The Unexamined Pregnancy – Part 1

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I will probably be shutting down this blog soon, mostly due to the fact that I never seem to get around to  writing here (some combination of time and motivation). I’m also not sure (notwithstanding the above photograph) how comfortable I am with posting pictures of my child(ren!) on the internet  where anyone can access them and do with them as they please. I have considered password protecting posts, watermarking the photos, and other measures, but given that there are about, oh maybe 3 other people who even bother reading this blog other than me, nobody would even miss it, so simply taking it down, or making it completely private may make more sense.

In any case, if I do take it down, I have wanted to write a few final posts to wrap up, as there is nothing more annoying than an abandoned blog, especially given the somewhat cliffhangerish tone of my last post.

When I last wrote, I was in the two week wait of our first embryo transfer for baby #2. I was six days post five day transfer and planning to do a pregnancy test the following morning – at 7 days post transfer, or approximately equivalent to 12 days post ovulation.

This was the same schedule I followed after my transfer with Gus, except that with Gus, my motivation was different. Last time, I just KNEW that I was pregnant. While I am not someone who gets much (if any) pregnancy symptoms early on, there were a few subtle things that convinced me I had an embie (or embies) snuggling in. At four days post transfer, right on cue based on an IVF timeline I read, I was sure that I felt something implanting. It was a feeling like I’d never felt before….the best way I can describe it is that it felt like something was gently tickling me from the inside. I remember wondering if I was imagining it, and touching my stomach in the place where the tickle was, and each time my touch made it feel a bit more intense. This happened on a Friday, and over the course of that weekend, I became more and more convinced that I must be pregnant.

By Sunday evening, I decided that I was going to test on Monday morning, so that I could (most likely) start celebrating the pregnancy, or if for some reason I was wrong, bring my expectations back down to earth. Sunday night before going to bed, I had another strong sign that I was pregnant – I had some spotting, which I just knew was implantation bleeding.

Fast forward one hundred and four weeks, and I felt the complete opposite. Based on my past pregnancies, I knew enough not to expect any of the “typical” early symptoms such as nausea, heightened sense of small, painful breasts, or fatigue. But at four days post transfer, I tuned in to my body very carefully, being mindful so as to catch the slightest twitch, cramp, or tickle. And I felt…nothing. I continued being vigilant over the weekend, but there was still nothing.

By Sunday night, in addition to the usual lack of symptoms, there had been no twitches, and no spotting (no matter how hard I wiped). I was sure that the cycle had failed in a way that I had never been more sure of something. In my mind, I was already planning the timing for the next cycle and starting to mentally move on.

As it was our first assisted try for baby #2, (after only 2 months of “trying” on our own without any pressure/expectation that natural conception would happen), I felt like the failure was not only unexpected, but also that it would not be that difficult to process. After all, I had not really “earned” the right to be successful yet. The road to baby #2 needed to be longer and more difficult than this, and I could deal with it. We still had four embryos in the freezer, and would be transferring at least the next two one at a time, so I felt like we were far from panic mode.

This time around, the decision to test Monday morning was made so that we could officially close the door on this cycle and look ahead to the future (while continuing to be grateful for and cherish the child we did have). So, as I did 104 weeks ago, I went to the bathroom as soon as I woke up, pulled out my favourite brand of pregnancy test, which I’d purchased the night before, and peed.

I watched the light pink colour spread across the window, and the control line come into focus. As the pink continued to spread, I was shocked to see what looked like the faintest of faint second lines. I remember my husband coming into the bathroom with a concerned look on his face as I sat there staring at the test (I’d warned him that I was expecting a negative test). “What do you think? Do you see it?” I remember asking him. He nodded. “There’s definitely something there.”

Even seeing that second line was not enough to convince me I was pregnant. The line was very faint, and that first day I was convinced it signalled that a chemical pregnancy was coming. I had been through a chemical pregnancy before, so I knew what to expect. My husband and I were not yet ready to be cautiously optimistic – instead we agreed that “something” was happening, but it was too early to know what it would turn into.

Every morning that week, I tested again, and every morning the line got darker. The implantation bleeding I’d been looking for also arrived, though a day or two later than last time. My blood test was Friday, and by then I was getting comfortable that my beta results would be quite good, given that it looked like they had been rising since at least Monday. Sure enough, the bloodwork confirmed that I was definitely pregnant, with a very respectable beta result.

I still couldn’t quite believe it though – the pregnancy still felt precarious to me. My second bloodtest also came back with a strong result, with the appropriate doubling time. While the first bloodtest for this pregnancy was a day earlier than my test for Gus, in both cases, the second tests were 15 days post transfer. I was curious how they compared, and was shocked when I saw that my results were actually higher this time around than with Gus. It was only then that it really sunk in for me that I was pregnant again.

 

 

 

 

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Here We Go Again – the Good

After laying the groundwork the last few months, my husband and I are ready to start trying for another baby. We are officially kicking things off with a frozen embryo transfer in September, however we have this month and next to give it a shot the old fashioned way. I actually realized just last night that we don’t need to wait until August, as the medical reason for holding off another month would resolve itself in time for us to give things a go in July. As in anytime in the next few days. Whoa!

I am keeping an open mind about the next two months, and trying to walk a fine line between “don’t expect anything” and “anything can happen”. Ultimately, my husband and I would like to give our frozen embryos a shot at life, and September already feels like it’s right around the corner. Therefore the next two months do not loom like a frantic final push at a miracle, nor does it feel like time will crawl until we finally get to the transfer date. Already, this is very different than my most recent experiences of trying on our own before conceiving Baby Boy.

Ever since visiting the fertility clinic last week for bloodwork and a sonohysterogram (SHG) to check out the state of my uterus, which resulted in getting the all clear for September’s transfer, the possibility of another baby has been on my mind almost non stop. I have been exploring this possibility from many different angles, some of which are incredibly exciting, while others are downright terrifying.

Two weeks ago, I popped into a baby store on my way home from a doctor’s appointment. It had been some time since I’d gone to a baby store, as Baby Boy doesn’t want for much, and when something does come up, I usually manage to order it online. As I took my time perusing all of the beautiful and well thought out products the store had on offer, out of nowhere I felt myself transported back to my third trimester of pregnancy and Baby Boy’s early days, when visits to our local baby stores were a weekly occurrence. The rush of feelings that washed over me is hard to explain, but I felt overwhelmed that I may be blessed enough to experience that magical time again, but with a whole new baby who I have yet to meet.

I have gotten so used to being a “mom of a boy” that I have trained myself to walk by or see past all of the baby girl stuff, but on this day, I stopped to look at little pink booties and frilly bibs. The realization suddenly hit me that while I will always be a “mom of a boy”, I may not end up being a “mom of boys”; I may also get to experience what it is like to have a little girl. Again, it is hard for me to find the words to express how tantalizing this is, at this stage in the game when anything seems possible.

So this is the good, the hopeful, the exciting part of where I am at right now, as I consider the real possibility of another child in our future.