heartbeat 

We managed to schedule a local scan, which saved us an entire day of travel. (Actually, we had two of them scheduled at one point. I guess that request for the GP to write a letter on my behalf was redundant.)

Our experience here, with this pregnancy, has already been so different, and it seems it will continue that way. We went to radiology, where they proceeded to do an external ultrasound, which I didn’t even know was possible at this early stage. (I guess all those vag-cam sessions with my first pregnancy were also redundant.) We saw one little bean, heart flickering away, measuring at exactly 7 weeks. The ultrasound machine was not equipped with sound, so we didn’t get to hear that beautiful whoosh whoosh whoosh, and we didn’t get a printout, either. When we met with the doctor, he asked why we were having the scan (the second person today) since they usually don’t do them until 12 weeks. Everyone seemed satisfied with the answer I gave to that question, so it wasn’t like an interrogation or anything.

I had blood drawn yesterday because I’ve been feeling suuuper fatigued, and no one had bothered to check my thyroid levels. Last time, that was something they checked with the first or second beta. My levels were high then, so they put me on medication right away. That doesn’t seem to even be on the fertility clinic’s radar, since they’ve asked for no blood since I called them with my test results. 

I’m sort of hoping it is my thyroid and medication will perk me up a bit. There are days I literally get nothing done because I can’t bring myself to stand, walk, or move for more than a couple of minutes before I have to sit down again.

Missy was with us for the scan. I don’t know how much she understands, but when she pointed to the screen and asked what we were all looking at, Hubby told her it was a baby, and she asked if it was in my tummy. I don’t want to talk about it with her too much because it’s still so early. 1) There’s no guarantee we’ll be holding this baby by next June, and 2) even if there was, that’s a long time for her to have to wait. But, of course, Hubby and I can’t agree on how much she should know and when.

For now, I’m breathing a sigh of relief while also anxiously awaiting the next scan. It’s going to be a long five weeks! 

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6 weeks: symptom spotting

As far as I know, I’m still pregnant. I haven’t tested in more than a week, continue to take my meds, and hope for the best. I was able to arrange a scan at the local hospital, saving us a whole day of travel, but it’s still just over a week away (Friday the 13th–eek!). At the moment, my most pronounced symptom is fatigue, followed, somewhat inconsistently, by frequent trips to the bathroom. Needing to pee in the middle of the night was my very first symptom with my first pregnancy, even before a positive test. That has not been the case this time. I also haven’t had a trace of nausea, which is consistent with my previous pregnancy. I was spoiled last time with weekly scans from six to ten weeks, which I definitely won’t get this time, so I have to find some other way to ease my anxiety about the goings-on inside my uterus. It helps that I have a busy girl to keep up with, so I have less down time to obsess.

Side note: These progesterone pessaries are wreaking havoc on our sex life (which hasn’t been great since Missy was born, anyway). It’s not just the…ahem, goo, but everything in my nether regions is just a bit off. Poor Hubby claims I’m glowing and beautiful, and I just keep him at arm’s length and tell him to keep his hands to himself. If all goes well next Friday, he may be looking at a long six weeks until I can stop these things.

Still pregnant #MicroblogMondays

I was congratulated multiple times today. Which feels weird, so early. I called my GP, the maternity unit at our local hospital, and our fertility clinic. I’m still waiting to hear whether or not we can get an early scan done locally, but it’s not looking likely. The fertility clinic wants us to do the scan in the morning because the early pregnancy unit (where they would send us if anything were wrong) closes at noon. But that would mean another overnight stay, something we were hoping to avoid.

In addition to healthcare workers, I’ve told my sister and one friend here (along with, of course, all of you). I may also end up telling the instructor of the hula hoop workout class I recently started. I really want to continue the class, but I don’t want her to think I’m slacking if I take it a little easy!

 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

9dp5dt


It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. Twenty-four hours ago, I had convinced myself that I wasn’t pregnant. Now I find myself wrestling with the hope, fear, happiness, and disbelief that comes with that second line. As I mentioned before, no betas here, so the plan is to test again tomorrow and the next day, hopefully watching that line turn darker and darker. I’ll probably wait until Monday to call our clinic. They recommend testing 15 days after transfer (I can’t imagine anyone actually waits that long!), but I think that’s more of a “don’t give up hope just yet” strategy. I’ll also call my local GP. Chances are, no one locally will do an early ultrasound, but it’s worth asking to avoid another long day of trains and buses with our 3-year-old in tow. I could make the journey by myself again, but if it’s bad news, I really don’t want to find out alone.

PUPO

This afternoon, while Hubby stayed with Missy in the waiting room, I put my feet into those all-too-familiar stirrups and had two blastocysts (along with something called “embryo glue”) transferred to my uterus. I had been especially nervous about the whole thing when I learned that 1) a nurse, not a doctor, usually does the procedure, and 2) they don’t use ultrasound to guide the catheter. But, in the end, it all went smoothly, and I now have two potential humans residing in my uterus.

Yes. Two.

My husband finally convinced me We agreed that with our history and the fact that it took a total of five embryos to get Missy, it was worth the risk of twins to increase our chances of getting pregnant at all this time around.

I have felt a couple of twinges, but I know that’s just the result of having a plastic tube shoved into my uterus earlier today. I’m not on bed rest or anything, and we will ride the train(s) home tomorrow, hopefully in time to get Missy to her Baby Ballet class.

So that’s it. I’ll probably test in 9 or 10 days, but the clinic doesn’t want me to “give up hope” until 15 days post-transfer, so I’ll have to keep taking my medications at least that long and test again on that day, if I haven’t already gotten a positive. No betas, just waiting. I have a feeling Missy will keep me busy enough that the time will fly.

t.b.d.

I’m right in the middle of a very busy week (Missy’s first week of official public school nursery, Hubby’s 2-day trip to Ireland as an external examiner on a dissertation, meeting a new family for my volunteer work, and of course, my scan on Monday) but wanted to do a quickie update. 

Monday’s appointment was a good news/bad news scenario. My lining looked awesome at a fluffy 10 mm (the minimum requirement to proceed with progesterone and transfer at our clinic is 7 mm). However, because we had transported our embryos in a medium this clinic doesn’t normally use, the thawing medium also had to be imported. Back at the end of June, we were told it could take up to six weeks to arrive. When I asked the nurse to confirm it had arrived–a full nine weeks later–I was told it still wasn’t there, although they were expecting it by the end of the week. So instead of scheduling our transfer for the following Monday, we were once again returned to limboland, waiting for a call from someone who could give us an exact date for the all-important culture medium’s arrival.

That call came today. The thawing medium is now safely in our clinic’s lab, and our new transfer date is Tuesday.  I stop the horrible nasal spray tomorrow evening and commence progesterone pessaries. As of now, the only thing left to-be-determined (assuming at least one of our embryos survives the thaw) is the time of the transfer. Wish us luck!

On the {Rails} Again #MicroblogMondays

I’m on the 7:30 am train, the first of three that will eventually get me to the city for a 1:30 pm lining check (after another 40 minutes on the bus). This is the second time in two weeks I’m making this journey solo. The first was for a blood draw. Yes, 11+ hours round-trip for a single vial of blood.

If all goes well today, our transfer should be early next week. We’ll have to go a day early so Hubby can sign the consent form. But we’ll all be together, and it’s now a running joke that maybe we’ll go to the zoo. (We never do.)

I miss my girl. She was still asleep when I left this morning, and she’ll be asleep by the time I get home tonight. This will officially be the longest we’ve been apart. So I’m feeling a bit sad about that, anxious for today’s appointment, and a mixture of hopeful and resigned for what the future may bring.

I will try to read. I have the green, rolling hills, the mist, and countless sheep for company. But mostly I have too much time to think.
 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

We are GO! #MicroblogMondays

After two weeks of worst-chest-cold-of-my-life-turned-sinus-infection, I’m finally emerging from the fog. As compensation for my very patient 3-year-old, who has heard “Mommy’s too sick to [fill in the blank],” more times than I care to admit in that amount of time, we had a full day of arcade, sea front, lunch and fancy drinks (preschool style), museum, ice cream, and castle park. It was a good day.

Tomorrow we begin what I hope will be a new chapter in our family’s story. I have a box of meds waiting. I haven’t actually received my calendar yet(!), but I know what I need to take when and how (including one I have to squirt up my nose every four hours!), at least for the next few days. Hopefully I’ll have a calendar in my hands by then.

Two weeks of illness have given me a glimpse of how difficult those early weeks might be, if we’re lucky enough to have this work. With my first pregnancy, the worst part early on was the overwhelming fatigue. I just keep thinking, “Poor Missy. How many times is she going to have to hear, ‘Mommy’s too tired…’?” It will be one of many changes to come (I hope). I have to believe it’ll be worth it. As much as her 3-year-old mind can grasp it, she does want a sibling. (We didn’t bring it up–I swear!) It’s so stinkin’ cute to hear her talk about “our” baby, I can’t help but want to make it more than just a hypothetical for her.

 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

The Countdown #MicroblogMondays

I’m expecting day 1 of my next cycle this week. That’s the day I call our clinic to set things in motion for our upcoming FET. The medium for thawing our embryos has been ordered (we were told it could take up to six weeks to arrive!), a calendar will be made up, drugs ordered and sent to our door. Only one question remains: one or two? I thought this was settled during our recent appointment, where our new doctor wrote down in her notes that we’d only transfer two embryos if the first one didn’t look good after the thaw. And yet, the first thing Hubby said to me after that appointment was, “I still think we should transfer two.”

And then my head exploded.

There are so many details, so many factors to consider, including–unfortunately–financial ones. There’s no way to predict how this cycle will turn out, despite our best efforts at control. Hubby wants to maximize our chances, but I’m torn between that and minimizing risk. 

So I’m asking you: pros and cons for transferring two hatching blastocysts? All opinions and anecdotal evidence welcome!
 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.

Movement #MicroblogMondays

It’s been three months since my last blog post. Two of those months were spent preparing for my sister’s visit, while simultaneously feeling very much back in that familiar limbo. We had transported our frozen embryos across the Atlantic back in October and had, at one point, talked about doing a transfer while my sister was here, so we’d have someone to wait with Missy. That didn’t happen, but I’m finally feeling like we’re making some moves in the right direction. Here’s an update:

  1. Zappa came to visit. It was two weeks of aunt-niece bonding, family hikes, laughing at nothing until we both peed, and feeling a renewed sense of appreciation for the beautiful place we now call home. After she left, I was both sad and determined to make a visit to the US soon.
  2. Missy turned three! I both love and loathe this age so far. A couple of months before her birthday, I was already beginning to understand the term “threenager” and why everyone said three was worse than two. Now the mood swings are in full force–so many big feelings!–and it seems her day is not complete unless she’s thrown at least one epic tantrum. But she is also loving and imaginative and has actual friends and loves preschool and can tell me all about her day, which is awesome.
  3. More than a few times, I’ve come across job listings that would be a perfect fit for me. Except for one tiny detail–I have neither a car nor a UK driver’s license. Our aim was to survive as long as possible without a car, but it’s become clear that if I want to work with families and young children in a rural community, I have to be able to drive. Now the question is whether, in the midst of learning to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, I also want to (or have to) learn to drive a manual transmission. I’ve only ever driven an automatic (very American, I know), but both the cars themselves and the instructors with access to them, are hard to come by around here. Either way, this is happening soon.
  4. In the meantime, I’ve begun volunteering. I’m working with families (well, a family), but it’s more focused on mom than the kids, which I’m actually finding more compelling now that I am one.
  5. My hope is that #3 + #4 = finding a job I’m both qualified for and logistically able to pull off.
  6. And I’m finally feeling like that’s possible now that Missy is sleeping! Yes, you read that right. She’s falling asleep without my help and sleeping uninterrupted for 11-13 hours a night! Amazing!
  7. So. Instead of a spring FET, we’re now looking at late summer. Not too bad.
  8. But. That means Missy and I have to work on eliminating that one feed that’s still very much a part of our bedtime routine. This is the part I’m most dreading, but Hubby has tried to convince her that if she wants a sister (she says she does), she has to save the milk for the new baby. While I find the logic adorable, I have to say I’m afraid to get her hopes too high, just in case none of our three embryos results in a sibling for her. The thing about waiting this long for #2 is that #1 understands everything.

 Want to participate? Check out Mel’s post to find out how.