Archive for January, 2009

BFF – me and big, green couch.

January 19, 2009

Pregnancy is an interesting thing. I’m finally starting to believe there are babies in there. And it’s not just TMD’s constant exclaiming over how veiny I am (‘You look like a roadmap!!’), it’s that time keeps passing and things appear to be a-okay. Of course, the ongoing powerful gagging and retching also helps. As does the fact that blood comes out of my nose every time I blow it.

But that doesn’t stop me from checking my underwear every time I go to the bathroom. You know, just to be sure. Or worrying when my lower back gets period-type pains. (Which, incidentally, I’m getting a lot of today.) Each day that passes makes me feel more terrified, excited, and unsure what to expect. I am thinking about finances, maternity leave, etc.

Bil has offered to buy us a ‘travel system.’ I didn’t know what that was until TMD told me it was (obviously) a pushchair. This freakin’ twin travel system costs 500 for the minimum with no added bits. Yikes!

Her entire family believes we are extremely poor, and I’m thinking that might manage to work in our favour.

Well, I think I may go watch some more daytime television. This is the beginning of my third week off work. I’m starting to get bored and really frustrated. Not to mention ravenously hungry with no TMD/waitress in sight. Just me and the couch.

Advertisements

A public service announcement.

January 17, 2009

So you say you’re eight weeks pregnant? And functioning relatively like a human?

If you want to continue to be a productive member of society (barring being incapacitated by some sort of freak road accident, but really, folks, that won’t happen to you) then we, the members of the Staying Sane Society, recommend that you not watch the movie Look Who’s Talking.

We, the members of the Don’t Use Convoluted Sentences Society, refute the assertion that the above sentence was appropriate or necessary.

*ahem*  If you deign to watch Look Who’s Talking, be aware that you may become tearful during the opening credits when sperm is fusing with egg. You may also have tears dripping down your cheeks as the obviously robotic baby begins to develop in utero. In fact, your partner may come running from the other room to see why you are emitting a rather disturbing high pitched whine.

If you manage to survive the whole movie, there is a very high chance that you may begin to sob uncontrollably during the end credits (you know, when there is another developing baby scene). The sort of sobbing that is likely to happen is akin to the sort of emotional release that the conclusion of Beaches normally provokes.

You have been warned.

Pregnancy symptom #3289032

January 16, 2009

I’m growing a beard.

I felt it a few days ago, and TMD has just offered visual confirmation. It’s not as horrible as it sounds. It’s very fine blonde/clear hair, like the rest of my facial hair, it’s just long and on my chin.

A beard.

Um.

Can you guess what my new favourite word is?

January 16, 2009

Okay, some more medical stuff, then back to pregnancy stuff!

Talked to Joy yesterday, which fired me up to ring my doctor and say I was getting pins and needles in my foot. He said I needed to come in for an emergency appointment. While pushing various points on my leg (it’s a nerve, I knew it was a nerve, please allow me to be smug in my painful fake doctor sort of way) I was hitting the wall, yanking my leg away, etc. He became worried that I had this syndrome thing and said I needed to see Ortho at the hospital right away.

So.

I went back to the hospital, saw the head surgeon, who told me all sorts of terrifying things about 12 hour windows and AMPUTATIONS, and then calmly told me I didn’t need to worry about that. I actually grabbed his hand, like a feeble old woman, and said, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ He said that I had deep bleeding and bruising in the calf muscles, and that it would be irritating my nerve. He said that because I can’t take anti-inflammatory medication, the swelling would be hurting my nerve. He then said I had to go back for a follow up if things didn’t settle down.

The hospital scheduled it for this morning. WTF. After waiting for an hour in a sea of people with broken bones, I saw another Ortho guy. He said I had a swollen and stretched nerve, but that I could expect a complete recovery. He also said there was no predicting how long it would take for the nerve to settle down – anything from two weeks to months.

(Note: angry nerves in your leg. You want to know what that feels like? Bang your funny bone extra hard. Take a snapshot of how it feels in that first intense three seconds. Then stretch it down the entire length of your leg.)

Say it with me, ‘Awesome.’ You know what else is awesome? I strained my left shoulder muscle really badly when getting out of the bathtub this morning. You can imagine how much easier that makes using crutches!

He also said I could put full weight on my leg now, as that would be possible even with a broken bone. I explained that I couldn’t actually straighten my leg – I think this guy forgot my original injury was not this nerve pain, but a torn calf muscle or muscles. I think I’m going to definitely need physiotherapy.

Let us continue on a symptomatic front, before I wax lyrical about pregnancy and itsy bitsy babies.

My morning sickness is BACK. I’ve read in all the books that it peaks at nine weeks pregnant, unless you are pregnant with twins. It’s not the sort of I-want-to-die horribleness it was before – now I would classify it more as a public embarassment. A new development seems to be violent and deep dry heaving…including lots of unfortunate burping while I am retching. This happens a lot in the car. Or, you know, in emergency room waiting areas.

I am throwing up dinner every night, so am now taking my prenatal vitamins after lunch. This system seems to be working. Although I just had my omega and my multivitamin balanced on my crotch, and so help me god, I can’t find the vitamin. Please don’t let the cat eat it.

I also may take some pictures of my thighs for you to witness. You know those thick markers kids use? Well, if you took a greenish blue one of those and just drew all over your body with it – that’s what my veins look like. It’s most apparent in my thighs, though due to my fair skin my arms also look like someone has been colouring on me. TMD says my entire lower back is green, and she has suggested that perhaps I am pregnant with The Hulk’s babies.

Let’s hope not. At least I don’t have to worry about them being born capable of glowing in the dark, thanks to the fact that I managed to avoid getting x-rays.

The update to end all updates. AKA: Have you ever sued anyone for a personal injury?

January 15, 2009

I suppose if I was writing this a few months from now, I could make this entry funny. But, quite frankly, I’m not in the mood. I’m still experiencing a high level of pain. Went to A&E on the weekend, and I was there for ages. They were checking me for this trauma-related syndrome and said I would probably need surgery. My left foot was ice cold and they were having trouble finding a pulse.

I was freaked out about x-rays and medications during pregnancy, but resigned that if it had to happen it had to happen. It was more painful considering what x-rays might do than my leg could ever be – and that’s saying quite a lot. I’ve never felt such intense, agonising pain in my life – and such persistance as well. We’re trying to find little ways to make things bearable, but it’s difficult. TMD has now taken half days the rest of the week, because I can’t get off the couch to go to the toilet, get food, etc.

Morning sickness is also in full flow again. Dry heaving and vomiting every day. AWESOME stuff.

So. What happened?

I came out of a meeting at a client’s house. It was dark, just after 6 pm. This particular road has crossings but very few of them. I realised I was walking the wrong way. I could see a crossing, and actually had the thought that maybe I should walk up to it and use it. (Though I have crossed this road about six million times in the past 5 years.) Then I saw that I was directly across the street from the bus stop I needed to use.

I waited until all the traffic on my side of the road was stationary, and there was no traffic coming the other way. I started crossing the road, and the next thing I knew everything was black and I was sat on the road. Immediate pain flared in my left knee, and then a mental voice screamed, ‘The babies! THE BABIES!’ I started to struggle to get up and out of the road. A man at the side began to rush over and yelled, ‘Don’t move. Stay still!’

I yelled, ‘I’m pregnant and I am not staying in the middle of the road!’ The p-word was miraculous. Suddenly people were running from every direction to help me up. The man who hit me yelled, ‘You shouldn’t have crossed the road like that!’ at me, and I just said, ‘I’m pregnant.’

An ambulance and the police were called. The pain in my left leg was terrible, but I was much more concerned about the babies. In the ambulance my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. I called TMD and couldn’t stop sobbing. The ambulance lady was lovely and kept me talking, which calmed me a bit. She kept trying to check my knee and other injuries, and I kept saying, ‘I don’t care about any of this. I just want to see if the baby or babies are okay.’

At the hospital, I started shaking again. I was seen pretty quickly (again, I think the p-word opens a lot of doors) and the consultant only seemed interested in my knee. He asked me to bend it and said there was no fracture if I could bend it, and that they couldn’t do an x-ray at that stage in the pregnancy (six weeks). There was a dull ache in my calf, but at that point it didn’t really register.

Then they did an over-the-tummy scan. I said to the doctor, ‘I don’t know if I have one baby or two. And I don’t care if there is one or seven, I just want them to be okay.’

I figured things were alright when he began to give lessons in how to diagnose pregnancy via ultrasound to another doctor, but still. He put the thingie on my stomach, smiled, and said, ‘Well, well, well.’ That also relieved me, though he didn’t take the trouble to tell me things were okay at that point. I heard him begin talking to the other doctor, and the words ‘two gestational sacks’ were definitely mentioned.

He said the sacs were intact, that there were two yolk sacks, etc. He then swivelled the screen and said, ‘Well, miss, did you hear what I said?’

I replied, ‘I have two?’

He said, ‘You definitely have two, maybe more.’ MAYBE MORE? What the fuck? He said that the pregnancy was fine. He showed me both sacks and attempted to let me listen to both heartbeats. This all freaked me out as one sack was much larger than the other, and the heartbeat was mostly audible and I could see it registering on the monitor under the ultrasound. Baby #2’s heartbeat wasn’t so simple.

The weird thing about all of this was how I felt. Emotionally. Normally even a papercut (maybe a slight exaggeration) would require me to have mood swings – fear and needing TMD there, to RAGE that she was not there. I did not care that she was not there. I did not care about being alone at the hospital. (After I got hit, the woman chairing the meeting came along and said she would go to the hospital with me. I refused. My co-worker offered to come – I refused. And then there was a knocking on the back door of the ambulance and my friend G was there! He hugged me and said, ‘How are you?’ He too offered to come.)

Nothing mattered. I didn’t feel like my being supported was the priority, I felt like making sure those babies were okay was the absolutely most important thing on the planet. In the hospital, I was so worried about miscarriage and the fact that I would feel responsible for it.  This was a terrible pain that was all consuming.

So. Since the accident, a range of problems have occured. Muscle spasms in my foot, calf, thigh, back. Pain in my hip, knee, and ankle. Assorted cuts and bruises.

But my calf? Incomparable. Apparently it’s a tear of the calf muscle – it might take 3 to 4 weeks for the pain to begin to go away. AWESOME. I’ve not been back to work since the accident, as obviously at this point I can’t even pee without assistance. I’m worried about some sort of nerve problem as well. I’ve had tingling in my left foot. Yesterday if I pushed my toes, I had very painful tingling.

I don’t know if this is normal pain associated with this type of injury, from being mostly immobile, or something more serious. Going to do some hardcore googling.

Anyway. We went for the proper scan in the city on Monday. I vomited in the car the whole way there, managing to open the car door and tip out my sick bowl in the middle of the road. We parked about a (normally) 30 second walk from the clinic, and had to take a cab the rest of the way because I just couldn’t manage it, even with my snazzy new crutches.

The scan confirmed the two babies. We saw and heard both heartbeats. The woman confirmed that it was normal to have one smaller sack than the other in twins. She also measured the babies and said both were in normal range. I’ve got about a zillion pictures and an official scan report. Essentially, one baby (as of Monday) was just over 9 mm. The other was just over 6 mm. The idea of seeing the heartbeat of such tiny things is just unreal.

The sonographer counted my due date from the embryo transfer, not the egg collection – so that pushed my due date back to August 29. It also made me three days ‘less’ pregnant. When my mom was pregnant with me, she was due on August 29. I think that’s quite cool. Also moderately disturbing to think about my parents having sex.

We met with the doctor who did the embryo transfer very briefly after the scan (after we’d had a longer meeting with the nurse). She warned us about vanishing twin syndrome – that in 50% of twin pregnancies, they reduce down to one baby. I asked when this would happen by, and she said twelve weeks. I confirmed with her that if there were two babies at my twelve week scan, chances are things would officially be good to go.

She said I could choose to come in for a nine week scan, but she didn’t really see a reason for that as both babies were in the normal range and everything was healthy.

So.

I think that’s everything. I need to not be sitting up any more.

Only me.

January 11, 2009

It’s me, the feckless hero. I was hoping by now this would all be an exciting, stupid story. Of course I got run over, why wouldn’t I? Ha ha ha, rinse and repeat.

Instead I’m in more pain than ever. Doctor this week said he doesn’t think I’ll need surgery, but pain steadily getting worse. I cannot move unless I am using crutches, and have my Bad Leg propped up on a chair that TMD slowly pulls while I hobble along behind, usually crying or screaming at her. I can no longer straighten my leg while in an upright position.

TMD is showering, and then we’re going to A&E just to get things checked out again. I feel like I could perhaps deal with this pain if I knew it was normal. It just feels like something is terribly, terribly wrong. Being pregnant, painkillers that actually kill pain are out of the question. My doctor offered me codeine. Um, no.

Anyway. Off to the hospital.

I have an update on the pregnancy as well, but won’t feel totally okay about everything until we have the official scan tomorrow, so I’ll wait to give you that news. All of this has been pretty emotionally devastating, thinking what I might have done to our family. All things considered, I am pretty fucking lucky.

I almost hope for my leg to be put into a cast – though I bet I would regret that little statement if it actually happened – just because it feels and appears that my leg is shrinking and cannot be comfortable unless it is at a very odd angle and bent.

Thanks for the kind comments. Send healing vibes my way.

Update from TMD

January 6, 2009

Hi everyone.  This is TMD.  Don’t panic… existere is fine.  She asked me to update as she won’t make it to the computer today.  She was hit by  moped in traffic last night.  She was taken to hospital and they checked her out – scan confirmed that everything with the pregnancy is fine.  She is really sore though and not very mobile.  No broken bones.

Rational about being irrational, take twenty-three.

January 5, 2009

I called this lovely national charity’s pregnancy and birth helpline today. I said, ‘Hello, I’m just looking for some reassurance.’ I said I’d done lots of frantic googling re: cramping and knew it was probably normal, but I just needed a human being to tell me so.

The woman laughed and said, ‘I know how you feel. It’s something perfectly normal, we all have to go through it. Cramping is normal, as is is bit of spotting.’ Thankfully I’m not spotting, but it’s nice to have gotten a pre-warning. I did let the woman know that if I saw blood I would probably have a heart attack.

Aussie said yesterday I am carrying myself like a pregnant lady. That excited me beyond all belief. I’m still expanding, though I imagine the massive amount of food I am eating – combined with living an essentially horizontal life – is a major contributing factor.

Today I did find out that if you have a scan with a visible heartbeat AND are eight weeks pregnant, the risk of miscarriage dramatically drops down to only 3%. I mean, it’s still high as far as I’m concerned, but a lot lower than earlier in pregnancy. My scan next Monday will be at seven weeks five days, which means that on Wednesday I will be the magic eight weeks. Feeling good about that.

Roll on twelve weeks, though. I’ll feel better when I’m out of the dreaded first trimester and am also not reading pregnancy books about how in the first ten weeks your embryo is all hugely at risk from environmental factors. I walked past some pot smokers today and when I could no longer hold my breath, I pulled my scarf up over my face and used it like a breathing filter. In my head I was going, ‘Don’t you KNOW who I AM? How DARE you smoke in front of me.’

Hooligans.

After ten weeks the ’embryo’ also becomes a ‘fetus.’ It’s all BABY to me, though. TMD keeps kissing my tummy and talking to my pubis. She’s sweet. After I had the nervous breakdown when I went to the doctor last time, I was crying in department stores, and I also started to weep in a coffee shop when I couldn’t decide what I wanted.

She spirited me off home and took me to ‘TMD’s cafe’, where we sat at the table with some nibbles and a big ass glass of orange juice. There could be no better person to be doing this with. I love love love her.

Crazy is as crazy does.

January 5, 2009

Ah, dudes and dudettes, guess who I get to hang out with on Thursday morning? Dr. Dipshit. He was the ONLY doctor available in the time slot I needed. AWESOME.

On the upside, TMD and I went to tour a maternity suite/unit on Saturday. How surreal it was to be looking at delivery suites when I am only 6 weeks pregnant! I really liked the hospital. It’s not our local one, as that is a den of shitnests, but it’s still quite close.

I decided to go see a doctor (THE doctor) in person to clarify the referral, as my community midwife will have to be from my local area. Not sure how all this works.

Been having lots of cramps since yesterday evening. Virtually all morning today. On this occasion, the internet has soothed me because apparently these are very normal. I might call a pregnancy helpline in a bit just for some reassurance.

Everything feels a bit up in the air around the pregnancy – the meds I need, the appointments, the referrals. I don’t want the actual pregnancy to feel up in the air! Really still looking forward to the scan on Monday.

In the meantime, I’m trying to stay sane…or at least appear that way.

The last line counts.

January 2, 2009

Had a bad experience at the doctor’s. The piece of shit teenage doctor clearly knew next-to-nothing about pregnancy, and NOTHING about IVF.

Me: Hiya, I’m just over six weeks pregnant from IVF, and this is my first baby.

Him: Was this pregnancy planned?

Him: About how far along are you?

Him: Is this your first child?

What the fuck, right? He also miscalculated my due date by 2 weeks, even when I explained to him how to figure things out via IVF. But he really made me doubt myself, so I didn’t challenge him as much as I could have.

He also said I need to pick the hospital I want to give birth in now, so he can refer me. He said I won’t see a midwife until 12 weeks. Another hearty round of ‘what the fuck’ can be inserted here, as I really should see a midwife before 12 weeks. He also refused to write me a prescription for progesterone without a letter from our private clinic. Yeah, like I’m just in this for the free progesterone and the great side effects.

Stupid fucker.

All this culminated with me crying afterwards in public. AWESOME.

Things have calmed down slightly and I’m feeling more in control. Hoping to go visit a hospital maternity ward tomorrow (what the fuck, again, I’m only six weeks pregnant! And I don’t think they have water birth there! I don’t know if I want a water birth, but I don’t want options cut out from under me!). Cross your fingers the tour is running even though it’s new year.

That fucking doctor tried to refer me to our closest hospital, which no longer has a maternity ward. AWESOME TIMES TWO.

Feeling more sane now, but still pissed off. The Plan: call our good, expensive clinic tomorrow (while wishing we were rich and could afford private antenatal care) and ask for a letter re: progesterone. Also ask them for some confirmation re: due dates. If theirs match with mine, ask them to pop that information into the letter. Call the hospital in the morning to see if the tour is on and if there is room, and then hopefully take a nice drive up the road and wander around to watch women screaming while babies fly out of their pee-pees.

Maybe do some bra shopping on the way back.

Apparently pregnant women are supposed to wear non-underwire bras. I don’t know what size I am anymore. I do know that after trying on five bras I got Angry White Albino Nipple on the left side, and the pain was pretty fucking intense.

fuckyoustupiddoctor.

TMD is a miracle in my life.