Saturday, July 31, 2010

First present and fetal doppler!

On Friday A-K my post doc gave a good-by box of chocolate (ah she knows me well!) and a small package. You see, her contract is up and she'll return to Germany next week.

I open the pack and this was what I found inside

Isn't it cute? She got in Peru when she went on holiday over Christmas and thought she would have given it to the first of her friends having a baby. And she gave it to me. Needless to say I was in tears! She's such a lovely girl and I have been so lucky to have her in my group.
Not having Elvis here yet we tried the cute hat on Patches....

He was sooo cute too!! Not sure if you can spot the Dude is just beside him on the left, very interested in the little tassels...

Anyway, today we also went to the chemist as the doppler had arrived. She gave us a very good discount so we bought it. As soon as we got home we tried it. Nothing. No heartbeat at all, no sounds other than the background noise. Initially I thought I could hear something and I remembered of all those times I thought I had seen a second line on an know what I mean. Anyway, then I tried it on my own heart and still NOTHING!! Sigh of relief. I called the chemist of course telling her I thought the thing was faulty. Being a bank-holiday weekend here, she couldn't do anything for me until next Tuesday. Ah well. Incredibly I didn't really panic.

Then we thought maybe it's the battery. A battery came with the monitor you see, it was a new one, wrapped up in cellophane. Could it be the problem?
And sure enough it was! That damn little thing!! With the new battery I found the heartbeat straight away (ok....with a bit if fiddling!) and according to our counting it was at around 160bpm! How lovely! I of course checked mine too, just to make sure it wasn't me having a heart attack... nope, definitely not mine! I have to make sure I am not getting addicted...I'll try to use it no more than twice a week (even because if it uses up batteries at the speed of light we'll spend twice as much money in a matter of days!).

Mike said when we are older and may suffer of poor circulation in the legs (like his mom) we could still use the doppler to check for peripheral heartbeat! Ah bless him...

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Thank you all so much for your comments, I feel better today. I had two days were I was really cranky and it didn't help! Like, so moody I was pissing myself off...I suppose that's a good sign of pregnancy!

Some of you have mentioned the heart monitor, I looked into it and there were so many different (and contrasting) comments on them. But then I called my chemist (you know, the one that knows me well with all the meds from the clinc!) and she was so lovely, she's going to get one in tomorrow and I'll go and have a look. I think I'll get it.

And you are right, I have to stay positive. I'll go back to meditation too (I've been slacking a bit in that department!)

Some of you have mentioned that the cervix length can be seen better by ultrasound and that the physical exam is not necessary. This reassured me a lot, but I wonder if it's an internal u/s that you need because they tend not to do them either!!! I only got them at the clinic up to 12 weeks but both the OB and at the hospital they won't do internal if they can see the baby by external. But I will definitely talk about this to the OB.

I am reading this book that a colleague's wife passed on to me "The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy" which is actually really funny and it's helping my mood!
I'm at a conference until tomorrow (I had to give a talk today also) so I hand't been good at commenting on your blogs, but I'll catch up at the weekend. I just wanted to let you know that I am better thanks to you all once again.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ah! The anxiety.....

My friends, I know you know me already and even if I put all my effort in trying and enjoying the pregnancy without having bad thoughts of what may go wrong, I tend to fail miserably....

Today I called the OB to see if I could go in a week earlier...the 25th of August is just way too far away...sure it was no problem so my new appointment is for the 18th. Ahh feeling better...

Yesterday I went in for my routine blood tests (HIV again!! as well as the immunology for Rubella, Chicken pox etc., and basic blood work) and they'll send the result to the OB. The nurse got all my story,, it's not my first pregnancy it's my third, I didn't really miscarry, the previous two were ectopics, ....yes this is an IVF pregnancy, as well as the previous two. She was very nice and I told her I felt quite anxious with having appointments so far apart, that ideally I'd want constant reassurance that everything is going well. She said I'll probably feel this way until I have the baby in my harms. So true!

So my latest paranoia is..."incompetent cervix". Having made it safely out of the first trimester I now worry that given that here they don't do internal exams (like...ever, until you are in labour!) if my cervix is shortening no one will ever know until something bad happens and it'll be too late then. I'll obviously talk to the OB about this when I see him. There is no real reason why I should think this may happen to me, only I do. And I worry. I did have a D&C after all which appears to be one of the causes. The terrifying thing about it is that there are no symptoms.

I just have to stop reading bad stories. I keep telling myself that I don't think every morning when I drive into work "I may have an accident" yet that is probably more likely.

Ahhh....I wish I could have an ultrasound machine in my house....I wish I could feel movements already (which I hope when that happens I'll feel reassured Elvis is still with us), tell me I'm not alone.

Any advice is more than welcome of course.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

14 weeks and belly pictures

Another week has gone by. Wow. It's 14 weeks finished. I'm feeling well, I think I'm regaining a bit more energy (no need to nap before dinner) but I'm still getting up for a pee in the middle of the night, I thought some fairytale said that in the second trimester the peeing was less? Ah well, it's certainly less during the day, but in the evening I seem to have to go more often.
Headaches also gone for over a week now (sshhhh....just in case!) I'm sure I had a combined effect of coming off the steroids and the pregnancy that didn't help.
One thing that is definitely only hormones related is my mojo....oh my word, I don't think I've been this turned on since I was a teenager! I got more comfortable that it's not harmful for the pregnancy but I seem to enjoy foreplay more than the rest...we'll see how we get on, it may just be that I still have to adjust a bit.
Also I'm doing some pregnancy exercises from a book including the Kegel's as apparently it is never too soon to start! Hopefully I'll be doing some pregnancy yoga also, I haven't found a suitable teacher yet which is also convenient, but I'm on it.

And now for your joy I'm posting a series of belly pics since I started taking them at 9w (11w is missing as Mike was away), I think I'm showing quite a bit and I'm gaining too much weight in my opinion (like 0.5kg a over a pound) but what can I do? I'm hungry!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ICLW July 2010

Hello readers! You can find my story on the left (it's a summary, shouldn't take too long!) and this time to do something a little different I'm going to use the alphabet to say something about me. I'll only use the first half of the letters and leave the rest for the next ICLW.

A Awareness. I want to raise awareness about infertility by talking openly about how this pregnancy came to be.

B Baby. As incredible as it still is for me, I am growing a baby. If it's a dream, nobody wakes me.

C Courage. You need a lot of it to pick yourself up again after a disappointment (or 6)

D Dude. This is one of my two cats, he run away as I started the preparation for my last FET and we found him again on the day of the transfer when we had lost hope. I believe he's a magic creature with superpowers!

E Ectopic pregnancies. I suffered two, both after ICSIs and the good thing that came out of it is the charity we have set up to support other women going through the same.

F Faith. I admit I go through phases of having faith and losing it. Now I have it, please stay.

G Grey's Anatomy. Oh my God I watched the 6 series back to back, how did I not follow this from the beginning is a mystery to me. Can't wait for the next series.

H Hope. The only thing that keeps you going forward and try again. The hope to see those 2 lines. The hope that the beta will be rising. The hope that this time the pregnancy will be in the uterus.

I Ireland. I moved here in 2001 and feel at home.

J Joy. In the end there is joy. At times it's impossible to see it, the feeling of desperation that despite all the attempts we'll end up empty handed always lurks under the waters. But we had started the adoption process also and we knew that one day, in a way or another we will have had a child.

K Knowledge. Learning about infertility and being able to read scientific literature gave me the opportunity of interacting a lot with my doctors. Deciding with them which protocol to do, which other exams may be useful and so on made me feel much more involved in the process.

L Lyuda. This is the name of my Favourite Doctor at the clinic. She was the one who picked up the ectopics when no one else was giving me credit for my fear that something was wrong. I believe she almost saved my life.

M Mike. My husband, I'd be lost without him. He's been my strength throughout this journey, he'll be an amazing daddy.

More next time!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's a peach!

13 weeks today! Officially entering the second trimester wohooo! Elvis is the size of peach, nice!

Not much to update a part from the fact that I've put on two more kilos...but I feel well, still tired though but the headaches are easing a bit which is great. I went to my acupuncturist on Friday for a session and felt better since. I will pot my belly pictures starting from 14 weeks, I think I've quite a belly already...I suppose the fact that I got back to loving chocolate and jams doesn't help!

Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland: I met the girls on Saturday morning, we made a lot of progress, the website is almost ready, hopefully it'll be on line this week. I'll do some work on the leaflet before it goes to print as I didn't really like the style. I will put everything in a dedicated page on my blog once we are ready. Launching still hoped to be in September but we need a patron first so if we can't find it it may be October. And you know the way every charity has something to hand out, like a pin, a ribbon or something else...the girls did a lot of research on those, me personally I don't like them, I won't wear it anyhow so I didn't have a strong opinion. Then D. said that on one occasion, they handed out small bulbs to be planted...I loved that idea so much! So simple and yet so effective. In the end we are going for pens (instead of pins!) and bulbs. Ongoing is the set up of a support phone line, I'm researching the best deal among the Irish providers.

That's all for now!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NT and coming out

Yesterday I told my Head of Department about the pregnancy and he was amazing! He knew about the ectopics and was truly happy for me, he even hugged me!! Then I said it to another colleague who's dealing with the timetable of all the modules we teach (I want to try and increase a bit my first semester teaching and leave a little less to be covered by others in the second semester), he also was very happy for me and Mike and so so supportive! He said he can teach one of my modules no problem and he felt everyone else would have been very supportive also!

That was enough for yesterday!

This morning we went in for our NT in a new private hospital 2 min away from home and let me tell you...a 5 star hotel could not compete!! This place had a fountain in the reception, a sky-walk to the consultant suits, I felt I wasn't properly dressed!! Ah well. Anyway, we found our "suite" and I was called in. The eco-tech said immediately "I've seen you already!" and sure I have the memory of a goldfish and tried to mask at my best a blank look...she said she was in the Maternity hospital last year and she remembered me having the ectopic and coming back to check the hcg, she also remembered I was a scientist!! How impressive is that! I slowly stated making some connections... She explained all about the test (which I hadn't researched at all, so I knew just the basics) and up I went on the bed. Ohh the difference a super scanner makes! There was Elvis an his little perfect heartbeat! She wanted him to jump a bit so that she could take different measurements but he wasn't too cooperative! Anyway everything was so so clear (still doesn't feel real though) the hands are so cute, and the nose and the belly! He was measuring 12w3d and I'm 12w4d so just right. She said that everything look really good, of course this is not as accurate as the anatomy scan will be, but all the organs are visible (Mike spotted the bladder!) and the heart was just amazing. Here a few pics for your pleasure!

Then she took the blood and the consultant that came in during the scan said he would call me within a couple of hours with the results. He called and everything was great, he said that at my age the risk for Down syndrome is calculated as 1/230 but that the test showed that this pregnancy had a risk of 1/4600 which he said it's that of a 15 years old! Fantastic! I just got 20 years younger! But sure a pregnancy at 15 would not have made me that happy... anyway we are delighted all is well, we would not have sent Elvis back to Vegas of course, but I wanted to be prepared just in case. I was quite calm though, I didn't have any bad feeling!
Oh and my friend TwoDogMama asked me about the gender, I am not sure we want to know yet, we think it's nice to have a surprise, but we may change our mind, and if we do, I'll definitely post it on the blog!

And at lunch I told two more colleagues! Again lots of congratulations and happiness all around!

Now I'll have very little to talk about for 6 weeks until my next appointment so I'll make sure to catch up on the awards I've been given and on MIL's story part two. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The OB meets Elvis

Dr. L is a very nice man. We had a very early appointment (7.15 am!) and the first thing he said was that he liked early appointments because you have to get used to early starts when the baby arrives! Anyway, nothing much happened, he took my blood pressure, a urine sample and then we took a look at Elvis with a very low-tech machine! He said immediately that they are getting a new one. At the beginning we couldn't actually see anything at all, maybe I had to have a full bladder...but I felt the scanner was just too low on my belly. In fact as soon as he moved it up a bit towards my belly button we started seeing something! To be honest with you, it wasn't nearly as defined as we had seen it before, but there was a lot of movement (and awwhs and owwhs from all of us) and then Dr. L pointed at the heart-beat which looked good and that was it.
As I had a scan just last week and I'll have one tomorrow for the NT we were all happy not insist too much to get a better picture.

We had a nice chat about various aspects of the pregnancy and how he's very much about acting as normal as possible, the only thing he felt strongly about was soft cheese! He also said to us that given our history we may get a bit anxious towards the end and all options will be open to us (elective C-section). Great to know but hopefully we won't need it at all. He asked about breast feeding too and it all felt so real (and I was so unprepared!) I think I will and he said I'll have total support in the hospital for it.

My next appointment is for the 25th of August and we have been booked in for the anatomy scan on the 8th of September. I'll have to have some blood work done also at a different location and I think I may go in at the beginning of August.
So today I'll start telling my colleagues, I'll update you on their reactions, but like you all said, this is so much more important!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A giant leap (Milestone one)

Is it really 12 weeks? Hard to believe, isn't it? One strange thing going on with my new ticker is that it started saying I was 12 weeks last Thursday! I had to move the due date forward to make sure it changed on the Sunday. Weird.

I feel quite well, still getting waves of tiredness (I went to bed for a couple of hours this afternoon and slept!) but overall I'm well. This week after the OB appointment we'll have to start telling people. Mainly, I feel I have to give my colleagues time to rearrange my workload. It's unlikely we'll get a maternity replacement so my teaching for the second semester will have to be re-distributed and that's not something they'll like...did I mention that we are only 3 female on staff and the other two are single? Mmmhhh, I expect my colleague to be supportive (practically all of them have children) but still it's as if I feel I've done something wrong...I know, who cares and totally irrational...Let's just hope everything will be well on Wednesday at the OB and I'll take it from there. Oh, I think I forgot to mention that I'm going for the NT test on Thursday, when I rang last week they weren't too impressed I left it so late to book (apparently the NT must be done between week 11 and 13)! But again, I needed time to believe this was happening to me.

Today it's the last day of all the meds...I'll be just on standard pre-natal from this would be the way "normal" people live their pregnancy from day 1...but I'm so so glad I got this far, I would have taken twice the amount of drugs.

Finally, I'm so hooked on Grey's that it's as if I'm leaving in Seattle....I'm watching the last series now so it'll be over soon, I wonder what I'll do afterwards! Did I tell you that one night I had a dream of Grey's? Like a new episode! This is a sign it's just too much but I can't stop!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The lime in the coconut!

Little Elvis is growing! Today I went in for my last scan at the clinic with my sister in tow. As usual I had a couple of days of anxiety and what ifs...but this morning I was calm and positive and in any case I know I can't prevent bad news or change them for the matter, so I just stopped thinking about that altogether.

My Fav Doctor did the scan and again she was all very happy and excited about what she was seeing and so were we! Elvis measures 11w5d (I'm 11w2d today) and moves a lot! We could definitely see arms and legs stretching, the umbilical chord and the nose! Heartbeat strong at 166bpm which she said it's perfect. We got a good few pics, I'm posting here two very cute ones!

It seems like Elvis is sucking his thumb!

And these are Elvis's little legs!

We have officially left the clinic today for the last time, I'll go back with presents in a weeks or so, it was somewhat a strange feeling, specially because I still can't quite believe this are my pictures, but sure it will eventually sink in!

And I'm also adding a ticker today (brave me!) I love those that show the baby size in fruit and this week Elvis is the size of a lime...I thought my uterus may be the size of a coconut and now I cannot get the song out of my head! In dreamland today, work can wait until tomorrow...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

11 weeks and totally addicted...

I haven't posted in week and the true reason is that I'm completely addicted to Grey's Anatomy. So I watch as many episodes as I can per day!! I've started the fourth season now, and at this pace I think I'll be finished in 10 days or so! But I've kept up with your news and commented so I don't feel too bad...

Today I'm 11 weeks along. Yesterday I had a very very light brown spotting a couple of times after going to the loo. One possible reason is that I had an orgasm while I was napping in the afternoon!!! It came along all on its own!...we haven't had any action since ET so I think maybe I had some bottled up mojo...Anyway, I nearly felt guilty and then the bit of freak me out no end. Can that be the reason though? No pain and no cramps. I'm booked in for a scan on Tuesday but if I spot some more today I think I'll go in tomorrow. Or I wonder if it could be due to the fact that the body is readjusting to stopping the PIO last Sunday, I think it usually took me 5-6 days after a failed cycle to get AF once I stopped the meds. I'll ask the doctor when I go in.

Mike is away this weekend with his friends, but my sister is here since Wednesday so I'm not alone! We are having a great time together which is always nice.

On the dream front things have calmed down and thank you all so much for the reassuring comments! It always help to know it happens to others! My dreams are still vivid but not horrible anymore, so I'm ok with that....a part from the erotic ones now...

This week is the last week of all the meds, I'll start diminishing the steroids from tomorrow so that I'll be taking only 5mg next Sunday, while everything else will stop on Sunday. I've read many blogs where this create some sort of anxiety and I'm no different! But I suppose this is just another step forward.