Day before yesterday I had my 10 week appointment. It was a daunting task - we were headed for the "same" appointment at which we lost our first pregnancy, with the same Nurse Practitioner - I was concerned I'd go through the same experience, but we did not. I remember our first OB appointment with our first pregnancy. It was at 10w5d, the appointment started with details about how much I should eat, what exercise I should/shouldn't do, information about upcoming classes I should consider, etc. It wasn't until I had been inducted into the club (given a handbook and everything!) that we did the ultrasound and found that our baby had died. I left the exam room puffy eyed and crying, carrying my farce of a handbook - I had been kicked out of the club so quickly.
But like I said, this week's appointment went much better. After waiting 20 minutes in the exam room, pacing the floor in my gown I jumped up on the table and took Berilac's hand, we prayed that this baby would be healthy and that this appointment would go well. The NP entered and said, "hey, I recognize you! Is this baby number two?" ... without hesitation I said, "no, this is pregnancy number 5 and hopefully baby number one." ... she responded, "let me get the ultrasound machine, let's start out by giving you some reassurance" and I genuinely thanked her, I did not want to be inducted into the club without proof this time.
She opted for the trans vaginal sonogram and I made myself vulnerable in this journey once again. The minute we could see the baby she said, "oh there we go, that's good news" and I didn't know what she meant, could she see the heartbeat? 'cause I sure couldn't! She said, "look, your baby is dancing" I squinted my eyes and moved my head a little closer ... sure enough, it seemed like the baby wasn't staying still. "But is my talking and movement causing that?" I asked. She said, "hold your breathe" and as I lay as still as I could, we watched as little Flicker reached his hand to his forehead and mouth and eventually put his thumb in his mouth; he rounded it off with a nice dancy, shaky move and some twisting - it was fantastic. Flicker is the size of a kidney bean .... this was the most advanced kidney bean size baby I've ever seen! (He takes after Berilac ;-) Then little Flicker started, what looked to be, pounding his fists at us and I told him we would take away the evil ultrasound, and so we did. She didn't measure Flickers crown-rump-length, nor the heartrate - we are just reassured that movement is good.
The rest of the appointment was unremarkable.
Miscarriage rate: We asked her what our chance of miscarriage is at this point and she said 5%. I'm not sure that number will get any lower, but I will feel better if/when we make it to the second trimester. There are many ways to think of the second trimester: does it start at 12 weeks, 13 weeks, 14 weeks? We have our next appointment at 12 1/2 weeks (on June 15th) so we might "jump in with both feet" after that appointment if it goes well. The next appointment might be awhile, so perhaps we should "announce" after that appointment? (Yes, yes, this blog is open to the world, and I've been out of the closet here for months, even many IRL friends read this blog ... but none of my work friends know, nor do other random people I run into.) So perhaps we make it to one more appointment before I start thinking that this pregnancy will last, that I will stop looking with disdain and actually consider maternity wear, plan for a baby shower, consider birthing preferences, and plan around a due date. I want so badly to have this infertility loosen it's grip, to enjoy this pregnancy and to take it all in - like so many women can do.
Meds: I told her of the meds I'm on: Prenatals, Omega 3 vitamins, Folgard, Baby Aspirin, Lovenox, and Progesterone. She gave her sympathies and made notes, evidently, the OB will want to run special tests for women on Lovenox. We told her this was an IVF pregnancy and she asked where we had been cycling, we told her CCRM and she asked if Schoolcraft was our doctor - that was nice, it always surprised me when I would talk with OB staff and they didn't seem to know a thing about the infertility business/community.
Genetic testing: The NP heavily suggested the Full Integrated Screening (1st trimester bloodwork, NT Scan, 2nd trimester bloodwork) given our history of loss. We told her about our conversations with our local monitoring clinic RE and how he indicated that if we weren't willing to terminate, then there's really no point. We told her we were against the CVS and why would we take the screening tests that could provide us with more worry, rather than conclusive information. She understood about the CVS, given it's increased risk and she let us know that the one advantage to doing that early screening, is if they find a "soft marker" at the 20 week scan, they can refer back to the early screening to confirm if the screenings are consistent ... to know if they are dealing with false positives or real problems. That was persuasive, so we are considering doing the non-invasive screenings.
The ins and outs of being an OB patient: The strangest experience was having the NP run down the list of appointments we'd need to make (should this pregnancy progress) evidently, my OB office wants to see me once a month, and that's for just a "normal" patient ... I thought for sure they would want to see me next time at 20 weeks for the anatomy scan ... I thought I would have to suffer between 12 1/2 weeks and 20 weeks, but no, they include something like 13 appointments in the "maternity" package. I'm so not used to being a maternity patient.
So that is it for 10 weeks, we are now double digit weeks pregnant, we have surpassed the second longest pregnancy we've had and if we make it two weeks to our next appointment we will have made it further than we ever have.
We celebrate today because Flicker is a dancing (seemingly happy) baby and we are still pregnant.
Done, and Yet, Not Done
1 month ago