Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pregnancy Journal, entry #1

Part of me is almost hesitant to talk about my pregnancy openly and online.  I know that once I start documenting the journey, I acknowledge it in a new way.  If something were to go wrong, I would have to write about that, too, and that's something I definitely would not relish.  But I find it therapeutic to write about what's going on.  It's happening, and as of now we have a baby coming, so I might as well enjoy the experience!  Here is the first installment of my pregnancy journal:

Friday, September 09, 2011
Although this is my first time journaling about this pregnancy, I am almost 9 weeks along!  It took me awhile to get started because I’ve been pretty sick, and the idea of staring at a computer screen was a little repulsive to me for a few weeks!  I think I also was afraid to “jinx” things; that if I started chronicling this journey, something would go wrong.  But now that I’m feeling a little better (most days!) I’m starting to realize that I will forget things soon if I don’t write them down!  But before I get too far I’d better start at the beginning…

We had been hoping to start a family for a long time, and after many doctor’s appointments, chronic pain, and an endometriosis diagnosis, I underwent abdominal surgery on May 10th, 2011.  I missed almost two weeks of teaching school while recovering and had very high hopes that we would finally be able to start a family soon.  Two months later, still nothing.  Time was ticking, because the endometriosis starts growing back right after surgery, so we decided to undergo a round of Clomid to hopefully speed things along.  My first round of Clomid was taken during our vacation in the middle of July, and it was rough.  They warned me that taking the drug could cause emotional and physical side effects, and that they could be strong in some women, but I really had no idea just how hard it was going to be for Mike and I.  It left me wondering how I was going to be able to go back to school, get a new school year started with 18-plus first graders, and undergo another round of this stuff.  But I pushed that thought out of my mind, telling myself that the drugs would work. 
A few weeks later, we got the call – the blood test showed that the drugs weren’t working.  The nurse told me that the next time around, they would have to double the dosage of the Clomid.  When I look back on that time, I can tell that I was in denial.  I somehow thought that I could do it all; endure the side effects of the drugs while starting a new school year.  Then a few days later I woke up in the middle of the night in tears.  For the first time, I forced myself to realistically look at how the next few months would be for me.  And it became exceedingly clear to me that I had a choice to make: start a new school year and take a break from the drugs, OR take a break from teaching.  It was very hard admitting to myself that I couldn’t do both, but it was my reality.  As much as I loved teaching, it was time to put our family first.  One day and two freak-outs later, Mike and I pretty much had it figured out: we could make it work.  I could do private tutoring and make some extra money that way.  We’d have to make some sacrifices, but if things had gone the way we had hoped, I would already be a stay-at-home mom, so if this was the only way we could keep trying to have a baby, we would be able to swing it.  Telling my principal and teaching team was not fun, but they were very supportive of our decision.  Most people at this point didn’t know that we were struggling with infertility.  Of course, we had to tell other people as well – everyone wanted to know why I wasn’t going back to school, and some people even made the very painful assumption that we were already pregnant.  But again, most people were wonderfully supportive.  When you start telling people what you’re dealing with, other people come out of the woodwork with their own infertility stories, and it was nice to learn that we weren’t as alone as I thought we were.

So school started without me – that week was a little depressing!  But I was determined to keep busy.  I looked for more tutoring students and discovered areas of my house that hadn’t been touched since I started teaching 3 years ago, so I did a lot of organizing and cleaning out.  All this time, I was waiting for my next cycle to start.  My doctor had prescribed me some progesterone to hopefully speed that up, but I was warned that it took longer in some women than others.  I was starting to worry when several weeks passed, and still nothing.  It never really entered my mind that I might actually be pregnant, because I had been told that it wasn’t possible for this cycle – I thought that something was wrong with me.  On Sunday, August 27th, I woke up early in the morning and decided to take a pregnancy test.  I planned on calling my doctor the next day and telling her that I was still waiting for my next cycle to start, and the first thing they always want you to do is take a pregnancy test, just to be safe.  So I took it, fully expecting it to be negative, just like countless times before.  Taking those little tests had become a pretty depressing monthly routine for me.  I sat there like I had so many times before, waiting for the same old negative result...

To Be Continued...

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