August 20, 2009


Our baby is living up to the John Elway name.

My husband picked that nickname, you'll remember, because John Elway lost three Super Bowls before he won a fourth.  We lost three babies and my husband really wanted to win a fourth.

Yesterday the genetic counselor called.  I wasn't expecting the call for another week.  Guard Wife and I were eating lunch together and my heart went into my throat when I picked up the phone.

But our baby is a John Elway baby.  A Super Bowl winner.

The baby has perfect chromosomes.  Nothing wrong.  Not even the balanced translocation that I have.  That means that this child will not have chromosomal infertility later on when it comes time to birth the next generation.  Perfect.

Our baby is John Elway in every way.

Except that it's a girl...

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August 18, 2009


I had an ultrasound this morning, and Elway is still fine.

So now let me tell you what CVS is like, in case you ever find yourself in stirrups doing the same test. This is what they do:

Only instead of it being a cutesy drawing you'd see in a brochure, it's a grainy, black and white, blurry, constantly moving ultrasound image. And instead of a perfectly still baby, you have a baby that's flailing about and bouncing all over the place. And instead of a catheter that looks like a harmless straw, you have a sharp pointy end and it's poking dangerously close to bouncing baby's head.

And you're watching all this go on on the ultrasound screen while the doctor tries to take part of the baby's placenta and the baby is clearly irate at the vandalism.

Oh, and your bladder is about five times the size of the one in the drawing because it helps steady things. So in addition to trying not to laugh or gasp or breathe too hard for fear of jostling the whole uterus and putting that pincher through baby's head, you're also trying not to pee on the doctor.

I wasn't prepared for how harrowing this would be. I knew it was a risky thing to do, but I didn't really expect to be watching the risk. And I never expected the baby to go berserk like he did. It was my first taste of motherhood, where my child was in distress and I had to watch him suffer.

I'm still glad I did the test and I will probably do it again with the next pregnancy. But it hurt my heart.


I am leaving today for my annual trip home to the Midwest. And since I am almost 12 weeks along, I have just flat out decided that I don't want to be morning sick anymore. I just don't want to. So I am going to exercise mind over matter and just make myself feel better. So, there, done, no more morning sickness.

Now if someone would just tell little Elway to stop treating my belly like it's a speed bag.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:23 AM | Comments (18) | Add Comment
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August 14, 2009


The CVS went without complications, we think.
I am still trying to decide how much I want to share...
But I wanted you to know that I am home and baby was OK as of a few hours ago.

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August 13, 2009


I've lost six pounds since I found out I was pregnant.  I haven't had much appetite, and for years I've been accustomed to eating big meals with my husband.  But I can't figure out where the six pounds has been lost from...

Normally if I stand sideways in the mirror, I can suck my tummy in and look pretty skinny.  But since my uterus is now supposedly the size of a grapefruit, my gut simply doesn't suck in anymore.

I just made myself dizzy and nearly passed out trying to suck my tummy in.  Heh.

I guess I can kinda start to notice that I'm pregnant.

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August 12, 2009


Baby's fine again.  He was using my uterus as a hammock, just lounging along the bottom with his legs in the air and his left arm slung back over his head like he was shielding the sun from his eyes.

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August 11, 2009


My husband just wrote and said he's worried that you readers will read my recent blog posts and think I'm having a nervous breakdown.  I'm not.  Not really, at least.

I'd like to think I'm faring as well or better than the average person who deals with two years of infertility and miscarriages and the 50% chance of impending death for her current baby, all by herself while her husband repeatedly fights in war.

I'd say out of all the people in the world who are doing that right now, I am definitely near the top of the list of not having a nervous breakdown.

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I had to go to the bathroom.  The toilet filled with blood, and I looked down and saw the placenta hanging out of me.  I let out a whimper of agony...and woke myself up.

I am tired of the nightmares.

I am tired of living multiple futures.  In some of my dreams and daydreams, I get the call with good news about the CVS test.  I wait for my husband to call and happily tell him.  I finally update that I am pregnant on Facebook.  I have a big, round belly in my Christmas pictures.  I have a baby, finally, after three long years of pain.

And just as easily as I can imagine a happy future, I imagine the bad one too.  I get the bad news from the CVS test.  I have to decide whether to stay on vacation and attend my friend's wedding or drive straight home to come back to my doctor.  I have my mom call work for me and tell my boss.  And time stops there.  I can't see any life beyond that...

Both scenarios are perfectly mapped out and anticipatorally griefed.  Both are equally likely.

One will happen to me.

I am tired of constantly living at the fork in the road.  I have done it for years now.  It's the choose your own adventure book I can never escape from.

I want out...but there is no out.  This will always my fate.  Even if this pregnancy goes well, I will get trapped in this hell again to have a second child.

I want a linear life.

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August 08, 2009


First Val...
Then AWTM...


There are times you want to pull the emergency cord, and cannot. "Hey I want off of this thing", but even though it is a horrid ride, you pray this will be be the final terrible bumpy ride. Certainly, a ride can never match this one? In the back of your brain you know better. There can always be a worse road, you do not have to look far.

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August 07, 2009


I got the referral today and have an appointment.
I also got a much-needed email from Julia saying that she absolutely supports doing the CVS test and has had to do it multiple times herself.
So I'm doing it.  End of waffling.  End of discussion.

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When my mother went to my doctor's appointment with me, she asked my doctor if he would also be delivering my baby.  I said, "Mom, it was his job to get me pregnant, that's all."  I had to stop myself from adding "thank fricking heavens."  My next appointment is set up with a maternal-fetal medicine doctor.  I am almost out of the fertility clinic for good.


I need my doctor for one more thing.

You think he came through?

I met with him again Wednesday to discuss doing a test that will map the baby's chromosomes and prove definitively whether this baby carries the unbalanced translocation that would be its death sentence.  Every person I've talked to -- my doctor, the genetic counselor, the OB nurse -- has posed the same question: What will you do with this information once you get it?  What will you do if your baby receives a death sentence, because if you're not going to do anything about it, then there's no point in gathering the information.  Ignorance is bliss, right?

I disagree.

It's entirely possible to carry this baby the entire nine months, birth it, and watch it die hours or days after it's born.  And if that is my fate, I need to know it.  Because that means that hitting the second trimester, the point when most women sigh with relief, means nothing for me.  I cannot sit here and wonder every week if this will be the week my baby finally dies.  It could happen in week 7, as my previous pregnancies, in week 18, as Julia experienced, or in week 25, 32, whatever.  And I just need to know if this is my fate, because I cannot enjoy this pregnancy and bond with this baby if I keep waiting for it to die every single day.

So I encourage nurses and genetic counselors to ask their rehearsed question of what a patient will do with the info, but to also conversely ask "Can you live without knowing?"  I believe I am the type of person who can't.

This test has to be done between 10 and 12 weeks, and since I am already 10 1/2 weeks along, the decision had to be made fast.  Ironically, I never felt like I had to give this much thought yet because I kept expecting the baby to die on its own.  So this decision snuck up on me.

My doctor sat with me on Wednesday and asked the "what will you do with this info?" and pretty much let it be known that he advised against the test, but in the end he said that if I want to do it, I should call the referrals lady and she would get me another appointment at the major metropolitan hospital that I went to for the genetic counseling.

I went home and called the referral lady.  She said, "Honey, I can't make you that appointment without your doctor putting the referral in the computer.  And he has left the office and won't be back the rest of the week."

I am just dumbfounded.  I now have to wait until Monday to get a referral to then try to get a same-week appointment.  Why didn't my doctor just put it in the computer while we were sitting there if he knew he was going to be out of the office the rest of the week?  Why did he take an already stressful situation -- making life and death decisions -- and make it even more stressful by having me sit on my thumbs for an extra five days waiting for his stupid self to code something in the computer for me?

What an asshole.  Pardon my language, but I am just so done with that man.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, literally!, as I was getting up to leave, I recounted something that happened the last miscarriage.  The miscarriage-inducing drug that was given to me during my second miscarriage was inserted vaginally so it could work its magic more quickly.  Because that was an emergency visit, I did not see my regular fertility doctor but whoever was on call.  That doctor explained in detail how the medicine worked and what I was supposed to do with it.  So when I saw my doctor for the third miscarriage and he prescribed the same medication, well, I had already been to that party.  I said I had already taken that same medication once, and my doctor said that breaking the pills in half would make the drug act even faster.  So that's what I did.  I took eight jagged, broken pieces of pill and inserted them gingerly and painfully into my vagina.  Oh holy moly, that hurt.  So I wanted my doctor to know this because, ahem, he doesn't have a vagina himself and maybe has never considered the abuse that jagged pills can inflict.  Maybe it's not worth it for them to act Even Faster! if it causes that kind of discomfort.

He just stares at me and goes, "You were supposed to put them in your mouth."

Four months ago, my doctor handed me a medication with no accompanying written instructions and expected me to know how he intended me to use it, when he knew darn well that there were two different modes of employ.  And then he looked at me like I was a complete moron for having chosen the wrong method.

Seriously.  Flames, on the side of my face...heaving...breathless...

I want that referral and I want it now.  And I want to get him the hell out of my life.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:19 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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August 05, 2009


Our baby has a growing brain.  Hands and feet.  Individual fingers and toes.   John Elway baby wiggled his arms and hands in a little dance.

And I sobbed.

I don't cry at the bad ultrasounds, just the good ones.

With each week, I grow more confident.  But with each week I also grow more attached to a baby I know could still have fatal problems.

But my heart is happy because I know, at least for today, that a little baby is dancing inside me.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:58 AM | Comments (25) | Add Comment
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