First Trimester Bumps and Must-Haves

I know people are probably rolling their eyes at these because believe me, I used to do the same thing… I get it. So no hard feelings if this type of thing isn’t your bag. Just skip! I’m going to try and keep the pregnancy posts condensed.

Week 6:
Baby is the size of a grain of rice.

Symptoms started to kick in, some of which were really strange like my teeth and gums hurting for 2 days. Also, exhausted, thirsty as hell, dizzy, lightheaded where my ears felt full, sharp boob pains, cramps on and off, hunger comes on intensely, some nausea and gagging, having bad sleep from needing to drink and pee. Still doing 2 pills of Estradiol each day, 1.5 mL of progesterone injections each day, 2 estrogen patches every other day, and 1 baby asprin every day.

Week 8:
Baby is the size of a raspberry.

Cramps have gone down, still having random gagging fits and am really really tired. Still doing 2 pills of Estradiol each day, 1.5 mL of progesterone injections each day, 2 estrogen patches every other day, and 1 baby asprin every day.

Week 9:
Baby is the size of a grape.

We graduated from our clinic today! Measured ahead at 9 weeks 1 day, 177 beats per minute, 24mm long!

Cramps are pretty much gone which is scary as I like the reassurance every now and then, I’m not as thirsty as before but I’m still really really tired and have occasional headaches. My appetite is starting to come back but I’m still prone to gagging.

I’m still going in for blood work weekly but all appointments with my clinic are over. My care is being transferred to a midwife who works with a nearby hospital. I’m also starting to wean off my meds which is scary but I’m thrilled about because my butt can’t take many more shots. I’m bruised up and so sore. So now I’m doing 2 pills of Estradiol each day, down to 1.0 mL of progesterone injections each day, down to 1 estrogen patch till Saturday then the patches are done, and 1 baby asprin every day.

Week 13
Baby is the size of a hot jalapeno.

I’ve been off meds completely since week 11. I’m feeling better, and because of that I panicked and went in to my midwife for a quick doppler to check for a heart beat. Everything was ok. We also announced the pregnancy on social media this week. Still feeling tired. I bought my own doppler so I can listen at home and avoid those awful thoughts.

And that’s it!

Haha, no in all honesty I was incredibly lucky with how low key my pregnancy symptoms were: I know it could’ve been way worse so I feel incredibly lucky. Maybe it’s the universe’s way of letting me be after the hell we went through to get pregnant in the first place. But I’m not naive enough to think a whole new slew of problems won’t pop up as my pregnancy progresses.

I was, and still am, tired a lot and my headaches are more frequent. I go to bed at 8 most nights, but if I have a headache then it will be even earlier. I only puked twice at home and the puke bags were there just to make me feel safe. I didn’t actually ever use one. And the Dum Dums helped when I started feeling a gagging fit coming on. I tried ginger chews and those Preggie Pops but most of the flavors made me wanna puke anyway. So Dum Dums did the trick and for way cheaper.

So there you have it!

My IVF journey and a short video

I left you last week with my pregnancy announcement and now I wanna talk about it!

We are still in shock that our 2nd IVF cycle worked (after so many failures and bad test result after bad test result, you start to believe that you’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel), but it did. Yes, we had amazing doctors this time around with an amazing embryology lab, and with the experience of a previously failed IVF cycle under our belts, but it was still complete LUCK that it worked. That, and the fact that I went into this round of IVF feeling a bit more positive, calm, and sure of myself, having known what to expect (I don’t like surprises). I attribute my positive thinking to a part of our success too: It certainly made the hellish process that much easier because I refused to let those dark and negative thoughts scare me and they are completely exhausting. If one popped in my mind I was just like, “Shut the fuck up. Nope. Not listening. LALALALA. Babies.” It was just “eye on the prize” and taking it one step at a time, giving up all control. Yes, I was still terrified out of my mind at times, especially while waiting for important phone calls with updates on our embryos, but I always maintained hope in the back of my mind. I refused to let infertility extinguish that teeny tiny light of hope for making a family.

Throughout this entire process starting back in November, I documented everything. I didn’t care if I felt like I was “jinxing it.” I could always just delete everything if it was too painful to have those reminders if it didn’t work. But like I said before, I refused to let those negative thoughts poison my mind. I took pics, made video diaries for my folks, and am currently putting it all together in a digital project life album for myself (and for our kid – “Hey, this is how you were made, and this is what you looked like as a blob of cells 5 days after conception!”), and jumped blindly in feet first to another terrifying round of IVF.

So the video below is a very short slideshow with un-prettied pictures of what we went through from the beginning of this cycle starting back in November. But I wanted to share it with you anyway because I’m not ashamed of our infertility. I wear it like a badge of courage. We went through a very special type of hell and made it out on the other side alive. My body and our egos may be beaten and bruised (literally, those progesterone shots did a number on my back hips. 66 in total!), but we are all the stronger for it. This is our journey:

There you have it!

And picking up from where I left you in my post about our embryo transfer…..

I had to wait 11 days after my embryo transfer to take a blood pregnancy test (aka “Beta” test) at my clinic to see if our embryo transfer worked. But I cheated and took a home pregnancy test (very much against my nurse’s advice due to risk of a false positive from one of my meds) everyday for 4 days starting 8 days after my transfer which showed positive. Confusing? Sorry. But the line got faintly darker with each day so I felt good about it.

So I already knew I was pregnant when I went in for that beta blood test. But I had no idea just how pregnant I was or if it was even a viable pregnancy (was it ectopic, molar, or a blighted ovum? Knowing too much because of IVF sucks all the fun out of finding out. Oh, and any fun in making a baby is sucked out too. Ha.). The blood test gives you a number which measures how much HCG is in your blood, which is given off by the implanted embryo. Doctors like to see this number above 10 or 20 or so (I can’t remember exactly). And anything over 20 or 25 will show up on a home pregnancy test. Well, my first beta number at 11 days post frozen embryo transfer was 756!! I was shocked at how high this number was.

(With my last failed IVF cycle, my first beta # was only 7, crept up to 15, then dropped to 5, which then resulted in a chemical pregnancy/very early miscarriage).

Then you have to do a second beta test 2 or 3 days later to make sure the number is doubling. My 2nd beta was done 3 days later and came back at 2423. Holy crap I’m pregnant! I’m certain my embryo implanted the night after transfer so it had a longer time to “cook” which is why my number was so nice and high. And I was also certain it was a boy embryo. We could have asked the doc what it was right away, but we didn’t. We wanted to wait. And turns out I was right! The gender was verified twice; once through the genetic test of our embryo in the very beginning, and again at 13 weeks when I did a blood screen to check basically the same thing the embryo’s genetic test tested for. I’m just a control freak and wanted to be sure before we got happily bombed with blue boy things.

Then after that was just getting through the weeks, hoping for the best, and letting things take their natural course, which was, and still is, absolutely terrifying. I was convinced many times that something was catastrophically wrong because I was feeling too good (besides random gagging fits and fatigue that was all my “morning sickness” consisted of). I still hold my breath before any ultrasound or doppler to hear the heart beat. I just know too much about what we have to lose.

Anyway, thank you guys for all your sweet comments on here and instagram on my announcement pic. I was so scared to post it because I always think the worst is going to happen as soon as I feel like celebrating. But baby boy is proving to be a strong one. I’m 15 weeks now.

Blogging things that make you go, Huh?

1. In Google Analytics when you find really strange keywords and phrases or website referrals that brought people to your blog.

2. When you are added to a twitter list that you are pretty sure you don’t belong in….
Apparently I’m a member of Blythe Dolls, Jewelry Artists, British Subculture Style, and Check Out Our Funny Pics.

3. When your feed stats show you that one of your most viewed posts is, what you’d consider to be, actually quite mediocre and what you thought to be the most amazing post has hardly any views.

4. The sheer amount of spam comments your spam filter weeds out. It’s CA-RAZY how much time people have on their hands. And they’re always posting on really old posts too.

5. When someone favorites/likes a tweet/Instagram pic from over 3 years ago.  It’s just very very creepy.

6. When you get an email from a company that has absolutely nothing to do with what you blog about, but wants to pay you to let them write a guest post for your blog (that would probably end up getting a shit ton of posts, per #3. Go figure).