Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How Am I Doing?

How am I doing?  I don't really have an answer to that question.  Happy about my life.  Sad about my situation.  Done crying.  Still bleeding (literally and metaphorically, I guess).

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, and thank you to everyone who has sent kindness my way in any form.  I have felt completely overwhelmed by all the love.  Even though I have not wanted to talk about it and may not have replied to you, each kindness has lightened my burden.  It makes it hard to be anything but happy about my life and the amazing people that fill it.  I don't know what I've done to deserve the support of so many incredible incredible people, and I'm not always sure that I do deserve it, but I am so so grateful.  

I wanted to at least post and let everyone know about the results of the tests that were done on the "product of conception" aka our baby that was never to be our baby.  We found that he or she had Trisomy 13.  Many of you are familiar with Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome.  This is a different Trisomy with far more devastating affects.  

Obviously this is not good news in any traditional sense of the words "good news," but it is good news for us at this point for a variety of reasons.  It means that we lost this pregnancy not because of something wrong happening in my body/uterus, but because it was never truly viable.   We are glad, knowing this information, that what happened happened...it is a better outcome than the other possible even more devastating outcomes we could have had (finding out later etc.).  This kind of chromosomal issue is one of the reasons that so many pregnancies end during the first trimester.  It also is the first time in this entire process that we've had an answer at all as to What Went Wrong with anything that has not worked or gone wrong.  You have no idea what a relief this is to us.  We know now that I *can* get pregnant, and we know why we lost our pregnancy.

While the loss is sad and painful, the knowledge is a bit of hope for us.  

Where we go from here is still an unknown.  We have a few options in terms of further treatment and in terms of adoption, and we aren't quite ready to decide, although we are ready to take some next steps in each direction.  I am not going to undergo any further treatments for the next 6 months or so.  I just don't want to and I'm not ready.  

I loved being pregnant.

And Ian and I, we are in this together, forever, no matter what happens.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The End

Our appointment did not go well today...we lost the baby.  It has no heartbeat and will be removed hopefully tomorrow.

This is one of those times where I really wish everyone would just know and no one would really talk to me about it, so I'm hoping that if you see this you will share the news with anyone who might've known, so I can avoid people who don't know accidentally asking me how it is going.  I'll post this to my regular Facebook page too.

In the meantime, I am going to go cuddle with my husband.  He and I will be OK, but it sucks.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hematomas Aren't Fair

If there's one serious lesson I've learned from Infertility, it's that life isn't fair.  I know...I know...this was drilled into my skull (not literally, don't worry) by my parents through my whole childhood and it should not be a shock.  Infertility, though, made me face the truth of it in a way that has been different than anything before.  I don't know about everyone but I know that I have a tendency towards a sort of bargaining with the universe as well as a way of providing comfort to myself by thinking about things in terms of "fairness".

Like,

  • "If I do this, that will happen, because I'll deserve it."
  • "It's my turn for something good to happen."
  • "2012 sucked, so 2013 is bound to be better"
  • "I did everything right this time, so the outcome will be different this time."
Anyhow.   I just think we are naturally inclined to want to see some rhyme and reason in the world.  It makes us feel safe.  The problem is, though, that there isn't really rhyme and reason and life isn't always fair.

I want to tackle the fears I have in this pregnancy with all kinds of reassuring thoughts like, "I deserve an easy pregnancy" or "there's no way I would miscarry after it took almost 4 years to get pregnant" etc, but it's just not true.  

I had a pretty bad scare the other night.  We were sleeping over at the home of friends and after dinner I went to the bathroom and had a gush of bright red blood along with some cramping.  Ian called the 24-hour line of the clinic while I frantically googled on my cell phone, and for once The Internet was a slight comfort to me.  Luckily I knew I had a hematoma from my previous ultrasound and it seemed like, while far from normal in general, this is a relatively common occurrence for women who are diagnosed with hematomas and can have a totally fine outcome.  I was actually calmer about this than I had been about the tiny dots of brown spotting from the week before, I guess just because a body can only have so much fear and because I at least had a little knowledge this time.

Anyhow, the on-call doctor called me back and asked a lot of questions about quantity of blood and severity of cramps and concluded that I needn't go to the emergency room.  She told me to pay attention to increasing blood flow, strong cramps, fever or chills, but that we did know of a source of blood and likely everything was OK.  She also, comfortingly (not), pointed out that if this was something worse there was nothing that could be done about it.  She guessed that Dr. Tran would not want to see me before the ultrasound scheduled for next Wednesday, but that she would email him right away and let him know what was happening.

The bleeding pretty much stopped - it was the one gush and then some remnants from the one gush when I used the bathroom the next few times that night and first thing in the morning.  Nothing came out in the night while I slept and the cramps subsided.  I actually slept pretty well in my friends' closet! 

The next morning, once we were home, the same on-call doctor called me back to check-in and seemed quite pleased with what I told her.  She also let me know that Dr. Tran did want to see me and I had an apptment for Tuesday (yesterday) at 2pm.  

Dr. Tran seemed even more nervous than Ian and I, but all was well.  Our little embryo has grown from 5mm to over 9mm in less than a week and had a heart rate of 119 which Dr. Tran assured us was all well within the range of normal.  Ian was able to see the heart beating right away - I was at a funny angle and too nervous to really be able to see anything well.  I'm so glad he was able to be there with me.  We have another picture, but I won't post it unless someone really cares to see.  It just looks like a slightly bigger speck blob thing.  Still there, though, and still alive.   

Also, this size:


I may bleed again.   Dr. Tran said to call him if I do, that I get special treatment and he will want to see me.  He also says all is well and we are in the same boat we were in last week and in fact that we are better than last week because bonus ultrasound = knowledge that the embryo is growing appropriately and still looking good.  So, I'll take it!   I go back next Wednesday, as was originally scheduled, and assuming everything is still on track I'll graduate to my regular OB then.  

So, day by day by day we are trucking along inching towards a healthy positive outcome.  Sure, it would be awesome if I didn't have to have the kind of pregnancy that involved bleeding from the vagina, but hey, life isn't fair.  


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

6w2d

All is well, so far, everyone.  Thanks for all your support.  The comments directly on the blog and on Facbeook, as well as the texts and phone calls I received really made me feel better.

We are, so far, so good!  We have a 5mm embryo with a 120 heart rate!  Obviously not out of the water yet, but each step is a step in the right direction.  Next ultrasound 2 weeks from today, in the afternoon.  

Dr. Tran saw a small hematoma which explains the spotting, and isn't a cause for concern.  

I'm at work, so I'm not going to do a big long post, I just wanted to update everyone, as I know people have been thinking about me this morning!  

Here the tiny creature is!    Yeah, it's that little speck.  Were you expecting something more??  ;) 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What fear feels like

I have had some minor brown spotting since last night and some cramping.  I fear it is over.  I barely slept and can barely breathe.  Not sure how I will get through today.  Will know for sure at the ultrasound tomorrow. 

Edited to Add:  I also just puked (up nothing since I hadn't eaten dinner last night) after brushing my teeth.  The teeth brushing made me SO nauseous. In a weird way that gives me a little bit of hope.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Crossing my Fingers and Dreaming of Normal

I've had versions of this same nightmare a lot over the last 3 or 4 years.  I'm pregnant and so happy, but with these tiny twinges of doubt.  I'm in labor and I get to the hospital to have my baby as my doubt grows and grows.  Right when I suddenly remember that I was never actually pregnant, the doctor tells me, "you aren't pregnant!"  There isn't actually a baby at all.  And then I wake up.

I had no idea how real that fear would feel when I actually became pregnant.  I still have to have my pregnancy tests sitting out on my bathroom counter to believe that it really happened and I'm actually scared to take another one in case it were to come out negative, but that's only half of it.  The other half is the fear of getting to my ultrasound next week and there just being nothing there - an empty uterus or a uterus with a non-viable hanger-on.  I wish I could say this is a crazy person nightmare and a totally unfounded fear, but we all know that it's not.  Being enmeshed in a community with so much loss - being a person who has defied all statistics thus far and had bad luck after bad luck - having seen friends and family members go through bad things in early pregnancy, it is really hard to just believe that this will all be good and normal and boring for me.  That nightmare feels so real and so so close.

My mantra has been, "Women get pregnant and have babies all the time.  Women get pregnant and make it through an entire pregnancy and have healthy babies all the time.  Women who took years to get pregnant make it through an entire pregnancy and have healthy babies all the time."

I'm sure all pregnant women go through this.  I can't imagine how you couldn't feel some serious fear over something so important.  I'm also pretty sure pregnant women who have not suffered Infertility or loss don't go through it the same way that those of us who have, do.

So, I find balance between being SO excited (and overjoyed and full of hope and full of plans) and this other stuff that is less fun.  I imagine it isn't going to go away quickly.  I have an ultrasound.  That'll be some reassurance, if it is good.  Another ultrasound 2 weeks later = more reassurance.  Passing the first trimester = huge.  Passing the point where a baby is likely viable if born, that's another.   I just hope I get to each of these.  I hope as each passes, I lose more fear and hang on to more of the good stuff!

ANYHOW.  I've been doing some thinking about what to do with this blog, and I think I've decided.  I have no interest in this becoming a pregnancy blog, or a mommy blog (barf-o-rama at that term), or even just a place I share baby stuff once I have a baby.  It's a blog about the trying to create a baby.  I don't want to turn it into something else.

So, that said, I will keep using it for a minute.  Definitely through these first two ultrasounds.  That still feels very much like a part of my Infertility journey.  Maybe through the first trimester, but that depends on what is going on and what kind of stuff I am feeling like posting.  Definitely if I experience a loss of this pregnancy.  Definitely if I decide to try again someday.  I am basically thinking about what I have wanted to read on other people's blogs when they got to this point, and what I no longer wanted to see.  I want this blog to remain a safe space for women who are experiencing Infertility. I hope that I am able to give some hope.  Those who want to follow my continuing journey elsewhere, when it moves from here, can follow me elsewhere!

So, where?  Funny you should ask!

If all goes well and you want to see pictures of baby bumps (and eventually babies) and everything that goes along with that, I'll just move you on over to the currently empty Harbinger of Birth blog I set up ages ago.  I archived for myself and deleted all the old posts that were on there (there were less than 10).  It was too painful to see the words of a 2009 and 2010 early hopeful trying version of myself.  Blank slate, now.  I'll definitely let you know here when I'm moving there for good.

And today...today I am 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  I am feeling symptoms that I hope are an indication of an actual healthy pregnancy (and not side effects from the progesterone I still have to inject every night, or wishful thinking, or anything else).  I am tired....very very very tired.  I am always tired in a way that feels like I'm coming down with a cold or am hungover or something.  My boobs are sore.  So so sore.  As I described to a friend, there are times where I feel like a light breeze hurts as if someone had tit punched me.  I am slightly nauseous sometimes.  Especially when I first eat at the beginning of the day.  Nothing major, nothing I would call "morning sickness" but perhaps a hint of what's to come.  I have mild cramps often.  Some days they are just there all day.  Some days they come and go.  Some days I just have more of a "full" feeling in my uterus.  Like I ate a huge meal and my stomach is overstuffed, except it's not my stomach.  This isn't dissimilar to how my ovaries felt, actually, when they were full of eggs before the egg retrievals.  I get strange pains sometimes - on both sides of my abdomen, down my legs occasionally, even deep inside my butt cheek.  Nothing sharp or horrible, just like things are already sort of growing or stretching or moving a bit.   According to Dr. Google all of this either means everything is great OR me and this embryo are both dying.  Ha.  Dr. Google is a bitch.  Honestly, though, it just seems like everything I feel is just a normal thing to feel and nothing I feel is a normal thing to feel.  It's amazing how different it is for everyone.

Crossing my fingers and dreaming of normal.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

4w3d

Yep!  Still pregnant!  Second Beta results in today and it went up to a whopping 665!!!  I am 4 weeks and 3 days preggers (which = two weeks and 3 days from conception) with a tiny McKellar embryo.  Estimated due date, September 1, 2014.

For those who like math/care - they want to see a doubling time of appx 48 hours (or less) of these HCG numbers.  My doubling time was 33.51 hours!  You can find all kinds of calculators on the Internet to help you figure out doubling time.  I used a couple and they each had different averages listed.  This one shows 48-72 hours, which I am well faster than!  This one shows 31-72 hours: a range that I am in.  Barely.  In all cases these are averages, and in any case a faster doubling time is not a problem.

Now my HCG level makes me fall squarely between the average for single pregnancies and for twin pregnancies.  On Monday I was just barely above the single pregnancy average.

The thing about these numbers, though, is that everyone is so different, and they don't really mean anything other than it appears to be a healthily progressing pregnancy thus far!  Which is great news, and the only available news, so I'm just gonna go with it!

So, what's next?

An Ultrasound on 1/8 - just under two weeks from now.  That is the ultrasound where they make sure the embryo is where it should be (my uterus, not my fallopian tube).  They may see a heartbeat then, but they may not.  At that point I get my "pregnancy instructions" if things look good.  I'll let you know what that means when I know!

Then, an ultrasound 2 weeks after that on 1/22 where they will be able to see if it is growing normally and has a heartbeat.  At that point, I think, I move on to a regular doctor if everything looks good.  Still early.  Things could still go horribly wrong.  But still...

!!!

So, that's where we are now.  And this is what I feel like inside. (Even though I'm not really making that face. I mean other than for the picture, of course.)


I got to work at 8:12am this morning and haven't been able to eat all day, so haven't taken a lunch break. This means I am about to go home.  Celebration dinner tonight!