Monday, June 25, 2012

The Blow - Part 1

"Trigger" warning for those who are pregnant or trying to conceive - You may want to read this after you have given birth. This was the hardest phase to write about, so I've split it into two parts. I already had most of this written out from a year ago, but it's taken me 3 days to get up the courage to post it for the world to see. While it's therapeutic to get these feelings documented, it takes a great deal of gut-wrenching nerves to put it out there to be judged and criticised by all. But it is a subject that is so much more common than I ever knew.

I had been working out about 5-6 days a week for about an hour a day, putting on my music and doing some rigorous ballet bar routines (my absolute fave workout) and every once in a while adding in a Brazilian Butt Lift video (the most fun 30 minute workout ever!).  One day I was in the middle of a workout and totally out of breath. My routine is intense, but they were steady and consistent throughout and I’ve never been completely out of breath before. The next day I couldn’t even get through my initial 15 minute stretch without having to catch my breath several times. I knew something was off.

I looked on my period tracker (an app on my iPhone which I had not looked at in at least a month) and noticed that I was due for a visit from the Red Lady the next day. So I figured maybe I was just tired and would take a day off from flailing around in the living room. I’m VERY regular, as in “my cycle starts between 12 noon and 2 pm on the 28th day 11 months out of the year” normal. So after 2 more days of waiting and panting and still no flow, I called to make an appointment with my OBGYN.

I remembered the day like it was yesterday. It was a Tuesday and I went to get my blood drawn before I went to a bid announcement for work in Port Allen. My meeting was at 2:00pm and I was sitting in the car passing time when the phone rang… it was the hospital! I answered the phone without actually saying anything. The nurse finally asked if I was there, and I just grunted.

I guess she knew I was holding my breath, so she began “Kelli, I just wanted to call you and let you know that your hCG levels need to be over a 3 to be pregnant and your levels are at 151.”

I could feel my eyes well up and I finally caught my breath. “No shit! Really! OH MY GOD!!! What do I do now?” I kind of half yelped-half screamed at her. Thank goodness she took it as excitement and laughed at me in amusement. She went on to explain that I was about 4 weeks along, per the hCG levels, she would set up an appointment with my OB in a couple of weeks to do a culture and I would have my ultrasound at 8 weeks.

4 weeks, that’s nothing right… WRONG! 4 weeks is a long freaking time… My mind went crazy. We told our family that it was official and confirmed this time. I even videotaped (with America’s Funniest Home Videos in mind) my mom’s reaction when she opened a paper bag with a pair of infant shoes in it. She totally freaked, as expected, and immediately ran to my husband and shook him screaming “WE’RE GONNA HAVE A BABY!!!” I even went so far as to order a convertible crib from JC Penney online that was a steal. But it still didn’t feel real.

I went to my first OBGYN appointment with a couple na├»ve, first-timer questions and she took a culture of my cervix (process: legs are in stir-ups, salad tongs are inserted into vagina and locked open, a super long Q-Tip is inserted and it is gently swabbed along the cervix). This is when my first stage of panic began; when she pulled out the cotton swab it was bloody. The look on her face was one of alarm and then forced calm. She gave me a maxi and said she hoped it didn’t bleed that long and said she’d see me the next Friday for my ultrasound and bid me farewell. What do you say? Even if I did have a question or concern, I would not have been able to put it into words in the 30 seconds after she closed the clamps and left me to my fears. I did the only thing I could do; I put it at the back of my mind and went home…

A couple days later I was still spotting, I called the nurse and she said it was completely normal and she would see me for the ultrasound in a couple days unless I felt it was necessary to come in sooner. I didn’t know any better, so I tried to just stay calm. I told my husband I didn’t feel right, I had a feeling that something was off. It’s a very hard feeling to describe, one that can only be understood by another woman who knows firsthand where I’m coming from. We know our bodies!

Eeb and I sat patiently in the waiting room for an hour before being called in for our ultrasound (and we were 20 minutes early). On the outside, I was the vision of calm for my husband and the other pregnant moms in the waiting room, but on the inside it was like a nest of hornets stinging me in every organ. The tech started the ultrasound and said she really didn’t have any good visibility, so she was going to do a trans vaginal ultrasound (long penis-shaped “wand” that gives a close up view of the uterus from inside the vagina). It could not have been 5 seconds after she inserted the wand that I looked at her face. She showed where the baby was and my husband quickly drew his cell phone to take a picture. I grabbed his hands almost as a reflex and at the same time the tech told him to wait. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. A couple minutes later the tech looked at us with apprehension and confirmed there was no heartbeat and rushed out the room to get our doctor. Her words ran through my mind a million times before my husband grabbed my hand, and I melted into the table like ice on an oven…