Making the Official Announcement

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but I am finally ready to make the official announcement: I AM PREGNANT!! We are going to have another baby!

Two lines! Two lines!

Seven week ultrasound picture.

Nine week ultrasound picture.

I am 12 weeks pregnant today and just starting my second trimester. The chance of miscarriage drops significantly at this point which is why we are finally comfortable sharing the good news. This gives us a November 14th expected due date! Wahoooo! In light of my previous experience, it’s really hard to let myself get excited and be happy, but I think we are finally at that point. I cannot wait to share this journey with all of you.

So backing up a little bit, after my miscarriage, the doctor told us to stop trying for a cycle to give my body a chance to recover. Then we tried the Clomid again. We did the same dose as before, since obviously it worked, just something else didn’t. I charted, tracked BBTs, and had my blood drawn (checking various hormone levels) more times than I care to recall. But it was all worth it in the end. I brought my doctor my successful chart and she joked that it was the most perfect chart she has ever seen, saying she would have thought it was the sample chart if it didn’t have my name on it. I couldn’t have been more happy!

I have been keeping a little journal for myself (since I wasn’t able to post it all here yet) and wanted to share that with you now. Ya know, just to catch you up.

My boobs are killing me, my face is breaking out, when I opened the fridge the combination of all the smells made me gag and I’m over-reacting to every little thing (I can see myself acting crazy but I can’t seem to rein it in). I must be pregnant. There is just no other logical conclusion.
(Please let me be pregnant. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m really not. Please, please, PLEASE let me be pregnant.)

After 18 days of elevated BBTs I took a pregnancy test as soon as we got home from the beach tonight. I know the tests all recommend the first urine of the day, so I had low expectations. You can imagine my surprise when the second line showed up immediately, confirming what I already suspected: I’m pregnant!!

Despite the fact that I have taken SEVERAL pregnancy tests over the last couple weeks, it was still a shock to me when I had an ultrasound today and we saw a baby! We were even able to see (and hear!) a heartbeat. It was so comforting to have a positive outcome and happy tears. Looks like I am a little over seven weeks along and are looking at a November 14th due date!

I had a doctors appointment today (I’m 9w3d) and we got to have a mini ultrasound to check on the baby. I was so nervous, but sure enough there was a tiny baby and a steady heartbeat. They printed the picture and Ana carried it around the office telling everyone it was a picture of HER baby.

A big thanks to all of you who have offered us support and shared your experiences with us along the way. We are excited and scared but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I have started a “Maybe Baby TWO!” category where any and all baby related pictures will be posted. Check back often!

Another Bump In The Road

A little over two weeks ago, on December 18th, I got something I hadn’t had in almost four years: a positive pregnancy test. I was so excited. In fact, I wrote this:

Well, I just found out I am pregnant. I guess I already KNEW, but I was trying to not get my hopes up… like I did several times in the last 11 months of trying to get pregnant. It’s been a rough time so far, but I am sure that by August 24th 2010 (my due date!!), it will all be worth it. It’s a cool, rainy day today, but my heart is so full of happiness and hope that I don’t even notice.

But before you go and get all excited and happy like I did, I have to warn you: this story does not have a happy ending.

Four days ago I started spotting. I tried not to be too worried about it, after all, this happened when I was pregnant with Ana, so I tried to be optimistic. I took it easy, spending the better part of the day in bed watching a marathon of The Next Iron Chef. But the spotting continued. And then it got worse. Finally I decided it was time to call my doctor. After a couple calls back and forth I ultimately was given two options: 1) come in the following day for an ultrasound or 2) wait and see if things get worse. Since I had already waited and decided it was worse, I opted for the ultrasound.

That brings me to this morning. Sim and I dropped Ana off for a playdate with some friends and we went to our ultrasound appointment. The tech started the ultrasound and took a few pictures but decided she couldn’t quite see what she was looking for and wanted to do an internal ultrasound. Once again, this didn’t worry me because I had been through all this before. But as the ultrasound progressed and nothing appeared on the screen, our hopes started to diminish. The room was totally silent. Finally the tech spoke and said, “Ok, here is your left ovary…and here is your right ovary.” And that was pretty much all she had to report. Sim told me later later, “I kept waiting for her to say, ‘and here is your baby’ but that never came.” She said she would send the pictures she took over to my doctor and I would meet with her in a few minutes.

We went out to the waiting room and were soon called back to see my OB. She walked into the room and said, “This was NOT the reason I was hoping to see you guys today.” Boy, do I know! So we basically sat down and talked about what had happened and what we need to do now.

My doctor was a little stumped because there weren’t any obvious signs of a miscarriage; I hadn’t had any pain or cramping with the bleeding and the ultrasound didn’t show a blighted ovum (empty gestational sac). In fact, the ultrasound didn’t show anything. Nothing. I was beginning to think I was having a hysterical pregnancy like Terri on Glee, but my doctor assured me that I did not make the whole thing up. She said it was probably one of two things, either I had already passed the sac without noticing or I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. They drew some of my blood to check my HCG (human chorionic gonadotropinso) levels and hopefully we can try to figure things out. At this point, we are actually rooting for the miscarriage. If I DO end up having an ectopic pregnancy I would get a shot of methotrexate (which my doctor said is basically chemotherapy) that would hopefully end the pregnancy. If that didn’t work I would need surgery. Not really an ideal situation.

So I have to go back into my doctors office on Friday to draw more blood to check my HCG levels. If they are going down, my body is already taking care of the problem on its own. If the levels are going up, we need to figure out why. I am also keeping my previously set doctors appointment in a couple weeks (they are changing it from an “OB” appointment to simply a “GYN” appointment) so my doctor can continue to monitor the situation. She informed me that during the ultrasound they discovered a little unexplained fluid around my right ovary and she wants to check on it with another ultrasound at that time. And the hits just keep on coming!!

So Sim took the rest of the day off work so we could spend some time together as a family. We cuddled on the couch, we got a babysitter so we could go see Avatar 3D to celebrate our 12 (TWELVE!!) year dating anniversary (we’ve been married for seven) and took every opportunity we could to be grateful for the amazing things we have in our life. We have each other. We have a wonderful relationship. We have our health. And, most importantly, we have an amazing daughter who we just cannot stop hugging.

UPDATE: I got a call from my doctor’s office this evening and my second blood draw showed that my HCG levels are down from 210 on Wednesday to 34 this morning. So we are pretty much guaranteed that I had a miscarriage and not an ectopic pregnancy. Whew. If there had to be a “best case scenario” this was it. Thank you for all your well wishes. It means so much to our family.

Working on Being Optimistic

“Well, it looks like somebody did their homework!” my doctor said happily as she peered at me over the stack of charts I handed over to her nurse just moments ago.

I smiled, and said, “Yep. Considering the length of time it took me to get pregnant with Ana, we started charting as soon as we decided to try again.”

And that was 10 months ago.

Allow me to back up. Sim and I started trying for Baby Number 2 at the beginning of this year. Being the (over) planner that I am, I was hoping to have a baby at roughly the same time of year I had Ana so that my maternity clothes as well as the baby’s clothes would all be in the right season. If I had another girl, then ALL the clothes would be able to be used again. Let me just tell you, there are A LOT of clothes. Anyway, I digress. So I had my IUD removed in January and thought I would allow my body a month or so to “get back to normal” then if I got pregnant in March-ish, I would expect another winter baby. Perfect, no? However, my body had other plans. After charting for 10 months and noticing some problems with the regularity of my cycle, I decided to set an appointment with my doctor to determine my options.

Now that brings us back to the present, with me sitting in front of my doctor trying to figure out what to do now. My OB/GYN is amazing, and got right to the point, “All I needed to see was TWO of these charts to tell you that something isn’t right. And you brought me TEN.” Basically she was able to conclude that I haven’t been ovulating. (Kind of a big problem when you are hoping to get pregnant.) Now we just needed to figure out why. Luckily I timed my appointment perfectly in my cycle (day three) and so while I was at the doctor’s, they were able to draw some blood and test me for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and check my hormone levels, specifically my Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels. My doctor also gave me a prescription for Clomid and instructed me to start taking it on day five of my cycle (through day 10).

[As as side note, a lot of people, myself included, are skeptical of Clomid because of the shocking stories you hear about women delivering sextuplets as a result of the fertility aid, but my doctor assured me that she “delivers babies, not litters.” With the dosage that I was prescribed, there was a 96% chance of having one baby, 3% chance of twins, and only 1% chance of triplets. There was ZERO chance of having any more that three.]

She also recommended that I start using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) starting on day 10. I was also instructed to set up an appointment for a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) exam to check my fallopian tubes for blockages. This appointment needed to be done before day 12. (See how important timing is when it comes to fertility?!)

Whew! Are you overwhelmed yet? I know I sure felt that way. But while there were a lot of new words, acronyms, and procedures I needed to learn, I left my doctors office feeling empowered. I was taking control of the situation and being proactive! I had realized there was a problem (not necessarily what it was, but that there was, in fact, a problem) and was taking steps to fix it.

So, after a few hiccups with my insurance company (they would cover things, but only at specific locations) on day nine I went to Portland Medical Imagining for my HSG test. The procedure was as routine as shooting radiographic dye into your uterine cavity can be. Once I got past the tingly/stinging feeling (almost like injecting ice water into your veins) it was actually interesting to watch. My test showed that I did not have any blockages and the dye was able to flow freely through my tubes and into my abdominal cavity. I left the clinic, feeling mildy crampy, but optimistic about my results. There is also a slight increase in fertility in the months following an HSG, as it “clears out the cobwebs.” So that was aiding in my optimism.

Seven hours later, however, my positive attitude plummeted as I was overcome with severe abdominal pain and instructed by the on-call doctor from my OB’s office to go straight to the emergency room. The long and the short of it (after several hours of sitting in the E.R. in pain, explaining the procedure I had done to each person I encountered) was that my pain was too long after the procedure to have perforated my uterus (it would have been instantaneous), but too soon for infection to set in (it generally takes a day or two), so they concluded that I was having a “reaction” to the dye used in the HSG. Unfortunately, since my test went as we hoped, all the dye they used was just floating around in my abdomen, waiting to be absorbed by my body. My body, however, was having an adverse reaction to the dye and therefore causing me extreme pain…for which there was nothing the doctors could do but give me a shot to prevent infection, hand me a bottle of Vicodin, and send me home. So for the next few days I tried to move as little as possible, remain medicated, and sleep as often as I could. Eventually the pain dulled and now I just have minor twinges from time to time and an incredibly heightened awareness of every part of my reproductive system.

Since my test (and the recovery it required) I am back to charting, taking my basal temperature every morning, tracking my ovulation (if it does, in fact, occur) and crossing my fingers.

And now we wait.