Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beta #2

It doubled. And then some.

3,261.

That's a doubling time of around 35 hours, I think. I'm done with betas and my first ultrasound is scheduled for March 11.  The nurse said I will be 6 weeks then (I really need to get a good pregnancy app so I can figure all this stuff out).  I'm worried it will be too soon to see a heartbeat but, I'm dying to know how many are in there so I'm not going to question it.  I don't even think I can look for an OB/GYN until I know if it's multiples or not.

So now we wait again. And try not to completely freak out.

This is all so surreal. I am still in shock.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beta #1

1,235.

 What the?!?






 I am most definitely pregnant. That explains why that 2nd line was so dark and appeared so quickly.

Aramis, you might be right about there being a meellion beellion babies in there.

According to betabase, that number seems high for a singletontwins, or even tripletsWe are freaking out a little at the idea of triplets, though we knew we were taking a chance by transferring 3 embryos (and I did proclaim 3 to be my new lucky number). With our previous failures and my age, we figured it was pretty unlikely.  Though SH has pointed out that we have, indeed, paid for 3 babies at this point so it only seems fair that we should get 3. 

 I go back Wednesday for beta #2.  

Wow. 

 It feels so surreal to even be typing those words.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

OMG

So this happened...


  


I think I have finally stopped shaking but, I am still in a little bit of shock. And that is one dark fucking line! 


I know we still have many hurdles to get over so I am cautiously optimistic. SH is being very cautious and doesn't want to get excited until we get a good beta number. (He's already looked up what it should be. I love that.) I told him we deserve to be excited about this. Even if the excitement only lasts a few days or a few weeks. I am so glad my beta is tomorrow. This may be the first time I have ever been excited to get blood drawn.

Holy crap! This may actually be happening!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

11dp3dt

I thought I would come here and write something thoughtful and interesting. But, my mind is a blank. This is all I can think right now...







Tomorrow I will have my answer.




Thursday, February 21, 2013

February ICLW

Hello to everyone visiting from ICLW! Welcome to my little corner of blogland.

One of these days I will write all this down in an "about" page. Until then here is a brief recap:
I have been trying to get knocked up for about 4 1/2 years now. I have never seen a positive pee stick. We finally had to bring in the big guns - skipped right over medicated cycles and IUI and went straight to IVF. With both MFI and DOR it really is our best shot. We had 2 failed rounds of IVF last year. I am currently in the 2WW of our 3rd IVF. We transferred three Day 3 embryos on 2/12 and are really hoping at least one of them sticks. Beta is Monday and I am trying to stop myself from peeing on any sort of stick until Sunday. This 2WW is strangely flying by and I'm not sure I'm ready to find out the results.

Stick around. Leave some comments. I love meeting new bloggy friends!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Halfway

I am halfway through the 2WW. This first week has gone by surprisingly fast. We'll see how the 2nd week goes. I am doing a pretty good job of ignoring any physical symptoms. I know it's just the progesterone talking. My sore boobs and cramps are not to be taken seriously.

The more I think about it, the more I would prefer this wait to drag on a little longer. I know that probably seems weird, but I am not ready for this to be over. As long as I am in the 2WW there is hope. There is possibility. I think I am expecting this not to work because that's what experience has taught me.  Why should this time be any different? So I would like to live in this in-between place where anything is possible for just a little longer. During my last IVF, my plan was to test as soon as I could get away with it. That way if it was negative I could start to deal with it and figure out what to do next. This time I think I will wait as long as possible. I won't test until Sunday, the day before my beta. I want to keep hope and possibility alive as long as possible. Of course, I may feel totally different in a few days. I could wake up Friday morning and in a groggy stupor might just decide I have to know immediately. 

Also, I really want to thank all of you for your comments and support throughout this whole thing. All your positive thoughts and hope for me have meant a lot. Really and truly. It's been amazing finding this community of women who get what I am going through. I only wish I had found it sooner!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

We are going to be terrible parents

Ok, we aren't, really.  I don't actually believe that. But, a funny thing happened this weekend...

A friend of SH's, who lives about 2 hours away, decided to come spend Saturday night at our house with his 2 1/2 year old daughter. Friend's wife is trying to finish her PhD dissertation and he wanted to give her some kid-free space to get some work done. Now, having this particular child come to visit doesn't bother me or stress me out. She is too adorable. You can't help but smile when she's around so I was happy for the distraction. After they got to our house on Saturday, Friend had to get something from the car so asked if we could keep an eye on Child. Of course. No problem. SH takes her over to pet one of our cats and before I know what's happening, Child is in hysterical tears. The cat got a little feisty and wanted to play and when this particular cat wants to play she sometimes bites. And Child got bitten. She wasn't hurt, just startled. She was crying so hard, she couldn't even get words out to tell us where she was hurt. I felt bad that I couldn't pick her up thanks to my RE's crazy restrictions on lifting anything over 5 pounds. Thankfully, SH came in to save the day and comforted her (*swoon*). She was fine and was even petting that same cat today so it wasn't even bad enough for her to be scared of the cat.  Friend, of course, wasn't concerned. They have 3 cats and a huge dog so she gets swatted at and knocked over all the time. But, I still felt bad.

I know it's not a big deal. Kids cry. A lot. We were even joking about it today. "Remember when we made that kid cry?" But the fact remains...we were left alone with a toddler and had her in tears within 2 minutes.


The vicious child biting cat

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

I'll start by saying that I am not really a big fan of Valentine's Day. Never really have been.  The whole thing seems so forced and marketed to me. I'm kind of a cynic. Ok, not kind of, I am a cynic.



When SH and I were getting ready to spend our first Valentine's Day together, I told him I didn't want to do anything special. I didn't need to go out to a fancy dinner or make a big deal out of it.  That year it happened to fall on a weekday and we were both working long hours so it we decided to just hang out together at his place. I got off work earlier than him and was just waiting for him to call and let me know he was home so I could head over. He kept calling to tell me he was working late but he would leave as soon as he could. Ok. No big deal. Since I don't care about Valentine's Day I certainly didn't think my night would be ruined or anything. Finally, he calls to tell me he is home and to come over. I walked into his apartment and he had set up his kitchen table in the middle of the living room with candles and candy hearts scattered all over. He got my absolute favorite candy (Cad.bury Dairy Milk. The kind from the UK, not the crap they make in the US) and broke it up into squares and made a heart on my plate. He got pizza from our favorite pizza place. So all that time he kept telling me he was still at work he was really getting his apartment ready. It was very sweet and romantic. No one had ever done anything like that for me before. I softened a little on my disdain for the holiday. He also got me a necklace from Tiffany. I never thought I would be the girl to get excited over a blue box. But I was so excited to get that blue box.

Since then it has been our tradition to stay home and get pizza on Valentine's Day. SH usually sends me flowers but we don't really do gifts anymore. Six years ago (and 6 years after that first Valentine's Day), I was working with a woman who wanted nothing more than to be proposed to that Valentine's Day. She talked about it for weeks.* I just kept thinking how cliche that was. That day I got flowers, as usual, from SH. Then I got more flowers. And more flowers. One bouquet of flowers didn't even make it to me because it got delivered to the wrong place yet I was still just surrounded by flowers (SH was upset that his whole plan was ruined because of that). The cards all had important dates - my birthday and the day we met among others. The last read " February 14, 2007 -?" By then I, and everyone in my office, knew I was getting proposed to that night. Until that moment, I honestly had no idea he was planning this. I got home that night to find our apartment transformed into a re-creation of our first Valentine's Day. Candles, candy hearts, Dairy Milk and pizza. Only when I opened the pizza box, it was filled with wedding magazines and a little black box. He even went to the original pizza place, which we now live 30 minutes from, just to get the right box. I loved it. Later, I asked him why he would do it on Valentine's when he knows I don't like the holiday. He said he decided on that first Valentine's Day, because my eyes lit up and I was so happy, that if he were ever to propose to me that that's how he would do it. 

So now we don't really celebrate Valentine's Day as much as our anniversary of getting engaged. We still have pizza and I still get flowers but nothing pink or red or covered in hearts is ever purchased. This year, in an attempt to somewhat stay true to our fertility diet, we are making our own pizza. That way we can have whole wheat dough and organic cheese.  Since I am technically still on bed rest, it will be up to SH and he has decided to make the dough from scratch. This will definitely be interesting.

* She did not get engaged that day. She was very bitter about the fact that I did. Her boyfriend was an atheist and she wanted to raise her kids catholic. It would have never worked.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lucky number 3

I have a lot of 3's in this cycle.  It's my 3rd IVF. I have 3 embryos.  I transferred on day 3.  So, of course I started wondering (hoping?) if 3 is a lucky number.



According to Wikipedia, in Chinese culture, the number 3 sounds similar to the character for "birth" , and is considered a lucky number.

Um. That is kind of perfect. I'll take it.





Day 3 transfer

We ended up with 3 embryos. I am disappointed. I thought we would have a couple more. I hoped we would have a couple more. I know I only need one good embryo to stick but it's nice to have a cushion. It's nice to have backups.

On the bright side, they are 3 good embryos. Dr. N wanted us to try for a day 5 transfer because they were growing so well. We have never done that. We have never seen if any of them make it to blastocyst. Logically and scientifically, I know he is right. We should see if the problem is the embryo not growing or if it's an implantation issue. Emotionally, I can't take the risk of having nothing to transfer. I can't go through an entire IVF cycle and pay all that money only to have zero chance of becoming pregnant. With only 3 embryos it just felt like too high of a risk. I can't afford to lose any in the lab. So we opted to do a Day 3 transfer yesterday.  And we transferred all of them to give them all a fighting chance.  We had two 3-day embryos (8-cell and 6-cell) and one 2-day embryo (4-cell) because of the late fertilization. So now I am PUPO with triplets.

The transfer itself was the best I have had so far. I was already relaxed because of the valium and acupuncture, but SH was amazing and made me pretty much forget what it was we were doing there. I was talking to him about how I couldn't turn off my brain. How I just can't focus even on the meditation program I have been listening to. So he started talking about our wedding. We got married in Mexico with just our immediate family with us. It was a really fun week in a house we rented on the beach. Our wedding was at sunset on the beach.


He said to think of the sand under my feet whenever I need to slow down my brain. So we just started reminiscing about all the things we did during that week and at that moment nothing else was happening in the world. I was truly relaxed when Dr. N finally came in. The transfer itself was quick and for once my bladder wasn't overly full to the point I thought I would pee right there on the table. While I was laying there with my legs up after the transfer, SH started talking about other trips we had taken. We just talked and laughed the whole time. I didn't worry for one second while we were at the clinic. SH was worried about me laughing, though. I think he was worried about me laughing the embryos right out. But then I told him it's actually a good thing. There was actually a study saying laughing after an IVF transfer can improve chances of pregnancy.

So now I am home on day 2 of 3 days of bed rest. I was instructed to lay flat on my back in bed on the day of transfer (only getting up to use the bathroom) and the following 2 days are more modified "couch" rest. I can sit up but should remain reclining as much as possible. The problem with this is it kills my back! I slept terribly last night because my back hurt so much and I can't take any advil to help it. I am not sure how necessary this all is, but SH is making me take it seriously. He won't let me get up for anything. Luckily, he's a really great caretaker and gets me anything I need.

Here are some of my other 2 Week Wait rules:
  • No baths or submerging in any kind of water. Showers only.
  • Avoid using stomach muscles (um, easier said than done)
  • No sex or orgasm
  • No exercise
  • Don't lift anything over 5 pounds (also easier said than done)
  • Don't stand for prolonged periods of time
My doctor is pretty conservative and says the above rules should be followed for the first trimester. He also recommends not traveling during the first trimester. If I actually get pregnant, I will definitely be getting a 2nd opinion on some of these. I think I'll be picking an OB/GYN who is a bit more lenient than this.

So now I wait. Beta is on February 25. That feels like an eternity, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fertilization report

The retrieval went great yesterday. I had to be at the clinic at 6:45 in the morning (!) and was home by 9:00. My pre-op instructions told me to bring socks. So I went with these:



I was a little nervous about getting the IV put in. I have had a couple really bad experiences with nurses trying to get the IV in and not being able to find a good vein and having to poke and prod me until they finally figure it out. In the meantime, I nearly passed out while they were torturing my poor arm. Thankfully, I have had much better experiences at my RE's office. I had the same anesthesiologist for my first 2 IVF's and he is amazing. He had that IV in my arm before I even realized he had started. Quick and painless! Imagine my dismay when I found out he is out of town and I would have a new anesthesiologist this time.  It wasn't quite as painless but it was still quick. Once I got through that it was just a nice medically induced slumber.

When I woke up, Dr. N told me he got 6 eggs. Yay. 2 excellent, 3 good and 1 poor quality. I assume they were all mature. Normally he just tells me how many mature eggs he got. I have never been told about egg quality before. Just embryo quality. (SH said he was told the egg quality in our previous cycles. I guess he never thought to mention it to me.) Overall, pretty good news. I've been a little sore but not so bad that I have had to take any pain medication.

This morning Dr. N called with our fertilization report.  According to him, the eggs not only have to be mature but have to have a polar body that allows them to be fertilized. Without this polar body, no fertilization. Apparently, 3 of our eggs had the polar body yesterday and were ICSI'd. 2 fertilized. The other 3 eggs developed this polar body later and were ICSI'd today. I'll find out tomorrow how many of those actually fertilized. Dr. N said there is a lower fertilization rate for these eggs that are "late" so realistically he expects maybe 1 to fertilize. So, as of now I only have 2 fertilized with the possibility of up to 3 more, but probably only 1 more. Not such great news. With these numbers I will definitely be doing a 3 day transfer.

I have to admit, I was a little over confident about this part. During our last cycle we had 100% fertilization so I wasn't worried about it this time. I was more worried about the embryos continuing to grow and eventually implant. So, I was expecting a call saying 5 eggs had fertilized (I figured the poor quality egg wouldn't make it). Needless to say, I am pretty disappointed. I am trying not to get too discouraged, though. I have let go of any hope of having any to freeze, but I am still trying to have hope that I can (will?) get pregnant this cycle.

I am trying to stay relaxed before the transfer, so today I got a massage then SH and I got tacos at our current favorite taco place. It's a nice day out so we walked there with the dog and sat outside. It's helped to keep me from obsessing over my embryos. Or whether I should have stimmed an extra day. Or whether everything I have done over the last few months made any sort of difference. Or...you get the idea.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tempted

Now that I am chock full of hCG, I am tempted to take a pregnancy test. Just to see what it's like to get a positive one.

Then I can do this:




Thursday, February 7, 2013

Trigger happy

I had my last monitoring appointment this morning and my eggs are ripe and ready to go. I trigger tonight and retrieval is bright and early Saturday morning. They only measured 5 follicles today so we'll see how many I end up with. I had the tech who doesn't search quite as hard for any that might be hiding.  I looked back at my last cycle and at my last monitoring appointment I only had 4 follicles but they got 5 eggs.  Hopefully, some are just being camera shy.

I am still feeling pretty emotionally numb and I think, for now, that's ok. I want to avoid being on too much of an emotional roller coaster and this seems to be my way of doing that.  My goal for this cycle has been to be more relaxed. Physically, I am able to do that. I am an expert at laying around and relaxing. Mentally is a whole different ball game. I cannot turn my brain off. Or even slow it down. I think that's why I haven't been posting much. My mind has been racing and I can't seem to organize my thoughts and concentrate on one thing. I have been listening to the Circle Bloom IVF meditation program but it hasn't been going so well. Each segment is only about 15 minutes long and I have yet to make it through without my mind totally wandering to something else or falling asleep. Sometimes I'll even rewind and start over and I just can't focus. I'll keep at it, though.  Maybe I'll get the hang of it eventually.

In the meantime, I am going to schedule a massage for the time between retrieval and transfer. I have books I can read during the 2WW. I still have a couple movies to see before the Oscars. Distraction is going to be my best friend in the coming weeks.





Monday, February 4, 2013

Lazy ovary

Apparently, my right ovary thinks she is on some sort of drug fueled vacation. There were 2 follicles on the right, now there is only 1.  Meanwhile, I have 5 growing on the left. She is going to get a stern talking to tonight.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sigh of relief

I had an ultrasound this morning to make sure I am responding to the drugs and don't have a lead follicle. Good news! I have 7 follies all growing at roughly the same rate. This is by far the best I have ever done. I still have a long road ahead and don't want to get ahead of myself (because anything can still happen), but this is a really great start. So happy with my ovaries for paying attention and responding to the drugs. At this point, they can't really be trusted to always do that. This makes me a little more positive about this cycle. Cautiously positive.

I am especially relieved to get good news today because I am going to a baby shower this afternoon. It could possibly be the worst idea ever for a woman pumped full of fertility drugs to go to a baby shower, but I am actually feeling okay about it. For now. I am currently trying to come up with an excuse if I need to leave early. The baby shower is for my cousin (my third cousin to have a baby just in the last year. ugh.) and my aunt who is hosting the shower is fully aware of our IF and what we have been dealing with. She knows because she was never able to have children herself so I have felt comfortable talking to her about it even though the rest of my extended family doesn't know. So if I need to leave quietly out of a side door unnoticed, she'll understand. Thankfully, it's a co-ed shower so SH will be there with me. Much to his disappointment. Hey, why should I be the only one who has to suffer through stupid games and oohing and aahing over tiny clothes?

Friday, February 1, 2013

And so it begins

It's official! IVF #3 is a go!

I had my baseline ultrasound yesterday and I am cyst-free. Unfortunately, I only had 7 follicles. Last month I had a record high of 9 and was hoping they would all stick around. Oh well. 7 is still the most I have started with in any IVF cycle.

After seeing Dr. N, I had to go pick up all the meds. We have a specialty pharmacy in LA so I don't have to order my meds ahead of time. I just pick them up as I need them. It's takes some stress off of me having to micromanage my meds to make sure I don't run out. The best part is that this pharmacy is near UC.LA. We don't go there very often because parking is terrible and hanging out around college kids just makes me feel old. But SH's favorite pizza place is there and there is the most amazing cookie place (delicious cookies that are 35 cents each!). So whenever we need to pick up more meds we treat ourselves to one or the other (sometimes both) since it's the only time we are in that neighborhood. Yesterday we had pizza. When I go for refills I will pick up some cookies.

I started the injections as soon as I got home from the pharmacy. Back to the old routine again. Retrieval is tentatively scheduled for February 9 and transfer is Valentine's Day (if I make it to a 5 day transfer).  After so much waiting, it is all starting to happen so fast.

I am feeling strangely numb about the whole thing. I need to find some hope in all of this. We were both excited to start last month and the delay knocked us down a bit and both of us seem to have this feeling of doom hanging over us. SH commented that it felt like we were on a death march as we were walking up to the pharmacy. So we are both going to make an effort to find some positive and hope. He is much better at that than I am. I think I just need to get through my first monitoring appointment and know that I am responding to the drugs and then maybe I can embrace this cycle a little more.  I need to allow myself to have hope because, if it fails, it's hurts just as much whether I expect the best or the worst so I might as well spend some time imagining the best.