Monday, October 29, 2012

Seven Weeks: Heartbeat!

Thank you to everyone who offered their thoughts and support after Saturday's bleeding scare.  I really appreciate it. 

My weekend was spent in suspended animation.  We didn't end up going to the haunted hayride or anyplace for that matter.  I spent most of it firmly planted on the couch, hoping to not temp fate.  My sense of smell was crazy and I got mad at my husband for eating peanut butter.

We got in to the doctor's office today and it was SO busy.  Waiting was pretty weird.  DH told me he wants to tell his boss I'm pregnant because "people are asking questions" and I'm trying to shush him because I don't even know if I'm still pregnant AND we're in a fertility doctor's waiting room and I don't want to rub it in for the others around us.

Anyway, I finally get wanded and there it is, my little sac.  Looking good.*  Before I knew it there was a sound coming from the screen. 

Buh bump.  Buh bump.  Buh bump. 

Wow, there is a heart beating inside me!  It was probably the coolest thing in the whole wide world.  The nurse said the heartbeat is 120 bpm which (according to a quick Dr. Googling) is normal.

*The ultrasound dated my pregnancy as 6 weeks, 4 days even though I am 7 weeks today.  Last week I was measuring 1-2 days behing and now I'm measuring a full 3 days behind.  The nurse said not to worry but I'm still a little concerned.  I really hope my little guy catches up some by next week.

Does anyone have any early ultrasound measurement stories to help ease my mind?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Six Weeks, Five Days: Bright Red Blood

Trying to stay calm.

Woke up and went to pee, only to see bright red blood on the toilet paper accompanied with some thick darker blood.

Called the nurse and she said to just take it easy and that it could be from the Crinone or intercourse.

I feel okay, just sort of paranoid.

Next ultrasound is on Monday.  I hope I make it.

Hang in there, baby.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Six weeks: One sac!

I'm too tired to get out of bed - where I've been since I came home from work - but I figured I can use my handy phone app to record the happy news.

We saw one gestational sac, one yolk sac, and one fetal pole with the tiniest little flickering of a heartbeat. So exciting! Everything was measuring right on track. I can stop the Lovenox finally and I go back next week to hopefully hear the heartbeat.

All is right with the world. Just really tired.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

One Or Two Embryos: Part Two

On the eve of my first ultrasound I think it's fitting to finally update on our decision on how many embryos to transfer, as promised in this earlier post.  In case you aren't familiar with how the past few months have gone here's a recap:

Before going through our first IVF cycle, my husband and I were pretty certain we were only going to transfer one embryo.

We ended up transferring two embryos.

I am now pregnant.

In retrospect, I wish I could articulate our decision to transfer two in the same way I had previously explained our rationale behind only transferring one.  To be honest, I think until you've actually been through IVF it's really easy to underestimate the emotional component involved in making these decisions.

Scientifically, it seemed like we would have just as good a chance of success transferring one fresh embryo and later, if necessary, a frozen embryo, as we would if we transferred two fresh embryos.  That all makes SO MUCH SENSE on paper, but then you get to the actual IVF.

I was very excited to get nineteen eggs on retrieval day, only to wake up to an urgent phone call from my doctor several hours later that H's sperm sample was the worst ever and we would need to use ICSI - something we had previously decided to forgo.  Even with ICSI they were only able to fertilize nine of the eggs.  Little by little our optimism began to fade.

Here's the other thing: my clinic has pretty bad SART statistics. This never really bothered me because I accepted the explanation they give -  they offer competitive IVF prices and don't turn anyone away due to age or other fertility issues thus lowering their statistics.  On the other hand, I always thought *my* chances would be better.  I read so many accounts of women being given personalized statistics based on the quality of the embryos, so I awaited eagerly for mine.  Imagine my shock when transfer day came and I was given the same exact odds as the clinic's overall success rate: 37 percent chance of success based entirely on age and nothing else.

I asked the doctor (one I hadn't previously met) why the odds were not higher and he said simply that if I wanted to transfer three embryos he could give me a 40 percent chance. Three?! we are.  My legs spread open in stirrups.  We're presented with these odds that were less than we had hoped for and of the nineteen eggs we had originally, we only had nine embryos and five of them had apparently stopped growing on the second day.  We had two day five embryos, one great quality and one good.  Of the seven remaining, two looked okay (a day three and a day four blast). All of a sudden I thought about our chances in a new, less clinical, way. If we transferred the best day five blast, would the second best one even survive the thaw?  And if the best embryo didn't stick, how confident could we be of the second best one sticking?  The third?

Two went in and at least one stuck.  They gave us a thirty percent chance of twins and, if I had to guess based on beta numbers, I'm smack dab in the middle of where my levels would be for a singleton pregnancy.  I'm not going to lie, a part of me would be relieved to see one sac tomorrow.  Because all of my fears and doubts about twin pregnancy and parenthood didn't vanish simply because we changed our mind.  Another part of me would be a little sad about losing our other embryo.

Mostly I am just nervous about seeing at least one normally developing six week pregnancy in my uterus tomorrow and I'll just thank my lucky stars if that actually happens.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 Weeks, 4 Days: Milk Does a Body Good (I Hope)

Chugging along on my fifth week of pregnancy.

Back from my awesome vacation.

Chugging two percent milk like it's going out of style.  I tried my beloved almond milk last night and it just wasn't the same.  I need the cow kind.  It's all I want.  I got two little cartons today again at lunch and almost immediately regretted not getting a third.  I was afraid the lady at the register would judge me.  Must secure large carton of milk to keep in work fridge.

Going to a birthday party tomorrow night.  I already told the birthday girl I was pregnant (couldn't wait) but I have since told her that H doesn't know she knows and we're going to play it cool at the party.  It's at a beer hall so I'm hoping they have some N/A beers or something so I can fit in.

I'm down nine pound since retrieval day.  I can't deny I'm happy about that but retrieval day was also my highest weight ever so I'm only about four pounds below normal and still six pound above where I started out TTCing.

Need to catch up on a few work related things but wanted to give an update.  Pretty much nothing is happening.  Other than wanting milk and going to bed early I have no symptoms.

Ultrasound is Monday, can't wait!

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Weeks: Pee Sticks and Palm Trees

I'm having a really nice time on my solo trip - even if my family thinks I'm strange for traveling without my husband. Not that it's any of their business but I had a free flight and vacation days to use or lose. I should be used to their judgement by now I suppose.

This morning I peed on a stick after a several day hiatus and what do you know - the test line is just about as dark as the control line. Then I went to the breakfast buffet and had way too much cheese.

Here are some pics from my trip.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

4 Weeks, 6 Days: "I'm pregnant"

"I'm pregnant."

That's what I said aloud in front of dozens of air travelers as we lined up for the security handlers.

It was the first time I've ever said those words to any non-family member and, I gotta be honest, it was pretty cool.

I was at the beginning of a long-awaited (but often postponed due to fertility treatments) solo vacation. It turns out the new fancy scanner poses no risks to pregnant women but I still opted for a frisk instead - preferring to look overly cautious instead of misinformed.

And now I relax in my hotel room though palm trees are calling my name out my window. I ordered room service - the lobster mac and cheese you see below. Plus milk. I almost ordered two milks but backed out at the last minute. I regretted that immediately because now I'm out of milk and that's all I want.

This may not promise to be the most thrilling vacation but I'm going to relax and enjoy some warm weather. When I return, hopefully I'll be four days more pregnant and just three days away from my ultrasound.

Friday, October 12, 2012

4 Weeks, 4 Days

Darn this pregnancy thing is fun.  Everyday I wake up and I'm just a little more pregnant.  I thought I'd be more freaked out than I am but I am just going with it.  So far, so good!

I got the results of my second beta yesterday - 287!  A perfect doubling time of 46 hours.  Since I'm off on vacation from today until late Wednesday I don't even go back to the fertility clinic for 10 days.  ZOMG freedom!

They wanted to schedule my ultrasound for next Thursday (5 weeks, 3 days) but my husband is going to be out of town.  They don't have any appointment times on Friday so I actually let them push me back to Monday the 22nd (6 weeks exactly).  The anxious me would never have waited that long but the calm zen pregnancy me is glad that there's a greater chance of seeing a hearbeat now.

Down six pounds since egg retrieval, woot woot.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

4 Weeks, 2 Days: More Sticks

I'm still very excited and grateful to be pregnant but knowing that I still have many milestones to meet tempers my celebrating a little.  Tomorrow is my second beta and assuming all goes well I still need an ultrasound next week to confirm a uterine pregnancy.

So, in the meantime, here's some more pee sticks.

First up is yesterday's, when my beta was 139.  First morning urine and everything.  I thought it was interesting that the second line was still not super dark even though my beta was over 100 and it's supposed to register a beta of 20 as pregnant.  I guess this is just proof that line darkness doesn't really mean squat.

Not that it's been keeping me from chasing the elusive dark second line.  What can I say?  The sticks are cheap!

And here's today's stick.  11 days past five day transfer, aka 16dpo, aka 4 weeks, 2 days.

Pretty darn dark, right?  But still not darker than the control.  I give up.  No, I don't.  I still have a dozen left.

Fingers crossed for a doubled beta tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10dp5dt: Beta Is In!

It worked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My beta was 139!!!

My progesterone is over 40.

I'm so excited!

I am four weeks, one day pregnant.  I go back in on Thursday to get a second beta to make sure it rises (rise, baby, rise) and if it does my first ultrasound will be late next week.

I'm itching to buy something.  It's finally starting to feel real.  Even my family is happy now.

Please, universe, let the next 250 or so days be just like this.

Monday, October 8, 2012

9dp5dt: Still Hanging Tough

Welcome back to Peesville, USA.  Where you can pee all you want but no one believes you're pregnant.

I really wanted to see a dark second line today but both the Wondfo and the Clear Blue test gave me similar results to yesterday or even previous days.  And I know "they" say that home pregnancy tests are qualitative not quantitative, but when your own family doesn't trust you, it's nice to have something to bolster your hope.

Today I am four weeks pregnant.

Tomorrow I go in bright and early for my blood test.  I'm trying not to speculate what the number will be and what it could mean.  Since I have been testing positive for about four days now I'd hope it would be at least 100.  Scientifically, if a Clear Blue test picks up 25 units of hcg and I have my blood test four days after testing positive on one of those babies then it should be 100.  I would be thrilled if it was even higher. I don't want there to be any doubt.  I am pregnant and the haters can suck it.

I also feel pregnant.  I'm tired.  I'm constipated.  I have weird cramps and it hurts when I sneeze or yawn.

I just need to get to tomorrow afternoon.  Heaven help me.

Here's a stick from today.  Annoyingly dark but not really dark.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

8dp5dt: Still Apparently Pregnant

Sorry to leave everyone hanging yesterday. I'm still in a state of disbelief about my pregnancy status. I'm out of town visiting my younger sister. I was able to tell her in person while video chatting with my mom. Unfortunately my mother and older sister ruined my announcement by telling me it was too early and they needed it confirmed by the doctor before they could be happy.

My older sister even told me that she waited ten weeks to announce her pregnancy and I should have done the same because "it can go away." she has since apologized.

I really don't care what they believe. Today, I am pregnant and for that I am grateful.

Look at this dark plus sign. It had barely dried.

Friday, October 5, 2012

6dp5dt: Is this real life?

I'm sort of at a loss for words right now but I know I have to write something to document this moment.

The lines are still there, potentially getting darker and definitely not squinters.  I even tried to go and buy a digital just to see the magical word "pregnant" but I accidentally bought a regular Clearblue easy instead.  Still, it was nice to see the "plus" sign.

This may, in fact, be really happening to me.  My brand new therapist was the second person to know.  I'm at such a great place with my mental health lately but I'm glad I have started therapy again to keep me anchored as I begin what will hopefully be a new chapter in my life.

No one else knows, except for Internet friends.  I plan to tell my little sister in person tomorrow and I'm SO excited about that.  Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop because it's only 11DPO, I haven't even missed my period and beta is not for four more agonizing days but I'm just choosing to let the universe be my guide for now.

Thanks to all my readers for their support.  I hope to have a great beta number to share on Tuesday but I know you all will be here no matter what happens and for that, I am truly grateful.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

5dp5dt: A Line is a line?

I just got back from the dentist and once again the dentist and the hygienist asked me if I was pregnant yet.  It happens every three months when I get a cleaning (I need a lot of cleanings) so I guess I should be prepared but damn if I have to go back there in another three months un-pregnant.

The thing is though....I might be pregnant.

Would a non-pregnant person have these kind of second lines 5 days past their 5 day transfer and 12 days past their hcg trigger?

What do you think?  The top one is from this morning and the bottom one is from this afternoon.  I know they're faint and it still could possibly be the trigger but I'm starting to get excited.  I even listened to a pregnancy podcast today on the way to work.  That was kind of weird.  It was titled "Week Four" and went something like this:

It may be time to take a home pregnancy test, but if it's not positive, don't worry.  Take another in a few days.

Haha ROTFL. I have 40 tests left.  You can't stop me.

Your clock may have started ticking a long time ago or just recently but if this isn't your month, just try again next month.

Or try for 16 months.  And bang your head against the wall.  And take lots of drugs.  And cry.

Try to remember when your last monthly period started.  This will be helpful information for the doctor.

I'm pretty sure my doctor was at my last monthly period, so I'm good.



Bring on tomorrow.   I am staying upbeat but I really want to see a nice dark line.  Of course now I'm reading that for some women, the lines never get dark.  OMG.

No symptoms, down another pound.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

4dp5dt: Faint Lines and Frosties

Hello from Peesville, USA!

Ok first things first, this is a line, right?  I mean, I know it is but is it getting darker than the pathetic lines I had been seeing?  They all pretty much looked like the one I posted on Monday.

This morning I woke up at 2:30 in the morning with an urgent need to pee so of course I peed in a cup and saw the most pathetic squinter line known to man.  I peed again this morning at 8:00 and the result was largely the same.

But now, 2:00 p.m. on the fourth day past my five day transfer after a 5.5 hour hold I get this:

And I KNOW it's really early and I KNOW it could just be the trigger, but can't I just be on the winning side of odds for once?  I read about someone who got a BFP three days past a five day transfer (a FET I think so no annoying trigger to confuse things).  I wasn't that lucky but can I be the second most lucky infertile person?  Please universe?!

Now onto the good news.  My IVF nurse called to tell me we have SIX FROSTIES, or frozen embryos for the uninitiated.  Three were frozen on Day 5 and are a 4AA (good), 3CC (poor) and 2BB (fair).  Three more were frozen on Day 6 and are a 4CC (poor), 3CC (poor) and 3C (poor).  And I don't really know what those grades mean but hopefully I won't even have to think about those frosties for at least a year or so when the insurance company stops paying the freeze fee.

No symptoms.  Up two pounds from yesterday but still down four overall from retrieval day.  I really really hope to see some darker lines in the near future.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

3dp5dt: Magic Fortune Ball Says

I'm totally pregnant, right?  I know I've done this kind of crap before but my fortune telling i-phone app wouldn't lie to me like the Internet fortune teller did, would it?  Every single question I have asked it in the past 24 hours has given me positive results.  Who needs pee sticks?  In fact, the only question that didn't come back positive was "will I get a positive test on Friday?"  The app said "it is too early to say."  Otherwise it tells me I am pregnant with healthy twins and at least one of them is a boy.

I am down four pound today, hallelujah!  Today is the first day I didn't have to bind my belly fat.  I'm hoping my super duper bloat is gone for a while.  I woke up in the middle of the night thinking it was almost time to wake up for the day.  I had to pee SO bad but I still wanted an extra hour of sleep.  After fighting it for a what seemed like an hour I finally got up to relieve myself and realized it was only 4:30 a.m. and despite the fact that I peed directly before bed at 10:30 p.m.  Of course I caught some of it in a cup (insane pee marathon in progress) and noticed it was very diluted.  Still the Wondfo hpt gave me a very very faint line (see last night's post, it looks pretty much the same).

Finally wake up for the day at 8:30 (late!) and pee again in a cup.  It's darker now with the same super duper faint line.  Oh hcg trigger, why do you taunt me?

And in case any pee-crazy IVFers are reading this, I found this web site that gives the following instructions on testing at home after IVF:

When to Start HPTs During the Two Week Wait (2WW)
For a 3-day transfer, don't POAS (pee on a stick) until 6 days after transfer.
For a 5-day transfer, don't POAS until 4 days after transfer.

So that means I can start testing (or keep testing rather) tomorrow because, after all, someone on the Internet said I could!  You want science?  I got your science right here (from more reputable web site):

5-Day Transfer

Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
Embryo Development
OneThe blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
TwoThe blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
ThreeThe blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
FourImplantation continues
FiveImplantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
SixHuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
SevenFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
EightFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
NineLevels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

I sort of want to call bull on this chart because I've seen forum postings where women claim to have gotten BFPs four days after a five day transfer, but I'm no doctor.

Either way, I only have a week until my beta and maybe less until a hpt shows a positive.  Fingers crossed.

No symptoms except peeing a lot.

Monday, October 1, 2012


How has it only been two days since my transfer?


I feel fine today...much unlike the past two days where I didn't want to get off the couch and needed to go lie down for a nap every few hours.  I'm not sure if that means anything other than the fact that I had to go to work today.  And by "work" I mean the place where I obsessively google "symptoms 2dp5dt."

There is this weird thing going on with my stomach but that's been happening since before retrieval.

I look way pregnant.  My belly is distended and I have to adjust my rack when I go to give myself a shot (i.e. I can no longer see my stomach by just looking down).  I feel like it's getting bigger even though I haven't gained any weight.  In fact, I've lost a couple of pounds since egg retrieval day.  I know I was at risk of getting OHSS but I think mine is just a pretty mild case because I pee freely throughout the day and don't have any of the other side effects.  I've been wearing this fake t-shirt bottom for over a week now.  It's similar to the belly band I guess but it's designed to wear under your shirts so that there's no gap between your pants and shirt.  It came in a package of two at CVS if you're in the market.  I've been wearing it over my pants pulled up around my gut.

Now onto the pee sticks.  I had 40 Wondfos calling my name so I decided to test today to see where if my trigger shot was.  It came up a real squinter, which is totally fine since it's to early to be producing hcg.  I almost didn't take a picture of it because I've been down this crazy road of pee stick comparison before.

Then I remembered that I would be annoyed if I didn't have the stick to compare to tomorrow's stick so here it is.  It's now nine days past trigger and my trigger likes to give me faint positives for 12 days so now I know it's still kicking.  This wasn't FMU or anything.

Stay tuned for more episodes of As the Pee Stick Turns....