I’ve been a bad blogger- and for once on purpose. So much has happened in the last 10 weeks– where do I even start? I’ve been writing this all in a word document and just adding on in hopes that I don’t forget the details by the time I actually hit “post”. After our egg transfer, the dreaded two week wait began. It honestly didn’t feel that excruciating at first—mostly because this isn’t our first two week wait. We’ve been going through this dreaded 14 day holding period for the past three years. I kept in pretty consistent contact with GirtyJ, she knew the ins and outs of when our tests would be but mostly kept pretty silent from our other friends and family. It’s tough, you want to be excited, you want to anticipate the best, but historically my body has given us the worst news and no matter how hard you try that’s in the back of your mind. By about day 7 of the 12 day wait (technically less than two week since I had my blood work scheduled 12 days past transfer I was getting the itch. What I wouldn’t give to just feel SOMETHING. I think I poked and prodded at my boobs at least 3x a day hoping for soreness. All you want is the feels. Day 10, boobs start feeling PMS sore, minor twinges of PMS cramps. Damn you body. But so so tired. Could it be real? Or could it be the progesterone injections which cause breast tenderness and fatigue? By day 11, I caved and took a home pregnancy test. Two pink lines. Not even squinters. Real lines. I cried. Years we’ve pleaded with the universe to see this. I walked to the living room where I had to admit to PC I’d tested early instead of waiting for the bloodwork. He greeted me with the biggest bear hug. So many hurdles still to go, but baby steps in the right direction. The downfall of knowing so early is that…well…you know so early. There is more time/risk for complications and loss in early pregnancy before most women even realize they’ve conceived. I contemplated moving my appointment. Was having blood drawn on Friday the 13th a bad omen? We already knew the HPT had come up positive, but would it in fact be confirmed with high enough numbers? I went for my blood draw at 8am. By 10am, our regular nurse called with her voice cracking. I’d barely confirmed it was me on the line when she blurted out that she had good news. We were in fact pregnant. The way I understood the blood work (maybe some dr.’s offices explain differently) goes like this:
0-5 not pregnant
6-25 technically pregnant, but not a good sign. Usually less than 25 means this will result in a chemical pregnancy (a pregnancy never confirmed by ultrasound) and that pregnancy will be lost.
26-50 still iffy but not doomsday.
51-100 getting better, but not out of the woods
101+ solid #, as long as HCG level doubles every 2-3 days from this point.
I had to have our nurse read the # to be twice. Three-eighty-eight. Shocker, I cried again. It’s at this point I realized I am not sure you ever get “comfortable” being clinically pregnant after struggling with infertility. Every check point leads to another check point. Ok so now we know we have a good strong number. What’s next? Re-test scheduled for Sunday to confirm rising HSG. Oh no, what if it’s not? Blood drawn by hysterical weekend nurse. She wishes me luck, says she has a good feeling. I cry again. Pull it together Poodle! Call back that afternoon confirms we are doubling just fine. In fact in 48 hours, we’ve gone from 388 to 801 so we are in the clear and do not require another beta. But then the crazy neurotic part of you almost wants another one. How many days can you go without knowing your body is going in the right direction? Technically at that point we are 4 weeks pregnant. This is what I mean when the process makes you crazy (if you weren’t already before). The nurse on the phone schedules my viability scan. Our very first ultrasound for week 7 at the end of March. Holy crap this is happening. No surprise now, we are seeing a pattern, I cry again. I tell my parents that night even though PC and I have discussed trying to hold on to this as long as possible. It’s not because we don’t want to share the joy, but because it’s one of those things that just seems so impossible to “untell” if something goes wrong. One thing IVF ruins you with is statistics. You know the odds of everything. The odds of good, the bad and the ugly.
We had a busy weekend planned prior to our week 7 viability scan. Friends in town, dinners planned, baby showers, get togethers and more. Saturday morning at 3am I woke up to go the bathroom, a pretty regular occurrence these days only to find every pregnant woman’s nightmare in the toilet. Blood. Not a ton, but red (they always tell you brown isn’t such a worry but that red is no bueno). I try to go back to bed, but obviously can’t sleep. I message GirtyJ because I know she only half sleeps feeing her babies, and by 4am she’s responded with some soothing words. We are able to get in to the Dr. that morning despite being a weekend and amazingly enough, everything looked a-ok! We were measuring on track, and got to see and hear the heartbeat (the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard) and although they do not know the cause of the bleeding, the doctor seemed pretty ok with where we were. I felt better. Sort of.Still anxious, and they reschedule us for a week later (and cancel the viability scan since we’ve had it early now). They label you because of any blood “threatened miscarriage” which is an ugly term. Or better yet, sometimes the forms say “threatened abortion”. Thanks medical field for your HORRIBLE choice in wording. The bleeding became minimal brown spotting throughout the day and then all but disappeared. I began to feel a little better. By the next morning, all evidence of bleeding the day before had dissolved and I relaxed enough to trust a panty liner when I went off to Foxy’s baby shower. Mid shower game, I feel two back to back “gushes” and my heart sinks. Even the day before I hadn’t felt anything first, only visually saw it in toilet and on paper. I rush to the bathroom only to find more blood than Saturday and again bright red. I create a make-shift paper towel solution and try to hold it together for the remainder of the shower. I take off and head straight home to rest. By the time I am home, it’s again all but stopped and for 36 hours seemed ok. Then Tuesday, red blood again. More now than any of the days combined but no cramps. I anticipate the worst, and I call the RE back. They fit me in that afternoon and PC is able to join me. Scan looks a-ok again. Heartbeat slightly lower than Saturday, but still in the range of normal. Again, the blood stops and all looks fine. Off and on spotting throughout the week of mostly pale brown has be anxious but not terrified.
Somewhere in here PC and I managed to get away to the beach for a few days to celebrate our five year anniversary. I honestly can’t believe it’s already been five years sometimes, but then I realize all that we have accomplished and faced in five years! Mankee and her husband were in town from England and came over to the beach for a day to hang out in the sun before heading back to their cold rainy home. I often hate when people brag on their spouses too much as if the rest of the world needs convincing that they’re something worthy BUT I do have to brag on PC for a hot minute. He’s been dynamite. He’s been patient. He’s been kind. He’s been helpful. He is still being a rockstar about giving our progesterone injections, and he cleans even more than normal to ensure that I “don’t’ overdo it”. Those things are all more than I can ask for as an anniversary gift, but he also bought me a beautiful anniversary band to wear with my wedding set. I bought him FIFA for the Xbox. Sounds like a fair trade right? I did weeks later end up adding a nice golf bag to his gift. That totally counts.
Tues of week 8 marked a BIG day for us. We had another ultrasound with our RE. I didn’t know, but it would be our LAST one with them. They’ve “graduated us” to our regular OBGYN. I haven’t really stopped crying in weeks, but obviously this brought out so many emotions. I am almost crying again typing this. I would never wish it upon anyone to have to see a reproductive doctor. BUT if someone ever does, I hope they are met with the same compassion and support that we were from our pack of nurses and doctors. The lady that draws my blood was teary, my nurse was teary. This did not help me be less teary. It really reminds you how many people are pulling for this baby and are in our corner now and also long before he/she was even conceived!
Our graduation to a regular OBGYN means the estrogen pills stop, but the PIO devil shots continue until week 12. Actually technically until week 11 and then every other day in week 12. They gave us the option to switch from the shots to the suppositories, and they must think I am crazy that I turned it down BUT I had a few good reasons. A) Progesterone injections allow measurable quantities of progesterone in your blood. Suppositories only absorb locally, so no blood test will tell the doctor IF you’re getting enough or running low, etc. B) PC and I have a routine. We’ve got this in rhythm, changing the routine now seems like an accident waiting to happen C)The shots are way less expensive ($70 for 20 days vs. $250+ for 20 days) and D) suppositories can cause irritation. We already have had spotting, I don’t want more. That and one friend I know was on them and it gave her such a yeast infection she almost clawed her vagina off. We’ve been on them at this point for 47 days now, it doesn’t even phase us.
Our first appointment with our new doctor (who is my regular OB as of last year and has delivered several of our friend’s kids) was came and went. I was nervous again and couldn’t explain why, but at least I wasn’t WORRIED like I was at our scans after seeing bleeding. The appointment could not have gone better. Poodle Baby (PB) is measuring a solid 10 weeks with a 171bmp heartbeat. The ultrasound also revealed what looks like a sub-chronic hematoma which sounds hideous, but is likely the cause of the bleeding a few weeks back. While you don’t really want this clot just hanging out, the doctor said it’s fairly common and isn’t concerned. They usually bleed themselves out or reabsorb, both of which are not a concern for me or PB! Sign of relief. While it still has to be monitored, it explains the brown continued on again/off again spotting and also is someone reassuring if that continues a little longer until it resolves itself. SCH’s can cause risks and even miscarriage if they are large and dislodge, or if they get between the placenta and the uterine wall, so for now we will just count our lucky stars that our little SCH is on the opposite side of my uterus from the placenta and is pretty small!
So here we are. Week 12. We are just about ready to tell the world! Bleeding seems to have stopped, ultrasound yesterday looked great. We had our first blood draw and scan for the NT testing yesterday and go back in week 15 to finalize it. So again, apologies for the insanely log and overdue blog. We will be telling the rest of the world sometime in early May most likely, but now that our secret is out to our family, and very close friends (the ones that read the blog at least) and the infertility blog followers, I will try to keep more regular updates coming!