Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A jumbled mess of a post

Today I'm 6 weeks 3 days pregnant. As far as we know, things are progressing just fine. My progesterone supplements seem to be working - I definitely feel more like I did before my progesterone dropped, so I'm taking that as a good sign. I take them at bedtime, and they make me sleep so well most nights! That's a very welcome side effect, I must say. :)

Nausea has started to affect me more, but most of the time I'm OK. I've been resting a lot and taking it easy, especially on the days when I've had spotting. I'm drinking water with lemon slices, which actually makes me want to drink more water, so I'm more hydrated than I otherwise would be. It seems to help a little with the nausea, too. I'm glad to have the nausea, it makes me feel as though things are going well. I know that's really silly, because plenty of women have no nausea and have healthy babies, but it's a reminder that I'm pregnant I guess. It still feels kind of surreal at times - I don't think it will feel 100% real until we see our little bean at my ultrasound, honestly. The days are dragging, it feels as though October 8th will never arrive! When it does, I'll probably be a nervous wreck. I'll be 8 weeks 2 days along then, all being well, so we should be able to see quite a bit. More than they would see at this stage, anyway! A lot of women on my birth board are getting very early ultrasounds, and they seem to cause more anxiety than anything. I'm actually glad that mine isn't super early because I see so many women panicking when nothing much is seen at their ultrasounds and they're only 5 weeks or so pregnant. Unless it's absolutely necessary, from a medical standpoint, I don't see the point in subjecting oneself to that kind of stress. Of course, some of those ladies have been lucky and seen their baby with a heartbeat. I guess it's a gamble so early on!

I'm kind of regretting telling some people about the pregnancy when I did. I know it probably sounds bad, but I sort of regret telling my mom the most. I know she's really excited, but I've stopped telling her about any of the worrying things that have happened. She gets this panicky tone in her voice and I just can't deal with it! I only told her about the antibiotics I had to take, and it was like her heart was in her mouth. This is all over the phone, of course - she's in the UK and I'm here in the US. I haven't mentioned anything about any of the spotting I've had, or the progesterone issue - I just don't want to have to reassure her when really, I'm not 100% confident that everything is OK myself. Does that make sense? I mean, I really hope everything is perfect, but I've read enough (and seen enough in my medical imaging career back in the UK) to know that things can and do go wrong. The first trimester is so difficult, because it's the riskiest time. I manage to think positively about 90% of the time, but every now and then negative thoughts will creep into my mind. I think - well, truly hope - that once I have my ultrasound, I'll be able to feel better. Hopefully we'll see our baby with a nice strong heartbeat, and his/her development will be on track. I hope the ultrasound tech will let us see the screen and give us some pictures; my ultrasound is at a radiology place, not at my OB office, so I'm not sure what their standard procedure is.

I spoke with one of my best friends last week on Skype, and kept my mouth shut about the pregnancy. I'm glad I didn't tell her, because I want to wait until at least after my ultrasound before telling anybody else. Plus, we were busy discussing her plans to marry this Nigerian guy she's known less than a year and whose UK visa is about to expire at the end of this year... When she told me about his visa expiring (back in February) I asked what his plans were, and she said he didn't have one. I had an idea that he would propose, and that's exactly what happened in August. The more she tells me about him, the weirder the whole thing gets. I feel very uneasy about the whole thing, especially because he's pushing her to get married ASAP (I wonder why...)
I know there's nothing anybody can really say to her, but she's very naive and me and our other best friend (there are 3 of us who've been friends since we were 4 or 5) both think the whole thing is undoubtedly dodgy. I hope she puts 2 and 2 together, and quickly!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yay for progesterone supplements!

It didn't look like I was going to be able to get my Endometrin today, but I called the pharmacy one more time and got the best news: it was ready for collection! Woo-hoo!! The way my OB wrote the script, they were supposed to dispense 1 weeks' worth at a time. That would've meant going back every Friday for the next 5 weeks (do-able, but I'd rather not have to if it can be avoided!). In the end, they were able to give me the prescription in 2 parts. Now I have 3 weeks' worth and in 2 weeks I'll call to ask them to refill my prescription, and get the rest in one go too (in 3 weeks). This way it ends up being a little cheaper, too, so it's a win-win situation! I think we were billed too little in the end, though, so we'll have to ask them about that next time we go in. I think she billed us for 2 weeks instead of 3, because when I added it up in my head it just didn't make sense. I mean I'm not complaining, but I feel bad because the lady might get into trouble or something, and I'm a goody two shoes apparently! :)

I can't express how much happier I am now that I have this stuff. I'll start it tonight at bedtime, as directed. Who knows if it's going to make a difference to the outcome of this pregnancy, but it makes me feel better taking it and that's a good thing in itself. At least I can relax, knowing that my progesterone levels shouldn't be an issue anymore. Phew!

Panic almost over!

What a morning it's been!!!

I called the pharmacy one last time to see if my prescription had miraculously appeared: no.
I then called my OB office, which is supposed to open at 8:30... I spent about 20 minutes trying to get through to them, but got their answering machine which ever-so-helpfully told me to "please call back within normal office hours, 8:30-5:00". I figured they'd forgotten to put their phones on, so I called their other location and asked them if they could call and let them know so I could get through to them. Well, they transferred me to my OB office. I spoke to a lady in the prescriptions department and asked if my prescription had been sent in, because my pharmacy hadn't received anything. She said she would call me back when my OB arrived. This was about 8:50.

I figured I would try to eat something (I've been worried sick since yesterday afternoon, and really didn't have an appetite this morning!) and call them back at 10:00 if I hadn't heard back. Yep, I'm impatient! But considering that this was supposed to have been sorted out yesterday, I want it sorted now!

Luckily at about 9:50, my OB called me. She was honest and told me she'd forgotten to call my prescription in yesterday, and apologized for that. She then said she'd been talking to the RE we saw (just prior to finding out I'm pregnant), and she discussed my progesterone with him. Apparently he thought it would probably be OK (I'm surprised by that!) but he said it wouldn't do any harm to supplement it, especially if it makes me feel better. Yes, it does!!!
Anyway, she said she'd called my prescription for Endometrin in to the pharmacy, and to let her know if there were any problems getting it. I called the pharmacy and they had my prescription - woo-hoo! However, they would have to order it in and it wouldn't arrive until Monday or Tuesday...

I asked about getting it elsewhere and the guy told me if I find it somewhere else, the other pharmacy could call them to get my prescription sent over and that would be fine. I called 2 other pharmacies and they didn't have it, so figured I would most likely have to wait until Monday or Tuesday for it. Then I remembered that there's a pharmacy right next door to the RE office, which I guess is kind of a specialty pharmacy (it's not a regular one, I guess they specialize in fertility stuff). When I finally got through to them, it turns out they have Endometrin in stock and it's not a problem to get it today. It's kind of out of our way compared to other pharmacies, but I'll feel so much better when I get it! I don't know how much it's going to cost, but whatever it is it'll be worth it.

So now I'm just waiting for a call back from this pharmacy, to let me know when I can collect my prescription. Hopefully soon! :)

So frustrated

So my prescription never did make it to the pharmacy last night. I don't know where it could've gone; my OB knows which pharmacy I use. I'm guessing it never got sent in after all. I'll have to call the pharmacy again when they open at 8, to find out if it magically appeared overnight (doubtful), and then I'll have to call my OB to find out what the hell is going on.

I'm terrified that I'm going to lose our baby because my OB thinks I'm neurotic. I just don't see how my progesterone level can be viewed as fine when it dropped so dramatically in just one week. It could be even lower now for all anyone knows. I know my HCG is good, but my OB acted like progesterone is nothing important when it clearly is!

Even if I manage to get my prescription to the pharmacy today, I don't know how long it will take to get what I need. I've heard of people having to wait a day or two to get it... I hope that's not the case.

I just feel like it might be too late :(

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Second beta/progesterone result

In the ongoing saga of actually getting my blood test results, which involved about 5 phone calls, a voicemail this morning, and eventually my lovely husband calling this afternoon because I was so frustrated and getting nowhere - three long days of waiting, and the results are both good and bad:

HCG = 5468 (up from 620 a week earlier; a doubling time of about 52 hours, I think)

Progesterone = 7.8 (down from 15.3 a week earlier)

I'm not happy with my progesterone level at all, so I called back and left a message for my OB to call me back. She called within a couple of minutes, and told me that she thinks my progesterone is fine. I know I'm not a doctor, but everything I've read states that progesterone should be at least 15. The fact that it dropped by about 50% in one week really worries me. I told her that it's taken us so long to get pregnant and I'm really concerned that my progesterone levels aren't high enough. I really don't want to lose this baby if we can prevent it! She offered to put me on a progesterone supplement, which I gladly accepted. I know she probably thinks I'm a giant pain in the ass, but at least I'll know I'm doing everything within my power to keep our little one safe. She said my HCG level is great, but I know that's not the whole story. Progesterone is needed to sustain the pregnancy until the placenta takes over, and I don't want it to be low and do nothing about it! She told me she doesn't usually test for progesterone, but my reasoning is that she did test for it (twice) and a low level shouldn't be ignored.

Anyway, she told me she'd call my prescription in to my local pharmacy right away. We left home about 20 minutes later, and when we got there they had nothing. Great... I'll have to call them soon to see if they have it yet. Hopefully they will before they close tonight!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Still waiting!

I didn't want any of you lovely ladies to worry about the lack of update - so far I haven't heard anything! I'm thinking of calling my OB office in 10-15 minutes to see if I can get my results. When I called for them last week I was told I'd get a call if there was a problem; well, I got a call and there wasn't a problem. I know my OB will probably think to call me because she's been really good about that before, but she's human (and busy!) and might not. So, I'll call before they close. I really hope I find out today, the wait is like torture!


I called and asked for my results... I was transferred to a different extension, which was just a voicemail message saying that any messages left after 4pm would not be heard before the next day. It was close to 5pm, so I didn't leave a message. I think they might not actually have my results back yet, because when I went for the blood-work it was about 3:30pm and a guy from the lab came to collect the blood samples while mine was being drawn. I don't know if he took mine with him or not... If not, maybe my results will be in tomorrow instead. I'm just going with "no news is good news" for now. Not much else I can do, except call again tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I had my second beta yesterday afternoon. If last week is anything to go by, I'll hopefully get my results tomorrow. At this point there's no real reason to suspect that anything will be wrong, but the waiting is hard! I can't help but feel a little anxious about it. I know that stress isn't good for me or the baby, but I can't relax 100% yet! Maybe 85%, LOL.

My boobs were really sore last week and now they're pretty much normal. I've read that symptoms can come and go, but it's a little disconcerting. I'm a worrier, so the more symptoms I have, the better. Yep, I might be a little crazy!

Positive thoughts would really be appreciated!  :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The results are in!

About 20 minutes ago my OB called. Yep, the actual OB, not a nurse. I was surprised by that, but I could tell from her voice that it was probably good news. My HCG was 620, and my progesterone was 15.3. She said that's very good, so I'll take her word for it. I'm so relieved! :)

I know next Monday's blood draw will be more important (to see if my numbers are increasing) but it seems like a good start! That call made my day  :)

Can't get beta results?

I hoped to have my first beta result by now, but after spending a bunch of time trying to get through to the OB office this morning I still have nothing. I called a few times and pressed whatever number it was for test results, and got voicemail; I called trying to get through to the billing department, because they're still trying to make me pay a bill that my insurance insist they've paid on 8/1 - which is like 6 weeks ago - and we have the EOBs to prove it. Yep, I spent quite a long time on the phone listening to crappy hold music. Eventually I did get to speak to someone who told me my test results are on the OB's desk awaiting review. I asked if I should call back later and they told me no, they'll call me if there are any issues. OK...

Then I spoke with the lady in billing, who was kind of rude and insisted that they haven't received payment from my insurance company. Well, I told her what they told us: it was paid via electronic funds on 8/1. The insurance company told us to tell the OB office to check their bank account or to contact them, since they have paid it. She said she would look into it - hopefully we will actually get somewhere this time! The stuff they're trying to bill us for is from May and June, and this has been going on since they first billed us in July. I can't tell you how many times we've contacted the insurance company - it must be 3 or 4 times about the same issue. I suspect this time the OB office is wrong, since we now have EOBs saying it was paid. I don't know why all this stuff has to be such a pain in the ass, but there you go!

My husband said maybe we should just go to the OB office with the EOBs and get it sorted out that way. I don't really know what to do, because honestly all this insurance stuff is kind of alien to me since I'm from England and our health care is socialized. Anyway, I think I'll let him deal with all of this since I need to relax and not stress out! :)

Last night I had some light pink spotting. I tried not to freak out, because I know some women do have spotting during early pregnancy (and some all the way through it). It's kind of hard not to assume the worst, though. I had a tiny bit of light pink spotting on Sunday morning, but it really was hardly anything. Last night there was definitely more, but I still wouldn't class it as heavy. I haven't had any pain, and it's never been like a period, so I'm trying to stay positive and hope for the best. Last night's spotting stopped within less than an hour. I told my OB on Monday that I'd had some spotting the day before and she said not to worry. Easier said than done, but I'll try!

Monday, September 10, 2012

OB appointment

I had my first OB appointment today (well, my first if you exclude the times I saw her for infertility testing and all of that stuff.)
It went well; I got given a bunch of information, had a nice chat with my OB and then had some lab-work done. They're testing my HCG and progesterone levels, among other things (I'm not exactly sure what - standard first visit testing, I guess!)

My OB called the RE's office during our chat, to get the full scoop on this mycoplasma thing. After speaking with the staff there, she prescribed a 5 day course of cephalexin for us both. She said it's not something that's routinely tested for, and the evidence of it causing any issues is not very strong, but we might as well treat it of course. The antibiotics are safe during pregnancy, so I'm happy to take them. Evidently she didn't get my message on Friday, but it's cool - I don't think a few days should make much difference. Besides, if it wasn't for our visit to the RE I would never have known about it in the first place!

My first scan will be in 4 weeks - October 8th. All being well, I'll be a little over 8 weeks along by then. It's going to be a long 4 weeks, I'm sure! I just hope everything is OK. I got pretty obsessive with testing - apparently I'm an addict when it comes to peeing on a stick! I confess, I bought another pack of FRERs today. I know, I'm crazy. So far the lines have gotten darker with every test I've taken, so that's been quite reassuring. I know the true test is the beta HCG levels, though. I can call the office in 2 days for the results from today's blood-work. I keep reminding myself that there's no reason to assume the worst, and I shouldn't worry until/unless there's really something to worry about. I know it, but I'm a worrier by nature! :)

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouragement up until this point. Each one of you has made this journey a little more bearable. I can't tell you how much it's meant to me to be in touch with other women who understand! So thank you all so much, you're wonderful ladies!

Friday, September 7, 2012

There may have been an explanation for our infertility after all

My husband just got his latest SA results (not that they're necessarily relevant at this point!). We're pretty surprised by the variation in the results from last week and his first SA in May. Of course, the tests were carried out at different facilities and I'm inclined to put more stock into the SA performed by the fertility clinic than the regular lab.
Anyway, the latest results are drastically different (mainly worse) than the first results were. Example: motility. This time it came back at 31% (which is low - it's supposed to be at least 50% according to the report). Last time it came back at 67%! That's a crazy difference. The count was drastically different too. The most worrying, I think, was the % of normally formed sperm: only 3%. Apparently that's supposed to be 14% or higher. His count was 34 million/ml, whereas last time it was 107 million/ml. 34 million is fine, though. The conclusion of the report is this:

Concentration, forward progression, and total motile sperm are within normal limit. Motility is below normal limit.
The proportion of the normal forms (3%) is in a range where fertilization may be compromised.

If this pregnancy proceeds normally, this all might be irrelevant. I just wonder if our infertility wasn't really "unexplained" after all - it could have been male factor infertility all along. I wish the first SA had been done at the fertility clinic! Obviously things can change in 3 months, but he hasn't been sick, he hasn't started smoking, he rarely drinks, doesn't do drugs, doesn't use hot-tubs etc. I'm surprised at the huge difference in reports, but I guess none of that matters at the present time. It only takes 1 sperm to fertilize the egg, and somehow that happened. I think we might have beaten the odds, based on this last SA! 

I also got a call from the RE office yesterday, because one of my cervical cultures tested positive for something called mycoplasma. Apparently it's very common, according to the nurse I spoke with. The RE prescribed antibiotics for both of us, but when I told the nurse I'm pregnant she spoke with the RE and he said my OB should decide what to do about it. The antibiotics he was in the process of prescribing aren't OK during pregnancy apparently, and I guess because I'm pregnant and we conceived naturally he doesn't want to be involved with treating me now. I can understand that, because it's not like we conceived as a result of infertility treatment. I think if we conceived through IUI or something, he'd probably treat me. As it is, I'm seeing my OB on Monday anyway. 

I'll admit I was kind of freaked out yesterday when I got the news, but only because the information given to us by the RE last week mentioned mycoplasma and a link with miscarriage. The thing is, I'm trying to think about it logically: if we hadn't seen the RE, I wouldn't have been tested for this and wouldn't have known I have it. Surely lots of people are walking around with this thing and have no idea. I've never had any symptoms of anything! Anyway, ignorance is bliss in a way - but knowledge is power. I'll find out on Monday if we need treatment, or if it's OK to leave it alone. I don't want anything to cause problems with the pregnancy, obviously. I'll do whatever I need to do to protect this little bean. I've left a voicemail message for my OB this morning, asking if mycoplasma is something that requires urgent treatment or not. I know I'm a worrier, and waiting until Monday is most likely fine, but I just want to hear that from my OB. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The blog

I find myself unsure of what to do with the blog. It started out as a TTC blog, then became an IF blog, and now..? Since most (if not all) of my followers are battling IF, it seems somehow wrong to turn this place into a pregnancy blog. I know how much some of your comments have helped me through the hard times, and I really don't want to alienate any of you. Maybe I should create a separate page for pregnancy updates. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

12 dpo and more tests!

This morning I tested again - not because I didn't believe the 3 tests I took yesterday, but because I wanted to see if the lines would get darker. I didn't know if they would or not, since it was a little under 24 hours since the first tests, but I figured I'd give it a shot as a little experiment! Well, today's Wondfo and FRER were definitely darker than yesterday's.

Then I got a crazy idea to use a digital test (I picked some up last night). I didn't really expect that one to come up positive because I've heard they're less sensitive than the line tests, so you can imagine my surprise when the word "Pregnant" popped up within about a minute! That made my day, really. I don't know why, but seeing the word seemed to make it feel more real somehow. I know that sounds nuts, and it probably is! :)

I'm looking forward to my first appointment on Monday. My OB is really nice, I like her. When we went to get the results from our infertility testing back in June, she said she wouldn't be surprised if I was pregnant by Christmas. I totally didn't believe her then, but she was right! If we're lucky and everything goes well, I'll be about 19 weeks at Christmas. We might know the gender by then!

This is all so surreal. Yesterday I felt like I was dreaming and would wake up to realize none of this happened. When I woke up this morning, it had sunk in a little more. It's hard to wrap my head around it after all this time of nothing happening, but I'm trying to enjoy every moment of this. I know it's very early days and lots of things can go wrong, but I'm not letting myself think about that too much! Positive thoughts only! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Betas: what would you do?

OK, so apparently to get my betas done with the OB, I have to first have an appointment with her. That's scheduled for Monday (9/10). I'm so tempted to just go to the RE today and get my betas done, though. So I'm asking you all, what would you do? Is there any real need to rush to get the betas done? Will 6 days really make that much of a difference? (Answer: it might only be 6 days, but I want to know now!!) Should I just be satisfied with my HPTs until I can see my OB? What do most women do? I've never had to think this far ahead before!

Also, for those of you who are/have been pregnant, what do they typically do at your first appointment? I'll only be about 4 weeks 2 days along on Monday, so it's too early for an ultrasound and there won't be any heartbeat to hear! Do they just palpate your pelvis or something? I really thought OBs didn't see you until 8-10 weeks, so I'm pretty surprised that I'll be seeing her so soon.

Oh my God...

I apologize if this post upsets anybody. That's really not my intention.

Today is 11 dpo. I woke up and lay in bed for a while, trying to decide whether to take a test or not. I almost didn't, but since I haven't had any spotting I thought I'd give it a go and used a cheapy. I couldn't believe my eyes when those 2 pink lines showed up. I'm officially in shock! I really never thought I'd be able to go to my husband and say "I'm pregnant!". I was due to start clomid with my next cycle. I'm so shocked, I don't even know what to do. Fifteen months of BFN after BFN, and now a BFP? For me? OMG. Of course I took a First Response Early Result and that was positive too. Faint, but definitely there. Pink, not an evap or anything. I took another cheapy as well, I don't know why I did that but yep, positive also. OMG! I took about a million photos of the HPTs, of course. It was hard to get good pics, but the lines are definitely there.

As far as symptoms go, I don't feel any different to how I always do after ovulation. My boobs have been a little tender, but that's nothing unusual at this point in my cycle. Other than that, I've been a little bloated and quite gassy (normal for me after O - sorry, TMI.)
I've been tired, but that usually happens after O too. I'm stunned!

I guess the next step is to go in for a beta. I'm shaking right now, I really didn't think this was going to happen for us naturally. I'm so happy, very excited and absolutely terrified too. I know 2 pink lines doesn't always equal a baby, but I'm not letting myself think those thoughts. I need to be calm, and think positive thoughts. I really hope it's a healthy, sticky bean.

My EDD should be somewhere around May 18th, 2013.

If anybody is interested, this is how my chart looks: