Friday, February 21, 2014

Our First Ultrasound

First of all, I want to say thank you.  After the announcement last week, we were OVERWHELMED with all of your comments, messages, emails, texts, phone calls, etc.  From the bottoms for our hearts,  thank you. Thank you for your excitement for us.  Thank you for your support and encouragement. And most importantly, thank you for your prayers.  We are so grateful and are blessed to call family and friends.

Yesterday we entered our 7th week.  It's hard to believe that today it has been 3 weeks since we found out.  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind.  The past few weeks I have been counting down the days until our first ultrasound.  While of course I was overjoyed to finally be pregnant after a two and a half year struggle, the initial shock of finding out quickly turned into worry and anxiety.  While I knew I was pregnant, I didn't really feel any different besides being tired.  I'm still on hormones, progesterone injections and an estrogen patch.  After a few of our IUI attempts I was on progesterone pills during the two week waiting period and learned that fatigue is definitely a side effect for me from the progesterone. So while I could attribute the fatigue to the pregnancy, I could also blame it on the progesterone.  So I knew for me it was really going to take seeing the image of the ultrasound for all of this to become real for me.  Once I knew were pregnant and knew my hormones were rising appropriately, the questions in my mind turned to what will we see on ultrasound? Will things look normal?  And most importantly, will there be a heartbeat? I have been very anxious the past few as I marked of the days on the calendar.  Finally on Tuesday afternoon, we had our first ultrasound.  

Again, our prayers were heard and answered when we saw the gestational sac and in the corner was our little peanut. Our baby. Little baby Slatery.  And within that little peanut, the flicker of a beautiful heartbeat.  The tears immediately started to fall...tears of joy and tears of relief.  There it was. Proof that I have life growing inside me.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and still am.
Hard to see but the black kidney bean shaped area is the gestational sac and the baby is the tiny dot on the right side. 

My doctor did see some cysts on my ovaries, not surprising after IVF. It also explains some pain I've been having.  Nothing to be concerned about really.  The other finding on ultrasound that is of some concern was a small pocket of bleeding next to the gestational sac (a chorionic hematoma for all you medial professionals out there).  My doctor said it's something he commonly sees.  I have not have any spotting or bleeding yet which is good.  It is just something he wants to monitor the next few weeks.  If I do start bleeding though, he said he would put me on bed rest.  He will have perform another ultrasound our tenth week but said that I can come in and have a nurse do a "reassurance" ultrasound anytime.  After our ten week ultrasound, he will transfer my care to an obstetrician.  While I had a feeling I would be referred to a high risk OB, he confirmed that I will be high risk.  This is not because of infertility or IVF but because of my chronic pain issues and one of my medications. My doctor is referring me to a wonderful doctor and is in the process of scheduling my first appointment, which will probably be sometime around my 11th week.   

In the meantime these next couple weeks I will continue my hormones and we will continue praying for healthy, normal development of our little peanut.  Currently, baby Slatery is measuring 3/4 a centimeter so about the size of a pea.  In development this week, hands and feet are starting to emerge from developing arms and legs.  Again, besides being tired, I am feeling ok.  No bad nausea or sickness yet, thank goodness.  

As always thanks for your support and for following our journey! Till next time! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are We or Aren't we? Without further adieu...

     I know I've kept you all waiting long enough, so it is with excitement, overwhelming joy, and incredible thanksgiving that I can officially announce that I am pregnant!

     On Friday, January 31, I went in for my blood test (Beta #1).  I went in to the clinic right before their hour and a half lunch break from 12- 1:30 (poor planning on my part), so I knew it would be around 2 pm before I would get the call.  I had decided earlier that I did not want to be alone when I got the call in the case of it being negative.  Harrison had a very busy day at work that Friday because after months of hard work, his company was handing over the keys to the owners of house they have been working on.  He had said he would try to be home around 2 so that we could hopefully get the call together, but of course could not make any guarantees.  I was actually in the car with my mom (she was driving in case I got the call) on my way home when I looked down and had missed a call from my doctors office!!  My phone was sitting in my lap and hadn't even rung.  I quickly called back but it was busy.  Then Harrison called.  I quickly told him I had missed a call from the doctor and would call him right back.  I almost hung up on him before he interrupted me and told me he was at home and the nurse had called our house phone.  He put the phone on speaker and put his cell phone up to the phone so I could hear.

"Well, congratulations! You're pregnant!"

    I couldn't believe it.  I verified that the nurse had indeed said we were that point my mom started screaming and broke down sobbing! (Turns out maybe I should have been driving!! She quickly pulled into a Wendy's parking lot).  I couldn't hear what the nurse was saying anymore and actually had to ask my mom to be quiet!  I asked multiple times if they were really sure.  She said my level was 158 and that we were definitely pregnant!

   My mom and I quickly but safely headed to my house so I could see Harrison.  We hugged, we cried, we thanked God and both said that we were pretty much in shock.  We called his parents and told them the news.  We had both tried to prepare ourselves for the possibility of a negative. We knew that while our chances with IVF were very good, there was a strong possibility of us not getting pregnant on our first attempt. But I tried to remain positive, hopeful and optimistic, knowing that we had so many beautiful embryos frozen and that we could do a frozen embryo transfer (or several) if it didn't work this time.

     The first couple days were very surreal and we were still very much in shock and still nervous knowing that things can change very quickly when it's this early.  To add to my anxiety, Harrison left Monday to go to Las Vegas for work for the week so I was by myself for the week.  I had to go back to the doctor on Monday for Beta #2 and Wednesday for Beta #3.  Hcg levels are supposed to double every 48-72 hours at this early stage of pregnancy so I knew that I wanted to see what these numbers were before I really let it sink in and let myself get excited.  Monday my level was 730 and Wednesday it was 2068.  Both my doctor here and Nashville Fertility Center were very happy with these numbers and said things were looking very good so far.

     So here we are now at almost 6 weeks.  I will be getting my blood drawn twice a week for the next 4-5 weeks to monitor my hormone levels.  I am on progesterone injections and an estrogen patch to support my hormone levels and make sure they stay high enough to maintain the pregnancy.  My infertility specialist here in Knoxville will monitor me till I am 10 weeks, and then I will transfer to an OB.  We will get our first ultrasound next Tuesday and hopefully hear that beautiful heart beat.  Of course it is still very early.  Is there a risk of telling people and making it public knowledge this early? Absolutely.   Do we still need your support and prayers?  Without a doubt!

     We have had SO much love, support, and prayers through this whole process that we wanted to share our joyful news and we want all those that have been walking through this journey with us to thank God for this amazing blessing and rejoice with us!   Going through infertility, especially IVF, and choosing to be open, honest, and vulnerable throughout the process definitely has its ups and downs, but one of the major ups is that we have had people around the country and around the world (that still amazes me) following our story and praying for us, so we feel like sharing this news with everyone is the very least we can do to thank you for all of the support and prayers!  I can not thank you enough for reading my blog, following our journey, supporting us, loving us, and especially praying for us.  I have felt a calm and a peace in my heart throughout this process and I know it is because we have been covered in prayers.

Please continue to pray for us in the coming weeks.  Please pray for the health and development of our beautiful embryo and for my health as my body adjusts to being pregnant.