It’s all over, baby

December 15, 2009

No surprises with the hCG last night: down to 19. All I can say, at least it’s decisive. There is pretty much nothing worse than sitting at home, cramping up a storm, waiting to start bleeding… all just two weeks before Christmas. On the other hand, the hCG could be holding steady, which would be a terrible thing. I like action; any decision made and action taken makes me feel like I’m moving forward. Ditched the hormones last night and I can’t think of anything more decisively condemning for the fetus than that. (Yeah, it’s sad but necessary.)

I’ve had tremendous support through all this and I am so, so grateful. Although… here’s a statement from my neurotic friend E- that is always crabbing about something (I have never met anyone who complains so much): “…at least it’s not as painful as labour.” Can you imagine?!¬† I swear, some people cannot extract themselves out of their view of their surroundings, events or friends. Everything has to relate back to them. Oh, poor her! She’s gone through something worse, so I can feel better about¬† myself. Well, I told her that after labour, she got a healthy baby and I’m not actually getting anything. Contrast that to another friend that has two sons and also had a miscarriage. Her advice was totally practical: Tylenol 3, granny pads, a good bottle of wine and cuddling with the husband. And, she calls or emails every day to check in. I never knew she was so sweet.

I’m actually laughing at myself at the moment. I’ve got these humongous granny pads — they actually add an inch to you bum when you’re sitting down! I don’t think I’ve seen or used pads like these since I first got my period more than 25 years ago. At least the packaging these days is smarter.

Anyway, this is a short post. I have to call my OB’s office now to see what the next step is. I still don’t have full u/s results and it’s driving me crazy. But I’m trying to chill….

Hope you all are doing well. I’m going to go ’round and check on you all, on your blogs, later today.

A Yo-Yo Life

December 11, 2009

Wow, I am on the string of a yo-yo. Results from yesterday’s hCG indicated it had dropped more than half. It’s looking like a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, what have you. We are quite devastated. But I’m instructed to stay on the hormones and my next hCG will be taken Monday.There is less than a 10 percent chance that it could have cleaved with one twin dying and the other one growing.

I also had a “baseline” ultrasound today. The tech asked whether I was sure I had been pregnant! I guess they couldn’t see much at all. The one finding my doctor told me about was calcification in my uterus. He doesn’t think it looks problematic either now or for the future. He also said there’s something else but wanted to wait to discuss it with me next week. I can’t even begin to imagine what that ‘something else’ is or I’ll drive myself crazy.

Apologies for the short post. It’s all I can do to just stick with the facts.

Hope everyone else is doing much better than I am. Good luck to you all.

Oh, by the way, as a last note today, my doctor also told me that a significant number of his patients — and he said it’s not merely anecdotal in his practice — have had IVF in their 30s and 40s and then late in their 40s have gotten pregnant naturally! So it does happen, although I’m sure all of us would prefer to be younger moms than older moms. God, what twists and turns in life there are.

Today I am freaking out. I woke up feeling completely… normal. As in, not pregnant.

Two days ago I had faint needle-like cramps all day (similar to what I get pre-period) and today my breasts are definitely not hurting as they have been for weeks now. This has happened to me in the past, after IVF cycles, where I wake up one day and just know with absolute certainty that the embryo did not stick. I hope this is not the same thing. I am not allowing myself to think that I am no longer pregnant. I cannot think that, but I am worried. I decided to do another hCG test to know for sure. I cannot handle this anxiety. Unfortunately, that decision made me even more anxious as I ended up having to cancel an important meeting, which is now postponed until the new year and I cannot tell you how bad that timing is. I will now be without direction with my project for three weeks and I am the type of A personality that has trouble handling that. But, I just had to have this test done. I need an answer!

Scouring all the websites I could find and re-reading the What to Expect book, I am not really sure what I should be feeling after all. The book says that you can feel some of the symptoms some of the time (i.e. not consistently) and that they can change depending on where you are with your pregnancy. The OB’s nurse told me a few days ago that as long as there’s no bleeding I’m okay. On the other hand, I am taking crap loads of progesterone so that will actually prevent any bleeding from occurring in the first place. At least that’s how it worked with regular IVF. Sometimes I feel like my breast tenderness wanes… then I take estrogen again and off it goes. So I have no idea what to make of all this and am impatiently waiting for the results.

I’m sure that I’m sounding like a completely neurotic idiot right now but I can’t help it. I have never been neurotic in my life. Detail-oriented, yes. Extremely sensitive to my body, naturally. Especially after all that IVF… you get to know yourself quite intimately, don’t you? I hope I don’t feel like this the whole pregnancy. (I hope I have a 40-week pregnancy.)

Hooray! The little blast has kept dividing and our second beta hCG was up to 160. Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m still a little nervous because my sister-in-law had a miscarriage between this phase and her first ultrasound at 6 weeks. I realize that can happen to anyone. Although I’m trying to put faith into the fact that this embryo comes from a 24-year-old woman so it’s not all gnarly, aged, grey, faded and worn. I can’t help those adjectives; I’ve become used to personifying my eggs. It offers some comic relief for me to imagine them as cartoonish characters. My current embryo definitely has long, lustrous locks, sparkling eyes, healthy, glowing skin, no stretch marks… you get my drift.

However, my OB search is actually adding stress to my life. The one OB with whom I have an appointment at 12 weeks refused to see me earlier. The IVF clinic instructed me to find one, as they have graduated me from their care. And, well, I don’t have a lot of confidence in my family doctor. I am sure I could get a 6-week ultrasound and my doctor could read the results and call me with them. That is not the issue. My issue is that I am supposed to stop taking Aspirin, Estrace and Crinone (progesterone) gel at 8 weeks. In the past, I’ve been told that I would take them for 12 weeks and generally that is the protocol at the clinics up here. But my clinic has this new protocol and they are quite confident with it. I mean, they are the same people that were confident in placing just one blast at transfer time instead of two, and it worked so I should be okay with those instructions. However, I still want my hormone levels checked (there are instances where women don’t produce enough of their own hormones after going off meds and lose their babies) and I want to be followed by someone whose job it is to know about these things, instead of going to an independent lab that never sends the results same-day, then waiting until my family doctor’s secretaries find time to give her the results, then waiting to see if she even knows what to do with them or how to interpret them. Too much stress.

So now I’m continuing the hunt for another OB because the attitude of the previous one just sucks. She told me to call the IVF clinic to ask why I should stop the drugs. Duh! I know why I need to stop the drugs. Does she?!? I need follow-up! I mean, how can she let a donor IVF patient hang out to dry? It’s unconscionable, in my opinion.

You know what? I’m probably going to be one of those protective, crazed “older moms”… you know the stereotype. The one where women are just so bloody happy to have a baby they lose all perspective. But part of me now knows what it means to be a mom. Just like you have to take your own medical care into your hands — be an educated patient (without being an annoying one) — you have to advocate for care for your fetus because if you don’t demand it, who will?