Filed under: Pregnancy and Baby

I Am Already a Bad Mother (8w0d)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 • No Comments on I Am Already a Bad Mother (8w0d)

I’m only eight weeks pregnant and I’m already a bad mother because I haven’t named my embryo.  Other pregnant women give their little future children cute names like “Bean” and “Bug” and “Squiggle.”  These names are apparently based on what they see on the ultrasound—kind of like a maternal Rorschach Test.  My friend Wendy, who is just a little over ten weeks pregnant, calls her fetus “Peanut.”  See?  Cute. 

I sent Sheri a picture of my ultrasound and called it a blob, but that’s not much of a nickname, is it?  Plus, it doesn’t really look like a blob (which I keep typing as “blog” anyway, so definitely not a good nickname).  In fact, in the first ultrasound picture, I kind of thought it looked like a baby.  Curled up and a little fuzzy around the edges, but still a baby.  “Baby” isn’t a good nickname, either.

Jay calls the embryo by whatever size it is based on the pregnancy tracker he has downloaded to his iPod Touch (or “Little Guy”).  This week, it’s the size of a raspberry.  Last week, it was the size of a blueberry.  The week before… I think it was an apple seed?  Or was it a poppy seed?  I can’t even remember!  Bad mother.  The fruit nicknames are kind of cute, but at some point “Raspberry” becomes “Watermelon” and that’s really not a nickname I want to embrace.

My embryo is nameless and I’m a bad mother.  What’s worse, I doubt I’ll pick a real name for the kid until he’s arrived in the world.  I like the old days when you could take the baby home and take some time to choose a name.  Now, they won’t let you leave the hospital until you’ve officially named the kid.  I’m a big believer in waiting to name a baby until its been born, which is why I won’t be calling my stomach Stephanie or Tyler.  What if I look at him and he just doesn’t look like a Matthew?  What if she cries when I call her Persephone? 

I’m hoping that when the time comes I will look into that little face and he or she will tell me what his or her name is.  I’m just hoping it’s not Blob.


Posted by Kristina in Pregnancy 2009, Pregnancy and Baby

Moving Forward (7w5d)

Monday, April 27th, 2009 • No Comments on Moving Forward (7w5d)

I am now one day past as far as I got in the last pregnancy.  That’s not a really a big deal because something could still happen, but it’s a small milestone.  It’s nice to be here.  The best part is that I don’t have any symptoms to suggest anything is wrong.  Good news.

I had a consult with my doctor today and that went well.  The breast lump that was there last week has mysteriously disappeared (I’m pretty sure it’s hormonal), which means I can forget about that for now.  I have another ultrasound scheduled in two weeks on May 12, which will be reassuring.  I have my MFM (maternal fetal medicine) appointment on May 27.  That will start the process of genetic counseling and screening tests.  A little nerve racking, but by then I’ll be twelve weeks and closer to being able to relax.

I have to say, I’m feeling much more calm and relaxed this time around.  Even my blood pressure was in the normal range today (they usually take it twice—once when I get there and then again when I leave because the first time it’s so high).  Peace.  I think it’s a combination of receiving better (and more) medical attention and just feeling like this time everything will be all right.

Speaking of better medical care, by May 12 I will have had four appointments and two ultrasounds.  May 12 was the earliest they would schedule my first prenatal appointment at the naval hospital.  The lack of concern—especially for older “high risk” patients is infuriating.  If I had waited, I wouldn’t be on the progesterone supplement (Prometrium) my current doctor recommended.  A shortage of progesterone is frequently the cause of early miscarriages and is often prescribed from the time a pregnancy is confirmed through week 12.  I didn’t start until week 7, but that’s still five more weeks this supplement might be working for me—as opposed to not having it at all. 

I get so angry when I think about it, but I don’t know what to do or who to write or whether it would even make a difference.  How many women are having early miscarriages due to a progesterone deficiency while they wait for the naval hospital to get around to seeing them?  Grr.  Makes me angry. 

But, so far, so good.  I’ll be 8 weeks on Wednesday.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel real at all.  I’m feeling pretty good other than be tired more often than not.  My nails are growing like crazy, which is a nice perk of pregnancy and prenatal vitamins.  I hope I can maintain this calm throughout.  It’s good to feel at peace with what’s going on inside my body.

Posted by Kristina in Pregnancy 2009, Pregnancy and Baby

Cautiously Optimistic (6w6d)

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 • No Comments on Cautiously Optimistic (6w6d)


Two appointments in two days.  Yesterday’s appointment was the paperwork, exam and blood work and today was the much awaited ultrasound.  Yesterday, I was freaked out and not feeling very optimistic.  Today, I’m still freaked out, but there is a sense of cautious optimism.

I started writing a blog post yesterday entitled “Feeling like a fraud” because that’s how I felt yesterday when I left the doctor’s office.  I’m starting with a new (civilian) ob/gyn practice and I love them.  The quality of care is so much better than my experience with the naval hospital, but it’s also frustrating to think that maybe if I’d been with them last time… I might not be here now. 

The problem is, I just don’t feel pregnant.  Sure, I’m tired.  Sure, I’ve had a few mild symptoms.  But I don’t think my mind (or my heart) will let me believe it and feel it.  Not yet.  So I felt like a fraud as staff member after staff member congratulated me yesterday.  “Thanks,” I would respond, with a half-hearted smile.  I felt like I needed to tell them it was too soon to congratulate me.  Then I went back today and I was okay with being congratulated.  Being pregnant is a bizarre experience.

I saw the heartbeat today, fluttering right along in just the right spot.  I’m not sure how to describe the feelings that were careening through me at that moment.  Imagine looking at your uterus (you know, if you have one) on a giant flat panel television screen, expecting to see… nothing.  A blob, a void.  And instead, you see a little bright spot pulsing in the center of a lighter bright spot.  Wow.  Shock and fear and hope and panic and happiness and back to fear.  It was there, it’s real.  For now, a little voice whispered.

Of course it was real last time, too, even though I didn’t get to see it.  And, once again, I was quoted that statistic: “95% of pregnancies go to term once cardiac activity is detected.”  Been there, heard that, and here I am again.  So.  Cautious. Optimistic. Freaked out. Emotional.  That’s me.  I know some women start falling in love with their child from that very first heartbeat.  I can tell you I didn’t.  I can’t.  I won’t let myself.  I saw it and I was happy, but there was no rush of maternal love. Even after seeing it, it’s still hard to believe it’s real.

Yesterday’s appointment was a mixed bag of news.  It seems I have another breast lump (I had a biopsy a little over a year ago and it turned out to be a cyst) and my thyroid gland is enlarged.  These issues worry me, especially the breast lump.  I can no longer think of just my health, I have to think about the pregnancy.  I already had other worries related to the pregnancy—the possibility of miscarriage still looms and there are the fibroids to worry about, but now I have additional things stealing my happiness.  It’s scary to go from thinking of only myself and being in a rush to do whatever it takes to make myself well to having to slow down and proceed with caution.  Of course, the hope is that it’s nothing to worry about and I can focus on being pregnant.  That’s the hope.  Until I know for sure, I feel torn in different directions.  Freaked out.  Quietly, under the surface where no one can see.  But there is a little voice inside me that is screaming very loudly that I was absolutely crazy to get pregnant at my age.

Melinda, the nurse I saw yesterday and today, said, “You’re very high risk.”  No matter how many times I hear that, it never sounds any better.  But she also said, “Good for you, getting pregnant on your own at your age!  And twice!”  That balances out the high risk part, I think.  My body is still doing it’s reproductive job—and that has to mean something, right? 

It’s going to be a long, stressful road.  As the doctor said today when I commented on all the possible complications, “Pregnancy is a dangerous condition, but at the end you get a prize!”  I have the two pictures the ultrasound technician gave me to remind me that I really am pregnant, no matter how I feel.  The embryo measured exactly 6 weeks and 6 days—right on target.  That little blob will become a fetus that will become a baby that will become a child.  My child.  Our child.


Wow.  Happy… and freaked out.

Posted by Kristina in Pregnancy 2009, Pregnancy and Baby

I'm a writer, editor, blogger, mama, wife and coffee lover.