Monday, July 31, 2006
I've been driving since I was 15, but after moving to Britain, was only allowed 1 year in which to drive before I was required to get a British license. This seems a little odd to me: let me get used to driving on the opposite side of the road, let me get GOOD at it and THEN deem that I'm unacceptable without a UK driving license. I could have been running old ladies down at zebra crossings that whole time!
At any rate, it's something I've been putting off for...well, about 7 years now. I've actually taken the test twice before, but both times, I was woefully unprepared for the extremely rigorous testing procedure (a monkey who had never driven before could have passed the Maryland State Practical Driver's Exam) and had little experience with a clutch, so couldn't have hoped to come out the other side with a good result. This time, however, I've taken lessons and know that I am fully capable of passing. This is the source of my nerves.
Being nauseous is not helping.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Just got a call from Dr. Bow Tie Guy's secretary (who's also a OBGYN nurse). Apparently, my hcg levels are "excellent" but my progesterone levels are only "fine". "There's no need to be alarmed," she said in that lovely, calm nursy tone, "but Dr. BTG would like you to use two progesterone pessaries a night instead of one."
So not only to I get to shove TWO suppositories up my tradesman's every night, but all the anxiety has just come flooding in with a vengance.
It occured to me that this is the first time that my mother has actually SEEN me pregnant- even though it's obvious to no one but me at the moment. (I feel so bloated, I can't believe people don't come up to me, trying to moisten me with wet towels and encourage me back to the ocean) My last two miscarriages took place over here, 3000 miles away from the person I wanted the most when they happened. It was nice that I got to be with her for at least a little while with a potential life in my belly.
I'm closing in on 8 weeks now. All symptoms present and accounted for. Boobs that look like a map of the tributaries of the Amazon and the smell of trees and any cosmetic product making me swoon with nausea. Strangely enough, food products do NOT make me want to hurl, so I know that it could be much, much worse, but I'm lamenting having to store my lovely Lush products under the sink until I can bear to smell them again. It's all pretty new. None of these things happened the first times around.
When I thought about being pregnant, I tended to think in terms of "how am /I/ going to deal with this?" but I've been finding gradually that it's more like, "how is this completely new person who I've never met before going to deal with this?" I've not been overly weepy, but not overly joyful either. I don't feel at all like myself- like I'm kind of looking in at the whole thing from the outside. The lack of fear is the most frightening; how can I possibly let myself believe that everything's going to be okay after what's gone before?
I'm holding my breath until the next scan on the 4th of August.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I've had a low grade fever for two weeks now, never going above 99 degrees. I've read some bits that say that's totally normal for pregnancy and others that say I should go to my doctor. My mother told me that her body temperature was mildly elevated throughout the entire time she was carrying me.
Well, I've BEEN to my doctor and taken a low dose course of Amoxicillan, just in case. I don't really FEEL all that bad. (except for the waves of nausea and the bloating that's making me look like I'm 6 MONTHS gone rather than 6 WEEKS)
What do you think, ladies? Anyone with similar experience?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
As anyone waiting for the first scan, I spent pretty much hours rhuminating over the worst that could be found; an ectopic pregnancy or...well, nothing at all. These things have pretty much been eating at me since I first saw the two lines on the stick. My first two pregnancies were pretty much over before I even knew what was happening, back when I was dumb enough to think it was as easy to get and stay pregnant as your high school sex ed teacher told you it was. I'd never really seen any evidence that my body was doing anything until the inevitable happened.
At any rate, the appointment went really well and Dr. Bow Tie Guy was happy with what he saw, so both Mr. DD and I are really, really pleased. All fingers and toes crossed that the little blighter stays put.
As a side note: May I just make a suggestion to the manufacturers of "wand" scanners? There are a lot of other people in the business of making things that people cram in various orifices who are a lot better at it than you. A SQUARE end?
WORST. DILDO. EVER.
While the two of us are completely skint, he happens to have extended family who are very much the opposite and we were lucky enough to crash at their enormous holiday villa in the Algarve from Friday til Tuesday. We didn't do much of anything other than eat, drink (no alcohol for me in the land of drinks with umbrellas in them. Humph.) and swim, so it was pretty much the perfect holiday. The sun and sea air managed to dampen some of the anxiety I've got over this pregnancy, although, strangely, on the third day we were there, the smell of the place started making me sick to my stomach. Sweet juniper and other vegetation combined to make this smell that I'm totally sure at any other time, I'd love, but while we were there, it totally made me gag. Morning sickness in 32 degrees C is not a party, although it's actually hotter now here at home (like Thalia said, we're having a freak heatwave in the UK at the moment) and sleeping in a house that's a hollow metal tube (did I mention my husband and I live on a narrowboat?) is not exactly a recipe for keeping cool.
My first scan is today and obviously, I'm having small breakdowns every 5 minutes. My rational side says, "Everything you can do, you've done already and you can't change it, so chill", but the part of me that got broken by the last two miscarriages that I try to keep locked up is trying to tempt the dog holding the keys outside the cell with a chicken bone. Fucker.
At any rate, I'll let you guys know how it goes. Fingers crossed for that heartbeat.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
My family is Pennsylvania Dutch. My maternal grandmother never spoke English at home on a regular basis until she was 16. I was born with the recipe for Shoo Fly Pie hard burned into my brain. The PA Dutch are a fairly superstitious people, (The hex signs on barns, practicing Pow Wow magic, etc) although I've recently learned of a rather charming piece of information for the first time.
For anyone expecting in December or thinking about cycling next April, the PA Dutch believe that on Christmas Eve, cows gain the power of speech- from being in the stable in Bethlehem, presumably. (What cows have to talk about, I'm not 100% sure, but I can't imagine it would be very interesting) At any rate, according to the lore, anyone born on Christmas Day inherits the ability to understand them.
I don't know why this tickles me so much, but it does.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Can I just say that I would like men to cool their jets about this?
There are a lot of things to argue about when it comes to messing about with procreation and I don’t particularly want to venture into the Swamp of Morality, but what I would REALLY like to see happen is a cessation to all of the “Well, you’re obviously just all going to become lesbians and imprison us on a deserted island somewhere” scaremongering of the media.
Jeremy Lawrence, commentator for the Independent, had his column heading in today’s paper hijacked by sensationalist editors. The title, “Discovery raises spectre of making men discardable” is utterly incompatible with Lawrence’s actual piece, which offers reasons for rising male infertility (age, obesity, environmental factors) and doesn’t even touch upon the idea of women somehow evolving beyond the need for men for reproduction.
A few quick facts…
a) It is not ever possible for two women to have a biological child together without a man. Female stem cells lack the Y chromosome which makes it impossible to create an artificial sperm. Theoretically, however, it WOULD be possible for two MEN to be biological parents of a child with the help of a surrogate mother, although 75% of the offspring would turn out to be male. So chalk one up for the guys here.
b) Recent decreases in male fertility do NOT signify that men are being evolutionarily phased out. Men are waiting longer to have children, the same as women. Obesity levels are reaching epidemic proportions. (67% of American men are now classified as overweight.) Both of these factors diminish male fertility. What some critics of the breakthrough fail to mention is that FEMALE fertility has ALSO decreased, often due to the same factors. (of course there are about a million more things to go wrong with our bits and pieces, but in some cases, female fertility can be affected by the same factors as male fertility)
c) Do we REALLY think it’s possible to undo billions of years of reproductive and sexual evolution? Will the whole of the earth’s female population simply stop wanting to be with men? (Well, at least the ones that want to be with men in the first place. Obviously some of them don't which is TOTALLY FINE by the way, before I get clobbered.) The very idea is ludicrous. Who’d get the lids off of the jars? (A JOKE.)
So the media, who does just love to blow things out of all proportion should fight the urge to paint a picture of a man-free world. Any testosterone bearing person who’s concerned about this new development (which is bloody amazing for couples struggling with male infertility, by the way) should really just calm down.
The helicopters will be coming for them shortly.
Monday, July 10, 2006
There are many brands of infertility; the kind with chemicals, the kind with broken personal bits, the kind that doesn't have a rhyme or reason. Easy to get pregnant, impossible to carry to term. A pregnancy that can only be achieved with the aid of needles and doctors. The agony of cycle after failed cycle. But they all have in common the dizzying highs of anticipation and devestating lows of loss.
While I have huge doubts and worries about the viability of this pregnancy (not based on fact, by the way, just pure recurrant miscarrier anxiety) I don't take the blessing of conception for granted, nor am I ignorant to the difficulties that some might have in continuing to read this blog because I know that feeling myself all too well. Other people's good fortune, even if you don't begrudge them, can be difficult when you feel that life is doing it's best to beat you to a pulp.
Just felt I needed to say that. Thank you all so much.
But of course, I'm sure you're aware that I am, at this moment, all kinds of crazy wondering what kind of insane fucking surprises my body has in store for me next.
1) Woke up with a fever this morning. Not a high one, but having a fever making me very unhappy and more than a little unhinged. Got a phone consult with GP this afternoon to let me know whether I should be freaking out or lying down with a few paracetamol.
2) Kidney pain that's not an infection (have had two seperate cultures done, both negative) that won't bloody quit. Of course, my first thought is ectopic pregnancy, but my hcg numbers don't seem to indicate that. I'm pretty much prepared for all kinds of weirdness happening below the waist, and I know that things are all kinda getting moved around at the moment, but does it have to be so damned mysterious??
3) Panic attacks in the middle of the night! Hooray! Can someone tell me how the hell my body sees it as a good idea to wake me up in the middle of the night to worry about something that wasn't really bothering me while I was blissfully unconscious? Who the fuck DOES that? If someone came running into your room at 2am and started shaking you yelling, "Shit! Remember that thing that's scaring the crap out of you? Well, IT'S STILL HERE!" you'd probably bash their head in with your alarm clock.
4) Ok, can I just say something about progesterone suppositories? Not to be taken cooterally by anyone that has frequent bouts of cystitis. (Spot the IC sufferer!) So what option does that leave me? Oh, yes, straight up the yoo hoo. How people can get things like soda cans and wine bottles up there I have NO idea.
Please, for the love of all that is holy, help restrain me.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
This is argueably one of the tastiest soups I have ever, myownself had a chance to consume. But it is entirely possible, that should this pregnancy continue, I will not be partaking of its goodness again for the remainder of it.
I have always had a slightly delicate stomach, although I've learned to tolerate the gurgling following a hot curry or some such indulgence.
Today, however, I feel that I might well need to journey out of doors in able to rid myself of the air bubble that is so big, it's giving me shoulder pains, for fear that I might actually shatter some windows.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Has anyone else had trouble with side effects from progesterone suppositories? I was slightly dizzy before taking them and have had minor drops in blood pressure, (the thing that Dr. BTG said could either be totally normal or an indicator of an ectopic pregnancy) but now I'm REALLY dizzy after taking them for 2 days.
I'm going to call the NHS Direct line as Dr. BTG has most certainly gone home for the day, but has anyone else had this kind of problem?
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Dr. BTG greeted us with a rather strange left handed handshake, having the previous day crushed his fingers in a winch...on a yacht. Of COURSE it was on a yacht. No pedestrian slamming it in a car door or smacking it with a hammer for a man in private medicine. No, he had to get it caught in a yacht's anchor winch. No matter what the cause, though, a surgeon can't particularly afford to spend time with his digits wrapped in Band-Aids, so he looked vaguely pained throughout the proceedings.
As one might expect, I've had some fears that I REALLY needed allaying.
1) About 2 weeks ago, I was treated with anti-biotics for a kidney infection.
2) I've been having funny pseudo fainting spells- drops in blood pressure.
3) And holy cow, have I been having cravings for scrambled eggs. Are they going to poison me, cause rather a lot of internet websites are under the impression that they are?
His answers were quite to the point.
1) Not a problem.
2) Could be a good sign, a vague possibility that it's bad. Pregnancy plays all kinds of havoc with your blood pressure due to changes in progesterone. There's a small chance that it can also be an indicator of an ectopic pregnancy, the possibility of which, however small, I'm trying to prepare myself for. I've been having vague lower abdomen pain, but (welcome to the fun that is me) I also suffer from IBS, which pregnancy tends to make more acute.
"You're just one weird bag of goo," Mr. DD says to me, "there's no way of knowing WHAT'S normal with you. "
3) Eat eggs. Eat cheese. Eat whatever you like within reason as long as you cook the crap out of it first. "Life is for living," Dr. BTG said sagely, "don't let people scare the hell out of you."
We were also given some advice regarding the horizontal hucklebuckle.
"Semen," said the Good Doctor, "which is something that tends to jump out of boys when they get terribly excited, has a chemical in it that can cause contractions in the uterus. So while you're on holiday you should just say, "Hello Mr. Willy. May I entertain you this evening with Plan B?"
Mr. DD sat there, mouth slightly agape. I suppose that 35 plus years looking at fannies in all states of disrepair will do things to your sense of humor.
So there we have it. I came away with a blood test, 15 progesterone suppositories ("These can be administered vaginally or anally." said the woman at the pharmacy. "Well, not much of a contest there." I replied) and an appointment for a scan on the 19th of July, after Mr. DD and I return from our long weekend in Portugal.