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 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.)