The dreaded red and a trip back to the OB

On Thursday, I was all excited. There were only 2 days to go until we passed the timeline of when we lost our Emme. Things were going so smoothly.

Until the afternoon…

I have been feeling a bit bunged up this week. I know I need to get on top of it before it gets bad, but I wasn’t on my game. I went to the bathroom. It was a typical constipated poop. And I strained a bit to get it out.

Then, I wiped.

Pink.

Red.

Reddish-brown.

OH GOD! Please no! 

The spotting tapered off over the hour to only brown, but the brown latest up until yesterday morning.

Mr. Google declared spotting after a bowel movement to be a fairly common occurrence. If you have a sensitive cervix, the extra pressure could have caused the bleeding.

My fertility clinic said to just take it easy until our upcoming scan on Wednesday, but I knew I couldn’t go through the weekend wondering if my baby was ok or not. My fear was getting the best of me.

I called my OB and got in late yesterday afternoon. He did a scan on his super crappy portable ultrasound machine. He was having a hard time getting a clear picture because my bladder was too full. Unfortunately from my angle, I could NOT see a thing. He said that the baby was significantly larger than the last scan and that there was a flicker of a heartbeat. We didn’t get to hear it though. My husband was able to see it all. When I sat up, the image he had left on the screen was barely anything to be satisfied with. The OB reassured me that everything should be fine. He also sent me for blood work to check my hormone levels.

When I left, I was still a bit panicked. I’m a facts and figures kind of person. I wanted to know the exact size the baby had grown and how many beats per minute. My husband was super excited though. He said the baby was bigger and he most definitely saw the heartbeat. Seeing his excitement calmed me down.

My friend who also had this OB said he’s a man of less words when everything is fine. If something is wrong, he is very thorough. I guess that is also reassuring. I wish his office had better technology, but I am happy with his personality and his level of availability. I know a few other OBs in my city that you would rarely be able to get a same day appointment with. This OB is always willing to ensure you feel comfortable. Plus, he knows my history from doing my ectopic surgery. His on-call rotation include a few other top OBs in our city. I know I will be in good hands no matter what.

As of last night, all spotting was gone. I’m back on the disgusting fibre drink my Naturopathic Doctor gave me and I’ve upped my water intake.

Today I am 7 weeks, 2 days. This is officially the most pregnant I’ve ever been – a milestone I was looking forward to reaching. 🙂

Our next – official – ultrasound is this Wednesday, March 4. I’m so looking forward to a good view of my babe and hearing that whoosh whoosh for the first time.

Enough is enough

My sensitive heart always gets the best of me. I’m quietly crying at my desk at work. Wondering why I let people affect me so much? Why do I always expect a positive reaction when I’m so used to the negative? Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result the definition of insanity? I’m not insane. I’m just too caring.

A few days ago, my sister had her baby. Initially, I was upset that the news came through my Mom, but I gave her a break. She’s a brand new mom! She deserves it! She’s probably too wrapped up in her bundle of joy to have time to message everyone.

As days past, I heard she was connecting with other friends and relatives, but my husband and I still hadn’t heard from her or her fiancé. I thought for sure once she received our gift that we would hear something.

We mailed a gift the day my nephew was born. We had it bought for months now. I slowly purchased things as I found them. My last addition was the book, “On the Night You Were Born”, by Nancy Tillman – a book I think every child should own.

I tracked the parcel. She received it yesterday. We never heard a thing.

I honestly thought pushing a human miracle out of her vagina would change her.  I thought she would magically fill with light and love as she laid her eyes on her child for the first time. I thought this love and light would extend to the rest of her family because she would want her child to be a part of their lives. I was willing to forgive everything she had said and done to me over the past year – heck, over our entire lives – if it meant that our family could be closer again.

Clearly, I was super fucking wrong.

I guess childbirth doesn’t change everyone. Some people are unable to offer compassion, understanding and love to the world. Some people are too self-absorbed to ever step outside of their manipulative, narcissist bubble.

Today, my brother’s wife told me that my sister mentioned she received our gift. She is mad that my parents gave us her address.

I’m done crying now. I’m also done trying.

My happiness is too important to let her misery continuously inflict pain onto me.  I may never know my nephew, but that choice was made by his mother.

Navigating the next 2WW

Pregnancy symptoms mean so much to you after you have endured infertility treatments and pregnancy loss. Every twitch, ache, stomach flip, hot flash and wave of exhaustion validates that your body is growing a baby. This morning, I had my first major nausea episode. I was getting ready for work when it came on. I dry heaved over the toilet and the sink, but didn’t actually throw up. I’ve been feeling fine since then.

My friend Alicia from ladylovenandbabydust recommended the Ovia Pregnancy and Pregnancy+ apps. I’ve been following them daily for updates. Right now, my baby’s spleen is starting to appear. Absolutely Fascinating!

I’m 6 weeks, 4 days today. Each time I see that number increase, I feel some relief. There’s 9 days til our first official ultrasound. Although we got a sneak peak in the OB’s office last week, we didn’t ask to hear a heartbeat. I will feel much better after our next appointment.

With my hormonal irritability and my anxiousness for our next scan, I haven’t been as centered the past couple of days. There’s a few lingering family/friend issues that are bothering me. I’m going to sit down tonight  to do a mediation exercise that my fertility coach sent me called, “Releasing Energetic Ties that Bind”. I have some forgiveness and releasing work to do. I want to get back to a place where I’m 100% focused on my husband, myself and our baby.

As much as I want to fast-forward into the 2nd trimester, I keep reminding myself to appreciate this time. Even though there is some uncertainty, there is much joy and happiness.

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When the night changes

On that unforgettable night in the hospital, my life changed forever.

Confirmed ectopic rupture.

Emergency surgery.

They put me under and when I awoke hours later, my baby was gone. I was no longer pregnant. I was missing my left fallopian tube.

Bruised.

Scarred.

Scared.

Broken.

For quite a while, I was afraid of the night.

It felt like each sleep brought me farther away from what was; what we once had. Each time the sun set, I longed to go back to before. Surely, if I went back there would be something I could have changed.

Did I do something wrong?

Did I not want her enough?

As the darkness crept in, I laid in bed crying as my heart broke over and over again. Night after night, I knew I would have to face my own fears, regrets, sorrow and grief.

I longed for comfort.

I longed for my baby.

I longed to not feel empty.

The night scared me because I didn’t know what the next day would bring.

The lyrics of Night Changes by One Direction contain so much truth:

“Everything that you’ve ever dreamed of
Disappearing when you wake up
But there’s nothing to be afraid of
Even when the night changes”

With this pregnancy, I don’t fear the night.

I’ve accepted that we don’t know what tomorrow brings. So much of life is beyond our control. There was nothing I could have done to prevent loosing our baby girl. Those sorrow-filled nights allowed me to blossom into a more understanding, compassionate and self-aware woman.

This time, the darkness is comfort. It envelopes my body and soul allowing me to obtain the necessary rest I need to grow my baby, our 2nd child, inside my womb.

Each day forward is positive progress as my baby grows bigger and stronger. I find strength in waking up each morning, placing a hand on my growing belly, and knowing that my baby is safe and sound. With each daylight, I am one day closer to bringing my baby home.

The night no longer scares me. It is my sanctuary of hope.

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Thank you Justine for reminding me to write my light. XO 

6 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 6 weeks and 2 days

Meds: All taken daily – Prenatal, Omega + DHA, Folic Acid 1 mg, Vitamin D 2000mg, Vitamin B12, Probiotic, Estrace 400 mg, Prometrium 200mg, PIO 1ml

Baby is the size of: a grain of rice

Best Moment This Week: Seeing baby blob on the ultrasound, being so shocked I forgot to ask for a photo, and realizing that baby is measuring ahead.

Total Weight Gain: Not sure. I stepped on the scale the other day and I actually was down a bit. I need to start tracking it consistently.

Maternity Clothes: I’ve noticed on my really bloated days some pants/shirts are feeling tight, but I’m trying to work with what I’ve got in my closet. I actually purchased my first maternity wear today. I got a plain t-shirt from Old Navy (currently too big, but will grow into it) and a dress from Thyme Maternity to wear to my Godson’s baptism next month. I wanted something comfortable that I wouldn’t be squeezing into.

Stretch Marks: I have some pre-existing stretch marks from my pudgy belly. Nothing new though.

Sleep: Super tired in the evenings. I have been going to bed between 8-10pm which is about 2 hours earlier than I normally do. I also napped Friday and today. I try to resist the urge, but my husband insists I get some sleep rather than being grouchy.

Symptoms: Tired, hungry (which turns into HANGRY if I don’t eat), sore boobs, bloated, lots of milky discharge… but I’m NOT SICK at all! Whohoo!

Food Cravings: Nothing unusual yet this week. I won’t deny it. Last week, I wanted ice cream and fries. And candy! I never eat gummy candies!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing! I’ve only had two nauseous moments when we were driving but that was closer to the beginning of week 5.

Movement: Just gas. Pffffffttttt….

Baby Bump: Barely there.

Gender Prediction: BOY! We do plan on finding out, but I’ve been saying boy since we experienced our loss in October.

Labour Signs: Hell no. Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie to start!

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: Ohhhh… I’m generally happy, unless I’m hangry. I have noticed a decreased patience level and increased irritability level. My stupidity tolerance is at zero.

Purchases for baby: The “Coming Soon” frame and a baby blanket from Costco.

Miss Anything?: Hot baths, sex

Looking forward to: Passing our loss milestone at 7 weeks, 1 day. Our next ultrasound at 7 weeks, 6 days.

First OB appointment

Today, I am 5 weeks, 6 days. We had our first OB appointment this afternoon.

Using the low tech portable ultrasound machine, we saw 1 baby measuring 6 weeks 3 days!  I keep telling my husband that the baby is on the left side. From today’s scan, it looks like my hunch was right!

My initial reaction was that I thought the baby was measuring behind. I had it in my head that he said 5 weeks, 3 days. As I stared at the screen, it finally clicked that the baby was measuring AHEAD! *whew* Such a relief!

In our shocked state, my husband and I forgot to ask for a print out or take our own photos.

We discussed the fact that we put 2 embryos in and the potential for twins. My OB said it could be too early to know using the machine he used. He would recommend the trans-vaginal ultrasound to get a closer look at my actual ultrasound appointment.

As for my ultrasound, I am very much NOT impressed with our local ultrasound clinic. My fertility clinic called them on Monday to arrange my appointment and they never got a call back. This afternoon, I called the ultrasound clinic myself and asked whether I had an appointment or not. They claim to have no record of my clinic calling. This isn’t the first mistake they have made. 😦

Anyway, my lovely nurse called them back and got me in for March 4th. I will be 7 weeks, 6 days then. I wish we could have gone a bit earlier, but I know we will get a better view then.

I also have my next OB appointment scheduled for March 12 at 9 weeks.

Appointments galore! This whole pregnancy thing is totally getting real! 🙂

A new addition has arrived

I have a new nephew. My sister had her baby this morning. They named him Luca.

It’s a bittersweet moment as I haven’t spoken to my sister since the night I ended up in the hospital due to our ectopic pregnancy. There’s just too much turmoil and negativity there. I can’t fuel it.

I’ve always said my husband and I shouldn’t let our relationships with our siblings get between our relationships with our niece and nephews.

I plan to mail a gift tonight. I purchased a few outfits, shoes, rattles, and a stuffie for little Luca.

I hope this subtle form of communication will perhaps been seen as extending the olive branch. Although, I will be very hesitant and protected if my sister and I venture back into communicating with each other.

She doesn’t know that we are currently pregnant. My parents say they haven’t told her.

I have decided that our news can wait for now.

My sister deserves to be the centre of attention and enjoy the birth of her son.

Welcome to the world little one. ❤

For all the Mama’s awaiting their rainbows

I’ve been struggling to find words lately, lost in a temporary spell of writer’s block.

I would share this article with all Mama’s who are currently waiting for the arrival of their rainbows. XO 

This piece Dear Sweet Mama… Your Courage Roars was written by Angela Miller and originally posted on Standing Still Magazine.

Dear Sweet Mama… Your Courage Roars,

Courage, n.

It doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means boldly staring fear in the face and declaring,fear will not win.

Not this time.

You’re doing this. No matter what. And I know you know how many panic-attack-inducing-pee-your-pants-break-your-heart scenarios can trade places with what.

But you’re doing this anyway. Again.

Despite your fear, despite your second guessing. Despite your broken heart. Despite that you’re not “healed” from last time and never will be. Despite the flashbacks and panic attacks drenched in sweat that still wake you up in the middle of the night from your empty arms still searching, pleading, begging, aching to be filled with the onlychild who can gild the cracks of your broken heart. Despite that you’re not sure you trust your body anymore. Despite that the God you used to believe in still feels like a cruel stranger. Despite the fact that it could happen all over again. Despite that you have no control over the outcome. Despite that all you can do is hope beyond hope that the stats will stack in your favor by filling your arms with a miraculous crying baby at the end of these long nine months.

You are beautifully, beautifully brave.

How I wish I could tell you– you are guaranteed this. You should be– but you and I both know there are no guarantees. There is only now.

And you’ve got this now. This, I know.

In your broken places is where your true strength lies. Where you’ve cracked open is where you’re ever strong. It’s where the light shines through. It’s why you shine. It’s where your fearless mama courage roars even when it’s only whispering or barely breathing in-between choking sobs. It’s the birthplace of your sacred strength.

You glow pregnant with new life, but also pregnant with love, with bravery, and with the fierce determination of a soul that knows suffering yet refuses to roll over and surrender.

Fear will not win. Not now, not ever.

Even in the whispers of the night, from the trenches of your tear soaked pillow, your courage roars. Even when you feel like you’ll never make it another step forward, your courage roars. Even when the panic of sheer fear is overtaking your body, your courage roars. Even when you can barely speak your truth because terror has clasped your mouth shut again– your courage roars. You roar like a lioness pacing her den, keeping careful watch over her cubs. You roar with the fiercely tender love that is quintessentially mother.

Despite the risks, you’ve chosen love again. Despite the odds, you’ve chosen to breathe life– again. And for some, this isn’t the first time. You’ve chosen it again and again and again. That’s courage. Choosing to let your heart beat to the drum of hope and love even though the clanging of fear often rings louder and truer.

You deserve this.

All of it.

The pregnancy glow, the joy of feeling your baby move within you, the burgeoning hopes and dreams, the new beginnings, the sacredness of carrying new life, the birthing of more love. More hope. More healing.

You deserve this widening of your family circle and the widening of your broken, mending heart. You deserve the blessings that are raining down on you now. Let them soak you through.

This baby was sent to offer you a gift. Take it. It’s meant especially for you.

Swim wholeheartedly in the sacred sea of life. Allow hope to buoy you up like a lifeboat. When the waves of grief threaten to drown you, tread water and keep breathing like it’s your job. Let the anxiety, fear, and sorrow flow right through you. Cry. It’s as healing as healing is. And remember to make room for the beauty of this very moment. And the next. And every one that follows.

The time is now, sweet mama. It’s the only guarantee. The secret is simply to be. Right here, right now– with your baby.

You can do this. You already are.

Alchemize this pregnancy into a never-before-written love story between you and your precious baby. Say yes to what is beautifully healing, say no to what is not. Make room for gorgeous new memories to bloom alongside the old. Fill this time with as much hope as you can muster, infuse it with anything and everything that makes your grieving heart smile and massages your baby with laughter and joy. Joy is not a betrayal, it’s your birthright, and it’s your baby’s too. Once you allow yourself to fully taste it again I promise it will be sweeter than it ever has been.

You deserve the blessings that are raining down on you now. All of them. Let them soak you through.

The time is now is now is now is now.

Courage, n. It doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means boldly staring fear straight in the face and roaring, fear will not win. Not now, not ever.

Love will. And love never dies.

   
 photo by Angela Miller
 
Roar on, courageous mama.  Roar on.

The awkward transition into pregnancy

It’s been just over a week since we got our positive Beta results back. I’m currently 5 weeks, 3 days pregnant.

It’s an awkward transition from fertility treatments to pregnant. I found that my husband was acting super excited as I had thought I would react – except I didn’t. I was trying to stay neutral and fight off the lingering fear. As someone who has experienced a pregnancy loss, waiting for that second beta rise was absolute agony. This pregnancy is completely different from our ectopic. From side effects to mindset to blood results, everything is looking much better all around.

I know I will feel more assured after we get that first ultrasound done. I still don’t have a date for it yet. My clinic didn’t get back to me yet, but I do have my initial OB appointment coming up this Wednesday. He can schedule it for me if the clinic doesn’t before then.

Right now, I’m focused on baby steps: OB appointment at 6 weeks… 7 week scan…passing 7 weeks, 1 day (when we lost Emme)… reaching the 12 week mark and entering 2nd trimester. Honestly, I haven’t thought much beyond that yet. I do know that once we enter the 2nd trimester, this Momma is going shopping! 🙂

Gradually over the past few days, I’ve allowed joy and excitement into my heart. I’m still sticking to my one day at a time approach, but I am looking forward to a future filled with lots of happiness and new experiences.

I usually drop the ball on Valentine’s day, but this year I surprised my husband with a card and this ”Coming soon” frame:

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I can’t wait to place our baby’s photo in it. ❤

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope to get to spend today cuddled up with your loved ones.

Beta #3 and pregnancy symptoms

The Barren Librarian – you must have sent the vibes out for me to get an earlier call today! The results are in:

Beta #3 at 15dp5dt is 709!

That is a doubling time of 35.5 hours since Beta #2 on Monday.

We are officially pregnant!

No more betas! WHOHOO! 🙂

I have my initial OB consult at 6 weeks next Wednesday, Feb 18th. One of the joys of having a previous ectopic pregnancy = you get monitored sooner. Unless the OB does a scan in-office next week, my first ultrasound is being scheduled for 7 weeks.

As for symptoms, I’m currently EXHAUSTED. I am normally a night owl, but I’ve been in bed between 8-9pm each night.

My sore boobs come and go, but my ta-tas are already getting bigger. I feel like a fem-bot with my perky nips.

I’m also constantly hungry! NOM NOM NOM Seriously, I woke up to pee (oh yeah – always peeing) at 3am and I could have sat down for a 4 course meal. I’m making an effort to increase my protein and water intake to curb the hunger.

The bloated feeling comes and goes, but I’m not even close to as big as I was after my fresh retrieval. I can’t complain about that!

I’m 5 weeks today. My nurse calculated our due date is October 15th, 2015.

Our due date is the day before my husband’s birthday! I keep telling him he’s not getting a store bought present this year. I’m growing him the best present ever! ❤

And now… I’m going home to sleep. ZZZZzzzzzzzzzz