L and D Tour / Pregnancy vicissitudes

*Just a quick note first to say: I use this blog in part as a diary, a place for me to document my experience, and I will describe some of the discomforts I’ve been feeling later in this post. Not complaints, just documenting the reality of my pregnancy, for me to look back on later. If you’d rather not read this, or those like it in the future, I sure as hell don’t blame you! (Confession: I used to often skip these sort of posts in my reader.)

This morning, the sun is shining. I feel great! I want to walk around the beach. I’m already looking forward to my 8 ounces of coffee. All of the emotions that I figured I’d be feeling every waking second of my pregnancy, before I got pregnant, I am feeling now. This is what I pictured. Happy-to-be-pregnant mama, stroking her belly.

But the truth is, I think if I averaged it out, I get about 1 to 5 good hours a day. Every once in a while, I’ll get an entirely golden day, and it is pure heaven. But that’s rare. I don’t always feel uncomfortable, bloated, nauseated, etc.—sometimes it’s just exhaustion. Other times it’s a garden variety of symptoms sans exhaustion.

In any case, yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had yet.

It didn’t start out bad. We went to the Labor & Delivery hospital tour, the best part of which was seeing the little babies in the nursery. Ohhhhmigah. Oh, oh. Heart pierced. Little helpless animals, sleeping away. One yawned, tiny lips quivering, and I literally squealed at the sight of it. Seeing the bassinet-thing in the birthing room made me pout and go “aw.” I’m a walking Hallmark card. Anything baby makes me pout and go “awww.” I liked the hospital fine, but I didn’t think it was anything special. I found it adequate. I would be totally okay with giving birth there, but I’m still curious to see what other hospitals offer.

One woman who was going to need to be entirely sedated during a C-section for her birth found out that her husband would not be allowed in the room, because she would be totally sedated. “If he’s there to support you and you are completely knocked out, then what’s he there for, you know?” the tour leader nurse said. I wanted to say: “Um, maybe for the entry of his child into this world? Maybe that?” The beautiful pregnant woman started crying, and the tour leader nurse gave her tissues. “Oh, I made you cry,” she said, Long-Island-brusque. “Sorry.”

People. Sometimes I want to give every medical-care professional I see a manual on how to act, just in case they are clueless.

I really liked the spaciousness and the windows in the birthing room (as long-time readers will know, I’m nuts about windows and natural light), but the private recovery rooms were just so-so (and $240 a night). I didn’t get to see a semi-private. The hallways had low ceilings and, in general, the hospital felt a little bit cramped. Of course, I know I shouldn’t choose a hospital based on its architectural layout, but these things matter on a psychological level. Still, I would say it was, overall, fine. And they seem to be pretty lax about visitor limitations, and that I like.

Afterward, we went to the water on the South side, and walked around the natural beauty that is Long Island’s saving grace, and I was talking and talking. We were joking around. I drank my 8 ounces of coffee surrounded by geese and ducks and baby ducks. We swung on swings.

And then: I got in the car.

Sometimes the car is fine. I don’t notice much difference, physically. But at other times, the car becomes a torture device. Every bump, every sharp turn, makes me feel sicker and sicker. I shield my eyes from all of the moving objects outside my window. That happened yesterday.

And then my belly started to do that thing it sometimes does when I eat (this time: eggs and sausage): It started to feel like a large beach ball filled to capacity with air. Tight, taut, painful. The food inside just is NOT going to go anywhere for a long, long time.

By the time we arrived home, I was miserable. I kicked off my shoes and crawled into bed and slept for two hours, hoping for the best upon waking.

Nope. I woke up feeling worse.

My tight, taut stomach. Bloat to beat all previous bloats. And back pain—oh damn that back pain! Probably because my belly is so distended. And a headache—a mild one that just sort of makes me stare at the wall as if lost in a dream.

It is in these moments that I honestly have no idea what to do with myself. The idea of going for a walk seems out of the question, impossible. Sleeping more does not seem like a good idea, because I want to sleep through the night. I think of various options: Should I eat something? Something sweet or something salty? What will make me feel better? Should I drink something? Plain water or juice? Carbonated or no? Or maybe I shouldn’t put anything in my system at all?

Then I try to discern what activities will make me feel better. Reading? Or will that make my headache worse? Another movie? A television show? But sometimes watching the motion on the screen makes me feel queasy. Should I lie down or sit straight up?

It’s a game. A wonderful game! I am so desperately uncomfortable that I keep trying to find solutions and relief, all the while knowing that relief just cannot be found.

The hard truth is: I have to wait it out. The only thing that is going to help is time.


I watched the most life-affirming, uplifting thing I could find on Amazon Instant: The Sound of Music. What a beautiful creation that film is. I imagined sharing it with my child someday. I sang along to every song. I was able to forget myself for one whole hour!!

And then: all of my various discomforts came raging back.

I paused the movie. I tried to eat, to drink. I tried to turn off the awful.

Finally, I burst into tears in the kitchen.

DH came running. “What is it bayba!”

“I’m so uncomfortable and there is no relief!” I said, crumpling into his arms. I allowed myself to cry like a little girl, and let him pat me on the back and feel sorry for me.

The uncomfortable feelings did not go away at all ever, last night. I watched the rest of the Von Trapp adventure, in love with all of it. (I especially love the moment when the nuns say, “Mother, I have sinned,” and hold out the Nazi’s car parts. Hurrah!) I then watched a young Jodie Foster in the Freaky Friday I must have watched 800 times as a child. Then I finally fell to sleep.

I woke up with sore boobs! Hey–I have not had these yet! I’ve had sensitivity for sure, and the things have grown, but I have not had actual soreness to speak of, really. (Except maybe at the very beginning.) Soooo—there must be some hormonal action going on causing the fun of yesterday. I am thankful for it. Thankful is not even the word. But that sure doesn’t make it pleasant.


Leave a comment


  1. EEk. Does not sound fun. Like I commented on another blog, I am so glad you guys are writing about this so we know that pregnancy is not all glorious. I hope these icky days don’t come too often for you! And… not allowing husbands to be in the delivery room for a C-section? Is that common practice? I can’t imagine….

  2. Hugs sweetie. My down days are pretty down too. Hormones to the max! xx

  3. Those days are so hard sometimes! I remember feeling similarly and just crying over how exhausted I was. Pregnancy can be so uncomfortable sometimes and it’s totally ok to feel that way! :) Hopefully you are feeling better today and are able to find something to make you comfortable! Bummer about the hospital, hopefully with touring other places you’ll find the most perfect fit! Xox

  4. Clare

     /  May 26, 2014

    It does get better in a few weeks. For me it only got slightly better then much much worse until I was completely housebound and unable to function, but that was with twins. Don’t try to be tough – just lay around like a sloth if that’s what your body is telling you to do.

  5. you are soo stinking adorable with the “walking hallmark card” remarks! hehe! I’m soo sorry you were uncomfortable. Have you considered keeping a food journal to see if certain types of food trigger it? Greasy foods? Dairy type foods? etc? xoxo! Totally praying for you and that the rest of your pregnancy is a breeze!!

  6. It’s hard to deal with the no-fun symptoms, especially when you feel like you should just be thankful for every one of them! And in a way, of course you are. But in another way it just sucks. I hope your good days far outnumber the bad ones!

  7. I’m totally waiting to feel something, to know my pregnancy is real and progressing, but I also assume I should count myself lucky! I’m sorry you’re feeling so icky. Hopefully this time passes quickly. And as for the hospital room, of course we want it to be pretty and inviting!

  1. 14 weeks: I’m a textbook | the unexpected trip

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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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