Wow, I've really dropped off the face of the blog earth! It hasn't been intentional...more that I'm not really sure what to say about things at this point. Thankfully everything has been going well and these days I am kind of on auto pilot. I am about 17 1/2 weeks and experiencing the "boring" pregnancy we were hoping and praying for after the ovarian torsion and emergency surgery eight weeks ago. The baby has looked good on ultrasound and is measuring where it should be. My ovary has also FINALLY gone back to a more human size. I was pretty miserable with morning sickness up until about 14 weeks so I am very much enjoying not feeling rotten all the time. Slowly we are starting the process of planning for actually having this little one in our lives. We've begun searching for child care as I will go back to work full time after 12 weeks of maternity leave. That has been an interesting and terrifying endeavor so far. It somehow seems wrong to be inquiring about care for a child that weighs maybe 1/2 pound right now and won't even be born for five more months. However, our friends with kids encouraged us to start looking sooner than later and we've encountered one or two places with waiting lists for November. We have started kicking around some ideas for names but haven't put any real effort or serious thought into it quite yet. At our 20 week u/s we will most likely find out the gender so I think we will bide our time until then. Part of me feels that after almost eight years trying to get to this point and all of the disappointments and lost chances there just isn't a name special or all-encompassing enough to fit our child. Clearly I'm putting too much pressure on myself. Husband is fond of vetoing but not of suggesting so I will be the one with the books and websites. I'm sensing some lists in our future. That's about all for now. It is gratifying to see a little more snow melting each day. Spring must be right around the corner. :)
Monday, January 28, 2008
I had my post-op appointment on 1/24. Our doctor was able to pick up the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler right away. Husband and I were both very relieved to hear the sound. I must say it is pretty incredible what you can hear so early on (just a little over ten weeks at the time). The heart rate was 176 which seemed high to me. Doctor said he was fine with it given that it is the first trimester. That is the highest it has been so far. Trying not to be concerned, but hoping it will be more in the “normal” range the next time we get to hear it. My stomach also got measured, which completely floored me! 10 cm so I guess it corresponds correctly. I lost a little weight from being in the hospital but I still considered my abdominal situation to be more about lack of sit ups (for several months!) than about baby growth or distended bowels as the case may be. I literally thought to myself “he’s measuring my fat!” Pretty surreal. Hopefully things will remain calm for a while now. We have another appointment on 2/8, with an ultrasound to check my ovary size and hopefully the baby, too. I still have to say I’m not sure I really believe that there is an honest to goodness baby in there. I just can’t get my head around it. Is anyone else looking forward to spring as much as I am? I was given a bulb garden as a “get well” gift and I have three yellow flowers blooming so far. It makes me look forward to warmer weather that much more!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Thought I would post an update on some recent events. I should start by saying that we believe the baby is fine. An appointment tomorrow with my OB will hopefully confirm this. Starting early Thursday morning I began having severe pain in my back/flank area. Pain to the point of nausea. The OB on call told me to go to the ER and by the time we got there the pain had subsided. The ER doctor ordered an ultrasound of the baby, my kidneys, gallbladder, etc. Baby looked fine and they didn't see anything out of the ordinary with the rest of my organs. Foremost in my mind was my greatly enlarged right ovary (from the IVF), which measured even a few cm larger on this ultrasound than it had before. There was some fluid in my abdomen, most likely from large cysts also on the ovary. I was sent home with Tylenol 3 and something for nausea. The pain came back that evening and husband and I were back in the ER a few hours later. This time it didn't quit and only increased in intensity. I was given IV narcotics, which didn't help much. They admitted me. When my OB saw me he immediately suspected an ovarian torsion. He ordered a doppler ultrasound, which showed blood flow and ruled out surgery. He didn't want to expose the baby to anesthesia, etc., when he wasn't sure he would find anything. After a sleepless and very painful night, my doctor decided he couldn't leave me the way I was and I was taken into surgery early Saturday afternoon. Sure enough, he found that my right ovary had twisted on itself. The blood flow they had seen on the ultrasound was either intermittent or just a little was making it through. He also drained the three largest cysts. I woke up infinitely more comfortable than I had been in days. I am still scared that this could happen again, but I am hoping that the cysts being gone will help stabilize the ovary. My doctor also said he has never had a torsion recur after surgery before. My fingers are crossed that this will hold for me. Today is my first day back at work. I am looking forward to my appointment tomorrow and hopefully hearing a strong heartbeat. I am 10 weeks, 1 day today, and this little one has been through a lot already. Life definitely can throw some curve balls.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
So it has been a while since my last post. It's tough to know what to say at this stage of the game. Most days I find myself in a bit of a mental battle with myself over believing that we could have a good outcome with this pregnancy. When I get to feeling this way, I feel guilty about posting it here because I know I should simply conisder myself lucky to have made it this far. If this were my first pregnancy, that would probably be a lot easier to do. Instead my mind favors the "guilty until proven innocent" or "don't get your hopes up" approach. I don't want to out myself as a gloom and doom-er, but I guess I just did. I wonder when it will get easier. We had our first OB appointment last Friday and my wonderful doctor was very congratulatory. No u/s, but I guess everything "feels" as it should. The nurse asked me strange and, in my opinion, exceedingly premature questions such as: where are you planning to deliver? and will you breast or bottle feed? Huh? I am just trying to get from one day to the next and hopefully make it to the somewhat safe haven of the 12th week here. Delivery locations and feeding methods aren't even close to being on my radar screen yet. Since I didn't think "I'm infertile, back off" would be a welcome answer, I made up something more normal sounding, with the caveat of "although I haven't really thought about it" tacked on at the end. Up until a few days ago my stomach was feeling pretty rough. As much as I didn't enjoy feeling that way, I am a little uncertain about now feeling somewhat better. I'm even wrestling with calling my OB's office and pleading my case as a recurrent miscarry-er in the hopes that they will take pity and schedule me for an ultrasound. I think IVF pregnancies should automatically come with scans about every other week to soothe wraught nerves. If my minimal google searching can be believed, morning sickness does seem to come and go for a lot of women. No other signs of worry have presented themselves so the battle wages on. Things are fine...no they're not...YES they are. Time will tell, but in the meantime I will keep telling myself to breathe.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Today was ultrasound day. When the picture first came up on the screen, both husband and I thought all hope was lost. We couldn't make out much. I don't know what we were expecting to see, exactly, but in my mind it wasn't so fuzzy. RE started pointing things out and we slowly began to realize that indeed, things looked fine. I even managed to see a tiny little wiggly heartbeat all on my own. Unbelievable. Despite the fuzzy image, we seem to have the right size gestational sac, yolk sac, and fetal pole, with aforementioned heartbeat at 159 bpm. The baby is measuring 7 weeks, 3 days and today I consider myself 7 weeks 4 days. I'm not sure which one to go by now. I've heard that the early ultrasounds are the most reliable way to date a pregnancy, but RE only measured once so I don't know about margin for error, etc. All in all we are very relieved and mostly in a state of disbelief. We know there is a LONG way to go. Our first OB appointment is a week from today. The other thing the u/s showed is that my right ovary is still in a scary size range. The left one has gone down, but the workhorse on the right is being stubborn. I am to avoid any and all activities that could "break" it so more laying low is in my future. I also learned that I am likely the highest E2 my RE has ever triggered. How I managed to avoid OHSS/symptoms is beyond any of us. I just got the call about my progesterone, which is still greater than 60. No more shots for us! Whew!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
...and all seems well as far as we know. We are in a bit of a no man's land as far as this pregnancy goes. Our next ultrasound is one week from tomorrow and in the meantime it is what my RE called "auto pilot." I've never been on auto pilot before where a pregnancy was concerned. I have always been the blood draw/monitoring/scary spotting/impending doom type in the past. Not quite sure what to do with myself during the waiting other than to try to keep at bay thoughts of bad things. In my line of work I have access to ultrasound and I know a few techs who would be happy to take a look for me...as one was kind enough to do right before my last ectopic was diagnosed. It is difficult to sit quietly and not plead for a favor right now. However, I know the most prudent thing to do is wait (I hate the "w" word) until January 4th and let the RE see what he sees. Husband is adamant about this, too. At least the holidays have kept me somewhat occupied. We were with my family over Christmas, 16 of us in total, at my parents' house. Save my youngest sister, no one is any the wiser about our situation. I'm starting to feel rather yucky rather frequently, but thankfully nothing obvious while we were there. At my last appointment my acupuncturist told me that in her experience a high progesterone level tends to mask some of the early pg symptoms. I'm crossing my fingers that this is the case for me. I'm not a puker at all - it has been close to 13 years (I keep track) since I last threw up - so I'm also hoping this helps predispose me to NOT getting sick in that way. Food is a little iffy right now. Sugar doesn't appeal to me and I have a major sweet tooth. I passed on all manner of Christmas goodies. I guess these are the things in which I am strangely taking comfort in the absence of any concrete evidence that things are progressing as we hope they are. One day at a time. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! Happy new year in advance!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Our first ultrasound appointment was yesterday. RE was very frank about the fact that we "wouldn't see much" this early (about 5 weeks 1 day). We were really just there to make sure our embryo hadn't gone for a swim up one of my tubes. Yes folks, IVF isn't a sure fire remedy to avoid ectopic pregnancy. Thankfully we saw a gestational sac right in the middle of my uterus. It apparently contained the beginnings of a yolk sac, etc. RE didn't spend too much time on it other than to measure it and tell us that it looks to be an appropriate size. He spent much more time on my ovaries which are still large - the size of cheap grapefruit or expensive oranges according to him - and some free fluid adjacent to one of them. We were told it could take another month for them to shrink down again. They drew a progesterone level and I am waiting to hear the results and further instructions for shots. RE thinks my ovaries are probably cranking out quite a bit of progesterone on their own so we may be getting a shot reprieve sooner than later. Our next ultrasound is scheduled for 1/4/08, which seems like a lifetime away. At that point if we are lucky enough to see a heartbeat we will be released to our OB. As of now I am feeling fine...maybe a little queasy here and there but nothing that really gets my attention. The staff at RE's office was smiley and congratulatory toward us and while we appreciated the sentiment, husband and I are realists and battle worn skeptics so we are uncomfortable with unbridled happiness or excitement at this point. I'm sure (if things continue to progress) it will take a good long while before we can let ourselves feel positive emotions about this pregnancy. However, we definitely feel fortunate to have gotten to this milestone, and more than a few sighs of relief were breathed and thankful prayers were said when our appointment was over.
***update: my progesterone was greater than 60 so we are to cut back on the shots to every other day. Yay!