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Category Archives: IVF

11 weeks-16 weeks

I’ve been meaning to write this for 4 weeks, but … toddler.

Anyway, things are still going well. The 12 week scan was a giant relief, especially after a miscarriage and then dicey start to this pregnancy.

  • How far along: 16 weeks 2 days
  • My due date has changed a couple of times, just due to different calculations. When I calculated it online, I thought it was February 15th. When my RE calculated it with her IVF calculator, it was February 16th. My OB has me at February 17th (maybe based on the date of my LMP? Who even knows). We seem to have settled on February 17th, which makes the most sense given that I have consistently measured a few days behind.
  • Back at 12 weeks 1 day, I had my 12 week ultrasound. Everything looked good, and the heart rate was 170 bps. Seeing the baby in there, moving around and everything, was such a relief I can’t even describe. The baby was measuring at 11 weeks 6 days, so 2 days behind (at our 8 week ultrasound, the little bean was 3 days behind, but that was using the 2/16 due date, so it’s really still the same amount behind). Given the consistent growth, at this point my OB team is not concerned about it.
  • I also had a visit to my OB sometime around 14 weeks. My actual OB (who I was with during my first pregnancy) has injured her foot … again. She had a broken foot at the end of my last pregnancy, which lead to her not being able to do my C-section (I’m totally happy with the section and really liked the on-call doctor who did it, so no harm no foul). Anyway, I haven’t been able to see her yet this pregnancy. I saw an OB who I have met though, and got to hear the heartbeat again (this time in the high 150s/low 160s apparently). I’m seeing another OB, whom I’ve never met, in a couple of weeks.
  • Food things: The smell of literally all food cooking made me super nauseous from somewhere in the 10/11 week range until maybe a week ago. 11 weeks-13 weeks were the peak (which seems odd and late, but whatever). I’m finally starting to be able to let my poor wife cook us dinner … and even eat it!
  • Other symptoms: Nausea really kicked in around 11 weeks, and didn’t start to get better until 13 weeks (and is maybe gone now? but likes to show up randomly … I vomited while eating lunch yesterday so there’s that). I have only gotten sick 1-2 times, which is far less than with Riley, but I have overall felt worse. The exhaustion is also starting to subside finally! Look at me – it’s already almost 9 pm and I’m happily typing away! Here’s a weird new symptom though … since about 10/11 weeks, my hair has been shedding at an alarming rate. I’m talking at a 4 months postpartum kind of rate. WHY?! The very opposite happened when I was pregnant with Riley and I was really looking forward to the luscious locks … I asked the OB (worried about a thyroid issue or something hormonally off), who said that it’s actually not uncommon. Apparently the hormone changes/surges caused my follicles to all hop on the same shed cycle. She said it’ll randomize itself again, and is a similar function to what happens postpartum. It is starting to slow but definitely is still on the normal or just above side (as opposed to WAY below normal when I was pregnant with Riley), so that’s a bummer. Here’s hoping I don’t develop a noticeably receding hairline …
  • Who knows?: We told our families around 8 weeks. I ended up telling work soon after the 12 week mark so that I could get my schedule sorted out. We had professional photos taken of our family when we were at Family Week in PTown (shout out queer families – totally go if you can ever make it! Such a blast), and had Riley wear a “big sister” shirt so that we could do a little announcement. We aren’t really the type to do a formal announcement with professional photos, but the timing worked out so we used our photo shoot for multiple purposes – why not? We put that out around 15 weeks, so now the word is officially out there! We did tell Riley – she knows that the baby is growing inside Mommy but not Momma or Riley, and that when the baby is big enough and read to come out, (s)he will come home and live with us. She will basically recite that script and I’m confident she has no flipping idea what any of it means.
  • Body and clothes things: I am now wearing maternity clothes. I feel like a full month ahead of myself in terms of my body growing and showing, and I’m not a super fan of it (no one likes the “I just look fatter and not pregnant” stage). I just did an Old Navy maternity splurge today. Mostly I just need maternity pants because anything else feels restrictive or falls down.
  • What’s next?: OB appointment coming up in about 2.5 weeks, with my fetal survey ultrasound about a week later!

Pictures!

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Look at that little bean. They have a head and a body and everything. Yeesh.

finals (26 of 40)

Would you lookit this big sister, contemplating her big adventure? Photo cred: TDM Photography

 

 

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Y’all

I meant to update Thursday after my ultrasound but life has been a whirlwind. We headed out on a road trip for a weekend 4th of July family reunion/party, and have been surrounded by extended family every second since.

But y’all, there’s a baby in there. With a heartbeat. The ultrasound was uneventful and super fast. I was sooooo relieved when I immediately saw the fetal pole and the ultrasound tech found the heartbeat immediately. I don’t think I can describe the relief but I bet some/all of you can imagine.

The details: On Thursday, I was officially 7 weeks 5 days based on my transfer (per the RE). The pregnancy was measuring at 7 weeks 2 days. At my previous ultrasound, the sac and structures were measuring 5 weeks 2 or 3 days (at what should have been 5 weeks 6 days), so we’re trucking along at a typical pace and most likely just had delayed implantation or a slow start. The heartbeat was 155 beats/minute. My RE is not changing my due date at this point, but is going to be conservative with weaning off the estrogen and progesterone to give me a couple of extra days.

My RE is having me come back for blood work to look at my hormone levels on Tuesday, and then will start weaning me. I’m officially 8 weeks pregnant today. When I asked what my miscarriage risk looked like at this point, she said that anyone coming in with that heartbeat would have a 5% chance of miscarriage. Given that I’m a few days behind, she wanted to be a little more conservative than that, but she was really positive about how it’s going.

This ultrasound pic is kind of awful but I don’t even care. After I get the word on weaning, I’ll be making my first OB appointment and putting IVF and my RE behind me for now. I can’t wait. I am still feeling cautions optimism but I’m so amazed to even be posting this and I’m riding that high. Baby #2 is due February 16, 2019. Here’s hoping things keep going well.

50/50

Well, my RE gave us a 50/50 chance of this being a viable pregnancy. I am fairly certain those odds were totally made up, so there’s that.

Having done this initial ultrasound now twice before, I kind of knew what to look for. We were in with the ultrasound tech (who I’ve had for almost all of my ultrasounds since we started fertility treatments in 2014) first, and then saw my RE. Right off the bat I was relieved because I could tell that the sac was in the uterus. They also saw a yolk sac, but no fetal pole yet. My RE said that the sac size and structures look like a normal pregnancy at about “5 and a half weeks.” According to my calculations, I thought I was 6 weeks today, though my RE had me at 5 weeks 6 days. There was no heartbeat (which I guess makes sense with no fetal pole).

My RE said that it’s possible that the embryo took a couple of days before implanting, which would account for the lower HCG numbers as well as today’s ultrasound results. Or, this is another nonviable embryo. She said they want to have me back in 11-14 days and if at that point there is no heartbeat or it’s fallen even further behind, we’ll stop meds and assumedly talk about ending the pregnancy.

I’m trying to stay hopeful. It seems totally feasible that the frozen embryo just took it’s time implanting. It’s going to be a very long 2 weeks. I’m scheduled to go back for another ultrasound on July 5.

Beta 6

Who gets 6 betas?!?!

Well, today was my 6th. And … drumroll … my hcg is 1914. Per all of the internet beta calculators, that’s a 38 hour doubling time. Which is very much faster than 65 hours or whatever my last one was. I know I’m not out of the woods (are you ever out of the woods? Do you ever get the “out of the woods” feeling after infertility and miscarriage?), but that number is really reassuring. I guess I’ll see if it means anything tomorrow morning bright and early at my first ultrasound. Tomorrow I’ll be exactly 6 weeks. Fingers crossed …

After tomorrow’s ultrasound we are piling in the car to go to NYC. I’m excited to see Mary Page Marlowe and mostly excited to see Tatiana Maslany (any other Orphan Black super fans out there??) and hopefully get to meet her at the stage door. Ahh! I hope we head into that car ride with good news.

Here’s a beta hcg recap (for the very last time I truly hope):

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (5 weeks/20dpo) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (5 weeks 2 days) – 471
  • 19dp5dt (5 weeks 4 days) – 800
  • 21dp5dt (5 weeks 6 days) – 1914

Beta 5

Another very quick update just for numbers. I had blood drawn today not only for my HCG but also other labs (not even sure what the other labs are, but the nurse had said just to make sure I’m doing okay otherwise – I think there was a complete blood count in there?). Per the nurse’s report today, my “other labs” numbers are all normal. My HCG still had an appropriate rise but is still lower than they would typically see at this stage. Why is that even a thing? If the HCG has been within the normal range (albeit low) from the start, and has risen within an appropriate time period, why is the number looking so abnormal? Anyway my HCG was 800 today. I’m supposedly 5 weeks 4 days pregnant at this point. Last cycle, the pregnancy I miscarried, my HCG was 1200 at 5 weeks 3 days, which was the day I miscarried. Even then I knew that THAT number was much lower than they wanted to see. This most recent test gives me a doubling rate of 62 hours, so it slowed down a bit again.

I’m wishing there was a little more clarity here. This is a bummer of a place to be in. They’re having me come back for another blood draw on Thursday morning. I believe the reason for that is that they like to test your HCG until it is at 1000. I have an ultrasound scheduled for first thing Friday morning. Whatever happens, we are going to see Tatiana Maslany in a show off Broadway on Friday night and I’m really pumped about that. We’re bringing Riley with us into the city and got a hotel suite for the night. My cousin is going to hang with Riley and put her down (hence the suite – she’ll be able to stay up and read or watch TV or whatever while Riley sleeps in the other room) while we have dinner and go to the show. I’m looking forward to it.

Anyway, here’s a recap for anyone keeping track at home.

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (5 weeks) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (5 weeks 2 days) – 471
  • 19dp5dt (5 weeks 4 days) – 800

Betas 3 and 4

I haven’t had much time to write. Thursday night we ended up in the ER (then admitted) because Riley had some trouble breathing (breathing fast, neck and sternum retracting, grunting on the exhale, a little wheezing) in the setting of a virus. She’s doing much better and we were discharged after less than 24 hours, which is awesome. But we’ve been a little under water over here.

Anyway, quick update re my ever perplexing betas.

Recap/update:

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (20dpo) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (22dpo) – 471

Those doubling times are slowish, but all technically within normal limits (less than 72 hrs), and have increased slightly each time (went from 61.5 hrs to 57.5 hrs to 50 hrs). That said, they’re all totally lower than what is normally expected.

Today, my nurse said that everything is still within normal but that they’re a little concerned about the lower numbers. The plan is for another blood test Tuesday, then ultrasound on Thursday or Friday.

My only “symptoms” thus far are sore boobs (obvi because progesterone to the max) and a decreased appetite. The appetite thing is significant enough to feel like a real symptom. I’ll keep updating here as the week progresses. For now, I’m going to play Mr. Potato Head with my kid. Happy Sunday 🙂

Beta #2

My HCG today is 134. That’s a doubling time of 61 hours. Not exactly what I was hoping for but also not out of the game. I feel like I’m playing a borderline game over here … I’ve read a couple of studies that basically stated that 74 is the cut off for what you would want to see at 11 days past a frozen embryo transfer. Mine was 78. Also I know they are looking for the number to double every 31-72 hours but I also know that most people would see those numbers at least double in 48 hours. The nurses have reported my numbers in a positive way each time – saying it’s a good number or a good rise. Today when I probed further, she said it was okay and we’re just going to keep an eye on it. I guess it feels like just a slightly more fragile pregnancy.

Overall, my initial emotion when I got the phone call today was relief. I’m still in the game, the numbers aren’t trending downward (which I feared), and they are still “in normal limits.” I go back again on Friday, and I’m guessing they’ll keep having me come back every other day until I get to at least 1,000 so they can schedule an ultrasound.

I’m still hopeful and also still nervous – my anxiety of low-ish/lower than expected numbers is all mixed in with my anxiety about my last pregnancy and everything we went through with the miscarriage and weird betas. I’m still pregnant and still having a hard time being excited about it. That said, despite all of the mitigating circumstances, I am pretty sure I felt the exact same way the first time around during my perfectly normal pregnancy with Riley. I’ll just be here biting my fingernails until Friday. Here’s hoping for some better news 🙂

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