8 weeks 3 days, heartbeat 172!

We still have a little bub brewing! And baby is right on track with our last ultrasound (7 weeks measured 6 weeks 3 days – 9 weeks measured 8 weeks 3 days). Baby wasn’t sitting in a very photogenic position and wasn’t moving much, just swiping around with hands and fingers.

I’ll be honest, I’ve had to repeat to myself that “everything will be fine, no matter how this goes” as I’m having the hardest time believing this is real (even though I’m still experiencing the “comfort” of nausea). ;)

I will have an appointment with my high-risk OB at 10 weeks, so in a week and a half or so. We will have another ultrasound that day and talk about what’s next. Right now, what’s next is the count down for meds. I have 20 more progesterone injections, 5 more estrogen injections, and about 40 more estradiol pills either by mouth or suppository. It will be nice to move on from this part of our lives.

Today, we had our last scheduled appointment at our fertility clinic. We’ve been going there since 2012 and we finally have met the end of our fertility journey. We look forward to joining the clinic on the celebration days now, hopefully, with two IVF babes in arms. <3

 

 

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Ultrasound updated development: 6 weeks 3 days, 123 bpm

So, we have a baby! Baby measured 6 weeks 3 days instead of 7 weeks. I anticipated this due to how low our first HCG number was, possibly due to late implantation of our frozen embryo. We saw the heartbeat fluttering away at 123 beats per minute. We didn’t get to hear it as they didn’t want to send that much energy toward baby until it is bigger. We have a baby!

Still fighting the nausea, so that’s a great sign. I postponed my meeting with my high-risk OB until later in July. I was scheduled to meet with him next week, which would be 8 weeks by my last period, but since we’re not quiet there yet, I feel more comfortable waiting to have the almost 9 week ultrasound at the fertility clinic, then follow-up with my OB a week and a half later when I’m 10 weeks by our recalculation. It sure seems like a lot of appointments and very early, but it will be nice to have so many opportunities to peek in on baby’s progress over the next month.

We could really use your prayers as we lost Baby Drew, our first pregnancy, right around this time. Drew just stopped growing around 7 weeks. I know that fear is a lie, but the memories are still so close to my heart. Every stage of this pregnancy will be a huge achievement and no day will go unappreciated.

Here’s our first baby photo from yesterday:

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4dp5dt and feeling very “normal”

It’s the first Saturday after our smooth, uneventful Tuesday FET of our final embryo, retrieved and fertilized in March of 2013. I cry just thinking about all the love and prayers sent our way during this final chapter in our IVF story.

Just typing that felt so strange.

Symptoms-wise, really nothing out of the ordinary. I’m out of breath and tired but the progesterone and high estrogen are probably to blame. I had some ache/cramping yesterday and a little the day before, but no twinges or things that I remember feeling before. I don’t really have too much anxiety about any of it actually. Just feeling like it’s another normal day with normal things to do… but then taking a step back on everything so I don’t get stressed. And watching embarrassingly funny movies when I might prefer a good action or suspense movie. And eating lots of beets. Oh, and the shots, shots, shots and more shots. That’s not my normal.

About the shots and protocol, I’m not on prednisone this time like I have been in the past. I am, however, on lovenox through hcg/estrogen rise. And still on baby aspirin. Along with estrace suppositories twice a day, estrogen IM twice a week, and PIO every morning.

Definitely feeling God’s presence through all the prayers for courage and peace in this process. My flipchart this morning even said this, “June 2 – ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’ Philippians 4:6”

Here is embryo #3 and the flower hair tie Toddler J wanted me to wear to meet #3:

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Modified bed rest day 2!

I don’t remember the bed rest part being this boring. I’ve plenty of books, movies, things to do but I’m just tired of sitting. I’m not good at “being still” for very long. 30 minutes tops, really.

So, day 2 is almost done and my awesome parents have been taking care of everything they can, mostly chasing and entertaining the always busy Toddler J. He gave me a hug the morning of the transfer and said “I love you, brother.” Then, after transfer said, “I can’t wait to see my brother.” I asked him how he knew he was going to have a brother and he said, “I just know.” He then informed me that he wants two, a brother and a sister. Asking for the moon and the sky, too!

The transfer was a breeze. Started my 32 oz water intake 15 minutes early just like in the trial transfer, then took the valium, had acupuncture, and just as we walked out the escalator, our embryologist greeted us and brought us back. Perfect timing. Frosty baby embryo #3 was transferred at 11:33am on May 29. #3 was a day five embryo so our embryologist said implantation typically happens between days 5 and 7, so possibly not even until tomorrow. #3 was hatching out already, so I imagine it would be likely to connect sooner than later, but given my history of scar tissue and FET failures, who knows. Just praying this one is super sticky.

Started lovenox this morning and continuing the baby aspirin, vitamins, progesterone in oil (IM every day), estrace suppository (twice a day), and delestrogen (IM twice a week). I had one more subQ hcg shot this morning with the final one in three days. Baseline pregnancy test is 9 days post transfer (Friday, June 8) with final pregnancy test 12 days post transfer (Monday, June 11). If I have a positive, I’ll go in for another intralipid infusion.

Trying to think positive. As of this moment, I am pregnant!

The pill.

So, while this isn’t big news, we are back on the pill over here. Good news is that I made it through 7 months without ANY medication. No hormones. No pills, patches, injections, ultrasounds, blood draws, nothing. Unfortunately, that changed last week because the duration and strength of my periods were less and less, which is not the way we want things to go if we want to avoid surgery and have any chance at building a lining to transfer our final embryo. Good news, again, is that I DID have a cycle of normal length on a regular basis without any medical assistance.

So, good news and less desirable news, but I’d say I already beat the odds of being in pre-menopause by my mid 30’s (because I’m there, dude). If it weren’t for physician error, I would have a functioning lining in my uterus and have a very good chance of a successful pregnancy. No lawsuit or anger will ever change my circumstances in that concern.

At the moment, the medication plan is to follow the pill for one month, then estradiol by mouth in AM and suppository by PM for 28 days, followed by progesterone pills for 7 days, then, repeat the estradiol/progesterone protocol for 2 more months. So, four months of medication and another evaluation to decide any further course of treatment.

I feel surrounded by babies. My heart still aches to have another. I pray that we will, but I’m also enjoying spoiling Toddler J with all my love and snuggles. He amazes us every day… and challenges us, too.

Our family is experiencing other hardships on his side and mine. We are praying for his father and my brother. Praying for healing that surpasses all expectations.

We ask for your prayers right now, for our family and for our own future. We pray for faith in His will and guidance. We also pray for the knowledge, foresight and wisdom of the medical professionals who provide care for us and our family. I find myself taking my health, strength, sight, etc. for granted every day.

Lord, we are ever so grateful. Help us use these gifts to bring the glory to You. Amen.

Finding balance.

Sometimes, I clean. Almost always, I cook. Rarely, I bake. Often, I am in the moment, enjoying and soaking it in. Sometimes, I fall apart. Many times, I take a deep breath and try again, or walk away. More often now, I’m reading scripture. Always, I love, even if I don’t like the behavior, I love the other human beings trying to do their best like me, even if it’s sometimes, almost always, rarely, or often.

Trying to find a balance between my professional goals and my personal life; fun and the desire for home-made meals, cleanliness, tidy rooms, and a well-behaved and happy toddler; wife and mother and daughter and neighbor and friend.

It’s a first for me since quite a while back. I’m finally able to look for a “normal” balance outside of the IVF realm.

In the midst of IVF, there is no balance. While life is going on outside of treatment (family, professionally, globally), that treatment is all-consuming. Medications. Appointments. Complimentary treatments requiring more appointments to aid the medications or relieve symptoms. More medication: needles and pills and suppositories and supplements and patches and more needles… and more pills.

And the hot/cold highs/lows and crashes.

And the tears. The guilt. The loss.

But the toddler, he is proof that all that stuff can work. He is ridiculously intelligent and challenging and I don’t even care if I only think that because I’m his mom – because I’m his MOM. Something I once thought was quite possibly impossible. I’m so thankful.

 

Be still.

Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”


So, I’m doing my best… Bedrest day 1. My clinic required two days back when we transferred baby J, but now they say just one. Since the transfer in March with one day of bedrest did not work, I’m going back to two days (nobody told me to, I just decided it was best to go with what worked before).

Baby J is at daycare and hubby is at work.

By the way, look at the size of that embryo! The others we transferred were never coming out of their shell like this one. The dense part near the bottom center is the baby and the rest will turn into placenta. The transfer was smooth. No need to give time for the bladder to fill and no need to empty any off the top. In the past, I’ve needed just a little more time or was overfull. Guess that repetition has helped me.

Trying to find funny stuff to watch over the next two weeks. If you have any recommendations, please let me know! I’ll watch “Sisters” for sure. Anything else?

Jimmy Fallon is my “go-to” right now. Here’s one for you all:

http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/first-textual-experience-with-sting/3107263

Jimmy is hilarious, but Sting… well, he’s Sting… sooo good. And yes, all I’m doing in bed right now is eating.

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