Friday, November 5, 2010


No more spotting since yesterday, as of now, at least. The cramping continues (although it stopped for a while this morning). Things feel ominous to me, but of course my feelings could mean anything, could mean nothing. Am drinking lots of water and trying to stay off of my feet.

I deeply appreciate all of your thoughts. Really do. Thanks for taking the time to share all your bleedy, crampy stories. My gosh you people bled and cramped a lot! An impressive bunch, you are! Especially for getting through it with your sanity intact.

I don't mean to whine, but forgive me for a moment while I do anyway. Folks, I know you know, but I want to say it anyway: this is so, so hard. Being sort-of pregnant, I mean. The farther we get, the more anxious I become. Every twinge, every non-twinge, completely stresses me out. And to have the pink tinge yesterday? To be full-on cramping? completely.over.the.edge.

And add to that the fact that I am so far away from home, in a place where English is not the main language... What was I ever thinking agreeing to come here?! What I was thinking then eludes me, but what I am thinking now is that I am in my hotel room in my pajamas, and I plan to stay here the rest of the day, not even venturing out to fill my ice bucket.

I checked out where my symposium will be taking place tomorrow. It's going to be, um, in a full size ballroom - seating capacity 500 or 1,000 or something. Like completely out of control. I have NEVER spoken in front of such a large audience. (and have I mentioned that I deeply fear public speaking?) I guess it should have occurred to me since this is an invited talk and is a "featured" symposium, that it would be getting prime billing (usually my talks are in some musty basement room that seats 15-20 people). Oh, and have I mentioned that I have nothing to say in my talk? Or at least pretty sure nothing of importance to say? No data to present (seriously), because my research study hasn't started recruiting patients yet. So I'll be, I don't know, talking about the research study I *will* be doing. Maybe I'll try something novel, like blowing up balloon animals in front of the esteemed researchers in my field. Oh, and cramping. Since it appears that I'll be cramping as well, maybe I'll make a point to mention it during the talk, just to make the whole occasion more memorable.

OK, Mo. Deep breath. What's the bright side? Major bright side is that aside from that minimal spotting yesterday, I am NOT bleeding. And I am not doubled over cramping, which would be BAD. I am feeling very menstrual, I am feeling achy in my uterus, and this could be bad, or it could be good, or it could mean absolutely nothing at all.

This morning I braved the outside world to find a pharmacy and bought a bunch of water (because the tap water here is bitter and nasty) and some crackers and juice and (cough) some HPTs (I'm like an addict at this point, spending time planning when can I buy more HPTs, planning how can I procure more HPTs, avoiding other activities and role functioning because I am too busy peeing on my HPTs!!!). I think even though they aren't in English I should be able to figure this out. Two lines = Argh, who the hell knows anymore? Well, it at least equals that things haven't taken a precipitous dive for the worse. Also, did you know that in other countries they have HPTs that say how many weeks pregnant you are? I bought some of those too, although I'm afraid to use them. Why do we not have this in the U.S.? Seems like a fine invention.

In twenty-four hours my talk will be over (hopefully not my career as well) and then I can just rest up and take it easy until I fly back home. Flight home currently scheduled for Sunday morning. Wish I could move it up, but it doesn't look so likely, unless I want to spend another $800 or so.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. And thank you, seriously, for being out there, and for listening.


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  1. You will be fine. In the grand scheme of things this speech is a blip. You and the teeny bean will be up there thinking, I know something you don't know! Then after you can go sit down and enjoy a nice cranberry juice, and before you know it you'll be home with Will. Deep breaths. Happy thoughts that you are not alone. It is scary for sure, but stay in the NOW. Good luck!

  2. Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way.


  3. Thanks for the update. Been stalking here. Glad to hear the spotting has stopped. Funny, I was going to suggest you pee on some HPTs to feel better, but decided it was a silly suggestion. Hope it helps.

    No need to apologize for whining. Of course this is insanely hard after all your losses. I think it will get easier, but I don't think you'll really relax until you're holding a squealing, live baby.

    Big hug from us!

  4. You'll be great! I am always nervous, too, but it always ends up fine and often better than fine. Also happy to hear the bleeding stopped. Continued good wishes to you, friend!

  5. Very glad to hear the spotting stopped, simply for the sake of your peace of mind. You'll do brilliantly in your presentation, because, seriously, lady, you're one funny, bright, and poised woman.

    And if all that fails you, I think the balloon animals is a great idea. In fact, perhaps you could combine both ideas and illustrate your planned talk on crmpiness with a balloon representation of a uterus. I guarantee no one would nod off during that...

    Take care, enjoy those HPTs & a day in bed with your feet up. Room service? Mmmmmmm.

  6. Hi- do you think you could have a uti? Our surrogate spotted like that at 7 weeks too and that's what it was. Just a thought:-)

    Good luck on your speech! You will do a great job. You know what you are talking about or else you wouldn't have been invited!

    This is so so hard I will make it!

  7. Thanks for updating. I've been checking on you all day. Fingers, toes - all but the teeth which cost a lot to undo - crossed for you.

  8. When I was pregnant the first time, I went to Rome when I was like 6w5d pregnant. This trip had been planned for months and I hadn't expected to get pregnant as early as I did...anyway...when we got there, I started spotting. Scared the bejeepers outta me! I guzzled water and lay on my left side, wondering if I would need to go to the dr....could I go to the dr? How did that work exactly?

    I know how you feel, and I hope things stay calm in your pelvis!

    I don't think HPTs will tell you anything at this point. Even if Something Bad were happening...they wouldn't suddenly come up negative or anything without some pretty blunt signs from down below if you know what I buy them and pee on them if it makes you feel better, but I don't think they will tell you much.

    Hang in there, soon you will be able to rent a doppler if you want to and listen to your baby's hb every day to ease your mind!

  9. Its so great to hear the spotting stopped. As far as that achy-I'm going-to-get-my-period any second feeling, that is what I LONG for now, seriously. I don't get much of it, only a twinge now and then and that point I stop and mentally high-five my little embryo. In my experience, I've always felt it when the baby was fine and growing, so its a good sign for me.

    I'm still doing the HPT thing too- except I'm bit kookier than the average person (urine dilutions are involved and that is all I'll say).

    The anticipation of giving a talk is not fun, especially if you think you don't have much data, but hey just keep the crowd happy, and I have a feeling you will be great at that. And anyway, who cares about science when you have this lovely, marvelous miracle happening inside you?? Have been horribly un-passionate about my research since I've embarked on this journey, hope my boss never has an inkling!

  10. SO glad to see an update and that things are maybe better. Hang in there. I remember when we finally got pregnant every little twinge would have me in a panic until the day she was born.

  11. Thanks for the update and I'm glad you're OK. Being sort of pregnant is hard... I remember when I had a heavy bleed (including a clot) and huge cramping just before six weeks. A scan proved that the embryo was still alive, but the doctor gave me a 50/50 chance of miscarrying. It was a long three days until the next ultrasound, but all was well, and the third ultrasound gave us a fantastic little heartbeat (I'll be 26 weeks on Monday).

    I know it's hard to be optimistic with your history, but it isn't always bad news. Best of luck for the rest of the weekend.

  12. Mo:

    Abject fear aside, this is all good news. I hate that you are so far away (and that English isn't widely spoken) but we are all here for you and waiting to hear from you.

    Early pregnancy, especially for someone with IF and recurrent losses is an AWFUL effed up mess. I was a complete wreck, barely engaged in my own life, as I feared the worst, every minute of every day. I had weekly ultrasounds beginning at week 6 and by week 13 when I was in for my last u/s with my RE he said to me (seeing the blood drain from my face yet again as I took to the exam table) that I was going to have to find a way to manage my fear and begin to believe that I was pregnant AND was going to have a baby. It took A LOT for me to get there, and still I didn't fully get there until about 31 weeks.

    You can do it, your own way. It is OK to be afraid, neutral, even pessimistic if you have to be. My OB gave me the best advice which was to get through each day and that meant I was one more day further along and one more day closer. It was the only way I could do it.

    But, do NOT allow yourself to dwell on the DBTs. Give yourself 5 mins (a day or twice or three times a day) and then WILL yourself to stop, change the subject, and/or stay, "stop it!" out loud. Worked for me.

    Continued best thoughts going up and out for you.

  13. So glad the spotting has stopped. I know you are going out of your mind and I have no idea how you even functioning right now. Wait, yes I do. You are AMAZING. You will get through this. Cramping in early pregnancy is very normal. I know that doesn't make your fears go away and I know that you already know that, but it's all I got right now. I think you are doing the right thing by chilling in your room. (and peeing on all those sticks) If it gives you even an inkling of peace of mind, keep doing it. Sending you (((hugs))) and hoping everything goes ok with your presentation. We are all here waiting for good news and (virtually) holding your hand.

  14. All of your emotions are TOTALLY normal...and SCARY as hell. I sucks big time but it sounds like you are handling it as best as you can. Thinking of you and thanks for the update!! Oh and break a leg tomorrow...I bet you will kill your speech!

  15. Thinking of you
    sending love
    and suggesting you use a digit for suppository placement until you are home-- your cervix will be one majorly capillary strewn cramphaven for the duration, so even a little poke will provoke cramps and spotting--
    home tomorrow
    home tomorrow
    home tomorrow
    and 800$ for a ticket change? WORTH IT if it helps you feel more comfortable in any way-- chump change in the iVF game.

    big love to you
    please breathe

  16. Sooo glad the spotting has stopped! Still, I doubt you'll feel true relief until you're back in the States, and have seen the doctor. Do you have another appointment set up already? I hope the next 24 hours fly by!

  17. Relieved on your behalf.

    I'm guessing you may have written a grant proposal explaining to some elusive group of peer reviewers what a whiz-bang project you could conduct if only they'd provide some funding, and that then they did so (see? it must be a whiz-bang project!). So can you just work from that proposal and tell your assembled, large (but warm! and friendly!) audience tomorrow about what a whiz-bang study you are going to conduct?

  18. You'll be great tomorrow, and home will be a whole day closer!

    I felt crampy and heavy during weeks 5-7 of both of my pregnancies (the one that ended in m/c and the current one at 25 weeks). Stuff's growing and shifting.

    Looking forward to reading about your Wednesday appt!

  19. In Canada we have the digitals that tell you how far along you are. Keep in mind they are not very accurate, so don't worry too much if they are showing less than you are. Oh, and when they say "1-2 weeks", they mean 1-2 weeks from conception, so 3-4 weeks pregnant.

  20. The fact that you have a podium presentation to that many people has got to be worth congratulating! Who cares what you have to say? I'm sure you have wonderful ideas to present, but the fact is most people are probably absorbing way too much information during the course of the conference to remember what anyone said after a few days.

    And I definitely felt menstrual many times during my first tri :).

  21. That sounds like an incredibly stressful situation. Just know that however you get through it is very impressive. I'd be hyperventilating up a storm right now if I were you. I'm so glad the spotting stopped and try not to worry too much about the cramping, I had TONS of cramping in the first trimester, it's totally normal.

    I hope all goes well and that you kick @$$ at your talk! I'm thinking of you!!!

  22. Thinking of you! Hang in there, and go easy on yourself!

  23. First of all, you are not "sort of" pregnant. You are pregnant. Maybe sort of uncertain about what the outcome of said pregnancy will be, but not sort of pregnant, definitely pregnant. So try to hold onto that for what it's worth.

    And you've earned the right to whine. For women who have had to endure multiple losses, I think going through another pregnancy is one of the very, very most stressful things you can endure. At least, I know it is for me. My dad is currently in the hospital undergoing chemo for leukemia, I have a cancer-stricken dog, just realized today that Thanksgiving is less than 3 weeks away, working on an adoption home study recertification, working 12-14 hour days, etc. etc., and yet all of that combined is only a teeny tiny fraction as stressful as a pregnancy (without any of that other stuff going on) would be, no exaggeration. It's totally natural to be anxious and stressed, because you want this so.badly. and you know it is.

    I also used to have a fear of public speaking. Got my ass to a Toastmaster's meeting the day after I accepted a job for a position that said zilch about public speaking in the job description but turned out to be about 30% public speaking in reality. One of the things someone there said that really stuck with me and helped me: We're often afraid of the audience, but actually the audience *wants* you to succeed. They're silently cheering for you and hoping you do well, because they want you to capture their interest - no one wants to sit there and be bored. So what you actually have is a room full of people who are on your side. I found that once I realized that was true, it was a heck of a lot easier to get up there and talk. So I hope that thought helps you, if you haven't already heard it before.

    How did dinner and drinks with the colleage go? What did you wind up telling her?

  24. You can do this. You are one of the strongest people I have ever crossed paths with. Go wow all 1000 of them and look forward to going home to get comfort from Will.

    Take your own advice. Breathe.

    P.S. I spotted and cramped during the first trimester while pregnant with my twins. (Gasp)

  25. Oh thank heavens. I am so glad to see your update.

    I understand you are still beside yourself. Breathing. Excellent move. Do that yoga breathing exercise - in one nostril and out the other... it really works. Hold on let me go find it...

    Do the correct side or you will be all jacked up. Joke.

    This is no time for jokes Roccie.

    Break a leg tomorrow. Rebecca is right on - the audience is rooting for you. Like we all are!

  26. Wishing you lots of luck with you talk, I'm sure you'll do great!

    As for the cramping, I cramped with both of my pregnancies, totally normal!

  27. AAAARRGGH! I don't have the right words to say, but know that I just want to scream at the infertility gods and say CUT THIS DEAR WOMEN SOME SLACK! :)

    Glad you are no longer spotting- hopefully the cramping will calm down too so you can have some peace of mind while you count the hours until you are home.

  28. If you find yourself nervous, think of it mathematically: a good percentage of attendees will be checking email on their blackberries, drinking coffee, wondering where the bathroom is, or reading notes for the next presentation. Some will be hungover from a wild night out on the town in said foreign country. Some will have no idea what you're talking about because you're smarter than they are. So only a few of those folks will be truly focused ... and then it's sorta like being in that small room of 15 people that you're comfortable with. :-)

  29. I am a psychologist as well (at least I think I read your are one somewhere not sure now). Anyway, I have gone to so many of those conferences and only attended a few of the conferences. Also, people will be very preoccupied like Linda said. Also, when I noticed someone is nervous I feel up with compassion for the person and do not judge them at all because I am terrified of public speaking (by the way- most people are). Please breathe through it and know we are all pulling for you and you are almost home. YAY!!

  30. Sorry things are so stressful right now. Feeling very menstrual without the menstruation sounds like a very normal early pregnancy symptom to me, in fact I'm sure in my naive days of not yet realising I was infertile I read that to be a sure sign of pregnancy. Seriously, I'm betting it's all fine. Just get through the talk and you will be home very soon.
    PS - I live in the UK where we have the tests with the "conception indicator". I went through hell after my IVF pregnancy using one of those, it told me I was 1-2 wks since conception when I was scientifically proven (IVF) to be 2-3 wks since conception. This led to numerous nailbitingly low HCG blood tests, early scans, tears and stress.... and a perfectly healthy baby. I would not use one of those tests again for anything!
    Good luck and thinking of you.

  31. Just wanted to wish you luck this morning!

  32. Depending on where you are, you might already be done with the presentation, but I've been thinking of you on and off for the last 5 hours and wishing you very good luck. I'd just find about 3 friendly faces and speak only to them, the other 700 folks be darned. You'll do just fine; they wouldn't have invited you if they didn't think that you'd do a good job! And very soon you'll be on your way home and that much closer to Wednesday morning's scan. Sending calming vibes from across the ocean!

  33. Hugs.

    You have every right to "whine" (which it didn't really sound like, it sounded like you were working through fears) or complain (which you weren't doing), you've earned it. And especially right now. Pregnancy with bleeding and cramping is terrifying, Experiencing that after IVF adds to it. And then with your experiences, I can't even imagine.

    I really admire you. You are so strong. I know all you want to do is go home. But instead, you are trying to continue as normally as possible.

    Hugs. Good luck today! (Retroactive, since with the time difference, your speech may be complete by now.)

  34. Hi Mo!
    I am glad you are hanging in there. As far as you "whining", I say whine away. This is your blog and everyone who reads it is in your corner rooting for you and Will and your baby. I have not been through half as much as you have (I have had 3 miscarriages, then the 4th pregnancy resulted in a healthy (now 6 yr old) son. Now TTC for over 4 years for #2. We have not tried anything except the occasional Clomid and Metformin for medical assistance in getting pregnant)....anyway, when I was pregnant with my son I was nervous the WHOLE time. Every cramp I got freaked me out. I don't remember having any spotting, but I do remember the cramps. When I cramped I always ran to the bathroom to see if I was bleeding. My point is that I haven't been through nearly as much as you and I understand being so nervous and freaked out about every little thing. Hang in there. Still hoping and praying that all will be OK with you and your little one. Thanks for keeping us posted. Glad your speech is over...have a safe flight home.


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