* pregnancy mentioned *
I am sorry for not keeping up to date with others’ blogs this week. I also apologize for not updating my own sooner. I have had a lousy week physically (more on that below) and I’ve been scared, exhausted and swamped at work. Things are feeling a little less horrible in this moment (because I haven’t left to go to work? because everyone else in the house is still sound asleep and will be for hours yet? because I haven’t tried to get dressed in something in which I don’t look frunky (chunky and frumpy – the only way I can accurately describe this stage of my body’s changes in pregnancy)? it could be any of the above or a combination of them.)
I will start with some great news. I can find Azulito/a’s heartbeat on both the rental Fetal Doppler (which I’ll be returning in a couple of weeks to avoid a second month’s charges) and the one I bought for Mandy’s pregnancy, which sadly ended almost immediately after I got the device. The rental one has a 3 MHz probe and the purchased one a 2 MHz probe. If anyone is shopping, always go with the 3 MHz unless you are really large physically. Last summer I could not get a 3 MHz Doppler in Canada; now you can. For the same price I paid for the inferior model. Of course.
Baby’s heart rate has been between 170 and 175 over the past week on the dopplers. I’m now 11 weeks and something (3 days? I should know these things. It’s early, sorry.) but baby may be measuring 12 weeks and something if the pattern s/he has established is continuing. I hope and pray it is simply because a regression at this point would put me over the deep end. Next ultrasound is our Nuchal Translucency scan on Monday, December 15, 2014. I’m scared. The LP is scared. We are trying to be hopeful.
The fear stems in part from our long and checkered recurrent pregnancy loss past at a general level but more immediately and much more vividly it has ramped up over the past 10-12 days when I’ve had a slew of increasingly alarming histamine-like reactions to this pregnancy. Last week Friday (December 5th) Dr. Braverman increased my Neupogen by 50% because my white blood cell count had dropped almost in half (not good given my immune issues) and increased my Prednisone from 20 mg to 40 mg per day and on Wednesday morning this week, based on symptoms that would not relent and were interfering with my ability to function, he suggested we increase it to 60 mg for two weeks (so until December 24th) and then taper back down to 40 mg after that point.
The fact that the first Prednisone increase and Intralipid treatment on December 5th did not alleviate my symptoms scared the pants off of me. My immune system has clearly flared wildly after the natural drop in hCG that began around 9 weeks. The first two nights on 60 mg of Prednisone, I was wide awake at 1:50 am and never fell back asleep. My heart was racing during the day at points and I felt like a caged animal at least 50% of the time. An exhausted caged animal with a boat load of legal work to do. Not ideal.
The week has been grueling, to be frank. Last night I felt a little better in terms of the racing heart and night-waking (I actually slept until my alarm went off at 3:50 am). Now I just feel frunky. And stressed out about work. Ugh.
My stomach has also been upset by all of the drugs. I started taking Pepcid this week too and got off of the baby aspirin at my request (Dr. Braverman approved). Aspirin can mess with histamines so I figured it was best to take it out of the equation since I am staying on the Lovenox in any event.
As a result of the second jump in Prednisone dosing, I have to return to New York two days earlier than originally planned, miss two full days of work when I’m super busy and miss my family for 4 days right before the holidays. Don’t ask if I am happy about this. I threw a massive snit on Wednesday and Thursday morning when I had to rearrange work, personal and travel schedules for this and deal with my fear that I would do all of this, spend all of the extra money required to do it, and Azulito/a could still die.
Yesterday I asked Dr. Braverman to tell me the plan with respect to medication dosing going forward so I can avoid these last minute dashes across the entire North American continent to get medication I cannot get prescribed in pregnancy here. Did he answer me? No. Am I happy? Would you be? I explained that I want to avoid travel that is both very stressful and very costly as well as completely unnecessary if he could tell me what to expect more than 15 minutes ahead of where I am at any given moment. I was nicer than this makes it sound. Of course. I am going to re-send my email with a question mark at the top of the forwarded e-mail this morning. That’s my most passive aggressive e-mail move, by the way. If I ever do that to any of you, you can rest assured I’m peeved.
I wish this blog were more cheerful lately. Pregnancy is not my friend, despite my myriad efforts to befriend her. I desperately wish my immune system did not take such umbrage at me trying to carry forward a little life. I wish I knew what to do to appease this rampant immune system. It has been a long haul and I’m not even through trimester number one. I have had more than one pity party lately.
It is truly overwhelming to have things go so sideways recently when I thought we had things under control. I feel like a quintessential failure as a mother, as a woman. My body is not built to stay pregnant. That hurts. It hurts way down deep inside in a way that defies language. Please believe me when I tell you that it is painful in a cut-to-the-core kind of way. I would not wish this on anyone and I have the utmost empathy for others who struggle not only with ANY pregnancy and infant loss, recurrent loss but now immune-related fertility and pregnancy complications.
In short, this stuff is rough. And it hits you at so many levels. That part is hard. Maybe one day I will find words to explain. For today, I just own that I never expected this pregnancy to be as challenging as it has become – not just physically, but emotionally. And I offer a warm hug and a compassionate nod to those of you who haven’t even made it to this point yet. That part is hard, too. One day, for each of us, I hope all of our efforts and endurance pay off.
On that note of hope, I wish you all a good weekend.