Quidditch (or, the magical roller coaster of infertility)


Growing up, I hated roller coasters. I doubt I had ever ridden one before I articulated that position, and I felt very strongly about it. But at some point parks started building rides that included water elements in addition to drops. I love water, in all of its forms. Beaches, lakes, fountains, puddles, glasses. So I was inspired to try these rides out and, of course, I fell in love. I tiptoed my way onto other roller coasters - never the huge ones, never the upside down ones. But over the years I have developed a more nuanced position on roller coasters. I like twists and turns and small, unexpected drops. I'm not a fan of long, slow, rickety rides up giant hills followed by stomach-lurching freefalls (especially when they are made of wood. Just, no.). All in all, though, enjoying roller coasters has brought about positive change in my life - I'm no longer the one holding everyone's bags while they wait in line and then ride. I got to experience the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey 4-D ride. And I've been physically prepared for the emotional, metaphorical roller coaster that is infertility. Maybe.

As you know, my betas came back excellent - 160.7 and then 1182 or something like that. Awesome. Then came the never-ending wait for the first ultrasound. I was so hesitant and so cautious, I would not let myself get excited about it. But as the days went on and people kept telling me to be positive, I started to feel optimistic. A friend recommended a pregnancy book and I put it on hold at the library. I told a couple more people about it. I created a list of pregnancy-related questions for my OB. Then, the morning of my ultrasound I woke up to find blood all over the sheets - way beyond spotting - and in the shower a large clot came out. It was over. My heart and my soul flew down a rickety wooden roller coaster hill.

At the ultrasound the doctor found a gestational sac, but could not see a yolk sac or an embryo inside it. That meant either a) it was too early to see anything, b) I was losing the pregnancy, or c) I had an ectopic pregnancy (yolk sac developing outside the uterus, such as in the fallopian tubes). I took a couple more beta tests over the weekend and tried not to spend every waking moment thinking about it. I spent hours and hours on my taxes. Watched old episodes of Veronica Mars and NCIS. Went for a short, easy hike. My body inched up the next giant, rickety wooden roller coaster hill.

Monday came around and I had an ultrasound in radiology, who have better equipment to visualize things like this. (p.s. why on earth do OBs get crappy equipment??? Aren't all expecting parents anxious messes???). I was worried the radiologist would refuse to tell me anything since "they aren't the doctor," but mine was cheerful and open, and narrated the whole thing. Spoiler alert, she found a yolk sac! She thought she might be able to see a heartbeat, but I couldn't. Turns out this was one of those surprise tiny falls after a giant hill, the kind that are scary but fun.

Finally, on Wednesday, I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor. He came in all solemn and serious, explaining statistics regarding pregnancies "threatening miscarriage" like mine. But it turns out it was just like a sitcom - he switched gears in a snap to say he saw everything the radiologist saw, and we'd check again right then just to see if anything had changed! Within seconds he found not only a gestational sac and a yolk sac, but an embryo and.........a heartbeat

Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooofffffffffffffffffffffffffffff. (That was my entire body sighing and screaming at the same time.) For that moment (and I know it is for this moment only), the roller coaster decelerated, floating the rest of the way on lightly bobbing water. 

O.W.L.S. (or, adoption home study interviews)

My Boggart (or, early pregnancy anxieties)