37

I would have been 37 weeks pregnant this week.  That’s more or less when it’s not so dangerous to deliver. The extra three weeks are for cooking time, but delivery any point between now and 42 is not particularly unexpected.  Since I was carrying twins, maybe I would have been induced or scheduled for a C-section early. But then, if I hadn’t been carrying twins, maybe it wouldn’t have ended the way it did.  Maybe that particular sperm or that particular egg or that particular combination of genes was more at fault for the miscarriage than the fact that the blastocyst split.  It’s impossible to know, and it’s not really worth dwelling on.

I knew that this would be a hard time for me. And it has been. And it hasn’t been.  Every now and then I think about it and I get sad. But it’s not all consuming or dominating.  I forget about it a lot.

After the D&C, I was remarkably ok with things. We didn’t really tell that many people about it until July.  I think most of our close friends know now, but it wasn’t something I was particularly wanting to talk about when it first happened.  But at the same time, I wasn’t destroyed by it.  It was hard and awful and I don’t want to go through it again. But at the same time, it wasn’t the end of the world for me or for Graham.  And to be honest, until the due date started rapidly approaching, I didn’t think about that particular pregnancy much at all.

My mind plays a lot of what-if’s games.  I probably wouldn’t have even considered talking to that new job if we’d been able to carry the pregnancy to term.  I probably would have tons of Christmas presents for the babies, even though they weren’t due until a few days after.  Maybe we would have moved forward on the house expansion already? I’d be ready to pop any second, hoping that the weeks would fly by sooner so I could meet them.

But instead, we’re still trying.  I’m a little worried because my cycles have been abnormal once or twice since the miscarriage.  This cycle, it took forever to ovulate, and I’m pretty sure that it’ll be closer to 32 days long rather than my usual 26 or so.  In September, I had one that was 23 days.  Graham has also been a little worried, but he’s more proactive and went to a doctor and is doing something.   I’m instead trying to lose what would have been baby weight.  I forgot that I stress eat, and I’m not feeling particularly good about my body.

Still, I am hopeful that we will be able to get me pregnant, and the next time will be much, much better than the first.  I was hoping to be pregnant by my due date, but I think that’s very unlikely unless I pee on a stick next week.

36

I have another 36 hours until the next sonogram.  Yesterday’s wait was worse than today’s but I think it was because I was still in shock.  Now I’m just resigned to wait.  I suppose four days isn’t as bad as the four week wait for the first appointment.  But still.

I seem to have decided to feel extra pregnant today.  I was super tired all day, as tired as I was when I first found out I was pregnant.  I also was nauseous all day.  Not quite at the danger level of losing my lunch, but close.  My cervical fluids have picked up too, which thus far in this pregnancy haven’t been all that present. Maybe this is some sort of sign that I’m moving in the right direction? Maybe it’s psychological and I’m making myself feel pregnant in some weird effort to hold on to the babies.  I do keep testing my boobs to see if they’re still sore.  Yep.

It’s so strange to know that I’ve got two of them in there, but only one, if any, is likely to make it.  I didn’t even know about the other two days ago, but already I’m mourning it’s loss. I imagine if I lose both, it’ll be pretty awful.

I’m prepared for that, I think. I know that if I lose it, it really wasn’t meant to be on a fundamental level. I know that it wasn’t ever going to make it, and all the “what ifs” in the world wouldn’t change the result in the slightest.  And I know that I can get pregnant.  That’s really critical, because if I did it in mid-April, I can do it in June or July or whenever my cycles pick up again.

I miss Graham, but I’m glad that we’re both doing what works best for us.  He needs distraction, and I need solitude.  He needs to be with his people. I want to be as far from people as possible.  He checks in on me, and I know that he loves me.  But this is good for both of us, and I think we’d both be miserable if we were together waiting around for me to miscarry.  I can keep myself busy, and I know that he’s in a place that’s safe for him.

It’s quiet in the house.  The puppies have worn themselves out, and I’ve gotten everything ready for the evening.  I’m going to go to bed early tonight, with fresh sheets and the whole bed to myself.  It sounds rather luxurious.

Two

I don’t know what I feel right now.  It’s not happiness. It’s not yet overwhelming grief. It’s a numb sort of shock and an inability to process everything that’s happened in the last 36 hours or so.

The appointment started fine. I really liked the nurse, as she asked questions about our medical history and how this baby came to be.  We had good rapport, and both Graham and I were excited to see the sonogram machine in the room when we got settled.  We chatted with the nurse for some time, and then she got the sonogram ready.

We saw the placenta instantly, and we were so excited. But she couldn’t get a clear picture with the sonogram in the room, so she pulled another, more high tech, machine from somewhere else.

And then we saw the yolk sac. I sighed and said, “whew, there’s only one.” and she said, “not so fast, that’s just one view.”  And from behind, from below, another sac appeared. Twins.  Dear god, I’m pregnant with twins.  Graham smiled at me, and I sort of looked at him in shock.

But the nurse kept on looking, and she said something about them being very small.  I said “that’s not good, is it.” But she thought that maybe my dates were off and I just wasn’t as far as along as I’d thought.  My dates weren’t off, or if they were, they were off by four days, not a week and a half.  I began to worry.  She began to look for a heartbeat, and Graham and the student both thought they saw one.

Then she asked the student nearby to ask for the doctor to come in.  It took awhile, and while we waited, Graham and I were left alone.  We sort of looked at each other with a worried look on our faces.  We were still absorbing the twin discovery. And we knew that it wasn’t good that the doctor had to be called in.

When Dr. Zepeda got there, he looked also. He found both sacs, but he could only find one embryo. And it wasn’t very big at all.  And he couldn’t find a heart beat.  I knew that wasn’t good.

I was asked to get dressed and meet Dr. Zepeda in his office.  They didn’t take my blood or give me a due date or anything like that.  And Graham and I waited in his office for a minute or two, knowing that things weren’t right.

Dr. Zepeda explained that the good news is that we can get pregnant, that we are fertile, and this is a good thing.  He said, though, that he wasn’t sure if this pregnancy would progress with the difficulty finding a heartbeat and my dates and the sizes.  I was pretty sure that the smallest was written off, but I wasn’t sure about the larger.  Dr. Zepeda gave me the name of a specialist who had a much more precise sonogram, and we’d get better answers from him.  We wouldn’t have to make another appointment until after seeing the specialist.

Graham and I walked away numb.  I was pregnant with twins. But it was looking very possible that I wouldn’t have a baby at all.  I called the specialist’s office, and left a message that I needed an appointment ASAP, and Graham went home.

The specialists office called me back and said they could squeeze me in that day.

I walked over and waited for about 45 minutes, and I went through the whole height, weight, medical history thing all over again.  They tried the over the belly sonogram first, but couldn’t see much. So, while I peed in a cup, the intrauterine probe was lubed up, and I got uncomfortable all over again.  This time, the monitor was much more clear, and the doctor could find both sacs pretty quickly.  He also found the embryo for the bigger one, but he also had trouble finding a heartbeat. But he did find one.  It was slow, but it was there.  He also found a bit of a flutter in the other embryo, which may have been in sync with the larger embryo. Apparently that wasn’t a good thing, because the smaller was probably sucking the energy out of the larger, and when the smaller stopped, the larger was likely to stop too.

He looked for a long time, and he took measurements, and he said that he’d really like to see me again in a week.  He said that if it is what he thinks it is, then it’s likely chromosomal, and there’s nothing to do and the babies will not survive.  But maybe not. I made another appointment for Friday, and he’ll take a look again.

And so I’m in limbo.  I’m carrying twins right now, and I’m not sure if either one of them is going to make it.  I cried when I got home last night, and I cried again when I explained everything to my boss this morning to prepare her if I need to do anything next week in the event of a miscarriage.

Graham is leaving for Flipside tomorrow, and mama has offered to stay with me all weekend so I’m not alone if things go badly.

I’ve felt nauseous and gross since the appointments, but it’s probably stress.   My boobs still hurt, and I’m still perpetually tried, so I’m still pregnant.

I have another three days to wait to see what’s going on, and that’s worse than anything else, I think.

Graham pulled out all of his supplements and vitamins, just in case we will have to start trying to get pregnant again soon. I hope not. I’d rather stay pregnant.  But that’s not looking too likely.

40

It’s my birthday today.  I’m 40 years old.

I don’t feel 40. Nor do I think I look 40, though I definitely look like I’ve passed my 20s.  I feel comfortable with who I am and where I’m headed now, though of course I still have hopes and aspirations for my own life.  Now, though, I think about those in the context of raising a child.

I was hopeful that I’d get pregnant before I turned 40.  I didn’t think it would happen earlier this spring.  We only had a few cycles left before I hit this milestone, and so many other cycles were pretty unremarkable.

I don’t think that this is my last birthday that I’ll celebrate, but I know that birthdays going forward will be much more important for someone else than for me.  I’m so looking forward to those days, though.

I have only a few days left until my first appointment. I think that after that I’ll start feeling more legitimately pregnant, even though there are enough changes with my body to confirm it.  I had to buy another bra today, because my older ones are just too small right now.  I think I can feel my uterus beginning to bulge a little, even though it’s not visible yet and won’t be fore some months.

I wonder when I’ll start talking to the baby. I know it’s with me every moment of the day right now, but it feels like an “other”.  Like Fusilli before we picked him up. At some point, though, the baby will feel present, even though we won’t meet on the outside for quite some time.  I know that I’ll talk and sing and explain to the baby while in utero.  There is so much to say, so much to show.

But for now, the baby is more abstract.  It’s lack of physical presence is part of it, though I definitely feel different now that it’s here.  But I think it is also the uncertainty of this first trimester which is so touch and go. I’m sure that getting a sense of growth and heartbeat will help.  But I know that I’m not going to feel all in until I’m out of this trimester and into the second one.

 

And seven

This week was relatively without incident. I haven’t seen spotting in a week, though I expect it tomorrow, since Graham and I had sex today. I’ve read many places that it’s not uncommon at all to have some bleeding after sex.

We still have a week to go before the first doctor’s appointment.  It doesn’t seem so far away now, though I still am waiting for it to hurry up and get here.  Half of me thinks there’s something terribly wrong that will come up during the appointment. Half of me thinks that everything is perfectly fine.  I won’t know for another 9 days. And even if everything is fine then there’s the screenings. And then tons of other things between now and delivery.

Oh well, I suspect that the rest of my life will be spent worrying about this kid.

I had a disappointment at work this week.  I suppose it could be a mixed blessing, but it was personally upsetting. I’ll get over it. I always do. But it was something that made me question my self-worth, which always sucks.