Sunday, November 11, 2012

I've been a Slacker...

I have been a bad blogger. I'm sorry for the lack of updates, I'm going to try to be better.

Both babies are doing good, but this nausea has really been kicking my ass. I have about one really bad day a week where I can't keep anything down and have to cancel my clients, and I've been to the doctor twice for excessive vomiting.
Last week we had a bit of a scare because I started spotting and cramping. They took us right away for an ultrasound at the OBs office and everything was fine. My doctor said it was probably from my violent puke sessions (I threw up twice while there) and told me to take it easy, take my phenergan every 3.5 hours, try to sleep a bit, and if I was still throwing up that night to head to the hospital for fluids. Luckily it didn't get to that point and I felt better after more meds and a nap.
The upside was that we got to see the babies again. Both had heart rates of 164... And I got to see them move!

I'm at 12 weeks already and had to cave yesterday and buy some maternity pants... eeep! I can't believe it!... But things are definitely growing. I'm having my NT scan done next week andI'm hoping we get an early guess at genders because the suspense is killing me. Patrick is convinced that they're both boys and that they are his good luck charms. He is a Notre Dame fanatic and they've gone undefeated so far. He says it's because I'm growing their future star players. He actually rubs my belly and tells them to grow strong so they can play for Notre Dame one day... It's pretty sweet.

I can't believe how quickly time is going by. We've decided that I'm going to stop working after Christmas, which is only 7 weeks away! It's been bitter-sweet making my clients' last appointments with me and I know it's going to be rough when I'm actually doing their hair for the last time for who knows how long. With the holidays being so hectic, it's going to be here before I know it!

Speaking of the holidays... I'm both excited and nervous for Thanksgiving. I'm nervous because of the above mentioned nausea. I'm so excited for the food, but I'm worried I won't be able to stomache much of it. I'm having some MAJOR food aversions... mainly to meat. I can handle small amounts mixed with other things, but I haven't really had any meat in about 5 weeks.
Veggies are iffy. Sometimes I want them, sometimes the thought turns my stomache. I've been sustaining myself, for the most part, on potatoes, pb&j sandwiches, pasta, crackers, and cereal. (Thank goodness for cereal! It's about the only variety I get.)
My doctor says my nausea should start getting better now that I'm heading into my second trimester, but that it could hang around until twenty weeks... or even beyond! I'm praying it goes away soon and that I can enjoy the Thanksgiving feast. More importantly, I want to be able to stop the meds.
My nausea medicine makes me constipated (horribly so), and my constipation medicine makes me nauseous. My "super" nausea medicine is a suppository... and it gives my diarrhea... within ten minutes.
At least I'm off the progesterone and estrogen. I stopped earlier this week without any issues. My butt cheeks are very thankful for the stop.

Everything is progressing... and FAST. Sometimes I still have a hard time believing its real.

Thank You, God, for this amazing gift You're giving us.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Welcome To Pukey Town

Who-ever decided to name "morning sickness" should be kicked in the shins. The name is misleading and offers a false hope for relief.
This is not just limited to the morning... it lasts all day.
I had been somewhat nauseous right around the time I first got my BFP, but I'm thinking that was more related to the low blood sugar attacks I sometimes get when I don't eat like I should. Once I started eating better, the nausea went away. Then, last Thursday, as I was reaching to turn off the water in the shower, this wave of nausea came over me and all I could do was think "Oh no!", grab a towel, and try not to bust ass as I lunged for the toilet.
That nausea has been with me ever since. And nothing I do really seems to help it. If I don't eat, I just get hunger nausea on top of the other nausea, and if I do eat, the food just feels like its sitting in my stomach until it makes me sick. About the only thing that doesn't make me feel sick is fruit, but that doesn't do much about my hunger.
Thank goodness I had an appointment with my OB today and he has prescribed me some Zofran so we'll see how that works. I would have preferred to find a natural remedy, but at this point I just need to EAT!
I do keep reminding myself that the morning sickness is a good sign, and, honestly, I will take this times a billion to have healthy babies.

On a positive note, we got to hear the heartbeats this week!! It was the most amazing thing! Baby A is measuring great, Baby B is about 2 days behind, but both had heart rates of 119bpm on Tuesday, which is awesome. At today's ultrasound, B was still measuring two days behind, with a heart rate of 122, and A had a heart rate of 139, still perfect for where they are.
Baby B's sac looks a lot smaller than A's, which sort of worried us a bit. The technician and doctor assured us that everything looked great and, since B is further from the cervix, it might just be a bit more difficult to get a good picture of him/her.
Speaking of him or her... I have had a feeling from the beginning that we have a boy and a girl. My mom feels the same way and some of my friends have also mentioned it. Patrick says its two boys... but I figured that was more just wishful thinking on his part. At the OB appointment today, my doctor said he's putting his money on two boys (I'm guessing he's going by the heart rates). Now I don't know what to think!

Today's appointment proved informative in a lot of ways!
We went over the list of all the things I can't do or eat. All the tests they recommend and how often I'll be seen. How much weight I should gain... 35lbs if anyone's wondering, which actually surprised me because it seems like not very much for twins and I'm starting out at 118.
My OB also told me that I have a zero percent chance at a vaginal delivery, and that there is only one doctor in the area that he knows of that will even attempt a vaginal with twins. He says the risk of something happening is much too high and he prefers for everyone to be safe... so C-section it is.
My due date is May 24, but my "goal date" is May 3 (37 weeks). I'm also not going to be allowed to work past 28 weeks and will probably go on modified bed-rest at that point. Since I'm a hairdresser, he said he might have me stop working as early as 20 weeks, depending on how big I'm getting and how my cervix is holding up.
All this information was a bit unexpected to me, and it really made me think about how drastically everything is going to change... and how SOON! I could potentially need to stop working in three months! It was a little overwhelming.
Twenty weeks will put me at the end of December, which is my busiest time of year, so I'll probably be ready to quit by then! At least it will give me plenty of time to get ready for the twins.

Thank You, God, for the wonderful gifts You have given us. Please keep my babies strong, healthy, and growing inside my uterus until May.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fuck You, Infertility

Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Sorry for the lack of posts lately... these last couple weeks are totally new territory for me and I'm not really sure how to handle everything. 

First, let me say- I know that most of you who read this are struggling with infertility too. I know how difficult it is to hear about someone else getting pregnant. I hope that most of you will continue reading, but I understand if some of you don't. I pray for you all every night. I hope every one of you gets your little miracle very soon.

We all know infertility fucks with you... completely changes the way you think, the way you act. I'm so excited for this pregnancy, but I'm so incredibly worried about every step of it, despite my efforts to just enjoy it. First it was having a positive beta, then having it double, then having it continue to rise, then is the pregnancy in the right place, finding a heartbeat, getting out of the first trimester, etc. It seems too good to be true.
We've already told our parents the good news. Since we've been open about our struggles and our treatments, they knew we were getting the results soon and we couldn't keep it secret for too long. Luckily, we were able to still surprise them. Since my birthday was on the 18th, we invited all the family over on the Sunday before and made the announcement. It was really awesome. My mom cried, my grandma cried, Patrick's mom cried... I cried. Everyone was so excited.
Buuuut.... after everyone left, Patrick apparently thought it was okay to tell everyone else... so he posted the announcement on Facebook. I was pissed.
Then, since he had put it on Facebook, his mom told his entire extended family. And my grandma told my entire extended family.
At this point, pissed was an understatement.
Don't they know its still too early? Don't they know how precarious everything is at this point? Don't they know how much can still go wrong?
This type of thinking is the result of four and a half years of infertility.
I don't want to think like this.
So I decided I won't be mad at Patrick for telling Facebook that I'm pregnant. I won't be upset that our entire family knows.
Patrick is so excited and I know he just wants to share it. He doesn't know about what could happen, so he doesn't worry about it.

Last Friday we had our first ultrasound. Even though I had an appointment for an ultrasound with my OB for the following Tuesday, anxiety got the better of me, and I made an appointment for an U/S with my fertility clinic here in Houston. I was 5 weeks exactly so I didn't expect to hear a heartbeat, but I just wanted to make sure everything was were it was suppose to be.
It was!

There was a second sac, but it was much smaller than this one. The tech said it could go either way, but she didn't even measure it, so we figured she wasn't expecting it to make it. Beta that day came back at 3321, so my doubling time had slowed to about 43 hours, which is awesome, but it made me wonder if the other had in fact stopped growing.

Yesterday was my appointment with the OB. Patrick had the day off since our closing on the house was scheduled for that afternoon (YAY! Finally!!!). Good thing we had the time because my OB was running 45 minutes behind! Luckily, we didn't have to wait that long for the ultrasound, though, and they called us back after about 10 minutes. This is what we saw almost immediately:

In only four days, the one little sac had caught up to the other one! We are having twins!!

It was still too early to see a heartbeat, which worried Patrick, and I have to go back again next week to confirm heartbeats, but everything is looking great so far!
I really feel better knowing that they are still growing.
I'm still anxious about seeing the heartbeats next week because I know that its a HUGE milestone. Once we reach that point, the doctor said chance of miscarriage falls dramatically.
So until then, I have to remind myself not to let my "infertility brain" get the better of me. I am still staying away from Dr. Google. I will not look up statistics, or worse-case-scenarios. I will not think about the what-ifs. I will not be angry at anyone for sharing our news.
I have faith that everything will work out.

Thank You, God, for giving us these precious miracles. Please keep my babies strong, healthy, and growing inside my uterus for the next nine months.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Day 14- 9dp5dt
Goal- to get a positive beta
Met?- yes
Mood- all over the place
Symptoms- more nauseous, tired... but having trouble sleeping, headache, heartburn, burpy
POAS?- yes
Report- yesterday I started feeling nauseous, today it's worse. My blood sugar can be screwy, and I get really nauseous when it gets low, so I'm not wanting to call this morning sickness just yet, but today I went for my second beta and it was 221! It quadrupled! I'm wondering if the quick (super fast) rise is what's contributing to my symptoms.
I was a bit worried that a 24hr doubling time might be too fast (I'm refraining from allowing myself to google molar pregnancies) but the doctor is thrilled with my numbers and thinks I might have more than one growing in there. He wants me to get an ultrasound late next week/ early the following week, once my numbers get over 1500, to make sure everything is where it should be. It will probably be too early to see much, but I'm really excited!
Since I've been driving from Houston to Dallas for the study, he is allowing me to start going to my OB/Gyn here instead of making the drive up to Dallas. I'm assuming they'll want to see me at least one more time before I'm officially released, but I'm glad they're making it easy on me.

Our parents all know we're doing IVF/FET, so we will be announcing the good news to our family this weekend at my "birthday" celebration. I'd like to wait until the ultrasound when everything won't be so uncertain, but everyone is starting to ask if we know yet and I HATE lying about it... Especially to my mom.

We're going to have a lot going on next week!!

Thank You, God, for giving us this amazing gift. Please keep my babies strong and growing in my uterus for the next nine months. 
Please give us strength next week and let everything work out with our house.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Day 13- 8dp5dt
Goal- to not obsess
Met?- not so much
Mood- okayish
Symptoms- headache, tired, nauseous, some brownish spotting, heartburn
POAS?- yes
Report- I don't know why I try to kid myself. Not obsess? Me? Yeah.Friggin.Right. It's what I do! I should have learned by now that when I try to shut away the crazy it just busts the door down and comes rushing out in an all consuming tidal wave of psychoness. But if I put in a mental doggy door, the crazy has to squeeze out a little at a time and the flow is controlled. 
So I've allowed myself to test twice a day... With FMU and in the afternoon when I get home. It's comforting to me to see the progression and it's been amazing how quickly my tests have gotten DARK! I've found that my afternoon tests are usually much darker than my morning tests. 
And I do check and recheck them about a million times a day. It's no big deal when I'm home alone, but when Patrick comes home I have to make up reasons to go upstairs at random times. I'm crazy, I know.
The only thing I've done good not stressing over is spotting. I noticed a bit of old blood spotting on the TP last night, and it's been sporadic through the day today, but I know it's normal, could be from implantation, and unless it picks up, I'm not worried.
My second beta is tomorrow so I'm praying for a good doubling time. When I finally spoke to the nurse yesterday she originally said I didn't need another beta until Tuesday (WHAAAAT?!) but she called today and said I could go tomorrow.

Also, totally off topic, but do not EVER EVER EVER go through Wells Fargo to buy a house! It has been an absolute nightmare. We rented the house from the sellers when the bank delayed closing by a month a week before the contract was up, after a 45 day closing period. We rented so that we could move when we had anticipated and so the sellers wouldn't pull the contract.
Three days before the second closing date, the bank told us closing was going to cost $5000 more than they told us, so we had to delay for another two weeks until Patrick got his bonus. 
Now, we are suppose to close on Monday and the lady from the bank called today to tell us there are more "conditions" that need to be met, and we need to give them bank statements to show we have the money to close. Um, helllllloooo! We don't have the money... That's why we delayed. We will have the money after midnight tomorrow, but that's not going to show on the bank statements!
Please pray for us that it works out. I don't think the sellers will extend again... We put the offer in at the end of May!!!

Thank You, God, for the amazing blessing You have given us. Please keep my babies strong and growing in my uterus for the next nine months.
Please, please God, let everything work out with the bank so we can close on this hou

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Day 12- 7dp5dt
Goal- no forums or FertilityFriend today
Met?- so far, so good
Mood- good, but irritable
Symptoms- yes... still tired, slight cramps, heartburn, nauseous... well, just a generally unhappy tummy
POAS?- yes
Report- Beta day today! My beta is at 56.4! Not too shabby for 12dpo. I go back Friday to re-check and I'm praying for a good doubling time.
That's all for now... I'm trying to limit my online time today so I'm not tempted to Google, BetaBase, etc., but I'll have more later.

Thank You, God, for this amazing blessing. Please keep my babies strong and growing inside my uterus.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Day 11- 6dp5dt
Goal- to change something today
Met?- yes
Mood- great
Symptoms- hellacous heartburn, still tired, hungry
POAS?- yes
Report- Two things changed today. The first is not a big deal... I changed my beta appointment from Friday to tomorrow... the second is much more significant.
I actually feel pregnant. Not in the symptomy, nauseous type of way, but in the "I am actually pregnant" type of way.
It has taken so long to get here, I've been very guarded and I don't think I actually accepted what those two lines really mean until this afternoon. It just didn't feel like it was really happening to me.
I'm still worried that something could happen... and probably will continue to be worried... but I am determined to enjoy this time.

Thank you, everyone for the congrats and support. It really means a lot to me. I pray for each and every one of you as well.

Now, as requested, some test pictures!

I didn't post these yesterday because my FMU tests were so faint I didn't think they would even show up on the pictures. Isn't the digi beautiful? No questioning that result!
Seeing that word pop up on that test was the moment that changed how I was feeling. I actually gasped and said to myself, "I am pregnant."
When I showed it to Patrick he said, "Well, I guess its official now, huh?"

My first beta is tomorrow at 10am. I'm praying for a good, strong number.

Thank You, God, for this amazing blessing! Please keep my babies strong and growing inside my uterus for the next nine months.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Manly Monday- A Quick Rundown on Patrick

I've been following Stupid Stork's blog and love her idea of Manly Monday.... Giving little insights into our marriage and husbands... So I'm excited to join in.

How do I begin describing him? 
He is exactly my opposite in nearly every way. He is the out-going, loud, party-loving, jock type I never expected to get along with so well. He mades me laugh every single day.
We met when I was 18 and he was 22. We both worked at Macaroni Grill (I was a hostess, he was a waiter/bartender) and he was always making me laugh. He flirted with me and asked me out a few times, and though I was interested, I was weary because he was a typical frat boy and I didn't want to just be a piece of ass to him. So when we finally did hang out, and he tried to kiss me, I straight-up turned my face and snubbed him! You would think he'd give up after that, but he didn't. The next time he just got me drunk and the rest is history!

Patrick has voices that he does for the dogs. Each dog has its own voice... Foxy is a southern belle, the puppies are British because he couldn't figure out how to do the Australian accent for our Australian shepards, and my sister's 150 pound white lab has a smooth talking black guy voice that refers to himself as "White Chocolate". 
It is so hilarious when he talks for the dogs! He will literally make me laugh until I cry.

Patrick is also a STAUNCH Republican. You want to get my man fired up? Talk politics. 

My husband cannot remember what happened five minutes ago, but he knows and remembers where nearly every football player went to college, their stats, and sometimes where they went to high school! He can quote movie lines all day, and knows the names of actors and actresses and what they've been in. When we go to a restaurant, he ALWAYS remembers the waiter/waitresses name. 

The best way to Patricks heart, is through his ego. He is as vain and image conscious as most women. Once, we were in a hurry and he came out to ask me how a pair of jeans looked on him. He had lost some weight and was between his "skinny" clothes and his "heavy" clothes and the jeans were from the "skinny" closet... so they were a bit tight. I knew that if I said anything negative it would be a while before we got out of the house so I told him, "They make your package look good."
He wore those jeans every chance he got!
If I want to get my way, I compliment how big his muscles are, or how sexy he looks in a particular shirt. Now, I love how big his muscles are and he is positively yummy in certain shirts... But I try not to stroke his ego all the time because his head would get so big it might explode.

Despite how "manly" my man tries to be, he SUCKS at doing anything handy. I would not allow him the hang Christmas lights for two years because we didn't have health insurance. I still do not allow power saws at the house without my dad's supervision. I came home one day and he was so excited that he had fixed one of our drawer fronts that had fallen off in the kitchen. When I walked in, that drawer was so friggin crooked, but he was so proud of his work. 

My 6'3", 240 pound husband is absolutely terrified of bugs... especially spiders. He will not even get close enough to spray them with bug spray and shrieks when he sees one. 

Speaking of shrieking... we play a game called "Danger!". It's simple... We try to scare each other, but instead of yelling "boo!" we yell "danger!" because when you hear danger, you automatically think danger, and it makes it that much scarier. My favorite place to get Patrick is in the shower. I sneak in, rip the shower curtain open, and yell "danger!!!" then laugh my ass off when Patrick curls into himself, lifts his leg to protect his delicate man-junk, puts his hands up, and shrieks!
He is still trying to get me back for that one.

There's so much more, but I'll get more into it for our next Manly Monday. Hope you guys have a better idea of the man taking this journey with me.

Thank You, God, for my wonderful husband!


Day 10- 5dp5dt
Goal- to not test before today
Met?- yes
Mood- great
Symptoms- heartburn, tired, bit of cramping
POAS?- yes
Report- last night I dreamed about testing all night. When I woke up, though, I was really nervous to actually do it. I wasn't ready to see a negative test. To give up the wonderful feeling of possibility! I nearly chickened out... I wanted to chicken out. 
In the end, the pull of the pee stick was too much. I caved. 
I peed and dipped one of my numerous Wondfos. I have about 75 of these suckers... 25 from a supposed "bad batch" and 50 replacements the company sent me for free. I also have 2 FRER for beta day. 
Anyone who has ever taken a Wondfo knows that while the test is "developing" it is pretty much unreadable- pink and streaky and not worth watching. So I dipped and came downstairs to let the dogs out. I knew 5dpt is still really early and that my chances of a positive were still pretty low. I was actually half wishing I hadn't tested yet. 
I let the dogs back in and headed upstairs, mentally prepping myself for only one line. 
But there wasn't one line... There were two! 
The test line was faint, but definitely there and I could see it before I even picked the test up! I couldn't believe it! I dipped another test... from the different batch... and ran back downstairs to grab a test I had gotten from the REs office to dip as well. 
Eeep! They all have lines!!
I cannot believe this. It's totally surreal right now.
I know it's still early and anything can happen, but I am so happy right now and I have faith that everything will happen as it should.
This is just so amazing.

Thank You, God, for this amazing miracle You are giving us. Please keep my babies strong and growing in my uterus for the next nine months.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Day 9- 4dp5dt
Goal- to do/try three new things
Met?- somewhat
Mood- good
Symptoms- very tired, a few slight cramps, slight nausea, hungry
POAS?- no
Want to?- yes!
Report- what a coincidence that this is my goal today. This morning, in church, we began a new worship series. With the series comes a daily prayer/devotional booklet. The exciting thing is that Patrick has agreed to follow and participate in the daily devotionals in the booklet! He struggles with religion, so this is a huge step! The devotionals started today, so it is New Thing #1.
New Thing #2 is a bit of a cop-out. I really wanted to try a new recipe or ingredient today, but I have been so tired I couldn't gather the energy to be creative or adventurous. My mom told me about a simple, good marinade for pork chops- its literally just salt, pepper, soy sauce, and olive oil- so I tried it for the first time today. I know it doesn't sound like anything special, but it's really good on the grill, and I hadn't used it before so I guess it counts.
New Thing #3 I'm also really excited about! Mom and I had our first Sewing Sunday! She got me a sewing machine months ago and we have been meaning to start sewing lessons but just haven't gotten around to it. Today was my first lesson. Mom is altering a wedding dress for a lady she works with, so she couldn't give me a really in-depth lesson, but she showed me how to thread the machine, how to work the pedal and the reverse, explained what the knobs did, then handed me some scrap fabric for me to test the different stitches on. I played around with each setting and stitch and she explained what stitch to use for what type of garment/fabric and why. After that she had me practice hemming/seaming so I could get a feel for how to feed the machine and keep it a straight line, and then I practiced how to do button holes... So simple a concept, so fun to do!... For me at least.
All in all I'm proud of my accomplishments today.

I've also been having, what I consider (hope) to be, a weird pregnancy sign.
First, some back-story. Before Patrick and I moved in together I lived by myself and decided to get a dog to keep me company. I ended up with Foxy, a 5 pound Pomeranian made of attitude, fluff, and apparently steel. Foxy has earned the nickname "daredevil dog" because she has fallen off a one story balcony onto a stone porch only to scratch her lip, has nearly been run over by numerous golf carts because she loves the golfers and won't get off the path, run headlong into a puddle that was deeper than she was tall, eaten an entire milk chocolate Easter bunny (she probably had help), set her ass hair ablaze by jumping onto a table and running past a lit candle, and picked a fight with a 150 pound dog that got too close. Nobody fucks with Foxy!
Foxy and Rudy always got along great because he wouldn't mess with her, but when we got the puppies they really overwhelmed her. After everything Foxy has done to herself, her only health issue is having bad knees, which is due to a genetic/breeding thing and she's had them all her life. When the puppies came they wanted to play with her, but they were too rough and really aggravated her knee problems. So, after years of trying to steal Foxy from me, my mom took Foxy, who couldn't be happier!
Back to my original point. Foxy loves me and is always excited when I come over, but she has always been OBSESSED with my mom. The two are pretty much joined at the hip. But for the past two days, Foxy will not leave my side! She has been cuddling and on my lap every chance she gets. And she has to curl up right against me. Even my mom said, "she's obsessed with you. It's like she wants to protect those babies."
I know it probably sounds a bit hokey, but it is my first "sign" that I can't blame on the progesterone or discount as someone saying something because they know what's going on.
So I think I might just go ahead and test tomorrow. I'm nervous, and I may just chicken out, but I'm hopeful.
Wish me luck!

Please, God, keep my babies strong and growing in my uterus.


Day 8- 3dp5dt
Goal- to have our neighbor over for dinner
Met?- yes
Mood- good... but irritable
Symptoms- tired, cramps, random hot flashes, somewhat irritable
POAS?- no
Want to?- kind of
Report- I know, I know, I didn't post yesterday... But I'll do two today to make up for it.
I actually had a pretty full day yesterday. It was really nice and it took my mind off testing (which is getting more difficult to deny). My mom and I had made plans to get up early and go the the little farmers market by us to get some good, fresh food for dinner that night. The market is only open on Saturdays from 8-12 so we wanted to get there before 9.
I get my non-morning person ways from my mom, so I wasn't really surprised when she called me at 9:30, just as I was waking up, to tell me she had just gotten up as well. Needless to say, we got there at 11 and there wasn't much left. We did manage to get some nice squashes, some farm-fresh eggs, and some fresh bread, but I wish we had gotten there earlier. We went to HEB for the other things we needed and headed to my mom's house to marinate the steaks, watch a chick flick, and start the prep for dinner. Why not go to my house, you ask? Because it was Saturday... which means college football... which means Notre Dame... which means Patrick is a raving lunatic who cannot be reasoned with, shouldn't be disturbed, and will not do anything besides watch football. So to my mom's house we went.
Now, about my goal for today. Before Patrick and I moved into our current house it was vacant for a few months. The lady next door, Barbara, was keeping an eye on it and I met her the first time our realtor showed me the house because the realtor was having some trouble with the Supra box and Barbara came over to let us in. I liked her immediately.
After we put the offer in on the house, she let us in to show our parents because both our realtor and the listing agent were on vacation. She was really excited that we were buying the house and asked if we had children. I told her not yet, but hopefully soon, and she promptly informed me that she would be adopting them as grandkids and would be spoiling them since she isn't ever going to have grandkids of her own to spoil.
No questions. No advise. No sympathetic looks, or "look at it this way" statements. She was just excited for us... Complete strangers. Excited and hopeful. I liked her even more.
When we moved in to the house, the first morning there we woke up and found a card from her on the back door welcoming us to the neighborhood, telling us to call if we need anything, and offering to cook us dinner one night! How sweet is that?!
We found out from our other neighbors a few days later that Barbara's son died in a car accident two years ago. They told us she also has a daughter but that she doesn't see too often. They told us that Barbara takes care of everyone on the street, she's always there when you need her, and that she has really been struggling since her son died. (We also learned that Patrick and I have apparently been the gossip of the block and, since we are the youngest couple on the block by nearly 30 years, everyone is excited for us to start a family so there can be kids on the street again!)
So when Barb made us King's Ranch chicken, amazing red velvet cheesecake, and brought us a bottle of Cul-de-Sac wine (because we're part of the Cul-de-sac now!) I promised myself that I would do something nice for her and that we would include her whenever we could.
Yesterday we invited her to come have dinner with us and my parents and grandma (we invited Patrick's parents but they couldn't make it). We all had a really good time eating, drinking wine (I had sweet tea), and chatting. I'm super glad I had the chance to include her and I'm so thankful for all the wonderful people we have in our lives. I'll happily make Barb an honorary grandma!
I'm excited about how many people are excited about our baby! Our little baby/babies are going to have so many people who care about, spoil, and treasure them.

Thank You, God, for the amazing people You have placed in our life. Bless them all and be with them. 

Friday, September 7, 2012


Day 7- 2dp5dt
Goal- to not have to switch to Endometrin 3x a day
Met?- so far
Mood- good
Symptoms- crampy, lots of twinges, headache, tired
POAS?- no
Want to?- getting there
Report- I've decided to stay on the 2ml PIO for the time being. It's been going pretty good with minimal soreness. My nurse told me I could switch to the 1" needles so when I refilled my PIO perscription I had them send me some shorter needles, which I've been using for the past two nights. I must say... I think I prefer the longer ones! The short needles feel like they put the oil too close to the surface. With the longer ones, my soreness is deeper, making it feel more dull. The short ones it hurts right under the skin and the pain is sharper, more stingy. I'll try them for two more days, see if I get better. At least I can move more upper and outer without hitting bone (I think I poked a bit deep a few nights ago... It was not pleasant... Hence the request for the shorter needles)

Aside from that, I have been analyzing... more like over-analyzing... my symptoms. My left side has been very active with cramps and twinges and pokes and pulling. Granted, this IS the sides that had the tube fused to the ovary, so it tends to be quite twingy usually, but I really think this feels different. Maybe.
My right side is more of a constant dull achey, crampy, periody feeling. I don't know what to make of it but I'm still holding on to the thought that it's the babies snuggling in!
I have also been incredibly tired! I have been in bed by 10pm every night this week. As I might have mentioned, I tend to be a night owl, so this behavior is not typical for me. Yes, it's likely the progesterone making me sleepy, but I like to think my body is just tired from accepting and beginning to grow the twins. ;)
As far as the headaches, I'm attributing those to being tired and the meds. 

It's funny the way our brains work sometimes. I've had a lot of twinges and sensations today, but yesterday my cramps were more of the dull, AF variety. Now, I know cramps are to be expected, are totally normal, and could be a good sign, but a small part of me still worried that I was getting my period. It's the same part of my brain that yells "oh no, my embies!" when I sneeze and that told me not to go pee after my transfer, even though my bladder felt ready to explode. The logical part of me knows my embies won't "fall out" and that there is nothing to can do to force or push them out, but that small part still says, "they were outside of you, now they're inside of you, and they can still come back out."
I think most of us who have dealt with infertility have these thoughts and fears. It's the "infertile" part of our brains that tell us these crazy things. Because having dealt with so much disappointment and heartache, having been through so much pain, all we know is worst-case-scenario. The only thing we can do about out infertility brain is not listen to it. Not indulge in its craziness. Sometimes it's hard to quiet that fatalistic little voice, but I'm sure as hell going to do my best.

Oh goodness, it's past 11! No wonder my brain is so foggy... It's LATE!

Thank You, God, for continuing to bless us. Please keep my embryos strong and snuggled into my uterus and give me peace and strength in the weeks to come, no matter what.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Day 6- 1dp5dt
Goal- to be happy/hopeful for this cycle
Met?- yes
Mood- great
Symptoms- crampy
POAS?- no
Want to?- not really
Report- I'm happy today. Totally, incomparably happy. I have so much hope and excitement for this cycle! I know that I might regret it next Friday if we get bad news, but for now I like thinking that it's going to work. This is the furthest we've gotten! 
I also got news today that my third little embie made it to the freeze. That makes 6 little tot-cicles waiting for us... How great is that? 
This is the most at-ease I've felt with our fertility journey in the entire four years and half years that we've been trying. 
God is good.

Thank You, God, for continuing to bless us. Please keep my embryos strong and snuggled into my uterus.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Day 5
Goal- to have transfer today
Met?- yes!!
Mood- amazing!
Symptoms- headache, tired, some slight cramps that I like to think are the embies snuggling in
POAS?- no
Want to?- ...yes
Report- as you may have deduced from my plural use of "embies" above... We are PUPO with TWINS!!! Eeeeep! Here is the first official photo of our future babies

The doctor said he was very happy with our little embies and that he would even be happy only transferring one, but once I saw the pictures of these two I just had to have them both back. Aaaaaand, the embryologist said we have one more that could be frozen tomorrow! God has really blessed us immensely!
Now that I actually have a chance of being pregnant, I'm already getting the urge to test (crazy, I know) and already looking for excuses to ignore my goal of waiting. Ugh... Damn addictive pee sticks! It's going to be a long nine days.
For now I'm lounging on the couch... With my legs propped up (anything to help)... Cuddling with the dogs, and getting excited over cramps. Patrick has already come over once to rub my belly and I've caught him staring at me with a dreamy smile on his face. It's so effin sweet! We are both extremely excited!!

Thank You, God, for Your great gifts and endless blessings. Please help my babies snuggle into my uterus and stay for nine healthy months.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Day 4
Goal: to be able to sleep on my side with no knots from the PIO
Mood: chipper
Symptoms: bit tired
POAS?: no
Want to?: no
Report: Fitting that my goal/post today is about PIO. I've been doing the shots myself for the past few days with no incidents and (somewhat) less pain. Last night though, I had a blond moment.
It's been helping to sit on the heating pad for a few minutes before the shot and to put the vial of PIO on the pad with me to warm. But it takes a while to prepare the shot, change the needles, prep my tush, and find the right spot, so last night I decided I was going to be "efficient".
I grabbed the IM instruction sheet and diagram, a sharpie, dropped trou, and made Patrick circle the area for me. Then I drew up the oil, changed the needle, and went to sit on the heating pad with my loaded syringe. All this happened without incident.
I waited for my bum to get nice and warm before heading to the half bath for my shot. I prepped the area (smearing all the sharpie lines... Permanent marker my foot), uncapped the needle, pulled the skin taut, stuck the needle in, slowly began pushing the plunger... And notice the huge air bubble I had forgotten to get rid of.
So I had to stick myself again. 
I couldn't believe it. I didn't even tell Patrick because I know exactly what his response is going to be. He is going to close his eyes and shake his head in utter exasperation, then say, "This is why you should let me give you the shots."
Don't get me wrong, I've said before that Patrick is great at giving the shots and I meant it, but doing them myself has helped my anxiety towards them. And like I said, since I'm watching and not tensing when the needle goes in, I haven't been as sore.
So as far as having met my goal... Eh. I am still able to walk with little to no pain and I have been able to sleep on my sides, though it does hurt a bit. It's not nearly as bad as last time, but I am very tender. My whole butt feels bruised and it's painful to sit or cross my legs. There are no knots, which is a good thing. We'll see how this continues.
Buuuuut... Transfer is tomorrow!!!!!! It's a bit surreal that it's here and everything has gone so well. I haven't heard from the clinic today... Which I'm taking as a good sign... But I really wish I knew how my babies are doing. I'm going to have a hard time sleeping tonight!

Please, God, keep my embryos strong and growing.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Day 3
Goal: to have 75% of my embies still growing today
Met?: yes!
Mood: great
Symptoms: slight headache, phlegmy
POAS?: no
Want to?: no
Report: God is really blessing us! The embryologist called a while ago and said that ALL FIVE of our embies are still growing and looking awesome! The three front runners from yesterday are "perfect" 8cells today, all grade 1 (the highest grade for our clinic... They grade 1-5), we have one 7cell grade 2, and a 6cell grade 3. I'm so over-the-moon excited at this point! 
He confirmed that we made the right decision yesterday to wait, and officially scheduled my transfer for noon on Wednesday! They are leaving the babies alone until then, meaning we will not get an update tomorrow or know what we have until transfer, so I'm praying really hard that our blessings continue.
Patrick couldn't get the day off on Wednesday, so my mom will be going with me instead. She is sooooo excited! She told me the other day, "I can't wait! I'm going to be there when the baby goes in, and I'll be there when it comes out!" I had thought she might be a bit weirded out by the process so to know that she is so excited and happy to get to go with me really made me happy. 
I can't believe it's only two more days until my little ones will be back with me!

Thank you, God, for your blessings. Please continue keeping my embies strong and growing.

I blog with BE Write

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Day 2
Goal: not to hear from the clinic
Met?: no... 
Mood: okay
Symptoms: tired, achy body (hope I'm not getting sick!)
POAS?: no
Want to?: no
Report: when I talked to the embryologist yesterday he told me that I would not hear from him today as he would be leaving my embies alone until Monday. So you can imagine how my heart stopped when the clinic popped up on my caller ID today.
It was the embryologist and he told me that he had taken a peek at my embies today, after all. Of our 5 embies, 3 are looking perfect and are 4 cells, and two are a bit behind at only 2 cells, but they are all still alive and growing! Then he told me that, since they are from frozen eggs, he wasn't sure how they would fare over the next few days and that, if I wanted, we could transfer the 3 perfect embryos tomorrow or continue as planned and try to grow them to blasts.
I asked him what his recommendation was. He said that he really couldn't give me a recommendation because it could go either way at this point. He did say that transferring tomorrow would be the "aggressive" choice since the embies are all looking really good and by transferring all three I could very well end up pregnant with all three.
In the end, Patrick and I decided to stay the course and wait for Wednesday. I know my embies are strong this time and the thought of a triplet pregnancy terrifies me. I would love three babies, but I know how incredibly high risk a triplet pregnancy is and I don't want to get this far only to put myself and my babies at risk.
Plus, I recently read something from an RE that says whether an embryo is in the lab or back in the uterus it makes no difference in whether or not it will survive. He says that an embryo that doesn't make it in the lab would not have made it in the uterus. Whether that's true or not, it makes sense to me and, no matter what, I know my embies that make it to blast are the strongest ones. I want to be 100% confident that I'm doing what's best for me and my babies. 
This journey is such an emotional one, and there will always be questions of what-if, but I cannot allow my fears and emotions to cloud what I believe is best. Am I worried that nothing will make it? Yes. Am I concerned that my "back-up" blasts won't thaw if I need them? Yes. Am I anxious to have my babies back with me? Absolutely. But those things do not out-weigh the risks of being pregnant with three babies. Worst case for this cycle- we have nothing to transfer and I have to start over. Worst case if I end up pregnant with triplets- complications, bed rest, early labor... And worse things I don't even want to think about.
So when the embryologist called me back for a decision I told him we wanted to wait until Wednesday. 
Now I'm just hoping and praying that I have at least one (I'm praying hard for two) embryos to transfer. I have faith in my embabies. More importantly, I have faith in God. 

Please, God, keep my embryos strong and growing.

I blog with BE Write

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Day 1
Goal: to have at least 9 eggs thaw, and at least 5 of 9 fertilize
Met?: yes!!
Mood: good
Symptoms: tired, crampy
POAS?: no
Want to?: no
Report: God heard my prayers and gave me what I asked for. Embryologist called to tell me that 9 eggs thawed, 5 of them fertilized, and all are looking really good! We are still set for day 5 transfer and he said to be on the safe side we should expect an 80% loss by then... Meaning we will only have one to transfer... But I'm really hoping for two. We had 62.5% of the fresh embies make it to blast, which would be 3 of 5, though I'm not counting on that many coming from the frozen eggs because they just don't do as well. Patrick and I have decided that if we end up with 3 or less to transfer, we want to transfer everything we have. If we have more than 3, we will transfer 2 and hope to refreeze the others. 
I'm so excited by how well things are going! God is good!
On a side note, Patrick went out with one of his good friends last night and had a few too many drinkies. I didn't feel comfortable having him jab me with a giant needle, so I sent his a$$ to bed and decided to do my PIO shot myself. Eep! 
I wanted to stall- I mean build up my nerves- but it was time and I couldn't wait. So I got my shot ready, swabbed the area, twisted around, and stuck. 
It didn't hurt! And it was easy! And it didn't hurt!! 
I think that by doing it myself, I'm watching, so I know when to expect the prick and I don't jump or tense like when somebody else does it. Patrick is really good at giving me shots, but I still tend to tense at the initial jab.
The best part is, since I didn't tense up, I'm not nearly as sore today as I usually am. I might actually be able to stay on the shots this time! We'll have to see what happens tonight, though, because last night I was turning toward my dominant hand so it was easy to reach, but tonight I'll be turning away so it'll be a bit of a stretch. At least I'll have Patrick as back-up.

Thank you, God, for all Your blessings. Please keep my embryos safe and allow them to stay strong and keep growing.

I blog with BE Write

Friday, August 31, 2012


I always like to have goals. They take a big challenge that seems overwhelming and break it down into something manageable. For me, the TWW is an overwhelming challenge with only one goal- that elusive positive pregnancy test. This time I'm going to attempt to break it down into mini-goals... 14 to be exact... One for every day of the wait until beta. Some things I'll have control over, some will be things I hope for, but every day will have a milestone, a potential victory over the TWW.
Day 1- I'm hoping for a 75% thaw rate (9 of 12 eggs) and a 50% fertilization rate after thaw (since I can't have half an embryo, I'm going to think positive and round up, so hoping for 5 embies). Last cycle we had a 54.5%  thaw rate (6 of 11) and only 1 of 6 fertilized (16.7%!) so I'm really just looking for an improvement.
Day 2- this was transfer day last cycle... I don't want it to be transfer day this cycle. My goal is to not have to have any contact with the clinic today.
Day 3- I want at least 75% of my embies to still be growing today.
Day 4- to still be able to walk or sleep on my side with no knots from PIO
Day 5- simple... I want to have transfer today.
Day 6- I want to be happy/hopeful for this cycle.
Day 7- this is the day I made them switch me off of PIO last time because I was in too much pain. This time I'm going to try to stay on 1ml PIO with 1 Endometrin, as opposed to 2ml PIO or 3 Endometrin.
Day 8- I want to have our next door neighbor over for dinner. She's alone and super sweet, I want to do something nice for her.
Day 9- I want to try 3 new things today. I know it sounds ambitious, but I'm thinking along the lines of a new recipe, an ingredient I've never used before, finally tackling the sewing "lessons" my mom wants to give me, etc.
Day 10- I want to make it at least this far before I start peeing on sticks. This might be a hard one... I have a lot of sticks.
Day 11- I want to change something today. Not sure what... Just something.
Day 12- I am not going to go on FertilityFriend or any forums today to take my mind off possible "symptoms".
Day 13- day before beta. This is a hard goal to make. I think for now my goal will be to not obsess. No more than one HPT per day (though I'm going to try to withhold from testing all together), no checking and rechecking... And rechecking and rechecking... A test a bajillion times a day, no googling symptoms, no freaking out if I see a tiny spot of pink on the tp. If I have a positive test at this point, I want to enjoy being pregnant. If it is negative, I want to be focusing on the next step, the next cycle.
Day 14- another simple goal... I want a positive, strong beta.
Today is day zero. "Ovulation" day. I do have a goal for today, but really it's for the entire TWW- my goal is to post and update every day, even if it's just a short check-in.
I've decided on a post "format" for the next two weeks:

Day 0
Goal: daily posts
Met?: we shall see!
Mood: snappy
Symptoms: tired
POAS?: no
Want to?: no reason
Report: we got up at 6:30 this morning and were on the road to Dallas at 7. Patrick had to be there by 11 to do his part and luckily we made good time and were there by 10:30. Character that he is, Patrick promptly told the nurse that these were his favorite doctor appointments, asked if his special room was ready, and asked if he could still come "visit" after I was pregnant and "not giving him any". The other woman in the waiting room was laughing her butt off and saying that it was the most interesting thing she has ever heard in a doctor's office. The nurse told him they were ready for him, he came over, high-fives me, and says, "Go team!" I reply, "See you in five minutes" and he actually blushes as the women crack up. 
So now we're back home, waiting for the report tomorrow and praying for good news. Tonight, I have to up my dose of PIO from 1ml to 2ml. That extra ml makes it a lot more painful. 
The things we do for baby.

Please, God, let my eggs be strong and make them fertilize into strong embryos.

I blog with BE Write

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Joys of Hormones

Just a quick update-
My lining yesterday was 7.8mm with a triple stripe pattern. All my cysts were gone, too! My doctor was very happy and told me that I could start acting pregnant because it's just a matter of time until I will be! 
Other than that, I'm hormonal.
Yesterday, I was weepy. Today, my temper is short. I wish I could slap somebody... I think it would make me feel better. 
Patrick has to give me my PIO shot in 30 minutes and I wouldn't be surprised if he jabbed me with some gusto because of how shitty I've been since I walked in the door. Not that he hasn't deserved some of my wrath. He greeted me with additude, too, and I'm just not in the mood to deal with it tonight.
I wonder what emotion tomorrow will bring.
Transfer still set for Wednesday! I can't wait to hear how many eggs thaw and fertilize!
Next week is going to be exciting!

Please, God, grant me patience. 

I blog with BE Write

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Let me preface this post by saying that I'm a Christian and my faith is very important to me. Regardless, I do not push my beliefs on others because I do not like when others try to push their beliefs on me. I strongly feel that we each have the right to believe whatever we see fit and nobody has the right to judge another for their faith, ideals, or views. With that said, I apologize in advance if I say anything that offends somebody. My views are my own, you can share them if you want, but you don't have to... I'll love ya anyways!
*Disclaimer over*

Over the years my faith has been through many stages and varying degrees of belief. These past few years have been tough and I've found that there is a lot of comfort to be found in faith. Sometimes the only way to handle a problem is to give it up to God. Nevertheless, I do have my moments when I question... When I ask "why" or "when"... And I've found that God does answer, in His own way.
I am not a morning person. I get up if I have to, but I have made sure our bed is a comfortable oasis of sleepy-time bliss, and I do not like to leave it in the morning. A few months ago, right as we were starting our house craziness and going through the FET nightmare, I was torn as to how to proceed. One Sunday I woke up and I was awake. I checked the clock and it was about 7:30, but I could not fall back asleep. Patrick, being the early riser he is, was already up, watching Sports Center, and he was pretty surprised when I came puttering out of the bedroom. I lounged on the couch, reading my forums as he started watching some political show. Then he got up to make us breakfast and coffee (such a great man!), and as he was in the kitchen the political show ended and Joel Osteen came on. I'm ashamed to say that it was pure laziness that kept me from changing the channel. (I don't have an issue with Joel Osteen, I just think those MEGA CHURCHES *insert announcer voice* try so hard to appeal to everyone that they have become too much of a show)
Anyways, on this Sunday, Joel preached about how, when we try to force things to happen the way we want them, we stray from the path God has laid for us and we leave His "anointed light". He said that when we leave that light, things in our lives don't go right because it is not what God has planned for us. This struck a nerve for me. I briefly mentioned in a post back in June that I felt for a long time that everything in my life was going wrong. I wrote that post soon after I saw that sermon. It was a turning point in my life. I truly felt like Joel was speaking to me directly... But it wasn't Joel Osteen, it was God speaking to me through that sermon. Joel went on to say that we need to live our lives for ourselves and for God. That we should not let the thoughts, actions, or words of others influence the decisions we make or the life we live. That sometimes we get so caught up in pleasing everyone else that the person most unhappy is us, because we have strayed from what God wants of us to what people want of us.
One thing he said really stuck with me. He said that sometimes others will try to justify their opinions as being "from God". His exact response to that was, "I speak to God as well. If that was what He wanted of me, He would have told me Himself."
It was literally a life-changing moment for me. I told myself right then that I would stop living for others, stop trying to force my life into the mold I wanted it, and to start living for God and allow my life to be what He wants it to be.
It's amazing what faith can do. I won't lie and say everything has been kittens and rainbows since then, but it has all worked out in the end, and it's been easier to deal with the rough stuff knowing that it will work out eventually. And I do know that it will work out. I may not know how or when, but I do know it will and it will be for the best.
Tomorrow I have my BW/US appointment to check my lining for FET. If everything looks good, I start progesterone shots the next day. On Friday, they will thaw my eggs and Patrick has to go in to give his sample, they'll ICSI the eggs, and my PIO dose will double. Then it's wait and pray and see how many make it to transfer on Wednesday. If we get crappy results we have "emergency reserves"- our 5 blasts from our fresh cycle!
Please pray for me this cycle. I have high hopes, though guarded, that this is our time, but I'm scared of a repeat of my May cycle. I want this so badly! I don't know what our next step will be if this doesn't work and that scares me, too, but I have faith.
Sorry if this post was all over the place! I think the Estrace is screwing with me... I'm an emotional, scatter-brained mess... But these things were on my heart today so I needed to voice them. Thanks for listening to my hormonal ramblings.

Please, God, let everything work out for this cycle and give me strength for these next few weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

I've been slacking.
My life has been such a crazy whirlwind of activity, I don't really know where to begin!
The quick version:
In May we started the process to buy a house. We put in an offer, it was accepted, we had an inspection, everything looked good, closing was set for the end of July, we went into underwriting. We begin the IVF prep. Weekend before 4th of July we went to Chicago. On the 3rd, our lender calls to tell us there are issues, our loan is on hold. Two... Or was it three?... weeks (that felt like two months!) of stress, uncertainty, and craziness follow as we try to get stupid errors cleared. In the middle of this, we begin our IVF cycle. Finally, as we are faced with losing the house we love, along with the couple thousand we have already put towards it, and I'm about to lose my mind, by the grace of God, the final issues were resolved and we ended up in a better position than when we started.
My last two weeks:
This cycle I was on 20 units of Lupron, cut to 10 units when I started stims. They cut out the Repronex, and started me on 125iu of Follistim. The goal was to only get 10-12 eggs and get me to ET without having to freeze. The first few days were good, though I started off I bit slow. After 3 days of stims my E2 was at 91.2, at 5 days it was 180. They upped the Follistim to 150, I went back the next day, E2 was at 370. Kept the dose at 150, at day 8 it was 948, at day 9 it was 1909 (dose down to 75iu), on day 10it was 2550 (at which point the vein in my arm collapsed, and the vein in my hand blew when they tried it get blood there. Luckily they got enough blood in the tube to run my estrogen)
At that point they were only counting about 12 follies over 10mm, the biggest ones were around 14-15mm, so I was excited. The next day it was up to Dallas for my hopefully final sono before trigger. The RE counted a few more than 12 follies, a few were around 18mm, a few in the 14-16mm range, but most were under 12mm so I was still hoping for around 10-12 mature. they told me it was most likely trigger night.
Got the call later that my E2 was at 4200... Soooooo much better than the 5700 it was last time!...and that I would be triggering at 9:00pm for 9:00am retrieval that Saturday!
On Saturday they retrieved 27 eggs.
That's one more than my last cycle.
The doctor said they all looked really good, but that they wanted to cancel my ET again. He told me that with my E2 being over 3000, it cut my chance of success to 15-20%. He said they would freeze half the eggs, like last time, but this time they would grow the fertilized eggs to day 5 before they froze them, and he would let me cycle for my FET as soon as AF came since I didn't "technically overstimulate". I also wouldn't have to do BCP or Lupron, just go straight on the Estrace.
He said that if I waited, he gave me a 90% chance of being pregnant by Halloween.
I was upset. My last cycle kept replaying in my head like that damn "Call Me, Maybe" song. I didn't want to pay another $3000 for a worthless FET. I didn't want to take the meds and the painful PIO shots, only to find out my eggs didn't fertilize and my embies didn't survive the thaw or arrested. I didn't want to make a four hour drive to transfer one, slow dividing embie. I didn't want to get my hopes destroyed again. I didn't want the heartbreak.
I was close to tears and I know the doctor saw it. I told him I was worried about a repeat from last cycle. He said that ultimately it was my decision, but that I needed to go home and think it over and not to let my emotions overshadow my logic.
So I told myself to wait and see. I consoled myself with the fact that I had 5 days to tell them not to freeze, that I wanted to transfer. That if I felt we were going down the same path, I didn't have to wait.
This is how it compared.
Previous cycle                               Current cycle
26 retrieved                                   27 retrieved
23 mature                                      23 mature
11 eggs frozen                              12 eggs frozen
12 ICSI'd                                      11 ICSI'd
6 fertilized                                    8 fertilized
6 day1 embies frozen                   5 blastocysts frozen
I'm so excited by how much better we did, I can't even tell you!
In the end, I couldn't argue with the numbers. A 90% chance is much better than 20%... which, by the way, I did the research (googling) and the studies backed him up that estrogen levels over 3000 drop pregnancy rates to only 15-20%.
But back to my life... Quick version again.
Saturday was ER, Sunday we moved into the new house, Monday I started Heparin, Tuesday I went back to work, got the day3 update that 8 out of 8 embies were still growing and looked "perfect", Wednesday I expected to start feeling like poopy, but didn't, Thursday I expected to start feeling like poopy, but didn't, Friday I started feeling optimistic that I would not feel like poopy, got the report that 5 out of 8 embies made it to blast and were frozen and that they all looked "amazing". Saturday, a full week after ER, I was feeling amazing. Hardly any bloating, hardly any pain... Except when I over exerted myself moving the Sunday and Monday right after ER... Not AT ALL what I had last cycle! 
Fast forward a few days to Thursday (yesterday), 12 days after ER. I started spotting Wednesday night, so I had put on a pad before bed. I woke up Thursday to cramps and AF had come with a vengeance from hell! Heeellllllooooo, CD1!
Called the nurse to report my period, she asked if I had had a beta. Um, no...
She asked if I had stopped my meds. I'm only on the Heparin.
I reminded her that I had not had a transfer. She had to call me back.
She called back and said that the RE said I could have my baseline done in Houston, but he wanted me to get a beta done too. I told her I could have the baseline done the next day, with same day results. I reminded her that the RE also wanted me to have a CBC done the next day because I'm on Heparin, and I could have the beta done at the same time. She said she'd call in the orders and that I could stop the Heparin.
This morning I went for baseline. They normally do blood first, but instead they put me in the U/S room. U/S showed 4 cysts, 30 mm, 26mm, 24mm, and 19mm. I thought for sure it was BCP for me!
After the U/S they said there were no orders for B/W so they called to make sure and the nurse said they didn't need it.
I figured she had put my orders for B/W with LabCorp since I needed the CBC, so I made an appointment with them for later. Since Patrick took a half day at work, I drug him with me to LabCorp that afternoon. When I got there the lady told me they had no orders for me. She called my nurse, who was confused as to what I expected to be done. I again reminded her about the CBC and beta, which seemed to confuse her more. Um... We had this conversation YESTERDAY!!! ... But she agreed to fax the orders.
I get my blood taken and we leave. About 30 min- 1 hour later, the nurse calls me back and says that they don't need the B/W! I told her I've already done it so she says she'll call them and tell them just to dump it. Come on, lady! Get your shit together!
Good news... The doctor says my U/S looks fantastic! Only four cysts, considering I had 27 eggs retrieved only 12 days ago, he thinks is awesome. When you put it that way...
Since we aren't stimming this cycle, he says the cysts won't hurt anything, soooo... I start Estrace tomorrow!!!
Only one monitoring appointment on the 29th, if everything looks good I'll start PIO on the 31st, and transfer should be September 4! I can't believe it's already so close!
Now I just need to make it through the next few weeks of insanity!
Please, God, grant me strength and patience! Thank You, for all the blessings You have given us these past weeks!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Monster is Back

Today sucks. The crappy additude that comes with BCP is back. My temper is short, my energy is low, and I have to fight the urge to smack nearly everyone who is unfortunate enough to be in my presence. I really wish I could seclude myself away in a dark room with nothing but my pj's, a comfy couch, a fuzzy blanket, my iPad, and sappy movies. Stupid birth control. I've been thinking a lot about adoption lately. I hate what I'm putting my body through and I worry that this will never work. I'm so disappointed and discouraged by my body and our results so far, and at this point I'm ready to throw in the towel. Hell, I've been ready to throw in the towel for months now, I'm just too stubborn to quit and I don't want to disappoint my husband. I really wish it was easier to adopt. So many people say "just adopt" or "start the adoption process and you'll probably get pregnant" or "don't worry, you can always adopt". These people have no idea what the F they're talking about. Adoption is a very long, very expensive, very involved process! You have to find and pick an agency (there are LOTS), apply (some have application fees), be accepted, go to meetings and classes, have a home study, make a profile, wait (usually for months) to be matched with a birth mother or to have a birth mother pick your profile over many others, meet the birth mother, hope the mother isn't smoking/drinking/doing drugs, prepare for baby (sometimes with only a few weeks until the baby is due), hope the birth mother doesn't change her mind, wait for the baby to be born, hope there are no issues, wait 48hrs after the birth before the mother can sign adoption papers, hope the birth mother doesn't decide to keep the baby, hope the father doesn't dispute the adoption, get the baby, go to court to finalize the adoption, hope the father doesn't dispute the adoption, and THEN you have a baby. A domestic infant adoption usually costs between $20-$40k. Most these days are open adoptions and the birth mother gets to pick the adoptive family. She also has the right to change her mind and pick a different family... At any time. I have heard of families preparing for babies, only to be told they weren't getting one. On the flip side, I have a client who was told they weren't selected, then, a few months later, got a call informing them the mother had changed her mind and they needed to come pick their baby up within two hours. They had nothing for a baby! Open adoptions also include some level of contact with the birth mother. The level of contact is decided by the birth mother and can range from as little as pictures every once in a while, to as extreme as regular visitation, especially if the mother has other kids. Then there's always the worry that "daddy" will one day show up and try to claim his parental rights. It's rare and there's usually not much he can do at that point, but it can happen, it usually requires court to settle, and there is a chance the adoption can be over-turned. International adoption usually doesn't come with the birth parent issues, but there are many other factors that complicate getting a child from another country. Required trips (sometimes weeks at a time), long waiting periods, expensive visas, tons and tons of paperwork, and usually the baby is nearly a year old by the time you get to take it home and you have no idea what conditions it lived with for the first months of its life. So, again... I wish it was easier to adopt. I want so badly to be a mother! I don't care anymore if the child is biologically mine, I just want children. It doesn't even have to be a baby... I'll take a toddler! I don't want to go through this any more. I just want to hold a child in my arms and know that I'm responsible for him/her. I just want to be called mommy. Ugh... Sorry for the depressing post. Please, God, grant me strength.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Second Chances

The more sure I got that I wasn't pregnant, the more determined I became to find our next option.
I found a new clinic, with great success rates, close to home, and much cheaper than my current clinic close to home. They even offer a package with 3 fresh and 3 frozen cycles, for the price of 2 fresh and 2 frozen and if you don't take home a baby, they refund 70% of the package price. My problem is, though, that I have way too many unanswered questions. Was my last cycle a lab problem? Is there a problem with my eggs? Is it an issue with me and Patrick together? If its a lab issue, I could very well get pregnant on the first cycle and we would have paid more than double for 1 cycle.
My solution? I found a clinic that does a shared egg cycle for only $3000, flat. It could be my little experiment! It would change the lab, give my eggs a shot with Patrick's sperm, and give them a shot with the recipients' sperm, thus testing all theories. If it worked, GREAT! Our additional cost would be minimal. If not, at least we would know where our problem is and if we need to spring for the package, or if we could do cycle by cycle.
I went in 11dp2dt for my beta. My HPT that morning had been negative so I was prepared for the worst. I called Patrick from work to tell him about my plan for our next steps and he said that sounded like a great idea. As we were going over the plan, my phone beeped for call-waiting. The caller ID said it was my clinic.
I told Patrick I would call him back and switched calls, expecting my nurse to be on the other line. Instead, it was the embryologist. He said that he wasn't going to beat around the bush, and that he was extremely sorry, but my beta came back negative. He told me that he had talked to my doctor, and that they both feel like they had dropped the ball with me and that they should have, and can, do much better with me. (At this point I was thinking that he was just trying to convince me to come back to them) Then he told me that he they were offering me a free cycle.
I was speechless. My jaw literally dropped and I stood there for a moment with my mouth hanging open, blinking at space and looking like someone had punched me.
He went on to tell me that the company that had sponsored the study was willing to sponsor another cycle for me, the clinic was willing to waiver their remaining fees, that he had spoken to the anesthesiologist, who had agreed to donate his services for ER, and that they were trying to get all my medicines donated as well, giving me a 100% free cycle! If they can't get all my meds, I'd have to buy anything they couldn't get, but that would be my only expense.
This is truly a gift from God!
My doctor assured me that they were going to stim me much slower this time, as he thinks my sky-rocketing E2 played a big part in my egg quality and they're really going to try to not have me over-stim this time so that I hopefully make it to transfer. I have an appointment with him on Monday to go over last cycle and the upcoming one, and I have a list of questions ready for him. For now I'm back on BCP... yuck!... and I'll cycle again in July. The lab is closed the first two weeks in July, and at first I was upset about the delay, but now I'm thankful for it. We have a lot going on right now and I think the break will be good for me, mentally and physically.
Lately I've felt much more at peace with everything that's happened. Patrick and I have plenty to keep us busy and I think that's helped keep me from dwelling. We are going to Chicago for a week the last weekend in June and I'm really looking forward to the trip! I'll be starting Lupron while up there so that I can start stims immediately after the lab re-opens. Luckily, its just Lupron and not anything that needs to be refrigerated or taken intramuscularly.
We're also buying a house! Right now, closing is set for July 20, but things are progressing quicker than we thought, so we're hoping to close sooner. We plan on doing some remodeling before we move in (we both refuse to live through another remodel) and we hope to move in by August 1. As it stands right now, I'm expecting ER to be the last week of July, and (hopefully) have ET the first week in August, so we're definitely going to be hiring movers this time around. If all goes to plan, I'll have a week at home... the new home!... to unpack and get settled, but how often do things go as planned?!
Good things are happening and I'm excited about the road ahead. For the past few years I've felt like everything in my life was going wrong, and at times I've felt so hopeless. I've come to realize that things were going wrong because I was trying to force them to be right. I tried to take things out of God's hands and put them in my own. Now that I've given control back to God, things are going right without my help. We're being given a second chance, with the house and the IVF. My first cycle may not have gone as I'd hoped, but I know its all for the best in the end. All I can do is put my faith in God and go with the flow.

Thank you, God, for everything You give us.

Bitter Disappointments

Its been a long time since I've updated. I'm going to break my update down into two post so its not too long. So much has happened and emotionally I've been thrown from one end of the spectrum to the other.
So, my FET cycle was progressing perfectly and I had very high hopes of success. The embryologist had decided to thaw and fertilize my 11 frozen eggs to give me the best chance and my transfer date was moved up from May 31 to May 29. I had my last US/BW on Wednesday, May 23 and everything was looking great so I was to start progesterone that night. That evening, right before my shot, the embryologist called to tell me that he had thawed my eggs and that 6 had been ICSI'd.
Wait. Six? What the H happened to the other FIVE?! (That's what I wanted to ask... instead I asked...)
"Only six?"
Embryologist: "Oh. Yes, well, we couldn't find one", WHAT?!... "and unfortunately four did not survive the thaw."
I was upset. I was under the impression that vitrification had around a 90% or better thaw survival rate, and I only got a 60% survival rate? I asked him why he thought we lost so many, and why we had only had a 50% fertilization rate with the ICSI during the first cycle. He gave me a vague, indirect, almost deflective answer about natural selection and how, with the new improvements in fertility treatments, we are breeding more and more infertile people.
Now, I may be a hairdresser, and I may not have a college degree, but I'm not stupid and his answer sounded like a brush off to me.
Still, I comforted myself with the thinking that hopefully the four eggs that didn't survive the thaw were the weak ones that wouldn't have fertilized anyways and that hopefully the six that made it will all fertilize. That was not the case, though.
The next day the embryologist called back to tell me that only ONE had actually fertilized. ONE! Out of six, only one. He told me that they had already started thawing my embryos, which were frozen in 3 straws of 2, and that they had decided to do a day 3 transfer instead of a day 5. He told me he would call me within two hours with further details. An hour later he called back to tell me that the first straw they thawed, neither embryo survived, and the second straw, both survived, but the decision had been made to transfer the next day, on day 2.
So the next day Patrick and I got up crazy early and hit the road. We were both angry. At this point we both felt like there had been a problem with the lab. So far, out of 18 ICSI'd eggs, we had only gotten 7 embryos... a 39% fertilization rate. Out of 15, well, we'll say 14 since they lost one, thawed eggs and embryos, we lost 6 total in the thaw, giving us a 57% thaw rate. Given that both ICSI and vitrification are suppose to have success rate in the 90% range, our only answer was that the lab had done something wrong.... or that there was something very wrong with us.
Halfway there, we decided that it didn't matter. We were transferring three embryos and that meant we had a good chance of getting pregnant. Our goal is to have a baby, and it doesn't matter what happened along the way as long as we get there.
At the clinic we were in good spirits. Patrick had to put on one of those paper jumpsuits and it was WAAAAY too small! He ripped open the seams that the armpits and crotch immediately, and the seam at the butt was so strained I was surprised it held. Not to mention it the legs only reached to his calves and the arms to mid-forearm. We took pictures... it was hilarious!
Pretty soon the embryologist came in, holding what I have been so anxiously waiting for since this started- the pictures of our embryos. Except, he didn't look very happy... and there was only one picture.
Embryologist-"I'm sorry, but I'm really not happy with the results we've been getting from your embryos."
My heart sank.
Embryologist-"Neither one of the embryos we thawed yesterday divided overnight. The egg we fertilized on Wednesday night is only two cells and we were really hoping for four cells today, but it is alive and we feel good about transferring it."
I was dumbfounded. I sat there, smiling and nodding because if I dropped my smile I knew I would break down. He must have thought I was crazy.
He told us he would normally have given us a 40% chance of success with one day 2 embryo, but since it was behind and we had lost so many, he was not even going to guess that high... in fact, he didn't even give us a number.
Patrick hadn't gotten that we were only down to one, and was still optimistic about transferring three, and I had to tell him that there was only one because the others had died. After that, I could tell he was very upset.
The transfer was easy. No pain, no discomfort. Honestly, I think I was numb from the news. I was just trying to keep it together. I was on the verge of tears the entire time but I couldn't name the emotion that was causing them.
After the transfer, they brought us the vial the embryos had been frozen in, and the petri-dish my little "JellyTot" had grown in. That was special. Then we went home, both upset.
The next few days are vague. I know I cried randomly and fairly often. Then I decided to be hopeful. JellyTot had survived when ALL my other embryos had died before reaching this stage. That had to mean he/she was strong. I was optimistic for a while, enjoying the fact that I had a potential life inside me. Patrick even rubbed my belly and told JellyTot to grow while we were in bed at night.
I held off on testing for nearly the whole time. At 9dp2dt (nine days past two day transfer) I broke down and tested. It was negative and I was surprisingly at peace with it. I'd had a feeling all along that this wasn't going to work. I'd just KNOWN that it wasn't our time. Sure, I still did hope that it was just a late implanter and that the test would be positive the next day, or the next, or that my beta would surprise me, but my logical side told me that it was time to come up with Plan B.
Yes, I do still have 2 day1 embryos in the freezer, but given everything that had happened, chances were good that they wouldn't even make it to transfer. Despite my reluctance to do so, I knew I'd have to go through another fresh IVF cycle.
As my tests over the next couple days kept coming up negative, instead of Googling "day 2 transfer success stories", I began researching other options.

To Be Continued....

Please, God, grant me strength to do what needs to be done, and serenity to get through it.