Thursday, February 27, 2014

5 weeks

Well today I am five weeks.  It seems impossible that it's only been a week since we got our positive results. It feels like so much has changed.  While our little one is basically all I can think about I'm still having trouble fully believing.  It's funny how when I see a pregnant woman my initial reaction is still a kick to the gut, a stab in the heart.  It feels.....almost wrong to talk about the pregnancy.  I feel like a fraud.  I went to the dentist this week and had to tell them that I was pregnant so we couldn't do X-rays and I felt like such a fake.  My family is so happy and excited and it's almost as if I'm afraid to talk about it too much like that will make it go away.  I AM trying to focus on the positive and I am so very grateful.  But fear is a hard thing to over come.

Today I wrote this letter because I wanted to embrace the fact that this pregnancy IS real.  That there is a growing being inside of me made of myself and D.   If you aren't in a good place right now and dont' want to read this I completely understand.  I have been there all too recently.  Please, take care of you.


Hello my love.  Today you are officially 5 weeks old, even though we know you are probably measuring a little behind that mark since you were what they call a “late implanter”.  We first found out that you were growing inside Mommy a week ago.  How our lives have changed!  You gave us quite a scare by coming in with some low Beta numbers, but then the numbers JUMPED for Beta 2 and continued to steadily increase for Beta 3.  The doctor doesn’t think we need to take any more blood tests so now we are (impatiently) waiting for our first sonogram on March 14th.  Two whole weeks away which feels like forever to Mommy and Daddy.  Do you know that our whole world revolves around you, even though you are basically the size of a sesame seed?!  It sounds crazy I know, but we have prayed so hard for you and we already love you so much.  It’s still a little scary to look too far ahead into the future.  We try to just take things a day at a time and I start each day by praying for your.  I pray that God blesses you and holds you in his hands.  That he makes you strong and helps you continue to grow and develop into a beautiful, healthy baby.  I pray that God gives my body the strength and support that it needs to provide a good home for you.  And I dream.  I can’t help it, but I dream about what it will feel like to finally see your sweet face and hold you in my arms.  To see the look on Daddy’s face when he gets to meet you.  I know he will be so proud and utterly amazed.  I picture you nuzzled on the couch in between us, resting against Chloe.  She will be the best big “sister” anyone could ever ask for.  But it’s a long road until that time, so today I continue to pray.  To keep you in my every thought.  Hang on in there little one.  I know you are so strong to have made it this far.  That’s your Daddy coming out in you.  We are counting the days until we can see you for ourselves on that screen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cautiously Optimistic

I feel like this has been my mantra for this entire cycle.  Today I had beta number 3 and it came back at 177.  Which means it didn't quite quadruple in the 4 days (it actually tripled) but my doubling time is 59 hours which falls in the "normal" range of 31-72 hours.  My doctor said that he believes we may have had 2 implant, which is why we saw the big jump between beta 1 and 2, but only one is still growing.  Which is more than fine by us.  We are so grateful for that little one that is hanging on!

I asked if we need to set up a 4th beta since it didn't quadruple but Dr. H said that wasn't necessary and we'd just go ahead and schedule the ultrasound.  He said he was comfortable with the increase and felt everything was progressing as it should be.  So we scheduled our first ultrasound for March 14th.  Which means I have to wait 2 weeks and 3 days before I get confirmation that everything is in fact going okay.  That.  Feels.  Like.  Forever.  But it is what it is.  So for now I am feeling cautiously optimistic.

At the ultrasound I'll technically be 7 weeks and 1 day, but since we seem to have a late implanter I'm not sure what that does to the timeline.  I'm assuming I'm be measuring a few days behind.  Which also makes things fuzzy on if we'll be able to see the heartbeat.  I just am praying so hard that this little one continues to grow and develop.

So while on one hand I am extremely grateful for the increase and that it falls into the "normal" range I definitely would be less worried and breathing easier if the number would have quadrupled.  Which leads me back to the title of this post.....cautiously optimistic.  

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.  I believe that God is hearing us and is answering.  You are all helping to keep me sane through this process.  Here's to hoping these next 2 weeks go FAST.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Counting the minutes....

Well I've almost made it through one more day. I was feeling pretty good about things all weekend but started getting really nervous again last night. I go for my third beta tomorrow morning at 8:15am so I should know something by noon tomorrow. I've just been praying so hard that my numbers continue to double.  One minute I have absolute faith that everything is going to be fine and the next I am in a complete panic. I have been trying to turn over all my fears and worries to God but it's just so hard. I just know too much. There are so many things that could go wrong. I wonder if I had strong first betas if I would worry less. I doubt I would. Right know I'm just praying that I get the chance to keep worrying and that this dream doesn't end before it really even gets started. My family and friends are comforted my the fact that the beta more than doubled after the first one. And by the fact that Dr. H said it was up to me if I wanted a third beta. But I've just read too many heartbreaking stories from other IF girls who have suffered early losses. Even though this pregnancy doesvt seem 100% real to me yet the thought of losing our little miracle seems completely unbearable. I am already stupidly so attached and so in love. This tiny little being has my whole heart and there's nothing I wouldn't do for it. I know that probably sounds over dramatic but it's how I feel. And once again here I sit with no control over what happens. All I can do is pray and hope for the best and try to stay positive. So that's what I'll do....

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The results are in....

Sorry that I've fallen off the blogosphere. (Is that a word?). The last few days have been some of the hardest of my life. My first beta was Wednesday morning. I was a nervous wreck going in. Sweet Jo took my blood and Jenny and Brian came over to study me to see if I looked pregnant. :)  Jenny told me that if I wanted to know the results she would tell me but that they basically didn't mean anything until we see what happens on Friday. I told her I didn't know what I wanted to do and id let her know. My thoughts on this was which was worse. Getting a positive today and having it drop on Friday. Or just hearing it's negative today. After a few hours of debate as I sat at my desk doing absolutely no work I decided just to let it go. I considered it another step in turning over control to God. Needlesss to say Wed and Thurs were the longest days of my life. I thought of nothing else and obsessed over every symptom and lack of symptom.  I'm not sure how I survived but somehow Friday morning came. I spent the morning in tears. Just feeling absolutely terrified that we were going to get bad news. Finally it was time to go. I thought id walk in and take one look at Jenny and know. But she was very even keel. As we walked to the blood draw area I broke down and told her that she had to tell me the results from Wed. She said that it was positive, but low. I asked how low and she said 12. My heart sank. I know enough to know that's not a good sign. I immediately got upset and Jenny immediately put a stop to my pitty party. She told me that she's had patients with lower betas than that stay pregnant and we just need to see how it looks today. She reinforced that this is exactly why they don't give out 1st betas. So I took a deep breath and she promised to call as soon as she had the results. 

Luckily our baby girl puppy dog had a Vet appointment to get all of her annual shots so that was a great distraction. I left the clinic and headed to her appointment. I just prayed so hard that God would provide a miracle. I didn't call D or my mom to tell them the results of he first beta. Instead of worrying them both I just decided to wait and see what happens. And boy am I glad I did. 

Jenny called on our way home from the Vet with the announcement that God had heard our prayers. My beta was at 59 and had more than doubled since Wednesday. Doctor said it was rising beautifully. Jenny asked if I wanted to schedule a third beta for next week explaining that Doctor said he didn't feel it was necessary but it was up to me. I if course said yes and we scheduled it for Tuesday morning. 

So for now I am pregnant. The last 24 hours I have hit every possible emotion. Devastation, elation, fear, panic, heartache, worry, happiness, and finally so much love for this living being that's growing (actually growing!!) inside me. After hearing the news I stopped to buy the digital test in the picture above because I just had to see it. 

I know that there is so far to go on this journey. And trust me the fear of what could happen is all to alive and present within me. But I feel like our little embryo fought so hard to hang on and make it to this point and I am going to fight for it. So we take it one step at a time. We get to Tues and hope the numbers have continued to increase. Once we get that confirmation then we'll look ahead to the six week ultrasound. Until then I am feeling unbelievably grateful and filled with hope. Thanks you all so much for the prayers and support. This blog had been a life raft to cling to throughout this storm. I ask that you please continue to pray for us and our little miracle as we navigate this very scary time of early pregnancy. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

To test or not to test.......

Okay, so the Crazy Train is off the rails today.  I am literally sick to my stomach with anxiety and worry over my first Beta tomorrow.  I have really started to feel like maybe I should just take a test so I can be prepared.  I think I've told you guys before that my clinic typically doesn't give results until after the 2nd Beta which for me would be on Friday.  But since me and Nurse Jenny are long lost best friends she said she would call me with the results of my first one tomorrow.  So I'm sure I'll be at work when I get that phone call.  D does not want us to test at home because the clinic told us that HPT's aren't always accurate.  So for him it's just cut and dry - we wait.  But it's completely driving me insane.

Help! Did you all test at home before your Betas?  I'm 9dp3dt today.  I think from what I've read your beta has to be 40 for a regular test to detect it and 25 for a FRT?  Is that right?

Monday, February 17, 2014

All Aboard!

Well we are 8dp3dt.  So I made it a couple days longer than last cycle before I chased down the Crazy Train and jumped on.  Yesterday I woke up and my OHSS was significantly better.  This morning I'm down 4 of the almost 7 lbs I gained.  So great news right?  WRONG.  I'm now convinced that since my symptoms have improved none of the embryos implanted and this cycle is another failure.  Technically I think I could start testing from home today and get a postivie result (if there was one to see).  So of course I'm fighting that battle as well.  I really want to wait for my Beta but then on the other hand I know I'll be getting the call at work and it's not like I really need to have another emotional breakdown in the office.  I've done such a good job of staying postive this cycle and I really was convinced it worked.  Now my feelings have completey flip flopped.  The 2ww is seriously one of the most awful forms of torture a woman can go through.

I really don't have any symptoms.  My boobs are a little sore but nothing major.  I'm still have some very mild cramping or "pulling" sensensation.  Sometimes I think I am feeling like I'm going to start my period.  Oh I did notice a teeny tiny amount of spotting on Day 5 after 3 day transfer which *should* have been when the embryos were implanting.  However if I wasn't a crazy toliet paper nazi I wouldn't have even noticed since it was so barely visable.

Really that is about all.  I have been super tired lately because I've been battling a cold but last night I stayed up until almost 10pm so I can't even say that might be a symptom.  So I guess I'll just be riding around in circles on this train until I get my beta results.  I'm still not letting myself think ahead to what happens if this cycle fails.  I'm trying desperately to hold on to some of the positivity I've been feeling up until now which is difficlut when the train is speeding down the tracks out of control.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

3dp3dt and OHSS?

Well I'm three days in to the 2ww and feeling pretty miserable.  I think I have a mild case of OHSS.  I still am feeling really "full".  Just as much as I was before retrieval.  I've had some shortness of breath and abdominal pain.  I'm up almost 4 lbs.  I've been pushing the Gatorade and trying to eat salty foods (this is harder than it sounds!) per Nurse Jenny's instructions.  Obviously if this cycle works the discomfort will all be worth it.

Hopefully today my little embryos are blastocysts and tomorrow they will start attaching to my uterus!  Come on little ones!!  I am praying so hard for all three of you.

I also need to follow up with the clinic to check on the remaining embryos.  I know the chances of any of them being frozen was very slim.  But I'd like to know for certain what happened to each of the other three.

In the meantime there's not much to do but try and avoid getting aboard the Crazy Train.  Last cycle I did pretty well until about day 6.  Let's hope I can make it longer this time because that isn't good for anyone (especially my poor husband).  As of right now I have decided not to test and I'm going to follow my clinic's recommendation of not getting results until the 2nd Beta.  There's been so many of my blog friends lately that had a positive 1st Beta that then decreased by their 2nd.  I'm beginning to understand a little bit more why it's my clinic's policy to wait until the 2nd Beta to tell you the results.  My first one is scheduled for a week from today and the second is the Friday after.  We'll see if I can resist the urge to POAS.....

Three days down.........

Monday, February 10, 2014


One Day Past Three Day Transfer

Happy Monday!  I'm spending this COLD Midwestern Monday on the couch with my bestie. 

My clinic recommends bed rest for 24 hours so technically mine is done around 10am this morning. But I took the whole day off and just plan on taking it easy. My parents and my best friend are both stopping by to keep me company so hopefully that will help the day go fast and be good distractions. I've spent the majority of my morning on Dr. Google. I know, I know. It's a sick addiction. I've also been going back through all my blogger friends transfer posts to see how many and what grade embryos they transferred. I realize this is counter productive but I can't seem to help myself. It will definitely be good to get back to work and in my routine. 

I also realized I didn't post pictures yesterday. So here are the beautiful pictures of our babies :) 

I know our embryos weren't perfect but they look absolutely perfect to me! I'm completely in love with each of them and  I'm praying so hard for them every day.  Grow babies grow !

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Going for the "Gold"

I titled this blog post in the spirit of the Winter Olympics that D is currently obsessed with. I don't think we've watched anything else since they started. I'm secretly looking forward to being home alone tomorrow on modified bedrest and watching hours of HGTV. 

So after the phone call from the clinic this morning we headed in for transfer basically blind. We had no idea how many embryos we had left or their quality. The embryologist came in to see us as soon as we were settled in the room. As soon as she sat down she told us that we were in a much better situation than last time. Out of our 6 that fertilized normally we had 1 3 cell and 1 4 cell. On day 3 they should be between 7-10 cells. So those were more than a day behind and they would let them go to day 6 but felt pretty strongly they wouldn't catch up. Then we had a 12 cell embryo. She explained that this one was pretty "fast" and often times when they are that far ahead they can't "turn off" the dividing. Once again they will continue to monitor it but the odds aren't good. So that left us with 3. We had 2 7 cell embryos and 1 9 cell.  The 9 cell was our best one and had very very little fragmentation. One of the 7 cells also looked good with only a little fragmentation. The other 7 cell was graded a 3 which means it had more than 25% fragmentation which greatly decreases the chances of implantation. Based on this information they recommended we transfer all three. 

Honestly I was shocked at this suggestion. During our consult they made it really clear that it's very rare for them to transfer more than 2. We talked about how the embryos are thought to do better in groups. The embryologist basically explained it that the embryos "talk" to the uterus telling it that they are there so it can respond accordingly. So even if #3 isn't a strong contender it *could* be healthy enough to still "talk" to my uterus and help the other 2. 

D and I took a couple minutes to talk things over but we were on the same page. We understood that the chance of all 3 implanting was very very slim and instead of just letting that 1 die we felt better about using it to help its "siblings". If by some crazy miracle all three implant than we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I trust in Gods plan and am putting my faith in him. 

So all that being said the transfer itself went well. They said the embryos were placed right where they wanted them. So now we wait. My first Beta is scheduled for Feb 19th and my second for the 21st. Obviously this feels like forever. You know the drill. 

I'm trying not to think about the fact that we won't have any embryos to freeze. I'm not even going to let myself go there right now. I'm choosing to think we have none to freeze because this is going to work for us. (Please God). 

So my day on the couch continues. I'm trying to talk D into taking a break from the Olympics and watching a movie.  Is anyone else super confused by some of these events? (We just finished watching the one where they are skiing and then stop and shoot guns?!  What?) 

Thinking sticky thoughts and saying lots of prayers for our babies. To quote my girl Kasey I'm PUPO - Pregnant UNLESS Proven Otherwise. Positivity people :)

Transfer Update

Well the clinic just called and said we are on for transfer today (Day 3). Which means we have less than 5 embryos left. Sigh. I knew statistically that the chances of all 6 making it were slim but you can't help but hope. The nurse didn't have any information on how many embryos remain or their quality. They will tell us that when we get there. So even though I'm feeling terrified and sick to my stomach I'm praying so hard that there are 4 good quality embryos still growing and dividing. I'm trying not to think about (and mourn) the 2 that we lost. I know they weren't meant to be. But they were me and D and it's still feels like a loss. 

So this is when I need to take a minute and pull it together. Give those doubts and fears to God and focus on being positive that this IS our time and WILL work for us. All we need is one and hope is never lost. 

If you have some extra prayers for our embabies please send them our way. I'll update after transfer. Thanks you for your love and support. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

All Your Eggs In One Basket

Someone mentioned the saying "Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket" today.  I accidentally snorted out loud.  I don't think any other phrase could better describe what we do with IVF.  I'm definitely feeling today that all my eggs are in 1 basket - that being the lab at my clinic.

We got the fertilization report today.  Out of our 12 eggs, 10 were mature, and 6 have currently fertilized normally.  Compared to the 1 we had left at this point last time that is a huge win.  They have tentatively set us up for a Day 3 transfer which would be Sunday morning.  They will check on the embryos again that morning and if 5 or 6 are still developing as they should be they will push us to Day 5 (Tuesday).  The statistics and odds are against that happening, but I am praying so hard for all 6 of our embryos.  And I'm so grateful for the improved results that we've seen this cycle so far!  I trust that God is watching over our little embabies and have faith that he will take care of them.  I can tell you that my load has been much lighter this cycle by making the conscience effort to turn my worries and fear over to Him.  Every time I start to to feel overwhelmed by all of the bad things that *could* happen I have stopped and given it all to Him.  For that relief alone I am so grateful.

One more milestone down.  Now it's praying praying praying that our babies are growing strong and getting ready for this next step.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Retrieval #2

Im blogging from my spot on the couch with the fire going and my 95lb fur baby keeping my feet warm. Retrieval this morning went well. Just so I don't keep you in suspense I'll get it out there. We got 12 eggs. Which is 4 more than last time. I am...happy with this. With 18 follicles on Monday I was hoping for a few more eggs. But I have to remind myself that my diagnosis is going to limit not only how many eggs We get but also the quality.  12 sounds really good until you start doing the math of how many will be mature, how many will fertilize, and how many will grow and develop normally. But those are all things out of my control. What I can control is taking care of my body and staying strong mentally and spiritually. So that's what I'll focus on right now. 

We got to the clinic today and they took me right back. I put my gown on and filled out all the paperwork and then Jenny came in to get my IV started. Everyone stopped by to say hello and check on us. Even Dr. H!  Then Brian the embryologist came and got Derek to go do his part. They were waiting on the anesthesiologist so the girls took turns keeping me company. D actually made it back before they took me to the OR. As he walked back in the room I loudly asked "What have you been doing?!"  Everyone got a good laugh out of that including D. He told the girls he may be getting a little TOO comfortable in that room. :)

Finally the anesthesiologist showed up and asked me a few questions and then we were ready to go. The girls took me back to the OR got me settled and then the next thing I knew I was feeling pretty woozy. I woke up in recovery and D was already back there with me. I immediately asked how many eggs they got and they told me 11. Then a couple minutes later Dr. H stuck his head in and told us there were actually 12. Evidently one was hiding. Whatever I'll take it!

We were out the door heading home 30 min later.  So now we wait (I wish I had a dollar for every time I said or wrote that !). They will call us tomorrow and let us know how our embryos are doing. I'm praying so hard that they will grow and develop. If we make it to 5 day transfer it will be Tues.  My clinic's policy is only to go to 5 day if there's 5 or more embryos growing and developing normally. That seems like a lot for me but I'm staying hopeful. 

Thank you so much for all of the kind words and support leading up to today. I'm so very grateful for our 12 eggs and am praying so hard for good quality healthy embabies. Try #2 here we go!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

IVF #2 Trigger

I had my second ultrasound yesterday and the majority of my follicles were measuring 17mm so I got the all clear to trigger last night.  We did the HCG shot at 10:30pm and retrieval will be tomorrow at 9am.  I am ready to get things moving.

I wish I could put in to words how I"m feeling this time compared to last.  Some of it is much the same and some of it is completely different.  I am definitely feeling hopeful and excited but in a different way than the first time.  This time I know what we are up against and while the more aggressive protocol seems to have improved our results so far, I also know now that I won't rest easy until we get the fertilization report.  There's just so much that can go wrong happen between retrieval and transfer.  And even if by some miracle we happen to get a BFP I've had 2 blog friends just this week who's 2nd Beta came back lower and they experienced chemical pregnancies.  I know we all talk about this a lot but infertility seems to completely rob you of the joy and bliss that SHOULD come with pregnancy.  Because we know so much it seems impossible to shake the worry and fear.  So this time I am really trying to focus on taking one day at a time.

My mom recently sent me this amazing gift and I've been wearing it since starting STIM drugs.

The one thing I did learn from our first failure with IVF is that I'm stronger than I thought.  I survived the disappointment and loss and we picked ourselves up and tried again.  And I will do that again if I have to.  Not to say that I won't be devastated and heartbroken because I will.  But I also know deep in my heart that I am MEANT to be a mother.  And I'm not ready to give up yet.

So for now I'll hope and pray for a successful retrieval of LOTS of healthy mature eggs.  I will be strong for myself and for D.  I will be positive and believe that this will work for us.  And I'll look forward to our future and not behind at our loss.  And regardless of the outcome I will go on.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cycle Day 9 Ultrasound

~*~*~*~*~*~* 18 Follicles!!!! ~*~*~**~*~*~~*~

Oh my gosh I can not believe that I'm even writing this.  This morning I had my ultrasound to see how I was responding to the stim drugs and there were 18 (!) follicles!  I am in complete shock.  Me, with my rotten eggs and my "poor responder" diagnosis.  Wow.  I'll back track and tell you about the appointment.

I had told D that he didn't need to come with me today.  He's missed so much work due to all of these appointments and he'll need to be off again for retrieval and transfer.  I felt good about that decision last night but as I was driving to the clinic this morning I started to get really nervous.  I reminded myself for the 1,000th time to give all of my doubts, worries, and fear to God.  So I tried that all morning and even though I was still nervous it did help.  I just prayed and tried to keep my thoughts as positive as possible.  Finally they called me back for the ultrasound.  I confessed to Jolene my nurse that I was feeling a little nervous.  She told me that with this protocol the follicles might be slightly smaller than the last cycle and that was expected and good.  The goal is to grow more and at an even rate.  So I was glad she told me that.  Then Dr. H came in and we got down to business.  I heard him say that my lining was at a 8, which is where it needs to be so that was good news.  Then he found my right ovary and started rattling off numbers.  I had a 20mm follicle and a 17mm and then he started saying 15, 15, 13, 13, 13, and he just kept going.  There were 13 follicles on the right side.  So amazing considering I had 5 on the right side and 4 on the left last cycle.  Then we moved to the left side, which is evidently my slacker ovary.  There were only 5 follicles but they were all 13mm.  So that gave us a total of 18!  Once again I'm just in shock and so thankful and filled with hope that this cycle will be better than last time.  I know we still have a ways to go.  Not all of the follicles will  have eggs and not all of the eggs will be mature.  But I'm hopeful to have more embabies than last time if we have more eggs to start with.

So I'll go back for another ultrasound tomorrow morning and they acted like we might trigger Tuesday night for a Wednesday retrieval.  I guess we'll see where we are tomorrow.

Once again it's not in my control so I will turn it all over to God and trust in his plan.  If you have any extra prayers to give this week I'd appreciate you sending them our way!