When did I write last? I feel like a lot has happened since…
I called a doctor here in Cedar Falls Tuesday afternoon and they scheduled HCG blood tests. The first was done Wednesday at I think 22DPO. Hard to tell this time since it not being IVF and my cycles a little all over the place. I’m assuming ovulation was cycle day 14 and estimating my last period started on September 16th. So at 22DPO my level was 499, and today, at 24DPO it was 614. In comparison, with Nora my level was 189 at 14DPO and 448 48 hours later at 16DPO. The HCG value should double to indicate a viable pregnancy, and since it didn’t, I’m guessing the end is in sight. The office here in Cedar Falls wants me to come in Monday for another blood test. I’m not thinking too positive at this point though.
Yesterday while I was in Iowa City for Nora’s appointments I had a chance to meet with my OB there and they did an ultrasound. They estimated me at 5 weeks and therefore we saw what we expected on ultrasound, basically a black circle, as it’s too early to see anything else. They scheduled a repeat ultrasound for 10 days out to check for a heartbeat.
My main reason in meeting with my Iowa City OB though was to decide where I would seek care should this pregnancy proceed. Or future pregnancies for that matter. I was a little discouraged by my OB’s advice. Basically she said she could not recommend any providers in Cedar Falls who she would trust to follow a high risk pregnancy of mine given my history. Some of her main points include:
- No providers in CF (Cedar Falls) are accustomed to checking cervical length, which I’ll need weekly beginning at 16 weeks or maybe even earlier.
- No providers in CF have enough experience, in her opinion, in placing a cervical cerclage. In fact, only two providers in Iowa City place them.
- The providers in CF will only deliver at 37 weeks or later, otherwise patients are flown to Iowa City. Same goes for the babies, the flight team comes to pick them up a birth and transport to Iowa City’s NICU. Just not equipped here to handle such small babies.
Shared care was mentioned, meaning perhaps some visits could be handled in CF. I would definitely be put on weekly Makena injections, and perhaps those could be given in Cedar Falls at an office here. Most visits though would need to be in Iowa City, including the delivery.
For now though, I’m guessing there isn’t much to consider for care… I’m not hopeful this pregnancy is viable. Easy come easy go? I’ll update on Monday and let you know my HCG level and plan going forward.
Yes, you might want to sit down before you read this…
I guess I should start by saying, if you know me in real life, I ask that you please not share this with anyone just yet. I’ve tried to be super open and honest and I’d like to continue to do so, but that said, a lot of what I share with all of you through my blog, including this, isn’t meant to be shared with the entire world just yet…
I know, right. After everything we went through previously, three IUIs, two complete rounds of IVF, thousands of injections, literally hundreds of blood draws, way more doctors appointments than I’d like to recall, and so many damn ultrasounds…
So how did this happen you ask. I have no freaking clue. Okay, well, that’s not entirely true 😉
So remember back to that OB/GYN follow-up everyone has after having a baby? Is it like six weeks after delivery maybe? I don’t know, I just remember that Nora was still in the NICU, I was still terrified of losing her, and yet here my OB was saying, you really need to start back on BCPs. Ha, yeah, I actually did fill the Rx, took the first pack home, and I’m fairly certain it’s still in my bathroom somewhere. I guess the joke is on me for thinking I didn’t need them. But seriously, I’m still nursing, on top of everything we went through.
So I’m now that chick. The one who is going to be told she just needed to relax to get pregnant. And I swear to God if anyone actually tells me that I will freak out. I’m also the chick who has no idea how far along she is… Which actually leads me to how I found out I was pregnant…
Last week I had some very light spotting, right on cycle day 29, so I assumed it was my period, as mine are often light anyway. So I had this great idea to get some ovulation test strips and see if my cycles were back on track. Yesterday, supposedly cycle day 6, I used one, and it showed peak fertility, which struck me as odd. So I goggled reasons and found that it could mean you’re pregnant. HA, I thought, that’s funny. But I randomly took a test anyway. And wouldn’t you know…I must have been in shock cause I looked at it and said, oh, to myself, set it on the counter and walked away. I texted Eric shortly there after and he had a similar reaction… Didn’t believe the test, as really, what are the chances? My only thought was that my spotting last week was implantation bleeding, making me about 5 weeks along, but I honestly don’t know.
Today I went in search of those ClearBlue tests with the weeks estimator. Ya know, with my baby, that still looks newborn. Classy, right? Well I went to three places before giving up, as apparently chicks in Cedar Falls don’t find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and unsure how far along they are, like chicks in Iowa City. Apparently no demand here for such…
Why do I feel like such an irresponsible mother? My doctor told me to wait at least a year to allow my body to heal, to allow time to finish breastfeeding and such. Well, I basically have a 4 month old and I’m pregnant! Never in my widest dreams was this in the cards for me. I don’t even have a doctor here! I called my OB in Iowa City and was told it’s totally up to me if I want to seek a physician in my new city, although they advised that I’d probably be referred to them later in the pregnancy anyway. So out of convenience I called a doctor in town and explained my situation. First steps I was told is to confirm viability, therefore I’m going for blood draws tomorrow and Friday morning to make sure my HCG levels are doubling appropriately. Sounds familiar! Once my level is at, I forget now, they will do an ultrasound to date the pregnancy. All that sounded appropriate until the nurse told me that after that I’d see the doctor at 12 weeks. Say what?? 12 weeks?? Is that when normal people see their doctor?? I guess I was used to special treatment… I expressed some concerns, again, given my history, and the nurse said they could perhaps see me at 10 weeks. I still feel like that’s too far off. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. I guess my plan for now is to proceed with the blood draws and ultrasound, and in the meantime chat with my OB in Iowa City again to see how early they would advise a first visit. Maybe I will just end up back in Iowa City for all my care. Depending on how many appointments I’ll have though, the drive could get old.
Oh, and just to confirm, I took a few more today. These can’t all be wrong 🙂
So honestly, I have no idea what to think. Of course I’m thrilled, as I never pictured Nora to be an only child. But I also didn’t picture children this close in age. I mean, I’ve barely figured out one, much less two! I was so excited to lose a few more pounds and get back in shape… I guess now isn’t the time for that. And OMG, do I really have to dig out my maternity clothes? I guess the good thing, I’m not working now, so no dressing up!
Ultimately though, I could be getting ahead of myself. I would venture to say every single one of you reading this know how delicate pregnancies are, especially this early. There are certainly no guarantees, and as happy and excited as I am, I’m also terrified. Scared this pregnancy will be a repeat of last, scared more NICU time is in our future. I don’t know how I would handle that, and while I know every pregnancy is different, the fear I feel is all too familiar.
My ultrasound this morning went great, I’m so happy! I have at least five follicles that are 18mm – 20mm and then several more that are just a bit smaller. Hopefully those which are smaller catch up in the next few days. My lining is still measuring 12mm, which is awesome. My doctor estimated we’d get 8-9 eggs this time, but I’m still hoping for a few more than that, considering we started with 18 follicles. The more the better to work with in the future. I’m still terrified this will be a repeat of my last retrieval, when only a few eggs were retrieved, but I’m trying to make myself believe that was just a fluke of ’empty follicles’ and that this time will be better. I just really don’t want to go through all this again…
So tonight at exactly 8:30pm I’ll get my 10,000 units of hcg, the first of many intramuscular injections (boo), and then my retrieval is scheduled for Monday morning at 8:30am. We are to arrive by 8am, but Eric has a work conference from 7am – 8am, so I’ll have to go in with him a bit early and wait while he presents his cases. I assume he’ll have to drop me off at home after and then return to work, but we’ll see. Last time I just slept off the anesthesia the remainder of the day, so I suppose his presence isn’t necessarily, although would be appreciated.
In other exciting news… I get to order my second sharps container! Yep, can you believe I filled one of the large ones already? I mean, really, life doesn’t get much more exciting than this!
And now to email my boss to inform her I’ll be out Monday for sure, and maybe Tuesday, depending on how I feel. Last time I was just crampy the following day, and while I could have worked, the extra rest was really nice.
Yep, my level is now 7. Hopefully next Monday’s results will be <3 so I can stop these weekly blood draws.
I found this picture on a friend’s Facebook page… It seemed a little fitting. There is this huge piece of me that often wants to give up, quit work, lay around and relax… But no, for now, I’m sticking with it. Next month might be another story though!
If only today were the end of a TWW… If only…
HCG level is still 118. Awesome. Just freaking awesome. I was originally told that if my level wasn’t zero today then they would schedule an ultrasound, but the nurse who left the ultra-personal message on the patient information line today said I’m to return next Monday morning for another beta. So yeah, I was pissy today.
Eric got home from work a bit ago and we actually had a few minutes to chat before he got right back to work on the computer. Did I mention he got less than two hours sleep last night? I really don’t know how he does it. Anyway, I told him I felt like I’m falling apart. I can’t even seem to get groceries for dinner anymore lately. I was kind of on a roll there for a while cooking, but that has tapered off. And the same load of laundry has been in the dryer for probably a week. I did clean the house a bit Sunday morning, but only because I knew my mom and step-dad were coming over.
I’ve tried to explain to him five different ways that our future is focused on him, and thus the next year feels daunting to me. He has something to look forward to, there is a goal for him, an end result, a purpose. I don’t feel I have any of that right now. My current position feels pointless. I can’t advance since we’re moving in a year. Sure, the experience is there, but still. I’m killing time, I’m in a holding pattern until we’re settled in a new city. And even then, what the heck is there for me???
Eric keeps pointing out that I can do whatever I want in a year. But how do I get through the next year? Tonight he actually said, quit work if you want, go back to school, get another masters, whatever you want hun… But does he really mean that? And what does that look like? What do I actually want to do? I’m so confused. All I really know is that his work schedule, handling everything at home, rental property, tenants, searching for a new home, working full-time, and trying to have a baby, apparently the hard way, is really taking a toll on me. I feel overwhelmed. That’s all I really know.
I found this on ClearBlue’s website, in the tiny print explaining their clinical trials. According to this it appears my HCG level is anywhere from 5-250 maybe. Hard to tell exactly. Blah
Okay ladies, and any gentlemen also reading… No judging, I know I’m crazy…
My beta to confirm I really and truly am no longer pregnant is Monday morning at 7:30am. Convenient since I work at the hospital, so I’ll just pop up to the lab before I head to my office. Since I know we are looking for a 0 level of HCG, I decided I needed to test on my own first. Yes, this is where the crazy part comes in. Three weeks ago I was testing to get a positive, now I’m desperately testing to get a negative. Life, I tell ya!
I purchased the ClearBlue with weeks estimator, as I figured that would at least estimate a higher or lower level of HCG still coursing through my body. I searched the internet, wondering what level of sensitivity each of the responses from these tests provide, but couldn’t find much… Does anyone know?
Okay, so I took the test earlier this afternoon, and dammit, 1-2 weeks pregnant.
Yeah, clearly my level isn’t 0, and who knows if it will be Monday morning. I fear I’ll be having an ultrasound, and what is that gonna show?? I’ll test again Monday morning, but I highly doubt it’s going to display Not Pregnant…
Realizing I’ve spent a small fortune on HPTs, I went online in search of a less expensive option. But I came across an interesting ovulation monitor instead. I already own the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor and it seems to work as it should, displaying peak shortly before my temperature would rise. Well, back when I was tracking everything closely. I got bored with that after the first year of no luck, although recently started taking my temperature again each morning. Anyway, the interesting monitor I came across is the OvaCue Fertility Monitor. It’s a bit more pricy than the ClearBlue variety, but appears to offer a few extra features. It comes with a sensor for saliva and cervical fluid, so measures different sources to predict ovulation. Has anyone used one of these, and if so, thoughts? It’s not cheap, but I’m not so concerned with the cost, as my FSA will reimburse me in full. Do we see any point in me purchasing this? Eric is all about trying on our own the next couple months before we can start the next IVF cycle… Frankly, I don’t see us getting pregnant on our own, but who knows I guess, since technically they still haven’t found anything wrong with either of us. Wishful thinking? I feel like at this point I’m willing to try anything, even another crazy monitor… Do I have anything to lose?
Off the subject, but… My vehicle, a Nissan Rogue, will be off-lease in about two months, so in-between rental showings today (don’t even get me started on those) I decided to stop by the Nissan dealership and see what they had to offer. Honestly, I wasn’t all that fond of my Rogue, but I’m over on miles and figure they’ll be more forgiving on penalties if I stick with the same brand for my next vehicle. So, I drove around the lot, three times, getting out of my vehicle four times before someone finally approached me. How is that even possible??? I was eyeing the Armada when the sales guy approached and I asked if they only had one of those on the lot. They did… Interesting I thought. So I inquired anyway, as I’d already told Eric I want something larger than the Rogue, but certainly not going to a mini-van. The guy asked what color I wanted, and I was like, um, that is the least of my concerns! I explained mine is off-lease soon and then he asked if I’m trading in. Um, did he not know how a lease worked??? I was like, no, I’m giving back my lease and re-leasing. I asked how much to lease the Armada and he asked how much equity I had in the Rogue. Um, hello, none, it was a lease. I’m fairly savvy when it comes to finance, and I’ve never heard of having equity in a lease… How does that work??? Anyway, I must have looked seriously poor in my University of Iowa Hawkeye t-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops, as he clearly gave me this, you can’t afford this vehicle look… I told him to forget it and I left. He really pissed me off though, as technically I could have paid cash for the darn thing. Ugh… how rude of him to judge me!
Ugh, I’m still feeling crappy today. I had every intention in the world of going back to work today, as my team is super busy, but I woke up still feeling awful and just needed my bed. So I’m home again, and feeling guilty. I mean, I know I’m sick, but I hate staying home when I’m sick. Makes me feel weak, like I should push through and be a trooper and work even when I’m sick. And you’d think that since I’m home I could be a little productive. But no, it’s 2:30pm and I still haven’t even showered. Once I finish this post I promise I’ll clean up the house a bit and then jump in the shower. Maybe 😉
I have some positive news… I think my period/miscarriage, whatever you want to call it, has just about come to an end. Just a little spotting since yesterday. I called the IVF clinic yesterday afternoon and asked to schedule an ultrasound, as I had been instructed to do once my bleeding stopped. The girl who answered the phone, I assume a scheduler, was confused by the most recent notes in my chart so offered to have a nurse call me back. A few hours later I received a return phone call, but honestly, I have a hard time believing it was from a nurse, as she had no clue what I needed to schedule either. So, she said she’d speak with a nurse and have one call me back in the morning. Today around 8:15am a nurse did call me. She said it’s their normal process to schedule a blood test once bleeding stops after a miscarriage to make sure my HCG level is zero. So, I’ll have that drawn Monday morning at 7:30am. She said if the level isn’t zero we’ll then need to schedule an ultrasound and go from there. I’m not sure what the ‘go from there’ entails. I’m hoping we don’t get to that. So, I finally have something in my upcoming events! Something I’m actually looking forward to! I’m tempted to test over the weekend and make sure it shows not pregnant. Funny how this process messes with your head and the outcomes you pray for on those test…
Eric just texted me about dinner with friends tonight… I realize I’m no longer contagious, as I’ve been on antibiotics for almost 48 hours now, but I’m certainly not feeling awesome by any means. I’ll search our home pharmacy for something to make me perky, happy, and not a train wreak for dinner. Wish me luck!