Wednesday, December 28, 2011

1/2 Way, an Infertile's Perspective

Today marks the ½ way point, 20 weeks.  It’s strange how fast time is going now.  At the beginning I was so worried all the time that it seemed like the minute hand on the clock never moved while I waited and waited for the next test or ultrasound.  Now, all of the sudden a week has passed and I don’t know where it went!

I got a comment on my last post that said “congratulations on your son” it was the first time I’d thought of him as that, an actual person.  I’m only now starting to embrace the fact that we’re actually having a human being, it’s almost like it was too risky to think of him like that before.

Today marks the point where if we lose the baby it’s considered a still birth and not a miscarriage.  I’m not sure why that seems significant but it does, somehow a doctor acknowledging the fact that if we lose the baby I’m truly losing a baby and not just a pregnancy seems important. And yet, I don’t feel any differently about this baby today than I did yesterday, it would be no harder to lose him today than it would have been yesterday.  I’m already counting the weeks until we reach viability.

I think wading through the trenches of infertility really messes with your mind.  I don’t think normal fertile women contemplate things like this when they reach the ½ way point.  I think normal fertile women just get excited about baby showers, newborn clothes and being on the downhill slope.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about those things too but they weren’t the first thing I thought of this morning, miscarriage vs. stillbirth was…  Just like the first thing I thought of at 18 weeks was that if I went to the ER I would now get seen by the doctors in labor and delivery not just regular ER docs.  Do normal women ever contemplate a trip to the ER during their pregnancy?  Do they have contingency plans for what hospital they’ll head to at the first sign of distress like I do?

I took a quick picture of myself to mark the day, of course I forgot this morning but against my better judgment I snapped a picture of myself in the mirror of the ladies room at work.  I was laughing about how ridiculous I felt while I took it so that is why you see the stupid look on my face…

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wiener Confirmation!

Last Thursday we had an awesome 19 week ultrasound!  I apologize for taking so long to post this but after our appointment I was just so happy I never got to the computer to type this up.  The ultrasound confirmed that we’ll be welcoming a baby boy in May!  It also gave me an incredible Christmas present, my placenta previa cleared!!!  So, as would be expected, Blue and I celebrated all weekend…

Little Man is going to be tall, you could tell he had really long legs in the ultrasound, the tech also said that he’s measuring 6 days ahead for crown to rump length (which is the measurement they usually use for dating the pregnancy.)  Early on he consistently measured 3 days ahead on CRL but since 12 weeks he has been growing like crazy!

Somehow finding out he is a boy makes this whole pregnancy thing feel more real.  We’ve started serious talks about names and think we’ve come to an agreement but I still have a few little hang ups.  Our plan is to call him by his name (secretly) for the next few weeks and see if it sticks.  I have to admit that I’m having a hard time not calling him little man though, that seems to fit the best of anything!

This week I promise a 20 week post complete with belly pictures and another post all about the fact that we’ll no longer be having a planned C-section and why that terrifies me. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Whole Year and Blog Awards!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a whole year (and a week since I’m late writing this!)

Blogging has helped me put my life and TTC in perspective.  In the beginning, before any one actually read my blog, just writing down my thoughts (both negative and positive) had a huge effect on me.  From the time I started this blog to the first positive pee stick was 9 months.  We had been trying for almost 2 years before that but the 9 months that followed were the hardest of my life.  I wouldn’t have survived it with out blogging and the friends I have met through it.  You are people I will remember for the rest of my life, you have been there for me through thick and thin and I mean it when I say it meant the world to me.

A few of these wonderful friends have given me blog awards in the last month or so and I’ve been slacking about doing my own award post, so here it goes! 

I huge thank you to:

Since I’m combining two awards I’m changing the rules slightly and making them a little more fun… Here are the new combo rules!

1. Thank the person who gave you the award!
2. List 7 things people may not know about you (complete with pictures.)
3. Pass the award to 5 other bloggers and notify them as well.

Here are my 7 things:

1.       You may know how much I love Blue, but you may not know that his military uniform involves a maroon beret and dress pants stuck into his boots, apparently this silly outfit is an honor to get to wear…  This is us at his graduation in April of 2010.

2.       You may know I have 2 goldendoodle (half golden retriever half standard poodle) fur babies, but you may not know that Trapper, the white one, sees it as his personal responsibility to clean Panda’s face, most importantly his eye boogers.

3.       You may know I live in Alaska, but did you know that I LOVE borrowing other people’s animal fur hats to take photos in?

4.       You may know I’m pregnant but you probably don’t know that it is due in part to the fact that I wished for it while rubbing this statue on Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic this summer.

5.       You may know about Panda and Trapper but I doubt I’ve told you about Daisy, my 8th grade birthday present.  Daisy died this year at age 14 but this is my favorite picture of her, she was attending an 80’s party and came dressed for the occasion. 

6.       I have a friend who is a circus performer and I tried to learn how to do the whole ribbon dancing thing once.  It’s hard and somehow this picture is fooling you into thinking I had it figured out, I didn’t, I was a mess.

7.       Blue and I had a couple’s Halloween last year and went as Little Red and The Big Bad Wolf (dressed as a grammy).  Isn’t Blue so cute in a romper!

Now onto the award passing!  I’m going to give this award to 5 of the blogs I recently started reading, so head on over and check them out! - This is the blog my fabulous friend who I cycled with in Vegas started.  She’s still on her journey to a BFP so head over and cheer her on! - This is a great girl I met through TWW, she and I are almost the same due date and she is pregnant after struggling with IF as well. - Pregnant with her miracle after IVF, she just graduated from the RE, go tell her congrats! - I love Alicia’s honesty!  She is an honest, sincere blogger and I enjoy all her posts.  She is also still on the IF train so go cheer her on! - Tippy is also pregnant after donor IVF and recently wrote a great post about what a difference a year can make, its so true considering I started this infertility blog a year ago and now here I am.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Belly Shots and my OCD

I’ve mentioned my OCD before, right?  Do you recall my super nerdy trigger calculator which caused me way more anxiety than necessary?  Or maybe one of my other crazy spreadsheet admissions helped you realize the extent of my crazy?

The point is sometimes I’m a little obsessive.  I over plan, I stress over details and if God forbid if I ever have to compare things to one another THEY WILL be perfectly comparable or I won’t compare them at all.  Hence the reason I have a belly picture from 8 weeks and then not another until 16 weeks. (Well, there was one failed attempt at 10 weeks but it is just another illustration of my crazy.)

I took my 8 week picture in what seemed like the perfect outfit for it, black yoga pants, because I have 2 of the exact same ones, and a black tank top, because I have 3 of the exact same ones.  You see, the reason the outfit choice was important was because I already knew how crazy I would be about comparing one picture to the next and how could I possibly compare them if I was wearing different clothes??

So why didn’t I just keep taking weekly pictures?  See the following reasons and be thankful you’re not totally nutso like me:

9 Weeks:  Blue was out of town and since he took the first picture and I would have to take the second picture alone they would not be comparable because number 2 would have to be a mirror picture and number one was not.

10 Weeks:  Blue was late for work but I threw clothes on and got him to stay an extra 2 minutes so we wouldn’t miss it.  He refused to come upstairs so we had to take them next to the door to the garage.  I cannot use these for comparison because the angle and distance and lighting are way off, I was so mad I deleted all but one (just incase I ever need it for anything other than comparison sake.)

11 Weeks:  I forgot to take the pictures before work.  If they aren’t taken in the morning they won’t be comparable because I will be more bloated because I ate.

12 Weeks:  Both pairs of my favorite yoga pants were dirty.

13 Weeks:  I forgot until it was 13 weeks and 1 day.  This clearly would not count because it was Thursday, not Wednesday like it was supposed to be.

14 weeks:  Blue was on nights so he slept in (see reason from week 11.)

15 weeks:  I had the day off so I slept in and Blue left for work at his normal time (see reason from week 9.)

So how did my neuroses allow me to finally take a week 16 picture?  My belly popped between week 15 and 16 and I was devastated to have missed that on film, it was enough to allow me to push aside all reasons to avoid the picture (which really added up on this particular day… See below for the reasons I am convinced I may have finally cured my crazy fear of improper comparisons!

Week 16:  I forgot.  I took the picture at 16w1day (compare with legitimate reason from week 13), my favorite yoga pants were dirty so I had to wear different black pants (ref: week 12), Blue and I were running late for work but I forced him to be later (week 10 disaster), I had a glass of water first (see detrimental effects as demonstrated in week 11.)

8 to 18 week Comparison with nice edited pictures

8 to 18 week comparison with 10 week terrible pic included...  Clearly I'm right about the importance of using the same location right?
I did take a week 18 picture with all the original rules just for one final comparison shot to make me happy but I have decided that it is now ok to move on to bi-weekly comparisons with the following reasonable stipulations: 
  • I must be wearing black, but any black outfit will do.
  • I must be standing against a white wall but any white wall will work.
  • Someone else must take the picture but it doesn’t have to be Blue.
  • The picture still counts as the week its taken in as long as its with in the first 3 days of the given week.
This is what the Bubble looks like under clothes, its fun to be obviously pregnant
This is a picture that I found on Pintrest (my new obsession) made me realize that I’m crazy and its way cuter to have a little fun with it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Symptoms Series: Post 3, Holy Boobies Batman!

***Disclaimer: I am joking, not complaining.  I think the booby symptoms are funny not annoying (although it was annoying to have to pay $70 for a bra...)***

Within days of my positive beta I noticed that my bras weren’t fitting so well… This problem persisted until they didn’t fit at all, at which point I moved on to my Fat Day Bra, you know, like fat day pants for your boobs?  I keep this bra around but only to break out for the interim time when I need to get my weight in check.  The Fat Day Bra has always been my motivator to get to the gym or lay off the cookies.

This time I never made my way back to normal sized bras….  The fat day bra kept getting tighter and tighter… Eventually I had quad boob, you know, the phenomenon where your boobs are busting out and getting cut off half way by the top of the bra so it appears you have four boobs?

I let quad boob persist until I started to notice the full outline of my bra indented in my skin every time I took it off.  At this point I admitted I had a problem.  My mother in law decided she would fix it so she assumed that I’d gone up a cup size from 36D to 38DD.  She bought me a nice bra but then when I took it off it looked like I was still wearing it.  Hence this week’s trip to get measured and the inspiration for this post’s name, so, without further ado…   

36G: Holy boobies Batman!

Ignore the awful coloring and just look at the difference in boob size in the same shirt...  PS I will post an 18 week belly shot this week, i'm just behind in taking them but that is a post about my OCD that I will save for another day!

Here are some of the other booby changes in no particular order:

Veins Galore:  I used to look for this sign in the TWW, I remember many a morning staring in the mirror trying to decide if there were more visible veins than normal.  This symptom didn’t actually show up until about 7 or 8 weeks (like most of the common symptoms.)

Red, sometimes purple in color:  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I want to do the Heimlich on them, they look like the people on TV who are choking and turn weird colors.  This probably has something to do with the fact that they are double the size trying to fit in the same amount of skin.  It may also be a result of trying to squish them in tiny bras, I’ll let you know in a few weeks.

Sensitive: This one comes and goes.  Sometimes my nipples hurt to touch, sometimes my boobs themselves itch so bad I feel like I took a bath in poison ivy, just depends on the day.

Bigger nipple size:  I always thought women got bigger nipples from breast feeding, not true.  The hormones prepping your boobs for breast feeding seem to prompt this change.  My nipples themselves are bigger and so are the areolas. 

Stretch Mark:  I have officially gotten my first stretch mark.  Not on my belly as expected but on my gigantic right boob.  This makes me want to cry, probably because of this.

In conclusion, everyone I’ve mentioned the size change to has responded with something along the lines of “well at least Blue is happy!”  When I told Blue this he didn’t even laugh, instead he scoffed/pouted and said “doesn’t matter to me, I don’t even get to touch them.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Lincoln Dilemma

Almost two years ago Blue and I fell in love with the name Lincoln for our first baby boy.  We’ve wavered and changed girl’s names a million times but we’ve never steered away from Linc for our baby boy.

Sounds great right?  We most likely have a kid with a wiener growing in there so just name him Lincoln and move on.  Not so fast, the cruelty of IF continues…

A family friend in another state just had a son and named him Lincoln.  If we had gotten pregnant just a few months earlier we would have announced our son’s name first because they waited until their son was born. 

Everyone else says just name him the same thing, but I can’t seem to get over it so now I’m stuck and Blue and I can’t seem to agree on any other names.

I know it’s petty.  I know that I’m pregnant and I should just be happy that I’m the lucky bitch that got the happily ever after, but couldn’t I just get a break? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fertile's Club 'aka The Military'

I used to hate going to parties at Blue’s work.  He’s in the military and so it’s a given that there will always be gobs of babies and pregnant women.  For the record they are always nice and I always get to snuggle babies, but even before we started trying I just never felt like I fit in…

I’ve always wondered if maybe I just didn’t have anything in common with his coworkers and their families or if it really was because we didn’t have kids. 

It was because we didn’t have kids.

When I went to the first party post-pregnancy it was not what I expected at all.  Not only were all the women asking me how I was feeling and giving baby advice, the men were too!  Guys I had literally never even talked to before were saying congratulations and touching my belly. 

It was like I suddenly went from being the junior-high outcast to one of the popular kids over night.  I smiled through the whole party and relished in my new found membership to The Fertile’s Club.

I didn’t let myself dwell on how I felt about it all until Blue and I were driving home… Then I wasn’t sure I was so happy about suddenly ‘fitting in’…  I was mad that I was right all those years about why I didn’t fit in.  By enjoying it I felt like I was burying my infertile past and moving on, which I promised not to do.

Blue, as always, was slow to say anything but when he did it was wise, “they just didn’t know how to start a conversation with you before.”  Then there was silence while he let me ponder his wise words.

I think he was right.  Most of these couple’s entire lives revolve around their families, they have to move every few years and the one thing that is constant is their family.  Most of the women are stay at home moms to help accommodate the military dynamic and probably can’t remember back to a life before they had kids. 

I get it.  That’s why we go through the heartache of infertility, isn’t it?  It’s why we don’t just give up and move on to a life with out children, because we hope someday that our families will be the center of our whole lives.  Some people have an easier time with that transition than we’ve had and I guess I can’t fault them for that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Friendship is an Incredible Thing

It’s easy to feel totally alone going through infertility, it’s easy to wallow in self pity and tell yourself no one understands.  The beauty of blogging is that you realize you're not alone (even if you occasionally forget.)  If I wanted to find another blog about an infertile engineer turned pregnant I could probably find it in about 30 seconds.  But blogging, for me, hasn’t been about finding 100 other bloggers just like me, it has been about making friendships and connections, and I’ve made one that I hope will last forever.

I came across S.I.F's blog when I first started blogging.  I realized she was also from Alaska so I emailed her and we talked back and forth a few times.  At the time she was really struggling after an unsuccessful FET but she still made the time to talk with me and support me.

Our few emails eventually turned into a hike, and that’s all it took, instant friendship.  The day we went hiking was the day before I started lupron for IVF1.0.  She helped me through the fear of what was to come and inspired me to stay hopeful.  Most of you know the story of IVF1.0, but if you don’t, here is how it started, and here is how it ended...

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a darker place than I was after IVF1.0.  I tried to stay positive, I objectively looked at the situation and pretended to be OK, but I wasn’t.  My family and other friends tried to be there for me but they didn’t know what to say.  S.I.F was there, always with the right words and a hug.

Prepping for IVF1.5 I was a mess again.  I wasn’t feeling hopeful, S.I.F held the hope for me, she stayed positive and about a week before I left she made me a mix tape (the ultimate sign of friendship!)  The CD was full of inspiring songs about how I was not in control and just needed to relax and live.  It was on repeat in my car for that whole week and when ever I was about to lose it I turned it on and relaxed.

My PP care package complete with 2 teen supernatural romances (which I've already finished...maybe I'm still 12?)

When I was diagnosed with placenta previa and told I could do nothing fun for the next 6 months she made me a basket full of things to keep me entertained.  She wrote a hilarious post about it here, but I’ll stick to the serious stuff… What an incredible friend. 

I hope that someday I’ll look back at my years of infertility and understand why they had to happen.  I think maybe one of the reasons is because otherwise I would never have met S.I.F…

Monday, November 28, 2011

Symptoms Series: Post 2, Morning Sickness

I’m pretty sure every infertile woman out there has at some point claimed that she would NEVER complain about morning sickness once she finally got pregnant.  I was definitely one of those women.

Here it is ladies… I hate to admit it…

I complained… I think I even cried…

Have you ever had the stomach flu or been so car sick or so hung over that you prayed you’d just wake up when it was over?  Have you ever felt so awful that you couldn’t get up off the couch, couldn’t stomach the thought of food?  Have you ever wished you could go to sleep for the next 2 months so you wouldn’t feel that way anymore?  I felt like that for 14 weeks.

I never actually threw up which made me feel even more pathetic for complaining.  I couldn’t stand the thought of food yet the Dexamethasone made me STARVING so I ate anything I could get down.  Instead of losing weight I gained 10, maybe even 15 pounds (I’m still too scared to step on the scale.)  With the exception of Mickey D’s bacon egg and cheese biscuits, I didn’t enjoy a single calorie of food I put in my mouth for 14 weeks and always felt terrible afterwards.

Every time I ate I felt like if I didn’t puke that food up I might die.  I seriously considered making myself throw up and even debated with Blue over whether or not that made me bulimic.  On top of feeling totally miserable, I also felt guilty because I vowed never to be “that girl.” 

I really wanted to be that infertile woman who appreciated every moment of her pregnancy but I am not her.  I am proud to say that I did most of my complaining to Blue.  I tried to keep it from everyone else but I was miserable and it is hard to keep quiet when you feel that bad.

Every day during those 14 weeks (after telling Blue I was pretty sure this would be our only biological child) I thanked God for this baby, for the medical advances that made it possible, for the opportunity to get pregnant at least once, for fulfilling my dreams even if they weren’t quite what I expected, but I sure as hell did not say thank you for morning sickness because it was awful. 

I recently figured out why women are even willing to carry a sibling, it’s because just after the misery of the first trimester comes the beauty of the second trimester.  That’s why I wrote this post now, I wanted to get it all out before I forgot just how bad it really was.  I’m now 16 weeks and can finally embrace the pregnancy, I don’t feel like hell, I can feel the life inside of me wiggling around… suddenly, like a light switch was flipped, it’s like the first 14 weeks never happened. 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Symptoms Series: Post 1, Overly Emotional

In the spirit of posting what ever I feel like, I think I’m going to do a series on symptoms of pregnancy and how they might differ for an infertile…

Here is my first: Pregnant ladies are overly emotional.

I have been tearing up a lot lately.  I know this is supposed to be a normal pregnancy symptom, crying at commercials and such.  Until Sunday I had only had the eyes welling up, glistening type tears, usually at the end of an episode of a reality TV show where a baby is born. 

Now to the weird part, I have yet to cry about our baby.  Almost every family member and friend who knew about our IF cried when they found out we were finally pregnant.  Not me.  Not Blue (though I’ve only seen him cry 2 times ever so it’s not like I was expecting tears from my rock of a hubby.) 

I cried when I found out about the blood clotting disorder, which is funny since now it’s the very least of our problems and more dangerous to treat it than to leave it be…  But I haven’t actually cried over the fact that I’m gestating a human.  I think about it a lot, why I’m not emotional about our baby… I think it’s because it’s too dangerous to let down that wall, because once I do it can’t be re-built.  It’s easier to focus on the facts, the diagnoses, and more than anything, it’s easier to just continue on with my self deprecating sense of humor and pretend that none of this is fazing me.

On Sunday I had my first all out pregnancy induced sob fest.  Blue and I went to church with our closest friends to watch their son’s baptism.  It was a beautiful service and so sweet to watch him glare at the pastor after he put water all over his head!  At the end of the service we were supposed to stick around and take pictures, so as the recessional hymn started up we were all going to go forward instead of back. 

That was a great plan until the hymn turned out to be ‘I’ll fly Away’. 

The last time I heard that song was at my Nanny’s (grandmother’s) funeral, and the time before was the last time I heard my Nanny speak.  I was sitting with her at the hospital in her last few days of life and her pastor came by to pray with her.  At the time she couldn’t say much but she asked him to sing her.  So the three of us sat there in the hospital and sang ‘I’ll fly away’ and ‘The Old Rugged Cross’.

I hadn’t thought about that day at all in the last two years, in fact if I’d heard ‘I’ll fly away’ six months ago it would have made me smile, instead I was over emotional and brought right back into that hospital room.  Had it just been Blue and I might have been able to drop a few silent happy tears, but instead I had to run so I could hide it from my best friend’s entire family, then make excuses for why I missed pictures.  EMBARASSING!

Maybe someday soon I’ll cry about our little one, I’ll be sure to let you guys know the day it happens.  A question for all you pregnant after IF girls, am I crazy?  Do you weep over the idea of your baby constantly?

Friday, November 18, 2011

I reclaim this blog as my own

I used to get really frustrated when infertile bloggers got pregnant and started a new blog.  It seemed like they were forgetting their past, moving on to a sunshine lollipops world where IF didn’t exist.  Now that I’m pregnant I understand why they do it.

Since I got pregnant I don’t feel like this blog is mine anymore, I don’t feel like I can share my honest thoughts.  I give obligatory updates but that’s all.  I still read everyone’s blogs and comment but I’ve lost the cathartic release of blogging for myself.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, time that were I still infertile, I would have spent writing about it, sorting through my thoughts with the keyboard.

The answer I’ve come to is that I’m worried I’ll hurt someone no matter what I write.  I’m worried that if I’m having a good day or post a belly shot that I’ll seem like I’m bragging.  I’m worried that if I’m having a bad day I’ll sound like an ungrateful bitch who has forgotten her past.

I’ve tried to put myself in your (my reader’s) shoes: what kind of posts would I rather read, happy posts or whiney posts?  The problem is that I’m thinking about what you might want to read, not what I need to write.

Did I start this blog to help other people or to help myself?  Probably a little of both, but at first I didn’t care who read it, I just needed to write.  I need to write again.

So here it is:  I reclaim this blog as my own.  I will write what is in my heart.  I won’t forget my past because IF is still a part of me and my future.  I won’t curb my thoughts because I’m afraid they’ll be taken wrong.  I’ll continue to read and support those of you still in the trenches and I’m always here if you have questions or need support.

I hope that none of my future posts offend anyone, I hope that you’ll understand that pregnancy and life after IF is still a rollercoaster and will always have its ups and downs.  I hope that my readers stick around, but I completely understand if you don’t want to or if it hurts too much, I’ve been there and I haven’t forgotten.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It’s going to be a long winter…

Today’s appointment with the OB went OK.  The bubble is doing well and we got to see it dance around on the screen.  We also got a quick shot of what she thinks was a sizable wiener, but just incase it was a glimpse of the umbilical chord we have to wait until the 20 week screen to know for sure.

Unfortunately I also got bad news…  I have complete placenta previa which means my placenta is completely covering my cervix.  On the ultrasound today we were hoping to see improvement from 2 weeks ago but instead saw the placenta extend out evenly on either side of the cervix.  There was some hope at the last US that the placenta might move but after today’s the OB said not to harbor any false hopes, it isn’t going to budge.

The rule from here on out is no fun; no exercise besides swimming and walking on a treadmill, no sexual activity of any kind (literally, not even touching the nipples…) The worst part?  These rules continue until 37 weeks.  That’s right, from 14 weeks to 37 weeks, which is 23 weeks (161 days) of no action.

Why 37 weeks you ask?  Because that is when I’ll go in to see the perinatologist for an amnio to check the baby’s lung function.  If all is good they’ll deliver the baby via C-section 2 days later.

Surprisingly the impending C-section doesn’t bother me at all, but that’s a story for another day…

One more interesting development is that I’m off the Lovenox.  It is now officially more dangerous for me to be on it than off it because of the previa. 

C’est la vie…

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hello 2nd Trimester, it's nice to see you!

I can’t believe I’m in the second trimester.  It’s nice to have positive news to share!  Also, my OB’s office called and my NT scan results look great!  I’m not sure what the actual result was, just that I shouldn’t worry, so I shan’t. 

Here I sit, a worry free Lindsey.

It’s amazing that my whole life until now, including 4 years of engineering school, Blue’s deployment and 2.5 years of infertility, hasn’t taught me that worrying will do me no good.  It took conquering IF, being pregnant and getting bad news multiple times to make me realize that worrying wasn’t doing me any good.  So now, when the bad news comes, I laugh and I am thankful that I defied the odds yet again, and when good news comes, I am even more thankful. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

I pick Infertility

I don’t remember who told me this story (maybe it’s an old proverb) but it goes something like this:  If we were all to write down our problems on a slip of paper and toss them on to a table, then rifle through and pick which problem to have, we would all pick back up our own problems because that’s what we know how to deal with.

I learned the truth of this lesson this weekend.

One of Blue’s good friends and his girlfriend ended up with a little surprise a few years back, they were excited about it and got married and have had a great time since.  They had a totally natural pregnancy with a home birth (for the record I’m not a big fan of this.)  Their little girl is 3 now and is so precious and such a joy to be around.  I have to admit I’ve spent quite a bit of time being jealous of them, wondering why that couldn’t have been us too?

Even lately, since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve wondered why I couldn’t have a perfect pregnancy like her?  She never had an US, ate organic the whole time, etc.  I’ve sat on my couch numerous times pouting, wondering why pregnancy wasn’t so perfect for me…

About 3 weeks ago the husband started feeling strange and having numbness in his legs.  They tried seeing a naturopath and doing heavy metals testing.  When none of the homeopathic remedies made a difference they went in for an MRI and just found out he has MS.  On top of that, they own their own chiropractic business and don’t have health insurance.

Now suddenly I don’t want to trade problems.

I just want to stay right here in my pregnant after IF life.

My heart is breaking for all of them, for how this will change the course of their lives.  I wish I could do anything to help, but for now I think the only thing I can do is give them time to process the diagnosis.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I have great news and not so great news

I’ll start with the not so great news: 

Have I mention that if they test me for it I’ll have it?  Please add placenta previa to the list.

As I understand it, placenta previa means that my placenta is covering my cervix.  They say it’s fairly common early on and often resolves its self before the baby is due.  If it doesn’t resolve its self it means C-section.  As for now it means pelvic rest and lifting no more than 10 lbs.

I actually laughed when the nurse called to tell me this yesterday.  If I’ve learned nothing else through the last almost 3 years of infertility, IVF and pregnancy, I’ve learned that you have NO control over anything and there is no point in worrying because it won’t change a thing.

Now for the great: 

I forgot to tell you I graduated!  Graduated from what you ask? 


My 12 week scan was all trans-abdominal!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

12 Weeks and NT Scan

I’m sorry I’ve been such a bad blogger lately.  I’ve even had a few people call/email me to make sure me and the baby were OK.  We’re great I promise!  Again, I’m sorry, I’ve just been busy and super tired and dressing my dog up as a turtle...

Doesn't he look so happy?  Only dog in the world who smiles when dressed up...
Yesterday we had our 12 week NT scan.  We won’t know the official results for another week but the measurements looked good.  We got a beautiful profile picture of our little one too!  Also, the ultrasound tech warned not to decorate the nursery on her prediction but she thinks it’s a boy and as of now her predictions have been 100% correct! 

I’m trying not to get too attached to the idea of a boy incase we find out 6 weeks from now that it’s a little girl in there!  Either way I’m excited, so our early guess of boy shouldn’t affect me too much.  I think Blue might be another story though… He’s scared to have a girl, probably because she’ll wrap him right around her tiny finger and he’ll be there for the rest of his life!

As of now I’m making some serious progresses in the pregnancy symptoms front.  Here they are in random order:
  • I cooked dinner (for the first time in almost 3 months!)
  • Dex's baby is shrinking and Blue’s baby is growing.
  • I’m not constantly hungry (since I dropped the dex and progesterone!)
  • Lovenox is cake!  Thanks again for the advice on how to make the injections not sting ladies!
  • I made it to the magical point where you’re supposed to stop worrying so much
  • I slept through the night with out getting up to pee last night (no illusions here, I realize this was a freak incident but it seemed worth including.)
  • I’m getting over the irrational fear that I’m “jinxing” my pregnancy every time I talk to someone about it.
  • I’m able to eat food besides boxed mac and cheese and pistachios

Now for the list of things I have not been able to make progress on but am confident I will remedy in the near future:
  • It makes me gag to open the fridge, it doesn’t smell to anyone but me though.
  • The only acceptable breakfast option is a bagel or instant oatmeal and even those don’t sit very well.
  • I am always tired.  I want to go to bed at 7 pm.  I hear mixed reviews on when this will end, but I think Blue will freak out if it doesn’t end soon.
  • Vegetables sound awful.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Partial DQ Alpha Match

Last Wednesday started as a great day, the grandmas’ and I got to see the little bubble dance all around and even got a very cool video of it to show Blue when he got home.  I also got to stop the PIO shots, progesterone suppositories and start weaning the dex.  It was also the day I was supposed to be released from Dr. Sher until we went back for a sibling.

It all went well until I got the call from Dr. Sher’s nurse.  I was expecting the “congratulations you’re no longer our patient” call, but unfortunately I got the “we received your test results call.” 

As I’m sure you’ve picked up on by now if they test me for it I’ll have it…. So, as expected, they tested Blue and I for alloimmune matching and we are a partial match. 

Instead of hysterically crying, like I did when they told me I have a blood clotting disorder, I laughed.  What else can I do at this point?  I rushed to the hospital for another intralipid infusion and instead of wondering if God was telling me I should never have gotten pregnant, I thanked him because clearly with everything working against me I had some intervention from him!

My quick description of alloimmune implantation disfunction is this:  It is important for us to have differing immune systems and so our bodies have evolutionarily developed ways to create babies with complex immune systems.  One such way is for us to be less attracted to the smell of a person with a similar immune system to our own (for the record I think Blue smells great.)  Implantation of an embryo is a lot like a tissue transplant except that with a tissue transplant you want an almost identical immune system, with embryo implantation you want a completely different immune system.  If the embryo attempting to implant has similar immune components to the mother, the mother’s system will fight back by creating natural killer cells against the embryo and choking off implantation, or eventually causing an early miscarriage. 

What this means for Blue and me?

  1. Since Blue and I have a partial match it means that (statistically) 50% of our embryos will be unable to implant in my uterus. 
  2. Because we’ve made it this far in this pregnancy Dr. Sher feels confident that this embryo didn’t match and will stick around for the long haul.
  3. From now on we will only transfer 1 embryo at a time, if we were to transfer 2 embryos (and one of them matched me) my body would attack the matching embryo and inadvertently the other non-matching embryo at the same time, thus wasting a viable embryo.
  4. For this pregnancy, and in future pregnancies, I will need bi-weekly intralipid infusions until 24 weeks.
  5. Most importantly, we’re really lucky that we were able to get pregnant the first time around, especially with 2 embryos transferred.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Math of IVF

Today I had my last ultrasound to be released from Dr. Sher.

The Bubble at 10 weeks, you can clearly see arms and legs now, we even saw fingers today!

I did a little reminiscing today and this is what I came up with…

2 attempted IVF cycles consisting of:

42 Subcutaneous Shots
+ 99 Pills (not including vitamins or supplements!)
+ 81 Vaginal Suppositories
+ 56 Intramuscular Shots
+ 3 Intravenous Intralipid Infusions
(+ 210 more SubQ shots of Lovenox to come)
+ 3 plane tickets across the country

= 1 Perfect 10 week old fetus

I wish IVF math was as consistent as regular math.  I wish if you just added the right number of things together it always equaled a baby.  Today I’m ecstatic for me but I’m also grieving for all of the other infertile women out there who’s math didn’t work out as well as mine.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blue put his foot down

I love my Blue.  He is the voice of reason while I am the worrier.  Most of the time he lets me go on my merry way and rarely weighs in on a decision I’m passionate about, but every once in a while he puts his foot down and takes a stand.  When he does, I listen.

Blue put his foot down this weekend. 

Once I fully understood the clotting/lovenox issue I explained it all to him, but truthfully I didn’t expect him to weigh in.  I had already decided to go with my Alaska doctors and not take the Lovenox, just request monitoring of my homocysteine levels. 

After I explained all of this to Blue he replied in a stern voice, “why would we stop trusting Dr. Sher now?”  He went on to explain that we’ve regretted the times we didn’t listen to him and have yet to regret a single thing we did listen to.  He pointed out that we aren’t doctors, our choice is which doctor to trust and he trusts Dr. Sher, so do I.

So the decision is made. 

I took my first Lovenox shot last night and it wasn’t too bad.  Thanks to all the ladies out there who gave advice on how to avoid bruising/stinging.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Updated: 30 mg Lovenox Daily

I’m not doing so well right now.  As if endometriosis, diminished ovarian reserve, autoimmune implantation disfunction and a thin uterine lining weren’t enough, I just found out yesterday that I have a blood clotting disorder.

The worst part is that I don’t even know what type of blood clotting disorder it is yet so I can’t calm myself through research.  For the first time I am very unhappy with Dr. Sher’s office.  His nurse informed me via email that I had an abnormal result on my thrombophilia panel, meaning I have a high chance of blood clotting during pregnancy and that they want me on Lovenox shots daily for the rest of the pregnancy.  Who sends information like that via email, at the end of the day??!!

I couldn’t talk to anyone at their office until this morning and still know as little as I did yesterday because I’m waiting on a phone consult with Dr. Sher.  Luckily my sister is a genetic counselor and understands this stuff and is also close with my OB, so the two of them calmed me down enough to make it through the night.

At first the prospect of daily shots for the next 31 weeks sounded daunting, but I’ve accepted that I’m not going to have the sunshine-lollypops pregnancy I imagined during all my IF day dreaming, and that’s OK.  But now I have to sit here for an entire week wondering if I’m already too late.  Most people start Lovenox before their IVF cycle, not at 9 weeks pregnant.  What if I already formed a clot and lost the baby since last week?

I honestly just want to cry.  I just want to curl up in a ball and cry, feel sorry for myself, and yell “why me!?” to God.  Instead I’m sitting here at work because I know there is nothing I can do but start the shots and pray really hard that the damage isn’t already done.

If any of you have any tips on Lovenox please share because I could sure use some.

Update:  I have two copies of the MTHFR gene but normal homocystine levels...  So my REs office sent the results of the test to my OB, who shared them with my genetic councelor sister, who shared them with the local pre-natal gentetic councelor, who shared them with the local high risk perinatologist.  Everyone but Dr. Sher thinks the risks of lovenox are higher than the risk of clotting because the gene polymorphism has not caused my homocystine levels to elevate.  Dr. Sher is adamant that I need to be on Lovenox, everyone else is adamant that I NOT be on Lovenox.  Now I don't know what the F to do.  I've always trusted my OB and my sister sent me to the best perinatologist in the state who concurs, but then again I've always trusted Dr. Sher and he's never let me down...

As for worring about the baby all doctors agree that I shouldn't since the MTHFR mutation doesn't cause early losses.  The issue will come in the 3rd trimester when my risk of pre-eclampsia and placental abruption increase.