Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Delightfully normal

Everything went smoothly at the OB this morning, other than the fact that I arrived at 8:30 and didn't leave until 11. (And it wasn't even because I had to wait--I was with either a nurse or a doctor the entire time. It was a very thorough appointment.)

First I had an ultrasound scheduled. The nice thing about seeing a high risk OB is that she sees patients right in the maternal-fetal medicine department at the hospital. It's a (not too luxurious), but it means all the high-tech ultrasound equipment is right down the hall. I had a 20-minute u/s session with both abdominal imaging and the most extensive wanding I've ever been at the receiving end of--I swear I felt that thing behind my tonsils. Baby looked great, measured exactly perfect for dates (9w4d), and I even got a little choked up when the tech zoomed in on my little sea monkey/hamster/squirmy thingy and I could clearly see the heartbeat flickering away.

Then I met with the doctor, whom I totally LOVED. She had reviewed my history thoroughly but had a few more questions. And the great thing is that, while she said my previous OB was obviously playing it safe, in retrospect I was probably not in imminent danger of preterm delivery and that if the same circumstances happen this time she would NOT put me on bedrest. Yahoo!

I had about seventy bazillion tubes of blood taken (the nurse said, "Have you had blood drawn recently? This vein is really beat up"), then physical exam, then more office chat with the doctor, where she went over the prenatal testing options, talked about the usual pregnancy stuff (don't eat xyz, get more calcium, yadda yadda), and answered my random questions. She asked whether I wanted to try for a VBAC and said that if baby was breech again obviously it wasn't on the table, but otherwise it was totally up to me. (I don't really care, honestly.) If I do have a scheduled cesarean, she doesn't want to do it before 39 weeks, which is exactly what I would prefer too. (Bat Girl was delivered at 38 weeks, and I'd like to go longer this time.)

All in all, a really good appointment. NT screen scheduled in 2 weeks. I'll have my first cervical measurement at 18 weeks, unless there's a reason to have it sooner.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Graduation day

As of Monday (two days ago), I am officially no longer an infertility patient. My "graduation day" was pretty anticlimactic. I got the usual bloodwork and ultrasound Monday morning. Dr. SF printed out yet another blobby picture for me and let me hear the heartbeat (135 or so, down from 176 last week but I think that's normal), then told me that if my bloodwork looked good I could stop the progesterone and didn't have to come back anymore.

He asked me if I was "done," meaning done with babies, and I said, "I am SO done. And I hope you won't be offended if I say that as much as I appreciate everything, I hope I never see you again." He laughed and said, "It's sort of like sending kids off to college--there's always some sadness but you know it's time for them to move on." He expressed pleasure again at how I managed to get pregnant with a single embryo transfer at my age, and told me I make "great" embryos.

I unloaded all my sharps containers and handed the nurse a massive amount of unused drugs that hopefully some other patient can use. I picked up a copy of my records and paid my $1,400 account balance. And then I walked out.

I guess there are some people who might feel sentimental at a time like this, given all that I've gone through at this clinic over the last five and a half years. Having spent far too many early mornings in that waiting room over the last year of my life, all I feel right now is relief.

Oh, and yesterday was the first totally needle-free day I've had since the end of OCTOBER. That's a huge relief too.

Today I'm 8w4d if you count from retrieval day, or 8w6d if you count from trigger day (which is how my clinic counts it). First OB appointment next week.


My cycle records had a more complete accounting of the embryos than the report I got a few weeks ago. So now I know: From 22 eggs, 15 of which fertilized, we had a whopping 10 blasts on day 5, 9 expanded and 1 cavitating. No wonder the doctor who did my transfer wanted to be certain we didn't want to freeze.

I asked my husband if he wanted to know, and he said no, which was a wise move on his part. I think he would have had a really hard time knowing we discarded 9 potentially viable embryos.

I guess it all worked out for the best in the end. Even if only half of those had made it to freeze, I have no idea what we would have done with 4 or 5 frozen embryos. Maybe two years from now I'll get baby fever again (HAHAHAHAHAHA) and regret not having the option for #3, but we can only work with what's in front of us right now.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Nearly there

"So this is the point where we start kicking you out," Dr. SF told me this morning. If he thought I'd be sad, he must have been disappointed.

The blobby thing that Dr. SF keeps calling my "baby" keeps looking bigger on u/s, and today he turned on the sound so we could hear the heartbeat--176 bpm. HCG was 67,699 (was somewhere around 30,000 last week, but as I said the numbers are essentially meaningless to me at this point). Since my progesterone levels are looking good, I'm being tapered off the PIO--1/2 cc for the next week, and then if all looks good next Monday (at which point I'll be 8w2d, counting from retrieval day), I'm done with injections and they're cutting me loose.

Annoyingly, I have about 2 cc left in the vial now, which means I have to refill my prescription one last time, paying $60 for 2 more vials, of which I will use less than half of one vial. I suppose I'll donate the last vial to my clinic, along with my leftover Menopur and Ganirelix and two pens of Gonal-F and did I mention that I'm looking forward to NEVER, EVER, EVER doing any form of fertility treatment ever again?

I have my first appointment with my new high-risk OB on the 28th. When I called to make the appointment, the appointment lady told me, "Doctor X is only taking new patients if they're currently pregnant or trying to conceive." And I was like, "I'm, um, I'm pregnant!" Smooth. My limited interactions with the office so far have been good--she had to call me back to confirm the appointment date because she needed to make sure she could book an ultrasound at the same time, and when she did she told me that the doctor had already looked at the limited information I had given when I first called and had a bunch more questions. Then they sent me a detailed medical history form for me to fill out and send back, along with any records I have from my first pregnancy. Imagine that--a doctor who wants to be up to speed on your history BEFORE you walk in the door, so they can actually have an informed discussion with you about your medical needs!

Anyway, this particular doctor is part of the maternal-fetal medicine group at one of the top university hospitals in the city (not the same hospital where I delivered before). I had heard that a drawback of a big group practice is that you may end up seeing a different doctor every time, but I'm actually OK with that. I'm OK with being sort of forgettable. In fact, my goal this pregnancy is to be the most boring patient in the entire practice; to be in the office so infrequently that everyone from the receptionist to the nurses to the doctors have to look at my chart to remember my name. (As opposed to last time around, where everyone knew me so well that I actually had a nurse recognize me and say hello on the street three months after I delivered.)

I've been super tired and experiencing a vague low-level queasiness pretty much all the time, but I finally figured out that I need to eat something every two hours or I get a headache and feel nauseated. I can't get my skinny jeans on but I'm nowhere near as bloated or uncomfortable as I was at this stage with Bat Girl, so I count myself lucky. I want to eat protein all. the. time. Meat, mostly, though I went through a brief stage where I wanted eggs everyday and now I can't even look at an egg. And peanut butter toast. Mmm, peanut butter...

The fatigue, though...I don't know how anyone does this with a toddler, because all I want to do is lie down in a dark room by myself. Bat Girl keeps wanting me to pick her up but I just have to tell her she's such a big girl, Mommy isn't strong enough to lift her anymore. We haven't told her yet, though I have a feeling she suspects something. I'm going to wrap an "I'm going to be a big sister" book and put it under the Christmas tree for her. I figure by the time she goes back to school and starts blabbing to everyone in sight, I'll be 10 weeks and willing for the outside world to know--though I'm waiting until the end of January to tell at work.

I guess I'm feeling pretty optimistic overall. It's a nice feeling.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

My own heart stopped

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a yolk sac, a fetal blob thingy, and...a heartbeat!

Dr. SF says that normally they keep patients through 9 weeks (I'm 6w2d) but that he would consider discharging me early if I got in to see my OB right away. "At this point my job is to get you to a heartbeat and to get you off the progesterone," he said. If levels continue to look good next week, I'll drop to 1/2 cc a day, and then they'll check the level one more time and then boot me.

Uh, now I guess I need to figure out my new OB. And (gulp) call to make an appointment.

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