Saturday, November 27, 2010

On track!

I was supposed to have my third beta yesterday which would have been a week after my second beta (which was 112). However, when I called the lab to see if they had funky post-holiday hours, I was told they weren't open. So I checked with my clinic to see if delaying a day would work, and they were fine with that.

Well, it turns out the lab *was* open (the phlebotomist mentioned it was very quiet yesterday... I can see why if everyone was told it was closed...) -- oh well. At any rate, we went in this morning around 10am for the blooddraw and I just got the call from my clinic.

My third beta is 1929 (slightly more than doubling every two days)! I'll get my progesterone number tomorrow -- curious what it is, since my first one was so high at 57. With IVF #1, it ranged between 20 and 35.

In other news I'm driving cross country with my dad this week (he needs to get his car back to California), which should keep me occupied waiting for the ultrasound next Sunday.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I made another pie yesterday so we'd have leftovers to eat this weekend. We also very successfully converted leftover stuffing into savory bread pudding. Mmmm.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Slow days

No meaningful update here, just some musings on early pregnancy...

I'm doing ok with this 'one day a time' thing. But the first ultrasound is lurking in my mind, and I know I'll be anxious (although it's the second ultrasound that's going to be terrifying).

Early pregnancy means not a lot of symptoms. I'm sleepier -- by 8:30-9:00pm I'm winding down, and by 9:30 when I'm doing my shots I'm ready to go to sleep. However it's taking me FOREVER to go to sleep each night.

When I do get to sleep, I dream. No crazy vivid dreams (yet), but consistent dreaming every night. If we didn't have construction going on, I'd be snoozing in the mornings, so I wake up sleepy around the time my husband leaves for work.

My breasts aren't particularly sore -- much less so than last time. I have occasional uterine cramps/twinges, which happened last time too. And I'm thirsty a lot, like last time.

I didn't have morning sickness last time, and I wonder if I'll be as lucky this time. In some ways, I'd like to have it, just for the reassurance that things are developing normally.

All these barely-there symptoms make pregnancy a very abstract concept. Luckily the holidays will keep things busy, which should help the time pass.

I go in tomorrow afternoon for another Intralipid (had first one with egg retrieval). I'll have another one in 3-4 weeks, and then they'll check my immunology bloodwork at 11 weeks to see if I'm good or need to continue.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Beta #2 is 112, so almost doubled. My clinic looks for at least a 60% rise, and is very happy (as are we) with this number.

I'll do weekly beta/progesterone/CBCs for the next three weeks, and then just progesterone/CBCs. My first ultrasound is December 5th, still with my RE. If that one is good, then I'm handed off to my ob/gyn.

So far so good! And thank you for your lovely comments on my post from Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


is my beta. It's also my progesterone.

Holy cow that means I'm pregnant.

It feels very different from the first time this happened. I mean, we're happy, obviously, but we're cautious. It's the best possible news based on where we are, but it's so scary. I keep reminding myself that a successful outcome starts like this, too. We told our immediate families, but also told them we don't plan on talking about it much until we get to the second trimester.

I don't even know when that is -- I'm not looking up dates like that. I'll wait for my clinic to give me my meds schedule -- it'll tell me when I stop progesterone and when I stop Lovenox, and all the dates that matter. I think when we have a successful ultrasound with my regular OB in 4-5 weeks, maybe then we can breathe...

One day at a time. So far so good.

You guys have been a great source of support for me -- thanks for being there and cheering me on.

I go back on Friday for beta #2, and I expect sometime next week I'll have another round of Intralipid.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


(One more day to beta...)

I've been on Lovenox (blood thinner like heparin) since retrieval. It causes awful bruising. With good technique*, you can often avoid bad bruises, but it's not 100%.

Right now I have a 2 inch by 2 inch deep purple, tender, bruise on the right side of my tummy. And I find it horrifying, in a way that transcends logic. I mean, bruises are unpleasant in and of themselves, but my reaction to them definitely goes beyond. So I've been thinking about it a lot.

I think these bad bruises horrify me because they're a physical manifestation of everything I'm putting my body through. Most of what IVF involves is hidden: The shots, the monitoring appointments, the crazy side effects from all the hormones, the pills, the stress of waiting, the sadness of IF, the financial implications...

But bruises and scars (I have some from my laparoscopy in August '09) show, and remind me that I'm going through some pretty horrendous stuff in an effort to get the baby that we want so badly.

I just keep reminding myself that bruises and scars do fade, and that this too shall pass.

*Best technique I've found is to ice, then inject over 10-15 seconds, then leave the needle in for 10 seconds, then remove, gently press gauze for 10 seconds, then ice for about a minute. And if you do bruise, arnica gel is the only thing that will help the bruises fade faster (I get mine at Whole Foods).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Passing time

I'm staying reasonably busy and distracted. Hardest is at night when I'm reading before bed (TMI: with two different pills to insert vaginally, I read for at least 30 minutes to let the first one absorb.) That's when I think about symptoms and stuff.

One nice thing about IVF -- it's not a 2ww, it's a 10 day wait. One week to go!

(And no, I have no interest in peeing on a stick. It's too easy to psych yourself out one way or the other, and I managed just fine with IVF #1 -- I only POASed after getting the call from the clinic with the positive beta -- just to see what a positive result looked like!)

When I was pregnant in the spring (which still sounds surreal to me), I don't remember having any intuition about the results of my IVF before the beta. I remember twinges, low in my abdomen, but I don't remember if that was before or after beta. And I know every pregnancy is different. So I'm staying zen.

But oh, I want this so much.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now we wait

Had the transfer yesterday at about 1:30.

We transferred two of our three embryos (our RE planned to transfer all three and I refused - not willing to have triplets. :)

Both embryos were Grade 2 (where Grade 1 is perfect, but the success rates are the same)- at 9:30am one was a 5-cell and one was converting into a morula, but by the time of transfer both were converting, which is great.

The third embryo was a 9-cell grade 3 embryo on its Day 2 (since it matured after retrieval it's one day behind). We'll let it grow to its Day 5 and if it makes it, freeze it.

Spent the afternoon on the couch yesterday, reading, and watching Gossip Girl. Slept well and now have two lazy days mostly at home (acupuncture this afternoon).

We've controlled all the variables we can -- now we just wait. First beta is November 17. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Two + one = three

We got a call this morning that our third embryo fertilized normally, so now we have three potentials!

I think of it as this way we get to choose the best two of three. I don't want twins, but would be ok with them, but I really wouldn't be ok with triplets.

Transfer is at 12:45 tomorrow (well, consult, then transfer).

Friday, November 5, 2010

Counting down to Sunday

I'm glad we started with six eggs, because only 3 were mature. 2 of those fertilized normally. Of the other 3 immature eggs, one matured overnight and was ICSIed today -- we'll find out tomorrow if it's normal and thus just a day behind.

This compares favorably with our first IVF, when we had 3 eggs retrieved: 1 was mature and fertilized normally, 1 was immature but matured and fertilized normally, and 1 never matured. We put two in and one implanted.

And it's better than IVF #2 when we had 3 follicles, but only got 2 immature eggs. 1 matured, but didn't divide. So we had nothing to transfer.

Since this time we have 2 fertilized eggs that started out mature, we're optimistic that we'll get to our Sunday transfer. And maybe we'll have an extra to decide what to do with.

Just Lovaza tonight -- progesterone (in ethyl oleate -- MUCH easier than in oil) gets added tomorrow night.

Staying positive over here!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Drum roll please

We got six eggs!

I don't find out until tomorrow morning how many were mature and how many fertilized, but yay for six! Six means we have a chance of making a Day 5 transfer instead of a Day 3 transfer.

Turned out he got 3 from the right ovary, which had four follicles, and 3 from the left ovary which we thought had two follicles. One more was hiding behind my endometrioma (blarg).

Anesthesiologist was great -- he put my IV in, which seems to work better than having the nurses do it. No nausea. Intralipid went pretty fast. Didn't pass out when the IV came out.

Now home, resting. About to take two more Tylenol preventatively. I start Lovenox again tonight, and start progesterone shots Saturday night. But all done with the morning shots. :)

Hopefully everything will go as smoothly over the next few days!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A whole day without any injections! And no more morning shots!

It's such a nice breather, before diving into the retrieval/transfer/2ww process. I'll start my Lovenox again tomorrow night, and then progesterone will likely start the night before transfer.

Still feeling good about things. I'm pleased I responded well to the estrogen priming/antagonist protocol, since it bodes well for future attempts (either IVF #4, or baby #2 if this one works. :)

We show up at the clinic at 8am tomorrow -- if last time is any indication, I'll probably be out of there between 1 and 2 (Intralipid takes about 2 hours).

Here we go!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trigger tonight!

Last ultrasound/bloodwork was this morning. Things look great -- triple pattern lining at 11.2, follicles at 19.5, 19, 17, 12, 11 (ish). I took my morning Ganirelix, but no stims, and I trigger at 9pm tonight. Thursday morning we show up at the clinic at 8am for a 9am retrieval.

Estradiol was up to 1137 (and is somewhat depressed by the Ganirelix), LH at 4.2, progesterone at 0.2.

I'm feeling optimistic today. Everything looks good, and we know it can work. My doctor even talked about the possibility of a Day 5 transfer, which he's never done before.

Here's hoping!