December 31, 2015

Heartbeats and travel plans

Baby news first:

I had my first official o/b ultrasound last week (everything else has technically been an OHSS u/s up until this point) and they were able to re-confirm the presence of a tiny heartbeat. I was 6w4d at the time, but was measuring 6w2d. The heart rate was 118 (normal range is 115-125 for that gestational age). I was overjoyed to see the nugget was still in there, but pretty paralyzed with anxiety as well: in my last pregnancy, when I went in for my first just-past-8-week ultrasound, the baby was measuring nearly a full week behind. I didn't know it at the time, but measuring small/behind is an indicator of problems. (Not always! There are plenty of success stories for women who measured behind / small / early and everything was fine! But it's one of those things that CAN be an indicator of Woes To Come.) By the time I went in for a follow up u/s 2 weeks later, there was no heartbeat. That was obviously pretty traumatizing, so hearing that my 6 week old fetus was already measuring small was tough for me. The doctor was not at all concerned though, and said that it was completely within the normal range for that phase. I did a shitload of googling when I got home, and the consensus did appear to be that a few days off in measurements so early really was not too concerning, considering they are measuring millimeters on a screen at this point and 1 mm off in measurement can translate to a few days of gestational time. Basically, the margin of error is pretty high on such tiny measurements. This was somewhat gratifying to hear but did not in any way tamp down my anxiety.

I didn't sleep much before my appointment yesterday, and they were uncharacteristically short staffed at the office so we ended up waiting in the u/s room for a full 25 minutes before the doctor and tech came in to pop the dildo cam in. (Unconfirmed, but I suspect I may have had an actual stroke during that time.) To my shaky-handed relief, the heartbeat was still there. S/he's now actually measuring 2 days AHEAD, and the heart rate was a reassuring 155 bpm.

I am beyond relieved. I am starting to finally feel like this might be real, it might actually work out this time. I'm starting to allow myself to believe there might be a viable fetus in there.

I've officially "graduated" from the IVF facility and have my first "normal" ob/gyn visit scheduled for when I return from our trip. I doubt I will ever have a restful night's sleep before ultrasounds any more, but this is as much as I possibly could have hoped for from this last visit. The OHSS symptoms have all but cleared up, my ovaries are continuing to (slowly) shrink down to normal size, and while there is still a little fluid hanging on, it's not enough to cause issues or concern. And the fetus is strong and on track. (As I tell him/her/it regularly, he had BETTER be strong and hold on at this point, because you do NOT get to cause this much trouble and then give up! DO YOU HEAR ME FETUS?)

But also! The trip!

We leave tomorrow, which I am fully unprepared for, although I did finally book us some hotel rooms and train tickets in Ireland, which was a big gaping to-do on my list. I've been somewhat frantically Amazon Prime-ing several important items (like gloves! and warm socks!) and just realized last night that all the nice warm winter sweaters that I thought were stored under my bed were, in fact, apparently all tossed last year (justifiably, as they had become pretty ratty). But this does mean that I need to acquire a few warm sweaters, like, today. Although I do also need to look up the forecasts for where we'll be to see what the weather even will be, come to think of it. So prepared! As you can see!

The one thing I have done is packed up all the myriad medications I will require during the trip, including the prescription info for each, because I'm not sure how well it's going to go when I try to waltz through security with 8 syringes in my carry on. But since pregnancy = risk of blood clots, and flying = risk of blood clots, and OHSS = significant risk of blood clots, the combination of all three = I definitely need those blood thinners for this trip. Hope the TSA agrees.

I'm pretty bummed that I won't be able to eat some of the INCREDIBLY FASCINATING foods that can be found in Iceland, like fermented shark, or the huge tempting selection of not-entirely-cooked seafood like gravlax. On the other hand, my nausea levels are pretty high right now so even without the no-uncooked-food restriction that may have been off the table for me. Alas.

Weirdest current pregnancy symptom: my scalp hurts SO MUCH. Apparently it's because it's super dry, but it's amazingly tender as a result. It's excruciating to brush my hair after a shower. I've never experienced anything like it. It's apparently not super common, but is a definite known 1st trimester symptom for some lucky ladies. I'll take it if I can continue to refrain from any actual upchucking though.


  1. Oh wow! Fingers remain crossed for you. And I hope you have a great trip and get through TSA without trouble. Lots of pictures, please!

  2. Yay! Happy New Year! Enjoy the trip!

  3. This is getting pretty exciting.

    My brother and SIL honeymooned in Iceland and really loved it. I remember there were some interesting quirks about it but, unhelpfully, don't remember WHAT. I think one was that it was hard to get anything but twin beds in hotels? I'm not sure. I think I remember that one because it was funny to think of having a honeymoon in twin beds.

  4. Can we change the name to dildo cam because that is a fabulous name.

    Yay for strong heartbeat and good growth! Hope you are having fun in Iceland and TSA wasn't an ass!!

  5. Oh, yay good ultrasound! And yay OHSS clearing up! I also always got super nervous before ultrasounds even without the history of bad news at any of them. I very quickly learned to schedule all ultrasounds for the first appointment of the day so that I wouldn't spend all day in a panic, unable to focus on my work.

    I see from Instagram that you're having an awesome looking trip... so glad!

  6. YAY! I'm so excited to hear that your ultrasound went great!

    I'm sure that you figured this out, but you can get a doctor's note to fly with needles/meds but in general, the TSA won't bother you. I had to fly with Lupron + needles last year to Spain and heard nothing from the TSA.

    Sorry to hear about your scalp- that doesn't sound like a fun first trimester symptom. Are there any remedies?

    Can't wait to see your pictures from your trip!

  7. I am so thrilled for your trip. Iceland is on my Top 5 list!! Can't wait to hear more about it!


  8. Yay for the good news! And that you graduated IVF!!!! Schweet!

    I have been enjoying seeing your travel pics on FB!!!!