And just like that…

…baby girl is born on 9/25 via scheduled c-section at 37 weeks, 5 days. They didn’t want me to go into labor because of the risk of repeat uterine rupture. We named her after the heroine in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

She’s healthy, I’m healthy (and off narcotics as of today), and this round has been way mellower than when DS was born, which isn’t hard, as no one got sent to any ICU. I have plenty of milk this time, and DS loves his sister (so far).

I still kind of can’t believe the IUI worked, I didn’t miscarry after all my first trimester bleeding, and I have a healthy girl.

I’m constantly being told how perfect my family is now that I have a boy and a girl. The baby we lost before DS and my husband’s cancer struggle are invisible now, although they still matter.


Opinions are like assholes…

…everyone’s got one.

I’m starting to get the “are you pregnant with twins?” bit. And also, when I say I’m delivering on the 25th…I get cut off and asked “of this month?”. No, of September. And that will be 2.5 weeks early.

In better news, DH and his parents took DS out today and I got a THREE HOUR NAP!!!

Still here, still pregnant

I saw an email asking me to moderate a blog comment today, and I was like “hey, I have a blog, and someone read it one time.”  (Thanks, bodyshopgirl, I’ve been following you for the last few months because of the DH cancer connection, and you’re an amazing and engaging writer).

Here’s the redux of the last 19 weeks. I felt terrible until about 15 weeks, and was spotting significantly until 13 weeks, and positive I was going to have a miscarriage due to said spotting, but didn’t. I did the Harmony test (cell free fetal DNA testing with a maternal blood sample) and found out at 12 weeks that my baby didn’t have any of the more popular chromosomal abnormalities (trisomies and monosomies of 13,18, 21, X or Y) and was likely a girl.  This seemed improbable, since there have been no girls born in DH’s family for 100 years.  However, it was verified by the level II ultrasound, which, more importantly, showed all organs accounted for and apparently functioning as expected.

I’m still getting over my shock at being on the good side of a statistic (IUI success) but I’m no longer spending most of my time awaiting cataclysm.  My uterus ruptured in labor with DS, which puts me a high risk for a repeat rupture, so I’m going to have a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks. Assuming I don’t go into labor on my own before then, fingers crossed. (For what it’s worth, the odd of rupture of an unscarred uterus are something like 1:16,000, speaking of being on the wrong side of odds).

Still not sure what to do with this space – I’m hoping for a boring rest of pregnancy, birth, and babyhood. I’ve got some rants in me, perhaps I’ll come back to unleash them.

Whither the blog

So I went in yesterday for my first ultrasound. Thankfully, the little heart was beating away at 116 bpm and the fetus (embryo?) was measuring spot on at 6w4d. I had been having some spotting since the weekend, so this was a huge relief. 

I’ve also been feeling rather lousy these last few weeks, as my flu morphed into all-day nausea. I know this is a good sign, so I’ve been trying to take it all with a smile.

When I started this blog, I thought it would chronicle my IVF journey. Now it looks like there’s a pretty good chance (maybe 90%?) that I’m actually going to stay pregnant and have a baby in October. I am beyond grateful to have this chance, but I’m not sure right now what to do with this space. I could use it to tell more of the story of DH’s cancer journey, or it could be another anxious pregnancy blog detailing the hurdles of getting through a pregnancy after loss and infertility.

I haven’t received any comments on this blog, but if there’s anyone out there reading who wants to hear more about any part of this journey, just give a shout.

Feeling flu

I’m still here and still ostensibly pregnant.  I came down with the flu this week, and so did DH a few days later.  I had a temperature the first few days, but managed to keep it below 101F with the aid of tylenol.  Now I’m just kind of weak and mucousy. I’d be symptom spotting like crazy if it weren’t for the fact than all potential pregnancy symptoms could be due to the virus.

In the meantime, we’re two sick parents, and one (thankfully) healthy toddler trapped in a small house on a rainy weekend.  Unlimited TV it is, then.

The one where I discover that home pregnancy tests (hpts) are not, in fact, quantitative

After having the shittiest day of anxiety yesterday, it turns out my beta levels are fine. They were 352 today at 16 dpo. I spent the day googling things like “hpt getting fainter”, etc. Let me assure you that there is a wide oeuvre of such posts in forums around the internets. They seem about evenly split between “this happened to me and here’s my 2-yr old, proving nothing was wrong” and “this happened to me and I miscarried”.

I always figured that the warning that hpts aren’t quantitative was about as reliable as the warning that hpts don’t work before your period is due. That is to say, largely untrue. Sure, there can be some quality control issues, especially since the internet cheapies I use are 20 cents a pop, but I figured that the margin of error was reasonably small. The line I got at 15 dpo looked just like the line I got at 12 dpo and way lighter than 13 dpo, so I figured that it was over.

I think that between my first pregnancy that ended at 16 weeks, and DH’s cancer, I now immediately jump to the conclusion that the worst will happen. I did plenty of magical thinking in both those cases, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that things were really really wrong. I guess it feels at this point like hope is for suckers. My case manager from my RE’s office called today I told her I already knew it was bad news, and told her why, and she started laughing at me (in a nice way) and told me my levels were great.

In other great news, I get to stop taking the estrace, which is nasty both because I end up with blue gunk in my lady bits, and also because I suspect it’s also giving me terrible insomnia.

Anyway, internets, let me add my story to the list of those where the darkness of the line on the hpt bore no relationship to the beta level.

Easy come, easy go?

Not that it was that easy to get here.

I tested again this morning, 15 dpo, with first morning urine, and the line was distinctly fainter than the test at 13 dpo.  I know that it might mean nothing, but it also may be the beginning of the end.  I woke this morning at 5:30am and tested and wasn’t able to get back to sleep after seeing the crappy line.

My boobs still hurt, and I’ve already started with the bloody snot that characterized all 8 months of my pregnancy with DS.

I don’t know what to do next.  Second beta is tomorrow, so I guess I’ll wait for that.

Here we go again

Here we go again

I didn’t really think IUI was going to work, but I suppose it has. I tested first on Wednesday but assumed the line I saw was the trigger. I mentioned to my acupuncturist that I might be pregnant, and she said, “yes, I thought you were last week.” I’m not really sure what it means to be pregnant at 4dpo (when I was there last week), but heck, I don’t even really believe in acupuncture but I’m doing it anyway.

So here I am – beta today was at 73, which is fine, as far as the internets can tell me, for 13 dpo. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic, but I, of all people, know this is the first of many hurdles before we get to take home a baby. (Check out my TTC resume about what happened during pregnancy #1 to see what I’m talking about. If I make it to the NT scan, I’m sure you’ll hear much more about it).

Next beta is Monday. They’re also testing my estrogen and progesterone levels to see if I can go off of these pills I’m sticking where the sun don’t shine every night.

Crazy Making

When I first started down the IUI path, I decided to go unmedicated because I’m trying to avoid twins if possible. So, during IUI#1, I only had the hcg trigger. I was pretty complainy about having to feel pregnant when I’m not. That cycle I started spotting at 9dpo and AF arrived in full force on 11dpo.  So, for IUI#2, I got put on progesterone for luteal phase support, which made me really tired, and then gave me terrible mood swings a few days before my period showed up. During cycle number 2, it turns out I had two mature follicles, unmedicated. That increased my comfort level with medication, since while multiples are more probable on meds, the most probable number is still zero.  So, this cycle, at my doctor’s urging, I said yes to letrozole (Femara) on cycle day 3-7.

The letrozole had a side effect of making me anxious, which morphed into extreme sleepiness after a few days. I was happy when that wore off.  However, when I went in for the scan when I got my positive OPK, my lining looked on the thin side, so the doctor put me on estrace – a blue pill inserted vaginally. (For what it’s worth, my lining increased from 6.5 to 8.5 overnight). Then progesterone again the day after the IUI. 

I just gotta say that all these hormones have made me batshit insane.  I.Just.Can’t.Deal. Fortunately I work from home, so I only need to inflict myself on my family for the most part.  Every email I write to a client I triple check because I truly can’t tell whether I’m being bitchy or inappropriate. My son’s normal little temper tantrums feel to me like the end of the world. I was devastated when the pipe to the dishwasher started leaking because DH had been mucking around back there. DH fixed it by cleaning out a filter, and while I thanked him, I also told him I’d break his arm if he mucked with it further because. Definitely not okay, and would have been caught by my internal bitch filter under regular circumstances.

If IUI drugs mess me up so bad, I’m concerned I’ll need to be put in a padded room for IVF drugs.


End of this level

When we first found out DH had no sperm, I figured there was only one possible use for the frozen sample, which was IVF with ICSI. It wasn’t until we visited the RE that we realized we could use some of the sperm, which was subdivided into seven vials, for a few rounds of IUI first. I hadn’t had high hopes for conceiving via IUI, since the odds are so low per cycle and unlike couple who can keep trying indefinitely, we have a finite amount of material to work with. So IUI has felt like a detour, but I’ve gotten comfortable with the routine.

Anyway, my beta for IUI#3 is on Friday. On Friday we will know whether or not we proceed to IVF. Holy shit.