Birth Control

The thought of having to worry about birth control is actually hilarious to me. Also, the thought of getting pregnant again {right now} frightens me. A lot.

That being said…

We have opted to NOT go on birth control. No pill. No mini pill. No nuva ring. Nothing.

What, are we crazy?! Maybe. Do I want to get pregnant again while caring for a newborn?  Absolutely not. But I do have my reasons.

I’ve never liked being on the pill. And I liked it even less when I found out I’d pretty much been taking it for nothing all those years.  I’m not good at remembering to take my medications. I did so well while TTC and while pregnant because it wasn’t about me then. Now that Mason is here I can barely remember my prenatal vitamin every day.

Another reason is the Factor V and clotting issue. Dr. L said if I changed my mind he’d put me on a progesterone only pill for this very reason. Still not interested.

And finally,  I just need a break. For 3 years I pumped myself full of medications and hormones and hormones and more hormones. It made me crazy and an absolute wreck. I don’t even remember what it was like to feel “normal”. I know you IF mommas/future mommas get this.

So I decided that’s it. I’m done putting this stuff into my body everyday. At least for a little while. I guess I just need a cleanse of some sort. I want to get back to ME. Or at least some version of the person I’m pretty sure I used to be. The emotional roller coaster of dealing with infertility and loss changed me, yes, but the constant flow of medications I was on changed me in a way I couldn’t control. It affected the way I dealt with things. The way I treated the people in my life. So yeah, I’m done with the hormones for now. And that means birth control.

I talked it over with the hubby. I don’t think we have anything to worry about as far as accidently getting pregnant. After all, it took us 3 years to get our take home baby with LOTS of medical intervention. BUT… there’s always that chance. You hear the stories. We’ve heard it a million times while TTC. My brother’s best friend’s cousin had trouble getting pregnant with their first, then they magically got pregnant with their second a week after they had the baby!  Or something to that extent. So I told Hubs that if he really wanted me to go back on the pill, I would. I don’t want to, and he said he was ok with that. But I was clear that he had to be ok with the very slim chance that we could “accidently” get pregnant in the next year before we’re ready. Surprisingly, he said he was ok with taking that chance.

His sentiments were kind of the same as mine. We don’t want another baby right now. It was be hard. Having just one is hard! But, if by some crazy chance we got pregnant on our own with my polycystic ovaries and my one lonely fallopian tube, who are we to be upset about that?? It would be a miracle, and we would treat it as such. I would be one crazy momma a year from now, but we would be grateful for the miracle. 😉

So that’s that. We are not going back on birth control. And we are not actively trying to get pregnant. A year from now we plan to sit down and decide if we want to try for a second baby. Until then, whatever happens, happens!

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Huge Mistake

Ok.  This post is going to be strange.  And it’s going to demonstrate just how much the grief of my miscarriage caused me to lose my mind.  Seriously.

Today has been a pretty good day.  I cleaned a little house.  Watched a little TV.  I’ve been studying for my 3 hour certification exam I have to take Tuesday morning for work.  I’m feeling a little tired, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Just some major indigestion happening from my bowl of cereal this morning.  All in a all a good day.

For some reason while I was cleaning house today, I decided to look at our ultrasound from our first pregnancy.  I stuck it in a book when everything happened and I’m not sure that I’ve looked at it since.  I’m not sure why I wanted to look at it.  I wasn’t feeling sad or down or having any bad feelings about my current pregnancy.  I actually feel good about it.  Maybe that’s why I felt it was ok to look at it now.  To take another look at the baby that could have been while I’m happily carrying it’s brother or sister.  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a crazy pregnant lady hormone thing.  All I know is without hesitation I opened the book and found the scan.

This is where it gets weird.

All this time, for the past 18 months, I’ve been under the impression that I miscarried at 8 weeks 1 day.  That’s what I told people when it happened.  That’s what I tell people now if it comes up.  That’s what I’ve written in this blog.  The scan that I looked at today was taken just 4 days before I started bleeding.  It was done on a Monday, and the bleeding started on Friday.  After taking a look at the scan today, I noticed that on the day of the scan, the baby actually measured 8w6d.   …….WHAT?!

I mean, seriously, my mind is completely blown.  8w6d.  That means that I was well past the 8w1d mark that I’ve been making myself sick about.  And that means that I actually miscarried at 9w3d.  I don’t even know what to say or think about it.  I am floored.  All this time I never thought that I had made it to 9 weeks before, and in all actuality, I was well into my 10th week.  I don’t know why that makes such a difference to me but I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

So where did the 8w1d assumption come from??  I know I didn’t make it up.  I do remember Dr. L saying those words to me.  And now that I’m not torn apart with grief about it, I can logically recall what the conversation was about.  I was heartbroken, in that dark doctor’s office.  I was crying beyond control.  Dr. L was hugging me and consoling me, and trying to explain the details to me as best he could.  I know he said the words 8 weeks 1 day.  I know he did.  Except now I know that’s not the day I miscarried.  No.  That’s what the baby measured that day on the ultrasound.  He measured 8 weeks 1 day, when four days earlier he had measured 8 weeks 6 days.  This, coupled with the fact that there was no heartbeat, was obvious proof that I was miscarrying.  That I had likely been miscarrying for a day or two now.  It’s crazy, but it makes sense now.

Apparently I was so torn apart by the grief that I clung to those words, 8 weeks 1 day, and that’s what I stuck with.

So what does that have anything to do with now?  Well, pretty much nothing.  It changes nothing.  Except for the fact that my baby fought longer that I thought he did to live, even though my body was betraying him and me.  It means that my big hurdle of 8w1d has now been pushed more than a week out to 9w3d.

The moral of the story?  Don’t underestimate the power of grief.  It can make you lose your mind.

6w4d

That’s what the ultrasound said on Monday when we went to the RE’s office for our first scan.  I was incredibly nervous and terrified about what we might find at this visit.  Fortunately, all we saw was a beautiful little blob measuring 6w4d with a thump-thump-thumping heartbeat of 120bpm. {Side note: This number worried me a little, I felt it might be a little low. But Dr. P said everything looked good to him, so I’m forcing negative thoughts away and believing in the power of positive thinking…at least I’m trying!}

Here’s one of the first photos of our little nugget:

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Beautiful, isn’t it? 🙂

That puts me at 7 weeks exactly today.  Dr. P wants to see us back next week for another scan to make sure everything is coming along.  So far, the lovenox is doing what it’s supposed to.  Our appointment is on Wednesday, which will put us at 7w6d.  I’m anxious to get through next week.  8w1d is the hurdle I need to get past.  I know I’ll still have a long way to go after that, but it’s like this looming hill that is taking me forever to get to the top of.  It falls on next Friday.  Which is weird, because last time it was also on a Friday.  That dreadful, horrible Friday.  I just need to fast forward.  In the meantime, I’m gonna try not to dwell on the fact that I can’t move time, nor can I change the future, whatever may happen in it.

In other news, morning sickness is now in FULL SWING!  It hit on Sunday and it hit hard.  And it’s all day everyday.  Our two hour car ride to the RE’s office on Monday was HORRIBLE.  Hubby had to pull over a few times.  I’m not throwing up at all, but the nausea stops me dead in my tracks.  Between that and being so extremely exhausted I literally feel like I have the flu.  Dr. P was thrilled to hear that I felt like crap, though! 😉  That’s a good sign, so I am happy to have it, nausea and all.

The morning sickness has made it difficult at work.  Like I’ve said before, I have a pretty physical job.  And our clinic is very busy and fast paced.  And its been hard to keep up the way I’m used to.  My body just can’t go at the rate that I’m used to going.  And its hard to hide from all my coworkers how terrible I’m actually feeling. I’m really not ready to go public yet, but at this rate it may be best for me {and nugget!} to make an announcement soon.  At work at least.  Plus, my supervisor informed me this week that she was going to have to let the doctors and other managers know pretty soon whether I tell everyone else or not.  The more people that find out, the more likely it is to leak.  And I’d rather tell people my own way.  I’m still not touching facebook with a ten foot pole.

As far as family goes, Hubby wanted to tell our parents after our ultrasound appointment Monday.  I’m still skiddish about it.  But he really really wanted to tell someone.  He argued that I got to tell my friend, M, and my boss at work {which I argued didn’t count} and he hadn’t got to tell anyone yet.  I felt bad.  He’s so excited.  And I know he’s scared to, but its too cute how anxious he is to brag about our little secret.  So I gave in and said we could tell our parents.  We still aren’t telling the rest of our families, though.  And so far, we’ve only told his mom and dad.  We’ll probably get around to telling my parents this weekend.

I guess that’s all for now!  I’ll try to be better at updating more, but between the nausea and exhaustion I can’t make any promises 😉

Nightmares and Restless Nights

For the past week I’ve not been able to sleep at night for the life of me.  I don’t get it.  I’m absolutely exhausted when I get home.  I can barely keep my eyes open through dinner.  But then its bedtime and all I can do is toss and turn and toss and turn and get up to pee and toss and turn.

Last night I was up about a half a dozen times.  To go to the bathroom.  To get a drink.  To turn the air conditioner on because I was blazing hot.  Then hubby’s alarm went off and he got up to get ready for work at about 4 am.  I got up, too, because of course I had to use the bathroom.  Hubs was using our bathroom to get ready for work so I snuck into our spare room and used the toilet in the little half bath we have in there.  It’s basically a tiny closet with a toilet and a sink… you can barely close the door without it touching your knees while you’re sitting on the throne.  When I was done I crawled back into bed, sprawled out into the middle of it, stole my hubby’s pillows, and finally fell asleep for an hour and 15 minutes before my alarm went off.

In that short amount of time I had a horrible nightmare.  One that I hope to never ever ever have again.  In it, I got up to use the bathroom in the tiny little half bath, just like I did earlier that morning.  Except this time, when I was done, there was bright red blood everywhere.  I panicked.  I franticly tried to clean myself up, going off the logic that if I could get rid of the blood then nothing had happened, until I finally collapsed into the floor and banged my head against the wall, wondering how in the hell this was happening to me again.

Of course I was still panicked when I woke up.  And had to check a thousand times to make sure it was a dream.  Thankfully it was.  Nothing gone awry.  Yet.

I’m trying to keep positive thinking going, and not dwell on what might or might not happen.  But obviously  my subconscious knows I’m worried.  There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to have a healthy pregnancy.  If the cause of my last miscarriage was in fact the Factor V Leiden and MTHFR mutations, then the Lovenox and baby aspirin should be taking care of it.  The week before I miscarried last time I had this strange feeling.  Almost like I knew it was going to happen.  Maybe your body can sense things like that without you actually knowing it. I don’t know.  But I’ve had nothing but good feelings and good vibes since the beginning of this pregnancy, and even before I knew.  So I’m hoping that means everything is gonna be alright.  At least for now.

Here’s hoping for a dreamless, restful night tonight!

Our First Consultation

This past Monday was our first consultation with the RE!  So exciting/scary/promising!  It’s been a crazy week with the holidays coming up, so I’m little behind on updating on how everything went.  But here we go…

First of all, everyone at the clinic {so far} has been so incredibly nice.  I get it, it’s their job and they work in a very delicate specialty.  But when you feel like you’re carrying around as much baggage as I do, it’s nice for people to not make you feel like you’re a burden.  Even if it is their job.

Hubby and I woke up way too early and left our house at 5:30am to make the 2 hour drive to the clinic.  $3.00 in toll fees and 2 detours later, we arrived at the clinic at around 7:50.  They don’t open until 8:00, and our appointment wasn’t until 8:30.  So we took a little joyride and found a place to take a bathroom break.  By the time we got back they were just opening the doors.  Hubs opened the truck door and asked if I was ready.  I wasn’t.  And I was.  All at the same time.

We were met with chaotic smiles behind the front desk.  There was clearly a new person being trained, quite possibly her very first day, and then they explained to us that the credit card machine wouldn’t settle, so they were on the phone trying to sort that out, and Dr. P {who happened to be the doctor I was seeing} was terribly ill this morning.  The girl assured me that things weren’t usually like this as she handed me and the hubs some papers to fill out {and thanked me a million times for filling out our medical history on the patient portal…which by the way is pretty awesome}.  I work in a medical office.  I can totally understand walking into a crazy Monday that you didn’t expect.

After handing in our papers we waited less than 10 minutes before being called back.  The girl who called us back {whose name I didn’t catch…I’ll have to pay more attention next time!} was all smiles as she asked me to step up on the scale.  I’m glad she was smiling because I was not!  Then Smiley took us into an exam room and asked the basic questions.  I had already filled everything out on the Patient Portal ahead of time, so she was basically just verifying the information.  She took my blood pressure then Smiley asked me to smile as she snapped my photo with a digital camera.  Then Hubs had to smile at Smiley for his photo.  At my office we just scan your driver’s license, but hey, whatever works.

Smiley then began to explain that Dr. P was very sick today, but since we were new patients and came from out of state, he was going to go ahead and see us before he went home.  Then she lead the way into his office.  Right off the bat I liked Dr. P.  He’s very personable, straight forward, and has just the right amount of a sense of humor.  The poor guy looked about half dead, though!  When they said he was sick they weren’t kidding!  I felt horrible for him, but so grateful that he chose to stay and see us.

First things first, we went over my history, discussed all the avenues we’ve already taken.  We came to the conclusion that I’ve got a lot of things working against me and that I’m pretty textbook for PCOS, but he wanted to do a few tests to rule out anything that could be disguising itself as PCOS.  Dr. P said we were going to be very aggressive with the meds to get me ovulating, probably keeping with the letrozole for now and adding FSH injectables.  Getting me ovualting wasn’t his biggest concern though.

Recently I had some blood work done.  A lot of bloodwork.  Bloodwork that required so much blood that I passed out in the lab.  Dr. P was studying my results and then informed me that I am a carrier of a single copy of both Factor V Leiden mutation and the C677T MTHFR mutation.  If you’re unfamiliar with this, I suggest you consult The Google, because it will explain it much better than me.  The basics of it is, I have a clotting disorder.  And the fact that I carry both mutations and not just one is just icing on the cake.  After explaining this to me, Dr. P then began to ask me questions about my miscarriage.

How far along were you?  8 weeks.

Did you hear a heartbeat?  Yes.

Yes?  Yes.

Hmm.

I had been told that we were so early that there was really no way to tell what caused the miscarriage.  These things just happen sometimes.  1 in 4.  It was hard, but I had accepted it.  Dr. P informed me that he didn’t think this was the case at all.

In his professional opinion, he said that once you hear a good healthy heartbeat, there is usually a reason behind the miscarriage.  In my case, the clotting problem.  It decreases and cuts off the bloodflow to my uterus and to the placenta, effectively cutting off the blood flow to the baby.  There’s no way to know for sure, but Dr. P believes this is what happened to me at 8 weeks and 1 day.

I’m not gonna lie, that’s a tough pill to swallow.  To know that I had a perfectly healthy baby growing inside of me, and my body betrayed me, betrayed my baby.  To know that I could have a 7 month old son or daughter right now if I had just been taking a frickin’ baby aspirin?!  It’s hard to wrap my head around.

So, game plan.  Dr. P proposes that the day I get a positive pregnancy test I will immediately begin heparin or lovenox injections every day.  I started a baby aspirin everyday when I had this bloodwork done and I will continue to do this.  {I will likely be on an aspirin regimen for the rest of my life.}  He seems pretty confident that I will be able to carry a healthy pregnancy this way.  Now, about the getting pregnant part..

Like I said, we’ll most likely stick to the letrozole for now and add FSH injectables.  But all of this depends on the results of the bloodwork I’ve had done this week.  Dr. P said depending on what the results show will depend on how he treats me.  I also had to be checked for insulin resistance, since it usually goes hand in hand with PCOS.  We discussed the fact that I was put on Metformin before but it did nothing but make me race to the bathroom every 5 minutes, so he’s not sure if its actually an issue with me or not.  At least if it was it would help explain all the weight gain!

He said he usually likes to start out doing 3-5 cycles of IUI before he moves on to IVF.  Depending on how I respond to the meds will determine how many cycles we try.  I’m ok with that.

After we talked and the poor man finally got to go home to bed, we were sent to the lab to get some blood drawn.  They use a separate lab company, which is convenient because they have a lab a couple towns over from where we live, which happens to be in the same town that we both work in.  We went straight from the clinic to the lab in Tulsa {which was in a kind of shady location behind a grocery store} and since they wanted a karyotype test from both of us, the Hubs had to get stuck with a needle this time, too!  I enjoyed it a little too much, haha!  Then later this week I went to the local lab here to have my insulin resistance test.

We go back to see Dr. P on December 31st to discuss what the results were and how he plans to go about treating me.  He also talked about probably getting an ultrasound of my ovaries this visit or shortly after, as well.  Dr. L’s office sent a short novel to him, so he’s already got a lot of the info that he needs to start off with.

So far, thats all she wrote!  I’m excited for the 31st to get here and see what we’re going to do.  I’m anxious to get started.  I still haven’t started my period since my last cycle {November 8th} and I don’t like not being in a cycle.  After counting cycle days for 2 years its like a way of life!  Although, I can’t say that I’m excited to meet up with my old friend, Provera.  Ugh.

Merry Christmas, everyone!