Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pregnancy After Loss

Despite the fact that we are now 5 weeks pregnant and wish that I was overjoyed....instead I am scared.

Scared to let myself be happy.

Scared that we may suffer yet another loss.

I have found already that people tend not to understand my hesitation to be happy, but I have also found that my hesitation is a very normal response in pregnancy after loss.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Little More Pregnant

Today was our second beta.  Our one and only second beta experience did not go was signalled the end of our short lived pregnancy.  To say that I was nervous today was an understatement.

When I got the message today that our beta was 101, up from 41 on Monday I was relieved.....and scared.  This is the furthest that Mark and I have gotten.  We had one IVF get cancelled, one surrogate back back, one surrogate get "disqualified" due to previous pregancy complications, one transfer in India was a BFN (big fat negative), and the other....well....we just covered that.

In early pregnancy the hcg level should approximately double every two days, so going from 41 to 101 is good, very good.

I just hope that the progression continues....

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Little Pregnant

We have been waiting to check our message from the clinic.  The wait was awful.  All afternoon I just kept staring at the message notification on my phone, wondering.....

As much as a wanted to check the message, I also did not want to check it.  You see, our little maybe baby is like Schrodinger's cat.  It is simultaneously both alive and not alive - in a state of quantum superposition -until we check that message.  If we check the message, we may have killed the cat.

At some point though, we had to open the box and find out the fate of our cat.

We agreed to wait until we both got home and check the message together.  Mark and I held hands, held our breath and let the message play.  The nurse sounded nervous.  I was sure that it was bad news.  And then she said congratulations. 


Did we hear that right?

Yes, she said "congratulations".

Our beta test was positive.  Our GC is pregnant, even if just a little.  They will redo the test on Wednesday and double check that the hcg levels are rising.

They did not say what the hcg level was, and even though it is killing me to know, I am not going to call and find out.  (And then do research to see where it falls in the range and spend the next two days vacillating over the numbers).  Instead I am going to try to keep my stuff together for another couple of days and wait for the call on Wednesday.  I have found out the hard way that no amount of playing doctor and reading into test results will do any good.  Instead of wasting my energy on things that I change, I should instead be thankful that we have gotten this far.

I know that a BFP (big fat positive) does not always lead to a healthy baby or even a baby at all...from the many blogs that I have read and also from my own experience...but I also know this is progress.  Maybe Baby is now the size of a poppy seed and is now two layers of cells - the epiblast and the hypoblast.

We just hope that these cells keep growing....

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waiting For Resolution

OK.  Not that type of "resolution". 


1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination: faced the situation with resolution.
a. A firm decision to do something: made a resolution to get more exercise.
b. A course of action determined or decided on: His resolution is to get up early.
a. The act of solving or explaining a problem or puzzle.
b. The resolving or concluding of a dispute or disagreement.
c. The part of a literary work in which the complications of the plot are resolved or simplified.
There is more to the definition of resolution, but this should be enough to get the point.  In the Infertility world resolution is loosely defined as either 1) giving birth a child, 2) having a child via surrogacy 3) adopting a child or 4) deciding to live child free.  The gist of it is that either an event or a decision is made and you are free from the swirling vortex of infertility.

Right now I just wish that we were resolved (no matter what our ultimate resolution may be) instead of not being there yet.

Today my coworkers all got together and went to the Twins game.  Despite the fact that I really don't like baseball it was a pretty good time.  The sun was shining, the game was fast and the Twins actually won (and in an exciting dramatic way), and I actually found some "dark" beer to drink .  I spent some time conversing with my new coworkers and we had some good laughs.  All in all not bad time.

After the game we went to a local bar for a bit more beer and some appetizers.  Still a pretty good time.  Then, as it always does, the numbers start to thin.  I was at the end of the table with two female coworkers.  One I knew found her resolution through adoption, the other I was just informed that she found her resolution of triplets through IVF.  

It turned out that this was a very uncomfortable conversation for me.  Despite being someone who probably had a lot to share, I did not say a word.  I couldn't.  I was afraid that if I spoke, I might break down.

It has been very difficult for me the past few weeks with everything that has been going on.  Let's face it, infertility is stressful at best.  I have just started a new job which is also very stressful.  I also no longer have a support network at work that I can talk to - I have not shared at work yet.  It feels too soon.  So, while on the inside I have felt like freaking out, on the outside I keep pretending that nothing is wrong.  

It was getting harder and harder to listen to this conversation and pretend that nothing is wrong.  It was the triplets that were getting to me.  I admit that pangs of jealousy were welling up inside me.  Where are my triplets (or twins or singletons)?  Why hasn't IVF worked for us?

As she went on and on about how she was on extended bed rest and how bad her back hurt and how much her C-section scar sucks I couldn't help feeling so jealous of the fact despite the obvious hardships, she was able to give birth to healthy children at 35 weeks (which is phenomenal for triplets) ....and I am never going to experience that.

I was sitting there wishing for back pain and bed rest and scars and stretch marks.  These are all things that I will never experience.

I know that this would have been a good time to share my experience, that I could have started to develop a network at work to talk about my infertility experiences with, but I just sat there and did not say a word.

Thankfully the remaining group was beginning to disperse so the conversation wrapped up.  I said my goodbyes and walked back to my parking ramp.  Instead of enjoying the sunshine and the fact that I wasn't at work, I just felt so sad.  I made it to my car and broke down in tears.

Right now I am OK if we have our own child, adopt a child, or never have a child.  I just want this to come to an end.  It is so hard being in limbo all the time, not knowing what will or will not work, and if it will even work at all.  The stress is affecting me and affecting Mark.  We have been on edge for months and it is staring to show.

I try to remain positive and hopeful, but really I just want resolution.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another Two Week Wait

We are now in the dreaded period of time known as the two week wait (TWW).  For those of you who don't know, the two-week wait refers to the time interval that starts once you ovulate and lasts until you either experience your period, experience a "missed period", or find out you have conceived through a positive pregnancy test.  In the case of IVF this is the time between the embryo transfer and the first beta test.

The TWW is limbo, purgatory if you will.  It is a time where there is nothing to do but wait.  After all of the work done over the past few months, now we just wait.  

I suppose that I am lucky that it is not me carrying, in that I would be spending this period of time looking for every possible sign of early pregnancy.  Are my boobs a little swollen?  Am I a little tired?  Do I feel a little sick?  Maybe!  I am sure that I would be reading into everything.  Probably there actually are very few signs at this point as a period has not even been missed yet.

Since it is not me carrying, all I can do is try to stay calm and wait until we get the results of our beta on Monday the 22nd. At this point there is nothing that I or our GC can do.  This is either going to happen, or it is not going to happen.  We have done all that we can do....but really this is mostly out of our hands.

I am Type A.  Very, very Type A.  I work hard.  I get things done.  I am in charge.  I am in control.  There's the important word - control.  Did I mention how hard this is that I have absolutely no control?  That no matter how persistent, tenacious, determined, or steadfast (all nicer ways of saying "stubborn") I am, I cannot just muscle this.  I have to be patient and just wait....
  UGH!  The TWW sucks!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

There Can Be Only One

This is a picture of our maybe baby - a grade 3 (out of 3, 3 being the worst) day 5 morula.  A morula is the development stage just before blastocyst  Today this is our only embryo left, our only chance at our own baby - we hope that this will be good enough.

I joked that our embryos are like Highlanders - that there can be only one - but that is just me trying to make light of the situtuation.  I was really, really, really hoping that we would come in today and we would have three beautiful blastocysts.  (I realize that this was never the reality, but it is still good to want things).  I was also really, really, really scared that we would get a call this morning telling us that all of our embryos had expired and that there was no transfer.  So having one today to transfer was a good middle ground and most likely the reality.

It was definitely an emotional day.  All morning my stomach was in knots waiting for the call from the clinic that our transfer was cancelled.  When the call did not come I was certain that they had just forgot to call and that we would end up coming to the clinic only to be turned away due to the fact that our last embryo had just expired.  Thankfully my overactive imagination was just that - my imagination.

I was the first one to arrive at the clinic, which is actually pretty funny considering that I am ALWAYS late.  I was late coming into this world (overdue) and have been late every since.  When I went to check in they didn't have an appointment for me - it was under the name of our GC.  Luckily I thought fast and mentioned that and everything was good.

When everyone had arrived, we went back to the recovery room where there were several sets of scrubs waiting for us.  Everyone was able to put our scrubs over our clothes except our poor GC who was only able to over the "top" layer (the ladies know where I am going with this).  The Valium that our GC took was slowly staring to show its effects as she was drifting from cohent to a pleasantly loopy version of less than cohent as the time ticked by.  I admit that I was a bit jealous - I could have absolutely used a valium myself.  Note to clinics - issue the GC and the intended mother valium for the transfer day.

The nurse went through the procedure and the after care and asked if we had any questions.  I honestly did not, but this was in part because of the fact that I had never made it to transfer myself - we have only gone through the retrieval stage - plus the fact that she was very thorough and we were very nervous. 

The doctor came in and discussed the state of our embryo.  While many couples would be very upset by the news that there was only one embryo left and that it was poorly graded, I was surprisingly optimistic.  One is better than none.  Honestly I was just happy that we had a transfer happening at all.

Not too long after we went back to the transfer room.  It was a beautiful experience.  We are so lucky to have our GC - she was amazing.  We were able to sit in the room (quietly - they absolutely stressed no talking while our doctor was at work) and witness the miracle of the placement of our maybe baby into our GCs perfect womb. 

Right now I know that our little maybe baby is tucked safely away in the best possible place that it could be. 

Now all it needs to do is grow.......

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Small Token Of My Affection

Our transfer is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow morning.  I put together a "transfer survival kit" for our GC - pineapple (supposed to help the transfer stick), dark chocolate, movies, socks (stirrups are cold), and a good book.  Hopefully this will help make the transfer and the couple of rest days after a little easier.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

One Less Egg In Our Basket

The clinic just called with the results of our embryo thaw.  Unfortunately one of the embryos did not survive the thaw and we are down to three.  We were also told that frozen embryos sometimes grow more slowly than fresh ones do, so the transfer may be on Friday instead of Thursday.  We will get more information tomorrow on timing and how things are looking.

I am nervous that now we only have three.  The clinic did say that the embryos are not the best looking....but also not the worst looking. 

I hope that on this case good things, rather than bad things, come in threes.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Happiness is a Silver Lining

Or in our optimal uterine lining.

Today our GC had her lining check.  The lining check is an ultrasound that is performed mid-FET cycle to check that the uterine lining is thickening.  If the uterine lining is not quite where it should be, estrogen will be increased and another lining check will be performed within a few days to see how the lining is progressing.  Once the lining is thickened to the appropriate level, progesterone is started with a FET anticipated within about 5 days.

Our GC was given the green light to start progesterone, so that is a good sign.

We continue to cross our fingers and hope for the best.