Monday, September 5, 2005

Pregnancy Journal Entry #4: Trouble Already?

Wednesday August 31, 2005
Tonight I got a phone call from my Gynecologist who had just received the lab report on my blood draw. It was early evening, but still evening, so I knew hearing from her personally wasn’t a good thing. She told me that the blood test was showing my progesterone levels were a little low. She went on to explain that she wanted me in tomorrow for an ultrasound / sonogram (is there a difference between these two, and if so what is it?) so they could check the progression of the pregnancy. We talked a little about logistics ( the office staff were gone for the day, could I call in the morning for an appointment, etc.) and then I asked “What is the danger in having a low progesterone level,” really having no idea, but realizing that she sounded concerned. She said that while my level wasn’t super low (14 when she’d like it to be 15 or higher) and some women have normal pregnancies with that level, it could indicate a pregnancy that wasn’t developing normally and the danger would be miscarriage. She continued by being very clear that if things did take a bad turn that it wasn’t any fault of ours and that it in no way indicated that a normal pregnancy in the future was anything but likely. Still, I could tell she wanted to see me soon, and so I was nervous. So nervous in fact that I didn’t sleep until 2:30 am, had at least one crying spell, had a stomach that was doing gymnastics, and really couldn’t remember the last time I was that nervous.

Thursday September 1, 2005
Up at 8am, I called to make my sonogram appointment. It was scheduled for 11:15am. I meant to call and cancel the appointment I had that day with my allergist, convinced that I couldn’t possibly concentrate on all the questions they would ask at a new patient appointment, but I was soooooo tired and frazzled that I forgot. Damn! So I got myself ready and tried not to think.
At 11am Kevin and I were in the waiting room at my Gynecologist’s office waiting for my impromptu sonogram. Who knew we’d have to wait an hour!!! This office is usually great, but it was one of those days, and I was a last minute write in. I just wish I’d realized we’d be waiting so long. I could have been more prepared. Finally we were called in by the lab tech that did the sonogram. We didn’t know what she knew about our situation or if we should ask questions of her, so we were pretty quiet. She was fairly quiet too, but very kind and gentle. I had an inkling, but became convinced when she asked me to remove all my clothes from the waist down, that this wasn’t going to be the kind of sonogram they do on your very pregnant belly. Yep, stirrups were involved as was lubrication. It actually wasn’t at all bad, more comfortable than an annual pap smear. It all took about 10 minutes, which was longer than I thought it would take, but not bad. She occasionally annotated what we were seeing (this is your uterus, this is the yolk sac, here are your ovaries), all the while printing out pictures for the Dr. to look at. Then she printed out one more picture for us to keep and said I could get dressed. (I’m writing this in a matter-of-fact tone which doesn’t depict how nice this woman was… she was very kind). Our sonogram looked something like the picture above.
After the sonogram we were told to wait back out in the waiting room. But, we were only there for a few minutes when we were called in again to wait in the Dr.’s office. There we waited about another hour. By now Kevin is starving (its 1:00pm and he usually eats at 11:30am) and missing a meeting with someone he has no way of contacting. We were antsy to say the least, trying hard not to read anything into what was said in the sonogram room. I was just trying to have a blank mind.. just think about the carpet, the color of the walls, Kevin’s grumbling tummy, anything but why we are here. Finally, the Dr. comes in after seeing Kevin standing in the doorway of her office. She apologizes profusely, and I do mean profusely, and says that it’s a crazy day, short handed, new staff, etc… Normally I’d be pretty pissed at situation like this an vow to start Dr. shopping again. But, I know this woman is sorry, and I know she is great with her patients, so I forgive, and move on.
She says that there was no heart beat found on the sonogram but that they think its too soon to hear one. (They believe I’m in my 6th week at this point, and I really think I’m in my 4th.) She also says that this might account for the low hormone level in my blood. She says basically that no bad news is good news. She wants me to take progesterone suppositories for the next week, have blood drawn to see what my level is at now (a week later) and for me to come back in a week for another sonogram. So, by the end of this visit we feel better, by I’m not completely relieved. Kevin is convinced that the pregnancy is a lot younger than anyone realizes (we think we conceived a few days before the end of my cycle which is unusual but not unheard of) and that its all going to turn out to be a false alarm. His confidence is such a comfort to me. I realize something really basic, but also very true, and that is that if I worry and it all turns out to be fine I wasted a lot of time and energy for nothing. On the flip side, if I worry and things don’t turn out well the worrying didn’t ever really help anything anyway. So, I chose to adopt Kevin’s attitude. Now, this is not to say that a concern here and there doesn’t cross my mind, I’m sure it will throughout this pregnancy, but I’m not going to be bogged down in it. There’s NO point.

Friday September 2, 2005
We got a call from the Dr. today saying that she got my blood work back and that my hormone level are up. Now, in the office she said that if that happened it didn’t necessarily mean that things were all better, but it did mean that they were going down, which would be extremely bad. But, on the phone (She talked to Kevin and he told me so I can’t give specifics of tone of voice and exact wording like most of us women like to have) she said she was feeling optimistic. So, once again, Kevin and I felt even better. Next step is the second sonogram on Thursday. I hope we get to hear a heart beat. That will make me feel so much more confidant.

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