Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Exciting Things Are Happening - Come on Over!!

Just wanted to do a "Last Call" for anyone who wanted my new blog address. There are exciting things happening over there!!

Email me at revenaub.jackson@gmail.com for the new url.

<3

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Reminder!! And a Giveaway :)

My blog has moved. Please email me at ravenaub.jackson@gmail.com for the new blog address or check out the 704th issue of the LFCA for the new blog address.

I will host a giveaway when I get to 25 followers! Thanks for continuing on this journey with me!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Follie Check Tres and OhhhEmmmGeee

This morning was my third and final follie check! Bright and early, I dragged my ovaries to the appointment. They are so heavy and full.  Blood draw same as usual.  U/s - not so usual.  We lubed up the dildo cam and took a look at the right ovary. Dr. Awesome RE said he was happy with anything over a "10" and he measured around 7 follies all 13mm and above.  He  moved over to the left ovary and the first words out of his mouth were, "You need to come in Monday for retrieval."  On the screen were 3 huge black circles.  These suckers measured 23mm plus (averaged down to 20mm or so)!  No wonder I'm feeling so full and uncomfortable!  Yikes!  He wasn't concerned, but the change in schedule concerned me. I'm a planner and I had previously been planning on a Monday retrieval. When my appointments started this week, however, they kept saying it wouldn't be until Tuesday, so I planned for Tuesday. Now it's back to Monday and I feel so ill-prepared!! I was going to cook all day Monday and get some last minute errands ran and whatnot. So much for that, right?!

A few hours ago, Awesome nurse Karen called to say that my estrogen was 2176. TWENTY ONE SEVENTY SIX!!!!  Holy hormones, batman! This is where they want it to be, but I'm sure DH would like it much, MUCH lower. :)

So, tonight at eight o'clock sharp, I will trigger with the Ovidrel.  Tomorrow, I get to take one blissful day off from shots. Hallelujah.

Of course, Monday will welcome the start of the really fun shots. Progesterone in oil. Right in the a$$.  Can't wait.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Follie Check Numero Dos

Happy Friday and can I get a "Thank Jeebus, this week of stimming is coming to an end?!!"  Holy ovaries!  I've been handling things well (for the most part) but these emotions and these ovaries are heavy and intense. 

Yesterday, I had a follie check. Twelve follicles measuring 8.5 to 15.8.  Dr. Awesome RE was giddy with excitement over it all. All of it. My lady parts are "gorgeous" and everything is going "perfectly". Twice, I caught DH rolling his eyes, but I think he's just jealous that nobody is up in his manhood using such terms.  In reality, I just think that my RE has a lot of ladies who don't respond well to the meds and maybe that's why he is so excited over it all. My lining was 10 and that's a great thing, too. They called a few hours laer to say to stay the same course with my Menopur (1mL to two vials of powder = 150mL dosing) and that my estrogen was 915.

Let us briefly review. Nine days ago, my estrogen was 38.  Six days later, it was 358.  Forty eight hours later, it was 915.  To me, that makes laying on the floor of my closet and bawling last night perfectly legit.  Dr. Awesome RE confirmed with DH that me being emotional is a perfectly normal response to all these hormones coursing through my veins. Again, DH rolls his eyes.  I think he'd rather think I was crazy, which would make his less than warm response to my antics justifiable. But I digress. He thinks, I feel. I'm yin, he's yang. I say tomay - toe, he says tomah - toe. And so on and so on.

Last follie check bright and early tomorrow morning!  Will update after!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mama Mia!

Yesterday, I asked DH if he would come home from work and kindly slap me in the face.  The kind of slap that you reserve for those, "What were you thinking?" moments. For example, "Honey, I contacted a real estate agent and went house hunting today. I found a few houses I want you to see." SLAP! "Why would you do that? We aren't settling down here. It took us forever to sell the two houses we did own and we lost a lot of money on one of them. We decided to rent for the next few years."  OR "Honey, I bought an Aston Martin." SLAP! No explanation necessary.*

Well, yesterday it went a little something like this:  Me - "Honey, please slap me in the face when you get home from work for telling my mom we are doing IVF." DH - "I told you so." It all started with a phone call I got from her where she informed me that she had had a "panic attack" over my doctor's appointment yesterday. She was worried that 14 follicles meant 14 babies and what would we do with 14 babies and (get this) "Can they only take out two eggs and fertilize them?" She also made me explain several times over again things I've told her already.  Really? Are these the types of questions I have to field the week before ER/ET?  I have my own concerns to deal with without having to explain the process in detail to someone who clearly hasn't even tried to look up any information on their own and understand it.  Part of me just has to let it go and tell myself that she loves me and is worried. Part of me wants to scream. I'll give you one guess which part is winning.

At any rate, I can't let it bother me. She called again today and started in with her interrogation and I just told her that I couldn't handle her stress on top of my own.  I asked her if she had looked up IVF at all and she admitted that she hadn't. I told her to check out online resources and try to educate herself about the process.  The internet is a mighty powerful thing. Just stop playing Farmville for a few minutes and read about it.

I found out yesterday that my estrogen is 381 and Dr. Awesome RE wants me to double up on my Menopur and I'm done with Follistim.  I go back in tomorrow morning for another follie check/blood draw.  I will be sure to update after!

*Please note: My husband has NEVER raised a hand to me and I do not condone those types of behavior by any means. I use the term in jest and he knows what I mean when I ask for this treatment. It's just me being dramatic.  He does spank sometimes, but that is a completely different post altogether. ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Follie Check Numero Uno

Happy Tuesday! I'm back from Florida and burnt to a crisp. I like it. I like it a lot.  Happy to be back home and have so many exciting things coming up! Gonna be PUPO in a little over a week. It's crazy - all this waiting and then everything happens so quickly!

I had my first follie check this morning and according to Dr. Awesome RE, I am responding perfectly. I have 14 measurable follies. Eight in right and 6 in my left. They range from 6.2mm to 10.8mm.  I am waiting to hear the results of my E2 to see if I need to change up my dosage on my medicines.  So far, stimming has been okay. My belly looks like a pin cushion and I have this lovely Lupron bruise to contend with (i.e. try to inject around):


Follistim is very gentle. Menopur burns.  I'm as hormonal as ever. Lucky DH.  This morning I asked him if he had remembered to request off work for Monday.  (My ER is scheduled for that day.)  He responds with, "For what?"  Needless to say, my head spun three times and pea soup went flying. Really? You can't remember what's going on next week?  I can see if it were just a procedure how it might slip his mind, but OUR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE CONCEIVED THAT DAY.  Please remember if only for that reason.

Am I crazy to get upset over that?

If your answer is yes, please don't answer.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Follistim Cocktail with an Umbrella?

So, I just got back from visiting a friend from home and was a terrible ICLWer and only posted once in the last week. Now would probably be a good time to say that I am leaving....AGAIN.  I'm meeting a friend in West Palm Beach for a few days! Sunshine, girl talk, fruity non-alcoholic drinks (for me at least) is just what I believe is needed to kick off my week of stims.  I'm leaving in a little while and will be there tonight! I'll be back late Monday night (just a quick trip) and will be checking back in with everyone after my follie check Tuesday morning.  I hope everything is progressing perfectly. Why wouldn't it be? Sunshine makes your follies grow, right? :)

If I usually comment on your blog, but haven't lately, please know that I am still reading what is going on with you even if it is on my phone sitting in the airport terminal.  I have been an absentee commentor and for that, I'm sorry. Once I get back from this trip and go through ER/ET I will be all up in your blogs to an extent where I will most likely annoy you. That's a promise!

Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Am Still Alive

After not posting for over a week, I want to let you all know that I am alive and well. I was a terrible ICLWer and am so ashamed of my shoddy performance when it came to commenting and responding back to my commentors blogs. *hangs head in shame*

I went back east this past Saturday through Tuesday and lent some support to my friend whose dad is dying. He is still hanging on and is getting moved to Hospice tomorrow. For his sake, I pray he goes quickly. The man has fought hard for two years. He deserves some peace.  The whole trip has left me feeling a little disconnected from my IVF cycle. I am still trucking through my Lupron and my Lupron induced AF showed on Sunday (Yikes! Holy bleed-a-thon!) but I feel so distracted at this point in the game, I find myself thinking about cancer and caskets instead of nursery colors and baby names. Talk about a 180, huh?

Yesterday, I had my suppression check and everything is great. My lining was thin (really doc, I've been bleeding like a stuck hog for days, I kinda knew that already), ovaries are looking good with no cysts, and my estrogen is 38 (anything below 50 is good). I am officially suppressed. Which means only one thing:

Follistim and Menopur, here I come!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Puke and Poop: Repeat!

This post is about my sick nine-year-old and all the lovely bodily functions that come along with the stomach flu. I understand if you don't want to read or comment, but this is what's going on in my world since yesterday.

My big boy is sick.  It all started yesterday when I went in to wake him up for school and noticed he was kind of moaning in his sleep. I asked him what was up and he said his stomach hurt. I told him to at least try to get up and have breakfast and promised him we'd take it slow and see how he did. Three bites into his waffles, he runs to the bathroom and loses it out of both ends. :( He got a quick shower and went back to bed.  The day was uneventful and by evening he had a great dinner and I figured all would be back to normal this morning, which was good because Wednesdays are pretty busy for me. WRONG!  He puked at 1 am. He puked and pooped himself at 4 am. He pooped himself at 8 am and he pooped himself at 9 am and he pooped himself just now in the bathtub. It has to be a boy thing. My friend said her little girl would flip out if she lost control of herself in her pants or in the tub. My son acts like it's no big deal!!  :/

So, today is all about taking care of him and getting him back to his old self again. DH is out of town for work (which absolutely figures) so it's me against the world today. Bring it! I've got Clorox, Lysol, AND butt wipes. :)

If you are here from ICLW, you can get caught up with what's going on with us here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome ICLWers and Second Thoughts???

Greetings ICLWers! This is only my second ICLW and it's all still so exciting to me to have new readers, commenters, and followers. I love the love I feel and love to return it! Please leave me a link to your blog or your ICLW number and I will be sure to return the support.

I am 30 and DH is too. We are TTC baby number 3 and found out after the first of the year that due to antisperm antibodies, IVF is our only realistic option to conceive again.  We conceived DSs 1 and 2 while on BC and while NTNP (not trying/not preventing).  TTC has never been a challenge before and through this all, I am humbled and grateful for the friendships I've made and the closeness I have achieved with my husband. I truly believe what Sara says about effects of IF on a marriage when she says, "I didn't know I could connect to the core of my soul with my husband. Infertility really takes a marriage to depths of understanding that only fellow infertiles I think could really get."  You can read the rest of her amazing post here.

As for me, I am moving right along in my IVF cycle and just finished my BCP last week. I have my suppression check on 3/2 and will start stimming on 3/5.  We are scheduled to be PUPO with twins (we hope!) on 3/19.  I have a ticker above to count down the days. It will be here before I know it.  You can read my medications and timeline over here --------------------->.

Today was a good/bad day.  Good because I went up to Guthrie, Oklahoma and saw 29 of the best friends you could ever have at Horse Feathers Equine Rescue. It's a place I'm learning to go to to clear my head and think about others and not be so caught up in myself and SIF all the time.  Each of the 29 horses there has an amazing story and has overcome a lot of neglect and abuse and are now thriving and happy. They give me peace and focus. The work is hard, but the rewards are many.  It was a great couple of hours.

Admittedly, my day started off pretty badly, though as my Lupron injection hurt so bad I cried and it was only AFTER I took the needle out that I realized the freaking thing was bent. I instinctively started to question everything - why we are doing this, what am I doing to my body, why am I making myself hurt and cry and should we keep doing this. 

After a few moments of free-flowing tears, I reminded myself that there is really no turning back for me. I know I can pull the plug on this at any time, but no shot, no bent needle, no hotflash or night sweat is going to keep us from bringing home the baby we  love so much that's been conceived already...in our hearts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Tough Being a Girl

 So, I've said it before and I'll say it again, outing myself  as struggling with IF on Facebook while risky, scary and impossible to undo, has been an excellent choice. I don't talk a lot about what I'm going through and I certainly don't say as much as I do on here, but I say enough that people know.  Even though my intentions were less than pure as you may remember from this post, the effects have been positive and satisfying.  Here is a private message I received just yesterday with my post title being the subject line:

 Aub,


I just wanted to let you know how much I admire you for being so open and honest about what you're going through right now, trying to get pregnant again.


I just went off the pill last month, and I'm a nervous wreck waiting and wondering. One of my best friends just had a baby last month. She got pregnant a month after going off the pill. Another friend of mine has been trying for a year to have baby #2, and is starting to look into treatment options. So I've seen both points of view.


We wanted to wait until x amount of time before we started trying, and then it was like I woke up one day and wanted a baby NOW! That's made it even more frustrating because I want it to happen so bad, and now I wish we would've started trying sooner. Oh well.


I try to be a big believer in "whatever is meant to be will be", but this is definitely testing me.


I'm usually not on Facebook enough during the day to respond to postings as they happen, but I just wanted you to know that I do see them, and I'm thinking about you and praying for you.


Natalie


For some reason, this message made my heart so happy that I chose to speak.  I speak here, believe me, you all know, but to really talk about it and put it out there in a public forum so it cannot be quietly ignored.  If one in ten couples faces IF, then out of almost 600 Facebook friends, sixty of them are affected. To be able to reach out to them and be someone that they can come to publicly or privately is a tremendous blessing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BCP, Lupron, and Airport Injections




See that?! My last lone birth control pill will be taken tonight and another chapter in this IVF story will be in the books.  I started Lupron injections three days ago and while it's not my favorite thing to do, waking up and sticking myself with a needle, it's not horrible either.  DH even sat in for yesterday's injection. I think he thinks I'm a rockstar. I kind of feel like one.

In other news, I am making a previously unplanned trip back east next week.  My good friend, Kass, her dad is quickly losing his battle with throat cancer and I'm unsure whether he'll still be hanging on or already gone when I get there. Regardless, she needs me and I'm there. Sometimes I think texting and talking does less than sitting together and holding a hand in silence.  She would do the same for me - I have no doubt.

I called Delta yesterday and spoke with a representative about my Lupron and my needles. She said they were okay to bring on with me as carry on as long as everything was still in its original manufacturer's packaging and I had a letter from my doctor saying that I am under his care and taking these medicines.  I thought I would pass that information along to you in case you ever needed to know!  I'm glad they can stay with me because I will need to inject myself when I get to Memphis that morning!  That should be fun.

I hope everyone is having a great week and I am going to continue to enjoy this beautiful sunshine and the fact that (so far) Lupron has been kind and not dealt me too many side effects.  I'm a little crabby, but I'm always a little crabby, so who knows?! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Hubby,

(Please bear with me reader - when I set out to write this post, I was thinking of Tupac's "Dear Momma" and I just remembered that I'm awful at rhyme and now the following entry will not live up to previous lofty expectations. Sighs.)


Dear Hubby,

Happy Valentine's Day. I love you so much I bought you slippers and one of those sports bracelets that helps with balance and circulation. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first about the whole "improves sports performance" guarantee, but the kiosk dude at the mall did a little demo and it really worked. I stand corrected.  Anyway, I also stood in line at your favorite bakery at the high noon for twenty five minutes just to get you your favorite red velvet cupcake.  I'll probably let you see me naked tonight as well, but that's going to wrap up Valentines festivities for you, kind sir.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to be really nice to you, as it seems that the real Aub is leaving tomorrow and I don't know when she'll be back. I have a feeling that once I stick that little needle into my belly I could be gone for the next three weeks (maybe longer) and I felt it fair warning to tell you that my replacement is going to be mean. Very hormonal. She's going to complain a lot about headaches and hot flashes.  She may wake you up angry because you're sleeping soundly while she sweats to death next to you.  I heard she cries. A lot. And curses under her breath.  Enjoy the rare tender moments with her and check for knives when she pulls you in for a hug.  She'll most definitely remind you constantly that she's losing her mind and that it's unfair that she has to be chemically altered while you stay the same and that her contribution to this joint effort includes needles while yours involves a sterile cup and an orgasm. I recommend not talking unless spoken to by her and steal opportunities to work late or better yet, just go out of town for work.

She won't tell you this, but she owes 90%+ of her happiness over the last ten years to you and your efforts in making this relationship work. Because there were plenty of times that we could have called it quits and walked away from what we have, but I think you and I are both better people for staying. We got all sorts of good stuff here. And the best part of us is definitely our babies. I can't wait to have more of those with you.

Please bear with my replacement Aub. I promise to return soon!

Love Always,

Tuesday<3

P.S. It's a good thing that no sexy time whatsoever will go into the making of these babies because that's not something you'll want to do with replacement Aub. *shakes head emphatically*

Friday, February 11, 2011

More Strange Sleep Antics

Last night was the first night I can ever remember being afraid to go to sleep.  I stayed up late reading and walked around the house aimlessly in an effort NOT go to bed, but at around midnight I succumbed to my drooping eyelids and sluggish posture.  To bed I went.

DH was already asleep and I curled up next to him and drifted off almost immediately (thank you, Tempur-pedic).  Around 3:30, DS2 came in for a drink of water and I carried him back to bed. I am cognizant of this activity.  At around 5, however, I woke up because I was very hot and uncomfortable and lo and behold!! I am wearing a hoodie, zipped to the top with the hood up over my head. WTH? What's worse, there was the chapstick from the night before in one pocket and a wad of toilet paper in the other. Really?! Interesting...

I posted on facebook about it this morning and received a private message from a fellow infertile (of course, I didn't know she was, but since I outed myself as one in that particular forum, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork).  She asked me if I had started on any of my fertility medicines and that she did some strange things in her sleep when she was on injectibles.  My mystery would be all but solved if this were the case.  I'm still just taking bcp and waiting to start the art of injecting on Tuesday.

So what is going on with this sleepwalking crap?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Weird Dreams and A Sock Ninja

Day 19 of my cycle. Sixteen birth control pills down, eight to go. That's about all in this infertiles world right now.  If that's all you're interested in, I recommend not reading the rest of this post. But if you're in for some good old-fashioned hilarity, read on.

I had some weird dreams last night.  Most I can't remember, but a few of their details linger enough to make me wonder what I had eaten before bed to make such strangeness materialize in my subconscious.  One particular dream that happened after the "sock ninja" incident, which I'll inform you of next, was that I delivered my twins at the hospital and we were being discharged and DH came to pick us up in a Prius. He had "surprised" me by trading in our Pilot (eight passengers) for a Prius (four passengers) after I delivered twins bringing our total family members to six. Needless to say, I was irate in the dream, but still woke up happy because I had a dream about my babies!!  I can't wait for them. March 19th cannot come soon enough, I say.

So, while the dreams were strange, my real life sleep actions last night were definitely stranger. I woke up around 4 a.m. and realized I was clutching onto a tube of chap stick in one hand and one of DH's socks in the other.  How random is that?!  Bear in mind, I went to sleep with neither.  What's even funnier is that DH was missing a sock when he woke up! WTF? Did I strip him of his sock in the middle of the night?  Where did the chap stick come from? Am I sleep walking? As my good friend Kara brought up, am I talking while I'm carrying on these strange antics?  I need some sleep surveillance at the very least.

I'm so Raoul Duke sometimes...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frozen In Time

I feel frozen in time. There is nothing going on here.  Not as far as TTC is concerned.  I am STILL waiting for my meds to get here, if you can believe that.  I waited all day Friday for them to arrive and finally called the pharmacy to see what was up and the woman informed me that she did not send them. She did not send the medicine I waited all day to sign for. She did not send them. She did not call to say she did not send them. Nope.  So she sent them yesterday. So I wait today. And she sent my Follistim to someone else and now she's out of that. So another day in the upcoming week or so, I'll have to wait for that too.

Although, we are suspended in time over here, we are not without big decisions to make.  We need to decide how many of my eggs we are going to fertilize.  I know, most people would answer, "As many as you can, crazy!!" but we need to play this IVF very conservatively. DH and I are setting out to complete our family and we are not down with having frozen embies.  We keep going back and forth about what to do, but we feel like we (hopefully) have a good plan in place for now.  We are going to get as many eggs as possible, but Dr. Awesome RE recommended we only fertilize four at a time.  The rest of the eggs, we will freeze and IF our cycle fails, we can thaw out and fertilize more eggs, but if it is a success, we will simply have the eggs destroyed.  This decision is hard to make. Lots of personal beliefs and morals come into play and it all comes down to what DH and I feel comfortable with doing.

The only question that remains is wondering if fertilizing four is enough? I worry that maybe that is too few?  There are people out there that get twenty plus eggs, fertilize ten of them and still only end up with two to transfer.  Ugh.

Why is IF so hard??

Why in the hell do we have to think of stuff like this?

My brain hurts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Solitary Confinement and One Woman's Quest for a Shower

This whole snowed in thing has certainly lost its appeal.  I'm finding myself sinking lower and lower into a state of self-pity that can only be remedied by a meal OUTSIDE THIS HOUSE.  The problem is, I require a shower to go anywhere public. "Just jump in," you suggest? I can't. I'm waiting for Mr. UPS guy to deliver my injectibles. As these things usually go, I get in the shower and DING DONG!  So, I wait.  DH isn't going to be pleased if I'm not ready to go when he gets here, but what can I do?  I'm stuck!

With all this wonderful time inside, I've been reading Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt and the main character, Isabelle Stein, is...yep....infertile.  The issue of her infertility is but a small detail in the whole story, but it looms always. Her want for a child, her need to fulfill her maternal instinct is palpable. A particular passage resonated with me and chilled me to the bone:

Isabelle knew this phenomenon. Be tortured by something and the world was sure to serve it up to you.  Since she had moved to New York, she saw mothers and sons everywhere on the street. She could be in an empty movie theater and a parent with a child was sure to sit in the row right in front of her.

Be tortured by something and the world is sure to serve it up to you. Isn't that the truth? I want to be pregnant and since we moved to Oklahoma almost six months ago, I've been stalked by pregnancy from everywhere from the grocery store to the "fertility feed" on facebook.  I want my parents, but they are too far away.  I see mothers and daughters lunching and it stings like a slap.  I want a friend and yet there's no one.  I have acquaintances. I want an honest-to-goodness friend. I want to be me and say what I want and for them to know the real me isn't in the frustrations that I vent or the sarcasms that I speak. Every time I go out, I see friends together. They are shopping or lunching or working out together and it tortures me that I haven't a kindred spirit in this time zone. 

I am trying to prepare myself for a huge endeavor in this IVF cycle.  This is one of those colossal undertakings that typically require a support group the size of  your restaurant "large party" table.  I have my husband to lean on. And when the hormones kick in I'm probably the last person he'll want to be around, not that he understands the ins and outs of the female brain without the influence of hormonal medicinal rage, but you can't put a price tag on a good girlfriend.

I want to feel settled.


I want to feel home.


I want to feel like I belong.

I guess I'll settle for the dinner out tonight. I still really need that shower, though.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

As Promised....Minestrone Recipe!

This was very, very yummy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon
1 cup chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup minced celery
1 cup cubed carrots
2 cups tomato puree
2 (14.5oz cans) stewed tomatoes
1 (14 oz can) beef broth
1 (10.5 oz can) condensed french onion soup
5 cups of water
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 cups spinach rinsed and sliced
1 1/2 cups uncooked small pasta shells
1 (15 oz can) garbanzo beans, drained

In a large stock pot, cook bacon and drain off fat.  Add onion, garlic and beef.  When onions are translucent,  add the next 11 ingredients.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 15 minutes more.  Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.

This makes a lot so be sure to share a bowl with a neighbor, family member or workmate! We ate on this for three days!





Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Make It Through

I've decided this month is just going to drag on relentlessly if I don't come up with a list of things to do while I wait to start stimming in March. It's ridiculous that the shortest month of the year is ALWAYS the longest.  All I have to do as far as TTC is concerned is take my bc and start Lupron injections on the 15th.  I guess I can also enjoy the newfound fun in BDing (although that has nothing to do with conceiving anymore).  So, I'm going to start a list of things to do to get me through this lull.  Some things are fun, others necessary.  In no particular order:

1.  Read 3 books. I'm currently working on Pictures of You by Carol Leavitt.  I don't think I'll include this in the three seeing as how I'm already 100 pages in.  Someone recommended The Hunger Games Trilogy to me and they sound good. After all, a trilogy is three books. Perfect!

2.  I'm going in for laser hair removal. I mentioned it in my last post, but I don't think I was being serious.  Now I am.  I'm calling today for an appointment to get started.  Dr. Awesome RE may not care or appreciate a fresh bush, but I do and it's my bush.  I'll laser it if I want to.

3.  Clean out my closet. Ugh. This one is not fun, but it's necessary. It looks like a cyclone hit it.  Must accomplish this task. Imagine how much better I'll rest in my bed after my embryo transfer if my closet is fresh and cleaned out!

4. Must have a few honest to goodness date nights with DH. For real dinner and movie date nights. Must happen!! I want two. Two dates.

5.  I want to spend some quality time with DS1 and DS2.  Alone time, preferably. I want to be able to concentrate on them and their particular interests and give them my undivided attention.  They mean everything to me and I want them to know how much I love them and how special they are in their own way.

6.  I want to try a new recipe every week for dinner.  I have been in such a rut when it comes to what to make for dinner and I end up making the same things over and over.  I want to find new recipes and try them.  If they are good, I'll post the recipe on here. I kind of already started doing this this week. I made homemade minestrone. It was amazing. I'll post the recipe tomorrow!

I think this list should sufficiently get me through the longest short month of the year. If I stay busy, it'll fly by!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Nothing Going on but the Rent

I'm so boring.

I have nothing going on as far as ttc is concerned.

Just taking a little birth control pill once a day, every day.

Anxious to start sticking myself with needles.  Can't wait.

Don't even go back to the doctor until March 2nd.

Is it March yet?

I'm gonna have to live vicariously through you girls this cycle since I got a whole lotta nada happening here.

Big snow storm coming.

School's already been canceled and we've got.....zero snow out there.

DH's work got canceled due to the snow that has yet to arrive.

Pharmacy called today and my meds are going to arrive on Thursday.

Because we have insurance, my portion of the $3500 worth of IVF meds is less than $300.  Three cheers for insurance!

Thinking about getting some laser hair removal done "down there" during the month of February just to amuse myself.  Also, I think it would be kind of me to be "fresh" down there for ER and ET.  Thoughts?

*Big Sigh*

Oh, and since we found out that we won't ever conceive another child by BDing, the BDing has been......AMAZING. Is it because I'm thirty? Or because BDing is now strictly for sport and just for fun?

That is all.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Teacher's Pet and IVF Calendar of Events!! Ooh and an Announcement!

Last night, DH and I went to IVF class and let me just say, that place was PACKED! "Helloo fellow Infertiles!!" I wanted to yell as we entered class, but something told me not everyone was in a joking mood. So we copped a squat in the back of the room and the powerpoint presentation quickly got underway. Within five minutes, my hand went up. I questioned. She answered. Five minutes later, up with the hand. Question/answer. And again. And again. And again. Before we took our five minute break, I had as many questions under my belt. Aub = 5, rest of the class = 0. During the break, DH told me to knock it off with the questions. I rolled my eyes and went straight to the nurse with seven more. They also took our picture with our spouses to put in our file. I thought that was nice. She said they keep a pic of people to remember which two go together and because they like to envision a face with the voice on the line. I thought that was cool. Props to them.  Session two of class started with a slide presentation on the ER and ET procedures. I asked eleven more questions. DH looked like he was going to explode. At one point, he tried to put my hand down.  Whatevs.  By the time it was all over, Aub = 23, IVF Class = 0. Afterward, the nurse thanked me SEVERAL times for asking questions. *pats self on back*

This morning, I had my uterus mapped and IVF blood work drawn.  Dr. Awesome RE said my uterus was "gorgeous" (have I mentioned I LOVE HIM?!!!) and he patted me on the back and sent me across the hall to the Fertility Institute to get my blood work and order my meds. I also got my dates!! It just made it all so real! My meds are Lupron, Follistim, Menopur, Ovedril, and Progesterone in Oil.  I start Lupron on 2/12. I have a suppression check on 2/28. Then I start stims. I continue the Lupron, but then add Follistim (for three days) and Menopur (for nine days.) During that time, I'll have u/s every other day to monitor folly growth.  Then sometime on the 12th of March, I'll trigger with the Ovidrel.  ER on 3/14 (Progesterone in Oil injections starting that day) and ET on 3/19.  Pregnant on 3/19!! I am so excited and blessed and ready for this experience!!

By way of an announcement, I "outed" myself on Facebook as being infertile and I had a wonderful response! 13 beautiful expressions of support and one private message from a person I suspected had dealt with IF offering me her number and any support she could give. It was a great decision to make.  If anything, I want others to know that we are out there and that we struggle and we are survivors and we are strong.  I am so happy I spoke up!