Archives for category: First Trimester

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!

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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!

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.

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

Quick update because I’m exhausted! Hcg level was 245 today, with a doubling time of 42.5 hours. Although my numbers are actually higher this pregnancy, during the first pregnancy our doubling time was only 28 hours, which means it actually doubled faster last time. When I realized that, I started to freak out again, so I just keep reminding myself that the numbers are higher. The first time my Hcg was 63 at 7dp5dt, and this time it was 112 which is almost twice as high!

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So many factors can affect Hcg – how quickly the embryo implanted, whether it’s still implanting, how the body is responding. I was kind of hoping for crazy Hcg levels in hopes of twins, but it seems like a singleton. Who knows! I know, I know, we didn’t want twins, I especially don’t want to carry them, but at the same time, how amazing would it be!

In other news, J gave me her great aunt’s wedding set for me to wear while my engagement ring is being made. Her parents drive the ring all the way from Minnesota this week! Of course, they were on their way here anyway but still… J had to stay in San Diego overnight after a business meeting to meet her parents, get the ring and drive it back up to LA. She was extremely close to her great aunt growing up and when her aunt passed away she left J the ring set. The stone is actually a cubic zirconia because her uncle had he real diamond remove for safekeeping when her aunt went into a nursing home. Unfortunately, her family doesn’t know where the diamond is. We’re going to see if a jewelry shop can un-fuse the band from the engagement ring, and I can wear it while I’m pregnant as it’s slightly too big for me! Perfect!

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I haven’t met my WP friends in person, but I feel so close to this community of amazing women right now. I don’t even want to share my test results because I feel like if everyone can’t have a BFP or a full-term pregnancy, I don’t want to share mine. I’m going to power through though, because I know you all are used to all kinds of fertility blog posts and have felt happy or at least respectfully envious when your own news was so heartbreaking. After my miscarriage I had to unfollow a lot of blogs, and who knows if that’ll happen again. For now, I can honestly say that I’ve been excited to share my news here all day, because I love this community.

Anyway… Beta is 112. The merciful nurse called me at 12:30 instead of waiting until the end of the day. I was literally shaking when the phone rang, and my stomach had been hurting from anxiety. I was eating lunch with a coworker who knew the call I was waiting for and rushed to check on me and then hug me! I called J right away. We’re so excited!

The nurse said that my “numbers look excellent.” 112 is almost twice as high as my first beta on the same day last cycle. The first thing I asked was whether it could be a sign of twins but she said it’s too early to tell.

I guess this means that I’m four weeks. She didn’t spell it out for me or give me a due date and I forgot to ask, but I don’t care, I just want this pregnancy to last!

I’m so grateful and so happy. I feel different about this pregnancy than I did the first one in June. I’m now settled into a job I was totally stressed about taking. I love the work and the environment. I have more income. I also feel good about J and I being engaged. Last time we were committed to each other and starting a family, but we had no plans to get married. We’re closer, more settled and in a really loving and positive place right now. I’m open and hopeful!

This weekend I’m hoping to do some wedding planning and blog about it…

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I started this blog as a way to document our decision to do reciprocal IVF, and the process, so other lesbians choosing this path could learn about it and I could meet others doing egg sharing. It’s quickly turned into a pregnancy blog! It happened so fast, I just can’t believe it. I feel incredibly lucky and also like I’m living in a dream. I’m so aware of my audience, of the different experiences and paths all of you strong women are going through. I respect and honor all of the joys, sorrows, doubts, and frustrations of every blogger I follow and every blogger who follows this blog.

I want to share our first ultrasound! It was crazy in a good way. We woke up early Saturday morning and rushed to the clinic. We were both exhausted from my insomnia, which keeps both of us up. Our doctor did a vaginal u/s and found a gestational sac and a yolk sac. There was also a tiny flickering heartbeat! 113 bpm. We heard it and saw it strong and adorable on the machine! She said everything looked great and it was the best possible outcome. Most importantly, there was only one! No twins. For a second I was really disappointed but that quickly turned into relief; relief that the baby wouldn’t have the risk that comes with multiples, and relief that I wouldn’t be physically carrying multiples.

We only have one more u/s at the fertility clinic; our doctor said we’ll graduate at 8 weeks. They say the first trimester, but from what I’ve read on other blogs, it’s usually 8 weeks. The doctor also said that prior to the u/s our miscarriage risk was about 50%, but now she guesses it’s down to 20%. I don’t understand this statistics stuff – last weekend when I bled, my mother (who’s a midwife) said the risk was 50%, but the on-call doctor from our clinic said it was “much lower” than that, but it turns out it probably was 50%. Can’t doctors from the same clinic have the same idea about such things?! We don’t even believe any of our clinic’s fertility stats because they haven’t done research on lesbian couples with no history of fertility problems anyway, so who knows.

We spent the morning in bliss, calling our families and emailing them the video J took of the heartbeat. We also got two books – What to Expect, of course, as a daily reference, and The Complete Organic Pregnancy by Deirdre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu. I’m in morning sickness hell. It started at exactly 6 weeks, 1 day. I spent the weekend gagging, not throwing up, unfortunately, eating lots of nasty crackers I’m now sick of, and lying around feeling yucky. I’m glad to have symptoms because I know they’re good signs, but man I’m sore, tired, queasy, dizzy and short of breath!

I’m still adjusting to the new job and haven’t had much time or energy for blogging, but my next post will surely cover it, especially having morning sickness alllllll dayyyyy long when no one around you knows what’s wrong!