Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Onto other news, I got the TSH results back from my blood draw on Monday. I have never had an abnormal thyroid result come back in my life before, but the lab work did show it was slightly elevated now. It came back at 2.54 and they want to see it under 2.5 for pregnancy. So close, yet so far away. :) I had no idea what this meant, but my nurse said it's very normal for TSH to go up during pregnancy. But it's also very important that we bring it down to a better level for the baby's sake. Higher TSH can dramatically increase miscarriage and early labor. The good news is, I can be treated with an extremely low daily dose of Synthroid - only 25mcg. It's an interesting medication though because I have to take it on a completely empty stomach, and not eat or drink anything for at least an hour after taking it. I also have to wait to take my other medications until that hour has passed since it's very persnickity and won't absorb properly if there are other contents in the stomach.
I have to say, I am very pleased with my REs proactive approach in monitoring these kinds of things. They drew my P4 early in the game, caught a problem when it was too low, and adjusted it accordingly to fix it. And now they've caught this before something bad happened too! I guess it can take up to a month for the TSH levels to be impacted so lets pray this helps bring the TSH down and this baby(ies) is okay in the meantime.
Because of our somewhat low/average beta numbers, I have a feeling we have a singleton in there. I'd think our numbers would be much much higher for twins. For some reason I've been also thinking it's a girl. Who the heck knows? But I'm going to toot my own horn for a second and tell you that I've been 100% correct in guessing my friends' and family's baby's genders for the past five years or so. One hundred percent. I know its just the luck of the odds, but still, I'm on a serious streak. We'd be happy for anything that God gives us, but that's just my hunch.
I had a weird dream last night where I had to go to my regular doctor for some blood tests related to blood sugar. While there, I mentioned that I was pregnant and this young nurse decided to do an abdominal ultrasound on me right away. In fact, she was so abrupt that I was standing up even in a crowd of people in the waiting room. She counted twins! I was shocked, excited, but kind of upset that Kevin wasn't with me to find this out. I've heard pregnancy can give you wacky dreams, so I'll chalk it up to that.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I thought we'd only have two beta draws, but it sounds like there is a third one scheduled for Thursday. Now that I've seen the first two double, I'm not going to let myself get worked up about the third. And my understanding at this point is that if it's doubling correctly, that will be our last beta and we get to schedule our first ultrasound for next week.
I hope everyone is having a good day!
Monday, February 25, 2013
The lab released the beta: 14dp5dt - 294.
This is up from 93 on Friday which gives us a doubling time of 43.36. This is FANTASTIC. I guess the holdup was because they didn't do my TSH level yet and they were withholding everything until they had it all. Lame! Thanks for all the stress, lab people!
I'm still trying to come down from being so physically high-strung and stressed all day from all of the lab shenanigans and now I'm actually watching shingles fly off of our roof (which look like dollar bills to me) as I type this.
But I'm going to try to listen to a meditation CD or something when I get off of work in an hour and bring my blood pressure down to a good level. Thanks so much for thinking of me!
I called the head nurse at my RE and she said she'd try calling them too but this was over 30 minutes ago. The RE office is now closed.
We've had a wind storm here all day and my husband just got home. Not only is he upset too about not having the results, but he saw that a ton of our shingles have blown off of our house and we need to get a roofer here to replace them. I thought I already had stress.
I'm ready to cry.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
After we got the call from the nurse, we grabbed the special items we had bought for both of them respectively and we headed out the door. First stop, Papa's house.
We walked in the door, and he was on the phone. He quickly hung up because he knew we were there with the news of the outcome of our cycle. He's blind, so we tried to keep a poker face in the tone of voice and had him sit down. But the first thing out of his mouth was "Are you excited!?" It was like he already had planned it it being positive! That majorly threw me off of my game! I said "You don't even know what the results are yet...why don't you sit down?"
He was only expecting good news I guess, because when we told him the cycle worked, he didn't seem overly surprised. He said he was very happy for us and proud of our courage to get through such a hard process. Kevin asked that my dad say a special paternal prayer with us and ask for special blessings for this baby and pregnancy. This shocked me because Kevin isn't very religious! I thought it was so sweet and was a perfect thing to do next! This overjoyed my dad to be asked to say such a special prayer over us and our child(ren.) He said a LONG prayer. It had to be at least 10 minutes long! He had a lot to say, of course. :) I could hear his voice shake and even though my eyes were closed, I am 99% sure he was crying. I gave him the items we bought for him. A baby tee shirt, a photo frame that says "Papa's the name, spoiling's my game", and a book. I made him pose for a photo. :)
Friday, February 22, 2013
Beta number one - 93!
Progesterone at 29. Woot woot!
I hope that's a good number for 11dp5dt. The nurse said she wanted to see me over 50 so I feel good about 93. We are going to head over to my dad's house then Kevin's mom's house to finally let them know. And I already made reservations at a restaurant for the four of us to continue to soak in the good news tonight.
Beta #2 is on Monday. It's going to be a loooooooooooong weekend! I could use any prayers you have that it doubles appropriately by then. :)
Thursday, February 21, 2013
My friend Candace surprised me by sending some baby stuff to us yesterday. I opened up the package and instantly started crying. Kevin wasn't home at the time, but Oscar was next to me since he's generally my shadow. I turned to him with tears in my eyes saying "Is this really happening? Is this really happening?" It just hit me hard that I'm getting baby gifts because I'm pregnant! Wow!
And onto some more exciting news, I got an email from Vicky yesterday. She is thinking about making a trip to Texas this summer with her son Alex. Oh. My. GOSH. We would be so incredibly excited to finally meet her and her son in person, especially while so far along in my pregnancy. Can you just imagine how wonderful that would be?
And tomorrow is the big beta day! I've had the day off of work ever since I got my official calendar. I figured I'd need the day off in the event I got bad news. But I'm feeling pretty confident about the results at this point since I've been POAS in the mornings and the wondfos are getting darker every day. I realize anything could still happen, but I'm trying to ride the positivity train as long as I can. I'm also having regular cramping. Something is definitely going on in there.
My first beta is tomorrow, my second will be Monday. If my numbers are doubling correctly, then our first ultrasound will be March 8th. That will put me at 6w2d pregnant. I'm not sure if that's too early to hear a heartbeat, but we will definitely be able to do a count. Two or one?
I probably won't post again until I have my beta results. I appreciate all of the prayers for a great number and then again for Monday's to double appropriately. Have a wonderful day!
I appreciate any and all thoughts and prayers you have for rockstar numbers!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I've been having some queasiness starting after my nap on Monday until I went to sleep and again from around 10am yesterday to about 3pm. No nausea so far today but I'm wondering if this is indeed some form of morning sickness setting in a little early. We stocked up on ginger beer!
I POAS once this morning, and it's much darker. That makes me happy!
I did something stupid this morning and now I'm feeling guilty. I'm not saying that to be funny, I mean it - I really do feel guilty. Our water went out this morning. Our neighborhood HOA group was emailing back and forth about it and when the water was finally restored, someone asked the group if there would be a boil-water order put in place. I replied to the entire HOA group saying something along the lines of "I'm not sure but I'll call the water company and ask and get back to you. I'm pregnant and I don't want to risk it."
I hit send and immediately cringed. That email went to over 600 homes. Had I not learned anything during the time I struggled? I am so excited about being pregnant that I want to shout it from the mountain tops, but what does my being pregnant have to do with anything? What did it add to my email? Nothing. I just became one of those insensitive people who flashed her pregnancy in front of a bunch of strangers. And no doubt some of them either have or are currently struggling. I couldn't take it back once it was sent. I suppose it could be worse, but I do sincerely feel bad about adding that pointless and braggart sentence to my email. I have vowed time and time again never to forget my sisters who still silently suffer. I promise I will never forget. The experience of infertility has forever changed me. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry I did that.
Luckily there is no boil-water order in effect so we are good there.
As far as my upcoming beta goes, I emailed my RE nurse yesterday and asked if we could move it up to today so my second would be Friday. She said no. Well, actually here is what she said verbatim:
I would really rather you wait until Friday for your test! 2 days can show huge changes in numbers and we want the most accurate number! We will do your second test on Monday which is normally how we do it! I know you are anxious and want to see the numbers, but we really need to wait the entire time!!!
I obviously will have to wait until Friday. She's right that two days can show a dramatic change in beta numbers, but I thought the number itself didn't matter so much as it's doubling time. I don't get what she means by the "most accurate number." At whatever point I get it drawn, it will be accurate. That didn't make sense.
Oooooh well. Holding out until Friday! And my second will be Monday.
One step at a time, here. One win at a time. :)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Let me tell you a little story about what NOT to do as a person in the 2ww who has already confirmed a pregnancy with a HPT.
I have wondfo tests coming out of my ears and I also had yesterday off. These two are a bad mix. Why? Because yours truly felt like it was a good idea keep testing every 4-5 hours (what is wrong with me!?) to try to watch that line get darker (or stay the same) as some kind of resassurement that everything was okay in there. Remember, I got a blaring 'not pregnant' on my digital yesterday morning so I felt like I did need something to help put me at ease knowing that things are going the right direction. I figured the testing-fest would be just that.
Up until that point most of my POASing turned out to give me a super faint positive on a wondfo, but nothing to write home about. Until around 3pm I POAS and as I looked at it after around 10 minutes, it was blank. This was the same blank that I've looked at during my entire time of TTC. My heart dropped. But I thought 'I'll just let it sit for longer. It will darken up."
After about an hour I saw the faintest of faint lines. But it was barely as dark as the initial test at 5dp5dt was. Not good.
I think I was physically ill. I immediately googled wondfo tests and read that sometimes a test can show lighter lines than others. Their purpose is not to tell you how pregnant you are, but only that you ARE pregnant.
I couldn't stand it and made myself take another wondfo and thankfully it showed as dark as all of the previous ones did before this terrible near-blank one. Which isn't saying a lot since they were all faint anyway. I definitely felt better seeing the next one be consistent with the others.
I decided at dinner to bite the bullet and try another digi in hopes it would just tell me what I wanted to hear, and as you saw from last night's post, it did. It sure put my mind at ease.
But the moral to this story 2WWers? Put the HPTs down. Sure, test once a day. Maybe even twice. But don't get crazy like me and think it's a good idea to do it more than that. You might run into unnecessary heartache! And I've learned first hand that you can get a false negative on a wondfo.
As for today, I allowed myself to do a morning POAS (but nothing after) and sure enough, digital still says pregnant. My wondfo is coming up as with the second line, albet it light still. However, it's definitely showing up sooner and sooner each time I test yet it isn't getting a whole ton darker. I'm going to trust my digitals since they are black and white. :)
How am I feeling physically, might you ask?
I'm feeling great. Why? Because God has given me this precious gift! I'm pregnant and SO grateful! As I type out these symptoms, none are a complaint. In fact, I find that each of them is a joy because they remind me how incredible it is.
I have a lot of cramping. I think the most intense cramping was on 6dp5dt. I few of them took my breath away and I had to sit down and breathe. I had some more cramping yesterday at 7dp5dt but it changed into more of a full pressure feeling in my entire lower abdomen. I always figured pregnancy cramps would stick around the uterine area, but this was a sensation that expanded far past that. Every once and a while I'll get more of what I'd call a cramp or a twinge, but for the most part its this dull pressure. I also have had a few strange skin sensations around my belly button. I keep thinking that I have something poking me on the skin of my belly button, but of course it's not! I've also had some shooting twinges up into my hip bones and muscles in my back. It's just crazy to think that something so small can cause such an impact on an adult human body.
After my exhausting and self-inflicted run-in with a negative wondfo yesterday, I realized I was very tired and laid down to take a nap. When I woke up, I felt a major wave of nausea coming over me. It was pretty intense! I ate some gluten free bread and I felt a little better but I still had an underlying nauseous tone the rest of the night. I thought morning sickness didn't hit until around six weeks but there was no doubt that this was an unusual nausea that I don't normally experience.
Since about 2dp5dt I have had major heartburn. I've been popping Tums like candy. As a result of said heartburn, it's making me belch like a sailor. I'm talking the kind that rattles the walls. Not very feminine, but oh well! It's the price of cooking a bun in the oven! :)
I'm also finding myself either really hot or really cold. That might just be the PIO but I find myself needing to turn the heater WAY down or snuggle underneath a blanket.
Just a few more days until my beta on the 22nd! I'm thinking that it has to be at least 50 at this point since a digital is turning positive, right? Anyone know if that's good logic to use?
Monday, February 18, 2013
Here's a little more of the story as to what went down yesterday at the Liz and Kevin household.
Kevin kept mentioning the rest of the night how excited he was to finally do a nursery when the time comes. For him, this will be the defining moment throughout all of this process that it is really real. He said that buying paint for it might actually cause him to get teary eyed. He's such a manly man, mister Firefighter guy Kevin. To hear him talk like this warms my heart to no end. We actually poked around on Pinterest for about an hour getting some nursery decor ideas and trying to let ourselves revel in the magic we were feeling.
Here are a few of our favorites. I get that it's early, but I've spent so much time being negative that I feel like it's finally time to dream unguarded a bit.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
As the saying goes, a line is a line. I SEE A LINE! See the top one? It's there! IT'S THERE!!! AHHH!
The world is in color again, I can't even begin to tell you how we feel right now. Tears have been shed. My chest is about to burst with joy.
I can't even think straight, but we already called our donor Vicky and told her because I wanted her to know before posting it on my blog. I can't believe it's real. I know it's early but it's there and it has gotten darker since last night.
I am going to keep peeing on everything I can get my hands on because I can't wait to see it get darker. I just got a FRER to show a line too!! AHHH!!
And I've been cramping like crazy, sometimes intensely. But every cramp brings a smile. My babies are in there snuggling in!!!!! Make yourself at home, little ones!
Thank you for your prayers, I still am in total shock!
Saturday, February 16, 2013
And of course it was negative.
I hadn't planned to tell Kevin about any HPTs until I got a positive in an attempt to try to spare him of unnecessary negativity. But he point blank asked me if I had tested yet once he woke up. I wasn't going to lie to him.
Even though I assured him it was early, he was pretty upset. I've known him for going on nine years now and I can tell when he's upset and angry, and he was. He was trying to hold back but it affected him a lot. I feel like I've wrecked his day. It's put kind of a damper on mine too. Argh. Why does this process have to suck so bad??? Why?
No real news here. I'm 5dp5dt and don't really have any clear-cut and obvious symptoms to share. Everything I do have is easily explained by the progesterone or could be mistaken for my stomach ailments. I have had some mild cramping that feels like period cramps come and go but it feels like it's just my period trying to break through the progesterone and unleash itself. Or maybe it's my digestive system continuing to be rude to me.
I've also been on the most insane emotional rollercoaster of my life. Each and every day that gets closer to my beta becomes more intense. It makes me shake with panic. I'll be honest, I've already cried alone thinking this just wont work and we will be back to where we started in just a few days. I'm already wondering how it will feel to mourn these precious children whom I have already loved so much who may never be. I already emotionally buried our genetic children. It kills me to think about burying these ones. It seriously makes my heart hurt, and it has made me cry. I'm crying now writing this.
Then out of the blue, I'll snap ouf ot it and I'll feel optimistic and decide my cramping is a good sign. Or I'll read about women who felt no hope early in the process then wound up getting a BFP later. I'll switch gears completely and think this is finally where we will succeed and start a family.
I seriously feel like I'm going crazy. I feel like I have rapid-cycler bipolar disorder because it's all consuming and so intense.
I also find myself crying at really bizarre things that is very much unlike me. I watched the movie "Ransom" yesterday with Mel Gibson and the scene where he thinks his son was shot made me bawl like a baby. That's SO not me!
Then Kevin and I were talking about what to do for dinner, it made me almost cry. This was the most bizarre because it was not an argument or an upsetting topic but it made me want to cry.
Well, I'm hanging onto the roller coaster ride and praying for the best. That's not just a figure of speech. I've dropped to my knees on multiple occasions and just cried out to God to please let this work. If failure for this is in His plan, I honestly don't know how I am going to handle it. I don't feel equipped. I will be incredibly confused because I have felt like He has been around helping guide each step of this process. I also feel like my mom has been making herself known through little signs. So if it doesn't work, I feel like I've been toyed with. I will feel angry. I don't know how to explain it because I'm not even sure I understand it myself. I feel like I will be a shell of a human being and I don't know how I am going to go on. (Don't take that the wrong way, I obviously will go on, I will have to.)
For those of you who have never been through IF, you may think this is dramatic but it has been worse for me than watching my own mother die from cancer. Only it's more cruel because there is no finish line in sight. When my mom died, we mourned and are able to move on with a finite answer to it all. Also, people in your life understand it at face value. Even if they have not lost their mother to cancer, most can appreciate the pain you would feel. This is definitely not the case with IF. With IF, you are in a constant state of limbo with an invisible finish line. The majority of the people in real life don't understand. They might think "oh, you're out the money you spent. That sucks." The money down the drain sucks, no doubt. But it's so much more than that. It's a death but in a much more intense and confusing way. And right now, I feel like I can reach out and almost grab our babies' little hands but in a split second they could be snatched away. We've never been this close, but until you're at the actual finish line, it's almost imaginary. I honestly can't find an adjective that can adequately describe the pain you feel. There just doesn't seem to be one in the English language.
I'll try to end on a happy note and say that I'm hoping the cramps I feel are good news and that my period doesn't decide to surprise me at any moment here and kill all of our dreams. Hopefully I'll have something good to post here in the coming days. Thanks for reading, as always.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Yesterday morning, I went in for some lab work to check my progesterone levels. I didn't think much of it until I got a call back from the nurse saying mine came in low at 9.6 and they wanted to see if at around 20. She said I needed to double my PIO to 2mL and add a Crinone application in the mornings. Seemed simple enough despite the fact that I was a now stressed that my progesterone wasn't on target like it should be. I did some research and also had a fellow IF friend talk me off my ledge over email and I realized it's not nearly as big of deal as I was making it out to be. Many REs don't even check progesterone levels between the transfer and beta so it sounds like mine was just being very cautious. Has anyone had an experience with low progesterone? How did it turn out?
So our nightly PIO time rolled around at 7:30pm and I drew up the new massive amount of PIO. Kevin found a spot and pushed the needle in. However the insertion of the needle itself this time felt like a hot knife going into my backside. It was EXCRUCIATING. I think he may have hit a nerve or something because the PIO hadn't even been pushed in at that point. It was a billion times worse than PIOs I've had so far. Kevin felt really bad even though it wasn't his fault, of course. I had to sit on a heating pad for over an hour and it felt like someone had hit me in the hip with a baseball bat. I'm not exaggerating. It was a doozy. Has anyone else out there had a random excruciating PIO shot occur like this?
I got super tired and decided to go to bed at 9:30pm. I slept until around 12:30am when I was awakened by some of the worse stomach cramps in my life. I sprung out of bed and ran to the bathroom (sorry for the upcoming TMI) and thought I'd need to go number two. Yet, I couldn't. Nothing was happening no matter how hard I tried! Yet I desperately needed to! What the heck??? This is the definition of torture, ladies and gentlemen. I was in so much pain and discomfort I seriously started questioning if I needed to call to Kevin to take me to the ER but I couldn't bear the thought of leaving the bathroom.
The house was freezing cold at this time of night yet I was dripping sweat all over my head and chest and started violently throwing up. This went on for over an hour until I finally was able to "go" after a ton of straining. I felt much better once everything was all out.
This situation was so violent I was terrified that I hurt our embryos somehow. It was just all around hell on earth, there is no other way to say it. Someone please tell me something that will help me feel like our embryos are all right. I know I can't push them out, right? Yes, I was sweating like mad but I hope that didn't raise my core temperature. I need some puppies and rainbows today to make me feel better.
When I crawled back into bed, I was drenched in sweat, yet freezing at the same time, and I couldn't get warm even under about three thick blankets after 20 minutes or so. But eventually, I did and dozed off and I feel 95% better today. My stomach is still not completely right but I'm able to function and am getting ready for work.
I've had similar episodes to this early last year, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the one last night. I read online that one of the side effects of progesterone is constipation, and that sounds like a big component of last night's violent episode. I pray that doesn't happen again, I seriously felt like I was going to die! It was very scary.
Oh and when I ran into the bathroom, I accidently let the dog out. So he roamed the house all night last night and peed in the dining room. Oh happy day!! LOL
Thanks for hearing me out. Does anyone have any tips for dealing with progesterone side effects? I've heard prunes. Anything else?
For Valentine's tonight, Kevin and I are just staying in. I'm cooking Steak au Poivre which is a simple yet amazing beef tenderloin dish where you get to light the pan on fire. Always impressive. :) Kevin is making chocolate fondue for dessert. It should be a nice night as long as I don't get sick again. Fingers crossed!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I've really been tossing around when to test. I've talked about it with Kevin and we most definitely do not want to wait to find out until they call with the beta results on Feb 22nd. If it's good news, we want to know right away. But more importantly, if it's bad news, we want to be eased into it instead of a big shocker and heartache all from one call. Either way, I've taken the 22nd off of work to brace myself for it one way or another.
That being said, I've seen women get their BFPs as early as 5 or 6 days past their transfer. Am I a fool to consider this? I really want to get a positive test during a day Kevin is home. I want to be able to announce it to him in the way I've had planned since we began TTC and I think my head will absolutely explode if I get a positive test on a week day where he's already left for work. That means the ideal time to test would be this weekend. Am I brave enough? Or I suppose I could wait until the evening of a workday next week and do it when he's home. Will I even be able to have self control to stick to whatever plan I come up with now? We shall see.
I have been so scared to completely let go and be positive about the potential outcome. Many people say they talk to their embryos after transfer and I've really tried to do this, but it seems so very foreign. I can tell that the one and only thing that is holding me back from really feeling this and letting go is the enormous fear that it won't work. It hurts so much knowing these two little ones are inside of me, but could go away in the blink of an eye. I love them so much but it's just hard letting it feel real because of these fears. I have prayed for peace and I waffle back and forth between extreme optimism and then major fear of failure.
One thing that has helped me stay positive has been fantasizing about the "how" and "where" I will tell Kevin about a BFP. I think about the tears I'll shed while I'm hugging him. I imagine the look on his face when he realizes what is going on during my big announcement. Infertility has robbed us of so much, but I refuse to let it rob us of the plan I had to announce it to him. I've planned it down to the minute detail.
And on that note, we bought a cute onesie for Kevin's mom as an announcement to her along with some "I love my Grandma" type children's books. She is a widower having lost her husband to cancer in 2004 and it will mean the world to her to learn of her first grandchild(ren) on his/her/their way. She has been 110% in the loop on our struggles and our transfer but we still want the announcement to be special.
My dad is recently widowed as well thanks to evil cancer. My dad is also blind. He started going blind at a young age but became legally blind in the early eighties. He has a degenerative retinal disorder called Retinitis Pigmentosa. In November 2012, he moved from Utah to now just up the street from me and it has been a treat to have him nearby! He has also been in the loop on our struggles and our recent transfer but I'd love to find a special way to announce it to him as well. The challenge is in his blindness and he doesn't read braille. Most of the announcements that come to mind have a strong visual component for the shock value. What in the world can I do that would immediately say "I'm pregnant. It worked!" without verbally just saying it outright? I wish there was something more special. Thoughts!?
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
We packed up on Sunday afternoon and headed off for our 1.5 hour drive to San Antonio. As part of my packing, I put three very important pendants onto a chain for me to wear for the transfer itself. My snowflake pendant that belonged to my mom, my cancer ribbon pendant in honor of her, and my heart pendant that Kevin gave me with an inscription of how much he loved me.
After checking into the hotel, we loafed around for a bit and then went to a fancy Brazillian steakhouse for dinner. After dinner, we called it an early night in an attempt to be rested for our transfer the next morning. I was able to sleep soundly for about three hours before waking up with some stomach issues and after that point I couldn't fall back to sleep! I had just too much on my mind for the following day. 7am rolled around and we started getting ready for the transfer by showering and having breakfast then headed out the door at about 9:15am. As we were leaving the hotel, we looked up at the sky and took a moment to realize how ominous and darkish grey/blue it was. There were severe thunderstorm warnings over San Antonio which to most people would be a bad sign. But Kevin and I love love LOVE thunderstorms so we took this as a good sign from the heavens above! I started chugging water on my way over in an attempt to have a full bladder per the RE's instructions.
When we arrived at the RE's office, the waiting room was packed. There was no place for us to sit! We had to wait for over thirty minutes, which is no small feat with a full bladder. I was literally dancing. I finally had to ask the receptionist if it would be much longer because if it was, I was going to go use the bathroom and then refill my bladder as we got closer. Sure enough, they were enough behind schedule that she said I could go to the bathroom. What a relief!
Finally about 15 minutes later, we headed back into the transfer/surgery area and they instructed me to change into a hospital gown, hair net and booties. I apparently didn't listen very well and ended up putting the gown on backwards! Ha! So I had to go back and put it on with the ties in the back. I should have captured photos of this, because I was uber sexy, I'm sure. I laid on a bed in the recovery area with Kevin. There was another husband in the section next to us that was separated by a curtain because his wife was in the surgery room having an egg retrieval done.
While waiting, I was starting to burn up with a hot flash, which has been a common occurrence since starting PIO. The nurse was nice enough to turn a fan on me. A few minutes later, the embryologist came out and told us the status of our embryos.
We had two beautiful embryos prepared for transfer. One had already begun hatching! The other was growing strong and only slightly behind the first. She mentioned again how impressed she was with the embryos considering their age and length of being frozen. She handed us a photo of them. I was just amazed that one was already hatching. In the photo below, the one hatching is on the top. It looks like two embryos, but its actually just one. Part of what you see will develop into the placenta. Just incredible!
The minute the embryologist left, Kevin stared down at the photo. Watching his reaction is going to go down as one of my favorite moments in my life - it's seriously up there with the day he proposed to me.
He was frozen staring at the photo of them. Completely frozen. Speechless.
I was asking him questions and he was non responsive. I kept asking "Are you okay?" No response. I could just see the emotion washing over him looking at these precious embryos. It was real, and it was hitting him. At that moment, any irrational doubt or worry that I had that he might not feel like these babies' father went completely away. When he finally snapped out of it, I giggled and told him that I've never seen him be like that before. He just said he was overjoyed, terrified, and excited, all rolled into one. It's pretty humbling to see such a tough guy get so choked up about two things that are a fraction of the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
My bladder was full again and I was getting antsy for the procedure to begin. They finally announced they were ready since the patient next to us had finished her egg retrieval.
They led Kevin to the viewing room since he could not come into the actual transfer room with me and I was wheeled away to the procedure room.
Once in the room, they had me verify on the screen that my name was correct along with my birthdate. At that point, they started pushing on my lower abdomen with an ultrasound machine which was torture considering how full my bladder was! When the nurse first started the ultrasound, she apologized because she was standing directly in front of my view of the ultrasound video. I was somewhat upset since I really was looking forward to seeing the moment they went in. The RE told her it was not okay to stand in front of the patients view and told her to move to the other side. THANKS, DOC! I got the sense the nurse doing the ultrasound was new because the doctor had to correct her quite a few times before she finally got it right. Once it was in position correctly, the RE called for the embryologist to bring out the catheter with the embryos inside.
This was the moment I had waited for for so long! These embryos had slept for so long then traveled the country to be here. I was finally meeting them. I told the RE how overjoyed I was and tears started streaming down my face as I laid on the table. The best word I can use to describe it would be sacred. It was a very sacred moment.
He inserted the catheter, watched them on the ultrasound be pushed inside and then he said "your little rascals are in there now." I just love my RE! He's hilarious sometimes.
He handed the catheter back to the embryologist who double checked they were no longer in there and then the RE inserted a urine catheter. Sorry if it's TMI but it was probably one of the best things that could have happened at that point. I immediately felt relief from the torture of the full bladder. Right before being wheeled out, the embryologist came over gave me the petri dish that these precious embryos were kept in as they grew.
Here is the video of the actual transfer taking place from Kevin's standpoint. Kevin was shaking so hard that I had to apply the YouTube stablizer feature. He was so nervous! It's hard to tell what you're looking at, but the point of transfer occurs right around 1m15s into the video.
They wheeled me back into the recovery room and the RE brought Kevin back to meet me. They had me lay on my back flat as a board for thirty minutes. Kevin and I just talked and reveled in the moment. We heard a new couple had arrived on the other side of the curtain next to us. They were getting briefed by the embryologist for their transfer since they were up next. It sounds funny but you could hear the joy and elation in their voices as they saw the photo of their precious embryos. I wanted to jump through the curtain and give them a hug too! Obviously I didn't, but there was something incredibly blessed and wonderful about hearing them experience the same thing.
After resting, I changed back into my clothes and we headed right to the car for our trip home. We stopped briefly for some lunch at Carl's Jr. (super healthy, I know) and I spent the rest of the day at home loafing around and trying to nap.
I'm still in disbelief that they are in there with me right this very second. The part of my brain that has endured so much failure is nagging and telling me things like "This won't work. Don't get your hopes up." I hate this part of my brain and I'm trying to keep it at bay but it's been really difficult! I used to be so much more optimistic about everything in life until 2011 came around. It seemed like every time we had good news, it would immediately be replaced with devastating news. This applied to our home, my mom's death, our fertility, etc. It's been so hard to bring that optimism back but I am SO trying!
And finally, we just got the call from the embryologist about that last embryo they were watching. Sadly, it didn't make it. So to recap, two of our embryos died, two were transferred, and we have one remaining frozen. Even though the embryologist was giving us this bad news, she reiterated again that she was very optimistic about the two we transferred yesterday. I'm crossing my fingers, toes, eyes, EVERYTHING that these two decide to hang around for the long haul.
Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers!!!
Monday, February 11, 2013
I never thought I'd ever be able to ever say it, but I have two wonderful embryos snuggling in right now! It's surreal.
Long story short, today went perfectly according to the RE. We transferred two blasts that grew from our thawed four zygotes so the fifth blast didn't need to be thawed. One of the blasts transferred today was already hatching and that got us all giddy.
Sadly, one of the others stopped growing altogether. :( That makes me sad since these are truly the last of their kind but I'm overjoyed that the others did so well. The last one is still growing and they will decide tomorrow if it's going to make it to freezing. I'm praying it makes it and we will have two on ice. I haven't forgotten about that little one.
I just wanted to give you all a quick and dirty update and let you know how we are doing around here. We have appreciated your support and prayers so much. I can't believe I'm typing this to you with two of our precious snowflakes on board right now. And it's even more crazy to think they've been frozen for over ten years! Just wild!
I'll post a much better post about the entire thing in better detail since I'm absolutely drained today having lived on very little sleep the past two nights. I need a good night's rest under my belt and I'll have a better post (with pictures and possibly even video) tomorrow.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Today would put our embryos at Day 3. They want to see embryos grow by now to somewhere between 5 and 10 cells. Three of our four are already at around 8 or 9 cells! Way to go, little ones!
The fifth blastocyst is still waiting in the wings ready to be thawed on Monday if for some reason we don't get two beautiful embryos from the four.
We will be arriving at the clinic on Monday, Feb 11 at 9:30am CST for a 10:00am transfer. I could use any and all prayers you have that you have for us. God has clearly heard our prayers for bringing us this far. I am still in awe that we are here after enduring so much pain in recent years.
After listening to the embryologist's voicemail, Kevin and I shared a big hug. We are filled with hope and can't believe we are just over a day away from meeting these little ones!
My next update should be after the transfer! Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm if you're fighting off some snow.
I'm in love with a little snow....five snowflakes, to be specific. :)
Friday, February 8, 2013
When I heard from the lab person about them, not only did she tell me about this unexpected news, but she did not sound optimistic whatsoever. I was so shocked, I had to run into the bathroom at work to cry and pray. I had to go to a meeting shortly after so I had to force myself to get it together. But after the meeting, I went to my car and prayed some more with tears streaming down my face as I pleaded with God to help them grow and to give us peace. As I came back into the building, an overwhelming sentiment passed over me. It was not a voice speaking to me per say, but I got a very clear message:
Be calm. God has "got this." Stop focusing on the negative and instead, revel in the fact that these babies are waking up after sleeping for over 10 years in a frozen slumber. What a miracle.
I want to believe this was God trying to comfort me and remind me of what is important. It really is incredible that these embryos were waking up. I started to focus on this and began wondering at what point the soul enters the body. Was it at conception? Was it at some point in utero? Could it actually be that God himself is touching our embryos and breathing life into them right this very second? Were angels there holding them in their arms as they transformed? Was my mom there watching over them as they woke up? I have no idea, but it's magical to contemplate and I felt strongly that this was what I should be focused on.
I decided to email our donor Vicky letting her know that they were thawing the embryos and also see if she could give me details on how the thaw process went for her transfer. She responded saying she originally had eight donated to them. Of the eight, they thawed four. Two grew well, and one did not grow at all. The last one started growing slowly so they kept an eye on it and eventually it did well so they refroze it at Day 6. She transferred two leaving us with our remaining five. Four are 2PNs and one is the frozen Day 6 that grew while they watched. This was incredibly comforting to hear. This means only one of these thawed 2PNs didn't survive. While it sucks to lose any of them, I sure like those odds!
I am frequently on online infertility support forums so I posted about our 2PN zygotes asking for information or success stories. I got some very reassuring responses there too! Apparently 2PN embryos tend to thaw the best out of all stages of embryos - even better than Day 3 or Day 5-6s. Yet they still have the same chances at pregnancy. Hallelujah!
The reason for the freak out is because I just can't even put into words the pain that we would feel if we lost these embryos. IVF is no longer an option for us so I can't just go head to the clinic and start a new cycle to make more. And even if we could, it wouldn't make more of these embryos. These snowflakes are special. I've felt strongly that these are meant to be our children. They are the last five that exist anywhere. I have seen hundreds of photos of the little boy who would be these embryos' genetic brother. I've seen him grow up in photos from being a newborn to him now as a four year old. I've pictured what our children will look like, how our holidays will be. I've pictured their chubby little baby legs sitting on my lap while we read a story, their tiny little voices asking me to tuck them in. I know it sounds crazy to say, but I've bonded with these embryos. We can't replace them and it will kill us to lose them. I really don't know how to describe it, but at this juncture, it actually seems much more painful to have them arrest prior to transfer than to transfer them and find out it didn't work.
I have no idea what time the lab plans to call me tomorrow with the update but I will be glued to the phone. I'm going to try to find some way to relax and let time pass so I think I'll go get myself a pedicure or something and start cleaning the house. I want an immaculate house to relax in when we return home on Monday after the transfer.
And as an update to yesterday's PIO post, Kevin decided he was going to take some time off from his Thursday night fire station duties and give me the PIO shots instead so I lucked out on not having to administer them to myself. I didn't ask him to do this, but he volunteered. He said his mind isn't in the right place and he feels strongly that his place is here with me. I just love him, I couldn't ask for a better husband to go through this with.
Before I knew he was going to stay home, I had already started practicing the PIOs on an apple! I was trying to see if I could do it with one hand and be able to pull back on the plunger to check for blood. That part is tricky! I thought you all might get a kick out of this photo.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Please pray for our embryos. I just got a call from the lab.
Four of the five are only day one zygotes. They are planning to thaw them today, watch them grow, and will have an update for us on Saturday.
The fifth is a day 6 blast. It originally was a day 1, was thawed and grown, then refrozen which can harm the quality.
I am terrified and could use all of the prayers you have right now that at least two of these make it to a good quality that can be transferred. If they all arrest, I feel like I'll have to be institutionalized.
My husband is a volunteer firefighter and is at the fire station on Thursday nights. That means I'm on my own for my PIO shots on Thursdays, and tonight will be my first attempt. I think I can I think I can I think I can.
Yesterday also began the complicated oral medication calendar and will continue for six days. I was worried I'd have a hard time keeping track of everything so I put each medication on my Google calendar and printed it out so I can easily cross off each one as I take a med. This has been very helpful and it's extra great because my phone will also offer me pop-up reminders. I recommend doing this to anyone worried about staying organized with meds, appointments, etc.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Now that we know our transfer is officially a "go" we booked a hotel room in San Antonio and officially took the time off of work. My husband will be taking good care of me and pampering me while I'm on bed rest. I'm definitely looking forward to it.
Today will be spent cleaning. I know that doesn't sound very exciting at face value, but it actually is. Because today we will be cleaning out our "junk room." Many infertiles have a junk room just like this. It's the room that is the would-be nursery, but ends up being a messy, cluttered, and out-of-control physical representation of their lives. It's a painful reminder of what they don't have, and may never have.
In our case, our current junk room won't actually be the nursery, but it needs to be cleaned out so we can move the guest room furniture out of the intended nursery room and into the current junk room. Then we will make the current junk room into a guest room.
We've had on our to-do list for over two years. Two painful, messy, cluttered, and out-of-control years.
Last night my husband said to me how incredibly important it was to him to finally get it cleared out. He said it helps him feel involved in the process. This makes my heart soar whenever he says things like this. You'll remember this post from a few days ago, and it thrills me to no end watching him find ways to be a big part of this.
This is very symbolic. We've put this off for so long because we've had no hope. It hurt too much daydreaming about a nursery, let alone actually doing something to make it happen.
Well, today we are finally going to clean it out.
I can't wait to start brainstorming decor ideas for both rooms. I love home decor and both of these rooms are so BLAH. We'll start working on the guest room for now, but will wait to brainstorm for the nursery until we are actually pregnant.
After we are done clearning we will get some Vietnamese Pho for lunch. It's going to be a great day!
Friday, February 1, 2013
My estrogen results were 196.6. A little lower than the 250 they wanted, but the nurse assured me not to be worried at all. They aren't worried one bit because my lining looked so great. She wants me to increase my dose tonight, but I won't need to come in for any more blood work before my transfer. She confirmed we are a green light for our transfer!
FEBRUARY 11th- the day I will finally meet my snowflakes! I could cry!
Here's the first half of my news: My lining is at 11.34mm. YAY! I was joking with my husband that my lining is like a pillow-top tempurpedic mattress - all cushy and comfy just waiting for our little snowflakes to snuggle in for the long haul.
Now onto the other half: estrogen levels.
Being the neurotic weirdo that I am, I asked if my nurse would call me back with my blood work results even if they were above 250 so that I'd have a concrete answer and I could put my mind at ease. She said she would. I have been sitting by the phone waiting for the call, but I haven't heard from her yet.
Normally, they'd only call if the estrogen levels were too low and I needed to increase my medication. Normally they get lab results in and call-outs done before 3pm.
Anyway, I'm nervous. If I don't get a call by 7pm which is way beyond comprehension for a bloodwork result call to come in, I'll assume I'm golden and we are a go for Feb 11th. Fingers crossed!