El Preggo (2)

If this is awkwardly in the middle of a story for you,  read Part One here.

Through what was sincerely dubbed the “miscarriage panel,” I discovered that I had two genetic mutations, and not in the cool way that amounted to four awesome teenage mutant ninja turtles…the way that indicates you are fundamentally defunct. One was called MTHFR, which I so politely referred to as mother-bleeper, as I would have assumed it to read that way on a license plate. It meant I couldn’t metabolize folic acid, a useless building block in bearing children. Bring on the spina bifida.

Then I was given this number: Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, or the blood’s tendency to clot. The rush of oxygen needed to get to the baby triggered the blood clotting, which cut off air, and amounted to the bad reruns of the previous summer.

And as a cherry on top, B and I have opposite blood types, dubbed the “RH Factor.” Albeit an easy fix with a shot in the butt (how can I count the ways…), my body would undoubtedly attack the fetus at some point for having the opposing blood type.

I was to alert the doctor immediately if I fell pregnant again. This is how they say it in the UK, as I know from all my forum-hunting.  As it turns out, I couldn’t even out-hypochondriac myself on this one.

Regrettably I took the test on a Friday night (day 25 for you other nuts out there), when NO DOCTOR’S OFFICE is open. How very stupid of me.  To kill time, I went to the State Fair, ate corndogs, and was practically running two-a-days to keep my blood moving for sanity’s sake.

Fast forward to 7am on Monday, and there I was at my doctor’s office getting pawned off to the local fertility clinic, where I was pale-faced learning how to inject a cartridge of Lovenox into my stomach. I was to do this every single day of my pregnancy at the same time each day, or else.  I came in 4 times in the next two weeks to measure my hcg levels. Then at six weeks for a sono, then at 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 weeks. They told me I was probably going to have a baby. They told me not to fall or get in a car wreck as I would probably die of blood loss. I figured nugget and I both had equal odds and went on my merry way.

I had to psych myself up every morning for the shot. Sometimes I would pretend that I was in some sort of mortal combat game and that if I didn’t administer the shot right then and there, we would all die. Sometimes I stood in front of the mirror for five minutes faking it, like a pool player. Sometimes, I would put down the shot, walk away, come back, and pretend I had no idea what was coming. I was so clever. I ordered a heart rate monitor with jelly so I could obsessively listen in on my little person, freaked that I was going to stab it. The first and only time I ever forgot the shot, my husband randomly texted me a question about it that reminded me, letting me know that heavenly homeboy was looking out for nugget.

The bruises started mounting and I would count them as my battle wounds. I learned to avoid veins and arteries at all costs, which if you’ve ever been pregnant before, is like throwing a dart at a road map and trying to hit countryside. Perhaps a little more than you bargained for- but here is a glimpse of a normal day. And yes, thank you for asking, I do regret that eyebrow-ring-in-place-of-a-belly-button-ring I so loved in high school. Every.single.day. RIP fab and white trash stomach.

At least 3x at work someone would usher their hand toward my stomach with a…”ummm, something…ummm” and I would have bled through my shirt from that morning’s shot. As it turned out, blood thinners are incredibly good at what they do. I Amazon-primed my way through bandaids and cotton balls.

I called the doctor one day in tears, sure it was game over. I was bleeding! She told me to calm down and measure quantity over the next two hours. It was an hour before a well-placed mirror proved a shaving nick on my upper thigh was the culprit (thank you, thinners). I gave up shaving; it was too dangerous. I could see the obit now… “she was just trying to groom her fat legs.”

{more to come}

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