October 10th-present

It’s been 1 month. 1 month since I found out that I don’t get to bring home my baby. The pain of the loss is so raw sometimes, but other times, I can nonchalantly mention “when I was pregnant” without it hurting too much. Dan and I often wonder who she would have looked like, if she would have had my musical ability or his athletic ability, if she would have been quiet and sweet or wonderfully obnoxious. We both knew she would have been extremely intelligent. I have no choice but to believe that she has to be in some paradise- that even though we won’t see her in this life, we will see her in another.

The guilt still pings a bit, but it’s not as bad as it was. I don’t think it will ever completely go away. The love and support we have experienced over the last month or so has been absolutely overwhelming. My in-laws gifted us a dinner at our favorite mexican restaurant, a few of his cousins gifted us a couple of nights out at a wonderful italian restaurant, we received flowers, cards, candy, and my amazing co workers picked out a beautiful set of rings from Lisa Leonard designs called the “love and loss” set. I can’t say it reminds me of my girl, but it reminds me of something more. It reminds me to never give up due to feeling lost- that we have more support from our friends and family than we ever thought possible.

We are currently working on healing, although it has not been an easy road. Of course not. Ha! The day of the first injection, my hCG level was about 3900. 4 days later, it had jumped to 7000 (we expected that). A week after the first injection, it had jumped up to 8800 (also expected- as she had the heartbeat) so I got a second set of injections. 4 days after that it dropped to a whole 8700. 3 days after that (a week after the second)- it had only dropped to 7700, so I had to get a 3rd set of injections. I was now a surgery risk as my levels were not dropping. That Saturday after the 3rd set, it finally went down to 4000. A week after the 3rd set of injections we were down to 3000 and this week we are down to 1300. Almost out of surgery risk, but the weekly levels will continue until my level is down to less than 2.

During this month of “beta hell” we were able to go to the Wisconsin game where it snowed for the first time with a couple of friends and we were fortunate enough to see Elton John! My best friend was able to snag us some private press box seats and it was so relaxing to sit in our own area and enjoy the concert.

In the immediate future, we are working on paying off the IVF, enjoying time together, I’ll be finishing school as I graduate in May, and we are planning our big vacation for the end of April/early May.

As for our plans for kids- those are still in the works. If we can somehow afford another IVF, we will do that. If we can’t, we will look into embryo adoption as that is a possibility for us, or we will see how our hearts open up to adoption over the next 6 months to a year.

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October 9th.

To say I was nervous for this ultrasound was an understatement. I knew there was either going to be a baby in there, or there wasn’t.

We were called back to our appointment, labs were drawn, and I was in the ultrasound room. Dr. S comes in and starts to scan. She made one pass through my uterus and I knew she wasn’t in there. That much I did know. Two seconds later she starts saying “shoot shoot shoot. It’s in your tube. It has a heartbeat.”

My world came crashing down. She was perfect. Measuring within normal limits. My perfect little girl was just in the wrong spot and I couldn’t do anything about it.

I was crying, my husband was crying, the doctor was grabbing my face, tears running down hers saying “I’m so so so sorry”. She sat with us and held us for about 15 minutes as we sobbed into her shoulder. I still cry (and am right now) as I think of this moment. Frozen in time. Pregnant, but had to terminate.

I feel like I killed my daughter. That thought- as irrational as it is, will never leave my mind- as I see her little heart flickering on the ultrasound screen.

The doctor drew my blood, placed orders for methotrexate and walked us downstairs to the outpatient clinic.

Down in the clinic, a very sweet nurse came to get me for my injections. She brought me in, took my vitals, and had to ask the question “Do you know why you are getting this injection?” The words barely escaped my mouth. “I have an ectopic pregnancy.” It was the longest hour and a half later that she came in with the injections. My muscles were so numb at that point- I was grateful I didn’t feel the needles.

We left the hospital and I started to have a panic attack. I was realizing that although I was still pregnant, I would not be taking home a baby. My body would absorb the pregnancy and I would get a period.

 

I went home and ate gluten. For the first time in 6 months.

September 22- October 8th

That Sunday morning, we woke up and drove to the doctor for my beta hCG test. We knew it was positive, I was just hoping for a strong number. We then went to breakfast where I had gluten free pancakes. They were delicious.

At about 11:30 the nurse called with my numbers. The beta was 27.8. Not high, not that reassuring, but it was officially positive. I was to repeat in 48 hours.

Tuesday, I had my blood drawn again. My beta went up to 51. Not a perfect double, but well over a 50% increase. I was to come back on Thursday.

Thursday, the number had climbed to 115. We had over a double- so that was good news. I was to return to the clinic on Sunday to see what my level was doing. If it were to double, I would make my ultrasound appointment.

Sunday the 29th, I drove back up to my clinic and my level jumped to 300! It was finally a good rise. My doctor was feeling better about my numbers, so I scheduled my ultrasound for Tuesday 10/9.

Through this entire week I started to get hopeful. I downloaded my pregnancy app, I was feeling nauseous, sleeping all the time, and my breasts were so tender and already growing. I had to buy new bras already.

I couldn’t help but picture what our life was finally going to be like- I started to get my hopes high. Boy was I in for it.

Turning page

I’ve waited a hundred years. I’d wait a million more for you.
Nothing prepared me for the privilege of being yours would be
If I had only felt the warmth within your touch
If I had only seen how you smile when you blush
Or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough- I would have known what I was living for.

 

September 13-21

I woke up that morning with a relaxed mood- I was praying all night that this would go well.

It was a picture perfect transfer. The embryo went exactly where it should have and the procedure was done in less than 3 minutes. For the first time in my life, I was pregnant (until proven otherwise). I was over the moon. Dan looked at me as I came back to the holding area and said “There’s a baby in you”. I was almost in tears I was so elated.

The next 24 hours were bliss. Until news came crashing down that Aunt Pat passed away.

That week was just kind of a blur. But, the night of the visitation, we went out to dinner with Dan’s sister and brother and just relaxed. The morning of the funeral was 9 days post 5 day transfer. I caved and took a pregnancy test. I just couldn’t hold out anymore and I knew the blood work would be Sunday anyway- just one more day away.

It was positive. I have never had a positive pregnancy test before. I was in disbelief. I ran back into the bedroom and I don’t think it clicked with Dan- he got scared and just rolled over. He’s a bit more analytical though.

I knew Dan was a little excited though- when we took a family picture, he looked at me and said “we are the only ones that know in this picture, there are 9 people, not 8”

That whole day, we celebrated Aunt Pat the only way she wanted- with a party. I think we did her proud.

 

September 1-12

Estradiol is now underway twice a week and progesterone starts on our anniversary!

Dan and I decided to go camping for our anniversary- the week before, I ended up getting strep throat and a sinus infection. 2 rounds of antibiotics, I was finally starting to turn the corner- so we still went camping. Progesterone injections started while camping- so we did our business (the shots that is) right at the picnic table in our site.

That Sunday morning, we were all packed up and ready to go- but our car wouldn’t start, so we had to try to find a jumper pack. I thought the campground hosts would have one, but Dan thought we should go to the ranger station. Dan and I walked the mile to the ranger station to find out… the hosts had a jumper pack. I think he should listen to me more often.

The jumper pack was not working- I don’t know if Dan wasn’t doing it right or if it didn’t have enough juice to jump the car, but a nice woman was walking by and offered her husband to come help us. Mike drove his jeep down and had jumper cables in his jeep ready to go. A couple of revs of the engine and my escape started right up. Dan and Mike got to talking, it turns out Mike grew up in Racine, went to St. Cats, and actually went to high school with one of the Steimle aunts. What a small world. Those Steimle’s always have an eye out for us.

Driving up to the campground, we found out Dan’s sweet Aunt Pat was being transferred to hospice after a courageous battle with lymphoma.

August

Everything from now is delayed, but, at least it’s in here.

Had my baseline ultrasound on 8/21- everything looked good! We were ready to start my estrogen on 8/25!

Was able to go visit the niece and nephew that weekend. Ate at all 3 locations of our favorite restaurant down there- such good Mexican food. So glad I could get away and get family time before we underwent our FET

8/25- Anna wanted to give me my first injection- she did a great job!

My life is now run by an alarm clock.