Probably the best thing to happen during early pregnancy, especially if you’ve got a history of loss, is to be buried under ten billion distractions.
(see also: me when I’m pooping and Sam is outside the bathroom going “Mommy? Mommy? Momma? Mommy? Momma? Mom?”)
Some distractions are fun. For example, everyone is talking about the solar eclipse, and even though I’m nowhere near the path of totality (and won’t be heading there because work), it’s still pretty cool and exciting. I’ll probably have a live feed running on my work computer for a little bit, at least until totality, and then I’ll probably not care much. Eclipses take forever. I remember one in the early 90s–not a total eclipse, but enough of one that everyone got excited. My mom taped it, but it was just a little video in the corner of the screen alongside her soap operas (I think she was watching One Life to Live at the time? Maybe? There was a guy with a black, curly mullet, that’s all I know).
Fun distractions come in the form of media. Lucasfilms just announced an upcoming stand alone film about Obi Wan Kenobi, which has me VERY excited… though that excitement will 100% evaporate if Ewan McGregor does not come back to play Obi Wan (he’s the absolute best part of the dumpster fire that we call the prequels; he and John Williams were the only ones who came to work). And then, of course, I get excited reading about new developments at Disney World: Star Wars land opening in another couple of years, plans for the 50th anniversary in 2021, and look. If I can’t afford to go to Disney World all the time, I can at least live vicariously through people who do, right?
It all eventually winds back, though. Someone on a birth board I follow wondered if the solar eclipse might have a negative impact on pregnancies. I scoffed, of course, because that is literally impossible, but it all wound back. Star Wars and Disney World just remind me that I hope, I hope, I hope that the next time we go, Sam won’t be the only child. I wonder and daydream about logistics and I wonder if this pregnancy will continue and we’ll be able to go in late April/early May and have two birthday trips for the price of one.
(birthday at Disney World is on my bucket list and also the bucket list of every child)
This has been a weekend, too, of bad distractions. Of literal Nazis, a president who refuses to condemn them, and me wondering what the hell I’m doing bringing more children into this world when there’s this much hatred from the top down.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the first things I learned about the United States when I was Sam’s age, maybe a little older. At that age, my favorite TV show was Reading Rainbow, because Reading Rainbow is an awesome show… and because I love books and stories, and Reading Rainbow was about books and stories.
Something about the show that didn’t even hit me until I was older was how determinedly diverse it was. Of course, that shouldn’t be surprising, considering its host Levar Burton, but it wasn’t the kind of forced diversity that a lot of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s were so familiar with. You know what I mean, when you had a team of kids and there was the Token Girl and the Token Black Kid and the Token Kid in a Wheelchair, and that was the entire sum of their personalities?
(THE KID WITH THE WHEELCHAIR IS LITERALLY NAMED WHEELS)
Reading Rainbow did not have token anythings; when kids were featured on the show (a daily occurrence), they were just naturally diverse–from different backgrounds and ethnicities, all talking about how books and stories had impacted their lives. The episodes, too, celebrated diversity. There were episodes about West African culture, Chinese culture, Japanese culture, slavery, immigration, the works.
The immigration episode has been in the back of my mind a lot lately, along with that old Schoolhouse Rock song, “The Great American Melting Pot.” That was the first thing I learned about the United States, that it was a special country because it wasn’t homogenous, because we all came from different places, had different backgrounds, skin colors, religions, all of these things, and that was all okay because that’s what made the United States special. It wasn’t our military might, our history, or exceptionalism for exceptionalism’s sake. It was that everyone was welcome, no matter who they were.
(ignore the quality of this gif making it look like everyone is white and an extra in a Charlie Brown special)
Of course, adulthood and further study have made me realize that’s not the case, but I think it’s the ideal that we should be aspiring to, where what makes us great isn’t that we have the most nukes or the most money or that we can posture and brag about how great we are, but rather where what makes us great is that we embrace our differences and realize how essential they are to the fabric of the nation (in the most optimistic view, of course).
And that’s a pretty simplistic discussion of it and doesn’t get into the nitty gritty of things (and I’m not going to get into that here because this isn’t a political blog; it’s a blog about making and raising kids), but it’s what’s been on my mind, distracting me from the worries I’d usually have at this point.
I had my HCG beta test on Thursday morning, one vial of blood drawn and sent off to a lab for testing. It came back with HCG levels around 223 (the average for a pregnancy at this point is 187), which is Very Positive. Something stuck, and I’m not sure if it’s both embryos or just one (or, as Sam posited because he likes scaring me, triplets), but for now at least, I’m pregnant.
I have another blood draw on Monday to make sure that things are progressing. None of this necessarily means anything–last February, when I did my last FET cycle, my bloodwork came back high and great. I started to feel confident, and then I lost the pregnancy at six weeks exactly. I called out of work and spent several days curled up in bed, less sad and more just frustrated and crampy.
This time around is weirder. I can tell that the HCG is increasing because my ovaries are back to hurting. A lot. They’re not pressing up against my diaphragm anymore (at least not yet), but I’m extraordinarily uncomfortable, and if I don’t pee often enough, I’m in a lot of pain.
The nurse told me basically that the pain is normal for how many eggs I had retrieved and that it’s a good sign that the pregnancy is continuing. She said that it should taper off in a few weeks, but I’m still sitting here wishing it was gone today, because it hurts, damnit. It hurts, and I’m tired, and I’m glad to be pregnant (for now), but I really would also like to go back to bed and maybe spend the entire first trimester under general anesthesia.
Oh well. Point is: something stuck, and I’m waiting to see on Monday how long that’ll last. Until then…