Friday, July 30, 2010

Other side of the looking glass

I had the most bizarre experience yesterday: I went to my first obstetric appointment and, while special consideration was given to my advanced maternal age and heightened anxiety about this pregnancy because of the long road I took to get here, overall I was treated just like any other pregnant woman!

It was weird. My OB was very interested in hearing about my IVF path to pregnancy (she knew the clo.mid part, since she prescribed it), but once we got the "how did you get here and what meds are you still taking" part out of the way, she mapped out the major milestones FOR THE REST OF THE PREGNANCY.

People, she wrote dates on paper.

Things like a due date and when I am supposed to stop air travel. And while I was super duper excited to see this all laid out, especially because I am a huge planner and really like to know what comes next, I was worried that doing that jinxed it and that, by the time we walked into the next room and I disrobed it would all be over. So I got vaguely nervous during what should have been just a totally normal conversation. I held it together, but I definitly felt as if I were tempting fate.

But, like many of you very very wise women have said, there is really very little I can do to screw this up, and all of a sudden becoming superstitious is not going to make this any easier nor is it going to actually blow it. So maybe I should just park the superstitious bit for a while. We'll see how that goes!

Once I got to the exam room, I took a deep breath (actually, during the breast exam I took several, since my boobs are SO sore that it hurt a LOT), and I actually believed that the little bean would be there, ok. And guess what? It was. Thinking positively actually did not call forth hail and locusts, but actually just made me feel better.

I think it was because I was treated as if I was a normal, not-batshit-crazy pregnant woman I almost started to believe I was one.

The details? It's 22mm long (actually, it was measured in centimeters this time, so 2.2cm), which is 8w6d by her calculation, and I was 9w0d, so it's pretty much right on target. It has a heartbeat of about 150bpm, and it moved. And the yolk sac was visible this time and looks perfect. Everything, weirdly, is ok. Can I say Yay for moving while I am looking? Because that just makes me so happy.

Of course, I had a brief freakout after I left about why it was measuring a day behind, when last time it was measuring 2 days ahead, but then I said "that's why they say +/- 3 days" to myself and I calmed down. Mostly. After googling CRL measurements and realizing that it was, in fact, ok.

And the best part? I get to go back in a week and see it again! Yippee!! (And yes, this was scheduled before we took our peek yesterday, so it's not because something didn't look right, but because she knows I'm neurotic.)

Wow. I'm still pregnant. And I have an OB. And a plan. (Actually, we have possibilities for the plan, so more on that later.) Wow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

oh for pete's sake

So today I am feeling very insecure about this pregnancy. I have heavy duty cramps (still not quite like my period, but more insistently crampy than previous twinges) and the spillage from my progesterone suppositories was very very slightly tinged beigey-pink last evening. (And yeah, I had to get really really close to the pantiliner to see that it was not pure white. It was as awesome as it sounds.)

But my nausea, which had been on a wee bit of a hiatus is back in full force today, causing several dry heaving attacks, and my boobs are still sore.

But I am insecure about it and again in need of reassurance (please?) and again counting the moments until my appointment (Thursday morning).

My insecurities hit a high point today when, since I was out of snacks and was trolling for food just like everyone else here does someone said "you know, my wife also loved snackwells when she was pregnant."


I'm barely pregnant and this thing could end in heartbreak at any moment so pardon me if I don't announce my barely pregnancy to you who are practically strangers. I mean, just because I didn't drink at a party last week, and wasn't feeling well last week I'm pregnant? wtf???

One woman, who as it turns out is an IVF veteran, saw ginger candies and crackers on my desk last week and called me out, but I am pretty sure that it wasn't her, as she has had several miscarriages and knows too well the risks of the early reveal.

I am SO not ready to be out of the closet (I'm not even at 9 weeks, and I have had no screening tests done), and frankly I think it is inappropriate to even talk about it so early. In fact, it makes me really super duper anxious even writing it down. I guess my plan is to continue denying anything. But MAN is it stressing me out. Because I don't want everyone up in my business when (if) this goes to hell.

Fuck. This is stress I did not need.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You did it!

You sustained me through the crazies, and I cannot thank you all enough. Seriously, without you all providing me both comfort that my symptoms can wax and wane as well as validation that it was ok to be this crazy with anxiety, I might have just curled up into a ball and not gone to the RE out of fear.

But here's the news: I am still pregnant.

The thing is HUGE -- 17.4mm from top to bottom -- that is more than 3x bigger than last time! It's measuring at 8w1d and I am (officially) 7w6d, so it's right on target. And it has arms and legs, and a head with a brain forming inside, and we could SEE it. And we saw its heart beating away really really fast and, best thing ever, we saw it MOVE. No shit it moved and we all saw it. And I pretty much nearly started to cry, which kind of freaked my husband out.

We also got to HEAR the heartbeat. It was really really really fast, and sounded more swooshy than like a grown-up person heartbeat, but there was a regular percussive quality to the swooshiness. The downside? The u/s machines at my RE are not clever enough to be able to measure how fast it is beating, so we had to take her word for it that everything looks really really good.

And so now? Now I have an OB appointment scheduled for next Thursday. Because I really want to know how fast the little thing's heart is beating and I don't want to wait too long.

Ohmygod it MOVED. That was amazing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Here's how I know I am crazy: because every morning I am convinced that this pregnancy is over (or isn't) based on the number of hairs that fall out when I am washing my hair.

In the TMI category, I usually lose a decent amount of hair every morning when I wash and condition. But since pregnant? Pretty much no hair is falling out. So to me, counting the hairs that fall out is a reasonably accurate way to determine whether the pregnancy is still healthy. And so every day I start my day with this and so by about 30 minutes after I wake up I'm totally convinced one way or the other.

So today? 16 hairs fell out. That's more than double the average of 7 from last week. And that is b.a.d.

Now I know that's ridiculous. I know this, but yet I can't keep from counting every morning and comparing it to the days when I knew that the pregnancy was still moving along ok (that would be 2 weeks ago, prior to the u/s).

I have created a whole mystical, quasi-scientific set of reasons that I am not pregnant, and hair loss is one of them.

Other reasons I am convinced that I am not pregnant? Nausea, which was really very bad last week, has been better. About 50% better, so the "oh my god I'm going to vomit right this minute" bad of last week is more of a low grade queasiness and periodic gagging. I ate two normal meals over the weekend, which I had not been able to do for the previous 4 days. So what does that mean to me? That means that my HCG levels are falling, which means doom.

And my last piece of scientific (I like how I throw that around, as if any of this is really "data-based" and not just the ravings of a woman who has lost all touch with reality) evidence is that my TSH test from yesterday was still in normal range -- 1.85 vs. the 1.2 prior to the pregnancy. Now some might consider that good news -- the syn.throid is keeping things under control. But since the Dr had essentially said "pretty much everyone needs to adjust their medication during pregnancy" the fact that I don't have to means to me that there is nothing special going on that is requiring that my thyroid work hard at all.

Oh, and my cramping seems worse. Still no spotting, and still nothing that even feels like I am getting my period, but just more pinging/ stretching/ weirdness from down there.

(On the positive side, boobs have become sore and remained sore. But that is probably just due to all of the progesterone I am taking. So that doesn't count.)

The u/s is tomorrow afternoon (7w6d). I'm never going to make it. Seriously I have completely lost my mind.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I'm terrified.

No good reason -- nothing has changed to lead me to believe that I should feel the shadow of impending doom, but I'm scared. I'm worried that because I told one person that I was pregnant I have doomed everything.

I'm scared that this next u/s will show that the heart has stopped beating. Or if not this one, the one after that. Or that the other myriad tests they run will show something horribly wrong.

And that this will all come crashing down. This little, tiny sand castle of hope that I have built will just get washed away.

I knew how to prepare myself for the heartbreak and sadness of failing IVF. I knew how to hurt and rant and rail and then dust myself off and move ahead. But this? Failure now? I've never been here before and I don't know how to prepare for pain and sadness. So I am terrified.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Keeping the crazies at bay

In my last post, you will note that I promised not to freak out until a week has passed.

You will all be happy to note I have not yet freaked out and I have presently silenced the drumbeat of failure and destruction that I usually listen to in my head.

I have also managed to spend an entire 4 days with my mom and not tell her anything. Even though I kind of wanted to about 100 times. But we made a joint decision collectively not to tell, and so even though the Boy kept saying things like "are you still dry heaving" to me with my mom there, we didn't tell. (And yeah, it's just that romantic around our house.)

I have, however, developed a new set of symptoms:
- hunger. Hunger like I never knew existed. All the time.
- gagging, carsick feeling. Pretty much all the time as well. It's the worst right after I eat, which is weird, since I thought that eating was supposed to help. But no. I pretty much dry heave after every meal. Yum!
- extra sensitive sense of smell. This is becoming a problem, because it's been REALLY hot in New York and it's definitely pretty stinky around here. And that tends to trigger my gag reflex. So going to work on the subway -- it causes me a good deal of fear and results in my hand being permanently over my mouth and nose. People look at me funny, but I'm pretty sure they prefer that to me puking on their shoes.
- boobs are starting to get sore. Not too bad, but a little bit sore. I hope they get bigger, actually, because, well, I've been holding off on buying new bras since I kept hoping I'd be pregnant, and my old ones are kinda stretched out. (I know, it's pathetic that I've been waiting about a year to buy new bras. I just kept thinking "I'm not going to fit into them soon." and so I waited. Fucking IF even screwed up my lingerie purchases.)

I'd like to try to solve the gagging, dry heaving thing by acquiring some of those pregnancy pops, but even though they are sold at a maternity store right around the corner from my office, I'm fairly convinced that going in there will end this pregnancy immediately. I know it's not rational, but I'm afraid to do anything that even appears to the universe to be taking this for granted. So instead I will gag. (Note - I got anxious just now typing "pregnancy pops" so I don't think I can safely buy them on line either.)

But otherwise? Otherwise I'm still unbelievably grateful for where we are now. It is very theoretical and in no way real, and I'm going to keep it that way until much further down the road because I'm pretty scared about things going awry. But for the time being, I'm still carrying around this sense of wonder and amazement.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


All is normal. Everything measures as it should for 5w6d.

There is actually a sac in my uterus (as opposed to somewhere else) so that's good.
There was a clearly identified, albeit blurry fetal pole hanging out on one side. It measures 4.55mm, which is exactly what it is supposed to be right now.
We saw the heart flickering away, but my RE said it was a little too early to register an actual heartbeat. But I saw the flicker and that was cool.

Yolk sac? Yeah, I don't remember anything about that. I was just pretty psyched that the amniotic sac wasn't empty, and I lost focus when I saw the flicker.

What I do know is that my RE said that everything right now looks as it should, and that she's not concerned about the spotting episode from earlier this week. She cautioned us that it's early, but said that she was pretty excited for us.

My husband came with me, and it was pretty fun to have him there, although he couldn't see the little bean as well as I could. And since today went well and our next view isn't for 2 more weeks, then he made me promise to not freak out for at least a week. And so I made that promise, because there is nothing I can do that will change things in any way, and all I can do is eat well, stay hydrated, rest and be diligent about my drugs (prenatal, estrace, progesterone, folgard, baby aspirin). Everything else is out of my hands.

Terrifying, but true. Next scan is July 21, so all I can do is hang on until then.

I'm still amazed at this entire thing. Amazed, happy, and really surprised.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And in further news...

The spotting stopped Sunday. Phew. There were only two bright pink spots and then a bunch of brown, so hopefully it was just an errant progesterone suppository.

I still am light on the symptoms, but here they are:
- acne like a 14 year old (charming)
- compliments on how healthy my hair looks (even from the women who was waxing my eyebrows -- she told me they looked very healthy and luxuriant. It was pretty amusing as she was taking the hair out.) And no hair falling out at all when I brush/ shower.
- crampy pulling feeling from the uterine area.
- constipation. This is not so awesome. I have tried prunes, but since those just caused a prodigious amount of gas when I ate them on vaca (sorry -- TMI) and I am back at work today, I thought I'd hold off. So I am drinking water and eating fruit trying to get things moving.
- gagging/ queasy feelings a couple of times a day
- awful taste in my mouth all the time
- constantly starving, until I feel queasy, and then starving again
- tired. Really tired.
- the thirst. Oh the thirst. All I do is drink and pee.

OK -- that was a longer list than I had expected, but I still think that this whole thing ended already and that tomorrow afternoon I will be shown an empty uterus and told to try again next time. And I can't tell whether I'm making myself nauseated from nerves and over-googling, or whether it is real. Either way, I've given it a 65% chance of being there -- slightly better than even odds, but I'm managing my expectations downwards.

Thank you all for making me feel better about the spotting and cramping, btw. It really helped. Of course it didn't stop me from obsessively googling about this stuff and realizing how many things can go wrong. But it helped me from being a complete wingnut.

26 more hours to find out what's up. This is hard. Still exciting, but hard.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Uh oh.

Tonight is our lastest night of vacation before we head back into the oppressive heat on the East Coast. It's been good -- really nice -- to be away and even better to be able to relax a wee bit and try to enjoy being happy and grateful for actually getting pregnant for the first time ever.

We still have some trouble buying into the idea that it is not all some elaborate ruse, but considering two labs in two cities in two countries gave us positive confirmation, we are forced to confront the fact that it may not be a hoax.

I'm still feeling pretty much nothing. No sore boobs, no change in how they look at all (I ask every time I get undressed, and still nothing). However the cramping is real and I have to be honest it scares me to death even though I know that many women experience it. But if any of you want to tell me that it's ok, I'm all ears.

Here's the specifics -- sometimes it feels like sharper pains in the front middle area (essentially where my uterus is), more on the right than the left, but its definitely all around. Some low back achiness like when I get my period, which is a newer phenomenon.

Teensy eensy bit of spotting two days ago, which is hard to discern given the amount of progesterone I am shoving up into my nether regions. Just a few minutes ago, some darker pink spotting. And so I am starting to get scared that I am losing this.

I was able to get an u/s appointment for Wednesday 7 June with my RE -- I know it's early to see much (5w6d), but I'd like to know something more than I do already.

Mostly, I'd like to fast forward a whole lot of weeks to be just adorably, roundly pregnant. Because this? This is scary. So any confirmation that I am ok would be awesome.