Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Third Time's A Charm

So, I'm guessing a lot of you guys have wondered what's going on with my efforts to try to conceive.  If you're like my friends, you probably picked up on the lack of wine and beer appearing in my posts in the past couple months.  Or maybe it was just the lack of posting in general.  If you've been thinking that maybe I was pregnant, you were right!

The day I found out I was pregnant (for the third time) was June 16th, 2012.  I had gone to meet a friend for some shoe shopping and on my way home I was talking to Greg on the phone.  We were actually talking about how I wasn't going to take a home pregnancy test early that month.  I told him I was much calmer this time and just didn't see the point- I would wait and see if I got my period and then go from there.  Well, ten minutes later I was home with a test in my hand, looking at a faint line on the test, so obviously I changed my mind and took a test that day.

To back up, a while back I mentioned that we started seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).  Our RE conducted just about every fertility test he could on both of us, looking for reasons why we might have had our two miscarriages.  Really, months of testing never revealed anything new other than the results my OB had found- that I had some undiagnosed possible autoimmune issue, and that our 2nd baby had died due to trisomy 22, the RE never found anything else wrong.  All the new testing the RE performed on us came back clear/normal.  The plan became that he would put me on a drug called Letrozole to help me "superovulate", hoping that I would release a good egg.

As months ticked by, I became pretty anxious to start trying again.  Once we had the results of one of the last tests we needed (Greg's semen analysis), and it was fine, I told the nurse who called me- "Okay, well we are ready to start, what now?"  She said to call when my next cycle started, and I did.  This ended up falling on Memorial Day weekend, so they didn't call me back for days.  By the time they called, the nurse informed me that we had missed the window to start a medicated cycle.  I was pretty devastated that we would have to wait ANOTHER cycle to try.  There was one more test they wanted to do on me- the HSG dye test, in which they inject dye into your uterus and tubes and check for any abnormalities, so we went ahead and scheduled that for the following week.  When I went in for my test, the RE came in and performed the test.  He proclaimed that all looked normal and that I should go ahead and try that cycle.  I was surprised and asked "even without the medication?" and he said "Yes, go ahead and try".

Thinking that we weren't going to try that cycle, I didn't start taking Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) tests early enough that month, so I never really got a positive test and had no idea if or when I even ovulated.  Plus, we were back to our old issues of only being able to try a few days Greg was off around that time, which left us about two tries for that cycle.  So you can see why I didn't have high hopes that I was pregnant- it seemed that it would take a minor miracle for it to happen when timing seemed off, we weren't on meds, and didn't have much opportunity to try.  I even did some hardcore workouts in the two week wait- like CrossFit, which is not like me.

Still, on June 16th, I had a positive pregnancy test in my hand.  And every day the test lines got darker.  I went in for Beta HCG tests and they all doubled as they should.  There was no doubt, I was pregnant again.  My doc put me on progesterone, just as a precaution even though my levels had always tested normal pregnant or not.

I swear, the last test I took was on 7/1.  I know this is excessive!

I had a hunch things felt different this time, but didn't want to get my hopes up too much.  I knew for me, the true test would be the first ultrasound.  I've come to dread ultrasounds after all the awful, disappointing ones I have had over the last year.  It's always, "we're not seeing what we should be at this point" or "there's no heartbeat detected", and I've grown accustomed to seeing my empty looking uterus so many times.  So I wasn't really excited for the first ultrasound.  Really, I tried not to think about the fact that I was pregnant much in the first few weeks.  The less attached I was, the better.

On July 11th (7-11), I had my ultrasound appointment.  There was actually some debate over whether Greg would even be able to come because he had to fly back to Houston that day.  He made it work though, coming with me in his uniform so that he could head to the airport after.  We actually didn't make a back up plan for what we were going to do if it was bad news.  We were called in to the exam room and I knew the drill.  I undressed from the waist down and got up on the table.  We anxiously waited for the doctor to come in.

Finally my doctor came in and inserted the wand and my uterus appeared on the screen.  Right away I thought I saw something resembling a baby, and not only that, I saw a flicker!  My doctor zoomed in and said, "That's your baby, and that's the heartbeat."  I just grinned and kept saying "Oh wow".  I looked a Greg and realized he had tears in his eyes and the nurse had to give him tissues.  We then got to hear the heartbeat 3 times.  The doctor told us it was beating at 144 beats per minute (BPM), which was great for where I was, which was 7 weeks and 1 day, actually two days ahead of where I thought I was!

I couldn't believe it.  We finally had a good ultrasound, everything looked great.  It was surreal!  I was on a high for the rest of the day.  After a few days, unfortunately, the high faded and I was back to worrying.  The thing about me, is I never really have a lot of symptoms when I'm pregnant.  I had some nausea here and there, but it was never consistent.  As days passed after the first ultrasound, I worried more and more that maybe things had taken a turn for the worse.  After all, 7 weeks is still pretty early.

My next ultrasound was scheduled two weeks after the first, on 7/25.  The morning of the appointment, I started to kind of freak out.  I couldn't figure out what to wear and got more and more upset, shedding a few tears.  It was also a rainy day.  I was worried.  We got to the doctor's office and were finally called in.  When my uterus came up on the screen, I could tell the baby looked bigger and I could still see a little flicker of heartbeat.  I still had a live baby in there!  I was so relieved.  The doctor said the baby measured on track for 9 weeks and the heartbeat was 185 BPM.

9 Weeks

My RE released me back to my regular OB, and said everything looks healthy and normal so far.  We're not out of the woods yet, but I am starting to feel more confident that we might actually have a happy ending here.  I'm really hopeful.

I'm now 10 weeks, and feeling pretty good.  I keep forgetting that a lot of people still don't know I'm pregnant, because I've mostly just been telling people I see in person, so I'm sure a lot of you will be surprised at the news, including quite a few of my Charlotte friends.

Anyway, this post is getting extremely long, but I just want to say thank you to all of you who have been following my journey, praying for me, thinking about me, commenting, emailing, Tweeting, texting, and all the support you've given me along the way.  It's meant so much to me.  I will definitely keep you posted on how things are going from here on out.


Susan @ Real Life Travels said...

Congratulations!!! That is so awesome!! I'm so happy for you guys!

Jen said...

Congrats! I'm so so happy for you!!!

Katie @ Legally Fit said...

Aw, congratulations! I'm so so happy for you and Greg :). Yay! When is your edd? So happy for you :)

Joanna said...

Oh my goodness...congratulations!!!!!!! I am just so thrilled for you and Greg!

craft-chick said...

Thank you for sharing! We've been trying for 2 years now and it always keeps me positive to hear others who've gone on to get pregnant.

Cassie said...

!!!!!! How exciting! And all on your own! :-) I am beaming ear to ear for you right now! (a person I have never met in real life!) but I couldn't be more happier for you and Greg!

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