Mini-Vacation

Sunday, September 28, 2008

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We left for Spring Lake around 2pm on Tuesday and arrived around 4pm at Victoria House. Although 2 blocks from the beach, we stayed in a room that faced the ocean and could hear the waves. It was beautiful... Our first afternoon, over tea (mine hot, Peter's iced) we played chess (Peter whipped me!) We walked the boardwalk and put our feet in the ocean (it was quite chilly!) and then went to Whispers for dinner. Although rated 5 stars according to their promotionals, we found them at around a 3. The service was fine, the food was fine, but nothing was phenomenal. That night, after an episode of Good Eats, we were sound asleep.

The next morning, we made morning Mass at St. Catharine's. Then we enjoyed breakfast and a walk around town, before buying Peter new swimming trunks, then heading to the beach. We only lasted 15 minutes in the huge waves (a storm was due Thursday and the waves were massive). It was cold and, honestly, I was afraid of the undertow. We then laid on the beach, which was warm under the sun, in spite of the harsh wind. It was beautiful, truly. After showering and a bath (fun times!), we walked town a few more times, which included lunch at our favorite spot, the Spring Lake Pizzeria. We bought Zoë her first toy, a soft little elephant from a boutique called Whimsical. We also picked up a few bottles of wine from the wine store and some homemade chocolate (yum). At tea time, we played Scrabble and, amazing of amazings, I won! Only by a few points, but still! We ended up eating leftovers from Whispers for dinner because neither of us was hungry enough to go back to town for dinner.

On Thursday, we once again visited St. Catharine's, then had a tasty breakfast before finishing up a game of Checkers (it was a tie, although Peter would have won). At checkout, our innkeepers gave us a beautiful hand penned picture of the B&B, in honor of our special event: Zoë! We are looking forward to putting it up. We took another walk through town and picked up a special souvenir: a pottery mug. We had a disappointing lunch at Mimi's. We should have gone back to the Pizzeria! Finally, we were back in the car for home (sadness) and made it back around 2pm. It was hard to come home. I still miss the beach!

Our First Prenatal

Monday, September 22, 2008

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Well, Baby Zoë met with Dr. Bailey for the first time! We were 15 minutes late for our appointment because of horrible traffic, but Dr. B. had been called out earlier for an emergency C-section, so we ended up waiting until 1:45pm. But going in there made us both so sure that he is the right doctor for us. We discussed Nicholas and Sophia at length. It made me remember how he called them "the kids" and was so attentive. We discussed the possibility that Nick's birth was spurred by an incompetent cervix and how we could try to stop that this time around. We also discussed weekly injectible progesterone to try to prevent premature labor. There isn't a lot of evidence as to how or why this works and it is both controversial and experimental, but apprently it does work. According to UAB, "Investigators randomized 463 women at 16 to 20 weeks gestation to either weekly 250 mg injections of 17P or placebo. Participants were given injections until week 36 of gestation. Progesterone substantially reduced rates of preterm delivery before 37 weeks (36.3% for 17P group vs 54.9% for placebo group), before 35 weeks (20.6% vs 30.7%), and before 32 weeks (11.4% vs 19.6%). 17P treatment also improved neonatal outcomes, reducing incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis, intraventricular hemorrhage, and the need for supplemental oxygen." We agreed to discuss it and get back to him; if we decide we are interested, then all of us would meet with a MFM doctor to discuss whether or not we are good candidates.

We also discussed doing a Shirodkar Cerclage and whether or not the previa would be permanant. A vaginal ultrasound showed that the placenta has already began migrating north, which is great news! Dr. B said that the implantation point was good and that he doesn't forsee a problem at this time. Assuming the next visit or two, we may schedule the cerclage if the placenta is free from as much harm as posisble. We are seeing him every 2 weeks, with an ultrasound at each appointment.

We saw our beautiful baby! Two of the ultrasound pictures are so clear that we can see the baby's perfect little face! We also heard the 166bpm heartbeat, which was beautiful music. Overall, it was a good appointment. My cervix measured well at 4.2 (over 3 is considered positive prior to 12 weeks).

We are soon to be off for our mini-vacation: 2.5 days in Spring Lake, NJ!

We're almost to autumn!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

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The weather is a few days shy of the astronomical autumnal equinox, but that is okay with me! I love fall! From one of my favorite websites: "The seasons of the year are caused by the 23.5° tilt of the earth's axis. Because the earth is rotating like a top or gyroscope, it points in a fixed direction continuously -- towards a point in space near the North Star. But the earth is also revolving around the sun. During half of the year, the southern hemisphere is more exposed to the sun than is the northern hemisphere. During the rest of the year, the reverse is true. At noontime in the Northern Hemisphere the sun appears high in the sky during summertime and low in the sky during winter. It is highest at the summer solstice (about June-21) and lowest at the winter solstice (about December-21). The half-way points in the year are called the equinoxes. It is time of the year when the sun rises exactly in the east, travels through the sky for 12 hours, and sets exactly in the west. Everywhere on earth experiences close to 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of nighttime. " This year, fall officially begins on 9/22 at 11:44am (eastern time).

We are gearing up for vacation! Peter took all of next week off and I only have to work a few hours during the week (payroll and scheduling waits for no one!) and then I have a meeting on Friday. But, otherwise, vacation! We are visiting our favorite seaside town, Spring Lake, and are looking forward to another lovely B&B adventure!

The pregnancy is going well thus far. Still way more CM than I'd like to admit (TMI!) but going well. I have twinges that last less than 5 seconds, which, of course because I'm paranoid, worry the hell out of me, but are normal; I also get a quick pain when I sneeze, which is disturbing. But otherwise, we seem to be okay. We have our first OB appointment on Monday, 9/22- way to welcome in fall! Hopefully, I have a positive picture to post! :-)

Tomorrow we are 8 weeks pregnant and week 9 begins... I can't believe we're almost 1/3 of the way done. If I don't look at it in percentages, I start to freak out (because 8 sounds so small but 20% sounds not so bad). It's amazing to see what an 8 week old baby in-utero looks like!

Fingers crossed for a good doctor's visit on Monday!

First Photos!

Monday, September 15, 2008

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These are the first looks at our little sweetpea! They were taken on Friday, September 12th, around 9:15am.

On Thursday night, Peter said that he felt more boy than girl, but then on Friday, after the u/s and when I was getting dressed (it's a transvag u/s not a belly one), he hugged me and said "She's beautiful" and then said "Wow, I just called her a she!". In the car, he said maybe more girl than boy.... Not sure. So, for the present, I'm calling the baby Zoë, which is Greek for "life", with the caveat that,should the baby be a boy, I'm sorry I called him a girl's name! :-)

Everything looked "perfect" according to Dr. Lee, except one thing, which she said not to stress about and is just something to keep an eye on. The baby implanted low, right over my cervix. The placenta can either grow up (better scenario) or down, which would cover the cervix and make a C-section the only birth option. (Placenta previa) The implantation will have nothing to do with whether or not my cervix would open early again, although, because of an increased risk of puncturing the bag, etc., she said that, at present, I'm not not a good candidate for the cerclage procedure. She stressed talking to a perinatologist before asking for that type of surgery, since s/he would be best able to evaluate the scenario. She said the only thing scary about it is that, around weeks 32, there may be some spotting, and to let our OB know right away. Otherwise, she said it's textbook and that everything is fine. She was happy with the resting heartbeat of 123 and the measurement, and said to expect this little one (fingers crossed) in early May. (If we do continue with the placenta previa, we'll have a c-section at 36.5 weeks, which would make us more like early April.)

We have an appointment with Dr. Bailey on September 22nd, when we'll have another u/s and discuss this pregnancy with him. (So stay tuned for more pictures!)

We told our parents over the weekend. Peter's were ecstatic, my dad was very concerned, my mom and stepdad were thrilled. We've decided to postpone a general announcement to people for at least another 6 weeks or so, possibly longer. It's not that we dont want to tell the world, only that the world comes with a lot of advice and, frankly, I'm not sure that I can take that right now. It all feels so tenuous at best. I'm just praying and hoping that all works out.

Right now, I'm enjoying the pictures and the dreams! :-)

Feelings...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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I'm feeling... I don't know... today. I'm not sure that "blue" is the right way to term it.

I feel excited about being pregnant again, about the possibilities, but most of all, about these children. I feel excited that they may be getting to know Nicholas and Sophia in a spiritual way now. I feel excited that Nicholas and Sophia are big siblings, even if they are in heaven.

I feel scared and uneasy about being pregnant again, about the possibilities, but most of, about these children. I'd go through hell if it meant they'd be okay. But I'm worried. What if... I can't bear to think of the what if... scenarios. I feel scared that it may all come to an end and that I have no control over any of it. I'm uneasy about each twinge or pain, in spite of their tiny durations. I'm nervous about the symptoms I have and the ones I don't have.

I feel sad. I feel like I shouldn't be able to be pregnant so soon, because, in my head, Nicholas and Sophia were going to be born in July and I'd still be abstaining in August and September and, possibly, even October. If that were the case, this wouldn't be happening, so remembering why I am here, makes me remember that my babies have died. And that is a deeper sadness than anything else. Especially because I love the baby/babies growing inside of me now with all my heart, just as I still love and will always love Nick and Sophie will my full heart. I dont want to not have this pregnancy, I only wish that I had it and had my precious Nicholas and Sophia, too.

My babies have died. They are dead. Those words are, quite possibly, the worst words in any language. They are cold. Mes bébés sont morts. Empty. Mis bebés han muerto. Souless. There is nothing to fill the cavern that life leaves in the space that was reserved for their memories... the watching of them grow and learn, of watching them live. There are no words for the grieving parent, to express the gravity of their loss or the emptiness that breeds like a wildfire inside of them. Likewise, there are no words adequate for the well-meaning, who try to convey their sympathy. It's nothingness, just like the "new normal" that the orphaned parent has to face, each and every day.

Many couples fall apart in the face of such a loss. To be honest, I don't know why some do and some don't. To me, the only person who truly feels Nicholas and Sophia's deaths the way that I do is their father, my husband. (He will always be their father first now, my husband second...) I could not face the dark night, the quietness, the emptiness without him. He is what keeps me warm when the cold is bitter, through my bones. He is what holds me when I cannot hold myself up. He understands my grief through his own. He is a constant reminder of them, and I cannot imagine a world without that... Without their eyes or their ears or their noses... Without the things he carries with him, for all to see, for me to see...

Today, I feel. Deeply. Passionately. I feel sad, I feel lonely, I feel empty. But I feel excited and full of new life, too. I feel all these things at once. And that is okay.

And the nerves make a resurgence- with a vengence

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

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So, I'm officially back into terrified mode, with a sidekick of bitchiness thrown in for good measure. My head (along with the common sense squad) is telling me some cervical mucus and brief (less than 15 seconds) moments of abdominal pain are normal. Mucus is increased due to estrogen, etc., and the pain is most likely the uterus beginning it's stretching. Having been pregnant before, I know these things. Really, I do. That being said, I'm a %^*$&%$ basketcase. I convinced every twinge is a miscarriage waiting to happen and that I, sooner or later, I'm going to find myself in the bathroom, covered with blood. These are absolutely horrible thoughts but I can't get them to go away.

These were fears that I didn't have with Nicholas and Sophia. Not at all. I remember mucus, implantation bleeding (okay, I did have a freakout over that), and bouts of abdominal pain in the early weeks that I tossed up to growing pains, like the doctor said, and moved on without worry. This time is different. This time, there is no innocence and everything is a "sign". Even when the miscarriage had absolutely no signs (save the low hCG and progesterone scores) or symptoms.

In fairness to my body, I always have back pain, so I can't blame pregnancy on that. Minor abdominal pain isn't considered to be threatening a pregnancy and neither is increased mucus production. But after losses, everything threatens a miscarriage. There's no more peace of mind, no more "this is normal". Everything is a chance to lose again.

I'm trying to convince myself, as Peter continues to tell me, that thinking positively is all that we can do at this stage. We have the ultrasound in 3 days and we can't really change the outcome. We can continue to pray, continue to eat well, and continue to treat my body well. We choose to think positive thoughts or negative ones and that is a choice we have. (Of course, I snapped at him, which brings in the bitchiness...)

Pray for us. Pray that God will continue to touch us and bless us with this pregnancy and the new life growing within.

Haunted

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This is a poem that is posted under my "professional" blog. In the life I live in my head, I'm a writer, LOL, and although I don't update my writing blog as often as I should (in fact, it was December 06 before today's post), it makes me feel quasi-successful in my authorship. I still write for a yoga mag and for work regularly, so I'm still doing something! Anyways... This is a poem that I wrote (I use my first name for publications).

Haunted

Every waking moment, I'm haunted
And my dreams are restless sleep
A zombie trapped by a hideous truth
A slave to my memories

A world in blue and gray
A mind shattered by fits of rage
A fairy tale broken into 8mm film
And a girl, who no longer breathes...
And that girl is me...

I go through life, like I'm reading a script
Grateful when each day passes me over
Death is a wish that to grant would be complete
So I live each day in a purple fog

A waking nightmare is each breath
A prayer that ends in a waking death
A fairy trapped in a human realm
And a woman chained on her knees...
And that woman is me...

Prayerful still, yet still afraid
Graveyard dirt stains a woeful face
Memories laced with heroin
And a baby that ceases to be...
And a mother who weeps endlessly...
And that mother is me...

P2

Monday, September 8, 2008

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No, I'm not talking about the square of anything... It's the 2 "p"s: Pink Pee. It looks like our experiment wasn't accurate because... Peter's urine turned pink, too! Now, again, our experiment showed light yellow or clear urine that only turned pink when it hit the toilet, fresh with chlorine tablets... Since Peter isn't taking methyldopa, our best guess is that it has something to do with taking vitamins. I take a prenatal, he takes a daily. Still, so confusing. But it only happens in our "clean" toilet, so, I'm assuming it's a toilet bowl issue and not a UTI or urine issue. (Since, yes, we've done further pee-in-a-cup experiments are neither urine is pink at all.)

Is this going to be indicative of the entire pregnancy? Paranoia? Probably...

And the nerves have returned!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

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I swear I'm having a "pain" in left ovary. Not a terrible pain but a twinge of pain and, now, of course, it has me on edge. I am so nervous of losing this pregnancy, too, yet there is still so much more peace that normal. I know I should just let the nerves go- acknowledge and let them dissipate- but I can't stop thinking of the what ifs... What if it is ectopic, what if the baby dies before the u/s, what if, what if, what if... Combined with the increase in mucus which, of course, has me scared, I just feel like it is fear after fear. Tomorrow we are 6 weeks pregnant and I want so desperately to hit the high 30s or, God willing, 40 weeks and give birth to happy healthy baby/babies.

I keep praying and I know God hears our prayers. I just am so hopeful... and so afraid...

And because nothing is ever easy... (TMI alert). This morning, my first morning urine (as well as my last urine before bed last night) was very yellow. I thought, last night, that perhaps I hadn't drank enough water to counter act the decaf I'd had when meeting a friend for coffee. I didn't think much of it. This morning, I coughed it up to the prenatal I take at night because taking it in the morning makes me sick to my stomach. In addition, I was slightly constipated. So, an hour later, second pee: it looks slightly pink. Freaking out, I call Peter in to look at it. Because of my paranoia, I wipe prior to urinating to check for mucus and/or bleeding. There was nothing. Peter mentioned that it was possibly from my earlier constipated "go" and that possibly there was slight bleeding, but a check revealed no such bleeding. Nervous, we decide to drink water and wait for round two. Half an hour later, again, pink pee. At this point, I'm ready to totally freak out and am in tears. We call Dr. Lee.

The answering service patches us through to her. She advises me to put on a pad (to make sure it isn't vaginal discharge) and to monitor the urine for continued pinkness. She also says to drink plenty of water and add some cranberry juice to my daily liquid consumption (to which I promptly respond with about 20 ounces of juice!). She wants us to monitor my urine and, if it hasn't cleared up by tomorrow, to call her and make an appointment for Monday. After assessing that my pain hasn't occurred in my upper pubic region, she says not to worry, especially since the pain isn't pattern or severe, and to relax.

With this in mind, Peter and I decide to conduct an experiment. Since urinating is no problem (the bathroom is my new best friend), we decide to catch the urine, just to make sure it isn't blending with any possible (though completely invisible) vaginal discharge. Sure enough, the next pee is practically clear! We're thinking, What Gives???, when Peter remembers that he had just added a chlorine tablet to the toilet bowl for cleaning. My little scientist hurries to the computer.

Well, it turns out that the urine of people taking Methyldopa (which I take for my HBP) mixed with chlorine can become brown (or even black). (Up to 70% is excreted into urine.) Since the urine outside of the toilet bowl was clear or light yellow and then, upon being added to the toilet, changed to a pinkish color, our fears have been assuaged, especially considering a clear pad. (Although, we tried adding a dash of bleach to a cup of urine and it just turned it VERY neon yellow). I'm still drinking a class of cranberry juice- just in case I do have a mild UTI- but, since I have no pain when urinating, I don't think that is the case. And of course, water. I've drank more water today that I'm sure I did yesterday and Thursday combined.

Every pregnancy is different... No kidding... But, truly, I wish that I had the level of confidence I did when pregnant with Nicholas and Sophia. I feel like that is gone forever. But I'm doing my best to pray, trust Peter's advice (he's much more laid back than I am!), and remember to treasure each day..

And they say every pregnancy is different...

Friday, September 5, 2008

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With Nicholas and Sophia, the morning sickness was often and always: morning, noon, and night. If I wasn't puking, I was gagging. If I wasn't gagging, I was wishing I could gag because I felt so sick. Not so much with this pregnancy. I feel sick to my stomach every now and then, but I haven't gagged (save the one time, a few days post conception) or puked at all. Another huge change: hunger. From the very beginning with Nick and Sophie, I was starving. I would wake up at 1am and Peter would go downstairs to get me food. We eventually kept food by the bed because I was so hungry so often. I take medication that I have to take before eating (or 2 hours afterwards) and it was such a pain because I couldn't (or didn't want to) wait the three hours (2 hours after eating plus the hour post medication that I couldn't eat). What a pain that was! But we survived. This time, while I'm hungry (sometimes incessently it seems), it's nothing like that. I eat and I'm fine. I wait an hour and I'm still hungry (and, okay, maybe a little grumpy) but I'm still fine.

Of course, some things never change. My tatas are sore and constantly at attention. Sleeping on them is quickly drawing to a close, even accidentally! (It's time to whip the body pillow out!). Wearing a bra doesn't ease the soreness and, if Peter shifts onto them at night or tries to lay down on them when we're watching TV, watch out! They are on high alert! Another fun word of the hour: mucus. In health class, they never tell you the fun facts of mucus during pregnancy. And, because I'm on high alert of "any issues", I'm terrified that I'm bleeding when, in reality, it's just cervical discharge.

But, onto less nerve wracking things... Yesterday, I made my first OB appointment with Dr. Bailey. He wanted to see us next week, but with my RE appointment and 3 days of work horror (the library is going offline), it was impossible for such short notice (I feel horrible for writing that, like work is before our baby/babies... I totally dont feel that way AT ALL). So, I made an appointment for the 15th. I email Peter and, 2 hours later, he calls and says "I can do any day in September EXCEPT the 15th." So, I called the office back and they couldn't do anything else that week on the other two possible days for me (we have staff on vacation and I can't leave the library unstaffed). So, now our appointment is for the 22nd. Which is nice, because it will be the day before we leave for a mini-vacation to the shore (23rd-25th).

Another positive: I contacted our Bradley instructor. With Nicholas and Sophia, we had decided on the Bradley Method but never attended a class because we had signed up for classes that ran our third trimester. Because they are 12 weeks long, we decided to contact our instructor now, in order to find out her availability. Due to her family situation, she is no longer teaching formal classes, but agreed to take us, one-on-one, for the same cost. So, we'll be having private classes, probably beginning in October. I'm to email her back after the ultrasound, so we know how many we are expecting (and, I know, to make sure everything is alright). She's about an hour away (which, sadly, is the closest instructor to us), but has been so sweet. To be honest, I'm glad it won't be a class setting. I'm not sure how I'd handle a room full of pregnant people, who've, possibly, never endured a loss or infant death. Coming into class with 2 babies who died and a miscarriage... I think that's a lot of baggage. Lisa, our instructor, recommended a book, Birthing From Within, to help deal with the stress and fear of being pregnant this time around. I've ordered it from Harleysville Books, our local book store.

I can't believe we're 5w5d... Each day lasts forever, yet it goes by so quickly. Our book due dates at work are already October and, whenever I say that, it makes me think, my first trimester is over in October... I conceived Nick and Sophie in October; I'll have just started week 13 on their CD. And then, Nicholas's birthday is the last week of my 2nd trimester, week 27; Sophia's birthday is at the start of week 29. It's all a lot to process.

We've been taking pictures of my stomach for the pregnancy photobook. I started one with Nicholas and Sophia that began pre-pregnancy, covered pregnancy, and ends with pictures of them. I hope to do this for all our children. I've created the front page of the book already.

A Sense of Peace

Thursday, September 4, 2008

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It's been a long time since I felt something remotely close to inner peace, but this morning, it felt like the hand of God was on my heart. I have no other words to describe it. I've felt so scared and have just lived in the palms of fear and grief for the last 7 months. Especially now, with a new baby (or babies) confirmed and the countdown to the ultrasound in 8 more days in full swing, I've been praying for a sense of peace and calm. Of course, my nerves are still here (and always will be, I think), but there is this sense of peace.

Maybe everything won't go according to my plan. Maybe the outcome will be the one I can't even fathom to think of. Maybe a healthy baby or two will pop out in April or May! Whatever happens, I know that this pregnancy is in God's hand. Fear or not won't change that. It's about trying desperately to enjoy every moment- every second- with the gift that I've been given for the third time in a year after 9+ years of infertility.

I have two beautiful children on the outside. They live in heaven, but they will always be my babies. I will always be grateful for their pregnancy, labors, births, and lives. I am thankful that they are living in a world free from hurt or pain or even the fear of such. They are happy and loved and safe. What more could a parent hope for their child?

I have, possibly, two beautiful children growing on the inside. They live in the watery world of my womb and, no matter what happens, will always be my babies. I vow to make each day a testament of my love for them and a day of anticipation for what the future holds with them. I will do my best to make sure that the world they are in now is free from hurt, pain, or fear. I will do my best to keep them happy and safe; they will always be loved.

Thank you, God, for another day with this pregnancy.

Trying Again...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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I didn't return to my job in a small library until April 1st, two months after Nicholas's birth. Life changed. I know I'll never be the person I was before their births (nor would I want to be) but I do struggle at times. (Okay, I struggle a lot). Running a public library, I see a lot of babies and a lot of pregnant women. It's rough on the bad days (which, 7 months later, still come up a lot). It was a tough decision, but, I have to say, my supervisor at the main library, was extremely kind and gave me time and space to make the decision.

We spoke to Dr. Lee, who advised us to return May for an appointment, which we did. This time, because I was actually producing estrogen (a small amount, but still something!), we used Clomid and IUI. We conceived on May 25th, but sadly, the hCG tests never showed anything above 50 (the 4th test) before they began to drop. While technically a chemical pregnancy, I miscarried in mid-June. Our hearts were broken again.

We decided to try again, and, due to diminished estrogen, we started Gonal-F treatments again, followed by an IUI on July 10th. My period came 2 weeks later, on the 25th, with a negative hCG test.

Once again, we went the Gonal-F route, and one follicle began to grow and reached 17. Then, on August 6th, a second follicle looked larger, at 13. Dr. Lee decided to wait until Friday, August 8th, to use an Ovidril shot to induce ovulation, with one follicle at 19 and one at 15. We returned on August 10th, for IUI and were very active that day and the next two days. Hopeful, we waited until August 15th for the first progesterone test. Because of the miscarriage, Dr. Lee prescribed 100mg of Prometrium, just in case, so any number higher than 15 was considered good. We scored 18.4. On August 22nd, we had our hCG test and a second progesterone test. The hCG results were 40.9 at 12dpo, with progesterone at 28. (For reference, at 13dpo, Nicholas and Sophia's progesterone was 34 and their hCG was 65). Our nurse, Amy, called and gave us the good news!

On Monday, August 25th, I visited the local lab for bloodwork (as I had an early meeting and couldn't drive to Bethlehem, almost an hour away). The hCG came back as 93, which is more than double, and the progesterone as 38.6. They consider this very positive and are pleased with the results thus far.

On Thursday, August 28th, I once again visited the local lab (not my preference- Nurse Amy draws blood way better!) We were looking for an hCG increase to 186 or better. We received a 114% increase, with a result of 199 (hCG). Our progesterone increased 90% and went up to 74. Dr. Lee refilled my prescription for Prometrium (just for good measure) and asked that I have one more blood test, in 4 days.

On Tuesday, September 2nd, I returned for my third visit to the local lab (because, once again, I have a 9am meeting). My 8:15am appointment yielded positive results on Wednesday with my hCG increasing to 2735 and my progesterone coming back at 33. The nurse said that the progesterone fluctuation is nothing to worry about and that 33 is well within normal for the first trimester. Now, it's time to move on to the ultrasound on Friday, September 12th.

On 9/2, as I was sitting on the couch, my left ovary had a dull ache and I had all but convinced myself that things were poor. The high hCG has given me hope for the ultrasound and hope for a positive pregnancy. We continue to pray for the health and safety of the baby (or babies) that are growing within.

Weekend Getaway

Monday, September 1, 2008

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On Saturday, August 30th, we went to Jim Thorpe. We'd often talked of taking Nick and Sophie on the train. For some reason, when we woke, we both had the feeling that they wanted to take the trip we'd told them so much about. So, we did it! We got up and got dressed, drove nearly an hour, and then took the hour ride down the Lehigh Gorge. The trees had just started turning and it was beautiful. We plan on returning in 2 or so weeks, so that we can see fall in full swing. We ate an unmemorable late lunch/early dinner at the Emerald Restaraunt, then attended a Mass at Immaculate Conception. (It made us grateful for the services we have at St. Maria Goretti! Whether because of a lack of interest and volunteerism or just a lack of spirit, it wasn't enjoyable. The Gloria was omitted, the Holy wasn't sung, there was no cantor, and my husband said that it felt like, "They feel obligated to be here and they want you to feel obligated, too." We were disappointed and will visit the other Catholic Church, St. Joseph's, when we return.) We'd talked about catching a musical show at the Opera House, but were tired after eating and decided to just come home instead. But, we had a lovely time.

On Sunday, August 31st, we visited the church of the Fire Chaplain, who baptized Nicholas and prayed over Sophia in-utero. He is the pastor of Christ Lutheran in Harleysville and was so gracious and welcoming when we visited. They were doing an outdoor service and the entire congregation welcomed us (I guess they recognize visitors right away!). In some of the language, it was similar to a Catholic Mass, but the layout was very different (because they were only having one service that day, they based the layout on their laity-led service; traditional services are traditional Lutheran). There were some things we liked (the introduction to each of the readings was nice) and some that we didn't (the prayer of Confession wasn't our style), but it wasn't as uncomfortable as I'd feared. We were able to spend a few moments talking with the Chaplain and, most of all, were able to really say Thank You. He invited us back and we plan on visiting again, when we aren't serving at SMG (which may mean another few months!). :-)