Time to come out of hiding (everything ment and LONG)August 26 2011 at 8:56 AM
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|cbsgirl (no login)|
Once a regular poster and more recently not, I thought I would pop back on the board to share the news of my pregnancy, a natural pregnancy at 43 at that something that was too long in the making and close to seeming impossible. I have been waiting to share the news until we were somewhat out of the woods and I believe is timely based on DeeinNYCs recent ask for success stories on the pregnancy board. Given my absence from the board in recent months, I will share the LONG and sordid details of what transpired for anyone who is interested.
After completing my 9th IVF last fall, I had pretty much lost faith in the process. I was a good responder (most cycles with 6-11 eggs that mostly matured/fertilized) despite my age (started cycling at 40) and FSH (FSH always tested at 11.2). And, I consistently produced blasts on each of my cycles. I was extremely hopeful of the process when I had an ectopic on my first IVF cycle and then re-found that hope with pregnancies on my 7th and 8th cycles, though they both ended up as missed miscarriages. And, while I adored my RE who had worked with me on cycles 1-8 and never mentioned odds/ success rates or gave up on me, I knew I needed to do something different before I could move on to other options. My 9th cycle was completed at Cornell under the care of Dr. Davis and was by all means my Hail Mary. While the cycle looked perfect on paper, the cycle was a bust. With that failure, I knew I was done with OE cycles.
My DH and I were on totally different pages with regards to next steps. I was gung-ho for Donor Egg and he was all for adoption assuming we had to do anything alternative at all. We were each headstrong in our own camps and it was going to take a lot of work to get either of us to back down on our positions. We attended seminars, talked to professionals, talked to folks who had BTDT, etc. And, we had a couple of conversations with my RE, who was wonderful in helping us look at things differently.
I had a saline sono done in December to confirm my uterine cavity was good-to-go for a DE cycle, as I was looking at shared risk and my uterine history was dodgy - abdominal myomectomy in 2007 to remove several fibroids and a questionable HSG in mid-2010. Fortunately, everything checked out ok with my uterus. The only issue was getting us on the same page, so I could start a mock cycle.
We somehow got somewhat on the same page in mid-February and I was all prepared to call my clinic on cd1 to begin my mock cycle, which should fall right around my 43rd birthday in early March. Everyone is probably thinking what? She missed her period and found out she was pregnant on her birthday. WRONG!
Ten days before my birthday, I got a call that my sisters scheduled hysterectomy for fast growing fibroids was actually a major surgery to remove stage iv uterine sarcoma a very rare and deadly form of cancer that primarily occurs in post-menopausal women in their 60s and 70s. My sister is in her mid-40s. She asked if I could come and help care for her, as she didnt think my mom could handle all of her needs. My mom is in her late 70s and my sister is divorced, so I was the obvious choice and was happy to go and help.
Obviously, all plans to start a mock cycle went out the window and I spent my 43rd birthday in an oncologists office learning that my sister would be lucky to make it a year with her diagnosis and chemotherapy. So, my focus became my sister and I have spent the better part of the past 6 months giving her support and helping care for her. It has been fulfilling, but unbelievably stressful given that my DH is 500+ miles away and I am still working fulltime. DH and I have spent more time apart than together and it has been hard on both of us.
Somehow in the midst of everything with my sister, DH finally came around to DE and was ready to get started. My sister became more stable in May and I was finally able to spend a little more time at home with DH. My AF in May was terrible and I thought oh no! Bad AF = fibroid encroachment, as all signs were there of my cycles pre-surgery. Yikes! All bets are off. I called my RE and he suggested another saline sono. The issue was when I could get the darn thing scheduled. So, the next cycle worked out that I was home in the cd5-10 window in early June, however my RE was on vacation. Gah! Given my history, I was unwilling to have another RE perform the test and decided to test fate for another cycle.
I was not tracking anything temps, OPKs, etc, however a few days later after calling my clinic I had a LARGE amount of EWCM something unusual for me at my age. I figured I would use an OPK the following day for the heck of it and was convinced I had already ovulated. I was surprised to see an almost positive on the OPK the next AM and told DH we needed to BD. To say he was not a willing participant is an understatement! He said why? It hasnt worked yet and I am ready to move on. Huh? Where had this man come from? It certainly wasnt my DH of months before. I asked again and promised this would be it. We wouldnt try after this month and would move on. He relented and said hed do it just that one time. The real positive on the OPK came the following day and I somehow got him to agree to try again.
I started spotting the day after our last BD and it continued for the better part of a week. I was annoyed and knew my lining was $#^& as a result, which made me feel our efforts really were for naught. The spotting stopped after a week and I was just waiting for AF to come.
The timing of my next AF corresponded to my visit home over the 4th of July, which meant I could get my saline sono done!!! My cycles had been a little unpredictable in terms of length, so I thought AF should be there around the 2nd. Every day I was anxiously anticipating a nice, red wipe, so I could make the appt. When we went boating on the 4th, I packed my tampons, as I KNEW AF would show up as soon as we got on the water. I was surprised when she didnt and was actually pissed, as I wanted to get on with things and get that saline sono done.
So, the next day I decided to do a pregnancy test for absolutely no other reason than to get my AF started. It had always worked before. POAS and then AF is there with the next wipe. Imagine my surprise when the second line showed up immediately and it was DARK. I was pregnant - iyiyi! I felt like the dog that caught the bus what next? I was so in denial that for two days I didnt tell DH or call my REs office for a beta.
For someone who only ever had low betas to start, I was floored when my 18dpo number was very strong. And, the 2 subsequent betas doubled appropriately. Woo hoo! All three u/s with my RE showed everything measuring on track and a strong heartbeat each time. It was a surreal experience to graduate from my REs office after almost 4 years under his care and everyone in the office was so emotional and supportive.
I remained in denial leading up to my first OB visit at a little over 10 weeks. Fortunately for me, my OB was able to find the heartbeat on Doppler very reassuring given the spotting I had over the 3-4 days leading up to the appt. And, he was even discussing who would do my mandatory c-section (he will, of course!), which will occur a day or two after my 44th birthday in early March, depending on scheduling.
We decided to do the NT scan and just got our results back. Our odds of a chromosomally normal baby were the best possible for my age, which is reassuring at this point and the main reason I am ready to share my news. Not sure if we will do amnio, but we still have time to decide.
I can honestly say that I was doing nothing special for this BFP. I started exercising like a fiend (bootcamp, running, personal training) in early April to deal with the stress from my sister and actually dropped some of the weight I picked up over the past 4 years of ttc. And, I was working out particularly hard in the luteal phase of my successful cycle. I started seeing a chiropractor, who is more of a healer than the average chiropractor, on an as-needed basis to correct my very out of alignment hips. I was consuming a fair amount of caffeine via Starbucks iced tea, but actually dialed it back right around implantation due to a bad encounter with an employee and nothing to do with my circumstances. I continued to drink tea after I ended my relationship with Starbucks, though in much weaker doses. I was taking Vitamin D3 and C supplements on top of prenatals, since D tested low previously and a little boost of C never hurts esp when vulnerable to illness. Other than that, all I can say is that I have been stressed out beyond belief for 5 months and have come to believe that everything happens on its own timeline. I would never have believed it possible for this wonderful thing to happen to me and I can honestly say it was completely out of my control!!!
I still have a long way to go before I feel like I can relax and enjoy this pregnancy. Maybe that will come when I can feel this little one kick/move around? The slight nausea and intense hunger seem like a total pain, but they are my reminder each day that something is going on inside of me! And, I have been very protective in sharing this news until now. I have selectively told very close friends who have been a part of my IF journey (including some wonderful IRL friends from these boards). I have also shared the news with my sister and my pregnancy is giving her strength and hope to make it until the baby is here. DH and I are sharing the news more broadly with our families today.
I can honestly say that I dont think this pregnancy would be possible had I never found this board. The advice and support has been invaluable and seen me through some very tough times. There are so many wonderful and amazing women on this board who have provided me with lots of love and support throughout this journey and I just want to say THANK YOU!!! I hope my story will give hope to others who are still ttc and my wish is that each of you will end up with the happiest of endings!!
- OMG!! Congratulations - Tanya on Aug 26, 9:20 AM
- Thanks, Tanya! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:39 AM
- So so happy for you - summerwind03 on Aug 26, 9:35 AM
- You are one - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:42 AM
- Congrats girl ! - Al on Aug 26, 9:48 AM
- Thanks, Al! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:44 AM
- congrats! - sch1star on Aug 26, 9:52 AM
- Thanks! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:44 AM
- SO happy for you! - hva12 on Aug 26, 9:53 AM
- You know.. - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:49 AM
- Congrats!!!! - Meg on Aug 26, 10:00 AM
- great story!! congrats...did you take anything like progesterone or estrogen>? - Anonymous on Aug 26, 10:23 AM
- Re: great story!! congrats...did you take anything like progesterone or estrogen>? - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:53 AM
- Thanks so much, Meg! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:51 AM
- WOW! So happy for you:) - maureen on Aug 26, 10:16 AM
- Maureen! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:55 AM
- Congrats! And yay for the Chiro! - BabyDAnce on Aug 26, 10:31 AM
- Thanks, BD! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:57 AM
- oh my gosh, cbs, congratulations! - Jamie on Aug 26, 10:37 AM
- Thanks, Jamie! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 11:58 AM
- Wow! Coming out of hiding to say CONGRATS!! - ChickenLittle on Aug 26, 10:47 AM
- I'm glad to see - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 12:01 PM
- All the best - Suz43 on Aug 26, 10:56 AM
- Thank you! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:17 PM
- What an amazing story! - gone_fshn on Aug 26, 11:14 AM
- Thanks! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:18 PM
- Congrats! God bless your sister too - MIR on Aug 26, 11:29 AM
- Thanks! (n/t) - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:19 PM
- we needed some good news... - anne on Aug 26, 11:36 AM
- So glad - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:20 PM
- Woot!! Congrats!! - DeeinNYC on Aug 26, 12:46 PM
- Thanks, Dee! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:24 PM
- Wishing you all the best! - Anon10 on Aug 26, 1:18 PM
- Re: Wishing you all the best! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:25 PM
- Would like to point out about exercise.. - BabyDance on Aug 26, 1:31 PM
- Agree! (nt) - Suz43 on Aug 26, 3:20 PM
- Congratulations - Jen on Aug 26, 1:41 PM
- Thanks! (n/t) - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:25 PM
- cbsgirl!!!!!! - Tracy on Aug 26, 1:42 PM
- Tracy!!!!!!!!! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:28 PM
- Absolutely Amazing!!!!!!!! - Ekb88 on Aug 26, 2:00 PM
- wonderful news-congrats! - AnnaGr on Aug 26, 4:31 PM
- congrats! - jkl on Aug 26, 2:14 PM
- jkl!!! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:19 PM
- so very very happy for you - ElizaN on Aug 26, 4:08 PM
- It has been a wild adventure - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:29 PM
- Beyond thrilled for you - loulou100 on Aug 26, 4:35 PM
- Thank you, thank you! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:30 PM
- congratulations! - alima on Aug 26, 8:20 PM
- Thanks! (n/t) - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:30 PM
- Yay - Diane on Aug 26, 8:55 PM
- Glad - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:31 PM
- You just made my day, my week, my month, my year!!!!!!!!! - PhoebeMass on Aug 26, 9:16 PM
- I am so happy - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:34 PM
- CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! - ALM on Aug 26, 10:24 PM
- Thank you! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:35 PM
- Victory!!!!! - Helena on Aug 26, 11:49 PM
- HELENA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:39 PM
- Congratulations & all the best to you & your sister. Love to hear such gr8t news. - mtoto2 on Aug 27, 1:02 AM
- Thank you!! (n/t) - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:39 PM
- What wonderful news! Congratulations!!! - KarenGH on Aug 27, 9:28 AM
- Thanks - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:40 PM
- Congratulations! Your determination is inspirational! - Seabiscuit on Aug 27, 10:13 AM
- Thanks, Seabiscuit - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:42 PM
- Congratulations on the pregnancy after such a long journey! - Anonymous on Aug 27, 10:18 AM
- Best of luck to you! - cbsgirl on Aug 27, 2:43 PM
- Huge Congrats - lucy999 on Aug 27, 5:46 PM
- Great news - loulou100 on Aug 27, 10:48 PM