8+5 weeks pregnant – happy update

Well it’s Saturday morning so I’m writing this with some trepidation (see previous posts – all my panics happen at the weekend), but I had another scan yesterday and all is well. 

I was very nervous. I’ve been on bed rest (settee confinement) all week. I had another bout of bright red bleeding on Weds which really shocked me – how can I bleed when I’m doing nothing at all? Anyway, aside from that, the bleeding has consisted of a grumpy brown trickle for the last day or so. So I took an Uber to the hospital and listened to the Albanian driver tell me about how they drive on the right and how he doesn’t get British roundabouts and how much he hates traffic lights and ARRGGH! I am freaking out back here and trying not to bleed all over your car seat! Quiet man. Anyway, got to the hospital and did a very, very slow, hunched over shuffle to the clinic to keep things calm down there. All fine. No knicker explosions.

So – here’s the good bit. The babies are moving now! I saw both of them wobble around and wave their strange little flipper arms. Really incredible – apparently this only starts in the eighth week. They are now both 20mm long  with strong heart beats. I relayed all of this to husband who has to sit behind a blue curtain. I have no idea why but our doctor prefers that partners sit in the corner behind a curtain, like Oz, but that’s his thing. Anyway – it was a magical moment. 

The blood clot/haematoma/hemmorhage is still there….about 30mm, on side wall of my uterus. Exactly where one of my fibroids is (fibroid is inside the wall). Doc still doesn’t understand why such a relatively small haematoma is causing so much bleeding but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the babies so far. He thinks the fibroid might be making it bleed more than normal. Fibroids really are the devil’s work by the way – apparently they grow during pregnancy and I have rather a lot of them.

Anyway he has advised me to rest for another week, just to give the bleeding a chance to heal. Tough for me as I am one of those conscientious (ie workaholic) people who never takes a day off and thinks about work constantly.  I worked from the settee last week though and it was ok, so I’ll just have to do the same again. I’ve had to cancel a work trip to Paris this week and…much, much, much more worse, I won’t be able to go to New Zealand on the 10th Feb. I’m gutted. We had booked a two week holiday to visit husband’s family (he’s from NZ) and we’re looking forward to it so much. The doc thinks it’s just too risky with the bleeding though – it’s a 28 hour flight. I’m already firmly in the ‘threatened miscarriage’ category and will be until at least 12 weeks. I have a feeling my travel insurance will therefore be invalid too.

Rubbish news. I’m trying to encourage husband to go without me …or we might see if the airline will let us reschedule for another date, when we’ll hopefully have (fingers crossed) two miniature New Zealanders to introduce to everyone. Really poor timing ūü§ē

Finally…we said goodbye to our lovely gynaecologist yesterday. Regular readers will know what a wonderful doctor he is. We got him a card and a little present (a silk tie with tiny hieroglyphics on it from the British Museum….he’s Egyptian) and I cried as I handed it over. I’ve been crying a lot recently, mainly because I’m a nervous wreck. He has been an absolute rock and a blessing from the infertility Universe. I felt like giving him a hug but I know he only does firm handshakes so I gave him one of those instead. I hope he knows what he means to us – we couldn’t have got this far without him. Anyway we all laughed as we said goodbye because HE knows and WE both know that I will be back there tomorrow if the bleeding comes back with a vengeance. Yeah. Oh well.

We see our new Obstetrician on Friday! He comes recommended by Dr Awesome (above) so we have high hopes. An obstetrician….now I feel like a real pregnant person. 

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The latest weekend terror – 8 wks

Long post alert – and rather graphic too. Avoid if you’re feeling queasy.

As mentioned in my last post I went back to work at the end of last week. On Friday I had to give an important presentation – it went well. It went very well indeed until I said goodbye to the participants and felt a warm gush. More red blood – this time flooding through the liner and soaking my tights. A truly horrible feeling.

A quick text to our doctor and I was in the stirrups within 30 mins. And there they were again – two perfectly sized blobs, two perfect heartbeats. Accompanied by lots of full flow red blood coming from….nowhere. My lining looked good, my ovaries looked good, my cervix looked good. No haematomas, no shadows. Just terrifying, inexplicable bleeding.

He instructed me to go home and rest. Take a week off work….take two weeks off work, do whatever it takes until the bleeding stops.

I wish that was the end of the story. Unfortunately not. Last night a post-dinner bathroom visit revealed a huge bleed that filled the toilet bowl with bright red blood. Even worse – I passed a couple of pretty large clots, each the size of a ¬£2 coin. One plopped out on to the floor when I pulled my pants down and one disappeared down the toilet. I know, gross. Apologies.  I called husband and showed it to him, I just didn’t know what else to do. It was dark red and kind of liverish. Had I miscarried? Was this one of our babies? I was in a terrible state. I texted our doctor (10pm and he replied straight away! Honestly, that man….) and he asked us to come in for a scan first thing in the morning. Husband and I hugged and cried – the last couple of weeks have been horrendously stressful – for nothing. I just couldn’t believe it was over.  We talked about bad luck, trying again, failure, sadness and disappointment. I lay on an old towel in case of overflow bleeding and eventually fell into a horrible, restless sleep.

Fast forward to 10am this morning. Well…guess what. There they were again. Two blobs, one 13.5 mm and one 12.9mm, each grown a couple of millimetres since Friday. Two pounding little heart beats. I lay in the stirrups and sobbed. I have no idea how these little guys survived the last 24 hours. The bleeding has been intense, like a super heavy period. And those clots! Incredibly my lining is still intact, my cervix is fine. The doctor saw a tiny little bleed on the scan but nowhere near big enough to explain the quantity of blood. He told us that the clots can’t have been uterine tissue, they must have been congealed blood. When he pulled the U/S wand out of me a load of blood dumped on to the floor, like a horror film.

I’m back home now. Needless to say I have been instructed to rest with  capital R.E.S.T. No cooking, no laundry, no tidying up, no snack hunting. I need to lie down and only get up for the loo. I’m scared to go to the loo quite frankly but the bleeding seems to have calmed down a bit since we got back from the hospital. If heavy bleeding resumes tonight/tomorrow we’ve been told to go to the EPU as I may need a drip/iron injections/a couple of nights in a hospital bed. I truly hope that will not be necessary. I’ve doubled my dose of estrogen and vitamins and I’m doing the fanny bullets via the back door so I can give my vagina a ‘rest’. Seriously.

I am so grateful and happy that our babies are alive and well. Even though they are teeny tiny I feel overwhelmed by love for them – they are clinging on to life despite my body waging a war on us.  I am also grateful for my husband for being so supportive, loving and kind. I am in awe of women who go through this alone, it is utterly terrifying. Finally I am grateful every single day for our gynaecologist. He is a treasure.

 

BLEEDCON 1 – 7+3 weeks pregnant

Thanks to doctor’s orders I enjoyed a ‘restful’* three days at home this week¬†and only returned to the office this morning.¬†Guess what also returned? The bleeding.

I feel strangely ok about it. It’s not too heavy and it’s mainly brown (I apologise¬†to all the delicate flowers out there. This is what IVF does to a person. You become desensitized to gross, personal things like brown vaginal bleeding).

I don’t have any pain. I still have humungaboobs (thanks¬†to Zara for that excellent word) and I am still nauseous. I do believe I am still pregnant.

I just feel sad that bleeding is going to be an ongoing part of ¬†this pregnancy.¬†¬†It’s stressful, scary and I feel like I’m on DEFCON 1 alert. Let’s rename it BLEEDCON 1 for comedy value. I spoke to our doctor this morning and explained the situation. I¬†don’t want to panic anymore,¬†I don’t want to go back to A&E and I also don’t want to keep pestering the poor man. So I¬†pitched him my idea – I am going to carry on as normal (ie, ignore the bleeding) until my next scan, which is the end of next week.

Obviously I need to call him urgently if the bleeding becomes really heavy or I’m in pain. In the interim though I am going to grin and bear it. I’m going to keep calm and carry on. I’m going to think positive – I’ll trudge my way to the end of next week and have a completely normal 8+3 week scan.

I’m also going to try my best to rest. It’s not easy for me – I walk everywhere (I usually manage to rack up about 15 km per day) and I love yoga and running. I’m not going to do any of those things, even though I have been stuffing my face for the last 10 days and am yearning to burn off some calories. I’m battling years and years of inbuilt programming to force myself to DO ZERO and EAT LOADS. Luckily I have mainly been craving nuts, fruit and complex carbs like jacket potatoes and baked beans. MMMMM baked beans, lovely lovely lovely baked beans.

Where was I? OK – so for mental health reasons I am going to ignore the bleeding and carry on with my life. I am also going to take it easy where possible. I am going to make it to the next scan and everything will be fine. This is my manifesto.

 

* I am a poor rester. I actually went to the supermarket and did lots of work at home.

 

 

 

6+6 weeks – another weekend, another panic

Pretty miserable 24 hours here in London. Horrified to discover fresh, red blood during a casual bathroom visit yesterday evening. Cue panic. Again.

I called our fabulous doctor and he advised me to A. Do nothing until he could do a scan today (Sunday) or B. Go to A&E if it was very bad/heavy. Well, I did what any self respecting panic merchant would do and went straight to A&E. I was distraught. I was utterly convinced that it was over – the bleeding was pretty heavy and I had quite dull ovarian pain on both sides.

The staff in the hospital were lovely and husband and I were shown to a private room pretty much straight away. They did a urine test (fine) and then various blood tests. And then we waited….and waited….and waited…. It didn’t take long to realise that we’d made a mistake. Why was I subjecting myself to a miscarriage in a harshly lit emergency room? Why wasn’t I tucked up in bed, dealing with this privately?

Anyway, after several grim hours the blood results came back. All fine. HCG of 127,000 (!?). Nobody available to do an internal ultrasound until Monday. They recommended I see our doctor for a scan ASAP. We headed home in the dark, owners of a massive HCG but still none the wiser about what was happening.

By this morning the bleeding had stopped. Even though this gave me a bit of renewed hope I was horribly anxious on the way to the hospital – had I miscarried one twin? Both? Why the f*ck is this happening? Anyway I will keep you in suspense no longer…..fine. The babies are FINE. Unbelievably, despite all the bleeding, there they were on the ultrasound. 2 blobs, 2 heartbeats, 2 sacs. Both exactly the right size for 6+6 weeks. Like….totally, utterly, completely fine.

He couldn’t see any haematomas or clots on the scan. Basically, the bleeding remains’unexplained’. It’s terrifying and stressful and I hate it. He has instructed me to take it easy for the next few days, until the bleeding completely stops. He is also going to refer me to an Obstetrician who specialises in twins, bleeding and all that stuff. 

It’s good news and I’m relieved and delighted. Mentally I feel like I’ve been pummelled by Mike Tyson. I’m so grateful to still be pregnant. I just hope I don’t have to deal with this every weekend for the next 7 months. ūü§ē

The Hangrover – 6+4 weeks

I’m pretty sure I’m still pregnant. The bleeding has subsided to the occasional beige blot (sorry) and I am feeling …strange. To a serial non-pregnant person like myself, it feels great.

Basically I am ‘hangrover ‘. I feel hungover and hangry rolled into one. Nauseous, headachey, grouchy, tired and starving. And I love it. I will never complain about a pregnancy symptom (well, not for the first few months at least…those 3rd trimester hemorrhoids¬†do not sound good).

Anyway I am snuffling through my days like a hungry Labrador, leaving a trail of crumbs in my wake. Eating makes the nausea go away, so I am eating. And it is good.

Week 7 scan is happening on Monday. I’m very nervous but I’m trying to stay¬†positive. I am hangrover, I am tired, I have great big boobs. These are¬†good signs. Statistically, things are more likely to be fine than not fine. Fingers crossed.

A stressful evening – 5+5 weeks

Yesterday was not a great day. I had quite painful ovarian ‘twinges’ throughout the day and a general heavy feeling down below.  Akin to period pain. I decided to have an  early night. Bedtime ‘knicker watch’ revealed….bleeding. Well, a reasonably small amount of brown blood. Cue panic.

I emailed our doctor for some advice around 10pm and didn’t sleep a wink thereafter. I was either in the bathroom checking on the bleeding situation (brownish discharge, TMI I know – apologies), or lying awake in the dark, mentally preparing for another miscarriage. I cried. I prodded my boobs and assessed their size. They don’t hurt as much as they did a week ago and they’ve shrunk a bit. I must have nodded off because I dreamt I bled all over the bed. I didn’t of course. Basically 6 hours of total mental anguish.

5.30am the phone pinged – our doctor. I cannot explain how much I love our doctor. He is the most responsive, wonderful, kind, workaholic gynaecologist in the world. He asked us to be at the hospital for 8am. Yep, the man is doing emails at 5.30am on a Saturday morning. He is a saint.

I trembled in the stirrups this morning. I fully expected him to see nothing – no sac, an empty womb. After 5 cycles of IVF I know my body well and I just felt ‘wrong’ last night.

Well, I was wrong. Straight away he spotted the sac – or sacs. Yes, twins. And they are exactly the size they should be for 5 weeks and 5 days. No blood clot, no haematoma, no visible problems. Just a bit of apparently ‘normal’ bleeding associated with implantation (especially with twins). No heartbeats yet, we’re too early for that. Enormous relief. Now we just need to make it to week 7 and the next scan, and the scan after that, and after that, and after that. I’m relieved but we’re not allowing ourselves to get excited. Kind of sad, I know.

Infertility has turned me into a nervous wreck. I know I need to look on the bright side and concentrate on ‘positive visualisations’. I’m really going to try to do that, I just wish my body would make it a bit easier for me. I can’t handle the bleeding, it’s messing with my mind. Hopefully it will go away soon, the doc thinks it will. I am STILL PREGNANT TODAY and that is all that matters. I need to re-read my ‘Mindfulness’ book and do some (gentle) yoga this afternoon. After a long nap.

 

5 weeks (still) pregnant

I caved into paranoia and madwoman-itis this morning and went for another blood test. It was a secret blood test, done in a furtive manner at a ‘secret’¬†clinic without the knowledge of my doctor. He is normal and not at all mad/paranoid so I knew he wouldn’t agree to a 2nd beta. He didn’t even agree to the 1st one really.

Anyway…drum roll please….5460 HCG.

Today I am exactly 5 weeks by weird pregnancy reckoning (they add on 2 weeks pre-transfer), or if you prefer, 21 DPO, 16dp5dt.

5460 is a pretty high number. ¬†According to BetaBase it’s in the ‘twins’ range and a few of my dear readers have also mentioned this. I have to¬†say, the¬†T word¬†fills me with dread. Other people (my doctor included), say the HCG number is meaningless and indicates nothing. I think I prefer those people.

I’m going to stay away from the secret clinics for the next few weeks. First scan will be in week 7 (w/c 18 January) so let’s hope I make it that far.Hopefully the scan will reveal all.

In the meantime I will try to stay pregnant. I feel¬†pretty good really – a few headaches (don’t normally get those) and very thirsty. ‘Dry January’ is an excellent cover story for my current booze dodging too, rather well timed!

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