may the odds be ever in your favor {our pregnancy story}

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After one of my miscarriages, my sister sent me the most wonderful care package.  Included was the first Hunger Games book.  I had heard a little bit of buzz surrounding the story, but hadn’t really taken too much time to think about it.  But since I was in desperate need of some relaxation {and distraction}, I decided to take advantage of my sister’s gift.

I read that first book in one day.  One day.

I then proceeded to read the next two books, finishing them within the week.  I was obsessed, they were so good.

Then the first movie came out.  Now, I am not a die hard, go-watch-the-movie-at-midnight, kind of fan.  But, Graham and I went and saw it within the first week of its release and this past week we went and saw the second movie.

One of the quintessential quotes from the storyline is “may the odds be ever in your favor” and although I haven’t felt the odds were in our favor the past four years {in regards to having a baby}, I am hoping this is the time.

As of today, I am in week five of my pregnancy and so-far-so-good!

West Street Story is Expecting

Some of you may be thinking, “Jen, this is way too early to be letting people know that you are pregnant!”

Well, here is my thinking :: those that know us personally know what we have been going through the past four years and know that we have been trying again {and struggling, again}.  Those that may not know me in real life, but follow my infertility story here on West Street, know that we have been trying.  It is no secret!

And, obviously I know what could happen.  I have been there, done that {multiple times}, and this is just another chapter in my story.  I am excited/anxious/scared and lucky for me I can say “yay” to sharing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences here on West Street!  As I have mentioned in the past, one of the main reasons I have been very transparent with our infertility struggles is that I hope it helps someone out there who may be struggling with the same, or similar, situation.  But, I want those that find my story to be able to read the ENTIRE story.  Not just the good, and not just the bad.  Plus, one of the most frustrating things {for me it was anyways} is when you come across someone’s story {whether it be on a blog or in a forum} and they do not follow-up with what inevitably happened.

So, here is my story as it continues on!

Regardless of the outcome of this pregnancy, I also believe it to be beneficial to share my experiences as I am a high-risk pregnancy.  For instance, I will be sharing what it has been like to give myself a shot of Lovenox {and why I have to do that} every day.  If I help even one person who may be faced with this same situation, to show that person you CAN get through it {it is not really that bad}, then I have accomplished my goal.

I will do my best not to inundate my blog with pregnancy posts, so still stay tuned as I continue creating DIY, craft, and healthy living recipe posts!  My goal will be to provide a weekly update with my pregnancy, unless something comes up that I just cannot wait to share with you all!  So watch the blog on Wednesdays, which looks like the best day of the week to post a pregnancy update.

Now, even though I am only in my fifth week of pregnancy, I have actually known of my pregnancy for just shy of two weeks!  For me, knowing that I needed to get on the Lovenox shots as soon as possible, each month I start taking pregnancy tests as soon as possible!

I am not even sure it was reasonable for me to find out as soon as I did, though.  I use the Wondfo pregnancy test strips.  They are cheap, so I can test multiple times and not feel like I am wasting a ton of moolah!  On 9 dpo {days past ovulation} I saw a VERY faint line.  So, I took another test {and another}, all of which had the most absolute faint line possible.  It was one of those lines that you could see in the right light, with the strip at the right angle.  But, it was definitely there on all three and Graham saw it too.

So naturally, I tried a digital pregnancy test.

Negative.

My heart sank.  I wasn’t sure what to do at that point.  If I was pregnant, no matter how early it was, it would be best to start the Lovenox shots.  So, I called my OB’s office, explained to them what had happened with the tests, and they had me come in for a blood test to check my beta HCG levels.  Beta HCG is the pregnancy hormone that your body produces as soon as the baby implants.

My beta levels were only at a five.  All of us were a little perplexed.  The Wondfo strips are rated to show a line only once the beta levels reach at least 25.  So, I am not sure if we just willed the lines onto the tests, but with two of us seeing a faint line on three different strips, it could not have gone more perfectly as far as being able to get on the Lovenox shots {literally} as early as possible, even if we shouldn’t have known that early.

Since then, my betas have been increasing strongly {according to my OB, they should increase by double roughly every 48 hours}!  Having my beta levels double every 48 hours NEVER happened in my last pregnancies.  My betas always increased, but never quite enough.  So, this is certainly a very welcome, and encouraging sign, that this pregnancy’s odds are in our favor.

Here are where my betas have been thus far:

3 weeks, 2 days – beta @ 5

3 weeks, 6 days – beta @ 33 {doubling time of 33 hours}

4 weeks, 2 days – beta @ 82 {doubling time of 36 hours}

4 weeks, 6 days – beta @ 1,065 {doubling time of 32 hours}

5 weeks, 1 day – beta @ 2,391 {doubling time of 41 hours}

Being pregnant with the Factor V Leiden Genetic Mutation {clotting issue} :: As I mentioned above, I got started on the Lovenox {blood thinning} shots on that first day when my beta level was at a 5.  The reason I have to take blood thinning shots is because this genetic issue {even if it never causes me a problem in my life otherwise} can cause itty-bitty clots to form in the placenta, preventing the baby from receiving the blood it needs to grow.  So far, I have given myself 12 shots.  They get easier with each one, but they do sting quite a bit.  I have found that a cold, damp paper towel held to the injection site helps with this.  The bruises aren’t as bad as they were the last time, either.  I am wondering if that is because of that cold, damp paper towel held to the spot right after the shot, but we will see how the bruises progress!

Being pregnant with hypothyroidism :: My thyroid TSH levels are still stable and were 0.8 last week.  Per my endocrinologist’s direction, I am to take an extra dose of my thyroid medicine once a week to combat the inevitable increase in my TSH levels {especially given what happened in the last pregnancies, where they rose so quickly} and will go back in to check my TSH levels on December 12th.  As long as the TSH is still looking good at this time, I will have it checked once per month for at least the first trimester.

Being pregnant with anti-phospholipids present {also a clotting issue} :: I am taking a baby aspirin, daily, to treat anti-phospholipids that are present in my blood.  We discovered I had these anti-phospholipids present at the same time we found out about the Favor V genetic thing {when I did the recurring loss genetic panel testing}.

And, of course, I take a prenatal vitamin daily!  That is just a basic thing every pregnant lady should do!!

The only other {somewhat scary} thing to report is that I did start spotting and cramping a few days ago.  I am not going to lie, it has me a little freaked out.  Although it may be perfectly normal spotting and perfectly normal cramping, I have been down this road before {where those two symptoms were not normal, but instead signaled a miscarriage}.  With the spotting and cramping going on, I was sure that the results of my newest beta check would result in bad news.  But, I was pleasantly surprised and actually had to ask the question, “can my betas rise too quickly?” which is something I NEVER thought I would have to ask.

But, since I am spotting and cramping, and it would be no good to be on blood thinners and start having a miscarriage, my OB is going to keep a close watch on my betas.  It is too early to see anything on an ultrasound, so the beta levels would be the only indication we have that I may be starting to miscarry and would need to stop the shots.

Watch for my update in a week and think positive {betas continue to increase} thoughts for me!  In the meantime, if you want to get caught up on our four-year-long story thus far, make sure to check out my posts as a part of the “Surviving Infertility” category.

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Comments

  1. says

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am an infertility success story, the story that I hated to hear when I was feeling desperate and hopeless. I did learn that you do need to enjoy and celebrate every small victory no matter how scary it may seem. I worried every minute of every day until I delivered my son but I also tried my best to counter the worry with excitement and joy.
    I wish you all the best!
    Kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox recently posted…Comment on Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers with Apple Cider Honey Mustard Sauce by KellieMy Profile

  2. says

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I think it’s wonderful that you are reaching out to others through your blog. It’s brave to tell your story and will certainly make someone feel less alone. Good for you and and I will be checking back again to see how you are doing. Sending good thoughts your way!
    Sandy Ramsey recently posted…Book Review: The Husband’s SecretMy Profile

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