Finding my normal
It has become clear to me that I am simply going to be one of those pregnant women who spots ALL THE DAMN TIME and there's nothing I can do about it. In fact, I have continued to spot every single day since my last post, 6 days ago, with no signs of stopping. However, since the spotting has remained scant in quantity and light brown in color, and since I had spotting the entire previous week with no apparent ill effects (other than on my sanity), I have decided not to panic unless it turns red again or increases dramatically in quantity, per Dr. Awesome's instructions. I went back to work on Thursday, and have even been taking the subway roundtrip, with no increase in spotting that I can tell. So for now, this is my normal.
(It helped that late last week, it finally occurred to me to go to the IVF C0nnecti0ns boards and do a search for "spotting," which turned up a vast number of reassuring posts from women who spotted throughout their first trimesters and sometimes well into the second, with live take-home babies at the end. Yes, I skipped the posts with not-so-happy endings.)
In the same spirit, I am trying out a new attitude, of assume-the-best (NBHH) instead of assume-the-worst-and-slide-into-endless-DBT-spiral. So when, sitting at my desk on Thursday, my first day back at work, I felt a sharp, stabbing sensation in my lower pelvis, I told myself that it was a sign of round ligament pain, not impending doom. (And guess what? The pain stopped, as quickly as it appeared, and I did not bleed or even have increased spotting afterward.) I tell myself that the improvement in my skin, increase in energy, and decrease in nausea are all NORMAL manifestations of my body adjusting to the pregnancy hormonal soup as I end the first trimester (13 weeks yesterday!), and do NOT signal a precipitous drop in progesterone and certain impending doom.
It is hard--pregnancy-related optimism does not come naturally--but I'm trying.
One of the hardest things for me to come to terms with over the course of the past couple months has been the knowledge that I am not going to be one of those women for whom pregnancy is easy and hassle-free. Perhaps I was snowed by Dr. SF's parting wish for me, at my last appointment with him: "It was so easy to get you pregnant," [easy from an RE's perpective, I suppose] "hopefully you'll have an easy pregnancy, too." I guess I just thought that once I actually got pregnant, I'd be like other women I know, continuing my rigorous power yoga routine right up to delivery, keeping as busy as before, traveling around as much as possible. And I was really upset that I wasn't.
But I don't know why I thought I would be. It's obvious, when you take a moment to think about it, that I am not built for birthing babies. Now, don't get all upset--I'm not saying that I don't deserve to be pregnant, or that old favorite troll comment, "maybe you weren't meant to have children." I'm just saying that if you were to create a woman perfectly designed for conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, you could probably do a lot better than irregularly-ovulating, one-fallopian-tubed, half-a-uterus-having, narrow-hipped, flat-chested me. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be pregnant, but it does mean that it's okay for me not to be one of those give-birth-in-the-fields-and-keep-on-truckin' types. It's okay to baby myself a little, and to be more careful and cautious than "normal" people. It really is okay.
We have taken to calling the baby "Bat Boy." Not because we think it's a boy (in fact, early on I was pretty convinced of the opposite), and not in homage to another famous fetus. In the ultrasound picture from last week where TheGoodDoc measured my cervix, you can just see the baby's head at the corner of the image. I think it's a view from above, but whatever the angle, the combination of head/ears/whatever appendages those are gives the outline more than a passing resemblance to Bat Boy.
In the real looking-at-baby images, it more closely resembles the half-alien lizard baby from "V" (remember, we got full-frontal shots, not those cute snub-nosed profiles), but "half-alien lizard baby from V" just isn't as catchy a nickname as "Bat Boy."
Thanks for all your input on the doppler. I still haven't made up my mind one way or the other, but I'll let you know.