Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quick Update

I had my appointment this morning and everything looks good: No signs of an ectopic and we saw the yolk sac. Honestly, I was so relieved nothing was wrong that I didn't focus too much on the little one but the doctor said everything was measuring on target (even though they have have my dates as 6w1d and I have them as 5w6d).

The doctor said that by 6 weeks the uterus has already doubled in size and she reminded me it's a muscle so it's normal to feel it. I'm so glad I went and I am so thankful I got good news! I have more to say but I am exhausted thanks to very little sleep last night. Maybe I'll be back after a nap!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Dark Morning

I made it through the night with only slight and occasional pain. I slept really well, actually. But this morning I have constant dull pain on my left side in the prime ectopic region. I called to make an appointment with my doctor but she doesn't work today and I could only see her partner if I got there within 15 minutes which wasn't possible. The receptionist said to call this afternoon if the pain is still there or worse and, of course, if I have sharp pains at night I should go to the ER.

So I'm not having a very good morning as you might imagine. I just can't think this is normal. Also, my boobs are not sore at all this morning. I don't want to think the worst but it's hard not to--especially with my track record. I was just beginning to have hope but today? Not so much.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cue Hysterics

Early this morning I felt a pain/cramp on my left side not quite far enough over to be ovarian pain. It startled me and I felt it a few more times here and there but it seemed to be shooting down my pelvis/bikini line and all the way down. It was sporadic throughout the day but I noticed the more I did, the more I felt it. I tried to relax as much as possible which seemed to help but tonight it's gotten worse. I called the on-call RE and he said I should get another ultrasound on Tuesday because the one I had Thursday might have been too early to detect an ectopic and Friday is too late to wait.

So right now I can feel it--and it's pretty constant--but it feels more dull and lower, like in my vagina (I know that sounds odd but it's the best way I can describe it) and even when I press on my sides it doesn't hurt. Both my ectopics were strong, sharp pain that was unmistakable and nothing like this but every one is bound to be different. I've had no bleeding or spotting (knock on wood!) so that's good I guess.

I know that ectopic pregnancies are a risk in IVF and certainly a risk for me but I thought that when she "cleared" me of that on Thursday we were good. But if that's the case--and it very well could be--what the heck is this pain?

It's always going to be something, isn't it?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mother's Little Helper

Today I went to get Bootsy's Valium prescription filled. I was also picking up a prescription for me so the person helping me already had my information (address, phone number). It went something like this:

Me: I would also like to get this filled. It's for my dog.

Pharmacy Worker: scrutinizing the script and the computer screen Boots? Is that a his legal name? I don't see anyone by that name on your account.

Me: laughing, to lighten the mood She's a dog. If you'll notice is says 'Boots [our last name]-CANINE' on the script.

Pharmacy Worker: Oh, has she been here before?

Me: No, she doesn't shop much and this is her first non-vet prescription.

Pharmacy Worker: Okay. What's her address?

Me: Tyring to determine if she is serious Uh, the same as mine.

Pharmacy Worker: Phone number?

Me: I can never remember her cell phone number; just use mine. Absolutely no reaction from Pharmacy Worker

Pharmacy Worker: Is she taking any other medications? Does she have any allergies?

Me: No and no. Seriously?

Pharmacy Worker: Okay, it will be ready in an hour. Thank you.

Me: Great, we'll see you then. She might want to pick-up some new magazines to chew-up this weekend.

Wow. No wonder she's never been there before.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beta #3

hCG: 1616 (up from 750 42 hours prior)...very good doubling time

Progesterone: greater than 40...exactly where they want it

Ultrasound: 1 gestational sac deemed "perfect" by the doctor!

The nurse was so sweet when she called. She told me she just got the results from the lab and she, the doctor, and the resident who's been honing her vaginal ultrasound skills on me were all so excited. Everyone at this clinic is so stinkin' nice!

I go again next Friday for another ultrasound where the doctor hopes to see a heartbeat. Not as much as I do!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If Only

This weekend I wrote a post about how I wish I had the results of my first beta. Tracy (I would post a link to her blog, but it's password protected) warned me that this was dangerous territory because you say you just want your first beta results...then you want your second beta results...then you want to see a heartbeat...get to 24 weeks...you get the picture. I knew as soon as I read it she was 100% correct and yet I can't seem to help it. I haven't even had the results of the second beta for 24 hours and I'm already anxious about tomorrow's results. And even if the beta is good again, I doubt I will celebrate for too long before I begin looking forward to the next appointment. The RE assured me she is going to watch me closely due to my history of ectopic pregnancies so that means many appointments.

Adding to my neuroses are the symptoms that seem to come and go. The only constant is exhaustion. The nausea was very strong this weekend but for the past three days I've barely noticed it (I know it's normal not to have it at 5 weeks but to have it and then not have it is disconcerting). My boobs have also been consistently sore but seem to be worse at some times--and just to be sure I'm constantly going to second base with myself to check.

I'm really hoping to see a sac tomorrow. You're supposed to be able to see it when your hCG is 1,000-1,500 and mine should certainly be that tomorrow even with a minimum increase. Please, Lord!

P.S. The nurse called me today to say my progesterone tested at 25.something and my E2 had gone down from 560 to 260 (approximate) but she said I didn't need to change any of my dosages. I actually think she called to tell me to come in tomorrow for a repeat test because she didn't know I already had an appointment. She called at 3:00 so I will certainly hope to hear from her by then tomorrow!

Oh Yes I Did

TOIAW told me that last night--way after he went to sleep--the front desk of his hotel called to ask if he wanted a "pretty girl" to keep him company. He declined. They sent one anyway. He called and said if she wasn't gone in a few minutes, he would change hotels. She left.

So you can bet your bottom dollar I called them and told them what I thought of their shenanigans. Words were spoken. They are now clear on my husband's "needs." Less prostitutes, more towels thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2nd Beta

Just to keep things straight, my first beta was Friday and it was 97. If it were to double every 48 hours (which is thought to be the "ideal" but much less is still considered acceptable), today it would be 388. Mine? Was 750.

I'm thinking there was some lab error on the first one. Or something. I don't really know. I'm very happy about it and I'm also extremely tired. I can't even describe how tired I am so I won't try.

The doctor was initially concerned with my low progesterone and low-ish beta but she was eager to test them again in her lab. She did an ultrasound and thought she probably saw the beginnings of a yolk sac but said the most telling bit of information she could see today would be my hCG levels. So there you go.

I go again on Thursday morning for a repeat of everything. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beta Results

I couldn't wait for the nurse to call me so I called her (and she didn't even act annoyed). My beta was 97 at 16dpo which is normal if you read some sites and low if you read others so who knows. With Sarah my first beta was at 18dpo 187 so, assuming a 48 hour doubling time, they're virtually the same. Only with Sarah I did not have anywhere near a 48 hour doubling time and it was still successful so, again, who really knows?

Also, my progesterone and estrodial levels were good according to Dr. Google. The nurse was really sweet but she's an MFM nurse not an RE nurse and she really has no idea. The RE should be able to tell me more tomorrow...and I'm hoping he/she will also tell me my betas are doubling beautifully and that everything looks great!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Wish I Knew

Okay, so now it's bugging me that I didn't get my beta results yesterday. I've been cool with it until about the last 30 minutes and now it's really bothering me. I still have plenty o' symptoms (probably until I hit 'publish' and then they will all disappear) like nausea, fatigue, and boobs so painful I don't want to move. And then I tell myself one beta isn't as telling as the second one to see what the doubling time is so it's good I'll only have to 36 hours after I get the results of the first to get the results of the second (assuming the RE's office has a lab and they should because, hello, they're an RE office).

I've been sleeping 10-12 hours a day which means it will be Monday in no time, right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

No News

I had my appointment today but it was rather uneventful. They did an ultrasound but didn't see anything which is completely normal for 4w2d (although they calculate it at 4w1d). The ultrasound tech did see an area where she thought she might have seen some changes but didn't spend too much time on it. Otherwise, my uterus "looks good." I'm so proud!

He did order some blood work but the don't have their own lab so I probably won't have the results until Monday. That's not ideal but I'm okay with it. Even if I weren't I don't think it would change anything! Also, he called an RE and I have an appointment with them on Tuesday which will be for a repeat beta and an in-take appointment but not an ultrasound. I assume we'll wait until the next week for that? Do most RE's do ultrasounds before it's possible to see a heartbeat? If not, I might not have one for 3 weeks.

Anyway, I really liked the doctor. He spoke to me about my history and said he will most likely do a cerclage at 12 weeks which will be right before I go to Boston so that might need to be postponed a bit...or not, I have no idea.

I'm feeling less nauseous today. That would make most people happy but it makes me worry a little. Fortunately, I'm so tired that I don't care that much.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Going With the Flow

Dealing with my insurance yesterday was just as complicated as I expected. They pretty much had no idea what to do with me and/or how to help me get the appointments I need. It's very typical for government workers: They are perfectly content to go about their day doing the same thing hour after hour but as soon as someone throws them a curve ball, they're quick to provide 67 reasons why they can't do that. Fortunately, I expected as much and wasn't upset in the least.


The basic problem is that I need to see an RE (fertility specialist) however none will see me other than to "monitor" me by running blood work and other tests ordered by another doctor. But I don't have another doctor who is authorized to order testing in the U.S. and even if my doctor in the MC could write orders, he cannot prescribe medication here so what good does it do me for him to monitor me? My explanation was completely lost on the people with whom I was speaking so I just let it go. I then called the MFM (high-risk OB) who TOIAW had spoken with a few weeks ago and he wants to see me tomorrow morning. He doesn't think he's expert enough in this area to treat me but he's much better than what I currently have: Nothing. He is well respected as the top MFM in the area and I'm very happy with the way things turned out. His nurse told me he will go over his plan for me and help me find the additional doctors I might need.

When I get to Boston, I'll do it all over again! These are wonderful problems to have!

P.S. My old friend All-Day Nausea and I have rekindled our relationship much earlier than I thought we would. Oh, and the second line on my First Response pregnancy tests have gotten much darker but the cheapie internet tests? Still no line. Even though I'm using the same urine (sorry, TMI).


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well...

If you guys are still my blog friends after all that silly premature whining, you are more awesome than I thought.

So...I saw a faint but clear second line on a First Response test yesterday. [And barely a second line (if you squint and wait way past the 5 minutes it says to wait) on the internet cheapie tests I have been using.] Another, slightly darker, second line this morning! Today I have to go do some insurance stuff that I am dreading but it must be done in order to get a beta (blood test). I don't expect it to go as smoothly as I would like but I am going to go in there in the best frame of mind possible and kill 'em with kindness. And then I'm going to come home and take a nap because I'm exhausted and still suffering from jet lag and a really beautiful German Shepherd who wakes me up at 0600 with kisses.

Thank you so much for all your support! I have empirical evidence that I can drive living beings crazy because yesterday our dog Bootsy got a prescription for Valium. That is 100% true. So just be glad you don't have to live with me.

P.S. I've told my immediate family but not everyone so if you know me in real life, PLEASE do NOT mention anything to anyone or on Facebook. For right now it's a secret between you, me, and anyone in the world with an internet connection.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Deleted Post

A couple people have mentioned the deleted post from yesterday. It was terribly whiny and was written during a particularly emotional moment. If I read that on someone's blog, I would be really worried about them so, just so you know, I'm better than I was when I wrote that.

TOIAW talked this morning and a "no" on this might not be the end of the road for us. I'm 36, he's 35--we're young and a lot of life ahead of us. We'll figure it out and keep trying to make our dream come true. Basically, I no longer feel as desperate and hopeless. EVERYthing is better when you have hope and I am thankful I do (even if I don't have so much hope for this cycle).

I'm off to get a pedicure* and go to Target. How could I possibly be sad when I get to spend the afternoon doing that?

*This is an especially good thing because we are having massive flooding in my hometown (8+ inches of rain so far today) and when I got gas earlier I stepped in icky, gross gas station water while wearing flip flops. Ewwww.

Losing Hope

During my flight on Saturday, I cried and cried and cried. Once I arrived in NYC and called TOIAW, he suggested I take daily pregnancy tests because, as he pointed out, I "couldn't get more upset" than I was already. I tested Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night and all were negative (although, just to mess with me, one did have an evaporating line). I don't have it in me to test today but I will tomorrow. Also, I will go to the local air force base so I can enroll in my insurance in this region and will schedule a blood test because I know I need one.

Today is 9dp3dt and 7dt5dt or 12 days past ovulation for those of you who know what that means. The short explanation for those of you who don't know is that a great majority of women would have had a positive pregnancy test by now.

I still have a little hope but "little" is the key word. I do still have cramping and my boobs are sore now but haven't been until last night. I've had a little nausea but I think that's mostly progesterone. I've been unbelievably emotional which could be anything (but it's really annoying). I've just been using those cheapie internet pregnancy tests so today I'm going to buy a different one to use tomorrow. Historically, I've had little luck with home pregnancy tests even when I have been pregnant (technically this has happened at least 3 times but only one was a viable pregnancy while one was a miscarriage and the other was ectopic).

I've already "gone there" with the whole this-is-our-last-chance-and-after-this-it's-child-free-living-for-us emotional deluge. Even though I only stayed there for a few hours, it was horrible beyond description and I don't feel like going back until I absolutely have to. TOIAW is somewhat prepared at this point but my mom isn't and I dread telling her more than I can express. Well, except for myself maybe. How do you say goodbye to the only dream you've ever really had?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Less Obsessing, More Packing

It's the final countdown...

Yeah, so I leave the MC in about 25 hours and I haven't packed a thing. Unless you count the suitcase I haven't unpacked from 4 weeks ago. TOIAW, or Rain Man as I call him, cannot sit down before unpacking once he arrives home from a trip. Every. Single. Thing. Must be in it's proper place lined up at right angles. See how my method saves valuable time?

Speaking of obsessions, our housekeeper is very adament about me going through my clothing, kichenware, etc. and culling all of the discards. I haven't done that either but why does she care? I'm not sure if she wants to keep it or sell it or what. Last Friday she wore a shirt I had "donated" and basically said she couldn't believe it was mine because it's so small. So, uh sure, let me get right on that sorting thing for you. Today she'll probably say, "Really, you want all these pots and pans? You don't even cook."

The truth is I am feeling much better today and actually feel like doing something other than laying in bed or on the couch watching CNN International's World Cup countdown clock. If you're going to be attending the games and need info on the newly minted public transportation system, let me know and I'll fill you in on the details. Be warned, however, that the cab drivers are pretty miffed about it and have staged several protests and some have evened threatened violence against people who choose public transport.

I must admit that my improved mood isn't just because I'm no longer writhing in pain. This morning I had a wonderful time of Bible study and prayer and I just gave this whole darn thing over to God. He alone is the giver and creator of life and while it might be helpful for some to read about the cramping Sandy in Indianapolis had after her IVF, I'm not Sandy in Indy and my body is different and there is just no way to know until next week. Just like Sandy and you, I was fearfully and wonderfully made and I am going to bask in the faith my creator has given me!

P.S. I was wrong last night about the cramps being completely gone but they're light now which is probably best because if they were completely gone, I wouldn't be so calm. I did get some sleep though!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Because I know you want to know

No more cramping. It just disappeared like I took something but I didn't. I'm too tired to obsess with Dr. Google on whether or not this is good or bad. I'm hoping I can get some uninterrupted sleep tonight!

But, seriously, thanks for all the awesome support!

It's a Party!

It's an I-don't-feel-pregnant-at-all-just-super-crampy-and-scared-it-failed-again party! The minutes will pass like hours while you are entertained by the not-so-lovely but very talented Doubts & Fears! No need to RSVP because this party will come to you! We will stop by during the early morning hours and awaken you with period-like cramps so intense you will run to the nearest restroom to check and then, once you're wide awake, the party will begin in earnest! Of course your trip will result in nothing but by then you will have realized that you have the same radiating right leg pains that once accompanied your period cramps. Don't worry, these cramps have come to party and won't be leaving anytime soon! When things get too rowdy, you might be tempted to call your old friend 800mg Ibuprofen to vanquish us but, remember, he's terrible around babies so I would think twice about that. You know, until you know for sure...and you won't know for sure for about another week or so sit back and enjoy the party!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crampy

These IVF posts are terribly boring, sorry. I just like having everything documented so that if I have to do this again (and I REALLY hope I don't), I can obsess over the details.

Two blastocysts and one morula* were transferred yesterday. The embryologist/clinic director said they were "very good" but I'm not sure if I believe him because if they were that good I don't know why he wanted to transfer all of them. My doctor would certainly want to but the embryologist is far more conservative (read: reasonable). This, however, is the agreement we came to on Saturday when we sat with both of them (when my bladder was already full, full, full so I might not remember all the details of the conversation) and discussed numbers so maybe that's why he didn't balk. I didn't ask for the grade of the blasts (it didn't even occur to me to ask) but it's probably better that way anyway because it's done now and worrying if they are indeed "very good" or not won't help me.

So, I've been having quite a bit of cramping. In the cycle that resulted in Sarah's pregnancy, I wrote that I had mild to moderate cramping in the week following the transfer. I would classify the cramping I've had to be moderate for significant periods of time (like when I was trying to sleep and I woke-up unable to get comfortable) but it has nearly stopped for the moment. I know I didn't have cramping like this during the failed cycle in February because I was looking for it and it wasn't there. Who knows?

I won't lie, I'm optimistic because, let's face it, I'm going to be shattered if it doesn't work and pretending I don't have my hopes up now would be a big fat lie.

*For those of you who don't understand that, it means two were on-target and one was a bit behind.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chillaxin'

TOIAW speaks the local language fluently. He is what is called a 'heritage speaker' meaning he immigrated to the U.S. prior to beginning his formal education but continued to speak his parents' native language in the home. As such, his command of the language is that of a native speaker and his vocabulary is excellent. One evening during our trip to Krakow, our dinner entertainment consisted of the children peppering TOIAW with vocab questions. The 5-year old of the group is so incredibly sweet and she was having trouble being heard (not uncommon, I would imagine, when you have 2 older siblings and a younger brother who views everyone in his life as an additional audience member) until she piped up with her question: "How do you say 'chillax'?" I didn't think I would ever stop laughing! TOIAW was stumped by that question so I'll just go ahead and say it in English: I'm chillaxin' today!


We transferred 3 embryos yesterday. They thawed 8 and 6 survived the thaw. The remaining 3 are being grown [hopefully] to blastocyst and we'll assess how many to transfer tomorrow. I know some of you experienced IVFers are shuttering to think we're tranferring that many but we know the risks and we'll deal with them as they come. Keeping in mind this is a frozen transfer and I have some uterine lining/bloodflow issues, we felt it was the right decision. However, yesterday my doctor proclaimed my lining to be "excellent, the best." As I have mentioned before, he is never this excited or emotional so I very well could be entering reality tv territory. Who knows? In any event, as I live and breathe, I promise on all I hold dear that I will never, ever get a haircut as hideous as that Kate woman with all the babies. Also, I will never have an affair with the body guard.


This morning I managed to administer the "in the rear" progesterone injection without inflicting shooting pain down my leg which is what happened Friday on my first attempt. I feel confident I will be able to do it from now on and, like I've read a lot on the interwebs, it really isn't that bad. I was feeling a little melancholy about everything so I asked (read: nagged until he surrendered) TOIAW to call them embryologist and check on the growing embryos. So far, so good on that front with 2 doing well and the other a bit behind. That seemed to calmed me down a bit. Any and all prayers are welcome for the embryos in my uterus and the ones in the lab!


Today is actually TOIAW's 35th birthday! We planned on going out with some friends but were notified yesterday of a cook-out so he's there with our friends and I'm home. I think it would have been too much with the heat and everything and I'm glad I stayed home. He'll be home soon and we're going to chillax some more this evening. He's traveling this week and won't be back before I leave next weekend so I won't see him until August. It's not ideal but I think it will be fine.


I'll let you know what happens tomorrow. Because TOIAW can't be with me, he asked our housekeeper to escort me. I feel quite pretentious doing this but it will be nice to know someone is watching my stuff and can help me get a cab home and help me with dinner once I do get home. It's my one last hurrah with her before I return to the U.S. and no longer have a housekeeper who does laundry, cooks, shops, irons, and all the other things I would rather not do. It was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Processing

Our life has been crazy busy since last Thursday. I've had wonderful moments spent with TOIAW, spent with friends, spent being loved on by friends, spent loving on friends, and spent praying for friends. It's been amazing...and busy. I just can't seem to process all of it. There is so much to tell but right now isn't the time.

For now I will just say that spending Memorial Day with Mark Garner's widow was easily one of the greatest blessings of my life. He is a hero among heros and she is the embodiment of grace, dignity, and integrity of the highest degree.