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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.

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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 🙂

Onto the next

A quick update to share that I am finally heading toward my frozen transfer this month. Today is day 7. I’ve been taking estradiol (2mg orally in the AM and 2mg vaginally in the PM) and low dose aspirin since day 1. My estradiol protocol is a little weird because I have an adhesive allergy (discovered during my last FET cycle) so can’t do the patches. Despite the progesterone in oil shortage, I finally got my hands on some and have it ready to go for next week. FET is scheduled for 5/31!

On a separate note, I’m looking for a new prenatal vitamin. I read some new research that correlates unmetabolized folic acid at birth with development of food allergies (similar correlation with tongue ties – which my daughter also had at birth). This led me to a theory that perhaps my body doesn’t metabolize folic acid well. I know that correlation doesn’t equal causation, and that there’s no way to know what caused Riley’s allergies, but I figured this was something I could do to possibly help. And I can’t see how it would hurt. So anyway, I’m wondering if any of y’all out in the inter webs have a prenatal vitamin that either doesn’t have folic acid (and know of a separate natural folate supplement), or know of a prenatal with natural folate instead of folic acid? I asked my OB and the nurse replied saying that since the study was small and hasn’t been replicated they can’t change their recommendations 🙄 … I can’t see how taking methylfolate instead of folic acid is a total change in plan of care! But what do I know? Anyway if anyone knows of such a thing I’d appreciate suggestions. For now, I’m still taking my regular prenatal. Anyway, happy Thursday! And happy food allergy awareness week! If you haven’t thought about food allergies recently, I’d love to hear you thinking about it now. I’ve been trying to do a little social media education on my Facebook, asking folks to be thoughtful food allergy citizens by doing things like cleaning hands (and kids’ hands) after eating before touching public things like playgrounds, thinking about what kinds of snacks are brought to public places like playgrounds, etc. I hope it helps just one or two people make the world a little safer for folks with severe allergies!

Confirmed

My hcg came back 74 on Friday morning. That’s quite a drop from 1200! It certainly confirms that what I experienced on Wednesday afternoon was indeed a miscarriage. I feel weird for feeling relieved about it. It obviously comes from a place of not wanting to have to have a D&E or experience a miscarriage further into the pregnancy … but still is a weird emotion to be feeling about a miscarriage.

So this pregnancy ended at 5 weeks 3 days. I feel fortunate to have gotten pregnant on the first try (second time around), and to have felt supported and mostly at peace through this process. I’m disappointed that this attempt didn’t result in a take home baby, and that we have more hoops to jump through. It sucks to be back at the start. I’m going to try to enjoy my “time off” with the breastfeeding/pregnancy no-nos that I’ve been avoiding for like 2 years. A little drinking, a lot of sushi (ok I haven’t been avoiding that one for 2 years but I have for the past few weeks!), etc.

The plan moving forward? I’m getting my hcg checked again in a week (honestly it feels like it’ll probably be “negative” for pregnancy in sooner than a week? But whatever). Once it’s negative (below 5 I think), they can submit to my insurance for the frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle. They want to do another SHG to make sure my uterus still looks good and nothing sticks around from this pregnancy. That means a cycle “off” before trying again. I also have no idea when to expect my next period – what was the timeline for those of you who’ve gone through this? While it doesn’t make sense that I’d be having a period right now (2 days after a miscarriage), I did start bleeding in a period-like fashion last night. I do find it odd that the initial bleed from the miscarriage only lasted a couple of hours, but I suppose that my lining wasn’t as thick as it should be given that I essentially had a full heavy period before the miscarriage itself. This shit is weird and I hate not knowing what to expect.

In happier, non-TTC/miscarriage/IVF news, we are excited for what I think is our first holiday not spent with extended family tomorrow. We usually go to my MIL’s for Easter, but just decided not to this year. We’re not religious, though our families are (my parents are very catholic as is Em’s Mom, and her dad is Jewish), but are excited to celebrate Easter from a cultural and “making traditions” kind of place. We got Riley a cute little basket and non-edible surprises (eggs filled with finger puppets and tiny train cars and stickers), and are gearing up for an it’s-finally-warm-outside Easter egg hunt in the yard.

Speaking of Easter eggs – Riley’s daycare had a little egg hunt. It looked super cute, but this was my first hair pulling experience as a mom to a kid with severe food allergies. I can’t remember what I’ve said here but she’s in a new daycare as of last Monday, which has been SO awesome about her allergies (refresher: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, gluten, dairy, egg). They are also already peanut, tree nut, and egg free, and all families provide their own food. Great. Perfect. Until Thursday. They had the egg hunt and encouraged families to bring in nut free candies to fill the eggs. We expressed concern that Riley would accidentally ingest or touch (even her milk allergy is contact, so she would likely get awful hives just from touching milk chocolate). They assured Em (who does drop off and pick up) that she would just be picking up the eggs and putting them in a basket and that none of the kids would be opening eggs or eating the treats at school. Okay. I still don’t love it because it’s putting allergens into her little hands, but I trust them and know that they’re super conscientious and on top of the allergies thing so I let it happen. And you know what? She was fine. This time. No accidents happened, and the staff was appropriately attentive and watchful. But accidents happen sooo easily. Next year I think it’ll be harder to keep her from eating things that are already literally in her hands, so I’ll do some education and push for non-edible treats for everyone. BUT this was the thing that really made me pull my hair out: they sent her home with a little Easter bag with a stuffed bunny and a plastic octopus and 6 eggs … all FILLED WITH CANDY SHE’S ALLERGIC TO. Like, how hard would it have been to set aside a few eggs with just stickers inside and stick those eggs in her bag? Also, what toddlers eat M&Ms and chocolate eggs? They hardly have sufficient teeth for those things! I can’t imagine any of her classmates were enjoying the treats. She couldn’t even play with the eggs. I mean, it was nice that I got to eat some chocolate but we had to throw out the eggs because they had chocolate all up in them, so it was just a waste for her. Sigh.

Happy Easter and a solemn and respectful Passover to all who celebrate/observe. And for those who don’t – happy spring. Here’s to new beginnings and edible-free celebrations.

Slow climb

HCG came back 271.42 today. To recap:

  • Monday 3/19 – 127
  • Wednesday 3/21 – 199
  • Friday 3/23 – 271.42

Obviously not good doubling times, obviously most likely indicative of a miscarriage/non-viable pregnancy, but annoyingly still trending upwards. My RE ran some additional blood work as well, though I’m not even sure what – I think a complete blood count and liver function maybe? Anyway all of that came back normal. The plan is still to wait it out. More blood work Monday, ultrasound Thursday. Sigh.

“Positive”

The spotting and light bleeding I posted about on Saturday turned into a medium flow Sunday and a very heavy flow today. I went in for my beta as planned and got a call today from the nurse congratulating me on my pregnancy. I honestly don’t even remember the number – it was 107 or 127 or 157? Technically positive (though at this time in my pregnancy with Riley my numbers were in the 300s, and my pregnancy tests with her were much lighter than this weekend’s). I was pretty pissed that they didn’t read the note from the on call RE this weekend to at least note my bleeding. I had to rehash it, and confirm that the amount of bleeding I was experiencing was most likely not consistent with a viable pregnancy. Things being as they are, I apparently have to keep taking the Crinone at least through Wednesday (not that it’s staying in there long enough to absorb …), and will get a repeat beta on Wednesday to see how the numbers are trending. Once I get back to 0, they can submit to insurance for a frozen transfer. Most likely, I’m looking at a transfer in early May if all goes to plan.

Today was the Monday of all Mondays. My daughter started a new daycare (her old one asked us to leave because they weren’t comfortable with her allergies), which was nerve wracking. Also, our beloved 10 year old dog had surgery to remove a very large fatty deposit that was starting to affect her gait, which resulted in them finding and biopsy-ing a lump under her tongue (more uncertainty). She’s doing ok tonight but occasionally starts whining and it’s very sad to hear. Also, Riley has been sick and we took her to the pedi after daycare only to find out she has an ear infection. Em and I both woke up with sore throats, probably with whatever virus Riley has/had. Add to all of that my insanely heavy period/miscarriage … Just in general … an epic Monday.

For now, I had a lovely glass of wine tonight and am partaking in a little retail therapy. I know this post is super blah negative – I’ll pick myself back up tomorrow but tonight I’m wallowing.

Uncertainty sucks

So, it’s exactly 2 weeks since egg retrieval (9dp5dt), and I woke up this morning with a bit of brownish red spotting, so took another pregnancy test just to see. I knew it would probably still be positive given that my HCG was high enough yesterday, but it felt like something concrete I could do. Anyway, it was definitely positive. I know the darkness of the line doesn’t mean much, but it was way darker than yesterday’s, and almost as dark as the control line. Even so, my spotting turned into some red bleeding. Nothing needing more than a liner, but definitely beyond spotting. I called my RE’s office and spoke to the on call RE, who basically confirmed what I already knew – could be a chemical pregnancy, could be a non-viable pregnancy, could be normal bleeding, and there’s nothing I can do but watch and see what happens. I’ll keep taking the Crinone and go in for my blood test on Monday morning as planned. Those numbers will give us more info.

For now, it sucks to have the uncertainty. But I suppose it was uncertain anyway! I’m trying to stay positive. I know red blood is not a good thing, but I also know that it could just be a little bleeding that doesn’t progress. I also know I have 3 frozen embryos in the wings.

Just to make things extra fun, we are on a family trip in DC (doing a 5k in memory of my aunt who passed away from colon cancer). Traveling, especially on a plane, with a 16 month old is stressful. Throw in that she has a full blown cold … and you can see how things are feeling in my life right now.

Here’s today’s pregnancy test just for shits. Any and all good vibes appreciated. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

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