Saturday, February 9, 2008

A little bit more real

*5 weeks, 4 days*

Yesterday was our first "big" doctor's appointment. We had our first ultrasound - or "early ultrasound", as they call it. You have to keep in mind, most people are just now figuring out they're pregnant. They've missed their period, peed on a stick, and are anxiously awaiting their first doctor's appointment. Not so with IVF.

The purpose of having the first ultrasound at 5wks, 3dys is to make sure the gestational sac is growing adequately and also see how many embryos have implanted, if more than one was transfered. Since we only had one embryo transfered, the likelihood of twins is just as likely as anyone else having identical twins naturally. I don't think they can really tell at this point, since the fetus or fetuses are not yet visible in the sac.

The gestational sac will become the placenta as the fetus develops, so they need to make sure it's growing as quickly as it should. They measure it in days. It could be growing behind (say, at 5wks) or ahead (which would mean the date of conception was miscalculated - not an issue with IVF). If the sac was growing behind where it should be, there would be concern that it wasn't a viable pregnancy. I know way too much about this stuff...

So like I said we had our appointment yesterday. It was so bizarre to see that little black hole in my uterus that is my baby's home for the next 8 or so months. Nothing spectacular. If I didn't tell you where to look, you probably wouldn't even know what you were looking at. The first thing I asked the ultrasound tech was how it was measuring. She said the computer does all the calculations, so she would let me know. She did also say that it looked exactly how she would expect it to look at this point, so that was a relief. When she was done and the computer did it's calculations, she told us that, yes, the sac is measuring perfectly at 5weeks, 3days!! Wooo. Total relief.

Click the image to enlarge

Like any pregnancy, there's always the change of miscarriage. It's no more or less likely after IVF, but I think it's a greater fear for me because of our fertility problems and how long it took us to finally get pregnant. But every appointment is a milestone. The last few have been betas - how much pregnancy hormone is present, is the number doubling, do I have a healthy progesterone level? Check. Then this ultrasound - how big is the sac, is it growing the way it should? Check. Next week - can we see a heartbeat, is this pregnancy viable? That one's a biggy. I think it'll feel even more real, and seeing a heartbeat will be an even greater relief.

As each day wears on and I still feel tired and sore, even though I may complain about my back hurting, I'm grateful for that pain. I know that it means that little beaner is still snug in there.

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