Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jack's Birth

OK .. so here's what happened...

After trying to get some sleep the night before .. John and I got up at 4am on Monday, November 17, with the goal of getting to the hospital at 5:30am for 7:30am surgery. I was strangely calm the night before - but still dopplered Jack one last time to make sure his heart was beating. The morning of the C-section, I was nervous, and part of me wondered if we'd even have the section - could Jack have turned?? Maybe that was his butt up by my ribs and not his head? We'd find out once we got to the hospital.

We pulled together the last of our things and headed out the door at 5am. We made it to the hospital by 5:30 - and pulled into the emergency entrance (as instructed.) We told the guard I was having a baby, and they were waiting for us upstairs. He got me a wheelchair and I got in. I was holding my belly - one of the last times I'd do so with Jack inside - and the guard said "Oh, look at her she is READY." He thought I was in labor. I didn't correct him, just smiled. And as it turned out ... I was in the beginning stages of labor! Once they got me on the monitors upstairs, I was having mild contractions, which made me really happy. The timing was right. It was time for Jack to be born. A quick ultrasound confirmed that Jack was indeed still breech. I was actually a little taken aback. I think something like "holy shiit, I'm having a freakin' C-section at 7:30 went through my head..."

It wasn't clear exactly who was doing my surgery. I wanted Dr. T ... but was told it might be Dr. G. I started to cry. Dr. G. had never been anything but totally grumpy to us. But thankfully - all of a sudden - Dr. T. came strolling through the door and I lit up like a Christmas tree. Dr. T. is the back up high risk doctor for my midwives and just such a great person. Great doctor, great guy. I was happy again. But NERVOUS!!

John and I hung out while they continued to monitor Jack, who was doing just fine. Dr. T. patted my belly and said "see you soon Jack!" and soon - it was time to head to the OR. John suited up in his scrubs but was not allowed in for the spinal. I was very scared of the spinal ... but Dr. T. stood right in front of me as I hunched over for the initial lidocaine injection and rubbed my shoulders and literally HUGGED me like a dad and told me how great I was doing. I breathed deeply in and out. They said the lidocaine would sting but it didn't really phase me after giving myself two lovenox injections a day for the last bazillion months in order to stay healthy and pregnant. Then, it was time for the spinal. A resident named Rachel administered it with the attending standing right beside her. Earlier, I had asked her "do you do a lot of spinals? How do you feel about mine? You feel good? You excited?" ha ha!! I wanted to make sure she knew where to stick that friggin' thing!! She did great though - and soon I felt weird and numb and they laid me down. They did NOT strap my arms down, honoring my C-section birth plan request. I thought that was very cool. And though my birth plan had requested no students - there were some in the room. I was OK with it. At that point, I just wanted to get it going and get it OVER with and be OK and have the baby be OK.

John came in once I was laying down - I had an oxygen mask on which was freaking me out but I focused on staying calm. My midwife, Kathy, there as a support person could see that John was freaked out and calmly said "John, you'll sit right here" and plopped him on a stool by my head. The surgery began and they did NOT mess around - Dr. T. is known for his FAST C-sections. I could feel A LOT of pressure but no pain. I did feel nauseous though and kept saying "Rachel, I feel nauseous" and she'd up my anti-nausea meds in my IV. She managed to keep me from puking, so she did a good job!

I could hear surgery chatter but felt pretty out of it and disconnected. Although I did say at the beginning "remember he has a big head, make sure you make room!" So typical of me - giving the surgeon last minute instructions! I am so controlling ... ha!

At one point I knew they were pulling him out and I could feel them sort of wrestling to get him out. I said in a small voice "is everything OK?" and John assured me that it was. He told me later he was sweating and so scared for me. Not the baby - for me. Hearing that reminded me how much he loves me. (OK, that just made me teary-eyed.)

At 7:54am - Jack Clifton was born. He filled the air with lusty cries immediately! I could hear him and just could NOT believe it. I think my midwife said "mom wants to see her baby" and they brought him around the corner. I looked and saw this BIG baby crying away and couldn't believe it. I burst into tears - relief, joy, so many emotions. Unfortunately, I still felt pretty out of it - and nauseous. I said to John "go with the baby." I wanted him to be with the baby while I got sewn up and while they examined Jack. He told me later he went and stood by awkwardly until someone said "you can touch him" and not knowing what to do he sort of patted Jack's head. ha ha!! So cute.

As they got ready to wheel me out - they brought Jack to me, briefly, all swaddled up. I honestly don't really remember this - but we have a picture! So I know it happened. They then took him back for more whatever and wheeled me to recovery. I hoped to have Jack at my breast within an hour of the surgery and lo and behold - 59 minutes after the surgery - there he was - and we put him to my breast. He latched on immediately. I later found out that John was the driving force behind the effort to get Jack to me within an hour - as it usually takes longer. He kept saying, Alicia wants to nurse within an hour (I have trained him well) and I guess he bugged everyone so much they finally gave in!

Finally, we were all together. A family of three. The end of my wonderful, scary, miraculous pregnancy - and the beginning of our new lives together.

Monday, November 24, 2008


JACK CLIFTON IS HERE!! Born at 39 weeks on November 17, 2008 .. weighing in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 21 inches long. My big beautiful boy. It is indescribable. We are in love. Pics to come!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

In less than 56 hours ..

.. God willing .. I'll have a baby! Jack will come into the world via Cesarean birth as he is big and breech and didn't wanna turn. I am getting over my disappointment over having a surgical birth - and am instead VERY excited to see my baby boy. I can't wait to see what he looks like .. and begin to learn who he is.

The next 56 hours can't go fast enough. Really and truly - we are ready to welcome Jack into the world (well .. I have one more Target run to make .. and some laundry to do this weekend .. and we have yet to pack our bag - ha ha!) But his room is done (it's so cute, I'll post a picture at some point), his clothes are washed, I have blankets, diapers, butt cream, and so much love waiting for him. He is such a wanted, wanted baby.

I love you Jack. I can't wait to meet you. I have been waiting for you all my life.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

November 17?!?

Well, it looks like we may have a birthday for Jack! I am now 36 weeks and 3 days - and Jack is big - and BREECH. I've tried yoga, acupuncture, moxibustion and chiropractic .. and he has not budged. It is not impossible that he might still turn - but it is unlikely. So at this point - this wanna be crunchy birth mama has scheduled a C-section for November 17. Most docs will no longer attempt breech deliveries, neither will my midwives, risks outweigh the benefits. As we've already dealt with enough risk in this pregnancy - we're going with the C-section. I'm disappointed - it's not the birth I would have chosen - but I am getting over it. I am very, very, very excited to meet Jack. It's a moment I've been waiting for my entire life. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

34 week belly pics!

Big ole belly!
big ole belly

Me and my shadow..
cool belly and shadow

Jack's House!
jack's house

Getting ready to have my life turned upside down..
upside down pregnant pic

I am upside down .. and very wise ..
upside down wise belly

Behind the Red Door ..
cool red door

I love Jack!
i love jack!

Sittin' and Thinkin'
sittin' and thinkin'

Heart in Hands
heart in hands

Shower Pics! 31 weeks pregnant ...

shower quilts

cute outfit!


happy mom and dad

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I am awful blogger!

I don't know why I can't seem to find a minute to update this blog! I am lame.

Things continue to go well. I had a shower a couple of weeks ago and will post pics soon - it was wonderful. I had another growth scan this morning - baby boy is estimated to be over 5 pounds, apparently has quite a big (but normal) head, and is STILL breech. Turn baby turn!!

I will post a better update soon .. but all remains well as we head toward the home stretch! Amazing. :-)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Good Growth Ultrasound!

So much for people telling me I look "tiny" (I hate that. I know people think they are giving you a compliment but it only makes you paranoid - especially when your baby could be at risk for IUGR - intra-uterine growth restriction. But I digress!)

The baby looks great! I had a 29 week growth scan today - and he is officially measuring 30 weeks so one week ahead. And his estimated weight as of today is 3 pounds, 8 ounces! Which is a really, really nice healthy weight for him. I am very relieved and happy .. until my next spaz out. He does like to tuck himself behind my very healthy sized placenta - which explains why sometimes I can barely feel him. And .. he's breech! Uh oh. But no one is worried (and I'm not either) - the consensus is that he has plenty of time and room to turn. And I think he will do exactly that before it's time for him to be born. (And if not, well, we'll cross that bridge if we need to.)

So far, this baby has never let me down. He is my special little boy and I love him so much. Good baby!!! :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Panic Attack

So I ended up at the hospital this past Friday. Last weekend, the baby seemed very normally active, lots of nice kicks and rolls. But by Tuesday of last week - his activity seemed to be dwindling. It didn't stop but it just seemed - less. Same thing on Wednesday. Thursday morning he was VERY active - but then the rest of the day, not so much. And Friday - hardly anything. After drinking a lemonade juice box and then downing a full can of Sprite in an afternoon meeting on Friday - and getting almost NO response - I started sweating and panicking. I called The Midwife Center and had the midwife on call paged. She called me back - we talked it over - and agreed to meet at the hospital so that I could undergo what is called an NST or Non Stress Test (ha! Ironic given how STRESSED I was by that point.) During an NST - they put two monitors on your belly. One tracks baby's heartbeat - the other monitors uterine activity, i.e. contractions.

It only took 5 seconds for tech to locate baby's heartbeat but it seemed like an ETERNITY. For a second - when we didn't heart his heart right away - mine stopped. But then she found it - and I knew he was ALIVE. Now we just had to ascertain whether or not he was also OK.

They monitored me for a little over half an hour - and his heartrate was very good - fluctuating between the 140's and 150's. Very normal. And he kicked at the monitor a few times too. After that - they even did a quick ultrasound to check fluid levels - that also looked good. I didn't get a great look at the u/s - the person doing it was a resident but not an u/s tech per se - and it just wasn't a great peek. But that's OK - I have another peek scheduled for tomorrow morning! Tomorrow's is a growth scan - to make sure the baby is measuring on target for 29 weeks. This is because my blood clotting disorders put the baby at risk for IUGR - intra-uterine growth restriction. This would be brought on by placenta not doing its job properly. Hopefully - tomorrow's u/s will show a nice, healthy, 29 weeker. We'll see.

I felt so grateful on Friday that my midwife treated me so compassionately and respectfully. Not once did she make me feel like a crazy pregnant lady. She 100 percent validated my feelings - and we are going to come up with a plan to deal with my increasing anxiety level - more heartbeat checks at the midwife center - and some additional NST's to be scheduled throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I think this will help me a lot. I did not know that my anxiety would take off like this. But truly - it's not just me being crazy. He IS moving less - I'm not sure why. Who knows? It may be that he's moved into a position where the kicks and punches just feel less powerful to me or aren't as readily detectable. I'll definitely be asking tomorrow morning about his positioning and how that might be affecting my ability to feel movement! You can bet on that! Or it may be that he's just in a less active mode for now.

I'll know more tomorrow. He has moved around for me today - nothing crazy and of course I wish it was more - but I HAVE felt him - and that has to be enough for now. Hopefully - tomorrow's u/s will go great and I'll feel a lot better.

I really love being pregnant - and I don't want to be an anxious mess for the remaining 11 or so weeks that I am pregnant. I may never be pregnant again (which makes me sad - but it's a very real possibility.) So as much as I can't WAIT to meet my baby - I also don't want to wish this time away. It's the only time that this little baby will be inside my belly. So I hope that the additional visits to the midwife center and NST's can help me relax a little. And - I'll get back into prenatal yoga when I can (foot is still in the boot for now.)

One more quick update - J and I went to our first breastfeeding class last Tuesday - and our first childbirth class last Wednesday. Really fun. I am in awe of the fact that these classes even apply to me. I still can't believe I'm pregnant.

More news after tomorrow's ultrasound ... hope all are well. :-)

Update: Pic of me at 28 weeks!

medium belly

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cranky Post

If J mentions baby clutter one more time - I am seriously going to kick his ass. He e-mailed me today to tell me how some new parents told him:

"Think about how you can do without all the accessories. We bought a crib and a bassinet. Used the bassinet for about a week, and now its got to go. I’ve heard of people not buying changing tables as well. Think outside of the box because a lot of the stuff you buy you will quickly find you don’t need."

Well I don't give a crap what those new parents said. I have waited for this baby for 37 years - I'm not already looking for ways to minimize his presence in our home. I don't care if it's a g-damn baby explosion. I know we don't "need" half, shit, two-thirds of the stuff we registered for - but I WANT it. I didn't go through 9 zillion appointments, shots, invasive exams, surgeries & side effects so that I could buy my baby a wooden rattle and crib and call it a day. And this is a man who has PLENTY of his own toys (literally, toys, he collects the weirdest shit and is into gaming, etc.) and he's telling me about baby clutter?! Someone needs to check himself .... mama is IRRITATED!

OK - apart from the above rant - my foot is better. (Still broken. But better!) Orthopedic doc did put me in a walking cast and within a few days I was down to one crutch and supposedly will graduate to a CANE soon - how exciting! LOL! I actually used the cane last night for several hours - but today my foot was sore again after not having been for a few days so I think I overdid it. So back to the crutch for the next several days and then I'll try the cane again.

They also want to do another X-ray in 5 weeks to make sure it's healed. Well, that's not happening. I'm sure my doctor will be annoyed - but too bad. They can X-ray the foot again after the baby is born. I'm all X-rayed out after the round at the ER last week. That really stressed me out - and stress (and X-rays) aren't good for baby... So no more X-rays. We'll just have to play it by ear.

27 weeks and 2 days today! Wow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


At 6 and a half months pregnant - I have fallen and broken my foot. Just a stupid accident - missed a step and went down on my butt and my foot went under me and I sat one it. And - it's broken. Fifth Metatarsal. Apparently this type of break is so common it's called a "Jones Fracture". Spent yesterday in the ER. Baby is fine. My foot, on the other hand, is, well, fucked. I am really bummed out - but taking it one step at a time (har har.) I should be walking again by 32 weeks pregnant so hopefully long before I go into labor. I will get through this. I am afraid of falling again as I am now on crutches and more awkward than ever. I see an orthopedic doctor shortly - actually leaving right after I post this - and he will cast me - although I am not letting him put a hard cast on me. I fear that will throw me even more off balance - so it's going to have to be some kind of walking cast (even though I'm sure I won't be able to walk in the walking cast for quite some time.)

So, yeah, this sucks. But I'll get through it. Baby is OK. That is what's most important to me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Another Quick Update ...

... Because I am guilty of blog neglect! I need new pics and new entries! Life is busy - but good. I hit 24 weeks yesterday and it feels like a huge, wonderful milestone. I am tired ... and achey ... but it's fine. I love being pregnant and can't wait to meet my baby.

I am headed to Charleston, South Carolina on Friday ... staying with friends at a great beach house on Isle of Palms - can't wait! J and I will leave town on Friday - drive as far as Charlotte, North Carolina - stay overnight - and then continue on our way to Charleston. We're breaking up the typically 11 hour - one day drive into two days so I don't get TOO swollen and uncomfortable. We'll also make frequent stops along the way for me to pee and walk around. My midwives and doctor are fine with us making this trip. I am really looking forward to it - all except for leaving my dogs. My mom will watch them but it makes me really nervous and sad to leave them. Once I get to the beach I'll relax but the anticipation of being away from them makes me anxious. :-( But I know they will be fine - she'll come over 3 times a day every day while we're gone and sleep over at my house every other night. She's a wonderful doggie grandma (and a wonderful grandma to her 9 human grandchildren too - my baby will be number 10!!)

That's the report ... I'm fat and happy. Can't wait to meet my son. More later!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A very quick update...

... because I haven't updated in so long! All is well ... I am FINALLY feeling more regular movement - nothing crazy - but some more defined kicks and pokes. Still pretty faint - although not so faint that J didn't feel a few last night with his hand on my belly! So that is really wonderful - goes a long way toward making me feel like the little one is safe and healthy in there.

Check-up tomorrow ... hope all are well! Update me on how YOU are doing! :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

19 week ultrasound pics ...

Yoga Baby .. he's doing a position called "downward dog" ha ha! :-)

yoga web size

Cutie Face

profile web

My Son's Foot!

web size foot

Thumb's Up!

web thumb's up

I can't believe these are pictures of my son. I can't believe that "my son" is even a phrase that applies to me. I really can't wrap my head around it.

In other news ... last night ... my mother-in-law told J that she thinks the drive to her town for a shower would be too much for us/me right now - and she's just going to send us money instead. LOL!!!! After all that. Too much. (I think actually J's brother got to her .. because I know J said something to his brother about the drive being potentially tough for me. But it's very nice that she gracefully let it go. Points for J's mom.. :-) All is well!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Ultrasound....

Drumroll please ... everything looks great AND ...

He's a boy!! :-) :-) And he looks perfect .. out of 15 possible markers for down's - he doesn't have ANY. At this point, doctor would recommend against amnio - statistically - my chances of a complication from amnio are higher than anything being wrong with the baby. Being 37 years old - that is a huge relief for me and J - we are so happy about our healthy little boy. I just can't believe it.

And I DO have an anterior (front of the uterus) placenta - which explains why I have felt so little movement .. and I probably won't feel a lot for a few more weeks. I'm 19 weeks today. (Although the placenta is more off to the right - so he has a little window on the left and I did feel some taps there last night.) The u/s tech said the anterior placenta can be a good thing - a little cushion once those kicks get constant! She was great, same one we had for our 12w u/s - very nice and friendly.

High risk doc was very friendly and re-assuring too ... says my Lovenox/baby aspirin treatment is going great ... we'll take another peek inside around 29 weeks to check intra-uterine growth (an increased risk due to my blood clotting disorders) - if baby looks good - that will probably be our last u/s.

And he thinks there is a good chance I will be able to have the birth I want - midwife assisted and unmedicated at the hospital. So we're doing great. So far, so good. Will post u/s pics later - as soon as J scans them in and sends me a couple! :-) yay! Today is a wonderful day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


My standard, pre-ultrasound anxiety has set in. It was sparked by a giant fight J and I had this week about whether or not we would be driving across the state in July - for a shower that his mother just announced she wanted to throw for me.

Now - that is a very nice idea. And I get that she wants to celebrate the impending birth of her grandchild - her youngest son's first child - in this way. (She only has one other grandchild - a grand-daughter - who is now a teenager and who she doesn't see much of.)

HOWEVER ... I was pissed. Yes, that's right, pissed. If you read this blog - you know my pregnancy is high risk. I have two blood clotting disorders - Factor V Leiden and MTHFR. I'm on Lovenox blood thinner injections twice a day to keep my blood from getting too clotty to sustain life (mine or the baby's.) I also take a daily baby aspirin, a folic/b supplement called Foltx, a PNV, and some other assorted pills.

This past weekend, I drove to Virginia to see my sister. The typically five hour drive took closer to 7 hours. I had to stop frequently and walk around and still, I was in pain after the journey there and the ride back. I was also nervous about blood clots the whole time.

Now - J and I do have another LONG road trip planned. We are supposed to drive to the beach in August. It's an 11 hour drive - which will probably take us closer to 13 hours. We were going to break it up into 2 days - and stay overnight at a hotel in between. Same thing for the ride back home after our week at the beach. I really, really want to go on this vacation. We go with a big group of friends who all have kids - stay in a giant house in South Carolina right on the beach - and it's just a really lovely week. This would be our third year going.

But this is all I was anticipating in terms of road trips this summer - all I was mentally prepared for - and all I was willing to do physically.

But all of a sudden .. I find out just this past weekend that my mother-in-law wants to throw a shower for me. Oh - and I don't know any of J's relatives in his hometown (6 hours from where we live by car .. so .. 8 hours while traveling pregnant.) J and I got married in Mexico - just the two of us - coming up on 5 years ago. So I didn't even meet these people at a wedding or anything like that. Now, over the years, I have met SOME of them at a very few, infreqent family gatherings. But that's it. I don't *know* them .. and they don't know me. So in all honesty - I can't imagine anyone who is invited to this shower will buy anything more than a onesie. Seriously. And I understand that! They don't know me - so a) why would they even come? and b) if they come, they certainly aren't buying some great gift.

So basically - I'd be stuffed in the car for an uncomfortable, potentially dangerous 8 hour car ride - to collect a few onesies - and then be stuffed back in the car for another uncomfortable (and now we can add painful since the ride back will be two days after the ride there), potentially dangerous 8 hour car ride.

Oh - and my in-laws don't have central air conditioning. Do they really expect the pregnant lady to stay in a VERY SMALL spare room with no a/c? Seriously? Why yes, they do. So J and I would have to buy a window unit and take it with us and install it in their window.

I DON'T WANT TO GO!! And I have never once, not in 8 years of being together and 5 years of marriage - said "no" to a trip to J's parents' home. In fact, I suggest them more often than J! (But somehow, I know I'm the imaginary villainess who keeps J away from his parents. Believe you me, that's not reality but I know it's what his mom thinks because, well, she has said so.)

So if we don't go - it will once again be ME being mean. His family has conveniently forgotten that my pregnancy is high risk ... and I guess has no clue that being stuffed in a car for a long ride is potentially a health risk.

Now ... if you are saying to yourself .. but you're willing to ride to the beach... well, yes, you are correct. If my doctors says it's OK - we were going to make that long trip. What I was not prepared to do was add ANOTHER long trip PRIOR to going to the beach. So now .. instead of 24 hours in a car between now and mid-August, we're talking about potentially 38 hours in a car between now and mid-August. You see what I mean? So .. ugh. We see our high risk doctor on Monday and I'll talk it over with him them. I'm hoping he says making both trips is a bad idea - and we should pick one or the other.

And my mother-in-law WILL be invited to the shower that is being thrown locally for me in mid-September. But she won't come. She won't travel. But the high risk pregnant lady IS expected to travel across the state or she's a big meanie.

So .. back to my first paragraph. In researching pregnancy, travel, Factor V Leiden and MTHFR .. I was reminded of the potential seriousness of my blood clotting disorders and it really upset me. I'm doing everything I can to make it to the end of this pregnancy and give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby. But much of what could happen is out of my control.

I love this baby so much. And I say this not to be scary - but if something were to happen - I'm not sure I'd recover. My family has been through a LOT in recent years ... loss ... illness ... it's just been really hard. And through it all, I have been strong. And I was strong in my battle with infertility - and I think I'm being strong now. But I need this baby to be OK. I love this baby more than anything in the world.

So now I'm nervous about my Monday ultrasound. And I really haven't felt much movement if anything yet. Which everyone says is normal for first time moms - but I want to feel my baby.

OK - enough bitching and moaning. Just to lighten the mood - here's a picture of me in kindergarten!

kindergarten web size

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

17 weeks, 2 days ...

Had another check-up today - went great - heard baby's heartbeat, it's in the 140's so am happy with that. That is the most magical sound. I love it and will never get tired of hearing it.

And I've also only gained 1.5 pounds since my last appointment - given that by around 8 weeks I had gained TEN pounds plus ..(although I think some of that was IF treatment cycle related too) but anyways - I've definitely slowed down, at least for now, and that's not a bad thing. Especially given that I think I look pretty darn big for not being ALL that pregnant.

So, anyway, all is well. Big ultrasound on June 30 - less than two weeks!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No one ever told me about ...

... round ligament pain. They didn't! I had no idea that it could be perfectly normal to feel, well, pain during pregnancy. RLP (round ligament pain) is what they call it when the ligaments surrounding your uterus (underneath and to the sides) stretch as your baby and uterus grow. And for some people (like me) when these ligaments stretch - it feels kind of like cramps and kind of like being stabbed. LOL! OK, maybe not QUITE as far as being stabbed - but it can be a quite sharp pain. And no one told me this!!! Or maybe I didn't listen, I don't know.

My other OUCH moment came the other night - I was woken out of a sound sleep at 3am and nearly jumped out of bed - I had a searing pain in my lower back - toward the right - that quickly got worse and started to wrap around my entire right side. Just when I was ready to tell DH to wake up and rush me to the hospital he woke up and asked me why I was flailing about. When I explained - he started rubbing my lower back and while it seemed to help a tiny bit I didn't really think it would work - but it did! He rubbed and rubbed and found the very sore spot where the pain was originating from and rubbed it away. Thank goodness!! Within just a few minutes - the pain was gone. I went downstairs and got a huge glass of water, drank it down, and went back to sleep. Apparently - it was basically a charley horse or muscle spasm in my back.

I've had all sorts of aches and pain ... achey crotch (like a pulled muscle feeling) the aforementioned RLP, tight feeling tummy and uterus .. I guess that's what happens when you're 37 and in your second trimester for the first time ever. My 37 year old uterus and ligaments have never been asked to stretch so far so quickly and they are PROTESTING loudly.

But you know? I don't care!! About any of it!! I am still so incredulous that I am actually pregnant - I can't believe it. I can't believe that I am pregnant. For so long, I didn't think I was "allowed" to be pregnant .. it felt like a club I wasn't sure I'd ever belong to. And I love it. I can't WAIT to feel the baby move. Can't wait. I thought I did the other night ... but unfortunately ... I think that was gas. Oh well.

Our next midwife appointment is on Wednesday the 18th ... I will be VERY glad to hear heartbeat again .. I'm getting a little anxious having not heard it since around 13 weeks. Luckily I have a friend's wedding to distract me this weekend - and hopefully the days will go quickly. J is supposed to go to this appointment with me - he's never been to the midwife center (he's been to RE and u/s appointments with me - just not the midwife center yet.) So I'm excited to have him there and to hear heartbeat on doppler together. I have to figure out how to record the sound on my cellphone..

And on June 30 we have our BIG ultrasound and meeting with perinatologist to plot out my care for the rest of the pregnancy. The Lovenox shots continue to go fine, I have a bruise-y, sad lookin' tummy but that's OK. I do want to do maternity belly shots at some point though - J will have to photoshop the bruises out!!

That's my news .. I'll try to be better about updating .. and post more pics soon! :-)

Just for fun - round ligaments! Ew!!

round ligament

Monday, June 9, 2008

16 week bump pic!

So far, so good - although I think I'm BIG for 16 weeks. But that's OK! :-)

alicia 4 months web size

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

13 weeks 2 days...

OK ... where was I? Oh yes - the NT scan. It went great. We got to the hospital where we were having it done at 9:45am (wait - actually we were late. J and I got in a big fight about seriously, I don't even know what - totally stress induced - and that put us a few minutes behind schedule...) OK - so, 9:48am .. we got to the hospital and made our way up to the OB/Ultrasound "wing" - and signed in. And yes, I was nervous. Very. Not having seen the baby since 6w2d - I was so scared of finding out we'd had a missed miscarriage (basically a miscarriage where the fetus dies and you don't have any signs of that so don't know.) The risk of a missed miscarriage is extremely low, by the way. For any newly pregnant people who might be reading this - don't be a spaz like me! It is MUCH more common that if something is wrong - you know it!

OK - but that was a huge fear of mine. So anyway - we sat in the waiting room for a while - and then a genetic counselor came to get us. She had a really nice student with her too .. they took us in an office and sat down with us to talk genetic risks and possibilites. I had thought this part was going to be a big downer and had warned J accordingly .. I didn't want him getting all freaked out (as he has a tendency to do) over "possibilities". But the genetics person and the student were actually very cool - both very nice, low key, nothing was said that was alarming. Just some matter of fact information about where my age put us as far as risk of Down's Syndrome and some other chromosomal disorder they would be screening for (Trisomy 18? I think. I should know that. But I forget.) Based on my age our risk was 1 in 110 for Down's.

After we talked about those issues - they took a history from both me and J .. wanting to know about any physical problems in our immediate families - that type of thing. And that was it. It was an easy conversation. Then - finally - it was time for the ultrasound. We got a really nice tech - a young woman named Renee. You could just tell she was warm and friendly right off the bat. As soon as I got in the room I told her that while I knew I was supposed to have a "full" bladder - mine was more on the level of painful as I'd been drinking a big bottle of water during the genetic consult. She told me to try and let some out - so I did - not sure if that helped or made it worse actually.

Then - I hopped up on the table - J was with me - and she squeezed a big glob on goo on my tummy (warmed up goo! Which I thought was very cool of them.) My first external ultrasound too - just like a "real" pregnant lady! And then ... the moment of truth ... ultrasound thingy went on my tummy and ... IMMEDIATELY ... there was the very much alive baby ... heart beating away at 175bpm (which I thought was a little fast but Renee said it was normal and looked great.) I couldn't believe it. Once again .. my baby. And it looked a lot more like a baby too! And it was -- moving!!! And jumping! Like a crazy little bean. Tears sprung into my eyes and I started giggling uncontrollably too (which made the u/s thing bounce right off of me but I couldn't help it.) I reached for J's hand and we held hands tightly - it was so amazing (er, seeing the baby. Not holding hands. We've done that before.)

Since baby was jumping around so much Renee had a little trouble getting the measurements she needed but eventually she did succeed. Baby's little neck looked great (that's one of things they're looking for as far as the down's screening) .. everything was measuring perfectly. I think we measured 2 days ahead actually - I was exactly 12 weeks that day and we measured 12w2d.

We briefly met with one of the perinatologists after the u/s (he was a little weird .. I'm hoping I get the other peri when we go in for another u/s on June 30 but we'll see..) and then it was time for bloodwork. Went to the lab ... got stuck ... and we were done. John headed to work .. and I headed home .. and then back out - for another appointment - my 12 week check-up at the Midwife Center. While there .. midwife COULDN'T find the heartbeat on doppler! It was the first time anybody had tried on a doppler though - and I was good - I didn't freak out but it was a total bummer after such a great morning. I knew everything was OK ... but still. So I scheduled a doppler re-check for the following week and actually just went to that yesterday - and she found the heartbeat no problem. Approximately 150bpm so slower than last week at the NT scan but the baby is a lot bigger this week and everybody says heartbeat fluctuates so ... I'm feeling good. I'm feeling like this can and WILL have a good outcome.

I'm still worried about the clotting disorders and what impact they could have on the rest of the pregnancy. But so far .. the Lovenox and baby aspirin and foltex seem to be having the exact effect we want them to have. The pregnancy is going well.

I'll have another perinatal (high risk) consult - really my first "big" consult - on June 30 - same day we do the level 2 ultrasound. (Oh - we'll also find out the sex that day too, provided baby cooperates. But NT scan tech did take an early guess ... she was learning toward BOY! So we'll see if she was right in 6 weeks..)

Anyway - I have a list of questions for the peri about how the later half of my pregnancy will be monitored. I'll dig 'em up and post 'em here eventually. But again .. so far .. so good. I feel like I am officially pregnant. I've told my co-workers (did so last week the day after the NT scan.) I'm not hiding my way too big for only being 3 months pregnant bump anymore (I'm proud of that bump! I worked hard for it!!)

I feel like things can turn out OK. I love my baby. I can't wait to meet my baby. And I believe that I will. That's right, I said it! I've been so cautious and "superstitious" - I just want to let myself be happy. It's hard .. but I'm trying. It's worth it.

(Oh - duh. Quick update - the bloodwork all came back "negative" so as far as the NT screening - we were not found to have any increased risk for down's. yay!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

NT Scan

web size

Went great. More later! :-)

(Update .. just for fun .. my first "baby")

peaches web size

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Like sands through the hourglass...

I got nothin' really. Time has officially come to a standstill. Or so it would seem. I am just biding my time until May 12 - my birthday, and day of our NT scan. I need two things to happen on that day. 1) I need confirmation that baby is still alive and growing and healthy. 2) I need to NOT be told that anything looks risky or weird.

I know having the NT scan at all is a gamble - given that it IS a screening ultrasound and they are basically looking for trouble. But I have to have it. I have no choice. (Well, I do - but mentally - I don't.) I have to have another ultrasound and this is the only way to get one. That may sound terrible to some - but you're not me. I have suppressed so much anxiety over the past few weeks - I can't concentrate on work - all I can do is wonder about the health of my baby. I just want to know we're still chugging along. Ugh. Come ON!

Wake me up when it's Monday....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Double Digits

I feel like a bad blogger - not having updated in so long - but in my defense I try to start a new post the other day but blogger was down! So I didn't.

Truth is .. I don't have a lot to blog about. I feel like I'm pretty much holding my breath until May 12 - hoping that ultrasound shows that all is well - and that I'm still pregnant. Which, I assume I am, of course - but after infertility and pregnancy loss - well, it's hard not to let all of your worst fears dance across your brain occasionally. And then you worry that by allowing negative thoughts in your brain, negative things will happen, and so you quickly shoo them away, and replace them with loud thoughts that go something like this, "HEALTHY PREGNANCY! HEALTHY BABY!" And you hope that will appease the thought Gods. And that your baby is OK.

At least that's been my experience.

Physically - I'm fine. Have definitely experienced some nausea here and there - but then once it passes I doubt myself, and wonder if I imagined it, because feeling nauseous feels like proof of pregnancy. But I don't think I'm imagining it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have felt quite lousy more than a few times over the past few weeks. Still having some cramping. Lots of pinching around 9 weeks. In fact - I had twinging/pinching/cramping for 2 and a half days around 9 weeks and was really pretty freaked out about it (of course) but it was never horribly painful and I had no spotting or bleeding - so hope that it was just stuff stretching - which seems to be the catch all explanation for just about every cramp and twinge and pinch you feel during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

So that's it. I'm fine. But still afraid. Really just biding my time until May 12 NT scan/ultrasound. We'll see how it goes .. and hopefully things will remain quiet for now. Quiet is fine. Right?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Appointment

Well, first "official" appointment at the Midwife Center. All is well. I'm 8w1d today ... and while she did not check for a heartbeat (too early to hear on doppler) she did check my uterus and said it feels like an "8 to 10 week pregnant uterus." So I have to think that's a good thing - and indicative of a healthy little person growing INSIDE my growing uterus. That's my big fear - something happening in spite of our having seen heartbeat at 6w2d (which seems like FOREVER ago.)

I scheduled an NT scan for May 12. May 12 is my birthday. And nothing bad can happen on my birthday. So the NT scan will go well. I've decided.

Although actually I'm wavering on the NT scan ... I don't want it to freak me out. And I'll only not be freaked out if it's great. (Same with J. He will SPAZ OUT if the NT scan looks iffy.)

I don't want amnio. I don't want to risk miscarriage. So I'm wavering on the NT scan. But I'll probably go through with it. It's a chance to take a CLOSE look at the baby. And I really want to see the baby again. Whether we do NT scan or not - the next u/s after that would be around 18 - 20 weeks with high risk doctor (perinatologist.) That seems so far away ... I think that's like, early July or something. MONTHS away.

So we'll see. But for today - everything appears to be fine. According to my uterus, at least.

(QUICK UPDATE/CLARIFICATION - in re-reading this - it sounds like I think amnio and NT scan are the same thing. What I meant was - I'm having NT scan in the hopes that I get good news and so don't need to go on to have the amnio. If we get iffy news - we might do amnio. Or not. We'll see..)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Er, What Do I Do Now?

After having a big fat anxiety attack this morning over WHO WAS GOING TO OVERSEE MY PREGNANCY CARE???? (all in caps because that's how that question felt in my mind) I had a long talk with one of the midwives at the practice I've always gone to for my regular, well woman care - and she talked me down off the bridge.

I was so worried because my blood clotting disorders and being on Lovenox blood thinner injections make me a higher risk patient ... so I didn't know if felt comfortable going the midwife route ... but my RE discharged me yesterday after seeing a heartbeat (yay!) and I just felt ... lost. And scared for my baby.

So after googling all sorts of crap and e-mailing people and looking for recommendations and going crazy ... I talked to Nancy ... who was so kind and we talked about my fears. She told me I am in a category of care that they would consider higher risk but that they could work with me in conjunction with the high risk MFM's (maternal fetal medicine specialists aka perinatologists) they refer out to. She had already talked to the head MFM about me (I had left a message with her yesterday) and they had gone over my case. He wants to see me between 16 - 18 weeks - and the midwives will monitor me in the meantime. Nancy is ordering bloodwork/platelet count once/week for the next three weeks to see how I'm doing on the Lovenox - they are also upping my dose slightly (per MFM recommendation) and now I'll do injections twice/day rather than once a day. (30 mg/twice a day rather than 40mg/once a day. Two injections a day! Crap. Oh well. I'd walk on hot coals if it will help to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe baby.) Nancy also ordered all my pregnancy b/w (testing for diseases, all standard stuff) so I'll have that done tomorrow too.

And she will set me up for an NT scan at 12 weeks - that will be done at the hospital ultrasound center (I'm assuming.) The midwife group I've always gone to see are all CNM's (certified nurse midwives) and while they do operate an independent birth center they also work closely with a local major hospital. And the MFM's are supposed to be very good (and nice) too.

So I feel better. Still terrified - but I feel like someone is going to look after me and help me and my baby be safe.

I'll give birth at the hospital rather than the midwife center and it may turn out that the MFM's totally take over my care if that becomes necessary at some point but we're going to see how it goes. Otherwise - I'll probably have a midwife attend the hospital birth with MFM checking in to make sure we're OK.

Deep breaths. This WILL be OK. Inhaling ... exhaling ...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I made it. I made it to today's ultrasound. And I wasn't even too horribly spazzy the night before - and though I felt like I was going to puke before the appointment this morning (and it was anxiety, not morning sickness) I did NOT puke. So that was good.

I drove to the appointment by myself - the plan was for J to meet me there since he had already gone into work earlier. I got to the office parking lot around 10:15am - appointment not until 10:30am. I sat in my car for five minutes and then decided that was dumb - so headed into the hospital where the office is located. Called J - he was there - parking his car. Took the elevator up to the fifth floor - got off - waited for J. Strolled over to a balcony overlooking an atrium and the hospital lobby. Looked over the railing - five stories down - felt dizzy - backed away. No J - so I headed back to the office to sign in - and then sat in the waiting room. He walked in a second later - gave me a kiss and we sat and held hands. My palms were sweating. Rachael Ray was on television - and, hoo boy, she is "something." Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for all that energy, given how anxious I felt.

Finally - after waiting for what felt like a REALLY long time - they called my name to go back for my ultrasound. J stayed in the waiting room - they don't have the husbands/partners come back right away - I have no idea why. But whatever. I followed the ultrasound tech back and admired her long curly hair that looked a little crispy (product related - not damage) and really - kind of 80's (it was pretty high on top) but she was working it so good for her!

I headed into the bathroom right off the ultrasound room to shed my jeans and underwear ... peed ... wrapped a sheet around my waist (I washed my hands first, of course!) ... and headed out to the ultrasound room and Curly was ... gone. OK. I sat on the exam table in my sheet and waited. Finally - she came back into the room and apologized - someone had grabbed her to ask her a question in another exam room while I was changing. No problem (except I was worried that J was going to get worried and wonder why no one was coming to get him.)

I laid down and put my feet in the stirrups - and Curly handed me the (trans-vaginal) wand so that I could do the honors - except I was so nervous that as I was reaching for the wand (awkwardly - since you're reaching under the sheet and trying not to wipe all the lube off on the sheet while doing so) one of my legs suddenly shot out and the stirrup shot out with it ... I nearly fell off the table.

"Sorry," I said. "I'm so nervous."

"It's OK," Curly replied. She slightly readjusted the stirrup and asked if I was OK with how they were positioned. I told her I was. (Even if I wasn't I would've lied - I was so embarrassed by my spastic-ness.)

We got started. Well - she got started. I just laid there. I could feel a tremor going through my body. I felt as if I might start shaking uncontrollably and tried to remember to breathe. This was it. I had already imagined and run through every scenario in my mind - well, mostly every worst case scenario. Which I am too superstitious to even type here. But you can imagine my fears. Would there be a heartbeat? Or would this day be - the end?

I could hear Curly pointing and clicking. This too seemed to go for a really long time. Finally, she said out loud, "Everything looks good."

"Is there activity?" I asked. "Yep," she replied. "I'll go get your husband so you guys can look at the screen together."

As soon as she said "yep" I had the biggest smile overtake my face - and big tears fill my eyes. I laid there waiting for her to bring J back and just said "Thank you God" over and over. And then I held my tummy and said, "I love you baby. You're such a good baby."

Curly and J came into the room and J whipped out his giant camera (he's a professional photographer) and started fiddling around with the flash! He walked by the screen before I had even seen it and said "I see it!" After he fiddled around for a few more seconds I was exasperated and said, "J!! You're holding up the show!" Curly laughed.

Finally - she turned the screen toward us and showed us the gestational sac ... the yolk sac ... and the tiny, pulsating .. baby. OK "baby" may sound like a stretch - but it was a baby. A little, unformed, tiny white blob of a baby - with a beating heart.

I asked about the heartrate - 120bpm. She said at this point they're looking for anything over 100 so 120 was great. (And given that it just started beating a few days ago - which is just so crazy to me) I think 120 was EXCELLENT. Good job baby!!

J snapped a bunch of pics - I'm sure I look absolutely hideous in all of them as I got very little sleep last night and had no make-up on, a puffy face, hair piled on top of my head and big fat tears in my eyes. But I don't care. I will put those pictures in the scrap book. They're from an important day.

Finally - we were done and we talked with a nurse. They discharged me (which actually I'm not thrilled about .. I wish they'd keep me a little longer but oh well. Heartbeat and don't let the door hit you in the ass! Now I have to figure out who my doctor is - and who's delivering my baby. That's a dilemma for another blog post.)

And then - we left. And I felt truly elated.

I have a million and one more worries. And certainly - it is still very early and by no means are we "out of the woods." But for today - I felt elated. I'm sure I'll be back to my spazzy, anxious self by Thursday morning. But today - was amazing. We saw our baby's heartbeat today.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Second U/S on Wednesday...

I can survive the next 60 hours, right? I did pretty well this weekend. Kept myself busy - slept - didn't obsess! The fact that I'm feeling (and looking) more bloated is helping. And my boobs seem more consistently veiny to me. No morning sickness though. No constipation. And the boob thing actually might just be my imagination. But I'm hanging in there.

60 hours to next ultrasound. I can do it. And we WILL see a heartbeat. We will.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Not much to report really. Had some more low back pain and crampiness in the wee hours of Thursday morning and pretty much throughout the day Thursday. I have read that the low back pain actually IS common - and can be caused by rising levels of progesterone which actually soften the discs and ligaments in your low back area. How weird is that?!? Anyway - I started feeling better Thursday night and seem to feel better this morning as well. I've decided the cramping incidents must be some kind of uterine growth spurts - a rush of hormones that makes my uterus decide to stretch and feel crampy.

So I'm trying not to worry. My biggest fear is some type of bleeding - especially given that I'm on Lovenox and baby aspirin. But I have to believe they've actually helped me get this far. So far, no spotting, nothing like that. So that continues to be a very good thing. More later ... :-)

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Sobbing, A Second Beta & An Ultrasound

I think this will be a short entry .. I’m just kind of tired but I’m good – I’m happy. For today. After getting myself all worked up again last night – in anticipation of today’s 5 week ultrasound and my second beta (SIX DAYS AFTER MY FIRST ONE – MOST RE’S DO THEM EVERY COUPLE OF DAYS BUT OH NO .. NOT MY RE) anyway – I didn’t die from hyperventilating and somehow I made to the RE’s office today. I nervously joked with the phlebotomist, “oh, that blood DEFINITELY looks like it has a higher HCG content,” .. she jokingly agreed. I tried to calm down. Then it was time for the ultrasound. I tried to breathe. The tech moved the wand .. I could hear her also clicking away on her keyboard .. measurements and such. Finally .. she said, “OK, there is one sac in your uterus.” Then she went and got my husband – brought him back to u/s room – and showed both of us the sac on the screen. It was just a black blob – but it looked pretty good to me! (I did feel a little pang that there was only one. But just a little pang. One healthy baby would be pretty darn amazing. It’s just that we’ll probably only do this once. But it’s OK. It’s MORE than OK.)

After that – we talked to a nurse – she explained that the sac was all they were looking for today since it’s so early. And that they’d like to see me back in 10 days for another ultrasound.

An hour and a half after we left – she called with the results of my beta – 3061! With a doubling time of 48 hours .. a perfectly acceptable beta for today would have been 1400. So 3061 is excellent.

I still have no symptoms. The cramping I wrote about the other day has not returned. Now I just have pings and pangs. My boobs are small and not particularly veiny. I don’t feel unusually tired (and it was in large part the lack of symptoms that had me sobbing again last night. That coupled with me taking my temp yesterday evening and it being LOW.) I give up on pregnancy symptoms. The black blob, or rather, sac in my uterus – and today’s big fat beta indicate that I am pregnant – and the pregnancy IS progressing.

So I’ll try to relax. I won’t succeed, but I’ll try.

And I’ll wait for my boobs to get bigger. And for me to feel like barfing.

10 days to the next ultrasound. We may even see a heartbeat. That would be really cool.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The thing about cramping in early pregnancy – is that you don’t really know if it’s “good.” Sure, everyone tells you “it’s normal. I had period-like cramps for days/weeks/months. It’s your hormones. It’s your uterus stretching. You’re doing great!”

And you want so desperately to believe them … these women that have been there and KNOW.

But unlike morning sickness – which everyone equates with a healthy pregnancy for the most part … cramping is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if it’s a normal pregnancy symptom and you’ve been trying for SO long to get pregnant (and stay pregnant), hey, bring it on! Great! Pregnancy related symptoms – step right up! Happy to see ya! Sit down and stay a while!

But with cramping … which feels EXACTLY like period cramping … there is this nasty little voice that tries to loudly whisper in your ear, “Something is WRONG! That’s why you’re CRAMPING! You are so SCREWED!”

It’s hard not to listen. Especially given that my lower back hurts too. A google search of “lower back pain, early pregnancy” suggests that rising progesterone levels can have something to do with lower back pain in early pregnancy. OK google. If you say so. You better be right. Oh, and a google search on “cramping, early pregnancy” takes you to an article that suggests “cramping might not be a sign of miscarriage.” Oh – it MIGHT not be, you say? Gee thanks. That’s just terrific.

I have no spotting whatsoever. I have no bleeding. My toilet paper remains as white as the driven snow. And so I offer up a fervent prayer.

Please let it stay that way. Please let this be OK. Please let me have this.

I’m home from work today. I just feel crappy. So I’m taking it easy. I don’t want to wish time away … but I wouldn’t mind fast-forwarding just a few weeks. Just to get over this hump.

I have another blood test and a very early ultrasound on Monday. It can’t get here fast enough.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


After a horrible morning - much of which was spent with me sobbing so hard I could barely breathe - it turns out my beta today at 15dpiui is 173. That's a great number. But let me back up ...

I peed on my fifth FRER this morning - and it was - lighter. But with each passing day - the line should get darker, right? The more HCG building up in your body, the more in your pee, HPT lines should get darker. Well, turns out that's more theoretical than factual. And I *know* that .. because I've seen other people post that the home tests only show if you're pregnant or not - not HOW pregnant you are, and not to base anything on how dark or not dark the line is.

But everybody does. And so, like everybody, I did too. And so when that faint line came up (and oh it took its time showing up at all) - I lost my mind. Started crying - and couldn't stop. Forced myself to go lay down (it was still very early) and tried to calm down. Then I got up and got ready and went for my blood draw - crying in the car on the way to the clinic. I stopped when I got there because I didn't want people to think I was nuts and also because I knew I was going to run into a new friend who just found out about her pregnancy too (she's a week ahead of me and found out today it's TWINS!!) anyway - I didn't want to be a big downer or burst into tears talking to her in the waiting room. So I held it together .. got my blood drawn .. they said they'd call later - and I got in my car in the parking lot and SOBBED. Hysterically. Like those crazy gulping can't breathe sobs. I was so sure it was over.

Somehow - I pulled myself together and drove home. Took a digital. "Pregnant" popped up pretty fast. I analyzed whether it popped up fast *enough*. Cried some more. Hugged the two onesies I bought over the weekend. I felt so broken.

Just after noon - the clinic called. To tell me I was pregnant (and I could only think, yeah, I know, but HOW PREGNANT?) And then they told me how pregnant. HCG level of 173 pregnant (average for 16dpo is 150 - I'm only 15dpo - so 173 is great.)

I am still calming down. After such an emotional morning - I am wiped out. I am so happy about the 173. Now it just has to stay high - and get higher. They're not bringing me back in for SIX days. Most clinics bring you back after a first beta within 2 - 3 days. But not my clinic. But I'm OK. As long as I'm not spotting or bleeding, I'm OK. (Pity my husband if that happens. That would be BAD even though it can be normal in early pregnancy. I don't care. I don't need the stress. No spotting.)

So I go back Monday for a second beta and an ultrasound to make sure the grain of rice is where it's supposed to be - in my uterus and not stuck in a fallopian tube.

No more home pregnancy tests. I'm done. Cold turkey. I swear.

So, yeah. 173. I can live with that. That works. Deep breaths...

Monday, March 17, 2008


Yep. I appear to be - pregnant. Haven't had bloodwork yet ... that's tomorrow. But after a FRER (First Response Early Result pregnancy test) negative on Friday at 11dpiui .. I got an almost too faint to see with the naked eye FRER positive at 12dpiui … another very, very faint but slightly darker positive at 13dpiui and also a digital positive at 13dpiui. Tested again this morning - 14dpiui - another positive. That makes 4 positives. And today's line was ever so slightly darker too. Although none of my lines come close to being "dark". And I know ... a line's a line ... and I always have rolled my eyes at women who post about being nervous about their faint positives. Now I'm one of them. Oops.

DH and I are happy – but feel very guarded. Cautiously optimistic. I didn’t even tell him after the ghostly faint first positive – I waited until I got another one Sunday morning (at 5:15 a.m.)

Here's how I told him: while I was still in the bathroom, right after I tested, I taped a quote bubble to my tummy. I had cut it out and written on in green sharpie marker the night before - and hidden it in the vanity. Here's what it said:

“Hi Daddy! I can’t wait to meet you! I’m due November 24, 2008. PS – Mommy is pregnant!"

Then I grabbed the digital that said “pregnant” and I went into the pitch black bedroom and said:

“J .. I think I have a weird rash on my belly.”

J, “Yeah?”

Me, “Can you turn on the light and look at it?”

J, “OK.” (Turning on light and then reading quote bubble out loud.) “No way!! Really?”

Me, “Really!” kiss kiss kiss! "Look!" (at the digital that said "pregnant".)

And then I reached under the bed and pulled out two little onesies I bought Saturday afternoon (first time I’ve EVER bought something for “my” baby. I wanted to do it as a positive, have faith act after seeing that first ghostly faint positive) and I danced them around the bed. It was SO DORKY .. but it was fun and we laughed. We’re dorks.

But our happiness was guarded - and still is.

I’d like to be able to laugh and shout from the rooftops – but for now – we’re just smiling (but it’s one of those nervous smiles) and hoping for a good beta number on Tuesday. I don’t have any spotting – so we’re taking that as a good sign for us … as our last IUI BFP ended in a chemical and I was already spotting and then flat out bleeding by the time I saw a BFP at 13dpiui. Hopefully this time will continue to be very, very different. I had some definite twinging cramping going on over the weekend – nothing major and really no cramping today – and my boobs look maybe slightly veinier than usual – not much though. So really not much at all in the way of “symptoms.”

If you follow this blog - you know this was our third and final IUI (and our MOST expensive cycle ever. Around 4000 dollars due to much more monitoring than usual.) Moving on to IVF would have been a real financial hardship for us … so if this pregnancy sticks … well hell, this kid is already saving me money!

I have learned so much from this process – but perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE. Ask questions. Do your own research. Do not just mildly follow everything your RE tells you to do. Yes, you want a doctor you can trust – but remember – they have hundreds and hundreds of other patients. You are the only one who is 100 percent solely concerned with YOU … so trust yourself. Follow your instincts, and trust your gut.

This may sound corny – but I truly feel that I was guided this cycle – “told” when to speak up, and what questions to ask. And I believe it’s why I’m pregnant. And on that note – here is what I did this cycle:

- Per my request – did 2 back to back IUI’s at 12 and 36 hours post trigger – instead of just one at 36 hours
- Per my request – aimed for a goal of four mature follies at time of trigger – with a lead at 19mm or above
- Per my request - added ganirelix during stims to suppress one giant follie I had that had jumped ahead of the others and wanted to ovulate too soon
- Ate pineapple – fresh fruit plus some of the core – every night for five night starting night of second IUI
- Progesterone suppositories – 50mg/once a day starting night of second IUI. Am now up to 100mg/day (per my request.. I’m very request-y with my doctor..)
- Drank Welch’s purple grape juice – not every day but a good bit.
- Drank apple juice with a little wheatgrass powder mixed in pretty much every day during stims and in 2WW. Sometimes I also mix in a little Spirulina (another super green food.)
- Lovenox injections starting 1dpiui (had to “argue” this one too .. many docs don’t like to start patients until after BFP or even heartbeat – I believe due to my two clotting disorders I need the Lovenox sooner and both hemo and RE said OK.)
- Took pnv, foltex, baby aspirin, fish oil capsule & one extra 400 mcg folic supplement every day (have been on this regimen for several months.)
- Acupuncture once/week (have been going for about a year – I definitely think it helped.)
- Rested on table 20 minutes after each IUI – and came home after second IUI and took a one hour nap before going into work that day (and then regretted going to work at all because I was so crampy that day.)
- Oh – and I was completely, completely stressed out the entire cycle – it was emotionally, mentally & financially grueling. So much for “relaxing”!

For now .. I’m taking it one day at a time. I so want to be excited and over the moon – and a little part of me is – but unfortunately that’s one more thing IF robs us of ... our innocence. But it’s OK. For now – I feel very, very lucky and very hopeful.

BFP. Wow.

First beta results tomorrow. I'm hoping for at least a 50. We'll see. I'll post when I know. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fortune Cookie

As I unwrapped a fortune cookie today - leftover from yesterday's Chinese take-out - I thought to myself, "I hope it says 'You Will Find Out You Are Pregnant Very Soon'." And then I laughed, because my fortune cookies usually say "Wisdom Is In Soul" or something REALLY non-specific like that.

And then I pulled my fortune out and it said:

"Good news of a long-awaited event will arrive soon."

And my eyes welled up with tears.

Please let it be the news I hope it is.

I'm 8dpiui ... hopeful, nervous & scared.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Little Update

After IUI's on Sunday and Monday morning - around 9:30am each morning - I started having some SIGNIFICANT cramping, bloating & pressure Monday afternoon beginning around noon. I thought for sure I was headed into OHSS land ... although my E2 Saturday morning before trigger Saturday night was just over 1000 which isn't typically OHSS land ... but I was FEELING it so I was worried. It continued all day .. to the point where a co-worker asked me if I was limping as I walked .. painfully .. down the hall. "Er .. no," I said. "My stomach is bothering me.." It hurt to pee. In that - I had to press on my stomach/pelvic area as I peed .. because it was so crampy.

I got home from work around 8:30pm. I walked up the stairs to my front door and noticed an old newspaper on my front lawn and decided, stupidly, to go pick it up. My front lawn is hilly - and it had been raining all day. (You can see where this is going.) I walked toward the paper ... and then ... SLIP! FALL! SPLAT! In a pile of black mud. I sat there .. stunned .. still feel horribly crampy and wondering if I had just ruptured a ovary. Then I see a friggin' neighbor walking down the street with his two dogs .. staring at me. He had to think I was some weird drunk alcoholic who had just fallen in her front yard .. in the dark .. in the rain .. into a sea of mud.

I couldn't get up. I was so sore and crampy .. I could not get up. The black mud pit was sucking me down. So I grabbed my cell phone and called my husband - who was inside the house. "I fell," I whimpered. "In the front yard. I can't get up. I need you to help me."

He rushed out out the front door and saw me sprawled in the mud. As he walked toward me the neighbor (who was now standing across the street staring at me. I tried to pretend I was gardening.) Anyway - his two dogs started growling at my husband - who was now trying to pick me up and failing as I plopped back into the mud. Finally - he got a good grip and hoisted me up. Although I was half crying - we both started laughing - it was so fucking ridiculous.

He helped me inside. And I actually felt kind of better - who knows? Maybe I popped a swollen ovary back into place.

Anyway - I took it easy for the rest of the night - and by around 10pm was feeling decidedly better. I got to bed around midnight and felt really good when I woke up ... so I can only assume the crazy cramping, pressure and bloating was what it feels like to ovulate four or five eggs at once - including one GIANT one. And if that's the case - it means our IUI timing was great. So I hope that IS what it was. It's a pretty reasonable assumption to think it was. Let's hope. And let's hope I'm pregnant ... with no more than two babies ... We'll see. I'm 2dpiui. It's gonna be a looooooong 2WW.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

IUI #3

OK .. I haven't even been able to blog about this cycle up until now. It's been so stressful - and I have been so frantic - I just couldn't even bring myself to write about what was happening. But now - it's ALMOST over - so I can. I just got the call to trigger tonight at 9:30pm .. and I will have back to back IUI's - the first one on Sunday morning at 9:30am .. the second on Monday morning at 9am.

Basically - today's instructions to trigger come after my 10th dose of follistim (a record for me) - with the 11th hour addition this past Wednesday of ganirelix to suppress one giant egg that REALLY wanted to be liberated from its follicular shell. Yesterday's follie check revealed:
a 23mm (considered out of the picture/not healthy anymore by my RE at this point due to its enormity) a 17, two 14's and an 11.

For those wondering why a 23 is "too big" - it is only because I'm on injectables, during a natural or a clomid only cycle - a 23 would be great. But on injectables, apparently once you get over 22-ish .. it becomes less likely that the egg inside the follicle is still "good".

The bad thing about yesterday was that my E2 dropped ... from 799 on Thursday ... to 681 on Friday morning. I spent all day Friday (and Friday night) scouring the internet to try and figure this out - because RE nurse really had no explanation for me - and what I found is that Ganirelix not only suppresses LH so you don't ovulate on your own - it also suppresses E2. And most RE's will up your stim dose accordingly. My RE actually wanted to decrease my stim dose .. but we did not end up doing that (I'm a cantankerous patient and argue with everything I don't agree with) and actually bumped it up - and as of this morning - my E2 is 1071! So it came right back up. Whew!

Based on yesterday's scan, although I did not have one today (thank God - as this IUI cycle has already been incredibly expensive) ... I'm hoping the 17 has turned into an 18/19 .. and the 14's are around 16. Which means I'm triggering tonight with at least three mature follies - and possibly four. I'm not writing that huge one totally off. There is a chance it's still viable - the chances are just somewhat reduced that it is.

Although last night was my 10th dose which seemed like A LOT to me - I think 7 - 10 nights of stims is average -- so 10 isn't insane - although I am so glad to be DONE. And done with the ganirelix too .. that's kind of a thicker needle - and the liquid is a little irritating once injected. Oh -- and that was another dilemma -- they instructed me to take the ganirelix this morning even though we knew I'd be triggering tonight. I didn't want to because that seemed dumb - why would I take it on trigger day? AND - the package insert says to take it up UNTIL the day of HCG trigger (not up to and INCLUDING day of HCG trigger.) I compromised. And did half an injection at 6am this morning. I told you I'm a bad patient. But I don't care if I start to surge today - I'm triggering tonight anyway and my first IUI is in the morning. So I don't WANT my follies to be suppressed anymore. I need to just let it go and shut up about it though.

We're also setting records with how much this IUI cycle is costing us out of pocket - I estimated $2500 ... it's closer to $4000. Oh my God, even typing that makes me want to faint. It's taking a big, UNEXPECTED bite out of our fertility budget, that's for sure. It's painful to think those dollars might be better directed at IVF. But .. I have to just let that go too. There was no way to know on CD 3 - a week and a half ago Wednesday - that this cycle was going to be so nuts and so expensive. I have never had more than 3 ultrasounds and 3, maybe 4 blood draws in one cycle and this is my FOURTH injectables cycle (third IUI, first injectable cycle was TI.) But it is what it is. I'd like to think I've been put through the wringer on this one - physically, emotionally and financially - because it's going to .... work. We'll see. I feel like we have a shot.

Although I have one more injection tonight - HCG trigger shot ... I'm looking forward to then having a few nights off from injections! But I'll have to start Lovenox early next week - 1dpiui will be Tuesday night. So I guess that's when I'll start.

So that's my story. It's always something. This journey is not for the timid or the faint of heart .. that is for SURE.

Hope all who read this are doing well. I'll keep you posted, of course. And keep me posted on how YOU'RE doing too. :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sometimes a Twinge is Just a Twinge

BFN at 13dpo. It appears our third and final IUI is on the horizon. And it has to work. Because we can't afford IVF.

In our denial that we'd ever need IVF - we are in the midst of two expensive, much needed renovation projects at our home. So I guess I'm giving birth to a kitchen instead of a baby - for now. But having taken on the expense of these renovations - IVF seems really unattainable right now. But where there's a will (or a low interest credit card) - there's a way - I suppose.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Way ahead. Because our next IUI is going to work. It's going to cost us $2500 out of pocket - ouch - but that's OK because it's going to work. We're mixing it up - we're doing back to back IUI's at 12 and 36 hours post trigger (instead of one at 36 hours post trigger) - we're trying for more, bigger follies before trigger - and it's going to work.

Because it has to.

Stupid fake twinges. :-( Whatever.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


My uterus is twingy. And I’ve been at this long enough to know that might mean a whole pile of nothing. But it’s twingy nonetheless. I’m 7dpo – and it’s been twingy since 3dpo. I’ve even had few piercing little pains – nothing awful – just enough to almost make you say “ow” out loud.

You would think – after all this time – I wouldn’t still analyzing 2WW symptoms. ESPECIALLY during a “natural” cycle. But I can’t help it. I guess I still can’t understand why I’m not pregnant yet – so I still think that I CAN get pregnant – even on my own. Because no one has presented with a concrete reason that says “you can’t get pregnant because X, Y, Z – so move on!”

The first RE I saw basically said it was very unlikely based on my history. And that was well over a year ago. She was a cold fish. I bet at this point she’d tell me it’s more likely I might wake up on the moon some morning than get knocked up on my own. But I didn’t like her. Or her dire outlook regarding my situation. So screw her. (And for what it’s worth – at the time I saw her – my husband and I had JUST started having sex again after literally an almost 9 month dry spell. We were having some problems … and on top of that an unexpected and very traumatic death in the family caused a major tear in the fabric of our relationship – I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. But we did. Er, obviously.) My point being – at that time – I didn’t feel it was as dismal a picture as she was painting it to be. However .. in retrospect .. maybe it was. Hmph.

REGARDLESS .... I feel twingy. And that’s that. Oh – and I’m charting this month. Which couldn’t be more bass-ackwards – most people have left charting in the dust by the time they get to where I am in this process. Me – I just started. But only because my acupuncturist wanted me to. I think she just wanted to take a gander at my temps to see if my body was indeed doing what it is supposed to be doing. And based on my temps – it appears that it is. I was very resistant to the idea at first – my sleep schedule is weird – I don’t wake up at the same time everyday (and didn’t feel like having to in order to temp.) But now, I’m kinda into it. It’s interesting to see my temps do. And to track everything. I’m using fertility friend – I wasn’t at first – was just doing everything by hand on a paper chart but then logged onto fertility friend last week and thought “what the hell?” it’s free for a basic membership (although I might pay for a VIP once my free trial VIP membership runs out .. we’ll see. Told you I was strangely into it.)

Of course – I know I’ve had pretty darn accurate timing for the last, oh, year and a half. I bought a clearblue easy fertility monitor in September 2006 – have been using it ever since – and it’s quite accurate as far as predicting your most fertile days. So why I think charting all of a sudden might shed some new light on my predicament .. well, I don’t really. But maybe I kind of do. It’s something new to be fascinated with I guess, at least for now.

And … it sort of looks like maybe I had a really early implantation “dip” at 5dpo. Now see – a month ago I didn’t even know what an implantation dip WAS! I do now!

And – I’m twingy.

How amazingly, ridiculously great would it be if I ended up pregnant this cycle? I could skip what is going to be an EXPENSIVE IUI #3 – and just be pregnant – and be happy forever and ever. HA! ;-) If only life were that simple.

And for my fellow Lovenox’ers – I started back up this past Tuesday night – so 2dpo according to “my chart.” Once again - so far, so good. Only some very small bruises - about the size of a fingertip - at the injection site - and only a couple of those. The rest of the injections have left only a reddish-purplish dot at the injection site. Some stinging/burning as I inject the meds - but I go so slowly I don't really even feel it - if it starts to burn - I slow down even more and just proceed very cautiously and carefully.

One more week to go before I know anything.

Come on twinges. MEAN something this month!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Plugging Another Blog

I love this blog. The author writes A LOT about recurrent pregnancy loss - check out his older posts and archives. And he takes the time to answer questions too!! Here's the link:

It's called "Fruit of the Womb" - and is a great resource as far as infertility and recurrent loss. Check it out if you're interested.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Trying To Believe

I feel like a bad blogger. I just haven’t had a ton of blogging “energy” lately I suppose.

I am back in the 2WW – after a “natural” TTC go ‘round. I think I ovulated on Sunday (had positive OPK at 4pm on Saturday afternoon … then got a peak on CBEFM Sunday morning.) So I think perhaps sometime Sunday night or the wee hours of Monday morning. We had sex Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. I guess we covered our bases. I hope so.

Today is Tuesday – 2dpo – (or perhaps 1dpo – you know what, let’s just say 2. Or I’ll confuse myself.) I started Lovenox tonight. I’m very tired right now. Just – everything. Baby stuff … family stuff … infertility stuff … we’re in the midst of a kitchen re-do (there go my IVF dollars … hope I don’t need ‘em for that purpose … because I’m screwed if I do.)

I go to acupuncture once a week. I have been for almost a year. I like it. I still feel like it could “help.” But given that I’m not pregnant yet .. I’m losing some steam. And money. I have no idea how I’m affording it actually. It’s 65 dollars a week – which adds up. But I keep going. It’s like if I quit something that might be helping … I could be jeopardizing my ONE chance … so I keep going. Even the Lovenox tonight – I just felt kind of ridiculous. Like – what am I doing?

A couple of weeks ago my acupuncturist was talking about ways my husband and I can connect more before sex – so our energy is more aligned, that sort of thing.

If she only knew. And there’s only so much I’m willing to share – at some point – it’s just too personal.

Let's just say that for husband - performing on command month after month after month isn't exactly romantic or spiritual.

I read somewhere recently that timed intercourse month after month can be psychologically draining. And it made me feel better. Because I thought, “yes – it can.” We’re trying to make this happen. And we are drained. Infertility is a bitch, it really is. It can wreak havoc on you in so many ways – physically – emotionally – psychologically – financially … it’s just really freakin’ hard. And getting harder – that’s the problem. Most things get EASIER over time .. this gets harder.

So while I love my acupuncturist – even she doesn’t really “get it.” And she works with infertile women all the time. But unless you’ve been there – unless you know what it likes to really, really grapple with this – you have no idea what it’s like. You just have no idea.

I remember when I didn’t. And I thought fertility drugs were weird – and infertile people were sad – and why didn’t they “just adopt?”

If nothing else – I’ve learned a lot. And I hope I’ve become more compassionate. And more aware that you can’t put people and their relationships into some mold and expect it to fit. Every couple has their own way of dealing with hard stuff. My husband and I are hanging on. We keep believing. Mostly.

So here I am in the 2WW. Some part of me is optimistic. Another part of me can’t imagine it ever really happening. And that makes me afraid – aren’t you supposed to “envision” yourself pregnant – power of positive thinking – “The Secret” – that type of thing? So I try. I will try to be positive. I will try to imagine myself pregnant and healthy. I will try to believe.

And for anyone who is reading this and hurting – I hurt for you too. Melisha and anyone else who is dealing with something really tough right now. I am sorry for your pain. I am sorry any of us have to go through this.

Try to keep believing – and I will too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Note to my RE ...

So here is a copy of the e-mail I sent to my RE's assistant. She is a physician's assistant - meaning she has prescription writing power. She also does some in-office procedures - she did my S-HSG (saline uterine ultrasound) and did a great job (at least, I thought she did. It was painless. So to me that equals great job!) Recently - after I called and left a message letting her know I had a few things I wanted to communicate to her and to my RE - she gave me her e-mail address. So -- this is what I sent off to her in regard to my next IUI cycle:

Hi A - thanks for getting back to me!

So - I am taking a short break from meds right now, and we're trying on our own. If nothing exciting happens - I will be ready to begin another IUI cycle in about 3 weeks. For that IUI cycle - here's what I'd like to run by you and Dr. W:

I'd like to try and get to trigger day with 3 or even 4 mature follicles. I understand the risks - but at age 36 (soon to be 37) and with so many failures behind me - I think we need a few more targets to try to achieve success. I'd also like to try to get to a point where one or more of my mature follicles is around 19mm on trigger day. Also - it seems I respond pretty darn fast to stims. Would starting me off on a lower dose of follistim - and then increasing as needed - be something worth trying? Rather than starting off higher and decreasing? I will of course let you guys guide me on that! Just throwing it out there.

Another concern I want to bring up - as I was stimming for my most recent IUI - I felt the effects rather quickly (bloating - and ovaries feeling quite swollen.) However - I woke up on the day of trigger and felt - nothing. No bloating - ovaries no longer felt swollen - nada! Now, that was New Year's Day so I had no bloodwork or ultrasound day of trigger. But I had some concern that I either a) ovulated early or b) my follicles just pooped out. Now - it may not have been anything - but I just wanted to make you guys aware that had happened.

Finally - I would like to try back to back IUI's this time - rather than just one at 36 hours post trigger. I'd like to do those back to back IUI's at 12 hours post trigger - and 36 hours post trigger. I understand that back to backs are sometimes done at 24 and 48 hours past trigger - but I'd rather try the 12 and 36 approach if Dr. W. is open to that.

Again ... I won't be back in action for about 3 weeks. Just let me know once you've had a chance to talk over my thoughts with Dr. W. - and we can go from there. MUCH appreciated!!


Haven't heard back yet ... but didn't really expect to. I'm assuming she'll talk my issues over with my doctor at some point in the next week or so (especially since I indicated we have a three week lag time before next IUI cycle begins..) - and hopefully she'll get back to me with some good news. We'll see...

Oh. It just struck me that there is one more thing I wanted to mention to them. The fact that the last three times I've been on injectables - I've started spotting at exactly 2 weeks after my trigger shot. Hm. I think I'll dash off another brief e-mail. What the heck, might as well lay it all out there.

God, it would be great if I ended up pregnant on my own this cycle. Beyond great.

I'm tired of all of this crap. But I'm not ready to let it go - not by a long shot. The thought of never being pregnant (successfully, healthfully pregnant) strikes more fear and anxiety into my heart than almost anything else I can think of. That would be really, really horrible.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BFN at 12dpiui ...

... and I'm starting to spot. It's not looking good friends.

I'll take one more test tonight - maybe one more in the morning (just to make sure - given that last time this happened I was pregnant - for like - a minute.) But I'll cover my bases and then I'm calling it a day. I have already grieved. I am very tired and sad. I don't understand why this is so hard for so many of us. Talk about life not being fair.

I am formulating a new plan for my next IUI (#3.) Here's what I'm thinking:

First - I'm going to take a month off. I'll still get acupuncture and we'll try on our own. But I'm not doing a medicated cycle again right away. I am actually of the mind that your body needs a break in between injectable cycles. I know I need one - mentally and physically. I am gross right now - bloated and have zits on my forehead from all the junk I've been either a) injecting or b) shoving up my hoo ha. So I need a break.

During my break - I will contact my RE's assistant (because he's impossible to get in touch with) and will relay this information to her regarding my next cycle:

Basically - I want a chance for more follies and bigger follies (I feel like one at 18mm and one at 16mm is not cutting it. I'm 36 - I'm old with old eggs! I need more targets!)

I want bloodwork OR an ultrasound morning before trigger - so we know I haven't a) already ovulated or b) lost all my follies - which is what I felt like happened this time. Morning of trigger - all my bloat - and "ovaries feel like grapefruits" side effects were suddenly ... gone. It just didn't feel right - at all. But I was seen day before .. not day of trigger (it was New Year's Day - one of the two days of the year they are not open.) That's not typical of my RE's office - the only reason I wasn't seen on trigger day was the holiday. But I'll make sure I am seen for b/w, u/s or both on day of trigger this time.

I'm also thinking I want two IUI's. Why not go for broke, right (literally.) It will be more expensive - but only by a few hundred bucks. I want a 12 hour post trigger IUI and a 36 hour post trigger IUI though ... not a 24 and a 48 (I don't think there's anything still happening with my follies after 48 hours.)

And finally, I want to see if they can slow me down at all - I respond SO fast - too fast, I think. So maybe we can try starting me off with a lower dose and INCREASING as needed rather than decreasing as needed.

This is where I am today. Hopes totally dashed for now. But formulating a "plan" makes me feel hopeful that next time might go better.

We cannot afford IVF. I'm not saying we won't go there ... I'm just saying we can't afford to. And while a failed IUI is bad enough - the thought of a failed IVF takes my breath away - for those (like me) paying out of pocket - the thought of losing all that money. Unthinkable.

But we're not there yet. IUI "worked" for me once, even though it ended badly - I have to continue hoping it will work again. Just not this time, I guess.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

10dpiui ....

The last days of the 2ww. The end is near - and while I desperately want to the know the outcome of this IUI cycle … I really only want to know if it’s POSITIVE. If not, I’d rather stay blissfully ignorant – which is of course impossible – because, well, you can’t stop time. And even if you could – doing so would prevent me from finding out if it worked, right?

I want it to have worked so badly. So badly that just writing this sentence makes my eyes well up. But I don’t know, I just don’t know. And I can’t stop obsessing about how I felt right before my trigger shot .

Basically - I felt fine. After having felt very swollen and sore ovary-wise in the days leading up to trigger shot – on day of trigger shot – I woke up feeling – fine. Which scares the shit out of me. WHY did I feel fine? Why weren’t my ovaries even more sore (I had my last stim dose the night before.) Did I ovulate early? I didn’t feel like I did .. but maybe I did. Did my two nicely maturing follies just crap out? I was on a gradually reducing dose of stims (follistim) but I didn’t coast at all – so I shouldn’t have crashed – but did I?

Or was it just because I drank a lot of water the night before – and that cleared some of the bloat? I really want to think it was as innocent as that – but I am so scared.

And at this point – some of my fear is financially driven. I found out on Friday that due to an insurance issue – any future IUI’s will be a lot more expensive … close to 1600 dollars more expensive. So we’ll be looking at paying upward of 2000 dollars rather than 400 dollars per medicated IUI cycle.

I’d love to think that was a “sign” of sorts – a “you’re done” because now it’s going to get more expensive – but that won’t affect you since you’re done and already pregnant. I said as much to the woman from the billing office who called me to break the news … and she agreed and wished me well. But who knows? People spend so much on infertility treatments – taking out loans, putting it on credit – it’s one of those instances where you regret every asinine financial decision you’ve ever made – and you realize WHY it was a bad idea to rack up all that credit card debt in your 20’s (and, OK, maybe a little more in your early 30’s…)

I’ll test Tuesday morning. If I can hold out until then. I may not make it past Monday morning. But Tuesday will be 12dpiui and I have a better chance of getting an accurate result then.

I feel like it HAS to have worked. But who knows? IUI’s fail all the time – if they didn’t – no one would ever move on to IVF unless they had blocked tubes or something like that.

Ech. I’m giving myself a headache.

A quick hello to my new visitors! I am enjoying your comments and the opportunity to talk with you and share information. Keep hanging out – I really enjoy the company!

In the meantime … good luck and good care to all. In my next post I’ll write about how I recently fired the peri/MFM who told me not to take Lovenox and who described my early losses as a ‘whiff’ of pregnancy. Next time. See you then!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oh - and I had another IUI...

Sheesh, what kind of infertility blogger am I? I haven’t even written about IUI #2! So – it went down this past Thursday morning – January 3, 2008. That puts me at 3dpiui today. I was on follistim for 6 nights – 150IU for 2 nights .. 100IU for 2 nights .. and 75IU for 2 nights. Thereabouts. I felt a lot of heaviness and fullness in my ovaries after the first 3 days … and then it sort of … tapered off. Which was very troubling to me. I am worried the increasingly lower dose caused my follies to poop out or something.

Because I triggered on New Year’s Day – one of two days out of the entire year that my RE’s office is closed – I did not have b/w or an u/s on day of trigger – but I was there the day before – New Year’s Eve – and had a nice 16mm and a 14mm that morning along with a respectable E2 level that I can't recall right now. One assumes – since follies grow about 2mm a day – that I had an 18mm and a 16mm at trigger. (Unless of course – all of my follies pooped out. Which is unlikely. But I am still irrationally scared that it happened.)

Anyway – I’m perfectly happy with an 18 and a 16. It was my goal to have an 18 in the lead and hopefully – that WAS the case at time of trigger. I triggered with 10,000 IU of HCG on New Year’s Day – and had one IUI 36 hours later. The IUI itself went without a hitch – was painless and quick. I had J in the room with me … for my first IUI I didn’t … but for this one I figured – he should at least be in the room at the time of possible conception, so he came in and held my hand. It was nice.

I started 50mg progesterone suppositories the morning after the IUI (was supposed to start the night of the day that I had the IUI but oh well. I started the morning after. It won’t make any difference. I’m on one suppository/day.) I started my Lovenox 2dpiui … and I continue to take my daily regimen of: baby aspirin, prenatal, foltex, fish oil, pomegranate capsules and an extra OTC B supplement (because I don’t think my hemo has me on quite enough so I’m supplementing. I’ll pee out what I don’t need so am not worried about it. I’m kind of a rebellious patient actually. Oh well. I can’t help it. I’m smart and I question things and I make some of my own decisions. I am definitely not one of those patients who totally trusts her doctor. Just not in my nature.)

So now … we wait. More waiting. Hey – wasn’t that the theme of this blog’s first couple of posts? Ah, infertility. It’s really all about the wait. Unfortunately – I’m getting impatient… Oh well. Too bad for me. Sigh.