Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The one with all the motivation

So, it was a week ago today that we found out my pregnancy was ending in a miscarriage. Now, seven days later, I feel.... fine, pretty much. Every once in a while I have one of those moments where I'm suddenly reminded of all that's happened. Like yesterday, I was doing some filing and I found a post-it note onto which I had begun to write a list of things we needed to buy for the new kid. Those moments are like reliving the very point in time we knew for sure it was a miscarriage, but to a lesser degree. They're not upsetting, really, but kind of... jarring. One of those, "oh... yeah," kind of realizations. Almost like remembering a vivid dream.

Now, the question is what to do with a blog titled, "How to grow a human," when there is no longer a human growing inside me.

A funny thing has happened to me since the miscarriage. Suddenly, I find I'm motivated to accomplish a goal I've only been dreaming about for years. And when I say years, I mean it. Since... college, at least? High school, maybe? This is the dream of writing. Well, let me clarify: the dream of writing on a professional level. The dream of getting paid to write.

This is something I've allowed myself to daydream about - probably too often. But when it comes to actually doing something about it? I've done nothing, really. Oh, I've written some things. If you delved into my hard drive you'd find a folder entitled, "Writing", with some subfolders inside. It's the publishing for payment part that I've completely neglected.

Why? I've been intimidated, I guess. There are probably as many wanna-be writers in this country as there are wanna-be actors. Maybe more. So, the competition is fierce even when you factor in the schmucks like me who do nothing to further their writing passion. Until now, that statistic alone (supported by absolutely nothing) has been enough to render me immobile with fear and complacency. But now?

But now.

I'm not sure what about my recent experience has changed my mind, but it has, and I'm going with it. Suddenly, I find myself full of this... thing. This new, what, emotion? State of mind? State of being? I've not completely identified it, but it seems to be very much like confidence.

So, instead of growing the human inside of me, I'm going to try and grow the human that is me (I'm sure you all saw that coming). It's been an eventful week, for sure. What the coming week will bring, I'm not sure, but I think I'm game for just about anything.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The one where we lose the baby.

# weeks pregnant: 11 weeks, 4 days
estimated weight: 156
currently: in shock

Two nights ago I started bleeding. Not much, but enough to give me pause. That coupled with some light cramping made me dial my OB. The on-call doctor advised me to call the office as soon as it opened to make an appointment for an ultrasound. When I woke up the next morning, I found I had bled through my pajamas. During the ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. They said the baby stopped growing between 7 and 8 weeks.

I'm shocked. I was just three days away from the 12-week mark, which for some reason seems like this magical point at which the threat of miscarriage vanishes completely. I thought I was past the danger zone; I had lulled myself into a false sense of security, I guess. Even as the ultrasound technician was squeezing the goop onto my belly I still thought we'd see... something. I even wondered if there might be twins, and maybe the bleeding was just because of that fibroid they discovered during my first pregnancy. Maybe it was dislodging or rubbing against my uterine lining or something.

Instead, all I saw on the ultrasound screen was a black circle. At one point there was something else, but there was no movement. When the ultrasound technician said, "I'm sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat," my husband squeezed my hand.

We spent the rest of the day taking it easy. I opted to continue letting my body miscarry naturally instead of scheduling a d&c. My husband arranged to take the rest of the day off, and we had a quiet lunch and sat on the couch holding hands while we caught up on some of our TIVO'd shows.

The thing is, I feel okay. I don't feel like it was my fault or anyone's for that matter. Logically, I know this just happens sometimes. I'm surprised, actually, at how I feel this morning. Aren't I supposed to be grieving? It's like the grief I assumed I'd feel is next to me - I can see it, but I don't feel it. Maybe it'll catch up to me tomorrow or next week or next month. I don't know. I hesitate to admit this, but there's even a part of me that feels a sense of relief - not because I didn't want the baby, but all those questions marks that I was already worrying about no longer exist (will the baby be healthy? how will we cope if the baby isn't healthy? will the baby have colic? will I be able to cope with sleep deprivation again? what if the two kids don't get along? etc.).

This morning I hopped onto a forum for women who've experienced miscarriages. I was surprised by how devastated most of the posts sounded. Many of them referred to their miscarriages as "angel babies", but no matter how I try, I cannot seem to relate to that level of grief.

I guess there's no right or wrong way to feel after a miscarriage, and maybe I should be glad that I'm not experiencing heavy grief and attachment that some others might feel. Mostly, it just feels odd and unexpected. Though I certainly have lost something, I cannot deny my excitement over the realization that I could have a large cup of coffee this morning. (Oh, Coffee - how I've missed you!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

The one where we go public

# weeks pregnant: 10
estimated weight: 155
currently: wavering between regular and maternity clothes

With my last pregnancy, we followed the crowd and decided not to tell anyone sans family about the pregnancy until we hit the 12-week mark. Why 12 weeks? It is commonly known (assumed?) that the chance of miscarriage decreases to a very small margin at that gestation. I've been finding statistics recently, however, that support the most significant decrease in miscarriage percentage is much earlier - more like 6 to 7 weeks. The percentage decrease between 7 and 12 weeks is minimal.

No matter. Even if it isn't so, we've gotten tired of keeping the secret, so here it is:


Everyone is welcome to be in the know.

I'm happy to report the nausea has all but subsided. The only thing I began doing differently is taking my prenatal vitamin and Unisom/B6 combo after dinner instead of waiting until just before I go to sleep. *shrug* It may just be a coincidence, but I'm going with it. I was happy to find my weight this past week is holding steady at 155, and my OB said all looks kosher and on target with my uterus. Nice.

Next up? Some genetic testing we've opted for. We're going to have a nuchal translucency screening which assesses our chances of the baby having a chromosomal abnormality. With my last pregnancy, we opted for no testing whatsoever. Now that I'm a bit older, we're interested in doing some genetic testing. I realize testing is a hot button topic, and I'm hoping not to open a can of worms by bringing it up. It's simply what's going on.

Our daughter has gone from asking for a baby sister, to insisting she's getting a baby brother, to saying simply, "we don't know if it's a boy or girl yet." We're planning to take her with us to the ultrasound appointment wherein we might find out the baby's sex. My OB said they've never (NEVER!) been wrong in their assessment of gender. Pretty impressive odds, I'd say.