Category Archives: TWW

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

IVF #2- 12dp5dt- Well, I’ll be damned

So here’s the thing. At our transfer the f/s said we should come back for the beta 10-12 days later. Today is 12 days, so Q. and I planned that we should test at home on Thursday (10 days) just to see where we were at.

That test was a clear bfn, which fit with how I was generally feeling about the whole thing. So we pretty much gave up hope. We got a touch cavalier in the last couple of days- we ate vegetarian sushi last night, and this morning I had a mug of tea with caffeine in it. And then I went and did the groceries (including brie and af supplies, ’cause, you know, I wasn’t pregnant) and CARRIED them home. Mostly in a backpack, and the shop is only 500 metres from our house, but in retrospect this was a stupid move.

And the reason it was so stupid is that the clinic called at lunchtime (which lends weight to my theory of how they order their calls) and I’m PREGNANT!

Beta was 232, which at 17dpo, I think is a good number without being an outrageously high one. Not that I know anything about beta numbers. I have to go back in again on Monday.

So now I have two days in which  I need to try to NOT freak out that I’ve just fucked everything up with my grocery lunacy. I haven’t, right? If the beta goes wrong on Monday there could be loads of other reasons other than my determination to carry the milk, right? People do stupid things all the time and still get to be pregnant, yes?

Things I have learned from this, however:

1. Dollar store pregnancy tests are not worth the $1.25 they cost.

2. Act pregnant until you get the final call saying you are not pregnant, no matter how convinced you are and what the tests say.

3. The insane dizziness/head rushes might not be entirely a result of the blood thinners.

4. When in doubt, look at lesson #2 again.

I think Q. and I are in total shock.

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Filed under Emotions, IVF, Pregnancy, TWW

IVF #2- 8dp5dt- Reality check

After I wrote that post yesterday I remembered that I had experienced cramping after my first round of IVF. So I went back through my old entries and found this post, which was written at the exact same point in the cycle. I was stunned at how what I’d written echoed how I was currently feeling, right down to the constant running off to the loo to see if af was here.

That really settled me down with the stupid daydreaming. We all know how that cycle finished up, and I feel EXACTLY the same as I did then. I don’t know why I get the cramping after the fresh cycles but not the FETs. Maybe it has something to do with having gone through the actual process of growing eggs. Who knows. It gets worse throughout the day, and is awful when I first wake up. Then Q. gives me my progesterone injection, and it eases off. It really feels like af is trying to break through, and the meds are the only thing stopping it.

So I’m putting my prediction in now that Saturday’s result is going to be just like it always is- negative.

I realized on the weekend that the nurse who packed up my meds on that last day before trigger (the one who only gave me three vials of progesterone when I’d paid for, and needed, four), didn’t give me enough Frag.min either. She had me pay for a box, but there are only 10 needles in a box. Now this isn’t a problem, because I had six leftover from the last FET which were still good, so I just used them up first. And it wouldn’t have been a disaster, as I could have gone into the clinic to buy more (although I would have been some ticked at the waste of my time). But there are people at that clinic who drive a long way to get there. How hard is it to figure out that if the patient has a 14 day wait until beta, they need more than 10 needles?

Got on the scale this morning and discovered that I’m noticing the same weird weight loss that happened with the last FET (which I think is from the pred.nisone/met.formin combination). I’ve lost four pounds in the last week, and not very much of that can be considered IVF bloat, as most of that had gone by last week when I weighed myself the day after transfer. I suppose the good news is now I’m only one pound heavier than I was before our trip overseas, even if I’ve lost heaps of muscle tone. But I do wish I’d stop randomly losing weight during these twws. I know it sends the wrong signal to my body.

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Filed under Medications, TWW

IVF#2- 7dp5dt- The Week that Drags

This weekend was hard.

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. Then, of course, I felt the overwhelming urge to grab my crotch and spit. I mean, why give up the Major League baseball player impersonation when you’re just getting going?

Anyway, yesterday Q’s daily injection had by the evening become a red welt the size of a nickel. So now I’m waiting to see what today’s does.

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.

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). This weekend felt a lot like that. I found myself short-tempered for the first time since the retrieval, and had to really work at not snapping at Q. I’m still getting terrible head rushes- I lose my vision entirely every time I get up from the couch. So I think my blood pressure must be really low- probably from the damn blood thinners.

Mostly I was just really frustrated. I wanted to go for a run, but I’m not running until we know the result. I wanted to work in our garden, but that would count as too much exertion. I desperately wanted to clean our house, as the dust bunnies on the stairs were driving me crazy (wooden stairs + two cats +my propensity to shed +prevailing winds in the house that seem to deposit everything on the stairs = DUST BUNNIES ATTACK!). But we agreed that I wasn’t doing any intensive housework during this wait.

Q. does clean the house, but he has the biggest deadline of his career this Friday, so he spent the entire weekend working. I did his laundry for him, and bought him two-bite brownies, and tried to just be supportive without getting in his way. Asking him to take on the dust bunnies would have been cruel.

So I went for a couple of walks (and got dizzy on one of them), and read a couple of books, and read the newspaper and did the Saturday puzzles (two KenKens, one Sudoku and a crossword) as I always do. And inwardly I seethed with frustration. That Q. worked non-stop through another weekend (even though I know he had no choice, and that he absolutely hates how hard he’s having to work right now). That I couldn’t go and run. That I didn’t have girl friends in the city whom I could just ring up and see if they were free for coffee that afternoon, because everyone is so busy we have to plan our socializing ages in advance. I was even furious by the end of the weekend that I couldn’t vacuum (and let’s face it, normally I’m not exactly jumping up and down with joy at the thought).

It is interminable, this waiting. And no matter how many times I go through it, how many times I try to build up my defences, how many times we get a negative result, a small, stupid part of my brain insists on holding out hope that THIS time things will be different, and that therefore a good way of spending time when lying on the couch is thinking of different ways to tell people that we’re pregnant. Yesterday I caught myself thinking about how I’d like to organize my BABY SHOWER, for crying out loud. Not helpful. Every time I have a thought like that, I try to beat it down with a really big stick back into the deep, black, secretive, inner workings of my brain. But they just keep popping back up.

Bring on Saturday.

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Filed under Emotions, IVF, TWW

IVF #2- 4dp5dt

A typical morning.

Me: Gosh, here I am typing/reading/whatever after breakfast and I don’t think I feel cramping anymore. I don’t think my bbs are sore anymore, either. Maybe I’ll just sit quietly for a while and pay attention to my body.

Brain: Crap. Crap! She’s sitting quietly and paying attention again.

Uterus and BBs: Again?! How annoying.

Brain: Well, we’ve got to do something about it. We can’t have her sitting quietly, paying attention to her body for the whole day. We’ve got things to do!  What have you got for us, uterus?

Uterus: I suppose I could try to rustle up some cramping. I wasn’t planning on any today though. It’s a bit of pain.

Brain: Nope, cramping is good. BBs? What about you?

BBs: I suppose we could hurt for a while. And then we could do that thing where when she takes her shower we look super dark, but it turns out to just be the lighting in the bathroom when she gets out and looks in the mirror.

Brain: Excellent, excellent! That’s a classic.

Stomach (chiming in): I could aim for some nausea.

Brain: Yes! Nausea is always a good one. And I’ll see if we can’t manage more dizziness and head rushes- she knows they’re from the drugs as she’s had them since the retrieval, but she still notices when they happen. Let’s put this plan into action, team!

Uterus: cramp cramp cramp

BBs: twinge, ache, pinch

Stomach: churn

Me: I hate you all.

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Filed under Emotions, IVF, TWW

IVF#2- 2dp5dt

Two of the younger nurses at the clinic have set up a phone line and email address for cycle monitoring patients. You never actually get a person, but they listen to your message and then they actually call you back, or answer the email. Usually that same day! This is amazing, and is the best idea ever, as my clinic is so busy it is usually really difficult to get anyone to call you back. Also the answering machine system is hideously complicated, so there is one message box for my f/s (which is a black hole, as messages never seem to reach him), and then each nurse has her own box, so you have to guess which nurse is a) working that day and b) feeling charitable enough to take pity on you and call you back.

And, since I don’t like calling people on the phone anyway, having an email address is perfect.

All that to say that one of the nurses got back to me about the blasts. The report isn’t in my chart yet, but she did say that they were frozen separately, as my clinic’s usual policy is only to defrost and transfer one blast at a time given they are higher quality and more likely to lead to a pregnancy. And she said that getting four blasts from 17 embryos was a perfectly normal result. She also promised to tell me about their quality once the report turned up. So good news all round, and Serenity is absolutely right in thinking that I always focus on the NEXT cycle. I don’t remember when I stopped thinking about the current cycle- possibly after the first FET, which was the chemical. But this time round I’ve been more concerned about my snowbabies than the ones (hopefully) tucked up in my womb. I think that’s partially a self-preservation matter, and partially just a reflection of our success to date. Fool me once and all that…

I think I’m officially on the mend. Not too much bloat, and no ovarian or abdominal pain. A touch of cramping still, but that’s not unexpected, and I’m still getting my dizziness/head rushes, so one of the meds has dropped my blood pressure. I’m back to eating my usual diet, except I’m still substituting Gat.orade for water and will probably continue to do so for a couple more days (even though I am disgusted by it), since tonight is my last Dost.inex and I want to make sure it wasn’t the only thing holding back the OHSS.

The best news is that I am not crazy like I was in December. Q. agrees with me that I am in a totally different head space. I don’t know if it was because I was in comps, or because I thought it could be our last shot, or because I had to take Pred.nisone twice a day and it gave me terrible insomnia and heart palpitations (I’m guessing it was probably the meds). Anyway, I’m still tired, of course, and emotionally drained, and frustrated with how flabby and out of shape I feel, but I am still ultimately me, which is a nice change.

Randomly came across a Ben Elton book at the library yesterday called Inconceivable– I had no idea he’d written a novel about infertility (it also got turned into a film called Maybe Baby in 2000 with Hugh Laurie). So I picked it up and zoomed through it- the ending got a bit strange, but overall it was a decent read. I couldn’t figure out if some of the gross errors in treatment and understanding were because Elton didn’t do his research correctly, or because the book was written in the late 90s and things have significantly changed. (Things like claiming Day 3 embryos had three-cells, and that clinics didn’t recommend freezing embryos, and that trying for five years to have a baby was not too long to go before seeking treatment. With that said, he was spot on with a lot of it, and there is a hilarious description of when the husband has to provide a sperm sample).

Anyway, one of the best things that came from it is it turns out Q. wants to read it after me. He is a big Ben Elton fan (I have read and liked a couple of his novels but really disliked others). So it will be interesting to get his perspective on it, seeing as half the story is told from the elusive male point-of-view. We were wondering if Elton himself had any experience with infertility- he and his wife do have twins, but I guess people still manage to have twins without medical intervention these days (my sister has a friend who had fraternal twins unexpectedly, no family history, and I was stunned that a fertility clinic was not involved!). Since Q., like most men, is not exactly big on sharing his feelings, I’ll be interested to see if he identifies with the husband in the novel.

There was one point where the wife was saying how much she appreciated her husband giving her the injections and how she didn’t know if she’d be able to give him needles, and how he never complained but just got on and did it. That reminded me just how much I love Q. When we said our marriage vows, we said the traditional words, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, but I don’t think either of us thought those words would include while sticking needles in your wife’s derriere or calmly cooking dinner while she alternates crying and yelling for no apparent reason. But Q. just gets on with it. This whole process has to be hard on him as well, but he never complains, never makes me feel guilty for the days when I wallow in self-pity. I only see how hard the last week has been for him in the relief he’s showing now that I’m feeling better. It hurts him when I’m in pain.

When we do the injections, stims or trigger or progesterone, we have a routine. Q. sits on the side of the bed, and I lean against the wall so I can take my weight off of the about-to-be-jabbed side. And right before he tells me to take a deep breath, he always puts his feet on top of mine. It’s really comforting, almost like a hug, and it makes me feel like we’re doing this together. I told him the other day how much I liked that he did that, and it turns out he’s been doing it completely unconsciously (through both FETs and now this IVF).  He had no idea he was doing it. But I think, even if he wasn’t aware of it, he was trying to find a way to reassure me, to show me that he loves me, even as he had to cause me pain.

Our babies are going to be so damn lucky to have Q. as their father. I wish they’d just hurry up and get here.

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Filed under Emotions, IVF, Medications, TWW

IVF #2- 1dp5dt- some good news

The clinic froze two blastocysts today. I was so relieved when I heard that that I forgot to ask some key questions (were they graded? are they frozen together, or separately?), so I’ve had to leave a message to see if anyone will give me more information (really, I wish they would just email me a scan of the embryo report. I LIKE hard numbers.).

So that is a big relief. No matter what happens with the fresh transfer, at least we should have a FET up our sleeves.

Thank you all for your experiences with freezing on Day 6- it made me feel a lot better to see that it is relatively common. I was starting to wonder if it was going to be a “pity freeze” as BionicBabyMama called it.

And I feel better, too, after Serenity’s statistics on attrition rates- ours was 77%. So it may be that getting four blasts from 17 Day 3 embryos is an ok result.

It’s hard though. I’m greedy. I was hoping for more. Don’t get me wrong- I am so thankful we had any blasts, and having some to freeze is a huge relief. But I’m used to our embryos being our strength. Sure, I need heaps of drugs to ovulate, and my thyroid is a mess, and I have some endo lurking around, and my uterus seems to reject anything we put in it, and for some reason Q’s millions and millions of swimmers can’t fertilize my eggs without help, but when it all comes together, we make GOOD embryos. Our Day 3 quality has been amazing, both times.

So I think I just got a bit too excited, a bit too confident. But I am working hard on concentrating on the positives- that these four are the survivors- the toughest, healthiest of the lot. That we’ve done everything possible to make my uterus an enticing home for them. That as far as we can tell there is no good reason to think that I am incapable of carrying a child to term, so if one of our two does stick, it could really lead to a baby. (Because I’m at that point where I find it hard to believe that transfers lead to pregnancies and babies. And don’t even get me started on people who get pregnant from actually having sex. That’s too weird!)

The ovary pain has pretty much entirely subsided now, which is great news. I’m still a touch bloated, so I’m keeping up the Gato.rade, but otherwise I’m easing back into a more normal diet, as I think all the salt might now be overkill. And I am still SO hot after I’ve eaten. Doesn’t matter what it is- I end up roasting. Still getting loads of dizziness and low lying nausea, which I’ve had since the retrieval, so things are obviously not quite back to normal yet. But all in all I’m feeling more like myself.

Thank you to whoever submitted my transfer news to LFCA! It was a nice surprise to see it listed there! (And hello and thank you to everyone who came over and read or commented.)

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Filed under Emotions, IVF, TWW

IVF #2- transfer report

Here is what you DON’T want to hear your f/s say as she peruses the report from the lab:

“So we’re not freezing any today then.”

Q. and I both absolutely freaked out inside when we heard that, but things turned out to be not quite as bad as we feared.

A significant number of our embryos stalled after they were checked on Day 3. I still don’t have a precise count on just how many were still going when they were checked on Saturday morning, but the report today showed that one stalled at 6 cells, two at 8 cells, and four (possibly five?) stalled at twelve.

We had two very nice looking early stage blastocysts to transfer. They were too early to be graded, so hopefully they are good ones.

And we have six currently sitting in the morula stage, which is where they should have been on Day 4. So what the clinic is going to do is culture them until tomorrow, and then freeze any that make it to blast. They said this is relatively common and that they’ve had good success rates with Day 6 freezing, but I don’t know how much of that was just putting a good spin on the situation. There was noticeably less of a party atmosphere in the room today than there usually is when people discuss our embryos.

It could be that they’re all just a little slow to get started…or it could be that they’re going to fail to develop any further. We have to wait until tomorrow (or possibly Wednesday morning) for the clinic to tell us the result.

It certainly wasn’t what we were expecting. Since this is our first time going to blast, we have no idea if it is normal to lose that many embryos, or what the significance of having slowpokes could be. Q. and I are in agreement that we made the right decision- it would have been ridiculous to freeze 13+ embryos on Day 3. We’ve already transferred six Day 3 embryos into my uterus, and nothing has stuck. We needed to try something different. We gambled on the blastocysts.

I just really really hope some of them are good enough to freeze tomorrow so that the two floating around in my uterus now aren’t all we have to show for this cycle.

Does anyone out there know anything about Day 6 freezing, or has some success stories for me?

Beta is in 12 days.

One (or more) of my meds is giving me the weirdest side effect- I overheat any time I eat anything. Yesterday at lunch it got so bad Q. made me get a thermometer, as he said I felt like I was burning up (but I wasn’t running a fever). Even just eating a couple of crackers causes me to start sweating. Strange, no?

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Filed under Emotions, IVF, Medical issues, TWW

And, once again…

Negative.

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.

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Filed under FET, TWW