Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: Reflected In You


I was super excited to find out I'd been selected to be a part of another campaign through the BlogHer book club- this time reading the novel "Reflected in You", by Sylvia Day. This happens to be the second installment of the Crossfire series, which tells the story of the relationship and romance between Eva and Gideon, as they meet and fall in love in New York City.

I had heard some hype about the books earlier this year, as the first novel (Bared to You) was released in the midst of the 50 Shades craze, and this series definitely fits into that same genre. After receiving the book (and the 1st as well, so that I'd be properly caught up!), I immediately noticed that the covers, I have to assume intentionally, mimicked the iconic 50 Shades covers, and groaned. (though marketing associates everywhere cheered that their ploy worked!) While I enjoyed those for what they were- smutty mindless entertainment, I was really hoping for more with these two books.

They delivered. While still reminiscent of the romance between Ana and Christian, I was immediately much more drawn to Eva and Gideon as characters. While still flawed and overbearing, I felt Gideon came across as much more endearing, and genuine in his affection for Ana, more of true relationship with give and take rather than the domineering I OWN YOU feel from 50. Even better? Eva has a backbone. As long as you don't give her sexy eyes. Then the backbone melts away. Both characters are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and their relationship is not only a love story, but the story of their healing those wounds and closing the door on the past.

And yeah, the sexy time was hot :) So bonus there. Let's be honest, you're not going to read this series for much more than the lusty feelings it invokes, so it better do it well. And it does. Without leaving the women's rights movement in the dust. The only real flaw I found with these two books? The final installment doesn't come out until *after* the mini is born in 2013... Sounds about right to read near my <cough cough> 6-wk post-partum check up, eh???

This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club but all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

To Know, or Not To Know

Not even a question. We had our anatomy scan two weeks ago, at 19 weeks 4 days. I had planned from the get-go to keep the gender of the mini Meier a surprise. With all the planning and preparing and information that went into and was gleaned through the IVF experience, it meant so much to me to give up this piece of control. I wanted the focus of these months to be making room in our home and lives for a baby, not whether my MIL would be able to buy baseball jerseys or ballet slippers.

I love the idea of going through the birth process and having a doctor hold up our brand new baby and exclaim "It's a XXX!" I love picturing how our lives will unfold with our child, regardless of gender, as most of the things we want to involve our child in will happen regardless of its teeny peenie or vageenie. (yep I said that)

Dr Boy, however, was not in love with the idea. His thirst for knowing ALL THE THINGS was a huge obstacle in my plan to wait. We talked about it a lot, and he's come to terms with waiting. I know, that sounds awful, but it's not, I promise. I made sure that the same future he was envisioning with a child would be the same regardless of gender. I know this whole waiting thing is a sacrifice he's making for me, and it's huge.

And I love him for defending our choice when people say stupid sheet like "but how ever will you decorate the room??? Or buy clothes???"

Because that's just not what it's about. And I don't want that to get lost.


DISCLAIMER: I totally don't judge the knowing! It's just not for me/us. But yay Team Blue or Team Pink to all of you that went that route! And yay healthy babies.

DISCLAIMER #2: I've got another post coming up tonight as part of a book review sponsor thingy... I promise I won't let it be the only thing I post for an entire season this time though!

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's so hard (blah blah blah)

I've come to realize that one of the reasons I've been avoiding this space is guilt. Guilt over this pregnancy, over making it, complication free, as far as we have, when so many others have not. I've read so many times this exact kind of post from a newly pregnant IF blogger, and rolled my eyes at the "It's so hard to be pregnant finally wah wah woe is me" platitudes. I can't help it, I'm snarky, and it just comes so *easily* to me. (shocker, I know)

But now that I'm here, I feel a lot of those same things. I want to talk ad naseum about the mini, post pictures, record symptoms, talk about plans. I can't help it. It's where I am right now. Which has made me think a lot about this blog, which has thus far been an infertility blog with random bits of outside life thrown in. Mostly? I don't want to feel ashamed to talk about something I am incredibly grateful to have achieved, and am thrilled to be experiencing.

What I've ultimately decided is that this is where I *want* to record all of that- bump pics, ultrasounds, nursery plans, cloth diapering, and hopefully? Baby pics, breastfeeding woes, and what it's like to finally have our child in our arms. So I will. This is my little corner of the interwebs, for better or for worse, and I don't want to move url's every time our lives take on a different focus. I like the continuity.

I totally get the unfollow. Though let's be honest, I've been MIA for three months so I think that particular ship has sailed anyways. I'll unabashedly talk about the pregnancy and the baby, because it's what inspires me right now.

And please, please don't accuse me of infertility amnesia. I will never forget what it felt like to get to this place, and I'm fairly certain that we'll be here again when we're ready for another. I'll continue to root for those of you I've connected with along this journey, no matter what stage you are in as well. This is the goal, right? To get to this place? And even further, with an actual real live baby at home snuggling and cooing and burping at us?

And I'm still terrified that every twinge, every trip to the bathroom, every ultrasound, every EVERYTHING, will result in the other shoe dropping and knocking us out of this game. 

If I say something, or complain about something, please know that I'm still inherently grateful to be where we are, feeling what we are, good and bad.

But I still get to complain. That comes easily to me too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grateful (w bump pic)

<tap tap> Is this thing on???

I'm still here, trucking away. I am incredibly grateful to be able to say that we are still pregnant, and complication free thus far. I'm 19 weeks and 2 days today, and so, so appreciative that we have been able to make it this far.

It was a ridiculously busy last three months. A lot of these things need separate posts, but in a nutshell, we've:

- Dealt with a severe case of pleurisy between wks 7-10 of pregnancy, requiring three x-rays, a CT scan, and narcotics. (Mom of the year!)

- Moved out of our rental and into a hotel because our house wasn't built in time and our lease was up.

- Switched hotel rooms because the suite was double-booked for part of our stay

- Moved into our brand new house after 31 lovely days in the hotel.

- Had various contractors in and out of our brand new house nearly daily, because it still wasn't done when we moved in but we were D-O-N-E with hotel living.

- Progressed fairly easily through the end of the first tri and start of the second with no real issues so far. EXCEPT for this lovely pubic bone pain, known as Symphysis Pubis Diastasis. It sucks balls. Totally not round ligament pain, just it's own special pubic bone ligament. Ow. 

- Went to San Diego for a week. 

And other awesome stuff. We passed our NT scan with flying colors, came out to the world about the pregnancy, and have our gender scan on Wednesday (though we're not going to peek at the bits, keeping it a surprise for the birth). I *may* have even felt the mini move two weeks ago today, though it has yet to give me a repeat performance. Stupid anterior placenta of doom!

Thanks to all of you who have emailed checking in on me- it's very much appreciated! I'll get back to my regularly scheduled programming now, and keep ya'll much more up to date. I don't want to let this slide again and miss out on remembering this pregnancy. 

18 weeks, 6 days bumpdate
(in the crying bathroom)

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's ME time- w DOVE Bodywash

I have never been a morning person. For as long as I can remember, even if I woke up early, I would lay in bed, postponing the day as long as possible. (i believe this is when i honed my supersonic hearing, eavesdropping on the rest of the house) Mornings? Not me time. More like, let me sleep time.

One of the few pleasures I take in the am is my shower. Long, luxurious, hot- love it. I could stay in for hours. When DOVE gave me the opportunity to enjoy that shower time a little more by reviewing their new line of body wash? Yes please!
I was lucky enough to try the Dove Softening Body wash, part of their VisibleCare line with Nutrium Moisture. I have GOT to say- this review could not have come at a better time. One of the most annoying side effects of the estrace pills I've been taking for the IVF cycle is that is dries me out like the Sahara. I'm thirsty all the time, and I'm practically drinking lotion. You know when you can just feel the ashiness on your legs and arms? The itchy dryness? Yeah. That.

Swear I'm not just overly emoting myself, but this Dove stuff is a lifesaver. It's so thick it looks like lotion coming out, smells amazing, and seriously lets the moisture sink into my arms and legs. The scent is so much that my sensitive first trimester nose can't handle it, and lingers into the morning. I still need to lotion a bit in the morning, but if I'm running late? No biggie. (Bonus? It works as a great shaving cream in a pinch!)

It claims that you can see visible improvement in just 7-days. No joke, you really can. Or rather, I really could. I'm adding this one to my list of IVF/FET must haves.

Even better? Dove is giving YOU a chance to win a $500 SpaFinder gift card! Just answer this question:

What is your favorite part of your morning routine?

Ooooh! And a coupon!!

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 - 8/22/2012
Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Quick updates (6w6d)

We still have a heartbeat!! Our ultrasound yesterday went perfectly.

- The mini-Meier measured 6w4d (7.4mm, or the size of a pea), rather than the 6w5d it should have been, but totally within acceptable margins right now. No worries whatsoever.

- We didn't measure the heart rate or anything, so I am blissfully unaware on that front. We did see it's flickering though which is AMAZING. I'm hoping it's more clear on the video this time.

- Dr S gave us a 5% or less chance of miscarriage at this point, based on structure, size, and presence of a HB. 1 in 20 is still huge, but I am breathing a little more easily now.

- Our next ultrasound is scheduled for two weeks from today, Aug 3rd at 8w6d. It'll be graduation day! Very bittersweet, though I'm not getting worked up about it yet because fourteen days is a LOT of days to get through.

- I made our OB appointment. HFS. Three weeks from today (bonus is it'll only be one week after the graduation u/s). It'll be the day before we leave for a week of vacation, so we'll be able to leave with a (small) sense of security. If we make it that far, that is. FX.

- Good luck socks, as always!
My Goddess of Heartbeats

Sorry for the delay in updating!

Hey, also! I had an awesome opportunity to write a guest post yesterday for Bloggers For Hope! It was started by a group of women going through different infertility issues, and gives a great varied perspective on treatments and alternative options such as adoption and living child-free. I highly suggest checking them out.

I got to write a post on my favorite topic- the unglamorous side of IVF treatments :)

(pardon my next post- it'll be the review for my freebie bodywash)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#hope WINNER

We had twelve comments on the giveaway post, with 11 entries. Trusty picked the winner this morning!
Lucky Number 11!
And the shirt goes to Deanna! Congrats! Deanna just gave birth to her second beautiful boy, Madden, at 28 weeks after a very complicated (to put it lightly) FET pregnancy. She could sure use some #hope right now with gorgeous little M in the NICU for the months to come.

I do wish each and every one of you could have won the shirt- you each have been through so much, and deserve a win so badly. Here's hoping that the next win that arrives in your circle is a bfp :)

I encourage each of you to check out the #hope t-shirts from Jen at CafePress- they are super awesome... as long as you don't have a giant rack and IF-obesity problem :)

In other news, I'm still fairly symptom free (6w3d today), though I feel like the nausea isn't far away. Or I need to eat smaller portions. Either way. We have our next u/s on Thursday afternoon to take a peek at the Mini Meier, then one last RE visit before graduation. Which is ridiculous. There's no way *I* should be graduating from an RE. Or making an appt with an OB, which I also did (Aug 10 @ 10wks). Ridiculous.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Last Chance! #hope giveaway

You only have 15 1/2 more hours to enter the giveaway for a #hope t-shirt!!

Gorgeous green!

Size XL!

Now, if you're worried about this baby being too big, consider these two things:

1. You are trying to GET PREGNANT. Big, roomy things feel good when you're pregnant.
2. For serious, it's not an XL. I measured it, right around the #hope wording (chest). It's a paltry THIRTY SIX INCHES across. Not so much the 46-48" that CafePress advertised, eh? (really, AA? you thought that was even close? i wasn't kidding when I said these 38dd's weren't squeezing into that thing) That, my dears, is actually smaller than the KIDS XL sizing that CafePress details. But enough about that.

Just enter an email address ON THIS POST to win! And yes, I'll (gulp) ship internationally :)
If you enter your email address I *might* add it to the list... but I'll do it begrudgingly.

Good luck! Winner announced tomorrow!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grateful (5w6d)

...birds chirping...

Oh hey! Were you guys waiting, for like, an update or something?


We have a heartbeat. One, beautiful, teensy tiny, fluttering heartbeat.

When we got to the RE, they did the standard weight (ugh) and blood pressure, which was amazingly 120/80, truly miraculous considering I'd been having heart palpitations since the night before. We went back to the room, donned our fancy socks (and by our I mean my), photographed said fancy socks, and got to business.
Even the moo-cow looks ascared.
I started sobbing the minute Mr Wanderful came into play, and couldn't bring myself to look at the screen. As soon as the RE said "I win! One beautiful sac!" I turned, and, well, shocker, sobbed even harder as I saw the dark gestational sac with the yolk sac in the middle. We zoomed a little more, and saw a little flicker. Which sent me into sobs again, so I held my breath and watched a little spot just above the yolk sac flash. No measurements were taken of anything, as this is MUCH earlier than my clinic usually scans anything, so I don't have numbers.

You can kindof see the yolk sac on this scan, though the top and bottom parallel lines are most prevalent with the rest of the circle a lighter grey. The fetal pole is damn near impossible to see, but in the video below if you look right there at the beginning of the video, you can see it flickering. I think the flicker closer to the bottom of the gestational sac is my uterine wall contracting. We should be able to see a wee bit more on Thursday, when we go in for a 6w5d scan. (we kept the original appointment just in case we couldn't see the hb today)

It would appear that we're growing a little human. For the first time ever, I'm truly, truly, positively, growing a Mini Meier.

(so i know you can seriously barely see the flickering fetal pole on the resolution of that video but i swear on my iphone it's there. we'll get better evidence next week)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Less than 2 days (20dp5dt, beta #4)

I had my fourth (and hopefully final!) beta draw today, and it would appear we are still pregnant and on track!

Beta One (8dp5dt or 13dpo): 80
Beta Two (10dp5dt or 15dpo): 202 (doubling time 36 hrs)
Beta Three (15dp5dt or 20dpo or 4w6d): 1,845 (doubling time 38 hrs)
Beta Four (20dp5dt or 25 dpo or 5w4d): 8,769 (doubling time 53 hrs)

From BabyMed
Crazy J was hoping for something over 10K at this point, but based on average doubling times with such high values, it does seem as though we're still good. It's freaky to see the doubling time slowly drop off, even though I know it's completely normal.

Symptoms are still few and far between. Cramping has diminished significantly, I'm still exhausted as all hell, my boobs hurt (worst in the morning), and the heartburn picks up about an hour after I take my estrace pills. So yeah. Pretty much just the tired as far as things I can't blame on meds.

I alternate between extraordinarily anxious about Friday's ultrasound, and extraordinarily meh. I want to know desperately, but I also want to live in this la-la land of blissful unawareness. I mean, in 44 hours, we'll know something.

44 hours. Ack!

(hey also, i'll be posting a sponsored review some time this week, and i just wanted to promise this isn't going to turn into a review blog! it was a good opportunity to try out some free stuff and get paid to write an opinion on it. so yeah, promise we're not commercializing the madness any time soon.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#hope (giveaway!)

It's no secret that I've found a love for the twitterers over the last year, where there is so much support from those willing to life you up when you don't have the strength to do so yourself. Between you guys, the twitters, Dr Boy, and my family and friends, I've stayed as sane as can be through these last three and a half years of infertility BS.

There's a common hashtag out there we use, when those lose hope for themselves, or we manage to find a smidgen left in the tanks.


It's good for a lot of things, huh?

A great blogger and twitterer, Jen, organized a fundraiser during National Infertility Awareness Week (you know, that thing that I totally ignored because I suck as an IF advocate?) through CafePress. T-shirts were available for purchase, with proceeds from each shirt going to Resolve, a non-profit providing support services and advocacy for our cause.

Because I love a feel-good excuse to spend my monies (cute shirt! $$ towards charity!!), I ordered my awesome Men's XL American Apparel shirt, planning on wearing it to my retrieval for the Redux. CafePress advertises their Men's XL as having a chest of 46-48", so even this 38DD girl seemed safe.

Yeah, not so much. American Apparel lies like a lying liar. The thing barely covers my left boob... and that was BEFORE the progesterone and hcg kicked in.
Pants on Fire
But my loss is your GAIN!

I'm now giving away my Men's XL #hope shirt to a lucky commenter :)

To celebrate what may (or may not) be seen on Friday.
To celebrate getting further in this game than we ever have before.
To celebrate hope for all of us in the trenches!

Leave a comment with your email address for an entry. One entry per person. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PDT Monday, July 16th. I'll do that random number generator thingy to select the winner and announce that Tuesday.

Good luck to all, and have #hope!!!

The liars at American Apparel have no idea who I am, nor does Jen, nor does CafePress. Opinions are all mine, and no one paid me to do this. Disclaimer blah blah.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


- I may have been unclear in my previous post- I'm not necessarily hoping for a twin pregnancy. I'm merely sad for an embryo that may or not have made it, like the last six we've transferred, and the twenty or so that weren't deemed "transfer quality." It truly, truly breaks my heart that we've lost so many in our battle so far. Emily wrote about something related once, about wondering "what could have been" with embryos that don't fit the criteria for transfer. All I want is a drama-free, healthy pregnancy with (a) healthy (child) children to take home at the end of this. OBVIOUSLY. I'm still just sad for what we've lost along the way.

- This also makes me extremely anxious about the quality of the REST of our frozen six. Yes, I know, cart before the horse BIG TIME. But yeah, as far as we know, we're 1 for 7, transfer-wise. Ugh. Yes, the ONE is what counts, but I'd like more children down the road. So yeah. Just have lots fluttering through my brain.

- Pregnancy-wise (really? me? i must be talking about someone else), the only issues have been with fatigue so far. I know it's SUPER early (I'm 5w1d today!), so not much to expect. My witching hours seem to fall between 3pm-8pm, where if I don't get a nap, I'm mega-bitch. I'm also still having the issues with mega bloat and discomfort, worst in the evenings. The muscles just below my ribcage are ridic sore, and I can't arch my back to stretch without pain. I'm curious to see how big my ovaries are when we have our Friday u/s.

- Someone not being willing to take on the same risks are others are does not make them an asshat. Or wrong. Or immoral. Risk-taking is a personal decision. And last I checked, it's a woman's right to chose what she does with her body- and noone else's. We all have different opinions on what is safest for ourselves and families, and we're allowed to act accordingly. Noone should be forced into a situation they are not comfortable with and unprepared for. Period. I know these are highly emotional situations, but please just respect what others are going through. And gah. Over it.

- I'm sure I've alienating myself from pretty much every non-pregnant/parenting reader with all my bitching and moaning, but seriously, pregnancy after IF is hard stuff. And I don't even feel right calling myself pregnant yet, because I don't feel like I'm anything more than uncomfy after retrieval and that someone else's pee and blood managed to make their way into my tests. Maybe on Friday things will feel different. Hopefully there's something to even feel different about.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Yep, still pregnant (15dp5dt, beta #3)

I took ya'lls advice and pretty much stopped peeing on things. I did break down yesterday because I was having a bout of the crazies (shocker, i know), and used another 33c cheapie- the line came up so fast I could hardly blink :) And it was as dark as the control line, so yay that!

I had been having some serious anxiety this week about the "delayed" ultrasound, so I sucked it up and emailed my doctor about coming in on the originally intended date- Friday the 13th. Because he's awesome, he said yes! Whoop! At that point, though, I felt so tremendously guilty about going over the nurse's head that I couldn't bring my sissy ass to call and schedule it, so I did what any self-respecting, strong, independent woman would do.

I made my husband call  :) Between that and the foot rubs? He's a keeper! My first ultrasound is now scheduled for Friday the 13th at 7am pdt.

This is all a VERY good thing, because my beta today threw things up in the air again. Good things, but things nonetheless. It came back at 1845 (doubling time 38 hours)- now a bit above the twin average, both for actual betas and doubling time, according to Betabase.

Beta One (8dp5dt or 13dpo): 80
Beta Two (10dp5dt or 15dpo): 202
Beta Three (15dp5dt or 20dpo or 4w6d): 1,845
Please don't hate me for saying this, and I know anyone that's not pregnant/parenting yet will want to punch me in the face, but I was actually pretty upset at the possibility of having a singleton. Yep, I said it. Hear me out though.

It's not that I wasn't grateful- seriously, I am astounded to be where I am right now, incredibly grateful, and so happy to be enjoying each and every day that I can call myself pregnant. I've never been able to do that before, and will cherish it as much as possible. What was getting me down was the loss of another embryo. I know it is all still hypothetical until the u/s (and birth, really), but I was feeling a lot of sadness that yet another little piece of Dr Boy and myself had pooped out. That I had failed it. I have so much sadness in me for all of the embies that didn't make it, and having yet another to add to that list made me pretty upset.

Like I said, half of you are pissed off at me now, and I get that. I'd be pissed of at me too if the roles were reversed. But, it's how I was/am(?) feeling, so I wanted to get it down. Because I think it's ok to be sad for what we've lost AND be thrilled and grateful for what we have. Both, at the same time, and neither one diminishes the other.

So yeah. I'm trying not to get my hopes up for *anything* in particular, just an intrauterine pregnancy that looks on track one week from now. And for you all to understand and not call me a selfish ingrate.

(oh and remind me to tell you soon about how I swear I'm developing late-onset mild OHSS, if that's even frickin' possible)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Houston, we have a doubler (10dp5dt, beta #2)

Great news from our beta yesterday. It came back at 202!

That's a doubling time of 36 hours.

I take a double-double, please!
We are, for the time being, growing a little human in my belly. Go figure! The levels continue to be above average for a singleton, but below average for twins. I'm going to call "just one" for now, and see what happens. I am so so grateful to be here.

The MAJOR downside to today has been scheduling the first ultrasound. Originally, the clinic said I could come in at 5w6d, on Friday the 13th (which I consider an incredibly lucky day). When I called to make the appt today, the nurse wouldn't even consider it. She said that they'd "let" me come in early than they'd like, at 6w5d, Thursday the 19th. I, of course, lost my shit and started shaking/crying, because that's what I do best. I know there isn't much to see that early, but honestly, I'm already dying knowing I have to wait that long to find out how many and whether they're in the right spot. And to have gotten my hopes up, thinking I'm already three days into this next infernal TWW, only to have it turn into 17 days from now?

I'm gonna die.

But oh gee, to make it less difficult, they'll let me go in for some extra betas. Instead of Thursday, I'm supposed to go in on Friday for my third, and next Wed the 11th for a fourth.

That's not going to help. My betas still rose when I had my chemical, so that doesn't really help. I'm just mad that I was told one thing, then was switched to one week later.

Please, I know there's not much to see. All I wanted was to see a sac in the right spot, and to know how many sacs there are.

And don't hate me for bitching about the downfalls of being pregnant- I'm just hormonal and super frustrated, and so terribly anxious, and terrified this is all going to come crashing down. It's hard switching your mindset. And I'm scared.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Positively Positive (8dp5dt, beta #1)

I'm amazed to say it, but I think we may actually be pregnant, my dears. Actually, positively, pregnant.

For now at least.

Our beta came back at 80. At 8dp5dt, or 13dpo.

Above the singleton average, below the twin average. This gives us two possibilities:

a) We have a high-strung, overachieving singleton brewing, like its father.

b) We have majorly procrastinating twins, like their mother. (not a twin, just perpetually late)

We shall see what we see when we see it, huh? At this point, I could care less (truthfully) as long as it/they are healthy and drama-free. The rest of our timeline includes beta #2 on Sunday (10dp5dt), beta #3 on Thursday (14dp5dt), and if we are stupendously lucky enough to make it that far, our first ultrasound at 5w6d two weeks from today (7/13, Friday the 13th). I am a fan of 13's, being born on one, so it's all good. I mean, if it's still all good then.

Always trust a woman that birthed triplets... Emily asked me if my pee smelled funny, as that was her earliest pregnancy symptom. Low and behold, mine smells like I've had coffee or asparagus. Neither of which have crossed these lips in a few weeks. Go figure!

No more darkening on the pee sticks which is driving me crazayzy, but I'll try not to obsess toooo much. Part of me is convinced our beta is already going down because why could this possibly actually work for us? I keep trying not to go there, but it is so hard not to after so much disappointment. I'll try harder. I promise.
I need to learn to not pee on my hand while collecting in a cup.

Knocked up. I'm still shaking my head in amazement. And gratitude.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book Review- What Alice Forgot (& still ktfu)

Still pregnant until proven otherwise!

The FRERs are definitely getting darker, but it seems like the cheapest have stayed the same for a bit. Hmmm.  The beta is in the morning, so we'll see what we see!
I am still in shock that MY PEE did this
I am a smidge worried I may be developing a late onset ohss, but it could just be normal blood and eating too much bribery food (add red velvet cupcakes and Ben and Jerry's new flavor peanut butter world to the list of embie-staying powers!) I should weigh myself in the am.



I was selected to be a part of another BlogHer book club! This time we read "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty. It tells the tale of a 39-year old divorced mother of three  who takes a nasty spill at the gym, only to wake up thinking she was still 29, pregnant with her first, and blissfully in love with her husband. It is mostly told from Alice's perspective, but also artfully weaves in letters written by her sister and stand-in grandmother to add perspective.

Honestly, this was not really the best book to read during an IVF two week wait. The storyline involving Alice's sister is centered around  numerous IVF failures and repeated baby loss. This made the first half of the book (and much of the second) very difficult and emotional to read. The author  clearly had insight into the IF world- she truly captures the chaeracters emotions, reactions, and others reactions to her absolutely perfectly. Too perfectly, almost, so it stung. Great idea to read while hopped up on IVF meds yourself, right?

The second half really did rescue the novel. Alice's growth was amazing, and really made you wonder which version of herself she was better off living- the jaded divorce with everything under her strict control, or the carefree and careless twenty-something who admittedly had some growing up to do.

I am torn on whether to recommend this one. It is, overall, a great book. Even if it took me a while to get hooked. But if you have some hefty IF and baby loss triggers? Maybe not. I wouldn't put yourself through that.

This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club but all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Suspense (6dp5dt)

I let the suspense kill me. There's a lot of suspense when you do four embryo transfers!!

Shortly after I wrote my last post, I could NOT take it any more. I had held off drinking/peeing for four hours in the afternoon, and I POAS.

Nothing. But whatever, it was 4dp5dt, and really, the pee was pretty dilute. So whatever.

So I held it for another few hours with no drinking.

And peed again. And I *thought* that just maybe maybe maybe, there was a second line. But I didn't get excited. And I didn't tell DH about the ridiculousness.

Now that the seal had been broken, I peed again Tuesday morning, at 5dp5dt. I took a shower to distract myself from the stick, got out, and lost my shit.


For now, I'm pregnant. (gah! i'm crying typing those words!)

One of these guys decided to stick around.
In. Love.

I peed again in the afternoon, I peed again this morning, and I added a FRER to the mix. I do have to say, those wondofo tests are amazeballs- way darker than the FRERs, though I've heard that from others too.
I am in shock that those are from MY pee.

When Dr Boy got home that night, I had a gift bag sitting on the dining room table. I told him it was a belated birthday gift I had forgotten to give him. Inside, there was a onesie I bought (with bestie N) from the college bookstore in town. He didn't really get it, and was like "counting your chickens?" So then I pulled these cupcakes out of the fridge.
"Positive"-ly Delicious
To which he said "Are we positive??????????" And I lost it and started bawling and showed him the sticks.

Happy, happy day.

I guess fourth time really was a charm :)

(and then today i became "that" patient and asked to move my beta up to fri instead of sat. and they said yes!)

(and i just added a  bfp label to the blog that made me cry again)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Consumed (4dp5dt)

It's all I can think about.

This whole cycle, I have been incredibly one-minded, with IVF Redux consuming practically every waking thought and action. I have managed to get by at work, but have spent a great deal of time thinking and analyzing and twittering and obsessing over this cycle. It's supposed to be the one that works. The one that went well. The one that had so many of the good things happen during. The one with the embryo with practically outstretched arms reaching towards my lining. I've set pretty darned high standards in my mind, and now I'm terrified.

Let's recap how it all looked, m'kay?
- We had appropriately rising estrogen levels
- We didn't flip-flop on medication doses
- We had plenty of 17mm+ follies at trigger
- Our e2 only coasted for one day and didn't have a landslide at the end
- We fertilized 17 out of the 18 mature eggs, out of the 21 retrieved
- On transfer day, a blast was clawing its way out of its shell with another close behind
- On transfer day, only one of the 17 embryos had stopped growing
- I'm bribing the embies with sprinkle cupcakes, snickerdoodles, and a brownie

All of these are great things. And I'm not going to lie- I think it worked. I woke up to lots of broad uterine crampies 1dp5dt, and they lasted most of the day. I've had them on and off since. The rest of the "symptoms" I can blame on the progesterone and estrace tabs- sore boobs, heartburn, slight nausea when I eat too quickly. Other symptoms I can blame on going back to work- tiredness. And the dream I had Saturday night that I woke up to use the restroom at 3am at 3dp5dt and got a vivid BFP is par for the course- I have one of those dreams pretty much every transfer cycle. Still though, I just *feel* like it did.

Which means I'm setting myself up for a collossal fall of this pedestal if I'm wrong. I'm hoping and wishing and visualizing that I'm not, but still. I absolutely could be. I am overcome with the urge to test, because it could very well be positive at 9dpo. But it could also very well be a true negative, and it could very well be a false negative.

And so I'm also overcome with the fear of testing, as I don't know if I want to let go of this feeling yet. The feeling that it worked. That *I* worked. That I can, and am supposed to feel a child grow inside me.

Five days until the beta. *Maybe* two more mornings I'll be able to stop myself from peeing.

I don't want to feel like an idiot for thinking I'm pregnant, but I don't want to stop feeling it either. Sigh.


And on a lighter (ok maybe not *really* lighter) note, rest in peace Lonesome George, the last of your kind. Many of us in this community know what it feels like to be unsuccessful at reproductive attempts, so we feel for you and your lost genetic line. I'm glad I got to meet (ok take a photo of with a really zoomed in lens) you before you left us.
We'll miss you, the last Pinta Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Thursday, June 21, 2012

4th Time's a Charm (0dp5dt)

Throughout this cycle I kept asking myself, "How does one get excited for their fourth embryo transfer?" I may have asked you guys that too. It's the same theme I've struggled with this whole month- that overriding theme of building hope and excitement while guarding yourself against failure and grief.

I can honestly say that today? Building excitement was no problem. No problem whatsoever. We hadn't heard anything about our embryos since Tuesday, and weren't really sure what to expect. On Tuesday (day 3), we found out that all 17 were still cleaving, all were 8-11 celled, and all grade 1. Holy octomom, we had HOPE. But then again, we had a great day 3 fert report last time, so that knocked me back a little too. Hope, but not TOO much hope.

I did my pre-transfer acupuncture, took my valium, and promptly got drunk. I mean hey, I accidentally took 10mg instead of 5mg, sue me. It was awesome :)

We were quickly led back into the transfer room and brought a picture of the two embryos selected for transfer. As soon as we saw the picture, all the excitement that had been questioned for the last few weeks exploded my heart and I started crying. (shocker, me? crying?)
Meet Turtle and Penguin! (and my widow's peak)
We had a grade 1AA hugely hatching blast. In fact, the embryologist said "Hurry up and get that thing in there!" The second blast was also grade 1AA, and had just just started hatching too! Double score! We very briefly discussed whether we would transfer one or two, but decided on both based on our history of failure. And that it's probably not good to freeze something that's already started to hatch.
Transfer PDLAMBLATI* from In Due Time
I laid down and we got all prepped, saw the awesome flash of embryonic medium whooshing into my cute ute, and checked that the catheter was empty. Everything went off perfectly, a textbook transfer.

Some resting, post-transfer acupuncture, and earning karma points by calling in a small brush fire in the median in our town (on a very dry windy day), then more resting at home completed our day. I have since bribed the embie with delicious chicken quesadillas, pineapple, and a cuppy cake. I will stop at nothing to get at least one of these guys to stick around.
Funfetti FTW!
Here's hoping that finally, truly, fourth time is a charm. Beta is a week from Saturday at 9dp5dt.

*PDLAMBLATI- Please don't look at my business, look at THESE instead!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mmmm... Crow... (fert report)

So remember that whiny girl who was complaining on Saturday about how she only retrieved 21 eggs? Because, hey! 21 is way less than 36. Even though those 36 got her diddly squat? Yeah, her.

She's eating a healthy serving of crow right now.

We found out that out of those 21 egg-tastic ovum, 18 were mature.

Of the 18 mature, 17 fertilized.

Yeah, baby :)

Last time, of the 36 retrieved, 22 were mature, and 18 fertilized. So we're pretty much on the same damn track. Just with better bang for our buck.

I knew my whining was premature, but I just couldn't help it. I'll blame it on the hormones and anesthesia haze.

I'm recovering quite well, I must say. I am much more mobile than last time, and don't feel the need to physically hold my stomach to my body hunched over every time I get up. I was even (barely) able to sleep on my stomach the night of retrieval... not bad! I am, however, bleeding still, though I guess that's to be expected when they have to poke your lady bits FOUR TIMES to get to one ornery ovary. Not so much blood that I *need* to wear a liner, but enough that I know it's still fresh. And pink/red. (thank you baby aspirin)

The only annoying part is that it took nearly 48-hours and four colace pills for my post-op-poop. Which was frickin' glorious, I tell you. I'm down 1.5 pounds from transfer morning, which is a great sign too- fingers crossed that I escaped the dreaded OHSS!

Our check with the clinic today revealed that all 17 are still cleaving, though I don't have details on how many cells everyone has (which drives me bonkers). We'll get another report tomorrow. It's almost certainly going to be a day 5 transfer on Thursday.

Hope. I just... might... have it...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Retrieval Complete

21 eggs.

Righty was "textbook, picture perfect."

Lefty was an underperforming difficult beeyatch. Much fewer eggs were retrieved from her than we expected, and they were much harder fought.

Ungrateful J is a wee disspapointed, since we got so many less than last time, but I'm hoping beyond hope that they're all much better quality. And don't pull an "all it takes is one" because we want three kids. (though not all at once, Emily!)

But overall, happy. Maturity and fertilization report tomorrow. Thanks for all the well wishes- they've been wonderful!!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Trigger Happy (stim day 11)

Thank frickin' god!
PDLAMBLATI* kitteh's
At our ultrasound yesterday morning, we found that the majority of our follies had grown to about 16-18mm. I had gotten pretty darned uncomfortable, and was DREADING the possibility of waiting another day to trigger. Dr S hadn't decided for certain what to do solely based on the oves, and wanted to wait to see what our e2 was doing. His theory was that things were getting pretty darned cramped, and that while the eggs inside the follicles were continuing to mature, the follies were simply running out of room to grow. The PCOS convention going on in my belly was at capacity, and little more could be done.
My e2 came back at 2670, just slightly lower than the day before, and we were given the green light to trigger that night. While I'm *slightly* nervous that it started to drop, it's nowhere near the plummet we experienced last time, and seems on par with his explanation of limited room for expansion. Triggering seemed the right way to go at this point, and definitely improved my mood :)

We triggered in the same restaurant bathroom that we did with IVF #1, which we were amused by. I stayed home from work today, and am so glad I did. I ended up running two quick errands, and could barely walk to/from the car. I can only imagine how awful it would have felt to sit at a desk all day.

My mom drove up today to stay with us through transfer, helping out and keeping the dogs and cats entertained and us fed while I recover from retrieval. So, so, so thankful she's here!

I'm not super nervous going into retrieval anymore. Still slightly, but not as much as I was before. I guess we're at a point where it is what it is. We have done absolutely everything we can to get to this point in as good of shape as possible, and it's just up to chance for fertilization and egg growth. And awesome embryologists. But yeah, our part? Nearly done.

In less than twelve hours, I'll be back home napping off the anesthesia...
"You have shamed me by removing my fur"
(Hannah got a haircut yesterday. We switched over to her summer 'do just in time, as the forecast for the weekend is going to rise into the low 100's this weekend)

* PDLAMBLATI- Please don't look at my business look at these instead

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yes I would like cheese with that (stim day 10)

I really hate complaining (who am i kidding i love complaining and i'm good at it), but hot damn I'm uncomfortable. It really started setting in yesterday, and combined with a wanding this morning, I'm positively done. I'm mentally done stimming, done waiting, done hoping it all goes well. Done taking 12 doses* of meds each day, done being sore and sedentary and out of energy. Done not being able to poo, not being able to pee without taking breaks for my oves to re-adjust, done done done.
Whiny Mc Whinerson

But whatever. Based on the u/s and b/w, we should be triggering tomorrow. I can make it until Saturday. Somehow.
Follies, follies galore!
My oves are large and in charge, with tons of good sized follies on each. They're generally 14-16mm right now, and giving me an e2 of 2682. We like these numbers. We like them a lot. We're going to squeeze in another visit with Mr Wanderful tomorrow, and hopefully will trigger tomorrow night. I'm not wholly convinced the trigger is going to happen, but Dr S seems to think that a) they're going to grow like weeds overnight, and b) there isn't a whole lot of ovarian real estate for them to get much over 18-19mm anyways since there are so damn many. I get that. And I can get behind that plan :)
Clickity Click Click

They tested my progesterone today too, to make sure nothing was popping off on its own. It came back at 0.9, which was a good indicator that the ganirelix was doing its job at keeping everyone in place. Funny enough, the ganirelix also gave me a large itchy red welt this am, so I think I shall fire it after tomorrow. Hopefully.
PDLAMBLATI**- more oldies but goodies!
(come on, a girl can only find so many fun socks!)

Wish us luck tomorrow... I can only take this for so much longer!!!

* am: synthroid, C0Q10, follistim, ganirelix
   eve: menopur
   pm: prenatal, extra folic acid, fish oil, melatonin, metformin, baby aspirin, C0Q10

** PDLAMBLATI- please don't look at my business look at these instead

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back on track (stim day 9)

I'm almost afraid to say it for fear of jinxing it, but we're finally at a place where we feel comfortable with our progress! After Saturday's e2 came back so low for the number of follies we had growing, my mind definitely went to the dark place of "all the follies are empty my eggs are crap why even bother and whythehell are we starting ganirelix already." It was not a fun place to be.

Instead of dwelling, we did lots of fun things this weekend. Like this:
Nom Nom 6-Year Anniversary Dinner
And this:
See Wicked. It's amazing.
Unfortunately, distraction technique number 1 backfired, and kept Dr Boy in the bathroom for about 50% of distraction technique number 2. Oooops. So I mostly sat in our awesome seats solo while he was in and out of the back of the theater. Yeah, feeling really guilty about that. Not that I *forced* him to eat the medium rare steak... but still....

Sunday was more relaxed, and involved a lot of this:
Why read when  you can love me?
I may or may not have read that entire book in one day. I plead the fifth.

Distraction technique number 4 was dinner with friends. And froyo. Which, incidentally, makes everything better.
Oldy but goody PDLAMBLATI

Our appt went well Monday morning, so huge sigh of relief. We still have tons of follies growing, generally between 11-13mm. My lining is a plump 10mm, ready and waiting. My e2 came back at 1137, which is finally in the range of what makes sense to me. The Fear is finally gone, and I have hope that this may actually turn out alright.
Click Click
We're guessing at a Saturday retrieval now, though Sunday is a contender still as well. Based on everything, we're still holding our 150u follistim and 2 vial menopur dose since it seems to be doing the job perfectly. We have pretty much EXACTLY the right amount of medication left for a Sat retrieval, so I'm hoping for that. Also? The oves are getting cranky. They yelled at me all day for letting them get poked at with Senor Wanderful, and then screamed later when well, yeah. That. Guess we're done for a while :) I've also noticed the crankies creeping in- I've had a very, very short fuse since the weekend, and I'm blaming it on the meds. I actually even annoy myself with it.

So. Yeah. Hope. Funny thing, eh?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Getting Better-ish (Stim day 6)

Indeed, Menopur. Indeed.
That's one of the caps you, well, flip off the menopur bottles before mixing the powder and saline. My mature hormone-addled brain could NOT. STOP. LAUGHING. when I saw his written on it. I blame it on the, well, menopur :)

We had our stim day 6 visit today, and had way better results at the ultrasound. We're moving along, with nice clusters of follies on both ovaries. Each measured around 9-10mm, with around 17 on righty and 15+ on lefty. Dr S is kind and didn't poke around too much to get to my annoyingly high and painful to wand left ovary, especially this early when a general idea is good enough.
I forgot socks this morning... ooops!
We had a case of the dreaded "bare-feet-in-stirrups." Ick.
The e2 results that came back later in the afternoon were still a bit disappointing, though. We're only up to 311 today. Which, as you recall, is still 1/3 of what it was two stim days EARLIER in the cycle last time. I'm getting worried that we're growing lots of empty follies, that my true PCOSey nature is coming out. I am not super thrilled by this, but I guess we'll just keep chugging along and count on it all turning out ok.

Based on all of that, we're going to still hold the dose of 150u Follistim in the am, and 2 vials of Menopur in the pm. We were also incredibly lucky enough to have the lovely hyper-stimmed EndoJourney give us some of her leftover follistim and menopur, as another retrieval will NOT be in the cards for her after a case of extremely severe OHSS. I had a couple of other incredible women offer as well, and am continually amazed by the support and generosity of this community. Dr Boy and I are truly so, so lucky to be a part of it. I know we all say it, but we truly couldn't get through it all without all of you.

Oh, and we're starting the Galirelix tomorrow, too. Dr S said he's actually seen someone prematurely ovulate with follies as low as 12mm, so yeah. Do NOT want that to be us.

It looks like retrieval will be pushed back to Saturday or Sunday, but we'll see how it goes next week. Whatever we have to do.

Next check is on Monday. Good. Times.
PDLAMBLATI from Thursday's appt...
When Pigs Fly!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Ovaries Suck. (Stim Day 4)

I know we've established this fact on many, many occasions, but I still need to put this out there- my oves suck big fatties. It's just today, when they were supposed to put on a good show for me and Dance! Dance my pretties, dance! they didn't.

We had our first ultrasound today for the Redux, and didn't see much. Lots of littles, with the biggest around 7mm max. Honestly, Dr S didn't even measure them and continued calling them "antral" follies. But fine, it's only stim day 4, I can handle that. We didn't even have an ultrasound until day 6 last time, so I didn't have anything to compare to.

Then my e2 results came back- a big, fat, whopping 62. Last time on stim day 4? We were 892.

Now before you get your panties all in a bunch and tell me that every cycle is different, I KNOW that. I know not to expect the same results, because clearly we don't WANT the same results. Last cycle didn't exactly work out the way we had hoped, so different is good.

It just seems (to me at least) that this is a bit *too* different to be good.

Dr S believes that the near-six months of birth control and FET's suppressed me more than we thought, and it's taking a little longer to get going. He doesn't believe that this will do anything other than delay retrieval by a day or two. Suck-tastic!

We were conservative with ordering meds since we cut doses so quickly last time, so now I need to order a ton more. We're going slowly so we don't end up with too much, but still. I had some incredibly generous donations from Lauren at Not Just An Army Wife and Jamie aka The Womb Warrior, which cut our medication bill WAY down. Thank goodness, because that part is going to get much more expensive than we had bargained for. And I'm cheap so this makes me angry.

Sigh. We're holding doses and re-checking on Saturday (rather than upping the dose and yo-yo-ing around with super high e2's that will probably come anyways).

Click Me! Click Me!

For you IVF vets out there- what were your e2 results on day 4 of stims? And how many days did you end up stimming for?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Infertility Bitch

My Bestie N made me this. Sums it up perfectly!

She really is a big fatty bitchface.

In other exciting news, so is Aunt Flow. Apparently she is embarrassed by the fact that she only has 4mm to shed, so has been forcing uterine cramping since yesterday like it is going out of style. Hopefully, like I say every time, it indeed WILL be going out of style for the next 9-12 months, give or take. Hopefully.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The redux begins... ish...

PDLAMBLATI* from my SIL- red hot ovaries!

Dr Boy and I went in this morning for our baseline ultrasound for Round Two this morning. I have been all over the map as far as emotions go this week and last, as the weight of this next cycle has really begun to settle in. I keep writing posts in my head, but honestly, I'm tired of being whiny, depressed, and just don't want to post things that I know will make other people hurt. It's been pretty hard to manage the jealousy, and Why Not Me? feelings lately. Really hard. I'm having a big case of Fertile-Infertile Jealousy, and I feel like a complete bitch-face for even thinking it. I mean, the goal is to get pregnant, right? So what if "all it took" was one round? Who cares if you retrieved one egg? It should work. Period. There is no such thing as "infertile enough," or deserving an embryo into sticking. I don't think people should have to go through a set amount of heartbreak before they are successful, so why am I unable to keep my brain from thinking such awful things?

We were just unlucky.

Three times.

So now that you all think I'm a spiteful c-word, our appointment went well this morning. Antral follicles were numerous, at least 20 on each side. (thank you pcos) I still haven't hit CD1, but am expecting to do so tomorrow. Dr S thinks it'll be a pretty lame period, as my BCP suppressed lining is only a whopping 4mm right now. No complaints here.

The only change was to delay starting stims until Monday. I'm not entirely sure why, but I believe the thought is that we're going to hit retrieval a bit faster than last time, and they want to stick as close to the June 15th estimate as possible. We decided to go with the "all in" approach discussed at the WTF appointment. Basically, we are trying to avoid at all costs the eleventh hour estrogen drop off that we experienced with IVF 1. While we were given every assurance that it wasn't the cause of our failures, we'd still like to NOT have it happen again. To do so, we're going to refrain from dropping off quite so much on the stim meds as we progress, allowing my e2 to get high, and keep our fingers crossed that OHSS stays away. If I do develop a moderate or severe case, we'll do a freeze all. Clearly THIS is not preferable either, but we'll take it as it goes and hope beyond hope we squeak out ok.

Anal-retentive chart, to be updated through the cycle
We'll see what happens. I'm finding it hard to find hope this time. We had SO MANY things go right last cycle, so many things that pointed to near-certain success along the way, and even 8 frozen embies! After transferring 6 (between the fresh and frozen cycles) and discarding 4 that failed to thaw, it's hard to muster up hope.

But we'll get there. Because it HAS to work sometime, right? Maybe the fourth transfer's the charm. Maybe.

*PDLAMBLATI: Please don't look at my biznass look at these instead.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Because I can't do much better than a scattered list of categories today.

- It should not be necessary to TELL someone watching your kid to refrain from putting said kid in the washing machine. Even if he/she has a blowout poop.
- I saw a segment on the news last night about how lots of children are snacking on those new laundry pods coming out, and how it's "easy to forget laundry detergent should be child-proofed". Seriously? Show me someone that easily forgets that. Seriously. (wait, don't. i don't want to meet the person that forgot that AND managed to get knocked up. i don't.)

- Her Royal Fab talked about her second round of IVF in terms of a redux- a second, more positive and kick-ass version of the first time around. I shall do the same.
- I'm trying to get to the happy place in my mind where a second round of IVF, and a fourth transfer, has a fantastic chance at working. Luck of the draw, schmuck of the draw- tell me why it's going to work this time?
- Here's the pretty colored calendar I mentioned last time. My boat is still floated by it.

- You will notice that I have ten days until stims start again. Oy vey.

- When we left for vacation, our dirt looked like this:
Much more dirt-like

- When we got back from vacation, our dirt looked like this:
Less dirt-like, more house like

- Holy crap, we might actually be moving in August. For real.

- Heeyouge bonus points to those of you that recognized the Galapagos in our vacation pics... or did I mention it somewhere? Either way, bonus points.
- I want to be back there now. NOW.
- More pictures!
The ship we sailed on
Another species of boobie (without blue feet)
I feel like this today
He was a nice snorkeling buddy (same day as the penguins)