I could very well just post a link to Lentil's musings about the joy/terror/mindfuckery of early pregnancy after infertility and miscarriage. You should read it right here. It pretty well sums up the experience though, thus far, I have been spared the freaky dreams.
I was very lucky to have another completely lovely ultrasound at 8w3d. The kid is growing as it should and while still blobby, now has an enormous head and the heartbeat of a hummingbird. (I don't actually know how quickly hummingbirds' hearts beat so don't go googling and getting all alarmed for chrissake.) Everything is normal, as it should be, and as it has not ever been before. My normal protocol following an ultrasound is to text photos to my parents, wait for their glowing approval, and then immediately jump on the computer to google the measurement and heartbeat. I am always sickly certain that I will learn what my Reproductive Endocrinologist failed to glean during his obstetrics residency and many years of practice: whatever was on my ultrasound screen was all wrong, not okay. For once, I am loving that google is failing me. I find nothing. I find that the kid is normal. Amazing.
By the way, I know "the kid" is not a particularly endearing name. J and I just haven't come up with anything more personal. My best girlfriends call it "Ocho" after the number of cells in the embryo on day 3. J hates it because of the association with Ocho Cinco. At home, we call it "it" or, in abstract futuristic moments when we're feeling ballsy, "the baby." I think we've just been so afraid to attach to "it" like we did last time. Last time we called the embryo "Lucky" and it was just so, so real. I think it would be healthy for J and I to start referring to our fetus with some nickname but for now, nothing has stuck. Hopefully soon.
I did one rather brazen thing last weekend. Of course I did it in a meek infertile sort of way. I now have baby books. I am the proud second-hand owner of What to Expect When You're Expecting, Let's Panic About Babies (a gem of insanity), and Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood (for J - a hilarious choice as their is nothing less accidental that pregnancy as a result of IVF unless, of course, you have a habit of masturbating in sterile andrology labs). I am the decidedly-not-proud second hand hand owner of Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. The manner in which I insisted on receiving said books is comical. S came home to Chicago to visit and brought them with her on the plane. First, she set them on her mom's coffee table. I perused quietly and then visited with her family. When it came time for me to leave, we had a big production of me saying loudly and to no one in particular, "But I don't want these books and I have no need for them." And then I made her say, "But I insist you take them and I'm forcing you to do so." I sighed, rolled my eyes, stomped my feet and then took them home. Baby book procurement is a necessarily dramatic event. Anything other than the exact method S and I employed for the handover would be a for sure jinx.
As much as pregnancy is this natural, intuitive experience (?), it's a good thing I have the books, particularly What to Expect. I had been slathering some sort of green tea aloe salicylic acid treatment on my chest and face (because guess what, I have broken out like a teenager with a butter addiction). What to Expect let me know that that was not a safe choice. Instead, I'm supposed to drink more water, wash my face, get enough sleep, and live with my new found acne problem. Other things that are apparently not safe: everything. Well, everything with the exception of sex and exercise, the two things I feel very strongly about avoiding these days. They just feel dangerous and exhausting. I know these thoughts are not backed up by science. I'm just a tired-achy-boobed ball of nerves. Again, see Lentil's post. Exercise will come. I'm not worried about that. I walk all over the place anyways. Sex is more complicated. We've done it a whopping once since I found out I was pregnant. It was hands down the least magical sexual experience in the history of mankind. J is being alternately very sweet and patient with me and then threatening to jump from our first story apartment window (just for effect). Sigh. I know this stupid fear isn't rational. It's just there. I'm having trouble shaking it. Perhaps I should have put a TMI warning at the beginning of this paragraph. Oh well, since we're in way too deep at this point, I'll let you all know that white Endometrin suppository goo dripped visibly down my leg yesterday at work. I was wearing a dress. It was super gross. I don't think anyone noticed...
You're welcome for the visual.