Wednesday, December 29, 2010

two years later...

On Monday, MBL and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going to IK.EA with my mom and my sister and then having Giorda.nos pizza with the rest of my family. Not exactly what I envisioned, but it was quite perfect. I nearly burst into tears at IK.EA realizing that I didn't care whether or not MBL and I had the perfect, most romantic anniversary celebration because I currently have everything I ever wanted. I have a husband for whom I am more crazy than when I married him two years ago. And the one thing that escaped us for 21 months of that marriage is now growing inside me. We began TTC the day we got married. We went into our honeymoon believing that in a few short weeks or months we would get a positive test and our lives would change forever. Our honeymoon was blissful as we looked forward to the rest of our lives together, envisioning lots and lots of babies. We celebrated our first anniversary with much of the same excitement...wondering if our first IVF had worked. A few days later we were delivered the crushing news that it had not. I know I've mentioned it before, but I really can't believe how far we've come. This time last year was so difficult, so full of pain and sadness. I really didn't know if I was going to make it. I didn't know if our dreams of becoming parents would ever come true. And now I sit here feeling occasional pops, knowing that inside of me is our daughter.

Two years is a long time. I would never wish what we went through to get here on anyone, but as I reflect on my marriage I realize that MBL and I allowed our infertility to bring us closer together. It was not easy and at times we fought harder than I ever imagined we would, but eventually we realized that we needed to work together and lean on each other in order to make it through in one piece. And it worked. And now I wake up each morning so grateful for the man lying next to me...even if he has stolen all of the covers and has crept over to my side of the bed. I was reminded of how far we've come when our 2.5/3 hour trip home from my parents turned into a 9 hour trip due to our car essentially breaking down from the weight of our IK.EA treasures. Instead of flipping out at each other and getting cranky about the situation, we took silly pictures as we waited in a random parking lot and enjoyed the scenery on the back roads as we drove the last 50 miles home going only 25 miles per hour. We took our lemons and we made lemonade. I can only imagine that our future will again hold trials, troubles, and heartache; but I know now that MBL and I can make it through. And that? That knowledge? Is the best gift I ever could have asked for.

p.s. Sorry to got all emo in this post...I have apparently entered the super sensitive to everything part of pregnancy (case and point? I nearly cried over how badly I wanted Ta.co Be.ll for dinner).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I did it.

At the beginning of our journey I *knew* that I would want to announce our pregnancy on face.book. I have a lot of friends with whom I no longer have regular contact, but I love seeing their updates and so I thought it would only make sense to keep others updated on the most important goings on in my life. Something about taking 21 months to get pregnant, though, changed me. When I actually got pregnant, posting it on face.book was the farthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to make it through each day still pregnant. Even when I hit 12/13 weeks, which supposedly places you in the "safe" zone to tell people, we still hadn't told some of our family...so of course I wasn't going to post anything about it! I then started debating whether or not I even wanted to post anything or if I should just wait until I actually had the baby and then just post pictures of her. What stopped me from waiting until birth was the fact that when two of my cousins were pregnant last year, they never posted anything about their pregnancies and that actually bothered me more than any pregnancy announcement could have. I felt like they had been given an incredible gift and, yet, they didn't want to document/share it with their friends and family. On the other hand, my other cousin who was also pregnant last year, often posted updates and pictures of her journey to motherhood and I actually enjoyed seeing her progress! I loved that she was so thrilled to be pregnant that she wanted to share it with her face.book friends. With that in mind, I announced my pregnancy at 18w1d after an ultrasound on Tuesday showed that all is well with the baby and that she is indeed a little GIRL (3 lines and all)! I posted the following picture with the status "It's official :). MBL and I will be adding a daughter to our family in may!"


The timing felt just right and I am glad I posted something. We are beyond thrilled to be pregnant and I want people to see how excited we are. Plus, I have so few friends who are married and none of them are trying to get pregnant...so, I'm hoping my announcement didn't sting for anyone who read it.

In other news, I have "officially" been pregnant for 101 days!! Wowza. That's a long time and I have even longer to go. It was 101 days ago, though, that we got the best call of our lives to say that my beta was positive and that we were officialy expecting!! I cannot believe that we have made it this far. MBL and I were talking about it this morning and he just teared up thinking about all of the disappointments we faced at this time last year and how we now have the much wanted baby bump. It's amazing, simply amazing...and everyday I wonder how we got so lucky.

Just in case I don't post again for a few days...MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!! I'm thinking of each of you and praying that the new year brings you the best present of all (a positive cycle, a healthy birth/baby, a completed adoption...whatever it is you are hoping for).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

one year later...

This date last year MBL and I nervously made our way to our RE's office for our egg retrieval for IVF #1. We were full of anticipation and excitement over what we were convinced would be our successful cycle (we were given a 70% chance of it working). We arrived early and actually beat all but one of the staff to the office. We ended up having to wait quite a bit and all the waiting only made me more anxious! I waited in the waiting room while MBL went off to give his sample. The retrieval went fairly well...the only thing I didn't particularly love was that the RE only uses "twilight" sedation (ver.sed) for his retrievals. So, I definitely felt part of it and let me just say that feeling a huge needle as it is lunged into your ovary is no fun. (the RE from our most recent cycle is my favorite because he uses real anaesthesia for his retrievals and the procedure room is all warm and toasty). After the retrieval, MBL and I went home and carried about our day as if what we were going through was no big deal. The next day we got the news that out of the 17 eggs retrieved, only 7 were mature and 6 fertilized with ICSI. It was not the news we were hoping for...but I shed a few tears and then decided 6 embies were better than none. When we went in the next day for our day two transfer, we were told that of our 6 embies only 3 remained. The doc was not willing to transfer more than two because he was convinced they were all going to stick and so he transferred two perfect four celled, non fragmented embryos and froze the remaining one. We waited the requisite one hour in recovery...MBL rubbed my feet and kissed my face and we smiled at the thought of our embryos snuggling in for the next nine months. On the way home he picked me up Chipo.tle (YUM!) and then I snuggled into our bed for the recommended bed rest with an armory of movies. After two days of bed rest we packed up our car and headed to Chic.ago for Christmas festivities. At my family Christmas party my (nosey) cousin asked me if MBL and were trying to have kids and I just smiled and said, "We would love to have kids!" all while imagining that I was pregnant at that very moment. Christmas was magical as MBL and I got to spend time with family and get to know my new nephews! On our anniversary we talked about what might be and how amazing it would be to have a baby in 2010. Our beta was scheduled for 12dpo (New Years Eve) and MBL and I were out running last minute errands when we finally got the news from the REs office that our beta was negative. I cried and cried and cried. I then proceeded to eat myself into oblivion until I collapsed into bed at 9pm. Happy freakin' new year is all I could think.

Now? One year later? I could just cry thinking of how different things are this year. Today did indeed involve ovarian pain, but it was not from a giant needle, instead it is being caused by the baby in my belly who thinks that laying right on top of my (swollen) ovaries is oh so fun. I will not spend my family Christmas distracted by thoughts of dividing embryos, instead I will reflect on what I wanted so badly last year and what I am so flippin' lucky to have this year. I will probably cry on Christmas and on our anniversary (which is just two days later) remembering all the emotions of last season. I just cannot believe it has already been a year and that what I dreamed would happen in 2010 actually did happen. I cannot believe that IVF actually works. Mostly I cannot believe that in the new year MBL and I will have a teeny tiny baby to put in the teeny tiny baby clothes we are slowly accumulating. While I would not wish infertility on anyone and while I wholeheartedly wish it did not exist, because of where I am now (temporarily off the IF rollercoaster), I can honestly say that I do not know that I would have appreciated every little thing about this pregnancy if it weren't for all that we went through to get here. There are nights where MBL and I are just in awe of the bump I am sporting and all we can muster is, "Can you believe there's a baby in there?" No, we cannot believe it. And, no, we cannot believe that we are actually going to get to be parents. It's something so many people take for granted, and yet, because of what we have gone through, I am sure that every little thing will leave us dumbfounded, amazed, and grateful.

I hope that the new year brings all of you exactly what you are wishing for and that your 2011 is better and brighter than your 2010!

**I should note that this time last year was not all doom and gloom due in large part to the fact that my sister and brother in law brought my nephews home from Rw.anda. I had no idea I could love another person as much as I love them. They are so amazing and I am so excited that our baby will get to grow up with them! MBL and I feel very lucky to be their aunt and uncle!

Friday, December 17, 2010

once an infertile...

Always an infertile! It's odd. Here I am 17.5 weeks pregnant and yet I still get nervous about pregnancy announcements. They're hard to hear no matter who makes them. Even though I have (temporarily) beaten the IF monster, I am still very much an infertile. It's part of who I am. Last evening at our small group Christmas party one of my friends announced that her brother and sister in law are pregnant and due in June. Yay? I know this particular friend quite well and have spent a decent amount of time with her family. I know that this sister in law has a long history of putting herself above everyone else in her life. For example? Last year over Christmas she had time off, but her husband did not. They live in Florida, but their family lives in Michigan. So, what did she do? Left her husband home alone over Christmas and New Years so that she could spend the holidays with her family. And the worst part is that they moved to Florida so that she could pursue her dream career! They are always fighting and not in a little tift kind of way, but putting each other down in front of others more times than not. They have a very tumultuous relationship that many have doubted would last. My friend said they decided to try in October and it worked! GAHHHHH!!! That news absolutely drives me insane. And I spent the rest of the night fuming on the inside. I'm sure this makes absolutely no sense to some people, and that's fine, I really can't fully explain why it stirred up such a negative emotion.

The whole fertility game still makes absolutely no sense to me. MBL and I have a great relationship, great jobs, and we always try to think of each other in the decisions we make. We are young, healthy and come from long lines of people who have conceived easily. And yet? It took us 21 months, TWO IVFs, and a butt ton of money to get this baby in my belly. And I know that we are very VERY lucky to be here. I guess I just wish I could make sense of it. Why are some people able to get pregnant from a roll in the hay while others have to go to great lengths for the same result? I guess part of my emotions related to the fertility thing come from the fact that I feel like there is still so much stigma related to infertility. Like somehow the people who get pregnant "naturally" are better than those of us who don't. And feeling that way, knowing that some people actually believe that, makes me incredibly self conscious. And I hate that. I want to break down the stigma related to infertility. Inform people of the real pain associated with it. I want people to see that in nearly all cases, the couples suffering from IF have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Infertility is like other diseases in that way, most people who get sick have done nothing to warrant their illness. And yet? Some people have a hard time viewing it that way. And that bothers me. Okay, now I'm just going on a tangent...

The basic point of my post? That infertility is sucky and stupid and the stigma of it is also sucky and stupid. The end.

Oh, and this is my 100th post!! YAY!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

feeling good!

First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I REALLY appreciated all your input. It made me feel better that others agreed that the care I am getting at my current OB just isn't a good fit for someone who is post infertility treatments. The more I spoke with MBL about it, the more I realized that staying with my current OB just is not the right decision for me. So, I immediately got on my healthcare providers website and looked up OBs who are associated with the hospital at which I would like to deliver and I got lucky! The doctor I went to when MBL and I were first starting to suspect fertility issues now accepts my insurance! The only reason I stopped going to her was that my husband's company switched insurances. I even wrote her a thank you note saying that I appreciated how she listened to my concerns and took them seriously. She is actually the one who first started me on Clo.mid and performed my HSG. And a bonus is that she tends to run on time! Woo hoo! No more 20-30 minute waits for me :).

I called the office Monday and explained my situation...that I am pregnant and would like to transfer from my current OB to that OB if she was accepting new patients. She is accepting new patients and our first appointment will basically be a new patient consultation. Ok. Fine by me. The only thing that bummed me out was that her first available appointment is not until December 21st. Not a terrible wait (2 weeks from when I called), but MBL and I are really hoping to get our level II scan done before the holidays. We want the scan done for piece of mind. We will be telling 50+ relatives on Christmas Eve and as silly as it sounds, I would just like confirmation that everything is hunky dorey. Oh, and I really want to make sure that our little girl is still all girl!! I didn't ask about the ultrasound when I initially called because I was feeling intimidated. So, I did the adult thing and asked MBL to make the phone call for me. He called the office, explained the situation and asked what our chances were of getting an ultrasound. The receptionist kindly explained that it would be up to the doctor whether or not we would get an ultrasound, but that they are usually able to get patients in rather quickly. MBL and I are hoping we are able to sweet talk the doc into at least letting us have a peek. The wait between now and then seems like forever, but I'm sure it will go by fast and everything will work out.

In other news, I think it was the stomach flu last week. I was still feeling sick on Saturday, so I'm guessing it wasn't food poisoning from Monday night. Up until Sunday morning I was beginning to think I was going to feel that way forever!! This week is the first week I have felt back to my "normal" (pre-pregnant) self. My energy has returned and the nausea has mostly gone away!! YAY! Oh, and I think I may be feeling the baby move...every once in a while it feels like my uterus is twitching/popping. I sure hope the movements start to become more regular and noticeable soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I think she may be a fertile...

So, today I had my 16 week OB appointment, even though I am only 15w3d. My OB appointments are absolutely nothing to write home about. I get weighed, have my blood pressure taken, wait 5-10 minutes, and then meet with the doctor. She listens to the baby's heartbeat and asks me if I have any questions and then leaves--oh and she's usually running no less than 15-20 minutes behind. She is very nice and chipper, but I kind of get the impression that she is likely a fertile. Now don't get me wrong, I think that some fertiles are able to relate to us IFers in amazing ways. I know people who have never struggled with infertility and yet have an uncanny ability to be sensitive and understanding to my worries/fears/feelings. My OB? Is not one of those people. And that is just plain old unfortunate. For example? From day one despite my history and despite my (understandable) fears, every time I have requested an ultrasound she has made a comment about how my insurance might not cover it and that I won't continue to get ultrasounds just because I am bleeding/scared/whatever (BTW--my insurance has covered every.single.one.). My problem with this is that I know of people whose OBs make a point to understand their fears and their historys. This past weekend my mom happened to remind me that my aunt had a m/c at 20 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. After the puke fest that was Monday night, I had pain and "secretions" Tuesday. That worried me and everything I read said it was worth mentioning to my OB. So I mentioned it. She basically said that the only way to measure cervical length is through an ultrasound and there is no way that insurance companies can cover them for all OB patients just to catch the one or two patients that have an incompetent cervix. Now, I'm not really that concerned that I have an incompetent cervix, but her comment really bothered me. She seems more concerned about steering me away from ultrasounds than listening to my fears or giving me medical reassurance regarding my symptoms.
And I think that her comment especially pissed me off because I know of at least two other OBs in the area who listen to their patients and give them ultrasounds (even if they're brief) whenever they need reassurance that everything is all right in there. As a matter of fact, one of these friends goes to an OB where they offer ultrasounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays to whomever may be worried or need a peek at their baby. This friend's husband just happens to work with MBL, so we have the SAME EXACT insurance and never once has an ultrasound claim been denied and she's had 6-7 of them already and she's only 24 weeks!! So, I know that my OB is fully of phooey!! Soooo, why do I continue to see my OB? Because she is one of the few FEMALE OBs that deliver at the hospital closest to our house. The dream OB office mentioned above...the one that offers ultrasounds twice a week? They do not deliver there. AHHHHH!!!
Oh, and I think I'm particularly cranky because I was hoping to see our baby, check my cervical length, and verify once and for all that it's a girl in there prior to or around Christmas when I'll be 18-19 weeks, BUT she is making me wait until I am over 20 weeks and that is the EARLIEST she'll let me come in. She even made a point to say she makes some patients wait until they're 22 weeks.
After writing all this down, I think I may just be too unhappy with the care I'm receiving with this OB. MBL thinks I should check out other doctors because he isn't impressed with her responses either. I don't go calling the nurse line at all hours of the day and I haven't had a diagnostic ultrasound since 8 weeks...I really don't think I'm being all that crazy (for a nervous infertile, anyway). So, I guess I need to start searching...

Oh, and in light of the fact that my next baby check isn't until January 6th, MBL and I went ahead and booked another ultrasound in Chic.ago for three days before Christmas when I'll be 18w2d, it'll only cost us $30 and we'll get another peek at the LO. Assuming I don't meet with a new OB prior to that, I will likely try to convince the tech to verify that my cervix isn't shrinking into oblivion.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

attachment

One of the things I've been wanting to blog about since Saturday is the issue of attachment. As someone who first went through infertility and then held her breath through the first trimester, I have had a really hard time with the reality of this pregnancy. I've heard the baby every day at home from 9w4d and yet it still hasn't hit me that there is a baby in there. Well, it didn't hit me until Saturday. When we went in for the ultrasound, seeing the baby on the screen moving around and dancing made it more real. Then, finding out the gender helped even more. Instead of calling the baby "it" or "he or she", we could now say she/her. Each day I've been realizing a little more that there is a moving/dancing baby inside me and each day I've grown a little more attached to our baby. I even finally filled out the first 11 weeks of our pregnancy in the book I bought two months ago. I think my attachment will only be furthered when I am actually able to feel the baby move around, however, according to the tech I have an anterior placenta and it may be a while before I feel those first few flutters. I really don't anticipate feeing her before 20 weeks.

Moving on, here are the shots of the baby, as promised :).

A 3D picture of our baby with her hands by her face:


We may do another 3D ultrasound around 28 weeks when she should be a little cuter and her face filled out a little more.

And, finally, here is the potty shot:


All of the boy potty shots at 15 weeks that I have seen there is clearly a V shaped protrusion...I'm thinking our baby probably isn't hiding that. Goo.gle it if you're curious!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

one of my fears realized

That post title might be a bit dramatic for what actually happened, but just like some people are afraid of heights, I too have a fear. My fear? Is of throwing up. I hate it. I did everything I could during the first trimester to keep from actually getting sick and it worked out well. I made it all the way to 15 weeks without getting sick. Then, last night? Let's just say it was unavoidable. And I've spent all day in bed or on my butt. I am sicker than I have been in years. At first I thought it was food poisoning, now I'm not so sure. If it's the stomach flu that means this is the second time I've had it in the past month. My immune system is obviously compromised. Being so sick while pregnant is also scary, but thanks to my handy dandy at home doppler, I am able to make sure that the baby isn't too fazed by all of this. If I'm not able to drink more liquids tomorrow I'll call my doc and see if there's anything I need to do to ensure my baby's health.

In other, more exciting news, MBL and I had our fifth ultrasound on Saturday. We paid for an early ultrasound at a place in Chicago and it was the best use of my birthday money ever!! The last time we saw the baby was at 8 weeks and it looked like a blob. A cute blob, but a blob nonetheless. On Saturday, though, it looked like a baby!! And it is inside of me! I drank OJ before the appointment and the baby really liked it. The baby was dancing all around! Even though it wasn't a diagnostic ultrasound, I was able to see that the baby has ten fingers and ten toes and four moving appendages. Even the spine looked great! I think the tech thought I was a bit odd for constantly commenting on how my baby had hands or feet. The main reason we went there was to find out the gender. When the tech first went to look, the baby had it's feet crossed and she couldn't get a good shot. So, she moved along and we enjoyed just seeing the baby move and seeing it in 3D. Then she went back and was able to see the important "parts" in just seconds. MBL wanted to keep it a surprise from me until we got back to my parents for a cake reveal, so I didn't get to see the "parts" during the actual ultrasound. When I asked the tech if she was sure of the sex, she gave me an enthusiastic YES! After a long 20 minute drive back to my parents, the cake was brought up and I cut into to it to see PINK!!! The tech made sure to include a potty shot and after hours of goog.ling 15 week potty shots, I am convinced she made the right assessment. We will still verify the sex at our 20 week ultrasound, but for now we are quite excited for the baby GIRL in my belly!!!

I'll post some shots of our ultrasound session tomorrow because right now I need to get myself to bed and pray I start to feel better soon!

(I should note that the ultrasound place specializes in early gender scans and will not tell you the gender if they are not sure...at 15 weeks they have a 100% success rate. Just in case you were wondering :).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful!

It took me all day to think about what I wanted to write for this post. I obviously have quite a bit to be thankful for, but I didn't want to get on here and go on and on about my pregnancy. This is what I came up with:

1. I am thankful that I live in 2010 where there are lots of family building options available to me.

2. I am thankful that MBL and I are in a position to build our family with the option we have chosen.

3. I am thankful that 30+ years ago scientists and doctors recognized the need for procedures that would help couples who wanted to have children, but were having a hard time achieving that goal. I am also thankful that they continued their work until they were successful!!

4. I am thankful that MBL and I are in a position to share our story and make people more aware of the struggle of infertility.

5. I am thankful that there are people out there willing to donate their unused meds and help out other IVF patients (my first cycle I used only donated meds and the second I received over $1100 of donated meds).

6. I am thankful that my family and friends have welcomed our decision to build our family through IVF without judgment and have absolutely no shame in telling others how we achieved pregnancy.

7. I am thankful that MBL and I are in a financial position to pursue ART.

8. I am thankful that doctors feel called to go into reproductive endocrinology and are constantly working to improve the technology that is available.

9. I am thankful that there is a wonderful online community of people who are struggling or have struggled with infertility and are willing to voice their experiences and be a support for others.

10. Finally, I am thankful that infertility did not send MBL and I into marital turmoil. During the first few failed IUIs I wasn't sure that we were going to make it through in one piece, but we did. I am thankful that we are stronger because of all it took to get here and thankful that we know how freakin' lucky we are. I am also thankful that I love MBL more now that we have been through the turbulence of infertility/IVF. And I am thankful to have MBL as a spouse and partner in life, I could not have imagined going through this journey with anyone else!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

it's that time of month again...ICLW!

Hello to all of you here visiting from ICLW! And, hello, also to all of my regular visitors. If you're wondering what the heck ICLW is, feel free to click on the icon on the left of my page.

Anyways, I didn't do ICLW in October, but I'm back this month and excited about visiting new blogs and getting to know others struggling with infertility. As you can see from the ticker at the top of my page, I am pregnant. Here is some basic information on how I got here:

-started TTC in December of 2008, right when MBL (my hubby) and I got married. We were so sure we would come back with a "souvenir" from our honeymoon. 1st BFN.
-1st sperm analysis after only 3 months of TTC (March 2009). MBL is on some pretty hefty ADHD meds and I was *certain* they were playing a role. They were, count of only 18 million (normal is 20 million).
-I get an HSG in May of 2009. Tubes clear, uterus normal. 1st round of clo.mid to give MBL more "targets". BFN. Take clomid again in June, another BFN.
-July 2009 we have a follow up sperm analysis...9 million. Boo! Call the local RE and get in the next day. Decide to go for IUI as already took clo.mid. BFN.
-August and September 2009: two more BFNs after clo.mid+IUI.
-October 2009: laparoscopy for me! Stage I endo found (one adhesion) and removed. Get on the December IVF schedule as we are picture perfect candidates.
-December 2009: IVF #1. 17 eggs retrieved, only 7 mature. 3 embies left for day 2 transfer, 2 transferred and one frozen. BFN on New Years Eve.
-January 2010: despair.
-February 2010: consult at RE in Chi.cago. Decide to wait on IVF with him and go with varicocele surgery instead.
-March 2010: MBL has varicocele surgery!
-April 2010: try on our own.
-May 2010: back to clo.mid and IUI. BFN. Of course.
-June 2010: clo.mid and IUI again. I get faint positives for a few days, but low beta. So, chemical.
-July 2010: decide to cancel IVF at our local clinic and go with RE in Chica.go because of shared risk program. Up to 3 cycles and an 80% refund if no take home baby.
-August 2010: IVF #2!! 11 eggs retrieved, 6 mature, 4 fertilize with ICSI. All 4 make it to day 3, but one has only 3 cells and is not viable. We transfer 3 embies (6 cell, 5 cell, and 4 cell). BFP!!

So, to sum it up: male factor infertility (low count), 3 cycles of clo.mid plus timed babydancing-all BFN, 5 clo.mid plus IUI cycles-4 BFN and one chemical, one IVF BFN, one IVF BFP, and 21 months to get here. Most days I feel like I got the easy way out (although most people would hardly consider IVF twice easy). I would say the first year was the hardest and infertility broke my heart in so many ways. We are by no means cured, but we are incredibly thankful to be where we are. I wish my success on all of you still waiting for your miracle BFPs! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 19, 2010

it felt like my birthday

Sunday night I went to bed feeling like the next day was my birthday, despite that I just celebrated turning 25 a month ago. The reason I felt that way? Because on Monday I officially crossed over from the first trimester into the second. Hitting 13 weeks just felt magical. I'm supposed to start feeling better and there are no longer the standard first trimester fears. I'm pretty excited to be here. MBL and I still listen to the baby a few times a day on the doppler and it is still just so amazing! I love hearing his/her heartbeat and hearing him/her whack the doppler. Last night we were listening and he/she was way down low by my hairline, then this morning he/she was way up by my belly button! Obviously the baby is moving around. It will be interesting to feel/see him/her moving in there, but I'm in no rush. With the doppler I know everything is okay in there and that's all the reassurance I need for now.

What is crazy is how much I feel like I have "popped" this week. It seems early for this, but I can feel my uterus much higher than it was even last week. For comparison, I have added some pictures. The first one is from 4w6d. The second one is from Monday, so exactly 13 weeks. I have only gained 3 pounds so far...




I wish I could go back to my just pregnant, post IVF self who felt quite fat and slap her upside the head. My tummy is pretty flat considering all I've put it through over the last year! My tummy now? On Wednesday I showed MBL how you can no longer see a difference between me sucking in or pushing out. I feel like it's pretty early to have a bump, but it's there and the only thing I can think is that it's because I'm short (5'3"). With everything moving to make room for baby, I'm sure it will only get bigger. I guess this means I have to start telling people...

Friday, November 12, 2010

a little of this, a little of that

This post will likely be all over the place. I was composing it in my head during my walk yesterday. I will put it in number/list form to make it easier to read.

1. I LOVE Christmas. Seriously, it's my favorite time of year. As a matter of fact, MBL and I got married on December 27th so that we could use Christmas colors in our wedding. We are going to decorate the house this weekend as it is our only chance between now and the second weekend in December. But, truthfully, I would have decorated the day after Halloween if I hadn't been working. I put a Christmas CD in my car today and I'm really getting into the holiday spirit. Yay Christmas and Thanksgiving!!

2. After having two really bad days/evenings of feeling sick out of my mind, I woke up this morning feeling awesome. I'm really hoping that this is the start of feeling better...at least as far as the nausea is concerned.

3. I'll be out of the first trimester on Monday and I'm still avoiding telling people. The people who know are: two nurses at work, four IRL friends, two of my sisters, and our parents. Oh, and random strangers. That's about it. I have had dinner/lunch with several friends and I just can't seem to spit it out. I also am avoiding telling the people I work with directly at work and my graduate school classmates that I see every week. Part of me thinks it would be funny if I waited until I was 100% showing and then let people figure it out on their own. Although, my uterus has definitely popped over the past few days and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to hide my "bump". We are telling my grandparents, MBL's sister, and my other two sisters at Thanksgiving, so I'll probably start letting word leak out after that. I'm still in denial that things are going to continue to progress, but it's highly likely that they will, so I suppose I should let people know our little "secret".

4. I read some comments to an article the other day that really got my blood boiling. The article was talking about how people struggling with infertility can find pregnancy announcements on face.book painful to read. I can definitely relate to that, as excited as I was for my family/friends, it was still hard to read them when I kept getting BFN after BFN. What absolutely shocked me were the comments left by some of the readers. Some of the commenters had the gall to say that those suffering from infertility shouldn't feel sad about those announcements and if they did, then they were too self-centered to have children anyways. REALLY? Ugh. The comments there stirred up all of my IF emotions all over again. I so wish people understood how hard it is better.

5. I wish I didn't work weekends. I'm a day and a half into my three day weekend and it is going by way too fast! I spent yesterday shopping and last evening and this morning at a craft show. We have so much to do and so little time to do it! I'm thankful for my job, but I'm really looking forward to the day when I do not have to work every other weekend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

biggest waste of $40

So...last week I was feeling quite sick. I assumed it was just my morning sickness flaring up and that perhaps I was getting the worst of it at 11 weeks. My tummy aches were quickly accompanied by, well, other problems. Let's just say food was flying through me and it was quite embarassing. Again, I just assumed it was all apart of the pregnancy ride. I had an appointment on Thursday with my OB and she said that it wasn't from the pregnancy, but it was likely from the stomach flu. Blech. She told me to take some immodi.um if it continued and contact her if it got worse. Well, Friday it got better, so I didn't get/take the immodi.um. Saturday I had to work and I woke up feeling fine...well, about 8 hours into my 10 hour shift I had **TMI WARNING** gone to the bathroom 7 times, 3 of which were in an hour and a half period of time. I googled my problem along with pregnancy and the websites I found basically said that with my symptoms, I should be seen immediately, especially since I was experiencing cramping. Conveniently enough, I work next door to an urge.nt care facility. I called MBL and he agreed to meet me there.

I headed over and they were suprisingly NOT busy. We were seen right away and the nurses were really nice and friendly. Then the doctor came in. He was the opposite of nice and friendly. I think he was hoping for some amazing medical case and I was anything but. I felt like he was mocking me for being there. He kept chuckling and saying "You should have taken the immo.dium." Okay, I had this problem for over a week, running to the bathroom 5-7 times a day, that seems worrisome even if you're not pregnant. This doctor thought it was no big deal. Didn't ask if I had cramping, didn't listen for the fetal heart rate, and didn't reassure me that everything would be okay with our bambino despite me being so sick. So, the doc basically made fun of me for coming in and left me with the instructions to go to the store and get immo.dium. It cost us $40 for that wonderful medical advice.

I have now decided that I should only see doctors who have gone through infertility. Then maybe they'll comfort/assure me a little more than the boob mentioned above. Also, when I went to work the next day and told one of the nurses the "treatment" the doctor prescribed, she too thought he should have done more. She said with cramping that they should have given me the option of getting an ultrasound (we would have had to go to the hospital, but it was within the appropriate medical measures for what was going on). Her two cents made me feel much better.

Anyways, I did in deed get the immo.dium and I am feeling better. I was still crampy today and would like to be reassured by an ultrasound, but my doppler will have to do for now. Oh, and we can "hear" movement on our at home doppler now too. Very cool. Now just counting down the days to the second trimester!

Friday, November 5, 2010

galloping horses?

When I first learned about what a baby's heartrate should sound like, most people said it sounded like galloping horses. When we got our doppler and I began searching for the heartbeat I was looking for that sound. At first I found my heartrate which sounds like "whoosh...whoosh", I knew it was too low to be the babys. After much searching and determination, I finally found the heartrate! It measured a beautiful 160-170 on the doppler. But, I was confused by the sound...it didn't sound anything like galloping horses. It sounds more like "whish, whish, whish, whish." Once I found it, it was unmistakable...definitely the fetal heartbeat. I assumed that it sounded different because I was using an at home fetal doppler, not an official OB one. I was excited for our appointment yesterday because I was looking forward to hearing the much talked about galloping horses. **And, let me just say that because I am a scared infertile who has walked around holding her breath for the past 3 months, it was an amazing reassurance to go into the appointment knowing for certain that we would not be given bad news. That doppler is one of my favorite things I have ever purchased.** I should also say that I am so glad that my appointment was for pregnancy and not for an annual checkup because the waiting room was lined with preggos.

Anyways, after waiting a half hour, we were finally called back. They weighed me...up 2.5 pounds. Took my blood pressure and then had me wait for the OB. My OB is unbelievably cute and perky. She has deep dimples and curly blond hair and a great bedside manner. Once she came in the room, I felt more forgiving about the fact that I was a hungry, sick preggo who just spent 30 minutes in the waiting room with no snacks. She told me that she may not be able to hear the HB as between 10-12 weeks it can be difficult to find. MBL piped up and said that we had found it at home with our doppler. I confirmed that we had been hearing it for the past 2 weeks. She was astonished and impressed! I explained that I was very determined to find it. She then had me lay down so that she could see if she could find it with her doppler. After a few seconds it was there!! She counted and said it was in the high 140s and absolutely perfect. That was awesome news...but even cooler was the fact that when she had the doppler on the baby we heard a few "pops". I thought it was my gut but she said that it was the baby kicking! Oh. my. goodness. My baby is kicking! I would have to say that hearing that was the highlight of this journey thus far. I basically walked around the rest of the day on cloud nine. It was so special for MBL and I to experience that together. Our next appointment will be in four weeks for another weight/HB check and then the "big" ultrasound will be four weeks after that.

But, MBL and I are actually signed up for an early gender ultrasound at 14 weeks 5 days. I know that seems super early, but after all we've gone through I really want to know the gender as soon as I can! Plus, we weren't offered an NT scan, so our next ultrasound wouldn't be until 20 weeks and I really want another peek at our baby. We will be with family for the Thanksgiving weekend and so we plan on doing a gender reveal party, which I think will be super fun. I'm currently debating whether or not I want to find out at the ultrasound or if I want to wait and find out with everyone else. Right now, I am planning on "revealing" the gender with an appropriately colored cake (I don't remember where I heard of this idea, but I know that I got the idea from somewhere...I'm not *that* clever). We will cut into the cake and the coloring (pink or blue) will let everyone know what we are having. I'm getting more and more excited with each passing day...only 10 days until the second trimester!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

thrilled to be here, but...

Now before I get started on this post, I want to make it clear that I know how unbelievably lucky I am to be pregnant. I know that so many of y'all are aching and waiting for your BFP. I remember what that was like and I do not take my pregnancy for granted, nor do I wish it away. That being said, I am floored by just how sick I have been. It's crazy! I started getting nauseous around 5 weeks with full blown all day dry heaving starting at 6 weeks. Around 9.5 weeks I started to feel a little better and after panicking, I decided to be thankful that the wicked nausea was going away. Well, it's partial absence lasted only a few days and now I am sicker than I have been all pregnancy. This weekend I actually had to leave work and then call in the next day. I haven't thrown up, but it's not for lack of trying. I've heaved and heaved, and nothing happens. I've been on Zof.ran since 6 weeks and I have no plans on stopping it any time soon. With my internship and my job I just cannot spend 8 hours a day on the bathroom floor (which is how it would be if I didn't take the Zof.ran). Starting Monday (11 weeks) new symptoms began and they are far from being fun. Let's just say that I went from not having any movement for 5-6 days to having far too much movement. It's making life a bit...awkward. My appetite has also increased exponentially...seriously, it's ridiculous! Here is what I have had to eat today:
4 small slices of cheese--I had these immediately after getting up
2 small pieces of bread with cream cheese--7:45am
1 cup of cheerios--9:00am
acti.via yogurt--10:30am
protein bar--11:15am
tostado and taco from ta.co be.ll--12:15pm
salad--also 12:15pm
a bit of trail mix--2:30pm
bag of popcorn--3:30pm

That's a lot of food and it's only 4:45pm!! And the thing is, I am trying to make healthy choices, but it's hard when I need to eat so frequently and I'm having aversions. At my last weigh in, I had put on 3.5 pounds, which isn't terrible for 11.5 weeks, but I'm afraid with my appetite that I'll balloon and end up with GD and a 13 pound baby. I had put on 10 pounds from all the IF treatments and before that I was already about 3 pounds over my ideal, so really I'm looking at already being 20 pounds over my ideal weight. I have an appointment with my OB tomorrow, so I'm hoping she can give me some healthy snack ideas and what I can do to tame the hunger beast. Although, I will say that yesterday I had to (seriously) ask MBL if he would still love me if I weighed 200 pounds...he said he would (good boy!). I just hope I can be healthy for our little bambino while still managing my symptoms well. Oh, and I'd love it if the food I did eat didn't fly through my body at warp speed. That's all.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

coming out

All along our infertility journey I knew that when we got pregnant, I would never hide how we conceived. I do not have any shame over the fact that we used IVF...afterall, if I had any other disease I would seek out treatment and I really don't see infertility as being any different. Truthfully, making a baby the old fashioned way would have been far cheaper, but the fact that we needed help (and spent a lot of money to get here) does not embarass me in the slightest. I didn't really tell the whole world about our infertility treatments when they were going on because I just couldn't handle having people ask me how things were going. We told our families and some friends, but that was it. Now that we are pregnant, however, when we tell people the news we always share how we got here. There are a lot misconceptions out there about infertility and IVF and I figure if I can give a face to the disease and IVF, then maybe I can help people see what an amazing thing it is (IVF, not infertility). MBL is on board with this too and has proudly shared with nearly all of his coworkers that we are pregnant and that we needed not one, but two IVFs to get here.

I also hope that by sharing my story, others will feel like they can share theirs as well. MBL actually discovered that several of his coworkers went through IVF as well, something he may not have learned if he hadn't been honest. Today, I shared with a woman at work that I was pregnant (she's the only one there who knows) and that it took 2 years and 2 IVFs to get here. She shared that she too had been down that road and we commiserated on how painful it can be. Unfortunately, she was not successful with her treatments. It breaks my heart that this wonderful lady has not yet gotten her miracle BFP. And to think I never would have found out that she and I shared a similar journey if I hadn't been willing to share mine with her. I have really been thinking a lot about infertility and just how hard the whole thing is lately. I know that I am so lucky to be where I am, but that doesn't make me forget the shots, the ultrasounds, and the negative pee sticks I encountered before I got here. I'm thinking about and praying for all of you still waiting for your BFP, hoping that your wait won't be too long!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

so overdue for an update

My apologies for taking more than a week to post an update. It's been pretty busy around here and I've been struggling to come up with a way to articulate my emotions. Being pregnant after IF isn't as easy as I thought it would be. I mean I expected some anxiety, but I have been surprised with just how guarded I have felt about things. Infertility just led me to believe that the other shoe will always drop and it hasn't. My spotting actually stopped a week ago (which means only one more week until I am off pelvic rest :), which was weird at first because I had grown so accustomed to it, but now I am thankful that each trip to the bathroom isn't filled with anxiety about what I am going to find. The spotting was one of the main reasons that I felt like something bad was still going to happen and now it's gone and I don't know how to function without the anxiety. So, in the middle of last week my nausea eased up quite a bit and I was convinced something had happened. For two whole days I could eat what I wanted and didn't have any strong aversions. MBL thought I was crazy for being worried over the absence of nausea...but I was still scared over it. Then it came back in full swing on Thursday and I was wishing it would go away again. It's a crazy ride and poor MBL is just trying to be as helpful and supportive as possible.

Speaking of Thursday, it was my birthday! I am now 25. My goal was to be pregnant by this point, so I felt like I got what I wanted for my birthday, but to top it off I got the chance to spend the last three days with my family! My mom came Thursday night, my dad, younger sister, and her boyfriend came on Friday, and then yesterday was spent hanging out with my older sister, husband, and nephews. I had an awesome birthday weekend and it felt so nice to spend time with my family. We went to the local zoo yesterday for a Halloween event and then hung out with my nephews at our house and the whole experience was just perfect.

Finally...I think I may be able to start breathing a little easier. I ordered a doppler two weeks ago, it arrived early last week, and on Friday MBL and I were able to find the baby's heartbeat for the first time!! My mom and younger sister were even able to hear it Friday night! It was in the 160-175 range, so right on target :). We were also able to find it yesterday, but today it appears to be hiding. I promised MBL that I wouldn't freak out if on some days we weren't able to find it, but I'm hoping that most days we can find it beating away. It is so reassuring to be able to find the baby at home!

Friday, October 15, 2010

busy bee!

That's me! You see three years ago when I was fresh out of college, I decided to jump straight into my Master's. The program I chose usually takes nearly 3 years. Well, I had somewhat of a young-twenties crisis after my first year in the program and took some time off. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to stay where I was living for two more years and since I could only transfer up to 18 credits, I had to step back and think about the long term. I decided to stay (and good thing since it allowed me to meet MBL), but because some of the classes are only offered once a year, I had to push back my graduation date. So, instead of graduating this past May, I will be graduating next May. But before I can do that? I have to finish a 700 hour internship. In order to graduate on time, I need to put in at least 24 hours/week at my internship, but some weeks I will have to put in a little more than that (because I am interning at a school and they are closed for 3 weeks due to christmas/spring breaks). On top of that, I have to continue working at my job. Which means that when I am doing the absolute minimum, I have to put in 44 hours between my job/intership. I'm only two months in and already I am exhausted. I have dust balls the size of our beagle (only a slight exaggeration there). I am trying not to complain too much about it, but I do wish I wasn't working on top of my internship. But, since making babies doesn't come for free in our house, I will do what I gotta do.

But, seriously? I am counting down to May 14! No, that's not my due date, that's my graduation date!! I just have to persevere until then! (oh, and the cherry on top is that my due date is 9 days later, so if all continues to go well, I will be a big ole preggo in my graduation pictures).

Monday, October 11, 2010

I feel like I'm a bunch of drama...

So, like I said in my last post, when I went to my appointment on Friday they told me that they recommended I not get an ultrasound because they didn't think my insurance would cover it. They told me that my next ultrasound would be at my 20 week appointment, but to call if my spotting changed at all. Well, this weekend, it seemed like my spotting was slowing down, nearly stopping at one point. I was excited thinking things were finally going to feel "normal" and not have to wear pads all the time. This morning I woke up to dark brown spotting. Darker than it has been and heavier, too. Still all brown, but it scared the poop out of me. I woke MBL up, kind of prepared him for the worst, told my internship supervisor I wouldn't be there (and why), and then waited for my OB office to open. I called the nurses' line right away and basically told them what happened and that I would appreciate it if I could come in for an ultrasound. They were prompt in getting back to me and said that I could come in for an ultrasound, but that my insurance might not cover it. MBL and I talked previously and decided that since our insurance has yet to deny a claim, we were willing to take the risk. Plus, I knew that until I saw that everything was okay, I would be assuming the worst.

They weren't able to get us in until the last appointment of the day, but it was worth the wait to see what I was hoping was still there...a little baby! Measuring exactly 8 weeks with a heartbeat of 157bpm! YAY!

Photobucket

The tech was *so* sweet and when I told her I was self conscious about having to come in again, she said it was their job to be there for me. She assured me I was far from being the most paranoid/annoying patient in the practice. I just hate being so much drama!! But, I feel good about my choice to go in and it was nice to get a peek of the baby. I am now just going to try and believe that everything is going to work out!

Friday, October 8, 2010

honesty is not always the best policy...

That's what I learned today. I had my first OB appointment and an ultrasound scheduled. I scheduled the OB appointment before I was even 4 weeks pregnant. The ultrasound was scheduled after my spotting incident as a follow up. And although I had an ultrasound just a week ago, I was very much looking forward to having another one. Well, because I brought in the sheet from my RE that said we got an ultrasound last Friday, they told me that if I wanted one today I would have to pay for it out of pocket---$400!!! They didn't think my insurance would cover another one. GAH! I told MBL that if I hadn't brought in the sheet from the RE (which they didn't really seem to need anyways), they would have gone on as planned and I would have gotten my ultrasound. Boo. I won't get another ultrasound until I'm 20 weeks!! I have another appointment in four weeks and she'll use the doppler to measure the heartbeat, but that's it.

In other news, my spotting had basically stopped on Tuesday. I didn't have any Wednesday or Thursday, then this morning I woke up to a bit of brown!! Ugh. It has basically stopped at this point, but I still don't like it. My OB said it could have happened because I am *way* backed up and apparently that can cause spotting. Who knew?? I may have more later today due to the exam from this morning. Fun fun.

In other news, I couldn't believe that the OB was actually telling me what to expect during pregnancy. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I still don't fully believe that in four weeks there will be a heartbeat on the doppler and that a few weeks after that we will find out what we are having. It just doesn't seem real. The OB says that after seeing a healthy heartbeat twice, at my age, drops my miscarriage risk to 2-3%. Then, after 13 weeks, my risk will be less than 1%. So, statistically speaking, the odds are good that I will have a baby in May. I'm still holding my breath, but deep down I'm trying to believe that our baby dreams will come true.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

still here!

I'm still here! I cannot believe that I haven't posted in a week! Whew has the time flown by! So the reason I have been MIA? We went to Chicago for the weekend to tell my family :). We also had an ultrasound with our RE. We drove down Thursday night and got there kind of late. We stayed up for a bit chatting with my mom and then snuggled in for the night. Friday we got up and headed to our RE's office for our ultrasound! They were super generous and snuck us in even though they were all booked up. To my surprise, the RE actually did the ultrasound. I was SOO thankful that we were able to talk with him about how things were going. We explained to him that due to my spotting we had already had an ultrasound that week and that they had seen an implantation bleed. The ultrasound tech at our OB also said that she thought I had a heart shaped uterus, so we asked him about that as well. He didn't see the implantation bleed at Friday's ultrasound, but he did explain that about 2/3 of his patients spot in the first trimester. He also said that, in his experience, spotting does not correlate with miscarriage. Basically he said 10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, 10% of the spotters and 10% of the non-spotters. He also said that he doesn't think I'll be one of those people. The baby was measuring 6w2d (even though I was 6w4d). That measurement was perfect because it showed me that it had grown since our appointment on Wednesday. The doc assured us that measuring a bit "behind" at this point is not a big deal and that they would only begin to worry if we started measuring a week or more behind (we got the same schpeel at the OB). We did see the heartbeat (again!), but the doc did not measure it. He said he does not like to use the doppler, especially this early. From what I could tell, the baby's heartbeat looked faster and was definitely still beating (YAY!).

After our appointment, MBL went back to my parent's house to work and I went to the pumpkin patch with my mom, my sister, and my nephews. It was SOOO fun! I just loved walking around with my nephews and seeing their wonder and awe at everything. We got chinese food for dinner for a very special reason...we used fortune cookies with specialty messages to tell our parents that we are expecting! Basically I goog.led creative ways to tell people and that was my favorite one. It went a little differently than I was anticipating, but it was still super fun to see my parents' reactions. My mom asked for a cookie first (while my dad was outside) and when she opened she just yelled and smiled. It was perfect. When my dad came in, we had him open one as well and he just smiled and asked if it was real (it is :). We told MBL's parents on Sunday. They didn't want chinese, so we ended up wrapping up Grandma and Grandpa ornaments for them. They were surprised and asked if we knew what we were having. Overall, I am very happy with how things turned out!

MBL and I are feeling pretty hopeful about things. We've had three good ultrasounds and my spotting has basically stopped. It is also reassuring that I have been pretty sick. I haven't thrown up yet, but not because I haven't tried or felt like it. I've been on uni.som and b6 since last Monday night and yesterday I broke down and called my OB for a prescription for zof.ran. Don't get me wrong, I am beyond thankful to be pregnant and I will not moan/complain too much...but, I guess I wasn't expecting my nausea to be as bad as it is. It's only hard at this point because I am doing my internship and working and so I am out of the house about 50 hours a week...and feeling all pukey away from home is not my fave. Oh well. I'll take it...especially if it means that my baby is growing as it should!

Phew! That was a long post. I promise to be better from here on out. We have our OB appointment and a follow-up ultrasound on Friday...so, I'll definitely be posting after that!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

panic! in my uterus!

Well, friends, this morning I woke up to every scared preggos worst nightmare...spotting! UGH. Granted, it has been brown all day and not clotty, but still! I was *so* certain that I would get through this without spotting, but, no, I'm a spotter. So, I panicked and thought about calling in to work, but decided to just carry on and roll with it. I called my OB's office and told them what was happening, they spoke with the nurse and the doctor and told me to come in for an ultrasound. We had just had one on Friday so I was nervous about what they would/would not be able to see after such a short period of time in between. At 2:00 MBL and I went in for our second ultrasound in five days. Turns out I have an implantation bleed. The tech told me that it is very small, about 1cm, and that they usually dissolve on their own. Apparently this bleed was not visible last Friday. So, yay, a reason for the spotting! We also got to see the baby again and this time it had a heartbeat.

We are not doing high fives or cartwheels yet. The heartrate was 92bpm. I was measuring at 5w6d. I am supposedly 6w2d. The tech told us the measurements being wrong are not a big deal at this point and that they only start to get worried if I get behind by more than a week. The tech last week told us that depending on the angle/clarity they could easily be off by 2 days in either direction, so I'm not panicking about the measurement. But the heartrate? It's low. Even the tech said it was low. BUT (and I consider this a big, important BUT), there is a window of time where a heartrate of 92bpm is perfectly normal. The tech also shared this with us. There is no way to tell if I am in this window of "normal". I was SOOOO scared of this. I came back to work and googl.ed my way through the afternoon. Several reputable sites (including the Ameri.can Pregnan.cy Associ.ation) agree that at 6 weeks a normal fetal heart rate is between 90-110bpm. According to that I am on the low side of normal. I also found a study where they compared early fetal heart rates with miscarriage and they said that a heart rate of 92bpm is borderline. Their study suggests I have an 83% chance of carrying this pregnancy to term. I will speak with my doctor tomorrow and make sure that I'm not filling my head with sunshine and rainbows when I shouldn't be.

Also, I have officially been put on complete pelvic rest. No romantic relations, no running around, no standing on my feet for hours, and no carrying laundry up and down the stairs. The tech isn't even sure I'll be able to travel this weekend. Tonight we were supposed to go and check out the art festival going on around here with our small group, but now I can't. I have to laze around my house. Regardless of whether or not we are headed to Chicago on Friday, we will go for another ultrasound check at that point. I have an order from my RE, so I can go here in town or there at their office. I'm hoping that at that point the HB is close to 100bpm.

What hope am I clinging to? The fact that I'm still feeling sick! YAY?? And it is definitely not morning sickness--more like, you will feel nauseous and gaggy nearly all day sickness. I have heard it's a good sign to be sick, I'm hoping so. I'm also grateful that my spotting is only brown and not very heavy.

Finally, if y'all could send me your good thoughts and prayers, I would really appreciate it. I feel like I'm in such limbo with this and I just want this baby to grow!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

sneaky, sneaky...

That's me! As I said in my previous post, our first ultrasound was scheduled for Monday morning. Well, MBL decided to hop an earlier flight home from Arge.ntina (yep, he was gone this week, making me all lonely and stuff!). Anyways, when I called to make my u/s appointment, I chose Monday instead of Friday because MBL wouldn't be home on time if I went with Friday. Well, when he called to tell me he would be home by noon I decided to move up our appointment. I had been having some sharp pain on my left side and the insane part of me was scared of an ectopic. Plus, I have to work all weekend (20 hours over two days) and I knew that waiting would just make me more anxious. So, I rescheduled the appointment for this afternoon :). We had our ultrasound at 2pm and the tech was SOOO nice. She talked us through everything and was very thorough. She didn't make us feel rushed and allowed us to ask her all of our questions. She even explained everything she was doing/going to do. It. was. awesome. She even printed us a picture to take home. So, without further ado, I present to you our *very* little baby:

Photobucket

Yep. We've got one good looking bean in there. I think MBL was a *little* disappointed we didn't get twins, but I am perfectly satisfied with how everything worked out :). The tech was able to see the gestational sac and the yolk sac and could *maybe* make out the fetal pole. She said that everything looked right on track for where I am.

So, we didn't get to see the heartbeat because I'm only 5w4d, but I made an appointment for another ultrasound with my OB for when I'll be 7w4d. And just because I'm a tricky little bugger, I also made an appointment for an ultrasound at our clinic because we'll be in Chic.ago next weekend and that's when they originally wanted me to go in, at 6w4d. So, the next two Fridays will give me glimpses at our growing bean! It definitely feels more real now, but I think it will take birth for it to totally sink in!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What lies ahead...

So, I have an order from my RE for an ultrasound for later next week. My RE's office explained that I could get the ultrasound done at my Ob/Gyn's office and I decided to do that instead of at the hospital radiology department so that they would tell me what was going on. I also decided that I would call them and tell them I did IVF to get pregnant and that I have an order for an early ultrasound because of that. I neglected to mention the specific dates for which the ultrasound order is good. The receptionist was nice and explained she couldn't book me for such an early ultrasound without getting approval from a doctor and that she would put a note in my chart for someone to call me about it. They called me less than two hours later and said that another doctor in the practice had reviewed my chart and said it was fine for me to come in for an ultrasound. They transferred me to the appointment making lady and she said that it would be best if I came in late this week or early next week because if I came in any earlier they might not be able to see anything. I said early next week would work best and booked my appointment for Monday at 8:45. I will be exactly 6 weeks. I'm hoping to see a baby in my uterus and the flickering of the heartbeat. I have to work all weekend, so I'm hoping the time flies between now and then. Moral of the story, while I didn't necessarily *lie* about my ultrasound, I didn't correct them when they offered me an earlier date.

I am actually feeling pretty good about things. Maybe that's a cocky thing to say, but my numbers look good and I have every reason to believe that I'll see something on Monday. But my secret deep down fear?? Is that the ultrasound screen will just show my regular old uterus and ovaries, no baby. It feels too unreal. I'm kind of in denial that I truly can't have a drink with dinner or that I *have* to avoid certain kinds of foods because, well, I am pregnant. Am I in denial? Maybe. Am I waiting for the other shoe to drop? Definitely. Despite all this do I still believe that I will have a baby in May? Yes and that scares me. This whole journey has been disappointing and hard and I'm supposed to be happy and elated and I am, but very VERY cautiously so. I just don't want to let my guard down and then be disappointed. Stupid IF, you've stolen my early pregnancy joy!! All I keep thinking is that if I were a regular ole' fertile, I would accept my positive pregnancy tests as proof that I am indeed knocked up and go weeks without any true affirmation of that fact. Me? I needed three betas and I still don't believe it!

I'm crossing everything that Monday brings us the best news and that seeing our little one on the ultrasound allows me to sigh for the first time in almost two years.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

september ICLW

Happy ICLW! For all of you new to my blog, welcome! To all of my regular visitors, I am glad to have you following :).

I am currently 5 weeks pregnant from IVF #2. We TTC for 20 months before we got our BFP. We did IVF #1 in December and it was a total BFN. I am (obviously) taking each day as it comes and praying that come May 2011 we actually have a baby to bring home from the hospital. So far, I am feeling pretty good. I have had heartburn from pretty much anything I eat and have even had a few bouts of nausea. I'm hoping to have morning sickness without throwing up, but I'll throw up every day for nine months if that's what it takes. I had three betas to ease my mind, with the most recent being done yesterday at 21dpo. My levels are doubling every 36 hours and yesterday's number was 2554. I am scheduled for an ultrasound next week. I must admit, I'm feeling pretty anxious. With IF we come to expect that the other shoe will drop at any moment and the fact that I'm not feeling completely miserable has me worried, despite the reassuring betas. I hate that IF has made me feel like a fake preggo because despite the fact that I can pee on a stick and make it come up with two lines, it still feels eerily unreal. I want to have my ultrasound tomorrow or some time this week so that I can be reassured that there is something growing inside me, but I'm trying to wait it out until next week when I am supposed to have it. Oh, and a confession, I feel like a real fatty because I am already in maternity jeans. I've been in loose fitting clothing since I started lupr.on because it makes me bloat up instantly. I lost a little bit of the bloat after egg retrieval, but I'm still "full" in my belly area. I feel like a fake because I'm barely pregnant, but I guess it's what I have to do and I'm just hoping that my belly continues to get bigger :).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

things that make me nervous...

Top of this list right now? Phone calls from my RE's office when I am waiting for beta #2!! I won't make you sit throught too much of a post before giving you the results, but I do need to give some background on why I was so anxious. So, this morning MBL and I got up early (even though it was my morning to sleep in) and went to the lab at the hospital so that my bloodwork would for sure be done today. We were in the drawing room by 8:00am, I got poked twice because the phlebo.tomy student couldn't find my vein (this happens to me a lot). I had written on my lab sheet that the results were needed by noon and even double checked with the lab manager that they would get done. I waited and waited before my internship for the call. And, nothing. So, I went to my internship and tried to pretend that I was interested in what my supervisor was sharing with me. I, of course, didn't get any reception in the office and sometimes my voicemail doesn't work, so I was getting even more worked up. Long story short, I called the clinic and they didn't have my labs yet (2 hours past noon), I called the lab and they tried to tell me they didn't have the fax number (they sure as heck did!), then I called my clinic an hour later and they still didn't have the labs. Blech. Finally, at 3:30 my clinic called, but I couldn't answer. I had to wait until 4:00 to call them back...the half hour in between calls was KILLER.

I was so scared they were going to tell me it dropped or didn't rise enough, but I was pleasantly surprised!! YAY! My beta at 17dpo (14dp3dt) is 506!!!! Woop woop. My HCG is doubling every 32.31 hours and in 72 hours it quintupled! My progesterone looked good, it went up to 38. Now I'm in a whole new TWW...my ultrasound is two weeks from today. GAH! I may be able to release some of my anxiety after that!

By the way, thank you so much for all of the congratulations, they have meant SO much to me! All of you girls are in my thoughts and prayers, especially those still waiting for your BFPs! Hoping beyond hope for all of you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

621 days 19 hours

That's how long it's been. I got up this morning earlier than I needed to so that I could sneak off to the lab in town and get my blood drawn so that I could get the results in plenty of time. I had everything all set to surprise MBL at work later in the day. I knew that MBL would not be satisfied with just 16 positive pregnancy tests. I knew he would want the "official" word from a certified professional (i.e. a nurse or a doctor or a lab tech). So, I waited and waited and waited. The clinic I went to was outpatient and they promised me up and down that they would have the results by 5:00, which was perfect because my clinic closed at 5:00 and they needed the results by then. At 3:20 my clinic called and said they still didn't have my results. I told them I had spoken to the lab and they too promised me I'd have the results in time. The nurse then told me I was in luck because another nurse in the office was scheduled to work late. At 4:20 I called the lab again and asked about the status of my blood order and the lady who answered me this time gave me some HI.PAA line and said she couldn't even tell me if they had my blood and that someone from my doctor's office would have to call to inquire. GAH!!!! So, I called the clinic and told them this and gave them the number of the lab. I waited another hour and called my clinic again, at this point only the late working nurse was left and she didn't have any notes about calling the lab. So, then I gave her the number and she said she'd call and get back to me. This was at 5:30. It was now getting to the point where I needed the results soon or I couldn't go through with my plan to surprise MBL with the news. I waited and waited and waited. It officially passed the time where I could surprise MBL at work. MBL came home, we went to the grocery store, and came back. All the while I'm getting more and more anxious, wondering if I will have to wait until tomorrow morning to get my long awaited results. Shortly after we got back my phone started to ring and MBL went to pick it up, I freaked out and told him not to, that I had to get it. I answered and it was the nurse! She started telling me the news and I asked her to wait...I then grabbed MBL, put the nurse on speaker, and asked her to repeat herself. And then she said the words I had been waiting 621 days and 19 hours to hear...

Christine, this is nurse happy voice. I have your results. They are positive! Your beta level is 108. Dr. S. likes to see it at above 50 at this point, so things are looking really good. Your progesterone is 25, which also looks really good. We want you to keep taking your medications and go in for follow up bloodwork on Thursday or Friday. She asked me which day we planned on going in and I told her Thursday. She also suggested I go to a different lab because no one will be working late on Thursday, I assured her I would. And then MBL and I hugged and I showed him all of my tests. I also took a digi so that he could see that magical word and he just smiled.

So, follow up beta on Thursday and maybe another one on Monday for good measure. Then ultrasound on September 30th. Praying for rising levels and a beating heart!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

PIO? More like PIB!!!

The other night, MBL was taking FOREVER to come to bed which was making me upset because I needed him to give me my PIO shot. Well, I finally decided enough was enough and decided I was going to give it to myself. My thought was that if I ended up being pregnant I would have to give them to myself anyways (MBL is going to Argentina next week for five days). I was nervous to give myself that honking huge injection in my own hip, but I had already faced so many injections I decided I needed to suck it up! So I did. And then I gave myself the injection. Everything was all hunky dorey and I couldn't believe that I had actually given myself an IM injection. I went to bed feeling all smug about my PIO handiwork. Until I woke up the next morning to a HUGE welt!! Seriously it was as if someone had stuck a golfball under my skin. Serves me right for being so pompous. I have since gone back to having MBL do all of my injections, but they still hurt. I have bumps on both sides now and we're running out of places to put the PIO. So, I've decided that they should really be called PIB shots-Pain In Butt!!!! Yuck. But, I'm getting used to the pain and I've started icing the area for at least 30 minutes prior to the shot and that seems to help. We also always rub the progesterone in and use a heating pad, but I can't says that helps much. Oh well. It's all a part of the IVF game plan!

So, this morning I tested again and I was a little afraid that the lines on the tests were the same as yesterday. So, when I had to go pee an hour after getting up I decided to try a digi, the first one (a FR.ER digi) didn't work and so I used a CBE and I was brushing my teeth when the word I've been waiting for popped up...it said "pregnant"! I wanted to cry, scream, and jump up and down. But, I didn't do any of those things. I thought about waking up my youngest sister and asking her if she could keep a secret, but I didn't do that either. I just took that test and stuck it in my purse so that I could stare at it during my ten hour shift. After 619 days of TTC I got to see it, the fabled positive digi!! Seeing that word changed everything for me because it 1)reassured me that my levels had gone up since yesterday (digi was negative at 11dpo) 2) showed me that what I've been thinking was happening is actually happening!!

Like I said before, I know I have a long way to go from getting a positive digital, but for the moment I am listening to what it says and believing that I am pregnant :). Beta is Monday, second beta on Thursday, third on Monday, and then if everything looks good, an ultrasound around September 30!! Now, I just have to work on how I'm going to tell MBL....I've already fooled him into thinking our beta is on Tuesday...so, I'll need to figure out a plan from there! Fingers crossed, please!!!

I should mention that today would have been our due date if IVF #1 had worked, so it was truly the perfect timing for this:

Photobucket

Friday, September 10, 2010

marking my territory

Let me begin by saying, I know that I am a crazy infertile. I know that "normal" people do not go around peeing on multiple sticks a day and obsessing about their results. Infertility has made me far from "normal" (whatever the heck that is). Normal people expect unprotected sex=baby. I expect temping, charting, several ultrasounds, lots of blood draws, over 100 injections, abstinence, antibiotics, anaesthesia, and a doctor between my legs will maybe *maybe* equal a positive HPT/beta. And then there are lots more hurdles to cross after that (second/third positive beta, ultrasound, heartbeat, 40 weeks). I know that for some people, taking HPTs is a real no no. For me, I don't want to be told by a nurse I've met only a handful of times an emotional message (either my BFP or my BFN). The nurses at my clinic are incredibly nice, but I'd just rather hear the news from myself and the confirmation from them. KWIM? I also like taking HPTs during my IVF cycle because it gives me a sense of control. I have so little in this process that I will take it where I can get it. I totally understand why some people choose to wait until beta day, I just can't. All that being said, the only reason I am posting on this is because I have reason to be hopeful. I've only gotten positive tests one other time (in july) and other than that I've gotten BFNs every other cycle. I tested out my trigger and my FMU (first morning urine) test on Wednesday (9dpo) was negative. Now on to the fun part.

So, yesterday I posted about how I *thought* I saw a line and how sitting in the living room gave me the best view. Well, later that day I needed to run to Tar.get/Wal.mart for some things and I just couldn't pass the HPTs without buying one (or 5!). Then I realized I had to pee, so I did the rational thing and held it until I got to Tar.get at which point I brought a FR.ER (my first of this cycle) into the bathroom with me and peed on it. I didn't want to sit there waiting for the result, so I stuck it in my purse, washed my hands, and walked to the women's clearance section. At that point I pulled it out and there it was! A clear second line. Still light, but no squinting needed! Since I didn't test out my trigger with FR.ER, I was only a tad bit excited. Falling asleep last night was awful! I just couldn't wait to get up and pee on whatever I could get my hands on!! So, I peed on a FR.ER, an An.swer Early, an IC, and a digi. The first three were definitely positive. The IC was the most positive with a nice thick pink line. The digi was negative. Stupid digis. I googl.ed them today at work and apparently they report their sensitivity as 50iu/mL, but I know some people get positives with only 25iu/mL. I'm not letting that negative defeat me, because I peed on FR.ER a few hours ago and it was my most positive one yet! They. are. getting. darker. Whoa. I will definitely pee on more tomorrow, because apparently I am canine and have the urge to mark my territory!

So, without further ado, the picture of what I believe to be the beginning of a positive:



Photobucket

Thursday, September 9, 2010

busy, busy!!!

This week I started my internship and I'm also back at work. For an idea of how I've been spending my time: work (9hours) on Monday, Internship (6 hours) and class (3.5hours) on Tuesday, work (10 hours) and small group (3 hours) on Wednesday, Internship (4 hours) today, and work (10 hours) tomorrow. I also have to work this weekend, two ten hour shifts. I won't have a true day off until my weekend off (18th and 19th). I will maintain this busy schedule until mid-October, at which point I will drop down to 20 hours/week at my job. Until then I will be working 30-40 hours/week at my job and doing 20-25 hours/week at my internship. I'm hoping that I don't get too wiped out and that if I do end up preggo, that I'm able to handle all of my obligations well. I would love to quit my job so that I would just have my internship, but due to the cost of IVF, that is not an option for us. I am just thankful that I have a job and the income that comes along with it to pay for an expensive IVF program. (please remind me that I am thankful when I am exhausted and worn out in a few months...).

The busyness has been good because it has kept my mind off of this cycle (well as much as my mind can be distracted). When you are busy 10-12 hours/day it is hard to find time to obsess about anything other than when you get to go to bed. My mind has still been racing, but due to my complete exhaustion at the end of the day, it has not been keeping me up at night. It's only during the quiet times of the day that I start thinking about next steps if this cycle fails or start wondering if maybe something is happening right now in my belly (well, my uterus, but you guys get the picture). It's hard this early on to distinguish what "symptoms" are due to the progesterone/estrogen and which ones might be real. The cycle we had our chemical I noticed that I was shakey starting around 9-10dpo and I got heartburn really easily. Well, I did have heartburn the last two days from very bland foods, but that's no guarantee. And this morning I woke up with the most intense headache (could that be a symptom?). It's so intense I'm seriously considering having some ibuprofen as the diet coke/tyle.nol hasn't touched it. But, then my mind begins to wonder....

I understand that at this point (10dpo) it is still early and there are lots of possibilities ahead of me. My beta isn't even for a few more days (Monday). I know that I am a crazy person and that I should just sit back and relax and wait it out, but I can't. So, true to my word, I tested yesterday and it was a BFN. Okay, I thought, it's only 9dpo and there is still plenty of time for that to change. When I got home last night I realized I hadn't peed in 4 hours and that it would be the perfect opportunity to take an IC. So, I did. Faint line. Huh. Well, I didn't test out my trigger with the IC, but my test from that morning (IC) didn't have a line. I went to bed excited to pee in the morning!! I used both an An.swer Early and an IC this morning. The IC *maybe* has something, the Ans.wer Early has a faint, faint pink line in the "result" window. It came up within ten minutes (has anyone else noticed that those things take a while to dry completely?) and I've spent the last 2 hours looking at it occasionally to see if I can still see it. In our living room's natural light I can look at it straight on and see the line. I tried to make MBL look at it, but he refused. His response, "The nurse said not to test early and I want to wait until we know for sure." That chemical pregnancy was hard on both of us because it got our hopes up, but then nothing came of it. I am sure he is afraid of the same thing happening this time because I know I sure am. The only reassurance I have is that I tested out my trigger, yesterday's test was BFN, and we still have 4 days to see if the line gets darker. I can't lie, I am very tempted to make my non-pregnant, IF-understanding friend (you know who you are ;) pee on a stick for me so that I can be reassured that I'm not just making up the line, but she's at her internship, so I can't really do that. I do wish there was someone I could have view the line with me/for me and assure me that they see it too, but the only people here right now are my dad and my sister and I don't plan on involving them on this madness. So, I guess I just have to wait and see. I'm already considering going out to Wal.mart to buy an Equ.ate. There was something about seeing the positive on more than one test with my chemical that made me feel better (even though we didn't get a pregnancy from that). I'm not calling this a BFP, but in the words of my sister, right now it is a BF????? Only time will tell!!

Phew! That was a long post. If you made it through the whole thing, congrats! Oh, and thank you wonderful blog friends for being so supportive and wonderful. I literally do not know what I would do without the people in my blogging world. You keep me going on days when I feel down and you always know just what to say to make me feel better. As much as IF sucks, y'all make it a more enjoyable world to live in. I promise I'll be back tomorrow with a POAS update :).

Monday, September 6, 2010

happy to be me!

It is surprising to me that I didn't post on this when it happened, but I figured I would post on it now. During the time I was stimming I went on near nightly walks with our dog, Jasper. Sometimes I would listen to music on my ipod and sometimes I would just listen to the sounds of summer. More often than not I did the latter. It allowed me to focus on my thoughts. One night while I was walking I had the most amazing epiphany: I am happy to be me! There are lots of people of whom I am jealous. I'm sure it comes as no shock that I am particularly jealous of people for whom getting pregnant is about as easy as blinking. I was thinking about these people, especially my extended family members who have recently given birth, while I was walking and I realized that I would not trade places with them for a million "natural" pregnancies. Sure, I may waver on that when I get BFNs and AF for the 400 millionth time, but I LOVE my life. Nothing about it is perfect. Our house is a mess. Our dog licks his feet all. day. long. I need to get my roots touched up. MBL sometimes drives me absolutely crazy. I say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I forget important dates. I get crabby. I am jealous. Despite all of that, I am still quite happy to be me. I love my foot-licking dog, I love our house and the big, beautiful yard that surrounds it, and, most importantly, I love my husband. The past week I have just been in awe of the man I married. He is my perfect match and I am beyond thrilled that I get to spend forever with him. It is largely due to his existence and our relationship that I am so thankful to be exactly who I am.

On that note, it is also amazing to me how much this cycle has strengthened the bond I feel with MBL. I can't quite explain it, but I now realize why people say that infertility can bring a couple closer together. I did not understand that a year ago when we first started treatment and each BFN caused me to have an emotional breakdown. A year later, however, I completely understand. He is my solid rock, the one person who gets it. He helps me believe that we will get through this TOGETHER. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Plus, there will be no sweeter sight for either of us than that of our newborn baby and the bond we will share over the sheer JOY of having that dream come true will undoubtedly bring us even closer. (we're both still hoping, however, that #2 comes a lot easier than #1--assuming we are able to get #1!).

Oh, and I tested this morning and it was a stark white negative. That means any line I get from here on out will be the real thing! I plan on testing again on Wednesday (6dp3dt/9dpo). I still believe we might get a miracle out of this!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

feeling small

My husband and I use that little phrase to describe how we are feeling when things just aren't going right and we are sad. We started using it because our dog always gets small when he's done something wrong or when we get home after a long day. It's his way of showing us that's he sad or embarassed or ashamed. So, today, I'm feeling small. I don't know why, I am over a week away from my beta (but will be testing before that) and there is no way to know what is happening inside of me, but my mind is still racing. I try not to let it, but I woke up this morning just feeling a little sad and a little embarassed. I'm sad that we didn't have excellent looking embies and that they were a little pokey. I'm sad that in a little over a week we may be back at the drawing board. I'm sad that I might not be pregnant on my birthday (october 21). I just feel small and my heart is a bit heavy. We were supposed to go to a famous attraction in Chicago today (She.dd Aquari.um) because once a month admission is free for Ban.k of Amer.ica credit card holders and I haven't been in 10 years. But it's the weekend so there will likely be a lot of parents and kids there and today I just couldn't handle that. Today I just feel too infertile to go out and risk bursting into tears in a public place. And so I'm embarassed. Embarassed that I haven't (yet!) been able to procreate with my beloved spouse, embarassed that even IVF #2 might not work, and embarassed that I can't handle going out into public and seeing other people have exactly what I want. MBL and I so desperately want to add children to our family. We want to take our kids to neat places and share experiences with them. I somehow feel like today I'm missing someone I haven't met.

My mind is already racing ahead to the future. If this cycle is BFN and we aren't able to jump into another cycle, then will I be able to stomach Thanksgiving? I know I can handle my siblings and I adore my nephews, but my grandma sometimes makes really insensitive comments and I don't know that I could handle that. I know it's silly to be thinking about the next cycle when we don't know the outcome of this one. I did goo.gle three day embryo transfers with fragmented embryos and I found lots of uplifting outcomes, so I have every reason to hope. I'm just struggling a little bit today. Hopefully I'm able to perk up as the day goes on. I want to give the 3 embies in me a positive, welcoming environment ;).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

nestle in, please!

That's my request to our embabies. We got the call at 8:30 this morning that our embryos were ready for transfer. I took a shower, drank the necessary amount of water, and grabbed all of our necessary gear (pillows, eye mask, i.pod, etc...). We got there and they immediately did an ultrasound to see if my bladder was full enough. The first nurse didn't think it was, but she said another person would come in to check. 10 minutes passed and they came to get us for the embryo transfer. It reminded me a lot of an IUI because all I did was take my pants off and hop onto the table. The doctor handed us a picture of our embryos and I knew right away that they were not the best quality. He explained that we had a 6 cell and a 5 cell. There was some fragmentation in the 6 cell and quite a bit in the 5 cell. He also said that we had two other embabies, a 4 cell and a 3 cell. The four cell looked okay, but the 3 cell was way too pokey. He gave us the option to transfer all three of the decent looking ones and that's what we did. The 3 cell will not make it to freeze (he said it is inviable at this point). We were impressed that he gave us the option to transfer 3 considering my age, but we were thankful that he left it up to us. We named our embabies Nellie, Mellie, and Wellie. We're hoping they snuggle in for the long haul.

I must admit that I was bummed by the quality of our embryos. We didn't get much of a chance to ask the doctor all of our questions, but we did bombard the nurse with our most pertinent ones later. We asked her what the fragmentation meant and she said they don't know. There are lots of hypotheses about what embryo fragmentation means, but none are concrete. She also said that sometimes embryos look bad on day 3 and turn into beautiful morulas/blastocysts 24 hours later. Last cycle we put in one perfect looking 4 cell and one only slightly fragmented 3 cell on day 2 and (obviously) nothing happened. She said that this happens all the time. She said they often put in "perfect" 5 day blastocysts and nothing will happen. She also said they often see poor quality embryos make perfect babies. She said we have no reason to doubt that our embabies won't turn into a beautiful live baby. All that being said, because our embryos were not ideal looking, MBL and I are even more glad that we did shared risk because if this cycle fails (which it won't), we still have 2 more fresh cycles already paid for! I'm still praying for a positive this time.

Feel free to tell me your positive 3 day transfer stories, especially if you had poor quality embryos. I'm surprisingly not stressed about our embabies quality because I believe they'll come through in the end!! Snuggle in Mellie, Wellie, and Nellie (please)!!!

Oh, and I cannot believe I almost forgot to share my embarassing IVF transfer story. So, my poor bladder was so full after the transfer that I was laying on the bed all awkwardly, clenching everything. The nurse told me I could either have a catheter put in or wait ten minutes and use a bed pan. I waited ten minutes and then opted for the bed pan. Best. decision. ever. She left the room while I "did my business" and then came in to take care of the pee. She asked if I felt wet on my clothes and I told her no. MBL then felt the back of my shirt and told me that I did indeed pee on myself. HA! I was wearing two tank tops and a cardigan. I did not get any pee on the cardigan, so MBL took off my tank tops and I just buttoned up the cardigan. Good times. So, you see, I have to get pregnant from this IVF because I peed myself and it was funny. The end.

Monday, August 30, 2010

retrieved!

At exactly 1:50am Sunday morning, I took my trigger shot. MBL got up with me to offer moral support. Our clinic had us use Nov.arel, but had me inject it subcutaneously rather than intramuscularly. I think it hurt more than if I had done it in my backside and I have a nice bruise from it, but it's all for a good cause! Anyways, yesterday we hung out at my parents house. We just love them and it's so nice to be here to spend time with them. I made lunch-fried green tomatoes-and then my mom, my sister, MBL, and I headed to IKE.A. The closest one to MBL and I is two hours away, so shopping there is always a treat! My mom and my sister were both surprised (okay, maybe a bit annoyed) at how long it took us to wander the store... but, it's a huge place and I had a lot to look at! MBL and I need a solution for our closet situation. We have the most ridiculous closet in our bedroom and MBL has stuffed it to the max. Currently, my clothes reside in the (someday) baby's room. As we are currently working very hard at filling that room with a little one (or two!), we need to come up with a place to move all of my clothes/accessories. Right now all we have in our bedroom for clothes storage is a dresser that is too big for the space and is also stuffed to the max. So, MBL and I wanted to check out the built-ins that IK.EA has to offer and let me tell you, they have some amazing options! We found one that would go just perfectly with our decor, has room to store everything, and is appealing to the eyes. The only problem? The cost. $1600. That price is actually for two and they would take up the entire wall on the back of our bedroom. The biggest cost is the doors that go on them, they are $450 for a set of two, and of course they are my favorite part. We may just buy the shelving/storage and put a nice curtain over it until we can afford the doors. But, I was glad to see that there were some nice selections there. We ended up finding a mirror to hang over our bed (instead of a headboard), a mirror for the dining room, and some other odds and ends that will help me feel like we are actually making progress on our house. All in all, an excellent trip to IK.EA!

Now onto the good stuff. I've been retrieved! Retrieval was yesterday at 11:50 and it went well. They retrieved 11 eggs and I didn't feel a thing! Awesome. I also discovered that I am a talker after anaesthesia. When the doctor came in to give us our report he looked very concerned and asked me if I remembered saying anything to him in the retrieval room. I did remember talking to him a bit before they put me out, but that was it. WELL, apparently I had a lot to say when I woke up. He said I wasn't making any sense and that I kept talking about my sister, allergies, and protein. I just laughed at this because, well, what else am I going to do? He said at one point he asked me if I had a good date with my husband because I sounded so drunk!! Hah. And I think I was trying to tell him that my sister and I like anaesthesia, not allergies (the feeling you have when you wake up is AMAZING like you just took the most peaceful nap of your life. I. love. it.). As far as the protein thing goes, I packed a protein bar to eat after because I knew I would be hungry! I guess he was kind of concerned and the anaesthesiologist just told him that I was probably hungry. She was right!

We got the fertilization call today and it definitely left something to be desired. They retrieved 11 eggs (yay! we wanted between 10-12). BUT, only 6 of those eggs were mature. AND, out of those 6 only 4 fertilized. So, we have four embabies (hopefully) growing at the lab. The only amazing thing from our fert report was MBL's count: 27million with 63% motile!! That's the second highest it has ever been! If we had done IUI we would have had 15 million motile with which to work. Crazy. Anyways, I'm feeling kind of bummed about my eggs and the fertilization. I was hoping more would be mature and that we would have more embryos to work with, but I guess we really only need 2 good ones. They will call us Thursday before 9:00am to let us know if we need to come in for a 3 day transfer or if they are going to push it to a 5 day. I am still crossing my fingers for a 5 day, but I know that plenty of people have 3 day transfers and still end up with a baby in the end. My mind is racing. I've been so calm and collected up until this point, but this fert report just bummed me out. I'd love to process all of this with MBL, but sadly he has to work :(. So, I am left alone with my thoughts on what happened. All I can say at this point is that I am SOOOOO glad we decided to do shared risk. Knowing that we have two more fresh to use if this one isn't successful is keeping me from falling apart.

Please send us good thoughts/prayers that even with a less than ideal fertilization report, we will still get pregnant from this cycle!!