Friday, October 1, 2010
So. Things have been hard for me this pregnancy. It has definitely been the hardest of the four. Eating things is still hard, and my ankles are super swollen every night, and I have crazy nasty varicose veins, and I've been getting these wicked leg cramps, that hit all of a sudden like sciatica, but then turn into super painful cramps, but in my upper legs instead of my calves. I had one while I was driving the other day, and it was SCARY. And Scott is never home, and I get tired of parenting ALL day, all alone--hopefully that doesn't make me sound like a terrible parent. And the last week was in the 90s and 100s, and it's not fair. And I've been feeling like bursting into tears at random things, which I blame on crazy pregnancy hormones. Anyway, I've been complaining a lot. Not so much to the world, or even Scott, since he's never around to hear it. Plus I try to not complain about things to people too much, because people don't like that, and focusing on the bad stuff in your life makes the bad stuff worse. But I've been complaining in my head way too much. The other day I was talking to Scott, and realizing how lucky I am to be pregnant and uncomfortable. Many people, including some that I know, will never have that, and would be SO excited for the chance to be miserable for ten months. Or they have to go through expensive, risky fertility treatments, and are lucky to have just one kid. And, even more personally to me, and THIS pregnancy, I am very lucky to be pregnant. I was thinking about how I felt that day when I got the positive pregnancy test after two weeks of bleeding, and then saw a doctor who told me there was essentially no chance that this baby would live. That I was miscarrying; there was a baby in there who was dying or already dead. Those terrible feelings of grief and powerlessness. And then waiting FOREVER for a follow-up ultrasound, and barely allowing ourselves to hope when we saw that the baby was STILL THERE. So, I have nothing to complain about, and I have everything to be grateful for. Somehow, through some miracle, this baby survived. And despite the fact that I'm pretty sure he's in there yanking on the umbilical cord all the time and that's what's making this huge weird pain above my belly button, it's all worth it, and all OK, and all good. This is the original blog post I did when we first found out I was pregnant, and in the same exact instant, possibly miscarrying:
February 12 2010
(This entire post is probably TMI, I mostly just want to remember what's going on for my own sake. So feel free to skip or skim)
So. Pretty much every month Scott and I convince ourselves we're pregnant. If I mix up a word (like saying "sword" when I mean "saw") or feel the tiniest bit nauseous or crave anything or whatever, we always say "It's because I'm pregnant!" It's almost like a joke. Anyway, this happened this month, like usual. Then I was two days late (which isn't all that abnormal since Evy was born) and then I opened a box of Goldfish for Ben and the smell made me super sick. So we decided to wait a few more days, then do a test. The next day my "period" started, so we laughed at ourselves like usual. That was January 30th, and I'm still bleeding, 14 days later. I started thinking a few days ago that something wasn't right. Then yesterday I woke up and had very typical (for me) morning sickness: feeling slightly nauseous and NOT hungry all day. I just lay in bed with ben & evy for most of the morning, then decided to do a pregnancy test. It was positive.
Now, I needed to see a doctor. So I spent the next 2 hours on the phone with Kaiser and our new insurance company, trying to find some way for me to see my old doctor. Not possible through our insurance, so I decided I'd just buy an individual Kaiser plan just for me, and everyone else could stay on Scott's. I was on hold for 6 years. Finally I talk to the lady, and she asks if I'm pregnant. So I say "yes..." If I were 27 weeks or more Scott's insurance would pay Kaiser to continue my care. Otherwise, there is NO WAY that Kaiser will let me buy an individual policy. I could just go, and pay full price, out-of pocket for everything. I know that Evy's 15 minute well-baby exam cost $255, so there's no telling what an OB exam and ultrasound and bloodwork would cost. So I called Scott and cried and was really angry. Then he recommended that I call some friends and ask who they use and see if those doctors are covered. My sister-in-law doesn't love her doctor, (and that doctor wasn't covered anyway) and my friend Katie didn't answer. So, I pulled up the list of 200 doctors, and randomly chose one close to Good Sam, because that's my favorite not-Kaiser hospital. I called them and they were really worried, and squoze me in at 1:00. So Scott picked Will up from school, and I left as soon as he came home.
I think that if I hadn't already been all worried and mad at insurance and bitter at having to go to this place it wouldn't have been so bad, but it was. The front desk girl was in like jeans and a sweater, barely looked at me, and wasn't at all friendly. They had an old-timey move-the-weights- scale. They didn't take my temperature, and used a manual blood-pressure dealie. Anyway the doctor came in, looked at the pregnancy test they just did, and said, "wow, that's a really strong positive." The she did an internal ultrasound, and said the sac looked strange, measured about 5 weeks, and that she couldn't see the ovaries too well. She didn't do an external ultrasound. Again, I'm comparing, and being all negative, but when I was 8 weeks pregnant with Evy I had a small amount of bleeding, and they sent me to the ultrasound specialist, who did like a 20 minute, extensive ultrasound, and got good, clear pictures of both ovaries and all over my uterus and cervix. I kinda expected this doctor to do something similar.
Then the doctor told me that she thought I was either having a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. She was really surprised that I wasn't having any abdominal pain or super-heavy bleeding. When I asked, she said that there was a less than 30% chance that this would be a viable pregnancy, or maybe actually less than 10%. Whatever that means.
So she had me go to the lab to check my hCG levels and to check if I was anemic. I also noticed on the form that she was checking my Rh group. I know that I am Rh negative and Scott is Rh positive, and that I've gotten Rhogam with all three previous pregnancies, but she didn't ask me. And she didn't tell me what she was testing for, even when I asked if she was testing my hCG levels. She said, "yes, and some other things." I'm not a doctor, but I've done this 3 times, and have a slightly-higher than average knowledge of bloodwork due to being a vet tech. Anyway, it was just one of the little things that bothered me. She told me that this wasn't my fault, it was just something that, if we choose to have babies, we have to learn to accept and live with. Thanks. Makes me feel lots better. I'll just go and deal with it now.
The receptionist setting up my recheck appt next week was, I guess, uncomfortable with the fact that I was sniffling and trying not to burst into tears right there in the waiting room. But she could have offered me a tissue or something.
Then I went to the lab, which was just down the hall. There were two workers sitting at the desk, looking at a computer. They didn't look at me. They were talking about the weird names Anjolina Jolie picked for her kids. And couldn't pronounce Shiloh or Vivienne. Then, across the hall I could see another worker trying to draw blood on an old man, and she was calling to the other people to help her because she couldn't get it. But they were on their lunch. Really? You're allowed to be rude in front of and ignore customers and read about Anjolina Jolie at the front desk on your lunch? So that took forever. And gave me a lot of confidence. Then, when the guy was finally drawing my blood, he was like, "so are you getting out of work right now?" and I said no. and he asked "do you work" and i said "no" and said, "oh you're rich huh?" no. idiot.
So all day yesterday I was super morning-sickness-y, and a little feverish and weak and just yucky feeling. I laid on the couch all day and Scott stayed home. I feel like I have more questions now than I did before I went to the doctor. I assume that this will be a miscarriage. Even though I didn't even find out I was pregnant until after we suspected there was a problem, it still is painful. I feel a little better today, but I still feel all weak and sick. Part of me feels like I should just suck it up. I mean, most of the people I know who have kids have had miscarriages, and most of them WAY later than this, after they've seen & heard their babies. And I assume that this is happening because there's something wrong with the baby, and my body knew that. And we weren't planning on getting pregnant again yet (not that it'd be bad if we did, it's just that, at least we haven't been trying for a long time and having that extra disappointment). But, I'm still going to wallow for a little while. Because I think that's allowed. I wish I could have my own doctor, who cares about me. Not that the other lady was uncaring, just that my own doctor who knows me and has been with me since the crazy night Will was born actively CARES about me. And that lab was gross and lame, and I don't want to have to go back there.
Another thing that's worrying me is that, while I was just barely pregnant, Scott and I moved our entire house ourselves. The washer & dryer, CA king bed, the couches, the giant bookcase. I even said, twice, "I'm glad I'm not pregnant, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to help with all this. My "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book (which has been WAY more helpful than the doctor I saw) says that "moving light furniture" won't cause a miscarriage. What about a washing machine? times like 30? Almost every day for the first 3 weeks of your pregnancy?
I really don't know what's going to happen next. I could have a miscarriage anywhere in the next 4 weeks. I might need a D & C. I might have an ectopic pregnancy explosion like my friend Hilary. Or I might have a baby in 8 months.
So see? Life is good. I have a baby squirming around who, as far as we know, is super healthy and growing perfectly and who I will be able to hold and nurse and smell and cuddle in, at the VERY latest, three weeks. And I'm VERY grateful for that.