Archive for September 2012

12 weeks

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I can honestly say that this is a post that I was never really sure that I would ever have the opportunity to write.  If you would have asked me back in March if I thought I would ever be able to use myself and 12 weeks in the same sentence I would have really struggled to answer the question.  I am almost in shock that I am here.  So grateful, so happy, but still so nervous.

I cry a little bit on most days, probably due a lot to my wacky hormones.  Usually the crying is due to my thankfulness of where I am right now and thinking back to where I was last year at this time.  I also cry out of guilt.  I cry because of my friends that I know that are trying and trying with no luck.  I cry for my friends that continue to experience loss after loss with no explanations.  I cry for my friends that are in pregnancy limbo and waiting for news.  I cry because it is all so unfair.

I struggle with how and when to write updates about this pregnancy.  I know that I want to document this for my memory, as well as for anyone else who might be reading this.  I want to give women who have been dealing with similar situations to my own, hope.  I know I always look to posts regarding early pregnancy.  For some reason it helps me to feel better about where I am.  So here goes with how things are going for me at 12 weeks.

At 12 weeks I am just starting to show.  I can't button my normal pants anymore and have been wearing mostly dresses and stretchy skirts to work.  I bought a band to put over my regular pants, but I have not yet tried it because it has been warm enough to wear skirts/dresses to work.  Maybe next week.

My symptoms at this point mostly consist of nausea most of the day, constipation, & general tiredness.  Also, today my left eye has started twitching.  Not sure if this is or isn't related to pregnancy, but it is very annoying!  I am also still getting up a lot to go to the bathroom and my upper back has been hurting.  I am thinking it is because my small rack, has increased by a size or two and is making me slouch.

My TSH is back to the normal range and down to 1.24 thanks to the meds!  Also, all of my other thyroid tests came back normal (including anti-thyroid antibody), so that is one less thing for me to worry about at this point.  I have another appointment with the endocrinologist at he end of October for my follow-up.

I have my NT exam on Tuesday afternoon.  I am pretty nervous about this.  I know they will do the scan first and then take blood.  I am hoping and praying that everything goes well with this exam because it is taking everything in me not to tell my grandma!  She is the person that I have been wanting to tell about this baby so much.  I know how badly she wants to become a great grandmother.  She knows nothing of our struggles or miscarriages because I didn't want to give her bad news (all she gets at her age is news of people dying or getting terminal illnesses so I have felt the need to protect her).  I will also finally tell my boss if things go well.  Then she will understand why I have been "working from home" a lot lately.

I have been using the doppler once or twice a week since that first night a few weeks ago.  I can now find the baby pretty fast, but not for very long because he (I am thinking boy) moves a lot.  He also kicks.  If you want to see some picture/video updates, click here and then scroll to the bottom.  Please keep my in your thoughts and prayers next week.  

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An unexpected invitation

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Last October, after my first miscarriage, I joined a private support group on B.aby C.enter for people who had lost babies with an EDD of April, 2012.  I didn't expect much, but I figured that being able to commiserate with women who were in my shoes might help me with the healing process.  To some extent, I was right.

It was great to have a place to be able to vent and discuss my concerns following my miscarriage.  Some of the women got pregnant immediately after their miscarriages and some were waiting longer to try again.  Still others had yet another miscarriage.  I, unfortunately, fell into the later category. 

After I had my second miscarriage, those ladies helped me to stay sane.  They helped me to keep a positive outlook, when all I really wanted to do was bury myself under the covers and hibernate.  I found myself checking BBC regularly and even while I was at work.  You might say that I got slightly obsessed with it, but seemed to be helping me work though my stresses regarding my miscarriages.

At a certain point, the group decided to become more personal and move over to a private F.acebook group.  At this point in time, FB had gotten harder for me to use, but I hadn't completely stopped using it.  The FB group was great.  I got to become much closer with the girls from the group and it was nice to be able to put faces with names.  By the time the group had flipped from BBC to FB, several of the girls were fairly pregnant and  most everyone else (with the exception of a few who had medical reasons or personal reasons) was adamantly trying to get pregnant.  The private homepage was becoming a place where I would spend a ton of my time.  We would obsess over share our FF charts, opks, and pregnancy tests.  We had a spreadsheet with everyone's contact info.  It was a lot of fun.  Those girls really became a huge part of my life.

Fast forward to February.  I would say that about 50% of the group was pregnant at the point that I got my 3rd BFP.  I got my BFP right around the same time that 3 other girls got their BFPs as well.  It was very exciting!  We would all be due in November, 2012.  We all shared our FRERs (pregnancy tests) and then betas.  Then we started sharing ultrasound results and photos.  That's when I got bad news.  My pregnancy wasn't viable.  Everyone else had happy news to share and cutsie pictures of their little beans.  I had to share news of yet another miscarriage and D&C.  I was devastated and angry.

I made the decision to step away from the group and from FB, in general at that point.  I made a last tearful post to the girls who were sincerely upset for me.  Many of them checked up on me for weeks after.  I even got several cards on the EDD of my first miscarried baby.  It was nice to know that they were there, but I needed to take a step back from TTC and my obsession of comparing my life to the lives of my other FB "friends".  All of that comparing to "friends" that had 2-3 kids (when they had been serious binge drinkers all through college) already made me sad, mad, and jealous.  It brought out a terrible side of me that frankly scared me.  I had to break away for my mental well-being.

I managed to stay off of FB for many months.  I think I went on once or twice because I had gotten email notifications of private messages that were sent to me.  It took a while, but I completely broke my obsessive FB checking behavior.  It was around this time that I started my blog.  It was a change of pace, but still very therapeutic for me.  It was my own space where I didn't have to constantly measure myself against others.

Last Saturday, I got the mail and saw that I had a letter from an address that I did not recognize.  I opened it and saw that it was an invitation to a get-together in April of 2014 for all of the girls from the group in Chicago.  Immediately I had tears in my eyes because I could not believe that they still thought to invite me to this event even though I had stopped participating in the group back in March.  Getting this invitation gave me the kick I needed to go onto FB to thank those girls and come out of hiding.

Going back to the group was difficult, but also heartwarming.  So many of the girls have already given birth to their rainbow babies.  Many are quite pregnant or in their second trimester.  Two girls had just recently announced their BFPs.  I read back through a bunch of posts and then decided to add my own.  I thanked them for remembering me and I congratulated them on their exciting news.  The response I got was so nice.  So many of the girls responded and welcomed me back with open arms.  They asked me how I had been and I couldn't bring myself to announce that I was pregnant yet.  I simply said that I was doing well and finally felt like I was finally getting my life back on track. 

I am not sure that I am going to be going back to FB like I once was.  I did change my very stale profile picture and accepted a bunch of outstanding friend requests.  I also saw how many of my other non-April 2012 "friends" were either pregnant or had recently given birth.  It is still bittersweet for me.  Seeing the very pregnant girls that are due in November was hard to take at first, but then when I thought about it, I just had to be happy for them. 

I can't make up for what was lost (time, friends, hope) or change the past, but I can start to move forward again.  I can choose to be happy and thankful for where I am right now.  It sounds crazy to say this, but I think this invitation really gave me the kick that I needed to do that.  Each day that passes, I feel like I am, indeed, moving forward.  Slowly.  But.  Surely. 

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Manly Monday & some randomness

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'll start off with the Manly Monday (oops I missed last week, sorry Stupid Stork!) and then move on to the randomness.

Manly Monday

  • My husband has very random taste in music.  He loves rap and hip-hop, but he also loves Barry Manilow.  There also used to be a station on Sirius (before they merged with XM) called "Movin' Easy".  He would crank that station and sing while he was working as a carpenter many years ago.  Ahhh I loved it.
  • He is very handy (former carpenter) so he has built us a fabulous kitchen, added new stairs, refinished and laid new floors, and added a linen closet upstairs.  But, he has a tough time finishing anything completely.  The kitchen, stair railings, and dining room are anywhere from 90% complete to 0% complete.  The 1/2 "bathroom" is still a black hole in the middle of the house.  :-o
  • He takes a bazillion vitamins.  I am not even sure what he takes anymore, but there are about 10 pills a morning.  I think he is going to live forever.
  • His specialty meal is eggplant sandwiches.  Grilled eggplant (as the "bread"), homemade roasted red pepper tapenade, basil, fresh mozzarella, and prosciutto. YUM!!  He is a really great cook.      
  • He appreciates good beer.  This is why we make such a good pair, haha.  We both love a super-hoppy, micro-brewed beer.  He is being nice though and not drinking much while I can't drink.  Solidarity! 
Randomness
  • My husband finally got to listen to the baby's heartbeat on the doppler on Saturday (over 11 weeks!).  I was able to find him right away this time in almost the same spot that I found him last time.  He did squirm out of the way not long after we found it, but at least he got to hear that lovely little thumping noise!
  • We went shopping on Saturday and I bought a bunch of new clothes to conceal my stomach.  It is probably just bloat, but I had to get some new stuff to protect me for another 2 weeks.  NY & Co. (I never shop there) had a tremendous sale with some really cute and comfortable clothes.  I got 2 skirts, 2 shirts, 1 dress, and a bag for less than $150.  I was quite happy with that.
  • Last year I did nothing to prepare for fall because I was so miserable.  No decorating or anything and I love decorating, tastefully.  I put out 2 little pumpkins and a couple of pots of mums.  My husband and I also did a ton of yard-work yesterday so I am paying for that today because my upper back is killing me.
  • I baked some amazing apple turnovers yesterday with some of the apples that we picked last weekend.  OMG.  They took me about 2 hours total, but they were so worth it.  If you have some time and want a lovely distraction then try these:  Taste of Home - Apple Turnovers.  You will not be disappointed.  I doubled the recipe because 4 turnovers did not sound like enough...haha.  Bring on the butter!!!  
 
Yummy!!
  •  I read a very powerful blog post by one of the girls that I follow.  Cristy over at Searching for Out Silver Lining wrote very frankly about how infertility can bring people together and then tear them apart.  The post really hit home for me because I have oftentimes felt like I might not belong here.  I have not had to go through IUI or IVF and we only "tried" for a little over a year.  So many others have had it 10 times worse and continue to be dragged through the shit that is infertility.  Cristy tries to remind everyone that it isn't about one-upping each other or who has suffered the most through all of this.  It isn't about abandoning those that finally get pregnant or about those that are pregnant abandoning those that are still in the trenches or being afraid to write about their pregnancies in their own blogs.  It is about continued support, regardless.  We have ALL been through the wringer, and yes some have had it worse than others, but we all need to be there for each other.  We all still need the support and guidance of the ALI community regardless of where we are in this journey.  Thanks again for posting this, Cristy.

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One year ago today and my 100th post

Friday, September 21, 2012

One year ago today, my husband and I walked into the OB with the hopes of our first conceived baby being alive and left in tears after learning there was no heartbeat.  Yes, we had a scan earlier in the week that provided us with the gloom and doom of a heartbeat in the 60s and the baby measuring almost 2 weeks behind, but we held out some hope that there was a mistake.  Unfortunately, there was no mistake.  I couldn't watch as the ultrasound tech took measurements of our dead baby.  I had my first D&C, two days later.

One year ago today, our lives were forever changed.  All of the excitement and innocence of pregnancy was taken away from us, never to return.  "Bad luck," all of the doctors and nurses declared.  "It happens to one out of 4 pregnancies," was the canned response.  "At least you know you can get pregnant easily," they said to try to make me feel better.  It just felt like a bad dream to me.  Like I was not in my own body anymore and was looking at someone else.  This couldn't happen to me.  I was healthy and active.  I did everything right.  I took my vitamins, I didn't eat lunch meat or unpasteurized cheese, I cut back on my running.  I never bled or cramped.  Why did this happen to me??

One year ago today, my husband and I came back to our house, sobbing.  Our dog knew something was wrong and laid down, sadly, at our feet.  My husband and I held each other and tried to convince ourselves that this was a once in a lifetime event.  Something that we would never have to experience again.  We vowed to start trying again as soon as the doctor's said it was ok.  Little did we know that this was only the start of our year from hell.

One year ago today, the seasons were starting to transition from the heat and humidity of summer to the crisp coolness of fall.  I was completely oblivious to the change of seasons.  Last year, I totally missed fall.  By the time I came out of my miscarriage fog, there were no more leaves on the trees and a winter jacket was necessary.

One year ago today, seems like yesterday, but also seems so very far away.  We have been through so much in a year and have come so very far.  We are both totally different people today, than we were just one year ago.

Today is complicated.  I am sad about losing my first baby.  I am still so worried that I might miscarry this baby.  I wonder constantly what happened with those first two miscarriages and why I had a chromosomal issue with the last one.  I am angry that this happened to me while others have kid after kid with no issue.  I am confused as to why someone with my healthy lifestyle would have a miscarriage at all.  I am cautiously hopeful for the future.  I am trying put the past behind me and not let it taint this pregnancy, but it is so difficult.  My anxiety and fears of another miscarriage haunt me while I am awake and while I am asleep.  I am trying to move forward even though it feels like I am still stuck in the mud.

Today is also my 100th post on this blog.  It is kind of odd that it falls on this day.  I never thought that I would still be blogging in mid-September when I started this back in April, fresh off of my 3rd miscarriage.  I really never thought that I would find such amazing and supportive people through blogging.  I have said it before, but I will say it again.  All of you lovely ladies (you know who you are) have picked me up and carried me when I needed it.  Your comments and emails mean the world to me.  You are all so wonderful and I am so lucky to have met you all.  I wish so badly that none of us had to go through this and I pray every night that we can all come out of this on the other side.

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My first MFM visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yesterday was my first trip to the Maternal Fetal Medicine office.  I wasn't scheduled for an ultrasound so I went straight to the office to fill out mounds of paperwork.  I was early to arrive so I was very surprised when they called my name before I was done signing all the documents.

They weighed me and I still weigh exactly the same (with my clothes on) as I weighed before I got pregnant.  They told me that this was normal and that I shouldn't really expect to gain anything until the second trimester.  The nurse's assistant took my blood pressure, but I don't think that she did it correctly.  The band wasn't very tight around my arm and she didn't ask me to roll up my sleeve.  Then when she inflated it (while I was still trying to get situated on the table and she let some of the air out then re-inflated it 2 times.  She asked me if I had high blood pressure and I told her no, actually I usually have slightly lower blood pressure.  She kind of shrugged her shoulders.  I just had my blood pressure taken less than 2 weeks ago and it was normal so I am thinking it was operator error?  No one in my life has ever told me that I have high blood pressure!

Then the nurse came in to ask me a ton more questions, but suggested that I go pee in a cup first.  That is always a fun experience.  I won't get into too much detail, but suffice it to say, I have very bad aim.  The nurse had told me to leave the cup in the bathroom when I was done.  It felt really odd to just leave a cup of my pee on the shelf in there, but I did it, reluctantly.

Then came the rest of the questions from the nurse which ranged from drug and alcohol use to mental health to if we rented a house or owned.  The nurse was really nice and we had a bunch of things in common.  We were both from the same state originally (and in the same part of the state) and we both graduated from the same college.  It is a small world!  The nurse also asked me about my losses and when and how they occurred.  That is always a hard conversation to have especially since I am coming so close to the anniversary of my first D&C.

After the nurse went through all the questions she explained to me about the Downs Syndrome screening that I would have at 12 1/2 weeks, followed by another blood test at 15 weeks, and then a gender scan at 18 weeks.  I feel like I still tune out those types of events that are so far into the future because I still feel like I can't be certain that I will get there.  I think that is just my learned defense mechanism working.

After she explained some of the future appointments, she left me to wait for the doctor.  I figured I would be waiting for a while, but the doctor popped right in.  He was awesome.  I was at ease from the moment he came in.  Very no nonsense and extremely understanding of my situation.  The first thing he wanted to do was check on the baby with his incredibly awesome hand-held ultrasound machine that looked similar to the one in this picture.



So cool!
My heart skipped a beat when he put the wand down on my stomach, but he picked up the baby right away.  The baby was moving all over the place and its little heart was beating away.  So amazing to see that little baby again!  Immediately, I asked him if he thought the heart rate looked slow (always my biggest learned fear), and at first he looked at me funny and said it looked completely normal, then he realized why I asked and reassured me some more that it looked great.   He showed me a few different angles of the baby before he put the machine away.  I want one!

After that, we talked for a little while about my history and about this pregnancy going forward.  He debunked some myths and told me all soft cheeses were safe as long as they were pasteurized.  He emphasized me to eat pasteurized foods/drinks, if there was an option.  He also told me that anything that I feel like eating during the first trimester is fine.  He said there is no difference in babies where the mom's had trouble eating in the first trimester than those that didn't.  He actually said he feels better about pregnancies where the mothers are nauseous because it means a better connection between mom and baby.  That made me feel better.

We talked a little about my ongoing risk of miscarriage and he didn't think that it was different from any other normal pregnant person at this point.  We joked about statistics, but he mentioned a 96% chance at a take home baby at this point.  I know nothing is certain (EVER), but it made me feel a little more comfortable.

He told me to call their emergency number 24/7 if I ever felt like there was an issue and/or if I ever had bleeding of ANY kind.  They have a 24 hour prenatal care center at the hospital that is open to all the patients.  He told me to call them first if I was going out of town, but said he preferred his patients not travel.  I haven't told my husband this as we were planning on going on our postponed trip to Turks & Caicos in November.

After meeting with the doctor I scheduled my next scan and appointment for Oct. 2 and then headed over to get blood taken.  I have been tested for STDs and AIDs so many times in the last year because of all my other pregnancies, but I guess they are required to do it.  At least I have already tested NEG for Cystic Fibrosis, so I don't need that again.

Overall I thought the visit went really well.  I really like the doctor and the nurse.  I think they treated me well and were very understanding of my situation.  I really like that hand-held ultrasound gadget.  I know that even if I don't have a scan that they can check on the baby.  I am very happy with my decision to stay with the hospital, so far, and I am cautiously getting excited about meeting this little one in a few months.  :)

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My evening with the fetal doppler

Sunday, September 16, 2012

So if you read my post from yesterday you are probably confused about the title of this post.  Well, I had no idea that I was going to pull out the doppler last night about 9 PM.  My husband, his friend, and I went out for a quick bite to eat.  After eating about a pound of bread, I was able to stomach some farfalle pasta with light tomato sauce (lots of mozzarella cheese medallions, too, haha).  My husband and his friend decided to hit up a party and of course I decided to call it a night at the ripe old time of 8 PM.  Yes, I am a loser these days, but I am fine with that.

When I got home there was a disgusting bug on my front screen door.

Sick.  What is this???

I got out my phone to take a picture to send to my husband when I saw a text from my friend who let me borrow her doppler.  She said she had read my post from earlier and suggested that I try.  She was pretty confident that at 10 weeks I would hear this little Button if I tried in my lower abdomen.  With a renewed spirit, I decided that it might be a good time to try to find it.

As soon as I got inside I went up to the computer and Googled "how to use a fetal doppler".  I read a quick article and felt like I could handle it.  I got the Sonoline B Pocket Fetal Doppler, some gel, and laid down on the couch.  I turned the thing on and it squealed at me so loudly I think I might have scared the baby into hiding.  I started on the left side of my lower pelvic area and immediately heard something that sounded like a heartbeat.  It was only registering 82-98 bpm, so I figured this wasn't it.  I moved the wand lower near my pubic bone (as my friend recommended) and kept moving the thing around down there...nothing that would register more than 100 or so.  Then I moved the thing up to my belly button and I started to hear a loud heartbeat, but again it was similar to my own at around 90 something bpm.  I was starting to get anxious and nervous that something was wrong.

I got frustrated and shut the thing off.  I texted my friend that I had no luck.  :(  She felt so bad and tried to offer me suggestions of having a full bladder and watching some YouTube how-to videos.  I decided to take her up on her idea.  I watched the following 2 videos:



These two videos were so helpful and saved my evening.  I learned what the different sounds were in my abdomen, my blood flow off to the left and my placenta right smack in the middle.  I learned that I was looking in the wrong spot and that I was moving the wand way too fast and not pressing hard enough.  I also had the volume too low.

After learning these helpful tips, I got into my bed, propped up my head, squirted some aloe vera gel this time and tried again.  After about 5 minutes, to the slight left below my belly button and left of the placenta, I found it.  OMG.  It was so amazing.  I only found it for a few seconds, but I got the doppler to register up to 169 bpm before I lost it (that baby must be moving around in there or something!).  It was amazingly loud, fast, and distinct from my own.  I can't tell you how relieved I felt.  I texted my friend, texted my husband, and called my mom.  I went to sleep so happy last night.  I have never heard a heartbeat before.  The moral of the story here is, watch some how-to videos before attempting to use a piece of equipment that you are unfamiliar with.  I learned my lesson!!

**Update on my friend**

Her second beta came back at well over 400.  She more than doubled in the past 48 hours.  I am so excited for her!!  I really hope that this is her miracle baby!  :)

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Thankfully, my life has been uneventful

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I woke up this morning and realized that it has been several days since I have last posted.  It might possibly be one of the longest stretches that I have taken away from blogging since I started this thing in  April.  The truth is, there hasn't been a ton going on with me lately that I have wanted to write about.  I guess this is a good thing.  Normally I write when I am anxious, or nervous, or angry, or sad.  I have been really busy at work lately, so I haven't had a ton of time to write or read other blogs while I am there.  The project that I am working on is coming to a close (hopefully) sometime in October, so I will have more free-time then.  I actually like the no free-time at work better than when I am not as busy.  It gives me less time to obsess over my symptoms (or lack of symptoms) and makes the days go by faster.

Next week, Tuesday, will be my first appointment with my new MFM doctor.  I am scheduled to see the nurse first at 2:30 PM and then the doctor at 3 PM.  I am not quite sure what to expect, but I don't think that this visit will include an ultrasound.  If it does include an ultrasound, it will be with the hand held, most likely.  I am not sure if they will try to use the doppler or not.  I have had one experience with a doppler and it was a bad one.  Generally speaking, I am afraid of dopplers.

My first prenatal appointment in my first pregnancy, when I thought I was 9 1/2-10 weeks, they went for a listen with the doppler.  Of course they couldn't hear anything so they sent me straight away to ultrasound and we all know how that turned out.  My friend sent me her doppler to use last week and so far I have been too scared to try it out...

What if I can't find the heartbeat? Chances are, I wouldn't be able to this early.

Will I freak out?  Yes.

Would I go to the ER, pay $250 co-pay, and tell them that I was bleeding/cramping so I could get an ultrasound? Yes.

I think I am going to wait to use the doppler for a few more weeks.

Today Fertility Friend says that I am allegedly 10 weeks (by my doctor's estimate I am 10 weeks, 1 day).  I still feel pregnant most of the time, which I am taking as a good sign.  With my missed miscarriage, I lost most of my symptoms at 8 1/2 weeks (which makes sense since that is what the baby measured when they found it).  Nausea most of the day, super tremendous constipation for the first time in my life, very tired, weird dreams (lots of sex dreams), headaches, intermittent very sore boobs, peeing a lot (especially at night), thirsty, lots of thin white CM, & lovely and strong finger nails.  My finger nails are normally picked at and bitten because they break so easily.  For some reason they are now long, for me, and for the first time look like girl's nails!

I have not been feeling like eating much of anything at all.  Basically nothing tastes good and when I think about eating I feel sick to my stomach.  I don't really crave anything (except popcorn).  My diet for the past few weeks has consisted of apples, plums, peaches, grapes, organic frosted toaster pastries (thanks to Whole Foods), Honey Nut Cheerios (straight out of the box), chicken soup (from various cans, cartons, and locations), Wheat Thins (however I am losing my taste for them), organic gluten free chicken tenders, lima beans, and plain potato gnocchi w/ Parmesan cheese.  Ick.  Makes me sick to think about eating.  Dinner is by far my least favorite meal of the day lately.

In other news, not related to me, one of my friends found out that she is pregnant on Thursday.  Before you get angry about another pregnant person, please listen to her back-story.  She tried for 2 years to get pregnant on her own.  No periods, thus no dice.  She went to a fertility clinic and they couldn't really find anything wrong with her so they just diagnosed her as PCOS (she has none of the PCOS symptoms other than not ovulating) and told her to try IUI with injections.  She tried that and had several chemical pregnancies.  She moved on to IVF (one fresh and one frozen).  She then went on to have 2 miscarriages at around 7 1/2 weeks.  One D&C and one spontaneous.  Luckily her next fresh cycle gave her an adorable baby boy.

When her baby was almost a year she figured she would try again.  She started trying on her own first and lo and behold she got pregnant on the first try!  Unfortunately she found out at about 7 weeks that she had a blighted ovum.  She had another D&C.

She waited until she got her period after the D&C, excited that she could get pregnant on her own, and then tried again (I showed her how to temp and use FF).  She ovulated on day 46, but ended up with a positive pregnancy test this cycle.  She has been spotting and sporadically bleeding though, which she experienced with her blighted ovum, so she is scared to death.  Her first beta on Thursday at 14dpo was HCG- 147, Progesterone- 26.  The nurse told her that was low, put her on progesterone suppositories, and scared her even more.  I checked Betabase  and found her numbers to be spot on, with the average at 14dpo being HCG-103.  She has her second draw today so maybe say a little prayer that we have a double here.  She has been through so much and deserves for this to work out.

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MFM vs. OB

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thanks to everyone who offered me advice in one of my previous posts regarding my choice of staying a the hospital and sticking with the maternal fetal medicine practice or going back to my regular OB.  I was worried that I might make the wrong choice, but after my conversations with both offices yesterday, I am pretty confident that I have made the right decision for me right now.

I called the MFM practice last Friday at lunch and left them a message with all of my information.  Their answering message said that someone would call you back within 24 hours.  I assumed those were business hours, so I waited until Monday at lunch to give them another call back and leave another message.  By the time that I was ready to leave for my acupuncture appointment yesterday, I had not heard back from MFM.  I did, however, receive a reminder phone all from my OB about my annual exam that I forgot was scheduled for Wednesday.

On my walk to acupuncture, I called the OB and told them about my situation.  Since I was so frustrated with not being able to get in touch with MFM, I asked if I could convert my annual appointment to an OB intake appointment.  Unfortunately, they would not let me do that.  The scheduler let me speak to a nurse to figure out what I should do next.  The nurse was nice, but not very helpful.  I told her about my three losses and about how I was being seen by a RE.  She asked if I had been through IUI/IVF and I told her about the Femara.  She asked about any drugs I was on currently and I mentioned the Levo.  She told me that I would be fine to start going back there for regular prenatal appointments.  I told her that my only caveat to going there was that I needed regular ultrasounds, at least until I was out of the first trimester.  She put the breaks on right there and told me that it would not be possible to get an ultrasound there until 18 weeks!  I started to get worked up and told her that my RE recommended one at 11 weeks.  She said that insurance would not cover another ultrasound until 18 weeks unless I was bleeding or over 35.  She said they did not treat infertility/early loss patients as high risk. 

I was about ready to cry with frustration at this point.  There was no way I could wait until 18 weeks for my next ultrasound.  I was also totally out of breath from walking over a mile to acupuncture and struggling to hold back tears.  She told me I might best be taken care of at the hospital.  I told her I was trying to get an appointment with no luck.  She commiserated and suggested I call back in a day if I had not heard from them.  I agreed and tearfully hung up the phone.  I was so shocked that even after 3 losses in a row, they would not try to work with me to get another early ultrasound covered by insurance.

My luck would have it that the MFM practice decided to call me back right as I was walking into my acupuncture appointment!  I stepped out so that I could take the call.  The woman apologized for the late returned phone call.  She was well informed of my situation (probably due to my 2 very detailed messages...haha).  She happily placed me with the high risk doctor (who is also a full service OB) that my RE recommended.  I have an intake appointment for next Tuesday and then that will follow with an ultrasound after that.

Such relief!  I think that for me, I need to stay with the hospital.  I think they already get my situation and are willing to work with me to ensure that things are covered by insurance.  They have a state of the art NICU that can handle babies born at 23 weeks or beyond.  Hopefully I won't need that, but it is nice to know.  I am also closer to the Children's Hospital, if necessary. Yeah it might be a pain to have to come into work to go to an appointment, but I am already used to making the trip there from work anyways.  Now I just hope and pray that this baby continues to thrive! 

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A Weird Little Glimpse into My Marriage

Monday, September 10, 2012

Better late than never, right?  In keeping my promise to Stupid Stork here goes nothing!  I liked the bullet idea since I usually use them I think they are more than fitting to use here.

My Husband - A very manly man, indeed!
If you are reading this sweetheart, this is all in good fun!  I love you!

  • His middle name is a girl's name, or so that's what I thought when I first started dating him.  Then I found out it is actually a family name so I wasn't as worried.  :)  Kelly is the name.  Hehe.
  • He likes to go for runs, get really sweaty, and then sit on the couch and make a nice wet spot for me to find when I least expect it.  GROSS!
  • Speaking of running.  He is in AMAZING shape.  More amazing of shape than when we met.  He works out at least 6 days a week including CrossFit, running, lifting, swimming, and plyometrics.  Crazy man.
  • He shaves EOD during the week.  Usually Monday, Wednesday, Friday after I have monopolized the bathroom for an hour and a half.
  • When given the opportunity and a large bag of Twizzlers, Reece's Cups, or Rolos, he will eat the entire thing in a very short amount of time.  I guess he can afford that.
  • He rarely calls his mom or dad.  I try to remind him when I can.
  • He has been known to smoke on occasion (think Bob Marley) and that drives me nuts.  Not to mention I hate the smell, but I need those sperm in tip-top shape.  We don't need any more challenges!!
  • He hates making doctor's appointments.  I make them for him and then force him to go.
  • He drinks quite a bit of coffee and prefers shots of espresso over ice.  Black no sugar.  Hardcore.
and now time for...

A Weird Little Glimpse into My Marriage
  • We got engaged after taking a 6 or 7 mile accidental walk.  He wanted to propose by the beach, but I insisted that I did not want to walk to the beach that night.  Finally after walking forever he insisted we go.  When he put the ring on my finger, it was so swollen from walking for so long that it barely fit!
  • I had a crush on him in high school and I stalked him.  He was just not that into me.  Seriously, so sad.
  • Our first date was sitting out under the stars in the middle of a field eating subs.  Then we went to his place, watched "All the Pretty Horses" (???), and made out for several hours.  Such a great kisser.
  • We call each other by the same nickname (not a pet name or anything) and it totally messes people up.  I love it.
  • Our first pet was a Guinea Pig that we illegally kept in our apartment.  He died after getting a cancerous growth on his penis...no joke.  Poor little guy! 
  • We used to sleep in a twin bed together until we broke it while (you guessed it) having sex.  :-o
  • We never get off the phone with each other without saying "I love you".  Ever.  Sometimes we almost say that to other random people because it is such a habit.
  • He likes to fly by the seat of his pants and I like a plan.  We keep each other balanced, but sometimes drive each other CrAzY!
  • I used to spend lots of money at Victoria Secret on lingerie until he told me that he prefers naked.  Oh the money I could have saved if I had only known that sooner!! 
Ok that's all for now.  Hopefully I can think of more exciting bullets for next week.  If you think this sounds like fun, head over to the Stupid Stork's blog and tell her you want in.  She is super cool!

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Update on prior post

**FYI - Non TTC or pregnancy related post.  I am very vague about the characters to protect the innocent and the VERY guilty.**

You may or may not remember this post, The grass is always greener, from a few months ago.  In that post, I wrote about one of my very good friends at work who had just found out that their spouse had been cheating on them.  Since the time that my friend broke me the news, I have been there for them, listening to weekly (or sometimes, daily) breakdowns and trying to give support when and where I can. 

My friend's spouse is a a whole mess of obscene names that I don't want to spill onto this blog at 8 AM in the morning.  This person decided that marriage to my friend didn't mean anything anymore so they decided to go on a website called A.shley M.adison (this is an evil site where married people go to find sexual flings with other married people) and find a random married person to have sex with while my friend was as home with their three adorable kids (all under the age of 8).  After the first rendezvous, this person decided that wasn't enough and went to look for another random married person to have sex with, but then got caught by my friend before the "deal could be sealed". 

Even after knowing all of this information, and after my friend's spouse made no attempt to apologize, my friend wanted to try to make the marriage work.  My friend and their spouse started couples counseling and both my friend and their spouse started individual therapy, even though the spouse decided that was too much for them so they stopped going.  My friend has also started seeing a psychiatrist even though the spouse refers to themselves as 2 different people (the one from before/during the cheating and the one now) and refuses to take any accountability for ruining their marriage and my friend's life.

This past week brought about some sad news from my friend whom I have seen change over that past 4 1/2 months.  After months of trying to deal with the pain of infidelity alone, my friend decided to go to the doctor to see if an anti-depressant might help.  The doctor prescribed Prozac and told my friend to visit again in 6 months.  My friend decided that was too long and made the appointment for a month into the future. 

My friend started taking the Prozac on a Thursday and by Monday of the next week started getting suicidal thoughts.  That Monday, my friend said that they started feeling at peace with dying and that they were ready to end it.  My friend started getting panicky and didn't know whether they should call a suicide help line or if they should wake up their sleeping spouse.  Instead my friend walked around the house and peaked in at one of their sleeping children looking so peaceful.  My friend curled up in bed with their sleeping child and was able to get some sleep.

After the suicidal thoughts incident, my friend decided that they wanted to take some time away from work.  I got an email from them yesterday saying that they are taking an indefinite leave of absence to sort through things.   I personally don't feel like this is the best idea, but since this is my good friend I am going to support them in their decision. I told them to call me anytime day or night if they need someone to talk to.  I offered my unconditional support.

Last night I had a terrible dream that I came in to work and saw that my friend's desk had been cleaned out and found out that they decided not to come back and not tell us where they were going.  In my dream I was sobbing so hard I woke myself up (I usually only sob in a dream upon finding out my sister is pregnant).  I feel so bad that this person is feeling so lost and low because of what their spouse did to them.  A once lively, funny, kind-hearted, life-of-the-party, kind of person has been reduced to this.  This morning, my friend's desk is empty.

I have often thought about how I would react if I found out that my husband was cheating on me.  My husband and I have actually talked about it before and we both believe that would be a deal breaker.  Game over.  I guess you can never really say what you would do unless it really happened to you (which I hope to God it never will), but I am fairly confident that for me would cause the marriage to be null and void since one of the basic principles of marriage is fidelity.

What would you all do in this type of a situation?  Would you stay and try to work it out with your spouse or would you tell them to hit the road? 

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Ultrasound #3

Friday, September 7, 2012

I will start this post by saying that I had a really tough time last night and this morning.  Last night I had trouble eating due to anxiety and all I wanted to do after work was lie around on the couch and watch HGTV (my security blanket).  I napped for an hour or so and then poked my boobs to see if they were still sore because I am nuts (they were, kind of).

I didn't get a lot of sleep last night due to my regular trips to the bathroom and wacky bizarre dreams.  I laid in bed at one point just thinking about everything and wondering how I would deal with a not-so-great ultrasound.  I said a ton of prayers.  I bargained with God.  I tried to talk to my Dad.  Then I started to think about my 3 angels there with my Dad and I suddenly felt a little bit better.  I could seriously picture him sitting on a couch with 3 babies.  It made me smile and I was able to drift off to sleep again.

When I woke up I had to drag myself out of bed.  I thought about ways that I could get out of the ultrasound, but knew I really needed and wanted to go and make sure everything was ok.  I got myself ready and choked down half a muffin and an apple.  On the drive to the hospital I chugged about 16 ounces of water.  Then I had to pee...really bad.

My sister was planning on meeting us at the hospital at 7:30 AM in our usual meeting spot.  My sister has become my other security blanket.  As my husband and I were pulling into the garage to park, I got a text from my sis telling me her alarm didn't go off and that she had just gotten up.  I started to panic because she has been my good luck charm.  She has helped my husband and I to be positive for the past few weeks.  I tried to breathe deeply and I sent her a text telling her to pray for me.

We got to the ultrasound waiting room early and I sat there uncomfortably, nervous and feeling like I was going to pee my pants at any minute.  When they called me right at 8, I was so happy to finally be able to go to the bathroom soon!

The tech was one that I had never had before.  She seemed nice and sensed my anxiety right away.  She asked my why I was going for such an early ultrasound and I rattled on about my miscarriage riddled past.  She squirted the gel and started pressing with the wand and I kind of shuddered in pain.  It hurt so bad because my bladder was so full.  She got a quick look, told me she thought things looked good preliminarily, and told me to empty my bladder.  She said it didn't need to be full anymore because I was far enough along.  I was so surprised because I have never heard that before!

When I got back to the table she started checking again.  She quickly showed us the baby and told us the heart was beating at a nice 175 bpm.  She showed us the head and umbilical cord.  It was surreal.  My husband and I just stared in awe at the screen.  I started to tear up a little.  The radiologist came in and confirmed that the baby looked great.  Measuring slightly ahead at 9.3 weeks.  She asked how far we had made it and I told her only to 8.5 weeks.  She happily congratulated us on getting past that mark.

We met with my RE afterwards and she seemed thrilled (well as thrilled as I have ever heard her sound).  She told me that she needed to release me to my OB.  I told her I was on the fence about staying with the hospital or going back to my OB so she gave me a few referrals at the Maternal Fetal Medicine practice that take infertility patients that have not necessarily exhibited the need for a high risk doctor.  We told her that we would need to discuss it and would figure it out.  She recommended another scan in 2 weeks for my piece of mind.  She shook our hands and told me to call her after I was done breastfeeding and she would put me back on Femara should I want to try for another.  I hope I do not see her for at least a year or more!

Today was one of the happiest days of my life.  I know that we still have a looooong way to go with this pregnancy, but I am feeling better about it today.  I don't have that intuition that I have had with every other pregnancy.  Although I am still anxious at times (especially before an appointment), I don't have that sinking feeling that something is wrong.  I hope my intuition is right.  I would be so curious to know if anyone else has had intuition one way or another with a pregnancy (failed or successful)?  If you did was it right?

One more question to ponder... If you were me, would you stick with the MFM practice at a well known hospital or would you go back to your friendly OB?  The MFM practice is closer to work.  My OB is closer to home.

Here are some pics if you are interested (scroll to the bottom 2 pictures)!  Thanks again everyone for the continued support.  This little one is going to have lots of aunties!  :)


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Guest blogger Thursday - My Mom

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This post comes from my Mom.  She has been a great source of support for me for my entire life, but especially over the past year.  She does little things for me all the time like the other day I got a card in the mail.  It was a pregnancy card, but it was a "complicated" pregnancy card recognizing that it isn't easy.  It was really sweet.  She also gave me a little prayer card for Mothers.  I am not the most religious person anymore, as I have mentioned due to many of my life experiences, but I have been saying this prayer every day.

So as I head off to bed (and hopefully I'll be able to get some sleep), I'll leave you with this post from my mom.  I edited it slightly to take out names and locations, but that is it.  The rest of it is in her words.

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Hello.  Let me introduce myself.  I am D’s mom.  I am so excited that all is well in this fourth pregnancy of my dear, first born daughter.  My youngest child (of 7) is now 12, and each time I pass the baby department of each and every store, I feel the love stirring in my heart for my first grandchild, D and my son-in-law's baby.  I want to buy everything on the rack!  

Last December, D called me in tears.  She had suffered her 2nd miscarriage.  My heart was breaking.  I took 3 days off of work, booked my flight that afternoon and arrived at her house the next day.  She and I talked, ate cereal, drank coffee, and spent the day watching trashy television (aka Kardashians).  By the time I left, she seemed to be more herself and she and my son-in-law were meeting friends to see the Nutcracker after they took me to the airport for my return flight.

They will be wonderful parents.  D brings with her many years of being a big sis (kind of a mom) to her 6 younger siblings.  My son-in-law is so excited for this baby and so in love with D that this little one has got one heck of a life ahead of him/her. My only heartbreak is having to live an 8 hour drive or a 1 hour flight away from this much anticipated little one.  

I have been blessed in this life to have wonderful, thoughtful, kind children.  And now I will be doubly blessed to be able to hold my little grandchild in my arms in a few short months.  My only great sadness is that D’s dad won’t be there with us.  God bless them and the baby.  

I love you guys so much. My prayers are with you tomorrow, at 8:00 am, during the ultrasound. 

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Catching up

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I have not been the best blogger the past few days.  We had a really busy weekend, which was good and I just haven't really felt like writing.  I feel like I should do a little update though, so here goes...

Group Therapy Session

I ended up talking to the therapist (group leader) over the phone.  The conversation went about as well as I expected.  She understood my points and said that she was not happy with the way that things had gone for me.  She was most unhappy to learn about my "buddy experiences" and said that she wished I would have brought it up sooner to her.  She tried to get me to go to the last session (last Thursday), but I declined.

I did receive a few nice emails from 3 of the girls in the group.  The one who acknowledged me at the Monday session, the one who had said she was jealous of my being able to get pregnant on my own, and the one who was pregnant herself.  I responded to all of the them and wished them the best of luck, and told them that I wasn't going to be going back.

MIL/SIL Pregnancy Revelation

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law came over last Friday for my SIL's birthday.  My husband ended up telling his mom right after our 7 week ultrasound because he had not been able to tell anyone.  I felt bad since my mom and a few of my sisters and close friends know.  She was obviously overjoyed and wanted to start telling people, but we obviously told her she could not until we gave her the high sign.

We told his sister at her birthday dinner and she started crying.  She knows about everything that we have been through and she was really happy for us, but understood the frailty of the situation.  She also promised not to tell.

I was really nervous about telling them, but I feel like it was the right choice.  I told them that by knowing, they will have to be there for us if things go bad.  They all understood the magnitude of everything.

Husband's Friend Pregnancy Revelation

I thought we were done with the "spilling" of information until Saturday night my husband's friend invited us over for dinner.  You might remember his friend from the last paragraph of this post.  I had not felt great all day and the thought of eating steak tips made me want to puke.  We had just stopped by the soup shop to get me some more of my favorite chicken noodle for dinner.  I felt bad declining yet another invitation to go over to their house.  Their baby is now almost a year and I only saw her once by chance.  I had not seen his wife in 3 or more years.  So, my husband said yes and we agreed that we would go and tell them why I was eating chicken soup.  They did know about the miscarriages, too.  So anyways we told them.  They were also very happy for us.  I ended up finding out that my husband's friend's wife had a still born when she was only 16 (she was in a seriously abusive relationship).  I had no idea that she had been through that.  I just assumed that everything was always easy for her.  I guess that just goes to show you that not everything is as it appears.

How I Am Feeling Physically

Physically I am doing ok.  I am about 8 1/2 weeks.  I have nausea most of the day, but worse in the early AM, late PM and in the middle of the night.  I do have some good days though when I feel mostly ok (those days tend to freak me out and I am happiest when I am sick).  Everything for the most part sounds gross to me, food-wise.  I have had some weird cravings that have come on quickly.  I will eat that craved item (i.e. lo mein) and then I will never want it again.  I have lost 5 pounds in the last 3 weeks due to my lacking appetite.  I have been having regular headaches.  My boobs are on and off sore although mostly not sore at all.  They just feel much bigger. I am not really showing, but I look about 3 months pregnant in the PM with bloatedness.  I am tired all the time.  I am cold most of the time.  I get up about 3-6 times a night to pee.  Probably doesn't help that I take my vitamins right before bed and then take my Levo right before I get up (lots of water).  I have also had really itchy legs.  I read that this can be a sign of a rare liver condition that can cause still births.  God, I hope not.  I am definitely going to bring this up on Friday if all goes well.

How I Am Feeling Mentally

It is funny because I generally feel calmer than I ever have in any pregnancy, but I am totally freaked for my Friday ultrasound.  I feel like this is my true make it or break it one.  If I see a good heartbeat then I can relax a little because that will be the farthest that I have gotten.  I still won't "relax" ever I think.  I have made little mile markers for myself that I am hoping to get past so we'll see how many of them I can hit.  Hopefully all of them.  I am also feeling quite weepy.  Not sure why exactly.  I will be fine one minute then I will hear a song that reminds me of a bad time and I will just start crying.  I think I might have some very low level depression still.  I would imagine that is normal with everything that has happened in the past year though.

Ok that is all for now.  I am excited to catch up on everyone else's blogs.  I have not been at my computer much this past weekend.  Hope you all had a nice Labor Day!

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