I'm attempting to write this post on my iPad, since I'm currently confined to prone positions not conducive to using a laptop, so apologies in advance for any formatting errors.
Let me start by saying that I have been overdoing things. I take responsibility for this. When I went out of town for Easter, I did a lot of walking. I did it slowly, without raising my heart rate, but it was more than I should have been walking. When I cart my company-issued laptop back and forth to work, I'm carrying well over my 10 lb. limit. I feel dumb taking the elevator to the second floor at work, so on Wednesday, I did the stairs three times.
Then, around 12:30, I was working at my desk, coughed hard, and felt a gush of wetness. To be honest, I thought I may have peed myself a little. So I went to the bathroom, even though I'd just gone maybe 10 minutes prior.
In the stall, I pulled up my skirt and pulled down my underwear. That's when I saw it: The crotch soaked through with bright red blood.
It was one of those strange, out-of-body experiences. I remained very calm. I took wads of toilet paper and cleaned myself up. I put another big wad in my underpants as a makeshift pad. I stood up and saw that there was blood on the toilet seat. I spit on more TP to clean it up. Flushed again, washed my hands thoroughly, checked the back of my skirt for a spot, found none.
I walked into my office, shut the door, and called the RE's office. "I need to speak with a nurse or Dr. Smiles," I said. The receptionist asked if she could take a message. I told her I was bleeding bright red, enough to soak through my underpants, and I didn't know if I was supposed to go to the ER or what. She put me on hold. When she came back on the line, she told me that they wanted to see me and could I come in?
I put on my Out of Office message, shut down my laptop, and started packing up. Calmly filled my empty water bottle. Climbed into my car. Took a quick work call. When that was over, I started to cry.
I'm skipping steps here. I messaged Mr. Hope, of course. We talked briefly. I messaged the BFF and Gumbo. I let a couple of close coworkers know what happened. I had to email Quirky, too, as I was supposed to be meeting with her the same time I ended up driving to the clinic. I took a towel from my trunk and put it on my seat before I got into the car, to make sure that I didn't bleed through. We just bought the damned thing, after all. Haven't even put a thousand miles on it yet.
Halfway into the hourlong drive, I started to feel crampy. I hadn't had cramps before then. I felt wetness. I was convinced this was the end. Sure, it could've been a subchorionic hematoma (SCH). I knew from my FB group that they're common in IVF pregnancies. But there was a lot of cramping. Too much cramping. It was over. I could just feel it.
This is how convinced I was: When I arrived at the clinic (one of Posh Clinic's satellite offices), I had to pee. I always have to pee. I asked where the rest room was. Then I leaned in and said, "I'm bleeding and cramping. Can I have a specimen cup in case something comes out?"
There was some fresh red on my makeshift pad, but only a watery pink when I wiped. I took a pad from the clinic's supply and put it in. Still no spot on my skirt. This felt reassuring.
They took me back for the ultrasound pretty quickly. It was a tech I'd never worked with before. She was very straight-faced, no emotion showing whatsoever. She stuck the probe in me and very quickly found the heartbeat, strong as it was on Monday. Jellybean had grown 2 mm in two days: perfect. I started sobbing on the table, enough to make it hard for her to do the scan. I kept apologizing, but I couldn't stop crying. I had been so sure it was over.
There was a bleed. A small one, the size of a pencil eraser, on the outer edge of the gestational sac. Not far from the yolk sac. It hadn't been there two days ago, at least not that they knew of. I asked if it was an SCH. She said no.
When I saw Dr. Smiles, I started crying again. He calmly handed me tissues. He told me that the bleeds were really common. That the endometrial layer bled easily. There was a lot going on, what with the placenta attaching and all. "I'm not nervous," he said.
"I'm glad YOU'RE not," I said.
And this is when he put me on bed rest. I was surprised. I asked about sitting in a chair with my feet up, thinking that I could work from home. "No," he said. "I need you laying down."
I let Mr. Hope know that this was the plan. I told him I'd need a babysitter. There was the dog to contend with. I was really freaked out. If I'm being put on bed rest, it must be serious, right?
I talked to Quirky on the way home. She was confused that the u/s tech had said it wasn't an SCH. Like me, she thought it was the very definition of an SCH. She was surprised that Dr. Smiles had put me on bed rest. Typically, she says, doctors will just tell you to take it easy.
We talked a lot about my anxiety. About how I was completely certain that I'd lost the baby. How my infertility PTSD has pretty much fucked my ability to enjoy any part of this pregnancy. She told me again that my intellect is my worst enemy. That I needed to stop Googling things. That I had to stop seeking data to try to figure out what's going to happen next.
"There's no way to know," she said. "Your numbers were great but that doesn't guarantee anything."
TBH, the whole conversation bummed me out. Mostly because I knew she was right.
I drove home. I got on the couch, laying on my left side. I asked my boss to call me. He did. "I didn't want to have this conversation yet, but I'm 7 weeks pregnant...."
"First of all," he said, "congratulations."
"Oh. Right. Thanks."
We talked about some logistics. I'm supposed to be going on a work trip this week, just a one-day thing into the city, but we both assumed (correctly, as it turned out) that I wouldn't be able to go. We talked about a longer trip scheduled for this summer. No, I wouldn't be too far along then. I could still go. (Knock on wood.)
The next day, the BFF came over to Agony-sit me. It was so sweet. And so appreciated. We talked. We laughed. She picked up a banging lunch. She walked Precious Pup. I made a couple of conference calls. Most of my meetings had gotten canceled, courtesy of the boss. Glam Coworker said, "He's worried about you. He doesn't want anyone bothering you." It was sweet, but at the same time, a little disturbing. I really don't want anyone thinking that I can't do my job.
I hadn't had any red blood since I'd gone to the clinic. Until about five minutes before the BFF was scheduled to leave, that is. It was just one smear of bright red, but it was enough to make me feel sick to my stomach.
The next day, after a glorious shower, I resumed my couch position. I watched something on the DVR that made me think of my mom. I bawled my eyes out. I was convinced that when we went back to the clinic, I'd find out Jellybean was gone.
Right before 11, the BFF showed up. I drove to the clinic. The closer we got, the more terrified I felt. I had her come back with me for the u/s. It was the same poker-faced woman from Wednesday. I pointed out to the BFF what I thought was Jellybean. The u/s tech corrected me. "That's the yolk sac," she said. "I don't have the embryo in focus yet."
But then there was Jellybean, heart still beating. And there was the tiny hematoma. I'd really been hoping it would have resolved itself.
The baby had only grown 1 mm in two days. It should have grown 2 mm. When the tech didn't give me a print out of the u/s, I started to worry. Was the yolk sac enlarged? Was something wrong?
"Everything looks beautiful," Mini Smiles told me when I saw her. The bleed was really small, she said. Nothing to worry about. I asked Dr. Smiles if it was an SCH. "It's sort of the same," he said. But not entirely. It has something to do with the placement. Like, a true SCH has to be under the placenta or something. Whatever you call it, it was keeping me benched for a few more days.
I've been riding the couch all weekend. And have been trying to write this post for literally days. On your side isn't a great angle for typing on the iPad. And Blogger's mobile site kind of sucks.
Tomorrow morning we go back for our fifth ultrasound. I haven't had fresh red since that one small smear Thursday night, but I am still spotting tanish brown with a little dark brown from time to time. I thought the spotting would have stopped once they took me off of the progesterone suppositories (I now take 200 mg of oral progesterone each night before bed). Is it from the hematoma? Is it from something else?
I know that symptoms come and go in early pregnancy, but my symptoms have been practically nonexistent. My right boob is sore, but my left one isn't. I used to have heartburn but don't really any more. I feel a little sick when I'm hungry. I am hungry, like, all the time right now. The past few days I've been stuffing my face and not gaining any weight. First real pregnancy bonus, but not a hardcore symptom.
So of course I have all of this anxiety about tomorrow. Will Jellybean have grown appropriately? What will the heart rate be? No one's measured it yet, just said it was strong. Will the bleed be resolved or will it have gotten bigger? Why am I still spotting? Can anyone tell me if this baby is going to make it? Seriously, Smiles, just pull out your MD crystal ball already.
Sometimes I start to cry out of nowhere, because I'm so convinced that this will end in loss like the last one. That I will never be a mother. That maybe I'm not meant to be a mother.
I know these are self-destructive thought patterns, but I don't know how to stop them. Plus, hi, bed rest is so dead boring. All I do is watch TV, read, or think. Lather, rinse, repeat.