Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ultrasound Two

I promise a longer post sometime this week, but not tonight, my beauties. I am in a stupor of fatigue. Holy T1 tiredness. And I suspect that my diet of carbs and carbs and more carbs is doing nothing to pep me up. Yes, in the midst of nausea, all I ever want to eat when it's time to eat is starch (and drink fruit juice). Forget gluten free, I'm onto bread and muffins and noodles. What can I say. I am in strange territory and trying my best to adapt.

I had my second u/s this morning. On my way back to the waiting room from the obligatory bathroom trip upon arrival, I came across Dr. RE. He stopped me in the hall to ask how I was doing and whether I had had my u/s yet. I hadn't and he said he wanted me to tell the nurse to call him when my turn came up. How nice! We hardly had to wait this week. Before we knew it, I was wearing a sheet for a skirt and Mr. A and I were joined in the u/s room by 2 docs and a nurse. The same doc as last week performed the ultrasound and Dr. RE observed. They took about 60 secs of observing the monitor before saying anything, and you can imagine that it was a very long minute. But Dr. RE was quick to say in his lovely Italian accent (I think I said Eastern European before. But I was wrong. He is Italian), that 'everything is normal'. Music to my ears.

We saw the heart beat again, this time more defined. Our little owlet measured 8w0d, which is exactly the day we are on by the calendar. The nurse said my due date is December 8.

I quickly gathered that today was graduation from the fertility clinic. Dr. RE told me to go back to my family doctor, who would refer me to an OB. He said that it was worth asking for an OB sooner than later because of all the trouble we went through to get here. As he said, there are no frozen embryos, so this is it.

Both doctors and the nurse gave me hugs before they left. I can't believe we are graduating!

I believe in miracles today. We have many more weeks to go, and the potential of things going wrong is still there, but I still believe in miracles. Perhaps because I am living one.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ultrasound One

Unbelievable! That wand is most certainly magic. Today, firmly gripped by one of the REs at our clinic, it located the little sac and little primitive creature we know as an embryo. It even located a rhythmic flicker known as a heartbeat. Where did this magic wand locate such miracles you ask? In MY uterus. On MY birthday.

The little owlet measured 6w6d, and today was technically 7w0d, so we all agree that it is measuring right on target.

They were running late this morning, which was fine by me. As far as I am concerned, they have a lot banked after all they have done for me. So they could have been 2 hours late instead of 1 hour and I still would have been ok. It was an RE and a nurse I had never met who were running the ultrasounds this morning. Once they got me oriented, they went to get our beloved nurse case manager. She seemed happy to see us and relieved that there had not been any more bleeding. I looked away as the RE tried to find what she was looking for, and pretty quickly, she hit the jackpot. One little one in there. We saw the heartbeat pretty quickly, which was amazing. And pretty soon, I was crying in disbelief. I never entirely believed we would be in this situation. And yet, there we were. Mr. A was ecstatic.

After I wiped my tears and started grinning like a fool, the RE gave me a hug. Our nurse case manager also gave me the warmest hug. I then mentioned it was my birthday, and everyone was just even more thrilled.

They want to repeat the ultrasound next Tuesday. I am happy to do that. It's amazing to see this miracle on screen.

I have a belly full of birthday Thai food and am close to falling asleep. Good night, my beauties.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

ABCs on a rainy day

I saw this little meme over at Ginger and Lime's place and she got it from Misconceptions about Conception. Thought it would be fun to do on this rainy Saturday afternoon. 

A. Age: 36 (for another 3 days)

B. Bed size: Queen. I keep asking myself if we'll have to bump things up to king if and when there are more people in the bed. For now, it fits Mr. A, Chicken and I just well.  

C. Chore you dislike: Is there a chore I like aside from washing the dishes? 

D. Dogs: No dogs. I like them well enough, but Mr. A and I are more cat people. I could be convinced to get a standard poodle, though.

E. Essential start to your day: cold water. Lots of it!

F. Favorite color: I really like steel blue, and otherwise, I have always had a penchant for warm colours like oranges, reds and browns.

G. Gold or silver: silver.

H. Height: 5'10". I love being tall. It's so easy to find your friends in a crowd.

I. Instruments you play(ed): I took piano lessons as a kid and wish I'd kept it up. I enjoyed playing it. I have promised myself to take cello lessons once my PhD was done, so stay tuned.

J. Job title: Clinical Psychologist (although I'm not yet registered with our professional association and can't technically call myself that at this point in time. At work though, that's what they use as my title).

K. Kids: God and the Universe willing, maybe in December.

L. Live: we rent a house in a medium-size college town in southern Ontario. There is a nice front porch and a small backyard.

M. Mom’s name:

N. Nicknames: Augie? Augs? Aoûta (given to me by Pumpkin). My AT trail name was Moosewood.

O. Overnight hospital stays: A 5 1/2 month gig in the nut house* when I was 19-20 for anorexia, and a weekend in the ER for the same reason.

P. Pet peeves: People who talk over each other; when the dishcloth is left at the bottom of the sink where it gets soggy and gross; when people complain about winter in December.   

Q. Quote from a movie: "Hey Mr. grumpy gills. When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming" (from finding Nemo, rivaled only by 'my bubbles' but that one doesn't translate well in text).

R. Righty or lefty: Righty. 

S. Siblings: None.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: No fennel under any circumstance. I don't eat onions, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, green onions, and zucchini raw, but I really like all of those veggies when they are cooked.   

W.What makes you run late:  I'm not often late, but if I am, it's that I've tried to pack too much in. A good snow storm will also make me late.

Y. Yummy food you make:  I am known for my salads (making them and eating them -> please ask Oat about this). Mr. A says he likes my soups, stir fries and omelets. I can also bake (I have made some decent birthday cakes when putting the effort in. People often ask me to make beet chocolate cupcakes. G&L, maybe that's one way you would like beets?). I can open the fridge door and come up with supper, when others feel like there is nothing to eat. I'm sure that this skill will serve me well if I do become a mom.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: (even though I don't like them being in a zoo) Giraffes, elephants, and the big cats. I was also fascinated by the octopus at the Seattle aquarium last fall. 

* Please know that I use the word nut house with humour and with no intention of offending. I'm obviously devoting much of my life to fighting against mental illness. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

rest & gratitude

I felt so reassured by your comments, women. Thank you. A thousand times, thank you. It was helpful to read Finch's story especially, so thank you very much for pointing me to her blog. And Finch, I'm so glad that all was well in your pregnancy and you had a baby recently.

The update on the bleeding is that it stopped completely. As of last night, I wasn't even spotting. This is most reassuring. Of course it could happen again. But why not try living in the present moment. 

I thought I might go back to work today, but some wise friends talked me out of that nonsense. I will go back tomorrow, with the knowledge that if I feel the need to come home, I will. I'd sent an email to my manager last night and her reply this morning was prompt and unequivocal: rest as much as you need and come back when you are ready. And she doesn't even know what's going on. This episode did make me realize that I need to talk to her about it. I'll have to use the p-word. Better practice that today.

I barely walked around the house yesterday, not feeling confident in how my movements could affect the embies. Today, I feel more confident. I went to the grocery store to get some food. I noticed that all I feel like eating are fruit, fruit juices, bubbly drinks, and starches (rice, corn chips, rice cakes, crackers). How's that for a balanced diet. I still sneak in some veggies and proteins when I can. My nausea is in full force today. I was locating receptacles in the grocery store in case I needed to run for one. Thankfully, it never got to that point. 

The nausea is making me think that I'm still pregnant. Nevertheless, I thought taking another hpt might reassure me (or not). The drug store sold me a dud, unfortunately. Invalid test. I will return it to them and hope that they can sell me one that is useful. I know this is silly exercise, but you already know that I am crazy at this point in our relationship, dear readers, so this should come as no surprise to you. 

So, day time television is fascinating. I watched all kinds of nonsense yesterday and this morning. The place where I board is filled with televisions, hence not a bad place to have to rest. Canada is in the middle of a federal election and I was able to catch the English language debate last night (French one is on tonight, which I most certainly will watch). At least I am keeping current with the political scene during this time of rest.

I called Dr. Ninja's office this morning, and he wants me to come in on Saturday. They told me to rest and avoid too much stress, and not to worry too much. Yeah, right.

Thank you for your support women. I can't say it enough. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

fear is the colour red

I am sitting on the couch at the house where I board, and trying to focus on breathing well and deep. Last night was rough.

I had a long, stressful day at work yesterday, not uncommon when working in the child mental health field. I finally left at around 6:30pm and went to get groceries. I felt a bit uncomfortable in the store and decided to wrap up my shopping quickly and head home (the place where I board during the week). On my short drive, I had menstrual-type cramps and cold sweats because I knew what that meant. Got home and there was blood, much more blood than anyone at this stage would be comfortable with. It seemed like the start of a period. I immediately lied down and called Mr. A in Pleasantville.

It took about 2 hours to get connected with the on-call physician from the fertility clinic, but I was thankful to talk to her at last. She said to take my prom.etrium by mouth, keep my feet up, think good thoughts and call my nurse case manager in the morning.

The blood did not keep pouring. The cramping stopped completely. I was shaking like a leaf in my bed, and poor Mr. A was just crying his eyes out on the phone. It felt so much like things were going south very fast, but I was trying hard to keep calm. I talked to Dragonfly who reminded me that bleeding is common in early pregnancy. My house mates reminded me of this as well. This helped me calm down a bit.

Mr. A borrowed a car from a friend and got here at midnight. Neither of us slept very well, but we were each grateful to be together. I talked to our nurse this morning, who was able to get a hold of our physician. They said that blood work at this point would not tell them much. They also thought that an ultrasound would be too early at this point. She said that an ultrasound today would likely create more, not less, apprehension, confusion and fear. They did move up my u/s from April 26 to April 19. They think that at that point, they will be able to measure the sac(s) and little guy(s) and compare this data to normative data. It is also feasible that a heartbeat(s) could be detected on that day. April 19 is the day I was born. Let us hope that my birthday is a happy one this year.

Today, there is no more bleeding, but a bit of brownish spotting. No cramping. Immense fear. I'm not sure what to think. Will we even make it to next Tuesday? Out of the first trimester? To the birth of a healthy baby? I won't find out unless I keep putting one step in front of the other.

I hope that the embie(s) can hold on.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

beta, revised.

I was napping after coming home from work yesterday (T1 fatigue has arrived), and suddenly something occurred to me. I made an error in thinking about the beta number. Erring is human. Erring when your brain is like cream of mushroom soup because you're sleep deprived, just defended your PhD thesis and just found out you're the p-word is entirely par for the course. So, the beta was obtained 18 days past egg retrieval, NOT 18 days past the 3-day transfer. It was done on day 18 and I just inserted that number without thinking about what I was writing. So to rectify:

18dp3dt = 1210

15dp3dt = 1210

Well, who cares about those details, right? It's just a number and it means that the procedure was successful. WOOHOO! Yes, except that when I start Dr. Googling the hell out of the numbers, I am presented with an indication that both embies might be nestling in there. That doesn't mean much at this stage, but it's good to get your mind wrapped around the idea of twins early in the game.

I saw Dr. Ninja this morning. I <3 Dr. Ninja. He was completely thrilled about the news, and so was his staff, who asked me as soon as I walked in. He measured my pulse and said that it as strong. No acupuncture and no herbal teas for now. He just wants to keep my body calm, stable and not stimulated with those things. He helped me resolve a quandary I had plunged head first into this week.

One of my best coping mechanism is exercising. It truly does the job and I can always count on it. When I work and have the kind of stress I have with my current job, I typically go to the gym every day, except on weekends, when I exercise in other ways instead (walking, skiing, hiking, biking). It's a big part of my life. There was a time when I exercised too much, but I've reached a balance with that. When I talked to our beloved nurse last Monday, she said that I could pursue my regular activities, including the gym. Ok, I thought, I 'll try heading back to the gym this week then (I had barred myself from going during the 2 week wilderness). I decided to go on Wednesday night. The gym was packed (I usually go at 6:45am when it's nice and empty), and I couldn't make up my mind as to what I thought would be safe. I opted for an elliptical and started slowly, very, very slowly, avoiding bouncing as much as possible. I did that for 10 min. and cycled for another 20, without ever breaking a sweat. I still managed to freak myself out completely. I had some very mild cramping upon returning from the gym, and I was back to being a quaking owl.  

I talked about it with Dr. Ninja this morning. On one hand, I know that exercise continues to be very beneficial in pregnancy. On the other, it makes me fear that the owlet(s) will grow uncomfortable and leave. I couldn't resolve it, but then Dr. Ninja provided his professional opinion: walking is fine, stay away from any higher impact stuff for now. I trust him, so I will keep with that. A nice morning walk, some yoga, and maybe swimming if I feel like it.


What are your thoughts  about exercising in T1?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beta

Pardon my silence since Saturday, but admittedly, I've been entirely speechless since seeing those little pee sticks. When people ask me how I feel, I just start crying. Better than having to find the right words to use. How the hell am I feeling, anyway? Does ecstatic even begin to describe it?

So the beta result is in.

18dp3dt = 1210

I somehow was expecting a number in the 300-400 range, but I must have misunderstood during my consult with Dr. Google. Anyway, all I know is that's a VERY handsome number we've got here. Our beloved nurse called it strong. She said that I was pregnant. I can still hear it sounding in my ears. It might take me a little while to say it out loud, but bear with me. We are not doing a second beta, as they didn't feel we needed one. Our ultrasound is booked for April 26.

I called Sattva right after we read the pee sticks and we cried together. Couldn't say much more but how amazing it all is.

I loved all your comments on my last post. I've read them again and again (because I also have to check the picture (and the actual pee sticks) to make sure it's for reals). Thank you, women. I think that the support I've received from all of you has made an incredible contribution to our success. Like I said to Mr. A at supper, I always took these lovely women with me to each appointment. I felt held in their care.

I need to rest. My regularly scheduled commenting will resume tomorrow.

Saturday, April 2, 2011