Friday, November 28, 2014


I love the early part of a long weekend, where I can see more than one full day of nothing stretched out in front of me. Ahh, it's great.

Thanksgiving was quiet but nice. My cousin's two girls were the life of the party, as all kids are during family events. The younger one (8 months I think) bounced around in her little bouncer-saucer thing and smiled a lot, and the older one (3 years) named our fetus Grass-fed. Not sure where she came up with that, not even her parents know. It was pretty funny.

Cory is still deathly ill with the flu (respiratory, not tummy). He didn't work at all this week, couldn't make it to Thanksgiving, and was only up for two hours before he gave up and went back upstairs. I'm so glad I haven't gotten it, but I hate when he's sick. Hopefully he'll feel good enough to help me put Christmas lights up this weekend.

In other news, today is my first two-tablet day as I start weaning off of the progesterone suppositories! Yay! Only ten days now and then I'll be completely off all fertility drugs. I counted the rest of my stock the other day and realized that I was short THREE tablets. I really wasn't excited about going all the way back up to Portland for just three pills so I took a chance and asked my Oregon Infertility Facebook group if anyone had any extras, and someone from Eugene happens to have several tablets that she's going to mail to me! And she doesn't even want anything for them! I'll have to think of a nice thank-you.

Also, based on the due date that my OB gave me, I had to adjust how far along I actually am: 11 weeks tomorrow instead of yesterday. Doesn't make too much of a difference but this has felt like an extra long week as a result.

It's windy and raining and miserable outside today (i.e. normal Oregon weather for November) and the dog is staring at me because he wants me to throw the ball for him and he doesn't care if the rain is falling sideways and pelting the windows. Boo. Let's see how long I can put him off (and thus stay in my pajamas and under this blanket)...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Today I had my quick blood pressure check. It turned into being away from work for almost two hours. (That sounds so ominous! But it wasn't.)

The nurse ushered me into a room and did the first check. It was higher than last time: 128 over 96. But I'd just driven across town in lunch hour traffic and rushed up the stairs, not to mention my previous hypertension, so I wasn't surprised. The nurse said she'd grab the on-call doc but that she was with someone at the moment so it'd be a few minutes. So I pulled out my book and settled in.

Almost half an hour later, the nurse came back, apologized, and tried another check. 130 over 92. Boo. So she excused herself and five minutes later a doctor came in to chat. She said I needed to go back on meds, and asked me a little about my previous blood pressure issues. I asked what this was going to mean for pre-eclampsia and she said that they'll just be monitoring me extra closely in the future. I'll likely have to go in twice a week at the end of my pregnancy, which I'm taking to mean I might be induced if things start to look worse. Guess I'd better have a hospital bag ready once those bi-weekly checks start!

I'm super unexcited about this turn of events. But I'm thankful that they caught it immediately and that they'll be watching everything closely.

In other news, one of the symptoms I'm noticing lately is a lowered immune system. I've had a cold for several days now, with a nose that gets stuffy at night especially, and now that I'm starting to feel like I'm getting over it my throat is starting to feel sick. I hope it ends up being nothing, or at least waits until after the holiday weekend. We have food to eat and Christmas lights to put up! Cory has been sick too - I'm pretty sure he has the flu and I'm so happy that I got the shot when I did. Phew.

To all my American friends, I hope you have a peaceful, calm Thanksgiving and you get to spend it with just the right people. :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

First OB Visit!

I woke up this morning from a nightmare in which my sister was shot twice in the back and was clinging to me in terrible pain and every time I tried calling 911 my phone would ask if I wanted to add 911 to my contacts instead.

Anyway, the day has gone much better than that! I had my first OB visit. The first thing that was awesome is that we got to the clinic in five minutes instead of 90. I'm pretty happy to not have to go to Portland for stuff anymore!

We were ushered into a room, I answered questions about my medical history, they took a urine sample (with very strict instructions because the specimens have been contaminated lately, apparently, and they don't know why), did a pelvic and breast exam, gave me a flu shot (ow), took about eight vials of blood for routine first-trimester testing, and we got to see the baby again!

It's amazing how much these things can grow in just four days. Now it looks like a little pig, I think, or bear. The pictures aren't fantastic; we got better views on the screen. I think it's better for the doc to measure them down the back, so we have back view photos instead of side views. We got to hear the heartbeat too; getting a little faster every time we check!

The not-so-good news, though, is that my blood pressure is already a little high for their taste. The nurse tested me at the beginning of the appointment, switched arms, said hmm a lot, tested me again at the end, refilled the cuff a couple of times, and then had me schedule a quick blood-pressure-test appointment for next week. I bet you anything I'll be on blood pressure meds for this pregnancy. Bah.

I also got some nice reassurance from the doctor - she was asking about symptoms and I told her I really didn't have a ton, no nausea and not super tired in particular, and it was enough that I was sometimes worried that something was fishy, but she reminded me that I've been pumped full of hormones and none of my cycle was normal, so it makes sense that I won't have the same kind of symptoms. It kinda reinforced my wish that there was a pregnancy book out there for IVF patients, that included little reminders like that.

So after next week's blood pressure test, I have another appointment scheduled for 12/19, at which point I'll be totally off all artificial hormones! This kind of waiting is so much better than the IVF waiting. This is awesome.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Goodbye, ORM!

Today we had our final ultrasound at ORM. The baby is getting big!

The heartbeat was... 172 I think. The doc said it sounded good, and we got to hear it twice. I think the baby looks like a frog now. Not sure what angle this is so I can't tell which appendages are poking out.

After a quick blood draw, I took one last look around the waiting room and we were out of there! We're finally finished with ORM! I can hardly believe we've made it to this point!

In other news, I got my last piece of protocol, to wean me off of the hormones. I'll be done with shots on Friday, and the suppositories by December 7th! Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Week Between

There really isn't a lot to write about when you're in your first trimester and it's going smoothly and you have no terrible symptoms (besides the obvious, unreasonable and overplayed worry that an easy pregnancy equals a likely miscarriage). Luckily, I haven't been super worried lately, aside from a few pangs of doubt.

I met my mom at Ikea today, so we could look at cribs and dressers and other random baby-related things. I didn't buy anything but we found the crib that I'll likely get later. Mom kinda went crazy and bought a half-dozen stuffed animals and toys too, which I have to figure out where to put at some point. The nursery is quite small (around 9' x 10') and with a crib and dresser and glider chair in there, there's not a ton of space left for much else.

Symptoms are still minimal - sore chest at night, usually, though not enough to wake me up, just enough to be slightly annoying when I do wake up for the first minute or two. More thirsty than usual, which is leading to more peeing than usual. My normal portion sizes are too big and I feel overly full - I need to adjust down. Twinge-y here and there. Slightly more tired than usual, but I don't feel like the life is sucked out of me or anything. Hard to know how sensitive my nose is, because the dog seems to have fleas and is scratching a lot, and I think I'm allergic to him when he's scratching dander into the air all night, so my nose is stuffy most of the time. Still no nausea, no aversions, not much in the way of cravings (unless you count "I feel like x for dinner" which I don't). Still bloated from the progesterone, and the other day in the shower I pressed on my lower abdomen (just above my pubic bone) and it felt much more firm than usual - I'm assuming that's the uterus starting to swell.

Less than a week now until the next ultrasound. Hopefully at that appointment they'll start having me wean off of the injectables and suppositories. I had to refill the Endometrin prescription today; just two-weeks-worth was over $300. I'm ready to stop paying for all the drugs and driving three hours round trip to get them!

Oh yes - also, I spotted again last Thursday afternoon. It was mostly gone by evening, but I reluctantly decided to skip yoga and just take it easy. After it was mostly finished, I had an hour or two of really slight cramping again, and by the next morning when I called the nurse about refilling the Endometrin I mentioned it even though I knew what they were going to say about it. I took it better than the first time I saw the spotting - it ended up being on a high-emotion day so there were tears but it didn't lead to a meltdown like last time. Instead, I just skipped yoga, drank a lot of water, and tried not to worry. I'm also finding that the wait between ultrasounds is much easier this time around. I'm sure it was because the nurse was confident about how things were looking this time (compared to the doctor being pretty concerned the week before), but it's nice not to feel stressed out about it, since I know that the time between ultrasounds will be longer as soon as I leave ORM.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

OB, Shots, and Other Things

I think I'm coming down from my high of Monday. To keep it going, I called and made my first OB appointment for the Friday after my last ultrasound at ORM. I spent a day or two thinking about which of two midwives I wanted (there's five at the hospital I think), and in the end I just had to go with whoever had an availability. I need to get used to that - back before we knew we had infertility issues, I was sure I'd have a home birth with a midwife. And for five years I concentrated more on how to get pregnant than how to get the baby out, and never did any further research on births. Now I need to get used to the fact that I can't choose who's going to catch the baby - it'll just be the luck of the draw.

Cory is in Orlando this week for work. I took him to the airport at 3am on Monday, and am picking him up on Saturday. In the meantime, I'm driving half an hour each way to visit my aunt every evening, who is giving me my progesterone and delestrogen shots. I figured she'd be a good candidate because she gives herself insulin shots, and she was - she did a good job last night, I barely felt it. We went out to dessert afterwards, and the baby got its first gift - a cute stuffed yeti for the nursery! (I'm going with retro camping/woodlandy decor with lots of bright colors and some yeti/Bigfoot thrown in.)

It's kinda hard being away from Cory right now. I just want to be around him so we can enjoy feeling like normal people again - for almost six months we've been on pins and needles. He's pretty excited; he took the ultrasound picture with him and he told me today that he wants to buy something for the baby while he's in Florida - so sweet. I love seeing him excited.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Followup Ultrasound

Last night I had an anxiety nightmare that involved someone trying to get rid of his children and then breaking into our house and I couldn't find a phone to call 911. I woke up at 4am and had a hard time getting back to sleep.

The ride up to ORM was slow. Traffic was pretty bad and Cory did a good time distracting me by talking about other things, but every once in awhile I noticed that every muscle in my body was tensed and I had to deliberately take a breath and release them.

We were fifteen minutes early even though traffic was slow (we left an hour earlier than we need to, just in case of traffic), and we didn't have to wait long at all for a room. I got up on the table and the nurse came in to check me out (our doctor is out of the state at a Men Having Babies conference).

I had a feeling it was going to be good news as soon as I saw the ultrasound - the baby had definitely grown! The nurse immediately pointed to the screen and said "there's the heartbeat. We'll see if we can hear it in a sec, after I measure it." It measured I think 6 weeks 3 days, which is still behind a week but it's growing and that's what's important! Then we got to hear the heartbeat. It's 123 bpm, which is a teensy bit slow for the gestational age is but it fits with how it's growing and she wasn't concerned. I had a few happy tears when I heard the pumping on the Doppler. The nurse actually said she was checking my chart and wasn't sure why my doctor had scheduled a second ultrasound so quickly after the first, which I took to mean that the baby looked great. Then she asked who I was going to use as an OB. I wanted to say "uh, I had to make sure this baby was going to stick before I started thinking about an OB!" but I just told her I'd figure that out by the time I came back in two weeks for what I think will be our last ultrasound before we graduate.

Then I had another quick blood test (I have yet to hear about results but hopefully they will say I can start weaning myself off of the hormones) and the phlebotomist gave me a book (Pregnancy 411 - looks like a What To Expect-style book) and an ultrasound photo that showed the heartbeat as well, and we were on our way.

We practically floated back home. I think I had a big stupid grin on my face at the grocery store too. I feel so relieved, and am ready to let myself plan with abandon now. No more being worried for a little while. I'm just going to enjoy this right now.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Today went by quickly.

We had our last choir rehearsal this morning, in preparation for tomorrow's concert. Before I left, I passed two big dark brown clots/tissue, which kind of freaked me out, but the nurse never said anything about clots being a concern and they weren't red and I wasn't feeling any cramping anymore, so I continued on with my day. That's not to say that I didn't have a hard time concentrating during the first half of rehearsal, but the spotting slowed way down after that and is almost completely gone now. (I did Google the symptoms and didn't get very happy results but I chalked that up to to The Reason You Shouldn't Google Symptoms.)

After rehearsal, I picked up Cory and we went to lunch (I felt like having a hamburger) and got his hair cut and grabbed a couple of groceries, and when we got home I took a two-plus hour nap. That was a surprise - I was a little yawn-y all morning but when we got home I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Just two more days and we can see if we have a growing baby in there. I was about to say I'll feel so much better afterwards but I'm learning not to say that anymore. :)

Happy Halloween!

We didn't do much of anything for Halloween night (we were Scrooges and turned off the porch light and hid in the house watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and ended the night ducking out for a pumpkin pie Blizzard) but we did dress up for work! Well, I did - Cory had a big project that was due so he telecommuted. But he threw his costume on after work to take pictures with me!