So my mom (and a few other people) pointed out that my pregnancy reveal included absolutely NO details. So…details!
As you all know (I think), my body didn’t cooperate in January/February (the first month we were able to try again post hysterscopy and septum removal) and wasn’t going to ovulate on its own so we pumped it full of drugs and made it ovulate and did IUI (intrauterine insemination) in February. The IUI didn’t work and that big fat negative (pregnancy test) was a lot more difficult than I was anticipating. We decided to take a break in March. You may recall I had some crazy plans for my break and decided to take a break from my break (and blogged about it). We weren’t NOT trying, but we weren’t actively trying either. I didn’t track ovulation or take progesterone or any of that other crazy stuff people with infertility do. I just relaxed and tried to focus my attention elsewhere.
Well…I did take one ovulation test. I don’t know why I took it because ovulation tests don’t actually work for me. I NEVER get positive home ovulation tests. Even when I had a blood test to confirm ovulation I took 2 different brand ovulation tests at home and neither of them were positive. So…tracking ovulation for me means drawing my blood every 2-3 days. BUT…for some odd reason on a random day in March I took an ovulation test and it was positive! And I freaked out because our work schedules weren’t “working” in our favor…if you know what I mean. So I went through the rest of the month trying to focus my attention elsewhere thinking there was no way I’d be pregnant. But as the month progressed I just knew I was pregnant. I had NO symptoms and no reason to believe I was pregnant, but I just knew I was. So on March 23rd I took a pregnancy test (6 days before my expected period which is a bit early in the world of home pregnancy tests). I wasn’t really expecting it to be positive (because of that ovulation test- even though I knew I was pregnant- I know that doesn’t really make sense) so I actually set it on the counter and went and watched TV and took a nap for a few hours. When I woke up and walked by the pregnancy test I saw that 2nd line that confirmed what I somehow knew deep down inside. Even though I knew deep down that I was pregnant I couldn’t believe it. So I went to the store and bought 2 more brands of pregnancy tests (I already had 2 different brands at home). I took 6 pregnancy tests (3 different brands, 4 of the same brand) and an ovulation test (which they say can work as a pregnancy test). All were positive. But I still didn’t believe it so I saved four pregnancy tests for the next morning so I could use good, fresh, concentrated first morning pee. I also saved my 1 and only digital test for that next morning. The kind that doesn’t require interpreting a second line and says “PREGNANT” or “NOT PREGNANT”. That digital test (which hadn’t expired) was what I considered to be the mother of all pregnancy tests. It costs the most and gives a straight up no interpretation answer. So the next morning I woke up around 3 or 4 to pee and didn’t want to wait until I was truly waking up for the morning to take the tests (because I’m inpatient and I wanted that first morning pee). I took 4 tests, all different brands and 3 of them were positive. But that expensive, digital, “mother of all tests” test said “NOT PREGNANT” and I was like what the heck, no way, this test is wrong. And obviously it was. But what the heck? I’m pretty sure that “positive” ovulation test was wrong too which makes sense because home ovulation tests don’t work for me. Our early ultrasound dates confirm that I probably ovulated when I suspect I usually ovulate. Minus January my body is typically pretty consistent as far as the menstrual cycle goes.
I worked the morning of my final 4 home pregnancy tests so I had my blood drawn to confirm 10 of the 11 pregnancy. My hcg was 50.3 and progesterone was 31.7 which was great since I hadn’t been on progesterone and didn’t need to start it. Hooray…I HATE progesterone.
Unlike the previous 3 pregnancies I decided NOT to draw my blood every 2 to 3 days and NOT to get an ultrasound too early. I’ve had good blood draws in the past and know they don’t mean everything is going to be okay. I’ve had bad blood draws too and know that those just cause even more worry and stress.
So I decided I wasn’t going to draw my blood all the time and I wasn’t going to get an ultrasound too early when we may or may not see something but it could be fine either way. I wanted to wait to have my first ultrasound until I was far enough along that there wouldn’t be any question what we should see. Lots of blood draws and early ultrasounds don’t change the outcome. They just cause more worry….in my experience. After my positive blood test I waited a few days to call and schedule my first ultrasound and I was really upset when they wouldn’t schedule it until I had a second, confirmation blood draw (to make sure my hcg was rising appropriately). This is exactly what I didn’t want to do, but I also understood that I needed to follow the protocol and get the second blood draw. That second blood draw confirmed my decision to NOT draw my blood. I was so nervous all day until I got the results and it was stressful and not fun at all. Thankfully the results were good. I wanted my hcg to be at least 200 and it was 383.7 and my progesterone was 28.1 (lower but still fine and still not requiring progesterone suppositories). They offered to schedule my ultrasound in my 6th week but I asked to push it back to the 7th. Again…I wanted to go into that appointment knowing that we should absolutely see a heartbeat. I didn’t want there to be a scenario where we see and gestational sac, yolk sac, and fetal pole, but no heartbeat but “that’s okay, it might be too early still.” Nope…don’t want there to be any chance it’s just too early.
I scheduled my first ultrasound for 7w1d (7 weeks 1 day). The last day of a four day weekend. We headed to the beach the first 3 days of that weekend to keep our minds off the upcoming appointment. We were so nervous for that appointment. I don’t think either of us slept the night before and I definitely had non-pregnancy related stomach issues the morning of. I scheduled it for 8 am so we wouldn’t have to wait around all day. Best idea ever. We saw our blob baby AND a heartbeat at that first appointment. We were so incredibly happy but still incredibly scared. We were excited but there weren’t any tears shed. We were both just waiting for another ultrasound with bad news and it was surreal when it wasn’t bad news. So much relief, but still so much fear. Daniel did tear up once we were back in the car driving home and heard his parents’ responses.
When you’ve had 5 miscarriages everyone is excited to hear good news, but it’s guarded and it’s just not that same naive, innocent excitement that you experience with the first pregnancy…before everything has gone wrong. We sent our families a video with the flickering little heartbeat on the way home from that appointment to let them in on the news. My mom already knew because she’s sneaky and inpatient and I couldn’t lie. Below are our weekly ultrasounds starting at 7 weeks.
There were still a whole lot of nerves going into our 8 week ultrasound. We were excited to see how much the baby had changed but so afraid that little heart might not be beating any more.
We graduated to the abdominal ultrasound in week 9. This was a HUGE milestone and one of the moments that really helped me relax and start getting more excited. I have serious anxiety with vaginal ultrasounds because I’ve had 10+ and all but my last 2 revealed bad news. Putting the ultrasound on my belly and seeing a baby inside made it so much more real and truly helped me relax and feel like things really were going well. We also heard the baby’s heartbeat with our home Doppler for the first time in week 9. 9w5d to be exact. Cinco de Mayo. Daniel didn’t want me to try because he knew it was a little early to be trying at home and knew I would FREAK out if I didn’t find it. Thankfully I found it pretty quickly. A nice, strong little heartbeat and it was so exciting!
10 weeks. Super silly and superstitious reasons to be nervous for this ultrasound…BUT this was the first ultrasound Daniel couldn’t make it to and this is the first ultrasound I scheduled on a work day. Those 2 changes made me SO nervous. What if it’s not good today and Daniel isn’t here AND I have to go to work afterward. Thankful for good news and so fun to see how much baby changes week to week.
Always a lot to be nervous and afraid for before an ultrasound but mostly just really excited to see how much baby has changed at this point. We had 2 ultrasounds during week 11. 1 with the fertility clinic and 1 with my regular OB provider at our first appointment. I’m trying not to be too crazy with Doppler and ultrasounds but Daniel wasn’t able to be at the previous 2 appointments so I really wanted him to see baby at our regular appointment. I don’t have any pictures from that appointment but it’s the first time we really saw baby’s legs. I was starting to worry our baby didn’t have legs but we saw them real well at this appointment and they seemed soooo long! Our Dr. was also convinced she would be able to see the sex if we wanted to know. We did not want to know and I don’t think she actually saw anything and was just offering to look but Daniel thinks she must have seen a boy since she was so sure she’d be able to let us know! Neither of us really feel like it’s one or the other, but it’s fun to speculate.
Our 12 week ultrasound was our final ultrasound with the infertility clinic. I “graduated” from infertility. Bittersweet as it’s good news to be graduating because it means all is well but sad to see the end of weekly ultrasounds, peaking in on our little one, and weekly visits with the wonderful nurses and doctors at the clinic.
I still can’t believe we’re really going to have a baby by the end of the year. We’re due on December 3rd and I’ve had a pretty good first trimester. A little bit of nausea, but mostly a lack of appetite in the beginning. I actually lost about 7 pounds even though I never threw up, but I’ve now started gaining and am even starting to show a little bit. I’m definitely tired. Naps and 7-8pm bedtime are my friends. I can’t believe there is a tiny little human being with its’ own beating heart and own little brain moving around inside of me (and I can’t feel it!). It’s truly incredible and I’m so thankful for answered prayers.
Daniel and I feel truly blessed for all we have in our lives. We are so thankful for all of you who have been praying and rooting for us the entire way. We are so blessed to have such amazing and supportive friends and family. We’re really just overjoyed and still can’t quite believe it all. I don’t think we can ever thank you all enough for your continued love and support. Blessed. Excited. Amazed. Thankful. Overjoyed.
To those of you still struggling with infertility. I’ve debated long and heard for quite some time (long before this pregnancy) whether or not to do a big Facebook and blog announcement when we finally have a successful pregnancy and good news to share. I know how hard it is to see pregnancy announcements. I know the happiness you feel for the other person, but I know the pain you feel for yourself. I waited a long time for this moment so I decided to take it. Not only for myself, but also for all of the people who have been cheering us on and keeping us in their prayers. I want you to know that I was thinking about you and remembering you and your struggles all day today. You’re in my daily prayers. I’m rooting for you and praying for you and your moment. I want your dreams to come true and I’ll be here for your every step of the way.