Anxiety detox day

Friends, sisters, ladies with arms and safety nets and blankets, thank you for reaching out to me, as always. I felt so heartsick but I am definitely feeling a little bit better and better as time passes.

I stayed home from work yesterday. Because I woke up at 4 a.m. in the pit of despair. It was like a flashback to the many Brooklyn nights of 2012, wailing in DH’s arms in the dark, feeling the pain of impending loss. I know that so much of what I was feeling was scarring from past losses. But in that moment, I was convinced that I was at the beginning of the end of little star. I was believing my thoughts completely.

It didn’t help that I had an abatement of symptoms Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday. Not complete abatement, but enough that I would have been a little concerned no matter what the situation. I had the laundry list: congestion, headache, frequent urination, lots of nausea, bloating, breast tenderness, and on and on. The volume on the nausea turned way, way down, and my breasts were nearly asymptomatic, I got no headaches, and I stopped peeing in the night. Had no congestion, no headaches. But, I am happy to say, I got a few of those back yesterday. A couple of dry heaves happened yesterday, breasts sorer, and I peed ten thousand times last night. So. I’m trying to hold onto that. (And trying to ignore the pscyho voice that says, “This is just the hormones’ last hurrah as they leave your system.” Thanks again, psycho.)

I think what is troubling me the most is that I have not yet heard or read a story where the heart rate is quite so low as 80 at 6 weeks 3 days. Even the “low” stories don’t usually go that low. And although RBA’s email is reassuring, there’s something a little funny in the math. She said that the heart rate normally increases to “over a hundred” between weeks 6 and 7…well, I’m basically at 6 1/2 weeks and at 80. If the heart rate increases at 3 bpm (or 3.3 bpm, as I’ve read somewhere) a day, then little baybina will not be making that mark, will not even be breaking 100 by week 7. But she is measuring behind a couple of days, and the heart-rate corresponds with the size, so I have to keep that in mind. But even keeping that in mind, this baby’s heart rate will have to increase at a much faster rate than 3 bpm/day to break into “normal” territory. Which is possible. Every embryo is unique, not all conform to these standards out there.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is the fact that I have low blood pressure, and I’ve read that the baby’s heart rate matches that of the mother at first. Could that be partly what is going on? She is synching with me? That would be beautiful. I like that story. Maybe I should keep telling myself that story, over and over.

Because one of the problems I’m struggling with is my rejection of sugar-coating. In the past, doctors have sugar-coated—“No, everything’s okay, it’s just too early to see the fetal pole yet,” or “0.44 AMH is within normal limits,” or “We see this all the time, women have two, even three losses, and then they go on to have healthy pregnancies, you’ll be fine,”—and I have tried very hard to believe them, only to feel duped when I realize that my fears were valid in the first place. I can’t help but feel that something like that is going on now.

But, at the same time, something tells me that that is not actually what is going on. That I really do have reason to feel confident at this point. That my past experiences are screaming in my ear and drowning out the reasonable words of the medical professionals. That I have a donor egg embryo inside me, one that was graded AA, and the chances of chromosomal abnormalities are not high, especially now that the little thing has attached to me and has a beating heart.

I went to the beach yesterday, wrote in my journal, read. Then DH and I went for a nice hike on a new trail in the woods. Then I went to yoga for the first time in a million years (I’ve been afraid to twist, to engage my core). I told the instructor I’m pregnant so that she could give me modifications, but asked her to be discrete, as it is early yet. For shavasana she propped me up on pillows and blocks, gave me a special tasseled pillow for my head, and covered me with a blanket—I felt like a princess, and I felt pregnant.

I have to get ready for work now. I’m not looking forward to going in there—on Monday, I was an absolute mute wreck, as I waited for RBA’s response to my results. And on Tuesday morning when I called in sick, I was blubbering on the phone with my boss, who said she was going to say prayers for my little baby. I know they are going to be walking on eggshells around me, but after all I’ve been through, I’m used to this part of the story. You just go in, you go into work, and you reassure everyone you are fine, when you aren’t really, and try to find the right balance of disclosure and professionalism. Let’s be honest: it blows. But I’ll get through it.

I just have to keep thinking that baybina is synching with me, and she is very, very happy that I took a day to detox yesterday and take care of both us. It helped tremendously—the beach, the hike, the yoga, the journaling.

And I promise all of you that I spent only 1 1/2 hours on the internet; I timed it. xxoo

Leave a comment


  1. My sweet friend that is only a few days ahead of you in her pregnancy was so worried about the same thing. The HB was only 116 at 6w5d. She went in yesterday at 7w3d and it was much stronger!! 150-160 I believe. Your doctor is right. I believe wholeheartedly that it will continue to get stronger and stronger. But after everything, how do we not worry ourselves into an internet frenzy!!?!

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement! That is a wonderful story. That means an embryo’s heart-rate can increase quite a bit per day, like at least 7 bpm/ day (not that I’m doing math again, oh no, not me). Thank you for this, I shall cling to it.

  2. Melana Kopman

     /  October 2, 2013

    I will keep you and the baby in my thoughts and prayers. My hope and belief is that since your blood pressure is low that your baby is becoming one with you.

  3. This must be the hardest week ever… I’m not sure how I would respond. Sleep in the doctor’s office? Request an ultrasound every day? Ask for anesthesia for a week? I think your reactions are completely normal… despair and hope are so intertwined. Choosing to be hopeful with you and trust that RBA and Dr. Shapiro know what they are talking about! Wishing you the best!


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