Listeria Hysteria

image: Sakurako Kitsa
During the Week When I Thought I Wasn’t Pregnant But I Really Was (WWITIWPBIRW), I committed multiple no-no’s:

I ate feta cheese and deli meats.
I drank Diet Coke.
I took hot baths (two!)
I drank booze (beer and wine, oh my!)
I lifted heavy things.
I petted neighborhood cats.

I was just an all around bad girl.

So, when I found out that I still was pregnant, some of my first thoughts ran to all of the no-no’s that I had committed thinking I was in the clear. I even started listing them to Dr. Utuerus, who was still shaking his head at the screen, as I was still on the exam table. I quickly forgave myself since I legitimately thought that it was over. And oh, how I enjoyed that Diet Coke.

Now I have settled into the restriction routine again and have not had any problems or temptations. Of course, this also limits my lunching-out options. See, I work from home, so going out for lunch is my time to literally get away, otherwise I’m in the house all day. With the places I can go limited, I feel more isolated.

I’m normally a pretty frequent Subway go-er. I get my Weight Watchers special with lots of spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and onion and either turkey or roast beef on wheat with mustard. I sit and enjoy my lunch, unmolested and bothered, while reading. With deli meats securely off the table, though, my options for a healthy, nutritious yet inexpensive lunch out where I can sit and eat in peace are limited.

There are still a few places, though, including one that I went to today. It’s an Italian buffet-style place with really, really good food. And they had the most delicious looking spinach salad with walnuts … and feta. I knew I couldn’t eat the feta, but surely, I could pick it out and eat the rest, right? What I didn’t count on was when he added the dressing and my feta crumbles crumbled into specks. I had alraedy committed to the salad, so I accepted the plate and began to strategize how I was going to have my salad and eat it too. Quickly, I realized it was a losing battle. The crumbled feta turned into specks of feta that were everywhere and I kept having to remove feta from the spinach and my utensils.

In the end, I ate like five pieces of spinach and boxed up the rest of the salad for Sweetie. When I got home, I quickly googled everything I could about listeria. I’ve decided not to worry about the feta I may have ingested, just like I’m not worrying about everything else I did during WWITIWPBIRW.

Just to be sure, next time, I will get the non-feta salad.

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You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

I woke up this morning as I do every morning to the classical music station here in town. This morning’s selection with which I was destined to wake up was rather inauspicious – a variation on Taps.

I headed to the shower, half-listening to the news on NPR, trying to prepare myself for what was to come. I shaved my legs and didn’t give much thought to the loofah swipes over my stomach. I put on a favorite skirt, heels and a pretty green top. I always feel better when I look good, no matter what happens, and I was determined to do it right today.

Sweetie arrived around 8:45am to squire me to the appointment and we were kept waiting about 30 minutes after our appointed time to see Dr. Uterus. I skimmed through the new O magazine and could barely focus.

Finally, we got back to the room – the same room where almost a year ago he told me the terrible news of our first pregnancy – and in came Dr. Uterus. We dispensed with the pleasantries and (literally) got down to business.

The magical dildocam did its thing and there, right where we had left it, was our little phoenix.

Bigger. Growing. Little heart still beating away.

It is still measuring small for the time of the transfer. But, it has grown the appropriate amount since the last scan. It is now measuring 7w5d and I’m supposed to be around 8w1d. Phrases like “late implantation” were bandied about, but we still don’t have a clue. It could also still be an abnormal pregnancy, which we are still accutely aware.

No celebrations yet, no partying in the streets. For now, we are looking at it this way: we’ve bought another week. I go back on Thursday, March 20.

Thanks to everyone for their wonderful thoughts – each one has touched me and brought me great comfort. No matter what happens in the end, I have been very much buoyed by all of you.

And, my, what an incredible story.

Tiptoeing Through Dangerous Territory

image: ®oberto
Gentle Reader, I have a confession to make.

I am guilty of allowing hope to creep into my heart. I’m afraid that I have managed to subconscioulsy convince myself that we are going to still see a heartbeat tomorrow. Sure, I’m toeing the line of saying, “expecting the worst, the other shoe to drop, etc” but I find that I lack that conviction. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had any bright red spotting, maybe it’s because the nausea and sore boobs continue. Maybe it’s because I still feel pregnant (and bloated).

I haven’t told Sweetie (who gives our chances at about 15% that things will work out) because I know what he will say (which is what I say to myself already): you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

I try to visualize the appointment I had with Dr. Uterus when he found that I was going to miscarry the first time. I try to remind myself of the utter shock and pain that I felt at the suckerpunch I had received after the weeks of blissful innocence and lack of drama.

Or maybe, I’m just giddy at knowing that by this time tomorrow we will have an answer and mistaking it for hope. Maybe I’m so exhausted of the back and forth that I’m drunk on not worrying about it. Whatever it is, I’m surprisingly calm and collected. Peaceful, in fact. These are not the emotions of a girl who is supposedly expecting for the other shoe to drop.

You may ask what is wrong with a little hope? Absolutely nothing. What is wrong is what I do with hope – I magnify it, extrapolate it and turn it into all kinds of balloon animals. In other words, I just take and take and take like a freshman at their first keg stand. I can’t have some hope. It’s either hope or no hope. Just the way I’m made.

But, still, I prefer just not to think about tomorrow, not think about the big P, not think about anything.

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Would You Like to Talk to My Uterus?

This is the conversation I had with Sweetie this morning:

Mrs. X: I had more of that brownish-red spotting again this morning. I was expecting it, though, because I had those cramps again last night.

Sweetie: I wish I knew what was going on.

Mrs. X: Do you want to talk to my uterus when you get home?

Sweetie: Yea. I’d like that.

He’s going to have to do it through my stomach since the other entrance is strictly off-limits (per Dr. Uterus’ orders). I hope this “talk” gives us some answers, although, so far my uterus has been awfully deceptive. Bad uterus!

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All or Nothing

I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal. Either I get all of it, or I don’t want any of it. For the boyfriends I didn’t marry (which would be all but one), I wanted nothing more to do with them. Either I’m working or I’m not, I’m doing infertility treatment or I’m not,

Either I’m pregnant or I’m not.

Spare me this in-between bull. It offends my sense of order, and more importantly, it is seriously cramping my ability to make plans in the future or to even think of the future in anyway other than with anxiety and fear.

I either want to be on the train with a first class ticket or get off of it entirely. I don’t want to be a passenger just sitting there watching other people get on and off. I want to go on my own adventure, far away from the train if need be.

And then, when I’m ready to get back on the train, I will have amassed a wealth of courage, patience, and everything else required to make the journey a truly meaningful one.

Right now, I’m in the baggage car and they can’t decide whether to let me forward or kick me off.
These past few weeks have certainly been an exercise in learning that finality is a fleeting concept. I thought it was pretty open and closed, but as Dr. Uterus kept muttering at my last appointment, “I’m reminded that I don’t know everything.” He really did look annoyed by that.
I also won’t know my latest status until Friday now. Dr. Uterus is a busy surgeon on Thursday and definitely would not be able to do the morning appointment we had scheduled. I had the option of going in tomorrow, but I’m much rather receive bad news on a Friday and have the weekend to really get over it than deal with it on a Wednesday and still be expected to function.
As far as the symptom watch goes, still nauseous (although it’s better if I eat regularly), boobs are still sore and inflated, still having mild cramping, and since Sunday, I’ve just had some brown spotting.

If there was ever a time for distraction, this would be it. Any suggestions since all alcohol and baths are completely snatched out of my grasp (again)? Short of hibernation, I think I’m just going to have to get through it.

Which End is Up?

image: dominocat
I seriously still don’t know if I’m coming or going. All of this, “you’re pregnant, you’re not pregnant, you’re pregnant” business is just so confusing at a very basic level. What was good last week – booze, baths and brie – has once again become verboten this week. What was a sign of progress – spotting and cramping – has once again become a sign of terror (today’s thrill was dark reddish brown. Whee!)

I also have to keep track of who knows of the latest development – and who still thinks that we miscarried. My parents – yes. His parents – no. My boss and most co-workers – yes. Semi-new employee – no. Friends – yes. Aunt and uncle – no. I almost have to start a list. We are waiting to tell some of these outlying people until next week’s scan. No reason to get everyone worked up in a tizzy. Although, it certainly would be par for the course these days if I’m lying to at least one person about the state of my uterus.

There has been some good news, if you can call it that. The nausea that last week felt like just really bad indigestion has come roaring on like gangbusters. Although, I’m not treating this as the Sign of Signs since I had nasty nausea right up until Dr. Utuerus pronounced that the pregnancy had ended about 10 days earlier during our first miscarriage.

I feel like I’ve been spun around a few hundred times and I don’t know where the sky ends and land begins.

I May Just Surprise You

First, a very heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented on our amazing news yesterday. All of you have been on the rollercoaster with me (anyone puked yet?) and you have experienced the wild ride. If anyone would like to get off, please feel free at any time. As the conductor, I don’t have that luxury.
image: Thomas Milne
During my appointment with Dr. Uterus yesterday, he kept apologizing for the rollercoaster that I was on. At the time, I really didn’t see the need for him to apologize – after all, I had just been told that the pregnancy that I thought was over actually wasn’t.

After the shock and awe settled, though, I saw his point. This is either a new beginning or just another chapter in the longest drawn out nightmare of my life. For purposes of self-preservation, I am choosing to think about it this way:

I am still expecting to miscarry. I have to, otherwise, I will be knocked around harder than a ball in a pinball machine. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I am hoping to miscarry – I’m absolutely not. I’m just not expecting that this will have a happy ending. Dr. Uterus said that he has only seen this twice (me being the second) and the first time the fetus developed for about a week before the pregnancy ended.

I know that I am not her and she is not me. But, nothing in pregnancy is certain – not until you have that infant in your arms and he or she is declared to be perfect with ten fingers and ten toes.

You may be surprised that I am not more excited. I simply can’t afford to be. I’ve done the excitement thing and I got bitch-slapped for my trouble. And, it is the only way I can manage to function day-to-day.

image: cobalt123

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What. The. F*ck.

image: JPhilipson
The parable of the phoenix is pretty straightforward. The phoenix dies in flames and is reborn out of the ashes. What does this have to do with me? Well, it would seem we have a little phoenix.

Where to start. I was just about to head out the door to catch my flight when the phone rang. I had blood drawn this morning to see how much my HCG had gone down since last Thursday (which was 10480). Rather than going down, the nurse told me it had actually gone up to about 28,000. That was the first WTF moment. She said that Dr. Uterus wanted to see me for an ultrasound as that was the protocol when the HCG goes up rather than down. I explained that I was just about to head out of town until the middle of next week. She put me on the line with Dr. Uterus and he started talking “ectopic.” Well, he had me at ectopic. I so did not want to have some ectopic rupture away from home.

So, I called the boss, mentioned the word “ectopic”, cancelled the first leg of the trip and headed in to Dr. Uterus’ office fully desiring some type of answer to this very strange question. But, it just got weirder.

He starts wielding the dildocam and makes confused noises. I can’t see anything since the monitor was turned away (and hey, I wasn’t that eager to see). I asked him what was going on and he said:

“You’re sac has gotten bigger, and you have a fetal pole and a heartbeat.” WTF Moment #2.

I asked him if was kidding. And then he showed me. Sure as shit, there it was. He turned on the sound thing-y and there was a heartbeat, at about 124bpm. The fetus is measuring small for this time frame – 6w5d rather than 7w1d, but it was there and beating away.

I go back for another scan on Thursday, March 13. I’m also once again off booze, caffeine, etc. One small blessing is that I do not have to re-start the progesterone shots since my ovaries are apparently progesterone machines (the lab was still diluting the sample as of the call, so it was above 80 at least).

My main emotion is disbelief, followed by a close second of confusion and bewilderment. I’m also not getting excited either since we heard a heartbeat last time and it didn’t work out.

Needless to say, given my history of travel and pregnancy, I cancelled the rest of my trip.



My trip has been cancelled. I’ll explain above.

Gentle Reader, the Powers that Be have decided that Mrs. X needs to actually go out and earn her living, so she is being sent on the dreaded business travel for seven days, six nights and in two different cities. To be sure, I will be treated to dinners at fancy restaurants and scintillating conversation, but I will be away from those I love most, Sweetie and my furry beasties.

I leave this afternoon and won’t be back until the middle of next week. In the mean time, I will be on hiatus from my blogs and from reading other people’s blogs. I don’t know how the world will move on without me, but I suppose that it must.

As my main man Jerry says, “Be good to yourself and to each other.”
image: Bob Milsom

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Surprise, Surprise

I think this is most fitting for my 100th post.

The UPS man is a fairly frequent visitor to our house since Sweetie has been working on a project that involves lots of stuff from other places. So, when I got home from lunch and saw a box on the front porch, I was expecting that it was one of the numerous items that he is waiting for.

But, the box wasn’t for him. It was for me. I still wasn’t that surprised because sometimes he buys stuff in my name. And then I saw it was from 1-800 Flowers. He didn’t order anything from there.

No, my best friend (the pregnant one) sent me a beautiful flowering plant (I still haven’t figured out what kind of plant, but I am no horticulturist). It’s green and lovely (which is really all I need). Her timing was impeccable, too. I’m having a down day (it was a real effort to drag myself to lunch) and this was just such a sweet thing. So unexpected.

Apparently, there are still good things in life and I am still allowed to have them. That’s nice to know.

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