Monday, December 15, 2008

Warning!!! Baby Girl Pictures

Today I just feel like making a happy post... I got 3-D pictures of baby girl about 2 weeks ago and I finally am uploading them to share. She is just beautiful. I can swear I see my husband's nose on her (I hope so, he's had nightmares that the sperm got mixed up at WH and this wasn't his baby!!!). I think she smiled at us in one of the pictures. I have been utterly pleased with my doctor's ultrasound equiptment. I don't think I've yet witnessed anyone who gets pictures at the same weeks as I do who has better quality. Which is surprising considering what a smallish town I live in.

We are planning on traveling back to NC (an 8 hour car trip) for the week between Christmas and New Year's. I don't know that the midwife will like it, and frankly it really unnerves me, thinking that at that point, I could go into labor, be 36 weeks, and be considered full-term. I don't want to have the baby without a midwife, without anyone I'm familiar with. But I guess I have to weigh the risks and stakes and be ok with going. Which I guess I am. Hmmm.

I doubt the baby is permanently head-down yet. They said she was at 33 weeks, but I know she's not "engaged" yet because I know what that feels like, when she's really settled in. I am not afraid of labor, but I do feel it's a huge, huge unknown that I'm really unprepared for, even as much as I read or practice.

I have had two baby showers now and felt utterly humbled and grateful and unworthy. I cried at each one, but made a special point to explain that I valued everyone's support, love and prayers that got us to this point, and I rather felt they should be the ones receiving the presents for going through "the trenches" with us. I am grateful for all the help with getting stuff though, because babies take a lot of stuff apparently!

So for now, I'll close with this, and some pictures that make my heart ache with happiness. I'm thinking of you all as another holiday approaches, especially those of you facing another milestone without the dear child you're so lonigng for. May this be your very last.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm not dead, just a bad blogger...

So I bet you all have wondered what planet I fell off of.... Believe me, I have been incredibly busy. But this blogging as the pregnancy progresses contains a huge amount of guilt for me. I guess because I had such a hard time reading about most others successes, that I know were I in the shoes of some of you (waiting to cycle, after a failed cycle, lost babies, bad cycles, taking a break, TTC naturally for a while), reading a blog like mine would just hurt. And all our you have helped me so much, and been such a support, that the last thing I desire is to cause someone pain by visiting here.

But I am living "the dream." This is what we're all praying, hoping, dreaming, striving for, is it not? We all desire a pregnancy with a live baby at the end of it first of all. Sometimes that door closes, and we pursue other options. But I guess I want to be honest, and my living truth is that the pain and money and time and negative after negative are so worth it, when you're this close.

I am just now 8 months pregnant (31 weeks). This Baby Girl kicks and moves and hiccups and plays games with her Daddy. He will poke at her, and she will kick back. It's very intentional, when she chooses to play that game. My husband has only been home a little over 2 weeks from our 71 day deployment, and I have been in heaven with him here again!!! The very first night back, Baby Girl very obligingly moved underneath his hands and he was enamored with her. He loved my new pregnant shape, and was amazed at how active this baby is. When he left, she was so tiny only I got to feel her little "flutters". Seeing his heart melt at her just now, makes me that much more eager for her to come in person and me to be able to watch him with his long-desired and much-loved daughter.

The pregnancy goes well most days. Occasionally I have a day with tons of Braxton Hicks and round ligament pain, and it is annoying if it coincides with a planned outing or shopping trip. But I would put up with so much more. Plus, all things considered, I've had so few problems this pregnancy, and I've mostly just had regular expected symptoms. Pregnancy you don't always feel beautiful and glowing and wonderful, but feeling the baby move makes all that fade. I love pregnancy for that one reason only. It's this special connection only I share with her right now.

Getting this far has done something to my mind, though. I no longer distrust my body. For the first 28 weeks, every pain and ache I was sure was a foreshadowing of something terrible, and threatening to the baby. Then finally, around week 28/29, I realized I trusted my body. I did not think it was going to betray me or the baby, and that it would keep nourishing her like it should, and it would work like it should to bring her out at her time. It was odd, after 3 years of feeling like my body could only fail me, to suddenly not distrust it.

And yet, around that time-frame, I was sitting on the couch, and I got a pain that was so reminiscent of a period cramping. And with that simple pain, that I haven't had since March (before I started BCPs for IVF #2), all the feelings of what a those cramps signify came in on me and for a minute I felt angry, hurt, bitter, sad, failure, and dispair. That feeling brought on the wave of emotions you get after TTC so long and getting repeated failure. Yet there I was, with Baby Girl safe inside me, free to realize those feelings did not relate to today, but were stored up from the past. But it made me wonder what kind of life lies ahead, when my body starts to cycle again.

I don't know. I can't figure that out. I let my mind wander occasionally to what may happen, or what or when we'd choose to try with our two frozen embryos. I can't even begin to figure that out, and I shouldn't, but I am aware, in the back of my mind, that trying again, even with a precious baby girl in my life, will probalby still involve emotional pain, tempered with the beautiful joy of knowing we have succeeded once. We have gotten what we prayed for. And for that, we will always always give thanks and remain humbly grateful for what we never though we'd get.

Infertility has changed me forever. Miscarriage changed me forever. Those scars are still there, and always will be, through they aren't as tender as they once were. Having a live baby will change me forever. I can't be as hurt and negative as I once was. I can only pray for all of you, that in your lives, whether you're pursuing ART, natural TTC, adoption, surrogacy, donor embryos, or peace with your life as a couple right now, I pray your lives would be blessed with a child, in the future, and that the waiting time, when it's over, would hold no more power over you for sadness.

Monday, September 8, 2008

2 Weeks Down, 8 To Go

Thank you guys so much for the support about my husband being gone, and for the kind words of thanks for what he does. Thank you also for the excitement over Baby Girl.

J and I were just never made for separations. We don't do them well at all. When we are together, and he's home from work, we just rarely spend time apart. Even if we're doing separate things (maybe he's reading a magazine and I'm writing a letter), he wants me in the same room, on the same couch preferrably. Long ago in the first months of our marriage I abandoned what I thought was a good use of my time: getting laundry folded while he watched tv. While I do that occasionally, I try to keep it short, because he would much rather me be snuggled right next to him that getting something done. And my mom always taught us the importance of putting our husbands first, over our own priorities. When we go to bed at night, we always curl up with just about every inch touching the other person. And as we shift positions at night, if we end up away from each other, we at least leave our feet touching the other's or with our hands held together. We hate not to have physical contact!!! Ever since being married, ever single morning we've showered together when possible. We eat all dinners at the table together, most breakfasts, and occasionally lunches if he happens to be home. He may only have a 6 hour day to work, but sometimes he'll text me to meet him for lunch just so we don't have to be separated that long....

Are you getting the picture? We're still crazy love-birds just as if we were newly in love. It's the companionship, the friendship, the sharing every part of life together. I could care less if his being gone means I have to do the yard (ok, J hired someone this time but I have in the past) or finanaces or change my own flat (so fine, someone helped me there on Friday). I am very capable and not at all intimidated. But it's being without this man who is my best friend and life partner in everything. That's why I email ever day, I send a personal letter every day, and when we can webcam, we will do it as many hours as his schedule allow. We got 4 hours on Sunday (usually we get 2 every other day)!!! Ah what bliss... Top that off with a last-minute win in the Panthers vs Chargers game, and it was a pretty swell day.

I went to see my soon-to-be brother-in-law graduate from Army basic training on Friday in Ft Benning, 2 hrs from where I live. I got the flat on the way home. I was quite prepared to change it, J having shown me twice how do to that. But help came along so I just watched. :)

I hate every piece of clothing currently, except long pretty dresses. I hate that someone thought the Bella Band was a good idea. I am just now getting uncomfy in my regular pants/skirts, and it feels much better to leave the top buttons unbuttoned. Yet the stupid BB doens't do squat in leaving you a nice smooth profile like I want. Sure, it keeps your pants up, but your options are then limited to very full babydoll shirts to cover the ugly waistline. I want the pretty smooth belly, people! Bleh. I just don't fit maternity wear yet. Suggestions???

You're all the BEST!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What We're Having....?!?!

That's right.... today at 18w2d, we found out we will (Lord willing) be welcoming a beautiful little girl into our lives in January. A girl!!! We are so happy, so grateful, so amazed. I feel like it's something of a dream - can this all be a reality someday? It was so beautiful to see her on screen, moving about, cooperating perfectly. We got this scheduled just 4 days before J was deploying, and then afterward picked up a crib we'd found at Baby Depot for a great deal the other day on the way home that we've now put together - our first baby purchase!

It was weird. Neither of us really had a "feeling" but we kept referring to the baby as a "he". I guess because my husband thinks boys should come first. :) He's firstborn in his family, my older sister is our firstborn so I naturally thought girl were pretty good too! So while I really wanted to give him a son, we are so thrilled to be welcoming a daughter!

I am all done with morning sickness (whoo-hoo), and the nausea just comes and goes every now and then. I can eat whatever I want that I did not develop an aversion to. At my 16 week appointment they told me my hemoglobin had gotten worse (from a 10.4 at 11 weeks to 9.3 at 16 weeks). They told me to really try hard to research and eat iron rich foods (I'd been on an iron Rx since 11 weeks). I hadn't felt any symptoms of anemia, but then at 18 weeks it just hit. Rolling over on the couch at night seemed like too much effort. Unfortunately, decreased appetite is a side-effect of anemia, so it doesn't help when you Really need to eat and just don't have any interest. But J and I researched it out, and went to the store and he spared no expense putting things into the cart that were iron rich. Lots of red meat, lots of dark green leafy veggies, lots of o.j. and citrus to help the iron absorbtion, and lots of cereal fortified with 100% RDA of iron. In just 10 days of this my iron was at 10.2! It took longer for me to really feel strong, but I am now! So I've got to keep it up, along with the liquid chlorophyll I've been drinking. I was ready to ask for the injectable iron the doctor spoke of, but it looks like I might not need it (yet). Anything to stay healthy!

I have steadily gained 2lb every 4 weeks since my initial 7wk appointment, which puts me at a 6 lb weight gain so far. I am showing, but just not a lot (picture in next post, perhaps). When I mention I'm expecting, everyone looks so shocked at how "far" I am (to them). It's all new to me, but I feel healthy so I feel good! For now, I'm going to just post pictures of little girl!

And to close off, please stick around because as of yesterday at 2:30pm, my precious husband and I are separated for another agonizing 70 days... He has deployed to the middle east once more. We were so distraughtand devastated... Those last 24 hours were hard, were precious, and were just heartwrenching. I love him SOOOOOOO desperately, I don't know how I'll een survive to the halfway point without him. We HATE this.... It is rough! So please.... stick around because there'll be a lot of deployment stuff to post about and I need all the support I can get....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Camping! (No "P"-related stuff)

Well, here's a fun story not revolving around the pregnancy.

My husband and I, we love outdoor adventure. We love to boat, hike, camp, SCUBA dive, fish, hunt, and so on. We love out-of-the-way places. For instance, we honeymooned on a small island(2000 acre) in the north-west coast of Scotland. Automobiles weren't even allowed on the island. We were in a secluded cottage and spend hours exploring and hiking the island, rowing to the ruinous castle nearby (and breaking in) out in the wild just loving the beauty of nature there. We also spend our one-year anniversary scratching the itch for a beach-vacation. But where did we choose? Why, the little island of Grenada of course! Very little tourism there (by Americans, more by Eurpean, though still not a lot), but an island with some beautifuly secluded beaches and a gorgeous and small "nature center" we stayed at (more like a resort, but you were left to do as you pleased and it only had about 12 rooms, so very intimate). Our idea of a great vacation always involves doing things that are a bit rustic or uncommon - possibly involving hiking through places others wouldn't venture, just for that "perfect" sunset view or to explore some intriguing spot.

So, this weekend we were to go to Savannah, just for Friday/Saturday. We were meeting up with J's brothers so they could deep-sea fish all Saturday while I enjoyed the beach and a good book! (I love to fish with him, but as our last trip I was over the side throwing-up the entire time, and cut short the fishing part by a few hours, it was deemed best by all that I not accompany them.) :) Ah, but guess where we stayed Friday night? Camping, primitave camping, in the Georgia heat (so like, 90 degrees and 80% humidity at night!). Just tents, sleeping bags, and a spiket of water not too far. It actually was pretty fun. Not comfortable, but fun nonetheless. As we lay in our tents that night, I couldn't keep myself from laughing out loud for a while, because the uncomfortable-ness of the situation. Who camps in that heat??? (Oh yeah, those wanting to spend only $6 on lodging at the beach, right!) And believe me, by the next morning, Starbucks Iced Chai in hand, as I sat on the beach at 8:30 with my book, I pretty much felt, "This is the Life!" Nevermind the 10+ mosquito bites I'd gotten breaking down camp that morning. It was well worth it!

So that, my friends, was my weekend. Pretty glorious. Now just a week until we go to a real vacation-house in Florida for 8 days on our pre-deployment get-away. Hard to look forward to, because it's the Beginning of the End. But I won't let that spoil the time, we will savor every minute.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Into the 2nd Trimester (Me?)

This is such a huge, huge milestone to me.

I have somehow managed to make it into my 2nd trimester.

It is so hard to believe I am here. 10 weeks to viability. I made it past the scary and miscarriage-laden first trimester. I did not expect that, I hardly dared hope. I just prayed every single day. I fearfully stopped at every pain to wonder if it was a cramp or just a regular, expected pain. I still check for blood, but I find that it's not every single time I use the bathroom (that would be, once an hour now, which would be tedious at best).

And making it to the 2nd trimester has been such a boost to my heart. I am very attached to this beautiful child inside me. Every single day when I get my doppler out (I miss about one day a week), I am so in wonder at finding that heart beating away. I know I have nothing to do with that. I didn't cause our first child's miscarriage, and neither am I the one keeping this child alive. It's out of my hands. It's something I don't earn the right to, it just happens. And that leaves me grateful for every single day. I call it grace, because that by definition is unmerited.

I haven't had a lot to say. Well, I guess I have, but like every other blogger with a BFP, I just don't want to use this as a place to drone on and on about symptoms or to gush about how happy this makes us. While that's fair I can do that, I don't think this is the place. I know I appreciated reading others' stories as they went on with their BFPs but we all know it's painful too. I wish I had something else to write about. :/

I did have my 13 week NT test. I showed up for the appointment 10 minutes early, only to be called to the desk 20 minutes later as the receptionist asked for my insurance referral. My ob's office (who sends you to a perinatologists office for this test) had totally dropped the ball! And if you undertsand military insurance, they like to take days to get a referral through. I insisted I was in the office for my appointment now, leaving for out of town for 5 days, and when I returned I'd be 14 weeks and too late (all true). I felt bad for the military office since it was totally the ob's fault, but then again how hard is it to get someone to not procrastinate to do their job? So I got it all settled and had my appointment a few hours late. The peri's office was super nice about that. That, along with the triple-screen, set my odds for Trisomy 18 and 13 and Downs at 1:10,000. I'm happy to get that good news. I was almost not wanting to call, just not ready for any possible risk factor or bad news to have to deal with.

Nothing else of interest. I have a 16 week appointment and a 20 week one. The anatomy scan is at 20 weeks. Unfortunately, my husband deploys again right around 19 weeks (or a few days prior). He SO loved the 13 week ultrasound, I wish he could be there for the 20 week one (16wk is nothing but an appointment). We had seen the baby looking like a real child on the screen, hiccupping, sucking its shumb, wiggling all 5 fingers. It was so precious. I guess I can request a video, maybe? All that I can talk about at the 16 week. I hate thinking I'll find out the baby's gender without him... If I do, I want a clever and memorable way to tell him. I've already decided it won't be through email, has to be phone so I can hear his reaction live!

Anyway, he'll be gone through early November, 70 days once again. I feel like we just went through this. It breaks my heart to think of him gone again. He's really my best friend and we share so much of our lives together, I am just not ready! So with that sad note, I'll end this and go curl up in his lap for the evening.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

11 Weeks!

So, yesterday I turned 11 weeks and had my appointment. All in all it was fast (45 minutes at most) as opposed to the first appointment that took 2 hours! After all the initial tests they run, the doctor walked in and took the doppler out to hear the heartbeat. Side Note: My midwife is on vacation, and I am required to have appointments with the two OBs on staff, in case they end up delivering the baby due to complications. Anyway, he's real nice & a father of 8 himself (just like my dad!). He found the heartbeat in less than a minute. It sounds just like they say it should - kinda like a train! I was so relieved. I was a bit bummed it didn't display a read of the heartrate. :( My iron was a little low at 7 weeks (11.4) so he perscribed me some to start taking. All the foods it interacts with and how it's best taken on a fasting somach is a bit overwhelming - I don't know quite when I'll be able to ideally take it. Anyway, nothing else of note.

So when I got home, I decided to take my doppler out (which I've not used in a week) and see if I could hear the heartbeat, since I watched where the doc found it. Sure enough, within a minute, I'd found my own little one's heartbeat! It was glorious and astonishing to hear. I was so touched, I started crying. Not a happy, gentle cry. A cry like something was wrong. Though it wasn't; I just felt so emotional over knowing my baby was still alive and I could now actually hear its little heart beating away on my own. I guess it was the first time in private I could experience the emotions. It was so wonderful!

I tried again this morning, and got it almost instantly. I only intend on using it every few days if I can contain myself. :) It's just a great way to start the day, hearting that little one whose making me so sick!

My husband continues to serve me every single day. Makes breakfast if he can, makes dinner. Tries to think of enticing options to eat if we're out. He's amazing, because he never complains, and serves so wonderfully. I hope to be rid of the nausea soon, though, and get back to making my own meals. Until then, I think we've used the grill every single night so I don't have to smell foods in the house! My big aversions are chicken and seafood (gross)! I prefer cold food to hot, always, since there are less smells on cold food.

I'm getting the nuchal translucency test within the next 2 weeks, and not seeing the midwife until 16 weeks. They said I was off their typical schedule (8, 12, 16 wk), so if I could wait 5 weeks to the next appt, they'd like it. But they said if I got to worry I could always come in for a quick scan. They never make it sound like a hassle on them, which I appreciate. I haven't had a reason to worry so far (just mental ones), but I'd go in a heratbeat if I had cramps or anything of the kind. Maybe it's good they're 30 minutes away, just so I don't abuse that. :) I should be able to handle the 5 weeks wait, b/c there's an ultrasound for the NT test, which then makes my wait only 3 weeks from that. Plus, I have my doppler now.

Now with all this happy news, I do want to say one thing. Nobody tells you that in pregnancy you can be miserable (physically) all the time. Seriously. It's either nausea, or pressure to go to the bathroom every other hour (without ever feeling fully relieved), or tremendous gas pains, or headaches, or you name it. Seriously, everyone talks about the "glow" and the good stuff. And it's totally worth it, but I wasn't prepared to just feel icky and be in pain so much of every day. This is my FWIW to all you ladies in your early weeks. But as I said, I'd never trade this for anything.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

10 weeks now

Well, I made it to 10 weeks today. So hard to believe. Yes, I've had a hard time believing that it's been 3 weeks since my last appointment and I had proof that the baby is still alive and kicking. Just one more week to go! I actually have decided to not worry all the time, and believe and pray and hope everything is fine.

The funny thing is how I ushered in the 10th week... With a lovely vomiting session this morning. The apple and tums really sat wrong with me. Although I didn't like it, I was secretly kind of glad to have had real morning sickness (no boats needed). This has been my worst day in terms of not being able to be vertical or walking around for very long. Unfortunately, my cat's completely out of food, so I absolutely have to go to the grocery later tonight. I think I can, just not right now.

I did buy a doppler, but it's not a great quality one, so I'm never 100% sure what I'm hearing (my heartbeat or the baby's). I have only tried 3 times with it, and I'm just going to wait until the doctor tries next week with their doppler. Then I'll know exactly what it sounds like.

Yes, I still am tempted to worry a lot about how this is going or will turn out, but I do not want to be consumed by it or driven by it. I'm trying to maintain a good balance. And so far, I have nothing to give me cause to worry. I just can't wait for next week's appt! (June 2nd)

Anyway, there's been some great news in the blogosphere with both Sam and JJ getting great betas... And with Glenna getting her son home... And Elaine 6wks along... And Chris getting a potential match.... And lots of sadness too with Andrea and Baby Dreams getting negative IUI betas... Anyway, click over and offer some words if you get a chance.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Really, I Did Find It This Time

I can officially rename my blog. Morning sickness has been found. However, as I'm only 8weeks 1day today, I have realized I actually want more than m/s.... I'd like a real live baby. But I can't change my blog to "In Search of a Real Live Baby" because, well, no one would know it was me. And I like me old name.

Anyway, yeah, morning sickness hit with a lot of force sometime around week 7. I still don't actually throw up (hold off for story), but I am nauseous all day long. I can rarely think of more than 1 or 2 foods a day that don't make me sicker to eat. Water has become pretty unbearable, so it's been gatorade lately. And I'm a stricty water and coffee-based drinks gal. No anymore. I rarely can tolerate coffee either. My husband's many offers of Starbucks have been turned down all but once (when I agreed to share one with him if I could). Yesterday, I managed pringles and golden raisins all day. Then when J was headed home he wanted to get me some soup. I requested chicken noodle in a box. He came home with 3 boxes of 4-serving size packets each!!! Is he not the sweetest? He picked up barley too, seeming to think I could add that to the chicken or beef bullion if I can manage that. I love how he's trying to take care of me. I haven't been able to fix him lunch or dinner for a few days now, which makes me feel terrible in my job as a wife. But he's been more than understanding.

Now, want to hear a funny story? Well, we decided to take a 4 day weekend this past one to go to Savannah to the beach there. We rented a little condo and got there ready to have a great time. And every day we spent lots of time at the beach, took walks at night, collected shells, visited the cute downtown area, and ate terrific seafood. We also joined a boat club where you pay a membership fee and you get to use any of their boats whenever you want, and when you're done, you just leave it to them. They take care of fueling them up, cleaning them, maintenance, docking them, etc. Back in '06 we owned a 27 foot boat we kept in Corpus Christi when we were living in San Antonio, so we're well aware of all the work owning a boat is. This seemed like a great opportunity to get all the fun without the hassle, at least until we move.

So, Tuesday we decided to use a boat to go 12 miles offshore to fish over some sunken stuff that gets lots of spanish & king mackrel, cobia, & whatnot. 1-2 foot seas was projected. We left at 8 and by 9 it was SOOOO choppy! We had to go about 12 mph, and we still had like 9 miles left (approximations). I got really beat up and was feeling very sick (it was also close to 100 degrees out and going slower meant less wind to help alleviate the heat). J put out some fishing lines as we went so slow, in case anything wanted to bite. All the while, I'm feeling awful. He then said we could speed up now, and could I reel in the 2 lines. I tried to, but literally was stopping every 10 seconds to just breathe and not look at anything. I felt horrible! I then tangled the lines, and he told me he'd need to fix them, so could I drive the boat. At this point, I told him I didn't think I could (I had driven about 30 minutes prior, and that sort-of put me over the edge, nausea-wise). I found my way to the edge of the boat, hung out there, and then just hurled. But first, I surprised myself by crying. Yes, actually cyring I was so miserable. Even I didn't think I would cry from just being sick. I cried as I threw up (which made J ask, "Are you laughing?"). Anyway, he wanted to turn around, but I figured we'd gone this far, we should try to go on. He agreed if I threw up again, we'd turn around.

I felt better instantly, good enough I thought I was done. Ah! But another 30 minutes in the heat, waves, lolling, getting beat around, and well, I foudn my way to the other side of the boat to heave again. This time no crying. J was saying, "We're going back" as I hurled, but thru heaves I practically yelled, "No! We've got this far! Stay!" I just felt it'd be a big letdown and waste to do that. Plus, I could take it.

So, he agreed to fish an hour. Unfortunately, I curled up on a towel and just laid there. He had to pilot the boat, watch 2-3 rods, and bait everything. I don't know how long it was, but he did get 4 fish, 2 keeping size. Yummy ones in our freezer now. By about the hour or hour and a half mark, I had enough of thinking "I'm so sick, I'm so miserable, I hate the heat and smell and movement." that I asked, "When are we going home?" And he decided to then and there.

The ride back was just as rough, but I did not throw up anymore. I stayed out of the direct sunlight and I kept my eyes closed. I know that helped. But the nausea was there the rest of the day!

I've never been sick on a boat (thought I've felt it at times). I've never been purely morning sick. But I think that was morning sickness, as close as I get. Yes, I'm tired of feeling nauseous all the time every day now (I know, it's only a week). But I so have high hopes baby is growing and causing this. And I will do anything for that little baby. Just keep growing!

Question: I want to buy a fetal doppler. When is the earliest you tried & got a heartbeat on one?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

7wk Ultrasound & Remembering

Well... we went in today for the 7 week appointment. I was scared the baby might not be alive. Afterall, I'd had two cramps the evening before, and cramps send me into panic mode.

Ah, but no.... I caught the little "flashing" on the screen. Baby measuring 7weeks 0days (exactly what it should be). Heart rate 140. Wow. Could we be this fortunate?

After the ultrasound I had to have the regular ol' OB first timers visit. It was weird! Most of the conversation with the midwife was about the nuchal fold test & triple screen, delivery options, forming a birth plan, and how good I'd feel in the 2nd trimester. I kept sitting there, wanting to interrupt her, telling her this was too early to talk about this! That she should save her time! That I... might not get that far. I know, that's terrible. But I do not take even one day of this baby's life for granted that it'll go on. It was just out of place, unexpected. Even my husband agreed, although to him it was more of a reality, "wow, we might get a live baby." We assumed with pregnancy #1 = baby. This time, no such assumptions.

I have to wait 4 weeks to go in again. Then they'll try to hear the heartbeat with the doppler. If they don't get it, we'll do an ultrasound. She did tell me if I started to get too worried/paniced, they'd gladly have me come in earlier to do an ultrasound. It's reassuring I have her blessing on that. I hope I'm strong enough and have no good reason to use that.

And lastly.... because it was such an incredibly terribly busy day at work yesterday, and then afterwards dinner was such a hardship to fix w/o being sick, and then I just needed to lay down.... I actually forgot what day it was. June 3rd. My first baby's due date. I know if I were not pregnant right now, that wouldn't have happened. I would have cried and the day would have been so bitterly painful. Instead, I try to focus on the possibilities ahead of me, while remembering what we've been through to get here. I miss that child not being in our life right now, but I am grateful to have renewed hope beating away inside me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My husband thinks I should change my blog name...

He thinks is should be, "Morning Sickness Found."

I am not so optimistic.

I just can't call what I've got morning sickness yet until I... you know.... throw up.

You see, growing up my family took a lot of car trips. Since we eventually reached 8 kids (but started the trips when there were just 6 of us kids), flying was OUT of the question! So they'd pile us in the van, start a video, and drive for 18 hours. Yes, we had a VHS player in there, probably a huge salvation to my parents sanity. Instead of listening to hundreds of "When will we be there?" they just heard, "Can we start another movie?" Smart, huh? Dad still knows all the songs in the old Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory simply from hearing it so much. We adored these vacations and trips. Often Dad just didn't want to go on a weeklong business trip without us, so he'd just bring everyone. He always made it fun. I don't remember any stress, and as we got older we helped with the packing and eventually took over entirely. But back then, it was just fun, fun, fun. I love that my Mom was so game she never said, "I can't/won't do this."

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, more than a few of us would proclaim, "I'm sick!" or "I feel like I'm going to throw up." from the back seats (especially when we graduated to a 15-passenger van, the back gets very bumpy). However, only one of my sisters ever actually had to get a trash bag or the car stopped so she could, um, take care of that. Dad's reply to us all (except her) eventually became "Promises, promises". Mom would always try to make us feel better (crackers, gingerale, moving up to the front). But innately I knew it was just motion sickness and I shouldn't make a big deal, because nothing would come of it anyway.

Now that I'm older, I still get motion sick in cars and boats (not in 4-seater airplanes, amazingly). But nothing ever comes of it. So I don't feel it's worth mentioning.

That's how I feel about my current "morning sickness." I feel horrible a lot of mornings. The shower is always too hot, and all I can do is sit (or not take it yet like this morning). All day, the thought or sight or smell of food makes me sick feeling. I fight nausea in waves. You'll hear me breathing heavily as I try to control the urge. I literally haven't been able make myself eat a solid except cereal for some days (until evening - and if you put something in front of me, already prepared, I can eat that). Cold always sounds good, hot not so much. I hung out at the toilet yesterday hoping something would come up. Only by gagging enough did it, but it wasn't true gut-wrenching sickness.

I know I have symptoms, but I just can't call it that until I guess I have valid proof. Yeah I feel bad and have lots and lots of food aversions, but this isn't to me what I can call morning sickness.

One more interesting side affect? Mouth ulcers!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I called the OB today because of the sharp pains in my left abdomen. They've been present all day and eventually really bothering and worrying me. Apparently whoever I got on the phone today, when I mentioned "sharp pains" "in vitro" and "ectopic" she got the messages to the nurse, who then called me within 5 minutes and told me if I could be there in 30 minutes, I'd get an ultrasound. They didn't think this was something to not attend to. They were very surprised I wasn't still under an RE's care, but when I explained I did IVF in San Antonio with the miltiary, they kind-of understood. I guess they didn't before. So, even though I live 30 minutes away, J was home and drove me there. Took us 40 all said and done, but we got in, and I got "fast tracked" into the ultrasound room. I explained (as I had on the phone) that while it was sharp, it wasn't excrutiating, but they never made me feel like I needed any more reason to come in. I loved that I didn't have to feel pressure from them for "worrying." With that said, the tech put the probe in and started around. This felt eerily like my ER visit, where I could see plenty of uterus and ovaries on screen, but nothing resembling all those grainy u/s I see everyone else get....

Until, I see something in the uterus. I hear her mutter "a sac." My eyes well up with tears - I was so worried all the drive there. I kept telling my husband, "I'm not ready for bad news, not ready for this to be over." Wow. She looks around and sees a very enlarged left ovary, and lots of cysts and some free fluid. Enough that she wants the doc to look. But then she tells us, "This is your baby here, flasting right at us. That's the heartbeat." I couldn't believe this was me seeing all this. I wanted to cry, but was too relieved to actually happy-cry.

The dr came in, saw it all too, and while he said it would be very unlikely to have a uterine and tubal pregnancies, it could happen. If I got worse pain, I should come in for another ultrasound. They were so nice, I thought it was their job to deny ultrasounds! He asked a fair amount of our history, cause of IF, how many times we did IVF, why we weren't under an RE's care still, etc. If I don't like the midwife (or feel she's knowledgable enough) I'd go with him. He expected me to be on progesterone and estrogen, and this made me think he'd at least had IVF paitents before. Anyway, quite reassuring.
So without further babbling on.... I'm going to share my ultrasound picture. Those who this is painful for, please don't go any further. I have been there more times than I care to count. I only wish you were all here with me.

6 Weeks Today, Everything Quiet

So, today I am 6 weeks. Every week is a milestone. Shoot, every day is around here!

What do I have to report? Zilch. Nada. Well, that's not entirely true, just nothing interesting.

Now, last pregnancy, I stopped temping the day of my 2nd beta (baby was 4w1d). I also stopped taking HPT's a few days after that. I just expected everything to be ok. When I started bleeding, at 6w4d, my HCG was already 42. Don't know how long or fast it had been dropping, but at least if I'd taken a test that morning, I'd have seen the lighter line and known something was up.

So this time, I've refused to stop either. I take my temp every morning still. And it's consistently nice and high. Sure, there have been two lowish temps, but that's nothing to bother about. I've been taking the HPT's twice a week (after every day that first week, just for the fun of seeing them): one on the day I change what week I am (for example, today since I turned 6weeks), and one 3-4 days after that. They have increasingly gotten darker. Today the test line was finally really darker than the control line, so now I have no more way to just the "darkness" of the line, but I can at least make sure it doesn't change for the next week. I imagine I'll stop the HPT obsession once I get that 7 week ultrasound. I just have to make it that far...

Symptom-wise, the morning-sickness has continued to be elusive. Not that I want to be sick, but I would appreaciate at least a few days for my body to be signaling to me that it's actually doing something with this pregnancy. I hate not feeling anything except pains and aches. If I had to describe this pregnancy so far, I've not liked it. Simply because I fear every single ache and twinge and pain. I haven't had anything I'd categorize as a cramp, but I've had heavy & light pressure, abdominal pains, and sharp pains in my left side. I'm hoping the sharp pains are cysts, not an ectopic. Right now I just want proof that there's something good happening inside. I dispise waiting for 7 weeks, but I just have 7 more days to go. I think I can make it.

Thank you all for following along in this crazy roller-coaster....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Birthday... & Update

So yesterday was my 27th birthday. Honestly, I had one of the best birthdays in a long time! My husband already had to drive up to Atlanta for a memorial day servive for all of Georgia's fallen service members in this war. So I went with him, for my birthday lunch. After the ceremony, he took me to Cheesecake Factory. Yes, it's a chain, but I just adore their food and dessert! We did fine dining in San Antonio and when we had our post-deployment trip to New Bern in April, so I feel I've been spoiled enough in the last two months anyway! Besides, I loved it.
I got my favorite meal: The Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic. Mmm!
And of course, Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake! We had a coupon that if we spent $60 we could get $20 off, and we were so close, we just ended up getting 3 pieces of cheesecake rather than 2 so we could use that. So we brought them home (we can never finish a piece in less than 3 sittings!)! Sooooo delicious!
Then I opened my present from my husband. He honestly is a terrific gift-giver. Sometimes birthdays are big, sometimes not as much, it all depends. I have asked for this gift for years now, but never felt like I "deserved" getting spoiled with it (since my $40, 12 year old Mr. Coffee one has worked fine). Yep... It's a true pump-driven espresso machine. Luckily, I had decaf espresso on hand to try out immediately! The espresso had the most rich crema on top, the most strong, fabulous taste! I am in heaven!

Anyway, on the pregnancy front, I hadn't been feeling that well. Yes, fatigued. But I have pressure everyday in my lower abdomen. Not cramps, just heaviness, a pressure is all I can call it. Yes, it worries me. I get twinges on my left side, but just twinges. I've convinced myself not to worry about an ectopic with no real reason. The twinges only last a few times a day. The pressure? About 30-50% of the time, coming and going. Sometimes worse when I sit, sometimes worse when I stand.

This morning, I had my first different/new symptom. I got up about 3 to go to the bathroom. I felt very dizzy, as in running into a door dizzy. Kinda nauseous. The same thing when I got up at 6. Definitely dizzy and a little nauseous. From what I know about myself, it's my blood vessels dilating causing my blood pressure to drop, thus the dizziness. It's called orthostatic hypotension. Since my blood pressure runs "low normal" anyway (like 90 over 60), & since it was low post-retrieval causing me to be in recovery 1.5 hours, go through another bag of fluids, and get me dizzy & throwing up after that... well it makes sense as a symptom for what I know about my body. I'm taking this as a good sign. I'm 5w2d now, right when I had my 1st intense doubling-over cramps last time. None so far, and please stay away is my prayer every single hour every day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Beta #2 for IVF #2

Beta 14dp3dt came back at 528. A doubling time of 47.48 hours. Pretty darn prefect, even though I'd rather see it doubling quicker, I know it's right where it should be. Now how on earth I manage the next 16 days until my ultrasound.... I have no idea. I keep trying to concoct ways get a 6 week ultrasound as well as my 7 week....


Friday, May 16, 2008

Beta #1 for IVF #2

So my beta came back at 262.3 - stunning, for me. The last IVF, as you can see from my sidebar, it was 56 and then 152. This explains the dark line the first time I tested. Now I kinda wish I'd seen how early I'd have gotten a positive. Anyway. Got the call from WH, so much nicer than last time. The doctors there can be quite different in personality. The one last time didn't even say "congrats", but said, "we'll see how this goes." This doc was more enthusiastic and encouraging on the #'s.

I keep on the PIO until 10 weeks (I could switch to the suppositories at 7 weeks, but I like the shots and they're easy enough). Forgot to ask about Estrace. I get my 2nd beta tomorrow, and the dr's will call Monday with the # (I can get it myself on Sat if I want).

I'm just praying and hoping that this pregnancy stays strong and keeps healthy. I have the ultrasound set for 7 weeks (Jun 4). I still look every single time I can for blood (so like, 10 times a day). I'm trying not to just worry without reason. The first time I really felt happy was getting that good beta number. I feel a little bad I can't just be happy, but I know once I get to see the heartbeat(s) things will change - because it'll be a milestone we didn't get to before.

Thank you all for your love and support and well wishes. Please know if you're still waiting, or taking a break from treatments, I fully support your leaving and taking a break from reading. Afterall, I know I had to do that after my miscarriage, it was too painful. Everyone has their pwn ways. I'll keep reading all your updates, though, and waiting for your good news one day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


IVF #2 has worked for us. Yep. Last time I started testing 6dp3dt and tested every day until I got my positive 10dp3dt (and even then, for days afterward). I think I have like 10 saved + tests from that time. The beta is always 12dp3dt and 14dp3dt.

This time? I figured it'd be a good decision to wait until 9dp3dt. So a day before I got the + last time, so that if I got a - I'd not be surprised, and it could prepare me for the -'s that might follow in the next few days. Sort-of ease into it. I definitely didn't want to test on Mother's Day anyway, because I just wanted to concentrate on my mom, and being grateful for her life, her love for us kids, and having her around. Mother's Day wasn't tough, we called both our moms and talked an hour each. Mom mom adored the card and present I got her. I had urges that evening to just POAS, but figured why ruin the day?

Monday morning (9dp3dt) came and as J hopped in the shower I POAS. But I stuck it under the sink. After my 20 minute shower, once he was out of the bathroom, I looked at it.... And what should I see when I'm 90% knowing it'll be stark white? A second line. Pretty dark, as in it's porbably been visible for a few days dark (way darker than my 1st last time). So of course I went to show J (now he knows how to read those things). It was strangely anti-climactic.

Yes, we're beyond happy that IVF has once again gotten me pregnant. Who would have thought? I know that's so lucky and I don't even know how to relate to it not working. I know I have much to be thankful for. And I am. We are. Yet, since we've been here before ,we are I guess a bit scared. We're happy, but we know that happiness can be taken away in one horrible night. So I guess it's reserved happiness? I'm sorry it has to be this way, but I do want to be grateful for every day these embryos keep growing in my body. They were both better cell-growth than the two we put back last time. So I'll wait to see what my betas are, and pray these little ones stick around so I can see them on the ultrasound, and then the next 8 months. I'm very, very grateful.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

*sheepishly* I'm the Worst Blogger Ever....

Really I am. You wanna know why? Because I went and had an entire IVF cycle and did not blog once. Seriously, how bad is that? It's as if I'm communicating that I don't need you all and care about you. I've been completely absent in commenting too. Let's see if I can explain.

Something about doing IVF this time around has me completely emotionally guarded. I have been rather subconsciously (and sometimes not so subconsciously) intentionally avoiding doing any more thinking, researching, and discussing this IVF and all it entails. It's as if I believe the less of a big deal I make of this, the less it might hurt if it doesn't work. Or if it works and I lose it again. And actually, I think I'm right. If I make IVF a big deal to me, emotionally and mentally, then if it doesn't produce a pregnancy, I might get really devastated. If I consider it more like I do an IUI (as much as possible) then if it doesn't work, I'll be more ready to dust myself off and try again. No, the expense and inconvienience and staying in Texas for 3 weeks isn't easy to minimize. But the rest of it can be.

Is this right? For me, for us, right now it is. I have to be able to try this again. I have no idea what it feels like for IVF to not work, and I need to know I won't have an emotional breakdown. Last time, I was not prepared for it to work. Now, since I don't know what that feels like, I have to steele myself.

So... Allow me to recap, for your reading pleasure. I'll try to be brief.

Baseline date: April 16th. Stimulation start date: April 18th. My protocol was changed, without explaination. But true to my let-it-happen attitude this time, I decided to not research it to death, or even bug the doctors. (Last time I started on 150 Follistim and 50 HCG daily, but after 4 days I had to change the Follistim to 125 from thereon out. I triggered 10 days into my meds, but with an E2 4944, I used only 5000 units.) (This time I was on 150 Follistim, 5 Lupron, and 75 Menopurm which never changed.) Without asking, near the end of my stimlation, a doctor mentioned to me that the meds "are working as planned, and your E2 is better." I inquired, and he explained they didn't like having to decrease dosages, and my E2 went too fast too high last time, and it looked like I was starting to peak at trigger last time. (This thrilled me to no end to have them confirm, because I KNEW from my BBT I had ovulated the morning of Retrieval.) This time my E2 peaked in the 3000's, I was on meds 11 days, took the entire HCG trigger, and most importantly, my temp didn't go up until day after Retrieval.

At Retrieval we got 18 eggs (17 last time). 2 were immature, same as last time (but apparently they try to fertilize those they said?). I spent 1 1/2 hours in recovery, b/c my blood pressure would not go up (last time, 30 minutes). I threw up water afterward, and couldn't eat until that evening (last time I had food immediately afterward). All in all, not too bad. I told the nurse last time I was alert but in no pain, so they keep my meds during Retrieval the same. I remembered it all, two docs did it, and that part was pretty quick.

Last time they only told us 8 fertilized. This was true, that only 8 fertilized with 2 nucleus, but we had a total of 12 fertilize (3 with 2 sperm, 2 unexplainably with 1 or 4 nucleus). I thought this made them unusable, but this time they told us they've had normal babies from those. They also said that they fertilize immature eggs, b/c sometimes they mature. So go figure. New facts. Anyway... This time we were told we had 14 embryos!!! We chose to do half ICSI (for better fertilization rates and/or fertilization w/o 2 sperm). Half the cost, and the doctor thought we had no real good reason to do ICSI except experimentally, so save us some money. Fair. So, 8/9 fertilized with ICSI, and 6/9 without. We think we made a good choice.

Our embryos at day 3 were also better than last time. Last time we were offered to Transfer 3, because of our low cell number. We had a 6B, three 5B's, and various lower ones. This time we had Two 7B's , a 5B, a multinucleated 5B, a 5C, and various 4's and 2's. We considered 3, but transferred the two 7's. Our idea, and the doc's, was to avoid triplets.

We ended up at Day 5, once again, with one going to blastocyst stage to be frozen. But I discovered Fertility Center of San Antonio totally sucks and steals you blind. Yes, people, tell me if this is normal: We have one embryo from September frozen with them. We now have one from May. We paid $750 in September. I expected to pay it agian this May, as they're freezing another one. However, I figured now we have two frozen with them, they'd be rolled together in terms of one yearly payment. Guess what? Oh no: Every May and Every September we have to pay $750 separately!!!! That makes me spitting mad, I feel totally taken advantage of, because I value life and our potential children's lives. Aggggg.

So there's my story. My blood test is late next week. Yes, I'm not advertising exact dates. I will not start POAS'ing until 9dp3dt since last time I got my positive 10dp3dt and do I know it'd be a waste before that most likely. No need to depress myself prematurely.

I'm eating SO healthy, sleeping a full 8 hours, totally not exerting myself, having either roobis tea (naturally contains no caffiene), or ONE cup of C02 decaf coffee/tea a day. No fudging, like last time. Anyway, thank you for reading and for remembering to ask about me (Glenna, Andrea). I care about you guys and have been faithfully reading, promise.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

HSG - Good!

Well... had my 3rd HSG yesterday. Here's another one for the books.

Ok, this military hospital has an IVF program here, so they definitely perform these on a more regular basis. A resident doctor explained the procedure to me (and asked why I was getting a 3rd one!) and told me he'd be performing it, but if he had trouble he'd get the staff doctor.

See, I had no trouble my first one at WH, and I've had 3 IUIs with no trouble (except a resident once did have a few minutes trouble). But this doctor could not find my cervix! He looked around with the light/speculum for about 10 minutes, poking and prodding. No luck! So he called in the staff dr. He did his residency at WH and him & his wife were treated there (though they got pregnant by going civilian he said). Anyway, he was very nice, but could not find it either! He said this has never happened in his years of practice (he only looked mid-30's, so that can't be so many). He really pinched me, but at least he switched to a smaller speculum (they always do that). He said they'd call in the head of the ob-gyn/IVF clinic to do it (the ordering physician in this case too). That guy came in, very confidently, and found my cervix in about 8 seconds. Maybe less. Super easy, super comfortable. Here is the difference between a trained doctor who deals with those parts all the time, and a radiologist who isn't always accustom to finding a woman's parts. The procedure was a bit uncomfy, but finished in a few minutes. He saw the images and said they were great (tubes, uterus). He made certain to take pics as the baloon was deflated of my uterine cavity. I can pick up the films Tuesday and send them on to WH.

I did get light-headed and weak like I did with my first one. A good sign, I think. I rested about 45 minutes once to my friend's house. I am so glad to have this out of the way - almost (I do have to get the films reviewed by WH). I do so love military hospitals instead of civilian, I must say. At least the ones that understand IF stuff!

I got my baseline date: April 16th. We purchased tickets out to SA. Mine are from the 15th to May 4th. Should be enough time, but they can always be changed for a $100 fee (mine was free, so no big deal).

The part I did not like was that I will be on Lupron this cycle! They reviewed my drugs/responses last time, and thought I should do it. I don't know WHY, but I guess I trust them. They said I start a few days before baseline and continue while I am on the stimulation drugs. I need to research exactly what this is. I just REALLY don't want to be over-supressed, and I liked my response last time. Although I think I ovulated ~1-2 eggs before retrieval last time, so if Lupron would work better than Ganirilex (which was suppose to prevent that), I'm happy. I just had hoped everything could be the same so I could predict with some certainty my response and my dates.

So, it is a little over a month away. How glad I am to have it to look forward to, and yet I'm scared of it not working. I would even rather get pregnant and miscarry again rather than not. I hate the monthly BFN's. So.... I'll keep posting more as I get more info. Thanks for all the well-wishes! I'll comment/post more once I leave Seattle on Wedneday!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Thank you all for the comments.

I feel so grateful that I have been give the best/easiest way out... Fristly, Madigan is not only on the very base I'm staying at (Ft. Lewis), it's about 3 minutes down the road. Super sweet! It's an IVF clinic too, so they know all about stuff like this & are completely set up to do it.

I first went to Radiology with my "orders" (not really an order, as much as just explaination that I did in fact need an HSG for a good reason). They only schedule HSG's through the IF Clinic, which is on teh 3rd floor in a different wing. I head up, find it, and talk to the front desk. They said I'll need to talk to the coordinator, so I wait. She comes over first insists they are so booked up and since I'll only be here 2 weeks, I might just as well get it done elsewhere. And they only schedule them when you're on CD1. I explain that I live in GA, had it done there, and they didn't really know how to do it, did it wrong, now I need an HSG pronto for April IVF. She says she's booked to Mar7. I say, "Can't I get it Mar8?" She hesitates. Then, she is absolutely adament that I need this done on day 10. Doesn't matter that my husband has been deployed since Jan25 and I haven't had sex since then. I try to get her to budge. I ask her what if I start BCP's today, would that change anything? Because then I couldn't possible be pregnant. She hedges. She says she'll ask the doctor.

I pray. I pray. Finally, she comes over and tells me they can schedule me! I first need to go to Admissions & get in their hospital's sytem, then come back up and she'll do it. Suweet! I wanted to just yell, "Praise the Lord" right there, I was so relieved! And they'll do it Mar7th!

So I got myself in the system, and then came back up and got it scheduled. I mentioned the BCP's thing (because I actually was not going to go on them even if they said to). She said I didn't even have to do that!

I do need CD3 FSH/LH/E2 drawn, and asked. She wouldn't put it in the system yet, since I have to have a pregnancy test before the HSG and she said they'd draw it all then. I asked if I could just tell them not to, but at this point, she had done "a lot" for me and she wouldn't budge. She said to call on day 1 and she'd get them ordered. At this point, I need this woman as my friend, so I agreed. Now, I just have to go in Friday and get it taken care of. I can't believe my best/easiest/cheapest option worked! I'll still have to get the films to WH, but I can manage that.

Stay tuned for another HSG showdown!!! #3 if we're counting!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HSG.... Boo!

So, I just couldn't leave town without some drama, right? Things were just going along too quietly.

I had my HSG done Jan17. Remember? I had my misgivings about the doctors performing it. I know personally that the hospital is not good in terms of being knowledgable, advanced, etc. Neither doctor seemed really good at it - and the actual dye part took only a few seconds. No pain afterward... 25 minutes to find my cervix (when I find it every day when I am charting). Well, it took 3 weeks to get the images. Then another week or two for WH to get them and another week to review them. So last night I miss a call from them. The IVF Coordinator sounded un-happy.

So I call back this morning. Guess wht? The HSG wasn't done right. They did not deflate the balloon so there isn't a good picture of the uterus. I saw there were only 2-3 images TOTAL for the HSG... Knew that wasn't good but hoped it'd be ok. It seems like the docs doing it thought it was only for the falliopian tubes. Now, obviously, I don't think there are any problems - since my first HSG was good, and my hysteroscopy was good too. But it has to be more recent (within a year of the IVF).

So, it's cutting it close and as you all know, I won't even be in town for the next 2-3 weeks! Plus, do I really trust them to do it again right? No! They're the ones that took 6 hours to get a simple ultrasound when I was miscarrying. I called the RE in Columbus that I have a referral to, but they don't use a balloon for the HSG because they say it's painful. I know Madigan is a military clinic that does IVF and they're in Seattle area, so I could possible get it done there, but it's Army, and I don't know that my primary care doctor in Georgia will order a test in Washington to send to people in Texas. Get it? I'm working on 2-3 other plans, but it's frustrating!

And, because today wasn't good enough, with the of the timing of my current cycles, I'll have to be on BCP's for 5-6 weeks. I was on them 26 days the last time. I pray I won't be over-suppressed. That's a fear of mine, even though I'm a great responder. Bleh, bleh, bleh.

So I'm not super thrilled, but I know worrying won't get things done. My first option is to see if Madigan will do it. If they won't, I can get a flight back from Settle with an overnight layover in Dallas. That's about a 5 hour trip. I'd arrive 7pm in Dallas, rent a car & drive to the base & stay in the base hotel, get the HSG the next day, and then drive back to Dallas to catch a flight between 5-8pm (there are multiple ones leaving). My last option is to do it in Georgia, honestly.

And because you asked, I left my BCP's at home, and I'll probably need to start them just as I'm returning from Seattle. That I can just get transferred to a pharmacy anywhere... but it's one more thing I have to do! Oh, and my CD3 labs need drawing and I don't know where I will be at the time. Fun stuff! I'll keep posting when I get more details.....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Here - Just Traveling!

Ok so since I haven't had much in the TTC front to say (how much can you say when you're taking a break that you don't really want to, but have no choice?). Yeah I didn't find myself pregnant the two weeks after J left (but it was nice to think of how fun it would be to surprise him with that call). So I went and got all my IVF blood work drawn, got the HSG mailed out to WH, and send our big fat check over there. Next time I see my husband, I'll be on the birth-control supression part of everything. So we're definitely placing our hopes in IVF #2 working. I knew - I just knew I'd be a mutliple IVF'er.

I'm waiting to hear from them as to which week in April is our baseline week, so I can go ahead with the ticket purchase and the car rental. I can't wait to be in warm, sunny, beautiful, fun San Antonio!!! I LOVE that city. The friend I always stay with is actually doing a FET sometime in this next week. She & her husband did IVF where I'm doing it when they were both still active duty. Now they're civilian and she's got a 2 year old from that first round. She has 3 frozen. Lucky! I remember thinking (before I did IVF #1) that was such a low number and I would probably have between 5-10 frozen. Ha! We will do ICSI this time, because we had 12/15 fertilize, but only 8/12 fertilize normally. The rest were multi-nucleated, meaning either 2 sperm got there, or my eggs already had more than one pronuclei. Not sure, I'll ask the RE's, but it can't hurt. And for only $900 more that's worth it to me.

So, tomorrow I leave for Washington state for two weeks! Gonna go see my friend with the Army deployed husband. Can't wait! It's been fun visiting, I got to my parents' this weekend, and I was in Charlotte Sat/Sun.

I haven't commented on all your blogs this week, but I plan to read them in the airport and try to catch up! Love to you all, dear ladies!!! Oh yeah, and only a few more weeks until the NC Bloggers meet - hooray!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

And now it's just funny...

Guess what I got in the mail today? A bill from my miscarriage ultrasound!!! Irnoic, eh? It should be covered, so I just went ahead and called them. But at least I had already dealt with the miscarriage reappearing in my consciousness this week and so instead of hurting or getting mad, I laughed. That is one bill I will not cover!

BTW, my husband and I have been recording 90 second videos on our webcams and emailing them to each other... It's been SO wonderful seeing his face and hearing his voice with it!!! And we have almost made 2 weeks, whoo-hoo! Just 8 more to go!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Little Sad Story

Today I was running errands... and I went by the hospital to pick up my images from the HSG a few weeks ago. I went to the records division and thought I could get it there. They directed me to radiology. I explained I wanted my images. She prompts, "Do you want January's as well as October's?" I almost told her I didn't have any from October... but I took a few seconds to think and recalled what it could have been... Ah, the post-miscarriage ultrasound. I said yes. Afterall, more data is always better. But it stung to be reminded when I wasn't thinking of it at all.

Then, as I was leaving, I passed an open door... peering in, I realized it was the exact room I'd been in That Night. The ER Ultrasound room. That again hit me like a ton of bricks. I've passed that hall many times, but I guess the door has always been closed.

I choked up, but managed to keep myself from crying. It's amazing how I'm still really sad and hurt over losing our baby, and yet I feel so distant from him/her. I used to feel very connected. I guess that's what time may do. I don't know if that's good or bad.

I looked over the images when I got home. The HSG ones look SO blurry to me, I hope they're ok. All I could imagine if they weren't is WH making me get one at an RE rather than a hospital. I'd do it if I had to. The ultrasound ones were interesting, especially the comments. (Like about a hemmoragic corpus luteal cyst on my left ovary. Or about my endometrium only being 4.6mm at the time. I suppose since I'd been bleeding almost 7 hours by the time of the ultrasound, and had passed the baby, it makes sense (I hope)). Anyway...

More to tell... Two very specific stories about me being in groups of lots of pregnant women and my representing the 1 out of 8 (or is it 1 out of 10) women struggling with IF. Me being the odd ball. Me not liking who I've become, but not knowing how to change.

And guess what? I got 3 inches of "ick" cut off my hair. All split/unhealthy ends. Eww. It's definitely shorter (still below my bra line), but it'll show the growth a lot better. I'm happy, although I am glad it'll have 2 months to grow before J gets home (he looooooooves long hair!).

Friday, February 1, 2008

I've Been Tagged, Yay!

Hello everyone. I cannot believe the support here. I felt kind of silly posting about a cat dieing, when there is so much pain out there with all of you and actual children miscarrying, delivering prematurely, or not being brought into existance even when you're doing everything in your power.... And yet, SO MANY of you kind ladies commented.... shared how you felt when you'd lost a loved animal.... Helped me over some of my guilt (though it still plagues me). I couldn't be more surprised and unworthy of your friendships and kindnesses. YOU get me through the hard times!!! It's been tough to lost the kitty with no one here to give me a real hug, and yet all your comments felt like one. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am more resolved to try to be that person for you all.

So... Sweet Andrea over at Entrusted Soul tagged me as a nice distraction. :) I'm grateful. So here we go (I enjoy these so much).

Here are the rules of the tag, followed by my answers:
The Rules:
1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!

1. I grew up eating off the kids menu until I was about 13. None of the 5 girls in my family are more than 5'4" or 115 lbs, so we all eat real small. Somehow, waiters let us do it for a long time - maybe they felt sorry for a family with 8 little kids. I also always took all the kids orders and gave it to the waiter to minimize confusion. We kids also never, ever ordered any drink besides water. :) And I loved being so frugal and organized.

2. I met my husband at a Colonial Ball.... Which none of you probably know what it is. It is a yearly even in my area in NC where the home-schooling and other families get together, hire out a place, hire a band and a caller, and contra-dance the night away. You dress up in Colonial clothing too, to go with the sytle of dancing (it's somewhere between the Minuet and Square Dancing, with such fun tunes as the Virginia Reel). I'll never forget his buzz hair-cut and white thin knee-high socks with knee-length black breeches. :) So cute! Of all the guys in the room, I wanted his attention and to dance with him the most!!! We were 16 years old and it was Valentine's Day '97.

3. I would gladly go for days living off coffee, cappuccinos, hot tea, and beef broth. I love hot drinks and coffee really fills me up. It's terribly unhealthy so I never do it (especially with TTC) but I COULD (and have in the past).

4. I'd gladly drop $200 at Ikea, Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond or stores like that. But give me a $200 gift card, and it'll take me months or years to use it... I love to "milk" it and save it for something I know I'll never be able to justify buying to my husband with our cash, but with a gift card I feel so autonomos.

5. I despise the sound or feeling of sandpaper on anything. I literally get chills. And the worst thing? Walking down the aisle in Lowes with concrete bags. Hearing shoes, carts, etc scrape along it just gives me the willies!

6. I like to think my hair is pretty, because it's long and I brush it a lot and try to take care of it with deep conditioning once a week and non-cheap products. I am not afraid to experiment with color, but I am with length. It's almost waist length and has been getting that way since J and I married. And yet.... I HATE to pay for trims. Because I was spoiled with great stylists in the small communities I've lived in the last 13 years, I never paid more than $13 for a great haircut. Yet.... I can't find anyone & we've been here a year. One bad experience with a cheap "walk in" place had me never going back... Yet I paid $45 at Aveda and loved it, but just can't. And so, my "pretty" hair hasn't been trimmed since July. Yeah, I am so awful!!! Split ends galore. Eww.

And for some good news, I ended up adopting a 1 yr old orange/white cat. The family was military & moving where they couldn't keep her. She's been sweet and it helps me SO much to not be alone again, and to have something positive to focus my emotions on. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Yeah... Bad Day.

My precious little kitty, who was about 11 months old, died today. She was always very tiny, when I got her spayed in October, and she only weighed 3 lbs they told me she probably had something wrong internally... To be an adult cat, and yet to be so small and stunted in growth. Anyway.... I'd been so very busy with work, working past midnight last night and not even showering until noon today because I'd been working since 7 with back to back conference calls and projects due. *sigh* I didn't check on her until about 3 and she was curled up in a corner, dieing. I know what a dieing animal looks like, I've seen a goat die right in front of me (mine, incidentally). I scooped her up and put her in the softest, warmest towel I had and rushed her to the vet. They did what they could, but she died 30 minutes later. The vet said it seemed like liver failure, because she had a hard lump where they liver is, and was hemmoraghing under her skin (I think, it's vague). Anyway.... that was so hard to take. She has been my little companion since J left, sleeping in my room each night and curling up on my lap as I worked or watched a movie at night. I feel so upset and alone, with no one to even give me a hug. I just hate that it happened. I've never had a cat die on me.... She was so small and precious. I don't want any more animals.... I don't want to have anything else to cry over right now.
So yeah I'm kinda sad. And I feel guilty for working so hard today and not noticing sooner (I thought her meow sounded wrong). So I'm back to work, probably until 2 or 3 today. Bleh. Anyway, here's my little princess kitty.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

He's Gone

Yes, my husband letft yesterday.... We knew it would be hard, but we had no idea it would be this hard. I miss that man SO MUCH!!!! We are both totally so in love, it's just obviously so hard because we cannot live without one another... We really had a hard time Saturday, saying goodbye. On Fridya night my husband and I saw no point in going to bed, because we wanted to spend as much time awake with one another as possible. We did eventually sleep, but my husband had set the alarm so 5:30 so we'd be sure to have a good, full morning together. And we did. It was beautiful, perfect, and precious. But we did have to say goodbye... It was so hard to just maintian composure!!!

I know we're not going to be apart as long as many other people are, but for us, ~70 days is torture!! I have a lot of projects I want to accomplish, but at the same time I just want to zone out so I'm no missing him so much. I already got some things done, but I'm trying to take it a day at a time, so have have enough to work on before he comes back.

I don't know why we've done this, but I know we're strong enough to do it. I am just living every day waiting for his return. Day 1 done, Day 2 halfway done!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Sorry I've been absent... This month has been busy. And now, in just a few days my husband will deploy for a ~70 day stint to the Middle East. I've been spending all my excess time with him... We even went this weekend to a lovely, luxurious mountain cabin in south-western NC. It was magical, and so perfect. But now we're back and counting down the days.

I did happen to do the Clomid Challenge Test this month, and I am so very pleased at how my FSH is looking.... On CD3 it was 7.34!!! Now, you all know I've been worried as I've only ever seent these numbers go up... And I know all the stuff about there that you're only as good as your worst FSH, but I don't have the profile of a high-FSH'er and now, with such a good number (for me) I'm thrilled. This past month I specifically prayed for a pregnancy and for my FSH numbers to be "fixed." I think I at least got that answered. Previously, I'd just worried myself sick practically about it. Then I figured, gosh I should pray! I'm so glad.

I had my second HSG (hysterosalpingogram). If the doctors (yes, the first one had such trouble he called another one in!) hadn't taken 25 minutes finding my cervix, it would have been "a breeze." I was really worried about this, because my last HSG was terrible. Not the procedure itself, that felt like an IUI. But the post-HSG was so painful, for about 22 hours. At one point I neraly couldn't walk right after it. This time? The dye was in and out before I even knew it! I hardly felt it. Both tubes open, uterus looks good. Same as last time. I have no idea why you have to do it pre-IVF because they don't care about the tubes anyway. Whatever! It's done.

We have to get our check out next month for IVF. The clinic "appears" to have changed their prices, but what they've really done is charge up front like you're doing ICSI, and if you don't end up needing it, they refund you that portion back. I want to discuss with the doctors whether to do it or not, but I lean VERY strongly towards it, because we had a lot of our eggs fertilize "abnormally" (i.e. multinucleated). Basically, to recap:
17 Eggs Retrieved
15 Eggs Mature
12 Eggs Fertilized
8 Fertilized Normally (4 were multinucleated)
This is an 80% fertilization rate, but only 67% normal fertilization. J has a lower-that-we'd-like Morphology, and that's something an Embryologist can look at to choose the most perfect looking sperm. This of course is just my opinion, that's why I'll have these stats in hand and talk to the RE's there and see if doing ICSI will help at all. Gosh, even if it'll just help those 3 eggs that didn't fertilize to fertilize, that's 3 more embryos to get a chance to grow.

I did hear from the clinic that their baseline dates start from the week of April 7-28. I think I'll be in the week April 21-25. If their baselines are still on Thursday, then I will very easily be able to predict EVERYTHING about the cycle (I actually had a spreadsheet for the IVF #1 before I actually did it, predicting if my baseline was such-and-such a date, & I started stims on such-and-such a date, then here's my predicted Retrieval/Transfer date. I was EXACTLY right.

Now, of course, I am due to ovulate this week (clomid always makes me late, the later I take it, and for the CCCT I took it CD5-9, so probably CD16-18 O date). So we'll have a chance at pregnancy, but I am just going to pray and hope.... It would be so nice not to have to do IVF again. But I'm ready, if it comes to that. At least I'll know this was our last chance before that. I actually never have minded IVF, and if it were closer I'd go so far as to call it pleasant (booking airfare and rental car, being out of my home, being away from my husband, all make it not fun). But anyway, I'll take delight in "shooting up" again.... And pray I get a live baby out of this.

After 5-8 (don't want to count) pregnancy announcements these last 2 weeks from people I am close to or acquainted with, I've decided to just stop thinking about it. People get pregnant, I'll don't think I'll ever be one of those people who get pregnant their first month trying, and can be uber-excited and not fear miscarraige, but it's life & I've gotta deal. It's my crisis, no one else's. Can't expect understanding from women- except from you my dear online friends!!! I cherish your support so much!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chart Readers Welcomed!

Ok so this month's chart was unlike any other I've ever had. My Luteal Phase is always 13-15 days long. Usually my new cycle's start day is accompanied with a temp dip (or the following day is).

So, this month my LP was 17 days long. I suspect a chemical pregnancy. You know why I can't know? Because when I tested on 14 DPO I ran out of tests. At that point, my husband wanted me to wait a few days to test again. I honored that. Tested yesterday (when my temp dipped), BFN. Today my temp's back up, but BFN again. Then, spotting turned to flow. Drat.

I've searched a bunch of Fertility Friend's charts and it seems a lot of ladies with chemical pregnancies get BFP's about 2 days before they start bleeding (so 1 day before they start bleeding they get the BFN's). Since I didn't get a chance to test 2 days I just can't know. Maybe I'll never know. I would be overjoyed if this was a chemical pregnancy, because it would mean we can conceive on our own.

However, it looks like I'll just never know. I'll chalk it up to a really weird cycle. But what do you all think???

***UPDATE: (Sorry, TIM) I just passed two large fetus-looking clots. Abnormal! I am now considering the chemical possibility even more. It's not a sad thought. While I wouldn't at this point say, "Gravida 2, Para 0" I'd still at least maybe harbor some hope our bodies cooperated. Hope's not always a bad thing. Afterall, we only have one more shot at TTC naturally until IVF #2.***

Thursday, January 3, 2008

13PDO + Temp Dip + BFN = Impending Gloom

The hoildays were actually extremely wonderful. Acutally, I've discovered there's nothing like not being home to talke my mind away from how different our life is from what I'd like it to be. Being away, surrounded by the bustle of family, in-laws, nieces, and a constant stream of friends coming and going, it's so easy to just live in the moment and have fun. It's easy to forget, because it's so busy... But then, coming home to a house with just 2 of us, where I work in a home-office, and once again having about 8 hours alone-time a day as I work, then preparing dinners and cleaning and doing laundry in solitude, gives me TOO MUCH time to think. Too much time to realize how quiet and empty our home is. Too much time to get discouraged. It's just true.

However, since this is the life we do live in, I have to find a way to live in peace in it. I have to find a way to conqueur the majority of thoughts that lead me into a spiral of discouragement. I pray, I encourage my own heart with words of truth, and I just try. It does work. Not every single hour, not even every day, but it works more than it doesn't.

This month really was different, in my heart. I did not once say something snide, negative, or woe-is-me when someone made a (often blithe) comment about "when" I get pregnant or have a baby. I gently nodded and agreed. Because this month I was letting hope come in, and not steeling my heart against failure. I believe I need a positive and faith-filled outlook. Hebrews tells us without faith it's impossible to please God. And from the time of ovulation on, I spoke words of life to my body and my womb - I talked to the little being I hoped was being formed inside. Ridiculous? Maybe. But it actually helped my spirit. I feel so perpetually broken, like a failure, and like my body is horrible to me, that I honestly think it can't be good for my heart or for my body. I know the hormones it must release aren't good. I'm not saying thinking good thoughts gets you pregnant! I'm saying I needed a different thought-life, and I needed to be receptive to the idea of succeeding on our own.

Does this month's looming failure hurt any more than previous month's, because I acted like it would succeed? Nope. In fact, I hope I can be that way this coming month too. During IVF, once those two little embryos were transferred in, I talked to them as if they both implanted and were alive. It feels nice doing that, even though I don't really know if anything fertilized or not.

So, I'm expecting to start tomorrow or Saturday. Even when I know it's coming, it's never over until you see the proof. I so want to handle this better than last month's BFN. I cried today already, because on top of the temp dip and BFN, my sister told me a friend showed up at our New Year's party, and is about "17 weeks pregnant". Knowing I should just let it drop, I then prodded, "That would make her due about end of May" and I got the response, "June 2nd." Of course I knew when she'd be due, because I should be about 17 weeks now. She's due 1 day before me. I had SO thought I avoided anyone having my due date!!! It stung, in a place I've tried again and again to close the wound. But it never stops bleeding, it just temporarily trickles until it's touched and then the blood just gushes out all over again. Am I crying over the miscarriage or infertility? Both now, I think. They are inner-related at the time. And then someone else is 6 months along, sister tells me, with their easily conceived 2nd child.

And once again, with 2 sentences, I am reduced to feeling like such an outsider, like the most abnormal woman on the planet. Because I don't know anyone in real life who hasn't conceived that wants to. I just wonder, "What's so wrong here?" and I get no answers. That's the hellish part of Unexplained Infertility.