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.

For Now, All Is Well!

Thank you so much for all the thoughts/prayers/juju/rain dances earlier! I for real love you guys.

Everything looked good! The radiologist said something like, “The embryo is tucked up in there, but it looks fine. In this situation, they typically grow into the cavity rather than the uterine wall.” This basically reinforced what my doctor said on Monday. She also thinks my pain is from my enlarged ovaries and not anything pregnancy related.

During the ultrasound the radiologist kept telling the tech to stop because she thought she saw the heartbeat. And the tech kept being like, “No, that’s not it!”  She was kind of sassy with the doctor. I could see Tim cracking behind them. They did this back-and-forth routine like five times, but they never officially saw it. She said in another week I should be able to see the heartbeat, which will line up nicely line with my appointment in six days. Fingers crossed!

My doctor called me about 20 minutes after I left to say that she got the report and the radiologist does not think it’s a cornual or interstitial pregnancy. They want to see me back at the hospital in two weeks for another scan. But for now, all is well.

I’m going to let myself relax now. I’ve been clenched up tight for four days solid. Like, epic anxiety levels. Eff that. I’m done (for now haha). This baby is going to make it. We’re going the distance. You hear that, little embryo?

Also, did I mention that I love you guys?


IVF #1: Ultrasound #1, Kind Of Scary

I had my first ultrasound early this morning. My doctor actually did end up doing the scan, which was nice. The pregnancy is  definitely in the uterus. We saw a gestational sac and a yolk sac, which is all you can really see at this point. So that’s all good news.

But. And yes, there is a but, ugh. My doctor said the embryo had implanted “off to the left.” Ok, I was thinking this is no big deal. I mean, I’m sure an embryo doesn’t know that it needs to implant dead center, right? Then she went on to say that this meant that she’d “have to watch it” to see how it grows. When I asked her why, she said something about how the uterine wall is thinner there and, depending on how the embryo grows, there’s a chance the pregnancy could break through the uterus. Yeah, that’s not a terrifying image or anything. She didn’t seem too concerned about it, honestly. She said “in most cases, it’s fine.”

I, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about it. Has anyone ever heard of this? I’m trying not to get too worked up, but I am scared.