Friday, May 30, 2008

ME: On A Diet

I know, I know...It's been awhile. Sorry - I have been laying low. I am enjoying my much needed break from all things IVF related and though I am still on a message board break, I decided it was high time I catch up with my blog. There is lots of news to report!

First things first! I had my WTF appt for IVf #2 almost 2 weeks ago. No big surprises from Dr. P, but he does want to make a few tweaks to IVF#3. The biggest change is that we will definitely have a blastocyst transfer next time around. At this point he is not going to make any major med/protocol changes because he said that it is doing what it is supposed to do - great # at ER, lots of mature eggs, great fert rates and fantastic embryos. He does not feel further testing is necessary at this time. He did make one more suggestion to further stack the deck in our favor and I totally knew it was coming and I was half dreading it & half looking forward to the kick in the pants... He wants me to lose 5-10% (MINIMUM) of my body weight before we go for #3. Though he does not believe it is "the" reason for implantation failure, he wants to take it out of the equation and pointed me to mucho research that proves body weight below 185 results in higher success rates and lower PG complications. He warned me that it could be an issue before we ever started IVF #1, but he left the ball in my court. This time he was much more direct about the situation and although he still left the ball in my court, I felt there was an urgency to what he had to say. His ultimate recommendation was to take the summer off, get started on the diet and exercise and check in with him late August. At that point, we'll see where I am with the weight and decide whether to go ahead with #3 or keep losing...

I know he is right and I have been in some denial recently about the fact that Sean & I have become lazy slugs who eat out all the time and park ourselves in front of the TV wayyyyyy too often. For me, this has translated into major weight gain in the 4 years since we got married - to the tune of 60ish pounds. That is crazy - average gain of 20lbs a year - 1.5ish pounds per month...YUCK! I know that I need to lose the weight not only for my fertility but for my overall health and well being. Although I am young and relatively healthy now, I know that I am destined for hypertension and diabetes if I do not make some changes ASAP. What better motivation do I have then to increase my success rates and have a baby???

Sean & I have kicked things into high gear. We have been following the YOU: On a Diet meal plan by Dr. Oz and are already seeing success. Basic summary - whole grains, lean proteins & the biggest part - NO high fructose corn syrup or added sugars in your diet. We have done this before and loved the plan & we are back on track. We have been grilling meat and veggies like they are going out of style and have been walking on the treadmill or at a nearby park daily.

Week 1 results: I lost 6lbs 2oz and Sean lost 4lbs!!! GO US!!!!! WHO-HOOOOOO!!!!!!

We both feel better already & our wallets thank us too - we were spending mucho dinero eating out 4+ times per week.

In other news, I celebrated my 29th birthday over the holiday weekend and we had a wonderful time. We spent the day in Wilmington, Delaware at the Winterthur Estate and Gardens and then we had a yummilicious dinner at our favorite spot- Ruth's Chris. Sean got me the sweetest gift ever. He took Libby, our mini-schnauzer to a place called
Paw Posies They took her paws, dipped them in paint and then made floral painting out of them. They do mail order business as well, but we live close by so he went right to the artist's studio. I absolutely love it. I was bawling my eyes out. He is already the best husband a girl could ask for, imagine what an amazing father he will be??? Libby thinks he is #1 dad for sure!

Adding to my wonderful b-day weekend was the thoughtfulness of Christi and Jill.
I got beautiful cards from both of them wishing me a Happy Birthday! Christi also sent me an Angel coin that says, "Never Lose Hope." It is perfect and I love the sentiment. I keep it with me every single day. Hope is a beautiful thing and there are many days that is the one thing that gets me through. Thank you Jill & Christi for being such amazing women! You are an inspiration and I am thankful that this crazy, painful journey has brought your friendships into my lives! Thank you for brightening my day!

In the words of
Katie, we booked a FUCKET LIST vacation. We are going to Vegas for 5 days in June!!! First, we will head up to Buffalo for 4 days. We will get to see our nieces' dance recital. Out of 6 nieces, 5 of them are dancing in the same show, so that will be a nice treat. Then, we will celebrate Father's Day and catch up with family and friends. Libby will stay with her Gramma and Papa and we will fly out to Vegas on Monday morning June 16th!

We had 2 Rapid Reward flights from Southwest so we are flying out to Vegas for free! We also had a crap load of Marriott points so we are also staying for free! Marriott could not honor points for 2 nights of our vacay so we are also redeeming some comps to stay at
Red Rock Resort also for FREE! Could it get any better than that??? We have "done" Vegas many times, so we are looking forward to staying offstrip at the JW Marriott also in Red Rock. We have been squirrelling away spare change for about 2 years now & have a little bit of "fun money" socked away so that will be a good chunk of spending money. I can't wait to lounge by the pool with a fruity adult beverage, relax at the spa and eat delicious (yet reasonably healthy) meals....ahhhh heaven! Just what the doctor ordered! We also bought tickets to see Kevin James and Ray Romano at the Mirage. T-minus 17 days until VEGAS!!!

I think that wraps up the high points of the last few weeks. Though I have not checked in with many you in awhile, I think about each of you everyday and no matter where you are on this IF journey I wish you HOPE and happiness! Can't wait to catch up on every one's news!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

That is NOT a Good BINGO

It's official, IVF#2 failed. I retested this morning and it was a BFN - yes, white as Sean's ass in the winter.

My BFP was nothing more than the last of the HCG booster shots. I am not sorry I tested because it did give me the hope I needed to get through a few days.

I am kind of numb. I really haven't shed many tears and I feel ok. I knew all along that this cycle did not work.

I feel like our chances at a biological child are slipping away. IVF is our only option and it has already failed us twice.

I will schedule a WTF appointment and we need to seriously evaluate our next steps. I think a break and a vacation are in order.

Can't wait for my period to arrive. Post IVF AF is horrendous and a painful reminder of just how badly my body has failed me...

Friday, May 16, 2008

I caved & I tested &....

I got the faintest BFP in the history of the world. So faint, I walked away, Sean said, "Well?" I replied on the verge of tears, "Whiter than your ass in winter!" He laughed, picked up FRER and said, "I see a 2nd line!" He was right. I guess I am so conditioned to BFNs and had myself so convinced it was a BFN that I just assumed. You may be wondering if this is the BFP "dream" story - no it's definitely NOT. Was there joy? Crying? Celebrating? Picking baby names and calculating due dates??? Soft music playing in the background?

Ahhhh, I don't think so... We both breathed a tiny sigh of relief that it wasn't as white as Sean's ass in the winter, gave each other a squeeze and then sat down to eat our dinner and watch Grey's. Romantic story, isn't it??? Not really the way I imagined my 1st BFP ever in 3 1/2 years of TTC playing in my mind.

Ok - so why am I not over the moon? Well, I have a sinking feeling that it is the dying embers of my final HCG booster shot - 2,500U on 5/8. In the 18 days since I triggered, I have had 17,500U of HCG. At the rate of metabolizing 1,000U per day, yesterday would have been the absolute earliest (day 18) I could have tested by nothing other than my own calculations and even that was shaky.

Why did I test knowing it was shaky? Well, honestly, as you can tell by my previous post, I was losing my mind. I was 100% convinced it was going to be a BFN, so I wanted to confirm and move on. At almost 14 days past transfer, I believe it was too light to be anything besides the final gasp of HCG. Sean did remind me though that I did not use FMU and by rights I wouldn't have even missed a period yet in the non-IVF world - AF is due today for what its worth...

Now that I have my 1st BFP ever, I am not confident enough that it was anything besides false, so no celebrating for me. However, that little pee stick did do me a favor last night - it gave me back some hope and that is good enough for me, for now.

I just need to get through 3 more days....I may test again over the weekend, but I may wait until my Beta on Monday.

Everything crossed ladies, everything crossed!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Crawling In My Skin

13dp3dt and I am starting to go a bit mad. This is the worst part of the wait for me. My Beta is Monday and I think I may crawl out of my skin before that. I have little, to no, expectation for a BFP, but there is that part of me that is hoping like hell that I am pregnant.

I feel really "normal", as normal as you can feel during IVF. I feel like my boobs are less sore everyday and I am little crampy, but just the standard IVF 2ww stuff. On Tuesday, I was sure my period was moments away from arriving and so far she hasn't arrived. Last cycle, she arrived late in the night on the 15th day (that would be Saturday). Twice this week, I have woken up really early with terrible stomach pain and nausea. I get up, limp to the bathroom with my mouth all "salivay", sure I am going to puke and pass out all at the same time and then it is gone as quickly as it came. It is strange and I really doubt it has anything to do with a potential pregnancy.

I can't get out of my own head right now. I am second guessing and over analyzing everything. The TP inspections are in full force and Sean doesn't understand why I put myself through all this scrutiny, but he doesn't understand that I can't help it.

I can't figure out if my gut is telling me that this did not work or if my protective mechanisms are kicking in for self-preservation reasons. When I read my post from this same time last cycle, I feel like a different person. Then, I was 100% sure I was PG, this time, I am 95% sure I am not.

I think we may test on Saturday, but I am terrified of seeing ANOTHER snow white HPT.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

My friend Jill of Desperately Seeking Spawn tagged me to do this and it sounded like a great 2.5ww distraction!

4 Things I did 10 Years Ago - 1998

1. I had just finished my first year of college in MD and was soooooo happy to be back in Buffalo for the summer.

2. Sean & I did it like rabbits all summer long -ahhhh young love!

3. I bought my 1st car - Sean's dad's white Ford Escort.

4. I worked at Children's Hospital of Buffalo in the food service department. I got this job at age 16 and was my first "real job". They took me back every summer and holiday break for years. It was hard work, but great money and good for character building.

4 Things I did 5 Years Ago - 2003 - this was a BIG time in our lives!

1. I was engaged and planning my wedding. I was loving every minute of it.

2. We got a puppy! A 1.3lb mini-schnauzer that we named Libby! We got her in June. Happy 5th Birthday Libby! She is the love of our lives.

3. It was our 1st summer in our first house! We built a townhouse in Joppa, MD. Loved the entire process. We had great neighbors and a house that was cute as a button.

4. I was teaching 5th grade at a public elementary school. I also taught summer school in an Autistic Preschool and I loved it.

4 Things I did Yesterday - A HORRIBLE DAY

1. Lost power for 6 hours and baled water out of sump pump.

2. Took Libby to a new groomer who injured her eye.

3. Took Libby to emergency vet.

4. Went ballistic on groomer and owner when they refused to cover my costs and denied doing anything wrong.

4 TV Shows I Love to Watch

1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Brothers & Sisters
3. So You Think You Can Dance? - yay, it starts next week!
4. General Hospital - I have been watching for over 20 years. I DVR it everyday!

4 Things I Love to Do

1. Read - anything and everything.
2. Date Night - dinner and a movie!
3. Go on vacation. Love everything about it - the spa, the drinks, the pools, the great vacation sex, the sun, the spoiling...I could really go for a vaca right about now!
4. Snuggle in bed on Sunday mornings with Sean and Libby talking about anything and everything for hours.

Now, I tag: Helping Make Sense (Lisa), Destination Baby (Sarah), Will They Have His Eyes?(Maria) & Your Average Infertility Blog (Gretchen) - No pressure ladies!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Incubating: Part Deux

As far as my own special circle of hell - otherwise known as "my 2.5 week wait courtesy of the booster shots"- is going, well, it's going okay I guess. I really haven't been obsessing too much -until now. I am 5dp3dt. I had 2 bouts of nausea today - one when I first came in from taking Libby for her morning walk and one when I got to the bank. I think they both had more to do with an empty stomach, being overly warm and possibly even the booster shots, than any "symptom", but none the less it had me running to Dr. Google to see just how early in a pregnancy nausea can be experienced. This of course led to full on breast inspection including poking, prodding, nipple check and vein examination. The boobs hurt, the nipples are fine and the veins are no more and no less "veiny." Then of course the litany of other symptoms I needed to ponder: Am I peeing more often? Who knows? I always pee a lot - that one is impossible for me to judge. Hungry? For sure, but that is thanks to the Prednisone. Tired? Yep, but that's the hormones too. I learned the hard way last time that Progesterone plays nasty tricks on poor, vulnerable women in the 2ww so I am trying not to over analyze, but today that is not going so well. The fact is that by this point implantation has occured or it hasn't and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. Oh well - 2 boosters down and 1 to go. T-minus 12 days until Beta...

I feel a little stuck in a holding pattern. I feel like we haven't made much progress in getting the house settled in over a week. We had the initial mad-dash and got the big things done, but then with my ER & ET, we have really slowed down. I really need to get the office in order, the family room decorated, the bathroom cabinets organized, the guest rooms set up and million other things that I just have not been motivated to work on recently. I can't believe we have lived here 2 weeks already!

I did run some errands today and it felt good to check a few things off the "to do" list. Gotta love the Target trip where you spend over a $100 on things you flush down the toilet or rinse down the sink! I did manage to get myself 2 pair of capris to get me through the next few weeks. Did I mention that my fat ass only fits into 2 pair of capris from last summer?!? This happens to me every year - at this rate I am going to be wearing mu mus by next summer. I have gone up a size every summer since I got married - GROSS!!! I hated to buy new clothes at this point because if I get a BFP, it won't be long before I am hitting up the maternity stores and if it is a BFN, I am back at WW and the gym full force ASAP. With the 2 new pair of capris, I now have a grand total of:

1 pair of jean capris
1 pair of black capris
2 pair of yoga pant capris

What a wardrobe!!! Am I ready for the runway or what??? Hopefully there won't be too many social engagements on the calendar in the next few weeks...

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Power of 10???

ET went very well this morning. All of the Magnificent 7 were going strong and we had some great looking embies to work with. I also met the sweetest girl who was having her ET today for IVF #1. If our hubbys can't be there with us at least we can have girl talk.

We transferred:
  • a 10 cell
  • an 8 cell

Both were given a grade of 4+ which is my clinic's highest grade and are considered high probability. RE said my lining looked "beautiful"! What more can a girl ask for? (besides a BFP of course!) I am excited about my little 10 cell embie...

We had 3 more good looking 3+ and 4+ in the 6-8 cell range to freeze which brings us up to 6 totsicles. We are watching 2 more until Monday.

The only downside is that my E2 was still not high enough so I have to take the Novarel boosters 3x over the next week 1/2cc each. They make me feel yucky and they delay my beta until May 19th - yep 17 effing days. It was nerve wracking last cycle and I expect nothing less this time around - hopefully the outcome will be different though! At least I have unpacking and decorating to keep me busy...

My butt should be on the couch so I am going to wrap this up. Off to eat some fresh pineapple and watch "The Queen" & "27 Dresses" while the embabies snuggle in. Did I mention that Sean takes phenomenal care of me? I am one lucky girl - he spoils me rotten!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 2 Fert Report

All good news! Still have 7 going strong:

4 - 2 cell
1-3 cell
1-4 cell
1-5 cell (our overachiever!)

Excited for ET tomorrow, but find myself assuming that this cycle won't work. I keep saying/thinking things like, "We'll be taking a few month break after this cycle." "I'll be going back to the gym and WW in a few weeks." I can't believe how much my mindset has changed since this point in IVF #1. Still deciding if this is a good thing, bad thing or indifferent...

T-minus 11 hours until the embies come home...