Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holy cow! I'm 15 weeks pregnant!

When I was in my early 20's I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and told by the fertility specialist I was seeing that I could not get pregnant without IVF (in vitro fertilization) or similar fertility intervention.

For 20 years I operated under the assumption that I could not get pregnant, which relieved me of the need to take the oral contraceptives whose side-effects had been the bane of my existence.

For 20 years, his diagnosis held true.

Until four months ago.

Sometime in early September, I got pregnant, but didn't know it.

I didn't notice it, either, until about mid-October. Once I got back from vacation in Bali, I started feeling felt pretty rough.  For 8 of the past 9 weeks, I've been feeling exhausted and my body has been doing unexpected things. In the past 6 weeks I've had 3 doctors appointments and 35 lab tests, trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

I stopped taking most of my meds because I thought I was getting some weird drug interaction, and when I stopped them, I did feel a little better. I little better, but not well. I was convinced I had an infection of some sort, because the blood tests were coming back with odd results. Results that said something like "This is normal in pregnancy, otherwise, patient may have X, Y or Z and should be tested further." When tests for X, Y, and Z came back negative, it occurred to me that I hadn't had my menses since August (not unusual for women with PCOS) so perhaps I should have a pregnancy test, just in case a miracle had happened and I'd gotten myself knocked up.

I went for the blood test on December 13th. Yesterday I got the news that I was pregnant. And today I got the news that I was more pregnant than I'd initially thought. 15 weeks based on the ultrasound measurements. I saw a fully-formed fetus on the screen. Boy did that rock my world.

The obstetrician and the nurses started asking me questions they'd normally ask a woman who is 15 to 16 weeks pregnant, but I asked them to wait, saying "I may be 15 weeks pregnant, but psychologically I'm 2 days pregnant. Babies have never been on my bucket list. I need some time to get used to the idea."

Right now I'm feeling pretty shaky, I'll admit. The impossible has happened, and I'm at a loss. I used to say that if I ever got pregnant it would be a miracle, so I'd have to have it. But at my age, the risks of birth defects are much higher. And then there are the various reasons why I was glad I couldn't get pregnant -- the hereditary difficulties that run in the family like smoking-related cancer and PCOS that I didn't want to pass on. 

I told M that I was pregnant shortly after I got the lab results. I thought about putting it off until I knew more, but I knew he'd be upset if he discovered I'd kept it from him.  After the stress of the past couple of weeks, this hit him pretty hard. He's always wanted to get married and make babies, but he also knew that choosing me meant that wasn't going to happen as long as we were together. Now he's got an unplanned baby and all those related expenses to think about. Poor dear. He seems overwhelmed and anxious and it's only just beginning.

Shock. Disbelief. Excitement. Terror. Awe. These are the things I am feeling right now. So much ambivalence.

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