Monday, April 30, 2012

Black box

(Status: 6w2d today. Next beta is Wednesday, and our ultrasound is Friday!)

Early pregnancy has its own challenges. It's too early to have real symptoms that can't also be attributed to the meds, and so there's no feedback or reassurance that there's actually something growing in there! It's not unlike the black box of going through IF treatment - where you do all the steps they tell you to, and you hope things are happening, but you don't really know until you have an ultrasound or bloodwork to confirm what's happening.

I do have cramping and twinges, and I'm a little smell/texture sensitive, but otherwise I feel like I always do (but happier. :) I look forward to being further along and showing (not to mention then I get to tell people about it!) and eventually having the physical connection of knowing my little guy is moving around in there. But in the meantime, it's just more waiting...

Really looking forward to getting through this week with hopefully great beta numbers and a great ultrasound.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Still going strong

Had another beta today - it's up to 4539 (was 339 a week ago), so that's great! One more beta next Wednesday and then our ultrasound is scheduled for Friday, May 4. Which is 6w6d.

I had a major cramp the other night when I sneezed (no joke!) so we joked that maybe I sneezed out the baby. But he's still in there!

I was a little anxious last night, knowing we'd get numbers today, but overall I'm really content and happy and not worried.  As grit and patience wrote in a blog post last week, using donor eggs, and CGH-tested donor eggs at that, definitely relieves some of the anxiety.

And we're choosing to be joyful and not fearful. Having lost two pregnancies, I know all of these milestones are just markers on the way to actually having a healthy baby, but we've done and are doing everything we can to manage to that result. If something goes bad, we'd rather have the good memories about how happy we were, than live in fear of it and let that dampen our joy.

Our due date is December 22. Yesterday my car was in the shop for a regular maintenance, and when it came back, they had put a sticker in the window to remind me about my next oil change. The date on that sticker is December 23, so everytime I look at it I giggle.  We'll reach the second trimester in June, which is good timing because my husband's mom will be in town visiting us before we all go on vacation together (all our other parents live locally). So we'll be able to tell everyone face to face. And we can position it as 'let's talk about plans for Christmas' (we juggle three families at the holidays, so we always have to plan way in advance... :)

No morning sickness, but I never had any with prior pregnancies. Still thirsty, still get tired (although I'm not sleeping very well due to allergies) early. Swollen but not overly sensitive breasts, and a little more veiny than usual (which I've never noticed before). I'm wearing my Bella Band everyday, and it makes my pants a lot more comfortable. The progesterone and the dexamethasone definitely make me bloated.  Dreaming, but not the crazy vivid ones I remember from previous pregnancies - although I don't remember when they started. I feel little cramps pretty often.

10 days to the ultrasound!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beta #2

After a long delay due to my local lab mishandling the sample, around 3pm I finally got the number.

I was at the clinic for an intralipid, which we decided to do even without the second beta number. Afterwards I was scheduling the ultrasound and the fax finally arrived.

339! So slightly more than doubling in slightly less than 48 hours!

I've had a little brown spotting, which I would much prefer not having, but I know it's common so trying not to e stressed about it.

First ultrasound scheduled for May 4!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Positive! (and a beta!)

After an anxious weekend, in which I held out and didn't POAS, I woke up at 2:30am this morning and had to pee. I stayed in bed, afraid to go test, and then realized there was no way I was going back to sleep *without* peeing. So I got up, which woke my husband a bit, and did the home pregnancy test. It was immediately (within 10 seconds) positive. So I called out to him that I'm pregnant and he said 'really?!' and came into the bathroom. So we had 20 minutes of middle-of-the-night cuddles and chat and then tried to go back to sleep, which eventually worked for a couple more hours.

This morning I went for the blooddraw, which I did around 9:15am, and expect to get the call from my clinic in the early afternoon. Beta came back at 165! Repeat beta on Wednesday and I'll do an Intralipid on Thursday afternoon.

Here's the photo from 3am (there's also a 7am photo of the same test that I posted on twitter):


Last night my husband asked me if I thought this cycle worked - he's been very positive about this cycle because I've been so happy for the past month and he thinks that makes a difference - and I said I did, but that I was still scared. After a cycle with all the right symptoms ended in a BFN, it really teaches you not to rely on symptoms.

That said, I've been really tired every afternoon, although I haven't had the 'sleep-like-a-log' phenomenon (yet?) My breasts were really sore right after transfer, but have been much less sore since. I've been extremely thirsty (this happened with my first pregnancy too) and drinking waaaaay more water than I usually do. And no specific low abdomen pulling sensations, but various cram pings. And I did feel what I'm pretty sure was implantation the night of transfer.

First hurdle crossed!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

IF is like a video game

I read Mel's analogy post a few weeks back, and it's been floating around my brain.

And then this past week I was faced with what to do about my PIO shot the night my husband was going to be away. Previously I've had my next door neighbor (a doctor) do the shot on the single occasion I've needed an IM shot without my husband around.

But instead of having her do it, I decided I could do it myself. After all, I know it's not a painful shot, it's just awkward, but there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do it.

So I did. And it was easy (and yes, a little awkward, and also, man it takes a lot more effort to inject progesterone in ethyl oleate through a 25g needle than any of my subcutaneous injections in my belly...)

And it got me thinking... Infertility is like a video game where no skill is involved, just luck.


Oh, and there are no save points. Only the final result matters. Getting part way there doesn't mean you get to start there the next time you try.

Some people waltz through the game and win easily and never have any set backs, and don't think twice about it.

Other people keep trying and for no obvious reason can't make any progress.

But, as with video games, we can track achievements that you collect along the way, not just the win/loss result at the end.

Here are the IF achievements I've come up with. I'm sure you can come up with others - post them in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

Fearless Pincushion was the last achievement I needed. Now I've collected them all, and Monday I'll find out if this time I won or lost.


Willing Pincushion = received injections as part of fertility treatment
Brave Pincushion = self-injected subcutaneous injections as part of fertility treatment
Fearless Pincushion = self-injected PIO or other fleshy-part-of-your-back-hip injections
Clumsy Pincushion = accidentally stuck a needle in some of your body you didn't mean to

Beginner Sharpshooter = done 10 injections
Intermediate Sharpshooter = done 50 injections
Advanced Sharpshooter = done 100 injections
Master Sharpshooter = done 500 injections
Sharpshooter Instructor = know all the local places to drop off a full sharps container

Bronze Voodoo Doll = done 2 injections in a session
Silver Voodoo Doll = done 3 injections in a session
Gold Voodoo Doll = done 4 injections in a session
Platinum Voodoo Doll = done 5+ injections in a session
Embarrassed Voodoo Doll = accidentally had to do an extra injection because you forgot to mix the saline with the powder

Junior Explorer = self-injecting in a public bathroom (airport, restroom)
Social Explorer = going into a single stall public bathroom with a partner to get a PIO shot
Dive Explorer = self-injecting in a filthy public bathroom that requires covering everything with paper towels
Senior Explorer = self-injecting in the front seat of your car while parked on a public street
Neighborly Explorer = self-injecting at a friend's house
Ninja Explorer = self-injecting while on vacation with people who don't know
(This category initially brainstormed by Dead Cow Girl.)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2ww #6

Update: embarrassingly, I miscounted - this is my 6th IVF 2ww... Title and post updated to reflect that.

Had the FET yesterday. The (genetically perfect) blast was graded 5AC and was about 70% hatched when the transfer happened. Our RE said that meant it would probably be fully hatched and ready to implant by yesterday evening.

I had a few twinges last night and was overall a little more crampy than usual all afternoon (usually I'm not crampy after a transfer). Took it easy on the couch (watched the first two episodes of Season 2 of Downton Abbey with my husband - love that show) and stayed quiet. Had a lazy morning and am now up and about but keeping it low-key.

My husband has been more emotional about this transfer than I have. He was teary at the FET, and again last night. He wants this so much, and it's been such a long journey for us...

This is our 6th IVF-related 2ww, our 2nd FET, and our 8th attempt (2 cancelled cycles in there). I'm glad FETs are so much easier, and faster - it's been less than a month since we found out the last one didn't work (that was on March 11).

Beta is on Monday the 16th. I know I've always been strongly anti-POAS, but it worked out well last time to POAS the morning of beta - better to get the negative there than be on pins and needles all day for a negative phone call. I'll be using my local lab since it's a weekday, too.