Sunday, November 04, 2007

much belated update

after way way WAY too much time, I finally have an update! (sorry it took so long!) our little girl was born on August 12, 2007 at 11:46pm (8 lbs, 15 ounces * 21 inches)

she is so sweet and I'm completely in love...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Lots of good news today!

The u/s went well - the SCH looks smaller and the baby was measuring almost to date - 12w2d (only off by 1 day). From my untrained eye I'd say it's about 1/3rd smaller. So it's still considered "large" (6cm x 4.5cm at widest part of the transverse view) but the peri could tell that the blood was clotted which is good. So if I continue to spot brown then it will continue to shrink. Yay!

And the peri was not very concerned with miscarrying at this point or even future complications. He has seen similar SCHs before that did not cause long-term issues and was actually shocked that my OB didn't send me over a lot earlier to avoid all of my worries. So big boo to my OB for leaving so many open questions for me. I feel a little bad about doubting him earlier (he was kinda spacy & did fudge the earlier u/s reports though).

I also had my 12w appt and met another OB (you rotate through all of them) - she was very nice & detailed (which I like). We talked about the SCH and depending on that the peri says in his report I might not get another u/s until 20w unless I have more red bleeding or cramping. Which I'm actually OK with at this point - maybe a little less info will be good for a while. We also listened to the heartbeat. I tried to act very excited even though we listen to it almost every day. :)

Other good news - the NT results came back great - our risks for Downs and Trisomy 18 were 1:6000 and 1:10000 so that is a huge relief. Unless something comes back wacky in the screening for neural tube defects (at 16w) then we're probably done with prenatal testing. A big relief since I didn't want to poke around in my placenta or ute.

So I'm just filled with a HUGE sense of relief. Phew. Hopefully the rest of this PG will be boring & uneventful.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

difficult week

This week has been tough but I am hoping we're going to pull through.

We went to our NT scan on Monday and saw Fish squirming around and looking like a real little baby. He was measuring exactly to date - cool. Since I only had minimal spotting at this point I had assumed that the SCH had gone away. So I asked the doctor at the radiology center if he could still see the remnants of my SCH and he immediately (without zooming in anywhere) said yes. OK...guess it's obvious. He said that because of the shape (crescent) he wouldn't really be able to measure it accurately and in this scenario he typically just would classify it as S-M-L and mine would be an XL. Apparently about 60% of the gestational sac had separated from the uterine wall and that area was filled with blood. It looked like a sac within a sac. Apparently it was so interesting that he had a few people take a look - thanks. Since I thought it was much much smaller last time he also went back to look at my previous u/s and said it was about the same size. And he deferred to my OB for all of my questions. At this point I'm thinking it's not too bad so I'll wait to call the next day so she has a chance to see the u/s report. Went home and checked doppler again. Phew.

On Tuesday morning - at the lovely hour of 6am - I get a call from my dad. My grandmom is in the hospital and isn't doing well - she chose to go on respirator to help with a couple lung issues that she was having. But no need to come up to NJ to see her at that point, but we might need to at some point. OK.

Later in the day I get a call back from the OB and she wants me to see the MFM specialist on Thursday so he can take a look and give his opinion. I asked her if it sounded large to her and she said it is definitely very large and she really can't tell me what is going to happen. They've seen lots of small SCHs and most of them resolve, but she just can't comment on mine. (her whole tone was very negative & annoying) I ask if in the past she's ever seen a positive outcome with such a large SCH. She gave me the run around and then said to wait to talk to the MFM. I ask if it's OK if we need to head up to NJ to see my grandmother and she said that if we have to go that I would need to go to the ER if I started bleeding again. OK - fine.

Another call from my dad - come up to see my grandmother. Ack! So I have to postpone the next u/s to Monday assuming we'd be back in town by then.

By this point I was getting very upset about my grandmother and the OB's comments. When I get home to pack I realize that I've started spotting more (brown). My whole body felt wound up. So I laid down for a bit and got some puppy love. Deep breaths.

We drive up to NJ that night and head over to the hospital after checking into a hotel. My grandmother can't speak because of the respirator but she's alert and acknowledges that we were there. She teared up a bit when we walked in and we spent some time sitting with her. She looked very bloated from the meds and was visibly uncomfortable - apparently hadn't slept in a couple days.

A couple hours later (~1am) the nurse offers to give a mild sedative so she could get some rest. At that point she desperately looked like she needed some rest - and with a squeeze of her hand she confirmed that she wanted the meds. Given that she was going to sleep for the next 4-5 hours we decided to head back to the hotel and get some rest ourselves.

We call in for an update (there was a huge crowd there at all times) and find out that she still hasn't completely woken up and doesn't seen to be very aware. We head over in time to hear the doctor's take on things. She has gone into kidney failure and had a blood infection and a few other issues. He didn't think she was going to pull through. We wait a couple more hours and she still isn't responsive. Every now & then a loud noise would make her eyes flutter.

My dad and his four sisters all decide that this isn't what she wants (spelled out in her living will) and decide to have the respirator removed (along with some morphine to keep her comfortable) in early evening.

This whole time I'm spotting more & more and feeling very crampy. I tried to lay down in the waiting room.

We all spend more time with her and then all come together for a touching service by the hospital chaplain. Everyone was hugging and sharing stories. Our whole family felt so close & loving - all brought together by my wonderful grandmother. We all stayed with her - touching her and telling her how much we loved her until the end.

She has always been incredibly loving and generous. She even bought a condo for my cousin and his 4 kids to live in when he was going through a rough time - despite the fact that he rebelled against most of her beliefs. She was always so positive and had a big open heart and open mind - despite being a very traditional person. She was very young at heart and always brought out the best in people.

I've never really had any troubles in my life so I never needed more than her big hugs. But now I'm really worried about Fish and hoping that she will watch over him. She knew I was PG but didn't know that we were worried about the baby.

My spotting has continued to increase - but it's brown and clotty (no red at all) so I take that as a good sign that the SCH clearing out. Hopefully that will mean that it's smaller on Monday. Fish still had a heartbeat this morning but it was down to 160 (normally up around 175-180) - hopefully normal fluctuations. And I'm just taking it easy until the services on Saturday. It's nice to lay down again at the hotel - I was getting pretty uncomfortable at the hospital.

Strangely I'm feeling much more hopeful now. Partly because I think my grandmother will help somehow and partly that I've had more time to digest the OB's comments. Maybe she just doesn't have experience with this and that is why she couldn't think of a single similar successful PG. Also since then I've read about a few success stories which are very reassuring.

So I'm off to help pull together a photo slideshow for Saturday.

Friday, January 26, 2007

life back to normal (?)

Where to begin. I've been a bad blogger and haven't posted any recent updates. Here was my update that I was going to post last week:

Life is back to normal.

The bleeding/cramping tapered off earlier this week and now I'm barely spotting. So I'm hoping that the SCH has healed. We will get another peek at it on Monday when we go back to the same radiology center for our nuchal translucency scan. I feel much more comfortable seeing them for this scan than the MFM doctor who seemed all doped up. I don't need any measurements to be off for this one.

The doppler (from Dynamic Dopplers) has been a HUGE confidence booster. I listen for Fish almost every morning and it's always such a relief to know that he's still there. I might even donate the rest of my meds to a friend in the next week or two - how's that for confidence.

Aside from having to squeeze my bloated self into work clothes (ugh) I've been feeling pretty good. And is it really possible that my home scale is 15 lbs off from the doctor's scale? Yikes! Better calibrate that again. But I'm eating a lot less now so hopefully I won't pack on too many pounds too soon.

At first I thought that Fish was a boy. We did ICSI...I had low major morning sickness. And for whatever reason I always thought we would have a boy. But then Fish's heartrate has been fairly high (170s) so now I'm wondering if Fish is really a girl.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Guess it's not going to be an easy ride

This past week I was starting to feel a lot more confidant in the pregnancy. I said "pregnant" outloud. I ordered a doppler to listen to Fish's heartbeat. I lurked on regular (non-IF) pregnancy boards. I even ordered thank you gifts for both of my REs. I planned to tell another friend this coming weekend when she was in town. I was starting to come up with a list of possible vacation spots for the spring. I smiled a lot. And then I had a very earth-shaking experience yesterday.

(warning - might be TMI)

Right around noon I felt some wetness in my undies - thought it was just a progesterone suppository leaking or something. About ten minutes later I finally made my way to the bathroom to find my undies & pants completely soaked in bright red blood. Yikes! I went into automatic mode - just need to get out of work. So I snuck back to my desk because I didn't want to explain the giant red crotch to anyone at work. I threw on my long coat on to cover up and headed out to my car.

In the car I called my OB's office - they had just closed for lunch so I said it was a medical emergency to get through to someone. The nurse was very calm and got me an appt only 1/2 hour later at radiology place nearby so I headed over there - starting sob as everything was sinking in. As I waited in the waiting room I could feel the blood continuing to soak my pants and I started to feel nauseous. Finally they took me back to change into a gown - blood was running down my legs and dripping onto the floor - seeing it made me feel hopeless about the situation. After everything that we had gone through to get to that point - I didn't know if I could do it again.

The radiologist was super nice and took a general look around first (ovaries, etc). My heart was pounding. Finally he zoomed in on my ute. And I thought I saw a flicker. I did! Turns out that Fish is still alive - heart is beating (165 bpm) and he's measuring exactly to date (9w5d). He was even moving around like a little gummy bear. OMG.

The radiologist brings in the senior doctor and he shows me a subchorionic bleed close to my cervix - outside of the gestational sac. So the baby is fine for now but my OB would probably want to restrict my activity.

My OB only recommended pelvic rest and no heavy lifting - most of the time these will resolve on their own. But some reading on SCHs it sounds like most people are on bedrest. So I put myself on bedrest for the rest of the week.

Today was much better. Bleeding has slowed down a lot and has started to turn brown (good signs). Also my doppler arrived and I was able to find Fish's heartbeat in about 10 minutes - a relief since I know it's early. It was a bit high though - low 180s. Hopefully he's OK. At least I know he's there.

I'm a bit nervous about possible complications in the future - increased risk of m/c, pre-term labor, and placental abruption (relevant study) - but given that the bleed looked relatively small and was close to my cervix (not further up the ute) I'm hoping that things will work out for the best.

But it's was definitely quite the scare. Off to pull out the doppler again...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

when to tell

DH and I have been debating on when to tell various people about Fish.

When we had our first BFP there were a slew of people on IF message boards and blogland who knew immediately. Along with a few close people in real life who knew we were cycling.

And then after hearing the heartbeat last week we started to spill the beans to immdiate family and some other people who knew that we were going through IVF but didn't know specifics. I still haven't told my parents yet because I'm not really sure how to bring it up on the phone. "Maggie is going to be a big sister" - will they just think that we're adopting another dog? Need to work on that one. I did just tell another groups of friends today - it was very touching.

I'm assuming that we will want to tell more people after our nuchal translucency test in early Feb (~12w). We should also hear the heartbeat via doppler at that point. So I think after that we'll start breaking the news to the rest of our families and friends. And might even talk to my boss about it.

So I guess that's our plan to tell people. I'm sure there are a million ways that people handle that.

The OB visit on Monday (8w3d) was completely uneventful - just a brief consult and a PAP smear. The worst part was the scale - which is soooo far off from our home scale - it's scary. Maybe we need a new scale. I knew there wouldn't be an u/s because they only do those on Wednesdays (LOL!). But we did get signed up for the NT scan in about a month.

I am still feeling a mix of nausea and intense hunger - along with exhaustion and bathroom extremes. But I can only handle a small-medium amount of food at a time - I had a larger lunch today and now I can't move. So I end up eating a little bit of food - but it's ALL day long. Fish might have a new name - tapeworm. So I'm going to up my exercise a bit - more walking with Maggie & starting a prenatal yoga DVD. Hopefully that keeps me from ballooning up too much too soon.

One good thing is that work has been very busy ('tis the season for planning/budgeting) so I haven't had a lot of time to dwell on what ifs. And time has gone by much faster.

I'm hoping to stop PIOs soon - waiting for a call back on that one. Mostly because DH will be out of town soon - going to Vegas for a conference. Poor him. :) But I'm hoping that I won't need to ask someone else to do the shots while he's gone - that seems very complicated.

Anyway, it's been nice to re-enter the world again and feel like we're connecting with family and friends again.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

7w5d - phew!! (2nd u/s)

Unfortunately work got busy this afternoon after I got back and didn't have time to post an update. Sorry! :(

Fish is alive! (pic) And measuring pretty close to age (7w2-3d vs. 7w5d).  So he has made a little progress in the last two weeks - he was 3-4d behind at our 1st u/s. We saw and heard the heartbeat flicker (so cool) as well but the doc didn't give us the heart rate.  He said everything is fine so I assume/hope it's OK.
He doesn't really look like a fish anymore - more like a blob inside a chili pepper.  Unfortunately the dr gave us a copy of a blurry pic - when he was showing us the heartbeat up close it was a very clear image of what was the baby blob and what was the yolk sac. So cool!
Does the gestational sac look weird?  It looks like it filled up the whole inside of my ute.  I didn't think to ask at the time, but is that normal? Most other pics that I've seen are nice round sacs.

And it turns out that the doped-up doc is actually the head of maternal-fetal medicine at our hospital! He seemed much better this time! LOL!

So first OB visit will now be on Monday - 8w3d. I'm still in shock!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

7w4d - Happy New Year!

We had such a great weekend. On Saturday we had about 12 people over for a bowl game. I love cooking & baking so I enjoyed all of the prep. And it was fun to hang out until exhaustion took over. I actually snuck upstairs and took a nap for the second half - guess I'm not the best hostess.

And then Sunday we went over to a friend's house and played games all night. No one even noticed that I wasn't drinking. We laughed & laughed (until I cried) and had a great time catching up with friends.

We talked about the future. We started to look up DH's paternity leave (none) to see how vacation we can squeeze in before August. I might have slipped out a few "WHEN blah blah"s instead of "IF blah blah"s.

Over the whole weekend, my queasy/nauseous feelings grew stronger. Cool. I was sucking down saltines & ginger ale like no one's business. Still felt something growing in the ute.

In the wee hours of New Year's Day my DH and I were both moaning about our upset stomachs. He stayed in bed and I had to rush to the bathroom for imminent puking. Sitting up seemed to help my stomach though and I just sat there wondering why I got the raw deal even though I didn't drink. DH should be in there puking since he got a nice buzz earlier. ;)

But that was the last that I have felt bad. Since then (after sleeping 12 hours) I have felt great! No upset stomach at all. No more bloating - I even fit into my work pants again. No more nasal congestion. No twinges in the ute. My cervix is very low and not sensitive (unlike when I had that first u/s my cervix was very sensitive). I almost feel like going for a run. I am energized and haven't felt this good in a long time. Shit.

I *completely* understand that PG symptoms will come and go. However - it would be nice if they didn't all go away at the same time. The very day before our next ultrasound to check on Fish. Ack!

Friday, December 29, 2006

7w - happy to be sick

I've never been so excited to be sick before. Last night I was worthless when I got home from work - overcome by a mix of exhaustion & queasy stomach & overall yuck feeling. Even this morning I'm feeling it again. So I'm taking all of that as a good sign that Fish is still alive & growing. Positive thoughts, right?

And my stomach is feeling extremely bloated. Maybe from my poor food choices? Too much sodium? It's actually ridiculous - even my fat jeans are tight in the waist. And my ute feels like it's up to something right now - not really crampy but something is going on in there.

In other news we're getting ready for the bowl game tomorrow - we'll be hosting a nice little crowd. For some strange reason I'm excited to be social. Excited to have people over to our house. Even though we're still not telling anyone and I'm sure I'll be tired, I'm still feeling ready to rejoin the world!

Off to research creative non-alcoholic drinks!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

6w6d - limbo land

What is there to say. I guess I'm in speechless limbo land because I don't quite feel PG yet and there really isn't much to do except to wait between appointments.

So our next u/s will be on Jan 3rd - hopefully we'll see a bean & heartbeat then(7w5d). And if that goes well my first OB appt is the following Monday.

I'm still a little anxious because my initial beta was low (indicator of possible m/c - even later) and at that 1st u/s they had a difficult time measuring embryo at first & when they finally did it was ~4d behind. I'm going with late implanter in my mind for now. Which makes sense because most of my frozen embryos didn't go to blast until day 6. But it all still makes me nervous.

Fortunately I've been feeling some symptoms - definitely reassuring:
- very very tired - 10-12 hours of sleep per day
- greasy skin & hair - gross
- sorta queasy stomach / heartburn and last night was the first time I felt truly hang-head-over-sink nauseous
- sore boobs, but not quite as huge as before
- weird feeling in my ute - I'm optimistically visualizing that it's getting bigger for Fish
- my work pants are getting tight - but I really attribute that to all of the recent holiday food plus stress eating over a couple years of IF

And so we wait.