Thursday, July 29, 2010

Moving Along

Monday morning, immediately after my blood test, I took off to San Diego for a few days. It was beautiful.  Cloudy and 66, cool, salty, calming. I assumed my blood test results would be positive, so I was happy to get the heck out of the heat.
And they were just that.  My HCG levels increased like they are supposed to. For those that know what I am talking about, my numbers came back as 666, which had me a little worried that I a carrying the spawn of Satan.  Then again, morning sickness hasn't kicked in yet, so maybe not. Every day is a little different as far as symptoms. I will spare you the details, but I have almost all of them.  The most disconcerting is the cramping.  I keep reminding myself it is a good thing, my uterus is expanding and moving to prepare. But a little part of me cringes a little in fear with each one. And I tend to need something to eat on a constant basis. By constant, I mean hourly.  Each time I sit down to eat, I think "Great appetizer.  What's next?" Food only seems to spark more hunger. I'll take it as a good sign. I just wonder how I am going to fit so much eating into my work schedule next week. I suppose that is what passing periods are for.
I have an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday.  They will be looking for placement to make sure I don't have another ectopic pregnancy. I will also know at this time if one or both of the embryos implanted. Wow. I'll have another ultrasound the week after that to check for proper growth and heartbeat/s. The doctor said they could then start weening me off of my medication because the placenta would begin to take over. The progesterone oil shots haven't been that bad, but I will certainly be happy when I can just take a prenatal vitamin every day and be done with shots for a while. My friend had to give them to me in CA, which I think was more traumatizing for her then it was for me.
In the meantime, I am avoiding the work that needs to be done before I go back to work next week. And napping.  And eating. I just wish I was still doing that at the beach.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Thursday was my blood test.  I opted to go with a local blood draw business instead of make the 50 mile round trip downtown for a a simple needle stick.  As a result, my doctor's office didn't have the results by the time of close Thursday.  I had already slept poorly Wednesday night because I was so anxious for the test, even though I knew what the result would be.  I wanted numbers.  Counts of the pregnancy hormone to assure me that things were looking good.  So I had another night of awful sleep anticipating the results.  The Dr. opens at 8, and each minute that ticked passed, I got more and more nervous.  I started to really freak myself out. I knew they had the results.  "Why haven't they called? Are they with clients and they won't have time to call until this afternoon? Do they need extra time to talk to me because it is bad?" Blah, blah, blah.  Jon had left that morning for a meeting, and I was terrified that they were going to call when he wasn't home.  What was I going to do if the result was negative and he wasn't here to calm me down? So he walked in the door at 9, I had to go to acupuncture at 9:15.  I was on the verge of vomiting. As I was digging in my purse for my keys, the phone rang.  It was the doctor.  Oh my god.  The doctor.  I didn't want to answer it.  I was terrified.  And then he said what I had known since Saturday.  I am pregnant.  Yahoo!!!!!  My numbers looked good.  So the first hurdle has been cleared.
So what is next?  I have another blood test on Monday, and my hormone levels should elevate in the proper manner.  Once that is verified, I will have an ultrasound the next week to make sure everything is in the right spot.  Then the usual, get through the first trimester, and birth. 
I would love to say I am hesitantly excited, but it is hard not to be full on excited.  This one just feels different.  Good different. But my breath is held, I am not going to lie.  Each major hurdle, I will allow myself to breath a little more freely.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I had a Mayan massage a few weeks ago and one of the questions on the medical questionairre was "Do you have hope?" What exactly does that mean? Do I hope my IVF cycle works out? Of course I do. That is a stupid question (yes, there are stupid questions, I don't care what people say). But do I obsess about, or live based on hope? Absolutely not. I don't deal in hope (unless we are talking about Obama). I don't get it. It is to unclear. So are words like faith and belief. In what? And what difference would it make? To me, none. Perfectly good words that are too often associate with religion. Ruins it.

It isn't necessary when most of my life can be measured with scientific actualities. In addition, by believing in science, hopes aren't broken when things don't work out. Going through the things we have gone through over the last 7 years (yes, we have been trying that long) has taught me to be practical and realistic about chances and possibilities. Realism is easier than lying to myself about unrealistic expectations. And things either are, or they aren't, it is your reaction that matters. Not saying I don't give myself pep talks and believe in positive thoughts. I do. But I don't kid myself about things that I can't control. And control is a big issue with me. I have had to learn a lot about letting go. It about kills me some days. And there will always be a part of me that ultimately always wants 100% control, I just have to suppress it.

So how do you explain things that you just know? That whole woman's intuition thing? There are things I know. But because they haven't been verified by science results, does that mean they should be measured with hope, or faith, or any of those other ridiculous words that people use to make themselves feel better? I say no. But there are a lot of unexplainable things in the world that need to be recognized. It is the magic of existing that makes every day an adventure and a learning experience. Nature fascinates me.

Each time we have gone through an embryo transfer or fertility treatment, I have known when it has been successful and when it hasn't. If we were going through this naturally, I don't know that I would be so clued in. But each time, it has been clear to me, and then my body starts to prove to me my instincts.

So I know. Have known since Saturday. But you will have to wait until I get a definite yes or no.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Killing time

Thanks for listening to my pity party. It hardly sounded like me writing. Can I blame it on the hormones? I am feeling better. All I do is sleep. Today is the first day I have made it to 1:30 without a nap. In my defense, progesterone is the hormone that causes so much fatigue in the first trimester, and that is also what I am shooting myself up with at night. I wouldn't say all of my sleep is quality. My dreams have been really weird. I blame it on not exercising. So today, I went to the gym with Jon. I am on doctor's orders not to workout right now, not to worry. All I did was some light walking in the treadmill. It just felt good to move. I had my book in hand, so I couldn't go very fast, though it was hard not to kick it up a notch when a fast song came on and both people next to me were running. But I kept it in control. No sweat was lost, no heartbeat was raised, and it was more than I have done in weeks, so I felt pretty good about it. If I don't get up off my ass, I will have a rude awakening when school starts, so I need to get back in the groove. As soon as my workout ban is lifted I will work out again the way I want to.
So what am I doing in the meantime? I have to wait for test results and need to fill my time with something. I no longer have daily dr. appointments and 2x week acupuncture appointments have been scaled back to once a week. All of a sudden, I have all this extra time on my hands. They were like a part time job. I still haven't gotten to the lesson plans I promised myself I would spend 4 hours a day on starting July 1. I have a hat and a skirt to make before I go to San Diego for 3 days. And I am trying to hammer out some knitting guild stuff so I don't have to worry about it when school starts. Overall, I still have things to keep me busy, and those lists get longer with each nap I take. So waiting for test results isn't so bad.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Embryos in

Yesterday was our embryo transfer, and they put in the 2 most viable candidates at that moment. One had reached blastocyst stage (day 5 of development when the embryo has inner and outer cell masses that will be a baby and a placenta). The other was almost there, still safe for transplant because it would (obviously) go through the same process in the body. It went with minor discomfort, and I spent the rest of the day on bed rest, reading and doing nothing important on the computer.
This morning the Emryologist called regarding the remainder of our embryos. Many of the embryos had stalled in their development. They all stalled at about the same stage. Two embryos looked good, and were frozen. That is 2. Two out of 20.
I have to admit, I was a little annoyed, and discouraged. You would think we would have had better odds considering. Twenty is a lot of eggs, and most women don't get that many in this process. Because this one was so physically rough on me, I was hoping for a stronger turnout so we have some back-up in the bank. But, whatever. Ultimately, I hope it doesn't matter, and this will take. We are just thinking about the next pregnancy, and know that 2 frozen embryos probably won't be enough to get a second child, and we will have to go through the financial strain again. I know that I am thinking about things that are so far off. We need to focus on one thing at a time. Lets get through 1 successful pregnancy first. But the mind can't help but wander. If this one doesn't take, we go through the whole harvest process again. And I have apprehensions about that. One IVF cycle was fine, one was rough. So who knows what the next one will be like. What I am tired of us running my life by my fertility schedule. No vacation, no workout, no wine, no sex, no this, no that, blah, blah, blah. It gets old. I know I will make sacrifices when I have kids, and I look forward to that. Its just that sometimes I feel like I am sacrificing so much of myself to get this that I am doing a disservice to me and my husband. If we are going to have to go through another fresh IVF cycle, some things will be different. I am going to make myself crazy trying to live every second by rules other people give me. I know my body well enough to know where I will, and won't be able to push myself. I will just have to be able to look back on this and remind myself - in 2 years, after this baby is born and we are ready for the second.
So now, we wait..........

Sunday, July 11, 2010

On the mend

Just a quick update. Friday night was another rough night. I began the night upright, again. As the night went on, and I woke up often, I readjusted, and at about 3:30 am I managed to be in a flat position on my side. It was awful. And if I wanted to flip over, I still had to sit up and turn myself. So I didn't get much sleep. The gas was still so bad that I looked 4 months pregnant. The stretching of my stomach about killed me. But Saturday was better. I managed to get a little done around the house (light duty, of course) and even made an appearance at a party last night. Unfortunately, we had to leave by 8 to go home and administer shots. This will run our schedule for a while. They said the shots will continue for the first trimester. Keep that in mind if you invite us to any parties. They go in my back, so Jon has to do it. And it is quite a process with multiple needles, heating pads, markers, etc. It still hurts to touch my stomach, which makes me a little nervous. The doctor does a belly ultrasound (with a full bladder, mind you) during the embryo transfer to guide all of the equipment and what not. It can be very uncomfortable in a normal scenario, so I am hoping it will be less painful by then. My poor cat is feeling awfully rejected since he can't climb up on me. I have to go to a birthday party today with little kids and am nervous about them wanting to touch me (I have been known to encourage climbing in the past). But I will just have to sit down and take it easy.
the embryo transfer is scheduled for Tuesday. We will know then how many will be frozen as well (not all will live 5 days in the incubators).
Thanks for all the well wishes. I am getting there.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Last night was rough. I had some pain yesterday in the late afternoon and had to call the doctor. After walking me through some self tests, he concluded that sometimes when people are in pain, they swallow air. That air gets trapped in the body and can cause great discomfort. Yeah, no kidding. I could barely breathe. So Jon ran to the store for some Gas-X and I was told to sit up. Lying down was painful anyway, so I was somewhat relieved until bedtime. Lots of belching, which hurt to push out but temporarily relieved some of the discomfort. Per doctors advice, I slept propped upright. I was surrounded by pillows, and looked quiet ridiculous. I was worried about neck cramps, and getting any sleep at all. But my horseshoe shaped travel pillow was the perfect cradle for my head, and I managed to get some rest. I still woke up every 2 hours to pee (with my ovaries so swollen, they are fighting for space, making my bladder unable to handle large quantities of liquid) and re-adjust. I have dozed a little on and off today as well. We also started the Progesterone shots last night, which are oil based (so thick, and hard) and Jon has to give them to me because they go into my hip in my back. The needle is huge, and I am glad I don't have to do it to myself. This will continue through the first trimester. I am still quite uncomfortable, and still struggling with bloating and gas. The doctor says it will get worse before it gets better. I am hoping the worst was yesterday afternoon. I feel better, just not great. We have a couple parties this weekend, and I am hoping to be well enough to at least make an appearance.
I did manage to leave the house for a pedicure. A girl has her priorities, and was feeling wild so I went for a glittery blue- first time ever for that. I quiet like it. But was exhausted upon arriving home. Ten minutes later, the doorbell rang, and my mood perked right back up with a flower delivery (thanks Mom & Dad!).
The doctor called this afternoon, and 20 eggs were fertilized and popped into the incubator. That is an outstanding number. My embryo transfer is scheduled for Tuesday, when they are 5 days old. They will put 2 in me, and the remaining embryos that live that long will be frozen. I pretty much plan on bed rest, and will allow myself to be up again on Friday. I have books to read, and my computer can come to bed with me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I haven't blogged for a while, clearly. After such a hiatus, its hard to know where to begin. The last spring was so busy, that it is a blur. Then summer started, and I was a cleaning, baby gift making, project completing machine for the first few weeks. Nothing interesting or worth blogging about. Just productive in many ways.
All of this "getting things done" led to the second half of my summer. We are doing Invitro Fertilization (IVF), again. We had 2 embryo transfers this spring, both were negative. So without anymore frozen in the bank, we were set to go through a fresh cycle again. I predicted this round would be different than the last for a variety of reasons. 1) I am not working. So if I want to stay in bed all day, I can. This greatly reduces my stress level. Even though I don't feel really intese during the school year because I love my job, it obviously takes a toll mentally, and physically as I create lesson plans and chase after children all day. 2) My diet is different. I have mentioned going gluten free before, and what a difference it made in my physical well being. I should mention now that I am not so much gluten free, as wheat free. That was my allergy, and eliminating all gluten can be tedious, so I decided to stick to wheat only. And peanuts. And melon. And oats. And blue cheese. And all the other foods that I am allergic to, and never liked anyway. 3) I kicked up the acupuncture to 2x a week. That should help stimulate my ovaries, and balance my body.
This IVF cycle has been rough on me, I am not going to lie. Last time, I felt great. I worked out up until the day before my embryo transfer, shots went well, etc. This time, I have been uncomfortable for a week, and cried almost every time I had a shot. Jon had to help give them to me and I bruised after almost every one. It looks like someone has been punching me in the ovaries, and it feels like that every time I go over a speed bump, or hit the curb in our driveway.
This morning I had my egg retrieval surgery. I am in a lot of pain, and had some trouble coming out of anesthesia. Throwing up uses too many muscles near my ovaries, so that didn't help. But they took out 33 eggs. Yes, 33. I was a little egg factory, so it is no wonder I was uncomfortable. We won't know until tomorrow how many were fertilized because they go through a process of cleaning the eggs before they introduce them to the sperm. Did you know that a mature human egg is about the same size a typed period (.)? One day at a time, and the hard part is over.
I mentioned earlier this year, when I turned 33, that I felt really great about this year, felt lucky. Thirty-three is my favorite number. Should I find it a coincidence that today I had 33 eggs removed? I think it is a sign. Keep your fingers crossed, I'll keep you updated through the blog.