Monday, April 13, 2015

New Beginning - My 5th Pregnancy

Wondfo Pregnancy test progresstion through 6weeks
This is going to be such a long post! I don't know why I waited so long to announce. It was always my plan to announce my bfp on my blog soon nearly immediately. I wanted to, but, honestly, I was a mess. I really struggled with the wondering and waiting about whether this pregnancy was going to work out or not. I had no organized thoughts, just feelings of depression and panic. Then my symptoms disappeared. All my symptoms disappeared! That happened on the day I turned 6 weeks. My last pregnancy ended around 6w1d so I was pretty sure it was over. I cried. I moped, and then I decided to make a plan. I scheduled a visit with a PCP in the hopes that we could do some bloodwork to check thyroid, vit D, and whatever else to find a possible cause for the losses. I still have that appointment in a month and I still hope to do those things, but it turns out the baby wasn't lost at all.

Best ultrasound, ever! I've had some good ones, but I walked into the room certain I would be told about my 3rd loss. Instead they talked about my 3rd baby! I started fighting back tears the moment I hit the table. I wasn't scared. I knew I was strong enough to handle whatever she was going to say, but I just couldn't handle the anticipation. Seeing my emotional state, the tech went straight to the baby first off and showed me a little heartbeat of 126. I know she was trying to help, but that didn't really reassure me. We'd seen heartbeats before on both of my losses. I was interested in the measurement. Both my losses measured behind, and both my kids measured ahead. I know some women lose babies who measure ahead, and some babies who measure behind survive, but measuring ahead is still a great sign. Finally, after she got pics of uterus, ovaries, and whatever else was in there, she went back to the baby to measure. Since we only had intercourse once this cycle there was little question that I was 6w4d. I knew I could measure a day or so behind because of delayed ovulation or implantation, but I didn't measure behind. The baby measured ahead! According to the scan, I became pregnant two days before intercourse. HA! What it means to me is that the baby is doing well. He (or she) is thriving in there. I don't think I would have been satisfied with anything less.

They are going to be so excited!
I'm newly motivated to eat healthy. It's not for nothing anymore. It's for my 3rd baby! I don't know why I don't have any symptoms. I have a lot of cramping and pain from that expanding uterus, but that's it. My worst symptom is usually fatigue and I just don't have it. I'm not that tired. I still easily stay up until 11 each night and wake up with the kids around 6:30. I'm not nauseous. Sometimes I feel like I'm about to be nauseous, but it never really happens. I know I should be thankful when some people suffer so much, but it's really unnerving. Thankfully, the scan helped me so much. I connected with the baby when I saw him there, and I'm ready to bring him into the world.

So, What's next?! Hoping to hear the heartbeat on my home dopplar at 8 weeks, get another scan at 9 weeks, regular OB appt for bloodwork at 10 weeks, and have a 12 week NT scan. After that 12 week appointment we'll let my two little boy find out they're going to be big brothers! There should be lots of blog posts to come!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

6DPO - Post Miscarriage Cycle

Obviously any cycle that begins with a miscarriage isn't going to be easy, and this one hasn't been. The good thing is I did finally ovulate and I'm pretty sure we caught it so the waiting will be over in 8 days or so. Of course I'm hoping for a pregnancy, but even a period will bring a lot of relief that the waiting is over.  I miscarried January 2nd and finally ovulated on February 8th, so that's CD38! Meaning this cycle will probably be over 50 days. That's quite a long cycle, even for a miscarriage, even for a woman with PCOS, even for me.

CD37 all taken at the same time. Top is the First Response
So now I'm two week wait, wait, waiting and it's actually moving along pretty quickly. My initial miscarriage bleeding/spotting ended on CD15, and then on CD34 I started spotting again. I thought it was my period, but it kept going away. I started using OPK's (that's a lie, y'all know I was using opk's that whole time waiting for something to happen), got EWCM on CD37 and a got a positive opk that night but it was really weak. It was only detected on my First response brand OPK. The strips and generic clear blue brand were still negative. I think that means it wasn't a strong surge, or maybe I tested too early on CD36 and just missed the surge? Maybe CD37 was only the tail end of it. Anyway, we DTD in the AM on CD38 so if I ovulated that day then we did everything we could. If I ovulated CD37 then we missed it. 

I seriously blame me not knowing my exact ovulation day on diet sodas. I've been drinking so many damn diet sodas that it's difficult to get a concentrated urine sample. It's hard to hold it for 3hrs! I ended up always testing too early at 4pm when 10pm is a much more accurate testing time for me. After the miscarriage I was so disgusted with my body that I feel like I tried to poison it. I indulged in sugar, alcohol, diet soda(still aspartame free), and all the things I'd given up in august in preparation to conceive a healthy baby in November. Since we conceived on our first try for the first time in my life, I thought it'd worked! Experiencing a failed pregnancy made me think it was all for nothing, and learning that my body had again failed to realize the pregnancy was lost made me feel even worse. So many women experience chemical pregnancies or miscarry before 6 weeks, but I keep getting strung along, even seeing heartbeats, and believing that my pregnancy will be a success before A DOCTOR finally has to force my body to miscarry long after the baby is lost. It's hard not to hate my body for this. In fact, before I ovulated when there was no sign of AF, I admit I did hate it and said it aloud. I thought it often. It was really a terrible way to feel and it made me think about all the women with eating disorders or obesity who hate their bodies. I've never known what it's like and now I do. I hope I never feel that way again and always feel like my body is capable of mistakes, but also capable of improvement. I guess now that I write this I realize I was describing hopelessness. I assure you, it was terrible.

All grown up!
In other news, this guy got a haircut this week
So now I'm doing all the things you do at 6DPO. I've been spotting every day since two days before ovulation. Is that normal for a post miscarriage cycle? I think it's normal for a long cycle. I know my lining is thick because I can just tell. If I do get AF it's going to be a doozy. I'm feeling cramps and tweaks and twinges. Was that pain from impending AF or was it a tube cramp like I got before implantation during my last pregnancy. Were those tube cramps during my last pregnancy a sign that something was wrong? I don't feel them as strong as I did last pregnancy and this time it's both sides, though more on the left. Last time it was just on the left and several times a day. Now it's maybe 3 times a day on the left and once or twice on the right. Is it twins? Is it nothing? On and on and on. I have to say though, symptom analyzing is a WAY better place mentally then where I was earlier in the month.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Infertility: Balancing hope with reality

From our Winter Beach Trip this month
I'm so thankful for my first post without 'miscarriage' in the title. It will never be totally over, but thank goodness it's as over as it's going to get. I got my first negative pregnancy test on Jan 21st, cycle day 20, and for some reason expected to ovulate in the next few days. That hasn't happened, and it kind of makes sense. I think most people ovulate late after a miscarriage, if at all. I'm now on CD25 and I feel like my reproductive system has completely shut down. I feel absolutely nothing. No cramps, hardly any discharge, and not a twinge or anything. I'm hoping for a positive opk, but after my 12 week missed miscarriage I had a 44 day cycle. I think that's looking pretty likely.

Instead of being depressed about it, I'm seeing some positives. First, I'm doing great at the gym getting back into my pre-pregnancy fitness routine and really enjoying running. I was even able to do some sprints today. Secondly, I know it's a slim chance of getting preggo this cycle, but if I O late then we are getting awfully close to being able to have Halloween themed birthday parties! Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. We do a million community events and trick or treats the entire week beforehand. It would be so fun to throw a kid birthday party that week! I'd let the kids wear their costumes to it or maybe we'd get costumes just for the party and have a different theme each year. Would that be AWESOME?!

I know, I know, this isn't going to happen. I shouldn't get my hopes up, but it's tough to balance hope with the reality of infertility. With infertility, you learn that the perfect dates never happen. You play around with numbers so often and see anniversaries, holidays, and ideal age gaps between children up ahead and the potential for the perfect storm of numbers to strike with the next pee stick. But they don't. And yet, how do you do this without hope? How do you try and try for month after month without hope? The high's of ovulation and even BFP are nothing compared to the devastating lows of another month wasted, or another child lost. I don't know what else to do besides cheerfully plan for my Halloween baby, which would be the perfect time because it's my favorite holiday.  If that doesn't work out then I'll plan for my thanksgiving baby, which will be the perfect time because both my maternal grandparents have birthdays near thanksgiving. If that doesn't work out I'll have a Christmas baby, which will be the perfect time because I definitely need a reason to like that holiday more. When you're trying to conceive, then the perfect time to have a baby is NOW.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The 1 Week Mark

Super Positive OPK indicating my HCG is probably still high
Tomorrow, Friday, makes one week since I started to miscarry.  Honestly I was hoping I'd be a little further along in this process, but, overall I'm happy with everything. The scan Monday showed that I'd passed the pregnancy, and the Dr estimated another two weeks of bleeding. I was OK with that news, but the ultrasound wand initiated some cramping and it really never stopped. From Monday until this morning I've been in varying amounts of pain and needed Advil and sampled the hydrocodone I thought for sure I'd never take.  Finally, this morning I passed a rather large piece of tissue that I suspect was causing all the problems. I felt great right afterwards and decided to take a chance by going to the gym. I had a great, easy, 3 mile run and haven't had any more issues. I guess I got too excited, but I took an OPK this afternoon since I was out of HPT's. It was ridiculously positive. I think I have a long way to go before my HCG is back to zero!

My plan is to continue healthy diet and exercise until we can start trying to conceive again. I've started running again and I'm happy that it doesn't seem like I lost any fitness during the pregnancy. I was only doing the stair stepper and elliptical during that time to keep things low impact and I thought my workouts didn't seem as tough. I'm glad I'm still pretty much where I was. I've looked into different trying to conceive herbs and supplements to speed up this miscarriage process, but I think the lesson learned from my last miscarriage is that I kind of need to just let this happen. Last time I spotted for months and kept taking black cohosh to stop the spotting. Looking back, I wonder if it was actually causing the all the spotting.  I've always been a big believer in red raspberry leaf tea as a uterine tonic so I will continue to drink that like I always have. I'm also taking extra vitamin C and folic acid, but otherwise I'm just leaving this alone.

Emotionally? I don't know what to say. I'm glad I'm running again to possibly define my feelings further, but I feel very emotionless right now. I only cried at the Dr's office when we initially found out. I haven't gotten upset since then and I'm not sure there are any more tears to cry. I guess I just truly feel like that baby was never supposed to be here. I still love him, but I feel relieved that he's finally where he's supposed to be. I'm looking forward to becoming pregnant with a baby I'll actually get to keep. I'm looking forward to keeping a pregnancy long enough to tell my 4yr old about it and see how excited he'll be. I'm looking forward to seeing my 2yr old be a big brother. I'm looking forward, and I think that's the real reason I'm not that upset.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Pregnancy That Wasn't. My 2nd Miscarriage.

If I don't share belly pics now I never will!
Well, this shouldn't take long, or maybe it will, but I wanted to cover all the details of this pregnancy from start to finish. Partially to catch up any readers I have since I didn't formally announce the pregnancy on the blog, but mostly for my own documentation. This is the story of another missed miscarriage discovered at 8 weeks 5 days and at that time the baby had no heartbeat and only measured 6 weeks 1 day.

CD1 was 10/29. I was on metformin, prenatals, vit D, red raspberry leaf tea and baby aspirin. I took soy isoflavones CD 4-7 and also some vit E early in my cycle.  I'd been off alcohol and caffeine for almost 3 months, and off sugar and gluten for about a month. It was the first month we were trying and I really felt good about our chances because my cycle was more regular than it'd every been. I was using the clear blue digital OPK's and got a positive on CD18 and 19. We got the job done both those days, and on CD19 I swear I felt ovulation. It was a small explosion of pain on my left side, and it got less painful but never completely went away. The pain slowly moved across my abdomen, and on 9DPO I felt a burning in my uterus. I think I felt the whole thing. Unfortunately, we were out of town on thanksgiving so I couldn't test. But, I got a bfp when we got back late on 11/27. Thanksgiving day! I thought I'd react by flipping out, but it was really a quiet disbelief. Like, a whispered, "wow. I'm really pregnant. We did it!" It killed me, but I waited til the next day so tell DH with a card. He was excited and said he always knew I'd get pregnant easy. LOL.

Egg sac, yolk sac, and teeny tiny baby is above the Yolk sac
I only got 1 beta, done at 18DPO and my HCG was 452. My numbers are always way above average, well within the normal range for twins, so, for me, this was unusually low. I explained that away by thinking maybe it was a girl, or every pregnancy is different. The usual things pregnant women tell themselves.  I had a scan at 6w3d and the baby measured about 1mm, although one of the measurements was 1.2mm. We saw a barely flickering heartbeat that was so tiny the technician had trouble measuring it, but she did eventually get 90bpm.  Again, this wasn't reassuring. I was completely sure of my dates so it should've measured further. When I got home and compared my scan to some of the others in my due date club, it just didn't measure up. Even the scans from some of the women in their 5th week looked better than mine. But, again, I made excuses. The Dr had said things might be fine and I was happy trying to believe that even though I knew things didn't look great.
I know just bloat at this stage, but it was big!

Before my 8 week scan I began to worry about my lack of symptoms. It seemed like the 5th week had been the hardest in terms of fatigue, but that 8th week I was able to stay up til midnight every night and functioned fine the next day. My nerves began to really get the best of me. I think women in my due date club were a little fatigued by it. My posts were daily descriptions of how anxious I was and how I handled my anxiety that day. Two days before the scan I decided to announce my pregnancy on twitter. I'm so glad I did! Without them, I wouldn't have gotten any condolences at all because we'd told so few people about it.

On the day of the 8 week scan I could tell right away there was a huge empty amniotic sac. The tech zoomed away from it as fast as she could to get the other pics she needed, but I knew right away it was bad news. She confirmed that there was still just a fetal pole and yolk sac. No heartbeat. Still measured 6w1d. No development since my last scan. I thought that I had completely steeled myself for this possibility, but I totally bawled. I'm glad my husband was there this time. I had to wait forever for the Dr and by then I just wanted to escape that place. I felt like I could stop crying if we could just get out of there. Luckily, the Dr was very focused on the technical instead of the emotional and kept the appointment moving. I managed to keep it together while he was in there. He was very fair about presenting my options and completely accepted my decision to induce miscarriage with mysoprostal (cytotec) instead of getting the more popular surgery.

I came home, took the doses, and started bleeding. There was much less pain, and much less tissue than last time although I guess there's a big difference between 8 weeks and 6 weeks. It was over in a few hours on Friday, January 2nd. Saturday was similar to a light period and today has just been spotting. I bet I could get away with just a liner tomorrow, but I've learned it's better to overestimate protection. Tomorrow I have a scan to determine if the miscarriage was successful, and if it was then I'll just have betas until my hcg is zero. It sounds like a simple plan, but I'm always vigilant for complications.

The Dr said we could try again ASAP, without waiting for a period! I'm really surprised, and eager, and afraid, and, honestly, not sure I want to try again so soon. This means we could theoretically be getting a positive opk and trying again this month!  Aside from the thought of reliving the emotions and the intense anxiety I've been feeling the last two months, the thought of physically enduring another first trimester is unappealing in the least. This morning was the first I felt like myself in a long time. I was full of energy and took the kids for a nice long walk. I can't wait to get back on my Paleo diet and to get back in the gym.  We probably will try again as soon as possible, but I'm definitely going to enjoy this time between pregnancies as well.

A final thought since this post is already running on. It was January 2nd, 2011 that I completed my first miscarriage. 3 years later I completed my second one on the same day. I really don't know what that means. There's only so many days in a year and I guess the same things have to happen on the same day at least some of the time, but it's still strange. I like it, though. It means I only have to relive the anniversary of two miscarriages once a year instead of twice, and even though both babies had passed long before they were born, I still consider that day their birthday. I like to think that they share a birthday in heaven, and it makes me happy to think of them together up there with that bond already made.

That's more than enough for one post. Today I wrote the final entry in my pregnancy journal for this pregnancy, and now I'm finished with the blog post. I hope tomorrow the Dr says I'm finished with the miscarriage. I'm so ready to close this chapter.