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Archive for the ‘bloodwork’ Category

I went to my 20 week OB appointment on Monday and everything was good – still two babies with good heartbeats, etc…  I mentioned to her about my back pain and now I have this ridiculous Wrestlemania like pregnancy support belt to try and see if that works.  It lifts the weight off the nerves in your lower back.  The prenatal massage I had on Sunday helped my upper back / shoulders, but the sciatic pain is still there. 

I also mentioned to her that within the last few weeks I’ve been noticing my heart racing / beating hard / palipatating while at rest / etc…  So, she wanted me to call my PCP and see if they could fit me for a holter monitor or refer me to a cardiologist who could.  Apparently it’s common to have a heart murmur develop when pregnant – due to the 50% increased blood flow, it makes what may have been the slightest murmur that otherwise wouldn’t have been detected show up.
 
Luckily, my PCP could do everything there – so I took the hour drive yesterday and she listened to my heart and heard a very slight murmur, but didn’t think that would be the cause of my symptoms.  They hooked me up to an EKG and the EKG was normal except it showed my heart is working harder than normal – which, again, could be the pregnancy or something else.  So, next was to get hooked up to this holter monitor – it hooked onto my pants and had about 5 electrobes on my chest area.  It recorded all of my heart activity.  It sucked to sleep in (and carry around) but it was only for 24 hours.  She also did some bloodwork as being anemic, dehydrated, or elevated sugars can cause similar symptoms.  I was to drop the holter off today or tomorrow (will be tomorrow as work is just crazy and I’ve been at the doctors most of this week) and they will download the results, review it with the other stuff and my lab results, and we’ll know if there is anything to be concerned with or not.  I’m oddly not too worried – shocking, I know…  But it’s important to know if anything is going on.
 
I told my friend last night that I was going to write a book called Pregnancy:  The Shit No One Tells You That Could Happen.  I’m convinced no one tells you as then no one would want to get pregnant!  But seriously, I feel like I could collaborate with other moms like the All Knowing Julie and we could write both an informative and humorous book about the random crap that can happen when you’re pregnant – more than just morning sickness and weight gain.  Maybe it could help others stop with Dr. Google, too.

I did go to an outlet mall last night and got myself a pretty Coach diaper bag – I think both the Peanuts and I deserve it!  It is regularly $400.00 and I got it on sale for $125.00.  It’s the one thing I wanted for myself so I’m psyched!  They actually had a lot of different ones at the outlet which I was surprised as some don’t carry them at all.  I got one I thought my loving husband would look okay carrying, too 🙂

Love me some Coach

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So, we shall see how the ol’ ticker is doing.  But, all in all, I’m feeling pretty good – Wrestlemania belt and all.
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Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

I got a call from my OB the day before Thanksgiving and she had my Factor V Leiden and other blood clotting test results and – I tested NEGATIVE!!!  Holy shit, for the first time I actually DON’T have something!!!  I was so thrilled – it was like the huge victory (even though it was very, very minor). 

But let’s get to the good stuff shall we?

My husband was finishing up his training at his new airline and wasn’t due to fly in until late last night.  I had my anatomy scan u/s appointment yesterday and couldn’t change it, so I decided I’d have them keep everything a secret and we’d find out together when he got home.  The u/s went very well!  Here’s a quick run down:

– Both babies looked AWESOME!
– All vital organs and structures looked great.
– HBs were in the 140s and she turned the sound on so I could hear it – love that sound!
– Both have good amniotic fluid levels
– Placenta positions are excellent, no sign of previa
– They saw the infamous bleed, so it hasn’t gone away (but I’m still not bleeding since 17 weeks)
– They are 80% sure on Baby A’s gender / 100% sure on Baby B’s gender
– Baby A is breech and was facing my back / Baby B was head down and facing my front
– My genetic testing came back with a 1:10,000 odds, so I think we’re good there!
– They estimate each to weigh 0.5 lbs!

There was only one “issue” that is likely a non-issue. Baby B’s umbilical cord is a 2 valve (2V) vs. the normal 3 valve (3V).  This means that in the normal umbilical cord, there are two arteries and one vein.  So Baby B has one artery and one vein.  They will be watching to make sure he / she continues to grow at the same rate as Baby A. I met the MFM and she was great and said they see this a lot and it should be a non-issue, but something to monitor. I go back for my next u/s in 4 weeks!
I then figured since this is likely the ONLY and LAST time we’ll experience something like this, I should do something fun or special.  I ended up taking the secret envelope to a bakery and had them open it and fill two cupcakes with either pink or blue frosting (so I couldn’t tell).  Of course his flight was delayed, so he didn’t get in until 1:30am, but we ran right over and dove right into the cupcakes!  Here is what we found:

Baby A: 80% accurate it's a GIRL!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby B: 100% accurate it's a BOY!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We are completely over the moon about it!!!  Apparently Baby B wasn’t shy about showing his goods (note to self:  have early talk with him about this), but Baby A was a little bashful.  We’ll know for sure in 4 weeks at my next u/s.
 
It was so funny – right before we cut the first cupcake Chris said, “I really want a boy”.  That was the FIRST time he has ever made mention of a preference!  I was shocked – and so I cut into the first cupcake and saw the pink and went “oh shit” as he laughed out loud.  (I had a dream I was having two girls and I was hysterically crying – I guess I was really scared of that eh?)  I told him he had to cut the second one, and as soon as I saw the blue I screamed!!!  Then I immediately grabbed the cards because I didn’t know which was the for sure bet and which was a bit iffy. 

It was such an awesome experience – we were up until 3:00am just beaming with delight.  I have new u/s pics I’ll post this week as well!

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Last week was a bit nutty with appointments and follow-ups.  But let’s get something off my chest (pun completely intended):

My boobs are now in the shape of torpedos.  I’ll admit to being large chested, especially for being a short girl, and I expected them to get bigger with pregnancy because DUH that’s what happens.  What I didn’t expect was for them to change shape – and to replicate that of a torpedo. 

I picture Chris as the Sailor

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It’s really disturbing to look at so I’ve refrained from doing so.  It’s also making my bras fit awkwardly – you try and stuff a torpedo into a bra!  Anywho, that’s the latest body change that I wasn’t prepared for at this point – you’re welcome for the visual.
 
I put myself on modified bed rest last week – just to try and see if it would help at all.  I worked from my bed (being sick with a nasty, nasty cold helped make this decision) and only got up to get something to eat or pee.  Well, I’m not sure if it’s coincidental or not but the bleeding as of Saturday was almost non-existant and has continued that way ever since!  I’m not getting my hopes up because we all know how I am and why would something work in my favor…but of course I’m insane so the lack of bleeding has made me think “wait, is something wrong?”  We call that damned if you do, damned if you don’t
 
I went to my 16 week check-up on Friday and had the opportunity to discuss my father’s diagnosis of Factor V Leiden.  See, I knew he had this as it was diagnosed a few years ago but I COMPLETELY FORGOT.  So throughout this entire time during fertility treatment and then my pregnancy, I forgot to mention it to my doctors.  I looked through my fertility blood panel results to see if it was listed there as one of the tests, but I couldn’t find it.  Factor V Leiden is a blood clotting disorder and if I have it, it means injections daily throughout the rest of my pregnancy.  Lovely.  My OB ordered that test, along with a few others, and luckily I was able to get it done at the hospital since I was headed there for the second round of bloodwork for the first trimester screening (NT).  Before I headed to the hospital lab, we listened to their HBs, which were solid, and I requested a pelvic exam to check my cervix.  I’ve been so fearful that my body is going to fail these beautiful babies – I can’t get it out of my mind.  So, she did that and everything looked closed so I am good to go for another four weeks!
 
The bloodwork was kind of a pain in the ass – I walked all the way to the outpatient lab at the hospital only to be told that if I had this new order I had to walk ALL the way back to patient registration and register.  Oy.  So, I complied and the patient registration chick sat on a personal call for TWENTY MINUTES as I impatiently waited outside her door.  RIDICULOUS.  I was furious to say the least.  But, we got everything done and I headed back down to have EIGHT vials of blood taken.  Ugh.  We’ll know the results in about a week – hopefully the NT results are good odds and that I don’t have the Factor V Leiden or any of those other things she added.  *fingers crossed*
 
Other than that, I entered my 17th week yesterday and I’m feeling pretty good.  I am both excited and nervous for my anatomy scan next Tuesday.  I’m excited to find out just what is swimming around in there – but nervous they’ll find something wrong.  I can’t imagine there could be much more wrong since we started this journey – but here’s to keeping positive!  Chris can’t be here for the actual scan, so I’m having them write it down on a card and I’m going to bring it to a cupcake place near us and have them fill the cupcakes with the right color frostings!  He’ll be home that night (we hope), so we’ll cut into the frostings and see what we have!  I think that will be fun. 
 
Finally, let’s wrap up with a maternity clothes update:  petite lengths ARE NOT PETITE.  I had to bring the two pairs of jeans and a pair of regular length leggings to the tailors yesterday.  The petite lengths from both Motherhood and GAP were 2-3 inches too long.  Seriously?  I mean, what does petite mean to these people?  And I own petite length jeans from GAP and they’re just dandy.  Why longer for pregnant chicks?  So weird and extremely annoying.  Of course with the holiday, they couldn’t get me everything back by tomorrow so I begged and pleaded and I’ll have one pair of jeans back tomorrow and the rest next week.  At least I can wear more than yoga pants to Thanksgiving…
 
In the end, Happy Gobble Gobble Day!  I know what I’ll be giving thanks to this year!

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NT scan…went.  So, Baby B was acting up and wouldn’t cooperate for the camera.  He / she was looking straight on so they couldn’t get the nasal bone measurement and she barely got the neck fold measurement.  Apparently with twins, you need both measurements on both babies or else they can’t be considered.  Baby A was lying in perfect position of course.  That Baby B will be my trouble, I just know it! I told Chris it was HIS baby that wouldn’t cooperate… 🙂  But, they did my blood draw and will do the other at 16 weeks and I’ll get results but they won’t be as definitive as they would with pairing with the measurements.  Oh well, what can you do?  In great news, both babies looked awesome!  Measuring right on target with solid HBs of 160 and 155.  Baby A we got an awesome picture of him / her waving and then going to suck his / her thumb and a shot of him / her sitting indian style (or wait – is it called criss cross apple sauce now?).  Baby B had the hiccups – it was funny!

They did see the bleed and it looks like it’s measuring smaller, so it may have shrunk!  She said it looked to be around 1cm now and both of them don’t feel it’s a huge risk at all.  How awesome was that to hear?!  She also said that they have perfect looking placentas and their placenta positioning is great – opposite sides of the uterus. They also commented that the separation membrane between the sacs looked excellent as well!  I go for my second blood draw at 16 weeks and then another u/s at 18 weeks.  Due to having twins, they will be monitoring me in addition to my OB.  I’m so thrilled by that!  I’ll continue my regular monthly OB appointments, but the MFM team at the hospital will be monitoring me via u/s on a regular basis (monthly, then weekly). 

I was SHOCKED at the level of care at the MFM center at the hospital.  I had low expectations as I guess I didn’t know what to expect – that and I didn’t even know about this extended care they offer me for carrying twins!  The genetics counselor was so awesome – I absolutely adored her!  I never met the MFM but apparently he was watching with the counselor.  All I could think of was Oz from the Wizard of Oz – “don’t look at the man behind the curtain”!  The u/s tech was a traveling one and she had the sweetest Texan accent and was so cute – I loved it!  The genetics counselor was seriously so jazzed up about how awesome my placentas were and how great the kids look – I left feeling amazing and all pepped up like it was my own cheerleading squad!  Guys, my placentas are AWESOME!!!  Haha, it was crazy.  My SIL was great to be there with me, too, so it was just a really wonderful experience.

The bleeding is still light, even after all the pushing with the u/s.  I’m hoping this is moving into our past.  I feel so much better after the visit…now to decide when we “go public” with the news…  Probably in the next week or so.

And, well, don’t you want pictures?!  Of course they’re only of Baby A since Baby B wasn’t cooperating so well.

Baby A Sucking His / Her Thumb

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby A Sitting Indian Style - little feet on the left!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby A Waving Hi!

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You never know how strong you are…until being strong is the only choice you have. – Unknown

That quote hit home with me a few weeks ago and I’ve been reading it every day since I first saw it.  How true it is was shown last night when, on a whim, I decided to run upstairs and take a home pregnancy test (HPT).  Without Chris knowing, I took the test and almost immediately, I saw this:

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  I asked Chris to come upstairs and he replied with, “you have IMPECCABLE timing today – every time I’ve sat down, you’ve asked for me to get up.  What do you need?”  I told him that he probably should come upstairs and he grumbled something about wanting to eat his cupcake and came upstairs.  I showed him the test and he had a confused look on his face and asked, “Wait, what does THAT mean?  What does two lines mean?” and I told him I was pregnant.  His face was that of utter shock.  We both didn’t speak for a few minutes and all he could manage to say was, “I can’t hug you right now – I don’t know what to think.” 

We finally caught our breath (and / or realized WTF was going on) and decide to call our parents and his sister.  I also let Julie and a couple of friends know.  The rest of evening was a lot of “holy shit” and “OMG” and “let’s not get our hopes up too high”.  I had a hard time falling asleep – so many thoughts were swirling through my mind.

This morning was my beta at 8:00am and then I headed to the airport for a business trip to Chicago.  I called and left a message for Nurse Karen and asked if there was any way to call me with my results before 1:00pm, I’d appreciate it as I’m boarding the plane then and don’t want to miss the call.  At about 12:00pm I got a call from Kate, the other nurse in the office (where is Nurse Karen again?!) and she said “I’m calling you with great news – congratulations, you’re pregnant!”  I just smiled from ear to ear and waited for the number I wanted to hear – she said my beta was 311 and they typically look for betas to be 50-100 so I am really looking to be in good shape.  She asked about my trip and said that she did have to tell me that Dr. Zimon typically advises against early pregnancy air travel.  I told her there was nothing I could really do at this point considering I was sitting at the airport and she reassured me that the risk was very, very small but it is still there.  I asked if there was anything I could do to mitigate the risk and she said no.  That was hard to hear – I don’t want to do ANYTHING to jeopardize what is growing inside me.  We had to coordinate how to get me more Crinone (progesterone supplements), so a box is being shipped to my boss’ office to arrive here in the Chicago suburbs tomorrow (LOL – I am very blessed to have an amazing boss).  My P4 level wasn’t checked with the beta, so I’m going to call tomorrow morning to inquire about that as I wonder if the Crinone is necessary if I’m producing the progesterone on my own.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ll shove whatever is necessary in my vagina to keep this pregnancy viable, but I would have thought they’d check.  Also, as Julie indicated, the P4 can show whether there is a likelihood of twins. 

Oh yes, it is not lost on me that my beta is high and what that can *sometimes* mean.  I’ll take whatever I can get – as long as it’s healthy – be it one or two.  (I may be forced to sell one on the internet if there is more than two…just saying.)

I am cautiously optimistic at this point.  I know that we’re not even remotely at a point of sharing broadly or out of the big risk zone.  I’m trying to keep the perspective of what I thought was the unattainable…can be attained with a lot of strength and perseverance.

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Today’s news:

E2: 1,442 (no wonder I’m exhausted)

Follicles: At least 9 – 18.9mm, 18.6mm, 2-18.2mm, 17.9mm, 16.1mm, 14.4mm, 14.1mm, 13.2mm

They are, unfortunately from a timing perspective, having me do another dose of both Gonal-F (225iu) and Ganarelix tonight.  No bloodwork or u/s needed tomorrow (yay for sleep!), but a nurse will call with a specific time for me to do the Ovidrel trigger shot and the scheduled times for my egg retrieval and transfer.

The egg retrieval will be on Monday morning (nothing like cutting it close to when my loving husband leaves) and, if we do a 3-day transfer, it will be on Thursday.

I’m so tired – if this is just a taste of pregnancy, I may spend the entire time asleep.  I am SO very hopeful this is the cycle that does the trick!

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For the girl who struggled to grow 1-2 follicles, I’m now housing a farm of them!!!  I went in this morning for bloodwork and u/s and had one of my favorite u/s techs.  This, my friends, makes me happy.

I got the call from Nurse Karen – going to stim for another night so more Gonal-F (225iu) and Ganirelix and I go back tomorrow morning.  I asked Nurse Karen to guesstimate when I’d trigger and she said probably tomorrow or Saturday, which would make ET on Sunday or Monday.  I’m really hoping for Sunday as my RE is on this weekend so she’d be the one doing everything.  Chris leaves Wednesday morning for work for 8 days so I really want to get the ET over before he leaves to use a fresh sample vs. frozen.  Ahh, the stress!
 
And of course we screwed up the embryo freezing paperwork so I had to run out and meet him at a notary to re-sign everything.  I’ll blame the hormones since I’m usually pretty detail oriented!  I joked that with all the money Boston IVF makes, they should start using electronic signatures and forms. 🙂
 
My E2 is 1,109 and she said there is 8 (not sure where the 10 came from the tech this morning):  17.5, 16.7, 16.1, 15.9, 15.0, 12.8, 12.7, 12.6.  I assume they’re trying to get them a bit bigger (although I meet minimums for the insurance criteria to convert), so we’ll see what tomorrow brings… 

Dr. Zimon and I have been struggling to connect.  She called me this morning in between IVFs and said that she’s had a tough on-call schedule for some reason so all the times I was available she wasn’t, unfortunately.  She wants to give me all the time I need, so we’re going to connect this afternoon.  I have a lot of questions – mostly around benefits / risks with putting in 1 vs. 2 embryos.  Chris has decided (without any information, I must say) he wants to put back in 2 but I’m struggling with the decision.  Our intent was to have one kid even before we knew of this infertility crapola, but I wouldn’t be SO offended by twins.  Although, in the back of my mind, I know what I witnessed Julie go through with carrying twins, bed rest in the hospital, NICU, etc…  I’m exhausted just thinking about it…

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