These are the weeks leading up to ovulation. Most women spend this time taking ovulation tests and having lots and lots of baby-making sex. For us IVFers, it’s a little less hot and heavy. This period is usually filled with stimulation drugs (if having a fresh transfer) or other drugs like Lupron, Lovenox, etc., if having a frozen transfer. Several ultrasounds to confirm your ovaries and womb are ready, and anticipation for Transfer Day! We had our transfer on CD 19, and that was the day I received the bad news about our remaining embryos. I spent the remainder of Week 2 resting and feeling sorry for myself.
This is the week we slowly start symptom watching. And eating pineapple core and Brazil nuts. Implantation usually happens during this week, so if you are like me, you were wearing light colored underwear and hoping to catch some “implantation bleeding”. I had none of that, and thus, convinced myself I was out. Toward the end of week three, you start questioning if everything is a symptom. You forgot to turn off the bedroom light – must be pregnancy brain. You peed an extra time between 3pm and 6pm, you’re pregnant. Extra gassy? Pregnant! Headache? Pregnant! The sun is shining? PREGNANT! It is pure torture.
Pregnancy test week! We received our positive and I was ecstatic. I had virtually no symptoms. Are they sure they got it right? Is this real? Where were my sore boobs, nausea, and all of that other fun pregnancy stuff? This is the week you will tell your partner, call to make your first OB appointment, and probably pee on any pregnancy test you can get your hands on.
I call this opposite week. All of those things you convinced yourself WERE symptoms about a week ago, now you are convincing yourself they are not. I was sure it was way too early to be feeling as exhausted as I was, or as hungry as I was. I was obviously making it all up in my head. So I kept peeing on sticks for reassurance. I even convinced myself I had the flu this week because it was way too early for nausea, body aches, and food aversions!
Ultrasound week! One of the few perks of being an infertility clinic patient – the early and frequent ultrasounds. We got to see our (surprise!) two beautiful babies this week. Leading up to this ultrasound I was a nervous wreck, afterward I was excited, nervous, and so many other emotions. But the pregnancy felt a bit more real. They were REALLY in there. And that’s when the nausea really kicked in….
The nausea was picking up, but every time I looked at the ultrasound on the fridge, I welcomed it. To me, it meant my little beans were growing. My appetite had increased, but the thought of most foods made me want to vomit. I had some mild spotting this week that freaked me out. It was brown, and only in the morning, but scary nonetheless. The nurses told me it was pretty normal, to take it easy and to push the fluids. As long as it stayed brown and wasn’t heavy or accompanied by cramps, everything should be fine. But still, it was scary.
Vomiting. Food aversions. Nausea. The Three Musketeers. They were with me all day, every day. I managed to keep food down, thankfully. But I felt pretty miserable. To top it all off, the night I was 8 weeks 4 days pregnant, I woke up at 1am to pee and found dark red blood when I wiped. I immediately thought the worst. It wasn’t brown anymore. I woke Nick up and we went straight to the emergency room. I was seen by a doctor who gave me a pelvic and cervical exam, and found no blood. He also gave me an abdominal ultrasound. He told me not to get my hopes up about hearing the heartbeats on this type of machine, since it was so early. We were able to see both babies, and heard one heartbeat for sure. I was discharged feeling much better and was able to get in for an ultrasound with my specialist the next day. We confirmed that Baby A and Baby B were both doing well. My doctor told me to discontinue my Lovenox injections and baby aspirin and from that moment on, I have not had any more spotting (knock on wood).
My hermit stage. I did not want to leave the house. I was living on plain waffles, pretzels and noodles. Most nights I fell asleep by 8:30 and it was all I could do to get myself out of bed in the morning and to work. My pants started to feel tighter but no bump in sight. I began wearing belly bands and the moment I got home from work it was straight into pajamas and to the couch. The nausea continued full force. I don’t know why they call it morning sickness when it lasts all day. Stupid name. I was vomiting a couple days a week. Week 10 I even threw up in my car WHILE driving in a construction zone on the highway. Thank God I had a plastic grocery bag and was only a couple miles from home. That was the day I hit symptom rock bottom. So gross.
This week I also saw the high risk doctors at Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) for the first time. They told me everything looked good so far, and the doctor discussed with me all of the possible complications that could arise in a mo/di (monochorionic, diamniotic) pregnancy like mine. Preeclampsia, anemia, preterm labor, TTTS, gestational diabetes, etc. Talk about a freak out. But they assured me they would do everything in their power to make things go smoothly, and I would be monitored often. I set up my next appointment for week 16. This would be the first of many TTTS monitoring appointments. From that appointment forward I would have ultrasounds every other week to monitor growth, fluid, placenta, and other signs of TTTS.
For those of you who are unaware, week 12 is a milestone week. By now the placenta has taken over and symptoms should begin to subside. It is at this week that risk of miscarriage drops considerably. I was given the all clear from my specialist to discontinue my progesterone injections and estrogen pills and patches. I was also released from the RE and turned over to my OB. Nick and I announced our pregnancy on social media this week and the response was amazing. We were so overwhelmed by all of the love and support we received. Our family, friends and community are truly amazing.
The last week of the first trimester!! Hallelujah! This week my nausea improved drastically. I was able to reintroduce some healthy food into my diet. And I actually had a little bit more energy. I saw my OB for the first time this week and babies looked good. I wouldn’t have another ultrasound for 3 weeks though, and this really freaked me out. But for now, we had two healthy babies on the way and couldn’t be happier!