Friday, September 29, 2006

Dates and Stuff

Not much new to report. A week from today we’ll know if I’ve got a sac or two inside, and that will be a major milestone. I won’t feel great until I see a heartbeat though, and from what I understand that won’t be until 7 weeks. My favorite site to play with these days is the IVF due date calculator so I can be reminded of where I’m at-- I’m so bad at counting days. Today is 5 weeks 3 days.

Have I mentioned how eerie my dates are as far as lining up with other events in my and H’s life? We found out we were going to trigger on his 30th birthday, which was earlier than anticipated. The retrieval day was when we had our first date, 12 years ago. Transfer was the day H’s grandmother passed away. We have always planned to name our first daughter after her, and now that she passed away on that day, if it’s a girl it will be even more meaningful. We found out about our positive beta the weekend of our anniversary of becoming an official couple. (Yes, we still keep track of it, though we don’t do much other than go out to dinner that day.) Now here’s the best part of all--according to the IVF due date calculator, my due date is my mom’s 60th birthday in May, which is a few days before our wedding anniversary. It will be her first grandchild. Or grandchildren. H and I can’t help but refer to both embryos until we know for sure.

My mom is just tickled. Beyond tickled. When I call her and she hears it’s me, the absolute happiness in her voice is downright scary. I have never evoked this reaction from my mom before, and I don’t know what to make of it. I’ve never been the favorite child. My sister has always been the clear winner in that category. Now, my sister says my mom practically hangs up on her if she’s on the phone with her and I beep in. I said—how odd, mom was never that fond of me. Oh, but she’s fond of her potential grandchildren, my sister replied. My mom has expressed how great it would be if I had twins on her birthday, since she herself is a twin.

So you see the pressure I’m under here to deliver, no pun intended. Even though I’ve been wanting to make these first few weeks very low key and cautiously optimistic, it’s been hard not to be excited and speculate about good things to come. My mind has compensated by giving me a few bad dreams this week about empty sacs and complications. These dreams terrify me. My symptoms haven’t really increased, so I wish something new would happen so I could feel a little more sure that this is real, even if it is morning sickness. The other night I had cramps again and freaked out, but my chest was throbbing at the same time so I guess it was just growing pains. I haven’t had any cravings and aside from noticing a slightly stronger smell of a few things like coffee, I don’t think my super spider smell has kicked in yet. I sit across from the office lunchroom, so I think I would know right away. My location will be very unfortunate when the morning sickness does kick in.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Two Weird Encounters

Last night I went to the dentist, and when the assistant put the X-ray vest on me, I quietly asked her if we could skip the X-rays this time. She smiled and said—period a little late is it? I said—oh, I’m a little more positive than that, but it’s way too early to discuss. Then she flat out asks me—no warning or reason—did you do fertility drugs? I was taken aback and said, well, not exactly, but we did need help. (I always think taking fertility drugs specifically means you used clomid. Now, we all know I’ve been plenty hopped up on IVF fertility drugs, but they were only a means to the larger procedure.) She launched into how she had to take clomid and how her daughters both had trouble conceiving but finally did with drugs. We talked a little more, and somehow the topic of age came up. I mentioned that most women in my family waited until their early thirties to have kids, even my grandmother. She asked when my grandmother had her first, and I said 32—it was her first and only pregnancy because she had twins. And get this, she asks me—did your grandmother do IVF? I bit my tongue to keep from laughing since this woman was going to have sharp instruments in my mouth any moment. No, I said, twins just run in my family…heavily.

I knew I’d have to get used to these types of conversations with people, but so soon? And so randomly?

The second incident I brought upon myself. I snuck over to the pregnancy section of Borders book store to grab a copy of What to Eat When You Are Expecting. I figured that establishing the right eating habits was important enough that I could buy this book now, even so soon. I was about to creep away to pay for it when two young girls came up behind me. “Oh, are you pregnant?!,” the one exclaims. “Um. A little. Maybe, we’ll see,” I stammered. “Well are you or not?” she demanded. I managed to say, “I got a positive on Friday.” “Congratulations,” she said. “I tested positive yesterday.” She and the friend went cheerfully on their way picking out tons of pregnancy books while I booked it (ha ha) to the sales counter. My face was red and I felt flustered, but also a little pleased. I just sorta passed for a p-woman.

Happiness versus Worry

I’ve spent the past few days feeling like a weight has been lifted. Of course, my happiness has been punctuated by a few sharp pangs of—what if this still fails. The wait for my first ultrasound isn’t as bad as the wait for my second beta was (and neither come even close to being as bad as the 2 week wait hell), but I occasionally find myself clenching up as I imagine the worst. Unfortunately, H cannot be with me for the first scan next week because he will be on a business trip. We’re both really disappointed, but since this scan won’t detect the heartbeat yet, I guess it won’t be as momentous. He definitely will be there for that.

H has pointed out a few Internet searches he’s done citing that IVF patients are more at risk for ectopic pregnancies, and he’s chosen to make that his worry. I think it’s odd that you’d be more at risk for one when my RE specifically recommended IVF for me in order to avoid an ectopic with my bad left tube. Anybody else hear of this? My worry is that there just won’t be anything there, or it won’t be growing fast enough. Please, please, please let there be at least one healthy one growing in there. I don’t know how to cope without any more blood draws for over a week!

The pain of the PIO shots is starting to flare up again—I have a knot on each hip. I’ve also got a bad band-aid rash on my right side that is making the skin all dry and itchy. I try not to use band aids afterwards, but some of the shots make me bleed more than others. Any suggestions for lotion or a better band aid? I thought I’d be totally carefree about the shots by now, but I still dislike them each and every night.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Today’s Beta Update: 3,787

From the BetaBase calculations, this means the doubling time was 41.06 hours. I have no idea how good this is, but it seems to be good. Any insight out there? The nurse didn’t give any indication as to whether this might mean twins, and my Internet searches show that there’s really no way of telling from these numbers.

My first OB scan (that’s what the nurse called it—does she just mean a regular ultrasound?) is set for Oct. 5. I can’t wait. I feel a little nauseous, but I think that’s from anticipation. Nothing really new with symptoms. My cramps have subsided for the most part.

Please give Luo Lin some congratulations! She got a BFP just before me. Things are looking up in the blogosphere?

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Thank you all for the kind words on the good beta results. I still can't believe it. It feels like a week has gone by since yesterday, like I was living it in slow motion or something. My next beta is set for Monday morning, and I don't know about anything from there. I haven't researched what to expect beyond the first beta since I didn't think I'd be this lucky. Google here I come. I hope the numbers do what they should.

H actually heard the beta results before me--there was a snafu with my lame nurse which is also why we got the call so late. (It's a long story and I'm feeling too good to really bash her right now.)I called my mom and gave her the news as soon as I had talked to H. She was thrilled, and of course I corrected her when she used the p word immediately. I've begged her not to say anything to relatives or make any plans until we progress further...much further. She seemed to understand. She was really sweet though and she sounded like she was crying. It's highly unusual for me to see/hear my mom get emotional, which of course made me even more emotional.

When I got home, H and I went out to dinner to cautiously celebrate. We are afraid of too much optimism, but we also want to have a break from being so miserable. This is the first good sign we've had in a long time--2006 (up to now) and most of 2005 really sucked for us in a lot of different ways. I told H that I thought the results were too good to be true, and he commented that with all the really, really bad luck we'd been having, maybe we were due for something really good. I hope so. I can't help but be excited, and I'm scared.

I feel like I haven't "paid my dues" in this community that has been such a great support for me, and I am acutely aware of how unfair it is that I should get a positive on my first cycle when there are those of you who have been here much longer and deserve it just as much. Now, we all know the sad truth that I could just be headed for a bigger fall than getting a negative would have been if something bad happens with this. But for now, I have to hope that this is real and good news can only help lift everyone's mood a little. On some of my darkest days I have gone to the blogs of those who have been successful to remind myself that this stuff really can help. I hope my news has not hurt anyone. Even with a plus sign, I'm here to stay in the IF world--I know that.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beta Results


I am crying happy tears.

Waiting for the Beta…with a Teaser

*Update: The clinic still hasn't called me. It's 3:10. Argh!!! How come they always call me immediately about stupid stuff, but then drag their feet on this. I remember how they said making beta calls was always the first order of the afternoon.

Today is 14dp3dt. This morning at 12:00 am, I was awoken again by very painful cramps. Worse than anything I normally get for my period. I rushed to the bathroom to make sure AF was not there, and she wasn’t. I thought about how my morning would be today, no doubt spent googling my “symptoms,” checking blogs, and praying until the phone call came with the beta results. I have a lot of work to do today, I thought. I can’t be slacking off all morning wondering and worrying. The thought of crying at work terrified me if I got bad news. I forced myself back to bed, cramps still raging, and finally fell back asleep, bladder empty, HPT untouched.

When the alarm went off at 5:30, I crept down to the most remote bathroom in the house and pulled out the hidden HPT. Mustering all of my courage and throwing all good sense to the wind, I unwrapped it and let the fun begin.

Within seconds I got a fully dark positive. Oh My God. I stared at it on the floor for the required “two minute” wait time. The plus sign stayed just as dark. I’ve done HPTs twice before, so while I’m not an addict I know what a negative looks like. This was definitely a positive.

I ran upstairs with it, turned on the bedroom lights, and shook H. I think I scared the crap out of him. When his eyes stopped squinting and he saw the stick, he immediately lectured me. Then he saw the plus sign. And I got my first real smile out of him in the past 6 months.

After he lectured me a few more times about how the HSG could still be in my system or how I might just have a mega cyst growing, he scrutinized the HPT instructions and the stick. Satisfied that this was more of a positive sign than a negative one, he gave in to feeling happy and we danced around the bathroom.

I know this is far from over. It could be chemical, ectoptic, ill-fated. But I would not trade the feeling of seeing a positive for the world. This morning, I feel like me again. I had forgotten what it was like.

I had my beta test at 8:15 am. I’ll get a call with the results between 1:30 and 4:00. Will post ASAP. Please, please, please let this be real.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

For Shame!

Did I really write "out-eatted" on my last post instead of out ate? Good lord. I shouldn't post when I'm half asleep! (LOL) But maybe this is a symptom--I remember somebody posting the stupid things newly pregnant people have said. Okay, I'm reaching...
Anyhow, please forgive all the typos and bad grammar. I really am articulate during my day job.

Nothing new. Beta is scheduled for 8:15 tomorrow morning. Will probably have the results in the early afternoon. I'll post as soon as I can.

I forgot to take my estr*ce pill before I left for work this morning. My routine is all out of whack from my trip. I hope this won't make a difference. I doubt it at this point. What does the estr*ce even do? I thought the PIO shots were the ones that made the real difference.

I was awoken by bad cramps yet again last night, and I almost went for my HPT. Instead I just snuggled my cat until I could fall back asleep. I doubt I'll be able to sleep tonight. I'm tempted to go home and use a stick right then and there and be done with it, but you know I won't.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tips on PIO Shots

For those of you new to PIO shots, be sure to check out Luolin's post with great tips and her personal experience. She prepared me for having to do a PIO shot on my own on the road, and her advice really helped.

At first I wasn't going to do a shot myself at home with H around for support, but I was glad I did. It helped me gain the confidence I needed, and I did freak out a little like Luolin warned so it was good to have someone there to comfort me. I did the shot sitting down on the edge of my tub so that my hip/butt was a little more spread out than when I'm standing. Sitting also relaxed the injection site, which I do find helps when I'm standing. I had to take several deep breathes before I had the courage to stick the needle. When I finally did, I must have closed my eyes briefly because I didn't see it go in and when I looked up it was in, but a tiny smidge was still exposed. I pushed it in a little further, and that hurt for a second. The actual penetration didn't hurt at all. I started pushing the plunger, and I found it went in easier than I thought it would. H is always complaining that it's hard to get the stuff in, I guess compared to the other shots.

It was pulling the needle out that freaked me. The needle kinda pulled the skin up as I tried to get it out, and this caused me to pause. When I did, a little bit of blood started filling the needle, which caused more panic. I finally pulled it out, and the site started bleeding much more than when H does it. The sight of blood is what upset me. I'm a wimp when it comes to blood. The site hurt a lot--more than normal.

When I did the shot on my own tonight, I did not have to mentally prep myself as much to take the plunge. This time I watched the needle go in all the way, and it was painless. I find injecting my left side is much less painful than the right side. I was able to pull the plunger up a little to check for blood vessels, and when it didn't move (which is noomal)I went ahead and started injecting. Everything was fine. This time I pulled the needle out faster and didn't look as I did it. I still got a bigger drop of blood than when H does it, but I didn't freak and the site didn't hurt at all.

For those of you who have been doing your shots since day one, I bow to you. I'm proud that I am strong enough to do this since I have a strong aversion to needles, but I am happy to let H do 99% of it.

Other good news is that the PIO shots have not made my hips nearly as sore as they did the first few days. One of my secrets is to have H lightly massage the area each night before I go to bed. He enjoys looking at my bum (LOL) since thats' all the action he's getting right now, and the massage seems to prevent the next day soreness. If I get a BFP, I don't think I'll have a problem continuing the shots for all those weeks. Let's hope!!!!!

TMI Quick symptom update:
-Still have a headache
-Had bad cramps n and off all day, though this evening's cramps seem to be due to an upset bowel
-My stomach feels sore--like I've been doing sit ups. This may be from the constipation I've had on and off since retrieval
-There's still a creamy goo down below that is not normal for me right before my period--no sign of spotting at all
-The ladies are still living large, and I'm happy to report the extra veinyness is still there--must have been bad lighting before. Minor soreness.
-Have I mentioned that I have had a huge appetite for the past 3 days? I out-eatted H on Friday and Saturday, and that's with an all you can eat dinner!

Thanks for all of your support. It helps sooo much! I figure if I'm going to wait until my beta on Friday, I should remain positive. I feel like I have enough "symptoms" to be hopeful that a little more is happening than just the PIO side effects, namely the cramps, hunger, and headache. (Motel Manager, your encouragement helped!)

Good night, all...I will be flying tomorrow, so will check in again on Thursday.

Tagged, Twice!

My first tag, and it's double duty. From what I understand, I need to write what comes to mind about the 4 words I've been given. First, from Jamie:

1. Trust:
This made me laugh when I saw it--H has always told me I have trust issues. I wonder if he still thinks that after I've let him poke me with a needle night after night? If that's not trust, I don't know what is. The reason he says I have trust issues is because if he tells me something and I don't believe him, I will go out and double check the info for myself. I don't think it's a lack of trust--I just like to be fully informed. ;)In his defense, sometimes he is right but not always!

2. Orange
Orange is the fruity smell in my hotel room right now--I am in the Sunshine State afterall. I think they must pipe it in. I like oranges, but I find them a little too messy for every day consumption. I get all sticky!

3. Designer
Something I usually don't spend money on--designer brands. The one exception is Dooney and Burke. I've splurged on a few great purses in the past few years.

4. Spice
I don't know why, but I immediately thought of the Spice Girls when I saw that word. I never even liked them that much, and I protested loudly when my friends made me see Spice World with them in the movie theatre.

Okay, on to the tag from Motel Manager:

1. Deodorant
A necessary evil that leaves nastiness on the insides of my nice shirts no matter what great new formula there is. I remember using "Teen Spirit" as my first deodorant and all the lectures we got about using one in gym class. When I taught, I could always tell when it was time for the kids (middle schoolers) to become acquainted wth the stuff. Luckily I could leave those talks to my gym teacher friends.

2. Throwback
Um, this one has me thrown. Can I throw it back?

3. Period
The end of my cycle. The end of a sentence. Finality. I'd rather have a ...

4. Blossom
That cute sitcom in the early 90s with Mayim Bialik. I wasn't a big "Joey" Lawrence fan, but I thought Mayim was awesome. I marveled that she could have a great TV career with that nose, and I like that she wasn't self conscious about it. (I have a similar nose and was once offered plastic surgery by my doctor if I really wanted to act...thanks.) I wonder where Mayim is now?

Okay, now my turn to Tag! I tag:
1. Bitter Ground
2. Lara at Little Beans
3. NikkiNix at UGot2BKidding
4. Hope548 at Not Like I Thought It Would Be

Your words are:
1. Aqua
2. Hairspray
3. Space
4. Jamboree

Are You There, Google? It's Me, Emmie.

I think I'm losing my mind. Despite the fact that I know Google can't tell me I'm pregnant, I keep scouring it for clues and reassurance. The HPT I have tucked in my suitcase (the one thing that MIGHT give me a clue) remains untouched. I woke up at 5:30 this morning, cramps raging, heart pounding, and went to the bathroom without even looking for it. I guess at this point I can still have 2 1/2 days of non-devastation before the beta results are delivered to me. Why bring on the devastation any sooner than I need to?

I love Motel Manager's post about symptoms. She sums up the craziness so well. Although it's pointless, I can't help over-analyzing myself.

My "ladies" had a lot of tingling late last week and were so swollen and sore that I thought they were going to fall off my body last week. They also had the major vein thing going on. Today, however, they are not sore at all and they aren't even as veiny. This makes me think that maybe I had an implanter but it decided to leave early after all.

I woke up today with the first headache I've had since the Lupr*n. It feels like the headache that usually signals the arrival of AF for me. Coupled with my cramps, I feel like AF is just strolling down the street and will be here any time now--but not before my beta on Friday. No need to ruin the "surprise" BFN. Everything down there is still all clear--not a spot in site.

I had a weird vein starting to emerge near my belly button, and it too went away, supporting my theory that the uterus has closed up shop.

I had a dream last week that I did a HPT and it was positive. Wishful thinking. I'm afraid I pushed it way too hard the past few days. I couldn't help it though. I had to go on with my life. Next time I'll try not to have a cycle end right around a business trip. It was a good distraction initially though. I really did have fun on Friday and Saturday, and even stopped thinking about the wait for a little while. I'm glad I went away, because being at home would have been much harder.

You know, my discharge instructions after transfer were not nearly as strict as some other people's. I was told that I only had to avoid swimming and sex for one week, not seven. Is that odd? Not that I've done either, and believe me I've been tempted having H here with me over the weekend with a great pool outside. It's probably my last chance to go swimming this year. Part of me just wants to jump in tonight, but I'm such a goody goody. Even though my doctor said I could, I won't. Even though I have an HPT right here, I probably won't use it.

How many of you out there have POAS and regretted it afterwards? I'm assuming if it were positive you didn't regret it. ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Quick Update from My Remote Location

Hello out there! I'm reporting live from a lovely resort where the weather is in the upper 80s and there are palm trees swaying outside my window. Yet even these lovely conditions are not enough to keep me from sweating the two week wait. Maybe because I'm also working out here...Nah, it's all two week wait related.

I'm at 10dp3dt, and I don't have the courage to do the HPT tomorrow morning. I'm afraid of being alone in my hotel room seeing the BFN and then having to spend all day working at my conference, which is so different from being able to retreat to my little office where no one sees me unless I choose to be seen. If I do an HPT, it won't be until I'm back at home with H on Thursday morning. H is strongly against me doing the HPT though. Beta is still set for Friday. At least I'll have the weekend to cry over the results. Not feeling optimistic, can you tell?

My "symptoms' are exactly the same as they were last week, not long after I started the PIO shots. My boobs (I HATE that word--so I'm calling them "the ladies") My ladies are still sore and swollen, but no more than they were in the beginning of the wait. I've been having consistent period-like cramps every night that wake me up. My skin has cleared up, but my tummy had poofed out a little more. The tummy is also kind hard. Is that a good sign? Sunday seems to be my "can't stop crying day," as yesterday I had a repeat of last Sunday's cry fest, complete with minor temper tantrum.

I'm exhausted, but that's because I've been on my feet more than I should the past 3 days. I know, I know. But at least I was practically on bed rest for 3 whole days after transfer. I took it REAL easy at first, but now I have no choice but to be walking and on my feet. I am taking plenty of breaks and getting enough sleep, though.

Will be back tomorrow to address my tag from Jamie over at Sticky Feet! (

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Expanding My Circle

Yesterday I outted myself to a friend at work when she was talking with me about how the funeral went and I just couldn't hold all my frustration inside. (She asked a question that allowed me to very naturally tell her--it wasn't something I would just spring.) She was really great and supportive about it, and I'm glad to have another friend to turn to when days get rough. I certainly could never be completely out about it to everyone, but telling someone who cares and emphasizes really helps to take some of the burden off keeping everything inside. So far I've been able to tell which friends I can and should tell, and which ones I shouldn't. No matter what though, H and I are not sharing the time range or details of any future IVF cycle. It's too hard. Some days I don't mind telling my parents stuff, and others I find it unbearable.

I know my mom wants to know if we have any frozen embryos, and that's the kind of thing I just don't want to discuss with people right now, other than my friends in blogworld. Well, the lab said they would call me if we still had embryos by Tuesday, and they didn't call. Maybe I should call to make sure, but considering they were only 2 and 3 cell embies at day 3, I really doubt it. I'm a little sad that our 6 embies really didn't grow fast--I was more optimistic about a 5 day transfer. But slow and steady can win the race, let's hope my little ones are still inside and dividing. They should have implanted by now, right?

I'm feeling better today about the whole MIL drama. I just need to stop letting ignorant people get to me. I'm sticking to the no unwanted visits this month policy.

I'm signing off for two week wait hell is to be continued in a sunnier, hopefully happier location as I head off on a business trip tomorrow. I won't be back until 12dp3dt (Wednesday night). Trying to decide whether I will POAS the morning I come home. Would that be too early? I have the sticks packed just in case.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Too Much Information Report

The following report assessing my body’s condition since transfer is Too Much Information of the grandest scale. Don’t bother reading unless you’re really curious or want to conduct this exercise in futility with me. I’m just recording what I see—it’s for science, man.

Captain’s Log, 5dp3dt:
My chest is continuing to grow and throb. (this symptom emerged with the first PIO shot)Boobs approaching porn star quality—a new look for me.

The few pounds I dropped over the weekend are back and concentrated right on my tummy—a good sign or just bloat?

After a particularly quiet day in the uterus yesterday, I woke up with cramps and have had a few minor cramps throughout the day (this symptom emerged with first PIO shot)

My constipation finally eased today and I have paid several productive trips to the restroom as a result. (Could account for some of the abdominal cramping?)

My blotchy face is very oily (this symptom emerged with first PIO shot)

My level of irritability is cranked all the way up to—yikes, get out the way, she’s gonna blow! (this symptom emerged with first PIO shot)

The light brown spotting I saw the two days immediately after transfer has stopped, to be replaced my a white, creamy goo that isn’t too plentiful but enough to get my attention.

Mental state—unstable. Tears, frequent. Optimism, low. Desire to drink a bottle of wine, high. Willpower, superb.

A Difficult Day Made Even Harder

Today we have a mixed bag of information: yesterday's funeral report and a Too Much Information (TMI) special that documents my body’s every twinge-- a fruitless yet compulsive activity I’ve taken up because I suck at crocheting.

Okay, the funeral. H and I left well before dawn and arrived just in time for the final viewing before the casket was closed. We walked directly up to say our prayers and goodbyes since we were the last to do so. MIL, FIL, and H’s brothers were the only other people still there. MIL kept yakking loudly behind us as we kneeled in front of the coffin and said our goodbyes. It was very emotional, and I couldn’t believe MIL couldn’t be quiet for 5 minutes or step outside to talk. We stand up, and turned to face them (they were literally right there behind us…nothing like giving us a moment).

And here’s what went down, not 10 minutes after our arrival:

MIL looks at me and H join the audience she already had around her. She clears her throat, and says, “Grandma was 95 and she had 15 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Your father and I could live to 105 and we’ll still never have that kind of legacy, ever. With all you guys I wonder if we’ll ever even have more than one grandchild, I really doubt it. (referring to H’s brother’s one illegitimate child that is never seen).”

I walk straight out the door. H follows me. As I do, I hear H’s oldest brother respond, “Look, Mom, times were different even just a generation ago. Grandma’s kids their own kids early and fast, like puppies (yes, he said puppies--which makes him a puppy, too). H and Emmie haven’t started yet, and even if you don’t have more grandkids you should be happy with what you’ve got.”

Wow. You go, brother-in-law. MIL’s selfish, insensitive, thoughtless speech still felt like a knife in my heart. I can’t believe she said this to us knowing we are facing IF, knowing how devastated we are about it. How about the fact that we’re at a funeral and we’re there for grandma, the fact that she died the day of our transfer, the fact that we’re now experiencing the horrible 2 week wait. Even if she knew none of these things, it was still a horrible thing to say, to us and to her other two sons.

Since H and I walked outside, I figured she would realize what an awful thing she had done and apologize later, privately, to H. She didn’t. Instead she bugged us 3 times about being able to come visit us in 2 weeks. (they always visit at the end of September to go to a festival near our house.) H said—considering everything we’re going through right now, I don’t think so, but we’ll let you know. When she asked me, I said—I doubt it. If we weren’t at a funeral I would have said something to her about her insensitivity but instead I just kept as far away from her as possible. She HAD to have noticed it. I wouldn’t even look her in the eye the few times she came near me. (When she did come near me, it was to pick off a stray piece of lint on my jacket and to try to fuss with my hair—what am I twelve?)

You cannot imagine the evil thoughts I had about her all day. I’m going to hell for sure. I just hope the high level of negativity I felt has not done harm to my poor embryos. H agreed that what she said was just awful, and he sees more and more how terrible she is to us. Still, she’s his mom and he will give her the benefit of the doubt. So, he allowed me to vent about her for several hours, then cut me off—enough, he said. I can’t blame him. I’m even tired of hearing me complain about her. Which is why I should end this post and move on to part two—TMI about my body movements. Back in a flash.

Monday, September 11, 2006

PIO Side Effects are the Worst of All

Last night I had a mini-meltdown. I’d been feeling irritable all day, especially after MIL’s million morning calls, and it only got worse as the day progressed. My hips have been killing me from the PIO shots. I find it hard to sleep on my side. I also find it hard to sleep on my stomach because it too is sore and so is my chest. Despite this, I took a really long afternoon nap and woke up feeling a tiny bit better, so I called my parents. Boy, that didn’t help. No matter how many times I gave one word answers and changed the subject, they kept asking me about my transfer and next steps. I had already given them the 5 minute recap of my transfer on Friday, which is all they needed to know. I had told them on Friday that I didn’t want to talk about it. Finally, I snapped and said—Look, I really don’t want to talk about this. I know nothing new and will tell you when I do. Stop asking!

I immediately felt bad for snapping, and there was a moment of silence before we awkwardly ended the conversation. After that, I burst into tears and the mini-meltdown was in full swing. H was a little freaked out that I was so emotional, and he blamed it on my parents asking all the questions. I said it wasn’t just that—it was the whole situation. I explained how one of his mother’s earlier calls had really hurt me. MIL had happily reported in preparing his grandmother’s obituary that grandma did indeed have a great-great grandson in addition to her billions of grandsons and great grandsons. (This has been a question for awhile because some of the sons no longer speak to certain parts of the family.) I explained to H that hearing about yet another example of uber-fertility in his family really hurt me when we may never have kids, grandkids, any of it. Can you imagine? Once an infertile gets past the pain of not having her own good news amongst all her friends’ pregnancies, she will have to go through it ALL OVER AGAIN when those friends start bragging about their grandkids. I’m sure it will hurt just as much as it does now.

H told me I was horrible for feeling this way, and that I needed to understand that not everything is about me. This was about his grandmother and how great it was to find out she had a great-great grandchild.

Of course—I know that. But you asked why I was depressed and emotional, and being depressed and emotional means that you make otherwise good things about your own misery. Excuse my bitterness--I’m with the only son who is infertile in a family of super fertile people, many of whom have gotten pregnant accidentally. And isn’t it a little messed up that his grandmother didn’t know about this kid because the family doesn’t talk? Oh for the luxury of having so many descendants that I can just loose touch with some of them after a few rifts.

Sigh. H and I didn’t really fight afterwards. He knew I was being irrational, and that it was perfectly rational for me to be that way. We talked about how worried we are that this won’t work, and he asked me how willing I would be to try again right away. I don’t know whether my clinic makes you skip a cycle in between tries, but I’m willing to start right back up again. We have $450 worth of meds leftover from this cycle because I stimmed so fast, so financially the next cycle won’t be as bad.

So hear I am, 3 days past a 3 day transfer (that’s 3dp3dt in IF blog speak???) and I’m looking at my calendar to see when I might try again. I’ve had a few bad period-like cramps this morning, my complexion is going downhill fast, and my chest is still sore (all PIO-related, surely). The good news is that I’ve lost 3 pounds since Friday and my stomach is completely flat again (is that really good news though?) and today, miraculously, neither of my hips hurt at all. I still feel prone to crying any moment.

Beta is set for Friday, September 22.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A New Beginning

I agreed totally with Cloe's comment to my last post that H's grandmother passing on the same day as our transfer might signify the start of a new beginning for a new life (or two!), and that gives me a feeling of peace. H's grandmother was a wonderful woman and she lived a very full life. She has more grandchildren and great grandchildren than I can keep track of, and she was always very kind towards me. She is the only grandparent of H's that I got to know, and I am sad that she won't be here to see us have any kids.

Note: The following part of this post may self-destruct in 24 hours
What I'm not okay with right now is H's parents. They started calling us at 9 am this morning, and then proceeded to call every 15 minutes as they thought of new developments to tell H.

Um, hi. It's early. On a Sunday. I'm still recovering from a major frickin' procedure and my rest and well being is pretty important at the moment. Could you wait until noon until you have all the details to call us instead of waking us up every 15 minutes?!?!?!

Of course H was patient with them and didn't say anything, and it wasn't until the last call at 10:30 that they were like--Is Emmie doing okay? H told them I was fine, but truth is, I'm not. I'm very sore, very irritable, crampy, and tired. The PIO shots are doing their stuff for sure. I had sore boobs the night before transfer even took place, so I know I won't be reading my body for any true pregnancy symptoms.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Transfer Story

I've just been released from bedrest from my very strict husband. He wouldn't let me anywhere near the computer, and I left my laptop at work.

We transferred two 7-celled embryos yesterday. The RE didn't grade them in terms of quality, but everyone said they looked really good and I thought they looked quite beautiful in their picture, which I will try to post later. H thought they looked like very round cartoon heads, like Peanuts characters, so we are calling them Charlie and Sally Brown.

Of the rest of the six, 2 hadn't grown at all, one was at 2 cells, and the other was at 3 cells. They said they'd watch them until Monday to see if they catch up and grow into blasts. My clinic only freezes blasts.

Up to this point, I felt I had gotten through the many tests, shots, procedures, and examinations with a good deal of grace and minimal-to-no whining. I've been surprised at how well my body has taken all of it. Guess I was saving it for the transfer. My bladder was so full and painful that the nurse had to let me empty it a little twice before transfer began (In my defense, they were 15 minutes behind with my appointment, and I arrived with the full bladder right on time.)

There were a total of 4 people in the tiny room in addition to me and H, and I had met NONE of them before, except for the embriologist, who had delivered the bad news about H's sperm sample to me at retrieval. I liked her because she has the same name as me and she was the only person I knew there at the moment. I couldn't help but think that she was a little too young to be handling my unborn children, but we'll see. The doctor performing the transfer was a young female also, and she was supervised by the typical older male RE I'm used to. I'm hoping that having a "woman's touch" is a good thing. The extra women in the room did manage to put me a little more at ease.

I was in a lot of pain when they put the catheter in and the nurse pushed on my stomach. That bladder was really unhappy. The whole thing was over quickly, but my stomach was so cramped and I had to pee so bad that it felt like an eternity. I couldn't watch the monitor. H had his head in the way, and I didn't even consider asking him to move. I just stared at the dim overhead lightbulb and tried to keep my whimpering to a minimum. I hope that my miserable state of being at the moment of transfer did not make a bad first impression for Sally and Charlie.

After I was able to empty my bladder, I felt better but was still very crampy. We had a long drive home, so we sang along to a selection of songs I picked out on the Ipod to make our embies see we are fun-loving, happy, relaxed people that they could feel at home with. A little Bob Marley and OAR did the trick.

I got home, had some Popeyes fried chicken with H, and then slept for 4 hours. It was a very deep sleep, and I woke up feeling sweaty and a little gross. I was a good patient and had my dinner and bed, and we started to watch Scary Movie 4 around 9 pm, thinking some laughs would also be good for the embies. Our spirits were very high, and it was the happiest I'd seen H in weeks.

Not 5 minutes into the movie, H's mom called to tell us his grandmother (H's father's mom) had passed away. Goodbye positive mood. H's grandmother was 95 and has been "ready" for several years now, according to her own words. We were all prepared for this to happen soon, but H was still very shaken up, understandably. MIL did not remember that we had transfer today, and H reminded her. She didn't really say anything about it. Part of me wishes she could have waited until morning to call us--it was such an emotional day as it was and it was late. Ending the day on that note was very difficult.

We will make the long drive to the funeral on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. I am bracing myself to see H's family. Seeing them is not good for me this week because of all the stress they cause. I removed my earlier post explaining my issues with them because it had too many specific details that I know they'd recognize if they stumble onto my blog. I just hope I can get through this without them saying anything innappropriate that will set me off.

I'm hoping my little embies will have locked in tight by the time I see everyone. Concern for their well being should allow me to maintain a Zen-like state through this.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

We're Ready to Launch

You ever notice how an IVF cycle is a lot like the launch of a space shuttle? You plan, you wait, there's an unanticipated malfunction, you reschedule...then you pray they make it.

Well, everyone, my 6 little embies are ready for their shot into space. I just got the call that all 6 are still around, though the nurse had no report as to their quality. She said I am scheduled to transfer 2 tomorrow at 11:45, and freezing the rest will depend on how they look on Monday. Poor little guys. I hate to leave them behind not knowing if they will ever get a chance of their own. I wish they would have told me how many cells they had, but I guess I'll know that tomorrow.

Thank you all for your support. It means so much. I'm focusing all my positive thoughts into my uterus now, where my little astronauts might find safe haven tomorrow.


I’m trying to work while waiting for today’s embryo update, and it isn’t easy. I’m anxious to know whether we will transfer tomorrow or wait until Sunday. I’m worried to know what condition my 6 little guys/gals are in. Sometimes, I write so much on my blog because it’s the only thing I can do to stay sane. I can’t focus on anything else. If this cycle doesn’t work and we need to try again, I’m going to seriously need to get a grip so that I can maybe devote 10 percent of my thoughts to something other than IVF.

I wonder if part of my anxiety is due to my stupid control freak nature that’s saying to me—you were supposed to have a baby by now. We said by 30, remember? We told everybody by 30. What must they be thinking? You turn 31 in a few months. Oh, why did you have to put a time stamp on it? If you hadn’t would you be feeling this external pressure on top of the sadness and frustration?

I have planned my life in 5-year increments, and this was supposed to be the year of the baby. And it won’t be. For the first time in my life, I know I have no real control. I have worked hard, planned, prepared, and waited to build the life I had envisioned for myself. I have done things by the book. Now the book is being thrown out the window and I’m lost. IF has taught me that I have a core strength that I never knew existed. It has also sucked so much joy out of me. If this cycle fails, how do I pick myself up and pretend like nothing is wrong, even though I know I can handle round two? If it works, how will I face people’s reaction to my pregnancy? How will I face people period? I was around several happy parents this morning chattering about their kids, and it made me feel ill.

H said to me this morning that he will never be over this, and if we are lucky enough to get pregnant, he won’t feel safe until the kid turns 18. No matter what happens with this cycle, our journey to cope with IF is only just beginning.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This Just In!

The nurse from the clinic just called. Out of the 14 eggs, 12 were mature. Of the 12, 6 fertilized using ICSI. I'm thrilled! That's one more embie than I had been praying for, since I knew our chances of having many fertilized weren't that great. I'll know more tomorrow as to whether we will do a transfer on Friday or Sunday. Grow little embies, grow!

The Full Procedure Recap

I still have some pretty bad cramps from yesterday's retrieval so I'm glad I'm not going in to work today. What a relief to have sick days I can use. I was going to do some work from home, and probably still will, but not enough to constitute a full day.

I wanted to write about the retrieval in more depth for those of you who have yet to go through one, and to remind myself in case I have to do it again.

Although I was nervous about the trigger shot on Sunday, it really wasn't that bad.The next day was when the soreness really set in, giving me come concern about how I'm going to keep up those PIO shots, even with alternating sides. On Monday, I felt pretty fine, just a little nervous. There was also a lot of twitching going on in the uterus area. I guess those final few follies were getting up to speed.

On Tueday, we had to be at the clinic late morning, and we left super early because the weather was so bad. The clinic only does retrieval and transfer at its main office, which is very far from my house. We still managed to get there 45 minutes early, but they were ready for me to come to the back into a small hospital room immediately, which surprised me. They had my chart and gown already laid out on the bed and told me to get changed and get under the bed covers. A few minutes later a nurse came in and checked my ID and social security number, then went over the procedure with me.

She went over our consent forms and noted that the doctor did not plan on doing ICSI, but would if necessary. Shortly afterwards, the anesthesiologist came in and hooked me up to an IV for fluids. I hate IVs, but I didn't feel this one at all. He discussed the drugs they were going to use to put me out during the procedure, and I told him about my last experience with surgery when I woke up. I was adamant about not wanting to wake up during this. I told him my herni story (in August's Medical History Part 1 post) and he told me I probably had an inexperienced anesthesiologist.

He promised I wouldn't wake up this time. He said there would be two parts to the drugs. The first part would make me a little hazy but I'd still be coherent as they brought me into the operating room and got me situated. The second part I would be out completely before the procedure started. He tols me that the second drug would most likely make me forget even walking into the OR, unless I was particularly resistant to the drug. I said I didn't care about remembering the first part, as long as they weren't really doing anything surgical to me at that point.

Then H and I just sat in the room reading and waiting. H looked awful. Scared and nervous. The only thing bothering me at that point was that I could hear everything that went on in the two rooms on either side of me. The women coming back from the procedure didn't sound so good. They were really disoriented, and one was particularly whiny. At first I felt bad for her, but then I thought--boy, I hope I am not as lame as her afterwards. She was complaining about the fact that the nurses wanted her to try and stay awake in order to come out of the anesthesia properly, and she was complaining that they only gave her extra strenght tylenol for the cramps she felt, which she admitted were no worse than a period. The nurses kept saying, you'll sleep when you get home, and you get to leave in 20 minutes. Then they were telling her she should try to eat something right away when she left and she was complaining about that. The other woman was having a hard time waking up too, but she said she felt no pain.

Finally it was time for me to go into the OR. They had me walk in with my IV, then sat me down on the edge of the operating table. The anesthesiologist hooked my IV up and immediately I felt the part one drugs enter my system. They made me feel a little drunk. The doctor asked my name and social security number again, then asked me to help her get my legs into the biggest stirrup contraptions I've ever seen. I remember putting the first leg in, and as the second leg went in I heard the anesthesiologist say, okay here's part two.

The next thing I knew I was back in my little room being told by the nurse that it was all over. H was back in the room from giving his sample, and he gave me a cup of water. I felt refreshed--like I had taken a long nap--even though I'd only been out for 20 minutes. I didn't feel any cramping at first, and then it just felt like a bad period. The nurse gave me my Tylenol and left to check on the egg count. I asked H how his part went, and he didn't really want to say much about it. I asked for a magazine and we both started reading again while we waited. The nurse came back and told me we had 14 eggs, and she was visibly surprised to see me reading. She said--My, we really must be feeling okay. You look great too. At that moment, I really did feel great. It was over, and I was thrilled we had so many eggs, though of course we didn't know the quality yet.

Then the embriologist came in with the bad news about H's low count, and suggested that if he gave another sample it might be enough. You know the rest.

I'm just waiting, praying, that we get a few good fertilized eggs out of this.

PS--Blogger isn't letting me add links at all today! I had some kitty pictures to share but can't.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Feelin' All Right

Just a quick post to report that I had retrieval at 12:45 today and all went well, at least on my part. They retrieved 14 eggs so I was super excited. After that good news, the embriologist came in and asked H to try and give another sample because the first one had very low counts. Not so good news. We waited around to find out that the second sample was worse than the first. Poor H. I feel so bad for him. He didn't talk much for several hours.

We signed the paperwork to permit ICSI when we first turned in out authorization forms, but the plan was not to use ICSI unless needed. It is needed. I know H is really struggling with this. Me, I'm thinking--fertilize those 14 eggs!!!

I'm praying that the small delay in starting the ICSI process will not affect our results. I know not all eggs are fertilized with ICSI (or even with conventional IVF), and some of the eggs they retrieved might not even be good enough for fertilization. Please God, let us have at least a few fertilize.

I feel fine enough to go to work tomorrow, but I've decided to work from home so I can be by myself when I get the first fertilization report tomorrow. I'm scared of what it will be, mostly for H's sake. This whole IVF process has been much easier on me than him. Since the physical part was virtually painless, I am happy with our decision to do this. I just hope we will make it to transfer. I really feel for those people who have had cancelled cycles and never even get to retrieval. Not being able to move forward is the worst part.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Triggering Tonight!

I've been offline since Friday, and I never expected that so much would happen so fast. On Saturday morning, the nurse told me that I was very close to triggering. She said my lining was looking good and my follicles were really developing nicely, with several very large ones. My estrogen was also rising very nicely. I have to admit, I haven't been paying attention to the estrogen results each day from the bloodwork so I didn't really know what was good or bad.

This morning I went in again for bloodwork and an ultrasound, and the nurse said that she felt I was going to trigger tonight for sure, depending on my bloodwork results. I have 4 follies on each side that are 18 cm--I take it that is pretty large. There are a few others that are 16's that she said they might wait to turn into 17's. She said it was possible that I would do a "boost" of my final g*nal f and men*pur shot tonight along with the trigger.

Well, I waited anxiously all day for the call. They usually call me by 2:00 with the results; the latest the ever called was 3:30. We waited forvere but then finally decided to go out and just be home in time for 6:00, our regularly scheduled shot time. I kept checking our voice mail remotely and there was nothing.

We walked in the door at five of 6:00, and I saw the answering machine going off. The nurse said I'm definitely to trigger tonight at 12:45 am for retrieval at 12:45 Tuesday, no boost required. My estrogen was something crazy--over 2,000. Does anybody have any insight about estrogen levels?

I am shocked that this is happening so fast because my estimated retrieval was for Thursday. I'm excited because this means we'll get the results of this cycle that much faster, plus I'll be in better shape to go on my trip the week following transfer, but I'm also a little scared. I can't believe it's really happening. No matter what the outcome is, I at least know now that an IVF cycle isn't that horrible for me, and I have the strength to do it again for (hopefully!) a second child. I'm taking the good advice offered to me and staying positive. I even smiled at a few babies today when we were out shopping instead of hiding. I just know I'm very lucky to have this chance.

Friday, September 01, 2006

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

But Sometimes You Get What You Need?

From the time I was about 5, I looked forward to the day that I could adopt a grey kitten of my own that I would call Cassie. I don’t know what put this desire so strongly and specifically into my head, but I thought about it frequently. Each year I grew older, I knew I was a year closer to obtaining my Cassie. After I signed the lease on my first apartment, the first thing I did was go right down to the humane society. I scanned the dirty room full of cats until I focused in on one itty-bitty grey kitten that fit the image in my mind. As I started playing with her, I quickly found she wanted nothing to do with me. I kept picking her up and trying to get her attention, but she was really more interested in other things in the room.

At the same time, a slightly older kitten, a cream tabby that had already lost its early baby fur, was desperately trying to get my attention. She nuzzled me and rubbed my legs and kept crawling into my lap. I made one last attempt to make the grey kitten notice me, but she didn’t. “Okay” I said to the cream tabby. “I’ll think about it.” As I went to exit the room, the tabby followed me to the door. When I shut the door behind me, she jumped up into the window and had both paws and her little face pressed against the glass, watching me go and mewing.

My heart stopped. She was my Cassie. I went back and filled out the paperwork to take her home, and we have been inseparable ever since. I’ve never seen a cat more attached to somebody. When I go away on business, she howls at my husband as she looks for me. When I don’t feel well, she lays by my side. Whenever I leave the room, she follows. No, she’s not the grey kitten I visualized almost my entire life. She is better.

This may seem like a poor comparison, but my experience finding Cassie showed me that sometimes things are better when life chooses for us rather than the other way around. I wonder what life will choose for me on this journey, and I can only hope that it will be better than anything I could have imagined for myself.

Still Rainy, Inside and Out

Thanks for the comments to my last post. Lots of good things to think about! I absolutely agree with Jamie that luck often plays the biggest role of all in this. Sometimes the perfect transfer yields nothing, while the super difficult, unlikely transfer is the one that hits a home run. It just shows that even with science on our side, the results aren’t up to us or our RE.

I’m in a real funk today. I don’t think it has anything to do with the hormones, either. Part of it has to do with the rainy, nasty weather outside that will probably last through the holiday weekend. The other part is that I’m starting to tense up, knowing that it is now September, and this month I will either be ecstatic or crushed by the results of my cycle.

I am trying really hard to mentally prepare myself for a negative, because I don’t want to be so upset that I won’t want to try again. Really, the physical aspects of this cycle have not been that hard on me. Some of the shots really burn, but they’re over fast. The appointments haven’t completely taken over my life. And the side effects have been minimal. If it weren’t for the hellish psychological torment and a few money concerns, this wouldn’t be so bad.

What scares me is that a friend told me how a coworker of hers did the shared risk IVF plan (good for up to 6 tries and your money back if you don’t have a baby), and when her first cycle result was negative, she couldn’t even get out of bed. She got her money back and went on to adopt instead. I don’t want the depression of a negative to be so strong that I give up on my biological child. At the same time, I just wonder what the point of going through all this is for me, and whether I’m being told that I should be open to other things in life. For now, I have to try. Reading about everyone else’s struggles gives me the strength to know I will pick myself back up if there is a setback, and I will try again.