Wednesday, September 7, 2011

And So It Begins

Today has been one of those days that has got me running the emotional Olympics.

I got a BFP today. For those outside of baby loony land, that means I got a positive result on a home pregnancy test.

On the one hand, I am ECSTATIC. And nervous. And giddy. And elated.

But on the other? I am terrified. And trying not to stress myself into crazy zone. Which I know well. I have done it before.

For all of this to make sense, a little back story seems necessary...

My name is Christy. I am a twenty-something, just recently back in school after working my butt off in the retail world for the last several years and finally realizing it is NOT worth it. I married the love of my life last October. His name is Josh. We have been together for 5 years; through crazy teenage angst and jealousy into a lasting, deeply enduring kind of love that I never thought I'd be blessed enough to know.

We have never used birth control of any responsible kind throughout all of our 5 years together. After awhile, both of us started to get scared that maybe we could not even have kids. There was nothing to make either of us feel that way except the obvious: after 5 years, there was not even one baby scare. Looking back now, it is evident how much we were being watched over. Neither of us had good jobs, college degrees and we were not yet married. After our beautiful wedding last year, we immediately began doing "the talk." The talk about what our babies would look like, what names we like and how amazing it would be. We are not fully settled yet, but as everyone we have ever talked to says, "you are never REALLY ready for a baby." We could always be richer, in a bigger place, have better jobs. But the fact of the matter is, we as a couple are READY.

Although we had not started actively trying yet, we were completely open to the idea. I am one of those annoying women who is completely way too in tune with her body. And I just knew something was going on. I was not even late yet but I bought my very first "pee stick." I was set to go out to dinner that night with one of my best friends, so I quickly took the test before hopping in the shower. When I got out, my hands were shaking as I looked down at that pregnancy test. There it was: the faintest of faint lines. But it was still there. Two pink lines. I did not even see my husband until later that night when I got home from dinner. He had some guys over watching a game and so I kept my little secret all through that night. The next day, he got up, went to work and had jobs in the no cell service. I did not really want to tell him over the phone anyway so I started plotting.

That night when I got off work, I stopped at a local sports store looking for an infant sized football jersey. Football is the tie that binds our marriage...ironically our teams are rivals. He's a Baltimore Ravens fan and I'm a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I was initially looking for a mini Ray Rice jersey, but in Colorado it is impossible to find anything besides the super popular teams. So a mini Troy Polomalu jersey it was. I wrapped it and told my husband I could not wait to give him his early birthday present (20 days before his birthday!) He opened it and gave me the raised-eyebrow-I-don't-get-it look. At that point, I lifted up my shirt and showed him my tummy. I had written in big red letters, "Coming Soon!!!" Once he finally understood, he was completely shocked and ecstatic. We danced around, screaming and jumping and crying and shaking our heads in disbelief. It was a beautiful moment.

I went into this life changing event wholeheartedly. I went out the next day and bought the baby books, made my first pre-natal appointment, bought some vitamins and generally just glowed with the knowledge that I was carrying our precious child inside of me. I took SIX more hpts over the next week, because I was just convinced that it could not be true. They all came up positive. According to my last menstrual period, I was estimating that I was around 5 weeks along. The doctor did not want me to come in until 8 weeks, so I scheduled that appointment and tried to relax.

I cannot really explain this very well, but just as I knew I was pregnant I kept having this gut feeling that something was wrong. I was a little crampy and had some lower back pain. According to Dr. Google that is totally normal as long as there is no blood. I had none, so again I tried to relax. Josh and I went on a family camping trip and we decided to just pretend like nothing had changed and try to chill out and just enjoy our time off. When we came back, I took a final HPT (digital this time!) just to convince myself that everything was okay. It came back positive almost immediately. We decided that night that we would tell our immediate family.

5 weeks is extremely early, but it was our first child...we just couldn't hold it in any longer. We called his mom first because she lives far away from us and we wouldn't be able to tell her in person. She cried over the phone and was so unbelievably excited for us. It gave us all the confidence we needed to tell everyone else. My mom got mad at us because we walked in and handed her a pretty gift box with all my positive tests inside it. :) We had a great night celebrating, talking about baby names and waxing poetic about our future baseball player or little ballerina.

As fate would have it, I woke up the next morning and noticed a smear of light pink cervical mucus when I wiped. I tried to shrug it off thinking it might have just been implantation bleeding or something. I did tell Josh and we continued to get ready for work like normal. Suddenly I noticed a wet feeling and went to the bathroom again and there on the toilet paper were a few drops of bright red blood. At any time during pregnancy, blood is scary. But during the earliest weeks when miscarriage is most common, it was absolutely terrifying. I sat crying until 8:00 when I could call the doctor's office. The nurse on the phone reassured me that some spotting in early pregnancy could be completely normal. She told me to take it easy, put my feet up and call back if I started bleeding enough to soak through a pad.

I sent Josh to work and called in myself. I turned on a movie and took some deep breaths. I called my mom and told her what was going on. She also reassured me about all the people she knew that had bleeding in their pregnancies and went on to have perfect babies. I was just starting to calm down when I felt the unmistakeable gush of actual bleeding. I practically ran to the bathroom and within a minute the entire toilet bowl was full of blood. It was bright bright red, not like a period at all. I called the doctor again and she told me to come in right away.

I never wear pads so I don't keep any in the house. I put on a little pantyliner and drove myself to the doctor's office, knowing deep down what was happening to me. My mom met me there and it was so surreal sitting in that lobby full of round bellies and glowing new mommies knowing that I was slowly losing my first child. When I was called back to the exam room, the nurse automatically began setting up the ultrasound machine. I was a little confused by that. She told me to undress, stuck a bunch of medical pads underneath me because I was bleeding so heavily and she left.

Because I was an emergency case, I was squeezed in and could not see my regular doctor. I had never even met this doctor before and she could not have been more rude in my time of crisis. She began by asking me how old I was. I look very young but nevertheless, her tone was much too condescending. I told her this was my first pregnancy. She then looked at the ultrasound machine and literally rolled her eyes. She said, "you're about 5 weeks. That's way too early to be called a real miscarriage." So there it was. She basically told me I was having my period and it was so heavy because it was late. I reminded her that I had gotten multiple positive pregnancy tests over the last week and a half. She seemed to ponder that for awhile and then told me to get dressed and go give a urine sample. She told me if it was positive, they would proceed with the ultrasound.

I went and peed in the cup, bleeding all over myself while doing so. Then I sat there until my results came back. She breezed in and said, "well your urine test was negative so..." I was trying so hard not to fall apart. Clearly she did not realize this was breaking my heart. She did a quick pelvic exam, told me my cervix was low and closed (but did not explain what that meant) and said she couldn't see any tissue. I don't know how she would have through all the blood, but still. She ordered blood tests and a follow up appointment. I was told to go home, wear pads and if the bleeding lasted longer than a week to call them.

So I went home. I was in excruciating pain for two days: both emotionally and physically as something in my heart just knew that drop by drop I was losing our first child. Two days after the bleeding started, I got an extreme pain all throughout my abdomen and down my thighs. These shooting pains kept coming and going until my husband realized they were coming pretty regularly. I went and sat on the toilet just to try to get some relief and ended up passing what looked like a pinkish grey shriveled up walnut. Tissue. I did not pull it out of the toilet. I could not bear to.

The Obgyn called the next day and told me my HCG levels only measured at 8. The rude nurse assured me that it was close to nothing and therefore "barely counted." But she also said with how much I was bleeding, my HCG levels could have dropped very quickly.

I never even got a period before this new BFP arrived in our lives and that has me a little worried and concerned. I am not sure how viable a pregnancy immediately after a miscarriage usually is, but I am still between that rock and a hard place of miscarriage or not? To me, it felt like one no matter what it actually was. But here we are. All I can say is that I feel such a sense of peace this time around. Last time I was a nervous wreck from the start. This time, I am just so calm. It is a blessing and I can only pray that this was meant to be for us this time.

My apologies for the extensive first post, but please follow along with me on this journey into parenthood.

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