Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NT Scan Perfection, A Gender, A Name and A Belly Pic

We had our NT scan on Thursday and at 13w4d, I was on the cusp of being too far along to perform the ultrasound and get accurate measurements.  I was excited to get to see the babes again and even more excited to get an abdominal ultrasound as opposed to a wanding.

The tech who performed the ultrasound took her time with measuring everything and DH and I were just so excited to see the babies looking so much like babies!  They were moving much more fluidly than last time and one was even rubbing their little face with their hands.  Eeek, I can't wait to be the one rubbing those little cheeks and kissing them!  As a tech, she wouldn't say anything about gender, which was disappointing and I made a mental note to ask the doctor if he would. I caught a glimpse of each NT measurement and both were well under the 3mm mark (1.8 and 2.1, I believe.)  We waited a bit for the doctor to come in and he went about going over all the tech's measurements albeit a little more quickly than the tech.  He explained the risks of a multiple pregnancy, told me I had my age and physical fitness on my side for carrying these babies to term, my cervix was 4.72 cm, which was great and overall just made me feel very capable of this pregnancy, which was appreciated.  I asked him if he could tell what sex the babies were and he said he wouldn't guess unless he got a good look. Baby A wasn't cooperating at all, but Baby B wasn't shy and looks like a ___!  Overall, it was a great appointment and I am thankful that the babes are growing on track and looking good with no markers for any issues thus far.  Here's some pics of the babes from the scan:

Baby A (the shy one):


 Baby B (not the shy one):



We have already decided on a name for Baby B and we will be sharing its sex and name as soon as we find out what sex Baby A is.  Our gender ultrasound is on January 5!  Stay tuned!

And last, but not least, a belly pic, me and the littles at 13w6d:


Safe Holidays to all - we are leaving for WV tomorrow and will return on 1/2.  I may try to do a post  from home, but it's going to be crazy busy, so no promises. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thoughts On a Great Photographer (And the Snag of Lifetime)

I have been looking for a photographer since we moved to Oklahoma.  I just think it's important to have someone in your back pocket to call when you realize "it's time" to get some family pictures taken.  You know, when you look at your last family photo and realize that your 6-year-old is wearing a diaper and you lived in the town you lived in  ~gulps~ two states ago????????????????  Yeah, I'm not a real "regular" on the whole family photo thing, but I do reach a point of "I HAVE HAD IT - LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!"  So, when we moved to Oklahoma, I started using goo.gle to find me a photographer.  ------record comes to a screeching halt------

Is this it?!  Is this all there is to choose from?  Why does everyone look like they are "posed"? Why doesn't that picture say Ol.an Mi.lls in the corner? 'Cause that's where it looks like it's from.  *cue sad face*

Then, I got it. The reference. You know, the I'm Gonna Complain to Everyone I Know Until Someone Comes Up With a Person of a Friend of a Friend Who Takes Awesome Pictures Plan. Or the IGCEIKUSCUWPFFWTAPP.  Whichever you like to call it.  It came this weekend. My neighbor, MB, after hearing me go on and on about needing maternity pics and newborn, three, six, nine, and twelve month pics of the twins as well as a great family photo when the babies are about six or nine months old suggested I look up Beth Jansen.  Of Beth Jansen Photography.  *cue choir singing*

Isn't her work fabulous? I actually used the word fabulous and I HATE that word.  But isn't it divine? (Another word I hate!)

I contacted her and we are set. Maternity pictures are slated for the end of February.  I can almost see them now...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Remembering Baby J

Today is a hard day.  It's my due date for the baby that I lost after my first IVF. 

I feel more than what I can/will write here, but I just wanted to say that although I am very thankful for the blessings headed my way in the spring, I will never be okay with the loss of Baby J.

So today, I am thinking about my angel baby gone too soon. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12 Weeks

I thought I would do a pregnancy post update. You know, how big is baby?  How big is uterus? How big is Mommy's butt?  So, if you aren't interested, I understand. If you are, please read on.

What's going on with Larry and Balki?   Umm, their fingers and toes wiggle.  They are peeing in their sacs. They are practicing swallowing. (Which makes the previous statement a lot grosser.) Their little brains are producing testosterone/estrogen.  They are as big as large plums and weigh 1/2 ounce.

What's going on with the Mothership?   I am finally getting a handle on my nausea, thanks to uni.som and vitamin B6 (thank you, Emily!!)  I am trying to get used to eating smaller portions, as I am well aware of the heartburn that is about to replace the nausea very soon.  I'm tired all the time.  My boobies are huge and they hurt and they are covered in fantastic blue veins.  I have a hard time going "two". Hard being the operative word there - ouch!  Hmmmm, sex? No, thank you.

Highlights of the previous week:  I am able to find the babies' heartbeats easily on my home doppler.  I like having that reassurance between appointments.  I also made my u/s appointment to see what the babies are for January 5th!! That's so soon! Off topic, but still noteworthy, we took our boys to San Antonio this past weekend and enjoyed a day at Sea World and just being away for a few days.  DS2 got to be a part of the Shamu show and it was so precious!  DH and I were on the "Kiss Cam" before the show started and he opted to point to his WVU hat the whole time, while I looked up at us on the screen, looked back down, and continued texting. Ooh, we bought a house, too! Very excited about that and hoping to move in the middle of next month!! That's about it. Sorry if I bored you to tears!

Hope you are all well!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You Gotta Pick and Choose Your Battles

So, I spent most of Monday evening just being generally annoyed that my OB never got back to me about my request for Zo.fran.  I went to bed nauseous, woke up nauseous and all morning Tuesday plotting how I would chew the nurses out for not getting back to me.  Thankful for common sense, I called the pharmacy just to make sure that there wasn't a prescription waiting for me.  Well, there was.  Since the day before. Oops.

I rushed off to pick it up and just couldn't wait to gobble it up and start feeling semi-human again.  I took my first dose immediately and six hours later, like clockwork, I took my second.  I was feeling great.  Until I wasn't feeling great. At all.

I woke up at 11:30 Tuesday night with a splitting headache. Like full-on migraine pain.  After I rolled back and forth on the bed holding my face in my hands for a good hour, I got up and staggered to the kitchen for a cup of tea. I figured a little caffeine would probably do the trick. Wrong. Three hours later, I was plotting driving myself to the ER.  You see, typically, when I have a migraine, at some point I puke.  That signals a turning point in the headache.  After puking, I always am able to go to sleep and when I wake up, I'm better.  Well, there would be no puking this time. You see, I was on Zo.fran and couldn't throw up. I wasn't even nauseated. Just had severe head/neck pain.  Anyway, at some point, I fell asleep.

I woke up to my DH saying goodbye as he was heading off to work and wondering why I was sleeping with a "towel on my face" (it was a washcloth).  He was completely unawares of the night I had.  When he left, I got up and went out to the kitchen, feeling a little better and eager to eat a little something even though my nausea was sneaking up on me again.  After I gagged down a piece of toast, I reached for my Zo.fran.  Before I could take the pill, I checked out the side of the bottle and there it was. Plain. As. Day.

"May Cause Headaches"

Well, eff that.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Cry For Help

Came in the form of me calling my OB's office for a prescription for Zo.fran.  I shouldn't have to suffer like this while others tell me that they wouldn't be able to function without their Zo.fran.  I throw in the towel.  I am reassured beyond what I can describe that this pregnancy is going well, but I cannot.....CANNOT allow the children that I have to endure a deadbeat mom who cannot get off the couch. 

It figures that as business hours wind down on the day where morning sickness got the best of me, I have yet to hear from my OB. Please let them call that prescription in tonight.

Please.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Things Are Uncomfortable...

...between my blog and I.  We started this journey together trying to get pregnant and trying to work through our feelings about secondary infertility. Now that I'm pregnant, I feel like my blog and I are growing apart.  We wanted the same things in the beginning, but now that we've gotten there, we are just kind of awkward together. I have tried time and time again to write a post, any post and it just doesn't feel right.

I have been given two beautiful boys and now I am expecting twins.  I feel so blessed, I need a new word for blessed, I want to write about it all and have it to look back on.

But to stop blogging about IF and start blogging about pregnancy seems so.....weird. I think I understand why some start a new blog about their pregnancy.

Anyone else experience this?  What did you do?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Graduation and Eye Wandings

My RE's office called on Monday and asked to move this morning's u/s to tomorrow because he had to do three retrievals this morning (apparently the infertility business in BOOMING).  I couldn't do tomorrow because my FIL is coming to visit, so they ended up rescheduling my appt for yesterday afternoon.  My symptoms had taken a dramatic turn for the better, which had me freaking out, so I was actually happy to see the littles sooner even though DH couldn't make it because of meetings all afternoon.

The wanding began and I made my RE aware of my fears over my symptoms before we started. He said that symptoms are not a hard and fast rule of pregnancy. Regardless, I looked away from the screen as I was in no mood to see shrunken sacs and babies with no heartbeats with my own eyes. (How effed up am I from my m/c still?)  Anyway, he immediately told me to look at the screen as he saw Baby A had a heartbeat and went about his measurements.  She measured 8w2d (right on track) and had a good strong heartbeat of 161 bpm.  We listend to the heartbeat and then he held the wand on her for just a moment longer and told me to lay real still and watch closely.  After about three or four seconds, she did a little wiggle!!  It was so sweet, I got very teary-eyed.

Onto Baby B who is just a little bit further away from the wand and a titch harder to get a good view of.  Measuring also at 8w2d, this one had a heartbeat of 170 bpm.  A few more moments of looking around and a handful of pictures later, my wanding was over. :(  I won't see the babes for another 2 weeks, but when I do.......

It will be my first OB appt!!!!! I am a graduation girl!! How cool is that?!

Onto the eye wanding portion of the visit (and let me just say that this mortifies me, but at the same time, it is just too funny and if you can't laugh at yourself, well, you need to cause life is too short to take yourself seriously).

I spoke with Dr. Awesome RE's nurse for a few minutes after he left the room and when she left, I jumped off the table to go into this little closet area they have to change back into my clothes. I dropped my paper skirt on the ground when I jumped off the table and when I bent over to pick it up, wouldn't you know that I lined my fricking eye up to the u/s wand that was back on its holder and wanded my EYE?! Beside the initial "Ouch! Oh my god, my eye!!" reaction, I also had the "Are you freaking kidding me?! That thing has been inside every infertile in the Oklahoma City area!! Gross!!!" thought.  I was completely alone, but was so embarrassed.  I guess it was a good thing that DH couldn't make the appt.  I still haven't told him. I have no plans to do so, either.

Lesson learned: Never a dull moment at the RE's, people.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

MIA

Apologies for my late update on u/s #3.  DH has been out of town all week and my m/s has amped up big time. The last two days have been particularly bad as I have been sick all day and my eating small meals often hasn't helped as much as it did in the past. I am by no means complaining, just sharing. The gags are the worst part of it all. I really feel that if I can get a good hurl in, I would be a new person, but alas! I cannot spew.

My u/s on Wednesday was great. Baby A - Larry, measured right on track at 7w3d and had a heartrate of 137 bpm.  For your viewing pleasure:


Baby B - Balki, measured at 7w3d also and had a heartrate of 140bpm:

And the shot I had to life my ass up off the table for my RE to get (thanks to my introverted uterus!):

                                          My Babies!!

Next u/s is this coming Wednesday where I will be 8w3d.  If all looks good, I will graduate to my OB. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cheaters Never Win, Eh?

So, that's how the saying goes, but I disagree.

I went in for another ultrasound today.

Baby A, who we'll call "Larry" measured 6w3d and had a heart rate of 124 beats per minute.


Baby B, or "Balki" measured 6w2d and also had a heart rate of 124 beats per minute.


EDD is June 17.

So, I cheated to see my babies. Again.


Winning!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Cheated

In a moment of fear and weakness, I called my doctor's office yesterday and begged for an early ultrasound.  Turned out, given my previous IVF pregnancy and what a disaster it was, I didn't have to beg at all.  I was warned that I wouldn't see a heartbeat (which I knew), but that he would take a look, take a count and tell me if everything is as it should be at this stage in the game.

See them little eyes looking at you?? Kind of looks like an owl, doesn't it?  I'm having twins and they are looking great!! Next ultrasound on the 31st!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Facebook Pregnancy Announcement

You know, they don't bother me anymore.  I guess being pregnant makes them more bearable.  But this one got under my skin.

You see, she is four weeks pregnant.

That's right.

I said four.

I will be five tomorrow and have no plans of even breathing a word of it until twelve or thirteen weeks. Probably even later than that if it's twins.  Even then I will be waiting for something bad to happen. For the other shoe to drop.

Are people for real?

I wish I could be so effing ignorant.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2nd Beta Results

Monday at 14DPO - 156
Wednesday at 16DPO - 350

Doubling time - 41.17 hours

First ultrasound scheduled for 10/31!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

PUPO With........

So, there was debate about how many embryos we would transfer yesterday.  I was told by the embryologist that if we had two good-looking blasts, it would be a hard sell to get Dr. Awesome RE to transfer more than two. If everything looked "average" he would probably be agreeable to it and transfer three to "up" our chances of a successful cycle.

We arrived at the fertility clinic and I was nervous that no transfer would be taking place. You know, the fear that sets in over hearing, "So sorry...there were no viable embryos this morning when we looked at them."  DH kept saying, "Relax! This is the easy part." In the grand scheme of things, he is right, although none of this shit is easy, let's just be honest.  Transfer is easier than retrieval and beats the hell out of an intramuscular progesterone shot, so I opted out of arguing the matter of IVF being difficult in general with the man.

We were escorted immediately back into a holding area  and were told that Dr. Awesome RE was going to be in shortly to discuss the transfer and quality of the embryos and whatnot. Almost on cue, there he was.  We were told that we had two good looking embryos to transfer.  He spoke briefly about his recommendation of transferring only two.  He assured us that quality was not an issue with our embabies. He then stated that he would be agreeable to three, but wanted us to know what we would possibly be getting ourselves into.  He proceeded to talk about prematurity in multiples, possible time in the NICU, developmental delay, etc.  Did he think that it would for sure happen if we transferred three? No.  Was it his responsibility to warn us? Yes.  He then left us alone with the embryologist to discuss any questions we had as we made our decision.

Me:  Are the two ready for transfer blasts?
Deidra:  Yes.
Me:  How do they look?  Be honest.
Deidra:  They look really good.
Me:  If we did three, is the third one a blast?
Deidra:  You have a third blast, but I'm not liking it as much as a cavitating morula you have. It looks really good and would probably be the third.  (Note: A morula is the stage before blastocyst. A "cavitating" morula is a half step closer to blastocyst.)
Me: Is it looking like we will have any left over to freeze if we only do two?
Deidra:  At this point, I would say, don't count on it. (Note: The grading system at our fertility clinic is VERY strict. Especially when being graded for freezing.)

She then left us alone and DH and I had a private conversation that I won't divulge on my blog.  I undressed from the waist down and covered back up on the bed. When Dr. Awesome RE came in to wheel me into the transfer room, he asked if we reached a decision. I said nothing, but held up my fingers:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Update #3 and Instructions for Transfer

I just spoke to the embryologist, whom I will affectionately call "Deidra".  It is, after all, her name.

At a little less than 72 hours out from fertilization, we have:

Three 10-cell
Two 8-cell
Three 7-cell (one of those showing no change from yesterday)
One 6-cell
One polynucleated (too much DNA) - discarded.

Five of them are looking "good".  Four of them are showing 15% or more fragmentation and are "not as good".

*sigh*  I knew that yesterday's high was bound to be stifled a little. Each day, as Deidra said, you are expected to see a drop off. It's the natural progression of things.  As long as we have some good quality blasts for transfer on Saturday, there is nothing to be disappointed in.  Yet, *sigh*.  I just want it to work this time. 

We are to come in at 8:45 on Saturday and transfer is scheduled for 9:00.  I won't be getting any updates tomorrow as they leave the embabies alone on day 4 and won't look at them again until the morning of transfer.

We spoke briefly about the possibility of transferring three.  She said that having a failed IVF cycle before puts us as candidates, but it's a double-edge sword.  If we have two beautiful blasts on Saturday, it will be a hard sell to get Dr. Awesome RE to transfer three.  If they are just average, he would probably be agreeable. That's what we don't want, though, is "average" blasts. We want beautiful.

I hope it's only two, then.

I will update here after transfer.  Please say a little prayer.  <3

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day Two Embryo Update

I'm so excited! I'm just going to jump right in!

We have:

One 8-cell.
One 7-cell
One 6-cell
Seven 4-cell

At this point, they want to see them around 4 cells. She explained to me that an embryo only has so much energy and if it uses up a lot of it in the beginning, it will, unfortunately, "peter out" when it comes time to turn into a blast.  She said that, at this point, the 4-celled ones are our front runners, showing very little fragmentation.   Also, one of the 4-celled ones is "just beautiful" (in her words)!! Yay!!

The best part is that she commented that everything looks so much better compared to last cycle. Be it the diet changes, the exercise, the wheatgrass shots, or whatever, something is definitely different this time.  In a good way, too!

Before we hung up, I asked her to go sing the babies a lullaby and that I couldn't wait to hear from her tomorrow. Will update here when I get that call.

<3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fertilization Report

The phone call finally came in at about 11:30 this morning.  Here's the skinny:

14 eggs retrieved (I guess that 15th one was just a myth!)

14 mature.

14 ICSIed.

7 fertilized normally.

4 are being watched but have yet to show signs of fertilization.

1 is being watched because it appears to be fused (?)

2 showed signs of abnormalities and were discarded.

Will know more tomorrow!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Retrieval

So, I was negligent in updating my blog after Friday's ultrasound and E2.  We were pretty sure we were going to go for retrieval yesterday (Sunday). It all hinged on my progesterone level.  If it was elevated above 1.5, he was going to retrieve on Sunday. If not, he wanted to stim me one more day in hopes of getting better quality eggs at retrieval. My progesterone was only 1.23.  So, we stimmed Friday, triggered Saturday and did retrieval today.

My retrieval went well. I am a little sorer than I was last time, but as far as nerves are concerned, there were none. DH and I both felt more at ease this time around. No surprises. As the record comes to a screeching halt....

We got 14 eggs!! After being told all week that I had only nine, we got FOURTEEN!! Woo hoo, right?? Wrong! Read on...

I called my fertility clinic this afternoon to get my final E2 from Saturday's bloodwork.  The nurse I spoke to said that as of Saturday, before trigger, my E2 was 3125. That is 1000 more than what my estrogen was at the same time last cycle.  I got so excited telling her that with one less egg, my estrogen was so much higher.  She then informed me that we actually had 15!!  They "found" one more after we left.  How is that even possible?!

I don't know! But we have babies down the road and I can't wait to get the report tomorrow on how they are doing!! <3

Thursday, September 22, 2011

U/s and E2 - Take Two!!

This morning's wanding was bright and early at 8:15.  I had seven follicles in my right ovary, ranging from 13.7 to 19.7.  My left only had two this time.  Both around 14.  I was disappointed, but they just called with my E2 and we are at 1456!! This time last cycle, I had more eggs (about 12, but my estrogen was only 915). It would seem that I have some better quality eggs this time around.

Thank you wheatgrass shots!

Next u/s and E2 is at 9:45 in the morning. It looks like I will trigger tomorrow night and ER will be Sunday!!

Holy smokes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

U/S and E2 -Take One!

Yesterday I had my first "follie check" and blood draw for estrogen level.  During my wanding, Dr. Awesome RE and I talked football.  I think that maybe a few years ago, I would feel it weird to talk football while being wanded by a middle-aged male, but I digress.  Things have changed, apparently.

During my wanding, I was told that I'm responding "well" and "quickly".  I had seven follicles in my right ovary measuring 9.8 to 12.4.  My left one came in at a disappointing three follicles, 7.0 to 11.2.  My lining was right on track at 6.7.  My E2 was over 600.  I was told to do only half a dose of my Menopur last night and resume the normal dose tonight.  During IVF #1, my first E2 was 370. I am responding extremely fast, in my opinion. ER is looking more like Sunday than Monday. 

Next u/s and E2 tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to see a little more action in my left ovary, but as DH said, quality over quantity.

I heart him.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Rude Awakening

I had kind of a rude awakening this morning and I wanted to address it on here and put it out in the open. I woke up to a comment on my blog that was pretty rude and hurtful. It was a post I wrote four months ago when I was three weeks out from my miscarriage. It was a post that was full of emotion - anger, frustration and a sadness that I had never felt before. I use this blog to sort through these emotions and it is probably one of the few posts I have ever written that was 100% honest, despite the fact that what I said wasn't typical of me, which I clearly addressed in a disclaimer at the beginning of the post.

Basically, I was angry after reading another blog where a woman did her second IVF and was pregnant with her second baby. 2 IVFs = 2 babies for her. The whole point of me being upset was this: When you have to resort to IVF to get pregnant, it should work, guaranteed. Plain and simple. I did everything right and followed orders and walked away with nothing. I was hurting.

The comment, which I deleted, called me selfish and greedy for wanting more children after having two naturally and that I had no right to hate on anyone who does IVF and has success in it. I was encouraged to appreciate the children that I have and stop obsessing over having more.

I know that someone on TWW wrote that comment. (1) Nobody has ever stumbled across my blog on the internet and (2) the link to this blog is right at the bottom of every post I make on there. The nasty-grammer also admitted to having tried IVF several times without success.

So, I wanted to put it out there for whoever said this that the decision DH and I made to have more than two children is our decision and our business. There are more types of infertility than primary infertility. It is completely narrow-minded to think that just because we were given two children naturally and struggle to conceive our third, that we do not appreciate the ones that we have. Let me ask this: If we had to do ART to have our sons and were doing treatments again, would you think us greedy? Or is just because we were formally fertile that we are selfish??

I hate even bringing this up here and I apologize to you wonderful ladies who support me for having to read it, but I felt the need to defend myself especially when someone attacked what kind of mother I am to my boys.

Do any of us want to be in this position?? Don't we all want each IVF to result in a child and mean the end of the emotional roller coaster, the injections, the procedures, the appointments, the sleepless nights, the headaches, the fatigue, the night sweats, the arguing with our husbands, and the crying ourselves to sleep?!?!?

I hope that, like the other people who read that post and supported me when I was at my lowest, all who read this would understand and not sit in judgment of me and the words that I wrote when I was still reeling from losing my baby.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Suppressed

Today was my suppression check. Dr. Awesome RE was awesome as usual.  My ovaries are nice and quiet. My left one is currently housing 12 follicles. My right is housing 10.  All my levels are good and low.  I start Follistim and Menopur on Saturday. Stay the course with my Lupron.  First follie check will be Tuesday at 8:30.  Then another one on Thursday. Then again on Saturday.  ER is looking like Monday the 26th. 


Wow. This is really happening again.

And quick.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Of Not Blogging, Traveling, and IVF #2

I am not dead.

I've been more than neglectful of my blogging. And I have a secret. I haven't missed it.

I know that must sound terrible.  This blog and your support meant the world to me during IVF #1.  When everything went to hell, it hurt to keep coming back to this place. This place where I had hope. This place where my dreams were crushed. This place that changed for me after April 25th.

So, I attempted to move blogs and start fresh. But it wasn't enough. I needed a break. I left Oklahoma. I went to the mountains of West Virginia. I took a trip to Hawaii. I spent time with my friends and my family. I took a trip to San Diego. And here I am...

Four days into Lupron shots for IVF #2.  I can't believe I am here again. I should be 26 weeks pregnant.  But I am not. I'm back here. But am I really back?

I don't know how to answer that...

We'll see.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Everybody's Got Plans....Until They Get Hit"

It's a rarity that I'll quote Mike Tyson, but how true are those words? It seems that everyone makes plans - it's a part of life - but no one plans on the "hit" that derails it all.  Well, our plan was to have a baby and complete our family. Part of the plan, although unplanned, was IVF. The hit was the miscarriage. Part of me is still reeling from it all. Part of me is hopeful enough to try again. Part of me never wants to risk it in case it ends the same way. All of me is too scared right now to make "those types" of plans.

So, here we find ourselves with no real plans to move forward in TTC. We won't even pretend that we're trying naturally. I know that within a few minutes of leaving DH's body all of his sperm clump together and die. And I've heard the, "It only takes one" line of reasoning. I don't subscribe to fantasy. I'll sooner be licked by a unicorn than conceive a baby the old-fashioned way.

So what can Aub do? Aub can get the hell out of Oklahoma for a while. Next week the boys, the dog, and your truly will travel 1000 miles over a period of two days back to West Virginia for the whole month of July. DH will join us mid-month and that's when we will make our way to the Big Island to celebrate ten wonderful years together. I can't believe it. Seems like just yesterday we were talking over dinner (a blind date!) and here we are.  Ten years, eight moves, two beautiful boys, millions of laughs, and thousands of tears later, our story reaches a milestone. I couldn't have picked a better person to share the novel of my life with. I am a lucky girl!

Those are our immediate plans. I cannot wait to get back to the place that refreshes and recharges me. I know it will be hard to see my family and the few friends of mine who knew about the baby; I am sure it will be grieved again. I cannot think of a better place, however, to move forward, move on, and find the strength and determination to keep fighting for what my heart has decided is already mine, than in the mountains of my home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to the New Blog !!

This design may (or may not) stick. Now that I actually know how to do a design (template and header that is!) I may change it around some until it is just right, but the hearts are staying - one way or another. It feels good to have a change. New season, new blog, new me? Maybe!

I think I'm going to host a giveaway!  I knew not everyone would follow me to my new blog and I'm completely okay with it, but I think once I get to 25 "sweethearts" I'll shower you with appreciation via gifts.  This will take place very soon, within the next week. More details soon!

So, what's new? I've been a horrible blog follower of late. I promise to catch up!  As for me, I've been doing good. Experienced my first CD1 post-miscarriage on 6/2 and then I believe I turned around and ovulated the next week. No joke. I can feel AF coming again and I'm only on CD 20.  We really aren't even trying naturally right now. DH was out of town for my spontaneous ovulation. Instead, we are enjoying no-strings-attached bedroom shenanigans. I can't even tell you how nice it is to do it for the sake of doing it. I feel like I'm twenty.

In other news, and there's a lot of it, I am back to running and getting into shape! I've lost four pounds (whoop!) and am feeling really good physically. I have two solid running partners and all the support from my hubby that I could want. It's been great to focus on what I can do (run ten miles) as opposed to what I cannot do (conceive a baby naturally). Go me!

I have so much more to tell you all - lots of plans are shaping up for us - and Hawaii is in three weeks! I don't want to be all drawn out and blahbitty blah blah, though, so I'll save it for tomorrow.

I've missed this!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Testing, Testing, 1-2-3!!

If you are here from my previous blog, The Deep Silence of a Long-Suffering Heart, you are at the right place. The last two weeks have been really crazy busy, so I haven't had a chance to move my template over. I will also try to get all my posts from the previous blog here (if that is even possible).

Just wanted to let you know that you are in the right place!  Looking forward to getting back to blogging soon. Thanks for continuing on this journey with me. It really means a lot. :)

Blog Move

My blog move will take place tomorrow. If you missed it, you can read about my reasons for moving my blog here.  If you wish to continue following my journey (and I sincerely hope you do!) you can wait for the next issue of the LFCA to get the new url or feel free to email me at ravenaub.jackson@gmail.com and I will give you the new link to my blog.  I hope to see you all on the other blog!***

***I just checked and the LFCA was recently published (just yesterday!). If you plan on waiting until the next LFCA is published, don't worry about falling behind, I have been really busy and won't be posting that much in the next week or so. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Awful Angry Ugly Rant

Disclaimer: I am completely belligerent and irrational today. I'm bitter and hateful and there is no pulling the reigns back on my emotions right now. This is not the me that I enjoy being. This is the me that this journey is making me right now. I could probably fight hard against these feelings, but I don't have the strength today. It is THURSDAY and I will feel how I need to feel.

I am so angry today. It's now been three weeks and this last week has dealt me more bad days than good. Now it's Thursday again and I woke up thinking, "Today, I WOULD'VE been eleven weeks pregnant."  Is it going to be like this every Thursday? Will I ever get to just enjoy one without wondering what could've should've been??  I just want to go back to bed until tomorrow, but I can't.

I've been so bitter of late. I've completely dropped off of my two week wait forums. I don't comment at all on my IVF forum anymore and the miscarriage forum that I joined with the other December 2011 mamas who lost their babies is moving right along without me which is probably for the best. They are all coping amazingly well with their losses and making plans to move forward and trying to get pregnant again. I am not dealing so well with my loss. I WISH I was. Believe me, it would be so much easier to just handle it and move on. While I feel like I'm handling it, the moving on is the hard part. Certainly DH and I could hope for an au naturale pregnancy, but those odds are not likely. In order to move forward in the TTC department, we would need to make plans, make appointments, make phone calls. So hilarious that making a baby is more about making phone calls than making love. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha. And what's funnier...I am about as fertile as one could possibly be right now. Ask my good friend unaffected. She was lucky enough to get a picture of my CM yesterday, as it was the stretchiest and most it's ever been.  I was completely in awe of myself and my EWCM. Put me in Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Facebook is full of pregnancy/birth announcements this week. Just another website I'll be ignoring for a bit. As if it isn't bad enough that I skip over belly pics, new baby pics, prenatal doctor's appointment updates, etc. I've also found myself raging against certain ALI blogs that I've come across. Yep, you read that right. I've been hating on fellow infertiles, people. A new low, indeed. For example, I found a blog through a blog that I follow and I was reading her "TTC Journey" and was feeling all sympathetic to her plight and everything.  She did all the IUIs and the Cl.omids and the Fe.mara cycles and then had to move on to IVF. My heart understands. It sympathizes. It really does.  So she does IVF and it works. She gets a baby out of it. So she wants another. I understand. It's an intrinsic desire, wanting to build on your family. So she does IVF again and it works. She's happily trucking through her second trimester. Awesome, right? Totally. I slammed my computer shut and thought to myself, "So you had to do IVF twice and it worked both times. Poor you. It must be soooooooo hard."

Yes, indeed. Who am I and where is the real me?? I hope she comes back soon because I have to go to Walmart in a bit and I'll certainly bust a cap in someone's ass if I have to go feeling like this.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Good News Will Work Its Way To All Them Plans.

I have to believe the statement above because Modest Mouse said so.

The last two days have been hard. I've been feeling this loss so deeply the last 48 hours. It's really confusing because I'll have a few good days and then BAM! It hits me out of nowhere.  I should still be pregnant. My baby was such a fighter. She/he should still be hanging on.  I knew yesterday would be hard. The dreaded Thursday.  I thought today would be better, though. It's Friday. Six whole blissful days until the next dreaded Thursday. It's been hard, though, too.  I had to go to the mall and pick up some new things.  So many preggos. So many strollers. So many tears in my car afterward.  I can't control them. They are everywhere. It's not my intention to control them, just to learn to deal with the fact that they are still pregnant and I am not. I have to be easy on myself. It's only been two weeks.

I'm trying to focus on what I can do. Now. In the meantime. While waiting to cycle again (whenever that will be).  While deciding if we will cycle again.  So, I've made some plans. And I'd like to share them with you all.

1.) Exercise.  I am making exercise a part of my daily life again and yes, I said daily.  For six long weeks, I did nothing for fear of losing my baby and (of course) I would do it all over again, but how my body missed being fatigued through exercise!  It feels amazing to move again and I've been relishing pilates and runs and brisk walks with the dog in the warm spring air.  So amazing to be back out there and be active again!

2.) Travel.  Oh the places we will go!! First, I am planning on taking my boys (dog included!) back east at the end of June. We will be visiting friends and family for the whole month of July and not returning to Oklahoma until sometime the first week in August.  While in West Virginia, we plan to spend a weekend in North Carolina with my friend, Kassy who has a lake house at Lake Norman. Then, DH and I are headed to The Big Island of Hawai'i for six wonderful nights to celebrate ten beautiful years together. So much love for that man. If he loves me just a tenth of the amount I love him, I am a lucky woman.  We are also looking forward to a couples weekend in South Beach with our very best couple friends, the Doaks (Josh and Jenn).  That's at the end of August.  Family vacation this year will be in November. Taking our boys to Disney World over Thanksgiving break.  Wow, for the record we usually don't vacation so much in a year. We need it this year, though!

3.)  Change.  I am working a lot on me.  I want to be the best woman I can for my family, for myself, for my future baby, and for the baby that I lost.  Physically, I will do just fine with a balanced diet and exercise.  Mentally and emotionally, I will work hard at weekly, as I am seeing a Healing Touch Practitioner, and daily on an individual basis, meditating and praying.  It is my wish to start living more in the moment. I have been so focused on TTC, so forward thinking, that I've lost a lot of todays. I want to stop worrying so much about tomorrow. I want to be here. Now.  I know what it's going to take out of me emotionally and physically to do another cycle. I'm eyes wide open next time around.

That's why I've decided to move my blog. It will still be public, but I'm not going to give out the url to everyone. This change will take place in June 1.  If you are an ALI blog (the Stirrup Queen's Blogroll), I will make the change known on LFCA. If you are not an ALI blog, but are struggling with infertility OR I met you on here or two week wait, I will give you my email and I can get you the new blog addy that way.  If I know you in real life, I will not be sharing my new blog with you. Please don't take this personally as it is not my intention to hurt anyone's feelings.  I hope you will understand that it is exhausting for me to keep up with everyone when I'm cycling with text updates and the like. I want to be completely focused and I hope that being more private with my next future cycle will bring me less stress.  I need to blog about what I am going through, but I need to be surrounded by people who truly understand, who have been there before, who know what it feels like.  I'll be more forthcoming with details on the move soon!

And if you made it to the end of this ridiculously long post (sorry!) please enjoy Modest Mouse and remember:

...We'll all float on.
Alright already we'll all float on.
Alright don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy.
We'll all float on...alright. Already we'll all float on.
Alright already we'll all float on, ok.
Don't worry we'll all float on.

Even if things get heavy, we'll all float on...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Le Sigh

I hate Thursdays.

For the record, I realize it's Wednesday, but I hate Thursdays and Thursday is tomorrow and I probably won't blog tomorrow, so I'll just say it now - I hate Thursdays.

You see, each Thursday I would have turned another week pregnant. This week's Thursday, also known as "tomorrow", I would have been ten weeks pregnant. Two weeks from proclaiming to the world that we are were happily expecting. Now each passing Thursday propels me one week closer to an unfulfilled due date. Figures. Stupid Thursday. Not cool enough to be "hump day" and not fun enough to be celebrated as the day ushering in the weekend.

There is a whole Facebook page dedicated to the hatred of Thursdays. I will most likely be joining it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ten Days of Company and Looking Ahead

I am not dead :)

Although there were days where I felt mostly dead, I've actually been doing alright the last five or so days.  We've had company since the day after my D&C. DH's dad came on Thursday (an already scheduled visit) and he stayed until Tuesday. We got him through ticketing and to the security gate and stood there for about ten minutes waiting for the arrival of my friend Jenn and her little girl (also an already scheduled visit). One person left, two people came. Ten days straight of company continues.  It has been nice. I have my moments of feeling sad and crying, but for the most part, having them here has kept me focused and distracted all at the same time.

On Tuesday, I had my post-op with Dr. Awesome RE.  It was more of a sit down and discuss.  He told me as long as I wasn't bleeding, I can start putting things in my vagina again. Yay! DH and I have definitely capitalized on that ;) It has been nice during a time that is so up and down and emotionally charged to be able to have that closeness with him again.  Hooray for some type of normalcy!  We also discussed the future and what we thought we would do next in our TTC endeavors.  First, we are going to take a break. Dr. Awesome RE recommends two cycles off after a miscarriage.  He said if we were ready in July to do a cycle, that would be alright, but nothing before then. DH and I are thinking more along the lines of September.  We want to take the summer and enjoy our boys, visit our families back east, take an epic ten year wedding anniversary trip in July (Hawaii!!), get the boys started on their new school year and THEN go back to TTC.  There has been too much forward thinking in the last year. We want to live in this moment. Enjoy today.

Well, that's about it as far as what's new with me is concerned. My friend is leaving on Saturday and I'll be back sometime after then to talk about what exactly we plan on doing in September. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Grief

I don't want to let another day pass without at least telling you all that, physically, I am okay.  The D&C went as expected and I am no longer pregnant.

I am no longer pregnant.

My baby is dead. Gone. Never going to be born. Never going to be loved and looked after and cared for and cherished.

I am in a pretty fucking dark place right now.  There is nothing to satisfy the emptiness I feel.

I just want my baby back.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Confirmation (Updated)

There was no heartbeat today at my ultrasound.

My clinic is going to schedule a D&C this week.

**My D&C is this Wednesday, April 27th. I am so thankful they are getting me in so soon.**

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Letting Go

My whole body hurts. From the middle of my back to my knees, I feel my whole body gearing up for what I only imagine is going to be one hell of a period.  It's getting ready to let go. And I have been, too.

I want to thank you all for your thoughts and sweet comments. Some of you have been cheering me on since my first post. Others, my first injection. Still others, my first beta.  I am so appreciative of all of the support I have received during what had been a crazy, bumpy ride. 

Truth be told, I think this is coming to an end. I know there's no way to know for sure until my appointment on Monday. Call it mother's intuition, I think my baby is tired. It's okay to let go. I've been telling her since yesterday that if it would be easier to go, I only want her to know first that I've been dreaming about and wanting her for so long and I want nothing more to be her mom, but that I understood.

I will miss this baby every single day. I know it will be hard to deal with, but I have been told a lot by my DH that he thinks I have been strong and handled everything really well. I hope that I can grieve this loss and find a way to go forward.  Although it is not the outcome we had hoped, it is an answer and it is a way to move on and start living again. 

Oh, my sweet baby....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

If it Weren't for Bad News, There Would be No News

Warning: I curse at the end of this post. Offended? Don't read.

Last night, I ran a fever.  Out of concern, I called the RE's office and let them know. Of course, they wanted me to come in so they could take a look.  The good news? RE thinks that the fever is viral and that it would pass within a day or two.

Bad news:  Fetal heart rate was down to 97. Monday it was 103.  RE is "concerned".  Says time will tell and we will recheck on Monday.  He also marked my check-out sheet "high risk pregnancy" for the first time ever and I found the reason why on Dr. Google.

http://radiology.rsna.org/content/236/2/643.full

Don't feel like reading it? Here is the gist.  In 300 pregnancies where a low embryonic heart rate was found at 6-7 weeks (low = 100 bpm or less at 6.3 - 7.0 weeks), 188 or 60.6% ended before the first trimester was over.  Many ended within a week.  (As in, go back for recheck and find out that fetal cardiac activity had ceased.)

I fall into this category. Yay! Can't wait to go in on Monday and see whether or not my baby died. And the best part? Even if the heart rate recovers, my chances of "first trimester demise" are still 25% higher than most pregnancies.

Fuck you IVF. Fuck the last 3 months of my life and all the hope I had that this bullshit would work, too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Miscalculated LMP and the Discovery of "The Source"

If you are uber observant, then perhaps you noticed that my pregnancy ticker has been adjusted. (Just so you know, I don't really expect any of you to have noticed that, but it has been adjusted so I thought I'd share why.)  I went in for my U/S this morning and noticed that they have my LMP (last menstrual period) as 3/3/11.  I thought it was 2/28/11 since my babies were conceived on 3/14/11. Silly me just assumed that the kiddos were created on the "Day 14" of my cycle and apparently, they were fertilized on "Day 11".  No worries, I'm just not 7 weeks pregnant today, I am 6 weeks, 4 days. Due date is 12/8/11. (That seems really far away, doesn't it?)

Baby is measuring one day behind and I was told not to worry about that discrepancy.  One day does not matter, but three or four days would, so I am choosing not to worry about this.  Heart rate was 103 and I was told that for a 6 week, 4 day old fetus, that is perfectly within normal range. At about 8 weeks, the heart rate will jump up to the 120-160 range.  I am also okay with this.  Baby is measuring .60 cm. Last Tuesday, baby was .20 cm and when converted to mm, baby grew from 2 mm to 6 mm which is also good.  Dr. Awesome RE also found what he believes to be the cause of the bleeding - a hematoma near the baby that is very small (hopefully all bled out!).  I am really pleased to have found a cause. All this unexplained bleeding was not sitting right with me.  There has to be a reason, right?! 

I am to come back in one week for another U/S. I am hoping that I can be released to an OB at that point.  I just need one week of no drama!!  RE recommended continued limited activity including lots of rest, no sex, no hot baths, no hot tubs or saunas, etc.

All in all, a great report! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Anticipation

I never thought I'd say this, but I am super sick of blogging about TTC and obsessing over the ever looming threat of a miscarriage.  So, I will keep today's thoughts on these matters short and to the point:

My bleeding has stopped. I am not as naive as I was before. It may come back. I anticipate that it will just because I've become more cynical over the past two and a half weeks. I dare you to blame me. For now, it is gone and I will enjoy every moment of its absence.

Now, in other news, I got my hair did today. I feel like a new person! If I must sit around in my pajamas, I will do so with good hair, darnit. And in more hair news, I ordered my extensions today!! Next Friday, I will have 6 more inches of hair! I cannot wait as I am really impatient and this whole waiting for my hair to grow out isn't really working for me. Can you imagine? Five whole months of gorgeous, long, thick, Kate Middleton-ish or a bit longer, hair. And when I take them out my real hair will have grown that much longer. Winning!

See - I'm not all mopey and grumpy and forlorn all the time. There are lots of things to be happy about. Today, my hair makes me happy. :) Lots of other less shallow things make me happy, too.  I am looking forward to seeing baby bean on Monday. I hope she's okay in there and still enjoying her stay. I am thankful for my church family who are taking care of DH and the boys and I in our time of need. Someone is coordinating meals and a lady is coming over next week to clean my house. How blessed am I to have such wonderful people who want to be here for us and give us the best chance of staying pregnant? God isn't good. He is wonderful!

Here's a pic of me and the bean today (and my rockin' hair!)


Have a good weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teetering

My happiness from Tuesday's ultrasound was sweet, but short-lived.  Late Tuesday night, I passed several (five or so) clots and went in for another u/s. Baby was fine. Heartbeat was visible to me from where I was laying.  I was told that at this point, I have a 50/50 chance of miscarrying.  Although I hate those odds, I left feeling relieved.  My breathing came easier to me having seen my baby. Now, I am back to the place where everything is distorted. Every positive, good feeling is punctuated by a question mark. Every dark, morbid thought is made darker with uncertainty and fear.

I just went to the bathroom and passed another clot along with some bright red blood. Now I am back to dark brown spotting.  I don't know what to do or think. I cannot go rushing in for an u/s every time I see tissue. I feel like I should know by now that a few small clots does not a miscarriage make. At this point, I should feel confident that I've beaten the bleeding before and that everything will be fine. I should be able to coast until Monday and just see then what is going on.  It's quite easy to separate my logical thinking when I'm sitting here blogging from how I feel when I go to the bathroom and feel like I'm looking at a crime scene.  When I'm there, I just want to rush to the phone and call my doc and go running to his office.

I am tired. I am scared. I am tired of being scared. I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of heartbreak. Just when I think I can take a step back and turn away, I am forced to step even closer to the ledge and stare wide-eyed into what would certainly be one of the most awful experiences in life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Dreaded Red and True Love

Today has been "interesting".  What started as any other Tuesday got very scary and then turned out happy.  I find myself feeling tired from this roller coaster and wondering what is in store.

At around 12:30, I was sitting at the computer and my low back was aching. It's been hurting since yesterday, but it was giving me some pretty strong tweaks.  I also noticed that I was feeling crampy. I went to the bathroom to pee and there it was - blood in my underwear. I peed, wiped (more blood), and when I went to flush, the water was bright pink. I thought this was over. Apparently, I was wrong. I couldn't help it. I started to cry. I started to shake. I started to panic.

I tried reaching DH a few times and didn't have any luck.  I called Dr. Awesome RE's office and was instructed to come in for an ultrasound. I then called an older lady from my church who knows about our situation and she came over and drove me. I thank God for putting people in my life that I can call for help when I need it.  I finally reached DH and he agreed to meet me at the office. He asked that I wait for him to do the ultrasound.  I asked him to please hurry as I didn't want to sit waiting there for any longer than absolutely necessary.

DH arrived 15 minutes after I got there with a sprained ankle. Apparently, he was working out at lunch and that's why I couldn't reach him. When he finally got back to me and got the news, he took off running to his car and twisted his ankle. Dr. Awesome RE's nurse was nice enough to get him a bag of ice. We were ready for Captain Condom Wand.  I took a deep breath, grabbed DH's hand in a death grip and looked away. I was too afraid to naively look wide-eyed at the screen.  A few seconds later, Dr. Awesome RE told me to look at the screen.

One gestational sac, measuring right on track. One yolk sac. One perfect little baby with a fluttering heart.  Every single up and down and sleepless night and bad dream and breakdown melted away in that instant.

We are in love.

And I am on bedrest. For at least until my next ultrasound.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Last Beta Before U/S

My beta today was 6138.  Had it gone to 5800, it would have doubled. I am feeling very pregnant, too. Nausea, heartburn and so sleepy.

All good things, though. Feeling over the moon and excited.

Looking forward to next week's ultrasound.

<3

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Too Scared to Screw?

Yep. This post is about sex.  Feel free not to read if it makes you uncomfortable. It needs to be blogged about because it's kind of what's NOT been going on around here.  I won't be offended if you don't read or comment. It's all good. :)

So the night before my first beta (the disappointing 31) DH and I BDed.  It had been so long and we were getting "snappy" toward one another which tends to happen when we go so long without the sexy time. I believe it had been since a few days before ER, so we were going on sixteen days - 16 DAYS, peeps! (I didn't get married to be celebate, you know!) So, we BDed and were feeling quite happy with ourselves and excited for the next day's awesome beta and all the happiness which was to follow.

Then the next day's beta stunk (by fertility clinic's standards) and the following morning, I started to bleed. The bleeding continued for a week and so did all the uncertainty around what the heck was going on and we were emotionally, as well as physically, D.O.N.E. However, my numbers were doubling as they were expected and the bleeding, although heavy, was never painful with large clots, so technically, everything was going along as it was supposed to. Still, we refrained from any form of boudoir fun.

It stuck in the back of both of our minds that maybe if we hadn't BDed that one night, the bleeding may never had happened. (Of course, this is ridiculous, but we were grasping for reasons and causes for what we felt was a pretty unnatural occurence in pregnancy.)  Last night, the subject of it all came up and DH said that although he wanted nothing more than to BD, he didn't want to be the cause of any problem that might compromise a pretty fragile condition.  We decided to wait until after the u/s to make sure that we weren't up against anything that would make Dr. Awesome RE use the term "pelvic rest". It seemed like the most logical thing to do and although we knew it would be diffcult, we were committed to making sure everything was A-okay first.

It's going to be a loooong 9 days.....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bad Dreams...

I tend to dream a lot when I'm really tired. It makes sense that in pregnancy I would dream more because by the time my head hits the pillow at night, I'm exhausted.  For the last ten or more nights, I've been dreaming a lot.

A few days ago, I realized that my friend Jenn's visit was coiniciding with Cinco de Mayo. I sent her a text and we talked a little about it and she playfully said, "No cocktails for you, mama!"  I agreed that this year, I would be DD.  Well, last night I dreamed about Cinco de Mayo and I was having margaritas with her...

DH and I are going away for our ten year anniversary in July and the whole trip is a big surprise to me. I know that there is a trip, but I have no clue where we are going and don't plan on knowing until we get on the plane.  I dreamed last night that we went to Italy and we were both having wine and eating pizza in Naples.

Not horrible dreams by any means - celebrating with my husband and having some drinks with a grilfriend, but the point was - I wasn't pregnant.  By the time, May rolled around (in my dream) I was having a few drinks. My mind is playing horrible tricks on me. Making me even more fearful that this will all end either at my next beta or at my first ultrasound.  Why can't there ever be peace of mind? Will there always be something unnecessary to worry about? Obviously, throughout pregnancy there are many worries because so much can go wrong, but DH and I are feeling robbed of the simple joy of being pregnant and looking forward. 

I feel like I'm stuck until the 18th. It's very frustrating.

**Asking that everyone please keep my close friend in your thoughts and prayers - she's been struggling to conceive for many years and is taking a few months off from TTC and moving on to IVF in the late summer.**

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet Morning Texts and Beating the Control

Me: Morning :) I am still pregnant.

DH: Morning. Good. Go eat bfast good for baby.

This is how DH and I said good morning to each other.  He'll be back tomorrow night and I can't wait to see him.

My bleeding has stopped. ADIOS! Don't come back now, ya hear?

And I thought I would just show you all that I beat the control line's butt this morning.  I'm feeling happy and optimistic for a change.


And here is me! At 5 weeks 2 days and dressed, ready to go out the door and looking like a human being for the first time in ten days.


GO ME!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Good News

I decided to go in yesterday for another beta instead of waiting until today.  DH was scheduled to leave for work in Louisiana this morning and he encouraged me to get tested yesterday so that if the results were not good, he would just cancel his trip.  Well, I am happy to report that he left this morning. :)

My beta yesterday was 481.  Had it gone to 420, it would have technically met the requirement of "doubling".  It went 61 above that!  I don't think anyone can say that this baby isn't a fighter.  The nurses are optimistic, my progress is good.  They gave me the "go ahead" to schedule my first u/s, which I did - April 18th!! I was also told that if I wanted to come in for one more beta for peace of mind, I could. I plan on doing that next Monday. Until then, I have my pee sticks and symptoms to monitor and obsess over. My bleeding is now spotting and for that, I am so grateful. Now, if it would just GO AWAY...

In this moment, I am pregnant and I plan on enjoying every moment that I am.  I still have fears and some doubts (I just want to see my baby!!) but DH and I decided that if yesterday's beta was good, we were going to graduate to somewhere between optimistic and excited. We are currently opticited.

Here are some pee sticks showing progression. Top and second are both 15DP5DT, third is 16DP5DT, and bottom is this morning's 17DP5DT:


And a digi for good measure:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beta # 3 (No April Fool's Joke, Either!)

My beta is 140 today. It doubled and then some.  My friend Kara informed me that the doubling time was 40.85 hours.

I honestly don't know what to think.

I am going back in on Tuesday for another beta.  If it doubles then, I can wait until the 14th or 15th for my ultrasound.

Still so many worries. My nurses are "optimistic". I feel like I should be, too. I just feel unconvinced right now that this will end in a baby.  My bleeding is the same.

My thoughts are all over the place. Apologies.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Location: Limbo

That's where I am right now. In between. Unable to look forward, unable to cope and heal.

DH and I grieved hard on Tuesday. We cried together, held each other, stared into each others eyes. So full of hurt, both seeing our own eyes looking back at us.  We were hardly coming to terms with what was happening but we were coping. We were working through the pain and picking up the pieces in an attempt to heal and move on.

Now we can't even do that. We showered together last night (that's where we have our best conversations) and he said to me, "This is stupid.  Your beta doubled, but you're bleeding. If I could get past the bleeding, I still worry about your beta being low."  It's true. We haven't a clue how to feel or what to think.  We are in the gray area.

I was able to get my beta moved up to Friday (tomorrow).  I will be sure to let you know what's going on as soon as I know. In the meantime, I am still bleeding pretty heavily. It's bright red and can be compared to a heavier-ish day of AF.  I went ahead and POAS this morning. I wanted to see if there was any progression at all. Up until this point, I have been a proactive patient in my IVF and I plan to be to the end. I didn't POAS Wednesday morning because I was sure my beta would show dropping Hcg levels and it would be over. The first pic is 9DP5DT, the second is 10DP5DT, the last is this morning's 12DP5DT.






Talk about total confusion. Today's test is blazing in comparison.  And I had to dip it in a cup of pee that looked like fruit punch - it was so red. Sorry if TMI, but this is what I'm dealing with.

I am afraid. Please pray for my baby.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WTF

My beta doubled.  I have been told to stay the course with my meds and come back in on Monday for another beta.  Oh, and to rest with my feet up as it appears that I could be miscarrying a twin.

Let's see, what else??

Oh, and just so you all know, I don't expect this to end well still. That may sound pessimistic, but I don't really hear a lot of low initial betas ending well. Try not to get all cheerleader-y because when the weekend ends, I figure all this will, too.  I want you guys to know that I am prepared for what is most likely to come. I will keep you all updated as I know more.

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts and offerings of sympathy.  I love you guys.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beta Hell

My beta was 32.

I have to go back in on Wednesday to have my numbers rechecked.

They wanted them to be above 50.

This is what they call beta hell.

I am in it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

As Promised......Pee Sticks! :)

Here is a little gallery of things I've peed on in the last week. For your ultimate viewing pleasure!

Answer Friday (3/25) Out of the case:






Answer Saturday (3/26):





 Answer Sunday (3/27):





Equate on Friday (3/25) Out of the case:





Equate Saturday (3/26):





Equate Sunday (3/27):


Blue Wondfo Friday (3/25):





Blue Wondfo Saturday (3/26):





Blue Wondfo Sunday (3/27):





What do you all think? Beta results tomorrow!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lines, Lines, Everywhere is Lines!!

First off, I'd like to address my grammatical error in the post title.  I am aware that the correct way to use that statement is "Everywhere are lines" or "Lines are Everywhere" but I was thinking of the song "Signs" (Tesla's cover of it) when I titled my post and was trying to stay with the style of the song.  As you may be well aware, I am referring to my home pregnancy tests having lines. Lots and lots of lines.

I'm PREGNANT!!!!

According to home tests, there is a bun in my oven!  I am beyond shocked and incredibly grateful and just so, so happy and well, plain scared.  I'm going to be a mom again. I'm giving my husband another child and we want this baby so bad that I'm scared to death that this isn't really happening. OR that something is going to happen to take this baby (or even babies) away from us.  I'm thinking positively and doing what I can to keep myself and my baby (ies) safe, though. What else can I do?

Beta is two days away.  Please pray that the numbers are good and we can have a definite answer and can look forward to our first ultrasound.  And as always, thanks to all of you who read my blog and share this journey with me and give me constant support and lift me up with your comments. You will never know how much you mean to me, my bloggy friends.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kleptomania and The Love of Basketball

A snippet of conversation from before bed last night:

(The scene is a master bedroom with a king-sized bed and a handsome devil of a husband laying propped against some pillows and reading Wikipedia on his Ipod.  His wife enters the room, slightly vexed, and says,)

ME - Umm, I need to talk to you about something that could be a problem.

DH -  Okay.

ME - Well, I went to get my progesterone checked today and I took DS2 with me and there was a little stress ball by where they draw blood that looked like a basketball. I assume that people who don't bring their veins to their blood draw squeeze on the ball and...you get my point.....so, DS2 takes the ball and starts playing with it and the nurse does her thing with poking a hole in my arm and then she tapes me up and says to DS2, 'I need that back if you don't mind.' They then start throwing the little basketball back and forth and I say, 'DS2, we need to go pick up DS1. Put the ball back on the table and let's head out.' The nurse and I talk a little about my progesterone and whatnot and then we leave.

DH - What is the point of this moronic story?

ME - I'm trying to tell you!!  She asked for the ball back and I thought he put it back on the table, but I just looked in my purse for chap stick and look what I found!! (pulls out little basketball from behind back) Our son stole the basketball from the fertility clinic. HE STOLE THE BALL!!!! OUR SON STEALS!!!!!

DH - He didn't steal that ball. I took it on Saturday when we went in for our embryo transfer. 

ME - What would possess you take the basketball?

DH - Because I thought DS2 would like it.

(Scene ends)

Albeit a completely pointless tale, I just had to share.  :D :D :D :D :D

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

38 comments, VFPs, & My Babies!!


 Happy Tuesday!! What do you all think of my babies? Aren't they adorable? They really do resemble my side of the family. :)  Today, I stopped by the fertility clinic to have my progesterone levels checked and I picked up my babies first picture. I asked the nurse if she needed a blood draw for the progesterone or if showing her the welts on my bum would be sufficient enough. She thought I was funny. For real, though, my poor bum.  The welts are red, they're itchy, and they're ugly.  All for the best cause, though. Do you see my babies up there? :) Anything for them.

Yesterday, as an honest to goodness attempt to make good on my Iron Commentator endeavor, I commented on thirty eight blogs. I am officially ahead of the game.  It feels good. Everyone's story is unique and important. I always find myself writing a paragraph for a comment.  I also like to read their other posts and their About Me sections and their TTC stories. Wow, to connect on such a personal level with so many women is a privilege.  I hope they feel the same way when they come here.

Today I POAS. I know, I know. 8DPO and 3DP5DT is soo, so early. But there was a line. A VFP. A very faint positive. I'm going to keep it for myself for now, but will definitely share it when I put up progression pictures.

Can you believe it?! I'm a little pregnant. Who'd a thunk?

Monday, March 21, 2011

ICLW and 2DP5DT

Welcome to my blog ICLWers!! I am going to more than make up for my lack of commenting and returning comments last month by attempting to be an Iron Commentator this month. It will be my act of redemption.  I am 30 and so is DH. We are TTC #3 and I am currently PUPO with twins via IVF with ICSI. In January, DH was diagnosed with antisperm antibodies and although we were given the three IUIs option, we opted to jump into the deep end of IF and go straight to IVF. Honestly, I just didn't think the IUIs would work.  Too much reading about the condition led us to go for what we felt was our best chance at conceiving.  So, that's about it. Grab a seat. Stay a while. At least hang on until next Monday when I have my beta!

So, at 2DP5DT, I am feeling kind of neutral. I keep having positive thoughts for the sake of my little embabies that are trying to make a home in my womb.  My mood is peppered with moments of doubt and fear. We didn't receive a phone call yesterday, so none of the other seven embryos we had made it to freeze. I won't lie, I cried. I cried because they didn't get the chance to grow and develop and become our children.  I cried because I feel even more pressure for this to work with what we have in there. I'm not sure if it's something that anyone else that I've talked to about understands. I get the feeling that people are too encouraging sometimes.  Too optimistic. Is that awful for me to say?  I don't know.

What I do know is I have to allow my mind to go to a place where this may not work.  I have to prepare myself emotionally for "no".  Now that we don't have any frosties, "no" means a lot more. It most likely means the end of the line for us and TTC.   I can't see going through this again. Hope for the best. Expect the disappointment. That's what IF has taught me.

Now that I sound like Debbie Downer (sorry), I will say that I'm feeling crampy, which I think is good. I rub my belly a lot and talk to my embabies. DH says goodnight to them and asked them several times over the weekend if they were still in there - lol.  I'm thirsty and get over-heated easily. There's also this weird pulling sensation at the very tops of my legs. Don't know what that's all about.  I think they will be implanting today and tomorrow. I was thinking of POAS maybe Thursday, but probably Wednesday.

If you don't visit my blog again, I want you to leave knowing that I believe with all my heart that I will get some sort of happy ending.  I think we all will. Even if it's not the one we originally thought we'd have.  There's a saying I love and it's (something like) "Everything ends happily. If you're not happy, it isn't the end." Or something to that effect. You get the point. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

PUPO with Twins!!

Sorry it's taken me so long today to update you all on the transfer. We went in at nine a.m. and had to wait a little while for the retrieval that was scheduled ahead of us to finish. My appointment was for 9:30, but we didn't get called back until close to ten.  Needless to say, I was more than anxious at that point!

We went into a conference area with Dr. Awesome RE and he informed us that we had two Grade C embryos ready for transfer.  I immediately wondered why they weren't an A or even a B. (I mean, come on, my husband is an engineer and while I lack a wealth of book smarts, I have incredible life skills and am full of common sense.)   Dr. Awesome RE said that although As and Bs were not impossible, he rarely saw any embryos receive such high marks there. Their grading criteria is very harsh and Cs and even Ds are what he mainly transfers.  I had read a few other blogs where they had A+ embryos for transfer and while, kudos for them, I actually felt really good knowing that ours had gone through a very difficult grading system and came out with the marks that they did. No worrying! Not today!

We went back to the area where I was placed to await ER and I was told to strip down from the waist down and that DH could put on some scrubs over his clothes. I snapped this picture of us before we got ready:

 Awe....the mama and the papa :) 


Then we got all dressed  (or undressed as it was for me!) and ready. I snapped this pic of DH and Dr. Awesome RE:

 
Spacemen


 After that, I was wheeled into the OR where I had just had my ER on Monday. They kept me on the stretcher for the whole thing to keep me from having to get up afterward. Dr. Awesome RE placed a speculum (think pap smear) into my vagina and then started squirting down my lady parts with saline and talking about how he was creating as sterile an environment for the catheter with the embabies as possible.  After the douching, he showed us the catheter that he would be using to insert into my uterus via my cervix.  There are actually two catheters: a white outer one for insertion and a clear smaller one that goes inside of the white one that would have the embabies in it.  Once he positioned the white catheter, he asked the embryologist to get the clear one with the embabies, a.k.a. the "loaded" one, from the lab next door.  When she returned holding that little clear tube, I lost it. I started bawling. I couldn't believe that my babies were in there! He inserted the clear tube into the white one, pushed the plunger on the end and voila! I was pregnant with twins.  DH was so sweet. He kept a hold of my hand and wiped my tears with his other one. I was very unprepared for all of my emotions, so I was happy to have his hand as a kleenex. :)

That was it. Took all of five minutes  We hugged and kissed when we got back to our little holding area and closed the curtain. DH went on and on about how cool it was (I knew it would hit him eventually!).  I laid there for an hour and then we came home. Like nothing had even happened. But everything has happened. I've got two little babies inside of me. Please pray that they snuggle down next to their mama and grow.

Love to all...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Last Embryo Update Before Transfer

Today I got my last phone call updating me on my embabies (thanks for the cool name, Rosachka!).  It was a little bittersweet getting the last news of their progress before the transfer. As if this week could get any longer, tomorrow is going to drag on forever without even a phone call to look forward to.  Also weird to think that the two lucky finalists will be transferred into me (where they belong!) and the rest will be frozen in time. *big sigh*

Very thankful that on this windy Thursday we have:

~ 1 nine-cell embaby
~ 5 eight-cell embabies
~ 1 seven-cell embaby
~ 1 six-cell embaby
~ 1 four-cell embaby

We lost one. It was a one-cell yesterday and it never progressed any further.  We are very thankful for what we have for sure.  She said they looked great. 

Transfer less than 48 hours away! I can't believe I'm about to be PUPO! :D

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My 50th Post and an Embryo Update!!

Wow!  First of all, I just have to say that I feel such a huge milestone here with this being the 50th post on my little blog about our infertility.  I have almost 30 followers, too! Thank you guys so much for being here for me.  All the comments are read and appreciated. I've also tried to follow all of my follower's blogs, too.  Get the love, give the love, you know?

I have my second embryo update for your viewing pleasure.

We have, on this sunny Wednesday:

~ 2 six cell embryos
~ 2 five cell embryos
~ 4 four cell embryos
~ 1 three cell embryo
~ 1 one cell embryo

We definitely have TEN!!

My little Wilbur runt caught up! What a fighter! Yay!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fertilization Report!!

~ 15 eggs retrieved

~ 3 not mature, not ICSI-ed, and discarded

~ 2 did nothing after fertilization.

~ 1 is a "maybe" and will be observed overnight in hopes it starts dividing.

~ 9 double cell nuclei showing normal division!!

We have nine (maybe ten!) babies!! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Egg Retrieval and the Anesthesiologist of my Dreams...

Today was the big day!! All these shots, hormones, emotions, and heavy ovaries culminated in what ended up being a very anti-climatic egg retrieval.  Yat for that!  I slept well last night.  I woke up at five and didn't go back to sleep after that, but the alarm was set for 6:15 and my anxiety kept me occupied for that hour and fifteen minutes.  All was good.

I showered, dressed, straightened my hair, put on a little make-up and we were out the door at 7oh3.  We arrived at the fertility institute and I was in my gown, IVed up, cracking jokes with Dr. Awesome RE and shaking hands with Mr. Anesthesiologist by quartertuh8.  I kissed DH goodbye and stopped to pee on the way into the OR room (which was only about twenty paces from where I left DH).  I had mixed emotions about him being so close to the room where they were going to be jabbing my lady parts with needles.  What if I screamed or cried or called out to him during the procedure? I remember my friend Lisa saying that she felt everything during her retrieval and going from her experience, I was going to need a stick to bite down on or at least an inflatable clown to punch.

Once in the room, I put my legs into these cradles which were similar to stirrups, but oddly comfy and Dr. Awesome RE kept me covered while he prepped the u/s machine which I found to be very thoughtful of him. What if my vagina had a case of the Mondays and wasn't ready for its close up just yet?  He really does think of everything. :)  Dr. Anesthesiologist man offered me up a morning martini that I just couldn't refuse. While we waited for the drugs to work their magic (which I was still skeptical that they would), I asked RE if he would work quickly because I was hungry and there was a Panera Bread across the street from the hospital that was calling my name.  A playful conversation ensued with everyone in the OR sharing what their favorite bagel/bagel toppings were from there.  Shortly after I declared, "Cinnamon Crunch bagel with butter," I passed out. C.O.L.D.

I woke up with a Sprite in my hand and my DH by my side. (How is THAT for service??) Our conversation went a little like this:

Me: Is it over?

DH: Yeah.

Me: How many eggs did we get?

DH: Fifteen.

Two minutes later...

Me: How many eggs did we get?

DH:  Fifteen.

Me: *sips Sprite.

Two minutes later...

Me: How many eggs did we get?

DH: Fifteen, Aub.

Me:  Oh right.........................................so, how many eggs then?

DH:  Fifteen. Listen, I gotta go make dirty with this here cup.

Yeah, it took a while for me to retain any facts pertaining to the retrieval.  What I DO know is this:

~ I slept the whole time and have no recollection at all of the procedure.  For that I am eternally grateful to the man who calls himself "Anesthesiologist".

~ Wow for fifteen eggs! I knew I had it in me. (Really, I knew I had them in there. There was every bit of fifteen eggs in my swollen, heavy ovaries.)

~ In a fertility institute, twenty minutes from where I sit blogging......I have babies. How awesome is that?!

Will receive fertilization report in the morning.  Can't wait to update you all then.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In Awe & Very, Very Thankful

With tomorrow's ER looming overhead, I find myself feeling very emotional. Of course, I could attribute everything to my hormones and think nothing more of it, but what I'm feeling goes so much deeper than just high estrogen levels.

I feel in awe of the events that are about to take place in the next twenty four hours.  I feel grateful for the opportunity to expand our family and fulfill our dreams of another child.  I feel privileged to have this chance of motherhood again. 

I am in awe of God for creating man with the ability to develop technologies such as IVF and therefore the loving provision of helping those who are unable to conceive naturally the fair shake to become biological parents.  As much as I give credit to my amazing doctor and his team of highly skilled scientists, the real praise goes to God for his gift of life and all the blessings and benefits that come along with such a precious gift.

As a mother of two little boys, I find myself thinking of them, their needs, and how this is going to affect them and I feel so excited for them to be big brothers tomorrow! DS1 has been a big brother for more than five years now, but for DS2 to become one tomorrow is a huge deal to me. Their lives are going to change forever and I hope their new sibling(s) bring them so much joy.  This is the last night of just the four of us. Wonderful, epic changes are about to take place!

I feel so much love for my husband and the fact that because of us, new lives will be created soon.  It's so exciting to think about these babies and what they will be, who they will look like, and how much they are already loved and adored.  I love sharing my life with such a wonderful man. He is a great dad. Not to mention we make totally gorgeous kids together (pats self on back!).  I have truly never felt so close to him. Through all the TTC heartache, he has been my rock and I love and respect the person that he is and that he has become over these last (almost) ten years of marriage. I am awed by my husband.

Rarely do I ever strike a sentimental chord, so bear with me for all the warm fuzzies. I'm sure I'll be back to my sinister, sarcastic self in no time.  Just allow me this moment of reflection and appreciation.

Cannot wait to update you all on ER tomorrow!