I Will Not Let Fear Win

Hi, guys. I’m sorry about the whole disappearing act. It’s been a weird couple of weeks.

First of all, let me clear the air and tell you that I’m pregnant! My first beta was 910 (for those of you that geek out on this stuff like me). I didn’t have another beta for five days, and I told them only to let me know if there was a problem. I did not want to spend needless hours analyzing or worrying about anything, so I don’t have a second number to report.

One of the reasons I didn’t let you know before now is that my blog is not anonymous, and I definitely felt too fragile to announce it to, like, anyone I know who may be reading. I’m still not ready to announce it to the General World and won’t be for a long while, so if you know me in real life, please keep it on the low. Thanks, love you!

The other reason is fear.

I had a few days to just be like, “yay!” And then things started getting weird. First there was our 5 weeks ultrasound. They saw one gestational sac with a yolk sac. And one gestational sac that was measuring two days behind with nothing in it. The doctor said it could go either way at this point. The smaller sac could grow, or it wouldn’t develop and would be reabsorbed into my body. Ok. I was absolutely thrilled that the one looked as it should, but I was also worried about the other one. Eventually, I made my peace and decided that things would work out as they were meant to. In great news, both embryos implanted exactly where they were meant to in my uterus this time. Phew.

Then two days, later I started bleeding. My doctor warned me that I might have some brown spotting because the twins are stacked on top of each other like sardines. “It’s like a construction zone in there,” he said. But this was not brown, it was bright red. It wasn’t a ton, but certainly enough to freak me out. I think Tim and I were both having flashbacks to my last pregnancy. I figured I had a blood clot in my uterus, just like last time. Tim and I were both angry. I threw the picture of my embryos across the room (sorry, embryos, I still feel bad about that). I went to bed expecting to wake up in the middle of the night soaked in blood. It didn’t happen, but I still had some light bleeding in the morning. I called my clinic and they told me to come in.

I went in fully expecting them to tell me that I was at least losing the smaller twin. But no. The smaller twin had grown and now had a yolk sac. They didn’t see a blood clot in my uterus. They said the bleeding could be because my progesterone was low. People, my progesterone was 6.5. I’m pretty sure your period starts when your progesterone drops below 5. The thing about this is that my clinic knew about this number on Friday, but did nothing about it. Only after the bleeding did they up my dose. I was furious. My number is up to 23 now, by the way, after the dose increase, so we are good there. Anyway, the second reason they gave was that the babies could just be burrowing in and irritating everything. The doctor put me on bed rest for five days, told me to work from home and sent me on my way.

I continued to spot until yesterday. I went to bed every night wondering if I would wake up covered in blood. I will probably wonder that tonight as well, and I don’t even know for how long. To say this week has been hard has been an understatement. Being alone in my house all day, with nothing to do but think, did a number on me. Whenever I would do something simple like go downstairs and heat up my lunch, the spotting would start again. I was terrified to move. I was terrified to go to the bathroom. I was terrified to do anything.

Also, during the last two weeks, I developed what I thought was a UTI. I went to Urgent Care, they agreed probably a UTI. I took the full course of antibiotics and then they called to tell me that my culture actually came back from the lab negative. I am having an intense burning pain in my pelvis. It’s so bad that it sometimes keeps me awake. I followed up with my GP. She said maybe it’s bacterial vaginosis. She suggested just treating it in case it is, but that doesn’t sit well with me. I’m seeing doctor Braverman in two days, so I will ask him to advise me then. Hopefully he’ll have some insight. I’m scared that whatever it is triggering my immune response and will harm my babies. You see a common theme here?

Fear.

Yesterday I went back to my clinic for a follow-up ultrasound. I was 6 weeks 1 day. The tech first checked out what I assume was the smaller twin. There was a yolk sac still and what she said looked like the beginning of a fetal pole. But no heartbeat. She said, “We’ll just have to see what happens with that one.” My heart sank.

Then she zoomed in on the other sac, and there it was: a glorious heartbeat. A heartbeat! You guys, I have never let out a bigger sigh of relief in my life. I cried. The heartbeat couldn’t be measured yet, but she said that’s normal for this early.

Basically, our smaller embryo has a 50/50 shot at pulling through. The nurse said you can start seeing the heartbeat anywhere from day 29 to day 33. I was there on day 30. So it could just need another day or two. Or it could stop developing. It’s been two days behind the entire time, so I’m choosing to believe right now that it is a fighter and it just needs those two days to catch up.

My wise and amazing friend said to me yesterday that if that second soul is meant to join our family, he or she will continue to grow. And if not, I still have one healthy baby with a heartbeat, and I will have a slightly easier pregnancy without the risks of a twin pregnancy. I love both of my babies already, so one not making it will definitely be a blow. But she is right. Whatever is meant to be, will be. I want whatever outcome leads to a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and I’m going to leave it right there. The universe can work out the rest.

On Monday, we travel to New York to meet Dr. Braverman for the first time. He will do an ultrasound and look at blood flow to the uterus. I will be 6 weeks and 4 days at that time, so if the smaller twin’s heart is going to beat, it will have started by then. At least we won’t have to wait very long for answers.

I am beyond grateful to be pregnant. Beyond. I am thrilled we saw a heartbeat. I still can hardly believe it. But I’m scared. So scared. Every second of every day. Will I bleed again? Do I have some weird pelvic infection that’s hurting my baby/ies? Will the smaller twin make it? Will we go to our ultrasound on Monday and find out we lost everything? I’ve been so scared that I couldn’t even bring myself to blog about it. I’ve been hiding. Cowering, really.

But I refuse to keep doing this to myself. I don’t want to deprive myself of the joy of being pregnant. So I am determined to climb my way out of this one.

After our first ultrasound I said to Tim. “I don’t even know how to feel.”

Tim said, “You should feel happy. All our dreams are coming true.”

And that right there is what I need to focus on. One day at a time.

I can do this.

Crankyville, Population: 1

I hate the two-week wait. Seriously. Waiting can shove it.

Of course, my wait is longer than two weeks because my clinic schedules pregnancy tests like a million days after transfer. At my old clinic, I had to wait 9 days for a beta. Not bad. I don’t remember feeling particularly tortured during that time. But now? Forget it. This wait feels endless.

I’m not going to test early. I do not want a seat on that roller coaster. I’ve seen too many negative pregnancy tests in my time. I don’t ever want to look at one, ever again. The beta shall remain the Final And Only Word on the matter.

I promised myself I wouldn’t start analyzing symptoms. For those of you who don’t know, everyone who does IVF or a frozen embryo transfer takes progesterone. Fun fact about progesterone: it mimics pregnancy symptoms. So there’s really no way to tell if you’re feeling pregnancy or progesterone. Which means analyzing symptoms is useless. However, a few days ago I started feeling nauseous. I fooled myself into thinking this was a legit sign. Since I wasn’t feeling it up to that point, it couldn’t be the progesterone, right?

Yeah, well, it’s not the progesterone, but it is something that has nothing to do with a pregnancy. I realized this morning that I started feeling nauseous at the exact same time I switched out my calcium brand. And calcium often makes me super sick to my stomach. So yeah, boo. I’m annoyed that I let myself fall into that trap.

There’s been good news in the last two weeks, though: one of our embryos made it to freeze! Huzzah! Anyone who knows my history knows that a cycle yielding 3 decent-quality embryos to transfer and one to freeze is HUGE for us. We will never have a freezer full of blastocysts like some of you lucky bloggers out there, but I am so incredibly grateful for one. We also have an embryo leftover from our first cycle, which means we have two frozen embryos total, all ready for another transfer if needed. But I really hope we don’t need it. I just heard from Braverman’s office that we have to get the full panel of immune testing done again before we can start another transfer. Those tests take six weeks to come back. This means we likely wouldn’t be able to do another transfer until January as our clinic closes for several weeks in December. Mother effer.

I’m just cranktastic today, there’s no getting around it. I’m tired of this wait. And sick of infertility in general. Like, I am so over it. I’m having a grand old time throwing a pity party for myself. I’d invite you guys, but you don’t want to come. It would probably be the lamest party you ever attended.