Choked Up

Part of the reason I've been gone from here for so long is that I took a two-week vacation on the Oregon coast with my family, during which I had no access to the internet.

When I came back and started catching up with the fertility blogs I read, I was amazed at how quickly things change. While I was gone, people had found themselves pregnant, lost pregnancies, gotten news good and bad. So often each moment seems like we are frozen, and yet so much changes so drastically in such a short time.

Here's what's changed for me:

My cycle in August was the first cycle with monitoring and an hCG shot, my first cycle taking clomid and metformin at once. I didn't think it would work. During that two-week wait, I obsessed very little. I was busy. We closed on our house. We did a million things getting ready for vacation, and for moving.

But it turned out it worked. IT WORKED! An HPT was positive, and I had good, rising hCG levels in my blood.

Mr. Jae and I spent that week in a really weird state of disbelief.

I didn't write here because I didn't believe it yet.

I didn't believe it yet, and I was thrilled, and I was trying to start the long shift from the pessimistic attitude that served me so well for the past year an a half to the optimism that seems more useful and enjoyable in pregnancy.

Then we left for the aforementioned vacation. We met my parents at the coast, and we told my immediate family the news. We told them while my mom was chopping up cilantro, and she dropped the knife and the cutting board on the floor and cried and cried, and kept wiping her face with her hands, which were covered with cilantro bits, and she got cilantro bits all over her face, which I kept wiping off for her.

In the wee hours of the next morning, I woke up to pee, and when I wiped I could see blood. Reddish brown. Ugly.

I panicked. I didn't wake anyone up. I lay in bed letting tears soak my pillow and thinking, "God: If you are out there, I hate you," until, hours later, I fell asleep.

I called my RE's office in the morning, and the nurse told me not to worry as long as the blood was brown. And I tried to be all brave and cheery and optimistic but the bleeding seemed to increase and there was even some I'd say was brownish red rather than reddish brown, and I had cramps exactly like I'd get before having a really nasty period, and I spent the whole afternoon on the bed in the downstairs bedroom, crying and wiping my nose all over my snotty pajama shirt.

My mom brought me a sandwich and Mr. Jae sat with me and was amazingly calm and said amazingly right things (How did he know just what to say to a woman who was sure she was miscarrying?) My mom told me all about the bleeding she had while pregnant with me, and the bleeding my aunt had while pregnant with each of my cousins. I think I was tempoarily insane. I didn't really believe how common bleeding is (even though the nurse had told me on the phone), and I couldn't see how everything could be ok.

Finally I told them I wanted to take a nap, and Mr. Jae and my mom left, and I lay there clutching my snotty PJ top. The only thought I could think that was even slightly hopeful was, "Stay with me, little soul." And I kept saying this to myself as I fell asleep.

And I did NOT wake up to harder cramps or a gush of blood. I slept for a few hours, and woke up, and found the same unenthusiastic, ugly, brown spotting.

And it went on like that. I spent the whole vacation in a slowed-down state. I slept a lot, and went to the bathroom every half hour, probably, to check the color and quantity of the moment. Amazingly, amazingly, the spotting tapered off. And then came back. And then tapered off again. I made a few more teary calls to the RE's office and had a few more teary conversations with my family.

By the time we left for home, I'd had two days of no bleeding.

After we got home, it started again. On and off, sometimes seeming worse than the initial incident that had scared the living bajeezus out of me. The RE said they wouldn't do an ultrasound for another week, because it was too early for anything to be conclusive. Which I think is a load of crap. But the last thing I needed was anything else to be unconclusive, so I stuck it out. For a week I went back to that two-week-wait state - expecting the worst, hoping in my tiny little buried optimistic soul for the best: Stay with me, little soul. I couldn't write about it then. I couldn't put anything down without knowing how it would turn out.

The ultrasound was on a Wednesday, a week and a half ago. We held our breaths. We saw a heartbeat. The doctor said, "There's only one." I was too choked up to say, "One is perfect. One is all we need. One is just right."

I've had no bleeding for almost two weeks now, and I have been discharged to the care of a regular OB, who sees no problem with my quitting the metformin, having rambunctious sex, and taking up trampoline polo, and who says I will not be having ultrasounds every two weeks to preserve my sanity. I am still proceeding with caution.

I know so much about What Could Happen. And I am still making that shift, from protecting myself by expecting disappointment, to letting myself be THRILLED and hopeful, even while knowing there are no guarantees.

The world seems so dangerous, full of things I could breathe, swallow, or touch, that would severely fuck up what's going on inside me.

But here I am, almost nine weeks, and seemingly still pregnant. Nauseated on occasion. Gagging on dried apricots for no reason. Reading about pregnancy, which I never, never allowed myself to do before this. And feeling my mind turn, like a sunflower, to look at things differently.