Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Catching Up

November 3, 2007

My last post was more than three weeks ago.  At my last post, I was 5 weeks, 2 days pregnant and today I am 8 weeks, 4 days pregnant and still hanging in there.  The last few weeks have been a continuation of the roller coaster that I described in my last post. Although I wasn’t really ready to write about it, I hoped that I would be soon and I think that I am finally there.

At 6 weeks, we saw a yolk sac on the ultrasound.  Although I was relieved to see something, I was still afraid that (as the doctor told me 8 million times), this might not be a viable pregnancy.  My husband didn’t even go with me to the 7 week ultrasound because, honestly, I didn’t expect to see much.  What I saw was heartbeat, which both DH and I got to see again at the 8 week ultrasound.

So that’s the good news….now for the stuff that I am still working on.  At the 6 week ultrasound, a second sac without a yolk was also seen. At 7 weeks, it was still there and had grown, but no yolk sac was seen.  At 8 weeks, it was still there, but the growth has slowed down and still nothing is visible inside the sac. I am grateful for the one that is going strong, but I have to admit that I am a little sad about the second sac.  Once those two embryos were in me, I was really rooting for both of them and even though it might be selfish, I really wanted them both to stick.

We are definitely not out of the woods, yet. The sac is measuring a little behind the baby, so we officially have a note in our file that says “sac small for CRL (crown rump length).”  I do not recommend googling this; it will not make you feel good. At each ultrasound, my doctor has also done a blood flow study to measure the blood flow to my pelvis when I am laying down and standing.  For those of you who have never had this done, believe me that it is not fun. Being wanded is bad enough, but imagine being wanded while you try to stand up. This might not be so hard if you have skinny thighs, but I definitely do not, so I spend the whole time I am standing actually in kind of a squat position in order to try to give the ultrasound technician more room to work.

The 8 week ultrasound and blood flow study showed that my blood flow is significantly compromised when I stand, so I am now on bedrest for the foreseeable future. Of course, this happened right as a major deadline was approaching at work, so I have had to tell everyone in my office that I am pregnant so that they will understand why I am out during the busiest time of the year.

Today, I had my first trip to Babies R Us. I know, I just said I am supposed to be on bedrest, but I really needed to get out of my house and technically, I am only required to be in a reclining position for 80% of the day. I ran a few errands and it wasn’t long before the morning sickness kicked in (which, by the way, is not actually morning sickness, but could be more accurately described as an all-day aversion to food other than fried chicken).  I was close to BRU, so I decided to stop in and pick up some Preg.gie Pops.   Overall, the experience was not good. First, I was afraid that I would jinx myself by parking in one of the 20 expectant mother parking spaces.  Second, I just about had a panic attack once I got in the store, feeling like all the visibly pregnant women were wondering what the hell I was doing there.  Third, the preg.gie pops are both expensive and ineffective.

Anyway, that’s pretty much where I am now.  I am hoping to post more frequently as I get more comfortable with the idea of being pregnant, and I certainly don’t have work as an excuse since I am now spending my days laying in bed.  For now, I am still pregnant and still hopeful.

Possibly Pregnant Enough

October 11, 2007

After Tuesday’s drama at the RE’s office, I spent the rest of the day in bed, occassionally sitting up long enough to turn my laptop on and google “nondoubling beta.” I also googled “5 weeks no gestational sac ultrasound” as nothing was seen on Tuesday’s ultrasound. I posted on message boards, looking for success stories in situations similar to mine. And I prayed. Not so much prayed, I guess, as begged.

By the end of the day yesterday, I had decided that there was at least a possibility, even if it was a small one, that things might work out and that my RE was being overly cautious.  I had a little bit of hope, but had also started to reconcile myself with the fact that things might not work out.

This morning’s beta rose to 708.

This means my doubling time has decreased, as the beta almost doubled in less than 48 hours. The RE (whose new name is Dr. Eeyore, for his less-than-optimistic outlook) was quick to remind me that even though my beta went up, I am still several days behind where he would like me to be and that even though I did IVF, there is still a small chance that it could be an ectopic pregnancy.

But for now, I am pregnant. I am trying to be positive and optimistic, and to not be a complete nervous wreck.  B/W and U/S will be repeated on Monday.

The past ten days or so have been a completely new area of infertility that I had never experienced and did not anticipate. I guess I hadn’t gotten over the idea that you are either pregnant or you’re not – the shades of gray, the uncertainty, and the cautious hope are just one more way in which infertility has taught me some hard truths. Thank you all for your support – knowing that there are other women out there going through the same things makes this turbulent journey a little more bearable.

Not pregnant enough?

October 9, 2007

First Beta (10/1/07) = 58

Second Beta (10/9/07) = 371

Doubling Time = 2.98 days

The RE is concerned that this may not be a viable pregnancy….he would have like my beta level to be in the 800-900 range by now.  I am trying to remain optimistic, but I feel like I can’t breathe.  I am not strong enough for this.

5dp5dt

September 28, 2007

Have you ever stared at negative HPT so long that you thought you were going to go cross-eyed?

I have.

I looked for the second line, but not reasonable person would say that one was there. I (being somewhat less than reasonable) almost managed to convince myself that there was a very, very, VERY faint second line.  Emphasis on the almost.

As a result of this morning’s POAS adventure, I have wasted most of the day doing the following four things:

1. Getting weepy.  No full on crying yet, but definitely weepiness.

2. Trying to convince myself that it is just too early and that I really am pregnant.

3. Trying to convince myself that the bulk package of HPTs from China that I bought on eBay are totally unreliable.

4. Reading the Consumer Reports article on HPTs.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s right. I researched HPTs on Consumer Reports.  Clearly, I am in full-on obsess mode, which will be hard to hide from DH this weekend.  He has no idea about this morning’s HPT because he doesn’t think I should test until Monday’s beta.

I think I want to scream.

3dp5dt

September 26, 2007

I am a sick, sick, sick person.

I am back at work for the first time since my transfer and I have spent at least an hour looking at maternity clothes online today. I haven’t bought anything yet (that would be totally jinxing myself), but I have allowed myself to make a mental list of things I want if I do, in fact, managed to get pregnant. I know, I know, most women manage to make it at least a few weeks (if not months) into the pregnancy without needing maternity clothes, but the IVF-related bloat already has me out of all jeans and down to two pairs of capris. Amazingly, I still haven’t actually gained any weight (during IVF that is) but my stomach is bloated and having anything press against it (e.g., my jeans) is seriously uncomfortable. I never imagined that full-panel jeans would sound so appealing.

You may be wondering how the transfer went.  The official story is that it went well; two good quality blastocysts were transferred and six more were frozen. The reality is that my transfer sucked and I hope to avoid experiencing that again for a long, long time.  Normally, this is not something I would share with the world, but considering that I had no clue that a transfer could go like this, I feel compelled to warn others.  Warning: TMI ahead….

I was told to be at the hospital at 8:30 am on Sunday, for a 9:30 transfer. When I got to the hospital, I was told that the two retrievals ahead of me were running behind and that it would probably be about 10:00 before I would be taken back. Keep in mind that (1) I have a teeny, tiny bladder and (2) I was expected to go into the transfer with a full bladder. By 10:00, my bladder was full to the point of excruciating and there were no indications that I would be going back any time soon (I had not yet even seen my doctor to sign consent forms). So, I peed and tried to start drinking again.  Long story short, when I was finally taken back at 11:00, my bladder felt somewhat full to me (although not to the point of excruciating), which the nurse assured me would be fine.

HA!

Because my stupid uterus is caked with Stage IV endo, it is basically stuck to the back of my pelvic cavity and does not like to move from that location.  Dr. Soap wanted my bladder FULL in the vain hope that it would push the aforementioned stupid uterus down, thus making the transfer easier.  Apparently, what I consider a full bladder and what he considers a full bladder are two very, very different things.  So, lucky me got to be catheterized so that they could fill my bladder to point of explosion with saline.

I had never been catheterized before while fully conscious.  I do not recommend it. At all. Under any circumstances.

So, there I am, crying because (1) getting the catheter was fucking painful and (2) now my bladder is so full I feel like I may die.  DH is on the verge of freaking out because (1) he did not want to be there in the first place (extremely squeamish) and (2) he gets really nervous when I am in pain.

And the full bladder doesn’t move the stupid uterus one bit. So, Dr. Soap keeps tilting the operating table until I am practically upside down in order to try to get a better angle, which also involves repeated (and uncomfortable – remember, bladder is about to pop) readjustment of the speculum.

Overall, it was a very traumatic experience and even if we weren’t on doctor-ordered sex restriction, DH would not be getting anywhere near my hoo-haa. And, of course, the valium did not kick in until it was all over.

Embryos Day 2

September 20, 2007

Amazingly, all 11 are still hanging in there.  My clinic grades on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the best.  Here are today’s stats:

5 4-cell, grade 4’s

4 4-cell, grade 3’s

1 3-cell, grade 3

1 2-cell, grade 4

I had heard that eating lots of protein during the stimulation phase helps with egg quality.  Given that I spent half of the stimulation phase puking, I wasn’t exactly in the mood for nice big steak (or eggs or chicken or any other protein source), so I drank high-protein Ensure. Maybe it actually helped…….

Post-Retrieval Catch-up

September 19, 2007

For anyone who might be reading this, I did actually manage to make it to the retrieval.  The whole nausea/throwing up bit was definitely rough over the weekend and on Monday, but I was not canceled. I was, however, so dehydrated when I got to the hospital on Tuesday (my clinic does all retrievals and transfers at the hospital next door), that it took two nurses and an anesthesiologist four tries to get my IV started.  They ended up using a neonate needle.  Yes, my poor veins were so withered from dehydration that they needed a needle small enough for a newborn baby. Maybe you should have helped me out when I asked, Asshole Doctor! (Note: I do not think it is a coincidence that the offending doctor’s last name rhymes with POO.)

Anyway, the neonate needle was sufficient to deliver plenty of sedation followed by lots of fluids post-retrieval.  Upon arriving home yesterday, I began eating everything in sight, so clearly the nausea has passed.

And now for the news everyone is waiting on (or at least DH and I)….

16 eggs were retrieved and as of this morning, 11 had been fertilized.

I am trying not to get too excited; a lot can happen between now and the five-day transfer. But really, I can’t help myself.  I am excited and I am hopeful.  I am sure this will bite me in the ass soon. The reality is that I had prepared myself for much lower numbers.  For both the retrieval and the fertilization, I had numbers in my mind and as long as we were above those numbers, I would not let myself worry.  The fact that our number of fertilized eggs is above my bottom threshold for acceptable number of eggs retrieved is wonderful, but frightening.

More tomorrow!

Asshole Doctors

September 16, 2007

Throughout the whole stim process, I have been nauseous. For the most part, this side effect has been manageable, but I mentioned it every single time I went to the RE’s office.  The IVF nurse just kept telling me that it is important to stay hydrated and that I should eat small, frequent meals.  OK, fine. When I was just nauseous and not actually throwing up, that solution seemed perfectly reasonable.

Friday night, the nausea got worse, but I still wasn’t throwing up.  Saturday morning, I felt a little better, but by Saturday afternoon, I was in full puke mode. It’s a little hard to stay hydrated and eat small, frequent meals, when you can’t keep anything down. After much googling to try and determine any possible detrimental effects on my follicles, I gave in and took a phen.ergan. Let me tell you, I was in a state of severe desperation by the time I took it.

Got some halfway decent sleep last night, but woke up really nauseous again this morning. At this point, I was faced with a dilemna…..either call the RE’s office or just continue to suck it up and run the risk that I would be really dehydrated by Monday morning. So, in an unusual move for me (I really try not to be the obnoxious patient who calls after hours), I called the RE’s office and spoke to the doctor on call (not my doctor), who was a total and complete ASSHOLE.

First, he told me that he was “just flabbergasted” that anyone would be nauseous during stims because he had just never even heard of that. Second, he told me that if I thought I needed to be treated for this, that I should go to the ER, which is not exactly a pleasant or easy task in post-K New Orleans.

I should have told him off. I should have pointed out to him that nausea and vomiting are specifically listed as a side effect of Follistim. I should have pointed at that for $15,000, he should personally bring some phen.ergan or zo.fran to my house and give it to me.

Instead, I thanked him for his time, hung up the phone, and started bawling my eyes out. Not just because this doctor was such an ass, but because this whole damn process sucks. I am frustrated that I have to do this.  I am frustrated that I feel like crap.  I am scared that it may not work. And now, I am angry because you would think that with all the $$$ that this doctor makes off IVF, that he could at least pretend to care about the patients.

Stim Day #6

September 12, 2007

So far, things have been moving along nicely.  Turns out that the Follistim pen, unlike my other injections, is much easier to administer in my abdomen than my leg.  Today’s U/S showed 22 follicles, with the largest at 13 mm. Unfortunately, 15 of the 22 are residing on my left ovary along with my two endometriomas.  To say that I am experiencing back pain would be the understatement of the year.  Of course, this seems like a small price to pay for a baby.

After I left the RE today, the nurse called me with my bloodwork results.

E2=1785

“A little high” she says.

Hmmm. I would not appreciate OHSS being part of my future. Dr. Soap has decided to reduce my follistim dose and check me again in the morning.  I don’t seem to have any symptoms other than back pain….shockingly, I have actually lost 2 pounds so far during this process.

Please let this work.

Please let this work.

Please let this work.

Lupron Day Who the hell cares

September 6, 2007

The glamour and novelty of injecting myself with drugs every morning has officially worn off.  AF started Tuesday night and has proven to be her usually pain in the ass self. You would think that because AF comes so infrequently, I would be really glad to see her.  However, actually having AF makes me very happy that I don’t have it more often. My cramps have been so bad that I am basically sitting at my desk moaning.  I am pretty sure no one else in the office can hear me (I am way at the back), but I am uncomfortable enough that I don’t even care.

By the way, cramps + wanding = pain. Usually, ultrasounds don’t bother me (other than the general embarassment and mild discomfort of having a probe up your hoo-ha), but today’s was bad.  The good news, however, is that all BW was normal and I am set to start stims tomorrow night.  Yep, I will now be injecting myself three times a day instead of just once.  In celebration of this honor, I got to write the first of several very large checks payable to my clinic.  I really hope this works.