CATCHUP. I would sincerely and deeply apologize, but I have to be fully transparent. I have been EXHAUSTED. I always have grand plans to keep up with you weekly, but it has taken every bit of my focus to make it home from work before I pass out, wake up at 9pm for meds and then head right back to bed. Couple that with A’fair, photos in the heat and my super amazing boarding dogs PLUS Tim leaving (again) for training for a MONTH +… I have been barely keeping up with the normal stuff. BUT, in this case, updates are definitely better late than never and I know yall love me and want me to rest when I need it. Which seems like always, nowadays.
So, I left you hanging at my 7 week ultrasound. We were the size of a blueberry and I was nauseous, bloated, exhausted and really unsure about our future. SInce then, we have reached the size of a kidney bean, an olive and now, at 10 weeks today, we are the size of a cherry. We have grown arms and legs from our little nubbies and finger and toes are starting to form. All of baby’s organs are now located inside baby’s body since there is room in the abdomen and we don’t have to borrow space from the umbilical cord. This week we are developing ears and baby will be able to hear the world around them soon. Our heart rate at 8 weeks was 178bpm and at 9 weeks it was 181bpm. This will continue to increase until it peaks as we enter the second trimester at 12 weeks and it settles to the rate it should maintain til birth. Our tail is gone now and baby is starting to look less like an alien tadpole and more like a human babe. Baby has been rapidly growing and doubling in size. From a microscopic bundle of cells at transfer to 1.5-1.8″ long at 10 weeks and visible to the naked eye – this baby is GROWING and has so much farther to go in the next 30 weeks. Everything with baby is perfect. Dr. Brezina does everything possible to reassure me at our weekly visits. However, I am still equally dreading and ecstatic about my graduation from the fertility clinic tomorrow. As long as everything is at the same trajectory, tomorrow will be my final appointment at Dr. B’s office. I will no longer be “infertile for now” and will move on to obstetrical care. I still can’t believe i have been pregnant for a double digit amount of weeks.
As for me, I am cautiously feeling a little more “normal”. For the last two or so weeks I was feeling the first trimester hard. I was nauseated all the time, until i was suddenly hungry for french fries or a peanut butter and jelly sanwich only and if i ate too much too fast I would really pay for it. I. Was. Tired. Tired is not an appropriate word. It grossly understates the exhaustion I’m still feeling. There was no amount of sleep that was sufficient. And that exhaustion was made all the worse by the medication to help the morning sickness come under control. If you haven’t had morning sickness lately, Diclegis has been a go to for controlling the constantly sour, sick, full feeling many first trimester warriors face. Essentially, it is half a unisom and half a B6 supplement and you take 4 per day. It has been a game changer for me and has really helped the morning sickness and made it possible for me to eat. But, the ability to keep my eyes open for more than an hour at a time has been outside my grasp. I know my workmates have probably been put off by my overall snappiness, irritability and general lack of my normal bubbly, social self. Taking two whole sleeping pills per day has been a struggle. But, today, at 10 weeks, i can feel that constant nausea finally waning. I am cautiously optimistic and I hope it doesn’t make a recurrence. I am still taking the diclegis until i’m sure. I am still so bloated. There is no baby bump visible, i just look like i’ve been taking steroids too long. I am as blown up as Auntie Marge after she took it just too far with Harry. While I am still tired, I have found I am able to take care of more chores before I need to lay down for a while each day. Which is good, since I am on my own for several weeks because the Army does not care what we have going on. I am also on my second set of new bras – this is getting a little out of control. I seriously hope this trend doesn’t continue for much longer but I continue to suffer from the dreaded quad-boob as i just keep spilling out of the top of every tent with a wire i try one. None of my work slacks button now, but i am swollen enough to be able to use a belly band now, so that is nice. My skin is still perfect, but dry and my hair and nails are growing so quickly I have to clip my nails weekly. My blood pressure has been monitored weekly as well and has dropped pretty significantly. I am typically exactly 120/80. For the past two visits my blood pressure has hovered around 112/68. While baby’s HR rises, so does mine. I often will check my watch and my heart rate is 90-95 just sitting at my desk.
As far as mentally, I am all over the place. One day I will sign up for a birthing class and the next day I will agonize over when I will stop checking my underwear for blood. Every day, it seems like I am waiting for the ball to drop. When we did the transfer, I was sure that it would feel real when we got the beta test back. And when the test came back positive and I still wasn’t convinced, I was sure it would feel real when I saw that beating heart on a sonogram at 6 weeks. And when that wasn’t enough to convince me this would last, I thought – maybe hearing the heartbeat will be that thing. But, what happens when I hear that heartbeat for the first time and I still don’t believe this will end in anything but heartbreak? Will it be when I am showing? Will I finally be able to breathe when we reach 24 weeks, that magical number that indicates viability outside of my protective body? Pregnancy after loss is so isolating. I know that there is no magical sign that will ease my fear and anxiety until that baby is here earthside with us and ok. And then, it’ll be a whole new combination of fears and anxieties. Some days I am overwhelmed by them and completely shut down. And some days I realize that I have to enjoy the here and now. I have to be part of the present. Today, I am 10 weeks pregnant. A feat that was completely unreachable a year ago. Something I never thought would actually happen. A frontier I never thought I would be able to explore. But here I am. Now. And while the entire burden rests on me, none of it rests on me. I can control what I can control. I can take my meds as directed. I can do the things I am supposed to do and avoid the things I am supposed to avoid and all things beyond that are outside of my wheelhouse. Today, I took my last progesterone shot. I have been cleared to stop the estrogen. Tomorrow, I will get to see my baby one last time at the place where this all started. And in two short weeks, I will gladly say goodbye forever to my first ever first trimester. When will I feel truly pregnant? Like I am the vessel that nurtures and grows a new life living inside me? The one thing I have learned for sure along this journey is that everything i knew is just that. And that patience bears the sweetest fruit.