18 Weeks

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I thought I was going to be a lot better at updating this so it could be a journal of this pregnancy afterwards, but then I got superstitious and kept waiting until things felt “safer” and then here we are ten weeks later.

We told our families about the pregnancy at 13 weeks, when we saw them on Thanksgiving. We gave both sets of our parents the above boxes with onesies and a photo from our 12 week ultrasound inside. Our parents were shocked – I’m really private (my wife would have told them from the minute we got a positive test), so they had no idea we were even trying to get pregnant. They were also really really excited, and I’m now being smothered with attention and fussing over, which is very sweet, and I think I’m allergic to it. I hate being the center of attention.

I’ve been feeling mostly well – nausea was bad if I didn’t eat the second I got hungry between 8-14 weeks, but that’s mostly subsided now (occasionally it will come back). I’m also A LOT less tired than I was a few weeks ago – between 8-15 weeks I went to bed every night between 7:30-8pm, but am now back to going to sleep between 10-11pm, which is much more typical for me. I’ve been majorly craving carbs, restaurant salads, and fruit (especially oranges) – all other food seems kind of gross, and cheese still seems REALLY gross.

I can’t feel baby moving around at all yet, but my placenta was in front at the 12 week ultrasound so that may explain it. I’ve gained about 10 pounds (which is kind of freaking me out), but there is NO sign of a bump – I just look chubby! My friend who is a couple weeks ahead of me says she just started to feel like she looks pregnant at 20 weeks, so I’m hoping it’s right around the corner.

Our anatomy ultrasound is on Wednesday, and hopefully baby is looking healthy and we should be able to find out the sex. I’m thinking it’s a boy, and have been calling the baby “him,” so am going to be so surprised (but pleased – I’m not thinking boy because I have a preference one way or the other) if it’s a girl. My wife is leaving later on Wednesday evening to go away for two weeks to work on a political campaign and it will be the longest we’ve been apart in the last seven years – I’m dreading it! I’m going to try to update each week, as I know this is likely my only pregnancy and I will want to be able to look back on it later!

 

Eight Weeks

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Had our second ultrasound today at 8 weeks 3 days, and baby is measuring 9 weeks with a heartbeat of 188! The RE said that looked perfect (with the disclaimer that it was still early) and released me to the care of the high-risk OB practice at the hospital (because of my history of abdominal surgeries/small bowel obstructions). I’d been so so anxious leading up to this appointment so it was amazing to see that the baby had actually grown and was even wiggling it’s tiny arms around!

Still no crazy symptoms – nipples still hurt (but more off and on than before), I’m tired enough to go to bed around 8-8:30pm each night, and I go from being fine to being ravenous really quickly. Basically the second I hit ravenous I start to feel like I might throw up, and have definitely been in front of the toilet a few times thinking I was going to (but haven’t) – not sure if this is really morning sickness, as it only happens when I’m hungry and I feel fine once I eat, but it’s definitely made me change my eating habits. I’ve never kept snacks in my desk at work, but now it’s definitely necessary. This week I have oranges, crackers, and hummus and last week I had gingersnaps and chocolate covered almonds. Basically any time I start to feel myself getting hungry, I’ll eat something because otherwise it very quickly goes to feeling terrible. All in all – definitely easy on symptoms, but of course that’s increasing my anxiety because everyone says morning sickness = healthier pregnancy.

I’ve told a few of my closest friends who I would want to talk to even if I ended up having a miscarriage, but we are waiting to tell our families until after a 12 week ultrasound goes (hopefully) well. My wife is dying to tell everyone, but if it was up to me I think we’d wait even longer. But, despite my fears, today everything looks good and I’m hoping it will continue!

6 Weeks and Ultrasound

The last couple of weeks I’ve been so nervous that the pregnancy would be ectopic (especially after my doctor had talked about my increased risk) or that I would get to my first ultrasound and they wouldn’t be able to see anything. However, they saw everything they expected to see including a heartbeat of 109 which she said was entirely normal and expected for 6 weeks 0 days. 


My wife couldn’t come because she’s already in Philadelphia for our best friend’s wedding which is tomorrow (and in which we are both bridesmaids) so I called her immediately following the appointment and was sobbing because I think that’s when I really realized how stressed I’ve been for the last two weeks and how relieved I was. The ultrasound tech was sure to remind me that miscarriages are still very common until 12 weeks so I know we have a ways to go, but I’m also trying to be present whenever possible and enjoy that today this tiny embryo has a beating heart! 

I’m feeling mostly fine, I had some cramping in the beginning of the 5th week, but a lot of that has seemed better in the past few days. My nipples are definitely pretty painful and I’ve been so tired, but no nausea (although no food sounds good to me either) – maybe six weeks is still a little early for morning sickness?

Our next ultrasound is in two and a half weeks, but our RE told us to call if we have any concerns and they will see us sooner. Hopefully there are no reasons to call! 🤞🏾

Beta #3

…is 1,618 at 19 days past ovulation. The doctor was happy with that number and the rise, but scheduled an early ultrasound on Friday the 6th to hopefully rule out an ectopic pregnancy (based on my messed up left tube and history of abdominal surgery). Feeling happy but also so nervous! 

Beta #2

The wait between Friday and Monday felt so long and my heart was pounding as I got my blood drawn this morning. Of course the second I got to work I got called into a meeting and then had to watch as the nurse’s call went to voicemail since I couldn’t answer. The second the meeting was over I rushed out to listen and my Hcg level today at 17dpo was 553 which is a 32 hour doubling time and my nurse said it looks good! I go back in Wednesday for another check 🤞🏾

Beta #1

Well, this happened. My Hcg level today on the morning of fourteen days after ovulation was 118. My nurse said that’s a fine number for 14dpo, they look for over 100, and I’ll go back in Monday morning to see if it rises appropriately. 

Of course, I’m alternating between excitement and terror, but am trying to just stay present: today I’m pregnant and I’m more pregnant that I was in April, when the Hcg levels were no good from the very start. That’s hopeful. I think what surprised me the most about the positive is that I have basically no symptoms – I’m maybe a little thirstier than usual and maybe I’ve been peeing a little more frequently (or maybe that’s just because I’ve been drinking more water), but basically nothing until two days ago when I started feeling utterly exhausted by 2pm. I’ve napped the past two afternoons when I got home from work (my brand new job!) and am currently fighting to keep my eyes open. Crossing my fingers for good things on Monday! 🤞🏽

IUI #6

At my cycle day 11 ultrasound, I had three follicles on the right side (22mm, 16mm, and she didn’t tell me the last one so I assume smaller). The nurse didn’t tell me anything about the left side since that’s the side that’s blocked. My estradiol levels were low (only 98 – of course I’ve read a bunch of conflicting things about the significance of this on the internet which I should REALLY stop doing), so the RE told me to wait a day and then trigger at midnight on cycle day 12. I didn’t go in for any more ultrasounds or bloodworm between that and the IUI, so no idea how those follicles grew or what happened with me estradiol level. I’d been mildly apprehensive about giving myself the trigger shot, but it turned out to be no big deal.

My IUI was yesterday (cycle day 14), and the nurse said that the vial had a “lot of great swimmers” when she thawed it. The doctor in her usual brisk way agreed that it was an excellent sample. Of course, I don’t know what they would have said about our old donor, but I liked hearing that this new donor sample was impressive! The IUI was so much easier than at our last clinic – maybe having it done by the RE really made a difference? Or maybe it was just luck, but I didn’t even feel it! Of course then my mind was like “oh maybe that’s because it wasn’t really in etc. etc.” but by this point I’ve learned that NO MATTER WHAT happens, my brain is going to make meaning of it in some way good or bad. Everything feels like a sign when you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s easily maddening.

We may have to skip next cycle due to an out of town wedding that my wife and I are both bridesmaids in, and then will have to do another medicated cycle before our insurance will approve IVF coverage. We’ve been talking a lot about possibly doing an IVF cycle to get embryos from me, but then having my wife try to get pregnant with them…she’s a little apprehensive about getting pregnant so I’m sure we’ll talk more about that down the road.

Back to the eating pineapple – give me all the vague signs from the universe and old wive’s tales there are!