Social Networking & the 1st Trimester

Well, I still have a week and a half until our first sonogram.  Until then, no daily bloodwork, no ultrasounds…. I’ve been left with no other source of validation than Dollar Store pregnancy tests, my wacky symptoms, and Google.  I still POAS (pee on a stick) every day, despite the very obvious nausea & swollen boobage.

And then there was Google.  Everyone knows that every google’d symptom leads to death.  If you sneeze, you might have contracted the west nile virus.  If you have a headache, it might be a concussion.  So, I try so very hard to stay away from Google.  But no one tells you NOT to join a pregnancy group website. 

Seems like a perfect next-step! Websites like whattoexpect.com and thebump.com provide great info from people who are on the same timeline.  You get the joy of sharing symptoms and ideas for announcing your pregnancy.  But, then there are posts from people who are checking their beta levels and comparing the “darkness” of each others pregnancy test lines, and then some ladies are very sadly miscarrying.

When you start going through all the posts…. ALL 1,051 of them… this time of joy & expectation will start to become a time of dissecting, anxiety, and fear.

I must unlink from these groups, just for now.  I MIGHT join later, maybe.

So, 1st Trimester-ers: CONGRATS! Tread lightly, and just Be.

 

The Two Hour Wait (IVF)

Us IVFers always talk about the TTW (Two Week Wait) you know the longest 2 weeks of your life wondering if all the prep from the start of your cycle till ovulation has worked.. constantly POAS (Peeing on a Stick) to see if you will finally get they BFP.

But what about that 2 Hour Wait… you got that BFP, and BFP again… and BFP again.. still in shock… wondering if it’s really REALLY true..so you get your blood work done and …. tick tock tick tock… wait for the words to come straight from the nurse’s mouth.

I had my 2nd beta test this morning. Since they have an in-office lab, they said I’ll be getting a call at 12:30pm… tick tock tick tock..

Is the phone volume on high? Is it getting a good signal? I stare at the phone.

I’m not-so-patiently pacing through the Two Hour Wait

 

UPDATE: The nurse must have heard my incessant finger-tapping from miles away, because she called a half-hour early. My second beta results were 170 (first test was 67) so all is good! First sonogram scheduled for May 21st  GOD IS GOOD!

How Do I Write This Post? (IVF)

In short, I’m Pregnant!

For 3+ years, I’ve been trolling blogs and infertility forums.  Wishing and dreaming that the “BFP” (Big Fat Positive) post would be something I could share one day.

I never planned how I would announce this special moment – and now I am just speechless.

I’m pregnant.  ***Let me just let that sink in*** I have a little one (maybe two) growing inside me.

Still in shock.

On Wednesday, I had a hunch. I was still very crampy, I felt like my cycle was coming on any minute now… but it was different.  So I drove to CVS and bought a test.  I couldn’t believe how quickly the “+” showed up.  I couldn’t wait to tell hubby in person, so I emailed him this picture:

20140430_083509We bought these booties years ago, when we first started “trying”… I had to dig them out from the back of the closet, forgot all about them – until now.

He was speechless.  Next thing I knew, he was at the door – he came home from work to give me a hug. We both didn’t know what to say!

That evening I spotted just a little, so I took another test – still positive.  I called the doctor the next morning and they took a blood test – still positive.

Last night I took another test – still positive. I am in awe. And I’m grateful to God, so grateful.

I have another beta (blood) test tomorrow morning so I am praying all is well!

Here were/are my symptoms:

d1p5dt: Cramps

d2p5dt: Cramps, feel like my period is about to start, irritated

d3p5dt: Cramps – front to lower back, irritated, sleepy, breasts sore

d4p5dt: same

d5p5dt: same

d6p5dt: same, and gassy (Clearblue Plus: BFP)

d7p5dt: Cramping subsided a bit but keep feeling a twinge in my lower abdomen, gassy, breasts still sore (Clearblue Plus: BFP, Beta positive: 60-something-something… I was in such shock, I forgot the numbers)

d8p5dt: Less cramping, twinge still in my lower abdomen (hard to explain), nauseous… (First Signal: BFP)

 

 

Pre-Transfer (FET) Part 2

Well, it’s 6:02am. I could hardly sleep last night. I’ve been tossing and turning.  I’m like a kid at Christmas. When do I get to open my gift??

Hubby, on the other hand, is happily snoring away.

4 1/2 more hours until transfer

3 1/2 more hours till I can start drinking water – for a full bladder

Should I take another prenatal vitamin?? I want my body to be extra ready for the embryos

Should I clean?

I’m hungry – but it’s too late to eat…

I lay on one side and my butt cheek hurts, I lay on the other and my butt cheek hurts….

Thoughts….. All these thoughts are going through my head….. It’s transfer day!

Transfer-Eve (FET)

It’s almost time, I can hardly wait! 12 hours from now I’ll be in the lobby of the doctor’s office eagerly anticipating the welcome of 2 little embryos.

It’s been 2 months since the retrieval and, as time ticks closer to transfer day, the emotions swirl.  It’s not doubt. Maybe it’s fear. After all, we’ve been trying for almost 3 years.  IUIs, injections, suppositories, pills, herbal remedies, acupuncture, hypnosis, Chinese tea…. You name it, we’ve done it.  Then we took a year off to breathe.  My, what a break can do: I felt renewed.  And I felt like it gave my husband and me time to get back on the same page.

We confidently dove into the IVF process.  Not knowing the full process, each step has been a “first experience” for us both.

And now, less than a day away, we will have our biggest chance yet of having a child of our own.  I went to church this evening.  They have classes on Wednesdays.  Hubby and I decided to go to a Biblical Thinking class – it was just what I needed.  I realized that I need to stop looking to myself in this and start looking to God.  And that gives me peace.

I’m ready! SO ready for tomorrow: TRANSFER DAY!

Lupron Day 21 (FET Cycle)

Well, today is Day 21 on Lupron and tomorrow will be my 4th dose of Delestrogen.  My next appointment will be Thursday, a possible pre-op appointment.

ImagePhoto Credit to Google Search

 

I feel like I need to write today.  Most of the time, I plan my posts hours before I actually write them…. but today, I just feel like I need to write my little heart out.  You don’t necessarily need to read this…. this is just me blogging today.

As I was saying I’m on Day 21 of Lupron…. 21 days of shots every morning – not to mention the 1 1/2″ needle that goes into the top of my rear end every 3 days…. can I say I’m hormonal?????  I believe it’s the Lupron that makes me have hot flashes.  I could barely sleep last night because at one minute I was burning up from inside… then extremely cold the next.

And I Just Want To Cry

Really, I’m eager and excited for what is to come.  I am hopeful.  I don’t want to complain.

But these meds are no joke.  Now I understand why they have IVF support group, mentors, forums, blogs…. we need all the support we can get.  And if it was easy to tell outsiders what we’re going through, then it wouldn’t be so difficult.  Dare I say that the closest of friends, family, even spouses have no clue what us IVF-ers feel like having extreme levels of hormones injected into you every day (sometimes twice a day).  What makes it worse, is when you have an emotional day – they take it personally and the stress level rises when you feel like you have to carefully construct conversations when you really want to just SCREAM, and CRY.

3 more days…. THREE more days till my next doctor’s appointment.  I can wait. Please God, let Thursday come quick!

 

 

Sick Day (IVF)

I’m laying in bed a bit later than usual this morning… Yesterday I had this “fuzzy brain feeling” like I was tipsy… only problem was I wasn’t drinking.  The feeling lasted through the afternoon.  Then this morning I woke up with a headache.  I haven’t done much research on Delestrogen so I couldn’t tell you if it’s the side effects, if I’ve caught a bug, or just plain old stress.  Right now I just feel exhausted to the point where I have bags under my eyes and they look bloodshot.  I’ve had plenty of sleep, way more than usual. I am just tired with a headache.

My coworker called me a few minutes ago.  I confided in her a couple months ago that I would be going through IVF.  So she asked if I was OK.  I explained what I was feeling.  Then she asked me, “are you starting to wonder if it’s all worth it?”

Without hesitation I told her it is totally worth it. Absolutely worth it.

Who else would I go through the pain, sickness, overcoming my fear of needles, betting my future nest egg… who else would I go through this for..  But my own child?

This – All of This – is worth the glimmer of hope that we might be able raise a child that might look like me and act like my husband… or look like him and act like me.. whatever qualities… I don’t mind laying here fuzzy-brained on this perfect cloudy morning.

The Trust Exercise (aka Delestrogen)

The Trust Exercise: You know the drill.. One person stands with arms crossed and blind-folded.  A second person stands directly behind with arms outstretched ready to make the catch.  Hubby and I did this exercise once.  He’s a bit bigger than me so I thought I would immediately fall into his strong arms.  On my first attempt, though, my instinct told me to take a step back.  I didn’t even think about it – my feet just started stumbling as I fell.  The second time around, I had to tell myself that he was there ready to catch me.  Then I made the decision to fall.  He caught me.  Simple as that.  Then we switched places.  Same thing happened with him.. he stumbled on the first attempt, then on the second attempt he simply fell – it was a bit of a challenge for me but I caught him.

Today’s trust exercise was a bit different – with the same result.  Today was my first intramuscular shot of Delestrogen.  This new medicine will help my body get ready for my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer).  It will help in building a healthy lining to welcome the little embryo(s).  All the fluff aside, the instructions called for my husband to inject what looks like a 2″ needle into the top of my hind quarters.  There is nothing pretty about this needle.  But for those of you who will be taking this injection, I will spare you the details and give you some tips later.

In preparation for this shot, we read the instructions together.  We thought it was no big deal. At this point, we’ve done dozens of injections – having daily shots of Gonal F/Menopur & Lupron.  We pulled out the necessary supplies.  Then, when we found the needle that connects with the syringe, we both paused.  This was supposed to go where???  My husband somehow hyped himself up to do it but I wasn’t ready.  When I was ready he hesitated.  We carried on for about 3 minutes then I finally grabbed a pillow and closed my eyes.  He injected the delestrogen and it was over. It hurt… yes, it did.  But we did it!

This was our trust exercise. I couldn’t… WOULDN’T go through this if I didn’t trust my husband.  And he made this most frightening experience a little better because he was talking the fear out of me the whole time.

So, here are my tips… ice it! I didn’t ice the injection site because I break out in hives when my skin has contact with cold things.  But Ice It for about 5 min before you inject, it will make your life so much easier.  For me, I gave myself a pinch.  I usually do this before getting blood taken to direct my attention to a different area of pain while I get injected.  Lay on your side or flat on your face so your muscles are relaxed. Finally, don’t sit down for about 30 min.  I did this after my shot and it hurt badly.  Instead give yourself a bit of time to relax, watch TV or read a magazine to pass the time 🙂

Well, there you go.  After a month of birth control & 2 weeks lupron, I’m finally on a new page in my IVF cycle.  Just a step closer to transfer day!

Lupron (IVF FET) Week 2

Recipe for Crazy

1 pill Birth Control

1 shot Lupron

Take Lupron in the morning and Birth Control in the evening. Everyday, indefinitely.

 

Had another check up.  It has now been a full 5 weeks since egg retrieval.  Our 6 little blastocysts have been patiently waiting for my body to prepare for them.  I’m now on my 4th straight week of birth control and 2nd week of Lupron.

For those of you who have already paid your due diligence on this lupron/birth control cocktail, God bless you.  I’m sure that symptoms are different with each patient, but for me……

I am at my wits end. I have hot flashes like it’s coming from my core.  Then I get cold…. chills cold.  I want to cry at EVERYTHING. I attended a pre-screening of Draft Day yesterday, which was a great movie.  And I CRIED when the Kevin Costner character made his draft pick. I can usually contain a good cry but for some reason I couldn’t.  I feel like my insides (my nerves) are on edge.  I want to cry, scream, sleep… all at the same time. I’m tired, achy, throwing up… and my hair is falling out… is that normal?

It doesn’t help that my boys have picked this very month to have their own teenager problems.  It also doesn’t help that my husband considers every outburst as a “mood swing”. It’s at these very times when I need the support of my family, but on the outside I look “normal” so to them, I’m just crazy. On top of that, my car broke down twice and overheated 3 times.

I had my doctor’s appointment this morning.  My ovaries look better, well rested.  Thank goodness.  But my lining is still a bit thick.  Which means I could be looking at another week (or 2) on this dreaded Lupron cocktail.  I NEED SUPPORT.  Seriously. I don’t want to give up, but this medicine is draining all good things out of me.

Note to My Normal Self: Come back please! I miss you!

P.S. In writing this post, I looked up the word “Patient” (for spell-check purposes) and it came up with various synonyms: enduring, easygoing, tolerant, serene….. None of which describes me, the patient (noun), right now.  Ahh, the double entendre.

FET CD4

What a whirlwind weekend we had! My husband’s birthday is this Wed and I surprised him with a spontaneous trip to New York for the weekend.  It was SO much fun, yet SO exhausting… I’m glad to be back in quiet, go-at-your-own-pace, warm, sunny Florida.

While we were there, we went to a spot called “40/40 Club” which was awesome.  Great music, good service, nice atmosphere. This gorgeous chandelier surprisingly reminded me of little sperms surrounding an egg…. or that must be IVF-Brain talking..

ImageAnyway, I had my ultrasound/bloodwork done for Cycle Day 4. Initially, it was planned for last week, but I ended up canceling because I realized I wasn’t in full-flow mode (which is required for a CD 1). The problem of having Luteal Phase Defect (link courtesy of WebMD) is I can start spotting right after ovulation if I don’t take progesterone!

So, everything looked nice and calm during my ultrasound. BUT my estrogen level was a bit too high (104) so she’s putting me back on birth control for 2 weeks. 2………..     longgg……..     weeeeks….

Meds were already delivered last week. I’m almost ready to start the second phase of IVF: My FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)