Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2nd Ultrasound - 8 weeks 6 days

We made an appointment with a new OB.  The soonest we could get in was 7/20 so our RE told us to come in today for an ultrasound just to make sure everything was still okay.  We really love our ultrasound lady but some how I have never managed to catch her name, so ultrasound lady it is.  She said she was going to check the ovaries first but she just so happened to swing by the ol' uterus and Baby C was there chillin'!  A quick pause to see a heart beat and a sigh of relief for J and I.  Then, she checked the ovaries and all looked fine there so we swung back by Baby C's place for another look.  The baby was noticeably bigger than last time.  Last time the little one measured 8 mm and this time the growing bean was 22mm!  (25mm is an inch!)  The little heart was still flickering away so we listenend and the ultrasound lady measured the heart beat, last time was 149 bpm and this time was 182 bpm.  We were all amused when the baby made a little wiggle.  So cute.  On the image to the left, the head is to the left, you can barely make out two arm buds and two leg buds and a tale that dimenishes every day. 

The ultrasound lady noticed another small sack, thin and long kind of contouring the left side of the uterus.  She said it was filled with fluid and that she see's this a lot.  She made a note for Dr. O who we met with next.  He said that he wanted to give me one injection of medication for Rh, you can find out more about Rh here.  Dr. O said the medication was very safe and is only a single dose.  Since I haven't experienced any bleeding there are no red flags or scary time frames in which I must take this medication. Crystal, my nurse, just called and said she was going to have it overnighted and to bring in the vial as soon as I receive it so they could administer the injection.   It was great to see our little star today and I can't wait for 7/20 to get here so we can see more growth and perhaps an actual baby shape instead of a um...arrowhead or a turtle?  I kid. 

Some more good news, I get to stop taking my Progesterone in Oil injections on July 7th!  And I have a girls weekend coming up!  We're headed to Buffalo, MI!  I've never been there but couldn't be more excited to escape with my old sorority sisters Kristen, Anna and Denise!  I am so looking forward to this!  Aug 13-15, perfect timing!

One thing I have been worried about...my asthma lately as I have found that since becoming pregnant I have been getting winded a lot more easily.  I researched a little on this and found that this is normal as your heart rate has increased due to the need to pump blood to another human being.  The last couple of days I have been wheezing.  I've had asthma all my life and am used to taking my rescue inhaler but it's a category C which doesn't please me so where i would normally go right for it to relieve the tightness in my chest I do try and wait it out a little now.  My Dr. assured me today that it is fine to take this inhaler and I trust her.  I know that air is essential just as much for the baby as it is for me so that's why Doctors say to use the inhaler-it's better than the alternatives.  Dr. O said today that he thinks it's fine and that a Category C isn't the end of the world.

On other fronts-ACNE.  That evil biyotch is back and with an attitude.  My left cheek is completely broken out and with really sore acne.  I feel like a teen going through puberty.  I thought the medicine I've been on would have caused the worse of it but it has really multiplied over the last week.  :(  Oh well.  I read that acne may indicate that we could be having a girl because of the increased level of hormones.  They also say that women who crave fruit instead of meat will probably have a girl, if this were true I would for sure be having a girl because I can't stand the thought of meat!  For lunch today after the ultrasound I had cheese enchiladas with bean sauce-plain tasting and meat free!  I have to say I am getting bored with plain food but just can't stomach the alternative.

By the way!  Show and tell!  Look where Jamie parked the other day at Best Buy!  He saw the sign and just pulled right in!  It's starting to feel real. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One year ago in my journey with infertility...and 8 week symptoms

Before I give an update I wanted to say that one year ago this week was a very painful part of my infertility journey.  My niece was born.  My brother and his wife found out they were expecting within a month of my PCOS diagnosis.  For 7 more months my infertility journey paralleled their pregnancy which was difficult for me.  While struggling with the impending due date I put unrealistic expectations on myself.  I told myself I would get pregnant by the time my niece was born.  I thought that if I could just get pregnant by this day I would feel happiness on a day that would otherwise be a sad reminder of what we were trying so hard for but couldn't have.  I was blinded by the sadness so much that I couldn't see the joy in it all.  My husbands birthday and Father's day were that same week and those were all the reasons I gave myself to get pregnant -  "What a great birthday gift to my husband that would be..."  "What a memorable Father's Day..."  "My niece's birth won't be so sad if I can just pregnant by then..."  

My brother called me at work on June 22nd and said his wife was in labor...I hung up and went about my day at work.  That night I went to dinner with J and the rest of his family while my family was at the hospital anticipating the arrival of a first grandchild.  I was in denial, acting as though it wasn't happening.  My plans of getting pregnant had not only not worked, but failed miserably, I was just beginning to realize how serious my problems were.   I sat at dinner, my mind was in a totally different place and I remember J's Mom asking me (not knowing about my niece's birth across town) if my sister in law was almost due.  I said something like "She's in labor now."  I couldn't believe I was sitting at dinner acting as though it wasn't happening, I still can't believe it but that's exactly how it happened.  I did go see her the following day.  I made myself go.  I didn't hold her, it was too painful but I went and I went to their home a couple of days later to see her again.  My brother was sad that I wasn't at the hospital when she was born, he asked why but he never held it against me and I think over the following year he started to understand as we struggled even harder to get pregnant.  One year later, my niece is a year old and I love her. 

And one year later...
I was pregnant on my niece's first birthday
I was pregnant for Jamie's birthday
I was pregnant for Father's day 

Everything I wanted so badly one year ago happened.   I know now that I needed to be patient.  Don't give up on your dreams ladies, it can happen and just the way you always imagined...but maybe a little later than you hoped.

I've been nauseous and trying to figure out how to live my day to day life feeling like I am tired and hung over.  In the morning I must have some form of bread right away or I get really sick feeling on my drive to work.  A couple of mornings ago I left feeling a little queasy so I carried some saltines with me in the car.  Various times during the day I start to feel what seems like stomach acid bubbling in my stomach and so I have to find crackers or bread of some sort quickly to make that feeling go away.  Gold fish crackers worked for a week and now I am sick of them, then it was saltines which I can't even look at anymore, English muffins used to work but the thought of an English muffin makes me want to hurl so I am now onto toast.  I keep telling Jamie I've never been so happy to feel so crappy. 

I'm still extremely tired all day, every day.  I told Jamie I didn't know how women have carried on full time jobs with symptoms like these in the past.  I've never put my head down at my desk before the last couple of weeks but I do now.  I am just plain exhausted.  I've been getting home around 5:30 and laying down for a half hour or so and then getting up to help with dinner or whatever I can help with. 

Jamie has been a dream. He's taken such good care of the house and me. Even some of the things around the house I usually do he has taken over. Shoe gathering for instance. We leave our shoes everywhere and every few days I would go around and gather them. He had them stacked going up the stairs yesterday-mine on one side and his on the other. I came home yesterday and the house had been cleaned which was so nice. The kitchen really needed cleaning which he did and that meant so much. I made sure to let him know and I thanked him a few times. I just don't have a ton of energy right now and he has really put forth the effort to make up for my slacking.

Many nights Jamie cooks dinner...he made a great turkey meat loaf  the other night and last night he made turkey burgers...the only problem I have is that a lot of the things we typically make for dinner make me want to gag when I smell them or even hear the word mentioned.  I managed to get down some turkey meatloaf a couple of nights ago but the burps afterwards were so bad I couldn't even think of having a turkey burger the next night.  Last weekend we went to lunch with J's Mom and I ordered what looked to me like the plainest thing on the menu-chicken strips and fries with gravy (not ketchup which I normally love).  Totally not something I would normally order but it tasted so good that I brought the left overs home.   Two hours later I opened the fridge and had to close it quickly while I bent over after smelling the chicken strips I had for lunch.  I asked Jamie to put them in a zip lock because they were making the entire fridge smell.  He was kind enough to do it but he said he couldn't smell anything.  There goes my keen sense of smell again!  I've been making a lot of plain things to eat....cheese quesadillas, grilled cheese and tomato soup, etc.  I get these strong desires for certain foods.  Today I was sitting at my desk minding my own business when the thought of pizza crust with red sauce came to my head.  No cheese or any toppings, crust and red sauce.  I was on a mission people!  I had to find pizza which is hard to do downtown St. Louis for some reason.  I ended up walking 3/4 mile to a pizza joint!  I got there and had my debit card in hand and ordered a plain cheese pizza and their machine was down!  I am not kidding I looked at the lady and said "Oh no, what do I do?"  She was going to give me the pizza but I insisted I would find an ATM which I did and returned quickly.  I ordered my pizza slice, half way nauseous by this time, sat down and peeled the cheese off and had the most glorious crust with red sauce I have ever tasted and walked back to work.  I've been eating some fruit lately - a lot of watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes which has been a nice change from what I was eating the last couple of weeks.  I can't even think of eating a vegetable right now and from what I read that is okay and even common during this time.  The book I am reading said to just eat fruit instead.  Thank goodness for this book because I have been feeling really guilty for neglecting my little star of the nutrients found in veggies.  I love veggies normally, this is really out of character for me.

Last night I got up to pee a total of six times!  I'm not sure why I pee'd so many times...I didn't chug water before bed or anything.  It's hard to fall back to sleep after getting up each time.  My last trip to the bathroom was at 4:30 this morning and I just laid awake after that, finally leaving for work at 6:00.  The difficult part about sleeping is juggling three pillows in bed.  I have one for my head, one for between my legs and one to hold around my chest....when I want to turn over...I have to flip all of my pillows.  I was researching pregnancy pillows yesterday and found one shaped like a U so you don't have to reposition pillows each time you flip over.  Sounds dreamy. Check this lady out!  This pillow had amazing ratings, the only complaint was that you had to have a king size bed because it's so huge!  The reviews said that while the husbands barely have enough room in bed when this pillow being used they like using it too.  Just waiting a few more weeks to order this puppy! 

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Jamie and our lucky coconut after the ultrasound.

Despite all of my worrying the ultrasound/heart scan went wonderfully today.  The ultrasound technician looked at my ovaries first since they had been reported as swollen at transfer.  They look normal now.  She then showed us the sack which looked empty as she measured it.  She zoomed in closer and we saw a little "blob" on the right side of the sack and once she zoomed even closer I saw a flicker which she pointed to...the tiniest most beautiful heartbeat...our little star was  sparkling!  J still couldn't see what we were looking at so she zoomed a bit more and he saw it.  149 beats per minute and the most beautiful sound I've ever heard.  As I laid there and he stood next to me we held hands and squeezed harder at that moment and we both cried.  I will never forget that moment.  I would repeat this entire IVF roller coaster ride again for that one moment.  The ultrasound technician was so nice and smiled with us as we smiled.  She even zoomed in and tried to make a 3D out of our little star!  What is so amazing is seeing the shape, like the tiniest baby doll ever.  I love this baby.

The u/s tech printed pictures for us, we have enough to make a small album!  I was really moved when she typed B_A_B_Y next to the beating heart.  We went back out to the waiting room to wait for the exam which was scheduled next with the Dr.  I looked over the photos while J stepped out to call his Mom.  He came back and just released all of the emotion he had been holding onto for weeks.  I think he internalized a lot of his fears that this would all go wrong.  I have my blog to release my fears but J holds onto his and it comes out in moments like this.  We sat on the waiting room sofa and I think it all set in for him-we are okay and we have a baby on the way.  Yes, it is really happening.  I asked for a hug and I got one eventually, and he released a little more of what he held onto for so long as he laid his head on my shoulder and wrapped his arm around me.  A minute later he took a bag out of his pocket and said "I got this so you would remember today."  It's the most beautiful ring from Swarovski.  I am so lucky to have a thoughtful husband.  He always marks special occasions like these with the most beautiful gifts.  The ring is a solid piece of crystal that wraps all the way around my finger like our little one will be one day.  It's the ring I wanted before our wedding...just a fun cocktail ring.  I will wear it when we go out many times I am sure.

We were called back to the exam room and Dr. O reviewed everything and said it all looks super and then he said our due date is February 2-Ground Hog Day.  He went over some general things to know for pregnancy and then...he did something I totally didn't expect...He released us!  So we need to find a new OB and make an appointment.  It's hard to think that we will be in the mainstream with regular pregnancy people.  I feel fortunate to have made it this far. 

I'm looking ahead with a smile and I am letting the worries about whether or not this pregnancy is viable go.  The Dr. gave me all I need to give myself permission to let go and trust and that's what I am going to do.  I've hesitated about when I would add a pregnancy development gadget on my blog and I think that today is fitting.  I am adding it to the side of my blog today to mark today as the day that I gave up worrying "What if" and started thinking "It's real."

"Today I caught myself smiling for no reason... then I realized I was thinking about you."
- Unknown

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First ultrasound tomorrow-thoughts

I can't believe I am going to work before my 10:40 appointment.  I think I will be pretty worthless.  I am scared.  I know J is scared as well.  I keep imagining being in the ultrasound room waiting...waiting...waiting...to see or hear something.  I am frightened of that silence, that moment between the time the scan starts until they say something. 

A co-worker who is well aware of the process I have been through came to my desk this morning and said "One more day!  How are you feeling?"  I said "scared".  She said "Why?"  implying this was the exciting part.  She has two kids, both naturally conceived.  I know she means well, but she really has no clue what this means.  Two good betas don't equal a heartbeat.  An ultrasound doesn't mean there's a guaranteed baby for me like it may have for her.  I told her that I haven't reached the end of the road in terms of worrying and that won't be for a few more weeks if tomorrow goes well.  I am hopeful but not naive.  I shared a story from a couple of bloggers and she said "Amber, you need to stay away from that blog."  I didn't like this.  No, no...actually I don't and I won't.  Will being naive about the process make things better for me?  Will being ignorant of real life situations of ladies like me make it better?  I like knowing what could lay ahead whether it be good or bad.  I know some would prefer to stick their head in the sand and some women say that blogging is too raw, too real for them and that it scares them.   I can understand that and I think it's each individual woman's decision obviously but I would rather be scared like I am today and will be tomorrow than naive at any point.  I think going into any point of this process naive is scarier than anything I have experienced so far.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend in Review

I am happy to say I had a great weekend with Jamie and Anna.  Jamie was able to see Phish Friday night with his friends while I had yummy Cuban/Mexican cuisine with Anna and caught up.  Saturday Anna worked and Jamie and I slept in until 8:00 or so (yes, that is sleeping in for us) and then we went to go have breakfast.  I try to eat eggs most mornings and Saturday morning I ordered a wrap with eggs, cheese and bacon.  I had a few bites before the bacon made me feel a little nauseated  I didn't think anything of it.  We went shopping and stopped for lunch around 2:00 at Weber Grill Restaurant...it smelled great.  Everything was barbecued on Weber grills.  J and I ordered a small house salad, baked onion soup and an appetizer sampler.   The soup was great, Chicago was chilly so it hit the spot.  I sipped broth mostly and then J and I switched and I had some salad.  The salad had a fire roasted corn vinaigrette...sounds great and I think it would normally have tasted great but the grilled taste of the fire roasted corn made me feel nauseated again.  Then the meat appetizer sampler came out.  I had a bite of steak and a bite of chicken and that's when I realized...I DON'T WANT TO SEE, SMELL OR TASTE ANYTHING GRILLED-especially MEAT!!!!!  So my lunch consisted of onion broth and a couple bites of salad and a roll-fine with me.  We headed back to Anna's for a nap and when I woke up from my nap I felt great until I caught a whiff of the air fresheners she had plugged in her hallway.  I unplugged two of them and sat on the sofa trying to get over the nausea and as I sat on the sofa with Jamie I smelled another one!  I stood up and started sniffing like a hound dog around the living room.  He asked me what I was doing and I told him "I smell another one, I know there's another one."  He laughed.  I found it and unplugged it!  I had collected three!  At first I thought just placing them unplugged on a shelf would be okay-nope.  I could still smell them and I got up and put all three of them in a drawer.  Once I washed my hands I was back to normal!  We wanted to take Anna out for a nice dinner since she was nice enough to give us her bed for the weekend.  We took her to a steak and seafood place we had made reservations at couple weeks ago.  I started thinking about what I would possibly order on the cab ride there-I clearly wasn't going to have ANYTHING grilled.  I ended up ordering shrimp cocktail (a victory as they aren't grilled!) and mashed potatoes.  Classy I know.  I was embarrassed ordering it, like a picky eater but that's what sounded edible.  I did fine and even managed to have part of an amazing crab cake and shared desert with Anna and Jamie.  Oh and the naked bicycle protesters rode by our window side table...hundreds of naked men and women riding Au natural while we had dinner.  It was amusing but disturbing! 

One of the reasons I looked forward to this Chicago visit was the fact that I was going to get a break from my Progesterone in Oil shots that Jamie has lovingly given me in my hip each night and try out suppositories.  My hips could use a break and I know Jamie could as well.  The reason we switched was because Jamie wouldn't be able to give me my injection Friday night as he was at a concert and I didn't think I could give myself an injection through the muscle.  We decided to use the suppositories in place of Saturday night's PIO injection as well since we may not be in a place where Jamie could give it to me.   The nurse told J to make sure I take 3 doses of endometrin a day, 8 hours a part.  I set alarms on my phone and while I was nervous I would mess up the timing it wasn't too bad.  I did find the waxy leakage annoying and was changing pads like crazy.  But perhaps what I found most disturbing was REAL LEAKAGE!  The first time I experienced this I was waiting to use the bathroom while Anna's room mate showered and the pressure was building but it wasn't terrible when I felt liquid running down my leg...I looked down in disbelief! I couldn't stop the leaking!  I was leaking (okay leaking pee) right through a pad and my underwear and COULD NOT STOP IT no matter how much I tried to tighten my muscles!  I was so confused!!!  I won't go into what I did to solve this issue but it wasn't classy, pretty or considered socially acceptable, it was that or....the floor.  The next time was after our nice dinner.  I had used the restroom two times during dinner and made good friends with the bathroom attendant, my bladder was not full after dinner by any means but I sneezed once after dessert and felt a little wetness.  After that while walking to get a cab I looked at Jamie and said "We need a cab quick!  I feel like I am leaking again"  The more I walked the more I worried I would repeat what happened that morning!  We made it back to Anna's and I had wet underwear but at least this time I didn't really dribble!  The only thing I can think that caused these two episodes was that maybe the waxiness of the suppositories coated my ladyville inside and made it harder for things down there to work properly?  I'm not sure but I told Jamie I couldn't wait to get an injection again!  So last night after we got home from Chicago, I leaned over the counter with a smile while receiving my PIO!

We stopped at Ikea on the way home.  I had never been to an ikea and didn't know what to expect.  WOWZA!  Holy crap!  I was so overwhelmed.  We received a map. a pencil and an order form while walking in and we were lost repeatedly this place was so enormous!  We even stopped half way through shopping to have breakfast!  A plate of eggs, hash browns and bacon for $.99!!!!   Our entire breakfast was like $2.00!  We only spent $24 at ikea despite all of the stories I had heard about people leaving with their cars packed.  There were so many great things but most of it wasn't our style so we stuck to kitchen gadgets and decor items rather than furniture, etc. 

All in all a great weekend despite grilled meat and leakage!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Second Beta - 20dp3dt

First the number-3266!!!

I'm still standing by the fact that seven days between betas is torture but waiting to receive your phone call until almost 3:00 in the afternoon on the day of beta is even worse!  I told Jamie last night that for me the second beta is harder than the first because you were able to feel the hope of being pregnant for a week.  My mind wandered a few times to what the future would be like, etc. To possibly have that amazing feeling ripped away after a bad second beta would have killed me because like it or not my hope in this little bean growing inside of me has grown each day. 

Since Jamie received our call from the nurse last week at 10:59 with the beta, we very naively thought that the call would come around that time today.  Once again I gave the Dr.'s office Jamie's phone number because I was too freaked out to answer the call. I called Jamie at 11:30 when I left my work to see if he heard anything, he had not so I headed out his direction for lunch.  We went to Grassi's for lunch, sat mostly in silence while we ate nervously.  Lunch was over at 12:30 so we decided to head to a mall to walk around, that turned into walking the entire mall and sitting in the atrium listening to a pianist until 2:00.  By this time I wanted to scream.  Jamie even called the Dr.'s office and asked for the nurse to call which I always try not to do because I know they will call and I know they are busy and as I explained to him talking to the nurse earlier doesn't change the outcome.  So I felt the need to leave the mall as the pianist was not easing any fears I had.  I took Jamie back to work, dropped him off and came home to lay in bed.  My hip is killing me today for some reason so laying down feels good.

To calm myself today I kept reflecting on the fact that I have felt a lot of pregnancy symptoms this week.  I have been so tired I went to bed at 7:00 one night, I left work early one day and slept and I slept in my car during lunch yesterday.  I have had a gagging sensation in my throat and I feel like I am going to be sick if I don't eat every few hours.  I was lying in bed this afternoon thinking how would I explain all of these symptoms I have been telling Jamie about if the beta number today comes back at like 2!?!

Anyway, I dozed off for a couple of minutes and I heard the garage door close downstairs.  I laid in bed wondering if Jamie was going to come up to bring me good or bad news.  A few minutes went by and I decided to text Jamie to see if he was here, maybe I was just imagining I heard something.  I didn't get a response but I swore I kept hearing things so I walked downstairs and said "Jamie?"  I heard "Hold on Amber."  I rounded the corner to the office and he was on the phone which I figured was a client.  All of a sudden my heart sunk as I figured he had the news by now and I was about to hear it..  And then I got a smile and a thumbs up!  He was on the phone with the nurse at that moment!  We gave each other a five and I cried out of happiness and we both teared up after Jamie hung up. Is this really happening? 

Our very first ultrasound is scheduled on June 17 at 10:40 AM with an exam following at 11:00AM.  Two days before Jamie's birthday we will hopefully see the heart beat of a beautiful little star!  Oh this makes my heart melt, I am so happy and so proud, I just hope things keep progressing wonderfully.  I want this so badly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Waiting for next beta...

One week between betas seems like cruel and unusual punishment. I feel like I am being tortured with this long wait for our second beta! Most women have a couple, maybe a few days between betas, but SEVEN days! SEVEN days??? Come on! So, I sit and obsess. I hope the cramping I am still feeling is a good sign. I’m really tired as well; I hope that is a good sign. I am 18dp3dt today…supposedly exactly 5 weeks pregnant. It just seems odd to think this could really be happening.

I hope that my high first beta number is a good indicator of things to come. After the first beta number I felt pretty good the next couple of days but the fear manages to come back slowly. I wish these feelings of doubt would subside. I do have brief moments where I catch myself thinking positively, but this is rare. I feel like I won’t believe any of this until I see a heart beat.  Hopefully we will get to see one soon.