For those few of you, dear readers, who care about these sorts of details, here is our TTC timeline:
TTC Baby #1 (Penelope was carrying. She was 33-35 at the time of these events)
- January-March: many doctor’s appointments, preliminary examinations, blood tests
- March: Penelope and Clio submitted to psychiatric evaluation as required by our fertility clinic, and were declared officially sane enough to become parents. (Yay!)
- Late March: Unmedicated IUI #1
- April: Unmedicated IUI #2
- May: Unmedicated IUI #3
- Early June: Unmedicated IUI #4 (switched to a new donor in hopes of better results)
- Late June: Unmedicated IUI #5
- July: More tests, Clomid IUI #6
- August: Clomid IUI #7
- September: Hail-Mary Clomid IUI #8, started pre-IVF work-ups.
- October: Penelope and Clio submitted to psychiatric evaluation AGAIN, and were again determined to be officially sane enough to undergo IVF. (Though we were feeling considerably less sane by this point.) Began IVF fertility drugs.
- November: IVF Harvest and Embryo transfer — 15 mature eggs harvested, 2 fertilized embryos put back.
- December: Negative pregnancy test: $10,000 later, still no success.
- January-February: medications (including twice daily hormone injections for 6 weeks–so not fun!) and prep for IVF round #2. Clio begins blood work and preliminary tests to start trying if IVF does not succeed, because Penelope makes it very clear that she wants OFF this emotional roller coaster.
- February: IVF#2 Frozen Embryo Transfer – 2 frozen embryos implanted (no viable embryos remain for re-freezing: this is truly our last shot)
- Valentine’s Day: Blood Test reveals elevated HCG levels — Penelope is Pregnant! (Pandemonium ensues)
- Daily progesterone injections continue through first 10 weeks of pregnancy (still not fun, but more bearable now that we know there’s good reason).
- 5 weeks, 3 days: Pregnancy confirmed by ultrasound. We see Peanut’s heartbeat. It looks like a blinking Christmas light.
- Week 9: At our “last” ultrasound before we are released from our fertility clinic to pursue regular prenatal care, the doctor spots something “wonky” about the umbilical cord. Might be a cyst, might be a catastrophic chromosomal disorder. Too soon to say, but try not to worry. (Yeah, right!)
- Week 20: Ultrasound shows that the umbilical cord insertion into the placenta is unusual and bears watching, because of risk of tearing/detachment during labor, which could be fatal to Mama and Peanut. Follow up ultrasound ordered for Week 32. Peanut is definitely a Boy!
- Week 28: Penelope starts to suffer from severe heartburn.
- Week 32: Ultrasound looks okay — nothing unusual about umbilical cord detected. Finally, the Mamas can relax — but Penelope’s heartburn is getting worse.
- Weeks 32-35: Penelope is increasingly miserable. Heartburn has become nausea and vomiting, and any number of medications don’t help, even heavy duty meds prescribed usually to cancer patients to quell nausea during chemo treatments. Penelope’s blood pressure is creeping up, but is still in the normal range.
- Week 35: Doctor finally orders 24-hour urine test to check for pre-eclampsia.
- Week 36 and 0 days: Pre-eclampsia diagnosed. Penelope’s levels are “scary,” and doc calls on a Monday night after getting urine screen result, and calls us in to hospital right.now. (Clio, who likes to have a Plan, freaks out on an epic scale.)
- Week 36 and 1 day: Attempts to induce labor unsuccessful. Penelope delivers via cesarean section. Clio and Grammy get to be in the room for the birth. (Grammy to make sure Clio, who is a blood-fainter, doesn’t pass out.) Doctor and Surgeon say that it’s a good thing that Penelope did not give birth vaginally, because umbilical cord was blocking birth canal and would have torn, possibly killing both mom and baby. (So much for everything being normal at the 32 week ultrasound!)
- September 28, 2010: We dodged a bullet and we finally have our baby!
TTC Baby #2 (Clio’s turn! Clio is 35, turning 36 in September 2012.)
- December 2011-March: Clio loses 25 pounds in preparation for baby-making.
- March: preliminary exams and bloodwork. We are pleasantly surprised to learn that the process will be much smoother this time around: no more psych evals (they trust that we’re still relatively sane) and some of the preliminary tests were already done in January 2010. Hank’s donor is still available, too. (Yay!)
- April: Clomid IUI #1
- May: Clomid IUI #2
- June: Clomid IUI #3
- July: Femara IUI #4 (and we had the “good nurse” for the IUI!)
- 12-13 days later: Clio has short 25-26 day cycles, and her period is late, maybe. She pees on a stick — well, many sticks — and gets a very faint positive. A blood test confirms pregnancy at 13 days post-IUI.
- 5w5d: first ultrasound really confirms pregnancy. Fetal heart rate is measured at 87 bpm, but is not yet visible.
- 7 weeks: second ultrasound. Fetal heart rate is visible and measured at 152 bpm. Clio is cleared to pursue ordinary prenatal care.
- 12 weeks: Clio’s doctor orders one hour glucose test (to screen for gestational diabetes) because Clio is overweight. Clio fails one hour test, but passes three hour follow-up test.
- 20 weeks: Anatomy scan ultrasound reveals that Baby #2 is a boy, and also a thumb-sucker already! (Hank never sucked his thumb.)
- 28 weeks: Once again, Clio fails the one hour glucose screening test but passes the three hour follow-up.
- 32 weeks: Clio develops proteinuria and is put on bed rest while being closely monitored for pre-eclampsia.
- 34 weeks: Doctor allows Clio to go back to work, one day at a time, provided that her blood pressure doesn’t get too high.
- 38 weeks: Clio’s water breaks! Labor doesn’t start on its own, though, so induction starts at 6:00 PM. Twelve hours later…
- March 11, 2013: Ollie is born by Caesarean section.