And suddenly there were two

GUYS – come over here. Shhh – gather round for I have a secret to tell you.

Yesterday morning there were two lines on my pregnancy test.

SHHHHHH – don’t get too excited yet. The test line was fairly faint (dark enough that I saw it right away but faint enough that Luffy needed explanation as to what he was looking at).

So there’s a distinct possibility that I am …. that we are …. that I could be ….

I can’t even bring myself to say it. Out loud. I haven’t yet, even to myself. I’ve ordered prenatal vitamins and the Mayo Clinic’s guide to pregnancy (Amazon Prime FTW!), but I don’t yet feel confident enough to say it out loud.

Yesterday morning, when I saw those two lines, my first thought was OMG, but I didn’t weep with joy or clap or dance or anything like that. I honestly pondered whether I should tell Luffy or not. I felt like I would just be getting his hopes up. And that’s how I phrased it too, when I told him (who am I kidding, like I could keep that kind of thing to myself for the next four or five days). I said “I don’t want you to get too excited because it’s still super early and the test line is very faint, but there’s two lines on my pregnancy test.” We hugged that grasping, strangle-hold hug that you give your truly favorite people and I showed him the test and then we sort of didn’t mention it the rest of the day – like it was the pink elephant in the room.

I suppose that’s what a year and a half of infertility does to you. I’m not overjoyed right now, I’m suspicious. I am waiting for Wednesday to arrive (the day my period is technically due) and pull the rug out from under me. HA HA. JK. AS IF*. I told Luffy this morning that I’m not ready to say it out loud because I feel like my tests are jerking me around, playing some cruel joke. I mean, it can’t be that simple, can it? It can’t happen just like that, right?

So that’s where I am right now. Suspicious and highly dubious, but oh so hopeful. Today is CD 29 but also only day 13 after ovulation. In other words, it’s still really early. Super early. Perhaps not even four-weeks-along early. Maybe if I don’t get my period this week and I get a more pronounced positive** result, I’ll finally relax and breathe and admit that I’m preg-

Eep! I almost said it!

* I watched part of Clueless this weekend and AS IF never fails to crack me up. I need to bring that back in 2016.

** For clarification purposes, the tests I have are doctor’s-office-quality, highly sensitive tests. The instructions actually warn users not to test too early because the tests are so sensitive that they can catch a chemical pregnancy. Combine that with the fact that I’m just too used to ovulation tests where the test lines need to be the same color for a positive result. Let’s just say I’d be a lot happier if my test line was the same color as the control line.

 

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Your brain on infertility

I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet. I mean, it happened. The test was darker, “more” positive this morning (hey – I bought a pack of 50 from Amazon and I’m damn well testing every morning that I please). And, as my Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy reminded me, any positive, no matter how faint, means that my body is producing HCG.

So yeah, I understand that this is happening, at least right now, at this moment.

But I still can’t quite bring myself to say the words aloud. Because I’m not sure about tomorrow or next week. Even my thoughts don’t quite go there. I added salmon to my salad at lunch for the omega-3’s for the — …. and that’s where my brain pauses like, not gonna go any further.

I suppose part of this could be a way to insulate myself, so to speak. As I mentioned yesterday, I tested positive very early and while, according to LMP math, I am precisely 4w1d along, there’s also the fact that I ovulated on the later side of things. Which means, technically speaking, I’m really not even four weeks along. I know this time is a very tenuous time for pregnancies and their little embryos. If something is going to happen (argh, let’s be blunt about this) I have a miscarriage, it’s like to happen in the first trimester. However, it’s even more likely to happen very early in the pregnancy….. like in the next couple of weeks. My mom had a history of miscarriages, something like five before she successfully conceived me. All of this stews around in my brain and makes me hesitant to acknowledge my status. At what point do you stop worrying about making it to the next milestone? When you make it past six weeks? Or hear the heartbeat? Or see your fetus for the first time? Or make it through the first trimester?

Another large part of this hesitation to label myself stems from infertility. As we navigated through drugs and doctor’s appointments and temperature tracking and never-ending cycles, I researched more and more and more. I’m intimately familiar with all of the statistics and the worst-case scenarios. Plus, it took us a year and a half to conceive, as opposed to the general wisdom of three months/cycles*. Because of that, I’m more used to things going wrong. It’s that status quo thing again, except this time it’s in the form of bad luck. Even though there’s no indication, right now, that I’ll have any issues – my infertility stemmed from plain-old unexplained anovulation as opposed to a recognizable issue or defect with my reproductive system – that doesn’t mean my body will be able to successfully carry/support a baby.

And what bums me out a little is that all of these thoughts are clouding together so that I’m not jumping for joy or singing from the rooftops like I thought I would be. In actuality, I don’t quite believe it’s real.

Anyway – thoughts for the day! As I try to wrap my brain around ……. er, my status. Still not ready to commit.

*It always annoyed me, the conventional wisdom of three months because what they actually meant was three cycles. Seriously, if I hunt through my archives, I’m sure I ranted about it at some point because it was a legit pet peeve of mine. Flash forward to now and I realized that, ironically, it actually did take us three cycles. Albeit, three really, really spaced out cycles with a lot of infertile time in between. Oh bodies, you’re so weird and yet so normal.

5w and mounting excitement

So the rug has not been pulled out from underneath us yet. We still have a long way to go, but we’re starting to get more excited. We told our closest friends – the ones that have been rooting for us since the beginning of our journey – over the weekend. My plan was to wait to tell our parents until we hear the heartbeat, but Luffy was just too excited to hold it in when we saw his parents for lunch on Sunday. This has made me incredibly excited to tell my own parents, but I’m also still a little nervous about letting everyone down.

Even though my chances of miscarriage are still fairly high (relative to my odds during the later half of the pregnancy), we’re still choosing to tell our closest friends and family. Our decision is partly out of sheer excitement, but also because these people would be our support if something should happen. I would definitely turn to my mother, who’s been there before, and I don’t think it would hurt her any more or less to celebrate our pregnancy and then find out I’ve lost the baby later as opposed to just learning I’m pregnant with news of a miscarriage.

Also, despite my most Pinterest-worthy aspirations of cute ways to tell people, our excitement is getting the better of us. We’re just blurting out the news left and right. I had planned to travel to my hometown to tell my parents in person, but timing difficulties means I either have to do it now, like this weekend, or I have to put it off until late April, which boo. So I’ve downgraded to telling my parents via video chat, probably this weekend. BUT I’ve had several moments today where I envision, again, just blurting out the news to my mom tonight when I call her after exercise. All casual like. Weather’s good here and oh by the way I’m pregnant – NBD. Pros to that are that she knows now!! Cons are that I miss seeing her reaction, but I’m already not going to get to see her in person to receive a much needed hug, so I may not be as concerned with this.

Fatigue has hit me like a ton of bricks. Yesterday, Luffy and I went to lunch at his parents’ house and then went to see a movie (Deadpool – hilarious, I highly recommend for those of you who are cool with foul language and over-the-top fight scene carnage) with friends. I was absolutely exhausted by the time we made it home around 5:30. I perked up a bit to help with dinner but then was basically asleep on the couch by 9pm. Luffy sent me to bed shortly thereafter, but I slept fitfully with lots of dreams and wakefulness.

On the positive side though, it’s only taken me a full week to go ahead and say it: I’m pregnant.

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! times infinity)

Germs and Missed Connections

One of my coworkers left early today because he very suddenly came down with some sort of stomach virus. Now I can’t stop washing my hands and avoiding physical contact with the fridge handle and door knobs. It puts me at heightened awareness for all the things I touch and then handle and then touch (like conference chair plus keyboard plus face or coworker’s desk plus water cup plus mouth). I conjure up a fitting scene from Scrubs – that one where the terrible intern is finally let go “before he really harms someone” and he ends up giving that sweet old lady some horrible illness because he picked up a contaminated glove and then gave her a hug on the way out. And you can just see the virus spread with the help of a handy visual aid: a green-tinged cloud of disease. I picture that going on at my office right now.

I hate when this happens – when you suddenly find yourself in close contact with someone who is contagiously ill. I spend the entire rest of the day wishing I could just step into one of those decontamination showers and then walk around in a hazmat suit. I don’t want to catch what you have – keep that pestilence at home.

It’s not even really his fault really. He said he felt perfectly fine all morning and then took a turn for the worse halfway through a company-wide meeting. In other words, it’s not like he knowingly came to work feeling bad. Although, he did say his roommate had something similar earlier this week so maybe it is his fault.


In other news – the CD that I have waited almost two months for – that I first gushed about because I could purchase it directly from Japan – that CD…. it’s been lost in the mail.

Waaaaaah.

Sort of ironic, really, since the only reason you guys know about it in the first place is that I was all impressed that I could even purchase it. There’s no tracking on it, obviously, since it was a very small purchase, so we have no idea where it went off course. The shop owners were very nice and promptly (and without prompting) gave me a full refund (since they didn’t have another copy of the CD to send me) and 10% off my next order. So, as it turns out, I can purchase something from Japan all I want, but getting it here is a different story. Noted.


That’s all I have today folks. Pregnancy fatigue has hit me hard and the math of one meeting-from-hell, multiplied by four hours, plus one freaking-out-over-potential-stomach-bug has left me with zero (0) energy. Now go wash your hands! And if you happen to get a NICO Touches the Wall CD in your mail, could you forward it to me? Thanks.

 

Telling the Parents

I told my parents the big news last night. I was trying to wait until Sunday, when I envisioned video calling them via the power of iPads and joyously telling them the news. But, as I kept building the moment up, I kept feeling like it was going to be a bust. I do this often, where I’ll build up a hope or wish or moment and romanticize it to pieces and then I have to take the sledgehammer of reality to it to make sure my dreams aren’t crushed. Anyway, while I thought of excited pronouncements and whoops of joy, I also thought of missed connections and my parents not being together when I called (which would lead to the awkward and highly suspicious nevermind, I’ll call you back). Plus, you know, I was really, really excited since, so far, Luffy had been the only person to get to tell anyone that I was pregnant. Not fair.

So! Back to last night…. I called my mom first, right after exercise like I normally do. I had a set up already in my head. You see, I received my first shipment of champagne from Chandon on Wednesday and knew she’d be excited about it (what can I say? we both love champagne). I was hoping she’d fall right into my plan and she did.

“Oh!” she said when I told her I’d gotten the shipment, “have you gotten to have any yet?”

“Well,” I told her, “that’s the thing – I can’t have any for a while because I’m pregnant.”

……… then there was surprised silence on the other end of the line while I giggled like a four-year-old. But then! She wanted to know all the details. How long we had known and how we found out and the due date and oh how funny that the baby’s due so close to our birthdays and how she’ll have to get all of her tax returns done early just in case the baby comes early (she prepares tax returns for a living and October 15th is the corporate return due date). She was so excited and so happy. Over the moon. She’s known about the troubles that we’ve had getting pregnant and she, like us, sort of assumed we’d be headed to a fertility specialist soon. I promised to keep her updated and then told her I needed to call dad because I didn’t want him to feel left out.

Let’s pause for a second to talk about expectations. My mom reacted pretty much exactly as I thought she would. Happy and excited and in shock. I figured my dad would be happy, but you know, not HAPPY. After all, it’s his daughter giving him news on the state of her uterus. (Plus, he pretty much has to know now that I’m no longer a virgin, which squick.)

So then I called my dad. He didn’t answer his phone, but I left him a voicemail telling him to call me back because I had news. He did, about five minutes later, and I could tell by his voice that he was stressed and tired and frustrated. He travels for business and he had just been dropped off by a shuttle at the hotel so he could take a red-eye home the next morning. He sounded exhausted but told me he called me back hoping I had news that would cheer him up a bit.

“Well,” I told him, “I do have good news – I’m pregnant.”

Please refer to the paragraph above on my expectations of how my dad was going to react. Pardon the ineffectiveness of the English language here: I thought my dad was going to react like this – Happy! – and this is how my dad actually reacted – HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (breath) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He was ecstatic. He couldn’t contain his excitement. He went from literally zero (and feeling crappy to boot) all the up to a 15 (on a scale from 0 to 10, mind you). He adorably wanted to know if it was too early to know if it was a boy or girl (I told him we haven’t even heard the heartbeat yet) and then delighted to know the baby is due on Halloween (he suggested we name the baby Boo or Casper …. noted) and he promised he would do anything necessary, move heaven and earth, to ensure that he would be available when the baby was born and then he told me that he, and mom he was sure, are happily awaiting their grand-baby.

So sweet. And again, I had no idea he’d be so excited, so positively thrilled.

To keep the ball rolling, I called my brother (also because I didn’t want him to find out secondhand and think WTH man!). He was at home, alone as his girlfriend was still at work, eating dinner. Just like with dad, I told him I had news and told him I’m pregnant. He too was flabbergasted and muttered sputterings of “bwuh??” and “whuh??” before finally proclaiming excitement. He, also adorably, wanted to know how I’d found out – did I like pee on something? (Lololol – yes I peed on something – I have been peeing on something for damn near every day for the past year and a half this time it was just extra special pee) He too was so happy and excited. He couldn’t wait to tell his girlfriend.

The whole evening left me feeling high and energetic. It was so much fun telling everyone – even over “just” the phone. I caught everyone by total surprise and it was glorious. Of course, I immediately panicked a bit with the ohnoes!!! when I remembered that I still have a long way to go before we can breathe the sigh of lowered-chance-of-miscarriage relief. (You know I used one of those leftover pregnancy tests this morning too, just to make sure, again.) But still, I made everyone’s day and it was so wonderful to finally tell my family: I’m pregnant.

6W and feeling fine

I’ve come to love Mondays over the past couple of weeks because it means I get to flip that mental card in my head to the next week. I am six full weeks along today, halfway through the first trimester, and I’ve come today to confess that I don’t feel terrible.

In fact, I feel pretty darn good. True, I am fatigued – way more than usual and in an I-can’t-find-my-droopy-eyelids kind of way. (On a side note, Luffy loves LOVES to sleep and he’s delighted that I’m now more in line with his schedule. We have a ridiculously early bedtime and I sleep straight through till morning except that I totally wake up to pee.) I’ve also been slightly irritable the past couple of days, much like PMS. Oh, and I’ve been hungry pretty much every hour, on the hour, regardless of when or what my most recent meal was.

But I keep reading about food aversions and sensitivity to smells and nausea and heartburn and crying jags and needing to pee again/again/again/IJUSTPEEDOMG and I don’t have any of that. Yet. And it’s kind of making me nervous.

Welcome to pregnancy – land of the competing neurosis.

My pregnancy books are quick to reassure their readers that morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy and that, in fact, women with morning sickness have a lower chance of miscarriage. But! (they quickly assure me) A lack of morning sickness does not necessarily mean an unhealthy pregnancy. I feel like they may just be trying to reassure all the puking pregnant ladies out there, but it doesn’t do too much to ease my fears.

Now, most of my resources say that nausea typically sets in between the six and seven week mark, so I might just be prematurely freaking out. Perhaps Wednesday I’ll write to tell you all to hold the phones because I am dashing to the nearest plumbing receptacle. Eh. Maybe. We’ll see what the week has in store.

(And how weird is this? Never in my life have I actively wished to feel worse. Like, I would gain so much assurance if I were just a bit sicker. Even just a gag or two. That’s all I ask! A few urps and questionable burps, is all.)

Other than this whole gestating business, our weekend was fairly uneventful – full of boring household chores and resting. I taught a back-to-back class Saturday morning and felt very justified when I opened a fresh pint of gelato that afternoon (chocolate cookie dough, btw, and yes it was delicious. I have an appointment with the leftovers as soon as I get home from exercise tonight). Now it’s back to work and counting down the days until Thursday (my first prenatal appointment).

The First Trimester Secret

One aspect of what I call the first trimester cover-up that I really enjoy is the secret itself. I like knowing that I have a little secret – something that I keep all to myself. At work, driving home, teaching my classes – all of that done while my body is busy creating a whole separate body and no one else knows but me. Having this secret makes me feel … womanly. It’s empowering.

I laugh to myself when my coworker (whose baby is about nine months old) starts talking about his children or giving me advice on daycare (seriously! sign up for daycare as soon as you know you’re pregnant, he’s told me….. wait, crap, I need to get on that). I laugh to myself when my lunch order consisted solely of a cookie (the company was ordering from Jimmy John’s and pregnant ladies are supposed to avoid cold deli meats, if you haven’t heard – on the other hand, I hear cookies with a side of broccoli are perfectly acceptable). I smile to myself while I’m teaching class, up on stage and on display for the entire class to see – oh if you only knew! I think.

I’m looking forward to the bump, as I imagine most pregnant women do. I’m looking forward to being able to openly discuss my pregnancy with friends and coworkers and students. I can’t wait for the kicks and the I-think-that’s-a-foot protrusions. I can’t wait until later in the pregnancy, until closer to my due date, when the countdown will truly be on.

But for now, I’m enjoying my feminine secret. I know something you don’t know! My body is performing an incredible miracle and you have no clue!