schrodinger’s uterus

So today was FET #2. Eric was called away for work last minute so I was flying solo on this one. My friend from work drove me so I didn’t have to drive.

We transferred two blastocysts, so we are hopeful that one snuggles in and maybe both….. 😉Im chillin on the couch watching tv. Everything went a bit differently than last time but Im hoping it was the change up we needed.

Here we are again, waiting…. Im both pregnant and not and only time will tell which is true.

I feel differently about this one and every fiber of my being believes Im right. 💜

Bonding over shots (and not the fun kind)

So my husband and I gearing up for the second FET on Thursday. The first round I had my mother do most of my PIO shots because my dear husband is afraid of blood and really detests needles. This set up was fine for a few weeks and then it became cumbersome to travel to my mothers every day to get the shot. The pregnancy lasted for almost nine weeks and thats a lot of driving to Mom’s everyday to get a shot in your side.

The pendulum swing occurred when we scheduled a trip to D.C. at the end of December and he was the only one to give me the shot….. it was basically put up or shut up. He decided to put up with his fears and shot me up haha.

So now that we are at that stage again he agreed to give me both (because one isnt enough!) of my required daily shots until transfer and then one daily after that until the end of the first nine weeks. The needles that came with the progesterone this time are longer and while they hurt a little more, I think it helps get through the “fluff” and into the muscle. I had such a terrible reaction last time so I ordered the progesterone in olive oil instead of sesame seed oil. Between the longer needles and the change in oil it seems to be helping, but only time will tell.

We joked that his want for a child exceeds his fear of the blood and needles so he is powering through that fear each day. It is strange what a want for children will push you to do. Before IVF, I struggled with the thought of taking shots multiple times a day and having to give it to myself made my stomach do flips. Now its like an old hat, just part of my daily routine, like brushing your teeth in the morning.

Its like a deranged S&M relationship bonding moment between us each day. I sit on heating pad with a vile of progesterone in my bra to start it getting warm while I prepare all of the necessary items for the shot. One needle to draw it up in the syringe, one to give it, alcohol swab and the vile. He usually sits on the couch and watches me with a glimmer of sympathy in his eyes, both for himself and me. Me for having to take these vile shots twice a day and him for having to give it ( he has passed out having his blood drawn). He pats my leg and smiles, its his way of encouraging me. I appreciate that he knows he cant help or make this better, but he is showing gratitude that I am going through it in our goal for a mini us.

We have just returned from a week in San Diego together. He had a conference there and I tagged along for the ride since his flight, food and hotel were covered; it made for a cheaper vacation. I also love the San Diego area, its so beautiful!

I hope that the week of relaxation helps with this transfer. I slept a lot on the trip as he was gone every day from 8 am-6 pm, I had plenty of free time on my hands. I did walk around and enjoy my time there. I also tried to keep up with some of my work emails and demands. Ultimately I probably slept about half the time I was there between normal sleeping at night and the napping during the day. The IVF cycle and FET at the end of last year were very emotionally, physically and mentally trying on both of us. I haven’t slept through the night in 5 of 6 months. I had some catching up to do.

I hope that all of these improvements in our situation are just the stroke of luck we need for this time to be our take home baby. We are not normally spiritual people but at this point we need all the help we can get, including prayers. He told his Mom about everything and as a religious woman she said “well I will pray for you two”. Thanks, Mom we need it.

 

(Below are a few pictures from our trip, gosh it makes me want to stay!)

New schedule, same plan

I spoke with the nurse on Monday and we put together a schedule for the second FET. If all goes well between the medicine and my trip to San Diego at the end of Feb, we should be doing the transfer the second week of March!

I started birth control the end of January. I will start the PIO injections, after the ultrasound the beginning of March. I am allergic to the oil in the PIO shots so let me tell you that Im over the moon elated to start those again! Bring on the golf ball size red whelps and itching!! (insert dripping with sarcasm here) Yes, I asked and no there isnt a different option that is as effective. The suppositories are good but the shots keep the level much more consist. They do not really make a different emulsifier soooo, Im buying stock in benadryl.

This transfer we have two blastocysts. Most RE prefer to transfer blastocysts as they are typically better quality embryos. Heres hoping they are better than the last set that ended in miscarriage. We will never know the cause as I allowed myself to miscarry naturally instead of a  D & C and therefore did not have any testing for chromosomal abnormalities. It doesn’t really matter why I guess, it was not successful.

We are hopeful like all couples experiencing fertility treatment that this is our cycle. Maybe we will have a baby this November after having an unsuccessful transfers last November. Hopefully in the course of a calendar year we will be successful with 10 chubby fingers and 10 chubby toes to kiss. We have hope. We have faith. We believe. We will succeed.We got this!

faith

If at first you dont succeed, try, try again

I had my blood work today. They had to test to make sure that my HCG levels have dropped to zero or at least below 5 before we can start to prepare for the next transfer.

I decided to wait until I felt more like myself to go in and do the test. No need to throw salt in the open wound. So I waited until I felt “normal” and scheduled the test. Luckily, I waited just long enough because my level was 4 and anything 5 or under is negative. So, while my body may not be efficient at getting pregnant. It is highly efficient at cleaning up after one.

Just shy of three weeks and my body was back to normal. The bleeding stopped and my HCG levels were at a negative testing number. Why cant it do this with everything concerning fertility?

Anyway, I asked the nurse to plot out the potential transfer date based on if my period starts when it should again in January. I usually have a 29 day cycle. She said if you were a fairly regular before you should go back to being regular again. I was always a pretty regular with my period so hopefully that continues.

We have two trips scheduled that could present an issue, we have one the last week of February and one the second full week of March. I am nervous that the transfer date will conflict with the second trip. I am trying to decide if I want to go on the second trip and start the FET process with my February period or if we think we can do the transfer in between the two trips or if I want to skip the trip and just let my husband go alone. It is a business trip for him, but it is in the same area as the majority of his family lives and we are going to visit them.

But I digress, back to the FET, the entire process hinges on my very stubborn and mule like reproductive system, that basically does what it damn well pleases anyway; medicine and medical intervention be damned. At this point we have to decide if I am going on the trip, if I am going to get pregnant while my husband is 1500 miles away or if we are going to wait and start the process later in February. Decisions, decisions…….

There and back again

We started fertility testing in Dec 2015 and in Dec 2016 we found out that our efforts thus far had failed and we would have to try again. So my year end was the icing on the cake to my terrible 2016.

We found out Dec 29, that our IVF pregnancy was not viable as it was a blighted ovum. The gestational sack was growing but nothing was inside.So I stopped my medicine and waited for the miscarriage of our dream.

I started spotting the morning of Jan 2. My grandfather who is one of my favorite people passed Jan 2, 2010, not a wonderful day for me.  The heavy bleeding began the next morning and by that night the pain was barely tolerable at points. I can only describe them as mild contractions as my body was doing as it should in this situation. Tuesday evening was terrible both mentally and physically, and Wednesday was only marginally better. Thankfully it is now “normal” period pain, so at least it is getting better.

I have opted not to do a blood test yet as I know it takes a little while for the HCG levels to drop.We do want to start the next transfer soon, but I dont need to pay for a beta to tell me my levels are dropping but still not zero. I’m currently still miscarrying, I know the levels are not zero.

The doctor called me to express her sympathy and stated that she would like to start the next transfer soon if we were ready. She wants to transfer both of the remaining blastocysts. I guess they are not top quality and she thinks transferring both will increase the odds of a viable pregnancy. I tend to agree since we transferred two 3 day embryos and only one attached and then didnt develop.

Also, my husband would love to have twins, specifically girl twins. A single baby is our goal and twins would be the ultimate blessing. Although I would be scared of twins transferring two is just fine with me.

I should also mention that my RE is pregnant. I had to go to the main office for the first pregnancy ultrasound. The doctors do those themselves so that they can see that the pregnancy is not ectopic and thats when I found out she was pregnant. I havent seen her much in the last few months. The last time was the egg retrieval and she was in loose scrubs so her belly didnt show as much. She came in to the do the ultrasound and I was so shocked that I couldnt concentrate on what she was saying about my pregnancy because I was so distracted by hers. Of course we are not friends and I can only imagine in her line of work that she understands that announcing something like that is painful to those still trying. I am truly excited for her though and will be sending her a gift for her new blessing.

We did the second ultrasound at the office nearest us, thankfully. We didnt have to drive 3.5 hours for terrible news, the 15 minute drive home was long enough. I am secretly grateful that we were allowed to have the nurse do the second ultrasound because hearing that my pregnancy was not viable from a pregnant woman would probably have been worse.

Honestly, I was realistic the entire time about the chances of the pregnancy not being successful. We had mediocre test results from the start, but I remained cautiously optimistic every step of the way. I read all sorts of threads about women who had lower betas than mine that went on to have healthy babies. I held hope in one hand and realism in the other and marched through December. I left hope in the ultrasound room of the doctors office and went home with reality.

And now we wait, its the recurrent theme for IVF. We wait for my HCG levels to drop back to zero and then I will start birth control which will begin FET #2.

I have great hope in 2017, I am trying to shake the end of 2016 and all the things that didnt go our way. I think we are on the down hill slide of those problems and hopefully sliding into a much better 2017.

Jan 2017 started like some years do with hope and prayers to the gods that it is filled with much better news than the previous. Some years are just not stellar, but I have high hopes for 2017.

Come on 2017 be gentle and kind, I could use some good news for a change and I believe in you!

2017

Third and final beta

I had my third beta today. The number is still doubling in normal time frame and looking good! So we are on schedule for the ultrasound on 12/20 at 8:30 am!

Im very relieved that the number is doubling as it should. The number its self is not blowing anyone away as the nurse put it, but a healthy pregnancy does not have to be off the charts and I am taking that tid bit and tucking it in my pocket. The numbers are solid, and doubling or more every 48 hours. I couldnt and wouldnt ask for more.

I wanted to be pregnant and I am, that is plenty to celebrate. I know when I was pregnant with my daughter, we couldnt hear her heartbeat on the doppler until I was 14 weeks along. That was the last possible week to hear it before they do an ultrasound to determine if there is still a viable pregnancy. In addition to all the other struggles to achieve this pregnancy, I am more than accustom to things not being stellar.

So just like all the other things with IVF, I am cautiously optimistic. I think I will feel better when I see a heartbeat, I know the chances of a miscarriage drop considerably after that happens.

I finally showed the hubs my idea of a pregnancy announcement. I think he thought it was a little corny, but he indulged me. He made sure that I was going to include our daughter in the announcement and pointed out that it might help her feel apart of everything. I had not thought about that (and yes I should have, but my mind has been preoccupied with IVF, her honors project, work and life in general), and am very grateful that he loves her so much and that he cared how she felt. I really am blessed. He has never treated her like a step-child, she has always been his daughter.

My work Christmas party is tomorrow and Im looking forward to that and finishing my Christmas shopping over the weekend. 2016 was not a stellar year for me, but 2017 is looking much better, thankfully.

I hope all of you out there have a very happy holiday season too!

Dear santa.jpg

 

Baby steps

So I had my second beta this morning and it more than doubled. Pheww (wipes hand across forehead) What nerve wracking couple of hours that is, right?

My nurse is new to the infertility practice so I have been her first IVF patient. When I started this whole process I was with the nurse before her. I have to say whole heartedly that I am thankful that the switch happened prior to my beginning the actual IVF process. She is so compassionate and emotionally invested in my progress that it feels like she is doing it with me some days. She never makes me feel stupid for any questions and she is always very comforting when she can tell Im kind of freaking out.

Since we had diagnosable fertility problems and not unexplained fertility we knew for certain that this was not going to go smoothly. We knew that we were not ideal candidates for IVF. It didnt stop us from trying obviously, but we knew. She only really acknowledged that we didnt have as good of chance as everyone else once. Every other time we have talked she keeps saying we got this, it only takes one, those are great results (even if they arent) and my favorite, we are making a baby here, no if ands or buts.

Her enthusiasm is contagious and I am very grateful for her.

So she was right, we are making a baby here!

I go back on Thursday for one last beta and then an ultrasound on 12/20. Pictures of the baby and a heartbeat will be the best Christmas present I have ever gotten. baby-santa

(Not my image)

Santa baby

So I had my beta test Tuesday morning and I am pregnant. I have to go back tomorrow to make sure it doubles as it should. So that is amazing!

On a side note, I have developed an allergy to the progesterone in oil shots that I am taking every day….. big red welps have come up on either side of my hips near the injection sites and they itch like mad! It is driving me bonkers.

So I am at work with itchy hips trying to get through the day without clawing the skin off of my sides. I called the nurse and had to leave a message. Im not sure what she can recommend but I would love some relief. I have been using hydrocortisone, but that only helps for so long.

All I want for Christmas is the betas to double and the itching to stop. (Santa if you are listening, I hope that isnt too tall of an order!)

santa

So they arent just phantom symptoms

I cheated and tested yesterday and got a BFP. Ekk! While I know it is still super early, like 11dp3dt. I was relieved. So much so that I yelled down the stairs for my husband to come read it behind me. Three years of negative tests, you start feeling like a positive is the illusive dream.

I have been having waves of nausea with ill reactions to different foods intermittently. I was wondering if it was in my head because I so desperately wanted it to be real or if it was really happening.

After the positive test yesterday, I started to feel a little better about the feelings. I hope they are a sign of a strong pregnancy and that this baby is in there to stay until Aug 2017.

I didnt think about how hard it was going to be to keep this news to myself. Then I started thinking about all the holiday parties, New Years and everything that the next few weeks brings. I guess I am going to have to play the part really well at my office party. This particular party is mandatory and if I dont at least appear to drink all the girls in my office will be on it like a hawk. I think they are already suspicious after all the time missing work and doctors appts. Also, I have never been known to turn down a nice glass of red wine and Christmas parties are the perfect reason to celebrate.

Soooo I will have to put my best actress hat on until everyone starts to feel a little tipsy and they stop noticing if I am drinking a glass of wine or not. I am sure we will leave right after dinner just to avoid any possible questions.

I am also so freaking excited and I want to tell everyone. My childhood friend text me last month to tell me she was pregnant for the 5th time. This is the first time we will be pregnant together and Im dying to tell her I am FINALLY pregnant too. I will probably break down and tell her before 12 weeks is over, but after the ultrasound where we hear the heartbeat.

I have also been working on a cute pregnancy announcement for a while now (in hopes of needing it one day) and today was the first time I have had the nerve to actually draw it. I think it is a super cute idea and I cant wait to share it, I just hope my husband love it as well.

So, no one other than my husband and anyone reading this blog know my little secret. I am waiting to tell my mom after my beta tomorrow morning. I just feel like I will feel better about sharing it after I know that number. I only hope the nurse calls me early in the day, my appt for the blood draw is at 8 am.

A Christmas miracle

Tomorrow was supposed to be my beta. The nurse in the satellite office near me has the day off. She is the only one in the office 90%+ of the time so it was wait or go to Lab Corp. Ive never been a huge fan of Lab Corp so I chose to wait until Tuesday.

So I woke up this morning and thought why not? I have three digital pregnancy tests just taking up space under my cabinet.

So after the not so wonderful year that 2016 has been…..

IMG_3733.JPG

It is finally looking up!!!! I know it’s still really early and I don’t know the beta number yet. Right now we are celebrating this blessing and looking forward to 2017 and all the joys it holds. After all of the shots, tears, tests, hopes and pleading with the gods we are finally pregnant!!!  I can’t wait for the ultrasound, maybe both embryos stuck. 😜