Tuesday, May 27, 2008

6w0d - A Beautiful Flicker!

Last night, one or both of my metformin pills got stuck in my throat. I have a documented esophageal stricture, so it is not unusual for me to get things (usually food such as meat or bread) stuck in my esophagus from time to time. This has been much less problematic in recent years, but it still happens occasionally. Anyway, I couldn't get the pills down, but they weren't completing obstructing my esophagus, so I actually fell asleep with them stuck in there. It was still there when I woke up at about 4 AM, but then seemed to finally go down when I got up, sipped some water, and stumbled groggily to the restroom.

After that awakening, my sleep was disjointed. I definitely had one dream in which Dr G did my ultrasound and pronounced simply: "Two twin boys" before rushing out of the room. My immediate thoughts (even in sleep) were: "hey, we only put in one blastocyst, so they must be identical" and then, "whoa, it's way to early to determine gender."

Finally, it was time to get up and get ready for the day. I felt really nervous, knowing that the news we got today might likely change our entire lives. I got to the RE's office at exactly 9:30 AM, but the office was rather chaotic and seemed to be running a bit behind schedule. There were contractors stomping about with measuring tapes and architectural plans, apparently preparing for some sort of remodeling project. I could hear the sound of a toddler shrieking intermittently coming from the back area of the office. I waited about 20 minutes, which is a bit unusual. At that point, S called me on the phone, hoping to hear some results before he headed into his next session at work. I told him that I would need to call him back in an hour.

Meanwhile, the nurses brought me back into the ultrasound room and I quickly got undressed, flipped the "ready" switch, and hopped onto the exam table. I decided that I needed to just relax and not read anything while I waited. I think I sat there for 5 to 10 minutes, trying to decide whether the pictures on the wall (sepia-toned pictures of palm trees) were new, or whether I had just never noticed them before.

FINALLY, there was a knock on the door and Dr W and nurse A entered the room.
-"How are you feeling?"
- "Nervous. I have no pregnancy symptoms. No breast tenderness. No nausea. Nothing."
- "Well, let's wait and see. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who just doesn't get a lot of symptoms."
(inserts dildo-cam)
"Oh, you're fine! Look at that!!"

The most beautiful sight. A gestational sac (the big black circle), a yolk sac (the white circle at 7-9 o'clock inside it) and a fetal pole (at about 9 o'clock).

Then, she said the most beautiful words of all:
"Oh, look at the heartbeat!"

Nurse A saw it right away. It took me a moment, but I did finally see the faint flicker that they were talking about. So beautiful!!

I teared up a bit at that point, saying again and again how happy I was. They took some measurements of the two sacs, but didn't attempt to determine a heart rate. We then talked about my OHSS for a while. There is still free fluid in my pelvis, although she didn't measure it formally this time. My ovaries are still about 6 cm on one side, and 7 cm on the other (down from a peak of 8 or 8.5, I believe). She said that they would continued to be enlarged for another month or two.

Dr W wanted to see me back next Monday (6w6d) but I will be out of town at the ASCO meeting in Chicago. We actually had to schedule my next ultrasound for next Thursday (7w2d) instead. After that, one more ultrasound with them sometime in the 8 week range. I will be sure to schedule that one at a time when S can make it. If we are so lucky to make it that far, I believe that the embryo will be far more visible at that point!

I then felt brave enough to ask for recommendations for OB/GYNs at my medical center; Dr W gave me about 6 names. I should make the appointment now, as they tend to be backed up. She gave me a "fake LMP" (4/15/08) so as not to confuse the scheduling people too much with explanations of IVF. She also said that next Sunday can be my last Vivelle patches, but that I still need to continue PIO shots for now.

I was surprised that I was being charged for today's appointment. The financial person (never my favorite) told me that "the IVF global rate only covers you through your pregnancy test." Then, I had the wonderful realization that I may be able to submit today's visit to my insurance company. It was a prenatal visit!!

Right before I left, I asked the nurse about when sex would be allowed again. It's not like I'm feeling especially sexual right now anyway (thanks hormones and OHSS!), but it seems weird to not be able to do it for months and months. She checked with Dr A, who told her that as long as a heartbeat was seen, it would be OK to resume.

Later that afternoon, I ruined my bliss by googling "gestational sac size" (why? WHY?) and finding out that mine was rather small." According to one formula that I found, an 8 mm sac should actually correspond to 4 weeks + 8 days = 5w1d. So, according to that, I am behind by 6 days. I fretted for a while, and then called the RE's office in hopes of getting reassurance. I spoke with nurse A, who assured me that the measurement obtained wasn't very precise, that Dr W was absolutely satisfied with my results, and that the important thing is that we had seen a heartbeat -- something that often isn't even seen yet at 6w0d. For now, I've decided to believe her and I'm trying to put all thoughts of small gestational sacs out out OUT of my mind!

I told S about my concern about the sac size this evening, and unfortunately this really put a damper on his joy. I hate doing that to him, but at the same time I want to share my fears and anxieties with him. He wishes that I would stay off the internet, quit doing my own research, and remain carefree; as long as the doctors are happy, we should be happy. I do agree that this approach would be best, but it is almost impossible for me to do this. Even if I don't seek out the information, I run across comments on the blogs and Ovusoft boards which send me into a frenzy. I was proud that I was able to restrain myself from demanding any additional betas and from taking any more HPTs over the past week! I knew that neither one would completely satisfy me that things were OK, but both had the strong potential of increasing my anxiety level if they were anything less than perfect.

Anyway, S and I are both truly thrilled. I can't wait until next Thursday (6/5/08)!! In the meantime, I am going to try to relax!


soapchick said...

Beautiful picture!! I agree with your husband, stay away from Dr. Google!

poppy.f.seed said...

fantastic that you heard the h/b!!!

I waver between checking things online and thinking I shouldn't. But when you're doing as much as we are to get preg. it is hard to just relax, and I have noticed I often feel better in knowing. It is a quandary, though!

Pink-CJ said...

Congrats!! A Heartbeat!! So lucky! My RE won't be doing an ultrasound until I am 6w5d's! Ideally, I should be going tomorrow, but oh well. I tried to move it, but the Dr. isn't in the office. I am sure everytyhing is fine and yay!!! A heartbeat!! :)

Hilary (The Trying Game) said...

Awesome!!!! SO happy for you!!!

Lauren said...

I too wish that I could stay off the internet and stop the research--and my husband does too! Where's the line between being wisely informed and freaking yourself out? I hope you'll be able to relax and enjoy the beginning of your pregnancy!

Lorrie said...

Yes, Dr. Google is evil!! No matter what, he will always be able to dig up some news of doom and gloom, even when everyhing is perfectly fine.

Congrats on the ultrasound! That's really special.

JJ said...

Oh how beautiful! Congrats on a great ultrasound!
I have to PRY myself away from Dr. Google...

Cindy Nguyen said...

oh wow! wow! LOVE the photo. Can't wait for the next ultrasound already and can't wait to see S's reaction when he looks on that monitor and sees that beautiful heartbeat.


Morrisa said...

Yay! You are exactly one week behind me! You can check my blog tonight to see my 7 week u/s picture to see how much the little one grows in just one week! Congrats!

alison said...

Congrats!! So excited for you!! I can't believe next Thursday is June 5th - I just had a momentary freak out when I realized that half the year is almost gone! :)

kcmarie122 said...

Wow! That is awesome news! Congrats on your little flicker! I bet that was the most beautiful thing in the world to see...that is until your next appointment!


Jen said...

Congrats on seeing a heartbeat! And you know it reassures me somewhat that even doctors find Dr. Google a dangerous temptation. Steer clear, I'm telling you!

Meghan said...

The internet can be scary. I've been trying to just listen to my dr (notice I said trying)

Congrats on your beautiful little heartbeat. My first u/s was too early to get an actual heart rate too, but seeing that flicker was enough!

La La said...

CONGRATS on the great news!! Don't worry about the sac, one of ours had such a small sac that it didn't even show up on our 6 week ultrasound - we are now 13 weeks and he/she is doing great!

Emily said...

I am so glad you are feeling better! What a beautiful picture! No fretting - just try to enjoy each day - I know wayyyyy easier said then done. Hang in there!