18w5d: Feelings

June 21, 2009

Welcome ICLW visitors! This post is about pregnancy after infertility. If you aren’t in a mindframe to read about pregnancy or you prefer to comment on a post that asks a question, head to the most recent Thoughtful Thursday, possibly the least consensus for any Thoughtful Thursday ever. Join the disagreement fun!

Regular readers know the following:

  • I’m not a complainer. Even after receiving permission from my readers to address the bad parts of pregnancy, I’ve been quite silent on the topic of pregnancy symptoms. I’ve had several regular readers email me at different points saying, “How’s the pregnancy going? You never blog about it.”
  • This is not a pregnancy blog. This is an infertility blog written by someone who happens to be pregnant right now. Pregnancy topics are addressed through the lens of infertility.
  • I have my moments, but generally I am exceedingly calm and rational. I once had a friend tell me that if she were in a plane crash, I’m the person she’d want next to her. She got her wish when we were later on a plane together that appeared to be crashing. (I don’t think the pilots ever thought we were going to crash, but many passengers did. We were at a 90 degree angle from the direction that planes are supposed to be oriented, for a very alarming minute or so.) Yes, I was calm.

Up until last night, I have been in a bubble of pregnant bliss. I have taken symptoms and difficulties in stride, and I have smiled lots. Whenever I pass a mirror (or window with a reflection), I admire my changing shape. I rub my belly for long stretches of time (but never in public, because I know that infertiles don’t want to see that — I certainly never liked watching other women rub their bellies before I had my own round belly to rub). I have nested and organized baby clothes and planned like you wouldn’t believe.

Then, last night, in preparation for today’s business trip, I had to do more heavy lifting than usual (and more than I’m supposed to). My husband is on a business trip of his own, and wheeled suitcases don’t wheel themselves down the stairs.

Then, the feelings started. Weird abdominal feelings, mostly in the vicinity of my uterus, unlike anything I’ve had so far. Not cramping exactly (I know what cramping feels like thanks to IVF retrievals, hysteroscopy, HSG…). Not sharp shooting pains (which I’ve gotten in my side and chest occasionally during pregnancy, but which resolve when I change position and which the OB has cleared as not a problem). Not the magical fluttering I’ve been watching for every day now that I’m supposed to start feeling the babies move. No, just weird feelings, at different spots.

And then I freaked the fuck out.

I consulted my most medically oriented pregnancy books. They were no help, because “weird feelings in the vicinity of my uterus” isn’t in the index. I packed the most minimal luggage of my life (and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t check luggage, even when going to other continents for two weeks), because I wanted to carry as light a load as possible. I spent time calming myself down so that I could get 4 hours of sleep before leaving for the airport.

As I lay in bed not sleeping, I begged the babies to be okay.

This morning, I worked hard not to lift anything heavy, mostly involving multiple trips up and down stairs. The feelings persisted, on and off. I realized I’d misjudged time and would probably miss my flight. I decided that I’d stop freaking out, and I wouldn’t hurry, and I’d get there when I got there and just take the next flight.

As I drove over an hour to the airport, I mentally debated calling the OB, but like the books, felt that my inability to pinpoint the symptoms would hinder a diagnosis.

As I waited in the airport security line I paused and seriously considered turning around and going home. The ID checking agent chastised me for not being friendly to her.

As I stood in the jetway I ran through the signs of preterm labor that the woman from my insurance company’s high risk pregnancy program made me memorize. Fluid? No. Blood? No. Cramping? I don’t think so. A feeling that something isn’t right? That is the dumbest and least diagnostic criterion ever. Infertiles imagine that something isn’t right on a daily basis.

As the plane took off I calculated how long it would take my husband to drive from the location of his business trip to mine.

As I rode in a cab from the airport to my hotel, I ransacked my knowledge of the city trying to determine the nearest hospital.

These mysterious pains are probably one of the following:

  1. Feeling the babies move for the first time. That would be lovely, if I knew that’s what it actually was.
  2. Normal random pains of pregnancy. I’ve had plenty of these all over my abdomen at different points, and again, that would be fine, if I knew that’s what it was.
  3. Bowel pain. Despite gaining encyclopedic knowledge of the female reproductive system thanks to infertility, it can be hard to distinguish uterine pains from intestinal pains. There has been some weird stuff in that department today, so maybe that’s it.
  4. Problematic uterine contractions, possibly heralding pre-term labor.

It’ s that last one that’s been freaking me out. I really don’t think that’s what it is, but what if… You can fill in the blank, I’m sure.

So I’m waiting to see what happens with these strange abdominal feelings while I quash my strange emotional feelings. The abdominal feelings have mostly gone away, but, like the airports, we’re at Orange Alert Level. I’ll update you tomorrow.

The blissful journey of pregnancy after infertility turns out to be a little bumpy.

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12 Responses to “18w5d: Feelings”

  1. Carrie Says:

    Oh, I hate those. I have had so many freaking-uterus-feelings that I cannot even count the number of times I have almost called the MFM. I DID call her 3 times to ask about the same strangeness below the belly button. Each time, I had an ultrasound, and it showed nothing but three healthy babies, a long cervix and a freaking out Infertile. Every time she says, “Multiple pregnancies are painful at times and can cause so much stretching in the uterus…” and basically to stop calling her unless I had some other symptoms.

    I do the same thing as you. I am “sure” all is well but WHAT IF…

    As you are, I am sure everything is fine with you, but I am so sorry you are on abdominal twinge watch now. It can shake even the most calm Infertile.

    Hang in there, keep rubbing the belly.

  2. Dora Says:

    Round ligament pains maybe? Keep us posted!

  3. dragondreamermom Says:

    {{{Hugs}}} honey…after you’ve been through infertility, its so very easy to freak out about anything. I hope and pray everything is ok.

  4. mekate Says:

    sweetie, just call someone and ask if/how worried you should be. I think that freaking the fuck out sucks rocks, and I am all about abatement– I know it is easy to say “just call” but please- do not sit and worry and wonder, ask and either get checked or set your mind/heart at east.

    your body is doing amazing things, and everything is all squished around in there and growing and stretching so there are lots of great reasons for feeling weirdness happening. But if it were me? I’d call, ask, and happily feel silly if all is well.

    thinking of you, and just wanting everything to be ok.

    -Kate

  5. Cat Says:

    I agree with Kate – you should call your OB. I’ve called mine about all kinds of things, including weird feelings under my belly button, probably like what Carrie mentioned. These days they have me come in and get checked when I ask about anything, and so far everything has been fine. I know you can’t see your doc from your trip, but you could set something up for as soon as you get home. There really are all kinds of feelings and sensations going on down there and they all come and go with no warning.

    Can’t wait till you can feel them moving!

  6. Ericka Says:

    First – thanks for your comment on my page – I feel so lucky and blessed to have a little one coming!

    I can TOTALLY relate to everything you wrote. I don’t want to be a crybaby because I, too, am usually a very calm and rational person (I’m a lawyer!), but sometimes I want to just scream at the top of my lungs that “it’s not fair!!” when I think my baby is dead inside because I ate cold deli meat or that I broke it’s neck because I dumbly pulled my groin last week hauling mulch…

    I’ve come to realize though that everyone has their *thing* ya know? My best friend the alcoholic, my husband with his various addictions he’s always trying to kick and on and on….

    Anywho, do what you gotta do to stay sane is my philosophy!! Call your doc, pull out your hair, whatever! I wish you the best and look forward to reading more!

  7. Melissa G Says:

    It was thoughtful of you to give a heads up about your topic. You never know when someone is going to have a “bad day”. I’m hoping your feeling better, or at least back to normal, and I look forward to your next post. Take good care of yourself.

    iclw

  8. Lavender Luz Says:

    Oh, those What Ifs can really muck things up.

    I have visions of continued health for all three of you.

  9. samcy Says:

    I really hope it’s nothing honey! Please keep us posted.

    (((HUGS))))
    xxx

  10. Michelle Says:

    Congrats on your pregnancy! Fingers crossed for you, but all is probably okay. Pregnancy was full of weird feelings for me! Happy ICLW!!

  11. bumpfairy Says:

    Twins are an entirely different bowl of fruit when it comes to pregnancy. Kumquats or something, not the normal apples and oranges all the baby books talk about.
    When I carried the twins, I’d get these odd.. muscle spasms/aches? like a torn muscle or something? In random spots on my belly ALL THE TIME. They would come and go throughout the day, being sore for a good 10 minutes here and there. You can tell it’s not a contraction because it isn’t the WHOLE belly, just one part, or one side. For me, it turned out to be a reaction to the “progesterone poisoning” that pregnancy causes, making my muscles just unwilling to bounce back from any kind of strain at all without protest. Hope you’re feeling better!

    Sabrina
    ICLW

  12. Michelle Says:

    Congratulations! I’m hoping that everything turns out beautifully for you and your hubby!
    ~Michelle (ICLW)


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