Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Taking it in

That's what I feel like I've been doing - just taking it all in.

Today I am 5 weeks, 1 day pregnant according to the ticker I ended up making for the boards I post on. I should probably add one here too :) I don't have any huge symptoms yet. I had two days of nausea at 8 pm on the dot over the weekend but nothing yesterday. I also have the sharp pains in my ovary/uterus area if I move too quickly, turn over too fast, etc. One fellow IFer said that she had it too and it's round ligament pain. When I googled it, it doesn't seem like that normally comes into play until the second trimester. I'm not sure if that is actually it. Maybe fat kids get it earlier?  Who knows - not me that's for sure.

This weekend we are going home to Chicago to celebrate Mother's Day a week early. We decided not to  go home MD weekend because we will be back down that following Wednesday for SIL's wedding. While we're down there we are going to scope out a few baby related stores. Up here we have limited selections in the baby dept. Even our BRU is a combo Toys R Us/Babies R Us so there isn't the biggest selection. 

One of my friends that knows about the pregnancy thought that we are being slightly premature. I told her that it's not like we're buying anything this weekend. Also...to be frank, who cares? It's not as though K and I are unaware of all that can go wrong with a pregnancy. Especially coming off a long battle of infertility. I obviously haven't said anything to work or via fb. I'm dying to start taking the "expectant mother" rockstar parking spot at work. But I am waiting until at least after the first u/s on May 15th. It can't come fast enough. I am so curious to know for sure if this is a singleton or twins. I'm still guessing singleton :) I just want to spend every second I can immersed in this experience. Who knows if I will be able to do it again? 

I am just so happy to be here.  So is K. He has had tears of joy and it melted my heart. We're both so grateful and so thrilled right now. We are trying to be nothing but positive for the road ahead of us. I am still so shocked that this is a reality right now. My next blood draw is on Thursday and I hope that everything continues to hold steady/rise accordingly. This is such a new world to me!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Beta #2 (12dp5dt)

289

I cannot express how happy I am to have heard that number. I'm still pregnant. God willing, there will be a baby this year. I say baby because I don't get the "twin vibe" lol. Maybe I'm wrong. Who knows?

My progesterone level did go down to 40 but they have me staying at the same PIO dosage. They want to see how my body does in the next week.I can bump my Crinone down to just the evening dosage. Estrace I can also bump down to 2x a day. 

I will go in for the same blood work for the next couple of Thursdays and then on Thursday, May 15th, I will have my first pregnancy scan and ultrasound down at AFC. 

I am so relieved to have good news today. 

I'm not going to lie, the last couple days were actually worse than the days leading up to beta #1. 

But I'm pregnant and hopefully will be for many more months. I am excited and thrilled and in shock. It is surreal. I'm sure it's like that for fertiles but for someone who spent years imagining it being her turn, it just doesn't seem possible. I have loved how excited K has been. He lights up when he talks about the bunny/ies. I am so happy that he will get to be a dad. He will make an excellent father.

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) 2014

What an interesting week to be celebrating National Infertility Awareness Week. It is always one of my favorite weeks on FB because I can proudly post IF related posts and videos and raise awareness for this disease that so many of us suffer through. It's my time to share what battle K and I have been fighting. I feel strong and empowered when I post each and every status.

This year NIAW began on 4/20, Easter Sunday. It was also the day that I POAS and saw my two pink lines. What an incredible Sunday. Knowing that the lines kept getting darker each day and having gotten my first beta back as a confirmed pregnancy, posting IF related items has become a little tricky for me. I'm still an infertile. I always will be. I lost little chunks of my heart and soul along this 6.5 year road. And here I sit during NIAW with one foot out the door, anxiously awaiting news on if I can start moving a little further out the exit door - a door I was beginning to think I'd never get past - and one foot cemented in place. My heart is with all of my fellow infertiles who are still fighting so courageously for their families. 

While I wait on the results from this morning's second beta, I am reminded that even though infertility has taken so much from me, from us, it has also given me so much in return. People who I never would have met or interacted with came into my life. They've become my family. I'm so grateful for everybody who has been brought into my life and given me love, support, hope, and a hand to hold through this journey. There aren't many people who can say that. I am very fortunate.

For the first time it's actually been hard for me to find the right statuses to share. Especially knowing that so many of the wonderful ladies I post with on a daily basis through IF-related message boards know where I'm standing this week. The below quote from Former First Lady Laura Bush sums up so many things that I struggle to put into words. I've used it many, many times before but it will never not ring true. Her words are eloquent and beautiful. She "gets" it. She is one of us.

"George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held"
-Laura Bush

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beta #1

Came back at 81! The nurse said that he likes to see the number at 50 or above so I am happy about that number. 

Well I was really happy about that number until I got to googling betas. That was stupid. Nothing good ever comes from googling things like this, lol.

Repeat beta is on Friday. I will anxiously await those results. 

Unlike most infertiles, we did end up sharing the news with our parents and a couple of our siblings tonight. The only reason was that they were all aware of exactly when ER/ET was and have all been a wonderful support system for us. God forbid anything goes wrong, they would all be there for us and we are comfortable with this decision. Not for everyone but it's what works for us. We're overshare-ers to begin with ;-)

Anyway, my doc decreased my progesterone from 2.4cc to 1.8 and I can also cut back from 4x a day to 3x a day on Estrace. I continue with the 2x a day Crinone though. 

Now I hyperventilate for 2.5 days until I get that call. And you know I won't get it any time before 3 pm. Sigh. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2014

8dp5dt

It got darker!

Eeeek!!! I know I have to conquer beta(s) and the uncertainty period but holy cow...this is happening. I can't even begin to grasp the reality of it all. One day at a time over here. 

Beta is early in the morning and I hope that tomorrow isn't like most days where I don't hear anything until past 3 pm. Luckily Tuesdays are my busiest days of the week so my day should go by faster.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

7dp5dt: Sittin' Round Waiting on Two Pink Lines

Have you ever heard the song Two Pink Lines from Eric Church? Well, that's what song has been in my head all day. The song isn't the tale of an IFers journey to pregnancy but that line completely summarizes what I've been doing. 

And you know what? 

I saw them!



Holy crap! The Easter Bunny was fabulous this year. We've been calling the embies we put back "the bunnies" so we'll continue to call them that until we know any more info. I'll most likely test with another FRER tomorrow morning and then beta is Tuesday am. 

This is surreal. I am pregnant. Please stick around little bunnies!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blood draw today - Level check

This morning I had a level check on my estradiol and progesterone. The progesterone came back fine at 46 (they wanted above 40) but the estradiol came back "lower than the dr wants" at 372. I was rushed on the phone due to a conference call about to start so I forgot to ask what he wanted it to be at or above. So they had me increase my Estrace from 3x a day to 4x a day. 

Dr. Google has not reassured me one bit that I shouldn't be concerned. I cried a bit when I got home. Why, not entirely sure but I'm guessing stress and hormones and anxiety over failure is a sure bet. It's hard to not dwell on the negative. I posed the question about what others E2 levels were at 4dp5dt and the response was extremely varied. One girl thought her dr wanted it above 400. Another was at 210 the day she had her positive beta. Others never were tested. So basically, it's hard to know what to be concerned with or not. I hate this wait.

I know that it would still be extremely early but I had fleeting thoughts of testing on Sunday (Easter) at 7dp5dt. But I'm not sure that's a smart idea. We are not going home to Chicago for the holiday. This will be the very first (main) holiday we have not gone home or had family up for in the 6.5 yrs we've been up here. It will be weird for sure. 

I am still having cramping fairly often and I still contribute that to the Crinone. Other than that, nothing to really report. 

5 days till beta. Lord help me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The waiting is the hardest part

Not that anyone who has been in the 2ww doesn't already know that. 

Yesterday I was convinced this didn't work. I was just in a funk all day. 

Today I have been cramping fairly often. Of course that means absolutely jack and shit so...

In other news, we had 7 make it to freeze! So we do have frosties as backups should this not work out. That is a lot of piece of mind for us. 

I just figured something else out about beta day. It is also the opening of registration for Disney Marathon Weekend. The half is what I am going to be doing should I not be pregnant. I knew that it would be close to beta but I didn't know it would actually be on beta day. Lol, talk about a fork in the road. 

So here is where I just scream. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I am not a patient person. This sucks. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Transfer is Complete


Well, the flooding didn't keep us away from IL this morning, thank goodness. We left with plenty of time and got down there with about an hour to spare. Of course I had to drink the required 24-32 oz of water beforehand so I was dying to pee, lol. That was the worst part of the whole procedure, I swear. Since we were so early, we got to sit around and watch a episode of DC Cupcakes, lol. I don't know why I decided to start streaming that show but I think I was craving some damn cupcakes so...it fit. Anyway, I'm already losing focus.

Finally it was our time to head into the room and they looked at my bladder - and they couldn't believe I was walking it is so full. I was like, "Um, I told y'all I was dying over here!" They had me empty out two full cups before we got started and I managed to give myself a shower from the sick faucet. I walked out of the bathroom draped in the privacy sheets and my shirt covered in water, laughing. Apparently lots of people like to fight with that faucet. At least I'm not the only one I suppose. Pure comedy.

As they got everything finalized and me comfortable, Dr. S came in and we gave him our decision to to transfer 2. He didn't hesitate at all with our decision which was very relieving. He took a final look at the two best embies, both Grade A, and said that they looked fantastic and we got underway. (For those that might need a little further explanation on the grading of embryos, this article was helpful to me: Understanding Embryo Grading )

I love that K got to be in the room with me and we got to see them "suck" up the little embies and then deposit them in my uterus on the screens. It's just so cool and so awe-inspiring that knowledge and science (and who knows, maybe some Spiritual Guide that I still ask for guidance from) has given us the tools to do these procedures. 

After we were done, they started the freezing process on the remaining blasts. He had warned us that it doesn't mean that all will make it to freeze and that I should get a call on Tuesday to let us know how many we have frozen. Before I was even moved onto the gurney the lab worker let us know that they had already started to freeze! I *think* I heard her say that 5-6 were already in the process so that is awesome! I'm so happy to know that we will have those as a backup if this doesn't work. 

After I got moved back into our little private waiting alcove, I had to lay around for an hour before being discharged. While I was laying there I sent out a few text updates and relaxed. I let myself daydream about the fact that I could potentially have just started a pregnancy. K keeps saying that as far as he is concerned, until the beta says otherwise, I'm pregnant. I will take his optimistic outlook. In my daydreaming I actually had a brief "glimpse" into us playing with our kids. I don't normally allow my mind to get that far into a daydream so it was a bit surprising for me. Maybe it's a sign. Who knows. I'm a signs person. This will be a long wait, lol.

They gave me my updated drugs instructions (Estrace 3x a day, 2 8mg tubes of Crinone daily, 2.4cc PIO daily, 1 baby aspirin) and set my beta date for Tuesday, April 22nd. That will be 9dp5dt. I'm still unsure if I will be a POASer or not this go around. I always have in the past. Since I really don't think I will be able to take beta day off from work because Tuesdays are my busiest days (and I was just off last Tuesday for ER), I think I might need to prepare myself for potential sadness. I can't be busting out in tears at my desk if I can help it...I'm not set one way or the other and I have a week to figure it out so luckily nothing has to be decided yet. 

So that is my ET story! 

I'm PUPO ~ Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

On the eve of...forever after?

Tonight is ET Eve and I can't help but sit here and think about the incredibly huge weight that goes along with tonight. We went to dinner at the same place as we did on the eve of ER because I'm incredibly dumb/crazy superstitious and as we sat there I mentioned to K that this could be our last dinner truly as only a couple. Tomorrow changes everything. Obviously transfers don't guarantee implantation - this fact is something I've been constantly telling people lately - and implantation doesn't happen instantaneously but in theory, it could all change at 10:30 in the morning. 

Or it could fail. That possibility is very much a possibility. A huge, enormous, terrifying possibility. I don't know how we will work through a failure. 

On top of all of the normal stress that comes along with all of this, today is the first true spring storm and soaking all weekend rain. It's been raining since 9am and it is flooding everywhere - including our backyard and the main road to get out of our teeny neighborhood of houses. When we were going to dinner tonight we had to wade through a washed out road. Luckily a jeep was in front of us and made the wake, otherwise we never would have attempted it. There is one other way to get around and back to our house but it was just about under water too so we have to hope that the water recedes by 7 am when we're leaving. The rain isn't supposed to stop until tomorrow afternoon but at least the heavier thunderstorms should be out of the area by about 10 pm tonight. Fingers crossed. 

Well, I am going to sign off and try to clear my mind of everything for the rest of the night. I'm cheering on my beloved Blackhawks in their final game of the regular season right now so at least they can help me focus on something else. I'll do my best to update tomorrow on how everything went. K is going to make sure that I adhere strictly to my bed rest orders. I believe it shall be a Netflix day for me. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fert Report is in

I have to share the fact that I have my old softball number tattooed on me. Of course I chose the ever so "traditional" tramp stamp location but the point is that I have my favorite number on me. That number is 17.

And that is the number that fertilized! Out of the 21 they retrieved, 20 were mature. And then the ICSI must have done the trick and we are looking at 17 fertilized. We will do a 5 day transfer and that will be this Sunday. I will get a call on Saturday to get my final instructions and to get the time slot for transfer. Kevin and I are both on the same page and we want to transfer two. The guidelines for my doctor says 1-2 but since we will not be able to do a FET until about a year from now (provided this, heaven forbid, fails) so I'd rather do two right away.

Tonight was also my first night of PIO - progesterone in oil. Yeah...not really a huge fan of that one. Of course I'm going to do it if it means that I get to be pregnant and take home a baby (or two) so... :-)

So that is my update. I'm very much relieved and I hope that the little embies grow strong over the next few days. Luckily some of the "waiting" days are weekend days so I know that will help to pass the time. 

Thank you so very much to all of you that are commenting, texting, posting in various forums with me. Your support through this process has not gone unnoticed nor is it unappreciated. XOXO

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ER - Complete

You know how there is never a rhyme or reason to infertility? Today proves that once again. The good - they were able to retrieve 21 eggs from me today. Woo-hoo! The bad - after a million prior semen analyses with K's numbers being completely fine, his morph tanked today. Go figure. So while we didn't have any indication that we would have a need for ICSI - or more importantly to have to shell out another $1500 - we found ourselves with that decision. Obviously we gave them the go ahead to proceed with ICSI and knowing that many of my fellow IFers use this process and have better results gives us some peace of mind that the money is well worth it. Damn you out of pocket expenses!

I've been resting all day and I plan on going to work tomorrow but honestly, I have no desire to. On a pain and comfort scale I would have to say the pain is manageable at a 5 but the uncomfortableness is more around a 7, sometimes 8. I think it might be a morning decision to see how I feel. I slept for an hour in the car on the way home and then for another 2.5 hours once we got home. 

So now we wait and see what the fert report will tell us tomorrow. I hope that we will be able to do a 5DT as that would put it on Sunday and be one less day to have to take off from work.

Now I think I will go take the pills I need to take and chug this powerade. Night everyone! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Triggered and set for ER

Well, ER is finally upon us. I did my first two shots of Lupron last night at 8 pm (at a gas station north of Milwaukee no less, lol) and went in for my final blood draw and then did the final two Lupron triggers. I'm exhausted from a busy weekend and well, the last six and a half years of infertility. I can only hope and pray (and beg) for this to work. 

I'm laying here in bed at 7:30 after a big "last meal" so to speak lol. I just want to go to bed but I'm getting that unfortunate wired feeling. We have to be down in IL at 7:30 which means that we have to leave here no later than 5 am. Yikes. If I didn't want to make sure all the girly parts are as fresh as possible I would take a shower tonight instead of in the morning but freshness wins on this one.

Anyway, thanks for all of you that are following along and cheering me on. I'm certain I couldn't have made it this far without all of you. Send my ovaries some last minute motivational speeches if you feel like it, lol.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Daily Update - Saturday

Today was the bridal shower for my SIL and I have to say I think it was a great time. Well, at least I hope so. And if not, meh oh well. I am so happy to have it over though. I just don't need to have the constant battles I've been having with one of the bridesmaids. 

I had a huge moment of sticker shock this morning after my monitoring appointment at AFC. My blood draws and u/s are more around $300 a pop. Today's session was $475. I about cried. I was not expecting that. And of course I have to pay for the same thing tomorrow morning for that monitoring appointment. Sigh. I don't think I can honestly think about what this is actually going to end up costing in total because it would make me sick to my stomach and stress me out. 

Yesterday's monitoring had my left ovary floating way up into its hiding spot. It was hard to get a complete look at it. When I got the call I was in the car so I was unable to write down my stats. The bigger follies pretty much stayed the same but on the right ovary, I went from having 16 follies measuring 8mm or smaller, to having 24 of that size. Dr bumped my follistim to 266 iu. HCG stayed at 9 units and the ganirelix at 10pm yet again. 

So back to today's appointment now. Today was the first time it was actually painful and uncomfortable to have the ultrasound done. Multiple times she had to have me press down hard while she got a look. Some of the times it literally made me gasp and groan in pain. Those suckers must be sore and very enlarged with all the growing they are doing. 

Of course when they called I was in the middle of the shower but I luckily saw the call come through and grabbed it. She mentioned to me that Tuesday is very probable for ER. Follistim dosage is lowered to 225iu while hcg and ganirelix stays the same. 

I am super tired and have my feet up right now while I watch the Badgers/Kentucky game. On Wisconsin!!! I have a "late" appointment time tomorrow....7:50. One day soon these appointments will be a thing of the past, hopefully well worth it. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Daily Update - Thursday

Today's stats:
Estrogen - 1046
Progesterone -.5 which she said was fine
Right ovary - (1) 14 mm, (3) 11mm, (3) 10mm, (16) smaller than 10
Left ovary - (1) 12mm, (5) 11mm, (2) 10mm, (15) smaller than 10

Meds bump to 250iu of Follistim, 9 units of low-dose HCG, 10pm Ganirelix shot.

I was very nauseous after my big meals of lunch and dinner tonight. I ended up throwing up once. I don't think it was completely the meds fault because my lunch was a much bigger, richer, heavier meal than I have had in a long, long time. I'm beginning to feel the bloating but every morning I've weighed the exact same as the previous day. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Daily Update

Things are trucking along, dare I say it, well. 

Stats:
Estrogen = 835
Left Ovary = two 9mm follies plus 19 smaller (8mm or less) ones
Right Ovary = three 10 mm follies plus 20 smaller ones

Tonight's dosage was 225iu of Follistim PLUS I am now adding 8 units of the low dose HCG and also starting the Ganirelix tonight at 10 pm. 

Eeek! I'm so anxious and excited to get to ER. I still can't believe that we're here in the middle of stims finally. 

In other non-related news, we had the appraisal done today and they said to expect the results in 2-3 days so that would be either Friday or Monday. It would be nice to know on Friday because I will be doing my monitoring at AFC on Saturday and Sunday so they will be able to better guestimate the ER date by then and with that info plus the closing date, I can start to formulate my "calling in sick" plan for work. My boss still does not know about the IVF but he does with the closing so that works out well for me.

The bridal shower is this Saturday and I will be so incredibly happy to not have to deal with one of the bridesmaids anymore. You know those people that somehow others think is funny and awesome but you sit there side-eyeing the shit out of them and wondering how you ever got stuck having to hang out with them? Yeah that's where I'm at. Plus she thinks she's running the show with the shower and she's not so it's annoying. Whatever. 1 more month and I can delete her from my fb friends and won't have to interact with her. I can do this. I've perfected my "you don't phase me" smile by now. 

Well, until tomorrow. Have a great night!