Monday, September 26, 2011

in the category of mothers think they are special

This story could also be filed under the "women who are (insert not very nice adjective) at baseline"

First of all - I am feeling much better about life.  Still in a weird limbo, but at least now emotionally stable.  But this story is not about me.  This story is about the most heinous person I have ever sat next to on a plane.

A little background to start - The hubbie and I have been wanting to go to Hawaii for years but with the whole cost of the treatments it was on indefinite hold.  We started thinking about going again after the bfp, but then when we got the first trimester screening news - well lets just say that we could spend the money on  Hawaii or a psychiatrist.  So here I am - under some palm trees with my coffee and a laptop - feeling like everything is going to be just fine.

Since the trip was a bit short on the planning stage there was a glitch in the airline reservation and we did not get assigned seats.  My husband spent lots of time on the phone followed by lots of time in the airport to try to get us seats on the plane together.  After an even bigger total screw up on the part of the airlines with our reservation and the need for change in the type of planes at the last minute - everyone needed to be re-assigned their seats and we didn't have any.

Needless to say, after a 5 hr layover and with all the hormones - I got a little teary.  I don't know if it was that they were the last two spots on the plane or that the guy took pity on me after my sob story with the sobs - but we got upgraded to business class.

(I have never had the money to just fly to hawaii on short notice let alone sit in business class - but let me tell you - it was a little slice of awesomeness.)

So anyway - we are close to the last people to get on the plane and there in my seat  (which is a 2-across middle row) is a sleeping infant nestled in the seat surrounded by the airline blanket and pillows.  (my husband took one for the team and took the other last seat next to some very infectious looking person who was hacking nonstop)

"excuse me . . . is this seat 9G? . . . I think I got assigned to sit here"

"well the airline said I could have this seat for my baby"

"well I'm really sorry but this is where I have been assigned"

"honey. . . come here and watch the baby"  she then proceeded to leave the infant in my seat and have her husband come guard the area. (and she goes off to chew someone out)

Meanwhile I have nowhere to sit - nowhere to put my luggage and she refuses to move the kid and there are people pushing past me to get to the regular seating area.  At this point I am so done with the day that I got up to the flight attendant and just start crying.  I felt terrible - I didn't want her to have to move her baby out of the seat that she felt she was promised, but it was not my job to be the bad guy.  The flight attendant then had to escort me to ask the woman to remove the child and reiterate that this was not my fault.  I apologized (choking back tears and just shaking because I feel bad), and she moved the 4 month old - but boy was I the recipient of a really dirty look.

I look at moms and families on planes and I always have a certain amount of sympathy and respect.  With all the gear and the soothing and the attention that the kids need to stay calm - it looks exhausting.
Turns out she was p/o'ed because her family and nanny were forced into business class instead of first class (which I think other than electronic reclining to the seats looked the same to me).  This was also the LAST seat on the plane and she but had NOT bought a ticket for the baby.

For the remainder of the flight she proceeded to hog the entire space and pretty much disrupt everything.
The floor space and baggage space under the seats was covered with no less than 4 separate carryons of hers which she didn't offer to move when I sat down, blankets that she kept kicking to my side, and she used the armrest for herself and her food.  Instead of standing up in the aisle to rock her baby - or in front of her 2 other kids, nanny or husband in the other business class aisles, she proceeded to stand next to me moving back and forth for a good portion of the flight. (even climbing over my feet once)

At the end I was really tempted to say something about her behavior but I refrained.  (trying to hold onto as much good karma as possible.)  Obviously if you can afford to fly your whole family and nanny first class you can cough up the dough for an extra seat for your infant if you want it.  If anything I should have been the one shooting the dirty looks.  All I wanted after working all night the night before was a good 5.5 hr nap. Interestingly the baby was fine for the flight - slept most of the time and when awake didn't complain too much.  Problem was the woman sitting next to me had such ADHD in getting up every few minutes and playing with her IPad that I didn't really get much relaxation out of the flight.

I don't know what bothered me more - the fact that she thought she was special because she was obviously wealthy or the fact that she thought she was special because she had an infant. Maybe it was a manifestation of my new anxiety around babies or a hint of jealousy for all that she had, but obviously took for granted.

Or maybe she really was just a heinous person.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

An update

I officially made it to 12 weeks yesterday but this has been much harder than I ever expected.

I have told multiple people when they ask how I am doing that everything has been great and that I am super happy to be nauseated - which don't get me wrong is still kind of true.  At some point though I just started to feel so bad that I officially pronounced that the old infertile me would be disappointed in the new pregnant me for not being able to suck it up.  I also had a difficult time posting because no matter what, I am kind of bragging to be pregnant - and it just felt like if I bragged that fate would get me.

So I didn't post and I didn't brag -but fate through me a fast ball that hit me upside the head anyway.

On Thursday I went in for my nuchal and saw this cute little thing that looks just like my husband.  Big head and a thick neck.  Problem is that thick little neck and some very low papp-a blood test results combined to give this little fetus a calculated 1 in 11 chance of down's syndrome.  Now, I am 34 years old and no spring chicken, but I was expecting a little more like 1/200 so to get hit with such a high number has been potentially devastating.

I say potentially devastating because this could all work out perfectly well, but its the mind screw that is going to be the problem.  When you get bad news like this, even though likely this will turn out to be nothing, its just too much to fathom.  You stop thinking about the next several months of the pregnancy and start to think about the rest of your life and how one little chromosome can change everything.

One could say I know a little to much - which is true.  My mind is on a high-speed rail train going through the years instead of focusing on just the next step.  But the truth is we are going to have to wait a signficiant amount of time to really figure this out - which is a lot of time to spend freaking out about it.

We were offered a cvs next week vs an amnio at about 15 weeks.  The whole idea behind first trimester screening is to give a couple an earlier answer so they don't have to wait so long to find out, but with the published rates of a 1/100 loss after cvs, I just can't take that chance.  If we lost the pregnancy I would NEVER forgive myself.  So we are waiting for about 15-16 wk for the amnio where the loss rate at my institution is more like 1/400.  Problem is that combine the waiting time for the amnio with the waiting time for the results we are looking at 5-6 weeks before we know anything more.

The other not-so-great thing is that I now have a 6 cm solid mass on one of my ovaries.  Gone are the huge cystic egg sacs that they were and here is this thing that actually freaked out my perinatologist more than my downs risk.  The funny thing is that the ovary with the mass is good old stumpy that really was but a small little half-an ovary after my surgery.  I guess I can't call him stumpy anymore.  Maybe lumpy - especially since he is adhered to my abdominal wall and getting pushed out by my uterus.  I already look about 18 weeks and am having trouble not looking very pregnant - but its really all ovary.

So please forgive the lack of positivity in this post.  I am feeling pretty beat up - both physically and emotionally.  Every time I think about the possibility that that perfect little embryo we implanted could have had a little extra chromosome in each of its 8 cells I physically can't even breathe.  Its like I have to remind myself to just take a breath because if I don't the gravity of it all will just crush my chest.

Through it all though I just keep telling myself the following two things:

1)  I still have a 91% chance of having a totally normal kid in there.  When you look at where I have come from between the 10% chance of conception per cycle to the thirty-something percent chance of a single embryo transfer IVF cycle taking to the 50% chance of miscarriage in the first few weeks -->  I'm still doing way better than before and this is the first time the odds are really in my favor.

2)  breathe