Monday, August 30, 2010

Is This It?

My cycle is throwing me for a loop, as usual. I'm waiting to ovulate after a long AF, although I might have just ovulated; who knows; it's a guessing game really. I am using a saliva scope for the first time. It's this handy little microscope that you use daily to look for a ferning pattern in your saliva. Supposedly, when you are about to ovulate, you get a full ferning pattern. Well, I've had full ferns four different times this month already and I'm on CD16. I've also had numerous days of partial ferning. Needless to say, I'm not sold on this thing. I've also been taking OPKs. Two days ago I had a fairly dark one, but not dark enough to be positive. Since then they have gotten lighter. My temperature went up a fair amount today, so I'm hoping that trend continues and I actually did ovulate already but just missed the surge on the OPK. I guess I'll know for sure over the next couple of days based on my temperatures.

I'm still getting different hospital bills in the mail. It's hard to try to look forward and think about getting pregnant again while I'm still paying bills for the tragic loss of my son. I'm sure there will be many instances similar to this with a future pregnancy, looking forward while still mourning our loss. Hearing a heartbeat on the doppler knowing whose we heard last and knowing that the comfort of that sound doesn't always indicate a positive outcome. I'm not sure what to do with mixed emotions like this. Tonight we drove past the hospital where we delivered our lovely little lady bug and where we brought our deeply loved and lost son. Tonight it made me sad. Most times when we drive past I have happy memories of my little girl. I don't know why tonight was different, why the same thing can be happy in one moment and trigger sadness the next. What I do know is that we had a beautiful evening with our daughter and are loving every inch of her, right down to her adorable toes! How can you not love these perfect little baby girl feet!?!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Officially Trying Again

Good 'ol AF (aunt flo) showed up on Sunday. This is the first time I've been happy to see her in over a decade! We are officially back in the TTC (trying to conceive) game. I'm so surprised my body ovulated in a timely manner after the miscarriage. I'm fairly certain I ovulated around July 30th because I had a positive (or at least close to positive) OPK (ovulation predictor kit). I'm just a little over 5 weeks post miscarriage now, so things went well this month. I hope my body can maintain that cycle. Now I get to start waking up at 6:45 every morning to take my temperature. I have to do it that early so that I can avoid my daughter's ever changing wake up time. She rarely gets up before 7:00 these days, so 6:45 should be a good temping time. I'll also use a saliva scope to check for ferning patterns, and OPKs from time to time. If I don't get pregnant this cycle, I'll start taking Clomid next cycle.

This is the link to my Fertility Friend Chart:

*For those of you who are unfamiliar with TTC (trying to conceive) lingo, here is a brief list of some that I will possibly be using ;) I've been a part of TTC message boards for years now, so the lingo just seems natural now, but boy-oh-boy was it confusing at first!

AF = Aunt Flo or Menstrual Cycle
BABYDUST = good wishes for getting pregnant
BBT = Basal Body Temperature, morning temperature for charting ovulation
BD = Baby Dance, intercourse
BFN = Big Fat Negative on a home pregnancy test (hopefully I WON'T have to use this one)
BFP = Big Fat Positive on a home pregnancy test
CD = Cycle Day
CM = Cervical Mucus
DPO = Days Post Ovulation
HPT = Home Pregnancy Test
LH = Luteinizing Hormone
LMP = Last Menstrual Period
LP = Luteal Phase
O = Ovulation
OPK = Ovulation Predictor Kit
POAS = Pee on a stick, to take a home pregnancy test or ovulation predictor test
RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in fertility treatments
TTC = Trying To Conceive
TWW = Two week wait, the time after you ovulate when you are waiting to find out if you conceived
U/S = Ultrasound

I think that should cover it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Charts, charts, and more charts...I've been pouring over my old charts this afternoon, looking for patterns and what not. Nothing very notable, all three positive charts are quite different from one another, and the negative ones look like some of the positives without the happy ending. No rhyme nor reason.

My positive chart with my son - first cycle post chemical pregnancy (above)

My positive chart with my chemical pregnancy (above)

My positive chart with my daughter (above)

Currently my cycle is looking strange, a lot like the one after my chemical pregnancy, which is very frustrating. I've had a couple of days of very light spotting and have had mild cramps since I had the miscarriage. Being the hypochondriac I am, I worry that it could be all sorts of complications...or that my period is gearing up to start...or it's just a typical for me wacky cycle...who knows, only time will tell, and I hate waiting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One Month

It was exactly one month ago today that we delivered our sweet little boy. I'm emotional, and my heart feels heavy. I'm not sure what it is about dates and anniversaries that trigger emotions. My husband and I were talking last night about this, and dates don't do the same things to him as they do to me. For instance, on my birthday this year, I would have been exactly 20 weeks pregnant, the half way point. Instead, I got the hospital bill in the mail for my D&C and a call from my doctor with his autopsy/pathology results. Today I paid the bill. I also got our son's urn in the mail today. It's perfect. We have been seeing butterflies everywhere since he died, and it feels like it's him saying hello and it makes him feel close by. Beside it is my "Mom charm bracelet," with an "It's a girl" charm for when my daughter was born, a "Mom" charm for my very first Mother's Day, and now, a butterfly charm for my son. Things like this make me smile and cry all in the same breath.

One month has passed. My cycle has not started. We are in a holding pattern. There are moments where it feels disloyal to my son to be thinking of another baby in my womb. That was HIS home, his one and only home, his living space, his dying space, his tomb. I know it was my daughter's home before it was his, but she "moved out" to a new home when she was ready. I know it was another baby's home between the two of them, but somehow, that seems different. I guess because it was so early in that pregnancy. I want to feel life in my belly again, most of the time I feel like it can't happen soon enough. I just hope the grief mixed with the joy isn't overwhelming.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our History

In order to start this blog off, I think our history is important to note. Here's our story.

I'm 37 years old and my husband is 35. It took us 8 years to conceive our daughter. In late 2007/early 2008, we went through 6 months of fertility treatments. I had so much bloodwork done, ultrasounds, an HSG, Clomid, my husband giving me HCG Trigger shots, IUIs with a cervix that wouldn't cooperate and needed clamped open. My husband endured sperm analysis and several months of specimen drop offs. It was such a roller coaster of emotions. Timing everything, taking all the right supplements, my husband wearing boxers even though he hates them, reading dozens of books, taking hundreds of home pregnancy tests and ovulation predictor tests, stressing about the out of pocket cost (insurance didn't cover a thing), surfing the Internet for that one thing that might make it happen for us. I know that we were so fortunate to have had such an easy road compared to many who struggle with infertility. On our last chance at Clomid/HCG Trigger Shot/IUI before moving on to all injectible meds we ended up getting pregnant. In 2008 I had a lovely pregnancy with her (aside from having gestational diabetes), and we are so grateful to have our little sunshine in our lives. She is perfect in every way!

At the end of December 2009 (almost exactly 1 year after our daughter was born), I got pregnant naturally after 7 months of trying, but that sadly ended in an early miscarriage in January. I had positive pregnancy tests for two days, then they turned into negatives. They call that a "chemical pregnancy" - I hate that term. We were so saddened by this loss. We also knew we wanted to try again immediately.

We were lucky enough to get pregnant on the following cycle in March (yes, my cycles are always irregular like that). It was a dream come true. We had been more nervous this time around after suffering a loss, but trying to remain optimistic. Things went well in the first trimester. All of my bloodwork came back great, I had morning sickness, and my belly was growing appropriately. We saw the heartbeat on an ultrasound at 6 weeks, and heard it loud and clear on a Doppler at two different appointments after that. In July 2010 I went in at 16 weeks pregnant for the quad screen bloodwork, feeling good that I was comfortably in the second trimester, and anxious to get my results back, hoping they would be as good as they were with my first pregnancy. Our results set us in a tailspin. We had a 1 in 10 chance that the baby had Down syndrome (odds for my age should be closer to 1 in 200). We scheduled some tests, and on July 8, 2010 showed up for an ultrasound - I was 17 weeks pregnant. We had no idea what was about to come. There was no heartbeat. Our baby had died, likely when I was about 15 weeks pregnant. Shock...what's next? We talked to my OB who gave us our options, wait and see when I miscarry, or come in to have Cytotec inserted to start the labor and delivery process. We opted to use the Cytotec. The following day, July 9, 2010, we arrived at 1:45 PM for the Cytotec, and she sent me home, instructing me to go to labor & delivery at the hospital once I started to bleed, and I would deliver there. Labor started for me at about 5:40 PM. It was an intense, hard labor, without much of a break between contractions. I did not bleed. At around 6:45 PM I delivered our baby in our master bathroom with my husband. We held him, cried, and told him how much we loved him and wished things had turned out differently. Amidst all the sadness and despair, this moment was one of beauty and love that I am forever grateful to have had. Not until after I delivered our baby did I start to bleed. We called my OB and met her at the hospital. I was put in the same triage room that I was in on delivery day for my daughter, how strange to be there for two very different outcomes. I ended up needing a D&C to remove the remaining placenta, so my husband was left to worry, while I underwent the surgery. Our baby was sent for testing, and we have since found out that he had Trisomy 21 aka:Down syndrome. It's good to have answers. The past month has been full of grief. We named our son and have his ashes at home with us. We planted a tree in our backyard that people from my husbands' office gave us to honor him. This has been the most difficult thing I've ever had to endure. Our son will be forever in our hearts.

Now we get to "Try Again" - moving forward. I'm waiting for a fresh cycle, then we'll start, hopefully with my cycles we won't have to wait too long - add that to the frustration list. I'm not sure how I feel. A mix of emotions. I'm excited about the prospect of having another healthy child in our home - a "take home" baby, as a fellow miscarriage sufferer has called it, how fitting. I'll always be a mom of three, one living child, and two angel babies. I'm hoping for another "take home" baby to make me a mom of four. I'm mad we have to start this process all over again. The stress of trying to conceive can be overwhelming sometimes. I'm afraid of losing another baby, or any other complications that may arise. It's interesting, the mix you feel when new life and death become so easily intertwined. I'm sure this blog will be therapeutic to me. Some days I'll be excited and hopeful, and others I'll still be dealing with the grief. If we are fortunate enough to get pregnant again that will be another set of worries.

Editing to add additional history for new blog readers wanting our entire history without reading through the whole blog.

In September 2010 we found out we were pregnant again, the second cycle following my miscarriage with my son. Things looked really promising. I had great beta numbers, great progesterone levels, an ultrasound at 7 weeks 5 days with a very strong heartbeat and appropriate growth. Just 2 weeks later we went in for a routine exam and there was no longer a heartbeat. The baby had stopped growing at around 8 weeks 4 days. I miscarried the baby naturally with the help of misoprostol and sent the baby in for testing. We found out she was a little girl and she had Turner's syndrome. Another chromosome abnormality but not associated with Down syndrome.

My husband and I had a lot of testing done. Our chromosomes, blood clotting disorders, vitamin levels, glucose levels. We also met with a genetics counselor. All things pointed to it just being bad luck. Not much showed up in our testing. I do have PAI-1 4G/4G genetic mutation, which is a blood clotting issue, but my levels are fine. It's not something that would definitely cause a problem.

After some of the testing was finished we decided to meet up with our RE (reproductive endocrinologist, ie: fertility doctor) to see if she had any suggestions. She had us do more testing, then we proceeded to start using Clomid again. I got pregnant again right away on my first round of Clomid in February 2011. We were thrilled but trying not to get too excited until we were certain this pregnancy would not end in miscarriage. My first two betas showed good results with good doubling times on my HCG levels and great progesterone levels. We went in for our first ultrasound at 6 weeks, but things did not look good. The baby was measuring less than 5 weeks, there was no heartbeat, and there was possibly a yolk sac but no fetal pole. We were sent home to wait and hope for a miracle. My HCG level was okay but not great or ideal. At 7 weeks my RE told me the pregnancy did not look viable. The sac grew and was about 6 weeks in size but no heartbeat or anything that looked normal. There was some sort of tissue in the gestational sac, but that was all. The 9 week ultrasound was the final one we had. The baby had not grown at all and my doctor called it a blighted ovum. I tried to miscarry naturally with misoprostol again, but my body wasn't cooperating, so I ended up having a D&C in April 2011.

We got pregnant again in September 2011 on 100mg Clomid and an HCG trigger shot. We are so blessed to have welcomed our rainbow baby boy on May 3, 2012.