Thursday, May 31, 2012

The "S" Word

Yes, spotting.  I woke up this morning and went to the bathroom only to find a teeny twinge of pink on the TP.  FREAK OUT!  I wiped again, small amount of pink. I inserted my endometrin insert - again teeny bit of brownish pink on the applicator.  My heart sank.  I literally almost collapsed on the floor.  This was the beginning of the end the last time around.

I had another teeny spot of pink later that morning when I used the restroom at work about 9:30 am but so far nothing more thank God.  I have no cramping which is a good sign.  Last time my spotting and eventual bleeding was accompanied by mild cramps at first followed my more severe cramps.

I have to keep reminding myself that this cycle is NOT like last cycle. We have a heartbeat for goodness sake.  Much, much different than a falling first beta.  Needless to say I spent the entire day a nervous wreck. I couldn't eat much at all because my stomach was in knots.  E kept trying to reassure me, but it's tough when all you've come to expect is loss.

Tonight I feel fine, except for the nerves.  I feel totally symptom free which is annoying. Five more days till our next ultrasound.  This wait is so awful. I feel as if May was the longest month on the planet...and June just might be that way as well.  I have no way of knowing what's going on in there and I'm just trying to take it one day at a time - or even 1 hour at a time like I did today. 

Needs some prayers for an uneventful weekend.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Body Is Playing Tricks On Me

We had simply the best news on Friday - we both cried during the ultrasound when the doc zoomed in and showed us the heartbeat. Seriously, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my entire life and a moment E and I won't soon forget. 

Though it only took me 48 hours to then start feeling anxious again, as if this has all gone wrong.  In my head, I know that the miscarriage rate drops to somewhere like 5% once a heartbeat is why oh why can't I concentrate on the 95% "everything is going to be just fine" rate?  What is wrong with me? 

I spent the long weekend going from feelings of severe anxiety to feelings of sheer happiness. E and I looked at baby names, I read some pregnancy books I had ordered last week but refused to look at until we saw the heartbeat and tried to stay positive. 

All was going pretty well until I woke up on Sunday morning to find my breasts were no longer sore - still swollen and spilling out of my bra, but no achy feeling.  Panic, immediate panic and Dr. Googling ensued for the day.  I read post after post about this being normal but still it didn't put my mind at ease because there were other posts about women who thought everything was going fine and then found out they had a missed miscarriage upon their next ultrasound.  Ahhhackkk! This was for sure happening to me, right - even though missed miscarriages are pretty rare?!?!? I was convinced for awhile and have been working to put this out of my mind.  I had originally made my next appointment for next Friday but decided I couldn't wait that long and moved things up to next Tuesday where I'll be exactly 8 weeks and if all goes well, graduate from the RE's office.

In preparation for good news, I've been forced to start researching OBs.  The RE who did my ultrasound last Friday asked who my OB was.  I don't particularly like the doc I see once a year for my routine stuff so I'll have to find someone else.  The RE then asked, "Where do you want to deliver?" HUH?! I've been infertile for coming up on 3 years. I haven't thought much past today, let alone the actual delivery! I laughed and said, "Gosh, no idea - I guess (insert the 2 hospitals closest to our house)."  I guess these are things people think about when they haven't spent the last 3 years trying to conceive and don't have severe anxiety that they're going to loose their baby.

Working on being in the moment - which is tough because except for swollen breasts and being extremely thirtsy, oh yeah - and the constipation - I feel totally fine.  Not that I'm begging for morning sickness, I'd prefer a more scientific (and less icky) confirmation that all is well in there but, alas, I have nothing to do but wait for Tuesday to come around.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Most Beautiful Sight

We have a heartbeat folks! Our little one is measuring exactly on schedule at 6 weeks 3 days with a strong heartbeat of 115. I will post more over the weekend but for now, E and I are just trying to relax and enjoy the best moment we've shared together since our wedding day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Lightbulb

Last night while falling asleep on the couch about 9 pm, I came to the realization of why I just can't relax and trust that this will all work out in the end. Yes, it's still early a number of things could go wrong but truthfully, the odds are in our favor at this point but I just can't seem to accept it.  Miscarriage rate right now is somewhere in the 15-20% range I think - which means there's about an 80% chance that things will be just fine. Why oh why can't I hang on to that 80%. 

Well, it's because I have a severe distrust of my body in all things reproductive related. For the past 3 years, my body can continually let me down - month after month - treatment after treatment. It never seems to do what docs say it should do. I defied logic with my stage 4 endo diagnosis.  I have 4 failed IUIs, 2 failed NCIVFs, 1 failed stim IVF and 1 failed FET under my belt.  This is a lof of treatment for someone who's otherwise in perfect health and not even 31 yet. 

I just can't seem to trust that my body will do what it needs to in order to sustain the little life that's in there.  I'm so nervous that it will turn on me like it has done every time in the past.  I think that's why adoption is so attractive to me as well -- because it takes my body out of the equation entirely.  I don't have to rely on my uterus screwing things up like it usually does. 

As a close infertile friend would say, "Now is not the time to be talking bad about your uterus" so I'll quit now. Two more days to go and holding on for dear life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

6 Weeks and Terrified

Today I'm 6 weeks pregnant - I should be ecstatic, over-the-moon excited. Instead I'm a ball of fear and anxiety.  I seemed to make it through the weekend OK mainly because Friday seemed so far off, but now that it's creeping closer, my anxiety level is creeping up as well. 

I am so glad that Friday morning, as soon as Mr. Wandy goes in - we'll have our answer. No waiting on pins and needles all day for the phone call that will make or break us.  E is still so very optimistic. His outlook really helps me keep grounded, but I just wish I could be as optimistic as he is.  We still don't have a clinically confirmed pregnancy yet. You only get to say that when they've detected a heartbeat I think. 

I still feel pretty much normal except for the slightly sore breasts, insane thirst and major constipation - sorry TMI.  But it's crazy. My GI system was always a little wonky after I went off BCPs but now it's just stopped.  Like mutinied. I've taken to Metamucil once a day and plum juice which seems to help.  Prune juice is just too icky for me and I can't bring myself to drink it.

I have therapy on Thursday afternoon which I'm hoping will help. At the very least it will help make the day go by faster that's for sure. I say a Hail Mary every time I go to the restroom which my LPC said is totally normal. Good - Phew! I really thought I was a lunatic.  I'm so afraid of finding blood that I have to brace myself for every potty break.  One of the best things about therapy is someone else telling me that all these crazy things I think, feel and do on this infertility journey are completely normal. I have no idea of she's just trying to make me feel better or if many others do the same things but at least it feels good knowing she doesn't think I'm a psycho. 

Doing my best to hang on to my sanity and my embryo.    

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Still Pregnant, As Far As I Know

That's the outlook I'm taking.  Still pregnant as far as I know or pregnant until proven otherwise - PUPO for short.  Usually us infertile save the PUPO status for that 2 week wait in between transfer and beta because you've got a little embryo inside you no matter what.  Well PUPO is still what I feel like today and it's helping me relax a bit because there's nothing I can do, or not do to help the situation. It is what it is, what will be, will be. 

I have spent most of the last few days working out every last relaxation technique I can think of because Friday is so far away. So much can happen from now until then.  But those are the thoughts I'm trying to avoid and just be in the moment.

Last night E and I had dinner with the only 2 people who know we're pregnant. They are friends of ours from our support group - who are currently pregnant after IVF.  I really only felt I could tell them because they truly understand how scared and happy we are at the same time. It was wonderful to go out to dinner with them last night and just laugh at all this.  Also, it made me feel more hopeful that this could actually work out for us. 

Tonight we have dinner plans with friends of mine from college and their one year old. I am close with my friend but nowhere near ready to spill the beans so early in this process so I'll be making up some story about drinking too many margaritas at dinner last night to throw them off.  We'll see if it works.  I don't think they'd even ask if I was pregnant because they know what we've been through and were one of our references on our adoption home study. 

Still super thirsty, boobs a little full and sore but not much and still have the coming and going cramping, But I swear, that might all be in my head because as today was such a gorgeous day, I've spent most of it outside on a walk and reading on the deck and haven't noticed a single cramp.  Feeling absolutely normal makes me feel better. 

I still hold my breath every time I use the restroom. A ritual that my therapist said was totally normal and many women in my position have also succumbed to.  She said it's OK to be happy, but I'm not naive. Which is true - I guess I just want to be really and truly happy and believe this will end up the way we've dreamed for so long.  Hard to think about that right now but it's in the back of my head.

Six days till US seems like an eternity.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Third Beta Is In

So after an excruciating wait to get today's results - we have a beta of 1878 so we're right on track. I almost made myself sick today though which was not good. Work really stressed me out this morning and then I was convinced I was cramping - but I think I actually brought all this on myself.  I really need to work on some relaxation methods or I'm never going to make it.  I am hoping therapy tomorrow will really help because I am going to have to figure out how to deal with the next 1.5 weeks before our first ultrasound which is a strange sentence to type for sure.

E thinks I need to take a break from all the blogs, forums etc. because I'm making myself so nervous about miscarriage it can't be good for my body.  So I've resolved to spend less time on the blogs and the forums for a little while in hopes that it will help me relax.

I am so sad that I just can't be happy about all this wonderful news. That thought in itself makes me so depressed.  Anyway, hoping tomorrow's session will help a little. I will post intermittently, but I'm going to do my best to stay away from Dr. Google if I can at all help it.  I am going to need will power of steel and lots of prayers to make it another 9 days until I get anymore information on our situation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Uncharted Territory

I have no idea what to do these days. I am somewhere in between happiness, intense fear and anxiety.  Intense fear and anxiety are winning most times.  I am exactly 5 weeks pregnant with something today.  I say something because until they show me a heartbeat, I don't think I'll actually believe there's a baby growing inside me.  I am counting the hours until beta tomorrow. 

I had to ask another pregnant infertile friend of mine what happens next - because I have no idea.  I will go in tomorrow for beta #3 and if all looks good, I will go in next week sometime for my first US at 6 weeks. Then at 8 weeks I'll go in for another US and if everything looks OK, I'll graduate to the OB's office.  The thought of going to an OB is so absurd to me at this point in time that I can't even think about it.  I'm just trying to live one day at a time.

E and I did say that if things go well tomorrow, we'll let ourselves celebrate a little over the weekend with our pregnant infertile friends.  We have to celebrate the tiny milestones or else we'll go crazy. 

Each morning I wake up and feel absolutely normal is so reassuring to me. No spotting, no cramping so that makes me feel better. I know the absence of these 2 things at this point doesn't mean that we'll have a healthy pregnancy for the next 8 months, but it's the only glimmer of hope I have to hang on to in between appointments.  I have to keep reminding myself that these are a different batch of embryos and just because we suffered a lost last time does not mean we will this time.  It's why REs change people's protocols, meds, etc. 

I am having a hard time sleeping so taking a Benadryl 30 mins before bed has been helping. I don't want to admit to myself how badly I want this baby because I feel like as soon as I let my guard down - the world will come crashing in on me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Heart-Stopping Craziness

For the past 3 hours my heart has been thumping so fast I think it might pop out of my chest. I am so incredibly nervous about today's results I think I might have a breakdown. I know all this can't be good for the potential child I might be carrying.  I have been trying my best to take deep, slow breaths and concentrate on my work for the day - but it's just not working.

I went in for blood work at 7:30 this morning and won't hear back for at least another 2 hours - could be more like 4.  Unfortunately it's raining here so I can't even get outside at lunch for a nice stroll. Maybe I'll go shopping instead which is what worked over the weekend to help distract me.  Gosh, who would have thought the added costs of IVF include distraction shopping!?! Yeah, I put a dent in the credit card over the weekend but E wasn't mad - money well spent he said. Boy, I love him!

Still no symptoms today except I've been incredibly thirsty - and the best news is still no cramping or spotting.  Today at 20dpo - I was cramping all day and eventually bled when we had our chemical last cycle. 

Please please hang on there embryo!

UPDATE: Beta was 906 - thank god! I am thrilled and will go back in on Wednesday for another beta. Just trying to relax for the rest of the day. I'm sure tomorrow I'll return to my crazy self.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Today is Mother's Day. There - I'm just going to say it to get it out of the way.  E and I went to Mass this morning for the first time in a long while.  So many emotions came up during the service.  As far as I know, I'm still pregnant. I just don't know "how" pregnant or if I will end up with my happy ending.  I wanted us to be like all the other families with little ones screaming through the service, climbing on the pews.  Thankfully, the priest did include "mothers to be" in his reference and prayer on Mother's Day. I wish though, that they would include all those who would like to be mothers.  I think we need the most prayers perhaps.

E got me a Mother's Day card from the dog -- and another one from him. I felt a few tears welling up in my eyes but I managed to keep it together.  I am so blessed to have such a sweet and thoughtful husband.

Tomorrow, I go in for beta # 2 and I'm so incredibly scared. I have absolutely no symptoms except for breasts which are a teeny bit sore (no more sore than usual when on progesterone) and TMI - major constipation.  Ever since going off birth control almost 3 years ago, my digestive system had been a little out of whack. These past 2 weeks, it's been really bad though which is not fun.  I am doing my best to use natural remedies by eating lots of fruit, drinking fruit juice, digestive aid teas and Metamucil. I may have to result in something stonger tonight.

I am so scared each time I go to the bathroom that there will be blood. Last time around at 19dpo I started spotting at night ...and then I bled all day on 20dpo.  I am just hoping and praying I make it through tomorrow with no bleeding and a good beta report in the afternoon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Updates: Today is Beta Day

I can't believe I made it all the way to beta day. I always have this bittersweet feeling about beta day.  On one hand, I'm so eager to find out the results and on the other - not sure I even want to know.

We got back from our trip to see my sister on Tuesday afternoon.  We had a wonderful trip and it was really fun spending time with my new niece. She's absolutely adorable. I think my sister was getting a little jealous because I was holding her so much! It was actually pretty funny.

Well, anyway - onto the good stuff. On Wednesday night (10dp5dt) we broke down and tested with an early result home pregnancy test.  It was positive!  I literally jumped up and down excited and E got nervous.  I guess he was afraid I'd shake the embryo loose or something.  Hahah.

So the wait till today was a bit excruciating but still doable since all my tests leading up to the beta were strong positives.  Today's numbers came in at 315 for 12dp5dt - which the doctor is very pleased with.  I am of course happy, but extremely nervous and I don't think I'll be able to relax until we see a heartbeat.

On our last try, my beta was 760 at 14dp5dt - which was excellent, right on track.  Unfortunately, the fact that this beta is "excellent, right on track" too - doesn't do much to help calm my nerves.  That, and the fact that I have to wait until Monday for my second beta because my clinic doesn't do them on the weekends - is driving me insane. Ordinarily, I'd take a long bath with a giant glass of wine if I was really stressed about something.  Humph, that won't work this time. 

All I can do is hope and pray at this point.  Luckily, I don't have the intermittent cramping that I had with last cycle which is good but I swear every other second I'm concentrating to see if I feel any pains down there.  It's nerve-wracking and terrible that we who go through this awful journey, can't even celebrate fully when we get good news because we know how fleeting such news can be. Of course, I know the alternative, a negative beta, is much much worse, but I seriously really want this to be it.

I will be trying my hardest not to cry like a crazy person on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Made it to the Weekend

Phew! The weekend is finally upon us.  E and I are leaving to visit my sister, brother-in-law and the new baby for the weekend. I can't wait!

Originally we had tickets to go 2 weeks ago but with our IVF plans, I had to change the flights to this week. E and I debated back and forth about taking the trip during the 2 week wait.  On one hand, it would make the wait go by quicker if we snuck in a little 4-day vacation.  On the other, was going to visit my very new niece really the right move right now?  Would we be able to handle that?  We also talked about getting a hotel room so we'd have a place to "escape" to if things just got too much for me to handle, but in the end we decided against that.  I feel so completely different now that the little one is here, I don't think I'll need a place to escape to. And if I do, I can take a walk or a nap and my sis will understand. They know all about our fertility struggles and have been as understanding as one fertile couple can be.

I am also glad that we didn't delay the tip until after beta because, as I know from last time, so much can happen after just 1 beta test.  I think if I got a negative, I would be too sad to enjoy the trip really. And of course, if we got a positive, I'd be too scared something would go wrong.  Right now is the perfect time, blissfully ignorant of what's going on in my body and loving it.  Besides, when we get back from the trip, it will be a short 3 days till beta.  OMG, I'm so incredibly nervous.

I have resolved to wait to take a HPT until next Thursday.  I know there's risks involved with testing before beta, but I just don't think I can wait to hear that phone call. I'd rather have a little inkling of what's going on.  Besides, having tested 2 days before my beta last time - I was able to enjoy 3 wonderful days knowing something was going on in there before my dreams came crashing down on me.  Three days was better than the 1 I'd have had if I had waited until beta.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you on Tuesday.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time is Slowing

Aaaack! Usually I make it to at least 5-6 days past transfer before I feel like time has slowed, but I'm only a mere 4 days past transfer. This is crazy.  Well, I've decided I'm just going to think positively about this cycle. In fact, so much so that I've allowed myself to start looking at nursery decorating ideas.  What?!?! Crazy, you say?!?! Yes, maybe a little bit, but I haven't let myself look at any beautiful baby things for years because it just brought sadness. And even though we don't have a baby just yet, I can really feel like we're getting close - whether it's through this IVF, or subsequent FETs or through adoption.  There is an end in sight. I can see it now whereas just months prior, our struggles truly seemed never ending.  I have hope again that there will be an end to this time in our lives and that end is just months, not years on the horizon. 

Yes, it's somewhat dangerous to be so optimistic, but it beats being so depressed all the time.  Besides, being pessimistic about a cycle's chances hasn't helped me previously so I thought I'd try out a new train of thought.  If this cycle is a bust, I'll be very sad no matter what - but hopeful that we're one step closer to our family building solution.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Can Finally Exhale

Phew.... I can finally relax for a few days.  We had transfer on Sunday and everything went really well.

Of course, Sunday morning we were holding our breath until the doc called to tell us how many embryos we still had.  When he called, he said we had 2 top quality blasts, 2 more that were looking good for freezing and 4 more that were still growing but a little slow.  So we were excited about the news, but then had to discuss whether or not to transfer 1 or 2 embryos this time. 

We've had 2 failed IVF transfers previously - each transferring 1 embryo at a time so we've definitely gone the conservative route, but the most medically and statistically appropriate given my age and embryo quality.  E and I went back and forth on this before the doctor's call and were pretty much set on just transferring 1 embryo one last time.  If we had future transfers to consider, then we'd go with 2. 

After further discussion about the pregnancy rate and the benefit only being slightly higher when transferring 2 embryos AND the chance for twins at 40% we were pretty much set with our choice to transfer 1 of the grade 1 expanded blasts. 

When we got to the clinic, I had an acupuncture session scheduled for pre-transfer which was awesome. It really put me in a relaxed state. Then we had transfer and everything went perfectly, then I headed back down to acupuncture for a post-transfer session as well. I was definitely in a relaxed mind-set throughout the day.  I spent my bed rest watching Sex and the City and every other funny show I could find. I read somewhere laughter was good for implantation.  Whatever works!

We were supposed to get a phone call yesterday about any frozens we might have, but 4pm came and went, and no phone call. I hate that because my mind always jumps to conclusions.  I was able to email my nurse this morning though and she gave me the good news - we have 4 frozen embryos! I am so thrilled.  The most I was thinking we'd have to freeze is 3, but 4 is wonderful.  It makes me hopeful that this cycle will be successful. 

Beta day is 10 days away which will go slowly, but at least we have a trip planned to visit my sister in the midst of all this.  I am hoping it helps to make the time go by faster.

So my little embryo is snuggled inside and all I have to do now is keep it alive.  I am so nervous that my body is rejecting top quality embryos, but hoping that the steroids will help keep our little one safe.