Friday, July 28, 2006

Well hello, Peanut

It was too busy at work to sneak the ultrasound for a peek. Luckily the lovely nurses at the IVF clinic where I get my progesterone fix are kind enough to get me an ultrasound, purely for 'peace of mind'. So Monday sees us nervously 'assuming the position' (ie me, revealing belly and top line of pubic hair to an ultrasonographer we have only just met, T perched nervously in the 'partner chair') in the ultrasound suite.

And there, on the screen, oh my God, a beating heart. And the rest of a normal 9 week pregnancy. I start laughing with relief and the image jumps up and down. The ultrasonographer dopplers out 175 beats per minute- fine for this age. I look at the screen and say, hey 23mm, that's like a jelly bean. The ultrasonographer, bless her, says, no, more like a peanut, in the shell.

So now we have not a Speck, but a Peanut. The Peanut has limbs, eyelids, an upper lip, retinas, and most organs. By tomorrow, my 'Langman's Medical Embryology' tells me Peanut's limbs will be elongated and Peanut will look "more humanlike". Peanut moves by itself- we saw it moving around on the scan, waving its little limbs and nodding. So it already takes after its father- the mosh pit of life awaits!

Tomorrow will mark 10 weeks. We have never made it to double figures before. Every day I am expecting to be the last. Every time I pee, I expect to see blood. I have taken to wearing liners so that i could see the least speck of blood.

I would love to be able to just relax and take this pregnancy easy, to look forward to February without a qualifying "... if we make it that far...". But I doubt I ever will, especially having chosen Obstetrics as an anaesthetic subspecialty. Just this last week I have anaesthetised women with all manner of obstetric badness. I looked at the weakly crying 30-week old being rushed off to NICU and thought "what if...".

This is the additional burden of the subfertile, I guess. To never be able to live in the blissful carelessness of those with exactly the same number of Gs as Ps. My friend H eats soft cheese and drinks wine. She still excercises to the point of exhaustion. She talks about the end of her pregnancy as a fait accompli. I envy her freedom.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The last week, the longest week

Last week. Well, a lot happened in one short time.

On Friday I got a call from my obstetrician to say my Anticardiolipin antibodies were elevated. Not by much, but some. And that I should from now-on take an aspirin a day. I rang my husband to tell him the news. He was at work and looked up my results for me. He looked at the progesterone, which hadn't been back when the Obstetrician called. It was low. I called my Ob back and told him the grrreat news.

Cut a long story short I next find myself walking through the hallowed portals of Sydney IVF. To get extra progesterone.

Three days later my progesterone had doubled, and I felt like a wreck- more symptoms than ever before. And a small exam to sit. A small $2300 exam. With a head like cotton wool. And nausea. And three hours of not thinking about how nice it would be to pee.

And now, I have convinced myself the only reason I haven't started bleeding is that my pregnancy has died, but the artificial progesterone is stopping me from bleeding. Of this I am utterly convinced. The only way to unconvince myself would be another ultrasound.

I am working tomorrow. In ICU. We have an ultrasound. I have a plan...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Still expecting

I'm now 7 and 4. Unbelievable, but true. The obstetrician showed us a tiny heart beat on our ultrasoung Tuesday. I cried.

Exam on Monday. Freaking freaking freaking $2300 exam. I have been studying all year and still feel like I know nothing. Today I haven't done much work- combination of the dreaded first trimester nausea and fatigue. I think this is one of the worst things about having recurrent miscarriages: imagine having just 1st trimester symptoms over and over and over again... I have now been pregnant for 32 weeks of my life, but have nothing to show for it but weight gain, many empty tissue boxes and a few blurry ultrasound pictures.

We have a plan: if this one doesn't want us as parents, we will give it a break for the rest of the year and reward ourselves with Sea Kayaking in Fiji. Or walking the kepler track. Or something else to look forward to. It's been a shit twelve months.