First week of August
From the first appearance of the faint lines through the first week of August, I spent my time taking pregnancy tests. I also spent a lot of time consumed with thoughts of pregnancy. It was still unreal. I decided 9 pregnancy tests was enough and made my first pre-natal appointment. I’m not sure if I was more excited, anxious, or scared. I wanted to start knocking things off my checklist. Making sure there was an actual healthy baby inside of me was #1. My brain was being flooded with thoughts such as, “What if this is a chemical pregnancy?” or even worse, “What if this is a hysterical pregnancy?” Was my mind so consumed with pregnancy that it convinced my body it was pregnant?!
I called three different ob-gyn’s, I decided the one who could get me in first would be the winner. The one that was able to get me in the quickest still required a wait of over two weeks. These people must be busy. Is it weird that I found comfort in this? My first thought was, “This is good! A lot of people are having babies! I’m not alone!” The practice that I chose had many rotating doctors; one of them was the doctor who delivered me…31 years ago. I don’t know if I found comfort or fright in this.
Okay, I need to make it 2.5 weeks and I will have a confirmation. I can do this, right? Wrong. I did not know what pain was in store. Keep in mind, I know nothing about pregnancy. I am the youngest of two so I never saw pregnancy from a child’s point of view. I have one brother who married his college sweetheart. They had their first beautiful baby about a 1.5 years ago. But I lived in Boston throughout her pregnancy and didn’t get a first hand glance at that either. I had done a clinical rotation on a maternity ward, but all I saw was labor and delivery. The process of actually making the baby once it was in your body? I was completely out of the loop. Even hearing or reading about what it’s like to be pregnant did not do it justice. So far, I’m grateful. But this pain and these feelings suck. I’ve started crying and I am not someone who cries often. Anyone familiar with the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? If so, you know it’s absurd. How could a person possibly be brought to tears by the comedic shenanigans portrayed? I’ll tell you how, when the gang celebrates Charlie’s birthday by surprising him with all the crazy things in his dream book. The point of no return for my tears? When they showed denim chicken. This is when I deemed my life completely out-of-control. For inquiring minds, a snippet of the episode can be found here.
The pain started around August 5th. The nausea had started before that but I saw that as normal and went on about my business. I was having terrible cramps. It was like my insides were being ripped apart and stretched to their greatest capacity. I had gas pain like you wouldn’t believe. I could feel gas bubbles floating around my stomach, it was strange and painful. When my pain became one-sided, my anxiety took over and my fear of miscarriage escalated to high alert. I assume it’s normal for moms to have an irrational fear of miscarriage? The pain on my right side kept me from standing up straight. When I tried to stand up straight, it felt like painful lighting rods coursed throughout my body. Cue the anxiety-riddled, pregnant lady’s trip to the emergency room. I was afraid of an ectopic pregnancy and hadn’t slept in almost 3 nights due to pain. I was hoping they would check the hCG levels in my blood – the ultimate pregnancy test. They did test my hCG levels and they were at 750, right on track. I also had an abdominal and vaginal ultrasound. No signs of an ectopic pregnancy, but they did find a corpus luteum cyst on my right side. The doctor told me this was common and not a huge concern. My pain was being attributed to cysts bursting. It was too early to see the baby on either ultrasound. But my hCG levels were reassuring. I wanted the anti-nausea medication they prescribed because being nauseous all the time is exhausting…so is not sleeping. But I was still afraid to take anything and decided to wait until I had an appointment at the ob-gyn.
I felt better. The pregnancy was medically confirmed. I had cysts and not an ectopic pregnancy, and a 10 day wait until my first ob-gyn appointment. I pumped myself up thinking “I got this! I can do this!” I am totally for-real pregnant with a blood test to prove it. But my first trimester was about to slap me in the face with some cold, hard reality.