Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Inconceivable

Due to lack of time, I haven't been able to document this pregnancy like I did for the last one, so I'm just going to have to summarize the last three months and try to do better going forward.  Let's hope there will be five more months of going forward.  Here's the timeline so far:

March 3-8:  Family vacation in Texas.  Besides visiting tourist sites in San Antonio and Dallas, we also met with a couple of friends, including Cindy (see here), her husband, and two youngest kids!

March 10:  Back in Minnesota, I realize that my period is late.  I had not been alerted to this fact while on vacation because although I expected my period, I just figured I must have miscalculated when to expect the next one.  There could be no other explanation, right?  Wrong.  I went and bought a pregnancy test.  Positive.  One might think I'd be overjoyed to get pregnant without trying after years of infertility and I do hope to get there in time.  But if one knows what recurrent pregnancy loss is like, then one knows why I said A Very Bad Word.


The first item of business was to inform Q, who unfortunately could not be reached by phone at that moment.  So I sent him the following text:  "Turns out it wasn't the Whattaburger that made me feel ill."  This is in reference to the time I felt a little sick after eating a Whattaburger in Texas.  I thought it was just the result of days of eating meals that featured few fruits and veggies and precious little fiber.

Also sent Q this photo, because what man doesn't appreciate getting a message
like this in the middle of an important meeting at work?

After spending years of our lives and tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatment, we had been enjoying the compensatory benefit of saving tens of dollars on contraception for these last few years.  We thought that pregnancy was inconceivable for us and this news is shocking beyond expression.  

After calling my sister and talking to Cindy, I called my doctor.  With my last pregnancy, I had to do a little doctor shopping to find someone willing to prescribe Lovenox from embryo transfer instead of making me wait until week six or seven weeks when a heartbeat could be seen, which is standard practice.  Luckily, no one gave me any crap this time about starting Lovenox right away.  I started about two weeks later than I did with Anastasia, but about two weeks earlier than it would normally be allowed.  Also, I am taking the same vitamins/supplements as before (baby aspirin, folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, prenatal vitamin).   
Shootin' Up!
April 7 - 8, no 9 weeks along
This was my first doctor appointment.  It was supposed to be on April Fool's Day, which was very appropriate because the whole thing still feels like a joke. However, after realizing that prenatal care is no longer covered as "preventive care" under our insurance, I decided to see my regular OB rather than the high-risk clinic at least for now, since there's nothing anyone can do this point if things go wrong.  Might as well save some $$$.




At this point my hope was that either A) everything goes well with this pregnancy and I get to bring home a live baby or B) I miscarry early - the risk at my age is over 20%.  Although I'd obviously prefer scenario A, I feel I could live with either of these.  What terrifies me is the possibility of suffering another late loss.  Having done it twice before does not make me better prepared for this.  More knowledgeable about the process, yes.  But better at doing it?  No.  NO!!  Burying babies is not something one gets better at with practice.

In the ultrasound room, we see that not only is baby alive, but also measuring a full week ahead!  My due date gets changed to November 9 and I am officially nine weeks along.  Nice to have an extra week under my belt that easily.  This means that I successfully produced a mature, viable egg by day 7 of my cycle, a feat I never managed previously even with the aid of powerful drugs.  Also, Q managed to produce sperm capable of going the distance and finding that egg, and this despite his very low testosterone levels.  Inconceivable!

April 24 - almost 12 weeks

Another ultrasound.  Baby is measuring on track.  We did a blood test which extracts fetal cells from my blood to determine the presence of Down Syndrome and other chromosomal defects as well as gender.  The baby is a GIRL and has normal chromosomes!

My survival mechanism so far is denial.  I've been sick and tired in the first trimester, but that hasn't made it seem real.  Also, I thought doing injections again would rather drive home the point that this is happening.  It was a little weird taking up needlework again, but only for a couple of days.  It had been so much a part of my life for so long that it really does seem like a perfectly normal thing to do.



Alas it's midnight and so I'll have to finish later!

Next time:  Annie Argues with Stupid Doctors 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A New Hope

So it appears that improbable things DO happen to me after all.  A full eight years after Q and I were last able to make a baby just with tools we have around the house, I found out that I am pregnant again.  How did this happen, you may wonder?  I'll tell you when you're older.  Seriously, though, I'll write more soon about how Q and I got this shocking news and what has happened between then and now.

Where I am now is 14 weeks along.  What we know so far is that the baby is a girl, she has normal chromosomes, is measuring on track, and the due date in November 9, which is the week of my fortieth birthday.  What we don't have any idea about yet is the state of the umbilical cord.  If you know of my history, you know this is a critical matter.  Until more is known about the condition of the cord, I hardly dare imagine what the future holds.

When I was pregnant with Anastasia, my older two kids were in school, so I had a little discretionary time each day.  I tried to compartmentalize all things pregnancy-related into that time - appointments, finding baby's heartbeat with the doppler, writing this blog, and worrying.  Of course, I was unsuccessful at compartmentalizing the anxiety, but it was nice to have the free time for the other things.

This time I don't have any regular free time for myself and when school gets out in three weeks I'll have to cut back further, and that's really going to hurt.  In the past, I was able to write and read other blogs frequently and thus became part of a community of bloggers.  This time around, I'm simply writing for myself and to update friends and family, as well as for the benefit of anyone who suffers recurrent cord-related losses like mine.

My kids, who are now 12, 10, and nearly 4, know nothing of the pregnancy so far.  One of the most difficult things about our situation is the need to hide the pregnancy until it is far enough along that we feel there is some hope that the baby will live.  We have a high-level ultrasound scheduled at 19 weeks which we hope will yield good enough news that we could tell the kids.  I look back at how fun it was a few years ago to tell them I was pregnant with Anastasia.  But then I also remember when I was pregnant with Miles, who died just days before we were going to tell the kids I was pregnant.  This could go either way.  Not having much free time to think about this is not such a bad thing after all!


? at 11 weeks because the 14 weeks pics are even fuzzier!