Saturday, December 8, 2012

12 - 13 week happenings

This week I am officially 13 weeks. Spitting distance to the second trimester. It can't get here soon enough.

We had our NT scan last week and I came back as "pending" which is apparently as good as it can get at this stage, saying that we are at low risk for downs, trisomy, and neural tube defects. Seeing the baby during the NT scan was the first time I really felt pregnant - it started to sink in that we have a baby in there and we might actually have a chance (excuse me while I go knock on every piece of wood in the house). It was amazing to see the baby jumping all over the place. We thought it had hiccups, but the tech said it was just launching itself off the uterus because there was so much room. Truthfully, due to the energy level of this little guy or girl, I am suspect that it might not be a baby, but a Labrador retriever we have in reminded me an awful lot of our puppy Luna.

Anyhow, the heartbeat still looked good (165), so we decided the time had come to start telling people. In my case, this meant making an official work announcement. I was so so dreading this. I am completely, 100% socially awkward, and there is nothing I hate more than being the center of attention. Truly, I cringe. So the idea of standing up at a faculty meeting and announcing I was pregnant was giving me the heeby jeebies. And don't even get me started with the thought of telling my class! But, I put on my big girl pants (well, I have to - they are the only ones that fit) and told everyone, and of course it was very nice.

Little by little, I am also telling co-workers it was an IVF baby. Part of me thinks this is way too much to share with people that aren't family and intimate friends, but another part of me thinks, why the heck not?! I want people to know that this was not easy, and, if anyone I am working with is struggling, I hope it lessens the pain of hearing the announcement a little bit. Of course, once I start talking about it I have a bit of verbal diarrhea...I am currently working on how to share without completely oversharing (socially acceptable: Yes we are still on medication. Less so: I am currently taking progesterone suppositories and am leaking as we speak. It seems like an easy distinction, but I scarily almost crossed that line the other day).

So now we are in a big waiting pattern. I am 14 weeks on Tuesday. However, I don't have my next doctor's appointment until January 4th (or, to say it in the dramatic fashion it sounds in my head: I don't have an appointment until next year!!!) and that is really scary to me. I tried using an at-home doppler today and I think it was invented to be evil and torture people. After 25 minutes, I may have found the heartbeat, but it it may also have been gas. Who knows? What I do know is that I need D to hide it from me so I have some shred of sanity left by our January appointment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10weeks - General OB visit

Last week, I had my first appointment with the regular ob. Normally, I hate the regular ob. Even before we were trying, before we were even married, I was always, always jealous of the pregnant women I encountered (maybe I subconsciously knew we'd have trouble). This time, it was nice not to feel stabby toward everyone else in the waiting room (well, just a tiny bit stabby as I assumed that they all probably got knocked up in a month or two, but still...progress!).

Going to the regular OB was so different than the RE. Dr. O, while happy for us, was never effusive. She was all business, very low-key, and very scant on details. I am not sure she even uttered the words "pregnancy" while I was there. And I know for a fact we never mentioned due dates.  I always felt like we were all holding our breath, never planning past the next appointment. This appointment was quite different. From the start, the receptionist, the intake nurse, the doctor and the billing clerk all said congratulations. Right away, the nurse talked due date (June 11), took down my "starting weight" (which I balked at since I was already 10 weeks pregnant, but now realize it just means I have more leeway on the weight I can gain), and the doctor discussed long term plans like when I can fly until (32 weeks) and where I will deliver. It was heady stuff to start thinking "long term" about this pregnancy.

Another difference that wasn't so great was that there was no ultrasound.  This really upset me because on the Sunday before my appointment, I had some spotting. Just a little bit, and just when I wiped, but still, enough to scare me. My doctor did an internal exam and could not find the source of the bleeding. However, he took pity on me and said that he would schedule me for an ultrasound the next day, just to be sure.

The next day, I begged D to leave early and meet me at the ultrasound clinic. I had never had an ultrasound alone, and superstitious me* was worried about this change in precedent. Unfortunately, D got stuck in major turnpike traffic, so even though the incredibly nice tech delayed for 20 minutes, we had to go one without him. I explained to the poor tech my worry, and she was so incredibly nice to me.

Immediately after putting the wand in, the tech exclaimed, "there's your little troublemaker!" and turned the screen towards me. It was the most amazing site - it looked like a BABY. I could see the head, the body and even tiny buds of arms.And most importantly, a heartbeat pounding away at a rate of 167 beats per minute. I was awestruck; I could not stop looking at the screen. The tech was amazing, and told me all sorts of details and printed pictures -  one for D and I to each have one.

So that was it. My next appointment is the NT scan at the hospital and then I have a regular appointment at 13 weeks. After the NT scan I apparently don't get another ultrasound 20 weeks (which seems scarily long to me, but I am assuming they will check for the heartbeat in between?).

I also finally figured out how to scan and crop the picture (welcome me to the 21st century), so here is our little bean, hanging out. While I am still scared of getting my heart broken, I have to say...I am in love.

*A look into my crazy mind - My friend D bought me a 3-pack of socks as luck back when we were still doing IUIs. I wound up wearing 2 of the pairs, alternated, to every.single.appointment from retrieval to 8 week scan because I felt they were lucky. I had decided when I graduated the RE that I would no longer wear the socks. Well, after the spotting, that seemed like a really, really bad idea. However, both pair were in the wash. So cue to me, that Tuesday morning, handwashing the socks in the sink and then trying to dry them before leaving to no avail. So yeah, I may be just a tad superstitious.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ultrasound #3

With no power last week, my Tuesday's doctor's appointment was also a no-go. The doctor's office had preemptively called and canceled on Monday, and said I could reschedule on Wednesday. Except, I couldn't. On Wednesday, all I could get was the frustrating "all circuits are busy" recording that accompanied every call I tried to make. On Thursday I finally got through, only to find out that they still had no power. However, the doctor was going to go to the main office, print out a hard copy of the schedule, and I was told they would call on Friday morning to make the rescheduled appointments. Of course, they didn't.

Finally, by 11, I was done with waiting (really, by 9:30. And then I polled my mom and sister who also agreed and told me to call right away. However, I wanted to appear sane, so I figured 11 was reasonably within the "no longer in the morning" part of Friday and thus justified a call). Turns out, they still did not have power. They told me to call back next (now this) week. However, this week I also had scheduled my first regular OB appointment, so I asked the receptionist if I should cancel that, or should I miss my last RE appointment and only go to that. She put me on hold to ask the doctor and came back with the best news possible - Doctor O could see me today (Friday) if I was free!  You better believe I was (the alternative was sitting in my dark house doing puzzles by head flashlights with D* me, I would have gotten a pap smear to get out of the house, let alone for something this good).

D and I rushed over. It was very weird being there. The lights and heat were not working, and Dr. O was in an extremely foul mood. Apparently, the main office still did not have power and, since she was the doctor on call, all calls, not just emergencies, were getting redirected to her cell phone. This caused it to keep dying. Since there was no power, that requires sitting in the car for a recharge. This resulted in lots of yelling. It was interesting because she is normally so cool, calm and unflappable and this was in stark contrast. I suddenly felt very very guilty for being there at all. We were still in the waiting room, and D whispered to me if I wanted to ask her about our frozen eggs (we  had been debating about their status with the extreme lack of power) but I communicated to him with frantic eyes that we were not  going to ask the doctor any questions - we were there to be easy patients.

Soon we were called in. Despite the lack of lights and heat, the generator had the ultrasound machine working. So with my winter coat still on, I climbed on the table and hoped for the best. Immediately, Dr. O exclaimed that it was a big baby, and that she had to zoom out to see it better (which, while relieved still there, made me worry immediately that it was too big. However, Dr. O clarified that the baby is still measuring on track). This week was even better than last. Dr. O was able to point out the head, the feet and "a little flipper". She thought the baby looked like a panther - I don't see it, but D swears he does too. He promises me that he will scan in the picture and outline it so I can see what they are talking about (and maybe then I can figure out how to post it on here too).

The other great news was we got to hear the baby's heartbeat again and this time it was so much clearer. At 8w3d it was up to 177bmp - much faster than last week's 133 bmp. I asked if this was a concern, but the dr. assures us it will go back down (and I suspect it might be in part to my recent addiction to sugary treats...especially skittles and starbursts).

After that, we were done and ready to go on our way.  I did ask her about telling my new Dr. about the T-shaped uterus and she was dismissive, which I thought was odd because when she diagnosed it, she said I would need to tell the general ob when I went because it would look like it implanted weird (not the technical term she used but I actually forget what she said). However, I will still mention it, especially because I know cervical length can be an issue. Honestly, I am not sure Dr. O even remembered what I was talking about since it was a very flustered kind of day.

And that was it. Our last appointment with the RE. It was somewhat anticlimatic since our favorite nurse was not there, and it was done in the dark and very rushed. But I am so grateful they got me in and I am forever thankful that they did what D and I could not do on our own - got me pregnant. Seriously, there are not enough words for how indebted I feel to that clinic. They are wonderful.

Now, we are moving to the regular OB. Of course, I would not be me if I was not still nervous; however, the balance is definitely starting to tip in favor of excitement. Today I am 9 weeks, which is mind-boggling amazing to me, but still very far from the safety zone. I had to cancel this week's appointment due to my school schedule changing so I won't go to the new Dr. (Dr. F) until next Tuesday, 10 weeks. It is going to be a long week to wait. In the meantime, I am going to just try and relax and enjoy it.

* yes, D and I really did do puzzles by headlamp during the power outages. We completed two 750 piece puzzles (one of which was extremely challenging - or at least seemed it in the dark). I am now assured we will be compatible well into our 60s and 70s, doing puzzles and rocking back and forth. Just hopefully in the future, we will do it with heat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sidelined by Sandy

I originally started a post with this title last Tuesday. In fact, I thought I posted a post with this title last Tuesday. However, as with all things Post-Sandy, it somehow got lost in the shuffle. And honestly, that post does not even begin to scratch the surface.

Personally, D and I were incredibly lucky. We had no damage to our home from the storm. However, even "lucky" came with a cost. We lost power Monday night and we did not get it back until yesterday afternoon, seven days after we originally lost it. It was incredibly frustrating (as I was constantly cold and a sour-going refrigerator can wreck havoc on a pregnant nose), especially because we could not leave because there was no where to take the dog and cat (and every.single.person we know locally also lost power for this long). Equally frustrating was having little idea of what was going on in our state. Our smart phones only worked sporadically, would not accept or make outgoing calls, and kept crashing with internet use. Of course we had nothing practical like a battery powered radio, so we were at a loss until later in the week.

Once we got information, we were horrified. I cannot believe the damage this storm has done to my home state. I have written in the past about my love of the Jersey Shore - and now it no longer is. My aunt had a house on the inlet, and it has been condemned from storm damage. Entire chunks of boardwalk have been washed away. Even far from the shore, I have friends who have trees through their roofs and are still living displaced. My own dad is still without power while he and my step-mom are battling colds. The other day, I counted an 85 car line at the gas station. And oh yeah, a nor'easter is expected to hit. I've never seen my state in such a rough position. 

However, I am also incredibly proud. My facebook page looks like a telethon. Everyone I know is posting about donating, where you can get gas in under an hour, and volunteering to help rebuild. Beyond that, I am so grateful to our country. I know for a fact that our electricity (and heat!!!) came back yesterday thanks to workers for Missouri  - D and I thought they were lost and literally stopped in the middle of the street to ask if they needed directions, but they were just checking the lines. I am so grateful that we have a country that pulls together to help one another.

I wish I could speak about all of this more eloquently. I debated even writing this post because I was not sure how to get out what it is I want to say. But it  did not seem right to ignore it either.

I guess most importantly,  I know as a state we will rebuild and be better and stronger than ever before. My heart hurts for those that are suffering, but I know they will get through this...we are made from tough stock here in NJ. In fact, this image has been making the rounds on the internet, and I think it sums everything up nicely:


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ultrasound #2

Yesterday was Ultrasound #2 at 7w3d.

There was a beautiful heartbeat, 133bmp that filled up the room with its sound. Baby seems to be measuring on track (although my doctor still determinedly keeps the actual numbers and figures away from me). The ultrasound picture is even cooler than last week.

As for me, I am still pretty much symptom-free. I tend to want to go to bed a 8:30pm, and get raging hunger if not fed on a regular basis, but honestly? I kind of suspect  I always feel this way (pregnant or not), and am now just giving into it...

Due to D's travel schedule, next ultrasound is Tuesday at 8w0d. That will be our last visit to the RE and then we graduate to the regular OBgyn.

Holy shit, this is starting to feel real.My insular layer of pessimism I've been using to protect myself is starting to get broken into by hope. And that scares the crap out of me, and makes me happy, at the same time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1st ultrasound

The days leading up to today have been interminable. Pessimistic at the best of times, I seemed to have hit a new low over the past couple of days. It was doom and gloom, all the time, on constant repeat. I cannot tell you how many people (D, family, friends) I would randomly tell “I am not expecting to see a heartbeat on Wednesday” or “It won’t be good news”. It was like I had to keep saying it so I could protect myself. If I did not get my hopes up, then maybe the bad news could not hurt me.

Google only added fuel to my depression fire. Apparently, tilted uteruses (uteri?) can make it difficult to see heartbeats/ get measurements (and guess what I am lucky enough to have). And even if everything was perfect and non-tilted, 6w is very early to see a heartbeat. I bemoaned that my appt was a 6w1d and not later in the week. I became convinced that even in my best case scenario, we would only see a sac, but no heartbeat. I knew I had reached my depression zenith when, getting ready today, I purposely wore glasses and no mascara, convinced I would be crying in the doctor’s office. Not exactly the excitement and joy you hope to approach your first ultrasound appointment with.

Thankfully, once we go to the doctor’s office, we did not have to wait for long. Dr. O was in with us in a few minutes. Almost immediately after she put the wand in she said, “there is one, good looking sac.”
 And then, a few seconds later, “and there’s the heartbeat.”

Sure enough, there was a little light flickering away on the screen. She tried to hear it but she said it was too little. It was apparently too little to measure as well. But it was there. D stood mesmerized, grinning like a loon, as she finished taking the measurements.

I cannot tell you the gratitude I felt in that moment. We were getting our chance. Our little one has a beating heart.

Afterwards, she sat with us to answer questions. Even though I have had tons, I never wrote a list this week assuming it was going to be bad news, so of course my mind was blank as she sat there with us. Plus I think I was so overwhelmed, I could not even think to ask questions relating to this appointment (even basic ones like “what were the measurements?”). Instead, we sat around and she rattled off stuff she thought we should know. Important information from our meeting: we can stop the p.i.o (yay! I've gotten a rather lumpy upper butt) and go on crinone, and I can reduce my estridol to 1 dose per day. She also told me to call my regular ob and schedule an appt for after 8 weeks,  and then she made some recommendations when I told her I haven’t been to a regular ob in years since I have seen specialists as of late. After that we made an appt for next week and we were on our way.

I am of course, so happy and feel incredibly blessed.  But in the interest of full disclosure, the unbridled happiness lasted all of about 30 minutes. After that, the worry crept back in. What were the measurements? She never mentioned the fetal pole – do I have one? Am I one track for 6w1d?  Could my low betas indicate a chromosomal abnormality and things still go horribly wrong?

As I rattled these off to D, cursing that I did not ask the doctor, he turned to me and lovingly, but firmly, said, “Stop it. Enjoy the day.”

 So that's what I am going to do.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beta #4 (22 dpo)

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who gave your support on my last post. It really does mean the world to me to be part of such a supportive community. I don't know how people go through IF without a system like this.

Yesterday, was beta day #4. I did not go into the day optimistically. When the nurse, upon finishing drawing my blood, walked away wishing me luck and sniffling, I immediately thought the worst (as I took it to be sniffling back tears. D told me to stop being so egocentric and that it was probably a cold. With perspective, I do see how it could be the latter).

Anyhow, my plan for yesterday was denial, denial, denial. I purposely left my phone in my car so I could not obsessively check the missed call log, and I purposely left work after the clinic closed so that it would definitely be a message. I figured out of sight, out of mind. And it surprisingly worked for most the day. In fact, as I was leaving, I felt at somewhat of a peace with the situation.

However, that peace only lasted until I got to my car. At 4:03, I left school and sure enough, there was a missed call on my phone. My heart started to pound and I felt sick. I anxiously picked it up and played the message, like ripping off a band aid. This is what it said (verbatim, because I replayed this message nearly a dozen times trying to read into it last night):

"Hi B. It's M. Good News.You numbers went up fine. I need you to call me back to schedule a fetal ultrasound for Tuesday, October 16."*

I nearly fell over in shock. And then immediately went into dissection mode. What does "fine" mean? Does "fine" mean the numbers doubled? Rose, but did not double? Am I out of the woods, or are they still concerned but don't want to subject me to more betas? And why the heck didn't she leave me the numbers (and this I only saw as a bad thing)?

I called back immediately, but since I got the message after the clinic closed at 4, of course no one was there to answer.

On the whole, I was relieved. I rationalized that nurse's don't can't say "good news" unless it is really that. Surely it is against some hippocratic oath to give false hope? But then I laid this theory on my best friend (who happens to be a Dr.) and without thinking she replied, "Oh no, I always give the best case scenerio possible. And so does every doctor I know. Unless the person is dying we pretty much always try to paint it in the best light". Cue renewed worry.

Today, I was able to speak with the nurse. I got my numbers. They are 1123. Based off of Monday's 573, we would have needed 1146 to double - so I am only 23 away. It is a doubling time of about 49.5 hours. While not the pace they originally doubled, it makes me feel better that our doubling time has shrunk again.

As for the worry, I don't think that will ever fully go away - especially the worry this is only a temporary reprieve. But it is one more hurdle passed, and for that I am grateful.

Especially because I can say, today, I am five weeks and 2 days pregnant :)

* I ran this voicemail by several non- IF friends. Not a one of them could see anything to worry about in that voicemail, so I am not sure if IF people will understand or truly everyone will think I am completely neurotic. But tell me, when was the last time you thought "fine" was a compliment? If D told me I looked "fine" before heading out, you better believe I would change...In the hierarchy of positive words, it definitely comes in at the bottom.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beta #3 (20dpo)

When I had not heard by 3:30 today, I began to suspect the worse. It seems the better the news, the earlier the call at my clinic.

Sure enough, this call came at 3:55.

My numbers did not quadruple. I had 234 on Thursday. I needed to be at around 940 today for a doubling time of 48 hours. Instead, my number was 573.

My nurse says it is good they went up, just slower then they like.  I have to go Wednesday for a fourth beta and hopefully the numbers will double (or still be rising I guess).

However, I am feeling all out of hope for today.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beta # 2 (16dpo)

<p>The phone call came at 2:00, earlier than normal. Of course, this sent me into a tailspin. Do they do bad news early? Was I so good they are excitedly calling early? What does it mean? (Most likely it means she took pity onme since I was a nervous wreck when she took my blood this morning!).</
Of course, I had to wait until the last kid left the room, which seems painfully slow. And then I had to come up with a viable excuse to get my student teacher out of the room. And then another teacher came in wanting to talk. Finally, the last person left and I went into the coat closet to have some privacy. I was shaking and could barely press in my phone code.

As soon as I heard the nurse's voice, I tried to read into it, but got nothing. Thankfully, she got right to the point.

It was good news. My number today is 234 (so more than double my original 84). I will go back Monday for my final beta.

I am not someone who has ever cried tears of relief or joy. But I came the closest I ever have today. I truly think there are few sweeter words (and no sweeter numbers) I have ever heard.

I know it is still a long, scary road ahead (in fact, a mere 4 days away), but I am so happy to have passed this milestone. I just hope and pray this trend continues.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Beta #1 (14dpo)

I had my first beta today. Even though I have continued to get darker tests, and even a digital yesterday, I was so scared to go today. This is the "real deal" and even though they say false positives are near impossible, I certainly know chemical pregnancies are a very real thing.

Amazingly I did not really Google average beta for 14DPO. From reading everyone's blogs, I kind of felt that over 100 was my goal. With over 100, I could breathe a little easier. Not that I would be out of the woods, but just a tad more confident.

Instead, my beta is 84. Not so low that I am freaking out, but not high enough that I feel good about it either. I am consoling myself with the idea that really, it just needs to double, regardless of the number.

Repeat Beta is set for Thursday am. In the meantime, I figure I can either be Zen, or I can worry, and google, and retest. In case you have any doubts about which direction I am going...

Obsessed? Yes. But also relieved to see the lines getting darker.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Seeing Double

And I can't believe it.

I am scared, more scared than I thought I would be with seeing this. I always envisioned doing a spontaneous touchdown dance when I finally got that second line, but instead I feel like I am holding the most precious of Faberge eggs on a tightrope. I am so aware of all the things that can still go wrong. I am petrified that the next test I take will be a blank one.

I know so many people would kill for that second line (myself included) so please please don't think me ungrateful. I am also happy and relieved and beyond anything else, hopeful. It is just that I am so afraid that it will get taken away.

But, as my mom said to me today: For today, this is real. For today, I have my second line.

Please please may it stick.

Friday, September 28, 2012

7dp3dpt - Update

So I tested today. My plan was to wait until Sunday (12DPO), but Wednesday's testing out of the trigger was like a gateway peestick. It took all I had not to test yesterday. So when I woke up at 4:40 this morning, wide awake and with a bladder full of pee, I took it as a sign.

It was negative, of course.

I have not even shed any tears. There was no outrage of indignation. No wash of self pity. Just "of course".

I know that many other people have tested at this point, gotten a negative, and gone on to have BFP. So I do know it can happen, and I wish I were optimistic. But I am just not feeling it. I truly can't believe that it will be me.

However, all peesticks in the house should be on high alert. It is on!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5dp3dt - Update

Symptom-wise, there is still nothing going on. I can't believe the progesterone is not even giving my false symptoms. But nope, my body is continuing with the regularly scheduled program.

In other news...

The PIO shots are finally catching up with me. Until yesterday I thought they were no big deal. D and I had been using all the tricks our nurse gave us: heating pad before the shot, running the shot under hot water for 15 seconds, and massaging the area well afterwards. However, D was out of town last night for work, and a friend had to give it to me instead. Without the follow-up shot massage, apparently that sucker can hurt. And though A loves me dearly and was my college roommate and beyond, I think she drew the line at massaging my hiney.

I decided to test out the trigger today. I figured it was my last "safe" day. Logically, at 8DPO, I would not expect a positive pregnancy test. Any day after today, I might be disappointed to find it glaringly white. So, I took the test and can officially report the trigger is no longer in me. I hope that is the last white pregnancy test I ever see.

And most excitingly, we got the call on Monday. Two of our embabies are now snow babies! Or, in plain English, two of the remaining six embryos made it to blast and were able to freeze. I am so ridiculously happy with the news.

So now we continue to wait. Beta is Tuesday. However, I will definitely be testing before then. Wish me some uterine cramping in the meantime (or maybe, if the infertility gods are feeling generous, some implantation bleeding would be nice).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Symptom Watch 2012 - 3dp3dt edition

Nada. Zip, zero, zilch.

This morning, I woke up, and my first thought was "I feel empty". I guess I did not realize my belly felt heavy over the weekend (although, that was probably not a symptom, but more likely the delicious food D bought and served me around the clock), but today I feel emptier than I did this weekend. In fact, I feel perfectly normal.

Now mind you, when both my ovaries were the size of grapefruits during the stims, I did not feel anything either, so I might not be the most in tune with my body. I also know the equivalent of 6dpo is not necessarily known for being a symptompalooza. But regardless, it would be nice to feel something.

Evolutionarily, I hope someday we get to the point where the minute you are knocked up, a bright neon sign blares over your head (or maybe on your belly). While awkward, it sure would make things a lot less stressful than wondering.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Transfer Day

Hi if you are here from ICLW. The husband and I are going through ivf, and today was our transfer day. Read more about our story by clicking on The Crib Notes link (I would hyperlink it here, but am not saavy enough to know how to do that from my phone).

This morning D and I were on high alert. We were told that if we were to get moved to a 5 day transfer they would call at 8:30.  Waiting for that phone call was torture. At the time, I felt like I was waiting to hear if I got into the ivy leagues, or my safety school (D says a better comparison is making varsity versus JV, but I think that comes down to our differences...he was a jock and I was a nerd. We use what metaphors we can relate to). So we waited and waited. Finally, at 9 (8:35 for me), we determined we were a 3 day and prepared for our trip. And by that time, all thoughts of "consolation prize" flew out my head...we were going to get our babies!

The whole way to the clinic, I was a bundle of nerves. They never called with an update yesterday, so I had no idea how the embabies were doing. I was petrified we only has one left, and possibly of questionable quality. The only solace I had was that at least one must still be alive because otherwise they would have called and cancelled it.

Once we got there, we barely waited. Soon I was called back, derobed, ugly bootied, and on my way. Dr. O was pacing the halls ready to go, so we met with her immediately. She said we were transferring two grade 2, 8 cell embryos. She said the embryologist almost never gives grade 1 so she said they were really fantastic. Plus, 5 of the remaining 6 seem to be doing well and she said if they make it to blast we can freeze them! So the news was way better than expected (or feared).
After that it was pretty simple. I was called into the room and they had a tv set up in the ceiling. I was able to see our embryologist load our two embryos and D was able to see on the screen as they got transferred. We were supposed to get a picture of it, but somehow never did. However, I do have a picture of the two embryos before they were transferred. After that, they wheeled me out, I had some acupuncture, and then we left.

I have spent the remainder of the day horizontal. My clinic insists on 48 hours bedrest. According to my paperwork, I can get up only to eat and go the bathroom. This was the part I was looking forward to (D was on high alert for pampering). But, what sounds awesome in theory wears thin pretty quickly. I have watched a lot of tv and napped.  My computer is far away so am making do on my phone.  Other than that, there's not a lot of options.

But you know what?  It is so, so worth it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 1 update

I'm not going to was rougher than I was expecting. Yesterday, I was surprised at how good I felt; today, I thought I should have been further along. I still have lower abdomen cramping and bloating. If yesterday was at a 4 max, I would say today was a consistent 4 on the pain scale. Plus, this morning, I was extremely nauseous. However, I am not sure if that is because I took my antibiotic on a nearly empty stomach, or because of after-effects from the retrieval. I am keeping a close eye on it and if I am still in pain/ nauseous tomorrow, I think I will give the doctor a call.

I was told the Dr. would call with the maturation/fertilization results today, so I was on bated breathe (and high cell phone alert) all day. As the hours ticked by, I tried to read into the silence. Were they not calling because my eggs were taking so long to fertilize? Because none fertilized and they leave bad news for the end of the day? When school let out at 3:30, I still hadn't heard anything. But instead of being able to call, I had to go immediately to a faculty meeting. It was torture.

But at 4:15 when I had a break in my faculty meeting I saw the blessed miss call signal. Of course, what was left was probably the pretty much the most long winded message EVER. It started by s.l.o.w.l.y telling me that I am scheduled for a 3 day transfer (everyone is at my clinic. Only if they are "perfect" will they go to a day 5) at 11am. Then the message went over all the prep I need to do. The whole time I was mentally hurrying her along, wanting to get the "goods" - namely, how many were mature, and, out of those, how many fertilized.

Finally, she reported the results:
17 eggs retrieved.
14 eggs matured.
8 eggs fertilized.
So good news! Of course, I would have preferred double digits fertilized (heck, in my perfect world, all 14 would have) but 8 is still a decent amount to work with. And it is so cool to think D and I created life yesterday and one of those eight (or more) could be our future child(ren).

Grow, embabies, grow!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Retrieval Day - the quick version

Just popping in quickly to say the retrieval was a success. Dr. O was able to get 17 just hoping they mature, fertilize and develop like they are supposed to. I felt pretty ok this afternoon, but now have a fair bit of cramping (but not too bad...probably like a 3 or 4 on a pain scale).  Will update more tomorrow. Am off to zone out in front of the tv with the hubs who bought me my favorite ice cream as a treat!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Triggering tonight!

I had my last monitoring appointment this morning. Apparently I have over 30 eggs, and out of those, the doctor thinks 11 to 14 might be mature. Based on the ultrasound and blood work, I just got the call that we are doing the trigger tonight at 9:45pm!

I will go back tomorrow for another round of blood work and then retrieval is set for 8:45 on Tuesday morning. I am getting excited (and nervous)! The countdown is on!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A good day

Just a quick post to say yesterday was a good day. I went for my ultrasound and the nurse said I have 12 measurable eggs on the right and five on the left. She kept murmuring, "you're doing good, B" and I thought she meant with the vag cam (it was at an awkward angle because apparently the 12 eggs caused my right ovary to droop. Who knew they could droop?) But then she added on, "you're responding really well." And I nearly fell of the table. This is the first praise my poor body has gotten in over a year and a half. Normally, I am in the fertility remedial group, but yesterday I felt at the head of the class!

I asked about the fluid and she said it appears to be going away and she is not worried. My lining is still thin (of course), but she said she is not worried about that either. She expects it to be thick enough by the time we need it, and she said I will take estrace after the transfer to help it even more.

So fingers crossed things will continue to grow and develop. I go back on Friday and I am optimistic that hopefully we are getting close to trigger!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pins and Needles

I thought after my scare on friday, I could be more cool, calm and collected moving forward (why I thought I would have a personality transplant, I have no idea). Instead, I am still the same bundle of nerves I was, and am still worried my cycle will be cancelled or compromised. The only thing that has changed is my reason.

You see, on Friday when I had my first ultrasound, the nurse mentioned that there was fluid in my uterus. She was unconcerned and just told me it was more of my period to come (oh joy) and I could expect a pretty big bleed this weekend. Sure enough, on Saturday, after my sister's shower, I had some bright red blood when I wiped. "Perfect," I thought. I threw on a pad and prepared for my flow. Except, it never came. That one time was it. Still, I did not think it was a big deal (foolishly I thought it was lucky) and progressed happily with my weekend.

Fast forward to my ultrasound yesterday. The fluid, of course, was still there. The nurse asked if I was still bleeding and I told her I never did. This leads her to comment that she is concerned by the fluid. However, she did not expand, and later that day she called to explain my meds for the night, so I kind of forgot about it.

Until, that is, I was idlely doing work on the computer and got the idea to google. Why? WHY? But I did. And what I found does not look good. Fluid in the uterus has been shown to have a negative impact on implantation. Sometimes people have cycles cancelled because of it. Others proceed but it reduces your odds. D told me to ignore the internet, but I feel like it is valid research since the nurse said she was concerned (so it is not like I am making up that this could be an issue).

I know the moral of this story is that I have to just ask the nurse tomorrow what this means. But I hate to again be in an abnormal position. I swear, I am feeling like a fertility loser where things just keep going wrong one after the other. And I know I got saved on Friday, but I hope that was not just to trip over something else.

So, can anyone lift my spirits? Has anyone else had fluid that turned out to be no big deal?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Melodramatic Me

At 1:40, I had a missed call from a restricted number on my cell phone. Since I was teaching, I could not check it, but inwardly, I died a little. The nurse had said, more than once, they would only call if it was bad news. If it was good news, I would not hear and could just proceed as planned. I spent the next two hours trying not to cry, and planning out exactly what I would buy at the liquor store to get me through tonight and my sister's baby shower tomorrow (I was pretty sure the champagne I bought for the mimosas would be the first casualty).

I don't know how I made it until 3:30, but as soon as the last kid was out the door, my cell phone was to my ear. And I got the biggest surprise of my life. The cyst is just a cyst! Supposedly it is producing no hormones and the cycle is a go. I start stimming tonight!!

So now I feel like quite the drama queen. But truly, gutted is how I felt this morning. As I know many of you can relate,  after all the setbacks and negative sticks, you begin to expect the worst. And honestly, it typically has been. To say I am shocked to be on the other end is an understatement. However, it also makes me aware of what a long, long road it still is, and that many more things may go wrong. But for today, I am grateful we are getting our chance to try. For today, I feel lucky.


I just went for my first ultrasound/ bw appt and am supposed to start the stims tonight. As you know, I've been on pins and needles since the spotting, petrified this cycle would be cancelled. Some call it paranoia. I call it premonition.

I, of course, have a new cyst. If it is producing estrogen, the cycle must be postponed. The nurse puts the odds at 50:50 (not knowing about my 5 hour late pill, she said it would only be if I "somehow broke through the pill or lupron"). Knowing what I do, I put the odds at much greater than that.

I know it will only be a month or so, but I will am so upset. I am tired of waiting to try. The last "real" shot I had was in june, and that was with 12 eggs, the largest of which was 14mm. Before that, it was April.

But there is nothing I can do now but wait. If no call, we proceed as planned. Please please pray my phone is silent today.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spilling the beans

Thanks to everyone for your input on how best to sneak the meds past the parents (gosh, I feel like it was not that long ago I would be trying to sneak a 6-pack past them. My how times change...). We ultimately put it in a small, black lunch bag and shoved it in the back of each fridge. We then adopted a "don't ask, don't tell" policy (as in, if they did not ask, we definitely were not telling). In the end, it worked out well and if either parent wondered about the strange bag in the fridge, neither mentioned it.

With victory in our grasp, we did the one thing that surprised me most. We told his parents anyway.

You see, I really took your comments to heart. So many of you mentioned the strength, love and support you got from your families. I already have that because my mom (and that whole side of my family) know. But then I started to wonder, was I denying D that? What he not getting the support he needs? Here his parents were at dinner, giving him a hard time that he was not taking off days for the annual hunting trip, asking, "what could be so important that you have to save your days for?" And he was stammering, and trying to lie, and that is not fair. He deserves to be able to talk about this with someone besides me. I could not get through this without my family; and I want him to have the support of his.

So we told them, and it went amazingly well. They were very supportive (and surprisingly, most proud that I give myself my own shots. I think I earned some street cred). In her excitement, his mother offered to retire and help if we have twins, and move in if we have triplets! They both were very respectful when we told them this was not common knowledge, and after our brief 5 or 10 minute conversation, did not bring it up again.  The best part? D was vague about when were doing the IVF, so there will be no expected phone call or notification immediately afterwards. I think my biggest fear was one more group of people waiting to hear on pins and needles how things went. The way we left it, they won't need to know until we are ready to talk about it.

Now we just have my dad left to tell, and the entire family will be in the loop. It may not be the way I envisioned telling my family about future grandchildren, but then again, nothing in this process has been the way I imagined. And you know what? I will take the extra prayers and support in the meantime.