Friday, October 23, 2009

Infertility 'Survivor' Guilt, Part One

I don't have a lot of friends in Real Life who have dealt with infertility issues. But there are a couple. I do, of course, have a lot of 'friends' on the internet who most definitely have, and are, struggling with infertility, loss(es), waiting to adopt, considering child-free name it. And here I am. One absolutely, positively miracle-fast, constructed-right-in-heaven adoption under my belt, and now, pregnant. With, what we might call here in our little Infertility realm, 'a Freebie', no less.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't waste a whole lot of time feeling guilty. After all, I've been pretty much posting pregnancy updates on my INFERTILITY blog, with relish and abandon. (However, I promise all of you out there, that I will never, never put one of those creepy floating fetus calendar thingies on my blog. Uh-uh. No offense to those of you that have them, but as a person who has been pining for pregnancy for over 5 years, that was always one of the hardest things for me to look at. As happy as I might be for my fellow IF bloggers who achieved pregnancy, the floating fetus just made me have to look away. But that's just me.)

But as usual, I digress.

I have a IF 'friend' who became pregnant from an IVF cycle right around the same time as I discovered I was pregnant. Only to miscarry at 8 weeks. Crushing. Another 'friend' on my High FSH support board was due the same exact day as me, and sadly, lost the baby at 12 weeks.

And here I sit. Pregnant. (Though you wouldn't know it by looking at me). Not that I am saying I feel guilty enough to trade it all in. Nooooo. I feel totally justified and smug, after 5 + years to be pregnant. I feel like sending a big "F-You" letter to that first RE that told me I'd never be pregnant (without DE). But, I do feel bad for others' pain, and sometimes feel like just me sitting here being pregnant is somehow smashing it in their faces. It's not, I know. It just Is. I know from being NOT pregnant for so long that other IFers getting pregnant is the least of the problem. Every time you step out your door there's a pregnant woman walking by. Or a whole group of them. Or it's your sister, your younger cousin, your sister in law, or all of them at once announcing they're pregnant. They're everywhere. If it's going to happen for someone else, it might as well be for a fellow IFer. But still...

In a way the thing I feel guilty about is that when I watched these other ladies' dreams unravel in miscarriage, the first thought was, "Oh no! It could happen to me! They are at the same stage in their pregnancy as me, what if it happens to me! What if I miscarry again, too?!" I was so convinced, for those first 10 weeks or so that this stroke of luck I was having was just too good to be true, that the other shoe must drop sooner or later, that I truly was not enjoying being pregnant. I worried at every moment that something would go wrong. I fretted. I stressed. I drove my husband (and probably Dr. Wunnerful) crazy a bit. And when I witnessed others' losses, my heart went out to them, I cried for them, but truly, I panicked for myself as well.

But I just couldn't believe my friends, family (and doctor) when they told me, repeatedly, everything is going fine. Relax, everything is going to BE just fine. Or, at the very least, "there's nothing you can do now to make it happen or not happen. So just relax."

Relax? Bah.

But then, lately, it's changed. After I ran in for an 'emergency' ultrasound in my 10th week because I wasn't having any pregnancy symptoms and I was feeling crampy (and that is just another reason why I love Dr. Wunnerful--he humors me with these things) only to see that little squirrel in there doing somersaults (really--spinning around like crazy. Eee gads. Might I have another hyper boy on my hands?) I just decided to give in and relax. It really is going to be ok. I really. am. pregnant. And, yes, bad shit could still happen. But I choose to believe that it won't. Because, when I thought about it more, I realized something. I have been living under this cloud of suspicion for so long that God or the Universe or whatever had it out for me. That, if Bad Shit was going to happen, it would happen to me. But really, I've had it backwards. Because, a lot of really Good Shit has happened to me. Could our adoption story have been more nearly perfect? We didn't get what we wanted (pregnancy. fertility) so we then declared to the Universe we wanted to adopt. And we got it. Right. Fucking. Then. And what about this whole economic shit storm the whole country is in? Sure, our financial picture has been pretty murky lo these many years. Infertility and adoption expenses didn't help. Sure it'll be a long time now before we move out of our tiny shit box of a house, but. Big break! My husband (God willing) is still gainfully employed! Woo Hoo! And even though we owe more on our little house than it is worth now, we have a house. We are not in immediate peril of foreclosure. So, you know, Good Shit.

And then there's the pregnancy. I spent many a long, sleepless night, out on the couch, crying, and having long talks with God in the months before I became pregnant. Knowing, realistically, IVF was still out of our reach. We could do the medicated IUI's (maybe 3) and that would most likely be it. Things were pretty dark. My marriage was on thin ice. My husband admitted recently, that he figured if I never became pregnant, we might be headed, eventually, for divorce, so unhappy was I. "What," he asked pragmatically, "was the alternative, really?" I couldn't answer. He was right.

In my late night pow-wows with God, I'd finally surrendered. I'd said, "You have a plan. I have no freaking idea what it is, but I'm tired of fighting it. If it is in your plan for us to have another baby, through fertility treatments, donor eggs, or adoption, then please show me the way. I will do what little I can with what little ability I have here on earth to make the pregnancy thing happen, and then, God, it's all up to you. Show me what to do." I secretly imagined asking my 20-something niece if I could merely have a few of her eggs. (Was that God's plan perhaps?) I was moving past the point of hoping it would somehow, just miraculously 'happen' for us.

And then it did.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NT Screen Results

"Screen Negative"!
Risk of Downs: 1 in 1,900
Risk of Trisomy 18: 1 in 44,000

We have an appointment set up already with the genetic counselor but I'll probably cancel it for now. We'll do the second tri screening as well. Assuming all goes well on the second test then I will definitely NOT be doing an amnio. WOOT!!!

Guess my 37-year-old supposedly pre-menopausal, high FSH, tired eggs aren't so shabby after all (well, at least one good one must have slipped through).

Saw Dr. Wunnerful today for regularly scheduled check-up. My appointment was short and sweet: A quick listen to the baby's heartbeat (157) and a little kick!

Friday, October 9, 2009

NT Scan--Lots of pregnancy stuff mentioned

I had my NT scan yesterday! I had been a little nervous leading up to it but it went really well. I had to go to another facility--it was not something that they could do at my regular Gyno's office. It is really amazing to see this little creature that is actually inside of me! I look down at my stomach, and it doesn't really look like I am pregnant--maybe just that I've had a big lunch. Yet, there he or she was, up on the screen, rolling around, waving his hands, even sucking his thumb. And, I experienced a pregnancy 'milestone'. It was the first ultrasound I've had that was the kind where they squeeze the goop on your tummy and use the doppler (no more dildocam!). I had imagined myself in that scenario for years--whenever I would daydream and imagine myself as a pregnant mom-to-be. Then, after the years of infertility, I thought about it less and less often (or didn't allow myself to) because I wasn't sure it would ever actually happen. And there I was.....truly amazing. Also, heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. The best sound ever.

I feel truly amazed and blessed, and grateful. Not only for this miracle-surprise pregnancy, but in a weird way, for the infertility, too. If it weren't for not being able to conceive, if it weren't for being told 'you only have a 1% chance of ever conceiving' then we never would have adopted. And then we wouldn't have Handsome Man. If I'd never experienced the pain of infertility, would I be as in awe of this little creature growing inside of me? I would be in awe of course, but, I just think it's different for me, now, then it might have been if we'd conceived easily.

Results from the scan + bloodwork in about 10 days--but the cute (very gay) Doogie Howser of a doctor that did my scan said the measurements looked nice and normal. Yay! Of course, he encouraged me to make the appointment with the Genetic Counselor after we get our results because, you know, I'm old. 37. Oooold timer.