In which I am an idiot

I’ve been peeing a lot more than usual, which is good. On the negative side of Things That Enter and Exit From That Region, I also have to use progesterone suppositories three times a day. A side effect of which is some rather unpleasant leakage. So I’ve established a close personal relationship with panty* liners. Unfortunately, I ran OUT of panty liners the other day, and haven’t had a chance to go buy more. In the meantime, I’ve been wrapping my underwear with toilet paper that I swap out a few times a day (yes, just like you did in middle school when you got your period for the first time). I do my best to keep things classy around here.

Mid-morning today I went to the bathroom at work. I entered the stall, pulled down my pants and underwear, and burst into tears. There was a beigeish, reddish stain on my underpants. It’s a good thing no one was in the bathroom with me, because I sobbed hysterically for a full 90 seconds before realizing the (white) toilet paper had ripped down the center, exposing my (beigeish, reddish) underpants underneath. Friends, there was no blood. It was my underpants, moistened by the progesterone ooze. I am now officially only wearing white underpants (the better to analyze the color of discharge) until I am AT LEAST in my second trimester. If I make it that far.

*Is there a more upsetting word than “panties”? I think not.

************************************

My scan today went perfectly.

sac

One gestational sac, located in the uterus (rather than a fallopian tube, for which the embryo would be SO GROUNDED. Next scan is on the 11th. I will endeavor to make it there with some shred of my sanity intact. Wearing white underwear.

A Fix

I’ve been having cramping.

Nobody panic (I’m doing enough for all of us), as I’ve been told this is completely normal, both by the good Dr. Google, and my RE. Honestly, I’ve been cramping since a few days after my transfer, but it does seem to be getting worse. I sent my doctor an email yesterday, stating the following:

“I’ve been having some cramping, and I wanted to check in with you on that. From what I’ve seen online, it’s probably fine, but it does make me worried (I’m probably being paranoid though). It’s similar to menstrual cramps, and it seems to vary from one side to the other. It isn’t consistent, and doesn’t seem to be sparked by any activity (or lack of activity) in particular. I get cramping multiple times a day, and it lasts for a few minutes. Is this something I should be concerned about?”

My doctor called me after reading my email and asked me a few questions. Was I having any spotting? (No) How painful is the cramping? (No worse than cramps from my period) And then she reassured me that cramping in the first trimester is very normal, and does not mean I will have a miscarriage. Even if I develop some spotting, it does not mean I will be having a miscarriage. But she suggested I come in for an early scan to “check the placement of the gestational sac.”

You better believe I took her up on it. I’m like a junkie, in withdrawal from my drug of choice (ultrasound wands, of course). It’s too early to see a heartbeat, but I’m hoping for a gestational sac located firmly in the uterus (this is the ONLY acceptable place to be parked, little one).

I’ll update tomorrow.

It’s Aliiiiive

I just got a call with my second beta (that was done 4 days after my first beta, due to the long weekend).

First beta (at 10dp5dt): 372
Second beta (at 14dp5dt): 2032

That’s a doubling time of 39.19 hours.

The nurse that called me said this was “good.” My next appointment won’t be until I’m between 6 and 7 weeks pregnant (if I make it that far*) to see a heartbeat.

No more betas!?! No more appointments for over a week?! I feel adrift. Can I come in for blood draws for fun? What about visiting my old pal, Monsieur DildoCam? Or could I come in to breathe the heady, intoxicating scent of sadness and fear that permeates the waiting room? I’m still generating plenty of that pungent elixir to contribute. What if your stores are depleted without me around??

Another hurdle has been cleared. I keep trying to tell myself that I’m farther (further?) than I’ve ever gotten before. But poor Tammy had to talk me back from the ledge over and over this weekend, repeatedly fielding my teary questions of “what if it’s dead?” “what if it doesn’t double?” “what if I’m a fucking lunatic for hoping this would ever work?” (that last one was only in my head)

But so far**, my fears have been for naught. I am assured by What to Expect When You’re Trying to Freak Yourself the Fuck Out that our baby is the size of an orange seed right now. The heart is beginning to function at a rudimentary level, although it will be a few weeks until we can see it on an ultrasound if we get that far.***

Tammy and I also engaged in extremely risky behaviour this weekend: we looked at baby stuff while we were at Target, and talked about a possible/future/maybe nursery.

And THEN I held my friend’s baby for hours on Sunday, wiping her little teeny baby butt, kissing her baby toes, rocking her to sleep, and drinking in the perfect sweet/sour baby smell of her head.

Is it possible that I actually, maybe, possibly might end up with a baby of my own? Boggles the mind.

*I have GOT to stop doing that. Industrial strength asshole = me.
**That was the last one. Promise.
***Ugh. I’m the worst.

Heavenly Day

Heavenly Day
By Patty Griffin

Oh heavenly day, all the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today with anyone
The smile on your face I live only to see
It’s enough for me, baby, it’s enough for me
Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here’s a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few
All we’ve got right now, the only thing that
All we really have to do
Is have ourselves a heavenly day
Lay here and watch the trees sway
Oh, can’t see no other way, no way, no way
Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

No one at my shoulder bringing me fears
Got no clouds up above me bringing me tears
Got nothing to tell you, I’ve got nothing much to say
Only I’m glad to be here with you
On this heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly
Heavenly day, all the trouble’s gone away
Oh, for a while anyway, for a while anyway
Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

**********************************************

The doctor called with my beta results. As of this morning, my hCG was 372. With my last pregnancy it was a 17. Obviously, this could mean absolutely nothing for the long-term. I could miscarry this baby just like the last one. But today, at least, I’m chosing happiness. I’m chosing joy. I’m chosing peace.

Stick around, little one. Your mamas can’t wait to meet you. We love you already.

I Held Out for as Long as I Could

So this happened.

tests2

Beta wasn’t scheduled until Tuesday, but I broke down and emailed my nurse yesterday, begging her to let me move the blood test up. She agreed, so my beta is tomorrow morning (when I will be 10 days post a 5 day transfer, or 15 days past ovulation).  I guess that makes me officially 4 weeks pregnant today.

I don’t really know what to think or how to act. I’m excited, of course, but I’m also scared out of my mind. There’s a large part of me that feels detached, like this is happening to someone else. I feel like I’m watching a movie, sitting back and saying, “Huh. Well, that’s interesting”. Tammy suggested I feel this way because I’m scared it won’t work out, that I’ll lose this pregnancy like I lost the first one. She may be right. Which is why I wanted to move the beta test up. A strong beta number will help to ease my mind (a tiny bit). And if it’s strong, I’ll worry about the second beta doubling appropriately. And then I’ll worry about the 6 week ultrasound to see a heartbeat.

I told a friend of mine yesterday that I was pregnant. He responded that since I was doing IVF, he didn’t realize it was a question if I was or wasn’t, that he thought it was a “done deal”.

HAHAHAH! At “done deal”!!!! OMG. Wiping away tears of laughter (and a little bit of bitterness). Don’t I fucking wish it was that simple. Take some drugs, get lots of beautiful embryos, pop one or two or three back in, and just wait to find out how many! Then have a blissful, worry free pregnancy, a textbook delivery, and a happy & healthy baby.

God. I fucking wish.

Anyone have suggestions about how to be calm/happy/enjoy the moment while I wait for my beta number?

 

Edited to Add: Sorry the bottom test is so yellow. That’s disgusting. No idea why it’s so yellow (I did pee on it, but why has it gotten so yellow? Barf.) Also, I cropped the picture to take out the pee stick part. There were droplets (DROPLETS) visible, and I do have some pride.

Things that Irritate Me Today

ITEM:
The fact that I take a fist full of vitamins daily. I’m too paranoid to stop taking them.Vitamins(clockwise from the top red one: prenatal + DHA, fish oil, estrace, colace (I *heart* colace), royal jelly, CoQ10 x2)

ITEM
The fact that I can’t remember if I took my estrace this morning. And I’m having an internal panic – do I take another one just in case I DIDN’T take it? Can you overdose on estrace? Do I NOT take one in case I DID remember to take it? Called my nurse but she hasn’t responded yet. Grump. Anyone have any suggestions?

ITEM
The fact that I had this email waiting for me when I got to work (excerpt):

Over the past couple of days they have had “heavy” coverage of [redacted] issues on their web site and also, I noted in the “paper” edition of this morning.

NO. Just NO. Your quotations license is revoked. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

ITEM
The fact that my clinic starts counting the two-week wait when you have your transfer, not when the embryos are made. So REALLY I have a two-and-a-mother-fucking-HALF week wait.

The Pirate has Commandeered the Mother…Ship

The transfer went well yesterday. The appointment was set for 9:15, but we had to be there at 8:45. Due to the general suckitude of the traffic, we decided to stay in a hotel 1/2 a mile from the clinic, and that was an AWESOME decision.

Tammy has to travel for work more often than we’d like, but the upside of this is that she has hotel points. Cashing in those suckers was SUCH a good idea. We didn’t have to pay for the room (which is good, because we have no mas money after paying for all this IVF shit), got to sleep in, had an awesome breakfast at the hotel, didn’t have to sit in traffic, and got to the clinic in literally 3 minutes.

When we got to the clinic, I was told to put on booties (AGAIN WITH THE BOOTIES) but didn’t have to change into anything else. Except take my pants off. (Isn’t that a given?)

booties

They made Tammy put on booties as well. On one hand, I don’t really understand WHY we had to put on the booties, but it made it seem more sanitary (I guess? Like are they worried they’re going to drop the blast on my dirty foot?).

I got another ID wrist band.

wrist ID

And then the doctor came in and ran us through the stats:

23 eggs retrieved
18 mature enough for ICSI
15 fertilized normally (I found out an additional one fertilized abnormally – WTF is that? I didn’t even know that was a THING)
Day 1: 14 in the 2-4 cell range (GOOD) 1 at 7 cells (BAD)
Day 2: 14 still growing at the appropriate pace
Day 3: Down to 12 – 2 have slowed down and don’t have as many cells as they should
Day 4: No update, they just leave ’em in the incubator (MY BABIES ARE ALL ALLOOONNNEEE)
Day 5: 5 at the transfer/freeze stage (blastocysts), 5 more just one step behind that they’re going to watch until Thursday and potentially freeze.

The doctor strongly (STRONGLY) recommended that we transfer 1. Tammy and I had discussed this ad nauseum, and were still somewhat divided. (HA! Get it?! I made a cell division joke! Divided?! Cell division?! Nevermind…) We decided to wait and hear the doctor’s recommendation to help make our final decision. My waffling decision making on this issue looked something like this:
Transferring 1
-Same pregnancy success rate at my clinic as transferring 2 (60%)
-Would be easier on my body to carry 1
-Would be nice to be able to focus on one baby at a time
Transferring 2
-Would get the whole “having babies” thing out of the way in one go – only have to go through this (emotionally, physically, financially) once
-It would be fun for our kids to have a friend to grow up with that was their age.
-The “luck” factor. If my chances are roughly 60% with this IVF, what if we transfer 1 and it wasn’t THE one? What if it was the unlucky embryo? Wouldn’t transferring 2 give us more of a shot?

But like I said, the doctor STRONGLY recommended that we transfer 1. And Tammy was STRONGLY leaning in that direction also. The doctor got me to agree by telling me how much higher the miscarriage rates are for twins than a singleton. Now, I know as much as the next person that miscarriages can happen regardless of how many are in there. But having experienced one, I’m fairly desperate not to go through that again (my heart goes out to all you RPL ladies. You are so strong and it is so unfair. I’m so sorry).

So one it was. And it was a beautiful one.

Perfect Blast

Internet, meet Captain Jack Sparrow. It is currently chilling (hopefully NOT chilling – get to WORK young man*. We’ve got IMPLANTATION to do) in my uterus. They put a picture of it on a TV screen while the embryologist brought it in. Tammy’s first comment was “look how big it is!” Mine was “look how tiny!”

Speaking of wee, you must have a “moderately full” bladder for the transfer. And by “moderately full”, they mean HOLY GOD YOU ARE ABOUT TO PEE ON THE DOCTOR LOOK OUT. I actually asked the doctor if anyone had ever peed on her during transfer and she said only once, but the woman was under sedation for the transfer and didn’t have control over her bladder. Then she told me she used to be in obstetrics so a little pee and a little poo don’t faze her. “Now VOMIT on the other hand, I don’t do so well with,” she said. (Duly noted. I will aim my vomit on the nurse.) I only had a FEW panicky moments when the damn nurse pressed on my stomach with the ultrasound wand, but I was distracted by the small flash of light in my uterus, which was the moment the doctor ejected Captain Jack into my uterus. You can’t actually see the blast, of course, but the flash is the fluid surrounding it.

After 5 minutes of laying still, and about 5 minutes of blissful peeing, I went home and I climbed into bed to do my 24 hours of bed rest. Normally I enjoy nothing more than some downtime to laze around and read or watch movies. But yesterday I was bored as hell. Apparently sometimes I can be a wee bit stubborn and contrary. Just a teeny tiny bit.

The next two weeks are going to be agonizing.

*We both for some odd reason think it’s a future boy. NO idea why. But IF this sticks, and IF it’s a girl, well, Captain Jack Sparrow is still a badass name.