I am exhausted, but I can't sleep.
There is an ultrasound picture in my purse tucked in among my coupons and keys and miscellaneous junk. I can't bring myself to look at it. I feel like I have taken a huge breath in- the kind of breath you take to prepare yourself for something important or to brace yourself for something devastating... only I haven't let it out. I am holding my breath. I have stopped breathing.
Random thoughts take advantage of this vulnerable state- consuming me with fear and worry. I struggle to let these thoughts go- to center myself, to breathe, to believe.
I am haunted by:
-Tamoxifen (pregnancy category D- evidence of fetal risk, carcinogenic)
-Fentanyl and Dilaudid (C- benefit must outweigh potential risk; decreased fetal heart rate, neonatal respiratory depression, withdrawl)
-Zofran (B- no adverse effects)
-Lupron (X- demonstrated fetal abnormalities and mortality, not to be used)
MRIs, PET scans with radioactive dye, CTs, bone scans, RADIATION.
Natalie and Larissa were born to a mother who avoided things, like caffeine, while pregnant.
How could anyone possibly grow in the toxic, hostile environment that my body has become? How could anyone survive? How could a mother condemn someone to a potentially painful, suffering existence? What if we die in the process?
I answer my own question- NOBODY could grow and survive. I cross my fingers and tell myself it's best not to get attached.
The picture is in my purse. On the chair. Next to the bed. But, I don't look at it.