Graduation Day & Baby B

Graduates-throwing-hats

Friday was an amazing day. I “graduated” from my fertility specialist. That means, from now on, I am under the care of an OB, just like a regular pregnant lady. To say it was emotional is a big, fat understatement. The ultrasound tech gave us our final ultrasound and Baby A was looking good, right on track for 10 weeks, even moving his or her hand in a waving motion.

I haven’t mentioned our ultrasound tech yet, but she is wonderful. Not only technically good at her job, but extremely calming and caring. She never seemed rushed and always took the time to answer all of our questions thoroughly. And believe me, my science teacher husband had a ton of questions about not super-relevent things, like ultrasound views and such. After our scan, I thanked her profusely for being so good at her job. And then I started to cry. Not tearing up, but like actual shaking cries. Then Tim started crying, too. The tech gave me a big hug and said, “I’ve been doing this for a long time, I understand. That kid is growing so well. You’re doing great.” I’m pretty sure she even teared up a little, too.

Afterwards we met with our doctor and he officially released us from the practice. I didn’t cry again, but I did give him a bear hug and several “thank yous.”

Wow, you guys. Just wow. I really never thought I would see this day. Truly. I know we’re still not out of the woods yet, but this is a huge milestone. So for now, I’m putting the worries aside and I’m just going to bask in this glow, and give thanks to the Universe and those babies and my body for getting us this far. I can’t even write this without crying.

In sad news, at our 9 week ultrasound, Baby B no longer had a heartbeat. I haven’t updated you guys on this yet because I don’t really know what to say. I’m not sure how I feel, honestly. It’s a loss, for sure. But then there’s this miracle growing right next door. It’s just a weird situation. I do know, however, that I am extremely thankful to Baby B for coming here briefly and helping his brother or sister.. I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

Next up: final visit with Dr. Braverman tomorrow and first OB visit on Friday. Keep growing big and strong, Baby A. You’re doing great!

8 Week Ultrasound Update

Just a quick post to give you the deets on Friday’s ultrasound.

Baby A was looking good! measuring on track with a heart rate of 166. Yay, Baby A! We could see his or her arms, legs and even a tiny spine. It’s kind of amazing how much growth there was in just one week.

Baby B had not grown at all in a week, which means he or she is ultimately not going to make it. Strangely, there was still a faint heartbeat present. Needless to say, it was rough watching that little embryo trying to hang on, fighting a losing battle.

All in all, though. I’m ok about it. Yes, it is another impending loss, which is never easy. But I still have one healthy baby going strong and I am beyond grateful for that. Also, I was really nervous about a twin pregnancy and all the risks that go with it. I already have enough anxiety as it is without adding Twin Mania on top of it. So while I would’ve been thrilled with two healthy babies, part of me is also relieved to not have to worry about the additional risks that blessing would’ve brought.

My next ultrasound is on Friday again and I’m really nervous. I’ll be nine weeks. When I went on my ill-fated google fest a couple of weeks ago I read about a lot of people miscarrying at nine weeks, plus I know of some other bloggers who have miscarried at that time. So that week just feels ominous to me. Also still haunting me from my googling binge are the heart rate fears. Baby’s heart rates have been fine since 6 weeks, but I still feel sketched about it.

I’m still scared every single day, you guys. Grateful as hell, but terrified. There seem to be so many more hurdles left to get through. One of the biggest being, is this baby genetically normal?  I likely can’t do the non-invasive first trimester blood tests because there’s a chance the twin could throw off the result. And I refuse to do any invasive testing (amnio, CVS) — I’m not down with the risk of miscarriage that goes along with them. I don’t care how small it is. So we may not know until our 20 week scan (or longer) if the baby is genetically normal. I know this is how our moms did it, but it seems crazy to me. Oh, and we also need to make it to 20 weeks to even have that ultrasound to even find out about genetic anything. Hurdle 7,654. Need to get my track shorts on, stat.

Other than the physical symptoms like nausea, this pregnancy doesn’t feel quite real to me. Like, how could this actually be happening to me? How could I possibly be lucky enough to bring a baby home in 8 months? I’m trying to believe. I want so much to rise above the fear and just have confidence that this little miracle is here to stay. I want to be brave for him or her. But, crap, it’s really, really hard.

Dr. Braverman, Helper Embryos & Why I’m Never Googling Again

First of all, thank for all of the awesome comments on my last post. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I sure do love you guys.

The morning of the Dr. Braverman appointment started off kind of disgustingly. I typically leave a banana by my bed and take bites throughout the night if I wake up feeling nauseous. That morning I woke up and realized the banana I had been eating was covered in ants. I ate ants, you guys. Probably lots of them. Gag.

After de-anting myself, we drove from Tim’s parents’ house to Dr. Braverman’s office. I fully expected to wait a long time, since I had read in reviews that the wait times were out of control. However, we were seen right away. Dr. B. came in wearing a pink polo shirt and got right to business. The ultrasound screen was tilted away from me, so I couldn’t see what he was looking at. He immediately said, “You have one viable pregnancy with a heartbeat and another sac.” The heart rate of baby A was 115 bpm. Doc B. said 90 – 110 was normal, so 115 was great. Then he let us listen to the heartbeat. It was freaking awesome. He said that Baby B could still develop a heartbeat because it had a fetal pole, and the sac looked normal and not collapsed. He gave it a “better than 50% chance” of seeing a heartbeat at our next ultrasound. He then looked at blood flow to my uterus and said that looked good as well. I was expecting to not be wowed by his personality. The one time we Skyped with him, he was short and not super personable. I don’t actually care at all if he’s personable because he knows his stuff, and that’s what matters. That said, I liked him a lot better after meeting him. He seemed gentler somehow. All in all, it was a great visit. If fingers-crossed-all-goes-well, I will see him again at 10 weeks. And oh yeah, he told me the burning I’m experiencing is “just pregnancy,” so that made me feel better..

All was well. And then I had to go and ruin it. On Tuesday, I had the brilliant idea to google “normal fetal heart rate 6 weeks 4 days.” Whhhhhy did I do that to myself? WHY?! I found lots of people whose babies had higher heart rates that 115. And then I found this terrifying study that said 110-119 bpm between 6.3 and 7 weeks was “borderline” and had a “slightly elevated risk of fetal demise.” Then I asked my OB friend and she gave me a range of normal, and 115 was at the bottom of the range. So then I was just a wreck. And completely pissed at myself for googling in the first place. I emailed Dr. B in a panic and he wrote back right away saying 115 is a very common heart rate in his practice for that stage in the pregnancy. After reading his kind email, I felt better, but not as much as I should have. Like, ok, one of the world’s leading miscarriage specialists said it was fine, so it’s probably fine. Still, I was ridiculously nervous for my next ultrasound on Friday.

Finally, after about six years, Friday arrived. I barely slept the night before. But all was well. Baby A’s heart rate had gone up to 132 bpm, solidly in the normal range. I can’t even tell you how relieved I was. And then I vowed never to google again.

Baby B now had a “flickering” of a heartbeat. A faint flickering is obviously not great for 7 weeks, though. The doctor gave the twin a 10 -15% chance of making it. I asked what the chances of it being genetically normal if he or she did make it, and the doctor immediately started talking about CVS and selective reduction. Whoa, whoa, whoaaaaaaa. Slow down there, buddy. I am NOT ready to think about any of that scary stuff. Eesh.

Anyway, we are still in limbo with baby B. My greatest wish at this point is that we have a clear resolution one way or the other soon. Our doctor said that in animal science you see a lot of “helper embryos,” These are basically embryos that exist for the sole purpose of assisting the stronger embryo, and when their job is done, they pass on. He suspects that Baby B is a helper embryo. This is a really sweet thought and makes me feel better about the whole thing.

I talk to both of my babies every day. I tell Baby A I am thankful he or she is growing big and strong. I tell Baby B that I love him or her no matter what happens. If he or she decides to keep growing and turns into a healthy baby, well then that is just amazing. And if he or she is just there to help out a sibling, then thank you from the bottom of my heart. And once he or she is done helping, it’s ok to go.

And that’s about all there is to tell at this point. Next ultrasound is Friday. I’ll let you know how it goes.