Tuesday, June 10, 2008


At this moment in time, I seem to lack the self-examination skills to determine whether what I am about to write is a giant whine. If it is, please feel free to change the channel, pausing only to whack me upside the head. The reason I think it very well might be a whine is that I am pretty sure I just heard the world's tiniest violin do its thing somewhere in my vicinity as I made disgruntled faces at the piece of cake that signified the blessed end to the three day torture known around these parts as carbing up for the three hour glucose tolerance test. For which I am to present myself to the lovely gentleman at my OB's office whom I would call the lab vampire if he wasn't so lovely tomorrow morning at 7:30am sharp.

I failed that one hour test last week, and since I am trying to do everything by the book this time, I am taking the three hour tomorrow. The prep protocol calls for eating what for me seems like inordinate amounts of extra carbs for three days, and while I sort of thought I might enjoy some of this, it had instead knocked me on my ass. It seems I just can't handle this much sugar. It makes me miserable, exhausted, completely wiped out. It has been so bad that I have been bitching about it to several people.

I haven't written much about how the pregnancy is going physically, nor do I tend to talk about it much in my daily life, mostly because it is a rather boring recitation of small indignancies and minor inconveniences. I am not trying to look heroic with that last statement-- my outlook has genuinely shifted. In A's pregnancy, when the pelvic pain showed up, it nearly knocked me over. I was already feeling physically pretty crappy, and this felt like it might be that last straw. I used heat pads and water bottles and felt a bit defeated to be dealing with this thing too. In this pregnancy, it showed up earlier than last time, and yet, I am deeply philosophical about it. I wince, once in a while. I even groan, and, on occasion, when JD had done something that he should've known was a bad idea because it was likely to, and did indeed result in aggravation of that pain, I got grouchy. (I just re-read that sentense and realized that it sounds a bit single-track there. Sorry to disappoint, but you will have to get your mind out of the gutter. What he did was let Monkey crawl into our bed in the middle of the night, leaving much less room for me than I require not to wake up more sore than I went to sleep.) I have, though, been perceiving this and all the other physical stuff as merely temporary inconveniences, and so not worth griping about. I know for a fact that this pain ends.

Yesterday someone asked me how I was doing with the pregnancy. I said it was hard. "Of course, the heat," she said. And she seemed genuinely surprised when I said that it wasn't the heat at all. She wanted to know what it was, and, feeling honest for some reason, I told her that it was scary. She didn't even fully get it then, talking about how she remembers being for some reason afraid when she was pregnant and her husband was away, just laying there in their bed and being afraid. Um, no... Not exactly.

The topic of what it takes to decide you are ready to try again is in the air in deadbabyland. Some bloggers have been pregnant for months now, some have just announced, and a few are struggling with whether they are ready to try, and what that actually means. Someone said those of us who gave it another go are brave. I don't feel brave. Last year, when we were just starting to try, I wrote about not feeling brave on account of not feeling like I have a choice.

What I said there still holds, it is all still true. But now, from where I sit (and as I hear that violin tuning up again) there is something else that is pretty clear to me-- I jumped in with no real idea of what I was getting myself into. Oh, I knew it was going to be hard, like I theoretically know that running a marathon is tough. But I had no real frame of reference for how hard this really is. How much emotional reserves it takes. How vigilant it makes me, and how much that takes out of me-- feeling responsible for keeping track of movements, doing the doppler dance (the record so far stands at six times in one day, one particularly bad day).

I am a bit of a freak, I think, because I also worry about being too forceful in trying to get the baby to kick. I think my general style of parenting is so hands-off that I don't feel entitled to perturbing the situation too much just to assuage my paranoia. But with anterior placenta and the baby who is apparently very happy to keep hanging out transverse breach (with his head over my bladder, facing up) my situation seems to resemble nothing so much as being up a hard to navigate body of water without an implement that is meant to make that navigation possible.

This next thing I want to say isn't just an obligatory disclaimer. I really wouldn't trade being where I am right now-- 27 weeks 2 days, in the third trimester or on its cuff no matter how you draw the borders between those. No, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Yes, I am hopelessly attached to this new boy already, and yes, the mathematical likelihood of a positive outcome, an outcome, which, by the way, I am having great trouble visualizing even now, is so much higher now than when we just started. But more practically, now I know. Now I know how hard it is to get here, how scary even with having a great doctor at a great hospital and with everything going pretty much well. Now I know. Now the idea of going through a pregnancy is no longer theoretical. If when we were deciding to try again I knew what I know now, I think I would hesitate a lot more. There was no bravery in that decision for me. It was pure, reckless drive. And for that I am grateful.

I know, too, that if that outcome I can't visualize does actually come true, if we walk away with a real live take home baby, every little bit will be worth it. Even that last piece of cake, heavy and carb loaded as it was.


Tash said...

I didn't the carb load for my three hour, just the nasty drink. And after no sugar for almost a year by that point, the drink left me, well, throwing up. Yes, I failed my first three hour because I didn't even make it through the first 90 minutes. I don't envy you one bit, or your whine. Yuk.

As for the rest: maybe brave is the wrong word. But I think there is a choice of some sort, and maybe I'm feeling badly because I'm on the flip side feeling I have no choice. I'm old. I've got problems. And that's subduing any reckless drive into a slow putter.

I will say this: you're handling this pregnancy with a lot more grace than I ever could. Anyone asked how I was doing on a 98 degree day knowing full well my baby might day shortly after birth? I'd probably run them over with my car.

christina(apronstrings) said...

oh, dear. you are in a horrible place. no apologies necessary. i am scared-but in no way to the same level as you. i only say that to say-that if i am scared you must be petrified.
i don't like that you are here. feeling this way. though, wouldn't any other feeling be abnormal? should you be skipping and popping gum to the finish line?
i don't have anything to say to make you feel better. only that i abide with you.

Beruriah said...

Oh yeah, I get all of this - except for the carbs and three hour thing. I'm sorry you have to go through that, and wish all of it was easier.

Subsequent pregnancy? Not fun.
But the hopefully live baby at the end is out of this world wonderful.

Beruriah said...

Oh and (considering I whined daily online and off during my pregnancy) I think you haven't shown us whiny at all here.

niobe said...

I feel like I've given the universe another chance to kick me in the teeth. And I'm sure it will be happy to oblige.

Magpie said...

I felt much of that angst with my successful pregnancy - because the (early) m/c put the big fear into me.

Ah, to be innocent...

Good luck, sweetie.

c. said...

I feel like I'm daring the universe to hurt me again. Knowing it's the last thing in the world that I want: the devastation, the grief, the hopelessness and hurt. And if this one ends, and I hope it doesn't, I'll know I'll dive in head first again. Over and over and over again. I think there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity. At least in my case.

27 weeks, 2 days. Wow. Hoping, when all the waiting is over and done, you get the outcome that you just can't visualize right now, Julia. I do. I do. I do.

Wabi said...

Yes, you are in a really tough place. Of course you are scared. Of course you are tired and weary on top of being scared.

And it's just really strange, to live in a world where the person right across from you can have such a totally different relationship with the universe than you do. Everyone expects pregnancy to be this great common denominator. Ha.

STE said...

Really not whiny at all.

I don't know what other word besides brave to describe it. I feel so far away from being ready, even as my drive, desire for a living child grows (exponentially, it seems) every day.

And it's the small things that really destroy me these days. How I would get through a pregnancy, all the ups and downs, even aside from fears of the worst happening again...

From here, you seem to be handling this with remarkable composure.

Karen said...

well, it turns out there is such a thing as too much cake - but that isn't your complaint. I work with pregnant women - it's a precarious tricky walk in even the best of circumstances - and sometimes people walk it somewhat obliviously, so they don't know it is hard and scary, but you do.

Wordgirl said...

Beautifully said -- all of it.

May the test results be good ones...and though I can't say I understand from experience, I'm a pro at fear ... I hope the last trimester brings more peaceful days than not.


Catherine said...

Yes...now you know. But let me tell you something...you know how the pain of childbirth fades from your memory when you hold a living baby in your arms? Well...you won't ever forget that knowledge you now possess. But like the pain of childbirth, it will fade into something of a well-worn distant memory when you hold your new baby in your arms. Even without choosing it, you WILL be stronger/braver for it. And I, for one, am so anxious for you to get there...to hold your new baby in your arms and forget even the tiniest bit of all this pain and fear.

wannabe mom said...

You haven't whined nearly as much as you're allowed to. I call my whining 'documentation" -- ha! I am really glad you are at 27 weeks and counting.

"Our" afraid vs. "their" afraid -- you hit it right on the head.

janis said...

I don't think this was whiny, but then, if you need to whine, moan, thrash about and complain, why not? Because it is THE pregnancy after a loss?
I am sorry for this tough place right now. You are handling it with so much grace, like others have already said. Hugs to you.

Ya Chun said...

Um, that did not sound like a whine. All legitimate concerns and thoughts in YOUR mind posted on YOUR blog.
If you thought that was a whine, my whole blog is pitiful and full of whining!
I just posted similar thoughts about constant vigilance.

Bon said...

did it go okay?

you are doing a good job, Julia...managing with grace all the fear and the vulnerability of this. i remember well realizing, like you, in my pregnancy with O, that i'd really had no clue going in what i'd let myself in for, how frightened i would be. this time, after another loss, i knew, and still it shocks me sometimes, takes my breath.

such a strange balance. love to you.

Lori said...

I have always said that we leaped into our pregnancy with Pumpkin out of sheer desperation. We put our heads down, dove in, and prayed- not really believing our prayers would have any real effect on the outcome. We got lucky and she came home.

The people I find really brave are the ones who try again, again. The people who get their post-loss baby and then go for it again. That's what I can't do. I can't do it again. And maybe it's because the next time I would know exactly what I was getting into.

I continue to hold you in my thoughts and I still pray for you- just because.

CLC said...

I hope the test went well. I am so behind on my blogs, so sorry I am late to comment.

I do think it's brave but at the same time, I get that you feel it is not and that you simply didn't have a choice. But being in that I don't know what to do camp, I see it as brave. Keep taking it one day at a time.

Busted said...

I never got to that point, but it sounds unpleasant. And you are allowed to complain. If anything, I think loss gives us greater leeway to complain, because how unfair that we have had to go through the rigors of pregnancy without even reaping the reward? Although, I am confident that this time you will be rewarded.

Yes, the topic of trying again is definitely in the air. I still cannot decide whether I will actually be ready mentally when we start treatment again (probably within the month), or if I am just assuming that I am buying myself time by starting with a frozen cycle I think will fail. Is it ok to try again, to get pregnant again, when I am still crying every day about my dead babies? Or does that ever stop?

Sorry to hijack your comments with a bunch of crap about me.

I agree with STE - I think you are brave, and I am so excited about you reaching that third trimester.

Anonymous said...

I think you are very brave and courageous. I am so sorry for the loss of your stillborn son, and can only admire your honesty in this post. Congratulations on your pregnancy, I know you won't be able to really relax until your little one is safely in your arms (and maybe not relax even then).

I am thinking of you.

Here from NCLM.

The Town Criers said...

"I jumped in with no real idea of what I was getting myself into."

I think this explained it so well for me--this single sentence--and that pause when you realize how hard it is. It's not simply getting pregnant or carrying to term. It because something so much more enormous.

a- said...

I enjoyed this post very much. Wishing you all my very best thoughts.