For two years, I’ve been driving around with a box of pregnancy tests in the glove compartment of my car.
Back when I was on the Board for RESOLVE New England, I grabbed one of the bright pink boxes of First Response Early Results pregnancy tests sitting in the basket for our support group attendees. It was one of those freebies, provided to the organization by a sponsor, that we have out for anyone who wants them because we know the cost of HPTs adds up fast. On my way out of the board meeting, I grabbed a box and stashed it in my car. They’ve lived there ever since.
Since I found out I’m pregnant, I’ve blown through three tests already and picked up another box of 12 from the RNE office because hey – free pregnancy tests.
I took one in a panic earlier this week because my appetite was normal (where previously I had had none), my boobs didn’t hurt and this constant sense if something in my uterus disappeared overnight. I thought the worst. I went out to the car and cracked open that box of two-year old HPTs, well past their expiration date and kept in both freezing and sweltering temperatures. I thought for sure they wouldn’t work.
The result line showed up immediately. I’m convinced HPT makers are working the obsoletion racket, knowing we won’t trust the results unless the test is within a good date range. They know we’ll go out an buy more.
This morning, before I left for my third beta, I took another one. This time the result line was so dark it pulled dye from the control line.
I have never been a habitual POAS-er. And I’ve have a complicated relationship with HPTs, given that I have usually taken them when a child wasn’t wanted. So it’s been a very strange thing indeed to suddenly desire them in this way.
As if somehow, seeing these two lines will erase my fear that I’m going to lose this pregnancy.
Another infertility aftershock in the wake of early pregnancy: because of all the blogs I’ve read over the last 3.5 years, I know that we are still so very early in this game. And I am terrified of losing why we have right now.
Enter: the pee sticks.
Larry reminds me I shouldn’t be worried. My RE likes my numbers, my PCP isn’t worried about my TSH and hell- even my acupuncturist is pleased with my progress so far. I’ve had no spotting, I’m noticing bodily changes like my boobs, my sense of smell, my appetite. As far as I can tell, I am still very and truly knocked up. But yanno, I’ve never BEEN truly knocked up before, so I have no frame of reference for how I’m feeling, both emotionally and physically.
This nagging worry likes to pop up from time to time: “don’t get your hopes up! You’ve seen how this has played out on other blogs!”
And Larry is quick to remind and reassure me: “But Keiko: you’re not other blogs.”
Still – I worry.
There’s been a lot of talk in the ALI blogosphere about envy and jealousy recently. And I think these are important, necessary conversations that need to happen in the blogosphere right now. Combined with Pamela’s commentary about the inevitable survivor’s guilt showing through my announcement post, it’s given me a lot to think about.
And that yes, even though I’m in this long-sought-after “other side” of infertility… I’m envious too.
I’m envious of the women and couples who got to do this naturally.
I envy the ease with which some women deal with pregnancy, how they’re not worrying about making it through another week’s milestone. The women who could care less what their beta numbers are – if they even know them in the first place. The ones who don’t have to worry if this pregnancy will this last, or will I just face another crushing heartbreak in the face of everything else we’ve been through just to get here to this moment.
I’m envious that even though I have made it to the glorious “other side”: I can’t enjoy it as easily as some other people, the people to whom pregnancy came naturally. And I feel like that makes me sound ungrateful because, I’m far from it. I’m grateful for every single second this pregnancy moves forward.
I never realized just how difficult a transition this would be, from a life of infertility to this new lens of possibility. It is a strange and unfamiliar road to walk, my footing not sure and my gait unsteady.
What gets me is that there seems to be very little support out there for this transitory stage of previously infertility now pregnant. In a very literal sense, I am still an infertility patient. I will continue to see my RE through the end of the first trimester.
As much of an emotional upending as my infertility diagnosis was, this uncertain territory of early pregnancy is just as emotionally confusing and overwhelming. Add to the mix a influx of hormones like never before (yanno, especially for someone with POF who really had no hormones at all) – I kind of feel like I’m literally on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
I feel like I’m trying to walk through a dark wood with no compass or flashlight. And it’s really, really scary. I feel like there are almost no words to describe this very unique, uncertain fear.
And I’m struggling with that – a lot, in fact. So, for now, I’ll keep peeing on HPTs until I hear that heartbeat.
First ultrasound scheduled for this coming Thursday.