Category Archives: FET

Intralipids infusion (2.0 FET #2- Day 10)

This morning I had my intralipids infusion.

It was pretty straightforward. I went in early, did the usual cycle monitoring bloodwork and ultrasound, and then moved over to the IVF suite where they hooked me up to the IV, and then brought in a bag that really did just look like a bag of fat- thick, white liquid. The nurse hooked that bag and a second bag (of what I assume was a saline solution) to the IV line, and then started them both dripping. It took a little over ninety minutes to empty the bag. I managed to get some work done while also listening to the various conversations. The nurses were trying to schedule a particularly busy day on the weekend and had to boss around the doctors quite a lot. The nurse who runs the IVF suite is one tough cookie, and now I can really see why. It takes some gumption to stand up to the doctors, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to give ground- this was HER turf.

Another woman came in looking for one of the nurses in particular. She was pregnant (seven weeks) and wanted to tell this nurse (who wasn’t working that day). After she had left the nurses had a bit of a conversation because most of them didn’t remember her, which is fair, given how many patients they see every day. But they were all in agreement that it made them uncomfortable to have her in there telling them about the pregnancy at seven weeks. “Ten weeks, ten weeks would be different,” said the boss nurse. “Then it is ok. But seven weeks is too early.” The others agreed.

It was pregnancy day at the clinic, it seemed. The woman in the cubicle next to me was also doing an intralipids infusion, and she was eleven weeks pregnant. The nurses were excited about this. “Almost time to graduate!” said one. When I was back over in the main part of the clinic I started chatting with another woman, who turned out to be ten weeks pregnant. It was her first baby, and it had been a long road. So I told her that I had a nearly two and a half year old at home, who came from that clinic, and that now I was trying again. And I told her that I had a good pregnancy and a good birth and that these helped in a lot of ways to heal how I had felt after being at that clinic for so long, because I could tell from her face that she was EXACTLY where I had been three years ago. Then the nurse called my name, and we both answered, and then laughed as we realized we had the same first name. I shook her hand and wished her well. She’d told me that they were done after this- that it was too hard, that they couldn’t go through it again. I wonder if she’ll still be thinking the same thing three years from now.

After the intralipids infusion was over, I went back to the  main part of the clinic to see my doctor. I was all geared up to have a fight with him because I wanted him to check my TSH again. They checked it on Day 2, and it was at 2.5, which isn’t bad, but my endocrinologist likes to keep it under 2.0, and I know the estrace will have been causing some stress. I’ve been doing my usual “take one extra half a pill every second day” while I’ve been on the estrace, which is what I did during the fresh IVF cycle that led to E., but I wanted some confirmation that this was the right dose.

He surprised me by agreeing to the extra test immediately, even before he looked to see what my previous result had been. And then he agreed that 2.5 was very borderline. So he really has finally got the message at some point in the last three years that TSH matters a lot when it comes to getting and staying pregnant. The nurses should call me this afternoon to give me the update. (They actually called while I was writing this: it’s still at 2.5, so I’m holding steady. They want me to stay on the same dose, but I might up it a tiny amount to get it below 2.0 as I know my endocrinologist wouldn’t be happy with 2.5.)

My lining looked great, so he wanted to schedule the FET. I asked if Q. had to be there for the procedure.

“Well,” said my f/s, “he has to be willing to be the baby’s father when it comes out, but he doesn’t have to actually be there for the transfer.”

Q. is going a little insane right now with work stress, and he’s going to lose all of next Friday because he’s going on a field trip with E. and the nursery school. So I scheduled the FET for next Wednesday (the 23rd) when E. will be in nursery school and Q. will be teaching.

It does feel a little odd- this will be the first transfer that Q. has missed, the first time he won’t be there to hold my hand when the f/s starts poking and prodding and things get uncomfortable, the first time he won’t see the embryo up on the monitor or be able to watch the transfer on the ultrasound. But I’m being practical- if we do the transfer Wednesday rather than Thursday we don’t have to worry about finding someone to look after E. (or stress him out by disrupting his routine- Q. had a hard morning with him today because E. knew it was supposed to be a day where he was with me and he didn’t at all like the fact that I had to go see the doctor without him), and Q. doesn’t have a big hole blasted in the middle of his only teaching-free day that week.

Then I saw a nurse and worked through my treatment protocol and picked up more medications and a new sharps container. I got out of there in time to get home for lunch, like I’d told E. I was going to try to do.

PIO shots start up again tomorrow. Luckily the Fragmin shots don’t start until the day of the transfer as I had a really bad reaction to them this time around- one side of my stomach basically turned into one giant deep purple bruise, and it is taking a long time to clear up. It should hopefully be back to normal just in time to start getting jabbed again. Sigh.

I wanted to write this down in case anyone is ever googling (as I was) ‘how long does it take after you stop taking progesterone to get your period’, because it took FOREVER to get my period after the last cycle. We hadn’t done the PIO shot on the day of the beta as we were out of needles and progesterone- I picked up more of both at the clinic, but then we had the phone call and they were superfluous. So my last PIO shot had been the Wednesday morning.

It was TUESDAY night before my period finally started.

Six full days. It never takes that long after taking bcps or provera. It took long enough that a sick, tiny part of my mind started to wonder if maybe, just maybe, my clinic had screwed up the beta results. Which was insane, because, really, a fertility clinic that can’t provide accurate beta results to its clients is a fertility clinic that would soon be out of business. But anyway, that’s what my mind insisted on thinking. It was a relief to finally have it arrive.

I also had apparently forgotten how bad my periods are after FETs. I guess I should have expected this- after all, we’ve just devoted all that time and energy to building a wonderful cushy lining for the embryo. But it really took me off guard, and I ended up coming straight home after going in to the clinic on Day 2 because I just couldn’t function without some serious pain relief and a hot oatbag. I suppose my last FET was in December 2009, so it was only fair I didn’t remember, but I also didn’t seem to blog about it. So I’m making a note of it for myself and for future readers: periods after FETs really suck.

The other note for posterity is when I was talking to the nurse about my medications on Day 2, I told her that the prednisone gave me terrible insomnia.

She looked at me for a minute. “Do you take it in the morning?”

“No,” I said. “I take it at night.”

“There! Take it in the morning!”

I have no idea why this had never occurred to me before. I generally try as much as possible to avoid taking medications in the morning because I don’t want them to interfere with the thyroid meds.

I am definitely having less trouble with waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and then being unable to get back to sleep. But I was doing this over the summer as well, when I wasn’t on prednisone. So the jury’s still out as to whether or not changing when I’m taking it has reduced the ridiculous sleeping patterns. But I’ll keep monitoring the situation.

My Dad is staying with us for the week as he’s doing some work in the city. We got to chatting last night and he asked about my medical situation, since it’s pretty obvious that something is going on what with my taking a billion pills with every meal and the long conversation I had to have with my increasingly upset toddler about why Mummy had to go in to see the doctor for a few hours the next day and why he couldn’t come with me.

So I told him that we were trying to add to our family, that our first shot at it had failed, that we had one left before we were back to staring down the barrel of a full IVF cycle, that we would probably do one more full cycle but then that would be it.

I got really emotional, which surprised me, but it all just bubbled up to the surface.

It’s hard to be emotional around my father. He is a really tough man- ex-military, really strong personality, etc.- and I don’t really feel comfortable crying in front of him. But I couldn’t stop it last night, and it felt good to let him know where we were at. I never really got into the specifics with him the first time around. He knew that we were trying, and he knew that we were having trouble, and he knew (I’m pretty sure) at the end that it was IVF that worked, but I didn’t get into the details.

He wanted to know if he could help, and then when I said no, wanted to know how expensive it was, because what he clearly meant by ‘help’ was ‘help financially’. So I told him that E. cost $30,000, of which $16,000 came directly out of our pockets (and thank all the gods for Q.’s insurance which covers the medications, or we would never have got to E.- we could never have afforded even one round of IVF if we’d been footing the entire bill), and I told him that we had saved all last year to build a $10,000 2.0 fund, which would get us through both FETs and fund some of an IVF cycle if it came to that, but that if we wanted to continue we’d have to look at cashing in some of our investments. I made it clear that the reason why we haven’t yet redone our floors upstairs, or finished the landscaping in our side garden, both projects he often asks us about, is because that money keeps getting funnelled into trying to expand our family.

“Well,” said Dad. “There are always ways to spend money. It’s better than going to a casino.”

At which point Q. turned up to ask me something and the conversation shifted and I didn’t get the chance to say what I wanted to say to him, which was: “Is it really? Is it really any different to taking that money and gambling it at a casino if we gamble all of it on a child and come up empty handed at the end?”

Anyway. Who knows what Dad will make of that conversation. We couldn’t take money from him even if he wanted to give it to us- because of my stepmother any money that comes from him would inevitably have hidden strings attached, and Q. and I have had a couple of conversations where we’ve agreed that we will stop treatments before we would allow a situation to exist that could lead to comments along the lines of “we paid for our grandchild”.

One of the mums I really like on my birth club just announced that she is pregnant (seven weeks along- the birth club generally is horrified that she didn’t tell us as soon as she had POAS, but she said that she was worried about an ectopic, which is fair), and another mum just had her FET transfer on Wednesday. I would love to be pregnant with them.

Fingers crossed. The countdown is on.



Filed under 2.0 FET #2, 2.0 FET#1, Emotions, Family, FET, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, Thyroid, ttc

Family matters

September was always going to be crazy. We were going to be just back from our four months in the U.K., E. was starting nursery school, Q. and I were starting our academic year, and we were going back to the clinic for a FET. Lots of transitions, lots of new commitments, lots of scheduling and organization to sort out. We were prepared for it to be pretty hectic.

This week it just got so much worse.

Q. had a phone call. His grandfather- his last grandparent- had died, relatively unexpectedly.

We talked about it and looked at the flights and eventually decided that, yes, Q. would make a lightning trip down under for the funeral, just like he did last October when his grandmother died. We went online and bought Q. a ticket (hooray for emergency funds).

That decision meant I was no longer flying by myself this weekend to go to a family wedding, just as we’d originally planned, thinking it would be too much for E. on top of all the other changes. We went online and bought E. a ticket.

Q. is now going to miss his entire first week of the new semester. With his teaching load this means that he’ll be playing catch up for most of the rest of the year.

I’ve lost almost all of the prep time I thought I would have for my own work.

And all I keep thinking, practically every day, is, thank all the gods my sister is here.

My youngest sister just moved back home. She came in on the Labour Day weekend. She’s staying with us for a month or so while she gets herself organized.

We had already discussed that she might be able to make September a bit easier for us, providing another pair of hands around the house, a willing auntie ready and eager to play trains with her nephew.

I don’t know how we would get through the next week or so if she hadn’t been here. And the last week would have been so much more difficult without her.

She’s coming with me to the wedding so I’m not flying with E. by myself (she’d be going anyway, but not necessarily taking the same flights I’m on).

She’s going to put E. to bed on Wednesday night when I have a make up session for duty day training for E.’s nursery school, as Q. is now missing the training he was supposed to go to this weekend and won’t be back in time for the session I need to attend.

She’s going to play with E. and look after him while I go in to the clinic on Thursday morning for my lining check.

She’s happy to look after E. when it’s time for the FET the week after next.

She’s going to watch him when Q. and I have our first general meeting for the nursery school, and she volunteered to make E. dinner and suggested that Q. and I go out for dinner ourselves in the neighbourhood.

She took E. to the park last week so I could get a bit of work done.

She spent the morning with E. when I had to go in to the clinic for my sonohysterosalpingogram, so that Q. could get some work done.

She plays with him every evening when we’re getting dinner ready.

She’s able to give him that extra bit of attention right when he most needs it, when he’s feeling adrift and confused and worried about nursery school (he’s there by himself this afternoon- Q. left at lunch- and we haven’t had a phone call yet, which I think means everything has gone well).

She is worth her weight in GOLD.

It has been hard to be without family in the city for the last seventeen months. Q. and I haven’t been good about finding a babysitter. We weren’t ready- E. was still so little.

It had been on my (endless) list of things to do this fall, but I wasn’t looking forward to the process.

Having family in the city, having someone who loves our son unconditionally, who genuinely wants to spend time with him, who really truly loves him from the bottom of her heart, makes everything SO MUCH EASIER.

We’re not going to take her for granted.

We’re not going to abuse her willingness to hang out with E., to give us some adult-only time.

But the truth of the matter is I’d be pulling my hair out and weeping at the thought of trying to organize next week with Q. overseas if she wasn’t around. The FET would be just too much to manage on top of everything else. I might have had to cancel the cycle.

She’s keeping our heads above water right now.


Filed under (Pre)School Days, 2.0 FET#1, Down Under, Family, FET, PhD


That’s how my f/s described my uterus today.

Given my veteran status in the IF world, I thought I had already experienced all the procedures. But today’s sonohysterosalpingogram was a new one. I gather it’s a replacement for the HSG. They use air and a saline solution to let them visualize the uterus and fallopian tubes. So no exposure to radiation for me, it’s much less uncomfortable, and they can perform the procedure in the clinic rather than requiring a trip to the hospital. Win-win.

I had to go in with a full bladder, and one of the ultrasound techs did the first round of pictures using the abdominal ultrasound. Then I had to empty my bladder and wait, but not for very long (I was in and out of the clinic in under thirty minutes. This must be a new record).  My f/s himself did the transvaginal section of the test. That was not super comfortable, especially when he was inserting the speculum and getting everything in place for the saline solution, but once he actually started looking at things and taking pictures it was fine. He had another doctor shadowing him today, and the poor other doctor was trying to introduce himself and ask if I was ok with having him present, while my f/s was just getting on with things. I told the other doctor I didn’t mind. Seriously. How many people have looked at the reproductive parts of my anatomy now? Shyness or modesty really isn’t an issue.

Anyway, the end result is I have a perfect uterus, so it’s full steam ahead with the FET. I’m going back in on the 12th to check my lining. I was scheduled to go in on the 11th but that was going to make things difficult from a childcare perspective as E. would need to be taken to nursery school that morning, and Q. is making an emergency trip down under next week for a funeral, so he won’t be around. Luckily FETs are super flexible.

I managed to get a fair amount of teaching prep done while waiting to be called for the various parts of the test. I figure you know you’re an IF veteran when you can plan a syllabus in your spare moments between abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds!

There was a couple there with a not-that-old baby in a stroller. They were getting some sideways looks from the other couples. I was mainly just curious to know what on earth they were doing in the clinic (the baby was much too young for them to be back in there actively trying again, at least in my opinion). On the way down in the elevator a couple of women got on at the fifth floor. One of them was pushing a two month old baby in a stroller. He’d just had his first round of injections, she told us. The other woman ooh’ed and aah’ed at him for a while, and then said, “All the rest of us would like to have one, but we’re past that now.” Then she obviously looked around the elevator a bit more and then added, “Or most of us are, anyway.”

We hit the ground floor and out they went. Two other people had ridden all the way down with me, from the top floor of the building, where the clinic is. They’re both staff at the clinic. One of them gestured for me to go first and gave me a truly sympathetic smile.

It was then that I realized just how much having E. at home is protecting me during this process.

That baby and those comments would have cut me to the bone three years ago. I wouldn’t have been able to look at the baby.

Now, I didn’t care. I actually felt a bit sorry for her, still mired in the newborn phase.

MY son was waiting for me at home.

And I have a beautiful uterus ready to provide a home for his sibling.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, FET, Medical issues, Second Thoughts, ttc, Ultrasounds

First day back

Sure enough, my doctor wasn’t in yesterday. That’s what you get for having to go in on the Sunday of a long weekend.

I got lucky though. The doctor who was looking after my doctor’s patients is really nice. She’s the one who did the transfer for our IVF cycle back in August 2010- the one that produced E. And all told, I was in and out of the clinic in 90 minutes, which is really good going for a Sunday of a long weekend. I was expecting to be in there for much longer.

Once she learned that this was our first cycle back after having had E. she strongly suggested I come in for a sonohysterosalpingogram to make sure there is nothing unusual going on in my uterus- no polyps, scar tissue, etc. She said I could start the FET protocol, and then come in, and if we found anything that would need intervention, I could just stop all my medications and we’d start again once my uterus was given a clean bill of health.

This all made sense, so I’m going back in to the clinic tomorrow. My doctor should be in, so he’ll be the one to do the SSG.

Then we looked at our blastocysts. Our clinic grades them on a scale of 1-3 (1 being the best), and then from A-C (A being the best) for two other factors (I didn’t write down what these were).

We have two. One is graded 1AB, and the other is 1BB.

“You have beautiful blastocysts,” the doctor told me. “I strongly, strongly recommend thawing and transferring them one at a time, unless you are really ok with twins.”

I said we wanted to transfer them one at a time. I actually got quite emotional at this point. I think it was just overwhelming being back in there, and staring at my giant chart, and remembering everything that had happened to get us to this point. I told her we wanted two chances because we didn’t know if we could stand to start all over again. I told her there were so many things that could go wrong, that we wanted two chances to make sure we had the right environment in my uterus for the embryos.

I cried. I wasn’t really expecting that, and it was actually quite annoying, but the clinic just brings out big emotions. And yesterday’s visit did feel like it was a big deal, like we were taking the risk of reopening old wounds.

She made some good points. “You had a long journey to get to that last IVF cycle,” she told me. “But that cycle worked, and you have two beautiful blasts, and you’re so young!”

In terms of reproduction, I’m convinced that only in a fertility clinic is a woman who is thirty-four years old described as young.

Anyway, she wrote up the FET page in my chart, and sent me off to see the nurse. Again, I got lucky. The nurse was my all-time favourite- the old head nurse, who retired two years ago (as she told me today) to look after her twin grandchildren (conceived at my clinic). She still comes in to help out on weekends, which is why I got to see her. I was so glad to be able to give her a hug.

She set me up with all of my medications. Basically, we’re just doing exactly what we did last time, since it worked.

So I am, once again, a walking pharmacy.

Here’s the protocol:
Estrace: 2 tablets, 3x/day
Prednisone: 1 tablet, 1x/day
Baby Aspirin: 1 tablet, 1x/day
Metformin: 1 tablet, 3x/day (I had the exact same conversation with both the doctor and the nurse: “Are you taking Metformin already?” “No.” “What dose did Dr. L. have you on?” “Three pills a day.” “DO NOT start with three pills a day- start with one.” Ah yes. I already knew that one.)

My TSH came back as normal, so I’m keeping the same dose (I take one extra half pill every second day when I’m on birth control pills, stims, or FET protocols, and that seems to work well).

After the SSG, I go back in on the 11th for a lining check. At that stage I’ll start Medrol, and probably the PIO shots too (although we might push those back by a day to make for an easier transfer day). Plus Fragmin will get added to the mix too. Transfer could be anywhere from the 16th to the 19th. I think the 17th makes the most sense, but Q. and I will have to sort that out a bit closer to the time.

The nurse and I discussed my reaction to the PIO shots (when I broke out in full body hives right around the six and a half week mark). “Make sure you get the castor oil ones,” she told me. “If you’ve already had one reaction, you’ll react even faster the second time around.” Apparently they try the ethyl oleate ones first because the castor oil is thicker, and therefore more painful and difficult to inject.

I don’t care. I’ll inject it with a huge smile every day if it means I don’t have to deal with those hives again.

Then all that was left for me to do was pay them a large sum of money (although much less money than if it were a fresh IVF, so I’m not complaining), collect my meds, and head home.

I will admit I went home via a bakery where I bought a truly decadent and not remotely good for me orange scone. Hey, I was about to start Metformin. I needed to eat that processed flour and sugar treat before it would make me sick.

So far I feel fine, other than the fact I’ve got crazy hot flashes again. I remember writing about this once before– that I would overheat as soon as I ate something. It started up again as soon as I took the first round of pills at supper last night. It is a really annoying side effect, especially in late August.

Looks like we’re really doing this.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, FET, Medications, Second Thoughts

First steps to starting again

This afternoon I had an appointment with my f/s.

It was a bit weird to be there in the clinic, outside of regular cycle monitoring hours, showing the nurses and admin assistants my photos of E. I found myself paying attention to the toys set out for visiting children- toys I never allowed myself to look at when I was here BEFORE, and toys that I hope I won’t have reason to use since I really really really don’t want to be THAT woman who takes her first kid to the fertility clinic so she can rub salt in the wounds of all those who are still waiting. But it could happen- Q.’s schedule next year won’t be as flexible, and if I have to bring E. with me, I will.

Anyway, my f/s was really happy to see me and took down some details about E’s birth. He is still funny: “Does E. look like your husband?” “Yes, especially when he was younger.” “Oh good. We got the right sperm then!”

We talked about timings for 2.0, and I explained that we were going to be away for four months and wanted to be ready to do a FET as soon as we got back in late August.

The good news was he only wants Q. and I to update our bloodwork within six months of the FET (so we’ll do that in April before we go). No HSG repeat. No laparoscopy. Hurrah!

He sent me off with a package of birth control pills to take my last month in the UK to bring on a period before the FET. I still find it hugely ironic that I need to take birth control pills in order to give myself the best shot at getting pregnant. I guess I will find a way to get a doctor in the UK to give me a pregnancy blood test before starting the pills just to make sure some miracle conception hasn’t taken place (ha).

And while I was tempted to throw caution to the wind and do a FET this spring (since quite a number of the mamas on my online birth club are now pregnant again and my uterus is twitching something fierce), reason did prevail in the end. I don’t want to be pregnant in the UK. I’d rather be here, with my midwives. It’s not that I don’t think I’d get good care, but I think it’s just another layer of complications I really don’t need given I am meant to be selfish while we are overseas and go hell for leather on the dissertation.

It was kind of nice to be there, in a way. Nice to be able to start to think about the possibility of another baby. Nice to know that Q. and I have survived the crazy of new parenthood and want to do it again.

Being in the clinic felt 100% different this time around. I don’t know if that feeling will stay once we start cycling again, but I’m holding on to it for now.

One thing I couldn’t help noticing, though, was just how freakin’ big my chart was. I think I blogged about this at one point. How when I first started there I would stare at the big charts and the women attached to them and wonder why they had such big charts and what was so wrong. And then one day I realized that mine was the biggest chart in the stack for ultrasounds. And then it was the biggest again. And again. And I realized that all those women in the waiting room with me were now staring at ME and wondering what was wrong.

My chart is still freakin’ big.

My god I am grateful for E. I teared up in the clinic when I saw my f/s. I’m tearing up now remembering it.  Those men and women changed our lives in the best possible way.

I hope so much they can change our lives again in the fall.


Filed under Emotions, FET, IVF, Second Thoughts

Falling into place

We got some exciting news at chez Turia last week. I’ve won a scholarship that funds overseas study. It means that I’ll be heading off across the pond for four months next year (probably late April to late August) to work with one of the top professors in my field. Q. and E. will be coming with me. And even though, as far as Q. and I are concerned, I’ll be at The Other Place (as we met at this institution’s rival ten years ago this autumn), we’re very excited. Lots to organize, of course, and lots to do in the interim, including the writing of two more dissertation chapters.  But I am, once I can look past the hustle and bustle of the academic year about to start, very very excited about the opportunity, and so pleased to have a chance to spend a few months in the country where Q. and I met.

Getting the scholarship also sorts out our timeline for trying for a sibling for E. I have to use this scholarship within a year of the competition deadline- I can’t defer it. It makes no sense whatsoever to go to the clinic in the spring to try and get pregnant to then have me overseas for a large portion of the pregnancy, away from my clinic and my midwives, trying to make the most of the opportunity. That’s silly.

So our plan is for me to go in to the clinic in the spring to touch base with my f/s in preparation for a FET in September once we’re back in the country and resettled.

I also like the fact that we’ll be past E’s second birthday before we go back to the clinic. In a perfect world my children wouldn’t have a very large age gap. But I’m also aware that if things don’t work out, E. will be our only baby, and I don’t want to sacrifice a minute of his first two years to cycling and the accompanying drugs and crazy that come with it. I want to have the chance to savor our time with E. before we try to make him a big brother. I want to watch him run around the meadows and quadrangles where his father and I met. I want to show him the eights on the river and tell him that his mother and father used to do that. I want to watch him explore a world of spires and bells, free from any worry about a new pregnancy or any despair from a failed cycle.

If by some miracle we get pregnant on our own before then, we’ll obviously change our plans. But we’re not going to return to the clinic before September 2013.

And when we do go back we’re going to hope like mad that one of our two snowbabies sticks.


The other exciting news is one of my sisters is starting to think about ttcing. I love her partner- he is an amazing guy and they are SO well suited for each other. I knew after the first couple of times I met him that he was her Q. I think I knew before she did!

She is being proactive after witnessing what I went through to get E., so their plan is for her to stop taking her bcps this fall in anticipation of them actually trying in the spring/summer. She’s worried her cycle may not restart properly, so she wants some time to let it sort itself out. I think she’s going to borrow my copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and she might chart while they are not trying so she can get a good understanding of her cycle (she is a planner like me. Oh she is so much like me.)

I am beside myself with excitement. They will be wonderful parents. E. could have a cousin!

And in the depths of the night, when no one else is there to listen, I dare to hope that she and I might get to be pregnant at the same time.


Filed under Family, FET, PhD, Second Thoughts

And, once again…


At least I can enjoy the smug sensation of being right, and telling Q. “I told you so.” (This is cold comfort.)

Dr. L. is clearly not happy. He wants me in there on day 2 for a follow up. This won’t be happening seeing as I have absolutely NO desire to inflict the clinic on myself during Christmas, but I’ll go in sometime in January. Q. is coming too. And we’re going to ask the hard questions until we get some answers.

I sense that Q. isn’t done yet- isn’t ready to stop. Not without talking to the doctor, seeing what alternatives we have, what other tests they can do. So I’ll go along with that, and we’ll see where we stand at the end of it all.

If he can’t offer anything better than trying it all over again- I’m done.

If he has ideas about what to do next- I will see what Q. wants. We are a team. I won’t impose a decision to stop on him, even though it’s my body that’s taking the brunt of this. It wouldn’t be fair. He’s dealing with this as much as I am.

I stand by what I said earlier- I think I’m done. I’d like to have my life back. But I don’t think Q. is there yet. So we’ll see what happens in January.

But in the meantime, I will relish my newly needle-free evenings, and I am damn well going to enjoy my booze this Christmas.


Filed under FET, TWW

FET #2- 13dp3dt

So tomorrow is the big day.

This week has gone by faster than I thought it would. I think it’s partially because I’ve been busy with schoolwork, but mostly because I finally started to get out of the house every day for a walk, which has helped to contain (note: not eliminate) the crazy that’s been brought on by this meds combination.

I am still WIRED, people. I apparently need almost no sleep. When I sit still, I can feel my body just sitting there burning up from the inside out. I don’t feel like myself at all. There’s going to be one hell of a crash when I come off all of these drugs.

And I’m expecting to come off of them all tomorrow. I know last time I said I thought it would be negative, but I wasn’t sure if I really believed that, or if I was just trying to protect myself.

This time, however? This time I am just absolutely certain in my gut that the result will be negative. I can’t even really put my finger on why I feel this way. I know as well as anyone does that “symptoms” in the tww can be meaningless, and I’ve heard lots of examples of women who didn’t feel anything and turned out to be preggers. My certainty surprises me. It’s frustrating Q. But there it is.

I don’t believe that I’m pregnant.

And I think it says a hell of a lot about where I currently stand in our ttc journey, and how I’ve been feeling, and the toll this most recent tww has taken on me that the most overpowering emotion I feel when I think about that is relief.


Filed under Emotions, FET, Medications, TWW

FET #2- 6dp3dt

Nearly a week through. Thank goodness. I’ve found in the past that the first week goes by relatively quickly, and it’s the second week that drags and drags. The first week you know it’s too early for anything you’re experiencing to be “symptoms”, so it’s easier to check out, kick back, relax, and try to pretend your life might not be about to change entirely in a week’s time.

The second week, I have found, is torture. Especially since I think I’ve proven time and time again that I’m GREAT at inventing symptoms. I am a superstar at fooling myself into thinking I could be pregnant. I’m just hoping the fact that I was (briefly) pregnant last cycle will help settle me down. Sore bbs are worth getting excited about. Everything else, not so much.

This week has been hard. Because semester has ended I’ve been able to rationalize working entirely at home. So since we arrived back from the clinic on Friday, I have left the house exactly ONCE- on Sunday, to make the five minute walk to the grocery store to pick up a couple of items we forgot we needed when Q. did the regular shop on Saturday. I didn’t actually get to CARRY any of said items except for the bananas since Q. was being pretty militant about the advice from the clinic not to lift anything heavy, but I did get to go outside.

It’s helped that winter has really decided to settle in. It’s easy not to want to go outside when the wind is howling and that lovely combination of snow/rain/sleet/ick so characteristic of early winter is pouring down from the leaden skies. I haven’t been as stir crazy as I might have expected. Were it summer, I would be going BONKERS.

That’s not to say that I’m not excited about the prospect of getting out this weekend. We have dinner and lunch plans. We need to do some Christmas shopping and buy some lights for our porch. I get giddy just thinking about the possibilities. And, to be honest, there’s no way I could manage to stay at home in the seclusion/quiet of this last week. Not in the final week of the wait- I need the distractions of the outside world.

I’ve been busy though. I made a list of all the school-related things I really should get done before the next semester, and I am slowly working my way through them. Erika asked about the essays I’ve been marking (finished yesterday- woo hoo!)- they’re on various aspects of ancient Greece. As usual, after marking forty-plus undergraduate essays I now doubt my own spelling and use of apostrophes…

I had a mild freak out on Tuesday. I’ve been avoiding the scale for the last couple of weeks since, like most women, I have issues with it, and I can get obsessed with numbers, and I didn’t want to stress if I put on a pound or two during this FET since that sends a good sign to your body (We have lots of food! Time to reproduce!). I’ve been pretty good about no sugar (although not perfect- my last day on campus involved a very large piece of carrot cake…), but nothing other than that.

So you can imagine my shock when the scale informed me that I’ve lost FIVE pounds over the last couple of weeks.

If you remember, I wrote here about how happy I was to hit my wedding weight, my happy weight, just before the half-marathon. Well, after the race, I dropped about three pounds, which I figured was muscle turning into fat, since I think I looked better at the heavier weight. And then I stayed at that weight for the next couple of months. It was nice having that consistency- with the PCOS I’m usually fighting to lose weight, or not actively trying to lose weight (and therefore quietly gaining it). It’s rare for my body to achieve any type of equilibrium.

Now I’m eight pounds below my wedding weight, and I’ve done NOTHING to achieve this. This is unheard of- I simply do not lose weight without lots and lots of effort.

My first thought when I panicked on Tuesday was my thyroid has swung round into hyper territory, as I’ve been really warm as well lately. But I don’t have the super-accelerated heartbeat or the high anxiety that I remember from the times I’ve strayed into being hyper rather than hypo. When I was hyperthyroid- I was WIRED.

So the only thing I can think of is it’s a combination of the pred.nisone and the metformin. My original f/s did tell me that metformin burns about 500 calories a day, but since I’ve never experienced any sort of weight loss on it before, I’ve never paid much attention to that. I can definitely notice the double dose of the pred.nisone though. I wouldn’t describe myself as hyper…just full of beans each and every day (again, not really normal for me, especially at the end of semester). And Dr. tells me this isn’t unusual (although weight loss doesn’t seem to be an expected side effect). So I’m wondering if my metabolism is basically on speed right now.

I’m trying not to panic that my shrinking self is sending out bad vibes to the snowbabies, because stress definitely won’t help the situation, and I can’t eat that weight back on again in a week, much as I might enjoy trying. The whole thing is just really weird. And I think I’m going to have to buy pants even if I do turn out to be pregnant as my current jeans have me emulating the baggy pants trend far more than I’d like.

On another note, my assvice for anyone who ends up in a tww with PIO shots: eat All Every.single.morning. The day you start the PIO shots- start the All It’s boring, and it’s got more sugar and secret elements of corn than my oatmeal does, but it really does work. This is the most comfortable I’ve been in a tww in ages.

Also, read the directions on things. The bruising from the Frag.min injections has gotten noticeably better since I reread the directions and realized that you are supposed to take the needle OUT of your belly BEFORE you allow it to self-retract into its guard in that nifty manner it has. (I’m really annoyed with myself for this one.) And make sure you don’t give yourself time to think about the needle. Just swab the area, pull off the cap, grab some belly, and jab. It stings less and you get less bruising if you do it with confidence/gusto. (As an added bonus you then bring less psychological bruising with you to your next injection…) 

The twws are hard on Q as well. He really wants to do everything around the house, but he’s exhausted from teaching, and it isn’t fair for him to cook dinner and clean up afterwards. He’s finally letting me do a bit more, which is helping ease the guilt I feel when I’m meant to just sit around and be pampered. We are a good team, and we have a routine that really works. Twws disrupt it.

8 days to go.


Filed under FET, Medications, Thyroid, TWW

FET #2- Transfer Day

Well, maybe I should predict the weather, or organize train timetables or something. We turned up, as requested, at 11.45 am. Our two embryos were placed into my uterus at 1.30 pm. But since I had indeed brought a book (and we even bought lunch at Tims beforehand and packed it in), and I didn’t drink any more water after I finished my litre, it wasn’t too bad. I’m definitely in the groove now- the nurses all remember me and happily leave me to do things myself. They know that I know how it all works.

Our two embryos looked fantastic again. These two were the one natural fertilizer, and the last one from the ICSI. The ICSI one was a super high grade as I recall from the chart, and you could really tell. My f/s and the head nurse took pains to point out just how awesome it looked, even discussing with the embryologist what they could see on the big screen. And I don’t think they’re shitting me. I’m sure they muscle up enthusiasm and hope for every patient. But I’ve read the reports- I’ve seen the pictures. I know we make good embryos.

So I’ve come home to rest and relax, when I’m not popping pills or jabbing myself. They actually got me to do a Fr.agmin right there in the clinic before we went home. The nurse spent a lot of time preparing me for the bruising I can expect with the double dose of Fr.agmin and the baby aspirin. I’m resigned to it- I have always bruised easily. And now, yep, I’m basically a pin cushion.

I didn’t want to give the impression in my last post that I don’t have any hope for this cycle, because that would be a bold-faced lie. I have heaps of hope- loads of hope- dangerous amounts of hope. I know my thyroid is balanced. I know that I am dosed up to the eyeballs on every possible medication that could help (the head nurse looked at my instructions and said, “Well, you’ve got everything in the book here!”). Our embryos are great. My lining was great. I have absolutely NOTHING scheduled for the next two weeks as semester is winding down and I can miss the last couple of days of classes. I can just stay at home and mark student essays and read books for my comp lists, and relax. I am in a great place with school right now, so there is no stress hanging over my head there. I’m physically fit, but I haven’t been exercising much. I’ve made sure I haven’t lost any weight.

In short, I’ve done everything I can.

What I don’t think I have any more, and I used to, is expectation. I no longer expect to get pregnant. I no longer expect things to work. I have hope, yes, but if it doesn’t work out, I think I’ll be resigned rather than surprised.

C’mon snowbabies. Please like your environment enough to want to stay.


Filed under FET, ttc, TWW