I’m Not Pregnant Anymore

After a miscarriage the pregnancy hormone, HSG, can stay in your body for up to a month. A month that, for me, meant morning sickness, sore/sensitive breasts and nipples, frequent urination, fullness in my stomach-all of the joys of the first trimester of pregnancy.

The first trimester came and went and now I’m officially no longer pregnant.

Tonight, in a friend’s house, a friend who has a beautiful baby girl, I took a pregnancy test and only got one line. And because we’re in a weird phase of the TTC cycle I didn’t feel upset that we weren’t pregnant, I felt relief that I wasn’t any more.

For over a month I went through the miscarriage process. 2 D&Cs, 3 rounds of mispopristil (sp), acupuncture sessions and herbs all trying to expel the lifeless fetus from my body. For over a month I isolated myself. For over a month I wondered if my relationship was over (Leah did not handle the miscarriage well at all-and that is the understatement of the century). For over a month I wondered where I would live, how I would survive. I thought about death, my own. I thought about life, the one that was lost. For over a month I laid in bed, I wept, I starved. For over a month I spoke to no one.

And through it all, some how, mostly guided by a trip to NYC that was planned months before we knew we were pregnant, I have found myself again. I am laughing. I smile easily. I enjoy the company of other people. I feel alive again. I feel like myself again.

I have on new glasses, they’re crystal clear replacements of the rose-colored glasses I wore through this TTC process. They are glasses that know that I may not get pregnant (some women don’t). They are glasses that know that I may miscarriage again. They are glasses that know that whatever happens, I will be ready.

Our Bean and an Update

Two days ago we went in for a growth scan and though Bean measured on target for 8wks + 6days they found no beating heart.

Today we’re going in for a D&C.

There’s not much else to say, except that I am heart-broken.

***UPDATE***

So I went in for the D&C, came out of surgery and the doctor told me, “In 35 years of practice, I’ve never had an unsuccessful D&C. The fetus was too far up your uterus and we couldn’t get it out.”

So now we’re experiencing what I’d hoped to avoid. I actually have to miscarry our Bean and will most likely need continued monitoring to make sure my body expels everything. I’m still high on surgery drugs and took my first round of drugs to start the processes, plus vicodin for the pain. Feeling numb.

6 Weeks Pregnant!

  • Obviously, she’s growing like crazy!
  • She’s also circulating blood with her increasingly more sophisticated circulatory sytem.
  • She’s about to get cuter too, since she’s starting to sprout a nose, eyes, ears, chin and cheeks.
  • And she might even be wiggling her (paddle-like) hands and feet.

Nothing super special to report. I’m exhausted all of the time and my boobs are huge and painful. I’ve been sick a few times, usually brought on by brushing too soon after eating. There has been a lot of queasiness with either cotton mouth or excessive salivation. The cramps have settled down a bit and I’m getting some slightly stabbing feelings occasionally, but usually only when I get up from bed in the morning.

I realized that our scan is at 7 weeks (7 days away!) and not 6 weeks as our RE told us so we’re waiting.

On the house front, the closing got pushed back to the same week as the scan so a lot should happen next week.

I’m getting better and getting out of my head. I am resisting the urge to buy yet another pregnancy test. I’m listening to pregnancy affirmations daily, which I think is helping. I think (hope) that things will settle down in my head after next week.

Very Superstitious

red stringI’ve written this post before, when we were blissfully unaware of the roller coaster ride of the TTC process.

Now that we’re officially 5w1d pregnant the Jewish superstitions full blown and I’m also doing a lot of un-Jewish things.

Let’s start with the Jewish things I’m doing:

Praying every day. This really old 18th Century prayer for mothers. It’s a little intense and when I say it out loud I sometimes laugh at myself and quickly spit three times (pfft-pfft-pfft) because this isn’t a laughing matter! Oh, and spitting three times.

Not naming Matzoh Ball, yes, that’s what we’re calling the peppercorn-sized embryo right now. Jewish folks don’t name their children in utero. It has more do do with superstition than tradition. And now it’s tradition. Boys aren’t named until their bris and girls are named the first time Torah is read in shul (synagogue) after their birth. (More about bris later). But traditionally Jews don’t do any pre-baby prep until there is a baby. So no registry, no baby showers, no nursery, no clothing, no diapers, no nothing until you come home with a baby in your arms. Don’t ask me how this works, because I have no idea. Leah and I are still trying to figure out what, exactly, we’re going to do. We’ve talked about getting everything set up and keeping the door shut, but who knows. And we have time.

Hamsas and Red Strings and Evil Eyes. I already wrote about our red strings, but I’m also wearing these beautiful Hamsa earrings I picked up on my last trip to NYC. The Hamsa, open hand often called the Hand of Fatima in Muslim culture, and sometimes with an eye in the palm is an amulet worn by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike for a variety of reasons. Each finger is supposed to represent the 5 books of Torah, but it’s also a fertility symbol and a symbol for protection. If I leave the house without the earrings on, no matter how many blocks I’ve gone, I turn around and to retrieve them.

Saying “Baruch HaShem” literally praise The Name” (or thank G-d) after I pee and get a nice white tissue.

Something's watching...The Non-Jewish things we’re doing.

I’ve made a registry. Which I know is a complete contradiction to what I wrote just a few paragraphs ago, but the level-minded, egalitarian Jewish lesbian in me knows that I’ll need stuff, especially since we’re so far away from our NYC mama friends. We had a great network of new moms there who handed down clothes, gear, and more but now that we’re on the Left Coast with very few Mama friends, we’re going to need gear. And since we don’t really have friend who will throw us a baby shower we can’t have, it’s a good idea to at least have a registry handy for friends and family members who want it. And my mother, who is not Jewish, has requested it. I should also note that Leah is adamantly opposed to registries of all types. She thinks they’re silly. I think I’d rather get just the requested number of items we need, rather than getting lots of one thing and having to do a bunch of returns with a new born.

hamsaThinking of baby names. Since we aren’t picking names, we’re sort of in Jewish tradition loop-hole land. We’ve written down names that we like for both a girl or a boy. Family names as well as names that have special meaning. Ashkenazi Jews often name children for relatives of family members who have passed away, with the hopes of instilling the new child with attributes of the person they are named after. I, of course, would like to name our child after positive attributes of my sister, so I’ve been doing a lot of research into her name meaning. As well as names that mean artist or creativity, since she was an artist. We have a healthy list.

In terms of how I’m feeling; absolutely grateful. Yesterday I was walking down the street and felt so much gratitude that I started crying. I’m still scared as all hell and I know that this is something that we’ve been working on and waiting for for a long time. And even though we have 35+ more weeks to go, I’m trying to take it one week at a time. Appreciative of the gift that I’ve been given, thankful for my body’s ability to create life and happy that this little soul has chosen me to be its Imma.

Affirmations and Fire Crotch

Today is 5 weeks.

I’ve still got the lingering cramps every once in a while. They’re pretty mild and instead of freaking the eff out, I try to redirect them into positive thoughts and affirmations about my growing uterus. I found some not-too-hippy Pregnancy Affirmations on Spotify that I’ve been listening to in the morning.

Everything else is really good. I’ve been eating well since I’d planned on taking a few months off to lose weight (if I got the BFN pht-pht-pht) and some how all of my aversions are to foods that are bad for me. For instance, I LOVE sweets and they don’t appeal to me at all. My favorite Telanti gelato in Salted Carmel was almost too much for me to swallow. The Pistachio flavor, though, is heaven, but I don’t go over board loading up on sweets.

I really really really want to tell my friends who recently had babies that we’re pregnant mainly to have women to talk to about my aches, pains and worries, but we’re set on waiting until we’re into the second trimester, so many weeks to go.

My only frustration is the Crinone that I’m taking that is making my vagina feel like a million ants are marching through, over and around it. Well, technically it’s not my vagina, but the labia area (sorry TMI). I’m super happy that the progesterone is helping to grow my placenta and support my body (affirmation) but holy hell it itches like hell. For instance, there is a Siig water battle between my legs right now because it’s cold and feels good.

So now my Google has gone from “What are these cramps!?” to “Natural ways to cure vaginal itching” and “Corinone itching.”

Sending all of you lots of love, light, happiness, strength, and prayers for whichever TTC stage you’re in!

A Different Kind of Two Week Wait

This two week wait is a different kind of wait. Filled with the same, but different, sort of uncertainty.

My worries:

These cramps and aches and pains. I keep Googling and Google keeps telling me it’s okay, but it’s freaking me out a bit. Anyone else have these? How long did they last for you?

Another Beta. I don’t know why, but I think that I’m going to call my RE on Monday to see if I can come in the morning for another Beta. Again, Google says that two is standard, but I think it will help settle my mind.

Nerves and Anxiety. I’m So excited to be pregnant. It’s been something we’ve been working on for so long and we’ve spent so much money and we’re finally pregnant! But I’ve been having really weird dreams, and of course a million what ifs fly into my head day in and day out. What if I MC? What if there’s something wrong? What if I’m not really pregnant and it’s a tubal? What if? I’m trying to re-direct these negative thoughts with affirmations about my body being strong and trusting my body, just as I did two weeks ago. But they just keep creeping in.

Did anyone else do this? How did you get yourself through?

B-B-B-Beta!

I first want to thank EVERYONE for the outpouring of love, emotion and support. Since we’ve only told our parents and bosses it feels really good to pop online and see everyone’s words of support so, thank you.

red stringThe last few days have been crazy! The first night after we found out we both barely slept. Last night was a bit better but I got up SIX TIMES to pee, and I’ve already had a near toilet miss. Thanks to my fibroids already swelling my uterus, I’ve joked to Leah that by the end of the first trimester I’ll be wearing Depends. She laughed, but I’m so not joking.

I’ve wept a few times, this morning on the way for our second blood draw I cried because I realized that I wouldn’t have my sister along side me for this journey. Despite her many faults, she was my only sister and she had three boys via vaginal birth. It really struck me this morning that I wouldn’t be able to call her to ask her for advice, thoughts on my aches and pains, or what her experience with birth was like.

I also feel incredibly alone here in Seattle with all of our pregnant and new Mama friends on the East Coast. I started looking up lesbian parenting groups or lesbian pregnancy groups on FB, but it’s interesting that we really don’t have a support system here to help us through this time. Leah and I’s relationship is rock solid, so that feels awesome, but the reality is is that it’s just she and I. Which if I think too much about I really get freaked out. Operation find lesbian (and awesome radical straight) moms ASAP!

Jewish things we’re doing: We tied red strings around our wrists at the beginning of IUI#5, there’s a tradition of women visiting Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem and praying for children (or happy marriages). Pilgrims tie a red string around her tomb and then cut it and wear it for protection against ayan hara (the evil eye) and as a fertility amulet. The first is tattered and pilling and stretched out, so we decided to add a second red string for the pregnancy. It’s a lot of Jewish superstition, I’m WELL aware, but it also feels like tradition.

I’ve also been reading a lot of Tehillim (Psalms) and focusing on gratitude and appreciation for my body.

Lastly, still feeling really achy and crampy, which my fertility app and every single Google search has told me is okay and completely normal.

In the library now:

The Natural Pregnancy Book

Childbirth Without Fear

The Jewish Pregnancy Book

Birthing From Within.

All books I purchased on Amazon for super cheap for preparation into my doula work (did I ever mention that I was a doula?) But turns out, I’m reading them for me now!

So Beta? 328! Our 6-week ultra sound is scheduled for the first week of May!

Just Add Prayers

Tehillim is the Hebrew name for the Psalms.

A good friend of mine, an Orthodox Jewish woman with a beautiful baby girl who just celebrated her first birthday, sent me Tehillim 102 and 103 with a reminder that it’s all in Hashem’s (G-d) hands. She, like me, went through almost a year of fertility woes and watched as our mutual friend “accidentally” got pregnant and others who were planning it did so easily. She has been one of my most consistent friends in this journey towards motherhood, and while my other friends who have been blessed with their children are now consumed with early motherhood, she always finds the time to ask me how I’m doing and to remind me that I’m still in her prayers.

So it can’t hurt to add one more ingredient to this crazy, tiring, expensive, exhausting, heart-wrenching, devastating TTC journey, right?
1A prayer for a poor man when he enwraps himself and pours out his speech before the Lord. אתְּפִלָּה לְעָנִי כִי יַעֲטֹף וְלִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה יִשְׁפֹּךְ שִׂיחוֹ:
2O Lord, hearken to my prayer, and may my cry come to You. ביְהֹוָה שִׁמְעָה תְפִלָּתִי וְשַׁוְעָתִי אֵלֶיךָ תָבוֹא:
3Do not hide Your countenance from me; on the day of my distress extend Your ear to me; on the day I call, answer me quickly. גאַל תַּסְתֵּר פָּנֶיךָ | מִמֶּנִּי בְּיוֹם צַר לִי הַטֵּה אֵלַי אָזְנֶךָ בְּיוֹם אֶקְרָא מַהֵר עֲנֵנִי:
4For my days have ended in smoke, and as a hearth my bones are dried up. דכִּי כָלוּ בְעָשָׁן יָמָי וְעַצְמוֹתַי כְּמוֹקֵד נִחָרוּ:
5Beaten like grass and withered is my heart, for I have forgotten to eat my bread. ההוּכָּה כָעֵשֶׂב וַיִּבַשׁ לִבִּי כִּי שָׁכַחְתִּי מֵאֲכֹל לַחְמִי:
6From the sound of my sigh my bones clung to my flesh. ומִקּוֹל אַנְחָתִי דָּבְקָה עַצְמִי לִבְשָׂרִי:
7I was like a bird of the wilderness; I was like an owl of the wasteland. זדָּמִיתִי לִקְאַת מִדְבָּר הָיִיתִי כְּכוֹס חֳרָבוֹת:
8I pondered, and I am like a lonely bird on a roof. חשָׁקַדְתִּי וָאֶהְיֶה כְּצִפּוֹר בּוֹדֵד עַל גָּג:
9All day long my enemies revile me; those who scorn me swear by me. טכָּל הַיּוֹם חֵרְפוּנִי אוֹיְבָי מְהוֹלָלַי בִּי נִשְׁבָּעוּ:
10For ashes I ate like bread, and my drinks I mixed with weeping. יכִּי אֵפֶר כַּלֶּחֶם אָכָלְתִּי וְשִׁקֻּוַי בִּבְכִי מָסָכְתִּי:
11Because of Your fury and Your anger, for You picked me up and cast me down. יאמִפְּנֵי זַעַמְךָ וְקִצְפֶּךָ כִּי נְשָׂאתַנִי וַתַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי:
12My days are like a lengthening shadow, and I dry out like grass. יביָמַי כְּצֵל נָטוּי וַאֲנִי כָּעֵשֶׂב אִיבָשׁ:
13But You, O Lord, will be enthroned forever, and Your mention is to all generations. יגוְאַתָּה יְהֹוָה לְעוֹלָם תֵּשֵׁב וְזִכְרְךָ לְדֹר וָדֹר:
14You will rise, You will have mercy on Zion for there is a time to favor it, for the appointed season has arrived. ידאַתָּה תָקוּם תְּרַחֵם צִיּוֹן כִּי עֵת לְחֶנְנָהּ כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד:
15For Your servants desired its stones and favored its dust. טוכִּי רָצוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ אֶת אֲבָנֶיהָ וְאֶת עֲפָרָהּ יְחֹנֵנוּ:
16And the nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. טזוְיִירְאוּ גוֹיִם אֶת שֵׁם יְהֹוָה וְכָל מַלְכֵי הָאָרֶץ אֶת כְּבוֹדֶךָ:
17For the Lord has built up Zion; He has appeared in His glory. יזכִּי בָנָה יְהֹוָה צִיּוֹן נִרְאָה בִּכְבוֹדוֹ:
18He has turned to the prayer of those who cried out, and He did not despise their prayer. יחפָּנָה אֶל תְּפִלַּת הָעַרְעָר וְלֹא בָזָה אֶת תְּפִלָּתָם:
19Let this be inscribed for the latest generation, and a [newly] created people will praise Yah. יטתִּכָּתֶב זֹאת לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן וְעַם נִבְרָא יְהַלֶּל יָהּ:
20For He has looked down from His holy height; the Lord looked from heaven to earth, ככִּי הִשְׁקִיף מִמְּרוֹם קָדְשׁוֹ יְהֹוָה מִשָּׁמַיִם | אֶל אֶרֶץ הִבִּיט:
21To hear the cry of the prisoner, to loose the sons of the dying nation; כאלִשְׁמֹעַ אֶנְקַת אָסִיר לְפַתֵּחַ בְּנֵי תְמוּתָה:
22To proclaim in Zion the name of the Lord and His praise in Jerusalem. כבלְסַפֵּר בְּצִיּוֹן שֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּתְהִלָּתוֹ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם:
23When peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to serve the Lord. כגבְּהִקָּבֵץ עַמִּים יַחְדָּו וּמַמְלָכוֹת לַעֲבֹד אֶת יְהֹוָה:
24He has afflicted my strength on the way; He has shortened my days. כדעִנָּה בַדֶּרֶךְ כֹּחִי (כתיב כֹּחִו) קִצַּר יָמָי:
25I say, “My God, do not take me away in the middle of my days, You Whose years endure throughout all generations. כהאֹמַר אֵלִי אַל תַּעֲלֵנִי בַּחֲצִי יָמָי בְּדוֹר דּוֹרִים שְׁנוֹתֶיךָ:
26In the beginning You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. כולְפָנִים הָאָרֶץ יָסַדְתָּ וּמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶיךָ שָׁמָיִם:
27They will perish but You will endure, and all of them will rot away like a garment; like raiment You will turn them over and they will pass away. כזהֵמָּה | יֹאבֵדוּ וְאַתָּה תַעֲמֹד וְכֻלָּם כַּבֶּגֶד יִבְלוּ כַּלְּבוּשׁ תַּחֲלִיפֵם וְיַחֲלֹפוּ:
28But You are He, and Your years will not end. כחוְאַתָּה הוּא וּשְׁנוֹתֶיךָ לֹא יִתָּמּוּ:
29The children of Your servants will dwell, and their seed will be established before You.” כטבְּנֵי עֲבָדֶיךָ יִשְׁכֹּנוּ וְזַרְעָם לְפָנֶיךָ יִכּוֹן: