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!

Countdown! (IVF FET Cycle)

I had my check this morning… and I couldn’t have asked for better news – my lining looks good!

For you football fans: It’s like one of those games where your team is down by 2 points and you intently watch as the kicker attempts a 45 yd field goal…. and the crowd goes silent…. you just want to hear those two words: “It’s Good”…. and that’s what I heard today. IT’S GOOD!!

So countdown begins, transfer day is Thursday. 

I’m currently taking Lupron & Delestrogen (which I’ve been complaining about for almost a month).  Instead of lessening the meds, they have now added Progesterone in Oil, a steroid, and antibiotic to the protocol.

But I have no care in the world right now….. Countdown is ON!

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.

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.

Freeze All (IVF FET Cycle)

FREEZE ALL… I should have known….

I remember playing a silly running game in elementary school..  First, everyone stands on one side of the gym.  When the teacher yells “GO”, everyone runs.  When he/she says “FREEZE”, everyone stops.  They keep doing this till someone, the Winner, reaches the other end of the gym.

I would always be somewhere in the middle… not the slowest, and definitely not the fastest.  But I always looked at the finish line on other side of the gym thinking “today, I’m going to be the winner.”  The funny part is when you get to 3-4 steps into it, you start developing a good stride..then they yell “FREEZE” and you MUST freeze or else you’re out of the game.  And only ONLY if you run as fast as you can, and abruptly stop when they yell freeze, you just might have a chance to win.  I can’t remember the name of this game.  But I believe the adult IVF version should be called “Freeze All”.

See, under the suggestion of my IVF doctor, we chose to do a (Part 1) “freeze all” (no immediate transfer), then to a (Part 2) Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET).  The first part went pretty smoothly, rather quickly actually.  Then they told us to wait.  We waited till my next cycle started, then on cycle day 3 (CD3), they did a sonogram/bloodwork.  Based on my results, they put me back on birth control for 2 weeks… to let my ovaries rest.

I’ve been in a pretty good mood… I’ve been patient… Even enjoyed myself a bit while I’ve been on been on this birth control regimen.  But, yesterday I went in for a check up and I have, yet, another week on birth control and they added a nice little dose of Lupron to my daily routine.  So I remain frozen, feet in place, eagerly focused on that finish line…. And our little ones stay frozen.

……Until they say “Go”

 

 

Day 6 Update (6 Little Snowflakes)

I just received a phone call from the nurse who informed me that we have 6 little snowflakes.  We had 4 yesterday, but 2 caught up!  They just needed a little time to grow… So now we have 6.

Coincidentally, my cycle started today.  So I have an appointment tomorrow morning for an ultrasound & bloodwork.  They’ve faxed in my prescription… and here it goes!

Day 5 Blastocysts

I started this post around 9 o’ clock last night… but I was just so exhausted that I closed it and went to sleep.  Waiting can surely take the energy out of you!  We got the call from our nurse around 8:30pm and she gave us the news.. this time she broke it down for us:

Of the 13 eggs retrieved, 9 were mature, they ICSI’d (injected the sperm into the eggs) and 8 fertilized… that’s what we already knew from our Day 1 call.

So, of those 8, 4 were frozen.  She explained that they were B-graded expanded blastocysts.  I tried to ‘google’ what this meant and found this link from the Advanced Fertility website.

The other 4 were given 1 extra day to catch up and we will get our final count this afternoon.

So, we have 4. I’m happy, nervous, excited, and anxious….

We’re not transferring during this cycle, instead my body rest and do an FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) next cycle… so until then, I’ll be checking for updates on all my fellow blogging buddies!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

Waiting

One thing we hate doing is waiting.. I don’t think I’m out of the norm when I say this.  We all hate waiting, don’t we?

Reason why I don’t go to Disney World, and if I do, I make sure to utilize their Fast Pass system.  Reason why I use the UPS route system to drive to work – attempting to make more right turns than left. Reason why I request a read receipt when sending important emails so I know the recipient at least received my email before they actually respond. Yes, my impatience can be quite annoying.. but I just hate waiting.

So, it’s now after noon on my side of the world and I have yet to receive a call from the nurse about our 5-day-old embryos.  I did call, but they transferred me to the nurse’s voice mail.  Now, I have nothing more to do than wait……

The Joy of Decaf

CAM00040Right out of high school, I worked as a hostess at a restaurant called Shari’s.  For those unfamiliar with the chain, it’s like a Denny’s or Perkins.  My main duties were to greet people with a smile, seat them, bring them water, and ask if they wanted anything else to drink.  Coffee was the drink of choice.  Might have been because we were in the heart of Coffee-Town: The Greater Seattle Area. But, my guess is that coffee would have been THE answer whether we were in Seattle, in our adopted home of Orlando, or anywhere in between.

Very rarely, would I hear a request for decaffeinated coffee.

The coffee snob in me would think, decaf?? Why in the world would anyone want decaf when they could have the real deal! I’m picturing myself saying this with a villainous tone, hands raised up, shaking (from caffeine-overload)

There were some exceptions to my rant here such as those who need to cut back on caffeine for health reasons.  But for those who “look like coffee drinkers” (yes, I guess I’m stereotyping here), the word “decaf” may trigger a smirk on my face just for a micro-second until I can regain my composure.  MY idea of “coffee drinkers” would look like fun-looking people, smart-looking people, anyone older than 17…. they all get a decaf-requesting-smirk…. and of course, if you’re going to get a coffee drink without the caffeine,  why not get something obviously different? Like juice??

 If I could give my early-twenties self any useful advice, I would tell her (nicely, because I am a feisty one), “instead of smirking, smile, and maybe offer a hug.”

My older, wiser, infertility-struggling self now knows better now to even THINK of judging a decaf drinker!  Because a Decaf Drinker is not a weak one! She may be holding on to her last bit of the fun life she had BEFORE she started fertility treatments.  She has already given up wine (another vice that grape juice just won’t EVER mount up to), girl time (because her meds are driving her bonkers), and zumba (if she’s going through IVF, her doctor has told her to lay low for a bit)!  The ONLY thing she has left is a drink that TASTES like coffee!

So decaf drinkers, be proud! You have found something to fill that little hole in your morning routine.  And one day, hopefully one day soon – you will reunited with your beloved drink of choice: Regular Medium Roasted Caffeinated Coffee.