I was going to wait until tomorrow to post, but I have too many thoughts to leave them any more length of time. Time here lately has been a thief. And a burden. So many things have happened since I last updated. I am sorry for the delay, but sometimes speaking things into the world can be so scary. Once it’s out there, there is no real bringing it back. And that kind of exposure is fear. As is most of this experience. It is faith and fear and time and sadness and joy. And unknown.
So, last we spoke, I peed on a defunct stick – of course. My lack of patience got the better of me and karma quickly corrected. Up to this point we had completed our transfer and have been
not at all patiently waiting. The procedure from there is a blood draw to measure my beta levels of the hcg hormone. Two days after the original beta hcg draw, you repeat the test and if the hcg level has doubled, you are pregnant. VERY EARLY pregnant, but pregnant. If this was going to be a positive for us, it will be as far as we have ever come. The frontier of proliferation for the Millicans. On the 14th, two days before our anniversary, I went for that beta draw. I did my very best to keep it from Tim and everyone else so I could have time to process the result as well as plan a fun surprise for him. Our anniversary, after all, was the 16th – the day of our confirming blood draw. Everyone’s development of the hcg hormone is different. Our doctors office considers anything over 5 for that first draw a positive and you are cleared for the second test. On Wednesday, April 14th our initial hcg draw showed I had a level of 55. Whew – first hurdle crossed. Then, of course more waiting. Thankfully, it was only two days. Friday, April 16th – mine and Tim’s 5th anniversary, i went back for our second confirming hcg draw. Dr. Brezina’s office would have accepted a level of 88 as still positive but i was hoping for at least 110. His nurse called me that afternoon and my level was confirmed at 121. I was 4 weeks pregnant. The flurry of activity after that was furious. I didn’t want to jinx myself so i had made little preparation to tell Tim, but i knew i wanted it to be special and I knew I couldn’t wait to be more put together. I raced from work to get a new, NOT DIGITAL, stick to pee on. Nothing is quite like seeing those two pink lines. Way better than a number on a sheet of paper. I also have to express my huge debt of gratitude to Lauren with Small Town Sass my FAVORITE monogrammer (y’all should know my obsession with all things monogrammed) who dropped everything for me to help make this news special for Tim and forever emblazoned in fabric for me.
I really can’t thank her enough. It is exactly what i wanted to tell our story and to share this gift with Tim. Lauren – THANK YOU! You made our day and I am forever grateful!
So, i rushed home to put together our “wooden anniversary’ gift together with this tucked in at the bottom.
Needless to say, Tim was shocked! Surprise pulled off! He was elated. And way more excited than I was, even. Though I was definitely still happy for the result – i was skeptical. I know how early it is. Most people don’t even know they are pregnant at this point. And for most people, if its a loss at this point or soon after will never even know they had conceived. I. Was. Paranoid. I wasn’t ready to share and so I had to keep my community in the dark to protect myself. I was glad I was able to share this time with Tim and I was very happy. But i wasn’t convinced it was real. I knew it would be two more weeks til i was able to see this elevated hcg on a black an white screen for myself.
As per my usual – a lot has happened since April the 16th and now. Tim had SWAT tryouts and was selected to go to SWAT school. I am so proud of him! I am also super annoyed at the timing. SWAT School means early mornings and late nights. I knew it meant I basically wouldn’t see him for two weeks and home would just be a place to shower off and sleep. This process has shown me to see the blessings in my perceived curses. While I was fretting over every twinge in my abdomen, over analyzing every sensation i had – which i had to immediately research google for hours about – and trying to hold down everything at home by myself, I overcame a big fear of mine. While the medication burden this go round has been heavy – that damned progesterone shot has been a hill that I turned into a mountain. Up to this point, Tim had been giving me that shot in my hip every night. I went to great lengths to have people close to me on call for giving me that shot in the case Tim didn’t make it hoe in time. While there have been many people more than willing, i felt so guilty. It’s a late administer time – 9pm. It took less than 3 minutes. To have someone come all the way over for that – to have to located a bra to put on and shut the dogs away – it was just too much. Knowing that Tim would not be home in time to give it to me for two weeks and having to arrange that every night was just ridiculous. I decided to turn that mountain into a mole hill and just do it myself. To get over myself and my mental block preventing me from stabbing myself and toughen up. And i did. Now, it may have taken me twenty minutes to psych myself out enough that first time, but i did. I am a warrior, lest you forgot. So, I am once again self-reliant. Working, taking care of our zoo and jungle, making sure the dogs weren’t ever up too long, making sure all my meds were taken on time, making sure i was eating ALL DAY to stave off the nausea, drinking enough water, making sure there was always something in the fridge for Tim to eat whenever he got home, scrubbing simunition paint off his clothing- I can do it all. And more. In this next two-week-wait, I made sure to occupy my time.
It’s hard to be alone with your feelings. I’ve been in such a limbo. Is this a pregnancy symptom or a symptom of all the drugs I’m taking to trick my body into thinking I’m pregnant. Intrusive thoughts of all the things that can go wrong are like a looped movie reel constantly playing in my mind. Stress, fear, anguish and overthinking have been the killers of joy. And all the hours alone in my home have fostered an environment perfect for growing that fear. Many times you manifest what is in your head. Over the past several weeks i would wake up with fluid filled ears. Throughout the day they would dry out and crust over and ITCH. I was certain this was because my body was failing at this one job it needed to do. Fear overtook me and i refused to acknowledge the problem and get it seen because it might (in my mind) be ending my journey. Even writing this now, it seems ridiculous. But at the time, it was so real. Around the same time, a few days ago, i started spotting. Fear. The killer of all hope. But i am a warrior. It came to a head and, just like my shots, I had to take this one head-on. Our beloved Dr. Lazar, our family ENT that i have seen since before I can remember, got in same day. He was so kind and thought it might be an autoimmune issue. I told him my situation and he sat in that exam from with me and held my hand and whipped out his phone and texted a specialist. A doctor that would have taken months to get a consult with squeezed me in the next day – the same day as my first ultrasound. Turns out I have psoriasis… in my EAR CANAL. While incredible inconvenient, Dr. Brezina merely shrugged it off as “interesting”. I can treat it topically and that is that. We all knew i went into this with major complicating autoimmune issues. We have done our very best to mitigate those issues and up to this point and have been fairly successful. So, i am now one more diagnosis down, less one small chunk of my ear for biopsy out of an abundance of caution and if you see me digging in my ears – don’t worry – you can’t catch it.
So, i left that appointment and headed straight to Dr. B’s office for my very first post-transfer ultrasound. I had no expectations. I had started spotting two days prior. While i have been tired and mildly nauseous, I hadn’t had many symptoms. I just wasn’t;t prepared at all for what was to come. I got undressed and we started the ultrasound. Almost immediately I saw that void. The void i had never seen before. I have had 100’s of ultrasounds of my barren uterus, my highly follicle’d ovaries – it had always been a dense mass. Empty and fully white on that screen. Before i even saw that small grain of rice attached, that round void stopped my heart. I’m glad i was laying down or i would have hit my knees. All i could eek out was “I have never seen that before” and then i just wept. Bless my ultrasound tech – i am sure she has dealt with this before, but she was so kind. She flipped that screen around and told me all about the baby in my uterus. While its too faint to hear yet, she pointed out that fluttering heart beating at 112bpm. She showed my the perfect yolk sac that is sustaining that beating heart until 13 weeks when my placenta will take over. She measured a perfect little bean at 6 weeks and 1 day old. I was shook. The spotting i had experienced was normal with the vaginal progesterone that I have to take 2 times a day because it irritates the skin. My bloodwork was perfect and PRAISE BE my inflammation factors are within normal range so no heparin for now. My tiny 81mg aspirin is enough. When i say I started at the bottom, I can’t describe the depths from which I have come. Depression, self-hatred for not being able to do this this, the hopelessness of years of being told no and negative and problem after problem. The financial strain. The martial strife. The inability to work hard to achieve. The failure. I can’t believe I am here. On the frontier. Farther than I have ever been before. It IS still early, but I will take this win for today. I will continue to be closely monitored weekly til i am 13 weeks and released to my OB-GYN. I will sit on this precipice until I cross that next cavern, the next unknown, the next furthest boundary. I started from the bottom – but now I am here. And tomorrow, I will be there. And one day i will look back in awe of how much further i have gone.
Get ready for weekly updates again 🙂 And remember, be kind. I am doing my best and every day is different. Today, is a good day.