Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sick & Pregnant

Nothing is worse than being newly pregnant and then becoming sick, especially on New Year's Eve.  Well, I guess being 16 & Pregnant* would be much worse - must look on the positive side!  

I had lovely plans to go to dinner with friends and then to an art exhibit opening, but now I am just stuck in bed with a cup of tea and a box of tissues.

I know there are common medications green lighted for women in pregnancy, but none, however, are category A drugs.  Even Tylenol/Paracetamol is a pregnancy category B drug.  With my patients, I always advise them not to take any medications during the first 12 weeks, and so, I am heeding my own advice being only 9.3 weeks, but boy does it suck.

I have taken elderberry syrup, the homeopathic Cold Calm remedy, drank heaps of antioxidant tea (but not echinacea), made some tofu "chicken" noodle soup (which was delish!), taken loads of vitamin C and have sucked on countless Ricola natural throat lozenges over the last few days all to soothe my throat, reduce my temp (high was 100.5 F/38 C), get rid of my body aches and fatigue and to finally feel better.

I think I am on my way to a new and improved (more immune) and healthier me.  I hope by tomorrow (the new year!) I will feel more like myself and be able to resume the home improvement projects I am trying to finish before my last term starts on 9 January.  Most importantly, I hope my illness has not harmed my little foetus in anyway.  We shall see very soon with my new OB appointment on 4 Jan.

Wishing everyone a lovely, happy and bright New Year.  Hoping your 2012 is filled with hope, blessings, joy, new beginnings and many dreams that come true.  xx

*I don't watch the show, but have heard about it and witness it in real life every day. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How We Told Our Family

Although I have kept this blog detailing our steps through IVF, I have not made this blog public to many people I personally know.  Our close family, of course, knows we were going through IVF, but we told them each about the pregnancy in a different way.

I told my husband first, naturally, upon seeing a positive hpt and after my blood test came back favorable that afternoon.  I then emailed my positive hpt picture to my sister and my best friend who were both very excited for me.  My sister was the one who came with me to my egg retrieval and embryo transfer and has been such a great support while my husband has been deployed.

We decided to wait until our 1st scan before we told my grandparents and my husband's parents.  I told my grandparents in person at their house on a visit.  They were so excited for me and my grandmother, who talks directly with God, said all things were going to work out perfectly for me.  Good news!

For my in-laws, since they live on the East Coast, I wanted to do something extra special for them.  I wrapped all of their Christmas gifts and put them in a large box.  I then included another white box with a pink ribbon (that's just me hoping it's a girl!).

Inside the box, I placed a copy of the 1st 6.5 wk US picture.  The paper was folded in fours and on the outside read, "Congratulations!"  When they opened the paper they would see the US along with, "You are going to be grandparents!"

I spoke to my in laws on Christmas day and they were SO excited, especially my mother-in-law.  My father-in-law said my MIL jumped up and down when she opened the package.  They have been waiting a long time for a little baby grandchild and it was so sweet to hear their reaction and feel their support.  I then sent them the 8.5 wk US picture and video this week via email.  They are already planning on coming out when the baby is born and have called or visited all of their family on the East Coast to share the good news with them.  It is just too cute.

We are waiting to announce it to all our friends, extended family and Facebook until we are past the 1st trimester and the screenings come back a-okay.  I am so excited though, I can barely contain myself.  I cannot wait to share it with everyone!

Second Ultrasound at 8 weeks 5 days

My second and last US with my RE at 8.5 weeks was Monday.  A heartbeat of 165 bpm was heard and a fetus was actually visualised that looked somewhat like a baby!  I got to see the flickering heart, spine, legs, arms, umbilical cord and even fingers!

I have flipped the US picture upside so you can see the baby right side up.  At top is the head and bottom are the legs, an arm is to the left and the umbilical cord is going off to the right towards the yolk sac.

Here is a video of the heartbeat!  My RE said that there is now less than a 3% chance of SAB/miscarriage after hearing the heartbeat for a second time.  Yay!

Honestly, I am still in shock.  Overjoyed and excited, but still in a bit of disbelief.  I just cannot believe it worked on the first round.  I really thought we were going to be like many couples who have to go through heaps of rounds before we met with success.  What faith, hey?  My RE was thrilled though for us, and I am happy for them as well as my data will help their success rate go up in the women over 35 category.

Sadly, I am graduating from my RE office.  I am 9 weeks today and will stop daily progesterone at 10 weeks.  I will then see my midwife (also my preceptor) on 4 January for a new OB appointment where I will be scheduling first trimester screenings at that point due to my age.

I am excited about going forward and am trying to have loads of faith that all will work out fine.  I am thankful for all my friends' and family's support and prayers.  It really means the world to me (and us!).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Support During Infertility

Just a quick post to give a shout out to my wonderful infertility support group!

I never knew there was a support group in my area until a friend in NYC sent me a link to Resolve:  Here you can search for a support group in your local area, and lo' and behold I found one just down the street!

Since my husband has been deployed throughout this entire process, these ladies have been such a wonderful system of support and laughs.  I have many friends who are supportive, but they will never fully understand what it is like to go through IVF.  These women know exactly what is involved and each share encouraging stories from their trials and tribulations of infertility.  The leader of our group even checks on me weekly to see how I am doing.  It has been a lifesaver, literally.

So if you are in need of human, in-the-flesh support, please find a local group in your area via the link above.  If there is no local group in your area, start one!  I am sure there are many others that are in need of an active support group in your city.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We Have a Heartbeat!

I am still a bit shocked, to say the least.  I was well prepared to hear the news that there had been an early loss.  I have seen 4 patients in the last 2 weeks with SABs (spontaneous abortions) at the 6 week mark.  I did not even look at the monitor initially and was hoping I would not cry.

Then... there was a heartbeat!

Loud and clear at 135 bpm.  I then looked at the monitor in shock and disbelief!  I still cannot believe that I am actually carrying a baby.  That I am really, truly pregnant.  That our IVF worked on the very first round!  I really thought we would be going through round after round before success would find us.  It is still all very surreal, but I am excited, overwhelmed and elated.  I know there is still a chance for a SAB, but I am holding out hope that each week goes by successfully and healthfully.

I have another 9 week appointment on 26 December.  It will be my last appointment with my RE if all is well.  I will then follow up with a midwifery new OB appointment on 4 January.  I want to do 1st trimester screening as close to 10 weeks as possible as there is a decreased likelihood of false positives at this point.  My biggest fear right now is Down's Syndrome or a fetal anomaly.  I am praying daily for a healthy baby that makes it to term with no complications!

Currently, I am looking into hiring a doula.  They book up fast around here, so I am hoping I can find a good fit and one that is free for my EDD.  My due date is 1 August 2012!

Finally, I will leave you with a picture of our little bean.  Hard to see a fetus here, but the yolk sac is to the left and the fetus is to the right.  This is a great website that shows week to week how a fetus grows as seen via US:

As you can see by the website above, our little bean is right on track for turning into an adorable little baby.