Archive for December, 2006

Nine weeks.

Nine weeks today. I can’t believe it.
From what I have read the little bean should be about 3cm long now and 5cm by end of the week! That’s definitely a size I can envision clearly.

Hopefully today will be my last night on progesterone. Blood test tomorrow and hopefully I’m free once and for all. Maybe the progesterone has been making me nauteous? Who knows. But the nausea is definitely not fun. I don’t know what to call it really. Its not like I am throwing up all over the place. And yet I constantly want to gag. Most smells or even thoughts of smells make me feel awful. The only thing that helps usually is craving for certain foods. It is different every day. Once day I want oatmeal or else (like today), and on another its spicy mexican food. I have not even had a repeat craving so far – its like the cherub can’t make up their mind. Or wants to try everything – who knows.

While I am looking forward to this stage easing up a little, as soon as I feel better I freak. Talk about a lose, lose situation.

We told family finally that we are expecting. They were thrilled and shocked and happy of course. They do not yet know about IVF. We plan to tell a select few, really close people and that’s it. Somehow, it is hard to really give it credit without going into the whole long story – like what we truly lived through the last few months. And its hard to make that small talk, or repeat it over and over. Easier to just share it with a few close people and leave it at that.

December 27, 2006 at 6:47 pm 2 comments

IF and coping with the Holidays

I write this post today… for every woman out there who has to battle through Christmas and the season to be jolly while having to deal with the horrible pain of IF inside. Perhaps yet another BFN, another failed cycle, a miscarriage, a dissappointment, a devastation…..
I have been there… and I know.

While I realize how incredibly lucky I am, to be spending my Christmas with my cycle having turned out succesful and with my BFP just as I had prayed and dreamed, I know there are so many (TOO many) women including fellow cyclers and buddies who sadly did not end up on this side of the fence. I think of all of them so often, and my heart truly goes out to each one of them. I wanted a BFP for all of them, and for all women who unfortunately suffer the way we do, just as badly as I did for myself.

While this holiday is finally one where I am not crying and dreading how to go through with it, I sure have had a good share of them. And I wanted to share my tips from all my experience and things I’ve learnt with everyone who is sadly not as joyful this Christmas, and instead wondering how they will sit through family dinners, and face cute little babies, or listen to dreaded pregnancy announcements.

Whether it is Christmas or July 4th or a birthday or a family reunion or the dreaded Mother’s Day, there is only one way to deal with it when you are depressed and unhappy inside:

Do not ever be a sacrificial matyr that goes through with all the traditions at the cost of your sanity.

Various women dealing with IF may be at various emotional stages during an event or a big day. If you are generally happy and not at the end of your rope yet, and think you can separate someone’s baby or pregnancy from your own problems, and even handle clumsy and uncalled for comments or questions from well-meaning family members, by all means, be social. Attend whatever event you plan to, and enjoy yourself. You might actually have a lot of fun.

For some people though, events and occassions brutally coincide with a horrible time in their life, like a failed IVF cycle, or a miscarriage God-forbid, or simply being at the very bottom low of their life and not knowing how to go on one more day. Fertile people and the world in general, simply NEVER understand the pain to its full brutality, and one can not expect them to.
If you happen to have extremely sensitive and supportive family and friends, and no-one in your realm who is anywhere in the vicinity of being pregnant or having new babies to show off, consider yourself very lucky. There is nothing like being in company of supportive people.
But many have to deal with insensitive family members, and sister-in-laws gushing about their new babies, or cousins announcing their pregnancies. Its simply not a healthy environment to be in when you are at the end of your rope, holiday or not.

When facing such a scenario, and when you are having a hard time dealing with a particular event and holiday in general, here are my personal suggestions.

a. Do NOT go. If there is an event that you are dreading will hurt you, it probably will. And even if the chance is tiny, do yourself a favor and avoid the pain. There will be many other events and times when you will again be social (and hopefully soon), but if this comes at a bad time in your life, avoid any kind of environment of pain.

b. Consider alternative plans. Big holiday coming up? Get away from it all. Pack up and go off on a romantic cruise to Bermuda.  Think about it – you probably would not be able to up and leave as easily when you DO have that bundle of joy. Take advantage of it now – and avoid pain as a pleasant side-effect.

c. Make it all about romance. It is easy to forget the wonderful people we DO have in our lives, during the mad quest to make that baby – our husbands. They are the strong men who stand by us and deal with us and suffer with us and the ones who swore they would on our wedding days. Is there a special event coming up? Make it a time to celebrate that incredible love and partnership you have, and shift the focus off of families and babies. Recall what you were like on your honeymoon when babies were the furthest thing from your mind, and re-create that for whatever holiday is looming. You never know… it may be the last holiday/celebration/anniversary that you can.

4 Get tied up in a project. Volunteer on something big. Use the time you have to do something incredible, vs sit there and mope. Keep busy and be engrossed in whatever you take on. Do something you had always wanted to and never had the chance. Do something memorable and thrilling and completely different. Finish that project, write that book, emerse yourself in something fun and productive instead of pity and misery. Its not easy when life is tough, but we can always try to make even a little difference to make it better.

5. Surround yourself with people who relate, understand and support you. Women and buddies online, GOOD friends, a wonderful family member – the more people you have to support you, the better. It is easier for extroverts than introverts to have a good support system, but you owe it to yourself to build one and never be alone. Alone is BAAAAAD. Whether you engage in a lively forum discussion, a girl’s night out, or hang out with a bunch of (non-pregnant) women – you will probably have a much better time than being by yourself (or worse, hanging with the wrong crowd).

And no matter what… remember to laugh. Often. Laughter is life’s best recepie. Whatever you find humorous and funny – whether watching a comedy or spending the day with your hilarious friend, it is GOOD for you. It is impossible to be sad when you are laughing – laughing genuinely that is (not snickering, or being polite about a joke, or faking a sarcastic laugh). Just find something to laugh at. And remember to smile. Life, and the holiday or event or occassion may be hard today….. but you will have your good day yet. If it hasn’t yet come, just remember that it will. Somewhere down the road…. your life will completely turn around, and all will be easy again.. one day.

May your journeys all be speedy.. and Merry Christmas… to all the wonderful women I know.

December 22, 2006 at 9:15 pm 1 comment

7wks 6days: First Ob/gyn appointment!

I went to my ob.gyn practice today as an official and bonified pregnant woman.
DH came along, even though I told him its optional. He was the only guy there. Kind of funny really, since he brought “How to make a pregnant woman happy” for reading material.

Once my information was updated I was taken in. The ob/gyn nurse went over a ton of information with me. In fact it was overwhelming. She gave us like 100 samples of vitamins to try. She went over the routine visits, screens and tests, and gave us a whole pile of material to read – from blood cord banking to post partum depression. There was even a mini “what to expect when you’re expecting” book. She talked to us and answered all the questions.

I expressed concern about my weight and asked if I should deliberately not lose any, or if weight loss is OK. She said that as long as the baby is doing good, weight loss is fine – obviously they don’t want me walking in and weighing 30 pounds less, but that if any weight loss results from eating healthily, exercising, which is all natural (no crash dieting) then its all good. That a body just does what it wants to during pregnancy.
Exercising was OK as long as there was no danger of injury to the tummy or falling.

The doctor saw us next. She was really happy to see me back there (from since I had miscarried). I told her everything that had happened to me since she last saw me, from all my IUIs to IVF. She said she has a great feeling that everything will go just perfect this time. Amazingly for the first time I suddenly realized that I have not really been anxious that something will go wrong. While I never “expect” without question that nothing will… somehow I don’t necessarily fear that something WOULD go wrong either. Maybe its just that feeling that after everything gone through, we simply DO deserve a healthy pregnancy and child at this point.

We did my pap and exam and she said right away that she defintiely sees that baby is growing.  

Although it wasn’t time for my official sonogram yet, since there was a machine in the room, the doctor said why not take a quick look – too tempting right? 🙂
This machine was not as clear as the other one at my RE office (she even apologized for its quality) but it was still apparent right away that the bean had GROWN! We could see the heart again, and this time the baby was measuring 13.6 already! (with being 10.6 just 5 days ago, that’s just amazing to me!)
I was so happy that all was well, although it still does kind of feel like an out-of-body experience.

After all that I had my blood drawn for the usual tests. Six vials of blood! Eik! Just how much blood did I end up giving this year? I don’t want to know.

The appointment did take quite a bit, but they told me its cause its the first one and next one shouldn’t. I’m supposed to go in every month, but my next appointment is actually in 2 weeks, since I didn’t get my butt in there till 8 weeks (and they start at 6).
Yup.. 8 weeks tomorrow. Unbelievable. Today’s a month since I found out I’m pregnant.. and it still feels surreal.

Although the queasiness certainly doesn’t. I hesitate to call it nausea, but it is definitely SOMEthing. Something not pleasant by any means.

But hey.. anything for this baby.

December 19, 2006 at 9:32 pm 4 comments

7 wks, 2 days: No more shots!

This morning I picked up the phone and called the ob/gyn I’ve always wanted to go to. I’d been to their office twice – once for a preconception visit, and once when I miscarried. Each time I eyed the pregnant women in the lounge. This office was like the forbidden garden to me, and the golden gates to it were always closed. I wasnt part of the club.

The doctor I had seen when I miscarried was so sweet, and she told me she hoped to see me back there soon. More than anything I wished the same. And now, could it be true, I was actually calling them, officially and certifiably pregnant.

I told them I was 7 weeks along and they started rushing to get me in. Apparently they see patients between 6 and 9 weeks for the first appointment and I was obviously calling kinda late for them to get me in in enough time.

The resident triage nurse talked to me and asked me if I have any symptoms and that she would be the one to call any time before my appointment if I have any concerns about anything at all, or need something for nausea or whatever. How sweet. But actually I was feeling great.

They scrambled to juggle some patients around and told me they would call me back with an appointment time. I asked them to call Dh since I was in meetings.
He later called me to say they juggled some patients around and managed to get me in on Tuesday!

My RE office also called hubby and my progesterone level was 64.5! I should take suppositories now for the next week until my follow-up blood work appt and am done with shots! Yeah!!

Today I certainly felt a certain queasiness. I would not say its nausea yet, but I felt uneasy several times in the day. It was always better when I munched on something.
Is this the start of nausea? Hmm.. now that I feel a little uneasy I hope this is as bad as it gets.

I am wondering whether I should branch off to a pregnancy blog at this point. I still have tons of things I want to say about IVF and I will be posting them here.. but I don’t know whether I should just have another link for pregnancy stuff. Just thinking out loud. Don’t know what I’ll do yet.

A couple of days ago I stuck a pregnancy ticker on my siggy for the first time. It feels so alien to have it there. I’m still getting used to this…. I hope to get to the point where I finally and fully believe that it is for real.

December 15, 2006 at 8:34 pm 1 comment

7 wks, 1 day – One beautiful heartbeat!!

Today was the big day!
DH and I were in the office right on time and signed in. Right as we came in there was a woman with a very cute baby dragging her stroller through the IF crowd. She came to show her baby to the staff – obviously they had helped in the creation of it. She was smiling at everyone and even said “Just want to spread some encouragement here that it can happen! You can get a baby!”. The women didn’t seem to mind. I didn’t really either, although even being pregnant, I felt that I personally couldn’t do that. You simply don’t know what kind of day someone is having. You would not want to do that on a day someone has just found out rotten news. And boy doesn’t that happen a lot in an RE office.

Anyway, off the subject, and back to the waiting room. Unfortunately we had to wait forever. Two patients had to be scheduled in before us and we ended up being called almost an hour after the appointment time.
So long as the news was good it didn’t matter. At least that’s what I told the u/s tech when he apologized for the delay.

He explained what they would be looking for today. That at this stage the gestational sack should be clearly visible, and that they expect to see the baby to be measuring anywhere between 8-13mm (normal range for this time period) and that they should be able to see a heartbeat at a rate between 120-150.

He spent what seemed like forever typing in my name and such. DH and I held hands. Then he said “well, enough tension build up, lets take look, here it goes!”

Almost immediately we saw the sack just like he said. He was happy that it was right where they wanted it to be – no ectopics for us. And then.. inside of it… was the most amazing sight to me… a little tiny blurb of our baby, with its heart beating visibly on the screen. My immediate feelings were oh my God… there is really our baby inside me.. so tiny and and fighting for its life. I was in awe and filled with emotion. The tech quickly printed out the picture and handed it to DH. It came so fast I didn’t even realize.

Then it came to measuring time.
“10.6” He announced. “Perfect.”.

It was right in range.
Then for the heartbeat. I watched how he took a scan of it and did those weird calculations on the screen.

“143 beats per minute”.

Wow! We have a heart beat!!! We have an official clinical pregnancy!!
I was a little giddy. Although frankly, I didn’t quite know what to feel. When you’ve been building yourself up so much for a moment, and especially when you’ve been DREAMING about it for so long, finally when it happens, you just question whether this is it. What am I “supposed” to feel. And is this for real?

He told us congratulations several times, and of course I asked about miscarriage. He said although there is never a 100% guarantee, that typically if things would go wrong they would before now, or that something wrong would be detected by the u/s at this point. Everything so far looked great. And he told us that from the size our due date would be August 1st. (I already knew that from our ER date). He joked about getting ready for one hot pregnant summer.

Ha ha. Well, truthfully, I’d have walked on hot coals to have a baby at this point. A hot summer seems like a breeze (no pun intended). But of course I might revisit that statement when and if I get there, when hopefully some of the IF trials I went through might start to become a distant memory. Somehow I doubt it.

And as much as I hated every minute, it is amazing how it now also holds some fond memories.
As amazing as today was, its almost uncanny that the days of ER and ET seem even bigger for me. They will forever remain in my heart.

After the scan, we were told that the RE would see us to talk to us for a few minutes. Wow, what a treat.
We went into his office and he explained that everything looked great and that he had a report for us to pass on to our ob/gyn. Was this goodbye?? Sniff sniff. Darn it…. I’m fond of this office.
He told me that he’d expect me to be feeling the usual symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, nausea, etc etc and asked me if I feel anything BESIDE those symptoms I should tell him about.

I said “uh… actually, I don’t really feel any of THOSE symptoms, is that a concern?”

He smiled in his usual way and said – no, you are just very lucky.

Lucky. Wow. Somehow after everything I went through, that word just doesn’t really sit with me. Although I DO realize how absolutely lucky I am, to have had things be the way they are now, knowing so painfully from so many women I’ve come into contact with, just how much WORSE things can be. But what do I know? Am I even going to kid myself and say its over? I will never say that again. I will just continue to hope and enjoy each day one at a time, one heartbeat at a time (both baby’s and mine).

I never thought it would be me. It still doesn’t feel like it is. Pregnancy was always something for other women. Either lucky fertiles, or other women who got out of the IF world one day. But it never felt that it would EVER be me, even as I did everything under the sun to make it happen. Sometimes, I still find it hard to believe I am writing this. Its me.

There was one final thing. They were going to check my blood and determine where I am on progesterone so that they would know when to take me off the shots. Great, yesterday may not have been the last day after all.
When they took my blood I kept bleeding. Kind of like when hubby gives me the shot on the left. I wondered out loud if the aspirin was to blame for that. The nurses checked my files and told me I could stop taking it. It was mostly for OHSS after all, and I’m beyond that now.

They would call hubby tomorrow to let him know when to stop with the shots and maybe switch over to suppositories. And I should come back next Thursday for bloodwork just to make sure hormones are all good.

I asked if they would measure the beta and the nurse said no, at this point its in the thousands and thousands and it’s the u/s that was important.

Wow, so it would really be goodbye. Well. HOPEFULLY a goodbye…. the last thing I’d want is the alternative obviously.
There was a huge round of congratulations again as I left the office that had become such a part of my life this entire year. Looks like I was graduating to new things….

DH and I celebrated with a quick lunch, where he gave me a gift to mark the moment. A  pregnancy journal I had always wanted.
I in turn gave him a copy of “She’s having a baby, I’m having a breakdown” 🙂 Something tells me he might need that sometime. 

Actually… “I” need that. I need to read that cover every day to remind myself it is for real. But that image of that tiny little being inside me has forever burned a picture in my mind. I will simply never forget it. I’m carrying life. 

December 14, 2006 at 6:45 pm 5 comments

7 weeks – The last shot? :)

Wow, seven weeks today. Yup… 7 weeks.

It is interesting how key days for me have always fallen on the 13th. I started IVF technically on Friday the 13th (in October of all months). That was the day of my very first Lupon shot. Since then I have had only 2 days when I didn’t have to take a shot (which were more than made up for by the days when I had to take more than one!!).

My transfer was on the 13th again. 13th of November. Another huge day.

And here I am now, on the 13h once again, two months since I started, and one month after this little precious life was placed into my uterus. Tomorrow, after what seemed like an eternal wait, it is finally time for my ultrasound. Which means that today… is likely the day of my last shot. Really? Could this be for real? After 2 long months of taking shots EVERY day…. maybe, just maybe this is the last one.

I have good indication that it is. Because on Monday we had ran out of syringes and DH went up to the doc’s office to pick some up. The nurse wanted him to buy a cartrige of 25 at first, but then when she realized I’m coming in only 3 days later, she just gave him 3, indicating that I probably will not be needing anymore.

I have a bruise on my left butt cheek the size of Brazil. Well maybe not that bad, but that was definitely my bad side during the whole process. I never quite came to dread the PIO shots, and I do have to give it to my husband who did an incredible job of injecting me for the last 2 months, but I can still honestly say that the PIO shots were not my favorites.

My favorite? Big surprise – Lupron. Maybe sentimental reasons there?

Well, hopefully the era of shots has come to and end. Which is a big milestone. Tomorrow is an even bigger one. DH and I said a prayer tonight for tomorrow… and it still hasn’t quite hit yet. Maybe (and hopefully) tomorrow will be the day that it will.

Wish us luck on our big ultrasound day!!!

December 13, 2006 at 11:31 pm 2 comments

6wks 4days: Still no symptoms yet

I had been dying to pass the 6 week milestone, since I know it is one of those that reduces chances of miscarriage by a fraction. Well, here I am – having passed it by four whole days. Being pregnant is still just a concept though. I know I am because pee sticks tell me so, and because my period never came. But other than that… I feel no different than I would on any normal given day.

Sometimes I freak. On Friday I was cramping as I drove home from work (although it was a very weird and different kind of cramp).  I could not help but freak and had to run to the nearest store to get a test again (I ran out of them), just to see my line. I know its so silly and a line does not say anything. But to me, its reassuring to at least see a thick positive line. When I miscarried, I sadly remember how my lines got fainter and fainter.
These days though, my lines are far darker than the control line.

DH and I talk about “the baby” sometimes. Sometimes we would joke, or wonder what we would do in so-and-so futuristic situations. But I still kind of need to remind myself that I’m actually pregnant. Am I??? It seems so surreal. My life changed overnight in a way. This is coming from someone who had many MANY (MANY!!!) days when she thought it would just NEVER happen. I remember that fear and that panic of thinking what if our attempts to have a child will all be futile. What if it will just never happen. What if something is just seriously wrong with us and we have already missed the boat to ever have kids. I remember that gripping fear. And that constant battle to trust God. I cannot recall the amount of times I asked for strength.

And here it is…. pregnancy.
At six weeks, somehow I still struggle to call it so. Even though I do want to rejoice in every second. For even if God-forbid it isn’t meant to last, I do want to at least always have the memories of being pregnant and happy.

But more than ever of course, I just pray that this is it. That it is for real, and going the distance. That I will meet this child in 7-8 months.

My ultrasound is only four days away now. How they left me ALL this time to just not have a single check-up, I don’t know. In a strange way though, its also been a relief. No stress and panic every day – waiting for some “results” to come back OK. Just cruising along – each day a milestone. More than ever I pray that my sonogram on Thursday will reveal one healthy developing baby.  It is all I ask for.

December 10, 2006 at 10:00 pm Leave a comment

Difference between Woman with IF and Fertile Myrtle

Faint line at 11dpo
Fertile Woman: “I’m pregnant!” (tells friends, family and sticks a pregnancy ticker on her siggy)
IF Woman: “It’s probably a false positive….”

Strong line at 15dpo
Fertile Woman: Picking names…
IF Woman: “I’m not pregnant until its official with a beta”

Beta #1 comes back great
Fertile Woman: “I’m sure its twins”
IF Woman: “I won’t consider myself pregnant until I see a doubling beta”

Beta doubles
Fertile Woman:  Starts working on designs for the nursery
IF Woman: “I won’t consider myself pregnant until I see a heartbeat”

Fertile Woman: Starts shopping for martenity clothes…
IF Woman: “I won’t consider myself pregnant until I’m past the first trimester…”

End of First Trimester
Fertile Woman: “I can’t wait to know boy or girl already!”
IF Woman: “I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until my amnio comes back OK….”

End of Second Trimester
Fertile Woman: Has a baby shower
IF Woman: “I won’t breathe a sigh of relief till I’m clear for gestetional diabetes and Rh antibodies…”

Third Trimester
Fertile Woman: “Pregnancy sucks. I can’t wait till he/she is here already”
IF Woman: “Wow.. I actually may be pregnant..!”

Birth of the baby
Fertile Woman: “We have a baby!”
IF Woman: “We have a miracle!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

December 7, 2006 at 10:59 pm 7 comments

Expecting Number 2… :)

My TTC History

Started TTC May 2005
RE diagnosed as unexplained in Feb 06.
natural IUI #1 March 06 - BFP, m/c :(
natural IUI #2 May 06 - BFN
clomid IUI #3 July 06 - BFN
femara IUI #4 August 06 - BFN

Skipping suggested injectables,
moving to IVF
Bloodwork: Oct 12 for lupron
ER estimated 1st week of Nov

25 eggs, 15 fertilized.
1 blast transferred, 6 frozen.
Precious baby Girl born in July 07.

After 2.5 years of Bliss since that BFP...

April 2009: Start of TTC #2.
(Going back for the embies I left)
Apr 15: Start of Natural FET cycle.
May 1: Transferred single blast
May 11: BFN :(
Straight to Natural FET #2
May 29: Transferred single blast
June 4: BFP!!!!
June 8: 1st beta - 177
June 10: 2nd beta - 506

Healthy baby Boy born 2010!

Fast forward several years...

June 2013: Surprised with a completely natural and completely unplanned BFP!
December 2006

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