faith over fear

it’s been a while since my last update.  a lot has happened, so here’s my attempt to concisely recap.

 

weaning – estrogen and progesterone

we survived.  praise the Lord.  guess my RE knows what he’s doing.  why i think i know better than him, i’m not sure.  well, not that i thought i knew better, but more that i second guessed him.

 

weaning – metformin

exhibit a, girl who is still second guessing her RE: i was supposed to stop taking metformin on wednesday (around 11.5 weeks).  cold turkey, might i add.  has that happened?  not quite.  i’m at least down to 500 mg instead of the typical 1,000.  a lot of {ok two} people i know who have PCOS and conceived while on metformin both took it through the first trimester.  apparently it decreases the chance of miscarriage.  the first trimester is 13 weeks, i’m 11.5.  would an extra week hurt?  seems like it would be fine.  so why didn’t my RE say stop at 13?  i put a call into my regular OB to see if he had an opinion.  i’m supposed to hear back on monday… think i’ll stick with my half dose until then.

 

first OB visit

my OB has to be the sweetest, most patient doctor on planet earth.  he was concerned about my bleeding spells {finally, a doctor who cares}, so he chose to forego the initial pap and vaginal screening until my next appointment.  instead he spent 5 minutves trying to pick up bitty baby’s heart on his doppler {at 10 weeks}.  he was brave for trying, but no luck.  so then he had me wrap up in a sheet so we could sneak in the ultrasound room for a quick peak.  he couldn’t find the tech, so he just rolled up his sleeves and went for the abdominal ultrasound himself.  he didn’t measure or check bitty’s heart rate, but he did make sure the heart was still beating and the baby was still wiggling.  at that, he sent me on my way for blood work and asked me to come back in two weeks.  he did say that if i needed to come every few days due to bleeding to get me through the first trimester, that it would be totally fine {dr. w could use a few pointers from my OB it seems}.  i did give a urine specimen while i was there.  turns out i have a UTI.  seriously?  i haven’t had one since taking a bubble bath at the age of 5.  i bet i got it on transfer day when i got cathed {2 months ago}.  gross.  google says not to worry though, shouldn’t harm baby.

 

first maternal-fetal visit

where to begin?  what an appointment full of mixed emotions.

here are the happy things: bitty baby measured on track at 11 weeks, 3 days, and its heart rate was 170 bpm.  looks like its spine formed appropriately.  the fluid pocket at the back of its neck did not indicate downs.  and my doctor’s 80% guess of gender was girl.  that’s 100 votes for girl, zero boy.  {hubs and i changed our gender forecast to girl after about the 3rd consecutive week of a heart rate above 170.}

here are the things that give me anxiety: not sure how they can tell, but looks like i have more bleeding to do.  at least i was warned.  and, it looks like i’ll be visiting the maternal fetal specialist for the long haul.  even though i had the septum in my uterus resected, and even though the MRI i had prior to that surgery said i did not have a bicornuate uterus, apparently my uterine cavity is somehow still divided.  the maternal fetal specialist clearly picked it up on his ultradound and thinks it’s a bicornuate uterus.  this means i’m at a higher risk for preterm labor and/or incompetent cervix.

 

faith over fear

as you can see, the worrying did  not end after weaning off hormone support at week 9, and it won’t end after weaning off metformin.  there’s something to fear every step of  the way… i could drive myself mad.  i think God has me right where he wants me.  that place where i have to daily {minute by minute} surrender my anxiety to Him and trust Him to work out the details.  He has a plan, both for me and for bitty baby.  He often doesn’t reveal His plan while you’re in the throws of it.  He simply asks for dependence and faith.  i trust Him to finish what He has started, and i trust Him to work all things together for His good and glory.

these verses help encourage me that God has a plan for both me and bitty.  He knew what He was doing when i was in my mother’s womb.  He knew the story i would come to tell through all of my {in}fertility struggles.  and He knows what He’s doing with bitty.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me… for You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  i praise You because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, i know that full well.  my frame was not hidden from You when i was made in the secret place, when i was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.  {Psalm 139:1, 13-16}

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weaning and another rant

today is the day.  the day i administered my last dose of crinone, and the day i will remove my last little estrogen patch.  this makes me nervous as heck.  my RE has been weaning me off hormone support for the past 1.5 weeks as the baby’s placenta should start taking over hormone production {i hate the word should}.  two wednesdays ago, the progesterone in oil shot ceased.  i was nervous for that too, but i {and bitty baby} survived.  we got a good report this past wednesday; bitty baby measured 9 weeks 2 days and had a heart rate of 178 bpm.  dr. w said it was time to part with patches and crinone.  i get it, he’s the doctor and the one with the experience, but does he realize that i’m on the verge of a meltdown over this?  just getting to this point has been a process – growing 25 eggs, praying for blastocysts, freezing them, praying they survive the freezing and thaw, starting crazy medication again, transferring an embryo, waiting for it to grow, watching it every week since week 5, popping a blood vessel. now that we’re here, at week 9.5, i really don’t want to screw things up.  reluctantly, i’ve been following doctor’s orders – i’ve removed one of my four estrogen patches wednesday, thursday, and friday.  the last one comes off tonight.  and since wednesday, i’ve only used one dose of crinone {instead of the usual two}, with my last dose being this morning.

IVF is amazing, but it may also qualify as emotional torture. of course, the weaning hasn’t been smooth. there’s been pink spotting and little cramps, both of which are things that i’ve experienced so far and are most likely normal… but timed with no more hormone support equals scary. i called denise and mary about my symptoms and they say the symptoms are normal. apparently spotting can happen as you peel off the patches.

i go to acupuncture on monday, so hopefully my acupuncturist will be able to tell that all is well with bitty baby. last week, i shared my fear about dropping the meds, and my acupuncturist boldly stated that i no longer need them. also, i go back to my regular OB on thursday. not sure what the appointment will entail, but hopefully we’ll get a good report. until then, i’ll just continue to pray. God is still mighty and bigger than my fears.

now for the rant. i have to vent about my brother again. one day, i plan to share this blog and journey with my “network,” so i’ll have to figure out what to do with these posts before then. or i’ll end up making some people grumpy. but hey, he made me grumpy today and maybe he should know. anyway, my step sister asked my brother when i would get pregnant today {she’s in town, so i picture this conversation taking place in person}. so my brother texts me and wants to know if he can share my news. is he serious? what a dumb question. of course you can’t, brother dear. do i even have to state the obvious that it’s not your news to share? i can just imagine the conversation now – she asks the question, he whips out his iphone to check with me… sketchy and not sure how you recover from that exchange without spilling the beans. so i have a feeling she knows. the point is not about who knows when, but that he thinks the news should be delivered from his mouth. further, just because he announced his pregnancy at 7 weeks on instagram and facebook, doesn’t mean i have to share a day before i’m ready. hubs and i are planning on waiting to announce until week 12-13, especially given that the journey has been rocky at times so far.

this brings me back to a previous point. as thankful as i am for IVF and FETs, this is not how having a baby should be. this process is hard, something that i don’t think anyone can fully appreciate unless you’ve lived it. at least i got this super cute onesie from my RE’s office for my trouble.

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bitty baby, the casper

i had my 4th ultrasound today.  after last week’s scare and ultrasound showing a lower heart rate, i had no idea what to expect. i had acupuncture last night, and my acupuncturist said the baby’s heart rate was good.  so i felt a little better going to today’s appointment.  i still didn’t sleep well last night {worry, i’m sure}, and i was extra armpit sweaty this morning {also worry}.

so getting to the juicy stuff, the ultrasound went well!  bitty baby measured 8 weeks, 1 day {dr. w said baby’s measurements can vary within a range of +/- 3 days}.  i could very clearly see bitty baby’s heart flickering away today.  dr. w zoomed in on the heart and turned on the audio, it was so loud today!  bitty baby’s heart rate was 174 beats per minute, which dr. w said was good!  perhaps bitty baby was taking a nap or just stressed out last week, causing the lower heart rate.  who knows.  dr. w spent quite a bit of time looking around, and at one point bitty baby moved one of its teeny arms.  it was absolutely the coolest thing i’ve ever seen.  dr. w also told me that he didn’t see any blood in my uterus like the doctor last week did {um, probably because it all came out}, which was good news!

early in the ultrasound, dr. w was pointing out the baby’s head, torso, limb buds.  i commented on how large the head was {apparently 1/2 of the baby is the head right now}.  then dr. w said that babies either look like casper {the friendly ghost} or tweety bird at this gestation.  dr. w said we have a casper.  ha!  i love it!

i have another appointment with my RE next week, and it could be the last {until baby #2 perhaps}.  if all goes well, dr. w will refer me to a maternal-fetal specialist {high risk doctor since this journey began with a septate uterus}, and he will send me back to my regular OB.  after a year and 9 months with dr. w, it will surely be bittersweet to say goodbye.  but i’m looking forward to no longer being an {in}fertility patient.  it’s also time to start weaning me off all the extra drugs {hormones}.  unknowingly, last night’s progesterone shot was the last for now.  thank goodness, because we had another oozing incident.  i had some choice words and not lady-like things to say about that last night.  ultimately, hubby and i made the decision to administer another 1/4 of a dose.  i will continue estrogen patches and crinone for now.  as much as i hate crinone, i’m thankful it’s sticking around for now so all progesterone support doesn’t stop cold turkey.

returning to the topic of acupuncture, my acupuncturist apparently has a 98% success rate of determining the gender of the baby around 10 weeks based on the “pulses” he feels.  last night, his initial assessment was… drumroll please… a girl!  say what?  hubby and i still think it’s a boy {although after today’s ultrasound showing a high heart rate, i could buy into the girl forecast}.  it’s fun to have guesses on both sides, i think it will make the gender reveal that much more exciting!  3 girlfriends have all told me their guess is girl.  one even told me about a dream she had {before we even had the transfer} where she and her husband were babysitting our daughter!  maybe bitty baby is a little lady.  who knows!!

finally, i’m either growing a baby bump.  or i’m super bloated from constipation.  or both.  my pre-IVF size was a zero, so not really conducive to concealing bumps for that long.  i may find myself investing in maternity pants soon.  i only own so many dresses, and i can’t really wear running shorts to work.  otherwise, my symptoms mostly consist of being tired, still disliking sweets {other than homemade chocolate milkshakes apparently}, mood swings, extreme thirst, and the occasional headache.

well, that’s all for now.  as always, thanks for your prayers and support.  a lot of people were praying for bitty baby over the past week, and i know it made a difference.  God hears our prayers, people!

my friend sent me this verse last week.  i like it, so i’m going to share it:

and the Lord, He is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. {Deuteronomy 31:8}