Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I would give to be sick and throw up...

Then at least I might feel pregnant. I can't count the sore and enlarged breasts as a pregnancy symptom because I'm on progesterone and estrogen shots, which cause that. I'm peeing all the time, but also drinking more water than usual. Usually, I might drink 8-12 oz of fluid per day. Instead I'm drinking water all day and all night long. If I sleep for 8 hours without drinking, I wake up feeling parched, my hands feel swollen and have mild cramps. I am also eating a lot more salt that usual. Normally I use salt to bake and that's about it, but now I'm adding it to food, and enjoying salty food. But, I'm afraid to POAS because I have a fear that it will be negative. We still have 9 days to go until the ultrasound and I'm afraid there won't be a baby in there. I also had two baby dreams today. One was at an ultrasound and there were two babies, one with a strong heartbeat, and one with a slow heartbeat. Then, I had a dream where I was holding a baby and I didn't know if it was a boy or girl or how old it was, but I knew it was mine. The baby was holding onto me very tightly. You can't tell, but I'm actually trying not to worry...but it's not working. 

Calmly worried, Pinky

Monday, March 21, 2011


IF is like a shadow lurking beneath you, following you everywhere you go. Sometimes I think I can shake it. It's like enjoying high noon on a beach, it's great while it lasts, but inevitably the sun shifts positions in the sky, and it isn't quite as nice. For a few days, I was on cloud nine. And now, the worry sets it. I worry that my little embryo(s) are developing properly. That the wellbutrin I take won't effect my baby's heart. I worry that something will happen before I even have the chance to see that heart on the ultrasound at 7 weeks. I worry because I often feel a fullness in my lower abdomen. I worry because sometimes I don't feel a fullness in my lower abdomen. I especially worry because I worry, and anxiety and stress isn't good for a pregnancy.

I know that I'm not nearly out of the woods. I see women who come into the ER loosing their babies early in the pregnancy. I want so badly to celebrate entering my second trimester, then my third and then my healthy baby. I can't even bring myself to wish to be like most other women and glide through pregnancy with little concern. If this were easy, than would I appreciate this gift as much? I'd like to think that those of us who battle IF embrace pregnancy and motherhood with the spirit of a woman who has been to hell and back, with an appreciation kin to when a person experiences a near death experience.

Goal for today: Distraction and relaxation through work and deep breathing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

4 weeks 2 days

After we got the call that my second beta had more than doubled, we purchased a box of HPT. I really wanted to see two lines, something we'd never seen before. The first test, the line was faint, but there. I was so excited that it was faint, because then I could see it get darker. So, I waited two days, and took another HPT. The line was defiantly darker! I'm so excited because it means my little lucky charms are hanging on and growing. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life and Taxes

Driving to our accountants, my cell phone rings. I recognize the number, it's the RE's office. I pick up as we pull into the lot. The nurse asks for me by name and introduces herself. "This is Jennifer from Dr. Q's office. I'm calling about your beta." GULP. Not again, it's gone down, it's chemical! "Your beta is 69, it more than doubled." What?? Why did she say it like that, she just told me good new right? I actually ask her, "Why did you say it so seriously? I was preparing myself for the worst. My heart was in my throat." Then I ask about the next step, my next beta. She tells me I don't need one, I just need to continue my meds and come into the office for an ultrasound in April. Then, the next questions out of my mouth surprise me. 1. Can I have sex yet? 2. Can I sleep on my stomach? Answers, no and no. It's worth it, totally worth it.

We sat with the accountant on cloud nine, and must have had the biggest goofy smiles on our faces the whole time. The Brain and I just held hand and exchanged grins. He totaled our returns, and in my head I was for the baby, for the nursery. We have savings again!! Gosh, I loved tax day!!

Floating somewhere over the moon....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


As much as I wish IVF didn’t involve vaginas, it does. There is constantly things going in and coming out. Pelvic ultrasounds with loads of goopie surgilube, speculums, catheter tips, dilators, camera tips, contrast, saline, suppositories, needles…in. Blood, more blood, secretions, increased secretions, and more blood…out. Why can't my vagina be a happy place, all cute and clean, and free of medical instruments. Of course, all this will seem obsolete once I’m pregnant and delivering a baby and all that comes out with that… With that said, I raise my glass of water to TMI, an unavoidable part of IF.

At 2:00 am I had my first bathroom break of the night. I sat down, looked down, and there it was…thick, dark, brown blood. Damn! How can be blood be a good sign seven hours before my beta? Then, an hour later, more brown blood. That’s it…it’s over, it hasn’t worked. My coworker who is a midwife suggested implantation bleeding. Some of the members of members of my online support group also suggested implantation bleeding. When I get to the office looking defeated, one of the nurses reassured me that dark brown is good blood. She comments that I always stay so positive until the last day. She’s right, except for the one off negative Nancy day earlier in the week, I’m usually very upbeat and positive.

Then the phone call wakes me up around 3 pm. The nurse says she has good news and I have to stop her and question what she said. Good news? For me? No, I’m bleeding and it’s over. She says my beta is 23. That’s 13 more than last cycle when I had a chemical pregnancy. This is progress!

Now, if only I could renounce my membership to the panty inspection club...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Symptom watch 2011...

Last night around 2:30 am nausea struck. After debating whether or not to get up to vomit, I decided instead to go to the sleep instead. When I woke up at 7 am, the nausea was just as bad. I got up to feed the dogs and had to stop and sit down a few times. The smell of my dog's wet food was too much for my churning stomach. While annoying, it gave me hope, because it's the first symptom that can't be blamed on progesterone.

Around 10:45 am, I woke up again. This time from a vivid, steamy sex dream. I don't have those very frequently. Luckily I woke up in time. It took a few hours to fall back asleep because I couldn't get comfortable. I was experiencing a cramping pain in my lower abdomen. The cramps were unlike the cramps I have experienced up until now, and before the ET. It was more of a burning cramp.

Since waking up at 4:30 pm for work, I have been free of nausea and cramps. We'll see how the rest of the night's my first night back at work.


Friday, March 11, 2011

My Lucky Charms

Implant...grow...thrive...I'll keep this image in my thoughts to conjure up the warm fuzzies and hope.
Your mommy,


I spent yesterday acting a bit aloof because negative thoughts kept popping into my head. Being negative doesn’t help my stress levels, which in turn doesn’t help my little embryos implant, which doesn’t help me get my BFP. It’s counterproductive to be sad and negative, so I’m done with that.

Last night I had trouble sleeping. My body kept aching and I had trouble getting comfortable. I don’t like lying on my back, it just never feels right. But, the RE’s instructions say no sleeping on your stomach. I kept trying my side, but my belly would cramp. My legs were aching, it was too hot, and every time I adjusted, I woke up. And, my mouth was really dry, so I needed to drink water. I dislike water…

My breasts are tender, but they have been since before the ET. The only difference is today they are bigger. The Brain likes this.

My appetite is less than usual. Yesterday I didn’t eat a lot, so I have to make sure to eat more today in case my Lucky Charms have decided to burrow in a share my food. I want them to grow up to be strong, and eating chips with bean dip, and ice cream shakes isn’t a good start to their long and happy existence. I have experienced little to no nausea during this cycle, which is a big change from previous cycles. Maybe that’s a good thing. I am frequently nauseated even when we aren’t trying, so not being nauseated is a change.

Time will tell.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Embryo Transfer

While laying on my back, my legs up in delivery stirrups, speculum already inserted and waiting for the embryologists to bring in my two progressing blasts, I announced to my RE that in honor of St Patrick’s day, we were dubbing our little embryos out “Lucky Charms.” As ridiculous as it sounds, I like to name our embryos so that I can refer to them with a loving pet name while I’m talking to them. They laughed with us. Then, my RE said, “Isn’t today Mardi Gras?” Yep…it was Mardi Gras and I hadn’t realized that. My RE suggested the Brazilian Bose Novas. I asked him if I was going to be getting any beads from the office. The Brain reminded me that I hadn’t lifted my shirt for any beads. I turned to her and reminded her that while I hadn’t lifted my shirt to show off my breasts, I’d dropped my pants and showed a lot more. Now remember, I’m up in stirrups and have a speculum locked and ready to go…while laughing with most of the office staff and a rotating physician. It’s a moment only someone going through IF can truly appreciate. The embryologist entered the room, complimented the soundtrack, and then was reintroduced as the glorified babysitter. I complimented her on her babysitting skills. My two little blasts were inserted and we watched as they flickered on the screen, like bright little stars. There were hugs and sticky embryo wishes from the RE and we were left for the half hour of rest and a few bedpan breaks. I wonder what they call babies made on Mardi Gras, king's babies?

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Last night I dreamt that I was riding a tandem bicycle with someone familiar (but whose identity I don’t remember) through a city. We reached a bridge and had to stop to walk the bike across. I looked out across the large body of water, as if looking towards San Francisco from the Bay Bridge. As I took a step forward the person I was with called my name. I looked back and they told me to look down. It was then that I realized I had crossed a coned off area of the bridge, and now was standing in mid air much like Wyle Coyote. I felt a brief moment of panic but didn’t struggle or reach for the bridge or my friend. I began to fall a great distance. During the fall I kept taking in large breaths and holding them in, preparing for the moment of impact into the water. I did this about three times before realizing that it wouldn’t make a difference, because I would naturally hold my breath when I hit the water. My body cut through the water easily and painlessly. I opened my eyes and looked around. I noticed I was holding a plastic bag. I tried to swim towards the surface but was sinking instead. Rather than struggle, I closed my eyes and kicked my legs with little effort like in scuba. I reached the surface, took a breath and surveyed the distance to the shore. The water was choppy, the distance long. Instead I swam to a pole and climbed up to wait for a rescue boat. While waiting, a floating Chinese restaurant passed by and refused to rescue me. I looked around and realized that there were buoys separating an area of shallow water leading up to a resort. The pole I was holding onto became a rope. I used it to swing over to the shallow water, and walked into shore.

I believe dreams are our subconscious trying to make sense out of the events and emotions of our waking life. My interpretation is that I’m about to enter a potentially scary situation where I have very little control. I can try and prepare, but ultimately whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Rather than be afraid, I am calm and logical about the situation. I think this accurately describes how I’m feeling and processing this coming FET.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Little Blurb

It is all coming together. It has gone from feeling unreal to the feeling I get when I’m in my Zen place in a matter of minutes. For the last two weeks, I kept staring at my FET calendar with disbelief. Without daily shots it didn’t feel real. Then, today we went to the RE and he told us that we’re ready to do the FET. Tomorrow we start the daily shots of progesterone and then on Tuesday the RE has agreed to transfer two beautiful five celled embryos. I am in my “getting knocked up place” and it feels great.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adverse Reactions

Season 7 Episode 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith Gray has been taking injectable fertility drugs to make her uterus less hostile. In the morning she is squinting at the table while looking over the blueprints for her dream house. Later in the day, she is in surgery with her husband and is unable to drill into the skull because she cannot see the black mark. She consults the hot OB who tells her she must stop the meds. While waiting for the ophthalmologist the chief of surgery tells her that until she is cleared by the ophthalmologist she can no longer enter an OR. The episode ends, and I go to bed.

Fast forward 15 hours, I am at work, in a patient’s room assisting her back into bed. I notice a bright spot in my vision, look around to see if there is a light that I accidentally looked into. Nope, no light. I excuse myself, back out of the room and sit myself down in the optho chair before my vision deteriorates any more. The spot in my vision grows and my heart starts racing. I call one of the residents over to check me out, since this is the third time it has happened, and only the first time a physician has been around. He does a neuro exam that is predictably negative. I keep having to look away from my coworkers because they are all missing half their heads, which is incredibly disturbing. 30 minutes later, the aura is gone, but my eyes are sensitive to the light. I clock out, and wait for the Brain to pick me up so I can go home to bed.

This is the third aura I’ve experienced. The first lasted about an hour and happened back in December about a week after I stopped the progesterone and estradiol injections. The second was one to two weeks later and lasted about five minutes. Then there was yesterday about six hours after my estradiol injection. I have not experienced a migraine after any of the auras.

So why be concerned? Here is a list of serious reactions of estradiol: thromboembolism, retinal thrombosis, MI, stroke, HTN, breast CA, ovarian CA, endometrial CA, endometrial hyperplasia, uterine fibroid enlargement, hypercalcemia, severe (metastatic breast CA), cholestatic jaundice, gallbladder dz, pancreatitis, hepatic hemangioma enlargement, depression, dementia, migraine, chorea exacerbation, seizure exacerbation, asthma exacerbation, porphyria aggravation, SLE exacerbation, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid rxn, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, ischemic colitis. Common reactions include: application site rxn (transdermal, topical), vaginal bleeding/spotting, breast changes/pain, abdominal bloating/cramps, nausea/vomiting, cervical secreation changes, headache/migraine, fluid retention, elevated BP, mood changes, candidiasis, vulvovaginal, glucose intolerance, weight changes, libido changes, contact lens intolerance, vision changes, rash, melasma/choasma, hair loss, hirstuism.

Considering all I’m risking to tame my hostile uterus, it could have been a lot worse. I’m sure my RE will agree. We’ll see (hopefully clearly) tomorrow.