Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scary things...

I'm not going to lie... ever since we saw those 2 pink lines, I've been going back and forth with my emotions.  Some days I'm super positive and feel pregnant... others I'm waiting for something bad to happen.  Well, Saturday morning I woke up and one of my biggest fears came to life.  I saw blood.  Just a little, but enough to panic and run off to the ER.  I cried all the way there and while waiting to be seen.  I thought it was most certainly over.  Why is this happening to us.  We've never made it this far and it's already being taken away!  Well, the doctor did a quick scan and saw a nice little sac in there.  She laughed at me and said... you are pregnant, there is nothing to worry about.  I told her that we were pretty certain both embryos implanted, but she didn't even bother looking for a second sac!  It took me a little while to process that we now only had one baby after a whole week of thinking there were 2.  But I was OK.  I was happy that I had one baby at all.  She tested me for RH and it was positive so I do not need the "shot".  I asked her where the bleeding was coming from and she threw her hands up in the air and said "No one knows".  The rest of the evening I spent resting on the awful loaner bed. 

The next morning, we were supposed to visit with our old Landlords, but I was still spotting and not feeling very well.  I'm glad we didn't go because later that evening I began bleeding profusely and clotting!  More crying and panic came along with that.  We decided not to go back to the ER and instead went to the hospital up the road.  They didn't really have an ER, and they called the on call doctor to see me.  He did a scan and again we saw the sac and this time also a yolk.  But right next to that sac, there was another circle that appeared to be a second sac.  I told him our beliefs of both embryos implanting and he said yes... this is possibly the other one.  He said it was a hematoma.  I asked him if that could be caused from the other embryo leaving us.  He said yes.  I cried that I was losing a twin.  But I was relieved that the other sac was still in tact and seemed to be measuring OK.  I went home and researched Vanishing twins and hematomas.  I found a lot of information that led me to believe our second embryo was detaching from the wall and causing a blood clot. 

On Monday, the bleeding slowed down and went back to spotting again.  We finally went for that visit, but I felt a little off and uneasy so we didn't stay long.  John took me home and I went up to bed.  An hour later I felt a gush.  More heavy bleeding and clotting followed by painful cramping.  At one point I was on my knees crying.  I let the cramping continue for 4 hours hoping it would go away but it never let up.  So John finally took me back to the hospital at 11pm.  The sac was still OK but looked "squished".  The hematoma looked weird... almost like it had ruptured or something.  I asked the doctor if it could harm the baby and he said yes it's possible but that they would do what they could.  Which basically meant me staying over night with pain medication.  By 5am the pain was manageable again.  John brought me home and I spent the rest of the week resting as much as possible. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were house cleaning days, but my amazing husband handled everything for me.  I did do a little vacuuming but that was it.   John brought me to the hotel where I could lay in a more comfortable bed.  Time seemed to be slowing down.  I was so bored and all I could do was google about hematomas and vanishing twins.  I hoped that maybe we would find a miracle at the ultrasound, but I didn't want to get my hopes up.  John insisted that both babies were still in there and doing OK. 

Thursday was ultrasound day.  But not until 3:30pm!  It was the longest day of my life... or felt like it anyways.  John was still busy running errands and it was getting late.  So I decided to walk over to the clinic from our hotel.  I was scared.  I almost had a panic attack in the waiting room.  John and Aidan arrived and tried to make me giggle.  Finally at 4pm I was in Dr. N's office waiting for her.  She walked in and said... "So.. you were successful this time".  She knows how hard we've tried to get pregnant and she's seen me before every cycle for some procedure or another (hysteroscopy/laproscopy).  I said "Yes... but...".  She asked me what the "but" was about and I explained what happened over the weekend.  We went right over to the ultrasound machine to take a look.  While scanning around... I saw a couple of blobs that looked like sacs, but they appeared to be empty.  I tried to contain myself until she told me what was going on, but then she said... there is the heartbeat.  WHAT???  I was not expecting to see a heart beat.  I prepared myself that it might still be too early.  A lot of pregnancies don't see heart beats until week 7.  She then asked me how many we put in.  I said 2 and that I wasn't sure the other one was still there.  "Here is the other one... and here is the heartbeat".  TWO heartbeats!!!!  At this point I am crying happy tears.  I asked her if I could take a video.  I asked her if they were both OK.  Several times actually.  She said yes... both have normal heartbeats.  But that it is still very early and we need to be cautious with the hematoma.  It is under the placenta and that is better than being on top.  I told her about our plans to fly home on Saturday and she told me it was not a good idea.  John said I have to stay and take care of the babies.  He will go without me and I can come later.  Tonight I witnessed an amazing circle of support come to my aid.  So many people offered to help me with housing.  I am truly humbled by the generosity of these people.  This is amazing.  This is my miracle. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Well, I caved and posted our news on Facebook yesterday.  It was exactly one week since I tested at home.  We'd already told family and close friends.  I know that it is super duper early and anything can happen, I just needed to feel happy right now.  To celebrate with everyone.  Ever since we got the positive, it's been really hard for me to believe and accept that this is really happening for us.  I keep waiting for it to be taken away.  I'd created scenarios in my head and was teaching myself how to cope with any negative outcomes.  It's not healthy, I know.  But quite honestly... I've already self diagnosed myself with PTSD.  I do plan to talk to someone about this.  We've just had so much heartbreak on this journey.  15 years of trying, 1 ectopic pregnancy and the loss of my tubes, and 4.5 rounds of IVF over a 4 year period.   In any given cycle, at this point, I would be grieving a failure.  So my brain is pre-programmed already to not be happy.  I just needed to share the news and celebrate the moment.  I felt like hiding it was getting my feelings nowhere.  If I can say it out loud... maybe I can believe it too!  So I did!  And the outpouring of comments, hugs, tears even... truly made me feel better.  So... today I will be happy and celebrate this victory.  I still need to see hearts beating, but enjoying the now is good for the soul :)

2ww Symptoms

I know that searching for symptoms became a huge deal during my 2ww.  So I've decided to share mine for anyone else waiting :)

Day 0- Transfer of two grade AA hatching blasts around 1:30pm.  Slight cramping in the evening while resting.  More towards the lower left side.

Day 1- Found a tiny dot of brown cm around 11am.  Went walking in Cordoba.  Lots of steady cramping today.  Hope the walking wasn't too much.

Day 2- Laid around in the hotel today.  Mild cramping and lower back pain only when walking to lunch and dinner.  Felt one sharp stabbing pain in lower right mid afternoon.  Lasted less than a second.  Woke up at 2am feeling very full in the belly.  Couldn't get comfortable to go back to sleep for a while. Tummy soreness... kind of feels like I did a bunch of sit-ups.

Day 3- No cramping at all.  Very tired.  Headache but maybe from allergies.  Another sharp stabbing pain in the lower right in the evening.  Again... less than a second.  John concludes that the back pain is from the bed :P

Day 4- Ovaries are feeling sore or full.  No idea what this could be from.  Bloating is still there but not as bad.  Hungry all day.  Slight nausea.  Tired.  Fell asleep on the couch at 5pm.

Day 5- Little twinges this morning but not really uterus area.  Side stitch pain... still feels like ovaries but I can't pinpoint it.  Hard feeling in middle towards back.  Exhausted.  Took an afternoon nap.  Tiniest speck of brownish cm at 5pm.  Barely noticeable if I weren't paying attention.  Using the restroom a little more frequently.  Small uterine cramps on the left side towards back.  Breasts are feeling a little bit heavier and sensitive this evening.

Day 6- More bloating.  Hurts to button pants.  Peeing a lot!!  5 times before even drinking fluids this morning.  Little dizziness.  Little heartburn but I ate spicy chicken.

Day 7- Up at 4am to pee.  Cramping a bit this morning but eased up after my shower.  Very emotional. Cried over a chicken sandwhich.  POAS mid afternoon.  Solid BFP!!!

Day 8- POAS 4:30am.  Solid BFP!  Blood test at 9am.  HCG- 202!  Definitely pregnant.  Very exhausted today.  Dizzy.  Headache all afternoon and ended up throwing up later in the evening a few times.

Day 9- Very tired but better than previous days.  Breasts seem to be more tender in the evening.

Day 10- Symptoms seem to be vanishing.  Freaking out a little.  POAS again this afternoon and it seemed lighter.  Panicking!!!

Day 11- AF type cramping, ovary pains... what is going on in there???

Day 12- Sharper ovary pains in the evening.  Woke up at 4am with AF type cramping that lasted 2 hours.  Definitely going in for another blood test.

Day 13- Energy is a little better until later in the afternoon.  Then I was exhausted.  Blood test came back at 3412!!!  So still pregnant!  More AF type cramping in the evening.  Why are these worrying me?

Day 14- Spent the day relaxing since the previous day was a little emotional.  Dull achey cramps on and off today.

Blood tests!

Ooops!  I left the blog hanging for a whole week!  So anyways... after my dramatic pee stick incident, I scheduled a blood test for the following morning.  It was nerve wrecking to say the least!  I went up there at 9am.  It took all of 5 minutes and I was sent on my way and told to call back at 11:30.  The morning was stressful wondering what the results would say.  I went to the commissary and ran some errands.  In the middle of my errands I called the clinic but they told me the results weren't ready yet!!!  Ugh!!!  I was then told that someone would call me in 1-2 hours.  I waited THREE hours before panicking and calling them back.  But the phone went straight to a German voice mail!  I quickly found their website and noticed that the office closed at 2pm!  And the following day was a German Holiday. A big one... which probably meant they would be closed throughout the weekend.  I could not wait an entire weekend knowing what that test said so I texted my old doctor and asked him to pull up the results for me.  This felt very awkward.  I hadn't told him what we were doing, so it's kind of like I cheated on him.  But in my defense... I'd already given that clinic two rounds of our hard earned money to get us pregnant and they couldn't do it.  I felt guilty crawling back to them for a blood test, but I couldn't find another clinic nearby that would do it.  

So anyways... I went about my day and showed our house to a couple who was in the market for a new house.  The phone rang at 4pm while I was still showing the house.  It was the clinic!!!  They called to tell me that my blood HCG test came back at 202!  Progesterone 5.  202!!!  This is way higher than I'd expected since I believe a normal range would have been about 70-100 at this point.  I quickly sent an email to my patient coordinator in Spain and she called me right away.  She told me to maybe plan for 2, but I know those numbers don't necessarily mean twins.  But you never know!

Thursday I went in to our post clinic and got myself all set up to see a new obgyn so I could keep up with my prescriptions.  I can't stop taking the estrogen and progesterone until the 12th week and I was running out.  I was able to get in to see her the next day thanks to the nurse, doctor and tricare people.  They whipped out an ASAP referral for me in less than an hour.  It feels so great to finally have Tricare approving something related to my fertility.  All of these years... 40k out of pocket and I finally get to make insurance pay for something!!  

Friday afternoon I had a little meltdown.  I was convinced that this pregnancy wasn't real and I insisted on peeing on another stick.  It was stupid and I will never do it again.  The line came out lighter!!!  I spent the entire weekend torturing myself with google and things that could have gone wrong.  And before you think it... yes I know stress is bad but I honestly just can't control my feelings right now.  I don't know what's real.  The cramps, ovary pains, and other symptoms all worry me.  I wasn't planning on taking another blood test, but by Sunday I decided that I needed to know for sure that something was still growing inside me.  So Monday morning I went back in.  Another quick draw and I was off to worry for the remainder of the day.  It wasn't so bad, I had Denise with me.  It was her last day in Germany and I drove her to finish up her errands.  

Again I was told to call at 11:30, and again I was told to wait longer.  Finally at 12:30, I called again and asked for my results.  The lady said the results were good but she didn't tell me the number.  I asked her to please give me the number and she put me on hold.  Another lady came on the line and told me the results were "positive".  I asked again to please tell me the HCG level and she again put me on hold.  I really don't think these people understand the amount of torture waiting can be when you are in this position.  Finally she came back on and told me the HCG level was 3412!!!  Progesterone 6.  

A quick beta calculation said that the number is doubling every 29 hours.  Normal is 48-72.  Again, not a good predictor of twins... but Wahoooooo... they are rising and that is something to be happy about!  I still can't officially celebrate until I see a heartbeat(s) on the ultrasound next week... but for now I can be calmer and embrace each little step in the right direction :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

One year later...

It's hard to believe its been almost a year since I wrote in this blog.  So much has happened.  We moved into a new house, John left a few times, we went to Italy, London, Scotland, Belgium, France, and Amsterdam.  The army told us we had to go, then we got to stay again, then we had to go even sooner.  Now we're set to move to El Paso in just a few short weeks.  Well... from the moment they told us it was game over on our permanent European Vacation... I jumped into IVF mode again!  With only 3 short months left, I knew we had to make the most of this time and try just once more.  But.. Germany wasn't working for us.  So I researched clinics in Prague and Spain.  John was away on a field trip... but he gave me the go ahead to scope out a clinic in person.  It was a nice little girls trip!  Denise and I enjoyed the Spanish Sangria and Sun!  The clinic was amazing and the patient coordinator replied to my emails so quickly.  I met the doctor and he did a mock transfer and right away gave me my prescriptions.  This place is my answer!  I'll spare you all of the druggy details... but everything was going perfectly!

John and I booked a week long stay at a beautiful resort just outside of Malaga.  On Transfer day (Cinco De Mayo!), I had a quick 10 minute acupuncture before seeing the doctor and embryologist.  Let me just tell you... 5 people in lab coats came into the room beaming with positivity!  They could not wait to tell me about our embryos!  Dr. S couldn't stop smiling!  He handed me a printed sheet with 8 beautiful Embryos!  One little one stopped growing, but the other 7 were amazing!  2 were Graded AA and already hatching.  He explained to me that these embryos could be found in a textbook and that they have a very high chance of sticking!  I didn't know what to say... I just started crying.  My patient coordinator (M) grabbed a hold of my arm with excitement too.  The doctor told us now that we only should transfer one embryo due to the risk of twins.  I looked at John and cried some more.  He then suggested that if we do transfer 2, we should transfer one high quality and one lower quality.  This guy really doesn't want us having twins.  I know it's a risk and there is with any pregnancy.  We have been doing this for so many years, I really just want to be certain that one will stick.  So we decided on transferring the 2 best embryos anyways.  The embryologist laughed and said in Spanish "Prepare for a double Prom".

They wheeled me to the transfer room and up I went into the stirrups for the hundredth time.  We watched the catheter go in and release our two beautiful embabies!  It was so fast and easy... I was out of there in less than 20 minutes.  The doctor left us to rest for five minutes and wished us lots of luck.  Before leaving the clinic, I hugged M and noticed the office was quiet.  Everyone had gone out for their afternoon Siesta!!!!  LOL!  Spaniards take their Siestas seriously!

John and I took a leisurely stroll back to the car.  Normally I would have made him pull it around.  In the past, I've always been so delicate with myself.  Scared to dislodge the embryos.  No sneezing... no bumpy car rides... no walking.  But this time... I decided to just go with the flow.  We drove an hour back to our hotel and then walked to dinner.  The next few days were filled with ups and downs.  On day one... we decided to go out sight seeing in Cordoba.  I had every intention of taking it easy.  However, we lost track of time and ended up walking quite a bit.  By the end of the day I had myself convinced that I'd ruined the cycle because of the pure exhaustion I felt.  But the next day we rested... ALL DAY.  Talk about boring.  I googled every scenario I could think of.  I could pick out several "symptoms".  Then again, I felt all of these things could be contributed to the progesterone I'm on. 

We got back to Germany a week later ready for business.  The movers were coming in just a day and a half!!!  So much organizing and work to do and I was still worried about taking it easy.  John did all of the heavy lifting for me though.  The movers came and went.  They were pretty great and worked quickly.  Our things were packed and in their crates in a day and a half.

Tuesday, May 12.  I finally decided to swing by the post office and pick up the pregnancy tests I'd pre-ordered before leaving for Spain.  My reasoning behind ordering them and not just buying them in the commissary was that it would be too tempting to test early.  This way, I'd have to wait until the tests arrived in the mail.  Well they got there pretty quickly and it was torture driving past the post office every day.  But we were busy and I didn't have time to stop anyways.  Still 2 full days before I was allowed to take a blood test.  But having these pee sticks staring me in the face was awful!  John tried to steal them and hide them away... but I begged him to leave them.

My heart was racing all afternoon staring at these sticks.  I even had a big cry over it.  John told me I needed to wait... but my heart just needed to know the answer.  I snuck off with a cup and a stick.  I was going to wait the whole 3 minutes before looking at the result window... but again... I can't control myself.  I watched the lines quickly fade into focus.  OMG!!!  There are two lines!!!!  I grabbed the stick and went running down the stairs hollering for John.  "Baby... I peed on the stick... I'm so sorry.. I had to".  He looked at the stick and grabbed me as I shook in his arms crying.  I looked up at him and he had tears in his eyes too!  I kept looking at the stick not believing that it was true.  I still don't believe it's true!  I will go in for a blood test tomorrow morning... but for now I'm remaining cautiously optimistic!  15 years.  FIFTEEN!!!  I can't believe this!!!  I won't believe this until it's confirmed by a beating heart.  Please Let this be real!!!