7 weeks + 2 days

Another week has begun, although my little tadpole is measuring a few days behind from the last scan.

The other day, I was worried because of the amount of cramping and what-not, that something was wrong with the pregnancy. Now, my cramps have gone away and I'm mostly symptom-free... and I'm worried again.

Honestly, you can't win!

I'm tired, I have sort-of sore boobs, and I'm hungry a lot. That's about the extent of it. Worry? Not worry? Who knows! Let's eat a cupcake! #emotions

A Beautiful Sound

There's still a baby in there! And it's GROWING!

Last week's scan measured baby at 5w4d and 2mm long, with a heart rate of 94bpm.
Today's scan measured baby at 6w4d and 8.3mm long, with a heart rate of 133bpm.
And... we even got to hear it! The best sound in the world.
So, where do we stand? Well, I'm 6w6d today and that means baby is measuring 2 days behind my IVF estimated due date, but since we don't know exact times of implantation etc, they aren't concerned about that. We have growth, and reasonable dates, and no signs of bleeding with a healthy looking uterus, so that's a positive. The heart rate has gone up, and is over 120bpm, which is what they wanted to see for 6-7 weeks. I'm breathing!!!
Another scan next week for my IVF clinic to sign me off.. and we're just taking it one day at a time. For now, it appears I'm having a baby tadpole.
(SQUEE!)

6 weeks + 4 days

I really need to document more of this pregnancy, while it's in its early stages. The past couple of days, I have had a little bit of reassurance going back and reading my blog from G's pregnancy. It feels like so long ago now that I've forgotten all the little things, even though family & friends have reminded me that I had similar worries back then.

These were my symptoms from Week 6: I'm tired, all the time. Some cramping started up in the past few days, strong enough to scare me a little, but so far all seems okay. Things are a little 'interesting' in a digestive sense, but no vomiting, only teeny amounts of queasiness, usually around midday or if I haven't eaten. My boobs still feel exactly the same.

Well, today I'm 6 and 1/2 weeks pregnant, and I feel JUST like that. Cramps, enough to freak me out and make me go sit down, they started up yesterday and are still going strong today. Still no sickness except for the odd waves of nausea. Weird tummy stuff. And normal-ish boobs, unless I mash them to check if they're sore or not yet. The usual!

Hubby is going to come with me on Friday, as I think I need the moral support. I'm so glad that I'm able to have weekly scans at this point, but I'm also petrified that something sinister might have happened since last week - could baby's heartbeat have stopped, could growth be too slow, yada yada yada. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't want to be myself for this appointment.

Breathing, gently.

6 weeks + 1 day

djfshjgjskhgkj !!!! (In English: there is still a baby in there!)
Still teency, still with a tiny flickering heartbeat, still hanging around, still blowing me away.
I visited my OB on Friday, when I was 5w6d. We had a good talk about the bleeding, the anxiety that comes with it, and my fear about something going wrong - all justifiable, but we just have to take one moment, one day, one week at a time. He wanted to take a look at everything himself, and once again, he could find no reason for the blood - which he says is positive.

It was an internal ultrasound once again, and this time, we saw the sac and the baby almost immediately, even though it was small. He didn't even bother measuring it, because we'd seen it the day before & he said there was no real point, since we could leave it a week and hopefully have a lot more to see. Seeing the heartbeat was enough to help me breathe a sigh of relief.

Still beating.

He's going to scan me weekly, because he thinks that will help us to manage both a) my anxiety over something going wrong, and b) keeping an eye on growth, particularly if I do have any more bleeding. That's about all we can do at this point... and hope with everything we've got.

This is the first time we've seen a beating heart since our first miscarriage. We lost him, yes, but we had several beautiful scans, and I cherish those moments. The other losses were earlier, and we didn't even get to this point. While it's still early days, and while I'm still petrified... I'm so happy. I just really hope this is our little fighter, who can come home and join our family. We are so ready for them.

5 weeks + 6 days & a Hospital Visit

So I was doing okay, the spotting from a few days ago had stopped, I was taking it easy... and I was feeling fine. Until yesterday.

I felt dizzy, and stood up from the lounge to refill my water bottle... and I bled. Like, a gush, that sent me running to the bathroom. Bright red, a few clots, and I felt sick as a dog.

PANIC STATIONS.

So, it was after 5pm, and my clinic & OB office closed - so I rang the after hours mobile, who told me to watch the bleeding and they'd try and organise a scan for me the next day. Not long after that, I bled again.

Since I was feeling so woozy, I decided to head to the hospital. I knew in my heart that there wasn't really anything they could do... but at the very least, they could run some tests and see if my hcg had dropped, or see if this miscarriage had already started/was imminent.

They took bloods and gave me fluids, because my BP had dropped a bit and I was dehydrated. Then it was a long time to wait for the results, and for a sonographer to come in and do a scan for me.

Hubby and I were sure it was over.

They wheeled me down for an ultrasound, and she looked through my belly first - just a blurry sac could be seen. Then, we tried dildo cam - and she could see a sac and a yolk sac, perfectly round. That was about it, and she said for being so early (5w5d) that wasn't unusual. Then she went quiet, and announced she thought she had found the baby - and she had! It was pressed right up against the wall of the uterus, and barely 2mm long. And, get this, she found a heart beat! Only 94bpm, but at that gestation, I can't believe she even found that!

I didn't get to see it, because it was an emergency screen only, but J got to witness it, and nearly fell over. Olaf is trying so hard to hang in there!

She couldn't find any reason for the bleed, except for a tiny dot next to the sac - but she said everything looked fairly good from what she could see this early on. The truth would come with the blood test results.

We got back to the emergency ward, and waited .. and the doctor came in and said we could go. Just like that. I looked surprised, and she said 'Oh, you have a viable pregnancy, it's all okay'. The blood test results had returned, they just hadn't told us. It rose from 3896 on Tuesday to 9243 Thursday.
She couldn't explain the bleeding but told me to take it easy and rest, and I'm booked in to see my OB this afternoon anyway - but even through those gushes, there's a baby in there right now.

Please tell me some good stories about random bleeds in early pregnancy? I've been pregnant five times, and never ever experienced anything like this.

5 weeks + 4 days

After yesterday's beta that showed a drop in progesterone, I woke up this morning spotting.

Trying not to panic but OH MY GOD I AM PANICKING.

Clinic says it's likely progesterone irritation since I'm on such a hefty dose - haven't heard back from my OB yet, but man... I really didn't need this right now.

Hang in there, Olaf.


#MicroblogMondays

Please talk me off the ledge that my progesterone has dropped from 38 to 28 and my hcg numbers are slowing down?

Pregnancy is hard work, man.
Written as part of #MicroblogMondays on Stirrup Queens.

5 weeks + 2 days

No more blood tests.. but I did another digital test yesterday and hit the holy grail of pee sticks. I can't remember what the average hcg was to reach the 3+ mark, but whatever it is, it's made me very happy! :)

And so, we have hit the 5 week mark... and now begins the dreaded two week wait for a scan.

I am petrified that something will go wrong between now and then.
I am petrified that we'll get bad news at the scan.
I am petrified in general.

Sensing a theme here?

Nothing to do but now wait, and cross everything we have that this one turns out well! Still.. I am pregnant today!

4 weeks + 6 days

I have my beta numbers from earlier this morning:

12dpo hcg - 28, progesterone 15
17dpo hcg - 286, progesterone 30.4
20dpo hcg - 1092, progesterone 38

We are still pregnant! Again, at least for today. But that's as far ahead as I can get.. one day at a time.

I'm a little concerned about progesterone levels not being higher, but I have to remember this is a purely artificial programmed cycle (HRT FET) .. but if they were higher, I'd breathe a little easier.

Always something to worry about, right?

For now... I'm pregnant right now, and I have seemingly average numbers. I can't ask for anything more than that!

Just keep breathing...

15dp5dt - 20dpo - 4w5d

Waiting for beta results is just plain torture.

That is all.

Am a nervous, anxious, petrified wreck.

FET #8 - Pregnant?

Knock me over with a feather, folks. It appears that - as of today - we are pregnant!

12dpo hcg - 28, progesterone 15
17dpo hcg - 286, progesterone 30.4



The test will be in the doubling, of course - so we'll likely go back on Friday for follow up bloodwork. Breathe, just breathe.

FET #8 - Beta is Tomorrow

To say I am absolutely petrified about tomorrow's beta blood draw is an understatement.

The pee sticks look okay - but then, they did last time too. It's hard to hope, epecially since they started out so faint this time too. I do have some darkening sticks from the last few days, though. The thing is, my morning sticks are always fainter than the afternoons. It seems to go against every bit of pee stick literature that you can find on the internet... but there it is.

I haven't used any pregnancy tests today. I figure that whatever will be, will be. In 24+ hours, we'll have an answer.

I should know better than to get my hopes up, but I can't help it.. they're up. And I know they could all come crashing down by tomorrow's beta results, but I am just trying so keep the faith.

I want this more than I can put into words. To get a chance at carrying another baby, to hope that this one might turn out different. Fifth time lucky, perhaps? Could this be our rainbow, rainbow, rainbow baby?

Just Adopt

It is still staggering to me just how uneducated some folks can be regarding infertility. Just when I think I've seen and accepted it all, something new comes along to blow my mind and render me speechless all over again.

This morning, I received this comment on a recent blog post.
'Just Adopt.'
(Keep in mind the fact that this comment was left on a post where I was completely devastated about potentially losing yet another embryo to a chemical pregnancy... a pretty darn emotional subject, particularly since this would be miscarriage #4.)
It's like a swift kick to the guts to read something like this - but it's a part of sharing our journey publicly, so it comes with the territory. I've never been shy in telling our story; after doing this for so long, I would be lost without the support that this community, and that my real-life family and friends have given us. With the positive though, comes the negative.
Anonymous, I ask you this: Do you think my heart would be any less broken, if we were to choose the path of adoption? 
Would it erase the pain of our miscarriages? Would it 'fix' what was broken in us, physically? Would it erase any of the pain of years gone by? Would it magically glue our lives back together? 
I've said this before & I'll say it again: We are SO lucky to have our daughter. We know it & we'll say it until we're blue in the face; we're more grateful to science than we could ever put into words. Does having one biological child mean that we aren't entitled to want to try for another? Or were you implying that we are selfish to hope, to yearn, to try, when children need adopting? It's just adding a whole new helping of guilt to an already full plate of sadness, devastation, anger and grief.
Would you tell your fertile friend to 'just adopt' when she excitedly tells you she's about to TTC with her partner? Would you tell someone who already has multiple biological children of her own that she's 'selfish' when she announces she's pregnant again, instead of adopting a child? Would you tell someone dealing with a fresh new diagnosis of infertility that she should abandon her hopes of becoming pregnant to adopt a child instead? 
'Just Adopt.'

Two words that trivialise an extremely sensitive and heartbreaking journey to so many - birth parents with no other choice but to give their child up, the children in question, adoptive parents in the process of adopting, hopeful parents who are investigating their options, and parents who desperately WANT to adopt, but can't.
Since this poster is Anonymous, I have no idea where they are located... but I can only speak about adoption from an international sense, since we're in Australia. Adoption is NOT an easy process. 
It irritates me to to no end, when people assume that adopting a child is as simple as walking into an agency & having a tiny person handed to you on a silver platter. It drives me crazy, when comments like these go ahead and assume that adoption is something we've never considered, or to imply that we're being selfish for wanting to continue throwing everything we have at the chance of being pregnant again. It makes me so sad, for all the newly infertile couples out there who have this comment thrown in their face time and time again.
For what it's worth, my hubby and I have spent more time than I would like to admit, searching for non-traditional ways of building our family. We've spent hours on the phone, going through the processes of seeking information on whether it's something that we can do. We've sobbed in each other's arms, because the 'fostering with intent to adopt' system that is prevalent here in Australia has so many loopholes in it, that the thought of being somebody's mother for a little while & then having them taken away and returned to their birth family is too utterly devastating to comprehend. We've weighed in on the gravity of the situation revolving around our daughter - knowing that we need to consider her wellbeing above our own, particularly considering that many local and international adoptions involve special needs children. Flippantly telling me {or anyone} to ADOPT! via a comment on a blog... well, obviously you don't know our family very well.
There is so much heartache that comes with infertility. You're grieving a child that hasn't even been born yet - you've lost a person that you never even got a chance to know. 
For a lot of families, they're grieving the chance to continue their own biological line, the chance for a Mother to see their own eyes staring back at them, or for a Father to see his stubborn personality shine through in his offspring. No, that's not the only important thing about parenting, but it is important; and it's not for anyone to decide but those individuals themselves.
'Just Adopt'.
Every adoption involves some form of loss. Even if it's a couple who doesn't suffer from infertility, and are seeking to expand their family in another way... there's still loss involved. Loss of identity for children in the system, loss of a child for biological parents who choose, or have the choice of parenting taken from them. There is heartache and desperation. Adoption is not as simple as it seems.
We want to be parents again. Whether that may be parents to another biological child {if we're so lucky} or parents to a child who will be 'ours' in every other sense of the word, we really don't have a preference. But that's because we are lucky - we're lucky to have a comfortable home, a secure job, the time available to offer this journey. So many others simply don't have this option at all - so by throwing the 'just adopt' comment in their face.. even if it comes from a place of compassion, you could actually be damaging them in unthinkable ways.
Something to think about. 

FET #8 - Dare to Hope?

So yesterday morning, I deemed this cycle a bust. I ripped apart the pregnancy tests, deleted every image from my phone, threw a huge tantrum and rage-cleaned my bathroom. It was a meltdown, and it wasn't pretty. I ended that fit of destruction by lying on G's bed and sobbing my heart out - thankfully, she was at daycare, so I could safely let it all out.

After picking her up later that afternoon, I decided to do ONE more pregnancy test. I wasn't going to, and I was kicking myself as I was doing it, but I did it. And you know, there was a more visible line this time. It's still fairly light for 6dp5dt - or 11dpo - but it was a TONNE better than the morning's ghost.

Maybe that was a sign that this pregnancy isn't all over?

I promised hubby I wouldn't pee on any FRER sticks today, because he thinks I'll drive myself batty overanalysing a line, or panicking if there isn't enough progression. (Yeah, he's right.)

I didn't promise to not use a digital though. Loopholes, you know.
7dp5dt - or 12dpo. Could this work? Might this work? PLEASE WORK.

FET #8 - Probably Another Loss

Well, all my optimism has failed me... and I was doing so well. It looks like this FET is also going to be another early loss.

Yesterday (5dp5dt - or 10dpo) was early to start peeing, but I've had squinters in the past - and surprise! We had a squinter this time too! It's hard to see, but it's there - when hubby can see it, you know you're not imagining things.

This morning's however, is even fainter than yesterday - which doesn't bode well for this one. One squinter on its own? Well, okay.. every pregnancy has to start somewhere. Two squinters, with no progression? Yeah, we know where this is headed.

I've decided I'm done with stick peeing. I can't handle the disappointment of another early miscarriage every single time I use a pregnancy test. All these losses have just sucked the joy straight out of this process, and it leaves me with dread instead.

Beta is next Tuesday, the 9th. My gut is telling me that little Olaf will have either a) fizzled out by then, or b) be barely hanging in there. So long as this loss doesn't drag out like the last one did, I guess that's that.

I'm really frustrated, you guys. This brings us over 2 years of TTC #2, 3 full IVF stim cycles, 8 transfers, months of endless waiting around - and still no closer to a baby. What do we have to do to get pregnant with a sticky baby? Are we doomed to sit and watch everyone else move ahead without us? Why does this keep happening?

I'm angry at my clinic. I want them to try new things, to throw some steroids at me, to do some more testing, to try and figure out what is going wrong - obviously my body is trying its hardest to get pregnant, but something has to give. Are the remaining 6 frosties we have even worth using? I can't do 6 more cycles, 6+ more months of endless miscarriages or negatives. We want to do whatever it takes to have another baby, but I'm just feeling so broken.

Anyway... if I'm quiet for the next week, you'll know why. No false hopes anymore, just resigned to wait for the week and get the official result from the bloodwork when we get there. This just sucks. :(

Sweet Candles: Sponsored Post

There's a certain holiday looming around the corner...

Valentines Day!

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There are so many different styles of candles to choose from - and more importantly, so many scents to choose from - where do you begin? You could spend hours in a department store, or you could take a gamble and grab yourself one online.

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You'll find plenty of inspiration, and beautiful arrangements by visiting here.

This sponsored post is in collaboration with Koch & Co. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.





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