Today was the big day when we met the doctor who will deliver our baby and we had the NT scan. I had been feeling very anxious prior to this appointment. In fact I have been in a weird space….anxious, slightly down and depressed, emotionally flat and very tired. I tried to describe it to my therapist and I guess it’s a case of having held myself together for the first trimester reasonably well but as we reached the end suddenly feeling as though my coping resources were wearing pretty thin and just feeling exhausted by the whole thing. You know that pressure cooker feeling when a big cry might be just what you need? That’s been me.
So going into this appointment wasn’t easy. I slept badly and woke up at 4.30am with a headache. Fortunately I fell asleep for another hour later on and so felt a bit better by the time we left the house. Unfortunately when we got to the appointment we were told that there had been an unexpected delivery (2…as it turns out…sisters!!!!), and the doc was running an hour late. So we waited and waited and waited some more….isn’t that one of the defining experiences of infertility though? The endless wait. Eventually we were called in and of course there was a lot of information that she needed to gather. The doctor seems nice…a slightly quirky sense of humour that I didn’t always get, but an essentially nice person who seems to know what she’s doing. She also seemed familiar with my protocol and was quite happy for me to stay on clexane for the rest of the pregnancy, up until 6 weeks post partum. This was a relief as I assumed I’d have some convincing to do. Finally it came time for the scan. The whole time we were talking and planning I wanted to say ‘well of course this is all irrelevant if my baby has died’. Isn’t it awful that, that’s my thought process…but there it is, that’s just the reality.
But my baby hadn’t died! There he or she was in all its splendid glory, snuggled in my womb sucking his or her thumb. The epitome of cuteness. All the measurements were good and we will hopefully get our risk profile by Monday. I’m not too concerned as the donor eggs are 23 years old and so our risk should be reasonably low.
So that’s the good news for today. It still feels totally and utterly surreal …after 4 years of struggle and pain we may finally take our baby home in 6 short months.
To say I was nervous about our scan yesterday would be a gross under statement. I slept poorly the night before and had a really bad headache – part estrogen, part stress I think. I’m not used to good news and scans have their own particular trauma that I seem to relive every single time. The few minutes between getting onto the table and waiting for the doctor to come into the room have to be the worst by far. My heart pounds and I feel sick to my stomach. My head is filled with memories of past experiences… ‘I’m sorry but there’s been no growth, there’s no heartbeat’. My husband and I tend to hold each other and I know that he prays while I take deep breathes and try to still my racing heart. Yesterday was no different, except that simultaneously, there was a part of me that could imagine a different outcome. Could picture a tiny baby with a big head and a strong heartbeat. Could imagine the sigh of relief and the wonder of a new life.
Immediately as the doctor inserted the wand he said ‘baby’s fine’. I breathed an enormous sigh of relief and he laughed, saying he felt exactly the same. My husband grabbed my phone to take a video and he just kept saying thank you, thank you. We’ve never seen an actual baby before and it was truly magical. Baby was measuring two days ahead at 10 weeks exactly and has a heartbeat of 159bpm.
After the scan we went through to consult with the doctor as this would be our last appointment with him. This in itself is hard to believe after three years of treatment with him. For the first time ever he was confident in our little one saying that all good things come to those who wait, and that we had waited more than most. He told us to bring the baby to show him and to include him on the birth announcement list. I literally couldn’t believe that we were having this conversation. I also went to say goodbye to our nurse who has been a great support through this whole journey and has replied to untold emails with untold questions, with great patience. She hugged me and wished us well and also asked to be kept updated.
So now, I have been told to come off my hormones – the daily progesterone injections and the estrogen. Whilst I am excited in a sense as I think my headaches will improve, I am also terrified. There is a part of me that just wants to continue doing what we have been doing until we have this baby in our arms. I’m so afraid that stopping anything could halt the wonderful progress that we have been making. But my doctor assured me that at this stage the placenta is producing more progesterone than we could ever artificially provide my body with and that staying on it would be purely for my psychological benefit. I’m actually not opposed to the placebo effect but I decided to trust my doctor on this one – I know he would not do anything at this stage to jeopardize this pregnancy. For now I will remain on the clexane and the prednisone, weaning myself off the prednisone slowly once we hit 12 weeks. He felt we could come off the clexane at 12 weeks but I would prefer to stay on it for longer – there is no risk to the baby and it would provide enormous peace of mind. My doctor firmly believes that it was the 2 months of lucron prior to transfer as well as the clexane that were the deal breakers this time and I’m inclined to agree.
We have an appointment with a regular OB on the 25th January at the hospital where we would like to deliver. My doctor has written a referral letter and we have some basic details of our donor (age and blood group) to hand over. Interestingly, my doctor asked if we would be telling our OB about the donor eggs. I hadn’t even considered NOT telling her, as it seems medically relevant. At 38, they will treat this pregnancy very differently to how they will knowing that the eggs are 23 year old eggs. Apparently some women choose not to tell their doctor – to each their own I guess, but I firmly believe knowledge is power and so my new doc will definitely be getting this information.
SO the next challenge is to find a place of peace and hope while we wait for the next scan in two and a half weeks. This will not be easy, but I’m going to do my best.
Ladies who have done an immune protocol and with mthfr….for how long into your pregnancy did you remain on prednisone and lovenox/ clexane? How many intrallipids did you do? Advice much appreciatedxxx