Tuesday, January 31, 2012

10 Weeks!!


I have officially made it to 10 weeks, one quarter of this pregnancy is over!! This evening when I got home I immediately ran upstairs to use my doppler and the little booger's heart was beating away at 181bpm! I also love how loud the heartbeat is becoming on my doppler. It was so quiet when I first found it last week, but now there is no mistaking it!

I still cannot believe that I made it this far. I know that I have a LONG way to go but I can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. I am actually happy that this part of the pregnancy is flying by. I am really not enjoying it all and that is due to the fact that I am so anxious about something happening. I do realize that we are so close to being out of the danger zone, but I am really fearing the results of my combined first trimester screening. Like I explained in my last post, the results that I will receive will be a ratio which will tell me the likelihood of my baby having a certain issue (Down's, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18). It is not a diagnosis. What they typically recommend is that anyone who has a ratio of 1:350 or worse, do CVS. I originally wanted to do CVS but the more I read, the more scared I became of it. I talked to Dr. Braverman and he said to only do it if the first trimester screening warrants it. Last night I read story after story of women going in to have the CVS done after questionable screening results, only to miscarry within the next two weeks. The real shit-kicker is that their CVS results all came back normal. Every single one of the them experienced a gush of fluid within those two weeks which ended up being the bag of waters breaking, resulting in the loss of their babies. I don't even want to risk that!!

My detailed appointment with the doctor is this Friday. I am excited but very nervous. Apparently the doctor that I am seeing is known for "patient centered care" where he believes that the doctor and patient should work as a team and every patient deserves individual attention and the highest level of care...so they tell me. He is old school, but I like that! He is going to be the doctor that dictates my care to the MFM group. I am also hoping to have everything squared away with the placement of the cerclage. They said that they typically do them around 13 weeks so I am thinking that it will be done the week after my NT scan, which is on the 16th. I am very nervous about having this done, but I would be even more scared not having it done. The procedure itself isn't so bad. They use an epidural for pain control (which terrifies me) and then you are sent home later that day as long as everything looks good. There is a small possibility that they will keep you over night. Once home, I will be on bedrest for three days at which time I will be able to return to work. I do know that there are restrictions though that last throughout the rest of the pregnancy. These include no standing for over 60 minutes, no lifting over 15 pounds, and pelvic rest...yup, that means no sex. Hey, what ever it takes!!

On a different note, my husband is being scheduled for cardiac surgery. If you remember, in November he was hospitalized due to ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. The doctor recommended surgery but said we could take our time scheduling it. Well, my husband has been having more frequent episodes lately and the doctor told him last week that he really shouldn't wait any longer. We talked about it and decided that this was the best time as I am still early in this pregnancy and it is likely that he will be healed and up to par by the time that I need him. I am on pins and needles about this as I am not sure how this is going to play out with my cerclage placement. I figure that if worse comes to worse and I freakishly get put on bed rest and he is home after the surgery, we will hire a "helper" to come in for a while to cook meals and take care of the dogs. Given that we don't really have family to help us, this is pretty much the only option. This has actually been a touchy subject for my husband as he thinks that I am the priority and that he shouldn't schedule the surgery until after this pregnancy. I won't let him do that though. We are a great team and him and I can get through anything...no matter how tough things may get. I also keep reminding him, it's a short term situation.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Coming Out of Hybernation...Not!


I feel as though I have completely lost touch with the world, especially over the past three weeks. I have been so tired that I have been doing nothing but working and sleeping. If it wasn't for our housekeeper, we would be living in pure filth as I have all I can do to keep myself clean! Today was actually the first day in the past six days that I left the house, other than for work. I went grocery shopping for the first time in two weeks. My poor husband has either been running out for take out or trying his best to make a meal (he really has no cooking skill what so ever) so I was determined to get stuff that I can throw into the crock-pot as morning seems to be my best time. After running out today I now remember why I have been staying home. Before the grocery store I had to stop at Target for a few household items. Within ten minutes of being in the store I became extremely nauseated. I decided that I couldn't finish so I took what I had and checked out. The same things happened in the grocery store. When I get nauseous like that I tend to panic and my instinct (I don't know why) is to lay on a cold tile floor. Obviously, being in public, I couldn't do that. My poor husband didn't know what to do so all he could do was stand there and rub my back while I buried my head in my hands while throwing my upper body across the top of the cart. Poor guy!! I am almost afraid to admit this but it seems that my nausea is getting worse, not better. Granted, it hasn't been too bad up until a few days ago. Last night was the first time that I kept thinking that I just wanted to die. I ended up getting violently ill and then I felt better...for as few hours anyway.

Ok, enough bitching...

My husband and I finally sat down and had a realistic talk about when we are going to tell our families, as not even our parents know. Since he didn't go for my whole "we will tell them after the birth" idea, I was forced to come up with a different plan. What we decided is that we will wait until after we get the results of the first trimester screening. Not only does this involve the NT scan, it also includes blood work that can help detect if there is a possibility, in conjunction with the NT scan, Down's Syndrome, Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, and congenital heart defects. This combined screening will not tell us if our baby has a problem, it will tell us what the likelihood is. We were originally going to go straight to having CVS (chorionic villus sampling) as that can tell you almost 100% if there is an abnormality but it carries a slight chance of miscarriage. We have decided to start with the first trimester screening and only do CVS if our chances of having a problem are high. So, we are going to see at our doctors appointment next Friday if the blood portion of the test can be drawn early so the results will be back by our NT scan on the 16th, as they take about a week. If not, it is likely that we will not be telling our families until the end of February which will put me at 14 weeks. I really don't mind waiting to announce the news, but I would really like to know sooner rather than later that all is good with my baby.

On a positive note, the baby's heart is still beating away nice and strong. Since I now know where to find it, it takes me maybe ten seconds to get a good reading on it. It was ranging between 173-179 today (as usual) so I am happy. I do know that eventually the heart rate will come down a bit so I know not to panic. I just love hearing the sound, and yes, I am obsessed!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Going Out On A Limb

For those of you who don't know me personally, I am VERY superstitious, aka OCD. I have rituals and patterns that I must follow. A superstition that I have, has to do with purchasing baby items. I am so afraid that as soon as I buy something, no matter how big or small, that I will lose my baby. My husband thinks that it is time that I start working on this issue, but I am not so sure that I am ready. Well, today I went out on a limb...in a big way. I made my first purchase for the baby. One of the ONLY reasons why I did this is because it is something that I know I wanted, and it was deeply discounted for a limited time on Amazon.


This is the Sealy Posturepedic Springfree 2-Stage Crib and Toddler Mattress. I have been looking at this mattress and have known for a while that this is the one that I wanted. It just happened to be featured on Amazon today for over $80 off their price. I checked our local Babies"R"Us and their price was $209. Amazon had it for $154. I went against everything I believed in and I purchased it. With Amazon you have 365 days to return it new in package so I figured that I couldn't go wrong.

Immediately after pressing the "complete purchase" button, I whipped out my doppler to make sure that my superstitions were not right. Within 10 seconds I found that beautiful galloping noise. The heart rate was right around 180. I couldn't help by get a little choked up as I still cannot believe that little heartbeat is coming from my belly. I was a bit apprehensive at first about getting the doppler as I was worried that it would make me worry more, but it was the best decision I have ever made. My doctor said that a strong fast heartbeat like the one my baby has is a great indication that everything is okay so far. If I can't find the heartbeat, because I know exactly where it is now, or if the heartbeat suddenly slows down, I am to call my doctor immediately. This is very reassuring to me. Unfortunately, if something is going to happen there is nothing I can do to stop it, but at least I won't go weeks without knowing that something has happened or that something is wrong. That is my biggest fear, to walk around naive to what has happened inside my belly. It's not that I am planning on something bad happening, I am just afraid of not knowing if it does. As long as I have my doppler, I can keep on eye on what is happening inside of me. What a comforting feeling that is!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

9 Weeks 2 Days


Today was my first appointment with the Maternal Fetal Medicine group. The first thing that they did was an ultrasound. The tech came in and I was delighted that it was my first ever abdominal ultrasound...so I got to leave my pants on! After she did the initial "verification of pregnancy" (duh!!) the MFM came in, Dr. Dexter, to complete the scan. As soon as he walked in I could tell that him and I would get along. He looks like a total research nerd like I am and you could tell that he had a sense of humor. The first thing he said to me was "so, I hear you are quite the nervous patient", and he smiled at me. I told him that I tend to over-analyze measurements and numbers. He asked me "so you understand all of this?" and I told him that I did to a certain extent. He then took his time and showed me everything so I could see for myself that things looked great. I really appreciated this. According to his measurements I was only measuring two days behind my actual date which isn't bad at all. The tech was initially getting 3-4 days behind, which still, is no big deal. They commented on what a "hyperactive" baby I had as it was moving all over the place and had an incredible heart rate of 179! What originally freaked me out is while the tech was out of the room waiting for the MFM, I looked at her measurements and the estimated date of my sac was over a week behind. My heart at that point just sank. I asked the MFM about it and he told me that at this point the sac size means nothing. I have two sacs in there and they are smooshing each other so he said that measurements were not an "exact science". He again, told me everything looked great.

So next Friday I go in for my actual appointment with the doctor. The initial appointment is with a regular OB but that is the procedure as the initial intake must be completed prior to transfer of care to the MFM group. The nurse also mentioned today that we should have a date next Friday for the cerclage placement as they like to do it right around 13 weeks or so. I was so happy that she brought this up as I keep having a reoccurring dream that the regular OB doesn't agree with the diagnosis and then my baby falls out! (I hate dreams lately!) I just hope that the doctor that sees me next Friday agrees with the diagnosis and schedules the surgery. It only takes one doctor with a differing opinion to through things off!

The only other thing today was that Dr. Dexter asked me if I was willing to push out my NT Scan by one week. I was a bit concerned that they were doing it so early at 11 weeks 3 days so this actually made me happy. With measuring a couple days behind I was worried about the quality of the scan as I just want to be sure that they are getting accurate readings. The new date will put me at 12 weeks 3 days. If everything looks okay after the scan, my husband would like to tell our families that weekend. I personally do not want to tell our families and I would like to keep this to ourselves for as long as possible because once we tell his family, the entire world is going to know. He asked me how long I wanted to wait and I reminded him of the shows "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" and "Secretly Pregnant" and asked him if we could wait until I was 7 or 8 months along, or even better yet, until after the birth! He looked at me and I could tell by his look that he wasn't going for that! Oh well, at least we will keep the gender a secret!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Best Sound Ever!!


Today in the mail I received my Sonoline C1 Fetal Doppler. I was so excited to use it. I have been preparing myself for the possibility that I may not be able to find the heartbeat as I am only 9 weeks 1 day today and it is still a bit early. As soon as I got home I played with it for a little while but couldn't find the heartbeat. I needed to run out shortly after I got home so I just gave up. Shortly after I got home for the second time, I went upstairs and loaded the probe with gel, and started digging into my pelvis. I played around with it for about twenty minutes and all I was picking up was my own heartbeat and also the swooshing of the arteries that run vertically on both sides of my pelvis. The artery noises sound much different from the baby's heartbeat. They are more of a swooshing noise while the baby's heartbeat should sound like a horse galloping. I was just about ready to give up when I heard it, a very fast galloping sound and the doppler was indicating a heart rate of 169-173. I went to go turn up the volume and I lost it. I found it a few more times after that, but just breathing would make me lose it. I am so grateful that I got to hear it and I am sure that it will get easier to find every day.

Tomorrow is my appointment with the OB/MFM group. I will have my intake appointment with the nursre and an ultrasound. I finally heard back from them today about the physician appointment and they were able to get me in first thing next Friday morning. I believe that I am seeing a regular OB for the physician intake but they are still pretty convinced that I will end up with the MFM group. The doctor doing my scan tomorrow is a MFM doc so maybe I will know a little bit more. They also scheduled me for my NT scan which is two weeks from Friday (again first thing in the morning) at 11 weeks 3 days. Part of me is happy that I will only have to wait two weeks between scans, as I am sure the doc won't do one next week, but I am also worried how long it will be until my next one. At least I have my doppler so I can make sure that my little bean is still doing well.

I will post another update after my appointment tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

9 Weeks Today...Let The Anxiety Begin!

Since my last ultrasound on Friday I have been doing pretty good managing my worry about what is going on inside my belly. I haven't really thought about it much but now I am starting to worry a bit. I am so terrified that I am going to go for my first appointment outside of my RE this Thursday, and I am going to be told that things are over. I think what is triggering this worry, part of it anyway, is that there have been so many women on the monthly pregnancy forum that I belong to, that have gone to their first appointment this week (as most women do not have their first ultrasound until 10 weeks or later) that are finding out that their babies have no heartbeats and are gone. This is absolutely freaking the hell out of me. It has happened so many times to me, so why wouldn't it happen again? I do realize that most losses occur between six and eight weeks as that is when the most crucial systems in the body are forming, and I am well past that, but I am by no means "out of the woods" yet. Also, to top things off, I still have no idea when I am going to see the physician as the physician had to cancel for this Thursday. I am still going in for my intake and an ultrasound, but my official appointment has not been rescheduled. They called me on Tuesday, a bit before noon, and said that they would like to get me in either this Friday or early next week, and said that they would call me back later that day with an appointment. Well, I never heard back. I tried calling the woman that I am working with today and she wasn't in her office all day. I am going to call again in the morning, but me being a Type A, I need to have all my ducks in a row so I can relax a bit.

I also have gone against everything that I believe in and ordered a fetal doppler. I was very up in the air about this but decided that I needed to do it. I found one that was both FDA and CE approved (not cheap) so I can feel comfortable and safe using it. I should have it tomorrow but I am not sure if I want to use it yet. Even though it is a medical grade doppler it is a bit early to get a consistent reading, but definitely possible for it to work. I almost got one that showed an EKG reading along with the heart rate, but knowing me and my previous Paramedic background, I would over analyze the rhythm and freak myself out!

I have exactly 40 more hours until my appointment and that time could not go by fast enough. I just want to be told that everything is okay. I realize that I have another 31 weeks of this, so I need to learn how to manage my anxiety. I truly believe that once we get past this scan and the NT scan, that my anxiety and worry will lessen. It isn't that I don't believe that this is all going to be alright, its that I lose everything the minute I let my guard down. I am just protecting myself right now!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Reflections


Today, as I was driving in between meetings, I started to reflect on how much my life has changed over the psst 2 1/2 years, but more importantly, the past year. It was almost a year ago that I re-entered therapy after a very complicated loss following my first IVF in December (2010). What had happened is that my initial Beta came back at 54. My clinic said it wasn't that bad but I was concerned. I went back for a repeat Beta two days later, which was the day before New Year's Eve, and it went up to almost 300. I was both relieved and happy. Well to make a long story short my HCG level ultimately plateaued and I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy and treated with Methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy before it ruptured my tube. For a couple of weeks my levels came down but then plateaued again. My doctor decided to give me another round of Methotrexate. Again, my numbers went down for a while, plateaued, but this time they went back up. My doctor was stumped and decided to treat with both a D&C and Methotrexate as something wasn't right. A couple of weeks after the D&C my numbers were finally back to negative (took 13 weeks total) but we also received some other shocking news. Not only did I have an ectopic, I also had an intrauterine pregnancy and that is why my numbers were so screwy. We went from having just an ectopic to having a heterotopic pregnancy. Needless to say, I was having a very difficult time dealing with this loss as this was my fourth loss and I never really took the time to heal after the previous ones.

I entered therapy with the assumption that I would finally grieve my losses and then I would feel better and would be able to move on. To my dismay, it didn't work out that way. My therapy sessions turned into an exploration my childhood, one I would rather forget. I was basically forced to relive everything that had happened to me. This was not what I bargained for. There was a small part of me that thought that maybe this could be helpful, even though it was heart-wrenching, so I tried my best to get through my sessions. I eventually found myself hating therapy and I was actually feeling as though it was doing more harm than good. I stopped going the end of June.

Since that time, so much has happened. I went through four more IVFs, I had surgery to remove a uterine septum, surgery to remove polyps, surgery to remove adhesions throughout my pelvis, and even another loss. You would think that I would be more of a mess now than I was, but I am actually doing amazingly well...considering. I don't remember when it happened exactly, but sometime this past fall, I found this amazing inner peace. All the worry about my lack of control over things suddenly diminished. I realized that the past is exactly that, my past. Yes, it will always be a part of me, but it doesn't have to control my life...and it not longer does. Nothing that has happened throughout my journey with infertility has been my fault, and I can finally say that and truly mean it. Ultimately, I let go. The other thing I struggled with for most of my life was worrying about what others thought of me and trying to get everyone to like me. I finally stopped letting other people influence how I treated myself. Here is a great example: I was talking with a co-worker on the phone who had known about my loss (this was after my second loss) and I don't remember how we got on the topic but I was talking about the process that led up to it as I was hospitalized a week prior to the loss for a bowel obstruction and dehydration. This co-worker of mine then had mentioned how a friend of hers also had a loss but "their story, even to this day, always stayed the same and never changed". I was absolutely in shock by this comment. It was being insinuated that I was either making things up or lying outright about my loss. After I hung up I started crying hysterically and I actually ended up going home as I was sick with anger and confusion. How could a person accuse another of this? I ended up emailing her shortly after I got home about her comment (I still have the email to this day) and I got the response that she was tired and she didn't know what she was saying. It bothered me so much that I discontinued the blog that I had started as I felt as though everyone would feel the same way she did. I was very new at this "loss" and "pregnancy" stuff and I just couldn't fathom how another women, knowing the process of creating a child, could be so insensitive. I was lost and confused and I needed support, not criticism and ridicule. Up until this past fall that comment resonated with me frequently. Every time that I thought about it, I would cry. Maybe this event would seem insignificant to some people, but apparently it was made at just the right time during my state of vulnerability, that it just impacted me the wrong way. I never said anything further. I let this one person's comment have such an impact on me that it changed the way that I thought and let it influence my decisions. I still can't believe, to this day, that I let that comment affect me for so long. I have forgiven as my heart needs to be at peace in order for my mind to be.

So, in conclusion (sorry for the lame wording) I am a different person. A stronger person. A better person. I no longer let my childhood effect my life, nor do I let the negativity of others penetrate my inner peace. Life is good!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Bittersweet Day (8 weeks 3 days)


Today I went in for my last ultrasound with my clinic. I wasn't as nervous as usual which was a strange concept for me. Normally I am in the waiting room praying that they hurry up and call me so my anxiety provoked nausea can subside. Today was much different. The ultrasound today was amazing. We got to see the amniotic sac completely surrounding the baby, the umbilical cord, a great view of the spine, and we even saw the arm and leg buds which were clear as day. Our little peanut's heart rate was 164pbm which means it increased 11bpm in a matter of three days! After we were done with the ultrasound, the nurse finished up my discharge papers and I was getting ready to leave. I soon found myself surrounded by the nurses and my doctor, all of whom have become family to me. It was at this point that I became emotional. Five losses, three IUIs, and five IVFs later and I am walking out with the most amazing miracle in the world. I realized that if it wasn't for these wonderful people I would never be where I am today. They gave me the strength to continue on when my will was too weak, they gave me hope when my heart was full of doubt, and they helped me to grow into the person I am today. I am forever grateful for them and truly have love for each and every one of them.

Shortly after I got home I received a call from the OB/MFM group that I will be seeing next Thursday. They called to let me know that there was a minor change in plans but not to worry. They are still having me come in for an initial intake with the nurse and an ultrasound with the MFM. The only change is that they are not scheduling me until after my appointment for my actual doctor visit. Originally, they had me down to also see an OB in addition to the MFM on Thursday but that OB will not be in the office that day, which actually worked out for the better as it could have been a complete waste of my time. Since they are almost positive that I will be staying with the MFM group exclusively, they want to wait to schedule me until Thursday when my intake is complete. The scheduler that called said that they can get me in as early as the following Monday if need be so she told me not to worry as there won't be any unnecessary waiting. This news actually makes me happy as they are truly going to evaluate me and decide which route (exclusive MFM or OB/MF combo) is best for my situation. She did say that with my history of losses, my medical history, and my risk for incompetent cervix, that I am a shoe in with the MFM group. I am getting excited about my first appointment on Thursday. It is a whole new world for me!

I am still in complete awe about today as it marks the day, for the first time in over 2 1/2 years, that my life continues on. The next chapter is starting for me and I couldn't be happier. I no longer have to keep repeating the chapter that is filled with sadness, heartache, and pain. I am moving forward, getting closer every day to my "happily ever after".

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Frustrated

Today was another sick day for me. I still felt like absolute crap this morning so I decided to listen to my doctor's recommendations on taking it easy until I was better. I actually started feeling better this evening and I am planning on working tomorrow...as long as the fever continues to stay away. In the middle of feeling like complete ass, I had my monthly appointment with my Endocrinologist yesterday. It was eventful as usual. He was not happy that my TSH increased to above 2.0 given that I am on 50mcg of Synthroid...he said it needs to be closer to 1.5 and definitely under 2.0. He wanted me to talk to my doctor in Manhattan (Dr. Braverman) about increasing my dose. Dr. Braverman said the increase is fine so I should know by tomorrow what my new dose will be. I also got a lecture on my blood sugars. I was diagnosed this fall as being insulin resistance/pre-diabetic with asymptomatic (besides the wacky blood sugars) polycystic disease. My blood sugars have been all over the place lately. My fasting blood sugars are a bit low (but I am asymtomatic with them) but my levels are spiking after I eat. My Endocrinologist said that he wants them no higher than 120 60-90 minutes after I eat. Mine have been in the upper 130s to 140s which he said is not too good if they stay consistent or continue. I also have to check my sugars six times a day (before and after every meal). He said that I am at VERY high risk for developing gestational diabetes and it looks as though that diagnosis will be coming sooner rather than later. He is keeping me on 2000-3000mg of Glucophage a day until my next appointment in four weeks. At this time we reevaluate my levels and treat accordingly. If my levels stay consistently high, I have to call him for a quicker plan of action.

I also had yet another bleeding scare tonight. I took a two hour nap around four this afternoon and when I went to the bathroom shortly after waking up, there was bloody discharge yet again. I called my nurse just for some reassurance. She said that she really isn't worried (even though I am scared shitless) as I don't have any cramping and the fact that the baby looked perfect on Tuesday. I actually have another ultrasound scheduled during my lunch tomorrow and I am a big ball of anxiety and excitement over it. I spoke with my nurse for a while tonight and we talked about my discharge a bit. Since I am seeing the Perinatologist next Thursday, they will probably "unofficially" discharge me tomorrow as typically insurances will not pay for two prenatal appointments in one week by two different providers. I do know, however, that if anything happens between tomorrow and my appointment next Thursday, that they will let me come in right away to get checked out.

Hoping everything is still perfect tomorrow!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sick as a Dog

So I will start off with my eventful lunchtime yesterday. During lunch I had to go in for blood work to get my clotting levels checked again. I used the restroom before I got called back and to my horror there was blood. Not just a little either, something more similar to the start of AF. I starting crying my eyes out and the nurses came running. They immediately brought me back into a room and drew a progesterone level and HCG as they would do if someone was miscarrying. They got the blood that they needed and then said that they wanted to do an ultrasound which was no problem with me. I was terrified as to what I was going to find but there was our baby, perfectly fine with a heart rate of 154bpm. We were able to see the eyes, spine, the arms and legs (although they still look weird) and the amniotic sac which is now surrounding the baby.


Unfortunately Baby B was still quite visible which made me a little sad but I was so grateful that everything else was okay. They searched around to find a source of the bleeding and determined that it was coming from my cervix. They said with all the blood thinners I am on that it is to be expected. They are having me come back in at lunchtime on Friday for a repeat scan just so we can keep a close eye on things.

Yesterday evening I started developing an earache and a sore throat. I knew something was coming but I was hoping that it would be minor. Around 8pm the fever kicked in and I was having a hell of a time controlling it with Tylenol. I was told that if my fever exceeds 101.4 while pregnant that I need to go to the ER as it is detrimental to the baby. With the Tylenol my fever was hovering around 100.6 (which normal wouldn't be an issue if I wasn't pregnant) and the Tylenol was only holding me for about three hours so I wasn't sure what to do. I called our local ER just to ask them what to do as I am a very nervous mom. They told me that I could come in to get evaluated if I wanted, but I really should come in if I couldn't get my fever under control. I set my alarm clock to go off every hour to check my temp. By 3am it was under 100 so I took one final dose of Tylenol and felt comfortable enough to go to sleep. I called in sick today as I still don't feel well and I don't want to push myself and make this worse. It actually worked out as I have to go see my Endocrinologist this afternoon for my monthly appointment as my blood sugars have been running a tad high...even with the medication. 31 weeks 6 days and counting!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Officially 8 Weeks Today

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be able to relax and enjoy pregnancy. Every single day I worry about what is happening inside of me. Is the baby normal? Is the heart still beating? Am I bleeding? After five consecutive losses and now the loss of Baby B, I can't help but to fear the worst...it is all that I know. In the two pregnancies that progressed past the heartbeat, I allowed myself to get excited about things finally going well. As soon as I got excited and hopeful, we would find out that the heart stopped at the very next ultrasound. So now I can't allow myself to get excited as I fear things will end if I do. I realize that this is a ridiculous theory but I am too scared to go against it. I am so anal that I have to wear the same socks and my grandmother's necklace to every ultrasound as I fear that if I don't, the baby will be gone. As crazy as that sounds, it is those little things that are getting me through!

I think the other problem is that I always imagined pregnancy in the first trimester to be miserable. I have sporadic nausea but it is tolerable and nothing I would even think about if I wasn't pregnant. My boobs barely hurt anymore, in fact, the don't even look different. The only three things that really stand out is my extreme fatigue, constant thirst, and my constant peeing...especially at night. But that is it. Even those symptoms at times seem to not be that bad. I really wish that I was sick so I knew that I was growing another human...I need that reassurance.

I am going in for another Heparin Anti-XA level in the morning to check to see how my body is responding to the double dose of Lovenox. There is a part of me that is so tempted to ask for an ultrasound just so I can calm down. I have my ultrasound Friday morning but that seems like an eternity from now. I should probably get used to this as things are going to change next week. I start with the MFM (perinatologist) a week from Thursday and have my last appointment with my clinic that Friday. Normally I would get discharged from my clinic this week, but since I have had so many losses they want to keep me one extra week for good measure. I am sad about leaving my clinic as I have been with them for a long time and they have become like family but despite my sadness I am looking very forward to moving on to the next chapter, a chapter that my husband and I have come close to starting many times, but every time we get taken back to the beginning. I am looking forward to moving on!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saying Goodbye


This morning my husband and I went in for our follow-up ultrasound to check on the status of Baby B. I didn't give up but I knew what was coming. When the nurse started the ultrasound she started by focusing on Baby A. Baby A was measuring exactly to the day, 7 weeks 4 days, and had a perfect heart rate of 132bpm. The sound of the swooshing noises of the heart was like music to my ears. The nurse showed us the baby's spine which was very visible and we were also able to see the placenta starting to form. This little peanut had a bit of a growth spurt over the past two days as s/he was measuring 3-5 days behind as of Thursday, but now is right on track. I am very thankful for this.

The nurse then panned over to Baby B and immediately I could tell things were not good. Baby B looked very small compared to Baby A. She asked me to hold my breath so she could focus in on the heart. There was Baby B, still and with no heartbeat. I started to cry as I felt so emotionally confused. I was so sad that Baby B was gone, but so grateful for what I still had. It was an awkward combination of feelings and I wasn't sure how to handle it. The nurse than showed me Baby B's yolk sac and pointed out how it was rather enlarged which is usually indicative of a chromosomal abnormality. That information doesn't make the loss any less painful, but it helps to put it into perspective as I would never want to bring a child into this world that would suffer.

I have been going back and forth with this all day, trying to sort out my feelings. I almost feel guilty for being happy about Baby A (who I am now referring to as "the baby") because I feel like I need to be sad (and I am) about Baby B. It is strange to feel sadness and happiness at the same time. Seeing the heartbeat is what is making this so hard. Many times, especially in women undergoing fertility treatments, a second or third sac is seen but never develops into a baby. That in itself is sad, but when you see the heartbeat, you realize that there is an actual baby that is starting to form and I think that it makes it that much harder. If I was like every other women who could just get pregnant the "natural" way, I would have gone in for my first OB appointment in a few weeks and I would never have known if the baby ever had a heartbeat or not. My husband and I discussed this at length and we have decided to be thankful for what we have and to focus our energy on that. All I ever wanted was a baby, and that is exactly what I have.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mixed Emotions-7 weeks 2 days

Today I went in for a follow-up ultrasound. Baby A is measuring only a few days behind and has a heart rate of 127. Baby B isn't doing so well. Baby B is measuring a full week behind and has an extremely slow heart rate. Since Baby B was so small we couldn't get a rate on it but we could see a very slow flicker. My clinic said that it is likely that Baby B will not make it. They are bringing me back in on Saturday for another ultrasound as I just couldn't wait another week to find out what is going on. I have been through this twice before. Once the heart just stopped. The other time it was very slow and at the next appointment it had stopped.

I feel so conflicted right now. Even though I refuse to give up hope until it is 100% over, I am just so sad right now. There is another part of me that wants to be happy as Baby A is doing well. I am scared to death about losing both babies. I just couldn't handle that.

Sorry this post is short today but I really don't feel like dealing with this right now. I will post another update after my appointment on Saturday.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All I Do Is Worry

First of all I just realized that I never put up pictures of my little beans. Here is Baby B:

Here is Baby A (you can see Baby B's sac too):

I am counting down the days to my next ultrasound. It was supposed to be Friday but since I need to go in for my immune panel, TSH, and Anti-XA level on Thursday, we decided to move it up a day. The nurse on Friday told me that I could come more often as she saw how terrified I was. I really appreciate the offer, and eventually I might take her up on that, but I am trying really hard to only go once a week. After the fiasco with my HCG levels, sometimes going more often than you should can cause unnecessary worry! I am very anxious to get a reading on the babies heart rates. Last time we just confirmed they were there but did not measure them. A part of me is actually happy we didn't as the heart rate is usually on the slower end that early on, and the last time we measured a heart rate at 6 weeks I spent an entire week worrying that it was too low. I am quite anxious about this pregnancy. The whole "twins" thing hasn't sunk in yet but I think that is more my brain protecting me. I am praying every minute of the day that both babies make it. The whole "vanishing twin" thing scares me as it occurs in 20% of all twin pregnancies. I am hoping that I am in the other 80%, especially now that we have seen heartbeats on both babies. I am not obsessing over this, I am just cautious about the outcome. I already love my babies so much and I can't imagine continuing this pregnancy without them both!

Besides all this worry I am actually feeling better than I expected. I get very tired very easily. Things like taking a shower and cooking make me need a nap. I have also been very thirsty as I can't seem to drink enough but that probably is a good thing as I am not really good at keeping up with my fluids under normal circumstances. The one symptom that I actually like as it reminds me that I am still pregnant is the constant light cramping and occasional ripping sensation that I feel in my uterus. Not only is my uterus getting ready for one baby, it is getting ready to do the miraculous task of housing two babies. The queasiness hasn't been that bad as long as I eat every few hours. In the middle of the night I have been waking up with this pressure type feeling in my chest, almost like something is stuck and I need to puke it up. At this time I usually go downstairs and have a bowl of my Kashi cereal and that seems to help. I just started following the book "When You Are Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads" by Dr. Barbara Luke, as she has a whole section devoted to nutrition and weight gain. Her philosophy is that a twin pregnancy is not a regular pregnancy plus an extra baby, it is a unique situation that requires special attention and care. She recommends that a twin mommy should gain between 40-56lbs., with 25lbs. of that being in the first 20 weeks. I have gained 4lbs. so far so that means that I have approximately 16lbs to put on in the next 13 weeks. Yikes!!! She said it is crucial to gain weight quickly in the first part of the pregnancy because once you hit 24 weeks, it becomes difficult to eat and gain a healthy amount of weight. To do this she recommends eating 3500 calories a day, including 175-219 grams of protein (she said this is most important), 394-438 grams of carbohydrates, and 117 grams of fat. This doesn't mean running to McDonald's either. She wants the diet to consist of lean meats, lots of whole-fat dairy, whole grains, 128oz. of water, and fruits and vegetables. I thought that this was a bit extreme, but her book seems to be the Bible on multiple pregnancies that a lot of women follow so I am going to do my best to stick to it. I am actually not doing all that bad. I seem to always be eating though!!

Also, I would just like to reiterate to my few family and friends who read this to please keep this information private. We are not sharing this information with our parents or families yet as it is just too early to know what is going to happen. If you need a reminder as to why, read here. Thanks so much for your understanding.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Not What I Expected!

For the past week I have been driving myself crazy, analyzing every little symptom or lack there of. Some days I have all I can do to stay awake, other days I don't feel so bad. I have been terribly thirsty lately which has led to increased bathroom usage, but that has been pretty much it. My boobs kinda hurt on and off so I feel the need to keep poking them to see if they still hurt. In the beginning they hurt like hell, but now I can't tell if they are sore or just in painful because I keep ramming my finger into them. I started to completely freak myself out on Wednesday as I knew that we needed to see a heartbeat today. I am 6 weeks 3 days today, and I haven't been at all comforted by my "lack" of symptoms. All I could think about was how I was going to have to tell my boss that I can't go to a mandatory meeting for work out of state next week as I needed to have a D&C...I have had to do this twice before! That night I woke up at about 4am covered in sweat, hyperventilating. I had a dream (nightmare) that I woke up and I was bleeding so I called my clinic and they had me come in. As soon as I got there they told me that I had miscarried and I would have to wait for my body to finish the process. All I could think about was how I couldn't handle this again. All the time, effort, and emotional pain we have put into this only to have our dream ripped away from us again. I was so happy and relieved when I woke up and realized that it was only a dream. I could not go back to sleep as I was fearful about the dream starting all over. This week has been hell!!!

On my way to the clinic the morning I was trying to find ways to distract myself. Thinking about things I needed to get done, reading road signs...you get the picture. When I finally got to the clinic (my husband was there) the awful "anxious" nausea kicked in and I could feel myself shaking. They called me in after only 15 minutes of waiting and drew my blood. As soon as the nurse walked in to do my ultrasound, I completely lost it. I told her that I could not do this again, that I didn't have it in me. I starting crying. I laid back so she could start the ultrasound and I knew that there was no turning back now. I briefly looked at the screen but was distracted by her yelling "Oh my God!" I asked her what was wrong, and instead of looking worried, she was smiling. I was so confused at this point. She turned the screen so I could see it and I couldn't believe what I was looking at. There on the screen were not one, but TWO little blobs, both with beautiful little heartbeats. I started to cry like no other time in my life. My husband ran over, grabbed me, and started crying too. I was shaking uncontrollably as I just couldn't understand it. The next words out of my mouth were "how did this happen?" The nurse just laughed. Soon we were joined by two other nurses as they had overheard my hysterical crying and came in to see what was going on. It was (and still is) like a dream. How could one baby all of a sudden be two? I don't care, I am just so happy!

After I left my clinic I immediately emailed Dr. Braverman who quickly responded back. He was so happy to hear the news! In light of this new development, he is having me increase my Lovenox to 40mg twice a day and is repeating my immune panel next Thursday. He is being extra cautious but that is okay with me! I also need to have a special ultrasound done next week to look at the doppler index flow to the uterine cavity as well as repeating a Heparin Anti-XA level. I guess with my clotting disorder, since it is so high risk, we need to be extra vigilant about it.

Over the next few days I am going to let all of this sink in. I still feel like I am dreaming and I am just waiting to wake up. I am elated but scared shitless at the same time. I just want to do everything right to make sure these babies (I can't believe I'm saying babies!) are born perfectly healthy! I can't believe this!!!!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Keeping Secrets


My husband and I have been doing a lot of talking about when we are going to tell our families and friends about this pregnancy. We took everything into consideration, especially our past and the heartache we faced dealing with five losses. Our final determination was based mostly on what happened during our second pregnancy...the first one that made it past the heartbeat stage.

Since our first loss was ectopic we never imagined in a million years that we would have another loss. When we were surprised with yet another spontaneous pregnancy in February of 2010, we were so excited and we couldn't wait to tell family. We decided that we were going to tell only immediate family and wait on extended family and friends. Little did I know that our secret wasn't safe and soon the entire world knew. Initially I wasn't happy about this and felt very betrayed by both of our families but in the end I thought that it would be okay. I never expected that we would lose the heartbeat shortly after 8 weeks. Now not only did we have to deal with our immediate family, but my poor husband had to step up and deliver the news to everyone. That was the most horrible experience in my life! The worst part was that I had family (mostly his) coming up to me months after the loss asking me how the baby was and even congratulating me. Someone even came up to me and gave me a hug at a funeral of one of my husband's relatives and told me how happy they were for me. I absolutely wanted to die!!!

So based on this past experience my husband and I have decided not to tell ANYONE (except for my blog readers and my IF friends) until we are well into our second trimester. We did think about telling my parents as I really don't have much family, but in the end we decided to wait until we make our general announcement. I am also unsure what I am going to do as far as work is concerned. My boss knows that I have been doing fertility treatments for two years and he knows that we just did one prior to the Holidays. He keeps asking me if we know anything yet but I just keep telling him that it will be a while before we know. It's not a lie at all as we have been here before and I need to get past the nine week mark to even allow this to start sinking in. I am going to hold him off as long as possible as once I tell him, my higher ups will know as well...people in my company don't keep secrets that well...that is the corporate world for you! I am considered high risk and will be followed by a MFM doc, I am assuming that I will have many more appointments than I would if I was seeing a regular OB. I am also at high risk for incompetent cervix as it has already been discussed that I will need to be evaluated, and will likely end up with a cerclage. From what I understand, it is a surgical procedure that requires a few days of bedrest afterwards and I guess it is usually done around week 13...which is 7 weeks from now.

There is so much to think about but I am not allowing myself to even start addressing these things. I am hopeful, but very guarded. My next ultrasound is Friday which will put me at 6 weeks 3 days and we are planning on seeing the heartbeat by then. I have always seen it by 6 weeks so hopefully this time won't be different...I really can't handle anymore worry!!