Wednesday, April 27, 2011

28dpo aka 6 weeks

I did it! I passed 25 dpo and made it all the way to 6 weeks today! My first U/S (the line where I will then finally consider myself really pregnant) is one week and one day from today.

It's still so early, but I find myself starting to have more hope. Could it really be that after 29 months this could be it? I can barely imagine it - it's so much easier to believe it won't happen.

But then there are things like the test I took on 24dpo. I've often heard about HPTs taken where the person swears the line came up "right away" and is darker than the control line. Never happened to me. Until 24dpo. It was Awe.Some. In fact, I couldn't even FIND the control line at first. First I thought I had a defective test. Then I waited the full 3 minutes and saw it. But the control line blew it out of the water.

The test, after it dried (the control line got darker when it dried):

I've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by two fantastic bloggers, Jen at The Chronicles of Violetta Margarita, and SummaStarlet at Just Us...For Now. Thank you!

The rules:
here's how it works:

1. Winners put the award images on their blog.
2. Link back to the person/s that nominated you for the award/s.
3. Share 10 things about yourself.
4. Award 15 bloggers.
5. Contact the bloggers you have nominated and let them know about their award.

I'm not going to do this the right way because I think everyone I follow has gotten the award, but I will share 10 things about myself :)

1. Sometimes I say out loud and actually think to myself that bad things are going to happen because I feel superstitious that by doing that they WON'T happen. For instance, every time I fly (I HATE flying) I always consider that the plane will crash, because then I feel like it won't. Sick, isn't it? As you can see, this has crossed over into pregnancy stuff.

2. I am very crunchy. I am big into local eating, grow much of my own food, and shop mostly at farmer's markets. I love to sew, craft, can food, etc. I make my own laundry detergent. Well, I did before I started my first IVF cycle, and I've been using store bought since to make life easier.

3. I love old sitcoms. Family Ties, Laverne and Shirley, The Facts of Life, Happy Days, Doogie Howser - they make me feel so content.

4. My first celebrity crush was on Richard Dean Anderson when I was 14. I believe you might know him as MacGyver. And yes, he was (is) older than my father.

5. I'm a total anglophile. And I could give you a detailed description of English history from the 13th through 16th centuries if you want :) When DH and I watch the Tudors, I point out all the inaccuracies :)

6. The farthest east I've ever been is Budapest, Hungary. The farthest west is San Francisco, CA. As you can see, not very far in either direction!

7. I backpacked Europe alone in college (hence the Budapest). I had plans with my BFF to go originally, but when she backed out I decided to go anyway. I'm glad I did! What an awesome experience.

8. I wish I could have the traditional pregnancy experience (if and when it's truly happening). Unfortunately, I already have cardiology and MFM appointments scheduled with 3 different doctors, and I've barely started. I have the feeling this will end up being extremely complicated.

9. I own Rosetta Stone Welsh. I may be an anglophile, but I'm absolutely obsessed with Welsh and Wales :)

10. My hubby cooks dinner for me every night. I am so lucky and so glad he does, because if it were up to me, we'd be having cereal!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


So I think I jinxed myself last post. At least a little bit. That night, after I put in my Crinone suppository, I noticed the tiniest bit of pink on the tip. I burst into tears, convinced it was over, or would be soon. After all, that's how my chemical started last month.

I cried myself to sleep.

But there was nothing else all the next day whenever I wiped, and the next night, when I put in the Crinone, nothing. Or the night after.

So I have (hopefully) now convinced myself that it was due to the applicator brushing an otherwise very sensitive cervix, or that my cervix was engorged with blood after DTD with DH earlier that night.

I'm still checking obsessively every time I go to the bathroom though. I'm not 100% sure about this yet. I was having pretty decent cramps around that time as well, though thank goodness they've gotten a lot better. In fact, I even had a couple of days when I was feeling confident about things. Not so much today, though.

In other news, today is the equivalent of 24dpo. If I can get through tomorrow without spotting it will be officially the longest I've ever been pregnant. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5 weeks, 0 days

That is where I am today. I think. Well, I have had no bleeding or spotting yet, so hopefully I still am.

I am crying every single night about it. WTF is wrong with me? I think I need some anti-depressant meds just to deal with myself. I am so so worried about losing this pregnancy that I am making myself so upset about something that hasn't even happened yet. It's like I'm in pre-mourning.

Intellectually, I know I should be enjoying this as long as I have it. But at night, when I feel cramping and get scared that I'm miscarrying *right now*, it's hard to enjoy it.

I emailed my friend K last night, who did IVF last year and got PG on her second round. She also put in two (ended up with a singleton) and had a few chemicals/MCs before that pregnancy, which ended in the birth of her son this January. She's the only IRL person I know who gets how I'm feeling. And her response, as usual, helped so much.

You take it literally one day (or one bathroom trip) at a time. I talked to the baby(ies) when I got scared bc I had long since decided that no matter how bad it hurt, I was going to love whomever I was carrying for as long as I carried them. For me, not doing so wasn't going to make it hurt any less.

This is a different way of thinking of enjoying being PG as long as you have it. I can love my baby(ies) more than I can "enjoy" the feeling of being PG. I can so easily LOVE THEM. I can't so easily walk around going "Yay, I'm pregnant! (I think)"

Leave your expectations at the door. You're not going to be the joyous pregnant woman who loves every minute of it. Or maybe you are but not until later. All that matters is that you aren't right now. Ok. "Just be." What you feel in this very moment is all that matters. You're not going to feel this way forever, and tomorrow is always a chance at a better day. Some moments, if the fear is too much, it's worth it to fight it. Others, if it's bearable, just let it be with you and go
about your day. Your feelings, no matter what they are or how all over the place they are, are completely valid.

One day at a time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beta #2

I was terrified for Friday's beta. I've never doubled before. I actually asked my coworker to listen the message (when the phone rang, I let it go to voicemail). While she did, I took a walk around the entire floor before coming back, afraid of what she might tell me.

It was 177, so I needed 354 to double. Although, it really needs to go a minimum of 2/3, so as long as it was above 300, it would be ok (not great, but ok). Below 300, not.good.

Beta 2 = 413. Yahoooo!

That's twins territory, according to Betabase. OMG.

It would be awesome, but all I want is a healthy take home baby, no matter what.

E2 was 875 and P4 was 38.2 - all good.

My next appointment is the first ultrasound, scheduled for 5/5 (7w1d). I have NOTHING inbetween. It could all go badly, and I wouldn't necessarily know. Then again, I could start spotting any day too. I hate this wait. I'm terrified it's all going to disappear tomorrow. Why can't I enjoy this more? This is what recurrent loss does to you...

Since 5/5 seems so far away, I'm concentrating on making it past 25dpo, the longest I've ever been PG before starting spotting. Today is the equivalent of 17dpo. Can I make it 8 more days?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beta Day

I was praying for over 50.

I was ok with over 25.

It's 177.

Progesterone is 37, E2 is 750 (I'm not sure how much E2 really matters).

Beta #2 is scheduled for Friday. I need to double. Please let me double. This is where the real fear lies.

If it doubles on Friday I may start to believe that this is real.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Getting Darker

Beta is tomorrow. I have to be there at 7:05am. Ugh. Then I will wait anxiously for the next bajillion hours because they don't seem to call me until around 4-4:30pm, ugh.

I took another FRER this morning in keeping with my every 2 days rule. I was so nervous, but today's looks really good.

Compare the last three sticks (each two days apart):

We saw our infertility counselor for the first time in 3 weeks tonight. She's been in China with her husband or something. Boy was there a lot of catching her up on the craziness that was this past cycle. I also talked a lot about my fear of having another miscarriage. Se made me feel a lot better about my anxiety, telling me she's seen so many women who've been so upset about GETTING pregnant, not wanting the baby, etc., and getting upset and anxious didn't make them lose the baby (even though they probably would have preferred it) so I didn't need to worry that my anxiety over KEEPING this baby would cause any problems either. Perhaps that's a weird thing to tell an infertile, but it actually made me feel better. She gave me the serenity prayer to read over and over again.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I need to work on the first two lines.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I had a little bit more cramping today, which scared the bejeezus out of me. I am freaking out about every.little.thing. I just can't stop. I am having a hard time believing in this pregnancy. I need beta day to come, and a good beta as well. Not that I'll relax even then, but I at least need that. I am so pessimistic about this, even though as of right now, I have no reason to be. Why can't I just be happy?

Here are some pics of my HPTs. You can see at 2dp5dt it was negative; no more trigger. At 4dp5dt you can just see the faintest of lines. The CBE on 5dp5dt was obviously positive.

Here are comparisons of my two FRERs. I actually made a mistake on the bottom one - that was from 4dpt, not 5dpt. The one on top is correct - 6dp5dt.

I also took an Accuclear test today, just because I wanted to be reassured. Yep, still positive.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I have positives. Positives that are getting darker. (I want to share pictures, but they are huge and ruin my whole blog design).

I have sore boobs.

I'm either coming down with something (totally possible since my coworker, whom I share an office with, was out last week sick one day) or I have morning sickness, because I'm having trouble with certain smells and feel sick at times. (I'm leaning towards being sick because I don't think morning sickness happens that quickly.

I have had very little cramping. I don't know why, when I have HPTs that are +. It worries me.

I am ecstatically happy, yet very very nervous. I've had two chemicals and 1 M/C. I still have SO far to go. But today I am pregnant. Yesterday I was pregnant. If nothing else, I had this whole weekend pregnant - and I enjoyed every second of it.

Beta is not till Weds. Man, you hear about not wanting to POAS because you might not get a positive because it's too early, but now I feel like there's forever to go before beta. Will I make it to beta? Will my beta be any good? Will I make it to a first U/S? I've never gotten past 6 weeks before. Is this my time?

Friday, April 8, 2011


I slept SO WELL last night. It must have been the exhaustion from sleeping like crap all week, but I actually slept 5+ hours straight and didn't wake up to go to the bathroom until 5am. Oh so nice! I wasn't too hot and I wasn't too cold and I was comfy all night long. I need more nights like that.

Confession: I POAS this morning. On a FRER. And while a whisper of a line, it was there. At 9dpo it's entirely too early, right???? The thing is, I POAS on the evening of 7DPO, and there was nothing. I also (disgustingly, because I'm CRAZY) pulled out the old test from the garbage to compare to this morning's. Then I did it again when I came home from work (yes, out of the garbage AGAIN) to compare the two tests because I thought it was fair to compare them old and dry, instead of an old to a newly peed one.

Seriously, I am so gross.

But the line, ever so light was still there. The one on the 7dpo one, nope.

I had bought 3 tests at 7dpo (I keep saying dpo, but it was really 2dp5dt). I already had one in the house (that's the one I peed on that night) and DH told me I could only buy 3 (because he knows if it were up to me, I'd be spending $50 on tests).

Now I want to pee tomorrow, and the next day and the next day. But I need to wait till Sunday, and then Tuesday.

Is it still trigger? 11 days past trigger, it shouldn't be, right? Not to mention the 7dpo was negative.

But I still wonder. And think about how I did transfer two...

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well, the jury's still out on whether I'm having any very occasional cramping (it's certainly not as much as last month), but today the bloat came on with a vengeance. At least I finally have something to show for having ET done. Until now I've barely felt like I'd done IVF...the bloating I had from stims went down right after trigger and hadn't come back after transfer, unlike last cycle. I don't know why I WANT bloat, really, I just want some sort of symptom - anything!

No crazy dreams last night. I'm actually having a really tough time sleeping. I'm too warm (likely due to progesterone suppositories, which I take right before bed) and uncomfortable at night.

I'm just trying to keep track of my "symptoms" this month in an effort to know how full of crap (or how right) they were in the future.

Lovenox shots are getting easier. They go in easy (Bravelle hurt much more) but there's a delayed reaction and then a BUUURN. Ouch. But it's getting better. I will be polka dotted soon though because each prick causes a small bruise.

I got my P4 and E2 tested today like I asked for! E2 was 142 and P4 was 17.6. Both are ok numbers, I think. The RE said I didn't need to come back again before beta. I don't know about the E2, but I've read P4 should be above 15 for medicated cycles. Considering I'm on both suppositories AND pills, I'm surprised it's "only" 17.6, not too much above the minimum. This supports my theory I didn't have enough last month.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Losing It

I had the weirdest, most psychotic dream last night. I think it was related in some way to an E! True Hollywood story about Jon and Kate plus 8 I watched before bed, but I actually had a nightmare that one of the infertility bloggers I follow (but doesn't follow me, thank goodness :) was murdered by her husband. WTF? In my dream I learn this from a news report, like this person is a celebrity of something. I've officially gone off the deep end. I don't even know anything about this person (or her husband) !!! Why would I dream about them?

Last night I had some more minor cramping, a little more than earlier in the day, and I had a little this morning, but basically none since then. I'm really struggling with staying positive last time. Last cycle was easier, if it didn't happen I could say, "Well, the first IVF cycle is quite experimental. I didn't really expect anything." I mean, I never did injectible IUIs and they were trying to get a handle on how I reacted to stims.

But this cycle, I don't have any of that to fall back on. They screwed up the stims and it's only by the grace of God I'm even here, with 2 embies in me and 4 more frozen, and to a certain extent, I wonder if I've used up all the good luck I had. My coworker laughed at that today. I have had such bad luck all of my life that she said I should have run out of bad luck by now and have only good luck left, but I do feel like I was just born under a black cloud and will be followed by it forever. And if this cycle fails - that's it, at least for now. I can't think, well maybe next one will be better, because even if I were to do another one, why would it work even better than the one I just had?

There was always the hope of other options before, but I'm slowly running out of options.

I don't feel much. I don't like it one bit. I want to be crampy, I want to be bloated.

I peed on the last FRER I had (from last cycle) in the house tonight. Trigger is just about gone. If I squinted I could make out a line, but it was barely there, something I don't think L would be able to see if I asked him. Today is 9 days past trigger so that's good.

I'm a nutjob.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Very, very mild cramping, and only occasionally. Not that much bloating. I'm surprised, and a little saddened by it. I know it doesn't mean anything, yet I'm afraid it does.

We got our adoption homestudy packet a few weeks ago. I need to work on it, but it's so overwhelmingly big that I keep putting it aside. In two weeks if we get a BFN I'm going to be really upset at myself that I didn't, so I need to make myself start. I wish I had someone holding my hand through this adoption process. I get overwhelmed easily by things in the beginning. When I have more of a clue, then I'm more self-assured and proactive, but it's always a problem in the beginning.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Transfer Complete

Transfer happened this morning and I could not be more thrilled. It was a little more painful than last time, but still nowhere near as painful as the IUIs I had there - which I think is purely a matter of technique (and my RE is obviously more gifted in that area than the nurses who usually do the IUIs are).

L and I had been discussing all weekend how many to transfer - 1 or 2. We transferred 2 3-day embies last month, and obviously, BFN. So I was very hesitant to transfer only one today, even though it would be a blastocyst. He, on the other hand, got it into his head, that it was an all-or-nothing proposition - that if we transferred two, either both would stick or neither would stick.

I admit I come to reasoning based on some third-hand knowledge. I have two IRL friends who've done IVF and both implanted 2 blasts each and both ended up with singletons. Obviously, that in no way makes it that that will happen to me, but I do know it's not all or nothing. We kind of put it behind us until we saw the quality of the blasts.

I don't know how many we expected today, but we had 8 embies make it to the blast stage and 1 was still a morula. The others had arrested. Still, 9/12 is fantastic considering where we were just a few days ago! We had one absolutely perfect, starting-to-hatch 5AA blastocyst. The others were of decent quality, but nothing great like that. I don't remember exactly, but we had a bunch of 3BC, a 2BA, and a bunch of 1ABs (or something like that). I have now learned that unlike the 3-day grading system, the number score on the 5-day blast doesn't necessarily mean quality, it's the letters that do. The number refers to the stage in development (i.e. 4s and 5s have become an expanded blast).

I told the embryologist straight how I felt. While I would prefer 1 baby over two (in one pregnancy), I would prefer twins rather than nothing. She told me that basically answered how we should proceed, and recommended putting in the next best one as well, which was the 2BA, and NOT the 3BC (due to quality, not stage of development). L seemed to feel (and he's probably right) that the 2BA was sufficiently behind enough that it probably wouldn't make much of a difference so he was ok with that, and it made me feel better to have 2.

The others got cultured to grow further to see if they would make it to freeze and I just got a call saying that 4 of them were frozen today and there are two more that were a little slow but they are going to see how they do overnight and they might freeze them tomorrow. Even with the 4, I am just in awe of where we are today, compared to last week.

I REALLY REALLY hope this means good things for us, but I am trying not to get too excited. After all, I've read plenty of blogs where women have put back TWO 5AA blasts and still got a BFN when all was said and done.

But for now, I'm done, and there's nothing more I can do. My RE doesn't mandate bedrest and they say if you have a sit-down job you can go back to work, so I took the morning off. However, I have to conduct interviews this afternoon so I couldn't take the whole day like I did last cycle. I really hope it's ok. Even conducting interviews is sort of stressful for me (not as much as going on one).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I Still Don't Know What to Say

But this time, for the opposite reasons. I have had a HELL of a rollercoaster of a week. I mean, it's been completely ridiculous. For those of you on the FF boards, first off, hi!! And second off, thank you so much for listening to my moaning and bitching ALL week.

Let me catch you up on what has happened. After the mess that was Monday, we did trigger that night. On Tuesday I called them back and asked if they could do a blood test to see if my E2 was still low or if it had gone back up (really, I wanted to know if they had somehow made a crazy mistake) but they told me once I had done the trigger shot, my E2 would plummet in response to the surge, so it wouldn't be a good indicator. Then I asked if I could have a U/S before retrieval on Weds. to see if the follicles themselves had started to die off. They said I could, but that it wouldn't necessarily show anything. The follicles themselves might look good on U/S, but eggs inside might be much smaller and immature.

But on Weds. when I went in for ER I did have the U/S (how much do you want to bet I get charged for that, even though it was in direct response to their fuckup?) and I had lots of follies and a beautiful lining of 13mm. I was pretty excited walking down to get prepped for ER.

Then retrieval occurred and when I woke up, I was mired in confusion. I'm a pretty type A person, and don't like giving up control, so having to receive info second-hand from L was annoying. They'd gotten 18 eggs, 14 of them were immature, and 4 were almost mature - is the way he put it. None of them looked to be of good quality. According to the embryologist, they were poor quality and atrophied.

Given all that I went through with this cycle, I was really upset. Then L told me that the RE had actually said to him in passing that since he'd only seen this happen before when the patient had messed up taking the stims.

Oh hell no. HELL NO. I was FURIOUS when I heard that, about 4 hours after ER. I was still woozy but I called up IVF Jen and DEMANDED an appt. with the RE for the following Monday. After all he put me through he DARES tell us it's OUR fault? She seemed a bit bewildered, but did what I asked. Then I was left to despair the rest of the day, thinking about the fert. report the following day and expecting the worst. I kept asking L again EXACTLY what did they say about the eggs and kept getting conflicting reports. Always that there were 18 retrieved and 14 immature, but then that 4 were mature or 4 were almost mature. But still, that egg quality was poor. I tried to tell myself I'd at least have 4 eggs at fert. report but then I kept thinking that due to poor quality, they might not make it.

The embryologist had also told L that they were going try to mature (the 4 eggs I thought) in the lab and do regular IVF instead of ICSI on them. Apparently when ICSI is done they strip some proteins that allow the egg to mature faster in order to inject the sperm directly. We don't have male factor, so we were completely ok with that.

Anyway, I couldn't sleep Weds. night because I was so worried about a fert. report of 0 on Thursday. I gave L my cell phone for him to answer because I was seriously afraid of what I might say with a bad fert. report. When they called around 7:40am (40 min. later than last cycle) I was beside myself worrying that it was so bad they were trying to figure out a way to tell me nicely. When the phone actually rang, I instantly plugged my ears.

I have really good hearing though, dammit. I could still hear L talking through my fingers, so I began rocking them back and forth so I wouldn't hear anything. Finally I got tired though and stopped, and with the fingers still in my ears, heard him say, "And how is the quality?" and I instantly relaxed. They might be shitty quality, but at least I had *ONE* egg.

When he got off the phone I released my ears and stared up at him, "Well?" I asked, almost not wanting to know. "Did any make it?"

He looked at me, nodded, and said, "Yea, 12."

12? 12?!?!?! I seriously thought the most I could get was 4, and that was if everything went perfectly. Last cycle we had 12 eggs retrieved, 7 were mature and 5 fertilized. Now we had 12? I don't know what magic they did, but they were able to rescue 8 more of those eggs.

Of course, we had been told at ER (or really L was told, as I was out of it) that egg quality was poor, so immediately I started worrying that none would make it to Day 3, which we were automatically scheduled for at ER. L had asked about quality but they said it was too early to make a judgment (how did they at ER, then?) but I was on Cloud 9.

40 minutes later, I got another call from the RE's office. OMG, I nearly had a heart attack. Negative me immediately thought, "What if they confused me with someone else and made a mistake and all of them were gone?" But it turned out to be some nurse who had heard at least part of the conversation with L and the RE (where he blamed us messing up the medication) and wanted to tell me that my husband had misunderstood the RE. I listened to her for about 2 minutes and then asked, "Well, on Monday the RE had told us he'd never seen anything like this before." She replied, "Well, I've seen it twice in the time I've worked here. It's always been because the patient messed up the medication."

Oh, so we DIDN'T misunderstand. You're still blaming us. She went onto say that she's seen it when the stim protocol was very complicated, but I checked out of the conversation. First off, we had ONE drug to take each night (in addition to the lupron, which we were told to STOP taking before this whole thing took a nosedive). Kind of hard to screw that up when we'd been doing it correctly the previous 12 DAYS of stims. Secondly, even if my husband had by accident (and I don't for one second believe it, but let's just talk hypotheticals here) given me 3 vials of Bravelle instead of the 4.5 vials I was supposed to take, that STILL doesn't explain why my E2 dropped from 1255 to 349 in TWO days. If my E2 had gone up only a little, then maybe I'd believe it. If my E2 had gone down a little, maybe even then I might have believed it? But to drop to 1/4 of what it was? No way, sister.

I still believe it was him taking us off the Lupron that did it, but I'm not sure how. According to the RE my progesterone was still low, and they don't check LH so I don't know but I don't think I had premature luteinization, but what do I know? Clearly just as much as the RE though.

And even despite all that - did she really think that by calling me I was going to take the RE's side over my husband? My husband who is so so careful every night in washing his hands, cleaning off the injection site with an alcohol swab, measuring the medicine, and getting out all of the air bubbles? There is no way I would ever take HER opinion over my husband's.

My doctor's office doesn't do Day 2 calls, so I prepared myself for a 3 day transfer this morning. If they don't call you early on Day 3, you're just expected to show up for transfer. I kept the phone by my side all night, praying once again that they weren't of such poor quality that they all arrested or something. But when no call came at 6:30am I was really bummed. At 7am we got in the car to go to transfer at 7:30am, and at 7:15, the phone call came. "You have several good quality embryos, so if you would like to push your transfer to day 5, that would be ok."

What? Us, go to day 5? Us who only went to day 3 last time? We were on our way already so we asked to come in to discuss.

We still had 12 embryos. 3 of them were of perfect quality (we didn't have that last month), 3 of very good, 3 of fair, 2 of poor, and 1 terrible (probably would arrest today).

That is so much better than last month. How did this happen??? I thought they were poor quality eggs and atrophied? Now some are "perfect?" All I can think of is that the embryologists at my RE are AWESOME, even if my RE himself is not.

Of course, now my worry turns to Monday. They told us that 2/3 of the embryos should make it, and I hope that stays true. Come on embies, you can do it!!!

After this week, I need a drink. Phew....