively calm. I get anxious when I imagine something bad happening to this pregnancy (understandably) and I also feel anxious when I imagine happy future outcomes. So pretty much every time I start to wonder about the upcoming appointment or to envision the future, I stop myself by picturing a mental image my therapist suggested and focus on breathing for a minute or so. It's working okay so far! I managed to hold off a panic attack this morning after I woke up and before I get out of bed.

In other developments, the pukies started for me on Sunday night in the car on the way to a Super Bowl party. Yesterday evening they were even worse, and I went to bed at about 9:30 pm because I was afraid that I'd vomit my dinner all over myself if I sat upright any longer. It's all very similar to last time--I throw up in the evenings, not the mornings, and it's worse when my stomach is empty--except with the m&m it started after I was 6 weeks along, so this is about a week earlier. Part of me takes it as a hopeful sign that this little smudge is busy making hormones and my body is responding to them. Then the other part of me remembers that I puked constantly up until the day we found out the m&m was gone, so I can't read too much into it. Then I start my visualization exercises again. Today I feel fine, though that could change at any moment. I'm trying not to read anything into that, either.

I hope so much that we have good news after our appointment on Friday. We've got a bunch of "milestones" from the last pregnancy coming up in the next few weeks: I started spotting right around 6 weeks, we had our first bad ultrasound at 6 weeks 5 days, and we found out at 7 weeks 4 days that the heart had stopped. I hope so much that I can pass them all with no fear and nothing but confidence and happiness for the little life that is growing inside me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mantras; or, Sunday Morning

- Healthy pregnancies begin this way, too (from Adele).

- There's nothing I can do to affect this outcome.

- Less than two weeks until we know for sure.

- The odds are in our favor.

- One of these days, something will work for us, and it might be today.

- I'm strong enough to handle whatever comes.

- One day at a time. Every normal day is a good day.

- Pregnant until proven otherwise.

Please stay strong, little smudge. You've done such a good job so far. Please keep growing strong and healthy for us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Hurdle; or, One

Things are still looking okay. We spotted one gestational sac in the ute, measuring appropriately and right where it belongs. I had convinced myself that I would have and that I wanted twins, but I'll be quite thrilled to be lucky enough to bring home a healthy singleton, no question. No disappointment here, at all. Nothing but relief.

Dr. W said that everything looks good so far, but that it's still early and we just have to wait. Lawyer Guy insisted that I ask her about my boob size/pain concerns and cramping fears, and she responded that I should pay no attention to any of that because "it means nothing." The most important thing is to rest and relax and try to distract myself. There's nothing we can do right now (as I well know) but wait, so I might as well make the waiting as tolerable as possible.

There's also nothing I can do about my cough, though Lawyer Guy asked if it was okay for me to take some old prescription cough syrup with codeine he has lying around. (Dr. W and I looked at him like he had two heads. Um, narcotics are not really on the list of approved medications during pregnancy, sweetie). I might get a humidifier for our bedroom today, because the dry air hurts my throat with every breath.

Our next appointment is in a week. These upcoming two appointments (and these upcoming two weeks) are going to be especially hard, because starting around 6 weeks is where things began to go pear-shaped last time. But I can't go on torturing myself like this. It's not good for me or for Lawyer Guy or for the baby. I've got to do my best to relax and follow my good friend Egg's lead:

Zen zen zen zen zen.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Short List; or, Facing Up or Wallowing In?

I'm 5 weeks today. My first ultrasound is tomorrow. Here are the things I'm afraid of:

- I'm afraid that the dull ache I've felt today primarily on the left side of my pubic bone down to the top of my thigh means that this pregnancy is ectopic.

- I'm afraid that my lack of hunger today isn't a result of my debilitating head-cold/chest-cough combo, but is a sign that Dr. W. will find nothing in my uterus tomorrow.

- I'm afraid this will turn out to be a twin pregnancy with one in the uterus and one in the tube and both will be lost. (Yes, I have imagined this scenario in great detail).

- I'm afraid of that moment when I'm lying pants- and pantyless on an exam table and I learn that my world has just ended, again.

- I'm afraid that my cold is going to kill this pregnancy (even I realize this is ridiculous).

- I'm worried the two cups of herbal tea (chamomile and peppermint) I drank today as my only cold meds will kill this baby (hey, I drank chamomile tea when pregnant with the m&m, too. Coincidence?)

- I'm afraid that we'll make it through tomorrow's test only to fail the next one or the next one or the next one after that.

- I'm afraid that I will lose this baby.

- I'm afraid that I will lose every baby I manage to conceive.

- I'm afraid I will have nothing left inside of me to carry on if this doesn't work.

- I'm afraid of becoming Broken Miscarriage Girl again when I worked so hard for so long to be better than that.

The pregnancy chapter in Melissa Ford's book (Navigating the Land of IF, as though you didn't already know that) suggested writing down all your fears to try to make them more manageable. I know I should only fear one thing at a time (i.e., worry about tomorrow's scan, not next week's and certainly not my eternal future of childbearing) but they're all so wrapped up in each other. A bad result tomorrow will knock down all the dominoes, bringing me right to the last one.

And I know that statistics favor this pregnancy working out fine. But statistics favored healthy 28-year-old me getting pregnant in four months. Statistics favored my first pregnancy working out okay, too. I hate statistics. The statistics in my head go more like: 90% chance of tomorrow's ultrasound ending in catastrophic disappointment; 10% chance of tomorrow's ultrasound being okay; too soon to call on the whole taking-home-a-baby thing. Yeah, there's probably a reason I study literature and not numbers.

I feel so wretchedly sick and I can't take anything for it, so I canceled class today and stayed home and slept. And did some orals reading, but mostly obsessed over dull throb of my pubic bone. Left side. Left side. Left side. Left side. Finally! Right side. Damn. Back to Left side. Do not google "ectopic pregnancy after doubling betas." Do not google at all (and I didn't google it, if you can believe me).

I stirred myself to head to the coffee shop down the block to meet and interview a prospective student of my alma mater for our alumnai admissions team. And the whole time I'm asking this high school senior about her academic ambitions and the books she's read lately and what she wants out of her Ivy League Experience, I'm thinking, "Don't be dead, little bugger, please don't be dead. Please don't be ectopic. Stay strong, little bugger."

When I think about having a baby in October, my heart clenches and I want to slap myself across the wrist. Don't imagine stuff like that! You know what happens when you start imagining! When I think about not having a baby in October I feel...fine. I don't mean when I think about having another miscarriage. That makes me want to slit my wrists. But just not having a baby at some indeterminate point in the future? Yeah, I know how to deal with that. That's familiar. That's almost comfortable.

One day at a time. Every day I'm still pregnant is a good day. Maybe eventually I'll believe it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Day At a Time; or, Hanging In There

Things have been mostly okay in the Sloper household the past few days, other than the wicked head cold I'm fighting and the snoring it has unfortunately produced. The worry is always there, of course, but it's been like a little pebble wiggling around in my shoe rather than a massive cinder block crushing my chest. My boobs appear to deflate and grow less sore: pebble of worry. I have a sleepgasm (seriously, what is up with those things?) and wake to intense, if momentary, cramping: pebble of worry. I think about the shower that my best friend said she and her mom will throw for me or decorating the nursery or having a baby nine months from now: pebble of worry.

But at least I am letting myself imagine those things, just a little, even if I always immediately qualify them in my mind with a disclaimer: "WARNING! Idle Daydreams to not constitute a guarantee of success. Fantasize at your own risk."

I don't think I fully realized how traumatic losing the m&m was until this week. I knew that I grieved very hard for that pregnancy-- the months of sobbing in parking lots and at family gatherings and on my couch (not to mention the over-eating) were testament to that. But I thought that over the past, let's say, nine months I'd processed and accepted and put it behind me and moved on.

Ha! Ha?

I said to Lawyer Guy this morning that I feel like we both have PTSD. It reminds me of the months following 9/11, when we would jump at every loud noise and when something as simple as getting on the subway or a city bus felt fraught with danger (I stood several feet away from every subway trash can out of worry that they might contain an IRA-style bomb). LG works downtown only about ten blocks from the Trade Center, so he saw/heard/felt some incredibly disturbing things that day, including the deafening impact of the second plane hitting. And it took him *years* to not automatically panic at certain similar sounds.

Despite the obvious differences in scale and significance and national importance, this feels very similar. I feel like I'm reliving everything terrible that happened 14 months ago, and I'm a little paralyzed by it all.

But I'm trying to get better.

I mentioned my best friend (Doctor Lady, whom I've written about here before). I spoke to her on Sunday night and told her what is going on. She's not only a great listener and extremely sympathetic, she also has a detached, rational response to things and medical expertise that make her really great to talk to in situations like this. She never blows smoke, but she can be reassuring and factual at the same time, and she doesn't get whipped into hysteria even while she feels for me. So I'm really glad I told her.

We have not told any of our parents (or anyone else outside the ALI on-line community, for that matter), for several reasons. For me, the most important is that I desperately want to be happy and excited when I tell my parents this news. I didn't get that last time. I told my mom and dad about the m&m after our first ultrasound with no heartbeat, when things were looking worrisome and my doctor gave us a 50-50 shot. There was a lot of crying and comforting over the phone that night. That's so far from how I dreamed of the experience of telling my parents they're going to be grandparents, and I want the experience of my dreams. I want something to be normal in all this. If that means I have to wait until I'm 12+ weeks to tell them, then that's what it means.

The other issue--and this pertains more to my mother-in-law, despite the fact that I adore her--is that I am not ready to let anyone else into this space Lawyer Guy and I are sharing. I'm not capable of dealing with someone else's worry or excitement or expectations other than ours. I'm trying to take each day as it comes and deal calmly with all my fears. My mother-in-law is wonderful, but she can't keep her mouth shut. I'm partially worried she'd tell people about this before we were ready, but I'm mostly certain that she would call to check in on me and tell me I need to be calm and want to talk to me about this a lot and I JUST CAN'T HANDLE IT RIGHT NOW.

This is a source of some tension between Lawyer Guy and me. He thinks of his mother as his best friend (other than me) and he's been struggling, too, with worry and fear. He really, really wants to tell his mom. I really, really don't want him to. He thinks I'm being selfish, and he's probably right, but I feel like this is something I need to stick to my guns on. I'm just not ready.

This turned into a much longer post than I intended. Thank you so much for reading along with me and e-mailing me or tweeting at me with your encouragement over the last few days. It truly sustains me right now. And to my friends who are struggling and perhaps hurt by my inability to feel the joy that must seem so appropriate to this situation: I am sorry. I need to be honest in this space, always, but I know how hard it is to read things like this when you would give anything to see two lines yourself. I completely understand if people want to stop following along or take a break from commenting, and I won't be hurt.