Thursday, July 28, 2011


After our appointment with the RE on Friday, I batted my eyes, and whined about how I wanted a kitten. I'd been doing this since Wednesday. Only this time, I was successful in getting the Brain to steer the car towards the animal shelter. I just wanted to look at the kittens, and really had no intention of adopting any of them. I've fostered plenty of kittens and never kept any of them. But, just to make sure the Brain actually took me to the shelter, I reminded her it was a kill shelter, unlike where I got my persian Vashti which was a no kill shelter. When we got there I asked if there were any special needs cats there. They asked why we were interested in a special needs cat, and we explained that the Brain had been a vet tech for more than 10 years, and was starting vet school. They showed us a little 14 week kitten that had been taken out of a hoarder's house, had been very anemic due to flees, had been malnourished, and many eye infections. Because of the eye infections, the third eyelid had adhered to itself. She was going to be having eye surgery the following Monday and we could have her Tuesday. They called me Monday afternoon and asked that we pick her up that day. She'd had the eye surgery and  been spayed. Poor little thing came home and was so scared. She spent the next couple of days behind the toilet (her hiding place). She finally started playing last night and sleeping in her little kitty bed. Today when my big old box of meds arrived all the dogs barked she scurried back behind the toilet. She's such a cutie-pie, even though her eye is goopy. We've named her Beta, which is kind of a joke about beta HCG. We can hold her up in the air and have a high beta any time we want. And we're turning the drama of the beta into something fun.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

(Another) New Plan

Friday was our follow up meeting with the RE, and I think I feel better. Actually, I'm really not sure how I feel. I know we have a new plan. I know he told me not to give up and that he thinks I will defintely be able to get pregnant and have a baby. He told me that he'll tell me when it's time to give up. He asked me to hang in their emotionally. I told him, as I choked back tears, that I was really trying to. We discussed that there was no way to know for sure why the betas were going up, and then went back down. There is no real way to know why I'm not staying pregnant. And that means no real concrete answers.

He reminded me I have frozen embryos. And at that point I asked if we could do another fresh cycle so that we could make more embryos. He supported that idea. But, with a twist. He wants to put in 3 day embryos. Everything inside me cringed at that idea. Everyone online has the idea that a 5 day embryo is better than a 3 day embryo. It has developed more, it is expanding, hatching, it's been given more time to see if it's better quality. But, I am also aware of the less popular theory that some REs like to put embryos back at 3 days to get them back to their natural environment.

My RE explained that with IVF they have been able to put the sperm and egg together, but the problem they always had was the medium to grow the embryos in. It's not like you can just put them in agar and expect them to grow. Scientists have experimented with changing the medium and have been able to grow the embryos out to 5 days. The theory was that if you could get them to 5 days, then the rate of pregnancy would increase. According to my RE, the numbers never really went up. He says doctors are heading back to the 3 day embryo.

I searched the web and looked for supporting evidence for the benefits of the 3 day transfer. Instead I found mostly forums talking about 5 day transfers, and one dialogue between a woman with infertility and a doctor who per his words was "on a soap box" against 3 day transfers. I'm going to put my trust in our RE once again, and try the 3 day transfer out. It can't really go any more wrong than what we've been doing.

So the plan is to do a fresh cycle with a 3 day transfer. We'll freeze the rest and if emotionally I can't handle doing anything for a while, we'll be able to come back to it without having to worry about not having enough embryos. For now, I just have to wait until the bleeding starts. AF will be bittersweet.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

About My Third Beta

I spent the time before my third beta angry. And by angry, I really mean pissed off at the world. I had to walk outside, or just down the hall several times so people wouldn't see me cry. I vented briefly on Tuesday morning to a few of my coworkers about how scared and mad I was. This turned out to be the wrong thing to do. Instead of the support I needed, one of my brilliant coworkers threw in her two cents and told me that I should have a one night stand, nobody would know the difference. I turned to her and said I wasn't going to address that comment because it was just going to piss me off. But then, I let her know that I can't get pregnant by "fucking" someone. Yes, the curse words started spilling. Why should I watch my mouth when she so obviously doesn't watch hers. I reminded her that I buy high quality sperm, have an embryologist who monitors my embryos and the quality, that I have a specialist who monitors my reproductive system and times everything just so, and yet I still can't hold onto a pregnancy. I didn't even get into the fact that I am married and suggesting infidelity is offensive and disrespectful.

I was even angry while getting my blood drawn. They aren't accustom to seeing me in a bad mood since I usually have a smile on my face and am chipper. Even when I was there for the D&C, so was my smile. I continued being grumpy all the way to The San Diego Wild Animal Park. I'm not sure I enjoyed our "safari" as much as I could have. We were the only couple without children, and most of the children on the truck were annoying me by their lack of attention to personal space, volume control and inappropriate comments.

They usually call around 3:30 pm with the results of the betas. By 4 pm, they still hadn't called and I was sure that was a sign they were putting off the bad news. We left the park, and headed home. As we were pulling out of parking lot, we got the call. The nurse I usually love called and was so upbeat. In the same upbeat tone, she told me she had bad news for me. At this point I'm thinking to myself, "duh, I already knew this was going to be bad."  My beta had dropped to 125 or 127, I don't remember and what are two points anyway. My RE wanted me to stop the medications and not be discouraged. He also wondered if I had a hysteroscopy. In fact, he preformed the hysteroscopy, and I remember every painful moment of it. I wonder if there could be scarring from the D&C. And, I wonder why on Earth am I supposed to not feel discouraged. My body is betraying me. I'm putting myself through these terrible treatments, damaging my body trying to get pregnant. My gluteal muscles are hard and lumpy, discolored, painful, sometimes itchy and more than likely scarred. I sometimes wonder what the future implications of all these hormone treatments will be. And then I think of how much time I've invested in these treatments. But that will be another post.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Second Beta

Second beta is 272, which is "right on the money" per the nurse. But, the doctor wants me to have another beta in two days. She told me not to be discouraged. So how do I feel? Totally torn up inside. I POAS at work last night hoping for an encouraging dark line, but instead only saw a faint one. I knew at that moment it wasn't going to be as high as I had hoped. I've seen tons of stories where betas rise slowly and then end up just fine, but I want stellar numbers that rise and then really, ultimately, I want a freaking baby.  It's like having a carrot dangled in front of you that you can't quite reach.

Feeling a little pissed off at the universe,

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Didn't I Say I Wouldn't Worry?

Yup, I'm pretty sure I had decided just to ride the high for as long as I could. But, there I was yesterday evening, getting ready for work, worrying. I realized this time is different because now I know I have MTHFR. So I did a google search for MTHFR and pregnancy and saw all these people posting about m/c. It made me really worried about only being on the folgard and aspirin. My RE doesn't think that I'll need heparin or lovenox, but I'd almost rather play it safe, and do more. My goal...graduate from my RE to a high risk OB. I'll have to insist on going to one of those since my regular OB/GYN didn't even know what MTHFR is. Then, that doctor will be able to start me on whatever he or she thinks is necessary and will help me have a healthy live birth. All this, mind you, before I have even had my second beta. Am I jumping ahead of myself? Maybe, but if there is one thing navigating through the land of IF has taught me, hope for the best and plan for the worst. All this madness of course started because I woke up early due to a bad dream I was having. In my dream I was sitting on the toilet and looked down to see a bowl full of bright red, bloody water. I can't help but take vivid dreams as omens, since so many of them have come true. But damn it, not that one. And now, having been up for around 18 hours, delirium sets in and I must go to bed, where I will hopefully dream of a big baby bump.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beta Day

I got home from work around 4 am, and it took me about half and hour to wind down and fall asleep. I set my alarm for 6:30 am, even though the RE's satellite office is only about 2 minutes from my house. I knew that I'd be hitting snooze before throwing on some sweat pants. That is, of course exactly what I did. The Brain woke up early with me and drove me to the office. The medical assistant who goes to that office to draw my blood lives on the same street as me. She loves having to draw my blood because it means she gets an extra hour of sleep, draws by blood and then heads into the main office that is about an hour away at that time of the day. I stayed up another hour for my shot and meds and then went back to sleep. I love being tired and a little sleep deprived because sleeping helps to make the long hours between the blood draw and the dreaded phone call go by so quickly. Our FET coordinator called and I passed the ringing phone to the Brain, and refused to get on the phone until I knew it wasn't bad news. When we knew that much, we put switched to speaker phone. That is when she told beta was 137!! That is SO MUCH higher than we've ever had. My chemical was 12, my last BFP was 23 and now 137!! This is such a strong number! We're thrilled and so excited about my next beta on Monday. Nothing to do but enjoy the happy feelings until then. 

Simply smiling,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pregnant vs Not Pregnant

As much as I think I am pregnant again, I don't think I am. I'm going to walk into my beta tomorrow morning trying to prepare myself for the worst, and hoping for the best. I've been coming up with a mental list of pros and cons. Here is my list so far.

Reasons why I’m pregnant
Reasons why I’m not pregnant
Sore swollen breasts that started 3-4 days after ET.
Sore breasts could be from the progesterone, although in the past this started before ET.
Wanting to eat eggs almost every day.
No nausea except when I think about it.
During daily sweeps to get rid of the crinone residue yesterday and today, I removed dark brown and black lumps which is old blood…implantation bleeding?
Acne, normal for before periods.
Pain to my right lower abdomen.
Pain to my right lower abdomen.
I had a feeling of fullness all last week to my lower abdomen.
The feeling of fullness to my lower abdomen is gone.
A little nasal congestion. 
My animals aren’t any more cuddly or attentive than they normally are.
Not peeing frequently.
Not any more tired than usual. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sea Turtles

Last year when we did IVF, the Brain used to call me a sea turtle, because they lay many eggs, and so did I. Today, this image returned into my life. I have a friend who recently traveled to Hawaii on vacation. She returned with a little silver sea turtle charm. She told me that in Hawaii, sea turtles are good luck. As she placed the anklet around my left ankle, she told me that I wasn't to take it off until after I give birth to my baby. It's a really sweet gesture, and I love that it's a sea turtle. Thanks friend!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I've been coloring mandalas in an attempt to remain calm and find my center. I'm not sure if it's working, but I'm enjoying it in the meantime. I was even relaxed enough to take a couple of naps today. I'm also trying to avoid being on symptom watch or comparing the way I feel this time to last time. Tying is the important word here. I had some mild pain and cramping the day of the transfer and the next day. Now, I don't really feel anything different from what I felt before the transfer. I take this as a good sign. I've changed to crinone, which is ridiculously expensive. There has to be a pharmacy where I can get it cheaper. It's worth it though, because my bottom is starting to return to it's normal color. The lumps will go away eventually, but even those are getting better.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

3:01:51 p.m.

Today was supposed to be full of joy, hope and serenity...but I felt so many more emotions than that. I woke up and hoped that the Brain and I could "make a baby" before making a baby. It was a disaster. I couldn't get into it, so was angry, annoyed and frustrated. Maybe I was too tired, but my head and heart wasn't in it. I worked all weekend and only had two hours of sleep. We got to the RE's office and were put in a room. The embryologist came in and told us she thawed two five day blasts. One was great quality and expanding...the other had areas of necrosis on it but parts were still alive and we were going to transfer that one too. She couldn't thaw any more because the rest were frozen at three days. She didn't seem to understand why I seemed tense. Really? She just told me that one of my little frosties is bad quality. I know it just takes one good embryo, but still when she left I burst into tears. They checked my bladder and moved me into another room for the transfer. I felt like I was going to pee on my doctor, I was so full. I wasn't relaxed so all the inserting and spraying and wiping and who knows what that they do to get the catheter in place was uncomfortable. I was so impatient, and asked that they hurry because I really needed the bedpan. I didn't even watch the ultrasound monitor as they transfered the embryos. Instead I just buried my head into the Brain's armd and held on. Usually I'm so easy going and jovial in the office, but today I was all nerves and fear. They sprinkled their magic baby dust on me and left us alone with each other and the bedpan. Again, tears. I felt such an emptiness in my heart. The same feeling I had when I woke up the day after my D&C. I know exactly what is baby. I'm so afraid it won't work and I don't want to feel afraid right now. I want to feel hopeful. I don't want to be thinking about the next step if it doesn't work, but yet my mind keeps wandering there. I'm trying to breath in tranquility and exhale the fear and negativity.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


My butt hurts so much I had to sob into my pillow after my shots this morning. I have never swollen up and bruised like this before. I started to by the end of last cycle, but not to this extent. I've asked my RE if we can switch the oil or change to the Crinone suppositories. I wanted him to decide which is better for me...but alas, he's giving me the choice. Now I'm in a quandary. I want the most effective medication. I'm leaning towards the suppository because it's fast and easy. The drawbacks are it's more expensive and it can leave a nasty residue that requires some spelunking to get rid of it. Another oil may feel better and cause less swelling and bruising, or it may be just as bad. The Brain is at a loss for answers and opinions. Can't someone just tell me what to do? Sometimes I just don't feel like making anymore decisions for myself...and this is one of those times.

My PIO Bruise Diary: