I don’t even test for pregnancy anymore-there is no need to test–I can tell as soon as there is something going on in that uterus of death of mine. My body is so sensitive to the increase in progesterone/estrogen that happens around the time of implantation (when normally if not pregnant the progesterone would be decreasing) that it triggers a very specific type of headache that I have now become all too familiar with.
You see, I have a sensitivity to progesterone/estrogen-didn’t realize it until I was in my freshmen year of college-and had been suffering with migraines for 2 years. My junior year in High School I went on birth control pills and within 6 months of being on them, I started having headaches–but just chalked them up to not enough sleep or water. My senior year the headaches were no longer headaches-they were full on migraines. I went to a doctor and they gave me a medication called cafergot-it was horrible and did nothing but make me jittery while I was struggling with the migraine. Never once did my doctor’s attribute the headaches to my birth control pills-they just kept changing the migraine meds to see if one would work.
By the middle of my first semester in college-the migraines were getting insane-and not even the injector immitrex pen could get them to stop. As usual with me-things have to get horribly bad before they get better-I went home (to my dad’s-my mom and I had a falling out the end of my junior year in High School that lead to me living with my best friend to finish off my senior year and never wanting to see my mother *EVER* again) for Christmas break. I proceeded to have what was labeled as a grand mal seizure (of course it started in the shower when I was home alone and then was unconscious on the bathroom floor for 4 hours)-and then stuck in the hospital for 3 days while they tested me for illegal drugs. They found nothing-which I told them they wouldn’t, so they did CAT scans, MRI’s, sent me to a neurologist for brain wave mapping and then decided I was probably an epileptic (not because they found anything but because they couldn’t find anything and they claimed I had a seizure), and then put me on anti seizure medication.
You can’t make this shit up, can you?
While on the daily anti seizure meds (that were going to make me loose my drivers license because apparently it isn’t legal to be an epileptic and drive,) I was still taking that stupid fucking birth control pill-and sure enough 3 days after being sent home from the hospital-my Dad got to see what it was like to be me during a migraine. The migraine he saw me trying to get through was no different than the ones I was getting at school-I was doing the usual things I did there, camped out under a blanket with a window open so that it was a dark and cold as possible, lean over and puke in the trash can (cause there was no way I could come into the lighted hall and get all the way down to the ladies room on my dorm floor) when the waves of nausea got to be too much. The only difference was he could actually see me going through it. The migraine had started while he was at work-when he got home that evening he made it about 4 hours before he was freaked out enough that he scooped me up and rushed me back to the hospital. There in a dark room the attending physician gave me a shot of demerol and phenergan in my arse and stopped the migraine dead. Again-never thinking potentially it could be the stupid birth control.
My older brother had been visiting my Dad that week as well, and the day after my migraine-he went up to visit my mom who lived a couple hours north. My mom and I were still not on speaking terms at the time, but luckily-my brother told my mom what the hell had been going on with me, and she called my dads house immediately. Turns out, my mom was insanely sensitive to birth control pills-started with headaches, progressed into migraines and eventually she came off the pills to make a baby and the migraines stopped. She went back on them after giving birth and almost immediately-the migraines sparked up again. She stopped taking the pills to get the migraines to stop because it was impossible to manage a toddler and a newborn and a migraine.
She said stop taking the birth control pill, and I did.
And never again did I have another one of those migraines-that is until my IVF cycle in October. Because I didn’t realize at the time that the 2 active drugs in the birth control pills were a combo pf progesterone and estrogen-I thought nothing of following the drug protocl for the 2 week wait of that IVF cycle which was jam my v-jay full of progesterone gel daily and take 6 pills of estrogen a day. Well fuck me running by the 4th day of that-I had a headache. That stupid headache would NOT go away, then I realized after the 5th day of it that I remembered this type of headache (it had been16 years but boy did I remember)-I googled and of course, nearly shat myself when I realized how much fun I was going to be having during these medicated cycles if I wasn’t pregnant right now-because it is the same combo of drugs found in birth control pills only higher doses!
As soon as I stopped taking the drugs during that 2ww in November-the headache vanished. BUT weirdly enough, the next month (December) at 10 DPO of a natural cycle, I was in bed trying to shake off that same type of headache-wondering what the hell was going on since I wasn’t on any drugs-so my only other thought was hmmnnn-maybe its my body increasing these hormones on its own because I’m pregnant? No, that can’t be, I’ve just failed 5 months of fertility treatments-no way can I be pregnant after having sex only once during my peak window this cycle. So I tested, and sure enough, 5 mins later-it was a big fat negative so I went back to bed and I laughed at myself for thinking I could be pregnant. 3 hours later, still with headache-I wanted to take a fist full of excederin but just to make sure, I went to the bathroom and pulled that pee stick out of the trash-
and sure enough there was *something* there.
Here, see for yourself, this image is straight out of camera-the only adjustment I made was to resize it for you:
You don’t see anything do you?
Of fucking course not, they never photograph well when they are this light.
Welcome to my hell!
I know I’m pregnant. I can see something, but no one else can. Trash picking, slightly turning the stupid stick you peed on every which way to get the best view. Second guessing yourself, thinking you’ve willed yourself to see another line that’s not really there…
Thank god for photoshop is all I have to say.
Here is that exact same photo only I tweaked in photoshop to bring out the line that I knew was there-and by tweaked I mean adjusted the exposure, not painted in a line that wasn’t there…
That pee stick was dipped an hour before I had my blood drawn for a beta blood pregnancy test. The line you are looking at-is when your beta level is a 6. Anything less than 5 is clinically not pregnant. I was pregnant, but just barely. That headache told me BEFORE I could test positive on either of those tests that something was going on.
I felt that headache again when I was editing a photo shoot I had done with a friend of mine the weekend in April before I flew out for our Turks vacation this year. I was 1 week into the 2 week wait of an FSH/IUI cycle where I had triggered a week before so I was still testing slightly positive for pregnancy because of the hcg trigger shot. However, the line should be fading at that point-so after 3 hours of that headache-I took a second pregnancy test for that day and sure as shit, the line is clearly darker than the one I had taken that morning.
Yep, I was making some hcg of my own and my headache told me first.
The following week I’m on vacation-thinking I’m not pregnant because I only had 1 mature egg at trigger and I had seen the line fade out to negative a couple days before we flew out, and I took a test at 14DPO that was a BFN and I’m bleeding out the V-jay for 3 days. These are all the reasons I’m dead sure that I’m not pregnant. By 2pm in the afternoon on Wednesday my head hurts so bad I tell the boys and Christine, I’m gonna head up to bed and take a nap because I’ve drunken myself into a serious day time hang over. I take 3 excederine, and I snuggle my shit down for a nice little nap. I wake up, headaches gone and I go about my drinking crazy ways for 2 more days never once thinking I should pee on a stick. The morning before we fly out, I go to take my “not pregnant” digital shot out on the balcony for my blog post and mother fucker-its positive. I should have known better, I know that headache by now.
I told myself I will never doubt that headache again-it’s been right 3 times in a row.
Fast forward to last Friday, I again know I am not pregnant and to help add some sardonic humor to a BFN cycle, I decide lets pee on a fancy stick, and turn it into my “baby.” This will be fun as I can play with my new lens that’s for newborn photoshoot’s that I haven’t been able to do because I don’t fucking have one-and at the same time, make me laugh- because, well it’s funny.
About an hour into my funny shoot, my head is hurting so bad I’m thinking I might need to go puke. I’m no dummy at this point, I embrace the headache-because truth be told I start praying for that damn thing at 7dpo. I give it a couple hours, and go pee on a stick and here’s the unedited, straight out of camera hell I’m thrusted into friday at 4pm:
I know, I know, you don’t see it.
Here’s the slightly tweaked version of the same exact photo:
And if you still can’t see it on that one-then here’s a serious tweaking of the same exact photo:
Fuck me running.
Yet another one bites the dust.
No fucking way. This is not normal.
Don’t worry-I didn’t ruin my husbands birthday yesterday-the poor man had just returned early Friday morning from burying his uncle and was at work when all this was going down. Being wise in my ways, I decided not to share this development right away. Luckily he was so tired when he got home, he went straight to bed at 7pm giving me time to take another test before I went to bed to see what was going on with the line.
9pm I tested after a 5 hour hold-and got nothing.
I woke up at 5am after holding for 8 hours and double checked the 9pm test from Friday and peed again-and NOTHING!
Happy Birthday Honey! You get another chemical pregnancy -aka miscarriage so early no doctor even gives a shit.
I’m sure it’s exactly what you wished for right?
I did tell him, but only later in the day yesterday-and more like, hey just wanted you to know I got my period but the same thing happened again. He didn’t even say anything. We’re just so fucking damaged it’s like a non event.
So there you have it, a glimpse into my hell.