after miscarriage · appointed time · motherhood · pregnancy

First trimester anxieties

Pregnancy after loss.

It is simultaneously a beautiful gift that one desperately wants to appreciate fully (fatigue, nausea, and all)…and a constant juggling of fears that this too will be over before it’s even had a chance to begin.

We have had ultrasounds about every week since 6 weeks, so this current two week stretch between week 9.5 and what will be 11.5 has felt like forever. And the longer it goes, the more I convince myself that something has gone wrong. As of our second ultrasound they’d already made it farther than the last pregnancy…and the third ultrasound at 8.5 weeks got us past where we learned that the last pregnancy had ended. So to see them again a week later…bigger, moving, looking great (per the doctor)…brought so much relief.

But the more people that we tell, as we prepare to send out our Christmas card announcement next week, as we rejoice with family and friends over this double blessing…I can’t help but be so nervous about what we will see (or won’t) on Thursday afternoon.

Even if everything is okay, which odds are at this point that it probably will be…I’ll say that I’m fine and can relax now…but I know that as soon as we leave the appointment and start the next wait between ultrasounds I’ll immediately start worrying that something could still go wrong.

It is really hard to just relax and enjoy being pregnant. And it makes me sad that that’s the reality…because I really wanted to be able to truly enjoy this season.

I love these little ones so deeply. But it’s hard still to acknowledge that they are really there because the fear of loss is still so raw. And that makes me sad too.

I’m ready to be out of the first trimester; not because it’s supposed to have fewer symptoms (though that will be a nice plus) but because it will (hopefully) mark the point at which I can breathe just a little easier (figuratively) about the pregnancy continuing as it should for both our babies.

appointed time · Baby bugs · pregnancy

First ultrasound

We went in for our first ultrasound yesterday.

Babies are measuring right on track (I think, he didn’t say otherwise!!) with good strong heartbeats right around 120 (also normal I think for 6w2d).

Yes. I typed that correctly. BABIES. There are two. It was pretty apparent the second the ultrasound started. TWO very clear separate sacs. Doctor measured each, and we saw/heard each heartbeat though the second one was a little harder to see as it was farther away from the ultrasound wand.

I had a feeling. I was hopeful. But it was so wonderful and surreal to see both on that screen. Baby A and Baby B.

We’re having twins!!! My husband keeps saying, “see, we got our babies back!” I’m really not sure I see it that way (each life is it’s own), but it is a really sweet blessing for this moment after *two* years of infertility and *two* losses to be expecting *two* little ones.

We go back next week for another ultrasound. I’m glad I don’t have to quite wait two weeks, though as it gets closer I’m sure I’m going to get very nervous. But if we make it to the next ultrasound and all is well, they will have already made it one day farther than their ‘sister.’ Small victories, taking this one day and one week at a time.

—-

I did tell the doctor that I’ve been having left sided pelvic pain on and off since the beginning (worse around week 4) but that since all the follicles were on the right I didn’t suspect any ectopic pregnancy. But he looked anyway, and unfortunately I do have a couple rather large cysts on/near/in (?) my left ovary; so he put me on activity restrictions for now. And any activity restrictions at all (no lifting) means I can’t be out doing home visits with patients in case something happens, so I’m off work.

Really hopeful that does not last for more than a few weeks (or just the first trimester); as we were not accounting for me to stop working until at least the third trimester, so finances may get just a little tight. But in the meantime a doctor-mandated break is a very welcome thing; work had become very stressful (which stresses me out in a way to have to leave with no warning), and I’m looking forward to not having to think about it at all for a little while.

appointed time · iui · pregnancy

On BFPs, betas, and baby bug(s)

The test was positive!!

I was going to wait the full two weeks. I really was. But then it got to day 10 and I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I tested. In the evening. Just to get it over with.

And there was a line.

It was faint; but not as faint as I’d have expected the trigger to be at that point given what it looked like when I tested it out before. It was also a darker line than my last first positive at 12 dpo back in February.

And then the next day the line was still there. And still there (yes I tested several times).

And it was still there on day 12, and day 13…and lines continued to darken.

Two weeks after the IUI, my cheap test and a First Response both showed very clear positives. I called the clinic; they had me get my first lab draw.

First beta results at 14 dpIUI: 525

Second beta results today at 16 dpIUI: 1203.

Our ultrasound is scheduled for Wednesday November 6th.

I am excited, grateful…and absolutely terrified of another loss. I know there’s nothing I can do to prevent that from happening if it’s going to…but it’s so hard to be both so unconditionally in love with this little bug (or two lol) and yet to know from experience that it could be so very temporary.

But if this is it; if this is the one that we get to meet…I don’t want to look back on his or her early weeks and only remember being anxious and scared. So I’m trying to just take it one day at a time and be grateful for each day that it looks like things are going the way they are supposed to.

appointed time · baby dancing · iui · trying to conceive

IUI #4

So IUI #3 didn’t work. I really didn’t expect it to between the one egg and husband and I having a fight that evening (and not BD’ing per MD’s instructions); but it still sucked seeing that negative pregnancy test. And then my period was 3 days late again; so it only prolonged the disappointment as each day without AF made me a sliver hopeful that I’d just tested too early. I hadn’t.

We jumped right back in to round 4; I figured if we waited a cycle we’d be starting to get closer to the holidays and wasn’t sure that was a good plan.

Doctor put me on follistim this time. Yowza, that price tag hurt. Going from $17.50 clomid per cycle to $924 for 900 IU of follistim was not enjoyable. Thankfully the medication itself wasn’t too bad; stung a little with injections but minimal (to no?) side effects. And it stimulated a huge follicle on the right with another coming along nicely behind it. Nothing on the left; odd since last month it was the right ovary with the follice…I thought they alternated.

Had the IUI this morning. For some reason, husband’s sperm count was *way* lower this time; doctor estimated between 2-3 million motile sperm in the sample. We were at 10 million(ish) last time. He hasn’t had any significant life changes in the last month, so I don’t know what’s going on.

When I texted him to update him (he’d already left the clinic to head to work); he sent back a simple “Judges 7:2 my love.” I looked it up…

“The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ ”

So here’s hoping that our tiny army of 2-3 million sperm is just what God plans to use to make our baby so that we can tell him/her and the world that it was nothing we did.

Here’s to another two week wait.

appointed time · Infertility · iui · trying to conceive

Another IUI, another two week wait

We had our second IUI on Saturday the 13th.

It went really well. I triggered on Thursday evening, felt a decent amount of right sided cramping Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, and a little bit of left cramping Saturday morning.

We were the only ones there in the morning so hopefully my husband felt a little less awkward doing his job (though I think it still bothers him quite a bit to have to do that and to have people know that’s what he’s doing); and we had a scheduled procedure time which was also such a nice change from before (a first come first served sort of situation).

The doctor actually did an ultrasound prior to the procedure; my lining had thickened up nicely on estrogen and she could see from the existing (smaller) follicles that an egg had already been released on each side (with a third follicle that could still release) that morning. Husband’s sperm counts were good (I think); so we are both really hopeful between that, the first one having been successful, and the knowledge that there’s at least two eggs that could potentially be fertilized. And maybe both will be?!?

I wasn’t even uncomfortable afterwards. I cramped most of the day after the first one and was really grateful to have the day to rest; so I expected the same here. I was pleasantly surprised!

So now we’re back in the two week wait. Essentially halfway done; I can probably test in a week and have the results be pretty accurate as the trigger shot should be out and pregnancy hormones should be detectable if they are present.

It’s different this time; there’s this sense of confidence that it definitely worked and it’s just a matter of waiting to confirm it, but I’m also trying to be realistic and not get my hopes too high in case it didn’t work. Plus I’ve been insanely busy (for me) with work; and we close escrow in a week so I’ve had plenty to keep me occupied without even having to try.

Here’s hoping I’ve got a couple little ones growing and that we get to start filling our new home next spring.

 

appointed time · home · Infertility · iui

Brief update

Things have been busy around here; I haven’t even really had time to think about posting. But for the purposes of this blog/journal space…here’s a quick summary.

1-Currently in IUI cycle 2. My period started Friday, got in to the clinic that afternoon; and apparently everything was clear to go. So I have one more day of Clomid and a monitoring appointment Monday; but given that the maturation process for me even on Clomid was still on the slow side, I don’t anticipate much growth. But regardless, assuming all goes well, we could know by the end of the month if we are pregnant again. I told the doctor we were ordering twins this time; she laughed. (No significant side effects from Clomid noted this time around; maybe some sleep disruption? I’m usually able to fall asleep quickly, especially after a certain point in the night…last few nights it’s been really hard to go to sleep. Small price to pay I guess, there could be worse things!)

2-We are in escrow on our first home (no more apartment life)!!! We are due to close at the end of this month as well…so it’s going to be a busy few weeks. (On the bright side, it will keep me distracted during the wait for the IUI and the wait after the IUI). We are so….everything. Excited and still in a bit of shock (it happened very quickly), feeling the stress of taking on such a big financial burden (and a substantial increase to our monthly expenses), nervous about the responsibilities of maintaining a home, and just relishing the moments of planning what everything should look like and getting to imagine our life in our new home. It’s a three bedroom house; and everything really lined up so beautifully that it really seems that this is exactly where God wants us (I’ll write another post on this whole thing later even though it’s not fertility related)….so maybe this is his way of showing us that we just need to trust in him and that he does have children in store for us. I so desperately want that to be the case.

 

after miscarriage · appointed time · grief and loss · Infertility · pregnancy loss

It’s not just our testimony

I read something last night that was really profound; and at least for the moment has pulled me out of my funk just a little bit.

Found a series of ‘letters’ on a blog while browsing Pinterest and what I discovered in the one written to “my future mom self” was this gem.

“I know you always imagined what an amazing testimony you would have one day, but it wasn’t just for you. It was for your children too. Because of their story, they will never doubt God as their Savior and King.”

That stopped me in my tracks. This journey of struggling to conceive and of now multiple pregnancy losses is only making it more and more evident that any children we may be blessed with are perfectly timed and perfectly planned by God.

And that’s not just for my husband and I to be able to say, “look at God’s faithfulness and goodness in what he did in our lives.” It’s so we can tell our precious children that not only were they wanted and prayed for and that they are loved by us more than they can imagine…but that God in his sovereignty has chosen them and has a very specific purpose for them that involved them coming into the world at the exact time they did.

I guess in light of that it’s a little harder for me to be angry that baby ‘waterbear’ was not that child. I can still be sad, and I still will be for a long time…but I think there’s a little less anger now and I can start rebuilding my trust in God’s faithfulness.

(Disclaimer: obviously God has a purpose for every life. Every child is ordained by him and is equally valuable in his eyes. I’m not discounting that. But it seems that this truth should sink a little deeper and feel a little more tangible for a child who comes after loss and after infertility.)

Link to article: https://www.in-due-time.com/fertility/a-letter-to-my-future-mom-self/

appointed time · baby EL · pregnancy

112

We had our first prenatal ultrasound yesterday.

Baby EL is measuring exactly at 6 weeks, 4 days (as it should be) and we got to see and hear the tiny heart beating at a rate of 112.

And there’s only one. (I’m secretly a little disappointed; I was kinda hoping for twins. I mean, I liked the idea of it…I guess the reality of carrying two and raising two for the price of one would have been a significant challenge. And I can’t be greedy; I’m over the moon that there’s even one; one with a steadily beating heart.

I know there’s still a lot of risks; I know there’s quite a few more weeks to go before it’s “safe,” but I also know that once that heart starts beating the risk drops dramatically. So I breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday and have been just on cloud nine ever since. And it definitely feels a lot more real; even with a lack of any significant symptoms.

We’re having a baby!!

I guess I should probably change my blog tagline. I mean, this is still a journey of trusting. It’s just trusting for something different.  And while it’s still a journey of hope and fear, it’s hoping for new things and fearing new things. Interesting how those emotions don’t go away; they just change.

after miscarriage · appointed time · Infertility · iui · pregnancy · Uncategorized

Updates

My repeat labs a week ago showed an increase in HCG (from 80 to 252 in 3 days!) and a very comfortable progesterone (44.2). My first ultrasound is scheduled at the clinic on March 6th; I’ll be 6 weeks and 3 days.

Symptoms so far have included mild cramping, sore breasts, intermittent fatigue, and a desire to eat constantly. In a twisted way I’m eager to at least have the morning sickness start (though it doesn’t have to stay!) just so I’ll feel more pregnant.

I’ve continued taking tests every couple days just to monitor the lines (I know, I should stop…it won’t do anything either way…but seeing them get darker is just so reassuring). The line yesterday was almost identical to Friday’s line, but I think I’m more on a ‘every 72 hours’ sort of schedule so I’m hoping tomorrow’s test is darker.

At this point, I’m pretty sure that I’ve already made it farther than the first time. I thought I was 5 weeks and change when I miscarried based on my period dates, but given how faint my tests were (and never got any darker all week), I’m beginning to think that the fertilized egg attempted to implant, released a little bit of hormone, and didn’t stick. Just enough to register on a test, but barely. Hence the light tests and the low blood levels the day I started bleeding. I can’t have even been 4 weeks; it must have been a true chemical miscarriage.

So if I’m already at a definite 5 weeks (since I know my ovulation date this time), the embryo has already firmly implanted. So that risk has already gone away. The question now is whether it’s growing. And there’s no way I can know that until next Wednesday. I’m so desperately hoping baby EL measures where it needs to be for 6 weeks and change, and that maybe we’ll even get to see the heartbeat.

I wanted it before; I’ve wanted to be a mom forever. But I want it so much more now that we’ve worked so hard to get here. There’s a deeper attachment to this little one already. I know I’ll be okay even if things don’t go the way we hope…I still trust that God is good and faithful…but it’s going to be so much deeper of a loss since this one feels more real and more sure somehow.

In the meantime, all I can do is try to stay as calm as possible (which work is making difficult…I need to talk to my manager this week and explain my situation so she understands why I’m pushing back on taking certain assignments), eat as healthy as possible, and stay hydrated.

And be grateful for each day that I am still pregnant. We’re at 12 days of knowing. Already 5 days more than last time. So every day is a gift, every week is a new milestone and I’m trying to rest in that.

appointed time · iui · pregnancy

4 days later

I am still pregnant.

It is kinda surreal to write that. After infertility goes on long enough (granted, I know our journey has been short compared to many), it’s hard to imagine what it will feel like to finally get to say that.

My bloodwork on Friday (13 dpiui) showed an hcg level of 80. I repeated a first response test this morning and the test line was the same color as the control, so it seems as though levels are still rising. Each positive and darker test makes me feel a little more sure that at least this one has a chance.

I need to get a doctor to order a repeat hcg (and progesterone!); but it was Friday afternoon when the results posted so nothing has happened yet. I’ll call again in the morning; and probably also will try to contact my OBGYN to set up my first appointment.

I’m trying to take it one day at a time. Even if my levels increase, it doesn’t mean the embryo will continue to develop. Even if it develops, it doesn’t mean it will stick. Even if it sticks, it doesn’t mean something might not still go wrong. But I’m trying to not obsess over the ‘ifs’ and just enjoy the reality now that baby EL (who is the size of a ‘waterbear’) is inside of me.

(EL: first initials of the boy and girl names we’ve chosen.)