Saturday, July 4, 2009

Man (and woman) plan, God laughs

Life has a funny way of working out sometimes. Here we are, brimming with hope (and hope's cousin, fear) about this new pregnancy. We are also laughing (and slighly dismayed) at the timing.

You see, Will and I have a big two-week celebratory trip planned for after my dissertation defense, a trip we are supposed to leave on in less than a week. Honestly, it's kind of a trip of a lifetime. Something we've been just filled with excitement about. This trip was supposed to be to a certain remote part of the globe that is teeming with wildlife. It's also teeming with malaria.

We planned this trip, actually, to be somewhat compensatory for our lack of offspring. It was specifically designed to be amazing and fun, but also to be completely incompatible with having children. A trip that while on we could thumb our noses at the universe and say, That's right! See, for once, it's good we don't have children! Or we couldn't take this really adventurous trip!! And, um, we succeeded. The trip is completely incompatible with children. It's also completely incompatible with my current condition, because it is not safe for me to take malaria prophylaxis, and it is also not possible to forgo malaria prophylaxis in the region we'd be traveling in (we looked into it, believe me).

So with the pregnancy on board, the trip is out.

Now please don't ever mistake it, we are extremely excited about being pregnant. But it's so early, and we've had such bad luck in the past, that it is hard not to think that yet again something is going to happen, something bad.

We are grappling with the possibility, one we know all too well, that we may lose this pregnancy. And because of the fascinating timing of all this, we are also grappling with the double whammy that that loss would mean that we lost the chance to take this trip of a lifetime for nothing. For another round of grief. The one-two punch. Nevertheless, of course, we have canceled the trip. Because, really, what else could we do? We want to have a child more than anything. Hands down. And now we are trying to rapidly come up with a plan B for our vacation.

Somehow the confluence of events has rocked me from my zen place of taking this pregnancy one grateful day at a time. I am struggling to be in the moment. I am filled with fear.The upcoming trip makes me continually think of the future, rather than stay right here in the present. It beckons me to wonder if this pregnancy will work out or not. I hear the Siren song to obsess over every body symptom or lack thereof. Why don't my breasts hurt? I'm less nauseated, aren't I? Peeing less? Beta must be dropping. It's over. Wait, a twinge. Was that a cramp? Is that good or bad? Egads.

Somehow I have to get back to the place of letting go. We've done our part and last we heard, things looked shockingly, amazingly good. I have no control over what will happen. And if we lose the baby and we can't reschedule the trip, I have done nothing wrong. It was the right decision to cancel a potentially dangerous-to-pregnancy trip. I must just keep repeating that to myself. No matter what happens, we are just doing the best we can and none of this is our fault. Right?

Hopefully I can find my zen place. I desperately need it. We're getting another beta on Monday, but that feels like years from now. Till then, your thoughts, wisdom, and sanity are most welcome.


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  1. We're going to D.C. in two weeks...I don't think there's malaria there. Join us. :-) I haven't been where you are, but I can imagine the laughing, the stunned shock, the fear.

    Sorry you have to miss out on a cool trip....and hope your reason sticks around for a long long time.

    *off to schedule exotic and dangerous trip for the beginning of September*

  2. My God, you could be me!
    We also desperately wanted to take an exotic vacation in the 3 weeks I was going to have between finishing residency and starting my new job. DH was so stoked - it would be the first time we'd had more than 2 weeks off in a row in years. Where to go - Africa again, Asia, Australia? Endless exciting possibilities.
    And then I insisted that we give IVF another go before I finished residency, because I didn't see how I could possibly cycle again once I started my new job. Swore to DH that we should still be able to take 3 weeks off, even if we were to get pg, but we might have to tone down the destination.
    We're planners - not knowing how long we'd be able to go away for (since they told us at the time of ER and ET that they couldn't give us the OK to take off, due to the risks of ectopic pg and OHSS), and not being able to book our tickets in advance was a killer.
    We finally said screw it, agreed to be back for the 7wk ultrasound (that we postponed for 3 days from when they wanted us to come in for the first one), and booked our 9 day trip to western Europe to visit family. What will happen will happen. With 2 previous losses, my confidence isn't high. We'll stay in civilized areas in case I start to run in to trouble and worry about ectopic. And darn it, we will enjoy out trip.
    We gave the same advice to friends who had a fantastic trip-of-a-lifetime to Croatia and eastern Europe planned earlier this year. They'd had a late 2nd trimester loss in the fall and had just gotten pregnant again on their first attempt at IUI. Good betas, but the baby was behind on the ultrasound. The didn't know what to do, but agreed with me that they'd likely be even more mad at the universe if they stayed at home, where they couldn't do anything to prevent another loss like this if it were to happen, and would miss out on the vacation. Luckily they didn't have to worry about malaria like you did. They had a fantastic trip, and put worries out of their minds for 3 weeks. Things didn't work out in the end for them, but they had 3 weeks of joyous travel with their baby-to-be to remember forever.
    I think you did the right thing, giving this pregnancy every chance of success by not exposing yourself to malaria or prophylaxis. Hopefully you can find some fabulous last-minute deal or great other destination to head off to. You deserve it!

  3. I postponed an IVF transfer to go to Africa ... I know the dilemma. You won't regret it. You are making the right decision. Stay positive. As I always say, protecting yourself from pain won't make the pain hurt any less...

  4. Man, the irony of it all. Truly unbelievable. But you are totally making the right decision, you have to go with the present, and deal with the rest as it comes. Exotic places will still be there, after your kid(s) leave for college, and you can take the trip then.

    My fingers remain continually crossed for you three!

  5. It is an odd limbo, isn't it? I completely get it. You are absolutely doing the right thing -- making the best decision you can based on all the facts you have. And the fact is, you're pregnant. You have good numbers going. Even with your previous losses, the fact that you are where you are now means it's more likely you'll get a baby out of this than not. You're doing the right thing to try to take it one moment at a time. You may obsess occasionally about symptoms but try to keep pushing yourself back to the here and now. Because the here and now is a pretty cool place for you to be!

  6. You totally did the right thing but it sounds like you know that. The utter fingernail scraping down chalkboard part of it is that we have all put our lives on hold for IF. For pregnancies that do not make it. I hate it too and I hate it for you. But hopeful. So hopeful for you guys that this is it.

  7. You made the right decision, but I'll say it...Man, that totally sucks. I pray the universe grants you the good fortune of a little one.

  8. I think you absolutely made the right decision ...what about a tone down trip to a swanky all inclusive that's malaria free? I wish I had some advice about where to find your zen. For me didn't come until there was a live birth. And honestly? Not a minute before then. It's the price of recurrent loss, I'm afraid.

  9. That sucks about your trip, but I'm glad you have to miss it for the best reason EVER! I am hoping and praying that reason makes it's appearance in just about 8 months! So excited for you!

  10. I am sorry that you cancelled your trip but I am so thrilled that you are pregnant! You may never be able to take this trip again for free but I bet you *could* work it out to take it again if you *really* wanted to.

    In the meantime I think you made the right choice. Dang malaria!

    As for getting back to zen....the only advice I have is one day and one moment at a time.

  11. I'm sorry you had this change of plans. But the reason is really good though. There is a great, great chance that this is it. Exotic places will still be there. ;)
    And yes, the universe has an interesting sense of humor, doesn't it?

  12. I hope you can find your "in the moment" place...sorry the universe keeps conspiring to make it less than easy. I hope you come up with an alternative trip that is pregnancy friendly AND amazingly restorative and fun. Hang in there.

  13. Well, exotic places are not going away anywhere...You have a huge possibility at your doors...heed to that first..

    Thoughts, prayers and good wishes with you...Good Luck for the next Beta.

  14. It stinks, but you absolutely made the right decision. That trip can always be scheduled another year while your precious little one is watched over at home for you :) Or maybe you can go as a family down the road. At any rate, stay positive! I am so excited for you guys!

  15. Of course you did the right thing. Africa is not a place to go for your health. Those anti-malaria drugs are hard on your body. I lived in Africa for two years and had to take them the whole time.

    This country has some amazing places too. I hope you can find a relaxing vacation spot. A cabin in upstate NY next to a lake sounds nice.


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