Long and Overdue.

Do you ever do that thing, where you are just going to rest for a bit, maybe to help your preschooler fall asleep, and then you open your eyes and it is the next day?
Yeah. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, the appointment yesterday was fine. Weird, but fine. More on that in a few paragraphs.

I never got around to telling you about my FIRST ultrasound appointment, and I meant to, because it was An Experience. I was just over six weeks then, and walking into the perinatology clinic gave me a strange, uneasy feeling. I had been back twice since my last pregnancy, once to check on Ames’ autopsy while Simone was still in the NICU, and then later for testing and discussion of the autopsy results—a post-mortem post-mortem, you could say. Returning in the context of a new pregnancy was more difficult than I had expected. I felt jittery and sick. When I tried to check in, the receptionist told me that the ultrasound was still on, but my peri appointment had been canceled. A nurse came out to explain things to me, and I tried to explain to HER that I needed to start Lovenox, that I’d heard it should be started as close to conception as possible, and that was weeks ago, and to my absolute HORROR, I found myself crying. Which…I don’t even…I was as shocked as anyone, let me tell you. The nurse pulled up a chair (I was that patient) and reassured me that they could absolutely start my Lovenox without a full appointment, and that a doctor would see me for a minute after the ultrasound to get me set up with the prescription. I don’t know whether that nurse remembered me from my last pregnancy, but I’m sure she’ll remember me now, alas.

The heartbeat ultrasound itself went well, as you know, which was a massive relief—I didn’t realize until I saw the heartbeat how much I had been expecting NOT to see it. The tech was very sweet (perhaps she had been warned that I was unstable?) and afterward left to get the doctor. And guess who that doctor was?
HINT: you may remember him from such lines as “You can see here that Baby A is demised.”

It was…something. The adjective escapes me. Of all the ultrasound suites in all the perinatology clinics in the world, you know? I mean of course I knew it could be him, or I would have, had I thought about it. But I hadn’t, and it was a surprise.

He came in beaming and full of congratulations and I shook his hand feeling dazed. I don’t think I’d seen him since that awful day, though it’s not like that was the only time we’d met—he was also the doctor who told us we were having a boy and a girl, and I saw him in Labor & Delivery around 16 weeks. Needless to say, it is the 22 week visit that sticks in my mind.
He obviously remembered me, or at least had remembered upon reviewing my chart, and said he’d order the Lovenox and have a nurse meet me in an exam room to go over the details. I was shown to said exam room, and…it was the room in which the DEMISED ultrasound took place. They hadn’t even changed the artwork. That dreadful poster: faux-hand-colored, boy in Olde-Tymey hat and girl with a bow. The ultrasound machine and exam table, everything was in the spot it had been. I felt I might very well have been on a horribly morbid episode of Candid Camera.

The nurse didn’t come in right away, so I had some time to sit dumbly in the chair (the same chair I’d sat in to chat about the twins’ movements, and later to call Scott) and remember that day with a truly sickening level of clarity that was far less like remembering and far more like reliving than I would have wished. I decided, while I was waiting, that I would simply have to switch clinics, but exposing that decision to even the dimmest ray of logic forced the conclusion that switching clinics was a foolish and untenable idea.

So—that was the day of my heartbeat ultrasound.

Yesterday’s appointment was much better. It is already less unsettling to be back in the familiar office, and the nurses are truly lovely, as usual. It helped that I was in a different exam room this time (I have thought of requesting that I never be put in the other exam room again, but I am afraid that will make me seem even more unhinged that I doubtless do already). I won’t deny that the place still feels a bit grim and haunted, though. If you read Half Baked, you may remember the doctor I called McGleamy. I loved him so, and was sure he’d get a kick out of the book. Back when it came out I’d decided to send him a copy, and it was when I was looking for his address that I discovered he’d been killed by a car while crossing a street in front of the Los Angeles Airport, in 2009. There is a lovely plaque in the clinic, with his picture, and it makes me terribly sad. So yes. Grim, haunted. A little.

I did have the same doctor (I am trying very, very hard not to think of him as Doctor Demised, though this is a challenge). He told me that if ever I need reassurance, I can simply “drop by” and someone will give me a quick Live Baby Check. He was very kind, and in a way it isn’t such a bad thing that he was there for what happened before. Though, to be quite frank, he seems to regard it as largely irrelevant, and this is what made the appointment so odd. Quoth he: “this is a whole new pregnancy, and what happened last time…there is no reason to believe it will happen again.”
Which, okay, but is there a reason to believe it WON’T? I kept bringing it up, and he kept gently steering me away, reminding me that I am on both Lovenox and baby aspirin, and that we don’t know exactly why Ames died, and that there is no reason I shouldn’t just sashay on through this pregnancy like a Normal Lady. He’d say things like “You can stop the aspirin at 37 weeks,” and I’d laugh and mime writing it in my calendar, because COME ON, like “I’ll make a note of that, and also can you tell me about the clinic’s evacuation procedures in the event of a zombie apocalypse?” but he was serious. The nurse gave me a booklet with all three trimesters in it, and information about hospital preregistration and “birth” classes, and I accepted it all with a panicked smirk and some mumbled genuflections, and that was that.

I’m nine weeks tomorrow. It’s still early, blah blah blah, but early, late—will there be a time when I feel reasonably convinced that this is going to end in a baby? Honestly, why would there be? I suppose it’s as good a time as any to be hopeful, then. Right?


  1. Cara says:

    The part where you’re embarrassed you cried? Or where you worry you look unhinged? That part? Screw that. You are entitled. And I’m sure it’s not the first time for any of them. Tell them about the exam room, ask that they put a note on your chart. It’s a small thing, really, and I can only imagine what a difference it will make for you. But the part where everything looks good and everyone plans for a baby at the end of this pregnancy? That right there is good stuff. Prayers and hope and crossed fingers and whatever there is – sending them your way.

    • Aina says:

      I am 100% with this comment – exactly what I wanted to say. It’s a very small thing for them to not put you in that room, and CERTAINLY they will understand, or at least some of them will, and the rest of them should. They don’t remember which room it is, so they won’t bring it up, but when you do, I’ll bet they’ll even be happy that you tell them. And it is perfectly NORMAL for you to cry. Wow, that was a lot to go through. And you have my crossed fingers and Quaker-y holding you and the baby in the light too.

  2. Leah says:

    So glad to hear all is well. Not glad to hear that Dr. Horrible has been the one you are seeing, but as long as you are okay with it and he doesn’t say anything that makes me jump in my car and drive many, many hours to his office to shake him until his teeth rattle in his head, we’re all good.

    Upon discharge from the hospital. That’s the answer to your question regarding when you will believe that this ends in a live baby. I didn’t buy it until I was out of the PACU and left alone with my wailing newborn, but I’m guessing it may take you a smidge longer. Anyway, I never, ever, ever stopped saying stuff like, “Well, IF all goes well and IF he makes it out alive (as if it was a battlefield or something), then we’ll name him Liam.” Never. It drove my friends and family crazy but I simply couldn’t help it.

    Pop by for a quick Live Baby Check any time you need to. Don’t feel ashamed! Just don’t. That’s what they do for a living, you know? They even get paid to do it. So it’s not like they’re doing you some huge favor. I’m just sayin’.

  3. c says:

    As you may know, I was a complete maniac throughout both my pregnancies, despite the fact that my PTSD comes only from vicarious experiences. My friend helped by telling me that what I had was not craziness, but rather a loss of innocence. By which I mean: you are reasonable to be unhinged, if that makes you feel any better. It can still rob you – of joy in your pregnancy, or of the hope you need to get through the nauseous day – so it’s not a functional response, but it’s a pretty rational one.

    For me, the real reason to think that everything will be ok this time (and even though I have very limited information, I do) is the following: a) singleton and b) spontaneous pregnancy. Nobody really knows exactly why, but multiples get complicated, and IVF multiples get very, very complicated. So: you’re in a whole ‘nother cohort now, and it’s a much friendlier one.

    Enough of the unsolicited medical talk.

    That is very, very sad about Dr. McGleamy.

  4. Allie says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Cara. Ask them to put a note in your file about the room. Hell, I do that at the DENTIST, and they don’t look at me sideways. (There is a tech who treats me like a 3-year-old…I asked that I not have her at my appointments; no questions were asked.) I doubt they’ll think it’s odd – and if they do, they certainly won’t say so. To you, at least!

    My fingers and toes are crossed for you! I’m sending happy-stay-right-where-you-are thoughts towards that little heartbeat.

  5. Melissa says:

    I sometimes worry that being hopeful (about something else entirely, but, like you, something that I’m worried that is not going to work out, and something that I want desperately, with a consuming passion) will mean that if said thing doesn’t work out, it will be even harder to deal with. But will it? And is not hoping worth the price? I’d rather get some happy moments out of believing that I will get to be Dr. Melissa with a proper professor job than spend all my time moping about believing that I am going to end up Dr. Melissa behind the counter at McDonalds, but it still seems…pragmatic? saner? to not hope for the best. But it also feels a little like wanting it a lot and believing in it might make it more likely to happen, so I’m trying to give myself permission to hope.

  6. melody says:

    How dreadful to be put in that room again! I am an “outsider” (meaning I have never been in the horribly sad club, of which you are a card-carrying member — but lest you think I am a holy ass, I have a key fob full of other club discounts) and understand that you shouldn’t be in that room. Nor should you see Dr. Demise-o anymore, although it sounds like your last visit might have helped you see him in a different light a bit. Sometimes when shit comes-a knocking, it doesn’t matter how/what was said. It’s all going to be branded in your soul.

    But congratulations on some successful ultrasounds! Baby steps, baby steps.

  7. Kimberly says:

    I’ve never been in a situation anywhere near what you went through with Simone and Ames (I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks and dealt with IUGR with my oldest; nothing like what you dealt with), and I don’t think you’re crazy in the slightest for reacting the way you did. And I sincerely hope and pray that the doctor’s logic is good, and that you can go on to have a fairly easy (minus the morning sickness) and healthy pregnancy. It makes me optimistic that he seemed positive! Thinking of you, and so glad that the news has been good thus far.

  8. cs white says:

    Oh, yes, exactly what Cara said. Everything she said is what floated through my mind, but she said it much better than I would. Sending lots of good thoughts your way.

  9. anna says:

    I am in awe of your writing. Your ability to take events that are a) unique and b) extremely difficult emotionally and physically– and make them into something that I identify and sympathize and empathize with– is inspiring. I return to your blog not only as a reader to catch up on your story, but also as a writer-for motivation and encouragement. (yes, sorry- not really a pregnancy related comment, but as an unwed, childless 30 something, I am better at expressing non-child related thoughts.)

  10. Carolyn says:

    You’ve just guaranteed that you’ll end up THAT patient who ends up going into labor at 40 weeks and everything will go totally according to plan . . . but you won’t have prepared for THAT plan! ;) You’ll be ready for emergencies, but won’t have a hospital bag :) And that sounds like just as good a way to have a baby as any other way!

  11. SarahB says:

    Oh, honey, you have every right to cry. As if pregnancy itself is not excuse enough for tears! But also every right to be hopeful too. I am hopeful for you and that baby.

  12. tree town gal says:

    I too must piggy-back on Cara’s comment b/c it is perfect, in my opinion. Alexa – sweetie pie – who gives a rat’s ass (see, not Cara’s prose) what others think or if you made them a little uncomfortable. It is their job. Request whatever it is that might make each day a tiny bit easier and a tiny bit different from that last experience / nightmare. If you must – try to put yourself into rockstar mode and think about asking for chilled Evian (not iced) with sugared limes, pomegranate seeds, & a lemongrass sidecar with a fruit loops kicker (just for color). Whatever makes this easier – you are more than entitled. That includes a different room, different doctor, different artwork. And as for hope – we all have it in spades for you. When will you be convinced? Um, maybe when you are changing the diaper of your infant?

    And I cried reading about Dr. McGleamy. So. Very. Sad.

  13. ivfcycler says:

    request a different room? no, my first thought was, find a therapist who does cbt for ptsd, and then have the therapist request that you two get to spend some quality time in that room as you get your flashbacks deprogrammed. maybe then the practice and dr. demised would get the picture!

  14. Nicole says:

    I agree with previous comments. Everything you say screams of PTSD. Not surprising. You went through hell. A therapist is not a bad idea. As much as I despise Dr Demise. He may be on to something re this being a whole new pregnancy (and not a high risk multiple IVF one)…. You realise if you batten down the hatches and are prepared for the worst – it will more than likely be a completely uneventful pregnancy. In fact, I bet you go over and end up begging to be induced! At which point you’ll be kicking yourself for not enjoying the pregnancy more – or at least as much as you can when you can’t keep anything down!
    PS – I would tell Dr Demise how that conversation about Ames really sticks in your head. Tell him he really ought to revise the way he delivers that kind of news. I dunno – might help someone else.

  15. sharon says:

    Sad to hear about the not-so-good parts of the appointment but cheering wildly for the rest of it ;-)

    I realise it is hard not to dwell on your last pregnancy but (and this is a very big BUT!) this time you are only carrying one baby – who is obviously a little genius as s/he managed conception without the aid of the medical profession – and that is a whole different ball game. Take it one day at a time, we are out here counting them down with you, and when you get past 36 weeks will commiserate hugely about the ‘joys’ of late pregnancy.

  16. Anita says:

    Based on my 8 miscarriages, you’ll be convinced you’re going to have a baby when you deliver him/her at 39 weeks and not a moment before then.

    You’re normal, which I hope makes your feelings sort of reassuring but sort of suck ass, too.


  17. Oh, Alexa! ::hugs:: OK, this is the point where I put on the med. student/med. professional hat and tell you that it is absolutely NOT unreasonable to request that you don’t have THE exam room. It would also be perfectly acceptable to go to another’s doctor’s office. You are the patient, lady, and if something as easy as being in a different exam room can make you feel better, you deserve that. I know that you are hard on yourself, so I will tell you that I totally criticize every doctor that I see in my mind, because they are not doing x,y,or z “right” and dammit, I already know my differential diagnosis, I just need a prescription! Also, if I can be the ballsy one who tells the med. student to get their nosy, unskilled face outta my exam room (being a med. student myself!), you can definitely ask to not be in THE exam room.

    Anyway, I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you! Hang in there!

  18. Heather says:

    God, there is nothing more unsettling than being told not to worry about a pregnancy. After we lost Aodin and then got pregnant with Evi, they told us the same thing. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, whole new deal. Of course Evi did, in fact, survive… so perhaps they had a point, but how can you not worry???? Anyway, I am so glad to hear you’re doing well and the baby is still happily developing.

  19. Heather says:

    With everything that you went through last time your feelings are justified. This time is different and try to remind yourself of that. Prayers for you and your family.

  20. Patti B. says:

    So glad to hear good news :) I’m sorry all of those very legitimate and genuine feelings are also painful and full of anxiety, but as this pregnancy progresses, hopefully you will have a lot of new, albeit unfamiliar, pregnancy feelings that make you very happy :)

  21. HereWeGoAJen says:

    Oh, I so get it, my doctor is all dismissive about how it was a one time thing and I am like any other woman and there is no reason to believe anything bad will ever happen again. And it is just so dismissive. And I keep saying things like “you know this doesn’t happen OFTEN, right? How do you KNOW that it was a fluke?” And I am not even pregnant again, so I can only imagine how much worse I am going to be when they are being dismissive of something that is REAL.

    I am so glad that your appointment went well.

  22. Wiley says:

    I totally get the context trauma.

    I had been the the perinatologist the day before the demise of our twin A and then had a supposedly quick OB appointment the day after. Let’s just say that plan got blown out of the water.

    But my OB was actually out on maternity leave for that appointment and so I saw another doctor. I went through the “other” doors because the office is divided in half. I got taken back through them for a mastitis appointment after they were born and was really proud of myself for not losing it.

    I also have a doctor who I think of similar to your doctor demise, I think of her as Dr. Catastrophic because her phrase was, “I’m afraid something catastrophic has happened.” And yep, this was less than 48 hours after they had both been deemed perfect and viable.

    And yeah to happy nine weeks!

  23. Mo says:

    That sounds so difficult. I’m really impressed you got through it – and honestly that you were ever able to go back to that practice at all. As for unhinged? I don’t think so. Not even a tiny bit.

    Sending you so many positive thoughts and wishes for this pregnancy.


  24. jen says:

    I actually think the office would *want* to know about the exam room. Seriously, it doesn’t make you the Unhinged it makes you the Human. And if not ever being in that particular room again makes you feel better, then you have every right to ask for that and I can’t imagine them not wanting to help you in that respect.

    I can’t even imagine how hard it would be for you to be hopeful and optimistic. All your experience is telling you not to and until you’ve have a good experience, it’s hard for you to imagine. So we will all be hopeful and optimistic for you, when you can’t be, okay?

  25. Sarah says:

    I am with Cara. Ask for whatever eases your stress even slightly. Don’t for a minute worry about what anyone at the clinic would think, I am certain they have had many and varied requests much stranger. And take advantage of the offer for live baby checks whenever you are needing it, reducing stress any way you can has got to help.

    One thing I have regretish feelings about is not enjoying pregnancy at all. I miscarried before and between my two kids and was sick throughout the pregnancies, but I wish I had been able to hope. Maybe more accurately I am filled with the most viseral ache and potent jealousy when I see happy, carefree, certain that pregnancy leads to healthy live birth, young pregnant women. I would settle for just a day of that hope and joy, but during I was too focused on the complications (both physical and emotional). So there is a risk both ways with hope. I say try to hold on to it when you glimpse it, and even, if you can, cultivate it. As was mentioned, singleton done the old-fashioned way changes the game considerably.

  26. Laura says:

    I had severe Pre-E with my first child, started at 26 weeks and I delivered a severely IUGR little boy at 30 weeks. After years of trying to find out why this happened, we finally discovered I have three different blood clotting disorders (yeah for mutation!!) When I got pregant again, I took Lovenox the entire time. When 26 weeks came rolling around I had a major breakdown in my doctors office, it was embarrasing! My daughter ended up coming at 38 weeks with no Pre-E in sight. I know the stress of “but why won’t it happen again”. Try to have faith in the Lovenox.

  27. Agreeing with what everyone says, that it’ll likely be when it’s done and you have a baby that you believe it, especially given your past. I know all through my pregnancy, I would feel reassured by the u/s and then a few days later (if I was lucky to last that long) I would be worried again. I was lucky to start feeling the baby moving by 12 weeks, so that was helpful, but then you start worrying if you haven’t felt it for a little bit. I kind of wished someone could knock me out for the remainder of the pregnancy, to avoid all the worrying.

    But, also as someone said, this was a “natural” pregnancy (I’m not nuts about that term, but the other poster used the word spontaneous, which sounds like an immaculate conception thing to me, although it also makes it sound like fun! Spontaneous!), which puts you in a way different category. I thought it was so strange that my midwife’s office kept treating me like a “normal” patient. Hello! Don’t you all know how precarious and scary this is?!

    • Amanda P. says:

      I completely agree. I couldn’t believe that the office was treating the whole pregnancy as “normal”, once I got released to the OB. Didn’t they know about the every other day blood work and repeat u/s? Didn’t they understand that 4 weeks was WAY too long between appointments? I would feel confident that everything was ok for about 2 days after each appointment, then proceeded to drive my husband crazy with “I haven’t felt anything”, “there’s no PROOF that everything is going to be ok” or, my favorite in response to “when are you due?” of “Well, theoretically in March, but we’ll see what happens.”

      And I didn’t go through nearly as much as you did!

  28. DRM says:

    You went through an traumatic previous pregnancy and are therefore entitled to a little PTSD. No apologies needed. Not to defend Dr. Demised, (because I am married to a dr. I feel like I should play devil’s advocate) but maybe the “irrelevant” front is his bedside manner is just him masquerading as “competent.” If he already feels that you’re emotional, perhaps overly so, maybe he’s actually trying to make you feel better. ?? Believe me that the sad diagnoses stick with them. I can’t imagine anything more heartbreaking than what you went through with Ames & Simone and sadly, I’ll bet the doctors have seen and treated lots of tragic cases. I think I’m safe in saying that on behalf of all your readers, we strongly support you going in for weekly ultrasounds – with frequent updates for us!! Wishing you well!

  29. It’s so easy, isn’t it, to terrify yourself into a sludgy mess of tears and excess ladypart fluid? (At least at 12 weeks, that’s what seems to happen). You have good reason to be worried, but even without reason, well, it seems that’s what the Internet’s for. After four weeks of complete freakout (I’m not suffering morning sickness! It must have three heads and tay-sachs! I’m 36 years old with my first pregnancy! It must be a cancerous alien lizard growing in there!) I’ve come to the resigned conclusion that all we can do is take care of ourselves, keep a close eye on our bodies, and insist that those whose care we’re in exhibit a little bit of understanding. Good luck and I can’t wait to read more.

  30. camille says:

    I haven’t read the other comments, but I’m sure they echo me in saying that you are not unhinged or unstable. You’re pregnant, and the part of your heart that isn’t walking around with Simone or forever with Ames is now with this baby, and that’s reason enough to weep over things as trvial as running out of your favorite cereal, let alone as serious as reliving the events associated with the heartache of your last pregnancy. I cried and/or was otherwise emotional more than I care to admit during my last pregnancy, and I haven’t been down the road of tears nearly as far as you have. Hang on to the words of Dr. Demise (although perhaps his new name for his role in this pregnancy should be Dr. Optimism?) because he’s right….this is a new pregnancy, and statistically, the odds of a fantastically wonderful outcome are overwhelmingly in your favor. Now is the time to be hopeful because ultimately, the very premise of all babies is hope. I am hopeful that everything will be okay, and that as this pregnancy progresses you’ll feel better physically and emotionally. In fact, I’m looking forward to a post at 41 weeks lamenting the fact that you’re still pregnant!

  31. del says:

    you know, anyone who gave you a hard time for requesting NOT to be in that exam room again deserves to, I don’t know, rot in hell. Seriously, I cannot imagine thinking that would be an unreasonable request. Something very traumatic happened there, OF COURSE you do not want to be in there. DUH. Please, just ask them – you can do it in a nice way, like, “You know what happened in my last pregnancy? Well I found about about Ames in room X, so could you please avoid putting me in room X from now on? I’m happy to wait around a bit longer to go to another exam room. Thank-you so much for understanding!” and I’m sure it will be No Big Deal.

    Also he will forever be Dr. Demised. Just accept it. Unless he is NOT-Dr. Demised, which is entirely funnier.

  32. Gilamonstre says:

    Statistics show that after an unexplained loss, there is very little likelihood of a repeated loss.

    In fact, it is less likely for something to go wrong with this pregnancy, than there is for something to go wrong in a different person’s pregnancy because you have already used up your statistical share of tragedy.

    I’m lucky that my midwives keep stacks of these statistics on hand whenever I panic. After losing a son at 21.5 weeks, I couldn’t believe that the pregnancy that resulted in my 2.5 year old daughter was really going to run it’s course until she was born at 38.5 weeks.

    Similarly, even though I’m 35 weeks today, I still had a hard time believing this pregnancy would make it either and yet someone the midwives and their statistics have been doing pretty stellar so far.

    Your biggest risk right now is probably how swollen your feet are going to get, how fat you’re going to feel in 6 or 7 months, and how you won’t be able to stop crying over cat and dog food commercials. Really.

    Statistics say so!

  33. Anyone who has serious complications in a pregnancy is allowed to be however damn unhinged and irrational they want in the next one(s). My clinic happily did random BP checks for me, signed me up for some extra ultrasounds, and held their breath with me every time I weighed in. I was as shocked as anybody that my water broke on a Sunday morning and that I had a normal delivery, and very thankful that they prepared me for that as much as they did the signs of preeclampsia again. Get them to never put you in that room, and enjoy all of the little things like talk of what to do if you go over 40 weeks.

  34. Amy says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes! I do not know about being convinced, as I am not either, but I had the exact debate of your last question with my therapist, and what we came up with is this: worrying and not being hopeful will not make it hurt one iota less if the worst were to happen. But! When everything is perfect and you look back, you may very well regret not having enjoyed it more (not that I claim to be any good at that or anything, but I’m trying). So, while your feelings are perfectly normal and reasonable (and yes, you should ask for a different room or a different doc if you want), I am trying to be positive and hopeful and find tiny ways to enjoy this even though it is so, so hard to do so.

    I also have the not-this-room-again thing. My OB/Gyn thankfully moved offices, so I should not have it again there, but every single scan @ the RE’s has always been in the same room…or at least those are the only ones I remember, of course. My husband’s been with me for every single one for this pregnancy, so that helps, but my blood pressure is still through the roof every week before the scan when if I check it at the pharmacy any other time it’s much, much closer to normal. Definitely stressful.

    Hang in there! And yes, happy nine weeks. Let yourself try to enjoy what you can, but don’t beat yourself up for the worries – they make sense given what you’ve been through, even though everyone is most likely right that everything will be JUST. FINE. this time. I know it’s damn near impossible to actually believe it…just let yourself try.

  35. Deborah says:

    So glad to hear you have a healthy baby in there! You are TOTALLY NORMAL for not feeling confident this will end with a healthy full-term baby. The doctors should GET that. Everything’s black-and-white for them, sometimes. And I also think it’s reasonable that you ask not to have that exam room again.

    Thanks for the update. Hope we continue to hear good news.

  36. Ah, lovey. I know a little of what you mean: of the 3 scan rooms I frequent – like the proverbial bad penny – I’ve had No Heartbeat news in 2 of ’em. They have to search for a Dr who is actually feeling upbeat enough to treat me these days.

    Dr-let’s-not-call-him-Demised is, of course, right. S’a whole new wriggly ball game now. I have absolutely no useful stress-management tips for you, disappointingly, but I am vicariously extremely hopeful, crossing everything I have to the point of tissue-loss, and conducting some long-range virtual hand-clutching.

    And it’s ok to cry, you know? You’re allowed.

  37. So good to know that you are well and that things are progressing as they should.

    I am waiting for the post in which you describe DH’s reaction to the news of your pregnancy and how he is coping as you prepare for this baby.

  38. amanda says:

    i so enjoy your blog. you’re such a fantastic storytell, i feel as though i’m there. just awesome, so there’s that. i’m so very hopeful for you and this new baby. i’ll send good vibes and keep my fingers and toes crossed that all ends well!

  39. DM says:

    Your worries are totally understandable, and others (like me) have been worried for entire pregnancies for less. But like another poster (and the Dr.) said, this really is a totally different pregnancy and experience. A spontaneous pregnancy and a single baby are far less risky to carry than IVF multiples. It’s easy for others to say, but I think you can definitely be hopeful.

  40. electriclady says:

    Let me add to the chorus of folks saying it is PERFECTLY all right and TOTALLY sane to request not to be put in that room again. It’s a perinatology practice. I’m sure they have had patients in a similar situation to yours before (which is all the more reason to trust in Dr. D’s optimism).

  41. Kathi says:

    First of all, can I just give you a big hug? (well, a cyber-hug anyway…)

    Second, as a nurse in an ER, I want to tell you that it truly is no big deal to ask to go into a difference room. I get similar requests semi-frequently: “one of my family members died in room 7, is there any way to get a difference room?”. Absolutely. Unless it’s the only room available and they need immediate CPR they get moved to a different room and no one thinks anything of it.

    Hoping right along with you that everything goes well…sending positive thoughts your way! :-)

  42. Kay says:

    You are not crazy at all. I had a problematic pregnancy from 6 weeks on and my daughter was born at 28 weeks. With my next pregnancy they scheduled all my appts through 20 weeks at my first visit. I remember thinking they were insane to even think I would make it to 20 weeks, but my baby was born at 39 weeks perfectly healthy. You don’t need to plan for the worst, it is entirely possible to have a normal pregnancy!

  43. Trish says:

    I found the anxiety got worse as I got closer to viability this time. I kept thinking I’d feel better when I got to ____ (24 weeks, 26 weeks, whatever) and it never really came. Charlotte came at 35+2 and I was petrified even then.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    oh my GOD. (I know you don’t believe in God and for my part I think the jury’s still out, but wow, I can’t – words fail me.)

    Even the same fucking poster.


    I just finished re-reading Half-Baked, by the way, and the part that made me cry was the passage where you imagined running away with Simone to a cave and living on bark and moss.

    Anyway, thanks for posting, and wanting you to know that someone in Albania is thinking about you and this pregnancy and hoping someone rips up that poster and burns it and mixes the ashes with salt. Or something. Whatever helps, at this point!

    “Persevering with reason and humor” – and yes “as good a time as any to be hopeful.” Yes.

  45. Brooke says:

    I’m right there with you. I had a stillborn baby girl last year in December, and no one can explain what happened or why she died. I’m now pregnant again (9 and a half weeks) and navigating the strange combination of hopefulness and pessimistic certainty that if my doctors can’t explain what happened before, we can’t prevent it from happening again. But I’m definitely owning my crazy and making them accommodate me. I’ll totally demand a different room, cry in front of anyone and their fresh-faced medical student, and ask a million of the same questions of two different doctors just to make sure they’re on the same page. It’s terrifying, but it’s also the same crazy miracle it was the first time around. I’m hoping so hard for a happy ending and a healthy baby–for you and me both.

  46. CJ says:

    Wow, I went back to school in September and fell off my blog-reading bandwagon until yesterday. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and add my voice to the chorus urging you to tell those doctors and nurses what you need for your mental health. This is a peri clinic right? They should be very used to this kind of thing. All of us who cross the peri threshold have something going on and I bet crying is the rule more than the exception. Best wishes, my dear, from a fellow Twin Cities-ian. I hope Simone enjoyed waking up to our little blanket of snow.

  47. tash says:

    Jeez, the McGleamy thing reminded me of my RE — who dropped dead of a heart attack while on vacation two weeks after saying “see ya!” to me and my last (successful) heartbeat. Frightful.

    Anyway, I have a, um, (counts fingers) nineteen-month old this Saturday and damn if I’m still exhaling. I still can’t believe it all ended in a live baby and continues on that trajectory. I’ll let you know when I drop him off for Kindergarten if the feeling is there.

  48. decemberbaby says:

    That time when you feel convinced that this is going to end in a living, squirming pooping baby? In my experience it happens about five minutes after the kid is born.

    Congrats again on your pregnancy.

  49. There are many reasons to become pregnant, mostly because that’s what evolution is all about. Even, or probably just because your first pregnancy was not easy. Trust your body and distract your mind, everything will be ok. Good luck!

  50. Becca says:

    Do you frequent the HG forums at http://forums.helpher.org? If your Unisom/B6/Zofran regimen is working for you, it may just be a place to vent among women who understand that you want *vitamins* in that lactated ringer, thankyousomuch, and who know more about PICC placement than many nurses.

  51. Heather says:

    I didn’t go in until 10 weeks w/my 2nd pregnancy. We did the doppler thing to hear the baby’s heartbeat (yay!) and left with a diaper bag full of baby goodies. Even w/an uneventful pregnancy following another uneventful pregnancy it was… surreal.

  52. Sarah says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say that I SO hear you….I am a slightly neurotic person to begin with, and probably should be on some sort of anti-anxiety meds but I’m not and so it goes. I have never had a miscarriage, had one full term (actually, 41 weeks!) pregnancy that went absolutely perfectly and am currently 6 months pregnant with number 2 and am just…well, there are probably no words. I am a nervous wreck every time I go in for an ultrasound, I find myself thinking ridiculous thoughts like “well, if I make it to 30 weeks no problem then MAYBE I’ll buy that new stroller” and I’VE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM! I don’t know why I keep thinking like that!! I had to go for my 20 week anatomy ultrasound and they offered me a slot on my son’s second birthday and I wouldn’t take it “in case something was wrong I didn’t want to ruin my son’s day”. And may I repeat- I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM!! In my last pregnancy OR this current one!!

    So I agree with commenters, I think a lot of what you’re going through is a bit PTSD related. But I also think for a lot of mommy’s we just so badly want to have a baby that we drive ourselves crazy with the “what ifs”.

  53. Homeward Bound says:

    Now is a very good time to be hopeful because hope is something that will help keep you sane through this pregnancy. Have you thought about renting (or buy on ebay) a fetal doppler so you can check the heartbeat at home. That helped me keep semi-sane and probably kept my doctors visits down significantly (I would have rented a room there if I could have).

    I know how the exam room thing feels too. AWFUL. When it was discovered my baby had no kidneys (the second time), I was induced/delivered at 19 weeks so a fetal autopsy could be performed. Pretty traumatic, as you can probably guess. Two years later when I went to deliver my daughter, I was taken to the very same delivery room ….

  54. Mama Fuss says:

    I had a loss early on in a pregnancy (after one, very routine pregnancy) and there was always a cloud hanging over my 3rd pregnancy of “what if?” I remember feeling like I was holding my breath until around 37 weeks when I knew the pregnancy was highly viable, if you will. Maybe it never goes away, once you know that something tragic can happen. There’s always that worry hanging there. But then, that’s motherhood. Because even once the baby is in your arms, smiling at you, cooing so sweetly, then you have all the other things in the world to worry about for them.

    I am so happy for you, Alexa. I am hopeful and prayerful that the Dr is right and that you will have an uneventful pregnancy this time around.

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