Scrunchy

If you put 200, 4 weeks pregnant women under the age of 35 in a room together, 30-40 of them would have a miscarriage by 12 weeks. Of those 30-40, 3 will have seen and/or heard their babies heartbeat. Statistically, 5-10% of pregnancies will end in a miscarriage after the heartbeat is heard. For someone who worries a lot, that is a big deal. Yeah, it doesn’t seem like very many, but when you’ve heard other people’s stories about how it happened to them, it seems like it could easily happen to you.

 

Today marked 8 weeks. It is still relatively unbelievable that I have a baby growing inside me. No matter how many times I look at the ultrasound pictures, it still doesn’t quite seem real. For someone who has experienced infertility and an early loss before, this is a relatively common way to feel. While others may be celebrating, or looking at baby things, all I can think about is the statistics, like the one shared above.

As for “pregnancy symptoms” this week: I’ve been unbelievably tired and extremely hungry. Most days this past week have consisted of first and second breakfast or snack, lunch (a full pb&j sandwich, crunchy curls and strawberries), snack, pre-dinner corn dog, dinner and second dinner or snack. If I eat breakfast at 8:30 and I need to go out between 9:30 and 11:30, I need to bring at least one snack, because I am not going to make it that long without needing something to eat. I’ve also been partaking in daily naps. Who knew it could be so tiring to be doing nothing extra consciously, but have lots going on you can’t feel!

7w2d

Apparently today baby says “hello”. He or she measured at 7 weeks, 2 days, but decided to be scrunchy during the ultrasound, so could actually be a bit bigger. His or her heart was beating at 168 bpm, which is excellent.

Today I finally get to start reducing my progesterone injections! I’ve been given 1.5 ccs a day, every day, for the past 42 days. That is 42 needles directly into my gluteus maximus. I now am only going to have to have 1 cc injected daily, which is a good sign. It means that things are progressing nicely and the placenta is thinking about getting ready to take over. I’m glad that my doctor has decided to slowly wean me from the medication instead of just having me stop cold turkey. I don’t think I’d be able to handle that. I much prefer the slowly reduce method!

 

I have a pregnancy journal called “From Pea to Pumpkin” that I’ve had for quite a while. I finally got it out last week and started filling it in. Doing so has been a challenge because statistics. It’s a pretty cutesy book, with space to tape ultrasounds and write statistics, but also to journal a bit about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking about.

 

I think I may finally be able to relax, just a little bit. I’ve been getting ahead of myself this week with looking on Pinterest at baby shower ideas, which is kinda unlike me and kinda not. I’m a planner, so having things set early is pleasing to me, but I’m also still a worrier.

109

109 will forever hold a special place in my heart.

We had another ultrasound this morning. Everything was looking good, and we could actually kinda tell what stuff was this time. Yay!

6w4d

So no handy labels this time around, but I kinda know what everything is. The black shape is… uh… something. The little circle in the middle of the black shape is the yolk sac. The little thing attached to the yolk sac, on the left side, is the baby. I measured at 6 weeks 4 days this morning. Yes, it should be closer to 7 weeks, but my doctor doesn’t seem concerned that I’m a little behind. We also got to see a tiny beating heart, for reals this time. His or her heartbeat was 109.

Today was also the day I decided to go to Kaiser and let them know that I’m expecting. Of course that meant getting all the newly pregnant blood tests done, which means this:

IMG_0696

Right side drawn at the fertility clinic, left side drawn in the basement of the hospital. It also means that I got “the packet”. It’s a green folder that every newly pregnant lady gets when they pass the pee test. How exciting. Now I just gotta read through the stuff in it, though the nurse advised against smoking, drinking and doing drugs. There go my Friday night plans!

 

I go back to the RE again next Friday, and I have my first appointment with Kaiser in April.

What’s That Little Flicker I See?

 

Ah the continuing drama of Ashley and David’s Infertility Trek!

After being in Vegas for almost a week, then going to a wedding the day after we got back, of course one of us got sick. Then got the other one sick. I’ve been going out of my mind with worry (thank you Dr. Google!) about having a fever this week. It only spiked over 101 twice, and I tried my best to get it down as quickly as I could. We won’t know if there was any permanent damage to the fetus until much later.

Oh, did I say the fetus? Pretty sure I did.

Oh yeah, that’s because we had our first OB ultrasound today. It was like a regular ultrasound, only this one included our doc blocking most of my view of the monitor!

baby label

There he/she is! They even put a convenient label so we all could know what the heck we’re looking at!

That big black circle thing is the yolk sac, which houses the growing embryo. There was a tiny flicker of a heartbeat, but at only 5 weeks and 5 days, it is too early to see it really good and definitely too early to hear it. When I go back in next week for another ultrasound it should be more visible and we may be able to hear it!

I’m still not getting too excited, as this does not guarantee anything. We still have about 6 weeks before we can start to get excited about it.

 

It was pretty funny: on his way out to work today, David asked me if he could tell his boss yet. I informed him that his boss may already know, depending on if he reads my blog or not (it is a possibility as we are Facebook friends). What a silly! Why would I say no when it’s already been posted on the internet for all to see?

 

Ah yes, EDD, or estimated due date. I did get one of those today. Of course, my mother got one for me and I just totally ignored it and came out 10 days late. The beginning of November/end of October is my current estimated due period. Babies are rarely born on their “EDD” anyway.

When Does It Become Real?

Not yet.

 

“I am commenting here instead of putting this on FB, because I assume part of your courtesy in your blog is to protect the journeys of other women struggling that you know.” I couldn’t have said it better. This is the comment that my sister-in-law left on my previous post. For those who are wondering why I am choosing to only share on here, this is it. Being infertile is hard. Seeing other peoples successes is even harder. I share here because I know how hard it is to see people post about their pregnancies.

Things that go through my mind as an infertile who has had prior failures and a positive HCG test:
– Is it going to rise properly?
– Is it ectopic?
– Why don’t I feel anything today?
– It is DEFINITELY ectopic
– Oh, numbers look good? For now.
– Still could be ectopic
– Why can’t I have an ultrasound earlier to make sure everything looks okay?
– Seriously, I haven’t felt anything in like 5 minutes. It’s going to fail.
– Can I do that?
– Can I eat that?
– I need to eat that!
– Is it time for food? Is the desire for food just in my head, or because the embryo(s) wants it?
– *googling* What are the signs of ectopic pregnancy

 

I went into my clinic on Friday for a third blood test. I assume that when you get pregnant naturally you visit your ob once and have your blood drawn that day and that day only. It may seem a bit excessive then for those of us who don’t get pregnant naturally to go every 2-5 days for a blood draw. I personally don’t mind, as it lets me know how things are progressing. Infertility does some strange things to you.

My first HCG test was 570, my second 1610 and my third 4762. The third one is much lower than I was anticipating. I was thinking that it needed to be around 6400 or more, but my doctor seems confident in that number. *** A quick edit: I’ve just Googled about HCG levels, and after 1200 they are supposed to double every 72-96 hours. That means that I am on the right track, not falling behind as I first thought.*** My medications have all stayed the same, which is kind of a bummer as I was hoping to reduce my progesterone injections.

A note about progesterone injections: They hurt. They are uncomfortable. They make your butt very lumpy. They last until between 10 and 12 weeks of pregnancy. Which means, if successful, I have another 5-7 weeks of them.

 

I’ve noticed that there are a few people who are very excited about me having positive betas. You may have noticed that I still use the phrase “if successful”. A few positive betas in no way guarantees a successful, 40 week pregnancy. I have to keep my expectations in check because I know first and second hand that we do not yet get a take-home baby. There is still a large chance that we don’t get past 12 weeks. About 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage by 12 weeks. I am currently 5 weeks and 3 days. There are still a lot of days left until 12 weeks.

 

So, when does it become real? I don’t yet know, as it doesn’t feel real yet. Maybe once we have an ultrasound? Maybe once I start to show? Maybe once s/he/they start moving around? Maybe none of those. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Good and Awesome

So I have some good news and some awesome news.

I was a tad bit vague on my last post, somewhat on purpose. I plan to post all news related to this subject on this blog. I personally find it to be more courteous, and that way anyone who doesn’t want to see it doesn’t have to.

 

I went in for a beta last Friday following a transfer of two 5 day old embryos. The results came back positive at 570. This is really good, considering my previous high was about 89.

I went yesterday for another one. In general, fertility doctors like you to get tests done 48 hours apart, but we were out of town, so had to wait until a clinic in Vegas was open on Monday. HCG levels are supposed to double every 48-72 hours, and I had my blood drawn about 75 after the first time. Results came in this morning. It needed to be at least 1140. It came back positive at 1610.

 

This means I am officially pregnant. Like, for reals.

I’ll get more information from my doctor on Friday when I go back in for either another blood test or just to have them do my injection.

 

Any further news will be shared here.