Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wine, Caffeine, & Nitrates OH MY!

Mmmmm! We had a pre, (or maybe it was post), IVF feast last night & it was amazing! We went to dinner at my best friend's house and it was an IVFers nightmare but since I have not started the shots for #2 yet, I was in heaven...Let's see, we had Diet Cokes - caffeine and aspartame! Then, the first course was cucumber salad with big, huge chunks of Feta in all of its unpasteurized glory. Dinner was an amazing pasta dish with Nitrate- filled sausage... Dinner would not have been complete without the bottles of wine we polished off!

The best part, I don't think we uttered the words IVF at all the entire evening.

I started off this morning at Starbucks with a Grande White Mocha - I am having a big, food temper-tantrum and I am loving it!!! My waist line, however, well that is a different story...

Did I mention, Sean & I *finally* had sex on Thursday night??? It had been more than a month and I was more than ready to go! See, there are some benefits to being in between cycles???

In spite of it though, I would give it all up a thousand times over just to be pregnant and have a baby of my own...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Try, try again

Over the past few days I have started to feel much better. In a surprising turn of events, we decided to pursue another fresh cycle immediately. The clinic used my the blood from my beta as my cd3 b/w and it was good, so away we go!

We were thinking of taking a break for a month or two; however, the nurse was kind enough to help me lay out my cycles for March, April, & May. April was out b/c it interfered with the kids finals and I would never leave them high and dry during that time. May was out b/c my er/et would have coincided with the time the clinic closes for lab cleaning, vacations, research etc... So it was go now or wait until the end of June, so we went for it.

It really helped me I think. I am already focused on the next cycle and not dwelling on the last one. I am still sad, but the ridiculous optimism has already crept back in and I am excited for #2!

We are keeping this cycle more private and not making any "announcements" to friends about a new cycle. I have told my mom and Amanda, but that is it so far. It is really Sean's decision - he thinks it will be less stressful to keep it quiet. We haven't decided if we will tell his family or not...

So, I am back on BCP and start Lupron on April 10th...Here we go again!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Very Unhappy Ending

My bad news arrived at 4am Saturday morning. She wore pink and red and jarred me from my peaceful, blissfully ignorant sleep...

Not quite full flow, definitely more than spotting. I flipped on the light to confirm and sure enough. I headed back to bed and told Sean the news.

In spite of the bad news, we somehow willed ourselves back to sleep. I just kept telling myself, "There will be plenty of time for crying tomorrow, now you need to sleep - sleep is good, sleep is numb."

I woke up around 8am and was still bleeding. I took a HPT to confirm what I already knew. I walked out without even looking at it... Sean checked it, he didn't need to say a word - he just
tossed it in the trash and crawled back into bed where I was already sobbing...

It's been a tough morning. I cried and cried. I am exhausted. I am sad, I am more than sad. My heart hurts, I feel empty inside.

Even though I have had 39 failed cycles, this was the worst one by far... It is so devastating to know that for a few short days, I had life -life that was created between Sean & I- growing inside of me and my body failed to nurture it...

I think on some level, I knew. On Thursday night, I told Sean that I felt like something was different and not in a good way. All my "symptoms" were disappearing and I just felt like there was a subtle shift in my body. I don't know maybe I imagined it, all I know is that one day I truly believed I was pregnant and the next I didn't.

Don't misunderstand me, I still wasn't prepared for this ending - far, far from it. But this is the ending we have to work with and we have no choice but to put one foot in front of the other.

I have to continue my progesterone and still go for Beta on Monday and I guess we will have our WTF appt next week...

We will move ahead. I have 3 frozen embryos to work with, but we will likely do another fresh cycle in a few months. Since the house is sold, I guess for now, we will focus on the move, the business and each other. We will try again & I will have hope again...just not right now...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In reality

The wait is killing me!!! The hardest part is knowing that at this point, I am either pregnant or I am not, but there is no way to confirm one way or the other. If I test right now, it will likely be positive - great news - except for the fact that I will have no way of knowing if it is really positive or just a big, fake positive (a whole other meaning for BFP!) because of the HCG boosters. To be honest, I don't think I could handle that kind of mind f*ck at this point...

Yesterday was a bad day. I was emotional and a wreck all day. I got bad news from both my "cycle buddies", Christi and Jill. Neither one of their IVFs worked and I was so sad for them. Not just sad, my heart is breaking for them. I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow and emptiness they must be feeling. It is soooo much to go through - physically, emotionally, financially etc... you have so much at stake with each cycle and it can all disappear in a second. I wish I could be with them IRL to lend my support...

I thought I might be spotting yesterday and looking back I think it was a figment of my imagination because nothing since (THANK GOD) but it was the first time that I realized, really truly comprehended, that I am one drop of blood away from this all being over. It shook me up. I really have not prepared myself for a negative result and yesterday was a lesson that I need to in a big way.

Today I am positive and hopeful again, but yesterday was rough.

With all that said, I probably shouldn't write what I am about to write, but its my blog and I'll do what I want sooooo....I thought I should document what I have been feeling so that I can either look back and say it was a symptom or know in the future that is doesn't mean a damn thing...So here is my list of "symptoms" that are helping me to remain positive:

1. No AF or spotting yet
2. I had some twinges - pings and pangs in my uterus last week - my fertile friends tell me this is a good thing
3. I have had shooting pains in my boobs and tingly nipples - sore boobs too - but that is from the progesterone
4. Hotflashes the last 2 days - the rip your clothes of in the middle of the supermarket and crawl into a freezer kind of hotflashes - I have no evidence this is a symptom of PG, but it makes sense to me with all the hormones in play so I am going with it
5. An intense craving for all things salty and spicy - nightly snack = pickles and pepperoncinis
6. A little crampy here and there
7. I feel like this is "it" for me

Ok, now back to reality. The reality is that I still have 5 more days before & I know anything. The reality is that even if I am lucky enough to get a BFP on Monday, it is just the first of many, many hurdles I need to get through.

In reality - I will be DEVASTATED if this doesn't work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, I am officially a lady in not that kind of waiting! The infamous 2 weeks of waiting to find out if all of this has led to a pot of gold (or 2) at the end of the IVF rainbow! I had my embryo transfer on Friday, March 7th & it went well. Piece of cake really, no worse than a pap smear. All 8 embryos survived to transfer day & we had 2 great looking 8 cell embabies that they transferred.

I asked them embryologist for a photo & she obliged and I am so touched by this photo. Who would ever think that 8 little circles (well 16 in this case 8 on each) could inspire so much awe and hope in a person?The photo is my visual proof that there is life trying to take hold inside of me. It really moves me. I kept it at my heart during transfer & by my bedside at night. So with out further ado, here they are!

Sean says the one on the left is our future NHL star. Who can deny those perfect little cells resemble hockey pucks?! That was his request of the embryologist - to choose the hockey players- perhaps she did!

Here's the update on the other 6 embryos - 3 looked good on transfer day -6, 7 & 8 cells so they froze them into little snowbabies that day. The other 3 were slackers so they let them wait it out in the lab until today. Sadly, they were discarded. Survival of the fittest I guess, but I am a little sad...

I originally was told our Beta would be on St. Patty's Day, but due to my uncooperative E2 levels, it seems it will be delayed. My E2 has dropped more than 50% since retrieval day, so I need to take HCG booster shots every three days. This is fun on so many levels. First off, because it is the same hormone your body produces during pregnancy, testing too early could result in a false positive. So, instead of a 10 day wait, I am luck enough to have a 17 day wait. Beta moved to my mother-in-law's b-day - Monday, March 24th! 13 days & counting! The second reason these booster shots are such fun is that they knock me on my butt. About 24 hours after the 1st one, I wanted to cry my eyes out, but I knew it would hurt too much. It was the worst pain I have had throughout this whole cycle. I had a stitch in my side, my ovaries were the size of basketballs & I felt like I had done 10,000 sit-ups.

I was a little scared so I called the nurse and she said it was pretty normal as the HCG was exacerbating the rest of my symptoms. Extra strength Tylenol, Gatorade & some protein did the trick & I was feeling much better. I had another booster last night & although it doesn't seem to be nearly as bad this time, I don't feel as good as I did yesterday. Did I mention I look 6 months pregnant??? The bloating is OUT OF CONTROL!!! I have never seen anything like it!

I have decided to go with Jill's mantra, "pregnant until proven otherwise". In the mean time, we are praying for implantation - that should be occurring as I type according to my calculations!

Come on embabies, snuggle down, you've got a long nine months of growing ahead of you!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A miracle in a petri dish

Ok, so I obviously have not updated in quite awhile! Things have been so busy for us...

Stims went really well - I ended up stimming for 9 nights, triggered on Sunday 3/2, had egg retrieval (ER) on 3/4 and we have transfer (ET) in the morning!!! I cannot believe how quickly it flew by!

ER was better than I expected it would be. The twilight anesthesia is so nice - no side effects & no "hang over" type feeling. Dr. B collected 10 little eggs & all 10 were mature (which is great news). I had some cramping & pressure but nothing a little sofa time & pampering didn't take care of.

Sean was very cute at ER, he asked embryologist if she could please select the sperm that were swimming with hockey sticks. It just cracked me right up & then all I could picture were all the little sperm & eggs - some with hockey sticks, some tossing a football, reading a novel, wearing ballet slippers and it made me smile!

Our fertilization report was fantastic - we had 8 out 10 fertilize & today (day 2) they are all between 2-6 cells, so we are in good shape for tomorrow's transfer.

Sean & I keep joking around about calling to check on "the kids" or "wondering how are babies are doing?" It is really crazy when you start to think about it - as Amanda said - hopefully they will all be people some day & we can say "I remember when you were 2 little cells in a petri dish!" It blows me away, really. Yet another day of being so filled with optimism & the belief in the power of medicine & miracles...

I believe IVF really is the meeting of the 2 - the hand of science & the hand of God coming together to create life...

Here's to our miracle!