Monday, March 24, 2008

3 out of 3 plus a scare!

Leading up to today, I've have my share of nervous thoughts. I started bleeing with my first pregnancy at 8 weeks 5 days and lost it at exactly 9 weeks.

Today with my third pregnancy I'm 8 weeks and 6 days.

I had a huge, terrifying scare this morning. I touched my cervix when I was inserting the progesterone suppository. Big gush of blood. :( I tried to rationalize it by thinking that my cervix is extra sensitive because of the pregnancy and the progesterone adds to that. But, seriously. It was a lot of blood. Bright, bright red. Not what you want to see any time when pregnant let alone after having two miscarriages.

It was awful. I continued spotting all morning.

I didn't want to tell Christopher about the spotting right away. Instead I went to my acupuncture appointment and tried to take it easy. When I returned home I folded some laundry while sitting on the couch. We had about 30 minutes before it was time to leave for the RE appointment. Chris asked me what was wrong. He's pretty dang perceptive that husband of mine, because I was trying to keep the brave face on. So I told him about the bleeding.

We had a normal ride down to the RE's office. We got into the parking lot and sat in the car for a few minutes. All of a sudden Chris started digging in the center console for napkins. Big fat tears are just rolling down his face and he tried to wipe them away with the napkin. I had been holding my own until that moment. It reminded me all too well of the time when I miscarried the first time. We knew it was over at that time and he cried a few tears. It was so heartbreaking back then to see this big strong husband of mine cry over losing our baby. It was no less heartbreaking today. I didn't want to do this to my husband again. I did not want to lose this baby and relive all that agony. We both ended up wiping away tears, fearing the worst.

The doctor entered the room and asked me how I was doing. Before I could even answer, she asks why I'm always so down looking at the start of each u/s appointment. She really must not have a lot of RPL patients. This is nerve wracking, lady! Once you have lost your pregnancy innocence nothing is taken for granted.

I told her about the bleeding and she asked a few questions before starting the u/s.
She immediately showed me the baby's heartbeat. She took a few measurements: crown to rump is measuring 8 weeks 6 days (exactly as it should!) and the heartbeat was up to 165.



I asked her if she could tell where the placenta was. She changed settings and measured my cervix first. It was a normal length. Then she pointed out vascular areas on top of the cervix where the placenta was partially covering it. Cause of bleeding found!

It's still early enough that the placenta will probably migrate upward as the uterus grows. It's definitely something that we'll keep an eye on as it can be extremely dangerous.

I was told to discontinue the baby aspirin as that could be contributing to the bleeding. I'm also on pelvic rest until the placenta moves up. No problem. The progesterone suppositories aren't doing much for our sex life for either one of us.

But the baby is doing fine! Perfect in fact! It's still scary and it's still early yet.

I'm very thankful to God for this miracle.

From there we went to my first OB appointment. It was so nice to walk in there with some confidence and hope. The last few times I was there it was after miscarriage #1and #2.

We spent quite some time in my OB's office discussing my treatment and the crazy cycle that I had when I got pregnant. Thankfully the RE had given me the betas and Chart Summary (including the u/s measurements) so my OB could use those to date my pregnancy. I was dreading going through that since my LMP puts me 2 weeks ahead. I officially have a 10.28.08 due date. Give or take two weeks either way. ;)
Gosh, I actually think we may make it!

I had an internal exam and pap. The doctor asked for two of those huge medical cotton swabs from the nurse. He told me I did have some bleeding and he needed to clear it away. Otherwise my cervix was okay.

As the nurse was cleaning things up, she opened the medical waste can. On top were the cotton swabs just drenched in blood. Ugh. I said something about it and the doctor said he didn't want me to see those!

Since I had the bleeding, my OB wants to see me in two weeks. I'll be 11 weeks. We're going to try the doppler but I really don't see it picking up the heartbeat with my extra curves and tilted uterus. He said we'd do an u/s if necessary.
I'm going to ask if we can start with the doppler in the u/s room!

Oh well, at least it's not too long of a wait until my next OB appointment. I was so spoiled with the weekly u/s at the RE.

Baby is good. And for now, so am I. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

2 out of 3...

2 out of 3 ultrasounds completed. I had my second ultrasound today and everything was great. One more ultrasound to go and I graduate from the RE's office to my OB's care.

I'm officially 7 weeks and 6 days. The baby measured 7 weeks and 5 days. That's pretty close. I'm trying to reassure myself that this wasn't NASA measuring the baby or a team of surveyors. This is just one doctor picking a spot on the crown and another spot on the rump to measure. Hopefully the baby will keep growing at a good rate.

The heart looked absolutely huge today. It measured 157 beats per minute.

The first picture shows the doctor measuring the heartbeat. The second and third show a profile of the baby.


The baby's head is still a little pointy but that's normal for this stage. It will start looking more like a baby soon!
Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 7
Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 8

I asked the RE about continuing the estrogen patches. I was thinking she would tell me to continue them until 12 weeks just like the progesterone supplements.
She said that my level was high enough and I could discontinue their use. Great. This is after I just refilled another month's supply of them last week after her nurse told me to continue all medicines based on my estrogen and progesterone blood tests.
I think I'll continue them until Sunday as a compromise to my sanity just in case the baby needs a little more help. The doctor said they noticed an increased rate of miscarriage when the estrogen level was under 250 during week 4-6. I questioned her about remaining on it until 12 weeks and she said that was really only for IVF where everything is artificially controlled.
My level was only 97 before the supplements. After being on the supplements for 2 days, the level was 237. Last week it was 817. So it has definitely gone up someon its own. I would feel better if it was over a 1000. But she's the doctor with the degree. All I have is google and it's difficult to get a clear answer.

This rest is just cutesy stuff. Don't read it if you're not up to it.

After we got home, I told Chris it looked like a shrimp. He said, "Don't call my child a shrimp!"
A few days earlier, I asked Chris what we should call the baby. You know, instead of "the baby" all the time. He came up with Patches in honor of the estrogen patches that are glued to my tummy. LOL Silly, I know!
We never named the previous pregnancies. I'm thinking we have a little more hope this time around.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pregnancy: Take 3, Scene 4: Ultrasound

We had our first ultrasound this morning. I was so nervous and scared I could hardly relax enough to empty my bladder prior to the ultrasound.
The doctor came in for the ultrasound and asked how I was doing. All I could do was shrug and try not to cry. She asked me what was wrong so I told her that I was concerned about the egg quality because of the crazy cycle. She told me not to worry about things that are out of my control. How easy for her to say, right?

In went the dildo cam:

She started off by showing us the pregnancy. It's the blog thing on the left side. In the top photo you can barely see two white plus signs that mark the crown to rump measurements.) I'm looking for a flicker, where's the baby's heartbeat? She then points out the sac and the yolk. (Do I see a flicker? Could it be, could it be?) Then she points to the fetal pole and then finally to the flickering heart beat!

We have a baby with a heart beat! Thank God, thank God, thank God!
It was absolutely awesome. The baby measures perfectly at exactly 6 weeks and 6 days. She turned up the sound and we got to hear the baby's heart beat. It was 120 beats per minute.

Chris had the biggest smile on his face. I was pretty much dumbfounded. I had gone in expecting the worst because my symptoms had been pretty minor and I'd had spotting over the weekend. What a turn around.

Because of my history of miscarriages, I'll have ultrasounds on the next two Mondays. If God forbid something goes wrong, the doctor said she wanted to know right away. After those two u/s we'll be released to my OB's care and the risk of miscarriage will go down significantly.

I can't wait!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How I'm getting through this 2WW

This 2 Week Wait is the time from my last beta to my first ultrasound. I have no bloodwork to help me get through this time.

It's stressful. Pregnancy is supposed to a joyous time. But after miscarriage it's not so easy to get through these early days. I suppose it's not easy to get through any of the 9 months until I bring a baby home in my arms.

I'm trying to stay positive. Whenever a negative thought creeps into my mind I try to immediately replace it with a positive.

I've been having a lot of trouble with cramps. And with the lack of them. Everyone knows cramping is a sign of a growing pregnancy as the uterus stretches. Everyone that has had a miscarriage also knows that cramping is a sign of pregnancy that is about to end.

Last Sunday I had a lot of cramping. That was scary because I kept comparing them to the cramps of my miscarriages and of my period starting.
Upon message board advice I drank some more water and rested.

My cramping pretty much went away from Wednesday to Friday. That was scary because all I could think was that the pregnancy stopped growing.

Here's what I'm trying to remember:

Pregnancy symptoms are different from person to person.
Pregnancy symptoms are different from pregnancy to pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms are different from day to day.

Some wonderful ladies have written emails encouraging me.

I pulled these gems from some of the emails:

"This is God's baby and God's baby alone, whatever happens is in His hands"

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God"

"This could be my last pregnancy, so I need to enjoy every minute of it."

The following mantras are taken from the Success After a Loss Board to help those newly pregnant after a miscarriage.

"Today I am pregnant and I love my baby."

"I am pregnant until someone tells me otherwise."

"My past does not dictate my future. A previous miscarriage does not mean I will have another miscarriage."

"Just because something sad is happening to another, it does not mean it will happen to you." We all know miscarriage is not contagious!

And this is the hardest one: "There is nothing I can do to prevent a miscarriage from happening. Worrying yourself sick doesn't prevent a miscarriage. And if (God forbid) it were to happen again, I know I will survive."

Nursing Bras at Nurtured Family

Missing Piece By Lori Durante Rardin

Someone from my prayer group shared this touching poem about miscarriage.

Missing Piece
By Lori Durante Rardin

There are those of us
Who have had to bear even more.
When a pregnancy only occurs briefly,
Then our pain is like never before.

My body held a living life,
Apparent by the physical changes.
I could feel the difference in myself,
Nature was making its rearranges.

Then for some reason something went wrong.
The life was not growing as planned.
Nature discarded the problem,
And from me that life was disband.

My heart was torn away,
As darkness replaced that tear.
Emptiness, anger and despair abound.
Why is life so unfair?

Because of the months of trying,
Well-meaners choose a hurtful word,
“At least you can get pregnant,”
Does not console and is absurd.

It is like losing a limb
Dark and cold the bitterness feels.
A piece of my body seems missing,
No longer whole but peeled.

Then comes the anger at God.
How could he play this cruel joke?
Why tease me with my dream,
Then it’s gone in a masterstroke?

When the anger subsides,
I am left with only despair.
Pools of tears drop from my eyes.
The heart pain is difficult to bear.

Eventually I stop blaming the world.
I even blamed myself for a while.
The deep despair slowly lifts.
Looks like I’ll make it through this trial.

Even though the struggle was hard,
I take away many lessons to learn.
Free to look ahead at my future,
Yet my “missing piece” ember still burns.