Friday, November 29, 2013

Have We Won the Baby Lottery?

Dearest Readers,
OMG!  We got AMAZING news today.  Our beta took a big jump!  This might be the REAL THING!  WOW.  

1st beta hcg, 13dpo (8dp5dt) = 64 (So I'm saying there's a chance)
2nd beta hcg, 17dpo (12dp5dt) = 154 (76 hour doubling time.  So..I'm saying there's less of a chance).

3rd beta hcg, 20dpo (15dp5dt) =654 (38 hr doubling time....Amazing!!!)

We actually got the call during the final scene while watching the movie Catching Fire (which was great--as everyone has said).  I sprinted out of the theater with me phone vibrating in my coat pocket (apologizing to the 2 people I had to walk in front of).  I tried to tell from our nurses voice what the out come was but I couldn't.  Then she said she has "good news"....whoa?

I've continued to scour the internet for the happy stories of ladies who have succeeded with similar numbers and I'm feeling more confident.  Jane pointed out a fellow blogger at Where's That Bird? who is going through something VERY similar.  Even before today's result our nurse was saying how she often sees frozen embryos take a little more time to defrost/wake up, snuggle in, and start producing hcg (so lower numbers early on).

I've been so very fortunate that both HB and I have been off of work all this week.  Mostly to OCD clean our house in prep for the big family meal that we hosted yesterday (it all went well).  But it's really been great to get to go to the blood tests together, fret/celebrate after phone calls, and just spend this really tough week....together.

What's next?  An ultrasound in one week.  Like an ultrasound to try and identify a yolk sac, fetal pole,...and maybe even a heartbeat (might be too early).  I'm still wrapping my head around this idea.  The idea that I'm not getting wanded to check my lining or follicle number.

I'm still TRYING to be cautious....I was going to add  my beta numbers into the betabase info website....but to do so you have to enter an expected due date....oh no.....not there yet.  I closed the page imediately.

Right now...no one else knows.  It's me and HB's special secret!

In funny news....we are of course continuing PIO injections and sometimes a drop or two escapes from the injection site.  At this point both HB and I know the distinct smell of PIO very well.  We joked that it could be the new fragrance for the holidays.  And then HB whispered "PIO by Calvin Klein".  Gotta keep laughing.....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grasping at Straws..the Beta Edition

I'll get right to the point....our hope of a viable pregnancy is still doused in shades of grey (not the racy novel type either).

1st beta hcg, 13dpo (8dp5dt) = 64 (So I'm saying there's a chance)
2nd beta hcg, 17dop (12dp5dt) = 154 (So....I'm saying there's less of a chance).

As all infertiles know...the expected doubling time for the beta hcg is 48-72 hours....ours is 76 hours.  So....yeah.  Going for another test on Friday (20dop).  The REs office has said that the rates are going up at least by 66% each 48 hours.

But maybe it's just being in the medical field....but I know the likelihood of a blighted ovum or ectopic are very real concerns with those numbers.  Also...the 3 out of 10 "pregnancy" symptoms that I've been experiencing are now down to a 1 out of 10.

In summary....I'm not giving up on this (I'm about to cook and celebrate a gluten free vegetarian Thanksgiving and begged my online pharmacy to rush me my next progesterone vial)...but I'm also starting to feel the pull of our "reality"....and it wants to drag us off the top of the mountain that we've worked so very hard to climb up.

I know it is POSSIBLE that this could still happen...Trust me...I've found forums of women who have made it successfully through similar numbers (after scouring the internet)....but I know it's the exception.  It's just so hard that even after getting to this point....NOTHING IS EASY FOR US.  Here I am again....cashing in any miracle points that I may have left.  PLEASE!

I must be a masochist because I find my self being drawn to the "I didn't know I was pregnant" and "Obese and Pregnant" programs.  What's wrong with me?

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Friday, November 22, 2013

"So you're saying there's a chance?"

II'm sure that you're racking your brain about what cinematic masterpiece that quote is from....well....its Dumb and Dumber (a classic!)

[Jim Carrey]: "What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me? One in a thousand?"
[Lauren Holly]: "Um, more like one in a million."
[Jim Carrey]: "So you're saying there's a chance!"


WARNING:  Discussion about pregnancy and beta test below (in case you're not in a good place to deal with that)

Well...if you're still reading then I'm going to get right to the point....we got our very first every BFP! Heres the picture.  The bottom wondfo was taken at the end of 6dp5dt....what?  You can't see anything?  Well...there is a squinter of a line that even after enhancing the picture my HB insists is not there.  Then the top is a first response early response taken at the end of 7dp5dt...a real positive.

FAIL....I can't figure out how to load the picture...you'll have to trust me for now.


So today was judgement day....first beta.  The wait to have my blood drawn was rather long.  I had lots of time to let my mind wander....and run through the crazy field it did.  I saw parents with assisting children with disabilities and a toddler frolicking through the lobby.  A beautiful pregnant woman at least 9mo pregnant hugging her 2 year old....and I wanted so badly for that to be my future.  And of course the wait was horrendous....after the blood was drawn I just kept thinking "well at least I'm pregnant at least until I get the phone call" (I'm not a total pessimist...but infertility has been a brutal experience).

I got the call just a few hours after the blood draw...it was my favorite RE (Dr. J)....she said she was going to be put me on speaker phone to give me the news (it's a great clinic with amazing staff).  So my first beta at 8dp5dt is 64!!  SO I'M SAYING THERE'S A CHANCE!

Since the squinter 2 days ago I've experienced essentially a nonstop mental reel of "please let this be true/please God let this happen/Please stick around ice baby...we want you so badly".  And then I think "OMG I'm pregnant".  My "symptoms" have been minimal.  Starting around 6 days post transfer I had some vague and intermittent cramps and slight boob soreness.  My abdomen has felt slightly bloated/tight.  It feels like when you have a sweatshirt with a kangaroo pocket and you have your cell phone in it...just a little vague pressure.  I will also say the vajayjay area has been a bit moist (hard to notice after 2 weeks of Viagra suppositories).  And that's all I got.  I wish I was a vomit fountain with untouchably painful boobs and super sent--that would encourage me that our hcg is moving in the right direction.

Given that I've been staying with a friend during the work week my HB did not know about the pee sticks.  HB had not asked about what day the beta draw was and I had not volunteered it.  SO..I got a treat that I thought would be forever lost due to IVF/FET....I got to surprise my HB with the result!  Today I wrapped up the pee stick in the picture and put it in a box complete with a fake tracking scan.  I put the fake packet at the front door of our house before opening the garage door.  HB opened it and we are still both in happy/fearful surprise!  The next draw will be in four days at 12dp5dt.

I have shared so many joys and sorrows with the blogging community.  I've been so happy to read BFP announcements.  I've read how excitement so quickly turns to fear...and when I've read that I've pleaded to get to experience that fear....and now I am!!  Every time I go to the bathroom I fear there'll be blood on the TP.

BUT I am AT LEAST pregnant for the next 3 days!  I told my husband that it's like we have finally gotten to the top of a mountain that we've been trying to climb for 2 1/2 YEARS...only to find that there are three more mountains ahead (trimesters).  Right now....we're just going to enjoy the view and hope we're allowed to stay this high.....

THERE IS A CHANCE!


Monday, November 18, 2013

THE Annual Christmas Ornament

Since 1998 I have selected one (and only one) Hallmark Christmas ornament to buy and add to the growing collection.  The very first year that I was dating my now husband I bought him an ornament to bring him into the loop so technically there are two for that year.  Each year I take one note card and summarize major events that have happened over the past year and on the back I write down a few goals.  For example…last year’s card had goals of 1) Get a BFP, 2) Pass major professional exam, 3) Finish one year job away from home.  Well…I’m pretty damn tempted to remove that card and just incinerate it…because it’s looking like I’ll be 0/3 for the year 2013.

BUT…onto this years most likely selection.  We try to choose an ornament that embodies the year past.  Honestly…I don’t even think that Hallmark would even create an ornament that could embody the pain and failure that this past year has brought concerning infertility….although there is a Heath Ledger as the Joker ornament.  But after reviewing the options please say hello to our 2013 ornament selection!
Product View
Yep…it’s the classic Lucy removing the football from Charlie Brown.  This has been our 2013!!  We've been in pursuit over and over again…and we keep having the football moved as soon as we get close (or think we’re getting close).  Our goals have continued to remain  just out of reach…never to be realized.  I'm ignoring that it's called "optimist".  It's even animated with audio. Here's the link:  http://www.hallmark.com/products/general/keepsake-ornaments/optimist-charlie-brown-2995QXI2242_DK/

For regular readers you might be thinking “well what about this cycle”.  I sit here at 4dp6dt (blasts frozen on day 6) and I’m reporting absolutely NOTHING for symptoms….exactly like the previous 3 transfers have been.  No cramps, no pelvic tightness, no spotting, no back pain, no mid-night peeing.  Nothing at all like I've read on other peoples BFP blogs. Let’s just say…I’m not holding onto my breath or my hope.

And in one more gut-punch from the universe…my husband brought in the mail and one envelope was addressed to me from a friend in Chicago.  When I saw it I thought “oh a birthday card” as it was within a week of my birthday.  My next reaction was GUILT because I had not sent this friend a birthday card (nor had I sent birthday wishes over facebook because facebook can just die and go to hell).  So there I am…feeling guilty…opening my birthday card….and as the contents are halfway out it hits me…WHAM!  It’s a fucking birth announcement.  DAMN IT!  My husband had told me about the latest birth that he saw on facebook….since I almost never log on I missed it (yay).  And yet here it is….invading my home…my personal space…2 days after our last FET that I get to see the photo announcement of a friend’s newborn complete with a picture of all THREE of her sons together.  Thanks for that universe…you asshole!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Freezer is OFFICIALLY Empty

All embryos have left the building....in my ute (for those counting...and we are...that's #6, #7, and #8).  We were VERY lucky and had all 3 survive the defrost. And the transfer went smoothly (just like all of the others before).  My lining is still AMAZING (thank you Viagra).  The joint pain I was experiencing during last post has since gone and therefore must NOT have been a Viagra side effect (don't know what caused it...."getting old" is NOT an option on this multiple choice test!).  The most experienced Dr. at our RE practice did the transfer.  He's super nice and even said that my vascular resistance value was one of the "best he'd ever seen".  Basically this means that Viagra dilated my vessels so well that blood was just flowing through them without hindrance!

The only real difference was that HB wasn't able to make this transfer due to work.  We've been lucky that he's made it too all the others.  I kept him updated via text and of course brought him the embryo's first photo shoot.  I think the quiet time made me feel more reflective/nostalgic about the process.  I kept looking around and thinking "this very well could be the last time I'll be here doing this" (regardless of outcome)...and remarkably...I felt okay about that.  In the post-transfer dimly lit room I could have even napped...closing my eyes to the white noise of my wand friend (portable ultrasound machine)....if not for my ever expanding bladder.  In some ways I just feel like...."this is it" (not in a "I'm pregnant" sort of way or even in a frustrated "I'm giving up" sort of way...but just in a calm..."this is the best effort that I can possibly make" way).  After a month of vaginal Viagra and gluten free vegetarianism...."this is the best that I can do".  Put it's not to say that it will be the end of our story....  As we all know too well :o)  I've been trying to happily conclude this infertility story as long as I've been involved!

Perhaps it was my more reflective nature but I really do feel like the universe was sending VERY mixed signals.  First off...on the drive TO the transfer...I get behind a van for this company:

Now what do you think is the only think that I can read from that logo?  BFP!!!  BUT then...I spoke to the embryology technician about the defrost and grading (were frozen at two 3BB and one 2BB).  This always happens and it's normally about a 2 minute "conversation".  But this time the lady and I sat down in comfy chairs and had at least a 20 minute talk....like a real talk.  In retrospect I really don't even know how it started.  Turns out she had experienced unexplained infertility in her mid 30's and gave up on the medical intervention path.  She now has two wonderful adopted children ages 10 and 13.  Say whoa?  I almost felt like I was talking to my future self.  It was extremely bizarre.  I can't say that I'm into numerology or "signs" per-say....but yesterday DEFINITELY got my attention.  After the talk with the technician that brought in our ice babies and the Dr. just raving about my vessel resistance and lining.....I really felt like I had a whole team cheering me on, in slow motion, as I turned the last corner and approached the finish line of a race.

In other random updates...I'm doing some of my own PIO injections and I feel like I'm getting pretty good at it!  It's also my birthday this month...turning 34.  We started TTC when I was 31.  Wow...that's sobering!  AND...I even had a candle lit specifically in my blessing by one of my dearest friends N.  She was traveling to Guatemala and lit the candle at a famous church in honor of "christo negro" (as there is a dark crucifix carved out of wood).  And another dear friend is praying to Allah for us regularly.  Seriously....this is it!

Now the dreaded wait.....(again).
Wishing everyone the best!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Viagra = Thickest Lining Yet!

Greetings to everyone!
I'm now half way through the FET#3, "clean out the freezer" cycle and wanted to provide a brief update on how it's going.  Also I wanted to document my personal experience with using Viagra (generic) vaginal suppositories because there does not seem to be much out here on the web.....mainly a few forum references.  Anyway....I've now been on the viagra for 1.5 weeks at 20mg suppositories 3/day.  I've been using the PreSeed plastic applicator for the process. 

Unfortunately I think that I'm experience an uncommon side effect from the Viagra.  From my research side effects are categorized into common (headache, dizziness, and vision changes), uncommon (lots of things), and rare.  I am experiencing serious JOINT PAIN!  I first noticed it on about day 5 of usage in my knees and then day 6 it was my knees and pelvic bones.  I've NEVER had joint pain or soreness before.  Let me tell you....it sucks!  It's a very deep pain and is not relived or aggravated by any particular position or movement.  Finally on day 7 of usage (yes...it took me that long) I started taking Tylenol and that works to relive the pain...but I have to keep taking it every 8 hours of it comes back (of course I tried to skip a dose...BIG mistake).

BUT....I had my mid-cycle wanding and guess what?  THICKEST LINING YET!!!!  OMG!!!!  Lining is up to 10.3!!  SOOOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!  The previously thickest lining I had was 9.6 and that was the cycle after an endometrial biopsy (so it took an extra month and an invasive procedure to get that).  Now I'm in DOUBLE DIGITS after 9 days of vaginal viagra.  So guess what?....I'm more than happy to deal with joint pain side effects and walk around with partially melting suppositories in my pocket....and perma-panty liners.....IF it gets me to a huggable baby.  I will be the first to go and find a custom onesie that says "I'm a viagra baby"!

I hate to say it....but this result has spiked a little flicker of hope in me again....despite the results of my previously "hopeful" cycles.  In one week we'll complete the transfer and hopefully AT LEAST one of those three little icey embryos will stick in my extra fluffy lining. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!