early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs · pregnancy

Appointment Update

We went in for our bi-weekly ultrasound today and everything still looks great! The baby is measuring 11 weeks 2 days and had a heart rate of 162. I know it’s just an estimate, but every time we go, he is measuring a couple of days ahead of where I expect. I expected him to be at 10 weeks 6 days, which I realize isn’t too far off from 11 weeks 2 days, but I have to tell you that hearing the “11 weeks” sounded pretty amazing. I was super excited for this ultrasound because I knew he would finally start looking like a baby – and I was NOT disappointed!

11 weeks

We won’t go back until 16 weeks. As glad as I am to be “normal” and “graduate” from the infertility world, it’s also so scary to know I won’t have another check in for another 4-5 weeks. But I also hope that I’ll start feeling some flutters between now and then, and perhaps we can start detecting a heartbeat on our at home doppler. The 16 week appointment will be our official gender scan, even though we already know the gender from the PGS testing. But hey, it’s an excuse to peak in on him again, and it won’t hurt do double check on that gender either!

We plan on telling Anadine next week, on Halloween, and I’m going to tell my class the day after that. I have a really cute lesson planned where we will talk about making inferences when they read, and then we will play a game that I set up where they try to infer what is being told to them from clues that I pop up one at a time on the PowerPoint. I have clues like “Mrs. P has been really tired lately” and “Mrs. P soon won’t fit in her clothes” to finally things like “Mrs. P will miss school for most of May” and “Mrs. P has a living organism inside her.” It should be fun because I bet most of them still will think it’s just a lesson. I can’t wait to see their faces. But of course I really can’t wait to see Anadine’s reaction. We aren’t telling anyone it’s a boy yet – not until that official gender scan – so we still get to go through the phases where she can guess what it is, etc. No gender reveal party here though. I kind of think they’re ridiculous, and because it’s extra silly since we really already know! HA

 

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early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs

5 Weeks and Not Much Going On

This is when I freak out because I’m not feeling anything different, I’m not getting blood work updates, and I have to wait another 9 days before my ultrasound to make sure there is in fact a living baby with a heartbeat in my stomach. I’ve started feeling a little bit of nausea, but haven’t been sick yet. I also had a little bit of brown spotting on Saturday morning, which completely freaked me out even know I know that brown spotting is nothing to worry about and is completely normal in pregnancy. Brown blood means old blood…this is my mantra lately. I haven’t had any more spotting per say, but there has been a brownish tinge on the toilet paper when I wipe. Again, I’m trying not to freak out, but that’s easier said than done. I haven’t seen any since Monday morning, and I did take another pregnancy test yesterday morning and the line was still super dark and came up immediately. So I am feeling more at peace, but so ready for next week!

My ultrasound is scheduled for September 28. I am counting down the days because I know once I see and hear that heartbeat I will feel so much better about things. Making the appointment for the ultrasound was quite the headache! I called my OB’s office and asked to speak to his nurse. I knew I would need to talk directly to her because otherwise they wouldn’t schedule me for an ultrasound this early and I needed to explain to her that I had an order for it from the fertility clinic. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi, I just finished and IVF cycle at a clinic in San Diego and I am pregnant! The clinic has sent an order for me to have an ultrasound.

Nurse: (interrupts) Have you had blood work done to verify that you’re pregnant? We usually  just have you do blood work and don’t do ultrasounds this early because you’re probably not going to see anything. You MAY see a sac or a fetal pole, but probably not.

Me: Yes, I had a HCG blood test done on Monday and another done on Wednesday. My numbers looked great and doubled. The order is for September 27 -two weeks from now

Nurse: Okay. When was the date of your last period?

Me: Well, I could tell you that but it wouldn’t do much good. Since I did an IVF cycle, my period was a while ago and they have finagled my cycle to work with the transfer date. But I can tell you the transfer date…

Nurse: Okay when was that?

Me: It was September 1, and it was a 5 day embryo. I think I am about 4 weeks 3 days.

Nurse: Well, no, that puts you at 3 weeks 4 days.

Me: I think you may be using my transfer date as the ovulation date, which isn’t correct because ovulation would have been 5 days before transfer, if we were treating this as a normal….oh never mind. Okay, can I get an appointment for the ultrasound?

Nurse: We don’t have anything available for the 27th. I can get you in on the 28th.

Me: Fine. That’s just fine.

Nurse: Do you want to see the doctor, too?

Me: Yes! (so that I can talk to someone who is actually intelligent enough to understand what I have been through)

Ugh! I swear every time I talk to her I want to pull my hair out! I know there are wonderful nurses out there…AMAZING nurses! But the two that I have dealt with (in San Diego and with my OB’s office) just about drive me insane. It’s a good thing I like my OB, but you better believe I plan on telling him the issues I have had with his staff. I get that not everyone understands an IVF cycle, but if you work in an OBGYN office, you really should have some basic understanding of it. Right? Maybe I’m just being too sensitive right now.

 

early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs

Updates and What’s to Come

UPDATE: We got the progesterone level and it was 79.9. This seems rather high to me, but everything I’ve read online says that high progesterone levels are not anything to be concerned about.

Also, I received the orders from Hilary to schedule my first ultrasound on September 27! The sad part about this is Ryan will be on a work trip that whole week so he will have to miss it. We will figure out a way to facetime or something so he can listen in. Of course the pessimist in me is worried that we’re going to get bad news and he won’t be here, but I’m trying to push that thought out of my head. There is no reason to believe that this little nugget isn’t happy as can be in there right now, so I have to keep that in mind.

I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up my refills on estrodiol and progesterone, and had quite the experience. First of all, the pharmacist asked me if I was pregnant, to which I happily nodded my head but tried to do so in a way that my daughter in the backseat couldn’t see me (we obviously haven’t told her yet). Then she said, “well you shouldn’t be taking this high of a dosage of estrogen while you’re pregnant,” (ugh, shut up lady!) to which I had to respond and explain that I did an IVF cycle and it’s been ordered that I take it by the doctors at the fertility clinic who know I am pregnant. Anyway, she wouldn’t give it to me until I double checked with my nurse. So I emailed Hilary, who told me that since my body isn’t producing estrogen on its own, it is perfectly safe and necessary for me to be taking the estrodiol tablets. So now I have to go back and pick up that prescription this afternoon.

But there’s more! She said that the progesterone in oil is back ordered until October 14, and I looked at her like “you have got to be kidding me” but asked if any other Walgreens would have it to which she replied that no, it’s back ordered.  Gee, thanks lady. Luckily I called the CVS in town and they had some in stock. So then I had to get Hilary to call in my progesterone to the CVS. Hilary seriously got around 15 emails from me yesterday.

Oh yeah, I also don’t have to go back for any more blood work? Is this normal after IVF? As I mentioned before, when I was pregnant with Anadine I had to get my progesterone and estrodiol levels checked weekly. But Hilary says that I won’t need any more checks. So my question is, when will the know to start weening me off? If anyone has any insight to this, please let me know in the comments.

So now it’s the countdown to the ultrasound. Two weeks seems so far away, but I have plenty to do to keep me busy between now and then.

 

early pregnancy · IVF with donor eggs

Repeat Blood Work

I love that my husband works in a place where he can get the nurses to break into my account and get the results of my blood work so that I don’t have to wait to hear from San Diego. Especially since the lab apparently never faxed my results to SDFC on Monday and I had to send Hilary an email with them. So to update on Monday, we did get my progesterone level, which was 65.5, which I’m assuming is good. I think I remember that CCRM wanted it above 40 at some point in my last pregnancy, and Hilary just said everything looked good, so I’ll go with it.

So I went back in early this morning to check both levels again. The rule of thumb is that it’s supposed to double every 48-72 hours. It was exactly 48 hours since I last had it checked and my HCG is 584.9, which is more than doubled from the 283.2 that it was on Monday. Hooray!

They haven’t recorded my progesterone levels yet, and SDFC hasn’t even opened yet, so now I’ll just wait to hear from them to see what our next steps are. At this point with CCRM they wanted me to schedule an appointment for a 6 week ultrasound to check for the heartbeat. That’s the part I’m most anxious for. Once I hear that heartbeat I’ll breathe a sigh of relief that this is really  happening. I’ll still be nervous, of course, but it will definitely feel more real.

I’ve been especially nervous the last few days because whatever “symptoms” I had before have kind of subsided. Or maybe I’ve just gotten more used to them. Or maybe my body is just used to the progesterone and estrogen I’m taking. I still feel little twinges every once in a while, but it’s not a constant dull ache like it was before. I’m not feeling nauseous like I was with my first pregnancy, although I can’t really remember when that actually started – maybe 5 weeks? While I’m glad to not be nauseous, it was always pretty reassuring when I was throwing up that I actually was pregnant. This is just the tough part I guess – when I don’t feel or look pregnant, so I sometimes forget that I am.

On another note, I can’t seem to figure out how to create a new page in the blog that will act as a blog, so for now I’m going to keep updating normally. I’ll try to be sensitive to those who may be still in the trenches, but count this as a trigger warning that I will be talking about pregnancy and babies in the future. I appreciate the comment on my last post that said reading about pregnancy and mothering of donor egg babies actually helped me with my decision to use donor eggs, so hopefully that rings true with others.

Speaking of which, ever since transfer I have honestly forgotten (for the most part) that this baby was made with donor eggs. It was like as soon as I saw that little embryo on the screen going into my uterus, I felt this instant connection…more so even than I did with Anadine. And then when I saw the positive pregnancy test, I was so elated to have this chance to bring another life into the world, to experience pregnancy again, and to give Anadine a sibling, that the realization that this embryo was made with a donor egg didn’t cross my mind. There are no regrets! I love this little baby with all my heart and all my soul, and he’s only a blob of cells right now. I couldn’t be happier or more at peace with my decision.

early pregnancy · estrogen · progesterone

Estrogen and progesterone

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve been in our new house the past week or so and we don’t have internet set up yet so it has been a little difficult to post anything. Anyway, I had blood work yesterday to check my hormone levels and everything looked great! My estrogen was 496 and they want it above 300. My progesterone was 40 and they want it about 20. My nurse seemed pleased. She said that assuming everything looks good at my ultrasound on Monday we I’ll start weaning me off of the progesterone suppositories and the estrogen patches. While I am looking forward to not have to do either of these things, I am terrified to not have that extra support. By doing the suppositories three times a day and changing out my patches I feel like I am doing something to help things along. I have to get into the frame of mind that in a couple of weeks I am going to be considered a “normal” pregnant person and I won’t be getting these frequent checks.

I am obviously looking forward to the ultrasound. Hopefully we will get to see the heartbeat and we will know at that point if we are having a singleton or twins! R is convinced that we’re having twins, but I am fairly confident we’re having one. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I of course will be happy either way as long as there is in fact a baby in there and he/she/they is/are growing and healthy.

I will be six weeks tomorrow. It’s a small milestone but it seems huge to me! I was reading today that after you see the heartbeat at the 6-7 week ultrasound your chance of miscarriage drops from 50% to less than 10%. I will still be a nervous wreck, but I think that at that point I can at least start to get a little more excited. I am so used to getting bad news regarding my fertility, it just doesn’t seem like this is my life that I’m living. I hate that the worry is really keeping me from enjoying these first few weeks of pregnancy. I sure hope I’m right that this ultrasound will bring good news and I’ll start to enjoy this a little more.

Please keep the prayers coming for me and this little bean- by the way R has started referring to him/her/them as our little okra…pretty cute huh?

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