Saturday, January 11, 2014

If at First You Don't Succeed...

In early 2007 I took a job with a nonprofit organization that contracted with King County (in Washington State) to provide legal services to indigent people.  Since then, I've represented parents and kids who have been involved in the dependency system (the foster care system to most people.)

One year before I was hired, an attorney named Kevin Dolan filed a class action lawsuit against King County claiming that the employees who worked for the nonprofit organizations contracting with the County (like me) were entitled to the same benefits that all County employees received because the County exerted so much control over the agencies that it amounted to treating them like employees.  In 2011, after lots of legal wrangling, the Washington State Supreme Court agreed with Dolan and we all ended up becoming County employees.

Being a County employee meant that we all switched insurance companies on July 1, 2013 and when I reviewed the plans, I saw that they include coverage for IVF services - not the medications, but still!  It seemed like a huge opportunity.  Rob and I decided to give IVF just one more chance.

On November 19th, we found out that I am pregnant again.  Our due date is August 1, 2014.

This pregnancy didn't start off very easy. We had one huge scare, one less alarming scare, and one minor scare all before I hit 9 weeks.  I had what's called a subchorionic hemorrhage (also called a subchorionic hematoma or subchorionic bleed.)  My first episode at 6 weeks along presented just like a miscarriage (cramping, bleeding) and as I drove to the doctor's office from work and Rob drove there from home, we were both absolutely convinced we had lost the baby.  Thankfully, when they pulled up the ultrasound they could see the baby (it looked like a little eraser head) and everything looked fine.  The nurse practitioner told us that a high percentage of IVF patients do experience subchorionic hemorrhages and the vast majority of them go on to have healthy pregnancies. That said, she then suggested I spend a lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing and advised me to work on staying hydrated.

After a good four days of lying around, my symptoms resolved and I headed back to work. At work, it's a lot harder to remember to take it easy. I get caught up in what's going on at court and forget that I'm not supposed to carry a lot of files or run up and down the stairs at court.  So, a week after the first episode, we had a second episode.  We went back to the doctor's office and again were reassured that all was well.

Just after Christmas a friend of mine and I went to see the Seattle Symphony play Beethoven's 9th. Our seats were on the third tier and I didn't want to make a big deal out of trying to find an elevator, so we took the stairs all the way up. The next day I had the last scare, but decided to just wait it out instead of running to the doctor's office. At our next regularly scheduled doctor's appointment it all looked just fine.

Morning sickness hit at seven weeks and four days, but has been managed well just by eating a lot. I've put on some weight, and I don't care at all.  Today I am at 11 weeks and 1 day and it's the first day I haven't been notably nauseated in the morning, which makes me nervous on the one hand (am I still pregnant?) but is great on the other (daily sickness has its drawbacks.)  The only change to my dietary choices that seems strange to me is that suddenly I am a big fan of orange juice.

We were graduated from our IVF clinic to a regular OB/Gyn at eight weeks along and had our first regular check-up at ten weeks and five days.  Everything looks great so far, and we are feeling grateful, hopeful, excited, and petrified all rolled up together.

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