Saturday, December 29, 2007


"Is this your first?"

That's the question people ask -- in the deli, in yoga classes -- when they find out you're pregnant. It's a question I can't quite bring myself to answer.

My first would be about a year old now. Maybe he'd be walking. (For some reason I feel it was a boy.)

My second and third -- identical twin boys -- would have been born this month.

My fourth stopped developing about five weeks ago, and its sibling -- my fifth -- still seems to be around, kenina hora.

Yesterday after my prenatal yoga class, I went to a crowded taqueria for lunch. A woman from my class sat down to share my table. In talking about our pregnancies, we discussed our past ones. I realized that for the third time in a month, I shared very personal information about my miscarriages with someone I barely know.

I have fought so hard to become a mom. In my life, I've dealt with major work difficulties, breakups, and family health crises. I fought to lose and keep off 75 pounds, and I trained myself to run half marathons. But nothing has been harder than trying to conceive. And nothing has been harder than staying on track after disappointment upon disappointment. So when a woman sits down at a restaurant to share chips and salsa with me, I can't just blithely pretend that this pregnancy came easily. Infertility and miscarriage are part of this narrative, and I don't feel the need to whitewash it. Moreover, I feel that to get me, and to get what this pregnancy means to me, you need the back story.

No, this isn't my first baby. It'll hopefully be my first child, but it isn't the first time a living being has taken up residence in my womb and in my heart.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's alive!

It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I'm a little anxious about this pregnancy. Since passing all of the initial tests, I've graduated to a state of regular pregnant-ladyness. Which is great, except for the part about not seeing the doctor that often. How the hell am I supposed to go a whole month without knowing for sure if it's still kicking?

Well, I don't have to, thanks to the combined wonders of modern technology and the Internet. Yesterday the fetal doppler monitor I ordered came in the mail. For $46 a month, I can use this thing to find the baby's heartbeat and even see what it is on a digital readout.

I didn't really think it was dead; even though my nausea has mostly subsided and my fatigue has improved, I'm definitely getting bigger and hungrier. But with my second miscarriage, I had no miscarriage symptoms and the embryos were gone. So there's no guarantee that the absence of symptoms is good news.

But a display of munchkin's heartbeat -- it was in the 150s -- is a pretty good guarantee for now. Worth every penny.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I definitely feel like I'm in a foreign country without a map. This whole 12-weeks-pregnant-and-everything-looks-good thing is completely foreign territory.

Today I am 12 weeks. 12 weeks! Never would have thunk it. Can't decide if this is the start of the second trimester -- even the medical books don't seem to agree. I'm going to be literal (for a change -- NOT) and decide that I'll be in my second trimester at 13 weeks 3 days (divide 40 weeks by 3, etc.).

Last night I received my last intramuscular progesterone shot -- something I'd been getting daily for more than two months. Thank God. My ass is going to be confused when it doesn't get stabbed every night.

At this point, I'm like a regular pregnant lady, going to see the doctor every four weeks. Which means I don't go back to the doctor until 2008. After being wanded every two weeks at a minimum, it's bizarre to go four without seeing an ultrasound machine.

My newest worry: figuring out when to tell people, mostly at work. I would like to wait until the amnio results come back, but that won't be until around January 23, when I'll be 18 weeks (kenina hora). I can't imagine I won't be showing by then, and while I am generous of belly even when not knocked up, I think by then it will be obvious that I've gone beyond eating too many Christmas cookies.

So the question becomes, to tell before the amnio results? That terrifies me. I believe that everything will be fine, but at the same time, I am having a hard time balancing my desire to tell people before it's completely obvious and my desire to keep it quiet until I know the test results are okay.

Feedback welcome!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

CVS converted to amnio

We went to our appointment today. All looks good, but the doctor was concerned it might be difficult to get a sample of the cord for the surviving twin. He was having trouble telling what went where and felt it would be better if we wait to do an amnio, since at that point there will be no question of whether he's getting into the right sac.

So, no CVS today. However, we did get to see a bunch of really cool ultrasound pictures. We saw the head, the arms, and the legs! (It seems to have two of everything it should have, and just one head.) It seems to have my big nose, and it was really active -- moving around a lot, and it grew 4 mm just in the last two days! It had a heart rate of 170 bpm. We're 11 weeks 1 day today (cannot believe that!) but it measured 11 weeks 5 days. Maybe it'll take after its big momma.

The doctor was able to see that the nuchal translucency -- the fold at the back of the neck -- was nice and thin. That's good, because a thickened NT can indicate Down syndrome. He thought everything looked great, so we have to wait 5 more weeks for the amnio and 2 weeks after that for the results.

I was really nervous this morning about this test, and while I wish I didn't have to wait so long, I'd rather wait and know that the answers are pretty definitive instead of get ambiguous results and then end up having a CVS AND an amnio. So, provided nothing goes awry, we have no doctor's appointments until 2008.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My one and only

What was two is now one. And really, that's okay.

The ultrasound we had two weeks ago showed two embryos. One looked fine, and one looked a little small and had a rapid heartbeat. Today's scan showed one great-looking embryo (measuring 3 days ahead of schedule) with a good heartbeat, and one embryo that was half the size and didn't have a heartbeat at all. This is now a singleton pregnancy.

We are both sad and relieved. The idea of twins terrified me, and the idea of a selective reduction pained me. At least if I'm not going to have twins, I can be glad the decision was made for me.

The next step is a CVS, which happens (egads) Thursday. I had been advised that a CVS wasn't recommended with twins, though our perinatal clinic apparently does them on twins all the time. Their miscarriage rate is the same (1 in 1,000) with both CVS and amnio, and a CVS happens several weeks earlier. I realized that if this pregnancy isn't going to happen, I'd rather know sooner than later. So Thursday it is.

I seem to have produced a lot of chromosomally problematic embryos. Here's hoping the one that's left is perfectly fine.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Public service announcements

1. Pedestrians have the right of way in California.
2. On the BART escalator, you stand to the right and descend or ascend on the left.
3. Things not to put on a resume: "Typing speed: 48 wpm" or "GPA: 2.5." If it's not helping you sell yourself, skip it.
4. During IVF, embryos are transferred to the uterus. They are not implanted. If they could be implanted, a lot more IVF babies would be running around the planet right now.
5. I am sorry to say this, but implantation spotting is rare.
6. There's a Internet newsgroup called "" Consider this sentence: "It's cute that the dog is carrying its leash like that." "It's" is a contraction for "it is." It takes the place of a subject and a verb. "Its" is possessive. You use "its" just as you would use "his" or "her."
7. If you sell fish oil and dog food that contains meat, you are not a vegetarian co-op.
8. Everyone's height is proportionate to his or her weight, regardless of how tall they are or how much they weigh. If you are placing a personal ad and don't want to date fat people, just say "no fatties." It helps tell people more about you, and it does all of the rest of us the favor of not answering your ad.
9. Cappuccino doesn't have an H. Espresso doesn't have an X.
10. Panino means sandwich in Italian. Panini is plural. Therefore, a "panini sandwich" is both redundant and incorrectly plural.
11. Yes, your carry-on is probably too big for the overhead bin.
12. Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000.
13. Your golden doodle is cute, but it's still a mutt that cost $3,000.
14. No, I do not want a Jews for Jesus pamphlet, ever.