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My beta yesterday came back at 391! What a huge relief. I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but I do feel a bit better as we get past each step. I don’t go back for blood work now until November 5th, and my ultrasound is tentatively scheduled for November 12th (assuming my results on the 5th are good). I’m glad we don’t have to wait all that long to see what’s going on in there. I’m hoping and praying that the good news continues!

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Thanks to everyone who wished me congratulations and has provided so much support over the past few weeks!

I heard from one of the nurses yesterday afternoon, and she said to continue what I’m doing (crinone in the a.m., 2 mg estradiol 2 x’s per day; baby aspirin) and repeat my blood work on Monday. I was surprised they said Monday instead of Saturday, but hopefully on Monday we’ll see a good rise over a 4 day period. At that point, I’ll be 12dp5dt, which is when a lot of people seem to get their first beta, anyway. I suppose it wouldn’t make much of a difference which day they do it on, anyway, since there isn’t a heck of a lot we can do if the numbers don’t look good. So, more waiting, but I’m going to try to enjoy my good news in the meantime.

We told my parents and M’s parents, and I also told my friend who went through IVF last year (same clinic, same RE). My friend who went through IVF totally understands how I’m feeling, but was also super excited. My parents were happy to hear the news, but they were a little cautious because they understand it’s still really (REALLY) early (I’m only 9dp5dt today). My mom, especially, is keeping any excitement in check for now. M’s parents are trying to be cautious, but I think their excitement is overruling their attempts for restraint right now. That’s fine with me, though. It’s actually sort of nice to see them so excited! In some ways, seeing my own parents be so cautious just reinforces my own fears – although I completely understand their reaction.

I’m excited, but (sort of like my mom, I guess), I’m just not quite able to really embrace it yet. I mostly feel relieved – that the cycle went so well, and that at least one of the embryos appears to have implanted. I want to just live in the moment and be happy that we’ve come as far as we have, but it’s like my mind won’t let me. It’s self-protection, I guess. I am still having some mild cramping on and off, which I know is normal but also makes me nervous.

I’ve been thinking about something since the cycle started that I couldn’t put into words, but I realized this morning what it is. When we started this cycle, I didn’t know what to expect or how I’d respond. I was prepared for the worst. As we crossed each hurdle, though – a good retrieval, good fert. report, quality embryos – the possibility of success became that much more real, and failure became a harder concept to accept. I started all this thinking that I had no idea if we would actually end up with a baby, but at least we would know we tried. When I saw that things were going well, my thinking shifted, and I started to think that even if this cycle didn’t work, another might, and that we really could one day be parents. The better things went, the more there was to lose. And that’s true now more than ever.

I really don’t want to think that way, and I’m sure that getting another good report on Monday will be reassuring. I am happy, but instead of being jump-up-and-down-excited like I thought I’d be, I feel more grateful and kind of quiet than anything else.  I’m happy, but in disbelief. It’s probably just as well – I’m not supposed to be jumping up and down anyway. 🙂

It was positive!!!

My hcg was 70, which they said was a good number considering how early it is (8dp5dt). I’m sort of stunned and am so excited, but I’m also so cautious. It’s just SO early. I think I’ll feel better if the second test looks good, and then I guess as time goes on, I’ll just start really believing it. For now, though, I’m so happy knowing I’ve still got at least one of our embryos, and I’m trying to just go with it for today. For today, I am pregnant (it’s so crazy to even type that!). I’m sort of afraid my progesterone is on the low side (10), but I’m still waiting for a call from my dr. about my medications and the next time to get bloodwork. Maybe it’s fine, or maybe she’ll tell me to start crinone twice a day instead of once. It’s sort of hard to compare because I read that crinone doesn’t show up in your bloodstream as much as PIO would. Maybe I’m just finding something to worry about.

Right now, though, it’s great news! I still can’t really believe it.

Tomorrow is beta day! I’ll get up early in the a.m. and head over to the lab hopefully by 7. It’s not far from my house, so even with traffic, I should be there by 7:15 and home by 8, at the latest. I looked through the info. from my RE’s office, and it says I can call for results after 1:30. I don’t know if that means they aren’t going to call, but I’m expecting that I won’t know anything until the afternoon. I have a meeting from 1-3 that will hopefully end early, so I’ll plan to call when it’s over if I haven’t heard by then.

I’m dying to know the results, but I feel somewhat prepared for either. I’ll be disappointed if it’s negative, obviously, and beyond thrilled if it’s positive, and at this point, I don’t have any idea what it will be. I guess I’m leaning more toward positive than negative, but I’m a far cry from thinking that I’m definitely pregnant. I’m trying somewhat unsuccessfully to not think about it at all. It will be good to know either way. I can deal with bad news, but I don’t deal all that well with the waiting. Tomorrow, we’ll have the test and move forward one way or another.

Well, I’m still waiting. I somehow feel better today though. I’m still crampy on and off, and today, I’m also tired. I have no idea if any of it means anything, but I’m doing a better job of accepting that there isn’t anything I can do about it anyway. That doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about it, and of course I spend a lot of time hoping that we’ll have a baby in 9 months, but I’m trying not to get ahead of myself and worry about whether the next cycle would work when we haven’t even finished this one yet. If it doesn’t, we’ll try again, and that’s all we can do.

I will say, though, Thursday cannot come fast enough! I’m a bit bummed that I have a meeting I have to call into in the afternoon, but that’s the way it goes. I’m hoping I’ll get the results before the meeting so I don’t have to worry about missing a call from my RE’s office. At least my RE tests early – I’ll only be 8dp5dt.

I haven’t POAS and I don’t know if I will. I said I wouldn’t, and so far, I’m sticking to it. I think I might have one pregnancy test in the house, but if I do, it’s probably expired. I would only do it if I could use a reliable brand. I could drive down the road to get one, but Thursday isn’t all that far away, anyway. One of the nurses encouraged me not to test, because she said it could be negative when it’s really not, especially since my RE’s office tests early. I think I can wait it out.

I have all these random thoughts today, like:

  • I need to order a turkey from the farmers market on Saturday. Wow, on Saturday, I’ll either be walking around knowing I’m pregnant or planning to drink loads of wine (although I suppose not at the farmer’s market). I’d so rather be pregnant.
  • I feel kind of crampy again. Is that a good sign?
  • I’m tired, too.  Maybe that’s good! Or maybe I’m just bored.
  • I feel kind of queasy. Maybe that’s good! Or am I imagining it???

My mom called yesterday to see how I felt, and my sister-in-law asked me the same thing today. I feel like they’re all waiting for me to say I feel terrible and are disappointed when I say I feel ok. I have to restrain myself from saying I’ve been on medication for the last three and a half weeks and have absolutely no idea how I feel anymore (although I do explain that it’s difficult to separate pregnancy symptoms from progesterone side effects, anyway).

Since they don’t read my blog (or even know about it), though, here are my current symptoms*:

  • sore breasts – this has been true for a while, and is I think related to the progesterone, but I do feel like they’re a bit more swollen feeling lately
  • cramps – I mad mild cramping initially from the progesterone, but it did intensify over the weekend, I think. I was achey yesterday and am still crampy today, but not as bad as yesterday. Good or bad – who knows?
  • skin – my skin has gotten kind of dry, and I have a few small zits. It’s a weird combination.
  • fatigue – I have been tired for three and a half weeks, but I am really tired today. I also woke up at 6 to pee, and I don’t know if I totally went back to sleep, but that’s not a ton earlier than I would have gotten up.
  • nausea/appetite – it’s ok. I can’t say anything tastes super good. Yesterday was a strange day because people were working on the house, and I felt funny eating in front of them. So I sort of snacked all day. Today, I’ve been alternating between hungry and slightly queasy. My appetite has been funny since I started all the meds, though, so I don’t totally trust that either.
  • my abdomen is back to sticking out a little bit, and I gained a pound.
  • mood – I feel a bit on edge, which I suppose is understandable!

 

* I want to list these partially in case I do find out I’m pregnant, but also if I’m not, for future reference!

 

Today, I am 5 days out from my 5 day transfer (I’m assuming transfer day is day 0).

I feel ok. I’m kind of crampy, but I felt a little bit that way before the transfer. I was on crinone (instead of PIO) since last Sunday, so I tried to really pay attention to the crinone/progesterone side effects for the three days before my transfer. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much after the transfer with symptoms that are really progesterone side effects. I do feel almost a bit more crampy now, I think, but that could be from a multitude of things. I’m still weighing myself daily because of my OHSS risk, and I haven’t taken the cabergoline/dostinex since Wednesday. My weight came down a bit and then stayed exactly the same for 3-4 days, and between that and the number of days that have passed, I’m assuming the ovidrel is out of my system. This morning I had gained a pound, and I’m hoping it’s because hcg is getting back into my system from some freshly implanted and growing embryos. That might be a bit optimistic, though. Maybe I just ate too much yesterday! 🙂

It’s hard to figure out how to be…sometimes I feel optimistic, but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. On the other hand, I don’t want to be too negative. M asked me how I was feeling about everything, and it’s almost hard to answer. I’m excited that it could have worked but scared that it didn’t. I’m relieved that I responded well and that our embryos looked good, but it makes me worry what the problem could be if everything else seems ok. All along, I was worried about my eggs and their quality – between the endometrioma that had been covering my ovary, high-ish fsh, and somewhat low AMH – I was afraid I wouldn’t get enough eggs, or that they wouldn’t fertilize, or that that the embryos wouldn’t look good. Each time I got a good report, I was relieved and stunned. I know I’m lucky that everything went as well as it did, but I’m scared by the prospect of it not working. If everything looked good up until the transfer, then what would the issue be???

I know I’m getting ahead of myself, because we don’t know yet if it worked or not. It’s just that I went into this process thinking that if it didn’t work, hopefully they’d learn something along the way. Maybe they’d need to adjust the protocol. But the fact that everything went as well as it did makes me think there isn’t much to change, and that wasn’t something I was really prepared for. It’s just not what I imagined.

My RE said I could get my beta on Thursday, so it’s not too much more of a wait. These last few days are definitely the hardest!

I just called the lab, and two of our embryos were able to be frozen on day 6! I’m stunned and happy to know we have an option if this cycle fails, and if it doesn’t, a chance for a sibling! I know it’s not a sure thing, but it’s certainly an unexpected bonus!

It’s hard to describe my mental state at the moment. I guess I just feel quiet. I wonder whats going on in my uterus and what the outcome will be, but I can’t say I’m stressed or overly anxious – not yet, anyway. I’m sort of in awe of the whole process. I’m just amazed that there are two embryos in my uterus and another two on ice. I never thought we’d do IVF, and now that we have, I’m sort of stunned that we got to this point. There are so many people rooting for us – so many prayers and good wishes – it’s kind of overwhelming, in a way. Imagine how I’ll feel if I find out I’m pregnant???

I’m trying to just take things one day at a time and be peaceful and relaxed. Sometimes I think I’m too relaxed because I have a terrible habit of falling asleep while listening to my circle + bloom recordings! It’s kind of irritating, because I don’t make it past the relaxation part. It’s almost like I’m developing a reaction to the woman’s voice, and as soon as I hear it, I fall asleep! I want to her the cycle specific bits, but it’s not going well lately. I’m going to try today after work and see if I have better luck than listening at bedtime. Anyway – the point is that I am trying to be peaceful and relaxed. Taking it easy has been hard…I work from home and usually take a lot of breaks to do laundry, vacuum, water the garden, etc., and I don’t feel like I should really be doing those things. It’s not easy, especially since M has been working long hours to make up for the time he used taking me to the retrieval and transfer (it’s also just a busy time for him). I did walk out to the garden today, but on my way back, a bee buzzed by my head, and I instinctively ran toward the house. Then, I had a moment of panic because I’m not supposed to be running! Stupid bee! My RE is the least strict at the practice, though, and I don’t think she’d care if I actually went for a run, as long as it was at a slower pace. It’s just hard not to be overly cautious!

So, happy news for a Friday. Two embryos are frozen, and two are hanging out with me – hopefully getting nice and cozy for a 9-month stay.

The transfer went really well yesterday.

My appointment was originally at 12:15, and I had instructions to take an antibiotic with a full glass of water at 11:45 and arrive at 11:15. My RE’s office called in the morning and asked if we could come in 15 minutes early, which wasn’t an issue. Of course, I panicked when I saw they were calling me – I was afraid they were going to say my embryos didn’t make it – but thankfully, it was just a minor time change.

I went for a walk in the morning and decided it would make sense for me to drive M to work and then pick him up on the way to the dr. I had taken the day off, so I figured it would save him some time. It did, but I ended up having a hectic morning instead, which was not at all what I planned. By the time I got back from dropping him off, I had less than an hour to shower and get out the door. I had planned to listed to circle + bloom before going, but ran out of time. 😦

I picked M up on time, though, and that meant I could relax a little on the way there. When we arrived, they took us in right away and had me change into a gown. M got to put a gown on over his clothes, too. A friend had warned me to drink a good amount of water, but I wanted to find that sweet spot between ‘my bladder is full’ and ‘I think I may wet the bed.’ I drank water on the way there, and the nurse came in a little after 11 to give me more water and a valium. I asked her about the water quantity, and she said that my dr. like a pretty full bladder, and her advice was to not be thinking ‘I think I could pee,’ but to instead be like, ‘wow, I definitely have to pee.’ She said they could always use a catheter to drain some out after the transfer, which sounded terrible to me, but the nurse (who had also gone through IVF) said it wasn’t as bad as laying there having to pee – or as bad as having them fill my bladder for me.

While I was chugging water, the embryologist came in, which was what I was really waiting for! He said we had two good-looking blastocycts that were ready to go, which was such a relief! He gave us some info about them – what made them good, etc – and then went over the remaining ones that they’ll try to freeze. One of those, he said, probably won’t make it, but he said the others could go either way. I was just so relieved to know we had two good ones for the transfer!

Around 12:00, they wheeled us back to the procedure/operating room and got me all ready to go – speculum, heavy duty stirrups, cleaning my cervix, etc. My RE said my bladder was really full, which was great for the transfer. The embryologist verified that we still wanted to go with 2 embryos and went into another room to get them ready. I think my dr. did something to thread an empty catheter through my cervix, but I don’t totally remember. There was a big screen in the room, and eventually (although honestly – it felt like we were waiting for ages!) my last name appeared. We could see the embryos being sucked into the catheter, which was cool. It was all kind of surreal! He brought the catheter with our embryos in the room and handed it to my dr. She got the catheter into position and counted 3..2..1, and then it was done! It was all sort of happy and strange.

I’ve realized that every clinic does things differently, and mine has patients lie flat in bed for 30 minutes after the transfer. My dr. is very much of the ‘they aren’t going to fall out’ mindset, but she still follows the 30-minute rule. Since my bladder was so full, she and one of the nurses recommended that they use a catheter to empty my bladder. They said it would hurt, but only for a second, and would make the 30 minutes much more bearable. It did hurt, but they were right – only for a second. What a strange sensation, though! They were impressed that I could hold almost a liter of fluid in my bladder without complaining. 🙂

After that, they wheeled me back to the room where we hung out for 30 minutes, and then I lounged around the rest of the day at home. I’m back working today, but my job is pretty sedentary. I went to acupuncture today, too. I feel really self-conscious about my activity level, and that’s driving me crazy. I feel fine, but every time I walk down the stairs, bend over, or let the dog out, I wonder if it’s too much. I think that will get better with each day. Other than that, I just keep thinking about how I’ve got these embryos inside me! It’s kind of wild. I thought ‘my embryos and I are off to acupuncture!’ earlier today, and it made me smile. I know it sounds silly, but I’m trying to just be in the moment and embrace the fact that right now, I know they’re in there.

I’ll write more later, but right now I am laying low with my two embryos! Transfer went well…a totally surreal experience, but it went as well as it could have. And now the wait is on!

One of the craziest things about doing IVF, for me, is the way my body changes every day. While doing injections, my abdomen grew almost daily. I don’t know if it was just bloat, or swollen ovaries, or most likely, a combination of both. The day we did the ovidrel shot, I had to start taking cabergoline because my estradiol was getting high, and my dr. thought I was at risk for OHSS. I also had to get a scale to make sure I wasn’t gaining more than 3-5 lbs in a day.

Surprisingly, my abdomen was a little smaller on the day of my retrieval than it was a few days prior. Between Friday (the day of my ER) and Sunday, I lost weight. My tummy was getting small – and on Sunday, I actually weighed less than I did at the beginning of the IVF cycle. Now, though, the bloat is back. I don’t know if it’s the crinone (progesterone), or just the after-effects of stimulating my ovaries, but I’m back to looking slightly pregnant. And the weight is creeping back up – although not in a dangerous way. Still, though – I gained a lb and a half since yesterday, and my pants – they’re tight.

I can’t say it’s all that bothersome…but it’s just incredible how much changes from one day to the next. It’s always a surprise!

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1