Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in review

I don’t actually expect anyone to read this, it’s really for my own purposes.

I had already met my deductible by January 3 thanks to monitoring appointments for our first IUI! I was inseminated on Friday, January 7. It didn’t work. I had a pelvic exam to examine the weird vagina, AKA vaginal septum. It was at this appointment that my OB and I discussed that my bicornuate uterus could also be a septate uterus and that only a laparoscopy could tell. So after a great deal of tears, I scheduled the lap.

In February we had a giant blizzard that shut down the entire county for two days. I spent it curled up at home eating Crunch Berries and reading the Hunger Games. I had my laparoscopy, which revealed that my uterus is perfectly shaped and the HSG was just plain wrong (WTF?) and that I had mild endometriosis, even thought I had no symptoms (surprise!) and that I had ovulated on my own for the first time since TTC (hooray!).

In March my friend told me she was pregnant, putting a big strain on our already burdened friendship. We took a vacation and a quick break from trying. We went on a cruise to Turks and Caicos, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau. We went snorkeling in Turks and Caicos and horseback riding in the Bahamas. I drank a lot. It was a great time. To the surprise of my family, taking a vacation was not the magic cure they had hoped it would be. Still not pregnant!

On April Fools Day, we were inseminated yet again. This negative cycle tore me apart. Also in April, my already strained friendship with one of my closest friends completely fell apart. I spent the whole month in despair as we waited to see the RE. I went on Welbutrin.

I spent most of May partying and enjoying our break. On May 23 we made our first of many trips to the RE. Waiting to go into that appointment was the oddest type of anticipation for me. We liked him immediately and he gave us a choice between IUI w/injectables and IVF. It was a big decision to make, and I was so preoccupied the next day that I went to work with two different shoes on. Also in May, people actually started coming to my support group!

In June I got promoted at work and we quietly got the ball rolling for IVF #1. We got our infectious disease tests and I took BCP. On Tuesday, June 28 we did our very first at-home injection (Lupron).

We took one day in July to go to Six Flags and ride roller coasters/water rides and revel in not being pregnant. I spent my 25th birthday at the RE and cried all the way home. I packed up my Lupron, Bravelle, and Menopur to begin stims for IVF #1 while visiting friends in Des Moines. We retrieved 8 eggs. 5 did not fertilize, and of the three that were ICSI-d, only one fertilized normally. I spend 24 hours crying (no exaggeration) over the fert report, because my eggs had failed me. We transferred a 6 cell embryo on day 3. My friend had a baby and I went to the hospital to meet him during my 2ww.

On August 2, our third anniversary, we found out IVF #1 failed. It was a dismal anniversary. Never in a million years did I dream we’d be married three years and have no child. On the same day that I took a big exam at work, we had our follow up phone call with the RE and he cleared us to go straight into another cycle, with no break.

On September 1, I again packed up all my injections and this time, flew with them for my second ever trip to California! I spent 5 days sightseeing with a dear friend and basically ignored the fact that I had a retrieval coming up. It was a great trip, the highlight of which was seeing Muir Woods. This time, I paid dearly for my 17 eggs with painful OHSS combined with a nasty reaction to the anesthesia. I cried myself to sleep in the ER, a nurse holding one hand and my husband holding the other, saying “I just want to be a mom”. We transferred a blast and an early blast on day 5 and froze a hatching blast. On Saturday, 9/24, I got my first ever positive pregnancy test.

October was the month of the ultrasounds, at 6 and 8 weeks. The days leading up to them were always frantic for me. After the 8 week ultrasound we told my grandparents we were pregnant. It was a much anticipated and emotional day. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that day as long as I live.

In November I saw the Indigo Girls in concert for the third time. I hit the 12 week mark. I went to a baby shower and it didn’t feel like my heart was getting pulled out of my chest and stomped on.

In December I celebrated a happy Christmas with joy and gratitude in my heart. Our quad screening came back negative and we found out we are having a boy!

All in all, 2011 kicked the pants off of 2010. I would say the worst two days were
1) when I got the fert report for IVF #1
2) retrieval day for IVF #2.

The best two days were
1) the 12 week ultrasound, because the baby was so baby-like and moving around so much, it truly made me feel pregnant
2) when we found out it was a boy.

Also 3) the day we went snorkeling and got day drunk on the beach in Turks and Caicos – that was a marvelous day, too : )

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's a....


I caved and we went to one of the elective ultrasound places (yes, the places that pre-pregnant me scornfully referred to as stupid and a waste of money).

We had a 2d sex determination ultrasound, and I could see immediately a tiny pecker between his legs!

Color me surprised because I was SURE it was a girl! But I saw the proof for myself and I wasn't even the slightest bit disappointed to be wrong.

This is going to be a hell of a ride, ladies : )

Thursday, December 22, 2011

update - 16w2d

Total Weight Loss/Gain: I'm up 2 pounds since 12 weeks, which puts me at 8 pounds gained, total. I think 4 are in my belly, and 2 pounds are in each butt cheek ; )

Maternity Clothes: I still wear a lot of my own clothes to work, but the jeans are a lost cause and have been for a while.

Stretch marks: none (yet!)

Sleep:  I sleep very well. I'm in bed at 8 and usually asleep by 9. On the weekends I'll sleep 10 hours and take a two-hour nap! I wake up on my back a lot, which my pregnancy book says is a big no-no, but my OB says don't worry about it. 

Movement: Last week I thought I was preparing for a growth spurt because I felt a lot of tugging and activity in my uterus. This week I have realized it's movement. It's a gentle feeling, although I did get one swift sensation that must have been a kick or somersault or something.

Cravings/Aversions: I don't have either, really.

Sex (of baby): No clue. I thought I might be able to tell at my ultrasound today, but even if the equipment were good enough (which it's not), baby was all curled up with his/her legs tucked underneath.

Symptoms: Still emotional, although that hasn't been as bad lately. I need a lot of sleep and I'm hungry pretty much all of the time. I think I'm developing linea negra, I have a line from my belly button to my pubic bone. I don't have a lot of symptoms, overall.

What I miss: nothing!

What I look forward to: finding out the sex. ooooohhhhh I want to know so badly! my appt is 1/20.

Moods: I've been pretty happy, although irritable. 

Milestones: I had the quad screening done today, so it'll be good to get those results back. Next up is the anatomy scan.

Medical concerns: none, really. They measured my cervical length today and said it looked fine. 

Sex?: No thank you, I'll pass.

Misc:  A friend loaned me a doppler. We used it last night and found the heartbeat immediately when A touched my abdomen. It's pretty neat : )

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas (warning: belly pic)

It's almost Christmas.

Christmas 2009, I went off the pill and we officially started TTC. However, by that point I was already frantic for a child because I had spent months waiting to get good enough health insurance to start trying.

A few months before Christmas 2009, I went to a baby shower and cried all the way home because I wanted it to be my turn so badly, and we weren't even trying yet. So I really consider my infertility pain to have started prior to Christmas 2009.

Christmas 2009 was a very happy Christmas because my time was finally here. I was certain I'd be pregnant by June 2010, when I was in a friend's wedding and could share the news. I was glowing all throughout celebrations that year because of our secret. I was going to be a mom soon.

Things didn't work out and when I saw my (old) OB in May of 2010, she said we'll do a little Metformin, a little clomid, and "You will be pregnant by Christmas."

Christmas 2010 came and went and I hated every moment. It was nothing but a missed deadline. I especially hated my OB for turning my favorite time of year into a reminder of how I'd failed.

So that's my Christmas story. I know it's pretty silly compared to others who have been trying for longer and have endured more. But to me, it's reality.

The year 2011 included two IUIs, a laparoscopy, and 2 cycles of IVF. This year I am unspeakably blessed to look like this on Christmas:

12/17 -- 15w4d

Monday, December 12, 2011

14w6d - cheeseburgers and chewy sprees

I am failing big time at the “eating healthy” thing.

Everything I read, and I do mean everything, stresses that I should be eating a very nutritious diet these days, for many reasons, among them: 1) so baby gets good nourishment and can grow 2) so I get good nourishment and feel my best and 3) to help with a “slow and steady” approach to weight gain.

Everything I read also mentions that dieting or trying to LOSE weight during pregnancy is absolutely a no-no (duh).

I have found that I cannot reconcile these two things. I can eat one of two ways 1) eating to lose weight or 2) eating whatever I want because I don’t give a damn. I have never really known how to eat a balanced, healthy diet.

When I am eating to lose weight I count calories, eat small portions, and have a splurge every now and then. I do lose weight that way. But it doesn’t mean I’m thinking about the nutrition of what I’m eating – just the calorie content.

I’m also having a problem with the emphasis on red meat. I previously mentioned that I was an aspiring vegetarian for a year pre-pregnancy. I completely understand that adding a boneless, skinless chicken breast is a nice way to get protein and necessary fats in your diet.

But I am literally being told by my NP to sit down and eat a cheeseburger every week. In my mind, a cheeseburger is the opposite of healthy, even when you don’t consider the French fries and milkshake that so often accompany it.

So, it sounds bad, but I’ve given up on all of it. When I’m hungry for meat, I eat it. When I’m hungry for junk food, I eat that too. I try to eat at least some fruit and some vegetables every day.

What else is a confused pregnant woman supposed to do?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Still pregnant, I guess.

I don’t have a lot to update, but I’m checking in because it’s my blog and I do what I want (so there).

Today I’m 14w3d. I have been feeling great about everything until this week, which was complete shit at work and at home. I was feeling very negative and bitter already, and then I heard that Michelle Duggar just had a missed miscarriage in the second trimester.

Granted, she’s 20 full years older than I am, which probably has more to do with it than anything (because we KNOW she’s fertile), but the public nature of her miscarriage has just smacked me in the face with “you’re never out of the woods until you hold your baby in your arms”. Which isn’t really what I needed this week.

I would have preferred to gallop along naively believing that since I’m out of the first trimester I’m going to be fine.

It’s so weird when I get in this head space. I take off all my clothes and confront myself in the mirror. Belly bump is still there. Still firm, so I can’t trick myself into thinking I’m just getting fat. Nipples are still sore. Breasts are still an E cup (they were previously Cs). Chest is still very blue and veiny. No bleeding or even spotting. I’m still pregnant…unless…the baby’s heart randomly stopped beating, which I would have no way of knowing.

Then I start maniacally wondering how I can trick someone (anyone) into giving me an ultrasound. I have honestly considered calling and falsifying a report of bleeding just to get an ultrasound. The only thing that stops me is that I believe way too much in karma to tempt it with something like that.

Luckily, I don’t have to wait all the way until 20 weeks for my next scan. I have just under 2 weeks and I get one in my 16th week. Hopefully that will sooth my anxiety for a bit.

I just wish I could feel the baby. It’s far too easy these days to convince myself I’m not pregnant at all.

Friday, December 2, 2011

NT Scan drama

I am writing this post because many of my readers will be pregnant some day and will hopefully not screw up like I did.

So, the NT scan. This is where they measure the nuchal fold via ultrasound to determine the baby’s odds of Down Syndrome and other chromosomal problems. I always assumed I would have this scan done.

Because I had ultrasounds via my RE at 6, 8, and 10 weeks, I did not get in for my “New OB” appointment until 12w1d. This is where you discuss diet, family history, pediatricians, etc. I understand this appointment usually happens earlier.

At the New OB appt they gave me some info about CF screening and a Quad Marker test. My understanding is that the Quad Marker test sometimes gives a false positive, and that viewed alongside the NT scan, you have a better idea of your risks. But no one mentioned the NT scan.

Somewhere along the way, I misunderstood and thought the NT scan happened at 20 weeks during the anatomy scan. But then I realized all of my pregnant blogging friends were having it done at 12-13 weeks.

So last night I had time and I googled “NT scan”, and realized the last day it can be done is 13w6d, which is next Monday for me.

I called my OB’s office. They said the NT scan is not offered unless you are of advanced maternal age. They don’t even do it at their office, but send you 45 minutes away to a Maternal-Fetal specialist, who only does them on Tuesdays and can’t get me in on Monday.

So, I’m bummed. I certainly wish I had been on the ball requesting the NT scan earlier because 1) It would be great to have it to go along with the Quad Marker test and 2) It’s always great to see the baby, no matter what.

But, I’m not going to let it get me down. Dr. Google told me that at age 25 my chances of having a baby with Down’s is 1:1250.

What are your opinions/experiences with the NT scan?