A year ago today

A year ago today my beautiful, precious, amazing Nora was conceived, as she was one of 12 eggs retrieved.  My post from a year ago, A Dozen, and some thoughts and feelings from a year ago tomorrow, Feeling Better.

It’s a bit surreal to me to read these two posts, to remember back to a year ago.  My life is so different now.  I’m so different.  I can hardly even remember back to the days before Nora, before I was pregnant, before I stopped working to spend my days in the NICU with Nora…  I used to think a year was an eternity, but now I know better.  Nora is almost 6 months old already, and while I wished away our NICU days, I’m trying to remind myself to cherish each day now, to relax, not rush so much, to enjoy the journey.

Looking back, the hardest part of IVF was the not knowing.  If I’d just had more faith in the process, if I’d just believed it could work for us, oh how much happier I could have been a year ago.  But as they say, hindsight is 20/20, live and learn…

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6 weeks tomorrow and already none of my bras or pants fit. And that belly band idea is not gonna work as it’s more my ass and thighs that are too big for my pants. What am I going to do?? And why am I gaining so much weight already???

5w1d

I’ve made it to 5w1d pregnant! I’d been saving one last pregnancy test, waiting until I thought it might display 3+ weeks, and lo and behold, it did this morning! I assume I’m on track as I believe those calculate from weeks since ovulation, but regardless, seeing 3+ made me smile this morning 🙂

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15dpo

Still scared as hell that tomorrow’s beta won’t double… But this made me feel a little better, 2-3 weeks pregnant! And I’m now convinced the darkness of the line on first response is bogus, as it looks lighter than when I got 1-2 weeks on the ClearBlue. Wish me luck tomorrow!

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Beta #1 Results

If you read my post from earlier today you know I called my clinic and asked if I could come today (14dpo) for my beta, instead of tomorrow as it was originally scheduled.  So at 10:30am this morning my blood was drawn by a very nice women around my age.  We chatted about how she’s been trying for seven years to get pregnant and thinks perhaps it’s time she saw her doctor for some assistance.  Wow, she is way more patient then me!

Maybe an hour later I received an email that I had a new message in MyChart, a new test result, my hcg level.  Beta #1 at 14dpo was 189.  I was honestly shocked to see the number, hoping for 100, but never guessing it would be that high.  A wave of calm passed over me, but it was short-lived.  I didn’t see the results of my progesterone or estrogen levels posted, so I figured they would be relieved in the usual way through the patient information line, so like any inpatient IVF patient, I began calling the 800 number every 10-15 minutes.

Finally at 2:30pm this afternoon there was a new message posted by one of the nurses.  She confirmed my beta of 189 and passed along results of my hormones levels as well.  I wasn’t too concerned about my progesterone level since I inject 50mg each evening; that level was 58 compared to last cycle of 52.  If you remember, last cycle we transferred two 3-day embryos, found ourselves pregnant with one, but weren’t able to find a heartbeat at our 7w6d ultrasound, with our embryo measuring just 6w6d at that point.

My estrogen level today was 584 compared to 74 last cycle.  My first question to the nurse, why the much, much higher level this pregnancy, as I was expecting it to be low again.  The nurse explained that your estrogen level early in pregnancy is a good indicator of the strength of the pregnancy.  She said that they supplement if the level is low to help the pregnancy along, but that needing to supplement is never a good thing.  Wow…  I really wish they would have explained this to me back in May when I got my first positive.  While it obviously wouldn’t have been happy news, it might have prepared me a bit better for what was to come, my miscarriage.

So here is a little recap of my IVF cycles, if you find yourself at all interested 🙂

Due date is June 1st as based on the date of my egg retrieval, and first ultrasound is scheduled for the morning of October 13th, three weeks from now, at which point I’ll be 7 weeks pregnant.  Hopefully I’m not getting ahead of myself, as I obviously still need to see a healthy doubling beta Wednesday morning.  Ultimately though, looking back on my first pregnancy, I’m feeling a lot more confident this time around.

As far as symptoms and such, the majority are a result of the progesterone injections, the sore, slightly enlarged breasts, peeing more often than usual, maybe a little extra heartburn, but I have issues with acid reflux as it is.  I noticed today that the palms of my hands and underside of my fingers are incredibly dry.  As in, almost peeling.  I’ve heard progesterone can cause dry skin, but this seems a little extreme!  As for the light spotting I was experiencing, the nurse confirmed with me again that as long as it’s light and brown in color I should be okay.  Thankfully though, I think most of that has come to an end, for now anyway.

As confident as I’m feeling, I’m still scared as hell for Wednesday’s beta #2 results.  If I’ve learned anything from this process, it’s that months of planning and years of dreaming can all disappear in the blink of an eye.