Saturday, 24 June 2017

Sprite

Content warning: pregnancy, yucky symptoms, ultrasound (no pictures)

I meant to update sooner, but my days don't necessarily go the way I expect.

June 20th I went for my "official" early ultrasound, the one at 7-8 weeks. I had become anxious in the days leading up to it. I thought everything was probably fine, but doubt creeps in. Plus the day before I felt less ill than usual, so I wondered if the nausea was going away and what that might mean....yeah, that turned out to be a premature conclusion.

The ultrasound was a good experience. I was greeted by a young woman who introduced herself as a student, which made my heart sink a little. I worried about being in a vulnerable position with a less skilled person, and in addition if there was a problem with my pregnancy, I worried about the experience traumatizing her....I just don't want to have that role in anyone's life. But as it turned out she was only observing, and the actual procedure was done by an experienced technician. As the older tech put the goop on my belly, she said she would do all the measurements and then show me the screen. I didn't say anything but "Okay," but she clearly sensed tension, because a few seconds later, she added: "I see the heartbeat. The baby is alive. You can relax now. You can breathe."  Phew. I appreciated the compassion.

The student followed along on the screen. "Oooooh, that's so cute," she said. With the suspense over, I enjoyed her enthusiasm. The last early pregnancy scan she had seen was 6 weeks along, so she was impressed with how much more there is to see two weeks later. Since my last scan had also been done around 6 weeks, those comments were also reassuring.

I saw the heartbeat again, and the blob of two weeks ago was replaced with a sort of double blob: the head and everything else. The yolk sac and umbilical cord were visible, and the forming placenta. The embryo measured 7 weeks 6 days,  which puts me at 8+3 as of this writing, and I now have a fetus.

There was no need for an internal scan, and the whole procedure went promptly. I updated family and colleagues with a few texts. I then indulged myself by eating a hot dog and doing some shopping (the radiology clinic being located in a mall).

So the good news is my pregnancy is progressing normally, as a far as I can tell. My name for the little one inside is "Sprite." I go for my first prenatal appointment early next week and I presume the next ultrasound will be scheduled for 11-12 weeks.

The rest of my life is less normal. I continue to have a lot of nausea and fatigue. The severe vomiting hasn't come back, but I'm sick enough that most regular activities are not possible. I was off work for a full week and then went in a few mornings the past week, but I have not been able to make it through a full day. I have good days and bad days, and it's impossible to know which it's going to be, so the smart thing was to book a sub for the full day or afternoon and not be scrambling. I'm very lucky that I have a regular sub who knows my students well and really appreciated the work.

In addition to the nausea, literally everything I eat or drink leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I am going to start carrying mouthwash or minty gum everywhere. I also have a heightened sense of disgust in general, probably because of the nausea. When I feel crappy, anything touching my skin and anything I can see disgusts me, so I go through episodes of wanting to throw out all my clothes and half our stuff. Not a good time to go shopping or to introduce me to new exciting ideas, ha. Open mindedness at an all time low.

Timing was not a consideration with this pregnancy, as we had no idea when or if we would actually get pregnant. It was roll the dice and hope for the best. If I could have had the luxury of timing it, I wouldn't have timed my second month for June when I have so much work to do. On the other hand, I am relieved, now, that I didn't get pregnant when AJ was younger. The fatigue and nausea means that Mr. Turtle is doing most parenting tasks, most days. Even with the full dose of Diclectin, there are a lot of hours/days when all I can do is lie in bed trying not to throw up. Grandparents have also stepped in many times, especially when Mr. Turtle had to study. I feel bad about not being an active parent. But it would have been much worse if AJ was younger and more dependent. Feeling like this with a small needy baby would be fresh hell.

The queasiness/inactivity also affect my mood. My outlook tends to be tied to my energy level, so when my energy level drops my mood usually does too. It's frustrating and depressing to not be able to do the normal things I do for business or pleasure. You don't realize how much of your well being is tied to familiar routines till they're gone. I've coped with it by adjusting my expectations because that's all I can do. I tell myself that all my year end work will get done somehow, the important stuff anyway. I don't actually know at the beginning of the day how or if it's going to get done, but when I feel slightly better, I do what I can, and I let the extra stuff go.

It all makes me wonder about the design of humans. If I was a wild animal, I would have been dead for a month probably. Some predator would have eaten me and AJ while I was puking under a tree. Or we would have starved. Human females and babies are terribly impractical and helpless compared to our mammal counterparts. It actually really sucks! Thank God for Mr. Turtle and everyone around me who is so supportive and helpful. I really appreciate my relationships and my place in a civilized society.

Anyway, not to be negative; that's just where my mind goes when I'm constantly sick.  On the good side, I've heard a lot of podcasts and watched the Hobbit trilogy in entirety. That helped for a while. The only problem is now I associate them with being sick so....you guessed it, they disgust me. I don't know if I should do things I enjoy for the next month or stick to things I don't particularly like.

Yeah, you know. The miracle of life. It's wonderful. One day at a time.

14 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you're feeling so yucky. No fun right at the start of Summer :( Hopefully you'll just have 3.5 more weeks or so of that and then will feel great in your second trimester with lots of the Summer left to enjoy!

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    1. Thanks! I sure hope so too....At least summer means work is ending in a week or so. The thought of another month of feeling this way is a bit overwhelming, never mind the anxiety of how the baby is doing...I'm less anxious this time so far but it's still there. One day at a time and enjoy the little things and the good moments....never been more true! I should probably add to the blog that simple pleasures do give me a nice endorphin rush which does help with the physical discomfort. So I should try to have as many of those as possible.

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  2. I'm glad you have a good support network! Feeling like crap all the time does make everything else kind of suck. I sort of lost the will to do anything other than nap for the first 14 weeks or so of my pregnancy with Bubs 2. Poor Bubs 1 had to take lots of naps and play by herself a lot as I lay beached nearby! But you get through it, and hopefully it gets better, and it definitely goes faster the second time around (once you start to feel better anyway!), and once baby brain kicks in hopefully you will forget all the things that disgust you now!

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    1. Haha thanks! Yes, grateful as I am to be where I am in the big picture of things, I am looking forward to this time being a vague memory. Nice to hear that you lived through it and survived.

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  3. Oh, I love the name Sprite! At first I thought it was the only drink you could tolerate because of the nausea, but then thinking on a little fairy elf developing, totally made sense. :) I'm glad you're feeling better and able to take care of yourself while feeling crappy, having a regular sub who knows your kids is such a blessing. I had one of those while doing our last rounds of IVF over an hour away, and it made me feel so much better to know my kids were in good hands while I missed day after half day after day. I hope you get to that magical part where you feel better soon, and you can enjoy some of summer. I'm glad you have the support you need to manage all the things that need doing. Oh, and the thought of being disgusted by The Hobbit trilogy made me giggle. Hoping you feel a little better every day!

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    1. Thanks! I can't say I've had Sprite lately; it's not exactly my favourite drink. Who knows, might taste really good now. For 5 minutes anyway. I have been lucky to have lots of support at work, though gossip sure spreads fast (might post about that later). Yes, I'm hoping to feel better in the next few weeks and for things to continue to progress as they should. It's all a bit overwhelming but at least some of the pressure will ease up as school (finally) ends.

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  4. Wow, I'm behind. Congratulations! I'm so sorry to hear you aren't feeling well (to put it mildly) but what fantastic news. My fingers are crossed for you and your pregnancy gives me hope.

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    1. Thank you so much! Thanks for keeping fingers crossed. I look forward to reading more of your adventures when you update.

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  5. Ember and Sprite—you pick the best fetus names!! I'm so glad everything is still going well. It's good to get an update and I hope to get many more good ones, hopefully with less nausea. I'm sorry it's been so tough, I know how lucky I was to have mild nausea and I wish I could pass it on! If only we all had that—it's comforting to have symptoms without being debilitating.

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    1. Thanks! nausea is hardly a pleasant subject to write about but truth is it's very hard to think about anything else when it's there. I know what you mean about wanting just a few symptoms but not terrible ones. Oh well. I'm not surprised I have severe nausea. Even my regular menstrual cycle makes me queasy. As a teenager I struggled a lot with it. Thanks for the sympathy and I'm glad not everyone has to deal with it.

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  6. A bit behind, but a huge belated congratulations! I'm glad things are going well fetus-wise and sorry you've been so sick. Hope you are feeling a bit better soon and Sprite continues to grow beautifully.

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    1. Thanks! Me too. Hopefully the queasiness means lots of healthy growth.

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  7. Ugh, I am so sorry you feel so crappy. I had terrible nausea with my second pregnancy, and that was horrible to feel that way all the time. Literally nothing helped, and I actually lost 12lbs in the first trimester.
    I hope you can find some relief soon. I never did well with ginger drops or things like that, but peppermint worked pretty well.
    Also, "Sprite" is such a cute nickname, I love it!

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, nausea sucks, though I'm still grateful not to have the bleeding I had with the first one. Ugh. I can't manage it with natural remedies alone, but some lifestyle things help. I can have peppermint tea sometimes but other times it grosses me out. Basically anything can gross me out at any time: unlike last pregnancy I don't have specific aversions....except for avocado but I just randomly hate things. The actual nausea I'm coping with; it's how it affects my overall life and energy that's harder to deal with.

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