Greetings from surreal-ville, the world in which I now live.
Today was my first appointment at the perinatal center. Everything looks perfect (God, I will never get sick of typing that phrase). Baby is still measuring 5 days ahead, 13w3d. Best of all, baby looks like a baby. Arms and legs waving all over the place. It’s just so crazy how much (s)he is moving around because of course I can’t feel anything yet. Everything was so good, in fact, that I don’t have to go back to perinatal until the level 2 scan (GENDER SCAN!) in February, like a normal person. Did you hear that? I’m a normal person.
So now back to that $50. My doppler arrived on Thursday and yeah, it was pretty much like Christmas came early. It is so freakin’ amazing. Anyone out there contemplating a doppler, I’m here to say, “GET ONE. GET ONE RIGHT NOW.” Big shout-out to Jane, Lentil, and Amy for giving me tips on how to find the heartbeat. My biggest challenge was distinguishing between my own pulse (which I found out at today’s ultrasound is the sound of blood flowing to the placenta) and the baby’s, but once I actually found it, I could definitely tell the difference. Baby’s heartbeat is so much faster than my pulse. It’s just incredible. And yes, I have used it every single day since I got it. I’m gonna have to stock up on the gel, because there ain’t no way that little 3 ounce tube is going to last me very long. And side note – with the Sonoline B, I kept getting a read of 125 or so, which is low, but today at the appointment the heart rate was 165. So I wouldn’t put much weight on the actual readout, just the fact that it’s there. The doctor even cautioned me against going into a panic if I ever couldn’t find it because it is rather early, and my tools are mediocre at best. Apparently he doesn’t know me at all because OBVIOUSLY I would freak out if I couldn’t find it. But so far, so good. I’ve found it every time without too much trouble.
TMI paragraph ahead – be warned. Keep reading at your own risk.
Just because I got a doppler doesn’t mean I’ve been drama-free. As you may imagine, Progesterone suppositories come with a fair amount of “leakage,” so the sensation of “stuff coming out” has not been shocking or alarming these past few months. However, Saturday morning I was outside taking the dogs out when suddenly I felt a “whoosh!” of fluid that was like nothing before. A quick check revealed that it wasn’t blood, thank God, but it was clear and was definitely not pee (which message boards all seemed convinced it must be for other women that this has happened to. I find that condescending – like, wouldn’t you know if you peed yourself? But I digress…). Because I’m ready for doomsday at any moment, my mind immediately jumped to the worst: amniotic fluid. I ran upstairs and heard the heartbeat, which was nice, but I know you can lose amniotic fluid and still have a live baby for a little while. Anyway, I spent the next two days Googling it, and from what I found amniotic fluid has a distinct smell, is straw-colored, and is not sticky. None of these things matched what happened to me… but still, weird. The only thing that I can chalk it up to is that Eric and I had sex the night before it happened for the first time in like forever (giggity)… so perhaps we shook something loose? I don’t know. All I know is that they measured the amniotic fluid today at the appointment and it was all good, plus when I mentioned it to the doctor he said it was normal, and not to worry. I just wanted to share this story in case it happens to anyone else and they freak out. It can turn out OK.
Isn’t it funny? I knew that at today’s appointment they would find a heartbeat (because clearly I had just found it hours before), but I was still freaked out. I can’t escape the anxiety. I’m starting to be convinced that there will ALWAYS be something to worry about (as many of you who are further along have warned me about). But at least it’s getting better.
Another reason for my worry over the appointment is that today, December 9th, is historically a bad day for me. It’s the day in 1988 that my grandfather had a heart attack while driving me to a friend’s birthday party. It’s the day my beloved pet prairie dog died (yup, I had one of those! Best pet ever). A boyfriend broke up with me on December 9th and I was appropriately devastated for an overly dramatic, overly attached teenage girl. As my mom says, “December 9th has just never been a good day for you.” She takes great care to not mention its approach, but is always half expecting me to call her on that day with some kind of bad news.
Because of this, I contemplated changing the appointment, but I felt silly. I don’t really believe in superstition. Now I’m glad I didn’t, because today went so well that I’m thinking perhaps the December 9th curse is broken. I can only hope.
Lastly, I posted the big news on Facebook today. I KNOW. It’s not even that exciting because basically everyone knows anyway, but it still felt like a gigantic milestone. I had written out exactly what I wanted to say weeks ago, something that didn’t go into too much detail but that definitely honored the long road we’ve taken to get here. Not gonna lie, I got a little teary hitting submit, and even more choked up when the comments and likes started flooding in.
Five days from today will mark one year since our very first consult at New Hope. I could never have imagined that this past year would go quite this way… for one thing, it feels like a lifetime ago. I’m a completely different person from that naive girl who fully expected IVF to be the magical solution to all her problems. But I am happy, and I am hopeful, and even a tad bit optimistic that I’ll actually get to take home a baby at the end of all this.
It’s just crazy.