Category Archives: Ultrasounds

All is as well as it can be

I’ve spent seven hours in the last two days in two of the best hospitals in the province, if not the country.

The baby has been scanned to what really is an excessive degree (but as the radiologist at the second hospital was telling me today, even when the hospitals are linked to share reports, it’s only documentation. They never share images. And no radiologist will trust another radiologist’s report if they can’t see the images that were used to determine the report. So I’ve now had three anatomy scans in nine days. The only bright spot is the two hospitals will only be able to partially bill the province for their scans, as you can only bill for one anatomy scan per pregnancy.)

The end result of all of these scans is as follows:
1. The baby is very flexible and can put his/her feet over his/her head and then play with his/her toes, wreaking havoc for techs who are trying to get clear images of one hand or one foot with no apparent extraneous digits.
2. The baby is growing normally and looks great.
3. The baby still has no left kidney. It is not hiding in the pelvis and there is no artery leading anywhere on that side like there is on the right. All techs and radiologists are quite sure it is not there.
4. The right kidney looks perfectly normal and appears to be functioning well as the amniotic fluid levels are good. The baby helpfully voided the bladder during the scan at the first hospital, which is another indication of a working kidney. The kidney is not any bigger than one would expect, but the doctors think it will probably get bigger to compensate for the absence of the other one.
5. The baby quite possibly will have some anomalies in the genitals, but we’ll have no way of knowing until after s/he is born. Possibilities include a missing fallopian tube or ovary or testicle, or issues with the vas deferens, or an oddly shaped uterus. Nothing we can do about this and we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s not uncommon with missing kidneys because the systems are linked to the same point of development.
The plan going forward is as follows:
1. Scan again in 5 weeks at the hospital where I will be delivering to check fluid levels and see if the right kidney is getting bigger, plus a consult with the paediatrician there to sort out what sort of tests will need to be run after birth. I am anticipating a referral to a paediatric nephrologist at the children’s hospital, and I may well meet with him/her before baby arrives just so we have everything in place.
2. Ultrasounds at some point for Q. and I to confirm that we each have two kidneys, as we don’t have proof of this. The genetics counselor wants to be sure it is something random and not something inherited. She’s pretty sure it is, but would like to just check off that box. Apparently unilateral renal agenesis (which is the fancy term for being born with one kidney) is around 1 in 1,000 births.
There is nothing in this diagnosis that requires me to move my pregnancy out of the care of the midwives, and there is no reason to think the baby will need to stay in the hospital after birth- the tests can all be done as an outpatient. Since we opted to do the Harmony screening, we already know the baby has no chromosomal issues. The only way to get more information would be through an amniocentesis. Both the genetics counselor and the maternal fetal medicine specialist offered it, but both also agreed with my assessment that there is no medical indication right now that such testing is warranted or,  indeed, likely to tell us anything more. From my point of view, it’s a no brainer- invasive test with a risk of miscarriage (even if very low) to probably not learn anything more? No thank you.
Oh yes, and 3. I am now referring to this baby as Phaselus (or P. for short) for the duration of the pregnancy, which is Latin for kidney bean.

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Filed under Me? Pregnant?!, Medical issues, Midwives, Ultrasounds

8w3d- ultrasound #3

Today was one of those days that made me realize how glad I will be to be free of the clinic.

Q. had forgotten that I had an intralipid infusion this morning and that he had agreed to be at home with E. So I was under pressure to get home in time for him to get to work so he wouldn’t miss a meeting.

Given my intralipid was at 8:30 a.m., I made sure to be at the clinic for 6:50 a.m. so I could be the very first person on the list to see my f/s. That way I could get the ultrasound done, see him, get my meds, and then go over to the IVF suite for the intralipid infusion.

It was a great plan…until my doctor didn’t get in before 8:30 a.m. (which is not all that surprising, although it was hugely frustrating). So I did the ultrasound, waited fruitlessly to see him, gave up and got my drugs, went over to the IVF suite, did the intralipid, went back over to the main part of the clinic, and got put back on the top of the pile to see him. And then it took another FORTY minutes for him to turn up and spend three minutes discussing my chart. That meant I had to take a cab home, and I was still ten minutes late, so I don’t know if Q. got up to work in time for the staff meeting.

All told I was at that clinic from 6:50 until 11:20 a.m.

I will be glad to see the end of that.

Good news on the ultrasound front- baby was measuring a week further along than last week (at 8w2d), so s/he is growing well. Heartbeat was still strong (148 bpm). Second sac was still just hanging out. The blood clot was still there and was bigger than last week, but my doctor feels it’s “stabilized” (whatever that means), so he doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. He did tell me to keep minimizing lifting E. until we hit the twelve week mark.

He told me to stop the prednisone (which means I’m going to be a lot more tired as I’ve realized this past week that the days where I don’t take prednisone I want to pass out from about 2 p.m. onwards) and to start weaning off the Metformin. I don’t have to go back for two weeks now. It’ll be a relief not to have our lives interrupted, although of course I’ll miss the reassurance that all is well with the baby.

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Medications, My addled brain, Sleep, Ultrasounds

7w3d and all is well

We had the same ultrasound tech as last time. She was wonderful- put in the probe, took one look at the screen and then immediately turned to us and said, “I see baby’s heartbeat. Baby is growing. It’s a good baby.” She took a more careful look around, confirmed that the baby was still there and growing and then started taking measurements.

Baby measured 7w2d, so still a day behind, but s/he’s grown a week since the last scan which is right on track. The heart was nice and strong – 154 bpm. There was a very noticeable yolk sac- I don’t remember it looking that obvious with E. Maybe it has something to do with where it attaches. Baby was definitely bigger but still pretty blob like. I remember E. being in a ‘peanut’ stage with this ultrasound, but this one still looks more like a blob.

The circle is the yolk sac. The blob is the baby.

The circle is the yolk sac. The blob is the baby.

The empty second sac is still there, and so is the blood clot/SCH. The SCH has actually grown significantly since last week (it’s doubled in size if I read my chart correctly). I saw a different doctor today (mine wasn’t in) and she didn’t seem too concerned about things. She told me to stop the Fragmin as of today (HURRAY!) and to now start weaning off the prednisone. I started weaning off the prednisone at this point during E.’s pregnancy but it took a lot longer to stop since I was on a triple dose because of the hives.

Everything looked so good she told me not to come back for two weeks. When I said I had to be back in next Thursday for another intralipid infusion she agreed I might as well have another scan at that point too since I’ll be at the clinic. I’m happy with that- I feel sick the morning of an ultrasound, but the reassurance is worth the pre-appointment anxiety.

There was certainly no discussion of me taking more time off work. I don’t know if she’s less cautious than my doctor or if he just felt that last week was a really critical one. Regardless, I’m happy to be able to start getting things back into order as I am really behind with teaching prep (to say nothing of the dissertation).

When I got home, I had a proper conversation with E. where I told him that I was growing a baby in my body. Q. and I had agreed we’d tell E. if this scan was all right as it’s not fair the way we’re always talking around him, and I know he worries about why I’m always going to the doctor. So we talked about how I’m going to the doctor so much because they’re making sure that everything is ok with the baby, and that I’m not sick myself. E. seemed moderately interested. He said he wanted a baby sister just like in the Berenstain Bears’ New Baby but then was most interested in pointing out how when the baby was born “it would play with baby toys” and wouldn’t be big enough to play with his own toys. I’m not entirely sure he gets it yet, but it’s a start.

Pregnancy-wise, I am having much more trouble with food than I was at this point with E., although I suspect partly that’s due to the fact that I’m not on a triple dose of prednisone this time around. I get a lot of low level nausea throughout the day. It’s not serious, but it can be enough to put me off my appetite. I still mostly want to eat salt and potatoes. Dinner is the hardest meal as it seems the nausea gets worse throughout the day. Q. cooked a lovely meal last night and I could barely touch the pork, ignored the salad completely and ate almost all the fries.

I also had a completely insane dream two nights ago. Every single part of it was insane, but weirdly I looped back to the first element when I neared the end, so when I woke up it took me that much longer to realize that all of it had been a dream. I found myself lying in bed thinking, “Ok, so the bit where we were all running in the downtown core of a big city while some sci-fi droid things shot at us wasn’t real, and the bit where I signed up for prenatal classes at eight weeks and there were girls there I went to high school with wasn’t real, and the bit with the medieval/dragon boat racing festival wasn’t real, but what about the bit with the mall and my sister’s birthday? Did I actually miss her party because the mall was closing and I couldn’t find the right present?” Eventually I determined none of it had been real, but I felt exhausted that whole day- I think because I’d been so busy in my dreams!

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Food, Medications, Siblings, Sleep, Symptoms, Ultrasounds

6w3d- Ultrasound

Ok. Here’s the deal.

The technician saw two gestational sacs.

In one there was a baby, measuring 6w2d, with a strong heartbeat of 127 bpm.

The other was smaller and empty.

The u/s tech tried (I think) to let us down gently.

“The doctor will explain it all to you,” she told us. “Sometimes they still develop. Sometimes they are just slow.”

Then she asked if we wanted a picture.

“I give you one of the good baby,” she said. “That baby looks perfect.”

While waiting for the doctor, I read my chart. I showed it to Q.

“That second sac is completely empty,” I told him. “It’s not going anywhere.”

Q. thought for a minute. “Maybe we should have told her that her telling us that second sac wasn’t going to keep developing would have been really good news,” he said at last.

He was right. As much as I have tried to get my head around the possibility of twins over these last couple of weeks, there’s no denying that when it was clear from the u/s tech’s measurements that the second sac was empty, I mostly felt relief. A twinge of sadness for the baby that tried to be, but mostly it was relief.

The ultrasound tech was really cheerful (she’s not usually- I’ve had many an ultrasound with her before). She printed us a picture. She said congratulations a whole bunch of times. It must be one of the only nice parts of their job.

Then we met with my doctor.

“That second sac isn’t going anywhere, right?” I asked.

He shook his head. He had been talking in terms of a “brother or sister for E.” I don’t think he would have mentioned it at all if I hadn’t asked him about it.

“There’s a very very small clot located right next to the gestational sac with the baby in it,” he said. “You’d have to really be looking for it to find it.” (I have no idea how they can find ANYTHING. I could see the two sacs- they were black blobs- but how she managed to see and measure the baby and identify the yolk sac and the heart is beyond me.)

“That, plus the empty sac raises your chances of miscarriage. I’d like you to aim for a very restful week. Do you need a note for work?”

I looked at Q. He sighed.

“I’ll teach your class tomorrow,” he said (one of the perks of a husband who works in the exact same field you do).

I’m not on bedrest (and I don’t know how I’d manage that if that had been the request given the toddler in our life). But I’ll try to keep my feet up as much as possible, and I’ll get someone to cover my duty day at E’s nursery school on Monday. The good news is he told me to start doing the Fragmin every other day. My stomach bruises are getting really ugly, so that suits me just fine.

I’m back in to the clinic tomorrow for another intralipid infusion, and then another ultrasound next Thursday. Hopefully that one will show the empty sac has been reabsorbed and the baby is growing well. If I’m really lucky the clot could be gone too, but I had one with E. (I think it was bigger but not as close to his sac) that stuck around for the whole first trimester and never caused a problem.

So. Good news for this stage in the game, but I feel very much still in limbo. It still seems tenuous, uncertain.

It’s going to be a long week.

 

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Ultrasounds

“Beautiful”

That’s how my f/s described my uterus today.

Given my veteran status in the IF world, I thought I had already experienced all the procedures. But today’s sonohysterosalpingogram was a new one. I gather it’s a replacement for the HSG. They use air and a saline solution to let them visualize the uterus and fallopian tubes. So no exposure to radiation for me, it’s much less uncomfortable, and they can perform the procedure in the clinic rather than requiring a trip to the hospital. Win-win.

I had to go in with a full bladder, and one of the ultrasound techs did the first round of pictures using the abdominal ultrasound. Then I had to empty my bladder and wait, but not for very long (I was in and out of the clinic in under thirty minutes. This must be a new record).  My f/s himself did the transvaginal section of the test. That was not super comfortable, especially when he was inserting the speculum and getting everything in place for the saline solution, but once he actually started looking at things and taking pictures it was fine. He had another doctor shadowing him today, and the poor other doctor was trying to introduce himself and ask if I was ok with having him present, while my f/s was just getting on with things. I told the other doctor I didn’t mind. Seriously. How many people have looked at the reproductive parts of my anatomy now? Shyness or modesty really isn’t an issue.

Anyway, the end result is I have a perfect uterus, so it’s full steam ahead with the FET. I’m going back in on the 12th to check my lining. I was scheduled to go in on the 11th but that was going to make things difficult from a childcare perspective as E. would need to be taken to nursery school that morning, and Q. is making an emergency trip down under next week for a funeral, so he won’t be around. Luckily FETs are super flexible.

I managed to get a fair amount of teaching prep done while waiting to be called for the various parts of the test. I figure you know you’re an IF veteran when you can plan a syllabus in your spare moments between abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds!

There was a couple there with a not-that-old baby in a stroller. They were getting some sideways looks from the other couples. I was mainly just curious to know what on earth they were doing in the clinic (the baby was much too young for them to be back in there actively trying again, at least in my opinion). On the way down in the elevator a couple of women got on at the fifth floor. One of them was pushing a two month old baby in a stroller. He’d just had his first round of injections, she told us. The other woman ooh’ed and aah’ed at him for a while, and then said, “All the rest of us would like to have one, but we’re past that now.” Then she obviously looked around the elevator a bit more and then added, “Or most of us are, anyway.”

We hit the ground floor and out they went. Two other people had ridden all the way down with me, from the top floor of the building, where the clinic is. They’re both staff at the clinic. One of them gestured for me to go first and gave me a truly sympathetic smile.

It was then that I realized just how much having E. at home is protecting me during this process.

That baby and those comments would have cut me to the bone three years ago. I wouldn’t have been able to look at the baby.

Now, I didn’t care. I actually felt a bit sorry for her, still mired in the newborn phase.

MY son was waiting for me at home.

And I have a beautiful uterus ready to provide a home for his sibling.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, FET, Medical issues, Second Thoughts, ttc, Ultrasounds

An anxious start to a new year

First up, I am SO behind in reading blogs. I didn’t read at all while I was away, and then I took a couple of days at home just to hang out with Q. So I am behind on everyone’s news, and will try to catch up soon!

This was not how I would have wanted to start 2011.

I was so excited for the new year- the year in which our baby would be born. We spent New Year’s Eve with friends and, because we are all exhausted these days and have never been big on wild parties to ring in the new year, Q. and I still got home in time to watch the clocks turn over in our kitchen.

All was well, until I woke up at 3.30 am and was violently, violently sick. After a repeat performance at 7 (caused when I tried to take my thyroid pill), I realized that I was not at all well. The rest of the day- the first day of this brand new year- was miserable. I wasn’t running a temperature, which was the only thing that kept us from paging the midwife, but I could barely keep anything down, had skeletal and muscular aches, and was so tired all I could do was lie in bed. I kept sitting up every couple of hours to try and read, only to put the book down 10 minutes later. I wasn’t sleeping- just lying on my side, totally out of it. I slept for 12 hours that night and woke up the next day feeling totally fine.

We figure I must have eaten something that had a minor bug in it and my system went into preggo-protection overdrive. Our best bet for the culprit was the marinated vegetables we picked up from one of those grocery store olive bars to bring to our friends’ house. Turns out both Q. and I wondered if we should buy them, and never said anything to the other. And yes, I know I probably shouldn’t have eaten them, but it was New Year’s Eve, and there were artichoke hearts and little button mushrooms and…well, I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll be extra careful with the food from this point on. That’s the sickest I’ve been in years.

The other niggling worry came from our appointment last week with our midwife. Generally all was well- my uterus was right where it should be, and the heartbeat was nice and steady at 152 bpm. My blood pressure was super low- 80/50, which is low even by my standards, but I haven’t been dizzy so she wasn’t worried about it.

The only negative came from our ultrasound report. Everything was normal, except that there was one isolated choroid plexus cyst on one hemisphere of our baby’s brain. This is a “soft” marker for Trisomy 18 and (less of a correlation) Down Syndrome. The midwife said that as an isolated factor it was basically meaningless. The radiologist didn’t recommend any followup (I think the exact words of the report were something like “All findings normal. One choroid plexus cyst detected. No followup recommended.”) It apparently increases the risk of Down Syndrome by 1.9, but that still makes our odds 1 in 3300, which are excellent by any standard.

I thought I was ok with it all, but over the last couple of days I have felt the anxiety rise and rise and rise until last night I was losing sleep over the prospect that our baby, our much loved, much wanted baby, might not be ok. I was FINALLY starting to settle and enjoy the pregnancy- you could see the change in my face in the holiday pictures. And this report just made me feel like I’ve been thrust back into uncertainty.

So I emailed my sister, who happens to be a microbiologist (she is very useful in that way), and she went and read the peer-reviewed scientific journals for me. And what she found was that an isolated cyst basically had NO correlation with any of the trisomies and that it was only meaningful if other factors were seen on the ultrasound. Apparently there is a big debate in the ob/gyn community right now as to whether or not the cysts are a useful marker at all, and whether they should be used to recommend an amnio or further investigation.

So that has helped quell the anxiety again. But I would love to know if any of you know of women whose babies had these cysts at the ultrasound and then they turned out to be perfectly healthy. Because I’m worried that this nagging doubt isn’t going to go away, and my anxiety is probably more dangerous to the baby’s development.

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Filed under Emotions, Midwives, Pregnancy, Ultrasounds

The big ultrasound

Today was our anatomical ultrasound. My midwife had warned me that the place they liked to use was “really fantastic, but they have absolutely no bedside manner”. Apparently previous clients have complained about it, but when she rang them up, they said that they “weren’t paid enough to give bad news”. Fair enough, says I.

Anyway, all of that meant that I went along today with absolutely NO expectations. Maybe they wouldn’t let Q. come in. Maybe they wouldn’t show us the baby. Maybe they would be horrible and cold and mean.

Of course, it turns out that they were none of these things. They won’t disclose the gender- if you want to know, they include it in your report. A couple of you have asked about this- Q. and I are choosing to be surprised on our baby’s birthday. Given that I get to carry this baby, I think it will be lovely if Q. is the one to tell me whether we have a son or a daughter.

And they don’t allow the support person in the room while they take their measurements. You’re not supposed to be able to see the screen either, but I was able to get a reasonable view by casually propping my head with my arms. I was able to see that the heart beat was 158 bpm, that the head is still measuring a week ahead (which I’m thrilled with if it means our baby is growing an amazing brain, but seriously, I would love for it to stop being this big by May), and that the baby generally was measuring right on target. I could see the two hemispheres of the brain, but had no idea what all the dark patches and squiggles meant.

Once she froze the screen and turned the monitor to me to show me that our baby was giving me a thumb’s up. Then we chatted about how hard it is to find the hands and see all the digits. After that she pretty much gave me a running commentary of what she was looking for.

After an hour (it was hopefully going to be no more than 45 minutes) she went and got Q. and let him watch while she tried again to get the pictures she needed of the hands and of the heart. She got the hands eventually, and then gave us a head to toe look at our baby, pointing out various things.

Our baby is already a stubborn one. Despite jiggling the ultrasound machine, getting me to roll over, and sending me out to the loo, she couldn’t get the picture we needed of the heart. So she sent me out for a walk, and I ate an orange, had a drink, and a piece of candy before another tech called me back in to try again. Baby had moved a little, but not enough, so she sent me to the loo and then had me jump up and down. Baby was very comfortable, thank you very much, and had NO interest in rolling onto his/her back, so finally the tech went and got Q., gave us another look at our baby, printed us some more pics and asked me to reschedule to come in again.

She said that everything looked fine, but that they really needed one particular picture from one particular angle to satisfy the doctors who interpret the images. She went out of her way to tell us that this was nothing to worry about, and when she was showing us the baby she said the spine was “beautiful”.

I seriously think the women who complained about this place had very unrealistic expectations. I thought they were fantastic. The other possibility is that there’s a difference in how they react to a good ultrasound and a bad one. The worst part of the whole session was when the first tech sent me to use the loo I had to go past a cubicle where some poor woman was sobbing her heart out. It was heart wrenching to hear her, and it made me so grateful again for our baby.

I also think the clot I had has resolved completely because when I asked the first tech about it halfway through the scan she seemed really surprised and then went and did another look of the uterus. So I think she hadn’t seen anything, which is great news.

My midwife will call if there was anything suspicious once she gets the report, but the vibe I got from both techs was that we have nothing to worry about. And we get another sneak peek on Friday! I just hope this time baby decides to cooperate!

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Filed under Pregnancy, Ultrasounds

Not quite graduation day…

Last night I woke up at 2 a.m. At 3 a.m. I gave up and got out of bed, went downstairs and drank some warm milk while cuddling with our cats. At 4.25 a.m., as I crawled back into bed, Q. rolled over and said sleepily, “Are you worrying about the ultrasound?”

“Maybe,” I replied, and fell back into an uneasy sleep.

This morning I packed up my sharps container, my packs and packs of unused needles and my leftover meds (which I was able to donate to my clinic’s compassionate meds stockpile- this made me happy). On the way down to the clinic Q. and I had, not an argument, but a strained discussion about what we would do if the nuchal scan suggested there was a problem. I wanted to do CVS so we wouldn’t have to wait in agony for several more weeks. Q. didn’t want to put the baby at a higher risk just so I would be less stressed. We agreed if the scan was bad we would see what our f/s recommended.

At the clinic we had a pretty long wait for the ultrasound- close to an hour. I forced myself to breathe normally, to flip through the magazines, to chat with Q. like nothing was at stake.

Then, at last, it was our turn. We had the lovely, chatty tech from our last scan. She set up the screen so we could basically see the whole thing right from the start. She clicked and took some measurements. Took some pictures and some more measurements. Bub was much bigger- I could see that, and moving around. But bub wouldn’t get into the necessary position.

“Can you try coughing?” she asked me. So I coughed as best I could and bub, obviously agitated by the disturbance, did a lazy backwards roll, and then settled in the perfect position.

“Perfect!” said the tech. “Don’t move baby!” She clicked, froze the image, drew a box on the screen. There was a pause while the computer program calculated.

The result came up: NT 1.3 mm

I cried. I couldn’t help it- the relief was just overwhelming. The tech took more pictures. “Beautiful,” she said. “Perfect.  See that spine? That is perfect.”

She did the NT measurement again. And again. Finally she recorded it as 1.5 mm.

“You see that picture on the wall?” she asked, pointing to the image that demonstrated where to measure the nuchal fold. “Your baby could be that model. Your baby is perfect.”

I still cry when I think of that moment. Our baby is perfect. Our baby is real. We’re going to bring him/her home in May.

For the technically curious, bub measured in at 5.79 cm and had a heart rate of 171 bpm. Bub is still measuring ahead by a day, and Q. think s/he has got my long legs. At 9w6d, bub was 3.71 cm and had a heart rate of 173 bpm. I still have the clot, and it doesn’t seem to be getting smaller, so I didn’t get to graduate today. We get one more checkup and ultrasound at 14 weeks so my f/s can be certain that all is well. But I did get the ok to stop the progesterone and estrace, effective immediately, so all that is left is the prenatal, baby aspirin and my thyroid meds.

And for your viewing pleasure (if I can figure it out)- the latest shots of bub, one in 2D (bub’s hands are up near the face, hence the pointy horned look) and one in 3D (which really just demonstrates how alien bubs look at this stage of development, despite their cute profiles in 2D…)

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Filed under Emotions, Pregnancy, Ultrasounds

Clinic update

We had another appointment at the clinic this morning (9w6d). All was well- bub is still measuring ahead (at 10w0d), but I wasn’t able to chart stalk before my f/s came to talk to us, so I didn’t get the heartbeat or crown to rump measurements.

We had a super nice tech this time who got the ultrasound started, took a quick look, and then said, “I’ll do all my measurements and then I’ll show you the baby and give you a picture.” So we knew right away everything was ok. Then she told us part way through the ultrasound that the baby was moving, and toward the end she said the baby was “beautiful”. She let us watch the screen for ages as bub did a hand wave and a full body centipede-like wiggle (which was awesome), and even switched into 3D mode to try to get us the best possible picture (although Q. and I are agreed in thinking that the 2D pic is actually better. The 3D pic makes it look quite blob-like still, whereas the 2D pic is really starting to give the impression that it is a baby.).

It turns out I have a clot in my uterus. I suspected something was up when the tech asked if I had had any bleeding, and then proceeded to measure something in my uterus that was manifestly not the baby or the gestational sac. But my suspicions didn’t get confirmed until my f/s said, “Well, that clot we’ve been monitoring is still there.” This was a surprise to me, as he’s never said anything about a clot before. But he clearly isn’t worried about it- I’m not spotting, it’s not getting bigger, and there just aren’t any danger signs.

Q. pointed out that my f/s isn’t concerned about the clot because he gave me permission today to stop the Fragmin, effective immediately! I was SO excited by this news. My belly is utterly purple right now, and I think tomorrow will be the first day since I started the Lupron in prep for this cycle that I haven’t had to deal with at least one needle. I will be done the prednisone by Friday, and will be weaned off the metformin by next Monday. So we are making progress on the medication front.

Q. and I get a bit of a break from the clinic now as we don’t go back in until two weeks from Thursday (when I will be 12w1d), for our final ultrasound including the nuchal scan. I am really really nervous about this- ever since we got pregnant I have been worrying that we made the wrong decision by not testing our embryos after Q. had that slightly abnormal result on his FISH test. We didn’t have much of a choice at the time- we couldn’t afford to test the embryos, and we didn’t feel it was necessary- no one could put  Q.’s results in context for us (the closest we got was my f/s telling me, “It doesn’t double your risk or anything like that”). Q. and I were talking the other day, and we both wish we’d never even done the test. It was the only test my f/s said he wouldn’t push us to do, and it turned out that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) explain the results clearly, and that the only solution was to undergo another expensive treatment that we couldn’t afford.

My f/s doesn’t seem to be too worried- he feels the fact that the baby looks so good is a positive sign. And he is signing me up for the screening that include blood tests at 12 weeks and 15/16 weeks, plus the ultrasound at 12 weeks, which means that CVS is not an option if the ultrasound shows something worrying. He made it clear today that he does recommend CVS for some women (those of “advanced maternal age”) but he felt it wasn’t warrented in our case, and he didn’t want to run the slightly higher risk.

Q., of course, thinks that everything is fine and that I am fretting for no reason. He is probably right. But I am having trouble not second guessing our actions, as it is one thing to talk hypothetically about what you would do when you are not pregnant (and consistently failing to get pregnant, so why would this treatment cycle be any different, right?), and when you are actually pregnant and are seeing your baby every.single.week. on the ultrasound monitor.

But, I can’t make the two weeks pass any fast through worrying, and one thing I do know is that a stressed out mum is bad for bub, so I am trying really hard to relax and trust that Q. is right and that in two weeks’ time we will get good news.

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Filed under Emotions, Medications, Pregnancy, Ultrasounds

Breaking the silence…

Our ultrasound yesterday was perfect. It was at 8w4d, but bub is an overachiever, measuring 8w5d. Heart rate was 172 bpm. CRL was 20.2 mm. Bub is definitely out of “peanut” phase and into “gummie bear” phase, complete with stubby arms and legs. Much more recognizable- I could tell which end was the head even before the tech pointed it out. The only downside was they used a new machine which wasn’t yet hooked up to the printer, so we didn’t get a picture. But since we are going back (yet again) a week Tuesday (at 9w6d), the tech promised us a picture then. I swear this is going to be the most photographed bub while still in utero ever. I have a friend who went through the same clinic (got pregnant with an IUI) and even she didn’t end up with as many ultrasounds. Maybe they just monitor the IVF ones extra closely, I’m not sure.

Because of the new flat-screen monitor, and the chair placement, Q. could see the entire ultrasound. So while the tech was in the “don’t say anything and keep facial expression neutral while doing lots of clicking and beeping” phase, I watched Q. instead. And at one point I saw him sit back in his chair, drop his shoulders and nod. I knew then that our bub still had a heartbeat.

My doctor basically ran out of superlatives, and just sat there for about a minute telling me how perfect the baby looked and how wonderful it all was. I guess given his line of work he must spend a lot of time getting people pregnant only to have things look dodgy. He normally has a Father Christmas demeanour, but he is SO happy at our meetings now, it’s hilarious. He cleared me to exercise, so I’ll be able to get on our bike in our basement now. Also told me to start weaning off the metformin (that’s two medications I’m starting to stop now!). It’ll be weird to be off the metformin, seeing as I’ve been taking it off and on for two and a half years now.

So last night I screwed up my courage and told my parents (Q.’s mum is currently overseas, so we can’t tell her for another couple of weeks). That was the most fun I’ve had in ages! My mum and my step-dad both cried. My dad basically was speechless and couldn’t manage more than, “Well isn’t that just great news!” over and over for about twenty minutes. My stepmother was also really excited. They all know that we have been trying and having trouble, but we’ve deliberately been vague about the procedures. But they knew that this pregnancy was very much wanted and very hard to achieve. It was great- I phrased it by asking them what they were doing next May. With both sets I got detailed explanations about how they don’t know what they’re doing yet and how they don’t often plan that far ahead. Dad was talking about his freelance teaching schedule, Mum about the fact that she will still be at school. They had NO idea why I was asking. Then I asked if they wanted to come here to meet their grandchild. Freak outs ensued.

I was really nervous to tell them, and they have all been told that it is still early and sworn to secrecy. But I thought it was time. And, despite my irrational fears, I didn’t miscarry as soon as someone else knew.

My queasiness has pretty much gone away, but I feel ok about that as when I was talking to my mum it turns out that she was sick for a total of two days in one pregnancy (she has three kids) and her mum was never sick (and she has four kids). I do think I read somewhere that they suspect a genetic predisposition to morning sickness. Also Mum never got stretch marks- yay!

I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible that I’m showing. It’s hard to tell because of all the Fragmin swelling, but I do think the lower belly bulge is larger than it used to be. I also can’t figure out how I am not gaining weight given how much my bbs have changed. I think I’m going to need a new bra soon, but am hoping I can hang on until the second trimester.

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Filed under Family, Medications, Pregnancy, Symptoms, Ultrasounds