Category Archives: A matter of faith

Second Chances

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know that I never got a positive pregnancy test with E.

I did test- twice. Once at 10dp5dt, and the second day at 12dp5dt, the morning of the beta. Both were negative, which made the strongly positive beta a wonderful surprise. I learned from this not to use tests from the dollar store.

At 14dp5dt, exactly where I am now, I posted this:

Is it completely ridiculous to want desperately to waste money on a pregnancy test that is NOT from the stupid dollar store just to see two lines? Q. has no idea why I want to do this so badly since we’re getting accurate counts from the betas every 48 hours. And I studiously avoided tests pretty much all through this entire process- I used one with our first IUI, and used one the day before the beta with the first IVF, and then I had my flirtation with the dollar store tests this time round.

But I think I want to see two lines. Even though I know I’m pregnant, I want a piece of plastic to confirm it.

Is this like food cravings?

And Dandle, and Sarah, and Springroll, and Serenity, and Mel, and babyinterrupted ALL told me to go buy a pregnancy test to see those two lines.

I didn’t.

I never saw two lines.

It became one of my biggest regrets from my pregnancy with E.

And after our two FETs failed this past fall I started to think I had missed my chance.

So this morning, despite the cold, I bundled E. up, and we went to the drugstore. We had absolutely no other reason to be out in the freeze except that I wanted to see this:

IMG_3497

I’m not going to lie- it was a little anticlimactic. But it was a relief to see it.

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, A matter of faith, Joy, TWW

2.0 4w4d- Here it comes

I was waiting to see how long the blissful state of “completely happy pregnant woman” would last.

Apparently about sixteen hours.

Yesterday was a GOOD day.

Q. got home from work. I told him the news. He sat in a chair for a while to take it all in.

We decided to celebrate. We wanted to order in Indian from the restaurant down the road (as it is FREEZING here right now), but they weren’t open.

Even though it was freezing and E. hadn’t napped or had much of a quiet time, we bundled ourselves up, stuffed E. in the Ergo and headed off into the night. (E.: “Are you sure I can go outside? It’s very dark out there.”)

We went to an Italian restaurant we like. We ate pizza. E. ate pasta and bread. Lots of bread. We all shared a slice of chocolate cake. Q. had a beer. I did not.

We daydreamed.

Even though we knew it was early and we were being cautious, we talked about schedules, about plans, about vacations, about what we would do to cope if it turns out there are two of them. We wondered if E. would blow our cover if we kept talking about it in front of him, but then realized that toddlers say all sorts of crazy things that aren’t necessarily true.

After dinner we bundled ourselves up again and staggered home against the wind. I put E. to bed, we watched a random episode of Downton Abbey, and then we went upstairs and I did the Fragmin and Q. did the PIO injection and they weren’t meaningless, not anymore.

I fell asleep. And woke up early, as I am wont to do it seems. And lay there, in the darkness, listening to Q.’s regular, deep breathing, and feeling that heavy weight in my abdomen that made me wonder, all those days visiting, if I might be pregnant, because surely it couldn’t ALL be food related.

And right then, the anxiety started trying to creep back in.

“It’s so early,” it told me. “You’re getting ahead of yourself. Your numbers will probably drop on Saturday. Even if they don’t, there probably won’t be a heartbeat at that first ultrasound. Or there will be something terribly wrong with the baby, just like what happened to your friend over the summer. Or it will be twins and you’ll lose them because you’ll birth them too early. Or they’ll survive but be so premature they’ll be damaged permanently. Or it’ll be a stillbirth. Or. Or. Or.”

“SHUT UP.” I said. “That was an amazing first beta. My body knows how to grow and birth a healthy baby. There is absolutely no reason why this shouldn’t work out.”

I shoved the thoughts aside, at least for now. But it just brought home to me that nothing ever comes easy for infertiles. It’s so very hard not to keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF 13dp5dt- Happy New Year

So here’s the thing.

I have thought, for a week now, that I’m pregnant.

Two things have done this: the fact that my face massively broke out, and the insane bloat/fullness in my abdomen.

I have refused to breathe a word of this to anyone, not even Q., because I knew that it could be from progesterone and holiday eating and I couldn’t bear to get it wrong again.

I didn’t get it wrong.

The clinic called.

Beta was 835.

Repeat beta and an intralipid infusion on Saturday.

I’ve called my midwives already.

You guys. I’M PREGNANT!

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, 2.0 Pregnancy, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Joy, Midwives, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, TWW

2dp5dt- it wasn’t a fluke

I was on my birth club yesterday, trying to explain why I was so twitchy about the clinic not calling. I explained my 77% attrition rate between day 3 and blast last time around, and how it should have been around 50-60%.

“I’m sure last time was just a fluke,” one of them said.

It wasn’t.

The clinic called this morning at 10 when we were in the car, off to visit friends.

I knew it wasn’t great news from the moment she started with, “Well, you had ten eggs that fertilized.” I already knew this. Then she told me that we decided to go to blast (yes, I knew that too), and that we transferred two on Friday (yep, I was there) and that we didn’t freeze anything on Friday (yep) and that we pushed four embryos to day six (uh-huh- this is not news).

Then there was a pause.

“One embryo was frozen,” she told me.

“Ok.” I said. “Thank you for the report.”

I hung up. I relayed the news to Q.

We were both quiet for a little while.

“One is better than none,” I said at last, trying to put a brave face on it.

It is. It certainly is. One is better than none. One more chance is better than the road ending right here with this cycle.

But it’s not what I was hoping for.

And it means that despite the better technology and the embryoscope, we still had a 70% attrition rate with our embryos.

There probably is something wrong with my eggs.

“Maybe we should have only transferred one,” I said to Q.

“But the fresh cycles get better results. And that was what worked for us.”

We’re holding on to that now. Nothing has worked for us- absolutely nothing- except a fresh cycle where we transferred two early stage blastocysts.

That’s exactly what we did on Friday.

It’s our best shot.

And if it fails, we’ll have six months or so to start to get our heads around the idea of E. as an only child, and then we’ll have one more chance to change that future.

But I’m not going to lie- it’s looking a whole hell of a lot closer than it did a few weeks ago.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, PCOS, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF- Transfer Day- Déjà vu

Yesterday Q. and I worked through our options while he was making dinner. We agreed that if we had four blasts or more we’d transfer two and freeze the rest. If we had three or less we’d transfer one and freeze the others. We wanted to maximize our chances on this cycle, but also hedge our bets against failure, because I wasn’t emotionally ready for our 2.0 quest to be ended without warning in early January.

What we didn’t do and, in retrospect, should have done, was discuss our tactics if we had a repeat of E’s cycle in August 2010 where we had two blasts ready to go and more still developing.

That is exactly what we got.

My f/s appeared in the transfer room, 90 minutes later than scheduled (not bad by his standards- I love listening to the nurses talk about him. One was telling another patient: “I’ve learned that the more you ask him, the longer he makes you wait. So you try not to ask him until you have to say, ‘They’re leaving!’, and then he comes. All the other doctors work on our time. He works on his own time.” He also managed to give everyone the slip for a few minutes- he’s had a doctor shadowing him for months now and this doctor, plus everyone else, had absolutely no idea where he was.)

He looked at the embryologist’s report. “Let’s see what we’ve got. One, two, three, four, five, SIX! How many do you want to transfer?”

“Two!” I said with confidence, pleased to have a clear answer.

Then he started qualifying.

Turns out we had two blasts ready to go (one more advanced than the other) and four more late bloomers that were still developing. Of those four, two were “very very close” and the other two “still had some work to do”.

I vascillated.

I doubted.

And then I screwed my courage to the sticking place and told him to transfer the two blasts.

“Just like E’s cycle,” I told myself.

In August 2010 we had six embryos still thinking about becoming blasts at this stage. Two of them did, and were frozen. I’m hoping that because the technology has improved we might get two again.

Four would be enough. Enough for two more chances. Enough to know that we really did do everything we could to expand our family. Enough for closure when the time came.

So here I sit, pregnant until proven otherwise with twins, yet still in the retrieval waiting game mindset.

At least it will kill one day in the tww waiting for the clinic to call tomorrow to tell me whether my gut instinct gamble paid off.

Beta is January 2nd.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, TWW

2.0 IVF- Relief

The clinic called this morning at 8:45 a.m. as I walking E. to nursery school. It had been a stressful start to the morning. I woke up too early and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was so nervous, and E. woke up on the wrong side of the bed, so hangry he couldn’t even calm down enough to eat anything, and telling anyone who would listen that he was “planning to have a horrible day” at nursery school.

The nurse on the other end of the phone was calm, reassuring. They always sound so calm, no matter what the news is they’re delivering.

“I’m just calling because your doctor has already looked over your chart,” she said. “He’s looked at the report from the embryologist and has decided to go with a five day transfer.  We’ll call you tomorrow to confirm the time for Friday, but it will probably be noon.”

Thank FUCK.

I was so relieved I cried as soon as I had hung up the phone.

One more box checked.
One more hurdle cleared.
One step closer.

What was tormenting me, in the wee hours last night when I couldn’t sleep for fretting, was the realization that if we’d had to do a day three transfer I wasn’t going to get what I most desperately needed from this cycle.

Not a baby. A baby still strikes me as this amorphous wisp of a dream, that can’t even be given voice lest it vanish on the wind.

No, I’m talking about closure.

When our second FET failed and we made the decision to do one more fresh IVF cycle, a significant part of our reasoning was that if it failed we wanted to be able to say that we had done everything we could to make E. a big brother.  We wanted to give 2.0 his/her own chance, not just rely on the embryos that were left from E’s own cycle.

I realized last night that if our doctor had told us we had to go to a day three transfer, and it didn’t work, and anything that was frozen also didn’t work, I’d never get that closure.

E. was the product of a blastocyst transfer.

If we’d never got to blastocysts again, I would have always wondered what could have been. I would have remained unsatisfied with this cycle. I would have always believed something could have been different.

I would have come right up against the fact that money had become the deciding factor. If we’d done a three day transfer, and everything had come back negative, if we’d had insurance coverage for procedures, I’m sure we could have rationalized trying one more cycle in the summer. But paying out of pocket? Not a chance. We’ve blown through all the money we saved all last year for our shot at a 2.0, and then some. Fronting up for another fresh cycle would have been out of the question.

Now we’re one step closer to lining up all the variables to make sure that, no matter what the eventual result is, we can walk away from this cycle confident that we gave it our very best shot.

The next step?

Achieving an attrition rate better than the 77% nonsense that happened with E’s cycle where 17 day three embryos produced only four blasts.

If I could wish and make it so, I’d ask for four. Two to transfer. Two to freeze. Just like with E.’s cycle. Enough for a couple more second chances.

And now, we wait. Again.

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Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Money Matters, Second Thoughts

2.0 IVF Day Nine- Good to go

For the first time ever I was the very first woman in to the clinic this morning. My f/s had asked me to come in “as early as you can” because he was only going to be there for a short time early in the morning and he wanted to make sure he saw me (and do my ultrasound as it turned out).

Our clinic’s cycle monitoring hours officially start at 7 a.m. I was there at 6:45, and only just beat the next lady in. By 7 there were at least ten of us waiting around. You have to be quick at that place. At 6:50 Q. called so I could (once again) talk to a very irate toddler, remind him that I was at the doctor (like we’d talked about) and convince him to eat breakfast. E. was finally well enough to go back to nursery school today, thank goodness.

Did my bloods and then discovered that my f/s wanted to do my ultrasound myself so I sat around for twenty minutes or so before he got there. He told me I had a “beautiful” uterine lining and then hastened to add, “I don’t tell all the ladies that!” Then we made jokes about his appearance as Santa at the clinic Christmas party the night before.

I wasn’t too surprised when he said I was good to go. The room where he did the ultrasound had a computer monitor so I could watch what he was doing, and I recognized from the measurements he was getting that there wasn’t any more room to grow for most of the follicles. It’s a bit of a relief, as I feel really wretched at the moment, but also a touch nerve wracking as I will have stimmed for four days less than I did with the cycle that produced E. My f/s doesn’t seem worried about it, and the nurse thought it was good that I responded so well and so quickly, so I guess nothing is wrong. It’s just hard to have it be so different.

We did one last round of stims- 225 iu Gonal-F and 300 iu Repronex. I do one more Lupron injection tonight at 6 p.m., and then all that’s left is the trigger, which is scheduled for 1 a.m. tonight. That’s really the worst possible time- midnight we’d stay up for it, 2 a.m. we’d go to sleep and wake up for it, but 1 a.m. is right in that mid-zone where I’m not sure which would be more annoying.

Retrieval is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m. I could use all the good thoughts you’ve got to spare.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, ttc