Wednesday, July 11, 2012

very early days

Here I am, 5w2d into this pregnancy. How long will it last? I hope 35 more weeks. I won't get to decide, but I can still register my preference.

This is a twilight zone of sorts. It's not entirely real yet, and that's a normal feeling I believe. I've had some lines on a 2 pee sticks and a couple numbers - good ones at that - to confirm that I am currently pregnant. I also get to have pregnancy symptoms, which by golly, is a real nice bonus. Yet in a general sense, this is all still more theoretical than it is real.

I know, there is also a huge alcatraz-thick wall of protection around my heart about this (and other things, let's be honest). After I saw the lines on the POAS last Thursday, I walked into our bedroom to tell Mr. A who was just waking up. He reacted gleefully to the happy news. Yet, we clearly were much more muted than we were when we saw those lines in April 2011. I don't think we're any less happy than we were last time, I just think we are way more cognizant of the distance between a positive pregnancy test and a baby. It's lovely that many couples can just get wildly excited when they first get the news and start acting right away like they're having a baby, but that's not us. That's not any of us here in this community. We know in exquisite, excruciating detail all the ways in which what is given can be taken away. [On that note, I was devastated to find out that our lovely nurse Louisa's baby is no longer growing and living. I am so sorry, dear woman].

I've noticed that the fears and the relentless anxiety make really strong bids for my attention. Like the other day, I opened my 'word of the day' on dictionary-dot-com and the word was ectopic. Anxiety had a FIELD DAY with that. I kid you not.

Clearly, I need a plan for putting FEAR and ANXIETY in their place. Those two will run this whole show without me, and before I know it, I will have killed my embryo with repeated surges of cortisol.

Strategies I've been using with some success:

1) Misfit reminded me that this embryo's gotta want it, gotta do it of its own design. Somehow, and perhaps because it's coming from her, that helps me take myself out of the equation for a few minutes and reminds me that I have no control. If I have no control, then I can just keep doing what I'm doing, hope for the best outcome and chillax.

2) Whenever I feel something in the lower abdominal region, I take it as an opportunity to tell myself: "Oh look, you're having UES (Uterus Expanding Sensations - pronounced 'ewes' for the added imagery of mama sheep nestling their lambs). For some reason, saying to myself that I'm having UES is much less alarming than saying to myself that I'm having cramps. Cramps recalls menstruation, wherein one sheds blood. Why would I want to think of that right now.

3) I tell myself "we're having this baby." I realize that this may not be the truth in the end, but right now, I just need to hear myself say it, in a fake it till you make it sort of way. It helps me focus on the best possible outcome,redirecting my thoughts away from the doom and gloom scenarios, and towards how I'd like this to end. That is, delivering this healthy baby in March after a complete gestation.

If you've got other things to suggest that have helped you cope with this early stage of uncertainty, I'm all eyes. But even if you've got nothing, I love all your comments, so please just say hello.  


  1. I love the idea of UES. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It hasn't been that long since I was exactly where you are. I still have days when the fear and the anxiety try to take over. As you know, I have my mantra of "baby's fine, baby's fine, baby's fine" that I repeat to myself when I start to get carried away with fear. It's not any easier to "just relax" after getting those 2 lines than it was before. You are definitely not alone. I don't have any magical words to soothe you because, like you mentioned, the outcome is not in your control. My only advice to you is to take several minutes a day and just be as excited as you can...maybe spend 1 or 2 minutes on a baby/pregnancy website. Or maybe download a pregnancy app on your phone. When I did those things I felt a little relief from the fear and it gave me a small boost of confidence, at least for those few moments. Enjoy the symptoms and enjoy the "ewes" and bit by bit you will enjoy the pregnancy more and more.

  3. The great news is, fear and cortisol probably don't do jack squat to a pregnancy. There have been babies conceived in times of war, famine, various more minor life stresses, to mothers who, for various reasons, did not want them at all (imagine the negativity there!), and they have thrived and made it to 9 months, billions of times through human history. So if anybody telling you to stay positive and stresses on how important that is, they can just suck it.

    About the ectopic pregnancy bit, I've gone there, (I got chewed out too) and basically the last post I wrote got exactly one comment, so nobody wants to hear me blather any more about it :)

    My mother keeps going about about new life being formed needing to have 'divine sanction' to make it. Whatever will happen, has already been predetermined, so I also choose to believe. I pray that your baby, and mine, and all the others out there at this stage right now, HAVE that bloody divine sanction, so they can make it out ok, and healthy.

    From my own angle, when I'm not scared to death for whatever (silly?) reason, I'm at an even keel. Not unhappy, maybe very mildly happy when I'm hopeful (its always at a low hum in the background). Maybe that is the best way to be till we can be reasonably sure of which way the dice will roll.

  4. It is so hard to just be happy and excited about a pregnancy after a loss. I think I spent half our pregnancy terrified something would go wrong and the other half of it still worried. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish for you an easy pregnancy with a healthy baby at the end!

  5. Oh how I remember this feeling. The lack of control and endless anxiety, with months and months of more of the same looming ahead (hopefully!). I wish I had some magic phrase or trick but the truth is there's nothing you can do other than to take good care of your self and just live your life. An odd thing for me was that my lack of control of anything beyond those basics also freed me a bit. We had plenty of non-successful attempts, changes in plan, etc... so when we were finally faced with a chance of success I realized that if that one worked, when others hadn't, it wasn't about anything I was or wasn't doing. Sometimes it does just work, and if your baby is healthy, and you're healthy, and you're not on crack or starving yourself, then Mother Nature eventually kicks in and does her job. Or not. But if it fails it won't be your fault, and if it succeeds you will have plenty of time to wish you'd gotten to spend 9 months without worrying but it won't really matter when your real problem will be lack of sleep. :-)

    Hang in there!

  6. Pregnancy after loss is hard enough but to factor in the whole IF struggle as well, SO hard. Really all the strategies you've put into effect are excellent. With my pregnancy following our loss I just had to keep telling myself one day at a time, do this one day well and hope for more. Sending lots of love & hope your way:)

  7. I send encouraging notes to Augusta's womb like, "manager's move in special - free rent and food for 9 months, act now!" I pray for this spirit to be strong and worthy. She/he will be the luckiest kid in Canada by far. Missing out is not an option for Misfit manners.

    Pessimism and anxiety won't sink your chances. And there's no need to dive into excitement that you can't muster anyway, if you manage to keep the door to your heart open just a small crack, it's more than enough to see you through. To expect yourself to be able to manage any more than that is heroic and almost impossible for most people.

    Give in to this being out of your control. Give love to welcome the newest flicker of life. And be kind to those wounds of last year. None of our missing children go unmourned or forgotten. You are doing a fabulous job.

  8. I think in your case I would go with "this time will be different because we are using a proven donor" and this is not meant to say anything negative about your kind friend who donated but more about how this pregnancy IS different than the last and hence hopefully a different outcome. Thanks for your kind words of support.

  9. First off, UES is hilarious! And I'm off the opinion that sans bleeding, UES is a darn good thing.

    Your betas say right now things look GREAT. I know in the land of ALI that things can change. But right now, they are GREAT.

    What would help me--what did help me--was having an RE who gave me a zillion and one ultrasounds, starting at 5w2d. I'm not one who can wait for a heartbeat; I need to know things are going right from the beginning. Gestational sac. Yolk sac. Not sure if that would help you, or if it's possible at the clinic you go to, but I'd need it. That, and lots of TV.

  10. I have no magic words to ease your fear, but I hear ya! Personally, all I can do when in my anxious pits is tell myself that the worrying won't actually help anything, and if I'm doing all I can, I need to let it go! Easier said (over and over and over!) than done, I know! Positive thoughts your way!

  11. I saw The Most Wonderful kids comforter last week and thought of you instantly. The next day I read that you were indeed pregnant. Surely that's a sign, right?? The baby is on all our minds :)

    As for coping: when I was fearful durring the beginnings of my pregnancy, I was glad to be very, very busy. I recall telling someone, "well, I need to do all this, so the baby's on it's own for now." I know we all have different stories, but that was how I dealt with my own flavor of uncertainty. I love you and am thinking of you all the time. I am reading you all the time, I am wishing your wishes with you, all the time.

    Love, Momo

  12. When we got our bfp with Adam, I was exactly the same. I was so anxious about every moment, every feeling, just everything. My husband looked at me one day and said "This has to work. We need a win. Its our time." I will never forget it - he said it with such conviction. And for some reason, from that moment on, I just felt like he was right. We did need a win - it had been a long hard road. Now, I know that statement had nothing to do with Adam being the "one" but it sure helped me through those tough early days until we hit T2.

    So, August - this is me telling you that this has to work. You need a win. Its your time. "Believe you can and you will."


  13. 1-3 seem totally brilliant, and I love that 1 comes with the backing of a woman who's had to really practice it. This is silly, but I asked Mr. Bunny several times a day "Is Bun Bun okay?" and he'd say "Yes, Bun Bun is great." Even though I knew he didn't have any more information than I did, and could well be wrong, it was so comforting to hear someone say it. You might want to insert some other name, though, as asking whether Bun Bun is okay might not help you the way it did me...

    You might recall that I had some pretty major professional anxiety in this phase (post beta, pre US), as I was giving my very first plenary talk at a conference, and I'm afraid of public speaking. I don't pretend that this compares to knowing intimately while a pregnancy loss is like, but I DO think that Bun Bun was bathed in cortisol on an hourly basis for a while there. Clearly it just made her stronger, so that's something else you can tell yourself. "Any stress I feel will just make my fetus more superhuman!"

    Levity aside, it's just hard and horrible, and you're not doing anything wrong by experiencing some of that hard horribleness, but as long as you've remembered to stop injecting heroin, there's nothing you can do about the outcome.

  14. I think your strategies are good ones and I agree with Lisa above - this is your time!

  15. Time box it? Worry your guts out for 3 minutes, max. Then dont go back there.

    I dunno. Worked for me. Just dont ask me how many 3 minutes sessions I had. Per day. Ahem.

    We have every reason to believe this is it.

  16. Thinking of you my dear friend. I totally get the alcatraz walls around the heart. It's sad that we can't have that blissful ingnorance from a positive HPT. The last time I saw one, four letter words came out of my mouth. It's just not fair. But, you my dear friend, are going to have a take home baby at the end of this!

    My dear friend, I have all sorts of good feelings for you. I will be sending all kinds of calming positive thoughts for you and your little bean. I have every single bit of hope that this is your time. This is it, my dear friend.

  17. This has always been the hardest period for me. The limbo. It is made especially difficult by previous difficult experience. It's so hard to trust, to believe. Hard not to believe that it won't be taken away (because that, after all, is what you have known up to now).

    I think the key thing to remember is that what you have known up to now is not, in any way, all there IS to know. Past experience is just that - past. Each pregnancy is something new. A new chance, a new possibility. We're not condemned to retrace the same steps, again and again. (Thank goodness). It's hard to believe that sometimes but it's true.

    I am so hopeful for you, Augusta. The numbers are so overwhelmingly on your side. All of 'em. Every last one. x o

  18. Ugh!!! I know...the anxiety and fear nearly killed me! Hang in day at a time.

  19. Wow!!!!!! Je reviens d'un voyage de 2 semaines en Espagne et quelle belle nouvelle je découvre ce matin en lisant ton blog! Félicitations à vous deux, je suis tellement heureuse pour vous!
    Côté truc pour diminuer le stress, je ne suis malheureusement pas la meilleure personne pour t'aider. Il a fallu que j'attende de commencer à sentir mon bébé bouger (ce qui a débuté seulement la semaine dernière - à 22 semaines - rien pour aider mon anxiété ;-)) pour que je puisse enfin commencer à mieux respirer.
    La seule chose qui m'a aidé, c'est quand j'ai accepté la présence de l'angoisse, quand j'ai accepté qu'elle faisait tout simplement partie de notre parcours si particulier. Avant, quand j'étais en traitement, je pensais que tout serait beau et rose la journée où je serais enfin enceinte. La réalité est toute autre. Est-ce que j'aurais aimé ne pas être tant angoissée pendant mes 5 premiers mois de grossesse? Bien sûr! Tout comme je me serais passée des 4 FIV et du don d'ovules. Mais tel est notre parcours et je pense qu'une certaine dose d'angoisse vient avec, surtout considérant ce que vous avez vécu l'an dernier. Quand j'ai accepté ce fait, les choses ont été plus simples par la suite. L'angoisse était toujours là, mais elle était beaucoup moins envahissante.
    Bon courage à toi dans ta recherche de paix intérieure et surtout, bonne continuation de cette merveilleuse grossesse!

  20. HOORAY! Congratulations. I am so happy for you. I can understand your anxiety especially with your lame word of the day. Hang in there. I will continue to hope your baby continues to thrive and provide you with many UES.

  21. I have no words from wisdom from my super-crazy-town perch, but just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and hoping for continued good news. C'mon baby, we're all rooting for you.

  22. Wow, I've been a shitty blog-reader lately. Better late than never? My motto in the early days of the pumpling was: "Healthy babies start here." Everything that was going on for me--and is for you--was/is exactly what happens at the beginning of a pregnancy that results in a healthy take-home baby. Love.

  23. Hello. I love you.