Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thoughts on Riding

Assuming this pregnancy continues, my riding days are definitely numbered. I went out today for the first time in the last couple of weeks, fully intent on this being the first ride of many as I continued through my first trimester (or until I'm told flat-out by my doctor to stop riding). Riding has always made me feel better - at least temporarily - for whatever was bothering me physically, except apparently pregnancy. Hangovers, headaches, colds, cramps - all miraculously stopped bothering me as I rode. Except today, I was so on edge that I actually started feeling worse as I rode. I tried to stay in two-point while I trotted Rudy out because his gaits are so rough, but ended up jogging and loping him for a while anyway. I don't think the concern about riding is really that anything is going to be shaken loose, it's more the risk of falling. And since Rudy is so calm and I still appear to have a pretty sticky seat, I'm not too worried about that. But regardless, I noticed my posture was really pretty terrible and my balance was off as I rounded my back and leaned back more than normal in some sort of protective stance for my belly. And then as I was cooling him down, I started having some cramping in my upper abdomen, and got so worried about doing something stupid that I didn't fully walk him out. So I'm not quite sure what to make of that - if it was all because of my worrying or if there really was a physical reaction to the riding. Either way, continuing to ride without something changing isn't really fair to me (if I'm going to stress out so much) or Rudy (if he's not being properly ridden or cooled down), so maybe I'll try again next week and just try not to overdo it. I realize other people have ridden throughout their pregnancies and other people do more strenuous physical activities than I do normally, so there's a large part of me that thinks this is mostly in my head.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

5 weeks, and Beta #2

I went in yesterday for my second betas, which also marked 5 weeks... and then I was too tired to write about it. I hope that's a good sign :) My betas needed to double since the first number, so they needed to be about 5000, and instead they came back at 6350. I'm strangely not that excited about that, although that shows that this pregnancy has continued to progress. I think it may be a combination of worry because my cramping and spotting were worse the night before, and my nurse wasn't quite as enthusiastic when she called with the results this time as she was for the first betas. She did try to reassure me that the spotting and cramping were fine and not to worry about it, but I think I'd already begun tailspinning. I made it for about two days with my positive thinking and good feeling about this pregnancy, and now I'm convinced I'm just going to miscarry again. So I'm changing my mantra a little bit, and trying to remind myself that statistically speaking, chances are that I won't miscarry, and I'm also trying to keep in mind that every successful pregnancy had to start somewhere. I'm so focused on just trying to get through first trimester, like it's some battle against the odds for me to make it through to the other side, forgetting that everyone else who has had a baby somehow managed to survive these 13 weeks intact. And it's not like I can really do anything about it anyway if I'm going to miscarry, so I just need to get my head on straight again.

I somehow forgot to take a 4 week belly shot, even though I got my first positive HPT at 3w3d. So here's the first of hopefully many belly pics (and hopefully for some of them, I'll actually remember to brush my hair first!)... although at this early stage, any perceived belly is just due to bloat :) And while I'm on progesterone in oil (PIO) and estrogen shots for another 1.5 weeks, after that point until I'm 10 weeks I'll only have to do the estrogen shots (every third day) and 3x-daily progesterone pills, which will be a lot better than these daily injections. I blame the injections for most of this bloat, since that had already started even before the embryo transfer. Besides the bloating and increased appetite, the latest symptom to crop up has been fatigue. I thought I was just experiencing my normal end of the workday/workweek tiredness that can happen if I'm not sleeping well, but given that I was getting almost catatonic by 10pm the last few nights, I think there may be more to it. Especially since last night I could barely keep my eyes open by 9pm and ended up going to bed earlier than normal despite it being a Friday night. And while I didn't sleep that well last night either, I have been half-asleep all day today as well.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beta #1

So, 14 days after a 5-day transfer of two lovely little frozen embryos, I am most definitely pregnant, based on a handful of home pregnancy tests and now my first betas. Anything over 100 would have been good for where I am in my cycle, and my number was... 2,602. Eek. My nurse asked me again how many embryos we had transferred, and my voice was distinctly high-pitched and a little panicked when I said two. Ryan is very happy with the possibility of twins, I'm happy with an asterisk, since I'm concerned about the health risks and how much more difficult that would make things on me and the babies during the pregnancy, and probably all of us after birth. So we'll see. I go back in for two more betas to measure my hcg levels (the "pregnancy hormone") over the next few days, and my first ultrasound is scheduled for 11/8, when I will hopefully be 6w3d.

After three years of trying to start our family, I would have thought I'd be more excited about finally being pregnant again, but instead, I mainly feel worry. Just lots of generalized worry. Probably because I've seen what can happen - a positive pregnancy test does not always lead to getting to take a baby home from the hospital. So far, this pregnancy is instead a mixture of excitement and cautious daydreams, tempered by the thought that we it took us three years, one missed miscarriage, one chemical pregnancy, two IUIs, one IVF, and one FET cycle to get to where we are today. So thoughts of my previous miscarriage are never far from my mind whenever I think how amazing it is that we get to have another shot at this, and even when I saw that second line on my first HPT last week, my immediate reaction was to burst into tears. All of this has led me to try to get my mindset in the right place, which I think I'm making progress with now. Instead of worrying about all the things that can go wrong, I need to remind myself that even if they do go wrong, I know we can get through it. It sucks, but we've done it before. But not only do I need to stop worrying, but I need to refocus that energy into enjoying this pregnancy for as long as I get to have it. I didn't realize how much I liked being pregnant the first time until it was taken away from me after weeks of complaining about every little twinge and ache. I think my biggest symptoms so far are just an increased appetite, more frequent peeing and crying (though not at the same time at least), and some pretty heavy duty bloating, most likely due to all the meds I'm still on. Only a week and a half left of the progesterone in oil and estrogen, though, so that's not that bad, although the shots are definitely not my favorite part of the day (especially now that we've run out of undamaged space on me, so we're having to do shots into welts and bruises). All in all, I'm almost amused by my symptoms so far - I cried because the changing leaves were so pretty! - and while the bloating isn't that comfortable, it just reminds me that there's some crazy stuff going on inside my body right now, and it will all be worth it if it results in a baby (or two).

So, in case you're curious, below is my first home pregnancy test at 5 days after a 5-day transfer of two embryos, and below that is at 12 days after a 5-day transfer. What a difference a week makes!