Archive | October, 2010

Five weeks

22 Oct

So we made it to five weeks. Just.

The bleeding stopped for a day or so and joyously started up again yesterday, right when I was starting to feel better about things. The good news is that I finally made it back to my regular GP who, bless him, sent me off for more blood tests this morning, plus a follow up test on Monday. The best thing about seeing my regular GP, aside from the fact he’s a really nice guy, is that he’s been Ry’s doctor since birth and knows that both of us are anxiety freaks who, when lacking information will fill in the blanks, together, with the worst possible outcome.*

So now I’m waiting for the call to see whether all this cramping and shit has actually affected the pregnancy at all or whether it’s just my body playing mind games with me. I only have to wait a few hours thanks to the bright orange URGENT  sticker the pathologist slapped on my report after telling me my symptoms ‘didn’t sound too good’ as she ‘had a miscarriage and it’s just awful, isn’t it’** and so would know. Worse still is that because the bleeding just started again, even if these results are good, I’m not really going to know anything until we do another round next week. So I have a lovely weekend of panic planned. I might even dabble in a bit of depression. I’ll have to see if I can slot it in somewhere.

In other news, I also found out I’m o-negative. Which I didn’t even blink at when I was told, until Ry did a double take this morning and informed me I’d need some extra injections. Apparently if I have a positive baby, and our blood gets mixed up in either a miscarriage or during birth, my body will produce antibodies that will go out armed with bazookas and blow up any future progeny The Boy and I might have. Apparently my mum is o-neg too, and had these same injections. She didn’t seem too worried when I told her, but then I remembered the horrible birth stories about hemorrhaging and nearly dying in the births of all three of her children and figured I should probably start panicking about that now too.

I know I have some (OK, a lot of) anxiety issues, but I honestly didn’t think pregnancy would be such a challenge. I expected to get pregnant and be all excited and joyous and have an easy time of it all with a bump and a baby at the end. It’s been five weeks – I’ve only known for one of those weeks that I was pregnant – and already I have exhausted myself with worry. I can say I’ll be happy once I hear the heartbeat, but I know that when I do, I’ll be hanging out to make it to 12 weeks. Then 20 weeks. Then I’ll start freaking out about birthing complications. Then about the baby stopping breathing when we get it home. Or whether that fever is something to worry about. And I’ll be all like ‘OMG it sneezed! Quick! We have to get it to the hospital, like, right freaking now!!!’  And The Boy will be all like ‘OMG, you need to calm down, woman’ but will be internally diagnosing it with meningococcal or something equally as morbid.

Anyway, after all that ranting I finally have the blood test results. They look good. I still have to go back next week for a progress check, but at least I get a few days of relative calm! And with his usual humour my doctor has suggested I cross my legs, hold on, and get The Boy to organise me an early ultrasound so I can stop harassing the hell out of him.

* Yesterday morning I convinced myself I had pre-eclampsia. Of course I don’t, it’s way too early. But with the cramps and the lack of peeing, it was the most logical thing my entirely illogical mind could come up with. By evening I’d gone back to my old favourite, miscarriage.

**What is it about pregnancy that brings out the worst in people? I know you’re just trying to be nice, but I don’t want to hear stories about your miscarriage/horrendous birth/5 week olds hospitalisation. I want to hear about how everything always works out just fine and dandy and that you saw a unicorn at your birth it was that fantastic. But I don’t want to hear about your birthing orgasm. That’s just crazy talk.


This is why girls have girlfriends

20 Oct

Ah. Vomit. Who knew I’d be so excited to see you?

So I’ve been struggling with the whole ‘Quick! Panic! I can’t possibly be pregnant!’ thing, and The Boy’s reaction to it all. In fact, the elephant in the room got so big last night I thought I’d suffocate, then blearily tried to talk about it, without really having anything to say other than that I’m excited/scared/nervous/sore/tired/moody/confused/happy, but not in that particular order.  The Boy did his best, and that’s great, but there is nothing like a girlfriend who’s just gone through exactly what you’re going through to shed some light on the whole situation.

Weird symptoms? Depressed? Excited but simultaneously crapping your pants? Oh, you had that too?! Awesome!

Yes, after a little bit of sharing I feel so much better now. Apparently it’s perfectly normal to obsess over every little twinge, spot, bloat and emotion. And, great news for me, it’s even normal to obsess over the complete absence of any horrible feeling. Because up to now, I’ve been all like ‘OMG, I’m cramping, that’s it, it’s all over’, then seconds later when the cramps have gone I’m all ‘OMG, I can’t feel anything, that’s it, it’s all over,’ which, let me tell you, is probably the worst type of emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been on.

The best thing? If the little poppyseed sticks, I get to look forward to this feeling of impending doom and worry for the rest of my life. Baby’s born safe? Great! But I’ll probably do something wrong when I get it home. Finally walking? Now I have to worry about electrical cords and child-proofing the knife drawer. Don’t even get me started on the teenage years. I’ve already got our unborn daughter enrolled in a mountain top convent from the age of 15 and plan to totally cramp our unborn son’s style so he never has any friends and therefore will never be in a car full of said friends, speeding down some highway.

But, this is why girls have girlfriends. To make them feel normal, and rational, and perfectly OK, even when they’re walking down Main Street, Crazy Town. And believe me, as Lady Mayoress of Crazy Town, I know what that walk down Main Street is like.

A doctor’s worst nightmare

19 Oct

So clearly, I’m going to be my doctor’s – and my husband’s – worst nightmare for the duration of this pregnancy.

First things first, I’m pregnant. I’ve finally managed to accept that fact. The Boy has been drilling it into me over the past six days, ever since we found out. I’m four weeks and four days pregnant to be precise. But I can’t escape the thought that something is going to go wrong. Partly because my body has decided to fuck with me and is letting me enjoy some lovely cramps and ambiguous spotting that really looks an awful lot like my period, but apparently isn’t. And partly because I’ve heard so many horror stories from The Boy about all the stuff that goes wrong with the ladies that come to the ED in the wee hours of the morning with… you guessed it… cramps and spotting.

Miscarriage? Ectopic pregnancy? Molar pregnancy? Corpus Luteum cyst? Late period? Could be any one of these things, except probably the last because I’ve done that many pee tests I’m keeping my local chemist in business. I’m pretty sure I saw a Ferrari brochure on the pharmacists desk last time I was in there.  

Anyway, I’m not so good at handling the unknown. I’ve Googled way too much and whatever blanks I have left I can easily fill with stories that Ry’s told me over the years. Rationally, I know I can’t do anything if this little guy doesn’t stick, but that’s zero consolation to me right now. I want to know. Everything. Immediately. Patience is not one of my strong points.

After having finally badgered my doctor into giving me my hCG levels yesterday we found out that they were a healthy 740. Great news for so early, except it was only hours later that the cramps and spotting set in. To say I was horrified would be an understatement. But hey, what you can you do. Put on some PJ’s, hop into bed, and hope you feel better in the morning. Nothing you can do for an embryo that’s the size of a poppyseed if it doesn’t want to hang around.

I know that I – like every other healthy woman under 20 – have around a 20% chance of miscarrying. I know that since I’ve been spotting, that’s jumped up to 50%. The good news is that 50% of us bleeders have a 50% chance of having a normal pregnancy. But when you look at it like that – like I’ve now only got 25% chance of staying pregnant, instead of an 80% chance – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that those numbers don’t look so crash hot anymore.

If only I was throwing my guts up and had sore boobs or something. I’d quite happily suck up some horrendous morning sickness if it meant I was definitely still, and going to continue to be, pregnant. Hear that, Universe? The more you lay on me, the happier I’ll be.

Peanuts and poppy seeds

15 Oct

So I still can’t quite believe it. I’m pregnant. Despite being told by The Boy not to, I took my temperature again this morning, and did another couple of HCG tests and yup – preggers.

In case there was any uncertainty, the cramps I’ve been getting are now accompanied by some pretty vicious nausea, which I’m actually hoping will continue because then I actually feel like I’m pregnant. The heartburn and cramps I could do without, but at this point every little sign and symptom feels like the best thing in the world. So much so that as I hang my head over the toilet bowl hoping that the salad sandwich I’ve just scoffed will stay down, I’m grinning from ear to ear.

I’m pregnant. Pregnant! Who would have thought?

So far we’ve just told our respective mums who are, of course, over the moon. Oh, and I told my friend, Agnes, because she is going to Germany next week for two whole ears and I just had to tell her to her face. Besides, she asked. And I wasn’t about to lie. And I just had to tell someone so I could get all stupid girl excited about it. 

I’m still in shock, while The Boy is giving me strict instructions to go and buy salads and fruit to ensure his progeny gets the best start to life. It’s going to be a long nine months if he keeps up the worry but I plan to milk it, and milk it good. Breakfast in bed? Hell yes. Free reign to drink as many milkshakes as I can? You bet. Opting out of the dishes because hey, I created a LUNG today, what did you do*? Totally.

Anyway, tomorrow I go for the blood test. I guess we’ll get the results on Monday, so it’ll be a long weekend of incessant pee-testing for me. Every time I see those two pink lines it’s like the little guy is giving me a big wave and saying ‘see? Still here!’ which is a reinforcement I need like every hour at this point.

So, week four is going well. Now we all just need to hold on tight – especially the little peanut – for the journey we’ve been waiting for.

*This doesn’t always work on Ry because he’s all like ‘I saved a life, that’s what I did, biatch’, and then I’m all like ‘oh well, right, well I created one’ and then he’s all like ‘yeah, but you haven’t finished it yet, have you?’ At which point I walk off and cry because he’s not playing fair or being supportive and has no idea what it’s like to be a woman etc, etc. And, for the record, his mother agrees with me.

Two pink lines

14 Oct

So, I woke up this morning feeling pretty crappy.The Boy got home around 2am after his shift last night and I proceeded to have a big cry about some family dynamics that were ticking me off. Also, Ry’s grandpa’s funeral is today and I’m going to miss the old guy. He did really well to make it to 86, despite things getting quite difficult for him. So while I’m not so sad about Bill passing on, I’m gutted for all the people he left behind who will feel the loss keenly.

Anyway, I took my temp as usual today, expecting it to continue its usual downward trend. It didn’t. I woke The Boy up to tell him. He didn’t want to know about it until at least 10am. I went downstairs to start peeing on sticks, despite telling myself it was the worlds most idiotic thing to do since my period wasn’t even late. And then, sitting there, determined as I was not to look, I saw a second pink line. A faint one. I nearly fell off the toilet seat.

Trailing pee sticks and toilet paper I bounded back upstairs, thrust said stick into the face of my beloved to see what the official verdicts was on my faint but very present second pink line. I was expecting medical Ry to take over and blow my dreams to dust, but no. Glancing casually at my stick he confirmed that it was not a maybe. It was a ‘Baby, that’s pregnant.’

I know it’s super early – my period isn’t due for another couple of days – but a positive is a positive. I know, I know. So much can go wrong – a chemical pregnancy, early miscarriage. All that is whizzing through my mind as I sit here in panicked shock, too scared to cough in case I squeeze the little poppy-seed out.

When The Boy finally got up he was in go mode – check the health insurance, call the doctor for a blood test to confirm, book in an ultrasound for next week. While I know we’ve still got a long way to go yet, it appears, as of now, that we’re going to have a baby.

Comes in threes

13 Oct

It’s raining. There’s even thunder about. I’m gonna wait for the lightning and fireballs though before I sign off on the weather that best describes my mood today.

So. I’m 9 dpo (days past ovulation – yes, I count them) and I’m getting some pretty familiar feeling cramps. It’s hard not to cry, really, considering how much I got my hopes up this month it’s a surprise I haven’t flung myself out my office window. Luckily, windows in Western Sydney don’t open. We Westies prefer to use the transport system instead.

Anyway, while The Boy assures me the game isn’t over, I’m not inclined to agree. I know this feeling. Making matters worse is that my job is slowly starting to drive me into the wall (the only place I can go since the windows don’t open) and I can’t really afford to change jobs again – the three month switch is starting to look like a nasty habit. Plus, I haven’t exactly told The Boy that I’m stuck in yet another job I don’t really like. He doesn’t really get it and I feel like I have to stick something out or he’ll be all disappointed in me. Angry, I can handle. disappointed? Not so much.

It’s not as though there’s anything really wrong with my current job. It’s more the absence of excitement that’s pulling me down. I’ve got plenty to do, but it’s all so… old. The people. The designs. The organisational structure. They’ve gone and done what so many employers are want to do these days – hired a young’un – only to decide that they don’t really want any fresh ideas.

But to change jobs again… I don’t know. Part of me thinks I’m just living the typical Gen Y stereotype by switching employers whenever I don’t agree with something. Part of me just wants to do something I’m passionate about. OK, all of me wants that. But I’m finding that finding that something that I’m really passionate about – in a job that actually pays – is quite difficult.

So to recap – In the past hour I’ve realised that I’m stuck in a job I don’t love and I’m probably not pregnant. All I need now is a funeral – oh wait, that’s tomorrow – and we’ve got the trifecta.

Un-friend etiquette

8 Oct

I’ve got 50 friends on Facebook that I barely, if ever, speak to. Most of them I added when the thrill of Facebook was still new. I was recently returned from Kenya, nursing a broken life and wanting to catch up with some old school mates.

Never happened.

Then, when I moved to Sydney, I thought it’d be cool to keep in touch with those old school mates who lived in Sydney. Just, you know, in case we ever caught up there.

Also never happened. 

So now, I kinda want to get rid of them. Because I don’t really feel the need to keep up to date with what people I don’t even know are doing. But as I trawl through the list, it feels like that feeling I get when I try to throw out an old jumper – I know I’m never going to wear it again because really, what was I thinking when I bought it – hot pink? Really? – then put it through the dryer, but I can’t chuck it because I know that one day I’m going to need a neon coloured doll-sized jumper.

Anyway, I ditched a few today. The ones whose faces and names I couldn’t quite place, or who regularly make me cringe. The others, I’m mulling over. But I really just want to un-friend all but a handful of people who I actually communicate with. You know. In the real world. Urgh. I sound old.

But if it’s one thing I don’t want to do it’s to offend these strangers. It’s almost as though I need to put up a pre de-friend warning. Like, ‘Dude, you’re awesome and all, but I couldn’t pick you out of a lineup of serial killers. Unfriend.’ Because, let’s face it, I’m friends with people I remember from primary school. People I haven’t seen since grade two. The conversations we’d have if we ever did find ourselves in the same room together would revolve around plastic dial phones, finger paint, and that time Mel threw up during story time. Cool, but totally irrelevant to who I am today.

In other news, I’m obsessing over having a short luteal phase. Because, you know, there’s gotta be something wrong with me because I’m not pregnant yet. Despite the temps, handfuls of vitamins and perfectly timed love life. In reality (that happy place I can never find during the two-week wait before my period inevitably arrives) I’m fine, and this whole baby thing will probably just take time. In the meantime I will continue to obsess. And count days. And realise that the flock of coldsores, extreme fatigue and spreading rash has probably more to do with spring than a blastocyst implanting.

What was that?

5 Oct

That, my friends, was yet another vaguely un-suspicious non-symptom.

Seconds ago, while sitting at my desk, minding my own business and writing a perfectly bland story for a perfectly bland annual report, I had a wave of dizziness. A wave that I can only hope to explain as a symptom. Of that thing that I sort of tried to not think about, let alone talk about this week, that (probably) totally hasn’t even happened yet.

Next month, I’m buying ovulation predictor kits. Because not knowing EXACTLY when I drop an egg is doing my head in. Because it means that the event could have happened days ago, and I wasn’t even aware of it, making counting days to implantation very difficult and nerve-wracking for my OCD self. Or it could not have happened at all, which makes me pouncing on The Boy entirely redundant. Except for, you know, makin’ ze goooood times.

Anyway, around ovulation, as you may have guessed, I tend to go just the slightest bit crazy. Only this month I’m smart enough to remember that every symptom I experience actually has nothing to do with being pregnant. It’s to do with the fact that I’m no longer taking my happy hormones. Which means not only do I experience things like dizziness, extreme moodiness and uncontrollable tears (yes, I’m a joy to live with!), I also get things like pimples, cramps and sore boobs. Uncannily, they’re just like the symptoms you apparently get when you’re pregnant! Of course they are. Because there’s nothing that gets your hopes up more during the two-week wait than actually feeling all those crap symptoms that everyone tells you you’ll feel when you actually DO get pregnant.

If the antithesis of this is true, then I’m going to feel like a million dollars when I’m tadpoled up. It’s going to be great. Except for the fact that I’ll probably be turned into some teary mutant that’s fat, covered with pimples and craving dirt.* Pretty close to what I am now, minus the dirt.

To take my mind off things – you see how well it’s working – this week I’ve treated myself to those Babybel cheeses that were a primary school lunch box staple. Man I’ve missed those waxy balls of processed dairy. Seriously, I’d keep eating them, only thankfully I had the foresight to leave the rest of them at home. Plus, my office has glass windows and it would be quite disgusting, I’m sure, for Cheryl across the hall to watch me gorge myself on rubbery balls of cheese.

And, since The Boy and I are casually shopping around for new digs closer to civilization, I’ve booked us a hotel in the city so we can do some exploring (and scuba) this weekend. It’s almost the end of night shifts so it’s time to celebrate getting my husband back with some city lights, a pot of mussels and someone else to make the bed.

*Apparently, my mum craved dirt for a while there when she was pregnant with me. Something to do with an iron deficiency.


1 Oct

It’s often said that the stresses of motherhood begin when you’re pregnant. That it’s then that you begin to worry; about what type of mother you’ll be, whether you kid will make friends, do well in school, grow into a decent human being of moderate attractiveness.

I’ve read so much lately about those terrible mothers who don’t breastfeed, and those terrible mothers that do. Mothers who would be better parents if they spanked their kids, or better parents if they didn’t.

During pregnancy, women are told they should be doing less, more, or something else entirely if they really have the best interests of their unborn baby at heart. Shame they did this or didn’t do that – now their kid is going to be ruined for life. I’ve got a friend who is pregnant now, six weeks away from delivery, and I’ve never seen her with so much as a feather out of place. Now, she’s freaking out about the cost of school and whether she can eat a plate of curry from a vegetarian buffet. She’s going to make a fantastic mother but there it is; that horrible stress that someone, somewhere, is judging you.

And now, it seems, even before you get pregnant, you’re doing something wrong. You’re too stressed. Even if you’re doing everything right, even if you’re two perfectly healthy and happy adults – that’s why you can’t get that much wanted dumpling to stick to the pot. Because you just want it too much.

If you’ve ever had any trouble trying to conceive, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Image you’ve booked a ticket to travel around the world. You’ve quit your job, taken time off, have all the money that you’ll need saved up. You’re at the airport, waiting, but your flight is never called. You’re told to sit down and wait, it’ll be next. It isn’t. You ask again and everyone is all smiles, telling you not to get stressed, that if you just wait you’ll be on the next flight. Despite the fact that you see a bunch of other people getting seats before you. You ask again, but this time you’re told that you’re not being allocated a seat because you’re too stressed. Calm down and it’ll happen, they say. Just wait. And then another flight leaves with more smiling couples on board and all of a sudden you’ve crash tackled the air hostess for some of those M*THER F***ING TICKETS BECAUSE YOU WANT TO START YOUR HOLIDAY ALREADY.

The Boy and I haven’t been trying that long but let me tell you; the ups and downs of that two week wait are enough to give stress wrinkles to a puppy.

Each month we put more pressure on ourselves than deep sea divers as we navigate the murky waters of conception. Luckily, Ry wants this baby as much as I do and could be the poster child for The Perfect Husband Foundation with the amount of love and care he gives me, even when I’m hormonal as hell and crying for absolutely no reason.

But no matter what you do or how lovely your husband is there’s always that nagging thought at the back of your mind that’s wondering if you’re going to be THAT couple. The one that doesn’t make it. The one that ends up on hormones, IVF, or the news for stealing someone else’s bundle of joy.

And I know I said in my last post that this whole thing totally wasn’t bothering me, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that this wasn’t the thousandth time today where I wondered whether this was our month. Because that’s what waiting does – it turns you into a crazy, obsessed and slightly hysterical human that can’t think of anything beyond counting days and wondering when all this freakin’ WAITING will be over. And then you’re caught thinking that it IS actually all your fault, because if only you could relax you’d be pregnant by now. Which, of course, continues that nasty little cycle of disappointment and self blame.

In all honesty, I’m doing OK. Sure, there’s about a dozen moments a day when all I want to do is chug back a bottle of vodka and say to hell with it all, if only I wasn’t so concerned that doing so may pickle my egg. Already I’m stressed and I don’t even have a sniff of a baby yet. And to think I’ll be enjoying this feeling for the rest of my life.

Stress and worry, you say? Sign me up.