Today is Setsubun

Today marks the division of seasons in the old Japanese calendar, and tomorrow is traditionally the first day of Spring! It doesn’t feel very springlike at all today, very cold and grey. I bought an oni (Japanese ogre/demon) mask and some beans so my daughter could throw beans at the demon to drive out bad luck and keep good luck in, but my husband is out getting drinks with coworkers tonight and I’m not sure if we can successfully scare away the demons without his help!

Now then, to the real reason we’re here blogging today.

This early on, most people don’t really feel much in the way of symptoms. I mean for goodness’ sake, my menstrual cycle tracker still thinks my regular period might show up at the beginning of next week, so if I had somehow got pregnant naturally I definitely wouldn’t even know yet! Because of this, it’s a weird in-between time: you know you’re pregnant because of the positive blood test, but there’s nothing to see on any ultrasound scan, and there are very few other symptoms, so it’s like… am I really pregnant? Is this real? I swore this time that I wouldn’t get addicted to using those pregnancy tests that you buy from the drugstore (even if you miscarry there’s still hCG in your system for some time after so they’re not a proper indicator of if a pregnancy is successfully continuing)… but on Sunday I did think, if there was enough hCG to show up in a sensitive hospital blood test then surely if it’s increased adequately there should be enough to show up on a general-sale pregnancy test?! and bought myself a couple. To nobody’s surprise, they came up positive.

I said “very few” symptoms, right? But I have been pretty tired every day and also peeing a ton, which is normal for this stage (kidneys are getting ready to be able to process a significantly larger amount of blood, go kidneys go). My breasts have been tender/slightly painful, but that can also be a symptom of the levels of hormones currently rolling around my body – back when I was on Clomid in late 2018 my boobs ached terribly each time, and I soon learned to discount it as a sign of early pregnancy because at that time it never was!

The medication still continues – oestrogen patches (despite moisturising carefully my skin is so sore) and progesterone pessaries (ick), as well as progesterone(? I think) injections in my butt at the clinic every few days. It’s tiresome, but I know it’s important! The butt injections are the type where you’re supposed to massage the site of the injection shortly after being stabbed, which makes it a little bit awkward when you have to go out into the waiting room rubbing your bum, but such is life.

But man, from Wednesday onwards I started feeling glum. I’m not even sure why, but I started getting this big feeling that I was going to miscarry, that something was going to go wrong, that Friday’s scan was going to show bad results, I don’t know, something kept nagging at me. And then on Thursday night I went to the loo and suddenly, gasp. Bright red blood. And enough for it to be… really obviously blood. I was already feeling pessimistic, so that sealed it: this was obviously the terrible thing that I’d felt was coming. I waited for the seemingly inevitable: for the blood flow to grow steadily heavier and for my uterus to start cramping painfully. Thursday night was the night I was supposed to change my oestrogen patches and I did so anyway, struggling to fight back tears while my daughter was still awake. My husband helped out extra when getting her ready for bed (which was particularly rough, because she decided to be in a Mummy Mummy mood) and I went to bed feeling miserable.

Remember in the last update when I told you about the .pdf the clinic sent me, and how they said “it’s actually pretty normal to have some bleeding because of the medication you’re on”? Yeeeeeah. I woke up a couple of times in the night to pee (go kidneys go!) and each time the blood flow seemed to be less and less, until by the time we were due to get up in the morning it had almost (though not quite) stopped altogether. Maybe things were going to be okay? I couldn’t wait until 10am when my appointment was scheduled at the clinic.

“There’s the gestational sac!” Dr. O said, twisting the ultrasound wand around in my vagina to get a better view (oof). “Can you see? It’s a fantastic size, really good. Everything’s going well.”

“Another three weeks of the tape and pessaries, I’m afraid,” she said. “I know, it’s not nice, is it. Come back for more injections on the 8th and the 13th, and I’ll see you for the heartbeat scan on the 17th.”

“It’s so far away,” I said.

“It definitely feels like it, doesn’t it,” she agreed. “Especially right now.”

“I almost wish I had morning sickness so that I could at least feel more pregnant,” I laughed, and she laughed too.

“You might regret saying that!” she said with a smile. “But don’t forget, whether or not you get morning sickness has nothing to do with how well the baby is growing. Everything seems okay for now, so have faith.”

4 Thoughts

  1. Oh gosh Thursday night must have been awful ;; I’m glad everything is going ok and that you didn’t have to wait for longer than that to go to the clinic but that’s such a stressful night to have 😭

    I’m glad you did the test, even when you know it’s not the be-all end-all, it must be at least somewhat reassuring to see it?

    Hopefully all the meds will be bearable and you’ll get to the 17th in no time 🤞


    I hope the oni will know you have beans and know how to use them even if you haven’t demonstrated it explicitly this year!! 😱


  2. Huge thanks for the update 🤗 – you’ve been very much in my thoughts all this past week, wondering how things were going! Your wonderfully clear explanations of the challenges you have had to face are really helpful in understanding everything – bless you for taking the time and trouble to write it all down. Glad that “everything seems OK for now”; I’ve still got all available fingers, arms and legs crossed for you!
    Hope the seasonal demons realised they were up against The Invincible One and steered well clear of you!


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