Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Friend Jack

High School Reunions are always more fun when you bring along a good friend.
Pash needed the night of 80's dancing and memory lane laughs b/c it's been a bad month. There were people at my reunion who are grandparents for Pete's sake. Grandparents? Ha! And we have two embryos on ice!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cycle Day 1

One week later, I am finally starting my period today.

We will do the FET with the next cycle so that will put a transfer in early September. My girls will be back in school by then. Hopefully there will not be any illness going around that early.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hormone hell and FET stories needed!

No period yet. Just living here in hormone hell waiting and waiting. So far I have been mostly "numb" and hoping CD 1 will help with my emotional state. How do women lose pregnancies at 8, 12, 20 weeks? HOW IN THE HELL do they do it? My heart and utmost respect goes out to those women. It's not like we IFers just "go at it" again next month. We invest weeks and months into one cycle, not to mention the damn plethora of needles...oh, and let's not forget the cold hard cash. That's not to say that fertiles are any less saddened by a mc but I do think the road to recovery, so to speak, is a shorter one. They can get right back on track within a few months and have the relative sense of peace that it will work eventually.

Me? I sit here with all of my hopes on two frozen embryos. They were the slowest growing of the five and rated as "good". Just nice solid embryos, nothing stellar about them but no real issues, either. I like "average", it's safe and comforting. I have read so many stories where the stragglers of the bunch ended up making a that stuck around. I am comforted by those stories and think fondly of our two 4-celled "goods" just waiting to be thawed so they can show the world what potential they have!

If you have or know of a heartwarming FET story, please post it! I need to be reminded that those FET's do result in babies sometimes. What's amazing is that they usually transfer the "best" embies in a fresh cycle and the "rest" are frozen. As any embryologist will admit, they honestly cannot tell which embies are the best based on "looking" at them. The slower growing less pretty embryos really get a bad wrap!

Let's hear it for all the underestimated "average" embryos out there!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ka*ma Sut*ra Anyone?

First things first...thank you for your expressions of friendship after learning about our early loss. It's really comforting having fellow stirrup queens share in this journey. Only you guys *really* "get it".

Last night, in the depth of my numbness, I mustered up the wherewithal to take my Goose to a Har*ry Pot*ter party at Bor*ders. It was a night we had been looking forward to for months. While I really wanted to climb into bed with a pitcher of bellini's and not come out for a week, I had to step up to the mommy plate for my gal.

The store was abuzz with little Har*rys and Hermi*ones and treasure hunts and spelling bees and Quid*ditch tryouts. Goose took part in some of the activities and we visited the coffee shop for some treats. We moved on over to the kid's books and most unfortunately the pregnancy books were right smack dab next to the children's book section. I could not believe the luck. Ugh.

Goose found a book and was soon lost in the story, unaware of the mug*gle spelling bee going on right next to us. Mommy was going downhill fast but I realized it would be cruel to pull her out of her new-found world buried in the pages of that book and it seemed a shame to buy it since she was already half-way through. (Goose is a speed reader...she obtained the new H*P book at 10 AM this morning and even after swimming with friends this afternoon finished the book by 6PM). So that she could finish the book (and I could then spend the money on pee sticks for our FET in a few months), I decided to browse and she just walked with me, cruising through the book. We found ourselves near the "gift" area...there are cards and diaries and journals and photo know that area of bookstores. She settled herself at a shelf and propped her book up while I smelled candles and lotions. I moved my way down the shelf she was temporatily staking out and found, with great shock, she was right in the middle of ka*ma sut*ra and other various se*x books. Thankfully she was lost in her story and never even noticed the enlightening books within her reach. I was laughing to myself and snapped a photo.

There was my little Her*mione enjoying her age-appropriate book with every se*x position known to man (and woman) at her fingertips. Ignorance is bliss, yes?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Chemical - Early Miscarriage

Beta #2: 48.

I had a feeling the number today was not going to be good.

The RE Nurse finally called (I got the results from my local GYN office three hours ago). We stop the PIO, they did not mention any more blood tests. My period will start (hopefully soon) and then in September we can do an FET with estrogen patches and PIO's after the next period starts.

The nurse did indicate that it's a good sign that implantation occurred. The big limitation here is that we only have two frozen 3-day embryos to transfer. They might not even survive thawing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Holy Mary....we have a bun in the oven

The. RE. Finally. Called.

Beta: 60

We are pregnant.

I was hesitant about that number but the nurse said anything over 50 is good. She has seen "38" turn out to be twins and said our number is a good singleton or twin number.

My next lab is Friday morning and they want to see it go over 100. Those people had better call me before 3:30 CST Friday! Afternoons as of late are NOT my best time and another wait like today's might just put me over the edge.


* Upset stomach after eating or just in general at times. (CD 23)
* Minor shooting pains around uterus. (CD 27)
* Shooting pains in breasts, off and on. (CD 28)
* Much larger breasts (CD 23), average tenderness. Due to BCP's mine have always been tender.
* Very tired. I can't walk across the room sometimes. Napping daily.
* Short of breath.
* Off and on headaches. I get headaches A LOT but these are different. (CD 23)
* ZERO implantation spotting. I am not a "spot" kinda gal, never, ever spot between cycles.
* Kinda "crampy". Not hard core menstrual cramps. Just "crampy" feeling.

* Extreme thirst (CD 27)

The "thirst" thing is what sold me that this might be "it". I met my friend "in the know" Monday morning for breakfast at Pan*era. Within one hour of eating, I was SICK from the food. No vomiting, just soury icky stomach with a "vomity" kind of gag feeling at the back of my throat. Along with this was EXTREME thirst and it has not gone away. And I don't want anything but water. Son*ic Che*rry Lime*ade and decaf sweet tea are my favorite drinks and they do not sound good at all. Water is all that I crave.

My new mantra...please don't be chemical....please don't chemical.....please don't be chemical....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Holy hell...what have I done?

Blogdom: I feel physically ill. Headache. Nausea. My usual "hand full" boobs are spilling over the hand. I caved. I had to know.

At 3PM CST I peed on a stick.

But here's the catch. I used brand X but followed the directions for brand Y...there were leftovers of one brand mixed in with others and I did not realize it! I was looking for a + but the result window showed an up and down line. I was freaking out...what the heck? Then I realized that the key as indicated on the cap of the stick showed for "pregnant" a faint up/down line with a strong up/down line (which is the control) and "not pregnant" is a totally blank square box and then the up/down control. PLUS....I was reading the directions that said look after two mins but the test I used (I noticed later) said to look after THREE mins. So for an entire effing minute I thought IVF didn't work! And then it appeared! Finally I saw the corret "key" for the test I was taking. Talk about going from in the dumps to sheer (reserved) joy! The line is there but it's really, really light!

Women of the Inter*net, help me!!! Would the trigger still show up two weeks later?

Aren't I seeing a line? It's really, really faint but it's there!

Update. Took another test.


Weds at 8:30 my favorite phlebotomist will draw blood from my stellar right arm vein. Hopefully by 2 or 3 I will hear back from the nurse. REnurse whom I love is on vacation.

Friends, I have never had "the call". My results have always ended with a period. I really, really don't want to get the call. If they could call Ivan instead I would have them call him. But he will be at work and that's not the best place to find out. I told him not to call me b/c I don't want to tell him either way while he is at work.

This morning's PIO was hell. I was standing and was "relaxing" my hip in preparation for the injection. Because I was off-kilter, Ivan's measuring was off. The injection went way too hit in the area where your buttocks thin out and turn into lower back. It hurt...HURT! During and after. My leg has been aching all day. I stood there afterward and everything was going dark and I was losing my hearing. I exclaimed, "I'm going to pass out!" and rushed to the bed. I have been light-headed all day. So, that was one more kick to the stomach after an already long journey. I mean not just this IVF but the journey getting here...we took a break to raise two beautiful, smart daughters along the way...but this journey has been twelve years in the making for us.

Well, if the result is negative, I won't be crushed...disappointed, really disappointed...but not crushed. It would be like traveling across Europe to your favorite theme park only to find it was closed for renovations when you finally got there! You walk away from the padlocked gate with your health and your wonderful family but you sure were looking forward to that monster roller coaster beyond the locked entrance!

Me and my half-eaten bun are hoping to climb on board the roller coaster tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The falling bun from the sky

So this morning was day 2 of the 2-day horse show. That meant that I was up, yet again, at 4:45AM. Ashpash was not pleasant this morning and was on the verge of tears b/c I felt too good...I want to be barfing my guts out people! I want the smell of horse manure to send me running for a muck bucket! As you can see from my previous posts, there are no real symptoms and it's weighing on me. I am so sick of reading message board posts of women who claim to have symptoms three days after ovulation. It just is not realistic to have actual pregnancy symptoms that early. These "traditional" symptoms could be caused by ANYTHING, not just pregnancy. It causes more anxiety for the rest of us, damn it, so stop!

The other issue here with this symptom stuff is that I won't feel "crampy" due to my period b/c I am artificially maintaining this cycle with the PIO's. There is no corpus luteum that will die out, ending progesterone production resulting in that "crampy feeling".
No, I will be fooled to the bitter end.

About the bun. My friend who has twins as the result of one IVF cycle shared with me her rabbit story. The day of her beta test she had a rabbit bolt out in front of her as she walked in to the hospital lab for the test. She thought it was a "sign" and even though she felt those familiar cramps on the drive home, was uplifted by her rabbit...and she was pregnant with twins. Well, I had my own "rabbit" experience this morning.

Goose and I pulled through the drive-thru of the only open food establishment at 5:55 this morning (McD's....argh!) to get something to eat however disgustingly unhealthy it may be. Nothing on the menu sounded even remotely good except for a filet of fish. Why is it that you can't get a filet of fish at 6AM? There are people like me who can eat anything for breakfast and that's what sounded good. So, while I was in line waiting for Goose's pancakes and my ((ahem)) ICE WATER, something plopped onto my windshied. Startled, I exclaimed, "what the hell?" Upon close inspection through the windshield I saw that is was a partially eaten hamburger bun. Instantly I started looking for prankster teenagers who were obviously throwing food at me...attacking this pathetic pin cushion of a woman...beating her while she is down. Except, come on, what teens would be out at 6AM on a Sunday morning? Once I got over my victim mentality, I realized that a bird had found the bun in the parking lot and was flying over with his prize when the sheer weight and girth was too much for his bird mouth. So, on a morning when I was feeling pretty low and hopeless and assuming this IVF failed, I get a bun dropped from the heavens.

Perhaps a sign about a "bun in the oven?"

Yeah, okay, it's reaching. And maybe the bun wasn't the perfect out-of-the-oven bun you are envisioning. It was hard and had been in someone's mouth and, had I investigated further, it would have no doubt had some leftover ketchup or mustard smeared on it. Not exactly the stuff fairy tales are made of but we will take any "bun in the oven" story we can get. And really, rabbits run around all over the place but how often does a bird drop a bun dead center on your windshield?

I am claiming my bun story, ketchup and all, and will hold it close to my heart until Wednesday's blood test.

And if the test comes back negative I am deleting this post! :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Relatively symptomless

Quick symptoms post.

Cycle day 25 ~ 11 days post "ovulation" ~ 8dp3dt

1. Larger, tender breasts.

2. Lots of peeing at night.

3. Sour stomach in the afternoons along with voracious appetite.

4. Headaches.

That's not much. These are all symptoms of progesterone. I don't know about the sour stomach thing but I know progesterone messes with digestion. Folks, there just are not any symptoms bowling me over. I am SICK TO DEATH of this process and want the whole thing behind me. It really consumes your life. My bad attitude could be the tired mommy talking. We spent FOURTEEN hours at a horse show today and I need sleep.

If I had to guess I would say I am not pregnant b/c these symptoms are nothing special.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Today is 5dp3dt - Cycle day 22 - 8 days post "ovulation".

There are no "symptoms" except for sore boobs and a sour stomach. But, I am pretty sure the boobs have been sore all along and the sour stomach is probably from the movie popcorn.

Thank heavens for distractions....

Today we saw the first showing of Har*y Pot*ter #5. IT ROCKED! As usual, they left out so much from the book which is a disappointment. Nonetheless we loved what was represented on the screen. Can't wait for book # 7 next weekend! Goose wants me to read it first but it will take me a month and her about three hours. She will never be able to hold out. It's like a box of pee sticks to a stirrup queen on CD 28...too tempting.

Lilli, Goose and I are leaving tomorrow morning early to attend China Culture Camp and then Saturday morning is the start of a two-day horse show where Goose will show on her pony.

I have been dreading the hectic weekend but it's better than obsessing about this cycle. While I am so excited about the outcome I am starting to resent the stress this whole ridiculous process causes. It really does start to feel like nonsense. And I still want it to work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Egads...stay in the upper, outer quandrant!

So it turns out you can injure your sciatic nerve with PIO shots! The photo shows the "safe" area. The nurse showed Ivan how to find the safe spot...something about the hand and the thumb being placed on the back of the pelvic bone. He is a pro at it it but I still emailed this photo to him as a gentle reminder! Go here to read more.
PIO's are are much more bearable if you stand. I learned this when a doctor at China Camp (fellow China Mom) did my shot for me b/c Ivan could not be there. She told me afterward that PIO's are often less painful if you stand with you toes pointed slightly inward which could also be implemented if you prefer to lie down.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Misc ramblings....and to think I have nine more days until we test

Let's start off by sharing that the PIO injections SUCK BIG HORSE TURDS! Honestly, I am starting to cry when Ivan gives them now. Not loud crazy woman screams, just pitiful little sobs into my pillow. My arse hurts and badly! It's not just the physical pain of's the emotional out-there-ness of it...with each shot I am exposing my heart that much more to potential disappointment. I used ice this morning to physically numb the spot and the effing ice was worse than the three inch needle! Holy moly, there must be a lot of nerve endings back there. My Ivan...he is so diligent "1, 2, no were go...almost done....almost there....okay, done!" and then he massages my bum. Such. A. Sweet. Boy.

On to bladder issues....I awoke last night with a bladder so completely full that I felt like a beach ball was sticking from my abdomen. I felt like I may not make it to the loo b/c I could not balance enough to get there! How freaking large can our bladders get? It was crowding everything else out based on how icky I felt upon waking. My insides felt bruised this morning which is also what leads to the pillow sobbing...I lie on my tummy for the shot and in the mornings everything is sore from the Olympic bladder filling activities from the night before.

And while we are talking about bladders...what is up with the way the progesterone makes urine smell? I guess I have never had progesterone of this "quality" surging through my body...certainly not via IM's. The IUI's all those years ago were accompanied by progesterone in pill form if memory serves me. Very strange pee!

Now, about those mysterious embryos. I wish those buggers had little tracking devices, much like geese, so that we could keep track of their mortality and movement... "blast 1 is on the move"; "embryo 2 stopped dividing on day 4"; "embryo 3 just implanted!" Now wouldn't THAT be cool? And wouldn't it make for more sane stirrup queens the world over?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Calling my embryos


My ute is now open for business. We had a lengthy construction phase and had to hire some new contractors along the way. The plumbing now seems to be working and the decorators did a lovely job creating a warm and inviting place to settle in for a nice long stay. This is not a boarding house for freeloaders so there are a few rules....(1) no extended morning sickness, (2) no saggy boobs, (3) no hemorrhoids. Otherwise, you can stay up as late as you want, play any music you like and there are three free meals per day as well as unlimited snacks.

Please inquire within.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Den of doom (AKA "My Uterus")

Hi there Blogdom! Back aching from all of this bedrest! Also, I am retaining water and my entire abdomen feels like it's drowning. The progesterone shots must really cause bloating and the ovaries are kinda full, too.

Ivan is an absolute nazi about this bedrest thing! I have to "sneak" activities in. I could see dust on my dresser from where I am and had to do some undercover dusting...then he found the dusting spray so I was caught!

I plan to be here all day. Goose just left for the barn to ride with friends and Lilli will most likely play outside if anyone is around. I told Ivan I could feel the stress coming on due to the floors needing to be vacuumed...ack! :O (Hint, hint....please plug that Hoover in!)

Hen-Ben has been in bed with me since yesterday afternoon. He takes pee breaks and then is right back here with me. He slept between us all night. Not even sure he is eating. What a loyal little buddy. :)

Ivan just left for Panera to get me a mango smoothie and a souffle! I LOVE this pampering! It rocks!

My day will be spent reading doom and gloom reports about why this won't work. I MEAN I plan to read uplifting, positive stories about IVF lottery winners and gush at photos of their huge bellies. Whateva. When my back can't take this ridicuous semi-upright position any longer I will lie back and meditate with my iPod and the Enya CD I downloaded just for this very day. It's beautiful music that you get lost in.

As humbled as I feel to have our dividing DNA in my uterus, I can't help but think the embryos really should be back in their lovely dishes basking in their glucose soup. They seemed happy there. Now they are in my violent uterus with God only knows what kind of weird endometriosis chemical reactions going on. Between us....this ain't gonna work HOWEVER I am staying relatively positive for Ivan's sake. It's so simple for him....embryos + uterus = pregnancy. Sweet boy.

Well, my man servant darling husband should be here any minute with my breakfast.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Three embryos are in da house!

Hopefully our three wonders are enjoying their new digs! There is an 11mm lush endometrium just waiting to show them a good time!

9:30 AM acupuncture #1
11 AM transfer appt
12:30 PM acupuncture #2

Transferred today (day 3) were:

(2) 8-cell embryos (excellent and good respectively)
(1) 5-cell embryo (good-excellent)

Update: I should have added that all of our embryos were completely free of fragmentation!

The transfer went well although my stenotic cervix offered a small challenge. The RE did a test transfer to break through the cervix, cleaned off the cervix and did the "loaded" catheter with our little beauties. I am on strict 48-hour bedrest, no shower or bath for 48 hours ( I assume b/c of hot water?).

Of course, now I am obsessing because I read that there are lower success rates when a stenotic cervix is factored into the mix.

(2) 4-cell embryos of "good" quality were frozen so we have a back-up FET for later if this goes bust.

I am feeling bloated and a little crampy. Ivan is waiting on me hand and foot as I lie here in bed with my laptop. It's gonna be a good weekend! :)

Anyone with stenotic cervix stories for me?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Four "good" embryos await their womb

As of this morning we still have four and they are rated as "good". RE uses a rating system of excellent, good, fair, poor. These ovaries have seen 38 years and endometriomas three times their size. We will take "good".

Ivan and I leave tonight for the three hour trip south. I have an acupuncture appt at 9:30 tomorrow morning, 11 AM appt for the transfer and then a 1PM appt for a follow-up acupuncture treatment. This will be a 3-day transfer with what we hope are 6 to 8 celled embryos by tomorrow. Based on the lab report tomorrow morning, we will transfer three or MAYBE four if they have taken a bad turn. I say why bother to freeze one? But, I also know that my uterus cannot hold three or four fetuses! We will worry about that tomorrow. My mindset is that this isn't gonna work any way so why give it much thought! Great attitude, huh? Can you say defense mechanism?

Today has been very emotional. I have cried at least twice. Just so much going on....waiting on the updated fertilization report, making plans for the trip, worrying already that this won't work...oh, and the large doses of progesterone are NOT helping! It's not like I am yearning to be a mom (I remember THAT feeling and it sucked)...I AM a mom. Life is good. It's the potential failure of this journey. This whole process just sucks you in and takes over your life and it all may end with a phone call and a period three days later. Not a good ending.

The other reason I think I am emotional (besides the d@mn progesterone) is the fact that I want my embryos with me and out of a petri dish. They are only a few basic cells....the cells have not even differentiated yet but I feel drawn to them. Is this crazy talk?

I asked REnurse if I could get photos of the embryos. They only do VHS tapes! Holy moly! Our VCR broke three years ago and was not replaced! Let's hope their lab techniques are not quite as antiquated! :O (I am taking an old tape that has episodes of The Practice recorded on it just in case this leads to something and I want the pics later.)

Let the transferring and embryo burrowing begin.

Update: The morning of the transfer, REnurse called us at our hotel to say that she had good news...we had another embryo! That makes five embryos...three to transfer and two to freeze.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fert Results

Okay. I am not terribly encouraged.

14 eggs retrieved yesterday
of those there were:

5 mature eggs
6 immature eggs
3 post-mature eggs
of those:

8 fertilized
and, of those:

4 fertilized "normally"
Update: By retreival day, the fifth egg had caught up with everyone. That means of five mature eggs retrieved, they all fertilized....100%!

The RE on call said that the other four could "catch up" with their fertilization. If they don't catch up, we only have the chance of four "usable" embryos. And, when they only have four to five, they like to do a three day transfer. NO, NO, NO! I don't want a 3-day transfer! 5-day blastocyst transfers have a much higher pregnancy rate. I don't want to put something in that is destined to "arrest" by day 5 any way! An embryo is not supposed to be in the uterus on day's supposed to be meandering through the fallopian tubes. I guess my body is better than a petri dish but, oh, the 2WW only to have them arrest two days in. I can't even think of it.

So. Again, we wait.

The really good news would be that the other four "caught up" and we have eight embryos tomorrow. He said they would call by 11AM or so.

That's the update.

If anyone can share good news about three-day transfers, please let me know.

First IM and the wait

And so we wait. I feel like I did when I was waiting on our China referral. This time we are waiting for our fertliziation report. Of course, nothing compares to the 2WW but we are not even close to that yet...we need to have some embies to call our own first!

To pass the time, I have been in bed with my laptop studying grades of embryos, stats, etc.. For the # of eggs they got, I am in the higher stats for taking home a baby (in my age group). However, we don't know how receptive to being fertilized my eggs are! If they are as stubborn as I am then we are in trouble. :)

I am feeling quite sore today...bloated...gassy. It's not horrible pain, just uncomfortable. I thought I would feel better than this. Ivan did his first IM injection on my bum this morning and was he ever GREAT at it! It stung but was not unbearable at all. It most likely hurts more than it normally would just because it takes so long for that oil to be dispensed.

Something funny from retrieval day...well, there were several things....Ivan and I laughed our tails off about a lot of things...we were just jokey on the whole trip down. But, one thing I really laughed about as I laid there in my provided sockies, hair cap and gown was that my nurse anesthesist was named ART! I doubt anyone was around to read one of my early posts about ART but I thought this was just too funny and hopefully a good sign.

Just days before our retrieval I also had first-hand stories from people with their IVF success. You may recall that the Gyn who did my ultrasound is now the mother of two children after one IVF cycle. Also, my stylist (whom has been doing my hair since I was 13) had photos on her stand of her 41 year old sister holding newborn twins! IVF! Gotta love those success stories!

Fertilization report any time now! Will post what I find out.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Petri Dish

Well my gals and his guys are all having a little "get to know you" fest this evening! The egg retrieval was this morning and we each left our little dna contributions at the RE's office hoping they will do wonderful things by morning! There were 14 eggs retrieved. I slept all, how time flies when you are given sedatives! Lots of bloating, sensations to pee. RE Nurse said that will get worse on day 3 but she does not expect OHSS. Everyone was very nice, thorough, professional today.

The fertilization report will be called in by Noon tomorrow, July 4. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

You've got an Easter basket in there girl!

That would be the comment from the female Gyn at Dr. Smile's office who did my transvag today...she had just moved to my left ovary and was pleased with what she saw. I really like her! Immediately upon entering the room she told me about how she did a full cycle IVF and became pregnant with her son on try #1 and then they did three FET's and her daughter was born from the final transfer! It was a nice story on a scary day. Comforting. Familiar. It calmed me tremendously to have not only a woman but a woman "in my shoes" doing the transvag today.

Here are the numbers:

Estradiol day nine: 1945!!!
Right ovary: 7 follicles, 6 nice and ripe, one rather small
Left ovary: 10 follicles, all nice and ripe

We are READY TO TRIGGER TONIGHT! I cried on the way home from the visit. Tears of relief that I made it this far. Tears of hopefulness that we are so close to possibly achieving a pregnancy and tears of fear for the emotional pain I am setting myself up for. This is a process that has been twelve years in the making and now, two glorious adoptions later, it finally feels "right".

Ovi*drel at 10PM!