Category Archives: Symptoms

2.0 FET #3, 9dp5dt

We’ve been away, so I’ve been out of the loop with reading my feedly and keeping up with everyone’s news. It was nice, to have grandparents around to spoil E. (and wear him out) and to have some distractions to try to keep me from overanalyzing. (It didn’t really work.)

I keep thinking I should post on here, but I don’t know what to say. I’ve said all of it before. So many times before.

I’m either pregnant or I’m not.

I think I am, but given my track record when it comes to this type of gut feeling, it’s probably just the progesterone messing with my head.

It feels like it did in December.

I try to tell myself that it means nothing, but it’s too late: the hope genie is out of the bottle and there’s no shoving her back in, no matter how hard I try.

Whatever.

If it didn’t work, it’s going to hurt, whether or not I try to convince myself ahead of time that it failed. And if it has failed, maybe I’ll write a post so that women who google “full feeling in abdomen” or “cramps like AF is coming” or “strange outburst of acne” will find it and realize, as I should have realized, as I should know from past experiences, that these really are meaningless symptoms when it comes to being pregnant or not.

I’m so tired.

I just want to know. I’ve had the “to test or not to test” debate with myself over and over. I don’t think I can rationalize spending money to find out something that I’m going to find out for free. Plus as long as I don’t test the hope genie can keep flitting around spreading her ridiculous optimism.

Beta in three days.

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Filed under 2.0 FET #3, Second Thoughts, Symptoms

7w3d and all is well

We had the same ultrasound tech as last time. She was wonderful- put in the probe, took one look at the screen and then immediately turned to us and said, “I see baby’s heartbeat. Baby is growing. It’s a good baby.” She took a more careful look around, confirmed that the baby was still there and growing and then started taking measurements.

Baby measured 7w2d, so still a day behind, but s/he’s grown a week since the last scan which is right on track. The heart was nice and strong – 154 bpm. There was a very noticeable yolk sac- I don’t remember it looking that obvious with E. Maybe it has something to do with where it attaches. Baby was definitely bigger but still pretty blob like. I remember E. being in a ‘peanut’ stage with this ultrasound, but this one still looks more like a blob.

The circle is the yolk sac. The blob is the baby.

The circle is the yolk sac. The blob is the baby.

The empty second sac is still there, and so is the blood clot/SCH. The SCH has actually grown significantly since last week (it’s doubled in size if I read my chart correctly). I saw a different doctor today (mine wasn’t in) and she didn’t seem too concerned about things. She told me to stop the Fragmin as of today (HURRAY!) and to now start weaning off the prednisone. I started weaning off the prednisone at this point during E.’s pregnancy but it took a lot longer to stop since I was on a triple dose because of the hives.

Everything looked so good she told me not to come back for two weeks. When I said I had to be back in next Thursday for another intralipid infusion she agreed I might as well have another scan at that point too since I’ll be at the clinic. I’m happy with that- I feel sick the morning of an ultrasound, but the reassurance is worth the pre-appointment anxiety.

There was certainly no discussion of me taking more time off work. I don’t know if she’s less cautious than my doctor or if he just felt that last week was a really critical one. Regardless, I’m happy to be able to start getting things back into order as I am really behind with teaching prep (to say nothing of the dissertation).

When I got home, I had a proper conversation with E. where I told him that I was growing a baby in my body. Q. and I had agreed we’d tell E. if this scan was all right as it’s not fair the way we’re always talking around him, and I know he worries about why I’m always going to the doctor. So we talked about how I’m going to the doctor so much because they’re making sure that everything is ok with the baby, and that I’m not sick myself. E. seemed moderately interested. He said he wanted a baby sister just like in the Berenstain Bears’ New Baby but then was most interested in pointing out how when the baby was born “it would play with baby toys” and wouldn’t be big enough to play with his own toys. I’m not entirely sure he gets it yet, but it’s a start.

Pregnancy-wise, I am having much more trouble with food than I was at this point with E., although I suspect partly that’s due to the fact that I’m not on a triple dose of prednisone this time around. I get a lot of low level nausea throughout the day. It’s not serious, but it can be enough to put me off my appetite. I still mostly want to eat salt and potatoes. Dinner is the hardest meal as it seems the nausea gets worse throughout the day. Q. cooked a lovely meal last night and I could barely touch the pork, ignored the salad completely and ate almost all the fries.

I also had a completely insane dream two nights ago. Every single part of it was insane, but weirdly I looped back to the first element when I neared the end, so when I woke up it took me that much longer to realize that all of it had been a dream. I found myself lying in bed thinking, “Ok, so the bit where we were all running in the downtown core of a big city while some sci-fi droid things shot at us wasn’t real, and the bit where I signed up for prenatal classes at eight weeks and there were girls there I went to high school with wasn’t real, and the bit with the medieval/dragon boat racing festival wasn’t real, but what about the bit with the mall and my sister’s birthday? Did I actually miss her party because the mall was closing and I couldn’t find the right present?” Eventually I determined none of it had been real, but I felt exhausted that whole day- I think because I’d been so busy in my dreams!

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, A matter of faith, Anxiety Overload, E.- the third year, Food, Medications, Siblings, Sleep, Symptoms, Ultrasounds

5w1d- Waiting for Beta

With E’s pregnancy I had four betas drawn- the first three were every 48 hours and then the final one was four days after the third. The clinic must be feeling good about this pregnancy as they only made me do two betas before moving me to the final one, which will be tomorrow morning.

I’ve had three days now without any documentable proof that the pregnancy is progressing without any problems. That’s proved to be more than enough time to completely freak out on any number of occasions. The worst by far was on Sunday when we woke up to discover that our basement had flooded thanks to the cold snap- a pipe had frozen and then broken when the weather warmed up. I spent about forty minutes helping Q. ferry things up from the basement before I realized I had started cramping. That earned me an automatic trip to the couch for the rest of the day, with orders from Q. to concern myself with nothing more pressing than keeping E. entertained. But when the cramping didn’t subside quickly and in fact only increased in strength the longer I sat there, my mood degenerated.

Logically, as I said to my saint of a sister who dropped everything to come over and help Q. carry all the things that were too heavy for me to lift, a pregnancy that could be uprooted by something as simple as carrying a few things up and down stairs was one that wasn’t going to make it. If it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else.

Logical, yes, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

By evening things had settled down a bit, and I remembered that I freaked out about cramping with E.’s pregnancy too (and probably right around the same point).

I’ve been a bit more on an even keel ever since.

It’s been stressful, however, to have to ‘out’ myself as pregnant. Not to friends or family- we’re not telling anyone who didn’t already know that we were in the middle of the IVF cycle until we hit twelve weeks (with the exception of our parents- we told them last time at the eight week mark and we might do the same this time if all goes well). No, it’s the medical practitioners.

First I had to email my GP’s office to request that they fax a referral letter to my endocrinologist. He requires a referral letter to be sent annually and he won’t let you make a new appointment unless this happens. I should have done this back in early December after I last saw him, but I dropped that ball during the IVF. In the email I had to say that it was a relatively urgent matter because I’d just learned I was pregnant and he would need to see me.

Then I had to call my endocrinologist’s office to see if my GP’s office had sent the referral (luckily they had). The receptionist started to book me for May, so I had to interrupt and say I’d just learned I was pregnant. Instead of May I now have an appointment tomorrow morning.

And finally my midwives called back to offer me care, and assigned as my primary midwife the woman who was my backup last time and who ended up delivering E. This made me so happy, but it meant another phone call, another appointment to schedule (this one is on the 15th, a week Wednesday).

Every time I got a little bit more nervous.

I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. If you want a midwife in my city, you have to call the second you find out you’re pregnant. And it makes sense to see my endocrinologist as soon as possible so he can raise the dose of my synthroid to make sure everything will be kept under control in the early weeks of the pregnancy.

These are good, sensible things to be doing. They are signs of a responsible pregnant person.

It still makes me feel like I’m waving a giant red flag at the bull of the universe, essentially shouting out, “Hey! Look! There’s an infertile who’s barely into her pregnancy and she’s making APPOINTMENTS like it’s just going to go along normally!”

Nothing bad has happened yet.

But it is so very hard not to assume that something will.

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Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Medications, Midwives, Symptoms, Thyroid

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

2.0 IVF 12dp5dt- One more day

Beta is tomorrow. It would have been today if we’d been home.

I thought about testing but decided against it. I don’t want to spend more money only to get one line. Plus I did a pretty good job of not thinking about it while we were away (except for the early mornings when I woke up before everyone else), and I didn’t want to wreck that. It was clever to put the tww over Christmas- I just wish I hadn’t stimmed so quickly that the tww started on the 20th and not the 23rd. I was pretty stressed over that weekend what with the major weather event and the frozen embryo report, and it was only on the 23rd, which I spent baking cookies with E., that I was able to consciously relax and just focus on Christmas.

Oh well. Maybe that was already too late. There’s nothing I can do about it now.

Nor can I do anything about the chair that I lifted on the second day after the transfer and carried upstairs so that we had a way for E. to climb into his crib by himself without me having to lift him. Q. weighed the chair afterwards, and it was just under my clinic’s magic twenty pound weight restriction, but I had nothing but cramping afterwards.

Nor can I do anything about the fact that on the 23rd, after walking with E. down to the streetcar stop rather than getting the stroller out, because I know it weighs more than twenty pounds, and having E. climb up the steps himself rather than carrying him like I normally do, and having him climb down the steps himself instead of me picking him up like I normally do, we then walked to the dollar store where I promptly picked him up and put him in the cart so he could help me choose wrapping paper. It didn’t even occur to me what I’d done until we were finished shopping and I was trying to lift him OUT of the cart and his boots got stuck in the spaces for his legs, and I suddenly realized that I’d ended up lifting my toddler despite my oh-so-careful plans to make sure I wouldn’t. Cramping again after that. Then nothing.

I tried. I tried so hard to do what my clinic told me to do. And I still ended up, yet again, doing things that now hang over my head, things that I can’t help but wonder whether they might have swayed the balance, even though they are things that most women would do without a moment’s hesitation.

I wanted this to work so badly. I worked so hard to try to get my head around the possibility of twins, to make my peace with it, to accept it, to eventually even welcome it.

I did everything I could, and tried so hard not to do anything I wasn’t supposed to. But in the end I can’t make it happen. It’s not up to me. I can’t wish it so.

I’m preparing for a negative. I’ve got nothing to really sway me either way, but it’s just easier to try to start expecting bad news than to get blindsided.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, TWW

2.0 IVF- 9dp5dt- Oh, shut up

December 24th
Body: Psst.
Me: What?
Body: *looks furtive* Wanna overanalyze?
Me: No. I’m busy. *goes back to wrapping presents*

December 25th
Body: Psst!
Me: What??
Body: C’mon. Wanna overanalyze?
Me: No. We’re busy. *goes back to opening presents, skyping and eating nice things.*

December 26th
Body: PSST!
Me: WHAT?
Body: Let’s overanalyze! You know you want to!
Me: NO. I’m busy. *goes back to talking non-stop to her toddler for three and a half hours to keep him from melting down in the car during the seven hour journey that should have been four so Q. can concentrate on driving (since he won’t let her drive because “That’s stressful and you’ve got the twins to think of”).*

December 27th, 28th, 29th
Body: PSSST!!!!!
Me: AUGH!! Fine! What do you want??
Body: You cannot tell me you haven’t noticed. All that bloating. All that sensation of fullness.
Me: Yes. I’ve noticed. You’re not fooling me. It’s called progesterone. I’ve been fooled by it before. Not this time.
Body: Yes, yes, ok. But this time is different. You have to admit it’s different.
Me: Yes. It’s called PIO shots meet Christmas holidays. It’s FOOD, body. Overeating for a week doesn’t mix with a digestive system currently functioning at the speed of a snail.
Body: But you’ve had to think about it and tell yourself this, no?
Me: Oh fuck off. I’m going back to reading Longbourn.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, Anxiety Overload, Cycle Madness, Medications, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, TWW

2.0 IVF Day 4: Ah yes, the IVF grind

Today is officially Day 4 of my IVF cycle, since my clinic restarts the clock on the day you start stims. I had to go back into the clinic this morning to see how things were progressing.

Far out. I forgot what happens on the weekend at that place and just how LONG it takes to get through cycle monitoring. I was in there for three hours and twenty-five minutes, and got home just in time to watch E. finish lunch, get down from his chair, and promptly vomit the contents of his lunch all over the carpet, just like he’d done at breakfast. Poor Q. didn’t have the greatest of mornings. E. was sick on Friday morning as well, but seemed to be fine yesterday, so we thought he’d be ok to go to nursery school tomorrow. Clearly not. He’s napping now and hopefully will be able to keep something down this afternoon, poor little thing.

The weirdest thing at the clinic this morning was the woman strolling around the waiting room, hooked up to an IV that obviously had an intralipids bag strapped to it, telling people, “I’ve got no idea what this is. Maybe Lupron?”, at which point the other woman would look very obviously confused since she was probably also on Lupron and knew that it was a medication that was kept in the fridge that you injected yourself with every morning and that was most certainly NOT a medication that required an IV stand. I just shook my head. I can’t imagine being that ignorant of what was going on. Maybe that’s what works for her, maybe she just really trusts her doctors, but I just wouldn’t be able to cede control to that extent. Especially not at my clinic where I’ve caught them making mistakes because they’re so busy. I feel so strongly that I have to be my own advocate.

My f/s was happy with how things are going. I’ve got 11 or 12 follicles on each ovary, all measuring somewhere between 9 and 4. This is definitely a better response rate than how I started out in August 2010, when on Day 7, they were measuring between 10 and 6. He kept the dose exactly the same (225 iu Gonal-F, 75 iu Repronex) and told me to come back in on Wednesday.

My TSH was too high (at 2.97) when they checked it last week, so he raised my dose (and I’m continuing to self-medicate by adding an extra 1/2 pill every second day). He said today it was too early to check it. As long as it’s down around 1 by the time of the transfer, I’ll be happy. I know he feels 2.5 is ok, but that’s too high according to my endocrinologist, and while the man has the bedside manner of a sea slug, he does know his stuff.

A few minutes ago I had a call from the clinic- Dr L. wants to move my intralipid infusion from the 16th to the 11th. This definitely means I’m responding faster than he was expecting. Looks like I won’t have any problems with the transfer spilling over too close to Christmas, but we might end up hitting beta day while we’re still out of town. We’ll sort that out with my f/s once we know for sure what is happening.

In that same post from that IVF cycle in August 2010, I wrote:

This morning I realized I was feeling just a touch out of sorts. A bit bloated, a bit tight through the middle, some heaviness in my abdomen. And I figured that maybe my digestion was getting out of balance, and I should start paying more attention to how much fibre I’m eating.

Bingo. I’m right there again. It’s as if I can feel my ovaries growing those eggs since the nurse gave me today’s dose. I was so much more uncomfortable on the way home than I was going in to the clinic.

So we’re definitely in business. Time to go buy some Gatorade.

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Filed under 2.0 IVF, E.- the third year, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, The Sick, Thyroid

Blindsided

The clinic just called.

My beta was negative.

Fuck.

I am an IDIOT.

From now on, nothing counts until the beta results come back. There are no ‘symptoms’. Everything is meaningless.

Damn it.

I really believed that it had worked. I thought I would be lucky. I thought maybe it could be easy this time.

What a fool I was.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, Emotions, Medications, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, TWW

12dp5dt- I am slowly going crazy…

In 2010, this was the date of my beta. I actually could have gone in from 10dp5dt, but Q. and I decided to wait the full twelve days to give ourselves the best possible shot. Given I POASed at 10dp5dt and got a clear BFN (thank you dollar store tests), it wasn’t difficult to wait those extra two days.

My clinic makes us wait a full fourteen days after transfer with a FET. I think this is because FETs can take a bit longer to get going, what with having been frozen and all. Fair enough. I doubt I’d be at my best immediately after having spent three years on ice.

Anyway, beta is Thursday. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is not all that far away now. But it feels like it is taking FOREVER.

It is made much worse by the fact that I am pretty much 100% convinced that I am pregnant. I’m still refusing to spend money on pee sticks (although I have been sorely tempted), so I still have nothing to confirm this gut feeling. It is all circumstantial evidence:

  • the cramping in the uterus has continued and ebbs and flows from day to day- this is familiar from the cycle that produced E.
  • my uterus/lower abdomen in general feels heavy and full- it’s not bloat, just a general sense that there is less space than there used to be- I don’t remember this in the early stages with my pregnancy with E., but I wouldn’t have been as sensitive to it.
  • I am dizzy all the time now- head rushes every time I stand up- this was the same in 2010. I’m also out of breath a lot, but that would be the progesterone.
  • I am incredibly sensitive to smell- I had a lot of trouble walking around the neighbourhood with E. on garbage day last week. On Saturday we bought a melon at our farmers’ market, and when I cut into it, Q. and I weren’t sure it was still ok to eat. Q. ate a small triangle and said to me that he thought it was off but wasn’t sure. I put a tiny piece in my mouth and had to spit it out immediately or I would have thrown up- the melon had clearly gone off, and my whole body rebelled at the thought of eating it.
  • Lastly, I am frequently nauseous, especially in the mid-to-late afternoon, and especially if I’ve let my stomach get empty. I certainly had the queasies with E. (although never any actual vomiting, for which I was eternally grateful), but they definitely had not started this early. Maybe one’s body starts to react faster the second time around because it’s done it before?

So. Either I’m pregnant and we’re getting good news on Thursday, or my body is engaged in the world’s biggest mindfuck.

Two more days.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, Medical issues, Medications, Second Thoughts, Symptoms, TWW

Déjà vu (7dp5dt)

A day or so ago I was reading back through my blog and I read my way through August 2010 and the tww that led to E.

This cycle feels SO similar.

Last time, at exactly 7dp5dt, I wrote:

My body finally decided it wasn’t that big of a fan of the ethyl oleate solution which the progesterone is in. At first I just had two itchy areas, one on each side of my butt. I didn’t realize they were there until I found myself wondering why I kept absentmindedly scratching my butt while reading, talking to Q., staring in the cupboard to see if there’s a good snack on offer, etc.

I’m using castor oil this time rather than the ethyl oleate, in an effort to prevent another resurgence of the hives from hell, but I’m getting the exact same effect. My butt is seriously itchy. I’m watching (a bit anxiously) to make sure I don’t start getting welts, as it’s a slippery slope from those to full body hives.

I also wrote:

My Frag.min bruises have started up. I’ve only got one nasty blood blister bruise thus far, but I’m now sporting five distinct yellow-green blotches on my stomach. The rest of my stomach is squishy (I’m not so good with the ab workouts). The bruises are really firm to the touch. I’m trying to go around them with each injection, but I’m starting to run out of space.

Yep.

And this:

I felt all weekend like af was trying to break through. I always have a day before af comes where I just feel generally out of sorts- lots of low level cramping in the uterus, and a general heaviness in my abdomen, coupled with emotional instability (i.e., I will cry at anything).

Check, check, and check. I’m not really noticing the emotional instability at the moment, but the cramping and the heaviness, and the feeling that AF is about to start, that’s all exactly the same.

I’d be more excited about this, except that the day after I wrote that post, I went back through my blog and found this post– one that was written at exactly the same stage in our first IVF cycle in 2009 (9dp3dt). The cramping and the feelings I were having were identical.

That convinced me in 2010 that I wasn’t pregnant, which turned out not to be true. It definitely means that I’m taking this round of cramping and uterine heaviness with a big big grain of salt. This might be the first time I’ve had this cramping after a FET, but I can’t be sure- I didn’t post much during the two FETs in 2009, so it could have happened and I just didn’t record it. In 2010 I thought I hadn’t had the cramping with FETs, and my memory should have been better with only ten months of distance, so it is possible that this is something new.

What is certainly new is having a toddler underfoot. My sister made me feel a billion times better about the lifting I had to do on Tuesday (and the other lifting I’ve had to do over the course of the week). This is what she wrote:

Do they just not want you exerting yourself? The 20lb limit seems pretty arbitrary, and I bet they don’t have good medical studies on what would be a good limit. I guess I just think they don’t want you to stress your body by forcing it to lift something unexpectedly heavy, but you are completely and utterly muscularly adapted to lifting E.’s weight. From, you know, all the E.-lifting.

I’m not going to tell you not to worry, because what else are twws for? But in my mind, lifting E. is the absolute norm for your body right now, not something that should cause undue abdominal stress.

She is so clever. In 2010 it would have been a sudden change if I’d started lifting a 25 lb toddler. But right now? That’s my normal. So I’ve stopped stressing about it (although I’m still trying to limit how often I have to pick him up).

The other thing that’s different is my attitude towards my weight. In 2010, I was obsessed with making sure I didn’t gain too much weight during pregnancy. I had to hide the scale mid-way through the first trimester, and I was weighing myself all the time in the tww. Partly that was because I was at risk of OHSS and I had to make sure I wasn’t gaining unexpectedly, but partly it was because I was obsessing. And it was just ridiculous, because I was in the best shape of my life, and super skinny to boot. I look back at my first couple of ‘belly’ photos, and just shake my head. I have a bigger belly now, not being pregnant!

This time around? I can’t be bothered. I weigh more than I did when I got pregnant with E., as I started this cycle five pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight in 2010. More noticeable is I’m unfit- in the absolute chaos that was early September the running fell by the wayside. I’ve done nothing but eat happily since this cycle started (hurray for steroids!). If I’m not pregnant, I’ll get back on track and sort myself out. If I am pregnant, I’ll put the scale away and will ignore it unless told to do otherwise by a medical professional. I know I will drop the weight at the other end of things, and, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.

One week and counting.

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Filed under 2.0 FET#1, Anxiety Overload, Medical issues, Medications, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image), Second Thoughts, Symptoms