14 weeks.

We went to my first appointment since I was 10 weeks today to check in on Peanut (still no name). I’m officially into the second trimester and I’ve actually managed to keep my shit together for the most part. I’ve stopped obsessively googling miscarriage statistics. I don’t automatically brace myself to see blood every time I sit down to pee. We’ve announced our news to the world.

And about that. We were fairly open about having to do a few rounds of IVF with our close friends and family. Not so much other people though. So when I started getting little comments (“Oh it’s about time!” “We were wondering when y’all would finally settle down!” “What took so long?!”) I decided fuck it, we’re being open. So I’ve starting telling people yeah, we had to do multiple rounds of IVF and had two failed transfers before this worked. So…that’s what took so long. Tends to shut them up. So hopefully they think before they open their mouths at someone else!

Back to the appointment. You might laugh, but this is the first time I was actually like holy crap, I am pregnant with a little human. He was wiggling around, rolling, waving, stretching, basically showing off. Or he was annoyed that his home kept getting poked and prodded…who knows. Also, there were a few times where he posed and there was zero question that he is, in fact, a boy. Yeah. There’s a teeny tiny little penis growing inside of me. Weird.

Side note: I have officially graduated to ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUNDS!!!! I went to a doctor and KEPT MY DAMN PANTS ON. This is milestone. It’s huge. IVF forced me to become comfortable with random strangers all up in my business. I mean, at this point I’m comfortable chatting about dinner plans as someone moves a twat wand around in me. So yeah…I was so excited when she gooped up my belly.

Everything is going as it should. I’m having the world’s most boring, uneventful pregnancy. And I’m thrilled about it and hope that trend continues for the next 25ish weeks.

Bonus: we actually managed a picture while he decided to chill for a bit! What up, Peanut?

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12 weeks.

Today I find myself 12 weeks pregnant with the peanut. It’s starting to feel more real. We’ve told our families. I’m planning on telling work next week. Things are happening.

We got the results from our NIPT. We did the Panorama test through Natera which tests for chromosomal abnormalities and identifies the sex. Low risk for everything tested. I don’t think I can accurately describe the relief that washed over me when I got the call from the nurse. I’m still so convinced that this pregnancy is hanging on by a thread.

Part of the hell that is going through IVF meant that I lost all ability to do all the cutesy shit you read about other women doing. I didn’t get to surprise my husband with a pregnancy test and a onesie. He knew damn well when I was peeing on a stick and what was riding on that morning’s pee. I’ve spent the past 2 months dealing with soul crippling anxiety because I know just how much can go wrong at any point.

So when I texted my husband the news that Peanut was low risk, I left out the part where they told me the sex.

And he didn’t ask.

So I decided to go cheesy. At my lunch break that day, I ran to Target and got a gender themed newborn oneside and a little gift box. When I got home, I told him to humor me and that if he wanted to know, he should open the box. He panicked for a split second – apparently he had totally forgotten that the testing would also tell us boy or girl. So he opened the box and found this:

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It’s a boy!

Part of me is terrified but most of me is pumped. Time to raise me a little kickass feminist boy. As long as he comes out healthy, I don’t care. I’m just happy.

Breathing.

So I don’t want to alarm anyone…

But apparently in 7 months I will be giving birth to either A) an alien or B) a Mexican Luchador (do I have to name it Nacho Libre?)

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Had my first appointment with the OB today obviously, and all is well. My blood pressure is back to normal (LOOK ME RELAXING DAMMIT), and the baby’s heartbeat is back down to an average 174bpm (it was 189 at 8 weeks!). I’m 10+1 but still measuring a few days ahead of schedule. But we got to see it move! About halfway through the tech taking her measurements, Peanut decided to wake up. It started wiggling around and moving. I swear there were jazz hands. My thyroid is being a shit and levels were at 3.4 at last check so my dosage has been increased yet again. They took like 8 vials of blood from me…brought back some lovely IVF memories. We’re doing the Panorama NIPT testing. Hopefully in 7-10 business days, we’ll find out if we’re at risk for chromosomal abnormalities and will even know the sex.

Holy shit. I’m pregnant. I might actually be having a baby.

One year.

One year ago my husband and I sat in the RE’s office and were given the news that natural conception was never in our cards and that it was straight to IVF+ICSI. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Worst April Fool’s ever.

After over a year of trying with no results, this news was equal parts heartbreaking and relieving. Heartbreaking because we knew whatever road that was ahead of us would be hell. Relieving because it was now officially out of our hands. We knew our problem. We knew the only possible solution. We had a plan.

Over the last year, we have gone through 2 egg retrievals and 3 transfers. I currently find myself a day away from 10 weeks pregnant with our only embryo from IVF #2 and I can’t help but reflect a little. In the grand scheme of things, one year is nothing. I know people try for many many years without success, so the idea that a year after our crushing news, we could have found success, is an amazing thing.

I still feel little twinges of jealousy though, and I don’t think those will ever go away. I know this will be our only child unless we choose to go the donor route in a few years. I watch my friends with their children and think “Why couldn’t that have been us?” Half of them got pregnant within 3 months of trying and I’m jealous that I’ll never have the experience of getting to create a baby with my husband in our own bed during an intimate moment.

But I’m happy. I’m scared to admit to even myself, but I am so insanely happy. Before this transfer worked, I was preparing to start looking for sperm donors and researching embryo adoption. The idea that in 7 months, I might have a baby that is actually part me and part my husband? That brings up feelings that I can’t even accurately describe in words.

So here’s to this worst year of my fucking life. It taught me more about myself and my marriage than I ever dreamed possible. I wouldn’t wish this shit storm on my worst enemy. And I hope Monday brings good news.

Dare I say it?

I am dangerously close to approaching something like optimism. What is this horse shit?

Had my follow up sonogram with the RE this afternoon. Peanut is still in there. I’m 8 weeks, 3 days, but measuring 8 weeks, 6 days. Overachiever. Heart rate is a little higher than they’d like, but still in the acceptable range. I blame it on the crippling anxiety I had been experiencing in the hours leading up to the appointment. The RE lectured me that I’d have to start accepting the fact that I might actually give birth in 7 months and calm the fuck down. I’m paraphrasing of course but the sentiment is there.

I’ve officially been kicked out of the RE’s care and released to my OB. So I’m just like…a normal pregnant lady now? Weird but okay. I called her office and they actually managed to get me in in a little less than 2 weeks from now, the first week of April. I’ll be 10 weeks.

We (meaning my husband and I) actually talked a little bit today in a more concrete way. We’ve kind of spent the last 4.5 weeks not really acknowledging the elephant in the room. Today we actually talked about life like it included a little one coming along in late October.

This will definitely take some adjustment. I don’t deal very well with optimism. But I’m trying.

Breathe.

We still have a little peanut. Measuring right on schedule at 6 weeks, 6 days, heart beating at 138bpm. We heard the heartbeat, y’all. That was…surreal. It doesn’t feel real at all. I’ve said it many times…does IVF actually WORK for people? Because my last two failures have kind of set me up to believe this is all just a pipe dream.

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But hey. Today I am pregnant with a little peanut with a heartbeat. I go back in a week and a half for one more sonogram. If all is still progressing as it should be, I’ll be released to my OB.

So for now…I have to keep reminding myself to breathe.

Make the anxiety stop.

I’m hanging on by a thread, y’all. A thread.

My ultrasound to confirm pregnancy isn’t until Friday and I am one massive ball of nerves. Yesterday brought me to the 6 week mark. I check for blood every time I pee. Every cramp has me terrified that this is the end. Sometimes I’m sure it’s a blighted ovum. I also just learned wtf a molar pregnancy was. WHY DID WE NOT DO GENETIC TESTING?!

Breathe.

Of course there are good moments. Moments where I’m driving to work and for just a second, allow myself to think ahead. Moments where I hold my hand to my stomach and just smile. Husband and I will occasionally talk about the future as if it includes a continuation of this pregnancy. The odds are technically on my side at this point, I’m something like 4 times more likely to have a baby than not. But we all know how I feel about odds and how often I’ve been on the shit end of them. So…I try to take the data with a grain of salt.

I’m really just exhausted all the time at this point. Yesterday I took two naps during the day and was in bed by 9pm. I get bouts of nausea, but haven’t actually gotten sick. On the YAY side though….my boobs? Are looking fabulous! I swear I’ve gone up at least a cup size in the last 2 weeks. Husband poked them the other day and was like good god, woman where did those come from?

So to recap. Crippling anxiety. Very very tentative optimism. AWESOME boobs. Is it Friday yet?

Still in the race.

Hurdle 2? CLEARED, BITCHES!

My beta last Wednesday at 12dp5dt was 977. Today one week later…?

10,594!

Like…pipe the hell down little peanut. Let’s not be an overachiever here.

I am currently 5 weeks, 3 days. I am officially scheduled for a twat wand session next Friday, the 10th to try to see something resembling a heartbeat. Let’s call that Hurdle 3. I called my husband to tell him about the insanely increasing beta number and he asked when I would stop calling everything a hurdle. I told him not until there is a freaking baby coming out of me.

Side note: Google is the bane of my existence. I am currently living in fear that miscarriage is happening right now and I just don’t know it yet. Infertility has seriously robbed me of optimism and naivety. Most people pee on their stick and assume they are taking a baby home in 9 months. I, on the other hand, assume everything is going to go horribly horribly wrong until proven otherwise. I’m still not convinced IVF actually works for anyone.

Come on Hurdle 3.

Hurdle 1 cleared.

So I peed on lots of things over the weekend. You know…as one does.

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I got the first positive on Friday, 7 days post 5 day transfer. It got progressively darker so I was happy.

Monday’s beta at 10dp5dt was 326. I was very happy with that number. I considered Hurdle 1 to be making it to today and the follow up beta at 12dp5dt. I was keeping my fingers crossed for somewhere in the 650 range. It came back at 977! Like… holy shit. My progesterone is 25, and the RE was happy with it.

Next step is to go back for one more blood draw next week. If numbers still look ok, we wait another week for an ultrasound to find a blob and a possible heartbeat. But I’m just concentrating on breathing until next Wednesday’s blood test.

I don’t know how the fertile people do this. All of my friends got a positive test and then went to the doctor at 8 weeks and thought nothing of it. I am SO VERY TYPE A so I think I would spontaneously combust. I’ve also spent the last year studying absolutely everything that could go wrong in the next 8 weeks waiting for the first trimester to be over. I’m still so convinced that the idea of IVF working for us is a pipe dream. Also…really regretting not PGS testing now. :/

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For now I trot slowly towards Hurdle 2.