Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hope x 2 at 4w6d

I am no ultrasound technician, but I could make this out in about 5 seconds flat:

And each one has a little mass a-growin' inside (though I only got a photo of one) - see where that little white mark is pointing over to the left?

The reason I had this scan today is because I have been having a little mild pain in the right side of my abdomen for the past 2 nights - I was instructed to call if I had anything at all unusual, so I did. I am extremely grateful that there is no ectopic. Also grateful that they get me in with a simple phone call just like that!

During this wanding they also discovered:

1) that the pain in my right side is just some bowels acting up (they have been a bit uneasy this week, so this makes sense)
2) that i have a very slight separation between one of the sacs and the uterus. (I think that's correct - doc referred to it alternately as a "small blood clot" and a "separation.")

This #2 means that I am ordered to chill the heck out for the next week. Had to cancel a job that I was booked for and must knock off the exercise (was walking every day and MIGHT have broken into a run yesterday. Felt great, by the way). Not even going for walks allowed this week. It's not true "bed-rest" so I can sit at my desk and such, but must comply. My RE is hopeful that the separations will disappear. Also, progesterone increased to 200mg 4xday.

All I can say is, thank GOD for that inital very high Beta number. So we knew already for over a week that it could be two. Or else I would have fained dead away on the table. And I'm not a fainter. Presently I am maintaining "living in the moment" so as to not wig right out with anxiety over various implications.

It is extremely early - I am only 4weeks + 6days right now. Don't think I've forgotten that for a moment. Most "normals" would just be 6 days late for their period and wondering if they could be pregnant at this point. They would have no idea of these types of details. I know that either one, or both, of these things that are in there dividing could disappear at any time.

I go back in exactly one week to see if any little heart(s) could be fluttering and for fetal pole measurement, should we be so fortunate. At this time, however... ok. Pretty neat. And much further than we've ever been before. Which is really all one can ask for.

Hugs to you out there. Thanks for being with me on such a crazy, crazy day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Heart hCG

Second beta (9dp5dt, 10AM) = 464. Doubling time of 1.5 days.

For the past two days I have been wondering how to write about this. It's similar to what I have read on others' blogs. I feel:

1) Happy.

2) Sure it won't work out.

3) Relief that things (in this aspect of life) might actually work out.

4) Guilty that others are not experiencing what I am right now.

5) Thankful that at least I know I can even GET .... you know...

6) Calm when I realize that it is what it is and I can't control any of it.

7) Disbelief because I have never experienced this before and it happens to other people, not to me. This cannot possibly be real.

I hope that this positive does for you what other people's positives have always done for me: give me great hope. Just as their negatives, miscarriages and other challenges have made me cry with pain and continue to scare the crap out of me. I am a LONG LONG way from things working out in this part of my life, but we're further than we've ever been. I hope that no matter where you are on your journey you will get where you need to go, and I hope that I will, too.

I need all of you. Please stay with me. I will never start a pregnancy blog separate from this one, I will never "forget where I came from." Don't think for a second that I don't know that I could very well wind up right back where I started. In the blink of an eye this post could look foolish and full of hubris. But there's one thing I've been meaning to express for a while - from before this FET #2 even started.

I have learned more about myself in the past year and a half of IF than I have ever before in my life. Coming to the realization, about 6 or 8 weeks ago, that I was going to truly be ok and that my life could be good even without children has been a gift. I will never be the same. I got hurt and I have been working hard at healing - coming throught the other side of a battle with anxiety/depression brough on by IF issues was just hard enough for me to know that I can survive this. And whatever may come next. If anyone wants my assvice about therapy and meditation and other helpful hints, please ask and we'll start up an email correspondance.

I now wish I had written this before my positive so that there would be no doubt that the optimism wasn't due to the positive. This experience has been a gift. A gift that I didn't want when it showed up at my door. A gift that I wouldn't specifically wish on anyone else. But now that I've been living it, I can see the value. If it was deemed to be worth the (expensive IVF) price we paid for it on Antique Roadshow I would not sell it. I would keep it. It is part of who I am.

Please take some of the happiness generated by my current experience and put it in your own heart. It isn't mine, it is all of ours. Just as we're never alone when there's great pain.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Thoughts While Continuing the Wait

First beta (7dp5dt, 10AM) = 185.

Holy beta level, Batman! (and... uh... Robin?) Next beta scheduled for two days later (which is now tomorrow).

I am happy to know that an embie or embies are sticking well enough to produce some hCG. This means that I am capable of getting this far. We did not know this before, so it is a step in a good direction. It means, I guess, that anything is possible.

I have had a couple "symptoms" over the last few days: stingy bbs (especially nips - also flaky skin there just a little), one day of noticable cramping (5dp5dt), and some very mild waves of nausea. When I insert the progesterone poppers the vag canal seems to go way higher, my fingers can't reach the top (sorry for TMI).

Last month, during our first unsuccessful FET, I had pretty much these exact same symptoms but I couldn't test because we were on an island without HPTs to purchase! The symptoms suddenly disappeared at 10dp5dt, and then when I got my beta at 14dp5dt it was negative. So, either: symptoms at this stage mean nada OR if something was sticking last time and ended fast, the same thing could very easily happen now. I am just grateful to know that we got this far, and in fact, this was my impetus for testing so early. Wanted to try and "catch" it if something was there. Just for informational purposes.

Here is a list of things I did differently this month than I did last time. It means absolutely NOTHING in a scientific sense, there are zero controls. I just feel like writing this stuff down for some reason.

1) Bedrest ONLY the rest of the day of my transfer. Got back to normal, light activity the next day. (Last time, I had 2 1/2 days of bedrest.)

2) Acupuncture during FET procedure but NOT in the weeks prior or following. However, have been partaking in massage. (Last time, I did acupuncture about twice per week before and after)

3) Did not take valium during the FET procedure. (Last time I did.)

4) Started drinking milk (organic) for the first time in... 10 years?

5) Made concerted effort to gain a few pounds. I chime in at around 20 in terms of BMI and I might even be a little lower than that because I am quite muscular. I have read that even if an athlete does not display amenorrhea, a BMI of less than 20 can make pregnancy a lot less likely. Mind you, I don't know if this pertains only to ovulatory issues (irrelevant during IVF) or other issues like implantation, etc.

6) Have been taking sublingual Vitamin B12 1000MCG for the past 6 weeks. I am vegetarian, and don't consume a lot of dairy/eggs. (Again, anemia/B12 issues may pertain to fertility but specifically to ovulation...) But I eat very well, and a LOT, and of course have been taking the PNV's for over a year. Duh.

7) Did not drink this "Pregnancy Tea" that a friend gave me. (Last time I drank 1 or 2 cups per day during the 2WW.)

8) I'm realizing this list is totally stupid. There are a million variables - I didn't fly on a plane this time, I ate more burritos this time, I watched more comedies this time,... FORGET THIS DUMB LIST! IF'ers behave this way, I guess. Always trying to use the magical thinking to explain things.

Updates to come. Staying optimistic and measured. No thinking ahead, just thinking about what to have for breakfast.


oh. my. god.

never, ever, ever before. not one time in my life has this ever happened to me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Distraction: The "5 Items In" Meme

Soralis tagged me back in JUNE! Talk about procrastination. Holy crap. What the heck, I could use a little distraction, so why not. :) Here we go:

5 Items in My Fridge
red miso paste
cashew nut butter
seaweed paste
organic apples
leftover whole wheat spaghetti

5 Items in My Closet
wrapping paper with skateboards on it
rolly lint-remover thing
new pink (!) t-shirt
black converse sneakers
dirty laundry (the real kind, not the metaphorical kind)

5 Items in My Car
new, unopened box of tissues "with lotion"
map book
emergency GORP in the glove compartment
paper bags to re-use at Trader Joe's
quarters for meters

5 Items in My Purse
cell phone
small container with a few Estrace and Micronized Progseterone in case I'm not home when it's time

5 People Who are Now Tagged
please tell me if you want this MEME! it was so long ago, I can't remember who already did it. I will add your link:
J.N. at Misconceptions of Pink Lines on a Stick you are tagged!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

FET #2 Launched

I introduce to you... Batman and Robin. The two 5-day blasts we replaced yesterday morning:

We are fortunate to have a really good embryologist at our clinic. These two freezies survived the thaw (as did our previous three. She's 5 for 5!), expanded fully, and are in me Utie. They are the last frozen embryos we've got. Should this not work, we'll be on to IVF #2.

I opted not to take the valium this time. I had noticed during my HSG and our first FET that I really don't experience any pain when a catheter is inserted into my cervix. Maybe I don't have many nerve endings there, I dunno. So though Valium is fun, I didn't want to take it if unnecessary. And I was totally fine. I got acupuncture before and after, very relaxing. I had the mildest level of cramping just after the procedure - just twinges that lasted about an hour. And yesterday I spent the day feeling relaxed but not sleepy or groggy.

I only did one day of bed rest this time. I wanted to do none, but the doc insisted that I comply and rest up for the remainder of yesterday. So. Humph. Ok. But there does not seem to be any proof whatsoever that bed rest influences outcome. And lying around for even one day makes my back/neck sore. I can only imagine how people on long-term bed rest feel.

Thanks for your good wishes and support. I really appreciate it and send the same to you, regardless of where you are on your journey.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Greenlight FET #2

We are planning to do FET #2 of two 5-day blasts in 5 days from now (Monday). At checkup this morning endometrium measured in at 9.3mm which is fine. I still have no dominant follicle that looks ready to ovulate. Matters not.

Tomorrow I cut back to 2mg 2xday of Estrace and begin vaginal micronized progesterone 200mg 3xday. Even if I ovulate later in the cycle, it apparently doesn't matter (and I probably wouldn't because I'm on progesterone).

Feeling pretty calm, mainly concentrating on other things, other aspects of life, while keeping hope and optimism for this part. I hope that both the embyos survive the thaw on Monday morning. I've scheduled acupuncture for directly before and after (very calming, and worth it just for that).

In my back pocket I've got the thought that our RE has a new plan in mind for IVF#2 should we need it. A protocol that involves less drugs. And this morning we saw lots of follicles on my ovaries. So, the idea is: not too much pressure on this FET - it's all part of the process. Hoping for the best and releasing control to the universe.

Not meaning to sound too crunchy here (as in granola)... but it's true. None of us can control whether this FET will result in a negative, a pregnancy, a viable pregnancy or a baby. And worrying accomplishes nothing. Therefore, I continue to do a great deal of personal work in shifting modes of thought about this. I tell you, it's a hell of a lot more comfortable!

Hope you're all doing well - I'm reading you.