Friday, May 06, 2005

Not just a uterus

Hello to everyone who hasn't given up on checking this blog.

I am still here, and still pregnant. I think out of desperation, I just needed to let my thoughts wander away from the whole pregnancy issue for awhile. To stop thinking it, writing it, chewing it over in my thoughts. It has come home to me that in early pregnancy, there is so very little I can do, beyond taking my meds and eating well. So, apologies for my unannounced sabbatical. I read about 10 books, had my first alcohol-free-for-me dinner party, and am now ready to resume regularly scheduled programming.

So. To catch up on the news. The weekend before last, I had some bleeding and cramping that made me freak out, because that is how my first miscarriage started. It's a heartbreaking thing about pregnancy: Bleeding and cramping are either completely normal and nothing to worry about, or they signal the impending death of your baby. The doctor will tell you the former...your heart will scream the latter, especially if you have miscarried before.

I cried inconsolably all weekend...I was sure my little baby was leaving us, just like the two before. On Monday I went in to my RE's office for an "unscheduled" ultrasound at 5 weeks, 5 days. All was well. The bleeding and cramping had stopped and there was no indication of bleeding in the uterus. There was only one baby, which was something of a disappointment. I had so wanted twins, both for my own selfish sake and because I think it might be important for a DE baby to have a "full-blooded" genetic sibling. But, we've got two batches of embryos that we can use later for frozen transfers, and hopefully we'll have our second baby that way.

The doctor saw a gestational sac and a yolk sac that measured correctly for the date. I could have sworn I saw the flicker of a heartbeat, but the doctor kept moving the ultrasound wand around so much, I couldn't get a good look. It's like when my husband channel-surfs...I wanted to bark at him, "Hold still for a minute and let me see!"

Then came the real blow. You guys know what a worrywart I am, right? I've made that really clear? So the waiting time in between blood test results and ultrasounds is a special kind of hell. I had originally been scheduled to have my first ultrasound at 6 weeks, 2 days. But I'd gone in early out of worry from the cramping and bleeding, so the doctor said, "Since you came in today, I won't need to see you for 10 days...we can't see enough difference in only five days."

My heart just sank. At 6 weeks, 2 days we might have seen the heartbeat, and that was the point at which my other two pregnancies went wrong. We saw a heartbeat for each of my little ones, but they were slow, predicting the deaths that ultimately occurred. So this was a very important milestone for me...and to find out that my punishment for worrying was, five more days of worrying? Well. I wished so much I'd been brave about the cramps and bleeding and just toughed it out.

True to my own aggravating personality, I submitted meekly to the doctor's decree in his presence, and then bitched up a storm about it later. Why can't the man understand that I'm not just a uterus?

Yes, let us all praise the's the star attraction here, indeed it is, especially since my ovaries have left the building. I'm proud of the old girl for doing her job. Yet, attached to that organ is an entire woman, with a heart and a brain that deserve some consideration. In short: Couldn't he see he was making me nuts? Would it have killed the man to give me an extra ultrasound?

And he had to cap off the interview with, "And you know, those beta numbers were going up but not very fast...we won't know anything until we see a heartbeat, especially with your history."

I wanted to throttle him. My "history," which is based on high FSH, poor responder, egg issues, should have nothing whatsoever to do with my experience this cycle. Hello, using a 27-year-old egg here? Wasn't that the whole frigging point of the big speech he gave me, that if I would give up the pursuit of a genetic child and go with DE, my miscarriage risk would go down to that of my donor? Jeez.

So I suffered through the 10 days...and I do mean suffered, since I was starting to have constant nausea and bruising fatigue. Not complaining, mind you--well. Maybe a little. Yesterday we finally saw a healthy heartbeat. It measured 130, and all is right with the pregnancy and the world.

Maybe now I can relax, and smell the--ugh. No. No smells. Gaaack....


wessel said...

Yeah!!! I agree that waiting for those first few ultrasounds are just exceptional hell.

Now, have I given you my pregnancy nausea speech? No? Well, I think I will just refer you to an excellent website at where you will get all kinds of useful tips--I mean, beyond soda crackers and ginger ale, all right?

Suck on cold lemon wedges; that may help some. It turned out to the only thing that helped me just a wee bit. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that all is well, despite the scary episode. And I hope it all continues to be fine.

The doctor sounds pretty annoying, though. Some people just don't think too hard before they open their mouths. You'd think a guy in his profession would know better.

Teendoc said...

Hooray! I am so excited to hear about the heartbeat. That is great news.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Have been thinking about you and hoping all was well. So happy to hear about the heartbeat!!!

ms pickled eggs said...

Really pleased for you. Was getting a little worried when you didn't update, glad that no news turned out to be good news - long many it continue to be that way.

Millie said...

So very glad to see this post. I'm a big fan of gingerale with a splash of pineapple juice (oh-so-refreshing), preggo pops and acupuncture. They all help nausea.

Yay for the heartbeat!!!!

tracey said...

welcome back. So glad your absence meant good news. You deserve it.

chris said...

So glad you and the baby are okay. Take care of yourself and of course, keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the "silent lurkers" checking on you periodically through your website. Was getting a wee bit concerned at your silence, and am so relieved to see things are going OK.

One positive thought on morning sickness -- Women who have it are less likely to miscarry than those who don't.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bee,
I too have been wallowing in worry world. It's not much fun. I'm now 13 weeks. After losing one twin though, I still don't feel easy, despite hearing the hb last week (170 bpm).
And now I can add another worry, since I haven't had any m/s or cravings.... only sore boobs and just starting to show. I don't go back to the OBGYN for 4 weeks...4 weeks of constant worry.
At what point do we decide to relax and enjoy our pg? :)
Kat xx

Anonymous said...

apologies for using this area to write to one of your reader --

Kat -- i wondered if someone might read the converse from my comment about morning sickness and lower miscarriage rates. lack of morning sickness does not mean one is likely at all to miscarry! it's presence just means there are a lot of hormones floating around. your sore breasts mean the same kind of thing. i didn't have any morning sickness to speak of with my pg (though had to wear a bra to bed because of the bb soreness). lots of women skip morning sickness entirely.

if you're starting to show, your baby is growing, and it sounds like you're on track. the vast majority of miscarriages occur well before the point you are in your pg. am sorry that i inadvertently upset you. hope you can soon enjoy this time.

Anonymous said...

So happy to see an update and that everything is on track.

I might have smacked the doctor, but that's just me ;)


wessel said...

Okay, I have to jump in here on Elizabeth and Kat's posts. While it is true that pregnancy nausea (I refuse to call it "morning sickness" and thus perpetuate a lie--it lasts the whole damn day!) is correlated to ongoing pregnancy, that doesn't ultimately mean that much. Low hcg and low progesterone can lead to a miscarriage of an otherwise normal pregnancy, yes. But some pregnancies (I am here to report) can have all that hcg and progesterone swirling around,with accompanying nausea, and yet miscarriage will occur because the embryo is not normal. I was hospitalized with most of my pregnancies due to severe nausea, and I miscarried all 7 of them. Horrible! But for our dear Bee, she need not worry about that, because she has young, healthy, hardy-egged embryos growing inside her.

And as Elizabeth pointed out, Kat, lack of pregnancy nausea does NOT mean that you are more likely to miscarry! Not at all. The only reason I bothered to respond to this is because I don't want people to perpetuate the notion that pregnancy nausea = good pregnancy outcome. I know the OB's still like to say this, but as someone who gets miserably ill and has had very bad obstetrical luck, I just want to kill people who tell me it's great that my pregnancy is healthy as I'm wretching in the nearest garbage can after having scheduled my next D&C.

Beth Gray said...

For what it's worth, I have had a LOT more nausea this time (in a presumably healthy pregnancy) than I had the other two times even though I'm not as far along as I was in my second m/c pregnancy. In that pregnancy, my betas were abnormal, indicating faulty development of the fetus and placenta and lower HCG. So THIS TIME I take it as a good sign that I have more nausea. But there are so many variables that you can't generalize one woman's experience to everyone's. I think you can have PLENTY of HCG in your system and not have any nausea...I think there's probably some other physiological thing going on with people who suffer from it, than people who don't.

Kinda sucks, huh? We SO want there to be some hard and fast rules for this process but there aren't!!!

Anonymous said...

I am on my second DE pregnancy, at 8 weeks. I can so relate to your question about when do I get to enjoy the pregnancy. I hoped that this one I would be able to enjoy more because I had done it before. Not so far! Maybe when I get past the 1st trimester. I had nausea and GAS!!! last time and lucky me this time too. I have found a few things help.

1. No cold drinks.
2. Limited water with (around)meals, usually just 1/2 cup. But make sure that you still get your 8 cups a day.
3. Keep yourself regular. My OBGYN recommended Slippery Elm. It is a godsend.

It is not an easy path, but our son has brought me more joy that I could have imagined. He is 3 now and just keeps getting better with time.

sheilah said...

Hi, Bee -

Congratulations on seeing a heartbeat on your little bean. I just found you blog (thru Scrambled Eggs).

My wonderful son is a DE baby. If you want to email or whatever (or look at my blog), feel free.


Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and your baby

Anonymous said...

reply to ladies,
I am on my second pregnancy 11 weeks and very sick i havent even left the house i can barely eat and am weak all the time i throw up a lot and my first pregnancy was like this as well. It ended in miscarriage and i had to get a d&c. I am always thinking im having a miscarriage, i dont even want to tell people im pregnant because im just soooo scared im 24, 5foot ten and dropped to a 124lbs do you have any recomendations on anything rom putting on weight to when to feel safe from miscarriage?

Anonymous said...

reply to ladies,
I am on my second pregnancy 11 weeks and very sick i havent even left the house i can barely eat and am weak all the time i throw up a lot and my first pregnancy was like this as well. It ended in miscarriage and i had to get a d&c. I am always thinking im having a miscarriage, i dont even want to tell people im pregnant because im just soooo scared im 24, 5foot ten and dropped to a 124lbs do you have any recomendations on anything rom putting on weight to when to feel safe from miscarriage?