>5000

I had my blood drawn yesterday, almost exactly 1 week later to the minute! That was certainly not intentional but kind of cool, right? Afterward, I spent the morning doing everything I could to distract myself from checking my email obsessively every 5 minutes (which was no easy task). Luckily, the nurse was very quick this morning and I only waited 2.5 hours to find out my beta had risen to 5,558! So I’m still in the game. These betas are better than my last pregnancy, and similar to my only successful pregnancy, so I’m choosing to take that as a good sign.

My ultrasound is scheduled for Oct. 4th, the day after A’s birthday. Based on my BBT, I think I will be 7w2d. I could have had it on the 2nd but I decided I’d rather spend A’s birthday with her not knowing the outcome so I could focus on her and not another miscarriage (although I’m hoping everything looks good, but I’d rather be in the dark/nervous than upset/sad). I took the day off of work for her birthday so we could do something fun! Also, 7w2d is one day farther along than the size of my last missed miscarriage and I’m hoping if things look good it will help me relax a little (famous last words, I don’t know how to relax during early pregnancy because of my history, especially after my last miscarriage after seeing a heartbeat).

Our whole family came down with a horrific cold and so I’ve been feeling incredibly awful for the past week. I even had to call in sick be because I lost my voice! It was insane. Of course I am worried this illness will affect the pregnancy, even though I know logically it will not. I also think it’s masked any pregnancy symptoms that I may be having as I feel a little off this morning (in a pregnancy way) but I also still just feel like absolute crap (in an illness way)! Here’s to hoping we all get better soon.

In other exciting news, my husband and I signed papers to buy our first house yesterday! We are buying his Grandparents place from his siblings and Mom, and we’ve been living here since Nov. 2017. We moved in with his ailing grandfather, and he unfortunately passed away in Feb 2018, much more quickly than we all anticipated. His family is glad the house will stay on the family and we are glad to finally be homeowners.

So now we begin another two week wait for the ultrasound, ugh. It’s so weird to be here again. My husband commented that we are just approaching the danger zone so while he’s so glad the blood draws look good, we are in no way out of the woods. Hopefully the universe will prove us wrong and there is nothing to be worried about.

Thank you everyone for your support. I really appreciate it. Hope everyone is well.

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Lucky number 7?

I will be talking about another P here so please do not read if you’re not in the right space.

One week ago, I noticed some serious abdominal pain, gas and bloating and I just knew I was pregnant. So last Friday I took a cheap internet test and got a squinter. I was pretty sure I saw the line so I shelled out for a better test and I was for sure pregnant. This was at 10dpo.

I had started taking vaginal progesterone twice a day from 3dpo, and I have been taking baby aspirin for months. With my only successful pregnancy I took the vaginal progesterone from 3dpo so I am officially doing everything the same this time around.

I actually waited until 14dpo ask my RE for blood work. I wanted to see some higher numbers this time. My progesterone came back at 49.1, beating out my last progesterone by 1, so I’m still going with the assumption that progesterone is not an issue for me. My first beta came back at 98, and the second (at 16dpo, just over 48 hours later) is 268, so it more than doubled in the correct timeframe. Thank goodness!

The next step is to get a repeat HCG in a week. If things still look good I schedule a viability ultrasound around 7 weeks. I wish 7 weeks wasn’t the week of my daughters 2nd birthday but I don’t want to wait until 8 weeks and fudging the dates will put me at 6 weeks 1 day. That’s way too early in my opinion, especially after seeing a heartbeat around 6 weeks and then miscarrying at 7 weeks 1 day. I’d rather wait a little longer. I have a trip planned that throws a wrench in the scheduling of an ultrasound later on in week 6. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.

As for pregnancy symptoms, I have had a little gas, bloating and minimal light cramping. But that’s it. I know it’s super early (16DPO) but my mind seems to remember way more cramping this early.

All of this being said, I have been here several times before and it’s fallen through every time but once. I am anxious and scared. But I also feel relaxed a lot of the time because I know there is nothing I can do to change the outcome. I can only hope this embryo implanted in a cozy spot that has enough blood flow to get everything it needs until its birth at full term.

And thus begins the rollercoaster of emotions, anxiety, obsessing over pregnancy symptoms (or the lack thereof) and hope. Because I can’t help but have some hope, even if the odds are against me.

Saline sonogram 2.0

I had my saline sonogram yesterday on CD10. I found my last one in 2015 to be quite crampy and uncomfortable. It was (and still is) my most uncomfortable experience with fertility procedures. This time I took 300mg Motrin 1 hour before and what a difference! Although maybe it was the doctor’s technique that was better but I literally had no pain (although I was bracing myself for pain the entire time). (Edited to add that I apparently took 800mg of Motrin before my last procedure so it must have been my new doctor’s technique). It took less than 10 minutes.

Fortunately there is nothing in my uterus that shouldn’t be there. He also reiterated that if we didn’t know about my UU, he would never be able to tell based on ultrasound that I had one. Oddly enough I almost wished for a polyp so I could undergo another hysteroscopy. One of my theories is that baby A stuck around because of the hysteroscopy creating an area for her to burrow in deep, sort of like an endometrial scratch. Alas I will never know if that was the magic needed but it’s certainly possible.

I still have the same cyst on my left ovary so I hope it stays for several months so I can ovulate from my connected right ovary for awhile, hopefully increasing my chances to be pregnant for the 3rd time in a year…sigh. When we were on our journey toward baby A I had a cyst on my left ovary for a long time, around 6 months. Maybe that is a more cyst-y ovary, if that is even a thing.

I am so unsure that I will ever carry another pregnancy to term. While I now know my body is capable of doing it, I certainly have pretty terrible odds with pregnancy outcomes. What a weird and lonely journey to be on. Never in a million years would I have expected to have recurrent pregnancy loss. I didn’t even know this was a thing until after I had my first miscarriage. Oh to be blissfully ignorant again.

Kidney ultrasound

This is just a quick update mainly geared toward anyone who may have a unicornuate uterus who reads or finds my blog.

People with mulliarian anomalies are more likely to have kidney problems or be missing a kidney. Back in December 2015 I had an MRI to evaluate my uterus and make sure I didn’t have a communicating or functioning rudimentary horn (which I don’t, I literally only have the right side of my uterus). That test also showed that I have 2 kidneys but it couldn’t evaluate whether or not they are fully functional. My MFM told me I should have the kidney ultrasound done once I was no longer pregnant, which I promptly forgot about until I was reviewing all of my medical records prior to my appointment with the new RE. I asked him if he could order the test for me and he obliged.

Yesterday I had the ultrasound. I had to drink 24 oz of water 1 hour prior to the test and then hold it. The ultrasound tech was really nice and chatty. She scanned my right kidney first with no problems. She then did the left kidney and she had a harder time, even saying that the left kidney likes to hide. Of course I thought that meant something was wrong with it (since that is my “bad” side/on the side that is missing the uterus). Then she scanned my full bladder, had me pee, and then scanned my empty bladder. It went from looking like a huge rectangle to a tiny slit, starting with 500ml of water and ending up with 5ml. At least I know I can urinate well!

I was told I would get the results in 2 days. Well I was pleasantly surprised when 2 hours later my RE emailed to tell me everything looks normal. That is a huge relief!

So I wonder if my anatomy is not normally positioned on the left which is why she had trouble with the left side. Who knows!

Meeting with the new RE

We had our meeting with our new RE this week, Dr. H2. Overall it went well, I liked him a lot. Kind, easy to talk with, organized and no bullshit. He had all my results and his recommendations typed up when we got into his office, and he reviewed everything with us from that sheet (and I got a copy of it)!

My FSH is up to 15.3 (from 13ish in Sept. 2015). So worse, but not by much. My AMH, however, is still 1.2 (I was 1.24 in Sept. 2015) so that is encouraging. Honestly I’m surprised (and thankful) it hasn’t changed more. All of my other labs are normal, and the clotting lab I was concerned about is not even elevated according to Dr. H2 so that’s good news. He did an ultrasound and my AFC is 8ish on CD 6 with 4 follicles one each side (and a huge cyst leftover from last month). So that hasn’t really changed either. He also said I can do a saline sonogram in my next cycle so I will be scheduling that in the near future.

As for his opinion on my most recent miscarriage, he thinks it was likely due to the fact that a unicornuate uterus has areas of poor blood flow. While one treatment for RPL is IVF with PGS, he does not recommend this in my case since they cannot control where that embryo will implant and I do make normal embryos so it likely won’t help. (It makes me think back to how we were gong to do IVF and then I got pregnant and it worked out. I wonder how that would have ended up.) He suggests baby aspirin and progesterone, both of which I’m already doing. I also asked if he thinks more of my miscarriages were normal embryos and he said most likely yes.

I don’t know why but I feel strangely validated by that bit of information. If I had to wager a guess, I would think that 4/6 of my pregnancies were actually normal, although I can only prove 2 (my live birth and my most recent miscarriage). I mean who really knows but finding out that the last one was normal really makes me question the poor eggs theory (although I still believe my egg quality is lower for my age given my AFC and FSH). He is also the first RE who said this to me. Everyone else said it was more likely my eggs (although I don’t blame them bc no one else had the chromosomally normal miscarriage as evidence). I guess I would have liked to hear this sooner but there was no way for that to happen.

Armed with this new information, I am really beginning to believe that it is a miracle that I have my beautiful, spunky, fabulous toddler and I feel even more lucky to have her.

As for now, the plan is to keep trying and hope the next embryo is normal AND implants in the right spot. But who knows if lightening will strike twice!

The next steps

Just a quick update to say I finally got my referral to the new RE and they had a cancelation so I’ll be meeting him next week. Most of the RPL labs I did last time were ordered and to my knowledge they look normal. Except for my beta 2 glycoprotein 1 came back positive. I did not have this drawn last time and from my research this can cause blood clotting during pregnancy contributing to miscarriages. Apparently to be considered an issue the test needs to be positive twice with 3 months in between tests. So it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say about that. I also asked for my FSH, E2, LH and AMH to be run for comparison.

Honestly I am mostly interested in a thorough uterine cavity evaluation looking for polyps or anything else that could cause issues. But if anything else can help us that would be great too!

I ovulated on CD 13 this month, which is unheard of for me. My earliest ovulation date is CD 17. Now I’m wondering if this in a one-off or if it’s an indication of my declining fertility. I guess only time will tell.

I have basically cut out all refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol. And I’m about to wean off the caffeine too! It’s been easier than I thought it would be so I’ll be keeping it up for as long as I can. I figure it can’t hurt, right?!

Emotionally I’m doing well. It took a little time but I have been going about my life and have been feeling pretty happy, all things considered. I hope we will be able to have another baby but if that is not in the cards, I think I’ll be ok. My husband said to me recently if I wanted to stop trying he is ok with that, even though he does want another child. It really helped to hear that. So we shall see.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

Normal

I just got the results from the genetic testing performed on the baby. At first I just wanted to know if it was abnormal because knowing the sex makes it a little too real for me. But the baby was chromosomally normal. Then I had to know if it was a male or female because a female karyotype can mean the mother’s tissue was run instead of the baby’s. And the baby was a normal male.

So what does this mean for me? I really don’t know. The OB I spoke with (mine is on vacation) said that this only shows the chromosomes were correct, and something else could have been wrong. But it makes me wonder about my uterus and if the blood flow is just not that good. Maybe the baby has to implant in the perfect spot, and A was one in a million. It also makes me wonder about my first and third miscarriages, the ones where there was a baby to measure on ultrasound, and if he/she were normal as well. And maybe my odds of having a normal egg are better than I’m assuming they are. But that’s not really comforting because the goal is obviously to have a genetically normal egg that makes it to a full term, healthy baby.

I asked again about the referral to the new RE because I have a lot more questions now. I’m also a bit bummed that a microarray test was not ordered but I don’t think that’s something routinely done by regular OB’s, or even the RE’s, in my insurance plan. I tried. Oh well.

I called my husband crying. I feel so terrible about losing a normal baby. My husband really wants a boy so I feel like it’s a big blow to him even though he would never say so. He said it’s just news and it’s ok. I’ve been doing really well this week to so this has crushed my spirit a bit.

I also always felt like my first pregnancy was a boy, so maybe my body just miscarries boys (and I realize how ridiculous that sounds but that’s just how I feel)!

My follow up ultrasound is today to make sure my uterus is empty. I took a pregnancy test this morning and I’ve never been so annoyed to see a faint line. Figures, right?! I guess I’m going to ask for blood draws to make sure it goes to 0. I’m taking A to the appointment with me so hopefully the iPad and headphones will keep her entertained!

So one live birth, two abnormal pregnancies (chemical and one hardly developed), one normal, and two unknown.

What’s next?