Archive | October, 2012

Episode 9

31 Oct

Episode 9 (9 -wow!) of Bitter Infertiles is now livety-live-live. This one is another heavy episode, wherein we focus on baby loss. We are joined in this special episode by the wonderful Alissa of MissConception, who has set a beautiful example of how to honor and remember rainbow babies in her ongoing tributes to her lost twins, Michael and Alena. I admire her immensely and was so glad to have her on.

I’m a little quieter than usual in this episode, mainly because I didn’t feel equipped to counsel on this topic. In my mind, early miscarriage and baby loss are two VASTLY different things. Not everyone feels this way though. The mom of the family I used to nanny for had experienced two early losses. When an older woman she worked with found out about them, she said, oh I’m so sorry, I’ve been there. But she had never had any miscarriages or even experienced baby loss. She was referring to the loss of her 18 year old son. In her mind, they were one in the same. Loss of a child.

Anyways, I tried to express this in the episode but I’m not sure how eloquently I did so.

In other news, happy Halloween! I plan to spend it curled up in a ball on my couch, trying to forget the agony of today. It was my first day working back in the office (instead of from home), in almost two whole weeks and it’s been all I can do to stop myself from vomiting all over my desk.

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Relief

29 Oct

The past few days have been a delicate dance between trying to stay connected to this pregnancy while also trying not to drive myself insane. I found the best way to do so was to unplug a little, so that’s why I’ve been light on posting.

But, we finally had another ultrasound this morning. I’ve been continuing to have the brown spotting all the time. All different shades of brown, with lots of unpleasant clot-like material mixed in. It was discouraging and upsetting, to say the least. And yet, the nausea has persisted, along with the occasional round of vomiting (including this morning in the shower – a first!).

Both my fears and hopes were proved right today. They inserted the wand and immediately found baby’s heartbeat. Everyone in the room collectively breathed a giant sigh of relief. There’s still a live baby in there! The other sac remained very empty looking. There looked to be some sort of “debris” in there but nothing measurable. My RE is officially calling it a vanishing twin but he is very hopeful for the baby we do have.

After he left, we got to actually hear the heartbeat pounding away in there! 147 bpm. It was beautiful and magical and surreal. That’s your baby’s heartbeat! the u/s tech (slash my favorite person at the clinic) said. The little guy was measuring right on track, 7 weeks 0 days (I’m 7 weeks 2 days but they didn’t seem concerned by that).

I still have a small hematoma and the other sac is “getting reabsorbed” so my spotting days are not over yet. I’m okay with it for now. We got more pictures this time, including the one with the heartbeat’s squiggly lines. I’ll probably start working on that separate page soon… maybe. I’m definitely feeling after today more confident in this pregnancy but still too scared to really trust it.

My next ultrasound is next Wednesday at 8 weeks 4 days, at which point they’ll be passing me off to an OB. They think I’ll have about two more weeks left on the estradiol pills and progesterone injections. This is starting to get really real.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go pay further tribute to the porcelain goddess. That is if Hurricane Sandy doesn’t blow us away first.

Out of my control

25 Oct

The circumstances of this early pregnancy have thrown all of my expectations and fantasies out the window. Which is okay. I’m really okay with it. Ever since I accepted the fact that I’m an infertile, I gave up on the fantasies. The “just get married and poof – you’re knocked up” fantasy. The “BFP resulting from that one passionate night” fantasy.

Those fantasies are so long gone, I don’t even miss them anymore.

With this past FET cycle, we didn’t tell everyone in the world that we were doing it, unlike our IVF cycle. Very few people knew, which allowed me to concoct a new fantasy wherein I got to announce my pregnancy to family, friends and coworkers after reaching the end of the first trimester.

I thought up this whole thing where we reveal the news to my parents at Thanksgiving. It was going to be great. I was going to give them a “belated anniversary gift” in front of everyone that was our ultrasound pictures. It was going to be beautiful. Everyone was going to cry. It would be amazing.

Except, the bleeding and spotting happened. With the first bleeding episode on the day of my third beta, I spilled the beans to work. I told my supervisor and bosses that I was most likely miscarrying twins. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t really, really think it was over (but I really, really did). When everything ended up looking okay, for the time being, after that first ultrasound, well, the cat was out of the bag with the higher ups at work.

Which was fine, but the more I kept them in the loop, the weirder it felt to have them knowing and not my parents, who I am truly very close with. After the second ultrasound on Monday, which was so inconclusive, scary, heartbreaking and yet encouraging, I decided I needed to tell them. I realized that I’m just never going to get that magical announcement moment. If history tells me anything, I’m always going to have spotting in early pregnancy, which means threatened miscarriage. And if we’re on that path, I need my support network.

So now my parents know and that’s good, I’m glad they know. It feels better this way. Though I do have to let go of the Thanksgiving reveal fantasy.

This week has been very hard on me. I’ve been really struggling with the nausea and sickness. Tuesday was the worst, couldn’t keep anything down. The dark brown spotting has also continued, sometimes with clotty, stringy looking stuff. Worst of all, my husband has been out of town, which I always hate, but especially now with the way I’m feeling and having to do everything on my own. He feels absolutely awful about it. He cried to me last night that he’s worried I’ll get stressed out with him out of town, which will cause something bad to happen and it will be his fault. Poor thing.

Emotionally, aside from being completely overwhelmed, I haven’t really been freaking out. I think I’m tired of freaking out. Here’s what I think is happening: I lost Baby A. Everything that’s coming out is part of that sac breaking up. Meanwhile, Baby B is strong. That’s why I’m so sick. I am fine with all of it. As long as I come out of this with a healthy baby, anything can happen and I’ll be fine with it.

Basically, nothing is going the way I thought it would or wanted it to and that’s okay. It’s all out of my control and I’m finally coming to terms with that.

Limbo continues

22 Oct

I’m not feeling particularly pithy so I’ll keep this to the point. They only found one heartbeat on what we were calling “Baby B.”
“Baby A”‘s sac was looking pretty empty. They’re preparing us for a vanishing twin but say it’s still possible we’ll see a heartbeat on A at my next ultrasound, still scheduled right now for Monday the 29th.

It was a weird ultrasound. It wasn’t the joyous one I was expecting when I saw my own child’s heart beating for the first and possibly only time. It was, there’s a heartbeat, yes, but where’s the other one. And there was lots of other “stuff” in there that scared me. Basically, lots of fluid… blood, I guess. Looked like dark spots on the screen, many more than last time. They said it’s possible the sac of Baby A is breaking up and starting to come out.

My biggest fear right now is obviously losing the one baby we do clearly have. As sad as I am to think of losing A, the whole point here is to get a baby. Two is a a huge blessing, obviously, but also much riskier. We’re honestly fine with one… as long as we can definitely get that one. It kills me to think of losing B now that I’ve seen that precious and rare little flicker.

Anyone out there with experience in this special little arena of loss who can give some advice/share some wisdom?

Brief update

22 Oct

Here’s a tip to all the nervous, newly pregnant: if you’re looking for a way to convince your clinic to give you frequent, early ultrasounds, just commence spotting and bleeding on a regular basis and you’ll be in like Flynn.

Kidding!

But seriously. Bleeding, cramping, it’s like last Wednesday all over again except it’s only five days later. They want to see me in again this morning for another ultrasound, just one short week earlier than when I was originally scheduled for. This time I’m insisting DH attend because I’m fairly certain we’re either getting bad news or seeing heartbeats. Or some mix of the two.

And get this, when I called this morning, the other nurse said, “I heard at your ultrasound last week they saw a third sac that was bleeding out.” Oh I’m sorry, what? “No, uh, they told me it was two sacs and a hematoma.” “Oh right, a hematoma then. Well in that case you’ll probably have bleeding throughout your first trimester.”

Okay…

Who the hell knows what’s going on in my body right now. I am incapacitated with ever worsening nausea. And yet I’m bleeding like a light period. Go figure.

Will update with actual news when I can.

6 weeks

20 Oct

If you asked me to make a bet last weekend on whether or not we’d make it to the six week mark today, honestly? I would’ve bet that we wouldn’t. I would’ve bet against our babies. Which kind of kills me now but I understand it’s only natural to want to protect yourself.

I made a decision though, after the madness of last Wednesday, to start believing in these babies. I’m not ready to download a pregnancy app or start a separate page for pregnancy updates (though I do plan to do both of those things once we see heartbeats). But I am assuming we will see heartbeats. I am actively beginning the process of bonding with and talking to these babies. I’m continuing to tell them to grow, every day.

I have one major and omnipresent symptom that has officially set in and doesn’t seem to want to budge: persistent, all-day nausea. Yep, it’s here. Not so bad that I can’t move and I haven’t lost my lunch yet, but bad enough to just feel like crap all day long. I compared it for DH today to being hung over all the time. On the one hand, it’s reassuring to feel that and know that it’s probably because my hcg levels are sky high. I’m actually surprised I didn’t really feel anything before Wednesday, given my beta that day.

On the other hand, this is tough. I’ve always been very nausea averse. Not that anyone loves it but I really hate it. And I’m deathly afraid of throwing up. This is why I don’t really drink much or get drunk often. If it stays like this, I can probably handle it. But, if it gets worse, I’m really worried. I don’t know how I’ll get myself up and dressed in the morning and fight through an hour plus of traffic, and then sit at my desk all day and smell my coworkers various smells.

Which reminds me, smell aversions. That’s happening too. And diet wise, I’m extremely picky. I feel like I’m mostly eating stuff that’s not great for me but I can’t help it. I mostly crave carb-y things and cheesy things. Things that were so delicious last week (like that pizza and some oatmeal chocolate cookies I made) make me pukey just thinking about them this week. It’s definitely weird.

Meanwhile, the spotting has continued. And it continues to be unnerving but I’m handling it much better now. I’m comforted by the fact that I was also spotting all week last week and yet my babies were growing.  Only time will tell for sure how things will turn out but for now, I’m moving forward with cautious optimism.

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In other news, the Mary Poppins costume came together today! I’m testing it out tonight at our first Halloween party. I’ll try to get a pic if I can!

The story of today

17 Oct

Today ended up being much scarier and drama-filled than I anticipated when I woke up.

We went in for our beta as usual. We decided to go in as soon as the clinic opened so we could squeeze in a quick breakfast together at one of our favorite spots in the city. So we do the blood draw, we drive to the breakfast place, order, and while we’re waiting for the order, I go to the bathroom.

And there in that bathroom, I saw a few drops of blood in my underwear. Red blood. I wiped and the paper was full of ruddy red blood that clearly told me, this was over. I went back to the table and broke the news to DH and immediately started crying into my beautiful blueberry pancakes.

It was over. I had prepared myself for this fact but I didn’t think it would come in the form of blood on beta day. It felt like a slap in the face, to get this far only to have to it yanked away from us. We were trying to decide what to do at that point. Eventually we agreed, I should call my clinic.

The receptionist who answered said the nurse was doing a retrieval and would call me as soon as the beta came in. She said they’d likely want to see me back there today for an ultrasound, which made a lot of sense to me.

So we finished breakfast, I drove to work, but all the way there I’m sobbing. I can’t go in there like this, I thought. I work in an open office full of women. I decided to let my supervisor know what was going on and then wait in the car (crying the whole time) for the clinic to call. The nurse said it should be around 9:30. When I hadn’t heard by 10, I called them and tell them I was literally waiting in my car for them to call. (There wouldn’t have been time for me to go all the way home, we live about 45 minutes each way from the clinic.)

They say my beta results aren’t in yet but I should still come in for my ultrasound. My RE was in today and he wanted to see me and find out what was going on. I go in, they give me a pad for the bleeding (I had stuck a wad of napkins down there), then I see my RE and he’s on his way upstairs for a procedure but says he’ll see in me in 30 minutes.

I decide to wait in the waiting room but then immediately regret that decision. A  few minutes after I sat down, a very pregnant lady comes in with her husband holding a box of pastries with a ribbon on top. Clearly this was their, we’re knocked up, let’s bring treats for the clinic! visit. I hear her say she’s having twin girls and it’s like a knife to my heart. They ask to see my RE and are told he’ll be back down shortly, so they take a seat near me in the waiting room. It’s then that I ask for a private room.

The clinic nurse walks me back to the room hand in hand. She whips a copy of Parents magazine from the desk as I sit down. She asks if I need anything and I just point to the box of tissues and sniffle, “just tissues will be fine.” Not long later, my doctor is back and ready to do my ultrasound. Before I get changed he comes in, holds my hands and tells me that we’re going to be able to see what’s going on very shortly and we’ll deal with it from there.

Oh shit, truth time.

I get changed and go into the room. They ask me if two students can sit in on my ultrasound. Well sure, fine. The more the merrier, right?! The regular ultrasound tech, the one I adore, is doing the scan. She puts the wand in and my RE grabs my hand and holds it.

This part gets a little fuzzy. They find a sac. They’re happy, he’s happy, I’m confused. He says it’s too early to see a heartbeat but the good news is, I have a sac and it’s in my uterus. Okay, is there only one? Gee, he says, I was so happy to see the yolk sac, I didn’t notice. Looks like just one. What about the bleeding? I don’t care about the bleeding he says. As long as things are growing and your hcg is going up, the bleeding doesn’t matter. It could be a piece of the placenta, a vein, many things. Bleeding with clots and cramps is where he gets concerned.

Two!, my u/s tech suddenly shouts out.

Two sacs. My RE says some more stuff but I can’t remember much. He’s happy though. He goes back to stand closer to the machine and says something about a hematoma, then some more stuff. I honestly can’t remember. Then he sweeps out of the room and his students follow.

My tech is thrilled. She takes her time now, measuring each one. “Baby A” and “Baby B.” Both are measuring roughly 5w5d (I’m 5w4d), Baby B is maybe even a little ahead of that. She carefully points out the fetal pole on Baby B and takes lots of pictures. I ask her more about that hematoma and she said it’s normal. She said that could be the cause of the bleeding or it could be something else. She notices a bit more blood in my cervix and warns me there could be more.

Okay, I say, but the babies look… good? Yes. The sacs have lots of fluid, are perfectly shaped and have the fetal poles in them. They’re measuring right on schedule. Everything is, somehow, magically, as it should be.

I think I’m in shock. Somewhere in here, the nurse comes in, gives me a big hug, and says lots of really nice things that I am now blanking on. The u/s tech gives me three pictures to take home. One of each baby, and one of them together. The side of the pictures says TWINS.

I put my pants back on and go to the bathroom, when I come out, the nurse is waiting for me with more info and next steps. First off, my beta. She has it. She points to my chart that clearly shows my first beta (1,508), second beta (2,538), and below that, one week later, my third beta: 37,195. The number shocks me more than anything. It zaps me out of this dream state that I was in to let me know: they’re really in there. They’re really growing. They have been busy all week, as I’ve been busy worrying, they’ve been busy growing.

I was hoping for at least 15,000. I would’ve been thrilled with anything over 20. 37,195 is a doubling time of approximately 43 hours. That nausea was real. They want to do my next ultrasound in 12 days, a week from Monday. I’ll be 7w2d at that point and we should definitely be able to see heartbeats at that point, if everything keeps going well.

I’m still in shock. Today I went from thinking I was definitely miscarrying possibly two babies to learning that I am currently and definitely pregnant with two strong babies. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. But also trying hard to appreciate this very special moment.

I still feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. But for now, for today at least, I can say with more confidence than ever before, that I am pregnant.

Thank you all for your kind words of love and support over the past week. They have bolstered me more than you know!