7w0d/35dpo: Immobile

March 31, 2009

Note: For those who don’t want to read about pregnancy, pay attention to the titles of my posts from now on. Titles beginning with 7w0d etc. will be pregnancy-focused. Titles without such dating will be relatively safe — I may occasionally mention something pregnancy-related in passing, but the focus will be on infertility or other non-pregnancy topics. This post, as you can see, is pregnancy-focused. Read if you like, or don’t if you don’t. If you’re not in the mood, go read Monday’s Show and Tell — that has nothing to do with pregnancy at all.

I always vowed that, like a good infertile, I would not complain about pregnancy side effects. If only I could get and stay pregnant, I was willing to embrace anything. Weight gain? Woohoo! Back pain? Big deal, I always have back pain. Puking my guts out? Bring it on.

Up until I learned there were twins at 6w0d, I was embracing all of the minor side effects I was experiencing. Nauseous, not enough to be debilitating but just enough to feel really pregnant. More tired than usual. At last!

When the ultrasound tech (my favorite person at the RE’s office) asked me how I was feeling, I told her “a little nauseous.” She said, “You don’t get any sympathy for that.” I agreed that I didn’t want any. I was grateful to be in this position. Good infertile.

The day of my first ultrasound, I had an acupuncture appointment. My acupuncturist asked me if I was short of breath yet. Nope. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or suggestibility, but the next day, I started getting short of breath. Going up a single flight of stairs left me winded — more than 3 or 4 flights normally would. Fine, I’ll take it. Good infertile.

Then I started having trouble getting through multi-hour events at work. But, I had my ginger hard candy at the ready, and I toughed it out. I tried not to let on. Good infertile.

By Friday, 6w3d, everything had changed. I couldn’t get myself to work. I couldn’t even check my work email. Too tired, too sick. I took two naps that day. I managed to websurf and to feed myself throughout the day, but nothing else. I was not prepared to be this immobilized, this early. I was fully self-aware throughout; it’s a strange sensation to feel awful while experiencing joy about it. Good-and-bad infertile.

Saturday, 6w4d, was better. My first-ever pregnancy massage (hooray!). Then a trip to the pottery studio to pick up the batch of my latest creations (they are wonderful; I will show them to you soon and even give some away to readers). Dinner with my oldest (longest-standing, not most elderly) friend, who was in town for the day — well, not my town, but another one that is vaguely in the region. The 2.5 hours in the car wasn’t easy, but I was pretty good the rest of the day. Good infertile.

Sunday, 6w5d, was the worst yet. The urgent work stuff that I’d avoided on Friday was still looming, yet I touched nothing. The idea of going up one flight of stairs to pay bills on the bill-paying computer was too daunting. The idea of doing any work whatsoever was daunting — even booting up the work computer was too much. The idea of opening emails that said, “Why aren’t you at work?” was too daunting. Even posting Show and Tell was daunting. I was horizontal for literally 20 out of 24 hours, mostly watching TV. When DH took over the TV to watch basketball, I went elsewhere in the house to watch DVDs. Talking to my mother on the phone and pretending to be normal for 20 minutes was overwhelming. Bad infertile.

One bright spot: when my mom asked me, “Anything new?”, I had to hold myself back from bursting out laughing. No, nothing new. Discretion and boldfaced lying are apparently the same thing.

Throughout the unpleasant Sunday, I maintained self-awareness. I thought about women who don’t want their pregnancies as desperately as I do, and those who don’t want them at all. Of course they complain! It sucks! I’ve felt more acute pain and fatigue post-egg retrieval, but that passes quickly. Feeling bad is bad enough, but the prospect of feeling equally bad or getting even worse for months to come feels, at times, unbearable.

Monday continued to be pathetic. By 3pm, I hadn’t managed to drag myself to work. I decided that I would go in after 6 so that I didn’t have to see anyone. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. I did finally check my email though, and actually there were fewer fires to put out than I anticipated. Bad but not-so-bad-after-all worker.

Honestly, if I knew that a baby or two would result at the end, I’d embrace all of the side effects even more than I already do. “At least I’m still pregnant” carries the tacit flip-side of “but I may not be pregnant tomorrow.” The naïve pregnant fertiles don’t tend to embrace their side effects, but they also don’t tend to worry about losing the pregnancy many times a day. They don’t exclaim happily every time they go to the bathroom (which is constantly) because there’s no red blood — trust me, when you exclaim “Yea!” in public restrooms, you come out of the stall to some strange stares. When fertiles are asked to do something a month before their due date, they don’t think, “I can only go if I lose the pregnancy” and say maybe. They just say no. (Or maybe they say yes because they assume that at 8 months it will be no problem?)

I thought I knew what I’d be in for when I finally did get pregnant again — I’ve had 5 years to anticipate since M/C #1. As with most aspects of infertility, it’s simultaneously worse than, and not as bad as, I imagined.

Non-whining whining over. Tomorrow, you get to hear about a “field trip” that I’m going to take today on the way to work. See, sometimes I actually do leave the house.

18 Responses to “7w0d/35dpo: Immobile”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Despite the fact that you’re an infertile, you are allowed to feel bad. I have found very few people who are able to embrace all aspects of pregnancy without a few complaints, no matter how badly the baby is wanted.

    My first child (after 5 IVF’s) was a singleton pregnancy and I was lucky in that I felt relatively good until about 34 weeks. After that I was swollen and just ready for him to be here. I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I felt the day after he was born. Not only that he was here safe and sound but physically, it was amazing.

    I’m currently pregnant with twins and I totally understand how you feel. Twin pregnancies are harder, at least I have felt that it is harder up to this point. I just feel very lethargic. And food sounds good, then I eat it, then I feel cruddy. Then food sounds bad, so I don’t eat, and then I feel cruddy. It’s a bad cycle.

    The good thing is, pregnancy does progress relatively quickly. And when it’s over, you will get back to feeling like yourself again. And as you know, all the yuckies are WELL worth, a good end result.

  2. chelle Says:

    First, thank you for the comment on my blog. I am SO glad that I am not in this boat alone. In fact, we are so much alike, it’s uncanny!

    I too, am pretty much immoble. I am 7w1d. There was a blizzard here (CO) on Thursday and it took me over two hours to get home. consequently, I didn’t go in to work Friday. I could have worked from home, cleaned up the house a little, did a load of laundry. What did I do? NOTHING!!! All day, I laid around like a couch potato and I am not usually like that!

    I can barely stay awake for the duration of the day…I could nod off right now!! I have no motivation at all to complete anything… even if it is important at work.

    I was reading my “twins” book and it totally validated my (our) immobility. It said that since we are growing two babies in our bodies that it DOES take twice the energy, we get twice as tired, etc. It made me feel a little better!

    It is so cool that we are experiencing this at almost the exact same time!

  3. fattykins Says:

    I totally agree with Jamie. What you are feeling is real and you have the right to not enjoy *every* aspect of pregnancy. Feeling sick stinks no matter what the cause is. When I was in the throes of horrible puking every hour morning sickness with my first there was one time when it was particularly awful and I had burned my throat with stomach acid from throwing up so much and even though I so wanted and adored my unborn child I was not happy with the situation. I knew it would be worth it in the end but in that moment I was sooooooo noy enjoying being pregnant. There will be so many more things about pregnancy to enjoy and be thankful for, you don’t have to be thankful that you’re feeling yucky right now.

  4. Sarah Says:

    Ugh. My friend is pregnant with identical twins, and was immobilized for the her first trimester. The puking, and the food aversion,and the exhaustion were overwhelming. The second trimester has been better, but now as she heads in to her thrid, her facebook updates have taken on a ‘symptoms only’ spectre.
    I really hope you get to suffer for a long time to come! That was my weird way of saying I hope this pregnancy goes swimminly!

  5. Cat Says:

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling this yucky. It really is OK to not always feel grateful for the yuckiness. The second trimester is much better for most women, so just hang in there a couple more weeks! And just think, you’re getting two in one fell swoop (no m/c thoughts) so you never have to do this again.

    Oh, and OT here but related to yesterday, I got my first “is it natural” question today from a complete stranger. I was more polite than she had any right to expect after asking such a question.

  6. Heather Says:

    I’ve had 3 miscarriages over 10 years, so I know how you feel right now with all the uncertainty. I will tell you though not to be too hard on yourself. I’ve had one successful singleton pregnancy (our 8-year-old daughter Phoebe) and I have to tell you being pregnant with twins is not a walk in the park. Every week is different, but much more intense than a singleton pregnancy. I’m in my 2nd trimester now (23 weeks) and the tiredness has come back already. I look huge (which is good) but feel so tired moving around. And the first trimester I did experience everything you’re talking about, which is good because it should mean they are growing and thriving, taking all your energy. So be easy on yourself. I know we’ve both suffered through long IF issues, but being pregnant is still not easy and we may need to complain. My prayers will be with you that you’ll get to experience how tiring a twin pregnancy is and bring home two healthy babies.

  7. strongblonde Says:

    i totally feel you. i so dont want to complain. i’m happy to have side effects, b/c it means i’m pregnant. when i don’t feel nauseated i get a little panicky!

    everyone keeps asking if i’m freaking out about two yet…honestly, i’m not. i’m excited to still be pregnant. i worried it won’t last.

    we’re totally on the same page!! 😉


  8. shinejil Says:

    Twins kick your ass. Way more than a singleton (and I have been able to compare, alas, within one pregnancy). It WILL get better. Rest, blow off work, do what you need to do to eat well and feel, if not good, than halfway human. You may just have to sleep for 12 hours a day for a few weeks. Let DH do the bills and the chores for a bit (good practice for later). I took several sick days at the beginning and it made a big difference in my quality of life.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better soon!

  9. Hahaha! I laugh only because I, too, planned not to ever, ever complain about being pregnant when I was TTC — and you see how that turned out.

    I’m a very hardy girl — I mean really hardy (I still hold the female chin-up record at both my elementary and high schools), but the first trimester w/ a singleton kicked my ass. I can’t even imagine how exhausting twins would have been.

    The thing is, pregnancy has a way of bending you to its rules. You can make all sorts of plans for how you’re going to be, but in the end you are how you are during pregnancy. I have violated my “no whining about any subject for over 2 days” rule so often in the last 6 months that I think most people would be surprised to hear that I made it in the first place. But so what! We’re pregnant. We can seriously do and say whatever we want.

    I’m so happy that I’m pregnant now, that I actually glory in being able to complain about it. It’s the equivalent of saying “Mo money, mo problems” after you’ve been poor for a really long time. It’s hard to explain, but it actually feels really good to have the luxury of complaining.

    Also, I want to note that your first trimester is often your hardest. Right now I’m experiencing a lot of lower back pain and the bathroom trips like twice a night are no fun — but you know what, I’ll take that over 24/7 morning sickness and extreme fatique any dang day of the week. In fact I often find myself saying to my husband. My back hurts and it’s hard to climb into my car or get up from a seated position and I’m starting to hate having a 2-story house and I had to switch to ugly-but-comfortable Clark slip-on walking shoes and my skin’s all broken out and I can’t sleep through the night anymore, but at least I don’t have morning sickness. That’s how bad morning sickness and fatigue are. So take solace in the fact that you’re probably going through the worst bit now.

    And geez, go a little easier on yourself. TWINS! That’s a tough haul, infertile or not. You’re totally allowed to complain.

  10. Sugar & Ice Says:

    Listen, being an infertile doesn’t mean you can’t document your pregnancy…good, bad, and ugly. Stating a fact (you feel super tired/nauseous/whatever) is different than whining about it all day long. Speaking as someone who has been pregnant with twins (twice, actually), you’re probably going to feel better in a few weeks. I was pretty much useless my first trimester with my last pregnancy, and it totally got better as I got into the second trimester. Good luck!

  11. Mrs Woggie Says:

    I’m with the others. You can feel bad and complain about it, because sometimes it is terrible!!! Although I personally was too scared to utter any word of anything that resembled a complaint, just in-case the baby thought I didn’t want it that much!!

    I will assure you that it does get better. I still feel sick everyday but I’m not as bad and I can function now!! And you will forget it just as quickly it happened.

    I’m still checking the toilet paper for signs of red! 19 weeks into it!!

    Wishing you all the very very best.

  12. Murgdan Says:

    When/If/If/If I ever get pregnant…I will simultaneously embrace AND bitch about every symptom I have. Hey, we’re only human, after all.

  13. onepinkline Says:

    I’ve only got one in there, and I’m dragging my ass. I too vowed I’d lap up every nauseous minute. But I tell you – not so fun. Trying not to complain with every short breath. Not sure how much longer I can keep this not-complaining up.

  14. Kristin Says:

    You are allowed to bitch and moan and complain. We know you are thrilled to be pregnant but that doesn’t mean it will all be sweetness and light. The Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy compares the energy expended by your body in the first trimester of a singleton pregnancy as running a triathalon EVERY FRACKING DAY.

  15. rosesdaughter Says:

    My God this sounds like me. I;ve been feeling so guilty to just complain about being tired. I thought i was one of the few who still checks her underwear EVERY time she goes to the bathroom. I still POAS too. Almost daily. hang in there. Still 33 weeks to go!!!

  16. […] miscarriage, pregnancy, pregnancy after miscarriage |   I was just having a moment reading a post by Baby Smiling.  Why do infertiles/women who have had trouble staying or getting pregnant, feel […]

  17. nishkanu Says:

    Well, geez, I guess I am about the 7,000th person to say this, but I still wanna pitch in…

    So you went to hell and back to get pregnant. Does that mean that now you are required to be a martyr and s*ck it up with no complaints? There has already been way enough suffering to go around. I say complain away, for god’s sake, why should only the fertiles get to do it?

  18. kaaron Says:

    Not feeling good sucks, period. End of story. You have just as much of a right to complain as the next person (and are more justified since you are carrying twins).

    Prepare for that awful “Is it natural?” once you reveal you are having twins. As if 1) it is anyone’s business and 2) it matters.

    Relish all that sleep while you can. I never thought I’d be typing such cliched statements but here I am.

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