Category Archives: Miscarriage

Another FET = Another Pregnancy

Yes. You probably already read my previous post. But in case you didn’t, I’m PREGNANT! We are expecting another baby in early October! Thanks be to God, we have made it past 12 weeks so far. We had a bit of a scare around 6 weeks — I wrote about what was happening at the time but wanted to wait to post about it. You can catch up on the past weeks and days below!

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{This post was written on Thursday, February 19th.}

A few months have passed by since our chemical pregnancy back in early December. I thought we would take a break and save up for the final transfer of our remaining two embryos, but  instead we jumped right back into it. The day after I miscarried I started birth control to start my next FET cycle. I didn’t have to order meds for the new FET because I was already stocked up from the last one. I also got to bypass a water sonogram and several labs due. After dealing with all the ups and downs of the last cycle, this FET just seemed so… easy.

Ease aside, I ignored the fact that we were going through another FET as much as I possibly could. I tried not to think or talk about it. I was still pretty numb from our chemical pregnancy. I prayed and asked God for another baby. I tried to hope. But I dreaded the idea of more heartbreak. Adding to this stress was the fact that these were our last two babies in storage. My husband and I were very uncertain as to whether we would go through a second full IVF cycle in order to retrieve more eggs and eventually embryos. In other words, we were coming to grips with the fact that our son might be an only child.

Those six weeks proved to be a hard time for me. For one of the first times in my life, I didn’t want to share with people what was going on with us. I just wanted to get it over with and take the time I needed to adapt to whatever scenario the Lord brought us.

On the day of the embryo transfer, January 21st, our RE transferred in two lovely 4AA embryos, one expanded and one not quite expanded. As the bed rest and two week wait progressed, I began to have mild cramping. I breathed a sigh of relief, taking this as a good sign. Sure enough, on the day of my beta at 12 dpo, my beta came back at 103. We were elated and even wondered if I were pregnant with twins. Two days later, at 14 dpo, my beta more than doubled and came back at 227. At 24 dpo, my beta continued to double perfectly and was 7,383. I was having very light cramping and some pretty extreme first trimester fatigue. The nausea started the night before I hit 6 weeks and I felt completely relieved that everything was seeming to be progressing as it should be. I allowed myself to dream a little, to think about my due date and maybe what kind of stroller I would purchase for two or more children. My husband and I were nothing short of excited.

And then on Sunday, when I was 6 1/2 weeks along, in the midst of feeling quite nauseous, I noticed that I had some moderate cramps starting while sitting in church. I wasn’t sure which was making me feel more uncomfortable — the cramps or the nausea — but I stayed seated during the service until I decided that it would probably be a good idea to go out to the car and lie down. My plans didn’t quite go as planned though as I heard Josh crying from the nursery as soon as I left the sanctuary so I grabbed him and the diaper bag on my way out. As I sat in the car with Josh on my lap, the cramps started to worsen. My husband came out to the car right after the service and I told him that I felt concerned that I might be starting to have miscarriage.

When we got home, I went straight into the bathroom and discovered that I was bleeding bright red blood. “Oh, no, oh no, oh no” I cried as I looked into the toilet bowl and discovered that it was completely red from blood. The cramps felt like menstrual cramps and I knew that they plus bright red blood were not a good sign in pregnancy. My heart sank lower than it had been in a long, long time. I started to sob and my husband heard me and came into the bathroom. His heart sank too when he realized that I was probably miscarrying.

I finally pulled myself together enough to lay on the bed and call the clinic. I left a message telling them what happened and that I had likely miscarried. Then I called my mom and the we both cried on the phone together. Somehow, hearing her own sorrow and pain at receiving my sad news helped to comfort me.

The nurse at the clinic called me back promptly and told me that she was trying to be hopeful about the bleeding and cramping and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day. I told her that I knew about subchorionic hematomas (a tear between the sac and the wall of the uterus) but that I was bleeding quite a bit and that I still had a lot of cramping. At the time I had thought that subchorionic hematomas didn’t come with cramping. She didn’t say much at my comment but did acknowledge that a hematoma could be a possibility.

That afternoon and night I researched like crazy. My bleeding had tapered off and completely stopped by the evening. And I was still nauseous. That didn’t seem to add up to a miscarriage in my mind. I learned that the cramping from miscarriages are often pretty painful (although mine wasn’t with my chemical pregnancy, most likely because the baby hadn’t developed very far) and that the bleeding increases and lasts for days, not hours. I also learned that subchorionic hematomas often do come with cramping, because there is blood in the uterus and the uterus becomes irritated from it and tries to get it out (hence the cramping). As I learned more, I began to feel a little hope that maybe I wasn’t going through a miscarriage. But I also felt prepared to receive the possible news that there might not be a heart beat.

The next morning a friend graciously watched Josh, and my husband and I headed off to the clinic. My RE started the ultrasound and there I saw it — a sac with a flickering light! Our baby had a heart beat and was alive! Tears of joy filled my eyes. But then I saw a large fluid-filled pocket adjacent to the baby. My RE confirmed that it was indeed a subchorionic hematoma. The baby measured perfectly — 6w3d — but the hematoma was twice the size of the baby’s sac. My RE didn’t seem to be as concerned about that. The important part, he said, was that it shared about 30% of the baby’s sac with the hematoma. If it grew to share more than 60%, he said that it could constrict the baby from growing and cause it to arrest. Another possibility, he said, was that it could cause the sac and placenta to detach.

After the ultrasound, my RE discussed bed rest with us. He said I needed to be very careful not to exert myself or to lift anything heavy. We asked more questions to clarify — exactly what level of bed rest was he talking about? He never said “strict” bed rest but then he said we should “call in all our help” to get through this time, because I wouldn’t be able to pick up Josh at all, cook, do laundry or even go anywhere. My husband and I looked at each other. We were scared but we were determined. We would do everything we could to prevent a miscarriage. More than anything, we wanted to hold this baby in our arms when the time came!

When we left our appointment my RE wrote in big letters on my medical sheet “Threatened Abortion.” I felt sick just seeing him write it. “I have to write it on the sheet,” he said, slightly apologetic. “It’s not a high chance that you’ll miscarry (he couldn’t give statistics when I asked for them) but the chances are increased.”

On the drive home my husband and I began planning how we would both survive (potentially) weeks of strict bed rest. Everything I had read said to plan on WEEKS for hematomas to either be reabsorbed or to bleed out. Most resolved by 20 weeks, but the earlier the diagnosis in a pregnancy (meaning the first trimester as opposed to the second), the better the prognosis.

In the meantime, I am bed resting. Or rather, sofa-resting. Trying to make the best out of our situation. My husband has really kicked into high gear and is doing a great job taking care of Josh while also juggling the other jobs of the house. He’ll be going back to work next Monday and my sister will be helping out for a few weeks then.

As I lay low, we are all praying that this hematoma will miraculously resolve. We’ll find out more on Tuesday.

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Coming up next: Bed rest under my older sister’s care.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under IVF, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Miscarriage Thoughts, Josh’s 9 Month Birthday & Christmas

Belated Merry Christmas!

Please excuse my little break from blogging — life has been busy and I just haven’t really had a lot of mental energy to blog. It’s been a little bit of a hard season for me.

I miscarried on December 9th, when I was 5 weeks and 5 days along. I didn’t think I’d know if I passed the baby or not but it was definitely obvious when I did. So much excitement and hope gone with sheer certainty on that day. Although I thought I was getting over the disappointment, I cried when I passed the baby. To throw it away in the trash felt so wrong and awful.

The final wave of tears came when a beautiful card from my infertility clinic arrived in the mail two days later, signed by all the nurses and staff.  I realized that for my own sense of closure, I needed to keep some momentos from this experience. I saved the card and inside it I placed the photos our clinic gave us of our embryos along with some other things from our FET experience and beginning weeks of pregnancy. I also want to print out a picture of a positive pregnancy test I had. I will store it away in the bottom of one of my dresser drawers, and someday I will pull it out and it will help me remember this time. I want to remember it all — the utter disbelief I felt when I heard I was pregnant and the ensuing building excitement of the thought of another baby. The calculating of due dates and thoughts of purchasing new maternity clothes. Then the lurking fear that maybe something was wrong to then the non-stop tears that happened the day I learned we were losing our little one.  I want to remember how immense my love was for that little embryo that tried to grow– but couldn’t.

On a much happier note, Josh turned nine months old a few weeks ago. It felt like we had hit some sort of monumental milestone, but really I don’t think any new milestones have actually been reached. Josh is still our very focused little boy. He loves to fiddle with the zipper on my fleece and he’s figured out how to unzip it. He loves feeling different textures and likes the feel of silky tags. He likes to fiddle with things and I always imagine him taking things apart when he gets older. He’s getting a little pushy at times — squawking when we don’t get his bottle in his mouth fast enough or occasionally when we take something away from him. In general though he’s still pretty easy going. He’s sitting, rolling, and scooting –but still not crawling and not really making any attempts to do so. He likes to stand (with our help) and likes his walker. I try to get him out in the stroller daily and he loves that too.

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9 month photos by my friend Katherine.

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Josh was pretty stingy with his smiles on this day!

 

As far as food goes, Josh likes anything that’s not made by mom! I just can’t get the texture right. At least I think that’s what the problem is. He eats it, but he winces and shudders and sometimes his eyes even get teary with each swallow. It’s not that he rejects it — he will still open his mouth for another bite — but you can tell he’s in agony with each swallow. Many times I have thought: “So much for all my hard work!” So after several attempts at this I gave up and just buy it. He gets 3 meals a day, oatmeal and fruit with breakfast, and usually a veggie and meat combo for both lunch and dinner. He gets a bottle roughly every 4-5 hours and takes anywhere from 3-7 oz. I still can’t get him to take much water from ANY of the sippy cups I’ve tried — he chokes about 85% of the time on them (and we’ve been at it for almost 3 months!). I’ve tried just about every single kind of sippy cup. Not sure what his deal is but I’m guessing that it’ll smooth out once we take away the bottle and he only has one type of cup to take fluid from.

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First time eating chicken nuggets.

 

Josh still takes a bottle sometime in the middle of the night (any time between 1- 5 am) and will often guzzle down 6 oz. This night time feeding is silly though and I know the kid can make up for the volume during the day! One of these days I’m going to wean him of it. It will just take a bit of training and a few nights with probably quite a bit less sleep for us both. His night time bottle is just a quick fix to get him to fall back asleep quickly, and I know it’s not one of my best parenting moves.

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Josh still adores books. When I pull a book off the shelf and sit him on my lap, he literally shakes and kicks his legs and arms in an excited fashion and squeals in delight! As soon as I finish the story, he looks longingly at the other books left on the shelf left to be read. If I pull another book out he squeals again happily! We could easily read 10-15 books at a time. Actually, we usually stop reading because I’m over it — but I wonder how long he’d sit there and listen happily? I should find out sometime when I feel like reading all day.

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Trying to get a ‘proper’ 9 month photo while Josh enjoys non-toys.

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Who knew a rug was so amazing?

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The hardest habit Josh has right now is his screeching habit. When he gets bored or tired he will scream at a pitch that compares to finger nails on a chalk board. He’s had this awful habit for a few months now — some days he screeches a lot and other days (thankfully) not so much. He always seems so proud of the sounds that come out of his mouth. I’ve tried to break him of this habit several times consistently, but unfortunately he also consistently seems to not be getting the message. Maybe in another month or so. In the meantime, Mommy and Daddy think a baby muzzle wouldn’t such a bad idea…  (JOKING!)

Christmas with our families was a blessing this year. I specifically remember this time last year being really difficult because I had horrible abdominal pain start at around 7 pm on Christmas Eve and ended up going to bed early, only to lay there and cry in misery. Those days were so fraught with a mix of excitement of a coming baby and horror of continual pain. This year was so much better! Josh did great and enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper most of all (which was funny because his 8 month old cousin was MOST afraid of the wrapping paper and cried whenever someone opened a package). Everyone had fun holding him and by the end of day there were hardly any smiles left in that exhausted kid. He got a ton of toys, some clothes, a baby swing for outside, a pair of leather shoes, some ornaments with his name on it, and books!

Josh was pretty tired here, but here he is getting his stocking from Grandma. He got so much stuff it didn't even all fit into the GIANT stocking my mom knit for him!

Josh was pretty tired here, but here he is getting his stocking from Grandma. He got so much stuff it didn’t even all fit into the GIANT stocking my mom knit for him!

I’m so grateful for our little family and for our extended family, too. God has blessed our socks off, not just in the people He’s placed in our lives or the material things He’s given us, but the gift of Himself — available to each and every person. The word ‘Emmanuel’ means “God with us,” and that immeasurable gift of Himself is what we receive when we come to the Lord. He is with us. He will carry us. He will help us. So much hope and promise brought to us all by a little baby born to Mary over two thousand years ago.

As the New Year comes in, I’m not thinking about exercising more or trying to live better in some way. No – my hope is solely to remember and carry these things closer to my heart. There may be more heartbreak in store for us in 2015; we just don’t know. Perhaps it will be a year of answered prayers. But as the days go by, may Emmanual be on my lips and residing in my heart as a reminder as to who ordaining each moment.

And lastly, here’s some more photos…

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Josh wearing his first Christmas hat his Mimi and Papa got him!

 

I love this family photo! Josh's cousin is trying to pull off Mimi's hat...and my hubby and his brother are clearly noticeable in the mirror taking our picture.

I love this family photo! Josh’s cousin is trying to pull off Mimi’s hat…and my hubby and his brother are clearly noticeable in the mirror taking our picture.

 

I wonder who the center of attention is in this photo???

I wonder who the center of attention is in this photo???

 

We're not the best at family photos. This was the best we could do, and Josh isn't even smiling. In any case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We’re not the best at family photos. This was the best we could do, and Josh isn’t even smiling. In any case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

See you in 2015!

 

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Filed under Miscarriage, Pregnancy