28 February 2008

such heartache.

a dear old friend (after numerous m/c) had his first son on monday evening. he has downs syndrome. a lovely woman on the saIF (success after IF) message board just announced her baby (pg at 17 weeks) also has downs. both of these people were instrumental in calming(?) my fears after our dreadful first trimester screen. I've cried and my heart breaks for both of these families. godammit! haven't they been through enough already?

the little boy is still in intensive care. I don't know the details but I do know his parents are suffering terribly. their second round of b/w and level II u/s both indicated a healthy baby. everything was in the normal range. no worries. I spoke with my friend's wife for a long time last week about how they too had great difficulty muddling their way though the genetic tests. she called me straight away after hearing our results. "being old sucks!" those were indeed scary and emotional days. she recalls watching her husband (my friend -- so strong and optimistic) sob while mowing the lawn one afternoon.

I have a lot on my mind... yet nothing left to say.

25 February 2008

it's official!

I'm in the 2nd trimester! hallelujah! (and I'm not even religious.)

someone sent this video to me. it is very sweet... and a little sad... for obvious reasons.

20 February 2008

not a moment's peace

I had a terrible feeling in my gut. today was the dreaded NT scan/genetic counselor meeting. I had my first trimester risk assessment b/w last week so all the key information was available to us today. first of all, nobody told me I needed a full bladder for the u/s. nice. the genetic counselor made a bladder joke at the end of our meeting. "what are you talking about?"

the u/s was very sweet. b took the day off (SHOCKING) and he was able to see little one for the first time (now looking rather human) in action. the tiny hands and fingers took my breath away. we even saw a close-up of the itty bitty foot prints. little one cooperated for the most part -- even with an empty bladder. the NT measurement was 2.0 which is supposedly "in the normal range." I'm still measuring 2 days behind which I realize can make a difference in this measurement. but if someone in a white lab coat says the word "normal," I gotta go with it.

the little room overlooking a very congested interstate 95 is where "normal" didn't apply any longer. the genetics counselor input all my stats and we waited for the computer to give us a possible glimpse into our future. Positive. INCREASED RISK Down Syndrome 1:170.
not good news. the counselor, frowning, explained that they like to see at LEAST 1:200. my heart sank. I was speechless. my age, hCG (92.30IU/mL), PAPP-A (1.38 ng/mL) and NT (2.0mm) all combined gave us the grim results. on the flip side, I also tested negative. DECREASED Risk for Trisomy 18 1:5300.

what does this all mean? amniocentesis at week 15. fuck. and more b/w. I'm tired dammit and not equipped on any level for shitty news. 2007 was entirely about IF. excruciating HSG, bilateral tubal surgery, DOR dx, MF dx, 4 rounds of IVF (the last 2 had the added bonus of 4 hour daily commutes to cornell.) the glorious BFP was short lived because of first trimester uncertainty -- low and slow rising betas, high risk of m/c and subchorionic bleed. I am just days away, DAYS AWAY, from the second trimester -- out of the "danger zone" -- and now this. there were a lot of tears today. again. I just want a moment where I can feel good and positive for a change. I need to feel at peace and begin to enjoy what I have worked so fucking hard for. the same thing that has totally consumed my life for so long now.

if anyone has ANY insight into these numbers I welcome your thoughts.

17 February 2008

the two of us - 12w2d

little one (looking straight at us.) how cute!
and of course, chubby one (sporting the stripes.) that's me.

a little update:
as of valentine's day, we have a decreased subchorionic hemorrhage, only 8 more PIO shots to go AND I have seen b for a few hours this week! now we're talkin'!

13 February 2008

the drama continues

I had a major spill last night when I took lulu out for her late night pee. it was snowing pretty hard. I was literally 5 feet from our front door and the next thing you know I am flat on my back (but somehow I landed on my left knee along the way.) of course I freaked out. I haven't fallen in probably 10 years or so. now that I'm pregnant, sure enough, it's that time again -- Wipe Out!

I immediately went straight to bed. that's when the lower belly cramping started. I tossed and turned most of the night trying not to worry. b got up at 3 am to finish a presentation for work. I never fell back asleep. I started my day with the same unpleasant crampiness and terrible back pain so I called dr f. nobody was around.

I had a b/w appointment right next to dr f's office. I popped in afterwards and asked if I could briefly speak to a nurse or midwife. well this turned into a full blown drs visit. I had to wait 1 hour 20 minutes before someone could see me. dr "something" wanted to check on little one's heartbeat. and there it was. 170 bpm. thank you! thank you! she used the term "happy baby" too. maybe that's a dr f's office "thing." come to find out I most likely pulled something (round ligament) in my belly. this explains the discomfort.

lessons learned? have b (when home) take our miss lulu out when we have weather. and LL bean boots SUCK in snow and ice. they are going straight into the garbage before they cause some serious damage. oy!

11 February 2008

baby steps

it's been an ugly week. days of relentless nausea (throw up already!) and total fatigue. I know I've lost some weight because not one food item is appealing (except gingerale - not a food item). but believe me, I wouldn't want it any other way. my weekly SCH (subchorionic hemorrhage) monitoring showed little one moving all over the place - wiggling, punching, karate kicks. "you have a very happy baby in there," dr f tells me. "no I don't. he/she's pissed! where's the food? I'm HUNGRY!"

so... I packed a bag and was prepared to head home for a few days to stew in a more pleasant environment -- think about "things." I told b during the daily "I'm coming home late" conversation that this marriage is not working so well right now and I need to get away for a bit. I cancelled lulu's vet appointment and lied to a client. I was in the clear and ready to split. but the nausea. the constant urge to puke along with the wobbliness that comes with not eating kept me from attempting a 3 hour drive north. I couldn't muster the strength.

b came home, ironically, at 8 pm. I was in bed reading, counting the moments when I could turn out the light and escape this relationship reality. I could tell he was pleasantly(?) surprised and most shocked to see me. I was calm and truthful in explaining my unhappiness... again. no drama. but it was different this time. he heard me. he was attentive and he listened. wow! it only took the threat of me leaving to get a response.

I realize and understand the demands of this fellowship. we were together his entire residency and I've lived through ridiculous schedules for years now. BUT for the few hours that I do see him a week I ask that they be better. more meaningful. I need this especially now -- things are "different" -- and I'm not asking a lot. I'm tired of having a part-time roommate. I refuse to go to our upcoming genetic counselor meeting alone. it's an important meeting! I need some sort of sign that I'm not just some random individual (who grocery shops, cooks, cleans) to split the rent with. I am your wife and we are going to have a baby this summer. I need some inkling that during the next 15 months of this fellowship that I (we) matter!

this time should be one of the happiest of our life together. after a year from hell we achieved the unimaginable. we beat the odds. yes, I acknowledge b's career and commitment to medicine is very important but at the end of the day family is what it's all about. "maybe think of me as one of your patients." ask me how I'm feeling today. ask about how little one is progressing at 11w. show some interest in something (me maybe) other than a ventricular septal rupture following myocardial infarction. I suggested he take a day off (he works 7 days a week) and we spend it together. kooky thought. we could go to lunch, see a movie, look at nursery furniture, I don't know. just 1 day so I don't feel like I'm the only person in this marriage. sickly pregnant lady needs more than a few shitty hours a week with ghost husband.

the phone rang the other night. it was a second year fellow's wife. huh. interesting... all I can say is that she will NEVER be nominated for an academy award in acting. she pretended to be calling just to say "hi." she went on and on about wanting to leave her husband last year when he was working 100 hr weeks. "try 140 hours! on average 120." I responded. silence. thanks for calling.

hey, we'll never be a "normal 9 to 5 family." I realize there will be all sorts of disappointments down the road because of work commitments. I just hope that b can find a healthy work/family balance somehow. he can't take our relationship, my support, for granted. but for the first time ever I think he heard me loud and clear -- that's progress! all I can do now is know he understands and wait and see what happens. that's if he doesn't poison me first (that's another story. I'll post later.)

07 February 2008

not good.

I'm thinking of leaving b.

06 February 2008

golden ticket

I had a vivid dream last night that I was dating (catch this) ryan seacrest. this is a guy that I have never thought of as anything more than american idol's little host. I don't even consider him very attractive or anything special. sure he's kinda cute and occasionally comical. but that's about it.

but what a great guy to date! he was soooo attentive, affectionate and super kind. he absolutely ADORED me! his feelings were obvious to anyone who saw us together. at one point we were on an elevator and people were pointing and commenting. he had his arm around my waist and he was smiling away acknowledging all the stares. I told him about little one and he was rather excited about the news.

it doesn't take more than psych 101 to figure out what is going on here subconsciously. but why ryan seacrest? why not johnny depp. or tom brady. or chris cornell from soundgarden? now were talkin'! well tonight is another night and the possibilities are endless (and I am going to bed early - alone as usual.)

05 February 2008

another week from hell

for b. we're aiming for another 140 hour work week - cool! (sarcasm.) well, maybe closer to 125 to 130 hours - slacker. I've really gotten used to self-inflicted PIO shots. but whenever I'm forced to give them myself (daily) there is guaranteed leakage and blood. when the phone rings at 7:30 pm, I audibly sigh because I know it's b calling to say he'll be, ummm late... again. time to load up the syringe, contort my body, and shoot myself in the ass. man, that's smart!

what's incredibly annoying (and quite frankly insulting) about b's schedule (aside from solo PIO) is that his attendings have somehow made this sucky situation "about me." piss off frank. b was pulled aside recently because he "looked a little down." b opened up and said that his wife (me. newly pregnant. not feeling so well these days) was far from thrilled with the work schedule. it was suggested that I "not rely on others (b) for my happiness." I should engage in some sort of hobby. for example this particular person loves karate and flying small aircraft. both fantastic options for someone in their first trimester! little does this person know but b could not have married a more independent person. I have my fair share of hobbies thank you. take responsibility yale new haven medical center! this has EVERYTHING to do with YOU torturing a poor fellow with ridiculous demands and inhumane hours. let the boy eat something. let the boy pee for crying out loud! give the boy time to take care of himself so he can better take care of others. this has nothing to do with me and my assorted knitting projects and partially read books. b never has or never will be "responsible" for my happiness. that is an absurd notion. what's the crime in wanting to spend a little quality time with someone... someone you're married to? our last dinner out in a restaurant was christmas day. or does a take-out burrito count as fine dining?

it doesn't make me happy living all alone in a shit neighborhood that borders the slums and where most of your neighbors don't know a speck of english. "good mornings" are greeted with blank stares. it's hard to call this place "home." how do you say "home" in chinese? no amount of karate lessons, embroidery classes or paper making can change how I feel. this dump is temporary so maybe on some level I refuse to embrace it because soon we'll have to say goodbye. in 1 year and 3 months, rest assured, little one and I will be packing up a twin engine plane (thanks to my newfound distraction) and getting the hell out of here. fast! and we're taking b with us.

01 February 2008

10w. we're having a boxer!

yesterday's appointment was bittersweet. it is AMAZING how much has happened during these last 2 weeks. the tiny gummy bear is all grown up! little one looks like a little person now! at first he/she was "resting" but it didn't take long before we saw some action and the punches started flying. squirmy had some nice kicks as well. watch out! how ironic is it that I was looking very much like de niro in raging bull just last week. I'm SO glad that sinus infection is history.

(fyi - little one is positioned "bottoms up." images are best viewed upside down. seriously.)

with all the excitement there had to be some unpleasant news as well. of course. in both shots you can actually get a glimpse of the "problem." the black shadow along the right of the amniotic sac is the subchorionic bleed. this is what sent me to the ER late that one (horrific) night. dr f would have liked to have seen some improvement since my last u/s 2 weeks ago. "I'd be much happier if you didn't have this." yeah... me too.

I go back next week for more monitoring. at that point I will be loaded with all sorts of questions. be prepared dr f! to be honest, he really caught me off guard with his concern. I wasn't prepared for subchorionic hematoma chit chat. I feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my belly. not fun. I prefer just the tiny beating heart, thank you.

on the flip side, little one is growing nicely and doing well. I'm holding onto that thought (with all my might.) I'm in awe and I cannot stop staring at these pictures. grainy, out of focus, grayscale images only a mother could love.