Friday, December 26, 2014

A Mess of Thoughts

Most of the time I am excited about having triplets, but often I can't even imagine what it might be like to have three babies.  I mean.....wwwwhhhhaaaaaatttt?  And other times I can barely believe this is really happening and I hope and pray it will end in a successful birth...s.

Also, I've been worried that I would favor my triplets like my cats.  I've tried to convince myself that my cats are different, but I have a definite favorite, a less favorite who I feel bad about not loving as much, and the other idiotic cat.  Please tell me I won't be like that with my children.

I am nervous about my MFM appointment Monday.  I'm nervous about what she's going to tell me.  I'm nervous that there will not be 3 heartbeats and nervous there will be.  I'm nervous I will get suuuuper pregnant and nervous I won't.

I think I've officially started popping out.  The problem with hating my body before my last cycle is that I didn't have precise measurements and weight, but I think I've gained about 4 inches and 10 pounds.  Last night for the first time it wasn't comfortable to sleep on tummy, which is a bummer since I love sleeping in that position. 

I think I might have to buy new pants soon too.  I am most nervous about having to actually buy new clothes.  I assume I couldn't go through my whole time without them...but what do I even buy, how fast will I pop out?  It's not something I can really learn online.  I hope the multiples group I found meets soon...I have questions!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Infertility Wounds

By now I've told a whole bunch of people about the triplets.  Part of this is because I was never very silent about my infertility and many of my friends will pointedly ask how it's going, which I've never discouraged.  Those that haven't been that close I have kept in the dark longer, but some of my closer or longer lasting friends, or those who will think of and pray for me, I have told.  I need all the positive thoughts and prayers I can get right now!

One of my longest friends (also, one of my most fertile, she's gotten pregnant on every kind of birth control and finally had her tubes tied after the 3rd one) is super excited for me.  She even told other people and I was fine with that.  The other day we were chatting via FB chat and she ended the conversation by saying she knew I would be ok because God has a plan and I'm a good person.

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........

It felt like a slap, not only for me but for all my infertile compatriots.  Suddenly I was less sure this was going well instead of more sure, all because she thinks that being a good person matters.  It couldn't matter less and it also doesn't matter how much I've 'been through', I see people who have been through more, who have been through things I'm not sure I could survive.  And actually I haven't said anything to her since, because I can't think of anything nice.  It was a natural end to the conversation and we'll start a new or different chat later and I won't say anything.

And I'm almost certain that's the right choice, because she's not really the type to think being a good person matters.  She's had horrible things happen to her, I'm sure she doesn't think it's because she wasn't 'good'.  She was only trying to find words to comfort me, to reassure me it would all be ok (a little ironic since I didn't need reassurance at that moment). 

Tonight I am taking my last estradiol pill - yay!  And I'm pretty sure I will tell work tomorrow about the triplet pregnancy so that they know.  It's more an insurance policy in case something happens, I don't want them to not believe me if I suddenly need time off.  After the MFM in a few weeks I will update them on what to expect from me for the remainder and possibly after. 

It's been hard not to have an ultrasound this week, but I don't need one for anything but peace of mind.  I can't wait until next week to see in there again!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dreams & Guessing Games

One of the fun things about both PIO shots and having a ton of progesterone in your system is that you have very vivid dreams.  I've had a variety of dreams including:

My father was always alive, and he has a relationship with my brother and an older half sister I never knew named Jessica!  And now he's finally gotten in touch with you!  This is a common theme of my dreams since I was little and was actually a little nice because the last time my father was in a dream I punched him in the face for leaving me.  I hadn't seen him in a dream since then, about 8 years (except for a weird non-dream where he stood at the side of my bed and said he was working on getting me a baby.)

We went home to my childhood home, which I always have to WALK to like I did from the bus in elementary school.  The neighbors were doing construction and a bear got into their house, it chased me around while everyone else talked and ate cheese and drank wine (seriously uncaring).  It was trying to eat me because I was going to overpopulate the earth.  This seemed silly and hilarious once I woke up, but bears are always what I am terrified of, at least it wasn't a polar bear, those are even meaner.

I was pregnant with a horse and my beta didn't rise.  I was both happy - seriously how could I give birth to a horse - and a little sad - since it didn't work out this time either.  Mostly relieved.

I was baking cookies, in my tummy, with a twitter friend and she kept chastising me for not cooking the cookies long enough.  This has taken on new meaning with triplets, but she did train me to cook the cookies properly in the end so my uterus should know how to do it now.

Anyway, it's been a fun roller-coaster of dreams.  I am hoping for mostly good ones in the future, or at least non-scary ones.  In a separate effort to keep my spirits focused on positive things I have been reading a baby name book, although not too seriously since I don't know what names I'm looking for boy or girl wise.   When I imagine my triplets (as toddlers or whatever), I imagine all girls and I definitely think the twins are girls.  However, baby A is a little bit of a mystery and I kindof think he's a boy.  I won't be disappointed, although maybe 3 boys would be hard.

I asked my DH and he thinks they are all boys (men, so unoriginal) and that we should name them all after Seahawks players.  I put my foot down on Marshawn, but I could do Thomas, Russell, Wilson, or even Earl if they aren't too popular in this area. 

And for those of you who are curious, the chances of triplets were less than 1%.  I was a little bit second guessing my decision, but the RE did say that twinning occurs more often in 5dt (not 3dt) - they don't know why.  The 1% is way less than my chances of conceiving at any point in the last 4+ years with my own eggs.  You can see why I didn't factor it into my decision and, quite frankly, my RE didn't seem concerned either when we talked about a 3dt. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What It Looks Like

I can't really complain about my lot in life right now.  I don't know how it will turn out.  Everyday I work on being positive and I'm usually successful.  However there are some moments when I am terrified, when I worry about the future, when someone on Twitter triggers all my fears (not on purpose).

So here's my pretty picture from today:
Babies are lettered, not the best picture of any of them.
They are all measuring right on schedule with good heartbeats and sizes.  I believe C was actually the biggest, which sounds right since she's constantly pushing out that side of my uterus. 

Someone on Twitter did scare me that the MonoDi twins aren't great, so I did ask the doctor what would have been better.  She said DiDi is best... well that's true but the twins are Monozygotic, so this is the best you can hope for with IDs.  (Durh.) 

I don't have an MFM appointment until the end of December (stupid Christmas).  I have one more scan scheduled at my REs place, but am technically cut free from them. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Less Scared, More Hopeful

It's the middle of Sunday, so time to actually have energy to write an article!  Did you miss me?

On Thursday DH and I went for a second ultrasound at the RE.  Another scan showed the same 3 babies, A, B and C, hanging out, growing on schedule, all with amazing heartbeats - baby A with 171, and the twins with 168 each.  I cried, my DH laughed and asked what I expected, I didn't really know what I expected.  The night before I had laid awake and thought 'there's still 3 in there', but even that didn't really prepare me.

We discussed with my RE what the risks were.  The risks are premature birth, but they don't know what causes it (although I've read some research about infections, etc).  The REs advice was 'whatever you do, don't regret the choice you've made'.  DH and I briefly discussed it, but we are on the same page about reduction, we could not do it unless there was a problem and then it would be a discussion.  We aren't guaranteed any babies now, you can have a preterm single baby, you can have a preterm set of twins, and you can have a preterm set of triplets.  Of course the risk is much higher with triplets, but there's still no guarantees.  We can't make a decision because we are scared of the preterm risk, there's also the risk inherent in reduction too.

Other things we learned: babies are attached is good places.  Twins appear to be MonoDi, meaning they are identical but have separate yolks and gestational sacs, the MFM will have to make the final call on it though.    The RE gave us a referral to a set of MFMs, but the next day when I called I found out they only had access to the level 3 NICU in town, and so I called back to get a referral to a practice with access to the level 4 NICU.  My DH did all this research for me, which is great of him!  I was a little annoyed with the first practice because they told me the two NICUs were 'comparable'...which is not necessarily true.

I actually was excited for about two days, even though I was feeling a little worse (nausea wise) each day.  But remembering the somber look on my REs face has brought me back down to earth slightly, I know that he doesn't consider this a success.  I understand why, but I still have hope that it will be a success for me.

Then I also was a little worried the MFM will give me a 'hard sell' on reduction, but my DH assures me this is not so.  I am feeling a little better about going in to see one of them and need an appointment next week or I will have to go back and see my RE again to do a check.  I guess the 'good' thing about triplets is a lot of scans.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scared

My DH told me this morning that he has been doing all sorts of research into triplets and twins.  Of course he also told me that it doesn't seem to matter how tall you are or how wide your hips are, which I pretty much already knew, friends have tried to consul me by saying I should be fine for that reason.  (I believe) it only matters how thick your cervix is and how thick it can stay,  which is why so many end up on bedrest, since gravity pulls the babies down and naturally thins the cervix.

The other question my DH asked (and I can tell he has researched), which caused me to nearly pass out with fear when I heard it from the RE, was whether the twins were mono.  The RE said they were and in the past week I have tried to tell myself that he probably doesn't know for sure whether they are mono.  I mean he couldn't even see the yolk sac for baby C, so can he say for sure?  I don't know, but it's the little hope that I hold onto.

See, even I know that mono twins are rare and bad, or bad as in it is a struggle to carry them to term safely.  And identical twins do not have to share a sac, it's just a guarantee that they are identical when they do.  I had a facebook friend, someone I went to college with, who lost mono twins at 13ish weeks earlier this year.  I do wonder if a 3rd baby would keep the mono twins more still, because it seems like getting tangled is the danger, but again I am not doing research... just sitting back being concerned.

My left side hurts, which is where baby C is, and I wonder if she (I always think of C as 'she') is pushing out for more room... and I worry what carrying triplets means.  I am scared that I will end up with no babies at the end of this, through miscarriage, too early birth or loss in the NICU.  I feel a little like I can't catch a break, all I wanted was a baby...maybe two, safely.  I didn't mean to risk triplets, I can't help but feel like I'm being punished.  Perhaps I don't deserve this and the universe wants to punish me for flying too close to the sun. 

Also, I'm probably overly emotional right now, I realize that.  And I am staying fairly calm, I'm more sad than anything...and dreading the results of the scan this coming Thursday and also dreading how long I have to wait to get the results.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Being Thankful

Let's be honest, I am pretty lousy at being thankful.  Every time I can also think of a reason not to be thankful.  Most often I'm thankful for the small things in life: puddles and trees and mountains, rain and sun, the ruggedness of the wilderness.  However this year I've really tried to be a little more grateful for the things I do have.

I'm thankful we have so much technology and that so many of us that would have had no hope before are able to have a shot.  I'm sad that infertility isn't seen as a "real" disease and that treatment is really only available to those of us that have funding or excellent credit.

I am amazingly thankful, with no reservations or second guesses, for my IRL friends and family who have been with me through my whole journey and taken care of me. 

I am grateful and thrilled to be part of the Twitter IF community.  There seems much less judgment between us and whatever your journey (treatment, adoption, donated eggs/sperm/embryos, or living childless) that we can all be there for each other in excitement, nerves, and sadness.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What The Hell

Alternate titles include:
My Eggs Wouldn't Have Done This to Me
I Can Barely Care for 3 Cats - 3 Babies Seems Harder

If you follow me on twitter you already know that today I went in for my first scan.  It was nerve-wracking to get to that point, almost 3 weeks of waiting and almost no symptoms (I'm not complaining about no symptoms, but it does make you a teensy bit nervous.)  I brought my mom with me since my DH said he 'didn't want to get too attached yet'.  I was pretty annoyed about that until I changed my perspective, which is that it's nice to have a rock to lean on.  When I get emotional, he spews hard facts.  And occasionally he does get emotional (or let's his guard down enough to show he cares), but I dated an ex for years who was an emotional need ball and that's definitely not for me!  I'm grateful I can come home to a solid guy who cares, but maybe isn't always going to let me know he cares. 

I was actually fairly calm this morning, more excited to find out what was really in there.  I really thought I had one, but occasionally thought it was two.  When the scan started I could immediately tell there were two sacs, but one looked empty and the other (baby A) looked bigger.  Baby A is the biggest (I believe, I was sortof out of it when they were doing the measurements).  The RE went in for the close up on Baby B and I saw it about the same time he did - two fluttering heartbeats side by side.  I put my hands over my face and heard him say 'oh, that's not an echo'.  Baby C we couldn't see the yolk sac for, but is measuring overall a bit smaller than Baby B and Baby A. 

After the scan was done, I thought I was feeling a little better, so I sat up for the discussion of the pictures.  He was almost all the way through when I had to lay down again.  I was in a daze most of the rest of the day.  Everybody seems so thrilled for me, but all I can worry about is health and selective reduction - what if the Doctors tell me it's better?  I know a lot of the risks already (I'm too old and know too many sad stories), even a single baby can... well you all know.  And yes, my RE told me specifically not to think about any of this until next week.

There is a 50% chance that they will self-select down in the coming days.  I go in for another scan (I did not graduate to an OB, the RE told me to hold off) in 7-10 days to see what is happening.  I spent most of the day wishing for the self-selection and also hating myself for wishing for it.  I felt a little bit better after talking to/about several people who have had triplets with no issues.  My DH had a coworker who had them, my best friend has a coworker that had them as well - both with no permanent issues. 

I will keep praying for healthy babies.  I figure God/the universe owes it to me.  Quite frankly my biggest fear is that I won't be able to carry to term and then I'll end up with no babies because I couldn't make a 'selection' decision.  I also really don't want to sit through a 'hard sell' of the selective reduction.

The sweetest thing was that my mom, who went with me, when I was still pretty much freaking out on the way home told me that she would never judge me for any choice I had to make to protect the health of the babies.  She is so staunchly pro-life that she practically doesn't vote for non-pro-lifers, and for her to say that was really amazing.  I hope that it doesn't come to that, but it's nice to know my mom is always on my side.

Please don't think I am complaining about any of this, I know I'm lucky - it's just also terrifying.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Control

There is so little control I have over infertility: I can't control what does or doesn't attach and grow, I can't control my emotions at least half the time, and I can't control whether there's spotting.  Instead I try to exercise any amount of control I can and this is expressed in my meticulous scheduling.
My crazy timed pills & PIO shots. 
My PIO moved because of travelling last weekend.

My meticulous scheduling that was truly screwed yesterday.  I totally puked up my AM estradiol pill and then called the clinic to see if I should take another.  Of course it was early and they weren't open so I had to wait for a call back....and I waited....and I sat outside of Starbucks and decided to call back since it was more than a half hour later.  The RE that finally answered said I didn't need to take another one, I did not believe him, I argued I should at least take a 1mg dose (my normal dose is 2mg) and he finally relented, agreeing to this 'compromise'.

Then I worried: I mean what if I actually screwed it up more by taking more?  So I wrote my donor coordinator, who is apparently on vacation until December, and since I had my REs email address I just emailed him directly (not lightly).  He said I should retake in the future and there no 'real' danger of an overdose.  I trust him so much and I'm glad I know what to do now - also I'm glad to know never to trust the on-call doctor again.

I wonder if I can get my RE to deliver my baby.  I mean, this once couldn't he make an exception? 

I have moved (slightly) past being worried about my scan to being worried there might be a chromosomal abnormality.  DH can't go to the first scan, so I was going to invite my mom, but then I worry there will be something wrong with the baby and she will judge me if I make certain choices.  I really don't feel there is anything wrong, but it feels like a 'what if' hanging out there. 

Healthy baby or no baby, that was always my prayer.  God seems to have mostly answered with the 'no baby' so far, which I might have assumed was punishment for wanting a healthy baby.  Now I need to keep faith a little longer that this is a healthy baby.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Movie Review

It's amazing how so many things are tainted by infertility.  Even though I have a BFP, I do keep waiting for it to be taken away and I've come to some measure of peace that there's currently nothing to do to stop it from being taken.  Today I went and saw Interstellar, and during my (frequent) bathroom breaks there were children and mothers running all around me.  It was bittersweet: will that be me?  Will I someday get to have this?  It seems closer than ever before, but still not technically real. I know how easy it is to end.

The movie was pretty good, but you can look up reviews anywhere about it.  I'm talking about infertility and Interstellar, because if you have any experience with the former you will laugh at (a portion) of the science in the latter. 

Premise: earth dying, find new home, if not possible to move current humans then repopulate using some frozen eggs we're bringing along.  How many, totally enough to have hundreds of babies: 5,000.

Stop laughing!

Now I thought they said embryos, but DH and stepdaughter both insisted it was eggs. Either way we all know 5,000 is a tiny amount, assuming 25% actually become 5 day blasts, and the another 30% attach and 75% carry to term then we have 281 babies.  And since it's eggs, we have to use the sperm of the astronaut who's been exposed to a ton of radiation (just assuming it all works). Also we're only sending one woman, who will also be exposed to a lot of radiation and hopefully won't die in a freak accident, she'll have no problem reproducing with donor eggs that have also been carried through space in radiation!

And this is beyond the need for a clean clinic and lab to process it all when we are settling our new colony and the drugs the female will need to sustain a pregnancy.  You can see my disbelief and maybe I'm being too hard on the movie,  but if we are bothering bringing 5,000 maybe bring 30,000?  Also maybe invest in another female scientist or passenger to be knocked up? There is a historical reason women outnumber men: we are more likely to die in childbirth, sheer numbers must be maintained to repopulate. 

Ah well, if nothing else the movies and tv shows always teach us faulty science, so I can't be too miffed! 

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Symptom Checking

In my first ever second 'two week wait', which is actually more like a three week wait for me, until I get to hear the heartbeat.  So I've contented myself with enjoying my symptoms, which come and go.  Today I have no nausea at all and I'm not sure whether I'm happy about that or not, but as a tradeoff my boobs hurt so bad I'm considering wearing my bra to bed tonight.

I told my counselor last week that I would be ok with nausea as long as I didn't have any spotting.  So far that's holding true, no spotting except for the 'imaginary' spotting last week.  I hope those guys are doing ok in there, I know there's nothing I can do if they aren't. 

The rest of the week is pretty busy, I am finally seeing my acupuncturist tomorrow, dinner with friends, and a visit to the in-laws.  I am taking the opportunity of today being off work to relax.  DH is annoyed because he made errands and I didn't want to go on them. 

Related, is an early pregnancy symptom that your DH has mood swings?  It really must be...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Passing Out

Today I had a dentist appointment.  I was initially worried about going to the dentist but the clinic (and clinic literature) insists it is totally safe and very recommended.  Since it's my fall appointment I would normally have x-rays, but for very obvious reason I didn't want those.  I told my hygienist (in sworn secrecy) and she then said she wasn't going to do them for me anyway since I never have issues and the doctor wasn't in.  I sortof wish I hadn't opened my big mouth now...

The truth is I feel that I've told 'everybody'.  My mom, my counselor, my 4 closest friends who have been with me through all the treatments, and the twitter-ati.  I suppose in no way is that 'everyone', and all those who have been told know how fleeting a BFP could be and know all the future hurdles.  With maybe the exception of my mom, she wants to do a picture with all our hands on my tummy at Thanksgiving.  Not sure how I feel about that, but if I've heard the heartbeats by then it might be ok.

Back to the dentist: DH and I had appointments at 11am and then the stepkids had an appointment at 12pm.  Their mother brought them and once the kids went back with the hygienists proceeded to tell us all her physical ails.  Some of you may remember she had a pulmonary embolism a while back, so she is on blood thinners, but her GYN believes she may have stage 1 cancer and needs a hysterectomy and they'll need to have blood on standby because she's on blood thinners.  As she's talking I am thinking that I don't need to be hearing this and usually DH doesn't share these types of issues because 1) she's hyper-dramatic (she's told us before that something may be cancer) and 2) he knows I worry.  Then I started getting lightheaded, and I immediately sat down.  That alleviated the symptoms slightly and I thought I could make it to the car.  I tried to excuse myself - I don't remember what I said, but according to DH it wasn't very appropriate.  I walked into the hallway and after about 5 steps my eyes started going dark.  I have a lot of experience with fainting from when I was younger, so I thought I could still make it if I just leaned against the wall.

The next thing I remember is DH calling my name, he asked if I could make it to the car and I still thought I could, but then I passed out again just outside the exit door.  After I woke up again and made it to the car, popped open some water and listened to DH lecture me.  He lectures when he gets really worried or nervous, but it wasn't something I could control.  I texted my counselor, she mentioned it could happen to some pregnant ladies, and I called the clinic and they were also not worried and told me to keep hydrated.  The clinic even said if it kept happening they would want to know but would refer me to my primary care... I will touch base with my primary care nurse at the clinic on Monday. 

I feel much better now, still feeling lightheaded, same symptoms as I've been having.  Blood pressure goes up when you get pregnant and I've had normal blood pressure for several years, when I was younger I had low blood pressure which I why I've had experience passing out.  I am working hard at being calm and not worrying about her, but still I wish I didn't know.  It might seems silly that I get so worried, but things I can't control worry me.  Although I can't control this pregnancy and I am too exhausted to worry too much about that.  Que Sera Sera. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

A BFP

Any of you who follow me on twitter know that I had a BFP on Wednesday of 241.  They retested today (and tested my thyroid) and wanted to see at least a 384, but my overachievers gave them 486.  I am still in a slight state of shock, they sent me all the details about when my last estradiol pill and PIO shot would be, my potential due date, etc.  We are working on getting me scheduled for a 7 week scan - which will (hopefully) be on my 35th birthday.  I'm not sure how I feel about having it on my birthday, it's a scary prospect if it doesn't work out.  But I do have faith.  I've never gotten this far before, but now that I have I don't see it ending badly. 

Speaking of: 35.  Blech.  I can't believe I'm going to be that old! I know, it's not really that old, it's just a little bit of a milestone and ... I'm not sure how I feel about it.  At least it won't be 'high risk' since my donor was 21.

My work is going well, it's a little hard to focus since I am either tired, dizzy or slightly nauseated, going pee or getting water.  I'm sure they appreciate my walking around.  At least I don't have friends (at work) who I spend time chit-chatting with.  I do occasionally check twitter, but limit it to my email notifications and lunchtime.  Now I need to plan for RE and OB visits, it's pretty exciting but a little nerve-wracking.

Of course I am in the middle of another two week wait: the wait to hear the heartbeats.  I am nervous see them/it/him/her, but I do want these two weeks to fly by.  I'm trying to not stress about symptoms or no symptoms.

[Insert transition I'm too lazy to think of] I'm also feeling abandoned by my acupuncturist.  She cancelled on me on my appointment before transfer day and I still haven't seen her.  Today I called, fairly desperate to get in, but it was a no go.  I am a little miffed she didn't fit me in anywhere when she's the one who cancelled before!  I have an appointment on Wednesday, so I hope it goes well. 

I'm sorry if this post is disjointed or poorly written, I'm pretty tired and am writing this laying down.  I hope you have a great weekend, BFPs for all! 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Shortest Update Ever

My God, I'm exhausted.  It's probably the progesterone-in-oil shots, here's a short list of other early pregnancy symptoms that could also be caused by PIO.  (Fair warning that this will be graphic tmi.)  Sore bbs, more discharge than usual, no spotting, no cramping, weird fluttering or burning or full sensation in uterus, bad skin...which might also be because I'm so exhausted I have no desire to wash my face at night.

My room is a mess, my house is a mess, everything needs to be cleaned (except the kitchen at the moment...for once).  I am dreading my pregnancy test and finding it exceedingly hard to be positive.  I wish I could say this is easy, but it's terrifying.  I don't know what to do if this doesn't work.  I don't want to write a whole bunch about my feelings since I don't want to be bogged down in the negativity.

In more positive news: this cat wants me to pet him.  Duty calls!

Is that a mouse? Or are you still typing when you should be petting me?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TWW PTSD

I had an appointment with my counselor yesterday and we discussed how I've been feeling during the two week wait.  It's been a little hard for me this time.  I've felt worried or sad about getting mad at my DH and having to give myself a shot in the leg. 

What I figured it is that I have PTSD (the imaginary kind, not the actual real kind) to my other two week wait after embryo transfer.  I was convinced I was pregnant by the day of the pregnancy test (I don't pee on a stick).  When I found out I wasn't it was very ... traumatic.  It was shock and I immediately began sobbing. 

Of course, I have spent a lot of time symptom spotting during two week waits.  The result after 4 years worth is that you've had every conceivable symptom to indicate pregnancy, and none of them have actually been a pregnancy.  It's hard to spot a symptom now and think it's a positive sign. I often think 'but I had that last time', and then think it couldn't possibly be a real sign. 

With my counselor's help I remembered that I have no regrets about how I handled past cycles.  I've been positive and it didn't work out, but that's ok.  Being positive doesn't make it hurt more at the end, and I can't spent the whole next week grieving what might not need to be grieved.

In other news I did give myself a shot of progesterone in the leg tonight!  I was worried about the stabbing motion, but it went through the skin very quickly (I did ice beforehand) and the hardest part was pushing in the oil (because it's so thick!). 
Needle, after it was removed from my leg.
Tomorrow is another day at the conference.  Hopefully I won't shove my foot deeper into my mouth with my boss.  Nothing is safe from my powers of disclosure, unless it's that I'm PUPO.  That's locked in a vault.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Transfer

Yesterday was only my second embryo transfer ever.  My first also being a 3 day transfer of my (only) genetic children at my old clinic.  I was super mad at that clinic because they didn't give me specific water drinking instructions (you are supposed to have a full bladder) and then they made me wait more than a half hour after my appointment time to go back to the transfer room.  I have never cried because my bladder was painfully full, but I was definitely close that time.
 
And other than giving me specific water drinking instructions this clinic didn't do much better.
 
But back to the beginning, I had gotten an acupuncture appointment for both before and after my appointment (woohoo!).  Of course DH and I promptly got into an argument in the car upon arrival because I thought DH would go to acupuncture with me and he was not into that.  Which was fine but he got immediately annoyed at me for even thinking he would go.  So, of course, I was angry about his attitude (my normal thing to get angry about, speak nicely to me!).  We were fine by the time I had to go in, except I am very fair and so looked like someone who had been crying.  I don't mind crying as much as I mind looking like someone who's been crying.
 
I was checked in and given my hospital bracelet.  The acupuncturist was a total hippy, but also grandmotherly and I liked her a lot.  We did the acupuncture in the transfer room!  It was very relaxing, even had warm blankets.  She pulled the pins at about 1:45 (my transfer was scheduled for 2pm) and it seemed like everything would be starting right away.  DH had perfect timing and showed up immediately after the needles were out. 
 
A medical assistant checked us in and my bladder was feeling pretty full.  We waited for the doctor, and the clock hit 2pm.  DH wanted to go get his iPad (since we were having to wait so long) but both of us were worried it would start as soon as he left to go get it.  At 2:15 I really needed to pee and he was annoyed he could've made it to get his iPad - then the acupuncturist came back in and thought she would be doing the post transfer acupuncture... except no one had been by at all!!
 
Let me just say - I understand this is a medical procedure and medical places are often behind.  But when I am paying over $20k for a service I would like some goddamned customer service.  Stop in my room and let me know the doctor is running late.  I was beginning to get very worried that the clinic didn't know where I was (my name was up in the computer screen though, so that couldn't be true), that there was a problem with the embryos OR that they were somehow putting the embryos into the wrong person.  Also I really needed to pee.
 
The acupuncturist went and found out they were held up with an 'IUI emergency' (did they put the wrong sperm in someone?!), she probably shouldn't have told me that.  The doctor finally arrived at 2:30.  The ultrasound tech took a quick picture of my bladder and declared it 'too full'.  Both wanted me to pee just a little bit out.  I refused to even attempt this.  Once the seal is broken it all comes out, and that's what I told them.  I also feel like they should have to navigate around my giant bladder when they waited so long.  Someone could've stopped by at 2pm and had me pee and there would have been plenty of time for the bladder to refill.  Seriously.
 
Everything started happening very quickly then.  Again, some of this they could've done earlier, there was nothing stopping the embryologist from stopping in and answering our questions.  It felt a little bit rushed, but really they have no answers for why eggs don't defrost, don't develop, etc.  They did a quick mock pass and it went well.  Then they activated the embryo camera and I verified my name on the petri dish.  They showed the two little spots and then zoomed in so you could see the pretty little embryos.  We watched the little zygotes get sucked up into the catheter and then they squirted them into me!  There was no need to repeat, it was a clean transfer.  It was a very quick experience. 
 
 
Babies first picture
One has 0% fragmentation - 0%!!!
 
Before the procedure (and my last clinic said this too) it was emphasized that the very full bladder may distort the cervix and that's why they always ask you to release some when you're really full.  I am pretty sure this is bullshit, I think it's all about how squirmy you are when you need to pee.  I base this on the doctor who complimented me by saying 'I wasn't squirmy at all' and she was very impressed because most couldn't hold it without squirming and interrupting the process. 
 
 
Then I was driven home by the angriest taxi driver ever, AKA my dear husband.  There was a lot of cursing and hitting the gas really hard.  I sat in the backseat to minimize the terror.  I often wonder what it must be like to be married to a normal driver.  It must be amazing....
View of my drive home. 
So now sitting at home, relaxing for the weekend.  Trying not to be worried about whether this will work.  We have a chance of 0-2 eggs making it to blast and getting frozen.  I am more than a little bummed that 14 eggs and a lot of money has become maybe two transfers.  I am working really hard to keep the faith right now and be open to the possibilities.  I am hoping this will work really well, I'm hoping, hoping, hoping.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Upper Butt Pain

Honestly, I can't think of a title right now, but my upper butt does ache pretty bad from the PIO shot tonight.  I have heat on it right now, which seems to be easing off the pain.  I am exhausted, which is part of the progesterone side effects.  And my back doesn't ache quite as bad as last time I had to take these shots, so I can only assume the "ice, shot, heat" is working well - the reason it hurts so much tonight is because I did "ice, shot....wait.....start bath....make bone broth...oo, it's hurting so.... heat!".  Should've known better.

Tonight I was supposed to have an appointment with my acupuncturist, but they called early this afternoon to tell me that she was sick and the appointment was cancelled.  I figured I would just get in on Monday, but there was nothing open.  Additionally I also had to cancel my appointment for next week since I'm not sure I will be back from my conference and now I don't have an appointment until after my pregnancy test.  That's total shit.  I feel a little abandoned right now.

So after predictably freaking out on Twitter I tried to figure something out.  My clinic actually contracts with an acupuncturist, and the number was listed on my transfer instructions.  Originally I wasn't going to use them because I already have, and am comfortable with, my own acupuncturist.  I called them number and prayed they'd be able to fit me in.  They called me back in about an hour and could!  Yippee! And she sounds pretty nifty, she will do both pre and post transfer acupuncture on me while at the clinic.  I was a little worried my DH would be annoyed at spending more time, but I emailed him and let him know the change in plan (that way if he's annoyed when he finds out I don't have to hear about it, it's a little trick I've learned).  He is fine.  What was he going to do on Saturday anyway!?

Most exciting: this morning all 8 were still dividing.  5 were 'good', 1 was 'fair' and 2 were 'poor', but I am very happy with this.  They will transfer 2 tomorrow and I'm really hoping we have at least 3 to freeze. 

Transfer tomorrow everyone!  Pray it goes smoothly and that my butt stops hurting eventually.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Start of Life

So yesterday I was sure a 'Debbie Downer', it all turned out well for the cat though.  It was an infected anal gland - actually it had abscessed, poor kitty.  After a chunk of change at the 24 hour vet he is on the mend! 

Today I got the fertilization report.  Out of 14 eggs, 8 defrosted (bummer, what about the other 6! That's my question for Saturday) and all 8 fertilized.  Woohoo!

I am excited and ... conflicted.  Of course I am thrilled that all the eggs fertilized, but it feels a little like a slap in the face.  My DH is 10 years older and his sperm is all fertilizing eggs...but not my eggs.  It really drives home that it is me that has a problem.  And of course I didn't want him to have a problem, but the fertilization rate could have been one egg less than 100%.  Damn overachieving sperm, it better keep being this awesome. 

I don't know if it's the PIO shots, but I am exhausted.  I need a really long night's sleep, I hoping for it tonight or tomorrow!  Off to bed for me now...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Falling Apart

My counselor said that anxiety would increase prior to transfer.  I'm not a big fan of anxiety, so I am working hard on keeping calm and accepting how anxious I feel.  There are some personal family issues going on with my step kids that boiled over tonight and is worrying me.  I'm not going to explain what in case my anonymity is breached someday (it probably wouldn't be hard), but basically I worry about one of them.  I only want them both to grow up being healthy and happy adults.  It's hard to be a step-parent, I get a decent amount of worry without any of the responsibility (for lack of a better word).  I don't get to be involved in discipline or raising the child, especially true as a stepmom with a weekend dad.  I have been made acutely aware that only one person really matters for these children, and that is their mother.  She has made them feel this way, everything is "poor her" (always, always drama) and that has rubbed off so much on both her children.  I'm just worried, I want them to be ok.

One of my cats, the one I suspected wasn't feeling great in the Stressors post, he seemed to be improving.  He didn't seem to be drinking as much water and he had become withdrawn a little bit.  I didn't think too much of it since cats typically go through phases ("I love you", "eh, you're ok from over here", "OMG get away lady!").  When I was getting ready for bed DH said that Josh's (the cat) butt was wet and maybe he was having problem peeing?  We made plans that I would take him to the vet tomorrow.  I finished getting ready...

Then I walked into our bedroom and my DH was standing there looking very concerned.  He told me to take a look at Josh's butt, so I did, and I found a full fissure had opened up next to his anus (sorry for the words, but I don't know how else to describe it).  We immediately decided emergency Vet was in order, our clinic is associated with one, so I called and they said to bring him in.  DH is taking him, but I don't have high hopes.  I was pretty sure Josh had diabetes when he was drinking all that water, so I am worried that it has suddenly become more serious.  I will be very sad to say goodbye to him, I should be more positive, but it really looks bad.  DH says I'm not a vet, but we will see. 

This is a downer post, I'm sorry.  I get my fertilization report tomorrow morning and I was so nervous about that, but all of this has pushed that out of my head. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Going Forward

I had a whole explanation of how this cycle had caused my panic attack, but basically it's like the clinic stripped me naked of all my security blankets, pumped me full of hormones, and I was surprised it resulted in a breakdown.  I can't wait until I get my supplements (D3, Omega-3, CoQ10) back.

So, last week was actually quite busy before that happened.  I had gone out with a friend for dinner on Wednesday and we went shopping at Sephora.  I am such a sucker for high quality cosmetics.  I had tried a fantastic new skin primer by Hourglass (psst, some of their products are also gluten free) and I loved it.  I needed to buy some more and I wanted to try their Skin Tint.  I was very excited by my purchases and so very disappointed when I came home to look up the tint on EWC.org.  One of the active ingredients is a 6, it's a sunscreen (disappointing because I hate wearing sunscreens) and it has been found in some studies to bio accumulate.  Which is unacceptable for a high end brand.  I am still trying to decide whether to try it, since the data it was based on is 'limited', or just return it and buy another foundation.  I'd still like to go with that brand, but I'd research all the ingredients beforehand this time.  (It's still better than Tarte, which I gave up on after I had used their tinted moisturizer only to find out it has an ingredient that's a 9.  A 9!  I do not want to die from cosmetic use, thank you.)

Also I had an adjustment by my chiropractor.  I was all anxious when I was there because I was in a hurry to get to the aforementioned dinner.  It was taking for-ev-er for him to get to me (probably like 5 extra minutes) and after the adjustment I hopped up off the bed.  And quickly gasped in pain while grabbing the wall for support...  I had gone in because my upper back was in a bit of pain from all the filing I had done at work (bonus points for new boss!), but it was my lower back that was spasming*.  He grabbed the little vibrator-thing and got it to relax a bit.  I walked around the room as well to try and get it loose.  I was a little accusatory and he was like "well you do have a disc problem in your lower back".  To which I pointed out it never causes me a problem!  (One of my lower discs is down to an 8 when it would be most comfy at a 12).  My lower back was quite painful when he adjusted it, so I know I wasn't registering the pain occurring before.  Now I'm a little nervous, when I get pregnant how will my body react to carrying?  How will it react to an epidural?  I don't want a natural birth!!!  Ok, I might be ok with a natural birth, but I was hoping to have options.  Why do I always want options?  Shit, by now I should know I'm never going to get them. 

Ok, I'm not seriously worrying about that now, but it is a concern for when I am birth plan prepping.  I still seriously want to hire a doula to help me too.  My counselor is going to give me questions to screen an OB too, but she will also give me all the right answers.  I'm pretty decided against getting a Doppler, it sounds like it can be hard to find the heartbeat and I don't need that stress.  I'm getting ahead of myself because...

Today (I wrote most of this earlier and am updating this in the parking lot of my clinic) the ultrasound showed a lining of 8.5 with textbook trilayers! So happy, we are waiting the estrogen result, but it needs to be above 150 or higher than last week.  Since last week I was 310 I am hoping it won't be a problem!!!

I had cramps for the past few days and a tiny bit of spotting (I think due to constipation) and all that stress last week, but I kept my mind on the goal of a thick lining and it worked out!  I am excited and nervous and nervous....and really nervous.  Time to get pregnant with another person's baby!  I mean MY BABY, because I'm going to grow an amazing one.

*apparently "spasming" is not a word.  How is that right?  You all know what I mean.
**all opinions about cosmetics are my own.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Resolve: Give Voice


Resolve has some challenges for us bloggers over the next couple months and October is...

Give Voice: During this month, we want you to tell your infertility story. The month of October is dedicated to spreading awareness about the disease of infertility and its impact on your life.

Apparently Resolve has missed all the times I've told my infertility story, you can see it on
the first post on this blog, on the infertility timeline I created, and even on the guest post I wrote for Amateur Nester.  Instead here are two things that I've learned:

#1: I'll admit, as a teenager and a young adult I was ... judgmental of those who chose to pursue infertility treatments.  I thought 'why wouldn't you just adopt?' and I thought about all the lonely children out there.  Now, of course, I realize there aren't a whole bunch of babies in a room somewhere waiting to be adopted, or if there are they are not easily accessible.  In my defense: I was not an infertile when I changed my opinion on this, within just a few years I realized no ones choice for treatment should be questioned.


#2: I thought IVF was only for the "old" set, I thought DEIVF was only for the "older" set, and I thought IVF was mostly successful.  I realize that IVF can be a treatment for a number of different diseases causing infertility, but the success rate is not as good as any of us would like.  It seems there is a set that gets pregnant easily during IVF, maybe the only issue being tubal, and the rest of us who do multiple IVFs with little or no luck.  That was hard to realize and it was hard to comprehend there wasn't a treatment for poor egg quality, but when there wasn't any more emotional reserve to continue I had to move to my next treatment option. 

The cold fact is that all women will, at some point, become infertile.  While I didn't expect to have problems at 30, I also wouldn't have waited until I was 40 to attempt to have a child.  I am an outspoken advocate of knowing your own body.  Don't wait until you are 25 or 30 or 35 to find out how your fertility is.  If I had known when I was 25 that my fertility was fading or had already (I assume) faded, what would I have done differently?  I'm not sure we could have afforded anything or how that would have changed my decisions, but I am positive that my outcome could have been better using younger eggs. 

Without further ado: to check your own fertility you should at the very least request a cycle day 3 FSH test and an AMH test.  You want low FSH (under 5) and high AMH (not sure what normal is, but there are scales, I know under 5 is bad).  If you see any problems with these numbers I would strongly suggest a visit with an RE, even if you are not going to be trying soon.  Knowledge is power and knowing your options or outcomes is half the battle.  The honest truth is that you don't have to want children to get these numbers.  Maybe you're on the fence, maybe you know you don't ever want rugrats, but having premature ovarian failure is dangerous and can lead to osteoporosis and higher risks of heart disease.  Hormone replacement therapy is recommended, and very well tolerated without (currently) the risks that HRT has in older women who are past menopause (cancers, etc).
 
I wish all of you luck on your own journeys.  May they be easy with no medical complications or failures. 
 
Ahem, of course I am not a medical professional.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

That Was...Fun?

If you follow me on twitter you already know that I had a freak out on Thursday.  I had read something about Ebola and then pretty much had a full blown panic attack, although I didn't throw up (my usual MO for panic attacks).  I sat at work for the first hour and thought about either crying or puking.  Either would have been bad considering I am new there.  I did take breaks to go tap (emotional freedom technique) in the bathroom, which is a single person bathroom, and that helped. 

By Thursday night I was in a full blown state of panic, desperately fighting the feeling of sinking.  I don't know how many of you have panic disorder, I sincerely hope none of you do, but it's terrifying.  You feel as if you are going crazy and you know you are going crazy and you can't do anything to stop it.  I did go to acupuncture and that helped a bit, but I forgot my biggest rule in the panic disorder fight.  That is: don't fight.

I've never won by fighting, I've only won by accepting. Accepting my fear and my craziness and that I feel this way.  It sounds weird, but it's really worked for me.  I finally starting accepting Thursday night, I still didn't sleep well, but I didn't panic all night.  I ate the next morning, which was excellent since recovery from a panic attack can sometimes take me as long as three days, and I made sure I ate and drank all day (which is what my acupuncturist said the real danger to my lining was).  I was still experiencing quite a few anxious feelings on Friday, but I accepted all of them and they passed.

Friday night I sleep like a rock and I have felt really good today.  I am a vaguely anxious about how I'll feel tomorrow or the next day, but I am moving forward out of crazy, which is positive.

So, if none of that made sense to you, you are truly lucky.  In other news my estrogen last Monday was a 'fantastic' 310, I have my ultrasound this coming Monday and I am really hoping to start PIO on Tuesday (who knew I'd want to do that!).  I'll try and keep you updated, I am still keeping to myself a bit to ensure I don't stress out again.  It's silly but it will keep me functioning for a bit. 

I should probably now apologize because I've written this very fast without glasses on, so there are probably tons of typos.  But I'm not going to... so there.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stressors

During cycles, and this counts even though I am not supplying the eggs, I like to keep all stressors at a minimum.  It's one of the reasons I left my job... the other reasons was that I hated that job.  Here are the things that are or have stressed me out this cycle, some are more serious that others (you can figure it out): 

Ebola: obvious reasons.  Actually I love the study of how germs/bacteria/diseases spread and, dare I say, am fairly well versed in most major diseases (for a lay person).  Part of this is my interest (BA degree) in history, since history can be best understood when also understanding environmental factors that play into it.  So normally I'd love to follow this disease, but I'm not a huge fan of catching diseases.  Also there are other diseases, not typically airborne, that have become airborne.  So there's that.

My toenail: it considered starting to become an ingrown toenail and I wondered if I should see a doctor but I didn't want to mess up this cycle with antibiotics.  So I did what I would normally do and popped it out and did a few Epson salt soaks.  The pain faded slowly, but is now totally gone (thank goodness).  I've actually never had a truly ingrown toenail, but the thought of one terrifies me!

This carrot: I do not have small hands, why is it so big?  How did it get this way?
Not the best picture, I realized it was blurry only after I cut up the carrot.

My sore throat: was it a cold? was it allergies?  Is it an effect of the Lupron? Either way it keeps coming and going.  Which reminds me that I need to buy some bottled water for my Neti pot, otherwise it will get worse again.

This cat: he has felt the need to start drinking tons of water and peeing lots.  That might mean something, but I don't really want to know and consequently haven't taken him to the vet yet since he doesn't seem sick.  Unfortunately I wouldn't give an animal shots morning and night to keep it alive, it would be too stressful on both of us.

Yes, he's adorable. We got him at the Shelter a few years ago when he was 9 years old.
Making new friends at work.  It's really not much of a secret I am a totally geeky person.  However, I have a lot of experience making friends as I switched schools 9 times and lived in 3 different states.  So a new workplace shouldn't be such a hard thing.  I've been having a lot of those moments when you know you've said too much or too little or maybe put your foot in your mouth?  I am almost constantly thinking 'arrgghhh!' while walking away, hopefully conversations will start and end more naturally after a while.

This spot under my eye.  It showed up when I woke up this morning.  Where's it from?  Why is it here?  Will it go away or is it one of those stupid marks I get from being Irish and pale?  Those marks don't usually go away....
Stop judging my eyebrows. 
Everybody wants them but this is what happens when
you don't have the inclination to style them in the morning.

Estradiol: the drug company apparently thinks having a 1mg pill in light blue and a 2mg pill in teal is good? Not a fan, it makes me nervous! What if I get the bottles mixed up and take the wrong one?  It keeps me constantly guessing.
Which is blue, which is teal?
Stop being a smartass, no one asked you... oh, wait... 
Most of these I am able to let go of, but seriously that toenail thing really got in my mind.  What if I should have gone to the doctor? What if the very slight infection ruined my chances?  How did that carrot get to be so big?!?

Honestly, it's the little things that kill your confidence.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore

There comes a point in every cycle... well mostly every cycle except for the early easy ones when you're only huffing Clomid*... where you get this deep abiding fear/panic/sheer panic (it varies).  And it's not about whether the cycle works out or not, or whether everything is going right, or whether you are accidentally ovulating/not ovulating/having a period.  It's when you think "oh God, I might have to do this again and I really, really can't".

All of us know the risks going in.  There isn't a 100% success rate for anything to treat infertility.  I read an article the other day that said humans are inefficient procreators, a horse (for example) will almost always get pregnant when inseminated.  I use the horse example because I found a relative's horse insemination logs (veterinarian) and that's totally true, out of 50 horses only 3 would not become pregnant during insemination.  3!! That's like a 94% fertility rate.  If only the success rate for any of our treatments was so high.

So in the midst of me doing a 2015 calendar at work and thinking 'wow I might be making an announcement here' or 'I might be due here' (see, I'm being very positive), I thought I might have to walk this path again.  And I would mind walking it again to get my second child, but I'm so tired.  I'm so ready for my baby.

It's odd because before this I had reached a place where I was emotionally ready for DE.  And I am ready, I'm just exhausted by the constant struggle.  I recognize it, it's the reason I was able to move past having my own genetic child, I was too exhausted to continue emotionally (and, of course, financially) putting myself out there to get a chance at it.  I am done rolling the dice, I am done taking chances, I am done walking this road.

If this is negative beta, and there's a small chance it could be, I don't know what I will do.  I will probably do it again as long as we have embryos.  But I don't want to, I feel the exhaustion in my bones, I am ready for this part of my journey to be over.  I don't know if I'm explaining myself well, I don't know if you can know this feeling if you haven't ever been here.  Some parts of this journey are just too hard.

I want you all to know, I am fine, I am very positive, but this blog is also a place to talk about how infertility feels. 

In more...exciting?...news: I start 2mg of Estradiol tomorrow, woohoo!  My night sweats have faded and I started drinking my marrow soup to help my lining build up.  I am looking forward to my blood test (and paperwork turn in) on Monday and I (GASP) bought veggies tonight at the store.  I am hoping to force a few in my mouth over the coming weeks (I know, these veggies won't last that long, I do understand I'll have to buy more).  I have a new relaxation from my counselor/hypnotherapist and I'll get to visualize all the good things happening in my body right now.  I have to keep my eye on making this body the best baby-making-oven

*I am aware you don't actually huff Clomid...but it was so long ago I barely remember.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Consent Form Drama

After my suppression check my coordinator (nurse), who I loved, called me and told me the clinic couldn't find my consent forms.  I was fully compromised by Lupron and thus so annoyed.  I was sure I had signed those damn forms and I couldn't believe that after having paid the bill that this would hold up our process. 

Actually signing a piece of paper is not a big deal.  It's the fact that either both of us have to be present at the clinic or we have to have the paper notarized.  There are notaries at both of our work places, but the form is still going to be logged as a consent for DE IVF or IVF, which is not really want you want someone at work to know. 

After work that day I thought about it more, and the Lupron fog lifted slightly, and I am fairly certain we didn't sign any papers.  I suppose it didn't cross my mind that we'd need to.  We had for IVF, but that was the first time at this clinic and my other clinic only had us sign once (also that clinic didn't require a notary for my DH).  I suppose there is the small matter of donor eggs, but obviously I paid a ton of money to buy eggs, so of course I want the clinic to use them.

So, after all of the drama, I emailed my lovely coordinator and said I was pretty sure we had missed the signing.  She confirmed it should have been done at my last appointment with the doctor, which was a phone consult, and I asked what we need to do to get her the forms.  We have agreed to a plan (I don't think they are technically supposed to let me get past suppression check without signing these) and all is settled. 

This week has been good, I've been feeling less anxious since starting Estradiol (estrogen) on Sunday and after a super long (4 days, so just super long for me) period my body finally seems to be ready to start building a lining.  Acupuncture is tomorrow, so that will help get me back on track too.  I need to avoid junk food, keep taking my medicine, and eat right...I had two salads this weekend, that's got to count as eating right!  One was at an all you can eat buffet and the other was before pizza....but it still counts.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Supression Check

This past week was insanely busy, mostly in order to keep my mind off of this cycle, and now I think that might have been a mistake.

On Friday I had my suppression check, my lining was appropriately thin and my ovaries had no cysts!  It is all a go and I assumed I wasn't going to have a 'true' period since my calendar said I "may or may not start a period".  I had some very light spotting for a while and then nothing, I shared this with the Nurse Practitioner who did my ultrasound and she made it sound like that was the expected period.  However she seemed very inexperienced, because when I said I had night sweats she said she hoped my estrogen wasn't too high - and night sweats happen when your estrogen is low as well.  Then on Saturday afternoon I started a true full flow period. 

Let's be honest: I am freaking out a bit.  Today (Sunday) I start estradiol and I did take my pill this  morning, but the period is still going strong.  I assume it will be my usual 2-3 days of flow and ... I am not sure what this means.  Does this push my cycle out?  Will the clinic not worry about it?  Is taking estradiol under these conditions a little like flushing it through my system?  I don't know!

My real concern is that I don't have a lot of wiggle room.  I planned a work conference for 4 days after my 3 day transfer.  I can't really imagine having to cancel it, though I suppose I will have to if the worst happens.  But I was so excited to be invited as a new employee that I said yes and this is the perfect month for everything to happen - the clinic schedule and my personal schedule coincide so perfectly and I want it to work so badly.

Quite honestly I can't wait until my estrogen levels rise again, I will be less annoyed and the night sweats might ease off for a little bit.  Also my anxiety has been stronger, I assume because my hormones are not within a normal range.  It feels a bit like the first time the boat has started rocking and I'm retching over the side.  Being calm is on the agenda today...I planned this weekend to be relaxing but it's hard to be relaxed when I'm not sure what this all means....

UPDATED: I called the clinic and it just means I started my period a little later than they would normally see, but it's apparently totally fine.  Whew!  Why didn't I call sooner?  Because I am an idiot, clearly.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lupron (Post 1?)

In case you couldn't tell I was very nervous about starting Lupron on Thursday, but I have survived my first few pricks.  Though a tweep mentioned the needles are dull and YES, they are dull, so I have thought about buying some new ones.  I do have a slight lightheaded or dizzy feeling, but it's not extreme and it could be because I was skipping lunch (as I often do) on the weekend. 

Emotionally I am feeling very good, not really angry or irritable, or at least not more than usually on birth control.  I was unexpectedly sad today though, I almost cried, but I am not really sure if that's Lupron related.  Let me explain:

Leaving my job was hard for one reason: my coworkers were amazing and three of them are dear friends.  I am going to miss the coworkers, but I thought I'd keep the friends.  I've texted all of them over the past week and spoke with one on the phone.  When I left we had plans to get together sometime this coming week after work to catch up.  But I don't think it's going to happen... I haven't heard back after chatting with one of them on Wednesday (after which she said she'd call me back because she had to go).  And I've sent her what might be considered an obnoxious amount of text messages... like 7 over the past 4 days.  Today I attempted to call her, mostly to tease her about being the worst texter in the history of texting, but also to see if Monday would work to go out.  She didn't answer... I didn't leave a message.  But I did want to cry when I hung up, I feel like I've lost her and I really thought I wouldn't.

I knew there would be a point in time where I wouldn't hear from them as much, but I guess I thought it would be much later.  I can't help but wonder if I did something wrong... (I have texted back and forth with the other two, which is awesome.)  Anyway, that's why I'm sad today, but I don't know that it has much to do with the drugs.

In other news: I don't have a cold.  I am fairly certain it's either a side effect of Lupron (I don't read side effects) OR a side effect of stopping all my normal supplements.  Basically my mucus membrane has dried up... which is only a problem in my nose, which will start to bleed.  So my (very mildly, upon waking only) sore throat, mildly plugged ears and sinus has gone away with one night of Neti Pot.  I will keep doing it and hope that it improves once my body is used to the medication and/or lack of supplements. 

And to close out my update - the stupidest cat I own enjoying something just short of chasing it's own tail: (apologies for the commercial in the background)



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First Week of The Pill

It's been a busy (almost) first week at work.  I've been doing mostly clerical type stuff, which is actually really relaxing.  I am feeling so much lighter since I gave notice at my last job and life is a lot of light right now.  This new job may not be where I see myself 'career' wise in the future, but it's amazing at the moment and will hopefully allow some options when I have baby(ies).

The first week of the pill has been good.  I was prepared for the irritability, but not for the exhaustion.  It was terrible the first few days and it has gone away (or I've gotten used to is).  I do start Lupron tomorrow, which is slightly terrifying to me, but I am going to tap positivity when I take the shot.  (Tapping is an anxiety reducing exercise, but I use it for positive reinforcement too.)

I have been forced to reduce my supplements to only the prenatal and a baby aspirin.  I'm feeling very good so far!  It's usually a security blanket for me, so I am happy that I am doing so well without them.

This weekend I am hoping to change out my closet (from summer to winter) since it finally started raining here again.  I am so happy the rain is back!  I will also be ruthless with getting rid of unneeded junk, or as ruthless as I can be, I still haven't found it in my heart to get rid of the giant teddy bear my father bought me even though it's old and mangy.

With the ruthless give-away in mind - does anyone know how to get rid of my unneeded medications?  I have just a bit left over and I would like to give it to deserving people.  I should probably get on this before they expire.

I saw on my analytics that multiple hits have arrived from Google News, which is really irresponsible of Google.  Honestly, now I'm a respected news source?  That's not how this works...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Titles Suck

Today was the first day of my new job.  It was really good, I am still nervous about all the appointments, but I am very hopeful it will be ok.  I know I shouldn't care so much, I mean what's the worst they could do?  Fire me? 
 
This is going to be more of a picture post, I have had a busy last week and this is the quickest way to tell you.  There was the girl's weekend at the beach.  We could see Mt Baker clearly across the sound:
 
Mount Baker on a clear day.
Then we had a bonfire, it was very hot:
 
I wish I could claim I built this fire, but I just helped. 
Also I found the friend I want to be with during the apocalypse.
Then later in the week I went to the fair with my mom and, as usual, everything was fried:
I did not eat here, I did have a tasty lemonade.
We saw some livestock:
Adorable sheep, they'd just arrived.
And I bought quite a few things:


A Polish spoon, honey, new earbuds and a tailhitch for DH (for his b'day)

In other news my counselor wants me to think more positive thoughts, like I might have a bump by Christmas....!?!?!  I'm not sure whether to be excited or scared by that thought.  I think mostly excited...and a little scared.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Last and First Day

There'll be good times again for me and you
But we just can't stay together, don't you feel it too
Still I'm glad for what we had, and how I once loved you

And it's too late, baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can't hide
And I just can't fake it
I heard this song (Carol King's It's Too Late) on the way to work today and it perfectly encapsulated the last day of my job.  It's too late for my work to win me back and, hopefully, in my exit interview today I can be honest and direct and, importantly, not burn any bridges.  I'm more than a little nervous about starting my new job and starting my exciting DE journey.
 
That's right: AF arrived on Monday.  I have the treatment calendar in my hot little hands and, yesterday, had some anxiety about doing this all at once.  My counselor had told me last week not to put off treatment (my real life) and today I'm feeling more comfortable with going forward into DE treatment. 
 
I felt ready for this treatment step before AF arrived, but now in the back of my head I'm a tiny bit terrified.  My heart and mind are hopeful, this will work and the BFP = take home baby.  I haven't ever been pregnant, I don't know what it's like, but I'm not worried about the pregnancy, I'm worried about the getting pregnant.  Is it wrong of me to feel that because I've never gotten pregnant that I get the easy pregnancy?  And I don't mean easy as in no sickness or barfing, but easy in that I get to keep this baby and I don't have serious scares. 
 
In my mind I am pregnant right away.  I get a take home baby because I am the world's best baby oven (I once called myself the 'Grace of Death' and cried with fear when they told me they would show me my living embryos before they transferred them back, so this has been a large shift).  It will be easy and simple and I won't be worried about hearing a heartbeat or having a genetic problem.  I will carry very late and have a full term baby/babies.  I am the 1%! (or whatever % gets all of this). 
 
Also, lupron will make me smarter and thinner and more pleasant to be around...please God!
 
Expect more updates as we move into this! I hope you enjoy them, I will try to be mostly positive.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Little This, Little That

I feel bad that I haven't written a real update in a while.  Last week I had family in town and it was awesome.  I love family!  We took them to professional games - MLS Soccer and NFL Football - and we went sightseeing too.  I was so sad when they left, I cried, which is what I always do when family leaves. 

I gave official notice at my job.  Since I was off I sent it in (via email) after business hours, my director called me the next morning and offered me what I'd been requesting and possibly 'incentives'.  I explained I was leaving and the new job was closer to home and I (gasp) told her I was taking less money to do it.  Hopefully that will be a blow, because it's not about the money.  If I was a good employee then I should have been worth it to make the changes I asked for.  I don't have the energy to find a new job or get a job offer every time I want a change or a fucking chance to learn new stuff.  It shouldn't be that big of a deal, you should want me to learn and grow and change in your organization.  You shouldn't leave me in the same exact job for 7 years and then get surprised when I leave.

Rant over. 

Monday was my first day back since giving notice.  I've had so many wonderful comments I'm going to put them in a document and take them with me so that I can remember that I do amazing work and people like me!  I feel so happy to be leaving, it's such a relief, and I'm not doing a good job of hiding it at work.  My desk all getting into order and I've made a list of all the stuff they have to do through January.  It should be ... absolutely insane for whoever takes the job.  I chatted with one coworker who was maybe interested, but she said she'd only take it if it was an 'analyst' position instead of a 'specialist' position.  I supposed there's a chance that could happen, but I doubt it.  They will probably rehire two to replace me (which is how it was when I was hired).

Onto the reason you read this blog, which is surprisingly not supposed to be about shitty work environments.  I "spoke" with my clinic yesterday (the RN coordinator and I emailed) and let them know I was just waiting for my period and then birth control would be started!  I have a phone consult with the RE next week and then I will find out the full schedule.  DH and I have a wonderful relationship, but he isn't the best communicator.  He is, however, responsible for money, so I told him last night that within a week I'd be starting the pill and meeting with the RE and asked "we are ready to go?"  I received the grunt of approval, woohoo!

I am excited and nervous and terrified.  I keep thinking I should postpone, but my life can't be on hold any longer.  Maybe my period will take extra long to arrive and I'll be able to relax more.  I'm always disappointed with myself because I feel that I shouldn't have any anxiety, I shouldn't worry during this time because it's not good for me.  I'm not making the eggs anymore, but I do worry that how much I've worried is going to be a problem.  You see how ridiculous I am at the moment.  But I'm ripping the bandaid off and moving forward!! This time of year is always horrible - steps return to school, so there's always drama and their (always overly dramatic) mother had blood clots in her lungs.  I had a night there panicked about raising two broken hearted steps, but she's made a recovery and is home from the hospital now. 

Keep me in your prayers or good juju thoughts as I start this new job.  Hopefully it will be the world's best transition and no one will make me cry!  Let's be honest, it wouldn't be hard to do on the pill...

Monday, September 8, 2014

BC: Rituals & Superstitions

Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you feel bring you good luck for appointments?

Actually no, I am not a big superstition or ritual person.  I do certain things during a cycle to help it be more successful like acupuncture, drinking bone marrow broth (gross), relaxing, counseling/hypnotherapy, and planning my meals more diligently.  However I do not have specific items that I find "lucky".   I have followed those on twitter  who do have items, but I always felt relieved since I don't have to get rid of the items after a failure, or conversely feel the need to hang onto it to remind me. 

I will occasionally see things as "unlucky", for example I have a necklace that I wore once and a family member became suddenly sick, so I haven't ever worn that necklace again. 

And I will usually pick a theme song for a cycle.  My most successful IVF cycle the song was Counting Stars by OneRepublic, specifically because of the lyrics

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars
Yeah, we'll be counting stars

I think all of us IVFers can understand the sentiment of not counting dollars but instead counting stars with our child(ren).

Monday, September 1, 2014

BC: Seven Things

I will be trying to do a blog challenge for September, I'm going to pick four topics and do one a week in addition to my other posts.  I will title all of these with a "BC" for blog challenge and (other than this one or another super interesting one) will not promote it on twitter, so you'll have to check back every day if you are interested. 

Day 1: Let's start off kind of easy.  List 7 things about yourself so we can get to know you better.

1. I am an aunt! After my sister-in-law had her youngest she was talking about wanting a girl.  I sent her a link to one of those plans where you have sex at a specific times in your cycle and eat certain foods to try to conceive a girl.  She complained it was too much work (she conceived easily and is my age) and I wanted to slap her and that was even before any "hard core" infertility treatments. 

2.  My math GPA in high school was 1.9 and in college I only took Statistics and Business Math.  I (currently) am responsible for a million dollar bi-weekly payroll.  That's not terrifying...

3. I have panic disorder, but it has been under "control" for 5 years.  I worry that it will resurge post partum, but I guess that's a bridge to cross if it happens (when I have a baby).  It also can exhaust adrenal glands and I do wonder if my 6 month un-medicated struggle caused my infertility.  I did get an antidepressant after 6 months, I stayed on them for 9 months (I couldn't orgasm on it and that drove DH crazy), then switched to the natural 5HPT, which I stopped a month before I started TTC. 

4.  I received an award for "sweetest spirit" in fifth grade and was very offended.  Can't you see how tough I am! I am not sweet!  I am still told I am sweet and as a young adult was often told I was "innocent", as in hadn't seen a lot of the world...at which point I described how my father was killed and then asked if they still found me innocent.  They usually didn't. 

5.  I always wondered about the "peer pressure" to do drugs.  Honestly all my druggie friends in high school didn't really want to share expensive illegal drugs.  I was only ever interested in doing LSD, but didn't like the side effect of possibly being crazy the rest of your life.  I have never done an illegal substance... unless you count smoking a Cuban cigar in America, which technically it is.

6.  I had childhood PTSD, which is different than adult PTSD, and when I sent my mom the list of symptoms she said "you didn't throw temper tantrums", so I didn't have one symptom out of six.  I remember having (what I now know are) flashbacks, I would hear a voice screaming in my head saying terrible things and curse words.  I had an uncle who was schizophrenic and was ostracized from the family, when I asked what it was I was told "he heard voices" (which is a totally appropriate explanation for a child), therefore I didn't tell my mother about the voice since I was sure I would also be thrown out of the family.  (He was not thrown out of the family only for having schizophrenia, but it's a long story.)

7.  I lost my virginity while black-out drunk to a boyfriend I had tried to break up with 3 months earlier.  He declined to be broken up, saying I was watching too much Friends and life wasn't really like that, and I decided to tough it out until graduation (we were in our last college semester).  He drove me home from a party where we were supposed to stay overnight with lots of friends, hence the reason I drank so much, and I don't remember any of it.  I know I didn't say no, but that doesn't make it right.  I felt pressure to continue doing it, but in another 6 months of dating only did twice, one of those ended because I couldn't stop crying. 

That ended up being more depressing that I thought it would be.  Maybe I was supposed to share things like 'I like coke' and 'Ted Gunn is right, yellow does make everybody look like a sallow mess'.  Hopefully you know me a little bit better now, also maybe infertility isn't the worst thing that's happened to me?  Wait that's not true: I feel like God should have given me one damn easy thing that "everybody" else gets.