XIV. Pregnant?

Making Baby Mettler

Trigger warning: blood.

The week after we got a positive pregnancy test… there was blood. Not a little amount. I was sure I was having a miscarriage. I texted the three people I had told that it was positive that I was having a miscarriage and that I wasn’t ready to talk about it.

The next morning I called the doctors office and they told me to come in for a blood test and then again two days later to see if the pregnancy was progressing, or if I was having a miscarriage. The first blood test came back that I was still pregnant according to my HCG levels, but that that didn’t mean that they wouldn’t start to decline if the bleeding meant I was miscarrying. (This happened to Steph when we were trying with her, but her levels were way lower initially) We didn’t tell anyone anything at this point. We just holed up in bed and cried & pretty much wallowed in our sorrows for 2 days.

On Wednesday (3 days post bleeding), I went in for my second blood test at 8am, and then we waited around for that phone call to tell us what our next steps were going to be. That afternoon at 3:30pm, the phone rang, and we both just stared at it. We weren’t sure if we were ready to hear what they had to say. And then just before it went to voicemail, I answered the call. My numbers had beyond tripled. I was still VERY pregnant!

I asked about the blood and the doctor explained that that was way more common than most people know. She told me to double my progesterone to twice/day (oh joy) and that I would come back in exactly two weeks for my 7 week ultrasound. And as long as everything was good with that, they would release me to my gynecologist.

Those 2 weeks were EXCRUCIATING! There was spotting for a few more days, and I was paranoid to say the least. Every little twinge or cramp sent my brain everywhere. Not to mention, the Progesterone prevents you from showing signs of a miscarriage and actually keeps you from getting a period most of the time. Poor Steph, I of course filled her in about everything that happened throughout the day, which made her just as paranoid while she was trying to be as supportive as possible.

The night before the ultrasound, I didn’t sleep at all! I was so nervous that I’d get there, there wouldn’t be a heartbeat, and I’d be in there all alone when it happened. Covid SUCKS.

The morning of the ultrasound, we got in the car, and I tried to keep my head together and just keep from crying. I walked inside, laid down on the table, Facetimed Steph, Dr. Jaffe walked in and started my Ultrasound. The second it started, there was a loud and clear heartbeat on the screen and speakers. My heart about jumped out of my chest, and both of us sat there in amazement (Steph on Facetime) that this was our baby.

The phone service of course sucked, lol because that’s just how things go. While Dr. Jaffe was looking around in my uterus to make sure that everything was good, it turned out that there was another embryo (OMG TWO EMBRYOS), but before you get too excited, the second embryo stopped growing a week and a half prior (so at 5 and a half weeks), when I was bleeding.

She explained that more than likely, thats what all of my bleeding was from. I asked if I should be worried about this baby being effected by the embryo that had stopped growing. She told me that they refer to it as Vanishing twin syndrome and that I had nothing to worry about. She told me that by my next ultrasound, it should be absorbed and shouldn’t cause any problems. She released me to my OB/GYN, and told me to continue the progesterone until the end of my 12th week of pregnancy, and wished me the best of luck.

OMG We’re having a baby!

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2020 – Continuing Our Baby Journey

Making Baby Mettler

So… 2020…

We’ve been trying to make a baby for the last year and a half, and for 2020 we get hit with massive fires in Australia, murder bees, coronavirus, … we decided to take a break for a bit while we figured out our job situations and overall just let the world settle down for a hot minute. I’m not sure if that’s happened yet, but we decided to pick back up where we left off.

If you have no idea what’s going on, you picked a great blog to start! Samantha and I (Steph) have been going through the process of making a baby. I’ve been through all kinds of testing and we’ve done 7 IUI procedures with me (IUI is where they insert sperm into your uterus. It’s different from IVF because they don’t take your eggs out and fertilize them, also it’s WAY cheaper). One of the IUI’s was a “false pregnancy” where the egg was fertilized but didn’t stick and continue to mature. We’ve been keeping a running tally of our cost to make a baby for anyone who might be going through something similar or for anyone interested.

Samantha started taking prenatals, folic acid, and all of the other vitamins that I had been taking. We started shopping around for sperm donors (because what else do we do in quarantine, lol) and found one we like who looks freakishly like my baby photos. We wanted to get a donor that has similar qualities to me this time, since she will be the one carrying, that way the baby looks like a mix of the two of us. Odds are, her Danish viking genes will take over and we will end up with a blonde hair, blue eyed, baby Thor child anyway, LOL.

Next steps for Samantha are getting her HSG done and then we play the waiting game – we’ve been talking to the fertility office to see how they’re operating. They’re pretty much back to normal, which is great for us! Hopefully in the next few months we will be able to start this journey again and get back to attempting to make babies.

$12,566.05

Cost of making a baby so far.

7 part 2- Insemination

Making Baby Mettler
Screenshot of Sam's phone. Someone asked "can you get pregnant if just the tip goes in" and we had a laugh about it.

This time around, Dr. Jaffe was able to do the insemination, which, not gonna lie, felt more legitimate somehow. While we were waiting in the room with our tiny tube of sperm, I asked Sam how long sperm can live at room temperature so she asked google. I can guarantee that her phone has the most random search history. Apparently, some people never took any sort of Sex Education class.. Peep the top questions asked on the google.. lol

Dr. Jaffe came in and we asked her the sperm question – FYI she said sperm at room temp can last a few days when it’s in a solution. We were joking around (because that’s what you do when there are 4 people in a room and one person isn’t wearing pants.. lol) and Dr. Jaffe said that she was going in with a giant Q-Tip to clean my cervix and then busts out with “You’re going to have the cleanest cervix in the room” as she’s down by my feet with my legs in the air. We laughed and then she told me not to laugh because I wasn’t supposed to be contracting my muscles, which made me laugh more.

Usually, the Doctor usually tells me to scoot down (ladies, amiright?) so I assumed that when she said “put your legs down” that she needed me to adjust, but she was indeed telling me to put my feet down because apparently she has a magic touch and was totally done with the insemination. Aren’t I supposed to feel that??

 

Baby Journey Cost:

Insemination: $350

Total baby-making cost to date: $12,333.06

 

Our decision

Making Baby Mettler

After talking it over with Dr. Jaffe and discussing everything amongst ourselves, we decided to go ahead and try one more time with me(Steph). Who knows if I will be able to try again in the future, but losing the last pregnancy at least showed me that it was possible for me to get pregnant.

We also talked to a financial counselor while we were there about IVF and what it would look like IF we decide to go that route. We learned that it’d be roughly the same price whether they use my eggs or Sam’s if I try to carry. It’s also a little cheaper to do a “mini stim” but then we’re only getting a few eggs as opposed to a bunch (but in my case, no matter what, they’d probably only get a few anyway). IVF is still super expensive regardless. (Roughly $25k with our current insurance plans.)

My bloodwork was back to normal by the time CD 1 came around, so we were able to start my round of Clomid and shots of Gonal-F. This month was super weird. Everything this cycle happened very quickly.

We went in on cycle day 2, everything was good, no cysts! And when we went back on CD 11 I had THREE MATURE FOLLICLES. WHAT?! Our doc typically frowns on inseminating if there are more than 2 because there’s a higher risk for having more than 2 babies, but given the circumstances, she gave the “okay” with our permission. The nurse called and said that she needs our permission with the possibility of 3 babies at once being a thing… At this point we will take whatever comes our way, and definitely said yes!

We did another shot of Gonal-F that night(CD 11), and on the evening of CD 12 we triggered with Novarel (because apparently Pregnyl was on back order) for Insemination on CD 14. If you’ve read our previous blogs, we usually do the inseminate closer to CD 16-18. Apparently my follicles were READY. Here’s hoping.

 

Baby Journey Cost:

Two blood draw copays: $10
Co-pay for Ovary scan: $5
Clomid: $14.79
Novarel: $139.89
Gonal-F 350 pen: $170                                                                                                                Sperm: $770
Co-pay for Follicle scan #1 and Doctor Follow up: $5

Total baby-making cost to date: $11,983.06

IUI number 6 – TWW & Results

Making Baby Mettler

Week one has been smooth sailing aside from the bit of nausea from the trigger shot. The first day of week 2 I started getting some cramps and throughout the week getting a little nauseous. I was laying in bed 2 days into week 2 and felt so gross. My hunger has been all over the place, one day I’m starving, the next I’ll eat a snack and pick through dinner. I was hardcore craving popcorn, but that could’ve just been me being hungry, lol. I’ve been freezing also, but the weather in Florida has been in the 40’s and 50’s so that may be why. Symptoms into week 2 are mostly nausea that comes and goes, but nothing else out of the ordinary.

In other news: We bought a new mattress (woohoo adulting!) and I slept like a baby on a cloud! We also got new bedroom furniture which is beautiful and sooo much lighter than the 600 lb solid oak dressers we had in there before.

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Day 14 came around without too much trouble. I think that means we are getting better at being patient? We got up at 5:30am – Sam couldn’t sleep anyway, but I have my calculus class super early. I used the last pregnancy test we had from last month and set a timer for 3 minutes. When the timer went off, I picked it back up and… it wasn’t positive… but it wasn’t quite negative either… The last few tests we’ve taken have been all different brands. This one was + for positive – for negative. There was the faintest little vertical line accompanying the horizontal.

All the other tests had been very solidly negative, like we could look from all directions and shine a light around it and there was NO indication of a positive result. This one is a bit hazy, and it was our last test, so we scheduled an appointment for a blood test after my class, which was actually cheaper than buying a new pregnancy test so win-win! Now we wait until they call us this afternoon. Still trying not to get our hopes up, but we looked up other people’s pregnancy tests online and there’s a big chance we could be pregnant based on that information. This waiting game is serious.

– – –

The blood test came back pretty much inconclusive, but we MIGHT be pregnant! My HCG level was 22.5 and a 25 is “for sure pregnant because you made it past the 5 days thing” whereas anything less than 5 is a no-go. It’s still early which could be the reason for the low level, but we go back on Thursday for another blood test to see if it’s gone up and doubled like it’s supposed to!

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It’s Thursday. I’ve been cramping and I’ve been nauseous to the point where I put a trash bin by the bed just in case. It’s crazy how one day I could go from being an adult to being a mom! It still hasn’t hit me too hard yet. I’ve been super thirsty and bloated, which is normal. Just waiting for the test results is KILLER.

– – –

Blood test results came back and my HCG level is 9. We’re not pregnant. The doctor is qualifying it as a miscarriage since we technically did get pregnant. There’s also a chance that my HCG level could’ve been higher than 22.5 before we took our initial test, but had already started to decline.

Basically what this means was that my egg got fertilized and implanted, but didn’t continue developing. With IVF (we did IUI), after they inject the egg with the sperm, there’s a 5 day waiting period to see which ones turn into viable blastocysts before they transfer the fertilized embryos back into the Uterus. In our case, if we had been doing IVF, this one probably wouldn’t have gotten to that stage. There’s no answer as to why, but this was the first positive pregnancy test we’ve gotten, which means my eggs aren’t broken. It just sucks that it didn’t stick. We were both so excited at the thought of us becoming moms and knowing how close we were. For 2 days we were hardcore preparing to be moms. Today is REALLY rough! Now it’s back to the drawing board.

We have a lot to decide on… Idk if I’m going to try again with me. I really want to sit and think about it and talk to the doctor a bit more.

Baby Journey Cost:

Co-pay for bloodwork: $5 

Total baby-making cost to date: $10,868.38