Thursday, August 31, 2006

Believe

It's still all so hard to believe.

Today we went in for the first "official" ultrasound. And there, after the discomfort of the big.Big.BIG.tampon-cam, after I stared up at the ceiling and wondered why fertility clinics don't paint something interesting up there, Nice Tech turned the monitor toward the Mister and me.

Amidst the grey and white and black images, I saw a flicker.

"That's the heartbeat," we were told.

Nice Tech took a photo, said the heart rate was at a normal level, and declared me six weeks, one day pregnant.

The Mister got a little klempy. (That's teary, for you non-Yiddish folk.)

"But when will I feel different?" I pressed.

"The nurse can tell you when."

Then I got dressed and we went back out to the waiting room to have a consult with my fertility doc's nurse, because the doc himself was on vacation. At this point, our fertility doc can retire for all I care. SuperAwesome Nurse was the best.

First, she apologized that we had to wait a half hour to see her, but said she had good news.

"You have an A+ pregnancy so far," she told us. "Everything looks great here."

Really?

Ever the anal-retentives, the Mister and I peppered her with our typed list of questions. Not only was SuperAwesome Nurse definitive with her answers, she wasn't a pregnancy hardass.

Want to eat soft cheese that's been heated in a microwave for ten seconds? Fine.

Sushi? Farmed salmon with PCBs? "Women in Japan eat fish all the time and they laugh at Americans for avoiding sushi for nine months."

Cold cuts, heated up, as in a steaming corned beef sandwich or a pastrami reuben? "Fine. I've been a nurse for 18 years here and I've never seen anyone with a case of listeria."

Highlight my hair so I can be blond again? "Not a problem."

"Why haven't I felt all that different yet?"

"Things may change, but if you haven't felt major nausea or morning sickness, you may not ever feel it," she told me. "Only half of all pregnant women do."

(And what an odd feeling this is. Here we are, sitting in the fertility clinic, where the Mister and I have gone for eight months, because something reproductive hasn't been working properly. To be a lifelong type 1 diabetic, so conditioned to hearing bad news, and so used to going to doctors' offices to hear about which body parts don't work right or what tests have abnormal results.)

(It's here, in the fertility clinic, where I'm told that I had a successful first IVF cycle, and I may actually have a normal, healthy, not-yet-uncomfortable pregnancy that might not have nausea or morning sickness. I mean, what is this? Opposite Day?)

The best thing about SuperAwesome Nurse was that she was down to earth, funny, and could actually relate to being pregnant, unlike the usual fertility doc who is an older, and more conservative, male. Answers to questions weren't theoretical and "research has shown that..." with her. I've often felt like I could bully our regular doc into saying the same thing two different ways so that he sounds a bit mamby-pamby. None of that with SuperAwesome.

Since this was such a good IVF protocol, because of the good response to the drugs, the great response of the eggs and sperm actually fertilizing and growing out for five days, and because I got pregnant with just one embryo transfered, all suggested that the whole infertility problem is because of vintage eggs. Clomid, the drug I took when doing two IUIs, only helped stimulate eggs that perhaps weren't all that super on their own. The hardcore IVF drugs, though, really helped the vintage girls truly be all they could be.

And (please.please.please) should all go well and we're actually thinking about number two in a year, SuperAwesome said we should certainly try within a year on our own if we want to, but to come back after six months and go straight to a frozen embryo transfer with my remaining three and see if things work. If I had to do another fresh cycle of IVF drugs, I'd be at least a year older and my even-more-vintage eggs might not respond as well to the drugs.

(And while I honestly have no regrets working and dating throughout my twenties and early thirties, I do not want to wait until I'm 40-plus to try to have another child. Thanks to the realities of biology, my late 30s are going to have to be the height of infant- and toddler-hood, PleaseLetEverythingGoWell.)

So we're scheduled to return in two weeks for another ultrasound. SuperAwesome said we're currently past the point of miscarriage by 80 percent, and that we'll be past 90 percent if all goes well in two weeks.

(Of course, 10 percent is not a small number, and we talked today about an alternative to an amniocentesis that determines 90 percent of the potential problems that an amnio does, but without any risk of miscarriage that an amnio has. But hey; let's take things one day at a time, shall we?)

I also saw my Endo on Tuesday, and while it was fine, the appointment was pretty delayed and I could tell my usually-kind-and-chatty Endo didn't want to spend all day answering our list of typed questions.

What annoyed me most was that although I'd written down blood sugars and insulin doses and nearly every single food I'd eated over the past two weeks, Endo only wanted to take in two or three days at the most. I'd called earlier in the day and asked if I should fax them all first, but was told Endo wouldn't have time to review them.

So Endo tweaked a few basal rates and adjusted down two insulin-carb ratios for breakfast and dinner. She also determined, after picking two days of my just-returned-from-vacation-diet, that I was still not eating healthy enough.

"But I eat oatmeal every morning and a veggie wrap from Whole Foods every day during my regular workweek," I pointed out. Nevertheless, I'm meeting with a nutritionist tomorrow to go over, again, some details. In particular, I'd like to know if I should give up Splenda on my oatmeal in favor of an actual teaspoon of sugar, as long as I bolus for it.

Now that I'm back from vacation, my bloods have evened out a bit, although I've learned that I cannot wait til my insulin pump has less than ten units in it before I change my infusion set. I did that at lunch today, changed the set about an hour after the meal, and tested to learn that none of my pre-lunch insulin made it into me. That, along with a horrible midnight low followed by overtreating and rebounding last night, brought me two readings of 300 twelve hours apart. Yeesh. Before this pregnancy, I can't remember when I last had a reading that high.

But then I called the Endo's office this afternoon to get my A1c and thyroid and urine panel results.

I still can't believe those, either:

Urine panel: normal. The kidneys are still doing what they're supposed to.

Thyroid level: 1.7, well within the normal range of zero to 3.0. My drugs are at precisely the right amount.

And the A1c: 5.9 Does this really mean my short-term highs are really all right?

(I've actually always had pretty good A1c levels, so good that I've always suspected my levels were falsely low. Past docs have agreed with me, but my current Endo, the one with the specialty in diabetes and pregnancy, at the renowned diabetes clinic where I go, thinks they're just fine.)

I'm going to have to believe she knows what she's talking about.

14 comments:

Rachel said...

:)

Scott K. Johnson said...

I'm pulling for you Mrs. & Mr. L! A wonderful story so far, and I'm hoping and pulling for it to get only better.

Congratulations - you guys deserve it.

Kerri. said...

After a wild day when I whirled all over the place, concentrating on work I had to get done and some stressful issues and other assorted nonsense, reading your post and your words filling my heart with such happy peace ... You're re-centered me to what's really most important.

I wish for the best for you guys (all three of you, now) every day. :)

Penny said...

Oh Gosh, this made me all klempy:)

Kevin said...

I'm so happy for you and the Mister.

Here's to a long string of Opposite Days!

Minnesota Nice said...

Wow, Seems like this is getting "more real" as each day goes by.
Wonderful news!

art-sweet said...

KEnahora, kenahora, tut tut tut.

Okay, I'm done channeling my grandma now. Congratulations! Keep on beating little heart!

word verification: vlJOYtj

is that right on or what?

Nicole P said...

Go Lyrecha! Go Baby! Go Body! :)

Hannah said...

First time I've read your blog and now I'm all klempy, too! There's no way I'm even CLOSE to ready to having a baby, but I always get emotional thinking this broken body could produce something wonderful, and just how possible it really is.

Tammy said...

Excellent news. I can identify with the feelings of hoping all is well early on in the pregnancy. I didn't start feeling morning sickness until I was about 10 weeks, and then it was around 7pm every night. I also had a hyper-sensitive sense of smell. As the pregnancy goes on, don't be worried abou the amount of insulin you take. My daily totals almost tripled by the time I was in the last trimester. It freaked me out, but my doc said it was pretty normal. Congrats!

Andrea said...

I am SO happy for you! :) This is wonderful news...please, please, PLEASE continue to keep us posted with everything- we definitely want to share in your happiness :)

Best wishes & Congratulations.

SaraS-P said...

Congrats on the HB! Such a milestone!

And a helpful nurse? How luck are you two?

julia said...

Yay! Go, you! Fantastic-ness all over the place.

Violet said...

Huzzah, huzzah, belated huzzahs to you, the Mister, and the tiny one! Go fam!

 

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