Tag Archives: Dr. A

I didn’t run my 10th marathon on 10-10-10

And I couldn’t be happier about it. 🙂

Yesterday, on the awesome date of 10-10-10, 45,000 runners woke up at the crack of dawn and raced 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon. I watched the elite athletes race on TV. Even if you are not into running, if you want to see the most inspiring, chills-inducing finish EVER, please watch this AWESOME video that shows the last mile or so of the men’s race (they run so fast it’s only a few minutes long). I was literally yelping so loudly from the living room that hubs had to come in to see what all of the racket was about. I got to meet Sammy Wanjiru last year for work—he’s the guy in red—and I heart him!! (Weird coincidence, the day I interviewed him was also the day I popped my first-ever Clomid pill.)

For the past 15 months I have been so careful about not over-extending my body and that has meant no racing and no long distance runs. (Except for a race over Memorial Day weekend, right after I found out IUI/injects 1.0 was a bust and I was on bench month because of a cyst.) This has honestly been pretty tough for me because I guess you could say I have always fallen back on races as life-preservers to get me through hard spots. I signed up for my very first marathon when I was a few months out of college….hubs was working insane 100+ hour weeks in his i-banking job in NYC and I was feeling lonely and lost in a new city. Answer: Find a goal, connect with the running community, dedicate myself to training and feel good about myself during a rough time. (It worked!)

Of course I have done plenty of races just for the fun of it, but I have repeated that recipe throughout my life. When we moved to Chicago three major things happened within the span of one month….we were plopped into a new city, I started a new job, and we got married. Whew! My answer to the stress: train for and run the Chicago Marathon, of course!

During infertility treatment, training would’ve been a great coping mechanism for the hormones and stress I was putting myself through. Based on my hormone levels—and the fact that I was not underweight or low on body fat or anything like that—neither Dr. C, nor Dr. K, nor Dr. Awesome said running caused my anovulation (that may forever be a mystery), but they all agreed I should relax on it during treatment. Running was exactly the opposite of what my body (physically) needed. And we wanted a baby so very very very badly that there was NO QUESTION I would chill the heck out and let my body rest up.

So I stopped training for stuff cold turkey. And as for plain old exercise, I stopped running hard, and long, and I ran less often.

Over the past year I have fielded a lot of questions from coworkers and friends about what race I’m gearing up for next. When a big part of your identity is as an active, sporty, race-running person, I guess that’s what happens. It would hurt my heart every time I’d give my “Actually, I’m taking some time off and running for fun for the joy of running!” response.

It was the truth, but still.

I told my bosses we are pregnant on Thursday morning (!!!) and gave them the green light to tell people at work (I am much too shy for that!). So the news slowly trickled around most of the office by the end of the week.

I think it’s pretty awesome that I was given the gift of feeling comfortable enough to tell people right before the marathon.

Now when someone asks me, “Did you race this weekend?” I can say, “Nope. I am pregnant!” I am so lucky and so very very grateful to be where I am today.

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Where I turn into a puddle

I have not taken one second of my new state for granted. Yes, I’m pretty much constantly consumed with anxiety all the time, but literally every moment feels like a blessing. IF has taught me what a miracle it is to create a life, and I am in awe of my body and hubs’s body, and of science, and of awesome doctors. I mean, a year ago I was a girl who didn’t ovulate and couldn’t get her lining past 3.2mm….now I have two tiny growing embryos inside me. How did this happen? How did I get so lucky? I never thought I would be where I am, even though we were working so hard for it, and investing so much in it. I just….I never thought, I couldn’t imagine it, I didn’t believe I would get to be so lucky. It is like a dream come true, and it’s melted me into a puddle of respect and gratefulness and love.

Right now I’m literally shaking with relief and happiness. I had my first OB-GYN appointment this afternoon and both the babies looks great. They were big enough for crown-to-rump measurements and they were at 8w6d. So I zipped ahead a few days, yip!

There were many, many cool parts about the appointment, but the biggest one was my doctor, who I adore. She is really smart, really kind, and really chill (she told me it’s fine to run and do the ellip until she tells me it’s not fine; absolutely not to worry about my lack of nausea and breast soreness; flying is fine; etc). I totally clicked with her. She’s like a female version of Dr. Awesome, my RE, and that is pretty much PERFECTION. I’m nicknaming her Dr. Zen…so you know this is real love. Plus, the office is really beautiful and peaceful and I’m kinda obsessed with everything about it.

The other cool thing about the appointment was that—surprise!—we got to do a 3D ultrasound. (It was done on my my tum, not internal….whoa!) Ummm, amazing. For the first time it didn’t look like Baby A was totally squishing Baby B. And the detail was so good that I could make out little feet—both sets were up in the air like the babies were lounging at the beach. My little beach bums. 🙂 It was honestly the sweetest, awesomest thing I’ve seen in my entire life. Dr. Zen was so lovely during the ultrasound, she kept saying, Beautiful! These kiddos look perfect! And other reassuring stuff like that, while she would pat my knee. I heart her you guys, I really really do.

FYI, the reason for the 3D ultrasound was that the normal run-of-the-mill 2D ultrasound she did showed a suspect spot that looked like a third gestational sac that had an “echo reading” (heartbeat). Yes, I am serious. Dr. Zen kept saying, “Don’t freak out, I’m sure it’s not another baby, it’s probably a mirror image reading.” But she was concerned enough to have a special tech do a special ultrasound to count up the babies. Apparently in “thin” (haha) women, 2D ultrasounds can sometimes create this disturbing mirror image effect…which might’ve made it look like another sac. They also think it could’ve been my awfully enlarged right ovary, which continues to give me stabby pains. At any rate, just TWO babies. It was an intense moment there, let me tell you.

The rest the (long) appointment was filled with blood work, a flu shot, a pap smear (I had no idea that you could get those in pregnancy, also it was a long painful road to my cervix thanks to almost 7 weeks worth of Crinone buildup, groooooss), breast exam, internal and external uterus exam, medical history, pregnancy 101 info, genetic screening info, etc etc etc. Thank goodness I’d arranged to have someone cover for me at at work.

But that’s it for a few weeks….no more ultrasounds til my 12 week regular OB check-up and NT scan. I have been SO spoiled with these, basically, weekly ultrasounds. How will I survive? I’m hoping I can ride this ridiculous high all the way into October. I promise to find some other stuff to blog about in the meantime.

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We graduated!

Hubs and I went to our last appointment at Dr. Awesome’s office at the crack of dawn this morning, and my favorite tech did our ultrasound. (You guys, I have been soooooooooooo anxious. It’s seriously out of control.) But everything looked good! [Insert huge sigh of relief.] Both babies are measuring 7w2d and they look so much bigger than they did just a week ago!! Their heart rates are 156bpm and 142bpm. They are sweet, sweet little things and we love them SO MUCH! So now we are officially discharged to my new OB-GYN. Yip!!!!

We will miss Dr. A and his crew of amazing nurses a lot. They have been so kind and intelligent and wonderful. And they brought us to this point. Thank you, Dr. Awesome & the rest of the crew!! It is just incredible to me that these babies and my body are working like they should—that they are growing and changing and doing what they are supposed to do. I know this sounds goofy, but I am in complete and total awe. I know we are FAR from out of the woods, but I am so grateful for today, and for reaching this point.

*****

Other news. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have full-blown symptoms, I am feeling slightly different as of Friday-ish. I slept in, took a nap, and was ready to hit the hay again by 9pm every day of this long holiday weekend. Now, I am an excellent napper, but even for me this was extreme. My energy is sapped. How in the world am I going to survive a real work day….? Hoping adrenaline helps a lot.

More strangeness. On Saturday night, hubs and I made burgers on the grill. But after taking one bite….blah….I completely lost my appetite and couldn’t eat. (We think I might’ve been responding to its medium-rareness? Which is how I’ve always eaten burgers. Who knows but it was gross.) The other oddity is that I’ve been waking up around 1, 2, 3am–ish feeling a little nauseated the past few nights. Nothing crazy or worth mentioning, just sorta gross. Last night I woke up at 1am and was super-duper nauseated…..so much so that I thought I was going to puke. After a few dry heaves at the toilet, plus some sips of water, I was okay again. I thought it was a reaction to something I ate, but hubs Googled it up this morning and I guess some pregnant women get nauseated in the middle of the night because their stomachs are totally empty.

Weird. So weird!

But, I’ll very very happily take it, if it is legit and not a random coincidence. I am desperate for ANY signs that my body is working hard to keep our babies healthy and growing.

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Oh, my gosh

“How can I bear so much happiness!”—Jane Bennet, Pride & Prejudice

Hubs convinced me to take an HPT before work this morning. I hate those darn things, but, as it usually goes with hubs, he convinced me of the sagacity of his request. It would be best to get my emotions (mostly) under control somewhere besides my cube. And we’d be together, bad or good.

And then. AND THEN!

There were two lines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, just a bit ago, a phone call with 13dpiui Beta news. Positive!

I know. I KNOW!!!! It’s crazy and I feel totally normal and I can’t stop shaking and I’ve been up since 4am and this all feels like a dream and I never ever want to wake up. THANK YOU DR. AWESOME! The man is a genius and I love him.

I don’t know what to say except I will try to articulate this most heart-felt prayer and wish, which I feel with every cell in my being: Please, please, please, please, please let this be THE ONE. Please let it be healthy and strong. Please let THIS BE IT. Please, please, please.

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IVF consult

It was this morning and it was good. I love Dr. Awesome. Love, love, love. Hubs and I had both done a ton of research over the past couple of months, so all of our Qs were asked pretty much for the sake of hearing him answer in his understanding, intelligent, calm, confident way. We are signed up to begin meds on August 29, but that might pushed back if my requisite residual cyst is really large or decides to spew estrogen or invite some friends to hang out with it.

Also, when Dr. A was drawing my blood afterward, we chatted about my job, which he thinks is really cool, and about The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, which is the book we both read this summer. So now I’m pretty sure we’re BFFs. Muhahaha!

No, in all seriousness, because IVF is NO LAUGHING MATTER, it was a good consult. And I am so pleased we switched clinics last month. (Don’t get me started on the regret that brews when I think about hanging on with clinic #1 as long as I did. Alas!)

My heart’s been racing since I woke up this morning. I think consults just wig me out. And, then, you know, IVF is a very big deal and part of me is absolutely freaking out that we have reached this point. (Well, almost, tomorrow’s Beta result will be the final word.) I am not afraid of the injections, or the retrieval, or any of that stuff. I mean, I know it’s terribly unpleasant and stressful and emotional and uncomfortable and hard on my body, but I believe I can do it.

I am afraid of: What if THIS doesn’t work?

Dr. Awesome is holding our hearts and our future in his hands. Thank goodness I trust him 100%.

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It’s the same old song

Every morning, en route to my office, my bus drives right by Grant Park, a beautiful lakefront park in downtown Chicago. Hubs and I will be there baking under the steamy August sun this Sunday, as we are every first weekend in August, listening to our fave bands and discovering new ones at Lollapalooza.

This weekend is also the one-year anniversary of the first home pregnancy test I ever took. (I’ve only taken four since then, all because Clinic #1 required them.) It had been weeks and weeks since I’d been off birth control and while I was 90% sure I hadn’t ovulated and wasn’t pregnant (I’ve never ever ever had a symptom, remember?), I wanted to make absolutely sure before indulging in some beers at the the concert. I remember standing in my bathroom early that Saturday morning, hopping from one foot to the other, waiting to see. UP popped the control line, in a flash. And of course, that was all there was. One lonely line. Hubs gave me a hug, then I took a walk around my neighborhood and thought and thought about my next steps. I knew something was wrong.

I was fine afterwards, it wasn’t a shock or anything. But late that night, after a couple of beers were in my system, tears began rolling down my cheeks while hubs and I watched the Fleet Foxes play an aftershow at a bar. It was this endless well of emotion that I didn’t even know was inside me, and I was tapping it for the very first time.

I wish I could go back in time and give that woman a hug. She had NO idea what was in store for her and how tough her year would be. Provera. TSH test. Referred to RE. Consult with Dr. C. The Clomid bust months. The crazy-thin lining. The HSG. Second consult with Dr. C. The cysts. Consult with Dr. K. The hours and hours and hours of Googling.  The bench months. The early morning monitoring appointments. The blood draws. The canceled cycles. The injectables. The failed IUI. Consult with Dr. A. The second failed IUI. The third IUI. The jealousy. The fear. The anger. The regret. The frustration. The guilt. The shame. The heart-crushing longing to see two lines. So many tears.

And now I can’t help but wonder, as I look forward to my weekend at Lolla….do I need a hug now? The truth is, I STILL have idea what’s in store for me. Will I ever get to move forward, and leave this purgatory?

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And here we are

We triggered last night (twelfth night of stims, not too bad!) and will IUI tomorrow. We officially have one good follie on the left, with a “maybe” on the right (if it works really hard to catch up). I had a bunch of follies hanging out in the 12-13ish range and there was talk about canceling or converting to IVF. So, we triggered quickly to save the cycle. Phew.

I love Dr. Awesome. I love his knowledgeable, compassionate nurses. I love his online patient portal where hubs and I can access my daily monitoring results. I love his protocol. I love that he is checking my P4 in a week. I love that I have a Beta test scheduled and don’t have to take an HPT. I love his aggression with my treatment. I love his caution. I love everything about clinic #2. Continue reading

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