Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dealing with other issues...

I have an appointment with St. Joes Cancer Center on Thursday morning to check out the lump in my breast. I haven't really stressed about it, because I did some research online and it seems that what I am experiencing is definitely related to the pregnancy hormones, and that it does happen and most times it is benign. But there is something about making an appointment at a place called the Cancer Center that makes me think twice. I mean, what if it is? No, I'm not going to go there.

Oddly enough, I subscribe to the magazine Mothering, which I am not a fan of and almost didn't renew my subscription. The fact that I had a C-section with my son certainly makes me one of the unnatural mothers, even though I breastfed for a year, didn't do any invasive testing while I was pregnant, and didn't circumsize my son. But, I still feel like a condemned woman because I had a C-section. Anyway, the point is that I still get the magazine and every month I scoff at some of the "holier than thou" articles. Except yesterday, in my e-mail box, was a note from them about their website and an exclusive web story on a woman who found a lump in the side of her breast which she had to have removed while she was pregnant. It scared the holy crap out of me. I don't understand how this e-mail and story arrived at exactly this time in my life. It is eerie.

So of course I flipped out again, and started imagining that something really awful is growing inside of me, and I was so quiet yesterday around my husband and he tried to cheer me up. Finally, today, I realized there is nothing I can do about it until they tell me what it is. So I must just stop the madness! and take care of myself and this baby inside me. I still have four weeks to go before I hit the magical twelve week mark, but four weeks is a long time, especially in pregnancy minutes.

Maybe this is just another test. But I really am beginning to wonder why I am the one who keeps having to jump hurdles and be tested. How is it possible that almost every other woman I know has sailed through being pregnant and having kids with their only worries being stretch marks and lack of sleep?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Maybe This Will Work Out...

I finally made an appoitment with my doctor and went to see him this morning. I was dreading it, not only because I'm only just over seven weeks along, but I've also been having some tenderness in one particular spot on my breast, and it feels like a lump: a huge lump.

So I freaked out, and in my haste to get an appointment I almost didn't tell them I was pregnant. Just that I thought I found something in my breast. So this morning, as I waited in the lobby, fear overtook me. I was almost shaking, and certainly trying hard to breathe properly. Finally, when I went in, the nice nurse said we could do an ultrasound and maybe see the heartbeat. I told her that if we didn't see one, I was not going to be optimistic at all, because last time they couldn't get a reading on the heartbeat, and that was at 7, 8 and 9 weeks. So, I took a breath and waited. When the doctor came in, he was so pleased to see that I was here because I am pregnant (I really love my doctor, he's so great). I closed my eyes while he did the vaginal ultrasound and lo and behold! there it was, the heartbeat. The dates were on target and the heartbeat was where it should be at, too.

About my breast. He told me that there is definitely something there, and it is most likely a fibroid caused by being pregnant. But, to be sure, I'm going for an ultrasound of my breast next week. I feel a little better about it, but it's still not good to have something inside your breast that's growing. I hope it's fairly common. It never happened when I was pregnant before.

The reason I panicked so much about my breast, is because I have heard of cases where being pregnant (the extra hormones) actually provoked tumors to grow, thereby becoming a health hazard, and then you have to make a choice: your baby or your life. Obviously, that is an extreme case, but still, it's not good to have something growing like that.

The other thing I wonder is, would God really punish me again by forcing me to make a choice? I thought we made the right choice last time, by not taking any tests to force us into a decision we didn't want to make. Could he be so cruel as to force a different issue? I don't even want to go there. Not now. Not ever.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Intermittent Post...

I can't help it, I just can't seem to get to my computer often enough to post something that sounds relevant! I feel like everyone else is saying it all so much more eloquently, and their sense of humor just blows me away.

Today I am seven weeks pregnant. I feel like I have been pregnant forever, mainly because known for three weeks and two days. My stomach is queasy every day, and I was never this way with my son. I am acutely tired in the afternoon, and I hate to nap, because I always feel so out-of-sorts when I wake up. But the thought of sleep is so alluring...thank God for these part-time hours, I don't have to explain to anyone why I am napping on my couch at work!

I still haven't made an appointment with my doctor. I know that I could get in within a few days, so I'm not worried about the time, but I still feel like I should just enjoy being pregnant before I mess it all up by getting an ultrasound. My husband said to me the other day, "what if this all works out?" Well, I didn't wan't to burst his bubble that even if it all works out, we still have a long way to go. Which is why I am cautiously optimistic.

I went for a walk yesterday with my neighbor, who I found out lost her baby when she was eight months pregnant. She and I would have had babies at the same time, although I lost mine before it was much of anything (no heartbeat was found), and she was preparing for a live child. She seems to be doing quite well, considering. I told her as soon as started our walk that I was pregnant again, because I didn't want her to feel like I was hiding anything. Besides, I would tell her if we had a miscarriage too. She thought Owen was so cute, and I hope it didn't hurt her too much to be around my child, but I don't think it did. There is something about children with Down Syndrome that they are different, welcoming. They somehow remind you of the fragility and perserverance of life all at the same time. She told me that I was really lucky to have him, and that she just wants to have a child who lives. Odd, isn't it? How we are both living in our own form of mental anguish: me with what I perceive to be a broken child, and she with her lack of a live child. They are going to try again in a few months, and from what I know, it took them almost two years to get pregnant. She's now 38, same age as me. But she seems pretty upbeat about it, which I admire.

I'm hungry again, and I suppose I ought to make that appointment now. I finally sent off the first three chapters of my book to be read by a screenwriter/mentor friend of mine. I'm afraid she's going to think it's terrible and lie to me. I suppose I should just send it out to some agents, they, at least, will be straight with me.

By the way, it's a book about our first year with Owen and what we have learned. And I'm hoping somehow I can score Brooke Sheild's publicist; who was able to get her article in every magazine ever published. Funny how beautiful the face of post-partum depression can be...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I'm Doing Everything Right, So?

Well, let's see, I've cut everything out that's bad for me, I've slowed way down in working out, and I'm taking a nap every day, even thought I really hate to nap! Thank God I only work part time now, or else I don't know how I would overcome that immense tiredness that hits me at about 3 p.m. every day. As for coffee, I now only have 1/2 a cup in the morning, and that I will not give up.

So, what's the problem? I'm feeling symptoms, I haven't had any more spotting yet, but I am terrifed to make an appointment and go see my doctor, because I can't bear to go in there and then if he doesn't see a heartbeat I will just have to wait for the end. I almost feeling like calling his office and telling them, "for the record, I am pregnant, right now, at this moment." But I feel like as soon as I call, it will be over.

So I don't quite know how to handle this mental state, and I feel as if everywhere I go, I am reminded by people that "you should have had your kids earlier, I don't know why you waited." I see it when I look at all the young girls who are pregnant, and I sense it when I talk to others. They all ask me how old I am, all of them. I want to tell them it's none of their business, but I'm always so taken aback when they ask that I can't quite muster anything to say. I guess I should just admit that it is all about age. Maybe I found a really great guy, but we happened to find each other later in life. Why should I be penalized for that? Should I have just slept with the first guy that came along at 25, got pregnant and been a single mom, struggling to survive? What is it about women who sit on their lofty perch because they found their dream man when they were only 18 and had their kids in their 20s? Then they go and write a book about how woman should plan for children, just like you plan for college. Give me a break. I certainly didn't plan to meet my husband when I was in my 30s, I was waiting for him to come along in my 20s. But life doesn't work like that, does it? I guess what frustrates me is that I wish those people who found it so easy would walk in our shoes for just one day, just one day, so they can feel our pain. But I suppose that's not how life works either. Too bad. I know a few people who I would love to stick in my shoes for a day and watch them wobble around, blinded by the reality of it all.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Time Goes So Slow...

I feel like I've already been pregnant for a month, and it's only been less than two weeks. Maybe it's because I'm so fearful that I will even make it to eight weeks when I plan to see the doctor. I'm even wondering if I should go sooner, since maybe I should have my blood levels checked. In some ways, I think that it's either going to be fine and stick, or it's not and why mess with nature. I'm sure there will be many more months of panic to go through and if I can't get through three more weeks, then how would I even get through eight more months?

But then I read these websites, and see all these stories of women who miscarried their baby and it might have been okay if they had just known their progesterone levels were low. I'm sort of at war with the nature vs. science thing. I mean, can a doctor really prevent someone from miscarrying? I'm sure they can figure out why people do miscarry, but in my case, they would probably just chalk it up to old age. I wish I could see into the future and know if this was going to work out, otherwise, I would absolutely make sure that I didn't get excited about it, and possibly just begin counting ahead to when we could start trying again. The thing about having a miscarriage is that it takes about two months for the actual event to happen, and then for your body to get back to normal. And that would put me even further along in the old age category than I would like to be.

On the other hand, would it kill me to think positively about this? It takes just as much energy to think positive rather than negative. So I think I'll try it for a day or two, and see what happens. Maybe good things are just around the corner, if I really think so...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Little Nervous

This past weekend, I could tell I was pregnant: the smells, the tiredness, the slight naseau. But today, this morning, I woke up and felt like I wasn't pregnant anymore, like it was gone. And now it's 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I am waiting for that extreme tiredness to kick in and it hasn't. I've begun to think maybe it's over. I mean, isn't the warning when you feel the pregnancy symptoms go away? I didn't even get a good night's rest last night, and, this morning when I woke up, I took my temperature as I always do and it had dropped to just above the coverline. I decided to keep taking my temperature so that I would know if I have a miscarriage, since a temperature drop below the coverline is a sure sign. Sadly, I'm beginning to think that is where I am headed. I know why it's happening too. I let myself get excited about the pregnancy. I actually looked up my due date, which I should never have done.

I don't want to get upset about it. I just want to dive back into my life. I want to finish writing my book and pursue that avenue. I don't need to spend the next two months upset about a miscarriage. Maybe I shouldn't have thrown away that information about adoption. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I guess either this baby will stick or it won't. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it, whether it's here to stay or not, so I should just forget about it.

If only I could just forget about it...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Maybe I'm in Denial

My husband thinks I am in denial. Okay, so I stopped spotting and I am still pregnant, and this morning, my temperature went up much higher than it's ever been. I've been thinking this past week that this isn't really going to work out, and have pretty much put it out of my mind...except I did pass on that glass of wine, and even though I really did want sushi, I opted for Italian. The other night we were lying in bed reading my favorite mind candy, rag magazines, only this is a new one, Life and Style Magazine. Of course I bought it, how could I resist when it said "Demi pregnant at 42" in the corner? Besides Demi, there was an item about Courteney Cox possibly being pregnant again. I said to my husband, "See? Even those people who couldn't get pregnant again unassisted are pregnant again before me. I'm sure Brooke Shields is working on it too..." "Um, excuse me, but you are pregnant again," he said.

I guess I am in denial. But I don't want to get excited about anything until I'm about 30 weeks along. At this point, I am only five weeks, and that is only because I got a BFP two days before my period was due. I almost think I should take another test just to check that I am. For now, I decided that I was just going to wait it out until the end of the month, which would make it eight weeks, because what's the point of going in to the doctor's office if they can't do anything anyway? And why get an ultrasound if they can't even see a heartbeat yet? The last time I had a miscarriage, my doctor kept telling me my dates must be off and it's still too early to see a hearbeat. But I knew exactly when I was ovulating, so there was nothing wrong about my dates. I thought the ultrasound machine was wrong. Boy, was I in denial about that, too.

Friday night we played our softball game, and my husband mentioned that he would put me in a "safe" position, so he stuck me in right field, which I didn't really mind because I got a little more exercise by running around. As I was out in the field, I started thinking that right now, at this moment, there are chromosomes inside me that are multiplying, and whatever the genetic makeup is, it is set. There is nothing I can do even if we were pregnant with another Down Syndrome child, or any other type of genetic makeup that is not the norm. I suppose it would be like lightning striking twice, but it has happened. It's so insane to think that the wheels are set in motion, and I suppose if it is not viable, we'll know that in a few weeks or so.

I ran into another woman I know this past weekend, one who is so self-righteous about everything. She was one of the first people to say, "well, why didn't you take the amnio?" when I told her that we were surprised by finding out our son had Down Syndrome two weeks after he was born. When I saw her this weekend (she has a 15 month old), I realized with a sickening stomach that she is pregnant again, probably about five or six months along. And it really pissed me off. It's as if she walks around with this smug, self-satisfied look, like she has everything at her fingertips. In a way, I sometimes wish she would be presented with the choice of a Down Syndrome child, because I wonder if she could really go through aborting her child, knowing how wonderful and loveable her first child is. I guess the reason that she pisses me off is because it's like she inferred I was wrong for not taking the amnio and following through the way she would have. But I suppose she will never have to face that choice because what would be the point of sending her a Down Syndrome child? She would just opt to delete...

I suppose the only satisfaction I could get out of the whole situation is that she looks fat, not pregnant, and it wasn't only me who thought that.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Jinx Has Clearly Set In...

This morning I woke up and was spotting. Of course, it's the one morning I got right out of bed and completely forgot about taking my temperature, which would have definitely indicated that this pregnancy was over if I had just remembered to take it. I'm sure that my temperature dropped this morning, and hence, the spotting. I've never gotten a positive on a pregnancy test two days before my period is due, and this time I did. I even showed it to Erik so that he could verify that even if I was pregnant for a day or two, there still was a second line. But now my hopes are dashed, because this is exactly how it happened three months ago when I think I had an early miscarriage. First the brown blood, then the full surge of everything falling away. They call it a missed miscarriage, isn't that an awful term? What is missing about it, besides the baby not staying long enough to adapt and grow and thrive? I mean, a miscarriage is a miscarriage no matter what way you look at it, and miscarriage itself is a horrid enough word.

But I suppose now I am in a different group of women: it's not that I'm not getting pregnant, I'm just not able to hold onto it. I thought I wasn't getting pregnant, which is a whole different scenario. Now, I guess I can rule out all the ovulation tests, and semen tests, and throw my hands up in the air because there isn't a doctor in the world who can make a pregnancy stick, they can only tell you why it doesn't. Isn't that comforting? I almost don't think I want to know why because what would that do to my current state of paranoia??