Wednesday, January 30, 2008

4 months

4 months ago today I got my BFP (Big Fat Positive). It was one of the best days of my life. After many months of wondering what the hell is going on with my body, we get the greatest news ever. We are having a baby! Any doubts I had about our fertility were thrown out the window, because I got pregnant without any meds, within the one year mark of going off the pill. We're normal!

Like any woman who finds out she's expecting, I am simultaneously ecstatic and panicked. I'm definitely a Nervous Nellie, so of course I start worrying about miscarriage. I know how common it is, and it's always in the back of my mind.

Even with the positive test, it took a while to sink in. I didn't really have many symptoms except some fatigue and slightly sore boobs. It didn't feel real. I couldn't believe there was actually a teeny living thing in there. I'm not sure if subconsciously I tried not to feel too attached, since I knew it was possible it wouldn't last.

It's hard to explain how I felt when I first saw the spotting. I panicked, called the doctor right away and was thankful they let me come in that afternoon. I knew it was a definite possibility that I was losing the pregnancy, but I also knew spotting can be common and can signify any number of things. I was able to stay positive and assume all was well until I heard otherwise. Then the red bleeding started.

I think that was when the pregnancy started to finally feel real. When I was faced with the possibility of losing it, I suddenly realized just how important it was. Any defense mechanism I was using to try and stay unattached completely backfired on me.

They say a man becomes a father when he sees his baby for the first time, and a woman becomes a mother when she finds out she's pregnant. I'm not sure if that is completely true, but it did raise some questions for me. Was I a mother? Was it a really a baby inside me or just a bunch of cells? I tried to think about it logically, that miscarriages are extremely common and this one just wasn't meant to be. But that made me feel worse. I needed to remember this whole experience not as a medical condition, but as our first real time as parents. I needed to recognize that I lost a baby, and for a mere 2 weeks, I was truly a mother. I had to let myself grieve and mourn, not just the pregnancy, but all the hopes and plans that went along with it.

After the loss, there were even more questions. What if it takes me another 11 cycles to get pregnant again? What if I do get pregnant again, and have another miscarriage? Can we handle that? The answer is, of course we can. It will hurt like hell if we don't get pregnant again soon, and hurt even more if we have another loss, but we can get through it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It could only happen to me

OK. So, I hate snow. I always have. I grew up in NJ and now live outside Philly, so while we're not bombarded with snow, it's not like it's a new concept to me. But I still hate it. I tried skiing a couple times in HS, and it was miserable.
My husband really likes skiing, but hasn't been in a long time and has been asking me to go for a while. We finally compromise and decide to go snow tubing with a couple of friends last night. Now, keep in mind, in addition to hating snow related activities, I'm pretty much the least adventurous person ever. I hate roller coasters, water slides, basically any sort of thrill seeking thing. I just don't like being out of control and having that "dropping" feeling. So going snow tubing was a big step for me.
I go up the hill and say to myself, "Ok, this isn't so bad. The hill's not that steep, I can do this." DH kept telling me if I wanted to slow down, I just need to dig my toes into the snow. I go down and things are going well. Since I have no idea how fast I want to go, I start digging my toes in too soon and about halfway down I'm stopped dead. Great. I'm trying to get my momentum back, when suddenly I see someone else flying past me. No, not past me, OVER me. This other woman collided into me and totally wiped out on her tube.
THEY SENT SOMEONE ELSE DOWN THE HILL BEFORE I WAS DOWN! What the F**k?? Her face banged into my boot, and she also hurt her leg. I feel like sh!t because I'm the dumbass who stopped in the middle of the slide - who does that, really? Just me. I know it wasn't my fault, because they never should have let someone else go while I was still there, but I still felt awful. We had to go down to the ski patrol office to file a report and get the other woman checked out. She had a scrape on her face and will most certainly have a nice shiner courtsey of my boot.
And yes, this was my FIRST time snow tubing, our first round down the hill. Quite an experience. Just when I thought this was going to be fun, something like this happens.
After we got done with snow patrol DH asked if I wanted to go down again. Uh, no!! But I felt bad that my friends only got one time down, so I insisted that they all go again at least once. Dh felt bad leaving me alone, but I wanted them to go at least one more time. So they go for one more time and I go in the lodge and get coffee and a cookie. Much better :) After their second time down, we decided to go to our friends' house and drink instead. MUCH better!!
So in addition to getting my period yesterday and moving on to Cycle 15, I'm involved in a rare snow tubing collision. Quite a day for me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Starbucks did not cause my miscarriage

So all over the news yesterday was this new study, stating that consuming high amounts of caffeine can double the risk of miscarriage. Despite the fact that this study comes from a reputable source (the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology) there are some flaws with it. It asked women to record what they consume, which obviously leaves room for error, plus it doesn't take into account the fact that women who consume high amounts of caffeine may also do other things that are risky, such as drinking alcohol or not taking pre natal vitamins. Plus, it only mentions large amounts of caffeine (200mg/day or 2 cups of coffee), not moderate amounts. Not to mention the fact that I have known of many women who cut out caffeine completely during their pregnancy and still miscarried.

That's not to say that this study is useless. It makes a lot of sense - caffeine is a stimulant and crosses the placenta, and can be dangerous for a tiny fetus' development. And it has certainly made me realize that I need to cut back on caffeine when I get pregnant again.

However, I worry that this is something that will continue to frighten pregnant women and make them feel that drinking caffeine will cause them to lose their babies. It's so easy to blame yourself for a m/c, even though it's not your fault. But if you're desperate for a "reason", this seems like an easy one.

Back to me. Now, I know in my head that I did nothing to cause my miscarriage. It is extremely common in early pregnancy, and short of not smoking crack, there's not much you can do to prevent one. (And even that's not a sure thing, since apparently crack seems to be some sort of fertility drug nowadays.) However, when this study came out, I went back to this one day during my pregnancy where I drank a cup of coffee, a glass of iced tea, then another cup of coffee. This was a lot more caffeine that I normally drank during pregnancy, but I figured one day wouldn't hurt. So now this study comes out and I have a mini-meltdown. I think back to that day and wonder, "Oh my gosh, is the m/c my fault?" Now I have NEVER thought it was my fault. I always knew that m/c was common, and I took comfort in the fact that I couldn't do anything to cause or prevent it. But the irrational side of me takes over, and I start to cry. Thankfully my husband is there to make me feel better, telling me it wasn't my fault while understanding how emotional this whole thing is. I feel like an idiot for even thinking something so ridiculous, but it's amazing how quickly you get wrapped up in the emotions.

So while I know I need to cut back on my caffeine, I also know that 1 Cafe Mocha is not going to be the end of the world. Starbucks is still safe :) Of course, you know there's going to be some idiot trying to sue Starbucks for causing her miscarriage. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy my decaf and try not to live in fear.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The most natural thing in the world...

2 posts in one day? Talk about overachieving! Don't get used to it though ;)

We've all heard that having a baby is the most natural thing in the world. As women, it's what our bodies were designed to do. So why the F&$K can't mine do it??

Taking Clomid was a really big step for me. It was the first time I realized and accepted that maybe I can't do this on my own. The one thing that is so fundamental to all women, and I need to take drugs in order to do it. I felt like there was something wrong with me, that I was broken. It's very disconcerting to get to the point of needing medical assistance to have a baby. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that, so I held off as long as I could.

From the beginning, my husband and I wanted to keep the TTC process as fun, romantic, and non-stressful as possible. I didn't chart for the first 6 months. I had an idea of when I was ovulating but never told him. Our sex life stayed normal, which is great. Then I noticed the spotting problem. I would regularly spot for anywhere from 2-7 days before my period. Not normal. Once we got to about cycle 8, I started getting nervous. With my irregular cycles and spotting, I thought we may have some trouble. My Dr. gave me the Rx for Clomid, but I held off a few months because I wasn't ready for "help". We took a couple months "off". If I hadn't gotten pregnant when I did, I would have started Clomid the next cycle. But I got the BFP and figured that would be it, I wouldn't have to worry about it. And then the miscarriage happened.

So now I'm back to where I was. Facing the fact that I probably won't get (and stay) pregnant without meds. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the decision I've made, because I think it's what I need to help with the spotting, but more importantly to give me a baby. I'm so ready to be pregnant and have a baby, and I'm willing to accept medical help if that's what it's going to take. I just still wish it hadn't come to that. Anyway, it just feels sort of bittersweet. I'm happy to be moving forward, but still sort of sad that I feel like my body has failed me.

The beginning

Well folks, I have jumped on the blogging bandwagon. I'm not sure what possessed me to start this, but I think I'm just looking for a way to organize my thoughts. As is true for most bloggers, I think this is more for me than for anyone else. And if it happens to resonate with someone else, then even better.

For the most part, this blog is going to be about my journey to be a mother. TTC (Trying to Conceive) is not as simple as going off the pill and 9 months later you have a baby. While that may happen for some people, most couples need to make a little more effort.

My story:

9/18/04: Married the love of my life

8/21/06: Closed on our first house

11/06: I take my last birth control pill and we decide to "see what happens"

5/07: I decide "seeing what happens" may not be enough so I start charting to determine if/when I ovulate (a very important step in making a baby!)

9/30/07: I finally get a positive pregnancy test! After 11 cycles we are going to have a baby! I start planning, bookmarking nursery ideas and buying pregnancy books.

10/12/07: I start spotting. I freak out. I go to the doctor. I get blood drawn. I'm told it could be nothing, or it could be a miscarriage. Great. I'm told to go home and relax, get another blood draw, and call back if the spotting gets worse.

10/13/07: The spotting turns to bleeding and my worst fears come true. I know I'm losing my pregnancy. There's a lot of emotions that go along with this, but I think I'll save that for another entry. Needless to say, my husband and I are devastated.

12/07: I start my first round of Clomid - a fertility drug that should not only alleviate my spotting problem, but hopefully will help get me pregnant.

1/08: Round 2 of Clomid...who knows? I'll keep you posted!

...even me. And everybody needs a place to let it out. My blog about trying to have a baby, loss, and life in general.