Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday

April 9, 2010

Today is my son’s third birthday. It’s also the day my publisher starts shipping copies of my book to people who have pre-ordered them.

It’s also the day I am four weeks and five days pregnant.

I had another blood test yesterday to see if my HCG levels are doubling. This is a common way to know if the pregnancy is sticking and your body is doing what it is supposed to do while nurturing an embryo. Once again, I drove myself to my infertility clinic and dragged myself into the waiting room. The place has excellent wireless Internet access, so I always bring my laptop and fire it up while I’m sitting there. When the phlebotomist called my name, she smiled.

“You are always working while you’re here,” she noted.

I have had this woman draw my blood countless times over the last year or so. Having done two fresh IVF cycles, as well as other tests to try to figure out why those cycles weren’t successful, this woman knows my face, if not my entire story.

As she swabbed the crook of my arm with alcohol, she told me I should make a recommendation to the staff of the infertility clinic that they should set up study carrels in the lobby. For people like me, as well as for all the husbands and partners who sit there and wait while their wives or girlfriends are in some lab having blood drawn.

They should listen to me—I’ve been there enough times to have my own parking space. (Even though the parking in this particular clinic is free, thanks to the joy of a suburban location).

Because who am I if not always working? If I’m not trying to get something done so I can bill the time and meet a client’s deadline, I am always wondering where my blood sugar is, what time I last ate, and calculating what I ate and how many carbs was in it. Yesterday was no exception.

I’ve started to keep daily logs of what I eat and how much insulin I take, despite having a CGM. My overnight sugars, while steady, are consistently above where they should be. I bolus correction factors all night long, and nothing budges. I’ve noticed this for three days and changed the correction factor so that I get more insulin, but no dice. I need to email my doc and ask her WTF? And instead of writing this up at 5am, I am supposed to be on the elliptical we have at our house so I can jumpstart my sluggish blood sugar to start dropping back to where it should be. The slowness of insulin is one of my biggest complaints: If I am high now, why should I have to wait two hours before I start coming down? Knowing I am high and that a correction insulin hit will take a few hours before I am down, annoys me.

(Just checked the CGM, and apparently the hit of insulin I took 30 minutes ago is starting to work. So do I still go on the elliptical, even though I might come down quicker, but them bottom out? Should I try it for ten minutes?) Usually, if I eat and go straight up before an hour after a meal (the joys of a CGM with the trend arrows), I can go on the elliptical and, after about 20-30 minutes, reverse the sharp increase. Now that I am apparently trending downward, slowly, would a burst of exercise help me trend down a little faster?

Let’s see—will be right back. Ten minutes is all I’ll do, promise!

Okay, I’m back. My CGM says I’m still trending down gently. In the meantime, I watched the local news and just got angry about some dumbass flasher in the kids’ room of the library where I grew up—a place I happened to visit this week to return a book. What is the matter with people?!

Focus, focus.

So yesterday, I got the call in the afternoon about the results of my blood work:

HCG level was 556, more than double my result on Monday.

Progesterone was greater than 40, which is good.

My TSH level, something that had been low when I saw my endo about a month ago, has jumped up into the normal range, at 0.579.

Since the HCG level was so strong, I asked if I could be carrying twins. The nurse said I had to wait until the first ultrasound, but that a high number didn’t necessarily mean multiples. But wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony, huh?

But the HCG levels of my last two fresh cycles have always started out low or near normal but never doubled right. So the fact that this round had a strong starting number (comparable to what it was when I conceived Toddler L, who, let’s face it, should now be called Preschooler L) and has more than doubled makes me hopeful.

Now if I could only wrangle these overnight blood sugars down.

We’re off to celebrate my son’s birthday today: annual family portrait, a trip to the local kids’ museum to see Curious George, and tonight, dinner at an Italian restaurant near the Boy’s daycare program. Every morning when we drive by, Preschooler L asks if we can go to the restaurant and get “a kids’ menu.”

“Dude, we just finished breakfast,” I tell him. “Plus, the restaurant isn’t open this early.”

“I want to go to the (NAME OF THE RESTAURANT REDACTED) and get a kid’s menu!” he insists. He doesn’t want a hot dog or grilled cheese at that hour. He only wants to look at the menu that is all his own. Just before the preschool dropoff, though, I can usually divert his attention once we pull into school parking lot.

But tonight, my son shall have the kid’s menu of his dreams. Happy 3rd Birthday, Fabulous Boy!

9 comments:

Miriam S said...

Cheryl,
B'shaah tovah! May it come at the right time. I hope all goes well with this pregnancy, and that both you and future baby Alcon remain healthy. And as a mom of twins, I can say that while it is a ton of work, having twins is great.
With best regards,
Miriam

Miriam S said...

I realize that the post reads like I think you will have twins. I meant it to read that just in case you do have twins, it's great.

Kaitake said...

That's wonderful to hear your HCG levels are doing what they oughta! :) Yay! Happy Birthday to your boy, and happy published-book-shipping day to you. :D

serenity said...

Congratulations!!! I somehow lost track of your blog in my move to google reader, I'm glad you linked via FB. Thrilled beyond belief for you and now have to catch up!!!

xoxo

Antropologa said...

That's good news, and happy birthday. I didn't understand any of that stuff about blood sugars, which is as it should, be I guess. Good luck.

missfrizzly said...

congrats on your pregnancy, b'shaah tova! i have to say that i love your book - i am almost 30 wks. pregnant with my 1st, and i love having a resource written by an experienced mom with type 1! i also had crazy issues with overnight highs in the beginning weeks, corrections didn't work for me either - i think i just kept upping my basals til i saw results, but i can't remember exact details since it feels like it was forever ago! i am seeing the same thing with my morning (wake up til after lunch) basals now, i can correct up the wazoo but don't get the numbers i want unless i use a massive temp basal in addition to corrections...guess i'll be adjusting my basals again...anyways good luck and hope to continue hearing good things about your pregnancy!

Anonymous said...

You are a totally amazing woman - congratulations again!

BFly

brigdon said...

Happy birthday to your little boy! What a great tradition to get a family portrait on this happy day...and baby # 2 (and maybe #3) will be in it with you :)

Nici said...

OMG,congratulations! So much happy news all at once.

I informed everyone at the hospital about the formula information I found in your book. They were pretty intrigued.

I even brought a can of formula with me, which turned out to be a good thing because they don't keep "the good stuff" on hand.

We used it a couple of times to feed our new little guy when he was in the nursery and it was such a relief to know that I was doing everything I could to avoid those nasty D-triggers.

 

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