Grounded

I’m seven weeks pregnant, and have been home on bed rest for the past two weeks since I started spotting. On Wednesday they switched me to PIO injections to try to slow down the spotting. Everything was going okay, until Thursday. I’d been feeling a little crampy all morning, but assumed my stomach was just working on digestion due to all the extra progesterone in my system slowing things down.

Suddenly, our dogs started barking furiously and it almost sounded like someone was trying to get into the back of our house. Of course, I was home alone and so I panicked. I stood up from my nest of pillows on the couch, and started walking toward the back door. That’s when I felt a huge gush of fluid come out. One visit to the bathroom confirmed it was dark, red blood. I was super scared, and started shaking. (Of course, no one was trying to break in, it was the wind…those little turkeys had gotten me all riled up for nothing.)

My heart was racing as I tried to call Chris. He was in meetings and wasn’t checking his phone. I left him a message telling him what was going on, and asked him to come home as soon as possible. Then, I phoned the clinic. One talk with my nurse, and I wasn’t feeling reassured. I could tell my symptoms didn’t sound good. She asked me to come in that afternoon. I texted Chris the time of our appointment, and hoped he’d make it in time to go with me.

My husband is my hero. Chris made it home with time to spare. We made our way to the appointment downtown. I could tell he was freaked out.

When we checked in at the clinic, our nurse came out and met me in the waiting room. “Have you ever had a miscarriage?” She asked me.

I explained that I never had been pregnant before, but at our last clinic we’d had a failed IVF cycle. We knew she was thinking the worst. As she walked away, I started crying in the waiting room. A pregnant couple came in glowing. She was six weeks and complaining about nausea. I was so envious of her in that moment. Then, a nurse walked in with her baby. Chris and I couldn’t even look at her. The pregnant couple were oohing and ahhing over the baby. It was way too much.

Finally, we got called back into the ultrasound room. Our doctor came in confidently, and said we were his fourth case of bleeding that day, and it was probably nothing. Then, he started searching for Casper on the ultrasound. And searching. And searching. Nothing. I was ready to hear those words no one ever wants to hear.

To our surprise, at last we saw a little flicker in the center of the screen. He was there! Our doctor let out a huge sigh of relief. “Did you see that?” he said, “Your baby is a ninja! He was hiding on the ultrasound!”

For the first time we got to actually listen to Casper’s heartbeat via the Doppler. It was one of the coolest sounds I’ve ever heard. His fetal heart rate is 149 and he’s measuring 1.36cm from crown to rump, which puts us a little ahead of schedule. His estimated due date is now June 4, 2016. He’s doing really well, and we are so freaking happy to see that.

After looking for a while with the ultrasound, our doctor identified the cause of bleeding. Apparently, I have uterine tissue that grows into my uterine muscle. He said this is pretty common and he didn’t see this as being a problem or a threat to the pregnancy. He said I’d probably continue to bleed for a few weeks. Doc assured me that even though the symptoms seem dire, not to associate what I see with a miscarriage. That being said, I’ll have to continue with daily shots of progesterone for awhile since I’m bleeding.

Our RE gave me a hug before he left the room. I think he was relieved too. Our ninja baby gave everyone a huge scare. The second he left the room, Chris burst into tears. He couldn’t even speak he was so emotional. Finally he was able to get out that Casper is grounded…for the next eight months. I agreed wholeheartedly. Casper, we love you, and we already know you’re going to be a little spitfire. Just like your Mommy and Daddy.

Hanging in there

I’ll be seven weeks tomorrow. I’ve been spotting for a week and a half. It’s pretty light and I’m not cramping. I’m starting to feel like I’m driving my doctor’s office crazy with the constant emails and questions. 

At first, they were assuring me that spotting is normal and to just keep my blood pressure down and do a modified bedrest. I bugged them again today, and they said to stay on complete bedrest until the spotting stops. They are also switching me from lozenges to progesterone in oil injections daily. I’ll keep doing the Endometrin suppositories, but now only twice a day. Of course, I’ll continue the Estrogen injections every three days. I’m a little bummed that they’re changing my medication, because I just got it refilled and I spent over $700 on stuff I won’t be using now. However, we’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep our baby safe. There’s no price on that. 

My next ultrasound is a week from today. I am literally counting the days. It cannot get here fast enough. Not knowing if he’s okay is pretty darn hard. I’m just going to assume he is doing great in order to keep myself sane. 

A Little Scare

I haven’t really felt any symptoms of pregnancy since Friday. This is weird because I’d been consistently nauseated prior to Saturday. On Sunday, I was using the restroom and noticed a pinkish tinge on the toilet paper after going potty. Of course, I freaked out and called Chris in to have a look (I’m aware of how weird this is, don’t worry). 

For the next couple of hours, I probably went to the bathroom 10 times to check and make sure everything was okay. It never got super dark, but was noticibly there for most of the afternoon. I emailed our clinic and asked them if there was anything I could do. Since it was Sunday, obviously no one responded. 

Then I started googling my symptoms. Let’s just be clear–this is NEVER a good idea. I texted my sister-in-law, Andrea, and my friend Krystal looking for reassurance, but I’d already started to spin out. My mind can seriously be my worst enemy. I’ve been working on my anxiety for the past couple of years, but I’m realizing I’m still a serious worry wart. When I get a bad idea planted in my mind it sits there spinning on repeat at all hours of the day. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking the worst. I woke Chris up at about 3 AM to talk about it, that’s how anxious I had gotten.

Chris reorganized his whole day today (Monday) so that we could go into the clinic and figure things out. My ultrasound was originally scheduled for Tuesday, so we figured moving it up a day for peace of mind was probably a good idea. 

It turned out to be the best thing possible that we went in today. For starters, Casper is alive and kicking. Praise the Lord! We got to see his heartbeat for a few seconds on the screen, which was miraculous beyond words. Our doctor is super conservative, and didn’t want the ultrasound in there for too long, since it’s still so early. It was such a joy to see him for even just a few seconds.  

Casper is the size of an orange seed!

 
Doc said I have a little bit of fluid in my uterus, but it’s not a major concern. However, he said any hint of blood is the body’s way of telling us we need to chill out and take it easy. He said the next two weeks are critical for Casper’s development, and we need my body to be as relaxed and low stress as possible. So, he ordered that I take a two week leave from work.

At first, this really freaked me out. I’ve never talked about my profession on my blog, but I’m a teacher and I seriously love my job. I’m super attached to my students, and the idea of being away from them for two weeks was a little more than I could handle at first. I called my boss and explained that I was dealing with a physical challenge, and I’d need to be away. She was absolutely great about it. I spent the afternoon getting together my sub plans for the next week, and reminding myself my students will be just fine without me for a bit. 

So here’s to two weeks of rest, relaxation, and a full-term, healthy pregnancy. 

IVF #2: Beta #2

We spoke with our clinic yesterday, and they informed us that my hCG levels are rising appropriately! Yay!!! On Friday my hCG was at 7,008. That was a huge relief to hear! It means little Casper appears to be growing at a healthy, normal rate. They also said that my progesterone and estrogen levels are within normal range, so I should continue taking my medication as prescribed. 

The progesterone has made me feel so incredibly backed up. My stomach isn’t the happiest right now. All day I’ve been drinking lots of water and eating high fiber foods in an effort to counteract what’s going on. Hopefully it’ll ease up soon. 

My morning sickness seems to be coming and going. I read an article today that said morning sickness symptoms include lightheadedness, and exhaustion. I’ve definitely been feeling those. I’ve only thrown up about three times since finding out that we were pregnant, but I feel nauseated at least once a day. It may sound weird, but that’s an incredibly comforting symptom to feel. I actually feel more at ease when I’m nauseous and throwing up than I do when I feel totally fine!

We get to see baby Casper via ultrasound on Tuesday. I will only be five weeks and six days at that point, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up that we’ll see much. It’s still really exciting to think that in a couple of days we will be able to see our baby’s growth and progress!

Worry During Early Pregnancy: The Struggle is Real

During the course of our two IVF treatments, I always thought once we got that BFP my fears would subside, and I’d be able to relax a little more. I imagined myself relishing in the good news, and feeling more at ease than ever. Oh, how I wish this were true. 

I’m five weeks pregnant today, and feel like I’ve turned into a full-time hypochondriac. I’m over analyzing every symptom, and even wondering if it’s been too long between symptoms. Like why don’t I feel morning sickness today when I felt it two days ago? And how come I still feel that cramping in my uterus? Do I feel sick enough? Tired enough? Pregnant enough? It’s driving me crazy(ier). 

I’m already so attached to the idea of baby Casper. I’ve been thinking about him nonstop since we got confirmation that I was pregnant. Even the fact that we know he’s a boy makes it more real. I’ve pictured myself rocking, swaddling, and cuddling my son. I’ve thought about all the things he and Chris are going to do together. I’ve looked at baby pictures of my husband and wondered if Casper will look like him. I have his nursery completely planned out. I’ve thought about him playing with his cousins, and seeing them become best buddies. If I suddenly found out that was all going to be taken away, I don’t know how I could recover. 

The fact is, after a positive pregnancy result, us IVFers have so much riding on the line. I keep thinking about how if, heaven forbid, I have a miscarriage, it’s not like I can just “start trying” and get pregnant again on my own. This process is time consuming, and emotionally, physically, and financially draining. And we’d have to start from scratch with another FET. Ugh. The thought of it makes me sick to my stomach (or is that the nausea again)?

In order to allay the fear, and ease the anxiety, I’ve been working hard to combat it. For starters, I’ve pinned about 1,001 different affirmations for pregnancy on one of my secret Pinterest boards. Some of my favorites come from this website. Additionally, I downloaded an album on iTunes by Bree Taylor Molyneaux, and have been listening to a track on repeat called “Affirmations for Early Pregnancy.” It does seem to be helping, and sinking in a bit. I’m also working on making a vision/dream board for my pregnancy. It’s a total work in progress, but the goal is for me to think positively about my pregnancy, and visualize what a healthy, happy pregnancy would be for me. 

When all else fails, I just remind myself of the facts. My baby is chromosomally normal. I’m healthy. I have the ability to carry this baby to term. 

I keep hoping that confirmation of hCG levels rising, which we should have on Friday, will help to further diminish my fears. I’m probably going to be so nervous on Friday until we get that phone call. 

Come on, Casper. We believe in you, and we love you. 💙

IVF #2: Beta #1 Results

I’ve been peeing on sticks for the past few days like it’s my job. Today we finally got to hear it from the pros…

We are pregnant!

Somebody please pinch me! I cannot believe it. 

Our beta came back at 573. They’ll test me again in exactly a week to see if the numbers are doubling every 48 hours like they should. 

In the movie Casper, Casper goes into the Lazarus to bring himself back to life, but the villains steal the special solution and he turns out looking kind of like a fried egg. Well, to me, that’s what our embaby looked like on the day of transfer. So, that’s what we’ll call our little sticky bean on the blog, “Casper.” 

Casper and Baby Hopeful

He sure is cute. We can’t wait to meet him in nine months. 💙