Thursday, May 21, 2009

Been There, Done That, Bought the Tee Shirt

It's been a long road for us.

Mr. Chop and I were married in 2003 but didn't start TTC right away. I wanted to go to graduate school. So we waited until I turned thirty in 2005. That means it's been nearly four years. For a long time we tried on our own, when that wasn't successful, we went through the process of testing and found that my husband has poor sperm morphology. Five intra-uterine inseminations later, we still weren't pregnant. Next step, IVF with ICSI.

I was what they call in the IVF world a great responder. Thirty-eight eggs were retrieved, 25 of which were mature. Two beautiful embryos were transferred into my carefully prepared endometrium on day three. Our clinic froze six three day embryos and four six-day blastocysts. After our two week wait, we got the positive result we'd waited for, a positive beta, followed by doubled numbers in beta #2. At 6 weeks 5 days I had my first ultrasound. One beautiful heart beat.

But we didn't get to enjoy the pregnancy for long. Three days after this amazing ultrasound I woke up from a Saturday afternoon nap to a nightmare. I was bleeding profusely, so much that I passed out and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

At the hospital we were amazed to see that precious heart beating on ultrasound. Despite all the bleeding, our little one was still hanging in there. I was diagnosed as having a "threatened miscarriage" caused by a large subchorionic hemorrhage. I was sent home and told to take it easy. Only time would tell what would happen.

I went on bedrest. My mother-in-law flew two thousand miles to spend a week taking care of me. Ultrasound after ultrasound showed all was well, but that blasted hemorrhage was still there, a dark, constantly reorganizing reminder that my pregnancy was precarious. Over the next couple of months, I had almost constant uterine cramping. But every time I went for an ultrasound, baby looked great. I kept my activity level to a bare minimum and was on and off modified bedrest.

By January 31, 2008 I was starting to feel pretty good. I was 14.5 weeks pregnant, and finally starting to have an appetite again. That day I worked half a day and met a friend for lunch. I felt so good I went to the mall to exchange a few items. When I got home that afternoon, I got up out of the car and felt something leak. I felt panic rise as I rushed into the house. I had leaked some fluid that was tinged with dried blood.

I took a deep breath and called the obstetrician's office. It was 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve and I was forwarded to the on-call obstetrician. I asked what the fluid could be. Could it be amniotic fluid? "That would be highly unusual," she said.

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