Sunday, February 26, 2012

A *little* pregnant (3rd beta)

Whoever said it wasn't possible to be a *little* pregnant was clearly lying. Or had never experienced a chemical pregnancy or low beta.

I got my third beta back today- 14. It doubled perfectly. But really, that's little consolation. To recap:

7dp6dt:   Beta less than 5
9dp6dt:   Beta 7
11dp6dt: Beta 14


- It would appear that the Wondofo hpt's from amazon can detect a beta as low as 14. And look like this:
Trust me. It's there.

- While it doubled in a timely fashion, it is still terribly low for this point. (14 at 17dpo)
- It may have been a late implanter, but I'm hesitant to believe that an embryo can last a full week in utero without implantation.
- I know FET embies can take longer, but this is still outside of window.
- What kind of quality are we looking at for something producing such little hcg?
- Did I end up with a mother effing ectopic?
- I'm keeping my expectations realistic. I know there is still a very small chance we will take home a baby as the result of this attempt. Very, very small.

I'm still waiting on the RE to call back with explanations and instructions. If we don't hear anything, I guess I'm continuing the PIO and estrace supps. Fun. And probably getting another beta Tuesday.

All I wanted today was an answer. I wish we had one.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Not NOT pregnant (9dp6dt, second beta)


That's what my second beta came back at today. Anything less than 5 isn't pregnant. So technically, I'm pregnant. Ish.

But I'm not. The RE said that in all his years, he's never seen a situation like this one end up in a viable pregnancy. Ever.

He also said, however, that he's learned to never say never. So we're to continue with the pio and estrogen supps until our next beta on Sunday.

Fan fucking tastic. I mean, I'd love to beat the odds and all, but really. He flat out said not to get our hopes up.

No, it's not a late implanter- embryos just don't survive that long w/out implanting. We're just delaying the inevitable.

We can (almost) add a chemical pregnancy to our resume.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review- The Rules of Inheritance

I would like to take a quick break from my regularly scheduled meloncholy attitude (more on that tomorrow) and do a book review for BlogHer. I was fortunate enough to make the cut for yet another book review for the Blog Her Book Club, and this time? They knocked it out of the park.

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

If this is to be part of my narrative, I want to feel every minute of it. 
The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith, is worth every last bit of heartache you feel while reading it. It is an auto-biographical story about the author's struggle coming to terms with the loss of each of her parents to cancer, an orphan before she turns thirty. While the book jumps around in time, each section is focused on a stage in the grieving process, until it ends with a chapter on acceptance.

You are immediately drawn to Claire and all of her imperfections- her attraction to the "wrong" boys, her binge drinking, her apathy towards focus in life. She is a product of the environment of loss she grew up with starting in high school, and each out of control behaviour is a defense mechanism against feeling the true pain of loss and solitude. I swear, each tale from her life leaves you heartbroken for the girl who had to go through the most difficult years of her life alone, or darned close to it.

While it could have been confusing, the skipping time lines really did work, and added an almost cliffhanger-like quality, leaving you desperate to keep reading to finish each storyline.

For all that I disliked the previous BlogHer Book Club selection, I loved this one tremendously.

Seriously- read it. You will NOT regret it.

(It also had a scene in an LA restaurant I frequented when I lived there and still do when I visit, C&O Trattoria- like Claire says, the garlic knots are ridiculous!)

(also, anyone want my copy of The Weird Sisters? First one to comment gets it.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nopesicle. (7dp6dt, beta day)

I peed on the Rolls Royce this morning, the First Response Early Result, just like yesterday, and surprise surprise, ended up with the same result.

Still negative. Had my blood draw.

Beta less than 5. Not pregnant. Not a chemical. Not anything but an empty uterus.

My totsicles had been given highest marks. Again.
My transfer went perfectly. Again.
I followed all post-care instructions to a T. Again.
My body failed us. Again.

We've transferred four perfect embies. Our cycles have been textbook perfect. The *only* fly in the ointment this time was a lining of only 7.2-7.9mm, which is still in the ok range but on the low side. Not so much that it should have been an issue.

At what point do you start wondering "It's not you, embryo's, it's me."? How does this happen? When do you ask, "Huh, this really should be working, why isn't it?"

Can we really just be THIS unlucky twice for no good reason? I need a reason.

PS- I get to keep taking my meds until a repeat beta on Friday. Just to confirm for sure. Fuckin' A.

PPS- Don't tell me to hold out hope until Friday. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No Bueno (6dp6dt)

Before I get to it, could you guys go over and give Jenny some love today? She went in for an ultrasound at 9 weeks and found out her baby no longer has a heartbeat. This is hers and Jeff's third loss. This week has been just an awful one for everyone out there in the trenches, and I'm hoping beyond hope that this streak comes to a quick halt.

So it's not looking good, folks. I'm a pee-er. Even after last time, where I decreed that early testing is the devil, I continue to be a pee-er. I have, however, amazed myself with my resolve this time around. Rather than peeing at a paltry 5dp5dt, I held out until 6dp6dt. Go me, right?

To be honest, the wait wasn't all that bad, since I had a lot of things working in my favor this time. I have the sore boobs, but that's progesterone so we'll throw that out. My sense of smell has been heightened since Friday night, when I smelled Dr Boy's glass of wine from halfway across the house. (that could just be me detoxing though :) ) The next night, I knew the INSTANT one of the cats used the litter box. Smells are still getting to me a lot stronger and quicker than normal. The uterine cramping also started Friday night (2dp6dt), and has pretty much been there on and off whenever I stand or move around too much. It's pretty isolated to the lowest quadrant of my belly, and is stronger on the left side. I've also started to get some of the heartburn back. It was particularly bad when I was taking the estradiol tabs orally, but now that they're going up my bizness it had, until the last two days, gone away.

So yeah. Boobs, Super Sniffer, Cramping, and Heartburn. Oh, and the ABSOLUTE NEED to take a nap by 4 or 5pm.

So I tested this morning, thinking I had this one in the bag. Well, I may have it in the bag, but it's just not revealing itself yet. We'll see tomorrow when I have my beta drawn, but I'm having my doubts.

Do you know how difficult it is to reconcile two competing thoughts in your head? The knowledge that "of course it worked this time", combined with "don't be stupid your ute is still empty", add up to quite the headache.

I'm not letting go of the "of course", because I think the positivity will do us some good.

But I'm also not letting go of the "don't be stupid", so I don't crash and burn as fantastically as I did last time. Ha. Like I could prevent that.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Send some love into the world, mkay?

I wanted to post today about the symptoms I've been having since Friday night. The ones that simultaneously make me want to pee on a stick more than anything and stay away from the infernal devices all at the same time.

I wanted to post about the hope that I have in my heart right now, foolish or not.

But instead, I'm writing to ask you all to send some love out to Mo, who at 22 weeks pregnant, is having to deal with the repercussions of having her water break last night. She's still leaking fluid, and will have to be induced tonight. Mo has already been through so much- three miscarriages, a cerclage, above normal amniotic fluid... this is just the most cruel way for things to end for her and Schmerson. I mailed her the FRER that confirmed this pregnancy. This is just goddamned fucking unfair.

Please keep her and her family in your prayers tonight.

(she hasn't posted anything new since this has happened, don't be confused by the post she currently has up)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What you missed...

...while I was off in crazy land.

- At our appointment on the 6th (I was dumb and wore tights- who wears tights to the RE? oy vey.), we checked my lining as I had been on the estrace and 2x weekly estrogen shots for about 10 days or so. It was only around 7.2-7.9 mm, which my RE considered only "adequate". To resolve this issue, we switched taking our estrace tabs orally to taking them as SUPPOSITORIES. I've been shoving these little gems up in lady-land for two weeks now. Lovely. It looks like I had relations with a smurf.
PDLAMBLATI-esque (had to put my bare feet on the stirrups. Eww.)

Up the lady bits. Three times each day. It's actually a lovely teal-blue color.
- About two days later, my ankles decided to take a vacation. Holy hell the swelling was bad! They did the whole poke-a-finger-and-the-depression-stays-there thing. I guess that's what I have to look forward to if this thing actually works, and I manage to stay pregnant well into the swollen phase.
So. Gross.
- I ran a 5K with Dr Boy. Considering it had been an entire 5 weeks since I had stepped foot near my running shoes (or off the couch for that matter), and I was in the throes of the lupron depression, I can put that event in the win column. It's a miracle I even made it out of the house that day. I ran shorter intervals than I did back in Nov, but my overall time was only less than 2 minutes slower- not bad. I did, however, want to die the next week, and my legs threatened to give out on my going down the stairs at work, but whatever. I did it.
I think I need to stop swinging my knees out when I run.

- I went on a ski trip with Dr Boy and some friends from grad school. This was the famed trip that was the reason for postponing the transfer from Feb 6 to Feb 15th. So. Glad. It was so much of what we needed before transfer. I haven't seen most of these people in a good 18 months or so, and catching up was fantastic. I got in two amazing days of skiing at Breckenridge, and Dr Boy did a third at Vail. And we went snow tubing. And had a generally merry time. I love skiing (though it's a miracle I didn't break myself), and am so glad we did this pre-transfer- the trip would NOT have been the same otherwise.
Heading up the tubing hill

These are some MAD ski skillz, I tell you.

- On the aforementioned ski trip, my IF bracelet fell off. SAD FACE. I was planning on taking it off when we got our BFP. Instead, it got caught in my watch and ripped off. It was pretty ratty, so not too much of a surprise. I had put it on back in August, I think, when I went to an infertility faux-baby shower at a local IF group. It was my first time meeting other IF-ers in real life, and was amazing. I hope the bracelet falling off is a karmic sign...
I was irrationally upset when this happened.

Otherwise, life has been boring. Or rather, I was too depressed to make life anything other than boring. Feel caught up?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

All A'board

Everything went beautifully!

After waking up on the late side, Dr Boy made me a nice peanut butter chocolate protein shake and we headed off to pre-transfer acupuncture. Very relaxing... Almost better than the Xanex I took after!

We then went to our clinic which ushered us pretty quickly back into the transfer room. I got to show off my embryo socks... Nothing says "Stick, babies stick!" quite like silver sparkly polka dots, right?

Clearly not my ankle's most flattering view
Our RE came in and gave us the great news- they thawed two AA embryos... and both survived perfectly! No fragmentation, and they even saw continued growth and cellular differentiation between the morning thaw and mid-day transfer. They're alive... Score!! The transfer went seamlessly, with less pain inserting the catheter through the cervix than last time around. I love our clinic. Dr S was so warm today and answered any and all questions I had, and my nurse gave me a little good luck gift! She came in at the end, teared up, and asked if we wouldn't mind if she prayed for us- so so sweet of her and incredibly thoughtful. I really do love our clinic. We relaxed in the room for a half an hour or so, then headed back for post-transfer acupuncture. I totally fell asleep during that one, but am glad we did it.

So I'm officially in the TWW.

0 dp 6 dt.

God I hope this works. I want all of the heartbreak of these last 8 weeks to be worth something. I have gone through so much, emotionally, let so many balls drop, damaged friendships, and I have to hope that it won't be for nothing. Or irreparable, for that matter. Other than relaxing and getting at least one of these darned embryos to stick, I have a couple of important people to make amends with, because above all else?

None of this matters if I don't have people to share it with.

Meet our take 2 embies... Hundreds of differentiated
AA cells, just waiting to be our kids... They're so much
bigger than last time! So many more cells!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ready or not... they come! We've gotten past all the hurdles of medications, lining, and hormone levels, and have gotten the green light for our FET tomorrow. At 11:30am PST, we will be transferring two blasts that were frozen on day 6, provided they make the thaw. Our clinic's plan is to thaw one at a time (the six best frosties were frozen in singles) until we end up with two that look picture perfect. I've never heard of anyone transferring day 6 embies, but they hit blast and that seems to be the important part.

Today's PDLAMBLATI- From Lauren
I think I'm finally excited. At least, I'm able to see an outcome that doesn't involve the certainty of failure. It's taken me up until this very last weekend to get here, and I plan on riding the "it might actually work" wave for as long as I can... or at least Wednesday the 22nd when my first beta is drawn. Since it's a D6 transfer, I'll be at 7dp6dt, or 13dpo, which should certainly be soon enough.

The problem with this is that I thought we were still counting these embies as D5's, which would mean a first beta on Thurs the 23rd. I already took that day off to deal with whatever news befalls us, so I can stave off a massive sobfest in the bathroom at my office. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do about that now, other than try and avoid the phone call from the clinic until I leave that afternoon. There's still the POAS question, and I have no idea what I'm going to do on that front yet either.

A few things have majorly helped me get to this point, a point where success is a path that seems a possibility again. Because I'm so fond of lists...

1. Seeing a therapist- Finally got an appt, last Friday. Love her, hate that my insurance doesn't facilitate weekly or bi-weekly meetings. I'll have to do that separately, and plan on working on a plan for that soon. I definitely needs to keep going.
2. Fertility acupuncture- With how passive an FET is, I needed to feel like I was doing *more* to help out with the outcome of this attempt. If nothing else, I have a great new source of relaxation!
3. Going to CO- Dr Boy and a bunch of my grad school friends went skiing this weekend in Breckenridge. It was *exactly* the trip I needed. Great friends, the kind that remind you that even if it's been a year and a half since you've seen each other, you're just as loved and missed. I did NOT get enough time with them, but it was still a fab weekend. And I didn't break myself skiing which is a plus. Though I did look like an overstuffed sausage in my ski jacked circa 1999, and about 40 pounds ago. Oy vey.
4. An email from my bestie, saying that even though I've been an isolationist douche bucket (my words not hers), she still loves me and will be there when the lupron wears off. She's kindof the best friend a girl could have :) I hope she doesn't read this before I drop off her Valentine's gift tonight...
5. The twitters and the bloggies- Ya'll stick by me even when I'm a isolationist douche bucket, too. And I can't thank you enough.

The only thing left to deal with is the fallout of my 6 weeks of monster depression. Which is mainly my isolationist douchebucket status. I need to start actually leaving the house again. For something other than work. And repair the friendships I've left to languish during the last month. One of the pieces of homework the therapist gave me was to reach out to at least one friend each day. Email, phone, text, anything that's getting me out into the world of human interaction again.

I shall start that by picking up cupcakes on my way home...

I also vow to be better here- I mean it. Ya'll are awesome. And I hope you know that.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review- The Weird Sisters

Let me first apologize that this is the first post I've written in pretty much forever... FET's are boring. Me whining about being depressed is boring. Pretty much the only non-boring has been the fact that my last lupron shot was yesterday, and that I'm leaving for a trip to Colorado tomorrow... Woot! More on all that later. For now, I got to do my first book review for BlogHer! Quite exciting. So please bear with my- it's the first I've written since high school :)

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

The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown, is the story of three sisters who return to their hometown under the pretense of nursing their ailing mother during her cancer treatments. While the sisters are not quite what you would call "close", they each share a love of reading and, to some degree, the college town they call home. Their father is an English Lit professor, devoting his career to the works of Shakespeare. As a result, he most often quotes plays rather than expressing thoughts of his own, a habit the sisters take to as well. 

While the journey home is seemingly altruistic, each sister has a deeper, more self-centered motive for returning home. Rosalind, the eldest, is loath to follow her fiance to a post-doc in England. Bianca, the attention seeking middle child, has been fired from her position at a New York City law firm after her embezzlement was discovered. Cordelia, the youngest, has grown tired of her nomadic hippie lifestyle and has returned home to gestate her unplanned pregnancy. 

Let's cut to the chase- I enjoyed the prose, an unusual first person plural (all three sisters share the first person point of view simultaneously). It made it feel as though the story was a  look back in time, to a place where they all had significant troubles in their lives but could not trust each other enough to open up. At least yet. I did not, however, enjoy the rest of the book. I pretty much wanted to smack Bianca in the face for whining about how she was going to pay back her NYC law firm, while lusting after the town priest and seducing a professor into cheating on his wife with her. Not. Sympathetic. At. All. And don't get me started on Cordelia- who never seems to care enough to let the father of her child know that it exists. Oh! And better, she wants to keep the child to have something that's all her own- sounds like once of those high school clubs, to me. Rose was ok, but I kindof wanted to shake her hard and make her be her own person for once. 

Overall, this one was just not my cup of tea. I don't have sisters, so i couldn't relate to the relationships between them. I don't know a whole lot of Shakespeare, so I was just annoyed at what came off as pretentious overuse of literary quotes. 

I really wanted to like the book. I just didn't have it in me.