6 Weeks

So in education, we are big fans of “icebreaker” activities. A common one that is used is the “two truths and a lie” game where each individual presents the group with three facts about themselves- two which are true, and one which is untrue. The group guesses as to which fact is untrue, and then the answer is revealed and on to the next person. I always hate this game because I have a bit of social anxiety over people staring at me and focusing on aspects of me. But since it’s Friday, you all aren’t physically staring at me, I thought I’d play it with you.

Two Truths and a Lie:

– I may have a kidney infection

– I am still bleeding/spotting

– I have morning sickness

Now, take a guess, make a mental note of it, and post about it in the comments 🙂

The answers will be revealed as you read below.

Now for some food porn:



My favourite cheap quick eat in Leslieville, Toronto- at Hanoi 3 Seasons. 

Well it’s been a while since I’ve touched base on here. Not a lot has been happening really. The big dog has been all sorts of bad and stealing food off the counters. I am partially to blame, leaving things like sticks of butter, freshly baked GF banana chocolate chip muffins, and focaccia sticks not far enough back on the counter. The little dog says its entrapment. 

The other day, a good teacher friend of mine brought her 8 month old identical twin boys over, and we had a great afternoon. This teacher friend (who is an amazing teacher) was being bullied really badly by the other teachers at the school we worked at last year. Out of a group of 17 teachers, I was the only one that called these people out on their bullying. It was so bad that she applied out to work at a different school when she returns from maternity leave. It’s sad because I loved working with her. 

Anyways, her boys are the cutest with our dogs. Juno and Clem are super gentle with them, allow them to pull tufts of their fur out, lick drool and snot off their faces, and allow the babies to use them to brace themselves when they try to stand up. It melts my heart, and with Juno being almost 9 years old, I hope she will still be as patient and loving with our kids, whenever they come. Feeding time was a frenzy though, as the babies were entertained by dangling their food over the edge of their food trays. Both dogs were in heaven when the babies were tossing their little food bits all over the floor. I think this contributed to Juno’s food stealing craze. It’s like giving booze to an alcoholic in AA during a moment of weakness- it sets off an uncontrollable sequence of events.

Wednesday, at 5w5d, nausea kicked in. It isn’t so bad once I get food in my tummy, but the thought of eating chicken makes me want to puke. I’m pretty much surviving on Vans GF Waffles, scrambled eggs, and juice.

For a couple of days, I was obsessed with everything tomato-based: tomato soup, tomato sauce, salsa, chilli. But I think I overdid it, and the thought of any of it makes me a bit queasy.

Overall, I’m just tired and not interested in eating. I’m especially uninterested in preparing food. 

Symptom wise, my boobs are so sore that I can’t sleep comfortably on my stomach anymore. My back is sore. I am exhausted, take naps almost daily, yet have some insomnia that causes me to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. I have mild headaches in the afternoon that kind of feel like a hangover.

Cause for celebration: I HAVE NOT BLED OR SPOTTED IN 3 FULL DAYS!

Last night I couldn’t sleep because I had an aching pain through my flank and abdomen on the right side. It didn’t feel muscular at all, so today I went in to see my family doctor and she sent my urine away for urinalysis. We find out on Monday if I have a UTI or a kidney infection. I don’t have a fever but if I develop one before I hear back from her, I have some Keflex antibiotic just in case. I do feel quite rotten, and almost like I had a flu yesterday. 

Otherwise, not much else to report. Still a week and 3 days until my ultrasound…. It’s feels like forever.

5w3d: Early Ultrasound & Still Bleeding

Happy Monday everyone.

Yessum, I am still bleedin’. I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern with it though- it starts around 2pm daily, as a red bleed, then through the rest of the day it starts to taper into brown spotting. Sometimes, I get the red bleed again in the evening, which then tapers to brown. This is happening daily, and I’m so sick of it.

A lot is on my mind lately, as my anxiety has ramped up a bit. I’ve had a couple of nightmares in the past week- 3 that have felt so real and terrifying. Twice, DW has woken me up because I was sobbing in my sleep or yelling. I like that she wakes me up and makes the nightmares stop. She holds me for a while afterwards too, which is super soothing. I’m not ready to talk about the things making me anxious right now, as it is crippling me just thinking about it, but rest assured it’s not baby-related. 

So far this pregnancy, I have felt generally normal, with only a little bit of breast tenderness. The bleeding persists, and I occasionally get twinges or a dull pressure in my belly. I am absolutely exhausted every day after lunch, and have been napping. The napping doesn’t seem to ruin my night time sleep though, and I’m going to bed earlier and earlier. Right now my appetite is enormous, and I’ve been eating 4 large balanced meals a day. 

I had my early ultrasound today, just looking at placement of the embryo(s), not viability. It was a struggle getting my bladder full enough, and then subsequently empty enough, for the two types of ultrasound. The technician was nice, and was good with answering my questions. This is what she found:

– ONE single gestational sac with yolk sac in my uterus (too early to see fetal pole or heartbeat)

– Fallopian tubes are clear

– No evidence of a subchorionic hematoma

They have no idea what is causing the bleeding. My latest blood progesterone was 50, and they want it over 18, so we’re good in that respect too. 

They cancelled my ultrasound for next week, and rescheduled it for 7w3d (two weeks from now) to check viability.

It is going to be a long two weeks! In the meantime, I am trying to decide on whether I’d rather have a midwife or a OBGYN take over my care after I’m discharged from the RE clinic. Any tips?

5 Weeks and Still Bleeding

I apologize if you’re getting tired of this, but after one blood-free day yesterday, I’m bleeding again. Full-on bright red.

I’m also super tired, and have really achy low back pain. I am averaging one nap a day, and took two naps yesterday. 

I called the clinic, because the bleeding started up again, and my low back pain is kind of unusual, and they had me come in for another beta HCG. 

To recap on my HCG levels:

4w1d (10dp5dt): 229

4w3d: 643

4w4d: 897

5w (today): 3363

So my HCG levels are steadily climbing, which is very reassuring. But what do you make of all of this bleeding?!?

Well they’re a little concerned now, with the addition of low back pain to the mix, and want me to come in on Monday for an ultrasound (5w3d) to rule out an ectopic. I know a couple of ladies following my blog have had ectopic pregnancies, and I would love if you weighed in on this.

I am comforted by my high HCG levels, as I know ectopic pregnancies usually have lower levels. I also haven’t had any cramps or abdominal pain. I don’t have a fever. Mostly it’s just the bleeding and my achy back. My back pain feels the same as when I’m waiting for my period- sore, dull, and achy. 

Today I also found out that one of the receptionists at my fertility clinic is 16 weeks pregnant, and that my endocrinologist is 17 weeks pregnant. It was kind of a hard blow to see how easy it is for other people to get pregnant, and also awkward to take all of that information in, especially as they both seemed so apologetic in their announcements to me. I don’t blame them, I’m genuinely happy for them, with a touch of jealousy. 

Other than that, I’m doing okay. Next week I have a clear and open schedule, so I will definitely need some distractions. Any ideas? 

4w5d: Still Bleeding

I think I’ve exhausted all of the forums online that come up when you google “red bleeding but high HCG”. 

Thank you everyone for your support during all of this. I am grateful for each and every one of your comments. 

I’m still bleeding, but it has slowed down a bit. Instead of changing pads every hour, I’m changing pads 4 times a day. The colour changes- it goes from red, to red/orange, to brown, and then back to red and cycles through again.

From everything I’ve read, the bleeding could either be from:

– a subchorionic bleed (too early for that though- the gestational sac hasn’t really even formed yet)

– cervical irritation (probably not, as I’ve been on Endometrin twice before, with no symptoms like this. Plus, I’m only putting the tablet in half way to avoid injury to my cervix.)

– a polyp or some cervical abnormality (I’ve had enough people in my vagina [for fertility reasons, ahem] to know that I do not have any polyps)

– implantation bleeding (too late for that to be red right now)

And the most likely scenario:

– miscarriage of one embryo (as my HCG continued to increase yesterday from 643 on Monday to 897 on Tuesday, but the doubling rate has decreased by exactly half)

It’s interesting to read the gamut of information on bleeding during pregnancy- most official pregnancy websites claim that 20% of normal pregnancies experience bleeding, yet a lot of advice websites say if you have bleeding not spotting, to see your doctor ASAP or go to the emergency room. 

I’m also thinking that the bleeding might be worse because I’m on the blood thinners- 81mg ASA, 5000IU Fragmin, and about 1500mg omega 3’s. 

My approach to all of this is that I’ll just keep monitoring my bleeding, and if I get super freaked out, I’ll ask for another beta. Then the big reveal in 12 days at my 6w3d ultrasound, where we get to see what’s going on.

In terms of symptoms, I still have none besides being tired enough in the afternoons for a nap. Even the hot flashes have stopped. Those of you who got nausea- when did that start?

Fun Times avec Fragmin

Fragmin is a type of low molecular weight heparin- a blood thinner. I am on a 5000IU daily dose of it, which I inject at bedtime. While I don’t enjoy needles, I have come to accept that they are a necessary part of our baby-making plans, so I have gotten over it.

Two nights ago however, a disaster occurred, involving my hip, a syringe, and DW’s thumb. Oh, and a whole lot of blood.

So at around 10:30pm, I’m in bed, finishing up my bedtime routine of late, with my last task being my Fragmin injection. I find some fat on my hip, wipe down the area with an alcohol swab, pull off the cap over the Fragmin needle, and ease the needle into my flesh. Some people prefer to do a quick jab, but I just can’t bring myself to do that and fare better with the slow constant pressure approach.

I get the needle all the way in, and slowly inject the Fragmin because if I push too fast, it burns. When I’m done, I push on the plunger a little harder, as there is a spring mechanism that quickly withdraws the needle from the site and then encases it in some protective wall. It is very fancy for an injectable medication.

But the spring mechanism doesn’t engage, which is no big deal, but means that I need to manually pull out the needle, which is of a thick gauge, and seems to be stuck in my flesh. Actually, I have been finding this recently with the Fragmin- that the thick needle is difficult to penetrate my skin, and also difficult to pull out of my flesh.

With the needle feeling stuck, I take a deep breath, brace myself, and pull a little harder.

Finally, it comes out. I am relieved, until I notice a continuous parabolic stream of bright red blood spraying out of my hip, onto our bedsheet 4 inches away. I am frantic and call out to DW, who is conveniently laying about 3 inches from the spray. Calm and unphased, and totally nonchalantly, she plugs the spraying hole in my hip with her thumb, her other hand still holding her phone, reading the news.

IMG_5634.JPG
The needle demonstrating its protective spring mechanism- after all the action.

For about 15 minutes, her thumb kept constant pressure on the spot until it finally stopped leaking.

IMG_5636.JPG
Her thumb, and the spray spot.

Then she found some cotton pads and medical tape, and patched me up real nice:

IMG_5637.JPG

Ooppps! My bad. I must have hit a vein.

The Bleeding Begins

I’ve always been a fan of technology, especially when it allows us to do things like take pictures of our bloody maxi pads and text message them to our wives at work.

Yeah, I did that today.

You see, I stopped the “pregnancy” sustaining meds on Sunday, and have been off work all week waiting to get this natural miscarriage over with. On Wednesday, the spotting began, though I can barely call it spotting, as it was like one smear per day (I’m not apologizing for the TMI), and unworthy of the panty liner changes.

But today, sitting in the car, on our (me and dogs) way home from the conservation park, I could feel the twinges I distinctly recognize as my angry cervix opening it’s long and hostile mouth. Ten minutes later, it let out a loud roarrrr and bloody clots and tissue started to waterslide, landing on my panty liner.

Lovely right? Cervical sea monsters and waterslides.

It seems to come in waves though. As the waterslide is vacant at the moment. I do feel some tingling in my uterus, perhaps some cajoling of the next sliders into the queue.

I know there’s a whole lot that needs to come out of there, and worry that this is gonna take a while.

Tomorrow is the review appointment with our RE (which I nearly had to bribe someone to get). I will likely try to get an appointment for a D&C, as this waiting is killing my will to live, and I’m anxiously waiting to just move on from this already. The pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness and food/smell aversions) are downright cruel and make me feel so shitty- both physically and emotionally.

Other than that, we’re gonna take the opportunity to also ask the RE where we should go from here. I know he’ll just encourage us to do the last FET, but since we have his attention for a few minutes, I hope we get a chance to talk about his speculation on why we keep miscarrying with my eggs, as well as whether DW’s nearly 39-year-old eggs would be a good option to move forward with. My GP seems to think that DW miscarrying twice with my eggs and me miscarrying once with my eggs is still within the realm of normal, but if this guy is an “expert” on fertility, I want to get his gut feeling on this.

Anyway, Happy Friday everyone!

Wish me luck on passing these “products of conception” quickly and completely.

Some Answers

I took it easy today. I made some gluten-free butter tarts:

IMG_5022.JPGh

IMG_5024.JPG

IMG_5026.JPG

Had my blood drawn at two different labs (one for HCG for RE, other for thyroid for endocrinologist).

I actually ate some food today, and had a 20 minute nap. I cried on three separate occasions when I thought about returning to work. I have this sense of impending doom that is consuming me. After talking it through with DW, it’s become clear that I am not fit to work for physical and emotional reasons. I think I need to go on a medical leave from my job temporarily.

Some good news though, my HCG has increased since August 22nd. It was 1800, and is now 39435. That’s a doubling time of 75 hours, which is good for that range.

IMG_5028.PNG

IMG_5029.PNG

The RE moved up my ultrasound from Thursday to tomorrow. He also wants me off work for a week, after which time we reassess.

So that’s the plan for now.

Thanks everyone for your support.

In Crisis

I have not slept for two nights. I have lost 3 lbs in 3 days. I can’t eat more than two half-portioned meals per day. I am 7 weeks pregnant.

This isn’t healthy.

So far, I’ve kept my spotting and bleeding of clots quiet from our RE. But today, I just felt sick about it all and emailed my primary nurse and told her what has been going on. Hopefully, I hear back from her tomorrow and maybe I can get an ultrasound to find out what’s going on.

Previously, I had been against taking a day off work (they highly discourage teachers taking sick days in my board- even though they are part of our compensation), because I’m a relatively new teacher (third year permanent), and it looks bad when you use them (even though we encounter hundreds of dirty teenager’s germs daily). Right now, my seat mate is sick with the flu, and I’m secretly angry at her for touching my stuff and coming to work at all!

Anyways, my new role is very physical. I have to travel two floors and across the length of the school to get from my first period class to my office and other two classes. Often, I am carrying 40lbs of textbooks and student binders, as well as other supplemental equipment from floor to floor. Today, I was carrying a stack of 40 magazines from the basement, up to the second floor, and felt a cramp in my abdomen. I stopped and waited until I saw two kids on washroom breaks and had them carry the rest to my classroom. I then had to go back an grab a class set of scissors, glue sticks, stack of cardboard poster boards, and a bin of markers. I had to make two more trips for that. In my classes, I am working with kids with significant developmental and intellectual challenges. Our kids are high school aged, but function at the reading and cognitive level of grades 1-6. They also have significant behavioural and maturity issues- so I am never sitting down at all in my classrooms. I am on my feet all day, dealing with students who are difficult to reason with and can often become violent in the classroom. Today, a student swore at me because I tried to help him brainstorm “other words” that he could use to express how he felt (rather than “fuck”).

It is physically, and emotionally taxing. I have been bleeding, and haven’t eaten or slept in two/three days. I am taking tomorrow off to re-group, but all I feel is the dread of having to go back there and managing my stress from my less-than-perfect pregnancy symptoms.

I am in crisis, and can’t seem to find a way out.