Friday, February 24, 2012

Harder Than I Thought

I'm terrified. Pregnancy after miscarriage has not been easy thus far for me. I wish I could just sit back and enjoy the ride, but I'm having a really hard time doing that. I think if my initial beta numbers had been better, I would be able to relax more. Or maybe I'm just a worrier when it comes to certain things. Things that are completely out of my control, those kinds of things. 

On Wednesday evening I woke up from a nap to find brown spotting on my panty liner. I spoke to the nurses the following day and they said it was nothing to worry about since it was brown and likely just old blood. I can't help but feel like any blood is bad. On Thursday night when I took out my Crinone applicator it had fresh blood on it. It lasted only about 5 more minutes of really light pink, but it was enough to ruin my night. I'm pretty sure I may have just nicked myself trying to remove old Crinone prior to putting in the new one though. That night when I put in my estrogen it felt like one little spot was a bit sensitive. I also have nails at this point, so I'm hoping that's what happened. The brown spotting has mostly gone away, but the bits of Crinone that come out continue to be brown. I'm trying not to "clean house" as often to avoid what happened the other night. 

I wish I could be more positive and relaxed about things, but I repeat several times a day the phrase "this is terrifying" to my husband. Poor guy. 

I think the missed miscarriage is what gets to me. I was going along thinking everything was fine, and then I got blindsided that my baby had died 2 weeks prior. Oh yeah, and yesterday was exactly 1 year from the horrible day that I got that news. 

I still certainly feel pregnant, but I try not to read too much into it. It seems like whenever W and I talk about the future I get a good scare. I guess it's a sign I need to stay in the present and not plan too much ahead. That's the only way I can imagine really enjoying being pregnant though. Planning all of the great things that it could mean. 

I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Thursday at 9:00. I'm hoping I can make it until then and keep my sanity. I'm hoping we get great news. I also have a blood draw for which I'm scared of. Ugghh, I thought I was going to be able to enjoy this a lot more. Hopefully I will get to that point, I'm just not there yet. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beta #3

Beta #3 is in and it's good news. I am so relieved and couldn't be happier. My beta went from 63 on Friday to 175 today. That is a doubling time of 48 hours!! 

I feel badly for being so pessimistic about things. I know we aren't even remotely in the clear, but I'm able to breathe a sigh of relief at least for today. 

I slept horribly last night and had awful dreams. I was running away and hiding. I was too scared to POAS like I had originally planned so had no idea going into my beta this morning.

So for today I am hopeful and positive about this pregnancy. When we first got the positive W and I were arguing about whether it was "round" or "pointy" that decided to stick around. When the number didn't rise by much I sided with him and said it was "pointy".  I think we are both in agreement that it is "pointy" now. W even went so far as to say he hit puberty late and didn't start his career until he was 30. That was him trying to be positive over the weekend. 

Thanks so much for the amazing support lately. I think without your positivity I would have been a complete mess. Sorry "pointy" for counting you out so early when you were just a late bloomer like your daddy. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trying My Best

This weekend has been tough overall. I'm ready to get some answers tomorrow although I realize it may not be black or white. On Friday night we went out for a nice dinner and then tried to go to the movies, but I messed up the times so we ended up just coming home and buying one from our blueray player. I feel asleep not far into the movie and W said it was pretty bad. 

Friday during the day was the hardest for me emotionally. I cried the most and felt the least hopeful. I have a family I work with where the mom went through multiple IVF's before she was successful. She is one of the few people who know all of the details. I went to see her son for therapy and we spent about a half hour talking about everything. I definitely cried the most then, but also felt like I needed to get it all out. She told me I had to be nicer to myself and said she knew it was going to work for us, she just couldn't say whether it's would be this time or not. She also said that when you make it to the other side it's all worth it looking bad doesn't seem all that bad. I had to wipe my tears away quickly when he son entered the room and I pulled it together and was able to work with him. I cried over the phone with W, but he was definitely more hopeful than me. 

Saturday was a pretty good day overall. We had a bunch of distractions which was nice. We went out to breakfast and then came home for a little bit and watched some Lost. After a bit we headed out to the Mackenzie Childs store. I'm not sure if you've ever heard of Mackenzie Childs, but it's all hand painted brightly covered pottery and other items. They have a big barn sale in the summer and last summer we got knobs for our kitchen cabinets. They are really neat and make a big difference in the kitchen. We also have a few other items in the kitchen. We weren't looking for anything specific, but it was fun to go. They have a farmhouse and we ended up with good timing to be able to go on the tour. It was really fun. Here are some pictures:
Shower in the closet 
The pattern painted on this wall and ceiling made me feel dizzy

Love this bathroom

The fish hallway. It continued down another set of stairs. Don't walk up this hallway drunk! 
It really was a nice distraction and we ended up getting a small fish carpet for the kitchen. The pull knobs we have in the kitchen have the fish on them, so it matches nicely. 

Saturday night we went to the movies at the right time. We went to see Big Miracle and thought it would be a nice uplifting movie. Just what we needed. *Spoiler alert* I had seen the previews and assumed the whales all survived. Well, go figure, the baby whale ended up dying. Great! I was then crying in the movie theatre about the dead baby whale. Not really the miracle movie we were hoping for. All in all, W and I were able to joke about it after. 

Last night I woke up around 4:30 and just felt horrible. I was anxious, sad, and overwhelmed. My mind was racing and I was unable to fall back asleep for at least an hour. I lay there thinking about everything and wondering what the outcome will be. 

I did POAS twice on Saturday. The digital continues to say "pregnant" which is nice to see. Of course the batteries die and the message eventually disappears, but it is nice to see that word. I also couldn't resist and also used a FRER. The line was darker than it was two days prior, so that made me feel a bit better. 

Symptoms remain, but I'm taking loads of hormones that also mimic symptoms. I'm still on estrogen (vaginally each night), progesterone (Crinone 2x's/day), dexamethasone, Lovenox injections, baby aspirin, Metformin 2x's/day, and prenatal vitamins. What do I feel? I'm tired and have been napping most days, I am peeing a bit more but also drinking a lot more water. I have occasional cramping, my boobs are still bigger and sore but maybe a bit less so, and I have a bit of nausea here and there. Nothing overwhelming though. Oh yeah, and my sense of smell is still really heightened. 

The thought of 2 miscarriages scares the crap out of me. It makes me worry that something bigger is wrong. I've searched far and wide for success stories and have found a few, but more that aren't so successful. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, but I hope it will be a day filled with answers. 

I feel better than last time about having a backup plan if needed. We have 4 frozen embryos and 2 fresh cycles paid for already. I hope we don't need any of it, but it's good to know that those options are there.

 I've really appreciate all of the nice comments I have received and it is amazing to know that other people are praying for me and thinking of me. Thank you so much for the support!

Friday, February 17, 2012

IVF #2 Beta Results #2

It's not looking good. Although the number increased today, it didn't by much. I feel like my clinic is trying to stay positive, but I'm having a hard time feeling the same way. I've shed my share of tears today and I am so disappointed. I was really hoping for a good increase. 

It went from 43 on Wednesday to 63 today. That's a doubling time of 87 hours. Not good. 

I am supposed to continue my meds and go back Monday for another blood draw. Right now I'm looking for some good distractions this weekend. 

I'm so disappointed : (

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

IVF #2 Beta Results

This morning was not the easiest. They told me at the clinic I might hear around 10:30, but if I hadn't heard by 12 to call them. I didn't really feel like initiating a bad conversation so I waited until around 12:30 for the call. They have a website where I can get lab results, so I checked it constantly from 11:15. Around 12:25 I checked and the numbers where there. Hands shaking, I clicked. HCG was 43. My immediate thought was that's not very high. 

About a minute later the phone rang and it was them. She told me that any number over 25 was fine and that this number wasn't too low. She said congratulations. W rang in while I was on the phone with them so I called him right back. He was so thrilled it was ridiculous. He answered with his usual, "hey baby" and I responded with "hey baby daddy". He was like, what?!...  really?!... OMG!! 

I really wish the number was higher, but I'm going to go be positive and believe them that anything over 25 is where it should be. I go back Friday for repeat blood work and am hoping for a nice rise. Of course I went out and bought more tests and came home and peed on a FRER. There's a second line, but not the darkest. It's not squinter, but it's definitely not as dark as the control. 

Thanks so much for all of the amazing support and comments I received today. Of course I had to find something new to worry about : )

Maybe it's my fear talking, but we are excited. We are happy. We are pregnant!

IVF #2 Beta Day

My blood has been drawn and now all I can do is wait. I'm a complete nervous wreck, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through today. I didn't pee on anything so I feel about 50/50 on things. I know today has the potential to be amazing or awful, and unfortunately, nothing in between. I really hope we get good news.

As I was sitting in the waiting room I received this text from W: "I'm so proud of you for the strength and perserverance you have shown in this process. No matter what happens today I am so lucky and happy to be with you." It took everything I had to not start crying in the waiting room. I let the tears stream down my cheeks as I drove off.

Please send your positive vibes, prayers, and anything else you have my way today.

Oh, and I'm pretty ecstatic to have reached 100 followers, thank you so much everybody!

Now to get through the next few hours...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

IVF #2 CD 22 3dp5dt Crazy Town

How am I feeling? Honestly? I'm terrified this isn't going to work. Once you've experienced failure repeatedly it's hard to keep optimistic. After my FET I was convinced it worked. I kept track of my "symptoms" and just felt pregnant. I was so shocked and upset when I was wrong. 

 I just can't do that to myself again. I hate the thought of not being as positive as possible, but I have to keep my guard up to protect myself. 

I feel like I'm walking the crazy line. I want to be positive, but I'm also so worried it won't work. Next Wednesday is so soon and I don't really want to know. I want to relish in being PUPO as long as possible. I also hate that Valentine's day is the day before my beta, so of course I'll be tempted to POAS. 
I am so scared that our perfect embryos won't implant and that I will feel like a giant failure. Last time the embryos weren't great so I was able to blame the failure on that. This time, the only thing I will be able to blame failure on is myself. 

I want intense cramps and implantation spotting, but no such luck. Maybe I've had some cramping, but I also have giant swollen ovaries and I've been constipated. Who knows what the heck I'm feeling "down there." I learned the hard way last time that all of the meds I'm taking help to create pregnancy symptoms. 

I found out yesterday that we have 4 frozen totsicles. I'm not sure of the grades although I know that 2 were 4BB. I'm pretty happy about having a backup plan, but I also know that the "best of the best" embryos are in me doing their thing. Hopefully that thing is implanting. Please send me some sanity if you have any extra. 

I had a dream last night where I had to have polyps removed again. I was conscious for the surgery and watched the entire thing on a screen. They thought there was only 1, but there ended up being 4. There was 1 that was really big and the rest were smaller. After the surgery they asked me if I wanted to see them. I looked and it was 4 black cats, 3 of which were tiny and adorable. They were stretching their little paws out to me. What the heck?! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

IVF #2 CD 20 Transfer Info and 1dp5dt

I didn't update at all yesterday about the transfer. But, it went fantastic! We really couldn't have asked for any better. 

When we arrived at the clinic I took my Valium as instructed. We were called back shortly after which made me nervous since I wasn't feeling it at all. They brought us into the newly expanded part of the clinic. It was absolutely beautiful. We walked past the embryology lab which was fish-bowl style. There were lots of people working away.

When they brought us into the room it felt more like a spa room than a transfer room. Super comfortable bed, no stirrups, low lighting, music, and calming colors. The nurse came in and explained everything that was going to happen. She asked if I had a preference for the doctor and I said I didn't care. She had a print out of our embryos and she started counting. Where did she stop? 17!! Of course not all of them were at the same stage, but all were still going, which completely shocked and amazed both W and me. 

Then the doctor came in. It was the same one who did my retrieval and I really liked him. W actually remarked when he first came into the room to explain the retrieval procedure my heart rate dropped dramatically by the time he left. 

Dr. Greene told me we had 4 blastocysts and that he recommended transferring 1 or 2. He said he would need a lot of coaxing for 3 since the quality was so good. We talked about the odds. Transferring 2 meant greater odds for twins, but it also upped the success rate from transferring 1. Transferring 3 made the triplet rate a little scary for both of us and didn't change the overall success rate.  

He showed me the best blastocysts and I then asked about the grading. He opened a door which led directly to the embryology lab and called the embryologist in. She told me of the 4 we had, 2 were 4AA and 2 were 4BB. There were a bunch more that were close and they were going to monitor them to see whether they turned to blast. Her recommendation was to transfer the 2 4AA's and freeze the 4BB's. Done deal.

Dr. Greene first did a trial transfer and then the actual transfer. When he was doing the trial transfer he turned the screen towards me and moved the catheter so I could see what I was looking at. He then said, "That's me, waving hello." We all laughed awkwardly at that one. 

W was there holding my hand the entire time and it was over quickly. No cramping, no discomfort, totally smooth. Dr. G counted down, "3, 2, 1" when he put them in, but I couldn't see anything different on the screen. I wasn't sure exactly where to look. 

I scooted up the bed and relaxed for the next 20 minutes or so. We got a picture of the ones we transferred and I've been transfixed by them since. Maybe I'm biased, but I can't believe how perfect and beautiful they are. 

After the 20 minutes the nurse returned and said I could get dressed. We walked about 30 seconds down the hall and were at acupuncture. I definitely fell asleep there and felt super relaxed. We went home and spent the rest of the day lounging around and watching comedies. 

Today I went back to work since I've missed so much. It was a light day and I tried not to pick up any of the kids or be too physical with them. When I woke up this morning I felt really anxious, but was able to listen to Circle + Bloom, and that really helped. 

Unfortunately, W texted me around 11 saying the stomach bug had hit him. This evening was spent laying low and relaxing again. I feel terrible that he got it too since it's no fun. I hope he feels better soon. 

Tomorrow I have acupuncture scheduled for 3:30. We bought tickets to the SU Georgetown game, but I'm not so sure we will be going. It's harder to be distracted and positive when your hubby is so sick. I'm trying my best though. 

I'm thinking positive and grateful thoughts and really hoping this is it. Oh yeah, and here are my amazingly beautiful future babies:
Our 2 4AA blastocysts
Our joke is that the one on the left looks more like me since it's rounder and I have a rounder face and features. Very creatively, it is nicknamed "round". The one of the right looks more like W since he has a more narrow face and more pointy feature. That one is called "pointy". So hopefully "round" and "pointy" are getting comfy cozy as I type. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

IVF #2 CD 19 Transfer Time

My transfer is scheduled for this morning at 9:15. I have an acupuncture appointment immediately following which I am really looking forward to. 

What I'm looking forward to the most? Valium. I love that stuff!

I went with the attitude that, "no news is good news" on Saturday when I knew the clinic would be checking my embryos. I didn't call them and they didn't call me. And I'm OK with that. I didn't want to spend the weekend worrying about things. And it worked well.  
I am looking forward to finding out what we have to transfer today. I am super excited and nervous all at the same time. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

IVF #2 CD 15 Fertilization Report and Sick as a Dog

I worked on Tuesday. One little guy I see for therapy had a mom with the stomach bug. Instead of canceling, I saw him at his grandma's house instead since he was feeling fine. That night I saw on Facebook that he came down with it as did his Dad. I was a bit fearful but figured I had washed my hands and hadn't been too hands-on with him during our session. Well, no such luck. Last night around 1:30 I woke up extremely nauseous. I had weighed myself before bed like the instructions from my clinic said to do. 
From 1:30 until at least 4:30 I was up every half hour vomiting. The diarrhea joined in about mid-way through the night (sorry if TMI). I was a wreck. I couldn't keep down a sip of water. This morning I weighed myself and I was down 6 pounds! Since I wasn't having any symptoms of OHSS I contribute it to the stomach bug. So far today I haven't thrown up at all, but all I've managed to consume is half a bottle of Gatorade. Not really the hydration I was hoping for. 

We got the call this morning about fertilization. Of the 28 eggs retrieved they were able to ISCI 21 of them. Of those 21, 17 fertilized. We are scheduled for a 5 day transfer on Monday morning at 9:15. 

Other than feeling like death from the stomach bug, I've been OK. Maybe the sickness masked any of feelings of discomfort from the retrieval. W stayed home and took care of me today and I really hope he doesn't come down with the same thing. Seriously horrible!

I'm not sure if it's the Dexamethasone or what, but since starting it I came down with a cold and a stomach bug. Usually I'm able to fight off the germs I am exposed to at work. I'm just hoping I start to feel better soon and actually want to eat. 

I don't think we will hear anything else about our embryos until Saturday so until then I am just focusing on feeling better and maybe even getting out of bed some time today. It has not been the most fun 24 hours!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

IVF #2 CD 14 Retrieval (Go Big or Go Home)

Retrieval was this morning at 9:30. We got there around 9:00 and waited for quite a while to be taken back. I got changed into my gown (which was HUGE) and then the nurse brought me a heated blanket to cover my exposed cheeks. I got situated in the room and then the nurse tried to start the IV. She first tried my left arm and it didn't go well. The needle went in but the IV fluids weren't going in very fast. She fumbled with the needle while it was in my vein for what felt like forever and it was bleeding a lot. She eventually just gave up and went to the right arm. That went fine. I'm sure my veins aren't going to be too pretty tomorrow. 

The anesthesiologist came in and talked to me, they hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and then the RE came in. It's not my RE, but I've only ever met mine once so it didn't really matter to me. This guy was super nice and friendly. He then said he knew I had been watching the ultrasounds and had an idea of how many follicles there were. He told me to keep a number in my head of how many eggs I was hoping would get retrieved. He then said he would try to beat it and that he does 90% of the time. The number I picked? 15. 

W was able to stay in the room and watch the procedure. He has recounted it to me and I'm kinda jealous I was the one knocked out. I was out so quickly once those meds hit it wasn't even funny. I vaguely remember them having me move down and then getting my legs strapped in. 

When I woke up I was SUPER crampy and uncomfortable. W came in the room a few minutes later from doing his part. Within about 5 minutes the embryologist came back to give me the number. 28!!! I am so happy with this but am definitely feeling the difference between retrieving 11 and retrieving 28. 

I feel like I was hit by a bus. A short bus, but still. The bloating in my belly seems to have gone down quite a bit which is good. I was given lots of instructions about OHSS but am hoping I don't need them. I started Destonex yesterday which is supposed to help and am feeling fine other than the cramping and general discomfort. I'm not so sure about working tomorrow since bending and reaching are not fun activities. I sit on the floor with little kids and have to be animated and excited. Not sure I'm up to that but I will see how I feel in the morning. 

All in all, I am really happy about the number of eggs retrieved. Everything went really well and I can't lie, W has been amazing. He will get me anything I want/need and he cleaned the entire house in the past few days. I couldn't ask for anything more. I hope we have some great mature eggs in the mix. I get a fertilization report tomorrow.