Friday, November 30, 2012


Before yesterday, it had been 20 years since I was last in a 4th grade classroom. On Wednesday morning I got in touch with the Human Resources office for the city public school system and found that my paperwork had gone through, I'd been hired, and could enter myself into the substitute teacher system. Enthusiastically, I set myself up and went to look to see what was available for the rest of the week. At the time, there were two assignments listed. One was for a 4th grade classroom not terribly far from where we live, and the other was for a special education class, both for the next day. I didn't feel confident tackling special ed my very first day, so I signed up for the 4th grade.

"How bad can 4th graders be?" I asked myself, blithely forgetting the fact that I got into the most trouble ever in 4th grade, eventually being suspended in February that year. I didn't know much about the school system, or the neighborhood it was in. I was incredibly nervous, but it was mostly an excited kind of nervous. I did ardently hope that I would get into the classroom to find that there had been no instructions left and I'd basically been thrown to the wolves.

When I arrived in the school office, I was told that the teacher I was subbing for had a planning day, so he was in the classroom at the moment. Fantastic, I thought! I'd get a chance to talk with the teacher, get tips, information on the kids, and more information on their daily schedule and curriculum. The teacher was great, I thought he was fantastic, enthusiastic, and easy to talk to. I let him know that it was my first day subbing, and that's when the first bad sign showed up. He paused, his smile faltering before showing up again. He asked, "Well, have you done any orientation or student teaching before?" Nope. Sorry dude, you've got someone completely green here.

So he sat me down and told me that he would try and check in on the class as much as possible, as would the principal, and some of the behavioral counselors for the kids. Uh oh. The demographics of my classroom: 22 boys (no girls), all of which either had an IEP for behavioral conditions, behavioral counselors or some combination thereof. "More of them need counseling than they have, but if their parents don't have insurance or Medicaid and they can't afford it, the kids go without." He said with a frown. He showed me a stack of papers, saying it was the permission slips from their last field trip two weeks ago. He hung on to them because with many of the parents, their phone numbers would change so often that it was hard to keep track of which numbers would work if you needed to call one. Uh oh. He gave me tips on who to keep apart, which students would fight, including two boys whose parents were feuding and who often brought the fights to school. Uh oh.

About half of the class was in and out all day, going either with counselors, tutors, or to the other classroom. There was another sub there for those kids. Apparently the two small classes of boys with behavior problems mixed in and out to try and help them to work in larger groups as well. I felt the kids were behind so much in the curriculum. I'd brought the 4th grade Brain Age with me to have something fun to do with the kids to fill up space during transitions and when we were waiting for them to be dismissed, but I never pulled it out because I felt that they were behind too much. There were a few children who worked well and ahead of the others, but every lesson was like pulling teeth. And as a substitute, the kids didn't respond to me well.

During recess one young man was sitting in the middle of the yard as everyone was lining up, with a look on his face that he had been crying. I went over to him and knelt down, trying to talk to him. He wouldn't tell me why he was upset, who had made him upset, if anyone had made him upset, and only responded to me when I asked, "Do you want to go with me?" He asked where we would go, and I told him we needed to get back to class. He immediately shut down and refused to talk anymore. Eventually I did get him to line up, but he stayed in a poor mood until we got into the classroom and he was kicking desks and chairs. The teacher came to talk to him and he did respond to him much better. I couldn't hear what was going on, but I was quickly distracted by trying to prevent a fight from breaking out between two boys.

Preventing fights and gently (as possible) reminding the boys that we keep our hands to ourselves, not on our neighbors or on their things took up the majority of the day. It was tough, and I felt very ineffectual by the end of it. The teacher encouraged me, told me that it was pretty much a typical day and that some of the boys had been misbehaving all week, that it wasn't me.

But let me focus on the good: There was one boy who was delighted when I showed him he could multiply by 9 using a nifty finger trick I learned in elementary school, one little boy who constantly gave me hugs through the day and a huge missing-tooth smile, and one boy who while I was helping him use lattice squares to multiply large numbers in math, he got frustrated, put down his pencil, crossed his arms and said, "I can't do it, I'm stupid." "But you're doing really well so far," I encouraged with a smile, "I don't think you're stupid at all. Look at how much you got done on your own, that's great!" He jerked his thumb over to a boy he had gotten into a fight with earlier. "He said I was stupid." "Well, why do you care about what other people say? People are always going to say things to try and upset you, but I'm looking at you right now, and I can see that you aren't stupid at all. I think you're really smart and I know you can do this if you focus on you." He smiled and started working again.

The teachers of the school were amazing, and I could see they all cared and believed in these kids, and at the end of the day I'm glad I took that assignment. Being put in a classroom of kids with behavioral problems in an inner city school where most of the kids are living under or just at the poverty line was terrifying but now I see what teachers are up against, and just how much these amazing people care, and just how amazing and how much talent these kids are and have and that they only need someone who is willing to be patient and bring that out of them. Watching the teachers work with the kids made me completely positive that teaching is what I want to do, and I can only hope that when Lorelai gets to school she has teachers who are half as passionate as the ones I worked with yesterday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winning at Therapy

So many sessions back in therapy, I had been talking about my anxieties with my health, especially my health during the first month of pregnancy, and how it would affect the baby. I have a lot of problems with my body, the way it fails me, and my ideas about my fitness to breed. I would be stricken with anxiety attacks that would last hours that I wasn't meant to have children,that my body would inevitably do something to harm Lorelai or that she would be unable to develop correctly because of me. We had talked in therapy about the coming anatomy scan, if good news would alleviate my anxiety, and how I felt I might feel afterwards.

I told the therapist honestly that I felt that a good anatomy scan would alleviate these specific fears but that I felt that my constant anxiety would just redirect itself to the next milestone and that I would stop worrying about the development of organs and possible birth defects and that I would start worrying about making it to the date of viability (24 weeks), and the growth of the baby from there.

To tell the truth, I do sometimes worry about Lorelai's growth. When my sugar is high, I chastise myself that if I'm not more careful, I'll be saddling her with prenatal obesity. I am very hard on myself when it comes to my blood sugar and my health, maybe too hard on myself as I'm learning through therapy. However, one thing I haven't worried about is the 24 week milestone. It comes tomorrow.

So here we are, more or less at viability. And I'm not worried about Lorelai. I do sometimes, in the dark of the night when I feel most anxious, have fleeting thoughts that this is all a dream, that it is impossible for me to make it to the point where we have our little girl home in our arms, and that there is so much longer to go that anything could go wrong. I do fear stillbirth. I greatly fear getting through pregnancy and not through labor, knowing that I am at higher risk for a stillbirth because I am diabetic. But I am trying to focus on the good, on the Christmases to come with our child, on seeing her smile and babble, and having her home.

I'm trying to learn to just trust that things will be okay and that here we are, and we've come too far to fail. It's hard, and I'm still struggling to keep a handle on anxiety, but I've had two of the best weeks I've ever had. One of them was even without medication, during one of the most stressful times of the year for me. I'm taking that as a win.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet relief

So it appears that I managed to survive Thanksgiving week. The holidays are always a major point of anxiety and depression for me. Even without the aspect of not having my mom here, I miss my family. We're constantly barraged by messages of family and togetherness and these messages are ramped up around the holidays. It makes me think of my decision to move so far away, and how I'm missing out on spending those moments with my sisters and brother, father, friends, nephew and niece. I want to be able to sit down to dinner with my sister and her kids, have a beer and watch football with my dad, and exhange gifts with my baby sister while we hug and talk about Christmases of our childhood. And while I am welcomed into a fantastic family via my in-laws and Matt, I still spend a lot of time thinking of my mother and how awful that last Christmas that I got to spend with her was, and how the awfulness of it was really my fault.

It's a lot to weigh on my shoulders and the messages of the holiday and the sappy movies and songs just seem to make it so much more. Looking at the first major hit of the season, Thanksgiving, without antidepressants seemed really daunting.

On Wednesday I had gotten a doctor to call in my prescription refill of Prozac. I told her I used the Walmart pharmacy in Mechanicsville. We went up there that evening to pick it up and it hadn't been called in. I tried to call the clinic, but they were already closed by the time I found the number. The next day was Thanksgiving and it looked like it might be Monday before I would be able to get things smoothed out. 

Thanksgiving Matt had to work, so I was going to go with his parents to his aunt's house for their get together. That morning I cried and worried and fretted, and almost begged not to go. I still went, however, though the idea of being surrounded by so many strangers without Matt by my side just seemed like nightmare fuel. At first, it was hard. I found a stool in the corner of the kitchen, out of the way but closeby to Matt's parents. Most of the people I recognized and knew by name were already there, and it wasn't so bad. Then the house began to fill up as families that I didn't know poured into the kitchen, talking, laughing. The world just got so loud. I stayed on my stool, and busied myself with nibbling on cucumbers, counting the number of times I chewed. Eventually as people said their hellos, and then dissippated to the other areas of the house in smaller groups, things got easier. And easier, and easier.

By the time the meal came around, I was able to chat and relax, and I was even a little sad when it was time for us to go. The first hurdle was done and over. At home, as I was alone, it got hard again. Alone in the quiet is when the worst of my thoughts come out and I struggled to keep myself busy and focus on things that would keep my mind away from the dark areas of my thoughts.

The next day on little sleep, Matt and I ventured out for Black Friday shopping. That deserves it's own post, I feel, but it went well enough. I tried to call the clinic again later in the morning, still closed. However, an hour later we got a call from Walgreens saying that I needed to come pick up a prescription today or it would be cancelled. Apparently my doctor had just called it in to the wrong pharmacy. We went up there on our way to Matt's parents house so that he could have some Thanksgiving grub and found that this entire time Walmart hadn't been billing my insurance correctly for my medication. We got my Prozac from Walgreens for free.

I can't even describe how relieved I felt. While  I know that since I went a week and a half without it, I'm likely starting over again and it may be another couple of weeks or more before I get relief from the Prozac, but the doctor attached quite a few refills to this one so I'm happily optimistic that this will not be happening again. Now I need to find out how much the charge for my insulin would be from there and we might just be switching over fully from Walmart.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Return of the Jerk: Black Friday Edition

We found out late in July when we rented this room both that we were expecting and that our landlords and roommates had been trying to conceive and had experienced a miscarriage the year before. My pregnancy has been something I've kept behind the closed doors of the bedroom, trying to keep my voice down in my excitement while on Skype with Jennifer or planning and plotting with Matt. I'm still not really showing, and I don't feel like I look very different, and I've taken care to hide anything pregnancy related from them on Facebook. I really don't want to be a jerk to them, because they are pretty awesome and I honestly don't want to bring any pain to them.

I know what it's like to be surrounded by people all getting pregnant and having babies when it seems like your body just will not do the one thing it was made to do. I've wanted to be a mother for so long now, and as the years with Matt have passed and we've gotten so hopeful and excited every time my period was late only to be disappointed - and oh how my body is so good at disappointing me - my friends and sister kept expanding their families. It would put me in agony with envy, wanting so badly to be among them. The year that it seemed like everyone at Target was spontaneously fertilized was the hardest. I heard the news that my sister was expecting my niece, two friends got pregnant with their due dates within a few days from each other, several random coworkers were pregnant, and then my then-friend working in the fitting room conceived a couple of months later.

"You're next." They would tell me with a laugh. But I wasn't next. Next came a friend (more of an acquaintance than a friend, really) who came to me to talk about watching the baby when she wanted to return to work. During the conversation about my baby-proofing measures, schedule, her questions about what she would need to send every day, and the rates I charged, she kept giving me common knowledge tidbits about pregnancy, patting my knee every so often and reminding me, "Amanda, don't ever get pregnant." "You don't want to be pregnant."

I was floored, because I thought that all of our friends were pretty well aware (and I know that she certainly was) how badly that Matt and I wanted a family of our own. That conversation hurt because I bit my tongue and kept polite and well humored all the while my own doubts were flooding in, telling me that there was nothing to worry about because it was unlikely I would ever have a child of my own. My body has never been cooperative with me, and it just felt that fertility was yet another way in which it was failing.

So today, after carefully crafting a shared world with our roommates in which my pregnancy is not mentioned and I do my best to hide the fact that it exists, we saw them. We had gone to get in on some of the sales on cloth diapers that Franklin Goose was offering for Black Friday, and while were there, I had mentioned that I was interested in baby wearing but was kind of overwhelmed with all the options out there and would like to try some of the different styles of carriers and slings for myself. It seemed like the perfect time since Matt was with me and our day was free, so we could both try a lot of different styles and find what exactly would work for both of us, and likely what wouldn't.

While Matt was being shown how to do the back carry in the mei tei style carrier, he looked across the store and a look of recognition flashed across his face. "Oh hey roomie!" he called, waving and smiling. I looked to where he was looking and there were our roommates, standing at the checkout. Once her eyes saw him, I immediately saw the look of discomfort on her face, and felt like a line had been crossed. It was as if we had broken the fourth wall, and badly, and now this story that we were telling was ruined. And worse, that it was causing pain to someone who doesn't deserve that pain.

And again, I felt like a jerk for being pregnant, for standing there with carriers and holding the fake baby we were using to try them on, and making eye contact. And maybe I shouldn't feel guilt over this. We were in public, we hadn't pushed our way into the privacy of their bedroom with my pregnancy and put it in their faces. But still, somehow I felt that by meeting their gaze and acknowledging that we had a reason to be in a store that sells items for babies and toddlers, that we were the aggressors.

And being The Jerk is never a good feeling. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Always on my mind...

Today as I am getting ready for my Centering appointment, Matt helpfully tells me, "Don't forget to ask about your medicine."

I ran out of Prozac about a week ago, and have been trying ever since to get the refill order faxed to my pharmacy. I left a couple of messages with the receptionist at my clinic, and the pharmacy says they faxed over a refill request to the clinic as well. Nothing. So I've been counting down the days until my appointment today where I can ask in person with someone who will hopefully be able to help about getting that refill order.

Suddenly being off Prozac has torn up my stomach, and I'm only just now getting over that. While I haven't had any big panic attacks, there has been a dramatic upswing in my foul moods (and I'm talking ones caused by nothing, rather than ones with understandable triggers), and a lot of wibbly wobbly timey wimey things happening to my sleep schedule.

Trust me, my dear, I will not forget to ask.

My therapist expressed some concern that this would be the week that I'd have to go without the medication, as the holidays in general are always very hard on me. The week (and Monday's therapy session) were much harder on me so far than normal, but I'm hoping that we can weather the rest of the week with relatively little stress. Hur hur.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Collector's Edition

Yesterday morning I started the 24 hour urine collection. Today we get to go turn it in at the hospital and it has been slightly surreal. I've felt kind of like a weirdo carefully pouring my pee from the nun's cap into the collection jug every time I've gone to the bathroom. Now I get to go to the lab and walk up to the first unsuspecting person in an MCV uniform and say, "Hey, here's my pee! Have a good day!"

Adventures in diabetes!

Also, I'm pretty sure that I didn't drink much water yesterday so hopefully I won't get yelled at for being a bit dehydrated. I'm also hoping that my kidneys aren't actually damaged. I have a small concern for that, considering I'd gone so long without very good control of my blood sugars before. I already have some nerve damage in my extremities because of it. I really don't need kidney damage!

Gaaah all I can think of is Steel Magnolias.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Marriage: You're doing it wrong

Matt doesn't often do things that hurt my feelings. When he does, he has the best of intentions. I want to preface this by saying that I'm pretty sure he was trying to make a joke this morning, but it just came out insulting.

I woke up early and went downstairs to cook breakfast. I made french toast and brought him up a plate of that with a banana. So far a good start to the day, right? I started putting up laundry, feeling further useful when we were goofing around and I made like I was going to knock him over the head with the laundry basket.

"It's a good thing my aim wasn't off and I didn't really hit you in the face," I joked with a smile.

"Even better that you didn't lose your balance and kill me," he said, and then laughed. "That would be a shame.... wouldn't it?"

I chuckled and nodded and then that's when he said it. Matt's famous verbal vomit.

"After all, if I died, you wouldn't be able to get your hands on the paycheck."

I stopped, and turned to him to stare. What? Suddenly all my insecurities over not working came flooding in. We're still waiting to hear back from the school district after I paid for my background testing, and I'd honestly expected it to come back clean and I'd be working by now. It worries me, and I've been feeling pretty useless by not contributing.

It took a couple of minutes of my staring in disbelief at him before he realized what he'd said. "You know," he added lamely, "to pay bills and stuff..."

I'm still mad over it, but I finished laundry, picked up around the room, cooked lunch and didn't even poison his soup. Because I'm a good little wife, but also apparently a gold digger.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Ever Expanding Manda

21 weeks, 4 days and it is officially more uncomfortable to use a belt to hold up my pants than it is a pain in the ass to hoist my pants up every three steps. Breaking out the Bella Band tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Yesterday's anatomy scan was both fantastic and terrible, and I've been trying to focus on the good over the bad while I processed alone the things that bothered me.

The good: We have a healthy, rambunctious little girl!

After the ultrasound, we celebrated with lunch, which were delicious burritos from Moes, picked up more prefolds and the first newborn diaper cover which is a robot design from rumparooz. Matt also picked up the mobile for the nursery that we'd been eyeing. The big happiness of seeing our little girl kicking and wiggling away, and the little happiness of oo-ing and aww-ing over the tiny diapers and dreaming of the nursery we'll be building were enough to keep me on Cloud 9 for most of the day despite the bad.

The bad: First off, we were at the doctor's for HOURS. This is really only a mild annoyance, and we had anticipated it being a long visit this time, except that in our rush to get out the door, we forgot to grab the snacks we planned on taking. Hoo boy. Apparently they were doing ultrasounds/care for a lot of pregnant ladies who both are on bedrest at the hospital as well as those coming in from the county jail so it was really busy. We finally got in for the ultrasound 45 minutes past our appointment time.

The wait was killing me! But the ultrasound went well. The tech couldn't get all the measurements that she wanted for the heart so we'll be going back in a month to try again.

By the time we got in to see the doctor, it had been almost three hours since I'd eaten breakfast, so I was hoping it would be a quick visit. My stomach was growling, but the first person to come in and talk with me was a medical student. He looked over my sugars, talked with me. I expressed my concerns that the Prozac dosage I'm on wasn't enough, and that even seeing a therapist I'm having difficulties, and described what the last couple of weeks have been like. He went to talk to the doctor.

When he came back, the doctor was with him, and she talked with me. She was concerned about the low I had, and was pressuring me to back off on my insulin dosage. I really don't want to do that, because I only ever go low when I nap in the mornings and it takes me longer to get to my morning snack or lunch. The days that I'm awake, I don't have a problem and I pointed that out. She said that my after meal sugars could even be as high as 120, but I'd really like to see them around 100. I know I have more wiggle room than I give myself but I want to keep my body on blood sugar levels as close to that of a normal person as possible. Already feeling slightly frustrated, we moved on to the subject of antidepressants.

I had mentioned before that I felt like when I was on antidepressants before, being on a low dosage of Prozac with Wellbutrin on the side worked better than Prozac alone, but that I would be open to trying another dosage of the Prozac to keep things as simple as possible during pregnancy. She said they didn't want to put me on Wellbutrin because they felt it wasn't studied well enough as far as effects to the fetus. I said, okay, I understand completely. Then she started talking about effects of Prozac and how going higher on my dosage might put the baby in danger. She kept putting her hand on my knee and saying things like, "Can't you find other ways to make you happy or less anxious?"

Really? Really? You really and truly think that I haven't thought of that? Oh? Why don't I just be cheerful instead? OH MY GOD! Well, I guess I don't need medication and therapy anymore because I'll just find some other way to MAKE MYSELF HAPPY. I ended up shrinking away, while Matt started talking. Oh Matt.

He was trying to help, but he kept saying things like, "Well, I've been working more, and when I'm home then I'm there to make her happy." and as far as my insulin went, "It makes sense to me that her sugars would be low after sleeping because the body burns more sugar asleep than when it does when you're just sitting there not doing anything and that's pretty much what she does when she's awake."

I was horrified. No No No No No NO NO! First of all, my husband makes me feel very happy. But his presence doesn't detract from my depression. My depression is not a symptom of boredom of lack of amusement or loneliness. Secondly, all I do is sit around all day!? I'm a student in college. I study, I write papers, I keep the house clean, I read, I go for walks, I cook, I am not just sitting in bed eating bon bons and watching soap operas!

Feeling thoroughly attacked, and exhausted, the doctors left the room to get my papers for so I could make my next appointment and the dietician poked her head in. Apparently from the first time I saw her, no one recorded that in the computer so she was down to see me. By this time, I was starving and starting to feel the first symptoms of a low blood sugar. It was just a little shakiness, and feeling cold. I told the dietician that honestly, I didn't think I needed to see her and that I really just wanted to leave so I could eat lunch. It had been almost four hours since breakfast at this point, and my breakfasts tend to be small and I was ravenous.

At that point, apparently everyone lost their shit. I had the dietician, the doctor, the social worker and Matt all telling me that I needed to eat crackers, asking if I wanted a snack, etc. I felt bullied. I said as calmly as I could that I just really wanted to get out of there so we could get lunch. I told Matt that I knew my body and that my sugar didn't feel too low, I wasn't dizzy, I just felt like we should grab lunch as soon as possible.

By the time everyone let me leave, they'd given me a cereal bar, as well as instructions from the doctor to go to the lab and get a jug so I could do a 24 hour urine collection "to see how damaged your kidneys are from the diabetes" (really doc, you couldn't find some other way to word that?) and I was just mentally exhausted. The happy high from the ultrasound had been utterly smashed.

I cried on the way to the lab, pulled it together long enough to get the jug and a nun's cap, and then cried on the way to the car. Matt got mad at me on the way to the car, because as I was trying to explain why I was so upset, he felt like I was attacking HIM. So in the middle of the hospital, he stopped and started yelling at me. Fantastic.

I felt ganged up on, treated like I was stupid or a child, felt like the doctor had pulled the "you don't want to hurt your baby, do you?" card on me, and generally awful. It took a lot to take the day back from the sudden cloud that had covered everything.

After the doctor, we drove into Mechanicsville to the pharmacy because I needed a refill on Prozac, as well as more insulin. Walmart has changed which generic insulin they carry (AGAIN) so I need my doctor to change the prescription for my insulin so that insurance will cover it. We went ahead and bought a vial out of pocket because I can't just go without it.

I'm apparently also out of refills on my Prozac which no one caught, so they had to fax the doctor to get the refill order for that. So we went all that way for essentially nothing. I also forgot to get more prenatals. I have a few days more of prenatals and Prozac. I'll be calling today to check on the status of my prescriptions to see if they're ready, and if not call up to the clinic myself. Just more frustration yesterday to add to everything.

But happily it's over and I'm trying to put it behind me. At least I have my little Lori to keep me company and make me feel better every time she lets me know she's there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sorry, all out of fucks today

I missed my Centering appointment today. I couldn't sleep last night, and ended up passing out early this morning, waking up just before I would realistically need to be getting to the hospital, so I called up and said I was having car trouble. Now, my car has been acting odd when it's really cold lately, but I didn't even bother going out to check. I just stayed in bed. It took a great deal of effort to get myself to take my insulin and go downstairs to eat, and then I just went back to sleep. I couldn't bring myself to eat lunch, until my sugar dropped low later in the afternoon. Even then, I didn't have much motivation to eat anything.

This lasting feeling and the fact that it's keeping me from doing things I need to do (like homework) means that I will likely be asking for a higher dosage of antidepressants on Friday when I see the doctor. But I'm not completely convinced that the problem is a chemical one, that I'm just not on a high enough dosage.

I think the problem is that I'm just simply out of fucks to give.

Don't get me wrong, the reason why I eventually got up and ate, and the reason why I'm forcing myself to work on that paper for class now is fully because of the baby. I do care about my unborn child, but that seems to be the only motivation that gets me to do anything lately. If it doesn't harm the baby, I tend to just let it go without a care. I don't like feeling this way, but it just seems easier to sleep, away from my anxious thoughts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

5 days

Five days until the anatomy scan. I'm hoping this week will prove busy enough to keep my anxiety from rising too much. Monday I have the final items for GISHWHES to collect for my team, a therapy session, and a paper to write. Tuesday I'll be voting, and doing my reading for the next week of class. Wednesday means more reading, and my Centering meeting. Thursday will be devoted to rest, video games, and a little homework. The ultrasound and my prenatal appointment is scheduled for the morning on Friday.

I'm just going to try and take a cue from my goldfish and Dory and just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Depression: The Musical

Last night, the Braxton Hicks I've been feeling turned suddenly quite painful, although it wasn't so bad that I was really too worried. That is, until I began to feel waves of nausea along with them. It was bad enough that I couldn't sleep, and instead just tried to be as quiet as I could while Matt slept and surfed the internet. Matt ended up waking and tried to initiate sexy-time, during which a contraction/nausea came strong, I ended up in a panic attack, and in the middle of crying I blurted out, "I want to go to the doctor."

Matt took me to the hospital immediately, and from the E.R. we were escorted to labor and delivery. I felt silly, mainly because I wasn't having any bleeding or evidence my waters had broken. But I couldn't get out of my head every story about pre-term labor or miscarriage that I'd read where the woman had been having contractions and they'd been brushed off as Braxton Hicks and then when things turned south and shit hit the fan, there was always the same sentence in the story. "These contractions felt different. They hurt."

The nurse looked for the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler, and it took a couple of minutes to find. While there was only silence and static, I fretted and panicked, but eventually she did find the heartbeat. I wanted to cry with relief when she did, but Blasto managed to make me feel better instantly by kicking the Doppler. "Par for the course," Matt commented with a smile.

They hooked me up to a contraction monitor and brought me water and a specimen cup so I could try and pee. They said that they wanted to check for a UTI because that might explain the upturn in contraction pain and nausea. I ended up being clear. I had a cervix check, where the doctor said I was still tightly closed. Everything is fine. The final decision by the doctors is that I'm likely just having Braxton Hicks with an onset of round ligament pain at the same time, which is upping the intensity. They gave me a checklist of what to look for to know things are bad enough to come back into the hospital.

I feel dumb for keeping Matt awake and wasting everyone's time. The doctor gently suggested that I might want to work on my anxiety with a counselor. When I mentioned I'm seeing a therapist she patted my shoulder and said, "Good." So I feel dumb and crazy at the same time.

Since we got home, all I want to do is sleep and cry. Everything is fine! Why do I feel like this? Maybe this is an indication that I need to up my Prozac dosage. Or maybe it's just an indication that I probably shouldn't skip a week with my therapist again. I don't know.

I think I've got Matt freaked out. He's been handling me with kid gloves, it seems, and kept waking me up this evening to see if I would eat. I feel almost like he's walking on eggshells around me, and I don't like it. But the only thing I can think to do about it is to just go back to sleep. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Braxton Hicks are full of dicks

For the last couple of days I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions, just mildly. I've read that they can be brought on by dehydration so I've been trying to keep myself even more hydrated. Consequently, my bladder is often more full than normal. So I woke up at 4 am the other night feeling decidedly damp. On top of this, I was contracting, and because I've been having some digestive issues lately, it felt more strongly than usual. For a moment, half asleep, I thought I was miscarrying. The wetness between my legs felt like waking up to a heavy menstrual flow, and add in the cramps and I promptly lost my shit. I scurried to the bathroom, relieved when I saw that I wasn't bleeding. The only thing I can think of is that maybe I wet myself a little in my sleep? Or maybe the natural pregnancy discharge was heavier? Ugh, pregnancy, why are you so gross?

That moment of panic where I thought I was losing the baby has stayed with me, abiding ever since. I feel a pit in my stomach when the Braxton Hicks come back, I feel nauseous and sick all the time. I've felt really distant from Matt since it happened, too, but I can't bring myself to talk about it out loud. I just have this mounting feeling of doom that gets worse every day. I can't help but feel like bad things are going to happen on Wednesday when I have my next Centering meeting, that there won't be a heartbeat on the Doppler. I feel like Friday we'll be looking at a scan of a dead child instead of a happy, kicking baby. Even though I feel movement every day. In fact, even now I feel Blastocyst kicking away in there. Why can't I shake this? I feel so dumb and angry with myself that I'm worrying for what is likely no reason at all.

In that moment when I woke up and thought I was miscarrying, my world was spinning out of control. I don't know how I managed to get to the bathroom without waking Matt and our roommates up. My brain was screaming at me. I am being decidedly uncool.

I don't want to be my friend today.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A week feels like forever

We have one week left to go until we have our anatomy scan and hopefully will find out the gender of Baby Blastocyst. I'm feeling movement every day, and most days I have at least once where I can feel the movement on the outside of my belly. I tried to get Matt to feel, but I'm not sure he did. He's not even sure, either. Oh well. With the way we snuggle at night, I'm sure he'll be getting kicked soon enough.

Last night I had a panic attack, though it was honestly not that bad. I could breathe through it all, though I couldn't contain my crying. Matt and I went to get intimate, it didn't work well, and I ended up feeling bad. Of course in that moment of body loathing, I had a sudden striking of fear that if my body can't even effectively have sex, and my organs are, let's face it, lazy bastards, how could I possibly expect this pregnancy to end well? I had a sudden feeling of certain doom surrounding the baby's survival, and felt very strongly that my body was going to kill it, even if for no other reason than thinking about this baby makes me so very happy and creating a family with Matt is all I want. And well, looking at the track record of things I get really excited and happy about and then looking forward to see how they end up...

Even this morning, the lingering feeling of pessimism remains. I am at least trying to stay hopeful. At the last Centering meeting we had, the doctor said something to one of the other women that has stayed with me. She's about a month ahead of me, 22 weeks when we had our meeting. She suffered a loss from incompetent cervix before, going into labor and losing her baby at 20 weeks. She admitted that she was most scared of it happening again, despite being monitored and treated this time around, and that she feared holding another dead baby more than anything in the world. He said, "You're only two weeks away from that 24 week milestone. I know you're scared about going into labor early, but you're so close. If you can just make it a week and a half - to that 24 week mark, you're not looking at a dead baby. You're looking at a NICU baby, and that's something to be hopeful about." He then went on to talk more about infant survival rates for premies. So maybe if I can make it one more month, four more weeks, I'll stop having these nightmares, stop having this sudden rushes of fear and doom.