my little thumb sucker…

We interrupt the previously scheduled 30 Day Blog Journal to bring you an important update – My baby is doing great!!

We went in for our “sequential screening” today (to check for down syndrome, trisomy 18 and spina bifida). I was so nervous going in. I just wanted to see that little heart pumping away. We had quite a long wait and both Justin and I were going batty just sitting around waiting! We finally got called back to the u/s room. She squirted the jelly on my tummy – and then there Blueberry was. At first I didn’t see the heartbeat and I got nervous, then the little one did a quick jump! It was so amazing, not only knowing all was still well, but that the little one was moving around! So awesome – my husband and I both broke into tears and the tech gave him a big wad of Kleenex first 🙂 After that, I was just so happy Blueberry was still there that I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the show.

Little one was SO active! Justin swore it was waving to him at one point (the screen was turned away from me then for the tech to take the measurements, so I can’t confirm that – but I’m sure Blueberry was saying “HI DAD”). The tech said we wouldn’t get the results of all the screening until after the blood tests, but for now, everything looked great on the u/s.

We also got to hear the little heartbeat, plugging away at 150 bpm – thumpa thumpa thumpa! Amazing, amazing sound…nothing like it in the world! Blueberry is measuring somewhere between 12w3d (smallest measurement she took) to up to 13w1d (largest measurement she took). I’m at 12w3d today, so those all sound great to me!

We also got LOTS of pictures! I won’t post them all, but here is my favorite:

My little thumb sucker.  So cute, right?  I couldn’t be happier right now.  Please,  remind me of this moment when I start freaking out in a few weeks again.  For now, I promised myself after this u/s, if all was well, I would try to be more calm.  I’m going to finally open up the copy of “What to Expect” that I ordered, and I’m going to start up my journal again.  With my 2 other babies I journaled to them almost every night.  I was too afraid to do that this time, but I’m ready now.

Next u/s in 8 weeks!!!  I don’t know how I’m going to wait that long (October 1st).  Maybe my ob/gyn will want to do an ultrasound herself at some point.  The hubby and I had a discussion about renting a doppler but both decided it would cause more anxiety than reassurance for both of us.

I have a pre-natal appointment with Dr. D on the 9th.  I’m glad it’s so soon after, but hopefully that doesn’t mean I”m going to have to wait a long time until my next one!

We’re thinking soon of letting more people know about the pregnancy.  It makes me nervous, but I know at some point I have to get over that and celebrate with my friends and family, and that’s what I really want to do right now – celebrate!!!

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and now, the rest of the story…

Before I tell the whole doctor’s appointment fiasco story, I just want to brag a bit – I got my first round of morning sickness today!!!  I know, not something you normally want to brag about, but I’ve never had it before.  I thought maybe I never would – maybe I just needed to get further on in pregnancy to have it.  It makes me feel awful, but on the other hand, it makes me happy, because maybe – just maybe it means I’m going to make it 😀

Woke up about 4 am and the whole world was spinning!  I’ve never been so dizzy in my life!  I tried to lay still on my back for a bit and it calmed down a little, so I went to turn on my side – bad idea jeans.  I sat up and hubby asked if I was okay.  I said “I think I am going to throw up”  he said, “I’ll go get the bucket.”  Good man.  I then had him walk me to the bathroom (so I wouldn’t fall over) because of course, I had to pee again.  Took the bucket with me.  Once I felt a bit better he walked me back to bed and I spent the rest of the night lying still on my back, trying to sleep when I could.  By morning the dizziness was less and my tummy felt better.

I wanted to stay home, but knew I needed to go to work, because I already missed most of Monday, and I’m taking 1/2 of Friday and all of next Monday off to go up to Minnesota to see my first Twins game at the new Target Field!!!  So, I had hubby drive me in to work.  It wasn’t the best ride, got nauseous again, but I was pretty okay until we turned off Lake Shore Drive and onto a very bumpy, pot hole filled street.  Then, I made him pull over and grab a bucket from the trunk.  He got me to work and I ran in to the bathroom while he went to the store to get me snacks and lunch.

I haven’t actually thrown up yet, but it’s been very very close.  I’m keeping my bucket by my desk all day, and trying not to make sudden movements, as I’m still pretty dizzy.

So that’s my sickness story…on to my doctor visit (this is going to be a long post – sorry.  Maybe a nice little picture will help break up the longness of the post!)

Here is my little one at 9 weeks!!  I’ll get into the story of the ultrasound in a bit here.

So my first prenatal appointment with my ob/gyn was this Monday.  My appointment was at 11:45, so I left work at 11 and go there a bit early.  Luckily they got me in pretty quick.  Sat through the long family & medical history questions from the nurse.  I noticed that the u/s machine was not in the room so I asked if Dr. D was going to do one, since I have a clot next to the baby in my uterus.  The nurse said, in that case yes, she probably would want to do an ultrasound.  So she had me dress in the lovely, very flattering hospital gown and cover in a sheet.  An actual sheet, not a paper one!  My MFM has real sheets too – and they’re huge!  I never felt covered when I had to use the paper ones!

Anyway, Dr. D comes in and tells me that their u/s machine broke the other day and she wouldn’t be able to do an u/s.  My heart dropped.  I’d been anticipating this appointment to make sure my baby was still okay and the little heart was beating away.  She said there was another office in the building that did u/s and she would try to squeeze me in there, but it may not be the same day.  I told her to try anyway.

Then, I had to go through more med. history questions with her, have a breast exam and a pelvic exam (complete with speculum, yay…).  She said all looked good and that my cervix was closed, a good sign.  I was happy about that.  I also asked her about some pain I’d been having on the left side, sort of a sharp, crampy feeling I get sometimes, but only on the left.  She said that was okay, because it’s where the cyst was (what cyst?  Do I have that too, or is that the clot?  Of course, I didn’t ask because I think of these things later…) and the pain was actually good, because it means it’s doing what it’s supposed to do.  During my exam she pressed around and found the exact spot where it was.  OUCH!  So I ask a bunch more questions, get refill RX’s for progesterone (to get me to week 10 when the placenta takes over) and Metformin (to get me to the 2nd Trimester, when I will stop that).

She then leaves to try and get an u/s appointment for me and to get the blood work form for me I’ll need to do for them.  I was lucky that day, because she said they could get me in at 2 pm.  I took it immediately (keep in mind, I left at 11, so I hadn’t had lunch yet).  I also get my blood work form, and 3 pick requisition forms for the office with the u/s machine.  The first is for the u/s appointment that day, the 2nd is to see their MFM doctor (I’m switching insurance in September and the new one doesn’t cover my lovely MFM doc, which makes me very sad), and the 3rd is for 12 week screening.

So, I have to head downstairs (the ob is in a huge medical building, attached to a hospital) to reception and “check in” to go to the Antenatal Office for the u/s.  I literally checked in as an outpatient – had to wear a hospital bracelet and everything!  Very strange.  They tell me I can go up to the office right away, even though my appointment isn’t for another hour.  I head up, check in and they bring me back about 15 min later – early again!

So, time for the ultrasound.  You can guess, I’m terribly nervous at this point.  I’ve never made it to a 2nd ultrasound.  I knew I should be 9 weeks, and I’ve never made it that far either.  To my surprise I didn’t have to do the transvaginal u/s with Wandy!  It was on top of my tummy, yay!  Of course, you have to have a full bladder for that, and they push REALLY hard, so it was uncomfortable, but at least on the outside instead of inside.  My tech was super nice, and actually knew my old MFM because he used to work in there office.  Her name was Mary.

She fires up the machine and starts the u/s.  I’m holding my breath the whole time.  Usually, if they don’t say something soon after it starts, I know it’s bad news.  She waited about 20 seconds, which were the longest of my life – then turned the screen:

Mary: You see the fluttering little heart?

Me: There is still a heartbeat?

Mary: Yes there is!

Me:  *starts to cry and sniffle*

She immediately grabbed the tissue box and handed me one and held my hand.  I told her I’ve never gotten this far before.  I was pretty much bawling at this point.  It was so wonderful and beautiful.  Next she told me we could try to hear the heartbeat, though it’d be just a short 2 seconds so to listen close.  She cranked up the volume and there it was.  2 perfect, beautiful little beats.  The tears started up again, as I had never heard my baby’s heartbeat before.  She told me it was a great 171 bpm.  She did some more measurements and checked on the clot and then it was over.  She printed me some pictures, too 😀  I asked about the clot and she said based on the notes from my old MFM doc, it looked to be about the same size.  I was a bit upset about that, as I’ve lost so much old blood over the past 3 weeks, I was so hopeful it would be gone, or at least smaller!  I’d even stopped spotting over the past week!  No luck though.

So, I get all the goopy gel off (well, as much as I could anyway) and then ask her where I go to make the appointment for my 2nd pink slip of paper.  She looked at it and wasn’t sure what it was for.  She told me to stay in the room and she’d figure it out for me.  Seriously, this place was great!  She came back about 5 min later and said it was for a consult with the MFM about my blood tests and that if I wanted the MFM doc could see me in a few minutes.  I figured, might as well get it done since I was there.

So, about 15 min in the waiting room and they called me back.  I sat with the MFM nurse for a few minutes (she was super nice, too and we had a lot of personal conversation as well as medical) and answered some questions.  She told me to wait a bit and the MFM would be ready for me.  She offered me some juice while I waited which I jumped on because I was starving.  Finally get in to see the doctor and it was really just a rehashing of what I already knew.  She just explained what the MTHFR diagnosis meant and why I had been put on the extra folic acid and baby aspirin.  It seemed kind of silly that I had to meet with her since I already knew all the info, but it was nice to meet here, as I’m sure I’ll be seeing her again.

Next, I went and made my appointment for the 1st Trimester screening (no amnio, I don’t want to do that at all, but we’ll do the u/s and bloodwork).  So I go back to there office on Aug 5th.  I’ll be about 12.5 wks by then.  Glad I don’t have to wait until my next ob appointment to see the baby again (which is Aug 16th).

Finally, I went back up the elevator to finally do the blood work for my ob.  I got into my car at 3pm and was back to the office around 3:30 pm.  I felt so bad that I’d been gone so long.  Luckily I had sent a text to my husband and had him call my boss to tell him I was running late at the doctor.

So, that’s my very very very long story.  If you’ve made it through to the end, I commend you and would give you a medal if I could!  Honestly though, thank you to all of you who have supported me and given me advice through this whole adventure of TTC.  I’m not at the end yet, but after Monday, I’m feeling more and more confident that this could happen, I could be holding my baby come February 14th!!!

beta #4…

So on Monday I called and talked with my ob/gyn.  I spoke with her about the u/s last Friday.  She said that there was a 6 wk fetal pole.  This was good news, the MFM never told me how far along it measured.  I asked her if I could get another Beta test before my u/s this Friday.  She said at this point, she doesn’t need to see any more numbers, but if I wanted to get the test done for my own peace of mind I could.  She did warn me though that rising or falling numbers could mean nothing.  I understood, but wanted the tests anyway.  I also asked her to recheck my progesterone.

Results are in.  Beta #4 was 26,022, Progesterone still low at 11.4

Doctor said that the beta numbers were good, and we’ll just have to keep watching the progesterone, though at this point, what’s more important is that there is a heartbeat when I go in for the ultrasound tomorrow.

I hadn’t been using the progesterone inserts the last few days.  Maybe that was dumb.  I kinda wanted to see what the numbers would do on there own I guess.  I’m a moron, what can I say.  Needless to say, I’ll be using them from now on!  Though, I’ll have to forgo the dose tomorrow morning due to the ultrasound.  If the news is good then *fingers crossed*  I’ll be going back on them.  I’ll also have to ask for a new prescription, as I only have 2 wks worth.

So, that’s the update for now.  My u/s is at 2pm tomorrow.  I’ve taken the afternoon off of work so I can either celebrate or go home and cry myself to sleep.  Hopefully it’ll be the first one.

I’m still spotting some, though some days I’ll have nothing and the next day it’ll come back.  Some times just a bit on the TP, sometime it’ll show up on the pad (TMI, I know, sorry…)  I just wish it would go away.  It’s not leaving me much room for hope.

I want to thank all of my readers, commenters and Twitter pals – you guys have been awesome and very supportive.  I’ve also gotten some great help from IRL friends and family, and I couldn’t appreciate all of that more!  It is wonderful to know I have so many people thinking of Justin and I and supporting us in through this whole journey.  Thank you.

finding a new doctor…

So you may recall, I broke up with my old ob/gyn (see the full story here) due to many issues (some of which are also explained here).  Shortly after I decided I was done with Dr. Tam, I google searched for gynecologists in Chicago.  I know, I know…dangerous thing to do!  Who knows what you could end up with!  Since moving here, I’ve always gone to see doctors either by referral from another doc, or by advice from a friend.  My regular doctor had referred me to Dr. Tam, so I couldn’t ask him for another referral (he seemed to really like her and think she would be good), and I of course couldn’t ask Dr. Tam – that would be rude: “Hey, ya know, you kinda suck as an ob/gyn…could you maybe give me a name of someone way better than you?”  Yeah, I’m not that kind of person (I hope)…so I googled.  I found someone online, who took my insurance and had nothing by 5 star reviews from current patients.  So, I took a leap of faith and called to set up a consultation appointment.  I figured there would be no harm going in to talk with her and see what she had to offer!

So, I was looking for someone I could feel comfortable with, someone who seemed to either understand my particular fertility problems or at least be willing to work with me and learn.  Boy howdy, did I find her!

My first clue that this was going to be the right place was the paperwork I had to fill out before getting there.  In the section to fill out about past pregnancies, not was there a place to mark if the pregnancy had ended successfully, but had a column to fill out about miscarriages and a spot to put how far along in the pregnancy you reached!  Seriously, this place understood pregnancy does not = healthy baby all the time.  Other forms I’ve filled out in the past just asked for pregnancy and how old the child is now.

I got into the office and the nurse brought me back for a few medical history questions and to check my blood pressure.  Then the doctor came in.  She was so nice!  I was immediately at ease!  She went over more history with me, spent time with me trying to get the time line of my pregnancies, losses and diagnosis figured out so she understood the steps I’ve already taken.  She has a relationship with Dr. Freaking-Awesome (my MFM doc) already and was happy to let me continue to see him if/when I get pregnant again.  She then talked with me about possible next steps – she really understood my diagnosis and current treatments!  I couldn’t believe it, I doctor that actually understood me and was willing to help me!!  It was a miracle.  Right away there were some tests she wanted to run (that should have been done when I had first mentioned to my old gyno that I was thinking of trying to get pregnant).  I’m going in today for some blood work.  First off, she’s checking my Progesterone levels to see if I did in fact ovulate this month (I should be 7dpo if I did).  She wants to see if I’m Oing on my own.  She mentioned clomid, that it might be a good thing to introduce to my current regimen.  I don’t know why but I’ve ALWAYS been hesitant about taking it.  All of my docs (old gyno, RE, MFM) have mentioned it to me and I’ve always said no.  But having stepped back now, I think it may be time – if it helps I’m willing to go there now.  New ob/gyn seems to think that it may just be that extra push that I need.  Okay, I’m ready for it then!

I’m also being tested for cystic fibrosis carrier and to see if I’m still immune to chicken pox and rubella.  I guess this should have been tested for when I first wanted to get pregnant.  If I’m a carrier for cystic fibrosis, DH will need to be tested too.  If both parents are carriers then the baby would get it.  I really hope that I’m not!

Step 2 of the new plan is to go in a few days after my next cycle begins (hopefully it won’t!) and get an endometrial biopsy.  I’ve never had this before.  She says that I have certain risk factors (PCOS, MTHFR, over weight, etc…) that could lead to Endometrial cancer, and she just wants to check and make sure all is well.  It should be no worse than getting the saline sonogram that I had with my RE, so I’m not too nervous about it.  She said I may get a bit crampier than the other test, so I’ll just take some ibuprofen or Tylenol before the procedure to help with that.

Can you believe this – all from a consultation appointment to see if I’d like to stay with this doctor!  I can tell you, about 1 min into my conversation with her I’d already decided!!  She even said if I get a positive pregnancy test to call Dr. Freakin-Awesome first to confirm viability and then to call her – she takes this high risk stuff seriously!!  I know she’ll be able to deal with crazy pregnant me if/when I get to that point!  I’m so happy with how this all worked out!!!

Okay, so now for the naming ceremony.  I need to give her a clever nickname – oh, and by the way, if you live in the Chicago area and want to check out my new doctor, send me an email at somedaybabyt at gmail dot com and I’ll give you her contact info.  Hmm…how about, Dr. Understanding?  Dr. Delightful?  Dr. Proactive?  Any good suggestions?  I’ll take them!!  Maybe we’ll even do a poll if I get a bunch of good ideas!  Leave your name suggestions in the comments!

back from the vampire…

Finally was able to go in to have my massive amounts of blood work done.  Yup, they took 12 vials of blood from me.  You read that right: TWELVE!!  On top of that, I wasn’t allowed to eat for 8-10 hrs before that, so I was already a bit light headed from that!  I planned ahead and had OJ and a bagel at the ready after the blood draw!  So, now I wait until I get the call from the MFM doc with the results!

In other news, my work place is being used for the filming of a new CBS pilot today!  It’s really cool.  They’re using the exterior (I work at a church) to be a school.  So there are buses parked out front, and kids dressed in school uniforms in and out of our building.  They’re using our big hall as a holding area for the extras and for their meals.  There are people and cameras all over the street outside!  It’s pretty fun!  Wish I could go out and watch them…

I just went out with one of my co-workers to look at it.  They’re calling our building “St. Maura’s High School”…so I guess the Baptist church I work at just went Catholic! 😀

the blood tests…

So today’s the day.  I’m going to the blood draw office today after work.  From all that he’s marked, it looks like they’ll be taking about 1/2 of the blood out of my body.  So, I should be fine to drive home after that…um, right.  This morning I bought a bagel and orange juice to have afterwords, just in case.

I’ve made a copy of the test order so I can have a record of what they checked.  Also the MFM said he’d give me a copy of all of the results.  I really love this guy, wish he could be my full time doc!  I’m actually going to try to get all of my gynecologist records faxed to me so I have stuff to show the new person (when I find a new person…).

I’m going to use this post more for information for myself…I’m going to list the tests and using Dr. Google and WebMd, try to figure out what it all is and what it’ll mean if the tests come back positive for anything (the link on the test will give the website where I go the info, as well as provide further information).  So here’s we go!

  • TSHThe TSH test is often the test of choice for evaluating thyroid function and/or symptoms of hyper- or hypothyroidism.
  • T-4 (Thyroxine), freeThis helps the doctor to determine whether the thyroid hormone feedback system is functioning as it should, and the results of the tests help to distinguish between different causes of hyper- and hypothyroidism.
  • ANA w/ reflThe ANA test is ordered to help screen for autoimmune disorders and is most often used as one of the tests to diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
  • Cardiolipin scr/rflxTests for IgG and IgM cardiolipin antibodies are frequently ordered to help determine the cause of an unexplained thrombotic episode, recurrent miscarriage, or thrombocytopenia.
  • Chromosome Study
  • Factor V (leiden)Factor V Leiden mutation and prothrombin 20210 mutation tests are ordered, along with other tests related to thrombophilia, to help diagnose the cause for venous thromboembolism (VTE).  They may be ordered when a patient has a personal or family history of recurrent VTE, a first VTE related to oral contraceptive use, pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy, or when they are experiencing unexplained miscarriages.
  • Glucose, fastingThe blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of glucose in the blood right at the time of sample collection. It is used to detect both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, to help diagnose diabetes.
  • Lupus AnticoagulantLupus anticoagulant testing is used to help determine the cause of an unexplained thrombosis, recurrent fetal loss, or a prolonged PTT test. It is ordered to help determine whether a prolonged PTT is due to a specific inhibitor (an antibody against a specific coagulation factor) or to a nonspecific inhibitor like the lupus anticoagulant.
  • MTHFR, DNA mutation It is involved in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects, stillbirths, and recurrent pregnancy loss. The leading cause of hyperhomocysteinemia is folate deficiency.
  • Protein S antigen
  • Sjogren’s antibodySjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly reacts to the tissue in glands that produce moisture such as tear and salivary glands.
  • Thyroid peroxidThyroid antibody testing is primarily ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease and to separate it from other forms of thyroiditis.
  • Prothrombin Gene
  • Profs – not sure what this is, maybe I’m not reading his handwriting correctly…

DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT!!!  As I was typing out the list I saw “Glucose, fasting”.  Damn it!!  Just remembered I wasn’t supposed to eat today.  DAMN IT!!!  Guess I’ll pushing these tests until tomorrow.  So angry with myself right now!  Grrr, Argh!

it’s on…

Went in this morning for ANOTHER blood work & u/s. The tech I had today always tells me the measurements as she goes so I was very relieved when she told me that good ‘ole Laverne had given me an 18 and a 16.5mm!! Yay Laverne! Shirley is still plugging along with a 12mm. Happy to hear that, I went in for my blood draw. I asked to speak to my nurse after that, to get the box of Brevelle she had set aside for me just in case.

Jaime, my rock star nurse extraordinaire had just been looking at my ultrasound and she said, “Your ultrasound looks great. No Bravelle tonight, we’re going to have you do the Ovadril tonight and IUI Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to cancel your blood work for today so you don’t have to pay for it.” I love that woman. She very much understands our situation and does what she can to help us out! Right now she’s calling around to pharmacies in Chicago to see if any of them have the Ovadril. I usually order through Freedom Fertility Pharmacy over the phone and they overnight the stuff to me, but since I need it tonight, that won’t work. She said there are 2 places she knows might have it, and she’ll call me as soon as she knows where to send me. Did I mention how much of a rock star she is?

So…looks like the 2ww starts tomorrow folks. I’m glad we’re finally to this point again, but nervous. At the end of this 2ww, it’ll be my due date for Zippy (Oct 4). That means, depending on the news, that weekend will either be much easier to deal with, or I will crawl into a cave and hibernate for the next month. Any good vibes y’all can send me would be MUCH appreciated!!! Here we go again!