"Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect.”

Motherhood after Infertility and Parenting a child with ASD


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I can breathe again

Today was the day that I have been counting down to for the last 3 weeks: viability ultrasound day. I honestly don’t think I can properly describe how nervous I have been. My symptoms have been few and far between and I have just been a nervous wreck.

E and I dropped G off at school and then went to Starbucks to waste some time before our appointment. It took everything in me to drink my decaf iced caramel macchiato without throwing up from the nerves. E kept making fun of me because I just couldn’t sit still and in the end we decided to go to the clinic early just in case they could possibly take us early. When we got out of the cars in the parking garage I started to get emotional because the last time we did this it turned out so badly… I didn’t want to go through that again. We walked into the clinic at 8:30 and they took us back at 8:45… what a relief. I had to explain to the ultrasound technician the events that lead up to why I was there and told her that based on my best guess, I was 6w4d. She took out her little date wheel and said “well if I use the dates you’re giving me, I would say you’re about 7 weeks.” Ok great… lets get this show on the road.

This was the same technician that did 2 of my ultrasounds for my miscarriage and she was very cognizant of how nervous I was. Within about 10 seconds of starting the scan she said “well, you’re definitely pregnant and I see a good heartbeat.” I let all the air out that I didn’t know I was holding. She immediately turned on the sound so we could hear the heartbeat and it was such a wonderful sound and measured 145bpm. Then she did her measurements and I am actually measuring at 7w2d with an EDD of 6/12/18. Every time she spoke I was able to take a breath.

She told me everything looked exactly how we would want it to look. I got dressed and then we went into a room to wait to talk to our NP. While we were waiting, my favorite nurse L busts into the room and throws her arms around me. We both started tearing up and she couldn’t stop saying how happy she was for me and how this is such a miracle. I absolutely love her. My NP came in a few minutes later and reiterated everything the ultrasound technician told me and specifically said “this isn’t a ‘wait and see’ type thing like last time. This looks perfect, allow yourself to be happy.” It felt great hearing that even though I know how early it still is.

I go back in 2 weeks for a scan at 9 weeks and then again at 11 weeks. If all continues to look good we will be released to our OB at that time. I am to continue all of my medications for the time being but other than that, nothing to add.

It’s only been 2.5 hours since the appointment ended but I can’t count how many times I have taken a deep breath in and let it out with a happy/amazed sigh. I haven’t been able to do that in I don’t know how long and I will tell you, it feels damn good.

 


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Waiting for something

I am dying for answers, for something to tell me that there is something positive growing inside of me.

My clinic called me last week to tell me that I am still not immune to chicken pox even though I got the vaccines earlier this year. Apparently I am the 1 in 100 in which that happens to, oh well. We just need to be very careful. While we were on the phone I figured I should confirm my ultrasound appointment since there was some uncertainty when it was originally scheduled. Sure enough, there was a conflict on their end and it needed to be moved. Thank goodness I asked about it. They gave me the option to come in early (Friday) or a week later (next Friday). I have been in such a constant state of crazy that there was no way I could wait longer so I choose to go in this Friday with the knowledge that I will only be about 6w4d and it may be too early to see a heartbeat.

Since the spotting incident last Sunday, I have had 2 more. Both were the same; small pink spotting on the toilet paper and it only happened once each time. I did have some very, very light brown spotting for a few hours as well. Each time I am convinced it’s the beginning of the end but it goes away and I am left with the unknown again. Last night I had some stronger than normal cramps and started spiraling down the drain again but drinking some water and laying on my left side got them to subside, I guess I just overdid it.

This is terrifying.

I don’t have many symptoms… my boobs/nipples aren’t sore or sensitive, I’m not bloated, and I don’t have an increased sense of smell. Every once and a while I will feel a little queasy or extra hungry and I have had some dull cramping every now and then but that’s it. Each day seems like it takes forever to go by and while Friday is only 3 days away, it feels like a lifetime!!! I took the day off of work on Friday so whether we get good news or bad I will be free to do as I please which is nice since I haven’t had a day off of work since the D&C and I could really use one.

3 more sleeps. Just 3 more sleeps.


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The fear is real

Pregnancy after infertility is no joke. Pregnancy after infertility and a miscarriage is no joke. It’s a debilitating fear whether you’ve experienced a loss or not and this time is no different.

It’s only been 9 days since finding out I was pregnant after my miscarriage in August. Since then E and I have been riding this weird collar-coaster of being deliriously happy and bottom of the barrel terrified.

Yesterday that fear was kicked up a notch when I experienced some light pink spotting around 6pm. I saw it on the toilet paper and my heart sank. No. My vision went a little blurry and my heart was racing. This wasn’t happening. My previous two pregnancies I never experienced any sort of spotting so my mind obviously went right to the worst. Not to mention that my heart and brain are still dealing with our loss, which occurred less than 2 months ago, seeing any type of blood is just going to send me over the edge.

It was after hours and since it wasn’t bright red and wasn’t a lot I decided to wait until this morning to email my nurses. Going to bed last night and waking up this morning the spotting was gone so I was feeling a little better. I also took another test this morning and the test line was way darker than the control line, so I knew it wasn’t a chemical pregnancy situation. My nurses were very nice and told me that pink spotting is normal with implantation continuing to occur and that I don’t need to come in to get my levels checked again. Since I am only 5 weeks I don’t need a rhogam shot either so for me to just take it easy for the next few days, stay calm, and no heavy lifting.

The whole staying calm thing is way easier said than done. I have a mild panic attack every time I go to the bathroom now, which is often since I am drinking as much water as I can. 14 days till our ultrasound… can’t come soon enough.


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Confirmation

The past two days have been weird. Finding out I am pregnant after my miscarriage and that it happened on our own, after 7 years, is a lot to process. My beta was so strong on Monday that there was no disputing it but there still is the off chance that it’s a terrible number based on what dpo I am. I am trying to think positively since I am quite confident as to when conception occurred.

My number today needed to be at least 662 for me to feel comfortable. That would be exactly 48 hour doubling time.

I woke up this morning at 1:45am with a very full bladder. I made it a full 15 minutes until I couldn’t take it anymore. I was strong yesterday and didn’t test but knew I wouldn’t be able to resist today. 2am only made it a 4 hour hold and the alarm goes off at 5:30 so I had to test then. I am happy to say that the test line is darker than the control line which made going into this morning’s beta a little less stressful. Also, I have been queasy off and on since I woke up so I am hoping this is a good sign.

Waiting for the phone call each time doesn’t get any easier. They give you a window of calling between 1 and 4 and each minute that passed caused me to become more and more nervous. My stomach was a jumping bean and I couldn’t even remotely begin to focus on anything work related.

At 2:08pm the phone rings. Conversation went a little like this:

Nurse: Well, everything looks great!

Me: Ok, what’s my number?

Nurse: 919.8

Me: Are you serious?!?!

Nurse: Yup! When can we get your ultrasound scheduled?

I am so incredibly shocked, happy, and beyond nervous. That’s a 32.55 doubling time!! Ultrasound is tentatively schedule for Halloween morning and it’s a waiting game until then. I called E immediately and he’s finally starting to feel a little bit excited. The next few weeks are going to be a crazy roller coaster of emotions but I am hoping and praying this is our rainbow baby.


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The unexpected

You know those people you hear about who just randomly fall pregnant after years of infertility? How they give you hope that maybe one day you’ll be like them even though when you hear the stories you want to punch them in the throat? Yea…

About 3 hours after posting about my frustration with my clinic/insurance/body I got a call from their business office telling me my IVF was approved!!!!! My heart jumped for joy. My cycle hadn’t started yet and I was so excited that it looked like we were going to be able to do the IVF first followed by the hysteroscopy. It was 3:30 and my clinic turns their phones off at 2:30 on Friday’s. I panicked. What if my cycle started this weekend but I didn’t have my meds?! I immediately emailed my nurses and then called E to tell him the good news. He encouraged me to call the emergency line because we have waited on them long enough… I obliged. The on call nurse actually called my nurses who told her they saw my email and were working on putting everything together. So I wasted her time but whatever, they’ve wasted plenty of mine.

My nurse, L, calls me (she’s my favorite) and she’s thrilled I got the approval. She tells me that if my cycle is in fact that close to starting (I mean I had barely there spotting for 5 days, it was inevitable, right?) that I didn’t have time to wait for my IVF med approval and would have to pay out of pocket and potentially get reimbursed. At this point I didn’t care and said “No problem! I don’t want to miss a cycle because of that.” She called it in to a local pharmacy and told me she was working all weekend so to keep her apprised of my bodily functions.

I was so excited all Friday night that we were going to get our meds on Saturday. We had planned to take G to a local fair and were trying to figure out how we would swing both plus G’s nap and came up with a good plan. As the afternoon and evening progressed though, my spotting went from only there when I did a cervical check to nothing. I was really disappointed and just prayed it would start over the weekend some time. I took a sleeping pill and went to bed that night excited to move on and see what this next chapter has in store for us.

At 5:30 Saturday morning I woke up from the most amazing dream. I was pregnant and so incredibly happy. I laid in bed letting myself wake up a little before my mind started churning; “My spotting stopped. I just had this amazing pregnancy dream. Could it be possible? No way. I probably should check though… I am about to drop $4,000 on medication that I can’t return.” I knew I didn’t have any FRER’s but I had two wondfo’s leftover. I really didn’t think much of it but I peed in a cup, dipped my stick and got back into bed. An hour later, at 6:30am, I got up to get the dogs fed/out before G gets up at 7 and looked at the test. I was already walking to the garbage can to throw it out when I saw a hint of a line. What. The. Fuck. I immediately tossed it and told myself it was an evap line after sitting for an hour.

I took care of the dogs all while my mind is racing. I went back upstairs and woke E up, told him what I saw, and asked him what I should do. He thought I was absolutely crazy but I couldn’t let go of the fact that my spotting was still completely MIA and the dream I had. I decided to use another wondfo and look after the allotted time. There was a faint line right at the 5 minute mark. Now I started to panic. I told him to get G up at 7 and I was going to run to the grocery store to get some FRER’s. I came home, ran upstairs, dipped both a regular FRER and a digital. The second line on the FRER came up almost immediately and kept getting darker. It was a solid line, no squinter there. After an additional 3 minutes the digital came up “+yes”. I stood in my bathroom staring at these tests and thought I was losing my mind. 7 years. We have tried to get pregnant naturally for 7 years and never even got a hint of a line once.

I brought them both downstairs, put them in front of E’s face, and he just shook his head and said “what the fuck.” I had to laugh because I had been saying that in my head for the last hour. I fired up my computer and emailed my nurse… sent her a picture of the tests, told her I was freaking out, and asked her if this was possibly from the last pregnancy. I didn’t think this was possible and was trying to figure out how I could be getting such a strong false positive. She responded almost immediately that since we tested my beta down to negative this would not be from the previous pregnancy. She advised to call the pharmacy, put my meds on hold, and start my progesterone/baby asprin again, and that I need to come into the office Monday morning for a beta to see what’s going on. She ended the email with “When I told you to keep me updated with your bodily functions this is the last thing I expected!” To which I replied; “Yea, you and me both!”

Since last time I was so obsessed with line progression I told myself I wasn’t going to test again. I was going to wait for the beta and go from there. However by 6pm I was still in shock and told E I had to go to the store to buy more tests. I needed another test from a different urine sample to let me know something wasn’t just weird with the morning’s sample. Sunday morning rolled around and I got the same result on a test from a different batch with a completely different urine sample.

My mind has just been running through the last couple weeks. Several good and bad things have happened:

Good:

  • I stopped all caffeine and alcohol 2 weeks ago
  • Completely changed my eating habits in the last 2 weeks and have lost 7 pounds
  • Increased my level of activity (just some additional walking)

Bad:

  • I have taken 4 hot baths in the last two weeks and when I say hot, I mean HOT
  • Every night since the D&C I have taken some sort of medication. In the last two weeks I have taken Unisom every night to help me sleep and 3 muscle relaxers.

I was preparing for IVF… I didn’t in my wildest dreams imagine something like this could happen. I am guessing at when the potential conception occurred (I say potential because I still feel like maybe there is another reason for me to be getting positive tests) and sick with worry at what I could have done based on the last two weeks if I really am pregnant again. I also have zero symptoms. I have had some slight cramping this past week which I attributed to my cycle getting ready to start and that’s it. Even before my BFP in July I had all sorts of symptoms. Now? Absolutely nothing which makes me skeptical and doubting that this could be real. Regardless, I have never wished a weekend to fly by like this one. Monday could not get here fast enough!

I woke up at 4am this morning with my bladder ready to burst. I did my thing, watched the second line begin to appear as the sample was moving across the viewing screen, and then got back into bed. The alarm was going to go off at 5:30 so there was no point in watching the test but it’s definitely the darkest yet and even looks a smidge darker than the control line. I took a heavy sigh of relief as I wanted a solid test going in to get this beta. I need some actual numbers to try and wrap my head around this.

My blood draw this morning was uneventful. Since it’s Columbus day there was no traffic and I got to the clinic 15 minutes early. L brought me back and I told her the whole story over the last couple days since she just got to hear my panic on Saturday morning. She even teared up a few times ❤ The wait for the results was hard. Denial, shock, and uneasiness were all mixed in with the tiny bit of hope and excitement I had.

When the phone rang I had a split second of not wanting to pick it up. I was so nervous. L was chipper as ever and said “guess what? you’re definitely pregnant! Your number is 331.” 331. It took a couple beats for me to let that sink in. 331. That’s the highest first beta I have ever had. Of course it’s all dependent on conception and I am either 14dpo or 23dpo. If I am 14dpo then this number is amazing. If I am 23dpo then it’s not so great. I go back on Wednesday to make sure things are doubling as they should. In the meantime I am to continue on my progesterone and baby asprin and they are calling in my lovenox to start tonight (reason being on that here)

I am in utter shock and I am not sure exactly when that is going to wear off.

 


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Frustration all around

So many things going on related to IF that have me frustrated.

Three weeks ago we made the decision to move forward with IVF. Our insurance does cover it as long as you meet particular criteria, which we do. The original pre-cert came back saying that E needed a third semen analysis because the first showed no sperm and the second one showed sperm. They needed 2 SA’s with the same diagnosis. Ok fine, he already had one scheduled for the following week anyways so we just needed to wait for that. SA came back good, even better than the one he had back in May which was great news.

My Dr’s office took their sweet time getting those results back to our insurance company and an entire week after E had his SA we get a call saying the pre-cert was denied because he has normal sperm. I’m sorry, what? The business office at my Dr’s said they were sorry but it was denied and essentially just said “good luck” and got off the phone. I was so upset and angry that I was practically at a loss for words and was visibly shaking. I called my insurance company to get more information and after being transferred 5 times, finally got the right person on the phone. She said that it was denied because I only had 1 IUI and his sperm was normal…. WHAT?!?! I have had 8 total IUI’s. The woman who I was talking to was shocked and said well, your clinic only sent 1.

Really? Do I have to do everything????? I called my clinic back and by some grace of god they actually picked up the phone and didn’t send it to voicemail. I explained to her what I was just told and she proceeds to tell me that since my other 7 IUI’s were at a different clinic they couldn’t release that info to the insurance company… queue another “WHAT?!” I knew that was total BS but she was adamant. After going back and forth and me questioning what on earth I need to do in order to get the information over to the insurance company, she tells me she is going to check on something and call me back.

An hour later she calls back and says ok, we can send the information but I only see 3 of your previous IUI’s. I literally wanted to throw myself at the wall. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with her going through my records trying to find all the IUI’s. Finally they were all found and she faxed them to my insurance company. It was an entire day event. I called Aetna this morning and confirmed that they received the information but that they would be reviewed in the order it was received. Awesome, who knows how long that is going to take now.

On the flip side, my body is being an asshole. Today is 6 weeks since my D&C. I started spotting this past Sunday and was convinced that my cycle was starting but as of today the spotting has disappeared so I have no idea what’s going on. Since we don’t have the authorization for IVF yet, if my cycle started now I would have to do the hysteroscopy first and there is a good chance we wouldn’t be able to do the IVF this year due to timing issues and their lab closing in December. So I am teetering on the edge of “hurry up and start so we can get the show on the road” and “please hold off until we get the approval” so we can stick with the original plan of IVF retrieval then the hysteroscopy then transfer.

Overall… nothing is solidified yet and everything is up in the air.