Friday, February 27, 2009

The Good, Bad and Scary

Jan 17 - had 2 embryos implanted as part of Invitro fertilization with donated embryos
Jan. 28 - learned that at least one embryo had "taken" and we were pregnant
Feb. 11 - woke up with cramps and found that I was spotting. Also passed a blood clot. Went to the ER where they diagnosed me as having a threatened miscarriage
Feb. 12 - saw my regular ob-gyn who said the bleeding was normal and is called "implantation bleeding." Also learned that we are expecting one baby. Labs normal, heart rate 140 beats/min.
Feb. 17 - started heavy cramping and bleeding around 4:30 pm. Bleeding lasted 2 hrs., cramps lasted 6 hrs.
Feb. 18 - returned to regular ob-gyn's office, but she wasn't available. A med. student did the ultrasound, which looked to show an empty uterus, but test was inconclusive. Had blood drawn, which showed my hCG levels had dropped. The test results plus my symptoms led dr. to diagnose me as having had a miscarriage.
Feb. 20 - returned to ob-gyn to make sure all tissue had passed. During ultrasound discovered that baby is still there, has a visible heart flicker and appears to have grown. No bleeding or cramping since Feb. 17.

My regular ob-gyn referred us to a periantologist for some extensive scans of the baby to see what is causing the bleeding. The ultrasound revealed a robust baby with 2 visible arm buds and a large head. We also heard the heartbeat (180 beats/min). The scan also showed a well of old blood in the uterus left over from my hemorrhage (in scan above, the blood is the dark arc above the right side of the placenta). The well of blood is easily larger than the baby and seems to be coming out of the placenta.

The dr explained that of 1000 pregnant women who bleed, about half end up with miscarriages and half end up with healthy pregnancies. Given the amount of blood still in my uterus, he said my chances of having a miscarriage are about 75-80%. 

He said he really can't predict how this pregnancy will end, but encouraged us to pray since that will be the only thing that saves this baby. Thankfully, it doesn't appear that the bleeding has affected the baby's development. He also said there's a chance my body may just absorb the blood and I'll go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

I'm scheduled to return to the periantologist in 4 wks. By then he expects 1 of 2 results: either I've had a miscarriage, or the scan will show the blood has disappeared.

- baby continues to look healthy
- no bleeding or cramping for more than a week

- for the blood to disappear
- for Baby Conner to stay nestled and protected in the womb

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sad day

Last night around 4:30 I started cramping and bleeding pretty heavily. I called my dr and she said I could either come in to the ER or wait until this morning to come in for an appointment. I opted for the second choice, and this morning they did an ultrasound and blood test. Everything is pointing to me having had a miscarriage last night. My primary ob/gyn wasn't in the office so she wants me to return Friday morning just to verify the results, but I'm not holding out hope that the results will be any different than today.

I've already called the fertility clinic in TN and we're looking to have another embryo transfer in May. That'll give us several months to heal and re-prepare for the journey once again.

Right now I can say that Mike and I are ok and hopeful for the future. Tomorrow, depending on when you ask, I might have a different answer. Trying to stay strong, hopeful and focused.

Monday, February 16, 2009

7 Weeks

Today, baby sea monkey is about the size of a blueberry. Mike hates that I'm calling the baby a sea monkey, but until he/she drops the tails and gills, that's the only name that seems fitting. Besides, our nieces and nephews call Mike "Uncle Monkey" so it kind of goes with the tradition.

We had our 6-week appointment last week and got to see the baby on an ultrasound. We even saw his/her lil heart thumping away at 144 beats a minute. All looks good and normal (yay for normalcy!) Next up ... hopefully weaning off the twice-a-day progesterone injections. I don't know who will be happier - me or Mike.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Choking Weeds

A few weeks ago I studied Jesus' story about a sower who threw out seeds, and the seeds fell on various types of ground. One type of ground allowed the seed to sprout and grow, but immediately produced weeds and vines to choke the new growth. The story is talking about various heart conditions (=ground) and how they receive the Gospel (=seed). However, for today's post, I'm going to say that the story could also be about how the cares of the world can choke out joy.

Just last Wednesday Mike and I were rejoicing over our good news about the expecting baby. We sailed on that cloud for several days and relished every moment we got to tell someone our news. There were times we'd just glance at each other and start smiling a goofy grin of pure giddiness.

Then this weekend I began worrying. How are we going to provide for this child? Will I be able to stay at home or will I need to keep working? What kind of job could I find that would allow me flexibility to be at home when I need to be and still earn enough money to keep us from becoming homeless? And I have only a year to figure it all out!

How silly is this? How quickly I allow worries about future decisions steal my joy about current situations. So once again God is reminding me to trust Him for even these things and to rest in his peace.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Baby Alien

I've been reading this book my mom bought me called "From Conception to Birth." It photographically chronicles the development and growth of a baby during it's 9 month hibernation, and is really quite remarkable. The only weird thing is seeing photos like the one above and realizing that the baby looks more like a sea monkey than a human. Some of my favorite photos show the baby's tail, gills and ears near the base of the skull. Part of me marvels at how something so odd gradually rearranges itself and develops into a perfectly-formed child. The other part looks and goes, "Ewww!"