This weekend I abandoned my normal gym routine in favor of the beautiful fall weather. My BFF and I took her sweet-as-pie dog on a 4 mile walk around our neighborhood Saturday. It has been awhile since I opted for outdoor exercise, since I’m not a huge fan of the heat. But this weekend it was just gorgeous – still a little warm, but breezy. It felt so good on Saturday that I did it again yesterday. Our neighborhood is full of activity on the weekends – lots of people walking dogs or kids in strollers, restaurant patios full of the brunch/late-afternoon-drinking-crowd, cyclists, walkers, joggers, and the yard-obsessed catching the early leaves as they fall. As we walked this weekend, I realized just how excited I am to raise a child with MKL here. Both days, I came home invigorated and warm with babymaking vibes (not to mention a little sunburn).
I expected to awaken in the same sunny frame of mind today. And then I woke up. Not invigorated…not even a little; warm, but mostly due to the hormonal rise in body temperature rather than tingly babymaking vibes; and experiencing some of the worst cramping my body has ever known. I laid in bed, curled into the tightest ball I could manage, and tried to pray the pain away. No dice. And then the crying started. Awesome. Once MKL realized the pain level and saw me crying, she wanted to do anything she could to “fix” it. Bless her. She brought me tylenol, wiped my tears, and offered to call doc or the guru. Instead, we opted to review the side effects of prometrium (again) and remembered that abdominal discomfort or cramping is usually near the top of the list. After a few hours the pain had let up enough for me to get in the shower and start my day…with another effing dose of prometrium, of course.
If last month was a cycle of firsts, I think this month has to be the cycle of pattern recognition. As I was haphazardly throwing cosmetics in the direction of my face this morning, I realized that last cycle’s crying fit happened one week before our pregnancy test. Guess what happens in a week? Yep – the blood test is a week from today. So maybe my hormone side effects are at their worst when I’m 5-7 days into the treatment. From everything I’ve read, side effects will vary from cycle to cycle. Yet again, my “I know what to expect this time” theory is thrown into the trash. Last cycle the mood swings were the worst side effect, with the constant dull headache and waves of nausea falling into a tie for a close second place. I guess this time around the cramping will take the top spot.
Approaching the halfway mark of our two-week-wait, I had been doing great – optimistic, but I was able to explain away any potential “early pregnancy symptoms” as progesterone side effects. My goal is to be back in that place by the time I wake up tomorrow. I’m definitely not there now. There’s a dull ache going on in the same place where I had stabbing cramps this morning, and any good googler will tell you that this pain could be implantation cramping. For those of you who haven’t read every single pregnancy book on the shelves, implantation is what happens when your newly fertilized egg takes root in your uterus. This process is known to happen between 7-14 days after ovulation. I’m on day 8. Many women report that they can feel this happen. Please, God, let me be one of those women.
It’s simple to say, “it’s the hormone…just bide your time until next Tuesday.” MKL has issued a cease and desist order to stop me from scouring the internet for a description of what implantation cramps actually feel like. She’s absolutely right to do it, but it’s not so simple to think that way. This pain was different. I had the headache, nausea, mild cramping, fatigue, etc. last month with the progesterone. But I never had this type of cramp last time – not this type of quick stab followed by a day of dull ache, and not this low in the abdomen, either. So of course it’s nearly impossible not to think that this different symptom will yield a different result. Though I know it’s most likely the hormone.
In short, this process continues to be a mind-f%#k of epic proportion. And as I typed that last sentence, one of those stupid Johnson & Johnson commercials came on…you know, the ones that end with the wisdom: “Having a baby changes everything.” I’d like to publicly invite both of those Johnsons to bite me.