Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Early Miscarriage and Moving On

No one warned me that a miscarriage at 5 1/2 weeks would be quite so nasty.  I assumed (and no one told me differently) that it would be similar to a late menses. .  I expected heavier bleeding than I would have with a normal 28-30 day non conception cycle.  I did not expect the amount of tissue and clotting that happened (thankfully mostly all at once).  It is quite an emotional experience to be sitting in the bathroom and find globs of what you know should be a baby growing inside your belly. .  . enough said.

I've shed a few tears. .  .but I'm trying to remember that there is nothing we can change about losing this pregnancy and I'm grateful the loss was so early (instead of the 9 week ultrasound my friend just had which revealed no heartbeat or the 21 week umbilical cord separation that another friend suffered a few years ago).   If I hadn't broken down and taken a test (because, duh, I was 18dpo and every RE on the planet says- "18dpo and temps are still up, you are pregnant" unless of course you aren't and just have an awesome progesterone producing cyst) I wouldn't have even known I was actually, finally, pregnant.

But I digress.

We are moving in. . . because we have no other choice.  My RE encouraged us to try for 2-3 cycles on our own (possibly with ovulation help) since he felt so confident about my weight loss/dietary changes and the impact that would have on my fertility.  Evidently he was right. . . the combination did allow us to conceive, finally.  Prayerfully, we will conceive again quickly and have a sticky baby.

Because my progesterone was so low this time (6.28), we are taking clomid on CD5-9 (normally I take clomid CD3-7 but we had to wait for my final beta hcg, so today it is).  I'm taking 150mg as usual.  We will not be using a trigger, just timing intercourse well.  I'm suppose to use an ovulation predictor kit to help make sure that happens.  What I learned last cycle is that spacing BD did make a big difference. . . so darling hubs will be getting his groove on only every 2-3 days until ovulation is confirmed since we know daily BD depletes the swimmers.  This last cycle we got BD in 16x's in 32 days (which is still a lot) vs. our normal 30+ times.  And it's the first cycle we managed to get swimmer and egg together. . . 'nuff said.

Once ovulation is confirmed, I will be starting progesterone suppositories (half 100mg 2x daily) until negative beta. . . if we get a positive, then I will continue the progesterone for at least 12 weeks.

In the past when my progesterone has been checked at 7dpo, it's been decent (15-20) on medicated cycles. .  we haven't tested it in unmedicated cycles but my luteal phase and temps have been pretty good which normally is an indicator of happy progesterone.

We won't be attempting anymore treatment until at least October when our FSA resets and at this time we are still up in the air as to whether it'll be more IUI with injectables or onto IVF.  IVF is a hard one for me given what I believe about creation of life. .  .but it's amazing what we can convince ourselves to do in order to have a child.  I'm praying we won't have to make that decision.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Falling Betas

Yesterday, I went through periods of time when I actually believed we were going to have a baby. . . I pee'd on no less than four home tests throughout the day. 

Today I had Beta #2. . . my HCG level dropped from 18 mIU/ml to 9 mIU/ml.  That's exactly the opposite of what we wanted.  Today's level should have been at least 36 mIU/ml. 

My fertility clinic informed me "this is not a progressing pregnancy".  I'm to stop the progesterone support and return in one week to ensure my HCG has fallen back into the negative range <5 mIU/ml.

My heart is sad.  I really wanted this to be it. . . after 18 failed cycles, I was ready for happy news.  I've said over and over throughout the past months that a positive test doesn't mean we will have a viable pregnancy, but to face the reality of it is another story.

What's next?  I don't know. . . Once my body has cleared, I will likely start on clomid again to regulate my cycles and get a better ovulation, which will give me a better progesterone level (mine was low at 6.28 this time). 

I'm trying to remind myself that this means we can get pregnant. . . my eggs can be fertilized. . . slowing my husband down a bit in the S-E-X department can achieve the desired result.  That doesn't change the fact that I'm sad. . . I wanted THIS baby. . . I already loved THIS baby who by definition is only 36 days into what should have been a 9 month journey. . . I still think about the last baby I lost, also very early like this one. . . I was convinced that baby was a boy (I've only birthed girls) and bought a cute little boy outfit at the Gymboree.  Hours later, I found out my HCG was dropping. . .  Funny, yesterday I was telling my girlfriend how I thought this one would be a boy.  Maybe my body rejects the male of our species. . . or maybe I just have an overactive imagination.  (To give myself some credit, I knew all three of my bio babies were girls from day one. . . and I bought little girl clothing on day one of a BFP.)

Losing babies, even very early in a pregnancy is a sad & emotional time.  I didn't want to believe this could happen to me.  I know the statistics say 1 in 5. . . but I've already had losses, so I wanted to be safe.

I'm going to try to focus on losing even more weight and getting into the best shape possible. . . and praying hard that our little bean will be on his/her way soon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Drumroll, please. . .

It looks like we are PREGNANT.  I can't believe I'm typing those words!!!!  I know that it's early and a lot can still go wrong.  This is the first time in 18 cycles that we've actually gotten fertilization. . . woohoo!

I tested yesterday at what I thought was 18dpo after having a negative at 15dpo.  I got a lightish positive on my First Response Early Result (the most sensitive currently on the market).  Dr. Awesome got me right in for a beta and progesterone draw.  My beta came back at 18 and progesterone at 6.28.  Both are on the low side.  I started progesterone suppositories yesterday evening so hopefully they will nip that concern.

Beta #2 is tomorrow. . . praying for a double.  What it looks like happened is that I actually ovulated later and was possibly only 9dpo yesterday. .  .which is very early for a positive test.   Either way, today I am 35 days since my last menstrual period.   I'm "due" somewhere between Feb. 14 and 23rd depending on date of ovulation.  Since I am a repeat c-section, I will have baby anywhere from Feb. 7-15th assuming we have a sticky baby in there!

Today, because I'm a crazy, sub-fertile woman, I pee'd on three more pregnancy tests.  Yeah. . . I know.  Another First Response Early Result from the 3 pack I bought yesterday and then 2 Dollar Tree Assured brand tests (they are less sensitive).  All of them were positive although none of the lines were jumping out screaming.  I'm taking that as a good sign that my numbers are increasing and tomorrow's beta will be happy news.

Here's my thinking on why my numbers aren't great. . . If I really did ovulate on CD25 instead of CD16 (my temp chart was wacky this cycle) then of course I would get a negative on CD31 and while CD34 was early at 9dpo, still possible to get a low HCG reading.   If I had ovulated on CD16 and my little bean had started to implant but not been fully able to (chemical pregnancy), then I would have likely had my positive on CD31 and been negative (and bleeding) by now.   Maybe it's just wishful thinking.  I feel pregnant so I'm taking that as a good sign. . . I love being nauseated! :-)

In the meantime I'm going to remind myself to not complain about being tired, nauseated, having sore boobs, or any other pregnancy symptom. . . because it's all worth it and a gazillion times better than continuing in infertile land.

Let me just say. . . it's been 8 years since I've gotten a BFP. . . even the faintest hint of a line.  I'm a giddy cow at this point!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rapid Weight Loss and Fertility

This week marked my annual women's exam. . . I scheduled it with my RE at the fertility clinic since I don't have a gynecologist in this area and didn't really feel up to having yet another stranger poking around my girl bits.

Dr. Awesome positively gushed over my weight loss these last couple months.  He said more times than I could count "rapid weight loss is usually a time of high fertility" and advised that we give things a few months before doing anymore treatment.  He asked me to come in seven days after my next ovulation for a progesterone draw to make sure I'm having good ovulation on my own and if things are good. .  . just hang out for a couple months and keep doing what we've been doing.

I *think* I'm glad that he doesn't have the same sense of impending doom that I do about being 35 at the end of this year.  He is still confident that we can get pregnant without IVF, of course, we all know that there are people that defy all the odds and can't get pregnant despite everything looking great and I tend to be one of the lucky ones who Murphy follows around. . .

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy eating fat and watching my little ketosis sticks turn pink.  I'm going to continue to exercise and get my body into it's healthiest place so that when baby does stick, I will be physically ready!

I just finished reading Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, who knew that Paleo was so close to Atkins. . . dare I say that Dr. Atkins might have been the catalyst behind the Paleo movement.  Of course, if you listen to people talk about Atkins it's obvious pretty quickly if they read the book (and follow it) or if they do their own modified version.  It's really not a high fat or high protein diet. . . it's a low carb, adequate fat, adequate protein diet.  I like it.  For lunch I had an extra lean ground turkey burger (Thank you Costco) cooked in a bit of Kerrygold butter (grass fed, yum!) topped with some herb white cheddar and followed by a side of sauteed zucchini.  Now I'm sipping iced coffee with heavy cream and Splenda (my one concession to not completely natural food).  The fat in my foods help me feel full and satisfied.  The iced (or blended) coffee helps me feel like I'm getting a treat.   So far, I'm down 16.4 lbs and 19.5 inches!

Here's to a healthier me and prayerfully baby to be!