Tuesday, May 27, 2014

No, that's fine, I needed a heart attack today

It's been a while.  Mostly because there's been nothing to update.  Nothing much has happened.  Literally, nothing.  I mean, my boobs stopped hurting, so I guess I've got that going for me.  But otherwise, not much of anything.  It's been a giant waiting game, and a lot of "If I didn't know I was pregnant, I wouldn't know I was pregnant" going on.  That in itself can be sort of stressful, because you start wondering if there's something wrong since you're not doing all of the normal first trimester stuff you read about on the internet.  So far, it's just been me, being me.  Hell, I've even LOST weight.  Not sure how that happened, except that I've been pretty disinterested in eating anything sugary, and the removal of sugar from my diet might have caused me to lose 3 pounds.  Wouldn't be shocking.  But, all in all, it's been uneventful.  I'm pretty grateful for that, for the most part.  But it does leave time for the imagination to run wild.

Last week we had our first official doctor's appointment.  That was interesting.  Not quite what I expected from anything I've been reading on the interwebz.  Everything said it would take a really long time, be prepared to be there for hours and answer a ton of questions, have your spouse there to answer questions, blah blah blah.  We were there for less than an hour.  No real questions to answer.  They handed me a book, some paperwork to take for a blood draw, no real conversation to any of that.  Then they did a vaginal ultrasound, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds, to take some measurements and make sure there was nothing overly abnormal.  That's where the heart attack part came in.  First, I have to be in a room, wearing a hospital gown, basically spread eagle for a doctor and a nurse to stare at me while my husband sat in a chair nearby being a patient audience member.  I get a wand stuck up my hoo-ha, they turn on the screen and we see.......nothing.  Literally, nothing.  Black uterus, and nothing.  So, the solution to this is to start jabbing the wand around to try to find something, which is again as awesome as it sounds.  Jab.  Nothing.  Jab.  Nothing.  Jab.  Nothing.  Lots of jabbing, lots of nothing.  I know this only went on for about a minute, but it seemed like an eternity, and I just kept thinking "Well.......if I was wrong about all of this, that's going to be embarrassing".  And I started to panic and wonder if you can really get two false pregnancy tests, and if just not having your period for a couple of months is totally normal for some people.  My brain started going all sorts of crazy places, like to the recurring dream I'd been having that I wasn't actually pregnant, it was just a rare form of cancer that masked as pregnancy.  Jab.  Something.  Finally.  Something small, and gray, and basically blob-like showed up on the screen and I thought for a moment "Baby or tumor?" when the doctor said "There we go, there's a heartbeat and a head" and vaguely pointed at the screen to the things that were somewhere within the blob.  I have no idea how she saw a heartbeat or head.  I saw nothing but gray blob.  But, it was a gray blob that she was confirming was in fact a baby.  Like, a real one.  That apparently had a heartbeat.  So, that was real.  That was different.  That was, after all that jabbing, a bit of a relief.  She took some measurements and concluded that my due date was off, so that kind of sucked.  I really wanted to squeak by before the end of my insurance plan year this year because then literally all of this would be free since my deductible was met earlier in the year.  Maybe the kid will be early?  Hard to say.  But, point is, it's in there and maybe just a couple of weeks off on the original due date in December.  They printed off some pictures of the ultrasound, which were sort of useless because all you could see was the dotted measurement line they took on the screen.  The gray blob wasn't even really visible.  But, we had vague photos of it at that point.  Then, the wand was removed, I was told to get dressed, she talked to me for a minute about the different due date, said there would be another appointment in July and sent me on my way.  Nothing more.  Rather anticlimactic after all of the searching and jabbing.  But, she did say everything looked fine, so I guess that's ok.  Or at least moderately less nerve wracking.

I go back on the 19th of June to do a screening for downs syndrome and a few other genetic abnormalities, and I guess at that point we can tell people.  That seems weird to me too.  I mean, that's putting the cart before the horse, I guess, since I still have 3 weeks to go to get to that point, and things can go badly between now and then.  I keep worrying they will, honestly, but I guess for the time being, everything looks ok.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Apparently you don't tell people when they're driving....

On Monday, my husband decided it was time to tell someone other than my friend who needed to talk me off the ledge.  We adopted a teenager several years ago, and we kept debating when we should tell her.  Initially we thought we should tell her right away, so she was a part of the whole thing, but my husband pulled back on that a couple of days later and decided maybe we should make it through our first doctors appointments first.  I was fine with that.  I did think we should tell her before everyone else, but I also understand his need to be cautious.  Things don't usually go well or work out for us.  Everything tends to be about 200% harder than it is for other people, so both of us have been going into this expecting the potential for the worst.  We don't really want to tell a lot of people and then have to back track and explain if something goes wrong.  At the same time, I felt like she'd be really upset if something did go wrong and she didn't know.  She'd be angry that we didn't include her so she could share in that emotional journey as well.  But I am also fine with being cautious.  So, we were going to wait.  Then, on Monday, we were talking about vacation plans for the year and my husband said something like "Well, we'll have to get everything in before October" in front of adopted daughter, and I just gave him this look of panic because I was sure she'd ask why.  She didn't, but I sort of freaked out because we live with her and talk to her every day.  How many more times could we have a slip like that?  I think he thought the same thing, because he came over and said "I think maybe we should explain" and I said that was fine.

Except that my husband needs a lot of time to work his way up to talking about anything, so we didn't explain just then.  We decided to go get ice cream, and while we were in the car he kept looking back at me with that "Well?" look and I kept nodding that it was fine.  She was driving.  I'm not sure why I decided to let him do all the talking.  I am usually the talker, but saying it out loud is still strange to me.  He started out very serious, and I could tell he was scaring the crap out of her.  He said "So, we have something we need to talk to you about, and it can't leave this car" which immediately set off some sort of panic trigger in her.  She gave him a shifty eyed "Ok...." and he started explaining that we were taking some time off in the next couple of weeks because we had to go see a doctor, and at that moment I realized that she probably thought one of us had cancer.  He sounded that awkward/grim/serious about the whole thing.  When he ended it with "Because we're going to have a baby" she screamed.  That was followed by a lot of "Oh my god, you're kidding!  Oh my god, seriously?!  Holy crap!  Holy crap, I thought I had done something terrible and you were mad at me.  Oh my god, I thought it was something so bad!  I'm shaking!  Can you see how much I'm shaking?  YOU CAN'T TELL ME THINGS LIKE THIS WHEN I'M DRIVING!" followed by more screaming.  We might be counting ourselves lucky that she didn't crash the car.

I think that's the first time it's seemed "real".  It's the first reaction we've actually witnessed, and although it was loud and scream filled, it was positive.  I keep having this vision that most reactions won't be positive.  I keep thinking that most people are going to be snide, or crappy about it.  I anticipate a lot of "I thought you guys were never having kids" or "It's about damn time" or "Really?  You just never struck me as a mom" and those are the reactions I dread most.  This one was the opposite.  There were hugs, and smiles, and it was nice to have someone who wasn't the least bit shitty about it.

But, lesson learned.  Apparently you can't tell people things like this when they're driving.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Emotions Run High

Earlier this week, my husband and I were having some conversations around impending doctor's appointments, screenings we're going to have to go through, and a variety of other things.  I said something about the discussion I was having with my doctor's office, and mentioned that they asked what pregnancy symptoms I was having, and I said that aside from the sore breasts and two positive pregnancy tests, none.  I also mentioned that I had to take two tests because I kept hoping maybe the first one was wrong.  That's when my husband said something kind of shattering.  He said "Well, you don't exactly seem very happy about this, so it pretty much seems like you're just doing it because we agreed to and you didn't want to go back on that".  Then I started crying.

I know that's how it seems.  I know that's how everything I've said up to this point has come off.  I know that's how he sees it, but he's been a bit stand off about the whole thing.  If I don't bring it up, he doesn't talk about it.  I don't even know what I'm supposed to say if I do bring it up.  And it's not even that I'm necessarily unhappy.  I'm just more afraid than I am happy.  I hate venturing into the unknown, and this is all entirely unknown to me.  I'm afraid of being a really bad parent.  I'm afraid I'm too selfish.  I'm afraid no one will actually be happy for us.  My whole life I've been told things like "Well, you're not exactly maternal" or "I've never pictured you as a mom".  Ouch.  It was bad when it was family saying those things, but somehow worse when it was near strangers saying it.  All of those sort of statements sting, and they make you second guess yourself.  I watch my sisters with their kids and think "I'm not sure I could do all of that".  I don't know if I'm cut out to be super mom.  I'm not even sure I'm cut out to be moderately adequate mom.  If I go too far down the rabbit hole, the tears start, and I'm eaten up by the fear.  Plus, I'm a cautious person.  I'm, presumably, about 7 weeks into this.  That means we're still right there in the middle of the danger zone where everything could fall apart.  I don't want to let myself get too excited, or look forward to anything, just in case bad things happen.  That will just make everything worse.  So, I prefer to not let myself get too worked up.  It just feels like setting myself up for heartbreak.

I told my husband that, since he never talks about it, it doesn't exactly seem like he's happy either.  He said he was, but his reasons weren't things that were overly comforting.  He said he was happy we weren't sterile, and that the timing is working out the way it is because our insurance is cheaper this year and it'll save us money, and that we did something right even if it's something dogs can do.  Those don't seem like the sort of reasons most people have.  They have little to do with wanting a baby, or parenting, or being excited to raise a child.  They're all very flat and practical.  I can't blame him, I've been the same way.  But I guess I would have felt better if it had been something along the lines of "I'm really excited to be a dad" because at least then one of us would be confident in their ability to not fuck up everything.

I know it seems like I don't care, or don't have an ounce of happiness in me.  It's not like that.  It's just that letting that come out right now seems like a bad idea, in case everything goes badly.  Plus, sometimes when the fear kicks in, it's hard to find that happiness underneath it.  It's why I spent the first two days of my impending motherhood in tears.  I'm so afraid.  I hope at some point the happiness outweighs that, but at this moment, I'm not there.  I'm trying to be.  I just need some time.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Just the facts, ma'am

Why did I go onto the internet?  Why did I start looking up articles on bullshit websites like thebump.com?  Why did I think any of that was a good idea?

Because I wanted facts.

Do you know what those sites don't really give you?  Facts.

I'm a very focused and planned person.  I like to know what I'm getting myself into.  I'm not 100% sure how far into this thing I am, since really the only major "signs" I've got going on are sore boobs (seriously though, let's be real, super sore) and the skipped period.  Oh, and the two positive pregnancy tests.  Because you can't trust just one.  I'm not going to lie, the lack of other "symptoms" has me thinking I should go take a third, just to be sure.  What if the first two were wrong?  But honestly, I don't know what that means.  I don't know how far into this I am, or if I should be showing more symptoms, or if some people just get the sore boobs or what.  According to the OB's office that I made an appointment with, I'm roughly 6 weeks in based on the trajectory of the stars and the placement of Venus and whether Jupiter is aligned with Mars and if it's a clear day in Seattle, or something.  I had to provide the first day of my last period.  Awesome.  I wish I knew when exactly that was.  No idea.  I think March 14th.  I'm not exactly diligent at keeping track of these things.  It shows up, I buy tampons, it goes away, life moves on.  I don't keep close tabs on exactly when it starts, or how long it lasts, or how many days between.  I used to have birth control to keep track of that shit for me.  Now I don't, and I just assume it'll start when it does and end when it feels like it.  Unless it doesn't start at all, which is what puts us here.  Anyway, if I'm 6 weeks in, that puts me at a due date around December 19th.  Ok.  Fine.  But what the hell does 6 weeks in look like?  I don't mean that adorable, romantic "This is the tadpole that is your baby right now, look at its grotesque little tail and seahorse body" stuff.  It's a tadpole.  Gross.  Don't care.  What does this mean for me?  Am I at a point where, if I haven't started fighting nausea and puking everywhere, I probably won't have that problem?  I'm told I should be feeling tired.  Am I at a point where this is the most tired I'll feel, or do I have more tiredness to look forward to?  I told you, I'm a very self centered person.

I wanted answers, and I don't see a doctor until the end of May, so that's just not going to work for me, which is what got me to open the can of worms that is the internet.  What I found is that pretty much every update from week 4 to week 8 is the exact same goddamn thing.  Every single one is like "You're probably experiencing nausea and sore breasts".  Ok, one but not the other.  WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!  Then there are tips for combating nausea, and warnings about how basically you're going to never sleep, have sex, or be comfortable again for the next 9 months.  Oh, and apparently you get to fart all the time and have horrible heartburn until the kid is born.  Super.  I guess that'll be fun to look forward to.  The worst part of it is that along with all of these horrible side effects of growing a human are messages like "But even though you're uncomfortable and unhappy, just smile and remember it's all for a good cause".  Fuck you.  No.  If I feel miserable, I'm not going to smile and say it's all for a good cause.  I'm going to say I'm miserable.  What the hell is this, the 1950's?  Put on your happy face and pretend everything is peaches and growing a human isn't at all bothersome?  Perhaps I should meet my husband at the door with his evening cocktail and make sure I drink a lot of wine to keep the baby small so I can keep my lovely figure while I'm at it.

Why can no one be real about this stuff?  I mean, can't anyone on the internet say "This is what you're staring down the barrel of at the moment, and it's going to suck.  Just get through it, you don't have any other choice"?

Luckily, right now, that's not where I am.  And all of those "Everyone is different and every pregnancy is different" things make me nuts, because I'm not sure if I'm normal at the moment or not.  My mom didn't get sick with any of us, so did I inherit that from her?  If so, thank you for that one, mom.  If not, when should I start expecting to see that stuff start happening?  I just don't know.  And the internet isn't helpful, it's insipid and made for all those moms who want a weekly update on what size fruit their baby resembles at the moment, and who take weekly photos of their belly to document everything, or have knocked up and fabulous photo shoots.  I'm not those women.  I'm the one over here wanting to keep this as scientific as possible.  Let's be clinical, shall we?  You tell me what to expect, and I'll brace myself and get through it.  Because I have no other choice.