Archives for the month of: November, 2014

I’ll write a longer post this weekend when the holiday traveling and eating calm down, but I wanted to share with everyone that our baby is okay. I don’t take this baby for granted for one second. Every day that goes by I feel grateful that s/he is still around, and hopeful that s/he’ll stay.

We had another ultrasound yesterday, at 6 weeks, 6 days. Instead of the fertility clinic, we did it at Kaiser, which was free, not even a co-pay; way better than our usual $300! The wait was long, though, and the ultrasound quality way lower.

I explained to the doctor that we did IVF, that we hadn’t graduated from the fertility clinic yet, that I had a MC this summer and that I had a hematoma and bled out last week.
He immediately reassured me that baby is still alive and well. He showed us the hematoma, but it was hard to see and not nearly as clear as last week. I don’t know if it was just the machine, or if it reduced in size in the last week.

The heartbeat was 114 bpm. I was hoping for higher but it’s completely normal. He measured the fetus at 6 weeks, 4 days, which is also normal. Just hang on, little one! Keep growing!

We drove to San Diego last night with cooking in tow – I made cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, apple pie and pumpkin pie. I love homemade T day food! J’s mom made an organic turkey, cheesy potatoes, and green bean casserole. This morning we took a long walk – my first exercise in days! It’s 80 degrees here and sunny.

My symptoms are pretty reassuring too – totally breathless, boobs extremely sore, nauseous all day.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates! I’m so grateful for my WP community of compassionate, intelligent and caring women.

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The morning sickness really kicked in this weekend, which was reassuring. Yay, I’m nauseous! Yay, my breasts feel like they’ve been punched! Yay, I’m awake from 2-4 every morning! Ah, those reassuring miseries! Although I haven’t had any heavy or red bleeding since my second ultrasound last Friday, I’ve continued to have pink and brown spotting. I’m up to four progesterone suppositories daily, but I won’t share the lovely effects of that even on a TMI TTC blog. Worst of all, we cannot have sex.

We’ve learned a lot about subchorionic hematomas in the last few days. Most women who have them seem to be put on complete or partial bed rest, but there isn’t any evidence that would help with one like mine. I really miss exercising now, having thought I’d be finally going back to it after the first US, and instead going from taking walks and using light weights to exactly nothing! I just want the baby to be okay, so I’ve given up extra activity aside from working. Last night J said, “I thought you just get pregnant, eat healthy for 9 months then have a baby!”

We had to make a really hard decision over the weekend to postpone our wedding. I felt strongly that having our full wedding before the baby came was important, so we were scrambling to set everything up in time. Our save-the-dates were finished Saturday morning and we reviewed the venue contract and got ready to send in the deposit. We even went to Sur la Table to start our registry Saturday night! The machine you use to scan items you want on your registry was broken, so I guess that was a sign. Sunday morning, my mother called me and shared that she feels the hemorrhage is just one of many things that can happen, and that being in a secluded location any time in our third trimester is not a good idea. We were planning our wedding for Sequoia National Park when I would have been 28 weeks, a time when you can go into preterm labor and any number of other complications can happen, especially with an “older” mother (I’ll be 36). My mother had been so completely excited about our wedding, I know she was thinking medically about this and I appreciate her intervention.

When my mom called, I was walking into Michael’s to look for lanterns for the reception tables. My sister and I had been talking about the decorations an hour before. It was the first time I had actually gone out to do a wedding planning activity. I totally trust my mom though, and as I heard the words coming out of her mouth, I knew it was the right thing to do. I sat in an empty craft classroom in Michael’s and sobbed. I felt like a rug was being pulled out from under me. At the same time, I felt taken care of and like our baby is already loved, and that was nice.

We’re now focusing completely on the pregnancy. In a few weeks when we feel more comfortable, we’ll start the wedding planning again, probably for spring 2016. I feel really sad and disappointed, but I also know it’s the right thing to do. I’ll be able to drink at my wedding, and I’ll get over a year to plan, and we’ll be able to take a honeymoon (hopefully with our child) and those are all good things.

Time cannot move fast enough until our ultrasound on Wednesday afternoon. I can’t wait to see my baby’s heart pounding away again. I’m sending him/her a ton of love and hope! Grow and be strong, little one, we love you and want you so much!

Last night after I posted, I continued bleeding for hours. The cramps were painful, like a period. I tried to stay calm, but a few times I admitted to myself that I was probably miscarrying. Before we went to sleep, J read some Internet forums in which other women had similar bleeding from vaginal US, which made me feel better. Even J was alarmed, and that takes a lot. No one mentioned the reason I actually am bleeding, though, so I hope if anyone has this, now they’ll know.

This morning I emailed our doctor, who wrote back and said she thought I had a sub chorionic hematoma and that a MC was unlikely because I’d had a good US. I remembered that I know someone who had this, who had to stop exercising but still had a healthy baby. I saw a few clients and then went into the clinic for an ultrasound. I was greeted by our IVF coordinator and my favorite nurse, and they were so sweet and hopeful.

The doctor told me right away that everything was okay. On the screen I saw the adorable little nugget beating away. We also saw the hematoma, a dark line of blood above my uterus. The Doppler picked up the heartbeat today, which was 101 bpm! In my last pregnancy, the heartbeat was 113 bpm at 6w,2d. Today I’m 6w,1d. The nurse said maybe I have a boy.

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I came home to “take it easy.” I hate taking it easy! I was hoping that after the 1st US I could start my workouts again, especially with Thanksgiving coming up. I’ll just have to go easy on the food this weekend (don’t worry, I’m still eating three healthy meals a day). I want to be in shape throughout my pregnancy!

I’m so relieved that the nugget is still in there, healthy and growing. I’ve always wanted a girl, but as soon as I got home and started processing things, I fell in love with the baby a little more, boy or girl, and got excited about the idea of J and I raising a son. I have a good feeling!

Our ultrasound went really well. Waiting at the clinic, I felt so nervous that I thought I might throw up, and right before we saw the heartbeat, I felt my own heart skip a beat and then beat irregularly. I was so nervous that it took some of the fun out of it, but we saw a tiny heartbeat, too small for the Doppler even to measure. It was so adorable, pounding away in there! The gestational sac and yolk sac were perfect, measuring exactly 6 weeks, 0 days, which is what we are, me and our little baby. Our doctor is excellent; she explained before we started what we needed to see – the sacs – and what we hoped to see – a heartbeat – but that it was possible the heartbeat wouldn’t be detectable yet, and that was okay. She also said that even though we had a miscarriage after a good heartbeat in July, our risk of another one after this heartbeat is still very low.

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She put the US probe in and as usual, it hurt. No big deal, I just wanted to see my baby. It was a long US and she spent a lot of time trying to pick the heartbeat up on the Doppler and searching around my uterus.

I was honestly so nervous I don’t think it even sank in that I had a great US. Even back at my office, my heart was beating so fast and my stomach was in knots.

I focused on work all afternoon, and when I was getting ready to leave, I felt a little gush. I went to the bathroom and found bright red blood and some clotting. I also had cramping and sharp pains, not overwhelming but definitely there. I emailed my doctor from the toilet because I was on my way out and had my phone. She emailed back five minutes later – bless her heart – to say that there was no need to worry, bleeding was probably caused by the ultrasound, and to stay off my feet tonight and let them know if it “gets heavy like a period” or continues tomorrow.

My mother the wonderful midwife reiterated this, and said that I likely have a “friable cervix” which means it’s very sensitive and bleeds easily. I bleed and cramp just from a Pap smear. So here I am, lying on the couch with my feet up, just praying that I have an “angry cervix,” as one of my favorite bloggers would say. The bleeding and clotting is continuing. My friend said that she had bright red blood and cramping in her pregnancy too, and she has a gorgeous five-year-old.

Thank you for your incredibly supportive comments earlier today; it was so comforting to read then in the way to the US! You guys are awesome.

I tried to wait until after the US to post, but I’ve got butterflies in my stomach and just want to put some positive energy into my TTC world.

Our US is at 11:30. It’s 10:22. My 10am client didn’t show up to distract me, and I’m sitting at my desk feeling nervous and excited. I’ve continued to have spotting on and off. I’m still sore, but my most prominent symptom is breathlessness. Has anyone else had this? It happened in my first pregnancy too. Just getting up from my chair leaves me feeling winded, and I’m in good shape! Yesterday I had a fee waves of nausea throughout the day, especially when I was hungry. These symptoms are reassuring me. I’ve been taking 1/2 a Unisom every night with a vitamin B6, a remedy suggested by my doctor last time, in hopes that it would reduce my morning sickness; last time I was pregnant I was miserable. J and I aren’t sure we want me to take that chemical every night though, so this weekend I’ll try to go off of it.

I hope and pray that we have a heartbeat. Our doctor feels that if we have one, our risk of miscarriage is extremely low. She said this exact same thing before my miscarriage in July, but she still feels that the likelihood of it happening twice is low.

I picture the embryo who’s inside me becoming an actual child and it feels so right. I imagine him/her continuing to grow, what it’ll feel like to carry her for awhile, and what it’ll feel like to have a new person in our lives. I imagine celebrating her as a part of our wedding when I’m six months along. I pray that this dream is becoming a reality!

Warning: Miscarriage symptoms and personal TMI mentioned

It’s been a really difficult couple of days. I’ve been convinced I’m having a miscarriage, then relieved at every little sign that maybe I’m not. After the breast soreness diminished two nights ago, I had some pink spotting yesterday when I woke up. I was sobbing before I even had my coffee. J finally returned from her business trip last night. It was amazing to pile into bed with her and the kitties and just have her next to me after being alone all week worrying. My breasts started to feel super sore again last night, which was exciting. I felt like it was an excellent sign, but when I woke up this morning, there was more pink spotting. Even worse, I had cramps. Mild, them moderate, then mild again.

I got dressed so we could got to the clinic and have another beta just for reassurance. J started to get ready too. We were sitting on the ottoman, putting shoes on soberly, and I just looked at her and said, “I can freak out and ruin the Saturday we’ve been looking forward to, or I can ride it out and we can enjoy our day.” I decided we should just embrace the day and try to be positive. We had a phone meeting with our potential photographers, so instead of cancel I put on a brave face and we enjoyed our meeting with them. (Caitlyn, if you’re reading this, it’s the wonderful photographers you recommended!)

After the meeting I started crying again. I’ve been feeling more dread and sadness than anxiety. I cried in J’s arms and we were just sad and confused. Then the spotting turned to brown. It was stringy, which I know from my last pregnancy is actually good; it’s old blood from either implantation or uterine stretching. We felt a little bit reassured, but the cramping continued. I left the house to get a haircut. Brave face again.

We ate homemade Thai food and took a long nap, followed by a long walk in which we got really excited about wedding stuff and made some fun plans. I a way I thought maybe I should stay in bed for the day, but it helped to get out of the house. I kept cramping all afternoon, and started using an extra progesterone, as suggested by our IVF coordinator. Tonight we got dressed up and went to for an awesome date, out to dinner in Echo Park and to an industrial art space show where J has done some welding classes.

I feel optimistic. It’s possible that I’m not having a miscarriage, that our little nugget is still here, still alive and fighting and feeling loved. If I am in fact having a miscarriage, it will be a very difficult week and I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have to go through it all over again. I hope and pray that we are lucky and in a couple of weeks and then months we can celebrate that everything was healthy.

Before I rant, final beta at 16 dp5dt is 3127. I’m five weeks today.

We were very short-staffed today and I had to race around, covering two therapy groups in a row and doing unscheduled walk-in triages when I wasn’t even on call. All of my scheduled clients needed more support than usual, crying and going over their session times. I’m usually patient and calm (that’s what they pay me for!) but today I found myself fidgeting and just generally not giving my all. I had sessions at 1 and 2 and still hadn’t heard from the nurse, so my nerves were shot when I raced back to my desk at 3.

There was a roller coaster of emotions as I finally listened to this voicemail, as my thoughts raced – thank God, it’s a good number, no wait, it’s too low, wait is this good or bad? I was relieved, then scared as I realized it was lower than my beta on the same day the first time I was pregnant, which was 5250. A number I’ll never forget – a number that led to celebration and confidence, followed three weeks later by shock and heartbreak. So it doesn’t mean anything, right?

My mom and the nurses have assured me that the beta is great. They’re looking for it to have a ten fold increase from the 8dp5dt beta, and it’s done that and then some.

J reminds me that whatever is happening with our embies, we have no control over it. We have to ride the wave and we’re going to be okay no matter what. I also realized how anxious and stressed I’ve been since last night, enough to seriously increase cortisol levels. I’ve decided to totally relax tonight, no light workout or walk like I’ve been doing, no googling hcg levels.

So here I am on the couch with a bowl of hot spinach fettuccine with chicken, sautéed kale and alfredo sauce, and cookies waiting, watching David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding (why doesn’t he do gay weddings?!) and gearing up for an evening of wedding planning.

Thanks for the support, you ladies are a saving grace.

I took a walk tonight after work. In the shower afterwards I noticed that my boobs just weren’t as sore as they were yesterday. I went about making dinner but it kept popping back into my head. By the time I talked to J, who is out of town on business, I was sobbing. I also noticed that I’m not quite as breathless as I was before. I’m so scared that I’m not pregnant anymore. I’m flipping out. The feelings of emptiness and despair that came with my miscarriage are coming back to me.

I googled “Breasts no longer sore at 5 weeks.” There are a lot of women who have woken up to realize their breasts aren’t sore anymore. Some of them ended up being fine. Many of them never followed-up on the forum though, so I can’t tell what happened.

I’m so scared. It feels like an eternity until I get beta results tomorrow afternoon. It’s comforting to have my WP community out there. Thank you.

Wedding planning is a wonderful distraction from hoping our embies are safe and want to stay in my belly. It’s so overwhelming and exciting, and it’s going to happen baby or not, so it’s an all-consuming, entertaining pastime.

Here’s where we’re at so far: Whether or not I stay pregnant, we’re going to get married this spring in California, so that our legal marriage and wedding celebration are one in the same. It’s crazy to plan a wedding in five months! I always thought I’d be planning for over a year, but it really feels right to get married before we become parents.

Since I lived in San Diego for nine years I’ve seen a lot of beach weddings, and I don’t want one – too cold and sandy! We’re thinking about getting married in the Sequoia National Park. In February J and I went to Sequoia for a weekend and loved it. It’s so peaceful and awe-inspiring there. Here are some pics from our trip:

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At the top of Moro Rock, which has panoramic views

At the top of Moro Rock, which has panoramic views

Sunset at the top of Moro Rock

Sunset at the top of Moro Rock

Here are the elements I’d love for my wedding:

– Very natural setting, in the woods, a field or gardens

– Intimate and retreat-style, where family and closest friends can spend the weekend together

– Heartfelt, earthy and laid-back

– DIY elements like centerpieces, placecards and ceremony programs

– Catering that uses as many local resources as possible

In the past few days I’ve considered a lot of options and have done a lot of research. Because sequoia is difficult for friends and family to get to, we thought about getting married in wine country, in a town outside of San Diego, or even in downtown LA. We love sleek industrial warehouses, boutique hotels, and ranch-style retreats. There are so many great venues, but they’re very pricey and many are already booked. After much deliberation and literally hours and days on the Internet, we’re pretty sure that Sequoia is our choice. It’s breathtaking, has sentimental value, is affordable, and has all of the elements that are important to us.

Having a wedding weekend there would be low-stress. Everyone would be able to get in some incredible hiking, and the lodge has a decent restaurant for the rehearsal dinner.

Here are some weddings that took place in Sequoia, with photo credits:

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(Dez & Tam Photography)

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(Bergreen Photography, via MountainsideBride.com)

The pics from the Wuksachi Lodge website look a little cheesy, but I think with some help we could make the space gorgeous:

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(Wuksachi Lodge brochure pics)

I’ve contacted the lodge and they have a lot of available dates. I put together a budget proposal based on the lodge’s prices and catering menus. We’ve contacted a few documentary-style photographers. Best of all, we have our ceremony officiant, one of my best friends from college who has a ceremony business! We’ve also booked a room at Wuksachi for December to plan things in person.

Let me know what you think, I know you all have lots of wedding experience!

Dear Embies,

I think about you all the time. I don’t know how you’re doing and it drives me crazy. I also have happy thoughts – what you’ll look like when I first see you, how it will feel to hold you, what creative little things you’ll do, because you’ll take after J.

It feels like weeks since my last beta. I wonder if you’re burrowing, if there are one or two of you, and how long you’re going to stay. Please stay for eight more months, please make me your home and then make my home yours.

We love you tons. We’re holding our breath until this stretch of weeks is over, until you stick around longer than your angel sibling did. It will feel amazing to actually plan for you, to think about childbirth and a nursery and organic onesies.

Hold on, be strong and know that you are loved.

Love,
Mom