Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Week Down

I’m so sorry I’ve been an absent blogger; my apologies to all! I did take my doctor’s advice and take a few days off last week (as opposed to the three weeks that he recommended!). It helped me catch up on my sleep, that’s for sure and heavens knows, I needed that. I have barely slept a full night since my 5th or 6th week! And with commuting between 5 and 6 hours per day, it’s just been really rough at the moment. We’re doing a bunch of cooking on the weekends so we don’t have to tackle it when we finally arrive home on weekday evenings; both of us are just too tired!

Other than that, I have a few appointments coming up. Next Wednesday, I have another appointment with the local RE. It may be my last appointment with him because I’ll be just over 11 weeks at that point. Colour me scared. I never expected to EVER be handed off to an OB/GYN for the ‘remainder’ of my pregnancy. Seriously. Those are words that frighten me to death.

On Thursday though, I have that first appointment with the OB/GYN. This is Doctor Handsomebrit who did my laparoscopy a few years ago to remove the persistent ovarian cyst, who indicated at that time that he would be "pleased to follow me through any subsequent pregnancy that might occur." He just may get that chance! Given that I have already done so much of the preparatory work (bloodwork, testing, etc.) during the course of the IVF, I’m not entirely sure what to expect from this appointment. So I’ll see how it goes.

Then on Friday, I have the first of two tests that comprise the Integrated Prenatal Screening (IPS) that is offered to women between 11 and 15 weeks. The first part (bloodwork + ultrasound) is done between 11 and 13 weeks and the second part is done at approximately 15 weeks. This screening tests for Down’s Syndrome, trisomy 18 and open tube neural defects.

The other thing I’m trying to figure out right now is timelines. My brother-in-law graduates from nursing school down in the USA on May 9. The plan is to have my Mom fly out to meet my sis for a conference in California at the end of April and shortly thereafter in early May, Dad will fly up to visit us for a little bit. Then, he, hubby and I will leave to drive to the States around May 6 to attend the graduation and have about a week or 10 days’ vacation.

However, somewhere in there, I had hoped to go home to Newfoundland for a few days. Yet, after we get back from the States, I will likely be too far along (26, 27 wks) to fly home. Or will I? At what point in your pregnancy are you not permitted to fly? Anyone know? Third trimester? The last month? After 30 wks? What do you know? Depending on what my doctor says, I’m figuring I may need to get home sometime in April, but that seems super early for a *gulp* shower! I might not do it at all, out of nothing but sheer fear of letting “Hope” in.

I have tried my best not to let too much Hope in but as the weeks go by, it’s harder and harder. I still haven’t bought a thing for Petit, though I confess I have looked a little, but I don’t expect to make any purchases for awhile yet. Though so many baby specials are happening at the stores right now! It’s hard NOT to look, you know? By not purchasing anything right now, I’m going to have to spend more later. Ugh. What a predicament. Last week, I spent some time with my friend T who had a baby girl in August and she advised me to get a jump on all those sales (all while making sure items can be returned of course). I’m so terrified of doing it though. Yeah, I’ve looked at and fantasized over cribs, layettes, travel systems, all those lovely items. But I just can’t bear to do it. Not yet. Not just yet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Most Beautiful Sound of All

After this morning, I'm convinced.

You all know what you're talking about, all of you who have travelled this road and had the lucky BFPs. You are right. And now I believe you.

The most beautiful sound of all is a baby's heartbeat. I was completely overwhelmed; this morning, we got to hear our baby's heartbeat.

Heart rate = 164 BPM
Crown to rump measurement = 2.05 cms
Approximate age = 8 wks 4 days (I calculate 9 weeks today, my other doc said 9 weeks 2 days; we're still in normal ranges for size and heartrate)

And it finally hit home.

I'm pregnant. And I am grateful beyond belief to have gotten this far.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stress 101

On Friday afternoon, I had an appointment with my GP. She was glad to see me, and she was genuinely happy for us in having gotten this far; she knows even this little success was extremely hard-won as she's followed us for years.

A few things came out of that appointment. First up, my blood pressure is good, measuring 122/76. I remarked to her that I'd had one or two severely dizzy spells. Hopefully that won't be the norm. Hubby commented later that, "Funny, you get p/g and your blood pressure goes down!" Blood pressure is something I have to watch. High blood pressure runs in our family and I'd rather avoid having to take yet another pill.

I asked the doctor about a plethora of things, like taking extra folic acid (she gave me a 'script for some), the nausea (again, a 'script in case it becomes horrid), about talking to a lactation consultant later on as women who are hypothyroid often have problems producing enough milk, and about the metformin and the synthroid. I'll return to the endocrinologist shortly; in the meantime she ordered some bloodwork to measure those levels as well as progesterone (it'd be nice to reduce the frequency of these injections, lemme tell ya!) and iron levels and the like.

The most interesting bit of the appointment was her recommendation to take one or two weeks off work. As I described to her, right now I'm spending five to six hours per day commuting. Now, this isn't the norm but right now, our city is experiencing a bus strike. And that means that hubby needs a ride to work... and of course he works right in the heart of the downtown core. Ugh. So we're up at 5 a.m., out the door at 6:15, picking up hubby's co-worker (who lives near us but is also stranded because of the bus strike) at 6:30, and I manage to drop them off somewhere around 7:50 or 8 a.m., arriving at my office just after 9 a.m. I'm working through my lunches to save that hour on the back end, and when I finally manage to leave the office, I do it all in reverse. We arrive home after 7 p.m. some days. It's insane. Completely, totally insane.

Now, add to that the recent stress levels at the office. I haven't written much about work and what goes on at our workplace but lately, what used to be enjoyable is certainly far from it. Honestly. I blew up at my boss the other day and in that 'conversation' I referred to our director as "the asshole in the corner who can't seem to get his head out of his ass and if he doesn't do it soon, there won't BE anyone here to work with!"

This stems from the goings-on in May. Back in May, we got ourselves a new Director. And by September, this director determined that our entire branch needed a re-org (as frequently happens in government). Well, he went so far as to merge our team with another, tossing me out of the acting manager position and bringing in a new woman who herself had just joined our department from outside. She still doesn't understand much of what we do or how we do it. Honestly. It isn't fun.

So moving forward, I'm the first one to embrace change. I think that if there are more effective ways to work, I'm willing to give it a shot. Five or six months into it, it's quite obvious this isn't working. I've been moved from one office to another (for a new, less-senior employee apparently) and then asked to share a cubicle with three other people. Yeah... real nice when I'm nauseous ain't it?

To name a few of the problems: we have an acting liaison who stepped down, another who tried filling the shoes in a different position but told our manager last week that he is no longer interested, two women retired right off the bat, another is gone on (assumed) stress leave and is not permitted to talk about the differences between her and her previous supervisor, another who has been bitched at for his hours of work (although he works his time always!), and still another who was told last week that after 10 years of working compressed hours, she is no longer permitted to do it. As for me, this new manager has bitched at me a few times about my appointments, all valid and all get put into the system. I make SURE of that! I've been moved from Technical Writing to French/English Quality Control, to editing Policy (come on people, cut and paste editing does not literally mean cut and paste!! Sheesh!) and now back to Tech Writing because I had enough of being tossed around. I have been asked to move offices twice. And all in all, it's making me livid. Stressed. Pissed off. And I'm definitely looking elsewhere. But putting myself through a full competition to find some new work at this time isn't wise either. I'm just trying to hang in there and not let too much of it get to me.

I told my doctor a lot of this and she figures I just need time to breathe. Like she said, if I take a week or two off work, that would put me a week or two further into this p/g, making it safer for both me and Petit, it would let me de-stress a touch and it would give me an opportunity to get some much-needed sleep. These days, I'm falling asleep on the couch at about 8 p.m. Hubby wakes me at 9 p.m. for the PIO injection and I collapse in bed right thereafter. It's nuts. I can't keep doing it, that's for sure. Somethin's gotta give...

On Tuesday I have another ultrasound. We'll see if Petit is doing okay. I'm worried of course and I just keep hoping that all will be well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

VTS, but it's still the jackpot to us.

At yesterday's ultrasound, only one little MB was present. "Petit" was just hanging out in there, happy as a clam.

At 8 wks, crown-to-rump measurement is 1.58 cms and the heart beat was 175 BPM. All is good with our one little Petit.

If there is/was a second one, it has either succumbed to Vanishing Twin Syndrome or is playing hide and seek in my uterus. Likely the former. We are a little disappointed, it's true, because it would have been fantastic to have twins. We were looking forward to it in fact. But it's okay. One Petit is just fine by us. After all, after five plus years of TTC, I'm not going to dare look a gift horse in the mouth.

I have to say though, the other night I had the PIO shot from hell. Seriously. Usually they're not so terrible, or I can handle it. But the other night, I cried like a baby. We figured hubby might have hit a nerve on my right side or something. The pain was nothing short of excruciating. Seriously.

It was only the image of Petit that kept me going after that. Some days are really much, much harder than others.


Friday, January 09, 2009

All is Quiet

I haven't written much this week, I admit. I've been a bad blogger... I guess I am keeping quiet and sticking close to home. And maybe there's a good reason for that.

You see, I was reminded earlier this week how fragile this all is. My darling blogger friend, Shlomit (you're still young!!) suffered the greatest loss this week.

Shlomit was about two weeks ahead of me on this road, she went for an ultrasound and was told that the baby had passed away. A mere 8 weeks and 6 days into the game and for some reason, the game has been called off. It simply isn't fair.

Shlomit is one of the sweetest, kindest, most supportive bloggers I've had the pleasure to get to know over the course of my own hellish journey. She is always there for us. She always has open arms, a kind word, a thoughtful invitation or just being her sweet self. And to take this away from her and her husband Sariel, well, there are no words. It isn't fair. It just isn't fair.

All of this is so tentative, so dicey. You never know what's around the corner. You never know if you will make it to the next appointment, to the next blood draw, to the next ultrasound. It can all disappear in the blink of an eye. And dammit, Shlomit didn't deserve that. None of us does.

I mourn her loss this week and I remind myself that each day I have, I am blessed. I can only hope that next time is HER time to be blessed too. Heavens knows, she deserves that and more. Sending her and Sariel lots of love as they get through today and as they mourn their loss. Go give her a hug if you haven't already.

Monday, January 05, 2009

OMFGOAPS (aka Jackpot!)

I feel like we've won the jackpot this morning.


There are two.

The pic for the bottom twin is blurry; the doctor would like me to go to another place with a much more powerful ultrasound next week to make sure. But measurements are good and all looks fantastic. And we saw a heartbeat for the top twin.

I am in shock. Happy, elated, ecstatic, amazed, stunned, joyous shock.


Now go vote for Mel (Stirrup Queens). She's been nominated as one of the best medical/health blogs. You can vote once per day. Believe me, this woman deserves this award and so much more. She brings attention to the issue of infertility and has given us all a place to congregate and talk, garnering support when we need it and distributing reliable, useful information when we need it. She is a godsend and I personally cannot wait to buy her book! Now GO VOTE!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


I am trying my best not to focus on the ultrasound that I'm supposed to have at 8:30 tomorrow morning. It's the 'viability' scan that will determine a number of things.
  • Is there actually an embryo in there or is the sac empty? Is there a fetal pole? If there isn't, tomorrow is going to be a super rough day. I'm glad hubby is going to be able to come with me.
  • If there is an embryo in there, will the heartbeat be good enough? Will we be able to see a heartbeat at all at 6 weeks 6 days? I would think so, but I'm still nervous.
  • And if there is an embryo, is there just one? Or are we looking at *gulp* multiples? Like hubby says, "One is great. Two and we'll do okay. Three and I'm going to need therapy!" (I say just one; beta numbers seem to indicate only one anyway.)
Regardless, I'm so nervous about tomorrow and I am terrified to walk into the local RE's office and have that ultrasound.

One foot in front of the other, right? In the meantime, I'm saying tons of prayers for good luck tomorrow.

Congrats to Vee and Max on being right ahead of me and having seen a heartbeat this week! I'm so thrilled for them both!