pain management for arthritis

Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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3 Hour Odyssey

First and foremost I want to express my heart felt gratitude for all the comments, both public and private.  The collective value in having so much support can not be over stated.  Many of you shared stories of your prematurely born children and how they are doing now and it goes a long way to easing my mind even if I am begging the universe to keep him developing in utero many more week.  Part of why I blog as I do is for the catharsis of the writing process, part is to have an on-line journal to document my journey, but the biggest part is to connect with the greater community.  There is so much wisdom from our shared experience, no matter how tangential those experiences may seem at first blush.  Thank you for shouldering me and holding me and this baby in your best thoughts.

I didn’t sleep much last night (nights are hard as my worry about what might happen and how we’ll react is heightened).  I was also having this recurring pain very low on my left side that would emanate right but didn’t feel like a contraction.  However, it persists as of this writing.

My local Kaiser facility was unable to get the steroid so I had to trek to my MFMs office which turned out to be a 3 hour trip.  I was worried about this pain and didn’t want to go alone, just in case, so I picked up my husband from his office and off we went.  Traffic was awful because a cargo truck carrying two loads of limes overturned, spilling limes everywhere (even though the spill was on a freeway connector way ahead of where we were).  Thankfully, having my husband with me allowed us to travel in the HOV lane.

After mentioning the cramping to my MFM, she wanted to monitor me for contractions and monitor baby prior to giving me the injection (because, if I was contracting at a rate of, say one every five minutes, she would have sent me to L&D to administer the injection).  Even though the pain occurred 4 or 5 times during the course of monitoring, nothing showed on the monitor and, in fact, I only had one true contraction (which I felt).  And, baby boy’s heart rate was consistent.  I was cleared for the injection, which, for anyone facing a course of steroid injections was not bad at all.  It is a 2 ML IM injection, so it’s a lot of volume, but I’d read that it can burn if injected quickly so I asked her to go slow and it was no bother at all.  I return tomorrow for #2.

I was researching all night last night…it’s what I do and being well informed helps to de-stress me even if I don’t like what I read.  The study of greatest concern showed that of women with a short cervix of less than 1.5CM who also had a positive fFN, 75% went on to deliver in the next 7 days.  You can imagine how that played out in my mind, certainly adding to my insomnia.

What was reassuring was the consistent reference to the high negative predictive value of the fFN test (really, if that test is negative, you have a 99.5% of NOT delivering in the next 7-10 days) and the lower positive predictive value (if the test is positive, there is a 40% chance you’ll deliver before 37 weeks (but unlike the negative predictive value, the chance that you’ll deliver in the next 7 – 10 days is fairly low, especially if you are asymptomatic).  I also learned that there is a high false positive rate for the test IF the vagina has been compromised in the prior 24 hours.  And, if the result is a false positive, the test can be re-administered 7 days from the false positive.  If it is negative, it is considered negative.  Two positives in a row is more likely to be positive, but not necessarily so.  I read anecdotal stories of women with positive fFNs repeating the test every 7 days for three weeks in a row who finally got a negative.

So, upon seeing me this morning, my MFM agreed that we should repeat the test when I see her on Tuesday if only because she knows a negative will greatly reduce my stress and there is huge psychological benefit to that.  She really feels like the transvaginal ultrasound the day prior to the fFN test compromised the result.  I guess we will know if she is right when I see her on Tuesday.  We also agreed that I’d go a full 36 hours from my last progesterone suppository, just to be safe.

I am exhausted and a bit overwhelmed.  I’ve still not formally been remanded to bed rest, but as I have been doing, I am horizontal as much as I can be.

I know this is completely out of my control.  The path I am on (or not on) is what it is.  I have done and continue to do all that I can to maximize a positive outcome.  As I said yesterday, my fear is in this baby boy not surviving a too early delivery.  That is magnified by how much my son already loves his brother and how devastated he would be.  I am trying not to spend too much time in that negative head space because, I know, devastating and life changing  as it will be, we will survive the worst case scenario.  And, I know we are doing what we can to stack the deck in his favor.  But, yeah, the fear, always lingering.

5 comments to 3 Hour Odyssey

  • Oh man – I am so far behind in reading that I missed all these posts!!! I can only imagine how truly agonizing this wait is for you. I don’t have any personal experience in this but you seem to be handling it as well as possible. Thinking of you and hoping your MFM is correct and that it really is a false positive.

  • Anna

    Keep on getting through it, you are doing so well, managing living in the midst of all of that fear and uncertainty and coping with whatever happens next. You’re right, you’re on your path and doing everything possible, your tiniest boy is on his too. I am holding you all in my thoughts all of the time. Ignoring fear or pretending it isn’t there doesn’t work, you can only accept and manage it and get through it, another thing you’re doing well. I hope that the pain resides, because things like that don’t help with the fear (even if it’s the little one treading on a nerve or tendon or organ). Hang on in there, it will be ok,x

  • The only thing I can say is to try and not let the bad thoughts run away. Sarah is right – your little boy has great chances if he is born within the week. And that’s assuming that he’s going to be born within the week, that the fFN was really, actually positive (which your MFM does not).

    Whenever the panic creeps up, find a mantra and repeat it. I do this a lot. Case in point: Tuesday, in the five minutes before the radiologist came in for my scan. I kept saying, over and over, “I will be okay. I will be okay. I will be okay. It will be okay. I will be okay.” It calmed me, centered me, made the overwhelming fear and worry recede for a bit.

    It really helps, when those feelings of fear and panic are overwhelming. Acknowledge your fear, and find something positive to focus on. “I love this little boy,” maybe. Keep repeating it.

    And breathe, my friend. Nothing to do but take it one moment, one hour, one day at a time.

    Lots of love.

    xoxo

  • Tireegal

    It’s like you have to go into battle each time you get more information that could be discouraging. You wage it by engaging in intense research, showing incredible fortitude and grace. The soul searching sounds excruciating. It is typical of your wonderful mother instincts that you want to protect your first born from the heartbreak that losing his beloved brother would cause him. Because you know what it is to go through hell and come out the other side and he doesn’t and you want to protect his tender heart from this. You’re a wonderful mama bear.
    Anyway, all this to say, please stay strong and true to the process that has got you thus far. I am sending you tons and tons of strong cervix juju!
    Big hugs, my friend! Xoxo

  • Sarah

    Please please please talk to a neonatologist. Our boys did so well, and you are already past their gestational age. Nothing except for having a good outcome truly counts, but of he is born early, his chances are excellent.

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