I’ve been watching Youtube videos about early embryo development — the bilaminar disk, primitive streak, trilaminar disk, notochord, neural tube formation, and all the rest of it. Fascinating stuff. Like a magic trick. It looks like so much nothing for so long, like a flat little amoeba rearranging itself, and then it starts folding and bam — it kinda looks like an early fetus! Still looks very much like a tadpole, but you can kinda see where it’s going.
If all is well, I’m 5 weeks 2 days pregnant, and I still don’t really feel like it. My breasts being sore and enlarged was the biggest symptom the other times I was (almost) pregnant, but this time the effect is very muted. I get a little nauseated when I’m hungry (and I feel hungry almost all the time), and sometimes I feel lightly euphoric after eating, but no cravings or aversions.
My sense of smell does seem heightened, but that can be psychosomatic. I feel more tired than usual, but then when I lay down I often feel incredibly restless. And then when I stand up too fast (or sometimes just at a normal speed), I feel super dizzy and need to hang onto something for support until my head clears. And my throat has been slightly sore due to reflux. (I get a sore throat instead of heartburn.)
Oh yeah, and you can definitely tell a lot of blonde jokes about me, because I say and think the absolute stupidest things sometimes. Big juicy brain farts. I literally pointed to the southwest the other night and said, “I think that’s the North Star.”
Ahmed was like: “Um… shouldn’t it be in the north?”
I have lots of stress dreams, too, where I have to catch a plane but a million things are standing in my way and I just know I’m going to miss it, or it’s the first day of class in college and I can’t find any of the buildings where my classes are supposed to be.
And I get way too invested in TV shows, especially ones about kids and families. I was far more sad than I should have been when the psycho brat Sand Snakes were killed on Game of Thrones (they were sisters!), and an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine almost wrecked me. (It was the one called Time’s Orphan, about losing a small child down a time portal and stranding her on a deserted planet for ten years. Jeezus.)
In general I feel incredibly restless, like there’s something I’m supposed to do but nothing I can do. I don’t know if that’s a pregnancy symptom or just me wanting so badly to get that ultrasound and find out if this is something or less than nothing.
We can’t bear to really celebrate. Feels like setting ourselves up for a(nother) fall.
Our numbers were good and our odds are better than they’ve ever been, but we don’t seem to do so well with odds.
13 more days until we find out if this train is still moving.
P.S. For those of you still trying with your own gametes, here’s an interesting study that shows eating a protein-rich diet can have profound effects on IVF results. Of course, “protein-rich” generally just means healthy, but so many Americans get almost all their nutrients from carbs, and that’s really bad for fertility. Probably the real villain is “empty calories,” which the US diet is absolutely full of. So stick with meats, beans, lentils, fruits, veggies, and a few whole grains for a nice boost.
This will probably help even if you use donor gametes — it means you’ll be getting a heck of a lot more nutrients and fewer blood sugar spikes. I generally eat healthy anyway, but I cut out grains even more with this transfer (and sugar). Not completely, as I continued eating corn and a bit of wheat, but more than usual. It really compels you to reach for coconut or fruit when you need a sweet hit instead of a cookie or something, and that can only be a good thing. I might have a sweet dessert once a week, but it’s not a daily thing.
It’s been four years now of thinking of my body as not entirely my own. One thing I look forward to if we ever have our kids is just thinking of my body as my own again. Hopefully I’ll still eat healthy, but I won’t be quite as stressed about it…