A few weeks back, one Friday, a day before my period was due, I took a lolpregnancy test.
It was negative.
Nothing new. As my post history (overly?) details, we’d been trying for nearly a year and a half. Other than an early loss on the same cycle as my HSG, there’s been nothing to show for our troubles. (I asked for another HSG but they told me no. /sad) In January, a bit over a year of trying (and like 15 cycles or something, I have short cycles), I asked to be referred to the fertility clinic. Unlike our Southern neighbours, Canadians can’t just walk into a fertility clinic. You don’t shop for a fertility clinic, unless you have a lot of time and money to travel. There is one clinic for half the province. Waitlists for just a consult, especially for an unexplained case in someone under 35 (even though I’m getting pretty freaking close to 35) can be up to a year. I was quoted 4-6 months. It was a bit over 5 months and nothing.
I had high hopes for this cycle. We had gone on holidays! I mean, the holidays didn’t coincide with our fertility window but according to everyone who eagerly offers bad fertility advice, there’s nothing better for your fertility than going on holidays.
I went out and partied that Friday. Also booked an emergency weekend trip to Taiwan as Ed’s aunt passed away (no need for condolences, he had met her 3-4 times in his life and I had never met her) and his family was requesting our presence. Then Saturday I invited people over and partied harder.
Pregnancy tests should be repeated every 48 hours until you have your period, so Sunday, before work, I took another. It was immediately negative. I gave myself the usual deflated self talk. Oh well, maybe we’ll hear back from the fertility clinic soon.
I brushed my teeth and did my hair, the usual getting ready for work routine. I took another peak at the stick after the three minute mark.
Lo and behold, there was more than just a control line. It was faint, but it was there.
On pregnancy message boards, many ladies like to come up with witty ways to tell their partners. Especially since I got my positive close to Father’s Day. Creative internet ladies LOVE imaginative ways to share the news with fathers-to-be around Father’s Day.
I have no such patience.
I woke Ed up, shoved my pee soaked stick in his face and asked if it looked positive to him. (I believe his half-asleep response was something like “Um, yeah, sure, whatever you say.”)
I also told everyone at work. By the end of the day, half the town knew about that morning’s fortunate test. I know you’re supposed to wait until the end of the first trimester because of risk of loss and all that, but I was vocal about my shitty fertility, I was vocal about my last loss and was prepared to be vocal again should this one end badly.
My parents found out a week later. I wanted to tell them over the phone but the time difference combined with our emergency trip to Taiwan and my crazy work hours made it difficult. Ed’s parents will probably find out after the genetics testing, as I feel like they (and we!) will be happier if we don’t get their hopes up until our chances of everything being ok are pretty good.
On Being Pregnant
So, there’s a misconception about me wanting to be pregnant. See, I didn’t especially care to be pregnant. I just want to raise a baby and, well, even with our fertility struggles, good ole fashion pregnancy is the most efficient way of putting myself in that position. Still, after a year and a half of heartbreak and disappointment, I promised myself I would not take pregnancy for granted.
And I don’t. I think there’s a healthy way to be grateful every second for the opportunity to bring a child into your family while still not appreciating your body’s protests.
I would say that I’ve been lucky. I’m not having one of those “I can’t even tell I’m pregnant!” pregnancies, but it’s not like my face is in the toilet 24/7 either. I feel like things would be easier if I had an office job where I could work at my own pace and not have to deal with hordes of inane people and their rambling (it’s not that I’m insensitive to how your insurance is now charging you 30 cents more on your already really cheap drugs and that you had to wait an 5 extra minutes because the person in front of you had a question, it’s just that I’m starving, covered in sweat, can barely see from the headspinning and if you don’t shut up I am going to legit puke all over this counter.)
Lessons I’ve learned:
1- Never be hungry. Ever. I’m having a pretty bad aversions to meat (Ed is disappointed that I have no amusing cravings yet, just lots and lots of aversions), so my backpack crammed full of salads, fruits, carrots, hard boiled eggs, broths and granola bars. I eat nonstop and I don’t care what the customers think, I’m pregnant dammit. Funny story, the other day I bought a pack of croissants at the grocery store. They were delicious so I ate 3 in one sitting. And was still hungry.
2- Take breaks. I don’t have scheduled breaks at work and I’m so swamped that I usually don’t stop for more than 5 minutes twice in a 13 hour shift to stuff something in my mouth, but since being pregnant it’s a lot easier to put myself first. When I feel the wheels about to fall off the wagon, I tell the customer I’ll be back in 15, get someone from front store to watch my counter and I leave. I’ve also cut down on the volunteering (I work 14 hours shifts, but am only paid for 11 – I still have to volunteer a bit and go in on my days off otherwise everyone in the nursing home will die for lack of meds, but I now proudly do the bare, bare minimum.)
3- Diclectin works miracles. (I think it’s called Diclegis in the US.) I wasn’t having any nausea at my first appointment but my doctor suggested I take the prescription just in case. And wow. When I started feeling sick, I took one and I could actually feel the humanity returning to me. It’s been doing wonders for night stomach pains, morning lightheadedness and insomnia. 10/10 would recommend.
4- I plan my life around sleep. I do okay on days that I work, but my days off go kind of like this: wake up at noon, pee, eat something, fall asleep on couch, wake up 2 hours later, pee, eat something, crawl into bed, wake up 2 hours later, pee, eat something, go play phone games on couch, fall asleep, you get the picture. I would have blogged about this sooner but the way my life is right now, I’m either at work or asleep. I get frustrated that I can’t do the things I want to on my days off, but part of me enjoys just giving my body what it needs, guilt-free.
I saw my doctor around 7 weeks. Last time I saw the doctor earlier because I had started bleeding before I even knew I was pregnant, but this time everything was going well so I held off as long as I could. According to her, I was actually 7 weeks 4 days at my appointment given my short cycles (it’s amazing how internet women always know exactly what week and day they’re on. I try to keep track, but the more time goes by, the more I need to rely on my calendar.)
My doctor offered to try to find a heartbeat with the handheld ultrasound machine at the clinic. I didn’t know you could do an abdominal ultrasound so early on, all the internet ladies had their early ultrasounds done vaginally, but apparently you can. We saw the baby (if you can call it that) and the heartbeat! She then ran to grab the clinic Doppler and we were able to listen. Amazing!
I think I was more relieved than excited, though, to be honest. While our struggles to get (and I guess, stay) pregnant were minor compared to many, they did bring me in contact with a lot of unfortunate women. Nothing is ever a given. There’s no certainty you’ll become pregnant. There’s no certainty a fertilized egg will grow. There’s no certainty of a heartbeat. There’s no certainty that the baby will be genetically viable. There’s no certainty it’ll survive childbirth. Worrying about your child’s survival, I’ve discovered, doesn’t start at birth. It starts at conception.
I had the official dating ultrasound on Thursday but have yet to hear back. The technician scolded me for having an empty bladder (They told me to void an hour before then drink water! That’s what I did! And my bladder certainly didn’t feel empty!) but as far as I can tell, the pictures looked fine. If I can see everything clearly, they should be able to see everything clearly.
* * * *
The next step, other than hearing back on the dating, is getting genetics (I think chromosomal is the proper word, but I’m not sure. I believe genetics applies to the parents and we aren’t doing for that, as much as I would like to) testing done. My doctor suggested the Harmony test so we’re going with that one at 11 weeks. It’s not covered by provincial insurance and there are no private labs in town which means we need to travel to the city for the blood draw, but the peace of mind (and the COOLNESS factor! Is it bad that I’m really excited about the coolness factor?) will be worth it I think.
Otherwise, just gotta hang in there, I’m told my energy will be back in the second trimester. Fingers crossed that baby will stick until then and beyond!
Oh, and if you want to hear something funny, the day after my doctor’s appointment confirmed heartbeat, the fertility clinic called. (They were super sweet and understanding, by the way. Absolutely reassuring for if I need to rely on them in the future.)