Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beta - 13dp3dt

First the number- 291!!!

What an incredible day.  If you care to read about my 2ww symptoms please see the previous post.  I love reading about other women's positive testing stories so I am writing about ours here.  I want to thank you all for your constant stream of comments, they mean so much.  I didn't post at all last week and I think a lot of people were worried as I got a lot of private emails asking what was going on but the truth is that my brother and my Mother in Law read my blog and I didn't want them to find out our news through reading a blog, I wanted to tell them myself when the time came.  So, though they both probably figured not posting on my blog was a bad sign, it was actually good.

We had been taking HPT since 6dp3dt and on 8dp3dt we got our first positive HPT.  We've been taking HPT every day since.  We both woke up nervous this morning even with all of those tests under our belt.  I think our fear was that the beta number would be high enough for a HPT but not high enough for where it needed to be when they did the beta test.  We kept thinking this all had to go wrong at some point, it was too good to be true.

Jamie gave me an HCG chant " HCG, HCG, HCG" as I left the house and headed for the Doctor.  Traffic wasn't bad at all being the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.  I arrived around 7:30.  Stepped inside and had a small wait as there were so many women there for blood draw.  My name was called so I walked to the back and waited another minute while the lady before me finished up.  While waiting I asked another nurse if I could give them my husbands number to call today.  I have phone anxiety on an average day and a day like this would put me over the edge, besides, I knew that Jamie likes to take important calls like these so I was happy to give the nurse his number and then I stepped in the blood draw room.  The nurse asked me how I was doing and I smiled and said good.  She said, "hmmm, women that smile on beta day usually know something."  I just kept smiling but my heart was RACING!  I was so nervous and making a concerted effort not to faint since I only had a deviled egg and protein shake for breakfast.  ( I know gross, but the hard boiled egg was the only egg I had so I decided to make myself a deviled egg).  I was all done and so I called Jamie on my way out and walked to my car.  I was just about to open my car door when I noticed a flower on my wind shield and a card.  I told Jamie there was a flower on my car and he said "you're welcome"...I asked him if he followed me there and then I saw the writing on the card, it was from his Mom.  She left the flower and card.  It was so thoughtful and I told Jamie, "this is so weird because I was laying in bed last night thinking that she would want to be involved today somehow but still respect our privacy so I thought she might do something like this...just to be there for us."  She always finds the perfect card and she has been there for us every step of the way.  I just knew in my heart that some how some way she would be there today.

I had to do something to fill my time before the results.  J and I had planned this day many days ahead.  I would give blood, get a pedicure and hair cut and we would meet for lunch to receive the phone call together since they always called between 12 and 2.  And IF there was good news to be had we would go to a nice dinner to finally celebrate the good news.  We discussed this all week (my back up plan included a lot of alcohol should the test be normal).  So all week long we would fantasize of our fancy dinner and say "if things go well..."

Anyway, I had my pedicure and hair cut and called Jamie at noon and told him I was on my way to meet him for lunch.  He wanted to meet at a local sandwich shoppe but I said "I'm not supposed to have lunch meat...IF I'm you know."  He said "oh yeah, gotcha"  Let's meet at Houlihan's.  So I met him there and he was sitting in the front entry reading email on his phone when I walked up.  He looked at me strange, like just staring at me and asked to see my hair so I showed him and then he just kept sitting there until I said "Why don't we go sit at a table?".  We saw the hostess and Jamie asked me if I wanted inside or outside seating and I said "inside so we can hear the nurse when she calls."  Jamie said okay and we were seated in a quiet booth.  I told him I was going to turn up my phone ringer just in case the nurse calls me instead.  We looked over the menu and J reached his hand across the table and we held hands while we looked over the menu.  I thought this is odd but we have been more touchy-feely lately so I just enjoyed it.  I asked what he was looking at and I pointed out some items that looked good on the menu when he said "Save your appetite, we have a big dinner planned for tonight."  I looked at him and didn't think anything and then I looked at him again and said "Do you know something?"  "Did they call you?"  "Is it good?"  He just reached out and held my hand and teared up as he just kept shaking his head "yes".  I said "So, it's good?  It has to be good, we're going to dinner!  Oh My God!  What's the number!?!"  He said "It's really good." with tears in his eyes and we both sat there tearing up, me with my hands over my mouth.   I asked again what the number was and he said 291 and we both sat in shock.  I asked him when he got the call and he said 10:59!   It was 12:30!!!!  He had known this information for so long!  The rest of that lunch we just sat in disbelief.  It was the best lunch I have ever had!

We left Houlihan's and headed to tell his parents in person-
Attempt 1 - Went to Jamie's Dad's office - NOT THERE
Attempt 2 - Went to Jamie's Dad's workout facility - NOT THERE
(Stop to get frozen yogurt.)  :)
Attempt 3 - Stopped by Jamie's Mom's place, opened garage - CAR NOT THERE
Attempt 4 - Drove through grocery store parking lot to see if she was there - NOT THERE


Attempt 5 - Went to park where Jamie's Dad was playing tennis - told him.  Got a hug in return.  :)
(J needs to go back to work, I go buy a dress for dinner and run to store to get more vitamins - call J to ask him if he wants to go back to his Mom's.  We decide to drive separate.)
Attempt 6 - Arrive at Jamie's Mom's home, her car is still not there but her husbands car is.  We wait for his Mom to return (15 minutes or so), she comes home and J gives her the thumbs up.  Sheer happiness for all.   Lots of hugs and smiles and we share the weeks events with her.

We went home afterward to change and were right on time for our reservation at Tony's,  A fantastic meal with cause to celebrate.

We know there are many milestones to go but we feel happy to be where we are right at this moment.  There is so much to be thankful for and we have the entire Memorial Day weekend to enjoy our results!

2ww Symptoms-6dp3dt -13dp3dt

I have listed my symptoms through out my 2ww below and below that I have listed my experience through the 2ww day by day.  I wanted to keep a diary of my 2ww symptoms and our testing experience in hopes that it would help someone the way that so many women helped me  by listing their 2ww symptoms.

2WW Symptoms -

1dp3dt-Sharp twinges in low center area of abdomen. A little emotional. Ewcm pm. Vivid dreams about finding out 1 embie made it


3dp3dt-itchy chest, twinges on my r ovary area, vivid dreams last night about friend painting, throbbing in right ovary like a heart beat approx 20-30 times in a minute time, felt like a string pulling from my belly button to my left side a few times in the afternoon, light lower abdominal cramping at night for about a minute, cried after dinner, feel stressed and emotional then okay

4dp3dt-upset stomach this morning, cold sore, light nausea with upset stomach, slight head ache right side, felt like period cramping for 5 secs low abdomen

5dp3dt-slight stomach pains - nothing bad. Throat congested this morning. Back pains in late afternoon. Very emotional, cried this morning at work and tonight when j read letter from his employee. Got very hot at work all of a sudden.

6dp3dt-cramps!!! Like af is coming. Very strong. Extremely light nausea. Ewcm. Up at 2:45 am. Couldn't get back to sleep. Waking up sweaty many nights. Still peeing a couple times a night.

7dp3dt- Emotional, cried at Botanical Garden when a boy with Autism was scared of the tram he was on and had to get off, felt so bad for his Mom but she handled it so beautifully. That must be so hard, my heart was with her and with him. One lady on the tram was so kind as to ask the boys name and to give him a hand for being so brave and getting on the train.

8dp3dt- Emotional. large glob of thick yellow CM (I was excited to see this as I had heard it was a good sign)

9dp3dt- Nausea! Driving home from store with HPT! I ate veggies and fruit non-stop today, I said at lunch I could eat a horse! So tired, went to bed at 8:15. A tiny bit of brownish colored CM which I had heard was normal. Breasts have bright blue veins.

10dp3dt- Pulling on my left side, can't explain it but I had heard about this from other girls with BFP's. Cramping last night. Tired.

11dp3dt - Was so tired at work, right after lunch I started an email to my manager asking to take the day off then deleted the email. Started email again, then deleted it. So tired I could have slept at my desk but didn't want to take the time off of work. I finally went out to my car and laid down for 30 mins. Came back, still tired. Drove home. Laid on sofa in sun room while dinner was cooking. Ate, then laid on sofa in office (some light cramping). Went to bed at 9:00.

13dp3dt - tiny amounts of brownish discharge, nurse says this is normal. Cramping. Feeling like I am going to gag if I don't eat something and after I eat something.

My experience during the 2ww day by day...
6dp3dt (Friday, May 21)- I've been googling much of the day about symptoms.  I had crazy cramps this morning and I am hoping that they are implantation cramps.  (I was walking around my office and literally had to stop and grab a cubical to support myself until the cramping passed this morning) I had cramps in the middle of the night before as well but I wasn't sure if I just had an upset stomach at 2:45 A.M. or if this was also implantation. The cramps at work were actual cramps like AF was about to arrive, the type of cramp I had read about on all of the message boards.  I am excited for the first time and want to test.  I texted Jamie to tell him I am dying to POAS!  He didn't respond so I called him, he's having lunch with his Dad---oops!  I want to wait for him to come home though so we can test together and find out together.  I leave work at 1:00 and stop by a favorite lunch spot to pick up a bacon, egg and spinach panini (more protein for my growing embryos) and head home.  I eat and then go lie on the sofa knowing the tests are in the other room and telling myself to wait.  I am tired so I go upstairs to take a nap with Wilson and I can't sleep.  J calls and says he is on his way home, I get out of bed and can't believe I did this only 6dp3dt but I looked at my dog who was still lying in bed and I go to give him a scratch behind the ears and whispered "Wilson, I think I'm pregnant."  I was startled when I heard the words come out of my mouth.  J came home around 3:15 and I tell him about my cramping and what I have researched and a couple of hours later after going back and forth on whether we should test or not we decide to POAS both half smiling in anticipation of what could be.  We have a nice dinner planned and I am scared that a negative could impact our nice dinner but a positive would make it such a great dinner.  We come up with a plan, I am to POAS and hand it to J, the "POAS Warden".  I pee on the stick and give it to J.  He rolls it up in a paper towel (no idea why) and sets it on the kitchen counter.  It becomes the big elephant in the room as we both try to go about our business and act like it isn't there.  After the allotted three minutes J walks over to the paper towel calmly and heart is racing...he picks it up,turns around, opens the trash can and deposits it.  I'm crushed but I know it's REALLY early.  I dig it out of the trash look at it to verify and look for any possible faint line and confirm it's negative.  I feel guilty for testing, for ruining J's Friday night with my dumb hope for something positive.  We went out to dinner , had a great meal outside and at one point I tell J "Please don't let tonight's test worry you.  We're are really early in the process, it's too early to be testing and if there was something to worry about I would be worried, okay?"  I think this made him feel better.  We walked to Whole Foods and called it a night.

7dp3dt (Saturday, May 22)-  I woke up first this morning and tested on my own.  Test was negative.  I didn't even mention taking the test to J.  It's still early but I am wondering if I will ever see those two lines.  Losing hope before I should even be having hope.  Why did I start testing so soon?  I tell myself I should have waited to test until 10dpt-no sooner.

8dp3dt (Sunday, May 23)- I woke up earlier than J this morning and of course the first thing on my mind was testing.  J had a rough night of sleep and he slept until 9:30 or so.  He woke up when I came up to put laundry away.  J said "If you test I want to see".  I sat on the side of the bed and told him I was scared and then started crying.  (I've been pretty emotional lately).  I told him I was losing hope and wondered what we will do should all of this not work out.  I told him that I hated that we had to pay so much to do things that other couples do for free and told him how sorry I was that we were having to spend so much of the money we work so hard for on something that may not work.  He was so reassuring and so supportive and rubbed my back and hugged me as he said "It's okay, it's okay, it's not a big deal, we'll get through it"  He called Wilson over to provide some back up reassurance and we headed downstairs. 

I grabbed a test, I once again peed on a stick and handed it to J who hid it in a drawer.  This makes me laugh.  We both tried to go about our morning while keeping an eye on the clock.  I was cooking at the stove when I saw Jamie reach into a drawer behind me and pull the stick out.  I held my breath waiting....I felt a kiss on the back  of my neck and then heard the trash can open and saw the test put in the trash.  My heart sank once again.  I continued cooking and J left the room and all of a sudden I felt the need once again to pull the stick out of the trash and verify.  I picked it up and turned the test over only to find a second verrrrrrrrrrrrry faint line.  "Jamie, Jamie, Jamie!!!!!!"   "There's a second line!!!!!  It's very faint but I see it and I've heard that if you can even detect a second line then you could be pregnant!!!!"  I walked with the test to the office where he was and we met half way in the foyer.  

I showed him and he inspected closely and said "yeah, I see it" and I saw the quickest smile and then I saw it leave his face as if I saw his brain telling him "Oh my God, we're pregnant" and then tell him "don't believe it, it's too good to be true."  That killed me but if I had to be the one to hold out hope for us then I would.  I told J a faint line means the test detected HCG!  I wanted to google and show him all of the things I had read about it.  While the computer logged on I ran upstairs and found the instruction pamphlet that came with the tests and started reading it for information on faint lines.  That's when I saw "disregard negative results after 10 minutes".  Had it been ten minutes?  I guessed that by this time it had been over 10 minutes but when did that line show up while the test sat in the trash?"  I yelled upstairs "Never mind" and told him what I had read.  I threw the test away.  Once again I had given J hope and then ripped it out from under him.  I felt horrible but there was something in that second faint line that gave me the smallest amount of hope.  We got dressed and headed out for the day to stock up on groceries and run a couple of other errands.  We were both in a good mood and I have to say that what I have loved about this infertility journey?  I feel so much love between J and I.  We hold hands, lightly tickle each others arms every where we go just because we know the other loves it, (we are always asking for tickles in our house) we put our arms around each other when we're walking, we laugh...we are each others best source of support.  I am more in love with him than I was the day I married him and we just encountered the toughest test of our marriage, two IVF cycles.  He is so amazing.  So strong and yet so compassionate.  He's my best friend, hands down.

J was very tired tonight since he had such bad sleep the night before and I stayed in bed next to him trying to sleep.  I kept thinking about that line this morning and kept hearing myself say "something feels different".  I was feeling a lot of tingling in my abdomen and it had felt kind of tight the last few hours with a couple of weird pulling sensations.  I couldn't sleep and all I could think about was waiting to test in the morning.  Finally after a few more minutes I thought to myself "Just get up and test, you can still test in the morning but test now to ease your mind so you can sleep."  So I got up and tested and saw the faintest pink line again.   I had to tilt the test several times to be sure I saw it but I found satisfaction in knowing that the faint line was still there and this time within three minutes.  I tried to take a picture but the line was so faint it wouldn't photograph.  I went back to bed.

9dp3dt (Monday) - I tested again this morning and there is still a faint line.  I wish it would get darker but I am just so thrilled it's still there.  I keep thinking it's going to disappear.  I showed Jamie.  I think he's been burned one too many times now.  He looked at it, said "mmm hmmm" and handed it back and went back to sleep.  No smile or anything.  That's okay, I am smiling for the both of us and hold hope for both of us.

On the way home from work I stopped by the grocery store and happened by the aisle where HPT's are. Imagine that :) I grabbed a different brand and told Jamie when I came home that I bought more tests!  I unloaded the groceries and snuck off to POAS and the plus sign on this brand came up fast and darker than the other brand.  I walked into the kitchen holding the test up and said "It's positive, do you believe me now?"  He stared at it and stared at it and said "What's this?" as he pointed to another separate line.  I got the instructions.  "That's the control window".  He stared at it some more.  I said "I showed you a positive one this morning, when are you going to accept it and be happy?"  I had to go to and show him examples of other women's tests for the same brands we are using and how some times lines are darker than others.  This man would only be satisfied if both lines were the same shade!  I saw that brief smile again once he started seeing tests that looked like ours and away it went once again.  We were both feeling the same thing-afraid to be excited.   I told Jamie, let's just be excited for where we are right now, imagine how we would feel if all of these tests were negative.  Let's be excited for this moment because there will be milestones to fear for a long time...the beta, the second beta,  first ultraound, the first heart beat scan, etc.  This is the first little milestone and I feel so blessed.  He said you are taking all of this for gospel and ready to tell the world.  I said no, I'm not, I am not even blogging about it!  I haven't told anyone.  I asked for a hug and he said he didn't want to jinx anything and said that I can have a hug on Friday after the beta.  We went into our separate living rooms and a minute later he came in and we started sentences with "if this works out...".  

10dp3dt (Tuesday, May 24) - I woke up this morning and was satisfied enough from looking at the test last night to not POAS again, but Jamie came downstairs and asked me to.  (this is the first time POAS has been considered fun in this household).  So in the bathroom I went, he unwrapped it and stepped out and I emerged a couple minutes later and handed it to him.  It only took a minute before I saw him smirk.  A few minutes later he had the camera out, the big camera and our HPT was having a photo shoot!

Jamie emailed me a copy later.  I can't help but smile when I look at this picture.  I feel so blessed and so scared at the same time.  I have caught myself thinking, "I'm pregnant" and immediately start thanking God for this gift.  I have asked him to keep watching over us.  It's still so new we still can't wrap our heads around it.  It doesn't seem real. 

11dp3dt (Wednesday, May 26) - I woke up this morning, showered and got dressed.  I asked the POAS Warden if he wanted me to POAS and he whipped off the covers and jumped out of bed and said "Yes".  I gave it to him once I capped it and he walked off.  A few minutes later I asked for some results, I mean I knew the answer but it's always interesting to see what he's going to say because he won't believe it's real until the Beta.  He said, "there is a faint line". I took it and compared it to the was darker than the last one.

12dp3dt (Thursday, May 27) - Tested this morning with the original brand we started testing with and the second line was dark very quickly.

13dp3dt (Friday, May 28) - Test day.  Read post above for more information.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

5dp3dt - Bummer

I didn’t hear anything from our Doctor's office regarding our remaining embryos so I called the office yesterday and left a message. They were supposed to call me Monday but I didn't hear anything and then I didn't hear anything on Tuesday. I figured I would give them one more day. The nurse called me and apologized for the delay and said that she didn't have good news. She said that none of our other embryo's made it, there wouldn’t be any to freeze. I called J to tell him. We both shared our sadness and before hanging up he told me to keep my chin up. It all hit me really hard after we spoke. I was at work when I got the news and stepped into the ladies room to collect myself. Then I left to go home and had one of those drives where you turn off the radio and sit with your thoughts. I had a good cry.

We have no back up plan now. Our back up was our frozen embryos, a frozen cycle was included in the plan we chose. The thought of going through all of this again from the very beginning is daunting. The process is emotionally taxing and you become the process. I don't remember what it's like to exist as a couple with out infertility and I don't know what it's like to be married without infertility looming over our heads. I had hoped that this cycle would work and we would find some normalcy for once.

My mind keeps going to "What do we do now?" We are so early in our 2ww and I know we still have a chance but I can't help but wonder "What would we do?" How much money can we place towards IVF before it impacts our lives? At what point do you come up with another game plan? Why did our embryos fail? Is it my egg quality? Do we need to look at donor eggs? As silly as it sounds, part of me wants to schedule our WTF appointment with the Doctor now. I know that's the epitome of negative thinking but I tell you sometimes you just can't help it. It's where your mind goes when you aren't coaching it to think positive. The negative creeps in when you aren't expecting it and naturally you have thoughts and questions.

Of course, I still have hope riding on the two embryos inside of me but I have to be honest and say that when you find out that all of the other ten didn't make it your hope for the other two is lessened. I'm still doing what I can to eat all of the protein and vegetables I can. I've been looking for some of the symptoms that women in the 2ww have spoken of and so far there haven’t been any notable symptoms. I know this is the time when implantation happens and I so badly wish I felt something but I haven't felt anything. But then again I know some women have no symptoms and get a BFP. I'm still hanging onto hope. I’ve seen many accounts of women getting pregnant with no embryo’s to freeze. I keep thinking “That could be us.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

4dp3dt-You have my express written consent.

I haven't been blogging the last few days as I am trying not to obsess so I apologize for not commenting but I did want to stop by long enough to make a suggestion. 

A few months ago I was watching the show "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery Channel and was intrigued when I saw a Cow with a window in her stomach!  Yes, a window.  Scientists were able to make a little portal and see how the cow's food was being processed.  Someone would feed her, she would swallow and a few seconds later the grains would come pouring into her stomach. 

Here are a couple of pictures from A window into the world of a cow's stomach

Here she is with her portal plugged, kinda like your kitchen sink...

And here is a lady reaching into the portal to get a feel for
what's happening inside of this cow's stomach...

Why am I writing about this?  Well, I would like to give my express written consent for this same portal to be placed in my stomach so I can KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON IN THERE!!!!!  Hook that portal right into my uterus and fill me in on what's happening!  This should come with the cost of IVF.  1st-egg retrieval, 2nd-embryo transfer, 3rd-portal surgically installed. 

I'm going crazy people!  I hate surprises, I hate waiting in anticipation, I hate worrying, I got a cold sore this morning from the stress of all of this.  I hate cold sores.  I want a portal installed in my stomach, STAT!

Thank you.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

1dp3dt-Pics of our embies and a timeline

Here they are!  I'm not sure what to think when I look at these images but it's neat to have them.  I've propped them up so I can see them while on couch rest.  Speaking of couch body hurts from laying around so long.  I'm taking tomorrow off of work but I think I will be back Tuesday.  For those who haven't seen a timeline for post three day transfer I am pasting one below.  I hope our embryos are still growing and developing, it's so nerve racking not knowing what's going on in there.  I am actually feeling better today.  I think things from the ER are finally healing up.  :)

Timeline for post 3dt:

1dpt...Embryo is growing and developing

2dpt...Embryo is now a blastocyst

3dpt...Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day

4dpt...Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining

5dpt...Implantation begins as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining

6dpt...Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining

7dpt...Morula is completely inmplanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells

8dpt...Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood

9dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops

10dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops

11dpt...HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT

Here are a couple of interesting images I found related to the timeline above:

A hatching blastocyst

Saturday, May 15, 2010

3 Day Transfer today!

If you read my last post you know that I was up early this morning waiting for the call from the Dr.'s office to find out if we would be a 3 day or 5 day transfer.  Jamie answered the phone and I heard "okay, we'll see you in a little bit".  I was worried that the embies may not have shown the embryologist their full potential in this short time frame and had some concerns but after my normally pessimistic husband shed some positive light on the whole thing I felt better.  I showered and got dressed.  Jamie was so sweet to fill my water jug, make me oatmeal with walnuts (supposed to help with implantation) and bananas and a protein shake.  He even laid out all of my vitamins and pills.   It wasn't long before we were off.  The nurses had told me to start drinking water 45 minutes ahead of time but I had read too many accounts of girls in so much pain that I decided to start about 30 minutes ahead and I paced myself.  They had suggested 20-32 ounces of water before we arrived and I stopped at 15 ounces.  Sure enough, with the protein shake and water my bladder was full. 

We arrived at the Dr.'s office and waited in the waiting room for 10 minutes or so and when the nurse greeted me she asked how I was and all I could say is "I have to pee".  She let me relieve my bladder partially after she showed us to our room and had us both change into gowns.  Relieving my full bladder felt AMAZING.  In fact, it felt so good that once I started it was hard to stop, she told me not to go crazy.  I walked back to our room and it wasn't long before the Dr. was in.  She showed us a picture of our two embryos.  They were both 7 cell embryos with less than 5% fragmentation.  These were the front runners even though there was a 9 cell-it had more fragmentation.

Next, we were off to the transfer room which was a dark operating room.  I laid down, Jamie sat next to me.  The Dr. got everything into position-speculum and catheter.  I verified my name when a nurse brought in a petri-dish, we all stared at the ultrasound screen while we watched Dr. K point the catheter in just the right place in my uterus and the two embryos were transferred.  There, in the middle of my uterus on a fuzzy ultrasound screen was a bright glow, our embryos.  Jamie rubbed my arm and then grabbed my hand once we got closer to the moment and when I looked back at his face once the transfer was complete he was red and he had tears in his eyes.  I looked back once more and he had his head down.  That summed it up, all of our hard work, our many appointments, all of those injections, vitamins and pills were for this one little magical moment we had been waiting for.  The embryos sat in the brightest spot on the screen in a little air pocket in my uterus, it was done. 

I was wheeled back into our room where I rested 30 minutes.  I finally got up to use the bathroom and while I was in the bathroom J must have asked if there was anyway to know if our embryos were ICSI or non-ICSI.  They were both ICSI.  No matter to me, if the embryologist felt they were the best then so did I.  We agreed to freeze any remaining embryos and signed.  Then we were on our way home.

I've been on couch rest all day.  J has been so sweet and has really gone out of his way to make sure that I have anything I need.  His Mom, Nancy, also had sent the most beautiful sunflowers to the house which were on our back porch by the time we came home and she later brought over a bed tray where I am typing now.  We showed her a picture of her "Grandbryos" as Jamie called them earlier. 

I am still sore from the egg retrieval.  It amazes me that I feel the same today that I did on Wednesday, no improvement what so ever.  I am hoping this bed rest will help me heal and I hope the pain is not affecting the embryos. 

A couple pictures of Jamie to close with.  He looked like a blue haired Ronald McDonald in his hat and gown.  I was laughing so hard as I took these pictures and was so afraid the nurse would hear me laughing and walk in as only a curtain separated us from the nurses!

TORTURE I tell you!

6:22 AM- This is going to be a long post.  It's Saturday morning and I am nervously anticipating word on our transfer. Torture.  I've been up since 1:15 this morning.

Someone from the Dr.'s office is supposed to be calling us between 7:30 and 8:00 this morning.  They will tell us to either come in for a 9:20 (day 3)  transfer they scheduled for us yesterday or they will tell us to wait for Monday (day 5).  It all depends on what the Embryologist finds when he/she opens the incubator for the first time since Thursday.  Talk about torture.  UGH!!!

I haven't slept well in days.  I am a stomach sleeper and since my ladyville is all painful I've been forced to sleep on my back.  I can't find a position that makes me comfortable and sleeping on my side would normally seem like a good compromise but it hurts as well.  I've been getting up hourly to pee as well.  It hurts when my bladder gets full.  I have to nearly roll out of bed multiple times a night and I wince in pain each time.  I don't remember ever reading that there was this much pain or discomfort after ER. 

I gave my cell phone to Jamie so he could answer it.  I am too nervous to talk to any nurses.

6:35 AM- I've been thinking of our embryos so much over the last day especially.  I was up multiple times last night talking to them and telling them to be strong.  I have been visualizing cell division.  I always felt that if we could get to the point where our egg and sperm would have the opportunity to be together they would do well.

6:42 AM-What the heck am I going to do with myself for 45 minutes or more?  AHH!

6:49 AM- It just occurred to me that I could be P.U.P.O. (pregnant until proven otherwise) today!  Holy cow!!!!!!!

6:56 AM- I was just reminded of my Progesterone in Oil shot when I stood up.  J gave it to me in my thigh last night.  That'll be the last time he gives it to me in my leg.  YOWZA!!!!  The needle is huge to begin with and at least in the hip I can't see the shot.  I looked at my leg last night to see if he had removed the needle at one point and the needle was just sitting in there like a dart!!!! J wasn't even touching it!  Never again.

7:05 AM- Checked facebook, everything looks good there.  Emailed MIL.  Watching the Today show.  That BP oil spill in the Gulf pisses me off!

7:16 AM- I wonder what pictures are on this computer?

7:18 AM- Awe, a couple of puppy pictures of Wilson.  :)

The day we brought Wilson home...

One of my favorites.  

Wilson last summer at the St. Louis City Park.

  Okay, I guess I better go sit next to Jamie and wait for the phone call.  They said last week they would call between 7 and 8 although yesterday they said between 7:30 and 8:00.

7:25 AM- 3 day transfer!!!!!!!   Today is the day!!!!!!  Better get showered I have a date with my embies!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I probably shouldn't have gone to work yesterday, the day after my egg retrieval.  I was very sore last night and I was back at work today and am still sore.  I plan on resting when I get home today at noon and staying in the horizontal position until tomorrow morning at least.  I am thrilled to have more paid time off to spend on bed rest next week because I came in this week however, I want my body to recover as much as possible before the transfer.

My poor husband is stressed and that is stressing me out.  He actually said last night "my plate is over flowing".  Family, work and infertility are taking their toll.  Poor guy.  It's so frustrating not being able to take some of his stresses away for him.  It's stresses me out just knowing he is so stressed.

No updates on the embies today which makes me nervous and sad as I love to hear about them.  I was talking to J about it last night and I started growing more concerned the more I thought about the fertilization and ICSI.  I was so happy to hear that 5 of 5 fertilized with ICSI but then started worrying.  Do they become fertilized once the sperm is inside because if so of course they fertilized.  5 of 5 didn't seem so great then.  I read up on it this morning and feel better.  I still wish I knew what they were doing.  I drove by the hospital the embies are at on my way to work again today and forgot to send good thoughts their way.  I will do so on the way home.  Yesterday I thought of them a lot.

Last night at dinner I was part of a great conversation with J's family.  Really, I listened in but loved every second.  Dinner was over and J's Grandma, his Dad and Step-Mother hung around after some others left and J gave a report on our embies.  This got the conversation started on grandchildren and love.  They were all telling us that your heart grows and accepts all new children and there is room for all of them.  J's Grandma said that the heart is so amazing because it can grow to fit as many people as it needs inside.  J's Dad said something I will never forget.  He was talking about how he didn't think he could love his second grandchild as much as his first and then she was born and he found out he was wrong.  He then said, "I'm ready for another one.  I am.  I'm ready."  This made my heart melt.  I have a soft spot in my heart for J's dad because he looks so much like J and they act so much alike.  We have become even closer on this infertility journey.  I get a lot of pats on the back and one arm hugs.  I hope this cycle will provide the next grandchild for him.  We're ready as well.

J and his Dad at our wedding.  December 2008. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fertilization Report :)

I got the call from the nurse at 12:15 with our fertilization report.  I was so nervous.  She asked how I was feeling and wanted to know if I was drinking all of my fluids, etc.  I wanted to say "Get to it lady"!  UGH!  I have never been so nervous and filled with such anticipation in my life!  So here it goes.  She said that out of the 12 eggs, 11 were mature!  Only one was too immature to make it.  That's a pretty great ratio!  That relieved some of my fear.  Then she reminded me that they were doing partial ICSI and injected 5 of those 11 eggs with sperm.  All five fertilized!!!!  Then she said the remaining 6 will be fertilized conventionally where they will place one egg with multiple sperm and see what happens.  2 of those have fertilized so far!  I think that's pretty good for overnight and for fertilizing all by themselves!  So far we have 7 embryos incubating.  They were placed back in the incubator this morning and they won't be taken out again until Saturday morning.  At that time we will be given instructions between 7-8 AM, they will either tell us to come in and have them transfered that day or to plan on a fifth day transfer which would be Monday.  I am hoping for a five day transfer, just because the Dr. explained that the embryologist will get to observe the embryos longer and look at cell division to tell which ones are doing better and then decide which to transfer.  Oh my gosh, this is the most hope I have had in so long.  I can't believe we have embryos.  My heart is overflowing with love for these little guys already.  I passed our hospital this morning on my way to work and sent good thoughts in their direction and said a little prayer.  I hope they continue to grow and thrive. 

Here is a little helpful information regarding embryo cell division:

Day 0: Eggs are retrieved and combined with retrieved sperm

Day 1: Physician will check for fertilization

Day 2: Embryo should be fertilized and have 4 cells

Day 3: Embryo should now have 8 cells

Day 4: Embryo is now in morula stage and ready for embryo transfer

Day 5: Blastocyst stage of development

For more charts like this one and more information on embryos visit

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Egg Retrieval - "12 is my new favorite number"

Okay, so first things first.  How many eggs did they retrieve?  12.  A perfect number for eggs as they typically come in a dozen!  J was the one who told me how many eggs they retrieved and I guess I have seen so many large numbers from other girls that I thought 12 was low but the two Dr.'s who did the retrieval seemed genuinely excited with this number.  When J told me they retrieved 12 I was just waking up and I apologized the number was so low but after J told me what he researched regarding ER numbers, I feel at peace with the number 12.  12 eggs on the 12th of May as J said.  Perfect.  I just hope they are healthy and mature.

Our morning started early.  We were due at the Dr. at 6:45 AM but a huge storm came through St. Louis and woke us up at around 3:00.  J and I got up and prepared for the day and talked a little bit about what was in store.  He had ER questions so I showed him a couple of blogs and I think that helped.  So we finally left for the Dr. and arrived right on time.  We were there before the office opened so we had to ring a buzzer.  We were greeted promptly by a nice lady from the OR and taken back to our room and I was told to get dressed in a gown, hat and booties.  Another nice nurse came in and told us what to expect for today and the next few days and then Dr. C and Dr. K came in and shared more information.  I felt at ease knowing I was in good hands.  Anesthesia came in and drew blood for a study I am participating in and started an IV, a kiss good bye to Jamie and I was walked to the Operating room.  I was in there two minutes tops and I remember feeling the effects of the drugs while my feet were placed in stirrups.  I vaguely remember being told to scoot over to another bed after the retrieval was over and then I woke up in my room.  The whole procedure was about an hour.  I was back in my room at 8:40.  A nurse came to check on me and told me she was going to get my husband.  He came in a few minutes later and gave me a thumbs down sign...this wasn't in reference to the eggs but rather in reference to the "collection room".  We had come up with a plan earlier that he would give me a thumbs up or thumbs down first thing indicating whether the room was nice or not.  He did very well though and the nurse said his specimen looked good.

I had some apple juice and a Graham cracker and after an hour and a half in recovery we left.  I took it easy on the sofa for most of the day and had a nap around noon.  J was so nice as to get me lunch complete with flowers and a card.  Love that guy.  His mother, Nancy, came over later and brought a card and a beautiful bracelet too.  The card read "12 is my new favorite number" on the inside and the bracelet said "dream".  It was so nice and it turns out I have been dreaming today.  I've been day-dreaming about my eggs and J's sperm in the petri dish.  Hoping they are playing nice and even visualizing a sperm penetrating one of the eggs as I drifted off to sleep this afternoon.  I hope that is what's happening.  A perfect egg and a perfect sperm playing nice and making a perfect baby.

First fertilization report comes tomorrow.  There will be either a three or five day transfer.  So Saturday or Monday is what we can expect.  I am sore and crampy today but I am headed back to work tomorrow to save my payed time off for next week when I will really want to be home and rest provided there is a transfer.  I will close with a couple of pictures.  Me after the surgery and J on a business call working from the hospital.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stim Day 11 - Trigger tonight! :)

We arrived at the office at about 7:45 this morning and the waiting room was packed.  We managed to snag a love seat against a wall and waited for about 5 minutes.  I went in for blood work and we were off to ultrasound.  My left ovary had 14 measurable follicles with 19 being the largest.  Other follicles measured were 3x18, 16, 15.5, 14.5 and some smaller ones. The right ovary had 9 measurable follicles with 18.5 being the largest and it's other follicles measured 2x17, 15.5, 14, 131 2x12, 11.5.  The ultrasound tech was kind of surprised at how many follicles I had and I guess how big they were.  She asked if anyone had mentioned egg retrieval yet.  I told her that Thursday had been thrown out there but no official word.  The follicles were large and all smooshed.  On a TMI note:  Holy EWCM batman! It would seem as though my body is getting ready for the ovulation of it's lifetime (it kinda is) and does all this estrogen give you full time THO or something?  Geez Louise!  I've had THO for four days straight, J even laughs.

Okay so.....the good news!  I heard from a nurse at 1:30 today.  I'm triggering tonight!!!  Egg retrieval is Wednesday!  Oh, I am just so thrilled and feel so thankful that we have made it this far.  Every little milestone is such a blessing and just to have made it past stim day 10 means we are in new territory.  From this point on we are newbies to the process.   

Instructions for the next few days are as follows:

Monday night instructions-
  • watch video on how to prepare and give trigger injeciton
  • trigger shot at exactly 7:30
  • a little personal interaction between j and myself (Dr's orders to clean out the "pipes".)
Tuesday instructions-
  • no injections AT ALL (Yay!)  I get a holiday!
Wednesday instructions-
  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight
  • Arrive at office for ER at 6:45 AM
  • ER scheduled for 7:30 AM
  • Not to wear anything scented at all as it can affect the eggs and sperm, wear glasses, remove jewelry
  • Bring progesterone and medrol medications
  • Bring inhaler just in case
Eek!!  I am so excited.  Very nervous as I have no idea what we are about to go through and scared to death of bad news from here on out but I am thankful, so thankful for this chance.  I called J to share all of this news with him and at the end J asked "did you call my mom and tell her?"  I said "no, why don't you call, this is your news too-you should call and share."  We both went back and forth a few times and decided to call her on three way.  You would think we were celebrating a real pregnancy here people, no...just egg retrieval.  It's the little things.  :)

If you have read this far I want to leave you with a quote from a beautiful blogger at  I had to reread this a few times to really understand it and translate it to my life.  With Mother's Day just passing it's worth the read...  House of Motherhood is the title of the post, you can visit her blog for her entire post.

"In each of our Houses, there are doors. Doors which, upon our entrance, transform us into better, more beautiful women. Doors to rooms which hold deep pains, pure joys, and truths which will root themselves deep into our souls and change us for good."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stim Day 9 - We have lift off!!!!!

J and I went in for our second ultrasound this morning.  I couldn't imagine much would change over night but there were changes.  To my delight the biggest change was in my E2!  961!!!!!  I thought we might see some larger follicles or more of them maybe but it never occured to me that my E2 would almost DOUBLE!  I am so thrilled.  This E2 was a huge hurdle in my mind.  As for the ultrasound the technician took one glance at my ovary and said "boy I bet you are sore you have a lot going on in there! " then she turned to J and said "she's not lying if she says she's sore".  We hadn't even discussed me being sore but I have been.  My abdomen is extremely tender.  This morning I told J that I was lying in bed and thought I could trace on my abdomen exactly where my ovaries and uterus are!  We did see more follicles over 10mm, 8 this time on the left ovary with the largest at 12.5 and 11 on the right ovary with the largest at 14.5.  Things are looking great.  The nurse said that they are expecting my egg retrieval to be Thursday. So if this is true it looks like I will be triggering Tuesday night.  Next ultrasound is Monday morning at 7:50.  I can't wait to see progress.  Fingers and toes crossed!  XX  Meds stay the same tonight and tomorrow night.

We have our massages in a couple of hours and I am going to relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend and just appreciate all of these wonderful things I have to be thankful for.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stim Day 8 - U/S!!

So much to say!  My E2 today was 447.  That's a slightly better rise than I saw on day 6.  I just cross my fingers that I see a good jump soon.  The nurse said that the Dr. wanted to keep my lupron at 10 units and Menopur at 150 again tonight but to up the Follistim dose to 225.  We go in again tomorrow for more blood work and another ultrasound at 8:50.  Hopefully the extra Follistim does something spectacular!  See my chart below with new information added.

I had a special visitor at my ultrasound this morning, my Mother in Law, Nancy!   J couldn't make it.  Nancy was gracious enough to fill in and provide support so I didn't have to attend my first ultrasound alone.  I left her in the waiting room as I went and gave blood (just because it's such a small room) and then came back and got her and headed to ultrasound.  We had a short wait and then we were instructed to go to room one.  I promptly changed clothes and had a seat and we were off!  I wasn't sure what I was going to see with a low E2 on Wednesday...I told J last night that we were probably going to have clunkers for follies since he didn't sing to them the night before.  This brought swift action on his part..he was singing in no time!  It must have worked because on the ultrasound screen this morning we watched as the ultrasound technician meticulously measured 6 follicles on the left side all over 10mm (12.5 was the largest) and 8 follicles on the right side over 10 mm(14.5 was the largest).  There were many more that were under 10mm that I am hoping will catch up by our next scan.  All in all I was very pleased.  No clunkers, just beautiful growing follicles.  It's so neat to see what all of our injections are bringing us.  I am hopeful that these little guys will keep growing and produce healthy eggs.  I sure am having crampy feelings more and more these days.  This morning I caught myself thinking that my period must be coming because the cramps felt so familiar.  It's so automatic: cramps equal period.  It's funny to have to remind yourself that those aren't period cramps but (hopefully) growing follie cramps.

As for this weekend.  I am so happy to have massages scheduled at our home Saturday.  I think we could both use a little stress relief.  And Sunday I think we may be having brunch with J's Grandmother which will be nice.  I always enjoy seeing her.  Sunday afternoon we are celebrating Mother's Day at Nancy's. 
 It's nice to have a Mother to celebrate.  I have contemplated on whether or not to send my own mother a card or email.  I think I have decided to send her an email.

For those of you IF ladies that are dreading Mother's Day - I hope you are able to find peace in some form and enjoy the day in some way.  I've been reading about the pain that so many women I blog with are experiencing in regards to Mother's Day and it breaks my heart.  Maybe it's because I am fairly new in my infertility journey but I'm not sad for myself.   What does make me sad is the severed relationship I have with my own Mother.  This year I choose to celebrate and be happy for the women I know that are Mothers and the women I know that just realized they are going to be Mothers.  I'm very happy for them.

(Click image to enlarge.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stim Day 6 - E2 Update

The nurse called today around 2:30.  She said my E2 is 308.  Kind of bummed that it wasn't higher with the doses of Menopur we added the last two nights.  But hey, it's still climbing right?  It's over two times higher than I had in March.  They upped my dose to 150 (2 vials) of Menopur and kept the Follistim at 150.  I go in for my first ultrasound on Friday and will have my blood checked then as well.   I asked the nurse if this number is normal and she said there really is no normal because every woman is so different.  She added that the follicles are so teeny tiny that they don't produce a whole lot of estrogen right now but when they do get bigger they should produce around 200 in estradiol per follicle.  I guess I am just wondering...last cycle I had approximately 30 follicles and my E2 was 137 on day 10.  I suppose this is pretty common PCOS?  Lots and lots of follies but few quality eggs?  I don't know.  I think I better consult Dr. Google.  I updated my handy dandy chart, it sure would be nice to see a jump in estrogen!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stim Day 5- BLOAT (already?)

You know, I was thinking about it today and it seems like the only time an infertile is able to get excited and have hope is when she's cycling.  You know, when you find yourself in that critical window of a cycle?  Whether you are on clomid, using timed intercourse, doing IUI or IVF there lies a window in which we all get to have hope and enjoy the mere possibility of what may lie ahead - if only for a short while.  With each passing day since I started stimming I have been in a better mood and for the first time since March I do have hope.  With each injection, each appointment, each day I mark off my calendar I am reminded of what could be at the end of this cycle and that gives me a tremendous amount of happiness.  A few times today I took notice of my happiness and it feels foreign.  The happiness goes against everything I've been feeling the past few months but it's so welcome and it feels so nice.  I would love for it to stick around a while longer. 

I started noticing this morning that my pants are tight.  While sitting at my desk I must unbutton my pants or someone may lose and eye!  I remember last cycle I had this issue as well and that is when I started wearing SWEAT PANTS to work!  Not your average sweat pants, no elastic around the ankles  just a simple black straight leg pant.  It's hot out though and this time it isn't as exciting as last time but man oh man, I can't go through another day being this uncomfortable!  It seems so soon but I looked back at last cycle and it was also around day 5 that I felt this way so I guess that's just my "norm".

Oh yeah...that 7 pounds I lost a couple of months ago when I decided to start Weight Watchers (which ended a week later when I started birth control for this cycle) is back too.  *Sigh*  I think it's water weight only because I haven't been eating differently and it crept up the last few days.  The only difference in my diet are protein shakes.  It's got to be the meds.  My hips feel full and my abdomen feels very bloated, like a water balloon.  Even after peeing, my abdomen still feels full and heavy.  Well, I remember one lady saying last cycle "the bloat means it's working" so I am going to take her word on it and dress for comfort. 

Another E2 check tomorrow.  Let's hope that number keeps on rising!  J's been singing to the follies nightly!  (He sings into my belly button so they can hear!)  Ha ha.  Something silly that makes us laugh every night before we go to sleep.  This is my favorite part of cycling!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stim Day 4 - GREAT E2 NEWS!!!!

Today is day four of stims!  I am feeling great.   I went in for my blood work this morning.   I was in the office for less than 5 minutes which pleased me very much.  I have been worried about my E2 since last cycle.  After 10 days of stims last cycle my E2 was 137 which caused us to cancel.  I am happy to report that after 3 days of stims this cycle my E2 this morning was 217 !!!  I am ecstatic!  My nurse told me that this is a great increase and they are very pleased.  I received some more information for my calendar as well!  Tonight we add 75 units of Menopur, decrease the Follistim to 150 units and keep the Lupron at 10 units.  Three injections...we are definitely in full swing!  My next appointment is Wednesday for more blood work.  Most of us have seen the chart below, for those who haven't this is what estradiol should do as stimulation proceeds(my body missed this memo last time-I barely got off the bottom line!)  I added my canceled March cycle in orange and this current May cycle in blue to the chart!  My E2 this cycle doesn't look as high as the chart but I am hopeful that it will increase more as these next few days pass.

Important E2 notes (Source):
  • Estrogen hormone blood levels are important. Estrogen (actually estradiol) levels are usually under 60 pg/ml at cycle baseline and rise significantly as multiple follicles develop.
  • Peak estradiol levels in IVF at the time of HCG are usually between 1000 and 4000 pg/ml.
  • The stimulating process usually takes about 8-10 days