Monday, March 28, 2016

So Much for Luck

We went for a 6-week ultrasound today.  We could see a gestational sac but no yolk sac or fetal pole or heartbeat.  Either my timing is off (unlikely) in terms of date count or I am going to have a miscarriage.  I'm sure it is the latter -- I'm pretty positive on ovulation date and I know that what we saw today is not good news.  I know the u/s tech very well and she was very sweet about it and reminded me that 33% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and that what this likely means is that something is/was wrong.

I am crushed.  This is not how I felt when we lost Q, of course. But I'd be lying if I hadn't already been thinking about this baby and what he/she would be like, how different our lives would be come November, etc.  Even though I told myself not to, I'd been making plans.

Don't I know better by know?

Everything does feel different with B at home. I snuggled her extra long this morning before the appointment and I'm going to head home early to see her tonight.  I know how lucky we are to have her and how much joy she brings to us.

Nevertheless, I'm quite sad.

We'll do a repeat ultrasound next Monday unless I start bleeding between now and then and decide next steps then.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Beta #2 & Luck?

Phew.  Another deep breath over here.  My second beta came back at 151.  I'll wait now until what should be the 6 week mark and have an ultrasound to see if there is a heartbeat and things are developing appropriately.

I have a dear friend who went through years of struggling to get pregnant and is about to have her second baby thanks to IVF.  We have been a constant source of support for one another over the last 3 years with our various struggles.  She said to me the other day that she thinks I might be one of the most fertile of her friends.  She and I are very close and I know she didn't mean anything negative about what she said, but the comment has been repeating in my head since she made it.  And it makes me feel guilty.

R and I tried for almost a year to get pregnant the first time, and in the middle of that year I found out that I have Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) (now they call it Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, but once someone tells you that you have a condition with the word "failure" in it, it tends to stick with you).  I was told verbatim that we were "never going to have a child using my eggs."  My own OB (who I consider a dear friend at this point) told me that I should use donor eggs. Everything was so incredibly grim, as many of you can relate.  And then it got worse after I had my surprise pregnancy with Q and we lost her.  I thought I had already hit rock bottom when we got the infertility news, but little did I know...

And then we got lucky again.

But here's the thing... I don't know how much this helps/matters, but the first two times I got pregnant, I had an ultrasound (coincidentally) the day I was about to ovulate. I happen to have gone in for ultrasounds for another reason (in both cases b/c I was having an extremely long cycle and we were seeing if I had a cyst or some other issue), only to see an ovary entirely covered by an egg.  Both times the sonographer and doctor said it could be an egg or it could be a cyst, but if an egg I was about to ovulate, so it was time to "get busy."  So, yes, I've been pregnant twice without intervention, but I did have really good intel as to timing intercourse, not to mention doing acupuncture, taking supplements, having changed my diet, etc.

I didn't have an ultrasound recently, but I have been tracking my cycles, taking DHEA and various other supplements, and generally being healthy with exercise, eating right, and not drinking.  And I have been getting my period since November so it has been almost six months.

I'm being incredibly inarticulate, but somehow I'm feeling guilty about her comment and generally about writing a blog about infertility and loss when I've now had 3 BFPs. Sure, I have only one living child right now (and now the hope for one more) and certainly we've been through the ringer, but I can think back to how I felt 3 years ago when I got the POF diagnosis and how hopeless I felt and I think I might have been totally irked if I read my own blog at that time.  Either that, or it might inspire hope, which I hope is the case.

Regardless, I just want to say that despite losing Q and struggling through the devastation that is having a stillborn child, I do feel lucky that we got pregnant again, against all odds.  Please don't think that for one second I forget how fortunate I am and how grateful I am for our little B.

My ultrasound is scheduled for March 28th.  Fingers (and legs) are crossed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Take a Deep Breath

I am a little bit pregnant.

After a few positive tests at home over the weekend, I had a blood test yesterday morning.  My HCG beta came back (approximately 13-14 DPO) at 48.  It isn't a great number.  It is definitely in the range of "normal," but I of course would have preferred something above 100 and it is has left me scouring the internet for what is normal, what affects beta results, stories about initial low betas that double appropriately and result in a successful pregnancy, etc.

I am scared.  And thrilled.  And anxious.

Can I actually publish this post? If I do, and I speak the words out loud, will the baby be taken away from me just for daring to think it could be true?

What I know is that R is traveling for work again and I feel like I can't tell many people who know me in person, and I need to put this out into the world.

So there it is.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Follow Up on Regrets

Dearest friends - I want to thank all of you so very much who commented on my post about Regrets.  This community that I've become a part of means more to me than perhaps you all know (although I suspect you all feel the same way).  Thank you, thank you.  R is out of town for work this week and I've been quite sad and you all just made me feel like I wasn't alone.

Reading your comments made me think of a few things about which I don't have regrets or which worked out better than I could have expected.  Part of it was people around us knowing better than we do about what we might need or want in the coming days, weeks, or months.  I'm eternally grateful for the doctors and nurses who guided us and told us what we probably would want when we were so unsure of how to proceed.

And before I detail what I'm glad we DID do, a disclaimer: everyone makes their own choices and each is right in that moment and right for that situation and family.  Please, please, please don't misinterpret any of my comments about what we did or didn't do as judgment. It isn't.  These are just the decisions that R and I made.

First, photos.  We asked to not have photos taken.  We don't have any photos of the three of us - as a family - which breaks my heart.  But we have quite a few that a photographer took of Q when she wasn't with us.  I didn't even know they took photos of her, but when we checked out of the hospital, they gave us a box of mementos with her footprint on top, and inside was a CD of photos, as well as a few that were printed.  I'll confess that I don't look at them often, but when I do I am SO glad I have them.

Second, we held Q.  You all know I wish I had done more (hold her longer, bathe her, etc.), but we did hold her.  When we initially found out that Q died, we told our doctor we didn't want to hold her, but she talked to us about it more and suggested we reconsider, which we did.  I'm thankful for her guidance and persistence.

Third, we also weren't sure what to do with Q when we left the hospital.  That probably sounds unloving, but we just didn't know.  Would we have a service?  What kind?  When?  We initially were not going to do anything, but the hospital gives you 30 days to change your mind.  Thank God.  We called back a week later and asked to have Q cremated.  We have yet to do anything with her ashes, but we will when we decide what is right.  I'm so glad I didn't leave her at the hospital.  We planned to do something just the two of us on the anniversary of Q's death, but Baby B was 2 days old and we were still in the hospital.  And now we think we'd prefer B to be a part of whatever we do.  Truthfully, we still don't know, but I'm glad that when we do figure it out, we'll have her ashes.

Fourth, we gave Quinn a name.  Initially, we were insistent that we would not name her.  We hadn't settled on a name yet and neither of us knew how we'd feel down the road.  But about 2 days after we left the hospital, I realized that I wanted to talk about Q all the time and I didn't want to call her "the baby."  For me, it didn't do her life justice to not name her.  We didn't make a widespread announcement about her name at the time, but we let close friends and family know.  When we sent out B's birth announcement, we included a note on the back where we talked about losing Quinn.  It felt so important to us to share her name and story with all of our friends and acquaintances.

These were just the things that popped into my mind as I read all of your comments.  They reminded me to not just focus on what I wish we did differently, but also to think about what we did that has served us (and Q's memory) well.

Thank you again.  And I'll leave you with some photos so end this post on a happy note!
Deciding what sort of trouble to get up to!

Chasing poor Forest.  Luckily, he is considerably faster and more stable on his feet, but it is not for a lack of effort from B.