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!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
COMMENTS TO THIS POST ARE NOT SWEEPSTAKES ENTRIES. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR ENTRY METHODS FOR THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
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 BlogHer.com 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.
video

- 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 :)


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(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 Random.org 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 :)

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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?

Ooops!

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.
5w6d

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!

Recap:
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!

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(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.

#hope

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.

#hope
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!!!


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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

Ramblings

- 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.

Recap:
Beta One (8dp5dt or 13dpo): 80
Beta Two (10dp5dt or 15dpo): 202
Beta Three (15dp5dt or 20dpo or 4w6d): 1,845
From BabyMed.com
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!
From BabyMed.com
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.