February 25, 2009

It's a Boy!


Isn't he adorable? My sister delivered the little guy yesterday morning so Piper and I are headed to Boston and can't wait to see them all. I will probably be away from blogs until next week but will be thinking of you guys and crossing fingers and toes for everyone cycling.

Is it the economy? The waiting room at my clinic has been empty lately. Usually when they call my name, at least one other Sarah gets up and we have to check last names. Monday and again today I was the only person there at all when they called me back.

Beta is 4529. My nurse said they were looking for a minimum of 4500 so once again we eek by with incredible mediocrity. At this point though it's clearly an increasing number and that's enough for me. I can do a scan any day next week and believe it or not I don't mind at all waiting until Thursday when J can go with me. I know, nutty. We'll see what we see when we see it.

February 23, 2009

Doubling? Middling.

Beta today was 2641, just barely above the threshold they were looking for. Doubling time is 55.43 hours. A little slower than last time (48 hours on the same day) but I'm not worrying until I have something real to worry about. I remember it slows down as it increases, and this is in keeping with how everything else this cycle has been; ever so slightly less promising. They want me to come back for another beta on Wednesday before we schedule a scan. I'm not especially worried, I'm just not particularly enthused either.

This whole post-beta period has been so much easier than last time. I'm not walking around a nervous wreck, hovering on the edge of 20 different emotions all at once, elated and terrified at the same time. Maybe I've been too distracted with baby vomit and the stacks of work that are piling up (along with the dishes, toys strewn everywhere, massive barges of dog hair adrift on the sea of living room carpet...).

But mainly it's just not the same when that sense of total disbelief you will ever have a baby is gone. When I no longer believed anymore, the bfp only meant that surely something even worse than endless miles of negative peesticks was coming my way. I didn't really truly believe everything would be okay until several weeks after Piper was born. I definitely felt an immediate bond and indescribable love for her, but I held her and looked at her and thought this can't really be happening. She can't really be mine. I'm infertile, I don't have babies.

She's completely real now. Real as a crib full of baby puke (again this morning). Whatever happens next, my overwhelming thoughts are no longer all tied up in the outcome of this cycle. What rules my heart now is that I feel so extremely lucky to have her every moment of every day.

February 20, 2009

No Beta

Thanks to all who have checked in on me; there will be no repeat beta today since I woke up to a crib full of baby puke for the second day in a row. I can't leave Piper with her friends as planned and get them sick too so I'll just go in tomorrow when J will be home. As I said to the nurse in my voicemail, I assume with those big doctor brains they can still figure out if my levels are rising as they should after an extra day.

Endometrin? NOT a fan. ICK. Crinone was messy but this is ridiculous. It's like I've constantly peed my pants. And I pee Mylanta. A liner is not enough, it takes a whole pad. Several a day. After this first box I may even use up my leftover PIO.

Lesson of the day: blueberries may make the baby vomit slightly more attractive, but they will also stain the sheets.

**Updated to add: weekend bloodwork appts are saved for cycling patients so i have to wait until Monday for an hcg appt. argghhhhh.

February 18, 2009

Thank You

Another crazy dream. This time, that the hpt would change depending on what Piper was eating. Over the course of the dream I noticed that if she ate cheerios or these strange gigantic frosted cartoon-like o's I would get a bfp but if she ate anything else it would be negative. At 4am she woke up in pain from the 12 teeth that are coming in all at once (after six months of having just two) and I used my usual trick, handing her a pretzel stick and going back to bed (works for us both everytime). Except this time I couldn't sleep because since she wasn't eating o's I just knew the beta would be bad.

It was 589. A little higher than Piper's on this day (512) and pretty solidly in the singleton range. Thank you so much for all the congratulations and well wishes. It's been so wonderful to have you my friends, old and new, checking in and cheering me on. Thank you thank you.

So I've taken my last PIO and not a moment too soon. After a couple of good weeks with it after getting the spot right, I had a couple that were just awful. Last night's was pretty close to crippling. Instead of the Crinone I used last time, I'm on Endometrin caplets which are certainly easier and less messy. I wasn't overjoyed with the disclosure in the info sheet that efficacy hasn't been established in women 35 and over, but I bet this is the case with all the progesterone support. Anyone else had experience with Endometrin? The stuff is pricey: $160 for a 10-day supply. If all goes well and I take it for the next five weeks, that's $560. Maybe we should have just had sex afterall.

February 16, 2009

I Peed (and a dream analysis)

I was up all night Saturday. I kept waking up on the heels of crazy dreams about testing. There was one where you had to mix all these powders in tiny vials which went into a larger jar that filled with liquid as it rolled across the floor and when it stopped the vials filled with powder turned red if it was positive but you were only pregnant if it stopped rolling and landed with two tiny vials lying side by side, making two red lines. In another one, I had to run from a tent across a lawn scattered with dog shit to a final area where I could get the result. I woke up when I stepped in poop. So obviously I wasn't waiting any longer; I tested Sunday morning.

It was positive. Two nice bright pink lines. Before the test my heart was pounding and I was trying to mentally coach myself not to fall apart at the sight of just one line. Since transfer I couldn't help being disappointed that we didn't make it to the big beautiful blastocyst stage that we had with Piper and I was convinced those little slow-growers would never make it. In a weird way, to have these little five-cell embryos get anywhere made it seem even more of a crapshoot. Like rolling tiny vials across the floor hoping they land a certain way.

I recovered somewhat from my shock and of course am happy and grateful to be in this spot right now (please just let it stay!!!). But the news was slightly bittersweet because I shared my box of hpt's with a friend who got a negative the same morning. She was testing a bit early so she still has a chance. Also she didn't have to pay $10k to sleep with her husband or shoot oil into her ass. Odds are it will work for her in the next 2-3 months if not this one. She doesn't have to walk through all the shit we go through for IVF to get her two lines.

February 13, 2009

Gotta Pee

Well I've made it to 10dp3dt. This week was mercifully jam packed busy and I'm glad its over. Having been pregnant once, I'm finding all the "symptoms" much harder to take. I know that with all the progesterone and estrogen we're pumping in me they are bound to occur either way, but now that I've been on the other side there's no denying it feels like pregnancy. Some people relish these symptoms, but I really don't care for all the potential false hope. And the crazy dreams and lack of sleep are not helping anything.

I had originally thought I'd POAS on Sunday, 15 days past ER, but now I'm wondering if that's too early. I got my positive peestick with Piper on the day that would be Monday of this cycle and it was pretty faint that day. I am NOT a pee-every-day-until-it's-positive kind of girl. I just don't need to see any more negative tests than necessary, so I tend to be conservative. I usually pee the day before beta just so I know what I'm walking into, but this time I wanted to do it on the weekend when J would be home and work isn't beckoning. I don't know what to do. So I decided to ask you guys, when do you all think I should pee??

Sunday 2/15 - 15 days past retrieval (and get to share the news with the husband)
Monday 2/16 - 16 days past retrieval
Tuesday 2/17 - 17 days past retrieval
Wednesday 2/18 - 18 days past retrieval (Beta day)

What's your vote?

February 10, 2009

Blah

Nothing to freeze. I'm not surprised since we didn't have any last time either and this cycle has across the board looked less promising than the last. From follie counts to the fertilization report, basically every way you might measure it (other than the rescue ICSI), this cycle falls short. I generally have a vague sense of impending doom, which sounds gloomier than I feel. I just have no expectation this will work. I'm more in fear of the doom and gloom to come rather than experiencing it now. In fact most of the time I feel like this whole cycle hasn't really happened at all. Maybe it's because I've been keeping very busy, but it's gone by so fast and it just all feels so non-eventful compared to the first one. I can't make myself believe that I really went into the OR or they really put two embryos in. I don't feel even remotely PUPO. Every so often the possibility of twins causes me enough agitation to shake my blah mood, but I think of it only in very pragmatic terms (money, gear, bedrooms).

I think maybe this is just what 7 days past transfer feels like for me; I posted something similar last time. I think I was right back then that I have a harder time with the progesterone/estrogen phase than I do with the stims. Oh and speaking of PIO, here's something that didn't cheer me up at all: starting the day after my retrieval, all new cycles at my clinic are switching from PIO to crinone 3x/day. If I'd complained after that first shot when my nurse was out of the office I probably would have been switched. At this point I don't even feel like making the effort to call in another prescription and now that we're in the right spot it's not bothering me at all. The only part that bugs me is the idea that it's all for nothing.

February 4, 2009

The Shuffle: Take Two

The thing about having been pregnant is that I know what it feels like. Seeing as how implantation wouldn't even happen until maybe today or tomorrow, and since I'm shooting up mass quantities of the same hormones that cause all the symptoms in a natural pregnancy, I know better than to read anything into this, but I do have a few faux symptoms already. The crazy dreams, the charlie-horse leg cramps, all manner of twitches and cramps down there, and this.

So once again to pass the time, the infertility version of the shuffle game. Set your music player to shuffle. Skip through your randomized playlist, and each consecutive song that comes up is the answer to the following questions in order:

1. The song for the you that existed before you ever thought about your fertility:
Kissin' by the Mistletoe - Aretha Franklin (haha, the good ol' days!)

2. Would you really want to go back and be that person again?
Sailin' on to Hawaii - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (i guess this means what's gone is gone)

3. The song for when you first started fertility treatments:
Obviously 5 Believers - Bob Dylan (those godawful days of dashed hopes and broken dreams)

4. What did infertility do to your sex life?
Crabbuckit - k-os (ewwwww. but really, if you listen to the song, the crab keeps trying to climb out of the bucket but never gets anywhere...sigh)

5. What about superstitions and fertility rituals?
Star Eyes - Bill Evans (don't care for stars in my eyes, i'd rather just see the truth)

6. How about "alternative" treatments, from cough syrup and pineapple to accupuncture and 'body workers'?
Take Me As I Am - Wyclef feat. Sharissa (i'm mostly* against these things)

7. How do you feel about coming out of the IF closet?
Here I Am (Come and Take Me) - Al Green (yep, all the way out)

8. Your song for other people's baby showers:
Get Down Tonight - KC & the Sunshine Band (i can get down with a baby shower. i like to throw them so i don't feel like the infertile freak in the room)

9. What about our scary friend hope?
Canary in a Coalmine - The Police (don't really like the sound of that...)

10. And lastly, the theme song of your fertility journey:
The Underdog - Spoon (well i sure was last time with the rescue ICSI! great song by the way, i'll take it!! "You got no fear of the underdog, that's why you will not survive..." a little scary, but actually this is a good theme song for me. i'm all about low expectations and preparing for the worst - better to be happily surprised than crushed. i could not survive IVF if i had the "just think positive" attitude. barf)

I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with, so copy and repost with your own songs! Now how can I kill the next 30 minutes??

*Okay full disclosure: I DID eat pineapple. I HAD to! I had eaten it with Piper so I couldn't not this time, right?! I'm almost certain it makes no difference at all, but if I get that BFN I just don't want to wonder....

February 3, 2009

Two for The Third


Today, February third is my husband's birthday. My birthday is also on the third (October) and so is Piper's (November). ER with Piper was on 3/3. So I always say the third is our lucky day. I hope I don't have to pick a new one.

At first my RE thought we might transfer three but when he got the updated progress report and they looked a little better than they had in the morning he suggested two: a 6-cell grade 1 and a 5-cell grade 3. The conversation he had with the embryologist was a little odd, made it sound like a bit of a crapshoot: "Eh, let's take those two. No how 'bout those two?" They didn't actually say that but it just all sounded very subjective. I like to imagine all sorts of high tech science involved. Beta is scheduled for 2/18, or 18 days past ER. I'm guessing I'll poas around 2/15, or 12dp3dt. I'm mostly against pee sticks but I just don't like to get the news from a random stranger over the phone. I'd rather be prepared.

And lastly, good news: Last night we figured out the PIO! I knew we were doing something wrong because it was just so much worse than before. We had the wrong spot, too close to the middle. Going further out closer to the hip made a HUGE difference. I won't say it was fun but it was really not a big deal and that spot is not sore today (the other two still are). To all my fellow IVF graduates thinking about going back...DO retake the injection class!

February 2, 2009

Six


Two didn't make it. I know this is expected but this time around I'm sadder about it. Partly because I've seen what one of those little dots can become, but mainly I just feel a bit more nervous about losing any since we have fewer this time. At this point last time we had twice as many - my dozen eggs.

My clinic doesn't give gradings as some others do but they did give me cell counts. Of the six, three are 2-cells, one is a 3-cell, and two are 4-cells. Transfer is tomorrow. My guess is that if things stay about the same we might transfer the two 4-cells. After the growth restriction issues last time, I am extremely nervous about the possibility of carrying multiples and putting them at risk, but I also can't bear the thought of what if we'd only chosen one last time and it wasn't the one that turned into Piper? I had nothing to freeze so her beginnings would have been discarded. Shudder.

I have no signs at all of OHSS this time, yay! I know this is why we have fewer embryos than before and it's considered clinically a good result, but I can't help feeling my odds are down a bit.

My nurse isn't in today so I didn't get to ask about the PIO. Basically I feel like I have to stick with it because if for any reason this cycle is a bust I'd be filled with regret that I didn't do everything I possibly could. I know many people have had success with suppositories and Crinone and there are studies saying they are just as good, but my clinic believes PIO improves success rates. I just wanted to ask the question and hear more about why.

I actually feel a bit better about the PIO today. Last night wasn't as bad. I think lying down really did help so thanks t (and congratulations!!). It still hurt like hell but afterwards I was left feeling I'd survived another shot and the world didn't end and I lived to blog about it, so ultimately I can do this. Ugh. No doubt my resolve will fizzle out around 9pm tonight but I will do it.

Thanks again everyone for all the well-wishes and checking on me!

February 1, 2009

Eight


Of the 15 eggs, 11 were mature and ICSI'ed. Today we have eight two-cell embryos. More details tomorrow. Transfer will be Tuesday or Thursday.

The PIO last night was hell. I don't know what we're doing wrong, it wasn't so bad for the first week or so last time. I'm going to whine about to my nurse tomorrow and see how she feels about starting Crinone now (my clinic usually switches to the gel after 4 or 6 weeks or something). I can do it tonight if I tell myself it's just one more night.

I caved and took the Vicadin last night. I was very sore from the retrieval but mainly it was the PIO that sent me over the edge. I realize a pain-pill addiction doesn't fit well into my family planning so my big hopes for tomorrow: good news about the eight and no more PIO!