Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Anger, Prayer, and a Rainbow

My mind is in a million places right now. My second hCG was the exact same number as my first. It’s supposed to double. The midwife I spoke to sounded very concerned and she was very surprised when I told her that I haven’t had any spotting.  She did say that it’s still early and things could work out, but she sounded like she was really trying not to give me false hope. Her exact words were that my numbers are “not reassuring.” Of course they aren’t. I’m honestly not surprised. I’m upset, devastated, pissed off, heartbroken, bitter, and a million other things, but I’m not surprised.  I will be surprised if things work out and this is a healthy pregnancy. In fact, I’ll be floored. Hubby thinks that it was a lab mistake because the number is the same, but I don’t think it is. My progesterone did change–it got even better: 23, and if that number was the same too, I might think there was a mistake. But I can’t afford that kind of hope right now. I know better than to let myself have that kind of hope.

As I was driving to work today, it was a beautiful, clear day. The sky was the perfect shade of blue, which was the total opposite of the bleak grey and fog that was inside of me. I kept thinking about how God fits into all of this. I remember during my first pregnancy earnestly praying for the health of our baby. I miscarried the next day. The next time I got pregnant, I was honestly too afraid to pray about my pregnancy. This morning I was thinking about how I should pray about my numbers and my fears, but I was just so angry and bitter. I prayed out loud and told God that I know He can make this a healthy pregnancy and save my baby. I know He has the power to do that. But I also said that I believe that he won’t do that, and I don’t understand why. I don’t understand why he won’t save me from this heartache or why he won’t save my child from death. I know that’s not a typical prayer, but I try to be honest when I pray because He knows what I’m thinking anyway. After I said all of that, I turned a corner and saw a rainbow. It was just a small piece of a rainbow but it was bold and I could see every color in it. It was a beautiful morning without even a hint of rain so there should not have been a rainbow outside, and I honestly believe that was God’s answer to me, but I don’t know what it means. Maybe this pregnancy will be ok. Or maybe God will bless us with a child later in life and we need to be patient and wait. I don’t know.

Right now I’m just trying to hold myself together. We leave for the beach tomorrow morning, and we will be gone until Tuesday night. That’s just what I need. My first time at the beach in six years, and I’ll probably have an miscarriage which means I can’t wear tampons, which means I can’t wear a bathing suit. Perfect. I’m trying so hard to remember that I actually have a wonderful life with a husband I adore and a stable job and a nice house and two crazy furbabies, but I’m still falling into a place that is angry, hateful, and bitter.

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Devastated

My hCG level on Monday: 259
My hCG level on Wednesday: 259

This is most likely not a viable pregnancy. The midwife sounded very surprised that I haven’t been spotting. They want me to go back on Thursday to take more blood and try an ultrasound. All of these fucked up horrible people have all of these babies they can’t take care of and I’m probably on my way to my third miscarriage. What the hell have I done to deserve this?

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Test Results

I knew that I was being guarded and that I was afraid to get excited or get attached to this pregnancy, but I don’t think I realized the extent of it until yesterday. Yesterday I went in for my second blood draw so we could see if my hCG levels are doubling like they are supposed to, and after she was done, Susan (the lab tech) told me my results were in from my last blood draw and asked me if I wanted to hear them. Part of me didn’t want to know because part of me was sure that the test would say that I’ve made a  mistake and I’m not really pregnant or  that I’ve had another cp and that my third pregnancy was already over. But I braced myself and asked her for my numbers. I was 15 or 16 dpo on Monday and my progesterone was 20 and my hCG was 259. Those are really good numbers! I walked out of the center in a daze, and once I got to my car, I sat in there and sobbed for about 20 minutes. Seriously, I was all snotty and hysterical and laughing while I was crying. I just couldn’t believe that they actually had good news for me, and I was just so filled with joy at the thought that I am actually pregnant and we might actually have a baby! It wasn’t until I felt all of this joy and relief that I realized just how much I was holding back. I know we still have a long road ahead of us and stuff can still go wrong, but I have already made it further in this pregnancy than I did in my first two and I can’t help being very excited about that!

On a side note, do not call your husband when you are joyfully sobbing in your car in the parking lot of the birth center because you will not be able to convey to him that you are crying because you are happy and healthy and you will cause him to panic. Speaking from experience here.

Now I’m just waiting for the results from my test yesterday, and I am hoping that I get them today because the center is closed on Fridays and they will be closed Monday too because it is a holiday. So if I don’t get my results today, I have to wait until Tuesday, which will be really hard–especially since I am going to the beach this weekend. I just don’t want that hanging over me while I’m on vacation… I’ll let you all know whenever I know!

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When an infertility/loss blog becomes a pregnancy blog

I want to start by saying that I’m not entirely sure what to do with my blog right now. I know many women and couples start a blog when they start TTC  intending for it to be a pregnancy blog, and it unfortunately becomes a infertility or loss blog. When they finally get pregnant, the transition into pregnancy blog is fairly smooth because that was the original purpose of the blog. I started this blog to help me deal with my fertility issues and losses, not knowing how much more we would have to endure before we would get pregnant. I wanted a way to connect with other women who have stories similar to mine and enter into a supportive community, and I feel like I have started to do that. Having said that, I honestly got that second line a whole lot earlier than I thought I would, which of course is wonderful, but I guess I’m not sure where I stand now in the community I was just starting to become familiar with. It would not surprise me if many of the women who visited my blog in the last two months stop reading because it is too painful to read updates on my pregnancy, and I totally understand because I would do the same thing if I were in that situation. I guess I’m mostly afraid that I will lose this community that I am so new to, and I won’t have their support if something happens and I lose this pregnancy. Not that they would abandon me and not support me, but that they wouldn’t know about it because they are avoiding me like the plague because I’m pregnant. I know that sounds ridiculous and I’m over thinking everything (a common habit of mine), but it’s how I feel. I want to feel free to write about my pregnancy and the joys/fears that go along with it, but I’m hesitant because I really don’t want my blog to cause any sadness or pain to women who follow this blog and are struggling with fertility. So if you are one of these women and you choose not to read this blog anymore, I completely understand, and I will continue to follow your story and cheer for you.

Now that I’ve gotten that long, convoluted disclaimer out of the way, I can write about my appointment yesterday.

First, I am sooo excited that I have actually gone to my first prenatal appointment! That’s right, despite this being my third pregnancy, yesterday was my first prenatal appointment. I was planning on insisting that they check my progesterone and take a quantitative hCG test, but Jill told me right off the bat that she would run both of those tests without me even having to ask. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I truly love the midwives at the birth and women’s center in our town. She told me that my EDD (estimated due date) is May 4 according to my DOC (date of conception)–we aren’t using the first day of my last menstrual flow because I didn’t ovulate until day 25. We also scheduled a dating ultrasound for Sept 27 (8wks) to make sure that May 4 is  a good estimate, and I’m so excited/nervous about it because we should be able to hear the heartbeat by then! Whew, one step at a time. First, I have to go back on Wednesday for another blood draw so they can compare my numbers and make sure my hCG is doubling like it is supposed to. Hopefully I will have good news about a viable pregnancy on Thursday! Apparently, pregnancy is just as much of a waiting game as TTC. I’ve been trying so hard to stay calm and not get my hopes up, but I have to admit, despite all of this worry, that I am starting to get really excited. I just hope and pray that this little baby sticks.

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It is Well

This morning at church we sang “It is Well with my Soul,” and that made me feel a whole lot better:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

I’ve been so afraid to get excited and worried that I will wake up one morning and not be pregnant, but for now, I am pregnant. I know I will feel better after tomorrow because that is when I have my first appointment with my midwife. I’ve never actually made it to my first appointment before–since I had chemical pregnancies, they were over only a few days after I learned I was pregnant. I guess for that reason, I feel like actually making it to an appointment is a good sign. Unfortunately, hubby’s boss is out of town and he put hubby in charge of the shop while he is gone, so I’ll be on my own tomorrow–I would really appreciate it if everyone would send some positive thoughts and prayers in my direction around 2:15 EST.

Also, does it feel like fall to anyone else? There has been a noticeable shift in the weather here in East TN. We went for a mile long walk with Molly today, and I didn’t even break a sweat. I’m taking it as a good sign because I love autumn. Let’s just hope that fall pregnancies bring May rainbows.

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Wow.

This is what I woke up to today:

The *little* fat positive

Let’s call it a LFP. A little fat positive. You can barely even see it on there (it’s even harder to see in a picture), but it’s there. I just sat on the bathroom floor for about ten minutes and stared at it. Today is 11 DPO which is normally fairly early for testing, but AF usually arrives on day 11, so I figured I would give it a try. Also, this is a test from the dollar store so it isn’t as sensitive as a lot of other tests (but after POAS for almost a year, you get pretty fed up with paying a $8-$10 a test!). I spent all morning at work looking at this picture on my phone, wondering if I’m making up the line and I’m just batshit crazy, and I finally went out on my lunch break and bought a digital test (actually I bought three, they cost the same as the two pack). I went in the bathroom at work, and three minutes later, I saw this:

I’ll give you all a post about how I feel when I start breathing again.

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Getting so big!

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In the last picture I posted of Molly, she was just over six weeks old. In this picture, she is eight weeks and she is growing so fast! Look at those paws–she is going to be huge! For the record, yes, having a puppy is really helping me deal with everything. It was a very good idea.

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My love/hate relationship with BFPs

I really wanted to TTC this cycle, and I am so ready to be a mommy. The longer this entire process takes, the more sure I am that I am called to be a mommy and love on my children like crazy. Starting out, I was nervous about having kids and unsure about how good of a mother I would be, but that feeling has shrunk with every cycle that has passed until it was basically gone. Now I know that I will be a good mommy and that is one of my deepest desires right now. There is only one problem:

I am terrified of BFPs.

I am stuck in a weird place: AF or a BFN will make me sad and a BFP will make me scared. The first time I got a BFP, I was elated. Hubby and I were jumping up and down and smiling like morons and so sure that all of the worries we had faced TTC were finally over! I still had a small nagging fear that we weren’t out of the woods yet and something could still go wrong, but I don’t think it was any worse than any other freshly pregnant woman. I told myself I would feel better after my first appointment when the midwife assures me that I am actually pregnant and the baby is healthy, but I never made it to that first appointment. I had a miscarriage with a traumatizing ER experience. I was devastated, but I was also filled with hope–I can get pregnant! Everything I had read and heard said that one mc does not suggest another one and there was no reason why we couldn’t have a perfectly healthy pregnancy after the mc, so we started trying again immediately. Another BFP. I felt a little relieved knowing that the last pregnancy wasn’t a fluke, I can actually get pregnant, but I was filled with anxiety about this little one inside of me. I remained distant from this pregnancy, afraid to get too attached, and I miscarried before my first appointment again. In some ways, it’s probably a better that I mc’d before my appointment and didn’t have a first appointment filled with joy and hope before losing our little one, but anyone who has had a mc knows you become a mommy the minute you see that second line.

In my last post, I talked about how I feel like this isn’t our month and I’m not pregnant. Honestly, I think I’m just afraid of another BFP. I want to be pregnant with a healthy baby and then give birth and have a healthy child, but part of me just wants to skip the initial BFP part of the process. Seeing those two lines that mock me with hope, calling the birth center to make a first prenatal appointment again, feeling a rush of panic at every twinge and tweak in my body (indigestion or mc?), scrutinizing my pantyliner for any sign of blood every time I go to the bathroom, needing support but not wanting to announce my pregnancy, etc. It’s exhausting. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t be trying again if I’m not in a place where I can handle another mc, but seriously, who is ever in that place? I am ready to be pregnant. I am ready to be a mommy. I’m not ready for another mc, and at this point in my life, I would rather have AF or a BFN than lose another one. How do you reconcile this with TTC? I haven’t quite figured that out yet–these are some pretty complicated/conflicting emotions and I’m not sure how to sort through them right now.

AF is due sometime today or tomorrow. Or she might be much later because the progesterone might lengthen my luteal phase. So at what point do I POAS? The birth center is closed on Fridays, so if I POAS tomorrow and get a BFP, I can go ahead and call to set up my appointment early next week. If I POAS anytime after tomorrow, I’ll have to wait until Monday to call if there is a BFP. I don’t know. I don’t have any HPTs in the house right now (I do that on purpose to reduce the temptation), so I’m still trying to decide if I will buy some on the way home tonight. I probably won’t make that decision until I’m pulling out of the parking lot.

That zen feeling I had yesterday? Gone. Replaced with a nauseating fear that I will get a BFP and go through another mc. I  feel like this is weird–most women are afraid of seeing a BFN or AF, but right now I only know one end result to a BFP and I can’t handle it right now.

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Not our month? Also, progesterone side effects

I don’t think this is our cycle. I don’t know why, but I just know that I’m not pregnant. I’m not trying to be all doom and gloom, and I haven’t given up hope that we will have a child–I just don’t think it will happen this month. And I’m ok with that. For now. We weren’t originally planning on trying this cycle anyway, so it’s like a bonus cycle. Maybe its a defense mechanism: if I go ahead and convince myself that I’m not pregnant, I won’t be as upset when I’m not. Then again, no matter how much calm and acceptance I feel right now, I’ll probably be a mess in a week or so when AF arrives–I reserve the right to change my mind or mood at any time.

Speaking of moods, let me give you an update on my progesterone supplement.

I had a hard time finding real life stories about progesterone and its side effects when I got my prescription, so I told myself I would write about it in this blog. My midwife told me to take 200mg at day at bedtime, and it is best to take the pill with food because it can cause nausea. No kidding. We’ve been eating dinner fairly late the past few weeks, so I’ve had food in my stomach when I went to bed, and I would just take my pill without thinking twice about eating something. It’s been working just fine, but we ate an early dinner on Sunday. I took my pill as usual, without thinking about needing to eat, and I honestly thought I was going to puke. It was horrible. I am absolutely certain that the only thing that kept it down was sheer willpower and mental determination. So if you ever have to take progesterone and they tell you that you should take it with food, make sure you have food in your stomach when you take it. Trust me.

Also, hubby informed me last night that I’ve had some considerable moodswings lately. We were talking, and after I said something to him, he responded with, “Ok little wifey moodswings.” I asked him if I had honestly had a lot of moodswings lately, and he said that, yes, the past week has been very up and down.  I have noticed that I’ve been very irritable lately, and it doesn’t take much to upset me or cause me to make a snappy, hateful comment. I have had to apologize to hubby quite a few times in the last week or so for saying something that wasn’t so nice or for accusing him of something that wasn’t his fault. Despite noticing all of this myself, I didn’t think it was that noticeable to others, and I’m glad hubby let me know (during a neutral conversation when I wasn’t mad at him). I reminded him that I am on a hormone supplement that is affecting my moods, and thanked him for putting up with me :o)

The only other thing I’ve noticed is dehydration. I had a hard time believing this was caused by my progesterone, but when I looked online, it looked like it is actually a fairly common side effect. I usually drink 2-3 liters of water a day, plus a glass of juice and a cup of tea. Despite this, I am constantly parched. Seriously. My skin/lips/throat are always dry, my urine is a dark yellow (sorry if that was TMI), and I keep trying to fight off dehydration headaches. We have some Pedialyte freeze pops in our freezer that hubby bought for me when I had a stomach bug, and I think I’m just going to have to start eating a few of those a day to help me stay hydrated.

Have you had those months where you just know you aren’t pregnant? Also, if you have ever taken a progesterone supplement, what side effects did you notice?

****Added on August 22:

One very positive side effect of my supplements is I’m sleeping so well. Seriously, I have slept better in the past week or so than I have in a long time. I wake up easily in the morning feeling refreshed, and I don’t get sleepy during work anymore (I have a desk job that can get a little boring, so sometimes I’m really fighting off sleep while I’m at work). I didn’t put this in my original post because I guess I didn’t attribute my sleeping well and feeling so great throughout the day to the progesterone, but now that I think about it, I am sure it is the progesterone. The only problem is that I feel great and refreshed every day, but I’m still a grouchypants. Thanks for helping me realize this positive side effect, Steph.

*****Added on August 28:

Two days after writing this post, I found out I was pregnant. I was looking at all of my symptoms as side-effects of the prometrium, but now I know that they could have been pregnancy symptoms. I intended this post to be helpful to others when they start taking progesterone, so they can be aware of some of the side effects, but now I have no guarantee that any of these symptoms were caused by my supplement. So, basically, this post is not probably not helpful at all to someone who is researching progesterone. Sorry.

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Just because I try to stay positive….

… does NOT mean I don’t have feelings and you can say whatever you want to me–I am sad and hormonal, and I am not impervious to hateful comments!

Yesterday hubby and I got the chance to spend some quality time with our best friends and their 5 month old son. This is the couple that got pregnant on the first try, had a textbook pregnancy, and their son is a happy, healthy boy. I have worked very hard on not resenting or begrudging them because it is honestly not their fault that it was so easy for them, and I would never wish fertility issues or a miscarriage on someone. I was there her entire pregnancy, giving her support and listening to her whenever she needed to talk. When she had her baby, I organized with some people from our church so they would have a meal brought to them every day for at least a week after they got home from the hospital. Whenever we visited them or went out with them, hubby or I would hold or feed their baby so they got a chance to eat a complete meal in peace. I have honestly loved watching that little man grow, and I am so happy for my friends.

While we were hanging out, my friend made two comments that didn’t sit well with me.

I told her that we have started actively TTC again after our post mc break because she has really been there every step of the way. She and her hubby have been through a lot of our experience with us–being hopeful for us, being sad with us, being frustrated with us, and whenever I get pregnant (see that positive thinking there?) she will be one of the first people I tell. First, she told me that her co-worker is also TTC. Apparently, this girl is super fertile and got pregnant on the first try with one of her kids and got pregnant while on BC with the other one, so my friend is expecting her to announce any time now. This was followed by a comment that went something like this: “So you and (coworker) will probably be pregnant at the same time and I’m going to hate my life because I’ll have to deal with both of you.”

Later in the conversation, we told our friends about hubby’s new life plan. Hubby is currently a mechanic and a volunteer firefighter. In September, he will start fire academy which he is really excited about. It is a 240 hour course–Tuesdays and Thursdays for 7 months, and once he is done, he will have enough certifications to get a full time fire job. If he gets a full time fire job, he will make more money than we make combined right now. So we are hoping that he will be able to get a full time fire job because he loves working with the fire department, and if he gets one, I will be able to quit my job whenever we have a baby. My friend was very upset when she had to go back to work after she had her baby, and when we told her about the awesome opportunity that hubby has right now, she said, “If you get to stay home with your baby and I’m still going to work, I will hate you.”

I’m hesitant to write about these things because it makes my friend sound like she is always hateful and unsupportive, which isn’t true, but this kind of attitude and these comments have become more and more frequent. I know she’s been having a rough time lately (fighting with hubby and PPD) and that makes her negative, but these two comments really cut me down to the very center of my heart. She has essentially had everything handed to her when it came to TTC, and she is not allowed to resent me when I get  pregnant! Am I so wrong to expect the same love and support I gave her? I just can’t believe she would talk about how inconvenient it would be for her if I got pregnant, when she knows what all hubby and I have been through.

I know every person with one of these blogs has stories like this, where someone says something that isn’t very nice in the first place, but it is like a slap in the face when you take into consideration the circumstances. Please excuse me while I go cry in the corner.

-Danielle

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