Monday, March 28, 2011

your order of fresh cortisol has arrived!

Oh yes, it has. It's a case of nerves, and it's getting worse. And I keep freaking out about the potentially lethal levels of cortisol in my blood. Lethal to the embies that is, I've survived it thus far in my life. I would like to take this opportunity to remind myself to breathe. Inhale. Exhale.

Only 2 more sleeps and it will be the day of my defense. It is at 10am EST on Wednesday. It started affecting my sleep last Thursday night, and it hasn't really let up. I couldn't fall asleep last night.

Sattva organized a dry run (mock defense) on Saturday with two other dear friends from grad school. Yes. Sattva gives me eggs, reads my dissertation and makes constructive comments, and organizes a mock defense for me. How does one even talk about gratitude when it's a few galaxies beyond that. Anywho, the dry run was extremely helpful. It helped me feel more confident about my presentation and about my topic and my work in general. They gave me useful feedback and I now feel much more ready to tackle this beast on Wednesday. I also really enjoyed the fact that my presentation launched us into a discussion of clinical issues for another hour and half. And by the end, we had changed theoretical models of psychopathology and re-written the DSM.

Any of you have ideas on how to disentangle symptoms of anxiety from symptoms of early pregnancy? I'm swimming in a soup of confusion on that subject, so thank jaw (that's Roccie's expression and it always makes me laugh) that it isn't the topic of my dissertation. Clearly, subjective feelings of anxiety are related to anxiety about Wednesday. No brainer. Feelings of nausea in the morning tip the scale on the side of early pregnancy symptom. I'm pretty much queasy at some point during the first hour after getting out of bed. It was pretty serious on Saturday morning, and then yesterday and today, I felt some waves of nausea, but they were short.

Last night, as I said earlier, I couldn't fall asleep. Initial insomnia is very much linked to performance anxiety for me. I remember having to take figure skating tests as a kid and not sleeping the night before. However, last night I wasn't just nervous, I also felt very hot. And this was part of the difficulty in falling asleep. I had to push Mr. A over to his side of the bed and remove most of the duvet off of my body. Finally, I had to get up and do crosswords. But while I was lying there, attempting to think calm thoughts, I felt some definite cramping in the region of my uterus. Nothing major, but I still could feel it and call it crampy. I definitely feel a heaviness in that region, and certainly pulling when I try to stretch my body.

List making is our friend at these times, so to recap, here are to date, noted symptoms of both anxiety and potential early pregnancy:

Signs of anxiety about Wednesday: subjective feelings of anxiety, trouble sleeping, lower GI upsets, obsessing about details, generalized jitters.

Signs of potential early pregnancy: nausea and queasiness in the morning, one noted instances of rise in body temperature, some mild cramping, heavy uterus, very very sore boobs (and they are looking bigger than normal), random weeping (not tearing, weeping) on Saturday night upon hearing the song 'that's what friends are for' by Dionne Warwick and friends (!).

Most of the items in the anxiety list could go in the PEP list, and most (but not all) items on the PEP list, could go in the anxiety list. As you can see, creating these lists was really helpful.

I'm doing pretty well overall, despite this last display of obsessional thinking. I am not driving myself too crazy about the results of the IVF. We'll have the beta on Saturday and test on Sunday. In the mean time, I am trying to enjoy the thought of being pregnant. This may be the only 2 weeks I ever believe this. One thing is for certain, I will not soon forget March 2011. And I'm happy to report that Mr. A is all better. So nice to see him back to his old self.

Keeping you in my thoughts, women. I'm particularly excited about Roccie's slam dunk BFP!! And about Bunny's baby ukulele. What a surprise! I am still feeling hopeful for Pumpkin who had a negative early hpt and is awaiting her beta this week. Hopeful for Foxy who is in the midst of the 2ww. Hopeful for Adele who awaits to cross the threshold to the second T.


  1. OH AAAARG! This sure sounds unbearable. THANK THE LORD your defense is earlyish in the morning. I think the dry run was such a wise notion. It's hard to get over that initial hump of saying your words in front of people for the first time, and doing it in front of people who actually matter is a great way of maximizing the horror. I always practice my talks in front of Mr. Bunny as I find if he doesn't spit on me, I can move forward with greater confidence... (Which is not to say your committee doesn't matter, but in a different, less personal way.)

    As for the symptoms, some of these PEP symptoms are sooo encouraging that if I didn't 100% support your testing plan, I'd be urging you to get it over with so you'd have a joyous secret to take to your defense. But then I remember what a ridiculous liar the body can be. Oh, such a monstrous deceiver!

    If it helps any, I had some pretty lethal levels of cortisol early in my pregnancy, as I was giving my first plenary conference talk, and Bun Bun is just fine (as is the Uke!)

    And finally, the advice that actually helped me through my most recent wait, and which is equally applicable to your defense, was this: let go of all the "what if"s, do everything I can to bring about the desired outcome, hope for the best.

  2. Bunny, I think of your plenary conference talk a lot these days. It brings me great comfort to think that as a very newly pregnant mama, you had to do this big talk at a conference. I remember that you were nervous about it, and I imagine your cortisol levels then rivaled mine at the moment. And as you say, Bun Bun and his uke are just fine. Well, maybe a bit twangy, but that's not cortisol's fault.

  3. yes, thank goodness that your defense is in the morning. Mine was as well, and I was most grateful for that. I, however, wasn't PUPO at the time. I did have a friend to defended in early pregnancy (probably at 6 weeks) and the baby seems to be quite fine, thankyouverymuch! Good luck on your defense, good luck on your beta, good luck on everything!!

  4. Just wishing you good luck on your defense on Wednesday! As far as how to get through anxieties of the first by day and at times minute by minute. Thinking of you and your BFP!! When do you find out again?

  5. Having been a nervous wreck for my own defense years ago, I can only imagine what it must be like to combine all that with your potential early pregnancy. I'm so glad the defense will be over with soon. And I'm sure it will go great.
    I agree that some of those symptoms sound very promising, especially the heavy uterus and pulling. Although, not to be a downer, I have been messed with many times by my supplemental progesterone. But those were my doomed cycles with my own eggs, and not the last successful one with donor eggs. I'm feeling very good about this for you!

  6. Good luck for Wednesday, I will be thinking of you.

  7. Can't wait to read your run down of the defense once you're finished on Wednesday & how much you rocked it! I have absolutely no doubt that is exactly what you will do. As to the pregnancy symptoms, very exciting indeed...continuing to send positive thoughts & hope your way for both a BFP and blow their minds defense Wednesday:)

  8. Dude. The prophet has spoken to us about fear of stress and the impact on pregnancy: R. She came and she suffered and to did so that we may endure stress with a little less worry tied on the end. (I fear that may come of sacrilegious, but I think God has a sense of humor. It is all in the intent.)

    Let me tell you this. I have zero of those potential PG symptoms. Well, not true, I have big knockers, but they are not sore. I am not pukey at all. I can smell bad breath a MILE away. All I think of Dionne W is she looks the color army green in that video. I remember it from way back when.

    You have some good signs.

  9. ... keep smilin', keep shinin', my best beloved friend. ;-) (yes, that song will be in my head all day now!) I am ridiculously thrilled to hear about all those marvelous symptoms, and bundling you even closer to my heart (just when I thought I had you as close as I could I find there's room to bring you closer!) for the next few days. I so wish I could be there for the defense, and cannot wait to schedule a time to celebrate your successful PhD and, fingers crossed, other happy news, with glasses of non-alcoholic sparkling elderflower beverage. Wishing you as much sleep as you can muster before tomorrow, but knowing what a powerhouse you are even when you haven't slept. Tomorrow will be a And I am pretty sure this weekend will bring wonderful news as well.

    Love you so much, and so happy for you!


  10. Augusta, you are doing brilliantly. There is not a woman on earth who would sail through this period without anxiety. You have two huge things on your plate right now, and while it is so very, very difficult to separate symptoms (I also have insomnia when I have anxiety), I am also hopeful about the nature of yours.

    Will be stalking your blog today, awaiting the good news.

  11. Hi, I am visiting at the advice of Foxy - I am also going to be doing a DE cycle in just a few weeks. Best of luck with your upcoming beta!