Tag Archives: pregnancy

Let’s talk about pregnant rage.

If anybody out there is paying attention to the timestamp, you might get an early clue as to why it’s time for an ugly post. It’s four in the morning. I’m exhausted. I’m frustrated. I’m stressed out. I’m really angry. I’m in the bathtub trying to relax so I can return to some semblance of rest, but it’s really not doing anything in the face of my uncontrollable emotions. My inability to compartmentalize and move on could well be due to pregnant hormones (I’m about six weeks from D-day now), or it could be due to an inherent inability to let go. I can’t even remember what my emotions felt like before pregnancy, so I wouldn’t know. And the secret is that it doesn’t matter. Even if this is all about hormones, these emotions are impossible to deal with.

I have been exhausted for weeks. I can’t get a full night’s rest anymore because I’m always uncomfortable, horny, and on the way in or out of the bathroom to pee. I can’t sleep in or take naps because Cash got fired (story for another day) and I’ve been pulling endless extra hours trying to make ends meet on my paycheck alone. I have all this pent up anxious energy. I feel this incredible need to be prepared and yet have no ability to get prepared. I am not making enough money. I do not have enough energy. I can’t summon enough strength to do everything alone. His constant bad attitude brings me down whenever I’m home and pisses me off whenever I am able to get productive.

I feel like I’m in this struggle alone. I try to convey how much I need help to Cash, but I don’t think he is hearing what I’m saying. He hears criticism, as if I were saying he is a lazy deadbeat because he isn’t contributing monetarily right now (for a full month now). What I’m trying to say is that I’m desperate and afraid. I’m frustrated that I can’t enjoy any of these last few weeks of my pregnancy because I’m always working or exhausted. I just don’t understand how he is spending every day. I’m the only one working (ten and eleven hour days now). I’m the only one cleaning. I’m the only one researching and preparing for labor and parenting. I’m scared because I feel like this lack of support is going to continue after the baby is born and I don’t think I can manage it. I’m angry because I’ve been trying so hard to be supportive during a difficult time in his life but I feel like being supportive has only led to me being unsupported during a similarly difficult time in MY life. He always has this bad attitude. I’m way too tired to fight with him and nag him all day. I want harmony in our home. I really need him to step up before the shit hits the fan when the baby is born and it feels like he is totally ignorant of that need.

His response is always we are fine, we will be fine. We have been doing fine, it’s true, but I feel like he is totally oblivious to the great cost at which doing fine has come. I feel like I am paying the cost all alone.

And no, being woken up at three thirty in the morning by his too loud records does not help. It only reminds me how miserable I am, how little he notices, and how easy he finds it to enjoy himself when I’m not around.

My life just sucks right now.

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Ruminations on my Return

So clearly it’s been a while since I posted! I’m planning to post more often soon, but you’ve got to break the ice sometime right?

This post is being written from my mobile phone while sitting in a hospital waiting room, so please pardon the visual boredom and lack of layered text today. Why am I in the hospital? Well it’s due to my reason for taking a blogging break recently: I’m pregnant! I’ll be filling in the beautiful, freaky, terrifying, fulfilling details on that over time. For now, suffice it to say we are having a baby girl in January 2014 and we are overwhelmingly pleased.

So today I am having my one hour gestational diabetes screening. You come in, drink a kid’s size bottle of gross flat orange soda type drink, and wait around for an hour. Then the lab draws blood and analyzes it for blood sugar levels to determine your likelihood of having or developing GD. It’s routine, done in every pregnancy.

I’ve had a glucose test before. A little over a year ago, I was in a much sadder place from a self-worth perspective. I had been trying to get pregnant for over two years without success. I knew my weight (approximately 190 lbs) was a large factor in my failure to ovulate, and my total inability to lose weight was making me feel like a worthless failure. I’d just returned from a beautiful wedding in Jamaica, during which I really enjoyed myself but got very few photographs I felt like I could look at without crying. Taking pictures is absolutely one of my favorite things to do, so my weight dampening that joy really hurt. And my lifestyle was also a contributing factor. I was eating unhealthily, living in an apartment I hated, trapped in a cycle of frustration and failure to make the changes I wanted in my life. I was fed up. Something had to change.

So I went to the doctor. She told me most of what I already knew–that I most likely did have PCOS, that my weight was contributing heavily in my failure to ovulate, and that if I can get it under control my chances of getting pregnant are good. She recommended a specific diet (the South Beach Diet), and an additional piece no one had ever suggested before: Metformin. A drug normally given to diabetes patients, Metformin helps people with insulin resistance regulate their blood sugar. Not all women with PCOS struggle with insulin resistance, so my doctor wanted me to undergo a glucose test to see if it was one of my personal PCOS symptoms. Turns out it was. She put me on Metformin in August 2012 and my life started to change.

I’m not exactly sure how big a role Metformin played in my diet and weight loss success. I was absolutely more successful than I’d ever been before. But I was also more dedicated to diet and exercise than ever before. I had the benefit of an extremely supportive running partner. I did notice that being hungry stopped transforming me magically into a horrendous grump when on Metformin.

Regardless of the reasons, the regimen worked. I lost thirty pounds by December. I started ovulating. My cycle regularized (mostly). And on May 6, 2013, I got my first positive pregnancy test.

So here I am, taking my GD test at 27 weeks, 6 days pregnant. This is one of the most universally dreaded screening tests in pregnancy. It’s long, boring, uncomfortable, hungry. But I’m reflecting on the feeling of coming full circle here, of returning to the apex. It’s been fourteen months since I crossed that threshold of being fed up with my life and taking control of it. I’m so glad that I did. Now, unlike my last visit to this part of the circle, I’m hopeful and excited to see what the next cycle is going to bring.
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Not Enough Information

Please be advised, this post will include clear references to the following sex and gynecological conditions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing medical advice or fetish eroticism… Heaven knows I haven’t felt all that erotic, and all of creation knows I’m not a doctor and you should not take medical advice from me. I’ve just had an extraordinarily long, frustrating few weeks and I’m jumping back into my blog with extreme candor! Consider this your opportunity to click on to the next blog if you  don’t want to proceed. No hard feelings.

———————–

Except… maybe some hard feelings. The year is 2013 and we females have been around for all of recorded time. Yet every woman I know (including me) prefaces conversations about their own health with the phrase, “This may be too much information, but….” In fact, the title of this post was originally “Too Much Information,” until I took an anonymous, blog-bound, principled stance against such nonsense.  (Color me courageous, hmm?)

I’m not blaming anybody. I am blessed with a husband who will uncomplainingly go to the drugstore late at night to buy me tampons or yeast infection medication, even though I know he is embarrassed by the much less daunting prospect of standing in Victoria’s Secret while I shop. I’m not offering solutions. I don’t know why we still feel socially restricted from speaking of normal (and bloody frustrating) bodily functions, even among good friends. The point is I’m tired of it, I’m feeling cranky, and you’re all about to get an earful of my personal information (custom be damned)!

This story begins happily. Last weekend my beloved Cash and I made love well and vigorously, because despite the stress and anxiety over conception that leaks into this blog making a baby is, in fact, a good time. Yay us! But we may have overdone it just a smidge because a couple of days later I started feeling under the weather.

In specificity, I suspected the beginnings of a UTI. (The last few moments of urination were painful and too warm). Many women are plagued by frequent UTIs, but I am mercifully not one of them. So I did a little research–surfed the internet, quizzed my best friend who is a nurse in training, etc. I did not particularly want to go to the doctor because I was leaving for Italy in 9 days and I did not feel up to the rigmarole of trying to get an appointment/get diagnosed/get formal treatment. Besides, I prefer not to take antibiotics unless they are really necessary; I don’t intend to contribute to the superbug

 problem! My ad hoc research tended to indicate if I drank the equivalent of the seven seas I might (might) be able to get rid of my UTI before it really got started. And so, I began to guzzle. Aside from peeing ALL THE TIME, I did feel quite a lot better!

Sadly, the second day of symptoms was significantly more uncomfortable than the first day, and I found a bit of blood at one point.  So I decided I needed an actual medical opinion and probably a urinalysis to identify the pesky bacteria causing me problems. My OB/Gyn’s office got me an urgent appointment with the nurse practitioner the very next afternoon.

All of day and evening 2 I was stressing out. I was worried that my simple UTI was not a simple UTI. I should be ovulating soon and I was so frustrated that my condition (whatever it was) and subsequent treatment would get in the way of making love at the right time. I also got it into my head somehow that I was suffering from prolapse and would have to have surgery to fix it. (This hypochondriac reaction was probably colored by some medical records I had to review recently, rather than anything to do with my own issues.) I never used to be a hypochondriac. I’m still not much of a germophobe. But gynecological issues seem so wrapped up in my long term happiness that every small thing causes my mind to go into anxiety overdrive.

I woke up on day 3 and my symptoms had effectively disappeared. By my appointment that afternoon I felt 100% normal. I told the nurse practitioner the whole story and she said I might have managed to kick it with my excessive fluid intake. We did a urinalysis just to be safe, and I was told to continue drinking a lot of fluids to ward off any additional symptoms. The test came back negative so it seemed like I was in the clear. I was so relieved! I was also pleased with myself for beating that UTI off with wave after wave of water/tea/cranberry juice/anything watery and unsweetened.

Then that evening, I started feeling off again. This was a really mild “off.” My plumbing just didn’t feel normal. I am not at all sure I would have even noticed the onset of symptoms a few years ago…but over the past eight or nine months I’ve gotten into the habit of paying such close attention to my body. I knew that consuming so much water and cranberry juice can alter your body chemistry–that’s why it helps the UTI symptoms. And I knew that altering your body chemistry can throw off your natural balance in the baby factory. So I thought, maybe I just back off for a few days and everything will return to normal. Sadly, my discomfort only grew.

I felt like it was probably the beginnings of a yeast infection (itching), but I wasn’t sure (zero discharge). I’d only had one before, and the first one had been different and more severe (worse itching, significant discharge). By Day 4 I was freaking out again. Why should I have to go to the doctor again when I’d just been cleared? Of course, my nurse practitioner had not been informed of these new symptoms because I didn’t have them when I saw her.  But the difference between Day 4 symptoms and my prior yeast infection made me nervous. I felt so pressed for time: I was leaving for Italy and (hopefully) ovulating in less than a week. Even if I gave over the counter yeast infection treatments a shot, I wouldn’t know if the experiment was successful until I was in a foreign country.

On the other hand, I had to do something. My symptoms were going to be a distraction at work the next week and I frankly can’t afford to miss out on more billable hours right before vacation. Out of my anxiety, I unfairly yelled at Cash for not knowing more about women’s health. Eventually I sent him to get me a pack of Monistat 1-Day. When he returned, we had a calmer discussion about how I do wish he would take a more personal interest in the medical requirements of conception, even if not women’s health generally. I feel like I’ve explained the ovulation cycle a hundred times and I doubt I’ve explained it for the last time. I don’t think he means to turn off his brain, but he hasn’t really committed the information to long-term memory so far.

Back to the point, the Monistat seems to be working even though it’s only day 2. Next time I will actually be going for the less potent 3-day dose, because the 1-day dose felt very strong and uncomfortable for the first few hours. Fingers crossed I’ll keep feeling better! The instructions in the package recommend against intercourse during treatment, but unhelpfully they don’t indicate how long treatment lasts. The dose itself is administered just once, but it takes up to a full week to fully cure an infection, so it’s anybody’s guess. Anecdotal internet reports suggest waiting until a few days after symptoms subside.

Vacation is in 4 days. Estimated ovulation is in 3. I might still miss the mark on ovulation and that makes me pretty unhappy. After the past several weeks, I was really looking forward to the chance to build my family. But, the consolation prize is a trip to Italy with my husband and two good friends, and that ain’t too shabby! So, the story ends happily, too. I hope this post will help someone out in the future, although it is anecdotal and unscientific and can’t offer a whole lot more than moral support. Then again, let’s not underestimate moral support.

UPDATE:  I woke up the morning after this post feeling fine. Less than 12 hours later my UTI symptoms were back with a SERIOUS vengeance, bad enough that I left work to go to the nearby urgent care center even though I have a doctor and good health insurance…COULD NOT WAIT. Then I peed pink. They’ve diagnosed me with a UTI and this time I took the freaking broad-spectrum antibiotic. Let’s hope it works.

UPDATE 2: On the second day after starting the broad-spectrum antibiotic, I feel better again. I don’t feel totally normal, but I am not suffering anymore. But I got a call from the lab that did my second urinalysis today and they said they really didn’t find “much bacteria at all” in the cell culture. The person I was talking to was the nurse at the urgent care center, so not the doctor, and not the person that actually analyzed the cell culture. She couldn’t tell me what the heck “not much bacteria at all” is supposed to mean. Does it mean it was a UTI? It wasn’t a UTI? WHAT? Because whatever it was, it was not normal. At this point I’m not sure what else to do but wait any see…and I’m leaving the country in 2 days. Urg.

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Breathless, in the Tunnel

I’m twenty-six years old and I still hold my breath through every tunnel.  We could all use a few more wishes, right? There are tunnels too long for this trick–but I give it a shot, gasping at the last instant before I start to get dizzy, or holding my breath just a little longer if I can see the light.

The past few days, I’ve been stuck in one of those longish tunnels.  I’m holding my breath, not quite sure I’ll make it to the sunshine. Even worse, this tunnel curves, and I have no way of guessing how far away that opening in the mountain is. I am anxious that because I can’t see the end, I’ll let go of my breath just a second too soon, and my wish won’t come true.

The sad part is, this is a monthly occurrence. Of course, the happy part is this is a monthly occurrence. Let me back up.

I have Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). (That’s a different post entirely, but suffice it to say the condition makes it difficult to conceive). We’ve been trying for almost four years now, in various stages of effort (at first just quitting birth control, then going on a diet to lose weight and increase ovulation chances, then taking temperatures and ovulation tests, etc.). This is the third day before my expected period, after the second month in a row of timely ovulation (longest normal streak yet)! This is a great victory in itself, one I keep trying to remind myself of as I continue to wait.

So I’m waiting. I’m emotional, irritable, and anxious, all of which could be a sign that I’m not pregnant (PMS).  I know that an at-home pregnancy test could give me an answer right now–but they are most accurate from the actual day of expected period and if I get a negative result I’ll just be trying again every day until I know for sure one way or the other. Waiting. I am having an irrational fear about running, because I’m worried that the exercise will cause my abdominal muscles to start contracting and trigger my period. I’m stressed, because of totally unrelated work issues, but also because running is my stress release and now I’m not doing it. My stress/anxiety makes me want to sit at home and eat chocolate and Doritos (which I did last night). I’m annoyed at myself for not running or eating right, because I don’t want to backslide after thirty two pounds lost since August 1st, 2012.  Plus, one of my deepest character flaws is great impatience with waiting. Which, clearly, is very helpful right now. I am all-too-aware that my mental state does contribute to my physical well being, and so I am only more concerned that stressing out is determining the result here. (I’m also aware that I’m probably overthinking all of this, either I’m pregnant or I’m not and probably none of these factors has an immediate effect on this month’s outcome). I’m spinning from all these intellectually laughable considerations, and I’m embarrassed to talk about them because I know how unscientific they are.

Thank goodness for Cash, who gently wheedled the truth out of me and offered comfort and support last night. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have the courage to write this now. I think it’s important to capture this moment, before I know the outcome, before my narrative is colored by joy or defeat. This curve in the tunnel is pivotal (ha! metaphoric pun! In a few days, I’ll post again with a significantly different perspective and my feelings on this moment will change. But for right now, I feel like a strung wire. Tension vibrates physically in my body, and also in my soul. I am keyed up and psyched. the hell. out. That’s what this post is about.