Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Was Wrong

There is something worse than being 13 and a half weeks pregnant and still feeling like you're trapped on a boat in stormy seas.

Being 13 and a half weeks pregnant, still trapped on the boat, and then getting a bad cold on top of it. Where every time you cough, you want to throw up too. And then getting the first tell-tale eye goop signs of pink eye.

I believe this is the part where I crawl under the covers and wait for the first trimester to end. Only 4 more days...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good News

I notice my writing on this blog is getting less creative (notice the title of this post). I blame it all on the tiny creature sucking all the energy out of me. But the good news is that we had an ultrasound this week, and the tiny creature is doing great! He's actually a lot cuter now than he was four and a half weeks ago too. (No, we don't know the sex, I'm just picking a pronoun here.)

I was extremely anxious leading up to this ultrasound. This was the point in my last pregnancy when we found out that the pregnancy hadn't progressed. I kept reliving what it was like to come home from that ultrasound, feeling like the rug had just been pulled out from under me in the worst possible way. So even though I knew in my head that probably everything was fine, I couldn't feel it in my heart until we made it through this big milestone.

The ultrasound tech was very understanding about our situation (our midwife had briefed them in advance). As soon as I got on the table, I averted my eyes from the screen. I couldn't watch this time. But right away, she said "everything looks fine with the baby." And then I did look, and surprise! There was a baby on the screen! A baby with hiccups -- even better! (Hiccups show that the diaphragm is developing, and are a reassuring sign if you're concerned about CDH, which was the cause of my sister losing her first pregnancy at 20 weeks).

We watched the baby kick his tiny legs and move his arms, bringing his fingers close to his mouth. The amount of development visible since our first ultrasound, when the baby looked like a bean with a heartbeat and limb buds, was remarkable. Mikhail said to me: "Well, now we know why you've been feeling so crappy. Look at all the work you've been doing!"

I still wasn't able to totally relax until the ultrasound tech ran my bloodwork and gave us the good news that the baby had a negative screen for Downs syndrome and the other disorders they're testing for during this ultrasound. And then my first reaction? I just wanted to cry in relief. In fact, I've been crying off and on for the last few days. I think all the tension and exhaustion of waiting has really come home to me now, and I'm relieved and weepy and still nauseous and excited and weepy again...

Hormones! Argh!

This pregnancy has been so challenging mentally and physically. And to add to that, throughout it, I've been reliving the sadness, disappointment and feeling of betrayal that came out of my miscarriage. But now, finally, I'm heading into a new chapter. The second trimester approaches, and I'm looking forward to when I can go a whole day without wanting to toss my cookies. And when I can once again look forward to eating cookies (or look forward to eating anything, really)!

Meanwhile, Elan's home with the double-whammy: pink eye plus ear infection. Lovely green eye goop. The joys of parenthood...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Still Sick, From San Diego

We came down to San Diego to spend a week in the sunshine. Unfortunately the pregnancy-sickness has continued unabated. In fact, it might be worse now than a few weeks ago. It starts as soon as I eat breakfast now, so there is pretty much no time of day that I feel okay. Last night I came as close to actually throwing up as I have all pregnancy. It came over me suddenly as I was getting ready for bed - heaving of the stomach, cold sweats and all. But I am a no-puke pro and proved it again. I am taking a mild sleeping pill nightly (Unisom, approved for pregnancy) because I toss and turn and get up so much. I didn't want to throw up because I had already taken the pill and then wouldn't know if I could take another. I tell you - the fun never ends!

Meanwhile, Elan has had a rough few weeks. He has been fussing a lot. This kid knows how to fuss! I thought coming down to SD would shift his energy for the better, but mostly that hasn't been the case. So we've got a barely-functional mama, a fussy & crabby child, and a poor husband trying to look after us both but not really able to help either of us, in my case because my problem isn't fix-able and in Elan's case because we have no idea why he's acting like this. Today Elan is refusing to eat. It appears he bit his cheek last night and it is still bothering him. There's a tiny little red mark when you look inside his mouth. As a frequent canker-sore-sufferer, I have compassion for how bad mouth pain can be. But I cannot stomach the level of fuss my child has poured out today and how ridiculous he's being not even trying different foods to see if he can get them down. And just in case you think I'm being overly dramatic - the child freaked out over chocolate ice cream!

Our saving grace is that the sun is out and the ocean is near. We've been taking excursions to beautiful places, and I can appreciate beauty despite feeling like crap. Of course, right now it's 3 p.m. and I'm in bed so mostly what I'm appreciating is horizontality and the fact that the fussing downstairs is currently muted by several walls and doors.

I'll be 12 weeks on Friday. I thought I might be feeling better around now, but now I'm starting to think I might have to hold out till the 14-week mark to see improvement. If two and a half weeks sounds like a short time to you, please keep that thought to yourself. After six and a half weeks of permanent stomach flu-like symptoms plus profound fatigue, my perspective of time has shifted and my sense of humor is threadbare.

I'm supposed to be doing screenplay work this afternoon, in preparation for the meeting my writing partner and I are having down here all weekend. But instead I think I'm going to throw the fussy child and poor husband in the car and go down to the beach. Everything seems better against the background of ocean waves.