By: Revanche

A different kind of news: a step toward parenthood

September 10, 2014

I’ve been having what feels like more than my fair share of scary or awful symptoms lately. I won’t get into defining what’s fair, for the purpose of staying on track here, though. There’s been the usual (dizziness, intermittent nausea, pain rotating through the body, cramping of all sorts, weakness) plus a dash of new, weird, annoying stuff (chest pain, difficulty breathing) so basically it’s been like throwing a bright springtime picnic.

At some point there was a definitive moment, while contemplating all of the weird, that it seemed clear that something had to be different, this wasn’t just the usual “I’m broken” kind of wrong. Amid the usual range of random symptoms that cycle through, it’s usually impossible to tell when a new symptom is actually different.

Despite my typical assumption that I’m just broken, I ventured a test anyway. It was a bit on the early side and so to keep us on tenterhooks, the home test strip (1 line for no, 2 lines for yes) came up: one and a half. Seriously.

It took a blood test and an ultrasound, for me to actually believe: I’m expecting. We’re expecting. There’s gestating going on in what I have always referred to as a non-childbearing *waves hand* midsection. Did you know it’s possible to almost immediately start having symptoms in Weeks 5 and 6? As PiC said, “you can have symptoms this early??” Not cool.

It’s been weird. All kinds of weird. Both from the gestating POV and from being among a lot of blog and offline friends who are in baby stages of life, either having had them or struggling with having them, and I find myself torn. I hurt for those friends who are hurting and there’s a small part of me that’s hesitant to be happy about having a thing they want so much.

Because this is, despite all my practical reservations, a thing that I find myself happy about. Over the years, practical reservations have ruled my thinking: family health and financial history, my health issues, who the hell knows how we’re going to raise a child to be a good thinking human being without any help we don’t hire except for the few loved ones who might be able to come over for a week or handful of days, and BTW the Bay Area is frakkin’ expensive.

You might see where I derail into all of the scary life things and start to forget that this is actually a good thing. It is. I’m grateful that it didn’t require serious intervention and ever so grateful that I’m even able to conceive at all. Infertility, multiple miscarriages, difficult pregnancies and all are common in my family and at my age, with my health … I’m grateful.

And because I’m grateful and happy and possibly even a reserved excited about it (because again, early days), I’m trying to concentrate on what’s in front of me.

What IS in front of me?

Food is a problem. I LOVE food but uhm. This microscopic alien has literally run my life from minute to minute. I eat driven purely by instinct. In a single day, I might be repulsed by the very names of my normal foods, only cold veggies and orange juice allowed, then desperately need a steak. Cravings are normal and I typically ignore them but this level of craving is ridiculous.

I alternate between wanting to do ALL the cleaning and wanting to do nothing at all. Energy aside, my brain has become subject to an ON/OFF switch flipped by who knows what.

The seventeen trips to the bathroom a day have commenced and I’m possibly more annoyed about that than anything else but I suspect something else will top it soon enough.

Even after having it officially confirmed, it still doesn’t feel real. After all, fatigue and queasiness is a normal fibro/fatigue symptom for me. But as it turns out, there is a reason for it and it has a heartbeat. A heartbeat. This is weird.

When I’m fatigued, it’s about as bad as any kind of fatigue I’ve had ever, but as I described to a friend, it’s like I walk around w/50 lbs of bricks on my back daily. What’s another 5 or 10 bricks? They suck but I’m already accustomed to slog through a swamp, bearing lead weights.

All the literature keeps warning me and PiC to tolerate my mood swings but so far they’ve been:

1. If I can’t eat food today, again, I’m going to yell at someone.
2. If I can’t sleep tonight, again, I’m going to collapse.

Those probably aren’t considered moods, though.

This doesn’t in any way mitigate the pain of losing Doggle. However well intentioned, please don’t suggest that it does or it will. In some ways, it’s almost worse, Doggle loves – loved – small children (and really loves – loved – the smell of them); there were few things that could get his attention but concern for a crying child has always been at the very top of that short list, easily trumping anything else.

We had very much looked forward to introducing him to his human sibling to love and grow up with.

51 Responses to “A different kind of news: a step toward parenthood”

  1. Kris says:

    Congratulations !!! I am so thrilled for you. Do keep us posted on how everything goes. Of course it doesn’t lessen Doggle’s loss – that’d be silly. But maybe Seamus will also love the baby. Again, so thrilled for you and PiC.

  2. Cloud says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! This is awesome news.

    I knew I was pregnant the second time almost immediately, because I recognized what that “I’m carsick all the time” feeling was. So yeah, symptoms can start early.

    I’m so excited for you!
    Cloud recently posted…Navigating the Path to Industry: Available Now!My Profile

  3. Congratulations!!!!! The Husband and I have been trying for the past 4 months……still no news. Congrats! Very excited and happy for you! πŸ˜€
    Money Pincher recently posted…EARLY….Early….Christmas ShoppingMy Profile

  4. Linda says:

    Wow! What a roller coaster you’re on these days! Congrats and let’s hope you get to eat and sleep better soon!
    Linda recently posted…Moving thoughtsMy Profile

  5. oilandgarlic says:

    Congratulations. I wanted to wait til week 12 to tell my boss/co-workers but I was pretty sick early on. Hope your morning sickness will disappear by the 2nd trimester.
    oilandgarlic recently posted…Not So Fairy Tale Ending – JodifurMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you, and good to see you around still! I have had friends who were even sicker than I like you were, so I have had to remind myself it could be worse.

  6. Awwh. A baby Rev/PiC. ^__^ Congrats. You can read Bone comic books to it. And oooh… Stuffed Darleks and a stuffed cthulhu. It’ll be the geekiest kid in town. πŸ˜€
    The Asian Pear recently posted…Pinning Away: FunniesMy Profile

  7. Lauren says:

    Oh man. I felt like I had the terrible flu starting 3 DAYS before my missed period. If you ever need to ask “is this normal?” email me! Pregnancy is kind of the worst.

    But also: congratulations! you are creating a HUMAN. That is some big big stuff right there. <3
    Lauren recently posted…What and Where is the Worth?My Profile

  8. Sally says:

    This is very exciting news. VERY! I know it will be quite a journey but I look forward to you sharing your thoughts on motherhood. Congrats friend πŸ™‚

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I don’t plan to be all parenting-posting here but I suppose it’s inevitable I’ll be talking about, if nothing else, the money aspects of it.

  9. Congratulations! Parenthood is a journey that has changed me for the better, and made the most mundane moments of my life into something sacred. I hope this is true for you as well!

    And, in stark contrast to my first pregnancy, the second one made its existence known about five seconds after sperm hit egg. I felt like I had drank a big glass of soapy water all day every day until about 10 weeks in, after which it thankfully subsided to random moments of ickiness. Pregnancy is a trip, and I wish an easy one on you!
    Litle Miss Moneybags recently posted…Mo’ Money, Mo’ GrindMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you, I’ve heard much the same from some mom-friends I very much admire, so you’re in good company.

      Hah I’m glad the second one was so much more obvious that the first πŸ™‚

  10. Stephanie says:

    This is definitely exciting news! I understand your hesitations about your future (we all have them) though I know I haven’t suffered through the same troubles you have. I look forward to following your journey in this new part of your life (and hope that you’ll maybe give me some pointers if I find myself in a similar situation down the line…)

    I’m so happy for you! Embrace this change, and let it give you a few smiles πŸ™‚
    Stephanie recently posted…Wedding: Accomplished!My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I will take a page from a good friend’s book though, having been positively showered with far too much unsolicited (well meaning but incredibly annoying for not having asked) advice: I will only share whatever you ask me to. I refuse to be part of the pack that tells you all about how you’re going to feel, what you’ll want, who you’ll be, etc.

  11. Clara says:

    This is good news indeed, and you so deserve this happy event! Well done! Congratulations! So happy for you and PiC.

  12. Congratulations! It’s very good news.

    Don’t worry about bringing up The Kid in SF. The City is a wonderful place to grow up. From infancy to early adulthood, I lived in Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Long Beach, Saudi Arabia, San Francisco, and Long Beach again. Of all those places, the one place I LOVED and was truly happy in was San Francisco — schools were good, the atmosphere was sophisticated and fun, cultural events appropriate to kids were going on all the time. All the time I was growing up, we never lived anyplace but an apartment (or, I think, in the earliest years a rented house), and it certainly didn’t kill me or my parents.

    Now for some Old Wives advice: focus on the idea that pregnancy isn’t a disease. It’s a normal part of life. Try not to think of what you’re feeling as “symptoms” but as “signs.” They’re your body talking to you. It’s okay to have cravings: that’s your body saying “I need x or y type of nutrient.” You can respond to those cravings in healthy ways (for example: the body wants sweets? Instead of a Snickers bar, try the sweetest watermelon or cantaloupe or peach you can get your hands on), but it’s okay to be a little unhealthy…a little ice cream or a pickle are not gonna kill you. Loss of appetite is your body saying “I don’t need any of that right now.”

    So along the same lines, if you don’t feel like eating lunch or dinner, you and the baby are not going to starve to death before your appetite returns. Go with the flow. Have plenty of healthy snacks around the house to eat when you feel like it.

    Don’t eat things that seem repulsive to you. That’s your body telling you there may be something wrong with the foodstuffs. My son was born well before the time when we became obsessive about alcohol in pregnancy. My husband and I always had wine with dinner. The instant I became pregnant (and yes, like you I did know, without having to be told by a kit or a doctor, exactly when I became pregnant), I simply could not stomach wine or any other kind of alcohol. Yuck! As it developed, some years later science caught up with instinct…

    It’s also okay to have an upset stomach (i used to call it “morning, noon, and afternoon sickness”!). Again, it’s your body trying to say “this is a big change to get adjusted to and I’m having to recalibrate all systems. Stand by!). It will pass. Try to keep something light around — nibbling on saltines or other bland crackers may help. My mother used to have a saltine every morning before she lifted her head from the pillow — swore it worked.

    Stay fit. Whatever exercise you get — walking, PT exercises, yoga — keep on doing it. Makes delivery a lot easier.
    Funny about Money recently posted…How Much Does a Politician Cost?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚ I will fully admit I’d want more room more for ME than the kid. I also grew up in a tiny apartment and it was fine.

  13. Will says:

    “Despite my typical assumption that I’m just broken…”

    I literally LOL’d!

  14. Mary says:

    Congratulations!

    Yes, the signs can come early for some, mine did. I think Doggle is smiling happily down at his people knowing that as your child grows he will be remembered. That is how I thought of our dog, who we lost when our children were 1 and 2 1/2. He was very patient with our first through the crawling and eating out of Barney’s bowl – a pleasant surprise.

    Best wishes to you all with this new adventure.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks!

      You know, I was trying to decide if it was more likely that Doggle would eat from the kid’s food or the kid would eat his and I’m pretty sure it’d be the latter ….

  15. Clare says:

    I’m thrilled for you guys. You are going to be the BEST parents.

  16. Sabrina (you-know-who) says:

    “This is actually a good thing.”
    Repeat!
    Repeat!

    Correction: It’s a WONDERFUL thing!

    This is a time of heightened and mixed emotions. I know that, with your health issues, as well as all the normal worries about raising a child in today’s world, you’ve had conflicted feelings in the past. After all, you’re a realist, you’re responsible, and you have a social conscience. And yes, you have friends who are trying to conceive, and the loss of Doggle is still a fresh and painful wound on your heart; it’s perfectly appropriate to feel sympathy and grief.

    On a spreadsheet, the “Cons” may outweigh the “Pros.” But there is one important factor that trumps all of the others: pregnancy and motherhood (and fatherhood for PiC) will bring a sense of fulfillment and joy you’ve never imagined. It’s time to *allow* yourself to be happy!

    Best wishes and love to you and PiC!

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚ You’re right, no *practical* math makes it seem like a great idea but in the end, it’s not all about that. Thinking back, Doggle was in so many ways impractical but he brought us so much joy I can’t imagine not choosing to bring him home. I hope we’ll ultimately feel the same way here πŸ˜‰

  17. Sense says:

    I don’t actually know you, but that doesn’t stop me from knowing that you (and PiC) are already the BEST PARENTS. Selfishly, I love it when responsible, lovely people reproduce, it makes me so hopeful for the future! And I have had many of the same thoughts and fears as you about parenting–you’re not alone at all.

    Congrats and take it easy…as much as that is possible for you! πŸ™‚ It is so sad Doggle and Little Human won’t get a chance to know and explore each other, but you can tell L.H. how wonderful and special he was when the time comes. My mom and dad told me all the time about Yogi, their pre-kid dog, and how awesome he was at being their first ‘child.’ So much so that when I was young, I could point to a notch on the couch and tell people that Yogi had done it. It felt a little like he was an older brother who had left for college already. πŸ™‚

  18. Karen says:

    Wow! Congratulations!
    I’m SO sorry to hear about Doggle.

  19. neurosciency says:

    congratulations and best wishes!! <3 (sorry to hear about doggle.)

  20. Michelle says:

    I don’t know how I missed this either. Congrats! Excited to follow along and read what you have to say πŸ™‚
    Michelle recently posted…Retirement, Financial Independence, and Living LifeMy Profile

  21. Congrats! This really made me laugh “microscopic alien”, lol! When I got pregnant, I didn’t really like to eat, but I love drinking soft drinks which is really bad!
    Kate @ Money Propeller recently posted…Must-Know Hot Keys for BloggersMy Profile

  22. Disco Diva says:

    This makes me so happy! I am grinning like I am the daddy!

    Congratulations! Little Disco Diva (yes! you can name her after me if it’s a girl) is so lucky to have such wonderful parents!
    Disco Diva recently posted…A dream deferred…My Profile

  23. Gee, this is late (we’ve been incredibly busy and haven’t checked your blog πŸ™ ), but I was hoping that was the change you were hinting at earlier!
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…Being a woman in a patriachy (many ways)My Profile

  24. […] Taking a leaf from eemusings, I thought I’d try focusing on some things to be grateful for to break up the wallowing in this or the coping with all that comes with this. […]

  25. Congratulations! Exciting news!
    debs @ debt debs recently posted…Frugal FinCon Fiesta – Ask me AnythingMy Profile

  26. Michael Martin says:

    Congratulations! I think this is awesome and that you and PiC will make quite amazing parents. I will keep the good vibes flowing and I wish you an easy and problem free time!

  27. […] September: I guess a lot of people missed this announcement. […]

  28. […] relationship has become stronger and more resilient throughout pregnancy. The pregnancy has been incredibly difficult, both for my health and sanity, and therefore, on PiC, but you […]

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