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God has blessed me tremendously with an amazing husband, Doug, and two gorgeous little boys, Gavin and Joey. It has always been a dream of mine to have a large family but God may have other plans. I had a series of 6 consecutive early miscarriages when trying for baby #2. We are currently trying for baby #3 after our 7th miscarriage. I am faithful that God's plan is perfect, even when I am not happy about it. I love comments and meeting new followers so please don't be shy!

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

7 Weeks

I got another peek at baby today as am pleased to say that everything was looking good and the heart was beating away at 158 beats per minute.  Hearing that sound and seeing things looking good completely made me feel better about the fact I had to wait 80 minutes to see the doctor. I read my Cosmo magazine and learned that I am a) too old to appreciate fashion b) that magazines are nothing but advertisements and c) that I am completely detached from mainstream media.  I mean, who ARE these people?  Why do they wear so much eye make up? 

Anyway, I have completed 7 1/2 weeks of pregnancy and feeling better about things everyday, but not completely feeling safe.  If my fertility history has taught me anything, it is that the one thing I thought I would never have to deal with could very well be my next hurdle.

When I first started I never thought I would know what a miscarriage was like.  Then I did.

I never thought I would know what having multiple miscarriages would feel like.  Then I did.

I never thought I would have a hard time conceiving.  Then I did.

So to say that I am not worried about having a late loss would be a lie.

Every single day is a blessing and I am thrilled that I am able to experience this miracle again. 
Thursday, January 24, 2013

6 Weeks

Actually I am 6 weeks and 4 days but who is counting?  Oh yeah.  I am.  Every day that I am pregnant is a blessing and one that I thank God for.

I'll just cut to the chase.  I got to hear a heartbeat!  One healthy little baby measuring just as it should had a heart beating away!  Just as the doctor showed me the baby she asked me if I had had any spotting or bleeding.  I told her no and she showed me a spot on the screen that indicated that there is some sort of bleeding happening in my uterus.  She went back to how great that there is a heartbeat and how my risk of miscarriage drops down to only 10%.  While that is good, I much prefer to say that my chance of having a successful pregnancy is now 90%.

She isn't too concerned about the bleeding and explained that it could simply be implantation.  She also felt as if we had used a different ultrasound machine, we likely wouldn't have even noticed it.  As a precautionary measure I am not allowed to have sex, lift anything over 15 pounds (Sorry Joey.  Looks like you have to climb into your own car seat now!), or exercise.

So far so good.  I kinda wish we would have been on a different ultrasound machine because not knowing about that little bleed happening in there would be kind of nice.  Baby had a heart rate of 119 beats per minute.

And now in his/her film debut I present to you The Baby...


Please keep those prayers coming!  
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Detect5 Pregnancy Tests

Let me start this post by saying what I love about the Detect5 Pregnancy Tests.  I adore what they are trying to do.  They are designed to help you have some peace of mind that your beta hCG levels are rising which often indicates that a pregnancy is progressing.  Many women who have had trouble trying to conceive or have a history of miscarriages will have blood tests performed 2-3 days apart to show that the amount of hCG is doubling every 48-72 hours.  When women don't have that offered or want to be reassured after those first couple of blood tests, these tests can help to show that you levels are rising.  In the case that they are not, you can call your doctor and let them know your concerns.

This pregnancy, my 11th pregnancy with only 2 children, my blood test results were a bit above average and rising well.  I was very reassured by that!  But when those blood draws were done, I was stuck in the waiting game.  I had had betas that started out okay before and not had things end well.  A few days after my blood draw if 349, I was needing some reassurance that all was okay in there.  I pulled out one of the Detect5 tests that I had stashed away since last year and used it thinking that I should see a line on the 500 line.   This result was what I needed to see:

Then I waited almost a whole week to use my next Detect5 that had just arrived from the wonderful people at early-pregnancy-tests.com.  I was fully expecting that my levels would have passed the 2000 mark.  It is very important to note that the tests that were sent to me are a newer version of the test.  They are read differently and contrary to what every woman would expect.  The first three levels are read the exact same way as before with two lines being positive for that level of hCG.  The 2000 and 10,000 levels are read as positive if only ONE line shows up.  So, I was hoping for just one line at the 2,000 level.  This is the result I had at 5 minutes:


I was so confused.  I thought for SURE that my levels should have been positive at 2,000.  This is when the freakout began.  I saw lines.  I shared pictures with my online secret support group.  They saw them too.  Then the tests dried.  The lines started going away.  By that night, the lines at 2,000 and 10,000 were practically gone.  Both of them.  What does this mean?
That Evening
 I emailed people.  I stared at the tests.  I scoured the internet for other people's experiences with the tests and I was coming up empty.  I panicked a little and called my RE and asked for another blood test.  My result the following morning was a perfectly healthy 4,632.  Crisis averted.

I was really bothered by that test.  I was so scared that my levels weren't climbing anymore and started over-analyzing my symptoms (of which I have few) and was starting to think that things were heading South.  I had to think long and hard about using another one today.  I was mostly just wanting to see a clear positive result on the 2,000 line this time as I was SURE that at this point my levels should register on the urine test.  This time, after assuring myself that no matter the results I would NOT freak out, I got this:

Remember that no line means positive.  This picture was taken at 5 minutes and clearly is positive for both the 2,000 and 10,000 line.  But... here's my thing... If 4,632 showed as negative on the 2,000 line then even if I am just at the 10,000 level it shouldn't be positive on the urine test yet.  Ahhhhhh!  So confusing!  But I would rather be testing higher than have a questionable result on a lower level again.

So overall the Detect5 tests have the right idea.  I am just not sure that they are accurate enough to be completely reassuring to someone who doesn't have the option of requesting an additional blood draw to verify.  But if blood tests are not an option and you really want some sort of verification that your levels are rising, these tests might do that.  They might not.  If you want to experiment and use these tests, do so but please please please do not assume the worst if you don't get the expected results.  If you are concerned about losing symptoms, bleeding during early pregnancy, or cramping, a call to your doctor will leave you with more answers than any pee stick. 


Friday, January 18, 2013

The Freakout

I am trying to break my pee stick habit.  My First Response tests are maxed out and the test line can't possibly get any darker but I did have some of the Detect5 tests left over from last year so what is the harm in peeing on a test that helps to verify that your beta levels are rising and therefor that your pregnancy is progressing normally?

Tuesday I used a Detect 5 test thinking that my levels should have been at the 2,000 mark for sure.  That test didn't confirm that.  But, eh.  It was a test from a year ago that had some pretty consistent reviews that said they had issues at the 2,000 and 10,000 levels.  So, no big deal.  No freakouts.

I used a brand new, revamped, redesigned Detect5 where they had obviously tried to improve the accuracy because the new test is read differently.  (I plan on doing a whole post dedicated to just the Detect5 tests and my thoughts at some point.)  When I used that test, and read it when and how I was directed to, I started my freakout.  It was pretty clearly indicating that my hcg hadn't reached the 2,000 level.  For those of you who aren't familiar with hcg levels the brief explanation is that the number is supposed to double approximately every 48 hours.  That doubling time does slow down a bit after the initial weeks of pregnancy but it is a fairly good indicator of a pregnancy that is progressing.

My level should have been clearly over 2,000 at this point.  So after staring at that test, emailing some people, having little panic attacks and over analysing my behavior and symptoms over the last week, I called my doctor.  I explained what had happened and asked if I could one more blood test to determine if my pregnancy was ending or not.

I went first thing this morning and got my results back at lunch time.  They were at 4,632.  Perfectly in line with what would be considered normal.  Freakout: officially over.  So I am back to patiently waiting for my appointment on Thursday to hopefully hear a heartbeat.

Deep breaths.

Deep breaths.

Deep breaths. 
Monday, January 14, 2013

10 Days

Being pregnant after a loss or losses, is a awkward place to be.  I'm not trying to conceive anymore but reluctant to jump with both feet into a world of pregnancy and baby bumps.  It really is a one day at a time kind of thing.  Each day that passes is one day closer to our appointment to hopefully hear a heartbeat.  I only have 10 more days to go until I can breathe just a little bit easier.

I won't lie.  I have spent a lot of time looking back at this post from last year.  I was pregnant one day and then not pregnant the next.  My test line went from dark to not dark.  My world came crashing down just one day from when I allowed myself to think that that pregnancy was going to end with a baby.  To say that I am not a little worried that the same is going to happen would be an understatement. 

I keep reminding myself of these things:

1. I really think that my having a very thin lining as evidenced both by ultrasounds and by my scant, light periods, really was a contributing factor to my losses.  I know that my lining was a perfect 9.6 mm.

2. With my other losses, I have been sick.  It seemed to start around the time implantation would take place and I would feel better when the bleeding started.  This time, much like with my pregnancy with Joey, I feel good!

3. This is from 22 days past ovulation last year-


   Yesterday at 21 days past ovulation and I got this-

I'm still nervous but feeling better with everyday that passes. For now... I am off to take a nap. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Suspense

The suspense was nearly killing me.  On Tuesday morning I did my ritualistic boob poke to make sure they were still sore (Oh... don't give me that look. You did it too.) and they weren't.  At all.  I poked my boobs on the way to the doctor's office.  Still nothing.  I poked them some more while I waited for that call.  That time they were a little sore but then I had to wonder if it was because they were actually sore or if they were sore because I had been repeatedly poking them all morning. 

When the call came with the beta number of 149, I poked them again.  Still nothing much happening there, unless I poked them from underneath!  Ah!  A little sore under there.  Those boobs were just playing hard to get.

Yesterday they were about the same.  If it hadn't been for my fatigue I would have been sure that this pregnancy was over.  Then when last night came around and despite a 1 hour nap that afternoon, I was still ready for bet at 9 pm, I was reassured.

I went to the lab this morning and headed home preparing myself for the grueling afternoon of waiting for the phone to ring.  I made lunch for the boys and talked myself into eating a salad.  Just as I was about to sit down for lunch. my cell phone rang.  Oh my goodness!  I only had left the lab less than 2 hours ago.

The nurse's voice was chipper, but this nurse just seems to always sound that way.  She is the type of lady who probably dots her i with a heart with a curly Q tail.  So I allowed her to lull me into a sense of positivity and then her voice got even higher when she told me that my numbers look "Really great!" and that they are "really pleased with them!"  She finally spilled the number to be 349.  Yep.  349.  It doubled and then a little.  I am good with that!  Of course it wasn't quite the crazy high number I was dreaming of but, hey, I'll take it.  A doubling time of about 40 hours with 31-72 being normal. 

Please keep the prayers coming as I will not feel "out of the woods" until I see a heartbeat.  Thanks again to all of you.  Your support means the world to me. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: I needed this.

I bought Gavin a new calendar today and this was inside of it.  I think it was a perfect thing for me to find today. 
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Obsession

I am writing this post as I am waiting for my first blood test to come back.  I know it will be positive.  It is more a matter of how positive it is. 

I have been testing every day, but my goal is to kick the habit after today.  I used my last First Response test and while I have some cheapies laying around here somewhere, they aren't really good at being consistent.



I am excited to be where I am today.  I must admit that I am scared to fully embrace the pregnancy until I see a heartbeat, but at the same time I am afraid to let the first trimester of what will likely be my last pregnancy pass me by without enjoying the miracle that is happening.

I have spent a lot of time looking at a few things online.  One is pictures of pregnancy tests with corresponding beta numbers.  I like to see light lines produce big numbers because that might mean that my dark tests will bring me a huge number.  Why do I want a huge number you might ask?  Well, there is this wacky little study that was done on a scientific level that showed that the beta level of a pregnant woman drawn on 16 days past ovulation (dpo) can be an indicator of if the pregnancy will be successful.

What this study found:

25 - 50 hCG at 16dpo -- Four women in this study had hCG levels below 50 at this stage. The researchers concluded that with these levels less than 25% would continue on with their pregnancy with more than 75% miscarrying.

50 - 100 hCG at 16dpo -- Of 16 women, 25% continued on with their pregnancies.

100 - 199 hCG at 16dpo -- Of 27 women with these levels, 73% continued on with their pregnancies.

200 - 299 hCG at 16dpo -- Of 48 women, 96% continued on with their pregnancies

Over 300 hCG -- All 105 women continued on with their pregnancies.

To read the whole study and participate in the informal 16 dpo project go HERE.  

So what I am saying is that I would really like to see my beta to be over 300 but I'll settle for over 200.  That would really help these early days to pass better.

I will not publish this post until the call comes.  So now we wait....


Still waiting...


And still waiting...


Oh my goodness!  Call already!!


And the number is....149

Of course I was hoping for higher but I'll take it.  73% isn't bad.  Plus in all honesty, When I was 16 dpo with Joey my beta was only 52.  So.... I'll take it.  


Friday, January 4, 2013

Today is 12 DPO

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013

I have big plans for 2013.  Huge. 

First of all, I am not going to be infertile this year.  I spent all of 2011 and 2012 hanging out in the Land of IF, and frankly, it just isn't the place for me this year.  I have my bags packed.  Now all I need to do is get pregnant.

It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells... to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.
― Dave Barry

Second, I have proven that I can lose weight if I try.  I have also proven that eating mass amounts of junk food and not tracking my food intake leads to gaining weight.  I am ready to get back on my treadmill and start sweating again.  I am going to go back to making good choices and cooking healthy meals for my family.

Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.  ~Author Unknown

Third, I am going to kick the habit.  No more pee sticks for me.  I am going to ... eh.  Who am I kidding.  I will not.

Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.  ~St. Augustine

Forth, I am going to say goodbye to my jealousy.  No more "oh woe is me" when I see a baby picture or pregnancy announcement.  I am going to remind myself that my time will also come.  

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
― Malachy McCourt

Lastly, I am going to focus more of my time and energy on prayer and developing a better relationship with God. 

I had struggled so hard and so long that I had simply exhausted myself, only to find that God had all the time in the world to wait for me to allow Him to free me.
 ― Michelle McKinney Hammond

Have you made any resolutions, goals, plans for 2013?

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