Is this real??

You guys, I swear to god someone is messing with me. There hasn’t ever been a pregnancy in history that has had more ups and downs than this one. Our ultrasound today was either a very cruel joke or the best news I’ve had in years.

We showed up for our ultrasound this morning feeling pretty pessimistic. It’s not that I didn’t have any hope. I haven’t had any bleeding for weeks now, so I was kind of thinking that the embryo/fetus/baby was still in there plugging along. But the most I had ventured to hope for was that there would still be a heartbeat, but a slow one. I thought the best I could ever expect would be a continuation of the limbo I’ve been in.

The ultrasound tech was merciful and rather than starting with measurements of my ovaries and my peri-ovarian mass like she usually does, she went straight to the baby. It was immediately obvious that it had grown. It looked distinctly different than the last time, much more baby-shaped. And before I had a chance to even look, G said “there’s still a heartbeat”. The ultrasound tech agreed, and right at that moment I saw it kick. I immediately started to cry, and said “this is just too hard”. I thought, how can we be tortured like this with a moving baby that won’t survive? I hadn’t even ventured to hope yet that it could be okay.

She measured the CRL (crown-rump length), and it was 9w3d. I’m technically 9w5d, so that sounded a little low to me, but since it’s measured a little small every time, this probably isn’t anything to worry about. Then she measured the heart rate. You guys, it was 171. This is after a 117 and a 106 two weeks ago. I mean, how??? How does this happen?? I said, “Is that real???”, and she had a big smile plastered on her face. At this point, G dissolved into a full on crying fit. Not a few tears, but a full on snot-fest. I’m honestly not sure if I’ve ever seen him cry that much.

She took a bunch more measurements and couldn’t find anything to be worried about. The whole time the baby was squirming around like crazy. I don’t even know how to express how shocked I am. I never ever ever expected that I would make it this far in a pregnancy, and all of a sudden there’s a little thing that actually looks like a baby squirming around inside me. It doesn’t feel real at all. These things just don’t happen to me. In fact, I can’t help but think that this is just a cruel joke. We can’t help but be invested when we see a moving baby, and it will only be that much harder to have it ripped away if it doesn’t work out.

We met with Dr. O, and he agreed that there’s nothing visible today that looks worrying. He also agreed with me though that this is still a high risk pregnancy. He said there’s no one thing that’s happened so far, or in my history in general, that would make it high risk, but the whole package raises the risk level. So, we are by no means in the clear here. I wouldn’t kid myself that we are out of the woods and this is just a normal pregnancy. Since I’m now almost 10 weeks, he’s sending me to a high risk OB and a maternal fetal medicine doc asap (I graduated!). I’m really glad about this because it seems like the high risk doctors will give us the best chance of success. I’m definitely not comfortable being treated as a ‘normal’ pregnant woman at this point. We will schedule an anatomy scan for a week or two from now, and that will definitely give us a lot more information.

I’m having trouble even organizing my thoughts at the moment. I’ve barely even been thinking of myself as pregnant up to this point, and suddenly now I’m 10 weeks pregnant. My belly is sticking out for real, and I now need to look in to getting some bigger clothes. People are probably starting to suspect I’m pregnant, and I haven’t been hiding it that much because I figured they’d just think they were wrong when nothing came of it (they’d just figure I gained some holiday weight). I will actually be going to see an OB for the first time, and will actually have an anatomy scan. All of these things I never thought I would get to do.

For right now, I’m feeling really great. I know that the nerves will set back in soon, and I’ll start to worry like crazy. Given the way things have gone over the last few months, there is every reason to think the next scan will be bad. I know I will be freaking out about that soon. For right now though, I’m just feeling very very lucky. So lucky to still have a chance with this pregnancy, and so lucky to be having these experiences of pregnancy. Even if this ends badly, I never thought I would have the chance to see that little life moving around inside me, and to wear maternity clothes, and to share good news with people. Over the last three years I would have given anything for those experiences, and I wouldn’t have gotten to have them at all if we had adopted. No matter what happens, I’m getting to experience pregnancy. That is enough for right now.

So I hope you all have a wonderful new year’s. I’m thinking of all of you who could use some freaking good luck of your own. I sincerely hope 2014 is a better year for all of us. Thank you so much for your support the past few weeks, you have no idea how much it has meant.

8 week ultrasound. And the verdict is…

I wish I had a better post to write today. After last weeks good news, I was in shock and could hardly wrap my brain around the idea that things could work out with this pregnancy. This last week has been interesting. While not exactly optimistic, I had really started to think of myself as pregnant in a different way than I ever have been before. I pulled out my old embryology textbooks and checked out all the pictures of 7-8 week embryos, and I calculated a due date. I even did some google-searching for maternity clothes. This isn’t totally premature, I’ve already got this protruding belly that probably looks further along than I am, and all my clothes are too tight. I would never dare to actually buy maternity clothes while in pregnancy purgatory, but I might need them sooner rather than later.

I went in to this mornings appointment hesitant, but open to the possibility of good news. I duly dropped my pants and hopped up on the table, as if waiting for a judge to pass judgement. G was in a great mood, pretty confident of the outcome. He was making small talk with the ultrasound tech while I shot him death glares. As soon as she got the wand in, she said, “well we have a baby with a heartbeat! I don’t know anything else yet, but I know that”. After which she proceeded to check my ovaries, and take a million measurements of my peri-ovarian mass (more on this later). When she finally returned to the pregnancy, she had this happy look on her face. Remember, the last time she did an ultrasound for me, there was no embryo at all, and they were thinking there might not ever be one.

She started taking measurements, all the while smiling. She even made a joke (so cruel) that G would have to be more patient when (she said when!!) he was a dad. At this point I started crying. I figured, she’s never acted like this for any single other ultrasound we’ve had (like hundreds at this point, and she’s done all of them). Clearly she thinks this is good! G was squeezing my hand with all he had.

Then, she went to measure the heart rate and my heart dropped out of my chest. The number that popped up was 117. At 8 weeks, the heart rate should be 140-190, which I knew in advance because I made sure to google it this morning so I would know what to look for. I said in a quiet voice “it’s too low”. She said, yes, it’s pretty low. She waited a few minutes, then took the measurement again. 106. There was no more smiling or joking about when we would be parents.

As always, after the ultrasound we had to wait a good hour for Dr. O to show. The longest hour of my life (well, one of them since I’ve done it a hundred times now). He didn’t have anything surprising to share. He agreed that the heartrate is too low, and it doesn’t bode well. Especially since we know that last week it was higher (124). When asked explicitly he said he’s seen a pregnancy like this survive before, but it’s extremely rare. More likely, the heart will just keep slowing and eventually stop. If it does survive, there is an elevated risk of developmental defects.

Since we will be out of town for the holidays next week (good god, the horror of a week with the in-laws in the middle of all this), we can’t re-check until the 31st. That’s almost two more weeks of living in pregnancy purgatory. If the constant nausea, headaches, heartburn, constipation, and exhaustion wasn’t enough to deal with, I will have to do it all in the company of my in-laws. Oh! and all without any alcohol. I guess I should consider myself lucky that there are only 2 babies and one pregnant woman (that we know of)  in the family at the moment, some of you have much more.

So here goes another two weeks of pregnancy purgatory. It promises to be a very merry christmas.