Graduation Day

Last Thursday (I know, I have taken forever to update) we had our second ultrasound.  I’ve been feeling extremely nauseous the past few weeks (excellent even though it doesn’t feel so great) and we were feeling positive but not confident going into the appointment.  The nurse practitioner came in to do the ultrasound, which is probably a good sign that the doctor wasn’t too worried, but I’ve never felt totally confident in her abilities.  The ultrasound showed that our little bean is growing perfectly.  I was eight weeks six days, and the bean measured eight weeks five days (I guess two days above or below is fine), and the heartbeat was strong and fast – 170!  (Maybe a little girl??)  And the best part?  It wiggled it’s little bum while we were watching.  =)  So, we were released from the RE’s office, and will now see my OB/GYN exclusively.  Yay!  The doctor and nurses all came out to congratulate us and tell us how much they’d been rooting for us after our long and hard journey.  It was really touching, and they were all so genuinely emotional about it.  The nurse practitioner offered us a book – Expecting 411, asking if we already had it from one of the previous pregnancies.  We didn’t, which I guess makes it clear how little they had believed those would work out.

We’ve taken our first pregnancy belly pictures and are slowly starting to tell people.  It still feels like we’re going to jinx it!  I’ve told a few of the key people at school so that we can begin planning the rest of my graduate school career around our little babe.  I so hope that this is it.  There’s still so much at so many points along the way that could go wrong.  I also reached out to the friend who had seemed so cold about our losses, and she said that at her first ultrasound they couldn’t find her baby’s heartbeat, and that for the week that they had to wait to look again, she understood a little bit of what we felt.  We are only seven weeks apart in our pregnancies.

We are getting so excited, although it still feels very surreal.  We’ve even started to talk cloth diaper brands.  =)  Tomorrow is our first appointment with the OB for family history and genetic testing.  We’re on our way!

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Third Time’s the Charm?

I am only 11 days past ovulation, but this morning I sneakily took a pregnancy test. I had kept telling Michelle that no, I wouldn’t take one before the blood test (scheduled at 12 dpo), so I was looking for the negative and planning how I would hide the evidence when it was done.

But it says I’m pregnant.

I feel more excited and optimistic than I did from the start last time, maybe because we did everything so differently with the Femara, frozen sperm, and IUI. We’re cautiously optimistic, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that we’ve been here before. And been burned.

I’ll let you know about the blood test results tomorrow!

Six Weeks and Counting

It’s been awhile.  I’d like to say that we haven’t been thinking about trying to conceive over the last month, but it’s never far from our minds.  Christmas was difficult for us both.  We had planned to tell my family about the pregnancy over the holidays, and the reality of our situation put a huge damper on the festivities, to say the least.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting my first post-d&c period, as that was the first marker for when we’ll be able to try again.  We’ve decided to do IUI with frozen donor sperm this next round, a decision we didn’t come to lightly, but we’re desperate to change things up in the hopes that we’ll have a different outcome.  But, that means there’s no chance this time to go against the RE’s suggestion of waiting two cycles.  The next try will be right around the due date for our first pregnancy. This will be an interesting month, as it will be the first time in nearly two years that I will watch my ovulation come and go, with no hopes of becoming pregnant.

So, period one, check.  We’re six weeks and counting.

D(&C) Day

I had the D&C on Tuesday.  We went in to meet with the doctor at 9am, and were informed that the surgery probably wouldn’t be until late afternoon or evening.  So we went home to wait for the call.  We both wanted to just keep busy, not think about what was going to be happening and why.  Michelle worked on building our fence, and I cleaned the house.  The doctor called at 1:30 and asked us to come in to the surgery department right away.  We rushed out, registered, were shown to a room, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, at 5:30, they were ready for me to go.

Last time was much more pleasant, if you can call it that; we got rushed right in in the morning, and the anesthesiologist had me out before I ever got to the operating room.  This time, they got me to the operating room, and we had to wait for the anesthesiologist.  So, I’m laying there, under the lights, while the nurses prep the bed with poles and loops that I know are for my legs.  We were waiting there just long enough for me to really freak out.

When it was all over, and I was coming out of the anesthesia, I cried.  I of course want to be pregnant and to have a baby, but I am scared to go through this again.  The first time, we had no thoughts of things possibly going wrong, the second we had thoughts but still felt like things would be different.  We painted the nursery and bought baby clothes for god’s sake.  How can we move forward and put ourselves out there again?  The “work-up” that the doctor was talking about will be $1500 if it isn’t covered by insurance, and we still may learn nothing.  There may be nothing to reassure us or to give us hope for the next time around.  How do you continue to hope for the best when all you’ve experienced is the worst?

Starting Over Yet Again

Our ultrasound appointment yesterday brought us the news we expected, but really hoped we wouldn’t hear.  Our little peanut had no heartbeat and hadn’t grown since the ultrasound last week.  So now we’re having to decide where to go from here.  Do I have another D&C?  Or wait for the natural miscarriage this time?  I’m going out of town the day after tomorrow to see my brother while he’s stationed semi-nearby (as opposed to the opposite side of the continent), so the D&C would have to be tomorrow or next week – right before Christmas.  But on the other hand, a “natural” miscarriage would involve continuous monitoring by the doctor, hearing how my levels are dropping, etc.  The constant reminder does not sound fun to me.

We also have to decide on what testing we want to have done, since we now qualify for “the full workup”.  Testing for clotting disorders, immune issues, chromosomal abnormalities, etc.  And do we want them to try to test the baby if I go in for a D&C?  I know it’s only like 5mm big, but it seems kind of awful to imagine it being poked and prodded.  And what would it really tell us?  My inclination is to think that maybe it’s my immune system attacking the fetus, because my brother got Type 1 Diabetes from his immune system attacking his pancreas.  But, the doctor thought that if that had been the case, we would have had normal ultrasounds and an unexpected miscarriage. I don’t know… Is it better to not know or find out nothing is wrong?  I found a statistic that said maybe half of recurrent miscarriage can be explained.  Is it worth the gamble?  Let alone the cost?

I texted my sister yesterday after we heard the news, since she and I have this shared tragedy in our lives.  She hadn’t told anyone, but she had miscarried a second time last week.  The doctor has told us that it is still pretty normal to have a couple miscarriages in a row, but that what is odd is that I am still young (27).  My sister is 23.  Really?  How can it be that in our family, between the two of us, we have had 4 miscarriages in the last 6 months.  That data seems awfully concentrated for recurrent miscarriage to be happening to only 1 in 100 people.   That’s not even considering the odds of having infertility issues (which we both have) in combination.  After this miscarriage, we have something like 75% chance of a successful next pregnancy (after the 15% chance or whatever of even conceiving). And the percentages just go down from there.  If we miscarry again, it’s down to 65%.  The odds feel so stacked against us.

Michelle seems to be taking this the worst.  I think she continued to hope, while I was accepting the worst over the last few weeks.  I feel so awful that I can’t give her a baby.  The doctor telling us that it is strange to experience this when I’m this age makes me feel like such a failure.  I should be able to do this!  This is what women were created to do.  Propagate the species and all.  I don’t know what we’re going to try next.  I can’t imagine putting ourselves in the position of another possible repeat.

More Questions Than Answers

Yesterday’s ultrasound raised more questions than answers.  The doctor measured the heartbeat at 112bpm (it should be around 125), but measured the baby at only 6 weeks 2 days.  I was at 7 weeks 3 days, and this measurement was only one day more than the last time.  Not reassuring.  He explained that it is a possibility that the baby was pointed away from us, therefore making it difficult to get an accurate crown-to-rump measurement, but I’ve never heard that as an explanation before.  And believe me, we’ve been Googling this stuff nearly non-stop.  I guess I’m taking it as a positive that we’ve now passed the point that we miscarried last time, but it’s a very small positive amidst all of the negatives.

Saturday we were in a rush to do all of the “happy” things that we may not have wanted to do after the ultrasound, so we got our Christmas tree up and finished painting the nursery.  We’ve had baby furniture in there for almost a year (we got a really great deal from a friend), and with this pregnancy we finally decided on how we would like to have it painted – cream and tan stripes.  We got the tape up before the first ultrasound, and there was no way I was living with blue tape on the walls until maybe the next pregnancy someday, so we finished it.  It’s beautiful… just what we had imagined, and it’s breaking my heart a little bit.  Here’s what it looks like so far:

nursery photo

Last week after the ultrasound, we were feeling sad and heartbroken, thinking that it was just a matter of time.  This week, I think we are more frustrated than anything.  Why don’t the doctors know more about this?  Why can’t he explain the reason this lack of growth has happened twice now?  He told us, “At least if you miscarry again, you’ll get the full work-up”.  Great, that makes me feel SO much better.  All he really had to say was that it’s alive for now, we needed to wait and see, and come back in another week.

Family Ties

I’m feeling guilty. I spent last weekend in such a deep depression, feeling the unfairness of the world, and on Tuesday my sister told everyone that she had lost the baby (again on Facebook). I felt such a huge sense of relief for a moment, a feeling that things were back in their place, before I thought of how awful miscarrying was for me, and definitely not something I should be wishing on my family. Then the guilt set in.

I ended up texting my sister, telling her about my miscarriage (she hadn’t known before; we aren’t really close), and offering to talk if she needed or wanted to. I thought of how I felt like no one could understand, and how people don’t know that their comments can cut even when they don’t mean to, and I’m glad that I could offer her some understanding. And you know what? We have bonded over it a bit. She told me she loved me, and I think that was the first time she ever has. I’ll still be upset if she gets pregnant again before me, but at least I was able to be here for her through this.

As far as our try, we are waiting it out. We spoke with a lawyer last week and have started the paperwork for our donor agreement and we gave our donor the plethora of paperwork needed for our clinic to let us do IUI with him. It may still take some time to get everything in place, but we are taking steps in the right direction.