blech

I keep meaning to post IVF # 4 – 6 and their stats, etc. You know, just in case someone really wants to hear about my ovarian response to gonadotropins. Actually I learned a lot from reading about other people’s cycles. I probably wouldn’t have my son had I not come across a blog back in 2006 where a woman had zero fertilization of 17 good looking eggs – thanks to her I made sure we did ICSI on each cycle and had good fertilization.

Unfortunately this blog is turning into one long moan and I am sorry to say that there isn’t much I can do about it. I’m not the kind of person who can wait and see. I need to know what I am facing.

So here I am facing a deep dark hole – I am 8 weeks today. Yesterday, at 7 weeks 6 days, the embryo measured 7 weeks exactly – 7.2 days if you use another measurement. I have earned my google MD….and over the past 24 hours I’ve become an expert on reading fetal ultrasounds prior to 9 weeks gestation. So the facts are that I measuring behind – to be precise, the embryo is measuring (the CROWN RUMP LENGTH or CRL) exactly 1cm. This corresponds to a gestational age of 7 weeks exactly (there is a plus or minus of 5 days but….I received this reading from two different techs so I’m going to trust it). Last week I measured 3 days behind and now the gap is widening. This could mean a number of things.

The Bad:

1. Abnormality. Triploidy/other chromosomal abnormality in the embryo seems like a reasonable diagnosis for slow fetal growth.

2. Sac size not growing fast enough to accommodate growing fetus. My sac is measuring 5 weeks 3 days (which translates to 2/3 days ahead of the embryo). I won’t bore you with the minutiae but basically this is a death sentence.
3. Blood flow problems. I have a blood clotting issue. I am on lovenox injections once per day to keep my blood clot free and flowing. Hopefully this is working because these shots are a mother. My legs are bruised and battered and quite frankly, I spend a good deal of my day dreading them. When my husband does the injection it definitely doesn’t hurt as much. I’m such a wimp that I SLOWLY stick the needle into my thigh and then even more slowly inject the fluid. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to giving myself injections.

The good (there are some glimmers of hope here):

1. The embryo is a girl. Read this: The longitudinally collected observations showed that CRL in female fetuses was significantly smaller compared with that in male fetuses
2. Late implanter. Could be – I did have lowish betas and who knows when I actually conceived on an IUI cycle (though I suspect it was within a 24 hour period of November 4th).
3. Tech error. Again, highly unlikely that two techs are going to come up with the same measurements.

So I guess I just have to wait until Monday’s ultrasound. I have to remain hopeful that growth will be consistent and that the heartbeat (154 bpm) will remain strong. The prognosis isn’t good though – from every story I have read of women in the same position…probably 80 percent resulted in miscarriage.

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Not great news

The baby is measuring approximately 5/6 days behind – measuring 7 weeks exactly. My RE said that he was concerned but that the only thing we can do is wait and see at the next scan. I quickly booked another scan with a fetal medicine expert – they found that I am measuring 7 weeks 1 day. I should be measuring 7 weeks 6 days. At my last scan I was measuring 3 days behind.

It isn’t what I wanted to hear, naturally. I’ve googled and searched for information – and found that most women with this prognosis have gone to miscarry. Sure there are a few women who went on to have normal pregnancies…and there is always a chance that I had a late implanter (which I suspect is the case) but I’m not filled with optimism that this is going to turn out well. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

There is probably nothing worse that how I feel right now – I want to hope for the best but I know too damn much. Now I just have to wait until Monday and hope that this little baby grows and thrives meanwhile preparing myself for the worst.

Dreams…

So, I had a dream last night that my beta HCG flatlined. I woke up scared that maybe this pregnancy is over. I just talked my RE into seeing me for an ultrasound. If everything is OK he is going to give me the “calm down, you neurotic New Yorker” or…he’ll have to admit that I have psychic, all knowing powers. I hope it is the former. You see, I’ve been wrong about just about everything regarding this cycle/this pregnancy. Have I mentioned that I am certain that we’ll be having (arghhh) a boy? My husband is equally as certain that we’ll be having a girl (he cites his male intuition). Considering that I’ve been mostly wrong…maybe he is right?

Decision!

Yesterday at the doctor’s appointment my RE told me that I would be released to my OB on December 22 which sent a shiver down my spine… I don’t have an OB here in Atlanta and judging from my requirements, there isn’t an OB in Atlanta who fits the bill.

Call me spoiled but I had the most amazing doctor with Alex. Her name is Janice Marks and she was recommended by my NYC RE. Knowing how worried I was about staying pregnant he recommended that I see Dr. Marks. In his words, “I’ve seen her operate and she takes command” – boy was he right! She is on top of everything, tests for everything, monitors your every move. In essence, she was neurotic about my pregnancy so that I could relax. When I asked my RE yesterday if he knew anyone like Dr. Marks in Atlanta he told me, “there is no other Dr. Marks – she is one of the best doctors I’ve ever worked with” (He previously worked at Lenox Hill with her).

So I called her…and she says she thinks we can do it. I’ll be going back and forth for important appointments like the first and second trimester screenings (the nuchal and that amnio) and then she will want to see me come to NYC around week 34 if all goes well. I’d be induced at 38 weeks.

It might be a little bit of a hassle – uprooting my son for a month…and once I deliver I’ll be far from home – but the relief I feel at knowing she will be in charge of my birth is so worth it.

Mind you, my friend called me today and in the course of conversation let it slip that one her friends had a miscarriage at 8 weeks….that brought me back to earth. This is not a done deal. Some might say I’m stupid for telling anyone let alone the internet but I’ve been through enough struggle, enough loss to understand that this is not something to be ashamed of nor is it something I can control. I’d rather share my journey with my friends and perhaps help someone else out there who is still finding her way through infertility. If I miscarry I’ll be fine – I have enough support and for that I am very grateful.

6 weeks 5 days

And we have a heartbeat!

I felt like it could go either way – I don’t really feel pregnant but I do have some symptoms…I’m tired and I have porn star boobs…oh and I occasionally feel like vomiting.

So that is the update for now – embryo is measuring normal for dates, heartbeat is good. 2 more weeks and I need to find an OB.

I apologize for dull postings – it is hard to think when your brain is half asleep.

Husband in the dog house

I never did elaborate on that post, did I?

Well – after 7 years of nagging, crying, begging, ignoring, pleading with my husband he is quitting smoking. In August he quit and promised me that would be the end. He started when he was 14 years old so I have every right to worry that he will be impacted at some point by this nasty habit. So, imagine my delight when he decided to quit on August 30th….and imagine my dismay to discover at the end of September that he had started smoking again…all the while denying that he had had a relapse. I caught him red handed and there was big trouble. After another two weeks of begging, crying and pleading he decided to start chantix. It is going very well and I have a feeling this drug is going to be able to finally break this horrible addiction…and to further encourage my dear sweet husband to keep his resolve, I offer 1,000 US dollars from his bank account if you can provide me with a picture or any other evidence that shows he has started smoking again. How about that, husband?

5 weeks 5 days

I don’t know – am I? I thought I was 6 weeks tomorrow but who am I to argue with my RE? Sorry for the lengthy absence but I’ve had nothing to say. In times of stress I tend to retreat and shut everyone out.

I was doing fine, actually. I fully intended to wait until Friday the 5th of December for my ultrasound but…I woke up this morning and scheduled an ultrasound. I KNEW it was too early but my curiosity and nervousness got the better of me. And, as expected, there was no heartbeat. All that could be seen was a gestational sac and a yolk sac. My RE assured me that this was completely normal and that early ultrasounds are discouraged for this very reason – it just causes more stress. He instructed the nurses to prohibit me from having another ultrasound until next week – which made me laugh. When I quizzed him about my need to do IVF in the future (I mean…IUI did work and IVF did not) he told me that I basically got lucky (I’m not sure I agree with him but that is another story). Then he rolled his eyes and reminded me that I should focus on the good news and not start planning for the failure.

Before some wise ass tells me to “think positive” and stop being so negative – I would like to say just one thing. It is easier to fall from a chair than a cloud. I read this on my IVF message board and couldn’t agree more. So back off and understand that my negative thinking is protective. Thanks. And to all my friends who call and email and worry about me – I’m fine. I just don’t feel like talking about it. I’ll be back soon, I promise.

My next ultrasound is scheduled for a week from today – Monday. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to keep my mind occupied but considering I have a very active toddler, I’m sure it won’t be hard.