It’s been a while since I’ve written… for that I apologize. Things have been a little crazy since I last wrote. Here’s the short version: Ken finished residency, we moved to Pennsylvania, I started having a 1.5 hour commute each way three days a week, we got really stressed out, we went to Disneyworld, Ken started his new job, Julia started at her new school, she’s been having some behavioral problems, she turned 4, we’ve started working through the stress at home and have been exploring Pennsylvania more, we went to Hershey Park a lot, things are getting much better, Ken loves his job, I still love my job and I don’t mind the commute, we got a new fun car for me. We are getting to know the area and are starting to reach out and make friends, things are getting a lot better between us and we are getting the help for Julia that she needs and that will hopefully help her to harness her wild spirit and use her amazing intelligence and fun personality for good. We were just in California for a week for Thanksgiving.
And… while we were there, we found out that I’m pregnant. Again. My third pregnancy, and hopefully my second child (fingers and toes crossed!). The same week that we found out I was pregnant last year (the second week of November). This time is very different. This time, I’m pregnant after a miscarriage. This brings with it a new set of anxieties and fears that I didn’t have last time but that I probably should have had. Since I’ve always been open on this little blog of mine about my struggles, both emotional and otherwise, I want to continue that trend and write through the struggles of being pregnant after a pregnancy loss, especially after a Partial Molar Pregnancy.
This was our first month of seriously “trying.” By that, I mean that over the last several months we weren’t “trying” but weren’t “preventing.” So I wasn’t on any form of birth control but we weren’t paying attention to my cycle, when I was ovulating, or trying to time things in such a way as to maximize our chances of having a baby. We finally decided that if we wanted to try for real, I needed to do something so I started taking my temperature this cycle (which started on Halloween), and I started taking Prenatal Vitamins as well as extra B6 and B12… and BAM! I ovulated earlier in my cycle than I usually do, but I started to feel that somehow this month was different, so on Saturday when we arrived at my parents’ house, I took a pregnancy test and a VERY faint line appeared on the test. It wasn’t totally conclusive, so I ran out and went a little crazy at the drug store, where I bought 4 more pregnancy tests… again, they were not so conclusive. So the next day I bought even more pregnancy tests, and this time they were pretty conclusive. There were two lines on the test… then I took a digital and BAM: “Pregnant” showed up clear as day.
At first we said we weren’t going to tell ANYONE! (After our experience with the miscarriage, we were worried about telling people and then having to un-tell people, or about breaking the hearts of those who love us if G-d forbid, anything goes wrong this time, too.) Then we had to tell my Mom, cause she’s my Mama and I can’t keep anything from her. Then Jim asked me if I wanted some wine at dinner the night before Thanksgiving. “No, thank you.” I said. Then on Thanksgiving morning he asked again and again I said, “No, thank you.” He knew something was up… “Are you off of alcohol?” “Temporarily,” I said. He gave me a look, so we had to tell him too. We each told a friend or two just so we have some support through this stressful period, and we told Ken’s dad too since he understands how this all works from a medical standpoint and can hopefully keep the medical separate from the emotional, but until we know things are okay in there, we are going to hold off on telling any more family or our entire world of friends.
I am eventually going to switch completely to a doctor at Hershey Medical Center, but for now my doctor in Baltimore is going to see me right at 6 weeks to (hopefully) confirm the pregnancy. So my first appointment is scheduled for December 12th, at which time I will be 6 weeks along (today I’m 4 weeks), and my first appointment with a doctor in Hershey is scheduled for December 21st.
I’m trying very very very hard (though it’s not working well) not to get too excited, not to make too many plans in my mind, not to think about whether this one’s a boy or a girl, whether this one will have blue eyes or green eyes, or about what names we might put on our short list. I’m trying not to think about the fact that I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant at Adam and Jenn’s wedding or about the fact that I’ll need to get a cute maternity dress for their engagement party. I’m trying not to be excited about the fact that I could have a one-month old on my birthday, or about the fact that next year we can get a “Baby’s first Halloween” onesie. I’m trying to act as though this isn’t really a thing to be excited about or to even really acknowledge, until we find out for sure that it’s going well, but it’s hard not to get excited. There’s a saying that “A man becomes a father the day his child is born. A woman becomes a mother the day she finds out she’s pregnant.” So it’s really hard not to get excited but I’m trying so hard in the hopes that my dreams don’t get crushed again. I’m trying to take on the attitude that I will be pleasantly surprised if everything is going well and will only be mildly disappointed if I have another miscarriage, but deep down I know that’s completely impossible and really insane of me to ask of myself. I know I will be crushed, devastated, destroyed if it happens again but I’m trying to keep a strong head on my shoulders to avoid that happening.
I’m hopeful. The statistics are in my favor. Only 15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Only 1-2% of pregnant women will experience 2 miscarriages in a row. My chances of having a second partial molar pregnancy are only 5%. Those make me feel better. I’m also encouraged by my stronger symptoms this time around than I had last time. My breasts have been sore, and I’ve had mild cramping that comes and goes throughout the day. I also periodically get these waves of feeling like I’m getting motion sickness (which his how a lot of women describe morning sickness). But really I’m grasping for straws–anything that will make me feel better between now and my first appointment.
I’m also scared, terrified, extremely worried that the same thing is going to happen again. That I will get to the appointment, the Doctor will start the ultrasound and her facial expression will turn from hopeful to sad to blank as she finds an empty gestational sac. That I will get a phone call from pathology a few days later saying that I had a partial molar pregnancy and that my HCG numbers are dropping slowly (or worse–are rising). The next few weeks are also going to be a painful reminder of what we went through last year. In 2 weeks I have a conference to go to… it’s the same conference I went to last year while was pregnant. Just being back in those same conference rooms will bring back difficult memories. Going back to my doctor’s office exactly a year and a day after we found out I was miscarrying is going to be very traumatic. And my due date is likely going to be about a year after we should have had a baby, but instead of being in a hospital giving birth, we were at Disneyworld, sweating in the sun, riding on rides, because the baby was just not meant to be.
Right now I’m on a roller coaster of emotions and trying to keep everything in check. I will keep you posted. But if you’re the praying type, or the thinking type, or even just the good juju sending type, do what you need to do to send good thoughts my way, please. Please don’t let what happened last year happen again this year. I’m hopeful that this time around we can get Julia a shirt that says “I’m going to be a big sister,” and that we can make a cute announcement that says “Only child status expiring in July, 2017.” Send all your positive energy my way, please. And thank you!