Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ultrasound and Belly Pics

So, I kind of hate belly bump and ultrasound photos. Or at least they were super hard to see for over 5 years for me. These kind of photos popped up at least on a weekly basis on social media for quite some time and it was always hard to see others' pregnancy announcements. So, I won't be showing any of these photos on Facebook due to their sensitive nature. But, I figure if someone takes the time to actually visit this blog they won't mind (and probably would appreciate) seeing these photos. So, here are the belly bump and ultrasound pictures so far. Due to me taking most of these photos in the evening, and also to the fertility drug hormone bloat, my belly was fairly puffy and much the same size in most of these photos so you can't really see a difference. But, I still plan to print these pictures and put them in a baby book. Hopefully there will be a child born alive that will appreciate seeing these one day!  

First of all I'll start with the day we transferred the embryo. This is me that very day at the fertility clinic hoping for the best! 

One pretty cool thing about IVF is that you get to see a picture of your embryo 5 days after conception. So this little blob is how an embryo looks 5 days after fertilization. Cool, right?! The app text is totally wrong though. It's definitely not the size of a grain of rice. Our doctor (RE) said it would fit on the end of a pen. So, it's teeny tiny. 

This is my refusal to smile big at week 6 since we were nervous as heck. We took it just a few days after hearing that I was going to have a miscarriage (but after we saw the heartbeat), so I was still quite an emotional wreck.

The first time we saw and heard the heartbeat at 6w3d. The baby is the little white worm looking object at the top of the sac. It's hard to believe there's "fetal cardiac activity" from such a tiny thing! 

I look way more pregnant than 9 weeks in this photo. I will blame a giant Mexican meal.

Ultrasound photo from my first OB (vs RE) appointment. Look at that little shape! This is when she started measuring one day ahead. So technically I was 8w5d, but she measured just shy of 9 weeks here.

At 10.5 weeks I had my first MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist, or otherwise high risk OB) appointment. At this appointment he said I had a 90% chance of bringing home a healthy baby. That was encouraging! 

She was SO wiggly at this appointment! Like super wiggly. They say when you are this early they have plenty of room to move around. 

By 12 weeks we had just gotten the blood work back that baby was genetically "normal" (not a super thorough blood test, but detects common trisomies) and that she was a girl! So, we were feeling pretty good this week.

This was at 12w3d and look at that cute profile! That was also when they did the nuchal fold test, which measures the back of the neck, which can detect abnormalities, but the measurement looked great. She was pretty wiggly then too. :)

There you have it so far! I was hesitant about getting too many ultrasounds when I was pregnant with Miriam, but this time my thoughts are, "Give me all the ultrasounds to reassure me that everything is currently ok!" 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

An Update with News

I hate how neglected this space has become. But, life is busy and that's what happens. When I feel all the big emotions I write a blog post because it helps me process and also share what's going on in my heart and mind. But, sometimes it seems overwhelming to get something on the blog that makes it a worthwhile blog to read. And I get intimidated with my internal pressure and just don't write. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one who gets overwhelmed with all the various social media options of sharing what's going on in life. Right? Even after I stopped blogging regularly I would follow friends' blogs closely. Sadly, I haven't even taken the time to check the blogs! Ack! So, I apologize if I've missed some big (or even small) stuff from any of my readers! 

But, things continue to be busy here. After lots of darkness, confusion, and sadness, Dave and I decided we wanted to try to get pregnant again with our only other good embryo (it was created/conceived last April in the same cycle I got pregnant with Miriam). Since IVF has about 50/50 odds we assumed it wouldn't work since it did work the first time with Miriam and those odds made sense. 

However, we were shocked when we got the call that I was pregnant (I don't do home pregnancy tests. They have been mean to me for far too long. Instead I got a blood test at the doctor). We were so happy. I thought that if I ever found out I was pregnant again I would be immediately anxious, but we were actually very happy that day, and again 2 days later when we found out that the numbers doubled as they should. 

But, I had some spotting that was worrisome and at 5w6d a concerning amount and went to my OB's office for an ultrasound. The on-call doctor did an ultrasound and told me I was going to have a miscarriage based on what she saw. We were devastated. We called my fertility doctor to ask if I should stop taking the hormones to support the pregnancy, and he said no way! He recommended waiting up to another week to do another ultrasound, this time with him, to see if anything had progressed. Well, praise God that we listened to him. Because 4 days later we took the 2 hour drive to his office, confident we would get confirmation that I would miscarry, and instead there was a heartbeat! WHAT?! We were in total shock and were totally grateful! 

The reason for the spotting was found. There was a SCH, which according to our understanding, is like a clot that is on the outside of the baby's sac that can rupture and/or bleed at any time. It does raise your risk of miscarriage, so we knew it would need to be watched. Most of the time they shrink with time and aren't an issue, but they do cause spotting and bleeding on and off, and they can be worrisome. Of course this was frustrating, but we took the good news and hoped and prayed the SCH would do what we wanted it to and eventually disappear. 

By 12w the clot had gotten down to a very small size, small enough that the OB was not longer concerned and that I hadn't had spotting in a couple of weeks. Whew! At this point we also got blood test results that the baby didn't have any of the most common trisomies and was also a girl! A reason to celebrate! I call the call while Dave was at work, so I bought 40 pink balloons with the kids (I lied and told them they were for Dave's doctorate) and surprised him with the news of a girl when he got home from work. The truth is that we would have been thrilled to have either gender of course, but knowing which it is, helps the baby seem more person-like to us. 

Anyway, despite all the good news, we know what it's like to have everything be healthy and wonderful in a pregnancy, and things unexpectedly take a turn for the worst. I have held my dead baby in my arms and I am terrified it could happen again. So, as much as we are grateful, there is a lot of anxiety and a lot of extra visits to the doctor to be sure everything is ok. This time I am seeing a high risk pregnancy specialists and weekly visits start Monday with him. BUT, I do know there are friends and family that will want to know how the pregnancy is going, so I figure this is a good place to post regular updates so that I don't have to repeat myself multiple times. Especially since talking about it often makes me anxious. :) We have been much quieter this time around with announcing, and to avoid saying it multiple times, we went public on Facebook yesterday. But I won't be updating on FB much at all, especially since I know how hard it is to see pregnancy news on FB after dealing with infertility.

So, there you have it. Here is what we posted on FB. And I'll share more soon here. <3

"These two sweet kiddos are happy to share that their mom is currently 15 weeks pregnant with a baby girl!
After our recent and unexpected loss of Miriam at 21 weeks, you can imagine we are celebrating this pregnancy with very mixed emotions. Each day we hold both gratefulness and anxiety as we celebrate that signs point to a healthy pregnancy, but also know what it's like for that to be true and still have a late loss.
We hope you will join with us in prayer and in hope that this baby girl continues to grow healthily, that my body will carry her and keep her healthy until October, and that we are able to handle all the big emotions along the way. For the next 2-3 months it will be pretty difficult for us to imagine actually bringing home a baby, so it's possible we may not want to talk about babies, this baby, or even this pregnancy much yet, at least until we get to the point of viability. So, even though we are guardedly happy and aren't exactly jumping up and down and squealing, we are very grateful for this girl's life no matter what happens. And if we do bring her home I can assure you there will be jumping and squealing and we hope you would join us in that."