Pregnancy: 6 weeks + 6 days

Trigger warning: in this post I talk about pregnancy and the fear of miscarrying during this 6 week + 6 day update following our frozen embryo transfer (FET).

I am 6 weeks, 6 days pregnant.

Emotionally, I vacillate between feeling like this…

This was taken right before my first progesterone shot on February 7, 2019 and accurately captures how I’m feeling right now.

This was taken right before my first progesterone shot on February 7, 2019 and accurately captures how I’m feeling right now.

…and like this:

Feeling like a peaceful cucumber during my Intralipid infusion in early February.

Feeling like a peaceful cucumber during my Intralipid infusion in early February.

I’m a stressed-out, perfectly-zen, ball of anxious mindfulness.

I have layers of complex emotions and reactions happening all at the same moment. Ask anyone who talks to me regularly, and they’ll quickly be able to shout out a handful of comments I make these days always followed by the same question:

“I’m craving salt. I want to eat all the olives and beans and Taco Bell. Do you think this means I’m still pregnant?”
“I kind of don’t like the taste of my sweet coffee anymore. Do you think this means I’m still pregnant?”
”My stomach feels a little bit off in the morning before I eat breakfast. Not nauseous, but not 100%. Do you think this means I’m still pregnant?”

It’s never, “Oh boy, I’m pregnant!” It’s always, “Does this mean I’m still pregnant. I’m in constant fear of losing this pregnancy at any moment.

And then there are questions like these too:

“I’m really not that tired. Should I be more tired right now? Do you think this means something’s wrong with the pregnancy?”
“My acne is getting a little better. Do you think this means something’s wrong with the pregnancy?”
”I’m really not that hungry. Should I be hungrier right now? Do you think this means something’s wrong with the pregnancy?”

I’m like the most acutely aware detective, hyper-vigilant of any changing symptom. I can’t wait for our 7 week ultrasound this Thursday to see our baby’s heartbeat. (I hope and pray that there will be a heartbeat). Thankfully, I’ve heard from lots of women that this anxiety is a normal feeling early on in a pregnancy. This helps me feel less alone. Connection with others and being seen in your struggle is oh-so healing, isn’t it?

Which reminds me…

I had a really healing experience at acupuncture last week.

At the start of every acupuncture appointment, my lovely acupuncturist, Julie, and I sit down in cozy chairs in the darkened room to chat about how things are going. I felt extra stressed that day because that weekend, I had burned my butt. Third degree butt burns. I burned my numb bum, for real.

How did this happen? You might ask.

Let me explain.

Every morning, Cory gives me a progesterone shot in my gluteus medius. (Cory calls this my “booty juice”…he’s special that way.) The progesterone tricks my body into being pregnant. Since the progesterone is administered in an oil (in frickin’ OIL!), my nurse recommended that I apply heat to the muscle after the shot to help disperse the oil. Dispersing the oil through heat and massage should decrease the muscle pain and knots that can form. I took this recommendation and ran with it like any good rule-following Type-A person would do. For weeks, I applied a heating pad to the injection site, and on top of the heating pad, I placed a fancy electric massager. I heated and massaged for 15-30 minutes, depending on how pressed for time I was any given morning. Also, it’s important to add that at some point, Cory hit a nerve with the huge needle and I lost some of my sensation in my lower back and hip.

30 minutes of heat from a hot heating pad + deep tissue massage + decreased sensation = third degree burns.

I burned my skin so badly that it blistered. I felt embarrassed that I hadn’t noticed the burn while it was happening. I felt ashamed that I had pushed the heat/massage recommendation too far. I told this all to my acupuncturist, and what she did during/following my story was so healing.

  1. She actively listened and expressed empathy in her words, facial expressions, and body language. She said, “Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry.” Her face looked concerned. She put her hand on her heart.

  2. She normalized my struggle. She told me that multiple other women she works with in her practice have done this too…that I wasn’t alone.

  3. She told me she understood where I was coming from. She said that she had done similar things in the past. Recently, she said she was sick and had a throat ache. In attempt to relieve symptoms and hurry the sickness along, she decided to do a neti pot. She thought that the neti pot actually made things worse and spread the germs from her throat into her nose giving her a sinus infection. She told me that she understands what it feels like to want to follow medical advice as a Type-A person.

Julie’s presence during this time reminded me of a sweet picture I saw on Facebook today:

Just be there.jpg

Julie was with me in my struggle. She didn’t try to fix my burn or offer eastern medicine remedies. She didn’t make me feel bad or try to tell me what I should have done. She listened. She empathized. She normalized.

And that was powerful healing.

I am grateful for Julie today. I am grateful for my family and friends who call/text me to check in on how I’m doing daily…without advice or questioning. I am grateful for you reading this blog post, just being here with me like a kitty cat in my dog cone. Thank you. (I just got all warm and centered inside reflecting on the support I’ve received from Julie and you all recently.)

And now I’m about to spoil that quiet reflection by heading upstairs to watch The Bachelor Finale. Yep.

I’m a stressed-out, perfectly-zen, ball of anxious mindfulness.

I have layers of complex emotions and reactions happening all at the same moment.

I’m a deep-thinking, Bachelor-watching, quiet-reflector, television-drama-lover.

I have layers of complex emotions…and layers of enchiladas that I’m about to stuff in my face while watching this superficial wonderland.

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