Exciting baby news! (& a long story of our pregnancy complications)

pumpkin pregnancy announcement

Yep, I’m pregnant! I’m so excited to share that our IVF journey has successfully resulted in a pregnancy, with a due date of April 5th, 2017. Unfortunately it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. And not only due to my horrendous morning sickness.

frozen embryo transfer day 1

We transferred one of our 4 healthy BRCA- 6-day embryos on July 20th.  I was scheduled for a pregnancy test at the clinic 2 weeks later, but I did a home test a few days earlier. The home test came up as a clear positive, so we were excited that the embryo seemed to have taken. The test at the clinic confirmed that result and we were scheduled in for a 6 week ultrasound.

6-week ultrasound

At the 6-week ultrasound we saw and heard the heartbeat for the first time and everything was looking good, so we officially graduated from the fertility clinic and were referred to our new OB. We met her at our 12 week ultrasound. The ultrasound tech showed us the heartbeat again, and we saw our little baby who had its little hand curled up in front of one of its eyes. So cute already 🙂 We were told everything looked good and we were scheduled in for an appointment with the OB for 4 weeks later. By the next weekend we’d officially made it through the first trimester and we started sharing our pregnancy news with more friends. I even broke the news to my boss at work.

I was starting to feel good and I had actually had a couple vomit-free days and was starting to feel more energetic for the first time in weeks. But then, at 13 weeks 5 days, I had some bleeding. I wasn’t immediately too concerned because I’d had some bleeding earlier, around the 6 week mark, and was told that they didn’t see anything on the ultrasound and sometimes it just happened. I did put in a call to the OB but she was out of the office, so I left a message and didn’t worry about it for the rest of the day. When I woke up to more bleeding the next day, Mike and I decided to head to the ER. It was an early Saturday morning, so fortunately the ER wasn’t too busy and I was seen pretty quickly. They did some blood tests and then sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech didn’t allow Mike to be in the room and warned me that she wouldn’t show me the monitor and she wouldn’t be able to tell me anything regardless of what she saw. It wasn’t going to be like our other fun and friendly ultrasounds, that was clear. A few moments after she started, she told me that although she said she wasn’t going to tell me anything, she knew I was anxious so she confirmed that she saw a heartbeat. Phew! But she then said that she did still need to look for a cause for the bleed. A very long and silent while later, she finally told me I could get up and go wait for the dr to come talk to me about the ultrasound results. There was a wheelchair waiting for me, and as I went to pick up my purse, she immediately took it from my hands and handed it to Mike. Uh oh!

We waited patiently until the dr called us about 45 minutes later. The dr greeted us and said, “So, your test results weren’t the worst.” Ok….. He explained that while the baby was alive at the moment, there was a very large pool of blood separating the placenta from the uterus, and that if this continued to grow and cause them to tear, we’d lose the baby. He said that sometimes things like this healed up and were fine, but there was no way of knowing and nothing that could be done. On top of that, it looked like the placenta was covering the cervix (placenta previa), which might be was caused the bleeding and would probably result in pre-term labour, if I made it that far. And if that wasn’t enough, my cervix appeared to be shortened, which wasn’t a good sign this early in pregnancy.

I’d been so encouraged when I found out there was still a heartbeat during the ultrasound, that this news hit me hard and I started crying at the idea of just not knowing what would happen. He ordered me to bed rest, only to get up to use the washroom or to get something to eat. He told us to get in to see our OB as soon as possible and if I had any more bleeding I was to go to the ER immediately because I could bleed to death if they didn’t stop it. Ahhh! He pulled Mike aside in the hallway later while I was in the room getting dressed, and told him to avoid potholes on the way home. When Mike told me that, I was sure that our baby was holding on by a thread and would get knocked loose at the slightest bump. Mike stressed over every bump on our way home, but I said that if it was that precarious, we weren’t going to make it anyway.

I called my OB’s office and found out she wouldn’t be in until Wednesday, so I made an appointment for first thing Wednesday morning. I also talked to the on-call OB, and she told me that bed rest wasn’t proven to help anything and she actually laughed when I told her about the ER doc’s warning about potholes. She told me I could even go back to work on Monday. Since she hadn’t examined me or even reviewed my test results, I decided to play it safe and stick with the ER dr’s bed rest orders.

The next few days were tough because I just had no way of knowing what was going on. I didn’t have any additional bleeding, and I didn’t experience any pain, but I didn’t know if the baby was still alive. On Wednesday morning we met with our OB and she just confirmed what the ER dr had told us. Our risk of miscarriage was high and there was no way of knowing what might happen. She grabbed a sonogram and was able to quickly find the baby’s heartbeat, so that was the one positive piece of news we got. She didn’t think there was any use in doing another ultrasound because nothing much would have changed in only a few days. She did say I could go have one if it would make me feel better. I headed to the ultrasound department since I did think it would make me feel better. Maybe they made a mistake at the ER, I hoped. But they weren’t able to squeeze me in, and the earliest they could book me in was for the following Wednesday. They told me I could look into getting in earlier somewhere else, but since the dr said she was fine with waiting a week, I decided to just go with that. I was told to continue with bed rest until then.

I spent the next week doing a lot of reading about large retroplacental bleeds and placenta previa. I read a few scary/sad stories, but so many more stories that resulted in healthy babies at the end of the day. I flipped back and forth on thinking that it would all end up fine or I was definitely going to miscarry. What worried me the most was the idea that I could be on bed rest for weeks or even months and then miscarry. There was just no way to know.

14-week ultrasound

The following Wednesday finally came, and we went in for our ultrasound. This time Mike was allowed in the room and the ultrasound tech was super chatty and told us everything she saw. She confirmed that the baby was alive and well and being very active. She then got down to business of checking the various pregnancy complications that had been noted at the ER ultrasound. She did see the bleed, but it was now only a fraction of its initial size (2cm x 1cm versus 6cm x 7cm). The placenta was low, but she didn’t see the previa and the cervix looked just right. So out of the 3 major concerns, 2 were now pretty much non-issues, and the blood clot was significantly smaller than before. It was great to have all of that information, and we were feeling so relieved compared to how we’d been feeling for the last several weeks.

I was hoping that all of this great news meant that I’d be taken off bed rest, but no such luck. I was told to stay on bed rest until at least my 20 week ultrasound. I’m allowed a little bit more activity so I’ve had fun field trips down the block, out to brunch and to Walmart to pick up yarn to crochet. Fortunately I am able to work from home, but I got the dr’s ok to head into the office on occasion if needed.

With this positive news, Mike and I felt that we could start getting excited about this baby again. For a while it was so uncertain, but now I think it’s more likely than not that the pregnancy will continue and we’ll end up with a baby. Of course, nothing is for sure, but we decided we’d start announcing the pregnancy again and we could allow ourselves to get back to reading about pregnancy and babies and strollers.

I imagined I’d be continuing my walks and I was totally going to get into yoga. Really! Instead my exercise consists of flipping book pages and reaching for the remote. This definitely changed my plans for an active, fit pregnancy, but if we are blessed with a healthy baby at the end, then it will all have been worth it.

6 Comments

  1. Wow, what a process you’ve been through. Wishing you all the best through the rest of your pregnancy and hope you have a healthy baby in the end 🙂

  2. Jill! Congratulations what good news!! And I’m so sorry for how hard all that must have been! Wishing an amazing, good and beautiful journey ahead 🙂 <3

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