Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The first trimester of an IVF pregnancy

This is a guest post from our patient.


The first trimester can be the most exciting time in your life as well as the most nerve-racking. The initial news of your pregnancy comes with great joy!

For those that have gone through infertility treatments, getting through the first trimester may be a very trying time. The average fertile couple trying to conceive will typically get a positive pregnancy test shortly after a missed period and will be seen by an OB-GYN a few weeks later. For the infertile couple, the first pregnancy test will come just two weeks after conception; it will be followed by at least one more blood pregnancy test 48 hours later. If the numbers rise correctly, an ultrasound will be scheduled for the patient to determine the number of embryos implanted and if there is a fetal pole and yolk sac. As you can imagine, each step in this process creates great anticipation for the couple. Once the initial ultrasound confirms everything is developing correctly another ultrasound may be scheduled a few weeks later. On my first ultrasound I was very nervous , came to know that I am pregnant with singleton , it was very assuring I got to hear my baby’s heart beat on the second ultrasound which was scheduled just after 2 weeks , that was very exciting moment ! Most infertility patients do not return to their regular OB-GYN until at least 8 weeks in pregnancy. So did I consult with local OB-GYN after 8 weeks. As I was already on hormone regime and folic tablets, I was advised to continue the same by my local GYNE.

For us, the initial news of our pregnancy was surprising and exciting. It was hard to believe that I was actually carrying another life. In the very beginning, I didn’t experience too many early symptoms, which often made me question if I indeed was pregnant. When an ultrasound scan shows everything is fine , this is very reassuring, Since I was on a progesterone regime, I was required to insert a gel compound vaginally thrice a day for the first 12 weeks. I did have brown discharge couple of times which made us worried and increased my anxiety level, later I read articles and wrote to Dr. Malpani and came to know it might have been “old blood” from implantation bleeding. I remember searching endlessly on the Internet for early pregnancy symptoms wondering if I really was experiencing anything super early on, or possibly it was simply wishful thinking. I did not had morning sickness but I would feel very tired and had many exciting emotional roller coaster rides. Many times I used to feel like crying with no reason , I was too fragile . Mostly I was able to do my work day comfortably . However, I do suffer from a nasty nose blockage due to Pregnancy Rhinitis, which causes me to get up at the middle of the night and sometimes leaves me exhausted during the day. I resisted taking any medicine since when were doing IVF, and have treated this with saline water irrigation, steaming, and gargling regularly . Breathe Right strips are helping a lot for coping up with nose block. I was never “so sick” that I couldn’t do my chores at work and was able to take care of home too. I have had very dry skin problem, my skin is too sensitive and it is becoming so dry that I put Vaseline ointment thrice a day, do not know if it is related to pregnancy . I am hoping my skin begins to look better in the weeks to come.

All members in the family are taking very good care of me, specially my husband . The poor guy has to cope with my mood swing all the time . I read a lot on the internet and found Dr. Malpani’s site and very good. I never hesitated to write to Dr. Malpani about my worries and sincerely thank him for writing me back in very assuring manner.

I surely feel that the concerns and worries of the naturally pregnant women and women who get pregnant with medical help are very different. My friend is also pregnant at the same time. She is blessed with a natural pregnancy, and as compared to her, I get worried about trifles and my anxiety level is very high .There are many things that she does not even bother about or does not even know ! I worry about every little thing!

I am trying to go easy and not to push myself for anything and she does not hesitate to go for parties and for out station trips too.

I am trying to eat healthy , taking milk regularly , and whenever we go to eat out , I try to make sure I eat fresh food. I am restricting myself with road trips , sometimes my husband says - take it easy .

After first trimester, we had an ultrasound, in which I took my husband with me, and now he feels more connected with the baby .

All in all, my first trimester has been great. Of course there were the evenings and days of worries and anxiety, but I know it could be worse. I’d gladly take all of the terrible symptoms in order to be pregnant; I’d go through anything! My first trimester is nearly over and I am feeling better and better each day. I am really looking forward to the renewed energy that I keep hearing about in the second trimester and hoping that a little “baby-bump” pops out soon.

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