9w3d

Forgive me for lack of updates. I think with everything feeling so surreal I’ve just had a hard time believing it. To catch up:

Our ultrasound at 6 weeks was the exact opposite of the others I’ve had. I was nervous as hell, of course. I tripped while I was undressing, then accidentally ripped the paper dress in half. My husband was laughing at what a mess I was, but he grabbed me a new paper dress and held my hand. He watched the screen when the tech started up the ultrasound, while I refused to look and stared at the ceiling, tears beading up in my eyes and holding my breath.

When the tech yelled out “Yesssssss!!!!,” I finally gathered the courage to look. There, on the black and white screen, was a tiny little dot with a flickering heart beat. It was exactly what I had believed I would never see. And it was there.

The tech shed tears, she brought our RE in the room and I caught her wiping a tear from her eye as well. It was nice to see that other people were invested in our journey. ❤ We were sent on our way with printouts of our little embryo.

I spent the next 2 weeks worrying, because even though we’d passed our big milestone…I just know too much about what could still go wrong. I went back in at 8 weeks for another ultrasound, and this time my husband couldn’t come with me. I had another tech this time, one who had clearly prepped for my case because she completely understood why I was so nervous. She was awesome, and when I wouldn’t look at the screen she immediately told me the heartbeat was 163. I couldn’t believe it! She spent a long time pointing out baby’s arm and leg buds and explaining to me that the yolk sac looked great and she saw no indicators of chromosomal defects there. She printed out a ton of shots for me.

Then my RE released me to my new OB, and that’s that! Except that I still have just under 2 weeks until that appointment, when I will be 11w2d. It’s amazing how a good ultrasound can reassure you…for a day or two. And then PgAL brain starts creeping back in to convince you that something must surely have gone wrong since then. I’m trying to keep a brave face until then, and I ave procured a Doppler which I hope to start using regularly next week to calm my brain. Calm thoughts and deep breaths…

What’s to Come

Tomorrow is the big day. Ultrasound day. The day that I always fear.

I’ve actually been doing relatively well up to this point as far as keeping the negative thoughts away. I actually feel kind of like I have no thoughts.

On Saturday, Mr. Hope had a bit to drink and excitedly told me what great parents we’re going to be, that he really wants a son, and that our kid will be exceptionally talented. When I just nodded my head and smiled, he started probing to see what was wrong.

It broke my heart to tell him that I’m at the point where I feel no excitement. I know it’s just a self preservation thing, and I know he knows that as well. And he’s happy to carry enough excitement for us both at this point.

I just hope that I can keep it together tomorrow. On my way to my last ultrasound for failed pregnancy #3, I felt as though I was on a death march, being led to execution.

I hope beyond all hope that we see something good on the screen tomorrow. I really do.

Here Goes Everything…

Last week, it happened. I’d had a cycle much different from my “normal” ones. I attribute it to a combination of being slightly sick (just found out I have active Epstein-Barr right now…explains fevers I’ve been having for weeks) and the fact that I’d been back to acupuncture for about a month.

FF was telling me I was 11DPO, but I’m quite sure I was 8-9DPO. I don’t know why I did it, exactly, because it should have been too early. My husband had already left for work, and I was getting ready for a dental appointment. Maybe it was habit, or maybe it was a bit of hope that planted itself in my head because my BBT was steadily climbing upward each day and I had what I could have sworn was implantation cramping 2 days earlier.

I took an HPT, and after more than the 5 minute window, I returned and saw the faintest line. So I did what any logical RPL lady does. I grabbed a different brand of test and tested with it (of course, having retained my urine in a cup, just in case confirmation on another brand was needed). Again, it took a little bit longer than the 5 minute window, but another faint line was visible.

I went to my marathon dental appointment, where I got my first filling ever (!!!) and a million impressions and photos done for the Invisalign treatment I am starting. Then I had to run around to a bunch of other appointments, and finally I decided to pick up a digital test (one must have REAL confirmation, after all, lest those faint lines were lying) on my way home.

After a frustrating experience at CVS (they had their HPTs LOCKED UP, so one must ring a bell for help…no thanks), I finally acquired the precious digital test at the grocery store and did the unthinkable — I tested with afternoon urine. On the same day that I’d only had squinters in the morning. Beyond even my biggest hopes, the digital test declared: “pregnant.” I now had the visual confirmation to tell my husband. A

nd to my greatest surprise, I didn’t immediately start freaking out. I didn’t immediately start planning for my next loss. I was actually feeling a little bit hopeful.

Fast forward to today. I’ve had 3 betas done, each one 72 hours apart. Beta 1 = 41. Beta 2 = 142. Beta 3 = 515. Respectable numbers and good doubling times at 40 and 38.75 hours respectively. I do know better than to rely on betas, though, as my betas with both blighted ovum losses were fantastic. Only with my natural loss did I experience betas that didn’t double as expected.

My RE has scheduled an ultrasound for what should be exactly 6 weeks. That will be the ultimate test, and my make-or-break point. I have never seen anything in an ultrasound, except an empty sac. Part of me expects to see that again, but part of me still stubbornly says “there is NO way this can happen again.” 2 blighted ovum losses is pretty rare; I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard of 3.

I am choosing to be cautiously optimistic and remind myself that this pregnancy is different. That statistics are on my side. That this time, it could be better. That today, I am pregnant and I love my baby.

I’ll be back soon, but you must read this in the meantime

I’ve been MIA for some time as I try to put the pieces of my life together into some semblance of balance. It’s been tough. Work has been incredibly insane, and on the medical/RPL front I feel like I am on a wild goose chase. I’ll update soon, but suffice it to say this short break has been good for me.

In the meantime, you must read this blog post, which is one of the most brilliant explanations of life with IF that I have ever read. Absolutely amazing.

Personality Assessment – or, Permission to Treat Myself with Kindness

Since I really don’t have anything TTC-related to report on right now (I’m a late ovulater, so this early part of my cycle is always a wasteland of nothingness), I thought I’d just ramble about the personality assessment that I had to take this morning for this leadership program I’m starting on Wednesday. If you’ve never taken one, I highly recommend doing it at least once.

I’ve taken these several times before, mostly for managerial courses during my MBA program. My results are always the same and never a shock, but somehow I always glean some new insight from them. My bottom line: I’m introverted, a perfectionist, loyal to a fault, and I love organization and procedure. (Wow, I sound hella boring when my personality is summarized like that.)

Whenever I read my results, it’s like a light bulb goes off in my head. I know I am a perfectionist. I warn people about this all the time. And unfortunately as a result, I tend to come off to others as impossible to please.

And then it hit me. I am impossible to please. I give other people a lot of slack so it’s not as obvious when I’m dealing with them. But I give myself no slack, ever. Everything is black and white. I either succeed or fail miserably. I don’t congratulate myself enough on my successes, and I beat myself up forever about my so-called failures. I waste so much energy beating myself up for no good reason.

So a new intention for myself in 2015 will be to treat myself with the same kindness I expend on others. To stop being so cruel to myself. Along with this comes putting an end to blaming myself for our miscarriages.

Brighter Days

The amazing thing about deciding to reclaim my life? Days suddenly seem so much brighter! Let me give you some examples…

Despite my ex’s crazy new wife butting into our house sale (her name is on no deed or contract!) yesterday, I didn’t freak out at all. I calmly explained to the ex that he needed to rein in his, um, “better half” because if our sale fell apart due to us looking like a train wreck on our end…I’d take that as the go-ahead that they would like to buy me out of my share of the house. Previously, I would have been very careful about how I worded my thoughts to spare his feelings. Suddenly, I realized…why should I care? Oh, I can’t even tell you how freeing that was.

I also found out I was accepted into a leadership program with my volunteer organization, and I am so excited about it! The courses seem perfect for me to gain some confidence in the non-profit sector (where I ultimately see myself after this phase of my career ends)!

I finally decided to do some research into how to become certified to teach spinning classes, and there are ample opportunities for me to do so this year! I have absolutely loved spinning for so long, and I’ve always wondered…why not teach it one day?! It would be a perfect hobby with a little bit of pay involved. 🙂

And I was exceptionally excited to see that my Bikram yoga studio is bringing back their month long yoga challenge, which starts in a week and a half! I, of course, signed up. I did this a few years ago and actually was interviewed by the newspaper about my experience. I saved the article somewhere. 🙂

Finally, I stepped on the scale today to assess the damage from the holidays. Surprisingly, I managed to maintain! So it’s all downhill from here as I resume my routine. What a relief!

See? Just being able to focus on so many different things that make me happy, and expressing gratitude for them, is really paying dividends right now. I am so excited about the direction I’m heading in for 2015. 🙂 I wish I could spread this feeling to all of my friends right now.

New Beginnings & Taking Back my Life

Last night, my husband and I went to the movies and had a great time (despite him falling asleep…haha). Afterwards, I reluctantly had him stop at Walgreens because I needed to buy some pregnancy tests so I could take one more test to know for sure that it was time to stop the Crinone. Since I wasn’t temping, I wasn’t exactly sure of my ovulation timing.

I took the test when we got home because I didn’t want to take the Crinone last night if the result was still negative. As it is, it takes a good 3-4 days for me to get my period after stopping.

No surprise: another negative.

But for some reason, this triggered a complete meltdown on my part. I know this was only our third cycle trying since our last loss, but it was another cycle with perfect timing. And it was my last chance to be pregnant again before our due date. And I’m just so tired of everything that has to do with trying to conceive.

We had a long talk through my tears, and decided to give it 2 more cycles before returning to the RE to discuss adding Femara to the mix. But more importantly, we talked about the need for me to reclaim my life.

Let’s face it. I’ve been living in my own head for the past 2.5 years since miscarriage #1. And my head is a VERY scary place to be. Nobody should live there. I’ve completely forgotten how to express gratitude without reminders. I’ve abandoned all my hobbies. I’ve forgotten what makes me happiest.

So today I took a very big first step toward reconnecting with myself: I said good-bye on my Bump board. This was an enormous step for me because that has been my safe place and my safety net for over a year and a half now. I love so many of those ladies so fiercely. But the more time I spend there, the more I obsess over the one thing it seems I am not destined to have. And how unhealthy is that?

It was really hard to take that step back, but I know this is needed.

2015 is going to be my year. Not the year of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is time to enjoy all the amazing people and blessings that I have in my life.

A Sign of Things to Come?

2015 and I are becoming quick friends!

On New Year’s Eve, my ex-husband and I received our first offer on the last house that we still own together. It’s been on the market since August and empty (our last tenant moved out the month before), and needless to say…it’s been an incredible source of stress recently.

Well as of an hour ago, we are officially under contract!

I can’t even express how tremendous this news is. Not only will this deal – assuming it executes successfully – relieve a significant financial burden. It will also cut the last remaining tie I have to the ex. It will be so lovely to move forward in this marriage without any lingering ties to the last.

Please let this be a sign of things to come!

Embarking upon 2015 with Positivity

I am setting an intention right here and now to allow myself to be more positive in 2015.

2014 was clouded by fear and negativity, and it was exhausting, quite frankly.

So although I ended 2014 with a BFN and started 2015 with another BFN this morning, I am actually not feeling sad and hopeless.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at home last night with my husband’s entire immediate family. We cooked delicious food, drank my favorite champagne, and laughed and laughed til the wee hours. It was perfect.

And another wonderful thing happened yesterday: my ex-husband and I finally received an offer on the last house we own together. I signed the contract this morning. Even if cutting this last financial tie between me and the ex ends up being the highlight of 2015, I’ll take it. But I do feel hopeful that 2015 has even greater things in store for my little family.

Next Time, it will be Better

So I have clearly been a horrible excuse for a blogger since before my big move. Oh well.

If I remember correctly, I last wrote about our attempt at a medicated cycle. Well, I think I allowed my hopes to get too high with that (I’m on medicine and injections!!! — certainly, I will get pregnant!). First, I saw a very faint, but very real second line on what I now know to be a generic Wondfo HPT. This was the day before my beta. On the morning of the beta, no line. And of course, my beta came back negative. “You should stop your Predisone and Prometrium, and you should get your period in a couple days,” the nurse coolly explained to me over the phone.

Fine. So I got my period in the middle of our cross-country move (which was just icing on the cake), and I still have my damn sharps container hiding somewhere in the house, away from the eyes of visitors.

I went to see a new RE here in our new city, and we benched ourselves for another cycle of testing. All the additional tests – including an endometrial biopsy, a semen analysis on my husband, and additional autoimmune and blood clotting factors – came back superb, as usual. No fucking answers. My new RE, who is a self-proclaimed specialist in recurrent pregnancy loss, sees no reason to have me attempt medicated cycles right now. And she has officially diagnosed my case as “unexplained.” And gives me a 68% chance of having a successful pregnancy.

None of this is comforting, as anyone with unexplained RPL knows.

Anyway, I am now in the dreadful two week wait on my second non-medicated cycle since then. I am only supplementing with baby Aspirin throughout my cycle, and Crinone (vaginally delivered progesterone cream) starting after ovulation. Unfortunately, I seem to be experiencing a lot of side effects with the Crinone, and I hate it. I’ve been crying at the drop of a pin, I have to pee every ten minutes, and my nose is super powered. Let me tell you, it’s pure joy to experience freaking pregnancy symptoms when you’re not actually pregnant.

It’s also so much fun to be going through all of this shit when you’re stuck sitting face to face with your husband’s cousin’s pregnant girlfriend at a family Christmas get-together. With everyone fawning over her belly and blah blah blah. Oh yeah, and her due date is just a week after that of your last loss. But I’m not bitter or anything.

It’s so hard to remain positive right now. Trust me, I am trying. I give myself pep talks throughout the day. I try to ignore the fear that lingers in the corner of my mind and will come to full force upon another positive pregnancy test. The horrible, soul-crushing wait for the dreaded 6 week ultrasound. I sometimes wonder if I’m going insane. Or at the very least, if it’s time to go back to a psychiatrist and get some prescriptions. I thought these feelings would get more manageable as time went on, but I find them getting more and more oppressive.

Anyway. Time for positivity in the form of gifs: