May 29, 2008

BETTER ODDS

"Are you nervous?" my mother asked as we drove to the hospital this morning. "No," I said, "I just want to know the answer either way." I was prepared for both answers; I just wanted one of them.

When we finally got situated, which felt like it took forever, the nurse pulled up the ultrasound on a big screen.

"This is the gestational sac, where the baby lives," the nurse said. My mother got giddy and clapped her hands together like a little girl. "Hold your horses," I said wryly. "We had one of those last time, but there was nothing in it."

"This is the yolk sac, which will provide nourishment to the baby until the placenta forms," she continued.

"And this right here, this little grain of rice that's half a centimeter long, this is your baby." She zoomed in, and like magic we saw a rapidly beating heart. "That's the heart, right?" I cautiously asked.

It was. Beating 160 beats per minute. Going to town.

Everything looks good for where we're supposed to be. And happily, this is further than we got the last time.

I was kind of stunned. And so was my husband when I told him. He expected to be comforting me while I cried today; instead, I told him to get ready for his first Father's Day.

I was disappointed when she turned off the machine and made me go home; I could've watched that heartbeat all day long.

And just now I found the most wonderful sentence I've ever read on the internet:

A visible heartbeat could be seen and detectable by pulsed doppler ultrasound by about 6 weeks and is usually clearly depictable by 7 weeks. If this is observed, the probability of a continued pregnancy is better than 95 percent.

We still have a ways to go before we're out of the woods, but this is a heck of a good start.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Now that this is off my shoulders, I can get back to our regularly scheduled programming of ranting about 20 year old movies and dating advice on MSN.

And knitting. Lots of little knitting.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:48 AM | Comments (53) | Add Comment
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May 28, 2008

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

I'm home from my vacation. I head to the hospital in the morning for an ultrasound to hopefully get an idea of what's going on. Tomorrow morning, something will happen that will drastically change my life, either for better or for worse.

I can't help but think that my life feels like a Choose Your Own Adventure right now.

In one storyline, we find out that the baby is dead. We have to figure out what to do next. Maybe I have to have another D&C. I'll have to find someone to go with me to the hospital if I do. And then I have to wait months to not be pregnant again. And then perhaps continue with the fertility treatments as planned. Or not, depending on whether this second failed pregnancy is another fluke or a symptom of a bigger problem. I see months of looming questions.

In the other storyline, we see a heartbeat tomorrow morning and realize all seems to be going well, despite the odds. I get excited. I take photos of myself getting bigger and fatter to send to my husband in Iraq. I write letters about kicking and ultrasounds. I sweat it out at the end of the pregnancy, hoping my husband will make it home before the baby arrives. And he returns to a new family and a lot of happiness.

I have already lived both scenarios in my mind over the past few days, and I think I've already felt all the possible emotions. I lie in bed and feel my heart racing when I start to think about it too much. One of these things is going to happen to me tomorrow.

I just don't know which one.

And honestly, the scariest thought is that something in between will happen. They won't be able to tell. The ultrasound won't be conclusive. We'll have to wait another week to know for sure. The agony of unknowing will drag on.

I don't know when I'll tell you the results. As usual, I want my husband to know before I put it on the internet, which means waiting for him to be able to contact me from Iraq. Don't call me tomorrow, because I won't answer the phone until I've talked to my husband.

One of these adventures is going to be my own tomorrow.
Sadly, I don't get much of a choice in the matter.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:10 PM | Comments (22) | Add Comment
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May 22, 2008

GRRR

Dear Husband,

Something is fishy with my grandma's internet. Every time I try to email you, it gets an "internal error" and shuts down. So I can't write to you, but you could write to me. I can still read email, just not send it.

And you can always call (wink wink).

I love you,
Sarah

Posted by: Sarah at 03:15 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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GRRR

Husband,

I hope you read this. I am at my grandma's house on her dial-up, but every time I try to send you an email, the computer gets an "internal error" and kicks me off the internet. So I can't write to you, but if you write to me, I can read emails. Just not write them. I don't get it either.

And you can always call (wink wink).

I love you,
Sarah

Posted by: Sarah at 03:12 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 21, 2008

INITIATING RADIO SILENCE

I am heading to my grandparents' for the long weekend. I am leaving my warm weather and heading north. Too north. I am also leaving my internet connection, so I doubt there will be much posting for the next week. Hopefully there will at least be sustained contact with the husband.

As always, don't have too much fun without me.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:31 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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May 19, 2008

BASKET CASE

Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything
All at once
I am one of those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone
No doubt about it

Well, we're still pretty much in the same boat. My levels rose but didn't come anywhere near double.
So they're not falling, but they're not exactly conclusively good.
Now we just wait until the ultrasound on the 29th to see if we see a heartbeat.
I don't know if I should be happy or sad, honestly.
I have no idea what's going on.
We have a 15% chance for a successful pregnancy.
Maybe worse, considering the fate of our last pregnancy.
This may be the longest ten days of my life.
I also look like a heroin addict with bruises and needle marks from giving too many vials of blood.

Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I'm cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Or am I pregnant...

Posted by: Sarah at 06:17 AM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
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May 17, 2008

UPDATE

I posted yesterday at 4:15; the nurse finally ended up calling me at, no joke, 4:29.
The news is bad.
Bad enough that I have to go to the emergency clinic on Sunday to get tested again.
Bad enough that she told me to expect bleeding at any time.
We could use a miracle right about now.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:35 AM | Comments (16) | Add Comment
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May 16, 2008

LIVID

No one answered my calls today or called me back.
I don't know my test results.
And now it's the weekend.
I am livid.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:15 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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MY BRAIN IS MY OWN WORST ENEMY

Time is moving like molasses this morning.

I have to wait until noon again to get my bloodwork done. I hear the clock ticking in the silent house and I can't concentrate on anything else.

Will the numbers be high enough? Will they not? I thought I could handle another dead baby, since I've done it once before, but until yesterday I didn't realize just how devastating that would feel again.

I don't feel pregnant this morning. I feel like my body has already given up.

Last night I went out and bought baby clothes, just to try to feel normal.

I am going to the hospital and then I'm not coming home. My dear friend has invited Charlie and me to spend the night at her family's house. A sleepover of sorts. It seems so silly, but she insisted that I not be alone.

She loves Hot Fuzz; me too. Maybe we can watch.

Please don't let the baby be dead.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:29 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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May 15, 2008

PANIC

Yesterday I was supposed to go in and get more labwork done to make sure that the pregnancy is progressing. I was supposed to show up at lunchtime to do it. When I got there, I found that the nurse had forgotten to order the bloodwork. Naturally, it was lunchtime, so no one was around. I sat for half an hour until they got back from lunch to put the request in the computer system. I ended up getting the test done at about 1:15. When I called for the results, they told me that because I had gotten it done after 1:00, the results wouldn't be ready until tomorrow. Yeah, totally their fault.

I have been calling for the past two and a half hours this morning, and no one is answering the phone.

You know, I said I'm optimistic about the pregnancy, but I've realized what a panic I'm in that I can't get these results. It's like this time I need proof that the baby is not dead, since I carried a dead one around for seven weeks last time.

Someone answer the &%$# phone.

UPDATE:

She finally returned my voicemail, two hours after I left it. My results don't look that great. Not dire, but not perfect. I won't know anything more until they can do an ultrasound in two weeks.

Two weeks of agonizing. How nice.

UPDATE AGAIN:

Sorry for the confusion. It's not that they can't get me in for two weeks; it's that ultrasounds are useless until the baby's at least seven weeks along. There's nothing they can know for sure until the heart starts beating. So we have to wait until then, which is two weeks from now.

UPDATE AGAIN:

I worked up the nerve to call back and mentioned that my husband is deployed and I'm sitting alone in the house working myself into a tizzy over this. The nurse reluctantly agreed to let me get my levels tested again tomorrow, but she said flat out that it was pretty pointless. Ewww. And this is a fertility clinic nurse, someone who should know better. All her patients are fragile and freaked out, and she acted all exasperated that I am nervous because she made me feel uneasy about my results. But how are you supposed to feel when someone reads you your numbers and then says, "Oh. Hmm. Have you had a miscarriage before? Oh." and gives you one-word answers to the questions that you're managing to choke out through tears? I mean, for goodness' sake. Nice bedside manner, lady.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:55 AM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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May 13, 2008

THERE IS A SOLITUDE OF SPACE

My husband's buddy also mentioned that he was a little worried about me, that too much solitude was going to make me batty. He joked that I'd better not turn into Emily Dickinson.

And while there is no frigate like a book, I too worry about having so much alone time.

But if my solitude could get me anywhere near writing something like this, it would be worth it.

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Posted by: Sarah at 11:00 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 12, 2008

BUTTON LOVE

It's funny the things that strike you about a person.
And it's nice when they don't label you as teh crazy.

Yeah, my button love. I started collecting them when my mother gave me a jar of buttons that were my great grandmother's. Now I have thousands, all over the house. I have buttons filling lamps and buttons in vases and in jars tucked all over the place.

My relatives even threw me a button bridal shower and collected buttons from anyone who had them. That's how I was able to make this:

lamp.jpg

The funniest button story I have was when I expressed my love for buttons while living in Sweden. My friend's mother took me to her work so I could sift through all the buttons I wanted. Sadly, she worked at a sort of daycare for mentally handicapped adults. I don't know what that says about me, that I want to play with the same things they do.

So when Sis B and I turned the corner in the yarn shop, I walked open-mouthed to the button rack. And these are high-end buttons, which you buy individually, not the card kind you get at any old store. I ooohed and aaahed, and she was a good sport and pointed nice ones out with me.

The button love is intense in our house.

Posted by: Sarah at 12:37 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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PARKING SPACES

After our fateful trip to the emergency room in December, I had to go see the doctor the next day to schedule my D&C. I pulled into an extremely packed parking lot, save for an empty row of Expectant Mother spots right by the front. I broke down sobbing in my regular person parking space, far from the front door. It was another reminder that I had lost my chance to use those spaces.

So today as I drove up to the hospital to get my bloodwork done, I got a grin on my face thinking that I could park in one of those spaces! And wouldn't you know, they were all full.

But next time, next time I will be able to.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:02 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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SHAME CLEANING

My husband's two friends from Farsi class share an apartment (because we've all seen the state of the barracks around here). They come over often for dinner, but we had never been to their place. My husband goes over there one day and comes home and, on a stack of Bibles, says, "Man, their house is clean! And so tidy! Not like ours." Heh. That gem of a compliment was made to me on Valentine's Day, no less.

So the first time I go to their apartment for shooting day, I nearly have a heart attack. Three single junior enlisted soldiers live there, and I swear to you I would've eaten off the floor. It was immaculate.

And all of a sudden I felt mighty ashamed of all the times they'd been in my grubby house.

Two of the roommates deployed last weekend, so my husband's buddy is all alone, just like I am. My husband told him that we should hang out while they're away, and he promised his friend that he didn't have to fear him Marsellus-Wallace-style. And that I wouldn't snort heroin up my nose and have to be jabbed in the heart with a syringe.

So his buddy is coming over for dinner tonight while the gettin's still good, while I can still cook before morning sickness sets in. I'm making him my favorite: saltimbocca alla Romana. Then I thought we could watch the "Fun With Veal" South Park.

Thus I've spent the entire morning on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor. And cleaning windowsills. And vacuuming. And doing everything I can to hide the fact that a full-time soldier keeps his place cleaner than a full-time wife does.

Seriously, they make me look like a slob.

Back to work.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:37 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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May 09, 2008

MILESTONES

When we started trying to have a baby a year and a half ago, my husband was dismayed that he hadn't reached two goals yet: he wanted to have X amount of net worth, and he wanted to be finished with his MBA. But that was our safe year, so we had to take advantage of his non-deployable status.

Well, last month we hit that X amount of money, and now I'm happy to announce that my husband passed his last two classes right before he deployed and finished his MBA program.

So anyway...Hey, baby, any time you feel like finally joining our family, feel free. Everything's squared away for your arrival. We've got fun knitted animals for you to play with, you've got a dresser full of clothes that the SpouseBUZZers bought for you, and now your screaming won't bother your father while he's trying to do homework.

Anytime now...

Posted by: Sarah at 02:08 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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