Monday, April 27, 2009

No "thinking" this time!

As a follow-up to my last post, yes, that afternoon I told my nurse that I didn't want to see that doctor anymore. I'm a very easy patient, but, you know what, I want better answers and don't want to waste my precious ultrasounds with someone who isn't going to be comprehensive.

Now, onto today's ultrasound. I am delighted to be able to announce that, as soon as the doctor found the sac, there it was, the most beautiful little flutter I've ever seen!!! And then she switched to audio. I've never heard anything as glorious as that sound!! Seriously, never.

No thinking. No maybes. No I'm not sure's. Everything was conclusive and obvious!

126.5 bpm (beats per minute). Nice and strong! No mistaking that with my heartbeat!

After almost 4 years, opinions at 4 different clinics, cycling at 2 clinics, 8 IVF attempts, 3 IUI's, an ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage, and the ultimate decision to use donor eggs, it is almost hard to believe that there is a real, live baby growing inside of me.

Almost, lol!!!! That heartbeat made me a believer!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How annoying is the word "think"?

This morning's ultrasound was done by a doctor that I don't particularly like in the practice. There is definitely a nice gestational sac and yolk sac. He "thinks" he saw a fetal pole and, if so, it's measuring 5weeks 6 days, which makes sense (by the calendar I'm 6w1d, but, with my slow start, I think this makes sense). He "thinks" he saw a heartbeat (you could clearly see the flashing on screen), but, he "thinks" it might be my heartbeat and not the baby's. He measured my heart rate against the one he was seeing and they were very similar. He told my my heart was beating really fast - think I might be a little anxious, huh?!

Honestly, he can take his "thinking" and shove it where the sun don't shine.....

OK, I know that sounds harsh, but, this goes back a long way. He was on morning duty the entire week of my Fall '07 miscarriage, so, I had to see him multiple times and, even then, while he's a nice man, I just never felt like he was overly thorough. And that feeling was magnified today. Maybe if he spent a little more time looking, he might be able to prove or disprove what he "thinks". Remember, I have the benefit of having had at least 20 different RE's "in me" (as Glenn likes to put it), so, I have plenty to compare him against and, frankly, he doesn't measure up.

My beta. It has gone up to 9916. So, the doubling continues to slow down (as some believe it should), and, while this is the highest beta I've ever had, and I'm really, really happy about that, I secretely wish it was a little bit higher (although, I swear, I'm not stressing it too much!).

I'm feeling pretty emotionally raw today. I don't want anyone to think that I've given up hope, because I absolutely haven't! I truly know that this can still turn out wonderfully and what happened today isn't necessarily bad at all. It's just all feeling a little too deja vu-ey to me, when they kept bringing me back looking for a heartbeat that never materialized. And, it's magnified by the fact that two years ago yesterday was my due date from IVF #1, the one that resulted in an ectopic pregnancy.

So, we still wait. Next ultrasound is Monday......hopefully we'll see someone who "knows" rather than "thinks"!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Doubling slowing down

Yes, my beta is still doubling, but, it has steadily been slowing down:

So, the logical part of me says that this is OK. While we all look for doubling in the 48 hour time frame, really, it's 48-72 hours and this is still well within that range.

But, the broken part of me...the person who has had so much pain and devastation from this process, is scared in ways I can't even put into words. I've never had betas that doubled this well, but, the slowing down, well, that I've seen before and it led to something awful.

Now, I should also report that my ultrasound this morning was good. They definitely saw a gestational sac and a yolk sac. No heartbeat yet, but, we all know it's still a little early for that. They're bringing me back on Thursday for another ultrasound where we should see a heartbeat. If I'd had a beta rise like the others, honestly, I'd be fine until Thursday. Now, well, now it's going to be torture.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In the shadows

Sorry I didn't update on Friday! We had our ultrasound and, unfortunately, there isn't really much to report. I have four pretty sizable fibroids that cast huge shadows and make it difficult to get a good visual inside certain parts of my uterus. It has always been very difficult to see my right ovary, for example. It happened to be my wonderful doctor who was doing monitoring on Friday and he must have spent 10 minutes trying different angles to get a good picture but was unsuccessful. The good news is that he thinks he saw something and he thinks it looks good, but, he just couldn't be sure. And, he also looked and didn't see anything in my tubes, so, that's good news, too!

I half-jokingly, half-nervously said, "you're not going to make me wait a whole week before I come back, are you?" and he chuckled and said he could never do that to me. So, I'm going back tomorrow (Monday). He feels that just a couple days of growth could really make imaging much better. So, we'll see what happens tomorrow!

But, the great news is that my beta continues to rise appropriately! We were looking for a beta on Friday of 1500 and it was 1987. So, according to the numbers, all still looks good!

Hopefully the ultrasound tomorrow will match that great news! I'm honestly feeling OK about it. I wish we had a clear image, like we did when I was pregnant from IVF #4 (because that one implanted in a part of my uterus not impacted by the shadows). But, the fact that he thinks he saw what should be there in the very grainy views we get because of the shadows and my rising numbers were enough to give me some peace of mind.....until tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pregnant still she is

Not sure why I wrote that title in Yoda-talk, but, that's the way my hands typed it.....

But, yes, as proclaimed in good Yoda fashion, my 3rd beta was good! Based on doubling, we were looking for it to be at least 348 and it was 579! Yahoo!

The only unexpected thing is that they found that my thyroid level was slightly elevated. As of my last full blood panel, it was fine, but, I did some research last night and found that they can start to elevate as early as 4 weeks pregnant. Elevated thyroid numbers are linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. Now, before anyone worries about me, my level is only very slightly elevated. The general consensus is that anything under 3.0 is OK for pregnant women. My clinic is slightly more conservative, using 2.5 as their marker. Mine was a whopping 3.1. But, I'm so glad I go to a clinic that is diligent!! So, I started on a very low dose of Synthroid today and, hopefully, that should do the trick.

Next stop - ultrasound on Friday!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

I feel so blessed right now

I am truly overwhelmed by the incredible levels of support and encouragement from people who read this blog, from people on the nest, from my wonderful friends, from my family, from my husband (who, when he says anything to the baby, I feel a tingle go through my body) and, well, from everyone who knows our story! The comments on here and the emails I have received over the last couple of days have been nothing short of amazing!! I cannot believe how many people are praying for us and waiting for the next set of results.

Which leads me to today's beta:

Beta #1 at 11dp3dt = 33 (Wednesday)
Beta #2 at 13dp3dt = 87 (Today)

Yea!! For those who don't know, they look for your beta to double every 48-72 hours, but, we really want them to double in 48 hours. Mine doubled in 34 hours! This is the first time my beta has ever actually done what it's supposed to do and doubled within the appropriate time frame!

Because the numbers are still on the low side, they're bringing me back on Tuesday for a 3rd beta. Fine with me!!

I still have some irrational fears of problems (well, with what we've been through, maybe they're not really so irrational), but, as of today, I am pregnant and everything is progressing as it should and, for that, I feel so incredibly blessed!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

You can be "just a little pregnant", despite what they say

Sorry I'm posting so late, but, I needed to let some regular readers (Mom and Aunt Shelly) know first as I didn't want them to read this here!

I am pregnant!! But, well, I'm just a little pregnant. At 11dp3dt (11 days past a 3 day embryo transfer, for those of you who don't speak infertile) my clinic likes to see your beta above a 50.

My beta today is 33.

Honestly, this could go either way. We'll know more on Friday, when we see how much my beta has gone up (or, well, gone down....).

I had a really tough weekend. I am a serial POASer (pee on a stick-er, again for the non-infertile speakers) and they were negative all weekend. That, coupled with the lack of any physical symptoms and I was pretty convinced that this didn't work. Until yesterday.

I FINALLY tested positive yesterday! And, based on that, based on when I got a positive digital test and knowing the level of hormone necessary for a digital to register positive, I expected a beta today between 25 and 35, so, the fact that it's at the top of that range, honestly, I'm feeling OK!

Today is a very special day for the Jewish faith. Not only is the celebration of Passover beginning tonight, but, today is Birkat Hachama, or, The Blessing of the Sun. It only happens once every 28 years and recognizes our belief that, today, the sun is at the same point as it was when G-d created the world. This feels very symbolic to me. If G-d give us this child, he will be creating a whole new world for us - a world we've waited a long time to be part of (ok, not 28 years, but, it feels like it sometimes!). And, for someone who was dreading the seder tonight, expecting a negative pregnancy test, this is something I can wrap my hope and my faith around!

So, for now, we'll revel in the fact that, as we sit with our family at our seder table tonight and tomorrow night, we'll do so knowing that there is life growing inside of me!!

I'll let you know what Friday's repeat beta shows...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homonymic Phrase, i.e., will it ever mean anything different to me?!

hom-o-nym - a word the same as another in sound and spelling but different in meaning

It's funny how a word or phrase can mean something completely different, depending on your experiences.

If you don't know a lot of pregnant women, you might not realize that some women like to take frequent pictures, weekly, monthly, etc... of their full profile, to chronicle their pregnancy. And, as you may remember, many like to share those pictures!

So, I was reading a post this morning on a message board, written by someone who is pregnant with #2. She was saying that she can't believe how different this pregnancy is from her first and that, in this one, she's only done two belly shots, when she'd done so many more in her first pregnancy.

I swear, as I read that, I thought, "hmmm, I thought she had fairly easy pregnancies. I didn't know she had to take shots for anything." It probably took me a good 20 seconds before I realized she was referring to pictures of her growing tummy!

Sadly, the term "belly shots" has such a different meaning to me....