Friday, May 29, 2009

Secondary Infertility

Now that I think we’re past it, it’s a good time to talk about it. I hesitated to even consider myself a “secondary infertile” for a couple of reasons:
1) Admitting it might make it “real”
2) Given that I have so many friends struggling with Primary Infertility, I felt guilty even considering this a problem. I had one beautiful child, while so many struggle just for that much, was I just being greedy to want another?

On #2, those same friends were the most supportive and on #1, admitting it allowed me to take action and do something about it. At the very least I could figure out if there was a reason – beyond my advanced maternal age – that I was having a hard time conceiving or keeping a second pregnancy.

Some background – I’ve now been pregnant a total of 5 times. First pregnancy was fairly ease to conceive, but then I miscarried at 12 weeks. However it was clear the fetus never developed beyond 6 weeks and probably never had a heartbeat. Totally random, no genetic basis for it. Second pregnancy I conceived the first time I ovulated after the miscarriage (about 4 months). This was Angelina. Given my age and a desire to have more kids, I didn’t want to wait too long to try again. However breastfeeding produced lactational amenhorrhea (i.e. no ovulating), which is generally a good thing – it means your body is not ready for another yet, until Angelina was 13 months old. Then it took another 4-5 months of trying to conceive, that one was ectopic. Also totally random.

Then another 6 months to conceive. That one also miscarried, this time I was being followed very closely due to the increased ectopic risk, so it was discovered early at 6 weeks. Still potentially totally random, but maybe not. Another 4 months of trying with no luck, I figured it was time to see if there was anything wrong and found a fertility specialist. I was hesitant to ask for recommendations, so I just went with someone who seemed right: an MD with a PhD ;).

It was a wise decision. There was nothing glaringly obvious wrong, but we did a couple of things. First, an Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This is where they shoot dye up your fallopian tubes to see if they’re clear. This was a particular issue for me, given my prior ectopic. One tube was obviously clear. The other tube, the one which had the egg implanted last year, was not so clear. But it wasn’t obviously blocked either. It looked healthy, which was a good sign.

Next step was a tubal canalization. This procedure is a little more invasive: it involves threading a catheter through your tubes to help flush out any blockages. Due to some insane work issues, I had to postpone this another month. We also kept hoping we’d manage to conceive without the extra effort. The next step would have been fertility drugs, which was acceptable, but I had hoped to not go that route.

So finally went in for the canalization. The procedure involves a local anesthetic, and sometimes, the local “relaxing” opens up the tubes on their own. This is pretty much what happened. The doc started the procedure, then said “That’s it! All Clear! Go home and make a baby!”

After 8 months since the last miscarriage, I’m due on December 25.

But all is not over. Because I’m still considered high risk for an ectopic, and because we don’t know what caused the other miscarriages or what prevented me from conceiving, I went in for daily blood tests at first, then every 2-3 days, then every week. In sum, my hormones are a bit wonky. Not bad, but they need some help. It’s possible this is what caused the miscarriages before. Hence, all the more reason to be glad I went to the specialist who would be monitoring so closely.

At this point, I’m 10.5 weeks pregnant. Still very early, but with the hormone help, seem to be doing ok. I don’t know how long I’ll have to be on the hormones, but it’s all worth it.

All this is a lot more personal information than I usually put on here, but I decided to anyway. I had spent a lot of time on others’ infertility blogs and websites, reading about their experiences. This provided me some guidance and hope, so if anyone out there has been experiencing secondary infertility, I hope our story can provide some hope.

We’re very very excited to be giving Angelina a sibling. She keeps talking about “brother” and “sister” (she wants both). So far I think we only have one in there…..she’s already talking to the baby and kissing my belly. She’s going to be a great, if bossy, big sister.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Frédéric plays indoor intramural volleyball on Friday nights. Usually we don't go because it's too late for Angelina (who turns into a pumpkin - a scary one! - by about 8PM), but there are a few other kids there from his team. So one night we finally decided to go. Now she's hooked. She always knew he went off to play on Friday nights, but now that she's seen it, she won't stop talking about "Bolleyball."

Every time Frédéric leaves the house she asks if he's going to "Bolleyball" and if not there, "Austia?" (his last trip was to Austria)

However, I don't think we'll be bringing her often. I had a hard time keeping her off the court. She wanted to play.

Rain! And more importantly - Puddles!

It rained this weekend. Again. That's a good thing. We've been in a drought since early last year (not California style drought where it doesn't rain for a year, but Texas style where it's just below average). In any case, until last week we'd seen only a bit of rain. Then last week we had a major downpour. Everything really is bigger in Texas, including the storms.

This weekend, we again got 2 days with major downpours. So we sat on the porch for awhile and listened to the thunder, watching the rain bucket down.

Why let a little rain stop you from having fun?

As you can see, Angelina is not too bothered by Thunderstorms.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Day at the Beach

We finally managed to drag ourselves to the coast. California this is not. In Texas, they DRIVE ON THE BEACH. Even on the National Seashore. Yes, one time we were camping on the beach only to see massive lorries (like tankers) power down the NATIONAL SEASHORE.

That said, it was still tons of fun. Angelina's been to the beach before in CA, but that was last year and I don't think she remembers it much. She's a fish. She was a little hesitant at first about the water, but within minutes she couldn't get enough of it. I don't have any decent pictures because we both spent so much time in the water with her. We'd get tired, try to come out, she'd get out for a minute and say "Back to the water!"

She loves waves. Other kids were on boogey (boogie?) boards and she was desperate for one. I don't think she's quite big enough for one, but she thought she was. She'd say "I need to go to kids!" and start trying to swim over to them so she could get in on the action.

The second day we went to the bay instead. Not much by way of waves but for me at least that was a good thing: no under current. So she could stand/swim/play without me constantly holding her.

And of course try kite flying.....

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Big Sister

Despite how she looks in this picture, I think Angelina is happy.....

After a couple of years of trying and a few losses, we managed to successfully conceive another baby. It's early days still, and I'm being monitored very closely. However, we had an ultrasound last week which showed a heartbeat so we're feeling very confident (and me - a little sick.....).

Allegrini Baby #2 is set to enter the world on Dec. 25. Given Angelina's due date was July 4, the Allegrini babies apparently have a fondness for holiday births.

(The day I was going to test, she insisted on wearing this shirt. I think she knew. I can't seem to get a new picture with her in the shirt though....)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Swine Flu (H1N1)

No, Angelina doesn't have it, nor do Frederic or I, fortunately, though we did all have flu symptoms a few weeks ago....maybe we're already recovered?

Anyway, don't expect any updates for awhile. Our region is the "epicenter" of this event, and my job of former Pandemic Flu coordinator for the city and now Communicable Disease Manager for my region of the state means working far too hard for awhile. On the plus side, that means Angelina is spending more one on one time with Papa and therefore speaking a lot more French! :)

My professional word on this flu - no need to panic, there is cause to be concerned and vigilant. Like ANY TIME you are sick, you shouldn't go to work/school and infect others.

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