Monday, September 30, 2013

are you still pregnant?

Someone asked me today if I am still pregnant.  I guess that is a fair question, given my history of bleeding, and also the general cloud of obstetrical gloom that is floating somewhere above my head, like an aura.  I felt like saying I am either pregnant, or dying of some sort of cancer that makes me get very sick and fat at the same time.

The other day, my grandmother (who has been living with me for the past three weeks, and hence has witnessed first hand all of my days of nausea and retching), said something like "when you are going to be pregnant, what will you do about..."(can't remember details).  I guess this thing that makes me sick is not pregnancy, it must be something else... because I, being the obstetrical pariah, cannot possibly be pregnant or stay pregnant, as the case might be.

Of course, I am probably interpreting all this through my own lens...this is the way I see myself, as unstably pregnant, and hence the people around me reflect my own thoughts back, like a mirror.

In any case, here I am, still nauseous, and not bleeding today.  And, despite hardly eating at all, barely able to zip up my skirts and pants.  Is it too early to bring out the maternity wear, at 7 weeks?  Should I buy one skirt or a pair of pants one size up, just to delay the bringing out of the comfy, flattering, elastic waist maternity wear?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

so sick...7 weeks

I had a big gush of blood yesterday evening, then nothing again since.  By big, I mean a couple of tablespoons, about three or four.  This was the worst of the bleeding in this pregnancy.  Hopefully this is it and it has stopped.  I am still extremely nauseated, and feel just as pregnant as before, so I don't think BabyB is in any danger.

I am feeling so ill that the pattern on Emma's socks makes me want to vomit.  There are so many things that bother me, like any smells at all, not just perfumes, but even smells of benign things, like candy.  Candy smells chemical to me.  And gelatin, who knew that gelatin stinks?

Saturday, September 28, 2013


My husband came home yesterday with a bag containing three dead birds, a gift from someone.  They were small and grey, and so soft that I was afraid to touch them.  I had never done a "bird prep" before, from start to finish, so this was a good opportunity for me to learn, nausea be damned.

So we sat at the kitchen table, my grandmother, my mother and myself, and plucked the feathers, cleaned the innards, burned the leftover down over the barbecue flame, and cooked the three birds today.  One of them I made into a small soup, the best, gentlest soup that I had made in a long long time.  I simmered it with an onion, one parsnip, two carrots and one potato, for about an hour and a half, then I strained it and boiled some fusili pasta in the water.  It was delicious.  We each had a bowl, even Emma, who does not care much for food lately unless it is broiled chicken.

The whole experience was strange but it felt very honest to me.  To eat a chicken that was killed and plucked and cut up into pieces by someone else does not allow for the awareness of the fact that one is eating an animal that died.  To clean the birds and find sand in their feathers, and small red fruit in their mouths, and seeds in the gizzards, it is to see that these birds were interrupted from their lives and that their bodies were not meant just for my supper, but rather for themselves to live and enjoy their days.  Something that my supper has interfered with.

I think it is one of life's painful truths that for me to exist, something else must die.  It is a very uncomfortable truth because it makes me face the question:  what did I do with my life to deserve this?  How do I justify my place in this world?

Finally, for me, I decided that I don't need to deserve or to justify, I just am.  However, it helps to tread lightly and with respect on this Earth.  In my case today, treading lightly means cooking the birds really well and eating every last bit of them with gratitude.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Tomorrow it is 6w5d.  I have only spotted a little last night.  I have noticed that I spot after events when my bladder is overly full, like after ultrasound, after work when I had no time to go use the bathroom, and at night when I sleep too deeply and wake up badly needing to pee.  I don't know what the link is, but I see it is much less, and I am dearly hoping to be done with this spotting madness once and for all.

I am dreadfully nauseated all day long, and being vertical makes me feel worse.  Lying down on my right side seems to be the best position.  My blood pressure is low when I sit up, and standing makes me dizzy and sick.  Today I nearly puked at work (yeah, I went back, after three days off), but managed to contain the disaster by eating half a pack of crackers.  I wonder if Giselle had morning sickness, with her 30 lb of weight gain total, I am guessing that eating crackers had no room in that.

For all of you who have toddlers, let them watch Caillou, that way when you ask your child to go to bed you will hear a pretty "No thanks, mommy" instead of the usual "no". It is too cute for words.  "Emma, we have to change your diaper".  "No thanks!".  (I am happy on that note that my daughter is now reliably using the potty in daytime, but for some reason occasionally she will still do it on the carpet, and I cannot stand the smell at this point in my pregnancy, so I am regressing to diapers, not her...)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

bedrest for bleeding

I have been on a bit of a rest period because of the bleeding.  I know that research shows that subchorionic hemorrhage has a better outcome if one is resting versus working, and even though I don't see a subchorionic hemorrhage on the ultrasound, I am still doing the safest thing and staying at home.  I have now skipped three days of work, and the bleeding is much less, only in the mornings when I wake up.  Before, when I was at work, at the end of the day I would get some serious gushing.  Hopefully tomorrow I will stop bleeding so that I can go back to my job though, before it inconveniences too many people.

I am more and more thinking of this baby as an actual baby, as opposed to an IVF trial, which was what I had thought up to now.  Somewhere in this period of time, perhaps when the heart starts to flicker, in my head the "products of conception" become an actual baby.  Which is why I have accepted the stay at home plan, which was not initially my idea, but MrH's and my mom's.  I am definitely a workaholic, and am very hard to stop for any reason that has to do with myself or my health.  However, when it comes to my babies, I will easily take off and look after them.  So, at this point, this is what I am doing, taking care of BabyB.  (Don't know where that name came from, but that's it for now until he/she gets a name when we find out the sex).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

bad mother?

I feel like this pregnancy is turning me into a less than ideal mother for Emma.  I am very sick and tired all the time.  The nausea is making me miserable, and the bleeding is causing depression and worry.  Emma, on the other hand, is full of energy and demanding, she is not letting me get her clothes on, runs around naked with me trying to chase after her with a diaper, and generally behaves like a 2 year old.  I have little energy for 2 year old antics, I swear.  Sometimes I wonder if I am not doing her a disservice by having another baby, because apart from a brief period of time in which I might feel good around 25-32 weeks (if I make it that far) the rest of the pregnancy will be one huge nausea cloud.

From my experience, having a newborn was tough, and Emma was not easy, but the pregnancy is by far the worst part of the experience.  I am just not used to never ending sickness.  And it is certainly taking its toll on all of us.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weird: due date may 19

I was just given my due date: may 19. Same as Adrian's due date.

How odd is that?

Monday, September 23, 2013


There was a tiny flickering heartbeat today on the ultrasound, and no cause for the bleeding was seen, i.e. no subchorionic hemorrhage.  However, I am still bleeding, and today it is worse than before, with bright red blood that scares me.  I hope that it will turn out well.  I don't want to lose this tiny baby too.  I have no idea what I can do about it, but I will take some time off work, in the hopes that lying down and being still helps.  I have noticed that I am bleeding a lot more after work, probably because I am constantly on my feet and tense.

The ultrasound made this baby even more real.  And it was cute alright, but I just could not allow myself to bond with it the way that I would have otherwise, were it not for all this bleeding that sucks the joy out of my day.  That is the story of my life: some good, and some bad, all together on the same soup plate.  This time at least I am more hopeful for a good outcome, and I am not mourning a baby that is not yet lost, which is what I would have done did with Adrian, and a bit with Emma.  By now I feel like the champion of the wait-and-see.

I don't fit in my bra anymore.  Or in my skirt.  I have grown some bacon.  I hope this bleeding stops sometime so that I can commit enough to buy another bra one size up.  I am not thinking that I will lose the baby, but I also cannot let myself buy a bigger bra, figure that.  I guess that is what they call living in the moment.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ultrasound tomorrow, still spotting

I am 6 weeks today and tomorrow we are having our first ultrasound to see if there is a heartbeat.  I know it is a bit early, but there will be no ultrasound tech in our town until a month or so from now, and I am not that patient.  Hopefully we will see something that looks like a baby, and maybe something that looks like a little beating heart...

I have been spotting on and off every second day or so.  Spotting takes away some of the joy of pregnancy, for sure, but by now I think it is just a weird thing that I do at this stage of pregnancy.  I know that statistically I am 50% likely to miscarry, but I just don't buy it.  I have been through too much to believe statistics.  I think in my case it is something related to the IVF hormones and the decidual lining getting too thin or too thick, I don't know, just something tells me that it is not related to miscarrying, but rather to the uterine environment.

That something might be the nasty nausea.  I am, as usual, ill with nausea and retching, but I have discovered a wonderful new drug: ondansetron.  Love it.  For the first time in one week, I am feeling NORMAL and have actually eaten stuff like vegetable soup and salad, things that would have never crossed my lips in prior pregnancies.  In my first two pregnancies, all I have lived on was pedialyte, and   arrowroot cookies.  Absolutely nothing green.  Even water made me gag, but green or fresh stuff like fruit and vegetables was unthinkable.  I had a long list of puke-inducing foods: cabbage, apples, oranges, broccoli, salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, bell peppers, bananas, bread, meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogourt... You name it, it was on it.  Other than bland cookies.  Not even crackers suited me for some reason, because I could not stand salt.

In this pregnancy, by contrast, I can stand eggs and tomatoes, and some chicken.  Again salt is a problem, and sugar, I don't tolerate anything with salt in it, and even foods that I make have to be barely salted or else I get sick.  I do love lemon juice and have moments when I crave vinegary foods, alternating with repulsion to any vinegary smell.  But, since I have discovered ondansetron, you would not believe what I am eating: peaches, soups, smoothies with kale and cashew milk and blueberries, and even a Caesar salad with one slice of pizza tonight.  My life is as close to normal as I have ever had it.  More importantly than the food though, the ondansetron is allowing me to live, instead of just lying in bed trying not to vomit.  I am able to engage with people, to take Emma out, to go to the park, to dance and to play with her, to cook and buy food.  All these things that I used to take for granted, now make me so happy.

Anyway, will post more after the ultrasound tomorrow.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

weight gain

I am getting rid of the scale.
I had started off really happily along the path of intuitive eating, and initially I have eaten all the cookies and cake that I wanted, leading to later on not wanting much in the way of sweets, and choosing more eggs, fish, chicken, vegetables, grains (like actual boiled wheat and rye), etc.  "Healthy"stuff, as much as I dislike classifying food that way.

I weighed myself and gained a total of 6 lb since starting this IVF.  It seems that when I am on hormones, if I don't hold back on eating and feel hungry most of the time, I gain weight.

I am ditching the scale.

I want to be at peace with my intuition.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


5 weeks and 2 days today

I started spotting a little.  It is very faint, and if I had no prior experience with spotting in its various degrees, I might have even missed it.  As it is though, I am an expert in studying underwear colours with the magnifying glass, and of course I am a pathologic toilet paper checker.  All of us with bad experiences in the reproductive department are.

MrH's reply to this piece of news was "it's to be expected".  True enough.  I bled around 5-6 weeks with both my previous pregnancies.  It is probably the way that I do implantation, who knows.  I am a bit uneasy, but nowhere near the panic that I had with the first pregnancy, or the worry that I had with the second.  And I am starting to get quite nauseated and tired, which is always a good sign.

Friday, September 13, 2013

beta results

I had my beta HCG done yesterday, at 12dp5dt, and it was 1241 or something like that.  I am quite happy with the result, and so was the clinic.  I have officially stopped taking home pregnancy tests to see if the line is getting darker, it won't get much darker than it is right now.

I have booked my ultrasound for 6w1d to see if there is a heartbeat, and to check that it is only one (sometimes the embryo can split-gasp!).

I am starting to get nausea, but it is really not bad yet.  It hits me all of a sudden with an urge to puke in the middle of a conversation with someone, which I bet makes me look a bit spacy and weird.  I am counting on it getting a lot worse next week, especially one week from now, at 5w4d, when it has begun its savage ways with both my previous pregnancies.  I have to confess, as much as I hate feeling sick, I would be quite worried if I felt normal.  At least a bit of nausea is needed to make me feel happy and relaxed.

Will I really have another baby?

Will I survive?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013


I am 4 weeks today.  The lines are getting somewhat darker, I don't know if the beta is rising fast enough as I only have the lab paper dated for Sept 12.  That would be 13 days post 5d transfer.  What a weird number of days I say.  Usually it is ten days.  I wonder if I did not possibly lose one of the two papers that they give you when you get your embryo transfer, because I sure as heck did not think that I would actually DO the labs since I would for sure not be pregnant, and who cares if I do them on the requested date or not.  (Yep, I am a good patient, can you tell?).

Anyway, I don't know when my beta is supposed to be, and I have phoned the lab at the fertility centre, but they did not get back to me after two days of waiting.  I will try again, but I am truthfully happier not knowing.

I don't want to go in for a lab and get a low or non doubling beta, then have to live in fear for weeks until my ultrasound.

On the flip side, I started having this salty taste in my mouth since yesterday.  This awful taste that I have only had twice before, both times when pregnant.  It seems a bit early to me, so I am chalking it up to a viral infection.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oh yeah

Thursday, September 5, 2013

submitting the evidence

here is the one from yesterday. 

guess what...a second line!!!

I just spoiled the plot with the title, didn't I?

We did another FET with the last embryo left on the planet that has my good looks and MrH's kind heart.  The embryo, alas, was a poorish quality (4BC), so I did not give it much thought and assumed it would not work.  I told everyone that this time it is not worth worrying about it, since it is so obviously not going to work...

I had the transfer on August 30th, and it was a five day blastocyst.  It was the most difficult transfer I have ever had.  I don't know if I am getting more fibrosis happening, but each transfer is more crampy and makes me nauseated.  This time I almost passed out, they had to put me head down as my blood pressure dropped and I was looking green and pasty.  In fact, the only thing that I recall during the whole procedure is asking for a vomiting basin... enough said.

I then went home (2000 km away up North to my home town), and promptly forgot that I had had IVF.  I even had a glass of wine two days after transfer.  Ooops.  Remembered only the next day that hey, I should be treading lightly on my tiptoes and licking the folic acid pills, not sipping chardonnay.

Whatever.  I was not pregnant, right?  Was not gonna happen...


Exactly one day later, I started getting itchy fingers and wanted to test.  If you have followed this blog, you know that I am a COMPULSIVE EARLY TESTER, and hence have to pee on sticks as soon as 3dp5dt comes around (three days post transfer of a five day embryo, that's what the blurb on the left means).

I got the faintest-pretty much invisible to anybody else-line.  However, I have done this enough to know what I was looking at.

It got darker the next day.

And darker the next.

So I am now almost 7dp5dt and have been testing consistently darker every day for the past four days.  I don't think I am looking at a bad thing here.  However, I have lived through four chemical pregnancies so far, so I don't know how excited I should get.

Yeah, right.  Like I have a choice.  I am HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY and am going to clap my hands...