9 weeks 5 days

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.

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5 weeks today… written 1 December.

So here we are again. My third pregnancy. So far I have fallen pregnant 100% of the time that we have done an embryo transfer. Impressive hey? I just wish I was as good at sustaining a pregnancy and really hope that this third time is the charm.

Today I had my second intrallipid infusion. This sounds crazy but it was reasonably pleasant. They gave me a bed to lie down in, wrapped me up in a lovely soft blanket and put a hot water bottle on my arm to ease the discomfort. I felt so cosy and comfortable that I ended up falling asleep! Meanwhile the poor lady opposite me was crying in pain from the same procedure…I guess I was lucky?! I’m not too sure when the next one will be or whether or not there will be a next one but I’ll speak to my doctor soon to gain clarity. 

Today my mouth is a lot better after taking the prednisone and I hope the 10mg the doctor put me on is sufficient.  I really feel like keeping this pregnancy is a battle that I have to fight with everything I’ve got and I have to listen to my body and intuition. 

On that note, I’m  continuing to follow my gut when it comes to my health and body. I’ve  continued taking baby aspirin despite being told that I could stop yesterday. Last year I miscarried days after stopping the aspirin and with my mthfr  (undiagnosed at that time), I’ve always suspected a blood clot caused the pregnancy to end as we tested the baby and it was 100% healthy and normal. So, I will be staying on the aspirin and will continue with the clexane (which is still hurting like a bitch!). The other thing I did which was met with some disapproval by my doctor was that I self tested my progesterone. I just ticked it off on the blood order form when I went to have my beta done. It was on the low side, which my doc explained was due to the protocol I had been on… lucron as well as the fact that the pessaries cause progesterone to be absorbed directly to the uterus and so testing progesterone in the blood is not an accurate reflection. Regardless, my doc switched me to injectable progesterone which I feel more comfortable with, although my stomach is really starting to take strain with all the injections. 

Last night my husband said the sweetest thing to me. He thanked me for all the hard work I’ve put into this journey, how much I have fought to understand my body and all the painful procedures I’ve been through in order to be in an optimal state for pregnancy. He thanked me and expressed his pride in me. It was sweet to hear and I felt very validated. 

 

Dreaming…written 29 November.

Today I have been feeling optimistic. We’re doing things so differently this pregnancy: we’re using clexane and intrallipid infusions; I know about my mthfr mutations and so am on the right supplements and I have cleansed my body of mercury which could have had a detrimental impact on a developing baby. We know so much more than we did during our last two pregnancies and I hope and pray that this is what we need in order to actually carry a pregnancy to term. 

In my optimism I’ve done some dreaming. I didn’t think I would do this as I have lost so much faith in happy outcomes, but I couldn’t help myself. I know this means that if everything crashes I’ll probably fall even harder… but then I think, what if it doesn’t crash? I want to enjoy this pregnancy and I defininitely don’t want to spend it feeling anxious and scared. 

So I downloaded a pregnancy app. It says that I am 4 weeks 5 days pregnant and the baby is the size of a poppy seed. I also did some browsing of nursery furniture online. Years ago my sister in law very generously gave us her used cot and compactum.  It’s very nice but not what I would choose for myself. It’s also been sitting in our garage for years and somehow feels cursed. But mostly, after all these years I really want to enjoy every aspect of pregnancy, including choosing my own style of nursery furniture. I found a gorgeous eco friendly cot made out of bamboo, that also converts into a toddler bed once the baby outgrows the cot. It’s simple and modern and elegant. I also looked at some beautiful linen and I have some fun ideas in mind. It was so much fun to dream and to imagine finally having a baby.

I also downloaded this, which is very useful…

I can’t belive we could be out of the first trimester by the end of January and I’m hoping that the holidays helps these early weeks pass more quickly. I know this dreaming is dangerous but I figure it’s not going to affect the outcome and instead of bathing my developing baby in cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones), it will provide a better environment for the fragile nervous system that is busy growing. We’re having a third beta done tomorrow, another intrallipid infusion on Thursday and the first scan is booked for 15 December. Grow baby grow!

I hate HPT’S… written 26 November.

These were my HPT’S at 11dp5dt. First beta on 11dp5dt came in at 157 and second beta today was 383, which is a doubling time of 37 hours. So I processed a lot of emotion last week for seemingly no reason. Only time will tell whether or not this third pregnancy is the one that ends in a take home baby. I so hope so. 

Hpt craziness…written 25 November. 

I’m driving myself absolutely  bonkers and sincerely wish I had never started this crazy hpt journey… what was I thinking???!!! Yesterday there was virtually no line…but it was my third or fourth pee of the day. This is today’s … third pee of the day as there was a fault with the test I used with my first urine (the control line didn’t even show up). BUT, the line didn’t show up immediately which freaked me out despite the fact that the test explicitly says to wait 5 minutes. Tomorrow I’m doing my first beta so hopefully this craziness will end soon. If I have slow rising betas again then I’m well and truly done. No more. 

6dp5dt…written Monday 22 November.

This morning I had a completely mad moment. I’m currently on 2, 200ml uterogestane pessaries twice a day. I inserted my morning dose at 6.30 as normal. At 7.30, I went to put on a panty liner, but instead of doing that, I inserted two more pessaries… what the hell??!!! I tried to reverse it but ya… you can’t. I emailed my doctor and apparently it’s impossible to overdose on uterogestane and there’s no need to worry about it. This afternoon I had some light pink spotting and I was concerned that it was due to the uterogestane but the doc reassures me that it’s not and hopes that it is implantation bleeding.

Today I am feeling really tired despite having a good night’s sleep. My breasts are are bit tender and I am slightly queezy…but this could well be the double dose of progesterone. I’ve been having a few twinges in my uterus and am hoping those are good signs. Emotionally I’m doing OK, feeling pretty calm and peaceful. I hold onto the mental image of cells dividing and multiplying in a natural and healthy way… I love this image and it helps me to stay calm.

Last transfer I home tested on 7dp5dt and got a positive. However this time I’m planning on doing a home test on Saturday, which will be 11dp5dt. Our official beta is on Monday but I want to be at home with my husband and have a bit of time to process the result, so the weekend is better timing. I discussed this plan with my naturopath today and she supports it. If I get a positive on Saturday, she will send me the blood forms for a beta test. This means that if it is positive, Mondays test through the clinic will help us ascertain whether or not it is doubling… less waiting, yay!

Socialising is a bit tricky at the moment. I normally love my wine and so the fact that I’m not drinking is a bit of a red herring. Also, a lot of people have been asking me directly what our next step is and when we are doing it. I’m a terrible liar and have had to be very vague around the details and I’m not sure how convincing I’ve been! Oh well, whatever…this is really the least of my worries right now.