This morning around 9:45 am I felt a little blob of wetness down there. I presumed it was some leakage from my morning progesterone suppository. When I checked, I found bright red blood. I wiped. There was more. And more.
My heart and my mind raced. I was shaking. First call was to the Clinic. I am bleeding! She told me, "Don't freak out, 80-90% of IVF pregnancies bleed, and we don't know why. 80-90% bleed even though the baby is okay."
WHADDYA MEAN 80-90% of IVF pregnancies bleed?! With that kind of occurrence rate, shouldn't you have mentioned this to me a long time ago? Just to prepare me?!
Sorry, lady, too late. I'm in full panic mode. Increased respiratory rate, increased heart rate, tears, shaking. Panicked.
She told me to go on bed rest, increase my progesterone to 2 suppositories each time, and go to my U/S appointment tomorrow.
Tomorrow? How does a person wait 24 hours when they can't breathe, are crying and heaving and shaking like a leaf?! I told her I wanted to call my OB's office and try to get seen today. She said that was fine if they could get me in. I really think she was trying her best to reassure me, but I was way past the point of being reassured by anything less than an ultrasound.
So, I called the OB's office. I could hardly spell my name because I was crying. Tears can be your friend, though. They were able to get me in - if I could be there in 30 minutes.
I called my husband as I was throwing on some clothes, putting in my contact lenses and shutting the windows. He was working away from home today and agreed to meet me at the doctor's office. This was all happening so fast.
Should I tell you that I drove 82 mph on the freeway to the doctor's office? I did. Despite a car accident on the side of the road (for which I did slow down) and a construction zone on one of the side streets with cones, I made the 15-minute drive in 8 minutes.
I signed in and sat in the waiting room trying not to look at the newborn infant pictures on the wall. Or the very pregnant woman sitting nearby. I stared at the blue and gray carpeting and just breathed. This was not how I wanted this appointment to happen. I wasn't ready. I was supposed to feel excited and anticipatory and not like I was going to sob any minute. I wasn't supposed to be bleeding and scared. I hadn't showered, I was barefoot and wearing the dirty flip flops I use in the back yard. God only knows how tangled and disheveled my hair was. This was not how this appointment was supposed to be. And yet here I was. The next time I stepped foot in my house I would know the truth. Baby or no baby.
My DH finally arrived just before they called my name. I changed into the paper gown and sat on the exam table and we waited for the nurse practitioner to come in. My thoughts got the better of me and I started to really sob hard. My DH got me some tissues and I folded myself over into my lap and just sobbed. I was so afraid that this was going to be the end of our pregnancy story. He didn't know what to do with me. He sort of patted my shoulder and said, "It's okay, it's okay, we don't even know yet." I pulled myself together and the very kind nurse practitioner came in.
First we talked, she took some info. Then she put in a speculum and said she could see brown blood, but no fresh bleeding. I thought, yes, there is fresh bleeding in there somewhere, because 6 tissues floating in my toilet are covered in bright red blood. She tried to reassure me that bleeding can be caused by irritation to the vaginal blood vessels from the progesterone suppositories. I just kept thinking - you didn't see how much blood there was.
I laid back and she turned the U/S monitor so that my DH and I could see it. I took a deep breath and stared at it. Sweet woman, she picked up the vaginal U/S wand and started to reassure me that only a short bit of the wand goes in. I smiled and said I was used to those things and having them put inside me had become like second nature. She said, "Bless your heart."
As the wand went in, the picture jumped and wobbled and I was looking.... looking....where is the uterus....where is the black space, and immediately structures of some sort appeared. Before I could wonder or think or be afraid or guess or anything else, she said, "Look, there is one gestational sac, one yolk sac, and there is the flicker!"
My hands flew to my face and I began to sob. A flicker! I cried audibly. Well, when you are lying on your back and you sob, your abdominals heave up and down. The wand was heaving up and down. She couldn't get the image on the screen to stay in focus. My husband was patting me from somewhere beside me. And I cried.
She said gently, "If you can hold still, we'll listen to that flicker...we'll hear the heart beat." And so I breathed and held myself as still as I could and then sound waves appeared beneath the image on the screen and I heard it. A beautiful, rhythmic thump-thump-thump at 133 beats per minute.
She said normal is between 120 and 160, and if folk lore is right, she's guessing it's a boy because according to lore, boys' heartbeats run 120's-130's and girls run 140's-160's. Then she said, "But that's just folk lore and of course we've had girls with lower heart rates and boys with higher heart rates."
"Can we look at it again?" I asked. And she showed me the baby again and put an arrow on the flickering heart. "See, it's right there." I asked her why the baby didn't have a shape, like a bean? She laughed and said it's too early, the baby is too young for it to have shape yet, and the little rectangle is just the way it should look right now. Baby measured 6 weeks, 4 days - right on track. The crown-rump length was 0.73 cm. She got out a tape measure and showed us how tiny that is.
She said I should come for an appointment every week until...I don't know when. I was having a hard time focusing. All I know is that I get to go every week for a while and see that my little baby is there and growing. Some peace of mind.
We thanked her profusely, I got dressed, we made my next appointment and came home. The gushing bleeding has stopped. Just some brown remnants now. WTF was all that? And you know I'm still concerned. But at least we saw that there is a baby. One little sugar plum in there.
Here's my U/S, with the arrow pointing to the flicker:
Thank God for my baby and for its beautiful little heartbeat.
7 months ago