Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Trimester (or Minimum Clinical Girl)

So, on January 5, we went to the doctor’s office and we were immediately sent to get blood done. I got blood work done to test my hCG levels, progesterone, and my thyroid. Thankfully, and probably due to the obvious anxiety of my husband and our previous miscarriage, the tests were rushed and back within one day. I was definitely pregnant. My hCG levels were good, but my thyroid was high and my progesterone was low (still within range, but low). I made an appointment with the endocrinologist, was prescribed progesterone suppositories, had to go back to get blood drawn again to check my hCG levels, and scheduled an ultrasound to see what was going on. So begins my stress-free, all-natural, not medicated pregnancy.

And here is why Brian started to call me Minimum Clinical Girl:

1. My progesterone levels stayed consistently at the low end of the range, even with all the lovely suppositories. While I was still within range, being low made everyone nervous due to my previous miscarriage.
2. My hCG levels also didn’t act “normal.” Typically, with a viable pregnancy, your hCG levels will double (go up 100%) every other day. The acceptable range is anything between a 75% and a 100% increase. In 2 subsequent blood tests, my hCG levels went up 77% and 79%. Again, still within range, but nothing that made anyone comfortable.

So, we went in for our ultrasound hoping this would answer all of our questions and concerns. I was 5 weeks pregnant and there was a possibility, although not strong, that they would be able to see/hear a heartbeat. Instead, what we saw is the below picture (this is taken directly from my medical notebook, started once I realized my pregnancy would be medical).

As you can see from Brian’s handwriting (he is in charge of the book because he has the best handwriting out of the two of us and because it gives him something to do) we had a good yoke sack, good crown rump, good boundaries, and a fetal pole, but no heartbeat. Out of all of those things, the only thing I understood was “no heartbeat.” We scheduled another ultrasound for 2 weeks.

At this point, no one was sure what was going on. Yes, I was pregnant, but as my OB said, we should all be “cautiously reserved” about the viability of this pregnancy. Brian and I decided to tell only our parents about what was going on and I followed that agreement. I found out later that Brian had also told about 6 other people at work. Never ever tell him a secret, he just doesn’t keep them very well.

To make it seem even more unrealistic, the only symptom I had was exhaustion – a type of exhaustion I’ve never experienced before. I was going to bed at 7:00 PM and barely waking up the next day. But that was it – no nausea, no nuclear nose, no cravings, nothing.

We went for our second ultrasound and both of us were ready to hear nothing. The ultrasound tech, a little loopy herself, took her time setting up, spreading goo (yes, this is the professional term) on my belly, and then meandering around. She didn’t speak, just moved the arm thingy (another technical term) around my belly until she just stopped and said, “There it is.” And you could see something flickering on the screen – if you looked exactly in the right spot. At first I was convinced that it was a blip in the software program until she turned on the volume, and then we heard it… Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha Whoosha. Over and over again, loud and fast. I think a tear might have escaped my eye and I know Brian sighed in relief.

We were pregnant. The fetus had a heartbeat. I had progesterone supplements, synthetic thyroid, and prenatal vitamins. We had been upgraded to “optimistically cautious.” We named the bean Whoosha PUPO… “whoosha” after the heartbeat, and if you remember from a previous post PUPO means pregnant until proven otherwise. And even though we spent the first 13 weeks holding our breaths, knowing it could all be over within a minute, we did think this was as good as it could get.

1 comment:

  1. I'll never forget the first time I heard the heartbeat (and every time thereafter)...I cried and cried.