Saturday, December 29, 2012

First Ultrasound

I had my first U/S yesterday.  I was so shocked at how nervous I was all day!  It really took me by surprise.  Luckily, everything turned out great!  One tiny little blurb with a tiny little heartbeat.  Thank you Lord.  They say he/she is exactly the right size for 6w2d.  :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pregnancy Symptoms

Early pregnancy has been different than I expected.  I'm in my 5th week, Day 5.  It's a wonderful feeling that I've been waiting for my entire life.  But it also comes with some downsides.  As much as it may sound like complaining, I'm more than happy to experience every one.

The only thing I really want to do is sleep or at least lie down.  When I'm not working, that's pretty much all I do.  Unfortunately at night, I sometimes am up for hours.  I've been watching a lot of movies in the middle of the night.

Body Temperature
I'm either freezing or too hot.  I wake in a pool of sweat every morning.  I have a low grade fever about once per day or so. Tylenol helps and I try to use it as little as possible.

If I walk too far, I get short of breath and need to sit.  My poor dog is suffering mostly here.

Mild Cramping
I still feel mild cramping.  I don't mind this, as it feels like construction is going on.

Food Aversion/Craving
I don't have this bad.  I haven't really craved anything (more of an aversion because I usually crave lots).  When I do eat, I get full pretty fast.  I've had to make a point to eat enough.  Then, suddenly last night I had to have a chicken sandwich and fries from Burger King!  I couldn't  get it out of my mind.  I thought I would never sleep without it.  Luckily my tired symptoms won out and I never got myself out of bed.  :)

Pregnancy Brain
I scheduled by blood draws for my beta tests first thing in the morning so that I could stop by on my way to work.  The first time, I ended almost at work before I realized and then made 3 wrong turns on my way back to the lab.  Two days later, I made the same schedule and was so proud of myself when I got off the freeway and didn't do the auto drive to work only to find that I was at my acupuncturist.  :-/
The next day I was in a meeting and was asked a question that I definitely knew, but my mind went blank for a good 2 minutes.  I had to pretend like I wasn't feeling well, which was easy because I was starting to sweat.  That was embarrassing.  I've been calling a lot of people by the wrong name.  I really need my brain for work.  This one is going to be tough!

I don't think this is caused by pregnancy, but it definitely comes with it.  I can't wait for my first ultrasound.  It's on Friday afternoon.  Seeing my little bean and hearing a heartbeat will really calm my anxiousness.  Luckily there are many women who have already asked all of the questions I have online and many other woman that answer them that have been through the same thing and reassure all of us that everything is perfectly normal.  :)  But there is always that one that throws out the dreaded "M" word.  grrrrrr.

Symptoms I Don't Have
Nausea and breast tenderness, which brings me back to worry.  It may be a little early for the nausea, but I'll be shocked if I don't get it because I get car sick pretty easily.  I will feel very blessed if I don't!

My worst symptom isn't a pregnancy symptom at all.  It's still the impact of the progesterone shots.  My back is constantly swollen and extremely tender.  I'm already wearing maternity because a waistband is out of the question and it's still uncomfortable all the time.  I walk around like a 90 yo woman.  Occasionally, I accidentally hit the swollen area and let out a scream. My doctor wrote me a generic prescription for progesterone so that I can talk to my pharmacist on Monday to discuss alternatives to sesame oil.

Work was starting to get way too stressful.  It was looking like the holiday weeks were going to be two of my worst preparing for the new year.  But God stepped in just when it was too much to handle and postponed a few of my projects due to outside influences!  Now I actually get to enjoy the holidays (which means sleeping).  :)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Second Beta

Beta 1 - 14 DPO (days past ovulation) = 118
Beta 2 - 16 DPO = 306

Everything looks great!  

Next step is the first ultrasound the day after Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


My transfer went well on Monday.  The embies thawed well.  I stayed on a self imposed bed rest until I flew home on Thursday.  Unfortunately, when I got home, my beloved 18 year old cat wasn't doing well at all.  I ended up taking her to be put to sleep that night.  Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck.  I tried to control my stress, but that was impossible.  I caught up on my sleep last night and felt better.

I made a conscience decision to not become obsessive during the wait.  My mind has been occupied, so that hasn't been a problem until today.  I took my very first HPT this morning and there was no second line.  I wasn't expecting one because it's very early (I don't know if this is day 5 or 6 past 5DT-are we supposed to count the transfer day?), but I couldn't help it.  I figured it would be a baseline.  Even though I was fullly expecting it, I still hit the message boards and started obsessing!  I've had a headache, hot flashes (more like a temporary flu like feeling) daily and trouble sleeping.  That I chalked up to progesterone.  Then yesterday I started felling twinges.  I figured that couldn't be progesterone because I've been on it for 1.5 weeks and I just started feeling them.  Online, I read that it is and is not a symptom of progest.  So, that didn't help.  I was about to give up and go to bed, but decided to take another test.  Luckily, I didn't have to obsess for too long. Tonight's test has a faint second line!  :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

That Damn Needle

I've been very good about needles and giving myself shots.  I actually kind of look forward to them, as it makes me feel like I'm progressing towards my goal.  The only exception is Progesterone.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that I started my Progesterone shot today and hope to be doing it every day for many weeks!  But, it's the only one that gives me pain.  Not the needle itself, but the muscle ache afterwards.  I've had two attempted transfers this year (embryos never made it to transfer) and both times I was seriously limping after just a couple of days on progesterone.  I seriously couldn't imagine how I was going to function and move around.  I was having trouble finding new spots that didn't look like golf balls.  Getting in and out of the car was the worst.  I figured out that I did hit too low a couple of times, but even the high shots were very achy.

So here I sit on my heating pad equally dreading and looking forward to more poking and prodding for hopefully last round!

Transfer is set for Monday afternoon.  Texas here I come!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Think Thick!

I never thought I would be praying to be thick, yet here I am.  My ultrasound last week didn't present the results I hoped for.  I was only 6.7mm thick when I should have been at least 8.  So, everything was postponed a week.  Compared to all of the delays I've experienced, this is no big deal.  Tomorrow I go in for another U/S.  I've been doing everything that I physically can to present the best results.  So, now it's just time to pray that I made good progress this last week.   If all goes well, my transfer should be next week.

Maybe there is an end in sight to all of the poking and prodding!

As for bed rest, I've decided to stay on bed rest Dallas for at least 48 hours.  I'm debating 72.  Then I'll take a wheelchair to the gate and take it easy at home for a few more days.  Better safe than sorry.  :)

I must say that this cross-state transfer is for the birds.  Last minute fares are cha-ching.  It will also be nice to hopefully put an end to the hole in my wallet.

It's so comforting to see others in the blogisphere that are going through the same thing at the same time.  Praying for success all around!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To rest or not to rest

Everything worked out and I'm on my way!  I started Lupron last week and have an ultrasound tomorrow morning to start Estrace.  If all goes well, my transfer is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  It's hard to believe this is really happening.   I do feel very prepared though.  I've been going to acupuncture for weeks, taking my herbs, eating mostly what I should.  Let's get this show on the road!

Now that I'm scheduling my trip, I need to make a decision about bed rest.  I've been to a few REs and they all have different philosophies.   The clinic I'm going to now doesn't really believe in bed rest because there are no studies that show that it has any impact.  But when I talk to my sister-in-law and one of my best friends, both who went through IVF and eventually succeeded  (my friend has done it 10 times and is now pregnant with twins, my brother and sister-in-law have 13 yr old triplets), they think that its not worth the risk and that I should lie flat on my back for 3 days minimum.  I thought I was being clever with my travel plans by staying at a nice hotel that is inside the airport so that I'm really close to the gate.  I even thought I would get a wheelchair.  Then I was going to fly back the day after the transfer.  But now after talking to them, I'm second guessing that plan and wondering if I should just stay.  The cost really adds up, but it's nothing compared to the emotional and financial impact of doing it yet again.  My gut tells me that taking it easy is good enough, but I don't want to look back and wonder if I should have done it differently.  I'll make my final decision tomorrow.

Luckily, a friend of mine, Erica, has volunteered to come with me.  That will make the week more bearable.  Plus, I'll be less likely to be getting up a lot.  Although, I feel very bad for her!  She's going to be bored out of her mind.

Less than 3 weeks and counting!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good News!

So, I've been waiting to post my good news because I thought I could combine with a projection of my timeline.  But, alas, there is more waiting.  The good news is that the egg donor was tested for the genetic deletion and she was clear!  So, both genetic parents are clear and this deletion is "de novo" and not a risk to the other embryos.  We are back on track!

The frustration I have is with the efficiency of the RE office.  I've worked with a few in my time, so I know that none are perfect.  However, this round is particularly frustrating.  And this is coming from someone who has gone all the way through the paperwork phase with a Russian adoption.  Sometimes I want to jump through the phone to introduce the concept of a checklist.  These are all the things that need to be done, so start working on them now.  Instead, each is given one at a time and the replies take several days or weeks and then a new step is introduced.  Really?  Is this the first time you've done this?  I'll give it one more week before I ask the donors to allow me to transfer the embryos to California.  It's been a very long road, but this last stretch is particularly difficult.  Lord, please give me patience!

IF we are able to get through this last (really the last?) step this week, then I can start my Lupron on Friday and I believe my transfer would be Thanksgiving week!  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Still waiting, but hopeful!

Hoping to hear good news soon!  Thankfully, the anonymous egg donor agreed to the genetic test.  The results should be in sometime in the next 2 weeks.  If she comes back clear, Dr. K will release the hold and we're good to go!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Numb to the Waiting

After all of the waiting that I've been doing over the past few years, I feel like I've become somewhat numb to it.  Every delay used to be excruciating.  Now, although I have disappointment, I just shrug my shoulders and wait.  There's not much I can do about it, so I guess I'll just wait.

This latest delay was very unexpected.  I have completed everything on the checklist and have the meds.  I'm all ready to go and could even combine clinic visits with upcoming planned work meetings in Dallas.

I had just gotten very good news.  I had tested for high natural killer cells with my last RE (that's not the good news). Some REs, including 2 of them that I respect highly, believe that Intralipid infusion is an effective treatment, allowing many who have trouble getting and staying pregnant who have high NK cells.  I witnessed one of my best friends go through about 9 IVFs before they tested her.  She has high NK cells and was able to get pregnant not once, but twice with the Intralipids.  She has a 3 year old and is now pregnant with twins.  There aren't any controlled studies out there, so Dr. K was very resistant.  I was very worried that I would finally get good embryos and they wouldn't be able to survive.  After sending Dr. K everything I could find, he finally agreed to the treatment (yeah!).

In the very same email, he told me that the embryo donors had very recently mentioned the results of a genetic test one of their children received.  They were just giving full disclosure and didn't think that it had any impact on the genetic health of the other embryos.  Dr. K isn't convinced and wants to be sure the gene deletion is "de novo" (occurring for the first time).   The bio father got tested last week and is clear.  Now Dr. K wants the anonymous egg donor to get the test as well.  If she comes back with the same deletion or if she doesn't get the test, he is not going to release the hold on these embryos.

I just pray that there isn't a genetic condition.  Maybe God thinks I need to do a few things, like continue to get healthier.  So, I will continue to focus on health and wait...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Here we go!

I had my first visit to the Dallas clinic that will be performing the frozen embryo transfer (FET).  I had the opportunity to meet the very generous couple who are donating!  It was a great visit.  We all believe that these embryos are life and we want to give them the very best opportunity to have a wonderful future in my family.  I'm so grateful for them.

We are going to have a open relationship and discussed how we thought that would work.  There is another couple who also received embryos from this couple and had twins (the donors had twins too).  Unfortunately, the other couple doesn't want to have direct contact with me.  But, hopefully that will change in the future.

I flew out on Thursday and went to dinner at a busy sports bar in Bedford that has a great patio to watch the game.  It was actually chilly, which is surprising considering the temperature at home (hot!).  The trip home consisted of many hours in the airport and an hour sitting on the runway (boo to AA), but it was all worth it.

We're off to a great start!