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.