10+ Weeks

Today has been emotionally exhausting. Leading up to my first OB visit this morning, I was actually doing just fine. Slightly anxious, but nothing to write home about. Then I got to the OB’s office. I was the only one in the waiting room for about 2 minutes. After that came the parade of heavily pregnant women. One after another, until there were 8 other very pregnant women in the room with me less than 5 minutes after I arrived. You’d think it wouldn’t bother me much, being pregnant myself. But that’s when the anxiety started to set in.

Once in the exam room, my anxiety just kept increasing. I was annoyed by the nurse’s questions about my history and current medications. (I know they have to do it every time, but when you visit the doctor frequently, it becomes tedious.) She kept saying, “Since you’re only 9 weeks…” and I kept correcting her, “No, I’m 10 weeks 3 days.” She kept saying, “Well, we have to go by the last ultrasound,” to which I replied, “My last ultrasound was only off by a couple days, so I’m still at least 10 weeks.” She insisted, “Well, that doesn’t change the fact that the doctor probably won’t even attempt to listen with the Doppler, since you’re SO early.” I realize she was trying to manage my expectations, but in some ways she just made it worse. (Oh, and the way she kept focusing on my last menstrual period, like she couldn’t get her mind around the fact that I didn’t get a fucking period before I started my FET cycle, because, hello, I’m infertile! Drove me mad.)

After the nurse left the room, and I waited for the OB to come in, I burst into tears. I tried to stay calm, but couldn’t. I kept remembering my first pregnancy, where the doctor couldn’t hear the heart beat at that first prenatal visit, and the ultrasound confirmed a blighted ovum. Even though I saw a healthy, growing baby 10 days ago, I still feared the worst this morning. Thankfully, my OB was very understanding. She tried the Doppler for about a minute, then wheeled in the ultrasound machine. It wasn’t the greatest image, but we saw the baby dancing around and heard the heart beating. That was all I needed!

We discussed VBAC, and she stressed that I was an excellent candidate, since the reason for my Cesarean was breech presentation. She raved about my doula when I told her who I planned to hire. I knew I made the right choice! (I should note here, this OB is different from the one I saw with my last pregnancy. This new OB was actually the on-call doctor who delivered my daughter 2 years ago when I went into labor before my scheduled Cesarean. I don’t dislike my previous OB, I just knew there was probably a better fit with someone else.) She officially took me off all progesterone and estrogen. (YAY!) I will continue the baby aspirin until a few weeks before my due date.

So…. Even though my mind is at ease right now, I still feel blah after all the crying from this morning. You know how it is, the crying hangover: exhausted, emotionally spent, a slight headache. From now on, I need to focus on more self care. I have the Circle+Bloom meditations already, I just need to download them to my phone and make time to listen each day.

9 Weeks

I know I’ve said this before, but all this waiting during the first trimester is pure agony. The last two weeks have felt like an eternity (which is a tired cliche, I know, but I’m tired, and cliches are all I have right now). My last ultrasound was fine, great even. I’ve had no more bleeding, no cramping. The only thing that has given me any real reason to be concerned is morning sickness that comes and goes. When it goes, I worry; and when it comes back, I’m only moderately relieved.

Finally, the day of my 4th ultrasound arrived, at precisely 9 weeks. I was nervous going in, needless to say, and even more nervous when I saw that my technician was the inexperienced one who did my second ultrasound and possibly got the measurements wrong. Again, it took her about 20 minutes to complete the ultrasound, and she had to have her work checked by an experienced technician before she could remove the wand. It was incredibly uncomfortable.

Fortunately, she let me know right away that the heart rate was around 169, and at the end, she let me see the little flickering heart beat on the screen. Later, I learned baby grew by 2 weeks 1 day since the last ultrasound, exactly 2 weeks ago. So, looking good! My RE officially released me to my OB, who I will see next week. I took my last estrace and Crinone yesterday, and plan to stop the PIO after my OB visit. Thank the gods!

I don’t know if it’s my age (almost 39), or the fact that I have a toddler, or the large amount of hormones I’m taking, but this pregnancy is kicking my ass in the exhaustion department. A couple nights ago I was so tired at 7:00 pm that I was actually a little lightheaded. I’m ready for my second trimester burst of energy!

With the bleeding and confusing measurements early on in this pregnancy, I’ve been hesitant to tell a lot of people. At the same time, I’m too tired and lazy to hide my already-visible bump, so it’s been a bit weird around people who haven’t seen me in a while. I can tell they want to say something, but are too polite or scared of being wrong. I think now, though, we will start telling more people, and letting ourselves believe this will actually turn out okay.

Oh, and the people who do know about this pregnancy are already referring to the baby as “he.” I have a boy feeling, too, but I can’t be sure if it’s because I kind of hope to have a boy, or if it’s actual maternal instinct. Time will tell!

7 Weeks & a Due Date

This last week has been the longest, most anxious one I’ve ever had. Even though I’ve had no more bleeding, and I’ve been nauseated almost constantly, I still worried that my baby wasn’t growing. Finally, today arrived, and I had my third scan first thing.

We have a baby! I still don’t have the official dating measurement, but the RE said he saw a week’s growth, and I saw the heartbeat and baby blob during the scan. In fact, even before the tech showed me the screen, I knew it was good news, because she had me hold my breath – which is only necessary to record the heart rate. I could barely hold my breath, because I was already crying tears of happiness.

I was too relieved to remember to ask the RE about the SCH, but it must have resolved, because I didn’t see it on the screen (I looked for it briefly), and I’m pretty sure he would have mentioned it if it were still there. I got my official due date: February 11.

The RE was very happy and very optimistic. He even asked me who my OB would be, and encouraged me to set up my 12 week appointment now. I told him it hasn’t been on my radar, given that I couldn’t be sure I would still be pregnant this week.

My next appointment with the RE isn’t for two weeks, which is another good sign, I suppose, but a long time to wait for another scan.

I can’t even describe how relieved I am! I feel like a new person.

After 2 Ultrasounds, Still in Limbo

Yes, that’s right! Lucky me, I’ve had two ultrasounds in the same week and I’m just 6 weeks pregnant.

In the wee morning hours on Tuesday (read: 1:00 am), I experienced heavy bleeding. Scary heavy bleeding, with lots of clots. I was sure I had lost the baby. I cried big, heaving sobs most of the night, in between rushing to the bathroom for another gush of blood, until my RE’s clinic finally opened and I could speak to a nurse. By the time I made the call, the bleeding had slowed to spotting. The nurse worked fast and within about 30 minutes, I had an appointment for just a few hours later for an ultrasound and blood work.

The ultrasound showed a gestational sac measuring 5w6d. I was 5w4d, so that was good. My progesterone was over 30, which was great, and my hCG was 6340, which according to the good ol’ Internet, was a 77 hour doubling time. This, I am assured by the Internet, is normal for this stage in a pregnancy. My wonderful RE was very reassuring that many women bleed like this and go on to have healthy pregnancies. I also heard many stories of hope from friends on social media. My thoughtful RE let me keep my already scheduled ultrasound for Friday (today) instead of making me wait an entire week for follow up. So, I left the hospital in pretty good spirits.

Today: Lucky me, I got the newbie ultrasound technician. It took her forever to get the images she needed, and then she had to have someone check her work. What should have been a 10 minute scan turned into 30. (My scans are done locally, then sent to my RE, 200 miles away.) When I finally got to speak with the RE, she had mixed news:

  1. The gestational sac was actually SMALLER today that it was on Tuesday, BUT a yolk sac was present and the whole thing looked beautiful.
  2. My hCG from Tuesday, with the 77 hour doubling time, was NOT her idea of a good rise.
  3. She could see a less than 2mm SCH, which explains the bleeding from Tuesday.

The RE said the conflicting measurements could be a simple matter of different ultrasound technicians. I know that this early, things are so small and it’s easy for measurements to be off. Still, I worry that she wouldn’t tell me exactly how much smaller it was. Is that even possible, to have a shrinking sac, yet have a yolk sac appear when there wasn’t one before? And I’m not happy that she’s not happy with my betas. HOWEVER, I can’t help but think that if I had not had the bleeding episode on Tuesday, today’s ultrasound results would be awesomely positive, especially compared to this stage in my last pregnancy, when we couldn’t see even a yolk sac at 6 weeks.

So, I’m left not knowing how I should feel. Part of me is confused and worried. The other part is hopeful. The only thing to do now is wait another week for another ultrasound. My RE said another beta was not necessary, as it wouldn’t change our wait-and-see approach.

 

 

FET Results

My apologies, dear reader. I’ve been holding out on you. Despite my best advice to others, I tested early. Really early.

Three days after my transfer, I felt two very strong stabbing pains in my uterus, about 20 minutes apart. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I couldn’t help but think, Implantation? I dismissed the idea as ludicrous almost right away, but it lingered in the back of my mind. Two days later, I decided to take a test (that’s 5dp6dt, for anyone keeping score). After all, I had 20 “internet cheapies” at my disposal. What’s the harm?

Faint positive. But definitely positive. 

Of course, I’ve tested every day since, and the line has only gotten stronger. That fact didn’t stop me worrying, though. Worrying that it might be a chemical, and come beta day, it would be negative.

Then beta day arrived. Today.

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Huge sigh of relief.

There are more milestones to pass, as you know. Second beta, probably a third, first ultrasound (last time it was at 6 weeks), second ultrasound, as many ultrasounds as my RE wants/needs until releasing me into the wild, first OB visit, screenings, etc. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I tend to get WAY ahead of myself, and usually all the worry is for nothing. But I’m going to do it anyway. What? You thought I was going to learn from my past behavior? Ha!

 

Not-Quite-Two Week Wait

Thank you all so much for the good wishes and positive thoughts on my last post!

I’m happy to report that I’m PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) with one beautiful embryo.

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Please stick, and stick around.

I had a chance to practice some positive thinking and meditation on the 200 mile trek to the fertility clinic, which helped my anxiety a great deal. We had a small hiccup when we got there, though. My RE excitedly informed us that they had thawed two embryos and both were high quality. The problem was that we had decided early on that we would only transfer one. I guess she forgot. Fortunately, the one not transferred was re-frozen. However, for a brief moment I did question our decision. But, ultimately, we weren’t willing to risk multiples.

Before my transfer, I spied this little rabbit just outside the clinic. That has to be a good sign, right?

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My spirit animal?

So, my worst fear wasn’t realized. In 9 days, I’ll know if the transfer worked.

 

Schrödinger’s Box (FET update)

It’s 24 hours before my FET. I’m sick to my stomach with fear. Fear that none of my embryos will survive the thaw. It’s an unwelcome turn of thought, as, just a few days ago, I was imagining myself crying happy tears at seeing 2 beautiful pink lines on a test, and crafting ideas for an announcement to friends and family. I’m trying desperately to recover those happy thoughts, but I can’t find them anywhere. I’m on the verge of tears. I can’t concentrate on work. I keep running through all the scenarios:

a) None survive the thaw. End of our family building journey.

b) One survives, is transferred, but doesn’t implant. End of our journey.

c) One survives, is transferred, implants, but results in early pregnancy loss. End of journey.

d) More than one survives, one is transferred, remaining are not able to be refrozen. Negative pregnancy test. End of the road.

e) More than one survives, one is transferred, remaining are re-frozen. Negative pregnancy test, but another transfer is possible next cycle.

f) More than one survives, one is transferred, remaining are re-frozen. Pregnancy achieved, but results in early loss. Another transfer possible.

g) One survives, is transferred, and pregnancy is achieved. Healthy baby born approximately 9 months later. End of family building journey.

h) More than one survives, one is transferred, remaining are re-frozen. Pregnancy is achieved. Healthy baby born approximately 9 months later. End of family building journey, except that we have to decide what to do with our remaining embryos.

I know it doesn’t do any good to obsess over the possibilities. Whatever is going to happen, will happen, and soon. Deep down, I know that whatever happens, I’m going to be okay. If it’s the end of the road, I’ll find a way to cope. If I get pregnant, a whole new set of fears will emerge, and I’ll cope with those, too. But, for now, I’m staring down at Schrödinger’s box, terrified of opening it, but terrified not to open it. (Does that mean I’m also in Schrödinger’s box? Kind of like those nesting Russian dolls. Nesting Schrödinger’s boxes?)