Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Starting another 2ww

A quick update...

We transferred our last XX embryo today. It was only a 3BC when the clinic graded it this morning, but two hours later at transfer time it had expanded to a 5BB (5 measures its progress/growth, B is the quality of the inner cell mass, and B is the quality of the trophectoderm that forms the placenta. We were initially disappointed to hear the embryo was so far behind the other embryos we transferred (last one was fully hatched), so it was a huge relief to hear it was doing so well.

I did an intralipid infusion last Friday, just to cover our bases, and as I mentioned in my last post, my RE did an endometrial scratch for me a month ago.

Our transfer for C was 4/6/12. Hopefully we'll be able to say his sister's transfer date was 4/8/14.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Not that horse...

(Subject is a reference to my last post, Back on the Horse.)

Sorry for the delay. The last FET didn't work - BFN (beta was 2, so annoyingly my RE had me do a second beta to make sure it didn't rise). So we only have one XX embryo left.

High stakes.  We console ourselves with the thought that very few people know ahead of time the sex of their baby. But oh, we'd so like to have a little girl. I even bought a few little girl clothes when I was pregnant in the fall...

We're doing everything we can - we convinced my RE to do an endometrial scratch - he usually only does them as part of retrieval (since transfers at his clinic are all FETs due to CGH) and thus not for later FETs or donor recipients. But he did it for me (under sedation). Maybe he'll start doing it regularly - the way we managed our donor cycle changed the way the clinic handles all patients: CGH screening, and single embryo transfers of normal embryos.

Last cycle my immunology results came back normal so we didn't do an intralipid. This time, we're doing an intralipid regardless - that's scheduled for next Friday.

I had the scratch on March 8. The FET is scheduled for April 8. I started estradiol last Friday. DH is traveling again, but this time he's only missing two shots. Last cycle he was gone until the night before transfer, so I did nearly all of my estradiol and progesterone IM shots myself.

It took 3 transfers of perfect embryos to get pregnant with C. My RE says this third one will work. I'm scared the pregnancy in the fall was the one of three that worked...


I'm generally not all that focused on this FET, however. It's the subject of late night conversations in bed before we go to sleep, but my days are filled with C.

He's a joy. He's a solid walker - in the past few days he's started walking like an adult, with his legs under him, instead of toddling with a wide stance. He has a few words now. 'Nana' for banana, and 'cheeeeze' for cheese. He still doesn't say Mama or Dada with intent, although occasionally when he's annoyed he'll converse with himself and I often hear 'mama' in those diatribes. New signs are 'music' and 'up'. I sing him the alphabet song after we read books before nap and bedtime, and after we're done with books he signs for 'music' so I sing. He really loves music - as soon as he's up in the morning he'll ask for music to be turned on. At the playground he's much more active - clambers up steps in the climbing structure and knows how to hold onto railings while he climbs. He doesn't like slides - hasn't figured out how to stay sitting while sliding down, but enjoys swings as long as it's not too high.

He's still not eating meat, except in combination with other things (ham in beans, or chicken in soup). He loves beans and rice. We moved off thinkbaby sippy cup tops and are now on straw bottles. He's not very good with an open cup but I'm trying to mix it in so he gets practice. He's great with a fork, but not so hot with a spoon unless I'm helping.

I'm solo parenting for the next 5 days, so wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Back on the horse

As the title suggests, we're back in the process of fighting to have a second child. We transferred a 6AB embryo on Sunday. It feels very abstract. I think I try to stay removed from the 2ww to protect myself.

For the first time ever, my immunology results came back normal, so I haven't done intralipids (this makes me slightly nervous). If I get a BFP, we'll retest and if my levels have increased, I'll do intralipids every 2-3 weeks until 11 weeks when we test again.

The miscarriage in November was awful. It took two doses of misoprostol and then a minor D&C to finally clear everything out, and that wasn't complete until December 4. It was such a relief when my beta finally got down to near-zero.

I managed to have a mammogram in mid-January - my last one was in January 2010, before starting IVF, and then each following year I was either in cycle, or pregnant, or breastfeeding.  They called me back a week later to have more images taken, and found new calcifications and a cyst on one side, so I had two biopsies done (not very painful, but quite traumatic) which thankfully came back negative. It was very stressful, both due to the worry about cancerous or precancerous findings, but also because I was about to start meds for the FET and it would have been postponed while we dealt with surgery. But all worked out ok and now I have a new baseline mammogram and a titanium marker in one breast so they know where they removed the sample next time. And I go back next January for another mammogram, even if I'm breastfeeding.

The rest of this post will be about C, so feel free to skip if you're not in that place right now...

On December 18 my beautiful boy turned 1 - we celebrated with family on Saturday, December 21. Note to self - in the future celebrate his birthday early, not late - I felt like I did nothing but cook and clean from December 20 through Christmas Day (which we hosted). On his 1 year birthday he dropped to one nap. On December 19, his 16th tooth came in!

He's now getting close to 14 months. He's walking, though he'll drop to a crawl for long distances. He signs 'more', 'all done', 'milk', 'water', 'food', and his favorite, 'book'. (He's even combined them into 'more' 'book'.) Now I'm learning more signs so I can teach them to him. He talks all the time, but with words only he can understand. He does say 'ba' for ball. He says something like 'babuba' for blueberries, which he loves. Mimics other words like 'baby' and 'mama' and 'dada' but understands an awful lot. He enjoys closing drawers and doors for me. Stacks blocks and rings and frequently brings me books to read for him. He knows his nose and ears and head and mouth and bellybutton, and will (often) give kisses, hugs and cuddles. He just learned how to blow a kiss.

He's a fantastic sleeper, and yes, I know how lucky I am. He sleeps from 6:30pm to sometime between 7 and 7:30am, and takes a 1.5-2 hour nap between noon and 2.

We've continued with baby led weaning. He gets 2 bottles a day (thinkbaby bottles with sippy tops) of 7oz each, and usually drinks 5-7oz of each, plus a small bedtime bottle that he usually refuses and we're shrinking gradually. He's currently refusing all meat, so toast + nut butter or toast + hummus, or pancakes made with full-fat yogurt are all in heavy rotation. He does like cheese, and loves fruit and veggies. And he's great at drinking water, which is good because he's had a cold for the past 4-5 weeks (more than one, obviously).

He keeps getting more and more fun. It's exhausting, particularly when my husband goes away for a 10 day business trip and C and I both get sick, but he's wonderful.

Thinking of all my tweeps in the 2ww and fighting infertility.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The ultrasound yesterday was not good. The tsunami of clots on Sunday apparently swept away the gestational sac as well. The hematoma is gone, but there's no visible sac and no visible heartbeat. I go back in tomorrow to confirm, but I have zero expectation of a surprise.

I feel so betrayed by my body. There's nothing we could have done to prevent this miscarriage - no treatment to avoid or manage sub chorionic hematomas.

With our first two miscarriages, it was a chromosomal abnormality that meant the embryo just stopped progressing, and those embryos could never have been babies.

This embryo was a perfect little girl. If my body had done its job properly, she would have, in all likelihood, been another fabulous child like C.

I was sad yesterday but not all that surprised. Sunday was horrific, so it's not surprising she couldn't survive it.

DH is devastated. As he says, we'll always wonder what she would have been like.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

On track, but...

I had my first ultrasound last Tuesday (11/12), and measured exactly on target (6w2d) with a good heartbeat!

However. (If you're squeamish, you may want to skip the next part. TMI warning.)

I started bleeding the previous Tuesday (noticed dark brown blood that night), so went in for my weekly beta on Wednesday instead of Thursday. It was good, at 4454. I asked for an extra beta on Friday so I could make sure it was continuing to climb, and it was, at 6042. Had another bleed Friday night/Saturday morning (including some small clots on Friday night). So I moved my Thursday ultrasound up to Tuesday. Bled again Monday night/Tuesday morning. But the ultrasound, as I mentioned above, showed a healthy pregnancy, along with a moderate sized sub chorionic hematoma (35mm x 15mm or so) which is where the bleeding is coming from. I had suspected this was the case, but it was so reassuring to get an ultrasound to confirm.

Doctor said to take it easy, but to expect more bleeding. I cancelled a trip that I was going to take this past weekend, and have been generally taking it pretty easy. My husband is taking this month off in between jobs, which is fantastic timing, so he's been able to shoulder a lot of the (21 lb baby) load.

I hadn't bled since Tuesday morning until this afternoon. When I noticed a little light red bleeding. And then passed two medium sized clots. And then an hour later, a truly horrific, fist-sized clot. And an hour later, one about half that size. But I'm not bleeding much, and it's not the bright red thick blood. And the clots are getting smaller now.

So I'm very curious about what the hematoma will look like tomorrow morning. And how big it is. And of course I'm hoping the pregnancy is still on track. But I think all this bleeding/clot messiness is just happening alongside the pregnancy.  Still enormously stressful and unpleasant (and the clots cause a lot of cramping.)

Hopefully this is the one issue I have to deal with for this pregnancy (like my marginal placenta previa in my pregnancy with C).

Sending love and strength to @ImpatientJelly and her boys, who were just born at 24w1d.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


And our FET worked! I'm pregnant!

I tested on Monday morning, the day before the 10dp6dt beta, with a digital test, and got a positive. The first beta came back at 78, which was half what my son's first beta was, so I was a little anxious. But the second beta, two days later, was 272, which was very reassuring!

Lots of twinges, and I get really tired around 4pm, but otherwise feeling good. Naturally I just caught a cold, which is less fun on no medication...

I go in on Monday for another Intralipid infusion, and have the first ultrasound on November 14. Due date is July 6!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

9 months and planning ahead

So C turned 9 months old last week. He's amazing. Super mobile - pulls himself up to standing with ease all day long (and sits down so carefully, it cracks me up). We suspect he'll be walking pretty soon - he barely has to hold on when he stands up now so his balance is getting pretty good.

He has 8 teeth. We had a dentist appointment in mid-August and now brush his teeth daily. One of the reasons to see the dentist was that I wanted a second opinion on C's lip tie. I'd gone to a pediatric ENT and she confirmed he has one (level 3) but didn't recommend correcting it. However, this was after she told me she'd never corrected a lip tie, despite being the ENT who does all the tongue ties at our health center. Weird. So the dentist agreed - he does do (laser) corrections, but since C's doesn't go between his teeth, he thinks he may not need it.

He weighs 18.5 pounds, and is 29.5" long. This puts him at about the 25th percentile for weight and the 90th percentile for length. Long and lean! He's in 12-18 month one pieces and tops (and is close to growing out of the one-pieces) and still in some 3-6 month bottoms (but also some 12-18 month ones if they have all elastic waists).

He's a really happy baby. He's vocal (and sings to music) and grins and laughs easily. We just started a Music Together class - he's usually observant for the first half of class, and then gets into the instruments and singing and dancing. He enjoys food: we've done Baby Led Weaning the whole time - took about 2 months for him to switch from "food is interesting and fun" to "food helps when I'm hungry", and now he eats quite a bit at each meal.

I don't know that I ever really blogged about it, but we do cloth diapers during the day (itti bitti tutto's) and disposables at night. Around 8 months I read the book Diaper Free Before 3 and started putting C on the potty before and after naps, and any time I noticed him holding his breath or grunting like he needed to poo. We have about a 50-60% hit rate, and often he'll pee a little bit even if his diaper was wet, suggesting he knows what the potty is for (e.g. he doesn't just use the potty when his bladder is full). We're generally quite good at getting poops in the potty. My mom is totally into this early potty training thing and is triumphant when he successfully uses the potty for her. Hee!

I started introducing formula when he turned 8 months as I planned to fully wean by 9 months so I could start prepping for a FET to give C a sister (our embryos were fully tested so we know the genders). (I wouldn't have weaned except for wanting to start the sibling journey quickly given how long it took us to have C.) I dropped a nursing session every 4-7 days until early September, when I tried to drop the morning one and he got really angry. So I ended up doing a little nursing and some bottle for morning and evening sessions, and then having my husband do the bottle every morning (and evenings when he was home in time) which worked really well. My last nursing session was September 11 (though I didn't realize it at the time, *sniff*), and my last pumping session was September 12 (2 oz). That last week I was only doing one nursing session and one or two small pumping sessions a day. I thought that would make it easier to stop altogether, but fully weaning was actually really uncomfortable. The first couple of days weren't terrible, but then I had 3-4 days of really swollen breasts with hard lumps - made it hard to sleep, or do anything (like bathing C) that required leaning on something. Ice and ibuprofen helped. And finally today, for the first time, I'm wearing a regular underwire bra in my pre-pregnancy size. 32DD's have never looked so small.

It was hard to wean. I loved breastfeeding C - it went smoothly after we got him a good latch early on, and I loved being able to calm him down. And it was so convenient compared to prepping bottles with formula. But it's also nice to be able to wear normal clothes without worrying about nursing access, and now that C is only on bottles, we've been able to get into a really good routine:

Wake up (typically 6-7am)
7oz bottle
Breakfast 60-90 minutes later
Nap 1 (3 hours after he wakes up)
7 oz bottle after nap
Lunch 60-90 minutes later
Nap 2 (3-3.5 hours after he woke up from Nap 1)
7 oz bottle after nap
Dinner 60-90 minutes later
7 oz bottle at bedtime (usually 60ish minutes later)

That last bottle we hope to downsize gradually so he's processing less liquid overnight. :) But right now we don't want to mess with anything as he's been consistently sleeping through the night. When we first got on bottles, we were doing 5 oz, then tried 6 oz, and now 7 oz often gets finished. Per day he's usually drinking about 25 oz and he's eating pretty good meals for solids. I'm curious if his weight percentile will shift at his 12 month appointment.

I know I teased you up there about planning a FET... I've been on birth control pills for almost 2 weeks now, and my last one will be on Saturday. Next week I have bloodwork to check hormone levels, and will have a period (which I fear will be epic since my period didn't come back while I was breastfeeding). And my FET is scheduled for 10/19! We re-ran my immunology bloodwork earlier this month and it's really good - barely abnormal, which is great for me. So we'll do two Intralipid infusions, and then two more if I get pregnant, but no Humira this time around.

It's funny, both DH and I had forgotten about the estradiol valerate shots. That there were shots, that they're IM shots, and that they're twice a week. In all our IF journey, we only did two FETs, both in 2012, and the second one resulted in C. So the routine wasn't imprinted on our brains like all the stimulation protocols were...

I'm mostly eager about the FET. I'm not anxious at the moment, and C keeps me so busy that the time will fly by (hoping that's true for the 2WW!) It took 3 transfers of perfect embryos to have C, so it's very likely the first transfer won't be the one. The only anxiety I (we) have is that of our 8 frozen embryos, only 3 are girls, and we really want our next child to be a girl. But we're lucky to have those 3 (not to mention the 8 total) and we're crossing our fingers it all works out. So glad we did the second donor cycle so we'd have all these genetically related embryos stored up...

I'm still on twitter, and I still read blogs, though often a month or so behind. With Google Reader gone, I'm using Feedly, which is great for reading, and not so great for commenting, so I've become a lurker on almost every site. Do know that I'm rooting for all of you, and I'm following your journeys as best I can.