Sunday, September 17, 2006

Believing what you know

Last night I had a little exercise in self-doubt, and experienced the peculiar hubris of "Yeah, but this is about ME!" All I had to do was actually believe what I already knew -- logically -- to be true ... but I found it almost impossible.

Yesterday evening, D. and I watched "The Seven Year Itch," which is a charming movie (if a little rambling) and will explain to you exactly why every male in 1950's America was gaga about Marilyn Monroe. (I must say that in addition to being physically spectacular, she was quite a good actress -- though as far as I could tell, she only ever got to play one role.) After the movie, I toddled off for a potty break -- and about jumped out of my skin when I discovered a large-ish amount of bright red spotting on my panty liner. Blood red. Miscarriage red. Very different from the trace amounts of pinkish-brown I had been seeing all week.

Instant hyperventilation. I had to start counting my breaths ("In, two, three, four, five, out, two, three, four, five") to keep from passing out before I got my undies back up. I checked for further bleeding and discovered a little, but certainly not what I would consider "gushing" (what I had heard of as a description for a miscarriage-type flow). Still, it was enough to send me into a tizzy.

The thing is -- and why this is a blog entry on hubris -- is that lately, I have routinely counseled my preggo Internet friends not to panic at a little spotting. I say this to them because that's what Dr. Enterprise told me, what Nurse Helpful at my HMO told me, and what every baby book in the universe tells us all. A little spotting is (let's say it all together, class!) -- NORMAL. (Especially in an IVF pregnancy, which for some still-unknown reason tends to be more prone to spotting than a normally achieved pregnancy.)

Except that it was ME bleeding like a stuck pig. (Okay, maybe like a pig with a paper cut.) MY pregnancy. MY babies bleeding out their lives into the panty liner. I found it completely impossible to be calm. And I was excessively irritated when I went tearing back into the living room with my news, only to have D. be very calm and infuriatingly rational about the whole thing. He patiently repeated what Dr. Enterprise had told us both, that a little spotting, even bright red spotting, was completely normal. In return, I wanted to act like Charlie Brown's Lucy and knock his block off.

(None of this was helped by the fact that D. had picked this night to have a few brewskies. He wasn't drunk -- at that point -- but not sober either. I found it completely infuriating that someone who was two sheets to the wind could be more rational than I was, cold sober.)

I did at least follow my own advice and get off my feet. I put down dry food for the cats and went off to bed, where I read a Terry Pratchett and tried to stop hyperventilating. The night ended up a long one, since I kept waking up worrying, and each time had to go pee and see what was going on.

By morning, activity had tapered off, and I began to feel better mentally. Today we are back to a little brownish spotting, and I actually believe now that the pregnancy is not -- at the moment, anyway -- in danger. I'm not sure I would have been able to achieve this level of sanguinity, except that this morning I was able to get hold of a nurse at my IVF clinic, who passed my questions on to Dr. Enterprise. (I have no idea when Dr. Enterprise ever gets a day off. She is the only doc there, and does all the embryo retrievals and transfers herself, on whatever day of the week they fall on.) Dr. E said that now that I have discontinued the progesterone suppositories, the two empty sacs are no longer artificially supported, and therefore are probably degrading -- hence the bleeding. (It's also possible that embryo #4, the little one, might have finally given up.) Either of those explanations is fine with me -- as long as the main pregnancy is continuing on its way.

And speaking of the main pregnancy continuing apace, tomorrow I will have to try and track some people down in their lairs, to make sure that continues smoothly. Last week when I met with Nurse Helpful, she said she would send bloodwork information off to Cal Pacific. However, when I tried to actually get in touch with her on Thursday, she first said she would call me back in an hour, and then while waiting for her call, I had a little domestic emergency and had to run out of the house -- and found when I got back that she had left me a very convoluted message detailing when she would be in her office to talk to me -- which was not going to be until next Wednesday. Wednesday! Nearly a week away from Thursday, in case I have to point that out. I think she's just downgraded herself to Nurse Not So Helpful. Now I'll have to drive up to my HMO and go to their business office in person to get my blood results, then come home and fax it myself. Not the end of the world, but irritating when someone else has already told you they'd take care of it. Hah.

The doctor who is supposed to do our reduction also called on Thursday night, when I was out. (Of course.) His message said he'd call again the next day, and of course he didn't. He's on my "hit list" for tomorrow, too. (And let me tell you just how much I am looking forward to wading through the various guardians of the CPMC gate to try and leave him a message.) On the plus side, I've been doing some Internet snooping regarding both him and Cal Pacific, and according to the highly unscientific gossip one finds on various pregnancy boards on the Internet, both CPMC and my doc are highly regarded in doing CVS, amnios, and other tricksy procedures involving needles. So that's a plus, at least.

And in a final bit of good news, me old da' continues to improve. He had his staples out last week (staples! in your chest! I don't even want to imagine that), his blood pressure is holding steady, he dismissed his baby sitter and makes his own lunch now, and most reassuring of all, his voice has returned to its normal full baritone timbre. (It really upset me when I talked to Dad in the hospital and heard how frail and reedy his voice sounded.) Thanks muchly to everyone who expressed good wishes for him! Now, God willin' and the creek don't rise, I think he is back on the road to health.

To sum up, today is better than yesterday. I just hope that trend continues.


Blogger casey said...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph you had me worried there. Even a superficially-wounded-pig type of bleeding makes me crazy...for you, that is. (Bleeding on my end--no pun intended--is welcome, er, as a move toward the procreating.)

It seems, no matter where I go on the Internet, that everyone has problems with their care providers, getting answers, and actually talking to the person they want. Shame it has to be that way.

Glad to hear about your dad. My parents are visiting today and I am always grateful and impressed that they still have it in them to make the 10+ hour drive. (Every eight weeks, no less.)

5:39 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home