Wednesday, April 22, 2015

why does feeling good end up making me feel bad?

Got to see our little Jellybean yesterday. At 8w5d, she was measuring 18 mm, up five from five days ago (perfect). FHR was 161, and our favorite u/s tech, K, pointed out her head, her arm buds, her leg buds, and her itty bitty body. After a minor-league panic attack on Monday, after my nausea and heartburn had all but disappeared, this was all very reassuring.

Here's the weird thing: lately I've been feeling good about this pregnancy. My gestational sac is huge (as it should be). The amniotic sac is this perfect little bubble around Jellybean. The yolk sac, while still present, isn't enlarged like last time. My hormone levels seem to be good, the u/s have all been good, and except for that pesky little SCH (which, unfortunately, had grown a bit since Thursday), everything looks great.

But what happens is that I start to worry about feeling too good. I go on Pinterest and start pinning things like unique birth announcements and recommendations for nursery gliders to my secret "Future Baby" board, then think: am I getting too far ahead of myself?

Yesterday, when Dr. Smiles told me that the bleed had grown 5 mm since Thursday (in length, not width - it's back to looking like a skinny crescent shape), he said, "I'm sure you're probably terrified." But here's the thing: I wasn't. I haven't been bleeding red, and the spotting is so minor it's barely there. When he said that, though, all I could think was, "Should I be terrified?" And then he said, "Everything's going to be fine," but him saying that made me question whether or not it was.

Do you see how my brain works?

I had a prenatal counseling appointment with a nurse at the OB's office on Friday. Due to my weight and history of high BP and diabetes (type 2), both of which have been resolved for years, I have to do a series of 24-hour urine tests. This will check for pre-eclampsia and diabetes throughout the pregnancy. I think this first on was supposed to be like a baseline, but honestly, they didn't tell me much. In fact, I thought this was something all preggos did until I asked my friends and they were all, "I don't know what you're talking about."

If you don't know, the 24-hour test works like this: they give you an orange-brown jug in which to put your pee, and a "nun's hat" to catch your pee in the toilet. When you wake up, you flush your FMU, then catch everything after that. I drink a LOT of water, and I pee pretty frequently even when I'm not pregnant, so guess what? Filled that gallon jug after just 12 hours. Put it in the fridge and got prepared for them to tell me I'd have to redo the test later. (They didn't - turns out 3000 ml was enough pee to do the test.)

Taking the test got me thinking about all of the bad things that could happen after the first trimester. Gestational diabetes I'm not as worried about - you just have to be super careful with carbs, which I am to a certain degree already. But pre-eclampsia? One of the women on my secret FB group is dealing with that now and had to get induced at 34 weeks. It's so scary. And when you start reading up on the 24-hour urine test, you end up learning more about things like HELLP syndrome (one of the women in my old Resolve support group lost a baby at 24 weeks to HELLP).

It makes me think that you're never safe. That until you strap that baby into the car seat, your pregnancy could still end at any time.

And yet.

I feel this totally un-Agony-like calm right now. Like everything is going to be okay. I don't have God in my life, so this isn't the result of prayer. It's not even the result of being a super-chill person (obvi). I just feel like this time it's real. This time I'm going to get my take-home baby.

And the minute I articulate that, I think: OH, SHIT. HUBRIS IS COMING FOR YOU. DUCK AND COVER.

Why can't I just feel good? Why can't I stop feeling bad?

Will I ever be okay?


  1. I wish I had a better answer for you. Getting to maybe 15 weeks, I started feeling better but I have plenty of worries. I'm doing a daily BP and ordered my own protein test strips for urine just because I'm worried about preeclampsia. I'm really nervous about my glucose test. My feet are swelling already and it's scary. I'm nervous about all the labor scenarios. I'm scared of SIDS and choking. I'm not sure if it ever gets all the way better. We just have to do our best and try to embrace positives when they come I guess. You're not alone!

    1. Wow, you're REALLY on top of stuff. I didn't even know I could test my own urine for protein. I feel like if I went down that road there'd be no coming back from me. I'd obsess constantly. How's your BP been?

  2. I think (based on what people say) that the worry never really goes away. Once they are buckled into that car seat to take them home...well, there are road conditions, other drivers, car troubles to worry about. And a whole slew of other things we will be finding out about! My sister warned me that I will worry about things that I can't even imagine now, like if my child will drop her lunch tray the first day of school and the other children will laugh (that was one of her worries on her daughter's first day). I've been worried about preeclampsia too, but knowing what to watch for helps (replace "is this a faint line?" on a FRER with "does my face look swollen?"). And GD? That might actually kill me. I cannot manage my carbs! Ok, well, I probably could if I HAD to, but I shudder to think.

    This time is real (technically can't be unreal after all), and jellybean is growing so well and doing everything a jellybean should! So I am going to go out on a limb here and say you will be ok, that your worries are totally normal and hormones can mess with all that stuff and make things harder. Worries and anxieties will always exist, we just learn to cope with the new ones as we meet them. Sometimes, it takes time. Like Sara said, you are not alone!

    1. Thanks, Tiggy! I am definitely concerned with anxious pregnant Agony morphing into anxious mama Agony. (This is where working with Quirky, my infertility therapist, helps.) And yes, the hormones are working overtime. Stupid shit is making me cry these days. Things that don't even make sense!

      Recently I read the next big milestone to pass is 10 weeks, because that's when the placenta takes over and it's another drop-off point for miscarriage. So, I think I'm going to focus on the short-term for now. "If I can make it past 10 weeks, I've cleared the next hurdle." Maybe if I chunk it up like that, it will feel less overwhelming?

    2. That helped me. Every week was a hurdle, with week 13 being the big one! I think I will be anxious mama Tiggy too...I expect I won't sleep the first week because I will be so busy staring at bubs making sure she is still breathing when she is sleeping! And in that sort of tired state, I can only imagine about what else will freak me out...I am sure I will be a ton of fun...but it must get better, and I have to believe that.

  3. Visiting from ICLW :) Firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy! Secondly, the nerves never subside until you are holding your baby in your arms but you learn to become more excited with time. It sounds like you travelled a long road to get here, try to embrace the excitement as time goes on, there is a lot to be said for gut instinct! I wish you all the very best! xx

    1. Welcome! And thanks for the encouragement! (The road was kind of long - 4+ years - but I do know women who've struggled even longer, so...yeah.)