10 Week OB Visit

My 10 week OB appointment this afternoon went well, a little uneventful, but maybe that’s what we strive for at this stage.  I’d assumed all my appointments would be at the hospital, as all my IVF appointments had been, but it seems the doctor I picked, Dr. Merryman (the only physician with new patient availability) only sees patients at an offsite location.  This didn’t particularly matter to me, but did add additional time to my afternoon to account for driving and such.  I’m not going to complain though, as it got me out of work earlier!  (How pathetic am I?)

I met with a nurse first for an hour visit.  I personally felt this portion of the appointment was pointless.  I guess I can see where it would have been essential if this was my first ever baby related appointment, but I’ve been seen almost weekly, sometimes daily, for the past year, and they clearly have all of my medical history, and then some!  The nurse was polite though, reviewing each area of my record, conforming medications and so forth.  I was given a packet of information, most of which I’ve already received, and told more would be discussed once I met with the doctor.  Toward the end of my nurse visit, long after my weight and blood pressure had been checked, I was handed the ever famous pee cup and sent to a nearby restroom.  I never did ask what they were testing for… I assume lots of good stuff.

The nurse ushered me to another room, almost identical to the first, and asked me to wait as Dr. Merryman was just finishing with another patient.  A few moments later in walked a girl who I’m fairly certain is younger than me.  Okay, I don’t actually know that, but she looked young.  Very pretty, professional, slightly soft-spoken, petite, and very polite were my first impressions.  I instantly liked her as she reviewed my medical history in-between chatting about our shared hatred of dog hair.  She has a golden retriever, which must be worse on shedding than my lab!  She’s new to the University this year, but not new to practicing medicine.

Dr. Merryman asked me if I’ve given any thought to how much testing Eric and I are interested in, pointing out that some couples want everything, others choose none.  I’d done some research on my own, and the packet the nurse handed me included lots of information as well.  I was given two main options, either the standard Iowa Integrated Screen or the more advanced MaterniT21, a blood test which tests with 99% certainty.  Eric and I had talked a bit and felt the more advanced was better, given it’s non-invasive and more accurate.  Only problem, my doctor thought it’s only covered if the mother is 35 when she conceives, whereas I won’t be 35 until I deliver.  So, I’ll be checking with my insurance company tomorrow and then hopefully getting it ordered ASAP.  I’m not really all that concerned about whether or not my insurance will pay for it, more just curious what the out-of-pocket cost to me will be so I can prepare.

We chatted a bit longer, she asked about our IVF experience, our miscarriage, family medical history and such, and then stepped out while I changed into the ever popular and sexy gown.  (A man must have designed them, right??)  I wasn’t due for a pap, but she did want to check my cervix, and also felt my uterus and such, letting me know everything was normal.  She did a quick breast exam and then finally it was time to hear the heartbeat.  As she was placing a bit of jelly on my belly she wanted me to know that it was still really early in my pregnancy and we might not find the heartbeat just yet…  I was thinking, oh, you should be able to find it here if we can find it at home, but I didn’t share that little tidbit…  And yes, of course she found it.  She didn’t measure it, but said it sounded strong and fast, which was perfect 🙂

I dressed while my doctor put in several orders for labs and I was on my way.  At checkout I made an appointment for my 12 week ultrasound, which is roughly two weeks from now, and then I stopped at the lab and donated 4 vials of blood.  Thankfully I’m no longer scared of needles!

All in all, a very good day 🙂

7 Week Ultrasound

My 7 week update post from yesterday probably gave some of the details away, but I still wanted to write about Monday’s ultrasound and appointment.

Eric was off Monday, as the VA was closed for Columbus Day, but he was still required to show at 7am for conference at the University. So, we met at the clinic’s check-in, me driving separately. And of course, who was several people back in line to check-in? My coworker N, and his way too perky wife. I saw them right away, but dealing with them was just too much for me, so I ignored them. And of course he noticed, as he later asked another coworker of ours why I was in such a bad mood and didn’t talk to them. I mean really, is he that clueless? Does he have no idea what I’ve been through? Did it never occur to them that maybe I was nervous and not in the chit-chat mood? Especially with someone I despise more than tolerate. So yeah, there was that added stress.

After check-in, which took longer than expected since my ultrasound and appointment were both scheduled at the same time and the receptionist couldn’t quite figure out how to make that work, Eric and I were sent back to waiting room 3. This was the first time I was happy IVF patients have their own waiting room, as I didn’t have to sit near N and his wife!

Waiting room 3 was packed, more so than I’ve ever seen it, but I was called back quickly, less than 10 minutes after being seating. The ultrasound tech was unfamiliar to me, and I was quite saddened. I know most of them now, and most know our story, so I was really hoping for one that remembered we been through this before with a not so happy ending. This girl wasn’t aware of such, although I have to assume it’s written all over my chart, but I’ll give her props, she was very nice and knowledgeable.

Once in the ultrasound room the tech confirmed my conception date (egg retrieval date) of September 8th (my ex-husband’s birthday, awesome). Eric was shown to a seat and I was left to change in the attached bathroom. I’m so familiar now I get my own sheet and such! Sad but true! Back out in the room the tech dimmed the lights and the ultrasound (vaginal, of course) began. One of these days I’ll get a normal one, right???

Remembering back to my ultrasound on June 5th, when we received sad news… The tech that day skipped over my uterus and developing baby that day, first measuring every other structure. Looking back I assume that was because she’d already known there wasn’t a heartbeat and wasn’t quite ready to confirm with us. Because of that experience I was terrified this time when the tech said my uterus was contracting a bit and thus we’d come back to the baby. I mean terrified, as I assumed the same sad news was about to be shared with us. But, just as she stated to measure my ovaries, she pointed out the heartbeat, stating it was beautiful. I cannot begin to describe the feeling of relief that swept over me.

The remainder of the ultrasound is a bit of a blur. I was in awe of the tiny blob with the flickering heartbeat. It was, well is, surreal, I mean, I know it’s inside me, but I still don’t think it’s hit me yet. The tech measured my ovaries, both are still enlarged from the stim meds and thus the lifting restriction is still in place. She explained some of the strange twinges I’ve been feeling are probably a result of their enlarged state, and the cause of my bloating. The fluid around the baby looked good, and the yolk sac is shrinking as expecting, since the baby is drawing it’s nourishment from it until the placenta takes over. Everything measured perfectly, including the baby at 6w6, I was 7w0d Monday, so they tell me we’re right on. We didn’t actually hear the heartbeat, but we saw the flickering and the measurement of 124. My doctor confirmed this was great, as they look for a heartbeat over 100 at 7 weeks. The tech printed several pictures for us while I changed and then we were sent back to the waiting room in anticipation of our visit with one of the REs.

The actual visit with our doctor after our ultrasound seemed a little pointless to me. One of the PAs was on for appointments yesterday, and frankly, I know more than her. And poor Eric sitting there, he probably wanted to laugh at her. She showed us the ultrasound report, but the tech had already shared all the information, so nothing new there. The PA reviewed my medications, pointing out next Monday the 20th is my last PIO injection, which I already knew as well. She asked how I was feeling and offered a few suggestions for my almost constant nausea, mentioning a script for Zofran was available if I felt I needed it. I declined for the time being, willing to try their recommendations of B6 and Unisom first. Lastly we were told we were being released to a regular OB and could make an appointment with one of our choosing on our way out.

Eric had two OBs in mind he’s fairly fond of, but of course they didn’t have any openings for new patients for months, longer than I can wait to be seen. So we instead with booked with a new staff, knowing it probably doesn’t really matter who we consider our doctor, as they all share call and it’s anyone’s guess who we’ll see for the delivery. My next appointment is set for November 4th when I’ll be 10 weeks. No ultrasound is scheduled for that appointment though, so no idea when we’ll get to see baby again. And of course, I’m already worrying…

Weekly Pregnancy Update – 7 Weeks

How far along: 7w1d

Baby’s size: 0.63 inches, about the size of a raspberry

Total weight gain: Up 2.2 lbs. as of yesterday, which is actually down .4 lbs. from last week!  Must be the morning sickness…

Maternity clothes: No, I’m still making do with a belly band and leaving my pants unbuttoned.  I did order a few items online though, they should arrive in a few days, so maybe I’ll be wearing them soon!  Yesterday at my ultrasound the tech noted that my ovaries are still rather enlarged from the stim medications.  My doctor told me my enlarged ovaries, along with the progesterone injections, are the reasons for my bloating.

Stretch marks: I pray never, and so far I’m good!

Sleep: I’m still not sleeping well, although not really due to peeing, as I assume most would suspect.  I get up maybe once around 4am to pee and then tend to get back to sleep until my alarm goes off around 5:40am.  It’s before 4am that’s the problem though.  I tend to toss and turn all night, waking at least once an hour.  My doctor recommended Unisom, as it’s thought to help with nausea, and is technically a sleep aid, but even that didn’t help me sleep more than an hour or two at a time last night.

Symptoms/Feeling: Morning sickness has officially kicked in.  I still haven’t thrown up, but the almost constant feeling of nausea is horrible.  It’s worst when sitting or lying down, thus work and sleep are most difficult.  Along with the Unisom (1/2 tablet at bedtime) my doctor also suggested I try vitamin B6 (25mg 3 times a day).  And I actually have to say, I think I feel a little better today, for now.  Thinking of most foods still turns my stomach, but I ate a bagel for breakfast and I’m sipping some lemonade now.  At my appointment yesterday I was also offered a prescription for Zofran, but a part of me is apprehensive to accept it.  The information I found online said it’s believed to be safe for unborn babies, and I have to assume my doctor wouldn’t have recommended it if she didn’t consider it safe, so I’m okay with it from that perspective.  What I’m not sure I’m okay with though is admitting I need something to help me get through this pregnancy.  Shouldn’t I be stronger than this?  I mean, if I can’t handle morning sickness, what else won’t I be able to handle?

Best moment of this week: Seeing the flickering heartbeat during our ultrasound yesterday.  We didn’t actually hear the heartbeat, but seeing it and being told it was strong was enough for me!  This all still feels a little surreal though, hard to believe that tiny little baby with a beating heart is really inside me…

Miss anything: Food.  I miss things sounding good.  Even though it’s only been a little over a week since this morning sickness kicked in, I can’t seem to remember the last thing I actually wanted to eat.  I’m basically forcing myself at this point, as I do feel slightly better when my stomach is somewhere between empty and full.

Movement: Still way too early!

Food cravings: Nothing really sounds good lately.  I’ve eaten a lot of honey crisp apples, bananas, peanut butter, and toast.  Nothing too exciting!  I couldn’t even make myself want chocolate ice cream the other night 🙁

Anything making you queasy or sick: Um, almost all food suggestions.  Eric and I went out for lunch yesterday after our appointment, he was naming random places to go, and honestly, nothing sounded even remotely tempting.

Have you started to show yet: Just this awful bloating still.  Another week of the progesterone injections, really hoping I feel less full once those are finished!

Gender: Too early! But I think we can find out around 12 weeks with some other testing we’ll have done.

Labor signs: HAHA, let’s hope not yet!

Belly button in or out: In.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Both, although still more moody.  Little things tend to really annoy me, and I have no patience for my ignorant coworker N.

Looking forward to: My last progesterone injection next Monday evening!