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Heartbeat

Okay, it’s been a long time since I’ve written, and a lot of crazy stuff has happened, some good, some bad.

I didn’t get the job I was applying for, and I was not able to move back to the other job I thought I’d be able to get easily. So, I’m still stuck where I am, but for now that seems like the only/best option.

K and I got the chance to listen to the heartbeat, and it was the most amazing experience! I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that there is a living, growing baby inside of me with a strong heartbeat. We took a video of the experience and posted it up on YouTube to surprise the whole family with, and I”ll post it here so everyone can see and listen. I thought I would cry whether or not I heard the heartbeat, but all I could do was laugh like a giddy little child. The midwife didn’t even have to look for the heartbeat at all; she just stuck the doppler right above the pubic bone, and there it was.

We waited until we heard the heartbeat to tell K’s family we are pregnant. What we did was take the video from our camera and burn it to a CD. Then, we wrapped up the CD in paper and wrote “Play Me” on the outside. I put a picture frame with the words “Picture Coming Soon” on the temporary picture and wrapped that up with the CD. I put both these things in a gift bag, and we took it over on Sunday. K’s mother immediately put the CD into her computer, not knowing what it was but figuring that it was a new game. It only took her a few seconds of hearing the heartbeat to know what was going on, and she jumped from the couch like somebody kicked her and hugged both K and I. K’s father took a little bit longer to catch on, but he was soon very excited, too. We didn’t realize how happy he was until he started crying, which nobody expected. I guess he had been very worried about us since the miscarriage and feared that we were having trouble getting pregnant again. I had no idea how much it meant to him, and it was very touching to see him show that much emotion.

Can You Imagine?

My interview went very well on Wednesday, and I am anxiously awaiting a phone call to see if I get an offer. I really hope they call soon, because I’d like to know if I’ll be able to support this family should K be unable to find work after his seasonal, now very part time work runs out on November 1st. Granted, it’s just K and I and our 4 cats for the time being, but this is our family, and I’d like it if we could go on living in this house.

Oh, yeah – we adopted another cat. He was running around where K patrols at night; someone had kicked him out after shaving his white and orange fur short in odd places. It looks like someone was trying to make him look like a poodle. Regardless, he was now without a home, and K knew he couldn’t leave the little one out there with winter approaching. So now he’s ours, and I named him Spud. I estimate he is about 6 months old. He is very active, playful, and loving, and I can’t for the life of me imagine how a coward could kick him out, not knowing where he might end up.

Anyways, if I don’t get hired at the job I really want, my former employer wants me back for a part time position that would be about the same hours I’m working now, and I would actually get paid vacations, sick days, and health insurance. So, there. I have another option, and this one is much more certain. And as soon as I’m hired on, I will be able to go to the doctor and get checked out.

I tried in vain to find more info on that health center that supposedly sees women without health insurance, but every phone number I got a hold of was disconnected or not in service. The only other option is to drive out there on a day I’m not working during business hours and see if I can talk to somebody who knows SOMETHING. All of this because hubby is laid off, and I don’t have health insurance. Maybe the customer who told me about the health center will come in, and I can ask her questions. It seems I will have to wait no matter which course of action I choose. Waiting…something I’m sick of. I have finally made up my mind to call the midwife on Monday. Maybe she knows of a place I can get checked out and have an ultrasound without health insurance. She did say there’s a place that does $99 ultrasounds down there. I just don’t know if they do blood tests and such.

Anyways, all of that is frustrating. If I think about it too long, I get entirely too pissed off and wonder why I don’t just move to Canada. And then I remember: I have no money! Haha! I’m stuck here. Well, that’s a negative way of looking at things, but sometimes I just can’t help but feel stuck. Often times, I do it to myself. Other times, it seems to be how my cards are dealt. But that’s life. At least I am pregnant, and I haven’t had any more terrifying spotting. I’m still nauseous and all that jazz, and I’m dealing with it pretty well, though I have thrown up once.

I came upon a website in the midst of my browsing, babiesonline.com, and it enticed me to enter my due date. I was not prepared for what ensued when I pressed the Enter button:

Fun Facts For Birthday 05/02/2010

Your baby will start kindergarten in 2015, be old enough to drive a car in 2026, graduate high school with the class of 2028, and will finish college in 2032, give or take a year. Can you imagine?

In short, no I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine ANY of that, because I keep expecting to lose this one despite all my optimism and hope. If I could get some answers, I might feel better about our future, but at the same time, I’m afraid of knowing. I’m scared to death to even IMAGINE that my baby might be born on May 2nd, let alone drive a car in 2026. It seems unreal! I’m in love with the idea, though. My baby may survive and be able to become even more than I could ever imagine someday. Can I imagine? Yes, with tears streaming down my face.

The Scare

I have to admit, I’ve been very afraid to make this post. I can’t figure out if it’s because I think I’ll be “jinxing” my pregnancy or that I’ll be manifesting my fears, allowing them to stare me in the face.

On Thursday last week, I started to have some very light, brown spotting. I can’t even describe in words how much this terrified me and sent me into the depths of dread. I was encouraged on Friday when I saw no spotting. Then, I had a tiny bit more in the afternoon before I could go home from work. That last bit of time was agonizing. All I could think was, “Oh my gosh, I’m losing another one. Please, no! It’s not fair! Why? I have become so attached!” When I finally got home, it was obvious to my hubby that I was NOT okay. We were both very upset, even though the spotting was barely noticeable. I resigned myself to the fact that I would lose the baby over the weekend, and I cried. K told me that on the way to work that night, he bawled his eyes out.

Saturday and Sunday came and went, and the spotting didn’t increase, but it didn’t go away. Somewhere along the way, I read that at 7 weeks, the placenta starts to take over, and some women may experience spotting or bleeding at that time. This gave me hope, but a big part of me felt it was false hope. I didn’t need that. All I could do was wait and see what would happen, as there is nothing anyone can do once bleeding begins. Since it took me four days from the onset of spotting last time I miscarried, I thought that I surely must miscarry by Sunday night. If I didn’t, then maybe it wouldn’t happen. I was still having all the strong symptoms of pregnancy, such as my nipples being extremely sensitive, and certain smells almost sending me to the bathroom to hurl. I took comfort in the fact that when I miscarried last time, I had stopped having any sort of symptom for at least 2 weeks.

Sunday came and went. Monday proved that I had stopped spotting, finally! Yesterday, I had none as well, and so far, nothing thismorning. I don’t know whether to be relieved or terrified. Another problem is that I do not have health insurance right now. I’m hoping that will change, provided I get hired at this new job. If not, I will have to wait until K goes back to work to get on his health insurance, and who knows when that will be. The other option is an OB/GYN in a neighboring town who I heard from a customer takes women without health insurance. I am thinking of going there and seeing if she can check me out and maybe calm my fears about this scare. I think all I will need to bring in are a couple of pay stubs, and I will be charged based on a sliding income scale.

I don’t know why, but I haven’t told my midwife I’m pregnant yet. I think it may be another case of me not wanting to “jinx” this pregnancy. How silly is that? Also, I know with her that I wouldn’t have my first appointment until 12 weeks anyways, and she doesn’t deal with high risk pregnancies, not that I even know if I’m high risk. I guess I’m just all around confused, and I’m afraid if I tell my midwife I have had bleeding, she will want me to take progesterone cream, and I will not go through that again. I believe that is what caused me to hold in the placenta for four weeks after I miscarried. I’m afraid if I go to this OB that she will want me to do something I don’t want to do, too. But I have to be strong and realize that ultimately, all the decisions are up to me. I can say no. It’s my body and my child. I want very much to have a healthy pregnancy and a peaceful, private home birth. Going to an OB and keeping my midwife might give me the best of both worlds.

Hmmm…I’m going to have to make some decisions very soon here. I can’t keep having scares and have no one to go to. I HAVE to get over my fears and face the possibility of an examination where the sun doesn’t shine.

I have an interview thismorning for that job I’m hoping to get. I hope I won’t be quite as sick as yesterday morning, when I threw up about midway through my short shift. It was the first time I have thrown up this pregnancy, and while it reassured me, it also made me sad to remember that I had thrown up last pregnancy, and it had been for no baby at all. I hope this time is different. I hope I get this job. I hope, I hope….

Tests, Part 2

I did the new packaging pregnancy test the next day, and lo and behold, it’s lighter than the test from the old packaging as you can see in the picture below. Also, the lines are still thinner. I’ll just have to accept that the tests have changed a bit and move on.

Old Test on Bottom, New Test on Top

Old Test on Bottom, New Test on Top

I’m being crazy and looking for a new job. My current job is part time and has no paid leave for when I give birth to the baby, so I figure I have nothing to lose other than a crappy job. To be fair, though, I started looking before I knew I was pregnant. I even applied to a couple different places and got a phone interview for one potential employer. If I get called for a face-to-face interview, I will be elated! This job is full time with benefits and will of course mean more money. The only thing is  I cannot tell them I am pregnant. I have heard of so many instances of pregnant women being discriminated against by employers, so I know I’m not safe to tell anyone until my probationary period is up. At the same time, I hate this, because it feels like I would be lying to my employers by not telling them.

Still, if I get this job, I understand that when it comes time to have the baby, I’m going to have to take a short leave or quit, since I will not be covered under FMLA. That SUCKS, but I have to make money now while I can. Hubby is still not back to work, and his full time seasonal employment is running out at the end of the week. I am freaking out, and the only hope seems to be finding a new job for both of us. Still, though I hate the financial situation we are in, I am grateful as ever to be pregnant, and I know we will make it through somehow. We always do.

K’s father had a dream the other day that we were bringing new life into the world. He is a very strange bird, because he always has dreams that tell him when a family member will die, get married, or have a baby. I don’t know how much longer we can hide this pregnancy from him. Apparently, his dream doesn’t have to mean that we are pregnant right now, so we haven’t told him yet. Instead of being creeped out by this, I take it as a comforting thing – a sign that maybe this pregnancy will be it. His dreams are never wrong. It has been an awful gift for him to live with at times, seeing his family members die in his dreams weeks before it actually happens, knowing they’re going to die and that he can’t do anything about it. But at the same time, maybe his latest dream made him happy and gave him peace that we will finally get what we’ve been aching for.

I feel I’m on the precipice of an era in my life, that the next thing to do is close my eyes and take a leap to the next level. I’m scared, anxious, and excited beyond words. There are so many things to get in order, so many fears to avoid every step I take towards motherhood. I haven’t been feeling the intense morning sickness I was feeling by this time last pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different, so I’ve been trying to comfort myself with that thought. What I have been getting are sore gums, exhaustion, and sore boobs. There have been food aversions and yucky feelings – just not as many. I wonder if that’s because I’ve been taking a prenatal with Vitamins B6 and B12, which are supposed to help with morning sickness.

Anyways, I’m still pregnant, and I’m still holding out hope that this will work out. I’m daring to go out and buy baby clothing, something I didn’t do last time. I just hope I get a little one to put in that baby clothing this time.

Shades of Pink

So the pregnancy tests I took were coming up a little lighter than I expected, being that last time around, the test showed up pretty dark at this point. I was a bit concerned, but luckily I discovered an old, unused test that had somehow hidden itself from me for months, and I took the test this morning. It showed up very dark.

Now, both the old and new tests are the same brand – the cheap sticks found on early-pregnancy-test.com. Only the last time I ordered more tests a couple months ago, I noticed the packaging was different. Upon inspection of the test itself, however, it appeared identical to the old test, as illustrated in the picture below. I have arranged my tests from oldest taken to most recent, from left to right. The times taken are: 15 dpo, 16 dpo, 18 dpo, 22 dpo, and 24 dpo (with the test taken from the old packaging).

My Five Tests

As you can see, the bottom line gets progressively darker, with a huge difference in darkness between the 22 dpo test and the 24 dpo test. As you can also probably see, the test from the old packaging has thicker lines than the others. I don’t know exactly what to make of this. I think maybe they changed the packaging along with altering the tests themselves, because I remember the lines on my tests being darker last pregnancy. Unfortunately, I threw all the tests from the last pregnancy away, not wanting to keep the painful memories any longer, or I would compare them to the newer tests.

This has probably been a boring post, but I just wanted to share this and maybe see if anyone else has observed this difference in the early pregnancy tests. I know there are differences from brand to brand, so it makes sense if the company changed their tests why I would have lighter lines this time. Anyway, I have decided to take another test tomorrow to compare with the one I took this morning. I know! I’m obsessed. I feel sort of like a scientist, and I just can’t help myself. I’m going to get to the bottom of this! Besides, I need something besides my pregnancy to occupy my mind with. Okay, so this is related to my pregnancy… but at least I’m not focusing so much on all my worry.

New Test Package on Top, Old Test Package on Bottom

New Test Package on Top, Old Test Package on Bottom

Mind Games, 5 weeks down

I keep thinking if I do things differently this pregnancy that it will save my baby. I’m not telling my coworkers I’m pregnant until I can’t hide it anymore. No spilling the beans early. I figure holding off to tell my in-laws is also a great idea, since we didn’t do that last time. In my superstitious, obsessed mind, I’m trying to break patterns that I feel might somehow illogically lead to another miscarriage.

I think stupid, stupid things before I can even stop myself from having these thoughts, especially one thing in particular that has been plaguing me all week. For example, I’ll say to myself, “Hmmm, if this light turns green in 3, 2, 1…I won’t miscarry! The baby will be fine”. Or, “If so and so has updated their blog today, then my baby is healthy, and everything is going well”. The thought happens so fast, I have no time to stop it. I curse myself for even having that thought but feel relief if the light turns green or the person posted another blog entry. On the other hand, if the thing I challenged myself to happen doesn’t come to pass, a part of me is devastated.

I HATE these stupid mind games that I don’t even mean to play! They are pointless and only serve to terrorize me. It’s as if I’m sabotaging myself, but I can’t stop it from happening. I’m paranoid that I’ll lose this pregnancy, even though there’s nothing to indicate that anything is wrong with me. Quite the contrary. I’m eating like a pig and having intense cravings already. I’m soooo tired, especially in the early evening. I wasn’t tired at all at 5 weeks last time. Depsite these good signs, I check for blood every time I go to the bathroom, and believe me, I’m going to the bathroom a lot, because I really have to pee all the time. The bathroom at work is where I’m most paranoid; that is where I discovered that I was bleeding last pregnancy. That is where I dread peeing for fear of what I’ll see on the toilet paper.

I have been trying to cut myself some slack and not be so hard on myself, because I realize these fears are perfectly natural for anyone who’s gone through a miscarriage. I wouldn’t be hard on a friend who was doing this, so I why should I be angry at me? I have resigned myself to the fact that it will probably be like this at least until I hear the heart beat at 12 weeks via doppler. Seven weeks to go. It seems like an eternity, but I’m sure it will go faster than I think. It seems agonizing that it will be the middle of October before the miscarriage rate is reduced. October 18th… I need to make an appointment with the midwife and make SURE I can get in on that day to hear the heart beat.

…And to think, most of the world is concerned with preventing pregnancy, not stressing over having a successful one.

Finding Me

This morning, I happened to glance at some of the searches used to find my blog. The first one I want to talk about is “Why don’t my breasts hurt when I have my period since my miscarriage”. Well, mine haven’t hurt when I have my period since the miscarriage, either. In fact, my breasts only just started hurting right before I got my positive pregnancy test. That coupled with my digestive upsets and tiredness to the point that I took a 3-hour nap on Sunday helped me to think that either I was sick or pregnant.

The most interesting search was “sit on my foot while pregnant”. I just had to google this myself and see how my blog could possibly pop up with these words. On the second page of the search, it brought up my old post in May telling the story of my sister-in-law throwing a fit about being expected to clean up dog pee that was from HER DOG she was watching while she was pregnant. I had a little chuckle over this, remembering how ridiculous the whole event had been and how ridiculous that whole day had been. That day was full of anger and doubt…anger for pregnant women, especially those who complained, and doubt that I would ever be able to have a healthy pregnancy. I just want to say that I’m getting over the fact that pregnant women complain. I won’t be offended if anyone complains about pregnancy symptoms. Now that I have complained about pregnant women complaining, however, I think it would be best for me not to do it now that I have this second chance.

I took another pregnancy test this morning. I don’t know if the appeal is getting that wonderful “yes” again or just checking to make sure my hCG is rising by getting a gradually darker second line. It’s probably a little of both. I feel constantly bloated unlike at this point last pregnancy; I feel as if it won’t be long before I’ll need to buy a stretchy band for my pants so they’re not so tight on my belly. It’s so good to feel tired at this point, too. I’m so much more tired than last time! I could have slept until noon today if I didn’t have to work. How wonderful! When does the nauseousness start? Bring it on!!