Friday, July 27, 2012

welcome weaning? not sure

First of all, I know. I know, I know, I know. The placenta takes over. By about 10 weeks, it's all placenta all the time.

Still. I am experiencing weaning worries.

Probably not entirely rational.

On Monday, after the ultrasound, I got a call from the U.S. RE congratulating us on the great u/s and the continuing pregnancy. I tried to ask him questions about weaning and he referred me back to the nursing staff. I decided not to be a door mat and just voice what my concern was. He still was quick to get me off the phone, but tried to answer my question. He seemed very sure in saying that ovaries don't do anything once the placenta takes over.

That's also what my research on the subject has led me to believe, but when one has ovaries that cannot be visualized on an u/s and have never put out any amount of estrogen or progesterone, one has to be 100% sure of this. There's another life at stake now.

The nurse phoned later on in the day. She said that she wanted me to stop my PIO the next day and start prometrium. I balked. At 7w1d? Are you kidding me? When I expressed my discomfort, she showed a willingness to negotiate. While she asks me to trust the treatment team, she also wants me to be comfortable with the steps taken. She mentioned that most women want to get off the injections as soon as is possible, and so that's why the transition to vaginal progesterone happens now in their protocol. I said I had no problem at all with sticking a 1.5" needle in my ass every night (and two on some nights) for as long as it takes. So, I bought myself another week of PIO. Weird on this brings me greater peace of mind.

I am waiting to receive the weaning schedule, but our nurse said that I would be off all medications by August 15. That will be week 10, when it's all placenta all the time.

Dr. RE, our local doctor, wanted to make sure that was well handled, because of what happened last time. We established that the m/c didn' happen because of a lack of progesterone, since I was due to completely wean the day of the u/s of doom. It's hard to have one doc who says we should be cautious and one doc who says you're just like everyone else.

Maybe I am just like everyone else, or other women who go through DE. But the fear is that my complete failure in having a working reproductive system is somehow going to affect the pregnancy. It's not that crazy to think that, really, since we are talking about reproduction. On the other hand, we aren't talking about reproduction anymore (that happened in the lab already), but talking about gestation. And perhaps gestation really is all placenta all the time.

I am thanking my lucky starts that Dr. RE went ahead and booked me for an u/s at 9w. SG did not order another u/s and so I would not have had one until 12w or so through my family physician. That would have meant getting through many weeks of FEAR and ANXIETY without any reassurance (ok, the constant nausea helps to remind me of what's going on).

On a much sadder note, my heart breaks for Jay who just found out yesterday that her little one did not make it. Please go send her some love if you'd like.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Turns out I haven't been nauseous for nothing. There is a little gummy bear* (more like a gummy worm at this point, really) with a beating heart in there. There being my uterus. Still hard to believe, but the evidence cannot be ignored. While I calculated that I was 7w0d, the wee one measured 7w3d. Although the internet tools told me the due date (if there is one) will be on March 11, Dr. RE said it would be March 6. The day Mr. A and I got married. Oat's birthday. A very wonderful day indeed.

There was a lovely young doc who was set up to do the u/s, but they couldn't find my chart. Turns out Dr. RE had snatched it up, since you know, he wanted to do the u/s himself. And then our nurse walked into the room for another reason, and ended up tagging out the nurse on duty. She too wanted to be there. The young doc ended up performing the u/s and, although young, not too green to keep silent. She voiced in the first 20 seconds that she found the heartbeat. Dr. RE said he couldn't see any collection of blood (no SCH - thank the lord), and he commented that the lining looked good. I checked in at the end with the young doc just to make sure there was nothing concerning that she saw, and she said there was absolutely nothing concerning. At this stage it all looks like it should.

Dr. RE, not surprisingly, was incredibly thoughtful in planning for the next steps. He wasn't sure whether SG would order a repeat u/s, but he remembered well the timing of the fetal demise last time (9w). He said we would be booked for another u/s on August 7. I love this man so much.

It's early days, women. There are still many, many mileposts to cross. But you can't get to those mileposts without crossing this one. So today, I'm just going to be happy we've gotten this far. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. It feels so steadying to be supported by our great medical teams and you, amazing friends.

*I'm trying to think of something else to call this growing bean in my belly, but so far, that's all I've got.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the wilderness or 6w2d

I decided it was prudent to pee on a stick again yesterday morning. Why? I'm not sure. I just had some leftover from the July 5th stash and wanted to just see that plus sign appear. Well, I'm apparently very pregnant because there was no waiting for a line to appear. It seemed that as a response to my tomfoolery, the cosmic giggle came down on me and I barfed out most of my breakfast (the uneaten portion still in the bowl on my kitchen table). Dude, the universe said, YOU'RE PREGNANT!

Ok, I get it, says the girl currently nibbling on dry rice cake bits (I recommend the lunberg plain salted).

I feel like pregnancy is a sort of deep wilderness. One is certainly a visitor in a strange land. Getting through the day is a goal that repeats each morning, necessitating the right combination and timing of hydration, carb intake, and walking. The nausea is serious, and I am managing it. Although I am a little apprehensive when I read that it is most intense from weeks 7 to 12. Ladies, I think I'm in for a ride.

I had some spotting last Thursday. Nothing of any significance, either in colour or in volume. It did sweep me up and drop me into the land of tears for a few minutes, and then I grabbed hold of myself. I've known all along that spotting/bleeding was likely, and that it doesn't necessarily mean anything.

The ultrasound is booked for next Monday, July 23rd. We'll get to see if this gummy bear has a heartbeat.

I really enjoyed reading all your comments from my last post, and felt like all of a sudden, I had an arsenal to defend against the attack of FEAR and ANXIETY. I've actually started to write down all the strategies you've suggested on a list. I plan on carrying it around for the moments when I need immediate assistance.

I still don't know how this story ends, but it helps me to hold on to the words "we're having this baby." I've even started to integrate the fact of being pregnant into my dreams, which is much different than last time. I met with my beloved supervisor this week, and she said that I was making space for this baby and that it was my work right now. I think she's right.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

very early days

Here I am, 5w2d into this pregnancy. How long will it last? I hope 35 more weeks. I won't get to decide, but I can still register my preference.

This is a twilight zone of sorts. It's not entirely real yet, and that's a normal feeling I believe. I've had some lines on a 2 pee sticks and a couple numbers - good ones at that - to confirm that I am currently pregnant. I also get to have pregnancy symptoms, which by golly, is a real nice bonus. Yet in a general sense, this is all still more theoretical than it is real.

I know, there is also a huge alcatraz-thick wall of protection around my heart about this (and other things, let's be honest). After I saw the lines on the POAS last Thursday, I walked into our bedroom to tell Mr. A who was just waking up. He reacted gleefully to the happy news. Yet, we clearly were much more muted than we were when we saw those lines in April 2011. I don't think we're any less happy than we were last time, I just think we are way more cognizant of the distance between a positive pregnancy test and a baby. It's lovely that many couples can just get wildly excited when they first get the news and start acting right away like they're having a baby, but that's not us. That's not any of us here in this community. We know in exquisite, excruciating detail all the ways in which what is given can be taken away. [On that note, I was devastated to find out that our lovely nurse Louisa's baby is no longer growing and living. I am so sorry, dear woman].

I've noticed that the fears and the relentless anxiety make really strong bids for my attention. Like the other day, I opened my 'word of the day' on dictionary-dot-com and the word was ectopic. Anxiety had a FIELD DAY with that. I kid you not.

Clearly, I need a plan for putting FEAR and ANXIETY in their place. Those two will run this whole show without me, and before I know it, I will have killed my embryo with repeated surges of cortisol.

Strategies I've been using with some success:

1) Misfit reminded me that this embryo's gotta want it, gotta do it of its own design. Somehow, and perhaps because it's coming from her, that helps me take myself out of the equation for a few minutes and reminds me that I have no control. If I have no control, then I can just keep doing what I'm doing, hope for the best outcome and chillax.

2) Whenever I feel something in the lower abdominal region, I take it as an opportunity to tell myself: "Oh look, you're having UES (Uterus Expanding Sensations - pronounced 'ewes' for the added imagery of mama sheep nestling their lambs). For some reason, saying to myself that I'm having UES is much less alarming than saying to myself that I'm having cramps. Cramps recalls menstruation, wherein one sheds blood. Why would I want to think of that right now.

3) I tell myself "we're having this baby." I realize that this may not be the truth in the end, but right now, I just need to hear myself say it, in a fake it till you make it sort of way. It helps me focus on the best possible outcome,redirecting my thoughts away from the doom and gloom scenarios, and towards how I'd like this to end. That is, delivering this healthy baby in March after a complete gestation.

If you've got other things to suggest that have helped you cope with this early stage of uncertainty, I'm all eyes. But even if you've got nothing, I love all your comments, so please just say hello.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beta the second

Second beta is 4090 - doubling time is somewhere between 40.7 and 43.5 hours.

I think I'm pregnant.


No more betas for now. The ultrasound will be booked for 2 weeks from today or tomorrow, July 23 or 24. I will be holding my breath for that, to be sure. And thereafter. As you know, even a heartbeat does not mean you get to have a baby. But it often does. I'm holding on to that.

Lots of thoughts and feelings to share, but this is where I'll stop for today. I need to try and get work done (ha!).

Thank you for your encouragements. You have been amazing, dear women.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Beta the first

It's in. Mr A took the phone call while I was at work. Please excuse his lack of precision; he is just not as interested in those details as we might be here in the blogosphere.

So the beta is twelve hundred something. (at 13dp5dt)

So I don't know if that's too high. Jay kinda made me worried with the risk associated with high betas early on.

I go back on Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Monday, July 2, 2012

gratitude, reassurance, hope and peeing

Women, you are amazing. You encourage me, put up with my whining, and wipe my tears. The comments you left me on my last post (or the emails) lifted my spirits greatly. I'm not sure what dark pit of utter despair I would reside in without your constant, loving presence in my life.

My funk turned shortly after I wrote my last post. First because it helped me tremendously to write about it. Second, because your amazing comments made me feel much better. Third, because I tried to eat my lunch and had to stop partway and put it away. I thought I might hurl. IF has given me such drawn-out, from here-to-forever time periods in hell, that it's kind of surprising to snap back from a downward spiral (an intense one at that) in such a short time.

I am cautious in interpreting it, but in all honesty, I have been feeling reliably nauseous and queasy everyday since Friday. I doubt myself and keep wondering if I'm making it up. I know that my brain could create this: I've seen a few patients with conversion disorder and I know that symptoms can be experienced as real even though they are not organic (although one would need a sort of blindness of their internal/emotional world to have that, and this doesn't fit me very well). I am feeling encouraged by these symptoms, reassured even, but I won't know for sure until I know.

While I don't want to make too much out of it, it seems that my nausea/queasiness has helped me let hope back into my heart. It really has, and I think that's ok. Preventing hope is not going to make the blow any softer if it didn't work. But for the days until then, allowing hope will make me feel lighter. 

On the subject of POAS, here's where I stand, respectfully acknowledging that mine isn't the best approach, just the one that feels most comfortable to me. I know that I could have started testing last Friday, but I was afraid of getting an equivocal answer. It felt easier for me to wait than to get a maybe yes/maybe no. Last time, we tested on beta day. Our reasoning was that we didn't want to first hear the news from the nurse. Positive or negative, I was pretty sure I would be loosing my shit either way, so why torture myself by adding the need to remain socially appropriate on the phone.

So for those who've asked, yes, I will start to pee on things this week. Given the logic above, it would be Friday morning, beta day, but there is a small hitch to that. I have to be at work that morning for a family therapy session, and it's already been rescheduled once because of my absence. If I test on Friday morning and it's no go, then I might be wallowing. So testing has been moved to Thursday, either am or pm. Please register your vote in the comment section for your preferred time.