11 weeks, 2 days
I think I’ve been posting less this time around because a few people actually know I’m pregnant, and I can talk a bit with them instead of having thoughts bounce endlessly around in my head. But I’ve been trying not to complain too much, so I need somewhere to get that off my chest. It seems unfair to complain when so many others — of you — are struggling bravely to get pregnant in the first place. But this is really how I’m feeling, so no judgement if you don’t want to read or follow me anymore. That’s fair. You do what you gotta do, and I’ll do what I gotta do, and hopefully we’ll all make it through our respective shitty times.
It has been four weeks since our first, 7-week appointment. If you recall, I went into that appointment completely sure we’d see a nonviable embryo due to the sudden decline in pregnancy symptoms I’d had earlier that week. We saw a heartbeat and a little blob, which was honestly more shocking to me than amazing/exciting/pick-your-favorite-pregnancy-emotion.
We still have one more week to go until our next, 12-week appointment, and let me tell you, FIVE weeks is WAY TOO F*ING LONG to go with ZERO indication as to the aliveness of our blob!!!!! These are the second-most critical five weeks of the pregnancy, and having no information is agony.
In the meantime, to keep my maybe-alive-maybe-dead fetus in the best of health, I received a list from my doctor of more vitamins I need to be taking. That’s right, prenatals are apparently not enough. In addition to my prenatal, I am supposed to add Omega-3s (an unspecified amount, but it’s called Expecta and it comes in a yellow box!?), 1200-1500 mg of Calcium, and 1000 IU of vitamin D. I spent hours over multiple days on Amazon and in multiple stores trying to figure out how to make that all happen. I will also mention I do not love and am not very good at swallowing pills, especially big ones.
It is really not possible to take 1500 mg of calcium vitamins in a day, I quickly realized, so I decided to take two gummy vitamins which will give me 500 mg of calcium and 1000 IU of vitamin D. Add that to the 200 mg in my prenatal vitamins, ~300 mg from the milk on my morning cereal, and ~300 from a serving of yogurt I will now be having every day, that puts me up to 1300. And hopefully something else I eat during the day has some calcium in it. I don’t love the extra 5 g of sugar I get in the gummies, but there’s no way I could swallow that much calcium in a hard pill.
Around this time I went to get a new bottle of prenatal vitamins from the doctor, the same ones I’ve been taking with no issues for the better part of the last year, and I found out that they have been discontinued. Annnd queue up Amazon to find a new vitamin with the same amount of folic acid, calcium, and iron. I found some promising ones, tho when they arrived, I found I was underwhelmed with the shape and texture. Ugh, harder to swallow, of course.
The Omega-3s were also tricky. The usual place you find Omega-3s is in fish oil supplements. But pregnant folks are apparently supposed to avoid those because fish also are a great source of mercury. So you have to find non-fish-sourced DHA, like Expecta. I could not find the elusive yellow box, even in the doctor’s office pharmacy, so I found some pills with 300 mg DHA that looked relatively legit on Amazon. Score.
Except. It turns out these DHA pills are nearly spherical. After 3 nights of nearly choking on them, my body has decided it will no longer be swallowing pills, DHA or otherwise. No joke. I can’t even get the prenatal down anymore. I swallow, all the water goes down the hatch, and the vitamin is left on my tongue. I literally spit out 3 vitamins trying and cried my eyes out two nights ago.
So back to Amazon, where I discovered that two Flintstones children’s chewable vitamins contain exactly the same amount of folic acid and calcium as one prenatal vitamin and a little extra iron.
It’s taken me pretty much the entire last 4 weeks to get all that sorted out, but it looks like my plan is calcium gummies with breakfast, two solid servings of dairy, two Flintstones with dinner, and fuck the Omega-3s.
While the vitamin treasure hunt was going on, I also went on Lovenox, an anticoagulant injection to treat the genetic FVL mutation I have that can lead to increased risk of stillbirths and placenta problems and might also be associated with first-trimester miscarriages. From scheduling the training appointment to getting the right prescription to picking up a full month of doses, every step was hard. Of course. I will spare you the details. Surprisingly, the stabbing-myself-with-a-needle-every-night part is actually not that bad. I haven’t been bruising, and it doesn’t sting that much. The needles seem rather dull, and the worst part is shoving it in. “No need to press hard, just lead it in,” the training nurse told me. That worked with the baby needle we practiced with, but it’s very much not the case for these cheapo generic, single-use shots.
Socially, I’ve been avoiding my friends. Most of our social events involve drinking, and it seems easier to be antisocial than navigate that whole thing. I will have one drink with food when we are with friends, a couple times a week. From what I’ve read, that is an amount I’m comfortable with and I think is safe. It means I can still have a life, enjoy a tasty beverage, and not arouse too much suspicion (I hope). The other desire for avoidance is that I have to talk about normal things with normal people. I’m less and less interested in normal things, as I’m mostly thinking about vitamin logic puzzles and assessing whether my pregnancy symptoms are increasing or declining. It’s not healthy nor generally productive, so I force myself to hang out with my friends and think about normal things. But it is so much easier to curl up on the couch and not.
So the whole not-knowing-if-it’s-still-alive thing is laid across this backdrop of shoving pills down my throat and needles in my stomach and trying not to act pregnant in front of my friends. It sucks so much. I hate it, and I am so over the first trimester.