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Good days and bad days (17 weeks)



People who know my infertility history often ask how I’m handling this pregnancy. Honestly, I have good days and bad days. Some days I am so blissfully certain that all will be well that I spend hours working on our registry and planning out all the things I’ll make for baby. Other days I’m so paralyzed with fear that it is hard to get out of bed.

Today is a bad day.

Last night I brought out the box of left over IVF drugs and rummaged through the drawer that is still filled with used PIO vials and sealed Sharps containers. I found all the things I have to give away, checked expiration dates and made sure packaging was securely sealed. At the bottom of the box was a brown legal sized envelope. I knew what was in that envelope, or so I thought. I was certain it housed my IVF protocol, expired medication coupons and Pip’s two blobby ultrasound photos.

I didn’t want to open that can of worms so I just put the entire thing in the recycling. Also in the box was a folded up stack of papers. I had no idea what it was and checked to make sure I was not tossing something important. It was the photo of Pip as a blastocyst, my consent forms and the two ultrasound photos.

Damn. I did not want to see that. I did not want to go back there. I wish I could take all these memories and box them up permanently, but I can’t. Throwing the papers away will not erase the past. There is no Control+ Z for infertility. Instead, I’ll have to accept bad days when they come, rejoice in the good days and pray the latter starts to outnumber the former.


Today marks 17 weeks in this pregnancy. I have not felt any other potential movement since Wednesday evening, which makes me think the pokes were a false alarm. I’ve found myself more uncomfortable lately and occasionally experiencing what Robin described as “lightning crotch.” I also feel stretching in my lower belly from time to time that requires an internal pep talk to keep me from picking up the phone and frantically calling the clinic.

Shaken by memories unearthed the night before, I set aside 10 minutes this morning  to consult with the doppler. It took a good two minutes to find the chicken, which had me near hysterics, but I eventually found him, way low in my pelvis instead of up below my bellybutton like he was the last time we “visited.”  A Google search (I know, bad infertile, put the Google away) assures me it is OK if the Chicken is this low one day and high the next.

I feel a tiny bit better after finding the heartbeat. I also decided that such stress requires soothing and treated myself to a chocolate soy pudding cup at 8:30 a.m. Morning pudding *might* have something to do with the 12 pounds I’ve gained! Eighteen more days until my next midwife checkup and 25 more days until my next ultrasound. Come on little Chicken! Start moving and shaking so I can feel you regularly. Mommy needs some peace of mind.



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  1. January 18, 2013

    I am sure that being pregnant after everyting you have been through is both exciting and nerve wracking. I hope that your next appoitments and feeling some movement will giveyou some peace of mind!

  2. tchrgrl05 #
    January 18, 2013

    Hi Belle 🙂 I’m 36 weeks and I still have good days and days of paralyzing fear. I still listen to baby’s hb on my doppler. I still freak out when he’s not in the same spot he was yesterday (given that he doesn’t have much more room to move around). I remember those first few movements. I felt the first at 17 weeks but NOTHING again until between 20 and 22, so it may not have been a false alarm, just the beginning of it. I can’t tell you how many times I would almost lose it trying to find the hb, how many times I “calmly” told hubs I couldn’t find it, only to find it a minute later. I completely understand how you feel. It’s easier when you can feel them move 🙂 Silly little chicken! Oh and btw, you look amazing. I have NO idea where those 12 pounds you gained are!! By 17 weeks, I was up like 18 pounds hahaha

  3. January 18, 2013

    Everything you’re feeling is normal and okay. I’ll be 19 weeks tomorrow and the “movement” I feel is very sporadic and I rarely think, “oh that was definitely him!” It’s usually, “Oh, that was something. What was that? Oh, it’s gone.” The first time I felt something was around 17 weeks and since then, maybe have only felt something I think was him 2 or 3 more times. Even during our last ultrasound, he was squirming all around and I couldn’t feel anything. So that’s normal! I know everything will be okay for you but it might take some time for you to know that. It might take until Chicken is even born! But everything will be okay. In the meantime, get your money’s worth from that doppler!! I know I am.

    PS. I noticed you called Chicken a “he!” Just easier than saying “he or she?” Or do you know something we don’t know? 😉

    • January 18, 2013

      Lol! Just easier then saying he/she 🙂 I won’t be finding out the gender for an entire slew of reasons that could make an entire blog post in itself! That said, the Professor and I are both 98% certain this is a little boy. Just a hunch. We’ll find out for sure in June!

      And thank you for the reassurance on the movement. I was trying not to stress about it because I read enough blogs, I know it can be sporadic at best during the first few weeks. Still, sometimes it takes hearing it from another to truly convince yourself. Lots of good thoughts coming to you and Turtle, too!

      • jak #
        January 18, 2013

        would love to hear your “not finding out the gender reasons” post.

  4. January 18, 2013

    25 more days until your next ultrasound?! That’s an ETERNITY!

    What a sad thing to stumble upon all those photos and memories when you were purposely trying to avoid them… but I guess maybe it’s a reminder that this particular sadness will never really leave you, and that perhaps it shouldn’t. In the long run, I’ll bet it makes you stronger, but it really sucks to have to suffer these bad days when you’re supposed to be in the throes of pregnant bliss!

  5. 35life #
    January 18, 2013

    I’m so sorry. I had leftover IVF supplies and meds and the sharps container filled to the brim, all staring back at me for months. I still have all three petri dishes that I can’t seem to part with, yet hate to look at. I had one in my purse of all places for months! Kept forgetting to hide it away. I’m always afraid if I toss it all, I’m throwing away the last of my hope and never turning back. I know it’s a different situation for you, but I hope you can have more “good” days soon!

  6. January 18, 2013

    Huge Hugz Hon! I know you want to feel Chicken so badly, but don’t be surprised if you feel him or her one day and don’t feel a thing for days or even weeks. I felt stuff early and then nothing for a while then even after those wonderful kicks when Purcey died it was a while before I felt anything again. It all depends on how the Chicken is sitting. Praying you get to feel more sooner than later!

  7. January 18, 2013

    I’m sorry you’re having a bad day. I think there will probably be a few of those (sometimes quite a few) thrown in amongst the okay and good days, but I hope they can give you strength rather than wear you down. And just so you know…I think those pokes could have still very well have been the Chicken. This early in the game, feeling movement is very sporadic and often very few and far between. I would feel my baby once or twice and then go a week or more without feeling her again. I hope that gives you a little encouragement. Hang in there, girl.

  8. January 18, 2013

    My OB said that what I felt a couple weeks ago was most likely the baby, and to not expect to feel it again very often. Like – for days or weeks. I bet you did feel the chicken, and it will take a while until you feel it again. You have to be paying attention to notice it this early 😉 As a guideline, my OB said that I would start feeling it just once a day or so around 22 weeks (or so) and then multiple times a day around 28 weeks. This goes with how I remember it last time. I do think I felt Matthew more than once a day between 22 and 28 weeks, but not always.

    I hope you have a good day tomorrow 🙂

  9. jak #
    January 18, 2013

    i am sorry you have to go through sad memories. my lack of success (and nothing in the freezer) has meant that i (fortunately, and so far) don’t have any history of sad memories, just a history of frequent disappointments. i actually think i prefer the disappointments to sad memories. you’ve traveled a hard road.

    but things are going very well. grieve the past, because that is healthy and needs to be done, but realize what a beautiful place you are in right now and how awesome the future is going to be.

    i havent felt a whole heck of a lot either and i’m two weeks ahead of you and the chicken. i have constant rib pain, which is cool (?). and this hard lump that shifts from time to time from one side of my stomach to the other and from up to down. at first i thought it was just my fibroid somehow shifting around (as if they can do that). but other than that, no “butterflies”. (who made that up anyway?! i think it must be horseshart because there arent any butterflies going on in me, just a bunch of discomfort). so, dont worry about it! i am glad you got a doppler though. i think that is good reassurance.

    it’s ok to start embracing this. <((((chicken hugs))))^^^

  10. January 18, 2013

    I am so glad you have the doppler for peace of mind, sending love and hugs! Every twinge or strange feeling used to make me scared too, you are not alone, and it is all a part of your body changing and adapting for the little chicken 🙂

  11. January 18, 2013

    It was well into the 30s weeks before I felt confident in my pregnancy after the miscarriage. And now after having the baby I can honestly tell you that the pain from the miscarriage goes away. I was convinced throughout pregnancy #2 that that pain would always be there, I was wrong and I’m glad I held onto my pee stick from Baby A and my ultrasound of Baby A because that is all that exists of him/her. I kept them hidden away until well after Baby Jett was born but after I found them…I’m glad I held onto them. Pip was an important part of your journey albeit sad one because he/she let you know you could get pregnant. Good luck on getting through the next 25 days and I’m glad you have a doppler, it talked me off many a ledge until I started feeling baby kicks consistently.

  12. January 18, 2013

    Very sorry about the unpleasant surprise. Maybe the Professor can help you with this one and go through envelops and papers to find any and all images of Pip. But don’t throw them away. I know right now it’s tempting to do so as they are a trigger. But, I’m willing to bet a day will come when having those images will allow you to connect and remember. So, give yourself some time. Decisions don’t need to be made at this second.

    Glad you were able to spend some time with the Chicken. Grow, little one, grow!!!

  13. Jen #
    January 18, 2013

    I think the movements you’ve been feeling could easily still be the chicken, especially if he’s moving up and down – I bet it’s easier to feel the kicks when he’s hanging out high. I’m pretty sure I’ve been feeling my little one for the past week but it’s still VERY sporadic. I’m with you, though – it’ll be so nice when we know for sure it’s the babies and when we feel it consistently – what a much-needed reassurance it will be!

  14. heatherwallen #
    January 18, 2013

    Hang in there, Belle. Bad day here today too. Today was the one-year anniversary of things starting to go wrong w/ my first pregnancy (eventually diagnosed as Trisomy 18) and there I was at work today when I started spotting, sigh, which sent me skittering to the OB for an ultrasound. But the bad day turned into a much better one, when not only did Twin B show us HER lady parts 😉 but she had the hiccups, which I found particularly charming. My day also called for food comfort, in the form of an enormous slice of banana pepper and artichoke heart pizza. Oh, and take heart on your weight gain — sounds great and VERY normal to me — I’m 16w6d and + 19 lbs.

  15. January 18, 2013

    I think I was feeling a lot more movement around 20 weeks. Mostly some little flutters before that which I wasn’t even sure was the baby. It also depends where your placenta is. If it’s sitting at the front of your belly, it will be harder to feel movement and pick up a heartbeat.
    So glad that things seem to be going well. You are really moving right along!

  16. January 19, 2013

    Wow I’m reading your post and it’s the same feelings I’m having right now. I also had a previous lost (twins) and pregnant again with twins after struggling with IVF treatments. I’m soo scared. I feel time doesn’t past by fast enough. I don’t know how I’m going to make it sane till the end.

  17. January 19, 2013

    For a while there was this movement I was 100% sure was Banana. Like even until 20 weeks I was 100% sure it was her. Now I am 100% sure it was gas 😦 But at the time it was very reassuring! (I know it was gas, my intestines were in a different place while I was pregnant, and I felt that same movement AFTER they were born so it couldn’t have been her!)

    I say, it was probably movement until proven otherwise. And hopefully Chicken will start moving around more often and you will really be able to distinguish between movements and gas!

  18. January 19, 2013

    My mom and grandmother used to say something to the effect of without bad days the good days wouldn’t seem so good. Of course, they had much better words for it.

  19. Romy #
    January 20, 2013

    I just had a 3D ultrasound yesterday and it really helped make my pregnancy more real to me. I don’t know if that’s something you’d be interested in? I figured it would be nice to have a non-medical ultrasound where I knew there wasn’t any possibility they’d find something wrong (I’m always worried about the medical ones) and I’d be able to relax and enjoy. We spent almost an hour watching the baby – I brought my husband and parents in law – and afterwards I felt confident enough to go buy a highchair on sale and look at nursery furniture.

  20. January 20, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your journey. And even though I got preggers with Sunshine very easily, I was still insanely neurotic during my pregnancy. I nominated you for a blog award:

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