Beyond What to Expect – Part I

I am so touched by the small but incredibly appreciated group of people who follow my story.  I knew that I had dropped off the radar with nary a word and thought about and meant to and really wanted to respond to the people who reached out via e-mail to check in (thank you!!), but never did.   Because I didn’t know what to say.  Given that, I knew I had no right to expect anyone to read much less offer such amazing support when I finally turned back to this space. The fact that you did moved me beyond words. I don’t know how often I’ll write, but I promise not to just disappear again. If I decide to take a break or even stop blogging, I’ll be upfront and honest about that.

Truth be told, I actually wrote my previous entry about a month before I posted it. However, almost everything in there holds true today although I am starting to see a light on the horizon. The last post was by design a very vague outline because I wasn’t ready to talk about the specifics when I originally wrote it.  Now, I’d like to fill in some of the details.  I apologize in advance for the negative and seemingly complaining tone of the next couple posts.  I want to be as honest as I can about what’s transpired these past few months both as a way to document the experience and also to provide some context for my absence.   I offer my sincere apologies to anyone I may offend who is struggling and waiting for the blessing of pregnancy and a child.  Please know that despite the experience I’ve had and the fact that thus far it has been dramatically different than the blissful glow of impending motherhood I envisioned, I am extremely grateful that we are in the position we are and continue to hope and pray for all that are in the throes of the struggle.

When we learned I was pregnant after our 3rd attempt at IVF, we were thrilled beyond words.   I actually knew before the beta thanks to copious use of pee sticks. I’ll never forget the catch in my throat and the heart stopping moment when the 2nd line made its way across the display window.   That said, I wasn’t exactly in a hugely celebratory mood as I was in the throes of moderate OHSS.    (To all those out there who have suffered through severe OHSS, my never-ending sympathies are with you as this was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced.) Ultimately, after essentially being bedridden for a couple of weeks because I couldn’t stand up straight much less walk or even breathe, Dr. Yacht made the decision to do a “tap” in which they drained the fluid from my abdominal cavity. They took 2 litres and the relief was almost instantaneous. Usually people have to be re-tapped at least once, but I got lucky and the OHSS completely cleared within the next week or so. Only to be followed by a very sharp pain and bleeding…and panic. We rushed to the clinic where they found a sizable subchorionic hemorrage (SCH). My doctor doesn’t believe in bedrest for SC bleeds, so we were left to just wait it out and see what happens. Fortunately, the little nugget hung on and the clinic and OB were good about giving us frequent ultrasounds to check in on things.  While it took until Week 14 for the SCH to clear (with off and on but always terrifying bleeding throughout that period), it’s now thankfully gone.

Shortly after the onset of the bleed, I began feeling more pain … and here’s where it gets into a bit too much TMI.  The pain was reminiscent of the worst UTI I have ever had combined with a nasty case of hemorrhoids except the pain was deep and internal.  My unmentionable parts were in agony.  After multiple highly embarrassing doctor visits including one with my OB, whom I’d never met prior to that appointment but who told it me it was all in my head (nice), no cause was ever found. It didn’t present like any pregnancy or OHSS symptom that everyone had ever heard of but was debilitating none the less. Again, I basically didn’t move for a couple of weeks.  My sofa now has a perma-groove shaped precisely to the outline of my not so slender self.  Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped. At that point, we were near the end of the first trimester and starting to get a little bit of the excitement back. We even went out and bought the ubiquitous What to Expect… book.  And then…first trimester screening proceeded to rock our world and we’re still digging out.  More on that in the next post.


4 Responses

  1. You don’t sound ungrateful at all! You’ve had a rough pregnancy so far and it’s OK to talk about it. Just becuase you had IVF, doesn’t mean you have to pretend everything is perfect. When I was pregnant with my son, I did the same thing. I kept silent for months becuase after so many years of trying and then FINALLY getting pregnant, I felt I didn’t have the “right” to complain about anything. This pregnancy was a miracle and if I complained, I was doing it and my son wrong. I talked to my doctor and she said “pregnancy is HARD on a woman’s body. You get big in a short amount of time, you’re allowed to complain.” Once she told me that, I felt a ton better.So tell us about anything you want. NOBODY is going to think anything less of you. OK, I’m done lecturing you, sorry.

    I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with so much, but am so glad you’re writing about it. We’ll support you. We’ll hold your hand. Sending you lots of love.

  2. Nothing in that post sounded ungrateful.

    I think that the most important thing about blogging is to be real. That is why I have to blog anonymously–it’s the only way for me to be real. Your pregnancy sounds like it was really scary and really difficult, and if your next post is what I’m thinking, you must be about to tell us about an emotional roller coaster. Please don’t apologize for your honesty.

    Ditto Beautiful Mess above–we’re here. (((hugs)))

  3. You don’t sound whinging or ungrateful – if I’ve found out anything, I’ve found that a much-awaited pregnancy isn’t always a joyous experience, it can be scary and painful and despite the love we feel for the little ones I don’t think you’re human if you don’t spend some time wondering what the hell you’ve done. Change is never easy and it’s only a small percentage of women who get to live in ignorant bliss.

    I agree with Quiet Dreams, I blog anon so I can be honest and not feel like I have to censor myself – at the end of the day I blog for me and not those who may be reading, don’t censor yourself, especially just because you think you should feel differently or might offend someone.


  4. Oh sweetie! I hate when any of us who have to work so hard to get pregnant turn around and have a hard, worrisome, roller coaster of a pregnancy. It’s just not fair!

    But, we are here for you. We will not judge you. We all know that mix of how you really feel vs. how you think you should feel or you think other people think you should feel. But this is the space where you get let that all out without any fear of judgement or repercussion. If you need to move in order to be able to do that (i.e. if there are RL people reading that maybe you don’t want to be THAT open with), then everyone will understand that.

    Also, please know that we understand that sometimes pregnancy (even a long awaited, very expensive, and deeply desired pregnancy) isn’t always a cakewalk. It’s uncomfortable at the best of times, and can be downright miserable. Just because you had to work harder to get pregnant, doesn’t make you expempt from the woes of pregnancy and we get that. Please don’t think that you have to be anything less than honest in order to not hurt or offend readers.

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