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

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.


  1. OK, first to allay your ectopic fears:
    -If it were ectopic, it would be far too soon to feel it. Pain wouldn't kick in until 6.5-8 weeks pregnant. You probably have a cyst or something. Apparently those can be a good thing, since they pump out a lot of progesterone. I had one the size of a baseball, and all was well...
    -The uterine crampiness during sleepgasm practically proves to me that it's in your uterus. I polled women who had had ectopic pregnancies about this when I was early in this pregnancy and got 5 responses, including my own: 5 out of 5 of us had NOT experienced any uterine cramping during ectopic pregnancies, and 5 out of 5 of us ('cause we were all repeat losers) HAD felt some cramping during uterine pregnancies. I think that's enough data for a significant p-value, even!

    Second, your imagined odds of success here reflect a good mental state-- you're thinking a 10% chance of healthy baby? Shit, that's practically clueless-preggo-optimism! Good for you to be thinking so positively!!! I mean, considering what you've been through!

    Third, I am sooooooo anxious and hopeful for you tomorrow!!! When I read 'scan tomorrow', my heart kind of did a little cold jerk in reaction... How fucking terrifying. I am waiting with baited breath for your (good) news, and I feel for you so much right now...

  2. I wish there were a way to take away all the fear and anxiety. It's just not fair that we can't be ignorant FHs. Good luck tomorrow and I hope you feel better.

  3. Hang in there, I know how hard this is. I will be thinking of you and sending lots of positive vibes your way....

  4. If its any consolation, I've had one of these very unique fears too --twins, one ectopic, one in the right place, and losing both in the end. It was kind of ridiculous given that in my gigantic super-duper fertile family, no woman has managed to throw out two eggs at the same time. I know this for sure because, if they had, their partner's super sperm would have found, cornered and fertilized those suckers to produce 2 disgustingly healthy babies in 9 months. Despite knowing all of this, this fear gave me palpitations for a whole WEEK.

    And it manifested when I had not even a single loss, when I imagined myself a happy fertile bunny.

    After you have been through loss and IF, of course, your brain goes ballistic. Its bloody unavoidable.

    Hang in there. The only thing that will neutralize these fears is time.

    Hoping for the best news tomorrow!!!

  5. I wish that I had words to help you with your fears. I know how incredibly difficult this is.

    I'm sending you all the positive, happy vibes I can for tomorrow. (((HUGS)))

  6. I wish I had a crystal ball to tell you how this would all play out...that's what I always wanted in early pregnancy. Someone to just tell me IF THIS IS IT or not NOW, so I can know whether or not to get attached or to just wait for what feels like the inevitable end.

    I've got a good feeling for you Sloper, and I'm hoping and praying so hard for your little October baby.

    Sending you strength & positive vibes for tomorrow's scan.

  7. Thank you for the comment on my blog yesterday. I've shared these fears and the intense hatred of statistics, but I have so much hope for you tomorrow! (Also, I had a pain in my left side with my pregnancies and none were ectopic.)

  8. I was TERRIFIED of having an ectopic and a uterine pregnancy with the IVF cycle. Terrified. Losing two because one is in the wrong place is just so, very, wrong. I'm sorry you feel like absolute dog shit, and I will be thinking of you tomorrow and waiting to hear from you. ((hugs))

  9. I wish I had words of wisdom. All I can say is that I'm thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful appointment. And, many more wonderful ones to come.

  10. I am sending so many good thoughts your way right now. I hope that writing your fears down brought you some relief, and that tomorrow's appointment allays still more of your fears. Every day you're pregnant IS a good day.

  11. I am sending you tons of good thoughts for your scan today. I hope it goes really well!!

    I think it's a good idea to list out your fears. It can help show you how "ridiculous" some of them are but also I think it helps to not have just an overall fear that permeates things. You are allowed to worry about the immediate concerns now. The rest you have to shelve.

  12. Hang in there, friend. I know it's hard, I know. Fear is a comfortable enemy, especially in the torture of the early days.

    Wishing you nothing but goodness today. One minute at a time.

  13. I know nothing that I say will help ease your fears. But I do want you to know what I'm here, and I'm thinking about you.


  14. Hold on! I'm rooting for you. Keep being good to yourself.

  15. You have every right to have all of those fears after everything you have been through. I will be praying for you and your little bean! Hope today went well! Keep your chin up!

  16. Phew! I was worried yesterday and checked your blog as soon as I got up (I had an ectopic) and I am very pleased to hear that things are so far so good.

    Relax and try to do something fun this week.